Foreign policy FUBAR: US providing intel to Hezbollah

hezbollah-300x180By Allen West:

I simply don’t believe in coincidences, especially when it comes to the Obama administration. Remember when we reported here about President Barack Hussein Obama meeting with pro-Hezbollah clerics on 9-11?

And now some very disturbing news has surfaced about American-Hezbollah coordination — let me remind you that Hezbollah is an Iranian-backed Islamic terrorist group based in Lebanon. It was Hezbollah who was responsible for the 1983 Marine Beirut bombing which killed over 250 American Marines, Sailors, and others. It was Hezbollah who was responsible for the hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achilles Lauro and the heinous and barbaric murder of American Jewish citizen Leon Kilnghoffer — a man confined to a wheel chair and pushed off the ship into the Mediterranean Sea.

And despite all this, Hezbollah is indirectly receiving American intelligence aid.

As reported by Arutz Sheva,”Mohammed Afif, the new head of public relations for the Lebanese-based Iranian-backed terror organization Hezbollah, gave a rare New York Times interview as Lebanese experts reveal his group is indirectly receiving American intelligence aid in its fight against Islamic State (ISIS). Following ISIS’s temporary conquest of Arsal last month on the Lebanese side of the Syrian border, the US sent new weapons to the Lebanese army, which coordinates with Hezbollah. Likewise, US intelligence has found its way to Hezbollah according to Lebanese experts. That leaked intelligence may explain some recent impressive achievements against ISIS, including the first known Hezbollah drone strike.”

So let’s have a quick review. The Obama administration released five senior Taliban members to Qatar — where the head of Hamas resides. Obama coordinated with Qatar and Turkey, both major supporters to Islamic terrorist groups. Now apparently Obama is assisting Hezbollah with intelligence — and Hezbollah is a named Islamic terrorist organization.

This ladies and gents is our biggest fear — that the Obama administration would work with nefarious actors in its quest to deal with ISIS — instead of destroying ISIS itself. So Obama may not be dealing with Iran directly, but he’s working with Iran’s proxy terrorist army, Hezbollah.

***

> America is providing intelligence aid to Hezbollah, an Islamic terrorist group that is the avowed enemy of our ally Israel.

> Hezbollah is allied fighting in support of Bashar al-Assad whom Obama said must go.

> Therefore, we are providing intelligence support to Hezbollah who is fighting against the Syrian rebels who we want to arm and train to fight against ISIS who are fighting against Assad who is supported by Hezbollah who is supported by Iran who is the largest sponsor of Islamic terrorism who is responsible for countless attacks against our men and women and is marching towards developing a nuclear bomb capability.

Yep ladies and gents, that is Obama foreign policy — FUBAR!

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In Egypt, Kerry has sympathetic words for Muslim Brotherhood. Whose side is he on?

javadi20130815073631807-300x180by Allen West:

I’ve asked the question before and continue to ask, whose side is the Obama administration — if not all Democrats — on? According to Foxnews.com, “In a hastily-organized trip marked by extraordinarily tight security, Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Egypt on Sunday, embarking on a weeklong tour of Middle Eastern and European capitals where he will try to rally support for the embattled central government in Iraq.”

Wait a minute — I thought it was up to the Iraqi government to figure this little situation out for themselves? ISIS marches on and Shiite clerics are threatening the United States of America, all the while Iran is poised to become a regional hegemony. And the Obama administration hints that it’s willing to work with Iran to resolve the crisis in Iraq. Confused yet? So far lots of talk and declarations, but nothing to halt the advance of a radical Islamist army.

But what really alarmed me were these words from a Kerry aide:

“We do not share the view of the Egyptian government about links between the Muslim Brothers and terrorist groups like ISIS [the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq]. [Egyptian leaders] need to include, and find ways to reach out to, the Muslim Brothers. … With regard to the challenge that the Muslim Brothers pose, I would characterize it more as a political challenge than a security challenge.”

Lunacy, pure unadulterated lunacy and this is what we’re sending to represent the United States? This is naiveté and incompetence but the more frightening prospect is collusion and complicity.

Read more 

US document reveals cooperation between Washington and Brotherhood

ohm2Gulf News, June 18, 2014: (H/T Halal Pork Shop)

Dubai: For the past decade, two successive US administrations have maintained close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Tunisia, Syria and Libya, to name just the most prominent cases.

The Obama administration conducted an assessment of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2010 and 2011, beginning even before the events known as the “Arab Spring” erupted in Tunisia and in Egypt. The President personally issued Presidential Study Directive 11 (PSD-11) in 2010, ordering an assessment of the Muslim Brotherhood and other “political Islamist” movements, including the ruling AKP in Turkey, ultimately concluding that the United States should shift from its longstanding policy of supporting “stability” in the Middle East and North Africa (that is, support for “stable regimes” even if they were authoritarian), to a policy of backing “moderate” Islamic political movements.

To this day, PSD-11 remains classified, in part because it reveals an embarrassingly naïve and uninformed view of trends in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region.

The revelations were made by Al Hewar centre in Washington, DC, which obtained the documents in question.

Through an ongoing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, thousands of pages of documentation of the US State Department’s dealings with the Muslim Brotherhood are in the process of being declassified and released to the public.

US State Department documents obtained under the FOIA confirm that the Obama administration maintained frequent contact and ties with the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood. At one point, in April 2012, US officials arranged for the public relations director of the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammad Gaair, to come to Washington to speak at a conference on “Islamists in Power” hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

A State Department Cable classified “Confidential” report says the following: “Benghazi Meeting With Libyan Muslim Brotherhood: On April 2 [2012] Mission Benghazi met with a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood steering committee, who will speak at the April 5 Carnegie Endowment `Islamist in Power’ conference in Washington, D.C. He described the Muslim Brotherhood’s decision to form a political party as both an opportunity and an obligation in post-revolution Libya after years of operating underground. The Brotherhood’s Justice and Construction Party would likely have a strong showing in the upcoming elections, he said, based on the strength of the Brotherhood’s network in Libya, its broad support, the fact that it is a truly national party, and that 25 per cent of its members were women. He described the current relationship between the Brotherhood and the TNC (Transitional National Council) as `lukewarm.’”

Another State Department paper marked “Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU)” contained talking points for Deputy Secretary of State William Burns’ scheduled July 14, 2012 meeting with Mohammad Sawan, the Muslim Brotherhood leader who was also head of the Brotherhood’s Justice and Construction Party. The document is heavily redacted, but nevertheless provides clear indication of Washington’s sympathies for the emergence of the Muslim Brotherhood as a major political force in the post-Gaddafi Libya. The talking points recommended that Secretary Burns tell Sawan that the US government entities “share your party’s concerns in ensuring that a comprehensive transitional justice process is undertaken to address past violations so that they do not spark new discontent.”

The Burns paper described the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood: “Prior to last year’s revolution, the Muslim Brotherhood was banned for over three decades and its members were fiercely pursued by the Gaddafi regime. The Libyan Muslim Brotherhood (LMB) returned to Libya last year after years in exile in Europe and the United States, selected new leadership and immediately began to plan for an active role in Libya’s political future.” After a redacted section, the document continued, “The LMB-affiliated Justice and Construction party, led by Misratan and former political prisoner under Gaddafi Mohammad Sawan, was created in March 2012. Sawan himself was not a candidate in the elections but wields significant influence as the head of the largest political party and most influential Islamist party in Libya.”

The July 14 meeting was attended by both Secretary Burns and Ambassador Christopher Stevens. On September 11, 2012, Ambassador Stevens and three other American diplomats were killed in a premeditated terrorist attack on US mission and CIA facilities in Benghazi.

An undated State Department cable revealed further courting of the LMB and its Justice and Construction Party. “Mohammad Sawan, Chairman of Justice and Construction Party, received yesterday at his office in Tripoli, Ambassadors of US, UK, FR and IT. The Ambassadors requested the meeting to get acquainted with the party’s position on the current events in Libya, the Government, the Party’s demand to sack the Prime Minister, the Constitution, GNC lifetime arguments, dialogue initiatives and Party’s assessment of political and security situation in Libya and the region. During the meeting, which took an hour and a half and attended by Mohammad Talb, party’s International Relations officer, and Hussam Naeli, acting liaison officer, Sawan explained that the Government has not been able to achieve any success in the core files such as security and local government, which both are under the direct supervision of the Prime Minister. Such a failure resulted in the lack of security, continuous assassinations, kidnappings, crimes, smuggling and attacks on public and private property, halt oil exports and disruption of water and electricity supply. Sawan stressed that a solution is possible and the party presented a clear solution, but the Government is not in harmony. He added we are responsible only for ministries that we take part in.”

The State Department cable noted that “On their part, the Ambassadors praised the active role of the Party in the political scene and confirmed their standing with the Libyan people and Government despite its weaknesses and they are keen to stabilize the region… At the end of the meeting, Sawan thanked his guests and all stressed the need to communicate. The guests affirmed that they will assist through Libyan legitimate entities as they did during the revolution.”

Also see:

The story is from the Gulf News, which operates out of the Anti-Brotherhood UAE. Al-Hewar, which actually got hold of the documents, is linked to the International Institute of Islamic Thought… which is a Muslim Brotherhood front group.

Figures in the Muslim Brotherhood had threatened to leak understandings with Obama Inc. This is the next best thing. It warns Obama that if he tries to forget about them, they can prove that the relationship was official policy.

 

Judge Jeanine: No Matter Where You Live In America, You Need To Be Afraid

 

Truth Revolt, by Caleb Howe:

On Saturday night’s Justice with Judge Jeanine, the fiery host’s opening statement was a stern warning about the situation in Iraq and in the world as a result of President Obama’s “feckless” foreign policy.

“Barack Obama left Iraq contrary to the advice of military leaders and those like Senator John McCain who said he left too early,” the Judge said, adding McCain’s comments that the decision was motivated solely by political concerns.

Jeanine calls ISIS leader Abu al-Baghdadi, who was released by President Obama, the “new Osama bin Laden,” and points out he specifically told his American captors he would “see them in New York.”

From releasing fighters and leaders back into the ranks of terror groups to his leaving Iraq a “burning cauldron” in the Middle East, Judge Jeanine says every American should be worried about their safety and security under the leadership of President Obama.

Deborah Weiss interviewed on The Final Say Radio Show

Published on Jun 7, 2014 by The Final Say:

Deborah Weiss discusses CAIR and Obama’s general Middle East foreign policy and national security policies:

Partisan Politics, Bad Ideas & the Bergdahl Swap

aaUSA_PFC_BoweBergdahl_ACU_Croppedby Bruce Thornton:

President Obama’s exchange of 5 high-ranking Taliban murderers for a soldier who possibly was a deserter and collaborator encapsulates everything that is wrong with this administration’s foreign policy. The serial failures of the past 5 years reflect a toxic brew of partisan politics and naïve ideology.

The staging of the announcement last Saturday in the Rose Garden obviously was intended to milk every drop of photogenic pathos and political gain from a decision rife with moral hazard and questionable legality. To reap political advantage from this disaster of a deal, lies and half-truths were necessary for creating the narrative behind the picture of Obama flanked by Bergdahl’s joyful, if somewhat bizarre, parents. Contrary to the president and his supporters, Bergdahl was not a “hero” or “prisoner of war.” Nor had he served with “honor and distinction,” or been “captured on the battlefield,” as the terminally mendacious Susan Rice said on a Sunday morning news-show.

In fact, evidence continues to mount that Bergdahl voluntarily left his post to connect with English-speaking Taliban, a move consistent with his renunciation of his citizenship and disgruntled anti-American emails. Whether he is just a flake, as his earlier biography and strange comments suggest, or had more sinister motives will become clearer as more information surfaces. He may even be a traitor. His team leader on the night he disappeared, former Army Sergeant Evan Buetow, has told CNN that radio intercepts revealed that Bergdahl was looking for the Taliban, and that after his capture, the Taliban’s attacks on Americans became “far more directed.”

The serious questions about Bergdahl were known to the administration, if only from a 2012 Rolling Stone article. Yet consistent with Obama’s foreign policy approach, facts are never an impediment to political advantage, as his record shows. The Benghazi disaster was created by politics and covered up for political reasons. Beefing up security for the diplomatic mission was nixed because it contradicted the political narrative that the multilateral “leading from behind” removal of Ghaddafi had started Libya on the road to Jeffersonian democracy and peace, when in reality it had unleashed hundreds of feral jihadists gangs now armed with missiles and other weapons. Likewise blaming the attack on an obscure video rather than an al Qaeda franchise reinforced the “al Qaeda on its heels” and “bin Laden dead” memes peddled during the presidential campaign in order to prove the success of Obama’s anti-Bush foreign policy.

So too the Bergdahl weeper is another episode in the “end the wars and bring the troops home” political narrative demonstrating the superiority of “collective action” and “diplomacy and development, sanctions and isolation, appeals to international law, and, if just, necessary and effective, multilateral military action,” as Obama said at West Point, over George Bush’s alleged trigger-happy, blood-for-oil, Halliburton-enriching unilateralism. Just don’t think about the 6 soldiers who died looking for Bergdahl, or the violation of legal protocols for releasing Guantanamo detainees, or the dismissal of the concerns of the intelligence community, or the snubbing of Congress in making the deal, or the moral hazard of paying ransom to hostage-takers. Never mind that under Obama’s watch Iraq is once again an inferno of sectarian violence and is fast becoming a satellite of Iran. Just forget that the Taliban, given a date-certain for our withdrawal, are poised to reassert control over large swaths of eastern Afghanistan, squandering the sacrifices made by our troops. Those facts must be obscured in order to achieve a political advantage. So too the enormous risk to our soldiers’ lives and our national interests that attends the release of 5 battle-hardened jihadist murderers does not figure in political calculations for firing up the base ahead of the midterm election.

Politics may be all there is to Obama’s foreign policy. With some justification, he may calculate that despite a few occasional bleats of protest, the ovine press corps will always watch his back and deliver the political dividends his actions seek. The scandal of Benghazi––both the incompetence that lead to 4 dead Americans, and the blatantly dishonest cover-up afterwards––that unfolded a few months before the 2012 elections should have put his reelection at risk. Yet with an indifferent press corps downplaying the story, and partisan hack Candy Crowley watching his back during the presidential debates, the worst scandal of his presidency had no effect on the election. So we shouldn’t be surprised that team Obama thinks this latest shameless political stunt will work too. As Guy Benson at Townhall.com analyzes the Obama crew’s thinking, “They figured that the feel-good nature of the ‘POW’ returning home narrative would be blindly seized upon and enabled by a media exhausted by the egregious VA scandal story. Unpleasant details would be whitewashed or mostly ignored, and the only real outrage would emanate from the usual suspects on the Right. They thought they could counter critiques of the nature and terms of the trade with faux-indignant questions about whether skeptics were in favor of ‘leaving Americans behind.’” In short, the White House’s political modus operandi on every bonehead decision for the past 5 years.

Read more at Front Page

Also see:

Blind Skies over Afghanistan and Pakistan?

pakistanal-al-qaedaCSP, by Ben Lerner:

The big headline this past week was President Obama’s announcement at West Point that the United States is drawing down its military presence in Afghanistan to 5,000 ground troops by the end of 2015. Left unsaid by the President, however, was that we’re scaling back substantially on fighting al Qaeda from the skies as well.

As Guy Taylor reports at the Washington Times:

President Obama’s call to cut the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan to 5,000 troops in 18 months will end an era of American drone superiority over the region and jeopardize hard-fought gains against al Qaeda just as the terrorist movement’s original core is rising again, former senior defense officials and national security sources say….

…With regard to drone operations, the heavy U.S. troop presence in northern Afghanistan over the past decade created the logistical capability for sustained cross-border targeting in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas, where more than 250 U.S. drone strikes were reported from 2005 through 2013.

Taylor goes on to relay the concerns of David Sedney, President Obama’s former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Afghanistan and Central Asia, that al Qaeda in the Af-Pak region is regrouping at the same time that we are pulling up stakes on unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) strikes:

What’s particularly disconcerting, Mr. Sedney said, is the manner in which al Qaeda appears to be recovering from gains made by the 2005-to-2013 drone campaign and the 2011 raid that killed bin Laden.

“These strikes were just having a dampening effect. They were not permanently degrading or defeating al Qaeda,” Mr. Sedney said. “Al Qaeda is an ideology, not a core of individuals. The number of attacks is ramping up again. The flow of recruits never stopped; the flow of money has not stopped. A lot of the flow has gone to Syria, but much of that is because al Qaeda leadership in Pakistan wanted it there.”

Is now really the time to degrade this capability, in that part of the world?  Judging from Eli Lake’s reporting at The Daily Beast, the answer would be no:

While it’s true that Osama bin Laden and other top lieutenants were killed in Obama’s first term, it’s also true that the pace of those drone attacks against the extremists in Pakistan have since declined. According to the New America Foundation’s database for drone attacks there have been no drone strikes in Pakistan since December 25, 2013. Reza Jan, an analyst at the American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats project, concluded in a paper published Wednesday that the pause in drone strikes in Pakistan has given the Pakistani Taliban a chance to regroup and replenish its leadership ranks. Jan said Maulana Fazlullah, the new chief of Pakistan’s Taliban, has established a haven in Nuristan today. Other reports from the region have said he travels between Afghanistan and Pakistan’s border region with ease.

“I think our intelligence community is very concerned that al Qaeda in northeastern Afghanistan and western Pakistan will grow stronger without pressure being applied to them,” [House Armed Services Committee Vice Chairman, Rep. Mac] Thornberry said.

Obama Replenishes the Taliban … Or ‘How Wars End in the 21st Century’

rgBy Andrew C. McCarthy:

President Obama finally completed the prisoner swap he has been pleading with the Taliban for years to accept. While the president draws down American forces in Afghanistan and hamstrings our remaining troops with unconscionable combat rules of engagement that make both offensive operations and self-defense extremely difficult, the Taliban get back five of their most experienced, most virulently anti-American commanders.

In return, thanks to the president’s negotiations with the terrorists, we receive U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl—who, according to several of his fellow soldiers, walked off his post in 2009 before being captured by the Taliban. (For more on this, see Greg Pollowitz’s post at The Feed.) This was shortly after Sgt.Bergdahl reportedly emailed his parents that “The US army is the biggest joke the world has to laugh at”; that he was “ashamed to even be an American”; and that “The horror that is America is disgusting.”

Sgt. Bergdahl’s father, Robert, was by Mr. Obama’s side during Saturday’s Rose Garden press conference, at which the president announced Sgt. Bergdahl’s return but carefully avoiding mention of the jihadi-windfall the Taliban received in exchange. Mr. Bergdahl is an antiwar activist campaigning for the release of all jihadists detained at Guantanamo Bay. His Twitter account, @bobbergdahl, has apparently now deleted a tweet from four days ago, in which he said, in echoes of Islamic supremacist rhetoric, “@ABalkhi I am still working to free all Guantanamo prisoners. God will repay for the death of every Afghan child,ameen!”

We have been warning for years here that Obama was negotiating with the Taliban—even as he duplicitously bragged that the U.S. had “removed the Taliban government.” The president and his minions reportedly even turned for mediation help to Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi—the top Muslim Brotherhood sharia jurist who issued a fatwa in 2003 calling for violent jihad against American troops and support personnel in Iraq. (Indeed, the administration has hosted Qaradawi’s sidekick, Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah—who also signed the fatwa—at the White House for consultations … and the State Department was embarrassed to be caught touting bin Bayyah just a week ago.)

Nearly two years ago, I noted that Obama had just sweetened the pot on a longstanding offer to release the five Taliban leaders—beseeching the Taliban just to agree to participate in Afghan peace talks, not to make any actual concessions (other than freeing Sgt. Bergdahl). As Reuters reported at the time:

The revised proposal, a concession from an earlier U.S. offer, would alter the sequence of the move of five senior Taliban figures held for years at the U.S. military prison to the Gulf state of Qatar, sources familiar with the issue said. U.S. officials have hoped the prisoner exchange, proposed as a good-faith move in initial discussions between U.S. negotiators and Taliban officials, would open the door to peace talks between militants and the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

The revised proposal would send all five Taliban prisoners to Qatar first, said sources who spoke on condition of anonymity. Only then would the Taliban be required to release Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, the only U.S. prisoner of war. Previously, U.S. officials had proposed dividing the Taliban prisoners into two groups, and requiring Bergdahl’s release as a good-faith gesture to come before the second group of prisoners would be moved out of Guantanamo.

The Obama administration has never designated the Afghan Taliban as a terrorist organization. (The Bush State Department similarly failed to designate the Taliban, although President Bush did designate the group as a terrorist organization in an executive order that, pursuant to a congressional statute, criminalized the conducting of various financial transactions with it.) In 2012, the Obama White House made much of the fact that it finally designated a close Taliban confederate, the Haqqani network, as a terrorist organization. But as Eli Lake reported earlier this year, the administration refrained from using the designation to seize assets—which is the whole point.

Plain and simple, President Obama has never had any intention to confront and defeat the Taliban. As I observed back in 2009, General Stanley McChrystal, then the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, pronounced in a memo explaining U.S. strategy that the war in that country was the Afghans’ war, not ours. In his estimation, our troops’ primary reason for being there was not to defeat America’s enemies but to enable the Afghans to build a better life, and therefore “our strategy cannot be focused on seizing terrain or destroying insurgent forces; our objective must be the population”—meaning, to protect Afghans.

Read more at National Review

Also see:

SHAPIRO: Does Obama Care About The Troops?

obamaphotoopTruth Revolt, by Ben Shapiro:

On the day before Memorial Day, President Barack Obama secretly flew into Afghanistan for a surprise visit to the troops. “We’re going to stay strong by taking care of our wounded warriors and our veterans. Because helping our wounded warriors and veterans heal isn’t just a promise, it’s a sacred obligation … I’m here to say that I’m proud of you,” he stated.

But he wasn’t in Afghanistan out of mere pride for the troops. As usual, Obama was using the troops for political purposes. Whether he’s taking credit for their successful missions (“Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan”) or portraying them as victims of brutal, hawkish foreign policy (we “have seen over 3,000 lives of the bravest young Americans wasted” in Iraq), the troops are but implements in Obama’s quest for political victory.

And so Obama headed for Afghanistan when news broke that hospitals with the Veterans Affairs had falsified waitlists, resulting in the deaths of dozens of veterans. Because he cares.

This follows a long pattern for Obama. In April 2009, Obama flew to Iraq for a surprise visit. The press dutifully recorded accounts of cheering throngs of troops eager to get a picture of the president with their cameras. They did not, however, report on allegations at the time that soldiers were pre-screened for placement at the Obama event, and that cameras were handed out to the troops.

In October 2009, Obama got up early — earlier even than he usually does for his tee times — to visit Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, and watch the coffins of fallen soldiers come home, amid accusations that the war in Afghanistan was spiraling out of control. The New York Times reported, “The images and the sentiment of the president’s five-hour trip to Delaware were intended by the White House to convey to the nation that Mr. Obama was not making his Afghanistan decision lightly or in haste.” That sentence disappeared from the original report shortly after it hit the Internet.

The following month, Obama visited Osan Air Base in South Korea, where he stood before troops and stated, “you guys make a pretty good photo op.” He used that perspective to its full advantage one month later, when he announced his short-term, midlevel surge in Afghanistan at West Point (New York).

And, of course, when push came to shove during his re-election campaign, Obama showed up — surprise! — in Afghanistan, on the one-year anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden, where he stated, “The goal that I set — to defeat al-Qaida and deny it a chance to rebuild — is now within our reach.”

Obama has slashed military funding at historic levels; he insisted that sequestration cuts come largely from the Defense Department. His Veterans Affairs is a shambles, yet he won’t fire his top man, Eric Shinseki. Iraq is collapsing. Afghanistan will soon follow.

But he routinely claims that he loves the troops.

Do you believe him?

Residual Failure in Afghanistan

obama2 (1)by Joseph Klein:

Speaking at a Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery after making a surprise visit to Afghanistan, President Barack Obama stated, “By the end of this year, our war in Afghanistan will finally come to an end.”

Not exactly.

President Obama is reportedly opting to maintain a residual force of nearly 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan after America’s formal combat operations role concludes there at the end of 2014.  The U.S. currently has about 32,800 troops in the country.

The troops remaining behind would focus on counterterrorism and training. However, the plan is not for them to be stationed in Afghanistan indefinitely, only for an additional two years until the end of 2016. While outgoing Afghan President Hamid Karzai has refused to cooperate in approving the security arrangements for any residual American force, his successor is expected to sign the required Bilateral Security Agreement, a precondition for any residual forces to remain.

President Obama does not want to see the disaster that has unfolded in Iraq, after he decided to pull all remaining American troops out of that country at once, play out again in Afghanistan. Although he ran for president on an anti-war platform and promised to end America’s combat role in Iraq once he became president, Obama had said back in 2007: “We will need to retain some forces in Iraq and the region.  We’ll continue to strike at al-Qaeda in Iraq.”  That did not happen because of the Obama administration’s failure to reach a status of forces agreement with the Iraqi government that we were supporting. The result was that Obama’s complete withdrawal of American forces from Iraq essentially reversed the positive results of the military surge undertaken there by former President George W. Bush.  Obama managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, as Iraq once again has descended into sectarian violence.

As long as Obama is commander in chief, expect the same thing to happen in Afghanistan. Although he has been resolute and somewhat successful in his use of drones against al Qaeda and Taliban leaders and operatives in Afghanistan and Pakistan, his stewardship of the American combat operations in Afghanistan has been half-hearted at best. He is simply kicking the can down the road to 2016, his deadline for removing any remaining U.S. forces from Afghanistan. He will then bequeath the consequences to his successor.

Obama hesitated for months before ordering his own significant surge of military forces in Afghanistan in December 2009. He settled for a level that was lower than the military had advised. Then he publicly announced a fixed date for withdrawal of troops to begin, which allowed the Taliban to essentially bide their time. His administration also imposed onerous rules of engagement on our troops that put them at further risk.

All told, approximately 72 percent of the U.S. military fatalities in Afghanistan since 2001 have occurred under Obama’s watch. At the same time, there has been no discernible progress in protecting civilians from terrorist attacks. Nearly 3,000 civilians were killed in 2013, more than eight per day, the vast majority of whom were killed by anti-government forces such as the Taliban.

The civilian deaths in 2013 matched the record highs of 2011. In addition, there were more than 5,500 civilians injured during 2013.

“There are groups that are boasting about killing civilians, are making statements about how good it is that civilians are being targeted and killed,” said United Nations Assistance Mission special representative Jan Kubis. This is going on with three times the American troops that will be left behind under the residual forces plan. Will our own residual forces operating under restrictive rules of engagement and lacking adequate reinforcements become sitting ducks for a resurgent Taliban as well as turncoat Afghan police and soldiers? Quite likely.

In short, Obama’s so-called Afghanistan “surge,” which came with a short expiration period, only served to embolden the jihadists. They saw right through Obama’s ambivalence, which helps explain why any meaningful peace talks with the Taliban were never in the cards. They only have to wait Obama out and re-emerge full-force. New havens established for al Qaeda and other jihadists are sure to follow, as the Taliban and al Qaeda have maintained their ties.

“With the help of Allah, the valiant Afghans under the Jihadi leadership of Islamic Emirate defeated the military might and numerous strategies of America and NATO alliance,” the Taliban bragged in a statement back in 2012.

Karzai, our supposed ally in Afghanistan, does not have any respect for Obama either. The ingrate Karzai turned down Obama’s invitation to meet during Obama’s short Afghan visit at the Bagram air base. At least Karzai will be stepping down shortly, but it remains to be seen whether his successor will turn out to be any better.

Read more at Front Page

Judge Jeanine rips Obama over feckless foreign policy & refusal to support Egypt

Published on May 24, 2014 by LSUDVM

Tonight, in her opening statement which was delayed because of the shooting in California, Judge Jeanine ripped Obama over his feckless foreign policy and the lack of support for Egypt and its Military in fighting terrorism such as Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood.

 

Understanding Benghazi: The Al Qaeda-Muslim Brotherhood Connection

benghazi_bloody_handprint_APBreitbart, by COUNCIL FOR GLOBAL SECURITY:

The Hague’s International Center for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) recently released a report that shatters leftist talking points on the political situation in North Africa.

The report, titled “Security in the Sinai: Present and Future,” details not only the Sinai peninsula’s decent into chaos over the last two years, but synthesizes available research on the entire Islamist/Jihadi nexus that crosses North Africa, linking the Benghazi attack, Salafist activism undertaken by the Muslim Brotherhood, and links to what the administration’s intellectual vassals refer to as “al-Qaeda core.”

Sinai has long been a problem region for the Egyptian government, with bedouin tribes often taking advantage of a lack of governance in the peninsula during Egypt’s periods of political and economic upheaval. The most recent period of unrest is no different, with bedouin bandits engaging in criminal activity as soon as Mubarak’s political future was called into question by massive protests.

This banditry was rapidly replaced by Islamist militias connected to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, who targeted Coptic churches as well as Egyptian state assets, including police outposts along the trans-Sinai oil pipeline. These attacks were against the Egyptian state and economy; they were not mere acts of profit-seeking criminality. Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (ABM), the most prominent jihadist group in Egypt, went so far as to use suicide bombings against Korean tourists, explicitly stating that they intended to ruin Egypt’s economy by targeting its heavy reliance on tourism.

This jihadist insurgency is supported by a larger political infrastructure, organized under the moniker of Salafiya Jihadiya (SJ). SJ was responsible for the extremely well organized “spontaneous” protests over an obscure video that targeted U.S. Embassies and installations across the Muslim world and is led by none other than Ayman al-Zawahiri’s younger brother, Muhammad al-Zawahiri.

Muhammad Jamal Abd al Rahim Ahmad al Kashif (frequently referred to as just Muhammad Jamal) is a veteran jihadist closely affiliated with Zawahiri. Jamal was mistakenly released in 2011, and in the two years before his arrest in 2013 he was responsible for establishing jihadist training camps in Sinai, Libya, and Western Egypt. Jamal is also known to have been closely involved in the September 11, 2012 attack on U.S. installations in Benghazi, Libya. Upon his arrest, Jamal was discovered to have been in direct contact with Ayman al-Zawahiri, requesting assistance and reporting that groundwork had been laid for an al Qaeda enterprise in Sinai. Jamal is also believed to have trained and directed Walid Badr, a former Egyptian military officer who served as a suicide bomber in an attempt on the life of the Egyptian Minister of Interior.

With Muhammad Jamal and Muhammad Zawahiri both connected to the attack against the US consulate in Benghazi (and with Zawahiri personally present at the riot outside of the US embassy in Cairo, where the American flag was torn down and replaced by the black banner of al-Qaeda), it would defy logic to remain content with the administration’s story. But the thread doesn’t end there.

In February, the Egyptian government released intercepted recordings of phone calls between then-president Muhammad Morsi and Muhammad Zawahiri. Zawahiri was formally acquitted of terrorism charges by Morsi in 2012 and was reported by CNN to be “helping” negotiations with jihadists in Sinai during Morsi’s tenure. Additional reporting, cited by the Jerusalem Post, acknowledges not only that Morsi and the younger Zawahiri were in contact, but that the Muslim Brotherhood’s original contender for the Egyptian presidency, Khariat el-Shater, was in contact with “al Qaeda core” elements in Pakistan and Palestine.

Muhammad Zawahiri’s quasi-political role in Salafiya Jihadiya, his intimate affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood’s official leadership, his association with Muhammad Jamal’s jihadist infrastructure in Sinai, and his overt and direct participation in what the administration insists was a “spontaneous protest” in Cairo and Benghazi is a damning indictment of the Muslim Brotherhood’s direct connections to al-Qaeda.

Effectively, if Muhammad Zawahiri wanted to talk to his older brother he would have had to ask Morsi if he could use his phone. In the same instance, if the “core” of al Qaeda wanted to establish contact with Muhammad Jamal, its franchise in Northern Africa, including Benghazi, it would have likely relied on the same personalities. All of the above simply reinforce the stakes of the elections today and tomorrow in Cairo. General Sisi has openly stated his commitment to crush the Brotherhood beacause of its ties to al Qaeda. A victory for Sisi would be a victory against Salafi Jihadism.

The Hague is a European institution — it is not involved in American partisan politics and has no reason to bend the facts on Benghazi and the Brotherhood to fit a partisan agenda. These are the facts of the case, and those who continue to deny that Benghazi was a result of a “larger failure of foreign policy” are finally starting to feel the heat.

The Council for Global Security is a Washington-based non-profit organization that support democracy, prosperity and the protection of minorities around the world.

 

Sources: U.S. Held Secret Meeting With Hamas

hamas (1)By Aaron Klein:

TEL AVIV – The U.S. last week held a clandestine meeting in Egypt with Ghazi Hamad, the deputy foreign minister of Hamas, according to informed Middle Eastern security officials.

The officials would not say whether the meeting was with a current member of the U.S. government or a former diplomat acting as a proxy for the Obama administration.

Messages were exchanged about Hamas’s intentions as part of a newly formed Palestinian unity government with the rival Fatah party, led by Mahmoud Abbas, the officials said.

Last week, Israel’s Haaretz newspaper quoted an unnamed White House official stating the Obama administration is leaning toward cooperating with the Hamas-Fatah Palestinian unity government, even if Hamas does not recognize Israel’s right to exist and despite objections from the Israeli government.

Previously the Middle East Quartet, made up of the U.S., Russia, European Union and United Nations, declared it would not deal with Hamas unless the terrorist group renounces violence and recognizes Israel.

The Haaretz article did not mention any U.S.-Hamas meeting.

Hamas has several times claimed it talked with U.S. surrogates about eventually establishing open relations.

Sources within Hamas previously disclosed to WND a June 2009 meeting with former U.S. diplomat Thomas Pickering. The sources claimed the meeting was about opening future talks with the West.

The State Department has not replied to a WND request for comment.

The gathering allegedly took place in Geneva with two Hamas leaders, Bassem Naim and Mahmoud al-Zahar. Naim is Hamas’ health minister, while al-Zahar is one of the main Hamas leaders in Gaza.

Pickering’s meeting with Hamas in 2009 served as an “important step” to open eventual dialogue between the Islamic group and the Obama administration, Hamas’ chief political adviser in Gaza, Ahmed Yousef, told WND that year.

At the time, the State Department told the Jerusalem Post the meeting between Pickering and Hamas was not sanctioned by the White House.

State Department spokesman Ian Kelly stressed Pickering acted as a private citizen. Kelly said he was unaware of any prior U.S. governmental coordination with the former diplomat about the meeting with Hamas.

Pickering was the State Department’s lead investigator on the Benghazi attack.

Read more at WND

More Heavy Weaponry for Syrian Rebels?

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President Obama would do well to focus on far more strategically important concerns to the United States, such as stopping the world’s biggest sponsor of terror, Iran, from acquiring nuclear weapons by whatever means are necessary, and dealing effectively with a resurgent Russia.

by :

President Obama is considering ramping up military support to the Syrian rebels, who are increasingly dominated by jihadists. American anti-tank missiles have already appeared in videos in the hands of rebel forces. According to an April 21st report in Time Magazine, the White House is now considering sending the rebels shoulder-fired surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles known as manpads. In the wrong hands, such missiles could be used to take out commercial aircraft.

Senator John McCain is pushing the Obama administration to take that risk. To combat the Assad regime’s use of barrel bombs dropped on civilian populations from government helicopters, McCain said in a March interview with Time Magazine that he was “willing to take the risk of a manpad, the risk of them falling into the wrong hands.”

McCain’s willingness to take the risk of anti-aircraft missiles getting into the wrong hands is wrong-headed for several reasons.  The most obvious reason is the blowback the United States and its allies will suffer when jihadists fighting in Syria take the weapons they have looted from the so-called “moderate” rebels and use them against us. Nearly half of the rebel fighters are “jihadists or hardline Islamists,” according to a summary by The Telegraph of a report the IHS Jane’s defense consultancy group issued last year. And they are the best trained and equipped forces amongst the Syrian opposition.

Al Qaeda-linked groups have set up training camps in Syria, which they are using to prepare foreign jihadists for their return from Syria to spread their attacks more widely.  This includes jihadists from Western countries such as the Rayat Al-Tawheed group, the British jihadist faction in Syria, that has posted an image of the White House with the caption “Wait a while there will come to you mounts carrying lions in shining armour battalions followed by battalions.” Put weapons capable of shooting down commercial aircraft in the hands of these jihadists and we won’t have to wait awhile before reaping the consequences.

Another reason not to pour such weapons into the Syrian conflict at this stage is that we are way too late to make any material difference in the eventual outcome. Assad is winning the war slowly but surely, with help from Iran, Hezbollah and Russia. The anti-aircraft missiles may have a marginal impact in slowing Assad’s offense down further in some locations. However, they will not be able to completely stop the barrel bombs and other lethal weapons Assad is using with such success against the opposition.

As the intelligence and security news service DEBKAfile explained:

“The newly-armed rebels have gained not much more than the capacity to hold on to their present lines for a while longer. But ultimately, they cannot prevent the combined weight of the Syria army, Hizballah and Iraqi Shiite Iraqis, who continue to stream into Syria, breaking through those lines.”

Vladimir Putin will also be only too happy to further arm the Assad regime and counter anything the U.S. might be sending, if for no other reason than to embarrass Obama.

Read more at Front Page

Also see:

CPAC’s Blind Spot

3235888515By Frank Gaffney:

What would you call an issue portfolio that is vital to the future of our country, central to conservatism’s past electoral success and compelling to significant parts of the demographics likely to determine the Right’s future competitiveness? If you were the American Conservative Union, sponsor of the recently concluded Conservative Political Action Conference, you would evidently call it taboo.

The rest of us would call it the national security.

To be sure, despite a palpable effort by CPAC organizers to low-ball topics addressing the defense and foreign policy challenges of our time, a few speakers nonetheless touched on them.  But the degree to which such issues deserved to be a central focus of the three-day meeting – but weren’t – was made palpable by a parallel, day-long event held on CPAC’s first day under the sponsorship of EMPAct America and Breitbart News Network. I was privileged to have had a hand in organizing and moderating the proceedings.

Dubbed the “National Security Action Summit,” the program featured remarks from nearly forty participants including Senators Ted Cruz and David Vitter and five Members of Congress – Representatives Louie Gohmert, Steve King, Trent Franks, Mo Brooks and Jim Bridenstein.

Among the other highpoints were: a keynote address provided by former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, remarks by Phyllis Schlafly, comments by undercover investigative journalist James O’Keefe and a rousing closing speech by Fox News’ Judge Jeanine Pirro.

Panels addressed topics that were largely ignored by CPAC, but should not have been.  These included: the threat posed by the Muslim Brotherhood and its “civilization jihad” and enablers; the dangers inherent in open borders and amnesty to both the country and the GOP; the need for truth-telling and accountability in the Benghazigate scandal; Obama’s endangering of the common defense, evident in and facilitated by his hollowing out of the military; the crisis in the Ukraine and what we should do about it; and the existential threat to our country posed by an electric grid dangerously vulnerable to attack and naturally occurring solar storms.  (Videos of the entire conference can be viewed at www.homelandthreats.com.)

Read more at Center for Security Policy

(Hover over menu item “Latest Events” to access videos of speakers and panels)

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