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

ISIS Is Now In Libya

Photo credit: shutterstock.com

ISIS now officially has a stronghold in Libya- the coastal city of Derna.

The Derna branch is composed of 800 fighters who operate six camps outside of town with training facilities in the  Green Mountains.

ISIS controls the courts, all aspects of administration, education, and the local radio. Judges, journalists, and army officers opposing ISIS have been assassinated in the last year.

The black flag of ISIS now flies above the town.

ISIS in Libya calls itself the “Barqa” provincial division, the same name that Muslims used when they first conquered the area.

ISIS’ forces in the area have been bolstered by the return of 300 Libyan jihadists, formerly part of the ISIS al Battar Brigade–deployed first in Syria and later Iraq.

Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, said in an audio recording:

“We give you good news by announcing the expansion of the Islamic State to new lands … the lands of Al Haramayn [Saudi Arabia], Yemen, Egypt, Libya and Algeria.”

According to Noman Benotman, a former Libyan  jihadist now involved in counterrorism, “ISIS pose a serious threat in Libya. They are well on the way to creating an Islamic emirate in eastern Libya.”

Twitter reacted:

 

h/t: IJReview

Photo credit: shutterstock.com

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

Watch: Libya Was Having A Ceremony For A Fallen Officer When Suddenly THIS Happened (Intense)

jet

A pilot with the Libya Air Force crashed his MiG-21 fighter jet over the city of Tobruk in northeast Libya Tuesday during a memorial ceremony for another pilot who was killed recently when his aircraft malfunctioned and crashed.  The pilot has been identified as Rafa Al-Farani from Benghazi.  Al-Farani was performing a flyover at Tobruk Air Base when his aircraft suddenly plummeted from the sky and crashed into a city block, reportedly killing a young boy on the ground.

The crash, ironically, took place during a remembrance service for Air Force officer Ibrahim Al-Manifi who died on Saturday when his aircraft crashed over Beida.  Both crashes are believed to be the result of technical failures.  Both fighter jets were part of Operation Dignity, which is the military campaign against the al-Qaeda-linked Ansar al-Sharia led by rogue Libyan general Khalifa Haftar. Operation Dignity said that Tuesday’s crash was an accident, but militants claim they shot the aircraft down.

(H/T: Libya Herald)

Image credit:  Screenshot from video

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

Arrogant Muslims Kick All Americans Out Of This Country

As a select committee in the U.S. House attempts to find the truth about the 2012 terror attack that left four Americans dead in Benghazi, Libya, U.S. citizens in that nation are being urged this week to leave immediately amid security threats.

The State Department issued a warning Tuesday evening for all Americans who remained in Libya following a U.S. Marines mission to help Americans evacuate.

“The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all travel to Libya and recommends that U.S. citizens currently in Libya depart immediately,” the statement explained. “The security situation in Libya remains unpredictable and unstable. The Libyan government has not been able to adequately build its military and police forces and improve security following the 2011 revolution.”

The agency explained a number of threats by “various groups” have been made against Americans in the nation, noting its capability to offer protection or emergency services at this time is “very limited.”

Staffing at the U.S. Embassy in Libya’s capital city of Tripoli has been pared down significantly as a result of the ongoing threats, the statement indicated.

As for those citizens targeting Americans, the State Department indicated many have access to powerful military equipment and weaponry, including some devices that can effectively attack aircraft.

Coinciding with the evacuation warning is an ongoing battle waged by Libyan Gen. Khalifa Hifter against Islamic operatives and supporters in the region. Though many of the nation’s officials and military personnel support Hifter’s mission and are backing him as a political leader, he has earned the wrath of those in the Islamic militias he is targeting.

A number of these radicals – including members of Ansar al-Shariah – are fighting back against the military leader, whom they conclude is acting on America’s behalf. The group, which has ties to terror organization Al Qaeda, has been linked to the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

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

Top 50 Benghazi Questions That Need to Be Answered

Now that we are finally going to see a formal and aggressive investigation into the Benghazi atrocity with the establishment of a congressional Select Committee, here are 50 questions the committee must answer for the American people.  We demand truthful answers from every official involved, including the President:

  1. Was the invasion of Libya legal in the first place?
  2. What was the administration’s plan for stabilizing the country in the aftermath?
  3. What part did Benghazi play in that stabilization plan? Did Hillary Clinton order the consulate be opened? Why?
  4. Why did the stabilization plan fail?
  5. How many times was the consulate in Benghazi attacked leading up to that fateful Sept. 11, 2012?
  6. How many suspects were identified in the wake of those attacks? And what are the profiles of those individuals?
  7. What were the exact details of enhanced security requests originating from diplomatic and CIA staff?
  8. What did the State Dept. do in response to those requests? And how was Hillary Clinton negligent, if at all?
  9. Why wasn’t security enhanced? Is it true we were notified many times an attack was coming?
  10. Leading up to the attack that killed four Americans, why wasn’t the military notified of the CIA presence in Benghazi?
  11. Why did Ambassador Chris Stevens secretly go to Benghazi the day before he was killed, despite reports it would be very dangerous for him?
  12. Why did Stevens meet with Turkish diplomat Consul General Ali Sait Akin a short time before Islamic militants attacked the consulate?
  13. Why were Libyans observed taking photos prior to the attack, but nothing was done to prepare for attacks that were surely anticipated?
  14. Why was there no alert in anticipation of the anniversary of 9/11 when chatter concerning attacks had been detected?
  15. Is it true that a week before Ambassador Stevens died, the American Embassy reported Libyan officials declared a “state of maximum alert” in Benghazi after a car bombing and thwarted bank robbery? Why was this not actionable?
  16. What are the details surrounding reports Obama coordinated with the CIA, MI6, the Turks, and the Saudis to obtain Libyan heavy weapons and arrange for their shipment to the opposition in Syria? Was this coordinated in Benghazi?
  17. What connection is there between American efforts to obtain Libyan weapons, the transfer of those weapons to Syria, and the 9/11 attack on the consulate?
  18. What evidence confirms Obama sent arms and weapons to Syria knowing they would wind up in the hands of Al Qaeda fighters?
  19. Despite the fact the CIA on the ground, State Dept. officials, and Pentagon officials all knew it was a jihadist attack even as it was unfolding, why did the White House insist on blaming the attack on an obscure YouTube video few had even seen?
  20. Why did the WH insist on the video explanation for weeks, despite various official assessments the video had nothing to do with it?
  21. Why has the WH systematically withheld evidence from congressional investigators? And why has this cover up been allowed to continue for 20 months?
  22. Why was there no serious investigation of the scene for two weeks, during which critical evidence was compromised?
  23. Were military and CIA personnel ordered to stand down?
  24. If so, who ordered the stand down?
  25. Why was the military reportedly under the control and command of the State Department instead of the Defense Department and the President?
  26. To what extent is Hillary Clinton subject to prosecution for failing to secure the consulate, for putting Chris Stevens in harm’s way, for refusing to send rescue and timely aid, for compromising the investigation in the aftermath, for participating in the cover up, and for lying to Congress during testimony in 2013?
  27. To what extent did the President and his staff lie about Benghazi in any regard?
  28. Is there criminal activity involving weapons transfers leading directly to the President?
  29. Will there be a thorough inquiry into the charge of treason concerning gunrunning to Syria by order of the President?
  30. Why have no suspects been arrested for the attack?
  31. Why were all the American witnesses in Benghazi that night eventually sequestered and ordered not to talk?
  32. Will these people give testimony now?
  33. What was the actual reason for the attack? Who was actually involved? Is there a connection to Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood?
  34. During the attack, where was Barack Obama? And why did he refuse to send forces to rescue our people in Benghazi?
  35. Why didn’t anyone at least try to save those people?
  36. What about the allegation that Chris Stevens was purposefully put out on a limb because he had become a liability?
  37. What about the conspiracy theory involving a kidnapping of Stevens as part of the effort to free Omar Abdel-Rahman?
  38. When Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty called for help, why was it denied, time and again?
  39. Where are the video recordings made of the 7-hour battle?
  40. Were several SEALS deployed from Tripoli to help fight about four hours into the battle?
  41. What roles did Woods and Doherty play in the search to secure 20,000 shoulder-fired missiles stolen from Libyan forces after the fall of Qaddafi? Were those the weapons siphoned off for shipment to Syria?
  42. Was Leon Panetta part of the cover up after the attack? Was he part of the arms shipment operation?
  43. Was David Petraeus part of the cover up and the weapons transfer operation?
  44. Why are the FBI and the DOJ still conducting an open investigation of Petraeus so long after the attack and original investigation of his role? Is it true the WH is trying to silence Petraeus?
  45. Why did we believe the February 17th Brigade would come to the aid of our people? And why didn’t they?
  46. Has the February 17th Brigade been investigated to determine if it helped Ansar al-Shariah attack and kill our people?
  47. Who made the decision to rely on Libyan security for protection at the embassy, the annex, and the consulate instead of relying on our own people? What was the rationale for that decision?
  48. Is it true Libyan security forces evacuated the area just before the attack commenced?
  49. Is it true Ansar al-Sharia claimed responsibility for the attack a short time after it started, and that State, Defense, and White House officials were all aware that Ansar al-Sharia had claimed responsibility?
  50. Although we had live video in real time from drones overhead, requests for help from our people on the ground, reports from Libyan officials, and eye witness accounts from CIA agents present, with assets available, why didn’t the Commander in Chief lift a finger to help our people in Benghazi that night?

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