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Obama Tells American Legion U.S. Leads with ‘Strength and Confidence and Wisdom’

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

President Obama lauded the U.S. for being a leading force for peace and security in the world while assuring that pulling out of Afghanistan wouldn’t let the country become a haven for terrorists.

Obama told the American Legion convention that “the United States is better positioned to lead in the 21st century than any nation on Earth.”

“It’s not even close. We have the most powerful military in history. That’s certainly not close. From Europe to Asia, our alliances are unrivaled. Our economy is the most dynamic. We’ve got the best workers. We’ve got the best businesses. We have the best universities and the best scientists,” he said.

“…Nobody else can do what we do. No other nation does more to underwrite the security and prosperity on which the world depends. In times of crisis, no other nation can rally such broad coalitions to stand up for international norms and peace. In times of disaster, no other nation has the capabilities to deliver so much so quickly. No nation does more to help citizens claim their rights and build their democracies. No nation does more to help people in the far corners of the Earth escape poverty and hunger and disease and realize their dignity.”

The president continued by noting “even countries that criticize us, when the chips are down and they need help, they know who to call.”

“They call us. That’s what American leadership looks like. It’s why the United States is and will remain the one indispensable nation in the world,” he said. “Now, sustaining our leadership, keeping America strong and secure means we have to use our power wisely. History teaches us of the dangers of overreaching and spreading ourselves too thin and trying to go it alone without international support or rushing into military adventures without thinking through the consequences.”

“And nobody knows this better than our veterans and our families, our veteran families because you’re the ones who bear the wages of war. You’re the ones who carry the scars. You know that we should never send American sons and daughters into harm’s way unless it is absolutely necessary and we have a plan and we are resourcing it and prepared to see it through.”

He added the U.S. “has to lead with strength and confidence and wisdom.”

“And that’s why after incredible sacrifice by so many of our men and women in uniform, we removed more than 140,000 troops from Iraq and welcomed those troops home. It was the right thing to do,” Obama said.

He praised his administration’s drive against “al-Qaeda’s leadership in the tribal regions in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” and stressed that the war would be coming to a close for the U.S. in four months with the pullout from Afghanistan.

“And now, as Afghans continue to work towards the first democratic transfer of power in their history, Afghan leaders need to make the hard compromises that are necessary to give the Afghan people a future of security and progress. And as we go forward, we’ll continue to partner with Afghans so their country can never again be used to launch attacks against the United States.”

He waited for applause after this line; he got a smattering of claps after the pause.

Obama said he’s “always made clear” that “the blows we’ve struck against al-Qaeda’s leadership don’t mean the end to the terrorist threat.”

“Al-Qaeda affiliates still target our homeland. We’ve seen that in Yemen. Other extremists threaten our citizens abroad, as we’ve seen most recently in Iraq and Syria. As commander in chief, the security of the American people is my highest priority, and that’s why, with the brutal terrorist group ISIL advancing in Iraq, I have authorized targeted strikes to protect our diplomats and military advisers who are there,” he continued.

“And let me say it again, American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq. We’ll not allow the United States to be dragged back into another ground war in Iraq. Because ultimately, it is up to the Iraqis to bridge their differences and secure themselves.”

The president referenced the parents of American journalist James Foley, stressing prayers were with them.

“But our message to anyone who harms our people is simple: America does not forget our reach is long. We are patient. Justice will be done. We have proved time and time again we will do what’s necessary to capture those who harm Americans to go after those who harm Americans. And we’ll continue to take direct action where needed to protect our people and to defend our homeland. And rooting out a cancer like ISIL won’t be easy, and it won’t be quick,” Obama said.

“But tyrants and murderers before them should recognize that kind of hateful vision ultimately is no match for the strength and hopes of people who stand together for the security and dignity and freedom that is the birthright of every human being.”

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Obama is Just Now Getting Around to Authorizing Drone Flights Over Syria

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Always late to the party, except when it’s an actual party.

The U.S. has started flying surveillance drones over Syria after President Obama authorized the missions, two senior Defense officials told Fox News, in a move that could pave the way for eventual airstrikes against Islamic State targets in the country.

A decision still has not been made, at least publicly, to launch airstrikes in Syria. But the Obama administration would likely need additional intelligence on possible targets should the president take that step.

Sources told Fox News that Obama approved surveillance missions in Syria for the first time over the weekend; they have since begun.

Why is Obama just now doing this? Or, why is he publicizing that he is just now doing this? He is letting the PR get ahead of strategy, supposing that there is a strategy. The world doesn’t need to know when the US is conducting drone flights over ISIS and when it isn’t. But a president with flagging poll numbers who is even taking golf grief from Maureen Dowd needs to look like he’s working on something other than his tee shot.

The ISIS crisis is headed to a bizarre probability — that the United States will end up conducting airstrikes on ISIS positions in Syria that will aid the Assad regime that Barack Obama declared “had to go” not too long ago.

Of course, Obama wanted to intervene in Syria’s civil war early on, to oust Assad, an intervention which would have ended up helping the Islamists — some of whom are now ISIS.

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AP Reporter Reveals the Story Behind Anti-Israel Media Bias

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

mattifriedman

Matti Friedman, a former AP Correspondent, has written a brilliant, must-read analysis of why the mainstream media’s reporting on Israel is skewed, biased, and downright reprehensible:

The lasting importance of this summer’s war, I believe, doesn’t lie in the war itself. It lies instead in the way the war has been described and responded to abroad, and the way this has laid bare the resurgence of an old, twisted pattern of thought and its migration from the margins to the mainstream of Western discourse—namely, a hostile obsession with Jews. The key to understanding this resurgence is not to be found among jihadi webmasters, basement conspiracy theorists, or radical activists. It is instead to be found first among the educated and respectable people who populate the international news industry; decent people, many of them, and some of them my former colleagues.

While global mania about Israeli actions has come to be taken for granted, it is actually the result of decisions made by individual human beings in positions of responsibility—in this case, journalists and editors. The world is not responding to events in this country, but rather to the description of these events by news organizations. The key to understanding the strange nature of the response is thus to be found in the practice of journalism, and specifically in a severe malfunction that is occurring in that profession—my profession—here in Israel.

The 3 page story explains a number of popular misnomers that are the result of mainstream media reporting techniques, including:

  • In all of 2013, for example, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict claimed 42 lives—that is, roughly the monthly homicide rate in the city of Chicago. Jerusalem, internationally renowned as a city of conflict, had slightly fewer violent deaths per capita last year than Portland, Ore., one of America’s safer cities. In contrast, in three years the Syrian conflict has claimed an estimated 190,000 lives, or about 70,000 more than the number of people who have ever died in the Arab-Israeli conflict since it began a century ago.
  • The West has decided that Palestinians should want a state alongside Israel, so that opinion is attributed to them as fact, though anyone who has spent time with actual Palestinians understands that things are (understandably, in my opinion) more complicated. Who they are and what they want is not important: The story mandates that they exist as passive victims of the party that matters.
  •  Most reporters in Gaza believe their job is to document violence directed by Israel at Palestinian civilians. That is the essence of the Israel story. In addition, reporters are under deadline and often at risk, and many don’t speak the language and have only the most tenuous grip on what is going on. They are dependent on Palestinian colleagues and fixers who either fear Hamas, support Hamas, or both. Reporters don’t need Hamas enforcers to shoo them away from facts that muddy the simple story they have been sent to tell.

Concluding with, “Many in the West clearly prefer the old comfort of parsing the moral failings of Jews, and the familiar feeling of superiority this brings them, to confronting an unhappy and confusing reality,” the story is a must read for anyone willing to confront the mess of mainstream media and the reality of life in Israel and the Middle East.

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How Much of a Threat Are ISIS?

Monday, August 25th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Islamic State may have achieved something that no terrorist group before them has managed — they may be a fully fledged combined-arms capable fighting force powered by the use of indigenous natural resources it controls.

Over the past few months, as if to defy President Barack Obama’s characterization of them as “jayvee,” ISIS spread swiftly from Syria deep into Iraq, sweeping through territory that had been controlled or at least patrolled by the Iraqi army.

That army proved to be so weak that its personnel fled their posts. ISIS scooped up American vehicles and weapons left behind by the Iraqi security forces. By July, the Islamic State had reportedly taken 52 155mm M198 Howitzer artillery guns. They have a range of up to 20 miles and can be used in conjunction with GPS for fine targeting. US airstrikes in recent weeks have focused on ISIS artillery, among other things, suggesting that US airmen are targeting some of those former US guns.

It’s also possible that in addition to picking up US vehicles and weapons, ISIS picked up some undeclared Syrian chemical weapons.

Over this past weekend, ISIS attacked and took over a Syrian air base in Raqqa. That has been widely reported. What has not been widely reported is that leading up to the assault, ISIS used drone aircraft for surveillance of the base. Whether or not ISIS captured any usable aircraft at the base (and apparently, they did), and whether they have any trained pilots to operate them or not, the Islamic State already has drone aircraft at its disposal.

The success of the mission in Syria shows that ISIS can coordinate the movements of its ground troops on foot and in vehicles, and its airborne drones. That is a combined-arms capable force. They only thing they’re missing is a navy, but they don’t need that where they are currently operating. If things continue on their current path, ISIS could steal a navy either from Iraq or Syria.

In addition to all of that, ISIS now controls an area that is larger than Britain. It is sparsely populated compared to Britain — about 4 million in ISIS territory versus about 64 million in Britain — but ISIS territory is oil-rich.

A Businessweek article compares ISIS to the “Taliban with oil fields.” The Islamic State may be raking in $2 million a day in revenue from oil sales alone, making it a self-financed and largely self-sufficient terrorist entity that happens to be armed chiefly with captured American-made weaponry. Additionally, ISIS is not as vulnerable to sanctions as previous terrorists groups have been.

“The Islamic State is probably the wealthiest terrorist group we’ve ever known,” said Matthew Levitt, a former U.S. Treasury terrorism and financial intelligence official who now is director of the counterterrorism and intelligence program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “They’re not as integrated with the international financial system, and therefore not as vulnerable” to sanctions, anti-money laundering laws and banking regulations.

In contrast, the late al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was from a wealthy family and enjoyed a network of foreign patrons, and his funding sources were squeezed by financial intelligence officers. The Islamic State “makes their money primarily — if not entirely — locally,” said Patrick Johnston, a counterterrorism specialist at the Santa Monica, California-based Rand Corp.’s Pittsburgh office and co-author of a forthcoming analysis of declassified documents on the Islamic State’s finances.

In addition to all that, an unknown number of ISIS fighters are citizens of the West and carry western passports.

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Is White House Pressuring Pentagon to Downplay ISIS Threat?

Monday, August 25th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

In what many are viewing as a walkback from last week’s comments warning of ISIS’ “apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey told reporters en route to Afghanistan over the weekend that he would recommend military action against the group only when a threat to the U.S. is substantiated.

Dempsey said, according to the Associated Press, that U.S. officials have seen no ”active plotting against the homeland, so it’s different than that which we see in Yemen.”

“I can tell you with great clarity and certainty that if that threat existed inside of Syria that it would certainly be my strong recommendation that we would deal with it,” said Dempsey. “I have every confidence that the president of the United States would deal with it.”

This morning, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby told Fox that Dempsey wasn’t told by the White House to soften last week’s tone about the threat.

“There’s been no direction from — from the White House or anybody else to tone down the way we’re speaking about ISIL. And I think we’ve all been very consistently talking about the very real and growing threat that ISIL poses,” Kirby said.

“ISIL is a growing network. They are well resourced. They’re well led. They do pose a regional threat. And to the degree that they are supported by foreign fighters from nations all over the world, including the United States, there is an immediacy to the threat that they pose,” he said. “While, you know, while I think the general feeling is they’re not capable of a 9/11- like-style attack on the homeland right now, they certainly could through the use of foreign fighters impact Western targets, including American targets, if they so choose.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) accused President Obama of ”becoming derelict in his duties as commander in chief to protect our homeland by not aggressively confronting ISIL wherever they reside, including Syria.”

“The White House is trying to minimize the threat we face in order to justify not changing a failed strategy,” Graham said in a statement this afternoon. “I fear their foot dragging in confronting increased radical Islamic threats is setting the stage for the creation of an even more powerful ISIL which further terrorizes the region and poses even graver threats to the American homeland.”

“I also fear political pressure is being applied to the military and others to justify President Obama’s reluctance to aggressively confront the threat.”

Graham stressed that Dempsey’s change in tone is “demoralizing to our friends and allies in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Israel who are worried about the continued strengthening of ISIL.”

“The case has been made.  ISIL is a direct threat to the American homeland,” he said. “They must be defeated and they cannot be beaten without attacking their safe haven in Syria. To do otherwise is ignoring reality and placing the American homeland at risk. The stronger they grow over there, the more in danger we are over here.”

At last week’s press conference, Dempsey said they think ISIS “can be contained, not in perpetuity.”

“This is an organization that has an apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision and which will eventually have to be defeated. To your question, can they be defeated without addressing that part of their organization which resides in Syria? The answer is no. That will have to be addressed on both sides of what is essentially at this point a nonexistent border,” Dempsey continued.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned that the Islamic State is “beyond anything that we’ve seen.”

“ISIL is as sophisticated and well-funded as any group that we have seen. They’re beyond just a terrorist group. They marry ideology, a sophistication of strategic and tactical military prowess. They are tremendously well-funded,” Hagel said. “…So we must prepare for everything. And the only way you do that is that you take a cold, steely, hard look at it and– and — and get ready.”

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Revisiting ‘The Silent Extermination of Iraq’s ‘Christian Dogs’’

Monday, August 25th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

 

Nearly three-and-a-half years ago, before the “Arab Spring” and the plight of Christians became much of a topic, I wrote an article titled “The Silent Extermination of Iraq’s ‘Christian Dogs.’”  Revisiting it is useful, as it highlights some important points.  The article follows below in italics, with new observations interspersed in regular font:

Last week [April, 2011] an Iraqi Muslim scholar issued a fatwa that, among other barbarities, asserts that “it is permissible to spill the blood of Iraqi Christians.”  Inciting as the fatwa is, it is also redundant.  While last October’s Baghdad church attack which killed some sixty Christians is widely known—actually receiving some MSM coverage—the fact is, Christian life in Iraq has been a living hell ever since U.S. forces ousted the late Saddam Hussein in 2003.

The important point here is that the plight of Iraq’s Christians did not just begin under the Islamic State, as many seem to believe, but rather from the very first day the (secular) autocrat was removed.

Among other atrocities, beheading and crucifying Christians are not irregular occurrences; messages saying “you Christian dogs, leave or die,” are typical.  Islamists see the church as an “obscene nest of pagans” and threaten to “exterminate Iraqi Christians.”  John Eibner, CEO of Christian Solidarity International, summarized the situation well in a recent letter to President Obama:

“The threat of extermination is not empty. Since the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime, more than half the country’s Christian population has been forced by targeted violence to seek refuge abroad or to live away from their homes as internally displaced people. According to the Hammurabi Human Rights Organization, over 700 Christians, including bishops and priests, have been killed and 61 churches have been bombed. Seven years after the commencement of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Catholic Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk reports: ‘He who is not a Muslim in Iraq is a second-class citizen. Often it is necessary to convert or emigrate, otherwise one risks being killed.’ This anti-Christian violence is sustained by a widespread culture of Muslim supremacism that extends far beyond those who pull the triggers and detonate the bombs.”

Again, more confirmation that the savage persecution of Christians in Iraq—including recent acts of genocide and expulsions—is not a product of the Islamic State, but rather something more homegrown, more—how shall we say?—integral to Muslims unloosed from the grips of secularized dictators?

The grand irony, of course, is that Christian persecution has increased exponentially under U.S. occupation.  As one top Vatican official put it, Christians, “paradoxically, were more protected under the dictatorship” of Saddam Hussein.

What does one make of this—that under Saddam, who was notorious for human rights abuses, Christians were better off than they are under a democratic government sponsored by humanitarian, some would say “Christian,” America?

Although I first suggested over three years ago that Christian minorities are the first to suffer whenever the U.S. intervenes in Islamic nations—evincing the types of people the U.S. ends up empowering—this notion is now an ironclad fact, with other examples to add to Iraq, including Libya, Syria, and Egypt under Obama allies, the Muslim Brotherhood.

Like a Baghdad caliph, Saddam appears to have made use of the better educated Christians, who posed no risk to his rule, such as his close confidant Tariq Aziz.  Moreover, by keeping a tight lid on the Islamists of his nation—who hated him as a secular apostate no less than the Christians—the latter benefited indirectly.

Conversely, by empowering “the people,” the U.S. has unwittingly undone Iraq’s Christian minority.  Naively projecting Western values on Muslims, U.S. leadership continues to think that “people-power” will naturally culminate into a liberal, egalitarian society—despite all the evidence otherwise.  The fact is, in the Arab/Muslim world, “majority rule” traditionally means domination by the largest tribe or sect; increasingly, it means Islamist domination.

Either which way, the minorities—notably the indigenous Christians—are the first to suffer once the genie of “people-power” is uncorked.  Indeed, evidence indicates that the U.S. backed “democratic” government of Iraq enables and incites the persecution of its Christians.  (All of this raises the pivotal question: Do heavy-handed tyrants—Saddam, Mubarak, Qaddafi, et al—create brutal societies, or do naturally brutal societies create the need for heavy-handed tyrants to keep order?)

Again, a reminder that it is not just the Islamic jihadis and other U.S. sponsored “rebels” that persecute Christians, but even the U.S. installed government of Iraq.  Moreover, a few months after the above was written, the government of “liberated” Afghanistan destroyed the last Christian church—entirely under U.S. auspices.

Another indicator that empowering Muslim masses equates Christian suffering is the fact that, though Iraqi Christians amount to a mere 5% of the population, they make up nearly 40% of the refugees fleeing Iraq.  It is now the same in Egypt: “A growing number of Egypt’s 8-10 million Coptic Christians are looking for a way to get out as Islamists increasingly take advantage of the nationalist revolution that toppled long-standing dictator Hosni Mubarak in February.”

At least Egypt’s problems are homegrown, whereas the persecution of Iraq’s Christians is a direct byproduct of U.S. intervention.  More ironic has been Obama’s approach: Justifying U.S. intervention in Libya largely in humanitarian terms, the president recently declared that, while “it is true that America cannot use our military wherever repression occurs… that cannot be an argument for never acting on behalf of what’s right.”

Indeed, and we have since seen what Obama’s “humanitarian” actions in Libya have led to—the empowerment of Islamists and jihadis, evinced from things like the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and the dramatic rise of Christian persecution.  Since Obama “liberated” Libya, Christians—including Americans—have been tortured and killed (including for refusing to convert) and churches bombed. And it’s “open season” on Copts, as jihadis issue a reward to Muslims who find and kill Christians. This was hardly the case under Gaddafi.

True, indeed.  Yet, as Obama “acts on behalf of what’s right” by providing military protection to the al-Qaeda connected Libyan opposition, Iraq’s indigenous Christians continue to be exterminated—right under the U.S. military’s nose in Iraq. You see, in its ongoing bid to win the much coveted but forever elusive “Muslim-hearts-and-minds™”—which Obama has even tasked NASA with—U.S. leadership has opted to ignore the inhumane treatment of Islam’s “Christian dogs,” the mere mention of which tends to upset Muslims.

And now the job is largely done, as Christians and other religious minorities are being cleansed from large parts of Iraq, not to mention much of the Islamic world.

 

 

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Boko Haram Carves Out Part of Nigeria for the Caliphate

Monday, August 25th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson
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Nigeria-based terror group Boko Haram announced in a video released Sunday that it had carved up a town in the West African nation to be part of the new caliphate.

The al-Qaeda affiliate overran Gwoza, a city of about 275,000 in Borno state, the region where the kidnapping of Chibok schoolgirls touched off the #BringBackOurGirls campaign.

Boko Haram terrorists have also been steadily taking towns near Gwoza, driving out Nigerian soldiers sent to guard the villages.

Last week, Boko Haram attacked the Mobile Police Training School. About three dozen policemen were missing after the raid.

“Following the attack launched by insurgents on the Gwoza Training camp of the Nigeria Police Mobile Force (PMF), the Inspector-General of Police, Ag. IGP Suleiman Abba has since ordered the tightening of security around all police facilities in the country in addition to efforts made to further protect the lives of all people in Nigeria and their properties,” Force Public Relations Officer DCP Emmanuel Ojukwud said in a statement.

“Thanks be to Allah who gave victory to our brethren in (the town of) Gwoza and made it part of the Islamic caliphate,” Abubakar Shekau declared in a 52-minute video obtained by Agence France-Presse.

Shekau added that the Boko fighters wanted to someday make pilgrimage to Mecca, but not while the Saudis controlled the holy site.

The leader stressed that Gwoza now has “nothing to do with Nigeria.”

Nigeria has faded to the backseat in Washington as attention has been focused on the heart of the caliphate in Iraq and Syria.

Vice President Joe Biden met with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, who has been criticized for a slow response to the schoolgirls’ kidnapping in April. The majority of the girls are still missing.

The Obama administration has maintained that better economic opportunity in Nigeria will naturally halt the gains of the al-Qaeda affiliate. Activists have criticized the White House for glossing over the true nature of Boko Haram and the threats posed by the terror group.

“The Vice President welcomed the Government of Nigeria’s work to improve its business climate, which continues to attract U.S. investors. The President and Vice President agreed on the importance of deepening trade and investment, and the critical role that access to electricity—including through the advancement of Power Africa—plays in supporting that goal,” the White House said in a readout of the Biden meeting with Jonathan. “Lastly, the President and Vice President discussed Nigeria’s efforts to counter Boko Haram. The Vice President reiterated U.S. partnership in defeating the terrorist threat and the need to pursue holistic approaches that respect and protect human rights. The Vice President also underscored the importance of supporting Nigeria’s effort to improve the socioeconomic and security conditions in northern Nigeria.”

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Qatar Ain’t Cutting It

Friday, August 22nd, 2014 - by Nathan D. Lichtman

The best chance yet at a negotiated peace agreement between Israel and Gaza failed this week, when Hamas fired rockets at Israeli cities. They broke the ceasefire agreement, and so Israel retaliated with air strikes; and now, we’re back to square one.

You might think Qatar, with its ultra-wealthy skyscraper-clad cities, is far removed from the Gaza situation. Especially given there’s almost 700 miles between them, and that Qatar is a US ally, a seemingly westernized place, and a titan of globalized industry. But Qatar is wielding a lot of influence over Hamas and the negotiations.

According to the Washington Post: “An official from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement suggested Wednesday that Qatar torpedoed the peace talks. After signs of progress last week, Hamas negotiators returned to the table after consultations in Qatar with new conditions.”

Qatar is convincing Hamas to take a hard-line stance in talks with Israel.

So how do they have such influence? Well, for one, the Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal moved to Doha, Qatar, when he was exiled from Kuwait. He is one of the primary executives within the Hamas organization, and he lives in Qatar.

Meanwhile, in 2012, Qatar promised Hamas $400 million in aid. Their cause and terrorism activities have direct funding ties to the Government of Qatar.

Also, when Hamas took charge of Gaza in 2007, the Qatari emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani was the first foreign dignitary to even visit the Palestinian territory. And, al-Thani even chartered a private plane to bring Hamas militant trainers to Doha to further their education, and experience life in the big city.

So the Qatari-Gaza relationship is strong and gives Qatar a lot of sway in cases such as this.

The reason Israel and Hamas haven’t come to a truce of some sort this go-round is the extreme demands that Gaza is putting forth. According to The Telegraph, “Hamas wants all restrictions on the movement of goods and people in and out of Gaza to be lifted.” This means that Israelis are supposed to let Gazans into their country, inside their sovereign borders, with no control.

So, when we hear that Qatar is bolstering Hamas’ more radical demands, we see that they are responsible for the negotiations falling apart. Because Israel wouldn’t meet these demands, Hamas left the table and fired rockets at Israel.

The Zionist Organization of America has called for a suspension of the $11 billion arms trade deal, that US Secretary of Defense Hagel made with Qatar this July. The Zionist organization wants Qatar named an International State Sponsor of Terror, which would also bar them from having FAA rights to have flights in or out of the USA, and it would allow people to sue Qatar for damages associated with the terror acts.

I agree with the ZOA’s call, but also want the international community to condemn Qatar on a broader level.

A little over a month ago, we just finished watching the FIFA World Cup, and many of us got really into it. Cheering on the US, which did better than anyone thought they could, laughing at “Tim Howard Saves” memes, and rooting for Germany or Argentina in the final round, was exhilarating. But, in 2022, the World Cup is supposed to be in Qatar.

There are already a lot of reasons why this was a bad choice. There is no soccer infrastructure there, and it gets very very hot. And it was uncovered that Qatari billionaires had set up slush funds to bribe many African and Asian leaders into supporting their bid, and even created a whole oil trade deal with Thailand to procure their vote. They have been treating their laborers, who were hired to build from scratch stadiums around their nation, very poorly, prompting World Cup sponsors like Coca-Cola, Hyundai, and Visa to question their work conditions.

But now that we know more about Qataris involvement with the terrorist organization, Hamas, I think the US Government and US Soccer Association, as well as the World Cup corporate sponsors, should reinvigorate the call for the 2022 tournament to be competed elsewhere. The UK and the US have both been mentioned as possible replacement locales. The World Cup, and its millions of dollars in revenue, should not be in Qatar.

It’s time we show the world that there are real consequences for funding terrorism, and for going against our strongest allies, like Israel.

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White House Explains Why It Swapped 5 Taliban for Bergdahl But Wouldn’t Consider Foley Ransom

Friday, August 22nd, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

White House deputy press secretary Eric Schultz was asked at today’s press briefing why the administration was unwilling to negotiate with terrorists in James Foley’s case, yet traded five Taliban for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

“I think, again, what the president made clear at the time of the Guantanamo transfer was that his commitment to the men and women that serve overseas is a bedrock one, that we will leave no man or woman behind. That’s what he was keeping faith with, and that’s something that’s unshakeable for him,” Schultz said.

“As we’ve made previously clear, the administration determined that it was lawful to proceed with a transfer in order to protect the life of a U.S. servicemember held captive and in danger for almost five years, notwithstanding that Congress did not receive the 30 days’ notice. Again, we disagree with GAO’s conclusion and we reject the implication that the administration acted unlawfully.”

A brother and sister of the slain journalist told Katie Couric that the U.S. could have done more to free Foley, including considering a $100 million ransom demand made by ISIS before his death. But Michael Foley also appeared to reference the Bergdahl swap.

“We are sitting on prisoners for example in Guantanamo. It doesn’t have to be financial,” he said. “There’s ways to do it… I just feel strongly that more can be done, moving forward.”

Before Schultz delivered the regular briefing, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes delivered probably the strongest administration assessment of Foley’s beheading, calling it a “terrorist attack.”

“When you see somebody killed in such a horrific way, that represents a terrorist attack. That represents a terrorist attack against our country and against an American citizen, and I think all of us have the Foley family in our thoughts and prayers,” Rhodes said.

“The fact of the matter is, we’ve actually seen, you know, ISIL seek to advance too close to our facilities, certainly for our own comfort. And so the president’s decision to take military action a number of weeks ago was out of direct concern that if they were able to get into Erbil, that they could pose a threat to our personnel and our consulate there. So, we have seen them posing a threat to our interests in the region, to our personnel and facilities in the region, and clearly, the brutal execution of Jim Foley represented an affront, an attack, not just on him, but he’s an American and we see that as an attack on our country when one of our own is killed like that.”

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Does Fighting ISIS Mean Allying With Assad?

Friday, August 22nd, 2014 - by Walter Hudson

The formation and execution of foreign policy can be complicated. Yet, the principles which inform those tasks are not. Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson reports on the awkward relationship emerging between the United States and the Assad regime in Syria as both find a common enemy in the Islamic State (ISIS):

“The Obama administration can’t partner with Assad overtly at this time, but the logic and trajectory of White House policy in Syria leads in that direction,” Tony Badran, a research fellow specializing in Syria and Hezbollah at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told Fox News. “White House policy in Syria is predicated on preserving so-called regime institutions.”

In public, the administration is not changing its position on Assad. And State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf disputed that the U.S. and Syrian governments share a common goal in defeating ISIS.

“I would strongly disagree with the notion that we are on the same page here,” Harf said on Monday, while later admitting to Fox News, “We may be looking at some of the same targets.”

We need not wring our hands with concern over whether action taken against ISIS in defense of American lives places us in alignment with Assad on certain objectives. Moral clarity can be found by recalling the proper role of our armed forces in defending American citizens. Anxiety over “helping” Assad by undercutting his opposition in ISIS seems based primarily on concern over the death of innocents in Syria. But if ISIS presents a threat to American citizens, then failure to neutralize the aggressive Islamic totalitarian horde potentially sacrifices Americans for the sake of Syrians. That’s not a trade our government may properly make.

The other way to potentially view this, if we conclude that Assad also presents a threat to America, is that fighting the enemy of an enemy does not necessarily make friends. Certainly, when we recall the inclusion of the Soviet Union in the Allied Forces rallied to defeat the Axis, we would not in retrospect claim that common purpose made us lasting friends.

(Today’s Fightin Words podcast is on this topic available here. 7:58 minutes long; 7.72 MB file size. Right click here to download this show to your hard drive. Subscribe through iTunes or RSS feed.)

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Hagel: Mission to Rescue IS Hostages was ‘Flawless.’ Omits Most Glaring Flaw.

Thursday, August 21st, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel took questions from the media today regarding the mission that the US military mounted to rescue hostages captured by the Islamic State.

Word of that mission leaked after IS terrorists beheaded American journalist James Foley.

Hagel described the mission as “flawless” despite the fact that it failed to rescue any hostages.

CHUCK HAGEL, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: As to your question as to whether this was a failure of intelligence. No. The fact is you all know intelligence doesn’t come wrapped in a package with a bow. It is a mosaic of many pictures of many factors. Te enemy always has a say in everything. The fact is, you have to work that reality in to any decision you make, but the underlying objective was to do everything we could as the president has said to rescue these hostages, knowing their lives were in danger, clearly in danger. It’s the responsibility of our government and our leaders to do all we can to take action when we believe there might a good possibility or chance to make a rescue effort successful. This operation, by the way, was a flawless operation but the hostages were not there.

As many pointed out on Twitter, the fact that the terrorists had already moved the hostages is a pretty large flaw in the operation. The intelligence was behind events on the ground.

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Armed Services Chairman: Leak on Unsuccessful Rescue Op Puts Hostages, Informants, Troops at Risk

Thursday, August 21st, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee today called for an investigation into the leak that led the Obama administration to say that it attempted a rescue of ISIS hostages earlier this summer.

The Pentagon and White House released details of the operation reportedly to beat some news stories that were expected on it.

“Earlier this summer the president authorized an operation to attempt the rescue of American citizens who were kidnapped and held by ISIL against their will in Syria,” Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. “The president authorized action at this time because it was the national security team’s assessment that these hostages were in danger with each passing day in ISIL custody.”

“The U.S. Government had what we believed was sufficient intelligence, and when the opportunity presented itself, the president authorized the Department of Defense to move aggressively to recover our citizens,” Monaco said in the statement. “Unfortunately, that mission was ultimately not successful because the hostages were not present.”

Armed Services chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) said in a statement this afternoon that he, “like all Americans,” continues to be “shocked and outraged at the brutal execution of James Foley at the hands of ISIS terrorists.”

“I commend the bravery of our forces who attempted to rescue him and other American captives earlier this summer. They put their lives on the line for people they’d probably never met, and we are forever blessed to have such men and women in service to our country,” McKeon said.

“Successful or not, such operations are incredibly sensitive, even after they have concluded. Disclosure of these missions puts our troops at risk, reduces the likelihood that future missions will succeed, and risks the lives of hostages and informants alike.”

The chairman said while he found it “unwise for the White House and Department of Defense to formally acknowledge this operation, it is outrageous that someone would be so selfish and short sighted to leak it to the media.”

“Secretary Hagel should investigate this matter immediately and thoroughly to determine who, if anyone, at the Department of Defense was the source of this damaging leak,” McKeon said. “Likewise, the heads of the other agencies involved should take similar steps.”

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is expected to address the media at 3:30 p.m. EST.

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GAO: Obama Broke the Law in Bergdahl Swap

Thursday, August 21st, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Government Accountability Office has handed down its verdict over whether the swap of terrorists for Bowe Bergdahl was legal. The question centers on whether the administration was in the right, legally, when it failed to give Congress 30 days notice that terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay would be released.

It wasn’t.

The Department of Defense (DOD) violated section 8111 of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2014 when it transferred five individuals detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the nation of Qatar without providing at least 30 days notice to certain congressional committees. Section 8111 prohibits DOD from using appropriated funds to transfer any individuals detained at Guantanamo Bay unless the Secretary of Defense notifies certain congressional committees at least 30 days before the transfer. As a consequence of using its appropriations in a manner specifically prohibited by law, DOD also violated the Antideficiency Act.

Open and shut. Where’s the indictment?

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McCain: ‘Failures of Policies Have Consequences, and We’re Paying Those in Human Blood’

Thursday, August 21st, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) stressed that “failures of policies have consequences, and we’re paying those consequences in enormous… cost of human blood.”

“The president wanted out of Iraq. We predicted — many of us predicted that this chaos would ensue. We did not predict the rapidity of the collapse of collapse of the Iraqi military, but certainly this was all predictable when the president of the United States — and he — he’s not telling the truth when he says that he wanted to leave a residual force behind. He did not. And that’s a huge mistake,” McCain said this morning on Fox.

“These things are not like earthquakes or hurricanes… And he still doesn’t get it.”

“He gave a very moving statement about Mr. Foley which all touched us. And then what? He said we have to contain ISIS. We don’t have to contain ISIS. We have to defeat ISIS. And we have to do whatever is necessary. And ISIS is in Syria. And they have obliterated the — the boundary between Iraq and Syria. And we have to go in, and it’s more than pinprick air strikes. And we’re going to need more boots on the ground. And that does not mean combat troops, but it does mean a significant increase,” McCain continued.

“And rather the incrementalism that we are — that they are now practicing, we need a comprehensive strategy that can be explained to the American people, which is designed to defeat ISIS wherever they are. And I hope that this tragic thing that happened with — with Foley will serve to — as a — as a strong message to the United States of America that these people are going to attack us, and they’re going to attack us in the United States of America.”

He reminded all of the words Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi — now the self-styled caliph — said when he left U.S. custody at Camp Bucca in 2004: “See you in New York.”

McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) issued their first statement on the execution of journalist James Foley after President Obama’s statement yesterday.

“We agree with the President that America must take the necessary actions against ISIS to protect our people, but ISIS is not just a threat to our personnel serving in Iraq. It is a threat to our nation, as all of our top military, national security, and intelligence leaders have clearly stated. America and our allies and partners will only be secure when ISIS is defeated. That means we must get beyond half-measures, tactical responses, and defensive actions. We need to develop a comprehensive strategy – political, economic, and military – to go on the offensive against ISIS, both in Iraq and Syria,” they said.

The senators noted that Obama “did not articulate a commitment to the comprehensive strategy necessary to defeat ISIS.”

“We cannot allow the darkness to spread, and we must accept our share of the responsibility to stop it, for the sake of our people and the entire civilized world,” McCain and Graham added.

McCain reminded viewers on Fox that Obama previously said, ”It’s not a question of whether Bashar Assad will go, it’s a matter of when.”

“Another debacle, which is the 170,000 dead, 150,000 Syrians still in Bashar Assad’s prison. And the barrel bombs that are so horrendous are continuing to be dropped on innocent men, women and children,” the senator said. “This is an abject failure. And I get emotional about it, because I know these people, and what they’re going through is horrendous.”

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‘War Is Deceit’: Tipsheet Tells Jihadists How to Shake Off Intel Agencies During Online Ops

Thursday, August 21st, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

ISIS members and supporters took over not just land in Syria and Iraq but a lot of Internet territory in their push to expand the Islamic State, advertise their operations, threaten the West and recruit new members.

Many of the accounts that spread like wildfire across Twitter, though, came under suspension Tuesday for tweeting photos or video of the beheading of journalist James Foley. Other Islamic State tweeters announced that they were voluntarily turning off their accounts for a few days until the storm passed, or resurfaced with altered account names.

A document posted on JustPaste.it, where ISIS has placed previous announcements such as photos posted Wednesday of its presence dangerously close to Aleppo, tells supporters and jihadists how to lay low online for the most effectiveness — including deceptively tweeting that they don’t support the bloody jihad of ISIS.

“The intelligence agencies specifically monitor the internet with the intention of dismantling anti-colonial narratives and attacking those who postulate them. Whether Muslim, radical socialist, anarchist, or anti-government activist, they want you. They want to know what you send, when you send it, to whom you send it to, why, and how to use it against you. They monitor your social media. Even if you never use your real name, post a picture, or leave any hints, they can track your IP address, know your identity, and jail you for a few online posts. They search for keywords such as ‘kafir’ in order to find specific individuals,” warns the paper, which begins with the verse, ”And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of Allah and your enemy and others besides them whom you do not know [but] whom Allah knows.”

It stresses that the dangers posed online for jihadists aren’t a big deal in “South Africa or Sham [Syria],” but in the West, where the terror group wants to quietly maintain and grow its influence, “kafir intelligence agencies are particularly interested in entrapping young Muslims.”

“Is it lying to trick the kufar into thinking we live in different locations than we actually do, through words or otherwise, even if other Muslims may hear or see this?” the paper asks as a “minor issue,” before stressing that “war is deceit.”

“The people we are fooling are ones who have an open war with Allah, his messenger, our khilafah, and just about every sincere Muslim on this planet. You are engaging in war tactics so that you can spread the true dawah and discuss matters of jihad, to uncover news about your mujahid brothers, to dismiss lies. You are entering into a sort of psychological warfare with them, they do not take it lightly, and we do not take it lightly. Therefore, we can trick them and it is totally permissible.”

The paper was posted and pinned in a tweet by a user named Amreeki Witness, who is “dedicated to raising awareness about the upcoming conquest of the Americas, and the benefits it has upon the American people.” His avatar uses a State Department symbol and his Twitter cover photo is the White House with an Islamic State flag perched on top. He also posted the tips on remaining anonymous on a WordPress blog.

First, the tipsheet advises using a ghost VPN so “if the agencies attempt to track you, their search will lead them to a dead end,” and an Internet browser named TOR so “instead of simply placing you in one location, it sends you internet signal through nodes, or servers, across dozens of countries. That way, any searches will come up inconclusive.”

Users are then walked through how to create an encrypted email address “to confuse any spies who wish to uncover who sent what email to who” and install a TAILS operating system that runs off a flash drive instead of a hard drive. Instant messaging is encouraged only on Cryptocat or ChatSecure.

“One might be asking themselves if they can continue using their old social media on these. The answer is yes, but I do not recommend it whatsoever,” the paper continues. “If one feels they post things in which they would need this security, which is most Muslims upon haqq who are active online, then they should make a disclaimer saying something similar to, ‘I recant all opinions deemed dangerous or violent expressed on this page. This page was run for educational and analytic purposes only, to study the radical Muslim community for recreational purposes. I invite all those who follow this page to leave such corrupt ideology. I am not affiliated with any groups or organizations deemed terrorist or dangerous otherwise by any Western government or union of governments. I am a law abiding citizen in every regard.’”

“And then proceed to delete all other tweets/posts on the page and after leaving this up for a few minutes, simply delete the page. Make no indication that you have done this based on instructions. You are in a war with these people, we have discussed this earlier. Now, once you are on either TOR with a VPN, TOR, and/or TAILS OS, make a new bitmessage email. Make an alias. Sign-up for Twitter on TOR. Do not post pictures or any indication of who you are explicitly. If you feel the need to alter your writing style a bit, if you were a popular page, do so. You can make subtle indications that this is so and so, however, nothing that can be proven in a court of law. Allah’u must’a'n, may we never see inside one of those rooms for such a purpose.”

The writer asks Allah ”to hasten our venturing to the lands of jihad and hijrah, the lands in which there is no worry about people spying on private matters, in which the justice of Allah is supreme over the paranoia of men.”

A new Twitter account named @KhilafaHackers — Caliphate Hackers — also appeared online today, indicating that the Islamic State doesn’t plan on just playing defense against intelligence agencies trying to track them down.

“When it comes to Muslims in America i Quote Yasser Fazaga: The Less you Talk the more you Walk,” tweeted a user called @TheArabWitness today. “Too many informants. Keep it down.”

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Hamas Admits Kidnapping and Killing Three Israeli Teens (and Therefore Starting the War)

Thursday, August 21st, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Early on in the latest Israel-Hamas war, which was started by the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers, many on the medialeft tried their best to exonerate Hamas of that crime.

Hamas itself has now debunked that.

“There was much speculation about this operation, some said it was a conspiracy,” [senior Hamas leader] Saleh al-Arouri told delegates at the International Union of Islamic Scholars in Istanbul on Wednesday, according to a recording of the meeting posted online by organizers.

“The popular will was exercised throughout our occupied land, and culminated in the heroic operation by the Qassam Brigades in imprisoning the three settlers in Hebron,” he said, referring to Hamas’s armed wing.

“This was an operation from your brothers in Qassam undertaken to aid their brothers on hunger strike in (Israeli) prisons,” he added.

Jewish seminary students Eyal Yifrach, 19, and Gilad Shaer and Naftali Fraenkel, both 16, were abducted while hitchhiking in the Israeli occupied West Bank on June 12 and killed.

So they did it. Case closed.

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Obama Admin Says It Tried to Rescue Americans from ISIS ‘Earlier This Summer’

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The White House said that it attempted to rescue U.S. hostages held by ISIS, including James Foley, who was beheaded in a video distributed by the terror group yesterday.

“Earlier this summer the president authorized an operation to attempt the rescue of American citizens who were kidnapped and held by ISIL against their will in Syria,” Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco said in a statement. “The president authorized action at this time because it was the national security team’s assessment that these hostages were in danger with each passing day in ISIL custody.”

“The U.S. Government had what we believed was sufficient intelligence, and when the opportunity presented itself, the president authorized the Department of Defense to move aggressively to recover our citizens,” Monaco said in the statement. “Unfortunately, that mission was ultimately not successful because the hostages were not present.”

She added that “given the need to protect our military’s operational capabilities, we will not be able to reveal the details of this operation.”

“But the president could not be prouder of the U.S. forces who carried out this mission and the dedicated intelligence and diplomatic professionals who supported their efforts. Their effort should serve as another signal to those who would do us harm that  the United States will not tolerate the abduction of our people, and will spare no effort to secure the safety of our citizens and to hold their captors accountable.”

Foley’s news outlet, the Global Post, received an email a week ago from ISIS stating their intentions to execute the photojournalist.

“We received an email from the captors on Wednesday night of last week stating their intention to execute Jim,” Philip Balboni, president of the online news service, told a Boston Fox affiliate.

“The email was full of rage. We pleaded (to his captors) for mercy, but to no avail,” he added.

The White House knew of the email. It released the statement about the attempted rescue op hours after the news that ISIS gave warning of Foley’s execution.

In a Pentagon statement, press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said the operation “involved air and ground components and was focused on a particular captor network within ISIL.”

“As we have said repeatedly, the United States government is committed to the safety and well-being of its citizens, particularly those suffering in captivity. In this case, we put the best of the United States military in harms’ way to try and bring our citizens home,” Kirby said.

“The United States government uses the full breadth of our military, intelligence and diplomatic capabilities to bring people home whenever we can. The United States will not tolerate the abduction of our people, and will work tirelessly to secure the safety of our citizens and to hold their captors accountable.”

It has not been revealed exactly how many Western hostages are being held by ISIS, including journalists and aid workers.

At the end of the gruesome video of Foley’s murder, his executioner held journalist Steve Sotloff by the shirt and threatened to kill him next if Obama didn’t stop airstrikes against the caliphate.

At the State Department today, spokeswoman Marie Harf said they ”remain very deeply concerned” about Sotloff’s “safety and whereabouts.”

“Obviously, the intelligence community is looking to get anything they can to possibly use from this video,” Harf said. “Obviously I’m not going to outline what tactical military or intelligence options are at our disposal to respond here and don’t want to get ahead of any discussions in that regard. But we have the ability to hold people accountable for what they’ve done. We have reserved the right to take action to protect our people, including when our people have been harmed. The principle will guide what we do going forward.”

The U.S. military conducted an additional 14 strikes around Mosul dam today, she said.

When asked if any sort of rescue operation was in the works to get Sotloff, Harf replied, “I’m not ruling anything in or out specifically. I don’t — I’m not going to have more specifics to share with you right now on that.”

“But I just want to be very clear that we — no effort is spared in trying to bring our people home. While we can’t always talk about it publicly for obvious security and safety reasons of the remaining people being held, I just want to make very clear that we are taking and will continue taking steps.”

Foley’s parents appeared outside of their Rochester, N.H., home today to speak of their son — and the cruelty of his death.

“It’s horrific,” said John Foley. “People can die in lots of different ways but this was the most horrific and it haunts me how much pain he was in and how cruel this method of execution is.”

His parents learned of their son’s beheading at the same time everyone else did — when ISIS posted the video on YouTube and distributed the link widely on social media.

“It testified to his courage. He was courageous to the end and I think he accepted his situation and I think he accepted God’s faith in him and his faith in God,” John Foley said.

James Foley’s mother, Diane, stressed that her son was ”a great American and he believed in the very best of this country.”

She said they pleaded with Obama to rescue Sotloff, and she asked people to pray for the president.

“How long are we going to tolerate this?” John Foley said of the terrorists’ crimes.

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Liberal Goddess Maureen Dowd Dethrones Obama

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

obamagolf

Maureen Dowd has finally cast her trademark dowdful eye on Barack Obama. In her latest New York Times op-ed, Dowd reflects on how the President’s admitted desire to be left alone is now leaving him lonely among political colleagues and voters alike.

First the president couldn’t work with Republicans because they were too obdurate. Then he tried to chase down reporters with subpoenas. Now he finds members of his own party an unnecessary distraction.

His circle keeps getting more inner. He golfs with aides and jocks, and he spent his one evening back in Washington from Martha’s Vineyard at a nearly five-hour dinner at the home of a nutritional adviser and former White House assistant chef, Sam Kass.

The president who was elected because he was a hot commodity is now a wet blanket.

Acknowledging the conservatives in the room, Dowd remarks on America’s political climate, which has “only gotten worse” since Obama took office, noting:

The man whose singular qualification was as a uniter turns out to be singularly unequipped to operate in a polarized environment.

Dowd’s complaints about Obama’s complete failure to address the racial tensions in Ferguson are hardly new observances. What makes her commentary notable, even intriguing, is the fact that she’s willing to use her platform as an unabashed liberal to criticize the President her party crafted into a god. For that reason alone, her commentary is strikingly refreshing, deserving more than a quick file into the “better late than never” column.

With her quick wit, the writer asks, “Why doesn’t he do something bold and thrilling?” Her suggestion is priceless:

  Talk to someone besides Valerie Jarrett?

Tactical strikes are for military battles. This, Dowd acknowledges, is an ideological war in which taking prisoners is no option, leaving the entire Obama pantheon up for grabs. It starts to get ugly when the mob realizes their leader has let them down.

To be sure, there are still, and always will be, die-hard adherents. But apparently even they are no longer immune from the wrath of the disappointed liberal:

His boosters argue that we spurned his gift of healing, so healing is the one thing that must not be expected of him. We ingrates won’t let him be the redeemer he could have been.

Gorgeous. In two brief sentences Dowd manages to destroy the image of the messianic Supreme Leader the Obamaniacs have worked so hard to build. Dowd clearly defined Obama’s political, media, and voter following into a cult group fueled by the blind passion of idol worship. Sobered up, the dyed-in-the-wool liberal declares,  let those still drunk on the Kool Aid be damned. 

If you’re a fastidious pol who deigns to heal and deal only in a holistic, romantic, unified utopia, the Oval Office is the wrong job for you.

The right job? After reading this piece, I’m thinking something involving shoe sales and seminars on Hale-Bopp might be more appropriate. Or, perhaps, a retail job at the local golf shop just might do.

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John Kerry Calls for Disproportionate Response to ISIS Beheading an American

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Secretary of State John Kerry offered remarks in reaction to the Islamic State’s murder of American journalist James Foley today. The State Department tweeted the highlights.

For the record, yes, IS/ISIS/ISIL should be crushed. Tellingly, neither Kerry nor President Obama has offered a plan and they are not gathering a coalition of the willing to get the job done. Obama went back to golf this afternoon.

Crushing IS would be right. But it’s not a proportional response to the murder of one American.

Hamas routinely kidnaps Israeli citizens, murders them and leaves their bodies by the side of the road. Hamas launches rockets into Israel with the purpose of killing Israelis and creating the feeling of dread and terror among them.

The international community, of which Kerry and Obama are members in good standing, always calls on Israel to respond “proportionally” to Hamas terrorism and rocket attacks.

Responding proportionally to terrorism is…what, exactly? So far, it’s destroying tunnels and perhaps airstriking a few terrorist leaders, but the group itself is left intact enough to come back and wage terror war another day. It’s not effective in getting rid of the problem of terrorism.

In fact, if we take “proportional’ literally, Israel should respond to Hamas by kidnapping innocent Palestinians and by launching random bombs on houses, schools and hospitals in Gaza. But that’s not what the “international community” means.

No one in the “international community” is calling on the United States to respond to IS beheading an American “proportionally.” At least not yet.

Why not? Hm.

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Guess Where Obama Went After Making a Statment on the Beheading of An American…

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

If you guessed “the nearest tee box,” you know your president.

 

Obama did deliver that statement and said that ISIS ought to be destroyed, but he didn’t offer a plan to do that. He didn’t offer to lead.

Perhaps he’s too busy concentrating on his bunker game.

YouTube Preview Image

File this story under politics, news, terrorism, and sports.

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Obama: ‘ISIL Speaks for No Religion,’ Global Effort Should ‘Extract This Cancer So That It Does Not Spread’

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

President Obama condemned the beheading of journalist James Foley and ISIS in a strongly worded statement to reporters moments ago, but didn’t offer specifics on how the U.S. would react policy-wise to ISIS killing Americans.

“Today, the entire world is appalled by the brutal murder of Jim Foley by the terrorist group, ISIL. Jim was a journalist, a son, a brother, and a friend. He reported from difficult and dangerous places, bearing witness to the lives of people a world away,” Obama said from Martha’s Vineyard.

“…Earlier today, I spoke to the Foleys and told them that we are all heartbroken at their loss, and join them in honoring Jim and all that he did.”

He added that “Jim Foley’s life stands in stark contrast to his killers.”

“Let’s be clear about ISIL. They have rampaged across cities and villages, killing innocent, unarmed civilians in cowardly acts of violence. They abduct women and children and subject them to torture and rape and slavery. They have murdered Muslims, both Sunni and Shia, by the thousands. They target Christians and religious minorities, driving them from their homes, murdering them when they can, for no other reason than they practice a different religion. They declare their ambition to commit genocide against an ancient people,” Obama said.

“So ISIL speaks for no religion. Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents. No just God would stand for what they did yesterday and what they do every single day. ISIL has no ideology of any value to human beings. Their ideology is bankrupt. They may claim, out of expediency, that they are at war with the United States or the West, but the fact is, they terrorize their neighbors and offer them nothing but an endless slavery to their empty vision and the collapse of any definition of civilized behavior.”

The president said “people like this ultimately fail.”

“They fail because the future is won by those who build and not destroy, and the world is shaped by people like Jim Foley and the overwhelming majority of humanity who are appalled by those who killed him,” Obama continued. “The United States of America will continue to do what we must do to protect our people. We will be vigilant and we will be relentless. When people harm Americans, anywhere, we do what’s necessary to see that justice is done.”

“And we act against ISIL standing alongside others. The people of Iraq who, with our support, are taking the fight to ISIL, must continue coming together to expel these terrorists from their communities. The people of Syria, whose story Jim Foley told, do not deserve to live under the shadow of a tyrant or terrorists. They have our support in their pursuit of a future rooted in dignity.”

He stressed that among “governments and peoples across the Middle East, there has to be a common effort to extract this cancer so that it does not spread. There has to be a clear rejection of these kind of nihilistic ideologies.”

“One thing we can all agree on is that a group like ISIL has no place in the 21st century,” said Obama. “Friends and allies around the world, we share a common security and a common set of values that are rooted in the opposite of what we saw yesterday, and we will continue to confront this hateful terrorism and replace it with a sense of hope and civility.”

“That’s what Jim Foley stood for, a man who lived his work, who courageously told the stories of his fellow human beings and who was liked and loved by friends and family. Today, the American people will all say a prayer for those who loved Jim. All of us feel the ache of his absence. All of us mourn his loss.”

Obama, who did not take questions from reporters, did not mention the specific threat in the beheading video to kill journalist Steve Sotloff if strikes continue. “We keep in our prayers those other Americans who are separated from their families. We will do everything that we can to protect our people and the timeless values that we stand for,” he said. “Maybe God bless and keep Jim’s memory and may God bless the United States of America.”

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Sharks and Sharia … Equally Misunderstood?

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

I recently spent some time watching Shark Week on television.  Being fascinated with large predatory fish, I’ve watched many shark programs throughout the years.  And I’ve reached one conclusion: the “liberal” response one is accustomed to when the topics of Islam, Islamists, and their law, Sharia, come up—that they are misunderstood, that we need to respect their ways and be tolerant, that it’s our fault we get attacked—has become so embedded in the Western psyche that it now colors our understanding of the animal world as well.

Almost every shark program follows the same pattern: the large predators are portrayed in all their grandeur, roaming the seas; then we hear of several anecdotes of shark attacks on humans, often with the survivors recounting their experience.

The prevalent theme is this: it’s not the shark’s fault that it attacked and maimed this or that surfer, swimmier, or kayaker.  Rather, humans are responsible for entering the shark’s domain, the ocean.  If anything, then, it’s the human’s fault for getting attacked.  Even great whites, so we are assured, only attack humans by mistake, never intentionally. Finally we get the speech about how sharks are in fact the one’s being mistreated by humans, etc.

To those familiar with the way liberal talking heads constantly whitewash the violence and intolerance of Islam, does this not all sound familiar?  From the notion that “it’s our fault” we got attacked, and we “had it coming,” to the idea that we need to be more “understanding and respectful,” the “progressive” memes are all there.

Similarly, two types of survivors often recount their experiences.  Most explain how they do not at all blame the shark that attacked them; more magnanimously, others say that, since they lost this or that appendage, they have dedicated their lives to protecting sharks.

The second, more atypical kind of survivors openly demonize sharks and come off less “enlightened.”  Such was this one Australian survivor I watched, who seemed the quintessential “hillbilly”—missing teeth and all.  He appeared on one of the programs emphatically declaring that all sharks are “evil.”  In other words, he was something of an ignorant, bigoted “sharkaphobe.”

One important caveat: I am not “hating on” sharks, suggesting they are “evil,” or siding with this or that perspective.  But as a rational person, I know that sharks—especially great whites, bulls, and tigers—are dangerous creatures.  As animals of instinct, I do not believe they have the capacity to act “good” or “evil,” but I do not doubt that, given the chance and especially if hungry, they will attack and eat humans.  (See this atypical article, for example, which suggests that “thousands of missing drowning victims actually die of shark attacks.”)

Rather, the point here is that this business of always apologizing for Islamic violence, insisting that it is some sort of misunderstanding, which “enlightened” Western persons should be patient of if not completely overlook, has so penetrated society that it has metastasized to almost anything and everything that is potentially dangerous, including ravenous sharks.

Nor does the analogy end here.  When Western liberals hold Muslims to a lower standard than the rest of humanity—ignoring the beheadings, massacres, rapes, enslavements, and church burnings habitually committed by the likes of the Islamic State, Boko Haram, Al Shabaab, et al.—are they not, in essence, placing such Muslims on a “subhuman” level?  Are they not,  in essence, saying that they are like brute and instinctive animals—sharks for instance—not to be held responsible for their actions?

In the end, however, the shark analogy fails.  After all, sharks attack and kill for survival—like the rest of us carnivores—whereas the Islamists intentionally attack, torture, rape, massacre, mutilate, and incinerate humans simply for not being Muslim.

That is the definition of evil.

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Naive Mitt Romney Still Doesn’t Get It: Obama Does Not Make Policy ‘Mistakes’

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 - by Scott Ott

Mitt Romney, once again, proves himself unfit to be a candidate for president of the United States. That’s not to say he wouldn’t be a good president. We’ll never know.

Never.

Barack Obama, on the other hand (the left hand), has shown himself to be an excellent candidate, but a disastrous president.

With apologies to DC Comics, Romney is BizarrObama. Perhaps it’s more faithful to the Bizarro World storyline to say that Obama is BizarrOmney.

On the surface, Romney’s poll numbers climb with each step of Obama’s descending popularity. Where Romney demonstrates towering competence, Obama’s executive effectiveness inhabits the abyss–he’s abysmal. Romney sees the Russian threat clearly, and stands against it. Obama sends Putin a shiny red “Reset” button which, when pressed, reboots Soviet territorial ambitions.

But it goes deeper than that. Romney inhabits a spherical planet on the opposite side of the sun from Obama’s cube, leading him to say things like this

I was not a big fan of the president’s policies, as you know, either domestically or internationally, but the results of his mistakes and errors, in my opinion, have been more severe than even I would have predicted.

The headline quote making the rounds is that Romney, at a West Virginia rally for GOP congressional candidates, said Obama is “a good deal worse than I ever expected.”

This can be explained only by positing the existence of Bizarro World, where everything is a flipped version of life on Earth. Otherwise, we’re left with the inexplicable scenario of a Romney who understands the darkness in the heart of Vlad the Impaler, but finds Barack Obama’s motives inscrutable.

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NBC: Islamic State Is Collecting Foreign Hostages

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

A day after news broke that the Islamic State beheaded American journalist James Foley, NBC News’ senior foreign correspondent has grim news of the near-term future.

According to Engel, IS terrorists are going about capturing foreigners and trading for them, building a cache of foreign hostages. Engel says the group already has between 30 and 40 western hostages.

IS is still holding American Steven Sotloff. The group tweeted out images of him Tuesday, and warned that his life depends on what President Obama does next.

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Syrian Town Pays Tribute to James Foley, Digs at Obama’s ‘Vague Vision’

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

It’s not the first time the northwestern Syrian fig-and-olive-producing town of Kafranbel has cited President Obama in its famous signs — see Obama as Pinocchio and a genocide enabler — but it’s especially poignant in their touching tribute to slain journalist James Foley:

 

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‘It Didn’t Make Sense, But Faith Did’: James Foley on the Power of Prayer in Captivity

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

After being held for 45 days by pro-Gadhafi forces in Libya in April 2011, journalist James Foley told the magazine of his alma mater, Marquette University, how prayer had gotten him through the time in captivity:

Myself and two colleagues had been captured and were being held in a military detention center in Tripoli. Each day brought increasing worry that our moms would begin to panic. My colleague, Clare, was supposed to call her mom on her birthday, which was the day after we were captured. I had still not fully admitted to myself that my mom knew what had happened. But I kept telling Clare my mom had a strong faith.

I prayed she’d know I was OK. I prayed I could communicate through some cosmic reach of the universe to her.

I began to pray the rosary. It was what my mother and grandmother would have prayed. 
I said 10 Hail Marys between each Our Father. It took a long time, almost an hour to count 100 Hail Marys off on my knuckles. And it helped to keep my mind focused.

Clare and I prayed together out loud. It felt energizing to speak our weaknesses and hopes together, as if in a conversation with God, rather than silently and alone.

Finally, 18 days into his captivity, Foley was allowed to call his mom, Diane.

I replayed that call hundreds of times in my head — my mother’s voice, the names of my friends, her knowledge of our situation, her absolute belief in the power of prayer. She told me my friends had gathered to do anything they could to help. I knew I wasn’t alone.

My last night in Tripoli, I had my first Internet connection in 44 days and was able to listen to a speech Tom Durkin gave for me at the Marquette vigil. To a church full of friends, alums, priests, students and faculty, I watched the best speech a brother could give for another. It felt like a best man speech and a eulogy in one. It showed tremendous heart and was just a glimpse of the efforts and prayers people were pouring forth. If nothing else, prayer was the glue that enabled my freedom, an inner freedom first and later the miracle of being released during a war in which the regime had no real incentive to free us. It didn’t make sense, but faith did.

Foley was held captive for two years after being taken in Syria. Yesterday, ISIS released the barbaric video of his beheading. Foley closed his eyes during the terrorist’s speech, as if concentrating on prayer before he was murdered.

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James Foley, Radical Islamic Terror, and How Quickly We Forget

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg
Daniel Pearl by  Bosch Fawstin

Daniel Pearl by Bosch Fawstin

My two-word response to the beheading of James Foley and captivity of Steven Sotloff: Daniel Pearl. Americans still suffer under the delusion that oceans are borders. America is so physically huge that we can watch the riots in Ferguson the way we watch the rockets being fired from Gaza or Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: From the comfort of our couch. Neither we, nor our families, nor our homes are physically in danger. In truth, we are disconnected. At best, those of us who do pay attention do so through screen media. We participate by commenting on internet forums or through social media, or perhaps writing a check to a charity to help those in need. But we should not confuse compassion or concern for actual awareness.

As I watch what is happening in my second home, Israel, I marvel at the reactionary comments I’ve seen from well-meaning Americans who are confident that if they lived next door to Hamas, they’d just go after the terrorists with Christianity-fueled faith in their Second Amendment rights. It’s so easy to see yourself as the next John Wayne from the comfort of your living room. It’s far more difficult when your family and your home are on the line. Much has been said about the right of those overseas to tell Israel how to run their military operations. From a writer’s point of view, I can remain at best pragmatic by saying that the surreality in which these armchair soldiers dwell is, at least, far more supportive than the stupor that plagues most Americans. For their sake, and the sake of America, I hope the bravado isn’t masking an army of summer soldiers and sunshine patriots.

I recall watching my friends collapse in horror on 9/11. As profoundly moved as I was by the horrific tragedy of that day, my response was simply: Intifada. The reality of countless suicide bombers trolling city streets, blowing themselves and countless civilians up at nightclubs, hotels, or on city buses had become a way of life for Israelis in the ’90s. Because I am so deeply connected to that land I felt that impact in a way most overseas do not. There was no shock in 9/11 for me, only awe at the sleeping America that responded to their alarm clock by repeatedly hitting snooze.

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Dem Congressman Stresses to MSNBC: ISIS ‘Personification of Evil,’ Wants Fight Against ‘Infidels’

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

A leading Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee stressed to MSNBC last night that what ISIS wants is “a fight against the infidels” — us.

“It’s hard to imagine a more apt description than evil for what this group represents. They’re beheading people. They’re forcing people to convert. They’re victimizing women and children, starving whole population centers,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said. “They are the personification of evil. And we see this most graphically in this latest barbarous act.”

MSNBC host Chris Hayes then asked, “Is ISIS, ISIL evil?” — adding that there seems to be “a widespread feeling what they’re doing is just monstrous and evil.”

Hayes then said “the situation seems to have gotten better” around Mount Sinjar, where ISIS laid siege to fleeing Yazidis, and questioned whether we’re now at war with ISIS.

“The mission has broadened. It began to protect American citizens as well as the humanitarian crisis you mentioned. It then expanded to protecting critical information, the Mosul dam,” Schiff said. “And it’s a very treacherous and slippery slope, particularly when you talk about a long-term strategic plan of aiding the Iraqis and helping to defeat ISIL. We may not have declared it a war, but when we’re dropping bombs and they’re apparently beheading our citizens, it certainly looks like war.”

“So this is, you know, a very precarious situation. America doesn’t want to be dragged back in. At the same time, this is a group if left to its own device has made it clear they intend to attack us in the homeland.”

“Is this an attempt to bait America into war? Or is it an attempt to warn America away from continued airstrikes?” Hayes asked of the beheading of journalist James Foley.

“I think it may be at a bit of both. This is their way of trying to deter, on the one hand, America from engaging these airstrikes which have really set ISIL back for the first time,” Schiff said. ”At the same time, part of what al-Qaeda has done, part of what ISIL wants to do, is they want to pull us in. These are conflicting objectives. Maybe they see it as a win either way for them. But part of what they’re trying to get is the reaction, part of what they want is a fight against the infidels, and we are apparently the greatest infidel of all.”

“So, I think they have those twin objectives. Maybe most immediately, they want to halt the airstrikes, but that’s simply no going to happen.”

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Congress Reacts with ‘Fear that James Foley Will Not be the Only American to Die’ by ISIS Hands

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

A Congress in recess began to react late Tuesday to the horrific beheading of journalist James Foley, with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) stressing that Foley won’t be the last American to die at the hands of ISIS unless the Islamic State is stopped.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), who represents Foley’s native state and where his parents live, said in a statement that ”our hearts are broken for the Foley family.”

“James was an innocent civilian who was bravely performing his job as a journalist,” Ayotte said. “This barbaric and heinous act shocks the conscience and highlights the truly evil nature of the terrorists we confront, who must be defeated. My thoughts and prayers are with James Foley’s family at this extremely difficult time.”

Ayotte replaced Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) as the third senator in the powerful national-security trio including Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

Neither McCain nor Graham has yet spoken on the Foley murder, but they have been the loudest voices in the upper chamber for some time warning that President Obama let ISIS get out of hand. “Our senior military, intelligence, and national security leaders have all stated that ISIS is a direct threat to the United States, and we should delay no further in taking the necessary actions to counter it,” they said in a joint statement the day before the gruesome execution video was released by ISIS.

Five days ago, an MSNBC piece accused Graham of “fear-mongering” on the Islamic State.

Foley’s other home-state senator, Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), noted that Foley “was a respected and accomplished journalist who devoted his life to one of our most important freedoms – the freedom of press.”

“Everyone who knew him recognized his dedication to his work and his commitment to sharing his eye-witness reporting of world events,” she said in a statement late Tuesday on her Facebook page. “His murder was a cowardly act of terrorism and underscores the threat that ISIL poses to the freedoms we hold dear. My thoughts are with the Foley family and everyone who knew and loved James, both in New Hampshire and around the world.”

Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown (R-N.H.), who’s aiming to unseat Shaheen this November, quickly issued a one-sentence statement after the devastating news: ”If anyone needed further evidence of the utter inhumanity of Islamic terrorism, this is it. ISIS is pure evil, and they must be stopped.”

Rubio issued a lengthy statement around midnight calling the murder “the latest example of the evil and barbarism of these terrorists.”

“My thoughts and prayers are with the Foley family and with other Western hostages who at this hour are still being held.”

The Daily Beast reported in January that terrorists hold a cache of journalists and aid workers, and moved them east and away from the reach of the Free Syrian Army when they expanded the Islamic State.

“Just as Al Qaeda’s initial killings of Americans abroad foretold the carnage they would unleash within our borders, this barbaric beheading of a defenseless hostage is the clearest indication to date that ISIL has declared war on the United States, on the American people, and on freedom loving people everywhere,” Rubio said. “For more than a year, ISIL has been murdering civilians, raping women and young girls and enslaving them, and carrying out a systematic genocide of anyone who does not share their warped and extremist Islamist views. ISIL cannot be reasoned with, they can’t be negotiated with, and their view of the world is irreconcilable with civilized society.”

Rubio added that he remains “deeply concerned that despite the preponderance of evidence that proves ISIL is a fundamentally evil and dangerous terrorist threat to the United States, President Obama continues to appear unwilling to do what is necessary to confront ISIL and communicate clearly to the American people about the threat ISIL poses to our country and to our way of life.”

“ISIL is not a problem for only Iraqis or Syrians to solve. A piecemeal approach will not eliminate the growing threat to the United States and our allies. If we do not do more to assist our Iraqi partners and those moderate Syrians who are fighting ISIL and directly target ISIL’s leadership and networks in Iraq and Syria, I fear that James Foley will not be the only American to die at their hands.”

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Portraits of Brave People Defending Families, Homes from ISIS

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

 

 

 

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Dem Iraq Vet: If Our Mission Isn’t to Take Out ISIS, ‘We’ve Got a Real Problem Here’

Monday, August 18th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

A congressional Democrat and Iraq veteran cautioned that the U.S. has a “real problem” if the current mission in Iraq isn’t to take out ISIS.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), who in 2004 chose to serve in Iraq with the Hawaii National Guard over running for a second term in the state’s House of Representatives, appeared on ABC News on Sunday with Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), an Air Force veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“I think it’s important as we talk about whether or not there should be troops or exactly what tactical strategy should be used moving forward we’re missing a critical question here, which is what is our mission? What is the United States’ mission. What are we trying to accomplish here?” Gabbard said.

“You know, Adam and I both enlisted, joined the military after 9/11 because we heard our nation’s leaders say after that attack that we would go and take out these Islamic extremists wherever they are. We would fight against those who are waging war against the United States,” she said. “That stated mission after 9/11 has been lost… and as we heard from White House officials last week, they said, and I quote, these airstrikes are not an authorization of a broad based counter terrorism campaign against ISIS, end of quote.”

“So if our mission is not to take out the Islamic extremists who continue to threaten and wage war against us, then I think we’ve got a real problem here. If we focus on that mission, which I think we should, then we can look at what are the tactics that we need to take them out.”

Gabbard stressed that “we need to arm the Kurds with heavy weapons, because they are doing the hard work on the ground, they are fighting against ISIS. And we can augment that and support that wit hour targeted air strikes.”

Kinzinger called the situation on the ground “the worst-case scenario.”

“Back in January I called for air strikes against ISIS, in fact, on this show. When they were just about 1,000 or 2,000 people. Today we see them in the tens of thousands and they are only continue to metastasize,” he said.

“I think what we begun doing is very good, but I think we have to get even bigger and realize that the crushing and the pushing back of ISIS, not just in Iraq, but also in Syria, is utmost priority. And allowing the Free Syrian Army who now finds itself in Syria surrounded by both the regime in Syria, al Nusra, and ISIS, has got to be emboldened to be able to fight them back. They need the equipment and the weapons.”

The congressman added, “At the end of the day I think the defeating of ISIS is the mission. And so I think everything has to be on the table for that end result.”

“The reality is they have made it very clear that they want to strike us in the United States of America. They’ve made it clear that they want to strike Europe. And they have the means to do it,” Kinzinger said. “So they have the intention and they have the means, the means being, you know, passports and westerns fighting with ISIS with the ability to get back into the United States or to get back in Europe. I think we have to have a goal of saying, we need to crush ISIS.”

“…I understand that the American people are war weary. I mean, I hear it a lot. But the reality is, is after World War II, Harry Truman didn’t look at the American people and say I know you’re war weary, so Russia is Europe’s problem. He talked about the bigger issue of what American strength means and what it means for security of our land. And he said we’re going to leave troops in Europe.”

Obama, the congressman stressed, “has got to stand up in front of the American people and say, look you may be war weary, but in five or 10 years we don’t want to look back and say that we missed all the signs, all the signals of the intention of these extremists and this is — it’s definitely there and it’s very serious.”

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Yazidis Held as Sex Slaves by ISIS Plead for Help

Monday, August 18th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

As the White House declared mission accomplished for saving the Yazidis under siege by ISIS fighters on Mount Sinjar, activists and leaders from the sect tell Kurdish news outlet Rudaw that about 2,000 Yazidis remain unaccounted for — in the hands of ISIS.

Rudaw reported today that one of its writers received a call from a Yazidi girl being held in a group of 200 others by the Islamic State in a prison hall in Mosul province.

The chilling details:

Every day, IS fighters visit the prison hall to pick out the prettiest for their emirs, said the girl, who is 24 and whose name is being withheld by Rudaw for her safety.

“Three to four times a day they visit the hall.  The girls plead with them for a bullet in the head to put them out of their misery,” she said in between sobs in a secret phone call to a Rudaw reporter.

…“We were in Gir Azair district where IS fighters appeared so suddenly that we were unable to flee. They started arresting everyone — men, women and children. Later, they took us to Shingal county, where they separated women from men.”

“We were about 200 girls together. Later, we were taken by pick-up trucks to another location close to Baaj district,” she added.

In weeping tones, the girl repeatedly gave the location of their prison, pleading for fighter jets to pound the place so they could all rest in peace.

…“Every day the fighters come and look among us,” she said, hardly able to control her emotions. “They pick two or three pretty girls. When the girls return they are in tears, exhausted and humiliated. The fighters take the girls to their emirs, and the emirs assault them sexually.

One phone conversation was suddenly interrupted when she hurriedly whispered, “Hang up, hang up, they are coming.”

In another call she said that conditions, including the food, were bad. “So far, a number of girls have committed suicide. Today, one girl hanged herself with her headscarf and died,” she recounted, pleading for help.

“Rescue us, rescue us,” she begged. “Anyone who can hear our voice — US, Europe, anyone — please help; rescue us.”

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Obama to Congress: Mosul Dam Strikes Necessary Because Break Could Endanger U.S. Lives Downstream

Monday, August 18th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

President Obama sent to congressional leaders on Sunday a notification under the War Powers Resolution that his original operation to protect Irbil and provide aid to refugees on Mount Sinjar had been extended to fighting around a key dam along the Tigris taken by ISIS.

Iraqi and Kurdish forces said today that the Mosul Dam is now back in their hands. The Islamic State said it still had control of the key water and power facility.

“On August 14, 2014, I authorized the U.S. Armed Forces to conduct targeted air strikes to support operations by Iraqi forces to recapture the Mosul Dam. These military operations will be limited in their scope and duration as necessary to support the Iraqi forces in their efforts to retake and establish control of this critical infrastructure site, as part of their ongoing campaign against the terrorist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL),” Obama said in the letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate President Pro Tempore Pat Leahy (D-Vt.).

“The failure of the Mosul Dam could threaten the lives of large numbers of civilians, endanger U.S. personnel and facilities, including the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, and prevent the Iraqi government from providing critical services to the Iraqi populace. Pursuant to this authorization, on the evening of August 15, 2014, U.S. military forces commenced targeted airstrike operations in Iraq,” Obama continued.

“I have directed these actions, which are in the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive. These actions are being undertaken in coordination with the Iraqi government.”

National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said reiterated that the strikes were “limited in their nature, duration, and scope and are being undertaken in coordination with and at the request of the Government of Iraq.”

“The Administration will continue to consult with the Congress on the way forward in Iraq and our efforts against ISIL, and we will continue to provide appropriate reports to the Congress consistent with the War Powers Resolution,” Hayden added.

Tweets indicated that the battle was still continuing Monday morning.

 

 

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Islamic State Sex Slavery: American Feminists Ain’t Got No Time for That

Monday, August 18th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Via Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch, a report from the UN News Centre:

Two senior United Nations officials today condemned in the strongest terms the “barbaric acts” of sexual violence and “savage rapes” the armed group Islamic State (IS) has perpetrated on minorities in areas under its control.

…“We are gravely concerned by continued reports of acts of violence, including sexual violence against women and teenage girls and boys belonging to Iraqi minorities,” Ms. Bangura and Mr. Mladenov said.

“Atrocious accounts of abduction and detention of Yazidi, Christian, as well as Turkomen and Shabak women, girls and boys, and reports of savage rapes, are reaching us in an alarming manner,” Ms. Bangura and Mr. Mladenov stated, pointing out that some 1,500 Yazidi and Christian persons may have been forced into sexual slavery….

While Iraqi women jump from cliffs to avoid becoming the next sex slaves of the Islamic State, American feminist publications spent their time focusing on male celebrities who’ve embraced the feminist demand that biology doesn’t matter:

This week, Joseph Gordon-Levitt pretty much nailed the definition of feminism…“What [feminism] means to me is that you don’t let your gender define who you are—you can be who you want to be, whether you’re a man, a woman, a boy, a girl, whatever,” Gordon-Levitt said.

And complaining about university sexual harassment policies that still aren’t strict enough, even if they include the following caveat:

The school has also adopted an affirmative consent standard, defining consent as requiring “unambiguous communication and mutual agreement concerning the act in which the participants are engaging” and noting that “silence or absence of resistance is not the same as consent.”

Which leaves one to wonder if ISIS would be totally legitimized in their use of sex slaves if said slaves signed a waver of consent and mutual agreement beforehand. Feminists don’t believe in being defined by gender, so it’s not like those women jumping off the mountain in Iraq were due any unique respect for their biology. Not that American feminists would stop to notice the crisis of Iraqi women fleeing radical Islam’s sex trade, anyway: Lena Dunham got a new haircut and that’s taking up, like, all of their time.

While American feminists, by and large, do absolutely nothing to advocate for the sex slaves of ISIS, said slaves have done something amazing for the American feminist movement. Every time an Iraqi Christian woman jumps to her death to avoid becoming a sex slave of the Islamic State, she testifies to the fact that western feminism is nothing more than nihilism in a pretty dress.

The same article that praised Gordon Levitt for his anti-biology views also praised a myriad of actors for their pro-choice stance. How ironic that feminists who rail against absentee fathers praise an actor for saying, “It’s not about abortion being right or wrong. It’s about having that choice to decide what a person should do with their own body.” In their demand that biology be ignored, these women pursue the very behavior they claim to hate in the opposite sex: The right to irresponsibility.

Over 40 years ago feminists chose to walk away from their unborn babies. It should come as no surprise, then, that they are just as willing to walk away from their fellow women suffering now under ISIS. Because when you’re a nihilist, things like biology, sisterhood, and responsibility just don’t matter.

 

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Obama Admin Halts Transfer of Key Weapon to Israel

Thursday, August 14th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

According to YNet News, the Obama administration has halted shipment of Hellfire anti-armor missiles to Israel.

The administration blames the decision on Israel:

The Journal reports Israel requested money for more Iron Dome interceptors from the US Defense Department mere days after the ground incursion into Gaza began. While Israeli officials told the Americans Israel had enough interceptors for the current Gaza operation, they said it wanted to replenish its stocks.

According to the Journal, the Obama administration, with Israel’s consent, decided not to seek emergency funding, and instead hold the Congress vote on the $225 million military aid proposal in the fall.

While the White House had no qualms about supplying Israel with the defensive, non-lethal Iron Dome interceptors, the Journal reports Israel took another route to secure $3 million worth of lethal munitions, including 120-mm mortar shells and 40-mm illuminating rounds.

The request, made by Israel’s Defense Ministry to the US military, was approved without needing or seeking the approval of President Barack Obama or Secretary of State John Kerry, officials told the Journal. At the same time, the standard review process was properly followed.

After the shipment of the 120-mm and 40-mm rounds caught the White House by surprise, the Pentagon was instructed to put another arms shipment to Israel – a large number of Hellfire missiles – on halt and the administration instructed all of its defense agencies to consult with the White House and State Department before approving any additional arms requests from Israel, the Journal reported.

The halt puts future shipment approvals high up in the administration, with the president and Secretary of State John Kerry.

Both Obama’s and Kerry’s relations with Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are severely strained. Hamas, a terrorist group according to the US government, started the war and has broken several cease-fires, yet US policy under Obama has not been to give Israel the benefit of the doubt. Kerry drew criticism in Israel in June when he attempted to broker a cease-fire with Hamas patrons Qatar and Turkey, while ignoring a better cease-fire offered by Egypt, which would have marginalized Hamas.

Obama’s relationship with Netanyahu has never been good. Obama and the Israeli PM are reported to have had a “particularly combative” phone call over Israel’s operations against Hamas just yesterday.

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