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June 09, 2015

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drano

...what the christ has happened to the Republican party?

Spence

Libya, a once Prosperous and Stable Country is now a steaming pile of ...

Libya’s ‘Regime Change’ Chaos
August 29, 2014

America’s war hawks, including then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, were thrilled by the Libyan “regime change” engineered through a U.S.- European bombing campaign in 2011. But now with Libya torn by civil war and Arab powers intervening, the “victory” has a bitter aftertaste, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

By Paul R. Pillar

Within the past week the United Arab Emirates, aided by Egypt, conducted airstrikes against Islamist militias in Libya. The targeted forces are among the contestants in the surging turmoil and civil warfare in Libya.

The airstrikes do not appear to be part of a large and bold new initiative by Egypt and the UAE, which did not even publicly acknowledge what they had done. Nonetheless the strikes were, as an anonymous U.S. official put it, not constructive.

The incident — along with some questions about whether it had caught the United States by surprise — has led to some of the usual hand-wringing about how U.S. relations with allies are not what they should be, how there supposedly is region-wide dismay with a U.S. failure to do more to enforce order in the region, and how if the United States does not do more along this line there may be an interventionist free-for-all.

This type of reaction is inappropriate for at least two reasons. One is that it fails to take account of exactly how differences between putative partners do or do not make a difference. Sometimes such frictions matter for U.S. interests and sometimes they don’t. Assuaging an ally is good for the United States if there is some payoff, not necessarily immediately, for its interests in behavior from the ally that is different from what it otherwise would be.

The other reason is that to the extent the United States may have encouraged interventionist free-for-alls, it is because it has done too much rather than too little. The United States’ own penchant for military interventions has been probably the biggest factor in a breakdown of previous noninterventionist norms in international relations.

The United States also has acquiesced in similar norm-breaking behavior by others that is easy for the Egyptians and Emiratis to see. As former ambassador Chas Freeman notes, “Gulf states and Egypt have seen many instances of Israel doing whatever it wants without us. They’re saying, if Israel can use U.S. weapons to defy the U.S. and pursue its own foreign policy objectives, why can’t they?”

Three valid observations are worth making about this episode. One is that the turmoil in Libya to which Egypt and the UAE are reacting followed directly from regime change in which Western intervention was instrumental. The United States played less of a leading role in that intervention than some other Western states did, and according to the Pottery Barn rule it does not own the resulting wreckage by itself. But that background is worth remembering.

Second, the airstrikes are a reminder that if forceful things are to be done in the Middle East, the United States doesn’t necessarily have to be the one to do them. That principle applies to more constructive uses of force than hitting the Libyan militias. The UAE has a pretty good air force; maybe next time it can use it for more worthwhile purposes.

Third, the episode is a demonstration that even partners or allies are apt to be moved to action not to protect interests they share with us but to pursue objectives we do not share. Both Egypt and the UAE have reasons related to their own domestic politics and shaky legitimacy for taking sides in the Libyan internal war against the Islamists.

The United States, by contrast, has no good reason to weigh in on one side or the other in that war. If friends and allies of ours get impatient with us for not doing more on behalf of goals that are important to them but not to us, tough.

Paul R. Pillar, in his 28 years at the Central Intelligence Agency, rose to be one of the agency’s top analysts. He is now a visiting professor at Georgetown University for security studies. (This article first appeared as a blog post at The National Interest’s Web site. Reprinted with author’s permission.)

https://consortiumnews.com/2014/08/29/libyas-regime-change-chaos/

Obama demands regime change in Libya
By Stefan Steinberg
16 April 2011

In an open letter issued printed simultaneously in the Washington Post, the Times of London and Le Figaro, the Obama administration, together with the heads of government in France and Great Britain, openly acknowledged that the purpose of the NATO bombing of Libya was regime change, i.e., the forcible expulsion of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi from power.

On March 28, Obama made a speech in Washington in which he denied that the aim of the current NATO war against Libya was regime change. Obama was subsequently criticized for his remarks by John McCain and other leading members of the US Senate Armed Services Committee. Obama’s comments at that time were welcomed by supporters of his government at home and abroad, including a layer of former leftists, who have repeatedly sought to justify the savage NATO bombing campaign against Libya as a “humanitarian action.”

Now, in his open letter on Friday, co-signed by the French and British leaders, Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron, Obama has made his most explicit call for the overthrow of Gaddafi.

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2011/04/liby-a16.html

Spence

Just as "J.C." ( Jimmy Carter ) -DID TO- Our Ally, The Shah of Iran. Obama did to Our Ally Hosni Mubarak. Again, yet another Stable and prosperous Country has fallen low ...

"Tolerance of change in Egypt, however, raises serious risks, Carter's tolerance of change in Iran in 1978 brought into existence one of the most rogue states in modern history: a fundamentalist Shiite Islamic "Republic" that is a threat to the US, its allies in the Gulf states, particularly Saudi Arabia, as well as Israel and large swaths of Eastern Europe. As the Muslim Brotherhood is allegedly one of the strongest, most publicly accepted, and best organized forces of opposition; there are serious concerns that the same scenario as Iran might take place in Egypt."

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/1872/regime-change-in-egypt

Spence

Obama's Regime Change Strategy in Syria Will Only Strengthen ISIL
Posted: 11/18/2014 11:12 pm EST

Nobel Peace Prize-winning President Barack Obama is looking to one-up George W. Bush in the toppling of dictators' category as he redoubles efforts to overthrow the Syrian government. Unfortunately, Obama's obsession to effect regime change in Damascus will likely only bolster the journalist-beheading Islamic State, which happens to be a sworn enemy of Assad the Apostate.

This isn't to recommend the sacred "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" credo, a hallmark of American proxy-war strategy employed across the non-Caucasian world, especially in places such as Central America, Central Asia and the Middle East. However, at a minimum, one would think the U.S. would try to avoid weakening the side that is fighting the primary enemy, assuming all agree that primary enemy is the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, otherwise known as ISIL.

But, according to Secretary of State John Kerry's convoluted logic, ISIL and Assad have a "symbiotic" relationship, so both must be defeated. Defeating the extremes and bolstering the moderates has worked in the past, supposedly in places like Central America, where Kerry claims "right wing militaries and left wing guerrillas each exploited the extremism of the other and the cycle was broken only when the United States joined with regional allies and political moderates to build up the center."

CATO's Doug Bandow adeptly captures the irrationality of such an approach, saying that the administration wants to focus on "overthrowing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the name of fighting the Islamic State." The brain trust in Washington now wants to, foolishly, according to Bandow, "shift their focus to wrecking the most competent military force opposing ISIL: the Syrian army."

Obama's shift in strategy might be driven less by Kerry's new right-left-middle calculus and more by the Sunni-Shia regional rivalry. According to Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the recent strategic turnabout is due to pressure from the Sunni Gulf states and Turkey, who want Assad removed.

The current U.S. scheme rests on the misguided belief that a "moderate" militant faction exists on the ground in Syria in such numbers that, if adequately trained and equipped, could topple Assad.

The crux of the dilemma is that the so-called "moderate" component accounts for no more than two percent of anti-Assad forces, Syrian expert Joshua Landis told CNN's Fareed Zakaria on November 9.

Identifying and vetting moderates to train and equip in a sea of over 1,000 militia groups is another challenge. Mind you, the "vetting" process, according to Pentagon spokesperson Rear Admiral John Kirby, has yet to even begin.

One former CIA vetting expert recently admitted that the U.S. was way out of its league in trying to accomplish this mission, because the current system is "no match for the linguistic, cultural, tribal and political complexities of the Middle East, especially now in Syria."

Plus, this strategy isn't exactly new. Journalist Reese Erlich, in his book Inside Syria, points out that from the very beginning of Syria's civil war the Obama administration and the CIA have been trying, but have failed, to cobble together a credible pro-U.S. force capable of legitimately challenging Assad's army.

Then, assuming the U.S. can assemble a properly-vetted force, in order to "turn those two percent into winners," according to Landis, the Western-backed rebels would have to first defeat ISIL, Al Qaeda, the Nusra Front and the Khorasan group before taking on the Assad regime. Although now it seems Obama is reversing that order.

Landis' frank assessment of the odds of successfully pursuing the initial strategy still seems to apply to the inverse: "It's not going to happen."

Let us not forget that Russia and Iran, who are hardly going to sit around and allow Syria to fall into the hands of Sunni extremists, will only increase financial and military aid to Assad in response to efforts by the U.S. and its allies to unseat him.

Besides, ousting Assad might be the worst idea imaginable when weighing probable ramifications. The collapse of the central government would leave Syria more fractured, chaotic and harder to piece together than post-Saddam Iraq. And the power vacuum left by the secular Assad regime would likely be exploited by the Islamists to extend their caliphate.

The choice comes down to supporting a futile uphill battle pitting a few thousand supposed moderate fighters against overwhelming odds or allowing Assad's 100,000-man army and 300 jets to take on ISIL. The only requirement being for the U.S. to get out of the way.

As an alternative to a military solution, Landis recommends partitioning the country along current battle lines that have been more or less static for the past two years. Leave Assad in place in the south while formalizing the de facto Sunni state in the north.

However, partitioning could also exacerbate the situation. We should avoid trying to "fix" and retrace the divide-and-rule lines drawn by colonial powers nearly a century ago, which, to be sure, was a catastrophic and unnatural realignment that remains a prime source of the current crisis. Yet enforcing partitions could serve as another convenient pretext for external actors to put boots on the ground.

What seems sorely lacking is any type of indigenous solution -- what that looks like and how that would shake out is anyone's guess at this point -- but it seems apparent the solution isn't more foreign meddling, be it through arming, bombing, regime-changing or remapping.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-hughes/obamas-regime-change-stra_b_6182682.html

Spence

And, In a Feeble attempt to make up for Disastrous Ineptitude ...

Obama May Send More U.S. Troops to Train Iraqi Forces
Bloomberg By David Lerman
1 hour ago

The Pentagon is preparing recommendations to send hundreds more U.S. troops to Iraq to speed training of the country’s military forces in response to a request from the White House, two U.S. officials said.

Options include sending 500 to 1,500 more troops as President Barack Obama tries to bolster Iraqi forces in their battle against Islamic State fighters, according to one of the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private deliberations. A decision is likely to be announced this week.

More than 10 months of U.S.-led airstrikes and a return of American ground troops in modest numbers haven’t stopped Islamic State from making gains in Iraq. Last month, the group captured Ramadi, the capital of Iraq’s largest province.

Obama stressed the need to ramp up the training mission at a G-7 conference of world leaders in Germany this week. The U.S. has about 3,000 troops in Iraq to advise local forces.

“One of the areas where we’re going to have to improve is the speed at which we’re training Iraqi forces,” Obama said at a June 8 news conference in Germany. “We’re reviewing a range of plans for how we might do that.”

More from Bloomberg.com: The Alleged Flash-Trading Mastermind Lived With His Parents and Couldn't Drive

Alistair Baskey, a White House National Security Council spokesman, said sending additional U.S. trainers to Iraq is one of the options being considered to “accelerate the training and equipping of Iraqi security forces.”

The top U.S. military officer, Army General Martin Dempsey, told reporters in Israel on Tuesday that he had asked war commanders to consider increasing the number of training sites in Iraq, the New York Times reported.

U.S. military and intelligence officials said a small increase in the number of American trainers isn’t likely to turn the tide against Islamic State, especially if none of them is assigned to accompany Iraqi troops or Sunni militiamen into combat areas as advisers or to serve on the ground, guiding airstrikes to their targets.

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said last month Iraqi forces had “no will to fight” when they lost control of Ramadi, even though they outnumbered Islamic State forces.

Sending more Americans wouldn’t solve the political problems that plague the Iraqi government’s efforts to rebuild its army after a series of defeats, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the administration’s options. Many Sunnis continue to distrust Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, a Shiite, as an ally of Iran, they said.

“We’d like to see more Sunnis come into the pipeline and be trained,” Army Colonel Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters Tuesday.

Warren declined to say whether any increase in training would require more U.S. troops or training sites. “I’m not going to reveal our plan before it’s done,” he said.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-10/obama-said-to-consider-more-u-s-troops-to-train-iraqi-forces

Wing Nut

What's happening in Michigan sounds exactly like what Obama is trying to do in the Whitehouse. Seize power illegally through things like executive orders and Federal regulations. Drano, Democrats are just as guilty of attempting to destroy our Republic. You are just too blind to see it.

See ya,
WN

Rocky

Of course WN you're aware that Obama has used executive power less than GW and most presidents right?

Wing Nut

Maybe so Rocky, but his executive order on immigration is way over the top and that is why it is being stalled in Federal court. He's a dirt bag who ignored the Constitution on that one. The Founding Fathers would have impeached his ass for that offense but our politicians are cowards today.

See ya,
WN

Rocky

You must have much greater powers than I WN, I have no idea what the Founding Fathers would say about our contemporary politicians. I think if you study history you'll find that the Founding Fathers were also greatly flawed and not the icons we use to justify our own political prejudices.

drano

...wow just like listening to FOX News with some of these comments. Bet some of your people, Rocky, hate Muslims so much they can't stand the thought of 'ALgebra'.

Antonio Andolini

For "Executive Orders" President Obama, at 206 (so far), is behind George W. Bush, at 291 (total.) The all-time leader is President Franklin Delano Roosevelt at 3,721.

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/data/orders.php

However when you add in "presidential memoranda", President Obama surges ahead as a believer in unilateral action.

"Obama issues 'executive orders by another name'

WASHINGTON — President Obama has issued a form of executive action known as the presidential memorandum more often than any other president in history — using it to take unilateral action even as he has signed fewer executive orders."

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/12/16/obama-presidential-memoranda-executive-orders/20191805/

Antonio Andolini

Say what you like about the Founding Fathers; what they accomplished is a great moment in history.

Antonio Andolini

Speaking of Fox News, this just in:

"Fox News Declared Hate Group By Southern Poverty Law Center"

http://www.freewoodpost.com/2015/06/10/fox-news-declared-hate-group-by-southern-poverty-law-center/

Spence

Barack Obama: "I Ended The War In Iraq" Hypocrisy At It's Finest

Published on Aug 12, 2014

He ended the war in iraq. Well kinda. Okay he didnt.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_nxouSJq9c


.. As If He could take Responsibility for His Words ?

Spence

We have ALL Seen the Failing Results of "Public Schools" ... Seen the Horrors of "Public Housing" ... Seen How "Public Assistance" breeds Generations of Degenerates. Why Would We Want "Public Health Care" ???


Obama Tries To Bully The Supreme Court One More Time

108 Comments

06/09/2015 06:35 PM ET

Health Reform: It's been five years since President Obama signed ObamaCare into law, so why is he still giving speeches defending it? Because this isn't about health care. It's about attacking the Supreme Court.

In Germany on Monday and again on Tuesday in a speech to the Catholic Hospital Association in Washington, Obama dusted off the lines he's used time and again to defend ObamaCare.

He talked about how ObamaCare was "a critical part" of his effort to create economic opportunity, and how the old health care system "saddled our businesses with skyrocketing costs that made it hard to hire or pay a good wage . . . threatened our entire nation's long-term prosperity (and) was the primary driver of our deficits."

ObamaCare is doing better than expected, the president said, dismissing "the constant doom and gloom predictions" that never "came to pass."

Does he mean "doom and gloom predictions" like "you'll lose your health plan and your doctor because of ObamaCare?" Oh, wait, that one did come true. Maybe he meant skyrocketing premium costs. Oops, looks like that one's happening as well.

We've detailed the many other ways ObamaCare has failed on most of its key promises, so there's no need to do so again. Except to say each has gotten worse. That's the signal achievement, if it can be called that, of the president's severely flawed health-care law.

Obama's real target in the speech, however, wasn't to sell ObamaCare to a public that long ago decided that it didn't want or like the law, and hasn't changed its mind.

His target was the Supreme Court and its upcoming ruling on King v. Burwell. Not that anything Obama says can change the court's ruling. That was probably decided soon after oral arguments in March.

No, Obama wants to ostracize the court should it have the gall to rule that, based on the actual legislative language, ObamaCare subsidies are available only to people who sign up through state-run exchanges.

That's why he needs to put a high gloss on his faltering law and why he insists that, after just a year and half in full force, ObamaCare is already "part of the fabric of how we care about each other." In his mind, only someone who is "deeply cynical" would want to undo it.

In other words, far from a speech about ObamaCare, this was another display of Obama's towering arrogance, his eagerness to tear down any government institution that stands in his way, his penchant for pitting groups against each other and his need to politicize everything.

In these endeavors, unlike ObamaCare, the president is succeeding better than anyone might have expected.

http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/060915-756555-obama-speech-targets-upcoming-supreme-court-ruling.htm

Spence

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obama-fighting-isis-we-dont-yet-have-complete-strategy_967250.html

Obama Has No Strategy, Yet ...

The White House confirms on Wednesday that US president Barack Obama has authorised up to 450 additional military personnel to be deployed to Iraq's eastern Anbar province. The reinforcements will bring the number of US military forces in the country to 3,550. The White House press secretary, Josh Earnest, adds that the new troops will be providing Iraqi forces with advice, assistance and equipment, but will not serve in a combat role

http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2015/jun/10/barack-obama-isis-iraq-troops-video

Spence

Who Lost Iraq?
Thomas Sowell | Jun 09, 2015

"Despite the mistakes that were made in Iraq, it was still a viable country until Barack Obama made the headstrong decision to pull out all the troops, ignoring his own military advisers, just so he could claim to have restored "peace," when in fact he invited chaos and defeat.

This is only the latest of Obama's gross misjudgments about Iraq, going back to his Senate days, when he vehemently opposed the military "surge" that crushed the terrorist insurgency, as did Senator Hillary Clinton also, by the way."

http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2015/06/09/who-lost-iraq-n2009736/page/full

Spence

More from Thomas Sowell ...

Review of Sowell's "Dismantling America"

Written by Raven Clabough

Leading economist and writer Thomas Sowell has a talent for simplifying difficult concepts and applying common sense when analyzing the issues plaguing America today. Nothing exemplifies this talent more than Sowell’s newest work, Dismantling America, a book comprised of over 100 of Sowell’s syndicated newspaper columns written on an array of subjects from financial bailouts to illegal immigration.
In his introduction, Sowell lays the groundwork for his book by establishing that the first rule of prospering in today’s political environment is differentiating truth from fiction, i.e., accepting that the truth is rarely ever uttered by a politician:

Separating words from realities is one of the most important steps toward evaluating government policies, whether domestically or internationally. Since rhetorical skills are among the most highly developed skills among politicians, any serious attempt to see government policies for what they are means keeping our eyes fixed on facts, despite the distractions of rhetoric.

It is because of this deception, according to Sowell, that Americans have allowed the country to be so far removed from the original intent of the Founding Fathers. Americans have willingly compromised the principles of liberty and small government in exchange for entitlements and “security,” however unaffordable and false entitlements and security are. It is through artful political rhetoric that such things are achieved, notes Sowell, and Americans are lulled to sleep while they are robbed of their dignities.

http://www.thenewamerican.com/reviews/books/item/6430-review-of-sowells-dismantling-america

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