The president is focused on leaving Iraq, no matter the cost to freedom and security.
While Iraq burns to the ground – a major international problem – President Barack Obama has occupied his time fiddling with the fringes of U.S. domestic policy. Of recent note are his courageous decision to issue an executive order allowing domestic partners to be buried together at national military cemeteries and trying to push an immigration reform package through Congress by creating a camera-ready crisis on the U.S. border with Mexico that tugs at the heartstrings of every feeling American.
Iraq is serious business, maybe too serious for this administration to handle. No less than Tony Blair – the former British Prime Minister who was Bush’s ally in the war, but Obama’s ally as far as matters of ideology are concerned – says it would be a mistake to blame what is happening now on the way things were left when the current president came to office on an anti-war platform that included bringing the troops home. Continue reading
When President Obama took the oath of office in January 2009, he became the leader of the world’s greatest military power, and the nation that more than any other in history represented a beacon of freedom and opportunity. In June of 2009, he travelled to Cairo to proclaim “a new beginning” in America’s dealings with other nations, including especially those of the Islamic world. Barely nine months later, Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize amid immense praise and adulation for his idealism. The chairman of the Nobel judges panel said of Obama’s selection that “we have not given the prize for what may happen in the future. We are awarding Obama for what he has done in the past year.” Continue reading
On Friday, President Barack Obama ruled out sending U.S. troops back into Iraq to fight the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, or ISIS, fighters as they take over large areas of the country. He did leave the door open to a set of nebulously named “other options.” What form might those take? In May, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki made clear that he would allow the U.S. to carry out Predator and Reaper drone strikes in the country against groups hostile to his government. Today, many in Washington are asking when will the U.S. send drones back to Iraq? Continue reading
Based on the bilateral agreement President George W. Bush signed in 2008, the last contingent of the United States military left Iraq on December 18, 2011. The departure was swiftly followed by a resurgence of sectarian violence. On December 22, 2011, more than a dozen car bombs exploded throughout Baghdad, leaving behind more than sixty dead and another two hundred injured Iraqis. Using these incidents to rid his governments from the two leading Sunni politicians, Tariq al-Hashimi, the Vice President, and Saleh Al-Mutlaq, the Deputy Prime Minister, Iraq’s Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, a Shia, ordered their arrests. Immediately following Maliki’s authoritarian actions to undermine Iraq’s fledgling democracy, he went on national television to celebrate the end of the American military presence. In his speech, rather hypocritically, he called on the country’s political leaders to work together to the benefit of a sovereign, democratic and united Iraq. Thus had began Iraq’s violent descent into its most recent national catastrophe. Continue reading
by Peter Huessy
Memorial Day is a time of honoring our fallen heroes. Just as we should remember all who serve America in harm’s way.
At this we are not doing a very good job.
We are cutting hundreds of billions from our defense budget.
And we are not caring for our wounded soldiers as we promised.
And is has become fashionable once again to blame the terrorism we face not just on American foreign policy failures but on our very soldiers we send to defend our country. Continue reading
The Iranian interim agreement that went into effect Monday does not prevent Iran from implementing its intentions to create nuclear weapons, Prime Minister Netanyahu said in the Knesset.
Netanyahu, in a speech welcoming visiting Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to the Knesset on Monday, said that the international community’s goal – one that has not yet been achieved — must be stopping the Iranians from gaining the capacity to build a nuclear weapon.
The prime minister likened the manufacturing of the fissile material needed to make a bomb to a train that must pass through three stops: the first stop of enriching uranium to 3.5 percent, the second stop of enriching uranium to 20 percent, and the final step of enriching uranium to 90 percent. Continue reading
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
“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
In the beginning, the Hebrew Bible tells us, the universe was all “tohu wabohu,” chaos and tumult. This month the Middle East seems to be reverting to that primeval state: Iraq continues to unravel, the Syrian War grinds on with violence spreading to Lebanon and allegations of chemical attacks this week, and Egypt stands on the brink of civil war with the generals crushing the Muslim Brotherhood and street mobs torching churches. Turkey’s prime minister, once widely hailed as President Obama’s best friend in the region, blames Egypt’s violence on the Jews; pretty much everyone else blames it on the U.S.
The Obama administration had a grand strategy in the Middle East. It was well intentioned, carefully crafted and consistently pursued.
Unfortunately, it failed. Continue reading
NEWT GINGRICH: The Republican Party needs a debate on national security. The strategy we’ve followed over the last 10 years did not work. In the end, Iraq is a disaster, Iran is stronger than it was a decade ago. The fact is that Afghanistan’s going to turn out to be a disaster. Pakistan is in greater danger than it was 10 years ago. If you look at the number of prison breaks in the last 30 days: In Libya, over a thousand people. In Iraq, two major prisons, over 500 people. In Pakistan, I think over 350 people. These are all al-Qaeda operatives, and I think anybody who doesn’t believe this has consequences is very foolish. Nobody in our party’s had the courage to say — and Rand Paul’s come the closest, I think partially because of his father’s background, but partially because he doesn’t have an emotional investment in the old order. Republicans have a real obligation to ask themselves the question, aren’t there some pretty painful lessons to learn from the last 10 or 12 years? Don’t we have to confront the reality that this didn’t work as a strategy? Which is not to say that Obama’s right, and it’s not to say that Rand Paul is right. Continue reading