Countering Islamic State will be hard in Iraq and harder in Syria, officials say

ISIS brutalityThe Washington Post (Sep 11) — President Obama’s strategy to beat back Islamic State militants spread across Iraq and Syria will depend on far more than U.S. bombs and missiles hitting their intended targets.

In Iraq, dissolved elements of the army will have to regroup and fight with conviction. Political leaders will have to reach compromises on the allocation of power and money in ways that have eluded them for years. Disenfranchised Sunni tribesmen will have to muster the will to join the government’s battle. European and Arab allies will have to hang together, Washington will have to tolerate the resurgence of Iranian-backed Shiite militias it once fought, and U.S. commanders will have to orchestrate an air war without ground-level guidance from American combat forces.

“Harder than anything we’ve tried to do thus far in Iraq or Afghanistan” is how one U.S. general involved in war planning described the challenges ahead on one side of the border that splits the so-called Islamic State.

But defeating the group in neighboring Syria will be even more difficult, according to U.S. military and diplomatic officials. The strategy imagines weakening the Islamic State without indirectly strengthening the ruthless government led by Bashar al-Assad or a rival network of al-Qaeda affiliated rebels — while simultaneously trying to build up a moderate Syrian opposition.

All that “makes Iraq seem easy,” the general said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to share views on policy. “This is the most complex problem we’ve faced since 9/11. We don’t have a precedent for this.”

Click here for full article.

DIA Chief: Al Qaeda Ideology Rapidly Expanding

More violent terror groups replace core al Qaeda

Pro-ISIL demonstrators in Iraq / AP

Pro-ISIL demonstrators in Iraq / AP

Washington Free Beacon (July 31) — The terrorist ideology behind al Qaeda is expanding significantly—contrary to President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign theme that declared the Islamist terror threat in decline, according to the outgoing director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

“It’s not on the run, and that ideology is actually, it’s sadly, it feels like it’s exponentially growing,” DIA Director Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn said during a security conference Saturday.

Flynn was asked about the controversy over Obama’s statements during his 2012 reelection bid that al Qaeda had been “decimated” by the U.S. war on terrorism, and that the group was “on the run” as a result.

Flynn challenged use of the term “core al Qaeda” to identify the group once led by Osama bin Laden and now headed by his deputy, Ayman al Zawahiri.

“My belief—so this is Mike Flynn—core al Qaeda is the ideology,” he said. “Al Qaeda command and control is where the senior leadership resides. So al Qaeda command and control resides today, Zawahiri, over in the [Federally Administered Tribal Areas], Pakistan.”

Flynn said al Qaeda’s leadership is being challenged by the offshoot Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIS, whose leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, who was once in U.S. custody, is declaring himself “caliph,” or leader of all Muslims.

Other Islamist terror leaders also are gaining influence.

“We use the term ‘core al Qaeda,’ and I have been going against these guys for a long time,” Flynn said. “The core is the core belief that these individuals have.”

A large number of young people in Africa and the Middle East are being sucked into Islamist terror groups.

“These organizations that are out there that are well-organized, they are well-funded, they reach into these young people and they pull them in,” Flynn said. “And there seems to be more and more of them today than there were when I first started this thing in, post 9/11.”

The comments by the DIA chief, an Iraq war veteran who announced in April he will retire in the fall, highlight what critics say is the failure of the Obama administration to target the Islamist ideology. Instead, counterterrorism during the Obama administration has focused on “kinetic” operations, such as drone strikes and special operations raids aimed at killing terrorist leaders.

Many al Qaeda leaders were killed. But the newer generation of leaders, such as ISIL’s Abu Bakr al Baghdadi and leaders of groups like Yemen’s Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, appear more committed to imposing Sharia law and annihilating non-Muslims.

Click here for full article.

U.S. Muslims Most Approving of Obama, Mormons Least

Is anyone surprised?

Barak Obama-United States-PoliticsGallup (July 12) — Seventy-two percent of U.S. Muslims approved of the job President Barack Obama was doing as president during the first six months of 2014, higher than any other U.S. religious group Gallup tracks. Mormons were least approving, at 18%. In general, majorities of those in non-Christian religions — including those who do not affiliate with any religion — approved of Obama, while less than a majority of those in the three major Christian religious groups did.

The results are based on aggregated data from more than 88,000 Gallup Daily tracking interviews conducted in the first six months of 2014 — a time when the president averaged 43% job approval among all Americans. Gallup interviewed 552 Muslims and at least 1,700 respondents in every other religious group during this time.

The United States remains a predominantly Christian nation, with roughly half of Americans identifying with a Protestant religion and another quarter identifying as Catholics. Thus, the opinions of these Christian groups are by far the most influential in determining Obama’s overall ratings.

The relative rank order of the religious groups on job approval has been consistent throughout Obama’s presidency. In fact, the current rank order, with Muslims most approving and Mormons least, exactly matches the order seen over the more than five years he has been in office since January 2009.

Moreover, current job approval among each religious subgroup is between five and seven percentage points lower than the full 2009-2014 average for each. Obama’s current 43% overall job approval average is five points lower than his 48% average so far in his presidency.

Click here for full report.

ISIS jihadists mock Obama in video: ‘Did you prepare enough diapers for your soldiers or not?’

YouTube Preview Image

NY Daily News (July 2) — A jovial jihadist, sitting inside an American-made truck, delivered a mocking video message to President Obama. “I want to send a question to Obama: Did you prepare enough diapers for your soldiers or not?” the bearded taunter asks at the end of a 15-minute propaganda film from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The grinning man delivers the one-liner in perfect English before breaking into laughter. The video is entitled “The End of Sykes-Picot” — referring to the 1916 land deal between France and Britain that established the borders of Iraq and Syria.

The video’s host, widely identified as Chilean Muslim Abu Safiyya, declares those borders no longer exist. “We are not here to fight for earth or dirt or imaginary borders … our jihad is more loftier and higher,” he announces. The long-haired, bearded man — an assault rifle strapped across his back — leads a tour of abandoned Iraqi border patrol locales, a police station and an impromptu holding cell for Shia prisoners. “They are nothing but cowards,” he declares of the Iraq armed forces. “They only run away, Iraqi army. The soldiers … threw their uniforms in the streets and they run away like civilians. Cowards.” He offered a similarly pointed insult for the prisoners taken as ISIS forces moved to topple Iraq’s current government. “Look at these idiots,” he sneers.

After displaying U.S. vehicles seized in the ongoing violence, Safiyya — with some delight — recounts the cost of American involvement in Iraq. “Look at how much money America spends to fight Islam and it ends up just being in our pockets,” he says. “They spent millions. Up to now, America spent … 20 billion of dollars. “Now they are bankrupt. They cannot enter back into Iraq. They lost in Iraq, they lost in Afghanistan. They will lose in Syria also when they come, inshallah.” (NY Daily News)

Hamas’ Genocidal Technocrats

Military Ceremony in GazaIn FrontPage Robert Spencer discusses how Hillary Clinton has once again revealed the willful ignorance of the Washington establishment.

June 18 — Hillary Clinton said Monday that she was in favor of Barack Obama’s support for the new Palestinian Authority unity government, even though it included the jihad terror group Hamas, because “the makeup of this joint enterprise are largely technocrats. They’re academics and they’re business people. They don’t represent sort of, what you might call hard-core Hamas leadership.”

Would Hillary Clinton then have us believe that the Hamas officials who are part of the unity government do not represent Hamas leadership, or Hamas itself? That would be like saying that Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi don’t represent the leadership of the Democratic Party, or that Obama, Reid and Pelosi cannot be held responsible for the actions and positions of the Party.

This is plainly ridiculous – and in this case, even worse than ridiculous, because Hamas leaders have quite recently reaffirmed their commitment to the total destruction of Israel. Anyone who thinks that is not the position of the Hamas officials in the Palestinian Authority government is suffering from a case of willful blindness that is spectacularly severe even in this blinkered age.

At the time of the reconciliation between the two Palestinian groups, the Washington Post reported that Hamas would recognize Israel. Hamas spokesman Taher Nunu was livid: “What I was quoted as telling the American paper is wrong, and I unequivocally deny it. The issue of Hamas recognizing Israel is a complete nonstarter… aimed primarily at weakening the movement’s positions on Israel.” Nunu threatened legal action against the Post for its “false report.”

A week after reconciling with Fatah, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal stated: “Our path is resistance and the rifle and our choice is jihad. There is no past or future without jihad and resistance. Jihad is our path.”

What that meant was vividly illustrated in early May, when Palestinian Media Watch reported that “the terrorist who murdered 15 in the Sbarro pizza shop suicide bombing in 2001 was given a military funeral by the PA after his body was transferred to the PA last week. On Aug. 9, 2001 suicide bomber Izz Al-Din Al-Masri detonated himself in a Sbarro pizza shop in Jerusalem, killing 15, 7 of them children. 5 members of one family were killed in the attack.”

Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV News exulted: “Izz Al-Din Al-Masri ascended to Paradise in a Martyrdom-seeking operation (suicide terror attack) he carried out in the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem, where he gave the Zionists a taste of humiliation after killing 19 Zionists and wounding dozens.” And at the funeral, a Palestinian Authority official declared: “The popular gathering around the blood of Izz Al-Din Al-Masri is an honest and true expression of our people’s yearning for national unity (between Fatah and Hamas) and unity of action.”

That same week, according to the Elder of Ziyon blog, Hamas’ Al Qassam Brigades “released a video for Israel’s Independence Day, called ‘The End of the Hope,’” in which “Jews are forced onto ships to Germany by masked Hamas terrorists. Worshippers are chased out of the Kotel plaza which is destroyed and replaced with the ‘Mughrabi Quarter.’ Armed masked terrorists are seen on the roof of the Dome of the Rock to ensure that Jews can never visit there as they sing that there is no Temple in Jerusalem.”

That same week, the weekly Hamas children’s show Tomorrow’s Pioneers featured a young girl saying, that she wanted to become a police officer when she grew up, “So that I can shoot Jews.” The show’s child host then asked: “All the Jews? All of them?” When the girl responded in the affirmative, the host said, “Good.”

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said last Saturday: “Hamas’s strategy has not changed and will not change.” The goal of that “strategy” was the total destruction of Israel: “Wherever [Hamas] presides, we will remain preachers and teachers and build the Palestinian nation to liberate all the land of Palestine. We emphasize now that we will not retreat from out plan to liberate our lands and ensure the right of return and the release of [terrorist] prisoners.”

But don’t worry: they’re technocrats!

Click here for original source.

Welcome to the Jihadi Spring

The Arab Spring is over, and tweeting slogans won’t change the chaos that has followed it.

pic_giant_061314_ABy Jonah Goldberg for National Review (June 16) — The Arab Spring is over. Welcome to the Jihadi Spring.

Across a huge swath of what, up until recently, had been known as Iraq and Syria, a transnational movement of Sunni Islamic extremists has taken control. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has conquered — without much effort – Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, along with most of the province of Nineveh. It also took Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s hometown. Along the way it has ransacked banks (to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars), pillaged weapon stockpiles (including the stuff we left behind for the Iraqi army) and recruited ever more fighters from Iraq, Syria. and abroad. Late Thursday, the Iranians finally sent troops to support the teetering government and managed to reclaim most of Tikrit. So either the regional war just got bigger, or Iraq is poised to become even more of an Iranian vassal.

ISIS started out as an al-Qaeda franchise, but in 2011 it broke off to become an independent dealer of Islamist mayhem. If anything, it is more extreme than al-Qaeda — though that fine distinction probably means little to the Shiites and Christians it slaughters.

Sunday in Pakistan, Taliban militants attacked the airport in Karachi, the country’s busiest and most important travel hub. They followed up with an attack on an airport security-training facility, showing that there was no area of Pakistan it could not threaten. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif came into office seeking an accord with the Taliban. But the Taliban won’t abandon its key objective: a total Islamist state. After the attacks, most observers think Sharif will have little choice but to unleash the army on the insurgents.

Late last month, President Obama announced at West Point that we are definitely leaving Afghanistan, period. That period took the form of a prisoner swap in which we essentially gave back five top Taliban commanders. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda linked and inspired groups are on the rise in Nigeria, Yemen, the Philippines, Libya and elsewhere.

The good news is that the administration has a policy to deal with the Jihadi Spring. The bad news is that it looks to be the same policy it had for the Arab Spring: nothing.

Nothing, that is, beyond casting lots of words and Twitter hashtags into the air like so many magic beans that will sprout into peace and security wherever they find purchase.

Click here for full article.

This Is The One Number That Should Terrify Democrats This Year

barack-obama-453Business Insider (June 11) — Voter enthusiasm ahead of November’s elections is firmly on the side of the Republican Party, a familiar trouble sign for Democrats ahead of midterm elections.

According to a new Public Religion Research Institute survey, 78% of self-identified Republican voters said they will definitely vote in November. This figure includes a whopping 86% of respondents who identified with the Tea Party. Meanwhile, only 57% of Democrats are definitely casting a ballot in the midterm elections.

This enthusiasm gap helps Republicans gain an advantage over their Democratic counterparts with five months remaining before the midterms. By a 45-37 margin, all registered voters prefer a generic Democratic candidate over a generic Republican. However, among voters who say they are “absolutely certain” to vote, Republicans have a 44-41 edge.

For Democrats, the warning signs continue to pile up, as they look to hold onto control of the U.S. Senate. Polls have continually shown Democratic vulnerability because of the unpopularity of President Barack Obama and the Affordable Care Act, as well as generic dissatisfaction with the state of the economy.

Click here for full article.

As Obama Draws Down, Al Qaeda Grows in Afghanistan

1401356761739.cachedThe Daily Beast (June 8) — American forces are headed for the exit in Afghanistan. But new U.S. intelligence assessments say that the terrorist threat there is on the rise.

As President Obama outlines what he promises to be the end of the war in Afghanistan, new U.S. intelligence assessments are warning that al Qaeda is beginning to re-establish itself there.

Specifically, the concern for now is that al Qaeda has created a haven in the northeast regions of Kunar and Nuristan and is able to freely operate along Afghanistan’s only major highway—Route One, which connects the airports of Kandahar and Kabul.

“There is no doubt they have a significant presence in northeast Afghanistan,” Mac Thornberry, the Republican vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, told The Daily Beast. “It’s a lot of speculation about exact numbers, but again part of the question is what are their numbers going to be and what are there activities going to be when the pressure lets up.”

If Thornberry’s warnings prove correct, then Obama is faced with two bad choices. He either breaks his promise to end America’s longest war or he ends up losing that war by withdrawing U.S. forces from Afghanistan too soon, allowing al Qaeda to re-establish a base of operations in the country from which it launched 9/11.

For years, the official intelligence community estimate was that a little more than 100 al Qaeda fighters remained in Kunar Province, a foreboding territory of imposing mountains and a local population in the mountains at least that largely agrees with al Qaeda’s ascetic Salafist philosophy.

But recent estimates from the military and the U.S. intelligence community have determined that al Qaeda’s presence has expanded to nearby Nuristan and that the group coordinates its operations and activities with allies like the Pakistan-based Taliban and Haqqani Network.

On Tuesday, in response to President Obama’s announcement that he would be leaving 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan past his original end of 2014 deadline for withdrawal, Rep. Mike Rogers, the Republican chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, also warned about northeast Afghanistan.

“Even now, an al Qaeda safe haven is emerging in northeastern Afghanistan,” Rogers said. “And I question whether the enemy will take further advantage of the announced timeline to renew its efforts to launch new operations, as we see them attempting in Iraq and Syria today.”

Click here for full article.

Even Reporters Laugh at State Dept. Spokesperson

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki was openly mocked by the assembled press corps Thursday after saying President Obama “doesn’t give himself enough credit for what he’s done around the world.” Associated Press reporter Matt Lee asked sarcastically whether he deserved 200 percent credit, while another one wondered for what “accomplishments” Psaki meant he deserves more praise. “For engagement initiatives like Iran, what we’ve done on Ukraine, efforts to dive in and engage around the world,” she said. “I mean, Russia has still annexed Crimea,” another reporter asked. “I mean, Iran — there’s ongoing negotiations, but is that the success here that you’re talking?” 

“We’re talking about engagement in the world and taking on tough issues that present themselves,” Psaki said. “And the United States continues to play a prominent role doing that.”

YouTube Preview Image

Here Are the Anti-Obama, Anti-Kerry Jokes Jay Leno Delivered in Israel

Jay Leno humble as always, praising Israel:

YouTube Preview Image

The Blaze (May 23) — Comedian Jay Leno joked about the Obama administration’s Middle East policy Thursday night while hosting an awards ceremony in Israel honoring former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the audience.

According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Leno drew his “biggest laughs and applause” when he said, “President Obama has declared the month of May Jewish American Heritage Month. He is calling it an opportunity to renew our ‘unbreakable bond with the nation of Israel.’ And he knows it’s unbreakable because he’s been trying to break it for the last five years.”

Shortly after, he turned his sights on Secretary of State John Kerry, saying, “I’ve been doing my research. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, here in Israel the most popular boys name is Noam. The least popular boys name? John Kerry.”

Relations between Netanyahu’s government and Obama administration have been strained over failed peace talks with the Palestinians, exacerbated by suggestions by Kerry that Israel could become an “apartheid” state.

Leno said this was his first trip to Israel, though he has always felt a strong affinity for the Jewish state, telling the Associated Press earlier this month, “It’s a great honor. It’s a great country. It’s a great people.”

He said that while he sees both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he considers himself to be “very pro-Jewish, very pro-Israeli.”

“At some point in your life, you have to sort of take sides. I tend to side with the Jewish point of view on many things, especially issues like this one. I realize how important Israel is,” Leno, who is of Italian heritage, told the AP.

“It is a democracy in the Middle East and I don’t like to see the little guy getting picked on by the big guy,” Leno told the AP in Jerusalem.

“It’s the only democracy in the Middle East. I look around the Middle East and I see people being stoned to death because they’re gay and women being not allowed to drive or not allowed to vote. And here’s this one little paradise in the Middle East where freedom reigns and there’s a democracy, you vote people in you vote people out,” he told an interviewer for Israel’s Ynet before the awards ceremony (the full interview can be viewed at this link.)

Jay Leno earlier this month joined protesters outside the Beverly Hills Hotel that is owned by the oil-rich Southeast Asian nation of Brunei which recently instituted a criminal code based on Islamic sharia law which includes death by stoning for homosexuals.

Leno told the protesters, “Evil flourishes when good people do nothing, and that is pretty much what this is. This is not complicated. These are not crazy left-wing wacko people.”

At his Thursday performance, Leno also joked about local Israeli political scandals.

Leno said he tried to get tickets for a friend. “When I first tried to get him tickets, they were sold out. But luckily, two tickets became available when former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he wouldn’t be using his. You guys are tough. You sentenced your former Prime Minister to six years in prison! Did you hear Olmert’s defense? Not the best strategy. He blamed the whole thing on the Jews.”

Olmert received a sentence of six years imprisonment in early May after being convicted of bribery.

Leno went through a list of past Israeli prime ministers, saying “Israel had some great leaders, David Ben Gurion, Golda Meir, Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Rabin. People were really touched by them. Well, of course, not as many people as were touched by former President Katsav.”

Former President Moshe Katzav is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence for rape, sexual harassment and other charges.

“I was stunned by how many Israeli politicians are going to prison. When you ask an Israeli politician what his cell number is, it has a whole other meaning,” Leno said.

Leno was hosting the first ever granting of the $1 million Genesis Prize in Jerusalem which was given to Bloomberg for his public service and philanthropy.

Bloomberg said he would use the prize money to set up a new fellowship via the Genesis Philanthropy Group, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Click here for original source.

Charles Krauthammer Says Americans Now Have the ‘Smoking Document’ in Benghazi Scandal


TheBlaze (Apr 29) — Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer on Tuesday said the American people have the “smoking document” that proves the Obama administration took part in a cover up in the aftermath of the deadly Benghazi terrorist attacks.

Judicial Watch has released newly declassified emails that suggest top-ranking Obama administration officials coordinated in 2012 to make it appear that the deadly attacks on the U.S. facilities in Libya were sparked by an “Internet video” and not “a broader failure or policy.”

“It is in conflict with what we’ve been told, with what Jay Carney has been saying,” Krauthammer said of the revelations. “And that is, their story has always been this stuff call came from the CIA, from intelligence so it was completely clean.”

Krauthammer noted that former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell testified that he had never brought up the video as a possible motivator for the Benghazi attacks.

“We now have the smoking document, which is the White House saying: ‘We’re pushing the video because we don’t want to blame it on the failure of our policies,’” he added. “This undermines the whole narrative, therefore they have to invent the video. So I think this is extremely important.”

Krauthammer predicted the mainstream media will once again fail to properly look into the latest developments in the Benghazi saga, which will make things very difficult to progress.

‘Smoking gun’ Benghazi email prompts renewed push for select committee

tumblr_mbps4iNTrS1qij8k6Fox News (April 30) — A Republican lawmaker is renewing his push for a select committee to investigate the Benghazi terror attack following the release of emails tying a White House aide to former U.N. ambassador Susan Rice’s controversial Sunday show statements about the attack.

Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, calling for a select committee to be established to conduct an investigation, interview Obama administration officials and hold public hearings on the probe.

“It is now abundantly clear that senior White House staff were directly involved in coordinating the messaging in response to the Benghazi attacks and were actively working to tie the reason to the infamous Internet video,” Wolf wrote Wednesday.

New emails indicate a White House adviser helped prep Rice for her Sunday show appearances and pushed the explanation linking the attack to an anti-Islamic film — and now, the White House is facing credibility questions after having downplayed their role in Rice’s “talking points.”

Wolf argues in the letter that the new evidence underscores the need for a select committee with subpoena power and the authority to read classified documents. Boehner has previously stated he opposes the creation of a select committee.

“While we cannot control how this administration pursues, or fails to pursue, those terrorists responsible for the deaths of four Americans, we can ensure that the American people learn the truth about what happened and which officials should be held accountable,” Wolf wrote.

In January, three family members of victims of the Sept. 11, 2012 attack wrote to Boehner demanding that a select committee be established to probe the attack. So far, Boehner has only authorized House committees to investigate the matter.

During a heated briefing with reporters Wednesday afternoon, Press Secretary Jay Carney repeatedly tried to claim that the so-called “prep call” with Rice — as it was described in one email — was not about Benghazi. The prep session, he said, was just about the demonstrations elsewhere in the Muslim world that week.

“It is not about Benghazi — it is about the protests around the Muslim world,” Carney claimed.

The White House has said all along that Rice relied on the best available intelligence, from the intelligence community, when she discussed the Benghazi attack.

But the documents obtained and released by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, included a Sept. 14, 2012, email from White House aide Ben Rhodes, an assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for strategic communications.

The Rhodes email, with the subject line: “RE: PREP Call with Susan: Saturday at 4:00 pm ET,” was sent to a dozen members of the administration’s inner circle, including key members of the White House communications team such as Carney.

In the email, Rhodes specifically draws attention to the anti-Islam Internet video, without distinguishing whether the Benghazi attack was different from protests elsewhere.

The email lists the following two goals, among others:

“To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.”

“To reinforce the President and Administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges.”

Republican critics, who have long claimed the administration’s narrative was politically motivated, pointed to that email as a “smoking gun.”

Click here for full article.

Krauthammer’s Take: Obama Doesn’t Even Understand That Putin’s Winning

YouTube Preview Image

Charles Krauthammer said President Obama’s approach to foreign policy shows that his view of human nature is lacking.

“He has trouble understanding that other countries have national interests,” he said. “And they do want to dominate other countries. He said that’s not how people act in this century. It is how people act in this century, and every century back to the Stone Age.”

Last weekend Obama said Putin is not acting in Russia’s interests. “Does he not understand that he’s actually instructing the Russians on what’s in their national interest?” Krauthammer asked.

He went on to point out that in capturing Crimea, Russia will dominate the region for “a couple of hundred years, never [have to] ask the Ukrainians for another lease agreement” for their navy on the Black Sea.

Krauthammer said Putin is winning “on a geopolitical level that Obama does not even seem to understand.”

MRC Study: Network TV Buries ObamaCare’s Bad News – Less than 1% of evening air time!

The U.S. mainstream media reaches new heights of pro-Obama bias. At this point it should be considered criminal the lengths they go through to protect their guy.

ObamaCareCoverageNewsBusters (March 25) — Unquestionably, ObamaCare is the central political issue of 2014. As the midterm election campaign moves forward, liberal politicians will have to justify their support for a program that has cost millions of individuals their insurance; will raise premiums for most small businesses; imposes hundreds of billions of dollars in new taxes; and will cost, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the equivalent of two million jobs over the next three years.

But so far this year, the three network evening newscasts have minimized, spun or ignored every negative development about ObamaCare, while at the same time touting staged pro-ObamaCare publicity stunts, such as the President’s appearance on a Web-based comedy show in March.

A new study from the Media Research Center finds that long before the saga of the missing Malaysian jet commandeered the airwaves, ABC, CBS and NBC had apparently decided that ObamaCare was not a worthy topic for their evening newscasts. MRC analysts reviewed each newscast (including weekends) from January 1 through March 24, 2014.

  • During this time, the NBC Nightly News aired just a single full report on ObamaCare — a largely celebratory piece on January 1 about the start of what fill-in anchor Lester Holt called “a new era in health care in this country.” Including that piece, Nightly News has only offered five minutes and five seconds of coverage of the health care law so far this year. For context, the total time of all news stories on the NBC Nightly News during the same period (excluding teasers and promos) is more than 24 hours, meaning NBC has spent barely one-third of one percent of its available evening news airtime talking about the health care law.
  • The other broadcast evening networks have hardly been more thorough. ABC’s World News has devoted just 6 minutes, 58 seconds to ObamaCare so far this year, while the CBS Evening Newsgave viewers 19 minutes, 21 seconds of coverage. Combined, that adds up to 31 minutes, 20 seconds, or approximately 0.72% of the total time devoted to news on the three evening broadcasts.

Bad news, such as lackluster enrollment statistics or new delays in key elements of the law, were usually given just a few seconds of coverage, according to the MRC study. Not one of the evening newscasts bothered to cover polls — even their own — showing the law’s continued unpopularity. And only one report (on CBS) profiled someone victimized by ObamaCare’s new rules, something ABC and NBC viewers have yet to hear about in 2014.

Click here for full article.

Analysis: Putin’s disdain for the West

ED-AR982A_WL032_D_20140319185712The Wall Street Journal (March 20) — …Sometime in the first Obama term, opinion polls began to report that the American people were experiencing what media shorthand came to call “fatigue” with the affairs of the world. The U.S. should “mind its own business.” The America-is-fatigued polling fit with Mr. Obama’s stated goal to lead from behind. A close observer of American politics also could notice that Republican politicians, the presumptive heirs of Reagan, began to recalibrate their worldview inward to accommodate the “fatigue” in the opinion polls.

We are of course discussing Vladimir Putin’s path to the forced annexation of Crimea. And possibly in time a move on the independence of Ukraine, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Kazakhstan or Moldova. This narrative has one more point of Putin demarcation: Syria.

Last September, every foreign chancery in the world concluded that the United States would bomb Bashar Assad’s airfields with Tomahawk missiles in reprisal for killing nearly 1,500 Syrians with chemical weapons, including sarin gas. Vladimir Putin placed a bet. He suggested to the American president that in lieu of the U.S. bombing Assad’s airfields, their two nations, in concert, could remove all of Syria’s chemical weapons. Mr. Obama accepted and stood down from bombing Assad. Six months later Vladimir Putin invaded and annexed Crimea.

This moment is not about Barack Obama. By now we know about him. This is about Vladimir Putin and the self-delusions of Western nations and their famous “fatigue.” Vladimir Putin is teaching the West and especially the United States that fatigue is not an option.

Sometimes world affairs go off the grid. Diplomats may give reasons why it is not in the interests of Mr. Putin or Russia to take this course. Vice President Biden told the Poles in Warsaw Monday that Mr. Putin’s seizure of Crimea was “flawed logic.” It is difficult for men embedded in a world of rational affairs to come to grips with Mr. Putin’s point of view: He doesn’t care what they think.

The solitary but thrilling world of Vladimir Putin’s mind is the one inhabited by the Assads, Saddams, bin Ladens, Kims, Gadhafis and Khomeinis of the world, and when it really runs out of control, or is allowed to, by a Stalin, Hitler, or Mao. Whether one man’s grandiosity will burst across borders is not about normal logic. It is about personal power and forcing the obeisance of other nations.

Vladimir Putin re-proves that sometimes a bad person gains control of the instruments of national power. Their populations do nothing or can’t, because they are disarmed by thugs with overwhelming firepower. Or, as on Russian TV now, they are marinated in anti-U.S. propaganda. Today even second-rate megalomaniacs gain access to high-tech weaponry, including missiles and nuclear bombs.

Running alongside these old realities is a new phenomenon, surely noticed by Mr. Putin: The nations of the civilized world have decided their most pressing concern is income inequality. Barack Obama says so, as does the International Monetary Fund. Western Europe amid the Ukraine crisis is a case study of nations redistributing themselves and perhaps NATO into impotence.

Because no modern Democrat can be credible on this, some Republican presidential candidate will have to explain the high price of America’s fatigue. Fatigue will allow global disorder to displace 60 years of democratic order. If the U.S. doesn’t lead, the strongmen win because for them it’s easier. They don’t lead people; they coerce them. Ask the millions free for now in the old countries of the Iron Curtain.

Click here for full article.

Putin returns the favour: Russia hits US officials with sanction as Obama expands penalties

obama-to-make-statement-on-ukraineFox News (March 20) — The Russian government slapped sanctions on top U.S. officials on Thursday, moments after President Obama imposed penalties on 20 Russians inside and outside the government — as diplomatic efforts over Ukraine unraveled into a long-distance tit for tat.

The newest sanctions would bar nine American officials from entering Russia. The list includes House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.; and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

Just as Vladimir Putin’s government shrugged off U.S. sanctions earlier in the week, so did the Americans targeted by Moscow.

“The Speaker is proud to be included on a list of those willing to stand against Putin’s aggression,” Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said in a statement.

McCain tweeted that he’s “proud to be sanctioned by Putin.”

As each side imposes sanctions, left unclear is whether any of them will have an effect on the standoff over Russia’s widely challenged annexation of Crimea.

Obama, warning of more costs to come for the Kremlin if the situation worsens, said he also signed an executive order that would allow the U.S. to penalize key sectors of the Russian economy. Officials said Obama could act on that authority if Russian forces press into other areas of Ukraine, an escalation of the crisis in Crimea.

The president, speaking on the South Lawn of the White House, voiced concern that Russian military positioning could point to “further incursions” into southern and eastern Ukraine.

The president cautioned that the threatened economic measures if implemented could hurt the global economy, as well as the Russian economy, but “Russia must know that further escalation will only isolate it further from the international community.”

For the time being, Obama said the U.S. will levy sanctions on more “senior officials of the Russian government,” as well as “a number of individuals” supporting Russian leadership — and a bank, Bank Rossiya, that is likewise providing “material support.” The list includes Putin’s chief of staff and his banker.

Click here for full article.

Russian Deputy PM Laughs at Obama’s Sanctions

Krauthammer’s Take: Obama Is Being ‘Ridiculed by Russians’

YouTube Preview Image

President Obama has thus far responded tepidly to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, targeting only several individuals in Russia for sanctions and providing Ukraine with rations as opposed to the arms it requested. Because of Obama’s rhetoric and policy, Charles Krauthammer said the president is being “ridiculed by Russians.”

“If he thinks that sanctioning seven Russians out of a population of, what, 150 million is a sanction, he’s living in a different world,” Krauthammer said. Instead we should be sending Ukraine weapons, something the administration denied because it thinks “somehow to arm the victim of aggression is a provocation,” Krauthammer explained.

The idea that such small, targeted sanctions will work is “preposterous,” Krauthammer said. “This really is a humiliating response by a president who can’t even get the Europeans to join him in effective sanctions.”

Krauthammer appears to be right as ABC News reported yesterday that “Russian Deputy PM Laughs at Obama’s Sanctions.”

ABC News (March 17) — It remains to be seen whether the sanctions will dissuade Russia from annexing Crimea, but one an early clue that they will not be effective came just hours later when President Putin signed a decree recognizing Crimea as an independent state, perhaps an early step towards annexation.

U.S. official have warned of additional sanctions for Russian action, hoping it will deter Russia from any further aggression towards Ukraine, but it didn’t appear to upset the often outspoke Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin.

Rogozin, a friend of actor Steven Seagal,  took to Twitter to tweak Obama, tweeting  he thinks “some prankster” came up with the sanctions list

In a later tweet addressed to “Comrade @BarackObama,” he asked, “what should do those who have neither accounts nor property abroad? Or U didn’t think about it?”

Another Russian on the sanctions list, Vladislav Surkov, also seemed unconcerned.

Surkov,  a top Putin ideologue often called the Kremlin’s grey cardinal, reportedly told a Russian newspaper, “It’s a big honor for me. I don’t have accounts abroad. The only things that interest me in the U.S. are Tupac Shakur, Allen Ginsberg, and Jackson Pollock. I don’t need a visa to access their work. I lose nothing.”

Click here for full article.