Tag Archives: middle-east

And That’s a Wrap (On Debate Season)

Last debate until the 2016 primary season (2015)….Final thoughts:

  • Obama had the upper hand being the incumbent. 90% of his job is foreign policy, so he knows it inside and out. That isn’t to say a Governor cannot be strong on foreign policy (Clinton, Bush, Reagan), but the advantage of being the incumbent is huge in this case.
  • Romney won on substance. He laid out specifics, he challenged President Obama on his failures in foreign policy, and he showed gravitas when it mattered. In the end, the incumbent looked more like the challenger and the challenger like the incumbent.
  • Romney worked hard (and maybe a tiny bit successfully) to shed the hawkish image of the GOP. War is the last resort, you don’t win by killing people, etc. At the least, he placated independents worried about a warmonger.
  • Please, do not let bayonets become the new Big Bird or binders. Please, we can’t take much more.

Who won?

  • Draw. Romney won on substance, Obama won on everything else. The polls were not definitive, if anything, they showed Obama “won” on the surface but Romney won underneath. Like the second debate, it won’t be enough to give Obama a boost heading into the final two weeks.
  • Romney looked the part of president, which is what this was about. A tie is all he needed to actually win.
  • PPP had it best – Obama won; but, he lost. Independents are more likely to vote for Romney after the debate, and less likely Obama. In other words, he did nothing to stop the shedding of the independents that will doom him. CNN put it another way: 24% more likely to vote for Obama, 25% Romney, 50% neither. It’s too late in the game.

Best quotes:

  • Obama: “When I went to Israel as a candidate, I didn’t take donors. I didn’t attend fundraisers. I went to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum there to remind myself of the nature of evil and why our bond with Israel would be unbreakable.”
  • Obama: “Gov. Romney, I’m glad that you recognize that Al Qaeda is a threat because a few months ago when you asked what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia – not Al Qaeda – you said Russia. The 1980s are now calling and asking for their foreign policy back.”
  • Obama: “Governor, you say you want a bigger military. You want a bigger Navy. You don’t want to cut defense spending. What I want to ask you — we were talking about financial problems in this country. Where are you going to get the money?”
  • Romney: “I congratulate him on taking out Osama bin Laden and going after the leadership in Al Qaeda, but we can’t kill our way out of this mess.”
  • Romney: “Mr. President, the reason I call it an apology tour is because you went to the Middle East, and you flew to Egypt and to Saudi Arabia and to Turkey and Iraq. And by the way, you skipped Israel, our closest friend in the region. And by the way, they noticed that you skipped Israel.”
  • “I have clear eyes on this. I’m not going to wear rose-colored glasses when it comes to Russia or Mr. Putin and I’m certainly not going to say to him, ‘I’ll give you more flexibility after the election.’ After the election, he’ll get more backbone.”
  • Romney: “This is a critical opportunity for America. And what I’m afraid of is we’ve watched over the past year or so, first the president saying, ‘Well we’ll let the U.N. deal with it.’”

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So about that foreign policy strength, huh?

Let’s keep hammering that Obama killed Osama. OBAMA KILLED OSAMA. OBAMA KILLED OSAMA. FOREIGN POLICY EXPERT.

Then why does he keep screwing up?

Having to come and say, hey, the Bengazhi attack was a terrorist act, on 9/11, and was pre-planned. Hell, there weren’t even any protests outside the building like we tried to lie about.

Hey, UN meeting this week? Sorry, President Obama ain’t got no time for bilateral meetings with heads of state….just the women on the View! Thank Goodness.

Israel’s concern Iran is going to nuke it to oblivious? “Noise” Obama is going to ignore, he says.

Senate Minority wants a report on what exactly happened in Libya? Psh, read about it in the papers, because Obama and the State Department don’t need to tell you elected officials anything.

Susan Rice, you ain’t no Condi

So on the Sunday shows, Susan Rice says the Benghazi attack was not pre-planned, but a spontaneous response to the Mohammad video.

Libyan and Egyptian officials claim the attacks were pre-planned, falling on the 11th anniversary of 9/11…in Egypt, the brother of an AQ leader was in the attack on the Egyptian embassy and they replaced the American flag with an AQ banner.

In Egypt, rampagers chanted “Obama! Obama! We are all Osama!” and in Afghanistan “Death to America!”

And yet, according to Susan Rice, we are loved in the Middle East and this was just a spontaneous protest to the video.

The Obama administration knew attacks were planned before 9/11/12 and did nothing about them. There was minimal security in Benghazi and in Tripoli, meaning no Marines and an unarmed British security firm, which was okay-ed by Secretary Clinton.

Obama Press Sec. Jay Carney last week: protest, not the work of extremists. Today: okay, maybe it could have been pre-planned.

Heads should roll for putting our Foreign Service operatives at risk and especially for the death of our Ambassador to Libya.

The Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth

Ok, let’s stop making a big deal over nothing. Romney told the truth and yes, good for him, because few politicians are willing to tell you the truth.

What did he do?

1. Romney said, in a closed-door, private fundraiser, that 47% of Americans pay no income tax/believe they are victims. and he can never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. How is this wrong?

According to the Tax Policy Center, 46.4% of Americans pay zero or negative income taxes. According to the Census Bureau, 49% of Americans live in households that receives entitlements through Medicare, Medicaid, housing assistance, or food stamps.

So he’s not wrong. 47% of Americans don’t pay income tax…and he lowballed the amount on entitlements by 2%.  This is not going to lose the election for Romney. He’s telling you the truth, 47% of Americans are not going to vote for him because he wants to get them off government assistance by lifting them up, something all Americans should strive to do for their fellow men.

2. Romney says peace between Israelis and Palestinians is almost unthinkable, because Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and that pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish.

That’s true. Romney (and I, and many others) believe in a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians. But Palestinians have a long habit of saying one thing to us and the Israelis in English and turning around and saying something else to everyone else, since the end of the Clinton days.

All we bother doing is kicking the can down the road, through peace conferences and bi-lateral talks and summits, that go nowhere. No one has really taken an active role in the two-state solution and no one cared enough like Condoleezza Rice and President Bush. Until the Palestinians are willing to negotiate, it won’t happen.

So there you have it…Romney told the truth. Is that such a bad thing nowadays?

1979 Redux

So once again…Democratic President, election year…and a Middle East country whose “democratic process” we supported storms our embassy, but instead of hostages this time, they kill our ambassador.

History tends to repeat itself.

The U.S. Ambassador to Libya was killed yesterday in the eastern portion of Libya attempting to rescue consulate staff after Libyan protestors attacked the consulate. A US DIPLOMAT WAS KILLED IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY. Rule 1: take away all foreign aid to Libya. Rule #2: de-associate with them diplomatically.

Just awful. Rest in peace, Ambassador Chris Stevens, a foreign service vet who was well-respected, is now dead. And the best President Obama can do is a half-hearted “condemnation” of the attack.

Leading from behind, indeed.

11 Years Later…

I was 12 at the time. My worldview was shattered and my sense of security was destroyed that day. You don’t think much of the world until you’re at home, watching the attack on TV before school. You go to school and no one knows anything, the teachers and principals don’t want to tell you anything. You are in 7th grade in Texas, how does this even begin to affect you?

It will always affect me. Every 9/11, my stomach is in knots all day, thinking about it. But at the same time, a sense of pride, for the heroes that rose up that day and the response by our country. I remember that whole day so vividly, like a slow-motion play-by-play in my head. It is just something you won’t ever forget. Life changed a lot that day, even as a 12-year-old. My coming of age will always be in the shadow of 9/11, as will how I view the world. Where my parents viewed the world through the lens of the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam, my grandparents through Pearl Harbor and the dropping of the atomic bombs, and my sister through the fall of the Berlin Wall, mine will be 9/11. 

I leave you with one final thought, from President George W. Bush:

Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror.

The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness and a quiet, unyielding anger.

These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation.

Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.

America was targeted for attack because we’re the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining.

Morning Dump, August 24th

TGIF!!!!!!!!!! I could not be more excited for it. This has seemed like a week from hell…o operator.

So to the Dump. No coffee this morning. It’s a Dr. Pepper kinda day.

World News

U.S. News

Akin Watch: Day 4

  • He says he is staying. I say he’ll be out within a few weeks. No money, no support, down 10 in the polls (in a poll with a Republican-bias!)
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