Archive for the ‘Middle East’ Category
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.
Forgive me for being more than a little skeptical of the media’s willingness to report important information in a timely fashion. That’s why I’m skeptical they’ll air this information:
The part of this transcript I italicized is the part that can’t be bypassed:
“There was this private narrative you see in the intelligence community where they separate what happened in Libya from this YouTube clip and then you have this public narrative that you have from this administration. And I got a hold of this Homeland Security Assessment. It talks about the scope of the demonstrations in the first week after 9-11 and what’s interesting to me is that this intelligence document makes no mention of the YouTube clip. So again, that’s sort of the private narrative but the public narrative from this administration has been that the clip has really prompted the assault not only in Libya but elsewhere in the Middle East.”
First, from this point forward, I won’t publish the fossilized media’s criticisms of Mitt Romney’s misstatements. Next, I’ll only publish information that’s important to the American people for deciding who the leader of the free world will be for the next 4 years.
If it isn’t important, it won’t be published on LFR. People looking for gossip column junk can look elsewhere. LFR will be committed to talking about how awful the economy is and how widespread the violence is in North Africa and Southwest Asia.
LFR is committed to telling the American people about this administration’s deceitful messaging on the Benghazi scandal. The fact that the security agencies didn’t mention the anti-Islamic video is significant. That meant this administration’s communications were blatantly dishonest for almost 2 weeks.
It’s one thing for the fossilized media to ignore this administration’s spin on an embarrassing incident. It’s quite another for the fossilized media to ignore this administration’s dishonest communications about a terrorist attack that led to the assassination of a U.S. ambassador.
What’s almost as disgusting is that this administration’s apologizing for the video throughout the Muslim world created uprisings in Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Sudan and Yemen. They’ve inflamed the Muslim world to the point where it’s reaching a tipping point.
Prior to last week’s apology tour, the Middle East was relatively calm. After its apology tour, the Middle East, North Africa and Southwest Asia are ablaze with anti-American protests. From Cairo to Sana’a to Pakistan, Muslims don’t appear to like President Obama or the US like he’d predicted.
President Obama’s incompetence got 4 men needlessly killed on 9/11. President Obama’s naiveté led him to think that his personality was enough to make the Muslim world love the United States.
Clearly, he was wrong on both counts. Clearly, we can’t afford 4 more years of President Obama’s economic policies or foreign policy adventures. It’s time for him to go.
Tags: President Obama, Media Bias, National Security, Benghazi, Intel, Terrorist Attacks, Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, Jay Carney, Anti-American Uprisings, Pakistan, Sudan, Egypt, Democrats, Election 2012
President Obama’s insistence that he’s Israel’s best friend is taking a beating, especially after reading this article:
Tensions between Israel and the current U.S. administration further deteriorated last week when President Barack Obama refused to meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during his upcoming visit to New York, where he will address the UN General Assembly.
The White House insisted that the meeting would not take place due to the president’s pressing “campaign obligations” which would take him out of New York.
Obama has further snubbed Israeli leaders by refusing to meet with Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who will also be in New York next week, WND news station reported.
Barak is scheduled to attend the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative, an annual summit of high-powered political and business leaders scheduled to overlap with the U.N. General Assembly.
While the President has not cited any pressing “campaign obligations” that would take him out of New York during Barak’s visit, he has, nonetheless, refused a meeting, WND reported.
While Obama will not meet any Israeli leader during their visits to New York, he will, however, find time to meet with Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi.
It’s insulting to Israel and to the Jewish community in the United States that President Obama refuses to meet with Defense Minister Ehud Barak or Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during what I refer to as UN week.
President Obama’s insistence that he’s Israel’s best friend is spin based on his hope that he won’t get hurt too badly in Florida by his hostility towards Israel. President Obama knows that he’s been the most hostile, anti-Israeli president in this nation’s history.
The fact that he’s meeting with Egyptian President Morsi, whose government didn’t attempt to protect the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on 9/11, proves that President Obama hates Israel.
Liberals were outraged when Mitt Romney said that the Palestinians aren’t interested in peace. Thanks to this article, we now know that Mitt had it right:
Palestinian Authority head, Mahmoud Abbas, proposed cancelling the Oslo Accords with Israel at a weekend meeting of the PA leadership, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) told AFP on Tuesday.
PLO Executive Committee member Wassel Abu Yusef said Abbas raised the idea of “cancelling the Oslo agreement as well as the associated economic and security arrangements,” at the meeting on Saturday and Sunday.
Abu Yusef said that “members of the Palestinian leadership had mixed opinions on the issue, and it was decided to postpone any decision until their next meeting,” due to be held after Abbas’s return from the UN General Assembly later this month. “It was the first time the Palestinian leadership put the issue of the Oslo agreement on the table since it was signed in 1993,” Abu Yusef added.
Cancelling the Oslo Accords means Hamas/Fatah/the PA is free to resume their terrorist attacks. The Accords were political cover for their terrorist attacks. Nobody really thought that they’d lost their love of pushing the Jewish state into the Mediterranean.
Liberals touted the agreements as proof of the PLO’s seriousness about peace. We have an agreement, they said at the time.
Conservatives laughed at the notion that that leopard had changed its spots.
The most telling thing about the media’s going ballistic over Mitt Romney’s statement is that they think it’s wrong to state what’s painfully obvious. If the media thinks it’s wrong to state what’s painfully obvious, what other principles do they are important?
I know this administration won’t agree with this but it’s time to call terrorists terrorists. Mahmoud Abbas is the leader of a government of terrorists.
Rather than sticking the nation’s head in the sand and pretending like the Middle East isn’t one lit match away from erupting in violence, perhaps it’s time for the US to push aside this administration’s fantasies that Iran can be held in check by sanctions.
Perhaps, it’s time that the US government took a harder line stance with the Muslim Brotherhood.
President Obama’s belief that we should coddle state sponsors of terrorism while turning our backs on our greatest allies is repulsive.
Tags: Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority, PLO, Muslim Brotherhood, Political Correctness, Terrorism, Benghazi, Iran, President Obama, Democrats, Mitt Romney, Israel, National Security, GOP, Election 2012
Liberal journalist after liberal journalist has written about Mitt Romney’s alleged gaffe about the U.S. diplomat’s pre-attack apology. While they piled on, insisting that Mitt had committed political suicide, they ignored the fact that President Obama’s Middle East policies had failed dismally.
I’ve disagreed with her policy beliefs nearly 100% of the time. That doesn’t mean I’m not willing to applaud Kirsten Powers’ calling out other liberal journalists for their willfully ignoring what was actually happening in the Middle East:
Here’s the transcript of Powers’ exchange with Megyn Kelly:
MEGYN KELLY: Kirsten, you wound up having the Obama administration and Mitt Romney agreeing that the embassy statement was not appropriate, and yet the whole media narrative yesterday was how awful Gov. Romney was for pointing it out.
KIRSTEN POWERS: Oh yeah. It’s still the media narrative. And the thing is, the outrage that has been expressed over the fact that Mitt Romney put out this statement has even overshadowed any kind of outrage that you would see over the fact that you have Islamic flags being hoisted over American embassies, the fact that an American ambassador is dead. You just are not seeing the same level of outrage over just the process of what time he put the statement out. It is just absolutely, utterly insane the way that they have elevated this.
And even if we stipulated, Megyn, let’s just stipulate that, for the sake of argument, Romney shouldn’t have done it. I don’t agree with that. It still would not explain the obsession with Romney’s statement over these horrific events that are unfolding.
KELLY: When you’re detecting media, potential media bias, you look back at what would the media have done if this had happened on George Bush’s watch, if we had had these attacks on the embassies and the consulates.
POWERS: Yeah. It would have been completely radically different. Like I said, even if you agree that Mitt Romney did something wrong, OK, look at that, but then let’s also look at the Obama administration. It was just radio silence. They allowed that statement to stay up on an embassy website, which is taken as the official position of the U.S. government. Someone was tweeting from the official account, and they didn’t come out and say a word. So, what’s that about? Why didn’t they know that these attacks were coming? Was Obama getting his intelligence briefings? These are the issues that should be being asked and would be being asked if this had happened on George Bush’s watch.
With images of fires burning throughout the region, from Benghazi to Cairo to Khartoum to Sana’a, the media obsessed over Mitt Romney’s statement criticizing the administration for pre-apologizing for an obscure video. With al Qa’idaesque flags flying at the walls of multiple embassies throughout the region, the media obsessed over Mitt’s justified statement.
The fact is that the media stuck socks in their mouths rather than ask this administration why President Obama’s Cairo speech in April, 2009 seemed for naught. They didn’t ask why he’d praised the Arab Spring 18 months ago but now sat with egg on his face as the Arab Spring has exploded with terrorist flags flying boldly at the U.S.’s Egyptian Embassy.
While it isn’t fair to blame all of the violence on this administration’s policies (terrorists will, from time to time, commit acts of terrorism), it’s more than fair to ask why President Obama is willing to not exert U.S. influence in the region. It’s more than fair to ask why President Obama is essentially abandoning the most troubled region in the world.
Unfortunately for the American people, the Obama media has obsessed with trivialities and bought Jay Carney’s ridiculous statement:
“This is a fairly volatile situation, and it is in response not to U.S. policy, not to, obviously, the administration, not to the American people. It is in response to a video–a film–that we have judged to be reprehensive and disgusting. That in no way justifies any violent reaction to it. But this is not a case of protests directed at the United States, writ large, or at U.S. policy. This is in response to a video that is offensive and–to Muslims.”
Terrorists don’t fear this administration. They aren’t worried that the U.S. will seek retribution for their attacks. They see the U.S. as disinterested and confused.
The good news for the Obama administration is that their lapdog media has stuck a sock in their mouth rather than report that President Obama’s policies have have failed.
Jimmy Carter would be pleased with President Obama’s foreign policy/national security record, mostly because it’s helping his foreign policy/national security record look almost respectable.
The reality is that both men ignored reality. President Carter’s policies are best described as appeasement. This letter to the Ayatollah Khomeini is proof of President Carter’s appeasement strategy:
Dear Ayatollah Khomeini:
Based on the willingness of the Revolutionary Council to receive them, I am asking two distinguished Americans, Mr. Ramsey Clark and Mr. William G. Miller, to carry this letter to you and to discuss with you and your designees the situation in Tehran and the full range of current issues between the U.S. and Iran.
In the name of the American people, I ask that you release unharmed all Americans presently detained in Iran and those held with them and allow them to leave your country safely and without delay. I ask you to recognize the compelling humanitarian reasons, firmly based in international law, for doing so.
I have asked both men to meet with you and to hear from you your perspective on events in Iran and the problems which have arisen between our two countries. The people of the United States desire to have relations with Iran based upon equality, mutual respect, and friendship.
They will report to me immediately upon their return.
(signed) Jimmy Carter
It isn’t difficult picturing President Obama writing that letter, especially considering his willingness to look the other way during the civilian riots after Iran’s rigged elections and treating Russia like a trusted ally. This administration’s apologies to a terrorist organization for the actions of a third party half a world away is what appeasement looks like.
This map of the Middle East shows 9 nations where violence has either broken out this week or where tensions are rising by the hour.
In 2008, Sen. McCain’s campaign sunk when he badly mishandled the credit crisis. This year, President Obama is badly mishandling the Middle East in a time of extreme panic.
If this administration made a mistake on an isolated incident, it’s possible the American people could overlook the mistake. It isn’t likely that they’ll ignore a president’s misstatements at a time when an entire region of the world simultaneously erupts in violence.
What’s happening now isn’t a misstep. It’s a crisis brought on by wrongheaded thinking over an entire presidential term. Any administration that thinks terrorist attacks are “man-caused disasters” and wars are “overseas contingency operations” is living in fantasyland.
An administration that reads terrorists their rights is woefully weak. An administration that refuses to call Maj. Nidal Hassan’s shooting spree at Ft. Hood a terrorist attack is woefully weak.
Presidential administrations can get through international situations. It’s difficult getting through international crises of their own making.
Tags: President Obama, Man-Caused Disasters, Overseas Contingency Operations, Ft. Hood Shooting, Major Nidal Hassan, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, Libya, National Security, Foreign Policy, Muslim Spring, Democrats, Election 2012
President Obama’s words are meaningless, especially when it comes to Israel. Last week, President Obama said that he’d “stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel.” This week, when Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu asked to meet with President Obama, President Obama chose to appear on David Letterman’s show instead:
The president will chat with the “Late Show” host during a trip to New York City next week, according to the National Journal. Letterman’s nightly monologues mostly spare the president from satirical ribbing, saving his most cutting remarks for the Romneys…or even former President George W. Bush.
The news comes on the same day Obama told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu he couldn’t meet with him due to a scheduling conflict.
Nothing says standing with Israel like sitting down with David Letterman for a chat.
The fact that President Obama hasn’t announced that he’s rescheduling his Letterman interview to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu speaks louder than 100 of President Obama’s speeches.
President Obama hasn’t been faithful in dealing with America’s best ally in the Middle East. Instead, he’s tried re-establishing a diplomatic relationship with Iran and Syria while throwing Israel under the proverbial bus.
After the Democrats’ platform difficulties with regards to Israel, Hamas and the Palestinian Right of Return, don’t be surprised if Jewish voters don’t reward him this November.
During Monday night’s debate, Ron Paul was asked a foreign policy question about the Middle East. Paraphrasing him, he said that “America is bombing all these countries. Is it any wonder why they’re attacking us?”
There’s just one problem with Paul’s theory: it isn’t accurate. 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, as was Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden’s second in command at the time was Ayman al-Zawahiri. al-Zawahiri is an Egyptian national.
Call me crazy but I don’t recall the United States or its allies bombing either Saudi Arabia or Egypt recently.
The reality is that Ron Paul’s foreign policy isn’t based on reality. It’s based on unicorns and pixie dust.
Let me preface this post by saying that I’d be ok with Ron Paul being president if the president wasn’t also commander-in-chief. I agree with Ron Paul’s agenda of limited government that lives within the constraints of the U.S. Constitution.
He wouldn’t be my first choice but I’d be ok with him.
The thing that eliminates him from being a top tier presidential candidate is his perspective on who caused 9/11. This is typical Ron Paul thinking:
At a campaign stop on Saturday in Winterset, one man asked Paul how terrorist groups would react if the U.S. removed its military presence in Middle Eastern nations, a move the candidate advocates.
“Which enemy are you worried that will attack our national security?” Paul asked.
“If you’re looking for specifics, I’m talking about Islam. Radical Islam,” the man answered.
“I don’t see Islam as our enemy,” Paul said. “I see that motivation is occupation and those who hate us and would like to kill us, they are motivated by our invasion of their land, the support of their dictators that they hate.”
Anyone that thinks that the strain of radical Islam isn’t motivated by their thirst for ushering in a worldwide caliphate hasn’t done their homework. Fortunately, Patrick Poole did his. Read this and tell me if Ron Paul’s theory is solid thinking or insanity:
What Western intelligence authorities know about The Project begins with the raid of a luxurious villa in Campione, Switzerland on November 7, 2001. The target of the raid was Youssef Nada, director of the Al-Taqwa Bank of Lugano, who has had active association with the Muslim Brotherhood for more than 50 years and who admitted to being one of the organization’s international leaders. The Muslim Brotherhood, regarded as the oldest and one of the most important Islamist movements in the world, was founded by Hasan al-Banna in 1928 and dedicated to the credo, “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”
The raid was conducted by Swiss law enforcement at the request of the White House in the initial crackdown on terrorist finances in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. US and Swiss investigators had been looking at Al- Aqwa’s involvement in money laundering and funding a wide range of Islamic terrorist groups, including Al-Qaeda, HAMAS (the Palestinian affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood), the Algerian GIA, and the Tunisian Ennahdah.
Included in the documents seized during the raid of Nada’s Swiss villa was a 14-page plan written in Arabic and dated December 1, 1982, which outlines a 12-point strategy to “establish an Islamic government on earth”, identified as The Project. According to testimony given to Swiss authorities by Nada, the unsigned document was prepared by “Islamic researchers” associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Ron Paul’s theory is that al-Qa’ida plotted 9/11 as a response to the U.S. military bases in Saudi Arabia. Those with a willingness to accept verifiable truth, though, are forced to admit that 9/11 had everything to do with a “12-point strategy to ‘establish an Islamic government on earth’, identified as The Project.”
It’s time for Ron Paul to admit he’s been badly wrong about the jihadists for a very long time. If he won’t accept these planning documents as proof that the Muslim Brotherhood is determined to create a worldwide caliphate, then Ron Paul isn’t qualified to be commander-in-chief. PERIOD.
The documents don’t talk about U.S. interventionism in the Middle East. The only thing they talk about is a steely determination to establish a Muslim caliphate that will rule the world.
It’s time for Ron Paul to pull his head out of his ass and accept the truth about the Muslim Brotherhood’s version of radical Islam. If he isn’t willing to admit the truth, then his political career should come to a crashing halt this winter.
We don’t need an ill-informed idiot as commander-in-chief.