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Why Obama will not shift gears on foreign policy; and indivsible anti-Semitism

by Speranza ( 88 Comments › )
Filed under Anti-semitism, Cold War, History, Holocaust, Iran, Israel, Judaism, Koran, Libya, Palestinians, UK, World War II at March 19th, 2014 - 7:13 am

Miss Glick feels that Obama’s feckless foreign policy is motivated by his rather hostile feelings about America’s history both foreign and domestic.

by Caroline Glick

Just before Russian President Vladimir Putin orchestrated Russia’s takeover of Crimea, the US’s Broadcasting Board of Governors that controls Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty announced that it will be ending its broadcast to Iraq and the Balkans next year.

And this makes sense. As far as the Obama administration is concerned, Iraq ceased to exist in 2011, when the last US forces got out of the country.

As for the Baltics, well, really who cares about them? Russia, after all, wants the same things America does. Everything will be fine.

As Obama said to Governor Mitt Romney during one of the 2012 presidential debates, “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.”

During the election, Obama was famously caught on an open microphone promising President Putin’s stand-in Dmitry Medvedev that he would have “more flexibility,” on missile defense after the presidential election.

He asked Medvedev to ask Putin to give him “more space” until after November 2012.

With a five-and-half-year record of selling US allies like Poland, the Czech Republic and even the Syrian opposition out to please Putin, it should be obvious that Obama will do nothing effective to show Putin the error of his ways in Ukraine.

Obama doesn’t have a problem with Putin.

And as long as Putin remains anti-American, he will have no reason to be worried about Obama.

Consider Libya. Three years ago this week, NATO forces supported by the US began their campaign to bring down Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

As Patrick Coburn noted in The Independent over the weekend, the same Western forces who insisted that their “responsibility to protect” the Libyan people from a possible massacre by Gaddafi’s forces compelled them to bring down Gaddafi and his regime have had nothing to say today about the ongoing bloodbath in post-Gaddafi Libya.

[......]

But Gaddafi, the neutered dictator who quit the terrorism and nuclear-proliferation rackets after the US-led invasion of Iraq, is gone. So no one cares.

Coburn mentioned the recent documentary aired on Al Jazeera – America that upended the West’s narrative that the bombing of Pan Am 103 in 1988 over Lockerbie, Scotland, was the work of the Libyan government. According to a credible Iranian defector, the attack was ordered by Iran and carried out by Palestinian terrorists from Ahmed Jibril’s PFLP-GC.

He wrote, “the documentary emphasizes the sheer number of important politicians and senior officials over the years who must have looked at intelligence reports revealing the truth about Lockerbie, but still happily lied about it.”

If the Al Jazeerah documentary is correct, there is good reason for the public in the US, Europe and throughout the world to be angry about the cover-up.

But there is no reason to be surprised.

Since its inception, the Iranian regime has been at war with the US. It has carried out one act of aggression after another. These have run the gamut from the storming of the US Embassy in Tehran and holding hostage US diplomats for 444 days, to the use of Lebanese and Palestinian proxies to murder US officials, citizens and soldiers in countless attacks over the intervening 35 years, to building a military presence in Latin America, to developing nuclear weapons.

[.......]
A similar situation obtains with the Palestinians. Like the Iranians, the PLO has carried out countless acts of terrorism that have killed US officials and citizens.

From the 1970 Fatah execution of the US ambassador and deputy chief of mission in Khartoum to the 2003 bombing of the US embassy convoy in Gaza, the PLO has never abandoned terrorism against the US.

No less importantly, the PLO is the architect of modern terrorism. From airline hijackings, to the massacre of schoolchildren, from bus bombings to the destabilization of nation states, the PLO is the original author of much of the mayhem and global terrorism the US has led the fight against since the 1980s.

And of course, the PLO’s main stated goal is the destruction of Israel, the US’s only dependable ally, and the only liberal democracy in the Middle East.

[.......]

In many ways, then the Obama administration is simply a loyal successor of previous administrations. But in one essential way, it is also different.

IN A 2006 op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, civil rights historian Shelby Steele argued that the reason the US has lost every war it has fought since World War II despite the fact that it has had the military might to vanquish all of its enemies is “white guilt.”

White guilt, he argued, makes its sufferers in the West believe that they lack the moral authority to act due to the stigma of white supremacy and imperialism.

Writing of the then raging insurgency in Iraq, Steele explained, “When America – the greatest embodiment of Western power – goes to war in Third World Iraq, it must also labor to dissociate that action from the great Western sin of imperialism. Thus in Iraq we are in two wars, one against an insurgency and the other against the past – two fronts, two victories to win, one military, the other a victory of dissociation.”

This neurotic view of America’s moral underpinning is what explains the instinctive American tendency to strike out at those who do not oppose the West – like Gaddafi’s regime in Libya and Hosni Mubarak’s regime in Egypt – while giving a pass to those who do – like the Palestinians and the Iranians.

But whereas white guilt has afflicted the US leadership for the past several generations, past administrations were willing to set it aside when necessary to advance US national security interests.

This cannot happen with Obama.

Obama owes his presidency to white guilt. His promise to American voters was that by voting for him, they would expiate their guilt for the sins of European imperialists and southern racists.

It was the American desire to move beyond the past that enabled a first-term senator with radical connections and the most liberal voting record in the Senate to get elected to the presidency.

But tragically for the US and the free world, Obama’s worldview is informed not by an appreciation for what Steele extolled as America’s “moral transformation,” on issue of race. Rather it is informed by his conviction that the US deserves its guilt.

Obama does not share Bill Clinton’s view that the US is “the indispensable nation,” although he invoked the term on the campaign trail in 2012.

From his behavior toward foe and friend alike, Obama gives the impression that he does not believe the US has the right to stand up for its interests.

Moreover, his actions from Israel to Eastern Europe to Egypt and Libya indicate that he believes there is something wrong with nations that support and believe in the US.

Their pro-Americanism apparently makes them guilty of white guilt by association.

So Iran, the Palestinians and Russia needn’t worry. Obama will not learn from his mistakes, because as far as he is concerned, he hasn’t made any.

Read the rest - Why Obama will not shift gears

Miss Glick feels that one cannot condemn anti-Semtism and the same time seek to demonize and harm the Jewish State. Hence she feels that the U.N. International Holocaust Memorial Day gives the world’s anti-Semites a fig leaf of “moral authority” to engage in virulent anti-Semitism.

by Caroline Glick

On March 19, it will be two years since Mohammed Merah slaughtered three Jewish children and a rabbi in the courtyard of the Ozar Hatorah Jewish day school in Toulouse, France.

Far from being a wake-up call that forced the French to their senses, and compelled them to purge their society of the Jew-hatred that inspired Merah to film himself blowing his victims’ brains out, his act served as an inspiration for other anti-Semites.

According to the French Interior Ministry, anti-Semitic attacks rose 60 percent in 2012 over 2011 levels.

Over the past decade and a half, anti-Semitism has moved from the backroom to the living room throughout Europe.

All aspects of Jewish life are under assault.

Religious observance has become an act of near rebellion against social graces.

In 2009, the British Supreme Court ruled that Jewish schools that followed religious tradition and only admitted children who have a Jewish mother were guilty of racial discrimination.

In other words, the British Supreme Court said that traditional Judaism is racist.

In country after country, campaigns to ban Jewish ritual practices are in full swing. Government after government has passed or moved toward passing bans on shechita, Jewish traditional slaughter of animals. Mila, infant male circumcision, is also under assault. Both, of course, are foundations of Jewish observance.

[.......]
Of course, even more popular than accusing Jews of subjecting cows and chickens to monstrous slaughter is the practice of accusing Jews of subjecting Palestinians to monstrous slaughter.

For Europe’s elite, radical and increasingly, violent anti-Zionism has become the anti-Semitism of choice. Among other things, anti-Zionists believe that Israel is inherently illegitimate and necessarily, and purposely, evil. For them, Israel is Nazi Germany.

And supporters of Israel are for them the greatest evildoers in the world. They should be accorded no courtesy, and be treated as human scum.

This has been made clear, most vividly in recent years on college campuses where pro-Israel supporters are run off campuses, shouted off stages and barred from presenting their views.

One recent episode of this sort occurred on March 5 at the National University of Ireland, Galway, where British professor Alan Johnson tried to speak in opposition to an initiative to get the university to join the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel.

A YouTube video of the event showed how a mob of BDS supporters prevented him from speaking. They shouted curses at him and his colleagues and demanded they “get the f*** off our campus!” Writing of the experience and the hate movement that stands behind it in The Times of Israel, Johnson reported that the student leading the effort to silence him is the head of NUIG’s Palestine Solidarity Society named Joseph Loughnane.

[........]

Johnson wrote that “the border between being radical and transgressive [toward Israel] and being anti-Semitic is now porous.”

Although accurate, Johnson’s assertion understates the problem.

Opposing Judaism and Jews, denying Jewish rights to education and ritual observance, and attacking Jews; and opposing the Jewish state, denying Jews their right to self-determination and attacking supporters of the Jewish state, are two sides of the same coin. There is no border – porous or solid between them. They are one and the same.

And all anti-Semites know it.

On Monday, The New York Times reported that attempts by French authorities to silence the anti-Semitic comic Dieudonne M’bala M’bala have backfired. The performer who invented and popularized the inverted Nazi salute has bridged the divide between French Muslim anti-Semites and French fascist anti-Semites.

The habit of Dieudonne’s fans to have their pictures taken at Jewish sites and Nazi death camps while performing the salute caused French officials to ban his public performances, arguing reasonably that his incendiary anti-Semitic incitement is a threat to public safety.

Rather than listen to authorities and recognize that Dieudonne’s actions are obscene, hateful and dangerous, the official ban on his performances has only raised his popularity. According to the Times, his most recent YouTube video had two million hits in its first week.

[.........]
But this is not the real reason that the ban has backfired.

The ban backfired because the French don’t take the government seriously.

How can it be wrong for Frenchmen to parade through the streets of Paris ordering the Jews to leave the country, when the French government also trucks in anti-Semitism? How can French authorities’ 14-year defense of France 2 television network’s invention of the Muhammad al-Dura blood libel be squared with their denunciation of Dieudonne? It will be recalled that in October 2000, France 2’s Israel correspondent Charles Enderlain broadcast a story where he presented doctored footage that created the illusion Dura had been killed while crouching in fear, by venal IDF soldiers in Gaza. That doctored footage served as the impetus for massive anti-Semitic demonstrations, and murderous anti-Semitic attacks on Jews in Israel, throughout Europe and around the world.

In January 2006, Ilan Halimi was kidnapped and tortured to death because he was a Jew.

Despite the fact that during his 26 days in captivity Halimi’s kidnappers telephoned his mother 700 times, during which she heard the tortured cries of her son while his kidnappers recited verses from the Koran over the phone, French law enforcement officials insisted that Halimi’s abduction was a run-of-the-mill kidnapping for ransom, rather than an anti-Semitic hate crime. Consequently they refused to accept that his life was in danger, or that they should devote resources to finding and saving him.

And their denial of the nature of the crime didn’t end when Halimi turned up naked, at the railway siding, with burns over 80 percent of his body, only to die shortly thereafter.

It took French authorities another week to acknowledge that Halimi was murdered because he was a Jew.

Two years ago, French authorities tried to hide the fact that Merah was a Muslim, claiming instead that he was a Nazi. When they were finally forced to acknowledge the truth, they blamed Israel for his crime.

Speaking to reporters, then-French interior minister Claude Gueant said that Merah was associated with al-Qaida and that he was upset about what Gueant referred to as Israel’s “murder” of Palestinian children.

The 17,000 Frenchmen who marched through the streets of Paris on the eve of International Holocaust Memorial Day in January and called for the Jews to get out of France see through French authorities’ hypocrisy.

French and other European authorities who libel Israel by projecting onto the Jewish state the crimes committed by Muslim terrorists against Jewish children do not scare the likes of Dieudonne and his millions of supporters.

[......]

And they certainly are not convinced of the error of their ways.

The simple fact is that you cannot fight anti-Semitism by endorsing it. The only way you can fight anti-Semitism is by fighting all forms of anti-Semitism, including the demonization and delegitimization of Israel.

The European have good company in denying this basic fact. Senior American Jewish leaders similarly ignore it.

EARLIER THIS month, the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee announced their opposition to state bills barring universities from using public funds to fund academic organizations that participate in boycotts against Israel. Bills of this type are being debated by the Maryland and New York state legislatures and are being drafted at the federal level by members of Congress.

Both groups claimed that they oppose the bills even though they oppose the BDS movement, because they claim that such actions limit academic freedom.

Three things stand out in their explanation.

First, preventing taxpayer money from being used to fund campaigns to demonize and criminalize Israel and so promote hatred of Jews has nothing to do with limiting academic freedom.

Second, the actions of BDS activists have nothing to do with academic freedom. By demonizing and intimidating students and faculty who oppose them, their aim is to end both free speech and academic freedom.

And conversely, fighting them advances both free speech and academic freedom.

Finally, it is simply bizarre that the ADL and the AJC felt compelled to weigh in on this issue to begin with. If they didn’t want to be associated with this action, they could have kept their mouths shut.

By entering the fray on behalf of the BDS movement, they gave legitimacy to it, despite their claims that they oppose anti-Israel boycotts.

Both the ADL and the AJC present themselves as among other things, Jewish civil rights groups that aim to defend Jews, including the Jewish state.

And yet, here they are making an artificial distinction between the two – a distinction not shared by the haters.

It is no doubt tempting to accept the artificial distinction between rejecting Israel’s right to exist and rejecting the right of Jews to practice Judaism. Doing so allows you to pretend that the problem isn’t as bad as it is, and to pretend that the fates of Israel and Jews of the Diaspora are not directly linked. It allows you to pretend that Jewish Americans who join the BDS movement are not anti-Semites. And it allows you to pretend that European leaders who minimize real anti-Semitic crimes by equating them with imaginary Israeli crimes are not inherently hostile to Jews.

But you cannot fight Jew-hatred by making distinctions between its various forms. They are all components of the same thing. And either you fight all of them, with no distinction, or you fight none of them, and even legitimize the bigotry.

Read the rest – Indivisible anti-Semitism

The New York Times unintentionally destroys Obama’s Middle East policy

by Speranza ( 70 Comments › )
Filed under Al Qaeda, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Islamists, Libya at January 10th, 2014 - 12:00 pm

By exposing the false premises that Obama’s foreign and defense policy was based on, The Times has committed unintentional fratricide. The premise that as long as  a jihadist groups  would not officially call themselves “al-Qaeda” and therefore were not hostile towards us, was always wishful thinking.

by Caroline Glick

The New York Times just delivered a mortal blow to the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Call it fratricide. It was clearly unintentional. Indeed, is far from clear that the paper realizes what it has done.

Last Saturday the Times published an 8,000-word account by David Kirkpatrick detailing the terrorist strike against the US Consulate and the CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012. In it, Kirkpatrick tore to shreds the foundations of President Barack Obama’s counterterrorism strategy and his overall policy in the Middle East.

Obama first enunciated those foundations in his June 4, 2009, speech to the Muslim world at Cairo University. Ever since, they have been the rationale behind US counterterror strategy and US Middle East policy.

Obama’s first assertion is that radical Islam is not inherently hostile to the US. As a consequence, America can appease radical Islamists. Moreover, once radical Muslims are appeased, they will become US allies, (replacing the allies the US abandons to appease the radical Muslims).

Obama’s second strategic guidepost is his claim that the only Islamic group that is a bona fide terrorist organization is the faction of al-Qaida directly subordinate to Osama bin Laden’s successor, Ayman al-Zawahiri. Only this group cannot be appeased and must be destroyed through force.

The administration has dubbed the Zawahiri faction of al-Qaida “core al-Qaida.” And anyone who operates in the name of al-Qaida, or any other group that does not have courtroom-certified operational links to Zawahiri, is not really al-Qaida, and therefore, not really a terrorist group or a US enemy.

These foundations have led the US to negotiate with the Taliban in Afghanistan. They are the rationale for the US’s embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood worldwide. They are the basis for Obama’s allegiance to Turkey’s Islamist government, and his early support for the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Syrian opposition.

They are the basis for the administration’s kneejerk support for the PLO against Israel.

Obama’s insistent bid to appease Iran, and so enable the mullocracy to complete its nuclear weapons program. is similarly a product of his strategic assumptions. So, too, the US’s current diplomatic engagement of Hezbollah in Lebanon owes to the administration’s conviction that any terror group not directly connected to Zawahiri is a potential US ally.

From the outset of the 2011 revolt against the regime of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, it was clear that a significant part of the opposition was composed of jihadists aligned if not affiliated with al-Qaida. Benghazi was specifically identified by documents seized by US forces in Iraq as a hotbed of al-Qaida recruitment.

[.....]

In other words, the two core foundations of Obama’s understanding of terrorism and of the Muslim world were central to US support for the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi.

With Kirkpatrick’s report, the Times exposed the utter falsity of both.

Kirkpatrick showed the mindset of the US-supported rebels and through it, the ridiculousness of the administration’s belief that you can’t be a terrorist if you aren’t directly subordinate to Zawahiri.

One US-supported Islamist militia commander recalled to him that at the outset of the anti-Gaddafi rebellion, “Teenagers came running around… [asking] ‘Sheikh, sheikh, did you know al-Qaida? Did you know Osama bin Laden? How do we fight?”

[.......]

According to the administration’s version of events, these guileless, otherwise friendly demonstrators, who killed the US ambassador and three other Americans, were simply angered by a YouTube video of a movie trailer which jihadist clerics in Egypt had proclaimed was blasphemous.

In an attempt to appease the mob after the fact, Obama and then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton shot commercials run on Pakistani television apologizing for the video and siding with the mob against the movie-maker, who is the only person the US has imprisoned following the attack. Then-ambassador to the UN and current National Security Adviser Susan Rice gave multiple television interviews placing the blame for the attacks on the video.

According to Kirkpatrick’s account of the assault against the US installations in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, the administration’s description of the assaults was a fabrication. Far from spontaneous political protests spurred by rage at a YouTube video, the attack was premeditated.

US officials spotted Libyans conducting surveillance of the consulate nearly 15 hours before the attack began.

Libyan militia warned US officials “of rising threats against Americans from extremists in Benghazi,” two days before the attack.

[.......]

During the initial assault, the attackers shot down the lights around the compound, stormed the gates, and swarmed around the security personnel who ran to get their weapons, making it impossible for them to defend the ambassador and other personnel trapped inside.

According to Kirkpatrick, after the initial attack, the organizers spurred popular rage and incited a mob assault on the consulate by spreading the rumor that the Americans had killed a local. Others members of the secondary mob, Kirkpatrick claimed, were motivated by reports of the video.

This mob assault, which followed the initial attack and apparent takeover of the consulate, was part of the predetermined plan. The organizers wanted to produce chaos.

As Kirkpatrick explained, “The attackers had posted sentries at Venezia Road, adjacent to the [consulate] compound, to guard their rear flank, but they let pass anyone trying to join the mayhem.”

According to Kirkpatrick, the attack was perpetrated by local terrorist groups that were part of the US-backed anti-Gaddafi coalition. The people who were conducting the surveillance of the consulate 15 hours before the attack were uniformed security forces who escaped in an official car. Members of the militia tasked with defending the compound participated in the attack.

Ambassador Stevens, who had served as the administration’s emissary to the rebels during the insurrection against Gaddafi, knew personally many of the terrorists who orchestrated the attack. And until the very end, he was taken in by the administration’s core belief that it was possible to appease al-Qaida-sympathizing Islamic jihadists who were not directly affiliated with Zawahiri.

[.......]

The entire US view that local militias, regardless of their anti-American, jihadist ideologies, could become US allies was predicated not merely on the belief that they could be appeased, but that they weren’t terrorists because they weren’t al-Qaida proper.

As Kirkpatrick notes, “American intelligence efforts in Libya concentrated on the agendas of the biggest militia leaders and the handful of Libyans with suspected ties to al-Qaida. The fixation on al-Qaida might have distracted experts from more imminent threats.”

But again, the only reason that the intelligence failed to notice the threats emanating from local US-supported terrorists is because the US counterterrorist strategy, like its overall Middle East strategy, is to seek to appease all US enemies other than the parts of al-Qaida directly commanded by Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Distressingly, most of the discussion spurred by Kirkpatrick’s article has ignored the devastating blow he visited on the intellectual foundations of Obama’s foreign policy. Instead, the discussion has focused on his claim that there is “no evidence that al-Qaida or other international terrorist group had any role in the assault,” and on his assertion that the YouTube video did spur to action some of the participants in the assault.

Kirkpatrick’s claim that al-Qaida played no role in the attack was refuted by the Times’ own reporting six weeks after the attack. It has also been refuted by congressional and State Department investigations, by the UN and by a raft of other reporting.

His claim that the YouTube video did spur some of the attackers to action was categorically rejected last spring in sworn congressional testimony by then-deputy chief of the US mission to Libya Gregory Hicks.

Last May Hicks stated, “The YouTube video was a non-event in Libya. The video was not instigative of anything that was going on in Libya. We saw no demonstrators related to the video anywhere in Libya.”

Kirkpatrick’s larger message – that the reasoning behind Obama’s entire counterterrorist strategy and his overall Middle East policy is totally wrong, and deeply destructive – has been missed because his article was written and published to whitewash the administration’s deliberate mischaracterization of the events in Benghazi, not to discredit the rationale behind its Middle East policy and counterterrorism strategy. This is why he claimed that al-Qaida wasn’t involved in the attack. And this is why he claimed that the YouTube video was a cause for the attack.

This much was made clear in a blog post by editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal, who alleged that the entire discourse on Benghazi is promoted by the Republicans to harm the Democrats, and Kirkpatrick’s story served to weaken the Republican arguments. In Rosenthal’s words, “The Republicans hope to tarnish Democratic candidates by making it seem as though Mr. Obama doesn’t take al-Qaida seriously.”

[......]

By failing to view as enemies any other terror groups – even if they have participated in attacks against the US – and indeed, in perceiving them as potential allies, Obama has failed to defend against them. Indeed, by wooing them as future allies, Obama has empowered forces as committed as al-Qaida to defeating the US.

Again, it is not at all apparent that the Times realized what it was doing. But from Israel to Egypt, to Iran to Libya to Lebanon, it is absolutely clear that Obama and his colleagues continue to implement the same dangerous, destructive agenda that defeated the US in Benghazi and will continue to cause US defeat after US defeat.

Read the rest – The New York Times destroys Obama

The Ike-Obama analogy is based on false premises

by Speranza ( 127 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Cold War, Egypt, History, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Libya, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Syria at September 25th, 2013 - 12:00 pm

Far from being the”amiable dolt” (the same term used on Ronald Reagan) that the Democrats liked to refer to him as, Dwight D. Eisenhower was a shrewd president with a  great grasp of foreign situations (although I felt that he handled Suez and the Hungarian Uprising – both in October 1956 badly). There is absolutely no resemblance whatsoever to Barack Obama’s  feckless and clueless foreign policy. Eisenhower did not have the overweening ego and self regard that Obama clearly possesses, and Eisenhower had developed great administrative and diplomatic skills through his military career as Allied commander-in-chief, commander of NATO and Columbia University President. In fact, I think that Eisenhower was a far better president than he was a battlefield manager, most military men make poor presidents but not Eisenhower.

by Michael Doran

“I remember some of the speeches of Eisenhower,” Hillary Clinton said during a joint interview with President Obama in January. “You know, you’ve got to be careful, you have to be thoughtful, you can’t rush in.” It seems likely her memories were jogged by the reviews of Evan Thomas’s recent book, Ike’s Bluff, which argued that Eisenhower’s experience as a soldier and general taught him the limitations of exercising power. That book and a spate of other recent studies have established Ike firmly in the public mind as the very embodiment of presidential prudence.

They have also turned him into a posthumous adviser to the Obama administration. Before becoming secretary of defense, Chuck Hagel bought three dozen copies of David A. Nichols’s study of the Suez Crisis and distributed them to (among others) the president, Hillary Clinton, and Leon Panetta, his predecessor as secretary of defense. At Suez, Ike refused to support Britain and France when they (in collusion with Israel) invaded Egypt, and he effectively killed the intervention. Hagel’s lesson was clear: Don’t let allies drag you into ill-advised military adventures.

In an influential essay published last year in Time entitled “On Foreign Policy, Why Barack Is Like Ike,” Fareed Zakaria argued that when the president showed a wariness to intervene in places like Syria, he was displaying an uncanny resemblance to Eisenhower. The key quality that the two share, Zakaria argued, is “strategic restraint.” In his recent book, Presidential Leadership and the Creation of the American Era (Princeton University Press, 200 pages), Joseph S. Nye of Harvard takes the argument even one step further. Nye claims Eisenhower was actually an early practitioner of what an Obama aide, speaking of the administration’s role in the ouster of the Muammar Gaddafi regime in Libya, notoriously called “leading from behind.”

A cursory examination of Eisenhower’s actual Middle East policies reveals the hollowness of both this thesis and the notion that Eisenhower, as president, followed a strategy of restraint—especially as regards the Middle East. To be sure, he frequently exercised prudence in military affairs. He ended the war in Korea and did not intervene in 1956 when the Hungarians rose in revolt against their Soviet masters. Most notable of all, he refrained from intervention in Vietnam. But military prudence should not be confused with global strategy. Modern-day “restraintists” are quick to cite Eisenhower’s warning, in his farewell address, regarding the dangers of “the military industrial complex.” They typically forget, however, to quote his justification for it: “We face a hostile ideology—global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method. Unhappily the danger it poses promises to be of indefinite duration.” Eisenhower, in other words, zealously prosecuted the Cold War. Indeed, contemporary critics diagnosed his administration as suffering from “pactomania,” an irresistible urge to organize alliances against Communism. Many historians now regard his reliance on the CIA, which toppled regimes in Iran and Guatemala, as anything but restrained. And there are also more public examples of Eisenhower flexing his presidential muscles.

There was Syria, for one. Then, as now, the country was at the center of a regional power struggle. In the summer of 1956, when the Syrian government began to drift toward the Soviet Union, Eisenhower instructed the CIA to topple it. By summer 1957, the spy agency had attempted to stage two coups, both of which failed. No sooner had Syrian counterintelligence rolled up the second plot than Eisenhower formulated another plan: fomenting jihad. He instructed the CIA to position itself in order to stir up violent disturbances along Syria’s borders.  [........]

The trickiest part of the plan was convincing the Arab states to invade. In the hope that Saudi Arabia would help, Eisenhower wrote to King Saud. The letter expressed alarm over the “serious danger that Syria will become a Soviet Communist satellite.” It affirmed that “any country that was attacked by a Syria which was itself dominated by International Communism” could count on the United States for support. And then it closed with an appeal to Islam: “In view of the special position of Your Majesty as Keeper of the Holy Places of Islam, I trust that you will exert your great influence to the end that the atheistic creed of Communism will not become entrenched at a key position in the Moslem world.” The letter missed its mark. “Saud,” as the historian Salim Yaqub wrote, “had little interest in Eisenhower’s jihad.”

In praise of Ike’s pacific record, Zakaria notes that “from the end of the Korean War to the end of his presidency, not one American soldier died in combat.” The statistic is striking, but it creates a misleading impression. In truth, Eisenhower had the one quality all successful leaders have: He was lucky. Any number of his policies could easily have backfired, producing a much less impressive statistic. The Syrian crisis of 1957 is a case in point. While Eisenhower was attempting to generate a jihad, the Turkish government amassed 50,000 troops on the Syrian border. The move provoked the Soviets. In an interview with the New York Times, Nikita Khrushchev, then the Soviet premier, publicly accused the United States of fomenting the crisis and issued a warning to the Turks: “If the rifles fire,” he said bluntly, “the rockets will start flying.” Secretary of State John Foster Dulles immediately came to the aid of the Turks: “If there is an attack on Turkey by the Soviet Union,” he said, “it would not mean a purely defensive operation by the United States, with the Soviet Union a privileged sanctuary from which to attack Turkey.” [........]

Zakaria also happens to be factually wrong. A number of soldiers did die on Eisenhower’s watch—three, to be exact. One fell to an enemy sniper; the other two to friendly fire. All of them died in Lebanon during the 1958 intervention. Zero or three—either way the record is remarkable, but the fallen Marines should remind us of an important fact: Eisenhower, when the situation required, did not shrink from entering a messy conflict.

In the first half of 1958, Camille Chamoun, the Lebanese president, was battling an insurgency and strongly urged Eisenhower to come to his assistance. The insurgents were receiving support from Syria, which by this time had merged with Gamal Abdel Nasser’s Egypt to form the United Arab Republic. Eisenhower feared a quagmire and resisted calls to intervene. But overnight, his calculus changed.

When Eisenhower went to bed on Sunday, July 13, Iraq was an ally—“the country,” he wrote in his memoirs, “that we were counting on heavily as a bulwark of stability and progress in the region.” By the time he woke on Monday, the bulwark had collapsed. In the early morning hours, renegade army officers staged a successful coup, destroying Iraq’s Hashemite monarchy and replacing it with an Arab nationalist republic that Eisenhower feared might align with the United Arab Republic and its Soviet patron. In a mere instant, a Cold War ally had disappeared.

Fearing a push by Nasser and the Soviet Union against all Western-leaning states of the region, a number of American allies—including the Lebanese, Saudis, and Jordanians—called for immediate intervention by the United States. Cairo and Moscow, they argued, must be put on notice that the Americans would not let their remaining friends go the way of the Iraqi monarchy. If the United States failed to intervene, the Saudi king informed Eisenhower, it would be “finished” as a power in the region. [.......]

Almost immediately, Eisenhower invited a bipartisan group of congressional leaders to the White House for a briefing. Sam Rayburn, the speaker of the House, expressed concerns: “If we go in and intervene and our operation does not succeed, what do we do then?” He also worried that “the Russians would threaten general war.” Eisenhower replied that it was impossible “to prophesy the exact course of events. If we do or if we don’t go in, the consequences will be bad.” He calculated, however, that it was crucial to take “a strong position rather than a Munich-type position, if we are to avoid the crumbling of our whole security structure.” [........]

The Lebanon intervention, we now know, went as cleanly as any such operation in history. At the moment of decision, however, Eisenhower regarded the venture as highly risky—so dangerous, in fact, that it reminded him of giving the go order on D-Day, the most momentous event of his life. “Despite the disparity in the size of the two operations,” he wrote in his memoirs, “the possible consequences in each case, if things went wrong, were chilling.”  [.........]

Over the last year, a parade of America’s Middle Eastern allies have made their way through the White House, raising the alarm of Syria, and urging Obama to organize a more robust international response. Unlike Ike, Obama calculated that doing nothing was preferable to taking actions that have uncertain outcomes. As a result, when Obama finally decided that some response to Assad’s use of chemical weapons was necessary, he found himself almost bereft of allies.

And what about Nye’s favorable comparison of Obama’s foreign policy with Eisenhower’s? “An incautious comment by a midlevel White House official characterized the Libya policy as ‘leading from behind,’ and this became a target for political criticism,” Nye writes, but adds that “Eisenhower was a great exemplar of knowing that sometimes it is most effective to keep a low profile and to lead from behind.”

This is an act of rhetorical legerdemain. Nye’s use of the term gives the impression that two very different things are actually one and the same. With respect to Obama, “leading from behind” describes his administration’s policytoward Libyan intervention. With respect to Ike, it describes his management style, which Fred Greenstein famously called “the hidden-hand presidency.”

In Eisenhower’s day, intellectuals almost universally regarded him as an amiable dolt, more golfer than strategist. Before Greenstein (together with Stephen Ambrose and others) set the record straight in the 1980s, it was widely assumed that John Foster Dulles was the man who actually ran American foreign policy. Using declassified documents, Greenstein and his cohort showed that Eisenhower was resolutely in charge, a master of detail, fully in command of strategy and tactics. Eisenhower might have put Dulles out front and center stage, but he was always guiding him with a “hidden hand.”

The diary of Jock Colville, Winston Churchill’s right-hand man, provides a vivid example of Eisenhower’s skills at “gentle persuasion,” to use Nye’s phrase. After Stalin died in March 1953, Churchill, then in his final term as prime minister, perceived signs of moderation in Moscow. He began a campaign to convince Eisenhower to convene a summit with the USSR on the model of the great wartime conferences. Ike repeatedly rebuffed Churchill, who eventually made his differences with Eisenhower publicly known. Tensions came to a head in Bermuda in December 1953 at a conference attended by the leaders of the United States, Britain, and France.  [.........]

Now consider: The Islamic Republic of Iran recently elected a new president, Hassan Rouhani, whom many observers regard as a moderate. Those observers have been urging Obama to engage with him directly, just as Churchill urged Ike. Imagine a conference between Obama and a delegation of European leaders who argue eloquently for reaching out to Rouhani. Obama springs up, enraged. The veins in his forehead pop out, throbbing. He launches into a profanity-laced tirade. “Iran,” he thunders, “is a whore and we are going to drive her off the streets of the Middle East.”

[.......]

The popular association of the Eisenhower administration with “strategic restraint” is itself he product of historical revisionism. It was not the contemporary view. Until the 1980s, most pundits believed the opposite. Their view was perfectly distilled in Townsend Hoopes’s The Devil and John Foster Dulles (1973). The unstated goal of the book was to saddle the Republicans with responsibility for the Vietnam War—no mean feat, given that Democrats Kennedy and Johnson had made the key decisions to intervene. Nevertheless, Hoopes found an ingenious method to lay the responsibility squarely on Eisenhower’s shoulders—or, more precisely, on the shoulders of his secretary of state.

John Foster Dulles’s influence, Hoopes explains, was so immense that it extended beyond the Republican Party. Dulles managed to shape the zeitgeist by establishing in the broad culture the unassailable sanctity of “America’s posture of categorical anti-Communism and limitless strategic concern.” Once he successfully stamped the culture with anti-Communist zealotry, the Democrats had no choice but to follow its inexorable logic, which led to imperial overreach in Vietnam. “In early 1968,” Hoopes writes, “when the Tet offensive and Lyndon Johnson’s withdrawal from further political combat tore away the final veil hiding the misperception and failure of America’s freedom-defending and nation-building in South Vietnam, I faced, along with many others, the dawning of the realization that an era in American foreign policy had ended.”

This was hysterically overwrought, obviously, but in its day, intellectuals took the argument seriously. It’s worth considering why. Caricature, of course, exaggerates recognizable aspects of reality. In the 1970s, the very real anti-Communism of the Eisenhower era was still a part of living memory. “Mutual Assured Destruction,” “the domino theory,” “brinkmanship”—these 1950s catchphrases reverberated, testifying to the fact that Ike, even while steering clear of military adventures, took the fight to the enemy. By contrast, contemporary audiences know Ike only from history books such as Greenstein’s, which emphasizes Eisenhower’s pragmatism precisely in order to supplant the prevailing caricature of his stupidity.

[........]

Zakaria sees Ike and Obama as uncannily similar for exhibiting “strategic restraint” in their Middle East policies. That Obama has been restrained is undeniable. In what way, however, is his reluctance to use military force “strategic”? What larger plan does the policy serve? The best answer came last March from Tom Donilon, his former national-security adviser. The Obama administration, he explained in an interview, had determined that the United States was “over-invested in our military efforts in South Asia and in the Middle East.” At the same time, it was “dramatically under-invested” in Asia, which was “the most economically dynamic region in the world.” Therefore, it was “rebalancing” to Asia.

[........]

In May 2011, a few months after the Arab Spring first broke out, Obama identified a powerful movement toward freedom and democracy and reached out his hand in partnership. “The question before us,” Obama said at the time “is what role America will play as this story unfolds.” He answered with clarity: “There must be no doubt that the United States of America welcomes change that advances self-determination and opportunity.” Only two years later, he struck a less hopeful note. In the Middle East, he said, “there are ancient sectarian differences, and the hopes of the Arab Spring have unleashed forces of change that are going to take many years to resolve. And that’s why we’re not contemplating putting our troops in the middle of someone else’s war.”

[.........]

That was not true of Eisenhower’s policies. His eight years in office also coincided with a revolutionary wave. The old imperial and colonial order was crumbling. A new one, dominated by secular pan-Arab nationalism, was taking its place. Eisenhower saw it plainly and formulated a strategy to deal with it. His goal was to channel the nationalism of the region away from the Soviet bloc and toward the West by offering security and economic assistance. The United States was engaged in a delicate balancing act, supporting its European allies against the Soviet Union while simultaneously facilitating the rise of the independent nations of the Middle East, which were hostile to the Europeans.

It is impossible to understand any of Ike’s major moves without reference to this vision. Take, for instance, the Suez Crisis, which Zakaria cites as a prime example of “strategic restraint” and which Hagel holds up as a model for Obama. When Eisenhower turned against his allies, he did not do so out of any overarching commitment to “restraint.” He simply believed Britain and France were alienating Arab nationalists and destroying the prospect for a strategic accommodation between the Arab states and the West. He therefore shunted the Europeans aside—in what was actually the most dramatic assertion of American primacy of the Cold War.

In the midst of the crisis, he announced the Eisenhower Doctrine, a unilateral American commitment to defend the entire Middle East. His doctrine put the world on formal notice that the United States was replacing Britain as the dominant power in the region. The result of Ike’s “strategic restraint” was a massive increase in the global responsibilities of the United States. Obama’s restraint represents an attempt to shed those responsibilities.

The Ike–Obama analogy creates an illusion of commonality and historic continuity where none exists. It is bad history, because it depicts Eisenhower as a two-dimensional figure, entirely detached from his key associates and their core beliefs. At the same time, the analogy presents us with a distorted view of Obama. The Eisenhower Doctrine asserted American primacy in the Middle East, and every president since has regarded it a vital American interest to shape the international order of the region. Every president, that is, except the present one.

The old order in the Middle East is crumbling. The enemies and rivals of the United States—Russia, Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and al-Qaeda—are working assiduously to mold the new order that benefits them. Their efforts, which are often in conflict, have ignited a great fire. Unlike his predecessors, Barack Obama has determined that the United States is best served by hanging back. This is a sharp break with the past—especially with Eisenhower. Those desperately looking to burnish Obama’s reputation when it comes to foreign policy by associating it with that of a successful presidency will have to look elsewhere.

Read the rest - Is Obama like Ike?

 

The inside story of Israel’s chemical and biological arsenal

by Speranza ( 71 Comments › )
Filed under Assassinations, Egypt, Hamas, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Middle East, Nuclear Weapons, Palestinians, Syria at September 19th, 2013 - 2:00 pm

Not only am I glad that Israel has chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, but I want to  know that Israel is prepared to use them in an emergency situation. It is nice to know about anti-missile systems such as Iron Dome, David’s Sling and Arrow III yet they are purely defensive weapons but putting the fear of God (or Allah) into your enemies is even more important.

by Mitch Ginsburg

Syria’s consent to a deal that would catalogue, locate and eventually see the destruction of its vast chemical weapons arsenal has brought Israel and its various arms programs closer to the international spotlight, raising questions about what it does and does not possess and what strategic purposes its weapons serve.

Speaking to Russia’s state-run Rossiya-24 TV last week, Bashar Assad called on Israel to sign all relevant international treaties. “If we want stability in the Middle East, all the countries in the region should stick to [international] agreements,” said the Syrian president, who is believed to have gassed his own people on seven different occasions, according to a new report from the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism. “And Israel is the first state that should do so, since Israel possessed nuclear, chemical, biological and all other kinds of weapons of mass destruction.”

 Israel, built on the ashes of the Holocaust and with a sense of persistent persecution etched into its consciousness, has in fact been drawn, since the earliest days of its existence, to those sorts of weapons. In April 1948, before the state declared its independence, future prime minister David Ben-Gurion, according to Michael Keren’s “Ben-Gurion and the Intellectuals,” instructed a Jewish Agency official in Europe to seek out Jewish scientists who could “either increase the capacity to kill masses or to cure masses; both are important.”

The search began with biological weapons. Avner Cohen, a professor of Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies and an outspoken critic of Israel’s policy of ambiguity as regards WMDs, put the date at February 18, 1948, when the Haganah’s chief operations officer, Yigal Yadin, sent a microbiology student named Alexander Keynan down to Jaffa to establish a unit called HEMED BEIT.

[..........]

This potential, at least in part, apparently existed even before the founding of the state. Abba Kovner, the famous poet and partisan fighter, is depicted in Dina Porat’s “The Fall of a Sparrow: The Life and Times of Abba Kovner” as having traveled to pre-state Palestine after the war and receiving poison from Katzir in order to kill incarcerated SS officers in Europe.

He was apprehended on board a British ship and threw the poison overboard before his arrest.

Several years later, in May 1948, forces from the Carmel Brigade of the Haganah allegedly used a biological weapon in the battle for Acre.

“I spoke to the company commander from Battalion 21 of the Carmel Brigade, who poured the stuff into the water supply,” said military historian Uri Milstein in a phone interview. Milstein, a controversial figure in Israel, said that the man had since died, that the material had been delivered to the battalion by Moshe Dayan, and that the container had been filled with the typhus bacterium.

[.......]

After the war, HEMED BEIT relocated to a building in an orange grove just outside Ness Tziona, where it has remained. Today it is called the Israel Institute for Biological Research, “a governmental, applied research institute specializing in the fields of biology, medicinal chemistry and environmental sciences.”

The institute publishes a great deal of defense-related research and is widely cited academically and is highly regarded.

In terms of possible offensive capacities, very little is known.

What is clear is that Israel has not signed the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention; that the deputy director of the biological institute, Professor Marcus Klingberg, was covertly arrested by the Shin Bet on January 19, 1983, and subsequently charged with spying for the KGB for more than three decades (Klingberg, perhaps the most damaging spy in Israel’s history, spent the first 10 years of his 20-year sentence in solitary confinement, under a pseudonym); and that on two occasions the Mossad attempted to assassinate people using biological weapons.

The first known Israeli assassination with biological weapons was Dr. Wadi Haddad, a Palestinian terrorist, who was the first to hijack an El Al plane, in July 1968, and one of the commanders of the Entebbe hijacking in 1976. One year later, he was given Belgian chocolate “coated by Mossad specialists with a lethal biological poison,” according to Aaron J. Klein’s “Striking Back.” [Full disclosure: this reporter translated the book.] He lost his appetite, he lost weight, and his immune system collapsed. On March 30, 1978, in an East German hospital, he died.

On September 25, 1997, shortly after 10 a.m., two Mossad combatants approached Hamas official Khaled Mashal and released into his ear a potentially fatal dose of a synthetic opiate called Fetanyl, according to foreign sources. ”I felt a loud noise in my ear. It was like a boom, like an electric shock. Then I had shivering sensation in my body like an electric shock,” Mashal told Alan Cowell of The New York Times.

Hamas leader Khaled Mashal, left, congratulates Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood party's leader for winning the biggest number of seats in parliamentary elections in Cairo, January 21, 2012 (photo credit: AP)

Within two hours he was close to respiratory collapse and would have died had Mishka Ben David, a senior Mossad officer, not provided the Jordanian authorities with the antidote.

Chemical weapons

In 1955, sure that war with Egypt loomed on the horizon, Ben-Gurion pushed the defense establishment to produce a nonconventional capacity to respond to any such assault from Egypt. “He ordered that this nonconventional capability be operationalized – i.e., weaponized and stockpiled – as soon as possible and before a war with Egypt broke out,” Cohen wrote in an article published in The Nonproliferation Review in the 2001 Fall-Winter edition. [........]

In June 1963 Egypt used chemical weapons in the Yemen civil war. The first usage was considered primitive. But in subsequent years and, most alarmingly from an Israeli perspective, in the months and days leading up to the Six Day War in 1967, Egypt fired chemical bombs on villages, killing hundreds; the last attack occurred on May 10, 1967, three weeks before the start of the war and four days before Egypt began amassing troops in the Sinai desert.

In July 1990, in perhaps the most straightforward indication of Israeli capacities, then-science minister Yuval Ne’eman was quoted in The New York Times as having told Israel Radio that if Saddam Hussein attacked Israel, ”In my opinion, we have an excellent response, and that is to threaten Hussein with the same merchandise.”

[...........]

Finally, last week Foreign Policy magazine discovered an old CIA document, which revealed that US spy satellites in 1982 located “a probable CW [chemcial weapon] nerve agent production facility and a storage facility… at the Dimona Sensitive Storage Area in the Negev Desert. Other CW production is believed to exist within a well-developed Israeli chemical industry.”

Syria and Israel

Presuming the CIA is correct and Israel has those weapons, or at least had them at one point and maintains the capacity to create them on demand, in what way does Syria’s recent agreement to destroy its chemical weapons change the picture?

The first element is time. Syria has agreed to list and locate its enormous chemical arsenal and for it to be destroyed by mid-2014. This is a highly optimistic timetable. “I’d say it’s somewhere between unreal and surreal,” said Ely Karmon, a senior research fellow at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism and the teacher of a masters course on WMDs.

[..........]

In Libya, another Middle East state that is a signatory to both the chemical and biological weapons conventions, a mustard gas facility was found in the Jufra district in late 2011, Karmon noted. Aside from the fact that the discovery points, yet again, to the limits of any inspection regime, even a highly regarded one such as the Chemical Weapons Convention, it also speaks to the timetable. “More than two years later,” he said, “and the Libyan experts are now in Germany studying. They haven’t even begun the work [of destroying the weapons].”

[.........]

That is the cautious method. In Syria, it remains to be seen whether the deal includes the conveyance of the weapons to a destruction facility in Russia or the US or whether the intent is to destroy the weapons in Syria. Both options have drawbacks.

In Syria, Karmon said, there would be no way to build a destruction facility so long as the war raged on. This would mean either crudely disposing of the weapons, as was occasionally done in Iraq, or transporting them out of the country, either by truck or ship, which Karmon said is “very complicated and very dangerous.”

[..........]

While the two experts basically agreed that implementation within Syria was highly unlikely during the war, they largely disagreed about Israel’s reaction to Syria’s moves. Shoham said that while Iran had signed and ratified the CWC in March 1997 and the Biologocal Weapons Convention in 1973, the Islamic republic has amassed significant covert stores of chemical weapons. “So long as Iran and Egypt maintain their arsenals, Israel should not change its position,” he said.

Israel has clung to a policy of ambiguity. But while it has not so much as spoken a single official word about the BWC — Syria and Egypt signed the treaty but didn’t ratify it, and the latter is suspected of possessing some such weapons — it did sign the CWC on January 13, 1993. When the treaty was put into force in 1997, though, Israel remained on the sidelines and refrained from ratifying it.

[..........]

This position was wholeheartedly endorsed by Cohen, the author of “Israel and the Bomb” and “The Worst-Kept Secret: Israel’s Bargain with the Bomb.”

He said he “strongly doubts” Israel has deployable chemical or biological weapons in its arsenal at this time. If Syria stays on the path of disarmament, he added, Israel would do well to itself, to the region and to the world to follow suit, and of its own volition. “Already now Israel should tell the world we will contribute our own share at the right time to the international effort,” he said.

Ambiguity about those weapons makes no sense, he contended, “especially because Israel probably doesn’t have any. It’s just posturing.”

Regarding Israel’s alleged nuclear capacity and the possibility that ratifying the CWC and the BWC might, as he wrote in his article in The Nonproliferation Review, “be abused to infringe on the sanctity of Dimona,” Cohen said that “there are various safeguards in place” and that the likelihood of such an eventuality was low.

Moreover, from a military perspective and from a deterrence standpoint, Israel, which today is said to possess 80 nuclear warheads, according to a recent report in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, “has all the reasons in the world,” he said, “to join the global consensus in abolishing both chemical and biological weapons from the face of the earth.”

Read the rest - ‘Should there be a need’: The inside story of Israel’s chemical and biological arsenal

 

Dozens of CIA operatives who were on the ground during Benghazi attack now being silenced

by 1389AD ( 8 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Breaking News, Headlines, Hezballah, Hillary Clinton, Iran, Islamic Terrorism, Libya, Muslim Brotherhood, Syria at August 3rd, 2013 - 9:54 am

(h/t: Gramfan)

Obama logo sewer lid

Jake Tapper: “Dozens of CIA operatives on the ground during Benghazi attack”

CNN has uncovered exclusive new information about what is allegedly happening at the CIA, in the wake of the deadly Benghazi terror attack.

Four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed in the assault by armed militants last September 11 in eastern Libya.

Sources now tell CNN dozens of people working for the CIA were on the ground that night, and that the agency is going to great lengths to make sure whatever it was doing, remains a secret.

CNN has learned the CIA is involved in what one source calls an unprecedented attempt to keep the spy agency’s Benghazi secrets from ever leaking out.

Since January, some CIA operatives involved in the agency’s missions in Libya, have been subjected to frequent, even monthly polygraph examinations, according to a source with deep inside knowledge of the agency’s workings.

The goal of the questioning, according to sources, is to find out if anyone is talking to the media or Congress.

It is being described as pure intimidation, with the threat that any unauthorized CIA employee who leaks information could face the end of his or her career.

In exclusive communications obtained by CNN, one insider writes, “You don’t jeopardize yourself, you jeopardize your family as well.”

Another says, “You have no idea the amount of pressure being brought to bear on anyone with knowledge of this operation.”

“Agency employees typically are polygraphed every three to four years. Never more than that,” said former CIA operative and CNN analyst Robert Baer.

In other words, the rate of the kind of polygraphs alleged by sources is rare.

“If somebody is being polygraphed every month, or every two months it’s called an issue polygraph, and that means that the polygraph division suspects something, or they’re looking for something, or they’re on a fishing expedition. But it’s absolutely not routine at all to be polygraphed monthly, or bi-monthly,” said Baer.

CIA spokesman Dean Boyd asserted in a statement that the agency has been open with Congress.

“The CIA has worked closely with its oversight committees to provide them with an extraordinary amount of information related to the attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi,” the statement said.

“CIA employees are always free to speak to Congress if they want,” the statement continued. “The CIA enabled all officers involved in Benghazi the opportunity to meet with Congress. We are not aware of any CIA employee who has experienced retaliation, including any non-routine security procedures, or who has been prevented from sharing a concern with Congress about the Benghazi incident.”

Among the many secrets still yet to be told about the Benghazi mission, is just how many Americans were there the night of the attack.

A source now tells CNN that number was 35, with as many as seven wounded, some seriously.

While it is still not known how many of them were CIA, a source tells CNN that 21 Americans were working in the building known as the annex, believed to be run by the agency.

Continue reading…

Gateway Pundit: More on Benghazi – From a Former Muslim Brotherhood Member

Dr. Mark Christian from the Global Faith Institute sent The Gateway Pundit his account of the Benghazi attack on September 11, 2012:

Syrian president Bashar el Assad, Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah of Lebanon are fully responsible for the death of United States Ambassador Christopher Stevens. President Obama has known this fact since the minute he first learned about the attack.

Stevens, from his Benghazi base, was stockpiling weapons – and resourcing the expert fighters who could use them – to topple Assad’s rule in Syria. On September 11, 2012, Assad powerfully punched back, raiding the Benghazi compound which housed the armament for his own destruction. Though Assad’s reprisal resulted in the loss of four American lives, including Stevens, he forcefully conveyed that he would not be thrown out of the ring.

The Syrian uprising is not a simple “the good guys vs. the bad guys” action-packed conflict. While there is plenty of action, there are no good guys. There are, however, two opponents who have been duking it out for hundreds of years, the Sunnis and the Shiites. In the Sunni corner, we have U.S. President Barack Obama, championed primarily by Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Egypt. Their combatants, the Shiites, include Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah – the Lebanese militia controlled by Iran and Syria.

Under President Barack Obama’s direction in the 2011 Arab Spring, the Sunnis had already ousted evil dictators from countries such as Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya. It appeared to be pro-democracy freedom-fighting at its finest. It wasn’t. The overthrown governments were quickly replaced with Muslim-Brotherhood-aligned, Sunni Islamic theocracies. And the next country on the list for overthrow was Syria. But unlike the easier targets of Mubarek, Ben Ali, and Gaddafi, Shiite Syrian leader Bashar Assad has the powerful allies of Iran, Hezbollah, and Russia.

The Assad regime was fully aware of the shrouded activity in Benghazi, fully aware that Ambassador Christopher Stevens, the man credited for the assassination of Gaddafi, was much more than an ambassador. Though serving in Tripoli as the U.S. Ambassador to transition a tribal Libya to Sunni Islamic rule, Stevens covertly used Benghazi as his base of operation for the next phase of Arab Spring: overthrowing Assad in Syria. From his Benghazi compound Stevens stored and supplied weapons for thousands of hired, rebel fighters – many of which were al-Qaeda – headed to Syria.

In August, 2012, team Sunni provoked team Shiite on their home turf in Tehran at the Non-Alignment Movement Summit. After making several diplomatic attempts to end the illicit smuggling of guns and gunners by Obama and the Sunnis into Syria, Iran became insulted when Egyptian President Morsi demanded removal of Syrian President Assad. Following this ultimatum, Morsi arrogantly snubbed the fundamental Shiite beliefs held by Iranian President Ahmadinejad and spiritual leader, Ayatollah Khamenei. This was the last straw.

The threatened Shiites forcefully and strategically retaliated by attacking the Benghazi compound. Why? They were seeking to expose the Sunni agenda of President Barack Obama to the American electorate during Obama’s re-election campaign, Iran was confident that this bold retribution would prevent Obama’s second presidential term, and squash the Sunni initiative in Syria.

On the morning of September 11, 2012, Christopher Stevens and his aide, Sean Smith, were meeting at the Benghazi headquarters with Turkish Consul General, Ali Sait Akin, and his associates. Turkey was the staging ground through which the Syria-bound guns and rebels were smuggled. Thirty-four additional Syrian opposition supporters were also in attendance. Shortly after Mr. Akin & Co. made a substantial “financial contribution” and left, the compound was struck by a highly-organized assault by Hezbollah fighters. The eyes of the Middle East, as well as any online observer of Libyan and Middle Eastern press, watched the brazen attack on Benghazi…

…If Americans knew what really happened, if the mainstream media uncovered and exposed Obama and his Sunni agenda, Obama would not be the current American president, but a prosecuted American citizen. If his orchestration and support of Arab Spring, including Syria, was revealed, President Obama, who has hidden much more than Benghazi from the American people, would finally be held accountable for his actions. If it became public knowledge that – while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was ignoring the body of her American Ambassador Christopher Stevens, she was ordering that all of Stevens’ classified information in Tripoli be destroyed – then Ms. Clinton’s presidential aspirations might be imprisoned. And the families of Stevens, Smith, Woods, and Doherty would definitively know what difference it does make when the daylight of truth shines on the darkness of night.

Eye-witnesses, including the thirty-four various nationals who participated in Stevens’ meeting on the morning of September 11, 2012, could provide testimony exponentially more illuminating than the scripted smoke of the one-day Congressional performance of Benghazi whistle blowers. However, their interest in exposing the truth, and their whereabouts, is extremely unlikely since they were undoubtedly complicit with the Sunni scheme.

Continue reading…

The Blaze: Rep. Trey Gowdy’s Explosive Claim About Benghazi Survivors

The Obama administration is “changing names” of the Benghazi survivors and “creating aliases” to keep them hidden from congressional investigators and the American people, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) told Greta Van Susteren on Thursday night. He also said the administration is “dispersing them around the country” to keep them out of sight.

Continue reading…

Rand Paul is right on Syria

by Speranza ( 180 Comments › )
Filed under Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Egypt, Islamists, Libya, Muslim Brotherhood, Sharia (Islamic Law), Syria at July 29th, 2013 - 3:00 pm

The bi-partisan Beltway establishment (both Republican -lead by the face of the G.O.P. John McCain, and the Democrats) are still into the Islamic democracy fantasy that has been proven wrong time and time again. There is a reason why the fat Guido from Trenton out of the blue opened up on Rand Paul.

by Andrew McCarthy

As they have from the start, the Free Syrian Army was rolling out the welcome mat for al-Qaeda. “They are welcome to help us fight the regime,” explained Colonel Abdel Rahman Suweis, a member of the FSA’s Supreme Military Council.

This is not ancient history. The report from Al Jazeera (which Bill Roggio excerpts at the invaluable Long War Journal) has the FSA commander making these remarks less than two weeks ago. Just a couple of days later came another nugget from the al-Qaeda side of the “rebel” equation: A top leader of one of the terror network’s two major Syrian affiliates, which calls itself the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,” told Al Jazeera that the FSA is actually providing al-Qaeda with weapons. “We are buying weapons from the FSA,” he asserted. “We bought 200 anti-aircraft missiles and Koncourse anti-tank weapons. We have good relations with our brothers in the FSA. For us, the infidels are those who cooperate with the West to fight Islam.”

It is to Islamic-supremacist megaphones like Al Jazeera that we must turn for a reality check on the Syrian civil war. When it comes to the anti-Assad forces — denominated the “rebels” in hopes that no one will notice they self-define as “mujahideen” (i.e., jihad warriors) — American media outlets are as flush with Spring Fever as they have ever been. A dozen years of American effort — prohibitively expensive in blood and treasure — have left us with Iraq’s return to its default condition of internecine Sunni-Shiite butchery; Afghanistan’s implacable determination to remain the same medieval Islamic dystopia it has always been; a massacre of Americans by the jihadists we empowered in Benghazi; and Egypt’s ongoing implosion. Yet even in the conservative press, the very un-conservative ambitions of the bipartisan Beltway establishment’s Islamic-democracy project continue to hold sway.

Typical of this kind of thinking is “Why Rand Paul Is Wrong about Syria,” by the Foreign Policy Initiative’s Robert Zarate and Evan Moore. Published here at NRO on Thursday, it is an attack on the Kentucky Republican senator’s objections to U.S. intervention in Syria. Messrs. Zarate and Moore prefer a Libya-style alliance with the “rebels,” the Obama-administration gambit ardently endorsed by Senator John McCain, the erratic compass on which the GOP establishment relies for foreign-policy guidance.

In making their case, the authors — while accusing Senator Paul of promoting “false claims” and distortions — present the now familiar fairy-tale depiction of the Syrian conflict. They would have you believe that, under the auspices of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), there are throngs of “moderate Syrian rebels” who are just as opposed to al-Qaeda as they are to Assad. It is a laughable contention. There are no “moderates” in Syria. There are bad factions and worse factions — virtually all of them virulently anti-American.

The FSA is not an army. It is a gaggle of militias. For appearances’ sake, it is currently “commanded” by General Salim Idriss, a secularist who is portrayed by Zarate and Moore as if he were a prototype rebel. But the power behind the anti-Assad rebellion is the Muslim Brotherhood.

Idriss is part of a smattering of secularists highlighted to give the mujahideen a patina of moderation. The Brothers are no fools: They have been trying to take the Baathist Assad regime out for decades, and they know they don’t have a chance without Western — and particularly, American — support. So Idriss is presented as if he were in charge and as if what the authors describe as his “commitment to a tolerant and inclusive vision of Syria” were broadly shared across Assad’s opposition. But the “commander” has no capacity to exert control over the militias, which are shot through with Islamic supremacists.

There are not enough secularists in the opposition to cause Assad to lose a night’s sleep, much less threaten his grip on power. To oust him, the opposition needs legions of Islamic supremacists — armed by the United States. Zarate and Moore try to navigate around this inconvenience by omitting any mention of the Muslim Brotherhood and suggesting that there are only two camps: “moderates” and al-Qaeda.  [........]

Contrary to the authors’ claim, foreign fighters are not flocking to Syria because they are affiliated with al-Qaeda. They are reacting to a fatwa issued in May by Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the world’s most influential Sunni sharia authority and the Muslim Brotherhood’s chief jurist. Qaradawi declared that the jihad in Syria against Assad and his Shiite backers — primarily, Iran-backed Hezbollah — is a duty for every able-bodied Muslim who is trained to fight.

Qaradawi, who also serves as the backbone of international support for Hamas — the terrorist organization that is the Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch — is notoriously anti-American and anti-Israeli. [.......]Crucially for current purposes, Qaradawi has been the powerhouse behind the Brotherhood’s Syrian enterprise — drumming up international political and financial support for the “rebels.” It is no coincidence that shortly after Qaradawi’s fatwa, Egypt’s Islamic-supremacist government — then led by the Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi — cut off diplomatic ties with Assad, called for a no-fly zone over Syria, and declaimed that “Hezbollah must leave Syria.”

Qaradawi, it is worth emphasizing, is not al-Qaeda. Like all Islamic supremacists, he and the Brotherhood share al-Qaeda’s dream of installing sharia in every Islamic country and, ultimately, establishing a global caliphate. As a result, they work with al-Qaeda on common goals, such as vanquishing Assad. But knowing he has the ear of the Obama administration — which, shockingly, just rolled out the White House red carpet for his deputy, Sheikh Abdallah bin Bayyah (who also endorsed terror attacks on Americans in Iraq) — Qaradawi is now laboring to relegate al-Qaeda to the rebel sidelines, playing into the Washington fiction that al-Qaeda is America’s only enemy.

There are two major al-Qaeda affiliates operating in Syria: the aforementioned Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and the group cited by Senator Paul, Jabhat al Nusra.  [.......] Consistent with the Obama/McCain approach of blinking at reality, the administration formally declared Nusra a terrorist organization back in December, as if that would deter the FSA militias — many of which publicly scoffed at the maneuver. Despite what Zarate and Moore assert, Nusra continues to work closely with the FSA.

Among those lavishing praise on Nusra for doing “very well in its jihad against the tyrant regime of Damascus” is Qaradawi. [.........] Translation: “Hey Nusra, go right ahead with your savage methods, but could you pipe down about the al-Qaeda connection? That way, the morons in Washington will pretend you’re a ‘moderate’ and keep giving us the money and weapons we need.”

The Brothers have decided they need Nusra, so Nusra will remain a key force regardless of Obama’s paper terrorist designations and Idriss’s dreamy vision. Nusra’s vision, like the Brotherhood’s, is that Syria will become an anti-Western sharia state in the Sunni mold.

As for ISIL, it is true enough that FSA leaders are squabbling with that al-Qaeda affiliate. ISIL has killed a couple of FSA commanders and is imposing its sharia dictates on territories the “rebels” have captured. But more than anything else, the disputes illustrate the impotence of the FSA. Idriss & Co. can huff and puff, but they cannot enforce ultimatums against al-Qaeda, and they cannot stop their component militias from fighting side-by-side with al-Qaeda.

The stubborn fact of the matter is that Islamic supremacism pervades Assad’s opposition. [........] Even if al-Qaeda were to vacate the scene, arming the “rebels” means arming what Qaradawi more accurately calls the “mujahideen.”

Pace Messrs. Zarate and Moore, Senator Paul’s assertion that “there is no clear U.S. national interest in Syria” was not a “false claim.” It was an accurate assessment of the totality of the situation. The authors’ insistence that we have an interest in keeping rogue regimes from using weapons of mass destruction is tunnel vision. There are WMD in Syria. Assad’s use of them is reprehensible (albeit in character), and the specter of his transferring them to Hezbollah is alarming (though no more alarming than the fact that Assad has them in the first place, as does Iran — the patron of Assad and puppeteer of Hezbollah). But the possibility of WMD falling into the hands of the Brotherhood and its jihadist allies — who, by the way, have been colluding with Iran for two decades and have energetically sought WMD — is no more comforting.  [........]

Paul was clearly also right that arming the FSA means arming al-Qaeda affiliates. Contrary to Zarate and Moore’s contentions, the FSA’s loosely tied, largely autonomous militias cannot be controlled by central commanders. Not only do the militias, many of which share al-Qaeda’s core convictions and goals, frequently collaborate with al-Qaeda affiliates; indications are that they already provide arms to their al-Qaeda allies — in addition to receiving support from al-Qaeda’s backers in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Finally, Paul is quite right that there is “no clear moral choice” for us in Syria. To claim, as Zarate and Moore do, that there is a patent difference between Assad’s barbarism, on the one hand, and “General Idriss and other moderate rebels,” on the other, is a gross distortion. [.......] The only forces who stand a chance of ejecting Assad are Sunni Islamic supremacists — the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, and jihadists the world over who answer the summons of the rabidly anti-American Qaradawi.

Assad turned his border into a sluicegate from which jihadists flooded into Iraq to kill Americans. Qaradawi is the sharia eminence who exhorted them to do the flooding and the killing. To see a clear moral choice between those two — indeed, to fail to see that that is the choice — is to imagine a Syria that does not exist.

Read the rest -  Syria Fairy Tales

Obama has responded to every defeat by doubling down and radicalizing; and it’s not about (Samantha) Power, just about power

by Speranza ( 112 Comments › )
Filed under Al Qaeda, Fatah, Israel, Libya, Middle East, Palestinians at June 7th, 2013 - 2:30 pm

Kerry buys completely into the old canard that “Palestine” is the key to peace. Well the fighting in Syria has absolutely nothing to do with “Palestine” and if Israel and “Palestine” would both have disappeared there still would be over 80,000 dead in Syria.

by Caroline Glick

US Secretary of State John Kerry looks like a bit of an idiot these days. On Monday he announced that he will be returning to Israel and the Palestinian Authority and Jordan for the fifth time since he was sworn into office on February 1. That is an average of more than one visit a month.

And aside from frequent flier miles, the only thing he has to show for it is a big black eye from PLO chief and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

When Kerry was here last month he unveiled a stunning plan to bring $4 billion in investment funds to the PA. If his plan actually pans out, its champions claim it will increase the PA’s GDP by a mind-numbing 50 percent in three years and drop Palestinian unemployment from 21 to 8 percent.

[.........]

Abbas and his underlings wasted no time, however, in demonstrating that indeed, Kerry’s plan is fantasy. Abbas appointed Rami Hamdallah, a Fatah apparatchik with perfect English, to replace America’s favorite moderate Palestinian, Salam Fayyad, as PA prime minister.

As The Jerusalem Post’s Khaled Abu Toameh has pointedly explained, Hamdallah was appointed for two reasons. First, to facilitate Fatah’s absconding with hundreds of millions of dollars in donor aid to the PA and to Palestinian development projects precisely of the type that Kerry hopes to finance with his $4b. grant. The second reason Abbas appointed Hamdallah the English professor from Nablus was because his language skills will enable him to make American and European donors feel comfortable as his colleagues in Fatah pick their taxpayer- funded pockets.

[.........]

But that wasn’t the only thing the Palestinians did. Again, as Abu Toameh has reported, the popular Palestinian response to last week’s World Economic Forum in Jordan, where Abbas and Kerry rubbed elbows with President Shimon Peres and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, was to attack the businessmen who accompanied Abbas to the conference. [..........]Led by Fatah activists, Palestinian writers, unions and others also went after Palestinian businessmen from Jenin who went to Haifa to meet with Israeli businesspeople at the invitation of Haifa’s Chamber of Commerce. The “anti-normalization” crowd is calling for Palestinians to boycott Palestinian businesses that do business with Israelis.

[.......]

Israeli leaders for the most part have reacted to Kerry’s constant harping by rolling their eyes. He seems like a complete lunatic. Obviously he will fail and the best thing we can do is smile and nod, like you do when you are dealing with a crazy person.

Even when Kerry claimed that the reason Israelis aren’t interested in peace is that our lives are too happy, we didn’t take offense. Because really, why take anything he says seriously? And aside from that, they ask, what can the Obama administration do to us, at this point? Every single day it becomes more mired in scandal.

The Guardian’s revelation Wednesday that the US government has been confiscating the phone records of tens of millions of Americans who use the Verizon business network since April is just the latest serious, normal-presidency destroying scandal to be exposed in the past month. And every single scandal – the IRS’s unlawful harassment and discrimination of conservative organizations and individuals, the Justice Department’s spying on AP journalists and attempt to criminalize the normal practice of journalism through its investigation of Fox News correspondent James Rosen – makes it more difficult for President Barack Obama to advance his agenda.

As for foreign policy, the whistle-blower testimony that exposed Obama’s cover-up of the September 11, 2012, al-Qaida attack on the US Consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi has caused massive damage to Obama’s credibility in foreign affairs and to the basic logic of his foreign policy.

Ambassador Chris Stevens was tortured and murdered by al-Qaida terrorists who owed their freedom of operation to the Obama administration. If it hadn’t been for Obama’s decision to bring down the regime of Muammar Gaddafi, who had been largely harmless to the US since he gave up his illicit nuclear weapons program in 2004, those al-Qaida forces probably wouldn’t have be capable of waging an eight-hour assault on US installations and personnel in Benghazi.

With the Benghazi scandal hounding him, the Syrian civil war and, for the past week, the antigovernment protests in Turkey all exposing his incompetence on a daily basis, these Israeli leaders take heart, no doubt in the belief that Obama’s freedom to attack us has vastly diminished.

Although this interpretation of events is attractive, and on its face seems reasonable, it is wrong.

[........]

Since he entered office, Obama has responded to every defeat by doubling down and radicalizing.

When in 2009 public sentiment against his plan to nationalize the US healthcare industry was so high that Republican Scott Brown was elected senator from Massachusetts for the sole purpose of blocking Obamacare’s passage in the US Senate, Obama did not accept the public’s verdict.

He used a technicality to ram the hated legislation through without giving Brown and the Senate the chance to vote it down.

And now, as his Middle East strategy of appeasing Islamists lies in the ruins of the US Consulate in Benghazi and in the cemeteries interning the Syrians murdered in sarin gas attacks as Obama shrugged his shoulders, Obama is again doubling down. On Wednesday he announced that he is elevating the two architects of his policy to senior leadership roles in his administration.

Obama’s appointments of UN Ambassador Susan Rice to serve as his national security adviser, and of former National Security Council member Samantha Power to serve as ambassador to the UN, are a finger in the eye to his critics. These women rose to national prominence through their breathless insistence that the US use force to overthrow Gaddafi in spite of clear evidence that al-Qaida was a major force in his opposition.

Power is reportedly the author of Obama’s policy of apologizing to foreign countries for the actions of past administrations. Certainly she shares Obama’s hostility toward Israel.  [......]
In a nutshell, Power’s vision for US foreign policy is a noxious brew of equal parts self-righteousness, ignorance and prejudice. And now she will be responsible for defending Israel (or not) at the most hostile international arena in the world, where Israel’s very right to exist is subject to assault on a daily basis.

Obama’s decision to appoint Rice and Power in the face of the mounting scandals surrounding his presidency generally and his foreign policy particularly is not the only reason Israeli leaders should not expect for his weakened political position to diminish Obama’s plan to put the screws on Israel in the coming years. There is also the disturbing pattern of the abuse of power that the scandals expose.

To date, all administration officials questioned have denied that Obama was in any way involved in directing the IRS to use the tax code to intimidate with the aim of discrediting and destroying conservative organizations and donors. Likewise, they say he played no role in the Justice Department’s espionage operations against American journalists, or in the intentional cover-up of the al-Qaida assault on US installations and personnel in Benghazi.  [...........]

So, too, as Andrew McCarthy reported last month in National Review, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney admitted that Obama spoke with then secretary of state Hillary Clinton at 10 p.m. on September 11, 2012, during the al- Qaida assault in Benghazi.

[........]

The one thing all the scandals share is a singleminded willingness to pursue radical goals to the bitter end. The IRS’s targeting of conservatives was an appalling abuse of executive power, unlike anything we have seen in recent history. The passage of Obamacare in the face massive public opposition was another means to the end of destroying his opponents. The cover-up of the Benghazi attack was a bid to hide the failure of a policy in order to double down on it – despite its failure. The only reason you would want to double down on an already failed policy is if you are ideologically committed to a larger goal that the failed policy advances.

Read the rest -Wounded …….but dangerous

Col. Ralph Peters take on Obama’s latest picks – Susan Rice and Samantha Power

by Ralph Peters

There are three big losers from President Obama’s cynical appointment of Susan Rice as his new national security adviser: Secretary of State John Kerry, Congress and the American people.

As for the nomination of left-wing activist Samantha Power to replace Rice as UN ambassador, the losers are our foreign policy, our allies and the lefties bellowing for the closure of Gitmo. (It ain’t shutting down soon; this nomination’s a consolation prize to O’s base.)

These personnel choices are brilliant hardball politics — but, once again, the Obama White House has elevated politics above serious strategy.

Underqualified — but sure to be influential: Susan Rice (c.) will help make US foreign policy even more disastrous than in O’s first term.

AP
Underqualified — but sure to be influential: Susan Rice (c.) will help make US foreign policy even more disastrous than in O’s first term.

Media pundits promptly opined that Rice’s appointment will alienate Republicans. But our president’s written off Republicans as dead meat. Bringing Rice into the Executive Branch’s innermost circle rewards her for being a good soldier in taking the fall on Benghazi, and it makes it virtually impossible for Congress to subpoena her for a grilling, thanks to our government’s separation of powers.  [.......]

Pity poor John Kerry, though: He really, really wanted to be a noteworthy secretary of state. Already held at arms-length, now he’ll be relegated to visiting countries that never make the headlines and handing out retirement awards (plus working on the Middle East “peace process,” the ultimate diplomatic booby prize).

Rice has the weakest credentials of any national security adviser in the history of the office, but she has the president’s ear as his old pal.  [.......] Proximity to POTUS is trumps in DC. Kerry’s desk in Foggy Bottom might as well be a hundred miles from the Oval Office.

However incompetent, Rice may become the most influential national security adviser since Henry Kissinger eclipsed the entire State Department. Which means that Obama’s foreign policy, already disastrous, is now going to get worse.

As for the earnest Ms. Power, she has zero qualifications to serve as our UN ambassador. She’s a left–wing militant who has yet to show the least interest in defending America, rather than merely using our might as her tool. Her cause is human rights abroad, and that’s her only cause.  [........]

Both Power and Rice consistently advocate using our military to protect the human rights of often-hostile foreign populations. Of course there are, indeed, times when measured intervention is strategically wise and morally imperative — but our military’s fundamental purpose is national defense, not mercy missions to those who spit in our faces.

(By the way, I know of no instance when Power has vigorously defended Jews or Christians murdered or driven from their homes by the Arabs she wants to “save”; guess human rights aren’t universal, after all.)

As leftists cheer both choices, one can’t help recalling the cries of “Chicken hawk!” directed at the neocons in the Bush years. [.........] Now we have leftist kill-for-peace activists who never served in uniform. That’s different, of course.

On a purely practical level, Power is a terrible choice to be our UN rep. It’s a job for a veteran, polished ambassador who understands the arcane ways of diplomacy and the UN’s exasperating rules and procedures — which the Russian and Chinese ambassadors employed to humiliate Rice. It’s not a job for a zealot on a hobby horse.

Obama knows that, of course. But the Power nomination’s a win for him, even if she’s not confirmed. He just covered his left flank on the cheap. It’s not about Power, just about power.

Read the rest – O’s cynical picks

File this under: “I Told you So” (The Kidnapping of Ambassador Stevens)

by Rodan ( 82 Comments › )
Filed under Al Qaeda, Blogmocracy, Guest Post, Libya at June 6th, 2013 - 3:00 pm

Guest Blogger: Doriangrey

 


Back on April 30th I related a rumor to you about what supposedly really happened to Ambassador Christopher Stevens during the assault on the Consult in Benghazi. Most of you no doubt filed it away with a chuckle under super crazy tin-foil hat conspiracy theories. Here is what I told you back then.

Why we should hang the Fifth Column Treasonous Media talking heads.

Not only did Barack Insane Obama refuse to send Ambassador Stevens any help, their is considerable evidence to suggest that he actively prevented any help being sent. Moreover their is even rumor to the effect that that hep was specifically denied because the Whitehouse under Barack Insane Obama’s direct orders were engaging in a covert operation that was suppose to result in the kidnapping of Ambassador Stevens and 15 or 20 of his staff who were to be held as hostages so that the Obamanation Administration would have political cover for releasing Blink Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman to Egypt.

Moreover, their is even the suggestion that Ambassador Steven was intended to be killed at some point during that exchange because Ambassador Stevens was cooperating with known Al Qaeda terrorists in a trade of small arms and ammunition in exchange for a significant number of shoulder fired surface to air missiles that had been stolen from the US during the fall of Qaddafi’s Libya.

If you were chuckling the first time you read that, well today you will be chocking on your coffee.

Possible Poisoning
Al Qaeda weapons expert says U.S. ambassador to Libya killed by lethal injection

An al Qaeda terrorist stated in a recent online posting that U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens was killed by lethal injection after plans to kidnap him during the Sept. 11, 2012 terror attack in Benghazi went bad.

The veracity of the claim made by Abdallah Dhu-al-Bajadin, who was identified by U.S. officials as a known weapons experts for al Qaeda, could not be determined. However, U.S. officials have not dismissed the terrorist’s assertion.

An FBI spokeswoman indicated the bureau was aware of the claim but declined to comment because of the bureau’s ongoing investigation into the Benghazi attack.

“While there is a great deal of information in the media and on the Internet about the attack in Benghazi, the FBI is not in a position at this time to comment on anything specific with regard to the investigation,” Kathy Wright, the FBI spokeswoman, said.

A State Department spokesman also had no comment.

So there you have it. Al Qaeda admitting that the attack on the American Consult in Benghazi was a kidnapping attempt that went wrong. Did Ambassador Stevens actually die by lethal injection? Personally I doubt it. More likely his death was exactly as initially reported, accidental due to inhalation of smoke in a fire cause by one of the mortar rounds fired in the attack. No doubt Al Qaeda is claiming they killed Steven via lethal injection so as to mask their own brutal incompetence in the attack.

There is no doubt that the intervention of CIA special operatives Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods totally screwed up Al Qaeda and the Whitehouse’s plans to kidnap Ambassador Stevens. Exactly who in the Obamanation Administrations Wiley Coyote Super Genius inner circle (yes you can read imbecilic moron circle jerk in place of Wiley Coyote Super Genius inner circle) came up with the plan of having Ambassador Stevens kidnapped is still a mystery, was it Valery Jarrett and Susan Rice? Who knows, but Barack Insane Obama himself absolutely had to know and sign off on it or it would have been utterly impossible for the Stand Down order to have been given to the US Military and the CIA.

Yes, this is the level of corruption, arrogance and narcissism that permeates the Obamanation Administration. If the Carter Administration taught us anything at all, it was with his Operation Eagles Claw, and what it was, was that the more complex a covert operation is, the greater the probability is that the operation will fail. Nobody in the Obamanation Administration seems to be aware of this reality. They like to think of themselves as the smartest people in the room, when in reality, they are just the most corrupt and ruthless.

It is what it is, worst of all, congress is full of either straight up Marxists who will fall on their own swords to protect Barack Insane Obama or who are scared to death of being accused of firing America’s first Affirmative Action (yes you can read Black here) President. To call Congress a bunch of corrupt cowards is to ascribe to congress far more honestly and courage then they deserve.

Barack Insane Obama should have been impeached and Erick Holder prosecuted and sent to prison over the “Operation Fast and Furious” scandal because congress was so corrupt and cowardly that did not happen, instead we ended up with a Presidential Administration that attempted to orchestrate the kidnapping of an American Ambassador by Al Qaeda terrorists which resulted in that Ambassadors murder.

(Crossposted@ The Wilderness of Mirrors)

American ambassadors have gone from untouchable to dead

by Speranza ( 148 Comments › )
Filed under History, Libya, World War II at May 14th, 2013 - 4:00 pm

An attack on an American Ambassador ought to be considered an attack on an American president and treated as an act of war.

by Shmuley Boteach

I just finished one of the best books I’ve read in a long time: In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson. The book tells the story of William Dodd, President Roosevelt’s first ambassador to Hitler, and chronicles the slow descent of Germany into Nazi tyranny. One of the most striking features of the narrative is the fear that slowly descends on the German populace as they become terrified of expressing an opinion about Hitler and his police state, even in the company of close family and friends.

Yet Dodd and his family were utterly immune to such fear. Though they lived in a home that was owned by a Jewish banker; regularly hosted journalists who wrote critically of Hitler; drove by the home of Franz von Papen – the deputy chancellor – to show their support even after he had been placed under house arrest by Hitler for his Marburg speech of June, 1934; though Dodd openly snubbed Hitler every year by refusing to attend the Nazi Nuremberg rally where Hitler was celebrated as a god, Dodd never had anything to fear.

He did not have to worry that the SA would ransack his Berlin home in the middle of the night. He did not have to fear that his daughter Martha, who even had an affair with Gestapo head Rudolf Diels, would be summarily shot for her increasing disillusionment with Hitler’s regime. [.......] And he did not have fear that roaming bands of Nazi thugs would attack him for his protests to the German foreign minister against unprovoked attacks that threatened the lives of Americans.

And why didn’t he fear? Because even a monster as evil as Hitler, arguably the most dangerous man that ever lived, wasn’t going to mess with the American ambassador.

In fact, one of the stories told in the book is of the day Dodd took a walk with French ambassador André François-Poncet in the Tiergarten, when the latter told him he would not be surprised if he were shot in the street by the SS. Dodd was astonished. It had never occurred to him to worry; he was the American ambassador.

Indeed, Hitler and the Nazis never harassed Western ambassadors.

It therefore matters that just 80 years later a bunch of terrorist thugs think they can murder an American ambassador, in full sight of the world, without consequence.

American diplomatic staff were once the safest people in the world, representatives of a superpower that would rain hell from the skies should you touch one.  [......]

The revelations coming out of the Congressional hearings on Benghazi, Libya – such as that the Obama State Department watered down public statements on the attack, cleansing them of any mention of al-Qaida and terrorism – are a travesty and demonstrate a lack of moral will to call evil by its proper name.

ABC News and Fox News reported this past Friday that the department’s talking points were revised fully 12 times to purge them of any mention of terrorism. State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland asked the CIA to remove mention of their own security warnings about Benghazi. According to ABC News the original paragraph read, “The Agency has produced numerous pieces on the threat of extremists linked to al-Qaida in Benghazi and eastern Libya. [......]

We cannot rule out [that] individuals [have] previously surveilled… US facilities, also contributing to the efficacy of the attacks.”

But Nuland was concerned that the line “could be abused by members [of Congress] to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings, so why would we want to feed that, either?” I have earlier written about how ambassador Susan Rice was an utterly inappropriate choice as secretary of state based on her efforts to disassociate the word “genocide” from the Rwandan mass slaughters of 1994 so as not to commit the Clinton administration to intervention. In a 2001 article published in The Atlantic, Samantha Power, author of the Pulitzer-Prize winning A Problem of Hell and arguably the world’s foremost voice against genocide, who currently serves on the National Security Council as an aide to President Obama, referred to Ambassador Susan Rice and her colleagues in the Clinton administration as “Bystanders to Genocide.”

[........]

Worse, the attempt to whitewash the Benghazi attacks and describe them merely as “a protest that turned violent” trivializes the death of ambassador Chris Stevens and the three Americans murdered with him, and threatens to cheapen the life of every American diplomat currently serving in a dangerous post.

We need to accept that the fear the United States once instilled in those with evil intent against our diplomatic staff has worn thin and the only way to reintroduce that fear is to understand fully what happened in Benghazi, and to rain fire on the culprits so that this never happens again

Read he rest - American ambassadors: from untouchable to dead

An Islamic nut job set off a bomb today at a French Embassy

by Rodan ( 3 Comments › )
Filed under Al Qaeda, France, Headlines, Islamic Terrorism, Islamists, Libya, Muslim Brotherhood at April 23rd, 2013 - 9:13 am

Despite assisting al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood against Qaddafi, the Jihadists continue to show their ingraditute. A car bomb exploded outside of the Libyan Embassy in Tripoli, Libya.

A car bomb went off outside the French Embassy in Tripoli, Libya, on Tuesday, a Libyan Foreign Ministry official said.

The official said two guards were hurt, but no one had died.

Television images showed extensive damage to buildings in the area.

“I think there were two blasts, the first was very loud and then there was a smaller one,” a  witness told Reuters. “There was some black smoke at first, and then it turned white.”

In Paris, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius condemned what he called a heinous attack and said everything would be done to find the perpetrators, the news service reported.

John McCain has no comments over the actions of his heroes.