Archive for the ‘Middle East’ Category
U.S. military involvement in Iraq will continue because the long-term threat from ISIS is more dangerous, even than that from al-Qaeda, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday.
In a briefing at the Pentagon a day after the U.S. revealed that it launched a failed mission in Syria this summer to rescue U.S. hostages being held by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sharm, Hagel said the U.S. “must be clear-eyed about the challenges ahead,” stressing: “U.S. military involvement in Iraq is not over.”
Asked to compare ISIS to al-Qaeda, Hagel said it was “beyond anything we’ve seen,” calling the group more than “just a terrorist group.”
“They marry an ideology with a sophistication of strategy and military prowess” that “represents a whole new paradigm of threats to this country,” he said.
In recent months, Barack Obama has crossed an important threshold. He has always shown contempt for his opponents; now he shows contempt for his supporters. He has quit pretending to be a leader, and more or less quit pretending to be a president. On the right and the center, he has become a joke.
But that isn’t the worst of it. No doubt there are a few liberals who still defend Obama, but they are the ones who haven’t been paying attention. Miss Weathervane, Maureen Dowd, exemplifies the larger group of liberals who are heading for the exits:
First the president couldn’t work with Republicans because they were too obdurate. Then he tried to chase down reporters with subpoenas. Now he finds members of his own party an unnecessary distraction.
His circle keeps getting more inner. He golfs with aides and jocks, and he spent his one evening back in Washington from Martha’s Vineyard at a nearly five-hour dinner at the home of a nutritional adviser and former White House assistant chef, Sam Kass.
The president who was elected because he was a hot commodity is now a wet blanket.
The extraordinary candidate turns out to be the most ordinary of men, frittering away precious time on the links. Unlike L.B.J., who devoured problems as though he were being chased by demons, Obama’s main galvanizing impulse was to get himself elected.
The same trend is under way internationally. Thus, from Israel’s liberal Haaretz, formerly a staunch Obama backer: “Will the Middle East ruin Barack Obama’s summer vacation?”
It isn’t very hard to pretend to be president: Obama did it for five years or so. But now, he can’t be bothered. He leaves his allies with no ammunition with which to defend him, thereby showing, one might argue, even more contempt for them than for his enemies. There is an adage, Hell hath no fury like a liberal scorned. If that is true, Obama is in for a long two years.
Foley’s execution is also a chilling wake-up call for American and European policymakers, as well as U.S. news outlets and aid organizations. It is the clearest evidence yet of how vastly different responses to kidnappings by U.S. and European governments save European hostages but can doom the Americans. Hostages and their families realize this fully—even if the public does not.
The cases have taken on a grim pattern: Hostages are abducted, months pass with no news from the captors, and a threatening video or email is then sent to families. In some cases, the militants ask that cases not be made public so ransom can be paid quietly.
Foley believed that his government would help him, according to his family. In a message that was not made public, Foley said that he believed so strongly that Washington would help that he refused to allow his fellow American captives to not believe in their government.
A consistent response to kidnapping by the U.S. and Europe is desperately needed. The current haphazard approach is failing.
Ferguson? Major riots, Obama & Holder involved. One innocent white journalist brutally beheaded by ISIS? Not one peep from the White House. Oh we forgot, Obama’s on vacation again…
‘American bombing had signed my death certificate': Missing US journalist James Wright Foley goes unflinching to his death as ISIS behead him in horrific video, as a warning to Obama
Horrific video of American freelance photo-journalist James Wright Foley, 40, being beheaded by ISIS in revenge for US airstrikes 12-days ago in Iraq was posted to the internet Tuesday afternoon.
Foley, has been missing since November 2012, after being taken hostage at gunpoint while reporting from Taftanaz, in northern Syria, for the agency GlobalPost.
ISIS posted the extremely graphic video shot at an unknown location, titled ‘A Message to America’ to social media as proof of their barbaric actions.
In a chilling warning at the end of grisly film, the executioner, who speaks with what sounds like a British accent, parades another American journalist, Steven Joel Sotloff, who went missing in August 2013, saying: ‘The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision.’
Guess Barry hasn’t caught the news yet tonight…
Much of what we see in the media about Middle Eastern cities are scenes of destruction and chaos. Yet in a relatively quiet corner of the Arabian Peninsula, Dubai is ascending, ranked seventh on our list. Its globalization strategy hinges largely on its expanding airport, which includes the world’s largest terminal and an even larger airport under construction. It ranks first in the world in our air connectivity ranking, with nonstop flights at least three times a week to 93% of global cities outside of its home region.Its hub location and business-friendly climate have made it a favorite for companies looking to establish a Middle East headquarters or point of presence. As a crossroads of humanity, Dubai is unparalleled among global cities for its diversity: 86% of its residents are foreign born.
Former Florida Rep. Allen West declared President Obama an Islamist who is intentionally working against the security of the United States.
“The only plausible explanation for many actions taken by President Obama and his administration is that they are working counter to the security of the United States of America,” the former Florida congressman and retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel wrote in the post published Wednesday.
Among six example he gives to back up his point is Obama’s decision to release of five Taliban in exchange for Sgt. Bergdahl in May, providing weapons of support to the Egyptian government led by the Muslim Brotherhood, and negotiating with Hamas.
He also writes at length about Obama’s recent decision to lift a ban on Libyan’s attending U.S. flight schools and studying nuclear science, which had been in place since 1983.
“Can anyone explain what the strategy and objective is here in lifting this ban with a nation that is or should be on the terrorist watch list?” he asks. ”Sorry, but I can only explain this one way: Barack Hussein Obama is an Islamist in his foreign policy perspectives and supports their cause.”
“The pivot away from the Middle East seems to be nothing more than an opportunity to enable Islamists and their goals,” he continues. “Anyone supporting this Libyan ban being lifted is indeed an enemy of this state.”
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has a message about Iraq for Barack Obama: Get back to the White House and do something.
‘I know it is the holiday period in our Western countries,’ Fabius told a radio interviewer Tuesday in France,’ but when people are dying, you must come back from vacation.’
Full-time workers in France are guaranteed a whopping five weeks of paid vacation every year, making his plea all the more urgent.
Obama is on a family and golfing holiday in a ritzy neighborhood of Martha’s Vineyard but says he will come back to Washington this weekend before returning on Tuesday to fun, sun, and more golf.
The Obama administration has lifted longtime restrictions on Libyans attending flight schools in the United States and training here in nuclear science, according to a final amendment of the ban recently approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Less than two years after the deadly terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya that killed four Americans, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is poised to sign off on an amendment reversing the ban, which was enacted following a wave or terrorist attacks in 1980s and prevents Libyans from studying these sensitive trades in the United States.
The original law effectively disqualified all Libyan nationals and those “acting on behalf of Libyan entities” from training in “aviation maintenance, flight operations, or nuclear-related fields,” according to the ban.
DHS said the prohibition is irrelevant now since the United States and Libya have worked to “normalize their relationship,” according to the directive approved by the OMB.
Militants from ISIS have killed at least 500 members of Iraq’s Yazidi ethnic minority during their offensive in the north, Iraq’s human rights minister told Reuters on Sunday. Mohammed Shia al-Sudani said the Sunni militants had also buried alive some of their victims, including women and children. Some 300 women were kidnapped as slaves, he added. “We have striking evidence obtained from Yazidis fleeing Sinjar and some who escaped death, and also crime scene images that show indisputably that the gangs of the Islamic States have executed at least 500 Yazidis after seizing Sinjar,” Sudani said in a telephone interview. NBC News could not immediately independently confirm his remarks.
The minister’s comments could pile pressure on the United States – which has carried out air strikes on ISIS targets in response to the group’s latest push through the north – to provide more extensive support. “In some of the images we have obtained there are lines of dead Yazidis who have been shot in the head while the Islamic State fighters cheer and wave their weapons over the corpses,” said Sudani. “This is a vicious atrocity.”