Archive for the ‘Middle East’ Category
When I wrote this post about Rand Paul’s foolishness about ISIS, I stuck mostly to highlighting why Sen. Paul’s opinion is dangerous. Today, it’s time to attack the beliefs that form the foundation for that wrongheaded thinking.
Like his lunatic father before him, Sen. Paul thinks that ISIS won’t hurt us if we just leave them alone. That’s projection based on their capital-L Libertarian beliefs. It’s also lunacy that isn’t based in facts.
ISIS’s beliefs are based on a messianic worldview. If ISIS didn’t use the U.S.’s presence in the Middle East as a rationalization for attacking us, then they’d find a different, equally dishonest, excuse to kill people who don’t agree with them 100% of the time.
The proof of this is the fact that hundreds and thousands of Muslims have been murdered because they didn’t subscribe to ISIS’s beliefs. Their crime wasn’t that they were an occupying force in the Middle East. Their ‘crime’ was that they weren’t, in ISIS’s opinion, Muslim enough. If it wasn’t that, ISIS would find a different excuse to rationalize their actions.
Rand Paul isn’t qualified to be the next commander-in-chief. He sees the world as he wants it to be. He doesn’t see the world as it actually is. That’s President Obama’s fatal flaw. That’s one of Sen. Paul’s fatal flaws, too.
A stunning document captured during the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound didn’t speak highly of Hillary Clinton. Here’s what the world’s greatest terrorist thought of Hillary and US foreign policy:
UBL: The Secretary of State declared that they are worried about the armed Muslims controlling the Muslim region. The West’s position towards the Libyan revolution is a weak one. The western countries are weak and their international role is regressing.
You can practically hear UBL’s rejoicing in the Obama administration’s use of “smart power’. It’s obvious that he wasn’t afraid of Hillary’s foreign policy, either.
Pacifist birds of a feather flock together.
Actually, these pacifist birds run a foundation together. Follow this link to watch ABC’s interview of Osama bin Laden in 1998. At approximately the 3:50 mark, UBL calls the US military a “paper tiger.”
Our people realize that, more than before, the American soldier is a paper tiger.
Because the military takes its orders from its commander-in-chief, they leave hotspots like Mogadishu if that’s what the commander-in-chief orders them to do. That’s what they were told to do by then-Defense Secretary Les Aspin. UBL thought that the US military were paper tigers because Bill Clinton lacked the will to fight. Does anyone seriously think that the US military couldn’t have wiped out al-Qa’ida if they’d been given permission to wipe them out?
Bill Clinton once ordered troops into Bosnia. He explained that he was just trying to “level the battlefield.” Bill Clinton didn’t care about winning a war. That’s why he went half-heartedly into a military confrontation.
Based on UBL’s documents, he thought Hillary was as soft as her husband. He nailed it when he said that “the western countries are weak and their international role is regressing.” Certainly, President Obama has abandoned the Middle East, the Arabian Peninsula, eastern Europe and north Africa. Let’s remember that bin Laden was assassinated in 2011, years before ISIS was called the JV team. ISIS and al-Qa’ida knew that they could operate without consequences with Hillary as Secretary of State and President Obama as commander-in-chief.
With ISIS expanding and Iran destabilizing the Middle East, why shouldn’t they hope for a Hillary administration? If she becomes president, they’ll have the time to plan their next terrorist attack on the United States. They’ll know that they can operate freely and openly.
Bill Clinton was seen by UBL as a paper tiger. Hillary was seen by UBL as a shrinking violet. If we want the terrorists to run rampant until they strike us again, all we have to do is elect Hillary.
Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi ambassador to the US, did a good job of walking a tightrope in discussing the mess President Obama created in the Middle East:
This article shows how frayed the relationship is between the Saudis and the Obama administration:
Asked when he was told by Saudi Arabia that it would take military action in Yemen, Gen. Lloyd Austin, the head of the U.S. military’s Central Command, told a Senate hearing on Thursday he spoke with Saudi Arabia’s chief of defense “right before they took action.” He added that he couldn’t assess the likelihood of the campaign succeeding because he didn’t know the “specific goals and objectives.”
Translation: The Saudis told Centcom that it was taking military action against the Iran-supported Houthi rebels moments before launching airstrikes against Houthi rebels. The other noteworthy tidbit of information is that Centcom can’t evaluate what the likelihood of the Saudi airstrikes is because it wasn’t briefed by the Saudis.
Nations collaborating with each other might not know everything that the other nation is planning on doing but they’d have a pretty good idea what assets are being deployed and where. They’d know what their ally’s goals were, too. Clearly, that isn’t happening here.
During his interview with Chris Wallace, al-Jubeir emphatically stated that they’re willing to deploy ground troops if they determine that’s what’s needed to destroy ISIS. When I heard that, I wished that our commander-in-chief had that type of spine. Unfortunately, we’re stuck with President Obama. What’s especially sad is that President Obama’s world view is totally upside down. America’s traditional allies are President Obama’s enemies. Countries that’ve traditionally been America’s enemies are this administration’s friends.
The saddest part is that it’ll take the Republican’s next term in office just to clean up this administration’s foreign policy disasters. I’ve said this before but I’ll repeat it here. I never thought I’d see the day when another president’s foreign policy ‘accomplishments’ paled in comparison to Jimmy Carter’s lackluster list of accomplishments.
Unfortunately, I’ve lived to see that day. Then again, I didn’t think I’d live to see the day when Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan would form a de facto alliance to counterbalance the US-Iranian alliance.
President Obama is complaining about the Senate Republicans sending a letter to Iran’s mullahs. Like the petty man he is, he threw in a dig at Republicans while criticizing them.
President Obama assailed 47 Republican senators Monday for writing an open letter to the leaders of Iran while the country is in the middle of nuclear negotiations with the United States and allied nations, arguing the communication made “common cause with the hardliners in Iran.”
The letter, released publicly Monday, advised Iran’s leaders that any pact negotiated by the Obama administration and signed by Iran, and not ratified by Congress, could be voided by future presidents or modified by future Congresses. It was drafted as a lesson in the workings of the Constitution, and framed as a rebuke to the president’s executive authority.
The mullahs aren’t negotiating with this administration. They’re toying with this administration. Any treaty negotiated with the mullahs won’t be worth the parchment it’ll be written on. It certainly won’t be worth ratifying.
And yes, it’s a treaty.
Speaking in the Oval Office, Obama said the American people would assess the merits of any finalized agreement with Iran. If a deal is reached, “I’m confident we’ll be able to implement it,” he added. “I think it’s somewhat ironic to see some members of Congress wanting to make common cause with the hardliners in Iran. It’s an unusual coalition,” the president observed.
First, we don’t need to wait until the details of the treaty are revealed to “assess the merits” of the proposed treaty. We shouldn’t negotiate with terrorist-sponsoring nations like Iran until they stop sponsoring terrorists. Period. Negotiating with them gives them legitimacy. That’s the last thing we should do.
Next, blowing up a bad deal with some of the nastiest people on earth isn’t making common cause with them. As usual, President Obama has things bassackwards. His negotiating a treaty with them while pushing Israel under the bus is making common cause with the terrorists. That’s the “unusual coalition.”
Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia have signaled to Israel that working together to take out Iran’s nuclear weapons is acceptable. Meanwhile, President Obama has continued his policy of appeasement towards Iran. While Republican senators align themselves with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, President Obama continues his policy of appeasement with Iran’s mullahs.
That’s “an unusual coalition.”
Watching this video will show that el-Sissi is more pro-traditional American than President Obama:
Thankfully, these 47 Republicans are playing hardball with the hardliners in Tehran.
This NYTimes article is totally farcical. Check this paragraph out:
Asked whether the accord would guarantee that Iran would remain at least a year away from being able to produce enough fuel for a single nuclear weapon, a senior official said that the agreement was still under negotiation and that it was not yet clear how long the accord might last. He noted that some “transparency measures” that might provide insight into the inner workings of Iran’s nuclear activities might be in effect for an “extended period of time.”
The thought that the mullahs’ word is worth anything is utterly laughable. Trusting them is like trusting Bernie Madoff with the password to your retirement account. Nobody in their right mind would trust them. Thinking that President Obama would call out Iran if they violated the treaty is just as laughable.
If this is part of the administration’s ‘prebuttal’ to Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session of Congress, then they’re a laughingstock. They’ll be ridiculed by serious news organizations.
The officials were also vague about whether, and how quickly, Iran would have to answer a dozen questions from the International Atomic Energy Agency about research it is suspected of carrying out on nuclear designs, what the agency calls the “possible military dimensions” of Iran’s program. The I.A.E.A., the United Nations’ inspection agency, said again last week that Iran stonewalled inspectors on answering most of its questions, which the Iranians insist are based on fabricated evidence.
The treaty still hasn’t been signed and Iran is already attempting to shroud its nuclear program in secrecy. Israel shouldn’t trust Iran at this or any other point. Israel shouldn’t trust President Obama either. He’s clearly undermined Israel’s ability to protect itself from the existential threat known as Iran.
This is either red flag city or it’s entirely predictable. Saying that “officials were also vague about whether, and how quickly, Iran would have to answer a dozen questions from the International Atomic Energy Agency” is essentially the same as saying that this administration won’t take this part seriously. If this administration was serious about preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, they’d back this provision up with the option of military force and harsh sanctions.
The fact that the Obama administration and other Democrats support this is frightening. The fact that Hillary hasn’t spoken out about this is telling, too. Hillary’s silence is deafening. She’s as dovish as President Obama.
President Obama’s PR campaign isn’t working:
This week, Secretary of State John Kerry told Congress that Mr. Netanyahu was wrong when he predicted that the interim agreement reached with Iran would fail and would result in the collapse of the sanctions regimen against Tehran, and administration officials suggested that his opposition to a comprehensive agreement was also wrongheaded.
But the concerns voiced by Mr. Netanyahu are also shared by Saudi Arabia and other Arab states that are regional rivals of Iran. Mr. Kerry plans to meet with King Salman of Saudi Arabia and other Arab officials over the next week to try to reassure them about the agreement.
When the Saudis agree with Israel’s prime minister and disagree with our president, that’s a PR disaster for the Obama administration.
This article highlights the virtue of President Obama’s policy of strategic patience:
A video purporting to show the mass beheading of Coptic Christian hostages was released Sunday by militants in Libya affiliated with the Islamic State group.
The killings raise the possibility that the Islamic militant group — which controls about a third of Syria and Iraq in a self-declared caliphate — has established a direct affiliate less than 500 miles (800 kilometers) from the southern tip of Italy. One of the militants in the video makes direct reference to that possibility, saying the group now plans to “conquer Rome.”
The militants had been holding 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians hostage for weeks, all laborers rounded up from the city of Sirte in December and January. It was not clear from the video whether all 21 hostages were killed. It was one of the first such beheading videos from an Islamic State group affiliate to come from outside the group’s core territory in Syria and Iraq.
What’s amazing is what Susan Rice, President Obama’s NSA, said recently at the Brookings Institute:
“As a nation, we are stronger than we’ve been in a very long time.”
Here’s what Ms. Rice said later in that speech:
Ms. Rice said that the Obama administration had “brought home almost 170,000 American troops, responsibly ending 2 costly and long ground wars and re-purposing our military’s strength so we can better respond to emerging threats and crises.”
The Middle East and north Africa are being controlled by ISIS. Meanwhile, Americans were evacuated, hurriedly, from the US embassy in Yemen by al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula, aka AQAP. Coptic Christians are being ruthlessly slaughtered in Libya.
A year ago, President Obama called ISIS a JV team after ISIS had captured Fallujah. This year, ISIS controls one-third of Iraq and Syria and is branching out into Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt and Libya. Anyone with a modest understanding knows that Libya is only a few hundred miles from Rome.
Egyptian President el-Sissi is more courageous than President Obama:
The Egyptian government declared a seven-day mourning period and President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi addressed the nation late Sunday night, pledging resilience in the fight against terrorism.
“These cowardly actions will not undermine our determination” said el-Sissi, who also banned all travel to Libya by Egyptian citizens and said his government reserves the right to seek retaliation. “Egypt and the whole world are in a fierce battle with extremist groups carrying extremist ideology and sharing the same goals.”
President el-Sissi knows what ISIS is. He’s fighting them with everything he’s got. Meanwhile, President Obama preaches that doing nothing to stop the rapidly metastasizing threat from ISIS is the right strategy.
I’d rather trust el-Sissi than trust the occupant of the White House. That’s because President Obama insists that doing nothing is making America safer. Ask Bill Clinton if taking a holiday from history made America safer in the 1990s.
At a DNC fundraiser in New York last night, President Obama said that the world isn’t falling apart, it’s just that social media is making him look bad:
President Obama on Friday said social media and the nightly news are partly to blame for the sense that “the world is falling apart.”
“I can see why a lot of folks are troubled,” Obama told a group of donors gathered at a Democratic National Committee barbecue in Purchase, N.Y. But the president said that current foreign policy crises across the world are not comparable to the challenges the U.S. faced during the Cold War.
There’s no question that social media spreads the news around quickly. That doesn’t explain away the multitude of crises that’ve started during President Obama’s administration or the threat posed by ISIL.
President Putin doesn’t take him seriously. At best, the Obama administration is an afterthought to Putin. America’s allies don’t trust us because of amateurish moves like dissing allies like Egypt in attempting to broker a cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians.
Egypt and the UAE hit Libyan targets without informing the Obama administration:
CAIRO — Twice in the last seven days, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have secretly launched airstrikes against Islamist-allied militias battling for control of Tripoli, Libya, four senior American officials said, in a major escalation of a regional power struggle set off by Arab Spring revolts.
The United States, the officials said, was caught by surprise: Egypt and the Emirates, both close allies and military partners, acted without informing Washington, leaving the Obama administration on the sidelines. Egyptian officials explicitly denied to American diplomats that their military played any role in the operation, the officials said, in what appeared a new blow to already strained relations between Washington and Cairo.
America’s enemies don’t fear us. Iran and Russia laugh at the Obama administration. Putin keeps trying to rebuild the former Soviet empire and Iran continues on its path to a nuclear weapon.
Worst of all, ISIL is the biggest terrorist threat in history. They’re exceptionally well-financed. They have a military capable of dominating the Arabian Peninsula. They’re training fighters who have European and/or American passports.
No, Mr. President, it isn’t that social media is spotlighting the usual things. It’s that they’re highlighting your administration’s multitude of mistakes. Mr. President, there’s wide consensus that your administration is the worst foreign policy/national security administration since WWII.
President Obama is rightfully getting blamed for losing the war in Iraq. Last Tuesday, he confidently said “The world is less violent than it has ever been. It is healthier than it has ever been. It is more tolerant than it has ever been.” On Thursday, he was forced to address Iraq’s military crisis, saying “I don’t rule out anything, because we do have a stake in making sure that these jihadists are not getting a permanent foothold.” Hours later, he predictably ruled out boots on the ground.
For all of his mistakes, President Bush still managed to win the war in Iraq. Immediately upon winning election in 2008, President-elect Obama started working on getting out of Iraq. I don’t think he wanted to lose the war. That’s just what happened.
With ISIS now controlling one-third of Iraq and with the military hardware they captured, Iraq is lost, thanks mostly to President Obama, with an assist from Nouri al-Maliki.
It’s just a matter of time until ISIS controls enough of Iraq to establish the biggest terrorist training base in the history of the Middle East. It’s fast approaching that status now.
Unfortunately, that’s just part of the story.
President Obama said that the war in Afghanistan is winding down. He said that just before releasing the Taliban 5. It’s likely that the Taliban and “core al-Qa’ida” didn’t get the President’s memo. It’s just a matter of time before Mullah Obama and Ayman al-Zawahiri control Afghanistan.
Had President Obama been serious about establishing residual military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, ISIS wouldn’t have gotten the stronghold on central Iraq that it’s got now. Mullah Omar and Ayman al-Zawahiri wouldn’t literally be counting the days until they retook control of Afghanistan.
When campaigning in 2008, then-Candidate Obama repeatedly spoke about how he’d do things differently than President Bush. He talked about how America would be liked again. I took that to mean that state sponsors of terrorism and major terrorist organizations wouldn’t fear the United States. Further, I took that to mean President Putin would see the U.S. as a paper tiger, which would give Putin the expansionist opportunities he’d prayed for.
President Obama is on the cusp of history. No other U.S. president has lost 2 wars. President Obama is about to change that. Billions of dollars were spent. Thousands of lives were lost. Victory was within our grasp in Afghanistan and Iraq. Then President Obama threw both victories away because domestic politics dictated it and because it just wasn’t a priority with President Obama.
Jimmy Carter used to be the worst national security president in my lifetime. President Obama is set to eclipse that mark by leaps and bounds.
Technorati: Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter, Appeasement, Democrats,
Afghanistan, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Mullah Omar, Islamic Caliphate, Nouri al-Maliki, President Bush, Troop Surge
President Obama’s rheotical skills were certainly on display Tuesday night when he addressed the nation about Syria’s civil war. His speech was a conundrum wrapped in a mystery. Put differently, it was a speech that didn’t make sense. For instance, this paragraph from early in the speech was wrapped in “the fierce urgency of now”:
Let me explain why. If we fail to act, the Assad regime will see no reason to stop using chemical weapons. As the ban against these weapons erodes, other tyrants will have no reason to think twice about acquiring poison gas, and using them. Over time, our troops would again face the prospect of chemical warfare on the battlefield. And it could be easier for terrorist organizations to obtain these weapons, and to use them to attack civilians.
In this paragraph, President Obama is justifying using military force. That’s understandable. Initially, the purpose of this speech was to rally the American people and, more importantly, Congress to support an ill-advised war. Shortly thereafter, the “fierce urgency of now” turned into the intellectual equivalent of “Whatever”:
However, over the last few days, we’ve seen some encouraging signs. In part because of the credible threat of U.S. military action, as well as constructive talks that I had with President Putin, the Russian government has indicated a willingness to join with the international community in pushing Assad to give up his chemical weapons. The Assad regime has now admitted that it has these weapons, and even said they’d join the Chemical Weapons Convention, which prohibits their use.
It’s too early to tell whether this offer will succeed, and any agreement must verify that the Assad regime keeps its commitments. But this initiative has the potential to remove the threat of chemical weapons without the use of force, particularly because Russia is one of Assad’s strongest allies.
I have, therefore, asked the leaders of Congress to postpone a vote to authorize the use of force while we pursue this diplomatic path. I’m sending Secretary of State John Kerry to meet his Russian counterpart on Thursday, and I will continue my own discussions with President Putin. I’ve spoken to the leaders of two of our closest allies, France and the United Kingdom, and we will work together in consultation with Russia and China to put forward a resolution at the U.N. Security Council requiring Assad to give up his chemical weapons, and to ultimately destroy them under international control. We’ll also give U.N. inspectors the opportunity to report their findings about what happened on August 21st. And we will continue to rally support from allies from Europe to the Americas, from Asia to the Middle East, who agree on the need for action.
President Obama had changed his mind on what to do with Syria frequently because he didn’t know what to do. First, Syria is a mess, thanks to President Obama’s dithering. Thanks to President Obama’s dithering, the options available to him are filled with peril.
Second, President Obama’s leading-from-behind style, combined with John Kerry’s flippant remark, gave Vladimir Putin the opening he needed to checkmate President Obama. Putin stepped into the leadership void and made a proposal that’s as insincere as it is appealing. This is a perfect situation for Putin because President Obama is now taking credit for Putin promising to take Syria’s WMD out of the equation.
There’s no chance Syria will give up its WMD but it sounds good to President Obama. He’s now thankful to not face a humiliating defeat in Congress. Ultimately, that’s all President Obama cared about. Ultimately, he dodged a bullet of his own making.
Third, President Obama has been identified as an anti-war activist. While the public might not catch on, Congress knows that he isn’t a leader. Additionally, he’s now identified as a reluctant decisionmaker.
The hard truth, though, is that this speech won’t change public opinion.
When I watched Fox News Sunday yesterday, I couldn’t believe what I’d just heard. This video of Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham was stunning for reasons that will become clear to everyone who watches it:
Here’s a partial transcript of the jawdropping parts:
SEN. DURBIN: What I find hard to accept — I have to disagree with my friend Sen. Graham — is this notion about the president’s foreign policy. The president has been a strong and steady leader. We have responsibly ended the war in Iraq. We are going to end the war in Afghanistan. Al-Qa’ida is a shadow of its former self. Osama bin Laden is moldering in some watery grave somewhere. And we’ve now put enough pressure on Iran with the sanctions regime that they won’t develop a nuclear weapon that they now want to sit down and talk. These are all positive things.
This is incredible. For the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate to say that “al-Qa’ida is shadow of its former self” is heaping dirt on Christopher Stevens’ grave. Do the pictures from Benghazi look like al-Qa’ida is “a shadow of its former self”? Does Sen. Durbin think that the al-Qa’ida flag flying at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is proof of his insulting statement?
This is what’s known as Sen. Durbin taking one for the team.
It’s jawdropping that Sen. Durbin could say that this administration had “responsibly ended the war in Iraq” when al-Qa’ida is rebuilding in western Iraq:
Iraqi and U.S. officials say al Qaeda is rebuilding in Iraq.
The officials say the extremist group has set up training camps for insurgents in the nation’s western deserts, seizing on regional instability and government security failures.
Iraq has seen a jump in al Qaeda attacks over the last 10 weeks, and officials believe most of the fighters are former prisoners who have either escaped from jail or were released by Iraqi authorities for lack of evidence after the U.S. military withdrawal last December. Many are said to be Saudi or from Sunni-dominated Gulf states.
During the war and its aftermath, U.S. forces, joined by allied Sunni groups and later by Iraqi counterterror forces, managed to beat back al Qaeda’s Iraqi branch.
But now, Iraqi and U.S. officials say, the insurgent group has more than doubled in numbers from a year ago to about 2,500 fighters. And Pentagon data shows it is carrying out an average of 140 attacks a week.
As a direct result of the Obama administration’s failure to put in place an agreement with the Iraqi government to keep troops strategically positioned in Iraq, al-Qa’ida is now rebuilding, training and carrying out attacks inside Iraq.
That isn’t the only place where al-Qa’ida and their affiliates are regrouping, as Sen. Graham points out in this last word:
Iraq is falling apart. Bin Laden may be dead. Al-Qa’ida is on the rise. If you don’t believe me, visit the training camps that have sprung up after we left. Syria is a contagion affecting the region. Thirty-two thousand people have been killed while we’ve been doing nothing. Islamic extremists are beginning to infiltrate Syria.
Sen. Graham effectively dismantled Sen. Durbin’s statements that al-Qa’ida “is a shadow of its former self” with a blistering recitation of indisputable facts. What part of building new training camps in western Iraq and carrying out 140 terrorist attacks a week sounds like “al-Qa’ida is a shadow of its former self”?
It isn’t a secret that Sen. Graham isn’t my picture of a conservative. That said, he’s done a great job of laying out the facts about al-Qa’ida’s resurgence since President Obama discontinued the Bush Doctrine. Thanks to that foolish decision, al-Qa’ida is building new bases throughout north Africa, Pakistan, Syria and Iraq.
If that’s Sen. Durbin’s picture of “responsibly ending the war in Iraq”, then he’s a too irresponsible to trust foreign policy and national security to.