09/2/14

Official Lies Mask Russian and Chinese Aggression

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

Even the liberal media couldn’t defend President Obama’s bizarre public statement about having no strategy to confront the Islamic State terrorist group. But many in the media went along with his failure to describe the Russian invasion of Ukraine as an invasion.

Asked directly if he considered the “escalation in Ukraine an invasion,” Obama said on Thursday, “I consider the actions that we’ve seen in the last week a continuation of what’s been taking place for months now.”

The Daily Mail of London provided an appropriate headline: “Obama REFUSES to call 1,000 Russian troops and tanks caught on satellite in Ukraine an ‘invasion’ but [Senator] McCain says he’s living in ‘Putin’s Orwellian universe.’”

The statement from Senators McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) included the comment, “Russia’s ongoing aggression in Ukraine can only be called one thing: a cross-border military invasion. To claim it is anything other than that is to inhabit President Putin’s Orwellian universe.”

Senators McCain and Graham are not always right on foreign affairs, but in this case they have described the mentality of Obama, a one-time student of pro-Moscow Communist Frank Marshall Davis. Obama is acting like an agent of influence for the Russians, determined to obscure the reality of what is happening in front of our eyes.

In the case of the Islamic State, Obama was honest enough to acknowledge he had no strategy. In the case of Ukraine, the strategy appears to be to flat-out lie about what the Russians are doing.

The difference appears to be that the Islamic State does not hide its barbarity, including beheadings, and forces Obama to directly answer the challenge. After all, they beheaded an American journalist on videotape. That makes it difficult for Obama to ignore or distort what is happening. The Russians, on the other hand, are lying through their teeth about invading Ukraine, in order to give Obama the option—which he accepts—of swallowing their lies. In this way, the Russians make it easier for Obama to do nothing in response.

The problem for Obama, who apparently wants to turn Ukraine over to the Russians, is that the lies have gotten too big. One of the most absurd Russian lies was that the images and video of Russian paratroopers captured in Ukraine were actually troops who had crossed the border “by accident.”

Another whopper was provided by a pro-Russian terrorist leader in eastern Ukraine who said the Russian soldiers fighting with him were on “vacation.”

The New York Times reported that Obama “declined to call Russia’s latest moves an invasion, as Ukraine and others have, saying they were ‘not really a shift’ but just ‘a little more overt’ form of longstanding Russian violations of Ukrainian sovereignty.”

What are “longstanding Russian violations of Ukrainian sovereignty?”

How can our media report such nonsense?

Not to be outdone, a Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty report said Obama had highlighted the “ongoing incursion” into Ukraine. A Washington Times headline referred to it as an “encroachment.”

If the President refuses to tell the truth, do the media have to follow his lead? What happened to our adversarial press?

MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell asked State Department official Jen Psaki, “If there’s artillery firing across the border and tanks moving and movements of soldiers, what’s the difference between an incursion and an invasion?” Psaki replied, “I think this is a discussion about terminology. She added, “what we’ve seen here is an escalation of aggression by the Russians, a pattern, actually, over the last several months.”

It is an “escalation of aggression” but not an invasion? Again, how can members of the press accept this nonsense?

The Washington Post ran an editorial titled, “Mr. Putin’s Invasion,” calling it what it is. (The title over the on-line version was, “The West must make Mr. Putin pay for his aggression.”) It said “Putin’s decision to send Russian forces openly into Ukraine in the past 48 hours is a watershed, not a mere ‘continuation of what’s been taking place for months,’ as President Obama understated the case Thursday.”

Actually this is the second invasion of Ukraine. The first occurred when Russian forces took over Crimea.

The Wall Street Journal on Friday ran front-page NATO photos of “Russia on the move in Ukraine,” showing Russian artillery units “inside Ukraine.” But the article below the photo was headlined, “Kiev Claims Russian Invasion.” How can it be just a claim when the Russian units are already inside Ukraine?

NATO revealed that the images came from an independent firm called Digital Globe, a provider of high-resolution earth imagery, and said that the images were not altered or changed by NATO.

Dutch Brigadier General Nico Tak, head of NATO’s crisis management center, said, “The satellite images released today provide additional evidence that Russian combat soldiers, equipped with sophisticated heavy weaponry, are operating inside Ukraine’s sovereign territory. These latest images provide concrete examples of Russian activity inside Ukraine, but are only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the overall scope of Russian troop and weapons movements.”

At the Pentagon briefing on Friday, Rear Admiral John Kirby, the press secretary, was asked about “the latest movements of Russian forces, tanks and other forces, into Ukraine,” and “the degree to which that represents an escalation of their involvement, and whether you consider this an invasion.”

He, too, backed away from the truth, saying, “…it’s a continuation of what we’ve seen all along. Whatever verb you want to put on it, whatever you want to call it, it’s just, again, intensification of the same behavior that we’ve been seeing Russia do now for several months.”

What does Adm. Kirby mean by “intensification of the same behavior?” He also urged Russia “to stop escalating the tension there.”

At the United Nations, Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said, “Russia has to stop lying and has to stop fueling this conflict.” In reference to the claim about Russian soldiers being on “vacation” in Ukraine, she said, “…a Russian soldier who chooses to fight in Ukraine on his summer break is still a Russian soldier. And the armored Russian military vehicle he drives there is not his personal car.”

It’s a funny line, but she still refused to call it an invasion.

Some kudos go to Terry Moran of ABC News, who tweeted: “Say it: Russia has invaded Ukraine. Any other description is just weasel words.”

Yet, an ABC News story carried the headline, “‘Russian Invasion’ of Ukraine Prompts UN Emergency Meeting,” with the words “Russian invasion” in quotes, to suggest some dispute over whether an invasion was taking place.

Moran temporarily broke through the Orwellian universe in his own narrow way. But why is this tweet the exception and not the rule? Why is this verdict not being reflected in news coverage?

But don’t think these weasel words only apply to Russian aggression.

A story in The Wall Street Journal referred to the “the unsafe and unprofessional behavior” of Chinese pilots in the South China Sea, when a Chinese jet made several aggressive close passes by a Navy P-8 Poseidon plane over international waters.

“U.S. officials aren’t sure why the incidents keep taking place in the same general location, and said the midair encounters may be attributable to a rogue pilot or group of pilots in a squadron responsible for intercepts in the South China Sea,” the paper said. “These officials said they don’t believe the aggressive flying was directly authorized by the Chinese military.”

A senior U.S. official said, “The Chinese are trying to be more active in establishing good quality military-to-military relations. There’s just something different and unique about what’s going on in the South China Sea. Something’s out of whack.”

It goes without saying that these “U.S. officials” working for Obama want to excuse aggressive Chinese behavior directed at our own forces.

But the Wall Street Journal’s editorial writers couldn’t even accept that. Referring to the “something’s out of whack” comment, the paper said, “If that’s the case, President Xi Jinping—who exerts significant control over the military and has purged several senior generals tied to corruption—now has the opportunity to send a message by disciplining the commander responsible. But we’re not counting on it. More likely, China’s military provocations will continue until Washington pushes back.”

Indeed, China’s Defense Ministry defended its pilot and attacked the U.S. for conducting “close-in reconnaissance activities.” The spokesman said the U.S. should “eventually stop its reconnaissance activities against China, so as to create a good environment for the development of bilateral military relations.”

With few exceptions, aggressive actions by Russia and China are being excused by our media. They are following Obama’s deceptive lead at a time when the American people deserve the truth about the dangers to America and the world.

Something is out of whack at the White House.

09/1/14

What the United Nations Doesn’t Want You to Know

By: Brent Parrish
The Right Planet

My friend Lt. Robert Powell from the Pacific Freedom Foundation recently emailed me about a new PowerPoint presentation he put together (compiled and written by Irving Baxter Jr.) on the murky origins of the United Nations. This is also a subject matter I’ve delved into quite deeply myself. Powell’s slides offer the history in manageable chunks, and I’ve converted the slides into web-ready images. Please feel free to share this information with others (with proper citations, of course). – See more at: http://www.therightplanet.com/2014/09/what-the-united-nations-doesnt-want-you-to-know/#sthash.mvdvUv6z.dpuf

Not too long ago I posted a video produced in the mid-nineties concerning a U.S. Army soldier, SPC Michael New, who refused to wear the UN insignia and uniform, or accept orders from a foreign commander under the auspices of the United Nations. New’s reasoning was simple: he pledged an oath to defend the United States and the U.S. Constitution, not the United Nations and its Charter.

The Michael New case received very little press coverage at the time. New was threatened with court-martial, but he decided to fight the charges. Unfortunately, Michael New lost the case and eventually received a court-martial and a dishonorable discharge. (Jeff Lindsay has written about New’s case. Read more here.)

In preparation for his case, Michael New did his homework. New pointed out that the U.N. does not own a land mass per se (of course, the U.N. considers the entire earth its “land mass”), but they do have most of the elements a fully-functioning government needs to have–meaning: they have a ruler (Secretary General), a governing body (the General Assembly and Security Council), a treasury/banking system (i.e. World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Bank of International Settlements, etc.), a legal system (International Criminal Court), an array of bureaucratic agencies (NGO’s), a flag, an oath of allegiance. and a charter.

The one thing the U.N. does not have is a tax. But there have been many who are calling for a global tax administered by the United Nations. In 2012, Vice President Joe Biden called for a “minimum global tax.” Furthermore, a global tax could be implemented via sweeping “climate change” regulations presently being pushed by the United Nations to supposedly reduce “carbon emissions” globally .

Recently, President Obama has threatened to use executive order to enact a sweeping “climate change accord” proposed by the U.N. in lieu of a treaty. While some argue the president does not have the authority to ratify a treaty without confirmation from the Senate, the administration is instead calling it an “accord,” as opposed to a treaty, thus attempting to bypass the Senate altogether.

Of course, one last thing needed for the United Nations to become a fully functioning global government is an all-powerful military force. In 1961, Council of Foreign Relations member and “Disarmament Adviser” to President Kennedy, John J. McCloy, authored a State Department document entitled Freedom From War: The United States Program for General and Complete Disarmament in a Peaceful World (read here), which urges the disarmament of all national military forces and the creation of a United Nations’ superforce.

09/1/14

Discontent

Arlene from Israel

While I am mindful of constraints on my time and the fact that it is Labor Day, I post to do follow-through and share some important perspectives.

Netanyahu has now made additional comments as to why he chose to embrace certain positions regarding Hamas, and what he might still do.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu

Credit: Flash 90

First, he explained why he called a halt to the fighting with Hamas when he did:

“…today, when I look around and I see Al Qaeda on the [border] fence, and ISIS galloping into Jordan and already in Lebanon, and in Lebanon there is Hezbollah that is a little larger than Hamas, and Iran that backs it, and Iran [itself] – and I say, in the face of these combined threats, we set a goal in the Cabinet, to deal Hamas a very severe blow, and we did this, with the thousand terrorists we killed, the senior commanders, the tunnels, the rockets… I decided not to put all of our resources into this single arena and not into other arenas.”

He alluded to Fallujah in Iraq. where American troops fought against the Islamists.  Once the US pulled out of Fallujah, the Islamists came back in and took over.  He didn’t want to create such a problem in Gaza – where Israel would take out Hamas, and then pull out, only to leave space for Islamists in Gaza to take over.

And he explained his reluctance to do another ground operation: “Why do I need to go in? If I can hit them from the air and get the effect of grinding them without risking soldiers’ lives, why should I go in?”

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/184577#.VAOg95vlrIV

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And you know what?  I understand all of these reasons.  In fact, I enumerated them myself just days ago – when I explained why taking out Hamas completely might not be the best way to go.

However…I remain unsettled because the decision to terminate the fighting was made in a way that felt precipitous.  A beautiful and much-loved four year old child had been killed by Hamas mortar.  This saddened the heart of Israel. And then very shortly before the ceasefire was called, two other Israelis – Ze’ev Etzion, head of security for Kibbutz Nirim, and his deputy, Shahar Melamed – were killed and some four others wounded by mortar fire.

What is more, there was no reduction in the number of projectiles fired from Gaza into Israel in the hours before the ceasefire.  There was, instead, a horrendous barrage that persisted until the last second and I believe even a bit beyond.

That a ceasefire was agreed to precisely then gave the Israeli populace a sense that governmental resolution was lacking – that an adequate job had not yet been done.  It wasn’t, after all, an either/or question of stopping that very instant or having to go into Gaza and take out Hamas completely.  A continuation of the punishing bombing might have been possible for some additional days.  Perhaps another high level terrorist might have been taken out.  Or there might have been a foray of ground troops that headed for a specific target inside of Gaza and then pulled back.

Instead, what it felt like was that we took that last minute beating – with the deaths and the furious barrage – and then said, that’s it, guys, we’re done. And that didn’t feel like victory – no matter how accurate the prime minister’s description of the beating Hamas had taken.  It felt like caving. And, as I’ve said before, perceptions do matter.  Not just for our own populace, but because al-Qaeda and ISIS and all the others are watching.

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The fact that the agreement to accept the ceasefire was made just then, with that sense of precipitousness and lack of resolution, leads me to believe, still, that Netanyahu was under duress – that he did not decide this unilaterally, but had some “guidance” from the White House.

It is pretty much a given that presidential pressure was part of the picture – it would not be something unexpected.  The question remains (and we will likely never know) what the import of the threat was.  Was Netanyahu, for his part, too quick to concede – for indeed, it is the job of the prime minister to stand strong for Israel’s sovereignty? Or was the threat of a serious enough nature that what he did was prudent?

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I am mindful of the fact that Netanyahu did not take a vote in the Security Cabinet before deciding to agree to the ceasefire, it is said because he was unsure of securing its approval.  Were the bottom-line issues the ones he now enunciates regarding other dangers to contend with, etc., one would think that he would have discussed them with the members of the Cabinet; the fact that this didn’t happen also leads to questions as to what was going on.

The reason he now gives for not taking it to the Cabinet: he saved the ministers who would likely have opposed the ceasefire – Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch and Communications Minister Gilad Erdan – the “dilemma of opposing a proposal whereby Hamas gave up all its demands.”  They were secretly pleased not to have to vote on this, he said.

http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Politics-And-Diplomacy/Netanyahu-Toppling-Hamas-remains-an-option-372828

Well. These ministers will have to speak for themselves on this, but it sounds more than a bit hollow.
~~~~~~~~~~

Netanyahu has said that a “drizzle” of rockets launched from Gaza will not be tolerated.  This – tolerating a “drizzle” – has been a problem since the Hamas takeover of Gaza: “So, Hamas launched two rockets today.  No one was hurt. Are we going to start up over that? Let’s make a statement (or bomb an empty field where a launcher had been)   and then let it go.”  Thus was deterrence lost, as Hamas observed the Israeli readiness to be shot at, a little.

Now the terrorists must know that there cannot be even a single rocket launched or single instance of firing of mortar shells.  This is not only for deterrence, it is to provide a very necessary sense of security to the residents of the south.

What he has indicated is that the bombing Gaza has endured until now would be nothing compared to the attack that would ensue if they started launching rockets again.  This is by way of deterrence.  There is reasonable likelihood that Netanyahu will be tested on this: the negotiations in Cairo are due to begin and Hamas intends to demand a seaport, an airport, release of prisoners and all the rest.

http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/08/31/report-indirect-cairo-talks-to-resume-this-week/

~~~~~~~~~~

Netanyahu is also saying something else:  “I never removed the goal of toppling Hamas, and I am not doing that now.”  (JPost citation above.)

And here, again, his statements lead to a confusion as to what his plan was, or his specified goal.  For he is still saying that the goal was to remove the danger of the tunnels and strike a hard blow to Hamas – goals he says we achieved.

This latest comment is presumably intended as deterrence: What he means, I trust, is that he didn’t want to focus on Gaza sufficiently to take out Hamas all the way, but if Hamas persists in its aggression, then he will have to adjust his goals and topple this terrorist group.  Would that he had been more precise in saying this.

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When I last wrote, a report from a Jordanian paper had surfaced that claimed Netanyahu and Abbas had met in Amman.  At that point there was no denial from Netanyahu’s office and it was most unsettling.

There have since been denials here in Israel:

http://www.jerusalemonline.com/news/politics-and-military/politics/the-prime-minister-and-abbas-did-not-meet-in-jordan-7741

I was asked by an associate if this makes me feel better.  My answer: only marginally.  For Netanyahu did make inane statements about how he hopes Abbas will be a partner for negotiations.  That is, he hopes that Abbas will chose peace with Israel and not unity with Hamas.  But, as I have repeatedly pointed out, Abbas has already made his choice and is no moderate peace partner. The fact that Netanyahu – well knowing this – feels the need to make such a statement tells us a good deal about the duress he faces and what may be coming down the road.

There was a bit of a flap when Abbas allegedly claimed that Netanyahu had agreed to negotiate based on the pre-1967 border.  When it was vehemently denied here, a correction ensued.  There had been a mistake – it was Obama who agreed on this line, not Netanyahu.  And, indeed, this has been Obama’s position from the start.

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My wish for a long time now has been that Netanyahu would have the courage to state forthrightly and publicly that it is a mistake to talk about negotiations based on the pre-1967 border, because there was never such a border: There was only a temporary armistice line.

How can we remotely expect the world to understand this, if our head of state will not clarify?

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This, however, is encouraging, if true:

According to the London-based Al-Quds al-Arabi, Kerry and Netanyahu recently had a conversation about restarting the peace talks, and Israel’s release of the fourth group of prisoners.  As Netanyahu was not receptive, Kerry apparently decided to cancel plans to come to this area.

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Report-Kerry-and-Netanyahu-discussed-restarting-peace-talks-4th-prisoner-release-373069

Release of prisoners?  Netanyahu knows this would fly here in Israel like a lead balloon.

Reportedly, a PA delegation will be going to Washington, instead, to discuss “a new peace initiative.”

Actually, Abbas is falling back into his habit of making threats – re: the Security Council and the ICC now – in order to frighten us into making “peace” on his terms.  This will not work.

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Israel has just designated about 4,000 dunams (988 acres) of land in Judea and Samaria, mostly in Gush Etzion, as state land.

This paves the way for construction to be done on the land, and, as could be anticipated, the US has objected because this is “counterproductive” to the “peace process.”

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/184623#.VAREY5vlrIU

What else is new?

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Reportedly -  there was no official word on this – the land will be used for building a community in memory of the three students kidnapped and murdered in June.

While I am all for memorials to the students, I object to the notion that we need a pretext to build in Judea and Samaria.  It is simply our right to do so.  In point of fact, Israel has been talking since 2000 about a community to be called Gva’ot, to be built on that land, starting with 1,000 housing units.  I hope to have more on this.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4566227,00.html

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I want to end here with information about the dangers of encroaching radical Islam, which in the end is not only a major problem for Israel, but for the entire world.

I note, first, that Islamic rebels have taken the area on the other side of the Golan border, and that from time to time shelling spills over.  With the war with Hamas, I did not focus on this but now hope to watch the situation with greater attention.  As I write, there is fierce fighting at the Quneitra crossing.

In a picture taken from the Golan Heights, smoke billows from the Syrian village of Quneitra following an explosion during fighting, between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad and rebels, near the Quneitra border crossing on August 31, 2014.

In a picture taken from the Golan Heights, smoke billows from the Syrian village of Quneitra following an explosion during fighting, between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad and rebels, near the Quneitra border crossing on August 31, 2014. (photo credit: AFP/MENAHEM KAHANA)

Credit: AFP/Menahem Kahana

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And then there is the issue of ISIS (the “Islamic State” in Iraq and Syria), which in its determination and viciousness, makes the threat of Hamas pale considerably.

Please see this video of a news program on the issue by CBN (with thanks to Dov Shmuel Freedman for posting this on his FB page.):

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10154600234650393&set=vb.140647865392&type=2&theater

If can watch this with equanimity, you just do not get it.  Every single American ought to be terrified at this point, for ISIS is aiming for the United States, which is very vulnerable.  This is because the southern border of the US is porous and will permit the infiltration of ISIS terrorists, and because there are reported to be at least 100 people with US citizenship fighting with ISIS, who – thoroughly indoctrinated – may then return to America to generate terrorism.

With this all, Obama does not have a plan.  Obama does not have a plan.

CBN is a Christian station.  Their broadcasters have a vision that is clear – a vision that mainstream liberal media lack.  They end their program with prayer – and it is prayer that my Christian readers will embrace.  For my Jewish readers, I heartily endorse prayer, as well, of a Jewish nature.

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Clare M. Lopez, Vice President for Research and Analysis at the Center for Security Policy and a former CIA agent, is an entirely reputable analyst with a strong background in issues of terrorism.

Credit: familysecuritymatters

I have had direct communication with her, and I respect her greatly – as it turns out, not just for her knowledge but her courage in speaking truth (emphasis to her quotes added):

Just days ago, she cautioned against a strong US response to ISIS before the US has an overall strategy in place.  “Any military action would be further complicated…if it were not clear which side the U.S. is on, either in the short term or in the overall war on terror.

“In any case, and for whatever motivations, there is no doubt this administration switched sides in what used to be called the Global War on Terror.”

Lopez believes Obama has essentially the same goals in the Mideast as the late Osama bin Laden: “to remove American power and influence, including military forces, from Islamic lands.”

http://www.examiner.com/article/cia-now-admits-that-president-obama-is-a-radical-islamic-enemy-of-america

Reports the Examiner:

According to a report by the Center for Security Policy, Mohamed Elibiary, a senior member of the Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council, supports brokering a US partnership with the Muslim Brotherhood. “Two months ago, a firestorm erupted online after Elibiary tweeted that a ‘Caliphate’ is inevitable and compared it to the European Union.”

(With thanks to Andrew B.)

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Is it too late to save America?  I pray not. But in the end, only Americans can answer this question.

Coming full circle, I suspect that the state of affairs in the American administration, as we’re seeing it, provides clues as to what Netanyahu likely must cope with.  This is with regard to what Obama might stoop to in making threats.  But it is also an indicator of how very alone Israel stands: America does not have our back at all but quite the contrary.

09/1/14

Islamist group takes over U.S. Embassy in Libya

By: James Simpson
DC Independent Examiner

The U.K. Daily Mail is reporting today that an Islamist group is now occupying the former U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Libya. This was a non-violent takeover. They basically walked in. Embassy staff had departed in July because of the deteriorating security situation in Libya.

The video embedded here shows the Islamic group, which goes by the name Fajr Libya, or Dawn of Libya, swimming in the pool and showing reporters around. The Mail cites one of the group’s commanders as saying they are occupying the compound to protect it from looters. The video however, suggests a group of men reveling in their newfound prize. According to the report, they have been there about a week.

Still, the commander may really want to keep the Embassy in presentable shape. While the country is racked by violent confrontations between the various militias that took down Qaddafi, this group has taken up positions throughout Tripoli and are telling foreign diplomats that it is safe to return. In fact it is part of a power play between the recently elected parliament and the former, Islamist parliament that took over following Qaddafi’s ouster.

The group is not associated with Ansar-al-Sharia, which was responsible for the Benghazi attacks in 2012, nor is it associated with the new parliament – called the House of Representatives – elected in June. It is allied with the deposed parliament, the General National Congress, which is now trying to reassert itself after Dawn of Libya secured Tripoli.

Its nominal Prime Minister, one Omar al-Hasi, was quoted as saying, “We reject extremism and terrorism. I am not with a specific group, party, operation or city but stand for a government for all Libyans.” However, the GNC is strongly Islamist, while the popularly elected parliament is not.

That may be irrelevant. Members of the House of Representatives have relocated to Tobruk, far away from the fighting after losing control in Tripoli to the Islamists. Meanwhile, Abdullah al-Thinni, the elected government’s caretaker prime minister and his cabinet, announced that it has resigned to allow the House of Representatives to form a new government. Being effectively a government in hiding however, it remains to be seen if it will be able to reassert its authority in any meaningful way.

However this story ends, the sight of those Islamists gleefully diving into the U.S. Embassy pool and shouting “Allah-o-Akbar!” are not good optics for President Obama, or for that matter, presumptive presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. It serves to remind us all of the disgrace this administration has brought to the United States, how we have become the laughing stock of the world, and how Obama’s trainwreck foreign policy has turned the entire Middle East into a cauldron of anarchy, and Iraq into an unspeakably monstrous killing field. It is without precedent in American history.

08/31/14

Obama Works Towards a US/Iran Alliance

By: Trevor Loudon
New Zeal

This explains so much.

Michael Ledeen writing at Pajamas Media.

iran

They DO have a strategy, but they prefer to appear indecisive. That’s because the strategy would likely provoke even greater criticism than the false confession of endless dithering.

The actual strategy is detente first, and then a full alliance with Iran throughout the Middle East and North Africa. It has been on display since before the beginning of the Obama administration. During his first presidential campaign in 2008, Mr. Obama used a secret back channel to Tehran to assure the mullahs that he was a friend of the Islamic Republic, and that they would be very happy with his policies. The secret channel was Ambassador William G. Miller, who served in Iran during the shah’s rule, as chief of staff for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and as ambassador to Ukraine. Ambassador Miller has confirmed to me his conversations with Iranian leaders during the 2008 campaign.

Ever since, President Obama’s quest for an alliance with Iran has been conducted through at least four channels: Iraq, Switzerland (the official U.S. representative to Tehran), Oman and a variety of American intermediaries, the most notable of whom is probably Valerie Jarrett, his closest adviser. In recent months, Middle Eastern leaders reported personal visits from Ms. Jarrett, who briefed them on her efforts to manage the Iranian relationship. This was confirmed to me by a former high-ranking American official who says he was so informed by several Middle Eastern leaders.

The central theme in Obama’s outreach to Iran is his conviction that the United States has historically played a wicked role in the Middle East, and that the best things he can do for that part of the world is to limit and withdraw American military might, and empower our self-declared enemies, whose hostility to traditional American policies he largely shares.

If we look at the current crisis through an Iranian lens, our apparent indecisiveness is easier to understand, for it systematically favors Iran’s interests. Tehran’s closest ally is Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. If Assad were to be overthrown by opposition forces hostile to Iran, it would be a devastating blow to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who has committed tens of thousands of fighters (from Hezbollah, the Revolutionary Guards and the Basij) to shore up the Damascus regime. Everything Iran does in the region revolves around the necessity of preserving Assad’s tyranny.

Obama surely understands this. It therefore made no sense to bomb Syria in the otherwise baffling about-face on the “red line” a year ago. In like manner, the refusal to take decisive action today against the Islamic State caters to Iranian and Syrian concerns. Remember that ISIS was supported by Iran and Syria as a weapon against anti-Assad and anti-Iranian forces (from the Kurds to the FSA), none of whom is receiving serious American support.

It is exceedingly unlikely that Mr. Obama will do anything that would threaten Assad’s rule or Iran’s power. To do so would be tantamount to abandoning his core strategy of creating a U.S.-Iranian alliance that would make Tehran the major regional power and Washington a friendly kibbitzer and adviser.

It is even more unlikely that Mr. Obama and his spokespeople will confess to actually having a strategy, because of the political firestorm that would result. Better to be thought a fool than to remove all doubt, after all.

08/31/14

The Growing ISIS Arsenal, Pt. 1

By: Brent Parrish
The Right Planet

The ISIS terrorist army are accumulating a growing arsenal of weaponry captured from overrun Syrian and Iraqi military bases and weapons’ depots as they rampage across the Middle East. So, I’d thought I’d list some of the more common weapons used by ISIS in Syria and Iraq, along with some of the newer weapons they’ve managed to get their hands as of late.

This is by no means meant to be an exhaustive and comprehensive list of weapon systems being used by ISIS, et al., but rather a list of some of the more commonly used weapons, and few rare ones as well. The list is fairly long. So I decided to break it up into three parts.

Let’s have a gander, shall we?

AK-47 “Kalashnikov” Rifle


Mikhail Kalashnikov, developer of the AK-47 rifle.

One of the most common weapons employed by Islamic terrorists worldwide is the ubiquitous Russian-designed AK-47 rifle (a.k.a. “Kalashnikov”). The Kalashnikov is named after its designer—Mikhail Kalashnikov. The AK-47 is a select-fire—meaning, it can fire in both full-auto and semi-auto modes via a selection lever located on the right-side of the receiver—gas-operated rifle chambered to fire the 7.62×39mm round. The AK-47 has an effective range of roughly 300-400 meters.

Dragunov Sniper Rifle

The Russian-designed Dragunov sniper rifle is probably the most common sniper rifle employed by Islamic terrorists worldwide. The Dragunov is a semi-automatic rifle chambered to fire the 7.62x54mm rimmed round (7.62x54R). Military versions typically feature a detachable 10-round magazine and a telescopic scope. The Dragunov has an effective range of approximately 800 meters.

Kalashnikov PKM Machine Gun

The Russian-designed PKM is the most common belt-fed machine gun used by Islamic terrorists worldwide, and also fires the 7.62x54mm rimmed round. It’s a very effective and reliable weapon, hence its widespread use. It’s common to see a 100-round box magazine used with the PKM. There are various version of the MG, such as the PK, PKS and PKMS. The Chinese Type 90 belt-fed machine gun is based on the PKM design. The PK series has an effective range of roughly 1,000 meters, and a rate of fire of around 650-750 RPM.

American M-16/M-4 Rifle


ISIS terrorist with American-made M-4 rifle.


American-made M-16 rifle with scope.

The American-made M-16 has been the standard-issue rifle for the U.S. military since the Vietnam war, and is in service with many armies around the world. The M-4 rifle is the carbine version of the M-16. Military versions M-16/M-4 are gas-operated, select-fire weapons chambered for the 5.56x45mm NATO round, and typically feature a standard capacity magazine holding 30 rounds. The civilian version of the M-16 is the semi-automatic AR-15 rifle. The AR-15 is not a select-fire military-grade weapon. The M-16 has an effective range up to 550 meters. The M-4 carbine version has an effective range of roughly 500 meters.

Chinese M99 Anti-Materiel/Sniper Rifle


Chinese M-99 anti-material/sniper rifle.


British AS-50 anti-material/sniper rifle.

The Chinese M99 sniper rifle caused a lot of consternation when it first appeared on the battlefield in Syria due to an Al-Arabiya article that misidentified the M99 with the British AS-50 sniper rifle (one of the best in the world). While the Chinese M99 is a formidable weapon, it is not quite up to “Western sniping standards.” The Chinese M99 is an attempted answer to Western sniper rifles like the British AS-50 and the American M107 Barrett, which have proven highly effective in combat in both Afghanistan and Iraq. The M99 is primarily designed for anti-materiel work—like shooting through engine blocks or walls—or short-range enemy sniper suppression. The M99 is available in both 12.7x108mm (M99-I) and 12.7x99mm/.50BMG (M99-II) caliber versions. The M99 has a maximum effective range up to 1,500 meters.

KSVK Degtyarev 6s8/6s8-1 12.7mm Sniper Rifle

While not a commonplace sight, the Russian Degtyarev 6S8/6S8-1 12.7mm anti-material/sniper rifle is starting to make an appearance in the war-torn regions of Syria and Iraq. The 6S8/6S8-1 is chambered for the 12.7mmx107 sniper round and features a sliding bolt action, five-round magazine in a bullpup configuration, and has an effective range of 1,500 meters (maximum range 2,000 meters).

DShK 1938 12.7mm Heavy Machine Gun (HMG)

The Soviet-designed DShK 1938 HMG is a 12.7x109mm, gas-operated, belt-fed, air-cooled machine gun that fires from an open bolt and in automatic mode only. The DShK (nicknamed “dushka”) has a rate of fire of approximately 600 rounds per minute (RPM) using 50 round belts. The DShK became the standard Soviet heavy machine gun in WWII, and was used as both an AA (anti-aircraft) HMG and a turret-mounted auxiliary weapon on Soviet tanks. The “dushka” has an effective range of 2,000 meters.

NSV 12.7mm Heavy Machine Gun

The Russian NSV heavy machine gun was developed in the late 60′s as a lighter version of the DShK HMG and fires the same 12.7x109mm DShK round. The NSV HMG is a gas-operated, air-cooled machine gun and features a quick-change barrel. The NSV has a slighter higher rate of fire (700-800 RPM) than the heavier DShK HMG. Another version of the NSV is the NSVT, designed for mounting on tanks and armored vehicles. An improved version of the NSV HMG is the Kord 12.7mm HMG. The NSV has an effective range of up to 2 km against ground targets, and 1.5 km vertically, and a 600 RPM rate of fire.

KPV 14.5mm Heavy Machine Gun


KPV 14.5 mm heavy machine gun.


KPVT (tank version) 14.5 mm heavy machine gun.

The Soviet-designed KPV heavy machine gun was originally developed in 1949 as an infantry weapon (designated PKP), but it was taken out of production for being too big and heavy. It was later redesigned in the 60′s as an anti-aircraft weapon. Double-barrel and four-barrel versions of the KPV 14.5mm HMG are known as the ZPU-2 and ZPU-4 respectively. The single-barrel KPV is often seen mounted to technicals in the Syrian and Iraqi conflicts, as well as ZPU-2 and ZPU-4 configurations. The tank-mounted version of the KPV is known as the KPVT. The KPV has an effective range of 3,000 meters (4,000 meters maximum) and a 600 RPM rate of fire.

ZPU-2

Double-barrel AA gun utilizing the KPV 14.5mm heavy machine gun.

ZPU-4

Four-barrel AA gun utilizing the KPV 14.5mm heavy machine gun.

2A7 23mm AA Gun

The 2A7 is a 23mm automatic anti-aircraft cannon intended for air defense gun systems such as the ZU-23-2 (see below). The 2A7 23mm has an effective of up to 2.5km (2 miles).

ZU-23-2 “Sergey”

The Soviet-designed ZU-23-2 (2A13) mounts two 2A14 23 mm autocannons and has a practical rate of fire of around 400 RPM (2000 RPM cyclic). Ammo is fed by a conveyor belt from two 50-round ammunition boxes that are mounted perpendicularly on each side of the gun, which distinguishes the ZU-23-2 from the ZPU-2 14.5mm AA autocannon.

AGS-17 “Playma” Automatic Grenade Launcher

The Soviet-designed AGS-17 automatic grenade launcher can fire 30mm grenades at a rate of up to 400 rounds/min. The AGS-17 was widely operated by Soviet troops in both Afghanistan and Chechnya, and was well-liked for its heavy firepower. The AGS-17 has an effective range of 1,700 meters.

RBG-6 Grenade Launcher

The RBG-6 grenade launcher was originally developed in South Africa as the Milkor MGL, manufactured under license in a number of countries, including Croatia, where it is known as the RBG-6. The RBG-6 has an effective range of 375 meters.

RPG-7

The ubiquitous RPG-7 is a mainstay of Islamic terrorists worldwide. The RPG-7 is a portable, unguided, shoulder-launched, anti-tank rocket-propelled grenade launcher. Originally developed by the Soviets to take out main-battle tanks and hardened targets, the RPG-7 can fire various types of rockets, such as single-stage HEAT (high-explosive, anti-tank), tandem-charge HEAT, fragmentation and thermobaric. Due to its ruggedness, simplicity, low-cost and effectiveness, it has become one of the world’s most popular anti-armor weapons. The RPG-7 has an effective range of 200 meters.

RPG-22 “Netto”

Via WikiPedia:

The Soviet RPG-22 Netto is a one-shot disposable anti-tank rocket launcher first deployed in 1985, based on the RPG-18 rocket launcher, but firing a larger 72.5 mm fin stabilised projectile. The weapon fires an unguided projectile, can be prepared to fire in around 10 seconds, and can penetrate 400 mm of armour, 1.2 metres of brick or 1 metre of reinforced concrete.

The RPG-22 has an effective of range of 150-200 meters.

RPG-29 “Vampir”

The RPG-29 is a portable, shoulder-launched, rocket-propelled grenade launcher developed by the Soviets in the late-80′s, which resembles more of a “bazooka” than an old-school RPG-7. The RPG-29 fires the lethal PG-29V tandem-charge warhead, capable of defeating the composite armor of modern main-battle tanks (MBT)—one of the few warhead systems capable of defeating reactive and composite MBT armor systems. The RPG-29 has an effective range of roughly 500 meters, and up to 800 meters with tripod and fire control unit.

M79 OSA “Wasp”

The M79 OSA is a portable, shoulder-launched, 90mm rocket-propelled grenade launcher developed in Yugoslavia and was based on the French 89 mm LRAC F1. The M79 OSA is often times confused with the Russian RPG-29. The M79 OSA has an effective range of roughly 350 meters.

Konkurs “Spandrel”Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM)

The Russian-designed 9M113 Konkurs (NATO name: AT-5 “Spandrel”) is a wire-guided, roll-stablized SACLOS (semi-automatic command to line of sight) anti-tank guided missile system specifically designed to take out tanks and armored vehicles. The Spandrel was introduced in 1977 and has a maximum range of 4,000 meters and a minimum range of 100 meters, and can penetrate up to 600mm of rolled homogenous armor (RHA). Other ATGM systems commonly used in the Syrian Civil War are the Chinese HJ-8, Russian 9K115-2 Metis-M, and the Russian 9M113 Kornet. The Konkurs ATGM has an operational range from 70 meters to 4 km.

Russian T-54/55 Tank


A commandeered Syrian T-55 tank taking part in an ISIS military parade along the streets of northern Raqaa province in Syria, June 30, 2014. Note the North Korean laser range finder fitted to the main gun. (Credit: REUTERS/Stringer)


Amazing shot of a Syrian T-55 fitted with a North Korean laser range finder experiencing a near miss by an anti-tank guided missile (ATGM).


North Korean laser range finders were first seen on Syrian tanks in 1980 during the war in Lebanon.

The Soviet-designed T-54/55 “medium” tank made its first appearance at the end of WWII, and is the world’s most-produced tank in history. Some 86,000 to 100,000 T-54/55′s are estimated to have been manufactured since the T-54/55 series was first introduced. The T-54/55 remains in service with some 50 nations around the world. Many T-55′s still in service have received extensive upgrades. The T-55′s main armament is the 100mm D-10T rifled cannon, and typically sports a coaxial- mounted 7.62m GWT machine gun, and one mounted in the front hull. The T-55 is a very reliable and rugged tank design, but is highly vulnerable to modern anti-tank weapons.

Russian T-62 Tank

The Soviet-designed T-62 was a partial replacement and successor to the T-54/55 series. The main armament for the T-62 is a 115mm U5TS smoothbore cannon. The T-62 was produced between 1961 and 1975.

Russian T-72 Tank

The Soviet-designed T-72 main-battle tank was a front-line replacement for the T-62 and entered production in 1971. The T-72 is one of the most widely produced tanks in the world, second only to the T-54/55 series. While the T-72 was not as an advanced tank design as the Soviet T-64 tank, it was cheaper to produce. The T-72 has very good cross-country performance, presents a low-silhouette, exhibits high reliability, and packs a fair amount of firepower with its 125 mm 2A46M smoothbore gun. Secondary armament includes a 7.62mm coaxial mounted machine gun and a turret-mounted NVST 12.7mm heavy machine gun. Despite these favorable characteristics, the T-72 is still vulnerable to modern anti-tank threats, even with reactive armor upgrades. The T-72 is also outclassed by many Western MBT’s, such as the U.S. M1A2 Abrams, British Challenger II and the German Leopard 2.

Russian BMP-1/2 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV)


BMP-1


BMP-1


Syrian Assad Army (SAA) BMP-2 IFV passing a T-72 MBT.

The Soviet-designed BMP-1 is a tracked amphibious infantry fighting vehicle originally designed to provide support for main-battle tank armored units. The BMP series is a cross between an armored personnel carrier (APC) and a light tank. The BMP-1 first entered service with the Soviet Army in 1966. It saw its first combat test during the 1973 Yom Kippur war where it was used by both Egyptian and Syrian forces. The BMP-1′s main armament is a 73mm 2A28 Grom low-pressure smoothbore short-recoil semi-automatic gun, secondary armament includes a 7.62 mm PKT coaxial machine gun.

Lessons learned during the 1973 Yom Kippur war with Israel led to the development of the BMP-2, which was introduced in the 80′s. The 73mm gun on the BMP-1 was considered obsolete at this time. The second-generation BMP-2 replaced the 73mm gun with a 30mm 2A42 autocannon, and also added a 9M113 Konkurs ATGM for potential tank threats. Nonetheless, both the BMP-1 and BMP-2 are highly susceptible to modern anti-tank weaponry.

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08/30/14

Nuke the Bastards

I’m with Tammy Bruce on this one… nuke the bastards. Nuke all of ISIS. Lay waste to wherever they are, even if it is only conventional bombing. Kill every single one of them — let God sort it out.

ISIS Barbarians At Our Gates:

The ISIS barbarians are at our gates and Obama is holding those gates wide open… maybe it’s time for the American people to bypass the Executive Branch, just as Obama bypasses Congress, to protect our borders and our people from Islamic terrorists and Jihadist hordes. I say bomb the asshats back to the Stone Age wherever we find them. Level the playing field and leave nothing but rubble and dust.