George W. Bush predicted the rise of ISIS in 2007, if we left Iraq

September 5, 2014

Okay, he didn’t mention ISIS/ISIL/the Islamic State specifically, but watch this clip from Megyn Kelly’s show on FOX and tell me this man, often derided as an idiot, wasn’t damn prescient:

So first Romney was proven right about Obama’s feckless foreign policy and the geopolitical threat posed by Russia, and now we see that W saw far better than his predecessor what would happen if we pulled out of Iraq too soon.

Time and again the Right has been… well, right about the state of the world, and the left-liberals and their “foreign policy by wishing it so” dangerously wrong.

There’s a lesson in there, for those willing to learn.

via Donald Douglas


In which President Obama channels King Ethelred the Unready

August 29, 2014
King Ethelred the Unready

King Ethelred the Unready

An archaeologist friend once told me that the nickname for King Ethelred II of England, “the Unready,” loosely translated from the original Old English as “Ethelred the Without a Clue.”

Yesterday President Obama, constitutionally charged with the conduct of our foreign affairs and responsible for dealing with threats our people, admitted in a question dealing with the threat posed by the Islamic State (ISIS) that he, too, was without a clue:

(via Moe Lane)

Here’s Obama’s full statement, provided by CBS journalist Mark Knoller:

QUESTION: Do you need Congress’s approval to go into Syria?

OBAMA: You know, I have consulted with Congress throughout this process. I am confident that as commander in chief I have the authorities to engage in the acts that we are conducting currently. As our strategy develops, we will continue to consult with Congress, and I do think that it’ll be important for Congress to weigh in and we’re — that our consultations with Congress continue to develop so that the American people are part of the debate.

But I don’t want to put the cart before the horse. We don’t have a strategy yet. I think what I’ve seen in some of the news reports suggests that folks are getting a little further ahead of where we’re at than we currently are. And I think that’s not just my assessment, but the assessment of our military, as well. We need to make sure that we’ve got clear plans, that we’re developing them. At that point, I will consult with Congress and make sure that their voices are heard.

But there’s no point in me asking for action on the part of Congress before I know exactly what it is that is going to be required for us to get the job done.

In other words,

“In my haste to bug out of Iraq before it was ready to stand on its own, so I could really get down to gutting America’s military capabilities, we never considered the possibility that this group we’ve known about for the last two years could actually become a threat. My administration was totally caught with its pants down and we’ve have no idea whatsoever of what to do. But I’ll blather a lot to make it look like we’re doing something. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m late for tee-time.”

Mr. President, sir… Dude, we need to have a talk.

To mangle a phrase, “You had two jobs!” The first is to see that the laws passed by Congress are faithfully executed. We already know you don’t like to do that. The other is to see to the United States’ foreign national security interests in your role as commander in chief. We all know you don’t like that one, either. (Believe me, it shows.) You’re rotten at both.

But you’re still the president until January, 2017, and you could at least not make things worse. In other words, sir… (clears throat)…

YOU DON’T TELL THE ENEMY THAT YOU HAVE NO EFFING IDEA WHAT TO DO!!!

Pardon me for yelling.

ISIS is the enemy. They, like their progenitors in al Qaeda, have declared war on us, and they are noting everything you do or say, because they know you could squash them like the bugs they are — if you ever decided to do so. They have to take a possible American reaction into account, and that cognizance of a threat from us might restrain them, if even only a little bit.

Instead, you have just told them they have a free pass because the only thing you can think of is to stand there and, in effect, say “I dunno. What do you want to do?”

You had months and even years to come up with some plan for dealing with a resurgent jihadism in Iraq, and yet you did nothing. We left, Syria fell apart, then Iraq fell apart, and then maniacs carved off the head of an American, and…

You did nothing. You did nothing except issue meaningless statements and declare red lines that were nothing more than mirages, and now you’ve admitted to the world –including our enemies– that you don’t take threats to our interests seriously enough to bother coming up with plans before those threats explode.

Well, sir, you’re president for the next two years and five months, and you had better get your head in the game, because our enemies are coming for ours, figuratively and literally.

At the very least, don’t open your mouth and remove all doubt that you’re “Barack the Unready.”

 


#ISIS: presidential gravitas in action

August 20, 2014
Leadership

Leadership

Unbelievable. This is how seriously Obama takes an Amerrican citizen being beheaded by Isis.

Actually, it’s sadly quite believable.


The New July Crisis

July 23, 2014

Phineas Fahrquar:

If I were the superstitious type, a European diplomatic/military crisis 100 years to the month after the July Crisis that lead World War I would have me worried. I’m not superstitious, but Russia’s indecent, aggressive, and barbaric policy toward Ukraine and the West still has me worried. Recommended reading.

Originally posted on The XX Committee:

This summer is the hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War, the “great seminal catastrophe” of the last century, in the memorable phrase of the diplomatist-scholar George Kennan. As a historian who has spent much of his life studying the events of 1914, I had long looked forward to this centenary, and the necessary reexamination of the July Crisis of that fateful summer that the anniversary would bring. I did not expect it to include a second July Crisis.

Exactly one hundred years ago today, Vienna presented its fateful ultimatum to Belgrade, demanding that Serbia clarify its role in the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo some three weeks before. Vienna expected their demands would be rebuffed, getting Austro-Hungarian generals the war against “Dog Serbia” that they had long craved, and so they did. That did not work out quite as planned, but then again…

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What about *your* gaffes, Hillary?

July 3, 2014

Yes, my friends, it’s time once again for one of our favorite games, “If it had been a Republican…”

Remember, how, back in the 2012 campaign, the press and the Democrat support groups (redundant, I know) hounded Republican nominee Mitt Romney over supposed misstatements and gaffes while on a foreign tour? I can recall one incident in particular, when Romney was in Poland and his campaign wanted to deal US foreign policy issues, a reporter chased after him shouting “What about your gaffes??” The purpose, of course, was to plant the idea with the public that Mitt’s minor faux pas showed he wasn’t qualified to be president.

In which case, I eagerly await Hillary being pestered about her foot-in-mouth moments:

The former Secretary of State, who’s been heavily promoting her new book “Hard Choices” in a likely precursor to running for president in 2016, appeared to state the Conservative and Tory Parties in Britain were rival political parties during a BBC interview.

“Tory” is in fact another name for the Conservative Party in Britain.

Asked by the host what she thought of the “Special Relationship” between the U.S. and Great Britain, Clinton declared it was “very special between our countries.”

“There’s not just a common language, but a common set of values that we can fall back on,” she said. “It doesn’t matter in our country whether it’s a Republican or a Democrat or frankly, in your country, whether it’s a Conservative or a Tory. There is a level of trust and understanding. That doesn’t mean we always agree because, of course, we don’t.”

As the article points out, Hillary was our Secretary of State, who had to deal with our close allies in the UK on a nearly daily basis, and yet she didn’t know “Tory” and “Conservative” were synonyms? It reminds me of the recent Obama ambassadorial appointee who didn’t know his soon-to-be host country, Norway, has a king and not a president.

For supposedly being so much smarter than everyone else and for all their claiming to know what’s best for us, progressives sure are ignorant of the wider world, no?

Of course, it could easily have been a simple slip of the tongue on Hillary’s part, saying “Conservative and Tory” when she meant “Conservative and Labor,” the kind of mental backfire we’re all subject to from time to time.

But not all of us are (probably) running for president, an office that has almost sole control over US foreign affairs, including relations with one of our closest allies.

And so I expect the MSM to grill Hillary mercilessly over this gaffe, hounding her incessantly with questions about her competence and knowledge

Just as soon as she becomes a Republican.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Facing America’s Failure in Iraq

June 22, 2014

Phineas Fahrquar:

Sometimes the most necessary lessons are the one we learn from failure.

Originally posted on The XX Committee:

The last week, which has seen murderously radical Sunni jihadists take over much of Iraq and even threaten Baghdad, has witnessed the unraveling of the past dozen years of U.S. policy in that country, and with it the collapse of our entire strategy towards the Middle East. There is ample blame to go around. I have no intention here of reopening the debate about the wisdom of invading Iraq in 2003, since that would require a book rather than a blog post, though if it’s not evident to you by now that Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, as executed, was perhaps the greatest disaster in the history of American foreign policy, I’m not sure this blog’s for you. That said, I am tired of the constant efforts to decontextualize the actual history of how we wound up invading Iraq and deposing Saddam Hussein; scoring cheap political points off complex matters of statecraft…

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Why Germany Refuses to Play a Bigger Role in NATO

June 22, 2014

Phineas Fahrquar:

Hint: It’s not just that Russia has Germany by the gas pipe. After two World Wars and a conscious decision to rebuild Germany to be less threatening, we got what we asked for.

Originally posted on The XX Committee:

One of the stranger aspects of the slow-motion crisis over Ukraine caused by Russian provocations and aggression is the uneven response from NATO members. While Alliance states located closer to Russia, which experienced Moscow’s occupation during the Cold War, generally have taken the threat of aggressive Kremlin moves seriously – Poland and Estonia especially – the reaction of some NATO members has been lackluster. In particular, responses in Germany to the Ukraine crisis have been tepid, to use charitable language, and excessive sympathy for Moscow’s actions and attitudes is so commonplace that Germans have a word – Russlandversteher – for it.

Why Germany displays such misplaced sympathy for Russia, despite Kremlin misconduct in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, is a complex issue that is rooted deeply in German history, and cannot be divorced from the broader tendency to anti-Americanism that has become vocal in recent years. That said, Germany’s unwillingness to do…

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