The Center for Security Policy’s Middle East and North Africa Briefing


Center for Security Policy, Nov.13, 2015:

The Middle East and North Africa: National Security and a Secure Freedom Strategy to respond to the threats posed by the Islamic State and the Global Jihad Movement.

  • Pete Hoekstra, Shillman Senior Fellow, Investigative Project on Terrorism; Former Chairman, U.S. House Intelligence Committee; Author, Architects of Disaster: The Destruction of Libya (2015)
  • Elliot Chodoff, Major in the IDF Reserves; Counter terrorism expertPartner, Lecturer, and Political and Military Analyst at Hamartzim Educational Services
  • Jim Hanson, Executive Vice President, Center for Security Policy, Author, Cut Down The Black Flag: A Plan To Defeat The Islamic State (2015)

Moderator: Frank Gaffney, President & CEO, Center for Security Policy.

Hillary Clinton, Arms Dealer


The dirty deals that put illegal arms shipments into the hands of Libyan jihadists.

Frontpage, by Arnold Ahlert, Nov. 9, 2015:

In a scathing column Fox News contributor Andrew Napolitano makes the convincing case that Hillary Clinton sold weapons to Libya in a direction violation of the U.N. arms embargo, and then lied about it under oath during her testimony before the House Select Committee on Benghazi Oct. 22.

“To pursue her goal of a ‘democratic’ government there, Clinton, along with Obama and a dozen or so members of Congress from both houses and both political parties, decided she should break the law by permitting U.S. arms dealers to violate the U.N. arms embargo and arm Libyan rebels whom she hoped would one day run the new government,” Napolitano explains. “So she exercised her authority as secretary of state to authorize the shipment of American-made arms to Qatar, a country beholden to the Muslim Brotherhood and friendly to the Libyan rebels and a country the U.S. had no business arming—unless the purpose of doing so was for the arms to be transferred to the rebels.”

Memos recovered from the incinerated compound in Benghazi give great weight to the assertion. The documents were obtained by the Washington Times and they reveal the American diplomats stationed there were keeping track of numerous potential U.S.-sanctioned weapons shipments aimed at arming our allies, “one or more of which were destined for the Transitional National Council, the Libyan movement that was seeking to oust Gadhafi and form a new government,” the paper reports.

A file marked “arms deal” reveals that one of those shipments was supposed to be sent by Dolarian Capital Inc. of Fresno, CA, one of many arms sellers that work with U.S. intelligence. The file contained an end use certificate from the State Department’s office of defense trade controls licensing, and Dolarian confirmed one of the licensing requests the State Department initially approved in 2011 was an authorization to send weapons to Libya via Kuwait. The certificate was inexplicably revoked before Dolarian could ship rocket and grenade launchers, 7,000 machine guns and 8 million rounds of ammunition originally manufactured by former Soviet-bloc nations in Eastern Europe.

“Dolarian Capital submitted the end user certificate in question to the U.S. Department of State for review and issuance of a license to transfer the arms and ammunition to Libya,” one of the company’s attorneys said in a statement issued to the Times. “The U.S. Department of State responded with a approval, which was revoked shortly thereafter. As a result no arms or ammunition was shipped or delivered to Libya under the end user certificate.”

Nonetheless, federal court documents obtained by Fox News reveal arms sales to Libyan rebels that occurred during Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State were ultimately transacted. “It was then, and remains now, my opinion that the United States did participate, directly or indirectly, in the supply of weapons to the Libyan Transitional National Council,” stated career CIA officer David Manners in a sworn declaration to the District Court of Arizona on May 5, 2015.

Manners’ testimony was part of a grand jury investigation into American defense contractor Marc Turi and his company Turi Defense Group, another entity licensed by State to sell and transport weapons worldwide. The investigation was focused on both the source and user of weapons defined in court documents as “end user” or “end use”  that were entering Libya in 2011 while Qaddafi’s regime was collapsing–but before any Libyan opposition groups were formally recognized by the United States.

Turi illuminated what occurred in the midst of that chaos, including the reality that poor oversight of the operation allowed America’s enemies to obtain weapons. “When this equipment landed in Libya, half went one way, and the half went the other way,”  Turi said. “The half that went the other way is the half that ended up in Syria.”

Turi admitted to Fox he had criminal past that included stealing a computer, his roommate’s car, and writing several bad checks including one for $100,000 dollars. They verified his arrest, conviction and a stint in an Arizona jail, all of which seemingly conflict with what Fox characterizes as the “painstaking compliance” required to get the “necessary approvals set by strict US government regulations” to become a licensed arms contractor.

Turi was one cog in a rather large machine of State Department-licensed contractors awarded a record number of contract during Clinton’s tenure. “More than 86-thousand licenses with a value of $44.3 billion dollars were granted in 2011… a surge of more than $10 billion dollars from the previous year,” the news site reports.

Turi, who provided documents to Fox revealing exchanges with officials inside and outside the government, including high level members of Congress, the military, and State Department employees, explains he was part of a “zero footprint” supply chain whereby one Arab nation would supply another. “If you want to  limit the exposure to the US government, what you simply do is outsource it to your allies,” Turi explained. “The partners-the Qataris, and the Emiratis did exactly what they were contracted to do.” Turi claims he never sent weapons to Qatar and that such transactions are handled by the government and the State Department’s Bureau of Political and Military Affairs headed by Clinton aide Andrew Shapiro, who oversaw State’s export control process.

Read more

Amplifying Details on the Sinai Plane Bombing and the Egypt-Libya Nexus

Source: Associated Free Press/Getty Images (Maxim Grigoryev)

Source: Associated Free Press/Getty Images (Maxim Grigoryev)

The ISIS Study Group, Nov. 7, 2015:

The last few days have been filled with a flurry of information regarding the downing of Flight 7K9268. Within the last 18 hrs we’ve received amplifying information from our sources in the country. Our sources within the Egyptian Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) confirmed that Russian investigators found the remnants of the explosive device we were talking about in our 03 NOV “Sinai Plane Crash Update.” Furthermore, the running theory of those investigators is that depressurization caused by an internal explosion tore off the tail section, causing the plane to flip over and send it to the ground. When we asked one of our sources if 500 grams of C4 could cause that, he answered back that it wouldn’t take much to bring a plane down, especially if the device was placed near the fuel line – which is what DMI assesses to be the case. Another source working with Russia’s Health Ministry Center for Forensic Medical Expertise confirmed that parts of an explosive device was uncovered.

As for the operative who emplaced the device on the plane, we’ve confirmed that the individual did not receive any assistance from a member of the security forces – because he’s a member of the security forces himself. The individual in question used his position to circumvent the 8 explosive detection systems and security checkpoints located at the airport in order to get to his target. DMI knew how this went down fairly quickly, although our sources couldn’t answer how this fell through the cracks, although they did imply that the security forces are plagued with serious internal issues due to the rising insider threat. However, Sharm al-Sheik Airport Chief Abdel-Wahab Ali was removed from his position due to these major security lapses. The fact that the British government aired these very same concerns LAST YEAR made the decision to remove him much easier.

The Latest: Sharm El-Sheikh Airport Chief Has Been Replaced

UK had concerns about Sharm el-Sheikh airport security almost a year ago

Sinai Plane Crash Update

Islamic State-Sinai (IS-Sinai) aka “Wilayat Sinai (WS)”: Just entered the next stage of Operations Source: The ISIS Study Group

Islamic State-Sinai (IS-Sinai) aka “Wilayat Sinai (WS)”: Just entered the next stage of Operations
Source: The ISIS Study Group

Adding further weight to what we’ve been saying is that the Black Box reveals that the crash was not an accident. More importantly, the media (and some Western governments) are saying what we first mentioned in our “Sinai Plane Crash Update.” Excerpt:

European investigators who analyzed the two flight recorders from the Metrojet plane that went down last weekend in Egypt are categorically saying the crash is not an accident, CNN affiliate France 2 reported Friday.

The investigators said the cockpit voice recorder of Metrojet Flight 9268 shows an explosion and the flight data recorder confirms the explosion is not accidental — there is no sign of mechanical malfunction during the initial part of the flight, France 2 reported.

Everything is fine during the first 24 minutes, then in a fraction of a second there is a blackout and no more cockpit conversation, convincing investigators there was a bomb on board, according to France 2.

CNN Aviation Analyst Richard Quest said there would have been different data on the black boxes if there was a catastrophic failure than if there was an explosion. The key is what happened just before the data suddenly stops, he said.

“It’s this split second, and it’s a millisecond, where you hear an explosion of some description,” he said. “And you see all the parameters (on the recorders) go haywire before the power is completely lost. If this report is accurate, (investigators) have now analyzed that … heard it and they can identify it.”

If the plane had broken apart due to structural failure, there would have been more noise — and for a longer time, he said.

France’s air accident investigation agency, the BEA, told CNN that Egyptian officials will make an announcement about the crash investigation within the next 24 hours.

Report: Black boxes show bomb brought down Russian jet

Media now talking about the bomb being placed in the cargo hold among the luggage near the fuel line Source: CNN

Media now talking about the bomb being placed in the cargo hold among the luggage near the fuel line
Source: CNN

This wasn’t the first time WS gained access to an Egyptian airport either. Last year they recruited an employee at Cairo International Airport who provided Team Baghdadi with schematics of the facility, locations of guard postings and security procedures. Fortunately, DMI found out and arrested him before the attack plan was set into motion – which was the same plan carried out in Sharm al-Sheik. This was one of a long list of incidents – many of which were never reported by the country’s media outlets – that led to GEN Sisi authorizing the DMI to lead the crackdown on the insider threat within the security forces. From MAY 15 – JUL 15 several junior and mid-level officers within the Army were detained for either being sympathizers or full-fledged members of WS. There’s also been an increase in military personnel refusing to carry out missions against WS – not because they’re “scared” – because they “didn’t want to kill their Muslim Brothers” (which is a red flag since most Muslims would never consider IS as their “Muslim Brothers”). For the most part the military has been the main advocate for moderate Islam and secularism. Unfortunately, that all changed when the Muslim Brotherhood’s Muhammad Morsi rose to power, where he quickly began to sack “problematic” (read-those of moderate Islam or secular leanings) officers. Then he began to fill the ranks with those he reflected his values – in other words, guys with extremist views. The result was a new breed of officers in the junior and mid-level ranks who were very sympathetic to the ideologies of al-Qaida (of which the MB is closely-aligned) and IS. WS’ increase in capability is a good indicator of the success they’ve had in recruiting personnel with formal military experience (Check out “ISIS-Sinai Beheads Croatian Hostage – Just the Beginning” for additional info).

ISIS-Sinai Beheads Croatian Hostage – Just the Beginning

Egypt’s insider threat: Morsi’s legacy Source: Sharif Abdel Minoem (Associated Press)

Egypt’s insider threat: Morsi’s legacy
Source: Sharif Abdel Minoem (Associated Press)

The bombing of that Russian airliner is the beginning of WS and IS’ Libya affiliate entering into a new phase of Team Baghdadi’s overall global campaign of conducting high-profile attacks outside of Syria and Iraq. WS followed up the plane bombing with another attack targeting an officer’s club that killed three policemen. But that’s just the start – WS fully intends to expand their operations to targeting Russians and Western tourists to both cripple Egypt’s tourism industry (which would result in significant economic damage) and retaliating for Russia’s Syria intervention. The indicators were all there with the sharp increase in the frequency and scale of attacks carried out by WS in Sinai throughout the year and this past summer in particular (Reference – “Sinai Under Siege Rising capabilities of Wilayat Sinai”). That said, the first real indicators of WS’ increased capabilities was seen as early as JAN 14 when they shot down an Egyptian military helicopter in the Sinai with a MANPAD that was traced back to one of the Qaddafi regime weapons depots that was raided by so-called “moderates” during the early days of the “Arab Spring.” In AUG 15 another attempt was made by WS to bring down an aircraft – this time a Thomson Airways airliner – as it was heading to Sharm al-Sheik Airport. Fortunately the pilot was able to perform evasive maneuvers and avoid being brought down (See the Guardian’s article titled, “Sharm el-Sheikh flight from Stansted dodged missile in August” and our initial piece on the Sinai crash, “Islamic State Claims to Have Shot-Down Russian Plane in Sinai – But Did They?”).

Egypt: 3 police officers killed in North Sinai bombing

Militants Down Egyptian Helicopter, Killing 5 Soldiers

Sharm el-Sheikh flight from Stansted dodged missile in August

Sinai Under Siege Rising capabilities of Wilayat Sinai (WS)

Islamic State Claims to Have Shot-Down Russian Plane in Sinai – But Did They?

This is just a quick snapshot of attacks that occurred in JUL 15 Source: The ISIS Study Group

This is just a quick snapshot of attacks that occurred in JUL 15
Source: The ISIS Study Group

WS also wanted to show Baghdadi that they’re an effective force capable of achieving the objectives of his external operations campaign, but also to justify that their request for additional funding. This was also a bid for obtaining heavier weaponry from IS’ Libya affiliate, who sends weapons and supplies to Syria – some of which goes through Sinai (Check out “The Strategic Importance of Egypt to ISIS,” “2015: The Year of ISIS Expansion From Gaza to North Africa” and “The ISIS Expansion Into North Africa” for more details). We don’t think Libyan IS Emir Abu Nail will satisfy that request until after he seizes Darnah – which IS was driven out of back in JUN 15. As of this writing, IS-Libya has been busy consolidating its forces in the al-Fatayeh-area located Southeast of the city. That area is the likely staging-area from which the offensive to retake the town will be launched. The Libyan affiliate is facing a tough fight as they’re forced to take on several other opposition groups of varying jihadist flavors as well as the forces of the Egypt-back Libyan GEN Khalifa Haftar.

For the third time, Haftar’s forces fail to control Derna

Isis in Libya: Islamic State driven out of Derna stronghold by al-Qaeda-linked militia

ISIS responsible for most Libya killings: ICC prosecutor

ISIS In Libya? Gadhafi Sirte Residence Searched By Islamic State For Hidden Money: Report

Warplanes bomb Libya’s Sirte, target Islamic State: witness

The Strategic Importance of Egypt to ISIS

2015: The Year of ISIS Expansion From Gaza to North Africa

The ISIS Expansion Into North Africa…

IS’ Libya affiliate is the terror organization’s most-developed branch and has become a critical part of Baghdadi’s vision of being able to project power outside of Syria/Iraq. Its worth noting that the Libya affiliate has been tasked with providing material support to other affiliates in North Africa in addition to WS and the main effort in Syria. WS actually receives a great deal of their financial support from the Libya affiliate. In fact so much influence has been placed on bolstering the Libya affiliate that some foreign fighters have actually been diverted there. Our sources report the presence of fighters from France, Germany, Egypt, Algeria, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Canada and one unconfirmed report of Americans serving among the ranks. Recent reporting also suggests that a group of Indonesian jihadists are projected to be entering the country for this same purpose – other sources imply that they may have already arrived. Not only is Libya an alternative for foreign fighters who aspire to wage jihad but can’t make the trip to Syria, its a training ground for select personnel who get sent back to their countries of origin to establish their own attack networks and conduct the cell-based external operations that the IS leadership has been transitioning to over the last few months (For more info on this transition to cell-based external OPs, check out “Neil Prakash and Friends – an Update” and “Nail in the Coffin: ISIS’ Anwar al-Awlaqi BN Sends Fighters to Europe”). Think of it as IS’ way of “diversifying their terror portfolio” for their goal of launching such attacks in the West.

Neil Prakash and Friends – an Update

The Loss of Key ISIS External OPs Figures and the Anwar al-Awlaqi Battalion

Nail in the Coffin: ISIS’ Anwar al-Awlaqi BN Sends Fighters to Europe

With all this happening, what’s next for Vlad? Make no mistake, he’s going to respond – and when he does, people are either going to die or “disappear.” The big mistake the IS mothership in Syria and the Sinai affiliate made is thinking that Vlad is as soft and flaccid as President Obama. They’re going to find out real quick just how big of a mistake they made once he expands his intervention in Syria (although there will be challenges-more on that in another article) followed by enhanced collaboration with the Sisi regime – which has been steadily moving away from America and getting closer to Russia for well over a year (Check out “Egypt Atmospherics” for more details). On the flip side we assess that IS’ Caucasus affiliate (made up mostly of remnants of Imarat Kavkaz or “IK”) are going to become very active in launching attacks inside Russia itself. Although the media seized on the fact that Syria is one of Vlad’s client states, what didn’t get any real coverage are the 2,500-3,000 Russian nationals currently fighting under the IS banner in Syria – many of which are of Chechen/Dagestani/Tajik ethnicity (Reference the following for additional info – “Russia Poised to Increase Military Presence in Middle East in Response to Islamic State’s Strength,” “Islamic State’s Expansion into the Caucasus Region,” “Gulmurod Khalimov Update – His Militant Views May Not Be a Recent Development” and “Introducing Tajik Special Police COL Gulmurod Khalimov: Islamic State Defector”). At some point those foreign fighters are going to return to Mother Russia. A few already have. So if you thought this high-profile attack was an “isolated incident” that only affects Egypt, you thought wrong.

Egypt Atmospherics…

Russia Poised to Increase Military Presence in Middle East in Response to Islamic State’s Strength

Islamic State’s Expansion into the Caucasus Region

Gulmurod Khalimov Update – His Militant Views May Not Be a Recent Development

Introducing Tajik Special Police COL Gulmurod Khalimov: Islamic State Defector

Egyptian locals are increasingly “Pro-Vlad” – but aren’t big fans of President Obama Source: The ISIS Study Group

Egyptian locals are increasingly “Pro-Vlad” – but aren’t big fans of President Obama
Source: The ISIS Study Group

Other Related Articles:

Haftar-Sisi Alliance: The Roadblock to ISIS Bridge Into the Maghreb

Egypt Strikes ISIS Positions in Libya: Moderate Muslims Rise Up Against Terror

Egypt and UAE Launch Airstrikes in Libya – US Kept in the Dark

Is Egypt Planning Military Intervention in Libya?

Jordan Steps Up Airstrikes Against ISIS, Egypt Launches New Sinai Offensive

Egyptian Army and IDF Take On ISIS Supporters in Sinai

Egyptian Army Hits Back At ISIS In Sinai

ISIS Plots to Bring the “Flames of War” to US, UK and Australia

Pete Hoekstra at The Heritage Foundation discussing his new book ‘Architects of Disaster: The Destruction of Libya’

architects-of-disasterIPT, by Pete Hoekstra
The Heritage Foundation
November 2, 2015

In his new book, Architects of Disaster: The Destruction of Libya, former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Pete Hoekstra offers a thorough analysis of how a disastrous foreign policy led to Libya becoming a failed state on the shores of the Mediterranean.

Now serving as the Shillman Senior Fellow with the Investigative Project on Terrorism, Hoekstra details how America’s tragic intervention in the North African country turned an island of relative stability into a nexus of radical Islamist terrorist training, ideology, and weapons transfers; sowed the seeds of ISIS in Syria and Iraq; and led to the humanitarian crisis in Europe.

Hoekstra reflects on the truth behind former Secretary of State Clinton’s shifting claims before the House Select Committee on Benghazi about whether a spontaneous anti-Muslim video or well-coordinated al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists were behind the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. facility. Drawing upon insider sources and a depth of experience, Hoekstra offers a penetrating look at how a naïve foreign policy resulted in catastrophe.

When will our leaders understand that it’s Morning in America for jihadists?


U.S. leadership needs to recognize that jihadists hate us, they want to destroy our way of life, and that they have developed dozens of front groups in the United States such as the Council for American-Islamic Relations to provide cover for their activities.

Fox News, by Pete Hoekstra, Nov. 2, 2015:

Jihadists awoke to a new dawn on the day that the Obama administration began implementing a new and uncharted foreign policy seven years ago.

In his 2009 inaugural speech the new president declared that America “will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist” when discussing “those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent.”

The result? Today Egypt is rebuilding its government following the disastrous Islamist Muslim Brotherhood regime. Libya is a malignant tumor in north Africa that spreads the cancer of weapons, training and ideology throughout the broader region. Syria and Iraq are nearly ungovernable with ISIS on its murderous rampage. Israel is under siege by Palestinian terrorists.

This is not to say that Obama and his advisors caused the chaos by themselves, yet the common thread starts from when it fundamentally reversed longstanding bipartisan U.S. foreign policy. For the first time in decades, the government embraced such bad actors as the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda and Hamas – jihadist groups with American blood on their hands – without prejudice.

Previous Republican and Democratic administrations did not overtly engage with radical Islamists because their philosophy is inconsistent with Western values. Their goal is not to reach an accommodation with the West, but to destroy it.

Obama’s rhetoric became policy, and the full nature of the dramatic shift revealed itself. He threw President Hosni Mubarak – our ally in Egypt – under the bus as the U.S. subtly signaled that it was comfortable working with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Director of National Intelligence General James R. Clapper reinforced the change in direction with his unfounded prediction to a congressional committee in 2012 that al Qaida would “find it difficult to compete for local support with groups like the Muslim Brotherhood that participate in the political process, provide social services and advocate religious values.”

In Libya, Muammar Qaddafi’s son, Seif, begged for peace negotiations, but the administration allied with the salafi-jihadist Libyan Islamic Fighting Group to overthrow and kill his father.

The resulting failed state in Libya allowed significant weapons caches – Gaddafi’s leftover stockpiles, NATO-supplied arms and those shipped in from the UAE and Qatar — to make their way into the hands of those who murdered four Americans in Benghazi, as well as to the ‘rebels’ in Syria that would metastasize into ISIS.

Jihadi organizations around the world saw a new America with the Obama administration that they had repeatedly fooled into believing that they could now be trusted and managed.

In the same manner the Obama administration provided unprecedented access by individuals and groups with radical Islamist ties to the highest levels of the executive branch. Such access offers unique opportunities to influence public policy and to gain credibility, which they in turn exploit to discredit other organizations and add authority to their messages.

Such a sweeping policy change by Obama resulted in much of the world seeing U.S. weakness and taking advantage of it. America has experienced the failure of this engagement policy through aggression by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt; radical Islamists operating unmolested in Libya; ISIS expanding its reach and genocidal campaign in Syria and Iraq; as well as Hamas and Palestinian mercenaries attacking Israel, which current Secretary of State John Kerry dismisses as “random acts of violence.”

Despite the turmoil, former Secretary of State and presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton recently claimed that the U.S. is safer and that this is the best example of an exercise in American smart power.

It’s not.

U.S. leadership needs to recognize that jihadists hate us, they want to destroy our way of life, and that they have developed dozens of front groups in the United States such as the Council for American-Islamic Relations to provide cover for their activities.

We are at war and the sooner we recognize, confront and defeat the enemy, the safer we will become.

Republican Pete Hoekstra represented Michigan’s 2nd congressional district from 1993 to 2011 in the House of Representatives. He is the former House Intelligence Committee chairman and author of the upcoming book “Architects of Disaster: The Destruction of Libya.”


Also see:

Clinton’s Infamous Legacy


“Hillary Clinton is a serial liar.” – Michael Ingmire, Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith’s uncle (October 22nd 2015)

by Justin O. Smith:

The Benghazi Committee hearing on October 22, 2015 spotlighted former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s continued predilection to prevaricate and obfuscate and obstruct the truth on anything, especially regarding the attacks on the U.S. Consulate at Benghazi. Between Clinton’s lies and Obama’s facilitation of the cover-up and top Democrats’ willingness to place their imprimatur on gross negligence, incompetence and treason, Americans are still far away from receiving the full, unadulterated truth on this horrible and despicable episode of the Obama/Clinton Middle East Doctrine; however, from all the available evidence, Hillary Clinton is damned and unfit for any public office, much less the Office of the President.

Three years after the attacks on our U.S. Consulate and hundreds of FOIA requests later, Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) has only just now (Oct 20th) received approximately 1400 pages of Ambassador Chris Stevens’ emails. These emails verify,among other things, Clinton knew for a fact and within minutes that a terror attack was unfolding, not a “spontaneous protest.” Also bearing witness against Clinton, over 600 emails from Ambassador Stevens requesting added security were ignored and supposedly never reached Clinton’s desk, according to Clinton’s own highly questionable testimony.

A good bit of acrimony arose during the hearing over the pertinence of Clinton’s email communications with Sydney Blumenthal, a long time friend, employee and paid consultant for the Clinton Foundation, to which Rep. Trey Gowdy answered: “It’s relevant because our Ambassador [Stevens] was asked to read and respond to Sydney Blumenthal’s drivel. And yet, there was not a single response to Ambassador Stevens regarding his multiple requests for added security.”

However, when Uma Abedin emailed Clinton that the Libyan people were in dire need of food, milk, gasoline and diesel fuel, Clinton answered her within four minutes.

In incredibly ill-advised fashion, Clinton followed Blumenthal’s advice on Libya, even though he knew nothing about Libya. She did so for financial gain that Blumenthal suggested would arrive, if she helped retired Lt General Grange, the Osprey Group, a CIA agent and other partners gain entry into the Libyan economy; and, she did so in order to take credit for Blumenthal’s determination that the fall of Gaddafi would serve as a model for removing Middle Eastern dictators, blind to the bulwark that these Baathist dictators, like Saadam Hussein and Bashar Assad, provided secularists, Christians and other religious minorities against the islamofascists.

Even though Blumenthal had been refused a position at the State Department by Obama’s aides, his direct line to Hillary Clinton gave him an inordinate amount of influence that circumvented proper procedures for assessing “intelligence”, and this bled into President Obama’s policy decisions. Not only did Clinton strongly recommend military action in Libya to Obama, she also promoted regime change at NATO and played a key role in holding the entire coalition of Western nations together, according to one close advisor.

Significantly, it is apparent from emails sent to Clinton and three members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on March 18, 2011 at 7:27 EST, that Saif Gaddafi, Muammar’s son, sought a face-to-face meeting or a Skype/ teleconference in order to arrive at a peaceful solution. Clinton instructed Lt. Gen. Charles Jacoby, who was directing plans for the coalition and NATO, not to take any calls from Saif; the following day U.S. airstrikes began on Libya.

On March 11, 2011, the ‘Washington Post’ ran an op-ed by Clinton’s “old friend”, retired General Wesley Clark that warned against the Libyan intervention. Four days later, the ‘Ottawa Citizen’ published the Canadian report submitted to NATO that stated Gaddafi’s removal would create a long-term civil war, but Clinton ignored all warnings.

In the days that followed, Muammar Gaddafi was killed, and rather than a new democratic Libyan state led by “moderates”, a new Islamic hell-hole emerged. AFRICOM issued 4500 pages of intelligence between January 2012 and Sept 11, 2012 that described the increase in terrorist activity. A Defense Intelligence Agency report from August 2012 indicated that weapons from Libya’s military stockpile – rifles, RPGs, 125mm and 155mm howitzer ammo – were moving from the port of Benghazi to Banias and Borj Islam, Syria and into the hands of Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood and AQI, the main forces behind the insurgency in Syria.

In the District Court of Arizona on May 5th 2015, experienced CIA officer David Manners offered this sworn statement: “It was then, and remains now, my opinion that the United States did participate, directly or indirectly, in the supply of weapons to the Libyan Transitional National Council.”

Hillary Clinton’s State Dept. illegally armed the islamofascists of Libya and Syria (Fox News), as shown in federal court documents from May 5th 2015, by awarding contracts approaching $300 million to defense contractors, like Marc Turi, in March 2011, for the purpose of arming the Libyan Transitional National Council and the Libyan rebels, who were not formally recognized at the time. This same action makes both Clinton and Pres. Obama culpable in the murders of Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, since these same weapons were used by these same Libyan “rebels”/ islamofascists approximately eighteen months later: Both Clinton and Obama should be behind bars for treason.

Clinton stated this past Thursday – Oct. 22nd – that “there was no credible, actionable threat described to our compound and our diplomatic group”, which is inaccurate and simply false. On June 10th 2011, Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, Jake Sullivan, emailed information of a “credible threat … against the hotel that our [diplomatic] team is using.” Chris Stevens had also requested more security for this same hotel two months before the Sullivan communique.

Seven previous Congressional investigations have failed to interview a single person who was actually on the ground at Benghazi on September 11, 2012 __ no Diplomatic Security Command Center personnel and no CIA agents or paid operatives. So, America has witnessed seven incomplete investigations, hindered by the Obama administration’s slow response to FOIA requests, which Chairman Gowdy hopes to rectify and complete through an additional twenty witnesses’ testimony.

“Ambassador Stevens, Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith, and former SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty served this country with honor. It is important to learn how these four men died … We owe them and ourselves the truth about Benghazi and Libya … There is no statute of limitations on the truth.” – Rep. Trey Gowdy

Questions linger, such as, what was happening in Libya that required a diplomatic presence despite the escalating violence?

Why were our military contractors and our diplomatic team left to defend themselves for approximately nine hours, when the 173rd Airborne Infantry was in Italy, only two hours away by C-130?

Obama and Hillary Clinton created the situation that has turned Libya and Syria into mass graves, claiming four of America’s finest early on. With characters devoid of honor and integrity, these two have left America with a memory of a despicable and treacherous act of terrorism, yet to see any retribution extracted. They leave a legacy of infamy and failure in the wake of Benghazi: A day of reckoning is certainly on its way for both, and Clinton’s reckoning should include prison, not the U.S. Presidency.


Hillary’s Libya Post-War Plan Was ‘Play It by Ear,’ Gates Says

Daily Beast, by Nancy A. Youssef, Oct. 20, 2015:
She still defends the invasion as ‘smart power at its best.’ But war backers like Clinton had no plan for securing the country, says ex-Pentagon chief Bob Gates.
When Hillary Clinton appears before Congress’s special committee on Benghazi Thursday, she’ll likely be asked all the wrong questions.Clinton will be peppered with queries about why she kept a private email server, what caused the 2012 attacks on the U.S. special consulate in Benghazi, and how come U.S. forces didn’t respond more quickly to the strikes. But the really important issues—the questions longstanding followers of the U.S. and NATO intervention want answered—are: Why did Hillary Clinton push for strikes that contributed to the fall of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi? And why didn’t the Obama administration bother to plan for the all-too-predictable chaos that came next?In 2011, as the United States considered intervention, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was among those who pushed for intervention—without resolving just how Libya would be governed after Gaddafi, according to a senior defense official who was part of the decision-making process. Obama advisers like Samantha Power and Susan Rice also made the case alongside Clinton. They argued the U.S. had a moral obligation to save lives in Benghazi facing a threatened genocide by Libyan dictator Gaddafi. The only strategy spelled out publicly was that the Europeans’ newly formed “Libyan Transitional Council” would be at the forefront of the effort. Washington was “leading from behind,” to use a famous phrase from the era.

As then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who opposed the U.S. intervention, frustratingly explained to The Daily Beast: “We were playing it by ear.”

And the consequences of that improvisation are still being felt today. The country is an epicenter of the refugee crisis sweeping the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe. Part of Libya is under the control of the self-proclaimed Islamic State. And the Russians use the U.S.-NATO intervention in Libya to justify their own military incursions in places like Syria.

But to Clinton, Libya was—and still remains—a major achievement. “We came, we saw, he died,” she crowed in October 2011. “Smart power at its best” is how Clinton described it during the most recent Democratic debate.

Clinton campaign aides note that she spent months working with the Libyan parliament to craft a successful state in both the run-up to American intervention and afterward, all while honoring a Libyan request for limited Western intervention. Above all else, the aides stress, the United States had a moral obligation to act in Libya.

“The alternative was so bleak, we simply had to take action,” one aide to the Clinton campaign told The Daily Beast.

President Obama, however, didn’t see things quite that way. He was reportedly reluctant about the operation—until Clinton, Rice, and Power swayed him, over Gates’s objections. “Clinton won the bureaucratic battle to use DOD [Department of Defense] resources to achieve what’s essentially the State Department’s objective,” Steve Clemons, then an analyst with the administration-friendly New America Foundation, told Foreign Policy at the time.

According to Gates, Obama told his advisers that he was 51/49 in favor of intervening. The ratio is telling. According to the New York Times Magazine, Obama was 55/45 about conducting the May 2011 raid that eventually killed Osama bin Laden.

And when Obama finally agreed to the operation, he stressed “Operation Odyssey Dawn” would be a limited effort to protect civilians from a possible genocide by the Libyan government. Removing Gaddafi was the last thing he wanted to do.

“If we tried to overthrow Gaddafi by force, our coalition would splinter. We would likely have to put U.S. troops on the ground to accomplish that mission, or risk killing many civilians from the air,” Obama said in March of 2011. “To be blunt, we went down that road in Iraq… [R]egime change there took eight years, thousands of American and Iraqi lives, and nearly a trillion dollars. That is not something we can afford to repeat in Libya.”

But repetition is exactly what happened. Attacks spread from the eastern city of Benghazi, where civilians were endangered, to the Libyan capital of Tripoli, 635 miles away. No one ever explained why the change in goal or who might succeed Gaddafi afterward.

During revolutionary-era Libya, no one in the upper ranks of the U.S. government seriously considered whether the newly created Transitional National Council, a rival government in rebel-held areas like Benghazi, could govern the oil-rich state. Nor did Clinton or top leaders ask about unintended consequences of an air campaign, especially if it successfully ended Gaddafi’s 42-year rule, according to the senior defense official who was part of the conversation at the time. And as the country was falling apart, it seems no one in the higher reaches of Clinton’s department took note. If they did, they did not take action.

As secretary of state, it was Clinton’s job to ask questions about the state of Libya, both before the intervention and after. She was secretary when the intervention began—and when the U.S. presence in Benghazi ended with a deadly attack. And while she held talks in the early months after Gaddafi’s death, Libya became largely a public afterthought. In the email caches released so far from her personal account, former adviser Sidney Blumenthal repeatedly kept Libya before Clinton, sharing his views of the situation, at the time contradicting the diplomats working for Clinton. Blumenthal, a longtime adviser to both Clinton and President Clinton, was not an expert on the region.

Read more

Also see:

During the so-called Arab Spring, new governments rose to power in Libya and Egypt with support from the U.S. But, instead of a new era of democracy, the result has been a disastrous expansion of Islamic extremist terrorism. Former head of the House Intelligence Committee, Republican Pete Hoekstra spoke about his new book focusing on the topic with Full Measure.

Hillary Clinton: Post-Qaddafi Libya Is ‘Smart Power At Its Best’

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

Breitbart, by John Hayward, Oct/ 14, 2015:

During the course of the Democratic Party debate on Tuesday night, Hillary Clinton was asked to defend her disastrous intervention in Libya. In response, Clinton hailed Libya as “smart power at its best,” capturing a delusion that appears to be very common in the current iteration of her Party: the belief that magical “coalitions” of good guys can be whistled into existence to handle foreign-policy crises.

If such a belief had any grounding in reality – and it doesn’t – Hillary Clinton has proven herself an exceptionally poor choice to be America’s Whistler-in-Chief.

Clinton’s remarks on Libya, from the Washington Post’s transcript, began as follows:

Well, let’s remember what was going on. We had a murderous dictator, Gadhafi, who had American blood on his hands, as I’m sure you remember, threatening to massacre large numbers of the Libyan people. We had our closest allies in Europe burning up the phone lines begging us to help them try to prevent what they saw as a mass genocide, in their words. And we had the Arabs standing by our side saying, “We want you to help us deal with Gadhafi.”

Our response, which I think was smart power at its best, is that the United States will not lead this. We will provide essential, unique capabilities that we have, but the Europeans and the Arabs had to be first over the line. We did not put one single American soldier on the ground in Libya. And I’ll say this for the Libyan people…

There is no shortage of murderous dictators with blood on their hands in the world. Whether Qaddafi was poised to carry out a “mass genocide” is a matter of considerable debate, not the open-and-shut case for intervention Clinton presents it as. “Killing a large number of your insurgent citizens” is not the definition of “genocide,” no matter how reprehensible it might be, or how richly an evil dictator deserves to be deposed.

The Democratic Party has been driven so utterly around the bend by its Bush-hating rhetoric, and its determination to score political points by losing the Iraq War, that it thinks the presence of American boots on the ground is the sole metric of military success. Clinton’s definition of “smart power at its best” is the United States launching a far more unilateral, unwise, and poorly-conducted war than Iraq, because Europeans pushed Clinton into it, and then Clinton badgered President Obama until he agreed.

Comparisons between Libya and Iraq are silly. Libya is much, much worse than Iraq, from inception to its current disastrous state. Unlike George Bush, President Obama did not secure congressional approval.  The Iraq intelligence on WMD may have been substantially mistaken – although, contrary to Democrat mythology, it most certainly was not entirely mistaken, as Saddam did indeed have WMD stocks – but that intelligence was sincere. Professional analysts in multiple nations believed it with a high level of confidence.

President Obama and Clinton dithered too long and missed the best moment to strike, if they were truly inclined to do so. By waiting until Qaddafi recovered from early defeats and drove his rebels back to the verge of slaughter, they weakened Libya and made it easier prey for ISIS, al-Qaeda, and the other bands of savages currently fighting for turf.

They worked hard to distract the American people from seeing the grisly fruits of their labors, which is one of the reasons the consulate in Benghazi was so disgracefully unprepared for a terrorist attack on Clinton’s watch – and that, in turn, is why she lied extravagantly about the nature of that terrorist attack during the 2012 election.  Then she worked overtime concealing her dereliction of duty and thwarting congressional oversight, which is why the Benghazi investigation she keeps complaining about is still in progress.

CNN moderator Anderson Cooper asked Clinton about those deaths in Benghazi, although he sadly missed the opportunity to challenge her to name the four dead men. Her response:

But let — I’ll get to that. But I think it’s important, since I understand Senator Webb’s very strong feelings about this, to explain where we were then and to point out that I think President Obama made the right decision at the time.

And the Libyan people had a free election the first time since 1951. And you know what, they voted for moderates, they voted with the hope of democracy. Because of the Arab Spring, because of a lot of other things, there was turmoil to be followed.

But unless you believe the United States should not send diplomats to any place that is dangerous, which I do not, then when we send them forth, there is always the potential for danger and risk.

Libya’s “free election” vote for “moderates” in the blossoming of the “Arab Spring” means absolutely nothing. The country is run by warlords and terror gangs, thanks to Clinton and Obama’s blunders. The “moderate” government can’t even sit in the capital of Tripoli, because a different gang controls that city. Clinton’s rival Jim Webb touched on this point after her remarks by saying, “Try to get to the Tripoli airport today. You can’t do it.”

The Arab Spring was no flowering of democracy – it was anarchy unleashed, followed by takeovers from organized Islamist thugs like the Muslim Brotherhood.

Our choice is not between getting ambassadors killed, and never sending them anyplace dangerous. Hillary Clinton oversaw the first death of an American ambassador in decades. Chris Stevens died because of her failures, not because he rolled the dice by going somewhere dangerous and came up snake eyes. He was sent into a terrorist hot zone with nonexistent protection, in stubborn defiance of several violent outbreaks in the area, with absolutely no “Plan B” to rescue him if anything went wrong. Brave men defied instructions and raced to his side, dying in battle against a terrorist enemy whose identity Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama lied about copiously to conceal for as long as possible.

The media action line Wednesday morning was that Clinton “won” the debate and firmed up her position as a front-running candidate. In truth, her competitors scored some points against her on Libya, including Webb pointing out her procedural errors: “We had no treaties at risk. We had no Americans at risk. There was no threat of attack or imminent attack. There is plenty of time for a president to come to the Congress and request authority to use military force in that situation.”

And even Martin O’Malley made a solid point about how badly Clinton and Obama fumbled the pre-war intelligence: “I think there’s lessons to be learned from Benghazi. And those lessons are that we need to do a much better job as a nation of having human intelligence on the ground so that we know who the emerging next generation leaders are that are coming up to replace a dictator when his time on this planet ends.”

None of that will matter much in the Democrat primary, because O’Malley is not a plausible candidate, while Webb is a plausible candidate for the Republican Party. But sharp Republican candidates should be able to see plenty of opportunities to hit Clinton hard on Libya, working from her ridiculous responses on Tuesday night. They should also clearly see that the debate moderators will not ask those questions for them.

If Libya was “smart power at its best,” we really don’t want to see what smart power at its worst looks like.

Also see:

Book: Obama, Clinton left Libya a terrorist training site

by Stephen Dinan
Washington Times
October 13, 2015

Note: This article originally was published by the Washington Times. For more on the book “Architects of Disaster,” click here.

1247 (1)President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton inherited aLibya in the midst of slow but sure liberalization — “a model ally” in fighting terrorists — and instead created a training ground for terrorists, the former chief of theHouse intelligence committee argues in a new book reviewing the evidence.

Former Rep. Pete Hoekstra, a Republican who spent 10 years on the committee with oversight of America’s clandestine operations, dubs Mr. Obama and his top diplomat, Mrs. Clinton, the “Architects of Disaster” — the title of a new book he’s written accusing them of bungling the run-up to war, wrongly ousting leader Moammar Gadhafi, then leaving the country a mess that has already come back to bite with the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi.

“How many are aware, for example, that Islamic terrorists almost surely got their hands on the remnants of Gaddafi’s chemical weapons arsenal of sulfur mustard gas, only about half of which had been destroyed at the time of the uprising?” Mr. Hoekstra argues. “The tragedy of misbegotten American policy in Libya continues to unfold, and only the most deluded optimists believe that there will not be more bad news to come.”

The book, which is being released Tuesday, was written for the Investigative Project on Terrorism, where Mr. Hoekstra is a senior fellow.

He argues, using publicly reported sources, that Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton should have seen Libya‘s progress after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which scared Gadhafi into ceding his nuclear weapons program and paying damages to the victims of the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.

As a member of the intelligence committee, Mr. Hoekstra traveled to Libya in 2003, at the behest of the Bush administration, to determine whether Gadhafi‘s conversion was real, and he says Republicans and Democrats on that trip unanimously concluded the Libyan leader had been scared straight — both by the U.S., and by fears of radical jihadists overthrowing him.

“Yes, Gaddafi was a monster, but he was our monster. In the ways that mattered most, he was preferable — immensely so — to many of those who brought him down, and the stability of Libya under his control was preferable to the chaos that has followed,” the former congressman concludes. “Although NATO effectively brought down Gaddafi, it broke Libya but didn’t own it or do anything to fix it.”

With the exception of the investigation into the Benghazi attack, Libya has faded from the headlines as attention has turned to Syria, where the facts on the ground are strikingly similar: a regime intent on attacking some of its own citizens, a jihadist insurgency and an international community torn over how to react.

Despite the parallels, Mr. Obama has handled them very differently. In Libya he led a coalition to impose a no-fly zone that targeted Gadhafi‘s forces, reversing the rebels’ fortunes and ensuring their victory. But in Syria the president has rebuffed calls for a no-fly zone and only tepidly backed rebels with a training program that after a year was so much of a failure the administration called it off last week.

The president, in an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” program this weekend, said he’s convinced the Islamic State insurgents will eventually fade.

“Over time, the community of nations will all get rid of them, and we will be leading getting rid of them. But we are not going to be able to get rid of them unless there is an environment inside of Syria and in portions of Iraq in which local populations, local Sunni populations are working in a concerted way with us to get rid of them,” he said.

Mr. Hoekstra argues Mr. Gadhafi was just such an anti-Jihadist partner in Libya, and he said the president’s inaction in Syria is hypocritical given the greater death toll there.

“President Obama broke Libya,” Mr. Hoekstra said, adopting the “you break it, you own it” school of war and foreign relations. “Worse, in this case, some would say that the United States actually supported the wrong side, overthrowing an ally in the war against radical Islam in favor of the jihadists.”

In a series of recommendations, Mr. Hoekstra cautions against the belief that U.S.-style democracy can be imposed, saying that local customs and traditions exist because they are embraced by the locals. American efforts, he said, need to adapt to that — much as the 2007 troop surge in Iraq did.

Mr. Hoekstra also briefly re-litigates the questions leading up to that war, saying that the answer to the question of whether the regime possessed weapons of mass destruction “is unclear,” even more than a decade later.

“As I learned back in 2005, as chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the military had unearthed hundreds of chemical weapons shells in Iraq, a discovery the Bush administration, foolishly preferring (as Karl Rove put it) to ‘let sleeping dogs lie,’ withheld from the public,” the former congressman wrote.

Shariah Incompatible With the Constitution



by Pete Hoekstra
IPT News
October 6, 2015

Note: Former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Pete Hoekstra is the Investigative Project on Terrorism’s Shillman senior fellow. This article originally appeared at Newsmax.

NBC’s “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd in a recent exchange with a presidential candidate raised an issue that should be discussed not only by all of the candidates, but debated and analyzed by the American people.

Is Islamic law (Shariah) compatible with the U.S. Constitution?

The question has no simple answer, but we have three recent examples of where regime change forced national leaders to determine Shariah’s role in their governance, all failing to reach a definitive conclusion.

The first two followed interventions by the Obama administration, in one case actively and in the other passively, that facilitated the overthrow of stable authorities.

In Libya, NATO precipitated the overthrow of Moammar Gadhafi’s 42-year dictatorship. In Egypt, the U.S. sent clear and unambiguous indications that replacing President Hosni Mubarak with the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood would be acceptable, if not desirable.

In both cases new governments rose to power through American support.

I illustrate how events unfolded following Gaddafi’s deposition in my upcoming book, “Architects of Disaster: the Destruction of Libya.”

The U.S.-backed National Transitional Council – comprised of radical Islamist “moderates” that fought Gadhafi – appointed Sadeq al-Ghariani grand mufti during the civil war, a title that he retained after the shooting subsided.

Al-Ghariani, as grand mufti, the highest ranking official on Islamic law in a Muslim country, declared that Shariah would serve as the primary source of legislation and that any law contradicting it was invalid.

He legitimized polygamy, banned women from marrying foreigners, directed the Ministry of Education to delete passages on democracy and freedom of religion from school textbooks, and praised the militant group Ansar al-Sharia, which the U.S. blames for the Benghazi attacks that resulted in the murder of four Americans.

In addition, British officials accused al-Ghariani of encouraging jihadists with ideological ties to ISIS to overthrow the duly elected parliament.

Libya remains a bitterly divided failed state with one group supporting jurisprudence under the model created by Mohammad and another fighting for more democratic reforms while still pledging allegiance to Islamic law.

In Egypt, the government led by the Muslim Brotherhood focused on consolidating power rather than quickly imposing expanded facets of Shariah. However, the Muslim populace quickly rejected the actions and declarations of leaders dedicated to implementing stricter adherence to the fundamental teachings of the Koran.

Egyptians already dissatisfied with the economic performance under the stewardship of President Mohammed Morsi turned on him before he could impose what many believed was an agenda to introduce it gradually.

The sad irony is that in both Libya and Egypt, the Obama administration — a supposed champion of liberty and human rights — supported groups that wanted to ultimately enforce the code of law championed by Mohammed once they gained power.

Another irony is that while people in both countries are fighting and dying for political freedom and against more radical Shariah interpretations, that debate can’t even take place in the United States. Those who raise the issue are immediately labeled as Islamophobic.

Finally, the third example of Shariah is that inflicted by ISIS which allows for genocide of religious minorities in the so-called caliphate, an area comprised of large swaths of Syria and Iraq. Their practices are so barbaric that it’s difficult to imagine anyone in the U.S. defending them.

Other practices under ISIS’ application of the religious precepts of Islam include beheading and immolating captives, as well as selling “infidel” women as sex slaves. Here again other Muslims are fighting ISIS, for many reasons that include their obedience to Shariah.

The policies and laws executed by the grand mufti in Libya, the long-term agenda in the short-lived Morsi government in Egypt and by ISIS in its ideal Islamist Ummah are incompatible with the Constitution, period.

If such interpretations are unacceptable as many in the region indicate by their physical resistance, it is not difficult to understand why Americans are asking whether it could apply here.

How would Shariah work within the parameters of America’s founding document, and would the American Muslim community broadly embrace it?

Let’s ask all of the presidential candidates of both parties to hear what they have to say and allow a real discussion among American voters to begin.

Pete Hoekstra represented Michigan for 18 years in Congress, including as chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee. He currently serves as the Shillman senior fellow at the Investigative Project on Terrorism, and is the author of “Architects of Disaster: The Destruction of Libya.”

Obama surrenders the Middle East to Russia, and it matters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



State Department Warns Americans to Get Out of Libya Now

Screen-Shot-2015-09-12-at-7.27.54-AMPJ Media, by Bridget Johnson, Sep. 17, 2015:

The State Department has warned all Americans in Libya to get out of the country “immediately.”

The new travel warning stresses that “extremist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks against U.S. interests in the Middle East region, including Libya.”

“The Libyan government has not been able to build its military and police forces and improve security following the 2011 revolution. Many military-grade weapons remain in the hands of private individuals, U.S. and UN-designated terrorists, and other armed groups, including antiaircraft weapons that may be used against civilian aviation. Crime levels remain high in many parts of the country. In addition to the threat of crime, the threat of kidnapping is high and various groups have called for attacks against U.S. citizens and U.S. interests in Libya,” the warning states.

One U.S. citizen was killed in a January attack at the Corinthia hotel in Tripoli. ISIS claimed responsibility.

“Because of the presumption that foreigners, especially U.S. citizens, in Libya may be associated with the U.S. government or U.S. NGOs, travelers should be aware that they may be targeted by violent extremist groups seeking to injure, kidnap or kill U.S. citizens, and should act accordingly with extreme caution,” the State Department said.

Embassy operations in the country were suspended in July 2014 — nearly two years after the Benghazi attack and murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens. Diplomatic operations for Libya are now based out of Tunis.

ISIS released a video two days ago shown the Benghazi murder of a Tunisian bakery worker they claimed was spying for the Libyan army.

The latest issue of ISIS’ magazine, Dabiq, featured an interview with Abu al-Mughirah al-Qahtani, the group’s “delegated emir” in Libya.

“The military situation in Libya differs from region to region, depending on the number of Khilāfah soldiers and the type of enemy in addition to the social composition and geography of the various regions. It also depends on the conflicts and coalitions that form in the ranks of the apostates themselves,” al-Mughirah said.

“…The Islamic State has military and security operations in Tarābulus, Misrātah, Tubruq, al-Baydā’, Sabrātah, and Ajdābiyā. The Islamic State is manifest with some control over neighborhoods in Darnah and Binghāzī in addition to its complete authority over the seacoast region stretching from Būqarīn to Binjawād, includes a number of cities and regions, most important of which are Sirte, al-‘ mirah, Harāwah, Umm Qindīl, and an-Nawfaliyyah.”

Al-Mughirah added that “many of the leaders and soldiers of Ansār al-Sharī’ah were from the first to pledge bay’ah in Libya to the Islamic State…. The Islamic State here in Libya is still young. It is in great need of every Muslim who can come, especially medical, shar’ī, and administrative personnel, in addition to fighters.”

Libya is important to ISIS, he said, “because it is in Africa and south of Europe” and “contains a well of resources that cannot dry.”

“All Muslims have a right to these resources. It is also a gate to the African desert stretching to a number of African countries. It is important to note also that the Libyan resources are a concern for the kāfir West due to their reliance upon Libya for a number of years especially with regards to oil and gas. The control of the Islamic State over this region will lead to economic breakdowns especially for Italy and the rest of the European states.”

Also see:

World View: The Arab World is Disintegrating into War

ISIS video

ISIS video

Breitbart, by JOHN J. XENAKIS, July 19, 2015:

Behind the scenes in the Iran nuclear deal

President Barack Obama and Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei (AFP)

President Barack Obama and Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei (AFP)

I like to reference Debka’s newsletter because it contains valuable insights into what’s going on, but it is written from Israel’s point of view, and sometimes gets things wrong. This week’s subscriber-only newsletter (sent to me by a subscriber) contains an analysis of the behind the scenes activities that led to the Iran nuclear deal:

  • Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has been talking about developing nuclear technology, but it really is a bluff, designed to get the US to negotiate the nuclear deal and remove sanctions. Iran has no intention of developing a nuclear weapon while Obama is in office, since the relationship with Obama is more important. — This is plausible, and probably true
  • The Shah of Iran was overthrown by Ayatollah Ruhallah Khomeini in 1979 with the support of President Jimmy Carter and his national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski. The Shah was double-crossed. — This is plausible, but I have no idea whether it’s true.
  • Brzezinski and his long-time associate Brent Scrowcroft were influential in the new Iran-US deal. — This is plausible.
  • Obama now expects Iran, perhaps naively, to shoulder most of the burden of fighting the Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh) in Iraq and Syria. — It’s plausible that Obama believes this.
  • Many Sunni Arab leaders, including Saudi’s new king Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud, believe that Obama helped bring about the “Arab Spring” in order to help Iran’s rise. — It’s plausible that Arab leaders believe this, but it’s not possible for Obama or any politician to have caused or prevented the Arab Spring. For that matter, Carter and Brzezinski could not have caused or prevented Iran’s Great Islamic Revolution. These great events were caused by enormous generational changes that could not have been stopped any more than a tsunami can be stopped.
  • Obama turned his back on the Sunni Arab nations because he sees the Arab world as disintegrating into bloody, hopeless wars.
  • The continuing rhetorical fury of Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the Iran agreement has outlived its usefulness, according to some Israeli officials, who feel he should moderate his statements and instead focus on a new strategy to deal with the new world following the agreement.

Generally, the Debka view is consistent with my article “15-Jul-15 World View — Arab views of Iran nuclear deal,” including the fact that Iran is becoming America’s ally, and the Sunni Arabs will be America’s enemy. Debka

The Arab world is disintegrating into war

The same Debka newsletter points out that the number of conflicts in the Arab world is larger than the number of Arab nations involved in the conflicts:

  • Libya has fallen apart and is mired in tribal warfare and war with ISIS.
  • Egypt is plagued by frequent terrorist attacks by both ISIS (as “Sinai Province”) and the Muslim Brotherhood.
  • Syria is mired in an endless war pitting Bashar al-Assad’s army plus Hezbollah plus Iran plus Shia militias from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan versus ISIS plus other jihadists and the Free Syrian Army (FSA).
  • Iraq is in full-scale war with ISIS.
  • Lebanon is poised on a knife’s edge from the spillover of the Syrian war.
  • Jordan is ostensibly stable, but Bedouin tribes’ traditional loyalty to the crown is being undermined, and Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and ISIS are each poised to move in on Amman.
  • Yemen is in a civil war, in which Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations are fighting the Iran-backed Houthis. The battle is being exploited by al-Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and ISIS to seize large swathes of land.
  • Saudi Arabia is caught up in three wars — Yemen, Iraq and Syria — with grave domestic challenges from the Shias in the east and from the 16-19 year old Sunni youths, nearly a third of whom are without jobs and have set up clandestine cells across the kingdom dedicated to toppling the House of Saud.

On the other hand, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman have lined up behind the Iran nuclear deal and have maintained good relations with Iran. In particular, the UAE expects to gain from the Iran’s post-sanctions import and export trade by having Dubai become the biggest free port in the Gulf.

Debka says that the Arab governments are, like Israel, in a state of disarray after being swept aside by the Iran deal, and in a state of gloom over all the wars going on. The Arab nations need to focus on creating a new Arab regional structure to replace the outdated Arab League.

As we have been saying for many years, the Mideast is headed for a major regional ethnic and sectarian war with 100% certainty, and events seem to bring that war closer every week. This is particularly true of last week’s major event, the Iran nuclear deal.

It is impossible to predict the sequence of political events that will lead to this regional war, but the concept of “a new Arab regional structure” suggests one possibility. My expectation is that, sooner or later, the Arab states will unite with ISIS to fight Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, and this new Arab regional structure may be the political mechanism that brings all these Sunni and Arab elements together to fight Iran. Debka

Saudi Arabia conducts major anti-terrorism sweep against ISIS

In a major anti-terrorism sweep across the country, Saudi Arabia has arrested 431 people believed to belong to ISIS cells, “as part of a scheme managed from troubled areas abroad and aimed at inciting sectarian strife and chaos.” According to the Saudi statement statement:

The number of arrested to date was 431 … detainees, most of them citizens, as well as participants holding other nationalities including Yemeni, Egyptian, Syrian, Jordanian, Algerian, Nigerian, Chadian, and unidentified others.

What combines these cells (which were subjected to security restrictions by not making direct contacts among themselves) is the belonging to the terrorist ISIS organization in terms of the adoption of thought, takfir of society and bloodshed, and then exchanging roles to implement the plans and objectives dictated from abroad.

There have been several terrorist attacks on Shia mosques in eastern Saudi Arabia, and the purpose of the announcement in part was to make it clear to the Shias in the east that the government is doing something. The Saudis claim that they have thwarted six additional planned attacks on Shia mosques.

The fact that over 400 people have been arrested gives an idea of the scale of threat that the Saudis face in ISIS. Saudi Press Agency and AP and Arab News

Massive bomb attack in Iraq market kills over 130

ISIS has claimed responsibility for a massive bomb attack in a crowded open-air market in Khan Bani Saad, a mostly Shia town 20 miles northeast of Baghdad. The death toll is 130 and climbing, making it the biggest ISIS civilian terror attack in the country.

A man in a truck pulled up to the marketplace in the extreme summer heat and said he was selling ice at a discount to celebrate the end of Ramadan. He lured over 100 people to the truck, and the detonated at least one ton of explosives.

Khan Bani Saad is in Diyala province, which borders Iran. It’s the only province in Iraq where Iranian jets are known to have conducted airstrikes against ISIS earlier this year.CNN and AP


hillary-clinton-what-difference-does-it-makeFrontpage, by Daniel Greenfield, June 29, 2015:

It’s bad enough that Hillary Clinton failed to turn over email exchanges between her and Sidney Blumenthal, but editing the emails to remove certain problematic topics is an admission of guilt. Because it’s not the crime, it’s the coverup.

Hillary Clinton withheld Benghazi-related emails from the State Department that detailed her knowledge of the scramble for oil contracts in Libya and the shortcomings of the NATO-led military intervention for which she advocated.

Clinton removed specific portions of other emails she sent to State, suggesting the messages were screened closely enough to determine which paragraphs were unfit to be seen by the public.

Here’s some of what Hillary tried to cover up.

For example, one email Clinton kept from the State Department indicates Libyan leaders were “well aware” of which “major oil companies and international banks” supported them during the rebellion, information they would “factor into decisions” about about who would be given access to the country’s rich oil reserves.

The email, which Clinton subsequently scrubbed from her server, indicated Clinton was aware that involvement in the controversial conflict could have a significant financial benefit to firms that were friendly to the Libyan rebels.

Considering the tangled web of energy contracts involving Hillary and her husband, particularly from foreign companies, this could be explosive. Especially since the French, whose oil companies are mentioned as players, were the ones originally pushing this illegal war.

Clinton withheld an email sent March 22, 2011 that described the French government’s alleged involvement in forming the transitional government as the uprising against Gaddafi raged.

In the email, Blumenthal claimed the French had “provided money and guidance to assist” with the emerging Libyan council.

“In return for this assistance, [French government] officers indicated that they expected the government of Libya to favor French firms and national interests, particularly regarding the oil industry in Libya,” Blumenthal wrote.

The question is what ties Blumenthal and Clinton may have had to those companies. It’s also hypocritical considering the incessant liberal “No blood for oil” chants about Iraq, when this was actually a war where blood was shed for oil.

An email in which Blumenthal encouraged Clinton to consider the same “shock-and-awe” tactics former President George W. Bush employed in Iraq was also not included among the emails Clinton provided to State.

Again, the hypocrisy is obvious.

Clinton withheld another email that showed she informed Blumenthal of a “very good call” she had with the new Libyan president, Mohammed Yussef el Magariaf. She deleted another, in which she called a memo about Magariaf’s intention and history “a keeper.”

So we’ve got private Clinton contacts that are kept out of reach of even the government. This is very troubling.

And here is Clinton deleting references to Islamic law in Libya

For example, in July 2012, Clinton removed paragraphs from a Blumenthal memo that warned “simply completing the election…and fulfilling a list of proper democratic milestones may not create a true democracy.” Blumenthal also wrote — in sections that Clinton deleted before providing the document to State — that the government would likely be “founded on Sharia,” or Islamic laws.

This is downright criminal.

Hillary isn’t just not turning over emails. She censored materials from emails that were turned over.


Also see: