Obama’s Foreign Policy Blunders To Explode

Photo credit: Navajo Nation Washington Office (Flickr)

When it comes to foreign policy, 2014 might have seemed unstable. But the actual shooting wars were well contained.

As we look forward to 2015, however, the landscape looks more chaotic than ever.

Let’s take a tour through the top five foreign policy blunders that are about to erupt over the coming months…

Blunder #1: Iran. When Obama entered office, the containment of Iran was a primary objective of American policy. Iran was using Russian and North Korean technology to become a nuclear power with a stated objective of ending the “Jewish” occupation of Palestine.

Iran’s nuclear program is an existential threat that Israel cannot (and should not) allow. 2015 is the year Israel moves unilaterally to end this threat.

Obama has been trying to coax Iran to give up its nuclear ambitions through diplomacy. This has been an adventure in naivety. To his surprise, Obama’s coaxing has only given Iran the time and ability it needed to consolidate its technological gains.

Expect Iran to become a flashpoint in 2015.

Blunder #2: Syria. Next up is Syria. (Iran and Russia are involved here, also.) Bashar al-Assad has hung on as Syrian President against all odds. His civil war, which began as a legitimate democracy movement, metastasized into the Islamic State.

If Obama had left well enough alone and not encouraged jihadi warriors with his support of the Arab Spring, then Assad would have likely never seen his country disintegrate. We’re now in Syria fighting – essentially, with Assad – because of Obama’s earlier bloopers.

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Blunder #3: Iraq. The Islamic State also was greatly helped by Obama’s premature withdrawal from Iraq. Iraq has suffered under unbelievable incompetence by both Bush and Obama.

Bush should have never dissolved the Iraqi Army. And just as a new one was finally taking shape, Obama left the field, and they disintegrated (this time on the battlefield).

Blunder #4: Ukraine. Circle around to Ukraine, and you see Obama pushing Russia up against the wall with economic sanctions and military aggressiveness within sight of their border. How would America feel if Russia made a deal with Mexico to station Russian tanks on our southern border?

Ukraine deserves freedom, but real freedom will result not from economic sanctions and blustering talk. The country suffered horribly in 2014. Its currency has lost half of its value. Food and medicine are scarce; and in parts of the country, a live shooting war is taking place.

Vladimir Putin shouldn’t shoulder all of the blame. Putin has been aggressive and has tried to look strong, but he’s Russian and proud. The way to deal with Russia is how Reagan handled the situation. Be firm, but also extend the hand of friendship. Eternal economic sanctions only hurt the lower classes. The elites never feel the pain.

Blunder #5: Asia. Asia also has some really urgent problems. Rhetoric is heating up between India and Pakistan. These two nuclear powers just can’t keep from fighting. Essentially, it boils down to a religious war between Islamic Pakistan and the Hindu-influenced Indian government.

Obama has ignored Pakistan and encouraged instability there by using a highly destabilizing drone policy in which the United States insists it has the right to kill people inside of other sovereign nations. This is a policy fraught with unintended future consequences (none of them good).

Bottom line: I hope you’re prepared… Any of these Obama failures has the ability to spin out of control and strike U.S. financial markets – creating uncertainty, which limits economic growth and the future of peace.

 

This commentary originally appeared at WallStreetDaily.com and is reprinted here with permission. 

Photo credit: Navajo Nation Washington Office (Flickr)

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 – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

SHOCK: What Was Just Reported About ISIS Atrocities Shows Their Barbarism Knows No Limits

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News reports on the unspeakable evils of ISIS are nothing new. But what has just been revealed by a reliable source with intimate knowledge of terrorism in Iraq still shocks the senses.

Four children — all under the age of 15 — told their ISIS captors they loved “Yesua,” which means Jesus. They did not back down in the face of ISIS threats, refusing to deny their Christian faith and promise to follow Mohammed. That’s when ISIS murderers chopped their heads off.

So we learn from a report in International Business Times – a piece citing a now-familiar ISIS ultimatum of “convert or die.”

The British “Vicar of Baghdad,” Cannon Andrew White, claims the beheading of the children was done in a Christian enclave near Baghdad where it was recently seized by ISIS fighters.

White is reportedly one of the few Christian leaders left in Iraq, a nation spiraling further into chaos and bloodshed following the mass pullout of U.S. combat forces.

The vicar tells gruesome stories of numerous atrocities committed by Islamic militants sweeping through the country.

White said when Baghdad was overrun with militants, many people had fled to Nineveh, their traditional home.

When ISIS came, they dragged the people out and “killed huge numbers.” The British vicar said ISIS had “chopped children in half” and beheaded them before moving north.

The new U.N. human rights chief, himself a Muslim, recently called for the protection of religious minorities targeted by Islamic State militants in Iraq. He charged those relentless Islamic fighters with trying to create a “house of blood.”

From a Reuters report about the U.N. official’s plea, delivered in Geneva, begging world powers to join in stopping the ISIS onslaught:

“Do [Islamic militants] believe they are acting courageously? Barbarically slaughtering captives? … They reveal only what a Takfiri state would look like, should this movement actually try to govern in the future,” [said the U.N. official].

“It would be a harsh, mean-spirited, house of blood, where no shade would be offered, nor shelter given, to any non-Takfiri in their midst.”

 

Photo Credit: twitter

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Please Join Me On The Next Fallen Soldiers 32 Mile Honor March

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The Fallen Solders March‘s roots originate from the humble actions of a returning member of the 269th Military Police Company, Tennessee Army National Guard whose deployment lasted 20 months in Iraq for operations Iraqi Freedom. Master Sergeant Jim Williams has survived a Humvee explosion.  In 2005, after recovering from his physical injuries, he sought out to confront the emotional trauma resulting from his service in Iraq by initiating the “Nine Mile March” in August of 2005, and to draw attention to the families that grieve the loss of a husband or wife who paid the ultimate sacrifice defending the interests and principle of the United States of America that all men and women should live freely. The Nine Mile March incorporated a nine mile course beginning at the National Guard Armory in Lebanon, TN, to the opening day of the Wilson County Fair, reported to be one of the largest county fairs in the country, with attendance exceeding over half a million people some years.

Up until 2009, the Nine Mile March had been loosely attended; in fact, Williams professed (tongue-in-cheek), “people thought I was hitchhiking”.  On Veterans Day 2009, a promise was fulfilled after a challenge had been met. Master Sergeant Williams issued a challenge: if at least 100 soldiers showed up for the Annual Nine Mile Fallen Soldiers March™ in Lebanon, TN, he would march from the square in downtown Lebanon, TN, along the Cherokee Nation Trail of Tears down Highway 70 to Legislative Plaza in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, to honor our United States Military Veterans.  The Fallen Solders March “Thirty Mile March” was born!  I asked Master Sergeant Williams if I could join him on the March.

I had been raised to love, respect, and value our military men and women and the sacrifices made by the Founding Fathers of our great country. I was not prepared for the range of emotions God had providentially assigned to me that day.

Throughout the day, the radio coverage encouraged people to stop and make donations to the families of Fallen Soldiers.

Many people pulled over to the side of the road with handwritten notes chronicling stories of fallen family members along with charitable contributions. We were greeted by an entire elementary school along the route, receiving high fives from the children leaning over a cyclone fence defining a border between the school and the road!  Horns honked nearly the entire day as drivers passed by us displaying the American Flag in all of its glorious colors.  The most touching event of the day involved a limo driver who held up traffic alongside a side street in downtown Nashville. He stepped outside of his running vehicle and stood tall with his hand over his heart as we marched by him, ignoring the traffic backing up behind his vehicle as music fans ventured out to attend the Country Music Awards Ceremony.

During the entire day, I fought back tears as I began to realize the resolve and tenacity our soldiers exemplified when ordered to march all night long through a rigorous jungle, desert, and mountainous terrains–arriving at their destination not to replenish their energy with food and sleep, but to fight an enemy that was determined to terminate their existence. These men and women carried not only weapons and artillery; often, they were burdened with 70+ pound packs.  It was humbling to recognize that at the age of 47, and in exceptional shape, I could barely stand up on the top of the stairs at Legislative Plaza by the end of our journey because of the intense muscle cramping that seized my legs–and nearly caused me to fall backwards down the steps. It took me several days to fully recover.

That day was a deeply convicting spiritual experience for me. However, despite all the airplay we received over the radio and the attention we had received along our march down highway 70, I was deeply troubled by the realization that the optimism and anticipation Master Sergeant Williams was looking forward to experiencing all day when we marched up Second Avenue towards our destination was not going to be fulfilled.  Prior to crossing Broadway from the east end of Second Avenue to the west end Tourist District, Master Sergeant Williams and I had observed a helicopter following us; and we were extremely excited about the prospects of people being lined up on both sides of Second Avenue, supporting our cause and making contributions to the Fallen Soldier’s families.  I cautiously kept my reservations to myself. Unfortunately, my intuition was correct. There was no fanfare, nor cheers. There was no support along the entire march up Second Avenue; the silence was deafening. Master Sergeant Williams remained optimistic, hoping that there would be a crowd at Legislative Plaza to greet us. My heart grieved for Master Sergeant Williams as we both realized that the only person to greet us was his father, a retired Veteran of the United States Air Force. Despite the brief joy Master Sergeant Williams expressed towards his father for greeting us, his countenance was crushed.

During the drive back home, the reception our military men and women of Vietnam had received when returning home to the United States haunted me and continued to grieve my soul. I made a personal commitment that evening; the reception Master Sergeant Williams received at the end of a very long day would not happen next year. I committed that we would reverse the route in 2010, beginning in downtown Nashville and ending in our hometown of Lebanon, Tennessee, banking on a warmer reception in small town America. Unfortunately, Master Sergeant Williams never did participate again in the “Thirty Mile March”. However, over the course of six years, the march eventually attracted the support of hundreds of patriotic supporters.

Businessman Tom Needham sent out a “scout” five years ago, after reading in a local paper that the Fallen Soldiers March would pass by his business in Mt. Juliet, TN. We have been greeted with “patriotic acts of kindness & support” in numerous ways every year in honor of military sacrifices.  Tom and his father both served.  Tom’s father served as a member of Carlson’s Raiders. He always provides each march participant with a buckeye form his father’s beloved “Buckeye Tree” in memoriam of his father.  Marchers this year (the march date was November 11, 2014) included: US Army Desert Storm Signal Corp Veteran Dwayne Wright, U S Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 Operation Iraqi Freedom; Hurricane Katrina & Hurricane Gustavo Veteran Michael Jones; Lebanon Fire Department Engineer Joe Huddleston; Lebanon Firefighter Brad Forrest; Lebanon Fire Department Lieutenant & Fallen Soldiers March Director Chip Vanatta; and yours truly.

Special appreciation for our “little patriot” Cooper, leading by example for the second year in a row, undeterred by a recalcitrant School System Board’s refusal to acknowledge our Veterans’ disdain for not declaring Veteran’s Day a formal holiday.

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Jim Retzke is President of the Fallen Soldiers March. 

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 – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Hagel Didn’t Start The Fire

Photo credit: Chuck Hagel (Flickr)

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, a Vietnam war veteran and the lone Republican on Obama’s national security team, has been fired.

And John McCain’s assessment is dead on.

Hagel, he said, “was never really brought into that real tight circle inside the White House that makes all the decisions which has put us into the incredible debacle that we’re in today throughout the world.”

Undeniably, U.S. foreign policy is in a shambles. But what were the “decisions” that produced the “incredible debacle”?

Who made them? Who supported them?

The first would be George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq, a war for which Sens. John McCain, Joe Biden, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton all voted. At least Sen. Hagel admitted he made a mistake on that vote.

With our invasion, we dethroned Saddam and destroyed his Sunni Baathist regime. And today, the Islamic State, a barbaric offshoot of al-Qaida, controls Mosul, Anbar, and the Sunni third of Iraq.

Kurdistan is breaking away. And a Shia government in Baghdad, closely tied to Tehran and backed by murderous anti-American Shia militias, controls the rest. Terrorism is a daily occurrence.

Such is the condition of the nation which we were promised would become a model of democracy for the Middle East after a “cake-walk war.” The war lasted eight years for us, and now we are going back — to prevent a catastrophe.

A second decision came in 2011, when a rebellion arose against Bashar Assad in Syria, and we supported and aided the uprising. Assad must go, said Obama. McCain and the neocons agreed.

Now ISIS and al-Qaida are dominant from Aleppo to the Iraqi border with Assad barely holding the rest, while the rebels we urged to rise and overthrow the regime are routed or in retreat.

Had Assad fallen, had we bombed his army last year, as Obama, Kerry, and McCain wanted to do, and brought down his regime, ISIS and al-Qaida might be in Damascus today. And America might be facing a decision either to invade or tolerate a terrorist regime in the heart of the Middle East.

Lest we forget, Vladimir Putin pulled our chestnuts out of the fire a year ago, with a brokered deal to rid Syria of chemical weapons.

The Turks, Saudis, and Gulf Arabs who aided ISIS’ rise are having second thoughts, but sending no Saudi or Turkish troops to dislodge it.

So the clamor arises anew for U.S. “boots on the ground” to reunite the nations that the wars and revolutions we supported tore apart.

A third decision was the U.S.-NATO war on Col. Gadhafi’s Libya.

After deceiving the Russians by assuring them we wanted Security Council support for the use of air power simply to prevent a massacre in Benghazi, we bombed for half a year, and brought down Gadhafi.

Now we have on the south shore of the Mediterranean a huge failed state and strategic base camp for Islamists and terrorists who are spreading their poison into sub-Sahara Africa.

The great triumphs of Reagan and Bush 41 were converting Russia into a partner, and presiding over the liberation of Eastern Europe and the dissolution of the old Soviet Union into 15 independent nations.

Unfulfilled by such a victory for peace and freedom, unwilling to go home when our war, the Cold War, was over, Bush 43 decided to bring the entire Warsaw Pact, three Baltic states, and Moldova, Ukraine, and Georgia into NATO. For this project, Bush had the enthusiastic support of McCain, the neocons, and the liberal interventionists.

Since 1991, we sought to cut the Russians out of the oil and gas of the Caspian basin with a pipeline through the Caucasus to Turkey, bombed Serbia to tear off its cradle province of Kosovo, and engineered color-coded revolutions in Belgrade, Tbilisi, and other capitals to pull these new nations out of Russia’s sphere of influence.

Victoria Nuland of State and McCain popped up in Maidan Square in Kiev, backing demonstrations to bring down the democratically elected (if, admittedly, incompetent) regime in Ukraine.

The U.S.-backed coup succeeded. President Viktor Yanukovych fled, a pro-Western regime was installed, and a pro-Western president elected.

Having taken all this from his partner, Putin retrieved the Crimea and Russia’s Black Sea naval base at Sebastopol. When pro-Russia Ukrainians rose against the beneficiaries of the coup in Kiev, he backed his team, as we backed ours.

Now, we are imposing sanctions, driving Russia further from the West and into a realliance with Beijing, with which Putin has completed two long-term deals for oil and gas running over $700 billion dollars.

As the U.S. and NATO send planes, ships, and troops to show our seriousness in the Baltic and Ukraine, Russian planes and ships test Western defenses from Finland to Sweden to Portugal to Alaska and the coast of the continental United States.

Who made these decisions that created the debacle?

Was it those isolationists again?

 

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Photo credit: Chuck Hagel (Flickr)

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 – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

The Top US Military Commander Just Gave This Prediction For How Long ISIS War Will Last

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Facing serious challenges for funding the many conflicts the U.S. is now involved in around the globe, America’s top military commander says the fight against ISIS will need more money and resources than are now committed in the Pentagon’s 2015 budget.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, says the U.S.-led effort to destroy Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria will likely last beyond Barack Obama’s presidency — taking up to four years.

Via the website military.com, here’s what else Gen. Dempsey said about that 4-year timeline for the ISIS fight:

The general pushed back against criticism that the administration doesn’t have a strategy for the mission, known as Operation Inherent Resolve.

“But here’s what I’ll tell you about the strategy – it’s going to change,” he said. “The objective is not going to change … I’m not obsessing so much about what’s in the middle.”

Just as Dempsey was issuing his forecast for the U.S. war against the Islamic State, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the American people must prepare for a long and difficult struggle against the forces of ISIS.

As noted on alarabiya.net, Hagel made that statement in testimony before Congress:

The testimony of Hagel and Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the top U.S. military officer, comes just days after President Barack Obama asked Congress for a new $5.6 billion plan to expand the U.S. mission in Iraq and send up to 1,500 more American troops to the war-torn nation, the Associated Press reports.

Hagel has also offered his eye-opening opinion of the strength and resolve of the terror fighters who have repeatedly dedicated themselves to prolonged attacks on Western nations.

A post on iraqinews.com, Hagel said that the Defense Secretary says that he:

“…has never seen anything like ISIS before. It is very organized and its members are highly trained. It is well-funded, well-planned and, it is savage and merciless.”

Earlier this week, Western Journalism reported on President Obama’s admitting that he would change his mind and break his pledge of no U.S. combat “boots on the ground” in Iraq if ISIS were known to have acquired a nuclear weapon.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom