Tag Archive for: Middle East

The Islamic State Caliphate is Pure Islam

In the March New English Review (NER) we wrote about the failure of the Countering Violent Extremism Summit of President Obama.

On Wednesday, February 18, 2014 at a White House Summit, President Obama presented his views on countering “violent extremism.” He suggested that Islamic terrorists misappropriate Islamic doctrine, exploit disaffected youths in communities across the US and globally throughout the Ummah – the community of Muslim believers. He suggested that youths prone to radicalization outside the US may be victimized by poverty, without job opportunities and oppressed by corrupt regimes. Countering violent extremism he suggests is a multi-pronged approach involving economic programs, political reform and community involvement to halt radicalization. His focus in the US was on creating community partnerships and pilot projects in several American cities, endeavoring to integrate Muslims in America, preserving and protecting their civil rights under our constitution against untoward surveillance. The President gathered Muslim and other religious clerics from the U.S. and abroad, community leaders, law enforcement, homeland security officials, and high tech entrepreneurs seeking means of stopping radicalization of youths. These youths are attracted by the “successes” of the Islamic State blasted around the world via the internet, tens of thousands of tweets, high production videos and on-line webzines in a number of languages including English.

Nowhere in his remarks did the President explain what the Islamic doctrine is that has attracted tens of thousands of foreign fighters, Americans among them, to be recruited to the cause of this self-styled Caliphate, the Islamic State (IS). What he has called ISIL, the Islam State in the Levant (ISIL) is a reference to the broad geographic area that stretches from the eastern Mediterranean coast to the Persian Gulf. Those “successes” include videos of the savagery perpetrated against the hated Kuffars, meaning infidels, including Christians, Jews, ancient religious minorities and apostate Muslims. Those videos show barbaric beheadings, burnings, crucifixions, mass shootings and enslavement. The President mentioned recent incidents in Paris, Copenhagen, Ottawa and Sydney of attacks on victims without naming the victims; leftists, free thinkers, Christians and Jews. Neither did he identify the perpetrators.

Just prior to the mid-February White House Summit, The Atlantic Magazine published an article by Graeme Wood, What ISIS Really Wants which stated:

The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse.

Russian historian at Connecticut Central State University, Professor Jay Bergman, wrote, “I read it. Superb. The [President] should read it. But of course…he won’t.”

According to Wood, IS bases all of its power and authority on a strict adherence to a Salafi literal interpretation of Islam and Sharia law, with almost a total focus on the doctrine of Tawhid. Tawhid calls for strict adherence to the laws of Allah as revealed by the Prophet Mohammed. Further, that all man-made laws and systems must be rejected. IS considers any Muslim who doesn’t adhere to the doctrine of Tawhid an infidel, including “core Al Qaeda” and other Salafists who object to IS public displays of savagery.

We concluded:

Countering violent extremism as propounded by President Obama evaded his responsibility to identify the radical Islamic doctrine of IS. He engaged in the delusion that by campaigning for community organization, jobs and faith based programs we might prevent radicalization of Muslim youths. Instead he should listen to the wise counsel of former DIA chief, Army Gen. Michael Flynn, who in media interviews and testimony before the House Armed Services Committee called for a global war against IS. Flynn suggested the first cornerstone of a strategy to “degrade” and “defeat” IS is to define the ideology behind radical Islamic extremism. The fact that liberal publications like The Atlantic have exposed the barbarity of strict adherence to Tawhid in Islam clearly communicates that destroying IS through the exercise of American and allied military power should be the first order of business.

The President’s “violent extremism” Conference in Washington demonstrated that soft power is trumped by raw Islamic Jihad every time. That is embodied in failure to recognize the Qur’anic doctrine behind the rise of IS.  To paraphrase a State Department anti-ISIS message, “Think Again, Turn Away” from Taqiyya – lying for Allah.

On March 16th, 2015, Forensic Psychiatrist Dr. Michael Welner, Chairman of The Forensic Panel, was interviewed on Bill Bennett’s Morning America program about what attracts Western and other foreign Muslims, to join the barbaric cause of the Islamic State. Welner provided insights as to what attracts Islamic State recruits that raise serious questions about the social media messaging initiatives of the Obama Administration. Dr. Welner explains the root of ISIS’s appeal and why people continue to join its cause.

In the face of the rise of the Islamic State and its ability to attract Muslims to Syria and Iraq from all over the world, syndicated radio host Bill Bennett welcomed Michael Welner, M.D. back to his program to discuss the apparent popularity of ISIS. Dr. Welner, known to NER readers, as one of America’s most highly-regarded forensic psychiatrists. He is routinely consulted on the most complex forensic cases across the United States, such as the ongoing New York trial of the accused kidnapper of young Etan Patz.  He is known to our readers for his work on the Omar Khadr Guantanamo case and in pioneering research an evidence-based standard of the worst of crimes, the Depravity Standard.

In response to Bennett’s invitation, Dr. Welner confronted the apparent paradox of ISIS recruitment successes in the face of its disturbing beheadings. As he explained to Bennett, Dr. Welner noted that non-Muslims do not appreciate the significance of the Caliphate declared by ISIS leader al-Baghdadi. ISIS is attracting followers of a utopian and unadulterated Islam abandoned over 1000 years ago, of a faith of strict dogmatic adherence to the Qu’ran. These Caliphate ideals prompt an obligation among the devout to serve the Caliphate in whatever capacity needed, and involve a plan of nation building based on the idealized Muslim society on land the Caliphate controls. Beheadings (and enslavement and immolation) are prescribed by the Qu’ran for cleansing those Muslims deemed to be apostate. Followers allow for these methods as necessary measures in the building of a messianic ideal, reminiscent of the “cleansing” of Pol Pot’s Cambodia. ISIS exploits these punitive options to inspire fear of the consequences of resistance among its local opponents. At the same time, ISIS inspires quiet among Muslims generally because to contest its methods would be to contest the Qu’ran. This psychological control, explains Dr. Welner, is an adaptation of political correctness, Muslim style.

The Western media and ruling classes muddle through by looking away from how ISIS is laying waste to all religions in the Arab world. That is consistent with the intelligentsia’s uselessness in genocide historically, Dr. Welner lays out an approach for how America should confront the ISIS threat militarily and in its public information in a segment Bennett termed “masterful.” Readers of the NER will be familiar with how American exceptionalism is key to the solution from our interview with Dr. Welner in the aftermath of the (Oklahoma Beheading NER interview).

The National Review On-line rated the Bennett-Welner discussion the best of the Week of March 16 to 20, 2015 on this topic. Clare Lopez, former CIA Operations officer and Senior Fellow at the Washington, DC-based Center for Security Policy commented:

Great interview with Dr. Michael Welner….he understands appeal of IS better than the entire USG put together right now. I must say it was fascinating to listen to someone from completely outside the political realm nail it like that. Meanwhile all the so-called counterterrorism ‘experts,’ and Islam ‘experts’ are so far off base we know the bad guys are laughing at us all.

Against this background, here is an edited version of the Bennett-Welner interview.

Bill Bennett

William J. Bennett:  It is morning in America. Good morning, welcome back everybody. Sorry I’m tripping on my words. I’m going to get out of the way and let our guest speak. In any case Dr. Michael Welner, Forensic Psychiatrist, Chairman of The Forensic Panel and this morning I want to emphasize his work as the Architect of The Depravity Scale, Dr. Welner’s practice is in New York and surrounding areas.  Good morning Dr. Welner.

Dr. Michael Welner

Dr. Michael Welner:  Good morning Bill. Very nice to be back with you and hope you have been doing well these days. We have all been busy but I miss you.

Bennett:  I missed you too and that’s why we called you because it was time to talk to you so thank you very much. I want to talk about ISIS and related phenomena, two, really two questions. One is, we have been witnessing on TV, video and the internet a level of depravity, a word you know best better than most. We don’t usually see the beheading of people, children burying people alive, and crucifixions. I have two questions. One, the second one really frightens me, but the first one is does this kind of thing go on a lot all the time? We just don’t see it and ISIS likes to publicize it for whatever odd reasons it has. The second question is does this have appeal to people?  Aristotle says man seeks the good. Is this a recruiting tool in some bizarre, depraved way?

Welner:  There are a number of very important things for us all to get oriented in to understand this that may be beyond our view where we sit here in America. It illustrates the complexity of the problem not only from behavioral standpoint how we react to it but how others in the Muslim world react to it and also those who are recruited. First of all, we have to get away from the notion that the idea of Islamist, Islamofascism and political Islam means the same thing to every movement. ISIS is very different from the fascism of Iran and their key difference explains ISIS’s success. What ISIS has tapped into is the notion of the Islamic Caliphate. For those who are devout Muslims, they are very vulnerable, very sensitive to the idea that a Caliphate is required in order for a Muslim to adequately observe one’s faith. It is the equivalent of what we have seen in other faiths of false messiahs. The notion of a messiah — if you can carry it off — is so powerful that it gives the movement, for those who subscribe to it, the entitlement to say come and join and be part of what gives the Caliphate the opportunity to declare itself: that it has land, and that’s what has always distinguished ISIS from Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda may have some of the same ideological orientation. However, it isn’t just about the idea of “Come and behead people,” it’s “We have land, we want to establish a Caliphate.” It’s the equivalent of saying, “We’re building Mecca or we’re building something holy. Come and fight for it.” Thus, people are fighting for a cause and that’s why they are joining. They are not joining because of You Tube; they are not joining because of social media. Social media only enable them to be reached, to be energized, to go beyond themselves and to get caught up in something messianic.

Bennett:  Let’s go back to my first question, is this sort of thing we have seen and I have described, beheading, burying children alive, etc., etc., does this kind of thing go on all of the time in the world, we just don’t see it or is this pretty unusual?

Welner:  Well the reality is that it does. There are far more people who are beheaded by governments, for example, like Saudi Arabia and other countries that nominally adhere to Muslim teachings. The idea of beheadings and stonings and even setting people on fire is totally consistent with Muslim teaching, which is one of the problems within the Muslim world. We think we are the only ones who are politically correct? The political correctness that exists within the Muslim world is such that while these kinds of actions when they are broadcast to the world in an obnoxious way, in an outrageous way, in a provocative way, may be embarrassing to Muslims who are secularized. At the same time they recognize that because it is in line with the Qur’an and not at all inconsistent with ISIS’s claim that it is a purified strain of Islam, they can’t criticize it. That is their political correctness. The pushback against ISIS from within the Muslim world isn’t just because there is death and destruction of Muslims killing Muslims it’s because the leaders themselves are threatened. It’s because Jordan recognizes that the Kingdom is in peril. When the Saudis recognize that their reign is threatened, it isn’t beheadings, because they do beheadings. ISIS can claim the high road because they say: “We are following the Qur’an to the letter. Come and join us.” That freezes devout Muslims who say “Well, you know they really are devout Muslims.”

Bennett:  I think it’s important to bring up in this context talking about ISIS. It’s important to remind people about King Abdullah and even Egyptian President Al-Sisi are going to fight back against this. However, as you have said Dr. Welner, the task here is to be a good Muslim and thus to establish the Caliphate. Then these beheadings and burying people alive just an unpleasant means to the end that we just sort of look past them or is there an appeal per se in these things to the young unhinged or even not unhinged young male?

Welner:  The beheadings, the stonings and the killings that are going on regularly are essentially reflecting an ethnic cleansing that is going on right now in the Arab world. Salafist Muslims who feel that they are a pure example of Islam are essentially doing what Pol Pot was doing in Cambodia to get rid of a segment of the population in order to create the kind of population, the kind of Muslims that they want. The shocking nature of it, the broadcast of it, intimidates people into not fighting. It intimidates the West into not fighting. It is designed to do that. It is propaganda by design. It is done in accordance with law. However, the way it is done is in order to send a message and to get people to freeze and be afraid to fight.

Bennett:  Let me come at this another way. We saw the news story Dr. Welner of the three young Muslim women, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, leaving from London going off to Istanbul and then from there into Syria, Iraq and to join up with ISIS. The only thing that would make sense to a lot of Americans and a lot of commentators was they don’t know what they are getting into. They are so young and naive. My fear was that they knew exactly what they were getting into.

Welner:  You’re right because we are not seeing the whole picture. All we are seeing of ISIS is the beheadings. What these young Muslim women are seeing of ISIS is essentially nation building saying, come, help us build a nation. We need doctors, we need engineers. We need people who want to live in this pure messianic society where you will achieve your spiritual purification by serving the Caliphate. That is why they are going. They are going as any nationalist and identified people would go to start something ideal and that is what’s being tapped into. They are not watching beheading videos and running there saying I want to go behead someone. We are only getting a part of the picture and that’s why it’s working for them.

Bennett:  I take it, that it doesn’t make them pause. That is, to go to establish the Caliphate and you watch these things, you see what they do. A lot of people you know I think would say and would think, I think I’m going to pause on this. You know I was going to join because I really would like to see a Caliphate. But wait a minute. I don’t want to be part of a group that does this.

Welner:  Those people were not inspired to join; the alternative view is I am devout. I want to be part of a pure Islam; one that we haven’t had for a thousand years. Therefore purification by getting rid of infidels and unbelievers is a necessary evil prescribed by the Qur’an. So by going to the Islamic State – the declared Caliphate, I will be living the Qur’an. I don’t expect myself to behead someone but I’m going to live by the law and I shouldn’t have any problems under the circumstances. Don’t forget they are offering free health care, jobs, from a social welfare standpoint. That also gets caught up with the idea of nation building being ignored in the West. This is far more than the idea of Al Qaeda even though it is outside of its influence and viewed as so outlandish in the use some of its methods.

Bennett:  I was going to make fun of the Administration proposed jobs program. That is the notion that they are joining because they want job security. I fear it’s something worse than that but I may be missing something very important here. I want to come back to ISIS, the Caliphate and the slaughters etc. So the dream of the Caliphate which is part of the faith here, the true believer means that you look the other way? You say well the end justifies the means? I’m not really for beheadings, but you know this is the way we get there. I think of that stupid old joke I learned when I was a kid about the kamikaze pilots, you know the guys announces to all the future kamikaze pilots, you go up in your plane, you are loaded with explosives, you aim your plane toward the American ship and it blows up and you die for the glory of Japan. Any questions?  The guy says, what you are out of your mind? I mean if someone promises me the Caliphate and says when we get there the gates of paradise all you have to do is cut people’s heads off, crucify them, rape the women, have total disregard for human life I’m going to pause aren’t I? Aren’t I going to pause and say wait a minute! That isn’t any way to build a Caliphate that is worthy.

Welner:  I think those of us who are not as familiar with Islam as others may be have to realize that the idea of a Caliphate runs to the core of the idealized version of Islam and its revival. There has not been a Caliphate for a thousand years. Al-Baghdadi, who declared himself to be the Caliph is actually from the appropriate family line of Muhammed and so there is a certain credibility that he has had among some in declaring himself to be a Caliph and the head of the Caliphate. The significance of that is within Islam if you fulfill your obligations as a Muslim to the Caliphate. That means going to the Caliphate and serving it. Then you will have fulfilled your obligations to the most pure degree. Otherwise you will die ignorant. For someone who is extremely devout — if that is they believe in — what al-Baghdadi is pitching is something messianic, hoping they are going to buy into it. Now, of course there are those who do not believe in him and yet at the same time they respect the Caliphate and what it means. They just say he’s not the one and these are not the circumstances under which it will happen. That is very similar to those who may have read Erich Fromm’s The True Believer and in appreciating fascism and how Hitler and other fascist leaders are able to mobilize people to just great intensity for the cause. When you throw into the mix an idealized form of religion that so many people share, all bets are off.

Bennett:  How do we combat this? What is the first and most obvious way?

Welner:  There are ways that we can combat it among our own citizens. However, I don’t see that we can’t combat this unless we are militarily involved, because it’s not going away. People do things in the name of the Muslim faith and in a way that gathers momentum, for example, Boko Haram and others, declaring allegiance to ISIS and gathering more land, they are not going away. What we don’t recognize is that they are going after Muslims first. That is their first target so we have a lead time and we have been through this before as a country. You have to deal with the problem when it’s small or you have to deal with the problem when it is much bigger.

Bennett:  Shouldn’t we be in a warmer embrace of Egyptian President Al- Sisi and King Abdullah and those who want to take on ISIS in military and in terms of their own religion?

Welner:  I think that President al-Sisi is a very important man of his generation, who is very clear-eyed about the ISIS threat. We have the wherewithal to support the coalition of the willing. However, there is an Iraqi military that cannot fight. There have not been alliances in Syria that can coalesce. The Jordanian military is really just ineffectual. The Egyptian military is extremely powerful. They are American armed. There is a traditional alliance that goes a long way. As far as I’m concerned and I say this as a very proud supporter of Israel I see President al-Sisi as a man of peace. He is not a troublemaker. He’s not looking like late President Nasser before him to establish his own hegemony and he is naturally aligned with the United States. Egypt didn’t kill 243 U.S. Marine servicemen as Iran’s proxy in Beirut did in 1983. Egypt didn’t take American hostages, Iran did. Egypt isn’t taking over Yemen, Syria, and Lebanon and Iraq, as has Iran with its own Shia version of a Caliphate, the Imamate. Astonishing to me that with Egypt so willing and so experienced in having to eradicate its own destabilizing force of Islamism, the Muslim Brotherhood and now Salafists and that the United States is sort of slow on the ball. Unfortunately because al-Sisi is a man of action he’s just going have to do it without us. President Obama is going to be left once again following from behind. As far as I’m concerned, he’s a man who can make a difference in a vacuum.

Listen to the Bill Bennett Morning in America interview with Dr. Michael Welner, Chairman of the Forensic Panel:

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Obama’s War on Israel by Jerry Gordon and Ilana Freedman

When the polls closed in Israel on March 17, 2015 for election of a new government, Israel’s Parliament, the Obama White House was poised for a result far different from the stunning victory of Prime Minister Netanyahu. His Likud Party list won a plurality of 30 seats, far ahead of his nearest rival, the Zionist Union, which secured only 24 seats. Although Israel’s second leading party, led by Labor MK Yitzhak Herzog, had been in a tight lead in the exit polls, they failed to achieve the victory over Likud.

The election results turned up another surprise as the party that finished third in the polling was the Joint Arab List (JAL), which claimed 14 seats. JAL is led by charismatic Haifa lawyer and City Council member, Ayman Oded of Hadash, a far left party that includes the Israeli Communist Party and drew votes from leftist Jewish extremists groups like B’Tselem and Peace Now.

While exit polls showed the Zionist Union with a narrow one seat lead, the polls proved to be dead wrong. Many Israeli voters were angered by both the yellow journalism tactics of the major opposition Israeli media, Yediot Ahronoth and Israeli TV channels 2 and 10, and the leaks about the blatant interference by foreign groups allied with President Obama and leftist EU NGOs. Just weeks before the election, it was reported that these groups had spent huge amounts of money to defeat Netanyahu’s party. But the large get-out-the-vote effort in the Israeli Arab community, which had been orchestrated by Obama’s campaign organizers, failed to unseat the beleaguered Likud party. Centrist voters cast their votes for Netanyahu’s party, and even the Israeli Bedouin communities voted overwhelmingly for Likud.

In the end, the vote was clearly a solid win for the Netanyahu camp. As a result, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, in accordance with Israeli election law, invited various party leaders to come for consultations to identify possible partners in a new ruling coalition. On March 24thhe gave the nod to Netanyahu, who had cobbled together a coalition majority of Knesset seats, 67 of which came from a right center-religious coalition of parties.

The President Takes Revenge  

President Obama’s outrage at the election results was immediately apparent. At first, he refused to follow the basic diplomatic custom of calling the newly re-elected Prime Minister to proffer his congratulations. Instead, he waited for several days, and when he finally did make the call, he scolded Netanyahu for his positions rather than congratulating him for his win. Not satisfied with lecturing Netanyahu on alleged racist remarks about Arab voters, he also berated the PM for his remarks rejecting a two-state solution, the centerpiece of Obama’s “peace talks” between Israel and the Palestinians.

It is not altogether clear when the rift between Obama and Netanyahu began, but it certainly dates back to a series of diplomatic slights by the President during several visits by the Prime Minister to the White House.

Most recently, however, Netanyahu’s address before a joint meeting of Congress fanned the flames of Obama’s discontent. The purpose of Boehner’s invitation had been to give Netanyahu the opportunity to present Israel’s position on the danger posed to both Israel and the United States of a nuclear Iran to the members of Congress. This had been made necessary by the President’s own secrecy, keeping Congress in the dark about the ongoing negotiations. But Obama saw the invitation – and Netanyahu’s acceptance – as an affront to him personally, and rather than welcoming this as an opportunity to clarify the issues surrounding Iran’s quest for nuclear development, he took the dysfunction between himself and Netanyahu to a new level.

In his speech, Netanyahu presented the possibility of a nuclear Iran as a security threat to the US, and an existential threat to Israel, calling the P+5 impending deal a “very bad deal,” because it would allow Iran, a terrorist-supporting state, to become a threshold nuclear power. Obama, however, saw Netanyahu’s speech as a challenge to his P5+1 initiative. The now highly politicized negotiations with Iran to lift international financial sanctions against its highly controversial nuclear program had become central to an out and out assault on Netanyahu and the upcoming elections in Israel.

Prior to the PM’s speech, Obama showed his anger by making it clear that he would not “have time” to meet with Netanyahu while he was in Washington, claiming as well that it would give the appearance of interfering in Israel’s upcoming elections on March 17.

In the end, and quite possibly because the President had made such a big issue over it, the Prime Minister gave his speech to a packed House. Ten times the number of people who crowded into the gallery had to be turned away for lack of seating. The speech received international coverage, carried live, complete and uninterrupted, on several international networks. Netanyahu was called “Churchillian” by more than one commentator.

The Prime Minister’s speech was taken very seriously by many in Congress. Only days later, Sen. Tom Cotton (AK-R) authored a letter, co-signed by 46 Senate Republican colleagues, and addressed to the Leaders of the Iranian Islamic Republic. Sent via Twitter, the letter explained the Constitutional requirements for Senatorial advice and consent on treaties and certain executive agreements.

The response to the letter by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei mocked America’s “treachery.” Foreign Minister Zarif’s response went further, revealing that the Administration’s strategy was to sideline Congressional review by seeking a UN Security resolution for the deal with Iran, since the agreement was multilateral. That contention roiled Obama’s Congressional opponents even more. They warned the President not to sideline the US Congress in the Iranian negotiations.

Simultaneously, the bi-partisan US Senate Permanent Investigations Committee called for an investigation into possible violations of U.S. funding laws by those involved in the effort to unseat Netanyahu in the Israeli elections. The alleged non-partisan “get-out-the-vote” campaigns by the Abraham Fund, One Voice, and the Israeli group, V-15, under the leadership of former Obama Campaign field director Jeremy Bird of 270 Strategies, was now coming under scrutiny in Washington.

The Administration responded to these actions by Congress with an unprecedented attack on Israel, involving allegations that Israel had spied on the Iran negotiations and had given classified information to members of Congress. Presidential aides demanded the end of a “50 year occupation” at a J Street Conference in Washington, suggesting that it would support Palestinian statehood.

Israel Surrounded by Muslim States

The Administration further expressed its anger in an unprecedented move by permitting the Pentagon to declassify and release a secret, 1987 report on Israel’s nuclear program, despite a long-standing mutual agreement between the two allies to keep it secret. It was understood that to declassify the secret report would expose the Jewish nation’s known but unrevealed nuclear weapons capabilities, making it vulnerable to further political attack. The release, which was occasioned by a Freedom of Information Act request by the virulently anti-Israel Institute for Research -Middle East Policy, only related to Israel’s nuclear program. Those of other countries, contained in the report, were all redacted. The 386-page top-secret memo, titled, “Critical Technological Assessment in Israel and NATO Nations,” goes into great detail about how Israel turned into a nuclear power in the 1970s and 80s.

Although the details of Israel’s program may be, by now, dated, this unilateral action by the Obama Administration will no doubt bring renewed international pressure on Israel to become a signatory of the UN Non-Proliferation Treaty and be subject to intrusive UN IAEA inspections. A further consequence of the Administration’s declassification of the secret report on Israel’s nuclear program is it could provide a targeting file on possible attack scenarios in any retaliatory exchange with rogue nuclear states. This action is seen by many analysts as further evidence of the revenge campaign, unleashed by the Obama White House to further undermine Israel in the President’s uncompromising push for an agreement with Iran.

Incredulous Americans are now increasingly concerned that the Administration wants to achieve a rapprochement with Iran, ending 36 years of isolation, while marginalizing our closest ally in the region. Even as the Administration continues to placate and appease Iran, its developing anti-Israel policy is taking firm root in the White House and State Department. By negotiating with terrorists, even as a crescendo of cries of “Death to America” are broadcast from the lips of the Ayatollah himself, Obama has created a new reality in the Middle East that is more likely to lead to war than to peace.

Iran’s Expanding Role in the Middle East  

One particularly dangerous aspect of the Obama Iran rapprochement is the latter’s emerging hegemony over Arab States in Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Lebanon. The presence of its Quds Force commander, General Qassem Suleimani, in Iraq is particularly worrisome, as he orchestrates campaigns to wrest the city of Tikrit from ISIS, and further entrenches the Iranian presence there.

Following the collapse of the US-supported Yemeni government of President Hadi to a coalition of Shiite Houthi rebels supported by Iran, a new battleground has been created between Iran and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and ISIS, unfettered by a pro-West government and a US military presence, which was suddenly and shamefully removed on orders from Washington. The new fighting in Yemen triggered an almost immediate Saudi response. No longer waiting for a US initiative, Saudi Arabia began reinforcing its southern frontier with Yemen with troops and tanks, and deterring cross border assaults by Houthi fighters.

Obama’s naive  paradigm of a geo-political equilibrium between Shia Muslims led by Iran and Sunni Arabs led by Saudi Arabia foundered with the dramatic intervention by the Saudi Air Force on Wednesday March 25, 2015. Attacking Houthi rebels in northern Yemen, the capital, Sana’a and targets near Aden, the Saudi operation “determination storm” began, opening a new page in Middle East history.

The Saudis gave less than one hour notice to the Pentagon and the White House of the launch of the air campaign. The Administration wasn’t consulted. That effrontery to the leader of the free world was in evidence at the 26th Summit of the Arab League in the Egyptian resort of Sharma El-Shaik. Abd-Rabbu Hadi, the ousted US-backed President of Yemen, who had fled from Aden to Saudi Arabia, accused the Houthi of being “stooges” for Iran. He refused any offer of a cease fire while the Saudis and Emirati air units continued attacking Houthi forces. Iran warned the Saudi and Emirate allies of “bloodshed,” if attacks continue, but the Saudis mobilized 150,000 ground forces for possible action.

Secretary General of the Arab League Nabil Al-Araby said the Arab states would “join ranks and look into taking pre-emptive and defensive arrangements to maintain the Arab national security,” and stressed the dire need for “necessary measures to counter them.”

The Washington Post reported Arab leaders had effectively announced a “joint military force to intervene in neighboring states grappling with armed insurgencies.”

All of us underestimated the Saudis. Now they have emerged at the top of a Sunni coalition against Iran–limited for the moment to the Houthi insurgency in Yemen, the most impressive piece of diplomacy in the Sunni world since Nasser, and perhaps in modern times. That attributes a lot of importance to a coalition assembled for a minor matter in a small country, but it may be the start of something important: the self-assertion of the Sunni world in response to the collapse of American regional power, the threat of Sunni jihadist insurgencies, and the Shi’ite bid for regional hegemony.

Obama’s policy of leading from behind has clearly failed to stem the tide of radical Islamic extremists both Shiite and Sunni. Instead, Saudi Arabia has assumed leadership of its own coalition of at least ten Arab states to fight the menace of Iran-led Shia armies.

Against this background, the Obama administration has unleashed his deliberate attack against the only reliable ally in the Middle East, Israel. Surrounded by enemies, including Iranian proxies, Hezbollah, Hamas, Quds Force, and IRGC troops astride the Golan frontier with Syria, Israel faces the possibility of an imminent war greater than any in the past. Reports of ISIS units actively fighting Assad’s forces in southern Syria, and suggestions that ISIS cells have now infiltrated Gaza, Sinai, and the PA in the West Bank only make the situation for Israel more tenuous and dangerous.

The Controversy and the American Jewish Community

Late on the night of Israel’s election returns, Charlie Rose of the eponymous PBS Show convened a panel of leftists to comment on the Netanyahu victory. The Charlie Rose panel was composed of Jeffrey Goldberg of The AtlanticAri Shavit of Ha’aretz, Ronen Bergman Military Intelligence Columnist of Yedioth Ahronoth, Yousef Munayyer of the US Campaign against Palestine Occupation and Jerusalem Fund advocate for Anti-Israel BDS, and Lisa Goldman of the leftist +972 Magazine and Israel–Palestine Fellow of the New America Fund. The composition of Rose’s panel was unbalanced, to say the least, but, it could be argued, reflected the strong opposition to Israel represented by the left.

Ronen suggested that only the international BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanctions) campaign against Israel could change things by hitting Israelis in their back pockets, calling out Netanyahu as the virtual unbeatable “Caesar from Caesaria.” Goldberg, who has virtually unlimited interview access to the Obama West Wing, predicted that a narrow right-wing government would fall in a year with new elections and that relations with the Obama administration will get even worse. Shavit bemoaned the progressive peacenik failure on the Left in Israel, Israel losing its soul, portending looming violence – a reference to a Third Intifada – and demographic problems ahead. Munayyer hewed to his usual pro-Palestinian anti-Israel stance calling it a tribal election. Goldman in her comments praised the Joint Arab List’s third place showing in the Knesset elections as an important development for “Palestinian Israelis.” Watch the Charlie Rose panel discussion.

Yossi Halevy of the Shalom Hartman Institute was the only voice of reality. He said, “Israelis believe that a Palestinian State may be both an existential solution and a threat, given the impasse over negotiations.” Halevy conveyed the view that Israelis across the spectrum view an Obama consummation of an Iran nuclear deal as an existential threat. Halevy quoted left wing author David Grossman, saying that the Obama Administration on the Iran nuclear deal is “criminally naive and perilous for Israel.

The Obama-led disputes have clearly divided the American Jewish community. Using the Soros-backed J Street, a strident, anti-Israel not-for-profit masquerading as a pro-Israel organization, as a vehicle for airing their anti-Israel rhetoric, the assault turned even more vitriolic. Today, Israel looks more like an enemy to the Obama West Wing than terror-supporting Iran.

The rabbinic leadership of Reform and Conservative Jewish denominations chastised the Netanyahu campaign for campaign remarks about “droves of Arab voters” being driven to the polls in a deliberate attempt to unseat him in programs funded by foreign interests. The Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA), a leftist media outlet supported by Jewish Federation news outlets in America, reported how Rabbi Rick Jacobs, a close ally of J Street, condemned Netanyahu for his remarks, taken out of context, of why a Palestinian State was not a realistic prospect under current conditions with a corrupt PA led by President Mahmoud Abbas in a unity government with Hamas.

Not to be outdone, the Rabbinic Assembly of the Conservative Movement, whose leadership at the flagship Jewish Theological Seminary has been an active partner in Jewish Muslim dialogues with Muslim Brotherhood front groups, released a statement accusing Netanyahu of undermining “the principles upon which the State of Israel was founded.”

Further evidence of the American Jewish community divide over the Netanyahu election was reflected in a Ha’aretz report which quoted several American Reform rabbis who sharply criticized Netanyahu for remarks he had made at the end of his campaign.

Daniel Sokatch of the leftist organization the New Israel Fund, who had been taken to task by Netanyahu in campaign remarks, said in a statement issued by the group, “When the Prime Minister urged his base to come out and vote to counter ‘Arabs coming in droves to the ballot box,’ I knew, as you did, that this pandering to fear and prejudice could only exacerbate the divisions between Arab and Jewish citizens.” That the remarks had been taken out of context was ignored and painted a picture of Netanyahu as a bigot who was opposed to Arabs and peace.

In contrast to the liberal Jewish outrage, the ZOA’s Executive Director Mort Klein expressed solidarity with Netanyahu’s positions, saying, “I’m proud that the Israelis chose reality and security over fantasy and a phony hope in change.” Klein blamed the Palestinian Authority for “forcing” Netanyahu to make his video promise not to allow a Palestinian state because “they’ve aligned themselves with Nazi-like Hamas.” Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman of the Presidents of Major American Organizations, also cast his lot supporting Netanyahu and Israel. He said, “We know that politicians in the heat of campaigns in the U.S. and in Israel say things they may not mean to stick with in the long term. [Netanyahu] did not say that he gave up on the two-state solution, but rather that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas “does not appear ready to negotiate.”

The Wall Street Journal published a lead editorial with the title, “Obama’s Israel Tantrum,” suggesting that “the leader of the free world takes revenge on an ally.”  “Even if you believe the main challenge in the region is getting Israel to cede more territory to the Palestinians, that day won’t happen until Israelis feel secure. But Israelis can be forgiven for feeling the opposite with a raging civil war in Syria, Islamic State and an offshoot of al Qaeda operating near the Golan Heights, Iranian General Qassem Soleimani leading Shiite militias in Iraq, and a U.S. Administration sounding and acting as if Iran can be a more constructive partner for peace than Israel.” (Read More)

Another Wall Street Journal article, “Israel Spied on Iran Talks,” suggests that accusations of spying by Israel on American negotiations with Iran is yet another effort by the Obama Administration to isolate and blame Netanyahu for damaging the prospects for a P5+1 political agreement with Iran (an agreement that even the French criticize for not being “fool proof”). While senior US officials admit they knew about Israel shadowing the Iran talks, they were incensed when Israel took what information they acquired from various sources, including Iran and other P5+1 participants, to brief Congress on the realities of how bad a deal was emerging.

It is clear that President Obama has unleashed revenge on Israel and PM Netanyahu, outraged that the Jewish nation would not succumb to his version of foreign policy and Israel’s need to comply with his wishes. He ignores Israel’s inherent obligation to assert its sovereign right to defend its people against the existential threats by Iran and its proxies, whose rising nuclear hegemony threatens the Middle East and the US.

America’s truculent president brooks no interference in his program. By attempting to marginalize Netanyahu’s legitimate objections to America’s rapprochement with Mahdist Iran, to US cooperation with Iran in the war against ISIS, and to concluding a political agreement that will enable Iran to achieve nuclear breakout, Obama has placed Israel in an untenable position.

As the Middle East continues to devolve into chaos, Israel remains the only stable democracy in the region. Israel’s future is tied closely to America’s. Often compared to “the canary in the coal mine,” any attack on Israel, which the Iranians call “the little Satan,” will be the precursor to a major attack on the US. That Obama refuses to acknowledge this, and continues to attack and threaten Israel, bodes ill for both countries.

It is not a stretch to say that as the chaos in the Muslim nations surrounding Israel continues to grow, America’s ability to withstand being drawn into another Middle East war will decrease exponentially. Only a strong and sound foreign policy that recognizes our true allies and our true enemies will enable the US to turn this escalating disaster around.

The next war will be more terrible than we can imagine. We cannot avoid it by ignoring the warning signs all around us. Time is running out.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. Also see Jerry Gordon’s collection of interviews, The West Speaks.

Collapse of Obama’s ‘Geo-Political Equilibrium’ in the Middle East

This weekend, less than 72 hours before the deadline for P5+1 political framework for Iran’s nuclear program, President Obama’s “offshore balancing” act in the Middle East collapsed. In a January 27, 2014 New Yorker interview with editor David Remnick President Obama revealed:

It would be profoundly in the interest of citizens throughout the region if Sunnis and Shiites weren’t intending to kill each other … And although it would not solve the entire problem, if we were able to get Iran to operate in a responsible fashion – not funding terrorist organizations, not trying to stir up sectarian discontent in other countries, and not developing a nuclear weapon – you could see an equilibrium developing between Sunni, or predominantly Sunni, Gulf states and Iran in which there is competition, perhaps suspicion, but not an active or proxy warfare.

His naive  paradigm of a geo-political equilibrium between Shia Iran and Sunni Arabs led by Saudi Arabia floundered with the dramatic intervention by the Saudi Air Force on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 attacking Houthi rebels in northern Yemen , the capital, Sana’a  and targets near Aden. Operation “determination storm” has begun. The Saudis gave less than 1 hour notice to the Pentagon and the White House of the launch of the air campaign. The Administration wasn’t consulted. That effrontery to the leader of the free world was in evidence at the 26th Summit of the Arab League in the Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Shaik. Abed-Rabbo Mansour Hadi, The ousted U.S. backed President of Yemen, who had fled from Aden to Saudi Arabia, accused the Houthi of being “stooges” for Iran. He refused any offer of a cease fire while the Saudis and Emirati air units continue attacking Houthi forces. Iran warned the Saudi and Emirate allies of “bloodshed,” if attacks continue. The Saudi have mobilized 150,000 ground forces for possible action. The U.S. may provide aerial refueling, bombs and air search and rescue for downed pilots as they did for two Saudi pilots on Thursday.

In a statement released today, Secretary General of the Arab League Nabil Al-Araby said the Arab states would, “join ranks and look into taking preemptive and defensive arrangements to maintain the Arab national security.”  The Declaration went on to point out:

The  “conflict between the concept of a modern state and destructive projects that detract the idea of a national state and employ the ethnic, religious and sectarian variation in bloody conflicts, sponsored by external parties.” It cited recent developments in Yemen and the slide the country almost fell into as a flagrant example of these challenges and stressed the dire need for “necessary measures to counter them.”

The Washington Post reported Arab leaders had effectively announced a “joint military force to intervene in neighboring states grappling with armed insurgencies.”

David P. Goldman in an Asia Times column, “The Middle Eastern Metternichs of Riyadhnoted the stunning assertion of the Saudi leadership in the confrontation with Iran over the US policy collapse in the Middle East and failures in Yemen:

A premise of the “realist” view that American policy in the region should shift towards Iran was that the Saudi monarchy would collapse and Sunni power along with it. All of us underestimated the Saudis.

Now the Saudis have emerged at the top of a Sunni coalition against Iran–limited for the moment to the Houthi insurgency in Yemen, to be sure, but nonetheless the most impressive piece of diplomacy in the Sunni world since Nasser, and perhaps in modern times. That attributes a lot of importance to a coalition assembled for a minor matter in a small country, but it may be the start of something important: the self-assertion of the Sunni world in response to the collapse of American regional power, the threat of Sunni jihadist insurgencies, and the Shi’ite bid for regional hegemony.

There was more drama in Lausanne, Switzerland, when an Iranian journalist Amir Hossein Motaghi, a former election aide to Islamic Republic President Rouhani defected. The UK Telegraph reported Motaghi saying: “The U.S. negotiating team is mainly there to speak on Iran’s behalf with other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal.” Meanwhile Secretary of State Kerry and the U.S. team are endeavoring to have the P5+1 approve a verbal outline of a political framework with the intransigent Iranians, who demand immediate lifting of financial sanctions while denying compliance with IAEA requests for background information on past military application developments.

These developments gave rise to further criticism by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu who warned at a Sunday cabinet meeting that:

 Iran is trying to “conquer the entire Middle East” as the West appears close to signing a pending nuclear deal with Israel’s arch-enemy.

“This deal, as it appears to be emerging, bears out all of our fears, and even more than that,” Netanyahu told his cabinet in Jerusalem, according to Reuters.

Doubtless, Netanyahu will have more to say to U.S. House Speaker John Boehner who travels to Jerusalem this week for a previously arranged meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister in the midst of cobbling together a ruling majority following his victory in the March 17th, Knesset elections.

The failure of a U.S. supported state in Yemen adds to the growing shadow of Iranian Hegemony over four Arab capitals in the Levant; Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad and now Sana’a.  Should the Saudi and Gulf emirates air attacks not succeed in halting the Iran-backed Houthi conquest of the remaining stronghold of Aden, then Iran may control a major international geo-resource choke hold on the Red Sea with significant economic repercussions. The prospect of a Shia Sunni sectarian war in the Middle East fuels the apocalyptic end time’s vision of chaos of the Iranian Shia Mahdists  are seeking to arouse the moribund Twelfth Imam from his slumber at the bottom of the holy well in the holy city of Qum hard by the underground uranium enrichment cascade hall of Fordow.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, elected by the Assembly of Experts to fulfill that bizarre Islamic obligation, is on the verge of achieving the ultimate symbol of chaos – becoming a nuclear threshold state courtesy of the looming P5+1 political framework that may be announced on March 31st. With Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, ISIS cells, the vanquishing of U.S. counterterrorism in the region, Iran has achieved its goal of fomenting chaos to bring about end times. As night follows day, Sectarian war between Sunni Arab states and Shia Mahdmen in Tehran could erupt. All while the Administration in Washington abandons Israel surrounded by Iranian proxies, Hezbollah, Hamas and Sunni Salafist Islamic State seeking its destruction.  Is this the legacy that President Obama wants to leave behind when he leaves the White House in January 2017?  If it is, then his pursuit of an accommodation with an Iran equipped with a stockpile of nuclear weapons and nuclear warhead tipped Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles amounts to colossal appeasement and “faithless execution” of his oath of office as Commander in Chief to protect America from all enemies, foreign and domestic.

This weekend the President was in Florida playing golf in Palm City, Florida with a Halliburton Director and the Houston Astros owner while his global equilibrium went up in flames. So much for his feeling the pain of the middle class.

Stay tuned for further developments.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Iranian journalist defector says Obama admin arguing on the SIDE of IRAN in nuke negotiations

How Will Middle East Chaos Impact the Iran Nuclear Talks?

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of Yemen President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, left, meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi at Sharm El-Shaik Summit, March 27, 2015. Source: AP/MENA.

Hard to grasp the Middle East situation?

A UK friend emailed me about the mess in the Middle East, saying that the tribal differences make it hard to grasp the situation there. Yes, from the standpoint of the inhabitants of the region, the situation is labyrinthine. But from the U.S. standpoint there is nothing complex about it at all. It is a secret hidden in the open, IF you know about the petrodollar agreement signed in 1973. You can truly call it blood money. Of course, in one way, the motivation of the U.S. policy is still hard to grasp, namely, how it could be so utterly and irredeemably EVIL?

Here is my response:

Dear X,

The key to ALL our Middle East wars in recent decades is the petrodollar agreement with the Saudis. It is not at all hard to grasp.

From the U.S. standpoint, the wars (and support for revolutions) are disarmingly easy to understand. Here is a digest explaining exactly why the U.S. has been fighting in the Middle East: http://www.americandailyherald.com/pundits/donald-hank/item/how-the-petrodollar-perpetuates-Islamic-terror

It all boils down to the petrodollar agreement signed between Nixon and King Faisal in 1973. Under this agreement, the Saudis agreed to demand payment for oil in dollars in exchange for “protection” of the Saudi royals and their oil fields. But in reality, the Saudis were not only interested in protection. Their aim was to have the US wage proxy wars against their religious opponents, mostly Shiites but also secularists.

In reality, every single war in the Middle East was fought by the U.S. as a proxy for the Saudis, essentially in defense of Saudi Wahhabism (radical fundamentalist SUNNI sect) against two groups:

  1. Secularists like Qaddafi and Saddam.
  2. Shiites like Iran and Syria (Shiites are in fact the less violent and radical of the two groups. You see why the ME has exploded, with the U.S. supporting the radical SUNNI Wahhabi sect and their minions — al-Qaeda, Taliban, ISIS? — Incidentally, Afghanistan and the Taliban are a somewhat complicated case. The Saudis turned against them because they were refusing to bow to the Saudis and were making bad publicity for Saudi Arabia)

That is just about all you need to know about U.S. motivation. In a word, money.

Young men from a “Christian” country dying for radical Muslims and their religion, and Christian churches standing with our contemptible government in support of these proxy wars. Easy to grasp the mechanics. Almost impossible to grasp the evil behind it.

Best,

Don

P.S.: Consider how IRAN is one of the countries having religious differences with the Saudis and how Christians have supported confrontation with that country without understanding what is behind it and without making a rational comparison of Iran with other Muslim countries (which would show Iran, with its 600 churches, to be significantly more Christian-friendly than Saudi Arabia, which bans all churches). Jesus commanded us to be gentle as doves and wise as serpents. You can’t have wisdom without any knowledge. Most American Christians are guilty of the sin of willful ignorance, something God hates as much as any other sin. He says My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge – Hosea 4:6.

Judging by the way Europe and even our allies in Asia have been turning away from the US-dominated World Bank and becoming founding members of the Chinese AIIB, we are truly being destroyed by our obstinate refusal to know the truth. Instead we prefer hokus-pokus, signs like blood moons and other nonsense. Please read the following article on the AIIB vs World Bank and leave a comment.

PODCAST: Obama’s Policies in the Middle East Destablizing World Security

I recently did a talk radio interview with former U.S. Federal Judge Joe Miller, USMA ‘89, the host of the Joe Miller Show. As a former counter terrorist intelligence operative who was on the DOD Task Force after 9/11 which reported to the Assistant Secretary of the Army, I served in nine counter-terrorist operations, was recruited as an Arabic linguist by Special Warfare Group ONE in order to deploy with SEAL Team ONE, was an armed Federal Law Enforcement Officer in DHS, and was assigned as an Intelligent Analyst in the FBI after graduating from the FBI Academy in Quantico.

Listen to my interview on the Joe Miller Show:

I voiced my concern that for the past 6 years, the Obama administration’s policies in the Middle East have been destructive for the stability of the region. The Obama administration’s foreign policy has shifted support from the United States’ 60 year traditional alliance with friendly Sunni countries (Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates) to Iran, the world’s number one major sponsor of terrorism with Shite ruling class. Iran regularly declares that it is enemy of the “Great Satan”, the United States, who has been killing and maiming thousands of members of the US Armed Forces for 36 years.

The Obama administration’s absence of a foreign policy in the Middle East has resulted in Iran filling the void by taking control of Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Lebanon with Afghanistan and Bahrain in their gun sights.

The Obama administration’s policies toward Iran has been facilitating Iran’s development of nuclear weapons for the last two years. The foreign policy of the Obama administration continues to embrace the terrorist state of Iran, while continuing to reject military aide for friendly Sunnis countries in the Middle East (the request for urgent military aide for Jordan, Egypt, Kurdistan, and the Assyrian Militia have been denied).

If the Obama administration’s nuclear negotiations permits Iran to continue the development of nuclear weapons and eventually obtain nuclear weapons, that agreement will result in a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, and might set the stage for Israel to attack Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities, which might result in the outbreak of World War III.

President Obama — Please explain how you will prevent a nuclear arms race in the Middle East?

President Obama, please explain to me how you will prevent a nuclear arms race among the various Muslim countries in the Middle East and elsewhere as your nuclear agreement with Iran will surely cause it?

Hopefully you and your close advisers understand that Iran’s neighbors in the Middle East including Turkey, Egypt, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Jordan are already preparing their own nuclear programs as depicted in the below graphic. What do you think will happen if Iran has a “clear path to the bomb”?

TTH1747G1CC

For a larger view click on the image.

A “Good Deal” Needs to Bolt the Door on the Iranians Getting a Nuclear Weapon – Ronen Bergman interviews Gen. David Petraeus (Ynet News)

  • “To accept that Iran’s nuclear ambitions over the years have been exclusively peaceful would require a willing suspension of disbelief….The International Atomic Energy Agency has extensively documented the so-called ‘possible military dimensions’ of the Iranian program, which clearly indicate that – at least until a few years ago – the Iranians were conducting activities whose only rational explanation is that they wanted a nuclear weapons capability.”
  • “History suggests, however, that countries that get to that [nuclear] threshold do not stay there. And regardless, based on everything we know and see about the Iranian government, we cannot allow them to be on the brink of having a nuclear weapon.”
  • “To my mind, a ‘good deal’ needs to bolt the door on the Iranians getting a nuclear weapon. In this respect, certainly large swaths of the program need to be dismantled or at least altered. I don’t know that this requires an end to enrichment, but certainly it would seem to me that there need to be substantial limitations on how much enriched material Iran can possess and the percentage to which they can enrich, as well as restrictions on the research, development, and deployment of new, more sophisticated models of centrifuges.”
  • “An extremely robust inspections program is also necessary – going beyond the Additional Protocol of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. In fact, the inspections regime is, in my mind, the most critical component of a deal.”Gen. (ret.) David Petraeus served as commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, commander of the Multi-National Force in Iraq, and head of the CIA.

Why Did Ayatollah Khamenei Come to the Table? – Ben Cohen interviews Michael Ledeen

Ladeen: It’s conventional wisdom that Iran came to the negotiating table because of sanctions. I’m not sure that’s correct. It may well be that Iran came to the negotiating table because President Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif convinced the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, that if they went to the table, they would get everything they wanted from President Obama. Because, they said, America’s will has been broken, and the Americans are prepared to make endless concessions just to keep talking.

I’m not convinced that there’s going to be a deal with Iran. Khamenei doesn’t want to deal with U.S., he wants to destroy us. He says that every week – sometimes every day. So why should he make a deal when he’s getting everything from us now without a deal?

You have the moderate Arab countries who are, all of a sudden, talking to Israel, working out joint plans and contingencies with Israel. What can they do? If Iran is going nuclear – and there’s not a leader in the Middle East who doesn’t believe that Iran is going nuclear – then they have to defend themselves. And if America isn’t available, who is?

Dr. Michael Ledeen, a former consultant to the U.S. National Security Council, Department of State, and Department of Defense, is a Freedom Scholar at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. (Fathom-BICOM)

Exclusive Interview with Major General Paul Vallely on Will the Middle East Explode in 2015?

“Will the Middle East explode in 2015” is the name of our three-part series looking at the tension in Israel, the instability in Yemen and the consequences of a new King in Saudi Arabia together with the advance of Iran more deeply onto this region. This series is a must see for anyone concerned about the national security of the United States of America!

Don’t miss our in-depth interview with Major General Paul E. Vallely, U.S. Army (Retired) regarding the tension and potential explosive elements of the Middle East and how this relates to all Americans and Israel.

Critics were right about Obama’s incompetence

During the past six years, some Republicans and conservatives have described President Obama and his administration as totally incompetent. I have harshly criticized those who would use such incendiary language because it showed total disrespect for the office of the presidency. Though I still think this language is totally inappropriate, I have come to agree with the point they were trying to make: this administration is in way over its head. Obama and his team constantly lie to the American people (IRS, Benghazi, illegal immigration), they put the interests of others before the interests of Americans, and they are obsessed with the notion of being “liked.”

Two weeks ago, President Obama told us that he “intends to destroy the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) without putting American boots on the ground.” Everyone who follows politics and foreign policy knew Obama was lying. This is what his former Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, had to say, “There will be boots on the ground if there’s to be any hope of success in the strategy… I think that by continuing to repeat that [there will be no boots on the ground], the president in effect traps himself.”

Obama refuses to admit the obvious simply because of the upcoming mid-term elections. His liberal base would defect en masse from Democratic candidates all across the country if he actually told the truth.

Then again, this is the same president who has constantly lied to those in the country illegally about giving them amnesty by executive fiat. He has now promised to do it after the elections in November. Remember, one of the main tenants of liberalism is “intent.” Obama will argue that he didn’t “intend” to put boots on the ground, but circumstances on the ground changed. He “intended” to give illegals amnesty, but if Republicans take over the senate, he can’t.

As a U.S. Senator and a candidate for president in 2008, Obama was a very harsh critic of Bush’s war in Iraq. Yet, in six years as president, he has continued the Bush doctrine in foreign policy (attempting to spread “democracy” around the world).

According to the London based Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ), “Since becoming president in 2009, Obama has launched over 330 drone attacks in Pakistan alone; Bush only launched 51 in four years.” When you add in Yemen and Somalia, according to this same report, the total jumps to 390 drone attacks and have killed more than 2,400 people (273 of whom were innocent civilians).

Many Democrats called for Bush to be tried as a murderer and a war criminal. So what does that make Obama?

This administration thinks that everyone is “entitled” to be in the U.S., whether they entered legally or not. They are providing five-star accommodations for illegals, while American citizens are increasingly homeless, more likely to be unemployed, and less educated.

In essence, Obama and his administration actually think he was elected to be president of the world. They think they and we Americans should be willing to sacrifice our own standard of living to provide relief to those around the world who are less fortunate than us. Not even Jimmy Carter displayed this level of arrogance and disdain toward his own country and its people.

We are not responsible for the problems of the world. How do you justify allowing illegals into the country under the guise that “they are just looking for a better life in America” when Americans are looking for the same thing – in their own country?

In the 1980s, Cuba unlocked its jails and dumped the worst of their worst into the U.S., which led to the drug cartels wreaking havoc in Miami. Now we are allowing the most unskilled illegals to enter into our country from Central America and wreak havoc on the inner cities as well as the suburbs.

As president of the world, Obama really believes that we should have no borders, even if it jeopardizes our national security. Our intelligence community has already publicly and privately admitted that terrorist from the Middle East have already entered into the U.S. from Mexico.

Obama really thinks the sheer strength of his magnetic personality will get Iran to give up its nuclear program, get Putin to return U.S. traitor Edward Snowden to the U.S. and cause Bashar al-Assad to leave the presidency of Syria.

In trying so hard to be liked, world leaders don’t fear or respect him. As Niccolò Machiavelli said, “It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.”

Obama is neither.

“Progress, but No Time for Celebration”

‘Perhaps it is the end of the beginning’ were the words that Winston Churchill used to describe a very different conflict to the one we are currently in. When Churchill described the end of the preliminary battles of the Second World War he was speaking from a continent whose young men and women were signed up in their entirety, with whole economies and populations enrolled in the fight against Nazi fascism.

Today we are of course in a very different war. And not only because so few young men and women are in uniform (and ever fewer these days in the United Kingdom). This war is different for a whole range of reasons. Today’s enemies rarely congregate in vast stadia to remind us of their size and power. They control vast territories but few countries. Rarely if ever do they wear a uniform. And hardest of all to comprehend is the fact that this time very many of our enemies are inside our own societies – with a larger group still whose sympathies they believe themselves able to call upon.

The nature of this conflict is still misunderstood now as it has been from day one: we are in a worldwide, multidimensional war against radical Islam. That so many people do not want to admit that is perhaps the greatest demonstration of our potential eventual failure. But there are signs that the battle is clearing.

Just this week the US has been leading an international coalition which is finally striking at the heart of Islamic State (IS) forces. At home in the UK one of our most notorious preachers of hate – Anjem Choudary – has been arrested along with almost a dozen of his followers. This is a moment when many people would hang up their boots and look forward to early retirement. Many of the dangers we have warned of – from Iraq to home and back again – have come disturbingly true. What some people claimed to be scare-mongering is now everyone’s daily news diet. Beheadings in London. Beheadings in Iraq. Crucifixions in Syria. Attempted beheadings in Australia. All these things, and more, have come to pass.

But here at HJS we know that this is not time for celebration or for back-patting. To think things are over now would not just be wrong – it would betray an atrocious error of timing. It is true that ISIS is now on the back-foot. But ISIS is only one group. A year ago nobody had heard of them. A year from now there will be another such group of which we have not yet heard. Domestically we have had a track record of allowing hate preachers to roam free for years before locking them up or otherwise getting rid of them. Omar Bakri, Abu Hamza. There will be others next year. And we actually do know some of their names.

But the point is that while celebrating the incremental steps that our societies are making to understanding the conflict we are in, we do not believe that this is anywhere near an end. It may well be that politicians and publics are catching up with us. But such an event would only herald, at best, the end of the beginning. Ahead of us all are severe and dangerous paths. The Mullahs are still in power in Iran. Hamas are still in power in Gaza. Across the world extremist groups are feeding on the virtues of our societies as well as our flaws. They will be doing so for years to come. So yes, a time for some recognition and some correction, but also a time to realise that we are not yet out of the first act. We do not know how many acts there will be. But people should be under no illusion, and take refuge in no false comforts. This one, to put it in theatre vernacular, looks set to run and run.

Israel/U.S. National Security Summit 2014 Trailer

Rabbi Jonathan H. Hausman small

Rabbi Jonathan H. Hausman

On Sept 9, 2014, The United West, in partnership with Rabbi Jonathan H. Hausman presented a unique national security event which featured some of America’s top subject-matter experts on the issues of Israel, Gaza, the Islamic State (ISIS) and the Obama Administration’s foreign policy initiatives.

Please watch this trailer featuring Rabbi Jonathan H. Hausman, Lieutenant Colonel Allen B. West, U.S. Army (Ret.), Lieutenant  General Jerry Boykin, U.S. Army (Ret.), Lieutenant  General Tom McInerney, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), and author and former CIA Station Chief Gary Berntsen.

By early October The United West will release the full video documentary completed on this special day at this historic event. But for now, please watch this “teaser” trailer:

RELATED ARTICLES:

Islamic State spokesman: “Rely upon Allah, and kill” American, European, Australian, and Canadian non-Muslims

U.S. reportedly providing indirect military aid to Hizballah

Islamic State appropriates all Christian, Shiite business assets

Our Pathetic President

The first thing you need to keep in mind is that Syria and Iraq are now just lines on a map at this point. They don’t exist as national states because the former is locked in a civil war that will replace its dictator one way or the other and the latter’s alleged government is deeply divided between the usual schism of Sunni and Shiite.

More to the point, Iraq’s government is led by men who are the friends and pawns of Iran. In a recent issue of the Iranian newspaper, Eternad, an Iranian analyst commented on the new Iraqi cabinet noting that its new prime minister “enjoys Iran’s support and spend his formative years in Iran, and continued (the operation of the Islamic al-Dawa party) until the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime.”

That fall was the result of the war waged against Saddam by President George W. Bush. The Iranian analyst noted that Iraq’s new foreign minister, Dr. Ebrahim Jafari “until recently lived in Tehran in Iran, and enjoyed Iran’s support in spite of his differences with Nouri al-Maleki (the former prime minister). The new Iraqi oil minister, transport minister, and minister of sport and youth were all described as “close to Iran, who either lived in Iran before, fought against the Ba’ath regime with Iran’s help, or constantly traveled to Iran.”

Iraq and Syria came into being when French and British diplomats created them as colonies following the end of World War I, the fall of the Ottoman Empire, and the Treaty of Versailles.

In his September 10th speech, President Obama uttered the word “war” only once and then only to say “We will not be dragged into another ground war in Iraq.”

The speech, like everything he says, was a lie constructed to undue the truth he inadvertently admitted when he revealed “We have no strategy.”  If you do not intend to go to war, you do not need a strategy. Instead, you can pretend to the American public that the war will be fought by Iraqis and Syrians.

So far the Syrian civil war has cost that “nation” 200,000 lives and driven a million Syrians out of the country. As for the Iraqis, their military fled in the face of the ISIS forces, leaving behind the weapons we gave them. Between Iraq and Syria, ISIS now controls a landmass larger than the size of Great Britain.

In the course of the speech, Obama said he had dispatched 475 more troops to Iraq. We have an estimated 1,500 or more troops on the ground. That is barely the size of an infantry regiment, composed of two battalions of between 300 and 1,300 troops each.

Significantly, though, Obama opened the speech by reminding Americans that he had “brought home 140,000 American troops from Iraq, and drawing down our forces in Afghanistan, where our combat mission will end later this year.”

President Obama has announced he intends to send up to 3,000 troops to West Africa to help combat Ebola. He can find troops to put in harm’s way in Africa, but not to combat ISIS.

All he has ever wanted to do is to flee from our declared enemies whether they are al Qaeda, the Taliban, ISIS or other Islamic holy warriors. Those numbers signal his failure to follow up our sacrifices in those two nations.

Years after World War II and the Korean War, we still have combat troops in Europe, South Korea, and on bases around the world, but he is pulling out troops in the two nations where our interests are currently threatened. He called the enemy “small groups of killers.” He claimed that “America is safer.”

He appears to think the greatest threat of our time, the holy war being waged by fanatical Muslims, can be won with air strikes and measures that do “not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil.”

Fighting on foreign soil is what American combat troops did throughout the last century and into this one. They helped defeat Germany and the Japanese Empire in World War II. They stopped the communist North Korean attack on the South, but had less success in the long Vietnam War. They were successful in the Gulf wars until Obama was elected.

We have a President who has displayed a lack of leadership, a lack of judgment, ignorance of history, a cowardly approach to the threats we face, and who has demonstrated over and over again that he is a liar. His administration is likely to be judged the most corrupt in the history of the nation, indifferent to the Constitution and our laws.

Proclaiming that he “could not be prouder of our men and women in uniform”, this is a President who has engaged in dramatically reducing the size of our military to pre-World War II levels. After a two-star general, Major General Harold J. Green, was killed in Afghanistan in April not one single member of the White House attended his funeral. Obama was playing golf.

America must survive a man who many have come to believe is “the worst President” in our history. An essential stop toward that will be to defeat as many Democratic Party incumbents and candidates for office in the November 4 midterm elections. Americans—patriots—can do no less at this point.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Obama’s nonsensical approach to ISIS

Obama’s ISIS plan: Outsourcing US national security in a chaotic world.

I just finished listening to President Obama delivering his strategy for dealing with ISIS and my summation of what Obama stated is simply: “Outsourcing US National Security in a Chaotic World.”

Lots of you here aren’t career military combat warriors, so let me explain why this speech made no sense. Obama said that we are committed to a counter-terrorism strategy and a systematic campaign — but then Obama stated there will be no U.S. combat mission on the ground — although he is deploying another 475 on top of the almost 1,000 troops there now. Folks, you cannot win a counter-terrorism operation without a combat force – it certainly cannot be won from the air.

And what Obama didn’t explain was who will coordinate close air support for these “coalition” partners on the ground — and of course Obama just recently derided the Free Syrian Army as being “doctors, farmers, and pharmacists.” Our air strikes — and you must understand 150 strikes over a one month period is not a dedicated air campaign — have to be targeted and that means SOFLAM (Special Operations Forces Laser Acquired Munitions) but if there are no American combat troops, none on the ground, then who is doing this critical mission? You cannot destroy a force from 30,000 feet with air power only.

Obama just had to state that this is not going to be another Iraq or Afghanistan. Well, let’s look at that. In Afghanistan a small American force of 600 Special Operators and CIA operatives along with the Northern Alliance routed a Taliban Army of 70,000 along with another 5,000 Al-Qaida enemy forces. That was a successful model which could be used here, but Obama told us again what he was not willing to do.

Now we are going to put our national security trust in surrogate forces? And we’re supposed to send in more trainers for the Iraq Army? Heck, if Obama had supported the generals on the ground and fought to leave a residual force in Iraq, we would have had the trainers there and wouldn’t be in this position! So now we have to go back in because of his ideological intransigence and “redo” it all over again and try to rebuild the relationships, which have now been broken — as many Sunni tribesmen have enjoined ISIS.

And to state that ISIS is not Islamic? You have to be kidding me. ISIS stands for, first word, “Islamic.” Obama continues to deny and refuse to define the enemy, and that folks is not helpful.

President Obama stated that America is safer — but not according to recent American polling — and certainly not reflected by the beheadings of two Americans, Foley and Sotloff.

Obama borrowed the “no safe haven” phrase from George W. Bush. And in a comparative analysis of coalition building ability, George W. Bush had 37 countries in 2003, but so far Obama only has 9 — and as we reported, one of them is Turkey and they’re already waffling about not joining unless we restrain support to the Kurdish Peshmerga Army — a core element of this strategy.

I was glad to hear Obama state that he would cut off funding — I hope he goes after Qatar with a strategy we have offered here. As well, since the Saudi King Abdullah is so worried, then have him foot the bill for this operation. But, there was no reference to our domestic jihadist recruitment problem and a porous southern border that must be sealed.

Another key point Obama failed to address, as he talked about his highest priority being our security — will Obama stop the decimation of our military force, which finds itself at horribly low levels? That is why I believe Obama’s strategy is about “outsourcing” our national security as he degrades and destroys our military capability and capacity, which we have addressed here.

This is not American leadership at its best, it is American acquiescence and incompetence. You cannot destroy an enemy or conduct a counter-terrorism strategy by hoping someone else will execute it, or by air — and how are we going to increase air strikes? Will we have a dedicated air campaign with countless sorties a day?

The finish to this speech was utterly weak; full of empty rhetoric and pabulum which means nothing to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi — and it was Russia who sealed the deal to secure Syria’s declared chemical weapons.

Obama asked for our support — he certainly doesn’t secure mine, and he shouldn’t get yours either. Tonight President Barack Hussein Obama proved that polling drives his strategy, because this was supposed to be done midday.

He probably should have, since this was an utter embarrassment and a waste of time. Obama is expanding a combat operation and yet refuses to go to Congress, as George W. Bush did to make a case and secure — by vote — approval. He asked for a blank check for an ambiguous endeavor supporting surrogate forces to handle American business of destroying an enemy who he did not define, which has declared enemy against us.

I fear for my country. We are indeed rudderless amidst a maelstrom.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on AllenBWest.com.

Islam is the Face of Evil

“ISIS is not Islamic”, said  Barack Obama as he gave yet another vapid speech to say what he will or will not do next about the threat of Islam. What he said is both idiotic and a lie. ISIS calls itself the Islamic State.

Obama used the word “war” only once, but ISIS is all about war—an Islamic holy war that has been waged since 632 AD.

The one person neither named, nor blamed is the so-called prophet, Mohammad, yet everything being done by the jihadists today is being done in his name.

In his memoir, “Dreams from my Father”, Obama, in the preface to its second edition, wrote: “Nor do I pretend to understand the stark nihilism that drove the terrorists that day (9/11) and that drives their brethren still. My powers of empathy, my ability to reach into another’s heart, cannot penetrate the blank stares of those who would murder innocents with abstract, serene satisfaction.” And therein is the problem that he, as President, and we as citizens must address.

Political correctness is so dominant in the Obama White House that no one in the U.S. government dares say anything that might be deemed critical of a so-called “religion” that sanctions beheadings, amputations, stoning, kidnapping hostages, ransoms, polygamy, and slavery. To anyone deemed an infidel or unbeliever or a Muslim who questions anything about Islam, death is the only option other than dhimmitude, a second-class citizenship.

The pure evil of Islam was seen most recently in the two videos of American hostages being beheaded by the Islamic State, but despite decades of attacks on U.S. embassies, the taking of U.S. hostages in Beirut and Tehran, attacks in Bali, Madrid and London, and the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and on the Pentagon, Americans have been slow to realize the intensity and size of the threat that the Middle Eastern and North African nations represent along with wherever else a large Muslim population exists.


As the U.S. and threatened Middle Eastern nations hurtle toward a military confrontation with the Islamic State, the name it has given to territory it has seized from northern Syria and into Iraq, a new book, Fault Lines: The Layman’s Guide to Understanding America’s Role in the Ever-Changing Middle East, ($00.00, Elevate, Boise, Idaho, softcover) provides one of the best, short histories on U.S. involvement and why, at this point, its influence has reached a low point.

Liebich writes of the way the U.S. policy regarding the Middle East changed over the years, particularly in the wake of World War II and the Cold War that followed as the Soviet Union challenged us for the implementation of communism worldwide. Dependent on the flow of oil from the Middle East, much of our strategic interest in the region was based on exercising our influence, often bringing about the removal of leaders whom we regarded as a threat to that necessity. After 9/11 that went into overdrive.

Liebich notes that our concept of nation-building proved costly, not just in the lives of our troops, but which included $50 billion in Iraq “and it didn’t work. Before you can build a nation you have to have a nation and only the citizens of that nation can decide what kind of a country they want to have.” The problem the U.S. encountered was that “In the Middle East, people related much more to the Ummah (the Muslim community) and to their own tribes.”

The problem that George H.W. Bush and his son, George W. Bush, encountered was that “The Middle East is a part of the world where many odd alliances appear. One is never sure who is allied with whom and whatever one thinks may all change tomorrow.”

Liebich takes note of the “Arab Awakening” that followed the U.S. invasion of Iraq that deposed Saddam Hussein. It began “with so much promise” followed by “its subsequent descent into chaos, has drastically changed the geopolitical landscape in the Middle East and North Africa.”

Liebich says “My definition of a vital national interest is one that deals with an existential threat to the United States, and one for which the U.S. is willing to spill its blood and to spend its treasure in order to accomplish its objectives. By this definition, the U.S. has no vital national interest in events in the Middle East.” Written prior to the emergence of the Islamic State, a new existential threat is facing the U.S.

Liebich says our strategic interests in the Middle East for many years included access to stable supplies of oil at reasonable prices; support for the state of Israel; preventing adversaries or potential adversaries from coming to power or achieving influence in the region; improving life for the people of the region; and preventing terrorist attacks on U.S. territories and citizens.

“The region has become the epicenter for terrorist groups, some of which have ambitions for a global reach.” That alone will require a renewed military involvement by the U.S. as we are the only nation with the capacity to alter the facts on the ground.

It comes at a time when the U.S. is close to having developed its oil reserves to a point where the oil of the Middle East will not determine our policies, but it is that oil which other nations such as those of Europe depend upon. China and India need it as well so its protection by and for the West as well as the developing Asian nations affects our decisions. Even Russia whose economy is dependent on oil and natural gas has cast its support for Syria along with Iran.

Everything, though, depends on understanding the true nature and intent of Islam.

Liebich ends his book with a quote from Winston Churchill who said, “We can always count on the Americans to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all other possibilities.”

Right now, the right thing is the destruction of the Islamic State.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

RELATED ARTICLE: Sorry Mr. President, ISIS Is 100 Percent Islamic

Witnessing a Failed Presidency

When we elect someone—anyone—to the office of President, it is only natural that we attribute great political skills, intellect, and judgment to that man. We want to believe we have selected someone with the ability to do what must be done in a dangerous and very complex world.

This may explain why Presidents who have presided in times of war are more highly regarded than those that have not. Washington brought the nation into being by patiently pursuing a war with Great Britain, Lincoln saw the Civil War to a successful conclusion, preserving the Union

The last century offered two world wars and several lesser ones, Korea and Vietnam. Voters put Franklin D. Roosevelt in office in 1933 and then kept him there until his death in 1945 just before the conclusion of World War Two. They had no wish to disrupt his conduct of the war with anyone else. It fell to Harry Truman to wrap up World War Two and to pursue the Korean War to repulse communist North Korea’s invasion.

The Vietnam War had its genesis in the JFK years, but it was Lyndon Johnson who committed to it with a massive influx of infantry and massive bombing, neither of which was able to deter the North Vietnamese from uniting the nation. Having lied the nation into the war LBJ concluded at the end of his first term which he had won in a landslide that he should not run again given the vast level of unhappiness with the conflict.

The failure to respond in a strong way to the Iranians who took U.S. diplomats hostage left Jimmy Carter with a single failed term in office. Neither domestically, nor in the area of foreign affairs did he demonstrate strength or much understanding.

After 9/11 George W. Bush used U.S. military strength to send a message to the world in general and al Qaeda in particular. By the end of his second term, a completely unknown young Democrat emerged as the Democratic Party candidate for President by campaigning on a promise to get out of Iraq and offering “hope and change.”

AA - Going from bad to worseBarack Hussein Obama captured the imagination of the voters. He was black and many Americans wanted to demonstrate that an African-American could be elected President. He was relatively young, regarded as eloquent, and seemed to project a cool, self-composed approach throughout his campaign.

The only problem was that he lacked a resume beyond having been a “community organizer.” He had graduated from Harvard Law School, but all of his academic and other public records had been put under seal so they could not be examined. Twice he ran against relatively lackluster, older men who did not possess much charisma, if any.

In his first term, his “stimulus” to lift the economy out of recession was a trillion-dollar failure. By his second term, however, the singular first term “achievement” was the passage of the Affordable Patient Care Act—Obamacare. When finally ready to enroll people it instantly demonstrated technical and policy problems. Obama began to unilaterally make changes to the law even though he lacked the legal power to do so.

The war in Iraq whose conclusion he had ridden to victory in 2008 and 2012 came unraveled and the Syrian civil war in which he had resisted any involvement metastasized into a barbaric Islamic State that seized parts of Iraq and northern Syria.

Halfway through his second term, it was increasingly evident that Obama did not want to fulfill the role of the Presidency to provide leadership in times of foreign and domestic crisis.

On August 28 Gallup reported “Americans are more than twice as likely to say they “strongly disapprove” (39%) of President Barack Obama’s job performance as they are to say they “strongly approve” (17%). The percentage of Americans who strongly disapprove of Obama has increased over time, while the percentage who strongly approve has dropped by almost half.”

His passion for golf became noticeable in ways that went beyond just a bit of vacation time. The time he spent fund raising seemed to be more of a priority than dealing with Congress. Not only did he fail to develop strong political working relations with members of his own party, his churlish talk about the Republican Party began to grate on everyone.

Though no President cares much for the demands of the press, they play an essential role in a democracy. His administration went to extremes to close off access to its members and by striking out at the press in ways that turned it from one that had gone out of its way to support him in the first term to one that actively, if not openly, disliked him in the second.

One characteristic about Obama had become glaringly obvious. He lies all the time. He lies in obvious and casual ways. In politics where one’s word must be one’s bond, this is a lethal personality trait. He dismissed the many scandals of his administration as “phony.”

Given the vast implications of what is occurring in the Middle East, in Ukraine, and elsewhere around the world his response was to interrupt his golf game to give a short speech and then return to the greens. In a recent press conference he said he has “no strategy” to address the threat that ISIS represents.

What Americans have discovered is that they have twice either voted for (or against) someone with fewer skills and even less desire to do the job for which he campaigned. This lazyness combined with his radical liberal politics have finally become obvious even to his former supporters.

His statement that he had no strategy to deal with the threat of the Islamic State and that it was perhaps too soon to expect one to have been formulated has led to the conclusion that he was far less intellectually equipped to be President than many had thought.

Now he must be endured and survived.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image was taken by the AP on May 12, 2014 of President Obama speaking during a press availability in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.

President Obama’s lack of a strategy to deal with ISIS is ‘grossly negligent’

Amerli Hassan

After his family escaped the ISIS-besieged town of Amerli in northern Iraq, 2-year-old Hassan was wounded in a suicide bombing. His family reportedly died in the blast. (Photo: Courtesy Ali al-Bayati)

President Obama publicly announced with respect to the Islamic State “We don’t have a strategy yet.” This is mind chilling.

The U.S. Commander in Chief just announced to the leaders of the Islamic State they have nothing to fear from the U.S. at this time because we have no strategy to deal with them. To say the least this is a green light for these terrorists to proceed with their murderous rampage.

It is hard to account for Obama’s statement which is a gift to the Islamic State. However there are a number of possibilities:

  1. Obama is pushing off a decision until Congress convenes thereby endangering U.S. security for domestic political reasons and because he is indecisive. This may be a replay of his failure to act against the Assad regime when Obama’s red line was breached and his failure to arm the rebels when it could have made a difference and prevented the emergence of the Islamic State.
  2. In disregard of warnings from high ranking Administration members Obama doesn’t believe the Islamic State is a substantial threat and seeks containment instead of its destruction, but won’t admit it publicly.
  3. To avoid or postpone taking action at this time Obama is lying to the American public when he says that the U.S. has no strategy to deal with or destroy the Islamic State.

In any event President Obama’s public statements gives aid and comfort to the enemy and further distances the U.S. from its allies in the region. If in fact after numerous recommendations from our military and intelligence services the White House has failed to create a strategy against this terrorist organization President Obama and his advisers have been ‘grossly negligent’.

RELATED ARTICLES:

ALERT: UK Terror Threat Raised to ‘Severe’ – ‘Attack Highly Likely’
CIA expert: Obama switched sides in war on terror
Found: The Islamic State’s Terror Laptop of Doom – Buried in a Dell computer captured in Syria are lessons for making bubonic plague bombs and missives on using weapons of mass destruction. – Foreign Policy Magazine
What Leading From Behind Looks Like
Obama: “We don’t have a strategy yet” on the Islamic State
Israel accepted ceasefire without demilitarization of Hamas under U.S. pressure
Islamic jihadists capture 43 UN peacekeepers in Golan Heights
Obama: We Have No Strategy to Fight ISIS; Ukraine Wasn’t Invaded

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is an official White House Photo by Pete Souza.