Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Obama told us that Yemen was a success of his foreign policy

The Wall Street Journal reports:

The Obama administration’s calculated gamble during the past three years in Yemen has crumbled in recent days, leaving the country on the brink of a civil war with U.S. troops involved in counterterror operations withdrawing amid intense fighting.

What happened in Yemen, according to descriptions by current and former officials and experts, was a miscalculation about the changes unleashed by the Arab Spring revolutions. It involved an overreliance by Washington on a promising new leader who ultimately was unable to hold off rival forces and tensions, they said.

As a result, a country President Barack Obama last year cited as a model of American counterterrorism success has now descended into chaos, with U.S. influence and drone strikes no match for at least four sides at war with one another.

“In many ways, this is all the Thanksgiving Dinner from hell,” said Jon Alterman, a former State Department official and director of the Middle East program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “It is people who have been dealing with each other for a long time, none are satisfied, and the fight has broken out. And the first thing is figuring out who the different sides are.”

The U.S. and allies such as Yemen’s neighbor Saudi Arabia had tried to take advantage of the Arab Spring revolution in Yemen in 2011. They supported a new, friendly regime led by President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

The White House hailed Mr. Hadi’s leadership and—with his cooperation—carried out dozens of drone strikes against the country’s al Qaeda offshoot. Meanwhile, they collected intelligence and training Yemeni forces to battle the terrorist group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP.

But the Obama administration limited its involvement with others in Yemen, and was largely removed from numerous tribal leaders and the rising rebel group known as the Houthis, according to former U.S. officials and foreign policy experts. The success of the White House’s involvement with Yemen relied largely on Mr. Hadi staying in power, they said, adding that the White House had few alternatives. That is why the U.S. approach was upended last month when Shiite-linked Houthi rebels, believed to be backed by Iran, seized control of Yemen’s capital and forced Mr. Hadi to flee. Forces loyal to Mr. Hadi are now warring against the Houthis, and U.S. officials believe, against his predecessor, Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The Yemeni president has asked Gulf countries to intervene militarily against the Houthis as they advance toward his base in the southern city of Aden, according to Saudi media reports quoting Mr. Hadi’s foreign minister. Over the past few days, the Houthis have been advancing southward into the major southern city of Taiz, where they have encountered resistance and large street protests against them. Houthi gunmen fired live ammunition and tear gas on Monday into crowds of demonstrators in the city, wounding at least seven people. Meanwhile, militants claiming allegiance to Islamic State carried out dramatic suicide attacks in an area that had traditionally been the safe haven for rival AQAP, which some believe could trigger competitive jihadist attacks.

The Houthis had already taken over the airport and some government buildings in Taiz and erected checkpoints in the southern city when the violence flared, said local government officials and protest organizers, who reported the casualties.

[…]Before political chaos erupted earlier this year, the U.S. had everything invested in Mr. Hadi. Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan was a key liaison to the country when he served as a top White House counterterrorism aide in the first years of the Obama administration. His replacement, Lisa Monaco, had kept in constant contact with Mr. Hadi since then.

In September, President Obama hailed Yemen as a success story in its counterterrorism approach, saying the country’s aggressive pursuit of terrorists would prevent the spread of Islamic State.

Look at the stupidity of Samantha Power:

Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said Sunday that all parties in Yemen should agree to U.N.-backed negotiations and “refrain from any further unilateral and offensive military actions.”

“We are supporting all the right [United Nations] resolutions, but most of the people in Yemen could care a flying fig for a U.N. resolution,” said Barbara Bodine, who was U.S. Ambassador to Yemen at the time of the USS Cole attack.

The Obama administration simply cannot take evil seriously – they keep thinking that everyone in the world is like them, and it’s killing our foreign policy. Obama keeps making promises that him and his party of amateurs and academics cannot keep.

Neville Chamberlain Obama: peace in our time

Neville Chamberlain Obama: peace in our time

If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan. If you like your IRS e-mails, you can keep your IRS e-mails. If you like your Tea Party charitable status, you can keep your Tea Party charitable status. If you like your Ukraine, you can keep your Ukraine. If you like your traditional marriage, you can keep your traditional marriage. If you like your State Department transparency, you can keep your State Department transparency. If you like your European missile defense, you can keep your European missile defense. If you like your 12 carrier strike groups, you can keep your 12 carrier strike groups. If you like your full-time work week, you can keep your full-time work week. If you like your health care for veterans, you can keep your health care for veterans. If you like your $8 trillion dollar debt,  you can keep your $8 trillion dollar debt. If you like your coal plant, you can keep your coal plant. If you like your race relations, you can keep your race relations. If you like your freedom to not buy others abortion drugs, you can keep your freedom to not buy others abortion drugs. If you like your F-22 stealth fighter, you can keep your F-22 stealth fighter. If you like your Israel, you can keep your Israel.

We can fix the spending, we can fix the laws, we can fix the fraud, we can fix the corruption, we can repeal Obamacare… but the foreign policy blunders will be very, very hard to fix.

Filed under: News, , , , , , ,

Obama responds to Islamic State terrorism by saying Christians are just as bad

In the past I blogged about four myths about the Crusades, but for our purposes, the most important is that the Crusades at least started out as defensive reactions to the conquest of Western lands by Islam.

Anyway, here’s a reaction to Obama’s moral equivalence from Investors Business Daily.

First, what Obama did:

In remarks at a prayer meeting Thursday, President Obama implied Christianity, just like Islam, is filled with people who “hijack religion for their own murderous ends.” This is the progressive disease of moral equivalence at its worst.

In recent days and weeks, the world has watched grimly as the horrific barbarity of fundamentalist Islam has been put on full display.

With routine beheadings, crucifixions, tortures, mass killings of civilians, burying children alive, and, most recently, burning a prisoner alive and filming his death agony to the approving yells of onlookers, it’s clear something is horribly wrong within Islam.

And yet, apart from rather routine denunciations of the savagery, Obama used his appearance at a National Prayer Breakfast to upbraid Christians for their sins.

“Unless we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ,” Obama said. “In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”

They write:

The remarks aren’t merely insulting. They betray a deep ignorance of Western Judeo-Christian culture and its history.

No one claims Christians haven’t done terrible things, some in the name of religion. But this is a straw-man argument.

Obama, for instance, talks of the Crusades. But far from being about conquest, the Crusades were a counter-reaction to the Muslim jihad that swept Christian lands in the Mideast, North Africa, Spain and Balkans.

Nothing less than Western civilization was at stake. Not much has changed today.

According to Open Doors USA’s World Watch List for 2015, “Approximately 100 million Christians are persecuted worldwide, making them one of the most persecuted religious groups in the world.”

And who are the persecutors? “Islamic extremism is the main source of persecution in 40 of the 50 countries” that make up Open Doors USA’s watch list, the report says.

Meanwhile, how are Muslims in the West treated? With visas, welfare, legal protection, even special speech codes to protect their religious sensibilities, along with copious apologies by people such as Obama. Even terrorists at Gitmo are given Halal meals, prayer mats and Qurans.

Obama’s done this before. In a speech in Cairo in 2009, he also suggested the Christian West had much to answer for.

In point of fact, the West’s Judeo-Christian heritage has led to tolerance, justice, women’s rights and the abolition of slavery.

Neither slavery nor Jim Crow laws were “justified” by the U.S. Christian mainstream. Indeed, as history shows, Christians were the driving force behind the anti-slavery movement in the U.S. But slavery is still found in the Muslim Mideast and Africa.

Terrorist murderers won’t be appeased by Obama’s cringe-worthy remarks. They’ll be encouraged. As such, they aren’t merely wrong — they’re dangerous.

I’ve noticed this “reasoning” that Obama is employing before when discussing social issues with feminists. I produce facts showing that children are least likely to be abused when they grow up with their own parents in a married home. And they say that there exists some child who was abused by his married parents. As if the existence of one counterexample negates the probabilities or the relative frequencies in different situations. What Obama is really saying is this “because you defended yourself from Muslim conquerors 900 years ago, that justifies kidnapping underage girls into sex slavery after you murder their parents in front of them”. Should we have elected a President who is incapable of basic reasoning about history and about ethics? Well, we did.

Filed under: News, , , , , , ,

After synagogue attack, Obama urges both terrorists and Israelis to “be calm”

The Weekly Standard reports on Obama’s reaction to the latest terrorist attack against Jews in Israel:

After a Palestinian terror attack that killed [five] in Israel, President Barack Obama is calling for both sides to be calm. “Too many Israelis have died; too many Palestinians have died. At this difficult time I think it’s important for both Palestinians and Israelis to try to work together to lower tensions and reject violence,” said President Obama, according to the White House pool report.

The death toll is now 5, according to the Washington Post. How is it possible that the President would do the equivalent of urging a woman who has been raped and her rapist to not rape each other any more? Well, there are no more elections, so the faked support for our allies is really coming off. Hamas has not claimed responsibility, but Palestinians are celebrating the attack.

Obama wasn’t done, though. He had something brilliant to say about the recent beheading of an American by Islamic State.

Breitbart reports:

Returning from his trip to Asia, President Obama issued a statement reacting to the beheading of U.S. aid worker Peter Kassig by Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) terrorists.

Kassig, a convert to Islam, took the name Abdul-Rahman and was captured and held hostage by members of ISIS a year ago.

“ISIL’s actions represent no faith, least of all the Muslim faith which Abdul-Rahman adopted as his own,” Obama wrote.

The actions of “Islamic State” don’t represent the Islamic faith. David Wood begs to differ, and explains the 10 most essential verses for understanding ISIS / Islamic State.

Is Obama aware of these verses? Or are his comments just more “you can keep your doctor”, “you can keep your health plan” rhetoric?

Republicans react

Meanwhile, Indian-American governor Bobby Jindal had his own opinion of the terrorist attack on a synagogue.

He said:

Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, a possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate, will soon release this statement responding to the terror attack in Jerusalem.

“Our hearts and prayers are with the victims and their families after this evil attack on a place of worship,” the statement reads.

“An attack on a synagogue shows that there are no bounds for terrorists. These are people depraved of any humanity in their hearts, and they must not only be stopped, they must be exterminated.

“Unfortunately, Israel is no stranger to these types of attacks. That’s why we must always stand with our close friend and ally, condemn the act of terror and defend their right to defend themselves.

That’s quite different than what Obama said, isn’t it? And that’s the difference between the two parties right there.

 

 

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , ,

Can the Democrats be trusted to protect our national security?

A Washington Post editorial by three Republican senators highlights a persistent problem.

Excerpt:

Espionage is a dangerous business often seen only through a Hollywood lens. Yet the real-world operations, and lives, that inspire such thrillers are highly perishable. They depend on hundreds of hours of painstaking work and the ability to get foreigners to trust our government.

Sitting in a prison cell in Pakistan is one of those foreigners who trusted us. Shakil Afridi served as a key informant to the United States in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. This brave physician put his life on the line to assist U.S. efforts to track down the most-wanted terrorist in the world, yet our government left him vulnerable to the Pakistani tribal justice system, which sentenced him to 33 years for treason. The imprisonment and possible torture of this courageous man — for aiding the United States in one of the most important intelligence operations of our time — coincides with a deeply damaging leak in another case.

The world learned a few weeks ago that U.S. intelligence agencies and partners had disrupted an al-Qaeda plot to blow up a civilian aircraft using an explosive device designed by an affiliate in Yemen. This disclosure revealed sources and methods that could make future successes more difficult to achieve. The public release of information surrounding such operations also risks the lives of informants and makes it more difficult to maintain productive partnerships with other intelligence agencies. These incidents paint a disappointing picture of this administration’s judgment when it comes to national security.

[…]The problem stems in part from the media’s insatiable desire for real-world information that makes intelligence operations look like those of filmmakers’ imaginations. That is understandable, but this hunger is fed by inexcusable contributions from current and former U.S. officials.

For example, why did the Obama administration hold a conference call May 7 with a collection of former government officials, some of whom work as TV contributors and analysts, to discuss the foiled bomb threat? In doing so, the White House failed to safeguard sensitive intelligence information that gave us an advantage over an adversary. Broadcasting highly classified information notifies every enemy of our tactics and every current and future partner of our inability to provide them the secrecy that often is the difference between life and death.

[…]When they leave Capitol Hill, former members of Congress and their staff are, by law, prohibited from petitioning their former congressional colleagues for up to two years. Yet nothing restricts former security officials from using their government contacts and experience to provide live commentary on breaking news stories.

Furthermore, nothing limits current officials from using their media contacts to control a story — or to even promote a big-budget movie. We were shocked to learn that the White House has also leaked classified details of the bin Laden raid to Hollywood filmmakers, including the confidential identities of elite U.S. military personnel.

The authors:

Dan Coats, Richard Burr and Marco Rubio, all Republicans, represent Indiana, North Carolina and Florida, respectively, in the U.S. Senate and are members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Here’s my take: Democrats want to equalize influence between our country and countries like Iran, China and North Korea. One way they can do this is by undermining our ability to defend our interests abroad. It’s all part of the leftist dream of making everyone “equal” so that there are no disagreements. In a very real sense, leftists are responsible for enabling the human rights abuses and purges that go on in countries like Iran, China and North Korea. They don’t really think that things like shooting pro-Democracy protestors (Iran), coerced abortion (China) and executing Christians for distributing Bibles (North Korea), etc. should be opposed with American influence.

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