Libya Becoming Part of the ISIS Caliphate

Libya: A nation being absorbed by the ISIS Caliphate?
Map courtesy of
Google/Nations Online Project

The release of the movie 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi appears to have triggered a discussion about ISIS taking over the country of Libya. Posts on the subject have been published by the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Long War Journal, the British newspapers  The Mirror and The Guardian,  Al Arabiya,  and Business Insider among others.  Continue Reading…

A Movie Hillary and the Democrats Should Fear

President Obama and Secretary Clinton honor the Benghazi attack victims at the Transfer of Remains Ceremony held at Andrews Air Force Base on September 14, 2012.

President Obama and Secretary Clinton honor the Benghazi attack victims at the Transfer of Remains Ceremony held at Andrews Air Force Base on September 14, 2012.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons/US Department of State

Last Saturday my wife and I went with some friends to see the controversial film 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. Its effects on me  were emotionally devastating, as indeed they would be probably for any combat veteran. One can not help but relive one’s experiences in what is seen on the screen. Also, be forewarned if you decide to go see it (which you definitely should). The movie does not gloss over the effects of modern munitions on the human body. Click here for a sanitized trailer.    Continue Reading…

Saudi Arabia and Israel: A Match Made in Heaven?

Flags of Saudi Arabia and Israel           Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Saudi Arabia is suddenly finding itself very isolated and threatened internationally. At one time Saudi Arabia could count on the United States as an ally, but no longer. Ever since the Obama administration started courting Iran, the U.S. government has been ignoring and shoving Saudi Arabia aside while pursuing a nuclear agreement with Iran.      Continue Reading…

The Virus that is ISIS

Coalition air strike on ISIS positions in Kobani, Northern Syria, October 2014

Coalition air strike on ISIS positions in Kobani, Northern Syria, October 2014
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Voice of America

Schuyler Moore has just published a very interesting idea about ISIS in her post Why Saudi Arabia May Be the Next Syria. The idea is that ISIS should be considered like a virus that can not be destroyed simply by eliminating it from its present host. Moore does not describe it that way, but that it is pretty much what she is saying.  Continue Reading…

Are Americans Really Moving to the Left?

Tomb of Karl Marx

Tomb of Karl Marx          Photo Credit: Flickr.com/Matt From London

These troubled times see Americans traveling in sharply different ideological directions. At least partially isolated from each other and listening mostly to their own partisans, advocates of different ideological views sometimes are convinced their own viewpoint is gaining ascendency. This fact was brought forcibly and jarringly home to me while reading Peter Beinart’s post Why America Is Moving Left.      Continue Reading…

President Obama’s Passions

Obama and the World

Obama and the World
(c) Can Stock Photo

Every now and then you read a book or an article, or in this case an internet posting, that is so perfect, so powerful in its depiction of an extremely important piece of reality that you feel like screaming out to the entire world, “YOU MUST READ THIS!” This is the case with Robert Tracinski’s post Barack Obama: Worst. President. Ever.      Continue Reading…

The Modes of ISIS’ Threat to US

Memorial to Nov. 2015 Paris Attacks at French Embassy in Moscow.

Memorial to Nov. 2015 Paris attacks at French Embassy in Moscow
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Stolbovsky

Dartmouth College academics Steven Simon and Daniel Benjamin, writing the post Could Paris Happen Here? on the New York Times webpage, have expressed what I predict will become the standard Democratic Party point of view. They begin their hopeful declaration this way:

SURVEYING the aftermath of the terror attacks in Paris, most Americans probably feel despair, and a presentiment that it is only a matter of time before something similar happens here. Even as Americans have felt the pain of the French, they have worried, not surprisingly, considering 9/11, about whether their country is next.

But such anxiety is unwarranted. In fact, it’s a mistake to assume that America’s security from terrorism at home is comparable to Europe’s. For many reasons, the United States is a significantly safer place.

After reading this, I was dumbfounded! I could not believe such a flight from reality was possible. Continue Reading…

A Death Trap of Wishful Thinking

Black flag of ISIS

Black flag of ISIS                    Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham) has just reminded us in Paris that they are at war with Modern Civilization. Those they seek to kill belong not just to that part of Western Civilization called the United States of America. They seek the death of anyone anywhere who does not adhere to the Sharia law of seventh century Arabia and who does not worship Allah according to their Sunni precepts. Continue Reading…

Consequences of a Weak US President

U.S. troops near Siauliai Zuokniai, Lithuania, April 26, 2014

U.S. troops near Siauliai Zuokniai, Lithuania, April 26, 2014      
Photo Credit: AFP/Petras Malukas

The U.S. and our NATO alliance are now facing the consequences of a weak U.S. President encouraging aggression by a Vladimir Putin controlled Russia. As we discussed in A Failed, “Lead from Behind” Foreign Policy(1),  President Obama, suffused with guilt over past assertive U.S. policies and wanting to focus resources into federal government domestic programs, did not want to even acknowledge the existence of foreign threats. Barack Obama did his very best to will threats away, not expecting his attitude would whet the Russian imperial appetite. Obama’s priority was to reduce U.S. armed forces and steer the U.S. into an isolationist path. See A Failed, “Lead from Behind” Foreign Policy(2) for the many different ways Obama has demonstrated his weakness.    Continue Reading…

A Failed, “Lead From Behind” Foreign Policy (2)

Russian TU-95 bomber intercepted over North Sea/Atlantic Ocean, 29 October 2014
Photo Credit: NATO/RAF

The Obama administration has made the world more dangerous for the West by more than just our withdrawal from Iraq. Indeed by Obama’s demonstration of U.S. weakness, he is enticing Russia, China, and Iran to consider what they each might gain by military force. The photo above of one of eight Russian TU-95 Bear H strategic bombers intercepted by NATO aircraft over the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean is evidence of just one of many incidents of Russia resuming its Cold War ways. Russian Federation President Putin has shown a great interest  in regaining its former Eastern European and Baltic state possessions. China meanwhile is working to seize the South China Sea for its own, and at the very least, dominating South-East Asia. Iran, for its part, is working hard to gain nuclear weapons and ICBMs. In addition, their military adventures in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Bahrain, and Yemen show Iran has the ambition to become at the very least the suzerain of the Middle East, and quite possibly the master of a world-wide Shiite imamate. In addition, there is the further bad news these three bad actors have formed a de facto alliance that may very well be formalized in the near future. And then there is ISIS.   Continue Reading…

A Failed, “Lead From Behind” Foreign Policy (1)

Negotiators

Iranian and P5+1 Negotiators for Iran Nuclear Deal
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons/US State Dept.

At times it seems as if the Obama administration would just as soon wall the rest of the world off from the United States with its “lead from behind” foreign policy. At other times one might think Obama’s sympathies are more with our opponents than with the United States, especially when he apologized for the behavior of the United States to foreign audiences. Early in his first term, Obama conducted what the Wall Street Journal called his “international confession tour”. He told the French that toward Europe, America “has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive”. In London, Latin America, and Egypt he expressed similar mea culpas, seeming to project a moral equivalence between the United States and its adversaries. In a secret cable published by Wikileaks, the U.S. Ambassador to Japan told Obama that the Japanese government did not want the President to visit Hiroshima to make an apology for the U.S. having dropped a nuclear bomb on the city to end World War II. As with many on the political Left, President Obama seems to believe that more often than not the U.S. is the villain in international affairs and should withdraw from those affairs as much as possible. That is, we should withdraw except for being a supplicant for forgiveness for some “crime” or other and offering reparations.   Continue Reading…

Russia Inside Syria

Port of Tartus

Now we learn Russia is building an airbase in Latakia, Syria. Also see here. The United States may be attempting to withdraw from the world, but Russia is expanding to fill the vacuum. Ostensibly, they are there to fight ISIS. They are indeed there to do exactly that, but they are also there to support a client of Iran, the President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, and thereby help out their allay Iran. In addition, it is not just Assad’s regime that is threatened, but Russia’s Syrian former naval resupply base in the port of Tartus, shown in the photo above, as well. As another goal, Russia may be seeking more permanent bases in Syria.     Continue Reading…

The Purposes of Iran

Iranian Soldier

Al Qaeda and ISIS are not the only islamic jihadist organizations to worry about; there is Iran as well. The Washington Times has cited a release from the Iranian Fars News Agency, which quoted Iran’s supreme leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamanei as saying:

Those [Iranians] who want to promote negotiations and surrender to the oppressors and blame the Islamic Republic as a warmonger in reality commit treason.

Also he was quoted as saying

The reason for continuation of this battle is not the warmongering of the Islamic Republic … Logic and reason command that Iran, in order to pass through a region full of pirates, needs to arm itself and must have the capability to defend itself. Today’s world is full of thieves and plunderers of human honor … [who] commit crimes and betray human ideals and start wars in different parts of the world.   Continue Reading…

Putin’s Russia and the West

Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation                                 Image Credit: www.kremlin.ru

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, in a speech to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, declared that the breakup of the USSR was “the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the twentieth century”, or words to that effect. You see, the speech was in Russian, so the quotation depends on the translation. It has also been translated as: “Above all, we should acknowledge that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster of the century.” Whether or not the superlative was in the original Russian, it is clear that Putin considered the disintegration of the Soviet Union as an event that was very, very bad for humanity, especially for the Russians.    Continue Reading…

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