Filed under: Freedom, History, Intelligence, Islam, Israel, Middle East, Military, National Security, Terrorism | Tags: Hamas' Attack Tunnels, Terrorists With One Idea, Using Civilians to Protect Weapons
“While Gaza is ‘Mired in Poverty,’ Hamas has built at least 36 tunnels at $1 million each.” That was the headline in the Washington Post.
While the Gaza Strip remains mired in poverty — the 2011 per capita income was $1,165 — Hamas is thought to have sunk more than $1 million into the excavation and maintenance of every tunnel. “Much to the misfortune of the people of Gaza, Hamas has invested far more resources in ‘underground Gaza’ than in ‘upper Gaza,’” wrote al-Monitor’s Shlomi Eldar. “The ‘change and reform’ that Hamas offered its voters was invested in its tunnels at the expense of the people of Gaza.”
The tunnel network, and the IDF has so far discovered 36 though there are undoubtedly more, was intended not just for kidnapping, but for a grand assault on the coming Jewish New Year Holiday, Rosh Hashanah. The plan entailed a surprise attack in which 200 Hamas fighters would be dispatched through dozens of tunnels dug by Hamas under the border from Gaza to Israel , to seize kibbutzim and other communities while killing and kidnapping Israeli civilians.
Excavation of the concrete-lined tunnels which are elaborate, with arteries, veins and offshoots in intricate and elaborate arrangement has meant the seizure of tons of Hamas supplies and weapons, as well as plans for attacks. The tunnels were apparently constructed with the work of Palestinian children, (to get into small spaces?) at least 160 Palestinian children are known to have died in tunnel construction.
Egypt’s army said that they have destroyed 13 more tunnels running between the Sinai Peninsula to the Gaza Strip. Hamas uses the Gaza tunnels to smuggle arms, food and money into the Palestinian enclave. Hamas talks often of “the blockade” but all that is blockaded are arms, weapons and tunnel-making supplies. Food, medicine and ordinary goods are checked for the presence of weapons and sent freely into Gaza. Hamas is an affiliate of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, and they have made many attacks on Egypt.
Con Coughlin reports in the Telegraph that Hamas terrorists are attempting to negotiate a new arms deal with North Korea for missiles and communications equipment that will allow them to continue their offensive against Israel.
Israel left Gaza entirely in 2005. Settlers were forced to move. The Gaza territory could have been a thriving seaside resort, they have long beautiful Mediterranean beaches. Israel left a vast array of greenhouses that could have been a source of jobs for Palestinians, food, and income. Instead they destroyed the greenhouses.
Evelyn Gordon noted at the Commentary website that this sentence from a Haaretz news report “that Palestinians have been taught to measure their national self-worth by the amount of pain, or even mere disruption, they can inflict on Jews,” explains why Israel and Hamas go to war every few years.
Here is a translation of the main points of “The Covenant of The Hamas.” It’s important to understand who they are.
European newspapers are full of stories about all the protests against Israel going on across Europe. But one notices that the articles never mention who is protesting, the simply call them protesters. Accompanying pictures make it pretty clear that they are Moslem immigrants, unassimilated.
Now just to escalate the situation a little further — “Freedom Flotilla II” is set to sail for Gaza from Turkey. Same deal at 2010’s ‘Mavi Marmara’ scheduled to take off with Turkish military protection. The ostensible excuse is to bring “humanitarian aid to the Hamas-controlled coastal sector. It’s being organized by the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) the same organization that was behind the previous flotilla that sought to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip in May 2010. “
” Israeli Navy Commandos boarded the ship, were attacked, and killed nine of the attackers. So far there has been only a declaration of intent.” Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan has long been associated with the Muslim Brotherhood. Israel’s blockade of shipments to Gaza is only to prevent military weapons and tunnel construction material from reaching Gaza. Humanitarian aid gets through just fine.
Hamas hides rockets in schools, hospitals, and in private homes. When the IDF is sure where the missiles are coming from, they call the residents and warn them, send leaflets, and do everything possible to avoid injury to civilian Palestinians. Hamas demands that civilians stay in targeted locations as human shields for their weapons.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Energy, Foreign Policy, Immigration, Intelligence, Iraq, Islam, Israel, Latin America, National Security, Politics | Tags: A World in Flames, The Administration Knew, The Islamic State
Weren’t we told by the administration that they were blindsided by the rapid advance by ISIS last month when Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city fell to this new jihadi army that seemed to come out of nowhere? They not only captured Mosul, but five divisions of the Iraqi army fell and we heard of mass executions, beheadings, crucifixions, and terrified residents fled before the onslaught as the long column headed towards Baghdad.
The administration, according to the record was not surprised at all. Congressional testimony as far back as November made it cleat that the United States had been closely tracking the black-clad jihadis, a ruthless al Qaeda spinoff. Intelligence officials had been closely tracking the group since 2012.
According to McClatchy, Obama administration officials were quite aware of the group’s intention to send men and material back into Iraq and turn loose waves of suicide bombers, which they knew that Iraqi security forces could not handle. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Brett McGurk told a House committee in February that the campaign had the stated objective of carving out a Caliphate in the western regions of Iraq and Syria.
So — if the Obama administration had all that advance warning why are they still trying to figure out what steps, if any, they should take to stop their advance? With all the pictures of the long ISIS column strung out on the road to Baghdad, it looked like a pretty vulnerable target, but I’ve probably read too many thrillers.
They’ve seized all sorts of Iraqi military equipment, drained banks of their assets, seized oil and natural gas fields, military outposts. Nearly every day we hear about another town that has fallen or another outrage they have committed.
What started as a crisis in Syria has become a regional disaster with serious global implications,” Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Wednesday.
Yet Defense Department officials say they might not complete work on proposed options for U.S. actions until the middle of August, a lifetime in a region where every day brings word of another town or village falling to the Islamic State. Some lawmakers and experts say the delay borders on diplomatic malpractice.
Chairman Royce said Iraqi officials and diplomats at our embassy began urging drone strikes as early as August last year against Islamic State bases near the Syrian border.
This was a very clear case in which the U.S. knew what was going on but followed a policy of deliberate neglect,” said Vali Nasr, the dean of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies and a former State Department adviser on the Middle East.
“This miscalculation essentially has helped realize the worst nightmare for this administration, an administration that prided itself on its counterterrorism strategy,” said Nasr. “It is now presiding over the resurgence of a nightmare of extremism and terrorism.”
The article from the Merced Sun Star is long and, frankly, depressing. Dithering, indecision, Obama believes one of his greatest accomplishments is ending the war in Iraq, he can’t undo that. Drawing red lines in Syria, misunderstanding the Middle East. Obama came to office believing that the key to the problems of the Middle East was Israeli intransigence. If he could broker a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine, then the problems of the Middle East would end. That’s why Kerry has been over there wearing out his welcome, pushing absurd agreements. Obama seems to have learned about the Middle East from his friend Rashid Khalidi, the firebrand Palestinian professor.
Matt Lewis of The Daily Caller has a column in Britain’s Telegraph today, suggesting that “Barack Obama has already checked out of his job,” in which he suggests that Obama is “no longer even worried about keeping up appearances, he doesn’t care enough to fake it.”
The United States has apparently not yet delivered the helicopter gunships and F-16 jet fighters that Iraq has already purchased. The administration has also dragged its feet on Baghdad’s request for U.S. military advisers, though 300 were dispatched after Mosul fell. Obama doesn’t seem to get along with Maliki. George W. Bush had weekly video conferences with him.
Gaza’s charter says they will eliminate Israel and take over the land. That’s fairly clear and straightforward. The Islamic State says they have established a new Caliphate in Syria and Iraq, and then…? Putin is still busily working to take over the Ukraine, al Qaeda is threatening a cyber attack on the United States. We have thousands of children, (mostly between the ages of 14 and 17) who are being recruited by MS-17. Obama says he wants to send them back home, but he is settling them in all over the country, and schools will be expected to take the kids. The border is wide open because Border Patrol people have been called away to deal with the ‘unaccompanied children’, and security officials are worried. More businesses are moving their corporate offices overseas to escape taxes, and Obama can’t think of anything to do but punish them. Cutting taxes is not in his vocabulary.
What’s the old saying? Ask me no questions, and I’ll tell you no lies.
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Education, Foreign Policy, Freedom, History, Intelligence, National Security, The United States | Tags: Eternal War, Principled Republicans, Unprincipled Liberals
Trying to succinctly describe the differences between the American Left and the American Right is a long-running and fascinating game for both parties. Liberals, as I often note, have told us specifically that they do not have principles—meaning they are not stuck with some old-fashioned, worn-out principles as a guide to how to behave. That is not intended as a compliment. They react, they say, to events, responding on a case by case basis. Much more noble.
Republicans do have principles which they believe are time-tested and proven to be effective and useful in human life. Things like equality of opportunity, free markets and free people, and small government. Those principles serve as a guide to actions, and research into how things work are a better guide to satisfactory policies.
Liberals react to things emotionally. For example, a UPI piece from Pew Research on the “Global Attitudes Project”poll says:
A new poll offers details on the way citizens of the world think about climate change, and U.S. participants are looking particularly ignorant to the risks of global warming. Only one in four Americans said climate change was a “major threat,” making the U.S. the least concerned nation. (emphasis added)
If we disagree with the “consensus” we must be ignorant. But nobody checks to see if there actually is a “consensus” among scientists. Emotional response. No, there actually is no consensus. And “consensus” isn’t science.
Here’s another from Investors, today: “For the Left, ‘Children’ Are the Battering Ram to Force Amnesty.”
Immigration: The White House and open-borders lobby have stepped up pressure for amnesty by painting the migrant tsunami as a flood of toddlers. But a Pew study, citing Border Patrol data, shows that more than half the entrants are teenage males. (emphasis added)
Here’s another example from Investors, by Robert Samuelson: Although a man of the Left, he suggests “To Keep corporations Here, Why Not Cut Their Taxes?”
Corporate America’s latest public-relations disaster comes under the banner “tax inversion,” where a U.S. company shifts its legal headquarters to a country with a lower tax rate.
He goes on to show how Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and President Obama have charged the corporations as lacking in “economic patriotism.” Emotional response. Make a law against them. Keep them from doing so. Far better would be to reduce the corporate tax to something close to the normal corporate tax among industrialized nations. We do have the highest corporate tax in the world. Their first and only response is to prevent corporations from what is a valid business decision.
ObamaCare was a program built on emotion. Liberals thought that we should offer everyone free health care like European states did. Everyone would be so grateful to Liberals for that gift that they would forever vote Liberals into power. They looked at Britain’s way of controlling expense by limiting the costs of old folks in their final years, and loved it. No old geezer should be able to have a hugely expensive operation when they might have only months to live anyway. But they never looked into the way the program really worked in Britain, or Canada, or France or Germany. Their bright ideas don’t work. What were expected to be money savers aren’t. Tom Sowell stated the whole problem simply and clearly:
It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.
They imposed ideas they thought would save money, or be especially popular, or would give them more control, but they didn’t check how those ideas work in the real world, they just rushed it through on pure emotion and are astounded at the complaints from doctors, patients, insurance companies, hospitals and suppliers. And it’s all falling apart.
Wind and solar energy are emotional responses to perceived evils of fossil fuels. Wind and solar energy are presumed to be free because they are “natural.” But a turbine only turns at the right speed to produce energy when the wind is at the right speed. But the wind is intermittent, and requires 24/7 backup from a conventional power source, which makes the energy produced expensive, and slight. And it kills way too many birds. Eagles may become endangered if the kill rate continues. If subsidies are removed, wind is not worthwhile.
Solar is about the same problem. You only get energy with 24/7 backup, because clouds cause problems. Solar energy is too diffuse, unavailable at night, and in some locations simply fries birds in flight. If subsidies are removed, it’s not worthwhile. These things were known before the big investments in wind and solar, but emotional attachment to “free energy” trumped common sense.
Over and over you will find Liberals responding to or devising policy based on their feelings about the subject. They don’t do their homework, and they don’t think through the unintended consequences. They don’t seem to understand incentives.
Republicans don’t always get their policies right, and unintended consequences come back and bite them. Human beings are complicated and not only don’t agree on everything, but often don’t agree on much. There are lots of differing opinions in the big tent we hope to have, and creating successful policies to help Americans and their allies and enemies to do things that turn out well is not easy, and results are not always a success. But if we work with an open mind and an inclusive attitude, and an appreciation for human folly, we might not do too badly if we do our homework.
Filed under: History, Humor, Intelligence, Movies, Science/Technology | Tags: Jurassic Park, Steven Spielberg, Triceratops
This picture was posted on Facebook, and many viewers were outraged that at a time when there is so much going on in the world, some idiot hunter was slaughtering, um, peaceful rare animals. If you recognize the face of the man, Steven Spielberg, and the animal, Triceratops, all becomes fairly clear. The director posed with a prop from Jurassic Park. The Daily Caller summed up the rage of some of the commenters:
“That’s Steven Spielberg, director of Jurassic Park!” one user wrote.
“I don’t care who he is he should not have shot that animal,” another responded.
“Steven Spielberg, I’m disappointed in you. I’m not watching any of your movies again ANIMAL KILLER,” commented another.
“Disgraceful. No wonder dinosaurs became extinct. Sickos like this kill every last one of them as soon as they are discovered. He should be in prison,” another followed up.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Foreign Policy, Intelligence, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, National Security, Politics, Terrorism | Tags: Caliph Ibrahim, The Islamic State, The Obama Administration
ISIS has now renamed itself as the Islamic State. They claim to have established a Caliphate stretching across parts of Iraq and Syria, but their ambitions are far greater. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, pictured above, has renamed himself Caliph Ibrahim, though the viciousness of their advance is more reminiscent of Saddam Hussein. Nine other jihadist groups have declared the “Islamic State” and the “Caliphate” null and void, legally and logically and everybody else better condemn them too.
The movement of ISIS across Iraq has been ferocious, determined and vicious. In only a month they have swarmed from obscurity to being perhaps the most well-funded terrorist group on earth. Some of the officers from Saddam’s army have reportedly joined them. Nobody seems to know how many there are in the ISIS army, but some estimates at the beginning were only about 800 people.
They have captured much of the equipment with which the U.S. enforced the Iraqi army, so they have Humvees, MRAPS , rocket launchers, helicopters and I don’t know what else. Some suggest that they won’t know how to operate or maintain the equipment, but they’ve cleaned out the banks in Mosul and any other town they pass through, and get funding from some wealthy Sunnis who are glad to fund jihadist movements. They are estimated now to have over a billion in finances, so they can probably hire a teacher or two, and if the officers of Saddam’s army have joined up they may have more capability than our state department is assuming.
According to the AP, “Iraq has informed the United Nations that the Islamic State extremist group has taken control of a vast former chemical weapons facility northwest of Baghdad where 2,500 chemical rockets filled with the deadly nerve agent sarin or their remnants were stored along with other chemical warfare agents.” (What? I thought there were no WMD in Iraq?) “Terrorist groups entered the Muthanna site June 11 ans seized weapons and equipment from the protection force guarding the facility.” Secretary Ban Ki-moon “singled out the capture of bunkers 13 and 41 in the sprawling complex, which according to a 2004 U.N. report also contained the toxic agent sodium cyanide, which is a precursor for the chemical warfare agent tabun, and artillery shells contaminated with mustard gas.” Maybe it’s time to start worrying, or at least paying attention.
Why did the Obama Administration ignore all those warnings about ISIS? Eli Lake describes all the warnings. Team Obama was told over and over, that the Iraqi army could not stop a terror group that was ready to pounce. It’s a long, sad tale. It probably has the most to do with Obama’s dogmatic positions. Once he makes up his mind, it set in concrete, and Iraq was the “bad war” that he promised to get out of. Speaking to the foreign press, Ben Rhodes, the White House Deputy National Security Adviser for strategic communication said,”In terms of additional u.S.military action, President Obama again made clear that while he has not ordered any military action, he reserves the right to do so as necessary.”
Obama’s best advisors on Iraq have been saying such military action has been necessary now for months, but Obama is busy with fundraising and golf.
ISIS has begun systematically destroying artifacts and antiquities found in Iraqi museums because they are “against Islam.” They issued a city charter in Mosul and declared that “false idols” would have to be destroyed. For this strain of Sunni Muslim jihadists, representations of the human form or any shrine that might lend itself to idolatry, or any place of worship dedicated to the Shiia faith must be obliterated. If you remember the Taliban blew up the world’s two largest standing Buddhas—one of them 165 feet high . They had been preserved for 1,700 years. ISIS has expressed an intent to destroy the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest site. More than 15 million Muslims visit Mecca every year, and the Kaaba is the direction of Muslim prayer.
That wouldn’t seem to be a good PR move, but I am not a Muslim.
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Health Care, Immigration, Intelligence, Law, Politics | Tags: Every Word Is Recorded, Presidential Prevarication, Will Politicians Ban YouTube?
And that’s just some of the more obvious ones. Mr. Obama always uses a teleprompter because he likes to be in control of the situation. But why does he believe that it doesn’t matter what he says — everyone will believe him? No they won’t. The president has worn out whatever trust they once may have had.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Election 2014, Health Care, Immigration, Intelligence, Law, Liberalism, Politics, Progressivism, The United States | Tags: Everybody's Outraged, It's Not Real-It's a Tactic, Silencing the Right
This one made me laugh. We have always said that for liberals, it’s feelings that matter, not facts or principles. In fact they have said that they don’t have principles—that they react on a case by case basis. They respond to events. And it is certainly an overdose of feelings that leads to the total excess of outrage. Not a day goes by without a new outrage.
The source of all the outrage is simple. When the unknown Illinois state senator spoke to the Democratic Convention in Boston in 2004, they were thrilled. He was so—elegant, tall and slim, with a dazzling smile and a warm baritone voice. His story was so inspiring. His father herded goats in Kenya, and his grandfather was a humble cook for the British. It was better than Abe Lincoln and his log cabin and splitting rails. They were thrilled. When Obama was elected to the presidency of the United States, he promised to transform America, make it fulfill all their dreams, and they knew that the future would be better and better.
Well, it didn’t work. Things didn’t keep getting better. The Republicans kept criticizing, and fighting back against every little thing. Obama was stuck with the worst economy ever because of Bush’s recession, and Republicans tried to blame it all on him. It wasn’t Obama’s fault. Republicans just needed to shut up, to stop criticizing, to give Obama a chance. Obama promised better health insurance: if we liked our insurance we could keep our insurance, we could keep our doctor if we liked our doctor, and if would cost us way less. Then the IRS and the VA and trading terrorists for a deserter, and Russia invaded Crimea, and ISIS invaded Iraq. Just one thing after another, and rather than admit that their dreams of a new world were misplaced, they started scheming about how to silence Republicans. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s disastrous decision in Citizens United that affirmed the right of corporations to have a political voice, it seemed possible that there was no way to shut them up. They would keep right on spoiling everything.
If they can just get people fired up, angry, outraged— they can get Republicans banned, blocked, opposed, held up to ridicule, fired, and above all convince the people that Those on the Right are evil, beyond redemption and must be voted out of office. It’s just another leftist tactic.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Economy, Intelligence, Law, Politics, Regulation, Taxes | Tags: A Scandalous Cover-up, IRS Commissioner John Koskinin, The Reputation of the IRS
New IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testified June 20, at a Ways and Means Committee hearing. You have undoubtedly heard of the upwardly spiraling obfuscations from the IRS attempting to prove that all the claims of wrongdoing are wrong, wrong, wrong, Nothing to see here. Just move along. Is this inquiry just another Republican fishing expedition trying to get the goods on the administration? Hardly.
It’s a big deal because this one particular agency collects $2.4 trillion in taxes from 234 million taxpayer returns. They have the power to probe deeply into your personal finances and personal affairs, make your life a living hell, ruin your reputation and send you to jail. That’s a lot of power and if the agency is crooked, reveals personal financial information to outside agencies, and acts as the partisan arm of one political party against another, the public has the right to not only ask some pertinent questions, but to demand that the agency clean up its act. From today’s hearing:
Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) and New IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.
Ryan: I am sitting here listening to this testimony. . . . I don’t believe it. That’s your problem. Nobody believes you. The Internal Revenue Service comes to Congress a couple of years ago and misleads us and says no targeting is occurring.
Then it said it was a few rogue agencies in Cincinnati. Then it said it was also on progressives. All those things have been proven untrue. This committee sent a criminal referral of possible criminal wrongdoing, just a month ago, to the Justice Department and we’ve heard nothing. You bury, in a 27-page letter to the Senate, asking for them to conclude the investigation, that you’ve lost Lois Lerner’s emails during the time in question because of a hard drive crash. . . . Monday our investigators asked your agency whether any other hard drives crashed and we learn that six other hard drives of the people we are investigating were involved. . . . you didn’t tell us that!
Koskinen: We told you on Monday.
Ryan: You told us on Monday because we asked you whether any other hard drives crashed. This is unbelievable. You told us in May that you were going to give us all of Lois Lerner’s emails and you learned in February that this crashed.
Koskinen: I did not learn in February of the crash and we told you on Monday.
Ryan: I’m not asking a question, I’m making a statement.
Koskinen: I’m sorry.
Ryan: You are the IRS. . . . You learned about this months ago, you just told us, and we had to ask you on Monday. This is not being forthcoming. This is being misleading again. This is a pattern of abuse, a pattern of behavior, that is not giving us any confidence that this agency is being impartial. I don’t believe you.
I have heard on the radio and read statements by numerous IT people, who say that a hard drive crash doesn’t mean that you cannot get the information on it, you can read it with a magnifying glass, and that there are backups on the system servers and beyond. I don’t believe him either. Some IT experts said they could find the emails in about an hour if they could get into the system. Good for Paul Ryan.
Mr. Koskinen was confirmed as the new IRS Commissioner on the 20th of December. The IRS currently has 89,000 employees, only part of whom are in Washington DC. One would think a new Commissioner would demand that the agency he heads is scrupulously obeying the law, and has a sterling reputation.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Foreign Policy, Intelligence, Iraq, Media Bias, Military, National Security, Politics, The United States | Tags: Attacking George W. Bush, Leftist Lies About Iraq, Where Did Assad Get CW?
Memory is just so — fallible. Politicians particularly have trouble remembering today what they actually said yesterday or the day before. They have not yet totally absorbed the advances in technology that have preserved their words actually coming directly out of their mouths. So inconvenient!
Hardly a day goes by when there is not some lefty on the radio referring to Bush’s illegal War in Iraq, or claiming Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction to get us into Iraq to get Iraq’s oil. Halliburton! One would think that by now they would have noticed that we never got any of Iraq’s oil. The deal was making it the possession of the Iraqi people instead of funneling the income into Saddam’s bank account.
In 2001 and 2002, Democrats were still reeling, as we all were, from the attack on the World Trade Center. Most of us, innocently, had never dreamed of such a devastating attack on our own country. Pearl Harbor was 60 years previously, few were old enough to remember. We invaded Iraq in March of 2003. By April 10, Baghdad had fallen; by September 3, the first post-Saddam government had been established, and by December 13, Saddam Hussein had been captured in his hole.
If you remember, Bill Clinton was complaining because he didn’t have a war to fight to enhance his legacy. The left was beginning to notice that the George W. Bush they hated so, was emerging as decisive, reassuring, in command, and they began to get restive.
The website American Thinker, took on Douglas Hanson as their National Security correspondent. Douglas Hanson was a US Army cavalry reconnaissance officer for 20 years, and a Gulf War I combat veteran. He had a background in radiation biology and physiology, and was an Atomic Demolitions Munitions (ADM) Security Officer, and a Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Defense Officer. As a civilian analyst, he had worked on stability and support operations in Bosnia, and helped develop a multi-service medical treatment manual for nuclear and radiological casualties. He was initially an operations officer in the operations/intelligence cell of the Requirements Coordination Office of the CPA, and was later assigned to the Ministry of Science and Technology.
In the summer of 2003, he was serving as Chief of Staff in the Iraqi Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), an organization formerly called the Ministry of Atomic Energy. They had a small staff of Americans and Iraqis, part of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Baghdad. One of their key tasks was to transition some 8000 Iraqi scientists and engineers from military and state enterprises to civilian jobs. That gave Hanson a unique vantage point on the activities of the Iraqi Survey Group (ISG), headed by Dr. David Kay and charged with finding WMD.
Hanson explained that Dr. Kay pronounced there are no large stockpiles of WMD. His searches were haphazard and uncoordinated. In his October 2003 report, the ISG had not even searched 120 of the 130 known ammo storage points, much less any underground sites. Previous intelligence assessments, were developed by intelligence analysts who had been working on Iraq’s WMD and knowledgeable UNSCOM personnel who had conducted UN searches for WMD. When Dr. Kay arrived, he shifted focus from the list of known sites to interrogating scientists, a necessary effort, but a shotgun approach. ISG was swamped by the amount of corroborating data which should have been used to test the validity of scientists’ stories. Stories which could well be incriminating.
Dr. Kay concluded Iraq’s key scientists had ended up working directly for Saddam in development of WMD programs and they had fooled him into believing in non-existent weapons. That always sounded fishy. Hanson’s experience indicated just the opposite. The ISG did not have the resources, security of suspected sites, or the preparation to cope with the task. Charles Duelfer, head of the ISG, testified that “the picture is much more complicated than I anticipated going in.” The ISG was composed of personnel from CIS, State Department, and Defense Intelligence Agency—the same organizations that were getting raked over the coals for bureaucratic bungling of intelligence prior to 9/11.
Many have confused the term WMD as referring only to nukes, but it includes Chemical and Biological weapons as well. Proclamations about ‘stockpiles’ were confusing. One nuclear bomb is not a stockpile, but could wipe out an American city. Stockpiles of biological weapons can be kept in a scientist’s refrigerator at home. The ISG proved that Iraq was in violation of UN resolutions. Iraq was involved in manufacturing the biotoxin Ricin ‘right up to the end.” Saddam’s nuclear program was restarted, and development of BW ‘seed’ agents, such as botulinum, could be used to regenerate stockpiles of BW agents once UN sanctions were lifted.
UNSCOM inspectors understood these factors when they concluded in 1995 that, at the time of Operation Desert Storm in January of 1991, Iraq had largely solved key technical issues. The problem of precursor storage and stabilization for VX, a powerful and persistent nerve agent was solved by Saddam’s scientists. In addition, UNSCOM noted the development of prototypes for binary sarin (non-persistent nerve agent) artillery shells and 122mm rockets. Binary rounds consist of two non-lethal substances that combine upon detonation to form a lethal agent.
Pesticides are the key elements in the chemical agent arena. The general pesticide chemical formula (organophosphate) is the ‘grandfather’ of modern day nerve agents. They are also the precursors of other chemical weapons including Mustard-Lewisite, Phosgene – a choking agent, and Hydrogen Cyanide – a blood agent. As Coalition forces attacked into Iraq, huge warehouses and caches of “commercial and agricultural” chemicals were seized and painstakingly tested by Army and Marine chemical specialists. The ISG quickly refuted the findings of these specialists, and have been silent on the significance of the caches. They simply called them “agricultural commodities.” But why did they secure drums of pesticide in camouflaged bunkers six feet underground?
I have borrowed Douglas Hanson’s words to describe and abbreviate three of his columns. A report by the National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC) said Coalition forces had recovered several hundred munitions containing nerve agents. Hanson added:
The left and their allies in the press are apparently too dense to understand the significance of the Coalition previously finding biological agent seed cultures, several hundred tons of purified nuclear material, and tons of chemical weapon (CW) precursors. But this entire controversy has never been about the weapons themselves, the age of the munitions, or the media promoted fantasy of pallets of chemical rounds ready to be loaded into Iraqi artillery pieces.
The left and the media could trumpet the WMD stockpile image to bend and shape public opinion. This is what Obama has used as an excuse and as guidelines for the past 6 years. Does Obama even know that all the claims of “No WMD”and “A War for Oil” were as phony as the war to save the planet from the perils of global warming?
Douglas Hanson’s columns have remained in the archives at American Thinker, just enter his name in the search function there. I linked to three here. Hanson’s was a sturdy voice of sanity on the Left’s attempt to blacken the name and actions of George W. Bush. You always knew they were lying, didn’t you?
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Foreign Policy, Intelligence, Military, National Security, Politics, Progressivism, Terrorism, The United States | Tags: Al Qaeda-Not Dead Nor Defeated, Conditions Set for Attack on US, Frederick Kagan Testimony
“President Barack Obama has described al Qaeda as having been “decimated”, “on the path to defeat” or some other variation at least 32 times since the attack on the consulate in Benghazi, Libya, according to White House transcripts.” That was an article at CNS news on November 1, 2012. He’s probably upped that 32 times considerably since then. Here’s one of the more typical statements:
Four years ago, I promised to end the war in Iraq — and we did. I said we’d wind down the war in Afghanistan — and we are. And while a new tower rises above the New York skyline, al Qaeda is on the path to defeat, and Osama bin Laden is dead.
Fredrick W. Kagan is one of those people that can be correctly called an “expert.” He has years of study and experience behind this testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade on “Missing the Target—Why the U.S.Has Not Defeated al Qaeda.”
All conditions are set for a series of significant terrorist attacks against the US and its allies over the next few years. But that’s not the worst news. Conditions are also set for state collapse in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and possibly Jordan. Saudi Arabia, facing a complex succession soon, is likely to acquire nuclear weapons shortly, if it has not already done so. Turkey and Egypt confront major crises. Almost all of Northern and Equatorial Africa is violent, unstable, and facing a growing al Qaeda threat. And Vladimir Putin’s assault on Ukraine is likely to empower al Qaeda-aligned jihadists in Crimea and in Russia itself. That eventuality is, of course, less worrisome than the prospect of conventional and partisan war on the European continent, likely threatening NATO allies. The international order and global stability are collapsing in a way we have not seen since the 1930s. There is little prospect of this trend reversing of its own accord, and managing it will require massive efforts by the US and its allies over a generation or more.
This distressing context is essential for considering the al Qaeda threat today. On the one hand, it makes that threat look small. The long-term effects of global chaos and conflict among hundreds of millions of people across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East on US security, interests, and way of life are surely greater than any damage al Qaeda is likely to do to us in the immediate future. Yet the two threats feed each other powerfully. Disorder and conflict in the Muslim world breed support for al Qaeda, which is starting to look like the strong horse in Iraq and even in Syria. Al Qaeda groups and their allies, on the other hand, powerfully contribute to the collapse of state structures and the emergence of horrific violence and Hobbesian chaos wherever they operate. They are benefiting greatly from the regional sectarian war they intentionally triggered (the destruction of the Samarra Mosque in 2006 was only the most spectacular of a long series of efforts by al Qaeda in Iraq to goad Iraq’s Shi’a into sectarian conflict, for which some Shi’a militants, to be sure, were already preparing)—and have been continuing to fuel. Al Qaeda is like a virulent pathogen that opportunistically attacks bodies weakened by internal strife and poor governance, but that further weakens those bodies and infects others that would not otherwise have been susceptible to the disease. The problem of al Qaeda cannot be separated from the other crises of our age, nor can it be quarantined or rendered harmless through targeted therapies that ignore the larger problems.
Kagan goes on to explain that we make a major mistake in defining al Qaeda as a terrorist group from whom the danger is an attack on America. Al Qaeda is a terrorist group, of course, but they define themselves differently. They have devoted most of their resources to “seizing and governing terrain and populations in the Muslim world. They see themselves as a global insurgency that uses terrorism, and its ability to field small irregular armies in Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere that demonstrates the seriousness with which it takes that self-conception.”
Thinking of al Qaeda as a narrow threat of a small group of extremists hiding out in the mountains of villas of Pakistan, and assuming that allied groups all over the Middle East and Africa are just temporary fringe players is a major error.” Al Qaeda supporters are fanatics, willing ( in some cases) to die, but avoid the martyrdom they encourage in their followers. “Islam has a very strong tradition of seeing divine blessing or curse manifested in this-worldly success of failure.”
The state of weakness and indecision in the administration is truly frightening. “The threat is growing in size and capability while we are dismantling our defenses. Surely we should consider other approaches, and soon.”
Do read the whole thing, This is more important than we can imagine. As he says—all conditions are set for future attacks.
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Intelligence, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, National Security, Terrorism, The United States | Tags: Iran Wants U.S. Help In Iraq?, ISIS Too Extreme for al Qaeda?, Nations and Tribes
A speech by Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani said they would help the U.S. confront “terrorist groups” in Iraq and Syria — referring principally to ISIS. According to President Rouhani:
If the Iraqi government asks us for help, we may provide any assistance the Iraqi nation would like us to provide in the fight against terrorism.
All countries need to embark on joint effort regarding terrorism.
At the moment, it’s the government of Iraq and the people of Iraq that are fighting terrorism.
We have not seen the US do anything for now. Any time the Americans start to take action against terrorist groups, we can consider that.
It has been reported that Iran has already sent two battalions of troops into Iraq, but the Iranians deny it. Iraq is not enthusiastic about Iranian troops, they had a very bloody war still in memory. The Ayatollah Sistani has called for the Shiia to volunteer to fight the ISIS, and they are turning out by the thousands.
Can it be that the Iranian leadership is openly calling on the United States to intervene in Iraq?
The aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush has been moved into the Persian Gulf to provide President Obama with “options?”
We have over 5,000 staff in our embassy in Iraq. Some are reportedly moving out and being replaced by members of the military — who do not count as “boots on the ground” but as just shuffling people around.
The situation? Muddled and confusing.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Foreign Policy, Intelligence, Iran, Iraq, Islam, National Security, Terrorism | Tags: Advancing on Baghdad, Chaos In Iraq, Sunni - Shiia
From Alexis Simendinger at Real Clear Politics:
President Obama said on Friday that the United States will not send combat troops to help the Iraqi government battle militants massing near Baghdad, but will provide military options over “the course of this week.”
Uh huh. No rush, maybe next week. Obama has a golf weekend planned in Palm Springs. I refer back to former defense secretary Robert Gates Duty
The historian Max Hastings wrote in his book Inferno that “it is characteristic of all conflicts that until enemies begin to shoot, ships to sink and loved ones—or at least comrades—begin to die, even professional warriors often lack urgency and ruthlessness.
In 2007, George W. Bush warned that if America withdrew prematurely from Iraq, American troops would eventually have to return:
To begin withdrawing before our commanders tell us we are ready … would mean surrendering the future of Iraq to al Qaeda. It would mean that we’d be risking mass killings on a horrific scale. It would mean we’d allow the terrorists to establish a safe haven in Iraq to replace the one they lost in Afghanistan. It would mean increasing the probability that American troops would have to return at some later date to confront an enemy that is even more dangerous. [Emphasis Added].
There is no urgency except among some former military people. Some seem to think that a column of ISIS ‘militants’ are more vulnerable on the highway to Baghdad than they will be when it’s house-to-house in the city itself, but what do I know.
Obama spoke at a graduation ceremony at U.C. Irvine about the urgent problem of global warming.
A new paper published in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics finds long solar cycles predict lower temperatures during the following solar cycle.
—A longer solar cycle predicts lower temperatures during the next cycle.
—A 1°C or more temperature drop is predicted 2009-2020 for certain locations.
—Solar activity may have contributed 40% or more to the last century temperature increase.
—A lag of 11 year gives maximum correlation between solar cycle length and temperature.
Seems like somebody ought to be alarmed, but I guess not.