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Author Topic: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'  (Read 2181 times)
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« Reply #25 on: September 14, 2012, 02:45:00 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 washingtonpost.com ...
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« Reply #26 on: September 15, 2012, 05:22:01 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.
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« Reply #27 on: September 15, 2012, 05:28:25 PM »


U.S. orders embassy staff to leave Tunis, Khartoum
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/15/us-protests-usa-diplomats-idUSBRE88E0HU20120915 ^
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 reuters.com ...






Obama sucks.  What a piece of trash.
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« Reply #28 on: September 15, 2012, 05:31:05 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 dailycaller.com ...






Disaster.
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« Reply #29 on: September 15, 2012, 05:36:32 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 haaretz.com ...
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« Reply #30 on: September 15, 2012, 05:40:59 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. 
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« Reply #31 on: September 15, 2012, 06:38:03 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 nytimes.com ...
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« Reply #32 on: September 15, 2012, 06:52:51 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)
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« Reply #33 on: September 16, 2012, 06:27:00 AM »

http://www.businessinsider.com/obama-foreign-policy-2012-9


Obama policies in ruin. 
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« Reply #34 on: September 16, 2012, 06:41:39 AM »

is a daily morning broadsheet conservative-leaning newspaper
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« Reply #35 on: September 16, 2012, 06:42:32 AM »

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/09/whoa-state-department-scrubs-damning-memo-from-website-following-deadly-9-11-consulate-attacks/osac-threats



Obama policies in ruin. 
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« Reply #36 on: September 16, 2012, 08:41:52 AM »


Because in this day and age, removing something from your website is a sure way to destroy the information Roll Eyes
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ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ
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« Reply #37 on: September 16, 2012, 10:25:21 AM »

http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-TV/2012/09/16/Tapper-To-US-Ambassador-To-UN-Why-Are-We-Impotent


Tapper admits - obamas olicies in ruins
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« Reply #38 on: September 16, 2012, 10:45:17 AM »

http://news.yahoo.com/military-afghan-inside-attack-kills-4-us-troops-070458530.html


OBAMA = RUIN
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« Reply #39 on: September 16, 2012, 04:34:39 PM »

http://www.cnn.com/video/standard.html?/video/us/2012/09/16/ariosto-green-on-blue-death.cnn-wabc



RUIN! 
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« Reply #40 on: September 16, 2012, 06:55:19 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 news.yahoo.com ...
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« Reply #41 on: September 16, 2012, 06:56:45 PM »

let me guess obama give them the uniforms
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« Reply #42 on: September 16, 2012, 06:59:13 PM »

let me guess obama give them the uniforms

And moral support.   Obama hates the military.
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« Reply #43 on: September 16, 2012, 07:20:14 PM »


This deserves its own thread. Pardon me for plagiarizing it.
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« Reply #44 on: September 17, 2012, 06:06:40 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.
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« Reply #45 on: September 17, 2012, 06:38:52 AM »

The Premodern Middle East and Postmodern West Don’t Mix, Mr. President
 
http://pjmedia.com/victordavishanson/obamas-middle-east-delusions/?singlepage=true





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

 
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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.
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« Reply #46 on: September 17, 2012, 09:54:21 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
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« Reply #47 on: September 17, 2012, 01:16:31 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.


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« Reply #48 on: September 17, 2012, 01:29:24 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.
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« Reply #49 on: September 17, 2012, 06:39:50 PM »

September 17, 2012 6:40 PM PrintText
U.S. military suspends joint patrols with Afghans
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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.
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