US Military Pilots Get Fed Up, Boldly Say Exactly What Obama Didn’t Want Them To

American pilots fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are venting their frustration over the bureaucracy when engaging the enemy.

“There were times I had groups of ISIS fighters in my sights, but couldn’t get clearance to engage,” an F-15 pilot tells Fox News in a report published Thursday. “They probably killed innocent people and spread evil because of my inability to kill them. It was frustrating.”

The comment reflects a similar statement made by a pilot of an American A-10 attack plane after it was revealed that the ISIS headquarters had been located in Raqqa, Syria. It was not destroyed, however, because of a heavy civilian presence. “We have not taken the fight to these guys,” the pilot told the The New York Times in an email.

We haven’t targeted their centers of gravity in Raqqa. All the roads between Syria and Iraq are still intact with trucks flowing freely.

In an interview on Fox News Channel’s America’s Newsroom with Bill Hemmer Thursday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest reaffirmed the Obama administration’s rules of engagement. “There are military rules of engagement that our military leaders established for those airstrikes,” Earnest said. “We are very cautious about making sure there are no civilian casualties.”

A spokesman for the U.S. Air Force Central Command echoed Earnest’s remarks. “As our leaders have said, this is a long-term fight, and we will not alienate civilians, the Iraqi government or our coalition partners by striking targets indiscriminately,” he said.

But retired Lt. Gen. David Deptula disagreed. “You’re talking about hours in some cases, which by that time the particular tactical target left the area and or the aircraft has run out of fuel. These are excessive procedures that are handing our adversary an advantage,” Deptula said. The retired lieutenant general was the director of the Combined Air Operations Center in Afghanistan in 2001.

The ultimate guidance rests in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. We have been applying air power like a rain shower or a drizzle — for it to be effective, it needs to be applied like a thunderstorm.

Will the strategy against ISIS change? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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

The Reason For This Marine’s Court-Martial Should Infuriate Every Christian

Burdened by the taint of a bad-conduct discharge, Monifa Sterling — who was once a lance corporal in the United States Marines — says she is now unable to find work. Her life, her livelihood, and her reputation have been forever changed because of seven words printed in tiny font on a small strip of paper — seven words closely approximating a Bible verse that Sterling says she taped in three places on her work desk to give her strength as she performed her military duties.

The words that Monifa Sterling displayed on her desk at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina were: “No weapon formed against me shall prosper.” That’s essentially part of what’s found in Isaiah 54:17, which reads, in the King James version of the Bible: “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.”

As Fox News reports, when Sterling refused an order from a staff sergeant to remove the strips of paper on which the seven words were printed, she was brought up on charges and convicted at a court-martial for engaging in conduct that the military ruled “could easily be seen as contrary to good order and discipline.”

At her trial in February 2014, Sterling represented herself, arguing that her First Amendment rights and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act protected her expression of faith. She lost the argument; the court-martial found that others using the desk at which Sterling sat, as well as those passing by, could see the words and be made to feel uncomfortable. Sterling was punished with a bad-conduct discharge and reduction in rank from lance corporal to private.

As The Fox News report notes, even higher courts ruled against the Marine: “Both lower court and the appellate court ruled that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act did not apply to her case because displaying a Bible verse does not constitute religious exercise.”

But Monifa Sterling’s battle to reclaim her reputation and her rank is not over. The attorney who recently won a Supreme Court victory for Hobby Lobby in its religious freedom fight against the Affordable Care Act has taken on Sterling’s case. Former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement, along with legal counsel from the Liberty Institute, will argue that Sterling’s right to express her religious belief in a reasonable manner was violated by the military’s actions.

A constitutional law firm, Liberty Institute’s mission is described on its website: “to defend and restore religious liberty across America—in our schools, for our churches, inside the military, and throughout the public arena.” Todd Starnes of Fox News spoke with one of the lawyers for the organization, Hiram Sasser, who told Starnes:

“This is a very scary time when you are not allowed to have a very small printed Bible verse in your own personal workspace because it might offend other Marines,” Sasser told me. “Our Marines are trained to deal with some of the most hostile people on the planet. I don’t think they are afraid of tiny words on a tiny piece of paper.”

As Monifa Sterling’s case proceeds, it will be interesting to see if, in a legal sense, the slightly altered Bible verse she posted will prove prophetic: “No weapon formed against me shall prosper.”

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

Scary: A US-China War Is Inevitable If THIS Happens, According To Chinese Source

The United States and China appear to be on a collision course, leading to “inevitable” military conflict regarding the future of the South China Sea.

In a white paper released on Tuesday, the People’s Republic listed some major policy shifts, including its intention to project its naval and air forces on a more global scale from their traditional mission of protecting territorial China.

Over the last several months, China has been rapidly building up its naval presence in the South China Sea, laying claim to disputed portions of the Spratly Islands off the coast of the Philippines. The islands fall near international shipping lanes, causing concern among the United States and other Pacific nations.

The fear is that China, after completing more construction, may impose sea and air restrictions in the Spratlys, in an area where $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes each year.

The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Brunei have overlapping claims to the lands.

China’s construction on “Mischief Reef” is one of the areas that the United States has been closely monitoring through aircraft and satellite surveillance (pictured above). China has already built an airstrip that can service military aircraft on Fiery Cross Reef, also in the Spratlys. CNN reports that in just two years, China has expanded, through land reclamation, the area it claims from 5 acres to over 2000.

Image Credit: Fiery Cross Reef/Janes Military

Image Credit: Fiery Cross Reef/Janes Military

China made note of the surveillance in its white paper:

Some external countries are also busy meddling in South China Sea affairs; a tiny few maintain constant close-in air and sea surveillance and reconnaissance against China. It is thus a long-standing task for China to safeguard its maritime rights and interests.

The New York Times reports:

Bernard D. Cole, a professor at the National War College in Washington, said the strategy paper suggests that there is little chance that China will relinquish its territorial ambitions in the South China Sea, which is rich in oil, gas and fishing resources.

“I think China has been feeling pretty confident as it pushed ahead, trying to feel the threshold where the U.S. reaction would be,” Dr. Cole said. “We may be seeing that threshold now, but I see absolutely no evidence that China is going to stop its island construction.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Monday that China had lodged a complaint with the United States. “We urge the U.S. to correct its error, remain rational and stop all irresponsible words and deeds,” she said. “Freedom of navigation and overflight by no means mean that foreign countries’ warships and military aircraft can ignore the legitimate rights of other countries as well as the safety of aviation and navigation.”

Reuters reports that an editorial published in the Global Times, a tabloid owned by the ruling Communist Party’s People’s Daily, called the US overflights “provocative” and saw war as “inevitable” unless the United States stopped demanding that Beijing halt building of the artificial islands.

Image Credit: The Telegraph

Image Credit: The Telegraph

h/t: The Telegraph

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

Watch: Graduate Thought They Forgot His Name. Turns Out His Navy Mom Had A Huge Surprise

As Alabama high school senior Steven Turner Jr. prepared to walk across the stage to receive his diploma recently, he wondered why the announcer took so long to call his name.

“I got like really worried and nervous,” the Paul W. Bryant High School graduate said. “I thought she forgot my name.”

After a short pause, however, Turner was invited to receive his diploma – followed by a well-kept secret that made his big day all the more memorable. Upon crossing the stage, his mother, U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Vera Turner, ran out to embrace him after having spent the past nine months serving at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

Capture

The mother and son, audibly overcome by emotion, shared a pregnant embrace that soon attracted local media attention. WBMA reported that Vera Turner was able to coordinate the surprise with school administrators while keeping her entire family in the dark.

She had reportedly informed Turner and other loved ones that she would not be able to attend the graduation, making her appearance even more meaningful.

“It means like so much to me,” Turner said of his mother’s unexpected arrival. “It means like the whole world. Like, I thought she wasn’t going to make it.”

The proud mom recalled what her son said when they were reunited on stage.

“All he could say was ‘Mama, thank you. Thank you, mama. Thank you. I love you.’”

The good news continues for the Turner family, reports indicate, as Vera Turner has completed her service and will now be home permanently.

Do you support the military? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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

FBI Warns Something Big About ISIS That Has U.S. Military Bases On High Alert

Recent reports indicate three federal intelligence organizations have released a joint bulletin warning of a potential attack on U.S. military bases and other strategic locations in the near future. Fox News reported on the written warning, indicating the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Counterterrorism Center identified an increased level of threat by following social media chatter prior to Memorial Day.

The agencies reported that they are “aware of recent information suggesting US military bases, locations, and events could be targeted in the near-term.”

Citing the most direct warnings, the bulletin identified the “large number of social media postings” by supporters of the ISIS terror group, noting that it is now the intelligence community’s collective job to determine which posts were written by philosophical supporters and which were from “those prepared to engage in violence on the group’s behalf.”

The interconnectivity inherent within the social media sphere, officials explained, has made recruiting terrorists a much easier task for ISIS. The FBI estimates the number of Americans in communication with ISIS regarding terror attacks against the U.S. could be as high as several thousand.

Though the warning acknowledged that there is no “credible” threat of such an attack, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson stated earlier this year that identifying threats as such has become increasingly irrelevant given the uncertainty with which ISIS operates.

In preparing for the possibility of a domestic attack, the intelligence community is urging law enforcement, governmental and military personnel to remain on high alert to identify any potential threats. These officials are also being asked to purge their social media profiles of any personal data that might “attract the attention of violent extremists and routinely exercise operational security in the interactions online.”

Are you worried about the possibility of a domestic ISIS attack? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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