Obama, Putin and Syria: A bullet point update

20151003_obamaputinsyriaFamily Security Matters, by LAWRENCE SELLIN, PHD, Oct. 3, 2015:

  • Vladimir Putin’s overall strategy is to prop up Russia’s long-time regional ally, Syrian President Bashar al Assad.
  • Russia has bombed targets in northwestern Syria, an area mainly held by non-ISIS rebel groups such as the Free Syrian Army and an Islamist coalition, Jaysh al-Fatah.
  • The aim is to eliminate non-ISIS groups first. Then the Syrian, Russian, Iranian, Hezbollah alliance can turn its attention to ISIS and, thereby, force the United States to support or, at least, do nothing to hinder their operations.
  • Controlling northwest Syria also safeguards Assad’s Shia-Alawite home region and his base of support, as well as securing the strategically critical coastal area containing the Latakia airbase used by Russian forces and the important port of Tartus.
  • With Russia filling the power vacuum left by Obama’s feckless foreign policy, the big losers in the region are the United States, Turkey and, to some extent, the nations that have supported the Sunni rebels, such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a Sunni Islamist, an opponent of Syria’s Assad and a fervent supporter of the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood.
  • Like Erdogan, Obama also demonstrated ardent support for the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt.
  • Some have argued that the Muslim Brotherhood exerts undue influence on the Obama Administration.
  • Together with another strong supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, Qatar, which acted as an intermediary, Erdogan and Obama were likely shipping arms from Libya through Turkey to the Syrian rebels, which led, at least in part, to the death of Americans in Benghazi on September 11, 2012.
  • Obama, having outsourced the Syrian rebel supply effort to Turkey and Qatar, not unexpectedly, lost control of the funding, the weapons distribution and any significant influence in the region with Turkey and Qatar pursuing their own interests.
  • Russia and the Shia-axis of Assad, Iran and Hezbollah are now positioned to drive events in the region, all of which will only to be strengthened by Obama’s incompetent lead-from-behind foreign policy and his perilous Iran nuclear deal.

New information about the Russian disinformation campaign added October 4, 2015 from the Institute for the Study of War website – Russian airstrikes continue to primarily target Syrian opposition groups in areas far from ISIS’s core terrain. These strikes are concentrated in northwestern Syria, particularly in rebel-held areas of Idlib Province and the northern countryside of Hama Province. The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) claimed only three airstrikes targeting positions in known ISIS-held terrain between October 1 and October 3. However, local reporting only confirmed two of these strikes. The Russian air campaign in Syria appears to be largely focused on supporting the Syrian regime and its fight against the Syrian opposition, rather than combating ISIS.


Russian countermoves in Syria taking shape (centerforsecuritypolicy.org)

With Russian TV forecasting today’s weather as ‘sunny with a chance of airstrikes,’ the Kremlin is clearly unapologetic regarding its aggressive strategy of anti-Assad forces in Syria.  Parliament Defense Committee chairman Admiral Vladimir Komoyedov said that the Russian Navy is studying the possibility of initiating a blockade on Syria’s Mediterranean coast, in order to shorten its logistical supply times from Crimea, as well as carrying out artillery strikes on rebel positions.  He also raised the possibility of Russian volunteers from Ukraine heading to Syria to fight the Islamic State, with Russia reusing the “Little Green Men” strategy of deniable volunteers it used in the invasion of Ukraine.

The US has announced that strikes against IS targets will continue, raising the possibility of a proxy war reminiscent of Afghanistan in the 80’s.  In the event of a full-blown conflict, the Pentagon is revising its contingency war plans, which have not been updated since the collapse of the Soviet Union.


5 Top Victories for Putin in Syria (pjmedia.com)


John  Batchelor interviews Claudia Rosett:


Also see:

Obama Administration and UN Announce “GLOBAL POLICE FORCE” to Fight “Extremism” IN US CITIES


Atlas Shrugs, by Pamela Geller, Oct. 1, 2015:

Yesterday, Loretta Lynch announced before the United Nations that the Attorney General’s office, in collaboration with several US cities, will form a global law enforcement initiative called the Strong Cities Network. This is the implementation of UN rules and laws on US soil, bypassing Congress and circumventing the Constitution. (thanks to Noisy)

The UN is a sharia-compliant world body, and Obama has insisted that jihad is not exclusive to Islam (which it is). So will the UN, driven largely by the sharia-enforcing  OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) and pro-Islamic Obama, use a “global police force” to crush counter jihad forces?

I suspect this global police force will be used to impose the blasphemy laws under the sharia (Islamic law).


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: The Department of Justice, September 28, 2015 (thanks to Debra)

Launch of Strong Cities Network to Strengthen Community Resilience Against Violent Extremism

Cities are vital partners in international efforts to build social cohesion and resilience to violent extremism.  Local communities and authorities are the most credible and persuasive voices to challenge violent extremism in all of its forms and manifestations in their local contexts.  While many cities and local authorities are developing innovative responses to address this challenge, no systematic efforts are in place to share experiences, pool resources and build a community of cities to inspire local action on a global scale.

“The Strong Cities Network will serve as a vital tool to strengthen capacity-building and improve collaboration,” said Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch.  “As we continue to counter a range of domestic and global terror threats, this innovative platform will enable cities to learn from one another, to develop best practices and to build social cohesion and community resilience here at home and around the world.”

The Strong Cities Network (SCN)  – which launches September 29th at the United Nations – will empower municipal bodies to fill this gap while working with civil society and safeguarding the rights of local citizens and communities.

The SCN will strengthen strategic planning and practices to address violent extremism in all its forms by fostering collaboration among cities, municipalities and other sub-national authorities.

“To counter violent extremism we need determined action at all levels of governance,” said Governing Mayor Stian Berger Røsland of Oslo while commenting on their participation in the SCN.  “To succeed, we must coordinate our efforts and cooperate across borders.  The Strong Cities Network will enable cities across the globe pool our resources, knowledge and best practices together and thus leave us standing stronger in the fight against one of the greatest threats to modern society.”

The SCN will connect cities, city-level practitioners and the communities they represent through a series of workshops, trainings and sustained city partnerships.  Network participants will also contribute to and benefit from an online repository of municipal-level good practices and web-based training modules and will be eligible for grants supporting innovative, local initiatives and strategies that will contribute to building social cohesion and resilience to violent extremism.

The SCN will include an International Steering Committee of approximately 25 cities and other sub-national entities from different regions that will provide the SCN with its strategic direction.  The SCN will also convene an International Advisory Board, which includes representatives from relevant city-focused networks, to help ensure SCN builds upon their work.  It will be run by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a leading international “think-and-do” tank with a long-standing track record of working to prevent violent extremism:

“The SCN provides a unique new opportunity to apply our collective lessons in preventing violent extremism in support of local communities and authorities around the world”, said CEO Sasha Havlicek of ISD.  “We look forward to developing this international platform for joint innovation to impact this pressing challenge.”

“It is with great conviction that Montréal has agreed to join the Strong Cities Network founders,” said the Honorable Mayor Denis Coderre of Montreal.  “This global network is designed to build on community-based approaches to address violent extremism, promote openness and vigilance and expand upon local initiatives like Montréal’s Mayors’ International Observatory on Living Together.  I am delighted that through the Strong Cities Network, the City of Montréal will more actively share information and best practices with a global network of leaders on critical issues facing our communities.”

The Strong Cities Network will launch on Sept. 29, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. EDT, following the LeadersSummit on Countering ISIL and Violent Extremism.  Welcoming remarks will be offered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein and Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City, who will also introduce a Keynote address by U.S. Attorney General Lynch.  Following this event, the Strong Cities International Steering Committee, consisting of approximately 25 mayors and other leaders from cities and other sub-national entities from around the globe, will hold its inaugural meeting on Sept. 30, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EDT.

Also see:

David Cameron is coming around–ALMOST

80188334_80188329Terror Trends Bulletin, by Christopher Holton, Oct. 1, 2015:

Over the past couple of days Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom has stood in sharp contrast to President Barack Obama of the United States in terms of both his messaging with regard to Islamic jihad and his country’s stance against global jihad.

But that doesn’t mean he “gets it,” at least not yet anyway.

It’s easy to look strong when you’re compared to Barack Obama, especially when it comes to fighting against jihad.

This week at the UN, not exactly the den of strength, Cameron appeared to confront Obama on his messaging on terrorism.

British Prime Minister David Cameron challenged President Obama with some blunt talk on Islamist extremism Tuesday during a gathering of world leaders at the United Nations to develop an international strategy for defeating the Islamic State and other terrorist groups.

Well aware that Mr. Obama shuns the term “Islamist extremists,” the Conservative British prime minister reacted strongly at the meeting when the president, who chaired the session, advised the assembled foreign leaders to avoid profiling Muslims because “violent extremism is not unique to any one faith.”

“Barack, you said it and you’re right — every religion has its extremists,” Mr. Cameron said. “But we have to be frank that the biggest problem we have today is the Islamist extremist violence that has given birth to ISIL, to al-Shabab, to al-Nusra, al Qaeda and so many other groups.”


The thin-skinned Obama does not take kindly to being confronted with disagreement so we can probably count on some form of retaliation from the Obama administration for this perceived slight–something ranging from a breaking of protocol down the road to leaked criticism of Cameron with the lapdog media in the US.

While we welcome Cameron’s admonishment of Obama, we must point out that his messaging still leaves a great deal to be desired and has since he became Prime Minister.

As regular readers of TTB no doubt know, we are not at all fond of making up names for our enemies. Just as “violent extremist” is a meaningless term coined by the Muslim Brotherhood and the Left in America, the term “Islamist extremist” is inadequate to say the least. We draw attention to our previous essay on the subject:

It is true that you can’t defeat an enemy you don’t identify.

These calls are invariably followed up by naming the enemy. Only the names assigned to our enemies seem to always be wrong. A few of the wrong names:

• Radical Islam

• Islamic extremism

• Radical Islamic extremism

• Islamist extremism

• Radical Islamist extremism

The problem with all these names is that they are names that we in the West have made up to describe our enemies. They don’t use any of them. No member of the Islamic State, Al Qaeda, HAMAS, Hezbollah, Lashkar e Taiba, the Taliban, Boko Haram, Al Shabaab or Abu Sayyef ever refers to himself as “radical” or “extremist.” No where in their communications will you see the modifiers “radical” or “extremist.”

They don’t subscribe to radical Islam or Islamist extremism.

Read the entire posting here:


In addition to confronting President Obama on the issue of jihad, Cameron also announced this week that the UK would be sending British troops into Somalia to support efforts to battle Al Shabaab. This announcement has been overshadowed by other news this week, but it represents a step toward confronting the threat of global jihad head on. Now, if only Cameron would do the same in the British Isles themselves…


Also see:

‘For the Record’: How U.S. Leaders Fail to Understand, ‘It’s About the Ideology’ 

Obama surrenders the Middle East to Russia, and it matters

20150928_obamaputinmiddleeast_Family Security Matters, by Dr. Robin McFee, Sep. 29, 2015:

Putin asserts it is difficult to defeat ISIS without the current Syrian government. Whether that government is a puppet of Iran and Russia, is currently irrelevant. Putin is correct. Syria could act as a magnet to draw in ISIS fighters, and a kill box within which to defeat them, or at least eliminate a not insignificant number of their fighters.

Putin has doubled down on Syria in recent days. No news there. He has had bases in that beleaguered nation for years. He is in a good position to weaken ISIS in the process – to a far greater degree than the US has been willing to do.

Speaking of which, Obama, not having learned anything from his many foreign policy misadventures in the region, has decided to invest in Syrian “rebels” who somehow have become virtuous patriots – instead of merely another assemblage of Jihadists, former mujahideen, current members of the various Al Qaeda franchises, and to be clear, NOT friends of democracy or freedom fighters. Obama just doesn’t get it. There are no freedom fighters or prodemocracy plays in that region. It is a war of the roses based upon religion, anti-West sensibilities, adherence to Sharia, tribal power skirmishes, and territorial control. The old saw ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ is both tired, misrepresentative of the landscape, and a dangerous game for amateurs to play.

Syria is an important place – geographically and geopolitically. Putin knows this. More importantly, Assad is his ally. Putin – spy master, politician, businessman, diplomat, quasi-dictator, martial artist, energy expert, possible assassin, and global force to be reckoned with – recognizes the importance of supporting your allies. We could learn something from him, as we continue to abandon our friends, and give benefits to our enemies. Reputations matter. Consider this….If you had to select a second for a street fight, would you pick Putin or Obama? A sad reality, but who does the world trust more? Not who does the world use more, or misuse more, or abuse more, but trust or fear more.

Like Assad or not, he has created a vortex within which ISIS is being drawn in. Al Qaeda is in play there as well. We ought to think of it as an opportunity to let savages kill each other, and their teams become severely degraded. Instead we are arming, at ridiculous expense, a handful (think meaningless) of jokers to represent our interests over there.

Yes Assad is an unsavory fellow, using chemical weapons. He isn’t alone. And to his credit – even bad guys have their good points – he has protected Christians far more than any other dictator in the region.  Putin is supporting Assad. And?

As an aside, think Christians have had any political patronage in Iraq lately? Or Iran? How are Christians faring in other Moslem nations with few exceptions, like Morocco? A bit closer to home, how are Christians treated in the US? While Obama is yammering about human rights, and taking in refugees from the Middle East (let us not forget much of this mess is his fault), he is about to deport Christian refugees, and has been hesitant to allow Christians under siege in Iraq to enter the US. Double standard anyone?

Like it or not, the world is one big Stratego ® or Risk ® game board. It is winner take all. The good guys can choose to be benevolent victors, and good trade partners, even good neighbors, but at the end of the day it is all about which team controls the natural resources, the transit routes, influences decisions, trade deals, and leads globally with manufacturing and distribution infrastructure that wins the game.

We are losing the game, and badly. This is not to be gloom and doom, but to remind that our future, and that of our children depends upon the economic and security future we create and pass along. The two are inextricably intertwined. One cannot separate the economy, energy, immigration, and security issues. Within that construct, the Middle East matters to our economy and security – unfortunately.

We blew Iraq – which has been and remains an extremely important nation in the history of the Arab and Middle Eastern world. Located in a strategic crossroads, and a former ally we misread (thank you Barack Obama), and abandoned a vital piece of real estate. Not to mention our feckless behavior has emboldened the behaviors of radical Islamists, including ISIS.

As for ISIS or Assad or Libya or…There are no consequences that our enemies face when doing barbaric acts against Americans or our interests. Obama’s laughable lines in the sand, and threats aimed at ISIS, ISIL, Russia, Assad or fill in the blanks, they are as fragile as a sand castle near the ocean during a tropical storm.  And as meaningless!

Could you, would you trust Obama if your life depended on it? Ask Pastor Saeed, who languishes in Iran, when he and 3 other Americans could easily have been ransomed for, say $150 billion dollars?! That is what BHO is giving Iran. Ask the Iraqis who risked their lives to provide intelligence to our military, and are now isolated, hunted, alone. Ask the Christians who are being butchered by ISIS and other Islamists in the region. Where is Obama? Where is the United States? Russia has provided more moral clarity on the issue than we have. Wow, the world is upside down, when that can be said!

The vacuum created when Obama placed politics over patriotism and popularity over leadership by removing our military from Iraq, and then added stupidity to idiocy, by reaching out to Iran to help us fight ISIS (tacitly giving Tehran the political cover to enter, and likely capture much of Iraq), and capped it off with a moronic two year diplomacy play that has been a major financial and political coup for Tehran, and completed the process of colossal foreign policy failures by mishandling Syria, betraying Israel, ignoring Egypt as well as Morocco, the Kurds, and screwing up North Africa, has set the stage for a new sheriff to emerge…Putin.

All small entities need a big brother. Whether it is Israel, or Bahrain, or the Kurds (Putin supports), Libya or Syria or the Falklands, most countries recognize it is a dangerous world with unsavory neighbors. Even the vaunted Israeli military recognizes it cannot control the region alone. It needs an ally. It used to be the United States without question. Now Israel has to play Oliver asking for more soup every time it needs something from Obama’s United States. Putin recognizes this, and has reached out to most of the countries in the Middle East, and starting with North Africa, establishing or reestablishing affiliations and alliances. Consider for a moment how Putin treats Netanyahu and Israel with more concern, and respect than POTUS; a deft, radical departure from prior Russian/Soviet strategy. And Vladimir has, in at least small ways, used his powerful influence to stem some of the attacks from Iran’s proxies.

Make no mistake about it – Iran, Syria, Turkey are all critical to Russia’s energy, security, and geopolitical strategy. Poking the US in the eye in the process is just a bonus for Putin. Israel offers potential for Russia, too. Keep a watch on that.

Obama has surrendered leadership of the Middle East to Russia. Pure and simple!  And we should not blame Putin for that. He is doing what the leader of Russia is supposed to do – look out for the interests of his nation.

Read more

What now? How to deal with the utter collapse of Obama’s Syria-Iraq strategy


Center for Security Policy, by Fred Fleitz, Oct 1, 2015:

A year ago, in response to the growing strength of ISIS and outrage over internet videos of ISIS beheadings, President Obama announced a strategy on Sept. 10, 2014 to “degrade and destroy” ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

The president’s four-step plan included: a systemic campaign of airstrikes in Iraq and Syria; increased support to forces fighting ISIS on the ground in Iraq and Syria, including training and arming moderate Syrian rebels; expanded counterterrorism efforts to weaken ISIS and cut off its resources; and continued support to humanitarian assistance to civilians displaced by ISIS.

Twelve months later this strategy is in ruins. Russia has sent troops into Syria and began bombing ISIS targets Wednesday.  [Author’s note: There are some reports that Russia actually bombed non-ISIS Syrian rebels, including some rebels backed by the U.S.]

Also on Wednesday, the Russian government told the United States to stay out of Syrian airspace and remove American warplanes.

Iran has increased its presence in Iraq; Moscow has strengthened its relationship with the Iraqi government.

On Sept. 27, Russian officials announced a new anti-ISIS pact between Russia, Iraq, Iran and Syrian that will include intelligence sharing.

President Obama’s Iraq-Syria strategy collapsed so quickly because, as I wrote here for Fox News Opinion last May, it was really a non-strategy to do as little as possible about this crisis for the rest of his presidency so he can hand this mess to a future president.

Pinprick airstrikes in Syria under Obama’s policy did not stop ISIS from making gains on the ground.

In Iraq, ISIS took the city of Ramadi last May despite being outnumbered 10-1 by the Iraqi army.  Iraqi officials said they would retake the city “in days.”

Four months later, there is little prospect of this or an assault to retake Mosul which was supposed to occur last spring. This is due to the weakness of Iraq’s army and President Obama’s refusal to allow U.S. military advisers or special forces leave their bases and accompany Iraqi forces into the field.

The Obama administration recently admitted its $500 million plan to train and equip moderate Syrian rebels has been a disaster.  The program spent $42 million to train its first group of 54 recruits who entered Syria from Turkey last July.  The recruits were quickly attacked by the al-Nusra Front (the al-Qaeda franchise in Syria) and forced to surrender trucks and ammunition to this terrorist group.  Most of these rebels returned to Turkey; a U.S. general told Congress only “four or five” are still fighting in Syria despite a goal of training 5,400 per year.

The fighting in Syria has caused a huge flood of refugees to seek refuge in Europe.  At the same time, more than 7,000 foreign fighters – including 250 Americans – joined ISIS in Syria and Iraq over the last year according to a new bipartisan congressional report.

Obama officials responded to the rapid collapse of its Syria-Iraq strategy with spin to exaggerate the effectiveness of the president’s policy and dismissing ISIS gains.  50 Department of Defense intelligence analysts recently filed complaints with the Pentagon IG that their work was doctored to support the Obama administration’s claim that its anti-ISIS strategy is succeeding.

The failure of President Obama’s Iraq-Syria policy is now so obvious that his advisers can no longer spin it away.

Mr. Obama’s policy created a power vacuum in the Middle East that Russian President Vladimir Putin has filled.  By seizing the initiative in the fight against IS, Putin is trying to create a new Russian-led regional axis that will counter American influence and portray Russia as a more reliable partner.  This gambit could have major benefits for Putin, including possibly by convincing Europe to drop its sanctions against Russia due to its intervention in Ukraine by promising to stop the flow of refugees to Europe from Syria.

The Obama administration is scrambling to respond to these developments.  Obama chided Putin’s Syria moves in his speech to the UN General Assembly this week, called for the removal of Syrian President Assad but also expressed willingness to work with Putin in the battle against ISIS.  Putin dismissed Obama’s demands by blaming the United States for the civil war in Syria, called for working with the Assad regime and criticized America’s efforts to train and equip Syrian rebels.

The president’s Iraq-Syria policy continues to be incoherent and dangerous.  There’s no chance of removing Syrian president Assad due to Russia’s increased support.  In his UN General Assembly speech, President Obama expressed his willingness to work with Iran to fight ISIS and end the civil war in Syria even though increasing Iran’s role in Iraq and Syria will expand Iranian influence and exacerbate Sunni-Shia tensions in Iraq.

Given that this situation is the result of seven years of incompetent policy by this administration and the president’s continuing refusal to take decisive action in Iraq or Syria, it is hard to see what the Obama administration can do to reverse it.  But there are several guidelines Mr. Obama should consider employing to dig out of the hole his policy has created:

  • Recognize that Russia and Iran are the problem, not the solution.  The United States needs to maintain dialogue with Russia but stop talking about working with Russia and Iran to fight ISIS since their goals are counter to American interests and regional security. Mr Obama needs to realize that an expanded and entrenched Russian/Iranian presence in the Middle East will have dire long term consequences for America and the region.
  • Work with our European and regional states to form a better military alliance to combat ISIS and to counter Russian and Iranian influence.  This should include creating a safe haven protected zone in northern Syria and intensified air strikes against ISIS targets.  The refugee crisis probably has made Europe more willing to participate in such an alliance.  France conducted its firs airstrikes in Syria last week.
  • End the limitations on fighting ISIS in Iraq.  Let U.S. troops leave their bases so they can operate behind the lines in Iraq and support Iraqi security forces.  Provide better weapons to the Iraqi Kurds or let our allies arm them.  Incredibly, the Obama administration blocked Gulf states from sending heavy weapons to the Iraqi Kurds in July.
  • President Obama must stop making demands he has no intention of enforcing.  The world correctly sees Mr Obama’s demands that Assad leave office and Russia stop its military aid to the Assad government as idle threats.  Every time the president makes such demands, he further undermines American credibility and emboldens U.S. enemies and adversaries.  The word of the leader of the world’s superpower must be enough to change international events and not viewed as chatter that can be safely ignored.

Given his record to date, I doubt President Obama will adopt any of these guidelines.  I expect his administration will continue its non-policy policy to leave this crisis for the next administration to solve.  As a result, American interests and regional security are likely to suffer for the rest of this presidency as Russia and Iran increase their influence.

The presidential candidates need to watch this situation closely since the Middle East disaster they will inherit from Mr. Obama likely will be much worse than the current crisis


Also see:

Obama Proselytizes for Islam at UN Summit for “Countering Violent Extremism”

Obama-UN-ISIS-2Atlas Shrugs, by Pamela Geller, Sep. 30, 2015:

Platitudes, self-righteousness, distortions, tortured reasoning, self-promotion — that’s right, it’s another major speech by Barack Obama. Mind you, while the sharia-compliant president was bloviating at the UN, another major city in Afghanistan fell to the Taliban and the House Committee on Homeland Security released a blockbuster report that called the thousands of foreign fighters who have joined to fight ISIS the “largest global convergence of jihadists in history.” “Remember that violent extremism is not unique to any one faith,” Obama told a U.N. meeting Sept. 29. “No-one should be profiled or targeted simply because of their faith… [and] we have to commit ourselves to build diverse, tolerant, inclusive, societies that reject anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant bigotry that creates the divisions, the fear, and the resentments upon which extremists can prey.”

Comments interspersed below.

“Remarks by President Obama at the Leaders’ Summit on Countering ISIL and Violent Extremism,” United Nations Headquarters, September 29, 2015:

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, heads of state and government. Last year, here at the United Nations, I called on the world to unite against the evil that is ISIL, or Daesh, and to eradicate the scourge of violent extremism. And I challenged countries to return to the General Assembly this year with concrete steps that we can take together.

He challenged countries? It was up to them to come up with concrete steps to beat ISIS? This from a man who confessed in August 2014 that “we don’t have a strategy yet” to beat the Islamic State, and said in June 2015 that the U.S. had no “complete strategy” for training Iraqis to fight the Islamic State. Apparently he was waiting for other countries to draw up a strategy for him. Putin obliged him, but he rejected that one.

I want to thank everyone who is here today, including my fellow leaders, for answering this call. We are joined by representatives from more than 100 nations, more than 20 multilateral institutions, some 120 civil society groups from around the world, and partners from the private sector. I believe what we have here today is the emergence of a global movement that is united by the mission of degrading and ultimately destroying ISIL.

He used that language before. Since then, the Islamic State has only grown in strength, while Obama’s Pentagon had to resort to falsifying data to make it look as if Obama’s cosmetic airstrikes were successful.

Together, we’re pursuing a comprehensive strategy that is informed by our success over many years in crippling the al Qaeda core in the tribal regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan. And we are harnessing all of our tools — military, intelligence, economic, development and the strength of our communities.

The al Qaeda core in Afghanistan is crippled? But al Qaeda’s ally, the Taliban, just took Kunduz in northern Afghanistan, a major city far from its usual sphere of influence. The Taliban doesn’t seem crippled at all.

Now, I have repeatedly said that our approach will take time. This is not an easy task. We have ISIL taking root in areas that already are suffering from failed governance, in some cases; in some cases, civil war or sectarian strife. And as a consequence of the vacuum that exists in many of these areas, ISIL has been able to dig in. They have shown themselves to be resilient, and they are very effective through social media and have been able to attract adherents not just from the areas in which they operate, but in many of our own countries.

They’re not attracting adherents because they’re effective through social media. That’s just the medium; the message is what attracts adherents. But Obama is bound as a matter of policy to ignore their message, so he has to pretend that the way they package it is what counts. And then he has the audacity to say we must combat their ideology — an ideology he has consistently refused to acknowledge even exists:

There are going to be successes and there are going to be setbacks. This is not a conventional battle. This is a long-term campaign — not only against this particular network, but against its ideology. And so with the few minutes I have, I want to provide a brief overview of where we stand currently.

Our coalition has grown to some 60 nations, including our Arab partners. Together, we welcome three new countries to our coalition — Nigeria, Tunisia and Malaysia. Nearly two dozen nations are in some way contributing to the military campaign, and we salute and are grateful for all the servicemembers from our respective nations who are performing with skill and determination.

Nigeria is the home of Boko Haram, which has allied with the Islamic State. Tunisia has sent a huge number of jihadis to join the Islamic State. It is likely that there are more Nigerians and Tunisians on the side of the Islamic State than will be joining the coalition against it.

In Iraq, ISIL continues to hold Mosul, Fallujah and Ramadi. But Iraqi forces, backed by coalition air power, have liberated towns across Kirkuk province and Tikrit. ISIL has now lost nearly a third of the populated areas in Iraq that it had controlled. Eighteen countries are now helping to train and support Iraqi forces, including Sunni volunteers who want to push ISIL out of their communities. And, Prime Minister Abadi, I want to note the enormous sacrifices being made by Iraqi forces and the Iraqi people in this fight every day.

Obama’s claims about the Islamic State losing territory have already been discredited.

In Syria, which has obviously been a topic of significant discussion during the course of this General Assembly, we have seen support from Turkey that has allowed us to intensify our air campaign there. ISIL has been pushed back from large sections of northeastern Syria, including the key city of Tal Abyad, putting new pressure on its stronghold of Raqqa. And ISIL has been cut off from almost the entire region bordering Turkey, which is a critical step toward stemming the flow of foreign terrorist fighters.

One step forward, two steps back: Turkey is more interested in fighting the Kurds than fighting the Islamic State. Turkish attacks on the Kurds weaken the most effective ground force currently facing the Islamic State. The U.S. has been accused of selling out the Kurds to gain Turkish support against ISIS, and that support has been meager in any case.

Following the special Security Council meeting I chaired last year, more than 20 additional countries have passed or strengthened laws to disrupt the flow of foreign terrorist fighters. We share more information and we are strengthening border controls. We’ve prevented would-be fighters from reaching the battlefield and returning to threaten our countries. But this remains a very difficult challenge, and today we’re going to focus on how we can do more together. In conjunction with this summit, the United States and our partners are also taking new steps to crack down on the illicit finance that ISIL uses to pay its fighters, fund its operations and launch attacks.

How successful has the U.S. been in stopping foreign jihadis from joining ISIS? Now 30,000 foreign jihadis from 100 countries have joined the Islamic State.

Our military and intelligence efforts are not going to succeed alone; they have to be matched by political and economic progress to address the conditions that ISIL has exploited in order to take root. Prime Minister Abadi is taking important steps to build a more inclusive and accountable government, while working to stabilize areas taken back from ISIL. And our nations need to help Prime Minister Abadi in these efforts.

In Syria, as I said yesterday, defeating ISIL requires — I believe — a new leader and an inclusive government that unites the Syrian people in the fight against terrorist groups. This is going to be a complex process. And as I’ve said before, we are prepared to work with all countries, including Russia and Iran, to find a political mechanism in which it is possible to begin a transition process.

Obama’s repeated claims that the Islamic State can only be defeated if Assad is removed is based on the assumption that ISIS is not Islamic, and is just an opposition group to Assad, so that if Assad is gone, the Islamic State will vanish. Putin’s view is more realistic: he knows ISIS is Islamic, and claims to be the caliphate, and has global ambitions. He knows that if Assad falls, the Islamic State will be the main beneficiary.

As ISIL’s tentacles reach into other regions, the United States is increasing our counterterrorism cooperation with partners, like Tunisia. We’re boosting our support to Nigeria and its neighbors as they push back against Boko Haram, which has pledged allegiance to ISIL. And we’re creating a new clearinghouse to better coordinate the world’s support for countries’ counterterrorism programs so that our efforts are as effective as possible.

Ultimately, however, it is not going to be enough to defeat ISIL in the battlefield. We have to prevent it from radicalizing, recruiting and inspiring others to violence in the first place. And this means defeating their ideology. Ideologies are not defeated with guns, they’re defeated by better ideas — a more attractive and compelling vision. Building on our White House summit earlier this year, and summits around the world since then, we’re moving ahead, together, in several areas.

Ideologies are not defeated by guns? Really? Yet if National Socialism and Shinto militarism were not defeated by guns, what defeated them? Any serious and thoroughgoing effort to refute them as ideologies came after the guns had stopped firing, during the occupation of Germany and Japan, when the Allies worked to turn the hearts of the citizenry away from the beliefs in which they had been relentlessly indoctrinated for years.

What’s more, the United States is not trying to defeat the Islamic State, or the global jihad in general, with “a more attractive and more compelling vision.” Instead, we supervised the installations of constitutions that enshrined Sharia as the highest law of the land in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Imposing Sharia is the goal of all jihad groups, including the Islamic State. The United States has never stood in Iraq or Afghanistan, or anywhere else, for the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, equality of rights for women, etc. — all of which are denied in Sharia. In other words, we didn’t counter their ideas with a more attractive and compelling vision. We didn’t counter them at all, and still aren’t doing so, because to do so would be considered “Islamophobic.”

How is Obama going to counter their ideology when he won’t even acknowledge what it is? Three years ago, his administration banned the truth about Islam and jihad from counterterror training, bowing to the demands of Muslim, Arab and Pakistani organizations that wrote to John Brennan claiming that FBI and other agents were being imbued with “Islamophobia.” Since then, Obama, Brennan, John Kerry, Joe Biden and other Administration spokesmen have steadfastly refused to acknowledge that Islamic jihad has anything to do with Islam whatsoever – thus foreclosing upon any possibility that the United States will confront the jihad ideology in any serious or effective manner.

We’re stepping up our efforts to discredit ISIL’s propaganda, especially online. The UAE’s new messaging hub — the Sawab Center — is exposing ISIL for what it is, which is a band of terrorists that kills innocent Muslim men, women and children. We’re working to lift up the voices of Muslim scholars, clerics and others — including ISIL defectors — who courageously stand up to ISIL and its warped interpretations of Islam.

It’s interesting that he says that the Islamic State’s killing innocent Muslims is what will discredit them. He seems to know that their killing of non-Muslims won’t sway Muslims to oppose them. And as for the clerics and scholars who are exposing the Islamic State’s “warped interpretation of Islam,” does he mean these, who endorsed the concept of the caliphate, as well as jihad and dhimmitude in the course of condemning the Islamic State?

We recognize that we have to confront the economic grievances that exist in some of the areas that ISIL seeks to exploit. Poverty does not cause terrorism. But as we’ve seen across the Middle East and North Africa, when people, especially young people, are impoverished and hopeless and feel humiliated by injustice and corruption, that can fuel resentments that terrorists exploit. Which is why sustainable development — creating opportunity and dignity, particularly for youth — is part of countering violent extremism.

We recognize we also have to address the political grievances that ISIL exploits. I’ve said this before — when human rights are denied and citizens have no opportunity to redress their grievances peacefully, it feeds terrorist propaganda that justifies violence. Likewise, when political opponents are treated like terrorists and thrown in jail, it can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. So the real path to lasting stability and progress is not less democracy; I believe it is more democracy in terms of free speech, and freedom of religion, rule of law, strong civil societies. All that has to play a part in countering violent extremism.

So he is going to address their poverty, even while admitting that poverty doesn’t cause terrorism, and their political grievances. In doing these things, he thinks their religious vision will fade away. This is, of course, because he refuses to face it for what it is, has no idea of its strength, and won’t believe it has anything to do with Islam. The result will be that he will shower money on Muslim countries and make political concessions to them, and then, to his dismay, will find that the jihad continues.

And finally, we recognize that our best partners in protecting vulnerable people from succumbing to violent extremist ideologies are the communities themselves — families, friends, neighbors, clerics, faith leaders who love and care for these young people.

Remember that violent extremism is not unique to any one faith, so no one should be profiled or targeted simply because of their faith. Yet we have to recognize that ISIL is targeting Muslim communities around the world, especially individuals who may be disillusioned or confused or wrestling with their identities.

“No one should be profiled or targeted simply because of their faith.” If he was referring to attacks on innocent Muslims, of course, no innocent Muslims should suffer any harm or injustice. He seemed to be saying more than that. The idea that it is wrong to fight Islamic jihad by paying attention to Muslim communities more than Baptist or Jewish or Hindu or Amish communities is absurd. Islamic jihad is committed by Muslims. Obama won’t even call it Islamic jihad or admit that it is a specifically Muslim phenomenon, and insofar as he diverts any resources to tracking “right-wing extremism” on the basis of bogus studies, he makes us all less safe.

But as far as Obama is concerned, that the Islamic State is “targeting Muslim communities” makes Muslims the victims, deserving of special favors:

And in all our countries, we have to continue to build true partnerships with Muslim communities, based on trust and cooperation, so that they can help protect their loved ones from becoming radicalized. This cannot just be the work of government. It is up to all of us. We have to commit ourselves to build diverse, tolerant, inclusive societies that reject anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant bigotry that creates the divisions, the fear and the resentments upon which extremists can prey.

Islamic advocacy groups have worked for years to stigmatize all resistance to jihad terror as “bigotry.” Now the President of the United States is echoing their talking points.

…Like terrorists and tyrants throughout history, ISIL will eventually lose because it has nothing to offer but suffering and death. And when you look at the reports of those who are laboring under their control, it is a stark and brutal life that does not appeal to people over the long term. So we will ultimately prevail because we are guided by a stronger, better vision: a commitment to the security, opportunity and dignity of every human being. But it will require diligence, focus and sustained effort by all of us. And I am grateful that all of you who are already participating are committed to this work.

In reality, he never dares articulate that “stronger, better vision” in anything but platitudes. To do so in any realistic manner would require he discuss Islam and Sharia. And he will never do that.

Also see:


ISIS-beheading-Christians-Libya-ap-640x480Breitbart, by John Hayward, Sep. 28, 2015:

President Obama’s address to the U.N. General Assembly on Monday morning was a rambling journey through a fantasy world where his foreign policy hasn’t been an unmitigated disaster.

Perhaps the most bizarre moment came when he tried to tout his Libyan adventure as asuccess.

There was plenty of tough-guy posturing that intimidated absolutely no one.  The Russian and Iranian delegations were especially good at looking bored and unimpressed when he called upon them to do this-or-that because The World supposedly demanded it. Obama hasn’t figured out he’s the only leader at the U.N. eager to sacrifice his nation’s interests to please The World.

Obama made the weird decision to vaguely threaten Russia over its invasion of Ukraine by claiming that The World would not stand idly by and allow it… when that’s exactly what The World, and especially First Citizen of the World Barack Obama, has been doing.  He essentially pleaded with Iran to stop supporting terrorist proxies and pursuing its aggressive regional ambitions, and focus on their economy instead.  (Of course, in Obama’s vigorous imagination, the U.S. has been enjoying an economic boom under his stewardship, instead of an endless grinding non-recovery and limp, sporadic growth, after Obama’s spending doubled the national debt in a single presidency.)

It was bad enough that the President talked about American troops coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan as the triumphant conclusion of an effective policy, rather than the hideous blunder that allowed ISIS to create a terror state, al-Qaeda to rise from the ashes, and the Taliban to begin planning its return to power.  At the same moment Obama was speaking, the Taliban was conducting a major offensive in Afghanistan, on par with the importance of ISIS taking Mosul in Iraq.  Obama’s pitifully small “New Syrian Force” of U.S.-backed rebels just handed a good deal of its American equipment over to al-Qaeda, and no one really knows what became of the unit itself.  Their predecessors were destroyed by al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front in Syria, with less than half a dozen survivors still on the field.

When Obama boasted of the Libyan operation as the successful removal of a tyrant, jaws must have hit the floor around the room.  Libya is an unholy disaster, a wasteland of warlords fighting to keep ISIS off their turf.  It’s a key gateway for the incredible migratory tide blasting out of Africa and the Middle East and now surging across Europe.  And yet, Obama portrays it as laudable example of tyrant removal… while modestly admitting that “our coalition could have, and should have, done more to fill a vacuum left behind.”

Of course he blamed everyone else in the “coalition” for the disaster in Libya.  He’s Barack Obama.  The day may come when he takes responsibility for something, but today is not that day, and tomorrow isn’t looking good either.

The scary thing about Obama is that he believes so completely in the power of his own rhetoric.

He thinks he can reshape reality with his words.  When he scolds the Iranians for their “Death to America!” rhetoric by saying bloodthirsty chants don’t create jobs, he’s asking Iran to live up to the silly talking points he foisted off on the American people to cover the Iranian nuclear deal.  He’s commanding Iran to act like the enlightened, responsible nation-state he gambled the future of Israel, America, and much of the Western world on.

The Iranians, on the other hand, see no reason to knock off the “Death to America!” chants, disband their theocracy, and begin spending their days arguing about stimulus bills.  Belligerence has gotten them everything so far.  They’ve been rewarded for it… by Barack Obama.  They’ve got $150 billion in sanctions relief coming their way.  They can afford to send a few guys to sit in the U.N. General Assembly with pissy expressions on their faces while Obama rambles on about how geo-political crime does not pay.  They know for a fact it pays, quite handsomely.  The Iranians are already using their Obama loot to reinforce terror proxies like Hamas and Hezbollah, and secure Bashar Assad in power.

Ah, yes, Bashar Assad… the dictator Obama still blathers on about removing from power, even as his own diplomatic apparatus gets used to the idea Assad is not going anywhere.  The only really good part of Obama’s speech was when he spent five seconds glaring at the Syrian ambassador before launching into his denunciation of barrel bombs and chemical weapons.  But you know what?  That Syrian ambassador gets paid enough to take a few seconds of hairy eyeball from the ineffectual American president.  The Russians are smoothly replacing American influence across the Middle East, in partnership with Iran.  The new order is taking shape.  Obama isn’t going to reverse that process by telling aggressive, bare-knuckle conquerors they should be ashamed of themselves.

The other dangerous thing about this delusional President is his belief in the “judgment of history.”

He’s constantly hitting on the idea that all of the world’s villains are on the wrong side of history, and will find themselves buried in the sands of time any day now.  It’s a dodge, a way of Obama evading responsibility.  Bashar Assad is going to remerge from the Wrong Side of History in pretty good shape.  ISIS is very comfortable there, as is Iran.  Qaddafi didn’t assume room temperature because History caught up with him. Vladimir Putin has a lovely view of Crimea from the wrong side of history.  The history of Europe is being reshaped by the tramping of a million “refugee” feet.

In every example, Obama clings to the idea that he can change the world by talking and scoring debate points, while his adversaries seize territory and control the course of events.  It’s not as though Obama has some deep-seated reluctance to use deadly force – there have been a lot of deaths by drone strike since he won that Nobel Peace Prize.  What Obama lacks is commitment.  His foreign policy is all about gestures and distractions.  He cooks up half-baked plans that will blow up a terrorist here and there, so he can’t be accused of doing “nothing,” but he won’t do anything that could cost him political capital at home.  Even Libya was half-hearted and calculated for minimum risk, which is why the place went to an even deeper Hell after Qaddafi was overthrown.

Obama talks as if he’s taken action against numerous crises, but all he ever did was talk about them.  The men of action are stacking up bodies, and raising flags over conquered cities, while this President is writing speeches and trying to win applause from editorial boards.  The men of action know that Obama’s promises all have expiration dates, his vows of action always have escape clauses, and no matter how he loves to boast that he heads up the most powerful military the world has ever seen, he’s done everything he can to make it weaker.

President Obama is still clinging to a romantic vision of the “Arab Spring” as a flourishing of democracy, despite all evidence to the contrary.  He’s giving the same foreign policy speeches he gave in 2009 because he can’t bear to live in the world he made.  He talks about filling vacuums and voids… but those voids are already filled, by hard characters with plans to make the most of the extraordinary opportunity Barack Obama afforded them.




ben-carson-little-rock-AP-640x480Breitbart, by PAMELA GELLER, 20 Sep 2015:

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson is under attack for saying: “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.”

Candor about Islam will guarantee you the hot seat at the center of a media firestorm.

The GOP is the only one of the two parties that will even discuss the 800-pound elephant in the room: jihad and Muslim terrorism. Islamic supremacists and their leftist lapdogs in the media are waging their own jihad to silence this debate, and it is critical that we push back and support candidates who dare to speak against the gravest threat to our national security.

The enemedia is in an uproar and the Hamas-tied Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is howling for his head. CAIR is calling for his withdrawal — the terror-tied advance team is laying down the law, sharia law, making it perfectly clear that jihad terrorism and criticism of Islam is off-limits, in accordance with sharia. Interestingly enough, they cite religious freedom, something that is forbidden in Muslim countries under Islamic law.

But we (and Mr. Carson) are not talking about the religious component of Islam. Islam is not just a religion. It is a comprehensive system which deals with all aspects of human life and behavior; legal, religious, dietary, political, et al. It is political Islam that poses a threat to our national security.

Why doesn’t CAIR issue action alerts against jihad? Why hasn’t CAIR instituted programs to stop jihad recruitment? And while CAIR has made rote statements concerning the Islamic State, where are they teaching against the ideology that gave rise to it?

Right now, nothing is being done to stop jihad recruiting in US mosques, even as several hundred young Muslims from the US have gone to wage jihad for the Islamic State. What has CAIR done to stop that?

CAIR is part of the problem, not the solution.

If the moderates really reject extremism, let them show it by instituting genuine programs to teach against this view of Islam, so as to stop American Muslims from joining the Islamic State.

“ISIS is here”: ISIS sympathizers or jihadis have held up signs in Ferguson, Missouri, outside the White House, and in Chicago. There have been several Islamic State-inspired jihad plots in the US already.

The lines are drawn: which GOP will stand up against terror groups in the U.S.?

Ben Carson is right. Electing a Muslim president would be dangerous. We have seen the Islamic pattern of previously moderate Muslims becoming devout and then aiding and abetting jihad. How could we be sure a Muslim president would not do the same?

And look at Barack Obama. Why do people believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim? He claims he is a Christian, but his father and his stepfather were Muslims and he was raised in a Muslim country. He went to an Islamic school and took Qur’an classes while growing up in Jakarta.

Because of his upbringing, he is islamophiliac, and his foreign and domestic policies reflect this. Obama’s advancement of Islam has been disastrous for freedom and freedom-loving peoples across the world. He has sided with jihadists in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Gaza and their counterparts in America, i.e. terror-tied CAIR.

Obama’s pro-jihad policies and his sharia adherence (“the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam”) tell us more about him than words or agitprop ever could. He rules like a Muslim leader. And the media wonders why so many people think Obama is a Muslim? Obama has banned the word “jihad” and any discussion of Islam from State, Defense, and Justice Department vernacular and counter-terrorism materials. 

He is denying that jihad is the enemy, while his Justice Department acts as the de facto legal arm for Muslim Brotherhood groups in America. And the Obama administration has held hundreds of meetings with U.S. Hamas front groups.

It’s not a question of “Islamophobia” or “racism,” or ignorance, for that matter. You can’t know what’s in a man’s heart, but “by their fruits ye shall know him, and so we know him.”

The Obama experience is the best proof of all that Ben Carson is right. The risk is too great.

Pamela Geller is the President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), publisher of PamelaGeller.com and author of The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America and Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance. Follow her on Twitter here. Like her on Facebook here.


Also see:

John Kerry’s Letter to Congress Is a ‘Guilty’ Plea to the Charge That Iran Deal Materially Supports Terrorism

john-kerry-just-gave-russia-a-final-warningPJ Media, by Andrew McCarthy, Sep. 9, 2015:

How could any member of Congress in good conscience support a deal that so blatantly empowers a brazen enemy of the United States — a regime that has killed thousands of Americans, a regime that daily continues to call for death to America and the annihilation of Israel — to the degree that even the Obama administration openly concedes that the deal materially supports terrorism?

No sooner did Obama lock up the Democratic support he needed in the Senate to ensure his deal cannot be defeated under the farcical Corker review process than did his Iran point-man, Secretary of State John Kerry, send a letter to members of Congress promising that more military aid would be given to Iran’s enemies, Israel and the Sunni Gulf states. Let’s put aside the absurdity of vowing, as Kerry does in the letter, that Obama’s deal will promote regional peace while simultaneously acknowledging that Iran’s enemies will need “increase[d] security assistance.” If the Obama administration were charged with committing material support to terrorism, a serious felony violation of federal law, Kerry’s letter would suffice as a “Guilty” plea.

The criminal statute that prohibits “providing material support to terrorists” (section 2339A of the federal penal code, Title 18) provides a jail sentence of up to 15 years — or up to life imprisonment if death results from the offense — for anyone who:

… provides material support or resources … knowing … that they are to be used in preparation for, or in carrying out, [an act of terrorism] … or in preparation for, or in carrying out, the concealment of an escape from the commission of any such violation, or attempts or conspires to do such an act[.]

The statute provides a sweeping definition of “material support or resources”:

The term “material support or resources” means any property, tangible or intangible, or service, including currency or monetary instruments or financial securities, financial services, lodging, training, expert advice or assistance, safehouses, false documentation or identification, communications equipment, facilities, weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel (1 or more individuals who may be or include oneself), and transportation, except medicine or religious materials[.]

With that background, let’s turn to Kerry’s letter to members of Congress. It explicitly admits to:

Iran’s continued support for terrorist and proxy groups throughout the region, its propping up of the Assad regime in Syria, its efforts to undermine the stability of its regional neighbors, and the threat it poses to Israel.

Note that the State Department expressly designates both Iran and Syria as state sponsors of terrorism.

But this admitted “support for terrorist and proxy groups” is going to stop now thanks to Obama’s deal, right? Wrong. Kerry flatly confesses (my emphasis):

We have no illusion that this behavior will change following implementation of the [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action– i.e., Obama’s Iran deal.]

Obama’s Iran deal will provide Iran with over $100 billion, and opens the door to its acquisition of sophisticated weaponry (wholly apart from Iran’s nuclear development activities).

It is, in short, the most astronomical provision of material support and resources to terrorism — as that term is defined in federal law (see above) — in the history of the world.

Kerry’s letter to Congress goes on to concede that, after implementation of the deal, there will be a continuing need “to deter and combat regional threats, including terrorism and Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region.” Kerry elaborates that there will be continuing concerns about “arms transfers to Iranian backed Hizballah in Lebanon, Houthis in Yemen, and Shia militants in Iraq, as well as transfers involving North Korea.”

So, while the Obama administration ensures that money and materiel pour into Iran, Iran will continue to provide material support to terrorists, terrorist organizations, and terrorist regimes. In light of Kerry’s blatant acknowledgment of this fact, the State Department’s most recent report on Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism, from 2014, is worth quoting at length:

Designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1984, Iran continued its terrorist-related activity in 2014, including support for Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza, Lebanese Hizballah, and various groups in Iraq and throughout the Middle East. This year, Iran increased its assistance to Iraqi Shia militias, one of which is a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), in response to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) incursion into Iraq, and has continued to support other militia groups in the region. Iran also attempted to smuggle weapons to Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza. While its main effort focused on supporting goals in the Middle East, particularly in Syria, Iran and its proxies also continued subtle efforts at growing influence elsewhere including in Africa, Asia, and, to a lesser extent, Latin America. Iran used the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) to implement foreign policy goals, provide cover for intelligence operations, and create instability in the Middle East. The IRGC-QF is the regime’s primary mechanism for cultivating and supporting terrorists abroad.

Iran views Syria as a crucial causeway in its weapons supply route to Lebanese Hizballah, its primary beneficiary, and as a key pillar in its “resistance” front. In 2014, Iran continued to provide arms, financing, training, and the facilitation of primarily Iraqi Shia and Afghan fighters to support the Asad regime’s brutal crackdown that has resulted in the deaths of at least 191,000 people in Syria, according to August UN estimates.

The IRGC-QF, in concert with Lebanese Hizballah, provided training outside of Iraq as well as advisors inside Iraq for Shia militants in the construction and use of sophisticated improvised explosive device (IED) technology and other advanced weaponry.

Iran has historically provided weapons, training, and funding to Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups, including Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC). These Palestinian terrorist groups have been behind a number of deaths from attacks originating in Gaza and the West Bank.

[I]n a November 25 speech, Supreme Leader Khamenei highlighted Iran’s military support to “Palestinian brothers” in Gaza and called for the West Bank to be similarly armed. In December, Hamas Deputy Leader Moussa Abu Marzouk announced bilateral relations with Iran and Hamas were “back on track.”

In March, Israeli naval forces boarded the Klos C cargo ship in the Red Sea off the coast of Sudan. On board, they found 40 M-302 rockets, 180 mortars, and approximately 400,000 rounds of ammunition hidden within crates of cement labeled “Made in Iran” and believed to be destined to militants in the region.

Since the end of the 2006 Israeli-Hizballah conflict, Iran has also assisted in rearming Lebanese Hizballah, in direct violation of UNSCR 1701. General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the IRGC Aerospace Force stated in November that “The IRGC and Hezbollah are a single apparatus jointed together,” and Lebanese Hizballah Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem boasted that Iran had provided his organization with missiles that had “pinpoint accuracy” in separate November public remarks. Iran has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in support of Lebanese Hizballah in Lebanon and has trained thousands of its fighters at camps in Iran. These trained fighters have used these skills in direct support of the Asad regime in Syria and, to a lesser extent, in support of operations against ISIL in Iraq. They have also continued to carry out attacks along the Lebanese border with Israel.

Hezbollah and Hamas have long been formally designated foreign terrorist organizations under federal law.

Obviously, there is no disputing the Obama administration’s patent knowledge that much of the material support its deal will provide to the terror-sponsoring regime in Tehran will be funneled to these and other designated foreign terrorist organizations. This means yet another criminal statute prohibiting material support to terrorism is implicated (Section 2339B of the federal penal code).

That law states:

Whoever knowingly provides material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization, or attempts or conspires to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both, and, if the death of any person results, shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life.

The statute goes on to require proof that an accused person knows:

 … that the organization is a designated terrorist organization[,] … that the organization has engaged or engages in terrorist activity[,] … or that the organization has engaged or engages in terrorism[.]

It is incontestable that President Obama, Secretary Kerry, and their subordinates know all three things about Hezbollah and Hamas, even though the statute requires knowledge of only one of them to establish guilt.

It bears emphasizing that for all their absurd claims about how the president’s Iran deal reins in Iran’s nuclear program, even Obama administration officials feel compelled to admit that Iran will step up its material support to terrorism while it is receiving the windfall from the deal.

That is not just unconscionable; it is criminal.

How can Obama’s Iran deal conceivably be supported by anyone who claims to oppose international terrorism or support Israel?

Also see:

The Convergence of Threats

obama flamesUnderstanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, Sep. 3, 2015:

Police officers are being targeted for assassination; there are an increasing number of jihadi attacks across the world; tens of thousands of Christians are being slaughtered by Muslims in Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere; a flood of refugees from hostile countries are being forced on local townships across America as a part of federal government plan funded by tax payers; our critical infrastructure is dangerously vulnerable; our military is being gutted, courageous leaders are being punished, and our nuclear forces are decaying; there is a disregard by our leadership on both sides of the political aisle for the rule of law and our Constitution; many Christian and Jewish leaders stand on the side of tyranny with socialists and jihadis in the name of “tolerance”; there exists a unified effort by the socialist Left in America and the Islamic jihadis to silence all forms of communication which brings the truth to light and call this evil out for what it really is; Russia stands ready to engage the U.S. militarily; and this administration openly supports the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world – Iran – in developing nuclear weapons which it says will be used to destroy Israel and the United States.

This is where we are today in America. Yet, Americans still feel compelled to ask if this is intentional or just the result of poor policies that have gone awry. You do not have to be a political scientist to understand America is and is headed exactly where the Jihadis and the Progressive Left Movement has worked for over 50 years to take this nation. This is the intentional outcome of a decades-old effort to bring the United States down.

Growing up, President Obama went to an Islamic school. His father and step-father were Muslim, and his greatest mentor, according to the President, was a card carrying member of Communist Party USA (Frank Marshall Davis). Mr. Obama studied and taught Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, which is Marxist revolutionary ideology. In that book, you will see all of the tactics detailed which we are now witnessing on the streets of America. Just like a playbook.

It should be noted Rules for Radicals is dedicated to Satan – by the way.

So where did the President learn to respect America’s founding principle that our rights come from God and that all of our laws and moral standards flow from that point? He never did.

Today the forces of the Marxists and socialists have a well-funded and well-organized movement to destroy the foundations of this Republic while the jihadis have an even more well-funded and well-organized effort to destroy us as well. The facts and evidence have been on the table for sometime with no thoughtful or factual debate coming from another point of view. Those defending the founding principles of this great Republic are told to shut up and stop being so “racists” or “hateful” or whatever other adjective they throw out. Just like the Nazis, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and so many other tyrants have done over the years.

The first step in maintaining a free society is for citizens with courage to stand in that freedom and refuse to slowly get washed out into the sea of slavery. We must count the cost and be ready to give everything to maintain the liberty our founders gave to us with the blessing of Almighty God.

The Fiction of Political Islam

Gatestone Institute, by Bassam Tawil, September 2, 2015:

  • To this day, the Obama administration mourns the fall of Egypt’s Islamist President Morsi, and turns a cold shoulder to forward-looking President el-Sisi, who is (sometimes) trying to take Egypt into the 21st century and extricate Egypt from its economic and societal crisis.
  • Muslim Brotherhood terrorism against the Egyptian regime is a perfect example of how this “political movement” is in reality a terrorist movement whose objective is the violent overthrow of Egypt’s government. The White House, fully aware of the facts, continues hosting senior Muslim Brotherhood officials and shows them respect during consultations about the American Islamic community and U.S. policy in the Middle East.
  • Events in Sinai prove there is no such thing as “political Islam.” There is a radical Islamist leadership that represents itself to the gullible West as “moderate,” preaches violence from mosques, cloaks itself in ideological-religious tradition, and employs Islamist terrorists to attack civilians and Egyptian government targets.
  • It is hard not to conclude, looking at President Obama’s record (ignoring protesters of 2009 in Iran; “I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone”; the dictatorial way the Iran deal is bypassing the democratic process) that in his heart-of-hearts, he is far more committed to supporting extremist Islamist regimes — whether the mullahs of Iran or the Muslim Brotherhood — than to supporting democracy, individual freedoms or human rights.
  • The Europeans are more aware of the situation but woke up too late. As hundreds of thousands of migrants from Muslim lands continue to pour over Europe’s open borders, there is little doubt that radical Islam is poised to take over the West. Islamic communities and terrorist cells continue to mushroom throughout the cities of Europe.
  • The world is beginning to understand that the catastrophes of the Middle East have nothing to do with the resolution of the Palestinian issue but are caused by the innate homicidal tendencies of the Arab rulers and the regional Islamist terrorist organizations.

Hamas is in trouble. Its relations with Egypt are going from bad to worse, and the influx of money, primarily from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the mosques in the Western world — where charity (zakat) was collected to finance anti-Israel terrorism — has dwindled to almost nothing. So has the flow of arms and explosives from Iran, Libya, Sudan and Lebanon. The resulted is the weakening of Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip, making it ever more difficult for Hamas to continue its ongoing subversion of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank and its non-stop attempts to overthrow President Mahmoud Abbas to take over the West Bank and establish there the sort of Islamic emirate it established in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas’s military buildup was halted when the President Mohamed Morsi’s radical Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt was toppled and General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was elected President. Morsi, it will be recalled, strangely received support from President Obama until he was ousted. The Obama administration supported him despite Morsi enabling for the flow of money and arms to Hamas in Gaza to continue unhampered through the tunnels in the Sinai Peninsula. The weapons were used not only to attack Israel, but also to sabotage peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians and, indirectly, to attack the Palestinian Authority.

The Islamist terrorism festivities ended when President el-Sisi clamped down on the Islamists in Egypt, destroyed the tunnels and sealed Egypt’s border with Gaza. Since el-Sisi has been president of Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood rule has ended and the tunnels have been destroyed. It is hard to fathom why, to this day, the Obama administration mourns the fall of the Islamist Morsi administration and turns a cold shoulder to forward-looking el-Sisi, who is (sometimes) trying to take Egypt into the 21st century and extricate Egypt from its economic and societal crisis.

Since el-Sisi has been in power, money and arms no longer flow through the tunnels into the Gaza Strip; instead they began to flow in the opposite direction, from the Gaza Strip into Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Since the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliated terrorist organizations, Hamas among them, have not accepted defeat, there has been an increase in terrorist attacks targeting the Egyptian regime both inside the country proper and in the Sinai Peninsula. The terrorist campaign receives ongoing support from the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military-terrorist wing, and the ISIS-affiliated Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis. Both continuously attack the Egyptian police and army in the Sinai Peninsula, murder Egyptian officials and target Egyptian institutions.

The endless terrorist campaign in Egypt has proven yet again that the claim of a political Islam, separate from the terrorist organizations, is simply a lie. Muslim Brotherhood terrorism against the Egyptian regime is a perfect example of how the “political movement” tries to represent itself as dealing only with the da’wah [proselytizing], while in reality it is a terrorist movement whose objective is the violent overthrow of el-Sisi’s administration. The White House, fully aware of the facts, continues hosting senior Muslim Brotherhood officials and shows them respect during consultations about the American Islamic community and U.S. policy in the Middle East.

While being hosted by the State Department on a visit to Washington in January 2015, Muslim Brotherhood judge Waleed Sharaby (left) flashed the organization’s four-finger “Rabia” sign. At right, ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi (from the Muslim Brotherhood) displays the Rabia sign.

The events in the Sinai Peninsula prove there is no such thing as “political Islam.” There is a radical Islamist leadership that represents itself to the gullible West as “moderate,” preaches violence from the mosques, cloaks itself in ideological-religious tradition, and employs a hard core of Islamist terrorists to carry out attacks on civilians and Egyptian administration targets.

In the meantime, the real victims are the Egyptians. The Muslim Brotherhood’s terrorism has paralyzed Egypt’s tourist industry, as foreigners fear to visit Egypt’s antiquities. And now there are terrorist threats to the New Suez Canal, a project initiated and carried out under the leadership of General Sisi to turn both banks of the two canals into an international logistics, commercial and industrial area.

The Islamists’ plans are clear. First, they want to leverage violence, murder and countless Egyptian army casualties into establishing an autonomous terrorist enclave in the Sinai Peninsula. Then they will try to overthrow the Egyptian government and reinstate an Islamist Muslim Brotherhood regime headed by Morsi. That is exactly what their offshoot, Hamas, did in the Gaza Strip when it liquidated Palestinian Authority officials and established an Islamic emirate. The writing on the wall is still illegible as far as the U.S. government is concerned. Or else the Obama administration is still in the thrall of extremist Islam and its Muslim Brotherhood leaders. The two main ones are Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has just called new elections so that he can try again to acquire enough seats in parliament to amend Turkey’s constitution to award himself a one-man Sultanate, an absolute dictatorship-for-life to go along with his new palace. The other is Mohamed Morsi, whom Obama apparently is still backing.

It is hard not to conclude, looking at the U.S. president’s record (ignoring the protesters of 2009 in Iran; “I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone” and the dictatorial way the Iran deal has been short-circuited to bypass the democratic process) that in his heart-of-hearts, he is far more committed to supporting extremist Islamist regimes — whether the mullahs of Iran or the Muslim Brotherhood — than to supporting democracy, individual freedoms or human rights.

The Europeans are more aware of the situation but unfortunately woke up too late. As hundreds of thousands of migrants from Muslim lands continue to pour over Europe’s open borders, there is little doubt that radical Islam is poised to take over the West. Islamic communities and terrorist cells continue to mushroom and gather strength throughout the cities of Europe.

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american_flag_AP-640x480Breitbartby JAMES LYONS 28 Aug 2015:

Never in my lifetime, did I believe I would witness our great country being taken down and withdrawn from our world leadership role by our own administration.  The latest example is the flawed agreement with Iran on their nuclear weapons program.  This needs to be seen as another manifestation of President Barack Obama’s goal to fundamentally transform America.  All of the known concessions made by our administration to Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism that has been at war with us for over 35 years, and has caused the loss of thousands of American lives, including the key support to the 9/11 hijackers without which that terrorist attack could not have been carried out, humiliated us before our friends, allies and most importantly, our enemies. We have been sabotaged from within.

          Every objective that we set out to prevent Iran from achieving a nuclear weapons capability was conceded to Iran.  Unbelievable! In fact, the administration went beyond what I could imagine by not only agreeing to assist Iran in the development of their nuclear program but also committing us to assist in the protection of their nuclear facilities against attack and sabotage, including cyber-attack. 

Further, the fact that no American inspectors are to be allowed in Iran and incredibly, that Iran is to be allowed to conduct its own evidence collection at the key military site Parchin, are simply mind boggling concessions!   Furthermore, with no constraints on either conventional arms or their ICBM program, we are not only jeopardizing our position in the Persian Gulf but we are ignoring Iran’s previous tests and preparations for conducting an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack against the United States.  Of course, Iran does not need an ICBM for such an attack.  It could be launched from a freighter, which they have tested, or from their missile base in Venezuela—which Ambassador Roger Noriega states is currently operational.  If such an attack occurred against our unprotected national electrical grid, an estimated two out of three Americans would die in a year due to starvation, lack of medical care, and societal collapse.    Everything that our modern society depends on would be shut down, and that includes our military forces.  This is a national security issue which must be addressed now.  As Bernard Lewis, the noted Middle East expert stated, once Iran gets a nuclear weapon deterrence will not work.  Game over!  In my view, this borders on treason!

          However, these concessions and commitments are totally consistent with President Obama’s strategy to fundamentally transform America.  In his warped view, America has caused many of the world’s problems and must be humbled.  Therefore, undercutting our status as leader of the free world is seen as being objectively progressive.

          His strategy is anti-American, and anti-Western. It is pro-Islam, pro-Iran and pro-Muslim Brotherhood.   This raises the question: why the Muslim Brotherhood has been so favored by this president?  Actually, it should be very clear.  The Muslim Brotherhood’s creed to destroy America from within by our own “miserable hands” makes the perfect book-end to Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals.”

          With President Obama’s Marxist background, it was a natural fit with Saul Alinsky who preached that, in the absence of a ripe revolutionary situation and a disciplined Bolshevik-like revolutionary party, you advance the “revolutionary cause” by under cutting the basic social and moral fiber of society, as well as the economic and military structural foundation of America at home and abroad.   Furthermore, causing agitation at low levels of society through community organizers is an important element in achieving transformation.  This explains why recent street rioting in Ferguson, MO and Baltimore, MD, combined with the administration’s policies initiated the so-called war on police, fit a pattern for social unrest. 

          Once the Saul Alinsky concept is understood, then the crushing debt of over 8 trillion dollars since 2009 plus destroying one of the world’s finest medical programs with the forced implementation of Obamacare that represents 1/6 of our economy all makes sense.  The out-of-control immigration policies of the Obama administration, including seeding tens of thousands Muslims with essentially no background checks who have no intention of assimilating also makes perfect sense.   So does dividing America by race and racial profiling.

          The unilateral disarmament of the world’s finest military force world while we are being challenged throughout the world only makes sense in the context of “taking America down.”  The emasculation of our military forces through the social engineering forced upon our military under the guise of “diversity” further jeopardizes our national security by destroying our warrior mentality and the “will to win.”  Our military leadership’s political correctness is clearly at fault here, and they must be held accountable. 

          The out-of-control policies of this administration must be stopped if America is to be saved.  Therefore, all Americans, flood your representatives in Congress with telephone calls, faxes and e-mails demanding that impeachment proceedings be initiated against Executive Branch officials—starting with Secretary of State John Kerry and President Obama.  The damage that this administration can do between now and January 2017 must be stopped now!

Also see – if you think you can handle it:

The Senate Must Sue Obama to Block the Iran Treaty

!cid_image001_jpg@01D0E449American Thinker, by Robert B. Sklaroff and Lee S. Bender, August 31, 2015:

When Congress returns from recess after Labor Day, one of the most pressing issues on the agenda is the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known commonly as “the Iran deal.” Much has been discovered since the Corker-Cardin-Menendez bill was enacted, including the White House’s and State Department’s deceit which influenced the Senate to abandon its constitutionally-provided role regarding treaties.

Now it might take a lawsuit spearheaded by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to reverse not only the damage to the Constitution but also potential damage to America and our allies as a result of the provisions of the Iran nuclear-deal.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has overwhelming justification to sue President Obama over the JCPOA which constitutes a treaty and thereby must be ratified by a 2/3-vote of those present prior to implementation.

Such a suit could ultimately prompt the Supreme Court to disclaim Obama’s portrayal of this document as an Executive Agreement. It could also sustain the overwhelming will of the American people–according to polling data—to trash this “legacy” effort, for reasons that have been exhaustively detailed.

Blocking implementation of the Iran nuclear-deal would thereby necessitate the legislative branch triggering a confrontation between the judicial and the executive branches.

Two essays {authored by RBS} published in The Hill explored the legalities of this initiative, focused on its “treaty” [July 29] and “rule-of-law” [August 25] components.

In the interim [USA Today, August 5], Professor Alan Dershowitz recognized that a Supreme Court opinion challenged the president’s power to enter into long-term deals with foreign powers without the consent of Congress. He is cannot avoid congressional oversight by simply declaring an important deal with foreign powers to be an executive agreement rather than a treaty [Gibbons v. Ogden]:  “[G]eneral and permanent commercial regulations with foreign powers must be made by treaty, but…the particular and temporary regulations of commerce may be made by an agreement of a state with another, or with a foreign power, by the consent of Congress.”

Two other authors, legal-authority Andrew C. McCarthy [National Review Online, July 17] and accomplished-author Caroline B. Glick [Jerusalem Post, July 21] also claimed the deal is a treaty, but none of these columnists proposed a remedy that would force a clash with this out-of-control Obama Administration. Jerry Gordon has detailed, comprehensively, “How Best to Overturn the Iran Nuclear Pact” [New English Review, August].

The drip-drip-drip of news about details of the deal as well as “secret” side arrangements that has emerged this summer congeals into two major rationales for such litigation, addressing both specifics and lack of transparency. Specifically, multiple side-deals between Iran and the IAEA satirize the concept of “anytime, anywhere surveillance” but, perhaps more important, Obama and his cabinet-members “inexplicably” failed to reveal this information to Congress as secrets.  Moreover, the Administration also misled Congress and the American public about the nature of the deal and the resulting preservation of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure and right to continue advanced research that will provide it with a bomb when the pact expires in a mere decade to 15 years.

The “legislative intent” of the Corker-Cardin Bill (Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015) was focused exclusively on Iran’s nuclear program, contrasting with the final pact the Administration concluded that was expanded to allow lifting of conventional-weapon sanctions. Iran sought—and was granted—this specific concession at the very end of the negotiations.  This was outside what the Administration had originally advised Congress about the parameters of this deal, focused on nuclear-weapons capability and not conventional weapons (or ICBMs). Thus, the final version of the Iran nuclear-deal encompassed issues, such as weaponization, that the Administration did not disclose to Congress before it debated and passed the Corker-Cardin Bill.

(Other facets of the negotiation were also misrepresented by the Obama Administration prior to when Kerry inked the deal. For example, although release of American prisoners was not ultimately achieved, Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on  January 21, 2015 that the Administration’s negotiators “continue to insist” that Americans held in detention be released.)

This pattern of deception started before the Corker-Cardin Bill was passed in May. It was even maintained by Iran when the Tasnim News agency reported [June 15] “Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani reiterated that negotiations between Tehran and six major world powers solely focus on nuclear topics, dismissing any talk of military subjects in the talks.” And, reflecting the persistence of the deception,  it was manifest one week prior to when the deal was signed [July 14] during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing via testimony from Defense Secretary Carter and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Dempsey that the arms embargo, pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1929, was not to be lifted [July 7].

Thus, overall, absent the ability to review all relevant data, the Senate (1)—cannot render an informed judgment, consistent with its “advise/consent” role, and (2)—cannot be viewed to be facing a 60-day deadline, for the Corker-Cardin Bill mandates that this “clock” start “ticking” only after the database has been completed.

Refusal to provide copies of side-agreements to Congress continues unabated, as per testimony on August 5 by chief-negotiator Wendy Sherman and IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano. We now know why normally-sedate Senator Corker exploded (“We cannot get him to even confirm that we will have physical access inside of Parchin”) because such inspections have been serially outsourced by Obama to the IAEA and then, we learned more recently, by the IAEA to Iran.

The “toughest inspections-regime in history” forces America (and the world) to allow Iran to provide proof that Iran is not making nukes in Iran.

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Obama’s Politicized Intelligence

A video released from Daesh (or ISIS or 'Islamic State') shows militants executing 25 captives (Syrian army soldiers) in the ruins of the main Roman amphitheater in the ancient city of Palmyra, Syria, on July 3, 2015 / AP

A video released from Daesh (or ISIS or ‘Islamic State’) shows militants executing 25 captives (Syrian army soldiers) in the ruins of the main Roman amphitheater in the ancient city of Palmyra, Syria, on July 3, 2015 / AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Matthew Continetti, August 28, 2015:

The anniversary of the U.S. war against the Islamic State passed with little notice. It was August 7 of last year that President Obama authorized the first airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq, a campaign he expanded a month later to include targets in Syria. So far this month, the president has delivered remarks on the Voting Rights Act, his deal with Iran, the budget, clean energy, and Hurricane Katrina. ISIS? Not a peep.

Obama’s quiet because the war is not going well. Despite the loss of Tikrit earlier this year, the Islamic State’s western boundary is stable, and its eastern boundary now encroaches on Damascus. The president’s air campaign is one of the most limited and desultory America has fought in decades—ranking last in daily averages of strike sorties and bombs dropped. In late July, when the Turks permitted America the use of their air bases to launch attacks on ISIS, a “senior administration official” told the New York Times that the decision was “a game changer.” In the ensuing days the number of airstrikes in Syria actually fell.

The growing number of U.S. advisers—there are now more than 3,300 American military personnel in Iraq—has been unable to repair the damage wrought on the Iraqi Army by sectarian and political purges after our 2011 withdrawal. Even as the administration brags about killing more than 10,000 ISIS terrorists, a number that strains credulity, the Caliphate has become more deeply entrenched in its territory, and inspires attacks abroad.

Meanwhile the congressional authorization that the president sought is dead. One of our most gifted generals predicts the conflict will last “10 to 20 years.” And now comes news that the Pentagon is investigating whether intelligence assessments of ISIS have been manipulated for political reasons. “Analysts,” reports the Daily Beast, “have been pushed to portray the group as weaker than the analysts believe it actually is.” This sort of dishonesty helps no one—except a president whose primary concern is leaving office with his reputation for ending wars intact, and the military brass who wish to remain in his good graces.

What’s especially galling about this allegation is that Obama and the Democratic Party have spent years spuriously accusing President Bush of lying the United States into war in 2003. Spend a moment thinking of what the news cycle would be if George W. were still our president and the Pentagon inspector general opened an investigation into whether the bureaucracy was sprucing up intelligence to make it politically palatable: The chorus of “Bush lied, people died” would be deafening, Congress would demand investigations, the national security leak machine would start humming, John Conyers would reconvene his mock impeachment hearing, and the entire controversy would be set against the backdrop of antiwar marches and publicized denunciations of militaristic policy. What have we instead? ABC’s Good Morning America mentioned the Pentagon investigation. No other broadcast network did.

It’s an unanticipated consequence of Barack Obama’s presidency: his immobilization of the antiwar legions, the way his election immediately neutered the zealots who, if a Republican were in office, would be marching against drone strikes and mass surveillance and war in Afghanistan and air war in Libya, Syria, Iraq and proxy war in Yemen. What does it say about the left that the most spirited attacks on Obama national security policy have come from the right: On drones, surveillance, and congressional authorization for war, you are far more likely to hear criticism from Ted Cruz or Rand Paul than from the politicians who rode into office denouncing Bush’s misadventure in Iraq. The protestors who flooded New York in 2004 and fell to the ground at the D.C. “Die-In” in 2007—they either support the president or are too busy with Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter to care.

Obama has thus been allowed to wage a war for more than a year not only without the authorization he called for but also without the accountability that pressure from his left would bring. He’s flying solo, and below him are an endless, inconclusive war, a terrorist state built on sharia law and sex slavery, rampant chemical weapons use, civilian casualties, and a refugee crisis that is causing social, economic, and political instability in Europe. The only thing missing from this picture is outrage—elite fury over the geopolitical and humanitarian results of the president’s evasive policy, of doing only the bare minimum necessary to convince people that you aren’t ignoring the problem.

There’s no outrage because the media, our bipartisan political establishment, and indeed the American people themselves are unwilling to face the scope of the challenge the Islamic State presents. To uproot it we would have to send U.S. ground forces to Iraq in large numbers, not just special forces operating in tandem with unrestricted air support. We would have to retake and hold ground lost in the years since we departed Iraq, and we would have to commit to remaining in Iraq and Syria for a long time. To deal a blow to radical Islam that would deter recruitment, stop the bandwagon effect, and secure America from attack by militants and their fellow-travelers would require a military and economic commitment the United States, and least of all our president, is simply not prepared to make.

Easier to perform the illusion of activity, of success and advance, so that all the boxes are checked, all our consciences placated. Easier to pretend that the problem of ISIS can be “contained” and that our new ally Iran can handle the situation in its emerging capacity as regional hegemon. Easier to go about our business, to spin or outright ignore the war our country has been waging in Iraq and Syria for more than a year. So much easier not to worry about what’s happening over there—until, that is, the enemy attacks us here.

Also see:

Why the US government is on track to ‘normalizing’ ISIS

 (AP Photo, File)

(AP Photo, File)

New York Post, by Alex VanNess, August 23, 2015:How long will it take the United States to recognize the Islamic State as a legitimate actor?

That may sound ridiculous. After all, ISIS is a barbaric and sociopathic band of terrorists who proudly highlight their brutality over the Internet. Unfortunately, recent history suggests this doesn’t disqualify them, as horrific as it sounds, from eventual recognition.

Since before 9/11, the Taliban laid claim to numerous terror attacks on civilian populations throughout Afghanistan. They harbored Osama bin Laden, and since the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom, they’ve been directly responsible for the deaths of more than 2,000 American troops.

Yet in January, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest cryptically explained that the Taliban was not a terrorist group but instead falls under a “different classification.”

Earnest’s verbal gymnastics were deployed in the service of explaining away the president’s decision to trade five members of the Taliban for the release of American soldier-captive Bowe Bergdahl.

Hamas is an openly anti-Semitic terrorist organization that has claimed responsibility for the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians, including several Americans. Since its creation, the Gaza-based Hamas has been dedicated to the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews. Hamas is brutally repressive toward women and gays; they have a tendency to savagely drag dead bodies through the streets.

Last year, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas swore in a new unity government that incorporated Hamas-appointed ministers. Instead of cutting off financial support to the new government, as required by US law, the Obama administration jumped through hoops to legitimize the new government. Officials said they would continue supporting the Palestinian government because the new ministers were “technocrats” that “don’t represent . . . hard-core Hamas leadership.”

The legitimacy granted to Hamas by this administration is a reflection of the trend held by many pro-Palestinian protestors who now brazenly chant, “we are Hamas!” through the streets of US cities such as Miami.

Cuba has a long history of human-rights abuse. The Cuban government regularly harasses and imprisons dissidents and has been a state sponsor of terrorism for decades. Cuba continues to serve as a safe haven for terrorists and maintains close ties to both North Korea and Iran.

In 2013, Cuba was caught sending weapons to North Korea. It aids terrorist groups like the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, Iranian proxy Hezbollah and the Basque Fatherland of Liberty (ETA).

Despite this behavior, the administration still decided to take Cuba off the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism and has begun the process of normalizing the relationship between the United States and Cuba.

The State Department justified this removal by stating that “Cuba has not provided any support for international terrorism during the previous six-months” and citing vague promises that they “will not support acts of international terrorism in the future.”

So to recap, within this past year we have stopped referring to the Taliban as terrorists, provided de facto recognition and funding to Hamas and have opened up to the repressive terror-sponsoring Cuban government.

Why should we assume that ISIS will be treated any differently than these groups?

As each day passes, ISIS solidifies its presence in the region. Sure, ISIS commits terrible atrocities. The group regularly — and indiscriminately — beheads innocent people; rapes women and sells them as sex slaves and employs children as executioners.

But its leaders have undeniably been working to establish the Islamic State as, well, as a functioning state. They issue identification cards, pave roads, pick up trash, operate power stations and offer social-welfare programs.

ISIS has carved out its territory by filling the Middle East’s power vacuums, and are thus, in some places, the only game in town. How long before the international community recognizes the ISIS government?

The past precedent of legitimizing various terrorist groups and repressive dictatorships make this all too real of an issue. It’s imperative that the United States stops this trajectory of providing legitimacy to these regimes and turns back the ISIS tide, or we may one day soon be debating the opening of an embassy to the Islamic State in what used to be Iraq.

Alex VanNess is the manager of public information for the Center for Security Policy.