Secret Meeting: National Security Experts Devise Strategies to Combat Global Jihadist Movement

22 Nov 2014:

The Global Jihadist Movement (GJM) can no longer be ignored. Its ruthless ideology connects the most theocratic Islamist dictatorships with the Muslim Brotherhood in America. The GJM creates the link between the Islamic State’s barbarous acts and those of the Oklahoma City beheader and the New York City ax jihadi.

This week, a concerned group of national security experts–from the upper echelons of government to high-ranking intelligence community officials to Wall Street executives–have identified the Global Jihadist Movement as one of the chief threats to America, one that the Obama administration has incomprehensibly ignored.

Breitbart News was present at the closed-door meeting of national security professionals.

These experts met in Washington, D.C., and covered topics related to the GJM threat environment. They warned about the information war that jihadist groups are waging against America, while the United States remains largely without a strategy to fire back and defeat their ideology, akin to what was accomplished in toppling Communism and the USSR. They also discussed how economic warfare is being waged by terrorist groups and state-sponsors, who are focusing on undermining the American financial system and exploiting the devaluation of the dollar.

The discussion participants strategized on how to raise awareness and keep GJM-related issues alive in the conscience of lawmakers and the American public. They talked about the importance of educating members of Congress and the public about the perils of the Global Jihadist Movement.

Many in the group expressed doubts that the Republican establishment, which for now retains an iron-fisted grasp over Congress and dominates its leadership positions, would allow for the necessary changes to promote a more robust and effective foreign policy. Some also noted, however, that the newly enshrined members of Congress present an opportunity for new policies to enhance America’s standing in the world.

They discussed an assortment of strategies, such as creating more private and public entities to combat domestic and international enemies’ propaganda and information operations. Frustrated with waiting for the Washington bureaucracy to produce results, attendants of the secret meeting devised action plans to combat the threats to America through various means.

Edwin Mora contributed to this report.

Reporters Mock State Dept for Downplaying Benghazi Terrorists Link to Al Qaeda


November 21, 2014 

Reporters poked fun at State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke on Friday as he tried to elaborate on the Obama administrations stance on the recent UN report linking Ansar al-Sharia to Al Qaeda.

“These groups are associated with Al Qaeda in Maghreb,” Rathke said, “but they are not arms of core Al Qaeda.

Ansar al-Sharia is said to be responsible for the 2012 Benghazi attacks on the U.S. consulate in which four Americans were killed.

Reporters gave Rathke some terms that they deemed more fitting, including, “Al Qaeda light”, “the jayvee team”, and a subsidiary of McDonald’s.

6 Failed Policies Obama and the State Department Won’t Stop Pushing

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By Robert Spencer:

Presidents come and presidents go, but the State Department’s foreign policy establishment is forever. And no matter how many times its remedies fail to heal problems (and usually cause worse ones), it keeps on applying them, without an ounce of self-reflection. And in Barack Obama, the lifers at State have a president after their own heart – one whose vision of the world coincides exactly with theirs, and who takes their recommendations without question and fronts for them eagerly, no matter how often and how abysmally they have failed.

Here are six policies that have failed miserably again and again, and yet are still front and center in the Obama administration’s foreign policy planning:

6. Supporting the Afghan regime

The corrupt and treacherous [2] kleptocrat Hamid Karzai is gone, but his legacy lives on. The new president, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, is almost certainly still receiving those bags of cash from the CIA [3], and the new regime shows no more interest in accountability than Karzai did. It was revealed Thursday [4]that

nearly $420 million in weapons and other “sensitive items” have gone missing from U.S. Army bases in Afghanistan and are not likely to be recovered due to mismanagement and improper accounting, according to an internal report by the Pentagon’s inspector general obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

These include “some 15,600 pieces of equipment—including ‘weapons, weapons systems, and sensitive items,’” which “went missing in the past year from Army facilities in Bagram and Kandahar, accounting for around $419.5 million in losses, according to the report, which was issued in late October and marked ‘for official use only.’”

Will this slow down the flow of money and materiel to the Afghan regime? Don’t be silly. Despite the regime’s corruption, unwillingness to do anything to curb green-on-blue attacks, and inability to stop the Taliban, this won’t even be a speed bump.

Yet Obama and the State Department have never explained exactly what benefits to the United States will accrue from the massive expenditure and loss of American life in Afghanistan – they know the mainstream media and the Stupid Party will not call them on it, so why bother?

5. Fighting terrorism with money

Late in 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry and Turkish then-Foreign Minister and current Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu launched what they called the “Global Fund for Community Engagement and Resilience,” which CNSNews.com said was intended to “support local communities and organizations to counter extremist ideology and promote tolerance.” It would do this essentially by giving potential jihad terrorists money and jobs – an initiative that proceeds from the false and oft-disproven assumption that poverty causes terrorism.

Kerry demonstrated his faith in this false assumption when he spoke about the importance of “providing more economic opportunities for marginalized youth at risk of recruitment” into jihad groups. The GCTF is devoting $200 million to this project, which it calls “countering violent extremism” (CVE).

Kerry explained:

Getting this right isn’t just about taking terrorists off the street. It’s about providing more economic opportunities for marginalized youth at risk of recruitment. In country after country, you look at the demographics – Egypt, the West Bank – 60 percent of the young people either under the age of 30 or under the age of 25, 50 percent under the age of 21, 40 percent under the age of 18, all of them wanting jobs, opportunity, education, and a future.

This will be $200 million down the drain, for a lack of “economic opportunities for marginalized youth” doesn’t fuel Islamic jihad terrorism in the first place. In reality, study after study have shown that jihadists are not poor and bereft of economic opportunities, but generally wealthier and better educated than their peers. CNS noted that “according to a Rand Corporation report on counterterrorism, prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense in 2009, ‘Terrorists are not particularly impoverished, uneducated, or afflicted by mental disease. Demographically, their most important characteristic is normalcy (within their environment). Terrorist leaders actually tend to come from relatively privileged backgrounds.’ One of the authors of the RAND report, Darcy Noricks, also found that according to a number of academic studies, ‘Terrorists turn out to be more rather than less educated than the general population.’”

But none of this has sunk in among the political elites.

4. Working to topple Assad

Barack Obama has long had Bashar Assad in his sights, but has been stymied by the fact that the only significant opposition to the Assad regime are Islamic jihad groups. Now, however, he thinks he has found a way to square the circle: remove Assad, and the jihadis’ raison d’etre will be gone.

CNN [7] reported Thursday that Obama “has asked his national security team for another review of the U.S. policy toward Syria after realizing that ISIS may not be defeated without a political transition in Syria and the removal of President Bashar al-Assad.”

Alistair Baskey, spokesman for the National Security Council, explained: “Assad has been the biggest magnet for extremism in Syria, and the President has made clear that Assad has lost all legitimacy to govern.”

The fact that this is even being considered shows that Obama doesn’t take seriously the Islamic State’s proclamations that it is a new caliphate that is going to keep on trying to expand. He thinks they’re just fighting to get Assad removed, and so if he obliges them, they will melt away.

But who does he think will replace Assad? Does he seriously think he can find someone who can immediately marshal enough support to be able to withstand the Islamic State? If he picks an Alawite, the ruler will have the same problems Assad does. If he picks a Sunni, the Islamic State leaders will say he is an apostate puppet of the Westerners, and fight on. Meanwhile, the disruption in Syria will give an opportunity to the Islamic State, which will be the force best situated to take advantage of a power vacuum in Syria.

So what Obama is saying is that to defeat the Islamic State, we have to let the Islamic State win. And you can see his point — at least then it will be out of the headlines and he won’t have to be constantly hearing about it. Or so he thinks.

 

3. Arming the “moderates”

Alistair Baskey also said Thursday that “alongside our efforts to isolate and sanction the Assad regime, we are working with our allies to strengthen the moderate opposition.” Who are the moderates in Syria? In September 2014, Obama said [8]: “We have a Free Syrian Army and a moderate opposition that we have steadily been working with that we have vetted.”

That was over a year after Free Syrian Army fighters entered the Christian village of Oum Sharshouh [9] in July 2013 and began burning down houses and terrorizing the population, forcing 250 Christian families to flee the area. Worthy News reported [10] that just two days later, Free Syrian Army rebels “targeted the residents of al-Duwayr/Douar, a Christian village close to the city of Homs and near Syria’s border with Lebanon….Around 350 armed militants forcefully entered the homes of Christian families who were all rounded-up in the main square of the village and then summarily executed.” And in September 2013, a day after Secretary of State John Kerry praised the Free Syrian Army as “a real moderate opposition,” the FSA took to the Internet [11]to post videos of its attack on the ancient Syrian Christian city of Maaloula, one of the few places where Aramaic, the language of Jesus, is still spoken.

Even after all that, Obama was calling them “moderates.”

Read more at PJ Media with videos

JERRY BOYKIN: GENERALS SHOULD RESIGN TO PROTEST OBAMA’S MISUSE OF MILITARY

Obama-AWOL-BenghaziBreitbart, by LT. GEN. (RET.) JERRY BOYKIN, Nov. 13, 2014:

A new survey finds only 26 percent of those in the military community approve of the performance of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.  But the blame for this low approval rating extends higher up the chain of command.

Retired Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, the latest former Obama loyalist to write a tell-all exposé, knows this all too well. In his memoir, Panetta describes how he warned the President (to no avail) that allowing Iraq to slide into violence would create “a new haven for terrorists to plot attacks against the U.S.”

This revelation should come as no surprise, but regrettably, it does. That’s because many Americans have been ignoring what’s really taking place in our troubled world. The books now being published only confirm what many people already knew — or at least suspected — regarding the character of Barack Obama. In reality, what is newly-exposed in these books is the lack of courage of the authors. One must contemplate the question of why these former Obama administration officials did not resign in protest when they realized the man they worked for was leading the nation in a dangerous direction and was making decisions that put the nation at risk.

So what should these less-than-courageous bureaucrats have done? Simply stated: resign in protest.

The notion that they stayed because they thought their influence would be greater on the inside is nothing more than a cop-out. In fact, this line of reasoning is simply another indication of a lack of courage on the part of these tell-all authors, including Panetta. Attempting to persuade the public that you would have resigned if you had thought it would have made a difference is unconvincing. No, the answer is that they should have tendered their resignations in protest when they saw decisions and policies emerging that were dangerous, misguided, and not in the best interest of the country. This is a matter of principle.

Secretary of State Cyrus Vance did exactly that when he disagreed with President Jimmy Carter on the best way to get fifty-two American hostages out of the US Embassy in Tehran in April of 1980. He resigned to protest the rescue attempt that President Carter had ordered. That attempt failed when two aircraft collided in a remote desert airstrip inside Iran. While I do not agree with the wisdom of the late Mr. Vance on the prudence of military action, his resignation demonstrated personal moral courage.

Major General Jack Singlaub took similar action in 1977 when he publically criticized President Carter’s decision to withdraw US military forces from Korea. Carter relieved him for publically opposing a presidential policy. In going public about his disagreement with his Commander-in-Chief, Singlaub voluntarily laid his stars on the table, knowing that his career was over. But his honor was intact as a result of taking a stand on something that he felt strongly about. The same applies to Cyrus Vance.

So what about the current military leadership? Should some of them put their stars on the table and resign in protest of the ongoing deterioration of our military? Or how about the abuse of our men and women in uniform? Sending up to 4,000 service members to Liberia to fight Ebola is abuse. Consider that America has been at war for 13 years and our military has an all-time high suicide rate, out of control PTSD, and family disintegration at unprecedented levels. Now America will send these young men and women — who are not adequately trained to fight Ebola — on something that is NOT a military mission in the first place. In addition, the Obama administration has not announced a serious and coherent strategy to destroy ISIS. It is time for stars on the table, without delay.

What military professional wants to preside over the demise of America’s Armed Forces? One would assume that the answer to that would be none. Yet that is exactly what is happening. The passiveness of the current Joint Chiefs of Staff is giving support to the destruction of America’s war fighting capabilities. Programmed cuts in the military budget as well as cuts resulting from sequestration are reducing America’s readiness to a dangerously low level. And placing women in Infantry and Special Operations units is an irresponsible and reckless policy that will result in needless deaths and injuries in combat situations.

Possibly the most egregious issue is the attack on religious liberty, as the First Amendment rights of service members’ faith are being infringed on constantly. By embracing the foolish and destructive decisions of the Obama administration, the military leadership is contributing to and overseeing the downfall of our most important national security asset, the US Armed Forces.

It is past time for some resignations to protest the Obama administration’s damaging policies. The oath that each military member takes is to “Support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” This is a serious and sacred oath and when you know that a policy is just plain wrong, then you are obligated by that oath to do something; that something is for military leaders to say to the President of the United States, “I can no longer support your ill-advised and reckless policies that I regard as threats to national security and the welfare of our men and women in uniform.”

Retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin is executive vice president at the Family Research Council.  He previously served as Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and was an original member of the U.S. Army’s Delta Force.

The Obama Administration’s Strategic Schizophrenia

obamasCSP, By Kyle Shideler:

Last week in the Wall Street Journal it was reported that the Obama administration sought an agreement on fighting ISIS with Iran:

The correspondence underscores that Mr. Obama views Iran as important—whether in a potentially constructive or negative role—to his emerging military and diplomatic campaign to push Islamic State from the territories it has gained over the past six months. Mr. Obama’s letter also sought to assuage Iran’s concerns about the future of its close ally, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, according to another person briefed on the letter. It states that the U.S.’s military operations inside Syria aren’t targeted at Mr. Assad or his security forces.

It is now being reported that the same administration believes ISIS cannot be defeated without overthrowing Assad:

President Barack Obama has asked his national security team for another review of the U.S. policy toward Syria after realizing that ISIS may not be defeated without a political transition in Syria and the removal of President Bashar al-Assad, senior U.S. officials and diplomats tell CNN. The review is a tacit admission that the initial strategy of trying to confront ISIS first in Iraq and then take the group’s fighters on in Syria, without also focusing on the removal of al-Assad, was a miscalculation. In just the past week, the White House has convened four meetings of the President’s national security team, one of which was chaired by Obama and others that were attended by principals like the secretary of state. These meetings, in the words of one senior official, were “driven to a large degree how our Syria strategy fits into our ISIS strategy.”

The contradiction between these two policies should be obvious, as Iran has expended ample time, funds, and men (primarily through proxy forces like Hezbollah and other Shia militias) to keep Assad in power. In fact overthrowing Assad would by necessity require the targeting and destruction of some of the very same forces that the Obama administration envisioned fighting ISIS on our behalf in Iraq.

The administration’s utter strategic incoherence is founded on an unwillingness to comprehend what drives both the Iranian aims (through proxies in Iraq and Syria), as well as the forces arrayed against them.  As we have repeatedly pointed out here on the Free Fire blog (See here, here, and here), the Syrian opposition is dominated by Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda-allied Islamist militias connected to the Muslim Brotherhood. The Obama Administration’s policy for Syria has involved alternatively partnering with these Islamists, while also bombing certain units of them during the course of the air campaign against ISIS. All sides in the current regional conflict are motivated by the same ideological agenda, establishing their hegemony in the region in order to extend (their particularly sectarian brand) of Islamic law, and to use future gains as a base for further jihad against their enemies, including principally the United States. Whether the U.S. attempts to partner with Iran against ISIS, or Al Qaeda against ISIS, or the Muslim Brotherhood against Al Qaeda, or Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood against Iran, every permutation will result in the same eventual outcome. Victory for enemies of the United States.

The Obama administration has prided itself on it’s attention to “nuance”. In its dealings in the Middle East, it has repeatedly attempted to tease out differences and distinctions that are at best irrelevant, leading to the construction of a world view that is ultimately divorced from reality in any meaningful way. The result is that this Administration finds itself simultaneously on all sides, and still the wrong sides, of every strategic challenge.

Obama’s Perverse Moral Compass

pic_giant_111214_SM_Barack-Obama-Israel-GThe U.S. used to stand firm with Israel. Now we criticize it while courting Iran.

By Mona Charen:

The Beltway’s Syria Fairy Tales

pic_giant_111114_SM_Syria-Civil-WarNational Review, By Andrew C. McCarthy, Nov. 11, 2014:

Since the outbreak of the latest Middle East war a few years back, we have been chronicling the Washington political class’s Syria Fairy Tales. In particular, there is the story line that Syria is really teeming with secular democrats and authentic moderate Muslims who would have combined forces to both overthrow Assad and fight off the jihadists if only President Obama had helped them. But his failure to act created a “vacuum” that was tragically filled by Islamist militants and gave rise to ISIS. At this point in the story, you are supposed to stay politely mum and not ask whether it makes any sense that real democrats and actual moderates would agree to be led by head-chopping, mass-murdering, freedom-stifling sharia terrorists.

In point of fact, there simply have never been enough pro-Western elements in Syria to win, no matter how much help came their way. There was never going to be a moderate, democratic Syrian state without a U.S. invasion and occupation for a decade or more, an enterprise that would be politically untenable — and, as the Iraq enterprise shows, unlikely to succeed. The “moderate rebels” had no chance against Assad unless they colluded with the Islamist militants, who are vastly superior and more numerous fighters. And they would have even less chance of both knocking off Assad and staving off the jihadists.

The Obama administration and the Beltway commentariat have done their best to obscure these brute facts. Their main tactic is to exploit the American public’s unfamiliarity with the makeup of Syria. Obama Democrats and much of the Beltway GOP continue to invoke the “moderate Syrian rebels” while steadfastly refusing to identify just who those purported “moderates” are.They hope you won’t realize that, because of the dearth of actual moderate Muslims and freedom fighters, they must count among their “moderate rebels” both the Muslim Brotherhood (which should be designated as a terrorist organization) and various other Islamist factions, including . . .  wait for it . . . parts of al-Nusra — i.e., al-Qaeda’s Syrian franchise.

We’ve also noted that a new wrinkle has recently been added to the Beltway’s Syria Fairy Tales: Obama’s Khorasan Fraud. In a desperate attempt to conceal the falsity of Obama’s boasts about destroying what is actually a resurgent al-Qaeda, the administration claimed that the threat to America that impelled Obama to start bombing Syria was not ISIS (supposedly just a “regional” threat), not al-Qaeda (already defeated, right?), but a hitherto unknown terrorist organization called the “Khorasan group.”

To the contrary, the Khorasan group, to the extent it exists at all, has never been a stand-alone terrorist organization. It is an internal component of al-Qaeda — specifically, an advisory board (or, in Islamic terms, a shura council) of al-Qaeda veterans who advise and carry out directives from Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s emir. During the fighting in Syria, some of these operatives were sent there by Zawahiri to conduct operations under the auspices of al-Nusra. These operations have included jihadist activity against both the United States and Assad allies, plus negotiations for a rapprochement with the Islamic State (or ISIS). The limited success of those negotiations has led to fighting among the jihadists themselves.

The ball to keep your eye on here is al-Qaeda. The al-Nusra terrorist group is just al-Qaeda in Syria. Even ISIS is just a breakaway faction of al-Qaeda. And the Khorasan group is just a top-tier group of al-Qaeda veterans doing al-Qaeda’s work in conjunction with al Nusra — i.e., al-Qaeda.

The Obama administration disingenuously emphasizes these various foreign names to confuse Americans into thinking that there are various factions with diverse agendas in Syria — that al-Qaeda is no longer a problem because Obama has already dealt with it, and what remains are sundry groups of “moderate rebels” that the administration can work with in the effort to vanquish ISIS. Meanwhile, you are supposed to refrain from noticing that Obama’s original Syrian project — remember, he wanted Assad toppled — has given way to fighting ISIS . . . the very Sunni jihadists who were empowered by Obama’s lunatic policies of (a) switching sides in Libya in order to support the jihadists against Qaddafi and (b) abetting and encouraging Sunni Muslim governments in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey to arm Sunni militias in the fight against Assad — those militias having all along included al-Qaeda elements, some of which split off to become ISIS and now threaten to bite off the very hands that once fed them.

If you thought the Khorasan fraud was just a passing fad to get Obama through the initial stages of trying to rationalize his incoherent Syria air campaign, think again.

You see, Obama continues to have a problem. Everyone knows that ISIS, the main target of U.S. bombings in Syria and Iraq, cannot be defeated — or even stalled much — by a mere air campaign, which has been half-hearted at best anyway. Ground forces will be needed. So the administration and Washington’s foreign-policy clerisy keep telling Americans: Never fear, there is no need for U.S. ground troops, because we can rely on “moderate rebels” to fight ISIS. But the so-called “moderates” Obama backs have been colluding with al-Qaeda (i.e., al-Nusra) for years — at least when not being routed by al-Qaeda/al-Nusra.

Now, the sensible thing at this point would be to concede that there are no viable moderate forces in Syria, and that it would be folly for us to continue pretending those forces either exist or will materialize anytime soon. But no, that would be honest . . . which is not the Obama way — nor, frankly, is it the Washington way — to end our willful blindness to the lack of moderation among Middle Eastern Muslims.

So if honesty is not an option, what to do? Simple: Let’s just pretend that al-Nusra — part of the al-Qaeda network we have been at war with for 13 years — is, yes,moderate!

But wait a second? How can we possibly pull that off when we know al-Nusra/al-Qaeda is also plotting to attack the United States and the West?

Easy: That’s why we have the “Khorasan group”!

I kid you not. Even as al-Nusra/al-Qaeda mow down any “moderate rebels” who don’t join up with them, the Obama administration is telling Americans, “No, no, no: The al-Nusra guys are really good, moderate, upstanding jihadists. The real problem is that awful Khorasan group!”

Tom Joscelyn and Bill Roggio have the story at The Long War Journal:

CENTCOM draws misleading line between Al Nusrah Front and Khorasan Group

US Central Command [CENTCOM] attempted to distinguish between the Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, and the so-called Khorasan Group in yesterday’s press release that detailed airstrikes in Syria.

CENTCOM, which directs the US and coalition air campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, denied that the five airstrikes targeted “the Nusrah Front as a whole” due to its infighting with the Syrian Revolutionaries’ Front, but instead claimed the attacks were directed at the Khorasan Group.

“These strikes were not in response to the Nusrah Front’s clashes with the Syrian moderate opposition, and they did not target the Nusrah Front as a whole,” CENTCOM noted in its press release.

The CENTCOM statement goes a step further by implying that the Al Nusrah Front is fighting against the Syrian government while the Khorasan Group is hijacking the Syrian revolution to conduct attacks against the West.

“They [the US airstrikes] were directed at the Khorasan Group whose focus is not on overthrowing the Assad regime or helping the Syrian people,” CENTCOM continues. “These al Qaeda operatives are taking advantage of the Syrian conflict to advance attacks against Western interests.”

[Emphasis added.]

Read Tom and Bill’s entire report, which sheds light on the web of jihadist connections.

Understand, the Khorasan group is al-Nusra, which is al-Qaeda. The “moderate Syrian rebels” are neither moderate nor myopically focused on Assad and Syria. (Indeed, Syria does not even exist as the same country anymore, now that ISIS has eviscerated its border with Iraq while capturing much of its territory.) The overarching Islamic-supremacist strategy of al-Qaeda has never cared about Western-drawn borders. The ambition of al-Qaeda, like that of its breakaway ISIS faction, is to conquer both the “near” enemies — i.e., the Middle East territories not currently governed by its construction of sharia — and the West. Al-Qaeda (a.k.a. al-Nusra, a.k.a. the Khorasan group) wants to overthrow Assad, but it still regards the United States as its chief nemesis.

The Khorasan group exists only as an advisory group around Zawahiri. The Obama administration’s invocation of it to divert attention from al-Qaeda and launder al-Nusra into “moderate Syrian rebels” is sheer subterfuge.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s

Obama’s Pandering to Iran Has No Limits

1578134015CSP, by Fred Fleitz:

The Obama administration is in desperation mode on the nuclear talks with Iran.  With the prospect of a Republican Senate taking action next year to thwart its controversial nuclear diplomacy and a fast approaching November 24 deadline for the talks, the Obama administration reportedly has doubled down on its previous one-sided concessions to Tehran by offering to allow it to operate up to 6,000 uranium centrifuges.

Further confusing this situation, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that the president wrote a secret letter to Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei in which he reportedly stressed that “any cooperation on the Islamic State was largely contingent on Iran reaching a comprehensive agreement with global powers on the future of Tehran’s nuclear program by a November 24 diplomatic deadline.”

Although the Obama administration made several disturbing concessions to get Iran to the bargaining table, one of the worst was implicitly conceding to Tehran the “right” to enrich uranium by allowing it to operate uranium centrifuges.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bluntly made this point when he visited the United States in September when he said Iran has no need for uranium enrichment and any enrichment it conducts is for one purpose: making nuclear bombs.

Charles Krauthammer made a similar point during the Fox News Special Report program last night, saying that to get a nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration “has abolished the central idea of nonproliferation . . . you cannot enrich.”

Using 9,000 centrifuges currently operating, Iran is enriching to reactor-grade enough uranium to fuel about two nuclear weapons per year if further enriched to weapons-grade.  Although allowing Iran to operate 6,000 centrifuges means it would accumulate reactor-grade uranium at a slightly slower pace, this proposal ignores the risk from Iran’s large reactor-grade uranium stockpile and the fact that far fewer centrifuges are needed to enrich to weapons-grade from reactor-grade.

Using less than 2,000 centrifuges, Iran could enrich from reactor-grade to weapons grade in 2.2 to 3.5 months.  Iran currently has enough reactor-grade uranium to make enough weapons-grade nuclear fuel for at least seven nuclear weapons if further enriched.

The Obama administration’s decision to allow Iran to enrich uranium was unconscionable and made the negotiations to slow or halt the Iranian nuclear program an unacceptable risk to American and international security from the outset.  Over the last year, Obama officials gave away more and more to Tehran in the nuclear talks, setting the stage for a final agreement that is certain to be a diplomatic train wreck.

Words escape me to discuss the foolhardiness of the letter that President Obama reportedly sent to Ayatollah Khamenei last month.  Given that Iran is in part to blame for the surge in sectarian violence in Iraq since 2011 due to its ties to the Maliki government and its training of Iraqi Shiite militias, why would the United States be discussing cooperation with Iranian officials against the Islamic State and linking this to getting a nuclear agreement?  If the United States was to say anything to Iran about restoring stability to Iraq and defeating the Islamic State, it should be: “Stop meddling in Iraq!”

A Republican Senate and responsible oversight of the president’s abysmal foreign policy cannot come soon enough.

POTUS OBAMA SENT SECRET LETTER TO IRAN’S LEADERSHIP; SEEKING TEHRAN’S HELP AGAINST THE ISLAMIC STATE; PLEDGED NOT TO TAKE OUT ASSAD

ayattollah, November 7, 2014 · by R.C. Porter:

Disastrous and ill-conceived. From the very beginning of POTUS Obama’s first term in office, he and his ‘team’ have sought to offend our friends and appease our adversaries. One of POTUS Obama’s first foreign policy affronts against a long-time ally, was to send the bust of Winston Churchill back to England. Great start on how not to win friends and influence people. POTUS Obama’s view of the world and his perceived belief that America was in large part to blame for many of the world’s ills was naïve and perplexing. From his — can’t we all just get along speech in Cairo, to his failure to support the Iran uprising after a corrupt Presidential vote, his re-set with Russia, withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq too quickly and without a tether, failure to check China’s aggressive posture in the western Pacific, backing the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and now appeasing the Mullahs of Iran and the butcher of Syria — Obama’s foreign policy is breathtaking in its fecklessness and vacuity. The best way to defeat the Islamic State — is also take out Assad. The U.S. should have taken out Syrian military airfields — the minute we began bombing ISIS positions in northern Syria. And, we surely do not want to encourage the Mullahs in Tehran/Qum that they can still produce a nuclear weapon, or achieve a near-constant breakout capability with a deal more to their liking — because of a U.S. President’s desperation for a deal — at almost any price. Very, very disturbing. No wonder this letter was sent in secret, and without Congressional input, or knowledge. RCP.

 

Obama Wrote Secret Letter to Iran’s Khamenei About Fighting Islamic State

Presidential Correspondence With Ayatollah Stresses Shared U.S.-Iranian Interests in Combating Insurgents, Urges Progress on Nuclear Talks

By JAY SOLOMON And CAROL E. LEE, Nov. 6, 2014

WASHINGTON-President Barack Obama secretly wrote to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the middle of last month and described a shared interest in fighting Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, according to people briefed on the correspondence.

The letter appeared aimed both at buttressing the campaign against Islamic State and nudging Iran’s religious leader closer to a nuclear deal.

Mr. Obama stressed to Mr. Khamenei that any cooperation on Islamic State was largely contingent on Iran reaching a comprehensive agreement with global powers on the future of Tehran’s nuclear program by a Nov. 24 diplomatic deadline, the same people say.

The October letter marked at least the fourth time Mr. Obama has written Iran’s most powerful political and religious leader since taking office in 2009 and pledging to engage with Tehran’s Islamist government.

The correspondence underscores that Mr. Obama views Iran as important-whether in a potentially constructive or negative role-to his emerging military and diplomatic campaign to push Islamic State from the territories it has gained over the past six months.

Mr. Obama’s letter also sought to assuage Iran’s concerns about the future of its close ally, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, according to another person briefed on the letter. It states that the U.S.’s military operations inside Syria aren’t targeted at Mr. Assad or his security forces.

Mr. Obama and senior administration officials in recent days have placed the chances for a deal with Iran at only 50-50. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is set to begin intensive direct negotiations on the nuclear issue with his Iranian counterpart, Javad Zarif, on Sunday in the Persian Gulf country of Oman.

“There’s a sizable portion of the political elite that cut their teeth on anti-Americanism,” Mr. Obama said at a White House news conference on Wednesday about Iran’s leadership, without commenting on his personal overture. “Whether they can manage to say ‘Yes’…is an open question.”

Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, foreground left, met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, background right, in Vienna in July. ENLARGE
Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, foreground left, met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, background right, in Vienna in July. JIM BOURG

For the first time this week, a senior administration official said negotiations could be extended beyond the Nov. 24 deadline, adding that the White House will know after Mr. Kerry’s trip to Oman whether a deal with Iran is possible by late November.

“We’ll know a lot more after that meeting as to whether or not we have a shot at an agreement by the deadline,” the senior official said. “If there’s an extension, there’re questions like: What are the terms?”

Mr. Obama’s push for a deal faces renewed resistance after Tuesday’s elections gave Republicans control of the Senate and added power to thwart an agreement and to impose new sanctions on Iran. Sens. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) and Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) have introduced legislation to intensify sanctions.

‘There’s a sizable portion of the [Iranian] political elite that cut their teeth on anti-Americanism. Whether they can manage to say ‘Yes’…is an open question.’

-Barack Obama

“The best way to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon is to quickly pass the bipartisan Menendez-Kirk legislation-not to give the Iranians more time to build a bomb,” Mr. Kirk said Wednesday.

House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) expressed concern when asked about the letter sent by Mr. Obama.

“I don’t trust the Iranians, I don’t think we need to bring them into this,” Mr. Boehner said. Referring to the continuing nuclear talks between Iran and world powers, Mr. Boehner said he “would hope that the negotiations that are under way are serious negotiations, but I have my doubts.”

In a sign of the sensitivity of the Iran diplomacy, the White House didn’t tell its Middle East allies-including Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates-about Mr. Obama’s October letter to Mr. Khamenei, according to people briefed on the correspondence and representatives of allied countries.

Leaders from these countries have voiced growing concern in recent weeks that the U.S. is preparing to significantly soften its demands in the nuclear talks with Tehran. They said they worry the deal could allow Iran to gain the capacity to produce nuclear weapons in the future.

Arab leaders also fear Washington’s emerging rapprochement with Tehran could come at the expense of their security and economic interests across the Middle East. These leaders have accused the U.S. of keeping them in the dark about its diplomatic engagements with Tehran.

The Obama administration launched secret talks with Iran in the Omani capital of Muscat in mid-2012, but didn’t notify Washington’s Mideast allies of the covert diplomatic channel until late 2013.

Senior U.S. officials declined to discuss Mr. Obama’s letter to Mr. Khamenei after questions from The Wall Street Journal.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest on Thursday declined to comment on what he called “private correspondence” between the president and world leaders, but acknowledged U.S. officials in the past have discussed the Islamic State campaign with Iranian officials on the sidelines of international nuclear talks. He added the negotiations remain centered on Iran’s nuclear program and reiterated that the U.S. isn’t cooperating militarily with Iran on the Islamic State fight.

Administration officials didn’t deny the letter’s existence when questioned by foreign diplomats in recent days.

Mr. Khamenei has proved a fickle diplomatic interlocutor for Mr. Obama in the past six years.

Mr. Obama sent two letters to Iran’s 75-year-old supreme leader during the first half of 2009, calling for improvements in U.S.-Iran ties, which had been frozen since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Tehran.

Mr. Khamenei never directly responded to the overtures, according to U.S. officials. And Iran’s security forces cracked down hard that year on nationwide protests that challenged the re-election of then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad .

Mr. Khamenei is believed to be the decision maker on the nuclear program. ASSOCIATED PRESS

U.S.-Iran relations have thawed considerably since the election of President Hasan Rouhani in June 2013. He and Mr. Obama shared a 15-minute phone call in September 2013, and Messrs. Kerry and Zarif have regularly held direct talks on the nuclear diplomacy and regional issues.

Still, Mr. Khamenei has often cast doubt on the prospects for better relations with Washington. He has criticized the U.S. military campaign against Islamic State, which is also known as ISIS or ISIL, claiming it is another attempt by Washington and the West to weaken the Islamic world.

“America, Zionism, and especially the veteran expert of spreading divisions-the wicked government of Britain-have sharply increased their efforts of creating divisions between the Sunnis and Shiites,” Mr. Khamenei said in a speech last month, according to a copy of it on his website. “They created al Qaeda and [Islamic State] in order to create divisions and to fight against the Islamic Republic, but today, they have turned on them.”

Current and former U.S. officials have said Mr. Obama has focused on communicating with Mr. Khamenei specifically because they believe the cleric will make all the final decisions on Iran’s nuclear program and the fight against Islamic State.

Mr. Rouhani is seen as navigating a difficult balance of gaining Mr. Khamenei’s approval for his foreign policy decisions while trying to satisfy Iranian voters who elected him in the hope of seeing Iran re-engage with the Western world.

A team from the International Atomic Energy Agency checks the enrichment process inside the Natanz uranium enrichment plant in January. ENLARGE
A team from the International Atomic Energy Agency checks the enrichment process inside the Natanz uranium enrichment plant in January. EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

The emergence of Islamic State has drastically changed both Washington’s and Tehran’s policies in the Middle East.

Mr. Obama was elected on the pledge of ending Washington’s war in Iraq. But over the past three months, he has resumed a U.S. air war in the Arab country, focused on weakening Islamic State’s hold of territory in western and northern Iraq.

Iran has had to mobilize its own military resources to fight against Islamic State, according to senior Iranian and U.S. officials.

Tehran’s elite military unit, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, has sent military advisers into Iraq to help the government of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, a close Iranian ally. The IRGC has also worked with Syrian President Assad’s government, and Shiite militias from across the Mideast, to conduct military operations inside Syria.

U.S. officials have stressed that they are not coordinating with Tehran on the fight against Islamic State.

But the State Department has confirmed that senior U.S. officials have discussed Iraq with Mr. Zarif on the sidelines of nuclear negotiations in Vienna. U.S. diplomats have also passed on messages to Tehran via Mr. Abadi’s government in Baghdad and through the offices of Iraq’s Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, among the most powerful religious leaders in the Shiite world.

Among the messages conveyed to Tehran, according to U.S. officials, is that U.S. military operations in Iraq and Syria aren’t aimed at weakening Tehran or its allies.

“We’ve passed on messages to the Iranians through the Iraqi government and Sistani saying our objective is against ISIL,” said a senior U.S. official briefed on these communications. “We’re not using this as a platform to reoccupy Iraq or to undermine Iran.”

-Michael R. Crittenden contributed to this article.

Write to Jay Solomon at jay.solomon@wsj.com and Carol E. Lee atcarol.lee@wsj.com

EXHALE

capitol_building_dark_clouds_APBreitbart, by Pamela Geller:

It’s quite something, but I have been receiving more “congratulatory” emails from my international readers than my American readers (and I have heard from a great many Americans). But clearly it’s not just Americans who care what happens in our elections — it’s freedom-loving peoples all over the world. On Tuesday night, the world collectively exhaled… and celebrated.

They rejoiced in knowing that America wasn’t over — that the same country that elected Barack Obama in the White House not once, but twice, was not so far gone that it couldn’t right that wrong and right the ship. People all over the world look to America as the moral force for good in the world. And that hope had been dashed…until last night.

The lights on the “the shining city on the hill” shone brightly.

We won and we won big. Huge. And it is even bigger than that knowing what we know about the leftwing election fraud on voter rolls and the ghost vote.

Last night, the American people sent a very clear, very loud message to President Obama. Stop. The American people said STOP, and if you don’t, our elected officials will do everything we empower them to do to stop you from further destroying this country. 

Knowing the contempt Obama has for us, he has no intention of heeding our warnings and will continue on his jihad against freedom, the individual, American hegemony, and our allies in the world.

But America has withdrawn our sanction.

The Democrats lost big, and their divisive, subversive supporters lost bigger. Hamas-CAIR and their “Muslim caucus” to vote as one bloc for their Democrat quisling candidates failed. As did those candidates who received their foul money.

The left’s “war on women” myth epically failed, especially in light of the real war on women — in the Muslim world. The slave markets, the buying and selling of non-Muslim women — the misogyny inherent in the sharia.

Their immigration rout failed. Particularly now, when national security has become the top issue and terrorists are easily penetrating our porous borders. Moms and dads have finally woken up to the jihad threat, and they got out the vote.

The jobless millennials, as brainwashed as they are, can’t pay the rent with hope and change. The millennials didn’t get out the vote for Obama.

Millions of Americans, like me, who had their health insurance cancelled and now live uninsured got out the vote.

Obama hoped to get out the anti-semitic vote. Obama and his administration made vicious, repeated attacks on Israel just days before the election. American support for Israel has never been so high. Friends of Israel got out the vote.

Republicans didn’t vote last night. Americans voted for America.

The Democrats will use these two years to get ready for 2016. They will spend the next two years blaming the Republicans for what’s here and what’s coming — the poison fruit of Obama’s catastrophic domestic and foreign policies. But we can out-maneuver them. 

We have to.

This is the beginning of a very great fight. We can and must seize the day. We must take a deep breath, take the long view, have a plan and stick to it — as one.

Obama’s immigration putsch must be stopped (if he uses one of his dictatorial edicts, we can kill funding).

Obamacare should be dismantled piece by piece.

Congress must stand in the way of Obama allowing Iran to complete its nuclear weapons policy.

Jihad and Islam must be re-introduced to our counter terror programs. It was exactly five years ago that Fort Hood jihadi Major Hasan slaughtered 13 of our soldiers in Texas, screaming allahu akbar. Obama said it was workplace violence and refused to designate it a terror attack.

Energy, energy, energy. Pass the Keystone pipeline. Get off foreign oil. Stop funding the jihad.

The Republicans must work together to defeat the single greatest threat to our nation’s security and well being: Obama and his quisling administration.

It will be a brutal two years. Obama will continue to pursue the disastrous plans for us  — Iranian nukes, immigration, Obamacare, etc. But we have turned the corner. The fight is on. The Republicans cannot squander this opportunity. We must be unified and resolute — not “inherently resolute” (the ridiculous moniker of Obama’s incoherent policy in Iraq), but consciously and deliberately resolute.

It. is. on.

E Pluribus Unum.

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.

The Clearing of the Pawns

Members of Islamist Syrian rebel group Jabhat al-Nusra pose for a picture at a checkpoint at the Karaj al-Hajez crossing in Syria Photo: MOLHEM BARAKAT/REUTERS

Members of Islamist Syrian rebel group Jabhat al-Nusra pose for a picture at a checkpoint at the Karaj al-Hajez crossing in Syria Photo: MOLHEM BARAKAT/REUTERS

CSP, By Kyle Shideler:

It is now being reported that Al Qaeda’s Syrian group, the Al Nusra Front has accepted the surrender of the U.S.-Armed Harakat Hazm (HZM), and effectively neutralized the Syrian Revolutionary Front (SRF) by seizing it’s remaining bases. As the UK Telegraph notes:

For the last six months the Hazm movement, and the SRF through them, had been receiving heavy weapons from the US-led coalition, including GRAD rockets and TOW anti-tank missiles.
But on Saturday night Harakat Hazm surrendered military bases and weapons supplies to Jabhat al-Nusra, when the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria stormed villages they controlled in northern Idlib province.
The development came a day after Jabhat al-Nusra dealt a final blow to the SRF, storming and capturing Deir Sinbal, home town of the group’s leader Jamal Marouf. The attack caused the group, which had already lost its territory in Hama to al-Qaeda, to surrender.

According to reports, HZM surrendered its positions to Al Nusra and turned over its U.S.-provided arsenal without offering any resistance. Harakat Hazm has never been shy about fighting alongside Al Nusra, as one fighter proclaimed to the LA Times less than a month ago, “But Nusra doesn’t fight us, we actually fight alongside them. We like Nusra.” This coziness with al Qaeda is something that investigative reporter Patrick Poole has repeatedly noted, and raises the question of whether these surrogates upon which President Obama’s Syria and anti-ISIS strategy depends were ever really “our surrogates” to begin with? The, admittedly pro-Assad, Beirut paper Al-Akbar has claimed that HZM was explicitly created by the Muslim Brotherhood, and with the support of Turkey and Qatar, in order to serve as a recipient of U.S. aid.

Whether HZM was a Muslim Brotherhood front designed to fool the West from day one, or whether they simply lack the strength to continue resisting Al Nusra, the result is the same.  SRF and HZM  have now being cleared from the board, rendering painfully obvious what should have been clear some time ago. There is no force of “moderation” capable of ruling an intact Syria. U.S. airstrikes cannot defeat ISIS alone, and could not, even were they not hamstrung by a gun shy Administration that insists on controlling every aspect of the air war from the White House. Further escalation, through “boots on the ground” is, as reporter Michael Totten has noted,  a political non-starter, and for very good reason.  The idea that a force of Syrians can be extracted from Syria, tabula rasa, and then reinserted a few years later once they’ve been adequately armed and trained, as some have proposed, is a flight of fancy.  The future of Syria is likely to be decided between Al Qaeda, ISIS and the Assad regime, backed by Iran and Hezbollah.

Recognizing our lack of pieces to move should be the first step in crafting a new strategy, one which takes into account not just Syria, but the whole rapidly changing face of the region.

Obamas-Middle-East-Chess-Board-360-X-275

Our enemies are on the ballot today as well and remember, they have a vote.

isis_flag-300x180By Allen West:

Today is the critical 2014 midterm Election Day and I won’t beleaguer you with many posts today, but here’s something about which we need be aware.

As President Obama touted, his policies are on the ballot today – but I haven’t heard any candidates or incumbents discussing his foreign policies at length.

Obama’s solution to the ISIS crisis was to arm the Free Syrian Army — we have written often about how that is a flawed strategy. As former Commandant of the Marine Corps General James T. Conway stated, it didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of succeeding — and it only took three months, from August 8th, for that prediction to come to fruition.

As reported by the UK Guardian, “The U.S. plan to rally proxy ground forces to complement its air strikes against ISIS militants in Syria is in tatters after jihadis ousted Washington’s main ally from its stronghold in the north over the weekend. The attack on the Syrian Revolutionary Front (SRF) by the al-Qaida-aligned Jabhat al-Nusra came after weeks of clashes between the two groups around the city of Idlib, which has remained one of the last bastions of regime control in northern Syria throughout the civil war. Militants overran the command center of the SRF’s leader, Jamal Maarouf, in Deir Sonbol in a humiliating rout that came as U.S. and Arab air forces continued to attack ISIS in the Kurdish town of Kobani, 300 miles east, in an effort to prevent the town from falling.”

This represents the utter failure of strategy based on rhetoric, rather than the implementation of a sound strategy. Barack Hussein Obama truly believed that talk is the best means to evade a crisis — not realizing that the enemy has a vote.

We have never launched a full-scale air campaign against ISIS aimed to degrade and destroy the Islamic terrorist enemy. We continue to witness ISIS operating on multiple fronts conducting offensive operations — something we discussed here – and their main effort versus supporting efforts.

***

There is much at stake in the Middle East and a lack of a determined strategic vision and resolute commitment is evident to both “allies” and foes. ISIS and the Islamists have a vision, a strategy, and developing alliances and growing recruiting numbers. This is a war of ideologies, but we have a president who refuses to acknowledge that premise — perhaps because he supports the Islamist ideology.

The Guardian says, “Kobani has become a defining struggle between ISIS and the U.S., as much as it is between the jihadis and the Kurds who, with U.S. help, beat back an advance on Irbil in August. If ISIS was able to take Kobani it could boast a significant victory. A victory over the secular Kurds would help advance its hardline interpretation of Islam, which has seen it rule areas it controls along strict medieval precepts that are rooted in an uncompromising understanding of Islamic teachings.”

The ideology must be defeated foremost. The enemy must then be destroyed in detail. The failed policy of doing neither is on the ballot today.

It is a time for choosing.

Read more

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

 r-GOP-LEADERSHIP-large570PJ Media, By Patrick Poole, Nov. 3, 2014:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In order to pass the amendment in the House, Boehner and GOP leadership had to buck considerable resistance from their own party and join with House Democrats to pass the amendment. The September 17 vote was 273-156, with 71 Republicans voting against the amendment.

And yet even more House Democrats — 85 in all — voted against the funding amendment, giving them cover for the upcoming midterm elections.

The 78-22 vote in the Senate also received support from Senate GOP leadership, with notable Senate Republicans voting against the measure, including Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.

Congress had barely left Washington, D.C., for the break before events would demonstrate the GOP leaders buying into Obama’s policy was a fool’s errand. As U.S. airstrikes began hitting ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra positions, the attacks were widely condemned by the same “vetted moderate” groups that Congress had just approved another $500 million for.

At the same time, the Obama administration began to quickly back away from the rebels that congressional GOP leadership had now jumped into bed with. A week after the House amendment vote, administration officials began complaining that there were no reliable partners on the ground in Syria. A few weeks later, the administration leaked a CIA assessment of past funding of rebel groups that found such aid as Congress had just approved rarely works.

The coup de grâce came less than a month after the House vote. Obama’s envoy trying to build the anti-ISIS coalition, retired Marine General John Allen, told reporters that the administration was ditching the FSA. Now, two weeks later, the FSA is near collapse.

The only successful move of Obama’s disastrous Syria policy was to get the GOP leadership in Congress to buy into it at the last minute.

So how could GOP leaders be so easily duped?

1) The absence of a coherent GOP foreign policy. Republicans in Congress are torn by two opposing foreign policy poles: on one side is John McCain’s “war at any price” caucus, and on the other is Rand Paul’s neo-isolationist “pull up the drawbridge” approach. The McCain position has blindly given a blank check to the administration’s military misadventures (e.g. Libya, et al.), and the Paulian approach flies in the face of reality — there is no drawbridge to pull up anymore in our global society, and the growing threats to America’s interests overseas are growing rapidly.

2) “We’ve got to do something!” When I talked to members and staff, this was a recurring theme. GOP leaders during the debate over the amendment used this as a bludgeon against the amendment’s detractors. But without American boots on the ground, which no one in Congress was going to support weeks before midterm elections, there’s little the U.S. can do to directly change events on the ground. Even the airstrikes targeting ISIS are having a very limited effect. And less than a month after GOP leaders were publicly castigating their own members for not falling into line, the administration was abandoning the very position they had just embraced.

3) Congress is reliant on the administration for all their information. This is a recurring problem on the Hill. Congress has few means to vet the information the administration gives them, or to know if information is being withheld.

When I briefed members during that week prior to the rebel amendment vote, particularly those sitting on committees that had national security responsibilities, very few were aware of the ongoing difficulties of the defections, peace deals, and alliances with jihadist groups that the U.S.-armed and trained “vetted moderate” groups were engaged in. I’ve previously said that Congress needs to revive something along the lines of the House Task Force on Unconventional Warfare and Terrorism that gave them a back door to the SPECOPS world and intelligence community to be better informed regardless of what party controls the White House.

The midterm elections tomorrow might rearrange the chairs on the Hill come January, but the GOP leadership problems demonstrated by the rebel funding this past September are likely to remain.

Even worse, rushing the Syrian rebel funding through at the last minute meant there was no serious discussion of the growing national security threats metastasizing in Syria and Iraq and on what Congress intended to do. By buying into Obama’s rebel funding proposal, they allowed Obama to walked them over the cliff just as he was stepping back from it. Pure amateur hour.

By the time the new Congress convenes in January, events could transpire in the Middle East that will require Congress and leaders of both parties to make choices more difficult than throwing $500 million at the problem. By then, the situation could be more stark than anyone now realizes.

Are You There Allah? It’s Me, John Kerry

kerry-430x350by Daniel Greenfield:

A week before the anniversary of September 11, John Kerry announced that he had been given a divine mission to protect Muslim countries from Global Warming.

The Secretary of State had spent September arguing that the Islamic State was Un-Islamic. He told the House Committee on Foreign Affairs that it was a war against the “enemy of Islam.” Kerry was so eager to go native that he even switched from calling the Islamic State by the acronym of ISIL and instead joined Muslim governments in calling it by the more insulting Daesh.

The distinction made by Daesh is only intelligible to Arab Muslims, but our foreign policy has gone native by increasingly becoming obsessed with what they think, rather than what we think and what we need.

Some members of the Obama team had been accused of secretly converting to Islam, but only Kerry, whom no one had ever accused of believing in anything, seems eager to play a poor man’s Sheikh.

Kerry’s freelance Islamic lectures are as offensive as they are clueless.

When it came to the Mohammedan practice of enslaving non-Muslim women as sex slaves, Kerry insisted that the Islamic State’s claim that its actions were sanctioned by Islamic law was just as bad as the actual rapes. No doubt the Yazidi and Christian women who were being raped by Muslims would have agreed with the Secretary of State that their plight was just as terrible as the defamation of Islam.

After meeting with Muslim leaders, Kerry insisted that we had to delegitimize ISIS as Un-Islamic and “begin to put real Islam out there.”

It’s not the job of the Secretary of State to “put real Islam out there” and in deciding which Islam was the real Islam, Ayatollah John was functioning as an unlicensed Muslim leader.

ISIS Jihadists are denounced as Takfiris for declaring other Muslims to be infidels. Ayatollah John receives communion at the Paulist Center and then moonlights as a Muslim Takfiri by claiming that the Takfiris of ISIS are infidels.

This is the trap of “moderate Islam.” Once we distinguish a “good Islam” from a “bad Islam,” we have established the “good Islam” as a state religion. And then we have to support it and enforce its laws. Few leaders demonstrate the folly of trying to defeat Islamic terrorism by embracing Islam better than the Ayatollah of State.

Ayatollah John has not restricted his freelance Fatwas to disputes within Islam. Instead he has taken sides in religious disputes between Muslims and non-Muslims.

Read more at Frontpage

THE REAL THREAT: THE JV TEAM IN THE WHITE HOUSE

0519-1003-1013-3937-president-obama-with-national-security-team-in-the-situation-room-mjpgBreitbart, by DR. SEBASTIAN GORKA, Nov.3, 2014:

A new jihadist group able to recruit thousands of foreign fighters controlling territory larger than the UK; Russia invading its neighbor, flying bombers off the coast of California and sending subs into Swedish territorial waters; Snowden taking millions of classified files to China and then Russia; China using its navy to intimidate its smaller neighbors; American journalists beheaded on TV; Syria using chemical weapons against civilians; An Ebola outbreak the likes of which has never been seen before; Iran unstoppable in its race to go nuclear.

If you read of all these in a Brad Thor thriller you’d probably say the writer was overdoing it. Unfortunately, this isn’t pulp fiction.

America is now in a threat environment that makes some people of a certain age get nostalgic and look back wistfully at the Cold War years when the only real threat was the spread of Communism.
On paper, there really should be no problem. We should be strong enough to deal with any threat whether new (ISIS) or old (the Kremlin). As the Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens points out in his forthcoming book, America’s economy beats all others, standing at 26% of the global economy (Japan is 9%, for example). That’s one nation providing a quarter of the global economy! And our defense budget accounts for more than 40% of the global whole. (China’s is 3% by comparison). By any definition that makes us not just a superpower but a “hyperpower.”
Then why is the world seemingly falling apart? Why do actors as diverse as Vladimir Putin and Abu Bakr al Baghdadi feel so emboldened? Perhaps it has to do with the quality of America’s national security bench.
President Obama famously called Mr. Baghdadi and his group ISIS/The Islamic State a JV team. When asked in an interview about ISIS versus al Qaeda, the Commander-in-Chief gave the flip response “The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.” (Those were his exact words in the original New Yorker piece despite the President’s attempt to deny them in a later interview on NBC.)

Given the fact that ISIS is now more dangerous in all key metrics – money, weapons, territory, use of media – the JV label is clearly out of place. Given the range of threats we now face and the rapidity of their growth, the JV label would appear to be a much more accurate description of our national security bench.

When cabinet members like John Kerry insist that Global Warming is as much a threat to America as ISIS or Ebola, it is hard to know how to react. ISIS has destroyed the territorial integrity of two nations in the Middle East. It has literally slaughtered thousands of people and caused the religious cleansing of most of the historic Christian community in both Syria and Iraq.

Ebola has likewise killed thousands, and in a way – the body dissolves internally and literally bleeds apart – that would befit a schlock horror movie. Yet “climate change” is just as bad? (And this isn’t just a one-off gaff of our Secretary of State. The view has infected our military. I was asked last year to run a three-day exercise for senior uniformed strategists from the Pentagon. On the first day I split them into four teams, asked them to identify the greatest threat to America and gave then two days to work out a strategic response. Two of the teams – half of the colonels involved – agreed with Secretary Kerry: Climate Change is THE threat to America. Worse than Global Jihad, a revanchist China, a nuclear North Korea, an almost nuclear Iran, etc. etc.)

What about about the rest of the bench? What about the Coach, the National Security Advisor? Susan Rice is best known for her commitment to the now evidently untrue claim that the attacks against the US compound in Benghazi were the result of a YouTube video and not a premeditated attack by local jihadists. Now the press reports that she is the hub of the micromanagement of the campaign against ISIS, a woman so “manic and obsessed with the tiniest of details” that the military is losing faith in the mission.   So strategically lacking is the White House plan that apparently Defense Secretary Hagelrecently wrote to Rice that the plan is in “danger of unraveling.” If that is the coach, what about her actual players?

Deputy National Security Advisor Tony Blinken has no record of military service nor has he seemingly obtained any experience or education related to military strategy or national security. Blinken graduated from Harvard University and then went to Columbia Law School for his JD (interestingly enough none of the first half-a-dozen bios on the internet for Mr. Blinken even tell you what his BA was in. Perhaps English or Art History?)

Shortly thereafter, he went straight into Democratic politics, fundraising for the presidential campaign of Michael Dukakis. In 2008, he worked on Joe Biden’s failed campaign for President, but was then appointed by President Obama to be his Deputy National Security Advisor in January of 2013. VP Biden has previously referred to Blinken as his “go-to guy” on Iraq – known for helping to facilitate the US withdrawal from Baghdad – a plan who many in retrospect view as a disaster due to the administration’s failure to secure a Status-of-Forces Agreement.

Then there is her other deputy, Ben Rhodes. His qualifications to be advising America’s National Security Adviser, the President’s top strategic counsellor? Again, zero military or national security experience. Just a BA in English and Political Science and a Masters in Fine Arts. Yes, really, a Masters in Fine Arts. Given the fact that the scuttlebutt has it that Mr. Rhodes is the source of last week’s “chickensh*t” description of Israeli PM Benjanim Netanyahu, a decorated veteran, this is all the more egregious.
What if we go higher? The Vice-President has limited formal influence but he surely has the ear of the Commander-in-Chief, and VP Joe Biden is also a member of Obama’s National Security Council. One quote I think may be enough here. The famously bipartisan Bob Gates, former DCI and Secretary of Defense who served under both George W. Bush and President Obama, said of Biden: he was flat-out wrong on “nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.” (Add to that the fact that Biden has spoken publicly on many occasions that he was opposed to the raid that neutralized Osama Bin Laden while in hiding at his compound in Pakistan, and perhaps we should be thankful he is not in control).
Even if we leave the formal structure of White House National Security decisionmaking, the story is no better. Valerie Jarrett is one of President Obama’s most senior advisors, perhaps the most powerful one. So much so that many have alleged that Jarrett is unofficially a key member of the Iran nuclear negotiating team. Jarrett, who gained most of her experience through the Chicago political system, has no known working knowledge or education dealing with foreign policy, international affairs, or military strategy; but she does speak Persian, which is the official language in Iran.
The question stands: who is really in the JV League? Vladimir Putin, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the Politbureau in Beijing, or the “National Security” team in the White House? Can someone please bring back the grown-ups.
 

Sebastian Gorka PhD is the Major General Matthew C. Horner Distinguished Chair of Military Theory at Marine Corps University and National Security Editor for the Breitbart News Network. Follow him on Twitter at @SebGorka. 

Jordan Schachtel contributed to this report.