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Friday, September 28, 2012

US Realignment with Islamism: Was I Right or What?

US, Egypt to begin joint naval war games

Talks are under way between senior Navy officials and their counterparts in Cairo to begin conducting joint war games for the first time since Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi took power earlier this year. 

While bilateral discussions on the naval drills are still being discussed, the exercises would focus on improving Egypt's ability to deal with small boat attacks and general patrol operations of its coastal waters, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert told reporters Thursday. 

In the near term, the Pentagon is laying out the conditions with the country's new military leaders to allow American warships to begin docking at Egyptian ports again, Greenert said during a speech at an Association of the U.S. Navy-sponsored event in Washington that same day. 

The Navy has always maintained a strong relationship with Morsi's predecessor, former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, but those ties had "atrophied" in recent years as Mubarak's government clung to power, according to Greenert.

The renewed port calls and military drills will help reinforce those ties in a region that has been roiled by a wave of power shifts and revolutions during the Arab Spring movement. 

Last February, Mubarak was one of the many Arab leaders ousted from power by that wave.

Plans for U.S. naval reengagement began shortly after Morsi, in one of his first official acts as Egyptian president, reshuffled the country's military leadership last month. 

At that time, Greenert said he reached out to Egypt's newly installed naval chief to congratulate him on his new position. In response, the Egypt's top naval officer suggested that it was time to start looking at joint training exercises with the United States. 

The deal also comes at a critical time for the Morsi administration, who is leading Egypt's difficult transition to democratic rule in the face of growing anti-American sentiment fueled by rising Islamic radicalism in the country. 

On Sept. 11, a mob of protestors stormed the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, breaching the building's outer walls and burning the American flag before being repelled by U.S. and local security forces. 

The protest coincided with a suspected terrorist attack against the U.S. Consulate in Libya, which resulted in the deaths of four Americans including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens. 

During Tuesday's speech, Greenert was asked if the rise in anti-U.S. attitudes in the Mideast, in the aftermath of the Arab Spring movement, has raised any alarms among Navy leaders. 

The Navy's Fifth Fleet is headquartered in Bahrain, which emerged as one of the political hot spots during the movement's peak. U.S. warships also frequently dock at a number of countries touched by the Arab Spring during their operations in the Mideast. 

"We're not concerned yet, but we are keeping an eye on it," he replied, adding increased engagements like the ones planned for Egypt will help quell those concerns. 

Morsi sacked Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the powerful head of the country's military, and the chiefs of Egypt's armed forces in August. 

Tantawi and the country's top military brass had been part of the ruling military council that had run Egypt since Mubarak was removed from power six months earlier. 

The move effectively eliminated Morsi's chef political opposition as well as the massive restrictions the military council imposed on Morsi's administration after his election earlier this year. 

FP: Who is Islamist Egypt’s main enemy? How does this square with my claim that Obama is realigning the US with Islamism? And how exactly an alliance with a country that declares itself your enemy works?

So Clint Eastwood Was Right After All

Bill Katz: SHOULD HE RETURN HIS SALARY?

Barack Obama runs a perpetual campaign.  He loves running for office.  Actually doing the job...well, that's another story.  He served almost four years in the U.S. Senate, and no one knew he was there.  I think he had an office.  He's served almost four years as president and...well, you know the story. 

Deroy Murdock, at National Review, reminds us of the fact that we have, at best, a part-time president:

Concerning the fun parts of his job, Barack Obama resembles the Energizer Bunny. If there are crowds to wow, entertainers to schmooze, or donors to pitch, Obama is Johnny on the Spot. Too bad his sparks stop flying when it comes time for the serious heavy lifting of the presidency.

This phenomenon’s most chilling example involves Obama’s national-security-related Presidential Daily Brief (PDB). As the Government Accountability Institute (GAI) calculated, and Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen first reported, Obama attended only 43.8 percent of his PDBs between January 23, 2009 (three days after his inauguration), and May 31, 2012. Available nearly every day, the PDB allows the commander-in-chief to hear directly from top intelligence professionals about the latest threats to U.S. safety. These experts are on hand to answer questions, hear suggestions, and otherwise help Obama foil America’s enemies.

And...

Obama skipped his PDBs between September 5 and 11, the entire week before the American consulate in Benghazi suffered an Islamic terror attack that killed U.S. ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, technical officer Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods. Who knows if a briefer’s classified utterance, or a particularly astute question from Obama, might have triggered tighter security in Benghazi and perhaps prevented the murders of four Americans?

Even worse, as Thiessen reports, Obama postponed and eventually skipped his PDB on the day after these planned and deliberate assassinations. This liberated Obama for a truly indispensable responsibility that day. As American embassies burned brightly throughout the Islamic world, Obama jetted off on Air Force One for a campaign fundraiser in America’s least solemn city — Las Vegas.

And...

Obama this week met with exactly zero world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly, not least of them Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who wants to stop Iran from redecorating Jerusalem and Tel Aviv with mushroom clouds. Obama found time, however, to serve as “eye candy” for Whoopi Goldberg and the cast of The View.

And...

Obama has shirked his domestic obligations, too. He reportedly has held just two Cabinet meetings this year — on January 31 and July 26. While claiming to be totally focused on reducing naggingly high unemployment, Obama has not met with his Jobs Council since January...

...Perhaps Obama has devolved from president to slacker-in-chief in an elaborate display of empathy for America’s 12.5 million unemployed. With so many citizens not working, Barack Obama may reckon, why should he?

COMMENT:  Very well said.  But why don't Americans seem to care?  And how can any journalist with a sense of integrity still be in the tank for this president?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What the Obama ME Policy Has Been About

William A. Jacobson: Obama plays the Israel Firster card

Posted by Tuesday, September 25, 2012 at 10:30am

Obama’s comment about “noise” in the Middle East — meant to refer to Israeli concerns about Iran — has distracted from the most dangerous play in Obama’s 60 Minutes interview Sunday.

“Noise” was not the problem, it was that Obama set up Israeli “noise” as inconsistent with the interests of “the American people” (via Hot Air)(emphasis mine):

STEVE KROFT:  ”You’re saying, you don’t feel any pressure from Prime Minister Netanyahu in the middle of a campaign to try and get you to change your policy and draw a line in the sand? You don’t feel any pressure?”

PRESIDENT OBAMA: “When it comes to our national security decisions—any pressure that I feel is simply to do what’s right for the American people. And I am going to block out—any noise that’s out there. Now I feel an obligation, not pressure but obligation, to make sure that we’re in close consultation with the Israelis—on these issues. Because it affects them deeply. They’re one of our closest allies in the region. And we’ve got an Iranian regime that has said horrible things that directly threaten Israel’s existence.”

Of course any American president should do what’s right for America.  But Obama did more than express policy disagreement, he set it up as Israel versus the American people.

It was subtle but significant.  It’s the Israel Firster argument which now is fashionable in the American left (and years ago among the Arabists in the State Department and foreign policy establishment), the notion that being pro-Israel is being implicitly anti-American.

By framing it as Israel versus the American people, Obama sent a much bigger message than his “noise” comment.  But almost no one heard it about the noise.

FP: One of my working hypotheses has been that Obama would scare Israel into conceding everything to the Arabs, by lifting the American protection and letting the Islamists loose.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Islamists: No Appeasement Will Sate Them, Quite the Opposite

Bill Katz: WELL THANK YOU, SIR
Mohamed Morsi, the new president of Egypt, who we helped bring to power, and who we have protected, is showing the same level of appreciation we usually get from the Arab world.  On the eve of his first visit to the United States, he lectures us on our obligations to the Arabs.  It's pretty unbelievable.  Pajamas Media quotes The New York Times:
On the eve of his first trip to the United States as Egypt’s new Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi said the United States needed to fundamentally change its approach to the Arab world, showing greater respect for its values and helping build a Palestinian state, if it hoped to overcome decades of pent-up anger.
A former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mr. Morsi sought in a 90-minute interview with The New York Times to introduce himself to the American public and to revise the terms of relations between his country and the United States after the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, an autocratic but reliable ally.
He said it was up to Washington to repair relations with the Arab world and to revitalize the alliance with Egypt, long a cornerstone of regional stability.
If Washington is asking Egypt to honor its treaty with Israel, he said, Washington should also live up to its own Camp David commitment to Palestinian self-rule. He said the United States must respect the Arab world’s history and culture, even when that conflicts with Western values.


Oh thank you, kind sir.  Thank you.  We didn't realize that Barack Hussein Obama Jr wasn't pro-Arab enough.  Our apologies, noble sir.  As Rick Moran of Pajamas Media says:
Sure. We’d like nothing better than to join President Morsi and the rest of the Arab world in re-living the 14th century by abandoning our closely held, hard fought, and cherished values and adopting those values embraced by the Arabs.
But um…does that include covering women from head to toe in burlap sacks? Damn, I am so going to miss the Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Issue.
Anything else we can do for you, Mr. President?

And Moran goes on:
Ok — you had your say. Now here are our “terms” for you:
1. How dare you try and dictate what our values should be — much less demand that they mirror your values. I would rather have us adopt the values of a tribe of New Guinea cannibals than your anti-liberty, anti-woman, anti-gay, anti-human worldview.
2. Stop acting so crazy.
3. Stop stealing your own people blind.
4. Stop hating on the Jews.
5. Stop killing people who disagree with you politically.
6. Stop throwing people in jail for the same reason.
7. Stop trying to recreate a worldwide caliphate. You’re not going to do it anyway, and the effort will probably kill a lot of innocent people.
8. Stop embracing terrorists who kill babies.
9. Stop treating women as if they are property.
10. Did I mention that you must stop acting so crazy?
That’s a start. I’ll get back to you when I think of a couple of dozen others.










Very well done.  In his interview with The Times Morsi says that, while he wouldn't bar women from politics, voting for them is another story. 
I'd love to see a reaction from so-called "feminist" groups to that.  It's been my experience that some of them are for women's rights as long as it doesn't interfere with their Marxism.  If it does, the women go under the bus.
We wait.
FP: The West will do as Morsi asks. And more.

Just as I predicted they would squeeze support from the US:

• Political adviser to Egyptian president: Egypt's political leaders set to re-examine peace treaty in coming days.  






Sunday, September 16, 2012

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Give Him Four More Years

Bill Katz: ELECTION-YEAR ABSURDITY

Is there any end to this administration's madness?  Is there any end to the mainstream media's acceptance of it?  Pat Caddell, once a pollster for Jimmy Carter, but now much more a thoughtful centrist, has some intriguing answers.  Well worth reading, via Ben Shapiro at Breitbart:

Ambassador Chris Stevens did not have a Marine detail in Benghazi, Libya. But White House Senior Advisor and Obama confidante Valerie Jarrett has a full Secret Service detail on vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, according to Democratic pollster Pat Caddell.

That’s the pathetic foreign policy of the Obama administration, says Caddell today in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News. “Jarrett seems to have a 24 hour, around the clock detail, with five or six agents full time,” Caddell explains. “The media has been completely uninterested. We don’t provide security for our ambassador in Libya, but she needs a full Secret Service security detail. And nobody thinks there’s anything wrong with this. And nobody in the press will ask. What kind of slavish stoogery are they perpetrating here?

“This country has reached the point of absurdity. There are people dead because we don’t have security details for them. But she’s privileged to have a full Secret Service detail on vacation?”

Caddell points out that Americans are already unhappy with President Obama on foreign policy aside from the killing of Osama Bin Laden. Caddell, along with Republican pollster John McLaughlin, runs Secure America, a nonpartisan advocacy group. “We’ve just finished two polls coming out in the field today,” says Caddell, “but we already know that people feel strongly about Iran; they feel strongly about the administration’s policy with regard to Islamic extremists. They don’t like the Obama administration’s handling of these issues. And this election won’t only be about the economy. The American people aren’t stupid. They can walk and chew gum at the same time.”

Caddell does reserve heavy criticism for the Republican establishment, which he believes has ignored foreign policy issues for far too long. “When three quarters of the American people believe Iran will give nuclear weapons to terrorists, you can see that Americans care about this issue. And people overwhelmingly believe that Obama’s sanctions policies will not work. The pronounced minority who disagree with those positions seem to be centered in the mainstream media – and ground zero seems to be at NBC and MSNBC.”

COMMENT:  And yet, there is now a reasonable chance that Obama could be re-elected.  In 1980 we got rid of Jimmy Carter before he could do more damage.  If Obama wins a second term, we'd be in for a nightmare.

FP: Caddell contradicts himself. That sheer fact that Obama is president is incompatible with the argument that there is no stupidity in America. And neither is the fact that the best America could put up against him is Romney. Pretty sad and scary.

Friday, September 14, 2012

This Was Guaranteed

FP: And even now I am not sure that the Western leadership will face reality and draw the right conclusion. In fact, I think it will conclude the exact opposite: that we must do even more to please the Islamists. Just watch.

 

William Jacobson: Obama’s Great Islamist Delusion has come home to roost

Well, that didn’t work out so well.

We cast aside Hosni Mubarak on a moment’s notice without taking steps to give non-Islamist parties a timetable to organize an effective transition; we overthrew Muammar Gaddafi, teaching tyrants the lesson that giving up nuclear ambitions is a deadly mistake, and then promptly departed leaving chaos; and we have isolated Israel among a sea of Islamist radicals as it seeks to stop the Iranian’s march towards nuclear weapon capability.

And all the while, our own government places blame on some previously unknown guy for making some previously unknown film which might be real or not, which people who hated us before the film take as an insult to Islam.

We’ve even sent out federal law enforcement to locate and report on someone who committed no crime.

Yes, our government even issued apologies over and sympathies for the hurt feelings of those burning our embassies and killing our Ambassador, while condemning the resulting violence.  We are, once again, hostage to the hurt feelings of those with perpetually hurt feelings, and we will sympathize with them so long as they don’t go that last step and actually pull the trigger.

Life with a hurt feelings gun to our head begging that the trigger not be pulled is the change we apparently were waiting for.

Talk about perverse ironies.  This all comes from an administration and political party backed by people who regularly denigrate Christianity, and who are running a campaign focused on forcing American Catholics to abandon their religious principles and to cast aside their hurt feelings on issues of life.

This all is a result of Barack Obama’s delusional approach to the Middle East, one in which we are the perpetual villain, and in which we had to supplicate ourselves and our allies by heaping praise on people who do not ever return the favor.

Outreach to Muslims in the Middle East who return the respect is one thing, and should be encouraged; prostrating ourselves either physically or intellectually to Islamists is quite another thing.

Watch this video clip from Obama’s Cairo speech in June 2009:

  

 

Then look at the news.

Obama’s Great Islamist Delusion has come home to roost.