Watch What These US Army Vets Decided To Do Against Islamic State

Several American Iraq War veterans are now volunteering to help Kurdish militias in northern Iraq in their battle against Islamic State, Al Jazeerah reported.

One of the US Vets spoke with Al Jazeerah. He said that volunteering in the war against Islamic State was “the right thing to do”. He said that he saw “the beheadings and the slave trade in the news” and decided to “found a group that helped to facilitate the travel of Westerners” to the front in Iraq, where they now fight against Islamic State.

The US Vets bring with them their battle experience, but they do not have the weapons to combat Islamic State effectively.

One of them said that the weapons they use are fit for “urban warfare.” They joined Kurdish forces because “the Iraqi government doesn’t want foreign boots on the ground,” Al Jazeerah reported.

The American volunteers told Al Jazeerah that their presence in Kurdistan is a message to the US government that ground forces are needed in the battle against Islamic State.

Former US President George W. Bush had the same message for the Obama administration. In an interview with the Israeli Daily Israel Hayom, Bush said that he had decided not to criticize his successors but made clear that in the current war against Islamic State, the U.S. needs “boots on the ground.”

“The temptation is to try to rewrite history or to make yourself look good by criticizing someone else. I think that is a mistake. I don’t think that is what leadership is all about. I know how hard the job is. I didn’t like it when former leaders criticized me when I was president. Some did, so I decided not to do the same,” Bush said.

He then said the following when he was asked if it was possible to defeat ISIS without boots on the ground:

The president will have to make that determination. My position was that you need to have boots on the ground. As you know, I made a very difficult decision. A fair number of people in our country were saying that it was impossible to defeat al-Qaida — which is ISIS as far as I am concerned. They said I must get out of Iraq. But I chose the opposite — I sent 30,000 more troops as opposed to 30,000 fewer. I think history will show that al-Qaida in Iraq was defeated. And so I chose the path of boots on the ground. We will see whether or not our government adjusts to the realities on the ground.

On Sunday, Brett McGurk, U.S. envoy to the coalition against Islamic State, said that the threat posed by Islamic State is unprecedented. McGurk told Chuck Todd on NBC’s Meet the Press: “We have to get a handle on this. This is a real threat to the United States.”

His remarks came after President Obama decided to send an additional 450 military advisors to Iraq to train Iraqi forces–and after the New York Times revealed an internal State Department assessment that said the Islamic State is winning the “message war.”

An internal State Department assessment paints a dismal picture of the efforts by the Obama administration and its foreign allies to combat the Islamic State’s message machine, portraying a fractured coalition that cannot get its own message straight.

The assessment comes months after the State Department signaled that it was planning to energize its social media campaign against the militant group. It concludes, however, that the Islamic State’s violent narrative – promulgated through thousands of messages each day – has effectively “trumped” the efforts of some of the world’s richest and most technologically advanced nations.

The State Department assessment contradicts what former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claimed less than a month ago. As Western Journalism reported at the time, Pelosi said that the fight against ISIS on social media had “really been making some progress.”

In fact, the only forces who are really making progress in the fight against Islamic State are the Kurdish militias. After they drove out Islamic State from the strategic Syrian city of Kobani in January this year, the Kurds are now poised to take over the Syrian city of Tal Abyad from Islamic State.This despite the fact that the West refuses to supply the Kurds with heavy weapons.

Update: One of the Americans fighting with the Kurds against Islamic State in northern Iraq died in battle on June 10th, the Examiner reported:

Keith Broomfield had such a strong commitment to defend those being persecuted for their Christian faith, as well as protecting the innocence of Kurdish women and children, that on Feb. 24 under the nom de guerre Gelhat Rumet, he joined the People’s Protection Units known as the YPG even though he had no previous military training. The YPG are the main Kurdish guerrillas battling the Islamic State group in Syria. Broomfield is believed to be the first U.S. citizen to die fighting alongside Kurdish forces against ISIS. The Merced Sun-Star reported Sunday that according to the family, Broomfield felt compelled to fight against what he considered “evil.”

Friday the L.A. Times stated that several month ago, Broomfield, a plant manager at his family’s Bolton-based business, Broomfield Labs Inc., informed shocked relatives that he had decided to join the fight against Islamic State. He didn’t know anyone in Syria or Iraq and had no battlefield experience, but he was appalled by the brutality he saw the Islamist militants inflicting on fellow Christians and other religious minorities.”

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Rand Paul’s New Patriot Act?

Doesn’t the term “patriot” sound so good? Being called a patriot is something that every citizen of every country considers a badge of honor and distinction. So in the political battle of words and semantics, whoever can claim the “high ground” of patriotism would most likely emerge as the victor.

After the terror attacks of 9/11, former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft brought before Congress a list of recommended changes in the law to combat terrorism. Some of these measures had long been opposed by members of Congress as infringing on the rights of Americans.

In order to claim the high ground of the debate, the former administration of Republican President George W. Bush introduced a bill that was termed “The Patriot Act.” Rather than look “un-patriotic” most of Congress was willing to grant the former President, and his Democrat successor, many enhanced but unconstitutional powers. That is until now.

Rand Paul of Kentucky demanded a stop to this wordsmithing and came forward with something I call a new Patriot Act, almost single-handedly forcing many unconstitutional practices of U.S. intelligence programs to, in the words of Time magazine, “go dark.” This act of Patriotism, or Patriot Act, Rand Paul proposed brought much-needed attention to the centralized elevation of the executive branch.

Why do I call this Patriotic?  Won’t this make us less safe? “Patriotism” as defined by Webster’s 1828 dictionary is: “The love of one’s country; the passion which aims to serve one’s country, either in defending it from invasion, or protecting its rights and maintaining its laws and institutions in vigor and purity.”

This has always been a struggle between God-given rights and laws, liberties and powers, the Bill of Rights and delegated Constitutional powers, and the people and their government.

You see, if you think government is the source of your rights, then you will have no problem with them taking certain rights from you to keep you safer. Yet founding father Benjamin Franklin inferred: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

This is because our founders believed that rights come from God, and that God instituted governments to protect those God-given rights.

What would a nation become if all authority to govern our God-given liberties was given to a central power that we could not limit–where “independence” is just another word in the war of semantics? Look around the world; this is the stuff that Communist, Socialist, and Totalitarian governments are made of.

“I came here to defend the Bill of Rights, not to be popular,” Senator Paul tweeted. Though he may not be popular with many of his colleagues, I believe the good Senator is popular with the founders of the American View, and the most holy Author of our Liberties.

 

Learn more about your Constitution with Jake MacAulay and the Institute on the Constitution and receive your free gift.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Hawks With Long Knives Aim To Cut Down Rand Paul

I have some serious advice for Senator Rand Paul: Stay clear of the Senate gym steam room and don’t trust anyone in a robe resembling Brutus. There is virtually no one in the GOP establishment who does not want to derail Senator Rand Paul’s bid for the presidency–and with good reason. Rand Paul not only has new ideas for the future of America, but he is honest about the mistakes Republicans, including former presidents, have made in the past.

The biggest establishment taboo Rand Paul has broken most recently is to tell voters that the United States should not arm Islamic Sunni fighters to overthrow secular governments.  Apparently, he did not get the memo from Senator John McCain that we only train and arm “good” Sunni Islamic fighters such as the Harakat al-Hazm brigade. Oops … that “most trusted group” took the weapons we gave them, including TOW missiles, and joined the jihadists early this year. Not to worry; we have a new brigade of Sunni fighters we are training in Jordan to replace them.

The media on the right fears him because he appeals to the conservative voter base rather than the donor base. The Republican voter base, including the military, deep down know the truth about Iraq and are tired of hearing the same old hawkish lines claiming a victory that was never there.

The establishment GOP line is: Bush won the war in Iraq, and Obama lost the peace by not leaving troops there.

In reality, in December of 2008, the last full month of the Bush presidency, there were eleven suicide and roadside bombings in Iraq that killed dozens. One bombing in Mosul killed two U.S. military personnel. This of course does not include shootings or kidnappings. A strong peaceful democracy?

The further establishment GOP line, as Senator Marco Rubio declared it: “The world is a better place without Saddam Hussein.” Tell that to the one million Christians who have been forced out of Iraq or the Yazidi women who have been sold on slave blocks in cities that had secular police forces under the Baath party. In what universe do you have to live in to believe that Iraq today is a better place to live than in 2002? OK … It is a better place to be if you are a jihadist in the ISIL.

Rand Paul has only to whisper “the emperor has no clothes,” and the Wall Street Journal and Fox News go ballistic. The Wall Street Journal editorial headline on May 28th read “Rand Paul Created ISIS.” I am not joking; that is the actual headline. What did Rand Paul say to deserve a ful- out attack by the Wall Street Journal? The Senator said the following:

ISIS exists and grew stronger because of the hawks in our party who gave arms indiscriminately, and most of those arms were snatched up by ISIS. These hawks also wanted to bomb Assad, which would have made ISIS’ job even easier. They created these people. ISIS is all over Libya because the same hawks in my party loved Hillary Clinton’s war in Libya, they just wanted more of it.

But Libya is a failed state and a disaster, Iraq really is a failed state or a vassal state now of Iran, so everything they’ve talked about in foreign policy they’ve been wrong about for 20 years and yet they somehow have the gall to keeping saying and pointing figures otherwise.

The Senator is right. The “secret weapons shipments” early on to Syrian rebels by the Obama Administration were approved by GOP congressional leaders behind closed doors. Every dollar to every mercenary and every gun to every brigade was approved by the appropriate committees in the House and Senate. Every dime and every bullet. The only GOP objections to the Obama Administration’s plan to help the Sunni royal family of Saudi Arabia overthrow the Shia Alawites in Syria was that not enough American money and not enough American weapons were being allocated.

To make matters worse for himself, Rand Paul told the truth about the GOP hawk establishment having supported Hillary Clinton’s war on Libya. He is factual in that hawks John McCain and Lindsay Graham wanted even more American firepower, perhaps even ground forces, in Libya. Instead of being a stable nation under Gaddafi, Libya today is a failed state with roving bands of terrorists.

The donor base of the GOP, including a lot of big companies receiving defense dollars, are sharpening their knives for Rand Paul. That is where the real GOP divide is. The donor base and the voter base of the GOP see things very differently. While the “inside the Beltway bubble” GOP establishment and their donors are hawks, the majority of GOP voters, particularly recent veterans, are not. The polls do show that the largest concern of GOP-leaning voters is national security (cited by about 25%). But a deeper look shows that those 25% are most concerned with stopping Islamic terror on the homeland soil, not toppling secular dictators in the Middle East.

The Wall Street Journal’s biggest issue with Rand Paul is that he is an “anti-interventionist.” Apparently the Wall Street Journal editorial staff has come to the McCain/Graham/Rubio conclusion that the people of Libya, Iraq, and Syria are far better off today thanks to American intervention. Really? Someone should inform the families of those who were beheaded, and the many women forced into sex slave relationships with men who have purchased them at auction blocks. Many Republicans outside the Washington beltway see the truth, that Iraq, like Syria and Libya, is a horrible wreck.

Senator Paul has more to watch out for than would-be assassins in robes, such as Lindsey Graham and John McCain in the steam room. The leftist media also wants to cut him up and toss him out now, before voters on both sides of the fence hear what he as to say.

He is dangerous to the left because he is a champion of many populist ideas such as lowering prison sentences for drug use, a stand that will draw away votes from the Democrats. Currently, possessing less than one fourth of an ounce of crack cocaine draws a minimum five year sentence. Senator Paul says that is wrong, and is unfairly applied to African-Americans. He will also draw liberal (but not radical) environmentalist support from the Democrats, having publicly admitted to planting trees.

The GOP and both the liberal and conservative media want to knock out Senator Rand Paul early, before voters of both parties can hear his message. Rand Paul is dangerous because his ideas are neither left nor right establishment; they are often new and in many cases populist. He has the strange idea that the armed forces should protect the interests of the United States, not be the world’s police force. He wants the unconstitutional practice of the government reading the personal writings and communications of citizens by stealth stopped. And he tells the voters that loving trees is an OK thing to do! How dare he?

William J. Murray is chairman of the Washington, DC-based Religious Freedom Coalition and oversees the Christmas for Refugee program.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

What The American People Just Said About Bush Vs Obama Will Have The White House Shrieking

How many times have Barack Obama, his defenders, and apologists tried to blame George W. Bush for something that’s gone wrong? How many times have we heard the finger-pointing excuse, “It’s George Bush’s fault?” Well, given the results of a new poll, that move in the administration’s blame game may be off the table.

But from the headline CNN politics has attached to the story of the poll results — “Warming on W.: More Americans like George W. Bush than dislike” — you’d never know that President Obama has now clearly fallen behind his predecessor in terms of favorability.

Coverage of the game-changing survey in The Hill does point out that significant finding — “George W. Bush tops Obama on favorability in new poll.”

The CNN/ORC poll reveals that 52 percent of Americans see Bush positively, while 43 percent do not.

The new poll finds that 49 percent view Obama favorably, while 49 percent do not.

The report in The Hill notes that Bush’s favorability numbers have seen a dramatic increase since he left office. Back in 2009, a similar survey found that the former president was viewed positively by just about a third of poll respondents.

“CNN said that the former president has notched an 11-point favorability increase among men, a 10-point increase among Republicans and an 8-point increase among suburbanites.”

Bush has even seen his favorability rating among Democrats improve some fifteen points, though the poll finds that about 70% of Democrats still maintain a negative view of the former president.

As for Obama, the new poll results show a drop of three points in favorability since March, when a similar sampling of public sentiment saw the president with a 52% positive rating.

Taking a look at job approval ratings, President Obama is seeing a similar measure of disapproval from the American people.  According to the latest Gallup track of Obama’s job approval trend, only 47% of those surveyed give the nation’s chief executive a thumbs up for his performance in office.

The Real Clear Politics average of polls shows Obama faring even worse, with an overall job approval rating of just 44%.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Jeb Bush Just Unexpectedly Lashed Out At George W. On One Big Issue

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) made the most direct critique of his brother, former President George W. Bush, since beginning his nascent campaign for the 2016 presidential nomination at a sports bar in New Hampshire.

“Are there differences? Yeah, I mean, sure,” Bush said at The Draft pub in Concord Thursday when asked if there was any “space” between him and his brother. “I think that in Washington during my brother’s time, Republicans spent too much money. I think he could have used the veto power — he didn’t have line-item veto power, but he could have brought budget discipline to Washington, D.C,”

That seems kind of quaint right now given the fact that after he left, budget deficits and spending just like lit up astronomically. But having constraints on spending across the board during his time would have been a good thing.

55 percent of respondents said Bush’s family ties made no difference, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted in January. 67 percent of Republicans said it gave them no pause.

The Florida governor also said he would not go “out of my way to criticize Republican presidents. Just call me a team player, here. It just so happens the last two Republican presidents happened to be my dad and my brother.”

But you’ll never hear me complaining about Ronald Reagan, either. Every president makes mistakes — the question is what do you learn from those mistakes? Past doesn’t have to be prologue. You can learn from your predecessors in business and in life and certainly in politics.

In a Fox News poll taken earlier this month, Bush was tied for the lead with retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson with 13 percent among 2016 GOP hopefuls. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker had 11 percent, while former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas had 10 percent.

But Walker and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul came out ahead with 12 percent in a recent Bloomberg poll surveying only New Hampshire GOP primary voters, while Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio each had 11 percent.

h/t: The Washington Post

Can Bush’s family ties hurt him? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth