Imagine, as an American citizen, going to Iran and being welcomed with open arms. Imagine a government that would allow you to speak freely and openly about political and religious beliefs. Imagine that when visiting Iran you were entering into a country that was so politically open and standard-free that you could actually vote or show allegiance via polling stations during American Presidential election cycles. Too far-fetched? Too unrealistic? Assuredly so but that is not stopping movements by some extreme Iranian Americans who are currently participating in these activities throughout the United States.
It was announced this week that the Islamic Republic of Iran is planning on having nineteen polling stations open in the United States where Iranian Americans can have their say (politically speaking only) in the Iranian Presidential election. The stations are being set up in Texas, California, and other states throughout the country. Though the vote itself is likely to be meaningless, the effort at allowing some sort of polling center is meant to send the far reach of radical Islam into the core of the American way of life.
The idea of having Iranian polling stations throughout the United States is not something that should be taken lightly. It is not an arbitrary vote and allowing it openly and without the appropriate restrictions and current enforcement of US law is appalling. Republican and Democratic leaning individuals alike should be terrified by this move. Paranoia it is not to be wary of Iran increasing its hand into the American populace. Thought the Obama Administration and many liberals are afraid to say it, this country and countries around the world are at war with radical Islam. Voting and polling are just voting and polling until one country wishes the other death and complete annihilation. It is time that the freedom loving nation recognized that Islam in its radical form is a threat and actions like this should be stopped. But, in a government that did not even know that the Boston Bombers attended a mosque founded by a convicted terrorist, this is probably seen as a great thing.
A mother of seven sits in a Mexican jail. She is charged with having smuggled over ten pounds of marijuana onto a bus in Mexico and transporting it for financial gain. By all accounts and alleged reports, the mother is a devoted caretaker of her children, a wife, and a devout Mormon who has a strong faith in God. A supporter of a country from which her roots sprang, this Arizona resident is being used as a tool for the Mexican cartel and it is time that Republicans and Democrats alike stop sugarcoating the Mexican problem. We are in a silent war with Mexico and both sides need to stop denying reality.
Immigration lands on the forefront of political debate, ebbing and flowing with the vigilance of the people and interests of those with political gain to make. There is the concern over how to handle illegal immigrants who cross the border and gain access to the American dream without rightfully deserving it. There are those calls for action from good, law abiding citizens from all walks of life who know the life they fled and want nothing more than to forget it forever. Cartels run the streets and the internal workings of everything from the police to the government are interlinked with these drug pushers.
Just this year, President Obama made a trip to Central America and spoke about the great and budding economy of the region. He avoided discussions of drugs and the American financial fuel that is promoting cartels and the abuses of power. In a diplomatic way, that may be necessary but is ultimately wrong, he showered the region with flowery praises. How quickly we forget the Fast and Furious scandal, the border security issues, and the blatant Police State that has taken strong firm and hold of the country.
Regardless of the guilt or innocence of this woman, with more facts still coming out daily, the need for an awakening of the horrible state of Mexico needs to be addressed and we as Americans need to be ever vigilante of the issues down south. Republican or Democrat, Mexican or American, it is a real problem and we must wake up. This is not the first seedy act of the Mexico and diplomacy be damned, it will not be the last.
How big is the Mexican threat? Should Americans be concerned or is immigration our biggest concern with the country?
There needs to be an admission of failure. Somewhere, someone messed up… and they messed up big time. Whoever denied the extra security at the consulate in Benghazi and whoever chose to pass up the opportunity to aid our officials in the region when they so desperately needed help need to face the music, for lack of better terminology. Mothers have lost their sons, children have lost their fathers, and there is this need to protect politically above all else. It truly is sickening and no where does the division between Republican and Democrat fit in this equation. No where.
I know it will be said that this happens on both sides, and it does. But does that make it right? NO. It is time that the American people became involved and spoke up. We want the answers. We want the truth. We want to know what happened and why. Why is there a man in jail taking blame for the video that was not the cause of the deaths of our American citizens? Why did a memo go through multiple revisions before it reached the public’s ears? Why did we turn our backs when help was needed and the military so desperately wanted to correct the situation?
There are no simple answers to these questions. And, though I myself am guilty at times, we must step back from viewing this in any way as a political issue. Yes, there will be political fallout. That is a given. Yet, looking at it that way will only cause the muddying of the waters to the point that no one will be able to see the truth. It is time that those who messed up step forward and takes their punishments. That would be the most respectable, most commendable, and most appreciated move of all. Still, though, the consistent shift of blame happens with those with political futures running scared. It is pitiful. It is inexcusable. It is wearing thin.
Bill Ayers, a self-admitted member of the Weather Underground, has recently been thrust in the news once again. A Barack Obama friend, Ayers has been the subject of controversy for the President since the moment that he became a contender for the 2008 Democratic nomination. Republican officials and Clinton supporters alike took note of the man that seemed close to the President and questioned how morality blended into the complex relationship. To this day, he remains a proverbial thorn in the President’s side… or at least he should be seen that way.
Ayers has been on the defensive lately, after the comparison was made between his radical group and the Boston Bombings. He has adamantly denied the juxtaposition of the two incidents, arguing that all that his group participated in was property damage. The cause that the Weather Underground hid behind, arguably, is a cause that may have had validity: ending the Vietnam War. Yet, the group he was tied to chose to create explosive devices and place them at military and police stations, where people would potentially be. During the creation of these explosives, members of the group themselves were killed. This year, this (vile and unrepentant man) was a keynote speaker in a remembrance event for the victims of the Kent State shootings… really?
What is most frustrating and mind-boggling, as well as overwhelmingly moralistically challenging, is not the relationship between the President and this domestic terror. Though that is obviously of concern, what is most problematic is the embracing of such a man in both academic circles and the mainstream culture of this country. A man like Ayers has distanced himself from what he did without truly feeling remorseful of his actions. He has continued to separate himself from what he appears to think he did from what occurred. During the craftsmanship of his group’s plot, individuals did die. It was not simply property damage. He was speaking on behalf of a cause, maybe, but what he chose to do was take violent and radical steps in so doing, not much different than the radical Islamists who put firepower behind their ideological perspective. When we continue to embrace a murderer, an unrepentant man at that, it goes above and beyond politics. It speaks to the heart of a disjointed culture that is becoming morally confused. That is the scariest of propositions.
On September 11, 2012, a terrorist attack occurred at the American consulate in Benghazi. During the attack, US Ambassador Chris Stevens and an additional three Americans doing work in the country were killed, while the Obama Administration and US State Department watched without action. Releases of data and investigations have shown that there were requests from those on the ground for additional support and protection and that fears of an attack were prominent. The Obama Administration, including the President himself, have done their best to avoid discussing the issue and avoided direct answers on whether or not they dropped the ball in this foreign issue. Though the ebb and flow of popularity in this case and foreign security lapse continues, it simply will not go away, much to the President’s dismay.
Former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has complicated the issue a bit in recent weeks with her testimony in front of Congress. The question of what she knew and when she knew it has been crucial to many foreign policy focused individuals and those that are interested in finding the answers to questions of responsibility. Secretary Clinton angrily referred to the case and her role in it with confusion and, arguably, an attitude of incoherent anger at why scrutiny has fallen to her. Records show that the Secretary signed off on a memo noting the need for more security, though she has been confusing at best at defining her role.
Some will disagree but it appears that the most intense speculation regarding Benghazi has come in light of electoral politics and how this will play out in future elections. There was, of course, the presidential debate of yesterday where semantics seemed to be at play more than the actual root of causation into the attacks. Now, Secretary Clinton appears to be hedging her bets as to where and when to admit guilt in her failings. A 2016 Presidential run is likely and she has, in many polls, been seen as the front contender for the Democratic nomination. It is likely that she is avoiding straightforward answers as a way to protect this nomination and decrease her potential liability as a candidate, though nothing seems to stop the Clinton Machine.
Only time will tell whether or not the Former Secretary and Senator will be impacted by her role in Benghazi, but, it should. If a US consulate requests aid and is not given it, the answer of why should be expounded upon quite readily. These are individuals doing work that is important to national security and need to be treated with the utmost respect and protection. The fact that we failed these individuals, including Ambassador Stevens, is a slight to American Foreign Policy and must be met head on with a demand for answers, no matter how they may impact future elections.
In the glory days of the 1980s and 1990s rock and roll hair band era, Guns ‘N Roses blazed a trail of musical genius and behavioral debauchery matched by few and survived by even less. The exploits of Axl Rose, Slash, and Company made for endless tabloid fodder at each and every destination on a series of world tours.
In November of 1991, it was announced that GnR guitarist Izzy Stradlin had “left the band”. While conflicting accounts exist as to the reasons behind this exodus, the event did cause noted American philosopher Dennis Miller to wonder what exactly a guy had to do to get kicked out of Guns ‘N Roses. (WARNING – the Miller standup routine is not safe for work, children, or those of the fragile eardrum persuasion.)
I was reminded of Izzy’s exodus when I read of the numerous accounts of Russian intelligence services (KGB, GRU, etc) repeatedly contacting their CIA and FBI counterparts to warn them of Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s status as a potentially radicalized Islamic terrorist.
One of the most prevalent arguments about what was missed in the build-up to 9/11 was the stark realization that the intelligence and law enforcement agencies of the United States government failed to “connect the dots” required to get a picture of a potential attack before it happened. Promises were made to close this gap. The Chinese wall between the CIA and FBI was allegedly torn down in order to facilitate information sharing amongst sister agencies. Yadda, yadda, yadda.
So, we have Russians telling us Tsarnaev is a bad dude worthy of watching. Here’s my question: how bad of a reputation does a guy have to earn in order for the Russian intelligence services to deem him worthy of passing on to the CIA/FBI? I’m not an expert in internal Russian conflicts, but I can hazard a guess that Tsarnaev was a problem child in Russia too.
It would be different if this was the first time the US had missed a warning about a specific individual who subsequently carried out a terrorist attack on American soil. Anyone remember Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab? Oh, yeah. His father dimed him out to the US Embassy in Abuja about one month before he lit his shorts on fire in an attempt to bring down a jetliner over Detroit on Christmas Eve 2009.
To be ignorant of a threat because of a lack of knowledge is excusable. To be ignorant of that same threat despite a wealth of indications and warnings cannot be excused under any circumstances. To paraphrase an adage from the Revolutionary War, “Learn Or Die”.
North Korea is promising military action and missile strikes. According to reports on the ground, the North Korean military has moved missiles close to the coast, where they are in range of hitting a US base in Guam as well as other locations. The region is on guard as they try to figure out what it is possible, what is probable, and what is a young leader puffing his feathers.
The media and political pundits alike are dealing with this issue and wading through the process of understanding, and eve political parties are divided on the issue. While some believe that this is just an attempt at a show of strength with no real backing, others believe it is a threat that we should take seriously. Both camps believe that an attack on the US is unlikely, but it is the attack on allies and our military basis that appears to be the most concerning. Specifically, South Korea and the pacific Island nations are of the utmost concern. But, the real fear is what our response would be and if we have the leadership in power to handle such a crisis if it were to come to fruition.
My criticism of the President is about as well hidden as the President’s ego. I believe at times that even when his intention might be true, his truth is in line with an ideology and political system that is a complete distortion of what this nation was founded on. If there was to be an attack, or an attempted attack, on any nation, I fear what our response would be. Benghazi was just one example of when this administration chose to at best deem a request for assistance and a military concern, and at worse completely ignore it. Then what would make me have confidence that he would be able to stand up in the event something actually did happen? When it comes to fooling the American public into a false sense of security, this President is amazing. When it comes to foreign relations, he fails substantially.
President Obama said in a joint statement (surprised he shared the spotlight) this week that the use of agents or chemical weapons in Syria would be a ‘game-changer.’ Essentially, he asserted that such weapons were unacceptable if used and that action would need to be taken if so. Yet, he was quick to point out that the Administration had to take their time and trust that they actually were being used before action could be taken. The investigation would continue, then, into the Syrian case and be dealt with in time. He also was quick to say that he did not know what action would be taken if he did in fact find that these weapons had been used.
It is difficult for me to understand the President’s approach to Foreign Policy. I understand the issue is complicated and that the world is much larger and more intricate than even the greatest of minds could grasp. Yet, the mixed messages from this message are beyond my comprehension. Foreign policy has not been a strong selling point for Mr. Obama. He has been hesitant to speak about Benghazi at best and at worst has been downright lying about the situation (my money is on the latter). Islamic terrorists are not called terrorists by this administration, unless they are found with their terrorist membership card and are wearing an “I Heart Terrorism” t-shirt when they kill (hello Ft. Hood Massacre). He is anything but strong when it comes to these actions and I question why we should ever believe he would garner a backbone and be the tough guy with anyone other than the Republicans.
Syria, I am afraid, will just be another attempt at chest pumping and back tracking in an attempt to look tough and sound tougher, without actually doing anything. As with most things, even if the facts are found to be true—as most indications are now purporting—the likelihood that this will actually go anywhere is about as likely as the President giving up golf when the nation needs him: it just is not going to happen.
CNBC is reporting French Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg’s comments in regard to the potential nationalizing of an Indian company that has threatened to leave France:
“It’s a very good sign to send out (to investors). Nationalizing is a very modern step to take. Especially when you not only nationalize losses but profits as well, when you make public/private partnerships. This is our strategy.
“The strategy we’re putting forward is extremely modern and adapted to the current times of crisis. It’s a way of making the economy work in the interests of industry, more than just helping the financial sector,” he added.
Apparently in France, the nationalization of industries is a good thing for investors and will lead to automatic profits. If this is the case, why aren’t all industries nationalized?
Tonight marks the final Presidential Debate. The live conversation starts here on Political Derby at 9:00 pm ET.
Foreign policy is the theme, which leads to several questions:
- How many times will President Obama tout: “Bin Laden is dead”?
- Will Governor Romney be successful in moving the conversation to the terrorist attack on American soil in Libya?
- Are there any major differences between the candidates, or will they end up agreeing with each other most of the night?
- Will both candidates continue to show a lack of understanding of the benefits of trade by continually pounding China for making American lives better through the production of lower cost goods?
Finally, a contest. Jason Wright will send a signed copy of his newest book, The 13th Day of Christmas to whomever can the most accurately predict which candidate is allowed more speaking time and by how much (to the nearest second). Entries must be posted in the comments prior to 8:55 pm ET. If someone has already posted a prediction and you duplicate it, your entry will be invalid.
She’s German. He’s Greek. There is a fantastic amount of symbolism in this short video. See what you can find.
Please enjoy this guest post submitted from a member of the armed forces who is not at liberty to use their name.
Recently, Michele Bachman has come under fire for raising inquiries regarding Huma Weiner and her proximity to the Secretary of State. Both Republicans and Democrats have taken this opportunity to trash Congresswoman Bachman for her ‘Islamophobic’ positions, and her insensitivity towards a woman supposedly doing her job, serving our country as a patriotic American who also gives the State Department a unique perspective on Islamic ideals and attitudes.
The Emergency Committee for Israel has released a trailer for the soon to be released 30 minutes video: Daylight: The Story of Obama and Israel.
According to Josh Rogin (Foreign Policy, The Washington Post) the video “cuts together clips of Obama quotes and outside commentary to put forth the narrative that Obama has made statements and taken actions as president that have put him out of step with the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his supporters.”
Will this deepen the crack in Obama’s DNC-Jewish voter alliance?
Much has been made recently about the controversy surrounding the US military burning the Koran in Afghanistan, the Afghani response to it and President Obama’s apology for the whole thing.
The US military is accused of burning the Muslim holy book, the Koran. Virtually no press or coverage has been expended on why the U.S. military would have done such a thing. Has the general public been left to think that perhaps this was a wanton, indiscriminate act of reckless, disrespectful destruction on the part of our military? Has a reason been given by the Mainstream Media as to why this occurred?
With the enervated economy now seemingly headed stutteringly in the right direction—finally, despite the Administration’s clumsy over-regulation of business and finance and their imposition of so many confidence-eroding social-engineering measures—it would seem that Obama’s biggest impediment to reelection has been neutralized to a major degree.
It’s surprising, then, that has he committed damaging unforced errors in the areas of foreign policy/national security and domestic policy (the Catholic contraception/insurance issue) in recent days.
One can only blindly guess as to the impetus behind the Administration’s latest foreign policy misstep. As NBC so proudly trumpets,
Filed Under Foreign Affairs on Feb 6
Fresh from announcing plans to remove American troops from combat roles in Afghanistan to placate his liberal support base, Obama’s administration is ratcheting up the rhetoric against Iran. Is it because Israel plans to attack soon? An act of posturing and brinksmanship? Or because the President needs to get three in a row to win a surreal game of foreign intervention tic-tac-toe?
Well, according to Obama administration officials, it’s because the Iranians are not imprisoning alleged Al Qaeda militants well enough. Which, by their bizarre logic, means that they are in league with Al Qaeda. “Change we can believe in” has turned back into “You’re either with us or you’re with the terrorists.”
Has Obama pulled troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan so he can plunge the nation into a new war? Will he be able to resist foreign influence from Israel if they ask for American intervention? And, most importantly, doesn’t the allegation of a Mid-East nation maybe harboring terrorists and possibly wanting weapons of mass destruction sound terribly familiar? Sound off in the comments!
Unemployment and the state of the economy have been among the hottest topics during the GOP primary season, and will likely remain so during the general election. There are several potential foreign policy issues that could spike between now and November, which could quickly shift the tenor of the race.
Among some of the potential flashpoints is the continuing possibility that Israel could strike Iranian nuclear production facilities, the U.N. considering its options in Syria despite Russian warnings to stay out, and more outbreaks of violence in Egypt.
Which of the remaining Republican candidates is best equipped to handle these potential issues and why?
Filed Under Foreign Affairs on Jan 27
One of the great things about a primary is the blatant pandering. Yesterday, Gingrich literally promised Florida voters the moon. Today, Romney is offering them Cuba. Granted, there is a good segment of Floridian voters who have made it absolutely clear that they don’t want Cuba through, you know, leaving Cuba and coming here. However, Romney figures they can have Cuba back all to themselves if his plan comes to fruition.
Romney’s ingenious policy? Wait for the Castro brothers to die. That’s literally the height of his creativity. Granted, this has been the policy of the United States since President Castro kicked out our sugar plantations and fruit companies for essentially using the islands rural populace as slave labor, but it’s bound to work eventually! Romney went on to claim that Obama’s policy, which he dubbed appeasement, of letting Cubans visit their relatives in Cuba and send them money for food has, somehow, helped President Raul Castro stay in power.
A guest submission from Rochelle Edvalson
Italian Premier Mario Monti formed a government of bankers, diplomats and business executives Wednesday, saying the absence of politicians in his Cabinet will spare political parties the “embarrassment” of taking the tough decisions needed to steer the country from financial disaster.
Paul says al Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awlaki should have been tried in a U.S. court:
Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul criticized President Obama Friday for “assassinating” al Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awlaki, saying that the American-born Muslim cleric should have been tried in a U.S. court.
Al-Awlaki, who preached terror as the public face of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, was killed in Yemen Friday when an airstrike hit his motorcade, a Yemeni government official said. A “successful joint intelligence-sharing operation” between Yemen and the United States led to the attack that killed al-Awlaki, a Yemeni government official said Friday.
This position will appeal to the 6% of GOP voters who support him, and no one else.
This will, of course, turn into a discussion about why Paul is right and anyone who disagrees is an idiot who doesn’t understand the constitution. My point, however, has nothing to do with the right or wrong. The point is that you can’t win with positions outside the mainstream.