Filed under: Afghanistan, Democrat Corruption, Foreign Policy, Immigration, Intelligence, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Israel, Law, Media Bias, Middle East, Military, National Security, Politics, Progressivism, Statism, Syria, Terrorism, The United States | Tags: Iran's Intentions, Radical Islam, The Middle East
Why does Barack Obama refuse to utter the words “Radical Islam?” Why does the phrase in the First Amendment “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” which has a clear meaning, seem to prohibit our federal agencies from doing necessary background inquiries regarding those who appear to be radicalized Muslims? Major Nidal Hassan who fatally shot 13 people at Fort Hood and wounded more than 30 others was clearly observed to be radicalized and dangerous, but nobody would do anything about it because he was Muslim.
Omar Mateen was allowed to avoid serious investigation because he was a Muslim. He blamed his actions on Islamophobia. He talked a lot about how he wanted to kill people. Disney reported that Mateen and his wife were casing Disney World back in April. But real investigation stopped because he was a Muslim.
After the deadliest mass shooting in American history. President Obama was angry, impassioned — at Republicans? Huh? David Harsanyi notes the occasion at NRO: (Do read the whole thing)
“That’s the key,” they tell us,” Obama said, eviscerating the GOP. “We can’t beat ISIL unless we call them radical Islamists. What exactly would using this label accomplish? What exactly would it change?
Victor Davis Hanson wrote about Orlando and “domestic terrorism:”
Most disturbing is the serial inability of the Obama administration — in this case as after the attacks at Fort Hood and in Boston and San Bernardino — even to name the culprits as radical Islamists. Major Hasan shouts “Allahu akbar!” and Omar Mateen calls 911 in mediis interfectis to boast of his ISIS affiliation — and yet the administration can still not utter the name of the catalyst of their attacks: radical Islam. It is hard to envision any clearer Islamist self-identification, other than name tags and uniforms. The Obama team seems to fear the unwelcome public responses to these repeated terrorist operations rather than seeing them as requisites for changing policies to prevent their recurrence.
The current Leftist seems to be consumed by the belief that Michelle Obama derived from her husband. “All of us are driven by a simple belief that the world as it is just won’t do — that we have an obligation to fight for the world as it should be,” which seems to be derived from Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. They dream of an imagined world that is self-evidently superior to the existing order. Their world is consumed with the glorious future of which they dream and the current battle against the Right.
That leaves little time for reflection or study, so they rely heavily on leftist talking points that are handed down to the press and to Democratic spokesmen. That’s why there are always examples of the entire Democrat apparatus speaking of the same event in exactly the same words. Talking points. And they seem remarkably ill-informed.
Obama clearly was influenced by the years he spent in Muslim Indonesia before he was 10 years old, but there is no evidence that he is Muslim. Many of us believe that his much ballyhooed “Iran Deal” is an absolute disaster and a major danger to the United States, yet the president sees it as a great accomplishment. Why?
I believe he sees the Middle East in a domestic battle between Sunni and Shia for dominance, which we ignited — with the Invasion of Iraq — and made worse with our brutal treatment of the Iraqis, killing Muslims and destroying property. Obama’s closest advisor is Valerie Jarrett who was raised in Iran.
He regards Arab Muslims with their wealth and palaces and yachts as the problem, and the enlightened and educated Persians as a better class to control the Middle East. He believes we should turn the entire area over to the Iranians to manage. He thinks we have no business in the Middle East at all, and believes America should play a smaller role in the world, as just one among many nations. He sees the cries of the Ayatollah for “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” as some sort of rallying cry or public relations, but not anything that is meant seriously. He said, when he was trying to sell his Iran Deal to Americans, that he did not believe that Iran would ever use a nuclear weapon.
Obama, we are told, does not change his mind. Once he believes something, it is set in concrete. He was heavily influenced by Rashid Khalidi, a Palestinian-American firebrand professor of Middle East studies at Columbia, and I assume Obama believes that Israel is the major problem in the Middle East. Obama’s great accomplishment was to create a “two-state solution”, and he is furious that he hasn’t been able to bring it about. Palestinians aren’t ready to stop trying to kill Israelis with rockets and stabbings and tunnels to attack Israelis in their homes, which is somewhat inclined to give the Israelis a jaundiced view of the fabled “Peace Process.”
I have no expertise in the Middle East, never been there, this is only what I have derived from my reading, but I do read a lot. When an enemy leads chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel,”and hangs citizens of his own country who disagree with him, I’m inclined to believe him. When they demand the ability to build nuclear plants that are clearly not needed to produce power, and everybody says they are developing nuclear weapons, I’m inclined to believe them. When they are pursing intercontinental ballistic missiles that could carry a nuclear weapon, I’m a more than a little skeptical about Mr. Obama’s Iran Deal. That’s why he won’t say “Radical Islam.”
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Foreign Policy, History, Intelligence, Iran, Islam, Military, National Security, The United States | Tags: Everything Is Political, Poisonously Partisan, The Middle East
Still desperately searching for a legacy, Obama has pledged to veto a defense bill unless Congress lifts its spending caps and increases non-defense spending allowing the transfer of terrorists from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. Presumably, Mr. Obama intends to return a vacated Guantanamo to Cuba.
I am endlessly fascinated by the extent to which Democrats believe their own propaganda. Democrats were as shocked and frightened as everybody else when the World Trade Center towers were attacked by suicide pilots in captured airliners on 9/11.
Three months into the War on Iraq, President Bush declared the combat phase of the war over, and “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.”¹
Until then, the conflict in Iraq had been supported by both parties and was regarded by both as a strategic necessity in the war begun by Islamic terrorists. Saddam Hussein had launched two aggressive wars in the Middle East, murdered over 300 thousand of his own people, used chemical weapons on Iraqi citizens, and started a nuclear weapons program that was only halted by his defeat in the Gulf War. Over the next ten years, he had defied 16 UN resolutions attempting to enforce the Gulf War truce. In September 2002, the Security Council issued another resolution that gave Saddam until December 7 to comply with the terms or face the consequences. He did not comply. Bush made the only decision possible and launched a preemptive invasion to remove the regime. Two days before the invasion Saddam was given the option of leaving the country and avoiding the war.
Removing Saddam Hussein had been official American policy since October 1998, when Bill Clinton, a Democratic president signed the Iraq Liberation Act. The decision to use force in Iraq was supported by both houses of Congress including a majority of Democrats in the Senate. In June 2003, just 3 months into the war, Democrats made a political decision to turn against the war and launched a five year campaign to delegitimize the war and portray the President and the Republican Party as the villains. The betrayal of the nation and its troops was unprecedented in our nation’s history. The compliant press signed on, with front page coverage of body counts, blowing up minor incidents like the misbehavior of low level guards at Abu Ghraib into a massive war crime. The New York Times and the Washington Post leaked classified documents which destroyed 3 major national security programs designed to protect Americans for terrorist attacks, and launched an anti-war movement.²
Even before the 2008 election, the man who would become the nation’s Attorney General told an audience during the campaign that the Bush administration had permitted abuses in fighting terrorism. He said there would have to be a “reckoning.” ³
In 2006, then Senator Barack Obama led a Democrat effort to defeat a debt ceiling increase. “Raising America’s debt limit,” he said at the time, “is a sign of leadership failure.” If Mr. Obama wants standing now to lecture on the subject, he might acknowledge that he made a grave error then.
Mr. Obama’s goal in his remaining time in office seems to be enlarging the federal government with a massive spending spree. It’s clear that he won’t attempt to rectify the enormous errors he has forced on the American people. And ISIS is shopping for a nuke. Why would we want a defense bill?
Filed under: Iran, Islam, National Security, The United States | Tags: Islamists and Muslims, The Iran Deal, The Middle East
Daniel Pipes is President of the Middle East Forum, and one of the 100 most important living Harvard graduates. His father, Richard Pipes, is an eminent Russian historian and author of one of my most prized books: Property and Freedom, which If I had any doubt, which I didn’t, settled the private property question for once and for all.
Daniel Pipes gave a talk at the David Horowitz Freedom Center;s Texas retreat last month in Dallas, a video of which Scott Johnson posted at Powerline. It is worth your time and attention, Mr. Pipes is brilliant, knowledgeable and deeply interesting.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Foreign Policy, Intelligence, Iran, Middle East, National Security, Politics, Progressivism, Terrorism, The United States | Tags: The Middle East, The Nuclear Talks, Yemen
Why Yemen Matters: Daniel Pipes, Washington Times 3/28/15
Last Thursday, the Middle East Kingdom of Saudi Arabia led a 10-country coalition to intervene in the air and on the ground in the country of Yemen. And they didn’t bother to tell the White House what they were doing because they don’t trust them. Saudi and Egypt have been active in a Yemen war before, but on opposite sides. It is striking that they should join forces, not against Israel, but against Iran.
Uncertain of Obama, Arab States Gear Up for War: David Schenker and Gilad Wenig, Wall Street Journal, 3/29/15
“Few organizations boast a reputation of dysfunction comparable to the Arab League’s. Over seven decades the Arab League has distinguished itself through infighting and fecklessness. But now, with the Obama administration seen as missing in action in the Middle East, the alliance of 22 countries is undergoing a renaissance. Over the weekend, the Arab League met in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, and endorsed the creation of an intervention force to fight terrorism in the Middle East.
Regional backing for the force came days after a mostly Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia launched airstrikes targeting the Iran-backed, nominally Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen, who last week sacked the provisional capital of Aden and drove Yemen President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi into exile.”
Obama Admin Threatens U. S. Allies for Disagreeing with Iran Nuke Deal: Adam Kredo, Free Beacon, 3/27/15
“LAUSANNE, Switzerland—Efforts by the Obama administration to stem criticism of its diplomacy with Iran have included threats to nations involved in the talks, including U.S. allies, according to Western sources familiar with White House efforts to quell fears it will permit Iran to retain aspects of its nuclear weapons program.
A series of conversations between top American and French officials, including between President Obama and French President Francois Hollande, have seen Americans engage in behavior described as bullying by sources who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon.”
Richard Engel: Military Officials Say Allies No Longer Trust Us, Fear Intel Might Leak to Iran: Daniel Bassali, Free Beacon, 3/27/15
“Saudi Arabia and other countries simply don’t trust the United States any more, don’t trust this administration, think the administration is working to befriend Iran to try to make a deal in Switzerland, and therefore didn’t feel the intelligence frankly would be secure. And I think that’s a situation that is quite troubling for U.S. foreign policy,” Engel said.
Obama’s Latest Concession Guts What’s Left of the Iran Nuclear Deal: Jonathan Tobin, Contentions 3/26/15
“The Iranians were holding their ground on yet another key point in the negotiations and, to no one’s surprise, the Obama administration is preparing to give in to them again. This time the issue is Iran’s refusal to open its facilities up to International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors eager to see how much progress they’ve made on military research for the nuclear program. But instead of threatening to walk away from a process that appears on track to ending sanctions on the Islamist regime over this key point, the administration is preparing to amend the current draft of the deal to allow the Iranians several years’ leeway before they’d be required to give a full reckoning about how close they are to a bomb. What this amounts to is the West waving the white flag on effective verification of Iran’s nuclear activities. And that means that not only will Iran be able to cheat their way to a bomb, but they may very well get there even while observing the agreement that is expected to be finalized by the end of the month.”
Free Fall in the Middle East: Walter Russell Mead, The American Interest, 3/27/15
“But as President Ahab glances around his deck, few of his shipmates are manning their posts—in fact, most seem to be scrambling for the lifeboats. Oh well, there’s always that trusty tar, Unnamed State Department Official, to rely on for a friendly quote in Politico:
“There’s a sense that the only view worth having on the Middle East is the long view. […] We’ve painfully seen that good can turn to bad and bad can turn to good in an instant, which might be a sobriety worth holding on to at moments like this. The truth is, you can dwell on Yemen, or you can recognize that we’re one agreement away from a game-changing, legacy-setting nuclear accord on Iran that tackles what every one agrees is the biggest threat to the region.”…
James Jeffrey, Obama’s former Ambassador to Iraq, cuts through the commentary on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East with a certain pithiness:”
“We’re in a goddamn free fall here.”
Filed under: Humor, Islam, Middle East, Politics | Tags: Dysfunction, Jordanian Television, The Middle East
And neither one is armed.
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Middle East, National Security, The United States | Tags: Middle East History, The Middle East, U.S. Foreign Policy
Secretary of State John Kerry spoke at the 2013 World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa held in Jordan. He unveiled a plan to boost the Palestinian economy. The plan is based on $4 Billion in new funding and seems to carry the endorsement of many foreign leaders. The idea is that we can buy peace in the Middle East. Good Luck with that.
The idea is to mobilize some $4 billion of investment. A team of experts — private citizens, donating their time — are analyzing the opportunities in tourism construction,m light manufacturing, building materials, energy, agriculture, and information and communications technology. The group will make recommendations to the Palestinians. They’re not going to decide anything. The Palestinians will decide that in their normal course of governance, But they will analyze and make recommendations on a set of choices that can dramatically lift the economy.
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair and the folks working with him believe that we can lift the Palestinian GDP by as much as 50 percent over three years. They foresee enough new jobs to cut unemployment by nearly two-thirds — to 8% down from 21% today and increase the median annual wage by as much as 40 %. Prime Minister Blair has always been an optimist. But the Obama administration is determined that the “Peace Process” will work. Obama does not change his mind.
“Secretary of State John Kerry says that it’s now or never for Israelis and Palestinians to reach agreement on a two-state solution. Interestingly, neither Israeli nor Palestinian officials have any idea what Kerry is talking about.” That’s Lee Smith writing at Tablet magazine. A few recent headlines while we were paying attention to other things:
“Assad on the March” Wall Street Journal
“Count Me Out on Syria” Victor Davis Hanson
John Kerry, as the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was the man known to have Bashar Assad on his speed dial. Perhaps he’s been doing some re-thinking since Assad has used nerve gas on his people, and turned into a monster. You probably won’t want to read all of those links, but the headlines give you a sense of the state of things.
Here’s another: “Obama’s Iraq Surrender,” Front Page Magazine, May 31.
But a far bigger part of the picture is the accelerating destabilization of Iraq. The breakdown of Iraq, with its far-reaching regional ramifications, is attributable in no small part to President Obama’s abandonment of the U.S.’s mission in the country, a betrayal committed in total defiance of the military establishment’s recommendations, which squandered the hard-won victory handed down by President Bush. As predicted, our precipitous withdrawal has left the once pacified nation riven with sectarian strife, primarily among Sunni and Shia Muslims and the Kurds. As the region descends, the consequences of Obama’s folly are only becoming more obvious: a nation that once stood a chance at being a source of stability in the region is instead rapidly becoming its maelstrom.
Whether or not you agree with that paragraph, the article continues with a clear description of the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire in 1916, and the secret agreement between Sir Mark Sykes of Britain and George Picot of France, with Russia’s approval to create Middle East spheres of influence for France and Great Britain following their victory in WWI. The borders created to satisfy European sensibilities largely ignored the realities of historic ethnic, tribal and sectarian divisions which were exacerbated by the rise of dictators, tyrants and Arab monarchs who maintained power after the French and British withdrew in the middle of the last century.
It’s a good summary of the background of the Middle East, and useful for those of us who struggle to understand what’s going on, the actions of our own government, and what we think about it.
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Israel, Middle East, National Security, The United States | Tags: Strategy and Intent, The Middle East, U.S.-Israel Military Exercise
Every time I think I’m getting a grip on what is going on in the Middle East, I find that is not the case. Reader Spartan noted that Debka File had said there were U.S troops in Israel in readiness for a military engagement with Iran, categorized as the biggest joint US-Israel war game ever held. I demurred as I have read that Debka File is not a reliable source. So, Spartan, mea culpa.
Iran had some more excitement in which a drive-by motorcyclist slapped a ‘sticky bomb’ on the car carrying one of Iran’s nuclear scientists. Motorcyclist escaped, car blew up, one less Iranian nuclear scientist, and Hillary
Chamberlain Clinton rushed for the closest microphone to insist we had nothing whatsoever to do with THAT. Americans just don’t do that sort of thing.
Iran’s foreign ministry boldly proclaimed that it has:
reliable documents and evidence that this terrorist act was planned, guided and supported by the CIA. The documents clearly show that this terrorist act was carried out with the direct involvement of CIA-linked agents.
Other complications: Obama had finally grasped that Nigeria’s labor strike against oil producers, the war against the Canadian pipeline and topping that off with an embargo on Iranian oil, would probably boost the price of gas over $5 a gallon and boost reelection chances to zero. So last Thursday the U.S. postponed any oil embargo for 6 months or so, though European governments were not quite so craven. They are expected to agree to a ban on imports of Iranian oil on Jan. 23.
A joint U.S.– Israel military exercise that is to be the biggest ever between the two countries has been postponed, Israel Radio reported. Israeli Defense Ministry spokesman Josh Hantman said in a phone interview that the exercise was still under discussion and declined to give further details.
The exercise was moved to the second half of 2012 for “a variety of factors” to promote “optimum participation by all units,” said Captain John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman. “We remain dedicated to his exercise and naturally want it to be as robust and as productive as it can be,” he said in an email.
U.S. sanctions imposed last year were to cut off oil dealings with Iran’s banking system, making it difficult for consumers to buy the country’s oil. Iran responded by threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz, the route for about a fifth of globally traded oil, if sanctions are imposed.
Israeli Vice Premier Moshe Yaalon told Israel Radio that while Congress had shown itself determined to place tougher sanctions on Iran’s nuclear program, the Obama administration “appears more hesitant out of fear that oil prices might rise.”
Russia is parking its warships in Syrian harbors, while they pursue bilateral trade, supply ammunition to the locals, and replacing the dollar with the rial and ruble in trade.
I guess if we can just be persuaded to wait until after the election, then Obama will be firm and deal promptly with these nasty little foreign policy glitches. It’s not exactly “appeasement,” it’s just, um, that “we take no options off the table,” according to press secretary Jay Carney. “But we are engaged in the kinds of diplomatic efforts that you would expect in a situation like this.” Carney is getting good at empty words that convey nothing, nothing at all.
The U.S.will not enforce a no-fly zone over Syria. Israel says US-Israel exercise postponed for “Budget Reasons.”Army General Martin Dempsey is making his first visit to Israel as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but “he is not delivering any specific message to the Israelis.” A White House spokesman, Tommy Vietor, declined to elaborate on Obama’s January 12 call with Netanyahu.
So there you go. All perfectly clear. ––