Gorka: President Obama’s 5 Strategic Mistakes in the War Against ISIS (with video)

obama-hmm-ap (1)Breitbart, by DR. SEBASTIAN GORKA, Sep. 29, 2014

First it was 1991, then we returned in 2003. Today, it is 2014, and America is again at war in the Middle East–but now it is Syria and not just Iraq.

Despite decades’ worth of analysis followed by military actions, we are, as a nation, making cardinal mistakes once again. Given how different the enemy we face today is, these mistakes will likely have a strategic impact on the safety of all Americans.
In 1991, we deployed US forces to the Middle East to eject the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein from the nation of Kuwait, which he had just invaded, and to stop him before he went further and destabilized the whole region.
In 2003, the Bush Administration decided that, after taking down the Taleban government in Afghanistan–which had harbored Osama bin Laden– and destroying Al Qaeda’s camps, Iraq would be next. The reasoning was twofold. Saddam was a brutal dictator and his replacement by a representative government could help stabilize the region. Second, Saddam was in possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) which could potentially be used against US targets. (Let us not open the issue of what happened to those weapons, given that even the United Nations chronicled Saddam’s use of WMD against Iran and even his own citizens, and also that almost every Democrat on Capitol Hill agreed that the evidence indicated that he had not gotten rid of his WMD capabilities.)
Now, America has returned to the region in force, but this time it faces a new type of threat. Not a rogue nation invading its neighbors, nor a fundamentalist government providing sanctuary to jihadist terrorists, but a jihadi threat that is on the verge of capturing a whole country and which has declared the re-establishment of the Caliphate, the theocratic empire of Islam.
Despite our experience with the region and the missions of the last 13 years since the horrific attacks of September 2001, the administration is making five crucial mistakes as it deploys our brave men and women to the war-zone once more:
ISIS – or more correctly: The Islamic State (IS), since it changed its name recently – is not just a terrorist group like Al Qaeda. With the influx of thousands of foreign fighters, the US weapons it has captured, and the obvious charisma of its leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, IS is now a true insurgency, meaning it controls territory in daylight. In fact, the most recent estimate is that The Islamic State now controls a combined area of Syria and Iraq larger that the landmass of the United Kingdom. In no way it is a “JV team.” As a result the current “counterterrorism” approach of the government will by definition prove inadequate.
Never in the history of modern warfare has an insurgency been defeated by airpower. This is not a state-actor enemy with static targets which can be pummeled from the sky. It is an unconventional threat group which is hyper-mobile. After several days of bombings, IS will simply retreat into areas we cannot target from the air, such as heavily populated towns or cities. Such enemies can be defeated, but only if we use the Foreign Internal Defense (FID) model developed by US Special Forces, the “Green Berets,” under which local ground assets take the fight to the jihadists with a proportionally small number of US units acting as special advisers and providers of unique capabilities and intelligence platforms.
The Islamic State is already in a league all of its own and represents a new level of threat which far exceeds al Qaeda (AQ) and which will not be vanquished by the methods the Bush and Obama administrations have used against AQ. By all measures, IS has outdone al Qaeda. From the number of Westerners it has recruited– including women– to the amount of money it has, to its sophisticated use of social media for propaganda purposes, it has proven itself to be the jihadist movement al Qaeda always dreamt of being but never was.
Treating the Islamic State as the problem misses the central nature of the jihadi threat, the fact that it is global. Whether the group is called ISIS or IS, or it is the al Nusra Front in Syria, or Al Shabaab in North Africa, or Boko Haram in Nigeria, these are all one and the same threat. Every member of each of these groups– and the hundreds of other groups fighting in theaters as dispersed geographically as Chechnya or the Philippines– believes exactly the same thing: that they are the best Muslims, true warriors of Allah, and the West is un-Islamic and must be destroyed so a new theocratic empire of Islam can be re-established and expand to cover the world. Focusing on one threat at a time– al Qaeda, then ISIS, and then the next one– will only mean we will be fighting such groups for decades if not centuries.
Given the last point, it is clear that The Islamic State is simply the manifestation of a problem, not the cause of the problem itself. The disease which links all the aforementioned threat groups – which are symptoms – is the ideology of Global Jihad. It is the narrative of Holy War which unites bin Laden to the Boston Bombers, which unites the Boston Bombers to al Baghdadi. One cannot defeat an ideology with bombing runs. You can’t even destroy it with boots on the ground. The final victory against a totalitarian ideology – as in WWII, or even the Cold War – can only come when one discredits the enemy’s message, when you delegitimize his narrative. Unfortunately, with his recent speech to the United Nations, in which he compared the problems of the Middle East to the shooting of a suspected shoplifter in Ferguson, Missouri, the President once more reinforced the administration line that ideology is irrelevant to the threat we all face today.
To quote a British specialist on Islamist radicalism, writing recently on the utter failure of the British approach to jihadism: “it is also unclear if a state or society can win an ideology-based conflict if it ceases defending, advocating, believing in, and seeking to spread its own ideals.”
Can one win this type of war if you do not believe America is an exceptional nation?

Sebastian Gorka, Ph.D., is the Matthew C. Horner Chair of Military Theory at the Marine Corps University and the National Security and Foreign Affairs Editor for Breitbart News. You can follow him at @SebGorka.

For more on the global threat of radical Islam, please watch Dr. Gorka’s Presentation to the ICT 9/11 World Summit on Counterterrorism: ISIS: Jihad 2.0 below:

Also see:

Barack Al Qaeda

Published on Jan 27, 2015 by Wild Bill for America

Who’s side is Mr. Obama on? Shameful that the evidence goes against him.

Also see:

Video: Nonie Darwish on Obama and the Koran

Published on Jan 22, 2015 by The Glazov Gang

POLLACK: HE Stands With THEM

obama_40

Truth Revolt, by William Pollack, Jan. 25, 2015

Is there a soul who still believes Barack Hussein Obama stands with and for America? It has been six years since women fainted, a pundit’s leg tingled and a hysterical electorate screeched the nonsensical rhetoric “yes we can” and “hope and change.” Reality has set in for most Americans.

What single policy of his has strengthened American interests at home and abroad? Name one ally still confident of America’s friendship? Whether it’s Obama’s leftist ideology and/or a more sinister belief in weakening our nation, his decisions have created a vacuum void of strong American global leadership. Enemy alliances are exponentially growing as global commentators interpret the Obama administration as one that dithers and is inattentive. Spin an old fashioned globe you might find in a library or antique shop and wherever it stops, there’s trouble.

“Islamic Terrorism” is a euphemism this administration will not use even ordering the military to delete such references in manuals. We may not identify our enemy but they clearly identify us when chanting “Death to America.”

Strangely, the Obama administration prefers phrases like “overseas contingencies” and “workplace violence” to protect what must be the brass unblemished image of Islam in the president’s mind. His goofy cheerleaders at the State Department explain beheadings, extermination of entire Christian villages, enslaving little girls into the sadistic sex trade, killing young boys for watching a soccer game, stoning women for “allowing” themselves to be raped and hanging gays from cranes in public squares as not representative of the “peaceful” religion of Islam. We are told these “extremists” represent 10% or 20% of Islam’s 1.5 billion believers. You do the math and will most likely realize how dangerous this festering enemy truly is. France, Australia, Britain and most other non-Muslim nations are paying the price of an open-ended immigration policy that has created unmitigated violence and “no go” zones.

How often do we hear the illusive cry moderate Muslims must condemn their ongoing atrocities against innocents? With rare exception, they never do. Our own President won’t even join a chorus of condemnation without caveats that somehow excuse the inexcusable. Mr. Obama has gone so far as to apologize to the Arab world for America’s “exceptionalism” by suggesting at times we have been “arrogant.” Talk about ironies.

Mr. Obama shrugs when Jewish innocents are murdered on the streets of Paris, Jerusalem and Miami while satirical cartoonists are shot down at point blank range; all in the name of Allah. In response, Obama’s main propagandist Josh Earnest eerily suggests it was not wise for a free press to publish a cartoon demeaning Muhammad.  We have come a long way since a courageous president of the United States warned “you are either with us or against us.” But why should we expect this president to show solidarity with those of us who embrace freedom won by the toil of better men than him? Watching TV was his choice over joining 40 world leaders marching in unity together in France. In fairness, he did send a folk singer to serenade the French a week and a half later.

Is there anything more alarming with an almost unimaginable deadly consequence than Obama’s possible gift of nuclear weapons capability to the Iranian regime? As Iran’s economy was collapsing under imposed sanctions and the decline of oil revenues, Mr. Obama unleashed billions in frozen assets to the Iranians. He has written pleading letters to the ayatollahs begging for a deal even as satellite images indicate this dictatorial terrorist regime has ballistic missiles designed to carry a nuclear warhead to our shores. Despite his rhetoric, only the most naïve would believe Obama would use force to stop the largest exporter of terrorism responsible for thousands of American deaths from acquiring the weapons to blackmail the world into submission. As Iran is allowed the time and money to test fire this hellish weapon, Obama’s Secretary of State John Kerry worries climate change is the greater danger. Honestly, do you have to be insane to be this president’s Secretary of State?

Again and again, Obama saves his greatest ire for Israel; America’s strongest and virtually only remaining ally in the Middle East. Israel is a tiny democracy surrounded by Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria and the Palestinians; all sworn to her demise. Iran’s leadership openly calls for the Jewish State’s destruction while denying the Holocaust ever happened. Yet hardly an utterance of support for Israel and condemnation of Iran’s conduct emanates from this President. His animosity and insulting demeanor toward Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is legendary and out of control. Just as Churchill tried to warn the world, so too does Netanyahu and Obama resents it.

All this makes one wonder whose side HE is on. His policies leave little doubt.

William Pollack is a broadcaster and movie theater owner based in Memphis, TN. 

Also see:

New York Times Discovers Yemen’s ‘Death to America’ Houthi Rebels are Moderates and Possible U.S. Partners

PJ Media, By Patrick Poole On January 26, 2015

The New York Times launched some weapons-grade stupidity on Sunday with an article by Rod Nordland and Eric Schmitt citing “experts” claiming that the Iranian-backed Houthi militias in Yemen that have swept though critical parts of the country, including the capital Sanaa, are not just moderates, but possible U.S. counter-terrorism partners.

Because of the ongoing Houthi offensive, Yemen’s information minister admitted last week that the government had lost effective control of the country.

Amanpour tweet

Thankfully, the Times is here to assure us that when the Houthis shout “Death to America” they really don’t mean it:

At first glance the official slogan and emblem of the Houthis, who are now the dominant force in Yemen, does not offer much hope to American policy makers.

It includes the words “Death to America, death to Israel, damnation to the Jews.” Houthis shout it when they march, wear it on arm patches, paint it on buildings and stick it onto their car windows. When pictured, those words are rendered in red, framed by “God is great” and “Victory to Islam” in green, on a white background.

Sometimes the red words are shown dripping blood.

But for all their harsh sloganeering, the Houthis may be a lot more moderate than it suggests, according to many diplomats and analysts who have followed them closely. They say it would be premature to dismiss them as Yemen’s Hezbollah, despite their alliance with Iran.

For reference purposes, here’s the slogan in question:

Houthi logo

Houthis tweet

Ah, but we have nothing to fear, because they fight Al-Qaeda says the Pentagon:

On Wednesday, Michael G. Vickers, the Pentagon’s top intelligence policy official, noted that the Houthis’ dominance had been growing over the past several months as they expanded their control since last September, but he said that has not interfered with American missions. “The Houthis are anti-Al Qaeda, and we’ve been able to continue some of our counterterrorism operations against Al Qaeda in the past couple months,” Mr. Vickers said.

And they’re nothing like yet another Iranian proxy, Hezbollah, say the “experts”:

“The Houthis are not Hezbollah,” said Charles Schmitz, an expert on the group and a professor at Towson University, referring to the Iranian-supported group that dominates Lebanon and is actively fighting on behalf of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. “They are domestic, homegrown, and have very deep roots in Yemen, going back thousands of years.”

In fact, they could be U.S. counter-terrorism partners if they only dropped their “Death to America” sloganeering (!!) the “experts” continue:

April Alley, a senior analyst for the International Crisis Group in Sana, said: “Theoretically there is quite a bit of common ground in Yemen between the Houthis and the U.S., particularly when it comes to security issues and Al Qaeda. But so far it’s not been enough to overcome the obstacles. The Houthis have their own limits in which they can engage the Americans given the political narrative they have propagated.”

It should be noted that last week a U.S. Embassy vehicle carrying U.S. personnel was shot up at a Houthi checkpoint.

And a Houthi checkpoint featuring the “Death to America” signs has been operating right outside the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa since September:

Yemen photo

 

Houthi checkpoint tweets

 

One curious omission in the Times article, however, is that Obama hailed Yemen as one of his administration’s counter-terrorism successes back in September:

t4

 

So with Iran or Iranian proxies in charge of another Arab capital (Baghdad, Beirut, Damascus, Sanaa) we have nothing to fear, the New York Times is here to tell us.

And the Houthis take their place as acclaimed moderates in the U.S. foreign policy narrative bubble, along with the “largely secular” Muslim Brotherhood, the“vetted moderate” Syrian rebels, the “moderate elements” of Hezbollah (as cited by CIA Director John Brennan), and even “moderate” Al-Qaeda.

Are we toast? Saudi king is dead; ISIS expands; we’re abandoning Yemen and Iran has a missile launcher

ImageSat-Internationals-satellite-image-show-missile-release-facility-in-Iran-300x180By Allen West, Jan. 23, 2015:

On Tuesday evening President Obama stated, “the shadow of crisis has passed and the state of the union is strong” — and of course the blind followers cheered.

Obama also hinted that we had “turned the page” on our fight against terrorism. Remember his unilateral declaration at the National War College that the war on terror had ended — and of course he has commanded that combat operations end in two theaters of operation; Iraq and Afghanistan.

But nothing could shine the light on President Obama’s naiveté (or approval?) more than the fact that just 48 hours after he dismissed the “shadow of crisis,” we are evacuating yet another U.S. Embassy — this time in Yemen.

It’s the same Yemen that just last fall, Obama referred to as the model of his success — just like Vice President Joe Biden once chimed that Iraq would be one of Obama’s greatest successes. When Obama said the shadow of crisis has passed, we had three U.S. Naval warships off the coast of Yemen ready to evacuate the embassy.

Also see:

President and GOP Ignore Elephant in the Room

O noUTT, by John Guandolo, Jan. 22, 2015:

In his speech Tuesday night, President Obama said, “My first duty as Commander in Chief is to defend America.”  So we have him on record as understanding his primary role as our President.

After watching the State of the Union address Tuesday evening, one has to wonder if the President is completely disconnected from reality, grossly and totally incompetent, or simply doing the bidding of our enemies.

As has been detailed on numerous occasions, evidence has been proffered by the U.S. Department of Justice as to the nature of the jihadist threat to America, which identifies the leading Islamic organizations as a part of the Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas Movement here.  Yet, the President continues to grant senior MB/Hamas leaders to the highest levels of our government and claim their ideology has nothing to do with true Islam.

As was detailed in Tuesday night’s UTT blog article , the ideology Al Qaeda teaches is also taught in nearly all of the Islamic schools in the world beginning at the first grade level, which may lead some people to believe it is “true Islam.”

Since all of the jihadi groups across the globe uniformly explain the reasons for what they do in the exact same way using the same authoritative texts in Islam, that might lead one to believe they are following true Islam.

Since there is no published Islamic doctrine contrary to what Al Qaeda teaches, rational and reasonable human beings would come to the conclusion (rightfully so) that Islam is what Islam says it is in it’s authoritative doctrinal texts of Islamic Law (Sharia).

Yet, it is still unclear to our President.

This leaves us with only a few options:   The President is either aware or unaware of these facts.  If he is unaware, he is either disconnected from the reality of these facts, or he is incapable of understanding and absorbing the facts.  In either case, he is unfit for office.

If he is aware of these facts and continues to act as he is acting, he is committing treason and should be dealt with to the full extent of our Constitution.

In his speech Tuesday, the President referred to what happened in Afghanistan as a “democratic transition.”  For mental health professionals, this is a red flag.  In the event the President is unaware, Afghanistan is an “Islamic Republic” whose constitution (written by the United States) mandates Sharia (Islamic Law) as the law of the land.  Which part of a “democracy” is this?  As Walid Phares often says, the only thing this logically shares with a “democracy” is that in Islamic countries they have a vote – once.  One vote, one time.  From that point forward, its an Islamic Republic ruled by Sharia (Islamic Law).

The President also noted, “In Iraq and Syria, our military leadership is stopping ISIL’s advance.”  This is the same ISIL formed out of the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda forces this President provided material support to when he called them the “rebel forces” fighting in Libya and Syria.  That, by the way, is a violation of U.S. federal code for which we put people in jail.

The President identified the threat we face as the “bankrupt ideology of violent extremism.”  This is interesting because our enemy has never identified themselves as “violent extremists.”  They identify themselves as “Muslims waging jihad in the cause of Allah in order to impose Islamic Law and establish the Islamic State (caliphate).”

The term “violent extremism” was created by DHS because they intentionally did not want to identify Islam as the problem.

The GOP response to the President’s State of the Union address was equally shocking in its absence of addressing the real and imminent threat from the global Islamic Movement, which has a massive network here in the United States.

Senator Joni Ernst, spent less than a minute on the threat of the global jihad which she described as “terrorism and the threats posed by al-Qaida, ISIL and those radicalized by them.”

The Emperor’s clothes look great.

After vowing to veto any new sanctions against Iran in the last portion of the State of the Union address, the President spoke of “American values” as the reason “why we continue to reject offensive stereotypes of Muslims, the vast majority of whom share our commitment to peace.”

This is true only if the vast majority of Muslim reject what Islam teaches, because their definition of “peace” is not the same as ours.

Is it reasonable to assume the “vast majority” of Muslims reject the core teachings of Islam?  Is it the kind of assumption we should make when American security is at stake?

Mainstream Media Rips Obama Over Foreign Policy Deceit in State of the Union

 

Washington Free Beacon, by David Rutz, January 21, 2015 

NBC and CNN correspondents took down false claims President Obama made on foreign policy during his State of the Union on Tuesday, calling it “not close to reality” and a depiction of a world that doesn’t exist.

Obama drew criticism even before the address, when a leaked excerpt showed he would praise American leadership for “stopping ISIL,” another name for the Islamic State, terrorizing the Middle East. NBC’s Richard Engel outlined how that was an absurd claim during special coverage of the address Tuesday, saying the Obama administration’s strategy was “disjointed” and that selling it as a success was “disingenuous.”

“It sounded like the president was outlining a world that he wishes we were all living in, but which is very different than the world that you just described with terror raids taking place across Europe, ISIS very much on the move,” he said. “One thing the president said is that ‘American leadership, including our military power, is stopping ISIL’s advance.’ That just isn’t the case, according to military officials that I’ve been speaking to.”

Engel also debunked a claim Obama made about “supporting moderate Syrian opposition” to help in the effort against the Islamic State.

“That effectively isn’t happening,” Engel said. “There is no real support for the moderate Syrian opposition. In fact, one military official told me that they are calling the moderate Syrian opposition the unicorn because they have not been able to find it.”

Bottom line, Engel said, was “there’s not a lot of success stories to be talking about in foreign policy right now … The rose-colored glasses through which he was viewing the foreign policy were so rose-colored that I think they don’t even reflect the world that we’re living in.”

NBC’s Andrea Mitchell expressed similar points about Obama’s deceit on his record.

“His projection of success against terrorism and against ISIL in particular is not close to reality,” she said. “It’s hard to see the progress that the president talked about.”

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer said such claims put Obama on “questionable ground.”

Even MSNBC’s Chris Matthews pondered about the “real world” that “he didn’t really talk about.”

If Obama Can Legislate, Why Can’t Congress Run Foreign Policy?

1-The-King-Barack-Obama-And-His-Jester-78130

Frontpage, by Daniel Greenfield, Jan. 21, 2015:

Obama and his media supporters are whining that Boehner’s invite to Netanyahu is a breach of protocol.

Do you know what is an actual breach of protocol?

Obama unilaterally passing amnesty, unilaterally ending the Cuban embargo and unilaterally making changes to ObamaCare after it had become law.

And let’s not forget starting wars and “informing” Congress only days after they were underway.

Correction, those aren’t breaches of protocols, they’re illegal and unconstitutional.

Obama has begun acting like he embodies Congress in his own phone and pen. His defenders can hardly whine that Congress is taking some initiative on foreign policy. An initiative so mild that it’s hardly there.

You can’t complain that Congress is intruding into areas within the scope of the White House, when the White House passes its own laws.

That’s a double standard from a man who sits on a throne made out of his own double standards.

Yemen in chaos as U.S. warships move into position to evacuate embassy

American Thinker, by Rick Moran, Jan. 21, 2015:

Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, who overran the capital Saana three months ago, have now taken possession of the presidential residence and hold the enfeebled leader, Abd-Rabbu Mansour, a virtual hostage.

We welcome another Shia state to the Middle East, courtesy of American policy (or, in this case, a lack thereof).

Yemen?  You know, the country harboring al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.  If that organization sounds vaguely familiar, could be because they were the terrorists who have claimed responsibility for the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris.

And now, with Yemen a failed state in all but name, AQAP will be left relatively alone – with the exception of a U.S. drone strike now and again – to carry out whatever deadly plans they’ve made to attack the west.

The situation is so bad that the U.S. has moved warships closer to Yemen in order to evacuate embassy personnel should the need arise:

So far, there has been no decision to evacuate the embassy. The USS Iwo Jima and the USS Fort McHenry were moved “because they will be in the best position if asked,” by the State Department to evacuate the embassy, a U.S. official with direct knowledge of the planning tells CNN. So far there has been decision to evacuate the embassy, and no request from the State Department for military assistance.

If an evacuation is ordered, the first option would be to have embassy personnel drive to the commercial airport in Sanaa and fly out, the official said. But in the wake of an embassy car being fired Tuesday, the safety of the roads in the capital is now being constantly evaluated, the official said. If embassy workers did drive to the airport it is likely some sort of air cover would be provided, under the current plan.

Other detailed military planning for various options has been finalized, the official said. Those options would be used if a request for military assistance were made.

What do the Houthis want?  The minority tribe wants power – and lots of it:

After clashes at the president’s office and home on Tuesday, the Houthis’ leader threatened in a speech overnight to take further “measures” unless Hadi bows to his demand for constitutional changes that would increase Houthi power.

By early morning on Wednesday, Houthi fighters, accompanied by an armored vehicle, had replaced the guards at the president’s residence. Presidential guard sentry posts were initially empty, however a few guards later appeared and were permitted to take up positions.

“President Hadi is still in his home. There is no problem, he can leave,” Mohammed al-Bukhaiti, a member of the Houthi politburo, told Reuters.

Yemeni military sources said the Houthis also seized the military aviation college located close to Hadi’s home, and the main missile base in Sanaa, without a fight.

In the south of the country, Hadi’s home region, local officials denounced what they called a coup against him and shut the air and sea ports of the south’s main city, Aden.

Yemen, an impoverished nation of 25 million, has been plagued by Islamist insurgency, separatist conflict, sectarian strife and economic crisis for years. An “Arab Spring” popular uprising in 2011 led to the downfall of long-ruling President Ali Abdullah Saleh, bringing more chaos.

The Houthis, rebels from the north drawn from a large Shi’ite minority that ruled a 1,000-year kingdom in Yemen until 1962, stormed into the capital in September but had mostly held back from directly challenging Hadi until last week, when they detained his chief of staff.

They accuse the president of seeking to bypass a power-sharing deal signed when they seized Sanaa in September, and say they are also working to protect state institutions from corrupt civil servants and officers trying to plunder state property.

The president couldn’t find the time in his State of the Union speech to mention Yemen – or just about any other foreign crisis precipitated by his incompetent leadership.  The liberal Guardian noticed the absence of foreign policy references, too:

Despite punishing US-led economic retaliation that Obama said left Moscow’s economy “in tatters”, Russia remains in Ukraine. Domestic opposition to closing the Guantánamo Bay detention facility is growing. Congress is eager to destroy any nuclear deal Obama might reach with Iran, though a deal continues to be elusive, and Obama rejoinders with a vow to veto new sanctions. Just hours before the speech, Houthi rebels in Yemen assaulted the compound of one of Obama’s most critical counter-terrorism clients, Yemen president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, even as Obama has called Yemen a counter-terrorism model to export. Bashar al-Assad remains the dictator of Syria, though confusion reigns over whether his ouster remains US policy, and Obama’s policy of “supporting a moderate opposition” in Syria is barely off the ground. Obama barely referenced al-Qaida, even as his global counter-terrorism strikes persist. Libya, the scene of his claimed 2011 triumph, is a shambles. Notably, his speech did not unveil any new foreign initiatives.

Obama thinks that by ignoring foreign crises, people will forget how badly he’s botched things up.  There’s probably some truth to that; Americans are notoriously insular and care about foreign policy only when we have soldiers in harm’s way.

But we are likely to wake up sometime in the near future and realize that the threat against Americans is at our doorstep, and the president has done precious little to prevent that.

Also see:

John Bolton: Obama on a Different Planet than Rest of Us, Wishing Away Threats to US

 

Washington Free Beacon:

John Bolton came out swinging Wednesday in response to the ridiculous recent foreign policy claimsmade by the Obama administration that today a top Democrat likened to Iranian propaganda.

In the State of the Union address President Obama failed to mention Al Qaeda at least once. The lack of mention of any radical Islamic group in the speech had Bolton questioning if the President wants to “wish away the threats made against the United States.”

“I think he is the most radical president we have ever seen,” said Bolton. “His mentality would fit in in British political circles in the 1930s.”

The President has stated that he will veto any legislation that would place sanctions against Iran. The former US Ambassador the United Nations mentioned that the President views Congress as a bigger threat than Iran.

“The president is on a different parallel planet to the one we’re sitting on,” continued Bolton. “I think the moment has really come where the Democrats, if they have the slightest hope of ever having a national security wing, need to stand up.”

Also see:

U.S. to Award Iran $11.9 Billion Through End of Nuke Talks

Hassan Rouhani / AP

Hassan Rouhani / AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, Jan. 21, 2015:

The Obama administration on Wednesday paid $490 million in cash assets to Iran and will have released a total of $11.9 billion to the Islamic Republic by the time nuclear talks are scheduled to end in June, according to figures provided by the State Department.

Today’s $490 million release, the third such payment of this amount since Dec. 10, was agreed to by the Obama administration under the parameters of another extension in negotiations over Tehran’s contested nuclear program that was inked in November.

Iran will receive a total of $4.9 billion in unfrozen cash assets via 10 separate payments by the United States through June 22, when talks with Iran are scheduled to end with a final agreement aimed at curbing the country’s nuclear work, according to a State Department official.

Iran received $4.2 billion in similar payments under the 2013 interim agreement with the United States and was then given another $2.8 billion by the Obama administration last year in a bid to keep Iran committed to the talks through November, when negotiators parted ways without reaching an agreement.

Iran will have received a total of $11.9 billion in cash assets by the end of June if current releases continue on pace as scheduled.

The release of this money has drawn outrage from some Republican lawmakers who filed legislation last year to prevent the release of cash due to a lack of restrictions on how Iran can spend the money.

These cash payments by the United States have been made with no strings attached, prompting concerns that Iran could use the funds to finance its worldwide terror operations, which include the financial backing of Hamas, Hezbollah, and other rogue entities.

Senators—including Mark Kirk (R., Ill.), Kelly Ayotte (R., N.H.), and John Cornyn (R., Texas)—sought last year to put a hold on the cash infusions until the White House could certify that Iran was not using the money to support terrorism.

Kirk, who is preparing to offer legislation that would tighten sanctions on Iran, said that the ongoing payments could help Iran fuel its terror empire well into the near future.

“Between November 2014 and July 2015, the interim deal’s direct forms of sanctions relief will allow Iran access to roughly $4.9 billion in frozen money,” Kirk told the Washington Free Beacon “That’s equal to what it’d cost Iran to fund Hezbollah for as much as 50 years.”

The Pentagon estimates Iran has spent $100 to $200 million per year funding Hezbollah.

Entities likely to receive support from Iran include the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the regime of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, the legislation suggests.

When final negotiations between the United States and Iran failed in November, negotiators decided once more to extend the talks through June of this year. The terms of that extension granted Iran the 10 payments of $490 million, a State Department official said.

“With respect to sanctions relief, the United States will enable the repatriation of $4.9 billion of Iranian revenue held abroad during the extension,” the official said.

The first two payments were made in December, followed by Wednesday’s payment.

The next release is scheduled for Feb. 11, with two more scheduled for March. The rest of the frozen cash assets will be given back to Iran on April 15, May 6, May 27, and June 22, respectively.

Mark Dubowitz, the executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), said the ongoing release of these assets has provided Iran with a critical “financial lifeline.”

“The Obama administration provided Iran with a financial lifeline through both direct sanctions relief and the de-escalation of sanctions pressure that helped the regime stabilize its economy after a severe sanctions-induced economic crisis in 2012 and 2013,” Dubowitz said. “It is not a surprise that this has increased Iranian negotiating leverage and hardened the supreme leader’s nuclear intransigence.”

In addition to decrying the lack of restrictions in place to ensure that Iran does not use the released funds to sponsor terrorism, critics of the sanctions relief protest that Iran is benefitting while the United States receives little in return.

Iran has continued to enrich uranium under the interim deal, adding what one critic, Rep. Brad Sherman (D., Calif.) referred to as “about one bomb’s worth” to its reserves.

Iran also has continued to make advances on the plutonium track, which provides it with a second path to a nuclear bomb.

President Hassan Rouhani of Iran announced last week that the country has begun constructing two new light water nuclear reactors, a move that the U.S. State Department said is permissible under the terms of the interim agreement.

Also see:

Obama Straight Up Lied about Iran’s Nukes Tonight: Their Progress Hasn’t Been ‘Halted’

3634283604CSP, by Fred Fleitz, Jan. 21, 2015:

By claiming in his State of the Union address Tuesday night that “for the first time in a decade” progress in the Iranian nuclear program has been halted and Iran’s enriched-uranium stockpile has been reduced, President Obama continued an unfortunate pattern of behavior by his administration on this issue: He outright lied.

President Obama’s claims aren’t even close to being true. Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium has surged since 2009 and has continued to increase since an interim nuclear agreement with Iran was agreed to in November 2013.

The number of nuclear weapons Iran could make from its enriched uranium has steadily risen throughout Mr. Obama’s presidency, rising from seven to at least eight over the last year.

The below chart from a recent Center for Security Policy analysis illustrates the increase in Iran’s enriched  uranium stockpile and the number of nuclear weapons Iran could make from its enriched uranium since Mr. Obama became president — no sign of the president’s proclaimed decline. (Click here to view the entire analysis.)

pic_corner_012115_iranWhile it is true Iran stopped enriching uranium to the 20 percent uranium-235 level as required by the November 2013 interim agreement, and is diluting 20 percent–enriched uranium to reactor-grade, this concession has had a negligible effect in reducing the threat from Iran’s nuclear program.

Most of its enriched uranium stockpile happens to be at the reactor-grade level, and Iran can convert that material into enough weapons-grade fuel for one nuclear bomb in 2.2 to 3.5 months, only about two weeks longer than it would take to do so using 20 percent enriched uranium.

The United States has offered huge, one-sided concessions in its talks with Iran that will allow the country  to continue to enriched uranium, will not force it to give up its enriched-uranium stockpile, and will not require a halt to construction of a plutonium-producing heavy-water reactor.

Iran has failed to cooperate with the IAEA during the talks and cheated on the interim agreement by testing advanced centrifuges.

Based on these factors, I could only conclude in a November 21 NRO article that the Obama administration has no interest in an agreement to stop Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and has instead quietly decided to contain an Iranian nuke program.

Congress must ignore the president’s ridiculous claim that new sanctions against Iran would set back progress made in the nuclear talks and alienate our allies. These talks were fatally flawed from the beginning and are certain to produce a weak, short-lived deal that will destabilize the Middle East.

This is why 14 national leaders signed a Center for Security Policy letter to congressional leaders last November calling on Congress to repudiate the nuclear talks and pass new sanctions against Iran until it complies with all relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Sanctions legislation in the House and Senate is reportedly close to obtaining veto-proof majorities.  Even if President Obama vetoes new sanctions, passing legislation to impose them will send a clear message to Iran and the world that the American people do not support the nuclear talks and that a future U.S. administration is likely to ignore any agreement reached in them and start over.

Sisi’s Brave New Egypt?

El-Sisi (1)Frontpage, by Raymond Ibrahim, Jan. 21, 2015:

Originally published by PJ Media.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi continues to be the antithesis of longstanding mainstream media portrayals of him.

First there was his historic speech where he, leader of the largest Arab nation, and a Muslim, accused Islamic thinking of being the scourge of humanity—in words that no Western leader would dare utter. This remarkable speech—which some say should earn him the Nobel Peace Prize—might have fallen by the wayside had it not been posted on my website and further disseminated by PJ Media’s Roger L. Simon, Michael Ledeen, Roger Kimball, and many others, including Bruce Thornton and Robert Spencer.

Instead, MSM headlines on the day of and days after Sisi’s speech included “Egypt President Sisi urged to free al-Jazeera reporter” (BBC, Jan 1), “Egyptian gays living in fear under Sisi regime” (USA Today, Jan. 2), and “George Clooney’s wife Amal risks arrest in Egypt” (Fox News, Jan. 3).

Of course, the MSM finally did report on Sisi’s speech—everyone else seemed to know about it—but, again, to portray Sisi in a negative light. Thus, after briefly quoting the Egyptian president’s call for a “religious revolution,” the New York Times immediately adds:

Others, though, insist that the sources of the violence are alienation and resentment, not theology. They argue that the authoritarian rulers of Arab states — who have tried for decades to control Muslim teaching and the application of Islamic law — have set off a violent backlash expressed in religious ideas and language.

In other words, jihadi terror is a product of Sisi, whom the NYT habitually portrays as an oppressive autocrat—especially for his attempts to try to de-radicalize Muslim sermons and teachings (as discussed in this article).

Next, Sisi went to the St. Mark Coptic Cathedral during Christmas Eve Mass to offer Egypt’s Christian minority his congratulations and well wishing. Here again he made history as the first Egyptian president to enter a church during Christmas mass—a thing vehemently criticized by the nation’s Islamists, including the Salafi party (Islamic law bans well wishing to non-Muslims on their religious celebrations, which is why earlier presidents—Nasser, Sadat, Mubarak, and of course Morsi—never attended Christmas mass).

Accordingly, the greetings Sisi received from the hundreds of Christians present were jubilant. His address was often interrupted by applause, clapping, and cheers of “We love you!” and “hand in hand”—phrases he reciprocated. Part of his speech follows:

Egypt has brought a humanistic and civilizing message to the world for millennia and we’re here today to confirm that we are capable of doing so again. Yes, a humanistic and civilizing message should once more emanate from Egypt. This is why we mustn’t call ourselves anything other than “Egyptians.” This is what we must be—Egyptians, just Egyptians, Egyptians indeed! I just want to tell you that Allah willing, Allah willing, we shall build our nation together, accommodate each other, make room for each other, and we shall like each other—love each other, love each other in earnest, so that people may see… So let me tell you once again, Happy New Year, Happy New Year to you all, Happy New Year to all Egyptians!

Sisi stood side-by-side with Coptic Christian Pope Tawadros II—perhaps in remembrance of the fact that, when General Sisi first overthrew President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, Pope Tawadros stood side-by-side with him—and paid a heavy price: the Brotherhood and its sympathizers unleashed a Kristallnacht of “reprisals” that saw 82 Christian churches in Egypt attacked, many destroyed.

It is also significant to recall where Sisi came to offer his well-wishing to the Christians: the St. Mark Cathedral—Coptic Christianity’s most sacred church which, under Muhammad Morsi was, for the first time in its history, savagely attacked, by both Islamists and the nation’s security (see pictures here).

Once again, all of this has either been ignored or underplayed by most mainstream media.

There is, of course, a reason the MSM, which apparently follows the Obama administration’s lead, has been unkind to Sisi. One will recall that, although Sisi led the largest revolution in world history—a revolution that saw tens of millions take to the streets and ubiquitous signs and banners calling on U.S. President Obama and U.S. ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson to stop supporting terrorism (i.e., the Brotherhood)—U.S. leadership, followed by media, spoke only of a “military coup” against a “democratically elected president,” without pointing out that this president was pushing a draconian, Islamist agenda on millions who rejected it.

So what is the significance of all this—of Sisi? First, on the surface, all of this is positive. That Sisi would criticize the Muslim world and Islamic texts and thinking—in ways his Western counterparts could never—and then continue his “controversial” behavior by entering the Coptic Christian cathedral during Christmas mass to offer his greetings to Christians—a big no-no for Muslim leaders—is unprecedented. Nor can all this be merely for show. In the last attack on a Coptic church, it was two Muslim police officers guarding the church who died—not the Christian worshipers inside—a rarity.

That Sisi remains popular in Egypt also suggests that a large percentage of Egyptians approve of his behavior. Recently, for instance, after the Paris attacks, Amru Adib, host of Cairo Today, made some extremely critical comments concerning fellow Muslims/Egyptians, including by asking them “Are you, as Muslims, content with the fact that today we are all seen as terrorists by the world?… We [Egyptians] used to bring civilization to the world, today what? — We are barbarians!  Barbarians I tell you!” (More of Adib’s assertions here.)

That said, the others are still there—the Muslim Brotherhood, the Salafis, those whom we call “Islamists,” and their many sympathizers and allies.

Worst of all, they have that “corpus of [Islamic] texts and ideas” that has been “sacralized over the centuries” (to use Sisi’s own words) to support them—texts and ideas that denounce Sisi as an “apostate” deserving of death, and thus promising a continued struggle for the soul of Egypt.

Also see:

Sisi Is Just Another Caliphate-Idealizing Apologist For Islam Whose In-Actions Speak Louder Than His Hollow Words (andrewbostom.org)