American Elephants

A Debate on Obama’s Potential Nuclear Deal With Iran by The Elephant's Child
May 31, 2015, 6:01 pm
Filed under: Iran | Tags: , ,

Last Tuesday evening, Lauri Regan attended a debate in New York City, sponsored by “Intelligence Squared U.S”.focused on whether or not Obama’s Iran deal is good for the country. For the pro-Obama’s Iran Deal is Good for America, Philip Gordon, a former White House Coordinator for the Middle East, N. Africa and Gulf Region. and Thomas Pickering, a former Under Secretary of State;

Arguing against the Nuclear Deal with Iran were Michael Doran, a Senior fellow with the Hudson Institute and Former Senior Director of the National Security Council and Mark Dubowitz, Executive Director if the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and Director of the Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance. The Debate was moderated by John Donvan.

A podcast is available here.Lauri Regan was surprised to find what a partisan issue this was. The pro side, she said, used lies, straw men, personal attacks and the usual tactics from the hard Left. If you are interested, read Regan’s article first, then listen to the podcast. She found the audience remarkably uninformed, considering the length of time the situation has been in the news. She said her view is that Americans are uninformed about the realities of the deal and what it means, but people were willing to come out and spend two hours listening and learning, but half of them didn’t understand what they heard.

How anyone could leave without understanding that Obama is “putting the whole world in mortal danger for the sake of an imaginary legacy” she did not understand, nor do I.

I heard on the radio a statement that most people now get their news from Facebook. I have no idea if it is true. The New York Times, I have also heard, plans to publish on Facebook. I’ve also heard that many get their news from the late night comedy shows. I think we need some major coursework in high school and colleges on how to find information and establish its reliability. Too many people know far too much that just isn’t so.

Micromanaging the Middle East Isn’t Working. Neither is Appeasement! by The Elephant's Child
May 31, 2015, 5:05 pm
Filed under: Middle East | Tags: , ,

The United States knew that ISIS was planning an offensive strike on Ramadi, the strategic city in Iraq’s Anbar Province. Bloomberg’s Eli Lake reported that the U.S. had significant intelligence about the offensive, even as it was happening. The U.S. watched ISIS fighters, vehicles and heavy equipment gather on the outskirts of Ramadi before the group retook the city in mid May.

Bloomberg quoted Ari Force Lt. General David Deptula (ret,) who planned and executed major operations in Iraq and Afghanistan that restrictive rules of engagement for American pilots was part of the problem.

Pilots flying sorties in Iraq “have to call back and ask, ‘mother may I’ before they can engage,” said the retired general, who was the first deputy chief of staff for the Air Force for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.

“The current rules of engagement are intentionally designed to restrict the effectiveness of air power to prevent potential collateral damage,” he later added. “That results in ISIS getting the freedom of action so they can commit genocide against civilians. Does this make any sense?”

Genieve David, a spokeswoman for U.S. Central Command, acknowledged that the U.S. employs a “dynamic targeting process” in Iraq and Syria, with a focus on limiting civilian casualties and collateral damage.

According to Lt. Gen. Deptula, the restrictive rules of engagement are benefiting the enemy.

Another major setback in the battle for Ramadi was the Iraqi military abandoning their positions, and not having enough weapons and ammunition. As well, U.S Special Operation forces were not authorized to accompany Iraqi troops in battle.

Toby Harnden, Washington Bureau Chief of the Sunday Times, writes of the Mad Max, post Apocalyptic scenes as a “hulking bulldozer emerged through a swirling sandstorm, with a suicide bomber at the wheel and armored plates welded to its chassis, the vehicle crashed through concrete blast barriers surrounding the Iraqi police headquarters.” Then its explosive load was detonated. Waves of fortified dump trucks and souped-up Humvees followed as ISIS fighters fanned out across Ramadi.

There were estimated to be about 30 vehicle-borne suicide bombs that ripped through Ramadi. About 10 of them were estimated to be the size of the Oklahoma City Bomb which killed 168 Americans twenty years ago.

“Senior US military officers and intelligence officials agree that Obama’s counter-ISIS strategy of limited airstrikes, a handful of special forces raids and the small-scale training of Iraqi forces needs to be overhauled.”

President Obama has apparently given up on the Iraqi military because they ran away. If they won’t stand up and fight, Obama won’t support them. It takes a lot of training and good equipment to stand up to 30 suicide bombers driving dump trucks loaded with explosives and ISIS fighters swarming through the city killing everyone on sight. Obama has had major problems before with restrictive rules of engagement that get American troops killed.

It is believed that Obama’s overriding goal in the Middle East is to secure a nuclear deal with Iran so that he can reopen diplomatic relations with Tehran as a major achievement for his legacy. It is such a denial of basic facts that I can barely grasp his aims, and keep referring to Daniel Pipes’ explanation:

As a man of the Left, Obama sees the United States historically as having exerted a malign influence on the outside world. Greedy corporations, an overly powerful military-industrial complex, a yahoo nationalism, engrained racism, and cultural imperialism combined to render America, on balance, a force for evil.

The Obama Doctrine is simple and universal: Warm relations with adversaries and cool them with friends.

Several assumptions underlie this approach: The U.S. government morally must compensate for its prior errors. Smiling at hostile states will inspire them to reciprocate. Using force creates more problems than it solves.

Sorry, I don’t believe that  smiling at Iran will change its aims in any way. When they chant “Death to America,” I believe they not only mean it, but expect to carry it out.

ISIS has captured the ancient city of Palmyra, and has put the 2,000 year old Roman Amphitheater back into use as a site for executions as entertainment .Barbarians.

Freeman Dyson on the Global Warming Hysteria by The Elephant's Child
May 31, 2015, 2:27 pm
Filed under: Global Warming | Tags: , ,

Renowned Princeton physicist Freeman Dyson of the Institute for Advanced Studies is interviewed by Stuart McNish for “Conversations that Matter.”

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