BREAKING: New Video Surfaces Depicting Execution of Steven Sotloff, 2nd American Beheaded by Jihadist TerroristsPosted: September 2, 2014
BREAKING: New video appears to show execution of Steven Sotloff, the 2nd American killed by a self-professed member of ISIS – @leeferran
— ABC News (@ABC) September 2, 2014
The Telegraph reports
Steven Sotloff ‘beheaded by Islamic State’
American hostage Steven Sotloff has reportedly been executed by jihadist terrorists. There was no immediate confirmation of the video.
The video reportedly warns governments to back off from “this evil alliance of America against the Islamic State”.
Sotloff, 31, disappeared while reporting in Syria in August 2013. His apparent kidnap was not widely reported until he appeared on a video released last month by the Isil.
In the footage a masked militant beheads US reporter James Foley then parades Mr Sotloff, warning he will meet the same fate unless US President Barack Obama ends air strikes against the group in Iraq…
Calm when it comes to Putin, ISIS and Hamas, but furious with Israel
Barack Obama “has become ‘enraged’ at the Israeli government, both for its actions and for its treatment of his chief diplomat, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. ” So reports the Jerusalem Post, based on the testimony of Martin Indyk, until recently a special Middle East envoy for the president. The war in Gaza, Mr. Indyk adds, has had “a very negative impact” on Jerusalem’s relations with Washington.
Think about this. Enraged. Not “alarmed” or “concerned” or “irritated” or even “angered.” Anger is a feeling. Rage is a frenzy. Anger passes. Rage feeds on itself. Anger is specific. Rage is obsessional, neurotic.
[Also see Bret Stephens' - 'Pay Attention to Other People's Nightmares, Because They Might Be Contagious']
And Mr. Obama—No Drama Obama, the president who prides himself on his cool, a man whose emotional detachment is said to explain his intellectual strength—is enraged. With Israel. Which has just been hit by several thousand unguided rockets and 30-odd terror tunnels, a 50-day war, the forced closure of its one major airport, accusations of “genocide” by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, anti-Semitic protests throughout Europe, general condemnation across the world. This is the country that is the object of the president’s rage.
Think about this some more. In the summer in which Mr. Obama became “enraged” with Israel, Islamic State terrorists seized Mosul and massacred Shiite soldiers in open pits, Russian separatists shot down a civilian jetliner, Hamas executed 18 “collaborators” in broad daylight, Bashar Assad‘s forces in Syria came close to encircling Aleppo with the aim of starving the city into submission, a brave American journalist had his throat slit on YouTube by a British jihadist, Russian troops openly invaded Ukraine, and Chinese jets harassed U.S. surveillance planes over international waters.
Mr. Obama or his administration responded to these events with varying degrees of concern, censure and indignation. But rage? Read the rest of this entry »
Nobody’s Fault: Liberals make excuses for Obama
Noemie Emery writes: All of a sudden, people have noticed that we are in trouble, and many are saying it isn’t the president’s fault. All the bad news, from Iraq to Ukraine, from Libya and Syria to the Mexican border, just seems to have happened: Obama was standing there, golfing or shaking hands with donors, and, like a burst of bad weather, the winds blew, the skies opened, and things went to hell. Mysterious forces conspired against him, terrible setbacks occurred for no reason, and we were left with effects without a cause. His supporters commiserate with him and note his bad fortune at being in office at a time when events make his life difficult. Or they worry about the effect of all these misfortunes on his legacy. “Can Obama Weather the Current Geopolitical S—storm?” Mother Jones’s David Corn wondered recently. Judging from recent poll numbers—36 percent approve of his conduct of foreign relations—the answer appears to be “no.”
[Check out Noemie Emery's book "Great Expectations: The Troubled Lives of Political Families", available at Amazon]
The reasons offered for why bad things aren’t his doing fall into three different categories: (1) The system is broken, the country is polarized, and the Republicans have become too insane to deal with; (2) stuff happens, and no one at all can do much about it; and (3) people think that the president ought to be Superman and solve all their problems, which is really expecting too much. As Joshua Keating wrote on July 21 in Slate: “There’s a tendency to judge U.S. foreign policy on the condition of the world at any given moment rather than the success of actual actions taken,” as if the condition and the actions can have no conceivable link. “U.S. leverage is limited,” wrote Robert Kuttner in the Huffington Posta day earlier. “U.S. projections of . . . bravado or prudence have little to do with” how recent events have come out.
Obama legacy @Will_Antonin: Militants swim in pool at US embassy in Libya; American press suddenly & strangely unconcerned with “optics.”
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) August 31, 2014
Added to this is the fact that we lack the easy simplicities of the good old days when Hitler and Stalin were murdering millions. “Republican jingoists scapegoat President Obama for all the world’s ills and try to impose a simple story of weakness and strength on events of stupefying complexity,” Kuttner added, complaining that today’s wars lack the grandeur and moral simplicity of the Cold War, and of course World War II. “Who are the good guys and bad guys in Syria and Iraq?” Corn concurred: “Barack Obama is in charge . . . at a time when the world seems to be cracking up more than usual. . . . There are no simple fixes to these nuance-drenched problems. . . . None of these matters are easily resolved.” Read the rest of this entry »
BREAKING: President Obama Jets to New Rochelle to Attend Wedding of his Personal Chef Sam Kass to MSNBC’s Alex WagnerPosted: August 30, 2014
UPDATE: White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest clarified Obama’s schedule Friday afternoon, noting that he would return to the White House tonight after his fundraisers in New York. He is expected to travel back to New York on Saturday for the wedding of his personal chef Sam Kass to MSNBC’s Alex Wagner.
According to Earnest, Obama decided to “sleep in his own bed,” do a little work tomorrow, and spend some time with his family before going to the wedding. Read the rest of this entry »
“I thought he had a phone. How about picking up the phone and talking with the allies? You know the phone is a way to communicate rather rapidly.”
From The Corner: On Thursday’s Special Report, Charles Krauthammer reacted to President Obama’s statement, “I don’t want to put the cart before the horse—we don’t have a strategy yet,” about the United States’ effort against the Islamic State. Krauthammer said he was shocked by Obama’s statement, especially considering the context in which the comment was made.
“Look I thought that the president could no longer surprise me,” Krauthammer said. “I was wrong. He shocked me today. The President of the United States, in the middle of a real crisis, a few days after the beheading of an American, deliberately sort of spitting in the face of the country and demonstrating his cruelty, the president gets in front of the world and says, ‘I don’t have a strategy.'”
But even worse than the president’s statement that he had no strategy to defeat the Islamic State, Krauthammer said, was his comment about Ukraine. Read the rest of this entry »
Dark Media: The Islamic State’s Online Branding Efforts Show that they’re Waging a War Beyond the Grounds of Iraq and SyriaPosted: August 27, 2014
The Islamic State’s online branding efforts show that they’re waging a war beyond the grounds of Iraq and Syria: http://t.co/XdM9AxuzYw
— WSJ Live (@WSJLive) August 27, 2014
Most of the veterans sat on their hands, leaving awkward silences where White House speechwriters expected ovations
President Barack Obama faced a tough crowd on Tuesday – American military veterans – and fell flat on his applause lines as he failed to win over the American Legion’s convention-goers.
“You could tell when the applause was genuine and when it wasn’t. It was obvious to everyone here.”
– Virginia Legionnaire in attendance
The 35-minute speech seemed to have reminded the audience of the stark divide between the White House’s policy choices and the feelings of the men and women often called on to carry them out.
A Virginia legionnaire who served in the U.S. Marine Corps told MailOnline that ‘a small group of Obama’s admirers – and there are some here – sat near the front and tried to generate applause for him about 10 times.’ Read the rest of this entry »
ISIS Makes Liberals Rediscover the Necessity of Hard Power
Bret Stephens writes: So now liberals want the U.S. to bomb Iraq, and maybe Syria as well, to stop and defeat ISIS, the vilest terror group of all time. Where, one might ask, were these neo-neocons a couple of years ago, when stopping ISIS in its infancy might have spared us the current catastrophe?
“Are we going to fight terrorists over there—or are we going to wait for them to come here? “
Oh, right, they were dining at the table of establishment respectability, drinking from the fountain of opportunistic punditry, hissing at the sound of the names Wolfowitz, Cheney, Libby and Perle.
And, always, rhapsodizing to the music of Barack Obama.
Not because he is the most egregious offender, but only because he’s so utterly the type, it’s worth turning to the work of George Packer, a writer for the New Yorker. Over the years Mr. Packer has been of this or that mind about Iraq. Yet he has always managed to remain at the dead center of conventional wisdom. Think of him as the bubble, intellectually speaking, in the spirit level of American opinion journalism.
(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama sent no White House representative to the memorial Mass held yesterday in Rochester, New Hampshire, for James Foley, the American journalist beheaded by the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) terrorists.
President Obama, however, did send three White House aides to Monday’s funeral for Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African American fatally shot in an encounter with a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo.
“There was nobody that represented the White House.”
The memorial mass for James Foley took place Sunday at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary in Foley’s hometown. Connie Hammond, an administrative assistant at Holy Rosary, told CNSNews.com that no White House officials were in attendance. Read the rest of this entry »
The Corner‘s Andrew Johnson: Former CIA deputy director Michael Morell called the Islamic State’s rapidly growing strength and control of territory in Iraq and Syria “the most complex terrorism problem that I have ever seen.”
While he said “there are no magic bullets” for dealing with the situation, he offered a potential strategy on Face the Nation. First, the United States must work towards taking the controlled territories in Iraq and Syria, which will require a political solution with the former’s government; doing so in Syria will likely be notably more difficult…(more) NRO
Progressives can’t wish away human nature.
Charles C. W. Cooke writes: H. G. Wells’s famous prediction that the First World War would be the “war to end all wars” was met with skepticism by the British prime minister. “This war, like the next war,” David Lloyd George quipped in the summer of 1916, “is a war to end war.” History, he sighed, is not shaped by wishful thinking.
“The lessons of history endure, because human nature never changed.”
– J. Rufus Fears
Two decades later, Lloyd George would be proven right. And yet, in the intervening period, it was Wells’s sentiment that prevailed. The horrors of the trenches having made rationalization imperative, a popular and holistic narrative was developed. The Great War, Woodrow Wilson quixotically argued, had finally managed to “make the world safe for democracy” and, in doing so, had served an invaluable purpose. Henceforth, human beings would remember the valuable lesson that had been written in so much blood, coming together in mutual understanding to, as Wells rather dramatically put it,“exorcise a world-madness and end an age.” And that, it was thought, would be that. Read the rest of this entry »
WASHINGTON — He had just hung up the telephone with the devastated parents before heading in front of the cameras. Unusually emotional, President Obama declared himself “heartbroken” by the brutal murder of an American journalist, James Foley…(more)
Countering Radical Narratives Requires Understanding the Radicalized
Nimmi Gowrinathan writes: Reports that women have formed their own brigade within the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) have confounded experts — and worried them. For many, the idea of women as violent extremists seems paradoxical. After all, why should women want to join a political struggle that so blatantly oppresses them?
“In war zones across the world, women absorb a disproportionate amount of the fallout from conflict, including material deprivation in refugee camps, daily harassment and fear in militarized zones, and a constant vulnerability to rape.”
That question reveals more about the experts than the fighters. Those who ask it assume, first, that women are more peaceful than men by nature; and second, that women who participate in armed rebellion are little more than cannon fodder in a man’s game, fighting foolishly for a movement that will not benefit them. As the women of ISIS prove, both assumptions are false.
“Joining the fight is sometimes the only way to survive.”
To understand the women of ISIS and their motivations, it helps to place them in their historical context, among the legions of women in El Salvador, Eritrea, Nepal, Peru, and Sri Lanka who voluntarily joined violent movements and militias, sometimes even as highly ranked officers. In each of these cases, women joined for the same basic reasons as men. Living in deeply conservative social spaces, they faced constant threats to their ethnic, religious, or political identities — and it was typically those threats, rather than any grievances rooted in gender, that persuaded them to take up arms. Read the rest of this entry »
‘Flawless’ Except That the Hostages Weren’t There
“Was this a failure of intelligence? No…This operation, by the way, was a flawless operation, but…”
Reporters Released by Islamic State Say They Spent Several Months With Beheaded Journalist
PARIS - David Gauthier-Villars reports: Former French hostages in Syria said they spent several months in captivity with James Foley, the American journalist whose beheading was videotaped and posted on the Internet this week, and had shared the information with U.S. authorities.British Broadcasting Corp.
Didier François, a reporter with French radio Europe 1 who was kidnapped by Islamist insurgents in Syria in June of last year, said he shared a cell with Mr. Foley from September 2013 to April, when he was released by the group that calls itself Islamic State.
“He was an extraordinary man, an impressive journalist, an extremely strong man who never cracked down despite the incredibly difficult conditions.”
Mr. François told Europe 1. Upon his release with three other French reporters, Mr. François said he contacted Mr. Foley’s family, as well as U.S. authorities, to share information about the American correspondent.
U.S. Special Operations forces mounted an unsuccessful mission inside Syria earlier this summer to try to rescue Mr. Foley and other Americans held by the Islamic extremists, senior Obama administration officials have said. Read the rest of this entry »
President Bush said yesterday that he gave up golfing in 2003 “in solidarity” with the families of soldiers who were dying in Iraq, concluding that it was “just not worth it anymore” to play the sport in a time of war…(more)
NEW YORK TIMES HEADLINE: OBAMA VOWS TO ‘STAY ON COURSE’
The vacationing commander-in-chief returned to the golf course Wednesday after calling for justice in the brutal killing of an American journalist by ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) terrorists. …
The president zipped quickly from a local school to a Martha’s Vineyard golf course after his 12:45 p.m. media session. Obama delivered a short statement and took no questions from the assembled media.
[VIDEO] Tom Rogan: Obama White House ‘More Concerned with Domestic Popular Opinion Rather Than Foreign Strategic Threat’Posted: August 21, 2014
See Tom Rogan’s recent piece on the Islamic State and James Foley’s murder, “A Man of Courage and ISIS’s Face of Evil.”
National Review‘s Kevin D. Williamson writes: Barack Obama once had a good idea, or at least half of one: As the president himself pointed out in his recent remarks on the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., during his time in the Illinois state legislature he backed a law requiring that police take video of interrogations and confessions. Here’s a better idea: Capture all police interactions on video.
Doing so can make an important difference in how incidents such as the Brown shooting are understood. Consider the case of Erin Forbes, who was shot dead by police in the Philadelphia suburbs in circumstances similar to those of Mr. Brown.
Erin Forbes was a young black man who was shot by a police officer while unarmed. (Mostly unarmed — more on that in a bit.) Like Mr. Brown, he had robbed a convenience store not long before the shooting, taking a small amount of money from the cash register. Like Mr. Brown, he did not have a criminal record.
“The deployment of armored vehicles by small-town police departments responding to domestic disturbances is un-republican and ridiculous.”
But there are differences, too. Mr. Forbes was not from a poor, heavily black community where relations with the police were difficult. Mr. Forbes was, in fact, from a solid, upper-middle-class family. His mother was a professor of African-American studies at Temple University, and he himself had been a soldier in the U.S. Army. His family lived in the suburbs, and he sometimes attended the Presbyterian church in Gladwyne, home of the seventh-wealthiest ZIP code in the United States. Read the rest of this entry »