Tuesday, September 30, 2014

From the JV Archives

..archives known as You Tube.  Here's the head of the 'intelligence community' speaking to Congress about the terror threat from a destabilized Syria back in January 2014:

James Clapper: "it's a huge concern to all of us". 

Here's the CinC talking to 60 Minutes last night...
Steve Kroft: What? How did they end up where they are in control of so much territory? Was that a complete surprise to you?
President Obama: Well I think, our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that I think they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria.
Emphasis added for context. So.. "they", the intel community, went under the bus.

But wait, no they didn't!  Not according to the admin press flaks today.

First, State spokesgal Marie Harf told CNN that even ISIS was surprised at how fast they took over parts of the Iraq.  She didn't say when they were surprised, such as if it was when they took over Faluja in early 2014 or Mosul in June, or Tikrit, etc.   She also didn't mention the trip al-Maliki made to the White House in November 2013 to plead for more ordnance and equipage to stop this looming AQ threat, which Obama acknowledged and promised support.  She just said everyone was surprised.  Wolf Blitzer responded by blowing kisses at her while winking. Basically.    

Back in the archives, press flak Carney talked about Iraq on November 1, 2013, saying that support would come but would not include 'boots on the ground'. Nevertheless the administration was tacitly acknowledging Iraq was in trouble almost a year ago (emphasis added)..
MR. CARNEY: The President believes it’s in the interest of the United States to have a robust relationship with Iraq and to help Iraq deal with its security challenges, and to help Iraq deal with its overall challenges as it makes its way out of decades and decades of dictatorship and tyranny, and then a decade of terrible violence.
And that's in the United States’ interest to do that. The President does firmly believe that it was the right thing to do to end that war. And he obviously believed that it was the wrong thing to do to get involved in that war. But when he became President, it was his responsibility to make sure that we ended that war in a way that protected our national security interests.
Q You keep saying that the President does believe that he needs to provide a relationship that helps with security. If Prime Minister Maliki is saying, hey, he needs even more help with security, does that mean the President would be open to some sort of special forces, some sort of troops? Or is there sort of a line?
MR. CARNEY: I don't anticipate -- no, I don't anticipate troops on the ground. What I think will be a focus of the discussions is the ways in which the United States can provide assistance. We are providing assistance and believe it’s important that we make that case on Capitol Hill. I wouldn't expect any announcements, but if you're asking about boots on the ground, I think we've made clear we withdrew from Iraq and we think that we can continue to provide assistance to Iraq in its effort against al Qaeda short of boots on the ground through our foreign military sales and through other means.
So the PM of Iraq itself told the admin in 2013 they needed help due to a growing threat, but months later they were all surprised when it actually occurred!   The funny thing is, Kroft's question wasn't necessarily about Syria but the speed of conquest across the entire IS area, including Iraq, which works better with the surprise meme (surprised the Iraq Army collapsed so fast).  Trouble is Obama blew the answer.  His reply to a question about the rapid expansion of ISIS was to blame Jim Clapper for not seeing the rise of ISIS in Syria.  Yet everyone saw that in 2013.

ABC's Jon Karl later grilled spokesman Josh Earnest about how the president couched the blame, coming with facts such as archived warnings given by the intel community in 2013 and even comments made by State officials at the Baghdad embassy in 2013 as to the unlikelihood of the Iraqi Army standing and fighting AQ.  Didn't matter, Earnest puppeted the official line was that everyone was surprised.

Ed Henry of Fox followed up and asked whether this wasn't an intelligence failure and whether Clapper or somebody should be fired.  Earnest bizarrely stuck to the script.

Finally, the NBC reporter asked if the White House had seen the information and simply misinterpreted it.  She was told no, everything was a surprise you see.   It's hard to know whether the fighters will fight.  Except that's not what Obama was talking about when he threw Clapper and company under the Greyhound.

But, that's their story and they're sticking to it, even after Obama flubbed it.   

This isn't hard to figure.  Obama is the most liberal Democrat to hold office since Roosevelt.  He came into office with two main goals-- "end" the foreign wars (which he likely considered US imperialism anyway, causing the terrorism) and make America a more socialist state through re-distribution (mainly via taxes and global warming initiatives).

The problem is O is not a Prime Minister or even simply a president, he is a Commander-in-Chief.  He shied away from directly confronting the growing terror resurgence in Iraq and Syria (due in part to his 'ending' the war in Iraq in 2011, which the press failed to mention today) as long as he could until heads literally started coming off.   Now he brags of a robust coalition dropping bombs and taking the fight to the enemy, go 'merica F yeah that's how we roll baby!  But we don't roll like that dumb Bush, because there ain't gonna be no combat boots on the ground even if the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs says he needs them to eventually win.

Yes, it's an assumption to assume Obama wants to 'win'.  With him winning is more defined on the domestic landscape.  Foreign wars are all hazy gray material, it's the Tea Party and GOP who are the real black and white terrorists and must be defeated at all costs!   The prez can't seriously expect the same ragtags who dropped their guns at the first sign of Toyotas approaching with black flags to suddenly pick them up and fight like Audie Murphy.  He's already said the citizen doctors, lawyers and accountants in the Free Syrian Army are incapable of defeating one force much less two.  And he knows the local Kurdish Pesh Merga with light arms are in business to protect Kurdistan, nothing else.

In reality he probably wants to bomb ISIS just enough to quell their advance but not so much that they remain in the top spot of domestic news cycles.  He still hasn't finished his domestic agenda and time is running out.  But he's willing to say anything to get it done. 

MORE  9/30/14

What a bizarre start to a press briefing.  State spokeslady Jen Psaki took over 7 minutes giving reporters a fairy tale rendition of how the administration was actually well aware of the ISIS threat all along and was almost ready to blast them after January 2014, back when they were being called the JV team.  She said she did it to correct some misunderstandings.  Eh, like from the president himself. who said everyone was surprised at their rise in Syria because Jim Clapper missed it?

As a Reuters reporter mentioned, if America was so engaged all along why was ISIS able to take over so much of Iraq so fast?   Her answer was the new line--the Iraqi Army sucked.  That's what surprised everyone (except the president, who blamed Jim Clapper).  But as ABC pointed out yesterday, Brett McGurk told Congress the Iraqi Army was not likely to fight back in January.  They are flailing. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Side Tracks

As the comments say, he nailed that solo. 

Denial runs deep

On Thursday a woman in Moore, OK was beheaded by a converted Muslim after he was fired from her company.  The suspect was reportedly yelling religious chants during the episode.   For some reason it didn't become a big story until Friday, whereupon it was explained as, although a little weird, just another episode of "workplace violence" with no 'nexus' to any terrorism.

Today the Drudge Report has a headline regards a nexus to terrorism, but a check of the mainstream news websites shows the story is already starting to fall off the front page.  

Meanwhile several reporters grilled White House press flak Josh Earnest on Friday over his steadfast contention that "Core" AQ has been "decimated". 

The White House is holding on to the thinnest of reeds to make the case, ie, Afghanistan is no longer home to AQ and Bin Laden is dead, so they can't easily hatch international plots.  Aside from the fact Bush had a lot to do with reducing their numbers, it doesn't really matter.  AQ has branched out into affiliates across the greater Islamic world to include individuals like Major Hasan.  The ideology is still being pumped by former number two Zawahiri and several other top leaders and operatives, who are training others to take over.  ISIS is a virtual state.  Continuing to say AQ has been 'decimated' makes our administration almost sound insane. 

Besides, it doesn't take a large personnel infrastructure, command and control, and millions of dollars to pull off attacks in the West that can kill thousands.  Our free society is full of vulnerabilities. 

The denial even extends to this new Khorasan Group, aka AQ, aka "AQ from Iran".   Iran has been helping AQ strategically to use them as leverage with the West over their nuke program as both factions understand that a nuclear-armed Iran would be a game-changer regards Israel and the Western powers.  Meanwhile our embassies in Tripoli and San'a have been abandoned due to unrest despite Obama recently using our actions in Yemen as a benchmark for success.

The sad fact is that despite the money we've spent and lives lost, Islamic radicalism isn't dead.  It's not on the run.  It hasn't been decimated.  It's a religious movement grounded in a harsh interpretation of a holy book that lays our political steps as to how lives are to be led, which is 180 degrees opposite of western values. It is literally a clash of civilizations.  The fight will be long and messy.  We have no choice but to continue or surrender large chunks of the world to this ideology.

But speaking that kind of truth to the electorate really doesn't help garner votes because Americans like their wars short and concise, not long and messy.  And they like their ideological sides, right and left, because the other side contains the evil stupid bastards responsible for the mess their side is having to clean up.  Not much room for understanding when this divide is allowed to remain wide open by political leaders for their own means.  

Back to Moore, Oklahoma.  If people truly wonder about what might turn a troubled young convict into a jihadist, read Morten Storm's book "Agent Storm", the chronicles of a Danish motorcycle thug who after years of trouble with the law converted to Islam and eventually befriended some of radical Islam's top leaders. Like Storm, Jah’Keem Yisrael, aka Alton Nolen of Oklahoma, found religion after years of trouble, perhaps drawn to the rigidity and paternalism of Islam.  He was possibly acting against an 'enemy' (bin Laden considered no Americans as innocent) by attacking his former employer.  Agent Storm, aka "Murad", eventually comes to his senses over the killing of innocents and turncoats to western intelligence to help them infiltrate AQAP and al-Shabaab.

It's a fascinating read (even if embellished some) not only shining light on radical thought but also on the contradictions of a free Western society that allows gay marriage, drugs, booze, rampant sex, scantily clad young women with tattoos and lax morals, which can be every bit as big a recruiter as was George Bush's Iraq war or GITMO.  The problem always goes back to the Muslim Sharia solution to such things, evidence of which keeps coming out on grisly web videos and is the main reason our Nobel Peace Prize President "who ends wars" has started bombing Iraq again and now Syria, even as his minions claim over and over that the enemy has been decimated.  

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sense out of Chaos

The Middle East has devolved into a tangle of alliances and factions so ridiculous it seems only a drunk man could make sense of anything.   A year ago the United States was calling for bombing raids on Bashar Assad, the new Hitler of Syria who had used WMDs on his own people; a year later, after no raids on Assad, America likely informs him (and Iran) of bombing raids on his enemies via Iraqi emissaries and he assists by not shooting at them. 

Over the same year Obama teetered on aligning with AQ factions, Syrian Islamic Freedom fighters, Iran, Iraqi Shiites, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, Russia, and Hizballah.  Not to mention the craziness still taking place in Libya, which is being completely ignored by the US mainstreamers.

One of the goofier conundrums has been the Khorasan gang.  The leadership of this AQ-faction operating out of Syria formerly operated in Iran with the Mullah's blessings.  This is the same Iran that Obama and the West are negotiating with over a nuclear weapons program.  What in the world?!   We were told Iran's Shiites hate Sunni extremists.  And they do--but in this case the relationship might be a microcosm of how the game is played in the desert sands of Arabia, Persia and South Asia.

Iranian president Rouhani seems to have cleared it up in his UN speech:
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Thursday sought to leverage the crisis in the Middle East to ease sanctions on his country as part of nuclear talks, suggesting during a United Nations address that security cooperation between Iran and other nations could only occur if they struck a favorable nuclear deal.
Iran has a long history of holding AQ figures under 'house arrest', ie, outright supporting our sworn enemy. The Treasury Department long ago weighed in on this and only recently identified another supported group.

So we have a country holding Core AQ figures under their protection, allowing them to plot and plan free from Western drones, bombers and Special Forces, now telling Western nations if they want help get rid of a threat (Iran helped create) they best treat them right in the nuclear negotiations.  They are basically trying to hold us hostage, which should bring into question a lot of other things from the past.  

Hopefully the Hacker-in-Chief has a nifty poker hand to play on this one.  Give him credit so far--going after the Khorasans in the ISIS bombing raids was probably designed to remove one of Rouhani's poker chips, although word is the Khorasans have been "dark" since mid summer suggesting some had been tipped.  Eh, where is the booze...   

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

"The People's.." Fill in the Blank

Anytime someone has a rally or function and calls it "the People's" this or that, bank on it being a socialist rally. 

Case in point, climate change marches happened this week around the world, one big one in New York.  A reporter writing for Grist took a train trip from California to the Big Apple with about 170 attendees of "the People's Climate March" (they called it the People's Train while riding there).  In talking to one of the on board organizers she got this quote:
Make sure you have a lot of grandmothers at your protest, says Marina Skinner, who worked as a deputy field organizer for President Obama’s first campaign. “When you see an 80-year-old person, that is your walking billboard.”
And don’t be afraid to censor the protests that you are in charge of. “You are giving birth to a new movement,” Skinner says, “and one of the things that you learn in birthing class is that you are in control of your own birth.
When Obama and Biden were campaigning, if someone was holding a sign that wasn’t their message, they just told them to take that sign down. It was as simple as that. The civil rights movement did it. You can do it too.”
In other words, do anything or say anything, because the goal is so important that lying, deception or obfuscation are OK. After all it's for the planet!  And the children!  And 80 year old grandmothers!

This ends justify means principle is used by both sides in politics, but generally speaking conservatives tend to feel guilty after doing it while liberals tend to embrace it wholeheartedly.  Case in point, the president's gumby-like handling of the truth leading up to the 2012 election...

It's one thing for this principle to be used with campaign promises. It's quite another for it to be used with factual issues, such as a health care plan or the state of the climate.  Yet there's Al Gore five years ago, giving us science lessons and bold predictions that turned out to be a pile of dog poop.  The pie he got in the face for those gaffes never approached a slow day of news about Sarah Palin.  Contrast it to how Jon Stewart just came down on a few GOP congressmen.   

This week the same president who, as Stephen Colbert might say, was 'truthy' about his own health care plan and threats from foreign terrorists in 2012 will be telling everyone on Earth about the need to 'sacrifice' to save the planet.  What sacrifice?  Well, that's where the People's Climate March comes in, part of which became "Flood Wall Street":  they point to the sacrifice being the end of western capitalism.

Saturday, September 20, 2014


How did this happen?
WASHINGTON — A Texas man who scaled the White House fence made it through the North Portico doors on Friday night before being apprehended, the Secret Service said.
The intruder, Omar J. Gonzalez, 42, was arrested just inside the doors and taken to George Washington University Hospital after complaining of chest pains, said Ed Donovan, a Secret Service spokesman.
As the article says, most fence scalers are tackled immediately after they successfully cross. Yet this 42 year old guy was able to get over the fence then sprint to the White House and go in the front door before 'being tackled'?  No shots fired, not even any dogs?

Some will point out that the presidential entourage had just left the grounds so the first family was not in jeopardy, while CNN is reporting that Gonzales "was known" to the Secret Service, as if to say they knew he was more a nut than a terrorist, but if they didn't consider his act dangerous they wouldn't have evacuated the West Wing.  For all they knew he had a bomb sewn in his underwear and was going to blow up the Oval Office.  

Something doesn't smell right here.

MORE  9/20/14

The WaPo has more:
A sensor alarm automatically goes off when any unauthorized person crosses the fence line, and is transmitted to every on-duty agent’s radio and in the joint-operations command center. In many scenarios, if the jumper ignores demands to stop, a canine-team handler will release a trained dog to subdue the person.
But the dog was not released in this case, according to officials’ review of the event and evidence from Friday night. The Secret Service’s security review will look closely at why that dog wasn’t released. It typically takes a person sprinting across the grounds at least 20 to 25 seconds to make it from the fence line to the mansion.
Canine teams are trained to have their dog in position to be released within four seconds of the alarm sounding. The dog is trained to bite the arm or leg of the person they are sent to stop, and usually hold the person on the ground until their handler arrives. “We’re asking, why not release the dog?” said one law enforcement person who is reviewing the incident. “That would have stopped this.”
In October 2013 the Secret Service gunned down a woman in her car outside the White House with a baby on board after she allegedly tried to ram a gate on the property.  On September 11 this year dogs were used to subdue a white guy who jumped the fence dressed in a Pokemon hat and he only got about 10 yards from the fence line.  Let's hope political correctness has not intruded on Secret Service policies/actions.

It's hard to believe anyone would have time to say, "hey, don't shoot him or release the dogs because he's Hispanic and that might look bad for Obama in the media" but one also has to wonder whether things would have been done differently if he was wearing a black ISIS shirt or God forbid, a "Don't Tread on Me" flag shirt.   

MORE  9/21/14

Turns out Mr. Gonzales did have a weapon after all. Quite frankly a policy of "suspect doesn't appear to have a weapon or backpack" or however the Secret Service explains their reluctance to shoot is pretty much unbelievable considering what someone could be carrying without showing.

Of course the national mainstream media is all over this--as they should be--especially since Gonzales is reported to be an Iraqi vet suffering from PTSD.   Contrast their coverage of this with their almost non-existent coverage of Ali Mohammed Brown, a suspected domestic terrorist who killed 4 people, including 2 gay men, presumably in the name of Allah.  Yeah, just sayin.

MORE  9/22/14

This continues to be a little weird.   In one story we learn Mr. Gonzalez is a modern 'Chicken Little', allegedly telling the Secret Service the 'atmosphere was collapsing' and that he needed to get the word out to the big guy so he could warn everyone.  Yeah, nuttier than a fruitcake.

Yet in another story we get this:
However, neither prosecutors nor Gonzalez’s assigned defense attorneys invoked his mental competency as an issue for now. Assistant Federal Public Defender David Bos said Gonzalez understands the proceeding against him.
No doubt the national media is very interested in this story due to Mr. Gonzalez' background, which they might see as the Tea Bagger gun nut category--perfect to pound before the upcoming mid-terms--but saying 'the atmosphere is collapsing' is more in line with an environmental loon.   And that's a rabbit hole they will likely not descend within. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Explaining Himself

The poor guy.  Nobody will let him eat his waffles.  President Holland, the GOP, the media, and the bitter clingers are holding him back--even the ghost of Reagan..
It was clear to the guests how aware Mr. Obama was of the critics who have charged him with demonstrating a lack of leadership. He brought up the criticism more than once with an edge of resentment in his voice.
“He’s definitely feeling it,” said one guest. At one point, Mr. Obama noted acidly that President Ronald Reagan sent Marines to Lebanon only to have hundreds of them killed in a terrorist attack because of terrible planning, and then withdrew the remaining ones, leaving behind a civil war that lasted years. But Reagan, he noted, is hailed as a titan striding the earth.
But he'll always have the Times to explain how everyone is racist and stupid and impeding his greatness.  Everyone including people his own military, as the article makes it clear he approved the Syria hostage rescue mission plan immediately upon delivery to his desk, executed only 'days' later, which comports with this version but necessarily with this one.   

But let's give him the benefit.  The Times piece clearly suggests Obama is blaming the public beheadings on his forced decision to war-monger, which was apparently the result of the failed rescue mission on July the 4th, a mission that if successful might have precluded a new dumb non-war war before its time. Nobody wanted those hostages out of there more than he did--because it meant he wouldn't have to deal with it right away.  There was no dithering or delay, his hands were tied by the intelligence knuckleheads who screwed up.

Meanwhile, our deliberator-in-chief was quoted as saying something interesting that's been puzzling me as well regarding the intent of ISIS with these brazen beheadings.  According to the Times:
If he had been “an adviser to ISIS,” Mr. Obama added, he would not have killed the hostages but released them and pinned notes on their chests saying, “Stay out of here; this is none of your business.” Such a move, he speculated, might have undercut support for military intervention.
Aside from blaming the American public for wanting revenge and forcing him to take focus off spending quality time breaking the law on immigration or redistributing more wealth, he's asking why they would poke the bear?  Why indeed.  Is it because they think the bear has no teeth or claws? Is it because they think the bear has gone into hibernation and won't act?  Are they just stupid true believers completely unaware of their limited power or don't care? 

Or is it because they think he will act and that's exactly what they want? The AP had a story last night about other barbarians operating in Syria that aren't getting as much attention:
At the center is a cell known as the Khorasan group, a cadre of veteran al-Qaida fighters from Afghanistan and Pakistan who traveled to Syria to link up with the al-Qaida affiliate there, the Nusra Front. But the Khorasan militants did not go to Syria principally to fight the government of President Bashar Assad, U.S. officials say.
Instead, they were sent by al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri to recruit Europeans and Americans whose passports allow them to board a U.S.-bound airliner with less scrutiny from security officials. In addition, according to classified U.S. intelligence assessments, the Khorasan militants have been working with bomb-makers from al-Qaida's Yemen affiliate to test new ways to slip explosives past airport security.
The fear is that the Khorasan militants will provide these sophisticated explosives to their Western recruits who could sneak them onto U.S.-bound flights.
In other words, how much coordination do these groups have and is the Khorasan group willing to be some sort of proxy international terror arm to ISIS that will be employed once the Obamabombing begins in Syria?  We are told that AQ doesn't get along with ISIS.  But maybe this is an enemy of my enemy thing and Izzat al-Duri's trained band of Islamic hooligans are craftier than they appear.  

Or on the flip side, maybe these ISIS guys are just as dumb as they appear and have been hoodwinked into provoking the bear by their ex-Saddam Ba'athist trainers who themselves might want the US to come in and destroy them so they can jump into the vacuum and re-take Iraq.  Useful idiots, just as Saddam viewed them.

Hopefully the Decider Guy can figure out all the possible chess moves on the back nine today.  

PS, snark aside, this Times article is troubling if any part of it is true.