Donald Trump has said that South Korea, Germany, and Japan should pay for the US troops stationed on their soil.
Bad enough that Americans pay for the defense of allies.
But America also gives money to its enemies; most notably to Pakistan, which, though classed as an ally, is in fact an enemy.
As far back as 2011, Americans were informed that Pakistan was helping the Taliban, the Islamic terrorist organization in Afghanistan with which they had been at war since October 2001.
Pakistan’s security service provides weapons and training to Taliban insurgents fighting U.S. and British troops in Afghanistan, despite official denials, Taliban commanders say, in allegations that could worsen tensions between Pakistan and the United States.
A number of middle-ranking Taliban commanders revealed the extent of Pakistani support in interviews for a BBC Two documentary series, Secret Pakistan …
A former head of Afghan intelligence also told the program that Afghanistan gave Pakistan’s former president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, information in 2006 that Osama bin Laden was hiding in northern Pakistan close to where the former al Qaeda leader was eventually killed by U.S. special forces in May.
Admiral Mike Mullen, then the top U.S. military officer, accused Pakistani intelligence last month of backing violence against U.S. targets including the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. He said the Haqqani network, an Afghan militant group blamed for the September 13 embassy attack, was a “veritable arm” of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI).
Pakistan denies the U.S. allegations.
One Taliban commander, Mullah Qaseem, told the BBC the important things for a fighter were supplies and a hiding place.
“Pakistan plays a significant role. First they support us by providing a place to hide which is really important. Secondly they provide us with weapons,” he said …
Other Taliban commanders described how they and their fighters were, and are, trained in a network of camps on Pakistani soil.
According to a commander using the name Mullah Azizullah, the experts running the training are either members of the ISI or have close links to it.
“They are all the ISI’s men. They are the ones who run the training. First they train us about bombs; then they give us practical guidance,” he said.
Another Taliban fighter, known as Commander Najib, said al Qaeda trainers also operated in the camps, talent spotting possible suicide bombers.
“I was in the camp for a month … They were giving us practical training in whatever weapons we specialized in … Suicide bombers were taken to a different section and were kept apart from us. Those who were taught to be suicide bombers were there,” he said.
And, of course, Pakistan was hiding Osama bin Laden from American revenge for 9/11 – though of course the Pakistani government denied it.
A former head of Afghan intelligence told the BBC Afghan officials gave Musharraf information in 2006 suggesting bin Laden was hiding in Mansehra, a town just 12 miles from Abbottabad, where bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces in May, but that the information was not acted upon.
Amrullah Saleh, head of Afghan intelligence from 2004 to 2010, said Syed Akbar, a Pakistani believed to be smuggling guns to the Taliban, told Afghan intelligence he had escorted bin Laden from one location to another.
“The information we had was suggesting Mansehra was the town where bin Laden was hiding … It happens after so many years that bin Laden was about 12 miles from that location,” he said.
Saleh and Afghan President Hamid Karzai took the evidence to Musharraf who, according to Saleh, reacted angrily.
“He (Musharraf) banged the table and looked at President Karzai and said, ‘Am I president of a banana republic? If not, then how can you tell me bin Laden is hiding in a settled area of Pakistan’. I said ‘Well, this is the information so you can go and check it.’,” said Saleh …
Nothing has changed. Pakistan continues to train, equip, and protect the Taliban.
But, we learn from an article by Joe Pappalardo at Townhall, the Republican dominated US Senate intends to give that treacherous Muslim state yet more aid – to “compensate” it for “helping” the US in the war against the Taliban:
A proposal for a new fund to pay Pakistan for its assistance in the war on terror has received approval from the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee.
Senator John McCain, committee chairman, introduced the funding bid as part of the Senate’s 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which was passed on May 18. If Pakistan can meet all of the bill’s conditions, the new fund will grant the nation $800 million in compensation.
This new fund replaces the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) from 2013, and solely focuses on Pakistan. The CSF paid Pakistan for its support of the U.S. and Coalition forces in Afghanistan. To date, Pakistan has received $3.1 billion, but the old fund will expire at the end of the fiscal year on September 30.
The reimbursement fund will still require Pakistan to maintain communication lines to Afghanistan, and if Pakistan does not act against the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Haqqani network, the U.S. will withhold $300 million.
Committee members noted that removing Afghanistan operations from the fund’s objectives was timely because U.S. involvement in Afghanistan had decreased. Most U.S. troops in Afghanistan have been withdrawn, and the coalition forces will soon do the same, lawmakers said.
The House of Representatives, which also has a Republican majority, is just as keen to reward Pakistan:
The House of Representatives passed a bill last week that also aims to reimburse Pakistan. However, it does not replace the CSF and offers $900 million with $450 million tied to acting against the Haqqani network.
The new bill marks a shift to a focus on Pakistan’s national security, which has become a major interest for America’s own national security.
Q: How exactly does America’s national security depend on the security of Pakistan?
The committee said continuing to use the CSF would hinder any U.S. support of Pakistan’s anti-terrorism efforts.
Q: What “anti-terrorism efforts” by Pakistan would those be?
If the recklessness with which the US gives aid to Pakistan looks to you like insanity, you will find your suspicions confirmed when you know that your tax money also goes to aid the extremely wealthy Islamic tyranny of Saudi Arabia, which works night and day to impose Islam upon America and the whole of the Western world.
And the insanity doesn’t stop there.
In the years when the US was supposed to have no ties whatsoever with Communist Cuba – yes! Your tax dollars were going there too.
And while you are still gaping in disbelief, there’s one more enemy you need to know you were aiding – Iran.
You will find Cuba and Iran listed as recipients of US aid here. The list makes interesting reading.
We quote the whole article:
If Mitt Romney had given the speech that Donald Trump did today, and if he had followed its strategy during the third presidential debate with Obama on foreign policy, he would have won the 2012 election.
Trump’s themes were straightforward: Make America strong again, put America’s interests first. The Obama-Clinton-Kerry foreign policy has strengthened our enemies, disparaged our allies, and earned us global disrespect. It has led to disasters that include the rise of ISIS and the destabilization of the Middle East. The theme of the Obama-Clinton-Kerry years has been the weakening of America – point Trump made with maximum bite: “If President Obama’s goal had been to weaken America, he could not have done a better job.” And of course the Jeremiah Wright-Billy-Ayers-radical-Barack Obama did set out deliberately to do just that.
Obama’s agenda is American weakness, which leads to losing. Trump’s agenda: we must start winning. There were specifics.
First a rejection of the neo-conservative dream of democratizing the world, and in its place old-fashioned conservatism: limited foreign policy goals and stability, as the framework of peace: “We are getting out of the nation-building business, and instead focusing on creating stability in the world.”
And second, a rejection of liberal internationalism, and a defense of the nation state, in particular this nation state with its unique political culture: “Under a Trump Administration, no American citizen will ever again feel that their needs come second to the citizens of foreign countries. I will view the world through the clear lens of American interests. I will be America’s greatest defender and most loyal champion. We will not apologize for becoming successful again, but will instead embrace the unique heritage that makes us who we are.”
And the (accurate) justification for this nationalism: “The world is most peaceful, and most prosperous, when America is strongest.”
These were reassuring clarifications by Trump about his foreign policy views and should be a step towards satisfying his conservative critics although obviously a speech can also be only that – words to pacify critics. We’ll have to wait and see how he elaborates it further in response to specific events. But this was a very good beginning.
Our only point of criticism: Mitt Romney could not possibly have given such a speech, because Mitt Romney – as far as the American public knows – did not have these ideas.
Trump is saying now what has needed to be said for sixteen years. May he be given the opportunity to put the ideas into practice!
Questions: Why is the Middle East in flames? Why are rivers of people flooding from the Third World into Europe? Why are millions hungering in squalid refugee camps? Why are jihadis torturing, beheading, burning, burying, drowning men and women and children and making taunting videos of themselves doing it for all the world to see? Why are thousands of women enslaved? Why are young boys being sent to their deaths in suicide vests? Why has Russia annexed a part of the Ukraine? Why has the tyrannical Iranian regime been able to free itself from sanctions and develop nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them to the West? Why has China been able to extend it power with militarized artificial islands in the South China Sea?
Answer: Because Americans elected a know-nothing doctrinaire greenhorn to be its president and the leader of the free world.
Daniel Greenfield writes at Front Page:
Multiple Secretaries of Defense are complaining about micromanagement from the White House and in particular, the National Security Council. Which means [Susan] Rice.
“It was the operational micromanagement that drove me nuts, of White House and National Security Council staffers calling senior commanders out in the field and asking them questions, of second-guessing commanders,” former Defense Secretary Robert Gates told Bret Baier in a new Fox News special called Rising Threats, Shrinking Military.
Gates’ successor, Leon Panetta, took office in July 2011 and told Baier he had similar concerns with the Obama administration, despite being a long-time Democrat who served as a California congressman for many years and as Bill Clinton’s chief of staff.
Panetta complained that the president’s national security council staff had gotten so large and overbearing in recent years, creating massive inefficiency with creating foreign and defense policy.
Chuck Hagel, who replaced Panetta in February 2013, agreed that the size and role of the White House staff during the Obama presidency made it difficult to accomplish tasks and be productive.
“There were always too many meetings and always too many people in the room and too many people talking,” Hagel described. “Especially young, smart 35-year-old PhDs love to talk because that’s the way you let everybody know how smart you are. So there were a lot of reasons those meetings descended into … nonsense and the hard time we had making a decision.”
Hagel focused especially on the inexperience of the president himself and his staff, describing how Obama is “one of the youngest presidents we’ve ever had, one of the most inexperienced presidents we’ve ever had. He has a staff around him that’s very inexperienced. I don’t think there’s one veteran on his senior staff at the White House. I don’t believe there’s one business person. I don’t believe there’s one person who’s ever run anything. Other than Vice President Biden, none of them have ever been elected to anything.”
Hagel added that he is not sure if Obama or his staff ever understood “the tremendous responsibility the United States has … to lead”.
Gates said he is concerned the president is suspicious of the military. He also said Obama was told by White House personnel during the debate over the war in Afghanistan that the Pentagon was trying to “box him in”, “trap him”, and “bully him”, which Gates said was never true.
“But there were clearly a number of people at the White House who believed that,” Gates said.
National Security Adviser Susan Rice imposed a gag order on military leaders over the disputed South China Sea in the weeks running up to the last week’s high-level nuclear summit, according to two defense officials who asked for anonymity to discuss policy deliberations. China’s president, Xi Jinping, attended the summit, held in Washington, and met privately with President Obama. …
The NSC dictum has had a “chilling effect” within the Pentagon that discouraged leaders from talking publicly about the South China Sea at all, even beyond the presidential summit, according to a second defense official familiar with operational planning.
So tensions are heating up. Rice is showing overt hostility to the military. And that’s the attitude emanating from the White House.
Obama has gone through multiple SODs and had bad relations with every single one of them. Including the current one [Ashton Carter] who was targeted by hit pieces from the WH, and whose authority over Gitmo Obama tried to ask Congress to usurp so he could free more terrorists faster. The facts are just impossible to ignore.
Obama made no secret of his contempt for America’s military. For America’s might. For America.
It was so well known that Scandinavians who shared his opinions gave him a Peace Prize when he’d only just begun to warm the desk chair in the Oval Office.
Now the world desperately needs an American leader who will make America great again.
We are about to make sweeping generalizations, with no attempt to accommodate all shades of opinion. ( Shades of opinion are welcome in comment.)
Left and Right inhabit different universes of discourse. Completely different issues concern them.
The biggest issues on the American Left (in random order) are:
- Climate and the Environment
- Social Justice
To elaborate a little more:
The Left – internationally – holds man-made global warming to be an urgent threat to all life on earth, and tries in the name of saving the planet to force redistribution of wealth over the whole world, the redistributing agent being ideally a world government run according to Leftist values.
The one freedom the Left passionately advocates for is that of Each to seek sexual satisfaction of any kind, and for Each to choose a personal sexual identity, all personal choices connected with sex to be protected by law and subsidized financially, where required, by government.
The Left catalogues all Americans and all foreign nations according to a race analysis, according to which the white race is privileged and oppressive, and all institutions, led by government, have a moral duty to compensate non-whites and handicap whites.
All inequalities between sexes, races, and classes are considered by the Left to be unjust, the injustice being perpetrated by institutions and needing to be corrected by government using any means, including quotas for opportunity and advancement; adjustment of standards for inclusion and compensation; enforced limitations on the expression of dissenting opinion; the redistribution of wealth and power.
The Right does not concern itself with these issues unless compelled to, in which case its dismissive opinion of them is:
Man-made global warming is not true and would not be a bad thing if it were.
Sex is a private matter, only of public concern if it harms children.
Race is irrelevant to all political issues.
All justice is personal, having no meaning apart from the individual; standards must be upheld; power belongs to the powerful and cannot be bestowed; wealth is inescapably unequal in a free society, equality and liberty being mutually exclusive.
The biggest issues on the American Right (also in random order) are:
- Individual freedom
- The economy
- The Constitution
A little more:
The Right holds that individual freedom is the highest value. All innovation, all progress, depends on it. It requires absolute freedom of speech. The prime duty of government is to protect it.
Capitalism is the only system that lifts people out of poverty and secures prosperity. The Right wants the free market to be left to operate without government interference.
The government’s duty of protection requires a strong military to defend the nation from foreign attack; to maintain America’s superpower status of which the Right is proud; and specifically at this time to stop the advance of Islam and its terrorism.
The Constitution established the best possible system of government for a free society and the Right holds that it must be upheld and defended in its entirety.
The Left does not concern itself with these issues unless compelled to, in which case its dismissive opinion of them is:
The individual is less important than the collective, and individual interests are always subordinate to those of the collective.
Capitalism is evil, it values profits above people, it allows some to be rich while it keeps the many poor. The economy needs to be planned centrally by government for the equal good of all.
Wars should never be fought. Spending money on the military is a huge waste. America should not be the world’s policeman. It should not be a superower.
The Constitution is an outdated document. It says nothing about slavery. It stands in the way of an enlightened executive, such as President Obama’s, hampering his laudable efforts to change America into a more equal society.
Plainly, there is no common ground between Left and Right.
Dennis Prager writes at Townhall:
Just about all candidates for president regularly announce their intent to unite Americans, to “bring us together”.
It’s a gimmick.
If they are sincere, they are profoundly naive; if they are just muttering sweet nothings in order to seduce Americans to vote for them, they are manipulative.
In his acceptance speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, John Kerry, one of the most polarizing figures in modern American political history, said, “Maybe some just see us divided into those red states and blue states, but I see us as one America: red, white and blue.”
And President Barack Obama, who has disunited Americans by race, class and gender perhaps more than any president since the beginning of the 20th century, regularly campaigned on the theme of uniting Americans.
In his 2008 victory speech, President-elect Barack Obama said: “We have never been just a collection of … red states and blue states. We are, and always will be, the United States of America.”
In their current campaigns for president, Republican Gov. John Kasich and Democrat Hillary Clinton regularly proclaim their intention to bring Americans together. He, one suspects, because he is naive, and she, because she will say pretzels come from Neptune if it will garner votes.
Bringing people together is actually the theme of John Kasich’s entire campaign.
One headline on the “Meet John” page of his website says, “BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER, LIFTING PEOPLE UP.”
Senator Rob Portman said of Kasich on Feb. 1, 2016, “I am endorsing John Kasich because I believe he is the person our country needs to bring Americans together.”
And Clinton, who, according to CNN, is tied with Trump for the most negatives in presidential polling for either Republicans or Democrats since 1984, also speaks repeatedly about her ability and desire to bring Americans together.
The “Hillary Clinton for President Supporters” Facebook page has even said, “We’re in the business of bringing people together.”
What’s more, on April 6, 2016, CNN posted a YouTube video titled: “Hillary Clinton — We need a president who can bring people together.”
Lanny Davis, who served as special counsel to former President Bill Clinton, wrote on The Hill website that “Clinton wants to bring us together”.
Beyond Kasich and Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders made this a major theme in one of his ads called “Together”, which begins with Sanders saying, “Our job is to bring people together.”
Even Trump, who divides Republicans – not to mention other Americans – like no Republican ever has, uses this mantra.
A January article on The Hill site quoted Trump saying, “I can really bring people together.”
Gov. Chris Christie introduced Trump on Super Tuesday, and a NJ.com column released that night was titled, “Christie on Super Tuesday: Trump is ‘bringing the country together’.”
For the record, Sen. Ted Cruz speaks about uniting Republicans, but not often about uniting all Americans.
All calls for unity by Democrats are particularly fraudulent. Dividing Americans by race, gender and class is how the left views America and how Democratic candidates seek to win elections.
But calls for unity are meaningless no matter who makes them, because no one who calls for unity tells you what they really mean. What they really mean is that they want to unite Americans around their values — and around their values only.
Would Clinton be willing to unite all Americans around recognizing the human rights of the unborn? Would she be willing to unite all Americans around support for widespread gun ownership?
Of course not.
She is willing to unite Americans provided they adopt her views.
Would Sanders like to “bring people together” in support of reducing corporate and individual income taxes in order to spur the economy?
Would Kasich be in favor of “bringing Americans together” by having them all support increasing the size of government and the national debt? One hopes not.
I first realized the dishonesty of just about all calls for unity during a 10-year period in which I engaged in weekly dialogues with clergy of all faiths. Protestant and Catholic clergymen and women would routinely call for Christian unity. When I asked Protestants if they would support such unity if it entailed them adopting the sacraments of the Catholic Church and recognizing the pope as the Vicar of Christ on Earth, the discussion ended. Similarly, when I asked Catholic priests if they would give up the sacraments and the papacy in order to achieve unity with Protestant Christians, all talk of unity stopped. And, of course, the same would hold true for both Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jews who routinely call for Jewish unity.
Even more absurd are the calls of naive Christians and Jews to have all the “children of Abraham” – Jewish, Christian and Muslim – unite.
The calls themselves can even be dangerous. One would be hard-pressed to name a single free society that was ever united outside of wartime. The only truly united countries are totalitarian states.
So, why do presidential candidates repeat this nonsense every four years? Because Americans fall for it every four years.
But it’s time to grow up.
The gap between the left and right is unbridgeable. Their worldviews are mutually exclusive.
The Left is dangerously wrong.
A new Pentagon directive says that climate change must now be part of all Defense Department “programs, plans and policies”. … The Defense Department is creating a wide array of “climate boards, councils and working groups” to make this a priority. In other words, a vast new defense climate change bureaucracy is being born, after years of defense cutbacks.
Obama has at least 22 times declared that climate change is a greater threat than terrorism. He’s so obsessed that he’s willing to damage both our economy and America’s ability to defend itself.
Investor’s Business Daily reports:
As threats to America’s security proliferate, the military has a new priority. Nuclear weapons? China? Russia? Terrorism? Nope. How about climate change. Feel safer now?
A new Pentagon directive says that climate change must now be part of all Defense Department “programs, plans and policies”. … [It] is creating a “wide array of climate boards, councils and working groups” to make this a priority. In other words, a vast new defense climate change bureaucracy is being born, after years of defense cutbacks.
This would be laughable if it weren’t so tragic. As any objective observer will tell you, the U.S. faces a host of grave and growing threats.
Just this week, for instance, satellite photos show Iran working on a mysterious new installation that’s tied to its nuclear weapons program. No doubt, work there is picking up since President Obama started forking over billions of dollars to them under the Iran nuclear deal.
Meanwhile, just a desert away from Iran, defense analysts fear something like World War III is brewing as the U.S., Russia, Turkey, Syria, ISIS and a number of Islamic rebel groups vie to decide the fate of the Middle East. … But our military’s green policies are already having an impact. As Obama’s former CIA deputy director Mike Morell recently told PBS’s Charlie Rose, “we didn’t go after oil wells . . . that ISIS controls because we didn’t want to do environmental damage.”
As if that weren’t enough, North Korea on Super Sunday launched a three-stage Taepodong missile that could potentially carry a nuclear weapon to U.S. shores. Sunday’s successful missile launch is the second in a row, and comes just a month after the Communist state declared it had detonated a hydrogen bomb.
Another foe, China, is creating a blue-water navy to challenge the U.S. dominance in the Western Pacific, building its ground forces into a formidable, modern standing army of 2 million, while making spurious territorial claims in the South China Sea. …
Add to that, Russia’s continuing threats against Eastern Europe, the Baltic states and even Finland, and the U.S. has not been this threatened since before the end of the Cold War.
Closer to home, there have been at least 81 major terrorist threats against the U.S. since 9/11, the most recent just last month …
All these threats are very real. Global warming is purely hypothetical. And yet, the military is making global warming a priority.
The Pentagon’s No. 3 official, procurement czar Frank Kendall, initiated this program. But make no mistake: It’s President Obama’s baby. His EPA, after all, has slapped strict CO2 limits on industry that will cost hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of jobs, and now wants to raise per-barrel oil taxes by $10. … Obama has at least 22 times declared that climate change is a greater threat than terrorism. He’s so obsessed that he’s willing to damage both our economy and America’s ability to defend itself.
We have a frivolous president who isn’t serious about defense, and our enemies know it. … [In] the coming presidential election … America’s security, perhaps its very existence, depends on making the right choice.
This is an important article. We believe most of what it says, and are angered by it.
With only one statement we take issue. The decision to turn the military into a horde of tree-huggers (figuratively speaking, to sum up the point) is indeed frivolous, and perilously so. But we don’t agree that Obama himself is frivolous. He shares and represents the opinion of a large number of people world-wide, the self-appointed elite, the international Left.
This sinister force, this vast left-wing conspiracy, is going about its destructive business with profound seriousness. It is unrelenting. It will use everything it can to gain its totalitarian ends: Islam’s terrorist “holy war”; claims of disastrous climate change; promises of government-provided “free” lifelong support.
As for Islam’s violent onslaught, Obama is not only holding back from defeating it, but positively encouraging it by giving tax-payers’ money to its support organizations in America!
Americans have grown so accustomed to liberty that they take it for granted, expecting it always to be there, invisible, intangible, but forever sustaining them, like the air they breathe.
Many – far too many – do not understand that they are losing their liberty. Are unaware that their elected government is taking it away from them.
They don’t believe they need a strong defense. They’d rather their government force the army and the people to follow instructions which somehow, remotely, magically, will control the weather. They are told the real air is too full of carbon dioxide gas. If they do this and that, and refrain from doing that and this, the evil gas will be reduced, and they will be saved.
And no powerful voice is telling them otherwise.
Among the many still unanswered question about the tragedy of Benghazi, these stand out above all others:
Why were “more than 600” requests from Ambassador Stevens for better security for the US mission in Benghazi not granted?
Whether or not they “reached” Hillary Clinton’s desk – and she denies that any of them did – the question why better security was not granted has never been answered.
What could the reason be?
And why was Ambassador Stephens then sent to the insecure mission in Benghazi on the specially dangerous anniversary day of 9/11/12?
On the face of it, it looks as if the State Department was party to a planned assassination of its own ambassador.
But why would it want that?
Al-Qaeda’s hackers of Hillary Clinton’s easily-hacked emails would have known what Hillary Clinton’s game in Benghazi was. But the American people she was paid to serve do not.
Everyone outside of the Obama conspiracy can only conjecture.
So possible answers to the questions are invited.
Something fishy in the Arabian Gulf:
There is something fishy about how such a high-tech U.S. craft can “stray accidentally into Iranian waters due to a navigation error”, as Defense Secretary Ash Carter described it on Thursday to Univision. The Pentagon had previously claimed engine trouble for an incident that’s humiliated the U.S., as Iranian video showed to the world 10 American sailors on their knees at gunpoint.
From Investor’s Business Daily:
How can an advanced, ultra-agile U.S. combat boat suffer a “navigation error” that leads to a terrorist state capturing its sailors? Tehran just revealed military ineptitude warranting a congressional probe.
The Swedish-designed Combat Boat 90 can make the sharpest of turns at high speed, stop nearly on a dime, maneuver like magic and, with its Rolls-Royce jet-propulsion system, can speed along at over 45 miles an hour in rivers and shallow coastlines while transporting 18 amphibious troops.
But what good is any of that if it falls into enemy hands? …
A retired operations commander for the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet in Bahrain, Christopher Harmer, told CNN the capture constituted “a severe failure”, charging that “either the naval leadership put these sailors in an impossible situation, or the sailors are professionally incompetent”. Harmer has researched the increased lethality of Iran’s submarine fleet for the Institute for the Study of War.
That one of the sailors would appear in an Iranian video apologizing may have actually violated the military’s Code of Conduct, which requires that a detainee give name, rank, serial number and age, but “evade answering further questions” and “make no oral or written statements disloyal” to his country “and its allies or harmful to their cause”.
Harmer told the Washington Times, “The U.S. Navy looks extraordinarily incompetent. … In its ability to transit boats without violating Iranian waters, they look incompetent to know how to deal with a mechanical malfunction, and now that they’ve been taken into custody, they’re apologizing.”
Harmer told CNN there was “no reason for a small vessel to be out that far and especially without escorting ships around it”, and “the Navy has to explain why you have small ships transiting 300 miles of open ocean”.
Iran claims its Revolutionary Guard Corps seized the CB90’s GPS gear and that it revealed U.S. espionage. As reported in Defense News, House Armed Services Committee member Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., a Marine who served in the Iraq War, claimed there was no way the Iran military “didn’t reverse engineer, or look at and copy everything that they possibly could” of the two commandeered boats’ high-tech equipment.
In the midst of this disaster did Secretary of State John Kerry make another bad deal with Tehran, following last year’s nuclear pact, to get the sailors released swiftly?
All of this warrants a high-profile congressional investigation. Sailors and valuable equipment get captured, are humiliated on video, and finally one ends up making a statement that serves terrorist propaganda purposes.
“Semper Fortis” — always strong [an unofficial motto of the US Navy] — hardly describes what this incident reveals about the U.S. Navy after seven years of Barack Obama.
When the captured crews were released the next morning, the two boats sailed away with no sign of “mechanical failure”. Had both boats been afflicted with it? Had it been hard or easy to repair? Who repaired it?
Here is more editorial comment from IBD:
Ten U.S. sailors kneel at gunpoint before Iran’s military, then actually apologize, and while held captive, merit no mention in the president’s speech to Congress. It’s American weakness illustrated.
We don’t yet have the full facts on how a U.S. naval vessel was allowed to be seized by the world’s foremost terrorist state. But as Desert Storm infantry commander Gen. Barry McCaffrey (ret.) warned in an NBC News interview, “this is an affront to our military presence in the Gulf and will unsettle our allies in the region.” …
Images can hurt a global power profoundly. … For Iran, images of U.S. sailors kneeling in submission, and video of one apologizing on behalf of the rest — and, by extension, on behalf of the U.S. — are priceless.
“It was our fault,” the sailor said on camera. “And we apologize for our mistake.”
What a comparison with the tortured crew of the U.S.S. Pueblo, captured by North Korea in 1968, who during their captivity discreetly extended their middle fingers when posing for propaganda photos.
Today, Secretary of State John Kerry says, “I want to express my gratitude to Iranian authorities. …”
As Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said, “Before we thank the Iranian naval forces and attempt to defend and normalize their behavior, as Vice President Biden and Secretaries Kerry and Carter appear inclined to do, we should demand answers” to questions that include:
“Where exactly were the sailors intercepted? Why were they detained instead of being merely escorted into international waters? What was the nature of the technical malfunctions on both vessels? … Was sensitive equipment compromised? (and) Why were the sailors not permitted to contact U.S. higher headquarters in the region for the 16 hours they were detained?”
Cotton also noted that the administration presumes that Iran conducted a rescue mission, “when Iran has characterized the incident as U.S. ships trespassing into its waters and ‘snooping’.”
He added: “Our sailors never should have been detained in the first place, and blithely accepting such action will only embolden the ayatollahs who wish to do harm to Americans and our allies in the Arabian Gulf.”
This humiliation of the U.S. comes less than a week before we lift sanctions unfreezing $150 billion for new terrorist activities, as promised in Obama and Kerry’s Iran nuclear deal — a pact that Tehran has not even been required to sign.
Our sailors were held as Obama stood before Congress on Tuesday night, but they weren’t deemed worthy of mention in the president’s [State of the Union] address.
New York City submits to Islam.
This is from an article by Benjamin Weingarten at the excellent City Journal:
As part of a recently announced legal settlement with representatives of the Muslim community, the NYPD has agreed to purge materials critical to understanding the threat to New York City from domestic Islamic terrorism.
The plaintiffs in Raza v. City of New York and Handschu v. Special Services Division charged that the NYPD had targeted Muslims for surveillance solely because of their religious affiliation. Among other things, the settlement stipulates that the NYPD must remove from its website a comprehensive 2007 report authored by senior analysts Mitchell D. Silber and Arvin Bhatt.
Radicalization in the West identified homegrown Islamic terrorism as the primary extremist threat to New York City. As then-police commissioner Ray Kelly noted in a preface, the report’s aim was to assist policymakers and law enforcement officials around the country by providing a thorough understanding of the danger posed by domestic terrorists. It also sought to help intelligence and law enforcement agencies better understand the radicalization process. Based on a rigorous analysis of almost a dozen jihadist plots across the U.S. and Europe, the report identified the enemy’s ideology on its own terms. The report didn’t say that jihadism had nothing to do with Islam; nor did it suggest that Islam was a “religion of peace”. Its sole concern was assessing the jihadist threat, not undertaking an Islamic exegesis.
From the day the report was released, Muslim groups pounced. “By afternoon, American-Muslim organizations had issued press releases criticizing the report,” Time noted in 2007. “The Council on American-Islamic Relations said it cast suspicion on all U.S. Muslims, even though the report repeatedly stresses that there is no obvious way to profile would-be terrorists.” What did they find so objectionable? According to the complaint filed in Raza, the report provided the “analytic underpinnings” for the NYPD’s Muslim Surveillance Program. The plaintiffs asserted that the program “stigmatizes an entire faith community and invites discrimination. It specifically singles out Muslims for profiling and suspicionless surveillance because of their religious beliefs and practices”. The Raza plaintiffs sought to have the program shut down, arguing that it operated on “a false and unconstitutional premise: that Muslim religious belief and practices are a basis for law enforcement scrutiny”.
They are, of course.
Now, the NYPD has agreed not only to remove Silber and Bhatt’s report from its website, but the terms of the settlement also require the NYPD to assert that it does not, has not, and will not rely upon the report to open or extend investigations.
Within 24 hours of the settlement, however, events conspired to underscore the danger it potentially presents. In Philadelphia, a self-identified jihadist attempted to assassinate a policeman. Edward Archer fired 13 shots at Officer Jesse Hartnett, striking him with three. Archer reportedly told investigators while in custody that he “follows Allah, and that is the reason he was called upon to do this”. Further, according to Philadelphia police captain Richard Ross, Archer “believed that the police defend laws that are contrary to the teachings of the Quran”. In 2012, Archer allegedly traveled to and spent several months in Egypt. According to his mother, he was a devout Muslim who had practiced the faith for an extended period of time. Despite Archer’s words and actions, and the reports of Philadelphia law enforcement officers involved in the investigation, the city’s mayor [Jim Kenney] declared during a press conference, “In no way, shape or form does anyone in this room believe that Islam or the teaching of Islam has anything to do with what you’ve seen on the screen.”
Tragic as it nearly was, the Philadelphia shooting couldn’t have been timelier. Archer fits the exact profile that Silber and Bhatt sketched in their report — as do most examples in recent memory of American jihadists.
Religious ideology is not incidental to jihad; it’s central. For Islamists, jihad is an intrinsic part of a pious Muslim’s religious duties. All Muslims are not jihadists, but all jihadists are self-identified Muslims.
Well, it might be more accurate to say every Muslim if true to the commands of his faith is a jihadi, though not necessarily a violent one.
Yet, New York mayor Bill de Blasio appears willing to pursue the see-no-Islam policy preferred by Philadelphia’s mayor. And, according to a 2013 report from Judicial Watch, a similar purge of materials linking Islamic ideology to jihad has already occurred at the federal level, with apparently disastrous consequences, given the mushrooming domestic jihadist threat.
More than any other area of government, national security and defense must be insulated from political correctness. To remove analyses that might give us insight into our enemies represents a dereliction of duty by our political representatives. Political correctness can and will get Americans killed. If we are to defeat the threat from Islamic terrorism, we must dispense with euphemisms, take off our blinders, and see our enemy clearly.
Sheer common sense. So what possible reason can there be for the federal government – from which the lesser powers in the land take their cue – to “purge materials linking Islamic ideology to jihad”?
We can think of no reason other than that the Obama administration is on the side of the violent jihadis. If it is not that, there can only be excuses such as unpardonably deliberate ignorance, or disqualifying stupidity, or certifiable insanity.
We are not alone in blaming Bill Clinton for letting the North Koreans become a nuclear-armed power. (See our post immediately below.)
Presidential candidate Ted Cruz says the same. And he too draws the analogy between Clinton’s deal with North Korea and Obama’s with Iran.
This is from the Washington Post:
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) reacted to news of the alleged hydrogen bomb test by North Korea with an indictment of two decades of Democratic foreign policy, warning that any president who didn’t “tear up” the nuclear agreement with Iran would risk attacks on American and Israeli cities.
“This underscores the gravity of the threats we are facing right now, and also the sheer folly of the Obama-Clinton foreign policy,” Cruz told reporters … “When we look at North Korea, it’s like looking at a crystal ball. This is where Iran ends up, if we continue on this same misguided path. It’s worth remembering, we’re here because of the Clinton administration. The Clinton administration led the world in relaxing sanctions against North Korea. They used the billions of dollars that flowed into North Korea to develop nuclear weapons. Now we’re facing a megalomaniacal manic who may potentially have a hydrogen bomb.”
Cruz also derided the Obama administration for giving a job in the State Department and a role in the Iran negotiations to North Korea negotiations veteran Wendy Sherman– “the one person on Earth who has already messed this up. And sadly, they negotiated essentially the same deal.”
Asked how a Cruz presidency would respond to North Korea, the candidate said he would pressure China to “cut off their client state”, and “to continue to isolate North Korea, to continue to cut off North Korea, to raise the costs of their belligerence.” But he warned that “every bad actor would get worse” until Obama was replaced.
“For the remainder of President Obama’s term, we’re essentially in a Hobbesian state of nature, like ‘Lord of the Flies’,” he said. … “We saw last night the consequences of this deal if it is allowed to go forward. Iran’s nuclear test may not be underground, measured by an earthquake. It may be above the skies of Tel Aviv, or New York, or Los Angeles.”
Wendy Sherman is a trained social worker. Busied herself with child welfare. So President Clinton thought her admirably qualified to negotiate with North Korea, to keep that vicious Communist dictatorship from getting nukes. And after that triumph, President Obama judged her to be the ideal person to negotiate with Iran to the same end …
Oh no, wait! Obama saw her usefulness in failing to stop an enemy of the US acquiring nukes …
North Korea claims to have successfully tested a hydrogen bomb – a nuclear fusion bomb many times more destructive than a nuclear fission bomb. What’s more, the North Koreans claim to have miniaturized the weapon so it can be dispatched as the warhead of a missile.
President Clinton did a deal with North Korea in 1994 which, like the deal Obama believes he has done with Iran, was purported to save the world from the threat of a dangerous nuclear-armed enemy.
Here is a video of Bill Clinton speaking on 21 October, 1994, on the “good deal” he has made with North Korea. Listen to him saying that the deal will make it “much harder for them to produce nuclear weapons”.
Why do any Americans who are not totally insane, or longing for the destruction of their country and Western civilization, ever put responsibility for their survival in the hands of Democrats?