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Getbig Main Boards => Politics and Political Issues Board => Topic started by: headhuntersix on September 14, 2012, 05:51:43 AM

Title: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: headhuntersix on September 14, 2012, 05:51:43 AM

After days of protests over an anti-Islam film, American diplomatic missions in the Middle East and North Africa were braced for further violence after Friday prayers. The US put its overseas missions on high alert.


Germany has closed its embassies in a number of Muslim-majority countries in fear of attacks. "We are observing how the security situation develops with great attentiveness and we have increased security precautions at a number of foreign missions," a spokesman for the German Foreign Office told SPIEGEL ONLINE. Embassies in North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan are believed to be among those affected.

The spokesman said that the missions would only close on Friday, though. Other German institutions such as aid organizations have also been urged to increase security precautions, he said.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said he was "deeply concerned" about the attacks on US embassies. He called on the countries in question to protect foreign missions. "Diplomats have to be able to do their work without fear," he said.

Westerwelle said he could understand the outrage that many Muslims felt about the anti-Islam film. "But this outrage cannot justify violence."

The German army in Afghanistan is also increasing its security precautions. "We are assuming that we will also feel the effects of this whole business," one German soldier told SPIEGEL ONLINE in a telephone interview. "When the people here see the film, they are sure to protest."

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: headhuntersix on September 14, 2012, 05:53:02 AM
Barry owns this...he made the speeches...he conducted the policies...he killed Bin Laden...he allowed the drone strikes...he allowed the damm Middle East to go up like a torch...oddly enough doing nothing in Iran in 2012..or now. This is alllllllllllllllllllllll llllllllllllllllllllllll llllllllll him.

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 14, 2012, 05:55:54 AM
Economy - DISASTER

Monetary policy - DISASTER

Foreign Policy - Disaster

Debt - Disaster

Deficit - Disaster

and the stupid obama turds want to go over the cliff w this asshole. 

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Kazan on September 14, 2012, 05:58:05 AM
Of course its in ruin, you don't apologize and walk on egg shells with these fuckers. They understand and respect strength. They may not have liked Bush, but I can guarantee you they respected him.

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 14, 2012, 05:58:32 AM
The breaking news keeps breaking when it comes to revelations surrounding the attacks and protests aimed at U.S. embassies going on throughout the Islamic world. Protests have spread to at least eight countries. Reports indicate that four people have been arrested relating to the killing of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya and three other embassy staff there. That offers at least the promise of getting more information about the deliberate attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., government authorities identified the man behind the controversial film purported as the cause for the protests as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a 55-year-old Californian with a shadowy past including many aliases and a criminal record.
Unlike a Brad Thor novel, however, we can’t just jump to the end of the story to find out what this all means for American policy in this troubled part of the world.
But (again, unlike a Brad Thor novel) without cheating we can predict how the story is going to end—because the result of the President’s Middle East policies was predictable from the start.
Obama’s strategy for this part of the world started out much the way Jimmy Carter’s did—with acts of conciliation and accommodation. The President narrowly focused his priorities on three objectives: 1) withdrawing from Iraq as quickly as possible; 2) engaging with Syria and Iran; and 3) transforming the U.S. into a neutral party—to negotiate peace between Palestine and Israel.
For starters, we know that all three of those objectives have met with abject failure.
Iraq was not only left a shaky state; it has become a shaky friend—defying U.S. requests to block Iranian flights that are rearming the Syrian military so they can kill more Syrian civilians.
After wasting three years of trying to find common ground with the totalitarian regimes in Syria and Iran, even the White House has acknowledged failure, calling for the government in Damascus to step down and asking for more sanctions on Tehran.
Finally, the peace process has collapsed—a blessing in disguise, because if Obama succeeded in creating a Palestinian state today, it would look an awful lot like the Syrian regime the rest of the region is trying to bring down—a corrupt state that oppresses its own people, a state sponsor of terrorism, and a tool of Iran.
The President’s policy, however, has been more than unsuccessful—the “Obama doctrine” has taken the cause of protecting U.S. interests in the region backward—because it relied on a self-imposed agenda of self-weakening. It included distancing the U.S. from Israel and playing politics with the U.S. defense budget—where even his own officials acknowledge that if the automatic cuts required under the Budget Control Act of 2011 go into effect, they will undermine the readiness and reduce the capabilities of the armed forces. (Watch our new video featuring real stories from veterans about the readiness challenges facing our military.)
The war on terrorism began when Osama bin Laden wrote his fatwa proclaiming America a paper tiger in withdrawal. With a sharp push, he believed, the Americans would fall away. It is not the President’s policies, nor the promises he made at his historic speech in Cairo, nor the pledges he made to punish the perpetrators of the attack in Benghazi that America’s enemies are responding to. They believe the U.S., by its actions, has demonstrated it is in retreat.
Attacks on embassies and anti-American riots in the street can happen on any President’s watch. What we need to be most concerned about is that those who are deliberately plotting against us are on the offensive—again.
It is time for a different course:
Don’t lose focus on Iran. Tehran is the number one troublemaker in this part of the world. From its nuclear aspirations to sponsoring terrorism, plotting attacks of its own, and promoting an extremist agenda across the region to crushing the aspirations of freedom from its own people—peace in this part of the planet has no greater enemy.
Reassert the need for close strategic cooperation with Israel. The instability that continues to sweep the region only underscores the fact that Israel is the only ally in the region that the U.S can reliably count on.
Acknowledge that the war against a global Islamist insurgency isn’t over. There are evil people out there trying to kill us, and we have to stop them. Chasing down their leaders with drone strikes is not enough—dealing with the “next wave” of transnational terrorism will require a different course. The strategy for the next wave must regain the initiative that has been lost by this President, bring a successful end to the long war, and leave behind an enduring and sustainable counterterrorism enterprise—one that can adeptly respond to emerging threats, like the recent attack in Benghazi.
Adopt an economic freedom agenda. The 2012 Index of Economic Freedom confirms that countries of the Middle East lag in many areas of economic freedom and that the lack of jobs and opportunity is at the root of much of the anger. It is past time to move the economic freedom agenda from an afterthought to the centerpiece of U.S. Middle East policy. Even the best security policy will never be sufficient. We can lower our own barriers to trade and encourage governments in the Middle East to do likewise. We can encourage reforms to open up investment, create jobs, and empower individuals economically.
To protect America’s interest in this part of the world, we must be:
 •A faithful, responsible, and enduring ally;
 •A champion of supporting the cause of liberty and economic freedom; and
 •A strong, resilient, and confident nation prepared to defend itself, its allies, and its interests.
It will take that kind of shift in U.S. policies to weather this crisis well.

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 14, 2012, 06:39:46 AM

Obama owns this disaster. 

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 14, 2012, 07:00:15 AM
Deadly protests turn on American fast-food chains in Middle East as KFC is ransacked in Lebanon
 Daily Mail ^ | Sep 14 2012 | Matt Blake

Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 10:50:23 AM by iowamark

The unrest over an amateur anti-Islam film made in America spread to Lebanon today as an angry mob set fire to a Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Hardee's...

The KFC was set alight after the mob - many wearing face masks- ransacked the interior.

The American embassy in Tunisa is also under attack with protesters setting fire to trees inside the compound.

It adds to unrest in Sudan where an angry mob attacked the British and German embassies, Bangladesh where tens of thousands have taken to the streets, and India - where there are widespread protests in Muslim Kashmir.

Sudanese police were reportedly fighting back up to five thousand protesters who had gathered outside the building in the North African country's capital Khartoum. It is unclear how many staff were inside the mission, or whether they are all accounted for.

The same group have already stormed inside and set fire to the German embassy next door, before tearing down its national flag and hoisting the Islamic banner...

Egypt's president Hosni Mubarak appealed for calm on live television, a day after Barack Obama issued a veiled warning to the region's leaders to quell the violence and protect America's embassies.

The Egyptian authorities had erected large concrete blocks to block the route to the embassy and deployed hundreds of police.

'Before the police, we were attacked by Obama,' shouted one demonstrator, blaming U.S. President Barack Obama and the U.S. government for insulting the Prophet.

One banner held aloft by demonstrators read: 'It is the duty of all Muslims and Christians to kill Morris Sadek and Sam Bacile and everyone who participated in the film.'...

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 14, 2012, 07:37:05 AM
Mob Gathers Outside U.S. Embassy in London (and Tunis and Khartoum and..)
 The Weekly Standard ^ | September 14, 2012 | Daniel Halper

Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 11:06:19 AM

Photos and video from the Twitter feed of Phil Han, a reporter and producer in CNN, who is outside the U.S. embassy in London where a mob has gathered and burned the American flag..

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 14, 2012, 07:43:36 AM
 Breitbart ^ | 14 Sep 2012, 7:34 AM PDT | staff

Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 11:33:33 AM

Germany's Foreign Minister says the country's embassy in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum has been stormed by protesters and set partially on fire.

Guido Westerwelle told reporters in Berlin on Friday that the Embassy building was "partially in flames but fortunately... the employees are safe."

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 14, 2012, 08:47:54 AM
Carney: Protests not directed at the United States
 Washington Free Beacon ^ | 9-14-12 | staff

Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 12:48:00 PM by Brookhaven

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Friday the violent protests throughout the Middle East are not directed at the United States or U.S. policy but are a response to a YouTube video:

"CARNEY: We also need to understand that this is a fairly volatile situation and it is in response not to United States policy, and not to, obviously, the administration, or the American people, but it is in response to a video, a film that we have judged to be be reprehensible and disgusting. That in no way justifies any violent reaction to it, but this is not a case of protests directed at the United States writ large or at U.S. policy, this is in response to a video that is offensive to Muslims.

Again, this is not in any way justifying violence, and we have spoken very clearly out against that and condemned it. And the president is making sure in his conversations with leaders around the region that they are committed as hosts to diplomatic facilities to protect both personnel and buildings and other facilities that are part of the U.S. representation in those countries."

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: MCWAY on September 14, 2012, 08:54:12 AM
Of course its in ruin, you don't apologize and walk on egg shells with these fuckers. They understand and respect strength. They may not have liked Bush, but I can guarantee you they respected him.

My old boss once referred to this as FITA diplomacy.

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 14, 2012, 08:56:18 AM
U.S. Embassy in Tunisia under attack

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 14, 2012, 09:02:44 AM
American School In Tunisia Torched

Geoffrey Ingersoll, Robert Johnson and Rob Wile|Sep. 14, 2012, 11:25 AM|5,990|91


The protests that started in Cairo have spread across the world raising havoc in more than a dozen countries in the Muslim world.
The news today is one of massive chaos: Lots of protests, fires, and reports of killing.
BBC: An American school in Tunis was torched, reportedly after being evacuated.
The Guardian's Eileen Byrne says smoke continues to billow from an outbuilding in the American compound there, but that local riot police have kept protesters from storming the main office.
Here's chilling footage of the flag being removed from the U.S. embassy in Tunis:

From CNN:
Protestors broke trees and setting fires inside US Embassy.
Protestors have climbed atop the walls of the U.S. Embassy.
ArabesqueTV reports foreign journalists were attacked.
Buzzfeed's Michael Hastings reports on an appearance by on Piers Morgan suggesting held up paperwork updating security in Benghazi.
The BBCspoke with a professor who met slain Ambassador Chris Stevens at the State Department's post in Benghazi in the days before the compound was attacked:

"The security [at the consulate] was not enough. I was there in the morning with Chris around 0915 having breakfast but the security was not just insufficient, there was a big lack of security. He had 4 Libyans, 2 of them in front of the door and 2 inside the small room by the fence. It was very normal security measurements as if you were going to a hotel."
BBC Security Correspondent Frank Gardener reports security at Benghazi was not the same at other U.S. missions:
"The BBC has been told that the US Consulate in Benghazi which was fatally attacked and gutted on Tuesday was not given the standard security contract offered to most US diplomatic missions in the Middle East. The consulate's walls were breached in just 15 minutes, guards were outgunned and overwhelmed and 4 US personnel were killed, including the Ambassador, Chris Stevens."
White House spokesman Jay Carney says reports that the U.S. had advance warning of the attacks are "absolutely wrong," according to the BBC.

Libyan officials say that "many" have been arrested following investigations into the assault that killed ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three staffers—one information officer and two former Navy SEALs.
Protests kicked off here a day after people gathered in Egypt.
USA TODAY: Marines have been deployed to Yemen after attacks escalate at U.S. Embassy.
Pentagon Spokesman John Little confirms that Marines have been sent into Yemen to reinforce the U.S. Embassy.
Reuters now reports protesters have been expelled from the U.S. compound in Khartoum.
"They were all expelled. They didn't get far," the spokesman said when asked about the protesters and how far into the grounds they had reached. He said no embassy staff were injured in the incident.
Al Arabiya reports three people were killed in front of the U.S. embassy in Khartoum.
Protestors bussed from German and U.K. embassies to U.S. embassy.

There are reports of three dead at the protests. According to many twitterers on the ground, the three died when a security vehicle ran them over.
The images from Al-Jazeer are striking.
Thousands of protestors gathered outside of the German Embassy. Protestors jumped the wall and pulled down the American flag, but police dispersed them with tear gas.
Recent reports out say that the German Embassy is on fire and has been completely evacuated.
The Associated Press is reporting that about 15,000 protestors have gathered in the city of Kashmir to protest the video, in what's being called the largest showing yet of any Muslim country. The protestors are shouting
Al Arabiya reports 86 have been arrested.
The State Department and Indian officials are calling for all U.S. citizens to remain out of the city, and if they're visiting the city now, to leave as soon as possible.
Local authorities there have put about five "separatist leaders" on house arrest, a common tactic during civil unrest.
"If America is true in its claim of being against any kind of religious blasphemy, then it should lose no time in taking stern action against these enemies of humanity," said a statement from the Jamat-e-Islami, the biggest Islamic group in Kashmir.
Only a handful of protestors reported here so far, chanting the phrase "Alahu Akbar" or "God is great" outside embassy walls.
Also, they had printed newsletters calling for the American government to punish the producers of the film.
A prominent cleric has urged fellow Muslims to remain calm. About 200 showed up outside the embassy to protest.
“We came here because we want the US to punish whoever was involved with the film,” protester Abdul Jabar Umam told reporters of First Post. “They should know that we are willing to die to defend the honor of our Prophet.”
Protestors gathered here again today, but reports on the ground are that the protests have become more about violence than the film.
Hundreds of protestors are in front of the U.S. Embassy. Police are using tear gas, water hoses, and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.
Several peaceful protestors are farther back, in Tahrir Square, praying.
Forty armed protestors stormed a Kentucky Fried Chicken in Tripoli, police fired on the group, killing one. There were about 3000 protestors in Beirut.
The protests have broken up after a brief clash with police.
From Ahram Online:
In Gaza, thousands of people rallied at demonstrations in Gaza City and the southern town of Rafah, a day after the ruling Hamas party urged citizens to turn out for protests after Friday prayers.
Protesters waved the flags of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements, and set fire to American flags, chanting "Death, death to America, death, death to Israel."
Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniya, in a sermon during Friday prayers, repeated a call on Washington to apologise for the film, produced in the United States.

Hundred of protesters have taken to Iraqi streets: From CNN:
Angry protesters in the Sadr City district of northeast Baghdad carried banners, Iraqi flags and images of radical Shiite and anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr as they railed against what they see as an insult to their faith.
"America is the enemy of the people," the demonstrators shouted Thursday morning. They also yelled out, "Yes, yes to Islam. Yes, yes to Iraq. Yes, yes to Quran" -- the latter referring to the Muslim holy book.

400 Iranians have gathered outside the Swiss Embassy in Tehran. From Russia Today:
They're "protest[ing] against the American-made film denigrating the Prophet Muhammad that has sparked outrage in the world's Muslim community. “Death to the United States and death to Israel and death to England!" was heard over a loudspeaker outside the Swiss diplomatic mission, which represents American diplomatic interests in Iran, following the breakup of diplomatic ties in the aftermath of the Islamic Revolution of 1979.
Riot police have cordoned off the are, causing traffic jams around the capital as the crowd voiced support for demonstrations in Egypt, Lebanon, Libya and Tunisia.  Shouts of "Muslims, unite!" and "Mohammad is God's prophet"were heard.

Protests have spread to Jerusalem. From yNet:
Hundreds of worshippers leaving the al-Aqsa Mosque after Friday prayers hurled stones at police officers and rioted near Jerusalem's Damascus Gate.
The demonstrators, protesting against the anti-Islam film that sparked riots across the Middle East, started marching towards the US Consulate but were blocked by police officers who used shock grenades against them. Several officers were lightly injured by stones. Some protesters were detained.

Jordanian authorities are cracking down. From AnsaMed:
The arrest by security forces of well over a dozen peaceful reform activists since September 7, 2012, signals the government's toughening stand toward demands for political reform in the kingdom", Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should release all of those detained solely for the peaceful exercise of their rights to expression, association, and assembly, Human Rights Watch added.

The security services arrested activists in various parts of the country for peacefully protesting or calling for reform, in what appeared a concerted move by security and judicial authorities against opposition groups, said HRW in a statement. Those arrested include eight activists from the southern town of Tafila, two from Karak, and seven from Amman. All were charged under terrorism provisions, which place them under the purview of the military-dominated State Security Court, three lawyers for the activists told Human Rights Watch. All remain in detention.

Read more:

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 14, 2012, 09:07:35 AM

The World Obama Made

Column: The sun never sets on Obama’s failures

BY: Matthew Continetti

September 14, 2012 5:00 am

As the media continue to scrutinize Mitt Romney’s alleged gaffes, might we spend a moment looking at the world as it actually exists, right now, independent of the presidential campaign? Let’s take a tour.
Russia. When Obama became president he proclaimed a policy of “reset” in U.S.-Russia relations, and tried strenuously to bring Russia within the Atlantic orbit of democracy and the rule of law. To that end he scrapped the proposed land-based missile interceptors in Poland and the Czech Republic, politely ignored Russia’s continuing occupation of Georgian territory, negotiated a nuclear arms reduction treaty that slashes the U.S. stockpile (while failing to implement the modernization commitments he made to pass that treaty), and promised “more flexibility” in further missile talks should he win a second term. He has sought to liberalize trade with Russia by de-linking human rights from commercial exchange, while he quietly opposes the Magnitsky Act, which would ban Russians involved in the abuse of human rights from the United States.
This is the response: The Russian president, when he is not posing shirtless or flying with cranes, has looked not to the West but to other autocracies for influence and friendship. He brooks no dissent. Activists for a truly democratic Russia face imprisonment or worse. Russian bombers have threatened American airspace. A Russian Akula-class nuclear submarine is believed to have entered the Gulf of Mexico. A high-level Russian general threatened the West with a preemptive nuclear strike. Our ambassador, Michael McFaul, is harassed. Russia’s response to the Magnitsky Act, according to a government-funded propaganda website, was to introduce “similar sanctions against an undisclosed group of U.S. officials implicated in violating the rights of certain Russian citizens such as Viktor Bout and Konstantin Yaroshenko.” Bout is the international arms dealer serving 25 years in prison. Yaroshenko is in prison for drug trafficking.
Regrettably not in prison is Bashar Assad in Syria, where he murders his countrymen and pays no price because Putin stands behind him. These are the men the Russian regime defends.
China. Can we really say that President Obama has improved relations with or enhanced America’s standing vis-à-vis this complex and roiling nation of more than a billion people? The Chinese continue their mercantilist trade practices of undervaluing their currency, violating intellectual property laws, and shielding their markets. America does nothing in response. The Chinese continue their military buildup and missile tests and bully Japan and Vietnam and the Philippines. America cuts defense spending while borrowing trillions more from China to pay for goodies for Democratic Party client groups.
China is in trouble as its decennial leadership transition approaches. It helps for example to have a leader to transition to—but Xi Jinping, who is presumed to be China’s next head of state, has neither been seen nor heard for two weeks now. His disappearance only makes stranger one of the most unusual years in Chinese politics (such as they are). After the attempted defection of Wang Lijun to the United States, Chongqing party leader Bo Xilai was stripped of his power. His wife was imprisoned and found guilty of murdering a British businessman. Wang, too, is on trial for attempting to escape the ethno-nationalist police state he served for so long.
The economy is stalling. The party leadership is desperate to stimulate domestic markets because it knows that if it does not fulfill its side of the grand bargain—economic growth for civil order—the great nation may once again come apart at the seams. One cannot really speak of “civil order” anyway. The Charter 08 movement has made celebrities of dissidents Liu Xiaobo, Chen Guangcheng, Hu Jia, and Ai Weiwei. The “mass incidents” of civil disorder continue. So does ethnic strife in Xinjiang and Tibet provinces.
The Obama administration, meanwhile, assists campaign donors such as DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg exploit the Chinese market.
Af-Pak. For close to 11 years Americans and our NATO allies have been fighting to protect the possibility of a democratic Afghanistan that controls its territory and is an ally in the war on terror. One of the problems is that our main enemy, the Quetta Shura Taliban, is based not in Afghanistan but in Pakistan. That country, a nuclearized Muslim state that sways between military dictatorship and corrupt democracy, harbors elements within its government that would like nothing more than to harm the United States.
President Obama’s major success in Pakistan was ordering the mission that killed Osama bin Laden, who had been living near that nation’s version of West Point for years without complaint. Obama so mistrusts the Pakistanis that he did not bother to inform them of the operation. Pakistan is riven with political unrest, as well as with its own ethno-sectarian conflicts, as it wages a proxy war against Hindu-majority India.
This week, after years of dithering, the United States designated the Haqqani syndicate, which has ties to Pakistan, as a terrorist group. The decision was made as the American president campaigns on promises to remove American troops from Afghanistan by 2014. Those troops are under attack from men who wear the uniform of the Hamid Karzai government they are meant to protect.
What will happen after the Americans leave? President Obama will not say. The most probable occurrence is the balkanization of Afghanistan, and Taliban reclamation of the country’s south. Will America be “safer” then?
This too President Obama will not say.
The Mideast. The Iranian theocracy continues its march to nuclear status. President Obama, though, seems far more interested in preventing Israel from attacking Iran than in ending Iran’s nuclear program. Obama’s combination of diplomacy, sanctions, and espionage has not deterred the Iranians nor really slowed them down. Israel, however, is increasingly isolated from its neighbors and from the rest of the world. This is the fruit of Obama’s “diplomacy” in the region.
Americans have little presence in and hardly any influence over Iraq, where they spent eight years. Iraq’s neighbor Syria is in its death throes: The rebellion that began in the spring of 2011 has devolved into a proxy war between Turkey and the Gulf monarchies on one side and Iran on the other. The number of Syrian dead is estimated at 25,000. A refugee crisis is underway as millions of Syrians try to escape their war-torn country. The United States, which led (from behind) an international coalition to prevent Muammar Qaddafi from assaulting Benghazi in Libya, has done little if anything as Assad assaults every city opposed to his rule. The president has not explained fully or sufficiently why he acted in one place but not in the other.
Our response to anti-authoritarian movements has been confused. It varies from place to place. When the Iranians marched to protest a fraudulent election in 2009, Obama did nothing. When the Egyptians marched against Hosni Mubarak, an American ally, in 2011, the White House hemmed and hawed and finally threw its weight behind people power. Mubarak fell. What we neglected to notice was that the revolution in Egypt had not actually occurred. Other generals simply took over from Mubarak and tried to slow down the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood.
But they could not delay the revolution forever. Indeed, it is just gathering force. The Brotherhood’s candidate Mohamed Morsi is now the president, and the country is in such tumult that our president is not even sure whether Egypt is an ally. However, we can be sure that the fall of Mubarak energized not only the Brotherhood but also the more radical and more dangerous Salafists, who are conducting pogroms against Coptic Christians, launching terrorist attacks in the Sinai, and (as of Tuesday) storming the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.
Egyptian politics have assumed a new and terrifying dynamic, with the Brotherhood attempting to triangulate between the Salafists who own the street and the Americans who provide economic and military assistance and debt relief. The casualties of this triangulation may include the peace treaty with Israel and the potential of Egyptian democracy. If the president has a plan to deal with this mess, we have yet to hear it.
The Mideast power vacuum has created multiple opportunities for a new generation of al Qaeda terrorists. The unconscionable attack on the American embassy in Benghazi and the murder of the American ambassador to Libya, certainly timed to occur on the eleventh anniversary of the September 11 attacks, is the latest example. Note that on the very day al Qaeda and its allies launched a coordinated assault against relatively unprotected American interests, the New York Times op-ed page was still debating whether George W. Bush could have prevented 9/11. Good to see we have our priorities straight.
Europe. It’s going nowhere fast.
United States. Our country is not well. The Census Department says median income continued to fall in 2011. A separate analysis found that incomes are down almost 5 percent since the Obama “recovery” began—illustrating that, despite what Bill Clinton might say, the Obama recovery is not a recovery at all. The drop in the unemployment rate from the recession high of 10 percent to the current 8.1 percent can be ascribed entirely to the decline in labor participation. Studies find that a majority of the jobs the economy has created are low paying. Economic growth is lagging. It’s likely to be below 2 percent for the second year in a row. Current and projected federal spending is unsustainable. Americans continue to think we are headed in the wrong direction.
Obama met with bipartisan congressional leadership early in 2009. Bob Woodward reports in The Price of Politics that Eric Cantor (R., Va.) handed him a list of Republican economic proposals. Not one of those proposals was included in the stimulus bill. At the health care summit in 2010, congressional Republicans suggested a variety of ways to improve the American health care system: for example competition through a national insurance marketplace, malpractice reform, and ending the tax penalty against individuals who buy insurance. Not one of those ideas was included in the health care bill.
For two years, the House Republicans have passed a budget that at the very least is an opening bid in a good-faith negotiation over spending and taxes. For two years, that budget has died in the Senate. The president says the House proposal is “antithetical to our entire history.” Then he castigates the Republicans for their “tendency to shoot first and aim later” and calls for civil debate.
This is the broken and anxiety-ridden world Barack Obama has made. Our adversaries are stronger. America and her allies are weaker. And yet, after spending practically a decade blaming every last thing, including the bad weather, on President Bush, the media seem determinedly uninterested in ascribing even the slightest amount of responsibility to President Obama.
Who’s ready for four more years?

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: MCWAY on September 14, 2012, 09:25:30 AM
But, but, but........Obama got Osama! Osama Bin Laden is dead and GM IS ALIVE (albeit on life support).

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 14, 2012, 09:34:37 AM
But, but, but........Obama got Osama! Osama Bin Laden is dead and GM IS ALIVE (albeit on life support).

Obama didnt get shit.  I read the SEAL book and it was the work of the CIA over years of intel.

Obama had nothing to do with it. 

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Fury on September 14, 2012, 11:44:01 AM
But, but, but........Obama got Osama! Osama Bin Laden is dead and GM IS ALIVE (albeit on life support).

Obama, Obama, there are still a billion Osamas!

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Dos Equis on September 14, 2012, 11:46:36 AM
Barry owns this...he made the speeches...he conducted the policies...he killed Bin Laden...he allowed the drone strikes...he allowed the damm Middle East to go up like a torch...oddly enough doing nothing in Iran in 2012..or now. This is alllllllllllllllllllllll llllllllllllllllllllllll llllllllll him.

He definitely owns this.

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 14, 2012, 11:48:23 AM
He definitely owns this.

not according to his cult members. 

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Dos Equis on September 14, 2012, 11:48:50 AM
not according to his cult members. 

Or the media.

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 14, 2012, 12:02:57 PM

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 14, 2012, 12:05:18 PM

London now too. 

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 14, 2012, 12:23:56 PM
Via Daily Mail:
 A black Islamic flag is flying over the U.S. embassy in Tunisia after it was stormed by a mob of protesters today – as anger at an American-made anti-Islam film resulted in chaos across the world.

Symbols of America and U.S. embassies have been targeted around the globe in a fourth day of protest after Tuesday’s deadly raid on the American consulate in Libya.

In Tunisian capital Tunis, a mob overran the U.S. embassy compound, scaling the walls and setting fire to cars before tearing down the Stars and Stripes and replacing it with the symbol of Islam.

It is not thought any U.S. staff were in the embassy in Tunis, where an American school has also been set on fire.

A large cloud of black smoke rose around the U.S. embassy as stone-throwing protesters and police waged a pitched battle.

Thousands of demonstrators massed outside the embassy and several were seen climbing the outer wall of the embassy grounds and raising a flag on which was written the Muslim profession of faith.

The protesters chanted ‘Obama, Obama, we are all Osamas’.

Police responded by firing tear gas, and police gunfire could be heard.

________________________ ________________________ ______________

Obama owns this disaster 

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 14, 2012, 12:31:27 PM
Black Flag of Islam Flies Over US Embassy in Tunisia as Attacks on America Continue Around the Globe
 The Cleveland Leader ^ | SEPTEMBER 14, 2012 | Leader Staff.

Posted on 09/14/2012 1:23:16 PM PDT by RobinMasters

A black Islamic flag is currently flying over the U.S. embassy in Tunisia after it had been stormed by an angry mob of protesters, who were upset over an anti-Islam film that was made by Americans.

This is just one of many incidents occurring around the world today, in which Americans are being targeted.

In Tunis, the mob overran the compound, scaling walls and setting fire to trees before tearing down the American flag and replacing it with a symbol of Islam. It is not thought that any U.S. staff were actually in the embassy in Tunis. An American school in Tunis was also set on fire. Police responded to the mobs by firing tear gas, and police gunfire could also be heard.

Several dozen protesters were also briefly able to enter the embassy compound and set fire to cars in the embassy parking lot. Police and special forces pushed them back outside.

In Lebanon today angry protesters ransacked a KFC and Hardee's restaurant, police were firing on protesters in Yemen, and there was also unrest in Iraq, Syria, Pakistan and Turkey. Additional unrest occurred in Sudan where an angry mob attacked British and German embassies. In Bangladesh tens of thousands took to the streets to protest, and in India there are widespread protests in Muslim Kashmir. In London, protesters burned an American flag outside of the U.S. embassy.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 14, 2012, 12:34:57 PM

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 14, 2012, 01:45:00 PM
2 dead, 29 injured in Tunis as protesters storm US Embassy, set fire to American school
 The Washington Post / The Associated Press ^ | September 14, 2012

Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 5:34:20 PM

TUNIS, Tunisia — Violent protests outside the U.S. Embassy in Tunis against an anti-Muslim film were met with tear gas and gunshots Friday, leaving two people dead, 29 others injured and plumes of black smoke wafting over the city.

Several dozen protesters briefly stormed the U.S. Embassy compound in Tunisia’s capital, tearing down the American flag and raising a flag with the Muslim profession of faith on it as part of the protests. Protesters also set fire to an American school adjacent to the embassy compound and prevented firefighters from approaching it. The school appeared to be empty and no injuries were reported...

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 15, 2012, 04:22:01 PM
Sudan Rejects U.S. Request to Send Marines to Boost Embassy Security
By Luis Martinez | ABC News – 5 hrs ago

Sudan has rejected a U.S. request to send 50 Marines to that country to help boost security at the American embassy in Khartoum, a U.S. official confirms.

With the Marines en route to Sudan on Friday night, a U.S. official said at the time that it appeared that Sudan might reverse an earlier decision to allow the 50 Marines to enter the country.

Sudan's reversal was made public today when Sudan's Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti told SUNA, the official Sudanese news agency, that "Sudan is able to protect the diplomatic missions in Khartoum and the state is committed to protecting its guests in the diplomatic corps."

A U.S. official said the Marines, "were on their way, but turned back" when Sudan rejected the U.S. request.
In a statement State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that the Sudanese government "has recommitted itself both publicly and privately to continue to protect our Mission, as it is obligated to do under the Vienna Convention."
She said the United States had requested "precautions as a result of yesterday's damage to our Embassy. We are continuing to monitor the situation closely to ensure we have what we need to protect our people and facility."
Violent protests have raged outside U.S. embassies in various Middle Eastern countries this week to protest a movie posted on the Internet that mocks the Muslim prophet Muhammad.

Sudan was to be the third country this week to receive a platoon of 50 elite Marines known as a Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team (FAST). FAST Marines are specially trained to help protect U.S. embassies and citizens that might be under threats overseas. Before the teams can be dispatched, host countries must first approve a U.S. request for Marine reinforcements to enter their country.

A FAST platoon of 50 Marines was sent to Libya Wednesday to help protect the U.S. embassy in there following the deadly attack Tuesday on the American consulate in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Indications are that the attack on the consulate may have been an organized terrorist attack and not a result of any outrage motivated by the movie.

Another FAST platoon was dispatched to Yemen on Thursday after protesters breached the outer security perimeter at the U.S. embassy in Sana'a.
Also Read

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 15, 2012, 04:28:25 PM

U.S. orders embassy staff to leave Tunis, Khartoum ^
Posted on September 15, 2012 7:29:50 PM EDT by tapatio

The United States ordered non-essential staff to leave its embassies in Tunisia and Sudan on Saturday after both diplomatic posts were attacked and Khartoum rejected a U.S. request to send a platoon of Marines to bolster security at its mission there.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Obama sucks.  What a piece of trash.

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 15, 2012, 04:31:05 PM
Krauthammer says ‘the tide of American power is receding,’ blames Obama for becoming ‘irrelevant’
Daily Caller ^ | 15 Sep 2012 | Jeff Poor
Posted on September 15, 2012 8:03:16 PM EDT by mandaladon

According to Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, the short anti-Muhammad video supposedly made by filmmaker Sam Bacile isn’t the primary cause of the ongoing violence and anti-American unrest in the Middle East.

In an appearance on Friday’s “Hannity” on the Fox News Channel, Krauthammer downplayed White House spokesman Jay Carney’s insistence that the video is at fault for the turmoil. Instead, he blamed America’s weak policy posture.

“[Saying that] this has nothing to do with us or our policies, [that] it’s about a video, is either willfully obtuse or simply clueless,” Krauthammer said. “What has happened is, as you pointed out, beginning with the Cairo speech, Obama changed American policy on the theory that the reason that people hated us was because we were tough. They hated us because of Iraq. They hated us because of Guantanamo. They hated us because of the torture — he used the word, he accuses his own country abroad of torturing.”

“And he was now apologizing and promising to change course,” he continued. “We would no longer be tough. We would be loved. We would show compassion. And we would get out of Iraq. He set a deadline for Afghanistan. He doesn’t support the Green Revolution in Iran. He shows the Ayatollahs tremendous respect. He essentially protects them when they are under attack. He gets nowhere on the Iran nuclear issue. He is equivocal uncertain during the Arab Spring. He leads from behind in Libya. The theory was if we go soft, if we are very nice, if we say ‘Assalamu alaikum,’ enough times, everything will be all right. And what he decided is, the way to do that, the theory and therefore the practice is going to be, retreat and withdraw. Remember the line he uses? The tide of war is receding.”

(Excerpt) Read more at ...


Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 15, 2012, 04:36:32 PM
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Israeli Foreign Ministry officials say U.S. ignored Arab wrath
Haaretz ^ | Sep.16, 2012 | 1:01 AM | Barak Ravid
Posted on September 15, 2012 8:15:34 PM EDT by Hunton Peck

Foreign Ministry official on signs of ‘radicalization’ in Arab world: ‘We knew what was happening, but the Americans preferred to find excuses.’ ________________________ _____________

For months before the most recent attacks on U.S. embassies in North African states, Foreign Ministry and U.S. State Department officials had been arguing over developments in these countries. Senior figures in Jerusalem claimed that Washington was burying its head in the sand and ignoring the increasing radicalization in states such as Tunisia and Egypt.

The Obama administration, which since the beginning of the Arab Spring has aided, directly or indirectly, the forces that brought down the dictatorial regimes in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and Lybia, now finds itself in a position of helplessness. The attack on the consulate in Benghazi, in which the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, was killed, and the storming of the U.S. embassies in Tunis, Sanaa and Cairo, proved the great hostility to the United States and the unwillingness of these country's new leaders to challenge domestic public opinion.

Senior Foreign Ministry officials say their conversations with their Washington counterparts have focused on what Jerusalem terms "radicalizing trends" against not only Israel but also against the United States and the West in general.

One of the most recent such meetings took place a week ago, during a visit to Jerusalem by the acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs, A. Elizabeth Jones.

"The Americans were constantly trying to supply explanations and excuses for events in the post-revolution Arab states, and simply ignored the problems," one senior Israeli official said, adding, "In practice the administration's ability to affect events in the Arab world has decreased immensely."

The Foreign Ministry official presented the example of Tunisia, which was expected to be moderate despite the rise to power of the Muslim Brotherhood.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 15, 2012, 04:40:59 PM
Buchanan: Unrest is Obama’s ‘naïve’ Middle East policy ‘collapsing right in front of us’
Daily Caller ^ | 09/15/2012 | Jeff Poor
Posted on September 15, 2012 4:21:46 PM EDT by Colonel Kangaroo

Add conservative commentator Pat Buchanan to the growing list of critics of President Barack Obama’s Middle East policy, as anti-American unrest continues throughout Egypt, Libya and now Yemen.

Appearing on Fox News Channel’s “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren,” Buchanan, author of “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?,” pointed to Obama’s 2009 speech in Cairo as the beginning of the administration’s “utterly naïve” foreign policy.

“What’s happening is the Obama administration’s Middle East policy is collapsing right in front of us,” Buchanan said. “He had his famous Cairo speech, and then he got behind the Arab Spring and dumped over some dictators and autocrats and other people, some of whom were friendly to us, others who were not. Thereby, they’ve unleashed these new forces, and not all of them are benign. Some of them are noxious.”

As a result, Buchanan said, many American personnel may have to permanently leave the Middle East and relocate to safer areas.

“There’s Islamic fundamentalism. There’s tribalism. There’s ethno-nationalism. All of these forces are on the move across the Middle East. And President Obama’s position is exposed as utterly naïve. I think what’s going to happen here, quite naturally, is Americans, tourists and others and American diplomats are going to have to be drawn out and drawn down from this region of the world, which is turning hostile.”

At issue is not simply the anti-Muhammad video supposedly made by filmmaker Sam Bacile, but the “detest and hate” many Muslims worldwide feel for all things American, according to Buchanan.

“Here’s what the situation is — there is gasoline all the way from Nigeria to Mali to Ethiopia to Cairo to the Middle East to the Caucuses,” Buchanan said. “Anti-Americanism is parts of it. What they did is they took this crazy little video, they threw a match in it, and people did this thing in Libya, which was pre-planned, pre-prepared terrorist act. … They detest and hate the United States. They hate our culture. They hate our policy. They have historic grievances. And they are as anti-American as they can be.”

“I think, quite frankly, all of this, what is exploding now has been building up for years and years and years,” Buchanan continued. “I think there’s a real incompatibility between American culture and between the culture of the fundamentalist and the Islamic world. … There’s a revolution underway, a great religious awakening taking place among the poor and the working class. The one thing they have is the Islamic faith. They’re very militant about it. And they look at the enemy as the great Satan, and the Americans and the others with their cultural intrusions.”

As for what ground Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney should stake out in the crisis, Buchanan said he was unsure. But he did pointedly disagree with those who took issue with Romney’s quick criticism of the president’s muted reaction to the Benghazi incident.

“I don’t know exactly what Romney would do right now,” Buchanan said. “But I do think the idea that they’re attacking Governor Romney because of some statement he made at 10 at night — that’s an irrelevancy. Let me also say this incident, this video, that’s not the reason for this. That’s the excuse for what’s going on there. A lot of this has been planned. A lot of it’s contagious over there. And as I say, you have all this tinder sitting over there. One little spark, and it all went, went through that — that tells you how America, basically, and the West are regarded now in that part of the world.”

Pat b spot on.     Obama is a disaster. 

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 15, 2012, 05:38:03 PM
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U.S. Is Preparing for a Long Siege of Arab Unrest
The New York Times ^ | September 15, 2012 | PETER BAKER and MARK LANDLER
Posted on September 15, 2012 2:31:46 PM EDT by mdittmar

WASHINGTON — After days of anti-American violence across the Muslim world, the White House is girding itself for an extended period of turmoil that will test the security of American diplomatic missions and President Obama’s ability to shape the forces of change in the Arab world.

Although the tumult subsided Saturday, senior administration officials said they had concluded that the sometimes violent protests in Muslim countries may presage a sustained crisis with unpredictable diplomatic and political consequences. While pressing Arab leaders to tamp down the unrest, Mr. Obama and his advisers are left to consider whether to scale back diplomatic activities in the region.

The unrest has suddenly become Mr. Obama’s most serious foreign policy crisis of the election season, and analysts say it is calling into question central tenets of his Middle East policy. Did he do enough throughout the Arab Spring to help the transition to democracy from autocracy? Has he drawn a hard enough line against Islamic extremists? Did his administration fail to address security concerns? Has his outreach to the Muslim world yielded any lasting benefits?

These questions come at an inopportune time domestically as Mr. Obama enters the last stages of a campaign season with a measurable lead in polls.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 15, 2012, 05:52:51 PM
DUBAI (Reuters) - The Yemen-based branch of al Qaeda urged Muslims to step up protests and kill more U.S. diplomats in Muslim countries after a U.S.-made film mocking the Prophet Mohammad which it said was another chapter in the "crusader wars" against Islam.
"Whoever comes across America's ambassadors or emissaries should follow the example of Omar al-Mukhtar's descendants (Libyans), who killed the American ambassador," the group said, referring to Tuesday's attack on the U.S. consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi.
"Let the step of kicking out the embassies be a step towards liberating Muslim countries from the American hegemony," a statement posted on an Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) website on Saturday said.
Fury about the film swept across the Middle East after Friday prayers, with protesters attacking U.S. embassies and in protests that killed at least seven people and prompted Washington to send troops to bolster security at its missions.
"The film published in America which insults our Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him, comes as part of the continuing crusader wars against Islam," AQAP's statement said, referring to European wars in the region some 1,000 years ago.
"The incident is so huge that the resources of the nation should be pooled together to kick out the embassies of America from Muslim lands," it said.
AQAP, mostly militants mainly from Yemen and Saudi Arabia, is regarded by the United States as the most dangerous branch of the network founded by Osama bin Laden.
The group has used Yemen, a key regional U.S. ally, to plot attacks on the United States. Washington has backed a Yemeni army campaign that drove al Qaeda and its allies from their southern stronghold this year.
Muslims have blamed the U.S. government for the amateurish film of obscure origin. Washington has condemned the film and said it does not condone any insult to any religion.
Praising the attacks by angry demonstrators in Libya, Egypt, Yemen and Sudan on U.S. and other Western missions as "natural responses to a huge insult", the statement said that American embassies should be burned and diplomats killed.
It said defending the Prophet's honor was a "religious duty and obligation to the Muslim nation, each according to his ability".

The group also said that Muslims living in the West have an extra duty to be involved in attacks on key targets.

"They are more capable of doing harm and reaching the enemy is easier for them," it said.
Impoverished Yemen is struggling against challenges on many fronts since mass protests forced president Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down last year after decades in power.

The United States, eager to help the country recover from the upheaval that has pushed it to the brink of collapse, has said it would provide $345 million in security, humanitarian and development aid this year, more than double last year.

(Reporting by Ali Abdelatti in Cairo; Writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Louise Ireland)

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 16, 2012, 05:27:00 AM

Obama policies in ruin. 

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: blacken700 on September 16, 2012, 05:41:39 AM
is a daily morning broadsheet conservative-leaning newspaper

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 16, 2012, 05:42:32 AM

Obama policies in ruin. 

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Kazan on September 16, 2012, 07:41:52 AM

Obama policies in ruin. 

Because in this day and age, removing something from your website is a sure way to destroy the information ::)

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 16, 2012, 09:25:21 AM

Tapper admits - obamas olicies in ruins

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 16, 2012, 09:45:17 AM


Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 16, 2012, 03:34:39 PM


Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 16, 2012, 05:55:19 PM

Attackers in Afghanistan wore US uniforms
Yahoo ^

Posted on September 16, 2012 6:39:53 AM EDT

Coalition military authorities in Afghanistan say the insurgents who attacked a British airfield in southwestern Afghanistan on Friday, killing two U.S. Marines, wore U.S. Army uniforms and destroyed six Harrier fighter jets.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: blacken700 on September 16, 2012, 05:56:45 PM
let me guess obama give them the uniforms

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 16, 2012, 05:59:13 PM
let me guess obama give them the uniforms

And moral support.   Obama hates the military.

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: George Whorewell on September 16, 2012, 06:20:14 PM

Obama policies in ruin. 

This deserves its own thread. Pardon me for plagiarizing it.

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 17, 2012, 05:06:40 AM
Niall Ferguson: Obama Fiddles as Mideast Burns
by Niall Ferguson Sep 17, 2012 1:00 AM EDT

The president fiddles as the world burns.

Four years ago John McCain was campaigning on his foreign-policy experience when along came a financial crisis that killed his chances. This time around Mitt Romney has been campaigning on his economic experience. Now along comes a foreign-policy crisis. Will it kill his chances, too? Or can the Republicans finally land a punch on President Obama?
In June 2009 President Obama called for a 'new beginning between the United States and Muslims.' (Pete Souza / The WHite House via Corbis)

They really should be able to. Because what is unfolding in the Middle East has the makings of the most perfect storm in American foreign policy since 1979. You may recall what happened then. Another Islamist revolution. Another attack on a U.S. Embassy. Another Democrat in the White House.
This is what Jimmy Carter said in a speech on Feb. 7, 1980, as the Iranian hostage crisis entered its third month: “I have been struck ... by the human and moral values which Americans as a people share with Islam. We share, first and foremost, a deep faith in the one Supreme Being. We are all commanded by him to faith, compassion, and justice. We have a common respect and reverence for law ... On the basis of both values and interests, the natural relationship between Islam and the United States is one of friendship ... We have the deepest respect and reverence for Islam.”

Remind you of anything? Try this: “I’ve come here ... to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles—principles of justice and progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings ... Let there be no doubt: Islam is a part of America.”

That was from a speech given by President Obama in Cairo on June 4, 2009. Funny how small a difference 30 years make. Same old pious hopes for respect, reverence for law, and tolerance. And, in return, the same disrespect, illegality, and intolerance. The embassy in Tehran then, the consulate in Benghazi now.

Here’s what happens to American presidents who look to be loved in the Middle East. In 2008, the year Obama won the presidency with his pledge to end George W. Bush’s wars, 75 percent of Egyptians had an unfavorable opinion of the United States. Today it’s 79 percent. Four years ago, that was the percentage of Jordanians with a negative view of the U.S. Now it’s 86 percent.

“It is much safer to be feared than loved,” Machiavelli teaches us. Today America is neither. Consider the wider ramifications of the Middle Eastern crisis. Revolutions have succeeded, with halfhearted American support, in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia. Among the beneficiaries have been staunch anti-American organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood. The United States continues to give Egypt more than $1 billion a year in aid, roughly the price of the two attack submarines the Egyptians are buying from Germany. The country was once America’s ally. Last week the president conceded it is now neither our enemy nor our friend.

America’s most dependable ally in the region is Israel. Repeatedly this year Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pleaded with Obama to draw a “red line” on Iran’s nuclear program rather than give a “red light” to preventive military action. Last week the White House declined even to meet with Netanyahu when he visits the United States later this month. Even Haaretz (no fan of Bibi) regards this as a mistake.

Maybe you think George Bush’s invasion of Iraq was a worse mistake, though it gave that country democracy, showed Arabs that dictators can be toppled, and turned an enemy into a potential ally. But consider the consequences of this president’s decision to pull out of Iraq. Two months ago, at least 100 Iraqis perished in a wave of bombings and shootings by al Qaeda in Iraq, which aims to overthrow the Shia-led government of Nuri al-Maliki. Last week the country’s Sunni vice president was sentenced to death. Meanwhile, Kurdistan is acting like an independent state (or, rather, a satellite of Turkey). Iraq is falling apart.

As for Syria, while Obama fiddles, its cities burn in a civil war that could soon eclipse Lebanon’s in the 1980s.

The president who was once a foreign-policy neophyte now makes much of his experience. That claim depends heavily on a program of targeted assassination that liberals would have denounced if it had been pursued by his predecessor.

If Mitt Romney wants to be Barack Obama’s successor, he urgently needs to launch a metaphorical drone strike of his own—against a Mideast policy that is flaming out.

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 17, 2012, 05:38:52 AM
The Premodern Middle East and Postmodern West Don’t Mix, Mr. President

Globalization certainly did not bring the premodern world of the Middle East closer together with the postmodern West — despite Barack Obama’s 2007 narcissistic vows that his own intellect and background could bridge such a gap. If anything, the more we know about each other, the more we sense we are back to Lepanto and the siege of Vienna. Since the 9/11 anniversary attacks, the Obama administration has seemed bewildered, petulant, and more or less shocked in Casablanca-style fashion about the hatred shown the United States — whether overt among the Arab Street, or implicit among Arab governments’ wink-and-nod inability to protect U.S. embassies. It apparently forgot some basic rules about how to deal with radical Islam, and instead regressed back to the old familiar appeasement that led to 9/11/2001.
I. Pretexts


Mr. President, do not obsess over the pretext of the day. Terry Jones is only as crude as Andres Serrano and his Piss Christ, which I don’t recall warranted a personal call from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs to the artist to cool it, much less a federal effort to detain a Coptic filmmaker. Sometimes Muslims will rage at a Rushdie novel, sometimes at a papal reference to a Byzantine letter, and at other times at a supposedly flushed or torched Koran. Or maybe a grainy amateurish video will be set them off to kill a nun, blow up a priest, burn down an embassy, or assassinate a Western ambassador.  There are three-hundred-million-plus free-thinking Americans, and thus at least that many possible “slights” — if you choose to go down that road of blaming free expression rather than the primeval mind that objects to it.
The opportunities for Muslims in the Middle East to be outraged at the West in general and the U.S. in particular are legion. You, Mr. Obama, the most powerful of all Americans, must remember that these totems are mere tools of an al-Qaeda, a Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamic Jihad — or whatever the particular aggrieved party calls itself this week. They are no more than crude pretexts to direct fury among their ignorant and impoverished masses at opportune times against the United States, and thereby gain power.
In that regard, each time we castigate a Rushdie, a Danish cartoonist, a U.S. soldier, or a nut like Terry Jones, we simply play into the hands of the Islamists. The latter are thrilled when American grandees look weak, desperate, and only too eager to fall over themselves in undermining their own singular Constitution and distancing themselves from their own values. Far better it would be to say, one time — and only one time: “We cherish and protect freedom of expression and abhor censorship and violence; if that bothers you, it bothers you.” End of story.
2. The Sources of Islamic Anger
Remember the source of premodern Islamic anger. Why did the Zawahiri brothers, or the late bin Laden, or the Islamist of the week hate the West, and in particular the United States?
It surely is not, as their apologists plead, because of our “foreign policy.” We are enlightened compared to what Putin did in Chechnya or how Chinese treated their Muslim minorities. You, readers, know the American record better than do I: we graciously accepted Muslim refugees, even ingrates like Mohamed Morsi or the 9/11 mass murderers. We fed Somalis; helped to remove Gaddafi; freed Kuwaitis; liberated Afghans (twice); birthed Iraqi democracy; bombed Christians to save Muslim Kosovars and Bosnians; fund Jordanians, Egyptians, and Palestinians; and so on.
Instead, the wrath of the Muslim Street is elemental and existential (read The Al Qaeda Reader to fathom all the twenty or so excuses given by bin Laden for his hatred of the U.S.). It can be explained in terms something like this: Islamists have convinced the Arab masses that their present mess (so easily fathomed in a globalized world in second-by-second, instantaneous comparisons with other cultures — via cell phones, the Internet, DVDs, and cable television) is not their own fault.
Discussions of the pernicious effects of endemic tribalism, misogyny, statism, anti-Semitism, fundamentalism, religious intolerance, xenophobia, and anti-modernism are taboo. So there is never serious reflection about self-induced pathologies that keep fostering a Saddam Hussein, Muslim Brotherhood, and Ba’ath Party, or the preconditions that throughout much of the 20th century made the Arab world so susceptible to Hitlerism, then Soviet communism, then Baathism, then Western authoritarianism, then authoritarianism, and, then, or rather always back to, Islamic radicalism. The Middle East is not fascist, communist, Baathist, pan-Arabist, or Islamist, so much as it is screwed-up-ist and blame-them-ist.
If all these -isms did not exist, we would have to invent them and others as well to find scapegoats for self-induced misery. The Islamist explains to the illiterate masses that they are poor and angry because, despite their renewed zealotry and supposed ancient majesty, the evil Westerners have, quite unfairly, all the power, wealth, and influence — and yet don’t deserve it, given their godlessness, decadence, and corruption. Westerners obtained their preeminence through “crimes” like Zionism, colonialism, imperialism, etc., at a stage of Islamic vulnerability, when Muslim sellouts betrayed the Prophet and joined the enemy. And thus true believers, by sheer force of religious fervor, can slap down these Westerners, as was true in the ancient past. Presto — go torch an embassy and empower me as you leader!
That exegesis for millions in Cairo is far more comforting advice than something a bit more mundane like “treat women equally” or “look at the world empirically” or “take apart your cell phone and see how it works.”
3. Blaming Us, Not Them
The worst response to radical Islam has unfortunately become the present administration’s postmodern, so-cool policy. The Cairo fable, the al Arabiya “Bush did it” interview, the euphemisms (e.g., “man-caused disasters”), the insanity that Maj. Hasan’s murdering threatens our diversity programs, trying KSM in New York, reading Mutallab his Miranda rights, serial trashing of Guantanamo, James Clapper’s laughable assurance that the Muslim Brotherhood is “secular,” NASA’s all-important Muslim outreach, etc., at best remind the Islamists that Westerners would hardly be so self-abasing if there were not something to be ashamed about.
Our hesitancy confirms their accusations and, at worst, suggests that we are also weak and without a sense of self — and so will do very little if a true believer were to kill a diplomat, storm an embassy, or shoot Marines. And when you add in fiscal insolvency, looming defense cuts, and presidential boasting about killing bin Laden and Predator assassinating, this administration had done just enough high-fiving and spiking the ball to incite the anger of an Islamist, but not nearly enough concrete action to remind him of the dangerous consequences of such primitive anger.
Worse, in some ways, are Obama’s feeble attempts to separate himself from the history and values of the United States — almost as if to say, “They did it, don’t blame me!” Remember, Obama objected that he was but a near-infant and so blameless when Daniel Ortega to his face enumerated all his fabricated hurts against America. (If the president of the United States will not defend America in front of a communist dictator, who will?)
The entire subtext of Obama’s outreach narratives (made explicitly in his al Arabiya interview) is that his own unique pedigree and worldview have exempted him from American pathologies and thus culpability for them. In the alternate brain chemistry of the Obamites, there is no contradiction between worldwide Islamist vows to kill our diplomats or burn embassies and Obama’s much-vaunted boasts of restoring American popularity abroad. The derangement goes like this: those who hate America are mistakenly still mad at the old Bush America and have not yet evolved to duly appreciate the new Obama America. In other words, the vestiges of right-wing extremism still confuses those abroad, who have not yet caught on that America is on their side.
In the present case, bewildered press secretary Tim Carney essentially said just that: that when protestors burn flags, kill Americans, and destroy icons of American power, they aren’t really mad at us, Obama, the White House, or American foreign policy. Instead, they are just confused over disgusting Terry Jones and a reprehensible handful of Copts:

We also need to understand that this is a fairly volatile situation and it is in response not to United States policy, and not to, obviously, the administration, or the American people, but it is in response to a video, a film that we have judged to be reprehensible and disgusting. That in no way justifies any violent reaction to it, but this is not a case of protests directed at the United States writ large or at U.S. policy, this is in response to a video that is offensive to Muslims.
“Not…directed at the United States” — perhaps tell that to Ambassador Stevens as he suffocated to death.
4. What Must Muslims Do?

It is not brain surgery to enter the modern world. Follow some South Koreans or Chileans around for a week with a video camera. Grow up and stop blaming those on whom you depend for everything from drilling bits to laptops. Adopt the now seemingly impossible: consensual government, a bill of rights, secular tolerance for religious diversity, gender equality, meritocracy, respect for science and empiricism, a free market, and a free press. In other words, join the 21st century.
Otherwise, Westerners must make themselves as immune from Middle East passions as is possible. In that context, not tapping vast new domestic finds of gas and oil on public lands is suicidal, given that such potential income and independence would soon make the Gulf irrelevant to our survival.  Let the Kuwaitis or the Iranians deal with the Chinese. Of course, elites warn us not to “overreact.” But overreacting, compared to the present radical appeasement, is the moderate, rational course.
A good start, then, would be very quietly to start trimming aid at about $100 billion every month, and quite coolly rejecting visas from the Middle East (putting thousands of future Mr. Morsis on hold). We can put travel restrictions on the Middle East, and ask the Egyptian ambassador to go home for a month or so to think things over and see whether he really wishes to protect our embassy. Elites shriek, “Oh, but you’ll only isolate Morsi and alienate the moderates.” Perhaps, but we might also remind them that American friendship is based on reciprocity and must be earned rather than assumed. How odd that the only good thing that either Mr. Obama or Mrs. Clinton has said throughout this depressing spectacle was Obama’s flub that he didn’t quite know whether Egypt, the recipient of over $1 billion in annual U.S. cash, was an ally or enemy. So only by accident does he make the Muslim Brotherhood government a tiny bit unsure of exactly how we feel or what we might do.
5. Whom to Fear?
Finally we must examine the ubiquitous Westernized Middle Easterner who appears as pundit, talking head, and the authentic voice of the Arab Street. Quite dangerous are the Mohamed Morsis of the world — men like a Sayyid Qutb or Mohammed Atta, who had spent time in the West, fled here for its protection, enjoyed its affluence, indulged in its sins, and blossomed amid its hot-house universities. These men can often be quite dangerous.
Most are intelligent and understand the self-loathing that is endemic among their postmodern Western hosts. For the Westernized anti-Americanist, being educated, working, and living in California or New York reminds him of the contrast with his own Egypt or the West Bank. That disconnect evokes all sorts of contradictory emotions: why am I so blessed in the land of the infidels and so wretched at home? Or how much penance must I undertake for satisfying over here what would be seen as illicit appetites at home? Or how can these affluent atheists have so much more than my pious brothers in the Middle East?
The Westernized Middle Easterner, energized by Western self-loathing, steeped in post-colonial theory, nursed on deconstruction, and attuned to multicultural victimology, learns quickly. Whether a Khomeini returning from a generous France, a Mohammed Atta leaving Germany, or a Mohamed Morsi arriving in Cairo, they soon hate their prior Western benefactors for reminding them how their own self-induced pathologies have led to the miasma of the Middle East — but now with no longer a nodding professor to egg them on, but rather only a mute embassy, a flag, and a diplomat to incite their passions. Poor Hillary Clinton wonders out loud how can it be that the Libyans are unappreciative of our efforts, as if such ingratitude is new and surprising, rather than old and predictable.
A Footnote
With the implosion of the Middle East comes the end of the mythic foreign policy of Barack Obama. Just as Russia was not reset and our enemies did not become friends, so, too, the fantasy that Barack Obama’s name, race, and lineage, when coupled with leftist politics, would win over our Middle East never arrived. All that failed — failed not just for America, but for the Nobel laureate himself. In that regard, Obama’s entire four-year project has failed: $5 trillion of borrowed stimulus did not jump-start the economy; only more federal debt and bankruptcy followed “solar and wind and millions of green jobs,” as vast new finds of oil and gas on public lands were ignored, while gas hit $4 a gallon. The problem for supporters of Obamacare is not to implement, but how to junk, this boondoggle without loss of face. Government Motors and the Volt went nowhere, and appointees like Eric Holder, Kathleen Sebelius, Timothy Geithner, and Janet Napolitano proved embarrassments. Now we are left with the Federal Reserve desperately printing money before the election.
There was human frenzy in 2008 that entranced millions, and now we will be paying for the wages of that madness for quite some time.

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 17, 2012, 08:54:21 AM
Marine Attack Squadron loses eight Harrier jets
 The Aviationist ^ | 9/16/2012 | David Cenciotti

Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 12:40:42 PM

Marine Attack Squadron loses eight Harrier jets in worst U.S. air loss in one day since the Vietnam War

On Friday Sept. 14, at around 10.15 p.m. local time, a force of Taliban gunmen attacked Camp Bastion, in Helmand Province, the main strategic base in southwestern Afghanistan.

About 15 insurgents (19 according to some reports), wearing U.S. Army uniforms, organized into three teams, breached the perimeter fence and launched an assault on the airfield, that includes the U.S. Camp Leatherneck and the UK’s Camp Bastion, where British royal Prince Harry, an AH-64 Apache pilot (initially believed to be the main target of the attack) is stationed.

The attackers fired machine guns, rocket propelled grenades and possibly mortars against aircraft parked next to the airport’s runway. Two U.S. Marines were killed in the subsequent fighting whereas eight of 10 AV-8B+ Harrier jets of the Yuma-based Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 211 were destroyed (6) or heavily damaged (2): the worst U.S. air loss in one day since the Vietnam War.

The VMA-211 “Avengers” is part of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing headquartered in San Diego at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. It deployed to Afghanistan in April and relocated from Kandahar Airfield to Camp Bastion on Jul. 1.

According to Wikipedia, the VMA-211 last suffered this level of losses on Dec. 8, 1941.

Considered that the U.S. Marine Corps are believed to be equipped with slightly more than 120 AV-8B+, the attack on Camp Bastion has wiped out 1/15th of the entire U.S. Jump Jet fleet and a large slice of the Yuma-based squadron. A serious problem for the USMC, that was compelled to buy second hand RAF Harrier GR9s to keep the AV-8B+ in service beyond 2030, when it will be replaced by the F-35B.

Furthermore, the VMA-211 was the only Marine Harrier unit in Afghanistan: until the destroyed airframes will be replaced (most probably, by another Squadron), the coalition ground forces can’t count on the CAS (Close Air Support) provided by the Harrier.

Tom Meyer has contributed to this post.

Image credit: U.S. Marine Corps

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 17, 2012, 12:16:31 PM
The Consequences of Obama's Bungled Mideast Policy
By Michael Barone - September 17, 2012

In Libya, U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three colleagues were murdered Tuesday. Earlier that day, protesters in Egypt stormed the U.S. embassy and tore down the American flag.
It was "the day the roof fell in," proclaimed blogger and historian Walter Russell Mead. Barack Obama's "efforts to reconcile the U.S. and moderate Islamism -- in part by distancing the U.S. from Israel -- have angered Israel without reducing Islamist bitterness against the United States."

In other words, his Middle East policies are in shambles. His assumption that a president "who doesn't look like other presidents" would endear America to Arabs has been proven unfounded.
So have other assumptions. Like the idea that Iran's mullah regime would negotiate with us if we uttered soothing words and turned a cold eye on Iranian dissidents, as Obama did in June 2009.
And the idea that creating distance between the United States and Israel would lead to a settlement between Israelis and Palestinians.
Obama came to office believing that America had a lot to apologize for. For the "tension" between the U.S. and the Muslim world that "has been fed" by colonialism and the Cold War, as he said in his June 2009 "New Beginning" speech in Cairo.
There, he implicitly contrasted George W. Bush's emphasis on universal human rights by admitting that "America does not presume to know what is best for everyone."
Since the 9/11/12 attacks on America, Muslims have been protesting over much of the world, from Tunisia to Yemen to Bangladesh, and in some cases, have been assaulting our embassies.
The ostensible reason for the protests is a video produced by someone in the United States criticizing the Prophet Muhammad. But that's obviously just a pretext, used by Islamist terrorist organizers to whip up frenzy in nations with large numbers of angry unemployed young men.
Unfortunately, some of our government officials have taken the complaints about the video seriously. Before the attack, the Cairo embassy issued a statement condemning "the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims."
When Mitt Romney condemned that statement, he was widely criticized by mainstream media. But his judgment was confirmed when Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama ordered the statement taken down.
Even so, White House press secretary Jay Carney said the protests were directed at the video rather than the United States -- wishful thinking. The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the FBI was sent to Los Angeles to track down the video maker. The Los Angeles Times reported that the State Department asked YouTube whether the offending video violated its terms of service.
As Fox News commentator Kirsten Powers wrote, "Our leaders shouldn't let our enemies know that when they kill our people and attack our embassies that the U.S. government will act like a battered wife making excuses for her psychotic husband."
It's also disturbing that Obama, after his brief statement deploring the Benghazi murders (and not mentioning the attack on the Cairo embassy), immediately embarked on a four-hour plane ride to campaign in Las Vegas.
In an interview there with Telemundo, Obama said Egypt was neither an ally nor an enemy. Later, the State Department spokesman conceded that Egypt is officially an ally under a 1989 law.
That's an unforced error for an incumbent president, one who has criticized his opponent's lack of foreign policy experience.
But perhaps it's not surprising. American Enterprise Institute's Marc Thiessen revealed last week that Obama has skipped more than half of his daily intelligence briefings. He reads the reports instead. His last in-person briefing before 9/11/12 was on Sept. 5.
It's not clear why security efforts failed in Benghazi and the Libyan government's assurances that it will protect our diplomats in the future seems sincere.
And Obama did find time for a reportedly "tense" phone conversation with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, who then made a public statement denouncing the attacks. But on the phone, Morsi reportedly asked Obama to "put an end to such behavior" -- i.e., suppress the video. Did the president explain that we have a First Amendment that prevents government from doing such things?
Under settled principles of international law, attacks on diplomats by, or permitted by, governments can be considered acts of war. The threat of such attacks deserves a more stern response than a campaign trip to Vegas, a misstatement of settled policy and skipped intelligence briefings.

Copyright 2012, Creators Syndicate Inc.

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 17, 2012, 12:29:24 PM
September 17, 2012

Kirsten Powers: 'Apparently Our Foreign Policy Is Being Run By Dr. Phil'
 Topics: Political News and commentaries

Kirsten Powers, on the Obama administration's blaming of the victims for the MidEast violence:

[...] "Disgusting and reprehensible." said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. "Truly abhorrent," an outraged White House official told an international conference. Were they talking about the murder of four Americans in Libya? Or perhaps the hoisting of an Islamist flag over the U.S. Embassy in Cairo?

No. For that they stuck to diplomatic speak. For the president, the harshest language was: "I strongly condemn the outrageous attack." For Clinton it was that the US is heartbroken and she condemned "this senseless act of violence." But "disgusting and reprehensible" and "truly abhorrent" were reserved for an amateurish and silly film by someone nobody has ever heard of.

In fact, what is "disgusting and reprehensible" is that there are people in the world who think they are justified in attacking and killing people because someone hurt their feelings or offended their sensibilities. The US government should not act as a validator or enabler of this upside down worldview, which is exactly what the Obama administration has done repeatedly as they have responded to these abhorrent attacks against the United States.

[...] Apparently our foreign policy is now being run by Dr. Phil. Someone needs to explain to the White House that our Constitution protects freedom of religion from government interference, not the protection from people who say mean, critical or offensive things about one's religion.
And that's coming from a consistent liberal columnist who has supported and defended Obama.

More here.

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 17, 2012, 05:39:50 PM
September 17, 2012 6:40 PM PrintText
U.S. military suspends joint patrols with Afghans
EmailFacebookTwitterLink edInDigg.PrintDeliciousR edditStumbleuponGoogle Bookmarks....
ByDavid Martin .Play CBS News Video
(CBS News) The strategy for getting U.S. forces out of Afghanistan depends on training Afghan soldiers and police to protect the country themselves, but on Monday the U.S. military suspended most joint field operations with Afghan forces because so many Americans are being killed by the men they are training.

Afghan government troops -- our allies -- have turned their guns on NATO forces 36 times this year, killing 51, most of them Americans. That is more attacks than the last two years combined.

The order effectively suspends "until further notice" most of the operations which U.S. and Afghan troops conduct side by side. At higher headquarters, Afghans and Americans will still work together, but in the field small unit operations putting Afghan soldiers alongside Americans -- the guts of the U.S. strategy to turn the fighting over to Afghans -- will be suspended unless an exception is granted by a commanding general.

The order was issued after a long weekend in which four American and two British troops were killed by so-called "insider attacks" -- Afghans turning their guns on their supposed allies.

After spate of "insider attacks," NATO lessens Afghan partnership
Anti-U.S. protests linger after deadly weekend of "insider attacks" in Afghanistan
4 U.S. troops killed in Afghan "insider attack"

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey called the surge in insider attacks "a very serious threat to the campaign."

In addition, two Marines were killed and eight fighter jets destroyed by enemy fighters who penetrated a heavily fortified base.

A Taliban video shot the morning after the attack on Camp Bastion shows smoke still rising from the most destructive enemy attack of the entire war. Just as disturbing is the fact the enemy was able to film this propaganda video, from just outside the base.

The attack began at 10 p.m. Friday night when a band of 15 enemy fighters somehow eluded detection by security cameras which scan the entire perimeter of Camp Bastion. Dressed in U.S. army uniforms, they cut their way through the outer wire and blew a hole through the base wall. Armed with automatic weapons, rocket propelled grenade launchers and suicide vests, they split into teams -- each going after a separate target. One went for the harrier jet fighters, another for the fueling stations, and a third for the helicopters. Within 30 minutes, the damage was done. A quick reaction force finally arrived and after a two-hour firefight, killed 14 attackers and wounded one who is now in custody.

One U.S. official put it simply: "We have got to do a better job at protecting our troops."

U.S. officials say that somewhere between 10 percent and 25 percent of the insider attacks are the work of enemy infiltrators. The rest are the result of personal insults and just plain cultural misunderstandings.

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 18, 2012, 04:56:43 AM

Obama’s Foreign Policy Fraud Has Come Undone
 FrontPage Magazine ^ | Sep 18th, 2012 | Daniel Greenfield

Posted on Tuesday, September 18, 2012 8:22:35 AM

The mass riots and attacks on embassies do not mark the moment when Obama’s foreign policy imploded. That happened a long time ago. What these attacks actually represent is the moment when the compliant media were no longer able to continue hiding that failure in bottom drawers and back pages.

The media successfully covered for Obama’s retreat from Iraq, and the weekly Al Qaeda car bombings and rush to civil war no longer make the news. The media have also done their best to cover for Obama’s disaster in Afghanistan which has cost thousands of American lives while completely failing to defeat the Taliban.

Obama had hoped to cover up his defeat in Afghanistan by cutting a deal with the “moderate” Taliban, but the Taliban, moderate or extreme, refused to help him cover his ass. Attacks in Afghanistan have escalated, but the media have avoided challenging the bizarre assertions from the Obama campaign that the mission has been accomplished and Karzai will be ready to take over security in a few years.

And then the Islamists did something that the media just couldn’t ignore. They staged a series of attacks on American embassies and foreign targets beginning on September 11. These attacks, the most devastating and public of which took place on September 11, were accompanied by Islamist black flags and chants of, “We Are All Osama” in countries across North Africa and the Middle East.

The media have done their best to avoid dealing with the implications of Islamists carrying out a coordinated series of attacks on everything from foreign embassies to peacekeeping forces in the Sinai, by focusing on a Mohammed movie which the Egyptian Salafists exploited for propaganda purposes, rather than on the tactical support and level of coordination required to launch such a broad series of attacks and what the attacks and their scope say about the transformation of the conflict from stray attacks by terrorist groups to armed militias taking control of entire regions.

Rather than doing their job, the media seemed to be dividing their attention between reporting on the carnage without any context and putting out talking points to prevent Mitt Romney from taking political advantage of the disaster. The media’s accusations that Mitt Romney was politicizing the conflict were absurd, especially coming after the New York Times ran an editorial on September 11 attacking George W. Bush for not preventing the attacks of that day and after five years of Obama and his media allies politicizing every suicide bombing in Iraq.

While American embassies burned, the media were determined to go on doing what they had been doing in Iraq and Afghanistan. They had covered for Obama in three disastrous wars, one of which he had begun and which had exploded in the faces of staffers at the Benghazi consulate. And they are still covering for him, but the conflict has moved beyond the point where it can be relegated to the back pages of the daily papers.

Obama had hoped that the Islamists would see the advantage of allowing him to save face and give them another term of the same inept appeasement disguised as diplomatic soft power. Instead the Islamists seized on his weakness and trumpeted it to the world to humiliate him and the country that he had been temporarily placed in charge of.

If Obama had really understood Muslims, the way that he claimed he did during the election, then he would have known that this was coming all along. The way of the desert raid is to catch the enemy at his weakest and most vulnerable, and to humiliate him for that weakness in the eyes of his peers. In the honor-shame culture of Islam, there is only room for honor or shame. Obama tried to cover his shame and retain his honor and his enemies tore that façade of honor away from him and left only shame.

As Churchill said to Chamberlain, “Britain and France had to choose between war and dishonour. They chose dishonour. They will have war.” Obama tried to have it both ways; he wanted the appearance of being a strong honorable leader who wins wars, while pursuing a cowardly and dishonorable policy. Obama chose dishonor in Afghanistan and Iraq, and now finds that he has a war to deal with anyway.

Perhaps it was the empty bragging of a weak man about killing Bin Laden that infuriated them, but most likely it was the weakness that he showed by relying on drone attacks while cutting the military that led the Islamists to launch a series of global raids on American targets. What looked like smart strategy to the DC technocrats told the Islamists that the United States was no longer willing or able to send troops into combat. Drone strikes might take out Al Qaeda leaders with minimal collateral damage, but were useless when crowds of Islamist raiders in major cities were overrunning American embassies and consulates.

It would have been in the interests of the Islamists to let Obama save face, retreat from Afghanistan and give them another four years of a free ride. But the Salafis carrying out the raids are not the cunning variety that Obama bows to when meeting with the Gulf royals, nor are they even the businessmen of the Muslim Brotherhood. What they want are military victories in the old Mohammedan style, rather than winning elections or tricking the West into overthrowing regimes for them.

The Muslim Brotherhood and the Saudis would not have chosen to humiliate Obama because they need him. The Salafis carrying out the raids, as opposed to the ones shaking hands with US officials in Cairo, don’t care about American elections; they care about blood in the streets and swords in the air. These are the sorts of people who fly planes into buildings without considering what this will do to the plans to use immigration to change the demographic balance of Europe and set off bombs near NATO bases without caring that this will slow down the withdrawal of the infidel troops. They are true believers and they believe that it is their unthinking commitment to Islam that will give them victory, rather than the calculations and manipulations of their more upscale Salafi brethren in Riyadh and Cairo.

The attacks have exposed the naked failure of Obama’s foreign policy. The sight of American embassies burning across the Muslim world has done what the deaths of thousands of soldiers in Afghanistan and a near civil war in Iraq could not do.

Obama has lost the wars, he has lost the peace and now he has also lost the lies.

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 18, 2012, 05:11:33 AM


Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 18, 2012, 01:25:14 PM
U.S. Suspends Diplomatic Missions in Pakistan
 The Frontier Post ^ | 2012-09-18 | none listed

Posted on Tuesday, September 18, 2012 3:36:05 PM by little jeremiah

LAHORE: The US has closed its embassy and consulates in Pakistan to general public for indefinite period.

Amid anti-film protests US Tuesday halted public dealing in all its diplomatic missions in Pakistan.

According to statement issued by US embassy in Islamabad, all diplomatic missions in the country would be closed for public as security concerns.

Meanwhile, US diplomatic personnel were shifted to unclosed location from Karachi consulate as angry protesters advancing to the diplomatic building in red zone of the largest and port city of Pakistan.

Clashes between police and mob continued as protesters trying to reach consulate building. Police using tear gas, firing in air and water guns to stop people.

Following the violent protests across Pakistan against anti-Islam film, the security has been tightened by the authorities in Peshawar.

Fearing the security risk and creating traffic problems, the authorities have blocked a road towards the US consulate as the protests are continued in the city against the release of anti-Islam film.

The heavy contingent of police have been placed out on entry and exit points of the consulate while the police are also alert in other parts of the city.

US consulate in Lahore was also vacated by US officials who have been shifted to other safe places, local media reports said.

Authorities have blocked all roadsgoing towards US diplomatic building in Lahore.

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: MCWAY on September 18, 2012, 01:27:02 PM
But, but, but...Obama got Osama.....OH WAIT!!! There are a whole bunch of Osamas now. Never mind!

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 18, 2012, 04:59:00 PM
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US aid agency told to shut Moscow office
By Catherine Belton and Courtney Weaver in Moscow and Geoff Dyer in Washington

The US Agency for International Development is to close its offices in Moscow after Russia demanded that Washington put a halt to the organisation’s activities there, the US state department has said.
The move, announced on Tuesday, is a further blow to relations between the US and Russia, which had been improving until Vladimir Putin’s return as president.

On this story
 David Pilling Russia begins its slow pivot to Asia
 Russia joins WTO after 19 years of talks
 Editorial Unfinished work
IN US Politics & Policy
 Carter grandson proud of role in leak
 Romney under fire from all sides
 Bad news for Romney camp keeps coming
 Romney camp cries out for a clearer line
Mr Putin’s Kremlin has repeatedly claimed that the US state department helped sponsor the protests that broke out last December over allegations of vote-rigging in parliamentary elections. Protesters have continued to target the president and his government.
Mr Putin has since forwarded a new law that could threaten the activities of non-governmental organisations receiving funding from foreign governments or organisations, forcing them to register as “foreign agents”. The Kremlin is deeply suspicious of democracy groups such as Golos, the election monitoring organisation that helped to publicise fraud in the December parliamentary poll.
Among the groups to be affected by the withdrawal of USAID from Russia are Golos, which has been majority funded by the American body, the human rights group Memorial and the National Democratic Institute, a senior US government official said.

Sergei Lavrov, Russian foreign minister, informed Hillary Clinton, secretary of state, of Moscow’s decision at the Apec summit in Vladivostok, according to the official. The decision will affect the 13 US diplomats who work for USAID and 60 Russian staff members, the official added.
The US state department said that even though USAID’s “physical presence in Russia will come to an end, we remain committed to supporting democracy, human rights and the development of a more robust civil society in Russia”.
Lilia Shevtsova, a political analyst with the Carnegie Centre in Moscow, said that, if true, the decision by the Russian government to end USAID’s activities fitted the logic of Mr Putin’s regime, which was searching for an enemy.

“It is quite logical that all USAID’s efforts to work in Russia and promote democracy would be blocked and forbidden,” she said.
She added that the new law requiring Russian NGOs to register as foreign agents if they received foreign funding had indeed made USAID’s work in Russia detrimental to the development of civil society, while the country was now mature enough to develop independently.
“The new law threatens to turn NGOs into a ‘fifth column’ and, as such, it has become destructive for Russian NGOs to work with USAID,” she said.
A US administration official said the White House would nevertheless find ways to continue to support civil society. “The Russian government has decided it wants the activities of USAID to cease in Russia and that’s their decision and we have responded to that decision today.”
“Over the coming weeks and months the Obama administration will be looking for ways to advance our old foreign policy objectives using new means,” the official said.
To do so, Washington could consider creating a $50m fund to support Russian civil society – a proposal that was originally floated by the Obama administration last year.
“This is just the latest event in an undercurrent of serious tensions with Russia that will be hard to turn round, whoever wins the election,” said Matthew Rojansky, a Russia expert at the Carnegie Endowment in Washington. “There is a fundamental disagreement over our democracy promotion activities. The Russian government feels very strongly that we are rooting against them and that will be very difficult to change.”
Victoria Nuland, state department spokeswoman, said USAID had spent $2.7bn in Russia over the past two decades. “We hope the Russian government now takes forward that work itself, particularly in environment and health, but we will continue to work on civil society issues and democracy issues,” she said.

Since Mr Obama came to power, USAID has focused increasingly on human rights and civil democracy in Russia; over half of its $50m Russian budget this year has gone to these issues.

LMFAO!!!!!  Obama is putin errand boy 

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 18, 2012, 05:13:14 PM
State Dept: Morsi ordered Egyptian embassy in DC to take legal action against US citizens
 PJ Media ^ | 09-18-2012 | Patrick Poole

Posted on Tuesday, September 18, 2012 9:06:47 PM by bronxville

A potential diplomatic storm may be brewing prior to the arrival next week of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in New York City and the White House.

State Dept (unclassified) brief:

Egypt’s general prosecutor issued arrest warrants and referred to trial seven Egyptian Coptic Christians and American pastor Terry Jones on charges linked to the inflammatory video, media report. The accused, all of whom are believed to be outside Egypt, could face the death penalty if convicted of harming national unity, insulting Islam, and spreading false information...

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 19, 2012, 04:25:14 AM
US shuts Indonesia consulate amid film protests
 AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana
World Video


MEDAN, Indonesia (AP) -- The U.S. temporarily closed its consulate in Indonesia's third-largest city Wednesday due to ongoing protests over an anti-Islam film produced in America.

About 300 members of the pan-Islamic movement Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia rallied Wednesday morning in front of the consulate in Medan, the capital of North Sumatra province. Later, about 50 Muslim students protested, marking the third straight day of demonstrations there. Both groups called on Washington to punish the makers of the film, "Innocence of Muslims," which denigrates the Prophet Muhammad.

The embassy sent a text message to U.S. citizens saying the consulate would be temporarily closed due to the demonstrations.

In Jakarta, around 300 members of the Islamic-based Prosperous Justice Party rallied outside the U.S. Embassy. They dispersed after throwing eggs on a mock U.S. flag.

Indonesia's leaders and prominent Muslim clerics have urged calm, but convicted radical cleric Abu Bakar Bashir has called for a strong response to the film, urging Muslims to wage violent protests similar to those that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Libya last week.

"What happened in Libya can be replicated," Bashir told the Islamic news portal, which interviewed him in jail. "Punishment for defaming God and the Prophet is death. ...There is no excuse."

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 19, 2012, 04:57:26 AM
Afghanistan exit strategy in doubt as Isaf command bans joint operations

Warnings about breakdown of trust as mentoring of Afghan allies suspended following latest deaths in 'green-on-blue' attacks

The Guardian, Tuesday 18 September 2012 15.42 EDT

A US marine training Afghan soldiers in Kunar province. All such co-operation has now been suspended. Photograph: John D McHugh/Guardian

Nato's exit strategy in Afghanistan appeared to be in serious jeopardy on Tuesday, after it emerged that the US military command had set fresh limits on joint operations with Afghan troops in the wake of a rapid increase of "green-on-blue attacks" involving local soldiers turning their guns on their foreign mentors.

The order, issued by the deputy commander of the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf), Lieutenant General James Terry, indefinitely suspends joint patrols and other operations for units smaller than 800-strong battalions.

British and Nato officials sought to play down the impact of the measures, emphasising that they were intended to be temporary. But experts said the most effective mentoring took place in small units, warning that the decision would undermine Nato's training role and further unravel the already precarious trust between Afghans and their western allies. The Nato withdrawal from routine patrols means that Afghans could be left without potentially life-saving mine detectors and other equipment.

Nato's plan to withdraw combat troops by 2014 depends on Afghan security forces being able to keep the Taliban at bay without assistance, an increasingly daunting goal.

"The cessation of the partnership is likely to seriously damage the mission," said Paul Quinn-Judge, the acting Asia director of the International Crisis Group. "Things are already looking bad for 2014, with both the [troop] drawdown and possibly some very messy elections. The partnership was in many ways the core of the mission – 2014 could turn out to be even tougher without it."

Adding to the air of confusion surrounding the Afghan mission, the announcement appeared to take the Americans' allies, including Britain, by surprise.

The British defence secretary, Philip Hammond, had told the House of Commons on Monday that attacks by Afghan soldiers on their trainers and mentors, known as "green-on-blue" attacks, would not change policy. "We cannot and we will not allow the process to be derailed," he had said.

The Kabul government also gave the impression it had been caught unawares. The president's office did not respond to requests for comment and the defence ministry simply dismissed reports of the policy change as "incorrect".

British defence officials did not hide their anger on Tuesdayat the manner in which the change had been announced.

Summoned back to parliament, Hammond played down the importance of the change, calling it tactical rather than strategic and blamed "overexcited" reporting of the announcement.

The minister also claimed that it would have limited effect because US troops, the biggest Isaf contingent by far, did not mentor small units.

"We try to get closer to the people, we try to get lower down the command structures and we try to be more embedded than sometimes the Americans appear to do," the defence secretary said. US and Nato sources queried Hammond's description of the American role, pointing out that before the weekend policy announcement, American troops routinely patrolled and shared outposts with small Afghan units.

Pentagon officials said many joint operations with Afghan troops, including patrols and combat, involve small squads of about 10 US soldiers or platoons of up to 40.

Colonel Thomas Collins of Isaf said he could not quantify the number of joint operations but confirmed that they did involve forces below battalion level.

"We partner with Afghan security forces at all levels of command and in every regional command here for general security operations," he said. "It is extensive."

The number of "insider attacks" by Afghan soldiers and police officers has surged recently. There have been 36 green-on-blue attacks this year, killing 51 Nato soldiers.

The increase in the number of killings has divided the Nato allies over how to respond. "It is not a sensible decision. We have blinked," a source familiar with the Isaf mission in Afghanistan said of the new new measures.

"There is no co-ordinated Taliban 'strategy' for these attacks. A majority of the attacks are not in pursuit of some lofty Taliban or fundamentalist goal, but more as a result of local disputes, grudges etc.

"By ceasing lower-level co-operation, for however long, you are lending credence to the myth that green-on-blue is some kind of hugely well-orchestrated operation, which it isn't."

The source asked: "And what happens when you re-commence lower-level collaboration? You haven't addressed the causes – it's almost impossible to do so – so there will be further green-on-blue incidents, certainly. You are just setting yourself up for failure in the public's eyes."

Shashank Joshi, a research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, said: "This is a symbol of a much deeper problem of Afghan-American distrust. In a way, there was a bigger change last month when special forces stopped training [new] Afghan local Police.

"This is a signal that the US does not trust its counterparts. It is a statement of mounting cynicism and resignation."

After earlier insider attacks, the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, had pledged to vet all new recruits but Nato officials on Tuesdaysaid the plan had never been properly implemented.

"Vetting is virtually impossible in a place like Afghanistan," said Colonel Richard Kemp, a former commander of British forces in Afghanistan. In such conditions the suspension of joint patrols made "eminent sense" but he said much would depend on how long the suspension lasted.

"You can't just allow these attacks to carry on. You have to do something," Kemp said.

The acute political sensitivities surrounding the affair was reflected in a special communique issued later on Tuesday by the US embassy in London, which declared that Isaf remained "absolutely committed" to training and advising Afghan forces.

Growing political opposition to Britain's continuing military presence in Afghanistan was reflected by interventions in the Commons from both government and opposition benches.

John Baron, a Conservative MP and former army captain, whose urgent question forced Hammond to come to the Commons, said that the new Isaf order threatened "to blow a hole in our stated exit strategy, which is heavily reliant on these joint operations continuing".

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 19, 2012, 05:04:29 AM
Crowd Attacks The US Ambassador In Beijing
Malcolm Moore, The Telegraph|Sep. 19, 2012, 6:19 AM|3,743|13

 A crowd of around 50 Chinese protesters surrounded the official car of the United States ambassador in Beijing, who escaped unharmed, a State department spokesman said.
The melee occurred outside the gates of the US embassy on Tuesday and security guards had to intervene to protect Gary Locke, 62. The protesters caused minor damage to the vehicle, a statement from the embassy said.
"Embassy officials have registered their concern regarding today's incident with the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and urged the Chinese Government to do everything possible to protect American facilities and personnel," the statement said.
The incident happened on Tuesday, while large crowds of protesters were massed outside the Japanese embassy nearby, to demand that Japan relinquish control of an island chain claimed by China in the waters between the two countries.
The statement gave no details about the demonstrators who blocked Mr Locke's car, or what angered them.
However the Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei tweeted a photograph of the protest on Tuesday afternoon, and said the crowd had chanted: "Down with US imperialism" and "Pay us back our money!" referring to the trillion dollars or so of US government debt that China holds.
Some Chinese observers have blamed the US for standing behind the Japanese on their claim, and suggested that the US is attempting to foment unrest in the region as a pretext for "pivoting" its naval forces back to the Pacific.
The incident came as the US Defence secretary, Leon Panetta, was meeting with senior Chinese leaders to reassure them that the US does not intend to "contain" China by building up a military presence in Asia.
On Wednesday, Mr Panetta met with Xi Jinping, the 59-year-old Chinese president-in-waiting who recently disappeared for two weeks without explanation, cancelling a scheduled engagement with Hillary Clinton.
Meanwhile, the protests against Japan have now evaporated. The road outside the Japanese embassy in Beijing has reopened and there was no sign of any discord.
"It seems the protests in front of our embassy have subsided," the Japanese embassy said in an email to Japanese citizens.
Beijing police sent out a mass text message telling the public not to stage any more protests, according to the Japanese embassy.
Mass protests across China over the weekend, and running into Tuesday, forced many Japanese businesses to shut their doors or close down factories. However, most, if not all of these businesses are now returning to normal.

Read more:

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 19, 2012, 04:17:24 PM

New information reveals President Barack Obama conducted interviews with entertainment magazines and posed for a photo spread last Friday as American embassies burned and 21 countries erupted into ant-American protests.
Instead of spending precious time dealing with the developing crisis in the Mid East and with his foreign policy scheme in a total freefall, on Friday morning, September 14, Obama was giving an interview to the entertainment magazine People en Español and participating in a photo session with photographer Omar Cruz.
This interview was not on his public schedule and was hidden from the public.
Friday, September 14th was the same day that four flag-draped coffins of those killed at the U.S. Libyan embassy arrived at Andrews Air Force base.
The interview came to public attention when individuals who work for the magazine tweeted about their visit after the event was over.
Headline image: Armando Correa.

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 20, 2012, 06:11:49 AM
Obama's Middle East Myth-Making
By Victor Davis Hanson - September 20, 2012

Last week, Muslim mobs took to the streets to murder the American ambassador in Libya and three of his staffers. American embassies were attacked from Egypt to Yemen.
Embarrassed White House press secretary Jay Carney and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice insisted that these assaults were just reactions to an insensitive video that disparaged Islam and was circulating on the Internet. As embassies burned, we were assured that there was no animosity directed at America in general, or at this administration and its foreign policy in particular.

That is hogwash. The weeks-old video was a mere pretext, in the manner of the Danish cartoons that Islamists used to stir up mobs in their war against the West. The street rioting was long ago synchronized across the Middle East to celebrate the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.Apparently, the administration was left stunned and without a clue about the latest Middle East madness.
President Obama chose not to support nearly a million Iranian dissidents in 2009. Two years later, he belatedly offered encouragement to the revolutionaries who overthrew Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak.
Yet those snubbed in Iran were far more likely to oppose radical Islam than were the protesters who later put the Muslim Brotherhood in power in Cairo.
Who, exactly, were we “leading from behind” in Libya? Moammar Qaddafi was a monster, but also one in a sort of rehab who was seeking better relations with the West.
As for Syria, the Obama administration had called dictator Bashar Assad a reformer. Then he became a mass murderer who had to step down. Then we called in Kofi Annan and the U.N. to practice soft-power diplomacy. Then we threatened to intervene. Now we have backed off.
As a candidate and as president, Obama assumed that his own multicultural politics, his familiarity with Islam, his novel transracial personal story, and his repudiation of George W. Bush would all combine to win over the Middle East. Supposedly, Middle Eastern dislike of America had little to do with longstanding existential differences that did not start with Bush and won’t end with Obama.
Obama’s al Arabiya interview, Cairo speech, and loud reset diplomacy sent mixed messages. He gave the impression that Middle East anger was largely either America’s fault or due to misunderstandings that the sensitive Obama alone could mitigate — as he distanced himself from the supposed pathologies of prior American policy in the region.
That myth-making is now discredited. But it still makes it hard for the administration to admit that hatred in Egypt is deep-seated and irrational — and has very little to do with a silly video. Those in the Arab street hate the West and America because they are told daily that our supposed godlessness and decadence should not make us so rich and powerful — especially when such pious believers as themselves are so poor and impotent.
But rather than addressing the real causes of their present misery — tribalism, misogyny, statism, corruption, authoritarianism, fundamentalism, and religious intolerance — amid rich natural resources, Islamists scapegoat. Sometimes they fume at American support for Israel, at other times at an obscure video, cartoon, or rumor of a torched Koran.
We only feed these adolescent tantrums when America wrongly apologizes for the occasional insensitivity of a few of our citizens, who enjoy free speech under the U.S. Constitution.
America looks even weaker when this administration sends confusing signals about U.S. power. The Obama administration too often spikes the ball — whether it is Joe Biden bragging about killing Osama bin Laden, the president joking about Predator assassination missions, Hillary Clinton high-fiving over the death of Qaddafi, or unnamed top officials disclosing classified secrets about the cyber-war against Iran.
Yet at other times, amid promised defense cuts, the Obama administration loudly announces a strategic pivot away from the Middle East toward Asia, or derides the very antiterrorism protocols — Guantanamo Bay, renditions, tribunals, and preventative detention — that it later embraced.
Nothing is more dangerous in regard to the contemporary Middle East than misunderstanding the source of Islamist rage. Speaking loudly while carrying a small stick only makes that confusion worse.
What can we do?
Start developing vast new oil and gas finds on public lands here at home. Get our financial house in order. Quietly cut back aid to hostile Middle East governments. Put travel off-limits. Restrict visas and call home ambassadors — at least until Arab governments control their own street mobs.
Develop a consistent policy on the so-called Arab Spring that applies the same criticism of illiberal dictators to the theocrats who depose them. Keep quiet and keep our military strong. Don’t apologize for a few Americans who have a right to be crude. Instead, condemn those pre-modern zealots who would murder anyone of whom they don’t approve.

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and author, most recently, of "A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War." You can reach him by e-mailing

© 2012 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 20, 2012, 07:42:38 AM
Pakistan anti-Islam film protest ends in Islamabad

The BBC's Aleem Maqbool in Islamabad says people were "choked by tear gas"

Demonstrators who gathered outside the US embassy in Islamabad to protest against an amateur video mocking Islam have begun to disperse peacefully.

The Pakistani authorities had earlier called on the army as police struggled to contain the crowd of thousands with tear gas and live rounds.

Some protesters had said they would not leave the diplomatic enclave until the US embassy was on fire.

Protests over the film, Innocence of Muslims, have claimed several lives.

It was made in the US and is said to insult the Prophet Muhammad.

Streets leading to the enclave, where most of the embassies are housed, were earlier blocked off by shipping containers in an effort to increase security.

'Out like a light'
Television pictures showed chaotic scenes as police tried to gain control of the situation.

Protesters burned an effigy of US President Barack Obama and threw missiles at the police.

One demonstrator told reporters: "The infidel who produced the movie should be hanged, or hand over him to the Muslims. And we don't want any (US) diplomat or embassy in Pakistan: all relations should be cut off."

The BBC's Aleem Maqbool in Islamabad, who did not see any evidence of the army at the scene, said the protest was "turned out like a light".

He said it was amazing, given the strength of feeling at the the protest earlier, that the crowd left as peacefully as it did.

He says the area is still shrouded in tear gas.

A demonstration in the same area on Wednesday saw around 500 protesters gather outside the gates of the enclave.

The US State Department earlier issued a warning against any non-essential travel to Pakistan.

It also "strongly urged" US citizens in Pakistan to avoid protests and large gatherings.

Anti-US sentiment has been growing since people became aware of the amateur film earlier this month.

The US Ambassador to Libya was killed in an attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, on 11 September.

Protests in countries around the world then took place.

Tensions with the West have been further inflamed by the publication by a French magazine of obscene cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad on Wednesday.

The Pakistani government has called a national holiday on Friday to enable people to demonstrate peacefully.

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 20, 2012, 08:17:09 AM
Latest developments in protest of anti-Islam film

AP Photo/Vahid Salemi
World Video


CAIRO (AP) -- Here's a look at protests and events across the world on Thursday connected to an anti-Muslim film and caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.



Hundreds of students and clerics gathered outside the French embassy in Tehran to protest the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in a French satirical weekly. Protesters chanted "Death to France" and "Down with the U.S." and burned the flags of the United States and Israel. The demonstration ended after two hours.



Prime minister Nouri al-Maliki condemned the U.S.-produced film and the French weekly's cartoons as offensive to Muslims and called on Shiites and Sunnis to unite in defense of Islamic values. Speaking in the Shiite holy city of Najaf in southern Iraq, al-Maliki said "all Muslims should shoulder responsibility of defending Islam."

"Defending Islam is the responsibility of all Muslims, not a particular sect or an ethnic group," al-Maliki said.



A crowd of more than 1,000 people, including students affiliated with the Islamist hardline Jamaat-e-Islami party, tried to make their way to the U.S. Embassy inside a guarded enclave that houses embassies and government offices in the capital Islamabad. Riot police used tear gas and batons to keep stone-throwing demonstrators away from the enclave, and hundreds of shipping containers were lined up to cordon off the area.

The demonstrations are expected to grow in Pakistan on Friday, the traditional day of prayer in the Muslim world. The Pakistani government has called a national holiday for Friday so that people could come out and demonstrate peacefully against the film.



The U.S. consulate in the country's third-largest city of Medan was shut for a second day as demonstrations continue. About 50 students from an Islamic university gathered in Makassar, the capital of South Sulawesi province. They burned tires and forced a McDonald's restaurant to close. The door was later covered with a sign saying, "This must be closed as a symbol of our protest of the `Innocence of Muslims' made in the U.S.," referring to the title of the film.



A few hundred people demonstrated in the downtown area of Kabul against the film ... chanting anti-American slogans. They dispersed peacefully.



The first protest in Germany against the anti-Islam film is due to take place Friday in Freiburg after Muslim groups, including Hezbollah, obtained a permit to march through the center of the town in southern Germany. Authorities expect about 800 people to attend. An anti-film demonstration is also scheduled to take place on Saturday in Karlsruhe, in southwest Germany.

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 21, 2012, 04:26:57 AM
Collapse of the Cairo Doctrine
By Charles Krauthammer, Published: September 20
In the week following 9/11/12 something big happened: the collapse of the Cairo Doctrine, the centerpiece of President Obama’s foreign policy. It was to reset the very course of post-9/11 America, creating, after the (allegedly) brutal depredations of the Bush years, a profound rapprochement with the Islamic world.

Never lacking ambition or self-regard, Obama promised in Cairo, June 4, 2009, “a new beginning” offering Muslims “mutual respect,” unsubtly implying previous disrespect. Curious, as over the previous 20 years, America had six times committed its military forces on behalf of oppressed Muslims, three times for reasons of pure humanitarianism (Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo), where no U.S. interests were at stake.

But no matter. Obama had come to remonstrate and restrain the hyperpower that, by his telling, had lost its way after 9/11, creating Guantanamo, practicing torture, imposing its will with arrogance and presumption.

First, he would cleanse by confession. Then he would heal. Why, given the unique sensitivities of his background — “my sister is half-Indonesian,” he proudly told an interviewer in 2007, amplifying on his exquisite appreciation of Islam — his very election would revolutionize relations.

And his policies of accommodation and concession would consolidate the gains: an outstretched hand to Iran’s mullahs, a first-time presidential admission of the U.S. role in a 1953 coup, a studied and stunning turning away from the Green Revolution; withdrawal from Iraq with no residual presence or influence; a fixed timetable for leaving Afghanistan; returning our ambassador to Damascus (with kind words for Bashar al-Assad — “a reformer,” suggested the secretary of state); deliberately creating distance between the United States and Israel.

These measures would raise our standing in the region, restore affection and respect for the United States and elicit new cooperation from Muslim lands.

It’s now three years since the Cairo speech. Look around. The Islamic world is convulsed with an explosion of anti-Americanism. From Tunisia to Lebanon, American schools, businesses and diplomatic facilities set ablaze. A U.S. ambassador and three others murdered in Benghazi. The black flag of Salafism, of which al-Qaeda is a prominent element, raised over our embassies in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Sudan.

The administration, staggered and confused, blames it all on a 14-minute trailer for a film no one has seen and may not even exist.

What else can it say? Admit that its doctrinal premises were supremely naive and its policies deeply corrosive to American influence?

Religious provocations are endless. (Ask Salman Rushdie.) Resentment about the five-century decline of the Islamic world is a constant. What’s new — the crucial variable — is the unmistakable sound of a superpower in retreat. Ever since Henry Kissinger flipped Egypt from the Soviet to the American camp in the early 1970s, the United States had dominated the region. No longer.

“It’s time,” declared Obama to wild applause of his convention, “to do some nation-building right here at home.” He’d already announced a strategic pivot from the Middle East to the Pacific. Made possible because “the tide of war is receding.”

Nonsense. From the massacres in Nigeria to the charnel house that is Syria, violence has, if anything, increased. What is receding is Obama’s America.

It’s as axiomatic in statecraft as in physics: Nature abhors a vacuum. Islamists rush in to fill the space and declare their ascendancy. America’s friends are bereft, confused, paralyzed.

Islamists rise across North Africa from Mali to Egypt. Iran repeatedly defies U.S. demands on nuclear enrichment, then, as a measure of its contempt for what America thinks, openly admits that its Revolutionary Guards are deployed in Syria. Russia, after arming Assad, warns America to stay out, while the secretary of state delivers vapid lectures about Assad “meeting” his international “obligations.” The Gulf states beg America to act on Iran; Obama strains mightily to restrain . . . Israel.

Sovereign U.S. territory is breached and U.S. interests are burned. And what is the official response? One administration denunciation after another — of a movie trailer! A request to Google to “review” the trailer’s presence on YouTube. And a sheriff’s deputies’ midnight “voluntary interview” with the suspected filmmaker. This in the land of the First Amendment.

What else can Obama do? At their convention, Democrats endlessly congratulated themselves on their one foreign policy success: killing Osama bin Laden. A week later, the Salafist flag flies over four American embassies, even as the mob chants, “Obama, Obama, there are still a billion Osamas.”

A foreign policy in epic collapse. And, by the way, Vladimir Putin just expelled the U.S. Agency for International Development from Russia. Another thank you from another recipient of another grand Obama “reset.”

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 21, 2012, 07:16:22 AM
Asia Pacific News         
  Malaysian protesters burn US flag over anti-Islam film
Posted: 21 September 2012 1848 hrs

  Photos  1 of 1   

Malaysian Muslim demonstrators march towards the US embassy in Kuala Lumpur to protest against an anti-Islam film on Sep 21. (AFP/Saeed Khan)
  Related News 
•  Indonesians protest anti-Islam film, cartoons
•  Film protesters torch, ransack Pakistan cinemas
•  Philippine university bans anti-Islam film
•  YouTube and TV is US response to anger over anti-Islam film
•  US judge rejects call to ban YouTube anti-Islam film
•  Afghans protest against French cartoons, US film



KUALA LUMPUR: About 3,000 Muslims marched on the US embassy in Malaysia on Friday, burning an American flag, over a US-made film that has sparked anger in the Islamic world.

Although there was no violence, angry demonstrators declared their willingness to sacrifice their lives to defend the honour of Prophet Mohammed and warned "there will be consequences" over the film.

"We will not allow the prophet to be insulted. We are willing to sacrifice our lives and property," said Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, an official with the opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), which spearheaded the march.

About 60 percent of Malaysia's 28 million people are Malay-Muslims.

Protesters shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is greatest) and held up signs denouncing the film, America and Jews.

One placard read: "Obama, our patience has its limit. Don't blame us if your citizens die. Blame yourself. U started it!"

Demonstrators handed a memo to an American embassy official, demanding a US apology, "maximum sentences" for the movie-makers and an investigation into whether there was a "planned agenda to provoke hatred and anger towards Muslims".

However, PAS officials said they were not behind the flag burning, and condemned it.

The protest forced the closure of a busy main road in the heavily congested capital Kuala Lumpur for nearly two hours.

The low-budget "Innocence of Muslims", produced by a US Christian activist, mocks Muslims and Prophet Mohammed.

Western, and particularly US, diplomatic missions have been under siege around the world since a trailer for the movie gained attention this month on YouTube.

This week France also found itself in the firing line after the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo printed a batch of cartoons caricaturing Prophet Mohammed.

On Friday, hundreds of protesters also condemned the film at a separate demonstration nearby, organised by the youth wing of Malaysia's ruling party.

The US embassy in Malaysia had closed for a half-day on Friday ahead of the planned protest, while the nearby French embassy closed for the entire day.

Anti-French and anti-American protests also erupted in Indonesia on Friday.

Protesters gathered outside US and French missions, which were closed across the country on the Muslim holy day amid fears of violence, targeted American fast food outlets and scuffled with police.

In Medan, North Sumatra province, dozens of protesters from the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) burnt an American flag outside the US consulate.

Outside the French consulate in Surabaya, capital of East Java province, some 200 protesters from another Islamic group chanted "crush America, crush France".

They earlier scuffled with several hundred policemen in riot gear outside a nearby McDonalds. They sealed the entrance to the restaurant with tape, which carried the slogans "death to the filmmakers" and "boycott American products".

About 50 protesters demonstrated outside the US embassy in Jakarta after Friday prayers, where some 200 policemen were stationed.

Some 50 demonstrators gathered at the French embassy in the capital, where they chanted "death to France", "France is evil" and "crush France".

- AFP/al

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 22, 2012, 02:47:13 AM

Ruins.     FUbo.

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 22, 2012, 05:12:42 AM
Obama’s Quagmire: Syria and the Islamist Arc

Hammered on leadership, the president struggles for a Middle East policy.

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By Michael Hirsh

 Updated: September 21, 2012 | 1:55 p.m.
September 21, 2012 | 1:07 p.m.

AP Photo

Damascus, Syria

U.S. and Western diplomats are concerned that the longer Bashar al-Assad hangs on to his failing regime in Damascus, the more likely it is that the aftermath of the Syrian rebellion will be dominated by Islamist elements, completing an arc of newly empowered radical groups along the southern half of the Mediterranean from Libya to Syria.

And more and more, the fast-moving events on the ground in Syria may be having an impact on a U.S. presidential election that most analysts thought would once be focused almost entirely on the economy, as Republican nominee Mitt Romney continues his assault on Obama’s Middle East policies. “It’s been over a year since the president said Bashar al-Assad must go,” Dan Senor, a senior Romney adviser on foreign policy, said Friday on CBS’s This Morning. “He’s still in power. America looks impotent in the region. President Romney would look to do more to help the opposition movement on the ground in Syria, working with our allies like the Turks, the Saudis, to get the opposition more training, more resources, more weapons.”

Obama officials, joined by Western diplomats working on the problem, argue that Romney’s approach is absurdly simplistic, in large part because no one knows what kind of regime would follow Assad, nor which “end users” would inherit any Western weaponry supplied to the opposition. As a cautionary tale, they point to the rise of other Islamist political groups, led by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, that have taken power in nations transformed by the Arab Spring.

According to a senior Western official who recently met with opposition leaders in liberated areas of Syria, the diplomatic arguments between the U.S. and France on one hand, and Russia, a longtime Assad ally, on the other, increasingly focus on this point, especially as the Assad regime grows weaker. Each side draws different conclusions from the massive protests and attacks in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia and other countries in recent weeks against U.S. and Western interests that took the lives of a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. “The Russians argue that we must stick with Assad to prevent the rise of the Islamists. We say any continuation of Bashar’s policies [the bloody suppression and mass killings] will only cause a more Islamic outcome.”

There may be no getting around such an outcome in any case. “In the last four decades, Islamists brilliantly positioned themselves as the alternative to the failed secular ‘authoritarian bargain,’ " Fawaz Gerges, director of the Mideast Center at the London School of Economics, writes in a new essay, “The Islamist Moment.” “They have already won majorities of parliamentary seats in a number of countries, including Tunisia, Egypt, and Morocco, and will likely make further gains in Libya, Jordan, and maybe even in Syria after the dust settles on the raging battlefield there.”

A takeover by such groups in Syria is far from certain. As in Egypt, which recently installed a Muslim Brotherhood president, Mohamed Morsi, Syria’s exiled Muslim Brotherhood has long carried with it the political prestige of being the only organized group to have opposed the regime over the decades. Emblazoned in the national memory of Syrians is the massacre in the city of Hama in 1982, when the regime of then-President Hafez Assad ordered the deaths of tens of thousands of Brotherhood loyalists. Today, the Brotherhood controls about one-fourth of the Syrian National Council, the largest Syrian opposition group. At the same time, however, Christian and Alawite minorities make up a much larger portion of Syria’s population than they do in Egypt, along with Bedouin tribes and Kurds that are also less likely to back the Brotherhood.

Even so, the longer the horrific civil war in Syria goes on while the West stands aside, the more the rebels who ultimately inherit power will be prone to anti-American, possibly jihadist, sentiments. The fear is that what began as a largely secular, diverse rebellion could devolve into a struggle between Islamist political groups dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood and the military, as occurred in Egypt.

Obama’s Syria headache is yet more evidence that, when it comes to U.S. interests, the nearly 2-year-old Arab Spring has proved to be an inherently ambiguous development, one that virtually dictates an ambivalent response. In effect, Washington has had to trade off U.S.-friendly autocrats like Hosni Mubarak for relatively unfriendly democrats like Morsi. “We can’t support democracy and not support the people who win the elections,” said an Obama official who spoke on condition of anonymity. “But that said, we have made clear to these governments they have obligations they need to meet, like maintaining the peace treaty with Israel, upholding minority rights and other progress in transition."

Still, all these ambiguities haven’t stopped Romney from inveighing against Obama’s alleged vacillation, and insisting that the solution would be a tougher U.S. response that Romney says the region has been seeking. “They’ve been calling out for American leadership for a long time,” Senor said on CBS.

That’s nonsense, administration supporters say. “People have this false notion that we’re either arming the [Syrian] rebels or doing nothing. The real truth is we’re actually doing quite a bit,” said the Obama official. “We’re providing a lot of non-lethal resources, including communications equipment, and helping them become more organized. And part of the process is we’re getting to know them better.” Calls for more arms to the rebels or a no-fly zone—which will be a topic of discussion at next week’s annual meeting of the U.N. General Assembly—ignore the perils of such policies, especially Western air support, this official says. “The Syrian air defenses are sophisticated. And unlike Libya, it’s not opposition in one part of the country and government troops in another. They’re all kind of mixed in.” 

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is expected to call for tougher action in Syria at the U.N. next week. Even so, Western officials say there is no momentum for a no-fly zone or policy of arming the rebels.

Obama has also sought to leverage U.S. aid in getting Islamist leaders such as Egypt’s Morsi to protect U.S. diplomats and interests in the aftermath of the Libya attacks. “When the rubber hit the road, the president called Morsi and got results,” the official said. But even as Morsi has gingerly acceded to some of Obama’s demands, he has also called for the arrest of the makers of the anti-Islam video that has provoked so much violence across the Muslim world in recent days.

In Syria, of course, Assad has been unfriendly to U.S. interests, and an ally of Iran, so his departure from power might not be of as much concern as Mubarak’s was in Egypt. But U.S. officials fear that the witch’s brew of ethnic and tribal communities that make up Syria could signal a long-term stalemate in which violent extremists feel freer to operate, especially if Assad and his remaining loyalists retreat from Damascus into a rump state controlled by his Alawite minority.


Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 22, 2012, 05:55:05 AM


Permanent Spin

Stephen F. Hayes

October 1, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 03

For nine days, the Obama administration made a case that virtually everyone understood was untrue: that the killing of our ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi, Libya, was a random, spontaneous act of individuals upset about an online video—an unpredictable attack on a well-protected compound that had nothing do to with the eleventh anniversary of 9/11.
These claims were wrong. Every one of them. But the White House pushed them hard.
Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, appeared on five Sunday talk shows on September 16. A “hateful video” triggered a “spontaneous protest .  .  . outside of our consulate in Benghazi” that “spun from there into something much, much more violent,” she said on Face the Nation. “We do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned.”
On This Week, Rice said the consulate was well secured. “The security personnel that the State Department thought were required were in place,” she said, adding: “We had substantial presence with our personnel and the consulate in Benghazi. Tragically two of the four Americans who were killed were there providing security. That was their function, and indeed there were many other colleagues who were doing the same with them.”
White House press secretary Jay Carney not only denied that the attacks had anything to do with the anniversary of 9/11 but scolded reporters who, citing the administration’s own pre-9/11 boasts about its security preparations for the anniversary, made the connection. “I think that you’re conveniently conflating two things,” Carney snapped, “which is the anniversary of 9/11 and the incidents that took place, which are under investigation.”
Wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong. Intelligence officials understood immediately that the attacks took place on 9/11 for a reason. The ambassador, in a country that faces a growing al Qaeda threat, had virtually no security. The two contractors killed in the attacks were not part of the ambassador’s security detail, and there were not, in fact, “many other colleagues” working security with them.
The nature of the attack itself, a four-hour battle that took place in two waves, indicated some level of planning. “The idea that this criminal and cowardly act was a spontaneous protest that just spun out of control is completely unfounded and preposterous,” Libyan president Mohammad el-Megarif told National Public Radio. When a reporter asked Senator Carl Levin, one of the most partisan Democrats in the upper chamber, if the attack was planned, Levin said it was. “I think there’s evidence of that. There’s been evidence of that,” he responded, adding: “The attack looked like it was planned and premeditated, sure.” Levin made his comments after a briefing from Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.
Representative Adam Smith, a Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, agreed. “This was not just a mob that got out of hand. Mobs don’t come in and attack, guns blazing. I think that there is a growing consensus it was preplanned.” And according to CNN, Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy “has said that the attack appeared to be planned because it was so extensive and because of the ‘proliferation’ of small and medium weapons at the scene.” Not only was the attack planned, it appears there was no protest at all. Citing eyewitnesses, CBS News reported late last week: “There was never an anti-American protest outside the consulate.”
So we are left with this: Four Americans were killed in a premeditated terrorist attack on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11, and for more than a week the Obama administration misled the country about what happened.
This isn’t just a problem. It’s a scandal.
If this were the first time top Obama officials had tried to sell a bogus narrative after an attack, perhaps they would deserve the benefit of the doubt. It’s not.
On December 28, 2009, three days after Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to detonate explosives in his underwear aboard an airliner over Detroit, President Obama told the country that the incident was the work of “an isolated extremist.” It wasn’t. Abdulmutallab was trained, directed, and financed by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a fact he shared with investigators early in his interrogation.
The same thing happened less than six months later, after Faisal Shahzad attempted to blow up his Nissan Pathfinder in Times Square. Two days following the botched attack, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano took to the Sunday shows to dismiss reports of a conspiracy and insisted that the attempted bombing was just a “one-off” by a single attacker. It wasn’t. A week later, after much of the information had leaked, Attorney General Eric Holder acknowledged that the United States had “evidence that shows that the Pakistani Taliban was behind the attack. We know that they helped facilitate it, we know that they probably helped finance it and that he was working at their direction.”
In each instance, top administration officials quickly downplayed or dismissed the seriousness of the events, only to acknowledge, after the shock had worn off and the media had turned to other news, that their initial stories were incorrect. Whether it was because the attempted attacks were unsuccessful or because the media simply lost interest, the administration largely escaped serious criticism for making claims that turned out to be wrong.
They’ve had mixed success this time. On the one hand, as the final elements of the administration’s story began to unravel in the middle of last week, the New York Times did not find those facts fit to print. On Thursday morning, the same day White House spokesman Jay Carney would finally admit that the Benghazi assault was “a terrorist attack,” the Times did not publish a story about Libya. It wasn’t as though it took serious digging to find the contradictions. One day earlier, Fox News had reported that intelligence officials were investigating the possibility that a former Guantánamo detainee had been involved in the attack. A story by Reuters raised questions about administration descriptions of the protests, noting “new information” that “suggests that the protests at the outset were so small and unthreatening as to attract little notice.” The story reported: “While many questions remain, the latest accounts differ from the initial information provided by the Obama administration, which had suggested that protests in front of the consulate over an anti-Islamic film had played a major role in precipitating the subsequent violent attack.” And CBS, as noted, reported that same day that there simply were no protests.
And what about the film? The Obama administration has sought to explain nearly everything that has happened over the past two weeks as a response to the video. President Obama denounced it during his remarks at the memorial for the four Americans killed in Libya. So did Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. White House spokesman Jay Carney has mentioned it almost daily. At the end of last week, the United States spent $70,000 to buy ads in Pakistan to distance the U.S. government from its message.
That’s ironic. In its effort to deflect blame for the unrest, the administration has given more attention to this obscure film than it ever would have gotten if they’d simply ignored it. It’s true that radical Islamists used the film to help populate the 9/11 protests at the U.S. embassy in Cairo. But they also told fellow radicals to join in a protest of the continued detention of Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind sheikh who was behind the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. And some of the others who gathered were “Ultras”—soccer hooligans looking for trouble.
The American embassy in Cairo first drew attention to the film in its statement. And the administration—after initially distancing itself from that statement—has made it the centerpiece of its public relations campaign ever since, as protests spread to more than 20 countries. The result: Every Muslim with access to media is now aware of a bizarre video that had a few thousand views on YouTube on September 10.
That’s exactly what the radicals wanted, according to a U.S. intelligence official familiar with the reporting on Egypt. The focus on the film was an “information operation” by jihadists designed to generate rage against America. If he’s right, it worked.
Barack Obama came to office promising to repair relations with the Islamic world. What he couldn’t accomplish by the mere fact of his presidency, through his name and his familiarity with Islam, he would achieve through “smart diplomacy.”
Instead, over the last four years, and particularly the last two weeks, the defining characteristics of his foreign policy have been mendacity, incompetence, and, yes, stupidity.


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Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 23, 2012, 02:25:15 PM

RUINS in Iraq

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: 24KT on September 23, 2012, 04:00:59 PM
So I guess what you're trying to say is that current US foreign policy sucks? Well dah!
Why don't you tell us something the world does not already know?

And with a change of admin to Romney, US foreign policy will improve how exactly?
What will Romney do differently that will not infuriate citizens worldwide, or piss off national creditors worldwide?   ::)

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 24, 2012, 04:37:53 AM

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 24, 2012, 08:11:20 AM
US State Department Attacks CNN For Doing Basic Journalism
Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian|Sep. 24, 2012, 9:42 AM|601|5

Three days after Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed in Benghazi, Libya, CNN found a seven-page handwritten journal he had written. That journal, found on the floor of what CNN called "the largely unsecured consulate compound where he was fatally wounded", contained obviously newsworthy information: specifically that "in the months leading up to his death, the late ambassador worried about what he called the security threats in Benghazi and a rise in Islamic extremism". CNN also reported that Stevens "mentioned his name was on an al Qaeda hit list".
After finding the journal, CNN personnel did the only thing which any minimally competent journalist would and should do: they read it, identified the parts that were in the public interest, confirmed their authenticity with independent sources, and then reported those facts to the world. They also notified Stevens' family of what they had found.
In response to this reporting, State Department spokesman Philippe Reines issued a blistering, unusually aggressive attack on the news network. Denouncing CNN's conduct as "disgusting", Reines invoked Stevens' family to insist that CNN had done something unconscionable:

"What they're not owning up to is reading and transcribing Chris's diary well before bothering to tell the family or anyone else that they took it from the site of the attack. Or that when they finally did tell them, they completely ignored the wishes of the family, and ultimately broke their pledge made to them only hours after they witnessed the return to the United States of Chris's remains.
"Whose first instinct is to remove from a crime scene the diary of a man killed along with three other Americans serving our country, read it, transcribe it, email it around your newsroom for others to read, and only when their curiosity is fully satisfied thinks to call the family or notify the authorities?"
The answer to that question is: any journalist worthy of the name. CNN's first obligation is to disclose to the public information that is newsworthy, not conceal it. Had they not reported this information, that would have been an inexcusable breach of their obligation - then the word "disgusting" would have been appropriate. What they reported had nothing to do with Stevens' personal life and everything to do with his role as a government official; his family's "permission" was therefore irrelevant.
(At least a few Democratic Party loyalists have dutifully joined in the State Department's attack on CNN. One of Nancy Pelosi's daughters, Christine - yet another in the endless stream of televised pundits who is given a public platform due to a politically famous parent in a nation that claims to loathe aristocracy - went on Fox News this weekend and denounced CNN as "outrageous" and demanded that "they absolutely ought to be stopped", whatever that might mean.)
What is actually "disgusting" here is that the State Department is exploiting the grief of Chris Stevens' family in an attempt to suppress and delegitimize reporting that reflects quite poorly on them. As Michael Hastings documented yesterday, the State Department views the revelations from Stevens' journal as threatening to Hillary Clinton's reputation, the legacy of the war in Libya, and possibly Obama's political prospects in an election year:

"The blockbuster news contradicted the line the State Department and the administration had been pushing since the horrible tragedy took place almost two weeks ago: that there was no intelligence of a coming attack. In fact, the Ambassador himself was aware of a persistent high level threat against him.
"'Perhaps the real question here,' CNN responded to the State Department criticism, 'Is why is the State Department now attacking the messenger.'
"That is the real question, and State Department's bizarre criticism of CNN gives clues to the answer. Foggy Bottom is now in full-on damage control mode, with the primary goal of keeping Hillary Clinton's legacy in Libya - and in Washington - intact.
"The election-year focus on President Barack Obama meant that the White House had at first been catching most of the heat for the tragedy in Benghazi. It's certainly true the explanations from White House spokesman Jay Carney and UN Ambassador Susan Rice have strained common sense - mainly, the idea that the attack could be blamed solely on an anti-Islamic video, and that there was a protest outside the consulate at 10 p.m. (there reportedly wasn't,) among other misleading details. That initial story has crumbled . . .
"But in reality, the fiasco appears to be largely - if not entirely - a State Department botch. It was the State Department that failed to provide its ambassador adequate security; it was the State Department that fled Benghazi in the aftermath of the attack, apparently failing to clear or secure the scene, leaving Stevens' diary behind; and it was State that had taken the lead on the ground after the Libya intervention."
I'm not particularly impressed with the criticism that the Obama administration should have better secured the consulate. It is always easy retroactively to demand greater security when an attack occurs, and it is impossible to safeguard against all potential threats. Nonetheless, that is a criticism that is being widely voiced, rendering Stevens' journal clearly relevant and newsworthy. If a US ambassador is murdered, the fact that he spent months worrying about his security is obviously something the public should know.
But the more relevant impact is how this reflects on the war in Libya, flamboyantly celebrated as a grand success by Washington consensus and then all but forgotten. Stevens' journal is but the latest in a long line of evidence demonstrating how much extreme instability, lawlessness and violence is plaguing that country in the aftermath of the intervention. Wrote Hastings: "As one senior U.S. government official who'd visited Libya told me earlier this summer: 'It's not Iraq, but it's not good, either.'"
Along those lines, the New York Times reported today that the killing of Stevens and the evacuation of all Americans from Benghazi both exposed and disrupted a far larger CIA contingent ("operatives and contractors") in the city than was previously known - even by Libya's supposedly sovereign government. That the US exploited its "humanitarian intervention" to establish a substantial covert CIA beachhead is the opposite of surprising. Those operatives, among other things, worked on "tracking shoulder-fired missiles taken from the former arsenals of" Gadaffis' forces and "aided in efforts to secure Libya's chemical weapons stockpiles".
Yet again, western military intervention spawns vast instability and leads to the proliferation of weapons into the hands of extremists deeply hostile to the US. As Jonathan Schwarz, referring to the US support of the pre-Al-Qaeda mujahdeen in Afghanistan, sardonically noted in the aftermath of the 11 September Benghazi attack: "with practice and better technology, we've really cut down the turnaround time between arming Islamists and them killing Americans on 9/11."
We see this over and over and yet never learn the lesson. The New York Times editorial page today declared the Iraqi government "on the wrong side" by virtue of its alignment with Iran and Syria and suggested that US aid - only a fraction of what is necessary to rebuild that country after the US destroyed it - should be cut off if such insolence continues. US-enabled regime change, time and again, exacerbates the very problems it is ostensibly intended to resolve.
If the Iraqi government continues to side with Iran, how much longer will it be before calls for regime change in Iraq are renewed? And how much longer will it be before we hear that military intervention in Libya is (again) necessary, this time to control the anti-US extremists who are now armed and empowered by virtue of the first intervention? US military interventions are most adept at ensuring that future US military interventions will always be necessary.
It is no wonder, then, that the State Department is so infuriated that CNN reported the serious concerns expressed by Ambassador Stevens. Those journal entries further impugn the US government's now discredited story about the Benghazi attack, and further underscore the profound instability and danger in Libya in the wake of that intervention. Feigned concerns over the sensitivities of the Stevens family notwithstanding, that is exactly why the Obama administration and its loyalists are so incensed by CNN's reporting, and it is exactly why CNN had not only the right, but also the duty, to report this.

Read more:

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 24, 2012, 08:45:57 AM
Obama cancels election-season meeting with Egyptian Islamist Morsi
 Daily Caller ^ | September 24, 2012 | Neil Munro

Posted on Monday, September 24, 2012 11:58:45 AM by opentalk

President Barack Obama has quietly cancelled a politically risky plan to meet this week with Egypt’s new Islamist president. The plan was cancelled amid a wave of riots and attacks in Arab countries that have damaged Obama’s campaign-trail claim to foreign policy competence.

 The cancelled visit was mentioned in a Sept. 23 New York Times article about Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, an Islamist who now governs the Arab region’s most important country.

 Despite critical 2011 support from Obama for the revolt that removed Hosni Mubarak, Morsi is now demanding restrictions on U.S. free speech that is critical of Islam..

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 24, 2012, 09:42:04 AM


Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 24, 2012, 11:13:25 AM
Obama heads for taping of 'The View,' as UN summit begins ^ | September 24, 2012 | unattributed

Posted on Monday, September 24, 2012 2:17:56 PM by Hunton Peck

President Obama will be among the world leaders arriving in New York on Monday for the U.N. General Assembly, but unlike other presidents or prime ministers Obama plans to head straight for a daytime TV interview.

The president’s schedule has him and first lady Michelle Obama sitting down for a taping of ABC’s “The View" shortly after arriving in New York.

Though Obama will deliver a major speech Tuesday before the annual assembly, he has largely left the one-on-one meetings to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, sparking criticism that he appears more concerned about his re-election effort than talking directly to other world leaders about such issues as Iran’s quest for nuclear capability and the violent, deadly protests in the Middle East and North Africa.

“People around the world listen to the president because he is commander in chief,” Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., told Fox News on Monday morning.

Clinton will be handling meetings Monday with some of the heavy-hitters who are critical in managing the latest wave of unrest and violence. Clinton is set to meet with Libyan President Mohamed Magariaf, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney defended the president, saying he's had "extensive consultations" with those and other leaders in recent weeks. "Those consultations will continue," Carney said, adding that Obama will surely...

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 24, 2012, 12:16:42 PM


Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 28, 2012, 12:07:35 PM
Panetta: We’ve Lost Track of Syrian Chemical Weapons
 FP ^

Posted on Friday, September 28, 2012 3:19:33 PM by Perdogg

The U.S. has lost track of some of Syria’s chemical weapons, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Friday, and does not know if any potentially lethal chemicals have fallen into the hands of Syrian rebels or Iranian forces inside the country.

“There has been intelligence that there have been some moves that have taken place. Where exactly that’s taken place, we don’t know.” Panetta said, in a Pentagon press briefing.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 28, 2012, 05:13:18 PM
Hillary: ‘Loosen Regulation’ Because ‘Too Many People Still Can’t Find Jobs’-In Tunisia, Egypt,
CNS News ^ | 9/28/12 | Terence P. Jeffrey
Posted on September 28, 2012 7:13:02 PM EDT by Nachum

( - Speaking to a group of foreign ministers from Arab nations at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York on Friday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed support for loosening regulations, particularly on small businesses, because “too many people still can’t find jobs”--in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.

In Libya, according to an estimate published in May by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development [OECD], real Gross Domestic Product is expected to grow this year at a rate of 20.1 percent—or about 15 times the 1.3 percent annualized rate at which real GDP grew in the United States in the second quarter of this year. The OECD further estimated that Libya’s real GDP would grow by another 9.5 percent next year.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 28, 2012, 05:33:11 PM
Posted on Friday, September 28, 2012
  email | print |

Clinton offers $45 million to Syrian rebels, who want more support

Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton | Olivier Douliery/MCT

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Story | Syria’s rebel groups united only by opposition to Bashar Assad
Story | Despite focus on cities, Syria’s civil war grinds on in countryside
Story | In Syria’s largest city, rebellion takes on an overtly religious tone
Story | Syria’s rebels counting on captured anti-aircraft guns to defeat air force
Story | Syria rebels say they killed leader of extremist group that kidnapped 2 journalists
Story | Analysts: Syrian army in no danger of collapsing from rebel assaults
Graphic | More refugees flee Syria
On the Web | More Middle East coverage from McClatchy
By Hannah Allam | McClatchy Newspapers
NEW YORK — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday announced $45 million in additional aid for Syrian opposition activists, the latest U.S. push for influence in a civil war that’s raged beyond the international community’s control.

Clinton announced the new aid package before meeting with visiting Syrian dissidents on the margins of this week’s U.N. General Assembly, where world leaders sounded bleaker than ever about the prospects for a negotiated political resolution to the 18-month uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad.

U.S. humanitarian aid for Syria now will total more than $132 million this year, though Syrian rebels are more interested in weapons and military training than in the American promises of more “nonlethal assistance.” Of the $45 million pledged Friday, $30 million is earmarked for humanitarian assistance and $15 million for radios, training and other technical support for opposition activists.

The U.S. government has refused to directly arm or fund the so-called Free Syrian Army, a loose confederation of rebel militias, largely out of fear that the assistance would make its way to Islamist extremist groups that have joined the battle to unseat Assad.

U.S. policy is in a “really tough spot,” said Joseph Holliday, a Washington-based researcher at the Institute for the Study of War who specializes in the Syrian conflict. While the administration’s instincts to withhold direct aid from rebel fighters is understandable, he said, that strategy is backfiring.

“The irony of our fear of supplying Islamist groups is that the others who are arming the opposition – the Saudis, the Qataris, the Turks – are doing just that, providing weapons and ammunition to Islamists,” Holliday said. “Our lack of giving support is actually leading to the Islamicization of the opposition.”

Despite the resignation at the U.N. now to a drawn-out, increasingly bloody conflict, the Obama administration remains focused on courting remnants of the peaceful protest movement, whom analysts say don’t enjoy the same street credibility as the armed opposition forces confronting Assad’s military.

The United States is helping to train and organize nonviolent actors in hopes they’ll take the lead in an eventual post-Assad transition, though deep ideological and other divisions have so far prevented the Syrian activists from coalescing into a government-in-waiting, such as the one Libyans formed in the months before the fall of strongman Moammar Gadhafi.

Analysts describe the U.S. gamble on one segment of the opposition as part of a continued lack of U.S. strategy for Syria that’s left the administration with no real inroads to either the Assad regime or the rebel militias – the two sides to the civil war that’s already spilling beyond Syria’s borders.

Only recently, analysts say, did the government back off from the Syrian National Council, a collection of exiles and technocrats the U.S. government had tried in vain to whip into a viable transitional body.

“For a long time, we’d said they needed to move past the SNC because they were not the answer. Now they’re trying to identify credible opposition groups that are active on the ground,” Holliday said.

The State Department’s new focus is on more grassroots activists, such as members of municipal and provincial revolutionary councils. In a preview briefing before Friday’s meeting, a senior State Department official told journalists that the opposition delegation would include activists who run field hospitals and supply bakeries.

Providing those kinds of basic services to civilians trapped in open-ended warfare will give the unarmed opposition “a leg up when ultimately the regime goes and is replaced by something else,” said the State Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity per diplomatic protocol.

“People with guns who don’t know how to have bread baked are quickly going to lose credibility on the street. People with guns who can’t make the lights come back on are going to quickly lose credibility on the street,” the official said.

However, the meeting with the nonviolent activists doesn’t seem to have gone smoothly. After journalists were cleared out, Syrian delegates were each given three minutes to describe the conditions on the ground in Syria and to make requests or recommendations to Clinton and the other high-ranking diplomats.

After that, delegates said, they were summarily asked to leave so that Clinton could speak privately to the assembled foreign ministers – a surprise move that offended the delegates, including some who’d made risky trips out of the war zone for what amounted to a few minutes of face time with the leaders.

The disgruntled Syrians filed out, complaining that the State Department had handpicked the delegation, had excluded them from talks with the foreign ministers, and had failed to move policy to more direct military aid for their cause. Even France and Turkey, delegates said, had become more vocal in calling for humanitarian intervention such as imposing a no-fly zone or creating a safe corridor.

“Unfortunately, expectations are low after this meeting because there’s no shift in the U.S. position on Syria,” said Syrian delegate Radwan Ziadeh, spokesman for the opposition Coalition for a Democratic Syria. “Unfortunately, the White House is waiting until after the (U.S. presidential) election before touching this. We ask for support and training for the Free Syrian Army and they tell us, blah blah blah, nonlethal assistance.”

Email:; Twitter: @HannahAllam

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 30, 2012, 05:19:06 PM
Outrageous!… Obama Administration Blames “Friendly Fire” Attacks in Afghanistan on US Troops
Gateway Pundit ^ | 9/30/12 | Jim Hoft
Posted on September 30, 2012 8:41:15 PM EDT by Nachum

This is unbelievable. The Obama Administration blamed the “friendly fire” attacks in Afghanistan on US troops.

U.S. Army specialist Mabry Anders (L), who was killed in an attack by an Afghan army soldier in Afghanistan on August 27, 2012, is pictured with his mother Genevieve Woydziak (C) and his stepfather Troy Woydziak in this undated handout family photo obtained by Reuters September 26, 2012. The “insider attack” also took the life of another U.S. soldier, Sergeant Christopher Birdwell. (REUTERS/Anders Family)

The New York Post reported, via Pat Dollard:

Afghan security forces, our supposed allies, are slaughtering American troops. Thirty-three soldiers have been killed by “green on blue” attacks this year alone. The situation is so bad that the training of Afghan forces has been temporarily suspended.

How has the Pentagon responded?

By blaming our troops.

Top officials believe culturally offensive behavior is the motivation behind the killings, so it’s stepped up Islamic sensitivity training for our troops.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on October 03, 2012, 03:23:14 AM
Indonesia: 5000 Muslims chant Allahu akbar,march on US Emb. - "Go to h* with your freedom of expres"
Jihad Watch ^ | Monday, October 1, 2012 | Robert Spencer
Posted on October 3, 2012 4:41:24 AM EDT by Jyotishi

It is indeed going to hell, because fewer and fewer Americans seem to grasp its value. "Anti-Islam film sparks protest in Jakarta: Some 5,000 Muslims march through the Indonesian capital to U.S. embassy," from The Associated Press, October 1 (thanks to Kenneth):

Thousands of Muslims enraged over an anti-Islam film have marched through Indonesia's capital....

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on October 05, 2012, 03:42:33 AM
Sudan Humiliates Obama Administration
 Riehl World View ^ | September 16, 2012 | Dan Riehl

Posted on Sunday, September 16, 2012 11:54:47 AM

It was previously noted that, despite billions in aid over the years, Sudan turned down an Obama administration request to deploy 50 Marines to protect Americans serving at the American Embassy in Sudan. It was subsequently reported that the State Department withdrew non-essential personnel given the refusal.

Now, the Sudan Tribune is reporting it as having been an Obama administration demand, one important enough to require the involvement of Vice President Biden, who was also rebuffed by the Sudanese government.

It appears as though Sudan is intent on humiliating the Obama administration by reporting the controversy as they do.

Following a violent protest in Friday over an anti Islam film Washington demanded the Sudanese government to allow a special force to protect its diplomatic mission in Khartoum.  US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta told Foreign Policy magazine that the Pentagon has to be ready to deal with situations where the protests against the American embassies in the host countries “get out of control”.
Also another official said that the Pentagon was discussing whether to send a platoon of 50 anti-terrorism Marines to Khartoum, but a asserted that no decision has been taken yet. However the official SUNA on Saturday reported that the Sudanese government received such demand from the State Department and rejected the American demand.

Foreign minister Ali Karti received a call from an assistant to the U. S. Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton who expressed the desire of the American Administration to dispatch a special force to protect its embassy in Khartoum following the protests in the Islamic world. Karti “has declined to authorise the deployment of these forces affirming Sudan’s ability to protect foreign diplomatic missions in Khartoum and reiterated the State’s obligation to protect its guests members of diplomatic missions,” the official news agency said.

On the other hand the semi-official SMC news service said that Khartoum’s security coordination committee decided Saturday to tighten security measures and protection of embassies, diplomatic missions, and foreign officials to avoid their exposure to any risk. In Washington the State Department announced that non-essential staff was ordered to leave the its embassies in Tunisia and Sudan.

“Given the security situation in Tunis and Khartoum, the U.S. State Department has ordered the departure of all family members and non-emergency personnel from both posts, and issued parallel travel warnings to American citizens,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement.

Nuland on Friday evening told reporters that Vice-President Joe Biden spoke with Sudanese Frist Vice President Ali Osman Taha about the deployment of Marines in Khartoum. She also said Thomas R. Nides, Deputy State Department Secretary called a senior Sudanese official for the same purpose.

She also denied that Marines engage protestors in Khartoum pointing out that the Sudanese security forces pushed back demonstrations, including three protestors who managed to get on top of the perimeter wall of the embassy.

The US embassy in Sudan on Saturday issued an emergency message to the American citizens in Khartoum informing them that the embassy is closed until further notice and advise them to stay away and avoid coming to the embassy “for any reason”.

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on October 08, 2012, 09:33:05 AM
Reporter Lara Logan brings ominous news from Middle East

BY LAURA WASHINGTON October 7, 2012 4:04PM

CBS correspondent Lara Logan covers the reaction in Cairo's Tahrir Square the day Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down in February 2011. | CBS News photo

Updated: October 8, 2012 2:18AM

This was no ordinary rubber chicken affair. That was my reaction to the extraordinary keynoter at Tuesday’s Better Government Association annual luncheon.

 Lara Logan, a correspondent for CBS’ “60 Minutes,” delivered a provocative speech to about 1,100 influentials from government, politics, media, and the legal and corporate arenas. Such downtown gatherings are a regular on Chicago’s networking circuit. (I am a member of the BGA’s Civic Leadership Committee, and the Chicago Sun-Times was a sponsor).
Her ominous and frightening message was gleaned from years of covering our wars in the Middle East. She arrived in Chicago on the heels of her Sept. 30 report, “The Longest War.” It examined the Afghanistan conflict and exposed the perils that still confront America, 11 years after 9/11.
Eleven years later, “they” still hate us, now more than ever, Logan told the crowd. The Taliban and al-Qaida have not been vanquished, she added. They’re coming back.
“I chose this subject because, one, I can’t stand, that there is a major lie being propagated . . .” Logan declared in her native South African accent.
The lie is that America’s military might has tamed the Taliban.
“There is this narrative coming out of Washington for the last two years,” Logan said. It is driven in part by “Taliban apologists,” who claim “they are just the poor moderate, gentler, kinder Taliban,” she added sarcastically. “It’s such nonsense!”
Logan stepped way out of the “objective,” journalistic role. The audience was riveted as she told of plowing through reams of documents, and interviewing John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan; Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and a Taliban commander trained by al-Qaida. The Taliban and al-Qaida are teaming up and recruiting new terrorists to do us deadly harm, she reports.
She made a passionate case that our government is downplaying the strength of our enemies in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as a rationale of getting us out of the longest war. We have been lulled into believing that the perils are in the past: “You’re not listening to what the people who are fighting you say about this fight. In your arrogance, you think you write the script.”

Our enemies are writing the story, she suggests, and there’s no happy ending for us.

As a journalist, I was queasy. Reporters should tell the story, not be the story. As an American, I was frightened.

Logan even called for retribution for the recent terrorist killings of Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, and three other officials. The event is a harbinger of our vulnerability, she said. Logan hopes that America will “exact revenge and let the world know that the United States will not be attacked on its own soil. That its ambassadors will not be murdered, and that the United States will not stand by and do nothing about it.”
In the “good old days,” reporters did not advocate, crusade or call for revenge.

In these “new” days in a post-9/11 world, perhaps we need more reporters who are willing to break the rules.

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on July 01, 2014, 04:51:51 AM
“Bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive!” Or vice versa.
Michelle Obama's Mirror ^  | 7-1-2014 | MOTUS

Posted on ‎7‎/‎1‎/‎2014‎ ‎8‎:‎23‎:‎24‎ ‎AM by NOBO2012


gm alive*Actual Results May Vary

Even as bumper sticker slogans go, it was a bit dubious from the start. Now it looks like it was actually the other way around.

The claim seemed bogus from the moment the angry mob in Cairo chanted “Obama! Obama! There are still a billion Osamas!” right up through this month’s resurgence of al Qaeda in Iraq.

And as far as GM goes, it appears that rumors of its survival may have been exaggerated as well. Despite life support efforts that included the removal of crushing debt from its books and infusions of billions in special future tax breaks, GM managed to lose one-third of its value in less than 2 years. And now it’s official: GM really hasn’t made a car in the past 20 years that hasn’t been recalled!

GM wouldn’t exist today butt for a U.S. government bailout; apparently the same can be said of al Qaeda in Iraq. Maybe we should stop bailing out losers at home as well in the Middle East. And here’s another idea: how about we focus on taking guns away from al Qaeda instead of U.S. citizens?

Title: Re: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'
Post by: Soul Crusher on March 02, 2015, 11:48:01 AM