Posts Tagged ‘Iran’

$500 Million for 54 Syrian Rebels?

Saturday, September 19th, 2015

Anyone paying attention has long known what a miserable failure Obama’s Syrian strategy (such as it is) against Bashar Assad has been. But only recently has it come to light just how ridiculously expensive that miserable failure has been:

The aim was to identify reasonably secular moderate fighters in Syria, transfer them to third-party countries in the region, train them, equip them, and reintroduce them into the theater of operations. By August of this year and $500 million later, the Pentagon acknowledged that only 54 Syrian rebels had been prepared for combat. Less than a month later, almost all of them had been killed or captured.

$500 Million for 54 guys? What were they, hand-crafted artisanal rebels? Where did the money go? Did they hire Damien Hirst to make each of their 54 uniforms? Did each of the 54 make a $1 million donation to the Clinton Foundation? Even by the pathetic standards of the Obama Administration that’s a ridiculous amount of graft, fraud and waste. You could easily have trained and equipped an effective mercenary brigade for that much money.

There were actual reasons to support the removal of Assad early in the Obama Administration, but the rise of the Islamic State rendered most of them obsolete. Now that Obama and Kerry have rolled over to let Assad’s paymasters in Tehran rub their furry bellies, there’s no point in pretending to equip opposition fighters beyond Obama’s desire to keep up the facade of a Syrian policy as a sop to his wounded vanity.

Since Obama can’t topple Assad and is singularly unwilling to fight a real war against the Islamic State, at this point we should probably just let Iran, Syria and Russia try their hands at crushing Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s barbaric caliphate. A long, grinding Sunni-Shia civil war in Mesopotamia is probably among the least bad outcomes available for the region after Obama’s serial bungling…

(Hat tip: Ed Driscoll on Instapundit.)

Do You Know More Foreign Policy Than Donald Trump? Take This Quiz

Saturday, September 5th, 2015

I got six of six. And anyone who doesn’t know who the Kurds are since no later than 1991 shouldn’t be President…

(Hat tip: Ace of Spades.)

LinkSwarm for August 31, 2015

Monday, August 31st, 2015

Welcome to the final week of traditional summer. Of course, it used to be that everything (school, football, the new TV year, etc.) started after Labor Day Weekend, but that’s not the case any more…

  • “it’s cute to pretend that Black Lives Matter is actually about making policing better when it’s really just another Democratic party constituency agitprop group.”
  • Texas mandates E-Verify for all state employees.
  • Ten questions about the Iran deal.
  • Indeed, the Iran deal stinks so badly that even Debbie Wasserman Schultz wants to keep the stink of Eue De Failure off herself and the DNC. (Hat tip: Moe Lane.)
  • Europe has begun to reform its welfare systems. (Hat tip Instpundit.)
  • Thanks to government efforts, heroin is now cheaper than cigarettes in New York City. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • McCarthy critic turns out to be a Soviet spy. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • UK Labour leader candidate Jeremy Corbyn: Apologist for oppressive dictatorships.
  • Oh, and he wants to give the Falkland Islands to Argentina. Why, it’s almost as if the hard left yearns for nothing so much as undoing every conservative foreign policy triumph out of spite…
  • And he also called Osama Bin Laden’s death “a tragedy.”
  • Criticizing Muslim antisemitism? That’s a $750 fine in Denmark.
  • Widespread street protests in Kuala Lumpur over corruption and embezzlement by Malaysia’s Goldman-Sachs-underwritten Prime Minister.
  • Still another reason not to use Ashley-Madison: “For every 7750 men, there were 3 women.” “Sausage Fest” doesn’t even begin to cover it…
  • Speaking of sausage, San Antonio woman steals $3000 worth of sausage.
  • Conservatives push back on victimhood identity politics guidelines from the College Board and win.
  • Austin Bag Ban backfires. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • A look back at 1945 plans for the invasion of Japan. (Hat tip: Borepatch.)
  • Ten years of Tam.
  • LinkSwarm for August 21, 2015

    Friday, August 21st, 2015

    Small LinkSwarm this time.

  • “Hillary Clinton is the contemporary poster child for special privileges for the rich and powerful.”
  • Latest Iran deal revelation: Iran gets to self-inspect their own nuclear site. But Kerry did get them to agree to pinky swear they’re telling the truth…
  • Obama and his party. “No president in modern times has presided over so disastrous a stretch for his party, at almost every level of politics.” Caveat the first: Although I think the phrase “there’s neither a Great Depression nor a criminal conspiracy in the White House to explain what has happened” is probably false on both counts. Caveat the second: Notice how the article carefully omits any mention of the specific Obama policies that have made his party so unpopular…
  • From back in June: Karl Rove lied about Ted Cruz. (Hat tip (tangentially): Perry vs. World, where Evan seems to have woken from his summer slumber…)
  • I really want to believe this Atlantic piece on how Russia is losing in Ukraine, but I just don’t. This one sentence has so much wrong with it I have trouble trusting the rest of the article: “Shale, liquefied natural gas (LNG), and renewables—three areas where Russia is extremely weak—are ascendant and are dramatically altering the market.” Shale’s a solid play if you’ve already tapped out more easily-extracted hydrocarbons (I doubt Russia has), LNG is a profitable byproduct if you’re already extracting oil, but at today’s market prices (which have sucked since 2009) it’s not worth pursuing on its own, and renewables? Hippie, please
  • Muslim beats wife in front of police, saying they can’t arrest him because she’s his property.
  • Slovakia to the EU: Screw you, we’re not taking any Muslim refugees. (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • Movement in Spain tries to erase Salvador Dali from history. You’ll get my Salvador Dali from me when you pry the melting clocks out of my burning hands!
  • Could Google rig the next election?
  • It’s a Goldman-Sachs world. We just live in it…
  • Three students at the “Homestead Job Corps” murder a fourth. I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that program isn’t working…
  • Missed this from earlier in the year: Arkansas cops attempt to plant malware on a lawyer’s computer, fail miserably.
  • Joe Straus is backing Jeb Bush. I don’t imagine that this will come as a shock to anyone…
  • Why Did Obama Back Jihadists in Syria?

    Monday, August 10th, 2015

    This piece in Foreign Policy Journal is certainly eye-opening:

    In Al Jazeera’s latest Head to Head episode, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Michael Flynn confirms to Mehdi Hasan that not only had he studied the DIA memo predicting the West’s backing of an Islamic State in Syria when it came across his desk in 2012, but even asserts that the White House’s sponsoring of radical jihadists (that would emerge as ISIL and Nusra) against the Syrian regime was “a willful decision.” [Lengthy discussion of the DIA memo begins at the 8:50 mark.]

    Amazingly, Flynn actually took issue with the way interviewer Mehdi Hasan posed the question—Flynn seemed to want to make it clear that the policies that led to the rise of ISIL were not merely the result of ignorance or looking the other way, but the result of conscious decision making:

    Hasan: You are basically saying that even in government at the time you knew these groups were around, you saw this analysis, and you were arguing against it, but who wasn’t listening?

    Flynn: I think the administration.

    Hasan: So the administration turned a blind eye to your analysis?

    Flynn: I don’t know that they turned a blind eye, I think it was a decision. I think it was a willful decision.

    Hasan: A willful decision to support an insurgency that had Salafists, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood?

    Flynn: It was a willful decision to do what they’re doing.

    The deeply puzzling thing about Obama’s Middle East policy is it’s sheer incoherence (except, of course, his unwavering dislike of Israel). His fixation on taking out Bashar Assad (a bad actor, to be sure, but not in the same league as the Iranian Mullahs who back Assad, and who Obama evidently has no qualms negotiating with) makes no strategic sense. In light of the above, he’s evidently funding the Islamic State in Syria, fighting it (in the most desultory manner possible) in Iraq, giving in to Iran on nuclear weapons, alienating allies Israel and Saudi Arabia, and has no discernible policy for a post-Morsi Egypt. Obama’s moves only make sense if he wants to promote a Sunni/Shia civil war, or as Obama’s personal fits of pique where he feels slighted. (Screw Syria for ignoring his red lines. Screw Israel for daring to reelect Netanyahu. Screw Iraq for Bush succeeding.)

    The only certainty about Obama’s foreign policy is that future administrations will be dealing with the repercussions from his feckless, aimless foreign policy for decades to come.

    (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)

    LinkSwarm for July 31, 2015

    Friday, July 31st, 2015

    Another month down! here’s one final LinkSwarm to finish off July:

  • “Donations to the Clinton Foundation by Swiss bank UBS increased tenfold after Hillary Clinton intervened to settle a dispute with the IRS early in her tenure as secretary of state, according to a published report.” What are the odds?
  • Hillary way, way, way underwater in swing states. (Hat tip: Moe Lane.)
  • Lot of Democrats listed among indicted congress critters. And the Kay Baily Hutchison indictment was bogus.
  • “Nineteen sixty-eight was the year normal Americans saw the Democrats for what they were, and that’s the danger for them in 2016 too – that normal Americans will be reminded about what a circus of welfare-chiseling, race-obsessed, work-averse, baby-shredding freaks the Democrat party is.”
  • Iran says it can ban U.S. arms inspections at will. Wow, that Iran deal just keeps getting better… (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • Speaking of that Iran deal, the Obama Administration is hiding documents from the public, even though they’re not classified.
  • And the International Atomic Energy Agency refuses to testify to the Senate on Iran, even in a classified setting. Golly, it’s almost like they’re trying to hide something… (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • Michael Totten on Hanoi’s Capitalist Revolution. I dare say that Hanoi more capitalist (and hopeful) than Detroit these days…
  • Medicare/Medicaid: Driving us into bankruptcy for half a century.
  • And Social Security could be broke in 12 years.
  • Another day, another American murdered by an illegal alien.
  • More guns, less crime. (Hat tip: Adam Baldwin’s Twitter feed.)
  • “The fact is that there is no point in arguing with liberal gun-control advocates because their argument is never in good faith….The liberal anti-gun narrative is not aimed at creating the best public policy but at disarming citizens the liberal elite looks down upon – and for whom weapons represent their last-ditch ability to respond to liberal overreach.”
  • “Anti-bullying” school seminar is turned into gay sex demonstration.
  • Brazil joins the league of the boned.
  • The mystery of China’s capital outflows.
  • Dice to sell Slashdot. They managed to take a thriving community and managed to drive much of it away with a combination of poor UI design (Beta, anyone) and pro-social justice warrior posts.
  • How #GamerGate shattered shattered Gawker’s myth of invincibility. Turns out that insulting your readers on behalf of social justice warriors isn’t a sustainable business model. Who knew?
  • Even before the hack, Ashley Madison was a complete scam. (Hat tip: Borepatch.)
  • LinkSwarm for April 20, 2015

    Monday, April 20th, 2015

    Last week was incredibly busy for sundry reasons. It would be nice to get the Friday LinkSwarm back to Friday, but in the meantime, enjoy the Monday version:

  • “One of the reasons why Obamacare remains stubbornly unpopular is because most Americans don’t like to think of themselves as being the sort of people who would punch nuns.”
  • The idea that the tea-party movement is animated or motivated by racism is pure fiction.
  • Wait a minute, an actual useful article from Vox on the assumptions underlying the Iran deal, and the case against those assumptions? I’m as shocked as anyone.

    One of the greatest advantages of sanctions as a coercive tool is their effect over time. Dismantling this thing, which in a way is what we’re doing, is kind of like taking money out of your retirement account early. As we let these sanctions work over time, by the time we got to 2012, they were really in dire straits. If a deal is signed this year and then in 2017 they cheat, it would take years and years and years of penalizing them before we could ever get back to the situation we had in 2012.

    (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)

  • Women expelled from Calgary Expo due to thoughtcrimes.
  • Ten takeaways from Rolling Stone‘s UVA rape hoax.
  • “On the Internet, when all the social context is stripped away and you don’t even have to look at the face of the person you’re being mean to, shame loses its social, restorative function. Shame-storming isn’t punishment. It’s a weapon.”
  • Old and Busted: Getting Montazuma’s Revenge in Mexico. The New Hotness: Thanks to Obama’s illegal alien amnesty, now it’s coming to you! (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • “Tsarnaev is, literally, a traitorous, child-murdering cop killer.”
  • The Kurds are kicking ISIS’s ass: “Picking a fight with the Kurds is a little like going to war against Lebanon’s Druze or the Israelis. It’s like trying to invade and occupy Texas.”
  • Islamic State beheads man for witchcraft.
  • People are burning and looting immigrant shops in South Africa. “South Africa, with a population of about 50 million, is home to an estimated 5 million immigrants….South Africa’s unemployment stood at 24 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014.” Doesn’t seem like a recipe for social harmony…
  • Parenting Protip: Although I’m unmarried and childless, I’m pretty sure the answer to “Mom, will you buy booze and weed for my naked Twister orgy, then have sex with my underage boyfriends?” should be “No.”
  • It doesn’t take six months to repair plumbing problems at a Wal-Mart. What gives? (Hat tip: Zero Hedge)
  • A blind person with a stick would be better than Hillary Clinton at reading people around her.”
  • De Blasio brings class warfare to Iowa.
  • Now that Rahm Emanuel has been reelected, he no longer needs to pretend to obey your puny peasant laws. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Here’s what’s roiling the Whacko American community these days.
  • Buzzfeed has outdone itself. You will be staggered by their amazing psychic powers…
  • Iran To Start Using Faster Uranium Centrifuges As Soon As Deal Is Final

    Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

    Still analyzing the Iran nuclear deal, but this is hardly encouraging:

    Iran will begin using its latest generation IR-8 centrifuges as soon as its nuclear deal with the world powers goes into effect, Iran’s foreign minister and nuclear chief told members of parliament on Tuesday, according to Iran’s semi-official FARS news agency.

    If accurate, the report makes a mockery of the world powers’ much-hailed framework agreement with Iran, since such a move clearly breaches the US-published terms of the deal, and would dramatically accelerate Iran’s potential progress to the bomb.

    Iran has said that its IR-8 centrifuges enrich uranium 20 times faster than the IR-1 centrifuges it currently uses.

    So the end result of Obama’s deal to slow Iran’s nuclear weapons drive will be to accelerate Iran’s nuclear weapon’s drive…

    (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)

    LinkSwarm for March 27, 2015

    Friday, March 27th, 2015

    Those two outstanding Obama successes, ObamaCare and Middle East foreign policy, just keep succeeding…

  • Yet another ObamaCare timebomb threatens small businesses.
  • In case you hadn’t noticed, Saudi Arabia and Egypt are intervening directly in Yemen with other Sunni Arab nations, raising the significant possibility that Iran’s Big Yemen Adventure will turn into a full-blown Sunni/Shia Civil War.
  • Don’t you hate it when a bomb goes off in your mosque right in the middle of your “Death to America” chant?
  • But Iran supporting terrorists and attacking America’s allies in the region won’t stop Obama and Kerry from giving in on every Iranian demand for their toothless Iranian nuclear weapon deal.
  • Also, the Obama Administration just declassified a report on Israel’s nuclear program. It’s almost as if Obama truly wants to punish America ‘s allies and reward America’s enemies.
  • Think the Israelis are pissed at the fall of Yemen? It’s nothing compared to the rage of the Saudis and other Arabs.
  • Even Turkey’s Islamic government has decided Iran has gone too far.
  • Obama’s superpower is ignoring reality.
  • Think UK Muslim child rape stories couldn’t possibly get any more creepy or depressing? A gang in Croydon targeted Down Syndrome girls. (Hat tip: JihadWatch.)
  • Is Obama hindering the fight against Boko Haram because he favors the Muslim Nigerian Presidential candidate over the Christian one?
  • Harry Reid to retire from Senate. That hissing sound you hear is the air rushing out of Democrats’ chances to retake the senate in 2016… (Hat tip: Jim Geraghty.)
  • Speaking of Democrats and the Senate, there are bruising primary battles heating up up between the party’s corrupt wing and the party’s insane wing. (Sure, National Journal uses the words “pragmatic liberal” and “progressive,” but we all know what they mean.) (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Of course Ted Cruz can win.
  • It doesn’t hurt that he’s running against corporate welfare.
  • Cruz set out a fundraising goal of raising $1 million the first week of his campaign. he did that in just over a day and has already hit $2 million.
  • Different jobs, different perks. If you work at a high tech start-up, you may get free snacks and catered meals. If you work at the DEA, you might get orgies with prostitutes paid for by drug lords.
  • An early leader for Mother of the Year.
  • A tale of two rapes, one that didn’t happen the media hyped, and one that did the media ignored.
  • Judging from the comments in this Slashdot thread, techies are getting tired of frivolous Social Justice Warrior lawsuits.
  • Since that was a mostly very depressing roundup of news, here’s a Golden Retriever puppy sliding down a ramp.

    LinkSwarm for March 20, 2015

    Friday, March 20th, 2015

    Another Friday, another LinkSwarm. There’s almost enough news here to break out a separate “UK child rape cover-up update,” but I found the idea too depressing…

  • UK Police told not to investigate child rape in Sheffield, which was “bigger than Rotherham.” (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • Indeed, child gang rape in the UK evidently evidently occurred on an “Industrial scale.”
  • More from the UK pattern of ignoring or downplaying underage rape, and punishing whistleblowers of same.
  • Collectors! Priceless antiquities can be yours at low, low prices thanks to Bernie’s Islamic State Discount eBay Shop! (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • “The Left that seems to believe Israel’s primary duty to the world is empowering Arabs that seek it harm.”

    What set off this new round of ominous Israel concern-trolling was Netanyahu’s assertion that leftist NGOs, billionaires and consultants were making sure that “Arab voters are going to the polls in droves.”

    Which was a fact.

    The leadership of the Arab front has openly stated that it wanted to pull together any and all factions of Israeli Arabs, including communists and Islamists, for the single political purpose of removing Israel’s prime minister. Arab political forces are free to rally to unseat Netanyahu, free to aspire to dismantle the Jewish State, but if Netanyahu mentions any of this he’s a racist undermining Israel’s formerly pristine democracy. Or so we’re told.

  • Charles Krauthammer on the same theme:

  • The Obama Administration is so desperate for a nuclear deal with Iran that they’ve dropped Iran and Hezbollah from the terrorist organization list.
  • Even Democrats are balking at Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran
  • …which is apparently every bit as bad as Netanyahu said.
  • Former CIA Director General David Petraeus agrees with Netanyahu that Iran is a bigger threat to us than the Islamic State. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Michael Totten things it’s time to partition Iraq.
  • France eliminates welfare benefits for 290 jihadists.
  • “If you want to know what Hillary Clinton would be like as president, you’re seeing it right now. There is no other Hillary. This is her.” Also: “What this utterly typical PR fiasco shows is that what they’ll actually get is familiar, tired, pathetic, dishonest, and embarrassing.”
  • “Hillary, I’m not disappointed that you’re lying. I’m disappointed that you’re phoning in your lies.”
  • Scott Walker couldn’t just be the next Reagan, he could be the next Calvin Coolidge.
  • When a college student said she’d been “raped” what she actually meant was she asked her “assailant” to tie her up and spank her.
  • TED Talk, or North Korea propaganda?
  • America’s Cup boat seized?
  • Some people just can’t learn from the mistakes of others. Even when the other is Anthony Weiner. And you’re a Democratic lawmaker. And you’re hitting on the same woman Weiner hit on.
  • The new, not-improved New Republic to create stories to order for advertisers? Honestly, selling the magazine to Rush Limbaugh wouldn’t have been quite so dishonorable to the magazine’s memory… (Hat tip: Moe Lane.)
  • Bill filed in the Texas legislature to strip private toll road companies of the power to use eminent domain.
  • And that whole “Starbucks making their baristas talk about race” thing? I’m just going to leave this here: