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Author Topic: Obama's Middle East Policy Is in Ruins'  (Read 2864 times)
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« Reply #50 on: September 18, 2012, 05:56:43 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.
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« Reply #51 on: September 18, 2012, 06:11:33 AM »

http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-TV/2012/09/13/NBC-Chief-Foreign-Correspondent-Blasts-Obama-Was-It-Worth-It-To-Support-Arab-Spring



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« Reply #52 on: September 18, 2012, 02:25:14 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.
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« Reply #53 on: September 18, 2012, 02:27:02 PM »

But, but, but...Obama got Osama.....OH WAIT!!! There are a whole bunch of Osamas now. Never mind!
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« Reply #54 on: September 18, 2012, 05:59:00 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.
 






More
 
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IN US Politics & Policy
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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 
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« Reply #55 on: September 18, 2012, 06:13:14 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...

http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2012/09/18/state-dept-morsi-ordered-egyptian-embassy-in-dc-to-take-legal-action-against-us-citizens


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« Reply #56 on: September 19, 2012, 05:25:14 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 voa-islam.com, which interviewed him in jail. "Punishment for defaming God and the Prophet is death. ...There is no excuse."
 
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« Reply #57 on: September 19, 2012, 05:57:26 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
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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".
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« Reply #58 on: September 19, 2012, 06:04:29 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: http://www.businessinsider.com/attack-on-us-ambassador-in-beijing-2012-9#ixzz26v7udl1p

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« Reply #59 on: September 19, 2012, 05:17:24 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.



 
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/09/19/As-Embassies-Burned-Obama-More-Interested-in-Interviews-and-Photo-Ops


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« Reply #60 on: September 20, 2012, 07:11:49 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 author@victorhanson.com.


© 2012 Tribune Media Services, Inc.
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« Reply #61 on: September 20, 2012, 08:42:38 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.
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« Reply #62 on: September 20, 2012, 09:17:09 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.

---

IRAN

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.

---

IRAQ

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.

---

PAKISTAN

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.

---

INDONESIA

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.

---

AFGHANISTAN

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

---

GERMANY

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.
 
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« Reply #63 on: September 21, 2012, 05:26:57 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.”

letters@charleskrauthammer.com

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« Reply #64 on: September 21, 2012, 08:16:22 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
 
 
 
 
 
 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
  inShare0     

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 



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
 
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« Reply #65 on: September 22, 2012, 03:47:13 AM »

http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/092112-626667-obama-engineered-rise-of-egypts-muslim-brotherhood.htm?p=full



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« Reply #66 on: September 22, 2012, 06:12:42 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.

http://www.nationaljournal.com/nationalsecurity/obama-s-quagmire-syria-and-the-islamist-arc-20120921




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« Reply #67 on: September 22, 2012, 06:55:05 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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Source URL: http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/permanent-spin_652887.html




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« Reply #68 on: September 23, 2012, 03:25:15 PM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/23/world/middleeast/failed-efforts-of-americas-last-months-in-iraq.html?partner=MYWAY&ei=5065&_rmoc.semityn.www



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« Reply #69 on: September 23, 2012, 05:00:59 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?   Roll Eyes
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« Reply #70 on: September 24, 2012, 05:37:53 AM »

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dD6d_ExAWk" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dD6d_ExAWk</a>
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« Reply #71 on: September 24, 2012, 09:11:20 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: http://www.businessinsider.com/us-state-department-attacks-cnn-for-doing-basic-journalism-2012-9#ixzz27P6sD4QN

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« Reply #72 on: September 24, 2012, 09:45:57 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..


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« Reply #73 on: September 24, 2012, 10:42:04 AM »

http://www.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeedpolitics/hillary-clinton-aide-tells-reporter-to-fuck-off


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« Reply #74 on: September 24, 2012, 12:13:25 PM »

Obama heads for taping of 'The View,' as UN summit begins
 FoxNews.com ^ | 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...


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