Iraq’s ambassador to Washington says the Obama administration doesn’t fully grasp the consequences of failing to more aggressively combat a surging al Qaeda threat inside his country, pointedly suggesting that President Obama has been less engaged with Baghdad than his predecessor.
“The administration has to have a better understanding of any adverse impact of any delay in provision of support to Iraq,” Ambassador Lukman Faily told The Washington Times in an interview Wednesday. “It cannot afford a whole town or province of Iraq falling to al Qaeda and becoming a safe haven. It’s against the U.S. strategic interest. It’s against the U.S. national security to do that.” Continue reading
The breaking news that al Qaeda has captured Fallujah and Ramadi raises the question whether America’s sacrifices in Iraq were made in vain. It also highlights the utter inadequacy of President Obama’s Middle East policy, especially his disregard for critical regional threats.
Instead, Obama has focused on Israeli-Palestinian issues, essentially to no avail. Despite Secretary of State John Kerry’s repeated visits, including one just ended, the “peace process” has seen no significant movement.
Proponents of “peace processing” ignore this reality, asserting that the process itself has an inherent value, and that real movement comes only when deadlines loom and decision-makers realize “it’s now or never” to “take risks for peace” and achieve “a peace for the brave.” And when all else fails, peace processers say, “What have we got to lose?” Continue reading
It wasn’t that long ago that Barack Obama took America to the brink of armed conflict in Syria over its use of chemical weapons against rebels trying to topple the Assad regime. The president went as far as asking Congress for a resolution authorizing the use of military force, kicking off a debate which nearly split the country.
No one knows how Congress would have voted because before it could act, Russian President Vladimir Putin pushed Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry to one side to broker his own deal bringing the chemical weapons under international control and keeping American war planes on the ground. Continue reading
It’s hard to pinpoint just when, exactly, Barack Obama’s Syria policy fell apart. Was it in December, when Islamists humiliated U.S.-backed rebels by seizing what limited supplies America had given them? Was it back in September, when Obama telegraphed his reluctance to enforce his own “red line” after the Syrian regime used chemical weapons on its own people? Was it in the months beforehand, when the administration quietly and mysteriously failed to make good on its pledge to directly arm the rebels? Or did it collapse in August 2011, when Obama called on Syrian dictator Bashar Assad to go, only to do almost nothing to make it happen?
But collapse it has, and more than 130,000 deaths later, the White House is now pinning its hopes on a peace conference in Switzerland later this month that is being billed as the last, best hope for a negotiated solution to a conflict that has displaced a staggering 40 percent of Syria’s total population, some 23 million people, in what the United Nations says is fast becoming the worst and most expensive humanitarian catastrophe in modern history. Continue reading
“We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect,” he said. “We must act, knowing that today’s victories will be only partial and that it will be up to those who stand here in four years and 40 years and 400 years hence to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare Philadelphia hall.”
Only 11 months later, a term that began with heady pledges and apparent momentum is in wreckage. Confidence in Obama has sunk like a cinder block hurled into the East River.
The embarrassing showing centers on his bungled implementation of Obamacare, raising doubts about its very viability, and extends to disastrous international zigs and zags that have sapped U.S. credibility among allies and foes. Call it the very worst year of this presidency. Continue reading
At his end-of-the-year news conference, President Barack Obama called the botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act his single biggest mistake of 2013. That’s putting it mildly. Supporters of Obamacare can’t wait to put this year behind them: From dropped insurance coverage for millions of Americans to the delay of the law’s employer mandate and the problems with HealthCare.gov, 2013 has been nothing short of a disaster.
There are two things that are important to recognize about Obamacare’s difficulties this year. First, people shouldn’t have been surprised that the law was so hard to implement and spawned so much bad press — in fact, it was designed so that the law’s more politically unpopular provisions would take effect only after the 2012 elections.
Second, as bad as 2013 has been for Obamacare, the year ahead doesn’t look much better. In fact, 2014 has the potential to be even worse — for the law, the Obama administration and congressional Democrats. Continue reading
It’s a good thing President Barack Obama and family have headed to Hawaii for a multi-million dollar Christmas break. The country needed the rest.
Mysteriously – if you’re the New York Times or a commentator on MSNBC – the country has grown weary of our first superstar president. Several national polls on the state of the nation show “wrong direction” leading “right track” by almost two to one while Obama is, at this stage of his presidency, the most unpopular U.S. chief executive since Richard Nixon. Continue reading
Given the current political climate in the United States and Europe, if a military intervention in Syria were to materialize it would probably be a limited “no-fly plus” aerial bombing campaign similar to NATO’s Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya. The overall record for such suppressive bombing campaigns has been positive, with examples that include the Balkans, pre-invasion Afghanistan, and Iraqi Kurdistan. A determinant factor in the success or failure of these campaigns has been the existence of an approximate parity between the military power of the targeted regime and the insurgent forces engaging it. “Boots on the ground” need not always be of the same nationality as the aircraft conducting strikes, but absent a capable ground opposition prospects for eroding a hostile regime and forcing its capitulation are slim. The Free Syrian Army’s (FSA) survival against Assad’s military offensives thus far seems to indicate its capability to rout regime forces if aided by international airstrikes, suggesting that the impact of hypothetical aerial intervention would be significant. Continue reading
Iranian officials say White House fact sheet detailing nuke deal is ‘invalid.’ It is starting to sound like Obama is selling his Iranian nuke deal the same way he sold ObamaCare – by misleading America about the details.
by Adam Kredo
Iranian officials say that the White House is misleading the public about the details of an interim nuclear agreement reached over the weekend in Geneva.
Iran and Western nations including the United States came to an agreement on the framework for an interim deal late Saturday night in Geneva. The deal has yet to be implemented
The White House released a multi-page fact sheet containing details of the draft agreement shortly after the deal was announced.
However, Iranian foreign ministry official on Tuesday rejected the White House’s version of the deal as “invalid” and accused Washington of releasing a factually inaccurate primer that misleads the American public. Continue reading
Obama and Reid exhibit a shameless willingness to argue that their filibusters of Bush’s nominees were principled and substantive dissent which the Constitution was designed to protect and also argue that the GOP’s filibusters of Obama nominees is purely craven partisan politics and certainly not what the Constitution intended. Their duplicity is shocking even by the relatively duplicitous norms of Washington, D.C.
The Senate has agreed to Majority Leader Harry Reid’s “nuclear option” rule change which ends filibusters of judicial nominations by allowing 51 Senators to confirm judges. Shortly after the Senate vote, President Obama expressed his support for the rule change. Now might be a good time to look at how the position of both Reid and Obama has evolved since the days when they were both in the minority of the Senate and George W. Bush was in the White House.
The record reveals that both Harry Reid and Barack Obama made one argument when they the Democrats were blocking George Bush’s nominees and made an entirely opposite argument when the Republicans are blocking Obama’s nominees. (For the record, the important nominations that the GOP is currently blocking are for open slots that went unfilled when George Bush was president because the Democrats filibustered his nominations throughout this presidency. Thus, today those openings are still there. Now Democrats change the rules because they say that filibustering a Democratic nominee is wrong and partisan, when filibustering a GOP nominee only a few years ago was the expression of important political dissent.) Continue reading
Deception: There he goes again. The president is taking credit for an economic recovery that isn’t happening and a surge in oil production he’s had nothing to do with. If he can’t be honest, it’s up to us to set the record straight.
While touring an Ohio steel mill Thursday, President Obama talked about jobs and the economy bouncing back.
He prattled on about factories “reopening their doors” and businesses “hiring new workers.” He even went so far as to imply that his administration has “been trying” to “rebuild a new foundation for growth and prosperity to protect ourselves from future crises.”
Meanwhile, in the real world, the U.S. economy continues to struggle under his watch. Continue reading
CNN reports that a woman the president hailed as an Obamacare success story just realized she won’t be able to afford Obamacare because it’s too expensive.
“Jessica Sanford was cited by the president as an Obamacare success story at a health care event he had here at the White House in the Rose Garden on October 21,” says a reporter for CNN from the White House. “That of course being just last month. The 48-year-old single mom from Washington state purchased what she considered to be affordable health care, life-changing event, she said, on the Washington state health exchange. She decided she was so excited about this news, she wanted to write an e-mail to the president to say that this had really changed her life and that she was thankful for the Afforable Care Act. The president included her e-mail in his remarks to people on hand for the event. Here’s a bit of what the president had to say.” (See video below.) Continue reading
On Wednesday, the Obama administration finally released its first numbers for Obamacare health insurance exchange enrollment dating from October 1 to October 31. The numbers were not pretty: just 106,185 people “selected a Marketplace plan” using the exchanges, after the administration predicted that 494,620 people would do so.
Even the Associated Press was forced to lament the “dismal numbers.” The federal health care exchange signed up less than 27,000 people. Meanwhile, nearly 7 million people are expected to lose the insurance plans President Obama said they could keep. So far, five million have lost their insurance. Continue reading
by Jonathan S. Tobin
During his first term in office, President Obama was criticized by conservatives for conducting what they dubbed apology tours in which he always seemed to find something in American history for which he felt compelled to make amends. To his surprise, neither apologies nor the magic of his personality and historic status were able to conceal the fact that he was far better at alienating America’s traditional allies than winning new friends. But as awkward as the president proved to be at diplomacy, even that experience did not prepare the world for John Kerry. In less than a year, he has not only already repeated these mistakes but also exceeded them. Currently on yet another apology tour of his own in the Middle East, where he is desperately trying to reassure moderate Arab countries that he has not sold them down the river in his vain quest for a nuclear deal with Iran, American prestige and trust in Washington’s word are at a low point in recent history. Continue reading