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December 19, 2014 / 27 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

Focusing on ISIS in U.N. Speech, Obama Virtually Ignores Iran

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

NEW YORK (JTA) – President Obama devoted the bulk of his U.N. speech to the fight against violent Islamic extremism and hardly mentioned Iran’s nuclear program.

In his address last year to the General Assembly, Obama spent a great deal of time talking about Tehran’s nuclear pursuit, describing it as one of two major focus areas for American diplomatic efforts (the other was the Israeli-Palestinian conflict).

On Wednesday, he devoted just four lines to Iran.

“America is pursuing a diplomatic resolution to the Iranian nuclear issue as part of our commitment to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and pursue the peace and security of a world without them,” Obama said. “This can only happen if Iran takes this historic opportunity. My message to Iran’s leaders and people is simple: Do not let this opportunity pass. We can reach a solution that meets your energy needs while assuring the world that your program is peaceful.”

The thin coverage of Iran drew immediate notice from Jewish groups.

“Obama devoted only 78 words at #UNGA to greatest threat to world peace, the #Iran nuclear threat; 1,540 words to #ISIS,” the American Jewish Committee noted in a tweet.

Near the speech’s conclusion, Obama also spoke a bit about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Leadership will be necessary to address the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis,” he said. “As bleak as the landscape appears, America will not give up on the pursuit of peace.”

The turmoil in Iraq, Syria and Libya should disabuse anyone of the mistaken notion that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is somehow the root of all Middle East conflict, Obama said. Noting that the turmoil has made too many Israelis ready to abandon the hard work of peace, Obama diverted from his prepared remarks and added, “That’s something Israelis should reflect on.”

“The status quo in the West Bank and Gaza is not sustainable,” Obama said. “We cannot afford to turn away from this effort, not when rockets are fired at innocent Israelis or when the lives of so many Palestinian children are taken from us in Gaza.”

He said, “Israelis, Palestinians, the region and the world will be more just and safe with two states living side by side in peace and security.”

Most of the president’s speech focused on the need for the international community to counter what he described as the “cancer of violent extremism.” At the top of the list was ISIS, the Islamic group in Iraq and Syria also known by the acronym ISIL.

“Collectively, we must take concrete steps to address the dangers posed by religiously motivated fanatics and the trends that fuel their recruitment,” Obama said, outlining four major focus areas.

“The terrorist group known as ISIL must be degraded and ultimately destroyed,” he said. “There can be no reasoning, no negotiating with this brand of evil. The only language understood by killers like this is the language of force.”

The second, Obama said, is for “the world, especially Muslim communities, to explicitly, forcefully and consistently reject the ideology of organizations like al-Qaida and ISIL.” That means, the president said, cutting off the funding of those who fuel hateful groups and ideologies; contesting the space terrorists occupy, including the Internet and social media; expunging intolerance from schools; and bringing people of different faiths together.

“There should be no more tolerance of so-called clerics who call upon people to harm innocents because they are Jewish, Christian or Muslim,” Obama said.

The third focus area Obama outlined was addressing sectarian strife and resolving differences at the negotiating table rather than through violent proxies. In Syria, he said, that means finding a solution that works for all Syrian groups.

An Alternate 4-point Strategy For The President

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

The words ricocheted worldwide a few weeks ago: asked about his plans for dealing with ISIS, the president of the United States admitted that “We don’t have a strategy.”

And then last week the president announced to the world a four-point plan. Unfortunately, there’s little buy-in from our European and Middle Eastern allies who would presumably participate in the fight against ISIS.

Here’s my own four-point plan that may be more palatable to our allies. The key is (borrowing Apple Inc.’s famous slogan) to “Think Different.”

Strategy 1: The Hippie Crusade: Airlift a jet full of hippies into the central square of Mosul, Iraq, singing “All we are saying, is give peace a chance” while waving antiwar posters. Mass sit-ins will be organized, and thousands of flowers will be handed out to all ISIS boys and inserted inside their gun barrels for photogenic effect.

Staying on message is a priority: it’s all about the power of love and peace.

The underlying assumption is that ISIS militants are simply misunderstood, that they are just people like you and me. For beneath the hard veneer lurks a tired warrior merely looking for the delicate hand of friendship.

Pivot to Strategy 2: The Salaam Aleykum Sequel. President Obama follows up on his sensationally effective 2009 masterpiece of a speech to the Muslim world with an even bigger blockbuster.

Delivered live via all media outlets worldwide, the president speaks in front of a black background (designed to provide subliminal comfort to the Islamist audience.) Obama forcefully reiterates his deep respect for Shariah law and his admiration for the rigorous methods employed by ISIS to defend the modesty of women.

Obama’s Muslim “street cred” will be fortified with amusing childhood anecdotes from his time in Indonesia and repeated mention of his affection for Malik Obama, his Islamist half-brother from Kenya.

The speech ends with a powerful fist-to-lectern vow that the U.S. intends to lead the Western World in overcoming the scourge of Islamophobia and seeks nothing less than a “dialogue of civilizations” with ISIS.

Time to move to Strategy 3: The Marshallah Plan; modeled on the U.S. Marshall Plan for rebuilding Europe after World War II, this is a multi-billion dollar U.S. and EU cash infusion into any area controlled by ISIS.

Here’s the thinking: rather than alienating a new and emergent polity being established by what are clearly spiritually ambitious souls, we ought to – in non-judgmental fashion of course – enthusiastically join them in developing their dynamic and exciting new country, Islamic State.

Under the Marshallah Plan, the U.S. and EU will devote their enormous resources to building mosques, madrasas, Shariah courts, and harem centers. Wielding counterintuitive thinking, weaponry will be promptly shipped to Islamic State in order to demonstrate goodwill and trust.

So with the hippies dispatched, the Salam Aleykum speech delivered, and a massive EU-U.S. investment in the nascent state underway, it’s time for Strategy 4: Levantribute.

This strategy borrows heavily from both the wisdom of antiquity and the Realist school of international relations, and can politely be described as a regular stipend.

Some historical background: the Late Roman and Byzantine Empires paid a so-called subsidy to Barbarian tribes, securing their agreement to desist from attacking imperial territory. True, this could be seen as protection money, but it actually seemed to work – at least until the inevitable assassination of this or that emperor or chieftain.

The Levantribute strategy, then, is a monthly fee to be paid by the U.S. and EU to the ISIS provisional government. In exchange, ISIS solemnly promises not to behead any more Americans or Europeans. European governments have already exhibited interest in this particular strategy, though the jury is still out as to its efficacy.

Attacking ISIS, Obama Will Only Repeat The Disasters Of His Predecessor

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

This article first appeared in Jewish Business News.

Far from being a fan of ISIS, who represent the very worst in Islamic culture, I nevertheless believe President Obama should leave them alone and not attempt to remove them from the face of the earth, as he has promised a few days ago.

ISIS serves a very important purpose, it is actually a source of stability in the region, and as such should be left to its own devices. Yes, the West must protect its assets in the region, and, yes, care must be taken to bolster innocent bystanders like the Kurds and the kingdom of Jordan against the onslaught of the Islamic ninjas. Other than that, to paraphrase a popular sentiment: don’t just do something, stand there.

Nature abhors a vacuum. Back in the 7th century, as the Roman Empire was losing its oomph in the Middle East, the Arab hordes, led by Muhammad, rushed out of the Arabian peninsula and grabbed all that nice, free property, never to let go of most of it again. This is precisely what ISIS, the new Muslim hordes in the very same region, have been doing.

Thirteen years ago, Barbara Bush’s less gifted son decided to remove the only man in the region who was able, using cruelty, paranoia and a voracious appetite for power, to stop the Iranian Shiite empire from expanding and gaining a hegemony in the region. That wondrous man was Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, and when he fell, he left a vacuum that was quickly filled by Iran and its Shiite allies inside Iraq.

In essence, the United States spent trillions of dollars and countless lives, American and Arab, to give Iran the primacy it so desired in that part of the world. Yes, that was some idiotic move.

And as President Obama decided to cut America’s losses and pull out of the region en mass, he forced the Sunnis to get up and make a move before it was too late. So they did. Taking advantage of the vacuum left by Obama’s America, ISIS has been running through the region like knife through hot butter. And that’s a very good thing.

Because ISIS, despite their obvious religious fanaticism, are realists. They want money and land, which they’ve taken’ and they want a reliable and well equipped army, which they’ve also taken, from America’s Iraqi clients.

But they’ve been staying out of areas where they know they’d get a bloody nose. While attacking women and children wherever they could, ISIS soldiers have kept away from serious confrontations with the IDF and the Jordanian Legion. They’re not interested in fighting for the sake of fighting alone, they’re looking for rewards. So, like I said, that’s a good thing.

The big service ISIS is doing the West right now is checking Iranian power, just as the Sunni rebels inside Syria are keeping the Iranian agent Hezbollah in check, and just as the PLO is keeping Hamas in check, at least to some degree.

It’s a volatile region, where violent, crazed men will always make life terrible for their weaker, more productive, less sociopath neighbors. But now the crazies are balancing one another, like a circle of snakes, each keeping the tail of the next snake in its clenched jaws.

Israel and the West could do worse, by helping any of these brutes. Let them keep each other busy for decades, and let’s wish all of them much success in their bloody endeavors.

Oh, and if you’re a journalist looking to interview these guys – use Skype, for heaven’s sake.

ISIS Calls for Attacks on Americans, Says Obama is ‘Mule of the Jews’

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

(JTA) — The jihadist group ISIS called on its followers to attack U.S. citizens and said President Obama was a “mule of the Jews.”

ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani issued a statement that said the coalition led by the United States against ISIS was the “final campaign of the crusaders.” “It will be broken and defeated, just as all your previous campaigns were broken and defeated,” Adnani said, according to an English translation of the Arabic statement prepared by the SITE intelligence group and released Monday.

ISIS followers should attack not only U.S. nationals but also the French, Canadians and Australians, he said, as well as nationals of other countries involved in the coalition.

Directly addressing Obama, Adnani said, “O mule of the Jews, you claimed today that America would not be drawn into a war on the ground. No, it will be drawn and dragged to its death, grave and destruction.”

Adnani also called on ISIS rebels in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula to continue attacking Egyptian forces and for more beheadings.

Meanwhile, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said that she had received threats from ISIS during her weekend meeting at the Vatican with Pope Francis.

Fernandez cited her friendship with the Argentina-born pope and the fact that she has recognized both Israel and Palestine as the reasons for the threats.

Why Many Arabs and Muslims Do Not Trust Obama

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Many Arabs and Muslims identify with the terrorists’ anti-Western objectives ideology; they are afraid of being dubbed traitors and U.S. agents for joining non-Muslims in a war that would result in the death of many Muslims, and they are afraid their people would rise up against them.

Many Arab and Muslim leaders view the Islamic State as a by-product of failed U.S. policies, especially the current U.S. Administration’s weak-kneed support for Iraq’s Nuri al-Maliki. Some of these leaders, such as Egypt’s Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, consider the U.S. to be a major ally of the Muslim Brotherhood. Sisi and his regime will never forgive Obama for his support for the Muslim Brotherhood.

Also, they do not seem to have much confidence in the Obama Administration, which is perceived as weak and incompetent when it comes to combating Islamists.

“This is not our war and we should not be taking part in it.”

That is how many Arabs and Muslims reacted to US President Barack Obama’s plan to form an international coalition to fight the Islamic State [IS] terrorist organization, which is operating in Iraq and Syria and threatening to invade more Arab countries.

Islamic State terrorists have killed and wounded tens of thousands of Arabs and Muslims, mostly over the past few months. By contrast, Islamic State has targeted only a few Westerners, three of whom were beheaded in recent weeks.

Islamic State terrorists are also responsible for the displacement of millions of Iraqis and Syrians, and for the murder of many others.

Still, the atrocities committed by Islamic State against Arabs and Muslims, in addition to the immediate threat it poses to many of their countries, do not seem to be sufficient reason for them to declare war on the group.

While some Arabs and Muslims would prefer to see the U.S. and its Western allies fight Islamic State, others have voiced strong opposition to the new U.S.-led coalition against the group, mainly because they identify with the terrorists’ anti-Western objectives and ideology.

Arab leaders last week told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that they would contribute “in many aspects” to the anti-Islamic State coalition. But most are not prepared to commit ground troops to the battle against its estimated 30,000 jihadis.

The Arab leaders who want the U.S. to wage war on Islamic State are afraid of being dubbed traitors and U.S. agents for joining non-Muslims in a war on a group that seeks to establish an Islamic Caliphate. Their main fear is that their people would rise up against them once they were seen fighting alongside non-Muslims in a war that would result in the death of many Muslims.

The most these Arab leaders are prepared to do to help the emerging U.S.-led coalition is provide logistical and intelligence aid to the Americans and their Western allies in the war on Islamic State.

Jordan, for its part, has agreed to train members of Iraqi tribes to help them fight Islamic State terrorists in Iraq. Jordan and most of the Gulf countries are also reported to be opposed to serving as launching pads for airstrikes on the terrorist bases in Iraq and Syria.

Although they have formally agreed to join the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State, it appears that Arab leaders do not trust the Obama Administration when it comes to combating Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East.

Some of these leaders, such as Egypt’s Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, consider the U.S. Administration to be a major ally of the Muslim Brotherhood. Sisi and his regime will never forgive Obama for his support for the Muslim Brotherhood and deposed President Mohamed Morsi.

ISIS Sends Obama Fiery Video Response [video]

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

The terrorist network ISIS responded to U.S. President Obama’s warning to it with a message of its own.

The video response is entitled “Flames of War.” The 50-second video is replete with music and sophisticated graphics and logos worthy of a Hollywood trailer. Created by the al-Hayat Media Center, the media arm for ISIS, the video mimics a movie trailer, and includes a clip of Obama saying, “U.S. combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq.” It follows with more shots of fiery destruction, the words (in English) “the fighting has just begun,” then fades out with the words “coming soon.”

According to MEMRI, the Al Hayat Media Center distributes diverse materials in several languages, including new videos, subtitling for videos, news articles and reports and translated jihadi materials.

Al Hayat also an an online English-language magazine, Dabiq. 

Here is what ISIS wants the U.S. to see:

Report: Syrian Air Kill Kills 18 ISIS Terrorists, including One American

Friday, September 5th, 2014

The Syrian Air Force killed 18 ISIS jihadists, including one American, in a bombing raid in the eastern part of the country on Thursday, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The report cannot be verified because of Syrian President Bassar al-Assad’ official ban on foreign journalists. The Observatory has been a prime source for news of the civil war and often, but nor always, is accurate.

Ina separate report, Turkey said its security forces have arrested 19 people affiliated with the Islamic State, or ISIS, near the border with Syria.

The reported bombing raid targeted a building that ISIS used as its headquarters. Another bombing raid near Iraq also killed ISIS members, Reuters reported.

ISIS controls at least one province in northern Syria and has seized large parts of another province with rich oil reserves. It has perfected the strategy of Hezbollah and Hamas and provides basic needs of life, including water and electricity, for local residents.

“Let us be honest, they are doing massive institutional work. It is impressive,” one activist who fled from the areas told Reuters.

The news agency noted that even if President Barack Obama sends the U.S. Air Force to bomb ISIS terrorists, the Islamic State is too entrenched in daily to be eliminated.

That may help explain why Israel did try to eliminate Hamas in Gaza, just as it could not destroy Hezbollah in southern Lebanon in the war in the summer of 2006.

Once terrorists are allowed to replace a government and has a base of social power, it is too late to use conventional force to destroy it.

Israel has been able to contain Hamas, but the European countries’ permissive immigration policies have left their leaders powerless to stop the racial Islamic movement’s takeover of daily life.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/report-syrian-air-kill-kills-18-isis-terrorists-including-one-american/2014/09/05/

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