Need For Increased Vigilance as IS Inspired Attacks Continue to Target Westerners in the Middle East

terror-threatCSP, By Matt Bauer, December 4, 2014:

As the U.S. and coalition forces continue to conduct airstrikes against the Islamic State, an alarming trend of increasing violence towards westerners is occurring in the Middle East. In recent weeks, there have been multiple attacks on abroad citizens of western coalition nations in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. IS ideology and influence has been seen in dozens of countries around the world, more notably countries in Europe and North America taking part of the anti-IS coalition force.

The United States, Canada, France, the UK, Germany, Austria, Australia, and many others have all been dealing with the security threats posed by Islamic radicals inspired by IS to conduct domestic attacks. There is also the threat of experienced foreign IS fighters returning to their home countries to conduct operations on behalf of IS. While these threats remain pertinent, the threat to abroad citizens of coalition countries is increasing in light of recent events.

In the UAE, an unidentified woman wearing a full niqab stabbed an American school teacher to death in a public restroom at an Abu Dhabi mall. The unidentified woman also planted a makeshift explosive device at the residence of an Egyptian-American doctor. The device was discovered and disarmed by police before it was able to cause any damage. Though the woman’s connections are still unknown, it is clear that these attacks were meant to specifically target Americans. The presence of a makeshift explosive device may indicate that the detained suspect was not acting alone. This incident is particularly alarming since it is very rare for terrorist attacks of this nature to occur in the oil-rich emirates.

In Saudi Arabia, two separate incidents occurred where a Danish and Canadian citizen were targeted. Last month, a gunman pulled up alongside the vehicle of a Danish man and opened fire. The Danish citizen was only treated for minor injuries. The perpetrators of the attack remained unknown until a recent video was released by Saudi supporters of IS claiming responsibility. The video seems to show a gunman pulling up next to a vehicle and firing multiple shots directed at the driver. The video has not yet been authenticated by authorities but seems to be consistent with attack. The video also included audio clips of IS leaders calling for attacks within Saudi Arabia.

Another incident occurred at a shopping mall in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province where a Canadian man was stabbed. The assailant was arrested but the motive behind the attack is still unknown. Given the current trend and timing of the attack, it seems likely that the man was targeted because of his nationality. In Egypt, a Sinai-based terrorist group originally called Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM) but have recently changed their name to the Islamic State in Sinai, have claimed responsibility for the death of a 58-year old Texas native William Henderson. Henderson is reported to have been working for his oil company at one of their locations in Egypt and died on August 6th of this year.

The investigation into the specifics of his death is ongoing but it appears that he has been murdered solely for being an American citizen. The Islamic State of Sinai or ABM is an interesting group since they have deep ties with the Muslim Brotherhood along with their recent pledge of allegiance to IS. Egyptian authorities allege that ABM has long been funded by the Muslim Brotherhood but it is unclear under whose direction they are currently operating under.

The similarities between these separate incidents demonstrate that as the coalition fight against IS continues, western citizens visiting or living in the Middle East will continue to be targeted. It is becoming increasingly necessary for potential targeted citizens living abroad to be vigilant and aware of this very real threat. Companies and corporations who have employees at potentially dangerous foreign locations should also be aware and take the necessary steps to increase security measures to protect their facilities.

Obama ‘Solves’ Immigration Crisis by Ordering ‘Shields Down’

 

By Michael Cutler:

That we live in a perilous era is hardly a headline — this is a well established fact.  America and Americans face an existential threat posed by terrorist organizations.  Additionally, huge quantities of heroin and cocaine have flooded across our borders, smuggled by pernicious drug trafficking organizations that have set up shop in communities across the United States.  There is a strong nexus between narcotics trafficking and narcotics use and crime, especially violent crime.

The tens of billions of dollars, the annual proceeds from the drug trade, flow into the coffers of transnational drug trafficking organizations and international terrorist organizations.

Finally, our nation’s economy continues to falter and struggle as do tens of millions of American workers and their families find that their incomes shrink as their expenses rise as more foreign workers enter the United States each month than the number of new jobs that are being created.

All of the above-noted issues have a clear nexus to failures of our nation to secure its borders and enforce the immigration laws effectively.  In point of fact our immigration laws were enacted with two primary goals, protect American lives and the jobs of American workers.

In point of fact, our borders and our immigration laws are supposed to shield America and Americans.  Given all of the threats and challenges confronting America and Americans those shields should never be more important.  However, you would never know it to listen to the President and, frankly, to all too many of our nation’s politicians from both sides of the political aisle in Washington and on the state and local levels.

On November 20, 2014 President Obama went before the cameras at the White House and laid out his plans to unilaterally “fix” the broken immigration system.  That there are millions of illegal aliens present in the United States indicates that our immigration system is failing.  That terrorists have been able to enter the United States and embed themselves in the United States provides further evidence of failures of the immigration system.  Consider, if you will, that the Tsarnaev brothers were able to gain lawful entry into the United States and apparently game the political asylum program. This provides a graphic example of a failure of that component of the immigration system.

“The Social Contract” published my article in its Summer 2013 edition, on how fraud in the political asylum program currently enables our enemies to see in America’s compassion, weakness. The title of my article was “Political Asylum: Where Compassion and National Security Intersect.”

What has never been explained, by President Obama or others who claim that the immigration system is broken, is how their proposals will greatly reduce the number of illegal aliens present in the United States.  What has never been explained is how the proposed “fixes” will create integrity to the processes by which aliens are granted visas or immigration benefits such as gaining lawful immigrant status or United States citizenship.  These are critical issues that were identified by the 9/11 Commission.

Traditionally when laws are violated our leaders call for enhanced enforcement efforts to combat and deter the crimes.  Because of concerns about those who have trespassed on New York City landmarks, Senator Chuck Schumer has proposed that a law be enacted that would subject those trespassers to a period of imprisonment of five years rather than the maximum of one year currently on the books.  He stated in part:

“While individuals like this (trespassers) may have meant no harm, their acts put commuters and first responders at risk,” Schumer said. “They also inspire copycats who may have much more evil plans in mind.”

Critical infrastructure is defined by the Patriot Act as systems and assets so vital to the U.S., that the incapacity or destruction to them would have a debilitating effect.

“That would be a bridge, a power plant, the air vents to one of our tunnels,” Miller said.

Miller and Schumer said the new legislation will help serve as a deterrent.

“When stunts like this occur, the New York City trespassing law has a maximum of one year and it’s often three months,” Schumer said. “That’s not enough punishment to deter this behavior. It’s time to change that.”

Schumer said this legislation is based on another federal law protecting railroads.

His statements were reported upon in an October 14, 2014 CBS News report, “Mayor De Blasio Heads To D.C. For Meetings On NYC Security And Counter-Terrorism.”

However, Senator Chuck Schumer has been the staunchest advocate for providing a pathway to United States citizenship to illegal aliens who have trespassed on America by running our nation’s borders and evading the crucial screening process conducted by CBP (Customs and Border Protection) inspectors at ports of entry.  This serves to encourage, not deter, aliens to run our nation’s borders.

Where our broken immigration system is concerned, the obvious questions not being asked or answered is, “Where is the deterrent?”  “How is the lack of integrity in the immigration adjudications program being addressed?”

President Obama’s tone has been defiant, claiming that if members of Congress wanted to stop him from taking his actions that they should pass an immigration bill that he agreed with.  It was a stunning statement especially considering that Obama was a constitutional law instructor.  On numerous previous public appearances he made it clear that he did not have the authority to act alone to take the actions that he is now taking to deal with immigration.  Yet, for reasons never articulated, he has now made it clear that he will now do what he had previous claimed he lacked the legal authority to do.

He has also never explained how his actions would curtail future illegal immigration or address the recommendations and findings of the 9/11 Commission.  But then, these are critical questions that virtually no journalists have ever asked or members of the Republican Party have ever addressed, either.

Obama is attempting to extort immigration legislation by using the sort of “strong arm” technique of Tony Soprano rather than the conciliatory and constitutionally mandated technique befitting the President of the United States, who leads the most powerful democratic republic on the planet.

While the media has fixated on the procedural issues of whether or not what Obama is promising (threatening?) to do is within the bounds of his legal authority as the President of the United States, what has never been discussed to any great degree is the other procedural question — how would USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) implement this massive amnesty program involving millions of illegal aliens with even a sliver of integrity?

On November 30, 2013 Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) posted my commentary, “Political Asylum Fraud: Where America’s Compassion Becomes Vulnerability”that was predicated on a hard-hitting report posted by ABC News on November 20, 2013, “Exclusive: US May Have Let ‘Dozens’ of Terrorists Into Country As Refugees.”

The number one priority of the government of the United States is national security and, with it, public safety.  How on earth could the administration successfully administer that program in a manner that would not undermine national security and public safety?  Let us remember that America’s borders and immigration laws are its shields, its first line of defense and last line of defense against international terrorists, transnational criminals and other foreign nationals whose presence in the United States would undermine national security, public safety, public health or otherwise compromise the well-being of America and Americans.

On September 10, 2014 the New York Post published a disturbing report, “Homeland Security: We can’t stop ISIS from coming into US.”

Read more at Frontpage

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

22 Nov 2014:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edwin Mora contributed to this report.

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

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By Robert Spencer:

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

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

6. Supporting the Afghan regime

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

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

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

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

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

5. Fighting terrorism with money

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

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

Kerry explained:

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

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

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

4. Working to topple Assad

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

3. Arming the “moderates”

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

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

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

Read more at PJ Media with videos

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Barack Obama

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Michael R. Crittenden contributed to this article.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So how could GOP leaders be so easily duped?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE REAL THREAT: THE JV TEAM IN THE WHITE HOUSE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jordan Schachtel contributed to this report.

DHS Announces ‘Enhanced Presence’ At All Federal Buildings

dhs (2)Truth Revolt, by  Caleb Howe:

On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a press release announcing heightened security and an “enhanced presence”at all federal buildings in the United States, following the attack at the Parliament building in Canada last week. DHS stressed to employees that this was not in response to any “specific” threat on American federal buildings or employees.

“The reasons for this action are self-evident,” said DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson. “The continued public calls by terrorist organizations for attacks on the homeland and elsewhere.”

A DHS official tells the Washington Post that “this is a precautionary step to safeguard U.S. government personnel and facilities, and the visitors to those facilities.” However, Fox News’ Megyn Kelley reported Tuesday evening that sources told Fox News the action was prompted by “increased chatter” that began several weeks ago ahead of the Canadian attack.

The statement from Secretary Johnson reads:

Today I am announcing that I have directed the Federal Protective Service to enhance its presence and security at various U.S. Government buildings in Washington DC and other major cities and locations around the country. The precise actions we are taking and the precise locations at which we will enhance security is law-enforcement sensitive, will vary and shift from location to location, and will be continually re-evaluated.

The Federal Protective Service is responsible for the protection of over 9500 federal facilities owned or leased by the General Services Administration, through which 1.4 million visitors and occupants pass daily.

We are taking this action as a precautionary step, to safeguard U.S. government personnel and facilities, and the visitors to those facilities. The reasons for this action are self-evident: the continued public calls by terrorist organizations for attacks on the homeland and elsewhere, including against law enforcement and other government officials, and the acts of violence targeted at government personnel and installations in Canada and elsewhere recently. Given world events, prudence dictates a heightened vigilance in the protection of U.S. government installations and our personnel.

As we have stated in prior advisories, we urge state and local governments and their law enforcement personnel, along with critical infrastructure owners and operators, to be equally vigilant, particularly in guarding against potential small-scale attacks by a lone offender or a small group of individuals. Likewise, we continually urge the public at large to be vigilant and report any suspicious activities to appropriate authorities.

Also on Fox News, Chief White House correspondent Ed Henry questions the timing of the increased security, pointing out that the threat to Americans from ISIS has been persistent and “immediate” for some time now. The White House downplayed the threat on American soil at several press briefings in the events leading up to American action against ISIS.

One “senior administration official” told Henry that the announcement was made a week before the election in case something were to happen before election day.

Also see:

Obama – The Military and National Security

Video-Obama’s-Military-Purge-Removes-197-Officers-AND-COUNTING-AS-DHS-TAKES-OVER-STREETSBy Paul Vallely – MG US Army (ret),

Chairman – Stand Up America

October 28, 2014

Throughout the 237 years of United State history, we have seen the military forces experience many transformations in its roles/missions, its structure, its procedures, its reputation, its power, technological advancement, and ultimately its application and operation in combat. Initially the Army, Navy and Marines were organized as an armed force of fighters and patriots against the tyranny of England. They banded together to win a revolution and historically became a force for securing the fledgling nation. Over the many decades and centuries, it expanded, evolved, and eventually became the strongest military force on Earth. These changes all reflected the need and threats of the day and the political will of the government and its elected officials. As my friend and colleague, Admiral Ace Lyons, stated, “With the weakest national security team since World War II, it is no wonder that both our foreign and national security policies lack coherence and direction. The Administration’s faculty-lounge logic that, in the 21st century, ‘diplomacy’ will substitute for military solutions to international crisis, overlooks or chooses to ignore a key factor: recognized military power that provides the essential underpinnings to successful diplomacy. It is called Peace through Strength.”

From inception, it has, and by Constitutional mandate will always be, controlled by a civilian, the Commander-in-Chief, the President of the United States. As each of our Presidents has held office, the military took its marching orders based upon the political policies, threats to America, and the foreign policy he adopted. Many paths were chosen and many wars, great and small were waged upon his decisions. This writing is to analyze the relationship of President Obama and HIS Current and Future Relationship and Control of the Military and National Security.

President Obama and his followers have worked very hard by design to weaken US military superiority, consciously and unconsciously to the advantage our global enemies. In an attempt to seize control over national security and bypass Congress, a step by the Obama administration has already come into play. That the United States and Russia both reduce nuclear weapons without a treaty, as a treaty would require ratification by Congress. This would allow Obama and the Executive Branch to unilaterally cut our military capability and nuclear weaponry and ignore the treaty clause of the Constitution. Russia as we know is not a trustworthy partner in any respect other than lessens the influence and power of the US globally. Obama is wrecking the Defense Department, our forces and the US economy and committing national suicide. Yes, let’s just lay down our arms, weaken our military and give up our sovereignty to the United Nations world super state. Peace at any cost!

Intentions and the Agenda

What were Obama’s intentions after taking office toward the military? What impact has he had on the military to date? What will his impact be over the next few years? At this juncture, all these questions and more can only be answered by fact and actions. This places the future security of America in a very precarious position; a certain clear and present danger. To date, with all that is occurring across the globe and at home, his actions have resulted in a long list of failures and it appears our future will only witness further degradation of our credibility, respect, trust and standing in the community of nations. By design, malfeasance, or stark ineptitude, the past is prologue. It is important to point out what Obama and his administration goals are when it comes to the Armed Forces of the United States.

Discussion points outlined in the pamphlet are: Matters of future debate……..

Diplomacy and the use of the military – The definition of the term and its various interpretations are diverse. We examine President Obama’s vision of our foreign policy and his application of diplomacy and all its ramifications including the use of force.

Obama’s 2008 campaign and ideology – What he told America was wrong with our foreign policies, the Bush Administration’s wars, and his stance on the military and America’s place in the community of nations. This includes the ideology of the left, its past stances on Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and The War on Terror.

Obama’s first and second terms – Ending the war in Iraq, campaign promises broken, the escalation of Afghanistan and the Counter-Insurgency (COIN) Strategy, the Arab Spring, Israel, Libya, Syria and the economic structural impact on our military under his watch.

Obama’s Military Evolution – How Obama is dismantling our status in the world through diminishing our strengths, militarily and economically.

Obama’s Future Leadership – Discussion on the issues that face us from Syria to Iran to Russia to China, our Israel relationship, the Muslim Brotherhood, North Korea, ISIS and more. Why would a US president continue to push to give billions of dollars in aid and to supply arms to regimes that have declared that America and its ally Israel are mortal enemies that should be destroyed?  And why would that same president who wants to arm our enemies want to disarm American citizens?

Obama supports and assist the Caliphate goals of the Muslim Brotherhood and ISIS, known militant and radical Islamic groups.  He supported the election of Morsi as Egypt’s new president, even when Morsi talked about establishing a new Muslim Caliphate with him as the ultimate head.

Morsi also publicly began an attack on all non-Muslim religions within his country.  His military and police joined in the persecution of Christians who were beaten, raped, robbed and killed.  Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said nothing and did nothing but continue to support Morsi and his radical government. Destiny and understanding the “realities” of Islamic terror brought General El-Sisi and his patriots to the Egyptian people.

Mideast atrocities could curtail Muslim influence in the U.S.

As Admiral Ace Lyons points out in a recent article: (Washington Times)

“America’s inconsistent response to the current Islamic State atrocities indicates that we are failing to understand, or deliberately ignoring, the facts that drive the terrorist organization’s ideology.

Such misunderstanding has been facilitated by the Obama administration’s embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is now institutionalized in all government agencies, including the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security and the White House. This penetration is similar to what the communists were able to accomplish in the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s. As a result, our warfighters and law enforcement agencies have been denied critical information on combating the Islamic jihadists we are fighting today.

How did this happen? In one example, 57 Muslim signatories wrote a letter Oct. 19, 2011, to President Obama’s national security adviser for terrorism, John. O. Brennan, now our CIA director, complaining about “bigoted trainers and material” that was being used to describe the threat of Islamic terrorism and the Islamic ideology that the terrorists use to justify their acts.

As a result, all such material and training manuals were “purged” to remove anything that portrayed Islam as a religion of violence. Furthermore, an advisory board that reportedly included Muslim Brotherhood operators was established to review and sanction all revised training material to be used for our military, FBI and other law enforcement agencies down to the local level. This means is that our entire national security community has now been effectively neutralized on understanding the threat of Islam.

The Muslim Brotherhood penetration goes well beyond training materials. Their influence is most likely reflected in the restricted Rules of Engagement under which our military is forced to fight. This has caused the unnecessary loss of life and debilitating injuries for thousands of our military personnel. The Muslim Brotherhood has been so emboldened that it now has the audacity to demand the “brainwashing” of all our previous trainers. Mao and Stalin would be proud.

According to an article by terrorism expert Clare Lopez, on Aug. 14, another letter with 75 signatories was written to Lisa O. Monaco, homeland security counterterrorism adviser to the National Security Council, urged the Obama administration to “implement a mandatory retrainer program” for all federal, state and local law enforcement officers who have previously been “exposed” to anti-Muslim training. Much like the previous letter sent to Mr. Brennan, the signatories represent many of the leading Muslim organizations in the United States, e.g., the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Muslim Public Affairs Council and the Muslim Alliance in North America. It should be noted that many of those signatories represent organizations that were designated in federal court as unindicted co-conspirators from the 1998 Holy Land Foundation Hamas terrorism-funding trial in Richardson, Texas.

What prompted this latest letter may have been the fear that America might wake up and connect the current Islamic State atrocities to the ideology of Islam. The silence from the so-called moderate Muslim Brotherhood front organizations on these atrocities should tell you everything you need to know. Likewise, all those hundreds of millions of so-called moderate Muslims remain silent.

Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in 1838, noted by Bruce Thornton on Aug. 18, “Jihad, holy war is an obligation for all believers. The state of war is the natural state with regard to infidels. These doctrines of which the practical outcome is obvious are found on every page and in almost every word of the Koran. The violent tendencies of the Koran are so striking that I cannot understand how any man with good sense could miss them.” We must face facts: Islam never was, nor can it be, a religion of peace, regardless of what we are told by our current and past leaders.

Islamic ideology clearly provides the theological justifications stemming from the time of Muhammad through 1,300 hundred years of its history to justify the current jihadist movement and atrocities. Islam has not been hijacked by radicals. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said it best: “Islam is Islam.”

There is no question that the current Islamic State movement must be destroyed. Iran’s alleged offer to help get rid of it in Iraq, provided we lift all sanctions, should be totally rejected (if indeed made as reported). Pressure must be maintained on Iran to prevent it from achieving a nuclear-weapons capability. It must never be forgotten that there are no differences among the Islamic State, al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran when it comes to their objective of destroying the United States and Israel.

The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, could not have happened without Iran’s support for al Qaeda.

The Islamic State is the wealthiest terrorist organization in the world (after the Iranian regime), and must be relentlessly pursued in Iraq and Syria until it is effectively destroyed as a symbol of Islam’s resurgence. This will require a sustained air campaign coordinated with our special forces, and hopefully, our allies. We must assume the Islamic State, al Qaeda and others have established sleeper cells in the United States. Accordingly, our readiness posture must be significantly increased. In that context, our military and law enforcement agencies must be retrained so that they can effectively recognize and defeat the threat.

Congress must take the lead and prevent any further drawdown of our strategic and conventional forces. They must also take the lead in purging all Muslim Brotherhood front organizations from our government agencies. Regrettably, based on past performance, we should be under no illusion that this administration will aggressively implement these urgent actions.”

Taking back America

Leadership that compromises national security violates the Constitution

By James A. Lyons - – Wednesday, October 22, 2014, Washington Times

Never in my lifetime did I believe this great nation would be taken down and withdrawn from its world leadership position by its own leadership. While some try to explain away the Obama administration’s damaging policies by making excuses, they fail to face reality. This is a planned agenda.

When then-Sen. Barack Obama announced in 2008 that he was going to fundamentally transform America, few Americans comprehended what that declaration actually meant. However, with his radical background and his leftist mentors and associates, his agenda became very clear early on in his presidency.

With its many scandals, including the Benghazi tragedy, the perverse “progressive” ideology of the Obama administration, combined with its deceitful and manipulative methods, has corrupted normally nonpartisan government agencies. More importantly, it has infected the civilian and military leadership who lead their agencies.

The core of the corruption is an attitude that flaunts the Constitution and takes the position that the president can do anything he wants with a pen and a phone that promotes an agenda, regardless of its impact on the country’s national security.

We used to have giants in Congress such as John Stennis, Richard Russell, Tip O’Neill, et al., who were Americans first and party members second when it came to matters affecting our national security. Regretfully, other than a few in the minority, that doesn’t exist today.

Clearly, trust in our government institutions has been eroded. Furthermore, the Obama administration’s embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood, with its penetration of essentially all our government agencies, including the Department of Defense, has had an adverse impact on our policies, particularly with regard to the Middle East and the global war on terrorism. As we have seen, the administration switched sides in that war in Libya by financing, training and arming Islamic jihadist militias who were under the political control of the Muslim Brotherhood. It was these same militias that carried out the terrorist attacks on the U.S. compound in Benghazi. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s failure to provide adequate security prior to the attack even though there was advanced warning, according to five CIA security contractors at the Benghazi annex, as well as the administration’s failure to respond militarily, was a dereliction of duty.

The financial crisis of 2007-08 subsequently presented the Obama administration with a “perfect storm” to implement its planned agenda, which was based on the perverse ideology that American power has caused much of the world’s problems. The financial crisis could not have happened without outside forces in play, according to financial analyst Kevin D. Freeman, who wrote a 2009 report for the Defense Department. He stated that domestic economic factors would have caused a “normal downturn,” but not the “near collapse” of the global economic system. Fifty trillion dollars evaporated. According to Mr. Freeman, the most likely outside, hostile nations included China, Russia and Islamic financial powers, e.g., Dubai, which deliberately conducted “financial terrorism” against the U.S. economy. If true, then this is clearly irregular warfare and needs to be further investigated.

Nonetheless, it was the catalyst for the implementation of “sequestration.” It provided the vehicle for the unilateral disarmament of our military forces.

With the United States being challenged throughout the world, our reduced military forces are severely stretched in meeting all their requirements. However, we still retain the capability to mount a massive, around-the-clock air campaign to defeat the Islamic State. The few strikes per day we are conducting in Iraq and Syria, with restricted rules of engagement, do not constitute a serious air campaign.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff know that what we are doing today in Iraq and Syria to defeat the Islamic State is wrong. By their acquiescence to the administration’s half-hearted war policies, they cannot escape being held accountable for the genocide the Islamic State will inflict on the Syrian inhabitants of Kobani, the Kurds and other minorities.

In a similar context, sending 4,000 military personnel to Ebola-infected countries makes no sense. It is symptomatic of an administration that views our military as expendable. This is not a military mission. Clearly, a comprehensive strategy needs to be developed that involves the United Nations, the World Health Organization and nongovernmental organizations throughout the world to contain this deadly virus. Common sense demands that the infected countries must be quarantined. All commercial flights in and out of these countries must be immediately terminated. Chartered and other government aircraft can provide needed supplies, equipment and personnel.

When our military forces return from those infected countries, they will have to be held in quarantine before they can return to their home bases. The Enterovirus D68 that is showing up in schools is the result of letting 75,000 unscreened children with various diseases cross our borders, and then relocating them throughout the country. This is unconscionable. Our southern borders must be closed now.

The real question is, how do you change the disastrous Obama administration policies that affect our national security? Obviously, the ballot box is one way, but the one institution that has the power to send an unmistakable signal that will be heard throughout the country is the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It is time for them to live up to their oath of office — “to defend this country against all enemies foreign and domestic.” The Obama administration has clearly violated the Constitution and must be held accountable. Since we no longer can count on Congress, the Joint Chiefs as a corporate body should voice their objections to administration policies that are threatening America’s security and that of our allies. It’s time to take back America.

Diplomacy and the Use of the military

Before expounding on Obama and the military, it is essential to understand the relationship and debate that has existed over the centuries between diplomacy and the use of military force. Crucial changes in American society, the defense of freedom and victory over her enemies all originate with the military. Using the military wisely implies that the military enters a war with the intent to win the war. Within the diplomatic sphere, war is diplomacy with arms, and in this phase war should be viewed as diplomacy at its worst, after all other options have been explored.

Politicians from various spectrums differ in the way they use diplomacy to achieve political and diplomatic goals. The use of military may be used used at the end of a failed or failing diplomatic process when an enemy threat still exists; called pre-emption. History demonstrates and statesmen have confirmed that war ensues when diplomacy fails. Many conservative leaning thinkers view the military within diplomacy, whereas many leaning toward the left (Statists) have detached the military from the diplomatic process. Under the Obama Administration the military has not been appropriately used to improve diplomatic relations, largely because the military is not viewed as a mechanism to achieve diplomatic success.

The endgame to war is Victory but is hardly in the vocabulary of the current senior leadership in America. Military leaders have been directed not to even use the word Victory in their dialogue with the press and others. But the definition of victory and the path getting there are transformed when political ambitions are revealed. For instance, while the Bush Administration has called the post-9/11 wars the “War on Terror” the Obama Administration changed the name to “Overseas Contingency Operations”. The former created a paradigm shift whereby the United States was fighting an ideology, terror, rather than a nation-state. Retreat is now known as withdrawal or “drawdown” and victory is now known as “nation building” or “transition.”

However, the change in semantics by the Obama Administration creates an interesting modification that has proceeded unnoticed by the public. War inevitably implies boots on the ground, the involvement of ranking officers and geo-strategic decision making from the Department of Defense. The Obama Administration has “mixed” the roles of war within diplomacy with more agencies: the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Department of Defense (White House, 2012). The Obama Administration is making the State Department and the overarching bureaucratic influence more relevant and the U.S. military less relevant in the process of diplomacy.

In Iraq, where increasing violence by ISIS/ISIL and clandestine high-level takeovers and assassinations by Iranian groups have occurred over the past year, the Obama Administration further states that, “In Iraq, these temporary operations and assistance programs are necessary to sustain a civilian-led mission; strengthen the capacity of the Iraqi government through police training, criminal justice programs, and military assistance; and ensure the [State] Department and USAID have the necessary resources to support and secure the diplomatic mission”. President Obama may think that he is cleverly shaping a new form of diplomacy, but what he is really doing is undermining and even breaking the military role that can be leveraged to strengthen diplomatic aims and ensure an American victory.

Conservatives envision the military as a crucial component of diplomacy, an important union. President Obama and other Statists on the other hand, view the military as a hindrance to diplomacy. Changing diplomacy therefore, is being carried out a number of ways by the Obama Administration: diminishing the military role and leadership in diplomacy; manipulating the rules of engagement; and making the U.S. military irrelevant elsewhere.

Admittedly, the use of the military pre-Obama has not been perfect. In fact, numerous miscalculations in strategy committed by the White House can be found from President Kennedy onward. From Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan, Commanders-in-Chief have neglected or abused the diplomatic role of the military. Kennedy started the Vietnam War with Advisors, Johnson deepened the commitment in Vietnam and Nixon ended it and no clear endgame or achieving Victory with near 58,000 American lives lost in battle. Carter failed in properly managing the US economy and was paralyzed when it came to using the military as a powerful diplomatic tool; caving in to Iranian revolutionary Islamic fanatics.

The last major diplomatic victory was the collapse of the Soviet Empire and the “Wall” coming down due to Reagan’s leadership and vision. If one error could be highlighted it would be in 1983 when over 200 US Marines and over 50 French soldiers were unwisely billeted in a building at the Beirut airport (not a good role for Marines) killed in Beirut, Lebanon. The Muslim terrorists were emboldened and America and her allies have paid dearly in the Middle East ever since. The failures have continued, H.W. Bush was about three days from toppling Iraq’s Hussein in 1991 and why didn’t he order the military to proceed anyway? Because, we subjugated our nation to the United Nations.

Clinton, who needed to learn the military salute properly after he became President, began on a foundation of incoherent foreign policy with the Bosnian War, Black Hawk Down, the 1993 bombing of New York’s World Trade Center, and two US embassies in Africa bombed, weaved with scandalous behavior in the Oval Office, and had no clear military success.

Problems existed under George W. Bush as well. Although the Bush Administration cited WMD (weapons of mass destruction) as part of the justification to invade Iraq, Bush and the Pentagon ignored the fact that chemical weapons were transferred from Iraq to Syria in 2003. This has worsened problems in Syria even today. Col. Cowan (Ret.) recalls that, “The way we fought the war in Iraq at the outset was tragic and outrageous because the Pentagon and the military leadership did not understand what they were dealing with. They purposely ignored the lessons of Vietnam”.

Toward the end of the Bush Administration the COIN (counterinsurgency) strategy in Iraq was a fresh idea, and perpetuated by Obama in Afghanistan. However the overall effects of COIN are devastating and have rewarded our enemies. Undoubtedly there has been an accumulation and compounding of the disharmony of the military within diplomacy over the past 52 years, however Obama has accelerated the division by downsizing, degrading and demoralizing the U.S. military.

Obama’s campaign and ideology: Diminishing the U.S. Military

America’s legacy as one of the oldest existing democracies on earth can only be preserved so long as: 1) a majority of U.S. citizens are actively involved in a genuinely representative government; 2) a growing economy persists; and 3) a strong military is maintained to protect the former. This simple triad of democracy becomes predictably fragile when the three are not in balance. The budget deficit and a stagnant economy threaten to destabilize this equilibrium, declining public involvement in governmental affairs has weakened a once strong citizenry, and unpredictable leadership for the U.S. military questions our security.

Part of Obama’s political plan to “change America” as he himself has stated, is to downsize the U.S. military. While one can argue that long-standing trends have eroded our military, very little has been done to stem the decline. Indeed, some argue that Obama has exacerbated problems related to military missions abroad, and our foreign policy positions.

Obama’s first term

Obama’s first year in office did not instill much confidence among military strategists or foreign-policy makers in Washington, DC. Obama revealed his flawed leadership amidst two major events in 2009, the emergence of the Green Revolution in Iran and the abandonment of the missile shield project in Poland and the Czech Republic.

In mid-June of 2009 the test of Obama’s leadership would reveal his feeble responses, and lack of decisiveness on Iran, as Obama said,

“As odious as I consider some of President Ahmadinejad’s statements, as deep as the differences that exist between the United States and Iran on a range of core issues…We will continue to pursue a tough, direct dialogue between our two countries, and we’ll see where it takes us. But even as we do so, I think it would be wrong for me to be silent about what we’ve seen on the television over the last few days.  And what I would say to those people who put so much hope and energy and optimism into the political process, I would say to them that the world is watching and inspired by their participation, regardless of what the ultimate outcome of the election was. And they should know that the world is watching”.

This is a response that would have been appropriate in the Western world, but Obama, throughout the past four years, has neglected to properly assess Iran and other threats in the Middle East because he doesn’t fully comprehend the way America’s enemies think. Since the U.S. officially withdrew in December 2011, “assassinations by Iranians have been quietly conducted, killing Iraqis who worked with or supported the United States. Selective assassinations of individuals [were conducted against those who] wereclose to the U.S. [forces]. Even before the U.S. pulled out, retired and former Iraqis officers and pilots who had participated in the Iran/Iraq war were being assassinated” (Cowan, 2012).

The Obama Administration’s shortsighted decision to remove the missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic on September 17, 2009 fueled uncertainty in U.S. foreign policy and was ill-timed. First, the Obama Administration abandoned the project without discussing the issue with or informing their Polish or Czech Republic counterparts. Secondly, the Obama Administration did not use the decision to leverage other issues with Russia, an obvious sign of weakness in foreign policy. Thirdly and worst of all, the Obama Administration chose the most undesirable date to make the public announcement when ending American support for a missile shield: on the 70th anniversary of the Russian invasion of Poland. Culturally speaking, anniversaries are incredibly symbolic to the Polish people and the brazen announcement by the Obama Administration was not well received by the people of Eastern Europe. “The project is of puny importance militarily, but of enormous significance symbolically…the former captive nations the Shield signifies the US commitment to maintaining their freedom”. The Obama Administration unraveled nearly three decades of trust and hard work that was carefully built between America and Eastern Europe.

Obama’s Cairo speech in 2009 needs to be front and center and is a reflection of the ignorance of his advisors, speech writers and thinking of the Muslim world. Obama gave an inspiring speech to the people in Egypt; however Obama’s speechwriters are incredibly detached from Obama’s actions in the foreign policy sphere. Giving a speech emphasizing acceptance, peace and harmony between America and the Muslim world is one matter, however following through with genuine action is another.

U.S. MILITARY RULES OF ENGAGEMENT AND PRESIDENT OBAMA

The Obama policy makers in the White House and Pentagon have degraded the fighting capabilities of our forces with restrictive Rules of Engagement (ROE). In fairness, Bush initiated very restrictive ROEs.

Instead of being afraid of U.S. firepower, the enemy uses our own Rules of Engagement and restrictions on artillery support against us:

”—U.S. Marine officer quoted in Defense magazine, August, 2012 – Rules of engagement a key issue in U.S. Marine’s court-martial”—L.A. Times, January 2012. “

We called for artillery support and were told we were too close to a village. They ignored us.” A lot of men were dying”— stated Sgt Dakota Meyer, Medal of Honor recipient and veteran of battle of Gangjal.

In today’s world conflicts, the U.S. military operates under guidelines governing their use of deadly force. These guidelines are officially known as Rules of Engagement (ROE). Some countries consider their official ROE as guidelines only, but the U.S. military considers ROE as lawful orders to be strictly obeyed.

Historically, ROE were articulated to limit the damage done by troops of warring nations while accomplishing a military objective. The International Institute of Humanitarian Law publishes what is known as the San Remo Guidelines of ROE. Many countries have used the San Remo document as a basis for their ROE. NATO also publishes ROE to be used by member nations, but has no power to enforce their implementation.

What are the current basics of the ROE our forces operate under? And why do our serving soldiers say they are confusing, ambiguous, and causing unnecessary casualties?

Here is a narrative given by soldiers in an Army platoon discussing ROE with a combat correspondent “In country (Afghanistan) they gave us Use of Force Escalation kits. They are designed to keep people away from us in a non-lethal manner. The kits had “KEEP BACK” signs we could put on the back of our trucks, and small flares we could fire for warnings. Those were taken away and now we are told to drive in a normal manner. If cars back up behind us, we are supposed to pull over and let them pass. This takes our buffer, our zone of safety away. They pull up right beside us and detonate car bombs, or fire on us. It takes away our reaction time.”

It may seem incredible that our ROE have gotten to this point. Perhaps its best expressed by a young soldier in that same platoon: “Joe Biden flew over Kunar province and said it sure looked safe down there. Meanwhile, a hell of a firefight was raging on the ground”.

Maybe our civilian leaders are out of touch with the realities of ground combat. A basic tenet of ROE is that a soldier always has the “first right of defense”, meaning he may fire if fired upon, or, he may engage the enemy first, so long as he perceives a clear and present danger. Well, it used to be that way. Before President Obama took office, U.S. forces could open fire upon enemy combatants who were clearly and definitely observed planting IED’s in roadways. Now, they may have to ask permission through three levels of commanders.

“They are confusing the young soldiers”, complained a veteran NCO, “An IED is incredibly more dangerous in the hands of an enemy than a rifle, yet they have to get permission to engage the fighters”.

Welcome to the new world of infantry combat under Obama.

In World War II, the first thing a U.S. combat unit would do upon entering a town held by the German army was to clear civilians out of churches, and then blow the steeple towers down. Why? Bitter experience taught them that church steeples contained snipers and artillery observers.

Try doing the same today with a mosque. We have devolved in a bad way. There comes a time in infantry combat where a condition sets itself over the scene. It’s called the “fog of war”; a term first used by Clausewitz, a Prussian military general. He wrote that in war everything is simple. You have an army here and an army over there; at some point they will collide and a battle will ensue. But in the confusion of battle, Clausewitz wrote, accomplishing even the simplest tasks becomes incredibly hard. Clausewitz coined this theory around 1830. It’s still valid today. Radios fail, aircraft engines malfunction, units get lost, weapons systems jam. It’s all part of battle. Difficult ROE makes the battle that much harder.

WWII generals such as George Patton and Omar Bradley knew the advantage in seizing ground swiftly and with violence. They ordered their subordinates to overwhelm the enemy with violence of action and maximum force in order to gain ground and shorten the war. The ROE they operated under were clearly defined, and they passed those ROE down to their troops. Patton and Bradley had no intention of placing unnecessary danger or risk on their troops.

WW2 American generals had no intention of allowing the enemy to gain a tactical or strategic advantage and in any event, were not hampered by “Out of Touch” ROE. In every war in history, atrocities have been committed on both sides. A general cannot control the actions of every one of his soldiers on the battlefield. It is a regrettable, but factual, part of war.

In December of 1944, German SS general Jocheim Peiper was rushing to gain ground in the Ardennes forest and overrun American positions. Near the town of Malmedy, Belgium, he took custody of approximately 85 American soldiers who surrendered. According to his account, he didn’t have the means or the time to care for them, so he had them shot.

In retaliation, American soldiers methodically shot captured members of Peiper’s command. An American Colonel issued an order that stated, “No SS troops will be taken prisoner”. Both acts are inexcusable, and both armies attempted to justify their acts under the pressure of combat.

Here is the bottom line: American soldiers should be able to defend themselves in any situation, in any environment, if there is a clear and hostile threat. An American soldier takes an oath to protect and defend the United States and the constitution against all enemies. An American soldier is also bound by the rules of land warfare to provide all the protection he can to non-combatants and children, and to minimize, where possible, collateral damage that may occur. This includes private property and property of no military value.

However, if your enemy is using a mosque to employ snipers against you, or planting IED’s in public buildings, the U.S. military should employ all means necessary to neutralize that threat.

It is regrettable that in Iraq and Afghanistan, our enemies choose a cowardly way of fighting a war; i.e. hiding in a mosque so that they can then kill our soldiers, or deliberately using non-combatants as human shields. As horrible as those circumstances are, however, Americans should always have the right to defend themselves.

There are several stories about wanton killings and atrocities against civilians committed by American troops deployed in combat zones. But the total number of those incidents is outweighed not by the hundreds, but by the thousands, in terms of how U.S. troops have taken casualties, rather than risk collateral damage to non-combatants.

Appeasement

“With a few exceptions on minor issues, Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have preached and practiced appeasement toward Moscow. One example is the signing of the START II treaty of 2011, which put America’s security at a disadvantage by forcing the US to obey by an agreement concluded with a party that no longer exists, the USSR. We are forced to disarm unilaterally. And now the Shield project will be scratched. President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.

President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…

President Obama: (putting his hand on Medvedev’s knee): This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.

President Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.

In a way, then, the unguarded remarks of Obama reflect the administration’s consistency and continuity in its policy of appeasing Russia. What’s unsavory about the whole affair is that a hot microphone accorded America and the world a glimpse at frank, back door deals between the most powerful leader on Earth and the boss of a regional power” ” Chodakiewicz, 2012: pp 1

Objectifying the Military

Obama has objectified the military personnel in ways that divide rather than unite. The overall morale of the military after poorly managed, drawn out wars in Afghanistan and Iraq was already unstable by 2009 when Obama became Commander-in-Chief. Obama has done little to boost the morale in the military and has offered no realistic solutions to strengthen our military. In fact, the evidence discloses that Obama has set our military on a course of unpredictable erosion and decay through acts that have demoralized our military.

A number of misplaced priorities between the White House and the Pentagon have distracted our military from a core mission. “We’ve allowed ourselves to get out of control,” according to the Army’s top enlisted soldier who has surveyed U.S. military bases globally, Sgt. Maj. Raymond F Chandler III. While his aim has been to improve discipline and focus among the armed forces, Sgt. Maj. Chandler’s own leadership has been uncertain. Jaffe emphasizes “As the war in Afghanistan draws to a close, more senior officers worry that the Army has not been able to articulate a clear mission that will enable it to hold on to its shrinking share of the Pentagon budget” (2012: pp. 2). An internal survey conducted in December 2011 indicates that Obama has not had an uplifting influence on the personnel and morale of the military, “only 26 percent of Army leaders believed that the Army was ‘headed in the right direction to prepare for the challenges of the next 10 years,’ down from 38 percent in 2006”.

What could cause such a decline in the confidence of the military officers for its Commander-in-Chief? Firstly, the priorities of the code of conduct have changed. Today’s Generals are occupied with covering up incidents so that it does not affect their career to be concerned the greater need of boldly leading their soldiers. Remember the SEALS who were going to be court-martialed after they brought in a confirmed Taliban prisoner with a bloody nose? That guy fought back and they had to subdue him. How about the death of Pat Tillman? Both were tragedies, but what the Generals should do is SPEAK UP and tells it like it is.

Obama is socializing the Military.

The repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has taken precedence over the sexual harassment (and even rape) of men and women in the military. With all the associated problems of being involved in two wars, Obama’s top agenda with the military was to cater to homosexuals. The military should not be coerced into being a place for social experimentation. The irony of serving as a soldier is that he or she necessarily gives up a lot of basic rights for the common good of the mission to protect the rights of U.S. citizens and the nation. There are a whole host of problems inherent in Obama’s repeal such as: Do we allow on-base housing for “married same-sex couples”? Do we allow PDA’s (public displays of affection) between gay military members when it has always been discouraged among heterosexual members if it is detrimental to good order and discipline? Do we allow same-sex dancing in on-base clubs? Do we allow a gay soldier to file a complaint against his/her commanding officer alleging maltreatment because of sexual orientation when in reality it is actually a case of substandard performance by the gay soldier? The military will under Obama, and it will distort the oneness and equality needed for military commanders. Overall the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has had a tremendous negative effect on the military. No special group should be catered to within the military, whether it is based on gender, sexual orientation, or race. “The military to Obama is a big social experiment and he has demonstrated that in his policies”

The increasing numbers of wounded warriors, including PTSD, and suicides under Obama is also disconcerting. 2012 marked the record number of suicides over the past decade among soldiers and family members, most who have never been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, according to the Military Suicide Research Consortium. The feeling of hopelessness, internal pain, inability to cope with life’s challenges can be attributed to the lack of inspiring leadership in the military.

The lack of concern for the soldier’s political vote, sending the ballots early in October to reach the polls before 6 November 2012, even conveniently losing the ballots, was another act of disrespect by the Obama Administration and their policies.

Obama is committed to slashing the military budget and would rather send needed troops home than dismiss an over-bloated bureaucracy to make a leaner Pentagon. According to LTC Bill Cowan (Ret, USMC.),

“The number of reports generated every month by the Pentagon is staggering. There is a growing government affinity for generating regulations and reports, which sends a message that wars don’t grow, but the Pentagon bureaucracy does. If you cut one-quarter of the staff in the Pentagon we will not lose our war fighting capability. In fact, we may even get better!” (2012).

Nation Building

This misconceived war fighting strategy has cost the U.S. valuable human and financial resources (billions of dollars) with no victories for the American people. How can we expect Muslim (Sharia guided) countries of the Middle East to adopt democracy and is certainly not a mission of the Armed Forces. Do not confuse the terms “nation building” with “foreign internal defense” (FID). FID means organizing a resistance movement by training indigenous personnel to combat and overthrow a murderous regime that supports terrorist attacks on the U.S. The terms are quite different. “Nation Building” is more properly the purview of the U.N., private sector initiatives, NGOs, the Red Cross or some interim governing body. Our military objective should be to get in, eliminate the threat posed by belligerents to the U.S. and get out. This is also a basic tenet of the Lilly Pad strategy. We do not need to build huge bases in foreign countries that publicly ask us for help and undermine the US and its mission. Earlier, I mentioned Forward Operating Bases. The best current example I can give is the Australian army in Afghanistan. Their soldiers live in “battle boxes” (conexes) with small generators for light and a/c. Their perimeters are well guarded and enclosed by concertina wire and claymore mines to repel attacks. Their ammo bunkers are battle boxes partially submerged in the ground and protected by sandbagging. An entire base like this can be set up in a day and a half, and removed and placed elsewhere in about the same time.]

The COIN strategy as discussed previously was implemented in Vietnam and Iraq however it was expanded by Obama in Afghanistan.

Col. Douglas MacGregor (US Army Ret), Military Strategist and Author writes:

“When the Surge in Iraq began, no one in Washington was interested in explaining why the world’s most powerful military establishment led by Petraeus was buying off its Sunni Arab opponents with hundreds of millions of dollars, effectively supplanting counterinsurgency with cash-based cooptation.[iv]  When the Surge in Iraq ended, no one in Washington wanted to discuss why Tehran’s Shiite allies in Baghdad restrained their fighters, and waited until the U.S. occupation ended before consolidating their control of Arab Iraq. In 2009, an Iraqi journalist described the outcome in terms no serious observer of the conflict could ignore:

‘Observers not steeped in Iraqi history might be bemused to find that six years after the toppling of a dictator, after the death of several hundred thousand Iraqis, a brutal insurgency, trillions of wasted dollars and more than 4,000 dead US soldiers, the country is being rebuilt along very familiar lines: concentration of power, shadowy intelligence services and corruption’” (2012).

Feedback that I have received from many mid-level officers and non-commissioned officers voice many and varied new doubts about the Army’s battlefield performances and senior leadership in Iraq and Afghanistan. A few years ago, Army officers almost universally celebrated the service’s freshly minted counterinsurgency doctrine and its ability to adapt to a new kind of warfare. Soldiers who were trained to fight tank battles shifted to a style of combat that emphasized politics, cultural awareness and protecting the local population from insurgent attacks.

Today Iraq, which is still wracked by violence and heavily influenced by Iran and ISIS forces has provided no victory for America and we do expect victory when we expend great losses of life and thousands of wounded troops. In Afghanistan, a surge of more than 30,000 U.S. troops has produced a stalemate that leaves soldiers counting down to withdrawal at the end of 2014.

Donovan summarizes his view of the illusions of Obama’s COIN strategy success here:

“In the interests of such political correctness, relevant terms like Islam, Islamist, Muslim, and even terrorist have been stricken from the public vocabulary with JCS help. Witness the recent Benghazi fiasco! The debate is not over mayhem or atrocity committed in God’s name. National politicians and the military brass are arguing whether or not to use the word “terrorist” in their reports dealing with Muslim barbarities.” (2012, p. 1)

And consider the ‘inside baseball’ spat over doctrine to be used against the nameless enemy; the counter-terror versus counter-insurgency (COIN) debate within the military. Petraeus apologists believe that the former ISAF commander reinvented the US Army with new doctrine; and then rode the COIN horse to promotions and prominence.

In truth, COIN played little or no role in Iraq or Afghanistan for two reasons; the force ratios required by Army doctrine, impractical theory, were never achieved. And both conflicts, like most Muslim wars, are civil, not insurgent. These internecine Islamic fights are between Sunni and Shia or between autocrats and theocrats. Neither NATO nor the US Army has the charter or doctrine to resolve these or any other religious or tribal civil wars. Evolution might be the only solution to any Muslim pathology.

COIN had nothing to do with tactical “success” in Iraq or Afghanistan either, but such distractions may contribute to strategic defeat. Theoretical illusions, even those nursed in the halls of ivy, are blinders. Theory, or more honestly, politicized military doctrine does not win wars…

While the U.S. still has the best war fighting force in the world, Generals have become more concerned with political correctness than they are with war fighting capability and future strategies against current and future threats( our borders, for example). This is in contrast to the soldiers focusing on the mission. However there has been an inflation of military Generals as LTC Bill Cowan recalls. During WWII our military had one General for about every 2,000 enlisted men and women, today we have one General for about every 400 enlisted men and women. Do these extra Generals enhance or augment our war fighting capability?

Obama has thus far not improved the U.S. military after President George W. Bush and Obama has no successes to claim. To be fair, as mentioned previously the military has been eroding at various levels over the generations, however the Obama Administration has served as more of a catalyst to the erosion rather than a stabilizer. Reminiscent of the World War I song, “Over There,” by World War II the U.S. military was labeled by the Europeans as being “Over-paid, Over-sexed, and Over Here” Today it could be argued that the U.S. military is over-regulated, over-promoted, and over-stretched.

Benghazi was a blatant failure by Obama and most of the military leadership. For the 2012 election, it is highly suspected that Obama personally requested that the Royal Family in Saudi Arabia increase oil production to ease the complaints about gas prices among voters before the election. If true, this demonstrates that Obama is willing to manipulate the economy solely for his selfish gain. Therefore would it be any surprise that Obama would be willing to negatively influence the US military, if he is willing to maneuver the prices of gasoline at the pump to deceive the voter?

Now obvious that the Muslim Brotherhood has support in the White House.

Obama’s Military Evolution

The continued corruption of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has been perpetuated by Obama. Obama Administration has no successes to claim.

Promises to exit Iraq and Afghanistan without a stable and effective plan have left both countries more vulnerable than ever. Obama’s failures to negotiate a proper status of forces agreement (SOFA) in Iraq

Our foreign policy is about other people liking us instead of other people fearing us. For instance, over the past decade, the US has been more concerned about a friendly relationship with Karsai than with leading Afghanistan out of corruption and war. How the US handles Karsai has steered our foreign policy platform and it has killed more troops under Obama.

Obama’s Future Leadership

Obama creates urgency at the last minute. Obama’s strategy is to push the pressure point. Obama’s projected budget cuts for the military are expected to be politically charged, with little effectiveness largely because Obama does not want to understand the tradition of the U.S. military. While recognizing that the U.S. still has the most powerful military in the world, Colonel Bill Cowan (ret.) asks, “if we don’t have a Commander-in-Chief that understands this and is not willing to exercise force at the right time, then why have the most powerful military in the world?” Cowan also confesses, “We have political leadership that is more interested in their next promotion than they are taking care of the military…Don’t ask the generals for their opinion on defense cuts, they have a vested interest and will not address the spending problem properly. It’s best to ask Sergeant Majors on a panel, ‘where cuts should be made?’”

Some might argue that Colin Powell became too politicized. However, one could argue it began with General Washington after the Revolution, General Grant after the Civil War, and General Eisenhower after World War II. However today, in order for a flag or command staff person to get a promotion, it must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. So over the past few generations of high-ranking military, the military has had to please the Democrats. Donovan quoted a veteran who asked regarding General Petraeus, “How does an officer with no personal experience of direct fire combat in Panama or Desert Storm become a division CDR (101st Airborne) in 2003…(and how does) a man who served repeatedly as a sycophantic aide-de-camp, military assistant and executive officer to four stars get so far?” Politics inevitably skews the military leadership; the question is, for better or worse? What is the motive when our Generals take a promotion from General to the State Department, the Joint Chiefs of Staff or the Head of the CIA?

Now that Obama is, for better or worse, our Commander-in-Chief for another four years, it is imperative that our General officers SPEAK UP, for the sake of our troops and the American people. We do NOT advocate a “coup d’état” against the principle that wisely keeps civilian control over our military; but what we SHOULD espouse is that our active General officers use every means and opportunity to address the threats that the U.S. now faces.

Reviewing the details, the disappointing relationship between Obama and the military is very real and apparent. President Barack Obama signed a $633 billion defense bill for 2013 despite serious concerns about the limits Congress imposed on his handling of terror suspects and lawmakers’ unwillingness to back the cost-saving retirement of aging ships and aircraft.

Obama had threatened to veto the measure because of a number of concerns, but relented because he couldn’t pick and choose specific sections. However, in a statement, the president spelled out his concerns about restrictions on his ability to carry out his constitutional duties as commander in chief. Specifically, he complained that the bill limits the military’s authority to transfer third-country nationals being held at a detention facility in Parwan, Afghanistan. He also took issue with restrictions on his authority to transfer terror suspects from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

“Decisions regarding the disposition of detainees captured on foreign battlefields have traditionally been based upon the judgment of experienced military commanders and national security professionals without unwarranted interference by members of Congress,” Obama wrote.

He said the section of the bill related to detainees in Afghanistan “threatens to upend that tradition, and could interfere with my ability as commander in chief to make time-sensitive determinations about the appropriate disposition of detainees in an active area of hostilities.”

Obama promised when he took office four years ago to close the prison at Guantanamo, but congressional opposition from Republicans and some Democrats have prevented him from fulfilling that vow. The law limits his authority to transfer terror suspects to foreign countries or move them to the United States. Obama insisted that he still believes that Guantanamo should be shuttered because operating the facility “weakens our national security by wasting resources, damaging our relationships with key allies and strengthening our enemies.”

The president has his administration will interpret the bill’s provisions and if they violate the constitutional separation of power, he will implement them in a way to avoid that conflict.

The law puts off the retirement of some ships and aircraft, and Obama warned that the move could force reductions in the overall size of the military as the Defense Department faces cuts in projected spending. The law includes cuts in defense spending that the president and congressional Republicans agreed to in August 2011, along with the end of the war in Iraq and the drawdown of American forces in Afghanistan. And it would authorize $528 billion for the Defense Department’s base budget, $17 billion for defense and nuclear programs in the Energy Department and $88.5 billion for the war in Afghanistan.

The measure tightens penalties on Iran to thwart its nuclear ambitions and bulk up security at diplomatic missions worldwide after the deadly Sept. 11 raid in Libya.

As suicides among active-duty soldiers have accelerated, the bill also allows a commander officer or health professional to ask if a member of the services owns a firearm if they consider the individual at risk for either suicide or hurting others.

The bill includes a Senate-passed provision sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., that expands health insurance coverage for military women and their dependents who decide to have abortions in cases of rape and incest. Previously, health coverage applied only to abortions in cases where the life of the mother was endangered. The measure includes a 1.7 percent pay raise for military personnel.

Conclusions: Conflict within the executive branch and the military will continue to cause misdirection and confusion on future US National Security and adaptable global conflict strategies. We must have more sense and wisdom about engagement and conflicts in this year 2013 and beyond. We do not seem to look back in history well and have major problems in seeing and forecasting the future. We seem to be a nation that is rudderless. We, the people, are the “Masters of our Fate and Captains of our Soul and Destiny”.

The Nature of change – War and conflict will remain a human endeavor, a conflict between two forces, yet changes in the political landscape, adaptations by the enemy, and advances in technology and techniques will change the character of the battle. Leaders are often late to recognize such changes and adjust to the proper uses of hard and soft power options, and even when they do, inertia tends to limit their ability to adapt quickly. Driven by an inherent desire to bring order to a disorderly, chaotic universe, human beings tend to frame their thoughts about the future in terms of continuities and extrapolations from the present and occasionally the past. But a brief look at the past quarter century, to say nothing of the past four thousand years, suggests the extent of changes that coming decades will bring.

Any updated US strategic doctrine will still have to include preemption across many fronts. Inevitably, there will be new perils that may require “anticipatory self-defense.” Where rationality cannot be assumed, and where the effectiveness of missile defense would be low, the only alternative to capable and lawful forms of American preemption could be surrender and defeat.

All policy makers need to ask and answer to the American people, “What is the US and Western civilization fighting for?” “What is it that we are defending and protecting based on our Constitution?” Well, it’s everything that shariah Islam stands against: Judeo-Christian principles, individual liberty, equality before the law, equality of Muslim and non-Muslim, men and women; it is the freedom to believe as our conscience directs us, even if that means no belief at all, or changing beliefs; it means protections for minorities; pluralism, and tolerance….but all within the ethical framework of human reason as laid down by the Founding Fathers.

We hope President Obama will take heed and strengthen the United States for the future by his relationship with our Military and ensure the future security of the United States.

Paul E Vallely MG, US Army (Ret)
Chairman – Stand Up America
E-Mail: princenemo@reagan.com
“ Celtic Warrior”
Skype: paulvallely
http://www.standupamericaus.org
http://www.soldiersmemorialfund.org

Sources:

Cowan, William. (2012) Interview on December 4, 2012.
Chodakiewicz, Marek. (2012) “Hot Mike Gate.” Institute of World Politics. March 28, 2012http://www.iwp.edu/news_publications/detail/hot-mike-gate
Dilanian, Ken. (2012) “Fact check: Iran’s ‘Green Revolution’ in 2009.” Los Angeles Times October 22, 2012.
Donnelly, John M. “Rise of Military Suicides Driven By More Than War.” Roll Call December 9. 2012https://msrc.fsu.edu/news/rise-military-suicides-driven-more-war
Jaffe, Greg. (2012) “Army at crossroads: Facing budget cuts and uncertainty about future role.” The Washington Post November 22, 2012.
MacGregor, Col. Douglas (2012) “The Petraeus Saga: Epitaph for a Four Star” CounterPunchNovember 14, 2012 http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/11/14/epitaph-for-a-four-star/
Nation, Craig R. (2010) “Chapter 8: Thucydides and Contemporary Strategy.” in: Bartholomees, J. Boone Jr. (ed.) The U.S. Army War College Guide to National Security Issues, Volume I: Theory of War and Strategy (4th Edition). Carlisle, PA: The Strategic Studies Institute.
White House. (2012) “Overseas Contingency Operations.”www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2013/assets/overseas.pdf

RAND PAUL: IT’S AMERICA’S FAULT

Rand-Paul-GOP-maine-apBreitbart, by DR. SEBASTIAN GORKA:

Clearly, for some, 2016 is just around the corner. For weeks now there is scuttlebutt about presidential candidate repeat-offender Mitt Romney running yet again, and now Rand Paul is drastically watering down his isolationist and conspiracy-laden past in the hopes of becoming a contender. The senator’s attempt to reinvent himself is largely superficial and points to deeper problems.

On Friday in New York, Paul gave his national security stump speech, unveiling as he did so his platform of “conservative realism,” and sounding in places as if he was reversing some of his key beliefs.

Like the “curates egg,” there were some bad parts and some positive elements to the speech. To begin with, when the politician most associated with the new version of libertarianism that favors a United States detached from the world says “America cannot disengage from the world,” that is news, indeed– and something to be welcomed by those who agree that we cannot realistically and safely disengage internationally.

But the omissions of the speech are strange and hard to fathom. No mention of Israel; no mention of the border or immigration; no mention of the NSA trammeling our privacy rights.

However, it is hard to disagree with the Senator that our forces were magnificent in the weeks after 9/11 as a small group of Special Operators with local assistance demolished the Taleban and routed Al Qaeda, and that afterward their success was progressively undermined by ever-increasing mission-creep.

And it is easy to agree with Paul’s utter contempt for the way in which, more recently, the Obama administration used force in Libya without a real strategy, let alone Congressional consent.

But then taken as a whole, the speech is neither an about-turn for the isolationist– sorry Paulites, I mean “non-interventionist”– politician, nor does it add up to a new plan under which the right will finally act coherently on national security issues.

On the contrary, it is confused and disingenuous. Let’s begin with the confusion.

In a week that saw two jihadist attacks in Canada and one in New York, one would expect a trenchant and forthright handling of the threat that has shaped our age. Instead Paul gave us this:

The world does not have an Islam problem, the world has a dignity problem, with millions of men and women across the Middle East being treated as chattel by their own governments.

Sorry? A dignity problem? Who denied Osama bin Laden or Major Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter, their dignity? Perhaps the Boston bombers were denied their dignity, but not because they lived in a Middle Eastern nation where the government treated them as property. On the contrary, if their dignity was undermined it was in the form of the Massachusetts state subsidies they received without having to earn them (something the younger Tsarnaev actually boasted about on social media).

So where could this newfound concern for the downtrodden of the world come from for Senator Paul? In truth, the old Rand Paul is lurking just beneath the surface, as this line reveals: “Many of these same governments have been chronic recipients of our aid.” So, Islam is not to blame for jihadi terrorism. America is, because we support unjust regimes.

The fact that Paul uses this argument is not only disturbing in that it negates the responsibility of the jihadists – it’s their governments, and America that keeps them in power – but also because this is the fallacious reasoning behind the Obama’s administration’s counterterrorism strategy.

Senator Paul is not only channeling Chomsky with this speech, he has also reinforced the White House line that ideology is irrelevant in this war and that terrorism is understandably a result of the oppression of Muslims around the word.

Perhaps none of this should be a surprise. We are talking about a man who believes in Alex Jones’ one-world government conspiracy theories about the Bilderberg Group and thatevil masterminds want to create a unitary state out of America, Canada and Latin America. Hardly presidential material.

Sebastian Gorka PhD is the Matthew C. Horner Distinguished Chair of Military Theory, Marine Corps University, and National Security Affairs Editor for Breitbart.com. Follow him on Twitter at: @SebGorka.

Team of Bumblers? Are Susan Rice and Chuck Hagel equal to today’s new national-security challenges?

141026_hirsh_hagel_rice_apBy Michael Hirsh:

When President Obama, after months of equivocation over how to respond to the takeover of parts of Iraq and Syria by radical militants, announced in September that the United States would “lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat,” the White House swung quickly into action, sending proposed legislation to train and equip Syrian rebels to Capitol Hill that same day.

Unfortunately, the White House failed to consult with the Pentagon—which would be doing most of the rolling back—on the timing or details of the announcement.

According to multiple sources, behind the scenes a few things went badly awry in the launch of Obama’s new policy. First, the Pentagon was surprised by the president’s timing, according to a senior defense official. “We didn’t know it was going to be in the speech,” he said, referring to Obama’s Sept. 10 address to the nation. Second, the White House neglected to give Pentagon lawyers a chance to revise and approve the proposed legislative language before it went to the Hill, which is considered standard practice. Staffers working for Rep. Buck McKeon, the Republican chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said they were appalled by what they saw: language so sloppy that it failed to mention adequate protections against so-called “green-on-blue” attacks by trainees on American troops, and effectively left the Defense Department liable for funding the mission against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)—even though the president was telling members of Congress he didn’t need money for this new mission, since the Saudis were putting it up. “What came over would have not have been a mission the DoD could have executed,” says a senior Republican committee staffer.

The Armed Services Committee later went directly to the Pentagon and worked out new language, the White House approved it, and Obama signed the legislation as part of a new Continuing Resolution on Sept. 19. But that was hardly the first instance in recent months when the White House failed to consult with the Pentagon. The office of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was taken by surprise as well last July, when national security adviser Susan Rice sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner requesting a withdrawal of the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) passed in 2002 to enable U.S. military action in Iraq. This letter came after Mosul, a key northern Iraqi city, had already fallen to ISIL and the scale of the threat was becoming clear. The letter was never acted on, and in fact the AUMF that Rice wanted withdrawn is now part of the very authority the administration says it is operating under, along with the 2001 AUMF against al Qaeda. The Pentagon was not given a heads-up about that letter either, according to multiple sources. “We didn’t know it was going over there, and there were significant concerns about it,” said the senior defense official. “We had these authorities to go into Iraq under the 2002 AUMF, which is what she wanted repealed. We believed the authorities were still needed.”
National Security Council spokesman Patrick Ventrell said the Pentagon was informed of the new plan against ISIL before it went to Congress, and that in fact Hagel and Dempsey were with the president the morning of the speech. Although he indicated it was not clear exactly what details of the new strategy were shared with the Pentagon and when, Ventrell said that coordination between the NSC and other agencies is ongoing and extensive, that Rice regularly hosts lunches with Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry. They “have a good, solid working relationship,” Ventrell said.

But it’s clear the finger-pointing between the White House and Pentagon reflects no mere technicality. Both examples cited to me by well-placed sources close to the Defense Department offer new evidence of a criticism that has dogged this administration for most of its six and a half years: that Barack Obama’s White House is so insular and tightly controlled it often avoids “outside” consultation—including with its own cabinet secretaries and agencies. That’s especially true when the issue is one of this president’s least favorite things: opening up new hostilities in foreign lands. To his critics—and I spoke with several for this article inside Obama’s administration as well as recent veterans of it—it’s all a reflection of the slapdash way a president so vested in “ending wars” has embraced his new one.

Indeed, the Syrian-rebel incident recalled a more famous instance of White House surprise tactics a year earlier, when after a stroll on the White House lawn with chief of staff Denis McDonough, Obama embarrassed Kerry by abruptly deciding to ask for congressional approval for bombing the regime of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad—only hours after Kerry had publicly declared that Assad was facing imminent action. (Ironically, after Congress quickly balked at approval, humiliating Obama, it was Kerry who rescued the president by securing an agreement with Russian help to force Assad to dismantle the chemical weapons that had prompted the threatened U.S. strike in the first place.)

In their recent memoirs, former defense secretaries Robert Gates and Leon Panetta also have described the White House-centric foreign policy of the Obama administration—in Panetta’s case, a White House that he said was so “eager to rid itself of Iraq” it rejected Pentagon advice about the need for residual troops in Iraq after 2011, opening the way for ISIL. Gates was even more pointed, writing that “suspicion and distrust of senior military officers by senior White House officials—including the president and vice president—became a big problem for me.”

Read more at Politico

Truth Revolt: FEAR OF EBOLA

Published on Oct 17, 2014 by TruthRevoltOriginals

A deadly epidemic is on the loose in America. It’s not an Ebola epidemic. It’s an epidemic of fear. In this must-see FIREWALL, Bill Whittle tells us not only that we should be optimistic, but WHY we should be optimistic, as well as what was done right, what was done wrong, and what needs to be done in the future.

Transcript

Hi everybody. I’m Bill Whittle and this is the Firewall.

There’s an epidemic breaking out in America – a deadly and destructive epidemic that can do catastrophic damage to our country and its people. It’s not an Ebola epidemic. It’s an epidemic of fear. It’s an epidemic of fear caused not only by the presence of a terrible disease, but by the sense that no one is in charge, no one is taking decisive action, and that the people charged with defending us against this kind of threat were asleep at the wheel and continue to flounder, lie to us, and cover their mistakes. When you get right down to it, this fear epidemic is caused by the belief that in this battle with Ebola, it’s the virus that has the initiative.

And it doesn’t have to be this way. All the American people need is a little honesty, and a little leadership, and if the Federal government cannot be counted on to tell you the politically incorrect truth, then that job falls to the states, or to the people themselves.

So let me try to tell you what there is to fear, why there is cause for optimism, and what actions need to be taken.

EVD, the Ebola Virus Disease, is a pretty simple, single strand of RNA that produces hemmoragic fever — in its later stages it destroys the walls of blood vessels and causes a host of horrific symptoms. The critical number — in terms of our ability to contain an outbreak — is the Basic Reproduction Number, R sub zero, usually spoken as “R Naught.” R naught is an estimate of how many people an infected person will pass the disease on to.

If R naught is less than one, the disease dies out over time. If greater than one, it will grow, and the bigger the number, the faster it will grow.

The deadly 1918 outbreak of influenza, spread easily by airborne droplets from sneezing, had an R naught of 2-3: every infected person infected two to three more. Measles, which is completely airborne, is extremely infections with an R naught of 12-18.

Ebola, in its present form, has an R naught of only 1-2. That number is very low, because Ebola is not transmitted either through the air or even through droplets, like measles or the flu. To contract Ebola, you need to be in direct physical contact, with a visibly symptomatic carrier, and even then the virus cannot pass through healthy skin but has to enter through the mouth, eyes, cuts, etc.

But that’s still a positive number, if a low one, and that means the disease spreads. But the one thing that we need to keep in mind is that the existing reproductive rate of 1-2 for Ebola is artificially much, much higher than it would be here in America, because it is derived from conditions in Central and now West Africa, where sanitary conditions are appalling and effective isolation virtually impossible. Ebola’s relatively low infection index is as high as it is almost exclusively because of burial customs in African culture, where tradition dictates that relatives wash the blood off the infected bodies by hand – blood that in the case of Ebola is extremely contagious, and there are not a lot a lot of rubber gloves or surgical masts in West Africa.

And there’s another factor: Ebola is not just spread by contact. It is also spread by fear. And in Africa that fear also drives these numbers much higher than they would normally be.

On September 18th, 2014 at least eight government health workers and journalists were found hacked to death in a latrine in Guinea, murdered in cold blood by villagers who thought they were in fact spreading the disease intentionally. There are reports of relatives breaking into hospitals in West Africa, assaulting the medical staff and removing, by force, extremely infectious individuals while shouting “There is no Ebola!” Riots broke out in the Guinean city of Neh-zeh Reh-KOH-ree, when health workers spraying disinfectant were thought to be spreading the disease. When a population attacks health workers, doctors and hospitals, instead of heeding them — well that R naught of 1-2 reflects all of that. We will not see that here.

Now despite these positive factors, this outbreak is in fact a very serious condition. Ebola, unlike most viruses, which can survive outside of a living body for only a few seconds or at most a few minutes, appears to be able to remain viable four up to three or fours days. So it’s a very persistent agent; hence the biohazard suits you so often see. And, of course, once contracted the disease is extremely lethal: fatality rates as high as 90% untreated and at least 50% under good conditions. So this is, in fact, a very serious problem but not an unmanageable one — especially if you live in the West. I suspect more people are going to die before we get this contained. But I do not see it breaking out into our population the way it has in Africa.

Now of course, that’s assuming we have a competent government. However: Federal authorities didn’t seem to give a second thought when large numbers of illegal aliens carrying various serious infections were simply tightly packed together and then distributed across the country. And, as usual, we seem to be critically short on test kits and anti-viral medications — especially vaccines. Why? We have known about this deadly disease since 1976. We have 11 carrier strike groups, fully armed and staffed, fully trained, with most of them operational at all times in order to defend the American people. Why are we so perpetually unprepared in the face of this serious and well-known threat? Is it because the present administration is so commited to the idea of open borders?

We’re also told that shutting off air travel to West Africa will hamper medical access and health care workers. Really? Really? You’re telling me that we can’t shut off civilian air traffic to these highly contagious areas without being smart enough to get medical personnel in and out of there, on military transports, with personnel who are presumably trained in chemical, biological and nuclear contamination protocols?

Some shameless Democrats are blaming budget cuts for this outbreak, but when the President spends $500 million of your tax dollars on Solyndra to make solar cells and then immediately goes bankrupt, taking that money with it; or when Obamacare is spending two thousand six hundred billion dollars in ten years, and they still can’t be prepared, then maybe the answer isn’t more money for the government. Maybe the answer is a government that gets its priorities straight when it comes to defending the American people.

And where’s the President on all this? Why does a private citizen have to stand here and make the case when this is in fact precisely the reason we have a chief executive in the first place?

Maybe he’s out fundraising. Maybe he’s playing golf. Maybe he just doesn’t care. But, as usual,  he sure as hell is not out in front of this issue – this one above all others — telling us why all we really have to fear is fear itself.

Also see:

“Tell Us The Truth For Once” – Judge Jeanine Pirro – Opening Statement

Published on Oct 4, 2014 by RightSightings2

Breitbart:

The Fox News Channel’s “Justice with Judge Jeanine” anchor, Judge Jeanine Pirro railed against the government’s handling of the Ebola crisis on Saturday.

Pirro played clips of the president saying that the likelihood of Ebola coming to the US was low, and responded “Right, and you can keep your doctor and your healthcare plan. Al Qaeda’s on the run, and ISIS is not Islamic.”

She then laid out the failures of government officials in dealing with patient Thomas Duncan, stating “come along with me and see if what I say makes sense. Thomas Duncan, Ebola man, lied to come here. Now why did he need to come here? Did he know that after transporting a dying woman refused by a Liberian hospital and sent home to die that he was then at risk? he is not a US citizen…and if our hospitals are all Ebola trained, why after he told them that he came from Liberia did the Dallas hospital send him home for yet another three days, during which time he became more contagious, vomiting around the apartment complex and exposing kids to the virus, who then go to school? And I should feel safe when the hospital today actually admitted that they lied when they said they didn’t know he was from Liberia?”

Pirro also slammed claims by government officials that they don’t want to cause a panic by saying “you don’t want us to panic? How about I don’t want us to die. Tell us the truth for once.”

She additionally recommended “no one and I mean no one should be allowed to enter the United States from any west African nation ravaged by Ebola and any American citizen who goes there and wants to come home needs to be quarantined for 21 days until we figure out what we’re doing.”  She added that the US should be concerned with the safety of its citizens first, not the economy of Liberia or political correctness.

 

Published on Oct 4, 2014 by Barracuda Brigade

 

***********

CDC Eboa Virus Disease Q&As on Transmission

What are body fluids?

Ebola has been detected in blood and many body fluids. Body fluids include saliva, mucus, vomit, feces, sweat, tears, breast milk, urine, and semen.

Can Ebola spread by coughing? By sneezing?

Unlike respiratory illnesses like measles or chickenpox, which can be transmitted by virus particles that remain suspended in the air after an infected person coughs or sneezes, Ebola is transmitted by direct contact with body fluids of a person who has symptoms of Ebola disease. Although coughing and sneezing are not common symptoms of Ebola, if a symptomatic patient with Ebola coughs or sneezes on someone, and saliva or mucus come into contact with that person’s eyes, nose or mouth, these fluids may transmit the disease.

What does “direct contact” mean?

Direct contact means that body fluids (blood, saliva, mucus, vomit, urine, or feces) from an infected person (alive or dead) have touched someone’s eyes, nose, or mouth or an open cut, wound, or abrasion.

How long does Ebola live outside the body?

Ebola is killed with hospital-grade disinfectants (such as household bleach). Ebola on dried on surfaces such as doorknobs and countertops can survive for several hours; however, virus in body fluids (such as blood) can survive up to several days at room temperature.

Are patients who recover from Ebola immune for life? Can they get it again – the same or a different strain?

Recovery from Ebola depends on good supportive clinical care and a patient’s immune response. Available evidence shows that people who recover from Ebola infection develop antibodies that last for at least 10 years, possibly longer.

We don’t know if people who recover are immune for life or if they can become infected with a different species of Ebola.

If someone survives Ebola, can he or she still spread the virus?

Once someone recovers from Ebola, they can no longer spread the virus. However, Ebola virus has been found in semen for up to 3 months. People who recover from Ebola are advised to abstain from sex or use condoms for 3 months.

Can Ebola be spread through mosquitos?

There is no evidence that mosquitos or other insects can transmit Ebola virus. Only mammals (for example, humans, bats, monkeys and apes) have shown the ability to spread and become infected with Ebola virus.

Also see:

TO BETTER PROTECT MUSLIMS, AG HOLDER SET TO BAN ‘RELIGIOUS PROFILING’

eric-holder-teal-painting-apBreitbart, by HOMAS ROSE, Sep. 30, 2014:

If one is looking for reasons why Washington has become so caustic, divisive and bitter, look no further than retiring Attorney General Eric Holder. If reportsfirst published by the Los Angeles Times are correct, the always controversial Holder, aged 63, will soon announce a new and permanent ban on so-called ‘religious profiling’ designed to better protect those suspected of jihadist or Islamist activities from federal surveillance.

At the very moment the American state, local and federal law enforcement are trying to get a handle on a spate of Islamist-inspired beheadings and the discovery that Islamic State terror cells are active in at least three major US cities (LA, Boston, and Minneapolis), the US attorney general seems prepared to make it even harder for US law enforcement to crack down against jihadist recruiters and terrorist plots.

Despite the rise of the Islamic State’s terrorist army that proudly boasts of its US citizen-fighters, as well as growing evidence that domestic jihadist extremism is far more prevalent inside the United States than previously thought, the always controversial Holder appears undeterred in his quest to ban federal agents from trying to prevent domestic Islamist terrorism by investigating hubs of suspected jihadist activities. If the ban on ‘religious profiling’ is enforced, federal agents will no longer be able to conduct surveillance inside even the most radical of US mosques, where nearly all recent US based jihadists have been recruited, trained and dispatched.

The LA Times even reports that Holder’s ban will no longer even include “an exemption for national security investigations.” Without pre-existing, admissible evidence that ongoing criminal activity is occurring, federal agents will no longer be permitted to conduct any undercover surveillance in any clearly identified Islamic institution. If enacted, such a policy would represent the starkest reversal yet to bi-partisan post 9/11 changes that permitted law enforcement agencies like the FBI greater ability to monitor suspected Islamist outfits, including mosques.

The FBI claims that those standards have enabled them to disrupt or scuttle at least 42 planned Islamist attacks against the US homeland adopted since 2001.

How extending greater legal protections to those suspected of jihadist plots against US citizens will help protect law abiding citizens from those plots remains to be seen. The connections between Islamic State operatives, recent domestic terrorist acts, and several radical US mosques are undeniable. The recent Muslim convert in Oklahoma who murdered and decapitated a 54-year-old grandmother was radicalized in a mosque run by the very same people who run a Boston mosque that served as headquarters for ISIS’s US social media campaign.

Terrorism authority Steve Emerson told IBD this could be just the tip of the ISIS-ice berg. “There are tens of thousands of others like him lurking in the United States who haven’t done this but are jihadists just waiting to do it,” Emerson, who runs the New York-basedInvestigative Project for Terrorism, says the Islamic State is actually pre-selecting new US based recruits based upon their state willingness to conduct suicide/terrorist operations against innocents inside the US.

Of course, since Attorney General Holder had previously ordered the Justice Department and the FBI to scrub all its training manuals and support documentation to insure words like “jihad” and “Islamic terrorism” do not appear, it is difficult to predict how such directives will even be adequately conveyed to US law enforcement personnel.

Had such prohibitions against even considering the religious beliefs or associations of suspected jihadist elements been in effect, many recent Federal indictments of terrorists could never have been obtained, since nearly ever single one of them contained evidence demonstrating their connections with and radicalizations inside US mosques. Nearly every single defendant so indicted has confessed that their motivations were religiously based upon their interpretation of Islam and its commands to attack non-believers.

The same Eric Holder now considering increased protections for those suspected of jihadist activities authorized domestic illegal surveillance actions, including wiretapping, against reporters at the Associated Press and sought to prosecute Fox News’ James Rosen under, of all things, the Espionage Act.

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the United Nations General Assembly yesterday, “You know the famous American saying that all politics is local? Well, for militant Islamists, all politics is global, because their ultimate goal is to dominate the world.” If Holder has his way and can prohibit US law enforcement from investigating domestic militants Islamists in places where militants Islamists plot and plan, American jihadists will be able to pursue that ultimate goal of global dominance with greater freedom and security than ever before.