Category Archives: USA

What Obama and ISIS Have in Common

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Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.

Sometimes Obama seems a lot more worried about ISIS’ social media presence than about its tens of thousands of fighters carving their way across Syria and Iraq. While there is still no strategy for defeating the Islamic State on the battlefield, the administration has focused on a social media strategy instead.

The most dangerous component of ISIS isn’t online, but its most dangerous component to Obama is. An administration that runs on social media and public perception is a lot more worried about what ISIS says online than how many people it enslaves, rapes and massacres in Iraq and Syria.

One of the things that makes ISIS very different from other Islamic terrorist groups is how good it is at reaching Americans with its propaganda. That makes its recruitment of Muslims in America more effective, but it also means that the administration is unable to shove the war into the closet.

Obama’s disastrous Afghan surge cost thousands of American lives without ever beating the Taliban. But few Americans have any idea that anything went wrong because of a media blackout and an inability by Republicans to make the war into an issue. Obama’s illegal attack on Libya led to Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood taking over entire cities. But most Americans have no idea it ever happened.

ISIS however is really great at publicity. It’s as good at promoting its latest crimes as any Hollywood studio. Ignoring it isn’t an option. Obama tried and it culminated in the Yazidi genocide.

His strategy for fighting ISIS ties together all his old failed strategies. There are the selective drone strikes targeting ISIS leaders. He’s trying to keep together the old Libyan coalition for air strikes while expecting other countries to once again do most of the heavy lifting. There are more efforts at assembling a coalition of Muslim militias. None of these strategies can work or will work.

The international coalition depends on Turkey, a sometime ally of ISIS, which is much more interested in killing the Kurds fighting ISIS, than in fighting the terror group. The Muslim militias he’s backing either work with Al Qaeda and ISIS or work for Iran. And selective drone strikes are more useful for stopping a terrorist group on the run than a burgeoning country that conquerors territory and controls cities.

Failure alone wouldn’t bother Obama. Every conflict on his watch has gone disastrously. But his failures are no longer private. They’re not closed off in wordy debates in the denser parts of newspapers.

Obama can’t run away from ISIS the way he has from every other disaster in the Middle East. And he can’t defeat it without authorizing bombing raids with high civilian casualties or ground forces. But he isn’t even willing to bomb ISIS training camps, let alone less obvious targets, so winning the war is out.

Hitting ISIS hard or bringing ground troops back to Iraq for extended armed battles would tarnish what he sees as his progressive foreign policy legacy. That leaves him with very few options.

Lying about ISIS has been a consistent administration strategy and the latest revelations about intelligence reports that were doctored to make it seem as if ISIS were weaker and the campaign against it was working fit that pattern. But the lies were also futile. Like Benghazi, doctoring documents makes no difference when there are graphic photos and videos of another attack that everyone can see.

But it does fit the larger Obama strategy of running out the clock and making ISIS into someone else’s problem. The illusion of progress, however false and weak, is better than nothing. Obama is betting that he can stall the public with misleading claims that progress is being made in a long war effort.

But to get away with it, he has to do something about the publicity machine of the Islamic State.

Obama and the Caliph of the Islamic State mirror each other. Both believe in a “Forward” strategy that smashes through the Overton window by violating any and all rules of the game.  Enemies are to be destroyed and rulebreaking is to be triumphantly normalized as the only way for the cause to win. Loyalty is pledged personally to the leader and even minor deviations by allies are ruthlessly punished.

Both also excel at social media propaganda. Obama and the Caliph are middle aged radicals surrounded by staffs filled with millenials to whom social media is second nature. Both sides have built a strategy of radicalization that is focused on turning out a narrow and passionately enthusiastic base while forcing everyone else to either accept their triumphs or scramble to engage in last minute resistance.

Obama’s base however limits itself to violent riots. It doesn’t behead people on camera.

Caliph al-Baghdadi has done for Islamic terrorism what Obama did for leftist politics. He took a creaky outdated infrastructure and modernized it and made it trendy. The Caliph of ISIS is to Osama bin Laden as Obama is to Bernie Sanders. In some ways he is Obama’s twin and that’s why Obama is losing to him.

Obama isn’t fighting a bunch of bearded relics in a cave somewhere. His opposite number shares much of his worldview. Obama and the Caliph both believe that wars are won by using publicity to create the illusion of an inevitable victory. Both men have built powerful publicity machines that crowdsource the distribution of their propaganda to volunteers to make it seem like an authentic grassroots message.

But it’s ISIS that has the momentum. Obama has always understood that doing something is more powerful than doing nothing. It’s why he has beaten Republicans so many times. But in Iraq and Syria, it’s ISIS that is aggressively moving forward while Obama struggles to create the appearance of action.

While Obama is unwilling to alienate Muslims and the left, the Islamic State has no such worries.

Obama can’t bring the war to ISIS. ISIS however has no difficulty recruiting Muslims in this country to bring the war to Americans. It doesn’t just do this with speeches or Islamic scripture, but with memes, hashtags and graphics that bypass the media to make the message clear to American audiences.

All this is typical of how Obama would wage a campaign against Republicans. And he has no defense against it because the momentum is on the side of the Islamic State. His hashtag war is defensive. So it’s no wonder that his own analysts admit that he’s even losing the social media war against ISIS.

The administration has been pressuring Twitter to shut down ISIS accounts and arresting ISIS propagandists because it can’t compete with them. It’s less concerned with terrorism than with the ability of ISIS to punch through and repeatedly remind Americans that the war isn’t over.

Obama’s ability to advance his foreign policy agenda, including the Iran nuclear deal, the Gitmo closure and a Palestinian state, depends on preventing Americans from realizing that ISIS is winning the war. Every time ISIS reminds Americans that it’s winning, his credibility and competence take another hit.

That’s why Obama is much more focused on taking out ISIS on social media than he is on beating their forces. Obama let ISIS take over Iraqi cities. He might be willing to let the Caliph have his Caliphate with its sex slaves and piles of corpses if only he would let Obama keep his memes and trending hashtags.

Obama and the Democrats Now Own Iran. They’ll Soon Wish They Didn’t

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This morning, President Obama got what he’s been working toward all year. With Senator Barbara Mikulski’s announcement that she will vote to support the Iran nuclear deal, the administration got its 34th vote in the Senate, thus assuring that the president will have enough support to sustain a veto of a resolution of disapproval of the pact. Mikulski was just the latest of a number of Senate Democrats to throw in with the president on Iran. The only suspense now is whether Obama will get to 41 and thus have enough for a filibuster and prevent a vote on the deal from even taking place. Leaving aside the terrible damage the deal does to U.S. security and the stability of the Middle East, the most far-reaching effect of the deal is that from now on Democrats own Iran. From this moment forward, every act of Iranian-sponsored terrorism, every instance of Iranian aggression and adventurism as well as the Islamist regime’s inevitable march to a nuclear weapon can be laid at the feet of a Democratic Party. With a few exceptions, the Democrats fell meekly behind a president determined to prioritize détente with Iran over the alliance with Israel and the need to defend U.S. interests. By smashing the bipartisan consensus that had existed on Iran up until this year, the Democrats have, in effect, become the hostages of the ayatollahs. This is a decision that will haunt them in the years to come.

In analyzing the struggle that was ultimately won by Obama, it must first be acknowledged that the outcome was determined primarily by a mismatch in terms of the relative power of the two sides.

Though the Iran deal is a threat to U.S. security as well as to the interests of moderate Arab regimes who are as afraid of Tehran as Israel, the pro-Israel community, and AIPAC led the fight against the agreement. Though AIPAC can generally count on bipartisan support on any issue it cares about, it never had a prayer of beating an administration that was prepared to do and say anything to get its way. Once the president made clear that he considered the nuclear deal to be the centerpiece of his foreign policy legacy, the chances that even the pull of the pro-Israel community could persuade enough Democrats to sustain a veto override were slim and none. In order to achieve that victory, Obama had to sink to the level of gutter politics by smearing his critics as warmongers and slam AIPAC with the same sort of language that earned President George H.W. Bush opprobrium. But the president’s ability to twist the arms of most of the members of his own party to back him was never really in doubt. It was a defeat for AIPAC but not one that should impact its ability to continue to be effective on Capitol Hill.

It must also be noted that this outcome was only made possible by the utter stupidity and cowardice of key Republican leaders — especially Senator Bob Corker — that led to their agreement to a bill that reversed the treaty ratification process. The Corker-Cardin bill that gave Congress the right to vote on the deal was represented at the time as a bipartisan triumph but the Democrats were laughing up their sleeves the whole time. Instead of demanding that the president present the deal to Congress as a treaty, which would have required a two-thirds vote of approval, Obama was able to ram this awful deal down the throats of a reluctant country and Congress by only being able to have enough votes to sustain a veto. It would have been better for the country had the GOP stood on its ground on the treaty issue since that would have left Obama to pursue his original plan, which was to treat the deal as a simple agreement that required no Congressional action at all. At least then the deal would have been seen as another end run around the Constitution by a lawless president. Instead, he gets to pretend that Congress has ratified the deal when, in fact, large majorities oppose it in both the House and the Senate.

But the most important point to be gleaned from Obama’s seeming triumph is that he and his party now bear complete responsibility for Iran’s good conduct as well as its nuclear program.

Let’s remember that, up until this past winter, it could be argued that Congressional Democrats were as ardent about stopping Iran’s nuclear ambitions as the Republicans. Sanctions on Iran — that were opposed by the Obama administration — got overwhelming Democratic support with members of the party like Senator Robert Menendez leading the fight for them. Even tougher sanctions that were also opposed by the president last year also had the support of the vast majority of the Democratic caucuses in both the House and the Senate. Nor was there much enthusiasm among Democrats for the string of concessions that Obama made to Iran in the negotiations led up to the deal.

But once the president got close to achieving his goal of an entente with Iran, he set about the business of peeling away Democrats from that consensus position. To date only two in the Senate — Menendez and New York’s Chuck Schumer — resisted the pressure and even Schumer promised not to try and persuade other Democrats to join him. The power of the presidency and the threat of unleashing a wave of slander and perhaps primary opposition from the president’s left-wing admirers was enough to force Democrats into his camp.

The statements of support from each Democrat betrayed their lack of enthusiasm for a deal that all admitted wasn’t the triumph that Obama was crowing about. They know it doesn’t achieve the administration’s stated goal when the negotiations began of stopping Iran’s program. At best it postpones it for a decade or 15 years. Meanwhile Iran is allowed to continue research and keep its advanced infrastructure as well as the right to go on enriching uranium.

Just as important, the deal did nothing to rein in Iran’s support for terrorism, halt its ballistic missile building program (which shows that the U.S. and Europe are as much Tehran’s target as Israel) or halt its push for regional hegemony.

Obama and the Democrats now say they will get behind Israel and strengthen its defenses even though the deal makes Iran a threshold nuclear power almost immediately. That renders talk of preserving Israel’s qualitative military edge over potential foes meaningless.

But what this means is that every act of Iranian terror, every instance of Hamas and Hezbollah using Iranian funds and material to wage war against Israel or moves against Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states must now be seen as having been enabled not just by Obama but also by his party.

If Iran cheats its way to a bomb before the deal expires or uses the wealth that Obama is lavishing on it to get them to agree to this deal to undermine regional stability it won’t be possible in the future for Democrats to say that this was simply Obama’s folly. No, by docilely following his lead for a deal that few of them were eager to embrace, the entire Democratic Party must now pray that the president is right and that Iran will seek to “get right with the world” rather than pursuing a religious and ideological agenda of conflict with the West and Israel.

Obama got his deal despite the opposition of the majority of Congress and the American people. But the Democratic Party now gets to pay the bill for it. By making Iran a partisan issue in this manner, Obama saddled his party with the blame for everything that will happen in the coming years. Munich analogies are often inappropriate but when Rep. Patrick Murphy (the likely Democratic nominee for the Senate seat Marco Rubio is vacating next year) said the deal gives us “peace in our time,” his channeling of Neville Chamberlain was no ordinary gaffe. In the years to come when Obama is retired and Iran uses the deal to make new mischief and atrocities, Democrats may regret giving in to the president’s pressure. But, like the appeasers of the 1930s, the legacy of the pro-Iran deal Democrats is now set in stone.

Democrats Chose Obama and Iran Over America’s Future

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Daniel Greenfield// Senate Democrats had a very simple choice in the Iran deal. They could stand with the vast majority of Americans who were opposed to it.Voters oppose 55 – 25 percent the proposed nuclear agreement with Iran. 56 to 28 percent say it will make the world less safe. Even black voters, Obama’s most enthusiastic base, split on the deal 39 to 38 percent.

But despite majorities opposed to the Iran Deal that even Obama admitted will let Iran have a near zero breakout time to the bomb, Senate Democrats chose to listen to Obama instead of to Americans. They picked Iran’s bomb over America’s national security.

They chose to make America less safe to make their careers more safe.

They chose MoveOn’s dirty money over the worries of their constituents.

They betrayed the people they claimed to represent. They betrayed America. And they betrayed the future.

As we speak, Iran is involved in multiple wars in the region, some of which have already involved the use of WMDs. Every day, Iran finds a new way to disavow the deal. The deal that the Democrats have backed will even allow Iran to conduct self-inspections of its own weapons facility.

Some Senate Democrats, like Menendez and Webb, courageously spoke out against the deal and asked their fellow senators to put country ahead of party. Instead most chose to put party ahead of country.

This is now their bomb. They own Iran’s nuclear program. Whatever happens next is on them and on their party. It was a handful of years from Chamberlain’s croak of “Peace for our time” to war. As then, so here, the war is already underway. They have chosen not to see it or acknowledge it. They have chosen to lie about it in the hopes of preserving their miserable careers.

They have betrayed their country for their careers.

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Obama refuses to bomb ISIS training camps turning out thousands of fighters a month

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 Ever wonder why the US military – the most powerful and technologically advance force in the world – is losing a war to a bunch of fanatical fighters?

Could be that we’re not serious enough about “destroying and degrading” Islamic State forces.

Case in point: There are dozens of ISIS training camps spread throughout Syria and Iraq training thousands of fighters a month – and we haven’t once targeted a camp in our air campaign.

The fear is hitting civilians – what the military calls “responsible targeting.” But Bill Gertz of the Washington Free Beacon has examined the targets hit by our forces and comes away unimpressed.

The military campaign, known as Operation Inherent Resolve, appears to be floundering despite a yearlong campaign of airstrikes and military training programs aimed to bolstering Iraqi military forces.

A review of Central Command reports on airstrikes since last year reveals that no attacks were carried out against training camps.

Targets instead included Islamic State vehicles, buildings, tactical units, arms caches, fighting positions, snipers, excavators, mortar and machine gun positions, bunkers, and bomb factories.

The risk-averse nature of the airstrike campaign was highlighted last month by Brig. Gen. Thomas Weidley, chief of staff for what the military calls Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.

“The coalition continues to use air power responsibly,” Weidley said July 1. “Highly precise deliveries, detailed weaponeering, in-depth target development, collateral damage mitigation, and maximized effects on Daesh, are characteristics of coalition airstrike operation in Iraq and Syria.”

Daesh is another name for the Islamic State.

“The coalition targeting process minimizes collateral damage and maximizes precise effects on Daesh,” Weidley said earlier. “Air crews are making smart decisions and applying tactical patience every day.”

Other coalition spokesman have indicated that targeting has been limited to reaction strikes against operational groups of IS fighters. “When Daesh terrorists expose themselves and their equipment, we will strike them,” Col. Wayne Marotto said May 27.

The military website Long War Journal published a map showing 52 IS training camps and noted that some may no longer be operating because of the U.S.-led bombing campaign.

According the map, among the locations in Iraq and Syria where IS is operating training camps are Mosul, Raqqah, Nenewa, Kobane, Aleppo, Fallujah, and Baiji.

The group MEMRI obtained a video of an IS training camp in Nenewa Province, Iraq, dated Oct. 1, 2014.

The video shows a desert outpost with tan tents and around 100 fighters who take part in hand-to-hand combat exercises, weapons training, and religious indoctrination.

We are fighting with one hand tied behind our backs because of the fear of collateral damage. Fair enough. But consider that nearby in Yemen, the Saudis are wontonly killing civilians in their air strikes, and the Syrian government and Hezb’allah are massacring civilians with poison gas and “barrel bombs.”

The Obama administration is running out the clock on the war against Islamic State, hoping they can keep ISIS from a sweeping victory until after they are safely out of office. No messy civilian deaths will be allowed to tarnish the Lightworker’s legacy – even if that means continued suffering and death at the hands of terrorists because we refuse to destroy their training camps.

State Department declares Parchin military base not nuke site before IAEA even signs off on it

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Responding to reports of construction at the Parchin military base, State Department spokesman John Kirby said that building an addition to one of the buildings was allowed because the site is a  “conventional military site, not a nuclear site.”

This is another flip flop by the Obama administration who had been insisting for years that Parchin may have conducted tests as recently as 2010 related to a nuclear explosive. And of course, giving Parchin a clean bill of health before the IAEA even has a chance to examine the samples that will be collected by Iranian sciientsts is ludicrous.

Jerusalem Post:

For over a decade, the IAEA has sought answers to a set list of questions regarding the possible military dimensions of Iran’s past nuclear work. The agency agreed on a “road-map” with Iran last month toward that end and hopes to conclude its inquiry by the end of the year.

Theoretically, the inquiry is intended to conclude whether the site is conventional or nuclear in nature.

If the investigation concludes to the satisfaction of the IAEA, Iran will begin receiving its sanctions relief, and the broader Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action— the formal name for the Iran nuclear deal— will go into effect.

There is a Kabuki dance being performed by the international community as they go through the motions of deliberating and signing off on the agreement. Even the IAEA is now in the tank for the deal, eschewing any semblance of independent verification in favor of hurrying the process of certifying Iran to be compliant with the terms of the agreement.

This is clear to Democratic lawmakers who now have no reason at all to go against their president and vote the deal down. They realize that even if by some miracle Congress would refuse to OK the agreement, it would move forward anyway as if they didn’t even exist. Why risk your political career if it’s a done deal anyway?

Republicans should call out this charade and boycott the vote. It’s about as meaningful as voting to name a new post office in Ohio after John Boehner. Better to refuse to become part of this stage managed soap opera than be seen participating in it.

Democrats to Spend 9/11 Partying w/Muslim Brotherhood front groups CAIR, ISNA

Daniel Greenfield

This is like spending Victory in Europe Day dressing up in Nazi uniforms or Pearl Harbor Day playing kamikaze. But it’s business as usual for the Democratic Party, which does treason like it’s going out of style.

First up is a very special 9/11 party with ISNA over in Lansing as the Islamic Society of Greater Lansing throws its 9th Annual Mayor’s Ramadan Unity Dinner hosted by two Dems, Mayor Virg Bernero and Nathan Triplett, as Creeping Sharia reports.

Come for the 9/11 ambiance, stay for the party at an Islamic center affiliated with ISNA. As a bonus, you can meet its imam, Sohail Chaudhry, who became infamous for his run-in with Asra Nomani. She claimed that his former mosque had extremist elements.

ISNA was set up by the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the same organization that spawned Al Qaeda. It has extensive ties to terrorism. It’s the last place any patriotic American should be on 9/11.

Meanwhile over in Washington, the anniversary of the murder of thousands of Americans by Muslim terrorists means it’s time for some quality CAIR time.

A meeting aimed in part at helping Tri-City elected officials become better acquainted with the local Muslim community was planned Friday in West Richland.

The session also was meant to help Tri-City area Muslims become more engaged in government. Similar meetings will be held in the Tri-Cities in the future, with the next one planned for September.

When in September exactly? Funny you should ask.

The next meeting is Sept. 11 in Kennewick

And by “Muslim community”, they mean another Muslim Brotherhood terror-linked group.

They’re part of a initiative by the state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, a civil liberties and advocacy organization.

Here’s the kind of civil liberties and advocacy CAIR is best known for…

CAIR was co-founded in 1994 by Nihad Awad, Omar Ahmad, and Rafeeq Jaber, all of whom had close ties to the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), which was established by senior Hamas operative Mousa Abu Marzook and functioned as Hamas’ public relations and recruitment arm in the United States.

On February 2, 1995, U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White named CAIR Advisory Board member and New York imam Siraj Wahhaj as one of the “unindicted persons who may be alleged as co-conspirators” in Islamic Group leader Omar Abdel Rahman’s foiled plot to blow up numerous New York City monuments.

CAIR itself was named an unindicted coconspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror finance trial.

In October 1998, CAIR demanded the removal of a Los Angeles billboard describing Osama bin Laden as “the sworn enemy.” According to CAIR, this depiction was “offensive to Muslims.”

In 1998, CAIR denied bin Laden’s responsibility for the two al Qaeda bombings of American embassies in Africa. According to Ibrahim Hooper, the bombings resulted from “misunderstandings of both sides.”

This is the sort of folks that some politicians seem to think are appropriate company for 9/11.