by baldilocks

Gaddafi and Hussein are dead.

It’s said that North Korea’s Kim Jong Un doesn’t want to give up his nukes because of what happened to Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi.

After the US invaded Iraq, which resulted in the deposition and execution of Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi gave up his country’s nukes, only to be abandoned by the succeeding US administration – which resulted in Qaddafi’s deposition and execution. If the reports about Kim’s reasoning are true, it’s cogent piece of reasoning.

I’m Old Enough To Remember WhenTM Gaddafi publicly gave up his clandestine nuclear program and Syria’s Bashar Assad promised to pull his troops out of Lebanon, both saying, in effect: “I am not Saddam Hussein.”

As we know, the premise for the invasion of Iraq was that Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), refused to give them up, and refused to allow UN inspection of those weapons. Following the invasion, however, no WMD materials were found in Iraq and the “Bush Lied” meme was born.

(Aside: for years that was the cudgel that Democrats – some of whom had access to the same domestic and foreign intelligence reports that George W. Bush’s intel advisers did and many of whom voted for intervention in Iraq — used to criticize Bush. These Democrat critics included former Senators Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, along with current Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, all of whom voted “yea” for the Iraq Resolution.)

Bashar Assad

In the intervening years, various sources in-the-know have reported that Hussein sent his WMD materials to Syria. If this is true, then it was little skin off Assad’s nose to promise to pull back his troops; he had other many other plans brewing, thanks to Hussein, and at least one other source.

Then, in 2007, the Israelis bombed Syria, targeting what they said was a nuclear reactor under construction.

A video taken inside a secret Syrian facility last summer convinced the Israeli government and the Bush administration that North Korea was helping to construct a reactor similar to one that produces plutonium for North Korea’s nuclear arsenal, according to senior U.S. officials who said it would be shared with lawmakers today.

The officials said the video of the remote site, code-named Al Kibar by the Syrians, shows North Koreans inside. It played a pivotal role in Israel’s decision to bomb the facility late at night last Sept. 6, a move that was publicly denounced by Damascus but not by Washington.

Sources familiar with the video say it also shows that the Syrian reactor core’s design is the same as that of the North Korean reactor at Yongbyon, including a virtually identical configuration and number of holes for fuel rods. It shows “remarkable resemblances inside and out to Yongbyon,” a U.S. intelligence official said. A nuclear weapons specialist called the video “very, very damning.”

Emphasis mine.

The Syrian government expressed outrage about getting bombed by the “Zionist Entity,” of course, and even used the “Bush Lied” rhetoric, but did little else about it. In 2011, the IAEA concurred with Israel’s claim about the facility.

It turns out that the nuclear connections between Syria and North Korea go back to about 1997. If you’re going read at least one of the links, read this one.

So maybe it’s true that Kim doesn’t want to end up like Gaddafi or Hussein — or even Assad — and is using the only leverage he has to stay in power.

This business will get out of control and we will be lucky to live through it.

There is also an Iran connection – naturally – and the Syrian Civil war, and the Russian involvement … but this post is long enough. I just wanted to point to the items, incidents, and connections that nearly every public commentator seems to have forgotten and/or discounted.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

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This is Memorial Day Weekend.

You are going to see a lot of images of a lot of liberal Democrats laying wreaths at the graves of soldiers, speaking at events or  appearing on TV talking about the sacrifices of those who died defending our country.  You will also see many in the MSM talking about the troops as if they were their best buddies

When you do keep in mind what is now going on in Iraq and remember this.

All of these people were willing to throw away the sacrifice of the lives of every single soldier who died in Iraq that they pretend to honor for the sake of a Democrat talking point of “ending the war”.  Furthermore they will spend the next twelve month advancing the narrative they died in vain when in fact their mission was the difference between a population living in fear and a people getting a chance to live in a democrat self-governing state. Or have you forgotten this:

CIGARS IN THE SAND is photoblogging from the Baghdad polls. Here you see Iraqi men proudly displaying their inked fingers after voting. (Via Chester, who has lots of election coverage).

and this

CNN is reporting a 72% turnout. [Later: Some readers think that will turn out to be high, with the final number more like 60%. Still a lot, in the face of widespread death threats. We don’t to that well, very often, and the worst we have are long lines.]

Power Line: “Somehow, I had missed the fact that Iraqi expatriates are voting in Syria. Thus, Iraqis living in Syria can participate in a democratic process, but Syrians can’t. A bit odd, that, but it’s another example of the impact this election could have in the Arab world.” Yes, I imagine some Syrians are noticing.

Meanwhile, Robert Fisk appears in his usual role as punching bag. And he remains well-suited for it.

UPDATE: Jonah Goldberg is giving the media coverage a thumbs-down:

So far, I think the coverage has been moderately scandalous. This morning CNN kept its regularly scheduled medical show (though last night they were better, if mostly pre-taped). The major nets seemed to treat this like a fairly ho-hum story. I just walked over to my computer after seeing that the Today Show was offering viewers a segment on new shaving technologies for men.

If things were going badly, they’d be all over it, of course. More evidence that the elections are a success!

MORE: James Dwight:

The polls just closed, and there was 72% turnout with mimimal sporadic violence. The ball is now in the MSM’s court. Or, to use perhaps a more appropriate cliche, the Iraqi people have given the MSM plenty of rope.

John Cole, meanwhile, says that the “Damning But” was shut down by Iraqi voters and offers a challenge to bloggers.

And RantWraith has four words, while Yellowdogblog notes that even Reuters is having trouble generating negative spin.

And tens of thousands have paid with their lives for the cancellation of that mission.

One final thought:  At the time I predicted that Democrats would crow about the success of iraq and claim it as their own (as they did during election 2012) but apparently the narrative of “We all did this together” is less attractive than “It’s George W Bush’s fault.”  Even if the latter meme requires tens of thousands of Iraqis dead & millions enslaved.

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I saw a tweet from David Axelrod that made me laugh

and not just because it prompted this excellent counter

I smiled for several reasons, first the spectacle of Jeb Bush jumping through hoops trying to say things in the way that the MSM wants him to is quite amusing when you have the establishment of the party & media that had been so determined to crown him the heir apparent.

Even funnier has been the media’s attempt to crown a teenage girl who was maybe 4 when we went into Iraq and was 11 when Barack Obama as the greatest expert on war in the middle east since Lawrence entered Arabia

But the 2nd thing that makes me smile   Is the answer is so simple, that Jeb should be ashamed that he did not think of it.

Let me remind those in the media and the masterminds suggesting candidates denounce our efforts in Iraq that  the war in Iraq was won before Barack Obama decided he wished to lose it. The power and success ISIS in Iraq is completely on him.

I was in favor of the Iraq war & still think George Bush did the right thing, but David Axelrod has a point.  If I knew that Barack Obama was going to give our victory away to ISIS & Iran leaving the Iraqis out and causing our sacrifices of blood & treasure to mean nothing  to dry I wouldn’t have invaded either.

That is such an obvious answer that Jeb Bush  & the rest of the GOP should be ashamed for not saying it and putting the secretary of state at the time on the spot to defend the policy of Barack Obama.

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Here is a story you might have missed

Sister Diana Momeka of the Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine of Siena was informed on Tuesday by the U.S. consulate in Erbil that her non-immigrant-visa application has been rejected.The reason given in the denial letter, a copy of which I have obtained, is:

You were not able to demonstrate that your intended activities in the United States would be consistent with the classification of the visa.

Her rejection was a conspicuously singular event:

every member of an Iraqi delegation of minority groups, including representatives of the Yazidi and Turkmen Shia religious communities, has been granted visas to come for official meetings in Washington — save one.

Singular as the only one that happened to be Christian.  The Anchoress is not happy:

It is wholly unlikely that Sister Diana wants to come to America for sanctuary. Her community, the Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine of Siena have had a presence in Iraq since the 13th Century. They have been on the frontlines amid the horror of ISIS’ advances and they have sent out communiques to let the world know what is happening. I doubt very much that this nun, who is dedicated to her mission, is seeking to escape.

Because I am sick I am having trouble being diplomatic; this refusal to permit entry to Sister Diana, and the excuse given sound like pure-d bullcrap to me.

This is from a piece titled:  Does The Obama Admin has Issues with Catholic Nuns?

The answer of course is no, as long as said nuns are willing to push abortion and Obamacare as opposed to Christ & the Catholic faith his people love them, the Anchoress again:

Because I am sick I am having trouble being diplomatic; this refusal to permit entry to Sister Diana, and the excuse given sound like pure-d bullcrap to me.

Why does this administration go out of its way to avoid noticing or mentioning what is happening to Christians in Iraq and Libya and elsewhere? Why are Catholic nuns too suspect to be allowed into the country? What is the problem, exactly?

My non diplomatic opinion as to the answer is this:  The Obama administration sees Christianity in general  faithful Christians in particular as the enemy.  Their extermination around the world in their minds is poetic justice for their opposition to abortion, gay marriage and every sin in history that they hold against us.

But most of all because liberalism & Christianity share the same first commandment:

Thou shalt have no other Gods but me

That’s what they can’t come out and say what they think, the American people have fallen far but not far enough to spin this as positive.

To those who think my opinion is extreme I ask:  How would an administration holding the opinion I suggest they do act differently than this one?

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If he can win the war on terror and turn the economy around he’ll be a winner in my book.

DaTechGuy on Barack Obama’s Inauguration Day Jan 20th 2009

In 2007 while Barack Obama was still a brand new Senator from Illinois President George Bush seeing a moment of crisis in Anbar Province in Iraq proposed a surge of troops to order to defeat the Islamists who threatened to derail the new Iraqi republic that replace the Saddam Hussein Regime.

Despite the Opposition of High level Democrats like Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi low level Democrats like Barack Obama and even some republicans like Chuck Hagel the Bush Surge took place allowing George Bush to hand to his successor an Iraq where the forces of Al Qaeda had been largely defeated.

We have now had Six years of Barack Obama where he pulled troops out of Iraq, pulled American support from allies in Egypt, watch Russia advance in Ukraine and intimidate the Eastern block countries and now this weekend our chief of homeland security told America on three networks that if you are going to the Mall of America in Minnesota

“If anyone is planning to go to the Mall of America today, they’ve got to be particularly careful,” 

Think about that for a second, we went from fighting Islamic Terrorism, forcing the enemy to take on the best trained, best equipped and most effective army in the history of the world in their backyard, to the point where the head of the Department of Homeland security whose mission is to protect Americans in America is warning Americans that they have to be careful in a Mall in the United States.

Barack Obama is an abject failure whose policies have been costly to the American people but the responsibility for this failure has to be shared with that same American population who bought what he was selling not once but twice, the second time after he allowed a successful attack on Americans in Libya without attempting to stop them.

I regret to say we are getting the administration we deserve

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jackintheboxby baldilocks

Here’s what the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner is up to this time.

Obama’s War Authorization Limits Ground Forces

by Josh Rogin

I like how this Rogin guy/Bloomberg uses the verb “limits” as if it means something.

Almost six months after the president began using force against the Islamic State advance in Iraq and then in Syria, the White House is ready to ask Congress for formal permission to continue the effort. Until now, the administration has maintained it has enough authority to wage war through the 2001 AUMF on al-Qaeda, the 2002 AUMF regarding Iraq and Article II of the Constitution. But under pressure from Capitol Hill, the White House has now completed the text of a new authorization and could send it to lawmakers as early as Wednesday.

[…]

The president’s AUMF for the fight against Islamic State would restrict the use of ground troops through a prohibition on “enduring offensive ground operations,” but provide several exemptions. First, all existing ground troops, including the 3,000 U.S. military personnel now on the ground in Iraq, would be explicitly excluded from the restrictions. After that, the president would be allowed to deploy new military personnel in several specific roles: advisers, special operations forces, Joint Terminal Attack Controllers to assist U.S. air strikes and Combat Search and Rescue personnel.

The new AUMF would repeal the 2002 AUMF (Iraq; repealed for reasons which will become apparent), but not the 2001 AUMF (al Qaeda).

And here’s the kicker:

There are no geographic limitations, so the administration would be free to expand the war to other countries.

So does this mean that any amount of ground/other troops can go wherever the president directs in the name of engaging ISIS?

Our president is (further) laying the groundwork for World War. Joe Biden was right. Kinda.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel, tentatively titled, Arlen’s Harem, will be done in 2015. Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s Projects JOB: Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or contribute to Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>baldilocks

There are so many depressing stories to write about today I scarce know where to begin.

#1 The first Post american President continues his Post American program.

Obama had traded away concessions for “symbolic gestures,” and that Obama was “the worst negotiator that we’ve had as president…maybe in the modern history of the country.”

I really missing having a president who is on our side.

#2. Trauma at Harvard:

But while emotional pageantry in lieu of a logical contention may yield spectacular results in the political realm, it remains insufficient in the eyes of those trained to argue the law. At least, that is the impression one gets from reading the reactions to this sloppy effort by a third year Harvard Law School student and an editor on the Harvard Law Review who recently argued in favor of delaying exams because of his perceived and vicarious emotional trauma.

“Our request for exam extensions is not being made from a position of weakness, but rather from one of strength and critical awareness,” wrote William Desmond in The National Law Journal.

You know there was a Day that Harvard produced the type of men so strong that even having their ship cut in two under them in the dark of night didn’t paralyze them into inaction.

#3 Mass Murder in Pakistan

The Pakistani branch of the Taliban has attempted to justify its attack on a school on Tuesday in the city of Peshawar that left 132 children and nine staff members dead, calling it revenge for the army’s offensive against the group. The attack has been condemned by world leaders, including the government of Iran as well as by the Afghan branch of the Taliban.


Yes these are the terrorists this president is negotiating with.

#4 Cowardice in Hollywood:

The top five theater circuits in North America have decided not to play Sony’s The Interview.

Regal Entertainment, AMC Entertainment, Cinemark, Carmike Cinemas and Cineplex Entertainment have all decided against showing the film.

“Due to the wavering support of the film The Interview by Sony Pictures, as well as the ambiguous nature of any real or perceived security threats, Regal Entertainment Group has decided to delay the opening of the film in our theatres,” Regal said in a statement to THR Wednesday.


Oh for the days of when men like Leslie Howard defined the Nazis

#5 and finally courage in Iraq at a terrible cost both depressing and inspiring:

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria militants rounded up the four under 15-children and asked them if they would followMohammed and live or chose any other religion and live. The courageous died hard Christians replied the militants saying, “No, we love Yesua (the Iraqi name for Jesus), we have always loved Yesua, we have always followed Yesua, Yesua has always been with us.”

According to the report by Orthodox Christian Network, the four boys were beheaded by the militants after refusing to accept Islam as their religion.

I would suggest that a cause for canonization begin at once.

There has been a bit of a debate on if the congress should explicitly authorize military action against ISIS.

Different people have come down on different sides but I submit and suggest that not only should the congress vote authorization, they should formally declare war for the following reasons:

1. An actual declaration of war gives us the proper legal authority and the legitimacy in fighting this war and allows the administration to take actions reserved by law to wartime to win it.

2. A declaration places obligations on our enemies thus allowing us to pursue actions under international law against our foes to pressure 3rd parties if they choose to support them.

3. A declaration puts obligations on us which will not only keep us honest, but living  up to them will keep those in the country will try to hinder us in check.

4. A declaration of war limits our actions to the named enemy in the declaration, decreasing the chance of “mission creep”.

5. A declaration of war remains active until peace is made, this not only forces an administration to pursue war it continues to oblique further administrations to purse said war until peace is made, therefore it makes it less likely for an administration to make war recklessly or play politics with it.

6. It makes it totally clear to the rest of the world (and to the target of the declaration) that we mean business and will pursue it to the bitter end.

One of the most important things a person or a nation can do is learn from previous mistakes. Not having an “official” declaration of war (although the previous, “use of force” resolution might be considered one) in my opinion handicapped their fight and allowed his political foes not to take it seriously and manipulate the situation.

If Barack Obama is serious about his stated desire to destroy ISIS as a threat to America and if the left was serious to their objections to President Bush’s past actions a vote & debate on it will show without question their seriousness.

Update:  cleaned up a confused sentence in step 4

 

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Mr. Carter: Please, please can we call it a “tallywhacker”?

Porky’s 1982

We talked a bit about the motivations concerning the Barack Obama version decision to “destroy” ISIS, however John Kerry seems to be unclear on the method:

Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday that the United States is not at war with ISIS despite bombing them and pledging to “destroy” the terrorist group, in President Obama’s words. “If somebody wants to think about it as being a war with ISIL [the administration’s name for ISIS] they can do so, but the fact is that it’s a major counter-terrorism operation,” Kerry told CNN.

Apparently we are going to kill them with kindness.

We’ve also been told that the administration is going to build a coalition to fight ISIS, however…

An airstrike campaign in Syria won’t have Germany’s support, and Turkey said it will only cooperate in humanitarian missions in the fight against the Islamic State as U.S. allies weighed in Thursday on President Barack Obama’s plan to “degrade and destroy” the militant group.

Well at least we can be sure that England will be right behind us right?

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told reporters at a news conference in Berlin: “Let me be clear: Britain will not be taking part in any airstrikes in Syria.” He said London won’t be “revisiting” the issue after Parliament decided last year against participating in airstrikes.

But a spokesman for Cameron’s office contradicted that position, saying Cameron had in fact not ruled out action related to the Islamic State group. A spokesman insisted Hammond was referring to a Parliament vote last year opposing airstrikes against President Bashar Assad’s regime.

British lawmakers are asking Cameron to clarify the government’s position and why there appeared to be a disparity between the politicians.

The last time we went to war or whatever the hell this is, without the brits behind us you have to go back to Vietnam & before that the Spanish-American War of 1898, but there are a few people behind us:

Ten Arab states have pledged to join the U.S. in its campaign to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, while some American allies in Europe are less eager to sign up to fight.

The agreement came out of talks between Secretary of State John Kerry and regional leaders in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. In addition to Saudi Arabia, the coalition includes Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

Now we don’t know if this means troops from any of these guys but I suspect ISIS isn’t quaking in its boots over the mighty Bahraini army.

Of course given that we’re committed to not actually sending troops into combat it will be interesting to see how many armies are willing to heed an Obama call to “Go” rather than the call of a leader to “follow”.

And of course there is President Obama’s promise to go to the UN which I suspect is not going to turn out well, wither in the security council with a Russian & Chinese vetoes at the ready or in the general assembly.

In the end all of this will take a lot of time and if anything happens it will be a while. This is by design because no matter what President Obama and the Democrats say, the only way to beat ISIS is boots on the ground and they know it. However they are determined to avoid that responsibility . Barack Obama is going to make sure the timeline of this “war” / “anti-terror action” / “tallywhacker” will be sure that the president who has to make that decision isn’t him.

If I’m John Boehner I bring up a war resolution tomorrow and make sure the vote takes place within a week and send it to the Senate and make every single Democrat up for re-election in 2014 & 2016 decide, do they want to destroy ISIS or not?

One of the odd side effects of an event such as Ferguson and the gigantic media black hole that attracts all the possible coverage in US media is the opportunity that it creates for people to act on issues totally unrelated.

This was evidenced last month when the shoot down of the Malaysian airliner taking place at the same time as Israel’s offensive against Hamas kept the media coverage divided to the point where Israel was able to act almost for a week before Hamas’ ability to play the international media effectively. The temporary nullification of Hamas’ media allies was, in my opinion a vital part in Israel’s success in Operation Protective Edge.

With the US media totally distracted by the unrest in Ferguson, a story that is directly in the cable networks wheelhouse those who wish to act on other issues have their best chance to do so, consider:

1. Gaza:

In Gaza the latest ceasefire is about to expire. With Ferguson in full swing Hamas will once again be unable to pay their media card effectively.

This means if Israel wants to take punitive action against Hamas this is the week to do it. If there are any loose ends that have to be taken care of or dramatic moves to make, Israel can do it and be assured that the US media will not be in a position to counter them.

2. Ukraine:

Vlad Putin Ukrainian plans are in real trouble. First of all the Ukrainians elected to fight his proxy army rather than fold and if that wasn’t bad enough after months of tough fighting the Ukrainians are on the verge of victory against the Russian backed “rebels”.

Putin has no good options. He can either continue to try and reinforce and resupply those forces, he can leave them to fend for themselves or he can deploy the army at the border in an open invasion.

The first has been effectively counted by the Ukrainians, the second risks a backlash in Russia proper as Putin’s own propaganda has portrayed his actions as an attempt to safeguard innocent ethnic Russians and the third not only crosses a vital line but escalates the situation to a level possibility beyond his control.

However thanks to the distraction of the US there is one other option open. Putin could choose to make a limited incursion led by massive airpower. If he deployed his air assets he might be in a position to crush Ukraine’s air force and pummel their supply lines long enough to reverse the course of the war. Putin could even choose after a week to back off and get credit for “restraint” after his tactical objectives are achieved.

By the time the US media starts noticing the entire course of the war could change.

3. Iraq

Of the three locations this is the one where the destruction of the US media offers options for both ISIS and America.

ISIS’ faces two problems their victory threatened to undermine Barack Obama’s narrative on Iraq and even worse the plight of the Yazidis captured on video created the image of an American president indifferent to mass slaughter on innocents. This forced America to act.

With America now distracted the Good news for ISIS is they have several options to take advantage of this situation: They can take the opportunity to redeploy to positions that are defensible and consolidate their gains, they can choose to finish crushing and slaughtering the Christians and Yazidis acting proactively while America’s gaze is elsewhere, or they can make moves on the Mosul Dam under the assumption that even destroying the dam will not knock Ferguson off the front pages in America.

The Bad news for ISIS is the distraction of the US media also frees America and the west’s hands to some degree. With the country focused elsewhere the President could choose to escalate the bombing of ISIS positions to degrees far beyond the current small attacks. US special forces can coordinating with the Kurds go on the offensive on the ground to retake areas. In fact if Ferguson goes on long enough the President might be able to quietly reinforce forces deployed in Iraq to a point where they might be able to make a difference without this base giving the issue enough notice.

Of course these are the big things, plenty of small things from onerous regulations, to investigation dumps to, Obamacare changes might also take place at this time, but the window for game changing action in all of those areas above is open now, the only question is will anybody choose to climb through it?