My analyses of what a Biden foreign policy means for Israel, the Middle East, and a wider world, based on Biden’s appointees.
©Barry Shaw. All rights reserved.
My analyses of what a Biden foreign policy means for Israel, the Middle East, and a wider world, based on Biden’s appointees.
©Barry Shaw. All rights reserved.
Dear Senator John McCain (R-AZ),
You had your chance to become the leader of the free world. You failed. As General George S. Patton said, “Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.”
Since you are not President of the United States then you have a duty to follow Donald J. Trump as a Republican, based upon your oath to uphold the Constitution and as an American citizen to allow President Trump to conduct foreign policy as he sees fit.
There is a long standing tradition that members of the Senate do not criticize a sitting President overseas.
Speaking in 1947, Senator Arthur Vandenberg (R-MI), the influential chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, provided key support to Democratic President Harry S. Truman and admonished his colleagues that “[W]e must stop partisan politics at the water’s edge.”
You are the current chairman of the Senate Armed Forces Committee. You have a duty to speak with President Trump privately on issues important to you but you have no right to suggest the POTUS is a dictator or dictatorial in a foreign land.
President Trump has the power to conduct U.S. foreign policy under Article II Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution:
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
Please remember President Trump took the oath of office which states, ”I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Gateway Pundit reports that in a February 2017 recording in what appears to be a conversation between Senator McCain with Russian comedians Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stoliarov — known as Vovan and Lexus — posing as Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman in a prank phone call, you discussed key national security issues on U.S. policy towards Ukraine and Russia.
Please understand that President Trump won the election. Therefore you are bound by your oath of office and the rules of the Republican Party to follow the lead of President Trump or get out of the way.
The American People
George Santayana’s careworn expression may be invoked yet again over the meme adopted in Trump’s first Foreign Policy speech delivered at the Center for National Interest (CNI) in Washington, DC on Wednesday April 27, 2016. America First. Santayana said: “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
Trump in his CNI speech issued his emphatic clarion call to the remaining primary voters across America:
It’s time to shake the rust off America’s foreign policy. It’s time to invite new voices and new visions into the fold, something we have to do. The direction I will outline today will also return us to a timeless principle. My foreign policy will always put the interests of the American people and American security above all else. It has to be first. Has to be.That will be the foundation of every single decision that I will make. America First will be the major and overriding theme of my administration.
He did have this welcomed comment on Israel:
Israel, our great friend and the one true democracy in the Middle East has been snubbed and criticized by an administration that lacks moral clarity. Just a few days ago, Vice President Biden again criticized Israel, a force for justice and peace, for acting as an impatient peace area in the region.
That gave rise to criticism by the ADL’s Greenblatt cited in a Ha’aretz article:
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) urged Trump to reconsider the phrase Thursday citing its “anti-Semitic use in the months before Pearl Harbor by a group of prominent Americans seeking to keep the nation out of World War II.”
According to a statement released by the Jewish watchdog, the most prominent leader of the “America First Committee” was Charles Lindbergh, who “sympathized with the Nazis and whose rhetoric was characterized by anti-Semitism and offensive stereotypes, including assertions that Jews posed a threat to the U.S. because of their influence in motion pictures, radio, the press, and the government.”
Nonetheless, ADL chief Jonathan A. Greenblatt said “the undercurrents of anti-Semitism and bigotry that characterized the America First movement … are fortunately not a major concern today.”
“However, for many Americans, the term ‘America First’ will always be associated with and tainted by this history,” he said, adding that “in a political season that already has prompted a national conversation about civility and tolerance, choosing a call to action historically associated with incivility and intolerance seems ill-advised.”
For those of us old enough to have some knowledge of the isolationist anti-Semitic American First movement championed by Hitler admirer, Charles Lindbergh, who was given a personal award by Der Fuhrer for his aviation exploits, Trump’s use of it was jarring.
When I read the transcript of his speech, I asked a source in the Trump campaign about Dr. Walid Phares, one of Trump’s foreign policy advisers, who I knew personally from a decade of interaction including co-hosting radio shows on common subjects dealing with the Middle East, Israel and Jihad. I asked whether he had written Trump’s America First speech. The answer was,” no.” instead I was directed to Phares’ Fox News opinion article that purports to lay out Trump’s foreign policy vision. There was no America First meme presented in his discussion. Lots of suggestions on changes in the traditional Americans alliances, prevention of Iran getting the nuclear weapon, that it may already possess, getting our allies in the NATO alliance to ante up the required annual defense budget allotments, dealing with ISIS and its global affiliates and the Muslim Brotherhood both here and abroad. Phares’ ringing conclusion:
A new popular majority is sweeping the country during these primary elections and another greater national current will legitimize these new principles with the election of Donald Trump as president in November. These new foreign policy directions will have a deeply informed public backing them, so that President Trump can muster the energies of the American people to create a sustainable defense, encompassing clear objectives coupled with a strong international presence.
Now more than ever, confident American leadership is vital for a world in disarray.
The meme of new policy directions figured prominently in a PBS News Hour discussion on the merits of Trump’s Foreign Policy speech with Phares and former State Department official, now Hoover Institute scholar, Nicholas Burns. Burns found what he deemed lots of contradictions in Trump’s CNI speech. Phares demurred saying it was really about replacing old worn out failed policies with new ones.
Watch the PBS News Hour interview with Phares and Burns.
Phares was interviewed by Steve Inskeep of NPR’s Morning Edition. I have to issue a disclaimer on my part. I had found NPR’s news biased against Israel back in 2003. I participated in coordinating a national one day protest against NPR local affiliates in more than 40 locations, including the one I led in Connecticut. That led to a series of abrupt exchanges with the VP for News at the DC headquarters for several weeks following that protest. Notwithstanding, my attention was drawn to the transcript of NPR interview with Phares. Inskeep of NPR pressed Phares on what Trump’s speech was all about with alleged contradictions upending the old policies in favor of new directions. Phares pushed back on that until the inevitable occurred. Inskeep asked him about the American First meme as it brought memories of the pre-WWII American Firster isolationists led by Lindbergh. Here is the transcript exchange:
INSKEEP: Dr. Phares, one other thing. And we’ve just got about 30 seconds here. He uses this phrase, America First. It’s got a particular historical resonance. He’s borrowing a phrase that was used by people who opposed U.S. Involvement against Germany in World War II – 1939, 1940, 1941. Very, very briefly, is there a message here?
PHARES: If you are criticizing Mr. Trump, you will find all the bad connections. He is very optimistic, and he is very positive none of these sentences that he pronounces go back to dark ages or go back to negative aspects at all.
I returned to the Campaign source and asked about that history. The response:
“America First” is a simple phrase that Mr. Trump uses to describe his approach to all aspects of American relations with the world, including trade, immigration and national defense. Under President Trump, the interests of the American people will be paramount. Putting it in the old category of the isolationists of the past who fought against American involvement in WWII is a mistake.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.
The mainstream media gets more absurd by the day. When did Donald Trump become President?
The policies he is advocating are not now being implemented, so there is no conceivable way that the Brussels jihad massacre can be blamed upon them, or taken as any indication that they would not be effective (which is not necessarily to say that they would be). After all, there is actually another fellow who is President of the United States right now; if the Brussels jihad massacre is a rebuke to anyone’s foreign policy, it is his and his alone. But the Washington Post, like the rest of the mainstream media, will never have the slightest negative word to say about the current occupant of the Oval Office, no matter how much he downplays the jihad threat and enables jihadis.
“The horror in Brussels is a rebuke to Trump’s foreign policy,” Washington Post editorial, March 22, 2016:
THE TERRORIST assault on Brussels Tuesday, just four days after the arrest of an architect of last year’s attacks in Paris, underlined the resilience and continued menace of the Islamic State — to Europe, to the United States and to vital Western interests. It also revealed a crucial divide among U.S. presidential candidates about what this country must do to protect itself.
One one side are those who support the internationalist response of President Obama, who said the United States “will do whatever is necessary to support our friend and ally Belgium,” and who asserted that “we must be together, regardless of nationality or race or faith, in fighting against the scourge of terrorism.” That view was broadly shared by Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders and Republican John Kasich.
Against them is the radical isolationism of Donald Trump, from whom the Brussels bloodshed prompted another call to “close up our borders,” and who on Monday questioned the value of U.S. support for NATO allies such as Belgium. Though GOP rival Ted Cruz rejected Mr. Trump’s position on NATO, his answer to Brussels was similar: He, too, stressed “secur[ing] the southern border” and curtailing refugee flows, along with patrols of “Muslim neighborhoods.”
More than at any time since 1940, America’s commitment to its European allies is at issue in a presidential campaign. The tragic events of Brussels illuminate the folly of Mr. Trump’s position. The Islamic State has targeted all Western democracies, along with Israel and the Sunni states of the Middle East; it regards Belgians and Americans equally as enemies. Destroying the group — as Mr. Trump says is necessary — cannot be done without fighting its tendrils wherever they appear — in Europe as well as the Middle East, in Africa and in cyberspace. However much they are reinforced, borders will provide no protection to Americans if the jihadists are not defeated elsewhere.
Mr. Trump protests that NATO “is costing us a fortune” and that the United States is no longer a rich country. Never mind that the nation is far richer than it was when the alliance was set up in 1949, or that the national debt as well as spending on defense are lower as a portion of the economy. To defeat the Islamic State without NATO’s help would impose huge costs on Americans. Britain, France and Germany, among others, contribute materially to the war against the terrorist entity in Iraq and Syria, not to mention NATO member Turkey.
Intelligence sharing among the allies is critical to disrupting plots in the United States as well as elsewhere. Mr. Trump told us he saw no advantage to U.S. foreign bases; yet without those provided by Turkey, the air campaign in Iraq and Syria would be far less effective….
Even after the recent war in Gaza – and in spite of the dangers posed by ISIS and other Islamist forces – many American Jews still do not fully comprehend the risk to Israel and the West of a rejectionist ideology that promotes jihad and genocide. But the threat is real and arises from a doctrine that demands total submission from the vanquished. In failing to recognize the scope of the threat, western progressives – Jews and Gentiles alike – view the world as they believe it should be, not the way it actually is. The reality, however, is that liberal ideals are irrelevant in regions where politics have no existence independent of religion and religion is unforgivingly totalitarian.
This failure is as much political as intellectual. Moreover, it engenders complacency with the foreign policy of an administration that has not only failed to respond adequately to the Islamist threat, but whose actions have bolstered fundamentalism across the Mideast and undercut the interests of Israel – America’s only stable and dependable ally in the region.
These points were articulated at a security panel conference entitled, “Israel and the US: The Fight to Save Western Civilization from Global Jihad,” which took place in Massachusetts recently. The program featured retired Generals Jerry Boykin and Tom McInerney, former CIA Station Chief Gary Berntsen, and retired Lt. Colonel (and former congressman) Allen West. The program focused on the need to recognize the threat of jihadist extremism, as well as the myriad foreign policy failures that have helped destabilize the Mideast.
Secular progressives have become unwitting foils for Islamist radicalism by their failure to acknowledge its supremacist aspirations and their perception of Muslims as a vulnerable minority despite a global population of approximately 1.6 billion. This view is a little ironic considering the progressive tendency to disparage Jewish national claims and values and to condemn any perceived Christian intrusion into American politics, but nevertheless to discourage speech that criticizes Islam or mentions any Muslim involvement in terrorism.
Secular progressives often support anti-blasphemy laws and are quick to label as racists those who criticize Muslims on political grounds, although Islam is a religion and is not defined by race or ethnicity. Moreover, while they often rationalize Islamist extremism as an indigenous voice of protest against western chauvinism, its ubiquity is the result of conquest, colonialism, and the subjugation of “infidel” minorities. It is the height of cognitive dissonance when feminists, gay rights activists and other social progressives express support for religious extremists who persecute and kill based on gender, sexuality, and dissenting religious belief or political opinion, but condemn Israel – the only country in the Mideast where minorities have equal rights and protections under the law.
Over the last six years, the administration has sought rapprochement with the Islamic world through a series of questionable policies. Domestically, it has discouraged official use of terms such as “Islamic terrorism,” instead referring to terror incidents involving Muslims as criminal acts, workplace violence or violent extremism. On the foreign stage, it enabled the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, provided funding in areas governed by Hamas despite that organization’s stated goals of jihad and genocide, and failed to honor strategic commitments to Israel during the Gaza war.
Perhaps most troubling, the administration has used the pretense of negotiations to allow Iran to continue its quest for nuclear weapons – to the consternation not only of Israel, but of Saudi Arabia and all Sunni states in the region. Though it rationalizes that Iran should be permitted to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, critics point out that 55 percent of Iran’s domestic energy comes from natural gas, 42 percent from oil and two percent from hydroelectricity, such that it has no apparent consumer need for nuclear power. Its true intentions are reflected in the statements of its leaders, including Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who recently tweeted that Israel “… has no cure but to be annihilated.”
Whether promoting Islamists, enabling Iran’s nuclear ambitions, or chastising the way Israel defended herself in Gaza, the administration has pursued policies that have empowered America’s enemies and imperiled its allies.
Furthermore, by drawing meaningless redlines that it refuses to enforce and unilaterally disarming in Europe, it has signaled to the world that it is no longer willing to defend its own interests or those of its allies, but instead will stand aside while Russia, China and other geopolitical rivals assert themselves within traditional U.S. spheres of influence.
Speaking to a packed house at Ahavath Torah Congregation in Stoughton, Massachusetts, Generals Boykin and McInerney, Colonel West, and Agent Berntsen discussed the weakening of American strength and prestige under the current administration, and how this has enhanced Islamist resolve, endangered the safety of Israel, and compromised American interests around the globe.
They spoke with inside knowledge of the U.S. military and intelligence establishments and with a deep and abiding respect for Israel. General Boykin, a 36-year veteran and the first commander of Delta Force, related how he was in Jerusalem last summer when Hamas kidnapped and murdered three yeshiva boys, and how the outrage it spawned illustrated the inevitability of a military response. According to Boykin, who has spent considerable time in Israel and lived with the Golani Brigade, the kidnapping was the tipping point in a string of events, including rocket attacks against Israeli civilians and the construction of terror tunnels, which necessitated decisive counteraction.
In the panel’s view, Operation Protective Edge was essential, not only to stop rocket attacks and destroy terror tunnels, but because of the existential implications of radical Islam. These implications are reinforced by various charters calling for the destruction of Israel and Hamas’s explicit goal of exterminating the Jews, by ISIS’s goal of establishing a caliphate throughout the Mideast, and by Iran’s repeated pledges to blow Israel off the map. Despite political differences between the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, ISIS, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda and Boko Haram, and doctrinal differences between Sunni and Shiite terror states, they all represent the same threat to Israel and the West.
Boykin sees a clear thread connecting past actions against the United States, such as the bombing of the marine barracks in Beirut in 1983 and the first World Trade Center attack in 1993, with the kidnappings and beheadings of westerners today. Unfortunately, Americans often have a limited frame of reference, particularly in a political climate that shuts down any critical discussion of these issues as “Islamophobic.” The problem is exacerbated by an administration that appeases enemies and alienates allies and by political elements in the military that lack the resolve to implement appropriate corrective strategies. In Boykin’s view, the latter problem is related to the exodus of young officers from all service branches in response to cuts in military spending and concomitant reductions in personnel.
The military is being cut back at a time when Islamist extremism is ascending, as demonstrated by the gruesome success of ISIS. Political and military leaders willfully ignore the ramifications of jihadi radicalism and the need to confront it from a position of strength. Despite recent acts of terror committed on North American soil, including beheadings and murders by lone-wolf perpetrators and the attack on Canada’s Parliament, the administration refuses to concede any terrorist links. Indeed, while Canadian Prime Minister Harper proclaimed that the Parliament attack was an act of terror, President Obama would not draw the same conclusion.
In contrast, Israel knows how high the stakes are because they challenge her very existence. “Israel has nowhere to go,” Boykin said, and thus cannot afford to be ignorant about the nature of an existential threat grounded in ideology, not geography.
General McInerney, a former U.S. Air Force Vice Chief of Staff and Vice Commander in Chief of U.S. Forces in Europe, agrees that the battle against Islamists is ideological. “We have to understand the threat we face [and that] Radical Islam is as dangerous an ideology as Nazism and Communism.” According to McInerney, Islamism is not a response to western provocations, but derives from Muslim scriptural sources. Likewise, the jihadist impulse does not arise from economic privation, class struggle or geographic dispossession as western progressives often preach. Rather, it comes from deeply held religious convictions that must be understood if they are to be confronted effectively.
In order for this to happen, though, control of the dialogue has to be taken back from those who censor the use of language deemed offensive to extremists and who employ moral equivalency to justify radicalism. In addition, the dialogue should be purged of intentionally misleading buzzwords that have become commonplace, including such terms as: “occupation,” which refers to the entire State of Israel; “historical Palestine,” which legitimizes a country that never existed; and “proportionality,” which is used to criticize defensive actions taken by Israel, but not the acts of those who attack her citizens and use civilians as shields.
Accusations that Israel’s military responses are disproportionate are particularly galling, especially considering how she routinely sacrifices her strategic advantage by warning civilians of impending strikes ahead of time and by providing aid to those caught in the crossfire. The unprecedented humanity displayed by Israel during wartime should debunk the ongoing critique of the proportionality of her response in Gaza and her supposed failure to protect civilians. Such statements bespeak ignorance, bad faith or complicity in advancing anti-Israel propaganda.
According to General McInerney, the term “proportionality” is simply a euphemism for “not enough Israelis killed” and should be given no credence. Nevertheless, White House and State Department voices seem more vested in chiding Israel for civilian casualties than in blaming Hamas for starting the conflict and using noncombatants as human shields. The treatment of Hamas as a legitimate political entity defies history, logic and common sense.
The Obama administration’s apparent affinity for Islamists has not garnered it support from the Islamic world, and military reductions on its watch have fostered an image of international weakness. By unilaterally disarming in Europe, where the U.S. currently maintains almost no tanks or mechanized divisions, General McInerney believes the administration has eroded the deterrent effect of American military strength.
And by treating Iran, perhaps the largest state sponsor of global terrorism, as a rational partner for constructive engagement, the administration increases the risk of a regional arms race as the Sunni states may be forced to seek parity. The threat of a nuclear Iran cannot be minimized, the panel said, noting that it would take only a few nuclear weapons to destroy Israel. To claim that a nuclear Iran could ever be trusted is to ignore the radical ideology that has driven its quest for nuclear weapons since the Islamic revolution in 1979 and its dogmatic fixation on destroying Israel. It also ignores an Iranian worldview in which the United States remains the “Great Satan.”
The panel’s perspective on the spread of Islamism is buttressed by the long view of many in the intelligence community, but the administration seems to ignore any observations and analyses that do not jibe with the partisan and politicized assumptions underlying its foreign policy. This is all the more disturbing in light of reports during the ISIS fiasco claiming that President Obama does not read all intelligence memos that cross his desk.
The intelligence angle was addressed by Gary Berntsen, a career CIA officer, former station chief and former counter-terrorism director. A fluent Farsi speaker, Berntsen directed counterterrorism deployments in response to the bombings of the U.S. Embassy in East Africa and the attacks on 9/11, and is familiar with the evolution of both Hezbollah and ISIS. Whereas Mr. Obama claimed to have been surprised by the rise of ISIS, Berntsen said that U.S. intelligence has been tracking the faction from which it grew for years; and that despite the president’s attempt to blame the intelligence community for failing to identify the threat, the administration has been fully briefed about the capabilities and resources of ISIS on an ongoing basis.
Moreover, in evaluating the evolution of ISIS, the intelligence community had a model for comparison in Hezbollah. According to Berntsen, there were parallels to the growth of Hezbollah, which together with Islamic Jihad serves as the operational wing of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Hezbollah maintains a standing army, finances its operations through unsavory enterprises and billions in funding from Iran, and serves as a conduit for Iranian-exported terrorism, Berntsen noted. Moreover, it has insinuated itself in Lebanon, where it persecutes non-Muslims and threatens Israel.
ISIS followed a similar trajectory on its way to amassing a fighting force of some 30,000 men and a large arsenal of sophisticated weaponry. Initially supported by a number of Sunni states, ISIS has become self-sustaining by reaping profits from banks and oil production facilities it has seized and by stockpiling weapons and hardware taken from routed opponents across Syria and Iraq.
Though ISIS is certainly a menace that must not be ignored, the United States cannot afford to lose sight of Iran’s influence throughout the region. Without minimizing the ISIS threat, Berntsen believes that “Iran is the major confrontation state” and that American interests are ill-served by the obsession with concluding a nuclear deal. The administration appears to believe it can encourage a shift in Iranian loyalty and seems prepared to sacrifice its relationships with Sunni allies, such as Saudi Arabia, in order to do so. Given that Iran’s official views regarding the United States have not changed, and that it continues to call for the annihilation of Israel, the initiative to flip its allegiance seems grounded in fantasy.
The panel concluded that the United States and Israel have similar security concerns and identical interests in preserving cultural and political values common to both their societies. Accordingly, they find the administration’s policies in the region counterproductive and dangerous.
These observations are especially poignant in light of recent events, including continuing criticisms of Israel by the administration and State Department over the Gaza war. Official malice against Israel seemed incontrovertible after General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently lauded Israel for taking unprecedented steps to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza and stated that the U.S. military would adopt similar strategies for fighting in civilian areas. The State Department responded by distancing itself from Dempsey’s remarks and denying that they reflected the government’s position.
Then there were the recent comments from an unnamed White House source who used expletives to describe Benyamin Netanyahu and called him cowardly for failing to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities, although the Obama administration discouraged the strike and reportedly leaked sensitive information (regarding strikes on similar sites in Syria) to prevent Israel from acting. When these comments are juxtaposed against the administration’s failure to contain ISIS and the domestic loss of confidence in Mr. Obama’s ability to protect and defend, the foreign policy landscape looks very bleak indeed.
The American Jewish community needs to wake up and acknowledge the administration’s abandonment of Israel. Though some Jewish Democrats still contend that Obama “has Israel’s back,” his order blocking shipments of Hellfire missiles and other military equipment to Israel during the Gaza war shows the fallacy of such claims. Furthermore, his preoccupation with reaching a nuclear deal with Iran – a rogue regime that has repeatedly vowed to obliterate the Jewish State – should give pause to all who profess support for his administration’s intentions regarding Israel.
The message delivered by the esteemed panel in Massachusetts was that American and Israeli interests are identical when it comes to dealing with global jihad, and that the failure to support Israel will only embolden those who seek to take the fight directly to the United States. The proof on the ground becomes more apparent with each foreign policy gaffe, and seems to be denied only by those who choose to ignore it or who continue to promote the administration’s regional agenda out of blind partisan allegiance.
The opening remarks of Colonel West, who moderated the panel discussion with wit and insight, actually set the tone for its conclusion. “America is at a critical crossroads in our global standing,” he said. “And this is clearly apparent in the Mideast [where] we’re facing a vile existential threat in ISIS.” The increase in Hamas’s destructive power, the evolution of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, and the empowerment of extremists across North Africa have coincided with the administration’s conduct in pivoting U.S. policy away from its traditional interests in the Mideast and undercutting the American-Israeli relationship.
Nevertheless, Colonel West believes the American people’s bond with Israel cannot be broken by the policies of a hostile administration. Regarding Israel’s future, he referred to the Book of Yehoshua, which says: “Be strong and courageous; be not afraid, nor be dismayed; for the Lord your G-d is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua, 1:9.).
Clearly, Israel cannot place her trust in the Obama administration, but she can still draw strength and inspiration from Yehoshua, whose words have resonated for thousands of years and will continue to do so long after this president leaves office.
Former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates criticizes President Barack Obama and members of his administration in a just published memoir called Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War (2014). This is the first book that describes in great detail the Obama administration’s policy deliberations by a person who served in the Cabinet. Gates, a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, was appointed secretary of defense in the last years of President George W. Bush administration. He was kept in this position during the first two years of the Obama administration. Gates served 4 1/2 years as defense secretary.
Gates describes in his memoir that President Obama approved the surge in Afghanistan in December 2009 by sending 30,000 additional soldiers and naming General David Petraeus as the top commander over the objections of Vice President Joe Biden and White House staff. In recalling a meeting held in the White House Situation Room in March 2011, Secretary Gates wrote the following: ” As I sat there, I thought: the president doesn’t trust his commander, can’t stand Afghan president Hamid Karzai, doesn’t believe in his own strategy and doesn’t consider the war to be his. For him, it’s all about getting out.” In subsequent White House meeting Gates explains that President Obama began criticizing, sometimes emotionally, the way his policy in Afghanistan was being implemented.
This is an incredible statement that a United States president would send our Armed Forces into battle without believing that the war could be won or that the strategy that he had approved would be successful. Astounding also is the fact that he had no confidence in the very competent and intelligent commander General David Petraeus that he had appointed. How could the president put our brave men and women in uniform in harm’s way, if he had no faith in achieving victory? How does Obama dare to look at the relatives of our dead soldiers and the severely wounded soldiers in the eye? Every member of our Armed Forces who reads this book would have nothing but contempt for President Obama.
Already many high ranking retired admirals and generals have criticized severely the infiltration of Muslim Brotherhood in the Obama administration and the rewriting of the manuals used by the military, Department of Homeland Security, FBI, and CIA. These manuals have expunged any criticism of Islam or Islamic terrorists. Moreover, the Marxist Southern Poverty Center wrote a manual comparing Catholics, Protestants and certain Jewish congregations as being worse than Al Qaeda and the KKK. This manual was used in training military reserve officers in Atlanta, Georgia. Why did the established media not publish this information that was reported by several newspapers in Great Britain?
Obama always described the war in Afghanistan as the right war to pursue and yet he doesn’t consider this war to be “his war.” When is the president going to assume responsibility for his actions ? The buck never stops with Obama, every failure of his administration is the fault of somebody else. Never before the United States had a president who never assumes responsibility for his misguided foreign and domestic policies. Never before the mainstream press has given a president so many free passes for his accumulated failures as Barack Obama.
Secretary Gates describes Joe Biden as a “a man of integrity” but a person who “has been wrong on nearly every major foreign-policy and national security issue over the past four decades.” He also criticizes the White House inner circle for its “controlling nature and micromanagement and operational meddling to a new level.” Secretary Gates describes his constant policy battles with Vice President Joe Biden; Tom Donilon, national security advisor; and Lieutenant General Douglas E. Lute, who was in charge of the military policy in Afghanistan.
Secretary Gates explains that Hillary Clinton supported the surge of troops in Afghanistan, but he was surprised when he heard Secretary Clinton stating that her opposition to President George Bush’s Iraq surge “had been political,” since she was running against anti war Senator Barack Obama in the Iowa primary in 2008. In the same conversation, Gates writes that President Obama “conceded vaguely that opposition to the Iraq surge has been political.” Gates remembers, “to hear the two of them making these admissions, and in front of me, was as surprising as it was dismaying.” This is appalling since when national security decisions have to be “political?” We now know that if Hillary Clinton becomes president in 2016 her decisions on national security issues would be political as opposed to what is the right to do for our nation.
It is very unfortunate that Secretary Gates did not speak out or wrote about these issues that are included in his book when he retired as Secretary of Defense. It is possible that more people would have voted against the Obama-Biden ticket in the presidential election of 2012. These two incompetent national leaders needed to be exposed to the American public prior to this election in the best interest of our nation. Gates should not have waited so long to expose the incompetence of the Obama administration.
Secretary Gates explains that he almost quit in September 2009 after a White House meeting. He writes the following: “I was a deeply uneasy with the Obama White House’s lack of appreciation, from the top down, all the uncertainties and unpredictability of war. I came closer to resigning than any other time in my tenure.” He also accuses members of Congress for the Inquisition-like treatment of administration officials.
None of these terrible disclosures surprises this writer. In his book America in Decline published on January 8, 2014 and available at Amazon, this writer describes in great detail the complete failure of Barack Obama as Commander-in-Chief and as president. Barack Obama misguided national security and foreign policies have placed our nation in great danger.
As explained in America in Decline, Barack Obama is the first Marxist and hidden Muslim president in the nation’s 230 year history. Obama has been surrounded and has been associated during his entire life with communists, socialists and radicals who hate deeply our beloved nation and our armed forces.
One of his closest collaborators and friend is the communist and unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers, who together with his wife Bernadine Dorn, placed 30 bombs throughout the United States when they were part of the terrorist organization Weather Underground. Ayers and Dorn and other terrorists were preparing a bomb in New York City to detonate at Fort Dix, New Jersey, the military base that was sending soldiers to fight in Vietnam. Fortunately for our soldiers, the bomb exploded killing several terrorists. Ayers and Dorn became fugitives for many years. When they were taken to trial due to a technicality they were found not guilty. Weather Underground had declared war upon the United States due to our involvement in Vietnam. How can you trust President Obama in supporting the military when he has associated for many years with these two terrorists who hated the United States and wanted to kill our soldiers?
His mentor and preacher of 20 years, Jeremiah Wright, also hated our military and despised our nation. The president and the First Lady Michelle Obama attended for 20 years the pro-Muslim and pro-communist black liberation theology United Church of Christ in Chicago. They listened without complaining to Reverend Wright denigrating our nation and praising communist dictators such as Castro, Chavez, and Ortega while comparing the brave United States Marine Corps to the Romans of antiquity who committed atrocities throughout the world. Both the President and the First Lady sat during those years listening to the anti-patriotic and racist incendiary sermons of their pastor and friend Jeremiah Wright. Once in the White House, Obama appointed many Marxists and socialists who hated our military to important positions in the White House and agencies and departments of his administration.
Barack Obama disdains the brave women and men that serve in our Armed Forces. He has fired honorable generals and admirals who disagreed with his misguided policies. He has ignored the advice of high-ranking officers in Pentagon as he pursued policies that place our national security at risk.
Obama has no respect for our Judeo-Christian values and has declared war against Christians and Jews in the nation and in the Pentagon. After his re election Obama’s war against Christianity and religion has intensified and now he’s trying to shamefully eliminate religion from the Armed Forces in our nation. All of these anti religious actions by the Obama administration are unconstitutional. Retired Lieutenant General Jerry Boykin stated the following regarding the war against Christians in the military: “This has the potential to destroy military recruiting across the services as Americans realize that their faith will be suppressed by joining the military. Our brave troops deserve better. If chaplains and other personnel are censored from offering the full solace of the gospel, there is not religious freedom in the military.”
While President Obama severely cuts the budget of the Pentagon and signs agreements with Russia to reduce our nuclear arsenal, all of our potential enemies including China, Russia, Iran, North Korea continued to strengthen their military and modernize their weapons. Obama is responsible for America in decline and for the United States becoming a superpower in retreat.
This writer hopes that God Almighty will protect our beloved nation during the three years that this Marxist president still has to complete his diabolical plan to fundamentally transform the United States to a socialist, bankrupt, and third-rate country.
ABOUT FRANK DE VARONA
Mr. de Varona was born in Cuba. At the age of 17, he participated in the Bay of Pigs invasion in an effort to eradicate communism in Cuba. After the defeat, he was sentenced to 30 years in prison and served two years. When Mr. de Varona returned to the United States, he continued his education and received a Bachelor’s degree in political science and economics and a certificate in Latin American Studies from the University of Florida. He earned a Master’s degree in social studies at the University of Miami and a Specialist in Education degree in educational administration and supervision at the University of Florida. He completed additional graduate work at the University of Florida, FIU, and Boston University.
From April to August 1966 and during the summer of 1968 Mr. de Varona worked as an escort interpreter for the U.S. State Department. In this position, he traveled with Latin American professionals from many fields throughout the United States. One of the visitor participants, Jorge Sánchez Méndez, became Minister of Industry and Vice President of Costa Rica.
Mr. de Varona had a 36-year distinguished career in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) as a social studies teacher; intergroup relations specialist; assistant principal; coordinator of adult education; principal of an adult education center, middle school and senior high school; region director for personnel and labor relations; region superintendent; associate superintendent responsible for the Pre-K-12, adult and vocational curriculum, alternative, magnet, community schools, adult and vocational schools, public radio and television, and student services; and interim deputy superintendent of schools for federal programs, equal education opportunity, food service and transportation. Mr. de Varona retired from M-DCPS, the fourth largest school district in the United States, in March 2012. Upon his retirement, he continued his career as a journalist and writer.
Mr. de Varona has written 19 books and published many articles in magazines and books in the United States and Spain. Mr. de Varona has worked as a contributing writer and/or editorial consultant for over 18 different publishers. In this capacity, Mr. de Varona has reviewed over 70 world history, world geography, U.S. history, civics, government, economics, Spanish, language arts, and elementary textbooks as well as biographies. King Juan Carlos I of Spain awarded Mr. de Varona the Order of Isabel La Católica with the rank of Encomienda in 1994 for his many books and articles regarding the Hispanic contributions to the United States and his work to include these contributions in U.S. textbooks.
Frank de Varona has written several articles; biographies; summarized documents; has written curriculum for school districts and conducted workshops for teachers and school administrators in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach Counties and New York City Public Schools.
Mr. de Varona He has been a consultant in Spain, Dominican Republic, and Honduras as well as various school districts in the United States. As a journalist, Mr. de Varona has written many articles on political, economics, national security, foreign affairs, Hispanic presence and contributions to the United States, historical and educational issues. He has produced four television documentaries for Channel 17. He was producer, director, and interviewer for a one-hour weekly program in Channel 14 from 1990 to 1992. He had a radio program called Hispanic Contributions to the United States in La Poderosa Radio Station from 2007 to 2008. He has appeared on numerous local, national, international television, and radio programs. He has conducted workshops at various colleges and universities and at national conferences. He has been active in state, regional and national organizations, he has been appointed to various state commissions by governors. He served as vice president, secretary, and treasurer of the Governor´s Hispanic Affairs Commission, Governor´s Commission on a Free Cuba, and Florida International Education Commission.
U.S. Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander appointed Mr. de Varona to the U.S. Department of Education National Council on Educational Statistics Advisory Committee under the administration of George H.W. Bush. He was invited to the White House on three occasions during the presidency of Ronald Reagan. Earlier, he had served on the Advisory Board of the U.S. Department of Educational Southeastern Educational Improvement Laboratory. The Florida Secretary of State appointed him to the Florida Historical Markers Commission, Florida Cuban Heritage Trail Commission, and the Florida Historical Preservation Board. He is an author contributor to Bear Witness Central.
Frank is the Bear Witness Central Director for Miami. View My Blog Posts
According to Family Security Matters (FSM), “Stand Up America research team has learned from a senior and sensitive intelligence community source and official that President Obama did not know of the raid in Abbottabad to kill Osama Bin Laden on May 1st, 2011 until after the helicopters with SEAL TEAM 6 had crossed into Pakistani airspace.“
FSM notes, “The US’s most sophisticated deception techniques were used to make this very dangerous penetration into Pakistan without Pakistan knowledge. The President was notified at the golf course and called off the golf course which is why he was sitting in the strange sitting position in the picture that documented the White House operation room event.”
“Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) Leon Panetta was the key player who organized and supported this daring raid. He signed the “Execute Orders” with only a few people aware: Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Secretary of Defense William Gates, Admiral Bill Mullen and General David Petraeus,” reports FSM.
The FSM source states, “The White House was closed out of the decision because the President through Valarie Jarrett had turned down two or three other earlier proposals. The Deputy of Central Intelligence (DCI) and his covert planning team were extremely frustrated at all the denials, so saw the opportunity slipping away as implausible as it seems.” This scenario has been previously reported by others here, here and here.
The specter of bin Laden hangs over the White House even today as Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, a 21 year old Muslim with ties to Al Qaeda, tried to blow up the New York Federal Reserve building in the name of Islam.
Is the White House narrative unraveling given the revelations in the book No Easy Day by former Navy SEAL Mark Owen and now this story?
Read the full Family Security Matters story by going here.
Tom Trento interviews MG Valley on WNN AM 1490 and discusses the story on the President not knowing about the raid until after the SEAL helicopters were already in Pakistan (at 11:40 minutes) and the Benghazi embassy attack (at 38:40 minutes) and the Muslim Brotherhood in Turkey (at 50:00 minutes):
Major General Paul Valley, U.S. Army (Ret.) and Tom Trento analyse this new information about exactly when President Obama was informed about the raid to the bin Laden compound. President Obama according to White House documents, a highly placed confidential source and Mark Owen’s book was not notified until the SEAL helicopters were already in Pakistani airspace, the point of no return.
This new revelation may have a major impact on the narrative of a strong President making a “gutsy decision”.
The third and final Presidential debate is on Monday, October 22nd. The debate topic is foreign policy. Will this come up?
Watchdog Wire will be live streaming pre and post debate commentary from “boots on the ground” implementers of our foreign policy globally.
Click here to watch starting at 7:00 p.m. EST on Monday, October 22, 2012.