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State Department Spokeswoman Picks Another Fight with Israel

Friday, November 7th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

According to Haaretz, Gen. Martin Dempsey, U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made some helpful and conciliatory comments toward Israel. The nation’s top military officer lauded Israel for going to “extraordinary lengths” to avoid civilian casualties during the latest round of fighting with the Palestinians.

Dempsey’s comments come after unknown figures within the Obama administration blasted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “chickensh*t” and a coward. Relations between the U.S. and its ally, already shaky, were made shakier by those comments, and by the administration’s refusal to investigate who made the comments and reprimand them.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki was asked to react to Dempsey’s diplomatic comments during today’s press conference, by the AP’s Matt Lee. Psaki had the choice of agreeing with Gen. Dempsey, refusing to offer an opinion, or disagreeing with him — the latter, carrying the possibility of opening up another argument with Israel.

Psaki chose the latter.

Lee asked Psaki to comment on whether the Obama administration believes that the Israelis lived up to their own “high standards” on civilian casualties.

Psaki undiplomatically replied, “It remains the broad view of this administration that they could’ve done more. And they shouldv’e taken feasible precautions to prevent more civilian casualties.”

Such as?

Psaki’s comment here sets the United States up for criticism on the question of civilian casualties should we get more deeply involved on the ground fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria. She has also singled out Israel for criticism that is ultimately unfair and impossible to satisfy. One can always “do more” to avoid civilian casualties, but the Israelis are fighting Hamas, which goes out of its way to increase civilian casualties and use them for propaganda.

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Are We About to Increase Troops in Iraq to Fight ISIS? (Update: Yes, Double)

Friday, November 7th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Yahoo News/Reuters is running this cryptic little number on the Friday after pivotal mid-term elections.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military has drawn up plans to significantly increase the number of American forces in Iraq, which now total around 1,400, as Washington seeks to bolster Iraqi forces battling the Islamic State, U.S. officials told Reuters on Friday.

It’s an anonymously sourced report, making it tough to evaluate. Did it come from the Joint Chiefs of Staff or a lower-level planner, SecDef Hagel or someone else? The source matters quite a bit.

It’s also missing an awful lot of detail, such as, how many troops are we talking about — a few hundred, tens of thousands, what? Did Obama order this plan, or is it an ordinary contingency plan of the type that the Pentagon draws up for every possibility, or is this more of an action plan that is in some stage of deployment? The story just doesn’t go into any of that.

Its timing raises the possibility that the Obama administration did not want to go public with any possibility of escalating the war against ISIS until after the election, lest he further alienate the hard left Democrat base.

Update: NBC gets some more detail. Post-election, the Obama administration is looking to double the number of American troops in Iraq, but not in actual ground combat roles. They will be “advisers” to the Iraqis and the Kurds.

We’ve seen this war before. It’s not the last couple of Iraq wars, in which the U.S. went in big to win quickly, and succeeded.

It’s the slippery slope war that we lost in Southeast Asia.

Update: The cryptic story has turned into an authorization to double forces in Iraq, and a request for $5.6 billion more to fund the operation. That’s less than Obama requested to fight Ebola. It’s quite fascinating that this news is hitting on the Friday following the election. It has clearly been in the works for a while.

On Fox a few minutes ago, Chris Wallace said that this slow-drip approach has “the scent of Vietnam.” That seems to be the prevailing reaction today.

My opinion on all this is that fighting ISIS on the ground is inevitable. They are recruiting about 1,000 new fighters a month, and despite the airstrikes they are still hauling in buckets of money every day. Some of our allies on the ground in Syria have already switched sides to join ISIS. The Kurds continue to fight with amazing capability and bravery, but they are not enough to defeat ISIS. At this point, they are holding ISIS in place, which is good, but they’re not rolling ISIS back. Likewise, the less capable Iraqi security forces.

We can choose to fight ISIS hard now, and win, or we can continue with the current approach, which allows ISIS to strengthen to the point that they actually become entrenched and we may not be in a position to take them on (not with Russia menacing Europe, which may require our attentions through NATO). Obama continues to pursue the latter approach, which he admits will not defeat ISIS. That’s what he is saying when he holds up Yemen and Somalia as successful counter-terrorism.

 

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Putin Manhandles Obama in Moscow’s Propaganda Art Gallery

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014 - by Oleg Atbashian

The artistic value of new Russian propaganda is way below its glorious Soviet predecessor, but the paranoid, attack-dog mentality remains the same.

According to Gazeta.ru, last Friday, at the “Flakon” art factory in Moscow, a pro-Putin group of nationalist youth called “Young Guard” together with the “patriotic artists and well-known graphic designers” organized an exhibition of over 100 political cartoons glorifying the policies of President Vladimir Putin. The politically “correct” organizers must have been too dead-serious about their sycophancy to notice the grotesque irony of the event’s title, “Without Filters.”

Forget the filters. The exhibited artists had to be wearing blindfolds not to notice the dangerous cusp to which the current Russia’s regime has taken the country by whipping the nationalistic fervor, xenophobia, and paranoia. They have portrayed Putin as a hero, a winner, and savior of the nation at a time when Russia’s ruble is crumbling, the country’s international standing has hit a new low, and the falling oil prices threaten to knock out Russia’s oil-oriented economy, which Putin had a chance to diversify, but didn’t.

Instead, the Russian president is shown as a winner who knocks out a bloodied man resembling Vitali Klitschko — a heavyweight boxing world champion from Ukraine, who became a politician leading his own country towards independence.

Another drawing pictures Putin on top of a tank, addressing two peasant girls to ask if they had seen any fascists around. The girls have the faces of Barack Obama and Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko, whom the artist apparently considers to be “fascists” and who had disguised themselves out of fear of being caught.

The event organizer, “Young Guard,” is to Vladimir Putin’s puppet political party “United Russia” what the Soviet Young Communist League was to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Not coincidentally, it is named after a glorified, if mostly fictional, underground militia group who fought the Nazis on the occupied territories during WWII. Decades after the Nazis had been defeated, the Soviet and now Russian government has continued to steep generations of young people in the same Stalinist war-time mythology – keeping alive the memory, the hatred, and the eagerness to throw themselves under the tanks and die defending the Motherland against the fascists

When your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Similarly, just about every opponent of the regime has become a fascist. Putin only needs to point a finger. Today, his finger is pointing at Ukraine – and thus the fascists and the Nazis are now all those Ukrainians, from politicians to common citizens, who want to join the West and are defending their country against Russia’s aggression.

Putin’s finger is further pointing to the United States and other Western countries that oppose Putin’s corrupt regime and his militaristic policies. Hence the self-righteous anti-American, anti-Western, and “anti-fascist” hysteria that is sweeping today’s Russia, causing many, including famous actors and writers, to come out with shrill anti-Western rhetoric. Some of them go as far as to travel to the “historic Russian territories” controlled by the puppet pro-Russian “separatists” and shoot some Ukrainians.

Once again, they are so dead-serious about their “anti-fascist” delusion that they fail to notice it’s their own rhetoric and their own actions that quite accurately resemble the rhetoric and the actions of the German Nazis on the brink of WWII, complete with militant nationalism, cult of the strong leader, resurrection of Aryan mythology, and popular support for Hitler’s annexation of “historic German territories” in France, Poland, and Czechoslovakia.

The “patriotic” exhibition in question is a fair reflection of such a mindset — from glorification of blood and violence to fascistic symbolism and dehumanization of the opponent to conspiracy theories and the supremacy of Russia “uber alles.”

Quite a few pictures ridicule Barack Obama, who is being spanked, pulled by the ear, and even has a barrel of a gun stuck in his bloodied face by Vladimir Putin. In one such poster, Putin and Obama are watering a tree. On Putin’s side the tree is green, while on the U.S. president’s side it’s dead, with human skulls showing through the roots. Without defending Obama’s policies, it would be fair to say that in this metaphor Putin’s side of the tree would really be on fire.

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Yes, ‘It Matters’ (Video)

Monday, November 3rd, 2014 - by Tom Blumer

Back in August, I suspected that we would be where we are today. That expectation led me to shake off the musical cobwebs and do something I haven’t done since I’ve been old enough to vote, and to do something else I had never done before: write a song and produce a music video, respectively.

Here, with the help of a tremendous singer and a first-rate recording engineer, is the result: “It Matters.

I encourage readers (and now, viewers) to show “It Matters” to people who don’t think their vote matters, and persuade them to get out and vote. Because it does:

Anyone could have predicted a midterm elections pushback against an incumbent president. Just as easy to predict was that an establishment press completely invested in the status quo would, as soon as a possibly strong version of that result became imminent, begin claiming that these are “Seinfeld elections” — that is, they’re supposedly about nothing.

But what I was really worried about has almost come to pass — and it’s appalling.

After six-plus years of in-your-face governance against their will — dating at least back to the TARP fiasco — the electorate should be three times as upset as they were back in 2010. Instead, what I see are polls indicating that turnout may actually be lower among those who oppose the establishment’s agenda than it was four years ago.

I wrote the song and produced the video in hopes of influencing that.

As Stephen Hayes writes at the Weekly Standard, this batch of midterms is really “About Everything”:

… it is being fought over exactly the kinds of things that ought to determine our elections.

It’s about the size and scope of government. It’s about the rule of law. It’s about the security of the citizenry. It’s about competence. It’s about integrity. It’s about honor.

Make no mistake. This election also needs to be about shaking up the political establishment — and that includes the need to rattle even the winners. Too many of them have become too comfortable coexisting with an unnaccountable, out-of-control, all-encroaching government which can’t even perform its most basic functions, but still finds the resources to spy on and harass its citizens.

The best argument against this ending up as a “Seinfeld election” — not that there aren’t others, as noted — would be anti-establishment voter turnout which far surpasses all expectations.

Hayes is right. PJM’s Roger Kimball is right. These midterm elections matter like no other midterms have. As the song says, “There may not be a chance like this again.”

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How Obama Walked Boehner and GOP Leadership Off the Syrian Rebel Cliff

Monday, November 3rd, 2014 - by Patrick Poole

One of the last acts Congress undertook before leaving Washington, D.C., in September for the midterm election break was to add $500 million in new funding to arm and train the so-called “vetted moderate” Syrian rebels. The $500 million in funding had been an agenda item for Obama since June, when ISIS began making quick gains in an offensive push back into Iraq.

But the political net effect of this vote was to get the GOP leadership in Congress to publicly buy into Obama’s rapidly crumbling Syria policy. Led by Boehner in the House and McConnell in the Senate, the congressional GOP leadership allowed Obama to walk them off the Syrian rebel cliff.

As I reported here at PJ Media yesterday, the most important “vetted moderate” rebel groups are in retreat, having surrendered or defected to Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria.

This development should come as no surprise to any member of the congressional GOP. In the week before the rebel amendment funding vote, I was asked to brief a number of GOP members and prepared a presentation on the collapse of the U.S.-backed Syria rebels that was widely circulated amongst both the House and Senate GOP conferences.

Among the chief trends I noted in these briefings — and that I was concurrently reporting on here — was that large groups of Free Syrian Army (FSA) units were defecting to al-Qaeda and ISIS, surrendering their U.S.-provided weapons along the way, and that other FSA units were forging peace deals and fighting alongside al-Qaeda and ISIS in some areas.

Even before the votes on the rebel funding, there was growing evidence that these “vetted moderate” forces were not moderate at all, and certainly would provide little assistance in fighting against ISIS.

Obama was hinting at where his policy was headed, too. Just a month before those congressional votes, in an interview with Thomas Friedman of the New York Times, Obama said that the belief that arming the Syrian rebels would have changed the situation had “always been a fantasy”:

With “respect to Syria,” said the president, the notion that arming the rebels would have made a difference has “always been a fantasy. This idea that we could provide some light arms or even more sophisticated arms to what was essentially an opposition made up of former doctors, farmers, pharmacists and so forth, and that they were going to be able to battle not only a well-armed state but also a well-armed state backed by Russia, backed by Iran, a battle-hardened Hezbollah, that was never in the cards.”

Even now, the president said, the administration has difficulty finding, training and arming a sufficient cadre of secular Syrian rebels: “There’s not as much capacity as you would hope.”

Again, this was more than a month before congressional GOP leadership took up the cause of sending $500 million more to the Syrian rebels, even though there were reports that the FSA had already lost at least $500 million in arms to ISIS and other jihadist groups.

GOP leaders also bought in on another highly controversial element to Obama’s Syrian rebel policy. In September 2013, it was reported that Obama had signed a waiver circumventing a federal law intended to prohibit aid from going to terrorist groups. But when GOP leadership rolled out their amendment to fund the “vetted moderate” Syrian rebels, it contained hardly any substantial limits to Obama’s waiver policy.

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U.S.-Armed ‘Vetted Moderate’ Syrian Rebel Groups Surrender, Defect to Al-Qaeda

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014 - by Patrick Poole

Reports the past two days indicate that two “vetted moderate” Syrian rebel groups, Harakat Hazm and the Syrian Revolutionaries Front (SRF), have surrendered, with some even defecting, to Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria.

Ruth Sherlock reports today at The Telegraph:

Two of the main rebel groups receiving weapons from the United States to fight both the regime and jihadist groups in Syria have surrendered to al-Qaeda.

The US and its allies were relying on Harakat Hazm and the Syrian Revolutionary Front to become part of a ground force that would attack the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).

For the last six months the Hazm movement, and the SRF through them, had been receiving heavy weapons from the US-led coalition, including GRAD rockets and TOW anti-tank missiles.

But on Saturday night Harakat Hazm surrendered military bases and weapons supplies to Jabhat al-Nusra, when the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria stormed villages they controlled in northern Idlib province.

The development came a day after Jabhat al-Nusra dealt a final blow to the SRF, storming and capturing Deir Sinbal, home town of the group’s leader Jamal Marouf.

The attack caused the group, which had already lost its territory in Hama to al-Qaeda, to surrender.

A couple important points to note based on other reporting.

First is that al-Nusra was reportedly aided in the attack on the SRF by ISIS. According to a McClatchy report:

Even more ominous was that that the Islamic State, now far stronger and claiming to run a Caliphate in Syria and Iraq, reportedly had joined Jabhat al Nusra in the attack on the village of Deir Sinbul…

If Islamic State fighters in fact joined Nusra in the attack, it will have major repercussions for the war in Syria, for the two groups have been divided since April 2013, when Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the Iraq-based leader, announced the creation of the Islamic State. Nusra had supported the rebel war against Assad until very recently and also was at war with the Islamic State.

This is evidence of growing rapprochement between al-Nusra and ISIS, a movement I predicted just two weeks ago.

The second point is that reports indicate that one contributing factor to SRF’s collapse was the defection of some of their “vetted moderate” fighters:

In the past few days, the Nusra Front captured several villages in the Jabal al-Zawiya region of Idlib province and on Saturday it entered the village of Deir Sonbol, the stronghold of the Revolutionaries’ Front, forcing Maarouf to pull out.

“Dozens of his fighters defected and joined Nusra, that is why the group won,” Rami Abdulrahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told Reuters.

A Nusra fighter confirmed the report, saying: “They left him because they knew he was wrong and delusional.”

“He left his fighters in the battle and pulled out. Last night, we heard them on the radio shouting ‘Abu Khaled (Maarouf) escaped, Abu Khaled escaped’,” he added.

One Arabic language report indicates that 600 Hazm fighters defected, with 400 in Qalamoun and 200 up north (HT: Aymenn al-Tamimi). Whoever is doing the vetting of the “vetted moderates” for the State Department is clearly not doing a good job.

But perhaps more important is that both SRF and Hazm were  armed and trained by the U.S., with those weapons now falling into the hands of Al-Qaeda.

As the Telegraph report cited above indicates, SRF had been armed with GRAD rockets and TOW missiles. Another report indicates that SRF tanks and other arms were captured following SRF’s retreat.

I reported here at PJ Media that Hazm had publicly condemned U.S. airstrikes on ISIS and al-Nusra as “an attack on the revolution.”

Both groups also received the hearty support of the Washington, D.C., foreign policy establishment, with Harakat al-Hazm being praised as “rebels worth supporting” and “a model candidate for greater U.S. and allied support, including lethal military assistance,” and SRF being hailed as “the West’s best fighting chance against Syria’s Islamist armies.”

Those chances are looking pretty bleak at the moment.

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Even SecDef Hagel Hates Obama’s Syria Policy

Friday, October 31st, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has reportedly blasted President Obama’s Syria policy. Behind the scenes, Hagel sent a two-page memo to Obama national security adviser Susan Rice. In it, he assailed the dysfunctional policy toward Syria.

The memo was sent last week to President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, a defence official said on Thursday, confirming a New York Times report.

The memo was cited in the Times article by Hagel’s aides as an example of how the Pentagon chief is more assertive behind the scenes than his reserved public performance might suggest.

Hagel warned that the Syria policy was “in danger of unraveling” due to confusion over the US stance toward Assad, the paper wrote.

The Obama administration has focused on defeating the Islamic State group in Iraq first, and described US-led air strikes in Syria as a way of disrupting the jihadists’ supply lines.

Washington also plans to arm and train a group of 5,000 “moderate” Syrian rebels, but has not committed to attacking Assad regime forces that threaten moderate rebel fighters.

Obama’s Syria policy is a mess, but the decision not to attack Assad isn’t its main problem at this point. And frankly, now that the ISIS horse is out of the barn, we don’t really have any good options.

Attack Assad, you invite his allies Iran and Russia in to defend him one way or another, and if you take him out you may be creating a vacuum into which ISIS can move and grow stronger. So, you weaken Russia and Iran economically by dropping the price of oil. The Saudis are doing that, but so far, Iran and Russia haven’t gotten any less belligerent. They’re not any less likely to find ways to defend their ally, especially if doing so damages us.

Leave Assad alone, and he has a free hand to attack our allies on the ground. Arm the rebels, and odds are at least some of them are not so moderate, and are in fact Islamist, and have allied with ISIS — or soon will. The Kurds on the Syria-Turkey border are putting up a brave fight, but making them too strong invites action against them by Turkey. Not that Turkey would be in the right from our point of view.

So let’s attack both Assad and ISIS. They won’t work together, but soon enough we’re in the middle of Syria’s civil war, fighting ISIS on one hand and Assad (plus Iranian and Russian proxies or actual forces) on the other. That’s a recipe for us to get bogged down, while starting a world war. And that’s even if we don’t put boots on the ground.

Meanwhile, the Obama regime seems to be greenlighting Iran’s nuclear program while it alienates our strongest ally in the region, Israel.

Our best bet at this point seems to be to drive ISIS out of Iraq and keep it out. Its supply lines in Iraq are tenuous and can be disrupted. Its hold on most of its Iraqi territory is weak, though it does retain some popularity among the Sunni. You put Syria’s civil war back in Syria, preserve Iraq’s territorial integrity and build up Iraq against Iran and ISIS. Let ISIS and the rebels fight it out with Assad, take on the winner if that turns out to be ISIS. Or, maybe, if it turns out to be Assad. But the Russians and Iranians won’t just sit by on the sidelines for that. The Russians have been hacking White House computers and probing our air defenses from Europe to Alaska to Japan.

Driving ISIS out of Iraq is a long-term strategy that requires a significant number of American boots on the ground in Iraq to accomplish, since Iraq’s security forces have proven themselves incapable of defeating ISIS on their own. But, it’ll never happen. Obama doesn’t want to put more troops on the ground and he is obviously not gung ho to take on Islamist enemies. He and his lieutenants prefer to slam Israel.

When Obama held up Yemen and Somalia as examples of what he considers to be successful counterterrorism, he meant it, and that means that ISIS is here to stay. Al Qaeda operates fairly freely in both Yemen and Somalia, and what government there is in both countries is weak and tends to change hands. The way things are going, according to Obama’s stated strategy, ISIS will be a problem for the next president to deal with.

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NYT Editor Admits Giving a Pass to Palestinian Racism

Thursday, October 30th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The New York Times often prints stories alleging Israeli racism, but never runs any pieces about Palestinian racism. This is despite overwhelming evidence that not only is Palestinian society deeply racist, it also teaches racism to its children, and explicitly ties that racism to hoping for genocide against Jews. Palestinian media also teaches Muslim supremacy. Examples are not difficult to find.

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Yet the NYT, the alleged paper of record, doesn’t expose videos like the one above, or report on Palestinian racism. Why?

Editor Matt Seaton revealed why, in a tweet.

Times opinion editor Matt Seaton today provided a window into the mindset of the editors in his response to a query by this media analyst about whether readers “can expect two hit pieces on Palestinian racism in the next month” in keeping with the pace of the publication of (error-ridden) screeds about Israeli racism, both real and imagined.

Seaton, a former editor at the Guardian, known for its hostile treatment of Israel, tweeted back that The Times opinion pages would cover Palestinian racism as “soon as they have [a] sovereign state to discriminate with.”

There’s much more at the link, detailing just how many stories that the Times has recently run on so-called Israeli racism. The Old Gray Lady is being intentionally unfair and biased, and says it will only change its ways once the Palestinians have a state. The Times’ conscious decision not to report Palestinian society’s racism, Muslim supremacy and genocidal tendencies will have gone some way toward creating that state, of course. What kind of state will the New York Times have helped create?

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Three Women Dropped From Marines’ Infantry Officer Course

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard

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The Marine Corps Times reports:

The three female Marine officers who made it through the grueling first exercise of Infantry Officer Course at the start of October were asked to leave after falling out of two hikes, Marine Corps officials said this week.

The second lieutenant and two captains were dropped from the 13-week course held aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, about two weeks after it began. The Marines got further in the course than any other women since IOC opened to female volunteers on an experimental basis in late 2012. Only one other female officer has gotten past the notoriously difficult combat endurance test that kicks off the course; she was forced to drop out about a week later due to stress fractures in her foot.

Capt. Maureen Krebs, a spokeswoman for Headquarters Marine Corps, said the three officers were dropped from the course after failing to keep up on two long hikes while carrying a load of up to 120 pounds. The load represents a day’s meals, clothing, supplies and assault gear for a 20-mile march into combat, according to Krebs.

Infantry officers are required to maintain a pace of 24.8 miles in eight hours, or approximately three miles per hour, carrying their approach-march loads. Marines who fall more than 100 meters behind the unit and are unable to catch up are taken the remainder of the distance in a vehicle.

“The big thing in this is, they’re expected to lead that tactical movement as an infantry officer,” Krebs said.

During the training, units took two marches, one seven-mile march at Quantico followed by a nine-mile march the following week.

“Three men and three women failed to complete those two tactical movements,” Krebs said. They were all asked to leave the Infantry Officer Course (IOC).

This course was the first since the Marines began to allow female officers to volunteer for the IOC. The change came as a result of the Department of Defense ordering the Marine Corp to collect data on women in combat fields ahead of a 2016 deadline to make a decision on opening these fields to women. The goal is to find ways to integrate women into combat roles without lowering standards.

According to a report out this month from the Center for Military Readiness, “Researchers are finding this difficult (actually, impossible) to do, owing to naturally-occurring physical differences that make men significantly stronger. Androgenic hormones that are not going to change account for greater muscle power and aerobic capacity for endurance.”

Some of the findings of the Center for Military Readiness interim report show significant gender-related differences in physical strength.  In 2013, the USMC Training and Education Command (TECOM) studied data from 409 male and 379 female volunteers, finding significant gender-related disparities on the Physical and Combat Fitness Tests (PFT and CFT) in events measuring upper-body strength and endurance, things that are essential for survival and mission success in direct ground combat, according to the report. The study found:

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Yes, Jeffrey, Things Really Are That Bad Between Obama and Israel

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Over at The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg woke up from what must have been a self-imposed stupor and declared, “The Crisis in U.S.-Israel Relations is Here.” How did he come to this shock and awe (not) conclusion? A “senior Obama Administration official” called Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu a “chickensh*t” when speaking with Goldberg.

And apparently that’s the first time in history Goldberg’s heard a political official use a dirty word to describe another political official. Wait, actually, it’s not. Goldberg explains:

Over the years, Obama administration officials have described Netanyahu to me as recalcitrant, myopic, reactionary, obtuse, blustering, pompous, and “Aspergery.” (These are verbatim descriptions; I keep a running list.)  But I had not previously heard Netanyahu described as a “chickensh*t.”

Goldberg makes it clear that he agrees with the Obama administration on the infamous two-state solution, the issue that “sits at the core of the disagreement between Washington and Jerusalem,” making him an impartial source, indeed. His observations about Netanyahu’s “near-pathological desire for career preservation” aren’t anything new. Ask any Israeli you meet and they’ll tell you Netanyahu will forge a coalition with any party, including the Ultra-Orthodox, to avoid early elections. Perhaps Americans like Goldberg are just shocked at the idea of a politician actually having to work, not play golf, to maintain his position of power.

What Goldberg’s thesis really boils down to is this:

Much of the anger felt by Obama administration officials is rooted in the Netanyahu government’s periodic explosions of anti-American condescension.

In other words, Netanyahu’s boys don’t spare their own Jeffrey Goldbergs from hearing what’s on their minds. If they were a private enterprise, the Obama administration’s company logo would be “You’re mean.” And Abe Foxman over at the ADL would be wearing the t-shirt:

“The Israelis do not show sufficient appreciation for America’s role in backing Israel, economically, militarily and politically,” Abraham Foxman, the head of the Anti-Defamation League, told me.

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Union Officer Getting Medal of Honor More Than 150 Years Later

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

More than 150 years after his death, President Obama will award the Medal of Honor to a Union soldier who took a stand on Cemetery Ridge during Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg.

First Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing died at age 22 during the battle. He’d been in the Army for two years at that point, and is buried at West Point.

On Nov. 6, cousins of the fallen soldier, Frederic Stevens Sater and Frederic Cushing Stevens III, will come to the White House for the medal ceremony.

Cushing was serving as commanding officer of Battery A, 4th United States Artillery, Artillery Brigade, 2nd Corps, Army of the Potomac during combat operations on July 3, 1863.

“During Longstreet’s Assault, also known as Pickett’s Charge, First Lieutenant Cushing’s battery took a severe pounding by Confederate artillery. As the Confederate Forces advanced, he manned the only remaining, and serviceable, field piece in his battery,” the White House said. “During the advance, he was wounded in the abdomen as well as in the right shoulder.”

“Refusing to evacuate to the rear despite his severe wounds, he directed the operation of his lone field piece continuing to fire. With the Confederate Forces within 100 yards of his position, Cushing was shot and killed during this heroic stand. His actions made it possible for the Union Army to successfully repulse the assault.”

Reps. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) and Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) authored legislation to finally honor Wisconsin-born Cushing. At the end of August, Obama said he would act on it.

“Even after more than 150 years, it’s never too late to do the right thing for our war heroes,” Kind said then. “Lt. Cushing richly deserves his Medal of Honor.”

Sensenbrenner said the award “culminates more than two decades of bipartisan work and is long overdue.”

“Lt. Cushing was a courageous leader who at just 22 years of age, gave his life to protect our sovereign nation at the Battle of Gettysburg,” Sensenbrenner said. “His exceptional bravery and determination on the battlefield should serve as an inspiration to us all.”

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General Suspects North Korea at Point of Capability to Build, Deliver Warhead

Friday, October 24th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The commander of U.S. forces in Korea, who met in Washington this week with South Korean officials, said at a Pentagon press briefing today that they fear “uncontrolled escalation” of the nuclear threat on the peninsula as North Korea continues its weapons program.

“Kim Jong Un remains in control of an isolated, authoritative regime that’s willing to use violence and threats of violence to advance its interests, gain recognition as a nuclear power, and secure the regime’s survival,” Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti said.

In recent years, he said, Pyongyang “has focused on development of asymmetric capabilities,” including “several hundred ballistic missiles, one of the world’s largest chemical weapons stockpiles, a biological weapons research program, and the world’s largest special operations force, as well as an active cyber-warfare capability.”

North Korea violated UN Security Council resolutions by conducting its third nuclear test last year and “significantly increased their frequency of no-notice ballistic missile launches this year.”

“We are concerned that such events could start a cycle of action and counteraction, leading to an unintended, uncontrolled escalation. This underscores the need for the alliance to work together, to be vigilant and to be ready to act,” Scaparrotti said.

The general said the U.S. and South Korea have been working together to enhance readiness in the areas of “combined and joint command, control, communications, computers and intelligence, an alliance countermissile defense strategy, and the procurement of precision-guided munitions, ballistic missile defense systems, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms.”

Scaparrotti cautioned against reading too much into North Korea’s moves in which they’ve “reached out more,” including sending a representative to the UN or softening rhetoric.

“Right underneath that at the very same timed, they’ve continued apace their development of missile systems, their nuclear systems, other asymmetric means, working very hard at that,” he said. “And then secondly, they’ve picked up what I would term provocative actions in the northwest islands region and also along the DMZ.”

The U.S. believes that Kim dropped out of sight for weeks because of a health issue, but he’s now back “checking construction sites, visiting military units, and probably approaching, you know, a schedule that’s similar to what he had prior to his 30-some days of disappearance.”

“He has a large number of close-range and short-range ballistic missiles, but he’s working on medium, intermediate, intercontinental,” Scaparrotti said. “Most of those missile events were shorter-range. We believe that he’s got to continue to do some of this for just testing and development of these systems. Some of that is done in order to message to us, to the alliance, that he has the capability with mobile ballistic missile systems to move and fire from different areas.”

“One of the things that we’ve seen this year is that he has stressed more realistic training in his — his forces, conventional and his rocket forces. And so we’ve seen some of the training that has been more realistic and it has resulted in, I believe, some of these — the more frequent missile launches.”

Kim is also concentrating on a better developed cyber-warfare program, which “we need to protect ourselves against and be concerned about.”

“They claim they have an intercontinental ballistic missile that’s capable. You know, they paraded something at least a couple of times,” the general continued. “Personally I think that they certainly have had the expertise in the past. They’ve had the right connections, and so I believe have the capability to have miniaturized a device at this point, and they have the technology to potentially actually deliver what they say they have. We have not seen it tested. And I don’t think, as a commander, we can afford the luxury of believing perhaps they haven’t gotten there.”

He said North Korea is believed to have a launcher to accommodate a long-range functioning missile.

Later at the regular press briefing, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was “apprised” of the situation.

“We have no reason here in the Pentagon to doubt General Scaparrotti’s views on this. Certainly, there’s — there’s no question that the North Korean regime continues to try to pursue a nuclear weapons capability and program. There’s no question about that,” Kirby said.

“And we try to monitor that progress as best we can. I think the general was as honest with you as could be. And again, the secretary shares the general’s concerns about their — their attempts to acquire this capability. The secretary agrees with General Scaparrotti that this is a capability that they want. ”

But Kirby also tried to dial back the alarm, stressing the general “didn’t say that they had the capability to put a nuclear weapon on an ICBM.”

“He said he believes they have the capability to miniaturize — to get to that. But they have not moved — we have not seen evidence that they’ve done it. And we’ve not seen certainly any evidence that they’re testing or in development of it,” he said. “So, I think the general was also clear that they’re — that they are a way away — a ways away from developing that capability.”

“…We have no reason to doubt the general’s belief, but as the general also said, he has no facts or evidence to confirm that.”

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VIDEO: ISIS Jihadi Plants Flag Atop a Hill, US Bomber Removes It

Friday, October 24th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

This AFP video is Bambi vs. Godzilla, ISIS style.

An ISIS jihadi plants his little flag on top of a hill outside Kobane, Syria, to claim it for the jihadi cause.

Flags on top of hills in barren landscapes make good targets. And so do the terrorists who are anywhere near them.

It’s impossible to tell from the video if the bombing won any strategic victory, but it definitely scored for propaganda.

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Report: ISIS Has a Pilot to Fly Its Stolen Jet Aircraft

Friday, October 24th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Reporter Jenan Moussa works for Dubai’s Al Aan TV. She is currently reporting from Syria, near Kobane, where Kurdish fighters continue to battle ISIS.

Today she filed a report about the three working aircraft that ISIS stole when it took control of a Syrian air base.

Big question remains: do they have pilots to fly them?

The answer is Yes. They indeed do. According to my sources IS has at least one pilot. He is a colonel who earlier served in the Syrian army inside Tabaqa airport. He defected, joined Free Syrian Army first and later switched to ISIS. He has more than 20 years of experience as a pilot. My sources know his name and that he lives in Tabaka. Recently the ISIS-pilot flew the L39 plane for a test flight. Sources tell me how they saw the jet landing at Al Jarrah airport. Inside the airport, there is also an ISIS military camp headed by 2 Emirs, a Syrian and a Saudi.

Other sources also say the fear is that the ISIS planes will not be used for normal bombing operations, but for a huge, one time suicide operation which will shock the region.

The L39 is not usually an armed aircraft. It’s mainly a training aircraft, built by the former Czechoslovakia. It can be used for light air attack roles. This story gives more detail on that.

The Albatross is normally equipped with guns, bombs, rockets and air-to-air missiles. It is suspected that the three Albatrosses now in control of ISIS are equipped with all these lethal weapons.

Thus far, ISIS only has three of these aircraft, and one pilot to fly them. But that one pilot is probably training others, and ISIS may well be planning to use them in one or more spectacular terror attacks. The jets are likely to have a short shelf life unless ISIS also has qualified maintenance crews to keep them flyable. So, if ISIS is to use them in an attack, that’s likely to happen sooner rather than later.

 

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Canadian Police Offer New Details About Ottawa Shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibeau

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Canadian police just held a press conference to detail Wednesday’s attack in Ottawa. The police also showed several surveillance videos taken from various cameras that allow them to trace the shooter’s path around the city.

The details reveal that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was the son of Canadian immigration bureau worker and a man who fought in Libya in 2011 (on which side he fought is unclear). Bibeau had converted to Islam about three years ago. He was also known to be in contact with a person who is currently on Canada’s terrorism watch list. Bibeau was not on a terrorism watch list himself, but was known to publicly espouse radical views.

He also reportedly had a couple of friends at the Ottawa mission he stayed at.

Another man, who said his initials were P.M., said Zehaf-Bibeau was close with two younger anglophone Caucasian men, roughly 20 years of age, who would speak with him often about Islam.

“There was three of them all the time going around with each other,” P.M said. “He was teaching them about Islam and stuff. He had them doing the Islamic prayer. They were in the hallways here doing it.”

All three men disappeared from the Mission on Wednesday morning shortly after a fire alarm was pulled just after 8 a.m., said P.M.

Police say that Bibeau had dual Canadian-Libyan citizenship. He traveled to Ottawa earlier in October to obtain a passport. He intended to use that passport to travel to Syria and fight for ISIS. He bought the first car that he used in the attack on Tuesday. He abandoned that car and stole a second one, which he used to drive to the Centre Block, where he opened fire and was killed.

Bibeau had a long rap sheet and may have been mentally ill.

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Loyalty and Enmity: Parallels between Islam and the Mafia

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

Editor’s note: The following is Part Two of a three-part series examining the many parallels between Islam and the mafia following Bill Maher’s recent exclamation that Islam is “the only religion that acts like the mafia, that will f***ing kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture, or write the wrong book.”  Click here for Part One.

Death to Traitors (AKA “Apostates”)

Once a Mafioso takes the oath of loyalty to the mafia—including the Omertà code of silence and secrecy—trying to leave the “family” is instantaneously seen as a betrayal and therefore punishable by death.   Any family member, great or small, is given authority to kill the traitor, the “turncoat.”

Compare this to Islam.  To be born to a Muslim father immediately makes the newborn a Muslim—there are no oaths to be taken, much less an option in the matter.   And, according to Islamic law, if born Muslims at any point in their lives choose to leave Islam, they are deemed “apostates”—traitors—and punished including by death.   Any zealous Muslim, not just the authorities, is justified in killing the apostate (hence why Muslim families that kill apostate children are rarely if ever prosecuted).

In the words of Muhammad—the messenger (underboss) of Allah (godfather):  “Whoever leaves his Islamic faith, kill him.”

The charge of “traitor” is especially applicable when the Muslim converts to another religion—most frequently Islam’s historic competitor, Christianity—as opposed to simply losing faith in their hearts.  Put differently, the very recent plight of Meriam Ibrahim—a Sudanese Christian wife and mother who, while pregnant, was imprisoned and sentenced to death for “apostasy”—is the tip of the iceberg of the plight of apostates under Islam.

Loyalty and Enmity

Loyalty is an absolute prerequisite of the mafia.  Following elaborate rituals of blood oaths, mafia members are expected to maintain absolute loyalty to the family, on pain of death.

Compare this with Islam’s “Loyalty and Enmity” doctrine, which calls on Muslims to be loyal to each other and their appointed emirs, even if they dislike them.

For example, Koran 9:71 declares that “The believing [Muslim] men and believing [Muslim] women are allies of one another” (see also 8:72-75).  And according to Muhammad, “A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim. He neither oppresses him nor humiliates him nor looks down upon him…. All things of a Muslim are inviolable for his brother in faith: his blood, his wealth, and his honor”—precisely those three things of a Mafioso that are inviolable for his mafia “brother.”  (This is why Muslims like U.S. Army Major Nidal Hassan, whose “worst nightmare” was to be deployed to fight fellow Muslims, often lash out.)

Aside from loyalty to the family, mafia members are also expected not to befriend or associate with too many “outsiders”—who by nature are not to be trusted, as they are not of the “family”—unless such a “friendship” helps advance the family’s position.

Similarly, the second half of the doctrine of Loyalty and Enmity—the enmity—calls on Muslims to maintain distance from and have hate for all non-Muslim “infidels.”

Thus Koran 5:51 warns Muslims against “taking the Jews and Christians as friends and allies … whoever among you takes them for friends and allies, he is surely one of them.” According to the mainstream Islamic exegesis of al-Tabari, Koran 5:51 means that the Muslim who “allies with them [non-Muslims] and enables them against the believers, that same one is a member of their faith and community,” that is, an outsider and enemy.

Similar scriptures include Koran 4:89, 4:144, 5:54, 6:40, 9:23, and 58:22; the latter simply states that true Muslims do not befriend non-Muslims—“even if they be their fathers, sons, brothers, or kin.” Koran 60:1 declares, “O you who believe! Do not take my enemy and your enemy [non-believers] for friends: would you offer them love while they deny what has come to you of the truth [i.e., while they deny Islam]?”… Keep reading

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John Kerry’s Peace Partners: Fatah Facebook Page Honors Yesterday’s Murder of Israeli Infant

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by David Steinberg

As reported here yesterday, the State Department’s Jen Psaki was unable to use the word “murdered” in the administration’s official response to yesterday’s terror attack in Jerusalem that ended the life of three-month-old Chaya Zissel Braun. Then, outrageously, she urged “all sides to maintain calm” in the wake of the infanticide.

Imagine being a member of the baby’s family and receiving that message.

Today, one of those “sides,” the evil one, posted this outrageous image sanctifying as courageous the act of infanticide. It reads:

The Silwan branch of Fatah honors the heroic martyr Abdel Rahman Al-Shaludi, who executed the Jerusalem operation which led to the running over of settlers in the occupied city of Jerusalem.

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Fatah. Not Hamas, the supposedly more extremist member of the joint Palestinian Authority ruling coalition, but Fatah, the “moderates” who have had the honor of frequent audiences with our secretary of State, and who have batted out around the U.S. like a cat toy for some 25 years now with this “moderate” charade.

I expect the State Department to do nothing, or to request Fatah remove the image as a “gesture of goodwill,” and dismiss it as some sort of necessary, realpolitik pandering to their extremist base.

Don’t stand for it this time. Make Kerry answer for his useful idiocy. Force him to represent the U.S. as a country which actually upholds humanity in some regard.

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US Accidentally Airdrops Weapons to ISIS

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

This will go down as a moment in the war with ISIS that has little strategic meaning, but may have significant psychological meaning.

The US airdropped a cache of weapons, intended for our Kurish allies in Syria, on territory that the Islamic State controls.

The terrorists have published video showing the weapons while they brag about having them.

The weapons, in the grand scheme of a war that already has ISIS driving around in American tanks and using Howitzers made by the American defense industry, don’t amount to all that much. A grenade kit for making lots of those, and a few boxes of rocket launcher rounds. That cache by itself won’t turn the tide of the war.

But the Obama government is already reeling from its pitiful response to the Ebola outbreak on one hand, and has earned distrust for its handling of the US border and for quietly planning to issue tens of millions of guest worker cards after the elections on the other.

At home Obama’s government is either ridiculed, disliked, distrusted or dismissed. Now it’s dropping weapons into a war zone and hurting our allies there twice — by misplacing the weapons themselves, and by showing America’s unreliability as an ally.

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Pentagon Confirms One Bundle of Arms to Kurds ‘Didn’t Make It’ as ISIS Claims Airdrop Seizure

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson
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ISIS released video of what it says is a seized airdrop of arms and supplies that the U.S. intended for Kurdish forces trying to keep the Syrian border town of Kobane.

Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said that out of 28 bundles dropped ”we know of at least one that didn’t make it.”

The video includes an ISIS fighter rifling through a chest of grenades.

Kirby just told reporters that ”one bundle did not make it into the right hands,” but as the video was just released “we just don’t know” if U.S. arms were dropped into the hands of ISIS.

“We don’t know whether it’s authentic; you’ve got to give us a bit of time to figure it out,” he said.

The bundles included small arms and medical supplies.

When asked if they should be dropping aid rather than pressuring Turkey to simply let supplies come across the border crossing, Kirby replied, “Was there a better way?”

Kirby stressed that even if ISIS got one bundle they got 27 through to the Kurds. “I think that’s a pretty good record of success from the air.”

“I think we’re going to keep our options open to use that delivery mechanism in the future,” he added.

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U.S. Attorney General Blocked Aid to Israel, Cost Soldier’s Life

Monday, October 20th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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When Israeli Sergeant Oron Shaul was captured by Hamas terrorists in the thick of this past summer’s Operation Protective Sheild, the Palestinian terror organization used the sergeant’s Facebook page to broadcast their sick achievement to his family and friends. It should have been easy for the IDF to electronically trace the gloating terrorists, but it wasn’t. Why not? Apparently the U.S. attorney general got in the way.

Israel issued a request for Facebook to turn over IP address information, and the Justice Department got to work. In the meantime, the FBI got the bureaucratic wheels rolling with the U.S. Attorney’s office in what should have been a cut and dry procedure that, in a few short hours, was inexplicably shut down. The Jewish Press reports:

Suddenly, and to the shock of the prosecutors working feverishly to obtain the information that possibly could reveal where Shaul (or his body) was being held, a shocking email arrived from the FBI. An email that spelled a death sentence for what many believed to be the best chance of finding Shaul and his kidnappers.

Thank you for your effort, input and assistance. I regret to inform you we have been denied approval to move forward with legal process.We were told by our management we need a MLAT [Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty] in order to continue to assist our partner with the request in question.

The MLAT requires a standardized process to wind its way through legal and diplomatic protocols and usually take weeks to process. They are used, [Steve] Emerson explained, for non-pressing legal matters in which the United States or another country is carrying out some legal process, such as a prosecution of a citizen in another country. They are not used in urgent, life-or-death or counter-terrorism scenarios, “especially with a close ally such as Israel,” Emerson was told.

…Three days after the stand down email was sent, the IDF concluded that Oron Shaul was dead. His body has never been recovered. Hamas is interested in using whatever parts of Shaul’s body they claim to have to swap for terrorist prisoners held by Israel.

According to Emerson’s investigation, those involved in the legal procedures in the U.S. believe the stop order was given by the attorney general’s office.

Add this to the list of reasons why Eric Holder stepped down just in time. It may also be on the list of reasons why Israel is choosing to wean itself from its strong dependency on American military aid.

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Muhammad and Islam’s Sex Slaves

Thursday, October 16th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

Once again, Islamic State Muslims are pointing to Islam in order to justify what the civilized world counts as atrocities.

According to an October 13 report in the Telegraph,

Islamic State jihadists have given detailed theological reasons justifying why they have taken thousands of women from the Iraqi Yazidi minority and sold them into sex slavery.

A new article in the Islamic State English-language online magazine Dabiq not only admits the practice but justifies it according to the theological rulings of early Islam.

“After capture, the Yazidi women and children were then divided according to the Sharia amongst the fighters of the Islamic State who participated,” the article says.

As for “theological reasons” for sex slavery “according to the Sharia,” these are legion—from male Muslim clerics, to female Muslim activists.   Generally they need do no more than cite the clear words of Koran 4:3, which permit Muslims to copulate with female captives of war, or ma malakat aymanukum, “what”—not whom—“your right hands possess.”

The article continues:

But most of it [Islamic State “article” or fatwa] is devoted to theological justifications for Islamic State behaviour, citing early clerics and the practices of the Prophet Mohammed and his Companions during the early years of Islamic expansion.

Indeed, while many are now aware of the Koran’s and by extension Sharia’s justification for slaves, sexual or otherwise, fewer are willing to embrace the fact that the prophet of Islam himself kept and copulated with concubines conquered during the jihad.

One little-known story is especially eye-opening:

During Muhammad’s jihad on the Jews of Khaybar, he took for himself from among the spoils of war one young woman, a teenager, Safiya bint Huyay, after hearing of her beauty.  (Earlier the prophet had bestowed her on another Muslim jihadi, but when rumor of her beauty reached him, the prophet reneged and took her for himself.)

Muhammad “married” Safiya hours after he had her husband, Kinana, tortured to death in order to reveal hidden treasure.  And before this, the prophet’s jihadis slaughtered Safiya’s father and brothers.

While Islamic apologists have long tried to justify this account—often by saying that Muhammad gave her the honor of “marriage” as opposed to being a concubine and that she opted to convert to Islam—they habitually fail to cite what Islamic sources record, namely Baladhuri’s ninth century Kitab Futuh al-Buldan (“Book of Conquests”).

According to this narrative, after the death of Muhammad, Safiya confessed that “Of all men, I hated the prophet the most—for he killed my husband, my brother, and my father,” before “marrying” (or, less euphemistically, raping) her… Keep reading

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Obama Throws the Free Syrian Army Under the Bus

Thursday, October 16th, 2014 - by Patrick Poole

For the past three years, the Obama administration has hailed the Free Syrian Army (FSA) as the saviors of Syria — the “vetted moderate” force that was going to topple the butcher Assad. Because of that, the administration provided training, money and weapons to prop up the FSA (the word is they sent lawyers too).

But according to a report last night by Hannah Allam at McClatchy, Obama is now throwing the FSA under bus:

John Allen, the retired Marine general in charge of coordinating the U.S.-led coalition’s response to the Islamic State, confirmed Wednesday what Syrian rebel commanders have complained about for months – that the United States is ditching the old Free Syrian Army and building its own local ground force to use primarily in the fight against the Islamist extremists.

“At this point, there is not formal coordination with the FSA,” Allen told reporters at the State Department.

That was perhaps the bluntest answer yet to the question of how existing Syrian rebel forces might fit into the U.S. strategy to fight the Islamic State. Allen said the United States’ intent is to start from scratch in creating a home-grown, moderate counterweight to the Islamic State.

For most of the three years of the Syrian conflict, the U.S. ground game hinged on rebel militias that are loosely affiliated under the banner of the Free Syrian Army, or FSA. Their problems were no secret: a lack of cohesion, uneven fighting skills and frequent battlefield coordination with the al Qaida loyalists of the Nusra Front.

Last month I reported here at PJ Media about the coordination of the “vetted moderate” FSA with Jabhat al-Nusra and even ISIS. That coordination was later confirmed by a senior FSA commander.

Those reports came just as Congress was considering a vote to spend another $500 million to train their administration’s “vetted moderate” partners. That funding was approved by both the House and the Senate before Congress left town for the election break. With Obama cutting the FSA loose less than a month later, those who voted against the funding are going to look like geniuses.

Now that the FSA is safely under the bus it remains to be seen exactly who Obama is going to enlist to train and fight. Most of those who can fight are already in the fight. What are they going to do now, put out an ad on Craig’s List?

As one observer noted last night, Syria watchers should keep an eye out for the following ad showing up in the help wanted section of Middle East newspapers:

Wanted, Multicultural, non-sectarian, Jeffersonian democrats interested in military careers. English a plus. Drug test required.

Under Obama’s bus must be getting crowded…

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New Caption Contest: Is This Obama’s ‘JV Team?’

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 - by Myra Adams
Credit: Drudge Report

Credit: Drudge Report

Back in January, David Remick had an extensive interview with President Obama in the New Yorker Magazine. This is where Obama famously said the following about the Islamic terror group we now know as ISIS:

“The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant,” Obama said, resorting to an uncharacteristically flip analogy. “I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian.

That is how the phrase “JV team” made its way into today’s foreign policy discussions. (In case you needed a reference.) Now, it has become painfully obvious that ISIS is the varsity and Obama’s team is the JV.

These unfortunate circumstances were revealed, once again, in the following headlines:

Turkey denies U.S. base deal in place to battle ISIS (Drudge)

The Obama Administration has a kiss and tell problem  (Foreign Policy.com and below)

In its excitement to trumpet the coalition against the Islamic State, the U.S. is outing partners before they’re ready to go steady.

Drudge linked to the above Foreign Policy piece accompanied by the photo that is the subject of our contest.

Your mission is to write an appropriate overall caption.

Additionally, here are some questions that you are encouraged to answer:

What is President Obama saying?

What is John Kerry daydreaming about?

What is Susan Rice thinking?

Bonus Question: Since we can assume the flowers are bugged, what did the buggers learn from this meeting?

Now, moving ahead, here are the winners from our last photo caption contest entitled, Capitol Dome Restoration Project to ‘Stop Deterioration.’

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

The grand prize goes to Allan Crowson for this zinger:

Guy on scaffolding: “Pelosi says we’ve got to cover this thing to find out what’s in it.”

The runners-up were:

Kuce for: The perfect political metaphor. If something is broken, cover it up and claim you’re fixing it.

And Zip Code won twice for:

Man on ledge talking,—- That’s one small step from the scaffolding, One giant makeover for America.

They don’t mind working till dawn’s early light, knowing the flag will still be there.

Yes, the flag is still there and we will stand by our flag — comforted and secure in the knowledge that the team pictured in our new caption contest photo is in charge of America’s foreign policy.  (Yikes, it’s time for my meds!)

 

 

 

 

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New Name for Battle Against Islamic State: Operation Inherent Resolve

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The Pentagon finally has a name for the operation against the Islamic State: Inherent Resolve.

A press release from U.S. Central Command said the name “is intended to reflect the unwavering resolve and deep commitment of the U.S. and partner nations in the region and around the globe to eliminate the terrorist group ISIL and the threat they pose to Iraq, the region and the wider international community.”

“It also symbolizes the willingness and dedication of coalition members to work closely with our friends in the region and apply all available dimensions of national power necessary – diplomatic, informational, military, economic – to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL.”

At the Pentagon this afternoon, press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby wouldn’t confirm reports that the Defense Department had voted against the op name before relenting.

“But it is — that’s the name. It’s out there. And that’s what we’re calling it, and now we’re moving forward,” he said.

Inherent Resolve will be retroactively applied back to Aug. 8.

“I mean, the name, we believe — first of all, we — we talked about this name with our coalition partners, as well, you know, so that — that everybody had visibility on it and that there — and that there was a general sense of — of approval of it,” Kirby said.

“And what it says, what it means, and for us what it means is that we are going to stay resolved and determined to get after this threat. We’re going to do it in as fulsome a way as we can. And we’re going to do it for as long as required,” he continued.

“And the last thing I’d say is, we’re going to do it in partnership. And I think that’s where the inherent comes in, in the name. We’re going to do it in partnership with other nations, and there are some 60 now that are involved in this effort in various forms and fashions, but it’s very much a multinational, multilateral approach. And I think that’s what the name signifies.”

 

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5 Key Implications if Baghdad Falls to ISIS

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 - by Patrick Poole

Reports that ISIS has surrounded Baghdad and is quickly closing in on the Baghdad International Airport (armed with MANPADS, no less) are troubling. Baghdad itself has been rocked by a series of VBIED attacks in the past 24 hours by ISIS, indicating that the battle for Baghdad has begun.

The possible fall of Baghdad could be the most significant development in the War on Terror since 9/11. And yet many among the D.C. foreign policy “smart set” were not long ago mocking such a scenario.

So what happens if such a situation comes to pass? Here are five key implications (by no means limited to these) if Baghdad falls to ISIS:

1) ISIS will not be claiming to the be the Islamic State, they will BE the Islamic State

Symbolism doesn’t matter much to your average post-modern Westerner, but it still does in the Islamic world, and the capture of Baghdad will hold enormous value. For 500 years Baghdad was the seat of the Abbasid caliphate, and its fall to ISIS would allow the terrorist group to reclaim that mantle. Such an event will electrify the Middle East and beyond, with many Muslims holding firmly to the belief that the abolition of the Ottoman caliphate in 1924 by Ataturk was one of the key contributing factors in the decline of the Muslim world over the past century. No amount of State Department hashtags or tweets, or pronouncements by Sheikh Barack Obama and Imam John Kerry that there is nothing Islamic about the Islamic State, will be able to negate any claims by ISIS to be the revived caliphate.

2) The Great Reconciliation between jihadist groups will begin

Much of the Obama administration’s anti-ISIS efforts have been trying to leverage other “vetted moderate” groups in Syria against ISIS, with some “smart set” thinkers even advocating engaging “moderate Al-Qaeda” to that end. We are already seeing jihadist groups gravitating towards ISIS, such as the announcement this week by Pakistani Taliban leaders pledging their allegiance to the Islamic State. Other groups of younger jihadis are breaking away from Al-Qaeda franchises in North Africa and defecting to ISIS. Despite bitter rivalries between ISIS and other jihadist groups in Syria, namely Al-Qaeda’s official Syrian affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, these other groups will be hard-pressed to deny ISIS’ caliphate claims if they do take Baghdad. In that part of the world, nothing succeeds like success. If Baghdad falls, jihadist groups, some of whom have been openly hostile or remained neutral, will quickly align behind ISIS. And the horrid sound coming out of Washington, D.C., will be of foreign policy paradigms imploding.

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Turkey Joins the War! Wait…Against Its Own People?

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Turkey chose a side in the ISIS-Kurd-Syria-Iraq war today.

It bombed its own people — Kurds who live inside Turkey’s borders but are independence-minded.

(Reuters) – War against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraqthreatened on Tuesday to unravel the delicate peace in neighbouring Turkey after the Turkish air force bombed Kurdish fighters furious over Ankara’s refusal to help protect their kin in Syria.

Turkey’s banned PKK Kurdish militant group accused Ankara of violating a two-year-old cease-fire with the air strikes, on the eve of a deadline set by the group’s jailed leader to salvage a peace process aimed at halting a three-decades-long insurgency.

The Kurds represent the only credible and legitimately non-Islamist anti-ISIS fighting force on the ground in Syria and Iraq. They have not folded in the face of fights, as the Iraqi military has repeatedly. They also have not aligned or made any peace with ISIS, as various flavors of the Syrian rebellion have.

Kurds also live in Turkey, where they are largely oppressed and their political groups are considered terrorists. Building up the Kurds to fight against ISIS right up to the Syria-Turkey border therefore creates another challenge to fighting ISIS coalition-style. Turkey wants no part of any moves that strengthen the Kurds anywhere. America wants a strong Kurdish force to fight ISIS. Turkey disagrees. That’s a fundamental problem for the United States.

Turkey is there in the region, while America so far just drops bomb while flying over it.

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Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran may not agree on much, but they all agree that they don’t want Kurdistan to become a country.

Kurdistan as seen in the map above very roughly overlays the territory now occupied by the Islamic State.

isis-map-iraq

As you can see in the second map, Kurdistan or ISIS could become a key energy power if either were to become a bonafide state. Both would have to accomplish that by dismembering Iraq and Syria, along with some of Turkey’s present territory, at least. Neither would have much of a problem with that. Iraqi Kurds at least pay lip service to Baghdad, but Syria’s and especially Turkey’s Kurds want their independence. Iraq’s Kurds would likely join them if either were able to carve out Kurdistan as a country.

While ISIS does not yet threaten the increasingly Islamist Turkey, dreams of Kurdistan as a nation-state for the Kurdish people definitely do, at least in Ankara’s point of view. And in Tehran’s.

So, with ISIS threatening to take control of Kobane on the Syria-Turkey border, but with Kurds fighting heroically to keep that city out of ISIS hands, Turkey elects to bomb the Kurds living within Turkey, not ISIS over on the Syrian side of the border.

At the same time, Turkey is destroying what’s left of the tattered credibility of one Susan Rice, national security adviser to the President of the United States.

Ankara might, at some point, allow US use of our bases within Turkey to battle ISIS. But that’s only likely once Turkey is assured that Kurdistan will not grow into a country by battling ISIS on its own. Who is in a position to give Turkey such assurances — President Nine Iron, the champion of hot air who heroically battles climate change between Hollywood fundraisers?

Bottom line: The Islamic State is here to stay.

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They Refuse to Wake Up

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel gave a speech Monday.

The secretary was in Peru, where in a few weeks there will be a United Nations conclave on “climate change.” The data says that global temperatures actually have not risen in the past 15 years or so. The arctic ice that Al Gore predicted would have melted by now is growing. The climate doomsayers’ predictions have not come to pass, so much so that they have had to change their language. Out with “global warming,” in with the more generic, and harder to track scientifically, “climate change.”

The climate always changes. Always has, always will. No matter what humans do or don’t do.

But you’re dreaming if you think that the Obama administration or anyone who works for it will ever acknowledge any of that.

The region is, we are told by Hagel’s boss, in sufficient turmoil that thousands of migrants have made the choice to leave their homes in Central America and make the hazardous journey north to enter the United States illegally.

The world is certainly in sufficient turmoil that it ought to have Hagel’s full attention. Russian troops continue their proxy war in Ukraine. Ukraine is a non-NATO country, but it is an American ally. Our military conducts war exercises with theirs.

The Middle East and Africa might also have Hagel’s attention. At this moment, the United States has deployed roughly equal numbers of troops to fight against the Islamic State in what were Syria and Iraq, and to fight Ebola in western Africa.

The Islamic State threat rose for many reasons. Among them is the rapidity with which President Obama withdrew forces from Iraq, and the stupidity with which he consistently sides with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Throw in the Iranian and North Korean nuclear issues while we’re at it. The world is a dangerous place, with many security threats requiring the Defense secretary’s full focus.

But Hagel revealed in that Peru speech that he is focused on “climate change.”

The Defense secretary addressed the issue during a speech in Peru, as the Pentagon released a comprehensive report on the “national security” challenges posed by rising global temperatures and “extreme weather events.”

Hagel described climate change as a “threat multiplier,” saying it “has the potential to exacerbate many of the challenges we already confront today — from infectious disease to armed insurgencies — and to produce new challenges in the future.”

The Pentagon’s new report maps out four areas of climate change deemed the most threatening to the U.S. military — rising global temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, more extreme weather and rising sea levels. And it warns about the impact they could have on food and water supplies, the environment and American security itself.

“Our militaries’ readiness could be tested, and our capabilities could be stressed,” Hagel said, addressing a conference of military leaders.

“Could be”? Our military’s readiness is being tested right now, by the threats noted above. Hagel himself has presided not over an increase in readiness, but in a dramatic decrease in the number of troops who wear the American uniform.

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British MPs Vote to Recognize Palestine

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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BBC News reports:

The House of Commons backed the move “as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution” – although less than half of MPs took part in the vote.

The result, 274 to 12, is symbolic but could have international implications.

Ministers abstained on the vote, on a motion put forward by Labour MP Grahame Morris and amended by former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.

…The full motion stated: “That this House believes that the government should recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution.”

Explaining Labour’s support, shadow foreign minister Ian Lucas said it would “strengthen the moderate voices among the Palestinians who want to pursue the path of politics, not the path of violence”.

“This is not an alternative to negotiations. It is a bridge for beginning them,” he said.

Conservative Nicholas Soames said: “I’m convinced that to recognise Palestine is both morally right and is in our national interest.”

Another former foreign secretary, Conservative MP Sir Malcolm Rifkind, said he too wanted to see a two-state solution but added: “Symbolism sometimes has a purpose. It sometimes has a role. But I have to say you do not recognise a state which has not yet got the fundamental ingredients that a state requires if it’s going to carry out its international functions and therefore, at the very least, I would respectfully suggest this motion is premature.”

Britain is now one of over 100 countries who have cast a symbolic vote to recognize the State of Palestine. While the vote carries no real power over foreign policy, it is an undeniable push for a two-state solution in the face of what many see to be a failed peace process on the part of America and Israel.

“That awkward moment when Palestinians praise the old colonialist empire for giving it recognition,” noted Zionist Chloe Valdary commented via social media.

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New York Times Fears ‘Specter’ of ‘Sabotage’ in Iranian Missile Facility Explosion

Friday, October 10th, 2014 - by Scott Ott

“Specter” is a word that means something feared as dangerous or bad. For example, the following headline would reflect proper use of the term.

“Iranian Secrecy About Nuclear Program Raises Specter of First-Strike Capability”

Which is why the headline on the homepage of today’s NYTimes.com jarred me.

“Spectacular Blast at Iranian Base Raises Specter of Sabotage”

Specter of Sabotage“Specter of Sabotage”!?

Lord forbid that someone might have sabotaged Iranian efforts to weaponize and to loft the output of their centrifuges.

Now, if this were some local rag, I’d write it off to the hackery of journalism grads from the second-tier schools — you know, guys like me.

But Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet! This is the New York Greekin’ Times.

Is it really possible that a Times editor, gulping a mug of crème de la crème, in the rush to post the story, with the need to constrain the third deck of the header to 19 characters, settled for “Specter” because “Questions” takes too many letters? (The header on the jump page does use “Questions.”)

Perhaps the word choice came in the quest for alliteration — Spectacular…Specter…Sabotage. Forget the dictionary. That just sounds good.

Certainly, the Times’ editor could not have intended the meaning of this word. A bit of searching shows that previous Times‘ “specter” headlines include…

  • Confronting the Specter of Alzheimers’
  • Two Hospital Networks Agree to Merge, Raising Specter of Costlier Care
  • Candidates Raise Specter of Cheating
  • Behind Microsoft Deal, the Specter of a Nokia Android Phone
  • Unburnable Carbon and the Specter of a Carbon Bubble

Almost all other instances referred to a certain former senator from Pennsylvania, whose name still conjures the specter of betrayal, two years after his death.

So, it seems, the Times knows how to use the term correctly — although that Nokia Android phone better have a death-ray feature to merit its “specter.”

No, I actually imagine the editor cringing in horror as she reads the lead, and ponders the possibility of betrayal within the ranks of the Iranian missile program. How could a saboteur penetrate the security cordon of the Iranian military and intelligence service?

She probably glanced around the newsroom nervously. Are THEY all loyal to us?

Of course, perhaps an editor who uses “specter” to refer to sabotaging the Iranian missile program raises the specter of an Iranian mullah-regime sympathizer on staff at the New York Times.

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ISIS’ European Poster Girls Now Regret Their Most Significant Life Choice

Friday, October 10th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

These 15-year-olds are learning the very hard way that jihadism isn’t a lot of fun.

Samra Kesinovic, 17, and Sabina Selimovic, 15, are believed to be married, pregnant and living in the Islamic State-controlled city of Raqqa in northern Syria, Central European News reports.

Dubbed by Austrian media as the poster girls for jihad, the young friends now believe their lives have been turned upside down by their new lifestyles.

The change of heart is a much different tune than the note they left behind for their parents when they fled back in April, which read: “Don’t look for us. We will serve Allah — and we will die for him.”

They thought life with Mom and Dad was a drag…

For weeks, social media accounts believed to belong to the girls have been posting pictures and information leading many to feel they enjoyed living a life of terror.

Authorities in Austria say this was all an elaborate plan set up by ISIS in order to get people to think the two wanted to be the poster girls for jihad in Syria.

Now they’re saying, “Look for us. We don’t like these animals who are telling us what to do all the time and we don’t want to die here.”

They have contacted their loved ones and told them they are sick of living with the Islamic State jihadis, but they also said they don’t feel they can flee from their unwanted new life because too many people now associate them with ISIS.

Well, that’s because they can’t. And they probably can’t get back into Austria either, since they volunteered for the jihad and are now at least suspected terrorists. Their alleged change of heart could also be an ISIS ruse to get them back into Europe.

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‘If It Wasn’t So Tragic, This Would Almost Be Farce’: McCain on Obama Not Arming Kurds

Friday, October 10th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

“If it wasn’t so tragic,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said of President Obama’s lack of support for the Kurds fighting for Kobane, “this would almost be farce.”

Kurdish officials report ”very, very intense fighting” as ISIS shells the city in its three-week advance, VOA reported. “We will continue resisting against IS terrorists but we need heavy weapons,” Kobane’s defense chief Ismet Hasan said. “If the U.S. can provide us weapons that are capable of eliminating their heavy weapons, like tanks and artillery, and continue air strikes against [the IS], we are confident we will be able to kill them all.”

The YPG fighters in Kobane have even lacked night vision equipment, allowing the better equipped ISIS to attack them in the dark.

“For John Kerry to dismiss the deaths of thousands of people and then our Pentagon touting 14 strikes, 14 strikes, in Kobani or the outskirts, because since we have no one on ground, there is no way of really identifying targets,” McCain told Fox. “And the brave Kurds, and I mean the Peshmerga, are very brave fighters. They don’t have the military capability, the arms and equipment that the ISIS has because ISIS has ours and we refuse to send weapons directly to the Kurds and the Peshmerga so they can fight better.”

McCain said he agrees with Turkey’s request for a no-fly zone, something the Obama administration is not on board with, “because what we are doing is immoral.”

“We are allowing Bashar Assad to destroy the Free Syrian Army. Every time we bomb ISIS, Bashar al Assad moves in and attacks with more intensity,” the senator said.

“By the way, these are the same ones — we are training 5,000 of them. We are going to send them back into Syria to be bombed by Bashar al Assad. This is really as convoluted and as immoral as I have seen the United States of America do.”

John Kerry has appeared to be open to a no-fly zone, while the Pentagon and White House have said it’s not on the table.

McCain noted “we keep hearing there’s a great debate in the White House” over the no-fly zone.

“I have heard that for so many years, it grows tiresome,” he said. “They tell me privately, hey, we are working on it, don’t worry, we’ll get it down, and it never gets done. I’m getting a little cynical.”

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Does Obama Need ‘Time’ to Defeat or Forget ISIS?

Thursday, October 9th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

During U.S. President Obama’s televised speech on his strategies to defeat the Islamic State, he said, “Now, it will take time to eradicate a cancer like ISIL” (a reference to the Islamic State, “ISIS” or “IS”).

Now, why is that?

First, we know by “cancer” he is not referring to Islamic ideology—since he does not acknowledge that Islam has anything to do with violence and even banned knowledge of Islamic ideology from being studied by law enforcement and national security communities.

Were he referring to Islamic ideology, the need for “time” would of course be legitimate, to say the least.

No, the cancer he is referring to is the very real, tangible, and temporal Islamic State, which exists in time and space.

But this prompts the following question: Why did it take the United States military three weeks to overthrow the very real and tangible regime of Saddam Hussein in 2003 whereas “it will take time”— years, according to most military analysts — for the U.S. to defeat the Islamic State?

This question becomes more pressing when one considers that the Iraq conquered by the U.S. in less than a month had an actual government and longstanding military and was better organized and consolidated — certainly in comparison to the Islamic State, often described as a “ragtag team of terrorists” that seems to have appeared out of nowhere.

The reason it will take years is because Obama refuses to strike the Islamic State decisively and effectively, specifically by sending in U.S. ground forces — the very forces that were responsible for keeping the Islamic jihadis at bay; the forces he withdrew leading to the rise of the Islamic State; and the forces that he refuses to utilize again, even though they are necessary to decisively crush the “caliphate.”

Obama’s “it will take time” assertion prompts the following prediction: U.S. airstrikes on IS targets will continue to be just enough to pacify those calling for action against the caliphate (“we’re doing what we can”).  The official narrative will be that the Islamic State is gradually being weakened, that victory is a matter of time (remember, “It will take time”).

In the meantime, IS will slowly begin to fade away from the headlines.  After all and unreported in any Western media, soon after pictures and videos of the decapitations of Americans went viral prompting much media attention followed by international shock and outrage, the “caliph,” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, called for an immediate stop to the videotaping and internet dissemination of such beheadings and other Sharia punishments.

He called on both official channels affiliated with IS as well as unofficial sympathizers and allies on social media to cease posting such pictures and/or video-clips, adding that the Islamic State “would follow any violation of this resolution seriously.”… Keep reading

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Have We Reached Peak ISISmania Yet?

Thursday, October 9th, 2014 - by Patrick Poole

A few thoughts on the current bout of ISISmania and the systemic problems it exposes:

1) ISISmania has created a financial/legal incentive for sources (most of them “shady” to begin with) used by law enforcement and intelligence agencies to manufacture info whole-cloth.

This is nothing new. Think “prison snitches.” Various foreign actors are passing along disinformation to us as well, so mountains of BS are being fed into the system from the get-go.

Imagine, for a purely hypothetical example, a member of Congress getting an authentic report from a senior agency official, but the report is later found to have originated with a non-credible source. So the member of Congress who repeated the report was actually correct that the intel had been shared with them — but the information itself wasn’t reliable.

It never should have been shared in the first place, but it’s the member of Congress who ends up with egg on their face when the agency issues its denial. No one, whether politicians or agency officials, wants to later admit they were duped, so erroneous info never gets corrected.

2) There are considerable problems on the collection and analysis sides of intel in both the intelligence community and law enforcement. In fact, very few know how to do collection — and good analysis is basically prohibited these days.

So the BS and disinfo never gets sifted out. It then gets passed on to elected officials, which is some of what we’re seeing. Then you have agencies and the administration selectively manipulating and leaking according to their own respective agendas. This is how the sausage is being made in DC these days.

3) There is only so much media space, and politicians compete with each other for that space.

So they need to come up with more outlandish claims to get a bigger share of that media space. That creates a disincentive to vet the info they get and publicly talk about. No one gets on Greta by saying: “We need to keep a cool head about this stuff.”

4) Because of that, the game of “I got a secret” is more prevalent than ever before.

Those secrets might be complete equine feces, but the desire to be “in the know,” whether they actually are or not, and the temptation to show that you’re “in the know” are strong.

5) Congress has no mechanism to vet what the agencies and administration tells them.

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Hamas-Loving Jimmy Carter Blasts Obama in a New York Times Op-Ed

Thursday, October 9th, 2014 - by Jennifer Hanin

Let’s face it. It’s a tad early for Halloween pranks. And clearly one hasn’t arrived to absurdity until former president turned Hamas-loving “human rights activist” Jimmy Carter blasts your anti-terror policies. Carter did just that by gouging Obama in his recent and somewhat surprising New York Times op-ed A Cruel and Unusual Record.  Not surprising, however, was Carter’s mention of the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights that the United States adopted in 1948.

Stumping for the UN Too?

Carter champions this UN declaration in an effort to blast Obama and the current administration (and perhaps former ones) for neglecting to pursue democracy in all corners of the world. Yet there’s a huge gap that Carter conveniently or unknowingly left out. Democracy is a unique condition that few countries are ready for. We saw this when Israel, Carter’s archenemy, gave the Gaza Strip to the Palestinians. Known terrorist group, Hamas, forced their rule on the area, and rigged elections in their favor to achieve their version of “democracy.”

Hamas’s tainted version of democracy has resulting in dragging Palestinians to their death via being tied behind some old jalopy. It has resulted in homosexuals being sentenced to death. It has meant arming small children as suicide bombers. Suffice to say, “democracy” under terrorist rule resembles nothing of the sort.

It took the U.S.A. over 200 years to get democracy right. We can’t expect third-world countries to turn on a dime and gain freedom and democracy in decade or less. Egypt is perfect example of a country whose people flooded the streets to oppose their dictatorship under former President Hosni Mubarak, only to wind up under an even more suffocating Islamic dictator, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Muhammad Morsi. Once Morsi enacted an overarching set of laws that allowed him to have ultimate rule over the Egyptian congress, over 30,000 Egyptians (even more than Mubarak’s protesters) took to the streets to voice their opposition. Thus proving, democracy cannot be had overnight nor is it right for every country or ruler.

While Carter has every right to criticize any sitting (or past) POTUS in writing or on camera (and has), it’s time for our 39th President to stop stumping for terrorists and penning egregious rants and lies. Even winning a Nobel Peace Prize (2002) doesn’t change the facts. Not that I’m letting Obama off the hook for Benghazi and so many other disastrously absent plans to deal with national security threats like ISIS or Ebola (and god knows a laundry list of other beefs), but review your own sorry record.

Carter’s Sorry Record

Carter was one of the worse presidents our country has ever had. His record of presidential hemorrhages parallels with Obama’s oxygen-deprived record. Under Carter, US families were forced to endure double digit inflation, double digit unemployment, airline deregulation, a nonsensical boycott of the 1980 summer Olympics in Moscow, a depleted military with low morale, an energy crisis resulting in time-consuming gas lines, the Iran hostage and a tragic military rescue operation to boot.

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ISIS Crisis: 10-Year-Old ‘Martyr,’ Turkey Won’t Help, Obama Speaks from the Faculty Lounge

Thursday, October 9th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Islamic State is bragging that a young boy has died fighting for its cause.

Islamic State militants and sympathisers are triumphantly circulating images of a 10-year-old boy they claim has been ‘martyred’ while fighting alongside his father in Syria.

Describing the child as ISIS’ youngest jihadist, chilling photographs taken before his alleged death show him smiling at the camera, wearing military fatigues and brandishing a huge assault rifle.

ISIS sympathisers took to social media to identify the ‘cub fighter’ by his alleged nom de guerre Abu Ubaidah, adding that both he and his father were killed during clashes in Syria in recent weeks, but not specifying exactly where they died or who they had been fighting against.

Several images, which have not been independently verified, emerged on social media this week after a video reporting the deaths of the boy and his father was uploaded to YouTube in September.

The original video – distributed by the pro-Isis media group Al-A’amaq – is understood to have since been removed, but a number of photographs of the boy have since been widely shared by ISIS militants and their sympathisers on social media.

Kobane, Syria has yet to fall. A handful of allied airstrikes over the past couple of days have helped keep the city out of ISIS hands, according to reporter Jenan Moussa, who is tweeting from about 4 kilometers inside Turkey, near Kobane.

She spends nearly as much of her time debunking her fellow reporters as she spend reporting on the battle.

Turkey has placed tanks in its territory near Kobane, but so far it has not engaged in the battle. That is frustrating US leaders.

Islamic State fighters were battling outgunned Kurdish fighters in the heart of Kobane on Thursday as the Pentagon warned that U.S. airstrikes alone will not save the Syrian border town from being overrun by the militants.

The fresh push came amid rising tensions between the Obama administration and Turkey, a NATO ally, over who should take responsibility for helping to save the town.

The Islamic State made gains overnight despite stepped-up American airstrikes over the past three days, and senior senior administration officials expressed growing exasperation with Turkey’s refusal to intervene, either with its own military or with direct assistance to Syrian Kurdish fighters battling the militants.

“Of course they could do more,” a senior official said. “They want the U.S. to come in and take care of the problem.” The administration would also like Turkey to be more zealous in preventing foreigners from transiting its territory to join the Syrian militants.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu countered on Thursday that a unilateral ground operation by Turkish troops also would not be enough to halt the militants’ advance.

It also may not be welcomed by Kurds on the ground around Kobane.

As the battle rages on, President Obama is showing that brand of leadership that fails to reassure anyone.

“Our strikes continue alongside our partners. It remains a difficult mission,” Obama said. “As I’ve indicated from the start, this is not something that is going to be solved overnight.”

Obama said the good news was “that there is a broad-based consensus not just in the region but among nations of the world that ISIL (another acronym for ISIS) is a threat to world peace, security and order, that their barbaric behavior has to be dealt with.”

He just refuses to be the one to deal with it decisively.

President Obama has held up Yemen as a successful cast of counterterrorism, when describing what he believes ought to be done about ISIS.

About that…

SAN’A, Yemen—Two suicide bombers struck in Yemen on Thursday—one targeting a gathering of Shiite rebels in the country’s capital and the other hitting a military outpost in the south—in attacks that killed nearly 70 people, officials said.

The bombings underscored Yemen’s highly volatile situation following last month’s takeover of the capital, San’a, by the Shiite Houthi rebels, whose blitz surprised the impoverished Arab nation on the southern corner of the Arabian Peninsula. The Houthis’ push into San’a also prompted threats of retaliation from their Sunni militant foes in al Qaeda’s Yemen branch.

If Yemen is the model for successful counterterrorism, then the Islamic State is here to stay.

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