Soldiers Turning Against President Obama?

Neil Munro of the Daily Caller reports, “President Barack Obama was greeted with fleeting applause and extended periods of silence as he offered profuse praise to soldiers and their families during an Aug. 31 speech in Fort Bliss, Texas.”

“His praise for the soldiers — and for his own national-security policies — won cheers from only a small proportion of the soldiers and families in the cavernous aircraft-hangar,” notes Munro.

Florida has 21 military installations including having the Headquarters of the US Central Command in Tampa. Florida is home to over 1.6 million veterans.

Retired Special Forces soldiers, including Navy SEALs, former Iraq War veterans and families who have lost loved ones are now coming out and speaking out. What they are saying does not help the Commander-in-Chief. A growing number of former combat warriors are writing books, starting websites, producing TV ads and posting videos on YouTube all questioning three issues: What happened in the killing of  bin Laden; the rules of engagement in Afghanistan and the looming cuts to the Department of Defense, known as “sequestration”.

According to a study done by George Mason University, Florida will lose over 79,400 defense and defense related jobs if the $1.2 trillion in mandatory cuts occur in 2013. Yeshwanth Kandimalla from The Chronicle, reports, “President Barack Obama has noted that he will veto any attempt to reverse the 2013 sequester.”

Michelle Tan, of the Army Times, in an August 13, 2012 column titled “Crisis of Confidence” writes, “Only 26 percent of active Army leaders from sergeant to colonel said they believe the Army is headed in the right direction to prepare for the challenges of the next 10 years.” Tan’s column analyzes the findings of the 2011-12 Center for Army Leadership Annual Survey of Army Leadership released July 30, 2012.

“Citing the Army’s plans to shrink the force and political correctness among the key reasons, this marks an all-time low, down from 33 percent in 2010 and 38 percent in 2006,” notes Tan.

According to Tan, the report lists the following key reasons leaders believe the Army is not headed in the right direction:

  • An inability to retain quality leaders.
  • A lack of discipline or the belief that the Army is too soft.
  • Ineffective leaders at senior levels.
  • Senior leaders’ tendency to focus on the wrong priorities.
  • Promotions or advancements for junior leaders are happening too soon.
  • Insufficient resources, funding or technology.

In addition Tan reports, “24 percent of respondents said the Army’s plans to shrink the force will ‘significantly impact’ the services ability to respond to future conflicts.” The survey showed one in five leaders as “toxic”, which is described in the report as “leaders who promote themselves at the expense of their subordinates”.

Fundamentally Changing our Military for the Worse

Since the 1990s a fundamental transformation of our military from a fighting force into a non-fighting force has occurred. The role of our military has changed over time to weaken our ability to defend ourselves and has made America less safe.

The fundamental transformation began on May 3, 1994 when President Bill Clinton signed Presidential Decision Directive NSC-25. The Clinton directive moved our military from being a fighting force to a “multilateral peace keeping force”. The effects of this policy decision on the Department of Defense and ultimately upon our soldiers is chronicled in “Fighting Today’s Wars: How America’s Leaders Have Failed Our Warriors” by David G. Bolgiano and James M. Patterson. Colonel Michael Steele, U.S. Army (Retired) in the book’s forward states, “Over the last two decades the unparalleled military of the 1980s has been systematically eroded by an incessant wave of politically influenced thought on how we should wage war…Fighting Today’s Wars is a startling look at this insidious slide of our armed forces from a position of readiness to a position of timidity and avoidance.” Colonel Steele was a company commander in the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment during the Somalia mission Operation Gothic Serpent, which resulted in the now famous book and movie Black Hawk Down.

Bolgiano and Patterson note how our military and political leaders are “greening the war fighting process”.

This greening has led to our military “fighting the war [in Afghanistan] in yearly increments with the objective to avoid getting blown up or investigated rather than to achieve victory by vanquishing the enemy.” Bolgiano and Patterson state, “Avoiding engagement used to be anathema to the American military warrior culture, but these days killing the enemy and celebrating the tales around the campfire at night have been replaced with a bizarre and misplaced sense that we should somehow feel guilty about such killings, complete with mandatory counseling and sensing sessions.”

Bolgiano and Patterson note, “Every time a soldier fires a weapon in Iraq or Afghanistan, there is an investigation!” This is known as “Battle Command via AR 15-6”. Army Regulation 15-6  is the policy guide for conducting military investigations leading to possible courts martial charges. Bolgiano and Patterson believe this policy, “risks violating the social contract between our government and its citizen soldiers. At the individual level, it unnecessarily jeopardizes the lives of our warriors.”

Bolgiano and Patterson warn we are “morphing the [U.S.] military from a warfighting entity into a diplomatic corps focused on nation-building.”

In a new book “Fool Me Twice: Obama’s Shocking Plans for the Next Four Years Exposed“, co-authors Aaron Klein and Brenda J. Elliott sound a similar alarm about the fundamental transformation of our military. Klein and Elliott begin in Chapter One with this, “Imagine the fundamental transformation of the U.S. Armed Forces into a social work organization designed to combat ‘global warming’, fight global poverty, remedy ‘injustice’, bolster the United Nations, and increase ‘peacekeeping’ forces worldwide.”

Klein and Elliott describe how this fundamental transformation came about. “This messianic fantasy of ‘swords into plowshares’ is to be implemented in our dangerous world, driven by the [Center for American Progress (CAP) and the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS)] think tanks … who have infiltrated the highest levels of America – and global – power.” According to Klein and Elliott these think tanks, “[P]roduced a comprehensive ninety-six page report, or blueprint, titled A Report of the Task Force on a Unified Security Budget for the United States (or 2012 Unified Security Budget), which “lays out a future Obama ‘defense agenda’.”

The Unified Security Budget is a joint product of the Center for American Progress (CAP) and the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS). The report calls for scaling back all U.S. ground forces by 20%; reducing the Navy’s surface fleet by 20% and reducing the Air Force by two combat air wings. The report claims it will save $21 billion by reducing the U.S. nuclear arsenal to no more than 292 deployed nuclear weapons and the complete elimination of the Trident II nuclear missile, a process President Obama began in April 2010.

The Unified Security Budget has been adopted by President Obama’s Sustainable Defense Taskforce, which has recommended $1 trillion in defense cuts over ten years, a policy embedded in the Congressional legislation creating the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. Because the Commission failed to come to agreement the Department of Defense faces over $1 trillion in cuts over the next decade, which is known as “sequestration”.

Klein and Elliott warn, “Of immediate concern is the stated objective of transforming our armed forces to stress conflict resolution and diplomacy…The resolution of conflict by non-military means – diplomacy, economic aid, technical assistance – is the proper focus of other government (and nongovernment) agencies” not the military.

Klein and Elliott note, “But there is one interesting exception requiring massive increases in funding – any spending that funds ‘alternative energy’ or that focuses Defense Department resources on combating ‘climate change as a security threat’.”

Finally, Klein and Elliott state, “[T]he very premise of the [Unified Security Budget] report – minimizing defense capacity and redirection of resources – is deeply flawed and dangerous.”

This begs the question: Have we fundamentally changed our military for the worse?

RELATED COLUMNS:

Three US special forces gunned down by traitor Afghan soldier they were training – the THIRD such deadly betrayal of allied forces in a week

Republicans critical of Navy’s ‘Great Green Fleet’, $26 a gallon fuel

Military panel calls global warming a security threat

Concerned Veterans for America Presents “Veterans Appreciation Night”

On Saturday, August 18, Concerned Veterans for America presents “Veterans Appreciation Night,” to take place at the Fantasy of Flight aviation Attraction in Polk City, FL. This event is open to all active duty, reserve, guard, veterans and their families and is free of charge.

Concerned Veterans for America invites veterans, their families and friends to see the largest private collection of airworthy military and vintage aircraft from the golden age of flight and let us say “thank you” for your service to America.

DATE: Saturday, August 18, 2012
TIME: 7:00pm – 10:00pm
LOCATION: Fantasy of Flight Aviation Attraction
1400 Broadway Blvd. S.E.
Polk City, FL 33868

There will be music, a keynote speaker and a cash bar.

For entry/tickets, you must RSVP to http://veteransappreciation.eventbrite.com. Attendance is limited to 2500 attendees.

For more information, please contact Kate Pomeroy at 571-384-4935 or press@concernedveteransforamerica.org.

Concerned Veterans for America is a bipartisan, non-profit, 501(c)(4) organization that advocates for policies that will preserve the freedom and liberty we and our families so proudly fought and sacrificed to defend.

IN MEMORIAM

On Saturday morning August 6, 2011, 30 American warriors were killed when their Chinook helicopter was shot down in the Wardak province, Afghanistan. Among the killed were 17 members of SEAL Team SIX. U.S. Navy SEAL Aaron C. Vaughn and  U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. John W. Brown were from the state of Florida.

TODAY WE REMEMBER THESE BRAVE MEN AND THEIR FAMILIES

WEST COAST – NAVAL SPECIAL WARFARE

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Jesse D. Pittman, 27, Ukiah, CA.

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 2nd Class (SEAL) Nicholas P. Spehar, 24, Saint Paul, MN.

EAST COAST – NAVAL SPECIAL WARFARE

Lt. Cmdr. (SEAL) Jonas B. Kelsall, 32, of Shreveport, LA.

Special Warfare Operator Master Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Louis J. Langlais, 44, Santa Barbara, CA.

Special Warfare Operator Senior Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Thomas A. Ratzlaff, 34, Green Forest, AR.

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Senior Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist) Kraig M. Vickers, 36, Kokomo, Hawaii.

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Brian R. Bill, 31, Stamford, CT.

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) John W. Faas, 31, Minneapolis, MN.

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Kevin A. Houston, 35, West Hyannisport, MA.

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Matthew D. Mason, 37, Kansas City, MO.

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Stephen M. Mills, 35, Fort Worth, TX.

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist/Diver) Nicholas H. Null, 30, Washington, WV.

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Robert J. Reeves, 32, Shreveport, LA.

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Heath M. Robinson, 34, Detroit, MI.

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Darrik C. Benson, 28, Angwin, CA.

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL/Parachutist) Christopher G. Campbell, 36, Jacksonville, NC.

Information Systems Technician Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist) Jared W. Day, 28, of Taylorsville, UT.

Master-at-Arms Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) John Douangdara, 26, South Sioux City, NE.

Cryptologist Technician (Collection) Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) Michael J. Strange, 25, Philadelphia, PA.

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL/Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist) Jon T. Tumilson, 35, Rockford, IA.

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Aaron C. Vaughn, 30, Stuart, FL.

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Jason R. Workman, 32, Blanding, UT.

U.S. ARMY SOLDIERS

Chief Warrant Officer David R. Carter, 47, of Centennial, CO, assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), Aurora, CO.

Chief Warrant Officer Bryan J. Nichols, 31, of Hays, KS, assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, KS.

Sgt. Patrick D. Hamburger, 30, of Lincoln, NE, assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), Grand Island, NE.

Sgt. Alexander J. Bennett, 24, of Tacoma, WA, assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, KS.

Spc. Spencer C. Duncan, 21, of Olathe, KS, assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, KS.

U.S. AIRMEN

Tech. Sgt. John W. Brown, 33, Tallahassee, FL.

Staff Sgt. Andrew W. Harvell, 26, Long Beach, CA.

Tech. Sgt. Daniel L. Zerbe, 28, York, PA.

For the sake of these men, may we fight to win. For more information contact Florida residents Billy & Karen Vaughn parents of fallen (SEAL) Aaron Vaughn at www.forourson.us

Gov. Romney Is Correct Cultural Differences Explain Israeli Economic Success

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has stated that Governor Mitt Romney was correct to note, as he did during a fundraiser dinner in Jerusalem, that Israeli culture plays a large part in Israel’s superior economic performance over the Palestinians.

Governor Romney said “Culture makes all the difference … And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things … As you come here and you see the G.D.P. per capita, for instance, in Israel, which is about $21,000, and compare that with the G.D.P. per capita just across the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority, which is more like $10,000 per capita, you notice such a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality. And that is also between other countries that are near or next to each other. Chile and Ecuador, Mexico and the United States.”

Palestinian Authority (PA) official Saeb Erekat has denounced Governor Romney’s statement as “racist.” Erekat said, “It is a racist statement and this man doesn’t realize that the Palestinian economy cannot reach its potential because there is an Israeli occupation … It seems to me this man lacks information, knowledge, vision and understanding of this region and its people” Ashley Parker & Richard A. Oppel, ‘Romney Trip Raises Sparks at a 2nd Stop,’ New York Times, July 30, 2012).

ZOA National Chairman of the Board Dr. Michael Goldblatt said, “Governor Romney was correct to observe that culture plays a decisive role in economic performance. In particular, he was right to note that this has produced widely divergent results in economic performance between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

“Israel has a culture of private enterprise, competition, innovation and technology and has had it since its earliest days. In contrast, the PA has been bedeviled from its inception with crony capitalism, endemic corruption, distortions of the market and other malpractices which also affect its economy in drastic ways, not least in the loss of foreign investor confidence.”

“Israeli society is characterized by religious, economic and personal freedom. By contrast, the PA is unsafe for political dissidents or religious or sexual minorities. Bethlehem, under PA control since 1995, has seen its traditionally Christian population dwindle to less than 20%. In Hamas-controlled Gaza, there has been an even sharper flight of Christians. And Palestinian gays who wish to live without fear of death or imprisonment often have only one option: refuge in Israel. It makes sense that a society with Israel’s open and broadly liberal culture would be more stable, better educated, attract greater investment and produce more and better goods.

“Palestinian culture is also afflicted with incitement to hatred and murder, glorification of violence and terror. One only has to look at PA TV programs, radio broadcasts and media features to see that it is the terrorist, not the entrepreneur, who is honored. The PA doesn’t name streets, schools and sports teams after scientists and inventors. It names them after suicide bombers and jailed terrorists.

“In the PA, as the ZOA has pointed out on many occasions, a public square, a summer camp for youth, a computer center and several events have been named in honor of Dalal Mughrabi, who led the terrorists who carried out the 1978 coastal road terrorist attack on an Israeli bus, murdering 37, including a dozen children.

Many Americans will recall that Palestinian enthusiasm for terrorism extends beyond Israel to the U.S., as those Americans who saw on their TV screens Palestinians celebrating the 9/11 attacks need no reminder.

“Saeb Erekat claims that Governor Romney’s statement was racist. This is predictably absurd: there was no reference in Governor Romney’s comparison of Israel and the Palestinians to religion or ethnicity, let alone race. He referred to culture, which indeed can make a major difference. A society which aspires to terrorism and ‘martyrdom’ rather than innovation and wealth-creation is going to perform poorly by comparison in the economic sphere.

“Erekat objects that the PA cannot perform well economically because it is under ‘occupation.’ Some people cannot live without alibis and need to blame others for failure, as Erekat does here. But the facts repudiate this shop-worn, opportunistic charge. Before the PA was established – in other words, when the areas now controlled by the PA were under Israeli control – economic growth was steady among Palestinians. Economic performance tapered off immediately after the PA assumed control in 1994, following the Oslo Accords, and all the attendant problems mentioned earlier came into play.”

“Even then, the PA was doing better in the mid-1990s than it was to do after 2000, when it launched a terrorist war against Israel. Naturally, joint projects, Israeli (and much foreign) investment came to a halt and the resultant hostilities destroyed or damaged much infrastructure. You can have war, but rarely can you have war and development. The Israeli economy also suffered from this war but, because of the general soundness of Israel’s economic culture, it recovered much more quickly once Palestinian terrorism was brought under control.”

“On this point, Governor Romney is right and his critics are wrong.”

NOTE: On May 1, 2012 the author returned from a 10 day visit to Israel and observed the vibrant economy and prosperity in the Israeli community he visited.

RELATED COLUMN:

Culture Does Matter by Mitt Romney in the National Review

Lethal Narcissism

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders describes narcissism as a personality disorder that “revolves around a pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and sense of entitlement.”

We all need a bit of narcissism that maintains our self-esteem and a positive outlook on life. Performing artists and sports figures, for example, need it to exert themselves to achieve in their fields of endeavor. Political figures, of course, also need a bit to advance and defend their point of view. It plays a role in providing leadership.

The problem is that it is often difficult to spot narcissism when it becomes a pathological disorder. In the case of the cult that Jim Jones fostered, it ended with the suicide of some nine hundred of his followers who gave a poisoned drink to their children and then took it themselves. History is filled with examples of men whose disorder led to the deaths of countless people to satisfy their delusions about themselves.

Some of the criteria of a narcissistic personality include:

1. Feels grandiose and self-important; exaggerates their achievements.

2. Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, unequaled brilliance, etc.

3. Is firmly convinced he or she is unique and can only be understood by other high-status people.

4. Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation.

5. Feels entitled and demands automatic and full compliance with their expectations.

6. Uses others to achieve his or her own ends.

7. Is devoid of empathy and is unable to identify with or acknowledge the feelings and needs of others.

8. Is constantly envious of others; believes they feel that way about him.

9. Is arrogant, has haughty behaviors or attitudes coupled with rage when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted.

This description is taken from the American Psychiatric Association (1994) manual cited above. It is based as well on the writings of Dr, Sam Vaknin, an authority on narcissism and author of “Malignant Self-Love.” A key point Dr. Vaknin makes is that the narcissist is NOT self-aware; he lies to others and to himself, and he is “master of disguise.”

At this point, you are probably thinking that I am describing Barack Hussein Obama, but in fact I am quoting from Ali Sina’s book, “Understanding Muhammad and Muslims.” Sina is one of the world’s leading authorities on both and through his writings and website at http://www.faithfreedom.org/, has made it his mission to encourage Muslims to understand how Islam warps their normal human values of love, tolerance, and life itself.

It is bad enough to contemplate the damage President Obama has done in just under four years as President, but I believe that the world is on the edge of an Islamic Armageddon because the fundamental teachings of Islam permit otherwise sane people to do insane things.

It was insane to fly passenger jets into the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001 to kill nearly three thousand people to advance the global domination of Islam. Before and since, the West and elsewhere around the world, there has been a non-stop succession of terrorist acts for this purpose. On an individual basis there have been hundreds of thousands of acts of murder and terror carried out by Muslims.

Sina writes, “Islam advanced with terror. Muslims are convinced that terror and deception will eventually make them victorious. They have an example in their prophet. His successes are their inspiration. They will not relent unless they are crushed.”

“The Islamic world is sick,” says Sina. “It would be shortsighted to deny that the cause of this sickness is Islam. Almost every crime, every abuse and inhumanity perpetrated by Muslims is inspired by the examples set by Muhammad and justified through his words and deeds.”

The great genocides of the past and as recently as World War Two’s Holocaust that killed six to seven million European Jews and a comparable number of others were carried out by the pathological narcissist Hitler, whose acts were rivaled by Stalin, and Mao Tse Tung.

As world leaders seek reasons to hope that the Iranians will cease their quest of nuclear weapons, the ayatollahs have in mind a worldwide; cataclysmic genocide in order to bring about the return of the Shiite Twelfth Imam.

If it sounds crazy, it is.

Muslims hate Judaism and Christianity, as well as all other religions. Killing the “infidel”, the unbeliever, is deeply embedded and justified in Islam.

The Israelis know this better than most and for this reason they will likely risk everything to end the threat of a nuclear Iran. They have acted twice to destroy nuclear reactors in Iraq and in Syria. If they are successful, they will have saved mankind.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Rubio vs Rooney on Muslim Brotherhood

Senator Marco Rubio appears to be following the lead of Senator John McCain on national security issues. From Egypt to Libya to Syria to the Muslim Brotherhood, Rubio parrots McCain.

Those who expected Senator Rubio to be an independent thinker on national security issues such as the defense of Israel and the threat of shari’ah Islam are having second thoughts. Some are questioning his national security credentials, which appear to be: follow the lead of Senator McCain.

While Senator Rubio during his campaign stated he supports Israel recent comments fly in the face of that support.

Senator Rubio has attacked fellow Florida member of Congress and Iraq war veteran Tom Rooney (FL-16) who in a letter called for an investigation of Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of the Departments of State, Defense, Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the CIA.

Alex Seitz-Wald’s column “Rubio Condemns Bachmann” on Salon.com states, “Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, a rising star in the party and a potential vice-presidential pick for Mitt Romney, said this morning that he disagreed with Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann’s baseless call to investigate Muslim Brotherhood infiltration in the U.S. government.” The Muslim Brotherhood has gained control of Libya and Egypt. Shariah Islamists appear to be leading the rebellion in Syria. HAMAS and al Qaeda are Muslim Brotherhood terrorist entities.

Seitz-Wald reports, “I am not a signatory to that letter,” Rubio said of Bachmann’s [and Rooney’s] letters to the inspectors general of several national security agencies demanding investigations. “I don’t share the feelings that are in that letter.”

The Center for Security Policy responded to comments made on the Senate floor by McCain. According to their website, “Sen. McCain made clear [during his Senate floor speech] that he: had not actually reviewed the curriculum; was unfamiliar with its extensive documentation of a stealthy ‘civilization jihad’ being mounted against this country, its civil society institutions and government; and misrepresented its findings.  By contrast, with the benefit of that resource and their own extensive research, the [five] Representatives wrote the State Department Inspector General, Amb. Harold Geisel, making the factual observation that his agency has recently adopted a number of policies that are ‘enormously favorable to the Muslim Brotherhood and its interests’.”

Representative Rooney in the letter went on to characterize those policies as ones that are “deeply problematic and may even pose security risks for this nation, its people and interests.”

Florida was mentioned 56 times in the 9/11 Commission report. Eleven of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were in Florida and three of the pilots, including Mohammed Atta the leader of the 9/11 plot, were trained in Venice, Florida. Many former members of the defense and intelligence community are concerned that Senator Rubio does not have a firm grasp of the threat of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist organizations to the United States.

Center for Security Policy President Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. said, “Congresswoman Bachmann and her colleagues have rendered a tremendous public service by raising an alarm about the dangers posed by the Muslim Brotherhood’s ‘civilization jihad.’  Far from being chastised for doing so, by Sen. McCain or others, they should be applauded and aided in their efforts to have the extent of Brotherhood influence operations properly investigated by Inspectors General and/or congressional committees.”

Related report from the Center for Security Policy:

Report Reveals Radical Islamist Views and Agenda of Senior State Department Official Huma Abedin’s Mother

A Short World Tour

The news of the world is on any given day is usually quite awful. Some days are worse than others and that seems to be the case of late.

On Thursday a Rasmussen Reports poll said that 62% of likely U.S. voters believe that economic growth is far more important than Obama’s socialist blather about “fairness.” Typically, 30% favored the latter.

There’s been a steady trickle of bad news for Americans wondering if we will ever see an economic recovery. The nation can recover, but only if we change presidents in November. The U.S. is headed straight over the cliff on January 1, 2013 if Congress does not take action to avoid the implementation of billions in tax increases and, for that matter, the repeal of Obamacare.

An automatic sequestration of funding will particularly hit defense, leaving its budget some 30% smaller in ten years. As a Wall Street Journal editorial noted on Thursday, “The U.S. would be left with the smallest Navy since World War I, the smallest ground forces in 70 years, and at just over 2.5% of GDP, the smallest defense budget since Pearl Harbor.” That spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

Let’s look beyond our shores.

I suspect that Europe is a long way from solving its financial crisis. The European Union has held more than seventeen summits in recent times and not one of them has “solved” the problem inherent in the Euro or the natural tendency of sovereign nations to look out for their own interests at the expense of others. Expecting the EU to overcome centuries of warfare, distrust, and mutual disdain, is not likely to have a happy outcome.

Back in October 2011, I shared my doubts about the EU, citing a book by Dr. Johan Van Overtveldt, “The End of the Euro”, subtitled “The uneasy future of the European Union.”

Overtveldt identified the central weakness of the European Union. “History teaches us that, in particular, the lack of real political union is a major barrier to the durability of a monetary union and its single currency.” The problem of the EU and the euro “is the loss of an independent monetary policy” because what works for Germany does not necessarily work for France, Spain, Italy, Greece, and the other EU members.”

Why something as obvious as this did not occur or did not deter the creation of the EU is one of those mysteries that must be left to future historians. Suffice to say, Germany is the EU’s strongest economy and, after Europe’s central banks get tired of moving billions around between them, the Germans will want to return to the deutschmark even if it takes a short term hit.

The Middle East is providing the usual barbaric blood and gore these days in Syria. Every one of its neighbors is praying that Bashar al-Assad, the second generation dictator there, will be killed ala Libya’s late Moammar Gadhafi so Syrians can patch together a government.

Egypt has held elections and a Muslim Brotherhood candidate is now its president, but the real power there is still held by the military and Mohamed Tantawi, its commander in chief. What we’re watching is political drama, not political reality.

Iraq has been experiencing the return of horrific bombings which are the usual Sunni versus Shiite discord.

On Wednesday the Iranians reminded us of their fanatical hatred of Jews, bombing a tourist bus in Bulgaria filled with young Israelis on holiday. They were swiftly identified as the perpetrators by Israel’s Prime Minister whose nation is literally surrounded by enemies. Israel’s (and America’s) biggest threat is a nuclear Iran and one is inclined to believe that the Israelis will never permit this to occur.

South America is a mixture of some nations such as Brazil doing well. Unfortunately Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez apparently will not die from cancer. Mexico is a virtual narco-state and conduit for drugs into the U.S. Mexicans just voted for the return of a political party noted for its history of corruption and its willingness to look the other way in exchange for less drug cartel violence.

Africa never seems to change for the better. For all the billions in foreign aid and charity that has been pumped into African nations over decades, they continue to fester in one fashion or another. There is so little good to be said of Africa that it rarely makes news.

Asia does not appear to pose any problems for the U.S. at present except for the huge amount of U.S. treasury notes held by China. President Obama is making noise on the campaign trail about China, but the U.S. is a wholly owned subsidiary. With a billion and a half people, China has its own problems. Meanwhile South Korea and Japan seem to be doing well enough. North Korea remains a disgrace to mankind.

Australia just had a “carbon tax” imposed on it by its government despite widespread opposition. It will ruin its economy and the lives of its citizens.

That’s a short world tour and I would suggest that if you have in mind taking a vacation this summer, you should consider the many wonders of America or Canada as opposed to the horrors of most other places.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Florida Implements Tough Anti-Terrorism Funding Bill

Flying below the media radar screen was an event on July 11, 2012 at which Governor Rick Scott signed legislation to keep state-chartered financial institutions from being pipelines for money supporting terrorism.

Governor Scott joined leaders of Florida’s Jewish community in standing against Iran’s development of weapons of mass destruction. Governor Rick Scott joined leaders of Florida’s Jewish community at the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County to ceremonially sign Senate Bill 792, Financial Institutions. The legislation gives the Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) the authority to require Florida’s state-chartered financial institutions to report information on any accounts that have connections with a foreign financial institution knowingly supporting international terrorism.

“Florida and Israel have strong cultural and economic ties, and as the only stable democracy in the Middle East, Florida must stand with Israel and against her enemies,” Governor Scott said. “One of Israel’s greatest threats is Iran and its leader’s insistence on developing nuclear capabilities and weapons of mass destruction. “We have a responsibility to stand for freedom and democracy and against terrorism.”

SB 792 creates new reporting requirements. OFR will be notified by Florida financial institutions whether any correspondent accounts or payable-through accounts with a foreign financial institution are knowingly:

· Facilitating the efforts of the Iranian government to develop weapons of mass destruction.

· Providing support to a foreign terrorist organization.

· Facilitating the activities of a person who is subject to financial sanctions by the United Nations Security Council’s Iranian sanction resolutions.

· Engaging in related money laundering activity.

· Facilitating efforts by Iranian financial institutions to carry out prohibited activities.

· Facilitating a significant transaction or providing significant financial services to an entity whose property interests are blocked pursuant to federal law associated with Iran’s proliferation of weapons of mass destruction or support for international terrorism.

To implement this legislation, OFR will submit an annual report to the Governor and the Legislature. Any state-chartered bank or credit union that does not provide information may face a penalty of $100,000. OFR will present information about the reporting process to the Governor and Cabinet at an upcoming meeting. Governor Scott thanked Senator Don Gaetz for sponsoring SB 792.

At War with Iran

“State TV said President Assad’s brother-in-law, Assef Shawkat, and Gen Dawoud Rajha, the defence minister were victims of a blast during a high level security meeting. The Interior minister was also injured. Gen Shawkat was the deputy defense minister and was among the most feared figures in Assad’s inner circle. He is married to Assad’s elder sister, Bushra.” – The Telegraph (UK) July 18, 2012

The best thing now for Syria would be a dead Bashar al-Assad and events are pointing toward that conclusion. The world has been watching the slaughter of Syrians by their own government as Bashar follows in his father’s footsteps.

Events dubbed the “Arab Spring” have forced dictators out of Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt, but left behind nations that are likely not much improved over their previous governments. Middle Eastern states are essentially groups of warring tribes and are divided by the schism between Sunnis and Shiites.

The motivation for these uprisings is the widespread poverty throughout the Middle East and the fact that much of the population is quite young. It is a volatile combination.

At this point, Bashar al-Assad and the minority Alawite tribe that supports him are concentrated on simply surviving. It is a civil war not unlike Libya’s. The earlier uprisings have inspired people to rid themselves of their dictators, but there has been no evidence that their replacements are in a mood to do anything but establish new governments to control the oil wealth that sustains much of the region.

For now, using the covert skills of the CIA, the U.S. is providing arms to the Syrian rebels while the Saudis are picking up the costs. Recall that the U.S. provided similar assistance to the mujahadin who forced the Soviet Union out of Afghanistan. That conflict included the creation of al Qaeda and their appreciation was demonstrated on 9/11.

At this point, other than guarding their border with Syria, the Israelis are concentrated on the threat that a nuclear Iran poses. They are not alone, but the question remains whether the Obama administration would support an attack on Iran. Obama’s animosity toward Israel could require them to wait in the hope of a new president by 2013.

The Israelis have a track record. In the past, when they felt their survival was on the line they destroyed an Iraqi nuclear reactor in the 1981 and a Syrian one in 2007. They have defeated their Arab neighbors in several wars since their founding in 1948.

Technically the U.S. has been at war with Iran since 1979 when the Islamic revolution there included taking 52 American diplomats hostage for 444 days. They were released when Reagan took the oath of office in 1981.

Iran has been the largest exporter of terrorism in the world since then. The ayatollahs have not ceased their quest for nuclear weapons capability and reportedly are closing in on the final stages. Meanwhile, they have developed missiles that could reach Israel, Europe, and even the U.S. Iran is this generation’s equivalent of Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

No matter what the outcome is in Syria, the Iranian leaders will at some point use nuclear weapons, most likely in an attack on Israel because their hatred of the Jewish State is irrational and because of their bizarre belief that they must bring about a global conflagration in order to secure the return of a mythical Twelfth Imam who will usher in a world under the domination of Islam.

Despite the inevitability of a nuclear war no one directing the affairs of this nation and others really wants to face the truth of this or, at least, discuss it in public. It explains, though, why the U.S. has moved a fleet of warships in and near the Strait of Hormuz, the chokepoint of the Persian Gulf and is building other military assets in the Gulf States.

How much of a military remains after the automatic sequester of Defense Department funding depends on the forthcoming election and the capacity of Congress to do anything sensible.

For now there are wars and rumors of war, and the world remains a huge insane asylum.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Drug Cartels Invade Florida: Narco-Terrorists to Follow

“The Mexican drug trade has left more than 50,000 bodies in its wake since 2006, and the cartels appear to be looking to expand their networks. With this in mind, the National Post’s graphics team takes a look at the flow of drugs across the continent,” Jonathon Rivait and Richard Johnson from the National Post report. Their analysis shows at least 1,000 U.S. cities reported the presence of at least one of four Mexican cartels in 2010. Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville and Orlando are among those cities. Tampa, Miami and Orlando reported the presence of multiple drug cartels with six reports of the Gulf Cartel or C.D.G. in Florida.

According to a February 2012 NARCONON NEWS article, “The discoveries of large drug shipments on submarines and fast boats in the Caribbean support the conclusion that South and Central American drug cartels are once again pointing their drug trafficking efforts at Florida.”

“Recent events have spurred concerns that Florida may once again become the target of Central or South American drug trafficking groups. Heightened drug trafficking activity in the Caribbean Sea and in the Dominican Republic point at the possibility that drug cartels are reclaiming their old trafficking channels and bringing their customary violence with them,” notes NARCONON NEWS.

Early this year NBC News Channel 7, in an article titled “Mexican Drug Cartel Busted in the Panhandle”, reported, “Federal and local authorities say the group, called the Gulf Cartel was responsible for bringing millions of dollars worth of marijuana into Florida. The co-ordinated raids began Monday night in Orlando and Washington County. Federal and local officers arrested more than 30 people total, and seized a staggering amount of evidence.”

Hezbollah terrorists working with Mexican drug cartels is the subject of this research paper written in 2014.

The map below was produced by the National Post and shows the infiltration routes and locations of drug cartels across the United States and Mexico:

Concerned Veterans for America hosting Organizational Event in Sarasota, FL

Sarasota, FL – Concerned Veterans for America will host an organizational event at 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 17, 2012 in in the Gold Coast Eagle Distributing Confernce Room located at 7051 Wireless Court, Sarasota, FL 34240. This open to the public event will education local veterans, their families and interested citizens about Concerned Veterans for America its mission, vision and goals. Light refreshments will be served.

The Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) mission is to advocate for policies that will preserve the freedom and liberty veterans and their families so proudly fought and sacrificed to defend. The goal of Concerned Veterans For America is to translate the experience, concerns, and hopes of our fellow veterans and their families into a common vision of liberty and freedom. CVA will provide a new and unique perspective on the issues that threaten to cripple not only our economic and national security, but the spirit of opportunity and liberty that we fought to defend and all Americans cherish. The CVA task will be to bring that fresh perspective to the American people and our leaders.

Gary Berntsen, CVA – Florida Director, notes, “Florida is home to over 1.6 million veterans, which is the largest percentage of veterans of any state in the nation. Florida has twenty-one military bases facing severe ‘sequestration’ cuts on January 1, 2013. Florida has two Constitutional initiatives favoring veterans, their families and orphaned children on the November 6, 2012 ballot. It is time for veterans to stand up and participate in the processes that will determine America’s future.”

“The Charlotte, Manatee, and Sarasota county area has over 100,000 veterans and their families. Having lead the successful CIA efforts to take down the Taliban in Afghanistan, Sarasota holds a special place in my heart,” Berntsen said.

There is a strong belief at CVA that the freedoms our veterans have defended – that our friends and loved ones suffered and died for – are threatened by the irresponsibility, broken promises, and misguided priorities in Washington. CVA contends that veterans, service-members, and their families are, and will continue to be, disproportionately affected by the current economic crises. Berntsen says, “We must rally to continue fighting as active citizens, just as we fought as soldiers.”

ABOUT GARY BERNTSEN:

Gary Berntsen, Director of Concerned Veterans for America – Florida, is a decorated former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) career officer who served in the Directorate of Operations between October 1982 and June 2005. During his time at the CIA, he served as a CIA Station Chief on three separate occasions and led several of CIA’s most important counterterrorism deployments including the United States’ response to the East Africa Embassy bombings and the 9/11 attacks. In December 2001, Berntsen served as the Commander of all CIA forces in Eastern Afghanistan and led the agency’s Jawbreaker team in Tora Bora. He was awarded the Distinguished Intelligence Medal in 2000 and the Intelligence Star in 2004. Mr. Berntsen is also a veteran of the United States Air Force.

Rubio Condemns Obama’s Failure To Recognize Hugo Chavez’s Threat To U.S. National Security

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) issued the following statement regarding President Obama’s assessment that Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez does not pose a serious national security threat to the U.S.:

“It’s now disturbingly clear that President Obama has been living under a rock when it comes to recognizing the national security threat posed by Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.

“Hugo Chavez is not only a threat to the Venezuelan people’s freedom and democratic aspirations, he has also supported Iran’s regime in its attempts to expand its intelligence network throughout the hemisphere, facilitated money laundering activities that finance state sponsors of terrorism and provided a safe haven for FARC narco-terrorists, among many other actions. Just yesterday, the Wall Street Journal detailed how Hugo Chavez circumvents U.S. and EU sanctions to help prop up the Assad regime in Syria. And even Obama’s own State Department belatedly but rightly expelled Chavez’s consul general in Miami for her ties to a plan to wage cyber-attacks on the U.S.

“President Obama continues to display an alarmingly naïve understanding of the challenges and opportunities we face in the Western Hemisphere.”

In an interview that aired last night on Miami’s Channel 41, President Obama said, “We’re always concerned about Iran engaging in destabilizing activity around the globe. But overall my sense is that what Mr. Chávez has done over the last several years has not had a serious national security impact on us.”

“No More Defense Cuts”

There are twenty-one military bases in Florida and the state is home to 1.6 million veterans. The Coalition for the Common Defense (CCD) has launched a national advocacy campaign aimed at preventing further cuts to the U.S. military of $500 billion dollars or more in January 2013 pursuant to the “sequestration” mechanism created under the Budget Control Act of 2011.

The CCD campaign will feature a series of video advertisements demonstrating the dangers of the sorts of deep and across-the-board defense spending cuts being considered. The first spot premiered today and can be viewed here. The campaign is designed to encourage the American public to express their opposition to these cuts. The Coalition will facilitate such communications with the White House and Senate through a portal at its web-site here.

Regarding the campaign launch and the need to avert sequestration, Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., a member of the Coalition for the Common Defense, remarked:

“Defense has already paid its fair share into deficit reduction and we cannot safely and responsibly try to balance the budget on the backs of our men and women in uniform. This campaign, and specifically the Coalition’s ads, will bring home to the American people the reckless absurdity of these defense cuts – and the need to avoid the train-wreck they will precipitate.”

The mandated sequestration cuts come on top of an already budgeted $487 billion reduction over the next 10 years as part of Budget Control Act of 2011.

The additional $500 billion in sequestration cuts would prove devastating to Florida, both militarily and economically. Militarily, this would result in the smallest ground force since 1940, the smallest Navy since 1915, and the smallest Air Force in history. Economically, sequestration could result in $62.9 billion in lost revenues for defense contractors, projected job losses of over 1.3 million, and an $86.4 billion decrease in Gross Domestic Product.

The House of Representatives has acted on legislation that would stave off budget reductions and their attendant impact for at least a year, giving the executive and legislative branches time to devise a different, less reckless approach to deficit reduction. The Senate has yet to act, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama insisting that any such relief must be accompanied by tax increases.

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. continued:

“The American people do not want the White House and the Senate to hold our military hostage to budget gamesmanship. It is unconscionable to play politics with the arming, training and sustaining of our troops – particularly if, by so doing, the President and Senate leaders may be jeopardizing not only their missions, but their lives.”

The Coalition for the Common Defense is an alliance of like-minded individuals and organizations who believe that without provision for the “common defense,” as articulated by the Founders, the freedom that has allowed unprecedented opportunity and prosperity to flourish in this country would soon be imperiled. In this new age of budgetary cuts, the Coalition rejects the false choice between military strength and economic health contending that economic prosperity depends on a strong national defense. Through a series of events and strategic partnerships, the coalition is calling on elected officials, candidates for office and others who share our commitment to the common defense to uphold these principles. Coalition member believe the United States “must return to sensible fiscal principles without sacrificing our national security”.

FL Counter Terrorism Expert Attacked By Muslim Brotherhood

Sam Kharoba, Founder of the Florida based Counter Terrorism Operations Center (CTOC), is a distinguished law enforcement trainer and an expert on issues related to Islam and Muslim terrorist groups such as al Qaeda, HAMAS, Hezbollah and organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood.

On Wednesday, July 11, 2012 Hasan Shibly, Director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) will host a press conference in Tampa to keep Mr. Kharoba from instructing Florida law enforcement officers about the threat of radical Islamists and political Islam. CAIR is a Muslim Brotherhood front organization according to documents presented by the FBI at the Holy Land Foundation trial.

According to an email announcing the press conference, Mr. Shibly states, “…CAIR FL will release a letter sent to the FDLE requesting that the department no longer use Sam Kharoba of the Counter Terrorism Operations Center (CTOC) as a trainer on issues related to Islam and Muslims. That letter asserts that Kharoba’s training materials on Islam are riddled with inaccuracies, sweeping generalizations and stereotypes, that he is unqualified as a subject matter expert on either Islam or countering violent extremism and that his training has elicited DISTURBINGLY prejudiced responses from trainees.”

Similar accusations were made in early 2011. Efforts by CAIR and other organizations have been directed at preventing counter terrorism training at the national, state and local levels. Major Joseph M. Bail, Jr. (Ret.), with 40 years of service in the City of Chester, Pennsylvania Police Department, did an extensive review of efforts to prevent law enforcement training on the threat of radical Islam.

Major (Ret.) Bail after reviewing a 2011 Washington Monthly article entitled, “How We Train Our Cops to Fear Islam”  written by Meg Stalcup and Joshua Craze, states:

“In it, the authors clearly fail to convince anyone that police should not be receiving training in counter-terrorism, or that police shouldn’t waste time being informed of Islam, Islamic extremists, or the Islamic perpetrators of terroristic acts. So, they do what all good politically and ideologically motivated journalists do: they attack the people they have singled out as those who represent what they see as the problem. They seem to have concluded that if they can malign those professionals and their reputations, they will still have accomplished their goals. In this case the people they targeted were Sam Kharoba, whom I do not know; John Giduck; Lt. Col. Joe Bierly (who I know and respect); and Maj. Richard Hughbank, a recently retired Army Military Police officer, and author of two books on terrorism. In addition to a law degree, Giduck has a master’s degree in Russian studies and a Ph.D. in Middle East studies he earned at Kings College in London. I do not know Richard personally, but am familiar with his work and the fine reputation he has as a knowledgeable professional and who served our nation for 22 years in uniform.” (To read the entire column click here)

“As I have no contact with Mr. Kharoba I cannot address the specific allegations against him. But if the skewed and misleading reporting, and baseless character assassination they engaged in with the others is representative of their entire article, I would have serious doubts about anything they wrote about him,” noted Major (Ret.) Bail.

The first chapter of Mr. Kharoba’s CTOC Training Manual states, “Most of us have heard statements similar to ‘Islam is a religion of peace’ and that ‘Muslim radicals hijacked, twisted and altered Islam to justify their Jihad against non-Muslims.’ This book will provide definitive proof contradicting these statements and allegations.”