Tag: Syria

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The Islamic State (IS) militant group has been driven out of most of the northern Syrian town of Kobane, a Kurdish commander has told the BBC. Baharin Kandal said IS fighters had retreated from all areas, except for two pockets of resistance in the east. Preview Open

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Is Biden the Punchline — or Is America?

 

Joe Biden is a punch line.

Our Vice President is more famous for his foolish pronouncements than he is for being second in command of the world’s greatest superpower. It has gotten so bad that a mere mention of his name provokes laughter, as late-night comics (and Clint Eastwood) can attest.

Obama Can’t Afford to Win in Iraq

 

Obama’s half-hearted decision to take on ISIS has confused everyone. Even as the President sends the U.S. military into harm’s way, he hasn’t articulated a clear strategy, nor even defined the action. Some days it’s called a counter-terrorism effort, other days a war, while its purpose meanders between degrading ISIS, destroying ISIS, or following ISIS to the gates of hell.

As Islamists continue to taunt America, ersatz allies are understandably slow to side with a dithering leader. Despite our excellent armed forces, observers wonder if any military action can be successful with a leader so reticent to lead.

Ted Cruz and the Friends of Our Enemies

 

Do Christians in the Middle East — specifically in Syria and the surrounding countries — deserve our contempt or our sympathy?

According to Ted Cruz and Caroline Glick of the Jerusalem Post, “contempt” about sums it up. Levantine Christians have often allied themselves with the likes of the Assads and the Husseins, and oppose Israel, often with flourishes that would quicken the hearts of the worst kind of Anti-semites.  In short, they support bad actors and oppose our friends.

A Teachable Moment for Rand Paul?

 

We now have on our hands Barack Obama’s War, for our latest Middle Eastern war belongs entirely to him. And someone — let it be me! — should alert Sen. Rand Paul to this teachable moment, for Obama’s War (which Rand Paul supports) was brought on by the very policy of non-intervention that he, his father, and the Cato Institute all championed. As Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has testified in word and deed, there is essentially no difference on foreign affairs between left-wing Democratics and arch-libertarians who sometimes vote Republican.

This war might have been avoided. Had Obama taken the trouble to arrange for a few thousand American soldiers to remain in Iraq — as he easily could have — the Iraqi’s coalition government between Shia, Sunni, and Kurd would have held, despite Maliki’s perfidy. That, in turn, would have prevented al-Qaeda’s reemergence in the Sunni-dominated provinces of Iraq. Moreover, ISIS would not be in control of great swathes of Syria had the president followed the advice of his advisors and allies and backed the secular-minded opposition to Bashar al-Assad from the start.

ISIS Speech Snap Judgements

 

Last night, President Obama announced that American forces would “will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy,” largely constituting an air campaign in both Iraq and Syria, and in coordination with the Iraqis and other allies.

Member Post

 

The purging of former Mozilla Corporation CEO Brendan Eich has taught us that campaign donor-shaming is not only an effective political weapon but a legitimate one. Therefore, should the campaign donors at President Obama’s three fundraisers this weekend be subject to similar donor-shaming for distracting our Commander-in-Chief from working on developing a strategy to confront […]

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Obama’s ‘Platitudes’ for ISIS

 

I read the transcript of President Obama’s statement today on the murder of journalist James Foley and a few phrases really jumped out: “Their ideology is bankrupt.” “…a group like ISIL has no place in the 21st century.” “…we share a common security and a common set of values.”

How about just calling the terrorists what they are — evil incarnate — and then pledging to obliterate them? (Because as far as I can tell, the most we’re doing is “containing” the caliphate today.) 

ISIS Interrupts the Narrative

 

BvZ5vBrIgAAv3ChAfter witnessing four nights of incited mayhem on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, I made a personal declaration on Twitter that I would no longer retweet or tweet at members of the media in Ferguson who were sensationalizing the standoff between the police and the rioters. It’s become clear they have inserted themselves into the story and made it more about a political ideology (the man putting us all down) than about the facts of the investigation of Michael Brown’s death.

Every tweet about being shoved, arrested, manhandled or just plain being treated rudely now serves the sole purpose now of goosing ratings and clicks. This is not justice for Michael Brown or Darren Wilson. This is Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers come to life, with the media becoming the story. In lower Manhattan, they stood around and recorded members of Occupy Wall Street clashing with police. In Missouri, they are declaring themselves the Occupiers.

Matt Pearce of the Los Angeles Times admitted as much yesterday, stating on his Twitter feed that the media has become an accelerant. Take a bow. 

ISIS Beheads American Journalist, Threatens Another

 

1408481985485.cachedBreaking news out of the Middle East:

In a video posted online Tuesday, ISIS beheads James Wright Foley, an American freelance journalist who was captured in Syria in 2012. The video says the killing is a warning to the U.S. to end its intervention in Iraq. The video also shows Steven Sotloff, a freelance journalist working for Time, and threatens that he will be next. Sotloff’s kidnapping seems to have been kept secret until now. Foley was working as a photographer in Syria for AFP when he was taken. The year prior he had been kidnapped in Libya.

A Violent Weekend

 

Let us begin our tour with a quarrel in a faraway country. As Yahoo Japan reports, “A Vietnamese fishing vessel has sunk after being rammed by a Chinese vessel and the 10 fishermen have been rescued. While Vietnam has not responded yet, the Coast Guard warned “the situation at the site it very tense.”‘

This is not an isolated incident, but rather an escalation of recent tensions. It is most likely a response to last week’s announcement of cooperation between Vietnam and Japan, which followed the Chinese “deploying an oil rig off the Paracel Islands, which Vietnam also claims, leading to physical clashes between Chinese and Vietnamese vessels.”

When International Law Doesn’t Work—John Yoo

 

Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula and its continuing military pressure on Ukraine demonstrates that the United Nations-centered system of international law has failed. The pressing question is not whether Russia has violated norms against aggression – it has – but how the United States and its allies should respond in a way that will strengthen the international system.

It should be clear that Russia has violated the U.N. Charter’s restrictions on the use of force. It has resorted to “the use of force against the territorial integrity” and “political independence” of Ukraine in violation of Article 2(4) of the Charter’s founding principles. Russia has trampled on the fundamental norm that the United States and its allies have built since the end of World War II: that nations cannot use force to change borders unilaterally.