American Elephants


He Didn’t Know! Can’t Be Blamed. Didn’t Know! by The Elephant's Child

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He didn’t know that these unaccompanied minors had all sorts of contagious diseases unseen in this country for years. He didn’t know that there were Mara Salvatrucha recruiters among the unaccompanied minors. He didn’t have time to go to the border to spare from his fundraising. He didn’t know there were Americans aboard that Air Malaysian plane that was shot down by Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine, because he had fundraisers to attend. He didn’t know that the world turmoil hasn’t been this bad since the 1970′s. He was only a kid then, so he didn’t know.



World Turmoil Unseen Since the Seventies. Now What? by The Elephant's Child

A Wall Street Journal’s front page article on Monday said politely “Obama Contends With Arc of Instability Unseen Since 70s.” “A convergence of security crises is playing out around the globe from the Palestinian territories and Iraq to Ukraine and the South Chin Sea, posing a serious challenge to President Barack Obama’s foreign policy and reflecting a world in which U .S. global power seems increasingly tenuous.”

The breadth of global instability now unfolding hasn’t been seen since the late 1970s, U.S. security strategists say, when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, revolutionary Islamists took power in Iran, and Southeast Asia was reeling in the wake of the U.S. exit from Vietnam.

In the past month alone, the U.S. has faced twin civil wars in Iraq and Syria, renewed fighting between Israel and the Palestinians, an electoral crisis in Afghanistan and ethnic strife on the edge of Russia, in Ukraine.

Bewildered leftists say that he promised to end the War in Iraq, and wind down the war in Afghanistan and he did. He fulfilled his campaign promises. But there is ending and ending. I don’t know if anyone voted for Obama because he said he would end the War in Iraq. They voted for Hope and Change, and fancy theatrics and a litany of carefully crafted meaningless phrases.

Foreign policy is hard, and the big things may be controlled by the little things like personalities, and ego as well as deep knowledge and understanding of the history and culture of a country. Obama wasn’t much interested in foreign policy. He seems to have had in mind simply being the anti-Bush. Bush made wars, he would make peace. Bush had a muscular presence in the world and emphasized American strength. Obama wanted us to be just a nation among other nations, and let other nations deal with stuff. Obama found his national security briefings boring and quit going.

He yanked our people out of Iraq too abruptly and failed to establish a status of forces agreement to help prepare the Iraqi army for just what is happening now. The countries in Eastern Europe didn’t get their missile defense. Obama said in a May speech at West Point that the Obama foreign policy doctrine, would rely on U.S. leadership, but not troop deployments. Well, we’re not any good at the U.S. leadership business either, it seems.

A few meetings with Obama and Hillary’s “reset button” convinced Putin that nobody was likely to do anything, so he went right ahead to annex Crimea. The allies who had relied on America to prevent Russia’s ambitions lost confidence in American action as well. The Taliban got their leaders back. Obama drew a Red Line in Syria, and then erased it. The Arab Spring was misunderstood from the beginning, and the administration fell for the Muslim Brotherhood’s claim to Egypt. The feckless John Kerry has been trying to solve the problems of the Middle East by forcing Israel to give more land to the Palestinian terrorists. The Chinese, watching our military downsize, have decided to upsize theirs and are vigorously growing their navy and submarine fleet and flexing their muscles in the South China Sea.

And there is the self-declared new Caliphate, now encircling Baghdad, another surprise to the administration, and our negotiations with Iran go on. We want assurances, they are happy to give assurances. We seem unable to learn that deception is a way of life in the Middle East, and expect an agreement to be worked out that will enable them to have all the sanctions lifted.To call it all an “Arc of Instability” is perhaps the understatement of the year. But the stakes have never been higher.

Jonathan Karl lists some of the “instabilities.” Obama, we are told, no longer talks to anyone but Valerie Jarrett and Michelle. We are in the best of hands.



A Nation Grieves. by The Elephant's Child

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Three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped over two weeks ago, and murdered by Hamas thugs. One can hardly imagine the grief of a nation. In a remarkably tasteless remark, President Obama urged Israel not to “destabilize the situation,” he warned Israel—not Palestine. Blame the families and friends of murdered kids, but not the murderers. He claimed that “Israelis have the full support and friendship of the United States.” I doubt that many Israelis believe that one.

The sixteen year olds are Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Fraenkel who is also an American citizen. Our hearts go out to their families, and the Israeli people.

It is President Obama’s radical Mideast policies that have destabilized the entire Middle East. The president’s 2009 Cairo University speech helped to open the door to revolution and upheaval. He came to office with the illusion that all the problems in the Middle East were caused by the “problems between Israel and Palestine.” Obama believed that he could bring the Israelis and the Palestinians to the bargaining table and make a lasting peace agreement between them, and there would be peace in the Middle East, and he would be celebrated as the peacemaker or something like that.

The only flaw in the ointment was that Palestinians had not the slightest interest in peace, and wanted the Israelis all dead and no country of Israel to exist. The Palestinians fire rockets into Israel regularly, kidnap citizens, as they did these three teenagers. They bring up their children to hate Israel, toddlers are given mock suicide vests. The mothers of jihadists who blow themselves up in an effort to kill Israelis celebrate their dead sons as martyrs in a righteous cause.

In 2011, Obama declared out-of-the-blue that Israel should be shrunk back to its indefensible 1967 borders, and warned Israel “the status quo is unsustainable.” He declared “the international community is tired of an endless process that never produces an outcome”, and claimed “the dream of a Jewish and democratic state cannot be fulfilled with permanent occupation.” This is sheer  ignorance of both the history of the Middle East and the history of the state of Israel.

The U.S led “peace framework” talks broke down earlier this year. The idea seemed to be that Israel would offer all sorts of concessions to the Palestinian Authority, and then the U.S would dangle releasing convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard before Prime Minister Netanyahu in the hope that he would fold.

The State of Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. They are the only country that shares our ideas of free markets and free people. The other guys are talking about blowing up Israel, driving Israel into the sea, preparing to attack the United States, declaring a new Caliphate, and trying to smuggle more weapons into Gaza so they can kill more Israelis. One would think our president and our State Department would notice the difference.



A Dangerous World — The Wages of Weakness. by The Elephant's Child

Obama Profile

No president in my memory has so often referred to himself as “the President of the United States of America”or as “the Commander in Chief,” as if he needs to keep reminding everyone of his importance. Perhaps I’m being unfair. George W. Bush often said of himself “I’m the decider.” That seemed to me to be a humble statement that the troubles of the world landed on his desk and he had to make a difficult decision—whether it turned out well or ill. As I said, perhaps I’m being unfair.

But Bush was right. Decisions have to be made. We may make a decision about Iraq, but as in all conflicts, the other side gets a vote. The Obama administration has admitted that they were blindsided by the ISIS invasion of Iraq and their rapid progress. Obama is accustomed to, well, dithering. He doesn’t like foreign affairs. He likes traveling with an enormous entourage to other countries and making a speech or two, but he came to office convinced that America was a world bully, interfering in other countries, and was no more exceptional than any other country. He has followed a deliberate policy of disengaging from the world and its quarrels.

We called it “the Apology Tour” when Obama made his way around the world bowing to foreign rulers and apologizing for our influence in world affairs. Democrats were offended at the name, but is that really what Democrats believe, that we should fail to assert a positive influence over world events? Or have they remained too enamored with Obama himself to have given it much thought? The world clearly expects more American leadership. Many countries have not done much about raising a military or acquiring major weapons because we were there.

Obama drew a red line that did not faze Assad, turned the Syrian bloodbath over to Vladimir Putin, which undoubtedly led the Russian president to launch his claim on the Crimea and his aggression against Ukraine. Obama frequently cites polls showing American “war weariness,” but just what is meant by that is not clear. America had won the War in Iraq, and Obama just wanted out. As Elliott Abrams said:

 So we got out, fully, completely, cleanly—unless you ask about the real world of Iraq instead of the imaginary world of campaign speeches. We could no longer play the role we had played in greasing relations between Kurds, Shia and Sunnis, and in constraining Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s sectarian excesses. The result was an Iraq spinning downward into the kind of Sunni-Shia confrontation we had paid so dearly to stop in 2007 and 2008, and ISIS—the newest moniker for al Qaeda in Iraq—saw its chance, and took it.

So we’re back in Iraq—Obama has sent 300 military advisers. That’s a very small number.

I’m inclined to believe that just as members of a family have trouble getting along, so the natural state of world affairs is not peace and harmony. That doesn’t mean that we must be eternally engaged in war. Weakness invites ambitious nations to act on their ambitions.

Putin has long regarded the collapse of the Soviet Union as a disaster and wants to restore its position as a world power. The Mullahs in Iran are quite clear about their ambitions regarding the Great Satan and the Little Satan. The newly enriched and increasingly dangerous fanatics of ISIS have already warned that they will see us in New York. Germany has said the United States must consider a renewed military intervention. “It’s the Americans’ task to deal with security in Iraq.” The  French place the direct cause of the Iraqi implosion on Obama’s decision to back off from air strikes against the Assad regime last August as the fatal step.

Here are some excellent pieces on our current dilemma:



The Official Foreign Policy of the Obama Admistration by The Elephant's Child

This is actually a clip from the British comedy series “Yes, Minister,” but it seems so precisely applicable, and funny, that I couldn’t resist. The comedy that captures accurately the foibles of humanity is always the best, though we like the comedy of the other guy’s foibles better than when our own are exposed.



There Are More Than 50 Million Refugees, For the First Time Since World War II by The Elephant's Child

At the end of 2013, The United Nations Refugee Agency’s report released last Friday says, 51.2 million people were refugees. For the first time since World War II we have more than 50 million people driven from their homes, all too often in fear for their lives. And the numbers can only be increasing exponentially as Iraqis and Syrians flee to neighboring countries.

Of the 51.2 refugees— 12 million are being cared for by the United Nations aid agencies. 6.3 million of those have been displaced for more than five years. The largest numbers of refugees come from Afghanistan, Somalia and Syria. The exodus from Iraq has just started. The countries harboring the most refugees are Iran, Lebanon and Pakistan. At the time the report was released the greatest numbers came from the Syrian civil war, with more than 2.5 million Syrians fleeing to neighboring countries. Lebanon is only a small country of 4.5 million people— one fourth of those are refugees. They are quickly running out of basic necessities. And the chaos in Iraq only erupted this month. It takes a lot of fear to make you grab a little of your stuff and run.



All Options Are On The Table, Except They’re Not. by The Elephant's Child

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.



It’s The Weekend —We’ll Think About it Next Week. by The Elephant's Child

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.



Obama Will Think About It Later, After a Fundraiser in Palm Springs and Some Golf Time? by The Elephant's Child

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This is apparently what ISIS currently has in mind. (Click to enlarge) For now. This group was formed in Syria and has moved into northern Iraq. The have been called an al Qaeda affiliate, but al Qaeda has rejected them because of their extreme violence. They are shooting and beheading people indiscriminately.

ISIS seeks to impose its vision of a single radical Islamist state stretching from the Mediterranean coast of Syria through modern Iraq, the region of the Islamic Caliphates established in the seventh and eighth centuries. In Iraq, the Kurds have carved out a homeland in the north of the country with the help of the Turks and against the wishes of the Iraqi government, that exports their own oil, runs its own border operations and has organized its own military. Shiite militias from Lebanon have moved into Syria and operated with the Syrian government. Syrian refugees have fled into Lebanon, and Lebanon now has more school age Syrian children than Lebanese children. Borders are dissolving.

When we went to war in Iraq, the Left was furious. The Left hated Bush. They said so. They hated the way he walked. They hated his squint. They hated the way he talked and made endless fun of his mangled words. They hated the way he took charge in the wake of 9/11.

It comes down to this “A substantial part of the Democratic Party, some of its politicians and many of its loudest supporters do not want America to succeed in Iraq. So vitriolic and all-consuming is their hatred for George W.Bush that they skip right over the worthy goals we have been, with some considerable success, seeking there—a democratic government, with guaranteed liberties for all, a vibrant free economy, respect for women—and call this a war for oil, or for Halliburton.
Successes are discounted, setbacks are trumpeted, the level of American casualties is treated as if it were comparable to those in Vietnam or World War II. Allegations of American misdeeds are repeated over and over, the work of reconstruction and aid of American military personnel and civilians is ignored. In all this they have been aided and abetted by large elements of the press.
……………………Michael Barone, Real Clear Politics, June 12, 2006.

That is the press from whom Obama learned about Iraq. And that was his view of Bush’s war. He came to office despising everything Bush, and blaming Bush for everything unpleasant he had to face, oblivious to the fact that every president faces unexpected problems.

Obama lives in a fantasy world of his own making. He is so accustomed to putting whatever comes up into words favorable to himself that he often cannot distinguish between what he said to make himself look good and the actual truth. I cannot imagine, with the need for urgent action so pressing, the president taking off for a trip to Palm Springs and another fundraiser, and a little golf.

The much despised George W. Bush had a video conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki once a week and worked at teaching the Prime Minister how to set secularism aside and manage a country. Obama had little contact and was clearly uninterested in anything beyond pulling out as rapidly as possible, so the status of forces agreement was not of particular importance to either party.

Barack Obama pulled out of Iraq because he had no understanding of World War I and World War II, and how just walking away from the first made the second inevitable. Defeat must be complete, and sometimes you have to put a country back together enough for them to become functional. He had no understanding of what a broken country Iraq was under the control of Saddam Hussein. Obama says his foreign policy is “Don’t do stupid s––t.” Sometimes doing nothing, or ignoring the urgency of the moment, is the stupidest thing of all.



Other Voices. If You Don’t Understand History, You’re Apt to Make a Mess of The Present. by The Elephant's Child

It is possible that the dangers into which we are steadily advancing would never have arisen…[but]when the situation was manageable it was neglected and now that it is thoroughly out of hand we apply too late the remedies which might have affected a cure.

There is nothing new to the story. It is as old as [Rome]. It falls into that long dismal catalogue of the fruitlessness of experience and the confirmed unteachability of mankind. Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong—these are features which constitute the endless repetition of history.
…..Winston Churchill:  Speech to House of Commons, May 2, 1935

American foreign policy is an unprecedented free fall with a feckless and distracted White House barely paying attention to the outside world, and when it does, acting in an inconsistent, weak, and fantastical manner. If one were to discern something so grand as an Obama Doctrine, it would read “Snub friends, coddle opponents, devalue American interests, seek consensus, and act unpredictability.
…………………………………………………………………………………..Daniel Pipes

A defeated army—now and always—must not merely surrender. Rather it and its infrastructure must be dismantled and its ideology disgraced. Lee gave in not because he was merely beaten—Gettysburg had done that months earlier—but only when his army was decimated, his cause lost, and his adherents embarrassed. Grant and Sherman accepted no less—and so gave us peace, not decades of terror and counterinsurgency. The firebrand Nathan Bedford Forest once promised unending resistance, but after what he’d seen in Tennessee and Georgia, thought it better to quit and go on home.
Victor Davis Hanson” “The More Things Change” National Review Online 12/30/01

The greatest possible ignorance of the past is thus the surest guarantee of the greatest possible deception in the present.
………………………………………….Jean François Revel: The Flight from Truth

Bush is actually doing the hard thing. He’s calling for real democracy in the Middle East. He’s aiming to make the long-standing U.S. policy of regime change in Iraq a reality. He actually wants to defeat Islamic terrorism, rather than make excuses for tolerating its cancerous growth. And when this amount of power is fueled by this amount of conviction.of course the world is aroused and upset.
What the world, after all, is afraid of is not the deposing of the monster, Saddam. What the world is afraid of is American hyper-power wielded by a man of very American faith and conviction and honesty. Bush’s manner grates. His style—like Reagan’s—offends. But, like Reagan, he is not an anomaly in American foreign policy—merely a vivid and determined representative of a deep and idealistic strain within it. And history shows that the world has far more to gain from the deployment of that power than by its withdrawal. If the poor people of Iraq know that lesson, what’s stopping the Europeans?
…………………..Andrew Sullivan “Spot the Difference,” Andrew Sullivan.com

Here is the hard truth: that the world contains many cultures inured to tyranny from time out of mind. These are peoples who may long for freedom, but have no practical idea how it can be got and maintained; or if they know, no energy for the task.
…………..David Warren” “Democracy in Iraq,” David Warren Online, April 13, 2003

Iraq was the subject of the first Obama National Security Council meeting on January 21, 2009. The president said he wanted to draw down troops in a way that “preserves the positive security trends and protects U.S. personnel.” He asked for at least three options, one of which had to be his earlier sixteen-month timetable. …
In early February, ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker and Odierno submitted three options: (1) a twenty-three-month drawdown period, reducing U.S. forces to a residual training force level by December 2010, an option they recommended as offering the lowest level of risk and highest probability of achieving our objectives; 020 a nineteen-month drawdown, reaching the residual force level by August 2010, that would meet most but not all requirements for development of the Iraqi security forces; and (3) a sixteen-month-drawdown, which would be completed in May 2010, an option they said presented “extremely high risk” to overall mission accomplishment. Crocker and Odierno recommended a residual force of 50,000 to 55,000 troops, restructured into six advisory and assistance brigades, with the primary mission of training and advising Iraqi forces, deterring external threats, conducting counterrerrorism operations, and protecting themselves and U.S. civilians. As provided in the Strategic Framework Agreement with the Iraqis, all American forces would be out of their country by the end of December 2011.
…………………. Robert M. Gates: Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War

The Democratic leadership was shocked not so much by the timetable but by the fact that some 50,000 troops would remain in Iraq until nearly the end of 2011. I was sitting across from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and thought she alternately looked like she had swallowed and entire lemon or was simply going to explode. She drummed her fingers on the table and had a white -knuckled grip on her pencil. She said she just could not understand why so many troops had to remain. …………………………………………..Robert M. Gates: Ibid



Obama Is Considering Potential Action And Discussing Options. by The Elephant's Child

Just a few days ago, I was reading about the real and highly consequential democratic process of elections in Iraq.  Iraq, said Bartle Bull, is engaged in a “conversation about government formation in a functional, stable and constitutional electoral setting. There is no talk of coups, of disenfranchised minorities, or politicized electoral commissions.” I quoted part of this previously.

The process of forming the next government may take months, and current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is the front-runner, although his victory is far from certain. Whoever does emerge atop what Disraeli called the “greasy pole”, there is no chance of a government that harbors al-Qaeda or belongs to the mullahs in Tehran, that invades its neighbors, assassinates its enemies, or gasses its own people. All of these things are vote-losers in Iraq, and in Iraqi politics today it is the vote that matters most.

The April election was the seventh time since January 2005 that Iraqis have gone to the polls on a national basis. The land of the purple finger has enjoyed four parliamentary elections, with an average turnout of 63 percent; two nationwide provincial elections, with an average turnout of 52 percent; and a constitutional referendum in which 63 percent of the country turned out to vote (and 79 percent voted “Yes”) on the republic’s inclusive, liberal, federalist constitution.

Every one of these ballots has been judged free and fair by international observers. Even ignoring the local circumstances that make this fact especially remarkable (the constant threat of jihadi violence on polling days, exacerbated by governance so poor that it is a wonder that anyone has enough faith in government to bother to vote at all), Iraqis have once again proven that they are more than deserving of the opportunity presented to them.

Twelve days later, and everything has changed. Well, most everything. ISIS is advancing on Baghdad, the Kurds have taken Kirkuk, and Iraqis are fleeing, trying to find somewhere to get out of the way. President Obama who said recently that his foreign policy can be summed up as “Don’t do dumb s––t !”, is doing just that in resorting to his usual dithering which will undoubtedly be followed by “There’s nothing we could have done,” once it’s too late.

President Maliki has asked for some air support, maybe some drone strikes. We reportedly have some drones doing surveillance. What they need are those A-10 Warthogs that a House panel just voted to scrap.  It’s an old plane, but the troops love it for the close air-support the gunship can deliver. What do I know, I’ve never been in the military, but I’d be inclined to listen to the troops who need it instead of congressmen who benefit from having certain armaments produced in their district. Close air-support is a difficult mission, and the A-10 works because it can go comparatively low and slow. The congressmen who voted to retire it claim the F-16 and the B-1 bomber can do the same mission, but the reverse isn’t true. Five US troops were just killed on Monday in an apparent friendly fire strike in southern Afghanistan. They had reportedly requested close-air support from a B-1 bomber. It’s all about the money. More modern, multi-mission aircraft, new generation of drones….

President Obama is not being well-served by his foreign policy advisers. He’s got Susan Rice,  who tells stories, a former speechwriter, a former campaign hack, Chuck Hagel and Valerie Jarrett. What could possibly go wrong?

The Pentagon, I am told, is always planning for the next war, not the present one. Drones, robots, and other high-tech wonders, while back in the real world we have tribal warfare with pick-ups, stolen Stingers and the American equipment that fleeing Iraqi troops left behind. The American people don’t mind wars when we are clearly winning, when nobody much gets killed, and  last no more than 4 years.  We watch too many movies, read military thrillers where the hero always wins and gets the girl, when we should be reading the books written by men who are reflecting on their time serving in combat.

We will have to wait a while for the definitive history of the War in Iraq. The Media, out to get George W. Bush, gave us a false picture that historians will have to reckon with. The tribal war between the Sunni, Shia and Kurds is hard enough to understand for those of us who are unfamiliar with the Koran, without dealing with Islamic politics, American politics and media misrepresentation. I’ve been re-reading the columns of Douglas Hanson who was American Thinker’s foreign policy person during the Iraq war. Really interesting. I wish President Obama had done that.

President Obama is examining  potential actions with his foreign policy team, and discussing various options. They have asked military and intelligence agencies to draw up options that include limited U.S. military action in Iraq, officials said. “They’re looking at everything and anything and have been told explicitly by the White House to think outside the box of what is possible,” a senior U.S. official said.

The president said he is seeking support from U.S. allies in any effort to keep extremists from gaining a permanent foothold in Iraq or Syria. Don’t want to do anything all on our own, we might be blamed.



Iran Claims To Have Reverse-Engineered U.S. Drone by The Elephant's Child

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Iran on Sunday unveiled what it says is a copy of a U.S. stealth drone that it brought down safely when they “commandeered” it in flight in 2011.

“The drone was brought down by the Iranian Armed Forces’ electronic warfare unit which commandeered the aircraft and safely landed it,” the Iranian Tasnim News Agency reported.

The U.S. drone was identified as the RQ-170 Sentinel made by Lockheed Martin. U.S. officials said in December 2011 that the drone was part of a CIA reconnaissance mission. President Obama asked Iran to return the drone to the US. Didn’t work.

Now Iran claims to have reverse-engineered the drone, and armed it with weapons to attack U.S. warships. They also claim to have decoded surveillance footage from the captured drone. In photos they display the U.S. drone accompanied by the Iranian copy.

This is the time of year, the Sacred Defense Week, when Iran makes big claims to demonstrate their power, as it is the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq War. Some aviation experts are skeptical, and suggest the whole thing is a fake. Iran does have a history of publicizing fakes. Power, after all, is perceived power.




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