Archive for the ‘Obama’s America’ category

Report: Obama Administration Carried Out Massive and Unconstitutional Surveillance Programs

May 26, 2017

Report: Obama Administration Carried Out Massive and Unconstitutional Surveillance Programs, Jonathan Turley’s Blog, Jonathan Turley, May 26, 2017

(Be patient. The media will cover the FISA report fully and fairly after the source of President Trump’s mother’s recipe for Borscht is discovered, documented and fully analyzed. Did Putin give it to her and is his devotion to the Trump family at the root of Hillary’s defeat? Clearly, that is far more important than mere unconstitutional spying on American citizens by the Obama administration.  — DM)

By any measure, this story deserves the attention of the national media and Congress.  However, it is being buried in the crush of controversies related to the Russian investigation, embarrassing leaks, and other items. The media is correct in pursuing these legitimate stories but it should also give attention to this chilling report. There was equally limited coverage of the expansion of surveillance authority in the final days of the Obama Administration.  Privacy advocates have serious concerns about these privacy stories being pushed from public review.

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With the steady stream of controversies swirling around the White House, there has been little attention given a highly disturbing report that the Obama Administration engaged in previously undisclosed and violations of the Fourth Amendment.  Just a few days from the 2016 election, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) reportedly raised a highly unusual alarm over the creation of “a very serious Fourth Amendment issue” by possibly unconstitutional surveillance conducted under President Barack Obama.  If true, this should be given equal attention to the other stories crowding our front pages and cable coverage.  The Obama Administration has a well-documented history of abuse of surveillance and stands as one of the most antagonistic administrations toward privacy in our history.  Indeed, if true, many of the former Obama officials currently testifying against the Trump Administration were responsible for a far broader scope of abusive surveillance programs.

Recently disclosed top-secret documents from the FISA court suggest that the government admitted that the NSA was regularly violating surveillance rules. Not that these violations were occurring after the unconstitutional surveillance programs revealed by Wikileaks and Snowdon were curtailed.  It also would have occurred after the disclosure that the Obama Administration put journalists under surveillance.

The FISA indicate that the government informed the court that NSA analysts had been violating rules, established in 2011, that protect the privacy of citizens on the Internet.  Once again, the NSA claimed new “inadvertent compliance lapses.”  The Court noted in its dealings with the NSA a certain “lack of candor” in its disclosures to the FISA court.

It is very rare for the FISA court to make such statements.  (For full disclosure, I had occasion to go to the FISA court when I was an intern with the NSA and later became a critic of the court).  The standards for FISA are so low and easily satisfied (with little judicial review) that it is difficult to establish any illegality under the law.

Passed in 1978 as a compromise with the Nixon Administration, FISA allows for “foreign intelligence” surveillance and was designed to evade the fourth amendment protections governing the use of warrants.  FISA surveillance is permitted based on a finding of probable cause that the surveillance target is a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power. That is manifestly different from probable cause to believe someone has committed a crime.   It is true that, if the target is a “U.S. person,” there must be probable cause to believe that the U.S. person’s activities may involve espionage or other similar conduct in violation of the criminal statutes of the United States.  However, citizens can be collateral to the primary target under FISA. In 1994 Congress extended FISA further to allow for covert physical entries in connection with “security” investigations, and then in 1998, it was amended to permit pen/trap orders. It has been used to gather business records.

By any measure, this story deserves the attention of the national media and Congress.  However, it is being buried in the crush of controversies related to the Russian investigation, embarrassing leaks, and other items. The media is correct in pursuing these legitimate stories but it should also give attention to this chilling report. There was equally limited coverage of the expansion of surveillance authority in the final days of the Obama Administration.  Privacy advocates have serious concerns about these privacy stories being pushed from public review.

Flashback: Obama Stranded Legal Cuban Travelers in Airports on Last Week in Office

January 30, 2017

Flashback: Obama Stranded Legal Cuban Travelers in Airports on Last Week in Office, BreitbartFrances Martel, January 30, 2017

(But that was different! Cubans fleeing persecution in the Castro Brothers’ Cuba weren’t potential terrorists and might become good American citizens and even vote Republican. — DM)

As the radical left organizes obstructions of airport terminals to protest President Donald Trump’s executive order enacting new security measures for travelers visiting from turbulent countries, few appear equally outraged that his predecessor, Barack Obama, issued a similar directive specifically targeting Cubans.

During his last week in office, President Obama repealed a long-standing executive order known as “Wet Foot/Dry Foot,” which allowed all Cubans legally touching U.S. soil to stay here illegally. The objective of the executive order was to give sanctuary to Cubans risking their lives on makeshift vessels trying to sail to the United States and escape the oppressive communist regime that has governed there for over half a century.

The move did not trigger widespread national protests in defense of the Cubans affected, even as U.S. immigration officials – confused by the lack of direction in Obama’s order – detained and interrogated countless travelers possessing legal visas to enter the United States. Many of these were elderly individuals, traveling to visit their children with no intention of stay.

The only activists who spoke up for them were members of the Cuban exile community, who told their stories to local press. Democracy Movement leader Ramón Saúl Sánchez – who the Obama administration threatened with deportation after 49 years in the United States – told Miami’s El Nuevo Herald that the individuals he was advocating for were stuck in airport interrogation rooms, their families panicked and receiving few updates.

“These Cuban travelers have tourism visas. They are being detained or deported,” Sánchez said on January 15. “Those being detained within the airport include people of advanced age, including one blind man, many of them ill.” He added that many elderly Cubans with whom he spoke after being released from interrogation were threatened with being detained in an immigration center, leaving them thinking, “if you’re going to throw me in jail just send me back.”

Relatives of those detained told their stories to the media. 67-year-old Justina Barroso Rodríguez, who suffers from hypertension, was placed in a jail awaiting deportation upon arriving in the United States on January 13. Her son, Danilo Alemán, told the Diario Las Americas that he had received little information on the matter, only that the repeal of “wet foot/dry foot” led to her detention.

“I would like to know, how would President Obama feel if it was his mother in the conditions my mother is currently in?” Alemán asked.

A 73-year-old Cuban woman who was fortunate enough to be released told Miami’s América TeVe that she was kept in isolation an entire day without foot. She refused to give the network her name and said she did not know when she had been initially detained, though she estimated it had occurred around 10AM local time and she had been released long after the sun had set. She possessed a legal visa, and said her crime was to mention the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act to an immigration official.

Those flying into Miami were among the luckiest Cubans following President Obama’s directive, even as their legal U.S. visas were not enough to prevent them from being detained. Cubans who had begun their journey to the United States through Central America and Mexico – who would have been able to enter the United States and legally stay there before President Obama’s last week in office, are now stranded throughout the region, held in dilapidated detention centers and threatened with deportation back into a communist autocracy.

In Panama, 18 Cuban refugees declared themselves on hunger strike this week, protesting the government’s refusal to grant them access to an attorney and forcing them into conditions with little food or basic hygienic necessities. The protest triggered another hunger strike at a detention center in Panama by anti-communist activists who fled Cuba to avoid becoming prisoners of conscience. “We are taking this measure for our freedom, because we cannot return to Cuba,” one of the individuals said in a statement.

The protesters alleged that Panamanian authorities had confiscated their passports and abandoned many in the dense forestry near the Colombian border. “They are putting us on trucks and letting us loose in the middle of the jungle,” one protester said, while another noted that those abandoned in such a way are left “without food, without water, they do not care if we are sick or injured.”

In Mexico, a country with a record of treating migrants inhumanely, Cubans seeking to cross the northern border into the United States are also stranded. “Many of us will die if we were to go to Cuba,” refugee Rodolfo Muñoz told local outlet KVUE this week. He and his wife, like many Cubans, are stranded in Nuevo Laredo, where the U.S. government has refused to let them pass. U.S. Customs and Border Protection declined an interview on the subject with the broadcast station. In a widely distributed statement, the agency said that Cubans have the option of filing a petition the enter the country based on a political asylum claim, but they risk months in a “detention facility” if they express their fear of political persecution to authorities.

Mexico has already begun to deport dozens of refugees back to Cuba, where the government executes thousands of politically-motivated arrests annually. Mexican authorities deported 70 Cuban refugees last Wednesday, with many more expected to be repatriated soon.

This appears to have been the Obama administration’s intended result. “We will have to get involved with the Central American and Mexican governments to promote the idea of a secure, orderly, legal migration or restricting or repatriating irregular immigrants,” an unnamed State Department official told El Nuevo Herald in July 2016, referring to the refugees as “immigrants.”

Some of those stranded in Mexico and Central America have protested that the treatment of Cubans under the Obama administration, which differed significantly from the welcoming attitude the administration had towards other Latin American immigrants, was a result of Cuban-Americans’ embrace of conservative values. A result of a combination of factors – from the massacre of Cuban patriots under Democrat John F. Kennedy at Bay of Pigs to the Democratic-majority Congressional Black Caucus’ embrace of Fidel Castro – Cuban-American voters are largely conservative on foreign policy issues and lean Republican. The final tally of November election results showed Cubans more likely to support Republican candidate Donald Trump than even non-Hispanic white Americans. These facts were not lost on some refugees traveling north.

“Obama, because he is leaving, suddenly takes up the idea of repealing a law that has been enforced for many years and has favored many Cubans. I think he got angry with the Cubans,” Cuban refugee Jose Enrique Manresa said, shortly after President Obama’s move prevented him from entering the country. “It is a reprisal.”

Adding insult to injury, the Obama administration presided over an unprecedented surge in recent years in Cuban refugee flows into the United States, a direct result of his policy of appeasement towards the Castro regime. In his last days in office, President Obama also signed an agreement emboldening the Cuban Coast Guard to conduct joint “rescue” operations in international waters, despite Havana’s multiple mass murders of refugees and Cuban-American activists at sea.

Obama’s Transparent Presidency

January 13, 2017

Obama’s Transparent Presidency, Front Page MagazineCaroline Glick, January 13, 2017

barack_obama_discusses_ukraine_with_national_security_staff

[During Obama’s Cario speech], he turned his attention to Israel and the Palestinians. Obama opened this section by presenting his ideological framework for understanding the conflict. Israel he insisted was not established out of respect of the Jews’ national rights to their historic homeland. It was established as a consolation prize to the Jews after the Holocaust.

That is, Israel is a product of European colonialism, just as Iran and Hamas claim.

In contrast, the Palestinians are the indigenous people of the land. They have been the primary victims of the colonial West’s post-Holocaust guilty conscience. Their suffering is real and legitimate.

Hamas’s opposition to Israel is legitimate, he indicated. Through omission, Obama made clear that he has no ideological problem with Hamas – only with its chosen means of achieving its goal.

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Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

President Barack Obama promised that his would be the most transparent administration in US history.

And the truth is, it was. At least in relation to his policies toward the Muslim world, Obama told us precisely what he intended to do and then he did it.

A mere week remains of Obama’s tenure in office.

But Obama remains intent on carrying on as if he will never leave power. He has pledged to continue to implement his goals for the next week and then to serve as the most outspoken ex-president in US history.

In all of Obama’s recent appearances, his message is one of vindication. I came. I succeeded. I will continue to succeed. I represent the good people, the people of tomorrow. My opponents represent the Manichean, backward past. We will fight them forever and we will prevail.

Tuesday Obama gave his final interview to the Israeli media to Ilana Dayan from Channel 2’s Uvda news magazine. Dayan usually tries to come off as an intellectual. On Tuesday’s show, she cast aside professionalism however, and succumbed to her inner teenybopper. Among her other questions, she asked Obama the secret to his preternatural ability to touch people’s souls.

The only significant exchange in their conversation came when Dayan asked Obama about the speech he gave on June 4, 2009, in Cairo. Does he still stand by all the things he said in that speech? Would he give that speech again today, given all that has since happened in the region, she asked.

Absolutely, Obama responded.

The speech, he insisted was “aspirational” rather than programmatic. And the aspirations that he expressed in that address were correct.

If Dayan had been able to put aside her hero worship for a moment, she would have stopped Obama right then and there. His claim was preposterous.

But, given her decision to expose herself as a slobbering groupie, Dayan let it slide.

To salvage the good name of the journalism, and more important, to understand Obama’s actual record and its consequences, it is critical however to return to that speech.

Obama’s speech at Cairo University was the most important speech of his presidency. In it he laid out both his “aspirational” vision of relations between the West and the Islamic world and his plans for implementing his vision. The fundamentally transformed world he will leave President-elect Donald Trump to contend with next Friday was transformed on the basis of that speech.

Obama’s address that day at Cairo University lasted for nearly an hour. In the first half he set out his framework for understanding the nature of the US’s relations with the Muslim world and the relationship between the Western world and Islam more generally. He also expressed his vision for how that relationship should change.

The US-led West he explained had sinned against the Muslim world through colonialism and racism.

It needed to make amends for its past and make Muslims feel comfortable and respected, particularly female Muslims, covered from head to toe.

As for the Muslims, well, September 11 was wrong but didn’t reflect the truth of Islam, which is extraordinary. Obama thrice praised “the Holy Koran.” He quoted it admiringly. He waxed poetic in his appreciation for all the great contributions Islamic civilization has made to the world – he even made up a few. And he insisted falsely that Islam has always been a significant part of the American experience.

In his dichotomy between two human paths – the West’s and Islam’s – although he faulted the records of both, Obama judged the US and the West more harshly than Islam.

In the second half of his address, Obama detailed his plans for changing the West’s relations with Islam in a manner that reflected the true natures of both.

In hindsight, it is clear that during the seven and a half years of his presidency that followed that speech, all of Obama’s actions involved implementing the policy blueprint he laid out in Cairo.

He never deviated from the course he spelled out.

Obama promised to withdraw US forces from Iraq regardless of the consequences. And he did.

He promised he would keep US forces in Afghanistan but gave them no clear mission other than being nice to everyone and giving Afghans a lot of money. And those have been his orders ever since.

Then he turned his attention to Israel and the Palestinians. Obama opened this section by presenting his ideological framework for understanding the conflict. Israel he insisted was not established out of respect of the Jews’ national rights to their historic homeland. It was established as a consolation prize to the Jews after the Holocaust.

That is, Israel is a product of European colonialism, just as Iran and Hamas claim.

In contrast, the Palestinians are the indigenous people of the land. They have been the primary victims of the colonial West’s post-Holocaust guilty conscience. Their suffering is real and legitimate.

Hamas’s opposition to Israel is legitimate, he indicated. Through omission, Obama made clear that he has no ideological problem with Hamas – only with its chosen means of achieving its goal.

Rather than fire missiles at Israel, he said, Hamas should learn from its fellow victims of white European colonialist racists in South Africa, in India, and among the African-American community.

Like them Hamas should use nonviolent means to achieve its just aims.

Obama’s decision attack Israel at the UN Security Council last month, his attempts to force Israel to accept Hamas’s cease-fire demands during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, his consistent demand that Israel renounce Jewish civil and property rights in united Jerusalem, in Judea and Samaria, his current refusal to rule out the possibility of enabling another anti-Israel resolution to pass at the Security Council next week, and his contempt for the Israeli Right all are explained, envisioned and justified explicitly or implicitly in his Cairo speech.

One of the more notable but less discussed aspects of Obama’s assertion that the Palestinians are in the right and Israel is in the wrong in the speech, was his embrace of Hamas. Obama made no mention of the PLO or the Palestinian Authority or Fatah in his speech. He mentioned only Hamas – the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, which shares the Brotherhood’s commitment to annihilating Israel and wiping out the Jewish people worldwide.

Sitting in the audience that day in Cairo were members of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood.

Then-Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak rightly viewed Obama’s insistence that the brothers be invited to his address as a hostile act. Due to this assessment, Mubarak boycotted the speech and refused to greet Obama at the Cairo airport.

Two years later, Obama supported Mubarak’s overthrow and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood to replace him.

Back to the speech.

Having embraced the Muslim Brotherhood and its Palestinian branch, branded Israel a colonial implant and discredited the US’s moral claim to world leadership, Obama turned his attention to Iran.

Obama made clear that his intention as president was to appease the ayatollahs. America he explained had earned their hatred because in 1953 the CIA overthrew the pro-Soviet regime in Iran and installed the pro-American shah in its place.

True, since then the Iranians have done all sorts of mean things to America. But America’s original sin of intervening in 1953 justified Iran’s aggression.

Obama indicated that he intended to appease Iran by enabling its illicit nuclear program to progress.

Ignoring the fact that Iran’s illegal nuclear program placed it in material breach of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Obama argued that as an NPT signatory, Iran had a right to a peaceful nuclear program. As for the US and the rest of the members of the nuclear club, Obama intended to convince everyone to destroy their nuclear arsenals.

And in the succeeding years, he took a hacksaw to America’s nuclear force.

After Obama’s speech in Cairo, no one had any cause for surprise at the reports this week that he approved the transfer of 116 tons of uranium to Iran. Likewise, no one should have been surprised by his nuclear deal or by his willingness to see Iran take over Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. No one should be surprised by his cash payoffs to the regime or his passivity in the face of repeated Iranian acts of aggression against US naval vessels in the Strait of Hormuz.

Everything that Obama has done since he gave that speech was alluded to or spelled out that day.

Certainly, nothing he has done was inconsistent with what he said.

The consequences of Obama’s worldview and the policies he laid out in Cairo have been an unmitigated disaster for everyone. The Islamic world is in turmoil. The rising forces are those that Obama favored that day: The jihadists.

ISIS, which Obama allowed to develop and grow, has become the ideological guide not only of jihadists in the Middle East but of Muslims in the West as well. Consequently it has destabilized not only Iraq and Syria but Europe as well. As the victims of the Islamist massacres in San Bernardino, Boston, Ft. Hood, Orlando and beyond can attest, American citizens are also paying the price for Obama’s program.

Thanks to Obama, the Iranian regime survived the Green Revolution. Due to his policies, Iran is both the master of its nuclear fate and the rising regional hegemon.

Together with its Russian partners, whose return to regional power after a 30-year absence Obama enabled, Iran has overseen the ethnic cleansing and genocide of Sunnis in Syria and paved the way for the refugee crisis that threatens the future of the European Union.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s Islamist leader, was a principle beneficiary of Obama’s admiration of Islamism. Erdogan rode Obama’s wave to destroy the last vestiges of the secular Turkish Republic.

Now he is poised to leave NATO in favor of an alliance with Russia.

Obama and his followers see none of this. Faithful only to their ideology, Obama and his followers in the US and around the world refuse to see the connection between the policies borne of that ideology and their destructive consequences. They refuse to recognize that the hatred for Western civilization and in particular of the Jewish state Obama gave voice to in Cairo, and his parallel expression of admiration for radical Islamic enemies of the West, have had and will continue to have horrific consequences for the US and for the world as a whole.

Cairo is Obama’s legacy. His followers’ refusal to acknowledge this truth means that it falls to those Obama reviles to recognize the wages of the most transparent presidency in history. It is their responsibility to undo the ideological and concrete damage to humanity the program he first unveiled in that address and assiduously implemented ever since has wrought.

What Hath Barack Wrought?

January 8, 2017

What Hath Barack Wrought? PJ Media, Michael Walsh, January 7, 2017

obama-salman-saudi-sized-770x415xtObama and Saudi “king” Salman (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst – RTS77JX

Over at the Weekly Standard, my friend Lee Smith — one of the shrewdest voices in American journalism on the subject of the Middle East and foreign policy — takes the measure of the Obama administration’s foreign policy. It ain’t pretty:

The Obama chapter in American foreign policy ends like the climax of an action movie—with a fireball growing in the distance and filling the screen as a man in silhouette approaches in slow motion and then veers off camera. Barack Obama has set the Middle East on fire, and now it’s spreading.

The Obama administration’s nuclear agreement with Iran has emboldened the world’s leading state sponsor of terror, which now makes war openly in four Arab states (Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen) and is a growing threat to Israel and Saudi Arabia. The deal with Tehran that Obama boasts of as his signature foreign policy initiative guarantees, as the president himself acknowledged, that Iran will have an industrial-scale nuclear weapons program within 15 years.

After a 40-year absence from the Middle East, Russia has returned to the region, where it bombs Syria’s schools and hospitals as America and Europe watch helplessly. Washington’s traditional regional allies are scrambling to adjust to the new reality, which for the likes of Israel, Jordan, and Turkey means an opportunistic power on their borders that is allied with their existential enemies.

For Europe, the millions seeking refuge from the conflagration are agents of potential instability on the continent in the years to come; some in their midst are terrorists plain and simple. In just four years, or one presidential term, a civil uprising that started in Syria became a great Middle Eastern war over a host of sectarian, religious, and political hostilities dating back centuries.

Naturally, the country’s first affirmative action president doesn’t see it that way; no doubt, by his lights, he’s still every bit the equal of FDR and Abraham Lincoln he’s always thought himself to be. For a chief executive like Barack Hussein Obama, coddled practically from birth by a series of handlers, sycophants, media worshipers, excuse-makers and hagiographers, being an utter failure means never having to say you’re sorry.  The half-black president with the Muslim name was supposed to at least bring some cultural empathy to the thorny, if not to say intractable, problems of the Middle East — not just the eternal Arab-Israeli conflict but the even more eternal Muslim-Muslim conflict, not to mention the collateral damage of the one-sided Muslim-Christian conflict. That he hasn’t solved any of it is not his fault, but that he has exacerbated it most surely is.

Critics and even admirers of the president say that Syria will be a stain on his record. But that’s not how Obama sees it. The death and suffering of so many undoubtedly pains him, as he says. He says he wonders if he could have done anything else. Of course he could have, but he believed he had better reasons not to….

Obama’s foreign policy issued in part from his understanding of global realities but more from his interpretation of the American character. He believed that Americans tend to make a mess of things around the world. Obama is like a narrator in a Graham Greene novel; in our relations with the rest of humanity, as he sees it, we are 300 million naïfs abroad, whose intentions may be good but who lack the tragic sense that the rest of the world feels in its bones.

So who’s the naif now? Obama was less a Graham Green figure than Mark Twain’s Innocent Abroad. The way Smith sees it, Obama’s entire rationale was to wean America from what he saw as its shoot-first second nature; his entire foreign-policy apparatus became Dickens’ Circumlocution Office from Little Dorrit, dedicated to the proposition of How Not to Do It:

The Circumlocution Office was (as everybody knows without being told) the most important Department under Government. No public business of any kind could possibly be done at any time without the acquiescence of the Circumlocution Office. Its finger was in the largest public pie, and in the smallest public tart. It was equally impossible to do the plainest right and to undo the plainest wrong without the express authority of the Circumlocution Office. If another Gunpowder Plot had been discovered half an hour before the lighting of the match, nobody would have been justified in saving the parliament until there had been half a score of boards, half a bushel of minutes, several sacks of official memoranda, and a family-vault full of ungrammatical correspondence, on the part of the Circumlocution Office.

This glorious establishment had been early in the field, when the one sublime principle involving the difficult art of governing a country, was first distinctly revealed to statesmen. It had been foremost to study that bright revelation and to carry its shining influence through the whole of the official proceedings. Whatever was required to be done, the Circumlocution Office was beforehand with all the public departments in the art of perceiving — HOW NOT TO DO IT.

And that’s the Obama foreign policy in a nutshell. Of course in domestic affairs, the Choom Ganger from Punahou has been the exact opposite, baldly lying about such sub-rosa proclivities as same-sex marriage and hairy transvestites in the ladies’ loo until he was well past his final election. In both areas, however, he’s been a disgrace to the office and to the country, and we will be well rid of him when he finally leaves on Jan. 20.

Obama’s foreign policy, in the end, was not primarily about the rest of the world—it was about transforming the character of America. So where are we eight years on? Gelded, as he intended.

And, to coin a phrase, that’s one of the many reasons we now have Donald Trump. America never has been and never will be a neutered metrosexual among nations. As the Obama-ites are about to find out.

Obama’s ‘Pro-Israel’ Presidency Is Fake News

December 31, 2016

Obama’s ‘Pro-Israel’ Presidency Is Fake News, CIJ NewsHarry Khachatrian, December 30, 2016

Fake news isn’t a new phenomenon. In fact, for the mainstream news media, it’s practically a business model. The media’s propagation of fake news vis-à-vis the notion that Barack Obama and his administration are remotely pro-Israel dates back to his initial run for office.

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The most asinine, demonstrable falsehoods of the 2016 presidential election is the idea that anti-Semitism is a prevailing concern in the left’s moral universe. Coming in at a close second is the notion that widespread “fake news” is what bludgeoned Hillary Clinton, leading to her electoral demise.

This earnestness to investigate, report on, and speak out against anti-Semitism from the mainstream media is oddly confined to headlines consisting solely of the words “Donald Trump” – or his occasional cabinet nominees.

Take for instance this gem from the Huffington Post. Actual headline: “How It’s ‘Absolutely’ Possible For Steve Bannon To Be Pro-Israel And Anti-Semitic”. Never mind the fact that the Huffington Post has no evidence.

Self-satire news outlet Salon chimed in with, “Jewish Americans are worried about the rise in anti-Semitism after this election cycle.”

Fake news isn’t a new phenomenon. In fact, for the mainstream news media, it’s practically a business model. The media’s propagation of fake news vis-à-vis the notion that Barack Obama and his administration are remotely pro-Israel dates back to his initial run for office.

Obama’s close ties to former Jimmy Carter adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski – who in an interview with Salon, accused Israeli Jews of “buying Congress’s influence” – were effectively ignored. Obama is on record (in 2007) praising Brzezinski as “someone I have learned an immense amount from.”

The Los Angeles Times to this day refuses to release a 2003 tape of Barack Obama praising Rashid Khalidi – whom the LA Times referred to as “a harsh critic of Israel”, and the New York Times dubs, “a passionate defender of Palestinian rights.” In a speech given to the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Khalidi justified the Palestinian “resistance”: “[k]illing civilians is a war crime. It’s a violation of international law. They are not soldiers. They’re civilians, they’re unarmed. The ones who are armed, the ones who are soldiers, the ones who are in occupation, that’s different. That’s resistance.”

When Jeremiah Wright – whose church Obama attended for two decades – said in an interview, “them Jews ain’t going to let him [Obama] talk to me,” CNN’s Jake Tapper simply tweeted, “Rev Wright clarifies – meant to say ZIONISTS are keeping him fr talking to POTUS, not ‘Jews.’”

In the summer of 2014, when Palestinian terrorists kidnapped three Israeli teenagers, the State Department issued a statement calling “on all sides to exercise restraint.” Nowhere to be found was the mainstream media probing the Obama Administration’s unspeakable gall to treat genocidal zealots and a free society as moral equals.

More recently, Barack Obama and John Kerry unveiled their diplomatic climax, the Iran Deal. When it was revealed that the terror-sponsoring regime of Tehran would receive 150 billion dollars a year in sanctions relief, lifting of arms and missile embargoes (and more) all while the Mullah’s chanted “death to Israel,” the media was again on the job, acting as Obama’s personal PR firm. Abnegating any responsibility to report on the deal’s bleak implications, CNN instead focused their ire on Republican reaction to Obama’s diplomatic debacle with headlines like: “Huckabee Invokes Holocaust when Talking Iran Deal.”

Most recently, New York Times’ Thomas Friedman wrote a column in response to John Kerry’s late-December speech on his proposed plan for peace between Israelis and Arabs.

Friedman opens by “simplifying” for readers, the current tensions between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the soon-to-be Former-President of the United States.

Barack Obama and John Kerry admire and want to preserve Israel as a Jewish and democratic state in the Land of Israel.”

If you’ve read this far, you understand why if there ever was one exemplar of fake news being propagated by the media, this is it.

He continues,

“…He [Benjamin Netanyahu] is unwilling to make any big, hard decision to advance or preserve a two-state solution if that decision in any way risks his leadership of Israel’s right-wing coalition or forces him to confront the Jewish settlers, who relentlessly push Israel deeper and deeper into the West Bank.”

This is the biggest falsehood about the Israeli/Arab conflict perpetuated by the left, ad nauseum. For all their preening over fake news, the left does an admirable job of spreading it themselves. Friedman suggests that Netanyahu’s steadfast persistence to put up condos in Israel’s capital, East Jerusalem, or claim to ownership of the Western Wall – which Barack Obama himself visited, shamefully wearing a yarmulke – is a greater roadblock in the peace process to the waves of rocket fire, stabbings, shootings and terror both incited and carried out by the Palestinian Arabs.

Recall that in 2009, after persistent pressures from the Obama administration, Netanyahu complied, announcing a settlement freeze. After Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas still refused to enter negotiations with Israel, Obama actually scolded Israel! Friedman somehow fails to acknowledge any of this.

Moreover, Friedman makes no mention of the fact that Palestinian Authority leader, Mahmoud Abbas has explicitly stated, “We will never recognize the Jewishness of the state of Israel.”

Earlier this December, Friedman wrote, “The standing ovation he [Benjamin Netanyahu] got in Congress this year was not for his politics. That ovation was bought and paid for by the Israel lobby.”

If any Republican – let alone Donald Trump – had suggested Congress is controlled by the “Israel lobby,” CNN would’ve shoved aside their “Canonizing Obama’s Flawless Legacy of Flawlessness” programming in a heartbeat for the chyron, “Donald Trump: The Jews Run America.”

In fact, CNN’s Brian Stetler did just that amid the election. Taking comments from Donald Trump in which he accused Hillary Clinton of placing the interests of herself and her donors ahead of the country’s (which she does), he reported it as having “echoes of anti-Semitic rhetoric.” Is Stetler’s show named “Reliable Sources” purely out of irony?

There is a reason that liberal news media’s deep concerns for anti-Semitism are scarcer than Rabbis in the Gaza Strip when it comes to covering Barrack Obama and other Democrats. The left doesn’t actually care about anti-Semitism. They care about attacking conservatives. To the left, Jews are a privileged class of colonialists oppressing Palestinians. Israeli Jews don’t have the luxury of victim-status in the left’s worldview. Their safe spaces are bomb shelters in Haifa; not the pages of the New York Times.

The Obama mouse that roared

December 30, 2016

The Obama mouse that roared, Israel National News, Ron Jager, December 30, 2016

(Please see also, Egyptian Daily Close To Egyptian Intelligence Reveals Minutes Of Secret Palestinian Authority Meeting With John Kerry, Susan Rice; U.S.-Palestinian Coordination On UNSC 2334; Rice Says Trump Administration’s Policy Will Be ‘Dangerous’. — DM)

Obama has been perceived for the better part of the past 8 years by many of the world’s leadership as a spineless and weak leader, never feeling comfortable or really knowing how to implement the art of statesmanship. Obama caved in to Putin, the leader of Russia, caved into Assad, the embattled leader of Syria.

China, Iran, North Korea, Libya, have all exhibited nothing but contempt for Obama who always backed down, stood down, and generally did nothing more than wag his Presidential tail.

And then there was Israel.

The objective of the recent Obama-concocted Security Council resolution against the State of Israel is nothing less than a betrayal of the US- Israel alliance and a message to Trump. The Security Council adopted a resolution that brands the Jewish presence in any part of Judea and Samaria (‘West Bank’) or in parts of Jerusalem as illegal will also make the eight hundred thousand Jews in these areas international outlaws.

However, this betrayal of Israel is in actuality Obama’s lame duck way of signaling to the new Trump administration that he has no intention of letting President-elect Trump, the democratically elected President revoke the so-called “transformation’’ that Obama has set for America over the past 8 years. Obama’s action in the UN comes from his longtime distaste for Israel and from his newly found distaste for Trump and everything that Trump stands for. Obama has a lot of “unfinished business” and primal anger concerning Trump’s victory, exposing the Democratic Party and its leader for what they are, hated by Middle America and totally detached from the traditional values of so many Americans.

Obama’s last minute stab-in-the-back of Israel is intriguing considering that he did this with full knowledge that Trump would take an opposite position within weeks. Obama’s decision was based not on strategic thinking or any political pressures of any kind. To understand what motivated Obama, in the guise of condemning Israel, America’s only longtime democratic ally in the Middle East, we must understand his deep and powerful animus against the incoming Trump administration.

Trumps’ greatest sin other than actually winning the election has been that he has exposed the true legacy of Obama. Trump, the unapologetic, wealthy, champion of Middle America is everything that Obama is not. Trump embodies Obama’s worst nightmare and is an antithesis to how Obama envisions America. He is leaving the White House knowing full well that President Trump, in Obama’s own words. will “reverse progress” of the Obama’s Presidential period.

Trump has successfully shared with all Americans the true Obama domestic legacy: BlackLivesMatter, cop killings and violence in the streets, transgenderism,  the failure and bankruptcy of Obamacare,  unrestricted immigration, terror attacks on American soil, and a 10 trillion dollar increase in national debt.

Obama has generally corrupted all three branches of government through the use of Presidential directives ignoring the authority and constitutional mandate of Congress and the Senate,  and by empowering governmental agencies such as the IRS to selectively hound organizations that did not adopt Obama’s vision of America.

Internationally, Obama’s legacy has been even worse: allowing the Islamic terror genie out of the bottle,  half a million dead in Syria, the Muslim refugee invasion of Europe which could lead to the breakup of the EU, the rise of Iran as a conventional power that is devouring one Sunni country after another, the diminution of American power and prestige enabling Russia to invade and conquer neighboring countries, and finally, legitimizing the BDS movement and the criminalization of Israel by encouraging the Security Council of the UN to make Israel a pariah state.

This showdown between Obama and Trump has been unavoidable and in the making since day one of Trump’s declaration to be elected President. The Liberal elite and intelligentsia have failed in shoving down Middle America’s throat their vision of what America should be, Obama has not yet internalized that his 8 years of empty promises and the attempted transformation of America have come to an end, with very little to show for his efforts.

In the coming 3 weeks of what remains of the Obama Presidency, President-elect Trump and the State of Israel should prepare for the worst and expect Obama to take revenge against American voters who chose Trump. He can be expected to do the same against Israel for standing up to Obama for the past 8 years exposing his nothingness, his empty beliefs and his empty panaceas that have failed one by one. Obama will continue with his political carnage until his last day in office in a manner that is unbefitting to the office of the  President.

Obama is fond of quoting Martin Luther King Jr.’s line, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” The Republican Party controls all three branches of government, to the detriment of everything Obama has achieved in the past eight years. President Trump will build an American tent that will include all and be a beacon to the world. Israel will succeed in rescinding the Security Council decision sooner rather than later and continue to build coalitions with neighboring Sunni nations in the coming years and maintain expanding relations with most nations of the World.

Obama will fail in his last ditch efforts to forge his vision of a brave new world, leaving nothing more than a memory of a mouse that roared.

Turkish army like Iraqis stalled by ISIS pushback

December 28, 2016

Turkish army like Iraqis stalled by ISIS pushback, DEBKAfile, December 28, 2016

turkeytrot

Wednesday, Dec. 28, hours before US Secretary of State John Kerry was due to deliver a major speech on his vision for the Middle East, Turkey and Russia announced a ceasefire plan going into effect the same night for the whole of Syria, and in all regions, where fighting between pro-government forces and opposition groups were taking place – excepting for terrorist organizations.

Moscow and Ankara assumed the role of guarantors of the process. This accord will be brought for approval before the Syrian peace conference to be convened in the Kazakhstan capital, Astana, this week, attended by Russia, Turkey, Iran, the Syrian government and Syrian opposition groups. The US and Europe were not invited.

Not content with kicking Washington out of any role in resolving the Syrian crisis, the Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan accused the US, leader of the Western war on the Islamic State, of supporting “terrorist groups.”

He claimed Tuesday to have evidence of the US “giving support to terrorist groups including Daesh, YPG, PYD,” adding, ” We have…  pictures, photos and videos.”

While Erdogan is scoring in the diplomatic arena, he faces nothing but frustration militarily over the failure of the large, professional Turkish army to gain ground in the battle for Al Bab in northern Syria. This is Turkey’s first face-to-face with the Islamic State in its  four-month old Euphrates Shield operation in northern Syria – and it is not gong well. The fighting is deadly with no end in sight.

This may partly account for Erdogan’s oddly inconsistent behavior.

Tuesday, Dec. 26, he quietly asked the Obama administration to step up its air support for the Turkish campaign to capture Al Bab, 55 km north of Aleppo and the only major town in ISIS hands in northern Syria. He accused the US of not doing enough.

It was doubly odd in that Turkey has a large air force of its own, and if that force was not enough to support the campaign against ISIS, Erdogan’s obvious address for assistance would be his ally in the Syrian arena, Russian President Vladimir Putin. After all, Ankara, Moscow and Tehran are in the middle of a shared effort to set the rules of the game in Syria, which has pointedly excluded the US under the Obama administration.

As to the state of the fighting, on Dec. 21, Erdogan claimed: “Right now, Al-Bab is completely besieged by the Free Syrian Army and our soldiers.” In fact, this siege has been in place for weeks and, worse still, the casualties are mounting.

Wednesday, Dec. 28, the Turkish military said  it had “neutralised” 44 Islamic State fighters in Al Bab and wounded 117 in Al Bab,  while 154 Islamic State targets had been struck by artillery and other weaponry.

No casualty figures have been released for the Turkish army fighting for Al Baba. They are conservatively estimated at 90 dead and hundreds injured. The losses of Free Syrian Army (FSA), the local rebel force fighting alongside the Turkish army, are undoubtedly heavier still.

Our military and counterterrorism experts explain how the Islamic State’s beleaguered fighters are not just holding out in Al Bab against a superior army, but running circles around it.

The jihadists took the precaution of clearing back passages from Al Bab to their headquarters in Raqqa, 140km to the southeast, and Palmyra, 330km away.

This heritage town, which the Russians took from ISIS several months ago, was recaptured by the jihadists earlier this month, when Russian forces were fully engaged with capturing Aleppo. The US air force has in the last few days redoubled its strikes on Palmyra – both to cut off the flow of reinforcements and supplies to the besieged ISIS fighters in Al Bab and to clear the way for Russian forces to recover the lost town.

This US-Russian cooperative effort is at odds with the Obama administration’s presentation of Washington’s prickly relations with Moscow.

Notwithstanding the forces ranged against it, ISIS has so far managed to repel almost every Turkish bid to break into Al Bab – thanks to the new tactics it has introduced to the battles for Syrian Al Bab and Iraqi Mosul, which mark a turning point in the war on Islamist terror in those countries.

Those tactics hinge heavily on maximizing enemy casualties in order to knock the opposing army off the battlefield.

This is achieved by a deadly mix of guerilla and terrorist methods, and includes car bombs, bomb belt-clad suicides, improvised explosive devices (IED), sniper squads, gliders carrying explosives with small parachutes, as well as the increasing use of anti-air missiles and poison chemicals.

Tuesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haydar Al-Abadi estimated that the Iraqi army needed another three months to beat ISIS in Mosul. He was trying to buck up the Iraqi people by concealing the true situation.
The fact is that the Iraqi military offensive against ISIS in its Mosul stronghold has ground to a halt – and no wonder, when some units have suffered a 50 percent manpower loss.

Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander of American troops in Syria and Iraq, was of the opinion last week that at least two years of fighting were needed to drive ISIS out of its two capitals, Mosul and Raqqa. He did not spell this out, but his meaning was clear: to achieve this objective, a far larger army was needed than the military manpower available at present.