Tag: war

French President Says Saint-Denis Terrorist Raid Proves We Are At War With ISIS

French President Hollande: Saint-Denis Raid Proves We Are At War With ISIS – Daily Signal

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This morning 100 French police officers raided two apartment blocks in the Parisian suburb of Saint-Denis, just days after the Paris terror attacks resulted in at least 129 deaths.

After a dramatic seven hour gunfight in a residential building, two terror suspects have been killed and seven others wounded and captured. One man, yet to be identified, was shot dead by police.

A woman, thought possibly to be the cousin of Abdelhamid Abaaoud – the assumed ringleader of the Paris attacks – blew herself up with a suicide vest.

Five police officers received minor wounds and one police dog was killed. The operation is over and the area is secured.

The identities of those killed and captured have not been released – and French authorities are comparing the DNA of those killed and captured to intelligence databases. It has been reported that the target of the raid was Abaaoud.

It was initially thought that Abaaoud conducted the attack from Syria. However, French security sources have told the media that recent phone surveillance and testimony helped authorities determine that he is, in fact, in Paris. The same phone surveillance and testimony also led French authorities to believe that another major attack in Paris was imminent.

The location of the raid is no surprise. Saint-Denis is a relatively poor suburb of Paris. Saint-Denis is also home to a sizable immigrant population and an estimated 20 percent of the population is of North African descent. It is worth pointing out that Abaaoud is a Belgium of Moroccan descent so he would have felt quite comfortable holding up in the area.

Saint-Denis was one of several hotspots during the infamous 2005 French riots which saw hundreds of cars and several government buildings burned by local immigrant groups. The location of the police raid is not far from the national stadium Stade de France – one of the main targets in last weekend’s terrorists attacks.

This raid comes on the same day that two Air France planes, originating from the U.S. and travelling to Paris, had to make emergency landings due to bomb threats. Thankfully, these were false alarms and no bombs were found, but the incidents, along with the raid, shows why France and her allies need to remain vigilant.

French President Francois Hollande announced that the police raid in Saint-Denis is proof that “we are at war” with ISIS. The question is: what is France going to do about it?

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War Hero Who Was Wrongly Forced Out Of Marine Corps Will Finally Receive Bronze Star With Valor Award

Marine Forced Out Of The Corps To Finally Receive Bronze Star With Valor Award – Marine Corps Times

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When Joshua Acevedo left the Marine Corps as a sergeant in 2013 following four combat tours, he felt betrayed by the service he once loved. Now the former infantry squad leader will receive the service’s fourth-highest valor award – something he says he hopes will restore his faith in the Corps.

Acevedo joined the Marine Corps with the hope of turning it into a career. The veteran of three combat tours in Iraq, he deployed to Afghanistan’s Helmand province in September 2010, where he was tasked with leading a squad largely seen by his battalion leaders as the unit’s black sheep.

But what his Marines lacked in spit shine and polish, they more than made up for in courage and capability, he said. The members of Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines began covering the bulk of the company’s combat missions. Their skill would even earn them a reputation among the enemy forces they were annihilating.

“They were bad asses, no doubt about it,” Acevedo said of his squad, which left country without a single injury. “They were the kind of Marines I learned about growing up. They enabled me to do a lot more than I could have done with a bunch of meritorious kids.”

Their camaraderie was most evident in a day-long firefight just north of Durzay. Acevedo’s actions resulted in a Silver Star nomination.

But the honor was soon buried beneath allegations of a battlefield murder.

The once-celebrated squad leader was ostracized, and fighting a battle for which he was ill-equipped. As was his habit in the ‘Stan, Acevedo would emerge victorious – but this time, he would not emerge unscathed. The court battle cost him a career, and caused him to lose faith in his beloved Corps.

Five years after Acevedo and his Marines faced an ambush on the battlefield, the former sergeant will be recognized by one of this generation’s most revered leaders. Retired Gen. Jim Mattis will read a citation for a Bronze Star with combat distinguishing device before Acevedo is pinned with the medal at a Marine Corps birthday ball on Oct. 31.

It’s a moment Acevedo said he hopes will take away some of the bitterness he has felt since leaving the Marine Corps.

From hero to zero

On Nov. 20, 2010, Acevedo and his squad were hours into a firefight when the squad leader ordered his assault element to take an enemy-infested hilltop.

Their individual rushes were soon halted by PKM machine gun fire from the direct front. Simultaneously, the support element got hit by a new attack from the east, and could do little to cover their fellow Marines.

The enemy was gaining fire superiority and the Marines were low on ammunition. The assault element radioed that it was down to one magazine each, 25 Squad Automatic Weapon rounds and a few grenades. The team said they would fix bayonets if Acevedo wanted them to continue the push.

He gave the order: Fix bayonets.

But Acevedo would not let his Marines go it alone. He gathered what ammo he could from the support element. His pockets were soon stuffed with M203 rounds, his kit was full of 5.56 mags, and he held all the SAW ammo he could find. After a quick prayer, he ran the 100 yards that stood between him and his Marines. Not only was it covered by enemy fire, it had not been swept for IEDs.

“The guys said the ground around me got chewed up pretty good, but nobody hit me,” he said. This run through the field of fire would earn him the Bronze Star with V.

Reinforcements arrived after a successful AH-1 Cobra gun-run.

“We had the option to get on the bird,” Acevedo said. “I took a vote: Do you guys want to get out of here or do you want to stay? With big-ass grins they said, ‘Give us some ammo and we’ll stay all day.’”

The hill was soon taken, and the black sheep squad returned to Patrol Base Hernandez under the cover of darkness. It was one of many victories. The squad’s area of operations, which had firefights at least every other day, went silent by the end of their second month on station.

“It didn’t shift elsewhere, it just stopped,” said former Capt. Nicholas Schmitz, who was their platoon commander.

While that battle ceased, another soon raged. A Marine attached to the company claimed he saw Acevedo shoot an unarmed insurgent during a firefight.

Acevedo’s career came to a screeching halt for the next year as he was investigated for murder.

Regaining lost faith

Acevedo doesn’t like to discuss the matter that landed him in an Article 32 hearing.

“I was bitter when I left the Marine Corps,” he said. “I left thinking this brotherhood they talk about doesn’t even exist.”

He was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing. Joseph Low, a Marine veteran who took on Acevedo’s case pro bono, said it was nothing more than a Marine “shooting his mouth off” with an untrue war story that kept getting bigger and bigger. Eventually, someone in an official capacity gets wind of the tale and the Marine Corps is forced to investigate.

Low said Corps officials did the right thing by investigating the claims, but said the service needs to do a better job of helping Marines who are found innocent in these cases “pick up the pieces.”

“There is no rebuild,” he told Marine Corps Times. “We’ll go into some of these towns in Iraq and Afghanistan and pour a lot of money and personnel hours into rebuilding the damage that was caused, but they don’t do that with individual Marines.

“I wish I could spend time with some Marine Corps officials to help them understand that accusations, true or untrue, are like a bullet out of a gun – you’ll never get it back.”

Acevedo’s case was a perfect example of that, Low said. They were able to punch holes in the claims made by the accuser, a corporal who served as a photographer during 2/1’s deployment. But the legal hiatus was also a career killer for Acevedo.

He had served eight years when the yearlong investigation started. During that time, he was unable to complete career requirements necessary to advance to staff sergeant. When ultimately cleared, Acevedo had no fight left in him.

But Low, along with Acevedo’s squad and platoon commander, would not remain quiet. Once the Marine was cleared of the charges, they pushed with vigor to ensure his actions would receive the honor due.

Schmitz, in particular, was determined to see it through. While some Bronze Stars have been turned around in as little as four months, he spent the next four years pushing through bureaucracy and cutting red tape. The former captain, who got out in 2013, admitted that he grew disillusioned and cynical, himself.

“The guy is a combat leader who did some incredible things,” he said. “It seemed like the Marine Corps couldn’t say anything good about the guy.”

“It’s disappointing that what you have done in combat and what you did to save other lives is purposefully erased and buried due to some allegations,” said Low, who joined Schmitz in his campaign.

Acevedo now works in Iraq for Triple Canopy, a provider of integrated security and mission support services. He will receive his Bronze Star with V at the Marine Corps Ball in Sonoma, California. A number of former squad members will be at his side. He would have it no other way.

“It is more of a squad award in my eyes,” he said. “Absolutely nothing could have been done without them.”

Schmitz also reached out to Mattis and asked the former head of U.S. Central Command to take part. He quickly agreed.

“The valor displayed by Sgt. Acevedo stands on its own, unadorned by who is privileged to present the actual award to him,” Mattis told Marine Corps Times. “I’m a guest at the weekend USMC birthday celebration and my role is simply to do what every Marine does when a Marine’s performance is recognized by peers and superiors as valorous – to stand and pay my respects.”

Schmitz asked Acevedo if he wanted Mattis to pin on his medal, which many Marines would consider a great honor.

“Hell no,” he said. “I like Mattis. He is a bad ass. But he wasn’t there. You were. I want you to pin it on.”

Acevedo hopes that moment will help him find closure. For the past five years he has been haunted by unanswered questions: Was he a good leader? Was he a good Marine?

“We used to joke that it is a short fall from hero to zero,” he said. “I left as a zero, and I feel like I’m always chasing it. I feel like this might let me let it go.”

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John Kerry – Who Voted For Iraq War – Says Netanyahu Is Wrong On Iran Because He Supported Iraq War

John Kerry: Netanyahu Is Wrong On Iran Because He Supported Iraq War… (Kerry Voted For Iraq War) – Gateway Pundit

Secretary of State John Kerry bashed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today. Kerry said Netanyahu could not be trusted because he supported the Iraq War.

** John Kerry voted for the Iraq War and stood by his vote years later.

** Benjamin Netanyahu was not prime minister when the Iraq War was debated and launched.

The Kelly File posted the video:

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John Kerry voted for the Iraq War.

Talking Points Memo reported:

Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday slammed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s opposition to a potential nuclear deal with Iran, calling it as wrongheaded as the prime minister’s backing of the Iraq War.

“Israel is safer today with the added time we have given and the stoppage of the advances in the nuclear program than they were before we got that agreement, which by the way the prime minister opposed,” Kerry said during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing. “He was wrong.”

Kerry was later asked to address Netanyahu’s criticism of a hypothetical deal with Iran as a threat to Israel.

“The prime minister was profoundly forward-leaning and outspoken about the importance of invading Iraq under George W. Bush,” Kerry replied. “We all know what happened with that decision.”

Actually, for the record, George W. Bush won that war. Barack Obama lost it to ISIS.

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*VIDEO* Pajamas Media: Trifecta – Hillary Clinton’s Evil War On women


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New Docudrama Deals Death Blow To Loathsome, Leftist Lies About Vietnam War (Video)

Movie Deals Death Blow To Vicious Lies About Vietnam – WorldNetDaily

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Crazed, drug-addicted “baby-killers” and “murderers” – for more than 40 years, that’s how many in the American media portrayed U.S. troops who fought in the Vietnam War.

And America’s Vietnamese allies didn’t fare much better; they were often depicted as corrupt, cowardly and unworthy of U.S. troops’ sacrifice.

In the 1960s, negative television coverage helped turn American public opinion against the war, the veterans and even the Vietnamese who fought to prevent a communist takeover of South Vietnam.

Actress Jane Fonda, who called U.S. troops murderers, was famously shown sitting on a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gunner used to shoot at American planes.

By 1971, John Kerry, a Vietnam veteran and now secretary of state, declared on national TV, “We wish that a merciful God could wipe away our own memories of that service.”

But is what Americans saw on television and in the movies an accurate portrayal of those warriors and their mission to halt the spread of communism?

Executive Producer Richard Botkin and Producer Fred Koster take a provocative look at the Vietnam War and the troops who fought it in the new documentary film, “Ride the Thunder: A Vietnam War Story of Honor and Triumph.” The movie portrays the inspirational story the media neglected – one of friendship, bravery, patriotism and sacrifice.

Botkin says, quite frankly, Americans have been duped.

“The men who served in Vietnam are every bit as great as their dads and uncles who served in World War II,” he told WND. “The reason they’re not called the Greatest Generation is because Vietnam’s generation had people like Jane Fonda out there muddying up the waters and John Kerry. There were several hundred thousand junior officers who served in the Marine Corps and Army, and yet the only name that is ever recalled is Lt. William Calley. We’ve got to change that.”

After the war had been over for several years, former President Richard Nixon lamented, “No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then. It is misremembered now.”

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Many popular films dealing with Vietnam – such as “Apocalypse Now,” “The Deer Hunter,” “Good Morning, Vietnam,” “Rambo” and “Full Metal Jacket” – serve as great entertainment, Botkin said, but they often grossly distort the reality of the warriors who fought courageously to stop the spread of communism.

“They portray the American fighting man as doped, duped, a victim, in it for the wrong reason. And, when he comes home, he’s definitely marginalized and at the mercy of the military industrial complex,” Botkin said. “And our Vietnamese allies are portrayed even more negatively. They’re portrayed as corrupt, effete, not wanting to fight, not worth fighting for.”

But Botkin – who also authored the WND book that inspired the movie, “Ride the Thunder,” and has toured former battlefields in Vietnam and chronicled accounts of the Vietnamese Marines and their American Marine advisers – is adamant in his assertion that “those representations are just simply wrong.”

“The film is our effort to try and right the historical wrongs, to leave a more positive record of the American fighting man and also our Vietnamese allies,” he said. “Communism is evil. We were right to oppose it.”

Watch the trailer for the film, which will be released on March 27 at the Regency 10 theaters in Westminster, California, where it will be shown eight times a day for a week:

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In the early 1970s, under President Richard Nixon’s “Vietnamization” program, the war was being turned over to South Vietnam. Botkin’s film tells the little-known story of a few courageous American and Vietnamese Marines who fought valiantly to thwart the Communist invasion – nearly saving South Vietnam – during North Vietnam’s all-out attack on South Vietnam from the DMZ known as the 1972 Easter Offensive.

In a true-life story, the film shows how, when the unrelenting North Viet­namese Army of 20,000 soldiers and 200 tanks reached the bridge at Dong Ha, their offensive was stopped in its tracks by a small force of just over 700 Vietnamese Marines and U.S. military advisers.

Even though the South Vietnamese Marines had nearly won on the battlefield, they would suffer terribly, starving and spending long years at hard labor after the war as part of the communists’ re-education process.

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The film follows Vietnamese Marine Maj. Le Ba Binh, the main character played by Joseph Hieu, during his time at the communist camp in Nam Ha in 1979.

“We start with him in a re-education camp and having all these flashbacks,” Botkin explained. “During the flashbacks, we go to Vietnam, post-World War II, with him as a boy. We go to all the American people and Vietnamese people who were interviewed and appropriately tell the story through Binh’s life experience.”

Binh, a man with few equals in the war-fighting profession, served 13 years in heavy combat and another 11 years in prison camps. Despite numerous battle wounds and lost comrades, he showed unwavering courage in the face of extreme hardship. He was wounded nine times and awarded the American Silver Star.

“When the Americans went to Vietnam, they typically would go for 12 or 13 months,” Botkin explained. “But Binh was there for the whole thing. It’s through him that we tell the story, hoping to make the Americans see that their sacrifice was justified.”

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As the war ended, millions of displaced Vietnamese citizens fled the communist invasion. Hopeless citizens faced imprisonment and execution. On the morning of April 30, 1975, the Vietnamese Marine Corps ceased to exist after 21 years of combat.

The film cast includes many Vietnamese refugees.

“For them, telling the story has become more than just a job. It really is something they passionately believe in,” Botkin said. “All of these people are strongly anti-communist. They’re passionate, because they’ve suffered at the hands of communists. Their families have been killed or brutally tortured. They risked a lot and paid a heavy price for their freedom. I have nothing but respect for them.”

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As for the U.S. mission in Vietnam, Botkin said the effort bought time for the rest of developing Asia to grow free of communist influence.

“When we went ashore in 1965, there were active communist insurgencies in the Philippines, in Malaysia, in Indonesia, Thailand,” he said. “The American effort – for all its flaws that people point out – stalled the communist expansion and allowed those economies time to grow. I just don’t think there’s any question that our effort was the right one.”

As for America’s reputation today, Botkin said, “We’re fighting a battle for our nation’s soul. People think America is a bad country. But America is the light of the world. We’re the good guys.

“We were the good guys in World War II. We were the good guys in the Korean War. And believe it or not, we were the good guys in Vietnam.”

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*VIDEOS* Pajama’s Media: Trifecta – Obama’s Insanely Idiotic, Bullshit-Leftist, Anti-War War On ISIS


Should Republicans Authorize Obama’s ‘Force’ Against ISIS?

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Obama’s War On The Caliphate: We Can’t Just Kill ‘Em?

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Pulling A Scott Walker – Newly Elected Republican Governor Of Illinois Declares War On Government Unions

Illinois’ New Republican Governor Just Declared War On Government Unions – Daily Caller

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Illinois’ newly elected Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner attacked labor unions during a speech Tuesday, saying they are responsible for many problems that plague his state.

Throughout his speech, Rauner took aim at “government union bosses,” calling them corrupt for contributing to Democratic candidates in return for favorable deals.

“The taxpayer’s on the outside,” Rauner said during his speech in Decatur, according to Northern Public Radio.

“It’s a conflict of interest. It’s a closed loop. This is what’s going on,” Rauner continued. “It’s driving up our bureaucracy and jobs are leaving.”

“The unions that contract with the state: I think it’s the No. 1 conflict of interest in our state today,” Rauner declared.

Rauner pointed towards Prevailing Wage Laws and Project Labor Agreements as some of the few examples of how labor unions drive up costs through unfair laws.

According to The Illinois Policy Institute, the state is struggling in jobs and education, two areas vital to economic growth and stability.

“Illinois’ low standing for total job growth is unusual given that Illinois has the largest population in the Midwest and the fifth largest nationally,” the Institute noted in a report for 2014. “It takes a particularly toxic combination of bad policy and corrupt dealings to hinder such a large and talented workforce from keeping up with the likes of Kentucky and Connecticut.”

“Illinois tracks last of all states for private-sector job creation in 2014, one of only four states to be negative for jobs on the year,” the report added.

The governor also addressed right-to-work legislation. Though he is hesitant to support it as a state law, Rauner does say local leaders should decide for themselves if they want such legislation. Under a right-to-work law, workers cannot be forced into a union as a condition of employment.

“I’m not advocating Illinois becoming a right-to-work state, but I do advocate local governments being allowed to decide whether they’re right-to-work zones,” Rauner said according to The Associated Press.

Some union leaders are already attacking Rauner for deceiving voters during the election last year: While running for governor, Rauner said he was not anti-union.

“It’s taken him less than two weeks to show his true colors,” Sean Stott of the Laborer’s International Union told Northern Public Radio.

Scott says the governor’s plans will drive down wages and lead to a loss of jobs, and not just for union members.

Illinois AFL-CIO President Michael Carrigan, called the governor’s speech, “failed right-wing economic policy.”

“The Bruce Rauner that managed to mask his true feelings about working families for most of last year showed his true agenda today,” Carrigan told Insurance News Net in a statement. “Much like his past proposal to cut the minimum wage, he is now going after workers on all fronts by supporting right to work, attacking unemployment insurance and workers compensation, as well as prevailing wage and project labor agreements that benefit both workers and the taxpayers.”

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How Many Lies Have Democrats Told To Sabotage The War On Terror? (David Horowitz)

How Many Lies Have Democrats Told To Sabotage The War On Terror? – David Horowitz

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Start with Obama’s claim that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (or ISIS) is not Islamic. Say what? In fact, the so-called war on terror is clearly a war that Islamic jihadists have declared on us. Yet Obama is so hostile to this war that even the subterfuge “war on terror” was too much for him and he purged it from official government statements and replaced it with “Overseas Contingency Operations,” which describes nothing. Why would he do this? To avoid confronting the actual threat from what is obviously the most dynamic movement in Islam today: the jihadist war to purge the world of infidels and establish a global Islamic state. The same impulse to deny this threat can be seen in the Obama administration’s characterization of domestic acts of Islamic terror like the recent beheading in Oklahoma and the Fort Hood massacre as “workplace violence.”

The origin of the Democratic lies that fog the nature of the war against the Islamists and make us vulnerable to their attacks can be traced to the Democrats’ defection from the war in Iraq, the second front in the so-called “war on terror.” “Bush Lied People Died.” This was the disgusting charge with which progressives and Democrats sought successfully to demonize America’s commander-in-chief and demoralize the nation as it went to war to take down the terrorist-supporting monster regime of Saddam Hussein and eventually defeat Ansar-al-Islam and al-Qaeda in Iraq. In fact, Bush didn’t lie about the reasons for taking on the terrorist regime in Iraq, as the Democrats claimed. Democrats, including senators John Kerry and Diane Feinstein sat on the intelligence committees and had access to every piece of data about Saddam Hussein’s weapons and the reasons for going to war that George Bush did. If they had any doubts about these reasons all they had to do was pick up the phone to CIA director George Tenet – a Bill Clinton appointee – and ask him. The reprehensible claim that Bush lied was concocted by Democrats to justify their defection from a war they had just authorized betraying their country in time of war along with the young men and women they had sent into the battlefield.

The Democrats lied in claiming that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and that therefore the war was unnecessary and therefore immoral. This was actually two lies in one. In the first place the decision to go to war wasn’t about Saddam’s possession of weapons of mass destruction. It was about his determination to build and use weapons of mass destruction and his violation of 17 Security Council resolutions designed to stop him from doing just that. Saddam violated all 17 of the UN resolutions, beginning with those that constituted the Gulf War Truce and culminating in the ultimatum to disclose and destroy all his weapons of mass destruction. His defiance of that ultimatum is why we went to war with him.

But it was the second lie – that Saddam did not have weapons of mass destruction – that the Democrats used to discredit the president and the war we were fighting. In fact, the Saddam regime did have weapons of mass destruction, including a chemical weapons storage plant recently discovered by ISIS along with 2200 rockets filled with deadly Sarin gas. Here’s the report from the Daily News of July 9, 2014:

“A terrorist group bent on turning Iraq into an Islamic state has seized a chemical weapons depot near Baghdad stockpiled with sarin-filled rockets left over from the Saddam Hussein era… The site, about 35 miles southwest of Baghdad, was once operated by Saddam’s army and is believed to contain 2,500 degraded rockets filled with potentially deadly sarin and mustard gas.”

Not a single Democrat has apologized for the monstrous defamation campaign they conducted around this lie to cripple their president and their country in a time of war.

The Democrats began their sabotage campaign against the war in Iraq in June 2003, claiming that Bush lied when he cited a British report that Saddam was seeking fissionable uranium in Niger for his nuclear weapons program. Two official reports, one by the British and the other by the U.S. Senate confirmed that Bush’s statement was correct, but this was long after the Democrats had so demonized America’s commander-in-chief as a cynical and dangerous liar that his ability to mobilize American citizens to support the war against the Iraqi terrorists was severely damaged. No apologies from Democrats or the media, which abetted their lies, in this case either. Here is a recent testimony about the facts of Saddam’s quest for fissionable yellow cake uranium:

“As someone who led the company that transported 550 metric tons of yellowcake uranium – enough to make fourteen Hiroshima-size bombs – from Saddam’s nuclear complex in the Iraq War’s notorious ‘Triangle of Death’ for air shipment out of the country, I know Baathist Iraq’s WMD potential existed.”

Not content with these lies, the Democrats reached into their Marxist pocket for another. The progressive slogan “No Blood For Oil” was a maliciously false claim designed to undermine the moral basis for the war by accusing President Bush of serving the interests of his Texas oil cronies beginning with Vice President Cheney, former president of Halliburton, instead of the American people. In the Democrats’ telling, evil corporations in the Republicans’ pocket pushed the country into a needless and “imperialist” war that cost thousands of American and Iraqi lives. But the fact is that despite spending trillions of dollars on a war that cost thousands of American lives, America got no oil out of the war in Iraq, which has wound up in the hands of ISIS terrorists and the People’s Republic of China. No apologies for this myth either.

Perhaps the most destructive lie that Democrats have used to sabotage the war against the Islamist fanatics is that fighting terrorists creates more of them. Nancy Pelosi actually told 60 Minutes’ Steve Croft that if America left Iraq the terrorists would leave too. The argument has been used by progressives to oppose a serious military effort to stop ISIS in Syria and Iraq rather than having to fight them here at home. But aggressive pre-emptive war against the terrorists in their homelands rather than ours has the opposite effect as the victory in Iraq showed before Obama undid it.

The six-year retreat of the Obama Administration from the battlefields in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and appeasement of the terrorist state of Iran, has created more terrorists than we have ever seen. The weakness displayed by the chief defender of freedom under the leadership of an anti-American president has been a provocation to terrorists. The terror threat diminished under Bush but has grown dramatically under Obama. That is because fighting terrorists does not produce them. ISIS is able to recruit thousands of new terrorists because Islamist radicals are inspired by what Osama bin Laden called “the strong horse,” by beheadings and the slaughter of Christians without a serious reprisal. This is the face of the evil that confronts us, and we better wake up to that threat before it is too late.

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*AUDIO* Mark Steyn: What Does It Take For Barack Obama To Cancel A Fundraiser?


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*VIDEO* Afghanistan War Veteran / Congressman Tom Cotton Slams Obama For “Offensive” Bergdahl Trade


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Iraq War Hero To Obama: You Said You Were Proud Of Our Sacrifices, So Why Did You Throw Them Away?

Iraq War Hero JR Salzman To Obama: You Said You Were Proud Of Our Sacrifices. So Why Did You Throw Them Away? – Gateway Pundit

JR Salzman, the “Lumberjack in the Desert” blogger, was the ESPN Outdoor Sportsman of the Year back in 2005.

Then he went to Iraq.

JR lost his arm in an IED attack.

In July 2009 JR came back and won his 7th ESPN Logrolling Championship.

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J. R. Salzman, who lost an arm in Iraq, with his sister after winning his seventh logrolling title. (The New York Times)

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Today J.R. Salzman posted a series of tweets in response to the deteriorating situation in Iraq.

Remember when we met in 2007 @BarackObama?

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J.R. Salzman
@jrsalzman

Remember when we met in 2007 @BarackObama? You said you were proud of our sacrifices. So why did you throw them away?
11:19 PM – 12 Jun 2014

1,515 Retweets 849 favorites
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Screw American lives lost.

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J.R. Salzman
@jrsalzman

Shorter Obama: screw Iraq, screw American lives lost, screw American dollars spent, screw being President. I’m going golfing.
12:15 PM – 13 Jun 2014

495 Retweets 270 favorites
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** Read the rest at Progressives Today.

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Your Daley Gator ‘Whose Side Is Obama On, Anyway?’ War On Terror News Roundup (Pictures/Videos)

ISIS Terror Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Was Released By Obama From Camp Bucca In 2009 – Gateway Pundit

Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), has transformed a few terror cells on the verge of extinction into the most dangerous militant group in the world.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi or Abu Dua was once held by the US in Camp Bucca Iraq.

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But the Obama administration shut down the Bucca prison camp and released its prisoners, including Abu Dua in 2009.

The Telegraph reported:

The FBI “most wanted” mugshot shows a tough, swarthy figure, his hair in a jailbird crew-cut. The $10 million price on his head, meanwhile, suggests that whoever released him from US custody four years ago may now be regretting it…

…Well-organised and utterly ruthless, the ex-preacher is the driving force behind al-Qaeda’s resurgence throughout Syria and Iraq, putting it at the forefront of the war to topple President Bashar al-Assad and starting a fresh campaign of mayhem against the Western-backed government in Baghdad.

On Tuesday, his forces achieved their biggest coup in Iraq to date, seizing control of government buildings in Mosul, the country’s third biggest city. Coming on top of similar operations in January that planted the black jihadi flag in the towns of Fallujah and Ramadi, it gives al-Qaeda control of large swathes of the north and west of the country, and poses the biggest security crisis since the US pull-out two years ago…

…“This guy was a Salafi (a follower of a fundamentalist brand of Islam), and Saddam’s regime would have kept a close eye on him,” said Dr Michael Knights, an Iraq expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

“He was also in Camp Bucca for several years, which suggests he was already considered a serious threat when he went in there.”

That theory seems backed by US intelligence reports from 2005, which describe him as al-Qaeda’s point man in Qaim, a fly-blown town in Iraq’s western desert.

“Abu Duaa was connected to the intimidation, torture and murder of local civilians in Qaim”, says a Pentagon document. “He would kidnap individuals or entire families, accuse them, pronounce sentence and then publicly execute them.”

Why such a ferocious individual was deemed fit for release in 2009 is not known. One possible explanation is that he was one of thousands of suspected insurgents granted amnesty as the US began its draw down in Iraq. Another, though, is that rather like Keyser Söze, the enigmatic crimelord in the film The Usual Suspects, he may actually be several different people.

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Al-Qaeda ISIS members from ISIS celebrate in Diyala Province, Iraq.

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Democracy Now added this on the closing of Camp Bucca in 2009.

The US meanwhile has closed Camp Bucca, once its largest prison in Iraq. The Pentagon says it’s transferred Bucca’s remaining 180 prisoners to two jails near Baghdad. US Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth King said the prison’s closure comes as part of the US-Iraq security deal.

Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth King: “As a show of progress for the security agreement and moving forward the government of Iraq, we’re going to put the theater internment facility as a piece of history. And we’re going to – it will be history, and we’ll move forward from here and progress.”

Camp Bucca once hosted thousands of prisoners without charge, with many allegations of torture and abuse by US guards.

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ISIS Butchers Leave ‘Roads Lined With Decapitated Police And Soldiers’: Battle For Baghdad Looms As Thousands Answer Iraqi Government’s Call To Arms And Jihadists Bear Down On Capital – Daily Mail

The full horror of the jihadists’ savage victories in Iraq emerged yesterday as witnesses told of streets lined with decapitated soldiers and policemen.

Blood-soaked bodies and blazing vehicles were left in the wake of the Al Qaeda-inspired ISIS fanatics as they pushed the frontline towards Baghdad.

They boasted about their triumphs in a propaganda video depicting appalling scenes including a businessman being dragged from his car and executed at the roadside with a pistol to the back of his head. The extent of the carnage came as:

Images from captured cities such as Mosul and Tikrit showed deserted streets, burnt out vehicles and discarded uniforms left by government troops fleeing the brutal fanatics;

ISIS leaders urged their bloodthirsty followers to continue their march and warned that battle would rage in Baghdad and in the holy city of Karbala;

Thousands of residents in the capital answered a call to arms to repel the invaders amid fears the government’s own troops were not up to the job;

Aid groups warned of a new refugee crisis after half a million terrified Iraqis left their homes to escape the jihadists.

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In the swathe of captured territory across northern Iraq, ISIS declared hardline Sharia law, publishing rules ordering women not to go outside ‘unless strictly necessary’, banning alcohol and smoking, and forcing all residents to attend mosques five times a day. BBC correspondent Paul Wood said one woman from Mosul, Iraq’s second city, had spoken of seeing a ‘row of decapitated soldiers and policemen’.

The refugee woman told how the victims’ heads were placed in rows – a trademark, trophy-style execution favoured by ISIS militants.

The fanatics captured Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s birthplace, by overrunning an army base and rounding up hundreds of soldiers and police. Dozens of members of a police special forces battalion were paraded on the back of a truck in the city.

As the balaclava-clad militants took Mosul and Tikrit, thousands of Baghdad’s residents young and old queued at recruiting stations to form a ‘Dad’s army’ to defend the capital.

Trucks carrying volunteers in uniform rumbled towards the frontlines to defend the city, with many chanting slogans against the ISIS militants.

Meanwhile the Iraqi air force carried out at least four bombing raids on insurgent positions in and around Mosul. State television showed targets exploding in black clouds.

Britons working in Baghdad’s Green Zone where most of the foreign embassies are based were on high alert. The lightning advance of ISIS has caused alarm in London, Washington and across the Middle East.

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Despite vastly outnumbering the jihadists, government troops have melted away in the face of the insurgents, allowing them to capture two helicopters, 15 tanks, weapons and several armoured cars that used belonging to the American military. They also seized £350million-worth of dinars by robbing a bank in Mosul.

According to bitter Iraqi footsoldiers, their commanders slipped away in the night rather than mount a defence of the city.

One said: ‘Our leaders betrayed us. The commanders left the military behind. When we woke up, all the leaders had left.’

Last night Barack Obama said America would help with ‘short-term immediate actions… militarily’ to push back the insurgents, but ruled out sending troops.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said Britain would not get involved militarily because Iraq was now a democracy.

Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki vowed: ‘We are not going to allow this to carry on, regardless of the price. We are getting ready. We are organising.’

As the situation spiralled out of control, even Iran was said to have deployed two battalions from its Revolutionary Guard to help the Iraqi government retake Tikrit.

The development was likely to enrage Washington, which has been steadfast in its determination for Baghdad not to cosy up to Tehran.

It also emerged that members of Saddam’s old guard were joining the insurrection. Fighters loyal to his disbanded Baath Party were said to be actively supporting the rebels. ISIS stands for Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham but has also been referenced as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

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Its insurgency is the biggest threat to Iraq since US troops withdrew in 2011.

ISIS commanders issued chilling warnings to any police officers or soldiers to ‘repent or be killed’.

In a sinister video, the extremists urged followers to ‘march to Baghdad – we have a score to settle’. They also pledged to take the holy cities of Karbala and Najaf.

‘Continue your march as the battle is not yet raging,’ a voice said to be that of ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani says. ‘It will rage in Baghdad and Karbala. So be ready for it. Put on your belts and get ready.’

But taking Baghdad would be much tougher for ISIS than the towns where they have triumphed so far. The United Nations Security Council met behind closed doors last night to discuss the crisis.

Iraq’s foreign minister, Hoshyar Zebari, speaking in London, insisted the government had halted the rebel advance and even claimed insurgents were ‘on the run’.

But at Baiji, near Kirkuk, insurgents surrounded Iraq’s largest refinery. And the fighters have reached Samarra, 70 miles north of Baghdad.

About a quarter of Mosul’s two million residents have fled. The flood of terrified families escaping the fighting there was described as ‘one of the largest and swiftest mass movements of people in the world in recent memory’. Many have headed east into the autonomous region of Kurdistan.

Aid groups fear a new refugee crisis. Neighbouring countries already struggling to look after 2.8million refugees from the Syrian civil war now face the prospect of a new influx of displaced people desperately seeking a safe haven.

Meanwhile Iraqi Kurds seized control of the major northern oil city of Kirkuk today after the central government’s army abandoned its posts.The Kurds – a semi-autonomous ethnic group based in the north – have their own 250,000-strong military, but have not used them to engage ISIS.

Footage emerged yesterday evening from TIkrit, which appears to show a long line of captured men and boys, being forcibly marched down a highway in the city.

The minute-long video, uploaded to YouTube, showed a snaking column of men stretching the entire visible length of the stretch of road. A voice captured by the recording describes a great Islamic ‘family’ and later an ‘army’, suggesting a possible intention to recruit the captives.

Most of the men and boys have both hands on their heads, while others – some wearing head coverings and some bare-faced – move up and down the column encouraging the march.

The startling developments raise the spectre of Iraq being carved up and divided into several states. Respected commentators have raised the prospect that, with Kurdish forces holding the north, the Sunni ISIS militants taking parts of the north and west, leaving the central and south-eastern to the Shiite population who currently run the government and military.

Yesterday the Iraqi Ambassador to Washington warned the ‘integrity of Iraq is in question’, while Dr Ayad Allawi, a former prime minister of Iraq, added that a break-up was ‘not impossible’.

The governor of Mosul, who escaped the city and is now in Erbil in the Kurdish north, said that Iraq must be divided as centralisation had ‘failed’.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Atheel al-Nujaifi said prime minister Nouri al-Maliki ‘didn’t devolve authority to us before, but now we must do it. Now we are saying his centralisation policies have failed,’ Mr Nujaifi said.

Repercussions from the conflict are also being felt in global oil markets, where prices shot to a three-month high. The RAC said disruption could add more than 2p to the price of a litre of petrol.

The price of Brent crude rose $2 to a three-month high of more than $112 on fears about supply from the second-biggest producer in the Opec oil cartel.

The RAC said: ‘The worsening situation in Iraq is causing a knee-jerk reaction in the global fuel market with wholesale prices going up one pence over Wednesday and Thursday.’

This was likely to push the pump price of both petrol and diesel up by 2p per litre in the short term, the RAC said, ‘and this could well go much further’.

Iraq has insisted sectarian violence will not spread to the south, from which the vast majority of oil output comes.

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After the capture of Mosul, the Islamic State issued a triumphalist statement declaring that it would implement its strict version of Shariah law in Mosul and other regions it had overrun.

Its laws state that women should stay in their homes for modesty reasons, command residents to attend prayers five times a day, and warned thieves that they would have their hands cut off.

It came as Kurdish forces took full control of Iraq’s oil-rich city of Kirkuk after the federal army abandoned its bases there.

Peshmerga fighters, the security forces of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish north, swept into Kirkuk after the army abandoned its posts there, a peshmerga spokesman said.

‘The whole of Kirkuk has fallen into the hands of peshmerga. No Iraqi army remains in Kirkuk now’, said Jabbar Yawar.

Kurds have long dreamed of controlling Kirkuk, a city with huge oil reserves just outside their autonomous region, which they regard as their historical capital.

The swift move by their highly organised security forces demonstrates how this week’s sudden advance by ISIS fighters has redrawn Iraq’s map.

Insurgents surrounded Iraq’s largest refinery in the northern town of Baiji this afternoon – they first moved in late on Tuesday, closing in on the refinery, but later withdrew to the surrounding villages after reaching a deal with local tribal chiefs.

A White House spokesman this evening said that they believed the Iraqi government were in control of the facility, but had no further details.

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In the midst of the crisis, Iraq’s parliament failed to declare a nationwide state of emergency after not enough MPs turned up for a vote.

Opposition politicians representing Sunni and Kurdish populations boycotted parliament because the oppose a motion to give extraordinary powers to Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Turkey is negotiating for the release of 80 nationals held by ISIS in Mosul and cannot confirm reports that some of them have been freed, government officials said today.

The pro-government Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak reported that the hostages, who include diplomatic staff, children and special forces soldiers, had been released to the Iraqi governor of Mosul and would be brought to Turkey tonight.

The capture of Mosul – along with the fall of Tikrit and the militants’ earlier seizure of the city of Fallujah and parts of Ramadi, the capital of western Anbar province – has undone hard-fought gains against insurgents in the years following the invasion by U.S.-led forces.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned the abductions and the seizure of Iraqi territory by the militants, urging ‘the international community to unite in showing solidarity with Iraq as it confronts this serious security challenge.’

‘Terrorism must not be allowed to succeed in undoing the path towards democracy in Iraq,’ he added.

Mosul, the capital of Ninevah province, and the neighboring Sunni-dominated province of Anbar share a long and porous border with Syria, where the Islamic State is also active.

Without assigning direct blame, al-Maliki said a ‘conspiracy’ led to the massive security failure that allowed militants to capture Mosul, and said members of the security forces who fled rather than stand up to the militants should be punished.

‘We are working to solve the situation,’ al-Maliki said. ‘We are regrouping the armed forces that are in charge of clearing Ninevah from those terrorists.’

Iranian airlines cancelled all flights between Tehran and Baghdad due to security concerns, and the Islamic Republic has intensified security measures along its borders, Iran’s state news agency IRNA reported.

Shiite Iran, a major regional power, has strong ties with Iraq’s government. Some 17,000 Iranian pilgrims are in Iraq at any given time, according to IRNA, which cited the director of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization.

Tikrit residents said the militant group overran several police stations in the Sunni-dominated city.

Two Iraqi security officials confirmed that the city, 80 miles north of Baghdad and the capital of Salahuddin province, was under ISIS’s control and that the provincial governor was missing.

The major oil refinery in Baiji, located between Mosul and Tikrit, remained in government control, the officials said. There were clashes and gunmen tried to take the town but were repelled in a rare success for Iraqi government forces protecting an important facility, the officials said.

The International Organisation for Migration estimated that 500,000 people fled the Mosul area, with some seeking safety in the Ninevah countryside or the nearby semi-autonomous Kurdish region.

Getting into the latter has become more difficult, however, with migrants without family members already in the enclave needing to secure permission from Kurdish authorities, according to the IOM.

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The Islamist militia is so ruthless and extreme that even al-Qaeda has cut ties and distances itself from them.

The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Isis), used to be part of the international terror network, but was cast out in February this year in light of its violent behaviour towards rival jihadist groups.

It is famed – and feared – for spreading hardline Islamic law to the areas it subdues. Transgressors are sentenced to death and swiftly executed in public, their bodies left to decay in the streets.

This treatment has even been doled out against other jihadist leaders, who have been assassinated in a brutal struggle over strategy in the Middle East. Young jihadists are increasingly drawn to Isis over less extreme groups – particularly in the light of their rapid military progress through Iraq.

In the past days the group has overrun the northern city of Mosul, and today also took Tikrit, the hometown of executed Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein.
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In February, the leader of al-Qaeda issued a statement dissociating itself from Isis, which it accused of ‘forbidden bloodshed’ directed at fellow fighters.

Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s chief, cut ties after Isis attempted to bolster its strength by merging with other rebels in Syria.

He said: ‘We weren’t informed about its creation, nor counselled. Nor are we satisfied with it: rather we ordered it to stop… Nor is al–Qaeda responsible for its actions and behaviour.’

The organisation is led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who has a U.S. bounty of $10million on his head, second only to al-Zawahiri.

The ISIS leader, who was born in 1971 in Baghdad, is touted as a battlefield commander and tactician.

Baghdadi, who has a degree in Islamic studies, apparently joined the insurgency that erupted in Iraq soon after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

He was taken as a prisoner of the Americans in Camp Bucca between 2005 and 2007 – it was here that one of the only two photos know to be in existence was taken of him.

He is known as ‘The Ghost’ to members of the pro-Assad Lebanese Shi-ite militia Hizballah.

The secretive Baghdadi talks with a scarf covering his face even when dealing with close allies, according to militants who worked with him in Iraq.

He addresses his ISIS followers through audio recordings posted to the internet, rather than in public places.

Military sources have reported his death on numerous occasions in the past years, but the fighter always seems to reappear. This has led to speculation that al-Baghdadi is in fact a name used jointly by several commanders.

Some estimates claim Isis group has in excess of 10,000 fighting men in its ranks. Many of its fighters are thought to be radicalised Western Muslims who have poured in from Europe and North American to join the fighting in Syria and elsewhere.

The group, which controls large areas of land in Syria, is thought to be pouring resources and money from those areas into its burgeoning Iraqi campaign, which has seen it tear through the northern regions on the country.

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Its military progress, largely unhindered by Iraq’s own security forces, have given it control over several highly valuable oil fields, which leaders will hope to exploit to strengthen their hand.

The situation has alarmed officials in Turkey, who called an emergency meeting of NATO ambassadors after 80 of its citizens were taken hostage by Isis.

‘Turkey briefed the other allies on the situation in (the Iraqi city of) Mosul and the hostage-taking of Turkish citizens, including the consul general,’ a NATO official said.

He said the meeting was held for informational purposes and not under Article 4 of NATO’s founding treaty, which permits a member of the 28-nation alliance to ask for consultations with other allies when it feels its security is threatened.

Turks seized included 48 from the consulate in Mosul – including the consul-general and three children. Separately, 28 truck drivers who were delivering diesel to a power plant were captured on Monday.

Meanwhile, Baghdad residents were stockpiling food, fuel and weaponry in anticipation of an attack on the capital in the coming days.

Prime Minister Maliki has previously encouraged ordinary Iraqis to take up arms against the advancing soldiers of Isis, especially in light of claims that members of the police and military are intentionally defecting.

Senior sources in the Iraqi government have said that they have a plan to take back Mosul, but were unclear on the details.

Isis is pushing to expand its territory, which currently straddles the border between Syria and Iraq, and includes land extremely close to the Turkish border.

The group’s centre of power is Raqqa, a city in northern Syria, which is being run under the regime’s oppressive and violent code.

Raqqa was heavily contested throughout the Syrian conflict, and was held by several rebel groups until Isis threw out all other contenders in 2013.

Recently Isis leaders imposed punitive rules on the city’s Christian population, demanding that they pay a levy of gold for ‘protection’ else face being killed on the streets for their faith.

Horrifying images have also emerged from the cities of crucifixions being used to punish men who attacked Isis fighters.

Seven men were sentenced to death after a grenade was thrown at a soldier near a roundabout in Raqqa. The men, who were riding motorbikes, were then hunted down by Isis forces, according to a statement from the group. Two of the men were sentenced to die by crucifixion.

One of the two was wrapped in a banner, which said: ‘This man fought against Muslims and threw a grenade in this place.’

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Obama To Release Osama Bin Laden’s Bodyguards – Conservative Tribune

Apparently President Obama’s new favorite hobby is seeing how quickly he can release the world’s most dangerous terrorists from Gitmo.

Hot on the heels of releasing five detainees in an illegal deal to obtain Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, a possible deserter and defector, the President has made another wrong decision involving high ranking al-Qaeda prisoners.

One would think that after catching so much flack from the public and members of Congress, including a new investigation to add to the list of the ones that are already on-going, Obama would think twice before pulling another stunt that endangers American lives.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what the president is about to do.

According to new reports, Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have approved the release of one of Osama bin Laden’s personal bodyguards. Yes, you read that correctly.

Via Daily Caller:

President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have approved one of Osama bin Laden’s personal bodyguards for release or transfer from the Guantanamo Bay detention center to another country, according to prison records released by WikiLeaks and a recently published list of approved-transfer detainees from the Justice Department.

Idris Ahmad Abdu Qadir Idris is the second name on Holder’s Justice Department list of 55 Gitmo detainees approved for release or transfer. This detainee, according to a Jan. 26, 2008, Defense Department document published by WikiLeaks, provided security for bin Laden both before and after the deadly Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.

“Detainee is assessed to be a member of al-Qaida and was identified as a bodyguard for Usama Bin Laden (UBL) beginning shortly before the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks. Detainee is also assessed to be an al-Qaida recruiter associated with a Salafist network in Yemen,” the document reads. “Detainee transited through multiple extremist support guesthouses, received militant training at the al-Qaida al-Faruq Training Camp in Afghanistan (AF), and is assessed to have received advanced training.”

Spokespeople for the Justice Department and for the White House haven’t responded to requests for comment on why they want to release or transfer one of Bin Laden’s bodyguards from U.S. custody, even as reports surface suggesting the recent anti-American attacks in Libya were organized by a released Gitmo detainee.

Unbelievable. President Obama, the Commander-in-Chief, one of the top U.S. officials tasked with ensuring America’s safety, continues to release terrorists back into the wild, who will no doubt be back on the battlefield fighting against the U.S.

This man is either trying to destroy America, or he is the most intellectually inept president this nation has ever had in office. Obama needs to be impeached right now before he does any further damage to our civil liberties and our national security.

Please share this article if you agree President Obama is putting the nation in danger and needs to be impeached immediately.

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Alarmed By Iraq, Iran Open To Shared Role With U.S. – Reuters

Shi’te Muslim Iran is so alarmed by Sunni insurgent gains in Iraq that it may be willing to cooperate with Washington in helping Baghdad fight back, a senior Iranian official told Reuters.

The idea is being discussed internally among the Islamic Republic’s leadership, the senior Iranian official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity. The official had no word on whether the idea had been raised with any other party.

Officials say Iran will send its neighbor advisers and weaponry, although probably not troops, to help its ally Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki check what Tehran sees as a profound threat to regional stability, officials and analysts say.

Islamist militants have captured swathes of territory including the country’s second biggest city Mosul.

Tehran is open to the possibility of working with the United States to support Baghdad, the senior official said.

“We can work with Americans to end the insurgency in the Middle East,” the official said, referring to events in Iraq.

“We are very influential in Iraq, Syria and many other countries.”

For many years, Iran has been aggrieved by what it sees as U.S. efforts to marginalize it. Tehran wants to be recognized as a significant player in regional security.

Common Cause

Relations between Iran and Washington have improved modestly since the 2013 election of President Hassan Rouhani, who promised “constructive engagement” with the world.

And while Tehran and the United States pursue talks to resolve the Islamic state’s decade-old nuclear standoff with the West, they also acknowledge some common threats, including the rise of al Qaeda-style militancy across the Middle East.

On Thursday, President Barack Obama said the United States was not ruling out air strikes to help Baghdad fight the insurgents, in what would be the first U.S. armed intervention in Iraq since the end of the U.S.-led war.

Rouhani on Thursday strongly condemned what he called violent acts by insurgent groups in the Middle East.

“Today, in our region, unfortunately, we are witnessing violence, killing, terror and displacement,” Rouhani said.

“Iran will not tolerate the terror and violence… we will fight against terrorism, factionalism and violence.”

Asked on Thursday about Iranian comments, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said: “Clearly, we’ve encouraged them in many cases to play a constructive role. But I don’t have any other readouts or views from our end to portray here today.”

Fearing Iraq’s war could spill into Iran, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has urged the international community to back Maliki’s administration “in its fight against terrorism”.

Brigadier-General Mohammad Hejazi said Iran was ready to supply Iraq with “military equipment or consultations,” the Tasnim news agency reported. “I do not think the deployment of Iranian troops would be necessary,” he was quoted as adding.

The senior Iranian official said Iran was extremely worried about the advance of ISIL, also a major force in the war against Iran’s close ally Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, carving out a swathe of Syria territory along the Iraqi border.

“The danger of extremist Sunni terrorist in Iraq and the region is increasing… There have been several high-ranking security meetings since yesterday in Tehran,” the official said.

“We are on alert and we also follow the developments in Iraq very closely.”

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Militants ‘Ready For New Assault On Iraq’s Samarra’ – Yahoo News

Militants were gathering Friday for a new attempt to take the Iraqi city of Samarra, home to a revered Shiite shrine whose 2006 bombing sparked a sectarian war, witnesses said.

A major offensive launched by the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and its allies late Monday has overrun second city Mosul and a swathe of northern and north-central Iraq.

Witnesses in the Dur area, between militant-held Tikrit and Samarra, said they saw “countless” vehicles carrying militants south during the night.

And witnesses in Samarra, just 110 kilometres (70 miles) north of Baghdad, said gunmen were gathering to the north, east and southeast of the city.

A tribal leader said that militants had approached the security forces in the city, asking them to leave peacefully and promising not to harm the Al-Askari shrine.

They also proposed that tribal leaders form a force to protect the shrine and the city’s residents, but security forces refused to withdraw, he said.

Militants already mounted two assaults on Samarra, one on Wednesday and one late last week, which were thwarted only after heavy fighting.

The Al-Askari shrine was bombed by militants in February 2006, sparking sectarian conflict between Iraq’s Shiite majority and Sunni Arab minority that left tens of thousands dead.

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*VIDEO* Trey Gowdy Talks To Jeanine Pirro About Benghazi, Obama’s War On Religious Liberty And Edward Snowden


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Holder’s Victims: The Obama Regime’s War On Poor, Black Children Continues

Holder’s Victims – Washington Free Beacon

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Coretta Pittman goes well beyond the 40 hours of service required of parents whose children attend the Good Shepherd School in New Orleans. Last year she did 100.

She borrows her mother’s car to take her son Elias, a second grader, to Good Shepherd each morning rather than sending him to a public school across the street. She chooses to work part-time so she can volunteer.

Without a voucher, Pittman would not be able to send Elias to the private Catholic school.

“I love the school,” she said. “I wouldn’t switch him for anything.”

Pittman fears that without the program Elias’s future could be snuffed out, like her nephew. She gets emotional when talking about his death. “Me and my mother raised my nephew from the time he came home from the hospital,” Pittman said. “A year ago, he was killed. He was really smart. I think he could’ve done and been anything that he wanted to.”

“I just wonder if he would’ve had somewhere like Good Shepherd to go, what could have become of him,” she said. “And I’m just hoping that, I don’t want to ever have to wonder what could have become of my son.”

When we find Elias he is sprinting across the playground. Baton in hand, he nearly barrels his cheering classmates over as he finishes his leg of a relay race. We summon him over. Wearing a huge smile, he tells us what he wants to be when he grows up.

“I like math and numbers,” he says. “I want to be a mathematician and a doctor. I’d love to be a police. My auntie’s husband is a police.”

Elias’s favorite part about school: “I get to talk to my friends.”

“I don’t want to imagine what would happen if the program ended,” his mother says. “It gives my son choices and it gives me hope.”

***

The children at St. Leo the Great Catholic Central in New Orleans know more Spanish than I do. Kids from Ms. Margaret Mary’s third grade class stand to recite “Padre Nuestro” – the Lord’s Prayer – when we walk in. Smiling faces greet us with a resounding “good morning” in each classroom.

A portrait of Barack Obama hangs on the wall. The kids don’t know anything about the motions filed by the president’s Justice Department, which could block kids like them from attending schools like St. Leo – better schools than those in the public system they’ve left behind. They know that they love their teachers, and they are learning.

“What frustrates me – I keep hounding on it, but it’s true,” said Ronald Briggs, chairman of the board at Good Shepherd. “The state of Louisiana saves money on the deal. They actually save $16 million a year.”

“The taxpayer wins, the kids win, and the guardians win. So what’s the problem?”

***

As president, one of the first laws Obama signed killed a voucher program in Washington, D.C. Though Congress worked to reinstate the program, Obama has repeatedly tried to defund it in his budget proposals.

Now the Justice Department is going after Louisiana, first seeking a permanent injunction against the state scholarship program, which would put the fate of future voucher recipients in the hands of federal judges. Roughly 6,750 low-income students received a voucher this school year to escape failing schools.

“It’s political. It’s unfortunate. It’s wrong,” said Ann Duplessis, the president of the Louisiana Federation for Children (LFC).

A lifelong Democrat, Duplessis opposed school choice for years until she began to question who the unions were really fighting for.

“It was more of actually looking at those kids,” she said. “I have three girls and three grandchildren. I couldn’t bear the thought of them being in an environment that I didn’t know if they were going to come home that evening.”

“You want to fight for your kids,” she said. “You look in their faces—they’re children.”

Duplessis’s mother was a public school teacher in the 1940s and ‘50s in some of the most prejudiced districts in the south. “The union was absolutely necessary to protect African-Americans’ jobs,” she said.

But today it’s different. “Not that we’re saying we have overcome—but we have advanced,” she said.

“The unions don’t work anymore for our teachers.”

***

Duplessis served in the state senate for seven years, and was crucial in helping grow the charter school movement. She worked with another Democrat, Austin Badon, to pass the scholarship program for New Orleans in 2008.

The program has been under fire ever since. Unions protested the legislature, attempted recall elections, and sued the program all the way to the state supreme court. Nevertheless, a bipartisan bill expanded it statewide in 2012.

“Every year there’s another threat to the program, and we’re still here, year after year,” said Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal in an interview with the Washington Free Beacon. “We survived everything else, just when the program was growing and everything was moving forward all of a sudden here comes the federal government.”

The Justice Department says vouchers are “impeding desegregation,” relying on laws from the 1950s that broke up segregated schools at the height of the Civil Rights movement. One minor problem: the DOJ can’t find the desegregation orders, which are the basis for its case.

In a filing over the weekend, the DOJ backed off its request for an injunction, seeking instead to require a lengthy review process of the program. Louisiana would have to provide information on every voucher application prior to awarding them.

If the government believed a voucher would disrupt the racial balance of a school, they could then request “the assistance” of the court to try to stop individual parent applications.

But Duplessis wonders why race is even an issue. The program operates by lottery, making it color blind.

“We’re at a state in history now, I find it offensive the idea that because you’re in an all black school it’s not as good,” she said. “To me, that is so offensive. I would hope the DOJ would look at desegregating kids out of bad schools.”

Hosanna Christian Academy in Baton Rouge has seen its demographics change dramatically since the introduction of the scholarship program. What used to be a majority white school five years ago is now 80 percent minority. Its rigorous curriculum has not changed at all.

“The idea that an all-white school or an all-black school is somehow better – it shouldn’t matter,” Duplessis said.

“Let’s come into the 21st century here.”

***

Children all across New Orleans travel to attend St. Leo, located on Abundance Street, an area ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. Seventy-five percent of the children attend the school on scholarship.

Principal Carmel Mire said almost every house on Paris Avenue, an adjacent street, had an “X” on its window following the 2005 storm. The X’s marked the loss of a person or animal.

A foot and a half of water flooded the elementary school building, which was built by the church in 1926. All the classrooms in the middle school are on the second floor, so none were damaged.

“Every tragedy is a curse, or it’s a blessed event, it’s what you make it,” said Briggs. “Katrina was a tragedy, but boy, it’s been a blessed event for a lot of things.”

Jamie Roy said that being displaced from the storm exposed parents to better schools in neighboring states. People came back demanding change.

“Before Katrina, lower-income people only went to the schools in their neighborhood, no matter if they were failing or not,” said Roy, the director of development at Good Shepherd. “That’s the choice that they had.”

“It’s like if you lived on this block, and you could only go to this grocery store,” Briggs said. “When you went over there on Monday the meat was rotten, when you went on Tuesday the milk was sour. That’s where you had to go.

“Not anymore.”

***

“As soon as I got to this school they have teaching me so well that every report card I’ve had A’s or B’s, I never failed a grade,” said Brian Ridgley, 11, a junior at Good Shepherd.

“I really thank them for all that they teach me because I’m trying to go to Jesuit, and I wanna go to Ohio State, probably become a football player,” he said.

The school will help him get there. The close-knit family of teachers and administrators allows Good Shepherd to keep tabs on their students after they graduate, providing a support system many of the children do not have. All 12 of the school’s inaugural graduating class of 2008 are now enrolled in college.

If the scholarship program disappeared, Brian said he would be disappointed. “I wouldn’t be able to get educated.”

Niyla Carr, 10, feels the same way. “I would be pretty upset, too, because this is a good school, and I know everyone and they don’t allow bad things to happen.”

***

As Dana Trahan, the upper school principal at Hosanna Christian Academy, enters the school lobby, the “rod of correction” hangs out of his back pocket. “Is it effective?” I ask the receptionist.

“Most of the time,” she says.

The paddle seems mostly for show. At over six feet tall, Trahan is a looming presence, but his jovial manner makes it clear why his students love him. You can’t walk around the school courtyard without seeing a child trying to give an administrator a hug.

In Baton Rouge, parents don’t have many options. Upper class families move to the three best school districts – Zachary, Central, and Baker – to avoid putting their kids in the East Baton Rouge (EBR) Parish.

Hosanna offers parents another choice. Of its 660 students enrolled in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, 470 receive a voucher, making it the largest scholarship school in the state.

The school’s philosophy revolves around religious instruction, discipline, and heavy parental involvement. Small class sizes allow for a family-like atmosphere, and students falling behind receive special attention after school.

Angela Byrd said she wouldn’t send her kids, Eric and Erion, back to EBR, a district whose superintendent has transferred students from performing schools to failing ones to boost their grades.

“Academically, Erion was struggling,” Byrd said. “Now she’s doing much better, she’s learning study skills.”

“We have kids who say, ‘Oh there was always fighting in the classrooms, and the administration was always yelling, and we felt intimidated. Now we sit in class and learn,’” Trahan said. “To hear those stories, that is what is joyful about this program and about our ability to present them with an environment where they can feel safe and feel ok about learning everyday.”

The school is now at full capacity, but school Dean Russell Marino doesn’t mind the extra work.

“All we know is this: God has blessed us by allowing us to reach our community to a much greater degree with the scholarship program,” he said.

“We are just blessed to have the opportunity to touch a lot of families in this town that can’t afford a private school, but now they can come and get the benefits.”

***

When he visited New Orleans a little over a week ago, Obama did not stop to tour a scholarship school, despite requests from Gov. Jindal.

“I talked to him briefly during his visit,” Jindal said. “We’ve invited him several times.”

The parties will meet in court on Nov. 22. The judge may rule whether parents of scholarship students can be represented as defendants in the case, a position the Justice Department has strongly opposed.

“If the president doesn’t have time to visit schools, at least send the attorney general before you file a lawsuit,” Jindal said. “Come see for yourself the lives you’re disrupting, the people you’re harming.”

There is no doubt the children would be happy to see him. Walking into a first grade class, the teacher asks them to say hello to their guest.

“Welcome to New Orleans!” they yell. “Welcome to Good Shepherd!”

“Ms. Harrington is from Washington, D.C.” Roy says.

“Oh! Say hi to Obama!”

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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*VIDEO* Veterans And Other Patriots Take Back The Vietnam War Memorial (Lynyrd Skynyrd – Free Bird)


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Stupid on a level never thought possible: War crimes in video games should be punished, ICRC says

Good Freaking Grief!

The International Committee of the Red Cross have called for video games to punish crimes committed in battle by adhering to real-life international war conventions.

“The ICRC believes there is a place for international humanitarian law (the law of armed conflict) in video games,” the organization that works worldwide to provide humanitarian help for people caught in war zones said in a statement on their website.

“The ICRC is concerned that certain game scenarios could lead to a trivialization of serious violations of the law of armed conflict,” they added. “The fear is that eventually such illegal acts will be perceived as acceptable behavior.” 

They are games, not  real life

Bernard Barrett, a spokesman for the organization said they were not trying to censor games or spoil people’s fun, but rather, “make clear that there are rules in battle and that certain acts are illegal.”

Shooting civilians, torture, attacking ambulances and killing prisoners are all aspects in video games that they want to address, he explained.

He added that they were not concerned with fantasy games, but those that mimic situations that might be seen in current armed conflicts, known as “first person shooters” although he declined to name specific titles.

Again, they are games, they are not real.

 

Your Daley Gator Anti-War-In-Syria Op-Ed Roundup

Unserious About Syria – Thomas Sowell

Why are we even talking about taking military action in Syria? What is that military action supposed to accomplish? And what is the probability that it will in fact accomplish whatever that unknown goal might be?

What is painfully clear from President Obama’s actions, inactions, and delays is that he is more or less playing by ear what specifically he is going to do, and when. He is telling us more about what he is not going to do – that he will not put “boots on the ground,” for example – than about what he will do.

All this is happening a year after issuing an ultimatum to the Bashar Assad regime in Syria against the use of chemical or biological weapons. When the president of the United States issues an ultimatum to another sovereign nation, he should know in advance what he is going to do if that ultimatum is rejected.

But that is not the way Barack Obama operates. Like so many people who are masters of lofty words, he does not pay nearly as much attention to mundane realities. Campaigning is his strong suit. Governing is not.

With the mainstream media ready to ooh and aah over his rhetoric, and pass over in silence his policy disasters as president, Obama is home free as far as domestic politics is concerned. But, on the world stage, neither America’s enemies nor her allies are hypnotized by his words or his image.

Nations that have to decide whether to ally themselves with us or with our enemies understand that they are making life-and-death decisions. It is not about rhetoric, image, or symbolism. It is about whether nations can count on the realism, wisdom, and dependability of the American government.

Make no mistake about it, Barack Obama is a very clever man. But cleverness is not wisdom, or even common sense.

When he was in the Senate, Obama – along with Senators Joe Biden, Chuck Hagel, and Hillary Clinton – was critical of the Bush administration for not being favorable to the Assad regime.

Hillary Clinton said that she and other lawmakers who visited Assad considered him a “reformer.” Back in 2007, when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, both Senator Biden and Senator Hagel chided her for not being more ready to negotiate with Assad.

Senator John Kerry in 2009 said, “Syria is an essential player in bringing peace and stability to the region.”

Some people said that having Joe Biden as vice president meant that President Obama had someone with many years of foreign-policy experience. What they ignored was that Biden had decades of experience being wrong on foreign-policy issues time and time again.

Biden opposed President Ronald Reagan’s military buildup that countered the Soviet Union’s buildup and helped bring about both the end of the Cold War and the end of the Soviet Union. General David Petraeus’s “surge” strategy that greatly reduced the terrorist attacks in Iraq was opposed in 2007 by Senator Biden, who said, “We need to stop the surge and start to get our troops out.”

Senator Hillary Clinton not only opposed the surge from the outset, she was among those who refused to believe that it had succeeded, even after all the hard evidence had convinced most other people.

The grim reality is that the people in key positions to shape our foreign policy during the Obama administration – the president, the vice president, two secretaries of state, and the current secretary of defense – all have a track record of grossly misconceiving the issues, our enemies, and our national interest.

This is the administration that is now asking for a blank check from Congress to take unspecified military action to achieve unspecified goals. “Military action” is a polite phrase for killing people. It would be nice to believe that this has some purpose other than saving Barack Obama from political embarrassment after he issued an ultimatum without having thought through what he would do if that ultimatum was ignored.

He has the authority to take military action if he wants to. The question is whether he can sucker the Republicans into giving him political cover by pre-approving his unknown actions and unknown goals.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Clear-Cut Stupidity On Syria – Jonah Goldberg

‘The genius of you Americans,” the Arab-nationalist and one-time president of Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nasser, once explained, “is that you never make clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves which make us wonder at the possibility that there may be something to them which we are missing.”

I’ve long taken patriotic pride in such statements of befuddlement from foreigners. America is a gloriously complicated thing. We often confuse our national creeds for universal principles. We are a Jacksonian people (that’s Andrew Jackson, in case you were wondering) in love with Jeffersonian ideals and legalistically committed to Madisonian mechanisms. Like a guard dog that would rather not leave the porch, we are quick to anger but not necessarily quick to fight, and we are just as eager to forgive.

So from the vantage point of foreign brutes, bullies, and buffoons, it’s understandable that America’s methods could be confused for stupidity. This is why I love the old expression, “America can choke on a gnat, but swallow a tiger whole.”

So I am trying very hard to hold onto this perspective as I watch the president of the United States behave in a way you don’t have to be a pan-Arab autocrat to think is incredibly stupid.

Where to begin? Perhaps with Obama’s initial refusal to support the moderate rebels seeking to overthrow Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, a puppet of Iran and bagman for Hezbollah. Or we might start with Obama’s refusal to support the Green Movement in Iran, which sought to overthrow the Iranian regime, which would have been a triumph for both our principles and our national interests.

These were odd choices, particularly given his decision to help depose Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, an indisputably evil man, but also a dictator who posed no threat, who abided by our demands to relinquish WMDs, and whose domestic death toll was a tiny fraction of Assad’s.

“We cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people there will be no mercy… where innocent men and women face brutality and death at the hands of their own government” was Obama’s justification for an attack on Libya – without congressional approval. But when Assad killed tenfold as many men, women, and children, Obama refused to act for nearly two years. And when he finally decided it was imperative to attack Assad – after the dictator crossed a chemical-weapons “red line” drawn by Obama himself – he suddenly discovered the need for congressional authorization.

Sort of.

Obama doesn’t believe he needs authorization from Congress to strike Syria, he just wants it. He’s like a kid desperate for a prom date, but too vain to admit it. In Libya, Obama had the U.N. and NATO on each arm, so he didn’t bother with asking the dog on Capitol Hill for a date. But now, faced with the prospect of going it alone, he’s in effect telling Congress, “Hey, it’s not like I need your company, but you’d be crazy not to go to war with me.”

Whoops. As even Nancy Pelosi’s own grandkid now knows, we mustn’t call it a war. “The president is not asking you to go to war,” Secretary of State John Kerry told Congress. He’s merely asking them to authorize a sustained cruise-missile attack on military installations to “degrade” the regime’s “capabilities.”

But, according to Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Martin Dempsey, no one has asked the military to do anything that might change the “momentum” of the Syrian civil war. This is like saying you’re going to attack a runaway car barreling toward a crowd of kids, but do nothing to actually, you know, slow it down. What good does it do to trash the radio and rip out the cup holders on an out-of-control car?

Meanwhile, according to numerous accounts, Assad is moving military assets into civilian areas and civilians into military areas, even as the Obama administration insists it makes no difference militarily to wait for Congress to debate. That’s not just stupid; it’s an outright lie that will be fact-checked with blood.

I understand the attraction the buddy system has for a man who, as a state legislator, perfected the art of voting “present” on hard questions. But it’s hard to see this as anything other than rank political cowardice.

The buck stopped with Truman. For Obama, the buck is kryptonite.

In Stockholm on Wednesday, the president said that the credibility of the world, America, Congress, and the international community is on the line. Everybody is on the hook for his red line, except for the one person who actually drew it.

I’d love to see the genius in that argument, but it looks like clear-cut stupidity to me.

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Community Organizer Goes To War – Ann Coulter

Oh, how I long for the days when liberals wailed that “the rest of the world” hated America, rather than now, when the rest of the world laughs at us.

With the vast majority of Americans opposing a strike against Syria, President Obama has requested that Congress vote on his powers as commander in chief under the Constitution. The president doesn’t need congressional approval to shoot a few missiles into Syria, nor – amazingly – has he said he’ll abide by such a vote, anyway.

Why is Congress even having a vote? This is nothing but a fig leaf to cover Obama’s own idiotic “red line” ultimatum to President Bashar al-Assad of Syria on chemical weapons. The Nobel Peace Prize winner needs to get Congress on the record so that whatever happens, the media can blame Republicans.

No Republican who thinks seriously about America’s national security interests – by which I mean to exclude John McCain and Lindsey Graham – can support Obama’s “plan” to shoot blindly into this hornet’s nest.

It would be completely different if we knew with absolute certainty that Assad was responsible for chemical attacks on his own people. (I’m still waiting to see if it was a Syrian upset about a YouTube video.)

It would be different if instead of killing a few hundred civilians, Assad had killed 5,000 civilians with poison gas in a single day, as well as tens of thousands more with chemical weapons in the past few decades.

It would be different if Assad were known to torture his own people, administer summary executions, rapes, burnings and electric shocks, often in front of the victim’s wife or children.

It would be different if Assad had acted aggressively toward the United States itself, perhaps attempting to assassinate a former U.S. president or giving shelter to terrorists who had struck within the U.S. – someone like Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood terrorist.

It would be different if Assad were stirring up trouble in the entire Middle East by, for example, paying bounties to the families of suicide bombers in other countries.

It would also be different if we could be sure that intervention in Syria would not lead to a multi-nation conflagration.

It would be different if we knew that any action against Syria would not put al-Qaida or the Muslim Brotherhood in power, but rather would result in a functioning, peaceful democracy.

And it would be different if an attack on Syria would so terrify other dictators in the region that they would instantly give up their WMDs – say, Iran abandoning its nuclear program.

If all of that were true, this would be a military intervention worth supporting!

All of that was true about Iraq, but the Democrats hysterically opposed that war. They opposed it even after all this was known to be true – indeed, especially after it was known to be true! The loudest opponent was Barack Obama.

President Saddam Hussein of Iraq had attempted to assassinate former president George H.W. Bush. He gave shelter to Abdul Rahman Yasin, a conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He paid bounties to the families of suicide bombers in Israel.

Soon after Bush invaded Iraq in 2003, Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi was so terrified of an attack on his own country, he voluntarily relinquished his WMDs – which turned out to be far more extensive than previously imagined.

Al-Qaida not only did not take over Iraq, but got its butt handed to it in Iraq, where the U.S. and its allies killed thousands of al-Qaida fighters, including the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Iraq became the first genuine Arab democracy, holding several elections and presiding over a trial of Saddam Hussein.

Does anyone imagine that any of this would result from an Obama-led operation in Syria? How did his interventions work out in Egypt and Libya?

As for chemical weapons – the casus belli for the current drums of war – in a matter of hours on March 16, 1988, Saddam Hussein slaughtered roughly 5,000 Kurdish civilians in Halabja with mustard, sarin and VX gas. The victims blistered, vomited or laughed hysterically before dropping dead. Thousands more would die later from the after-effects of these poisons.

Saddam launched nearly two dozen more chemical attacks on the Kurds, resulting in at least 50,000 deaths, perhaps three times that many. That’s to say nothing of the tens of thousands of Iranians Saddam killed with poison gas. Indeed, in making the case against Assad recently, Secretary of State John Kerry said his use of chemical weapons put him in the same league as “Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein.”

Not even close – but may we ask why Kerry sneered at the war that removed such a monster as Hussein?

There were endless United Nations reports and resolutions both establishing that Saddam had used chemical weapons and calling on him to give them up. (For the eighth billionth time, we did find chemical weapons in Iraq, just no “stockpiles.” Those had been moved before the war, according to Saddam’s own general, Georges Sada – to Syria.)

On far less evidence, our current president accuses Assad of using chemical weapons against a fraction of the civilians provably murdered with poison gas by Saddam Hussein. So why did Obama angrily denounce the military operation that removed Hussein? Why did he call that a “war of choice”?

Obama says Assad – unlike that great statesman Saddam Hussein – has posed “a challenge to the world.” But the world disagrees. Even our usual ally, Britain, disagrees. So Obama demands the United States act alone to stop a dictator, who – compared to Saddam – is a piker.

At this point, Assad is at least 49,000 dead bodies short of the good cause the Iraq War was, even if chemical weapons had been the only reason to take out Saddam Hussein.

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Say No On Syria – Dick Morris

Congress should reject President Obama’s appeal for authorization to attack Syria in retaliation for its alleged use of chemical weapons.

Just as state Sen. Barack Obama opposed the use of force resolution against Saddam Hussein in 2002, Congress should turn aside the president’s appeal to attack now that his particular “red line” has been crossed in Syria. If he was against drawing the line against Hussein, what is the need to draw the line with Bashar Assad?

In “The Great Deformation,” former Budget Director David Stockman writes eloquently about the costs of a “welfare” and a “warfare” state, noting that they both drain our national economy – the warfare state particularly. With our economy trembling on the brink of a major crash, in the opinion of many economists, this is no time for another expensive military operation.

Above all, it is wrong to commit our nation’s military to a confused and contradictory conflict. How can we fight when The Wall Street Journal attributes to a Pentagon official the fear that “the wrong groups in the opposition would be able to take advantage of [an American bombing campaign]?” He said that the administration did not want to topple Assad from power – just to punish him for using gas.

This kind of half-in, half-out mission is exactly the kind of intervention we must avoid. It creates its own momentum and leads to ever greater involvement, regardless of the initial intent.

Former Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) has said that we would become “al Qaeda’s airforce” should we attack Assad. The evidence is overwhelming that al Qaeda is the alternative to Assad in Syria. The illusion of a liberal, democratic alternative is as ephemeral in Syria as it has proven to be in Egypt. In bombing Assad, we would inevitably become involved on the wrong side of a civil war. Not that Assad is the right side; there is no right side, and we should stay out.

Why is the president asking for congressional approval of his intervention? Is it a sudden concern for the limitations of executive power? Or is it a desire to use the gas episode to get a Gulf of Tonkin-style open-ended OK for intervention in this civil war? Could it be related to his desire to appease the Saudi monarchy by backing the rebels that Riyadh desperately wants to win?

We must all step back, at this juncture, and question what five decades of war have accomplished. Vietnam was, unquestionably, a total waste of men, money and political credibility. We lost, and we would have accomplished nothing had we won. The fall of the Soviet Empire would not have been hastened one day by defeat or advanced one day by victory. The war between China and Vietnam within years of the end of U.S. involvement showed how flawed the domino theory really was.

The first Gulf War, obviously, achieved nothing. It left Hussein in power and we had to go in again. The second Gulf War is increasingly appearing to be destructive in its impact. We seem to have succeeded only in giving Iran a staunch ally in the Middle East. The recent killing of 52 Iranian dissidents in Camp Ashraf – the sanctuary we established for opponents of the Ayatollah – reportedly by Iraqi forces, shows how flawed our involvement was.

The Afghan War has degraded al Qaeda’s ability to fight, but the broader effort at nation-building has only really propped up a regime that non-governmental organization Transparency International rates as the second most corrupt on Earth.

Libya? The jury is still out, but the activity of al Qaeda there, as evidenced by the Benghazi raid, indicates it may have a similarly disappointing outcome.

It is plainly time to say no. It is time to heed the warning of President Eisenhower against limited wars, unbalanced budgets and the military industrial complex.

Syria is, indeed, the time to draw a red line. But the line should be against military adventures.

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Why Many Republicans Won’t Support Obama On Syria Attack – Byron York

Early signs say it will be hard for President Obama to win congressional authorization for military action in Syria. That could change; lawmakers might re-write the president’s draft authorization into something they can live with, ultimately allowing Obama to go forward. But whatever happens, Republicans have a compelling case for rejecting the president’s request. Based on off-the-record conversations with some of them, this is it:

1) The chemical weapons evidence. The Obama administration appears to believe that conclusive proof that the Assad regime used chemical weapons against Syrian civilians creates an unassailable case for U.S. intervention. A few lawmakers will likely challenge whether the proof is really conclusive. But a far larger number will accept the evidence that Assad used chemical weapons – and still reject intervention.

Those lawmakers will argue that Obama did not intervene when Assad used conventional weapons to slaughter thousands of innocent people; the death toll in the two-and-and-half-year civil war is put at 100,000. What is different now? They will also point to the various atrocities and human rights violations around the world in which the United States has not intervened. American involvement, they will argue, should be contingent on a genuine U.S. national security interest, not the simple fact that an awful thing has been done.

2) The blank check problem. Lots of lawmakers, Republican and Democrat, believe Obama’s draft resolution gives the president too much power. The draft would grant Obama the authority to use armed force “as he determines to be necessary and appropriate” in connection with weapons of mass destruction in Syria, for the purpose of preventing the future use or spread of those weapons, or, more generally, protecting the U.S. and its allies.

For many lawmakers, that’s too broad a mandate. But a significant number of members might reject even a narrowed version of the resolution on the grounds that, once the use of force is authorized, Congress as a practical matter will have little control over how the president exercises it.

3) The nature of the Syrian opposition. Many Republicans will never be convinced the U.S. can come to the aid of good rebels in Syria without also helping bad rebels in Syria. It’s just too complicated, they believe, and there are simply too many bad guys. Why risk aiding al Qaeda or its affiliates? These Republicans remain unconvinced by arguments from fellow GOP lawmakers like John McCain, who point out that in the Libyan operation the U.S. essentially set up a safe area for good rebels in Benghazi. Given what happened later in that Libyan city, the skeptics will remain unconvinced.

4) The lack of confidence in Barack Obama. There’s no doubt the president has been extremely reluctant to take action in Syria. He also showed terrible judgment by painting himself into a corner with his 2012 “red line” comments on chemical weapons. For those reasons, and more, some Republicans will argue that they simply cannot entrust special warmaking powers to a president who they believe is not competent to use them.

5) The “first to die” dilemma. Some Republicans are so war-weary that they would be loathe to authorize any military action in the absence of an actual attack on the United States. When Sen. Rand Paul re-phrased John Kerry’s words from Vietnam – Kerry famously asked, “How do you ask a man to be the last to die for a mistake?” which Paul changed to “How do you ask a man to be the first to die for a mistake?” – the senator from Kentucky was signaling that there is virtually no way lawmakers like him will ever support a Syrian initiative.

How many Republicans hold some or all of these beliefs? Quite a few. Perhaps in anticipation of a close vote, a new argument is circulating among pro-interventionists which says that protecting the prerogatives of future presidents is so important that Republicans should support Obama’s Syrian action even if there is no good case for doing so.

Rejecting Obama could permanently weaken the presidency, argues political scientist James Ceaser in an article cited by influential conservative commentator William Kristol. Therefore, Republicans should vote to authorize force “even if they think that the president’s policy will prove ineffective, do no good, waste money, or entail unforeseen risks…even if they think he has gotten the nation into this situation by blunders, fecklessness, arrogance, or naiveté; and…even if, and especially, if they have no confidence in his judgment.”

That will be a very hard sell for Republicans. In the end, many will carefully consider all the evidence and then vote their instincts. And that will mean a vote against Barack Obama.

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Unless He’s Serious, Vote No – Charles Krauthammer

Sen. Bob Corker: “What is it you’re seeking?”

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: “I can’t answer that, what we’re seeking.”

– Senate hearing on the use of force in Syria, Sept. 3

We have a problem. The president proposes attacking Syria, and his top military officer cannot tell you the objective. Does the commander in chief know his own objective? Why, yes. “A shot across the bow,” explained Barack Obama.

Now, a shot across the bow is a warning. Its purpose is to say: Cease and desist, or the next shot will sink you. But Obama has already told the world – and Bashar al-Assad in particular – that there will be no next shot. He has insisted time and again that the operation will be finite and highly limited. Take the shot, kill some fish, go home.

What then is the purpose? Dempsey hasn’t a clue, but Secretary of State John Kerry says it will uphold and proclaim a norm and thus deter future use of chemical weapons. With a few Tomahawk missiles? Hitting sites that, thanks to the administration having leaked the target list, have already been scrubbed of important military assets?

This is risible. If anything, a pinprick from which Assad emerges unscathed would simply enhance his stature and vindicate his conduct.

Deterrence depends entirely on perception, and the perception in the Middle East is universal: Obama wants no part of Syria.

Assad has to go, says Obama, and then lifts not a finger for two years. Obama lays down a “red line,” and then ignores it. Shamed finally by a massive poison gas attack, he sends Kerry to make an impassioned case for righteous and urgent retaliation – and the very next day, Obama undermines everything by declaring an indefinite timeout to seek congressional approval.

This stunning zigzag, following months of hesitation, ambivalence, contradiction and studied delay, left our regional allies shocked and our enemies gleeful. I had strongly advocated going to Congress. But it was inconceivable that, instead of recalling Congress to emergency session, Obama would simply place everything in suspension while Congress finished its Labor Day barbecues and he flew off to Stockholm and St. Petersburg. So much for the fierce urgency of enforcing an international taboo and speaking for the dead children of Damascus.

Here’s how deterrence works in the Middle East. Syria, long committed to the destruction of Israel, has not engaged Israel militarily in 30 years. Why? Because it recognizes Israel as a serious adversary with serious policies.

This year alone, Israel has four times conducted airstrikes in Syria. No Syrian response. How did Israel get away with it? Israel had announced that it would not tolerate Assad acquiring or transferring to Hezbollah advanced weaponry. No grandiloquent speeches by the Israeli foreign minister. No leaked target lists. Indeed, the Israelis didn’t acknowledge the strikes even after they had carried them out. Unlike the American president, they have no interest in basking in perceived toughness. They care only about effect. They care about just one audience – the party to be deterred, namely Assad and his allies.

Assad knows who did it. He didn’t have to see the Israeli prime minister preening about it on world television.

And yet here is Obama, having yet done nothing but hesitate, threaten, retract and wander about the stage, claiming Wednesday in Sweden to be the conscience of the world, upholding not his own red line but the world’s. And, incidentally, Congress’s – a transparent attempt at offloading responsibility.

What should Congress do?

To his dovish base, Obama insists on how limited and militarily marginal the strike will be. To undecided hawks such as Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who are prepared to support a policy that would really alter the course of the civil war, he vaguely promises the opposite – to degrade Assad’s military while upgrading that of the resistance.

Problem is, Obama promised U.S. weaponry three months ago and not a rifle has arrived. This time around, what seems in the making is a mere pinprick, designed to be, one U.S. official told the Los Angeles Times, “just muscular enough not to get mocked.”

That’s why Dempsey is so glum. That’s why U.S. allies are so stunned. There’s no strategy, no purpose here other than helping Obama escape self-inflicted humiliation.

This is deeply unserious. Unless Obama can show the country that his don’t-mock-me airstrike is, in fact, part of a serious strategic plan, Congress should vote no.

John McCain changed the administration’s authorization resolution to include, mirabile dictu, a U.S. strategy in Syria: to alter the military equation (against Assad). Unfortunately, Obama is not known for being bound by what Congress passes (see, for example: health care, employer mandate).

When Obama tells the nation what he told McCain and Lindsey Graham in private – that he plans to degrade Assad’s forces, upgrade the resistance and alter the balance of forces – Congress might well consider authorizing the use of force. But until then, it’s no.

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An Accidental War – Mark Steyn

I see the Obama “reset” is going so swimmingly that the president is now threatening to go to war against a dictator who gassed his own people. Don’t worry, this isn’t anything like the dictator who gassed his own people that the discredited warmonger Bush spent 2002 and early 2003 staggering ever more punchily around the country inveighing against. The 2003 dictator who gassed his own people was the leader of the Baath Party of Iraq. The 2013 dictator who gassed his own people is the leader of the Baath Party of Syria. Whole other ball of wax. The administration’s ingenious plan is to lose this war in far less time than we usually take. In the unimprovable formulation of an unnamed official speaking to the Los Angeles Times, the White House is carefully calibrating a military action “just muscular enough not to get mocked.”

That would make a great caption for a Vanity Fair photo shoot of Obama gamboling in the surf at Martha’s Vineyard, but as a military strategy it’s not exactly Alexander the Great or the Duke of Wellington. And it’s trickier than it sounds: I’m sure Miley’s choreographer assured her she was “just muscular enough not to get mocked,” and one wouldn’t want to see the United States reduced to twerking arrhythmically to no avail in front of an unimpressed Bashar Assad’s Robin Thicke. Okay, okay, that metaphor’s as thinly stretched as Miley’s talent, so what does unmockable musculature boil down to? From the New York Times: “A wide range of officials characterize the action under consideration as ‘limited,’ perhaps lasting no more than a day or two.”

Yeah, I know, that’s what Edward III said about the Hundred Years’ War. But Obama seems to mean it:

An American official said that the initial target lists included fewer than 50 sites, including air bases where Syria’s Russian-made attack helicopters are. The list includes command and control centers as well as a variety of conventional military targets. Perhaps two to three missiles would be aimed at each site.

Got that? So, if you’re a Syrian air-base commander, you might want to think about moving those Russian helicopters, or at least yourself – perhaps to that black-eyed cutie’s apartment, above the restaurant where the kibbeh with the pomegranate sauce is to die for, just for the night, until the Great Satan has twerked his ordnance at you twice or thrice and gone away to threaten the Yemenis or Somalis or whoever’s next.

In the world’s most legalistic culture, it was perhaps inevitable that battle plans would eventually be treated under courtroom discovery rules and have to be disclosed to the other side in your pre-war statement. But in this case it doesn’t seem to be impressing anyone. Like his patrons in Tehran and Moscow, Assad’s reaction to American threats is to double up with laughter and say, “Bring it, twerkypants.” Headline from Friday’s Guardian in London: “Syria: ‘Napalm’ Bomb Dropped on School Playground, BBC Claims” – which, if true, suggests that even a blood-soaked mass murderer is not without a sense of humor. Napalm, eh? There’s a word I haven’t heard since, oh, 40 years ago or thereabouts, somewhere in the general vicinity of southeast Asia.

The BBC footage is grisly; the British media have been far more invested in the Syrian civil war than their U.S. colleagues. But what’s the net effect of all the harrowing human-interest stories? This week, David Cameron recalled Parliament from its summer recess to permit the people’s representatives to express their support for the impending attack. Instead, for the first time since the British defeat at Yorktown in 1782, the House of Commons voted to deny Her Majesty’s Government the use of force. Under the Obama “reset,” even the Coalition of the Willing is unwilling. “It’s clear to me that the British Parliament and the British people do not wish to see military action,” said the prime minister. So the Brits are out, and, if he goes at all, Obama will be waging war without even Austin Powers’s Union Jack fig leaf.

“This House will not fight for king and country”? Not exactly. What the British people are sick of, quite reasonably enough, is ineffectual warmongering, whether in the cause of Blairite liberal interventionism or of Bush’s big-power assertiveness. The problem with the American way of war is that, technologically, it can’t lose, but, in every other sense, it can’t win. No one in his right mind wants to get into a tank battle or a naval bombardment with the guys responsible for over 40 percent of the planet’s military expenditures. Which is why these days there aren’t a lot of tank battles. The consummate interventionist Robert Kagan wrote in his recent book that the American military “remains unmatched.” It’s unmatched in the sense that the only guy in town with a tennis racket isn’t going to be playing a lot of tennis matches. But the object of war, in Liddell Hart’s famous distillation, is not to destroy the enemy’s tanks (or Russian helicopters) but his will. And on that front America loses, always. The “unmatched” superpower cannot impose its will on Kabul kleptocrats, Pashtun goatherds, Egyptian generals, or Benghazi militia. There is no reason to believe Syria would be an exception to this rule. America’s inability to win ought to be a burning national question, but it’s not even being asked.

Let us stipulate that many of those war-weary masses are ignorant and myopic. But at a certain level they grasp something that their leaders don’t: For a quarter-century, from Kuwait to Kosovo to Kandahar, the civilized world has gone to war only in order to save or liberate Muslims. The Pentagon is little more than central dispatch for the U.S. military’s Muslim Fast Squad. And what do we have to show for it? Liberating Syria isn’t like liberating the Netherlands: In the Middle East, the enemy of our enemy is also our enemy. Yes, those BBC images of schoolchildren with burning flesh are heart-rending. So we’ll get rid of Assad and install the local branch of al-Qaeda or the Muslim Brotherhood or whatever plucky neophyte democrat makes it to the presidential palace first – and then, instead of napalmed schoolyards, there will be, as in Egypt, burning Christian churches and women raped for going uncovered.

So what do we want in Syria? Obama can’t say, other than for him to look muscular without being mocked, like a camp bodybuilder admiring himself in the gym mirror.

Oh, well. If the British won’t be along for the ride, the French are apparently still in. What was the old gag from a decade ago during those interminable U.N. resolutions with Chirac saying “Non!” every time? Ah, yes: “Going to war without the French is like going hunting without an accordion.” Oddly enough, the worst setback for the Islamic imperialists in recent years has been President Hollande’s intervention in Mali, where, unlike the money-no-object Pentagon, the French troops had such undernourished supply lines that they had to hitch a ride to the war on C-17 transports from the Royal Air Force and Royal Canadian Air Force. And yet they won – insofar as anyone ever really wins on that benighted sod.

Meanwhile, the hyperpower is going to war because Obama wandered off prompter and accidentally made a threat. So he has to make good on it, or America will lose its credibility. But he only wants to make good on it in a perfunctory and ineffectual way. So America will lose its credibility anyway.

Maybe it’s time to learn the accordion…

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5 Reasons Not To Bomb Syria – John Hawkins

Barack Obama knows that America’s military is a big stick, but unfortunately Roosevelt’s advice about speaking softly doesn’t seem to have stuck. Because Barack Obama recklessly shot off his mouth about a “red line” in Syria, he’s demanding that our nation insert itself into a civil war between terrorist groups, both of which have chemical weapons, to protect his ego. Happily, the American people recognize what a foolish move this would be. A Reuters/Ipsos poll shows that only 9% of Americans currently support bombing Syria. This is why Barack Obama has punted his Syrian War to Congress. He’s hoping that it’ll be foolish enough to vote in favor of war to give him the political cover he needs to bomb. Not only should Congress vote against the war in Syria, if Obama bombs that country anyway, Congress should immediately cut off funds for the war and move to impeach him. Why?

1) We don’t have a son-of-a-b*tch in Syria. During the Cold War, America used to semi-regularly ally itself with some rather unsavory leaders and groups. The oft repeated rationale for supporting a dictator in those days was, “He may be a son-of-a-b*tch, but he’s our son-of-a-bitch.” In other words, both sides are bad guys, but this bad guy would work with us instead of the Soviets. In this case, we don’t have a dog in the fight. It’s a civil war between two groups that both despise us and will continue to hate us. Why risk American blood and treasure for people who will hate our guts no matter what we do?

2) Why act as Al-Qaeda’s Air Force? Barack Obama is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but even he should know that Al-Qaeda attacked America on 9/11. Well now, Bin Laden’s boys are teamed up with the rebels that are fighting Bashar al-Assad. We just spent a decade killing as many members of Al-Qaeda as humanly possible in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan; so how much sense does it make for Barack Obama to help Al-Qaeda take over Syria by bombing Bashar al-Assad? Bashar al-Assad may be our enemy, but we should be thrilled he’s killing Al-Qaeda and getting more of his terrorist pals in Hezbollah offed in the process.

3) What makes anyone think Obama can pull this off with no repercussions? What is there in Barack Obama’s tenure in the White House that makes anyone think he’s likely to handle this well? The fact that he didn’t kill a drone program George W. Bush set up? Because he was too distracted playing cards with Reggie Love to screw up killing Osama Bin Laden? Bush essentially won Iraq and Obama screwed up pulling out of that country and has put a hard-earned victory at risk. He’s also on track to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in Afghanistan. His incompetence got Americans killed in Benghazi, Libya. In Egypt, Obama helped get rid of a relatively friendly dictator in favor of anti-American, pro-terrorist theocrats who lasted just over a year before they were thrown out of power by an Egyptian public that seems to hate Obama almost as much as the Muslim Brotherhood. Yet, we now think Obama is going to insert himself into a terrorist-heavy civil war in the Middle East without creating as many problems as he solves? That’s like emptying a box of live spiders in a teenage girl’s slumber party and not expecting any screaming.

4) It invites retaliation from Iran and Hezbollah. Many conservatives believe that if we have a choice between bombing Iran or letting it acquire nuclear weapons, we’d be better off to bomb Iran. However, that is supposed to be a last resort after every other measure has failed. Given that Iran and Hezbollah are actively supporting Bashar al-Assad, bombing him means actively opposing both of them in a war. Could they retaliate against us with terrorist attacks? That’s certainly possible. Will they go after Israel to get at us? That’s highly likely. Will Israel respond to those attacks? Yes, Israel will. Could this set off a larger regional war? Again, that’s certainly possible. While Iran and Hezbollah have much more to fear from us than we do from them, you don’t walk up and kick a bee hive just because President Prissy Pants has worked himself into a huff.

5) It’s not in our national interest to bomb Syria. Costly though it may have been, it was in our national interest to overthrow the Taliban in Afghanistan over 9/11 and to target an aggressive enemy of America like Saddam Hussein in Iraq. That being said, had we known in advance how long our troops would be stuck in Iraq, it’s highly doubtful that we would have ever invaded. On the other hand, what’s the rationale for bombing the side that’s fighting Al-Qaeda in Syria? Both sides hate America. Both sides cooperate with terrorists. If anything, since Al-Qaeda is determined to kill Americans and Assad is not, the current dictator in charge is probably the lesser of two evils. Moreover, encouraging other nations to join us in imposing harsh sanctions on Syria would be just as effective as bombing when it comes to discouraging the use of WMDs without being as provocative. So, what argument is left? Are we supposed to bomb Syria to avoid looking “weak?” Well, if people have that impression, they can ask Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, and Anwar al-Awlaki what they think about that if they’re willing to search through the bowels of hell long enough to find them.

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President Asshat To Congress: I Don’t Need Your Authorization For War, But Give It To Me Anyway

Obama To Congress: I Don’t Need Your Authorization For War, But Give It To Me Anyway – CNS

President Barack Obama said today in a speech delivered in the White House Rose Garden that he is asking Congress to vote to authorize him to use military force in Syria – while insisting he does not need congressional authorization to order the U.S. military to commit acts of war in that Middle Eastern country.

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“I have long believed that our power is rooted not just in our military might, but in our example as a government of the people, by the people and for the people,” Obama said at one point in the speech. “That’s why I have made a second decision: I will seek authorization for the use of force from the American people’s representatives in Congress.”

A moment later, Obama insisted that he did not need the authorization of Congress to unilaterally order the military to use force in Syria.

Obama did not explain from what source he believed he derived the authority to order U.S.military action against Syria if not from a resolution constitutionally approved by the U.S. Congress. He simply asserted that he believed he had that unilateral power.

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He did note that the United Nations had not approved such action, and that the British Parliament had specifically voted against the use of British force in Syria despite the fact that British Prime Minister David Cameron had advocated for it.

“I am comfortable going forward without the approval of a United Nations Security Council that so far has been completely paralyzed and unwilling to hold Assad accountable,” said Obama.

“As a consequence many people have advised against taking this decision to Congress, and undoubtedly they were impacted by what we saw happen in the United Kingdom this week when the Parliament of our closest ally failed to pass a resolution with a similar goal – even as the prime minister supported taking action,” Obama said.

“Yet, while I believe I have the authority to carry out this military action without specific congressional authorization, I know the country will be stronger if we take this course, and our actions will be even more effective,” he said.

Obama suggested that the reasons the U.S. needed to use military force in Syria – even if alone in doing so – was to protect the credibility of “the international system.”

“What is the purpose of the international system that we have built if a prohibition on the use of chemical weapons that has been agreed to by the government of 98 percent of the world’s people and approved overwhelmingly by the Congress of the United is not enforced?” he said.

Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution says: “Congress shall have the power… To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water.”

In the notes he took at the Constitutional Convention, James Madison, who was involved in proposing this language, said it was designed to give the Congress power to decide when the nation would initiate the use of military force, “leaving to the Executive the power to repel sudden attacks.”

George Washington, who commanded American forces in the revolutionary war and who presided over the Constitutional Convention, abided by the understanding of the war power that Madison had explained in his notes.

“The Constitution vests the power of declaring war with Congress,” President Washington wrote in 1793, “therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they shall have deliberated upon the subject, and authorized such a measure.”

Obama did not argue in his speech on Saturday that he believed the Syrian regime was preparing a sudden attack on the United States. In fact, he indicated that he believes the U.S. can bide its time – taking up to even a month–before attacking Syria.

“The chairman of the join chiefs has informed me that we are prepared to strike whenever we choose,” Obama said. “Moreover, the chairman has indicated to me that our capacity to execute this mission is not time sensitive. It will be effective tomorrow, or next week, or one month from know.”

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