Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Middle East, Politics, Progressivism, Terrorism | Tags: Benghazi Libya, Pay No Attention, Terrorist Attack On America
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Middle East, National Security, Politics, Terrorism | Tags: Incompetence and Malfeasance, Political Advocacy, The Decline and Fall of Journalism
The suck-up leftist media has gone into full-fledged spin control. How these people can live with themselves or even face themselves in the mirror is beyond me. As Dan Gainor wrote at Fox News:
In the real world, when you cover up four murders after the fact, you likely go to jail. In government, you retire with dignity and run for president with full media support.
Up until yesterday, that was the Benghazi scenario following the death of four Americans including our ambassador to Libya.
The Obama administration has lied, stonewalled, bullied, and intimidated – the true marks of an open and transparent administration. And, with a few notable exceptions, the American media haven’t just let them get away it. Heck, they’ve helped.
Let’s be clear here. Yes, the administration has tried at all levels to cover-up the murder of four Americans; but that is not all. The administration is deeply complicit in those deaths. The disgusting media is not interested in murders, but in attempting to attack Republicans for noticing the whole thing which was “a long time ago” (Jay Carney).
Republicans are now “engaged in a witch hunt” (Eugene Robinson), who said “the hearing convened by Rep.Darrell Issa (R-CA) produced a riveting narrative of the chaotic events in Libya last September. But what was the supposedly unforgivable crime?”…The three diplomats who testified at the hearing gave no evidence that this failure sprang from anything other than the need to use limited resources as efficiently as possible.” Gosh, maybe they could have taken a few bucks out of State’s $4.1 million fund for embassy art.
Frank Rich in New York Magazine emphasized that nobody was paying attention and nobody cared, or will care, and if you dare to care, you will be attacked, and made fun of by late night “comedians.” He even dragged up the original 9/11, the Bush lied, the Iraq War that “drained resources from the battle against al Qaeda and the search for bin Laden” — the one truly noble effort of the past century.
The New York Times headlined their editorial “The Republicans Benghazi Obsession.”
Before Wednesday’s hearing on the attack in Benghazi, Libya, Republicans in Congress promised explosive new details about the administration’s mishandling of the episode. Instead, the hearing showed, yet again, that sober fact-finding is not their mission. Common sense and good judgment have long given way to conspiracy-mongering and a relentless effort to discredit President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The whole thing was dismissed as “thoroughly covered” by the independent inquiry by Thomas Pickering and Adm. Mike Mullen. Their “unsparing report” concluded that:
“systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels” in the State Department’s bureaus of diplomatic security and near eastern affairs resulted in a “security posture that was inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place.” Mrs. Clinton took responsibility for the security failures when she testified at a Congressional hearing in January.
Splendid example of bureaucratese. Bet the State Department really got a scolding for that. The Washington Post tweeted “Who’s tweeting about Benghazi? Rich, middle-aged men and Chick-fil-A lovers.” NBC said there was an “obvious political undercurrent” to the hearings and accused the GOP of going after the “most popular Democrat”, Hillary Clinton. (She is? Who knew?) The CBS network held back Emmy award-winning reporter Sharyl Attkinsson from writing about Benghazi “CBS News executives see Attkisson wading dangerously close to advocacy on the issue.” Attkisson is now in talks to leave CBS ahead of contract.
The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank treated the testimony as if the witnesses were lying. His column called the sworn testimony a “yarn” and referred to our No. 2 diplomat in Libya as a “virtuoso storyteller.” He added “Hicks didn’t lay a glove on the former secretary of state on Wednesday.”
It is not bias. It is complete abandonment of the basic principles of journalism, which is supposed to be about curiosity, the search for truth and understanding, and an impartial observation of government activities and actions to inform the people in a free society. They have traded that in for the opportunity to write political advocacy and puff pieces. More fun. You don’t have to investigate, dig, consider, or even do any hard thinking — you can just feel — and wallow in your emotions.
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Law, Media Bias, Middle East, National Security, Politics, Terrorism | Tags: "Off the Record", A Politicized IRS, At This Point What Difference Does It Make?
Fridays are famous in the news cycle as the day to release foul and disreputable tidbits since everyone is occupied with weekend plans and finishing up at the office. Apparently if it’s a particularly nice weekend that is promised, they can even release bigger news. If people happen to hear, hopefully they will forget.
So in the course of events, the Internal Revenue Service has apologized for “inappropriate targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status. IRS agents singled out dozens of organizations for special review because they included those dangerous words “tea party” or “patriot” in their exemption applications. In some cases these groups were asked for lists of their donors, which “violates IRS policy.”
Terribly sorry if that kept you from raising money, caused you problems, low-level employees, no high-level officials involved. Apologies. White House flack Jay Carney said it was indeed “inappropriate” (there’s that word again), but the Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration has been investigating ever since last summer and his report is due next week. (Also “insensitive”) Nobody’s fault really, low-level employees, just move along. Jay Carney, White House flack, added that one of the directors of the IRS was appointed by George W. Bush.
And of course there is Benghazi. The press has noticed that there is something funny about the talking points and ABC’s Jonathan Karl has obtained 12 different versions of the CIA talking points as they evolved from the first draft written entirely by the CIA to the final versions distributed to Congress and UN Ambassador Susan Rice. Is this an indication that the story of Benghazi is to be all about talking points? Wasn’t there something about people dying, perhaps unnecessarily, because of administration malfeasance?
The news that the Secretary of State in the most transparent administration in history had her chief of staff warn a Benghazi whistle-blower not to spill the beans on Benghazi. Hillary had long experience with “handlers” delegated to deal with the “bimbo eruptions.” People who dare to speak out need to be intimidated. Gregory Hicks, the deputy chief of mission in Libya, a career foreign service officer for 22 years, said that after he talked to investigators about Benghazi, he received a searing phone reprimand from a very angry Cheryl Mills, chief of Staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Hicks was told not to talk to Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) when a congressional delegation visited Libya after the attack. When he did anyway, a long string of glowing performance reviews morphed into criticisms of his management style and leadership and he was demoted to desk officer. Hicks said he had never before been told not to meet with a congressional delegation. Far from trying to find out what happened, Hillary Clinton and the State Department sought to suppress the truth and punish anyone who would speak the truth.
So, an efficient administration, being on top of the news cycle and aware that accusations of an attempted cover-up of events leading to the murder of our Ambassador, his aide, and two SEALS are floating around, what do you do? Why you have an off-the-record briefing for the White House press corps, so the reporters can’t repeat anything even if they want to. Why would the press agree to that?
Simple. They changed the language describing the meeting from “off-the-record” to: Though the existence of the meeting was off the record, it was conducted on “deep background.” “Deep Background” apparently means that the information presented by the briefers can be used in reporting, but the briefers can’t be quoted.”
Ari Fleischer tweeted : “Time Magazine reporter Jay Carney would have been the 1st person to object to how the WH is handling the press today.”
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Intelligence, Middle East, National Security, Politics, Terrorism | Tags: Blinded by Ideology, Competence and Honesty, The Attack on Benghazi
This interview with former Attorney General Michael Mukasey by Fox News’ Megyn Kelly on the situation in Benghazi, Libya was posted on October 31, 2012, after the attack in Benghazi on September 11, and before the upcoming election. Mr. Mukasey, George W. Bush’s Attorney General was highly respected, and a serious man.
Helps sometimes to look back towards what was said at the time, well not very far back, only six months, but events in the meantime, reporting and misreporting change our impressions.
Ideology and cynicism. Tunisian man that we cannot interrogate? We treat it as a law enforcement issue, our enemies treat it as a war.
I do hope they establish a select committee to delve much deeper into the administration response to an attack on America.
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Intelligence, Middle East, Terrorism, The United States | Tags: Administration Lies, Benghazi Hearings, Political Cover-Up
Like many political junkies, I have been fascinated with the Benghazi hearings today, and with what is being written about the hearings. Investors said “Testimony by the Benghazi whistle-blowers presents clear evidence of shameful political manipulation of the truth seven weeks before an election and a willingness to let four Americans die to maintain a campaign narrative.” Read the whole thing.
That pretty well sums it up. We had three witnesses testify today. 1). Eric Nordstrom was a regional security officer of the U.S. Mission to Libya from September 2011 to July 2012. 2). Mark Thompson, a former Marine and official with the State Department’s Counterterrorism Bureau, who said he was not interviewed by the State Departments Accountability Review Board, testified that he was rebuffed by the Whit House when he asked for a Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST) that’s been activated in past threats to diplomats. This is a unit made of special operations personnel, diplomatic security, intelligence and other officers. 3). Greg Hicks, US. Deputy Chief of Mission in Libya that night, who was near tears at times, recounted how a Special Forces team, including one member hobbling with a cast on his leg and a heavy machine gun on his shoulder, was ready to deploy on a Libyan C-130 to Benghazi, only to be forbidden from doing so by U.S. Special Operations Command South Africa.
What we know for sure is that UN Ambassador Susan Rice lied to the UN and to the public, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lied to Congress, Vice President Joe Biden lied to reporters, and President Barack Obama lied to the American people. There was no “demonstration” about the video that no one watched. There was only an organized attack by Ansar al Sharia, an Iranian supported terrorist group allied with al Qaeda.
The Obama administration has done its best to confuse and conceal what actually happened. There are lots of officially unknowns: Why was Ambassador Stevens in Benghazi in the first place? And on September 11? The ‘consulate’ there was just a residence, not up to State Department standards, and Stevens needed special authorization from Sec. Clinton to go there. Why was the security for the ‘consulate’ removed? Who refused help at every opportunity?
If you recall your history, Watergate concerned some Republican “plumbers” who broke into a Democratic campaign office. No one ever claimed that President Nixon either knew about it, nor was responsible, but it was embarrassing that his people had done it and they tried to cover it up. Yet Watergate was supposed to be the most dreadful scandal ever to touch the American presidency.
We had an American Ambassador, his tech guy, and two former SEALs — employed by the CIA — who were first denied security, denied help, and denied rescue at the highest level of the American government.
The Big Media is in full defensive mode. They are rallying around the administration in the very way that was so desperately needed by our people in Benghazi. The New York Times is oddly unaware that there is a place in Libya called Benghazi.
Time magazine’s Joe Klein demonstrates the obtuseness of the American media’s complete failure to perform the most basic task of a supposedly free press.
The Republicans, apparently with nothing better to do, are still chasing their tails over the tragic events in Benghazi on September 11.
Actually, no. That’s not true. They’re chasing their tails over what happened after the tragic events of September 11. They’re mostly concerned that the Obama Administration tried to cover up the fact that this was a terrorist attack by a local militia (translation: local street gang) which aspired toward bad-butt Al Qaeda status. This is a pretty hard sell since, the day after the attack, the President called it an “act of terror.”
It does seem that the Administration’s talking points were massaged a bit after the President’s candor. This may have been attributable to the presidential campaign and the Administration’s desire to low-ball the Al Qaeda threat. If so, this was a venial, not a mortal, sin. It affected not one life.
No, Joe Klein, it not only affected four lives, it ended them. Security was denied, Safety was denied. Help was denied, because an election was coming up and no one wanted any bad publicity, particularly when an Iranian-supported group of terrorists called Ansar al Sharia who were closely affiliated with al Qaeda (who was supposedly ‘on the run’ because Obama had called in the SEALs.) The same people as those two valiant men who went to rescue the remaining personnel at the ‘consulate’ and who begged for help while they stood off that “local street gang”. There was help available and the order to stand down reportedly had to come from the president.
The Big Media in our nation — the Free Press — a term they revel in, are not now, and have not been, performing their most basic task, being a watchdog on government. They quit that a while back. The Democrats give better parties I guess. The public is coming to the realization that they are useless, and the media is slowly going broke. I can even remember when Time was a thick magazine, bulging with lots of advertising and important articles that made news and created a stir. Long ago and far away.
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Intelligence, Islam, Middle East, Military, National Security | Tags: Creepy Groupthink, Endangering America, Politically Correct Language
The most important post today came from Victor Davis Hanson. who wrote about “The Obama Borg: How ‘man-caused disasters” replaced Islamist terrorism in the Obama lexicon.”
In Star Trek lore, the Borg was a collective of servile drone operatives that sought to assimilate other species into its ‘hive mind.’
Something akin to that creepy groupthink arose when the Obama administration took power and sought to reformulate the so-called war on terror. Almost immediately, Obama operatives suggested that radical Islamists were no more likely than any other group to commit acts of terrorism. In fact, the very idea of terrorism — not to mention a war against it — was supposedly a Bush-administration construct unfairly aimed at Muslims.
Obama apparently sincerely believed that there was no intrinsic connection between Islamism and terror; or, if there was, Islamic radicalism was no more dangerous than right-wing or supposedly Christian-inspired terror. Or if Islamic radicalism did arise, it might be mitigated by multicultural sympathy and outreach, mostly by contextualizing the violence as an inevitable result of prior Western culpability.
If you remember, Obama came into office proudly extolling his years in a Muslim Country (before he was ten years old) as giving him a deep understanding of that part of the world. He called the War in Iraq “a dumb war,” and set about making nice with Muslim countries and changing the vocabulary of the American government. Terrorism became “man caused disasters,” the war on terror became “the politics of fear.”
The dreadful shooting at Fort Hood became “workplace violence”and the increasing radicalism of Major Hasan and his correspondence with the radical imam Anwar al-Awlaki was brushed aside for fear of being labeled Islamophobic. Even though he yelled “Allahu Akbar!” as he killed twelve soldiers, one civilian and wounded more than 30 others. Army Chief of Staff George Casey stated “Our diversity, not only in our Army, but in our country is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.” Thirteen lives snuffed out and thirty wounded and that is less important than “our diversity.”
What kind of orders must have been issued? Political correctness reigns, and to fail to respect “our diversity” can be a career-ending error. In Afghanistan, our soldiers who were assigned the task of training Afghan troops and police, were forbidden to have magazines in their weapons to show their trust for the trainees. That resulted in a lot of dead American soldiers when jihadists turned their weapons on the trainers.
Dr. Hanson enumerates cases of those who served in the Bush administration who have been drawn into the hive and now speak in only preferred terms.
Jihadism, violent extremism, radical Islam is a part of the vast Muslim religion. The abuses of strict adherence to sharia law, honor killings, abuse of women are all part of the vast Muslim religion. Yet the West twists themselves into pretzels to avoid giving offense. Muslims are quick to accuse the West of “Islamophobia,” because they fear to speak out against the “violent extremists?” I don’t know, but it would seem that the problem must be settled within Islam. I don’t think it can be solved from outside.
Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum, delivered a paper on “Denying Islam’s Role in Terror: Explaining the Denial” at the Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya, Israel, and it is well worth your time. It is a complicated problem, but the refusal to name the enemy, to recognize terrorism where it exists, leaves us open to errors like the refusal to monitor Tammerlan Tsarnaev even when warned of his extremism by the Russians.
Today, Mr. Obama has announced that it’s time to close Guantanamo. He cannot grasp the reason why the worst of the terrorists should not be in this country in our domestic justice system. Guantanamo is about as close to a resort as any prisoners experience anywhere in the world, and the prisoners are better treated, but Obama’s view of Islam is fixed in concrete, and he does not change his mind. The creepy groupthink the Obama administration has used to reformulate the war on terror is a real problem, and the failure to understand the violent part of the Religion of Peace will do damage to our country.
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Intelligence, Islam, Middle East, Military | Tags: Chemical Weapons, Drawing "Red Lines", The Assad Regime
The White House admitted yesterday what has been known for some time. The Syrian regime has used chemical weapons to attack its own people. In 2010, Barack Obama stated that the use of chemical weapons is a “red line” for the United States, a “game changer” that would theoretically move the White House in an undefined way from its position of studied indifference.
The opposition has accused the Assad regime for some time of using chemical agents, but the White House has dismissed the claims. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has announced that the United States now believes “with varying degrees of confidence” that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against its people. Whatever “varying degrees of confidence” means. Hagel said the intelligence community has been assessing the problem. Other countries have reached the same conclusion with a high degree of confidence. Except they aren’t usually expected to do anything about it.
Theoretically, when you announce a “red line”, a “game changer,” you have set in motion something like the entire Pentagon deciding what you should do about it. Threats that are just repeated with “varying degrees of confidence” elicit little confidence from either the people or any of the players. 70,000 dead is a lot of people.
If American aid can help to cause Assad’s downfall and lead to his replacement by a non-radical replacement, we should help. If getting rid of Assad simply means installing another radical regime, then we shouldn’t be talking about “red lines.”
Ideally, a leader of a regime who uses nerve gas on his people should have a giant fist descend like a hammer directly on his head, so its like will never be repeated. But ideal circumstances seldom happen. Dithering, needing ever more information, consulting with the UN and going all wishy-washy only makes the U.S, weak and our enemies bold, and that is the worst of all worlds.
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Intelligence, Iran, Islam, Israel, Middle East, National Security, Politics, Terrorism | Tags: Dictators and Democracy, We Are Not At War With Terror, Weakness And Indecision
This video is from August 6, 2009. Not new, but it certainly demonstrates the problem. As long as we are unable to think clearly about terrorism, we will not solve the problem. I guess you could call political correctness a kind of worm in the brain, burrowing into every thought process and leaving a slimy trail of weakness, indecision, and misdirection.
This kind of sloppy thinking led to a failure to negotiate a status of forces agreement with Iraq, with the consequences that have followed our abrupt pullout. It has led to the mistake of setting a date for our withdrawal from Afghanistan, allowing the Taliban to wait until then to take over. It has led to attempting to impress the Afghans with our trust by depriving our own troops of weapons to defend themselves and costing more lives. We have lost far more of our troops under Obama than ever happened under George W. Bush.
And it’s the kind of thinking that deluded the administration to assume the Arab Spring was a democratic movement that would lead to peace in the Middle East and an end to terrorism. But the Arab world had no experience of democracy ever, and no idea how it was to work. What they have known forever is dictatorship, so a new set of dictators moved in.
Mr. Brennan is now the Director of the CIA.
Filed under: Art, Fun n Games, Global Warming, Middle East, News the Media Doesn't Want You to Hear, Politics, Terrorism
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have charged two men living in Canada with conspiracy to carry out a terrorist attack against a VIA Rail passenger train inside Canada. The RCMP said the two men planned to carry out an “al Qaeda-supported” terror attack to derail a train, which was also aimed at harming the economy.
The Police said, at a news conference, that the two men were receiving guidance and direction from al Qaeda related elements in Iran. The men are not Canadian citizens. There was no imminent threat to the public, but had the terror project come to fruiting, innocent people would have been killed or injured.
The Obama administration has gone out of their way to make light of the threat from terrorism, but the evidence merely points out the presidents state of denial about the rising threat. CNN’s homeland security analyst, Juliette Kayyem asserted “We have not had (even) a small-scale terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11.”
We have suffered a number of major attacks, and most of them have taken place on Obama’s watch. Since 2009, terrorists have attacked our military bases, assassinated our diplomats, burned our embassies and murdered innocent spectators at a sporting event and ambushed and shot police officers.
— June 1, 2009: Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad shot and killed a military recruiter and wounded another at a Little Rock Arkansas recruiting station. A convert to Islam, Muhammad identified with al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
— September 2008: Afghan native Najibullah Zazi was arrested before he could blow up the New York City Subway.
— September 2009: Police nabbed Jordanian Hosam Maher Husein Smadi before he could plant a bomb in a Dallas skyscraper.
— November 5, 2009: Nidal Malik Hasan, a U.S. Army major psychiatrist opened fire at Fort Hood Texas, shouting “Allahu Akbar!” as he killed 13 fellow soldiers and wounded 29. He was advised by al Qaeda operative Anwar Awlaki. Homeland Security has defined this as a workplace incident.
— December 2009: Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was tackled by passengers before he could detonate explosives sewn into his underwear. He was trained in Yemen by al Qaeda.
— March 4, 2010: John Patrick Bedell, a Muslim convert, shot and wounded two Pentagon police officers at a checkpoint in the Pentagon station of Washington Metro in Arlington, VA.
— May 2010: A massive bomb was planted by Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan failed to explode in an SUV parked in Times Square. He was trained and funded by the Taliban.
— October 2010: Chicago synagogues discovered explosives packed inside two printer cartridges shipped by cargo planes from al Qaeda in Yemen. The attack failed.
— Sept. 11, 2012: On the anniversary of 9/11, al Qaeda operatives attacked the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. The armed assault targeted the consulate compound, and a nearby CIA annex. The U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens was killed along with three others and ten others were wounded in a 7 hour gunfight.
— April 15, 2013: Two Muslim jihadists set off bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring 183. The terrorists shot two police officers, killed one, and injured several others. One of the brothers is dead, the other in custody.
The administration continues to downplay Islamist terrorism, and proposes talks with the Taliban and with Iran.
The “Arab Spring” was mistakenly assumed to be a movement for democracy in Arab North Africa. The movement was perhaps inspired by televised shots of Iraqis, male and female, proudly voting in free elections. That was considered the equivalent of an earthquake in the Arab Middle East, where oppressive dictatorship was the norm. But Arabs had no experience of Democracy, and the Muslim Brotherhood was ready to step in.
No terrorism here, nothing to see. Just move along.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, History, Law, Middle East, National Security, Politics, Terrorism | Tags: Euphemism and Denial, The Absence of Sraight Talk, The War on Terror
The Long War on Terror continues. We practice all kinds of denial and misdirection, disguise it with euphemism, and strangely — attempt to scare people with claims of radical right-wing extremism.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has tied herself in knots attempting to re-define Islamist terrorism out of existence. Her Department has listed Right-Wing Extremist groups as threats to national security, but no one seems to know who they are, or where they are, or what kind of threat they represent. The old ladies and little children who are searched and patted down to avoid “profiling” are beyond absurd.
The Left has long objected to the idea of a “War on Terror.” They don’t like the phrase. They object to calling it Islamist terrorism. NPR counterterrorism reporter Dina Temple-Ralston spoke for the left in the immediate wake of the bombing;
Well, officials told us that they have some promising leads, though no actual smoking gun. They expect this case will take weeks, not months, to solve. The thinking, as we’ve been reporting, is that this is a domestic extremist attack. And officials are leaning that way largely because of the timing of the attack.
April is a big month for anti-government, and right wing, individuals. There’s the Columbine anniversary. There’s Hitler’s birthday. There’s the Oklahoma City bombing. There’s the assault on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco. And the FBI right now is comparing this to the Eric Rudolph case. That’s the 1996 bombing at the Olympics in Atlanta. That involved a relatively simple bomb that was hard to trace.
The Left was determined that the bomber must be domestic, white, racist, and apparently Republican. The denial of the existence of Islamist terrorism is becoming pathological. If there is such a thing as Islamist terrorism, then we might have to admit that the Arab Spring was not a hope for democracy, that overthrowing dictators in Egypt and Libya did not result in peaceful democracies, and that our questions about Benghazi had never been answered.
Once the connection to Islamist terrorism is established, Muslims call in to radio talk shows anxious to deny that — this is not Islam. Islam is a peaceful religion. These people are not Muslims, they are radicals, and so on. And that is undoubtedly true. But Islamist radicalism is a problem within the Islamic religion, and it must be corrected by Muslims. The rest of us can’t fix it. And I don’t see any determined movement within the Muslim religion to disavow the radicals.
We are the object of their jihad, the “Great Satan.” We can make war on the jihadists, we can use our military, we can use drones, we can try to help Moslem countries to modernize, we can send them aid, we can help with modern techniques of agriculture, medicine and education. But that does not solve the problem. Can Muslims address the portion of their faith that seeks jihad against the West? Or are we doomed to carry on until it all blows up?
Filed under: Economy, Foreign Policy, Israel, Middle East, National Security, Progressivism | Tags: The "Peace Process", The State of Israel, U.S. Foreign Policy
Barack Obama’s first trip to Israel as President of the United States started off with the presidential limousine breaking down because his people put the wrong fuel in it. A metaphor? Probably.
Mr. Obama has long-expected one of his signature achievements as president would be producing peace in the Middle East by bringing the “peace process” to a satisfactory conclusion. He has believed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to be the cause of all Middle East problems, and he would just demand they sit down and talk.
Obama had some nice words in a speech to the Israeli people, then talked down to them. Then he had the extraordinarily bad judgment to give a speech in Ramallah on the West Bank, in front of a gigantic banner of Yassir Arafat, He actually said this:
I think it’s important for us to work through this [peace] process, even if there are irritants on both sides. The Israelis have concerns about rockets flying into their cities last night. And it would be easy for them to say, you see, this is why we can’t have peace because we can’t afford to have our kids in beds sleeping and suddenly a rocket comes through the roof. But my argument is even though both sides may have areas of strong disagreement [sic], may be engaging in activities that the other side considers to be a breach of good faith [sic], we have to push through those things to try to get to an agreement — because if we get an agreement then it will be very clear what the nature of that agreement is: There will be a sovereign Palestinian state, a sovereign Jewish State of Israel.
And those two states I think will be able to deal with each other the same way all states do. I mean, the United States and Canada has [sic] arguments once in a while, but they’re not the nature of arguments that can’t be solved diplomatically. And I think we can keep pushing through some of these problems and make sure that we don’t use them as an excuse not to do anything.
Can he possibly believe that the problems between Israel and the Palestinians is in any way similar to our arguments with Canada? His arguments with Stephen Harper over the Keystone XL must have been far more acrimonious than we knew. Talk about trivializing murder! The Palestinians bring up their children to be terrorists, extolling being a suicide bomber.
Israel’s demands have always been simple. Stop shooting rockets at us, and recognize the Israeli’s right to their own state. Obama added:
[T]he United States remains committed to realizing the vision of two states, which is in the interests of the Palestinian people, and also in the national security interest of Israel, the United States, and the world. We seek an independent, a viable and contiguous Palestinian state as the homeland of the Palestinian people, alongside the Jewish State of Israel — two nations enjoying self-determination, security and peace.
A viable and contiguous Palestinian state? There is no peace process. And the troubles between Israel and the Palestinians is not the reason for conflict in the Middle East. I heard on the radio that some 30 percent of Palestinians would prefer to live in Israel.
The State Department announced that they will unblock $500 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority. Congress froze funding for the Palestinian Authority in the wake of the PA’s attempt to unilaterally declare statehood via the United Nations. Despite President Obama’s request to PA President Mahmoud Abbas not to go to the International Criminal Court to seek sanctions against Israel, Abbas, now in the ninth year of his four-year term, had vowed to do so.
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Israel, Middle East, National Security, Terrorism, The United States | Tags: Obama's Trip to Israel, Palestine Iran and Syria, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu
President Obama is on a trip to Israel, his first as President of the United States. Expectations for the trip have been very low, as Obama’s relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been — difficult, as has been his relation with the Israeli people.
It didn’t start off well, the presidential armored limousine known as “the beast” broke down and had to be hauled away. Only 10 percent of Israelis hold a favorable view of Obama and his foreign policy. Palestinians are even less enthusiastic, and staged demonstrations.
The map of the Middle East displayed in an administration video released just before the trip, showed the Jewish state without the Golan Heights, which were shown as part of Syria, without parts of northern Israel, Jerusalem ans surrounding territory was shown as part of the West Bank. The itinerary at the White House website also implied that Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, was neither the capital nor even part of Israel. So do you believe the nice words, or the unacceptable map?
Obama made a fine speech to the people of Israel, connecting Israel to Biblical history, and correctly described the goal of Zionism as the wish “to be a free people in your homeland,” which is a major improvement. On the other hand, students from Ariel University in the West Bank were excluded from attendance.
When he discussed Iran, he said that “time is not unlimited” for negotiations and flatly said “Iran must not get a nuclear weapon. “This is not a danger that can be contained,” he added.”America will do what we must” to stop Iran. This is as tough as the administration has been. We’ll see if he means it this time, or if it is once again, just words.
Obama came into office with the firm belief that one of his great accomplishments as president would be bringing peace to the Middle East by making peace between Israel and Palestine — the two state solution.
It was an incredibly naive view of the Middle East as his fumbles in Cairo, and his misunderstanding of the so-called “Arab Spring” have proved. Israel has always been open to peace, and ardently desires it, even being willing to trade land for peace in the past. They learned that land is not the problem, the problem is that Palestinians desperately want to destroy Israel, and have no interest whatsoever in peace. Palestinians continued rocket attacks while the president was there, and staged demonstrations against him.
Since Obama has been in office, the Middle East has become a far more dangerous and unstable place. Al Qaeda is on the rise, Hamas continues to fire rockets into Israel, Syria is in a state of civil war, with the use of poison gas rumored, Iranian proxies are advancing regionally and they continue to work, unchecked, on acquiring nuclear weapons. “Israel remains the best and only truly stable ally the United States has in the Middle East.”as Heritage senior research fellow Jim Phillips wrote.
Powerline recalled this video that Andrew Klavan made a while back, which makes the point rather well.