Posted: May 18, 2016 Filed under: Think Tank, War Room, White House | Tags: Arms Trade Treaty, Assad, Barack Obama, Commentary, Dictator, Noah Rothman, Syria, United States
Where It All Went Wrong for Obama
Noah Rothman writes:
“One U.S. official who has been briefed on the options on Syria said he believed the White House would seek a level of intensity ‘just muscular enough not to get mocked,’” read a report in the Los Angeles Times. In his rebuke, was the president correcting Republicans, Democrats, America’s British allies, or the members of his own Cabinet? Perhaps the answer is all of the above.
“What kind of world will we live in if the United States of America sees a dictator brazenly violate international law with poison gas, and we choose to look the other way?”
[Read the full text here, at commentary]
He closed the speech by asking the country to summon up the resolve to punish Assad while simultaneously justifying his predetermination to stay his hand. It was the most confused and irresolute speech given by a sitting American president in living memory…(read more)
Posted: May 1, 2016 Filed under: Global, Politics, Russia, Terrorism, Think Tank | Tags: Agence France-Presse, Algemeiner Journal, Arab people, Barack Obama, Communism, Cuba, EUROPE, European Union, George Washington, Marxism, Syria, United States
Agustin Blazquez: America Is Turning Into Communist State
Filmmaker and American citizen Agustin Blazquez never thought his native Cuba would
become a communist country, but now he sees the same radical shift happening in America.
In this exclusive video interview for The Daily Caller News Foundation, he says the left has been clever by using “very non-threatening words,” like liberal, progressive and concerned citizens, for advancing government control of American lives
“Watching President Barack Obama travel to Cuba, he says, made him ‘want to throw up.’ This was a ‘betrayal to victims of communism.'”
The truth about Cuban politics is hard to find because of media spin and propaganda dominating American discourse.
For Blazquez, watching American youth embrace avowed socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders for president, strikes him as “absurd.” It is the end result, he says, of the cultural marxist education and media propaganda that has anesthetized too many Americans who do not defend the values that made America exceptional.
Watching President Barack Obama travel to Cuba, he says, made him “want to throw up.” This was a “betrayal to victims of communism,” the filmmaker of “Covering Cuba” says. Blazquez adds there are “so many [Nelson] Mandelas” in Cuban prisons, who are tortured, denied medical attention and abused.
Yet, prominent black elites from America, including most incredibly to him, the Congressional Black Caucus, are wined and dined by the political elites but are blind to their “betrayal of blacks in Cuba.” Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: April 21, 2016 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Religion, Terrorism | Tags: Anadolu Agency, Ankara, Brussels, EUROPE, European Union, Istanbul, President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Syria, Turkey
“The government didn’t take over these pieces of property in order to protect them. They did so to acquire them.”
— Ahmet Guvener, pastor of Diyarbakir Protestant Church
The state-sanctioned seizure is just the latest in a number of worrying developments to come out of increasingly hardline Turkey, which is in advanced talks with the EU over visa-free travel for its 80 million citizens.
Included in the seizures are Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox churches, one of which is over 1,700 years old.
They have now effectively become state property – meaning they are run by the government – in a country with a dire human rights record where about 98 percent of the population is Muslim.
The order to seize the churches was made on March 25 by Erdogan’s council of ministers, according to the website World Watch Monitor.
[Read the full story here, at express.co.uk]
They claim it was made on the grounds that authorities intend to rebuild and restore the historical centre of the city, which has been partially destroyed by 10 months of urban conflict between government forces and militants from the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK).
But the seizures have outraged worshippers at the churches, who fear a government coup against their religion are now threatening to take legal action against the decision. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: January 12, 2016 Filed under: Global, War Room, White House | Tags: Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, Bashar al-Assad, Free Syrian Army, Incirlik Air Base, Islam, Persian Gulf, Syria, Turkey, United States European Command
“Earlier today, we lost contact with two small U.S. naval craft en route from Kuwait to Bahrain. We subsequently have been in communication with Iranian authorities, who have informed us of the safety and well-being of our personnel. We have received assurances the sailors will promptly be allowed to continue their journey.”
— Senior administration official
Two Navy boats are reportedly in Iranian custody, according to the Associated Press.
Iran has reportedly told the US that the crew will be returned “promptly.”
“Earlier today, we lost contact with two small U.S. naval craft en route from Kuwait to Bahrain,” a senior administration official said in a statement.
Google Earth/Amanda Macias/Business Insider
“We are working to resolve the situation such that any US personnel are returned to their normal deployment. We are hopeful it will be resolved.”
— White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes
“We subsequently have been in communication with Iranian authorities, who have informed us of the safety and well-being of our personnel. We have received assurances the sailors will promptly be allowed to continue their journey.” Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: January 8, 2016 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Politics, Self Defense, Terrorism | Tags: #NotJustAGun, Brussels, Citizenship of the European Union, European Council, European Union, Gun control, Gun violence, Guns, Illegal immigration, Iran, Member state of the European Union, Paris, Sudan, Syria, The Washington Examiner, United States, United States Congress, United States House of Representatives, Washington State
US Now Ranks 11th in Fatalities and 12th in Frequency.
“But we are the only advanced country on Earth that sees this kind of mass violence erupt with this kind of frequency. It doesn’t happen in other advanced countries. It’s not even close. And as I’ve said before, somehow we’ve become numb to it and we start thinking that this is normal.”
– President Obama, announcing his new executive orders on guns, January 7, 2016
This claim is simply not true. Between January 2009 and December 2015, there are 11 European countries with a higher frequency of these mass public shootings than the US, and 10 European countries with a higher rate of deaths from these attacks.
Indeed, over that same period of time, the European Union (EU) suffered 303 deaths from mass public shootings, while the US had 199. In terms of injuries from these attacks the gap was even much greater, with EU countries facing 680 versus just 197 for the US. However, given the EU’s larger population, the per million people fatality rate for the US and the EU as a whole are virtually identical (0.62 for the US and 0.60 for the EU). By contrast, the injury rate in the EU is much higher (0.61 for the US and 1.34 for the EU).
This past year was a particularly bad one for Europe, with 8 Mass Public Shootings versus only 4 for the United States. Indeed, these 8 Mass Public Shootings for Europe in 2015 count for one-third of all their attacks over the entire seven year period of time…(read more)
Even if one puts it in terms of frequency, the president’s statement is still false, with the US ranking 12th compared to European countries.
Click on tables to enlarge them.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: January 4, 2016 Filed under: Asia, Global, Law & Justice, Politics, Terrorism, White House | Tags: Arab people, Arab States of the Persian Gulf, Arab world, EUROPE, Islam, Muslim world, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates, United States
Rick Moran writes: The new year has gotten off to quite a start. Shia Iran and the Sunni Arab states have broken relations and are beginning to sound a lot like belligerents ready to go to war. The Chinese stock market tanked by nearly 7% while the Dow bled 300 points to open the year. And with the Iowa caucuses 30 days away, we will soon be faced with the probable choice of electing a screeching liberal harridan or a screaming celebrity tycoon.
[Read all 10 here, at PJ Media]
But beyond that, there are at least 10 reasons why the global outlook for 2016 is so bad, we will end up envying the ostrich. The Eurasia Group has issued its annual list of the political and geopolitical trends that threaten stability, and if only a couple of these trends end up materializing, we’re going to wish we never woke up on New Year’s Day.
1. The Hollow Alliance
The trans-Atlantic partnership has been the world’s most important alliance for nearly 70 years, but it’s now weaker, and less relevant, than at any point in decades. It no longer plays a decisive role in addressing any of Europe’s top priorities.
2. Closed Europe
In 2016, divisions in Europe will reach a critical point as a core conflict emerges between Open Europe and Closed Europe — and a combination of inequality, refugees, terrorism, and grassroots political pressures pose an unprecedented challenge to the principles on which the new Europe was founded.
3. The China Footprint
The recognition in 2016 that China is both the most important and most uncertain driver of a series of global outcomes will increasingly unnerve other international players who aren’t ready for it, don’t understand or agree with Chinese priorities, and won’t know how to respond to it.
4. ISIS and “Friends”
For 2016, this problem will prove unfixable, and Isil (and other terrorist organisations) will take advantage of that. The most vulnerable states will remain those with explicit reasons for Isil to target them (France, Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the United States)…(read more)
Source: PJ Media
Posted: January 4, 2016 Filed under: Global, Mediasphere, Religion, War Room | Tags: Anti-imperialism, Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Bashar al-Assad, International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran, Khuzestan, Obama administration, Photography, RUSSIA, Shalamcheh, Syria, Tank, Tehran
‘There are relics left along the Iran-Iraq boarders. A group of Iranian female students play around an abandoned tank [in Shalamcheh, Khuzestan, Iran]. Among them, one girl stands on the tank with her arms open.’ (Yanan Li / National Geographic 2015 Photo Contest)
See more here
Source: Winners of 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest
Posted: January 3, 2016 Filed under: Art & Culture, Global, Politics, Religion, Terrorism, Think Tank | Tags: Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, Angela Merkel, Beijing, China, David Cameron, EUROPE, European Union, François Hollande, Information technology, Internet, Internet censorship in the People's Republic of China, Internet governance, Member of Parliament, President of the People's Republic of China, Syria, United Kingdom, United States, Wuzhen, Xi Jinping, Zhejiang
In 2015 we witness a rare geopolitcal power shift – and in the face of every kind of new external challenge the leaders of the EU and the USA have never looked weaker or more bemused.
Christopher Booker writes: As we enter this new year, what is the most significant feature of how the world is changing that went almost unnoticed in the year just ended? Two events last autumn might have given us a clue.
One was the very peculiar nature of that state visit in October, when the president of China was taken in a golden coach to stay at Buckingham Palace, down a Mall lined with hundreds of placard-waving pro‑China stooges, while the only people manhandled away by Chinese security guards were a few protesters against China’s treatment of Tibet and abuses of human rights.
[Read the full story here, at the Telegraph]
Everywhere we see Western illusions colliding with reality, as when the reckless bid to suck Ukraine into the EU and Nato inevitably provoked a response from President Putin
and a Russian sense of national interest that has left us looking pathetically impotent.
Queen Elizabeth II and President of The PeopleÕs Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping, ride in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach along The Mall Photo: PA
Led by David Cameron, our politicians could not have fawned more humiliatingly on the leader of a country whose economy, before its recent wobbles, was predicted by the IMF to overtake that of the US as the largest in the world in 2016. While Britain once led the world in steel‑making and the civil use of nuclear power, the visit coincided with the crumbling of the remains of our steel industry before a flood of cheap Chinese steel, as our politicians pleaded for China’s help in building, to an obsolete design, the most costly nuclear power station in the world.
Three weeks later came the rather less prominent visit of Narendra Modi, prime minister of India, whose even faster-growing economy is predicted by financial analysts to become bigger than Britain’s within three years, and to overtake China’s as the world’s largest in the second half of the century. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 29, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, Global, Mediasphere, War Room | Tags: Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II, France, French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle (R91), Gulf War, Incirlik Air Base, Middle East, Persian Gulf, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates
and The U.S. aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman came about 1,500 yards from an Iranian rocket in the Strait of Hormuz last week, two U.S. military officials told NBC News on Tuesday.
As the Truman was transiting the strait, which connects the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf, Iranian Revolutionary Guards conducted a live-fire exercise right near the U.S. carrier Saturday, officials said.
Meanwhile, in Hawaii
A U.S. military official said an Iranian navy fast and short attack craft began conducting a live-fire exercise at the same time the carrier was nearing the end of the strait, firing off several unguided rockets. A French frigate, the U.S. destroyer USS Buckley and other commercial traffic were also in the area.
[Read the full report here, at NBC News]
The official said the U.S. ships were in the “internationally recognized maritime traffic lane” at the time, not in any territorial waters, when the Iranian navy announced over maritime radio that it was about to conduct a live-fire exercise and asked other vessels to remain clear. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 24, 2015 Filed under: Asia, Japan, Terrorism, War Room | Tags: Asahi Shimbun, Government of Japan, hostage, Japan, Park Geun-hye, Sankei Shimbun, Shinzō Abe, South Korea, Syria, Tokyo, Yoshihide Suga
The Japanese government is seeking information after reports a Japanese freelance journalist is being held hostage in Syria and has been threatened with execution, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Thursday.
“Given the nature of the matter, I would like to refrain from commenting on details.”
Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said this week it had received information that an armed group holding journalist Yasuda Jumpei hostage had started a countdown for an unspecified ransom to be paid and had threatened to execute or sell him to another group if their demands were not met.
“The safety of our citizens is an important responsibility of the government, so we are making every effort and making full use of various information networks.”
— Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga
RSF said in a statement on its website that Yasuda was kidnapped in July by an armed group in an area controlled by the militant Nusra Front, al Qaeda’s Syria wing, shortly after entering Syria earlier that month.
It urged the Japanese government to do what was needed to save Yasuda. Suga said the Japanese government knew of the case but was not aware of any fresh developments.
“Given the nature of the matter, I would like to refrain from commenting on details,” he told a regular news conference. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 21, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Global, Terrorism, War Room | Tags: Accession of Turkey to the European Union, Astana, Brussels, EUROPE, European Council, European Parliament, European Union, Syria, Turkey, United Kingdom
Berlin (AFP) – The Islamic State group may have stolen “tens of thousands” of blank passports that it could use to smuggle its fighters into Europe as refugees, a German newspaper reported Sunday.
The Welt am Sonntag cited Western intelligence sources as saying that IS could have acquired the stolen travel documents in areas of Syria, Iraq and Libya it now controls.
The passports could be issued to would-be attackers to enter the European Union as asylum seekers, according to the report.
Moreover IS has already launched a money-spinning operation with the fake documents, selling them on the black market where they fetch up to 1,500 euros ($1,630) each, Welt said.
European authorities have repeatedly warned of the potential threat posed by refugees travelling with counterfeit documents.
The two unidentified Stade de France attackers in Paris have been tracked back to two fake Syrian passports used to enter Europe.
“The large influx of people who are travelling to Europe unchecked represents a security risk,” the head of EU border agency Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri, told Welt. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 15, 2015 Filed under: Religion, Terrorism, War Room | Tags: al Qaeda, Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Al-Raqqah, Barack Obama, Caliphate, Islam, Islamic state, Joe Biden, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Unified School District, Syria, United States
Within minutes of the news of the bomb scare in LA, ISIS supporters created a web forum titled ‘Panic in the American Los Angeles.’
“Allah Akbar, closure of all the school in Los Angeles because of threats. 640,000 returned to their homes, Oh God, increase their panic!!”
Within minutes of news of the closure, ISIS loyalists created a thread on an online forum with the title “Panic in the American Los Angeles,” Vocativ’s deep web analysis found. Islamic State adherents are using the thread to gloat about the panicked response—though none so far have taken credit for the attack.
“Thanks God, they are panicked of everything. The soldiers of the Caliphate will look after you until the world will be under the rule of Allah,” wrote one supporter. Another responded with, “Oh God, never make them safe. Put panic in their hearts.”
Another ISIS supporter took to Twitter to comment on the school closings in Los Angeles. “The city of Los Angeles is closing schools and vital areas because of the security threat. Oh God, destroy the worshipers of the cross,” the tweet, written by someone who identifies himself as Ali al-Baghdadi, reads. On another ISIS-friendly Twitter feed that is regarded as an unofficial arm of the ISIS propaganda machine, an ISIS supporter celebrated the fact that nearly 650,000 kids were sent home from school. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 11, 2015 Filed under: Mediasphere, Politics, Terrorism, War Room, White House | Tags: Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police, Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, ISIS, Islamism, Jihadism, Obama administration, Policy, Sexual abuse, Syria, The Pentagon, United States Armed Forces, Washington Free Beacon
The Islamic State Wants Us to Destroy It
Blake Seitz reports: The Islamic State terrorist group wants nothing more than for the U.S. Armed Forces to destroy it, politicians and pundits say.
“They are begging for U.S. troops on the ground. That’s what they want.”
— former Obama administration official Van Jones
Dozens of thought leaders familiar with the terrorist group say that its members yearn for the day that close air support from an A-10 Warthog cuts them in half while coalition soldiers storm Raqqa.
“The one thing ISIS wants the most: American boots on the ground.”
— CNN anchor Fareed Zakaria
“They are begging for U.S. troops on the ground,” former Obama administration official Van Jones said. “That’s what they want.”
“The one thing ISIS wants the most: American boots on the ground,” CNN anchor Fareed Zakaria said.
“As long as we’re relying on military force, this is the kind of terms [sic] that ISIS wants. This is what strengthens them,” Institute for Policy Studies scholar Phyllis Bennis said….(read more)
Source: Washington Free Beacon
Posted: December 11, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, Terrorism, War Room, White House | Tags: Barack Obama, Democratic Party (United States), FBI, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Hillary Clinton, Islamism, Jack Murphy, Jihadism, San Bernardino, SOFREP, Syed Rizwan Farook, Syria, United States, United States Department of Justice
Jonah Bennett reports: The FBI has taken heat for failing to immediately classify the San Bernardino shootings as terrorism, but a new report shows that FBI reluctance could have been due to external pressure from the White House.
“Part of the reason for trying to avoid the designation of the shootings as terrorism is because it threatens to upset the Obama administration’s strategy in Syria. A case of Islamic terrorism in the U.S. would put additional pressure on the administration to play a much more active role in the conflict.”
A source told Jack Murphy of SOFREP that the FBI instantly believed the shooting, which left 14 dead, to be a clear act of terrorism. The White House, however, didn’t feel the same way and quickly moved in to squash the terror classification.
“But in this case, because the preponderance evidence so pointed to terrorism, the FBI’s hand was forced, and the agency declared the existence of a terrorism investigation, going against top-down priorities from the White House.”
This source added that as soon as the shooting took place, Obama convened a meeting with the National Security Council and the heads of other federal enforcement agencies to discuss a public relations strategy.
[Read the full story here, at The Daily Caller]
Part of the reason for trying to avoid the designation of the shootings as terrorism is because it threatens to upset the Obama administration’s strategy in Syria. A case of Islamic terrorism in the U.S. would put additional pressure on the administration to play a much more active role in the conflict. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 10, 2015 Filed under: Mediasphere | Tags: Counterfeit, Democratic Party (United States), Federal government of the United States, Forensic Document Laboratory, James R. Clapper, Muslim, Passports, Refugee, Syria, United States Census Bureau, United States Office of Personnel Management, Vetting
October 16, 2015, Dan Cadman writes: My colleague Nayla Rush has written a posting about the recent testimony of government witnesses at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the administration’s intent to admit at least 10,000 Syrian refugees fleeing the dissolution of their country.
What is happening in Syria is heart-rending, but the key question posed at the hearing was: How safe can Americans feel about the vetting processes in place to screen applicants? The question is sobering, given the Islamist extremism that predominates in Syria, where the United States futilely spent half of a billion dollars trying to find enough “moderate” fighters to combat the Assad regime, only to give up in disgust when the last batch surrendered their weapons, munitions, and equipment to the al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front in order to buy their way out of a jam.
The government witnesses (more like sacrificial lambs; none of them sit at the highest levels of agency or cabinet departments involved) did their best, obliged as they were to toe the White House party line on the issue, but frankly were unpersuasive and the assurances they gave rang hollow, as Rush has pointed out.
There are three critical ways in which our vetting procedures make us vulnerable:
“Flying under the radar”. As I have noted before, our vetting is heavily oriented toward electronic systems — databases with biographical information about known or suspected terrorists, sometimes with biometrics (fingerprints or photos). But what do you do if they aren’t known and have no fingerprints of record in any U.S. system? Why, then you look at the documents they present to you for clues.
[Read the full text here, at Center for Immigration Studies]
What happens if they don’t have any documents to present? Media stories about the “migrant flood” are replete with articles about the hundreds of identity and travel documents discarded on the pathways these aliens are using in their trek toward Europe. The answer is that they will assume whatever identity and nationality they choose to provide to the refugee resettlement agencies responsible for developing, under UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) supervision, the queues of applicants our officers will be asked to vet.
Using bogus documents is easy and no disqualifier. Then there is the ease with which fraudulent documents are being procured throughout the migrant pathways into the heart of Europe right now — some of them legitimate, but altered to accommodate the new bearers; others excellent counterfeits. According to BBC News, they are being used with remarkable success to pass through border and airport checkpoints and are readily available, as one of their own undercover investigations revealed.
Although there is certainly some chance that such documents would be discovered by U.S. officers who have available to them an outstanding Forensic Document Laboratory (FDL), it may surprise readers that use of phony documents doesn’t make you ineligible for refugee or asylum status. This is something government officials don’t like to discuss in public forums such as the Judiciary Committee hearing, where they would have us think of the screening process as an impenetrable iron wall to national security threats.
The principle behind overlooking use of fake documents is firmly embedded in both international and domestic law, for the most noble of reasons. Think of Raoul Wallenberg, who saved many Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe by providing them Swedish passports without regard to their real nationality. Even so, the stakes for the American people are extraordinarily high if the individuals using those fake documents aren’t in fact refugees in distress, particularly since, according to the UNHCR, 68 percent of the nearly 600,000 who’ve made the journey as of October 2015 are adult males. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 8, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Politics, Terrorism, War Room, White House | Tags: Afghanistan, Associated Press, Classified information, David Petraeus, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Iraq, Middle East, Paula Broadwell, Syria, United States Congress, United States Senate Committee on Armed Services
Benghazi questions yet unanswered ahead of Clinton testimony.
As the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was unfolding, a high-ranking Pentagon official urgently messaged Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s top deputies to offer military help, according to an email obtained by Judicial Watch.
The revelation appears to contradict testimony Defense Secretary Leon Panetta gave lawmakers in 2013, when he said there was no time to get forces to the scene in Libya, where four Americans were killed, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens.
“I just tried you on the phone but you were all in with S [apparent reference to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton],” reads the email, from Panetta’s chief of staff Jeremy Bash. “After consulting with General Dempsey, General Ham and the Joint Staff, we have identified the forces that could move to Benghazi. They are spinning up as we speak.”
” … we have identified the forces that could move to Benghazi. They are spinning up as we speak.”
– Jeremy Bash, Pentagon chief of staff
The email was sent out at 7:19 p.m. ET on Sept. 11, 2012, in the early stages of the eight-hour siege that also claimed the lives of Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith and two former Navy SEALs, Ty Woods and Glen Doherty, private CIA contractors who raced to the aid of embattled State Department workers.
Although the email came after the first wave of the attack at the consulate, it occurred before a mortar strike on the CIA annex killed Woods and Doherty.
“This leaves no doubt military assets were offered and ready to go, and awaiting State Department signoff, which did not come,” Judicial Watch, a nonprofit government watchdog said in a statement. Read the rest of this entry »