Posts Tagged ‘Foreign Policy’

How Many People Were Killed By Islamic Jihadists Yesterday?

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

If you answered “two,” thinking of the Sidney siege, BZZZZPP! I’m sorry, you don’t win the microwave.

The answer would be “a minimum of 143,” given that the Taliban killed some 141 (a death toll that continues to rise) at a school in Pakistan yesterday. They burned a teacher alive and beheaded children.

You know: the usual.

And I wouldn’t be surprised if I missed a dozen or more jihad-related killings the barely made local international papers, much less the ones not reported on.

If that happened in the U.S., the freakout would go on for weeks on end. But pretty much a week doesn’t go by that Jihadists don’t carry out a school killing somewhere in Nigeria or Kenya or wherever. Indeed, attacks on schools are part of the standard Jihadest blueprint for terror.

Blow-back must be a bitch for the Pakistani Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), who played a key role in creating the Taliban and supporting various jihadist activities. (Remember where Osama Bin Laden was found?)

Venezuela Takes The Express Lane To The Dustheap Of History

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

There’s been a lot of talk of how low oil prices are screwing Russia, but Venezuela is, if anything, more screwed thanks to the Magic Power of Socialism™:

U.S. currency is vital to Venezuela, which imports as much as 80% of what it consumes; 96% of its exports are petroleum products…In effect, the one-third decline in the price of oil means that the state oil company must either raise or divert enough production because Venezuela effectively owes China 67 million barrels of oil, roughly 27 million more than it did before, for this loan alone. And there are billions of dollars in other loans to consider.

And the outlook for the immediate future is equally grim:

Venezuela’s economy is expected to contract in 2014 and 2015, and even though it’s already recognized as the 14th least competitive economy in the world (according to the World Economic Forum) and the eighth-worst economy for doing business (according to The World Bank), [President Nicolas] Maduro’s laws seem to discourage private investments even more. The new laws reinforce bureaucracy and the difficulty of doing business in the country, particularly in the area of taxes.

“Increasing numbers of low-income Venezuelans are souring on Maduro as they suffer a declining economy, the highest inflation in the Americas, chronic shortages of basic goods and one of the world’s highest murder rates.”

If Venezuela’s economy collapses, they might take Cuba down with them, since the Castro brothers are so heavily dependent on Venezuelan oil subsidies to prop up their own moribund economy.

Compounding Venezuela’s crises is the fact that it’s probably going to default on its bonds. So they’re finally reaching the point in socialism where the run out of other people’s money. Next to that singular problem, U.S. sanctions on government Venezuelan officials for killing protestors are a trivial irritation…

Mexico Burning Followup

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

The news reports are downplaying last night’s Mexican protests, saying they only succeeded in setting the front door of the ceremonial National Palace alight.

The dramatic pictures of burning trucks appear to be from Chilpancingo, the capital of the state of Guerrero, which also contains Ayotzinapa, where the massacred students hailed from.

There are also reports of the PRI Mayor in Oaxaca authorizing police to fire on protestors.

Vaguely related: A New York Times reporter gets shaken down by a crooked cop in Mexico.

Undernews: Mexico Burning Tonight

Saturday, November 8th, 2014

Doesn’t look like the American MSM have caught up, but Mexico’s National Palace appears to be on fire tonight:

Government buildings are on fire in other parts of Mexico as well.

This is the combination of years of endemic corruption, stagnation and incompetence by the government (and especially the ruling PRI party), but most recently the deaths of 43 Mexican students from Ayotzinapa who were “abducted by police on order of a local mayor, and are believed to have been turned over to a gang that killed them and burned their bodies before throwing some remains in a river” just to keep the mayor from being embarrassed by their protests, was the match that set off the explosion.

Fun how people get upset when you kill off children for political reasons.

It seems that significant portions of Mexico are fire tonight, and America’s national media seems asleep at the switch…

LinkSwarm for Friday, October 3, 2014

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Here’s your Friday LinkSwarm of semi-random linkage goodness:

  • ObamaCare’s war on women: higher premiums, cancelled plans, fewer options.
  • ObamaCare has already cost $73 billion and counting.
  • And the Healthcare.Gov website cost 2.5 times what the Obama Administration told us.
  • The inequality police are worried that we are living in a new Gilded Age. We should be so lucky: Between 1880 and 1890, the number of employed Americans increased by more than 13 percent, and wages increased by almost 50 percent. I am going to go out on a limb and predict that the Barack Obama years will not match that record; the share of employed Americans is lower today than it was when he took office, and household income is down. Grover Cleveland is looking like a genius in comparison.

  • The middle class is poorer today than it was in 1989. Thanks, Obama! (Hat tip: Instapundit).
  • World Health Organization refuses to approve experimental drugs for Ebola patients. Because they might get sick…
  • CDC chief thinks a ban on travelers from Ebola-infected countries would be “wrong.” Wrong for who? People who won’t get infected?
  • Real Salon or parody Salon? “The problem with ‘Ebola’: The troubling, xenophobic language of disease.”
  • And if Ebola wasn’t bad enough, Enterovirus D68 has been found in four people who died.
  • And that Enterovirus D68 outbreak may be related to Obama’s decision not to deport illegal aliens.
  • Even 60% of Democrats think Obama is a wuss when it comes to ISIS.
  • U.S. troops fighting in the warkinetic overseas contingency engagement against ISIS are not eligible for campaign medals.
  • NRA’s Political victory Fund has released their ranking of candidates. That’s the one for Texas, but you can select all the other states as well.
  • Liberals are hypocrites when it comes to big bucks “dark money” fundraising.
  • The places where our self-appointed elites congregate are turning into precisely the places where actual voters are getting thinner and thinner on the ground.”
  • Despite what radical feminists would have you believe, sex crimes on campus are going down, not up.
  • Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott: voting fraud is real.
  • Appeals court finds Texas abortion laws constitutional.
  • “‘He’s from Texas, honey,’ I yelled at the television, startling the cats, ‘That’s not “armed”, that’s “dressed”, you island-dwelling herbivore! Jesus, you cud-chewing Eloi, how do you people open packages? With your teeth, like an animal?” For a bonus, try to work “cud-chewing Eloi” into your next conversation… (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • More domestic violence in the MSM than the NFL: ESPN, ABC, CBS, NBC and the New York Times.
  • Bill Maher goes after liberals being soft on Islam. “Saudi women can’t vote or drive or hold a job or leave the house without a man. Overwhelming majorities in every Muslim country say a wife is always obliged to obey her husband. That all seems like a bigger issue than an evangelical Christian bakery refusing to make gay wedding cakes. ”
  • What happens when you bail out of an SR-71 at Mach 3 and 78,000 feet.
  • Maybe I’m jumping to conclusions, but something about this film has “suck” written all over it…
  • Two words: Homemade flamethrower.

  • The Unexpected Return of This Week(ish) in Jihad

    Thursday, September 25th, 2014

    Bombing, revolution, and other jihad-related news breaking out, so let’s dust off this old headline category and throw up some links.

  • Our air force continues to bomb ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria, including hitting their oil refineries.
  • France has been helping us bomb ISIS in Iraq as well, though evidently not in Syria.
  • Syrian Kurds flee into Turkey.
  • Did Hamas just give up control of Gaza? If so, I’d say Israel won the war decisively…
  • Houthi rebels have taken Yemen’s capital of Sana’a just a day after signing a peace treaty with the government. They follow Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, a Zaidi Shia (i.e., Fivers rather than Twelvers) as opposed to the formerly ruling Sunnis. I can’t tell from scanty news reports how interested they are in jihad or imposing Sharia law (or imposing more Sharia law, since the existing constitution is evidently partially based on it).
  • Jury finds Arab Bank liable for supporting Hamas by paying out martyrdom payments for suicide bombings in Israel.
  • “Coming Soon in Aceh [Indonesia]: Shariah Law for Non-Muslims. (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • Jihadists are eyeing the porous Mexican border as a way to launch terrorist attacks in the U.S.
  • Obama praises “moderate” Muslim cleric Sheikh Abdallah Bin Bayyah who backed a fatwa on U.S. soldiers. (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • From French fries to fatwa: the deadly path to jihad of Numan Haider.”
  • Actual ABC headline: “How #ISIS Is Complicating Al Franken’s Reelection Bid.” (Hat tip: Creeping Sharia.)
  • “Arab civilization, such as we knew it, is all but gone.”

    Sunday, September 21st, 2014

    That’s the headline on this Hisham Melhem piece on the comprehensive failure of the entire Arab world.

    The jihadists of the Islamic State, in other words, did not emerge from nowhere. They climbed out of a rotting, empty hulk—what was left of a broken-down civilization. They are a gruesome manifestation of a deeper malady afflicting Arab political culture, which was stagnant, repressive and patriarchal after the decades of authoritarian rule that led to the disastrous defeat in the 1967 war with Israel. That defeat sounded the death knell of Arab nationalism and the resurgence of political Islam, which projected itself as the alternative to the more secular ideologies that had dominated the Arab republics since the Second World War. If Arab decline was the problem, then “Islam is the solution,” the Islamists said—and they believed it.

    At their core, both political currents—Arab nationalism and Islamism—are driven by atavistic impulses and a regressive outlook on life that is grounded in a mostly mythologized past. Many Islamists, including Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood (the wellspring of such groups)—whether they say it explicitly or hint at it—are still on a ceaseless quest to resurrect the old Ottoman Caliphate. Still more radical types—the Salafists—yearn for a return to the puritanical days of Prophet Muhammad and his companions. For most Islamists, democracy means only majoritarian rule, and the rule of sharia law, which codifies gender inequality and discrimination against non-Muslims.

    And let’s face the grim truth: There is no evidence whatever that Islam in its various political forms is compatible with modern democracy.

    A few pieces of Melhem’s piece are erroneous: “As terrorist organizations, al Qaeda and Islamic State are different from the Muslim Brotherhood, a conservative movement that renounced violence years ago, although it did dabble with violence in the past.” That’s only because the Egypt’s military forced them to refrain from large-scale violence on pain of death. We saw how quickly this restraint was cast aside when Morsi assumed power. The only differences between al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood are of degree, tactical choice, and certain Islamic Eschatological doctrinal differences as to exactly what sort of oppressive Islamic theocracy imposing Sharia law are the ideal end-state.

    But those flaws aside, it’s still an admirably clear-eyed distillation of the horrific, bloody, dysfunctional nature of the Arab world. Read the whole thing.

    My Take On Foreign Policy’s Takedown of Obama’s Foreign Policy

    Monday, September 15th, 2014

    This piece in Foreign Policy has been making the rounds. It talks at length, in an inside-baseball manner, of how the Obama Administration’s feckless and incompetent behavior has damaged America’s interests around the world.

    A taste:

    The problem is that in seeking to sidestep the pitfalls that plagued Bush, Obama has inadvertently created his own. Yet unlike Bush, whose flaw-riddled first-term foreign policy was followed by important and not fully appreciated second-term course corrections, Obama seems steadfast in his resistance both to learning from his past errors and to managing his team so that future errors are prevented. It is hard to think of a recent president who has grown so little in office.

    That’s why many in the right wing of the blogsphere have been singing its praises. And indeed, many of the criticisms leveled are devastatingly on-target. However, I have a somewhat orthogonal take on the piece, and what it’s actually trying to do.

    Consider all of the foreign policy debacles either not covered by the piece at all, or else only mentioned in passing:

  • Benghazi
  • Or, for that matter, any of the embassy attacks
  • The failure to address the challenge presented by radical Islam (three mentions of terrorism, mainly critical of Bush’s handling, and one of the Islamic State)
  • The Iranian nuclear program
  • Gaza (and, in fact, Israel is only mentioned once in passing)
  • Egypt is mentioned only once in passing
  • Ukraine is only mentioned in passing.
  • Broadly speaking, two viewpoints run through the piece, each of which acts, in their own way, as exercises in blame-shifting:

  • An inside-Foggy Bottom view of the embarrassing amateur-hour actions of Obama appointees screwing everything up.
  • “It’s not Hillary’s fault!”
  • As an example of the latter, take this sentence:

    “Concentrating power in the White House increases the likelihood of groupthink, especially in second terms like this one, when many of the stronger and diverse voices in the administration have left and have not been replaced by equally strong and diverse successors.”

    Hear that, John Kerry? That’s the sound of Hillary shoving a shiv right between your ribs.

    The groundwork for most (if not all) of the foreign policy failures of the Obama Administration’s second term were laid in its first. Clinton’s emphasis on “soft power” over the military, the premature withdrawal from Iraq, the failure to obtain a status-of-forces agreement there, the counterproductive-to-disastrous regime change in Libya, the lack of any strategy for the “Arab Spring” (and subsequent failure to stem the entirely predictable turn toward radical Islamization several Arab Spring countries took), the failure to foresee a post-Mubarak Egypt, the asinine embrace of Morsi’s obviously despotic Muslim Brotherhood government, the obvious failure of the “reset” with Russia; all occurred or had their seeds planted when Hillary was Secretary of State, and all have contributed mightily to America’s global loss of prestige and respect.

    But the whitewashing of Hillary Clinton’s record is no surprise, given that the author, David Rothkopf, “joined the Clinton Administration in 1993 as Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Policy and Development.”

    I’m also guessing that Susan Rice was among the sources for the piece, given that he follows criticism of her for calling the German Foreign Minister a “M@therf@cker” with the softball “It is a particularly frustrating Achilles’ heel for someone who is well known among her friends as having the capacity to be very warm, humorous, and engaging,” which just reeks of assuaging a source. (Really, has any serious policy profile of any high Republican administration official every used the phrase “very warm, humorous, and engaging”?)

    I also get the impression from this and other bits of Hillary apologia that she really, really has it in for former Deputy National Security Adviser and current White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough (he’s the guy that looks like Lurch in that “watch us kill Bin Laden” photo). Note that I’m not taking sides in this dispute; it’s entirely possible that both of them suck…

    The piece is worth reading for showing that even the long-time deep state apparatchiks at Foggy Bottom feel embarrassed at the Obama Administration’s gross foreign policy incompetence. But it also needs to be taken with several grains of salt as yet-another piece of battlespace preparation for Hillary 2016…

    Tomorrow is 9/11. What Is the Obama Administration Doing To Keep America Safe?

    Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

    Tomorrow is the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorists attacks on World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Thanks to the Obama Administration’s feckless and spineless responses to terrorism both here and abroad, Americans feel less safe than ever:

    The exclusive poll reveals that 47% of Americans believe the country is less safe now than before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. That’s a significant increase from even a year after the twin towers fell when in September 2002 just 20% of the country said the nation was less safe. The level of fear across America also is up substantially from last year when 28% felt the same way. In fact, just 26% of Americans now feel the nation is safer than before 9/11.

    Americans are worried about America’s safety because Obama seems manifestly disinterested in national security concerns. Americans are being killed by jihadists abroad and Obama can barely trouble himself to break away from his golf game to address the issue.

    Tonight Obama is going to give a speech (in Obama’s Big Pop-Up Book of Governing America, “Give A Speech” provides the same universal panacea as “Shoot” does in the Far Side’s book on equine medicine) on ISIS.

    Here’s one thing I don’t expect to hear addressed: What is the Obama Administration doing to protect America tomorrow on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. America’s jihadist enemies have frequently observed this anniversary by launching attacks, such as the 2012 embassy attacks on Benghazi and elsewhere.

    This is especially worrisome given reports of missing Libyan airliners possibly in the hands of jihadists.

    When it comes to foreign policy (or, really, anything beyond electoral politics and advancing a left-wing agenda), Obama shows a distinct inability to learn from his own mistakes. Will there be heightened security at American embassies tomorrow? While their be fighter planes in the air flying CAP, or at least fueled and ready for takeoff on the ground, in case of another 9/11 attack? This piece suggests that government officials are “bracing” for possible attacks, but fails to give any details. If there is another attack, are we going to see another roundup of all the security lapses like we did after the Benghazi attack?

    The most essential job of government is protecting the lives, liberty and property of its citizens from enemies both here and abroad. What I want to known is: What is the Obama Administration actually doing on Job 1?

    LinkSwarm for September 8, 2014

    Monday, September 8th, 2014

    A Monday LinKSwarm to kick off your week with:

  • Surprise, surprise, surprise: Obamacare discourages work.
  • Media: ObamaCare is fading as an issue. GOP strategists: LOL.
  • “Obama has overseen a shocking decline in America’s standing in the world. Everyone is mad at, or disappointed in, the United States.” As far as I can tell, Obama’s foreign policy is to do nothing until Americans are killed, and then to do nothing some more…
  • More on the theme:

    “Obama says what he has to say to make reporters stop asking about it.”

  • Rotherham: “The local government tolerated sexual violence on a vast scale. Why? In part, because the criminals who committed these sickening acts were Muslims from the local Pakistani community, and noticing their depravity was considered insensitive at best, racist at worst.”
  • Illegal alien “children” with gray hair enrolling in public schools since the Obama Administration won’t let school districts check their ages.
  • After more than five years of Obama, the Los Angeles Times asks “Is economic stagnation the new normal?”
  • Obama starts the latest poker round by showing Putin his hole cards.
  • Iran bans women from many university courses. Now remind me what this whole “war on women” is about again…
  • Interview with the woman who runs the only Arabic language magazine of sex and erotica. Good luck with that…
  • Thanks to The Magic Power of Socialism, Venezuela is now importing oil.
  • Hey, remember when Bush attended three fundraisers and a wedding during the middle of the invasion of Iraq? Me neither.
  • “However stupid the creation of the euro was, undoing it will not be easy.”
  • UC Berkley wants to make sure “we can only exercise our right to free speech insofar as we feel safe and respected in doing so.” “And by ‘contentious’ speech, we mean ‘non-liberal’ speech. Or, as we like to refer to them, ‘hate crimes.’”
  • Military rifles, armor, and ammo sent to numerous Texas school districts. If anyone knows why Texarkana ISD needs a SWAT team, I’m all ears…
  • In a shocking and unexpected development, I actually agree with Keith Olbermann about something. Namely the idea that it was amazingly stupid for the Huffington Post to hire Donte “9/11 Truther” Stallworth to be a “National Security Fellow.”
  • This weekend there were numerous protests to wage fast food wages. What’s behind them? $3 million in union money.
  • Huffingotn Post fooled by scam story. Clip this headline out and save it and I’m sure you’ll be able to make use of it in the years to come…
  • Mandy Nagy, AKA “Liberty Chick,” is recovering from surgery following a stroke.
  • A little fun via the #ExplainAFilmPlotBadly tag: