ISIS

Obama Welcomes Terrorists, Shuns Allies

If we have learned nothing else from the Obama years, it is that Obama cannot be trusted. In his first days in office he insulted one of our strongest allies, England, when he returned a bust of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill (and in the first attempted assassination by boredom, Obama later sent to Queen Elizabeth an iPod containing a collection of his speeches). This was followed by truly dangerous actions, which put our allies in harm’s way, as with his decision to renege on our commitment to Poland and the Czech Republic to build a missile shield in Eastern Europe as a firewall against Russian aggression. Obama instead sent Hillary to Russia with a “reset” button for Putin, and we all know how disastrously that turned out.

Yet none have felt the consequences of Obama’s betrayal as harshly as have our allies whom he abandoned in Iraq and Afghanistan after making the decision to unilaterally withdraw U.S. forces against the recommendations of his senior theater commanders and top military advisers. Claiming he was leaving behind a “stable, sovereign, and self-reliant Iraq”, Obama left them to fend for themselves. In the vacuum created by the exit of American forces, we have witnessed the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan, as well as the rise of the most brutal, murderous Islamist terror regime we’ve seen to date, ISIS.

Al Qaeda Far From Neutralized

News is breaking that Al Qaeda is claiming responsibility for an attack on a luxury hotel in Mali, wherein something like 170 people were taken hostage and three were killed. Of course, the familiar “Allahu Akbar”, the jihadist battle cry, was reportedly heard screamed by the gunmen, according to witnesses.

We keep being told Al Qaeda is not the same as The Islamic State — or ISIS. There’s some debate as to whether or not that matters, except in as much as it might be useful to play them off each other if we ever get to a place where that becomes a feasible strategy (at this point, that’s unlikely because, while they compete with each other, they both HATE us). Apparently they like to one-up each other:

The attack comes just days after militants affiliated with the Islamic State staged coordinated attacks in France. It is unclear if the two incidents are related — the Islamic State and the ethnic Tuareg militant groups that dominate in Mali have competing interests – but the Paris attack may well have inspired the raid in Bamako.

Wars Are Long, Kids. So Tuck In and Have Better Ideas.

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Apparently I’m not the only one who heard a little subtext in Obama’s press conference yesterday that sounded not unlike, “Hey y’all, this war ain’t going nowhere, sad to say. We’re gonna see some bombings. But we’ve got better ideas and, long term, we’re better and we will, because of that very fact, be victorious. Some day.”

But, as Allapundit at HotAir.com puts it, weak leadership is that one tricky variable that makes “The West is the best!” talk sound a little like whistling in the dark (emphasis mine).

This is the sort of thing you say when you’re trying to break it to people that victory in the new war won’t come soon, and may not come ever. It’s the foreign policy equivalent of another of Obama’s favorite sayings, the old leftist bromide about being on “the wrong side of history”: The enemy’s backwardness is plain and our moral superiority is obvious, so ultimate triumph is assured even in the teeth of immediate defeat. All I could think of while watching this was those photos you see online sometimes of Afghanistan or Iran circa 1960, with all the women in blouses and skirts, and photos of the same two countries today, with women in head coverings or even full burqas. Better ideas don’t always win. Especially if they’re defended by weak leadership.

And there’s little evidence to suggest that Allahpundit is off the mark when he suggests Obama’s strategy is to run out the clock and leave the steaming bag of excrement that is our involvement in the Middle East right smack dab in the center of the Resolute Desk on his way out the door.

Red State: Obama’s better than Rand Paul on security

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Not content to let Rand Paul have his minor, temporary Patriot Act sunset victory, conservative blogger and video auteur Ben Howe took to Red State just minutes before the expiration of the act’s surveillance powers to proclaim the Kentucky senator and presidential candidate worse than Obama on national security.

As far as I’m concerned, Rand Paul’s view of ISIS and our role in “creating” them is pretty much a deal breaker. It shows such an uninformed and naive view of radical Islam that it makes me expect President Paul to be as dangerous as a President Obama in this regard. In fact I’ve reached the point where I question whether Obama might actually keep us safer than Rand Paul would.

Howe joins a crescendoing chorus of Republicans who might have a hard decision to make come November 2016 if Rand Paul is indeed the party’s nominee. I predicted this intra-party schism almost two years ago, but I’m stunned by the accelerated timeline. I expected Republicans hawks to flip to Hillary if Rand was the nominee. I didn’t expect them to all but do so 8 months before any primary votes are cast.

Whether or not you think it’s outrageous for Rand to have said “hawks in our party” “created” ISIS, let’s review the evidence. (Because that’s what thinking people do. We don’t just hear something that sounds outrageous, gasp, and shun the speaker.)

Barack Obama and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year

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It’s not been a good year for Barack Obama.

Of course, the midterm elections during the sixth year of a two-term president’s time in office are historically bad for the president’s party. In 2006, Democrats defeated President George W. Bush’s party and picked up a net of six seats in the Senate and 31 seats in the House. The 1998 elections held steady for Republicans during President Clinton’s sixth year, and they kept majorities in both chambers.

In 1986, during President Reagan’s sixth year, Democrats picked up eight seats in the Senate, giving them control of the Senate, and gained a net five seats in the House, giving them a massive 258-177 majority. To give context, Republicans are expected to start the next Congress in January with 247 members to the Democrats’ 188 — and that’s historically high for Republicans.

But President Obama’s bad year doesn’t start and end with Election Day 2014. According to Gallup, which has been tracking presidential approval ratings for decades, 2014 is the first year where President Obama’s approval rating never eclipsed his disapproval rating, meaning he has not — at any point this year — had a net positive approval. He has been under water since August 2013 and has not recovered.

National Journal’s James Oliphant writes:

White House Foreign Policy Dangerously Changes by the Day

When word filtered out yesterday that President Obama, on the heels of his reiteration of “no boots on the ground” to the military men and women at CENTCOM, had instructed the Pentagon that he was the final say on any individual airstrike in Syria (“…[to] better ensure the operation remain focused on his main goal for that part of the campaign: weakening the militants’ hold on territory in neighboring Iraq.”), pundits rightly began to ask questions.  Allahpundit at HotAir had several, including the possibility that Obama must consider our new engagement a “counterterrorism” measure rather than a traditional war:

Doomed to repeat history: Funding Syrian rebels could create another Libya-like foreign policy crisis

Watching history repeat itself was not enough for Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).

The senator from Kentucky took the stage yesterday morning and didn’t stop talking until he made sure the public and the empty chamber had listened to his concerns.

During his remarks on the floor of the Senate, Paul highlighted his reasons to oppose the amendment authorizing president Obama’s plan to provide training and arms to what he calls moderate rebels in Syria. The plan passed both the House and the Senate as an amendment to the continuing resolution funding the government until December 11.

Before the vote, however, Paul raised and urged the empty chamber to put an end to Obama’s plan of arming fighters in Syria who have not proven to be fundamentally opposed to ISIS. “We gave 600 tons of weapons to the Syrian rebels in 2013 alone,” Paul said as he urged his colleagues to keep in mind that the United States is not the only country providing weapons to the rebels.

According to Paul, a Wall Street Journal report detailed “millions of dollars in direct US aid to rebels” from “nearly 8 months ago or more.” As the aid continues to be funneled to rebels in Syria, Paul claims that “no one really knows where that all ended up: Jane’s Terrorism Center noted, the transfer of Quatari arms to targeted groups has the same practical effect as shipping them to Al Nusra, a violent jihadist force.”

By not knowing where these weapons are going and who’s actually making use of the military training, Paul believes passing a resolution that will fund this operation abroad in the hopes that that it might deter ISIS is ludicrous:

Here’s why Rand Paul’s critics are epically wrong about foreign policy

The reaction to Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s Wall Street Journal column on Middle East interventionism isn’t surprising. Jennifer Rubin at The Washington Post called Paul “ignorant” and suggests he could be lying about the arguments for and against. Adriana Cohen at the Boston Herald called him “clueless” and someone who should “wake up to reality.” Pema Levy at Newsweek says Paul is just trying to copy a page out of President Barack Obama’s 2008 playbook regarding opposition to the Iraq War. The Democrats called Paul’s foreign policy slogan “Blame America. Retreat from the World.”

This isn’t true at all. He told Breitbart.com on August 27 he was in favor of airstrikes against ISIS, but wanted to talk to Congress first. That’s the Constitutional stance because Congress has to approve war.

Libertarians in the Hawk Age

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Prior to the rise of ISIS, it was relatively easy to be a non-interventionist libertarian, focusing on the economy and civil liberties and staring daggers at the NSA. Ah, the good old days.

Then people started getting beheaded over in that familiar region we just left. By all accounts, good, honest people just trying to do their jobs. People who couldn’t defend themselves because they weren’t warriors. American people.

And so now we fire our disdain from the air, presumably because that’s still not “intervening” in the traditional, Bush Doctrine sense. But we’re getting better at striking from the air. Because we’re working at it.

Fired by the Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy, the Maverick missile is engineered to fire from F-15s, F-16s, A-10s, F/A-18s, Harriers and P-3 surveillance planes, among others. The weapon can also be fired from helicopters.

The Navy variant of the Maverick is built with a special mechanical safe arming device to ensure safety of the weapon while it is handled on ships, such as the deck of an aircraft carrier, McKenzie said.

The laser-guidance technology of the weapon increases its ability to strike fast-moving or maneuvering ground targets, he added.

Barack Obama’s Imperial iPhone Presidency

Obama's iPhone Presidency

President Obama, discarding once and for all any pretense of respect for the Constitution and the limits it places on the chief executive under the Separation of Powers doctrine, infamously declared in January of this year, “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone…And I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward.”

Those are not the words of a president in our constitutional republic; those are the words of a petty tyrant.

Obama has made good on his promise though. In violation of the so-called Affordable Care Act, the very law that he championed and that passed on a strictly party-line vote without a single Republican in support, Obama has unilaterally delayed and changed provisions of the law dozens of times. He extended deadlines, granted waivers to the politically-connected, and laughed off his promise that no federal taxpayer dollars would be used to fund abortions.

In a blatantly transparent move to gain more Hispanic votes for Democrats, Obama has refused to enforce our immigration laws even as hundreds of thousands of illegals pour over the border from Mexico, including tens of thousands of children he willingly uses as pawns in his political game. Not until word started leaking out about many of these children dying during the journey, or being physically and sexually assaulted, or sold into slavery, did Obama even make a pretense of stemming the tide of illegals.


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