Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Fwd: Morsi's Boasts of a Pro-Brotherhood U.S. Come True







http://www.raymondibrahim.com/islam/morsis-boasts-of-a-pro-brotherhood-u-s-come-true/

Morsi's Boasts of a Pro-Brotherhood U.S. Come True

Raymond Ibrahim

CBN News

Nearly two months after Egypt's June 30 Revolution, it is interesting to note how the final dialogue between ousted President Morsi and General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi—full of threats and vows of determination on both sides—have all come to pass, including in the very details, specifically the U.S. government's role. On July 5, the Arabic language, Egyptian newspaper El Watan published what it said were the final words between the two Egyptian men, as transcribed by an eyewitness, before the general put the president in prison. (Original and complete English translation here.)

The relevant portions of the dialogue between Sisi and Morsi follow, interspersed with my retrospective observations where appropriate:

Abridged Exchange Between Morsi and Sisi

Morsi: What's the military's position concerning what's going on? Is it just going to stand by watching? Shouldn't it protect the legitimacy?

Sisi: What legitimacy? The entire army is with the will of the people, and the overwhelming majority of people, according to documented reports, don't want you.

Morsi: My supporters are many and they won't be silent.

Morsi's first threat is generic and subtle. Not yet pushed to the brink, Morsi simply alludes to his "supporters," who "are many and they won't be silent." No word yet as to who these supporters are or what they will do.

Sisi: The army will not allow anyone to destroy the nation, no matter what happens.

An early indicator of military resolve, one that, to this day, does not appear to have diminished.

Morsi: What if I don't want to leave?

Sisi: The matter is settled and no longer up to you. Try to leave with your dignity and tell those whom you call supporters to go back to their homes in order to prevent bloodshed, instead of threatening the people through them.

Morsi: But this way it will be a military coup, and America won't leave you alone.

While technically a military coup, the military was reacting to a popular revolution: tens of millions of Egyptians—many more than in the original 2011 revolution against Hosni Mubarak—took to the streets for several days demanding new elections (as many Egyptians from the very start insisted that Morsi never even won the presidential election). And nearly two month later, months of intense pressure and threats, the U.S., in Morsi's words, certainly shows no signs that it will "leave you [Egyptian military] alone."

Sisi: The people concern us, not America. And since you've started to talk this way, I'll talk to you candidly. We have evidence to condemn you and to condemn many governmental officials of compromising Egypt's national security. The judiciary will have its say and you will all be judged before the whole people.

Once Morsi becomes more specific about who his supporters are—the United States, a foreign entity—Sisi also becomes candid, pointing out to him that the military has evidence to condemn Morsi and his Brotherhood cabinet. In recent weeks and days, talk of this evidence has become more widespread. According to many Egyptian political activists, the Brotherhood and the Obama administration made a deal, which has seen the exchange of vast sums of money, possibly at the hands of President Obama's half-brother, Malik Obama. Add to this the recent assertions of Tahani al-Gebali, Vice President of the Supreme Constitutional Court in Egypt: "Obama's brother is one of the architects of investment for the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood." Moreover, that the U.S. government, including ambassador Anne Patterson and Senators Graham and McCain, has been pressuring Egypt to release Morsi and other key Brotherhood figures, such as multimillionaire Khairat al-Shatter—even though they are also being held in connection to incitement and terrorism against Egyptian civilians—only validates the idea that imprisoned Brotherhood leadership, when tried, may well spill the beans as to the nature of the relationship between Morsi's ousted government and the Obama administration, hence the reason the latter is so adamant about getting them released.

[…]

Morsi: Don't think the Brotherhood is going to stand by if I leave office. They will set the world on fire.

True, indeed. While the Brotherhood's media wing in Qatar, also known as "Al Jazeera," has been blasting a 24/7 media propaganda campaign dedicated to demonizing the military and garnering sympathy for the Brotherhood—often by flagrantly lying—the Brotherhood and its supporters have quite literally been "setting the world on fire," most visibly in Egypt, where some 80 churches and other Christian institutions, not to mention government buildings, etc., have been set aflame.

Sisi: Just let them try something and you'll see the reaction of the army. Whoever among them wants to live in peace, he's more than welcome; otherwise, [if they try anything] we will not leave them alone. We will not single anyone out, and the Brotherhood is from the Egyptian people, so don't try to use them as fuel for your disgusting war. If you truly love them, leave office and let them go to their homes.

Morsi: Anyway, I'm not going, and the people outside of Egypt are all with me, and my supporters are not going.

Again, Morsi indicates who his two main supporters are: "the people outside of Egypt," that is, the United States, and "my supporters," the Muslim Brotherhood and its many Islamist sympathizers in and out of Egypt.

[…]

Morsi: Okay, if I agree to be removed, will you allow me to travel abroad and promise not to imprison me?

Sisi: I can't offer you any promises. It's the justice [department] that will pass its verdict.

Morsi: Okay, if that's the case, I'll make it war, and we'll see who will prevail in the end.

Sisi: Naturally the people will win.

The verdict is still out concerning the fate of Egypt. For true to Morsi's threats, the U.S. and the Brotherhood and its allies—from church-burning thugs in Egypt's streets, to Al Jazeera's media manipulations—are still trying to undermine the Egyptian people's June 30 Revolution against the corrupt, Islamist rule of the Muslim Brotherhood.




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Fwd: America's Impending Defeat in Syria






 

RubinReports

America's Impending Defeat in Syria

 

Posted: 27 Aug 2013 03:59 AM PDT

By Barry Rubin

 

It's really pretty simple. The American people understandably don't want to go to war with Syria, not to mention Syria's patron of Iran and especially not to put into power the Muslim Brotherhood and murderous Islamists.  Going to war is a serious matter to say the least. There's no assurance how long it will take, how many lives it will cost, and what turns it may take.

 

In fact the Middle East has just had several examples of these wars. Iraq and Afghanistan cost a lot of money and lives as they extended for a much longer time than had been expected. In addition they derailed the Bush Administration's electoral fortunes and domestic programs. With the main emphasis of the Obama Administration being a fundamental transformation of America such distractions are not desired.

 

There is one other important consideration. The Obama Administration does not accept the traditional diplomatic and great power strategies. It believes that it can reconcile with Islamist states; it does not comprehend deterrents; it does not keep faith with allies; and it does not believe in credibility, which is the belief that only power exerted can convince a foe of seriousness.

Of course, that wouldn't rule out a one -time targeted attack but even if that were to be done is America going to fight a full-scale war on the ground with the American allies (including al-Qaida) never satisfied and eager to stab them in the back? 

 

The administration has trapped itself with two problems. One is that the rebels who are being supported in Syria are extreme radicals who may set off blood baths and regional instability if they win. The other is that a challenge has been given to very reckless forces: Iran, Syria, and Hizballah. When the United States threatens these three players the response is "make my day!"

 

So this is the situation. The United States is bluffing, it does not want to exert force and probably won't. In other words, Iran and Syria would be quite willing to fight a war but the United States and its government doesn't have the will to do so.

 

What is the optimum option for the Obama Administration ? To try to negotiate – as unlikely as it is – a deal in which some kind of interim or coalition arrangement would be arranged with Russia and Iran to make a transition from the current regime. And that mainly means stalling for time.

 

That could work, though, if the regime does not actually win in the war. Aid to rebels and some gimmicks, perhaps but  no decisive action. Remember. though, that Iran cannot be said to have won as long as the civil war is continuing. The Administration can simply depend on denial, which should be sufficient for domestic purposes. 

 

There is, however. a problem. The two sides Syrian sides want to wipe each other out. Why should the Russians and Iranians make a deal if they have a winning hand?  No diplomatic arrangement is possible. In fact the diplomatic option is fictional or, to put it flatly, there is no alternative.

 

It is not inconceivable that the White House would consider easing sanctions on the Iranian nuclear program to have a chance on making a deal on Syria.

 

What is likely then is stalling, with the probability that the civil war will settle into stagnation for several years and thus a de facto partition of Syria. The United States simply can't win given what it is willing to do. And in a great power standoff that's a very dangerous situation.

Remember. though, that Iran cannot be said to have won as long as the civil war is continuing. The Administration can simply depend on denial, which should be sufficient for domestic purposes. 

 

Finally, ask yourself one question: Will the United States under Obama dare a confrontation with Iran, Syria, and Russia to keep up American credibility, deterrence, and confidence of allies who it is already opposing on Egypt?

Of course not. This is already a president who could barely decide to kill Usama bin Ladin.

 

 



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Fwd: There is NO U.S. National Interest to attack Syria






http://cnsnews.com/commentary/rich-galen/paper-tiger

 

Paper Tiger

August 27, 2013 - 4:59 AM


 

By Rich Galen

I am writing this at shortly after 8 PM on Monday. By the time you read this, we might have dropped a hellfire missile on Bashir al-Assad's head.

Not really, but there are some interesting ironies about the Syrian situation.

Secretary of State John Kerry (who famously -- or infamously -- pretended to throw his Vietnam-era medals over the White House fence in 1971.

When I write "pretended" it is because, according to ABC News, Kerry said during a news program on the Washington, DC NBC affiliate on November 6, 1971: "I gave back, I can't remember, six, seven, eight, nine medals."

Later, during the Presidential campaign, he claimed ""I threw my ribbons. I didn't have my medals. It is very simple."

Working definition of a difference without a distinction.

When he was running for President in 2007, Sen. Barack Obama boasted that he opposed the war in Iraq during a speech in Iowa, thus:

"I don't talk about my opposition to the war to say 'I told you so.' I wish the war had gone differently. But the reason I talk about it is because I truly believe that the judgment...that each of us showed on the most important foreign policy decision of our lives is the best indicator you have of how each of us will make those decisions going forward." [emphasis mine]

Yeah. Well.

Yesterday, John Kerry, stood at the lectern in the Department of State briefing room laying the groundwork for an attack on Syria generally and maybe its president, Bashar al-Assad. He said:

"Last night, after speaking with foreign ministers from around the world about the gravity of this situation, I went back and I watched the videos [of the chemical weapon attacks]."

The State Department has not issued a listing of the foreign ministers Kerry with whom spoke, but it's a good bet that one of them was not the foreign minister of Russia, Sergei Lavrov.

The Associated Press said that Lavrov's position on all this is, "Western nations calling for military action against Syria have no proof that the Syrian government is behind the alleged chemical weapons attack...[they] 'cannot provide evidence' of the chemical weapons attack."

Wait. There's more!

Our old friends at al Jazeera quoted Assad in the Russian newspaper Izvestia as saying, "The United States would face failure if it attacked Syria."

Which reminded me, just a little, of Saddam Hussein - the late Saddam Hussein - saying that if the U.S. attempted to thwart his invasion of Kuwait we would face "the mother of all battles."

George H.W. Bush kicked the Iraqis out of Kuwait, you may remember.

The United Nations sent a team into Syria to look for evidence of chemical weapons, but they were refused entry to the area where the attacks took place long enough to allow the Syrians to clean the place up.

When they did go in they were fired on by snipers and, so, didn't do the whole CSI: Crime Scene Investigation thing.

The UN has been as toothless as Assad has been ruthless.

While more than 100,000 people have died in this civil war, representatives to the UN from around the world have tsk-tsked over a crisply chilled Pinot Grigio and fresh shrimp cocktail served by waiters in white jackets in the wilds of assorted penthouses in Manhattan.

You think I'm being too harsh on the UN? Read this from the BBC about the response to the investigation team being shot at: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he would ask the inspection team in Damascus to register "a strong complaint."

Well, if that doesn't do it, I can't think of another approach.

I don't envy either President Obama or Secretary Kerry. This is a really bad situation.

The Administration had proclaimed the use of chemical weapons to be a "red line," which is Obama-speak for "or else."

Assad has used chemical weapons. Obama has to come up with something other than registering a "strong complaint."

Problem is, Americans may be as anti-foreign-adventure as they have been anytime prior to Pearl Harbor.

There is no specific U.S. interest being violated in Syria - other than our being the moral authority of the world, which is no small matter. And, if we (and the UK and - dare we say it - the French) don't punish Assad then the Western Powers will be exposed for what Mao Tse-tung described us as in a 1956 interview:

"Outwardly a tiger, it is made of paper, unable to withstand the wind and the rain. I believe the United States is nothing but a paper tiger."

Paper tiger. Now, there's a legacy for you.

On the Secret Decoder Ring today: Links to Kerry's medals, Obama's Iowa speech, Kerry's remarks, the Russian FM, al Jazerra, and Mao. Also, a Mullfoto of the Embassy of Tajikistan in Washington, DC.

 



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Fwd: When the going gets tough, Obama clown goes golfing







August 26, 2013

When the going gets tough, Obama goes golfing

Thomas Lifson

 

While his underlings selflessly toil to determine whether or not all the Assad government of Syria used chemical weapons against its own people (as seen on TV), President Obama played a 5 hour round of golf Sunday, closing in on a presidential total of 150 rounds of golf in four and half years. Meanwhile, The Royal Navy is ready for strikes on Syria, should Obama decide that his red line is more than the empty threat it seems to be.

Golf is a great game for socializing, spending time outdoors in well-manicured surroundings, and relaxing. But it does require an inordinate amount of time, which is the reason that after playing the game in high school, I gave up on it. I don't think that I have ever in my adult life had a work situation that would permit me to indulge in regular games of golf. It eats up too much of an entire day when you count the time necessary to get to the course.

One of the biggest largely unwritten stories of the Obama administration is the actual amount of time the commander in chief spends at work, as opposed to watching sports on TV, filling out March Madness brackets, socializing with celebrities, and whateverthehell he was doing while the Benghazi consulate was under attack.

The work ethic of the Obama administration was highlighted when newly appointed UN Ambassador Samantha Power was absent as the UN Security Council debated what to do about Syria late last week. Less than 3 weeks into her new job, she took a "personal trip" to Ireland (her native country) with her husband, who had an important appearance at a Charlie Chaplin film festival. Ambassador Power, the self-styled "genocide chick" gives evidence that Obama's role modeling has had an effect further down the hierarchy. No wonder nobody seems to be able to determine whether all those dead and twitching children constitute the use of chemical weapons.


Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/08/when_the_going_gets_tough_obama_goes_golfing.html at August 27, 2013 - 04:00:52 PM CDT



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Fwd: Congress Should Veto Obama's War








http://cnsnews.com/commentary/patrick-j-buchanan/congress-should-veto-obamas-war

 

Congress Should Veto Obama's War

August 27, 2013 - 5:07 AM


 

By Patrick J. Buchanan

"Congress doesn't have a whole lot of core responsibilities," said Barack Obama last week in an astonishing remark.

For in the Constitution, Congress appears as the first branch of government. And among its enumerated powers are the power to tax, coin money, create courts, provide for the common defense, raise and support an army, maintain a navy and declare war.

But, then, perhaps Obama's contempt is justified.

For consider Congress' broad assent to news that Obama has decided to attack Syria, a nation that has not attacked us and against which Congress has never authorized a war.

Why is Obama making plans to launch cruise missiles on Syria? According to a "senior administration official ... who insisted on anonymity," President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons on his own people last week in the two-year-old Syrian civil war.

But who deputized the United States to walk the streets of the world pistol-whipping bad actors. Where does our imperial president come off drawing "red lines" and ordering nations not to cross them?

Neither the Security Council nor Congress nor NATO nor the Arab League has authorized war on Syria.

Who made Barack Obama the Wyatt Earp of the Global Village? Moreover, where is the evidence that WMDs were used and that it had to be Assad who ordered them? Such an attack makes no sense.

Firing a few shells of gas at Syrian civilians was not going to advance Assad's cause but, rather, was certain to bring universal condemnation on his regime and deal cards to the War Party which wants a U.S. war on Syria as the back door to war on Iran.

Why did the United States so swiftly dismiss Assad's offer to have U.N. inspectors — already in Damascus investigating old charges he or the rebels used poison gas — go to the site of the latest incident?

Do we not want to know the truth?

Are we fearful the facts may turn out, as did the facts on the ground in Iraq, to contradict our latest claims about WMDs? Are we afraid that it was rebel elements or rogue Syrian soldiers who fired the gas shells to stampede us into fighting this war?

With U.S. ships moving toward Syria's coast and the McCainiacs assuring us we can smash Syria from offshore without serious injury to ourselves, why has Congress not come back to debate war?

Lest we forget, Ronald Reagan was sold the same bill of goods the War Party is selling today — that we can intervene decisively in a Mideast civil war at little or no cost to ourselves.

Reagan listened and ordered our Marines into the middle of Lebanon's civil war. And he was there when they brought home the 241 dead from the Beirut barracks and our dead diplomats from the Beirut embassy.

The only thing we learn from history is that we do not learn from history. Congress should cut short its five-week vacation, come back, debate and decide by recorded vote whether Obama can take us into yet another Middle East war.

The questions to which Congress needs answers:

—Do we have incontrovertible proof that Bashar Assad ordered chemical weapons be used on his own people? And if he did not, who did?

—What kind of reprisals might we expect if we launch cruise missiles at Syria, which is allied with Hezbollah and Iran?

—If we attack, and Syria or its allies attack U.S. military or diplomatic missions in the Middle East or here in the United States, are we prepared for the wider war we will have started?

—Assuming Syria responds with a counterstrike, how far are we prepared to go up the escalator to regional war? If we intervene, are we prepared for the possible defeat of the side we have chosen, which would then be seen as a strategic defeat for the United States?

—If stung and bleeding from retaliation, are we prepared to go all the way, boots on the ground, to bring down Assad? Are we prepared to occupy Syria to prevent its falling to the Al-Nusra Front, which it may if Assad falls and we do not intervene?

The basic question that needs to be asked about this horrific attack on civilians, which appears to be gas related, is: Cui bono?

To whose benefit would the use of nerve gas on Syrian women and children redound? Certainly not Assad's, as we can see from the furor and threats against him that the use of gas has produced.

The sole beneficiary of this apparent use of poison gas against civilians in rebel-held territory appears to be the rebels, who have long sought to have us come in and fight their war.

Perhaps Congress cannot defund Obamacare. But at least they can come back to Washington and tell Obama, sinking poll numbers aside, he has no authority to drag us into another war. His Libyan adventure, which gave us the Benghazi massacre and cover-up, was his last hurrah as war president.

 



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Fwd: Kerry: Obama Making 'Informed Decision' on Response to 'Indiscriminate' Chemical Weapons Use






More Obama b.s.

B

Kerry: Obama Making 'Informed Decision' on Response to 'Indiscriminate' Chemical Weapons Use

Posted By Bridget Johnson On August 26, 2013

Secretary of State John Kerry was sent out in front of reporters this afternoon with a prepared statement that confirmed the U.S. is preparing a response to "large-scale, indiscriminate" chemical weapons use by the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria.

"What we saw in Syria last week should shock the conscience of the world," Kerry said, calling it a "moral obscenity" and adding a plug for President Obama's past efforts "to stop the proliferation of these weapons."

Kerry said he spent the night speaking with foreign ministers, at Obama's direction, then went back and watched many of the videos shot on the ground in Syria showing dead children, families killed in their sleep, bodies "contorting in spasms."

"Anyone who could claim that an attack of this scale could be fabricated needs to check their own moral compass," he stressed.

Kerry discussed the chemical attack with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem and demanded "unrestricted and immediate access" for UN investigators to the areas struck. "Instead it attacked the area further," he said of the regime's shelling of the affected region after the chemical weapons attack. "That is not the behavior of a government that has nothing to hide."

He said the regime's decision to allow inspectors in today, after five days in which they tried to wipe away evidence, "is too late too late to be credible."

Obama will be making an "informed decision how to respond to this indiscriminate use" after conversations with other nations and "actively consulting with members of Congress," Kerry said.

"Nothing today is more serious and nothing is receiving more serious scrutiny," he added.


Article printed from The PJ Tatler: http://pjmedia.com/tatler

URL to article: http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2013/08/26/kerry-obama-making-informed-decision-on-response-to-indiscriminate-chemical-weapons-use/

 



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Fwd: The Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party Prepares for War



The Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party Prepares for War

Posted By Michael Walsh On August 26, 2013

Muslims, doing what they do best

Here we go again. In the wake of Sept. 11 — an atrocity wholly attributable to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which provided most of the hijackers and whose evil Wahabbist ideology offered the emotional and "religious" justification for mass murder — the Bush administration did almost everything wrong: attacking Iraq, trying to "nation-build" in Afghanistan, creating the ludicrous Department of Homeland Security and its idiot stepchild, the Transportation Security Administration, appointing a useless director of national intelligence, and establishing the Big Brother security state that Barack Hussein Obama is now exploiting to spy on the very people he is supposed to lead.

Deceptively running on an "I'm not Bush" platform, Obama has merrily presided over the third and now the fourth terms of the Bush administration — a cause in which he is happily joined by the likes of Arizona Senator John McCain and his mini-me from South Carolina, Lindsey Graham, two of the charter members of the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Government that has been in power in the U.S. since 1988 and shows no signs of lessening its choke hold on the nation.

And now this. In a development rich with irony, the Winter Soldier himself, John "Mr. Eighteen Weeks" Kerry — who returned from Vietnam with almost as many medals as Audie Murphy, and in record time — has now declared that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against its Islamist rebels and thrown the latest hot potato over to his boss — who's characteristically dithering. Still, with Obama's proclaimed "red line" against the use of chemical weapons by the Bashar Assad government, and the cheerleading from the McCain side of the aisle, there seems little doubt that the U.S. is about to enter yet another war in the Middle East. What could go wrong?

How about this item in Forbes:

Moscow urged Washington on Sunday not to repeat "past mistakes" in the Middle East when dealing with the alleged use of chemical weapons by Syrian President Bashar Assad.Washington said Assad used it before. Russia said they did not.

Doctors Without Borders and Syrian opposition say that more than 300 people died after the alleged toxic gas attack in an eastern Damascus suburb on Wednesday, but Syrian authorities denied the claim.

Of course. Why make this black and white?

Meanwhile, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Sunday that President Barack Obama has told him to "prepare options for all contingencies" while the White House is deciding whether to use military force against Syria, according to various U.S. news agencies.

Shortly after that news broke, Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the alleged chemical attack could have been a staged "provocation" by the Syrian opposition and that the U.S. might use it as a pretext to go after Syria.

"All of this makes one recall the events that happened 10 years ago, when, using false information about Iraqis having weapons of mass destruction, the U.S. bypassed the United Nations and started a scheme whose consequences are well known to everyone," the ministry said in a web-posted statement.

There were never any weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq. And numerous reports by the U.K. and U.S. government at the U.N. were actually old information, some of it even plagiarized.

From Russia's view, President Barack Obama is just another Middle East war-loving George W. Bush.

A senior Russian lawmaker said Sunday that Obama was a George W. "clone".

"Obama is restlessly heading towards war in Syria like Bush was heading towards war in Iraq. Like in Iraq, this war would be illegitimate and Obama will become Bush's clone," said Alexei Pushkov of the international committee of the Russian lower house, according to Forbes.

I spent a good deal of the period 1985-1991 behind the Iron Curtain, in East Germany, the East Bloc and in the Soviet Union itself. Nostalgic as I am for the good old days — when, unlike the Islamists, we had a worthy and interesting opponent in the Soviets and their client states, with the added bonus that the Communists were not a death cult, reveling in the joys of "martyrdom" — it seems utterly pointless for us to go to war with Syria over what is, in fact, an internal matter and none of our "humanitarian" business. Whether the Assad regime is killing its own people (and keep in mind that modern"Syria," like the other "nations' of the Middle East, is an imaginary state, dating from 1963, 1966, or 1970, depending on how you count, but a fully paid-up member of the ummah) with chemical weapons should not matter in the slightest to the West, strategically speaking, and one would think those on the Left who screamed about Chimpy McHitler would agree. Or even some on the Right. Alas, no.

But that was so then and this is so now. What's completely clear — as it was to some of us from the beginning — is that the high "moral" dudgeon of the leftist protests against Bush were simply the means to the electoral end of installing their man in the White House. Obama never had the slightest intention of rolling back Bush's mistakes; for him, they were not a bug of the presidency, but a compelling feature. Not for any foreign-policy reasons — with apparatchiks like Kerry at State, Samantha Power at the U.N. (when she deigns to show up) and the enlisted man, Chuck Hagel, at the Pentagon, this is the most incompetent administration since Jimmy Carter's — but because the war-machine apparatus could just as easily be employed against the domestic population as well.

Out of the way, folks, we're hunting a wounded teenager

Hello, NSA. Hello, IRS. We have always been at war with Eastasia, and for reasons of national security, you must surrender every last vestige of your privacy and your dignity. After all, we are keeping you "safe."

And this is where the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Government comes in. Without useful idiots like the collaborator, John McCain, there would be no war in Syria. Without the Right's fetishization of the military and the police — who must do what civilian authorities tell them to do, and if those duly elected authorities are leftists, tough luck — there would not only be no war in Syria, or Libya, or Iraq, or Afghanistan, there would be no war on the streets of our American cities. Indeed, it's time to retire this whole idiotic "war on" trope — the War on Drugs, the War on Poverty, the War on Women, the War on Terror — and restore both the military and the civilian police to their rightful places in society: outwardly directed, against enemies both foreign and domestic, and not against Ham Sandwich Nation, where every day, we all either become criminals, or get treated like one.

But no. The Founding Fathers warned against "factions" — meaning political parties — but they never saw this coming: a grand union of factions, ostensibly in opposition but in reality in near-complete agreement about the nature and use of government power. Washington, D.C., was only established as the capital nine years after the ratification of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights; prior to that, both Philadelphia and New York City had done time as the seat of the federal government. But thanks to unrelenting campaign of self-aggrandizement, and the natural tendency of any organism, including cancer cells, to self-protection and procreation, it is today united against its common enemy: We, the People.

Well, which is it?

Well, which is it? The People? Or the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Government? Freedom or "safety"?

And that really is all.


Article printed from Unexamined Premises: http://pjmedia.com/michaelwalsh

URL to article: http://pjmedia.com/michaelwalsh/2013/08/26/the-permanent-bipartisan-fusion-party-prepares-for-war/

 



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Fwd: Obama's Bluff



Obama's Bluff

Geopolitical Weekly

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/obamas-bluff?utm_source=freelist-f&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20130827&utm_term=Gweekly&utm_content=readmore&elq=a3b81251dee547a3b5248660c5a6f9b1

Stratfor

By George Friedman

Images of multiple dead bodies emerged from Syria last week. It was asserted that poison gas killed the victims, who according to some numbered in the hundreds. Others claimed the photos were faked while others said the rebels were at fault. The dominant view, however, maintains that the al Assad regime carried out the attack.

The United States has so far avoided involvement in Syria's civil war. This is not to say Washington has any love for the al Assad regime. Damascus' close ties to Iran and Russia give the United States reason to be hostile toward Syria, and Washington participated in the campaign to force Syrian troops out of Lebanon. Still, the United States has learned to be concerned not just with unfriendly regimes, but also with what could follow such regimes. Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya have driven home the principle that deposing one regime means living with an imperfect successor. In those cases, changing the regime wound up rapidly entangling the United States in civil wars, the outcomes of which have not been worth the price. In the case of Syria, the insurgents are Sunni Muslims whose best-organized factions have ties to al Qaeda.

Still, as frequently happens, many in the United States and Europe are appalled at the horrors of the civil war, some of whom have called on the United States to do something. The United States has been reluctant to heed these calls. As mentioned, Washington does not have a direct interest in the outcome, since all possible outcomes are bad from its perspective. Moreover, the people who are most emphatic that something be done to stop the killings will be the first to condemn the United States when its starts killing people to stop the killings. People would die in any such intervention, since there are simply no clean ways to end a civil war.

Obama's Red Lines

U.S. President Barack Obama therefore adopted an extremely cautious strategy. He said that the United States would not get directly involved in Syria unless the al Assad regime used chemical weapons, stating with a high degree of confidence that he would not have to intervene. After all, Syrian President Bashar al Assad has now survived two years of civil war, and he is far from defeated. The one thing that could defeat him is foreign intervention, particularly by the United States. It was therefore assumed he wouldn't do the one thing Obama said would trigger U.S. action.

Al Assad is a ruthless man: He would not hesitate to use chemical weapons if he had to. He is also a very rational man: He would use chemical weapons only if that were his sole option. At the moment, it is difficult to see what desperate situation would have caused him to use chemical weapons and risk the worst. His opponents are equally ruthless, and we can imagine them using chemical weapons to force the United States to intervene and depose al Assad. But their ability to access chemical weapons is unclear, and if found out, the maneuver could cost them all Western support. It is possible that lower-ranking officers in al Assad's military used chemical weapons without his knowledge and perhaps against his wishes. It is possible that the casualties were far less than claimed. And it is possible that some of the pictures were faked.

All of these things are possible, but we simply don't know which is true. More important is that major governments, including the British and French, are claiming knowledge that al Assad carried out the attack. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made a speech Aug. 26 clearly building the case for a military response, and referring to the regime attack as "undeniable" and the U.S. assessment so far as "grounded in facts." Al Assad meanwhile has agreed to allow U.N. inspectors to examine the evidence onsite. In the end, those who oppose al Assad will claim his supporters concealed his guilt, and the insurgents will say the same thing if they are blamed or if the inspectors determine there is no conclusive evidence of attacks.

The truth here has been politicized, and whoever claims to have found the truth, whatever it actually is, will be charged with lying. Nevertheless, the dominant emerging story is that al Assad carried out the attack, killing hundreds of men, women and children and crossing the red line Obama set with impunity. The U.S. president is backed into a corner.

The United States has chosen to take the matter to the United Nations. Obama will make an effort to show he is acting with U.N. support. But he knows he won't get U.N. support. The Russians, allies of al Assad and opponents of U.N.-based military interventions, will veto any proposed intervention. The Chinese -- who are not close to al Assad, but also oppose the U.N.-sanctioned interventions -- will probably join them. Regardless of whether the charges against al Assad are true, the Russians will dispute them and veto any action. Going to the United Nations therefore only buys time. Interestingly, the United States declared on Sunday that it is too late for Syria to authorize inspections. Dismissing that possibility makes the United States look tough, and actually creates a situation where it has to be tough.

Consequences in Syria and Beyond

This is no longer simply about Syria. The United States has stated a condition that commits it to an intervention. If it does not act when there is a clear violation of the condition, Obama increases the chance of war with other countries like North Korea and Iran. One of the tools the United States can use to shape the behavior of countries like these without going to war is stating conditions that will cause intervention, allowing the other side to avoid crossing the line. If these countries come to believe that the United States is actually bluffing, then the possibility of miscalculation soars. Washington could issue a red line whose violation it could not tolerate, like a North Korean nuclear-armed missile, but the other side could decide this was just another Syria and cross that line. Washington would have to attack, an attack that might not have been necessary had it not had its Syria bluff called.

There are also the Russian and Iranian questions. Both have invested a great deal in supporting al Assad. They might both retaliate were someone to attack the Syrian regime. There are already rumors in Beirut that Iran has told Hezbollah to begin taking Americans hostage if the United States attacks Syria. Russia meanwhile has shown in the Snowden affair what Obama clearly regards as a hostile intent. If he strikes, he thus must prepare for Russian counters. If he doesn't strike, he must assume the Russians and Iranians will read this as weakness.

Syria was not an issue that affected the U.S. national interest until Obama declared a red line. It escalated in importance at that point not because Syria is critical to the United States, but because the credibility of its stated limits are of vital importance. Obama's problem is that the majority of the American people oppose military intervention, Congress is not fully behind an intervention and those now rooting the United States on are not bearing the bulk of the military burden -- nor will they bear the criticism that will follow the inevitable civilian casualties, accidents and misdeeds that are part of war regardless of the purity of the intent.

The question therefore becomes what the United States and the new coalition of the willing will do if the red line has been crossed. The fantasy is that a series of airstrikes, destroying only chemical weapons, will be so perfectly executed that no one will be killed except those who deserve to die. But it is hard to distinguish a man's soul from 10,000 feet. There will be deaths, and the United States will be blamed for them.

The military dimension is hard to define because the mission is unclear. Logically, the goal should be the destruction of the chemical weapons and their deployment systems. This is reasonable, but the problem is determining the locations where all of the chemicals are stored. I would assume that most are underground, which poses a huge intelligence problem. If we assume that perfect intelligence is available and that decision-makers trust this intelligence, hitting buried targets is quite difficult. There is talk of a clean cruise missile strike. But it is not clear whether these carry enough explosives to penetrate even minimally hardened targets. Aircraft carry more substantial munitions, and it is possible for strategic bombers to stand off and strike the targets.

Even so, battle damage assessments are hard. How do you know that you have destroyed the chemicals -- that they were actually there and you destroyed the facility containing them? Moreover, there are lots of facilities and many will be close to civilian targets and many munitions will go astray. The attacks could prove deadlier than the chemicals did. And finally, attacking means al Assad loses all incentive to hold back on using chemical weapons. If he is paying the price of using them, he may as well use them. The gloves will come off on both sides as al Assad seeks to use his chemical weapons before they are destroyed.

A war on chemical weapons has a built-in insanity to it. The problem is not chemical weapons, which probably can't be eradicated from the air. The problem under the definition of this war would be the existence of a regime that uses chemical weapons. It is hard to imagine how an attack on chemical weapons can avoid an attack on the regime -- and regimes are not destroyed from the air. Doing so requires troops. Moreover, regimes that are destroyed must be replaced, and one cannot assume that the regime that succeeds al Assad will be grateful to those who deposed him. One must only recall the Shia in Iraq who celebrated Saddam's fall and then armed to fight the Americans.

Arming the insurgents would keep an air campaign off the table, and so appears to be lower risk. The problem is that Obama has already said he would arm the rebels, so announcing this as his response would still allow al Assad to avoid the consequences of crossing the red line. Arming the rebels also increases the chances of empowering the jihadists in Syria.

When Obama proclaimed his red line on Syria and chemical weapons, he assumed the issue would not come up. He made a gesture to those in his administration who believe that the United States has a moral obligation to put an end to brutality. He also made a gesture to those who don't want to go to war again. It was one of those smart moves that can blow up in a president's face when it turns out his assumption was wrong. Whether al Assad did launch the attacks, whether the insurgents did, or whether someone faked them doesn't matter. Unless Obama can get overwhelming, indisputable proof that al Assad did not -- and that isn't going to happen -- Obama will either have to act on the red line principle or be shown to be one who bluffs. The incredible complexity of intervening in a civil war without becoming bogged down makes the process even more baffling.

Obama now faces the second time in his presidency when war was an option. The first was Libya. The tyrant is now dead, and what followed is not pretty. And Libya was easy compared to Syria. Now, the president must intervene to maintain his credibility. But there is no political support in the United States for intervention. He must take military action, but not one that would cause the United States to appear brutish. He must depose al Assad, but not replace him with his opponents. He never thought al Assad would be so reckless. Despite whether al Assad actually was, the consensus is that he was. That's the hand the president has to play, so it's hard to see how he avoids military action and retains credibility. It is also hard to see how he takes military action without a political revolt against him if it goes wrong, which it usually does.

 



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Fwd: GOP Begins Whispers of Impeaching Obama







FINALLY!

 

B

 

GOP Begins Whispers of Impeaching Obama

Posted By Bill Straub On August 27, 2013

WASHINGTON — Just eight months after being sworn in for a second four-year term, President Obama is the subject of impeachment talk among several Republican lawmakers.

Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, R-MI, told supporters attending a recent Birmingham/Bloomfield Republican Club meeting that forcing Obama from office less than a year after he achieved a 5 million-vote victory over GOP rival Mitt Romney would be "a dream come true." [1]

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-TX, told those attending a town hall meeting in Luling that there are sufficient votes in the House of Representatives to adopt a bill of impeachment. But he noted that the Democratic-controlled Senate is unlikely to find the president guilty of any high crimes or misdemeanors as required by the U.S. Constitution.

"If we were to impeach the president tomorrow, you could probably get the votes in the House of Representatives to do it," he said [2]. "But it would go to the Senate, and he wouldn't get convicted."

Earlier this year, Rep. Steve Stockman, R-TX, threatened to seek Obama's impeachment if he attempted to adopt stricter gun control measures through executive order.

The impeachment discussion isn't limited to the House side. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK, who presents himself as a friend of the president, told a crowd in Muscogee that Obama is drawing "perilously close" to the standards required for ouster.

"I think there's some intended violation of law in this administration but I also think there's a ton of incompetence," Coburn said [3], adding that if the problems continue, "I think we're going to have another constitutional crisis in our country in terms of the president."

Coburn's fellow Oklahoman, Republican Sen. James Inhofe, suggested as early as May that Obama could face impeachment over last year's terrorist attack on the diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that led to the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others. Inhofe, in a radio interview on The Rusty Humphries Show, said that the administration engaged in the "greatest cover-up in American history" over the attack and added [4], "People may be starting to use the I-word before too long,"

Inhofe said he believed outrage over Benghazi would endure and asserted that Obama's impeachment could come after the 2014 midterm elections if the GOP regains control of the Senate.

And Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TX, being talked up among conservatives as a GOP presidential candidate in 2016, sidestepped a query during a town hall meeting in Conroe regarding why there has been no attempt to impeach Obama by acknowledging, "It's a good question."

"I'll tell you the simplest answer — to successfully impeach a president you need the votes in the U.S. Senate," Cruz said [5]. Those votes are unavailable because the chamber is controlled by Democrats.

In the post 2000-recall election, post-9/11 world [6], talk about impeachment, once rarely discussed, appears to be on the upswing on both sides of the aisle [7], as the nation's politics becomes increasingly divisive. From the beginning of the republic to 1998 only one president has faced impeachment, Andrew Johnson, in 1868, for violating the Tenure of Office Act when he fired Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. He ultimately was acquitted in a Senate trial by a single vote.

President Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998 for perjury and obstruction of justice focusing on his involvement in a sex scandal. He likewise was acquitted. The House Judiciary Committee adopted articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon as a result of the Watergate scandal in 1974 but he resigned before the full House vote sent the issue to the upper chamber.

Other than Stockman and Inhofe, lawmakers discussing Obama's potential impeachment haven't offered specific reasons for their desire to remove him from office.

Bentivolio said he is scanning the transcripts of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's hearings on the Internal Revenue Service's treatment of Tea Party groups seeking tax exemptions for information that might tie the situation to the White House.

"I went back to my office and I have had lawyers come in, and these are lawyers, well — Ph.D.s in history — I said, 'Tell me how I can impeach the president of the United States. What evidence do you have?' You've got to have the evidence," Bentivolio said [8].

Conservative organizations and journalists have been more forthcoming. The "Overpasses for Obama's Impeachment" movement [9], a grassroots group claiming 40,000 members that features protestors gathering at highway overpasses seeking support for the president's ouster, lists 12 offenses developed by Michael Connelly, identified as a retired constitutional lawyer.

The charges include pushing through a healthcare reform act "that he was fully aware was unconstitutional," ordering a moratorium on offshore oil drilling without congressional consent, abdicating his responsibility to enforce the laws against illegal immigration, unilaterally declaring that the Defense of Marriage Act passed by the Congress is unconstitutional, the so-called "Fast and Furious" gun-running scandal and engaging in the Libyan civil war without congressional consent.

Several other groups mention the administration's actions regarding the National Security Agency securing domestic phone records to track down terrorists as a possible impeachable offense.

The White House thus far has ignored the chatter. But David Axelrod, a former top advisor to Obama who helped mastermind his two presidential victories, told MSNBC on Friday that impeachment talk is "plainly absurd, but it's worse than absurd," and that comments by Coburn in particular were "way out of bounds."

"What we've seen is a serial attempt to disqualify — by both sides, by the way, but I think more so by the Republicans — to disqualify whoever's the president of the United States, not just debate them, not just disagree with them, but render them illegitimate — and that is dangerous for this country," Axelrod said [10].


Article printed from PJ Media: http://pjmedia.com

URL to article: http://pjmedia.com/blog/gop-begins-whispers-of-impeaching-obama/

URLs in this post:

[1] would be "a dream come true.": http://weaselzippers.us/2013/08/21/gop-rep-kerry-bentivolio-i-would-be-my-dream-come-true-to-write-bill-to-impeach-obama/

[2] he said: http://www.rightwingnews.com/barack-obama/gop-congressman-if-we-were-to-impeach-the-president-tomorrow-you-could-probably-get-the-votes-in-the-house-of-representatives-to-do-it/

[3] Coburn said: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/08/22/coburn-obama-getting-perilously-close-to-impeachment-standard/

[4] and added: http://weaselzippers.us/2013/05/10/gop-sen-jim-inhofe-obama-could-be-impeached-over-benghazi-coverup/

[5] Cruz said: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/356237/cruz-calls-why-dont-we-impeach-obama-good-question-katrina-trinko

[6] the post 2000-recall election, post-9/11 world: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904836104576556670982083348.html

[7] on both sides of the aisle: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Efforts_to_impeach_George_W._Bush

[8] Bentivolio said: http://iowntheworld.com/blog/?p=199840

[9] "Overpasses for Obama's Impeachment" movement: http://twitchy.com/2013/08/18/overpasses-for-obamas-impeachment-demonstrations-take-place-around-the-country-video-pics/

[10] Axelrod said: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/356566/axelrod-talk-impeachment-virus-needs-be-curbed-andrew-johnson

 



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