September 15, 2014

What Coalition? (Robert Roll Commentary)

Longtime readers might remember Rob Roll, yours truly’s nephew, who submitted quite a few fine guest commentaries in 2011.

Rob has since graduated and obtained his Masters of Professional Practice in Accounting from Ohio Northern University, gotten married, has a full-time job with a CPA firm, and has passed the dreaded CPA exam. (Congrats on all those accomplishments!)

Published with his permission, here is Rob’s take on Barack Obama’s “broad coalition” to fight ISIS.

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What Coalition?

During his speech on Wednesday night, President Obama said that “America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat.” Who exactly will be in this coalition? According to a Wall Street Journal editorial, both Britain and Germany have come out and said that their militaries will not use force on ISIS targets. Another ally, at least on paper because of its membership in NATO, Turkey, has said that they will not allow us to use OUR OWN Air Force base located in Turkey for strikes against ISIS targets in Syria. Once again, who will be involved in the “coalition” the president talked about? The Saudis and other Middle East “allies”? Give me a break.

Do not get me wrong, I think that killing ISIS terrorists is a good idea, even if the US has to do it alone. But, I think that a bigger question needs to be asked here; How inept is President Obama in diplomacy when he cannot get our two closest allies (Britain and Germany) to help us with an operation whose goal (destroying ISIS) everyone seems to support? The fact that the UK will not be sending lethal force is especially odd considering that UK Prime Minister David Cameron has called ISIS a “clear danger to Europe” and said that the fight against Islamic extremists is a “generational struggle.” Prime Minister Cameron’s language when talking about ISIS has been more harsh than that of President Obama’s, even after Wednesday’s speech. Is it possible that Britain does not want to commit its troops because it thinks that the United States, with President Obama as Commander-in-chief, will not follow through?

Once again I ask, how inept at diplomacy is  President Obama? How far in over his head is John Kerry? How much damage did Hilary Clinton do to our relationships with our friends when she was Secretary of State? George W. Bush was at least able to build a small coalition to invade Iraq in 2003. That mission’s goal was a lot more controversial than the goal of destroying ISIS. It is incredibly ironic that all of this is happening under a president who was going to “restore America’s standing on the world stage.”

September 13, 2014

Where Have We Heard This Before?

From a a Washington Post item (HT National Review’s Rich Lowry):

(Counterterrorism campaigns the U.S. waged in Yemen and Somalia) have met with success — a U.S. airstrike killed the leader of Somalia’s al-Shabab jihadist movement last week — but both campaigns have dragged on for years and involve far smaller and less-well-financed adversaries than the Islamic State. Although Obama promised a “steady, relentless effort” in a nationally televised address Wednesday night, he also said that “it will take time to eradicate a cancer like ISIL,” using a common acronym for the Islamic State.

Such a mission was not the U.S. military’s preferred option. Responding to a White House request for options to confront the Islamic State, Gen. Lloyd Austin, the top commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East, said that his best military advice was to send a modest contingent of American troops, principally Special Operations forces, to advise and assist Iraqi army units in fighting the militants, according to two U.S. military officials. The recommendation, conveyed to the White House by Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was cast aside in favor of options that did not involve U.S. ground forces in a front-line role, a step adamantly opposed by the White House. Instead, Obama had decided to send an additional 475 U.S. troops to assist Iraqi and ethnic Kurdish forces with training, intelligence and equipment.

Recommitting ground combat forces to Iraq would have been highly controversial, and most likely would have been opposed by a substantial majority of Americans. But Austin’s predecessor, retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, said the decision not to send ground troops poses serious risks to the mission.

Translation:

  • Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, won the war in Iraq.
  • His negligent foreign policy — with the apparent agreement of policy and defense team, which included Hillary Clinton — allowed the situation to decay so they could crow about withdrawing all troops in 2011 to win electoral point for 2012.
  • The situation is so bad that it really requires American boots on the ground to avoid turning into a slow-motion quagmire like Somalia and Yemen.
  • Obama doesn’t have the courage or integrity to recommit even a relatively small number of U.S. troops, because to do so would be a tacit admission that his Iraq withdrawal was premature.
  • Obama’s day-to-day perception by the left (which is WaPo’s definition of “the American people”) is more important than doing the right long-term thing.

So Obama will fight ISIS/ISIL the way LBJ and Robert McNamara did, refusing to turn our troops loose to do their jobs and achieve victory — a word the President’s smug, smart-alecky spokesperson can’t even define without having to find a dictionary first.

The longer ISIS/ISIL is a coherent force, the better are the chances that they’ll figure out a way to successfully pull off a serious strike on American soil.

September 11, 2014

Josh Earnest ‘Didn’t Bring a Dictionary,’ So He Can’t Define ‘Victory’

A frequent tipster has informed me that on today’s episode of The Five on Fox News, Bob Beckel actually said that he likes current White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest better than his predecessor James Carney because Earnest “looks better.” Far be it from me to render a judgment on relative male handsomeness. But one thing I can say about Earnest is that, at certain times, when he gets a question he doesn’t like, he acts like a snotty teenager caught not having his homework ready.

One such incident occurred today. Rather than answer a question about how the Obama administration specifically defined victory over ISIL and what the idea of “destroying” it really means, Earnest … well catch the transcript of the first 30 seconds of the video found at (HT Real Clear Politics):

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More Polling the Press Will Ignore: Trust in Federal Govt. at All-Time Low

A new Gallup poll reports that Americans trust the federal government less than they ever have. Given that President Obama has increasingly insisted on acting on his own, it’s not unreasonable to infer that this result means, consistent with other polling the press has stubbornly ignored — documented in a new Media Research Center study — they also trust his leadership less than they ever have.

Gallup’s main headline dressed up the results up by focusing on only half of what it found: “Trust in Federal Gov’t on International Issues at New Low.” But the subheadline says, “Americans’ trust in government handling of domestic problems also at record low.” Okay, guys. What problems aren’t either domestic, international, or a combination of both? So trust in the federal government to handle any problems is at an all-time low. How tough is it to say that?

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Gingrich — and Reality — Also Humiliated Carney on CNN Wed. Night

As the midnight oil-burning Curtis Houck at NewsBusters noted last night, John McCain ripped into Jay Carney’s attempts to rewrite history Wednesday evening on CNN. Among other things, he reminded the former White House Press Secretary that “We had it (the Iraq War) won, thanks to the surge.” In other words, our military and Iraqi government had achieved victory. Barack Obama and his administration, perhaps until last night, have seemed indifferent at best and dismissive at worst at what has happened in Iraq since then.

After McCain got in his rips, it was Newt Gingrich’s turn. The former House Speaker, whose assertion, as will be seen later, is supported by contemporaneous reporting by Tim Arango at the New York Times, took apart Carney’s hypocrisy in whining about how a status of forces agreement with Iraq with the number of American troops our generals believed would be necessary to maintain the peace would have meant our presence there “in perpetuity”:

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September 10, 2014

Carney Gets Clock Cleaned in CNN Debut

Following President Obama’s speech tonight, former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney learned what it’s like when the people with whom you’re having a discussion aren’t lapdogs and stenographers.

In videos seen at Real Clear Politics (here and here), Senator John McCain reminded Carney that President Obama didn’t try hard enough to get the needed status of forces agreement to enable enough U.S. troops to make a difference to stay in Iraq. He also reminded Carney that WE HAD ALREADY WON THE WAR IN IRAQ by the time Obama took office.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich finished Carney off.

Carney had been whining that McCain wanted to keep troops in Iraq “in perpetuity.” Gingrich reminded Carney that the Obama administration, in claiming to have really wanted a status of forces agreement but that they had been thwarted by Iraqi intransigence, would have been doing the same thing — “in perpetuity” — if it had gotten what it allegedly wanted.

The truth is more likely that Obama wanted out of Iraq, and didn’t care how it got done — and if Iraq fell after that, he’d say it was inevitable anyway and the result of George W. Bush’s ill-advised decision to go to war in the first place. That’s the excuse he’ll try to trot out if Iraq really does ultimately fall to ISIS — which is why the reminder that WE WON THE WAR is so important.

Here’s McCain v. Carney:

Gingrich v. Carney:

Those exchanges are going to leave marks.

After Denials Ten Days Ago, DHS Admits ISIS Is Planning Border Infiltration

In quite remarkable testimony on the day before the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 Islamist terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, the Washington Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo reported today that “Francis Taylor, under secretary for intelligence and analysis at DHS, told senators during a hearing that ISIL supporters are known to be plotting ways to infiltrate the United States through the (nation’s southern) border.”

Predictably, Taylor’s statements are getting very little other press attention.

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September 5, 2014

That Dummy Bush 43 Made Several Dead-on Predictions on Iraq and the Middle East

On Megyn Kelly’s Fox News show last night (HT Tim Graham at NewsBusters):

September 4, 2014

AP, LA Times and USA Today All Avoid Naming Obama in Stories on Libya

The establishment press is working mightily to shield President Barack Obama from blame for, or even association with, decisions he has made and actions he has taken — unilaterally and with dubious constitutional authority in many instances.

One particularly egregious example is Libya. When Obama decided on his own to engage in “kinetic miliitary action” to topple Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the press was thrilled. Now, as will be seen after the jump, three stories from major establishment press outlets don’t even contain Obama’s name, or any direct reference to him.

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September 3, 2014

NBC’s Williams Speaks Twice of World ‘Falling Apart’ on Tuesday Nightly News, Shields Obama’s Name

Unfortunately and completely predictably, the Big Three news networks have ignored Catherine Herridge’s Tuesday morning scoop at Fox News that President Obama was briefed on the growing threat of ISIS for over a year, going back to at least several months, if not much longer, before his “jayvee team” taunt in a January New Yorker Magazine interview. Curtis Houck and Jeffrey Meyer at NewsBusters have noted the omissions from the nets’ Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning news shows, respectively.

Let’s take a closer look at how NBC’s Nightly News handled their broadcast. Obama’s reported failure to take ISIS seriously and his failure to seize opportunities to strike before their influence became so threatening would have fit perfectly into the show’s theme, uttered twice by anchor Brian Williams, namely that the world seems to be “falling apart.”

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September 2, 2014

Fox News: Obama ‘Briefed on ISIS More Than a Year Ago’

This morning, Catherine Herridge at Fox News, in the first two minutes of a video seen here, reported that “detailed and specific intelligence about the rise of ISIS was included in the PDB, or the President’s Daily Brief, for at least a year.” Fox is being careful, as some of what is being reported would indicate that the time involved is “far more than a year” — possibly even “three years.”

This would mean that Obama, if he actually reads the briefs he claims to devour in lieu of actually attending national security meetings as his Oval Office predecessors have, should have been fully aware of ISIS's danger at least several months before he called them the "jayvee team" in a New Yorker Magazine interview. If previous patterns hold, the fact that Fox is reporting the story will mean that the Obama-aligned establishment press will, as they have for several hours already, ignore it. The relevant portions of the transcript follow the jump (HT to a frequent tipster; bolds are mine):

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August 31, 2014

Terror-Supporting Islamist Finds ‘Humor’ in Saying ’9-11, 7-7, 3-11′ During Mic Check Before CNN Interview

When last seen in coverage at NewsBusters, Anjem Choudary was sparring with Sean Hannity while claiming that ISIS atrocities are a Western “falsehood” and that Islamic Sharia law will be implemented “in the whole world one day.”

Before getting to his latest stunt on CNN’s Reliable Sources program with host Brian Stelter, it’s important to provide some context, simply because Choudary described at Wikipedia as a “Muslim social and political activist” has already said that “if you had a sense of humor, maybe you would have laughed” at how he conducted the mic check before his interview.

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August 29, 2014

Establishment Press Late to Two Stories: Nidal Hasan Wants to Join ISIS, and the ISIS Southern Border Threat

If there is a terrorist attack on U.S. soil by ISIS, we had better hope that Fox News or New Media outlets don’t report it first. Because if they do, based on behavior seen in two stories during the past day, Americans who depend on the establishment press to deliver their news won’t find out for hours, if not longer.

The first story concerns news tonight from three different sources — Judicial Watch (HT National Review’s The Corner), Breitbart, and Fox News — is that “Islamic terrorist groups are operating in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez and planning to attack the United States with car bombs or other vehicle born improvised explosive devices.” The news is six hours old. As of 9:25 EDT, the Associated Press has nothing on these developments, not even the Obama administration’s heated denials. The New York Times also had nothing, not even in its “evening briefing.” The second concerns Nidal Hasan, the convicted 2009 Fort Hood mass mass murderer.

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Politico’s Gerstein: Obama’s ‘No Strategy’ Statement Just a ‘Misfire’

Politico’s Josh Gerstein was in top keister-covering mode last night in dealing with President Barack Obama’s latest stated indication that U.S. foreign policy is adrift.

To him, the President’s admission that “We don’t have a strategy yet” was just an “awkward choice of words” and an “inartful phrase.” (By the way, over six years after after one of Obama’s flaks first used it to defend the then-candidate’s flip-flop on DC’s strict gun ban, something he originally believed was constitutional until the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Heller decision, “inartful” is still not a recognized word. Yet its use continues to spread.) Excerpts from Gerstein’s grief-stricken groaner follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

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Following Obama’s Lead, AP Story on Ukraine Avoids Describing Russian Actions As ‘Invasion’

On Thursday, an impatient Terry Moran at ABC News tweeted the following (HT Twitchy): “Say it: Russia has invaded Ukraine. Any other description is just weasel words.”

Clearly, both President Obama and the folks at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, haven’t been sympathetic to Moran’s plea, instead opting for “weasel words.” Obama, when directly asked if he “considered today’s escalation in Ukraine an invasion,” wouldn’t characterize it with that word. At AP, a trio of reporters — Dalton Bennett, Jim Heintz, and Raf Casert — also labored mightily to follow their president’s lead in avoiding the “I-word” in a late Thursday story (bolds are mine):

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