Filed under: Foreign Policy, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, National Security, Terrorism, The United States | Tags: "Fixing The Middle East", "Partners in Peace", No Deal
The State Department has recently released their annual report on terrorism. It reveals that in 2014, Iran continued to provide arms, financing, training and the facilitation of primarily Iraq Shia and Afghan fighters to support the Assad regime’s brutal crackdown. Terrorist attacks have ratcheted up by more than a third. The number of people killed in these terrorist attacks has increased by 80 percent in 2014. Yet President Obama is still hunting for a legacy in an Iran Deal.
So far, we are lifting sanctions, Iran is getting their gold back and their money back, and Boeing has been there with spare parts for the Iranian air force, and we have looked the other way while they got some used airplanes. Obama is looking ahead to getting approval of his deal from Congress. Iran has given up nothing. Nothing at all.
The White House is targeting progressive Jewish groups to put pressure on Congress to get their approval. The liberal fringe group J-Street has received millions from the Ploughshares Fund to increase support within the Jewish group. They are told that the Iran deal has been the president’s chief priority in the Oval Office since day one.
Some have believed that a “good deal,” which would dismantle the clerical regime’s capacity to build nuclear weapons, is possible if Mr. Obama would add to diplomacy a serious threat of more sanctions and the use of force. But the Iranian regime is unlikely to respond to threats, or so we’re told.
The Islamic Republic is a revolutionary Islamic movement. They will never bow to America’s economic coercion. They will never allow Westerners access to their 30 years of planning and development and facilities and secrets.
Obama views his Iranian ‘partners in peace’ as the key to “fixing” the Middle East, by propping up the Shiite theocracy as a regional hegemon that will ruthlessly suppress Sunni extremists like ISIS. It is a fundamental belief of the Obama foreign policy brain trust that Iran says a lot of crazy, incendiary things to please domestic audiences and impress Muslim nations it wants to fold into the new Persian Empire, but deep down, the mullahs are trustworthy statesmen and businessmen.
Toby Harnden at the UK Sunday Times says he’s hearing more of this kind of talk openly from U.S. officials, and the deadline keeps moving and moving.
Both present and former American officials describe Obama as being obsessed with carving his mark on history by restoring diplomatic relations with Iran after decades of animosity and possibly even visiting Tehran next year.
“Obama wants this as the centrepiece of his legacy, and he believes a peaceful Iran could be a bulwark against ISIS in the Middle East and the key to peace there,” said an American diplomat involved in the negotiations, which face a deadline for agreement on Tuesday.
“The ‘plan’ is not really about nukes. Obama and his foreign policy advisers do not think Iran will nuke anyone, ever, no matter when they get The Bomb. The plan is about building up Greater Iran and making a historic diplomatic opening that will have future historians burbling that peace with the new Middle East began the day Obama gave away the store to smirking Iranian negotiators and signed that nuclear deal.”
The Rockefeller Fund has spent millions to make the Iran Deal happen. It’s a loose coalition of peace groups, think tanks and former U.S. diplomats called the Iran Project. CREDO Action is another dark money group that is working with other groups to threaten any Congressional Democrat who objects to a final nuclear deal with Iran, even before the terms of any agreement have been determined. The organization is a member of the Democracy Alliance, the organization of Leftist millionaires and billionaires who run Democrat policy.
Westerners have long made the mistake of assuming that our enemies are, underneath it all, people just like us, who have families and want the best for them and for their country and have similar goals as we do. They are not. They are religious fanatics, tribal, theocratic tyrants who, as they often tell us, value death while we value life. And when they shout “Death to the little Satan,” “Death to the Great Satan,” which is us, they really mean it. One of the big problems for the regime is that the people of Iran hate them.
Well, the emperor has no clothes, but there is nobody to tell him so, or at least nobody that he will listen to. There are no sanctions to be slapped back on, and at the UN, Russia and China wouldn’t go along anyway.
Iran will not sign a deal, according to Michael Ledeen, who seems to have someone fairly high up in the regime on his speed dial. The Ayatollah Khomeinei has forbidden it. So they will have a ‘framework’ or something of the kind, and continue to talk. Nobody, at least on our side, will walk away. Will they keep talking? Will anyone think Obama has a triumph for his legacy?
The Iranians are reportedly close to having a nuclear weapon, if they don’t have one already. Their military manuals have records of our vulnerability to an EMP attack. Obama proposes to cut the active duty military by 40,000 as the threats to America increase. What could possibly go wrong?
Filed under: Iraq, Military, National Security, Terrorism, The United States | Tags: "Violent Extremism", Discrediting Their Ideology, Rules of Engagement
President Obama dropped by the Pentagon today, for a rare visit for the first time since October 2014. Military leaders including Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and General Martin Dempsey provided an update on the campaign against ISIS. Obama spoke to reporters from prepared notes (n0 teleprompter). He said coalition operations have scored successes in Iraq and Syria, but the battle against “the extremist group” promises to be a “generational” one.
Obama stressed “we’ll constantly reaffirm through words and deeds that we will never be at war with Islam while fighting terrorists who distort Islam and whose victims are mostly Muslims.”
We’re going to work day and night with allies and partners to disrupt terrorist networks and thwart attacks and to smother nascent ISIL cells that may be trying to develop in other parts of the world. This also includes remaining vigilant in protecting against attacks here in the homeland,” the president said. “Now I think it’s important for us to recognize the threat of violent extremism is not restricted to any one community. Here in the United States, we have seen all kinds of home-grown terrorism and tragically recent history reminds us how even a single individual motivated by a hateful ideology with access to dangerous weapons can inflict horrendous harm on Americans.”
He mentioned the attack in Garland,Texas, and added:”And because of our success over the years in improving our homeland security, we’ve made it harder for terrorists to carry out large-scale attacks like 9/11 here at home. But the threat of lone wolves or small cells of terrorists is complex. It’s harder to detect and harder to prevent. It’s one of the most different challenges that we face.”…”The good news is that, because of extraordinary efforts from law enforcement as well as our military intelligence we are doing a better job at preventing any large scale attacks on the homeland.” Apparently he was worried about the warnings of threats over the Fourth of July weekend.
He said the broader “twisted” ideology behind ISIS and al-Qaeda must be “discredited” and “ideologies are not defeated with guns they’re defeated by better ideas, more attractive and more compelling vision.”
Tell Adolph Hitler and his crew that ‘ideologies are not defeated with guns,’ or tell the militarists in Japan. The “twisted” ideology of ISIS is opposed to modernity and everything it represents. They intend to return to the pure Islam of the Prophet, and eliminate everyone and everything that stands in the way. Obama wants to bomb oil and gas facilities that fund their operations, “We’re going after the ISIS leadership and infrastructure in Syria, the heart of ISIS that pumps funds and propaganda to people around the world.”
Although they knew the seven buildings in downtown Raqqa in eastern Syria as the main headquarters of the Islamic State, the buildings have gone untouched during the 10-month allied air campaign. When convoys of heavily armed ISIS fighters paraded through the streets of the provincial capital of Ramadi after they forced Iraqi troops to flee, they rolled on unscathed by coalition fighter-bombers. Most bombing runs, it is reported, return with their bombs still aboard. because of the rules of engagement.
American and allied warplanes are equipped with the most precise aerial arsenal ever fielded. But American officials say they are not striking significant, and obvious, Islamic State targets out of fear that the attacks will accidentally kill civilians. Killing such innocents could hand the militants a major propaganda coup and alienate the local Sunni tribesmen, whose support is critical to ousting the militants, and Sunni Arab countries that are part of the fragile American-led coalition.
Obama will not risk harming any civilians. Drones are fine, though there is sometimes”collateral damage.” Strange way to run a war. Really strange.
Filed under: History, Iraq, Military, National Security | Tags: Democrat Corruption, Propaganda Campaign, The Left, War in Iraq
I usually have the radio on in the daytime, because I can listen and get other stuff done. This morning I was startled by a caller who said: “I’m 22, and the people my age would never vote for a Bush because of the stigma attached to his name.” He added something to the effect that he didn’t dislike President Bush personally, it was the stigma. Stigma.
Liberals were as shocked and horrified as everyone else at the events on 9/11, the first attack on America since Pearl Harbor. The 1998 Iraq Liberation Act, (before 9/11) under Clinton, calling for regime change in Iraq, and supporting a transition to democracy passed the House 360-38 and unanimously in the Senate. Under the Bush administration, and after 9/11, there was a 1991 Resolution for the Use of Military Force against Iraq which passed the Democrat-controlled Senate 52-47 and the House 250-183. That was followed by the 1992 Iraq War Resolution that authorized military force against Iraq which also passed Congress with significant margins.
The invasion of Iraq began on March 20, 2003, Baghdad fell on April 10, Coalition forces moved into Baghdad ending the 24 year reign of Saddam Hussein. On May 1, President George W. Bush declared major combat operations in Iraq over.
That month the Democratic Party launched a national campaign against America’s commander in chief, claiming that he had lied to the American people to lure them into a war that was “unnecessary,” “immoral, and “illegal.”
Until that moment, the conflict in Iraq had been supported by both parties and was regarded by both as a strategic necessity in the war launched by Islamic terrorists on 9/11. Saddam Hussein had launched two aggressive wars in the Middle East, murdered three hundred thousand Iraqis, used chemical weapons on his own citizens, and put in place a nuclear weapons program, thwarted only by his defeat in the 1991 Gulf War. Over the next decade, his regime defied sixteen United Nations Security Council resolutions attempting to enforce the Gulf War truce and stop him from pursuing weapons of mass destruction. In September 2002, the Security Council added a seventeenth resolution, which gave Saddam until December 7 to comply with its terms or face consequences. When Iraq failed to comply, Bush made the only decision compatible with the preservation of international law and the security of the United States by launching a preemptive invasion to remover the regime. Two days prior to the invasion, the Iraqi dictator was given the option of leaving the country and averting the war.
In June 2003, just three months after the fighting began, the Democrats turned against the war and launched a five-year campaign to delegitimize it, casting America and its Republican leaders as the villains. This betrayal of the nation and its troops on the battlefield was unprecedented. Major press institutions following the Democrats’ lead conducted a propaganda campaign against the war, blowing up minor incidents like the misbehavior of guards at the Abu Ghraib prison to international scandals, which damaged America’s prestige and weakened its morale. The New York Times and the Washington Post leaked classified documents, destroying three major national security programs designed to protect Americans from terrorist attack. Every day of the war, there was front-page coverage of America’s body counts in Iraq and Afghanistan designed to sap America’s will to fight. (David Horowitz: Take No Prisoners)
There’s your “stigma.”
Did you read the newspaper accounts of the doubling of the death toll in the war in Afghanistan under Barack Obama? Thought not. “Bush lied, People died,” was the chant. Propaganda designed to discredit the American president, who they were still furious with for defeating Al Gore, illegally, they were sure. A five year long propaganda campaign to be sure Bush got no credit. The ends justify whatever means you have to use. Americans are inclined to like Presidents who win wars. Can’t have that. Remember Bill Clinton complaining because he didn’t get to be a wartime president?
Filed under: Iraq, National Security, The United States | Tags: Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Iraq
Two days after admitting that he did not yet have “a complete strategy” for dealing with the ISIS terrorists estimated as an army of 30,000, President Obama has dispatched another 450 U.S. advisers to train Iraqis troops to do the fighting. It appears that trainers will outnumber trainees. There will be a total of 3,500 American trainers, about 950 more than Iraqi troops.
Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser, said the modest troop increase came as a result of “a very regular process of evaluation” not from any perceived public pressure to do something, after a long string of ISIS advances.
We are told by military sources that what is needed are Special Forces to provide intelligence and spotters to direct American aircraft. The lack of on-the-ground information and a restrained target approval process related to White House rules of engagement, 75% of all allied air attacks now return without dropping their ordnance.
Seventeen months ago Obama described ISIS as a JV team. Ten months ago he said he had no strategy. After the hideous beheading of an American, Obama announced the current ‘strategy’ of no combat forces, bombings or troop training. You have to remember that he told military academy graduates that global warming, not terrorism, was the most serious threat to America. Here’s the history, do watch till the end (Funniest mashup ever!)
Israel Hayom caught up with former President George W. Bush for an exclusive interview — on Friday. He said “There is only one thing that I really miss about being president, and that’s being the commander-in-chief. I admire our military a lot,” he told Israel Hayom, his eyes twinkling. “When you are the commander-in-chief at a time when I was, when you put them into a lot of combat situations, you develop a special bond, not only with the military but with their families.”
The war snuck up on then-President Bush with the al-Qaida attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. In his book he says that the week of the attacks was the key to understanding his entire presidency. He writes that he poured his heart and soul into defending the country, “by any means necessary.”
To us he says that no one prepared him for becoming a “two-war president” but reality supplied him with a lot of challenges in the White House. He says he had to make very difficult decisions — sending boys to defend the homeland with the knowledge that not all of them would return.
President Bush was asked “Is the war on terror currently being waged in the proper way? He responded:
“I made a decision, as you know, not to criticize my successors, with an s. I am going to be around a little bit longer — there is going to be more than one successor. The temptation is to try to rewrite history or to make yourself look good by criticizing someone else. I think that is a mistake. I don’t think that is what leadership is all about. I know how hard the job is. I didn’t like it when former leaders criticized me when I was president. Some did, so I decided not to do the same.”
Q: You mentioned ISIS, you spoke about defeating terror. Is it possible to defeat ISIS in Syria and Iraq without boots on the ground?
“The president will have to make that determination. My position was that you need to have boots on the ground. As you know, I made a very difficult decision. A fair number of people in our country were saying that it was impossible to defeat al-Qaida — which is ISIS as far as I am concerned. They said I must get out of Iraq. But I chose the opposite — I sent 30,000 more troops as opposed to 30,000 fewer. I think history will show that al-Qaida in Iraq was defeated. And so I chose the path of boots on the ground. We will see whether or not our government adjusts to the realities on the ground.”
This has already translated into the idea that Mr. Bush said we needed boots on the ground. He said that was up to the president. When it was his job to decide his position was that you needed boots on the ground.
It is a long and very interesting interview, do read the whole thing. He steadfastly resisted any comments or criticism of his successor, but talked about what he himself did and why. He said:
In my post-presidency I have written a book, and that has helped a lot. I wrote another book. It is brand new. It is about an extraordinary man — my father. It will be a very historical document because never has a son of a president written about the president. So the paintings are along these lines.
“I read Winston Churchill’s essay ‘Painting as a Pastime,’ and it is a really interesting essay. I started looking at Churchill’s paintings and I said ‘wow, I can do this.’
There is so much in the interview that is charmingly Bush, that I wanted to include it all. You will have to read it for yourself.
Filed under: Iran, Iraq | Tags: Iraq, ISIS, Wanton Destruction, World Heritage Sites
The Assyrians rose around 2,500 B.C. and at one time their realm stretched from the Mediterranean coast to present day Iran. They left behind palaces and temples decorated with huge reliefs depicting their king’s military campaigns and conquests and his great hunting prowess, killing lions and other dangerous animals. The city of Nimrud was founded in the 13th century B.C.during the reign of King Ashurnasirpal II, and served as the second capital of the Assyrian empire. Another capital was Ninevah. These colossal winged man-headed lions or bulls were protective deities put at the entrances of palaces and temples weighing about 10–30 tons each.
ISIS is raging throughout Iraq and Syria, attempting to obliterate history..The ancient city of Nimrud is across the Euphrates from Mosul —or was. After looting anything movable for sale, they attacked the city with sledgehammers, drills, saws, barrel bombs and bulldozers to destroy the 4,000 year-old treasures. Now it is just rubble.K.T. MacFarland, national security adviser for Fox said “it’s like brainwashing. They want to eliminate the past, remove all signs of idolatry and spread monotheism.” “There is no past, there is only us.” “God has honored us in the Islamic State to remove all of these idols and statutes worshiped instead of Allah in the past days.”
They destroy museums, and break up priceless artifacts. They destroyed the Mosul Library and burned thousands of its rare books and manuscripts. UNESCO called the burning of books and manuscripts “one of the most devastating acts of destruction of library collections in human history.”
the Washington Examiner lists the destruction, with an ISIS video bragging of their destruction and listing the other historical sites lost to the world because of ISIS wanton destruction, which seems remarkably pointless. The Crac des Chevaliers, an 11th Century Crusader castle, the Saint Simeon Church in Aleppo and the Aleppo Citadel. Jonah’s tomb, 173 priceless artifacts with statues from Hasra in the Mosul Museum. The Mosul Library, The ancient city of Nimrud, the Khorsabad Palace built between 717 and 706 B.C. and Hasra, a circular fortified city with double walls that became the capital of an early Arab kingdom.
It was reported that ISIS had taken Palmyra, in Syria (above) but a later post says they have been forced out and Palmyra is safe.
Some of the finest artifacts reside in Western museums. Everybody has criticized the British archeologists who snapped up so many treasures for depriving other nations of their heritage. Nobody really expected barbarians.
Filed under: Iran, Iraq | Tags: Barack Obama, Iran's Nukes, Middle East, Mistakes
Over at the Middle East Forum, Daniel Pipes has a go at “Decoding the Obama Doctrine” — or, as we all are wondering — Why is Obama doing that? Mr. Pipes begins with Barack Obama’s former ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to Iraq, who had this to say about the administration’s current record in the Middle East.
………………………………..“We’re in goddamn free fall.”
Count the mistakes: Helping overthrow Muammar Qaddafi in Libya, leading to anarchy and civil war. Pressuring Husni Mubarak of Egypt to resign, then backing the Muslim Brotherhood, leading now-president Sisi to turn toward Moscow. Alienating Washington’s most stalwart ally in the region, the Government of Israel. Dismissing ISIS as “junior varsity” just before it seized major cities. Hailing Yemen as a counterterrorism success just before its government was overthrown. Alarming the Saudi authorities to the point that they put together a military alliance against Iran. Coddling Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey, encouraging his dictatorial tendencies. Leaving Iraq and Afghanistan prematurely, dooming the vast American investment in those two countries.
And, most of all: Making dangerously flawed deals with the nuclear-ambitious mullahs of Iran.
But there also is a grand idea and it calls for explanation. As a man of the left, Obama sees the United States historically 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. Historic U.S. allies, partners, and helpers are morally inferior accessories. In the Middle East, this means reaching out to revisionists (Erdoğan, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic Republic of Iran) and pushing away cooperative governments (Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia).
There’s more. Do read the whole thing. Hard to understand how anyone could think this way, but there you are.