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November 26, 2015 / 14 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Afghanistan’

Obama’s UN Speech Ignores Israel but Hits Hard at Putin and Assad

Monday, September 28th, 2015

President Barack Obama’s address to the United Nations General Assembly Monday was extraordinary in its total exclusion of Israel and the Palestinian Authority and its hard-hitting attack on the Assad regime in Syria and its ally Russia.

A strong indication that President Obama has finally realized what he and numerous predecessors did not understand was this statement:

There are no simple answers to the changes that are taking place in much of the Middle East and North Africa.

It is not the first time he has said that, but unlike previous speeches, it was not followed up by the usual pie-in-the-sky statements that “Peace is made with enemies.” or “Solving the Israel-Palestinian Authority struggle is the key to bringing peace to the Middle East.

Saeb Erekat, who chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority and is secretary-general of the parent PLO, was extremely disappointed with Obama’s speech. He said:

Does President Obama believe that he is able to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS) and terror or bring stability and security to the Middle East by ignoring the continuing Israeli occupation, settlements and the ongoing Israeli attacks on Al Aqsa [the mosque on the Temple Mount]?

Obama’s speech was a resounding “yes” to Erekat.

The “occupation” never was a threat to the Middle East, but the United States foreign policy gurus couldn’t figure that out, even when the Arab Spring rebellions upended stability and brought anarchy, termed by the United States as democracy, to Egypt, Libya, Iraq and other boiling pots in Arab Muslim countries.

Years after the United States ignored ISIS, it has become Public Enemy No. 1 and is being used brilliantly by Russian President Vladimir Putin to justify direct Russian military force in Syria.

When Putin told the United Nations he is fighting the Islamic State, he could have been more accurate, Russia may be the only country fighting ISIS.

The American-led strike force has proven to be pitiful, as the JewishPress.com reported here last week on the American-trained Syrian rebels who betrayed the United States and delivered American weapons to Al Qaeda.

The President verbally attacked ISIS but he was extremely careful to be polite to Islam, stating:

Part of that effort [against ISIS] must be a continued rejection by Muslims of those who distort Islam to preach intolerance and promote violence, and it must also a rejection by non-Muslims of the ignorance that equates Islam with terror.

President Obama mentioned “Israel” zero times in his speech. Ditto for the terms “Palestinian Authority” and Palestine.”

The only time he mentioned “Middle East” was in the context quoted above, that there are no simple solutions.

But he mentioned Syria eight times and Russia 15 times with harsh comments that were nothing short of cold war speech.

For example:

The history of the last two decades proves that in today’s world, dictatorships are unstable.

Consider Russia’s annexation of Crimea and further aggression in eastern Ukraine. America has few economic interests in Ukraine. We recognize the deep and complex history between Russia and Ukraine. But we cannot stand by when the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a nation is flagrantly violated. If that happens without consequence in Ukraine, it could happen to any nation gathered here today. That’s the basis of the sanctions that the United States and our partners impose on Russia. It’s not a desire to return to a Cold War.

But his speech was remarkably chilly towards Moscow. He flatly stated:

Russia’s state-controlled media may describe these events as an example of a resurgent Russia… And yet, look at the results. The Ukrainian people are more interested than ever in aligning with Europe instead of Russia. Sanctions have led to capital flight, a contracting economy, a fallen ruble, and the emigration of more educated Russians

Imagine if, instead, Russia had engaged in true diplomacy, and worked with Ukraine and the international community to ensure its interests were protected. That would be better for Ukraine, but also better for Russia, and better for the world.

President Obama claimed he does not mind a strong Russia so long as it works with the United States “to strengthen the international system as a whole.”.

That gave him a platform to plow into the Assad regime Putin and Russia’s presence in Syria and ISIS, which he still refers to as ISIL and which he called ” an apocalyptic cult.

President Obama stated:

When a dictator slaughters tens of thousands of his own people, that is not just a matter of one nation’s internal affairs… Likewise, when a terrorist group beheads captives, slaughters the innocent and enslaves women, that’s not a single nation’s national security problem — that is an assault on all humanity.

Putin has taken the military offensive in Syria, giving him a military and political base across from Israel’s northern border. Putin knows that the Muslim Middle East understands only one word – “force” – but Obama dealt with the issue from weakness because without a military presence, the United States has little ammunition except Obama’s oratory.

He told the United Nations:

But while military power is necessary, it is not sufficient to resolve the situation in Syria. Lasting stability can only take hold when the people of Syria forge an agreement to live together peacefully. The United States is prepared to work with any nation, including Russia and Iran, to resolve the conflict. But we must recognize that there cannot be, after so much bloodshed, so much carnage, a return to the pre-war status quo.

He could have used that as an excuse to throw in something about the “Israel-occupied Golan Heights,” but he did not.

His speech was remarkable in that it exposed how weak his administration has become in international affairs following the debacles in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan, which now is under growing ISIS influence.

American influence had been on the decline for years but accelerated with the inevitable failure of the “peace process.” which was focused on the wrong country and the wrong issue at the wrong time.

Taliban’s Supreme Leader Dead

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

Taliban’s spiritual leader Mullah Mohammed Omar is dead, according to at least two reliable reported from Afghanistan, although previous reports of his death have not been verified.

Taliban has not commented.

Omar has been in hiding since 2001, when a U.S.-led coalition woke up after 9/11 and waged war on the terrorist organization, and it is possible that the report of his death comes two years after the fact.

Omar previously suffered from depression and a mental breakdown.

He has continued to lead Taliban, or someone has led it in his name, and there have been efforts to reach a peace accord between the terrorist organization and the Afghan government.





16 Year-Old: ‘Taliban Leaders Abused Then Sent Me to Suicide-Bomb Attack’

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

The Afghanistan news agency Khaama Press released an extremely disturbing article on Sunday, April 26, citing the Afghanistan intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security (NDS).

A 16 year old boy who was on the way to carry out a suicide bombing but was arrested en route, told the NDS that Taliban commanders gang-raped him before sending him out for the attack.

The NDS issued a statement that the gang rape victim was going to carry out a suicide attack on a police district headquarters in Kabul, but he was arrested before reaching his target.

The would be suicide bomber, referred to as “Bilal” in the NDS statement, narrated his story for a video released by the NDS. Bilal names the Taliban commanders whom he claimed victimized him. He said that another suicide bomber also raped him.

After the rapes, Bilal was told that he had to carry out a suicide attack to wash off his sins.

According to the NDS, rape cases are not unusual within the ranks of the Taliban network.

ISIS Expands To Afghanistan and Kills 35 in Suicide Attack

Saturday, April 18th, 2015

The Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed its first “success” in Afghanistan by staging a suicide attack on Saturday that killed at least 35 people and wounded 125 others.

The motorcycle bombing at a bank branch was aimed at soldiers and civilians who were lined up to receive their monthly salaries.

Afghanistan is trying to keep the Taliban terror organization under control following the US Army invasion of the country after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The United States’ mission, later joined by NATO, was to destroy Al Qaeda and remove Taliban from power.

President Barack Obama declared “victory” over Al Qaeda with the assassination of its leader Osama bin Laden in 2011.

The victory was illusory. Despite all the headlines focusing on the Islamic State, Al Qaeda also has gained large swaths of territory in Syria and Yemen.

The Islamic State’s expansion into Afghanistan, following attacks in Libya and Egypt, follows a warning to the Obama administration last month by President Ashraf Ghani:

If we don’t stand on the same line united, these people are going to destroy us.

A White House statement said:

This visit…was an opportunity to review the remarkable strategic, political and economic achievements of this partnership and the successful completion of the security transition in Afghanistan.

He has said the same thing about Yemen and Iraq.

Who’s next?

Taliban Ready for Peace Process with Obama

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

A senior Pakistani official said Thursday that Taliban is prepared to open peace talks with the United States with the first rounds of talks today and Friday in Qatar.

Back in 2002, peace talks between the Bush administration and Taliban ended without any results, one year after the United States invaded Afghanistan as part of its war on terror.

Pakistan’s military chief of staff told Afghan leaders that Taliban is prepared for a sudden shift in policy, which also would signal a change for the Pakistani military that is considered to be behind  Taliban.

The peace overture is not official and needs a wider agreement among Pakistani officials and the  approval of Taliban’s spiritual leaders Mullah Mohammed Omar.

One factor working help compel the military to change course and go with a peace overture is last December’s savage Taliban attack against children in a school, which evoked shock among citizens and more suspicion of the military’s involvement with Taliban.

Using Qatar as the host to talk peace is interesting since it backs Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and perhaps can convince Obama that they represent Islam and not those “who have perverted Islam.”

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said last month that Taliban is an “”armed insurgency” and not a terrorist group.

Earnest said, as heard and seen in the video below:

It is important to draw a distinction between the Taliban and al Qaeda. The Taliban has resorted to terror tactics, but those terror tactics have principally been focused on Afghanistan.

They do carry out tactics that are akin to terrorism, they do pursue terror attacks in an effort to try to advance their agenda.

The State Department does not include Taliban on its list of foreign terrorist organizations, while the Treasury Department defines it as a group of  “specially designated global terrorists.”

Earnest explained that the Treasury Dept.’s designation means the United States can impose financial sanctions against Taliban’s leaders.

Israeli Shoe on America’s Foot, Swapping Taliban Terrorists for a Soldier

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

U.S. President Barack Obama is finding himself in the same position as Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu – having to explain a controversial decision to outraged lawmakers and a questioning public.

Obama faced the nation on Saturday night to defend his directive to negotiate a prisoner swap with the Taliban terrorist organization in order to free the lone American soldier held hostage by the group in Afghanistan for the past five years.

Like that of former Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, the background behind the capture of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was less than heroic. Shalit was not in combat when he was kidnapped by Arab terrorists in a cross-border raid in southern Israel in 2006. According to a blog post by prominent U.S. civil rights attorney Jonathan Turley, Bergdahl was taken prisoner after leaving his base in east Afghanistan on June 30, 2009.

On Saturday, the 28-year-old army soldier was released by his Taliban captors in exchange for five Taliban members who were freed from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The deal was reached after a week of intense negotiations mediated by Qatar, which allegedly will maintain custody of the Taliban detainees for one year.

U.S. officials said efforts to negotiate the soldier’s release began in November 2010 and that his return became a top priority in May 2011. The opportunity to resume talks over the issue emerged several weeks ago, Turley wrote.

The U.S. president called the deal part of America’s “iron-clad commitment to bringing our prisoners home.” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in making the announcement that he informed Congress on Saturday of the decision, adding that the U.S. had “coordinated closely with Qatar to ensure that security measures are in place and the national security of the United States will not be compromised.” He thanked the Emir of Qatar for that and for his “instrumental role in facilitating the return” of the soldier.

But the United States has also had a legal “iron-clad commitment” not to negotiate with terrorists, as it happens.

Turley quoted a joint statement expressing outrage and concern over the swap by top U.S. Congress member Howard P. McKeon, (R-CA), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“Like all Americans, we celebrate the release of Sergeant Bergdahl from terrorist captivity,” the two lawmakers said. “However – we must carefully examine the means by which we secured his freedom.

“American has maintained a prohibition on negotiating with terrorists for good reason. Trading five senior Taliban leaders from detention in Guantanamo Bay for Bergdahl’s release may have consequences for the rest of our forces and all Americans.”

Hm. Sound familiar? Perhaps an echo of the fears expressed by the Israeli public over endless “good will gestures” forced on its government by the U.S. State Department to free convicted Arab terrorists in order to keep the Palestinian Authority at the negotiating table? Or the outrage expressed by families of victims of terror when more than 1,000 bloodthirsty jailed terrorists were freed in exchange for the lone Israeli soldier held hostage for more than five years by the Iranian-backed Hamas rulers of Gaza?

Yes – the same Hamas terror organization with which PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas now intends to unite his Fatah faction in a Palestinian Authority “unity” government. Mind you, most of those freed terrorist murderers are still at large, armed and dangerous, working on their next “projects.”


America’s lawmakers also pointed out that President Obama “clearly violated laws” requiring him to notify Congress 30 days prior to the transfer of terrorists from Guantanamo Bay. Those laws require him to explain exactly how the threat posed by those terrorists was substantially mitigated.

Donald Rumsfeld: ‘A Trained Ape’ Better than Obama Administration

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

A “trained ape” could have done a  better job than the Obama administration in handling relations with Afghanistan, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told Fox News this week. He was commenting on Afghanistan’s turning its back on the United States and supporting the Russian takeover of Crimea.

“We have status of forces agreements probably with 100, 125 countries in the world,” he said Monday night on “On the Record with Greta van Susteren. “This administration, the White House and the State Department, have failed to get a status of forces agreement. A trained ape could get a status of forces agreement. It does not take a genius.”

Whether Obama and  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry are geniuses is an open question, although it is reasonable to assume there aren’t too many geniuses running around in the State Dept., and apparently there are no apes there either.

If there were, Rumsfeld would have his candidate to handle American diplomacy, at least in Afghanistan, where he said relations with Afghan President Hamid Karzai were good under the administration of George W. Bush but have gone  “downhill like a toboggan” under President Barack Obama.

Officials in Washington “have  trashed Karzai publicly over and over and over,” Rumsfeld said. “[Richard] Holbrooke, the special envoy did. Vice President [Joe] Biden did. Secretary Hillary Clinton has. The president has been unpleasant to him. And it seems to me they put him in a political box where he really has very little choice.”

Rumsfeld’s “trained ape” was not the first time he used that expression.

In 2001, when he was Secretary of Defense he said that with the growing ease in obtaining weapon technologies that could endanger the United States, “a trained ape can figure out that over the coming period, more people are going to have exceedingly powerful weapons, weapons more powerful than ever in the history of the world, biological weapons, nuclear weapons, chemical weapons.

In 2002, he again pulled out the cliché  while discussing the war in Iraq and said, “There’s no debate in the world as to whether they have those weapons. We all know that. A trained ape knows that.”

Without suggesting that a trained ape would be better at the State Dept. than Kerry, not to mention his switching jobs and travelling with the circus, training leaders can be learned from how to train apes.

Palomar College Professor Keith Hill wrote two years ago that he learned a lesson while watching the movie “Planet of the Apes.”

“In the movie, the scientists, who did not know they were dealing with intelligent apes, hung a banana from the ceiling and motioned to a stack of boxes,” the professor wrote. “The scientists hoped that the apes would stack the boxes to reach the banana, thus demonstrating intelligence. One of the apes stacked the boxes, climbed them, and stared at the banana without touching it.

“The scientists were baffled, and asked out loud, ‘Why won’t she take the banana?’ The ape turned to them, and to their amazement, said very clearly, ‘Because I loathe bananas!’”

His point is that trainers teach apes – and people – to mimic behavior “without taking into consideration that people think and sometimes need to know the reason why what they are learning is important to both them and the organization.”

He said organizations and schools have to understand that people need to know why they are being fed certain information and how to apply it.

Failure to realize this “leads to fear of failure, decreased motivation to try, and a lack of importance placed on that subject,” he continued.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/donald-rumsfeld-a-trained-ape-better-than-obama-administration/2014/03/26/

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