Hat Tip: BB
By: Sara Noble
This post might be confusing. I know I’m confused. DHS is buying up bullets and armored tanks for domestic use and the CDC thinks mock zombie/alien invasions are a fun way to prepare for a pandemic. That’s right, it’s all true, read on.
The Department of Homeland Security has been buying up bullets, as many as 2 billion. When questioned, DHS officials said, among other things, that they use a lot of bullets during training.
The Modern Survival blog reported that DHS is retrofitting 2,717 armored tanks for domestic use. Check out the blog for a description of these vehicles, once used by our armed forces.
The vehicles were already equipped to withstand IED’s but they are so much more now. They have a new rolling chassis which includes “the addition of the DXM™ independent suspension, a MaxxForce® 9.3 engine, and a 570 amp alternator and driveline.” The vehicles were completed last May.
Have you read about this in the press? I can answer that. NO! And you won’t!
Reportedly, the tanks are being labeled as police/rescue vehicles but they have gun ports. They have reinforced gun ports! What are they going to rescue us from?
Where did the money come from for this by the way?
DHS seems to be preparing for something. They have been conducting drills in our cities and towns since Obama took office. They often don’t warn people in advance. We have come to accept it because it is for our safety and because the mainstream media refuses to say much about them.
There was the drill in Houston:
The people in Houston didn’t complain much because it was for our safety. The fire department wasn’t even warned.
The LAPD conducted multi-agency drills in LA from January 22 – 26 of 2012 and didn’t issue the news release until January 23rd. The release states:
The Los Angeles Police Department will be providing support for a joint military training exercise in and around the great Los Angeles area. This will be routine training conducted by military personnel, designed to ensure the military’s ability to operate in urban environments, prepare forces for upcoming overseas deployments, and meet mandatory training certification requirements.
Downtown LA seems like an odd place to train for overseas deployments.
Remember the Black Ops over Miami? The Miami-Herald reported:
Miami-Dade police sent out a warning Monday that multiple police agencies would be providing support for a joint military training exercise somewhere over Miami and elsewhere in the county. The exercise will include the use of military helicopters.
When and where will this happen? Police didn’t say.
The police statement said the training locations and times “were carefully selected to minimize negatively impacting the citizens of the City of Miami/Miami-Dade County and their daily routines.”
But it also acknowledged that there would be some impact on residents.
“This is routine training conducted by military personnel designed to ensure the military’s ability to operate in urban environments, prepare forces for upcoming overseas deployments, and meet mandatory training certification requirement,” the police statement said.
Then there were the drills over Chicago prior to the NATO Summit:
The city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications on Monday announced that Chicago is the site of a military training exercise this week involving personnel and at least three helicopters.
But the bland press release from City Hall did nothing to prepare folks for the jarring scene that unfolded Monday evening.
“It was frightening,” Jessica Hill said. “I was definitely alarmed.”
At least three Blackhawk helicopters flying at time in close order formation – at other times separating fairly widely – zoomed around office and residential towers for several hours.
“I was pretty amazed,” Felise Liano said, “because they were definitely military.”
There are numerous other examples. There was a time when this would not be acceptable. I understand that it is a more dangerous world but is all this necessary? If President Bush was preparing for urban warfare, do you think it would have made the mainstream news in a big way?
Then there is the CDC. The CDC in their wisdom has found a “fun new way” to teach emergency preparedness. You are going to love this, really.
They have a new novella, called “Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic.” To quote them, it “…demonstrates the importance of being prepared in an entertaining way that people of all ages will enjoy. Readers follow Todd, Julie, and their dog Max as a strange new disease begins spreading, turning ordinary people into zombies.”
What fun, really.
I was so thrilled that I got my zombie badge right away:
I’m not making this up. Someone at the CDC is using your tax money to prepare for a zombie attack – it’s a training tool for a real emergency. They have developed material on how to prepare for the zombie pandemic and how public health matters. To make certain that all the little kiddies are completely terrified, they are on Facebook, Twitter, they have ecards, buttons, a blog, and so on.
It doesn’t end there! No sir! The whole zombie idea is so fantastic to the nuts in our government that they are going to hold a Zombie Apocalypse/Alien Invasion drill [not illegal aliens, space aliens] in Moscow, Idaho on April 27th, from 9 am to 5 pm. It will be a full scale exercise. I don’t want to be a spoiler so definitely go to Terresa Monroe-Hamilton’s article at New Zeal and check it out.
And, no, I’m not making any of this up. The FEMA link to the invasion information no longer works. Perhaps they are rethinking it.
FEMA’s motto, which is one you have heard before, is “better safe than sorry.” They are right! One best be prepared for a zombie/alien invasion because one never knows.
I think the government needs to take their sorry hands out of my pocketbook and stop spending money on zombie drills.
Why am I telling you all this? Because the mainstream won’t tell you and someone has to.
Is the government trying to terrify us? Do they know something we don’t know? Are they wasting our money? What the hay is wrong with these people? We have over $16 trillion in debt, we spend over a trillion more than we have each year, and they are preparing for zombies and urban warfare. Maybe they think the people will go bonkers when the economy crashes, in which case, they will be ready for us.
There is a lot of hard work to do, a lot of heavy pulling, to bring our nation to where it needs to be. I hold on to hope that all will yet be well, but am sorely disheartened.
Yesterday, I quoted Naftali Bennett, head of Habayit Hayehudi, thus:
“for days after the election the Likud refused to speak to the Jewish Home. They boycotted us… we expected to be a natural partner and to be the first to enter the Netanyahu government.” The message he claims he got was, “the religious Zionist party won’t enter the coalition, at any price.”
What Netanyahu did was foolish, I said. Rude. Conveying to the newcomer Bennett a sense of being excluded. But, I asked, now that Netanyahu had contacted Bennett was the prime minister’s original rudeness sufficient reason for Bennett to have fashioned his current policy as he has?
Today, I have a likely answer, from someone very close to Habayit Hayehudi. Bennett, I was told, understood that once he broke his alliance with Lapid, Netanyahu would take in Lapid, and leave him out.
Bennett’s impression that Netanyahu was determined that the religious Zionist party would never enter the coalition was not just a response to a snub early on; Bennett apparently recognized this behavior as a reflection of a deeper Netanyahu intention.
Today I also heard another story about Netanyahu’s intentions. This is the second time I have heard it. At first I discounted it as hearsay. Now, although I cannot confirm with absolute certainty that the charge is accurate, I no longer can discount it.
Someone inside of Yesh Atid maintains that Netanyahu told Lapid that if he breaks with Bennett and comes in by himself, it will be easier to take down settlements.
The endorsement of the Tekuma rabbis makes a whole lot of sense now.
And still I am not done. The AIPAC convention has been going on in Washington, and lame duck Defense Minister Ehud Barak addressed the thousands gathered there.
A “full fledged peace deal with the Palestinians” was not possible now, Barak said.
Good that he says this upfront, I thought.
Then he said that an interim agreement should be attempted to protect Israel’s security.
I was no longer sure this was good, depending on what he was referring to.
And then…he said that if this couldn’t be achieved, it might be necessary for Israel to take unilateral steps to prevent a bi-national state: Israel may need to “consider unilateral steps that would include demarcating a line within which Israel would keep the settlement blocs and ensure a Jewish majority for generations to come.” Israel would establish a “long term security presence on the Jordan River.” (Emphasis added)
Say what??? UNILATERAL steps?? We did that once already, when we pulled out of Gaza. We saw what that brought us. What he’s suggesting here is that without an end of conflict agreement with the Palestinian Arabs, without a mutually agreed upon border, Israel should pull back from some parts of Judea and Samaria and fully turn over land to them.
A very very bad idea. I can only touch here upon all of the reasons why it’s a terrible idea.
Note first that he refers to settlement blocs, so be certain that there are many Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria that would be demolished under such a plan. Many Jews who would be torn from their homes.
We would be relinquishing rights to the land — something we should not do.
But beyond this, we would be diminishing Israel’s security. A border is only an internationally recognized border if parties on both sides agree. Israel “demarcating a line” would not be recognized internationally and would certainly not be recognized by the PA, which would demand we keep pulling back until we were behind the ’67 armistice line.
Once we pulled back, we would be UNILATERALLY relinquishing the practice by the IDF of doing operations to take out terrorists and training centers, and weapons caches and weapons manufacturing sites in Palestinian Arab areas. The fact, my friends, is that the IDF does these operations nightly. It’s what has kept things quiet, because the PA security forces will not do this. (I’ll come back to this in more detail in a future posting.) Without an IDF presence in these areas, security and intelligence and military officials agree, there is a great likelihood that Hamas would take over. Abbas is very weak. And so then we would have Hamas on our eastern border as well as at our southwest in Gaza.
Please note that Barak refers to a security presence in the Jordan Valley (to prevent smuggling of weapons and entry of foreign forces). But he says “long term,” not permanent. But how long is “long term,” and what happens after that?
With all of this I still haven’t mentioned the question of what would happen to certain high places in Samaria if there were a pullback. All Barak spoke about was retaining settlement blocs, not retaining land for security purposes and strategic depth. If Arabs had control of those high places they could even hit the airport.
No done deal here. Just an idea floated — perhaps even a trial balloon. We must respond and be vigilant to the greatest degree possible.
I assure you, Barak did not speak without Netanyahu’s go-ahead.
I provide here the e-mails of key members of Likud-Beitenu. Please! write to them. Tell them that you know about Defense Minister Barak’s outrageous suggestion at AIPAC that unilateral withdrawal from parts of Judea and Samaria might have to be considered.
Provide a couple of lines on why this is a terrible idea. Say that Barak is lame-duck, on his way out, and had no business speaking for Israel in an international forum at this point. And urgently request that they do everything within their power to assure that there are no withdrawals:
Danny Danon: [email protected] Moshe Ya’alon: [email protected]
Tzipi Hotovely: [email protected] Ze’ev Elkin: [email protected]
Yuli Edelstein: [email protected] Ruby Rivlin: [email protected]
Moshe Feiglin: [email protected] Gideon Sa’ar: [email protected]
Ofir Akunis: [email protected] Uzi Landau: [email protected]
Yisrael Katz: [email protected] Yariv Levin: [email protected]
Yair Shamir: [email protected] Avigdor Lieberman: [email protected]
Click on each address; write one message and copy and paste to each, with an individual salutation added.
The new government must not be a one-man show. The actions of key members of the Knesset will be critical in helping to keep the prime minister accountable and honest in his political dealings. Members of the ruling faction must be roused to take a responsible role here.
Please, share this broadly.
One other significant point must be made here, before I move on:
Barak referred to taking this action in order to “ensure a Jewish majority for generations to come.” Well, it is a crock that if we retain all of the land to the Jordan River we will become a minority, swallowed up by an Arab majority. This is a scare tactic, used as a reason to give up land.
See here with regard to Jewish and Arab birthrates and their implication for Israel:
And here, information about misrepresentations in the PA census, which leads people to believe there are more Arabs in Judea and Samaria than there are:
The other concern I have had in these last few days has to do with sinat hinam. Causeless hatred, which, we are taught, is what brought about the destruction of the Second Temple. If we do not love our fellow Jews, do not unite for common causes, then we cannot be strong.
I have been vastly uncomfortable with the notion that the haredi parties, which are fighting for the status quo in yeshiva exemptions, should be excluded from the coalition. That exclusion will not bring compromise or peaceful settlement, but bitterness.
And sure enough, I’ve seen some very bitter comments from haredi leaders who have said, You don’t want us? Wait until we’re in the government again, and see what we’ll do to you. I have even seen threats to vote against retention of settlements. A bad way to go.
Only late today did I see a comment by Lapid that offered a glimmer of hope regarding the possibility of moving past this unfortunate situation. At a faction meeting today, he said that Yesh Atid wants to represent everyone’s interests, including the ultra-Orthodox.
“I hope to establish a good, broad government that’s good for the people, and not for the politicians. And even the ultra-Orthodox will find that Yesh Atid is not only not against them, but takes care of them too.”
A bit audacious for my taste. HE hopes to establish a government? And he thinks he can represent everyone’s interests? Not sure about that. But the tone is certainly conciliatory. He’s saying he cares about the ultra-Orthodox as well. Now we have to see how he demonstrates this.
Bennett’s statement seems more modest, more in keeping with the tone that might be expected of a newcomer:
“We rolled up our sleeves and are working very hard to help Netanyahu form a government that serves the people.”
In any event, both Lapid and Bennett are saying that while meetings are going well, it is not time to close on coalition agreements yet.
May it come for good things in the end.
In closing, a correction: I got fooled. The story about Mick Jagger doing concerts here in Israel in spite of pressure on him not to was a Purim gag coming out of France. Got it from a good source, so I guess a whole lot of people were fooled. My thanks to David Orbach, who alerted me.
By: Col. Tom Snodgrass (Ret.)
Right Side News
Obama Is Failing In The Areas Of National Security, Foreign Policy, And Economic Policy
A Clueless Government
Never in modern American history has a president been as inept in all of the most important facets of presidential responsibility as has President Barack Obama. Not even did the legendarily incompetent President Jimmy Carter fail as widely and seriously as Obama. The problem is that Carter’s damage has now already been realized and passed, while many of the disasters from Obama’s malfeasance are still in gestation.
The most dangerous Obama failing in national security is his denial of the existential danger of Islamic jihad. Obama’s denial is inexplicable in the face of the irrefutable imperialist-jihadist aggression mandated in Islam’s sacred book, the Quran, in Islamic jurisprudence, the Sharia, and in the compilation of teachings and practices of Muhammad, the Sunna, all three of which command conquering the entire world for Islam. Obama’s unexplainable willful blindness and deliberate distortion of the “peaceful nature” of Islam has led to his contemptible handling of the Arab Spring and the attendant Benghazi fiasco.
Obama’s “Arab Spring,” also known as the “Islamic Winter,” is a manifestation of his willful blindness. The Arab Spring has had horrendous and wide-ranging aftereffects whose consequences have not yet been fully realized in Libya, Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Yemen, Syria, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, and Mali. Obama has claimed credit for the Arab Spring, and the Arab Spring has displaced the governments of former U.S. allies and opened the way for anti-U.S. Islamist forces, including the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, and various Salafist jihadist organizations, to take power across the Islamic world.
Furthermore, as a result of Obama’s pretence that the Arab Spring had calmed the violence in Libya, the State Department denied increased security forces requested by the U.S. Ambassador, Chris Stevens. Consequently, an al-Qaeda affiliate in Libya was able to mount successful attacks on two U.S. Government facilities in Benghazi, killing Ambassador Stevens and three other American officials. Rather than admit that he had misjudged the situation in Libya, thus opening the way for these successful jihadist attacks, Obama and his regime minions set about to fabricate and disseminate a false story on national television, deceiving the American people about the identity of the perpetrators and the motive for the attacks. In the same timeframe Obama went before the whole world at the United Nations to knowingly lie and blame the four American deaths on a U.S. resident exercising his constitutional 1st Amendment right to produce an Internet video critical of Islam. According to Obama’s lie, this obscure video provoked a spontaneous Muslim mob assault on U.S. facilities and American government officials, while obscuring the truth that the Benghazi attack was a planned Islamic jihadist operation. Obama’s lie has now been completely exposed as a total fabrication. But Obama has still not been held officially responsible for purposely deceiving the nation and the world.
Since the U.S. Constitution, Section 2, Clause 1 charges the president with the responsibility of military Commander-in-Chief, Obama’s deliberate misrepresentation the Islamic threat to America is grave dereliction of the first and foremost presidential duty to defend the Constitution and the American people against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
In keeping with Obama’s suspicious denial of reality concerning the increasing and menacing danger of Islam, the president has consistently opposed taking a hard line imposing punishing sanctions against the Iranians mullahs to deter their pursuit of nuclear weapons. Furthermore, Obama has actively attempted to dissuade Israel from taking effective measures to defend their nation against Iranian nukes. Obama’s failure to take a strong stand against Iranian acquisition of nuclear weapons is fostering a disaster in the offing that will be directly traceable to Obama’s malfeasance.
Recent analysis has indicated that Obama’s dereliction in confronting Iran about their acquisition of nuclear weapons is even more serious than originally thought. The president’s disregard of the potential threat of Iranian nukes appears to spring from underestimating the damage that the Iranians could inflict directly on the U.S. homeland. It has long been assumed that the Iranians could not miniaturize and weaponize a nuclear warhead that would be small enough to fit on an ICBM that could reach the continental U.S., that would be hardened enough to survive reentry into earth’s atmosphere, and that still would be able to pack enough destructive power to actually produce meaningful damage that would justify the tremendous expense of creating the weapon. What this non-innovative U.S. thinking presumed was that the range limit to any Iranian missile attack would end at northern Europe. But this unimaginative intelligence threat estimate of Iranian capability did not factor in the potential of a nuclear Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) weapon delivered by a Fractional Orbital Bombardment System (FOBS), which would be modeled on the Soviet-developed FOBS system of the 1960s. The background of FOBS is:
During the Cold War, the USSR experimented with a secret weapon, the Fractional Orbital Bombardment System (FOBS), that used an ICBM like a Space Launch Vehicle to put a nuclear warhead into orbit, like a satellite. Instead of using the ICBM to lob the warhead on a more accurate arcing ballistic trajectory, flying along the shortest range to target, like an artillery shell, the FOBS lofted the warhead into a “fractional” or partial orbit, sacrificing accuracy for limitless range.
FOBS could reach any nation or threaten any target anywhere on Earth.
However, in addition to Iran, North Korea now also successfully launched a large enough satellite into space to carry an EMP nuclear payload into a FOBS orbit profile. The background of EMP is:
A . . . EMP warhead is a nuclear weapon specially designed to produce an enormous burst of gamma rays that generates an extraordinarily powerful electromagnetic pulse, capable of destroying even the best protected electronics, thereby paralyzing military forces and blacking out power grids and collapsing critical infrastructures everywhere–across an entire nation the size of the United States.
It is an established fact that Iran and North Korea have been actively collaborating in nuclear and missile technology development for many years. Therefore, it can be assumed that when one attains an EMP-FOBS capability, it will be a shared capability. There are two very important points about the Iranian and North Korean EMP-FOBS threats that have not been explained to the American people. First, both the Iranian and North Korean ICBM threats have been downplayed because the assumption was that neither could develop inter-continental range missiles accurate enough with sufficient throw-weight to pose meaningful threats, but using ICBMs to launch FOBS space vehicles negates the necessity for pin-point accuracy and massive throw-weight – all that is required is that the missile be able to put a warhead in orbit. Furthermore, because the EMP warhead is optimally detonated at an altitude of 500 km, there is no need for a heavy heat-shield to protect the warhead on reentry, thus decreasing missile thrust and technological engineering requirements. Second, the small kiloton yields of North Korean nuclear tests to-date have been derided as not a threat to U.S. targets, but an EMP weapon does not require a high yield detonation to be effective. So, the American public has not been honestly informed that two avowed enemies have the potential for Assured Destruction strikes on the U.S. homeland, and instead the president has characterized the state of the world as “the tide of war is receding” and there is “peace in our time.” Obviously, Obama is deliberately misleading Americans about the dangers facing them.
In the same vein of downplaying the Islamic threat, Obama has selected two individuals to assume the critical portfolios of Secretary of Defense and Director of the CIA who are undeniable Islamophiles. In fact, the new SECDEF, Chuck Hagel, who is characterized as “dim-witted,” is a favored speaker on the Arab-Muslim lecture circuit because of his open support of Hezbollah and Hamas, two of the world’s most deadly jihadist terror organizations! While the DCIA nominee, John Brennan, has actually asserted that “jihad” is a “holy struggle” in the Islamic religion, in spite of the fact that Islamic law, the Sharia, specifically states that “Jihad means to war against non-Muslims”!
Moreover, an FBI veteran has stated that Brennan secretly became a Muslim when he was stationed in Saudi Arabia with the CIA as a result of being recruited to convert to Islam by Saudi intelligence operatives. While this charge is yet to be verified, it is definitely a cause for concern because of the dangerous potential consequences for U.S. security if true. In summary, Obama, a bona-fide jihad denier, wants to put two other bona-fide jihad deniers in charge of leading our defense effort to protect America from jihadist terrorism and internal Islamic subversion of the U.S. Government!
After eight years of combat, 4,487 deaths, and at least $758 billion spent in the Iraq War, Obama abandoned all American sacrifices by implementing a complete withdrawal of U.S. troops, opening this strategically situated country to domination by fanatical Iranian Shia jihadists. Obama’s apparent motivation for this strategic idiocy was his cynical desire to appease his leftist anti-war political base. Unfortunately Obama’s conduct of the war in Afghanistan is just as abysmal. Obama ran for office proclaiming that the Afghan War was the “good war” which was so important that it must be won. But instead of adopting an effective war-fighting strategy, Obama continued the already failed nation-building policy in the baseless belief that Islam can be reformed and will renounce jihad in favor of democracy. As a result of Obama’s incompetent choice of a senseless military strategy, 70% of the U.S. military fatalities in this Afghan conflict have occurred on Obama’s watch with nothing to show for this terrible price.
Also, it is reported that Obama intends to make additional deep cuts in the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal, while Iran, North Korea, Communist China, and Russia are all embarked on programs to expand their nuclear forces! An impressive group of American generals, admirals, diplomats, and former DOD and CIA officials have sent a letter to Obama stating:
In our professional judgment, born of decades of experience with national security policy and practice, America’s “Triad” of nuclear-armed land-based and submarine-launched missiles and bomber-delivered nuclear weapons has promoted strategic stability and discouraged proliferation. Steps that raise uncertainty about the viability, reliability and effectiveness of our deterrent will have the opposite effect.
According to published reports, you are considering further, draconian and perhaps unilateral cuts in the numbers of nuclear weapons in our arsenal. We respectfully recommend that this plan be abandoned in favor of the fulfillment of commitments you made at the time of the New START Treaty to: modernize all three legs of the Triad; ensure the safety and deterrent effectiveness of the weapons with which they are equipped; and restore the critical industrial base that supports these forces.
Doing otherwise will put our country, its allies and our peoples at ever- greater risk in a world that is, far from nuclear-free . . . . .
When Obama’s denial of the existential danger posed by Islam, which has been incorporated into his national security policy (for example, calling the Ft Hood jihadist massacre “work place violence”), refusal to confront the Iranian and North Korean EMP-FOBS threats along with his failure to inform the American public about them, desire to put jihad deniers in charge of countering the Islamic jihadist war against us, unnecessary retreat from Iraq after America’s expenditure of enormous amounts of blood and treasure there, squandering of American lives in Afghanistan for no apparent purpose, stated intention to foolishly disarm the U.S. by cutting the number of our nuclear weapons in pursuit of the delusional goal of eventually having zero nuclear weapons in the U.S. arsenal, are all added together, the only conclusion is that Obama is an unmitigated failure in his conduct of U.S. national security.
It is difficult to know where to begin when detailing Obama’s foreign policy failures. For instance, Operation Fast & Furious was actually a covert plot to discredit the U.S. 2nd Amendment by supplying “assault” weapons from American gun stores to Mexican drug cartels in order to create the impression that more restrictive U.S. gun control laws were needed when these weapons were increasingly implicated in murders in Mexico and U.S. Border States. So, while Fast & Furious was actually an illegal domestic political scheme by the Obama regime to subvert the U.S. Constitution, it has had a very negative impact on our foreign relations with Mexico because it has resulted in hundreds of Mexicans murdered by Fast & Furious weapons.
Another monumental Obama foreign policy failure was the “Russian reset,” which was orchestrated by Obama’s maestro of ineffectiveness, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. With much pomp and ceremony Hillary presented a gift-wrapped “reset button” to the Russian Foreign Minister, in March 2009. But as an ominous omen of the incompetence of the Obama regime, instead of “reset,” the Russian word on the hooky button gizmo actually read “overcharged!” Obviously a regime so bungling that they can’t correctly translate the one word they have made the centerpiece of their amateur stunt is doomed to failure. The failure has been manifested in Russian refusal to enforce economic sanctions against Iran, in not cooperating to force Bashar al-Assad to step down from his Syrian dictatorship and cease his mass murder, and in Vladimir Putin’s cancellation of the partnership to dismantle unconventional weapons, to name but a few of the many Russian rebuffs of the Obama-Clinton “reset.” Now, Obama has replaced the ineffectual SECSTATE Clinton with the pompous buffoon, John Kerry, who the Russians completely ignored in his first foray into international diplomacy, totally humiliating him.
But that’s not all. In addition to the Fast & Furious fiasco, there are increased Chinese Communist maritime threats against the U.S., Japan, and a host Southeast Asian nations like the Philippines; there are the Chinese Communist cyber hacking and thefts of U.S. national security and industrial secrets; there are the ruptured diplomatic relations with Israel; there are the diplomatic betrayals of Poland and the Czech Republic in the unilateral cancellations of anti-missile installation agreements; and there is the significant decrease of U.S. favorability in Muslim nations since Obama took office. In view of all of the foregoing, again the only conclusion is that Obama is an unmitigated failure in his conduct of U.S. foreign policy.
The Six Trillion Dollar Man
Obama’s economic policy failure is closely intertwined with his national security failure because, to quote the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, the national debt is “the single biggest threat to our national security.” In less than four years of Obama’s first term, the national debt increased an unbelievable $5.4 trillion! And yet Obama has continued unwaveringly with his economy-destroying policies of ever-increasing social-welfare entitlement spending and higher taxes on job creators. This astonishing quote Rep. from Kevin Brady, R-Texas, vice chairman of the Joint Economic Committee and member of the House Committee on Ways and Means, is almost impossible to comprehend, “Under President Obama’s stewardship, the national debt has grown by more than $4 billion per day, $170 million per hour, $2.8 million per minute and more than $47,000 per second.”
When Obama’s social-welfare expanding, high taxation, anti-economic growth financial policies, are considered along with the latest staggering U-6 total unemployment rate of 15.4%, the foolish “green energy” failures like Solyndra, the never-ending anti-carbon campaign of Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency, and the financially unsustainable “Obamacare,” once more the only conclusion is that Obama is an unmitigated failure in his conduct of U.S. economic policy.
Considering the appalling results of Obama’s national security, foreign, and economics policies all together begs the question, if Obama were attempting to undermine the U.S., what would he do differently?
Col. Thomas Snodgrass, USAF (retired) served over a year in Peshawar, Pakistan working with Pakistani military intelligence, and he was variously an Intelligence Officer or an International Politico-Military Affairs Officer in assignments in six other foreign countries during a thirty-year military career. Additionally, he was awarded a year’s educational sabbatical teaching and writing as an Air Force Research Associate at the Center for Advanced International Studies, University of Miami, Florida. He has taught history at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Arizona, for ten years after his military service.
By: Aeneas Lavinium
Flag of Bangladesh
A wave of deadly violence, looting, and arson is currently sweeping across parts of Bangladesh. This follows the sentencing to death of Delwar Hossain Sayedee the Bangladeshi leader of the Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami party. This followed his conviction for war crimes committed during the 1971 War of Independence which included including mass killings, rape and atrocities (1).
The website, Struggle for Hindu Resistance suggests that Hindu’s in Bangladesh have borne the brunt of the Jamaat-e-Islami violence that followed the court’s decision. It shows a graphic picture of a Hindu child with severe flesh wounds allegedly inflicted by the Jamaat-e-Islami mob. WARNING: The image which is prominently place on the article is very graphic and very upsetting but the article, with the image, can be seen on the Struggle for Hindu Existence website – view at your own risk HERE) (2).
Given its rhetoric in favour of religious freedom one would expect the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to be speaking out vociferously against the actions of the Islamist group Jamaat-e-Islami in Bangladesh. However, sadly, this does not appear to have been the case. An article on the website of the Center for Islamic Pluralism states:
“It is important to note that the OIC – the Organization of Islamic Cooperation – has not stepped forth to support the landmark effort of the Bangladesh War Crimes Tribunal in bringing individuals to indictment for war crimes committed in 1971. On the contrary, the President of Turkey, Abdullah Gül, is on record a having written to the President of Bangladesh an improper letter in flagrant violation of diplomatic protocol or respect for the independence of the Tribunal in a sovereign country, asking for suspension of the Tribunal with forgiveness for those accused of war crimes.” (3)
To ask for clemency for someone who has been sentenced to death would have been a reasonable and humane demand. It would be something worthy of support. However, to effectively demand a pardon (implied by the quote above) is something quite different and is something that perhaps suggests a concealed agenda on the part of the OIC. Does the OIC sympathise with the idea of creating a Mughalistan? It would not be beyond the realms of possibility that the Mughalistan project would be favoured by groups like Jamaat-e-Islami.
Jamaat-e-Islami did not support the separation of Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) in 1971 during the war of independence (4). The vociferousness of the OIC with regard to supposedly offensive references to the Prophet of Islam and the relative silence on issues relating to the current violence in Bangladesh shows the OIC in its true colours.
Islamism seems to be well ensconced in Bangladesh just as it was during the atrocities in 1971. The verdict in relation to the 1971 atrocities has been followed by new atrocities. It appears that the impulses of 1971 are apparently still present in contemporary Bangladesh.
The OIC which lectures the world about religious freedom and demands punishment for those who insult the Prophet of Islam seems to be willing to forgive and forget when it comes to acts of religiously inspired genocide committed by Islamists. This is yet another example of their potentially sinister motives when it comes to addressing the serious problem of religious persecution at the global level. It would appear that the OIC actually wants to expand the scope of sharia rather than bring an end to religious persecution. If this was not the case then one would expect them to be speaking out about the atrocities in Bangladesh both past and present.
We must commend the Government of Bangladesh in going against the grain as an OIC member state by trying to show the distinction between Islam and Islamism, something that the OIC is obviously unwilling to do. Ironically, as political leaders in Bangladesh are trying to solve their country’s problems by going against OIC dogma, Western politicians are falling over themselves to do the OIC’s bidding.
It is a pity that the UN Alliance of Civilizations meeting that took place last week did not address the problem of Islamist violence. But then why would it? Like the UN Human Rights Council and the OIC it is yet another platform to propose, and perhaps in the future enforce, adherence to sharia principles.
It is time for a renaissance of individual human rights. However the current international institutions who should be working towards this goal are unable or unwilling to protect even the most basic human rights. Instead they are bogged down considering appropriate punishment for thought crimes and the politically motivated grievances of the powerful OIC bloc which appears to have an agenda to replace individual human rights with rights under sharia.
(1) Bangladesh sentences Jamaat-e-Islami leader to death for war crimes (theguardian)
(2) WARNING: The following link includes image of severe and upsetting flesh wound – view at your own risk) Global Hindu Reaction against the Islamic Brutality on Bangladesh Minorities in recent days (Struggle for Hindu Existence)
(3) Guilty Verdict of Bangladesh War Crimes Tribunal on 1971 Atrocities (Center for Islamic Pluralism)
(4) Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami (Wikipedia)
Other reports about the unrest in Bangladesh:
At Least 19 Killed as Unrest Persists in Bangladesh (The New York Times)
Troops deployed in Bangladesh as riot death toll climbs (theguardian)
Riots to Protest Death Sentence Enter 3rd Day in Bangladesh (The New York Times)
Other related articles:
Bangladesh Liberation War (Wikipedia)
Every week on Monday morning, the Council and invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum with short takes on a major issue of the day.
Chuck Hagel, John Kerry and probably John Brennan are now confirmed as the heads of our national security/foreign policy team and President Obama recently used the sequester as an excuse to avoid deploying an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf. These items and the waiver ridden sanctions are sending an obvious signal to the Iranians on how President Obama views a nuclear armed Iran.
This week’s question: Do you consider a nuclear armed Iran a problem? If so, how would you deal with it?
The Razor: Most Iranians, including the opposition to the current regime, support a nuclear armed Iran. Persia has a long history and most of it was spent as a regional superpower. Nuclear weapons will prove to the world that Iran/Persia is a superpower that cannot be ignored.
I believe it’s likely that Iran will test a nuclear bomb sometime before the end of Obama’s term. I don’t see how anyone, including the Israelis, can stop it without concerted effort. Unfortunately the United States prevents this acting in concert by serving as a linchpin linking the Turks and Saudi Arabia with Israel. Elections have consequences, and I believe we will be feeling the consequences of this past election for decades to come. The Obama administration is simply blind to the threat a nuclear Iran presents, viewing Jews and Republican as greater threats than nuclear armed Iranians. As a result the necessary coalition to stop Iran is not there. Instead the Turks and Saudis will pursue their own programs and the Israelis will burn the midnight oil trying to figure out a plan to stop the Iranians on their own to no avail.
How would I deal with it? Before Iran went nuclear I would build a coalition of the willing, uniting the Gulf Arab states with Israel and Turkey to attack Iran’s nuclear sites, but Obama doesn’t have the stomach for such actions and I don’t have the power. Once Iran goes nuclear there isn’t much you can do except contain the threat by stationing anti-missile defenses in friendly nations. While a nuclear capable Iran presents a serious threat, it will be using 1980s technology against 2010s defensive technology, decreasing the likelihood of a successful nuclear strike. If Iran is a rational actor as the Obama administration supposes, then it will be deterred by these defenses. If it’s not, then the low chances of a successful nuclear attack against an adversary like Israel and the retaliation such an attack would invite may be enough to force Iranians to act responsibly. If not and the mullahs running the show in Iran really believe that 13th Imam stuff, then we’ll be in for some interesting fireworks over Iran.
I believe the long term solution is for regime change. A secular and democratic Iran with nukes would not be a big problem just as India is not a problem. But that requires long-term efforts that this administration simply shows no interest in. Now long-term efforts at destroying the Israeli Likud, the American Republican party and the Obama administration’s domestic enemies, the present administration has lots of interest in that…
Wolf Howling: A nuclear Iran presents an existential and imminent threat to the world justifying the immediate use of military force.
Since the dawn of their religion, adherents to the Shia’ism observed a ‘wall between mosque and state’ of sorts, with the senior clerics staying out of politics, preferring to act as advisers to – and critics of – whatever shah might be in power. In 1979, Ayatollah Khohemeini changed all of that, not merely taking control of the Iranian government, but giving his version of twelver Shia’ism a new mission – to spread his revolution throughout the world. The revolution was drenched in blood – and the Iranian government has stayed drenched in blood ever since. A few years ago, then Sec. of Defense Robert Gates, speaking extemporaneously on Iran, stated:
Everywhere you turn, it is the policy of Iran to foment instability and chaos, no matter the strategic value or cost in the blood of innocents – Christians, Jews and Muslims alike…. There can be little doubt that their destabilizing foreign policies are a threat to the interests of the United States, to the interests of every country in the Middle East, and to the interests of all countries within the range of the ballistic missiles Iran is developing.
That is an accurate description of the current Iranian regime. This is not a regime that knows any moral limits in its quest to expand its revolution. It is not a regime that can be trusted to act rationally, nor one that can be expected to be deterred by the policy of Mutually Assured Destruction. Moreover, each day this regime continues on its quest for a nuclear arsenal, the mad mullahs are acting as a catalyst for other Muslim countries to do likewise. As much as the threat of a nuclear armed Iran should be seen as a mortal threat, a nuclear armed Yemen or Saudi Arabia, both countries dominated by the ideology that animates al-Qaeda, present equally nightmare scenarios.
The only thing the regime of the mad mullahs has responded to since its birth in 1979 has been the application or threat of massive force. Each day that we allow the mad mullahs to continue on their quest for a nuclear arsenal simply adds more to the cost in gold and blood our nation will have to pay to end this threat – and it is a bill that could destroy us and others.
The parallels to 1936 to 1939, during which Hitler’s Germany armed its war machine, are simply too blatant to ignore. Hitler was every bit as ideologically driven as the mad mullahs of today. According to post war interviews with Nazi generals, had France or Britain opted to even threaten force through at least 1937, WWII could have been avoided. Instead both opted to talk with Hitler until he was ready to release the dogs of war. In the end, WWII cost over 50 million lives and ruined the economies of Europe for decades. And do note, that was as a result of conventional war. The time for talks with Iran ended years ago. We are now just repeating the same mistakes of pre-WWII Britain and France. If we cannot change the regime of the mad mullahs, than we need to destroy it – now.
The Noisy Room: As long as Iran is a sharia state, an Iran armed with ‘anything’ militarily speaking is a problem. Cease all commerce with them, discourage commerce with them and provide Israel with whatever she needs to protect herself.
I will even take it further… In my opinion, Iran has been our nemesis from the beginning. They are the biggest exporter of terrorism in the world and have been at war with Israel through proxies for some time. Rumor has it, they have cells here in the US and they will at some point attack us from within and from without. Iran is the one we should have gone to war with when the Iranian hostage crisis occurred decades ago. We should never have let them begin development of nukes. We knew they would use them at the very least as leverage to extort the planet into getting what they want – power and the spread of a worldwide caliphate. Now, they are on the verge of having nukes to use against the Little Satan and the Great Satan. We should be sabotaging their cyber networks and their military and nuke capabilities.
We are over the red line of deterring conflict. I do believe all that is left is war, but our leadership is content with Iran having nukes. Obama’s okay with our enemies having nukes; you have to appreciate the irony that he wants rid the domestic population of small arms. Obama supports Islam and condones it and believes all Islamic states should have nuclear capability, so he will not preemptively strike Iran. But war is coming. The question is, will America survive? I believe Israel will, I’m just not so sure about the US.
JoshuaPundit: There’s one thing that’s critically important and frequently missed in discussions about foreign policy and the Middle East in particular, in my opinion. We have to see the Iranians as they see themselves, and realize how they see us.
The Iranians see themselves as a nation of destiny and rising power with a history of empire and Allah on their side.
To the Ayatollahs, we are a decadent, waning power that fears them, and with a single exception that occurred during President Reagan’s term, our entire interaction with Iran since 1979 bears this out to them. They have overrun an American embassy and taken our diplomats hostage, ordered and sponsored attacks on U.S. troops in Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, forced what they consider a precipitous American retreat from Iraq, openly threatened us and countries we consider our allies including Saudi Arabia. They’ve even imprisoned and held U.S. citizens for ransom. And they’ve made an open mockery out of any attempts at negotiation for years.
The Iranians were even complicit in 9/11. Even the 9/11 Commission’s report mentioned that, and evidence of Iran’s role in 9/11 was a major part of a ruling in Federal court.
Yet we have never responded in the way the Iranians would respond themselves to a nation they did not consider strong and a threat. We have responded in a way that validates their view of us.
Allowing a nuclear Iran would be a significant security threat to the United States. The danger comes not only from the weapons themselves, but from the attitude inherent in the Shi’ite mentality, and particularly in the Twelver sect… and whom the Iranians might decide to give those weapons to, and who else in the region might began to fashion nuclear weapons of their own as a result.
Containment is impossible, because we are not dealing with rational actors here. There’s a significant amount of Shi’ite theology that actually welcomes apocalypse as the vehicle for the return of the Hidden Imam and Allah’s kingdom on earth. Agreement is impossible because we have nothing they want except perhaps our complete retreat from the Middle East, certainly nothing they’re willing to trade their nuclear weapons program for, which they see as insuring their rise as the dominant power in the region. President Obama’s farcical removal of Moamar Khaddaffi after he’d given up his nuclear program and was actually helping us take out Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb has pretty much insured that no one else is going to do anything like that again unless they have a pretty compelling reason. That especially applies to Iran. Not only that, but to the Iranians we are not only infidels with whom no agreement is binding, but fools for constantly falling for these continued ‘negotiation’ gambits’ that simply spin out the game and buy them time.
Regime change, while desirable is probably not going to make as much of a difference as people seem to think, nor should it be our concern, except over the long term.
How would I handle this? First, I would sit down with the JCS and map out a contingency plan assuming we don’t already have one. In fact, I once sketched out what this might look like with the assistance of some very interesting accomplices a few years ago, and while it would have been far easier to pull off then and some details have changed (for instance, we no longer have forces in Iraq), most of it is still valid.
Once that was done and what needed to be deployed was deployed, I would invite President Ahmadinejad to the White House without any preconditions. Notice that I would make the Iranians come to me on my turf rather than meeting in Europe or some Islamic country with an underling, or involving any other power.
President Ahmadinejad would almost certainly not come, which of course would be an answer in itself. If President Ahmadinejad did come to America, we would have a meeting and what would probably be a very short conversation about settling our differences. That conversation would almost certainly not be productive, but it would establish that an attempt at diplomacy was made.
I would then immediately ban them from using the American banking system any nation processing Iranian oil payments or transactions with Iran’s central bank. The Iranians would certainly find others to launder transactions for them on a gold basis like our ‘ally’ Turkey, but given the state of the rial and Iran’s economy generally this would be a devastating blow. It would essentially force countries to choose to deal with Iran or with America and the U.S. market.
Since I doubt this alone would stop Iran from its nuclear ambitions I would have no compunctions about ordering a pre-emptive strike if I thought it necessary. I would involve no other nation, since some of them have already signaled their refusal to cooperate (UK, Turkey) and others might be untrustworthy or demand a high price for their assistance.
Aside from having our Navy sink anything Iranian that floated and destroying Iran’s ports, I would take out Iran’s missile sites (many of which are aimed at the oil facilities of the GCE countries) and anything suspected of being a nuclear facility, with particular attention being paid to taking out supporting infrastructure so that surviving machinery like centrifuges couldn’t simply be moved and hidden. I would either completely destroy Iran’s refineries and pipeline networks for oil and natural gas or have an assault ship like the USS Boxer land Marines to invade and hold Kharg Island, Iran’s main oil terminus in the Persian Gulf. This would allow us to control Iran’s oil flow, should we care to. If we left Kharg Island, I would destroy the facilities beyond repair as well as Iran’s oil fields and infrastructure. That would take care of any future misuse of Iran’s oil money.
Except for Kharg Island, I would not have any U.S. troops invade, nor would I involve America in any nation building. I would make a point of leaving a devastated Iran as a warning to others.
Such an attack would have been infinitely simpler and less destructive if it had been done some years ago, and a strong stance at the very beginning back in 1979 might have made the whole thing unnecessary. But given the reality of today that’s what it will take.
If this strikes you as somewhat Roman, I can only reply, Iran Delenda Est.
Virginia Right!: A nuclear armed Iran is clearly a problem from the viewpoint of Israel. It is also a problem for the stability of the entire Middle East. Most of us who are pro Israel understand that.
However, for those who are anti oil, it may be the perfect solution to their goal. Massive instability in the region would necessarily cause the price of oil to skyrocket even more than it has already. And since most of those who seek political power through the control of energy want to drive the prices up to push the world off of oil, this is a quick means to that end.
Many of these same people also share the disillusion that eliminating, or at least neutering Israel will bring stability to the Middle East. That is not to say that they are all in favor of the extermination of Israel, though some would be OK with that, just that some are gullible enough to believe that Israel and Jews are the root cause of conflict in the region.
With nuclear weapons aimed at Israel, world leaders would no longer be asked to reign in the rogue state, relieving people like Barack Obama from the responsibility and pressure to protect Israel – a task he is, at best, ambivalent about doing. And at worst, well, let’s just say Obama’s education in his formative years should be alarming to friends of Israel.
How I would deal with the problem if a nuclear armed Iran is simple. Israel has the right to protect herself and we have a responsibility to allow her to do just that. The US should use their veto power in the UN Security Council to keep the rest of the world from deciding Israel’s fate. Israel is an ally and deserves the opportunity to make those decisions and has the right to self protection. And if a preemptive strike is the decision, so be it.
A North Korea-like rogue nation in the Middle East is the last thing the world needs. It is impossible to control North Korea. And they are a poor state. Imagine the same dynamic with an oil rich nation like Iran with the ability to sabre rattle and threaten with no possibility of repercussions.
And how long will it be until every unstable Theocracy in the Middle East has a nuclear weapon if we allow Iran to obtain – and ultimately proliferate – such weapons. It is doubtful that a nuclear Iran can be controlled or even contained. I shudder to think about the consequences of a nuclear Hamas.
The Glittering Eye: Iran’s getting the Bomb would present a situation very different from any of the other countries with nuclear weapons. In the case of first countries with nuclear weapons (United States, Soviet Union, United Kingdom, France) none of those countries had denied it was developing nuclear weapons.
The next cohort of nuclear powers (India, China) developed their nuclear weapons as deterrents against the other. Neither of them denied their development programs. Next in line, Pakistan, developed its nuclear weapons under very similar circumstances.
Iran’s situation would be much more like that of North Korea. North Korea’s development program was a de facto secret (as practically everything else going on in the country is) and was discovered pretty much by accident. North Korea never denied its development program but it hadn’t advertised it, either.
Israel is believed to have nuclear weapons but we don’t know for sure the size of its nuclear arsenal, if any. Israel is not a signatory to the NPT. To the best of my knowledge it has never denied having nuclear weapons.
A couple of notable differences between North Korea and Iran: Iran doesn’t have a patron of the sort that China is for North Korea, Iran can afford to produce a substantial arsenal of weapons, and Iran openly supports terrorists.
An Iranian nuclear weapon would almost certainly start a nuclear arms race in the very volatile Middle East. I don’t think that’s a situation that we can tolerate.
Consequently, a nuclear-armed Iran would
– be untrustworthy since it had developed its nuclear weapons while repeatedly denying it was doing so
– be capable of producing a substantial arsenal
– present a threat of transferring nuclear weapons to terrorists
– threaten its neighbors (including Russia and China) and us
Ideally with the cooperation of Russia and China who are, after all, more threatened by Iran than we are but without it if necessary, we should avoid the bluster that has characterized past statements by the last two administrations on the subject and merely say that if Iran tests, uses, conveys, or transfers the technology for a nuclear weapon or threatens us or anybody else with nuclear weapons, we’ll consider it an act of war and respond in such a way as to end the threat, whatever that may require.
Well, there you have it.
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