09/15/14

Hitting Bottom?

Arlene from Israel

Things have been really awful for some time now.  Horrendous. Here in this region we’ve had the murder of an American ambassador by a group Obama previously claimed had been undone; the wholesale murder by Assad of Syria of tens of thousands of his own people; the heartless and manipulative use of human shields by Hamas in a manner that they parlayed into something of a PR victory – because dead babies “sell.”  And on, and on, and on.  Those of us who don’t have blinders on have been watching, and asking, in anguished tones, “Don’t they get it?”  There has been so much apathy, such refusal to confront painful realities.

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Well, folks, I believe something has now shifted.  Now in Syria and Iraq there is ISIS (aka IS, ISIL), which has beheaded Westerners and marched hundreds of people to their deaths by wholesale shootings, all on video. They have declared a state that is a “caliphate,” to be run according to Sharia law – with declarations of intention of expanding that caliphate.

And there’s something else happening that makes ISIS more frightening for Western nations: Muslims from their own citizenries have gone to fight with ISIS and will be returning radicalized and ready to do damage from within.  Damage?  Wreak terrorism.

Have we hit bottom?  Not sure, but I’d like to think so – would like to think it isn’t going to get even worse. Whether this is the case or not, what I am seeing is that it has gotten sufficiently horrendous so that people are now getting up from their chairs and rousing themselves.

And so, it’s very horrible, but there are just glimmers, sparks, of hope.

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Very briefly, what we are seeing happen:

Obama is very reluctant warrior. But he’s assuming the stance of warrior in a manner that most of us never believed we’d live to see.

As Daniel Greenfield, writing as Sultan Knish, said recently:

“Winston Churchill, quipped, ‘The United States invariably does the right thing, after having exhausted every other alternative.’

“It’s not true of the United States, but it is true of Barack Obama who, having exhausted every alternative that involved appeasement or pretending that ISIS wasn’t a threat, has decided to do the right thing.” (Emphasis added)

Will he do the “right thing” with sufficient strength?  There is reason to doubt this, precisely because he remains reluctant.  He’s committed at the moment to airstrikes only and not to boots on the ground.

As Mark Steyn wrote:

“When it comes to war, he [Obama] suffers from an additional burden: before he can persuade anybody else, he first has to persuade himself. And he can’t do it.”

But his turn-about, I suspect, has genuine significance, none-the-less.

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Now 30 countries have come together in Iraq to discuss what to do about ISIS. There is a determination here – a sense of urgency – that hasn’t been reflected in international attitudes towards Syria’s civil war and other crises:

“Diplomats from around the world pledged to fight ISIS militants ‘by any means necessary.’

“An American official said Sunday several Arab countries had offered to conduct airstrikes, speaking on condition of anonymity…

“…’The threat is global and the response must be global,’ French President François Hollande said, opening the diplomatic conference intended to come up with an international strategy against the group. ‘There is no time to lose.’

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What we are seeing then, with all of the political machinations and problems (about which more below), is a suggestion that the world may be waking up.

Israel has come out fully supportive of Obama’s efforts. While we will remain in the background on this, the current scenario puts us on the same side as the US and multiple other nations – there is less of a tone of “Israel vs. the world.”

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, in Prague last week, told Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (emphasis added):

When Islamic State reaches Europe, everyone will understand what Hamas meant for Israel.  We must eradicate Islamic terrorism for the good of humankind.”

Presidente del parlamento israelí: Acción en Gaza está 'justificada' y la considera 'vital'
Credit: Emol

We’re not talking about Israel’s problem, we’re talking about a world problem – one that Israel shares with others.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) gave a speech in the Senate last week in which he condemned Hamas and declared it to be no better than the Islamic State (ISIS).

Reid called the failure to condemn Hamas as one would condemn the Islamic State group “stunning hypocrisy.” (Emphasis added)

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Before turning to the situation closer to home, I did want to mention one other factor here:  It would be a danger of considerable dimensions if the global concern about ISIS were to eclipse concern about Iran – which has not been nearly strong enough in any event.  Or if action against ISIS were to put Iran – which is on the verge of getting the bomb – in a better place.

Claire Lopez expresses concern that Obama will end up supporting Iranian puppets in Iraq and Syria in the process of weakening ISIS.

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Here in Israel, I confess to being amused by the problems generated for the Palestinian Authority by the global focus on ISIS:  The Palestinian-Arab problem is no longer the focus of world concern. Shock.  Horrors.

But they keep trying:

“Speaking to the Fatah television channel, Saeb Erekat said on Sunday that the reason behind the extremism in the Middle East was the continued Israeli occupation, the suffering of the Palestinian people and the ‘terror acts’ committed by Israel and the settlers, the report further added.

“Meanwhile Adnan Damiri, the official spokesman for the Palestinian Authority’s security forces, has urged the United States and Europe to form a coalition against what he called ‘the terror of the Israeli occupation.’”

Does anyone take these clowns seriously?

I’ll be following with a great deal more on what Abbas is doing, hopes to do, says he’ll do, might do.
09/15/14

Forum: What Was Your Opinion Of President Obama’s Speech On ISIS?

The Watcher’s Council

Every week on Monday morning, the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum with short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture or daily living. This week’s question:What Was Your Opinion Of President Obama’s Speech On ISIS?

Bookworm Room: I analyzed the speech at boring length at my own blog, so I’ll limit myself here to a few observations:

1. It was unnerving to have an American president open a speech by presenting himself as a Muslim Imam, opining about the religion’s ethos. The speech could have functioned perfectly well by focusing on ISIS’s depredations in the region and its violent, provocative acts aimed at America, without any dissertation whatsoever about what is, or is not, Islamic. As it was, IMHO, Obama came dangerously close to violating the 1st Amendment. And yes, I know George Bush waffled on about Islam being a religion of peace, but (a) he never went deeper than that and (b) half of America didn’t suspect him of being Muslim himself.

2. Ever since 2003, people have been pointing fingers at George Bush because of the “Mission Accomplished” banner that troops placed on a ship in the Gulf that he visited after Operation Shock and Awe was successfully completed. Subsequent events proved that, even with 21st century weaponry, you need boots on the ground to end an insurgency, especially against fanatics who practice something that often veers into death cult territory. It was therefore unnerving (yes, same word that I used in paragraph 1) to see our president announce what is essentially a shock and awe approach to dealing with a problem in Iraq. How dumb does he think we are? (Don’t answer that. I know that the people who never stray from the MSM have some intelligence failures.)

3. Did anyone else find it fascinating that Obama was talking about coalitions here and coalitions there, without naming any names? He has no coalitions. To begin with, having watched him in action for five-and-a-half years, no sane leader trusts him. He has no fixed principles and governs by whatever will assuage the base without offending the masses at any given moment. Moreover, the fact (coincidental or not) that his actions in the Middle East invariably worked to the benefit of the Muslim Brotherhood must leave those squaring off against ISIS somewhat dubious about his commitment to eradicate Islam’s most devout practitioners. Turkey and England have already washed their hands of him, and we can confidently expect other nations to follow suit.

4. Two words: United Nations. Anyone who’s putting faith in the UN is either (a) dumb; (b) anti-American; (c) anti-Israel; (d) anti-Semitic; (e) pro every tinpot tyranny and dictatorship; or (f) all of the above.

Robert Avrech, Seraphic Secret: Watching Obama once again unfurl his doltish skills as a community agitator it is clear that this man is a simulacrum of an American President.

History will note that we are in the midst of World War III.

For this existential battle between Judeo/Christian civilization and the house of Islam, Barack Obama has way too much of not enough.

JoshuaPundit: Well I analyzed it here, but the short version? Aside from the usual outright lies and chest thumping, it’s obvious that President Obama isn’t interested in anything but trying to rescue his dismal poll numbers . This was a political speech to massage his far left base while hopefully convincing average Americans he’s involved.

Even what passed for ‘strategy’ pretty much evaporated as soon as he started running his mouth. The ‘coalition’ he was yakking it up about has crashed and burned at this point, and his genuinely stupid yakkety-yak about arming the Syrian rebels isn’t going to happen either, thanks to him. Did this clown think ISIS is as clueless as he is, and wasn’t paying attention?

There is one thing I find funny, or would if it wasn’t going to cost so many people their lives.

Obama and his Democrat pals did their very best from day one to sabotage the Iraq war effort, simply because of the politics. Obama even wanted the Authorization to use force in Iraq rescinded, remember?In former SecDef Robert Gates’ memoirs he writes about how angry he was at Reid , Pelosi, Obama, Hillary, Biden and the rest of them playing politics with legislation that actually cost lives in Iraq and AfPak. And how he had to literally bit his lips to keep from screaming once he was Obama’s SecDef and Hillary, Obama, Biden and the rest told him that all of that deliberate sabotage was ‘just politics, hah hah, nothing to be taken seriously.’

The Dems nurtured their whole lefty base  to be rabidly anti-war and especially against war in Iraq.Remember how crazy MoveOn and the rest of them were? Now, their boyfriend is getting us into a half-assed, Vietnam-style war complete with US advisers on the ground just to try and massage the politics.

And they are faced with the dilemma now of either admitting how full of it they were before simply because it was Bush as C-in-C as they now get behind Obama’s new illegal war, or they have to break with the Bamster to hold true to their so-called principles. Most of them will take the first option. And I will censor myself here.

GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD: So tired of these JV cats telegraphing their punches you know? For once maybe let the enemy wonder and worry what the heck may happen instead of helping them plot their defenses.

Love to see, for once, 44 get angry with America’s enemies. The way he may react if Planned Parenthood funds were stolen to indoctrinate border immigrants on the awesomeness of the Tea Party.

The delivery was so so – the message was totally flawed.

It is purely and simply not a terrorist organization any longer. Neither is it the simple manifestation of nihilistic evil 44 makes out.

ISIL has described a very clear vision of seizing control of all of the territory of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian Territories. It intends to abolish all of the borders and redraw them according to a new structure of governance suitable to its hateful version of an old Islamic heresy. That vision also makes it more than a simple terrorist organization.

It’s awfully hard to develop a sound strategy when you start by mis-diagnosing the problem so profoundly. That’s why the “strategy” 44 just announced has no chance of success.

Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason: On the eve of 9/11, President Obama began by assuring us that thanks to his leadership America is safer today. After witnessing the brutal beheadings of two American journalists by the group calling itself the Islamic State in the past weeks, and hearing and seeing horrific stories, videos and photos coming out of Iraq and Syria of the mass executions, beheadings, and enslavement of men, women, and children, who among us feels safer today?

President Obama told us that our intelligence community believes thousands of Westerners; Europeans and Americans; have joined ISIL and could very easily return to their home countries to carry out terrorism on our soil. He sought to clarify to us that ISIL is not a religious group, nor is it a state, and that “no religion condones the killing of innocents.” He insists on using the acronym ISIL, not ISIS, which acknowledges their goal of establishing an Islamic State, or caliphate, across a wide area falling across several countries, including Israel, within the Middle East.

He vowed to fight, but that we would not have boots on the ground. He promised a broad coalition of partners would join in this fight against ISIL. He has essentially told ISIS we will not commit the funds or the troops required to annihilate them.

What is telling is what has transpired in the days following his speech. It seems the promised broad coalition of partners have yet to be convinced to join America in this fight. Secretary of State John Kerry is reluctant to use the “W” word. A British humanitarian aid worker was beheaded on Saturday.

It appears we have a JV President fighting a professional league terrorist organization. Wonder who is going to tell them to stop using the words Islamic and State in their name?

The Independent Sentinel: When Democrats lauded Mr. Obama’s speech I wondered if we were listening to the same speech.Mr. Obama lost me at “This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years.” How could anyone take him seriously after that?

His alleged strategy was a more attractive presentation of what he has been saying all along except he is allegedly going to bomb from the air in Syria and he is going to do it with no ground forces other than the “moderate” rebels and the Iraqis who made al-Maliki their Vice President. Of course this won’t work.

He talks about a coalition of Sunni states that already exists as if he were forming it.Certainly his comment about us being safer than ever was nonsense.

And if those comments didn’t do it, saying ISIS is not Islamic would have been the clincher.Hello, their name is the Islamic State and they are modeling themselves after the ideals of Wahhabism – exactly – except for the whole King of Saudi Arabia as supreme part.

Obama claimed they are not yet a threat to the United States. He is so confident of that he let 40 ISIS fighters with U.S. passports return to the U.S. Were you aware of that? My Congressman, Tim Bishop, an Obama rubber stamp, said it was the case two days ago. Also interesting was an article in the NY Post. They wrote that the Boston Mosque where the Boston bombers worshiped was once the house of worship for at least five terrorists, one who is connected to ISIS.

ISIS is not a threat to the U.S. at this time according to Mr. Obama. He says this though he has opened our borders – we don’t have borders! Did you know that ICE does not keep records of any of the illegal immigrants coming through? Some illegals could be and probably are terrorists. There are reports that ISIS is in Mexico and we know that terrorists work with the cartels to the south of us. ISIS tweeted that they know our borders are open and the time is now to go through them. They certainly have the money to do it and, contrary to what Mr. Obama would have us believe, the aren’t coming from a faraway planet on another galaxy. They can get here.

Mr. Obama is going to get people killed.

The fact that Mr. Obama rarely, if ever, tells the truth is the nail in the coffin for that speech for me.
He chose the occasion to go into a political statement about how he saved the economy. More proof he is not serious.He even told ISIS we won’t put troops on the ground so they wouldn’t worry.

There is nothing to do but pray until people come to their senses and vote these leaders out. They can’t protect us. They can’t even call the threats by name.What ever happened to his policy of “Don’t do stupid sh…”?

The Razor: Anything this president says is a waste of breath. We’re long past the time when his words matter in the least. He needs to stop talking and start doing. Or better yet – resign

Well, there you have it.

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