Tag Archives: terrorism

NEWS TO MUSE: Safe for seven days, the policy of the pucker, the god Janus in DC, Putin channeling Stalin.

Its déjà vu all over again.

Seems like every day is Ground Hog Day.  Well, I guess that is the point.  I am thinking of the cliff hanger controversy over the funding of the Department of Home Security.  Not sure about you, but I was not worried.  All the media hype, all the speculation and all the concocted drama were for naught.  It was like looking at a predictable mystery movie over and over again.  Did anyone really doubt the outcome?  As with the previous shut down and debt ceiling debates, the outcome was 100 percent predictable.  Even from my vantage point deep in the grassroots, I have a perfect record of predicting the outcomes in these situations.  Republicans make an attempt to stop run-away spending.  Democrats resist and scare the Hell out of the public.  Republicans fold.  What I do not understand is why the GOP leaders keep using certain-to-lose strategies.  If they wanted to work this strategy with an eye to winning, they should have tied the immigration issue to the funding of the IRS, or the Department of Education.  The public would love to see the IRS shut down.  Shutting down the DOE would have Democrats squirming in attempts to show its importance.  In fact, shutting down the DOE for a while might help make the case for abolishing it permanently.

Boehner blowing kisses.

I just have to say it.  House Speaker John Boehner’s last press conference was an embarrassment.  His arrogant attitude was bad enough. His snide remarks were awful.  But, the air kiss to the press??  What was that all about?  Boehner has never been a good strategist.  He has never been an effective spokesman for the GOP.  Even his just-from-the-Bahamas look does not project the best image.   If the folly of another phony shut down debate and his sophomoric antics at the podium result in his being replaced, perhaps all the pretend drama was worth it.

The two faces of the Obama administration.

The Obama administration produces some of the craziest news days.  The latest is Secretary John Kerry announcing to America that we are safer today than any time in the past 150 years.  This despite the biggest attacks on American soil since the British invaded in 1812 – not to mention those deadly attacks on American people and property abroad.   The situation is so dangerous that we have public warning system to alert of potential terrorist attacks.  We have guards and metal detectors in government and high target public buildings.  Every now and then, we hear about some deadly “lone wolf” attack.  While Kerry paints the political narrative of “peace and prosperity,”  Obama’s head of National Intelligence, James Clapper, is telling Congress that 2014 was the most dangerous year ever, and 2015 is poised to exceed it.  The stark difference is easy to explain.  Kerry represents the political side of the administration, where false political narratives trump truth.  You see that in the rosy economic statements coming from the White House.  Clapper represents the professional side of government.  He is under oath to tell the truth to congressional committees.  So, who do you believe?

From Russia with love.

Russian President Putin’s most powerful critic, Boris Nemtsov, was shot dead on the street just outside the Kremlin.  Proving he is tough on crime, Putin announced that he was handling the investigation himself.  There are two things of which you can be sure.  Putin will most certainly find the killer, and any conspirators, and they will never be brought to justice.  There is a rumor that the person seen running from the scene was a rifle-toting, balding, bare-chested man around 60 years old, and who had a striking similarity to the “Oscar” statuette.  He was last seen ducking into the Kremlin.

Here is my take on Obama’s Middle East policy as published in the Miami Herald on January 25, 2015

In Chicago de-Nile is a river in Egypt.  In Washington, denial is a Middle Eastern policy.

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Miami Herald

Letter to the Editor

January 25, 2015

I found it interesting and most telling, that President Obama didn’t mention Israel in his State of the Union address — even as he spoke optimistically about our newfound relationship with Iran and made false claims about our “victories” over a terrorism that has no name.

His most dangerous foreign policy may well be his actions that favor the enemies of Israel and, therefore, the United States.

There is a new holocaust occurring in the world today, and even many Jews are turning their backs on that reality. Pope Francis criticizes capitalism while ignoring those Christians, Jews and Muslims being slaughtered. The United Nations does nothing to stop the genocide.

It all makes the “never again” mantra seem a bit empty.

Larry Horist, Boca Raton

Obama’s State of the Union. File under “Fiction.”

I would have offered my analysis of President Obama’s State of the Union speech, but it took me time to get over the shock.  His tendency to take victory laps following defeats reached its zenith in the State of the Union speech.  This even surpasses his response to the shellacking he got on Election Day.  You know … when he said he still has the support of all those who did not vote.  What he described was not the state of our union, but a spin on reality that is usually reserved for hyperbolic campaign speeches, where repudiating facts are not so obvious and available.

Most notably, the President engaged in political hypocrisy by proposing programs that have zero chance of passing Congress, something he was very critical of when the GOP was pushing Obamacare repeal.

His assessment of the economy was surreal. Yes, there is some long delayed improvement – a longer recovery than any recession in American history.  The stock market is booming, but it is due to the higher profits achieved by shedding the cost of all those unemployed Americans and not hiring them back.  The government unemployment figure is a sham because it does not include all those folks who are unemployed, but are no longer counted as such.  The rate of unemployment is less important than the average income, and that is down yet.

The real hardship is seen in the surge in food stamps – from 17 million when he took office to 48 million today, and still increasing.

All his policies reflect his bias – shifting jobs and wealth from the free market of the private sector, where you and I make the consumer decisions, to more public sector jobs and government wealth redistribution where Washington makes the spending decisions.

His Capital Gains tax will kill private sector job creation, as it always does.  He makes no mention of the avalanche of costly regulations his administration has imposed on the private sector job producers.

Those students who cheer another couple thousand dollars for education, need to check out the tens of thousands his programs will be costing them in the future as they start paying for them.  Also, this subsidized money for college will increase tuitions, just as students loans did.

While he brags about reductions in the annual deficit, he makes no mention of the continued run-away growth in the far more dangerous national debt.  At a time when federal spending is at or past the sustainability point, he offers up trillions more to be placed on the back of future generations – now exceeding $18 trillion.  Obama is running the economic train at full throttle heading into a future derailment.

His new tax burdens on banks will be passed on to consumers – rich and poor.  Liberals never understand that you cannot tax businesses because it only becomes a cost that is passed on to the consumer.  The only thing that is taxable is the productivity of a human being.  Everything else is a device to conceal that fact.  If you believe that a property tax is a tax on property, next time you get the bill, give the government your garage.

If the President’s rose colored view of the economy was surreal, his victory claims in foreign policy were delusional.  The war is not over in Afghanistan, and we are not sure which side will win.  Our withdrawal from Iraq paved the way for ISIS.  Obama’s empty words on Syria has left us in a no win position.  Russia now controls the Crimea and still pressing to takeover of the Ukraine.  Iran is relieved of sanctions as the charade of negotiations goes on.  Central Africa is characterized the unimaginable brutal Muslim genocide at the hands of Boka Haram.  They are making Nazis look like boy scouts.  Yemen, which only months ago he cited as one of his policy accomplishments, has now fallen to the Anti-American Iran-supported rebels.  As we play patty cake with the Iran regime, they continue to export terrorism against the West.

There have been terrorist attacks on France, Canada, Australia, the United States and scores of other nations.  The Terrorists are gain significant control of the Middle East and Central Africa.  Beyond Yemen, there is Somalia and Nigeria.  He takes not notice of Venezuela as a base for South American Muslim Terrorism – exporting terrorist cells to nations throughout the continent, as well as the United States.  Nation after nation is moving from U.S. ally to U.S. enemy.

It is noteworthy that Obama said nothing about Israel, preferring to brag about our new found camaraderie with Iran.  His omission signals to the world that the Obama White House does not see Israel as our strongest, most consistent and most important ally in the Middle East, maybe in the world.  Such an omission cannot be an oversight.  His consistently soft approach on Muslim terrorism cannot be seen as anything less than a pro-Arab bias.

These are not just my opinions.  Most Internet fact checkers are giving the President any number of “Pinocchios” for his State of the Union address.

I am not sure if any American president has given a State of the Union speech so removed from reality.  The world is in the grips of a new holocaust, and Obama would like us to believe that he has created an international Garden of Eden.

I am not into conspiratorial theories.  I have always believed Obama is American born.  I do not think he is some sort of Manchurian Candidate Muslim.   But, I cannot find a rational explanation for policies so detrimental to American interests, here and abroad.

Based on his back ground, I am confident that he came to office as a lifelong hard left hater of traditional American values of limited government, personal freedom, free enterprise and world leadership.  He believes we are a racist nation, when the vast majority of evidence proves the opposite.

I know we elected a president with no exposed record and little qualifying experience. Perhaps, it is this toxic combination that has produced arguable the worst and most dangerous president in American history.

WE NEED A TOUGHER LAW DEALING WITH TERRORISTS. HERE IS ONE IDEA.

In Oklahoma City, a person recently converted to Muslim cut off the head of a former female co-worker and seriously injured another. It was likely that the murder spree would have continued had not an armed officer of the company shot and wounded the perpetrator.

Was this an act of terrorism or workplace violence?

This is a gray area in our law. The Obama administration has already determined that terrorists, domestic or foreign, should be tried in American criminal courts – with all the rights of citizens.  So far, the Obama administration has determined that the deadly attack on the Ft. Hood  military base was work place violence even though the perpetrator, Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, admitted his reason was related to his radical Muslim beliefs.  Five terrorists leaders were summarily, and illegally, released by President Obama, in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, an  army deserter.

All this suggests the need for clarity in our law, and I offer this humble example. I will contact members of Congress to see if a law like this can be enacted.

Any individual, American citizen or foreign national, arrested of a crime in the United States, in lands under the protection or authority of the United States, against United States diplomatic facilities in any and all nations, or facilities owned, leased or operated by the United States government in foreign lands, or  against any individual United States citizen anywhere in the world that is directly or indirectly related to international terrorism or international terrorist groups, shall be considered  an international terrorist combatant. 

Any United States citizen charged with a terrorist crime, under this provision, shall be considered to have revoked his or her American citizenship. Such persons, United States citizen or foreign national, shall then be tried and sentenced by military tribunal.

 Any person found guilty, by military tribunal, in the death of an American citizen at the command or terrorists, or as a result of sympathy with terrorist movements, or inspired by terrorism shall be sentenced to death. 

Any person or groups of persons, which commands, encourages, or aids and abets in encouraging, planning, executing, or any person who fails to report to law enforcement the knowledge and plans for acts of terrorism, shall also be determined to have revoked their United States citizenship and be subject to trial by military tribunal.

Why do we need such a law?

We must make sure that the tough talk of politicians has a foundation of certainty. It makes not sense to give foreign terrorists all the rights of American citizens.  It also makes no sense to allow American citizens who engage in acts of violence and terror against the United States to retain their citizenship and their rights.

You will recall the controversy when President Obama properly ordered the execution of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen who became a leader in the terrorist war on America.  This issue would have not been controversial at all had we had the legal procedure to strip al-Awlak of his citizenship as an enemy terrorist combatant.

The law would prevent future American presidents from these arbitrary, inexplicable, inconsistent and illogical policy decisions that has made a mockery of swiftness and certainty of American justice.

This would also clarify the situation with Americans joining the fight in the Middle East with terrorist organizations, such as ISIS or Hamas. Once they are discovered to have joined the enemies of American, they no long had citizenship writes.  Their passports would be immediately revoked, and they would no longer have legal ability to return to America.

The implementation of this kind of law would make the long incarcerations impossible. Those currently held there would have been tried and incarcerated, released or dead.  It is unlikely that the five released by presidential edict would have been around to be released.

This law would also thwart terrorist recruitment plans on American soil. It would serve as a discouragement to young Americans to go off for the adventure of war in foreign lands.

It would discourage the leaders of radical mosques in the United States from promoting Jihad.

If you think this law makes sense, I hope you will send it along to your local Senator and Representative in Washington. You can also ask your local newspaper to write editorial in support of such a law.

Here is my view on OBAMA’S WAR SPEECH (as published in the Florida Sun Sentinel on September 18,2014)

Some say that President Obama’s war (or not war) speech was the best speech of his career. It depends if you are judging on rhetoric, substance or credibility.  I grade him a B for rhetoric, D for substance and F for credibility.

The post mortem talking heads on Fox, CNN and MSNBC all agreed on one thing. This was a speech Obama did not wish to ever give.  No president wants to send American service men and women into harms way, but they rise to that necessity with full commitment when circumstances require.  They tend to lead public opinion by laying out the reasons for war.  In the case of Obama, the rationale came from the people, not from the Oval Office.  His decision seemed more motivated by his sense of political necessity than moral obligation. Obama was again leading from behind.

The President’s highest mark is for “rhetoric.” He lived up to his reputation for being an effective orator.  He sounded strong and sincere, even as he uttered nonsense.  As many pundits pointed out, portions of his speech might have been given by George Bush or Ronald Reagan.

His grade average drops a bit with regard to substance.  It again reflected Obama’s talent for style over substance.  He talked a lot about what America is going to do, but very little about how.  He identified the problem, but was short on solution.  What he said he would not do, “boots on the ground,” was more definitive than what he would do – other than the continuation of an airstrike strategy over more geography.

His greatest problem and lowest grade involves his credibility.  He came to the podium as one of the least admired and least trusted presidents in American history.  Six years of popular campaign-style language unsupported by implementation and consistency has put his general credibility in the negative zone.  He did not improve his score with this speech.

He said he wants congress involved, although he did not say in what role – to give constitutional authority, to give only advice, or to merely be rubber stamp audience to his rhetoric.  His call for congressional partnership is provably disingenuous since he has not called on them for action.  For the first time, Congress may authorize military action without an official request from the President.  Again, he is leading from behind.

His limited strategy, based on the use of non-American military on the all essential ground war, was greeted with skepticism by knowledgeable military and political leaders – and by a majority of Americans.

His assistance that there will be no U.S. “boots on the ground” failed to pass the veracity test since he, in the same breath, announced increased troop deployment.  The fact that our fliers will be dropping bombs on enemies who have the weaponry to shoot them down seems to be war by definition.

More than 1600 armed soldiers are “in harm’s way,” regardless of their alleged non-combat duties.  Despite the parsed words of the President, there will be “boot on the ground.”  Our military will be positioned next to local military personal and subject to attack.  The “no boots on the ground” policy will be revoked the minute American soldier are killed on in the air or on the ground.

Obama’s credibility takes is deepest dip in his proposed reliance on regional forces to cover the ground game.  It is absurd in view of what we already know about their fervor, loyalty and capability.  Only months ago, Obama demeaned them as “former farmers, teachers and pharmacists.”

The war on ISIS, and terrorism in general, cannot be won with airstrikes alone.  Even the president knows that.  To date, Obama has not put together a credible allied force on the ground – it seems more and more likely, he never will.  What then.

Obama is obsessed not to make his efforts seem like a redo of Bush’s war.  He ignores the fact that the Bush’s Iraq war started with a much larger and more involved “coalition of the willing,” the support of the United Nations and an affirmative vote from Congress.  All this runs contrary to Obama’s narrative and his belief that he is a far superior and more successful president than Bush.

Using the surgical targeting in Somalia and Yemen as an example of his ISIS policy was inexplicable in view of the fact that terrorism is rampant and growing to both nations.  Obama’s  selective bombing policy is failing Yemen, and marginally successful because the Somali government has been vigorously fighting terrorists before we got involved.

The President further damaged his own credibility by offering two juxtaposed assessments.  At one point, he argued that ISIS and other terrorist groups pose a national security to the nation.  Later he said they did not pose “an immediate threat.”  This flies in the face of all intelligence reports. He claimed to already have the legal authority but would go to Congress.  That promise has already been reversed.

Obama claimed his actions were nothing like Iraq and Afghanistan when it seems to have all the same characteristics.  He anticipates a multiyear military engagement.  Yet, there is a sense that he wishes to fight this war with one hand restrained.  Virtually every military expert and leader has concurred that we cannot defeat and destroy international terrorism without entering Syria and without adequate “boots on the ground.”  If the local security forces are not adequate, will Obama break his pledge or will he conduct a long lingering stalemate until he leaves office?

Obama sadly revealed that his words are always in campaign mode when he shifted from the crisis at hand to a political commercial for his stewardship on domestic issues.  By his words alone, he would like the American public to believe that we are safer today.  He talked about the economy and employment as if we were in the middle of an “Obama boom.”  This shift from the crisis to exaggerated campaign rhetoric diminished the meaning and impact of the entire speech.  It again revealed a President who can only think in partisan and personal political terms.  It was shameless.

As is often the case, Obama’s words suffered a disconnect from both known facts and likely future prospects.  His strong rhetoric may carry the day as we give the President the momentary benefit of doubt, but events and outcomes will provide the longer historic review.  If we can draw from his six-year history, the Obama administration will be doing a lot of shifting and parsing in the coming months as reality challenges his rhetoric.