Al-Qaida Rebel fighters have taken over a Christian village northeast of the capital of Syria, Damascus. The slaughter of Christians continues as Obama’s allies cleanse the country of those EVIL Christians. This village speaks the language Christ spoke and now it is a ghost town.
From Yahoo! News:
A Maaloula resident said the rebels, many of them sporting beards and shouting Allahu Akbar, or God is great, attacked Christian homes and churches shortly after moving into the village overnight.
“They shot and killed people. I heard gunshots and then I saw three bodies lying in the middle of a street in the old quarters of the village,” said the resident, reached by telephone from neighboring Jordan. “So many people fled the village for safety.”
Now, Maaloula “is a ghost town. Where is President Obama to see what befallen on us?” asked the man, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal by the rebels.
The barbaric Rebel advance into these towns and areas is led by the Nusra Front – Islamic extremists and BFFs of Obama – and they strike terror into the hearts of Syrians and religious minorities. They come to conquer – burn churches to the ground, murder, rape, pillage, torture and terrorize. And let’s not forget – cleanse in the name of Allah shouting Allah Akbar! You know, as McCain points out, just like Christians do. Hope he remembers that when the Islamists gear up in America.
We have watched at every turn as Obama has courted Erdogan of Turkey, claiming him as his closest ally; bringing the Muslim Brotherhood into the White House; persecuting Christians at home and abroad; and forcing Islamic law and principles down our throats while disparaging America. Taqiyya reigns in our government halls and the enemies within are praying for a similar Christian cleansing and debasing in America, while Obama faces Mecca.
It is entirely understandable that Barack Obama’s way of dealing with Syria in recent weeks should have elicited responses ranging from puzzlement to disgust. Even members of his own party are despairingly echoing in private the public denunciations of him as “incompetent,” “bungling,” “feckless,” “amateurish” and “in over his head” coming from his political opponents on the right.
For how else to characterize a president who declares war against what he calls a great evil demanding immediate extirpation and in the next breath announces that he will postpone taking action for at least 10 days – and then goes off to play golf before embarking on a trip to another part of the world? As if this were not enough, he also assures the perpetrator of that great evil that the military action he will eventually take will last a very short time and will do hardly any damage. Unless, that is, he fails to get the unnecessary permission he has sought from Congress, in which case (according to an indiscreet member of his own staff) he might not take any military action after all.
Summing up the net effect of all this, as astute a foreign observer as Conrad Black can flatly say that, “Not since the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, and before that the fall of France in 1940, has there been so swift an erosion of the world influence of a Great Power as we are witnessing with the United States.”
Yet if this is indeed the pass to which Mr. Obama has led us – and I think it is – let me suggest that it signifies not how incompetent and amateurish the president is, but how skillful. His foreign policy, far from a dismal failure, is a brilliant success as measured by what he intended all along to accomplish. The accomplishment would not have been possible if the intention had been too obvious. The skill lies in how effectively he has used rhetorical tricks to disguise it.
The key to understanding what Mr. Obama has pulled off is the astonishing statement he made in the week before being elected president: “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” To those of us who took this declaration seriously, it meant that Mr. Obama really was the left-wing radical he seemed to be, given his associations with the likes of the anti-American preacher Jeremiah Wright and the unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers, not to mention the intellectual influence over him of Saul Alinsky, the original “community organizer.”
So far as domestic affairs were concerned, it soon became clear – even to some of those who had persuaded themselves that Mr. Obama was a moderate and a pragmatist – that the fundamental transformation he had in mind was to turn this country into as close a replica of the social-democratic countries of Europe as the constraints of our political system allowed.
Since he had enough support for the policies that this objective entailed, those constraints were fairly loose, and so he only needed a minimum of rhetorical deception in pursuing it. All it took was to deny he was doing what he was doing by frequently singing the praises of the free-enterprise system he was assiduously working to undermine, by avoiding the word “socialism,” by invoking “fairness” as an overriding ideal and by playing on resentment of the “rich.”
But foreign policy was another matter. As a left-wing radical, Mr. Obama believed that the United States had almost always been a retrograde and destructive force in world affairs. Accordingly, the fundamental transformation he wished to achieve here was to reduce the country’s power and influence. And just as he had to fend off the still-toxic socialist label at home, so he had to take care not to be stuck with the equally toxic “isolationist” label abroad.
This he did by camouflaging his retreats from the responsibilities bred by foreign entanglements as a new form of “engagement.” At the same time, he relied on the war-weariness of the American people and the rise of isolationist sentiment (which, to be sure, dared not speak its name) on the left and right to get away with drastic cuts in the defense budget, with exiting entirely from Iraq and Afghanistan, and with “leading from behind” or using drones instead of troops whenever he was politically forced into military action.
The consequent erosion of American power was going very nicely when the unfortunately named Arab Spring presented the president with several juicy opportunities to speed up the process. First in Egypt, his incoherent moves resulted in a complete loss of American influence, and now, thanks to his handling of the Syrian crisis, he is bringing about a greater diminution of American power than he probably envisaged even in his wildest radical dreams.
For this fulfillment of his dearest political wishes, Mr. Obama is evidently willing to pay the price of a sullied reputation. In that sense, he is by his own lights sacrificing himself for what he imagines is the good of the nation of which he is the president, and also to the benefit of the world, of which he loves proclaiming himself a citizen.
The problem for Mr. Obama is that at least since the end of World War II, Americans have taken pride in being No. 1. Unless the American people have been as fundamentally transformed as their country is quickly becoming, America’s decline will not sit well. With more than three years in office to go, will Mr. Obama be willing and able to endure the continuing erosion of his popularity that will almost certainly come with the erosion of the country’s power and influence?
No doubt he will either deny that anything has gone wrong, or failing that, he will resort to his favorite tactic of blaming others – Congress or the Republicans or Rush Limbaugh. But what is also almost certain is that he will refuse to change course and do the things that will be necessary to restore U.S. power and influence.
And so we can only pray that the hole he will go on digging will not be too deep for his successor to pull us out, as Ronald Reagan managed to do when he followed a president into the White House whom Mr. Obama so uncannily resembles.
Via CNS News:
Susan Rice, who falsely told the nation that the terrorist attacks in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012 had developed out of a spontaneous demonstration against a YouTube video, will mark the one year anniversary of those attacks by briefing Congress to make the administration’s case for authorizing President Barack Obama to use military force in Syria.
Speaking on CBS’s “Face the Nation” today, House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers (R.-Mich.) pointed to the administration’s decision to have Rice brief members of Congress about this issue on the anniversary of the Benghazi attacks as emblematic of the administration’s bumbling approach to making its case for intervening in Syria.
On Monday, Rice will give a speech about Syria to the New America Foundation, then speak to the Congressional Black Caucus and participate in a classified briefing that the administration will provide to members of Congress, the Associated Press has reported. She will then participate in another classified briefing for Congress on Wednesday – which will be the twelfth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S. homeland and the one year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the State Department and CIA facilities in Benghazi, Libya.
The Syrian Emergency Task Force, the pro-rebel lobbying outfit that employs widely quoted intervention advocate Elizabeth O’Bagy as its political director, receives funding from the U.S. Department of State and related government contractors.
In an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller earlier last week, O’Bagy explained how she got paid. O’Bagy has been roundly condemned for working for a pro-Syrian lobbying group at the same time she was casting the Syrian rebels in a positive light. She works as an analyst at the neoconservative think tank, the Institute for the Study of War.
“Most of the contracts that I’ve been a part of through the Task Force have been through CSO, which is the Conflict and Stabilization Office[sic],” O’Bagy told The Daily Caller. O’Bagy was likely referring to the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, a State Department-funded organization.
“My salary comes from the Institute for the Study of War. I don’t get a salary from working with the Task Force,” O’Bagy said. “I get paid contracting fees for very specific contracts.”
How much she makes is “completely dependent on the contract,” says O’Bagy. “Usually, they [the SETF] kind of write in a specific fee. So it’s not a percentage of the contract, but it’s like I get, just off the top of my head, like two thousand dollars to help implement this project. And then I just get that standard contracting fee. And I actually get a 1099.”
State Department contracting firms like “ARK [Access Resources Knowledge], Chemonics, Creative [Associates International] – a number of the big contractors” set up the contracts and pay the Syrian Emergency Task Force, O’Bagy told TheDC.
With each contract, O’Bagy made more money. This revelation raises serious questions about her incentives to support American involvement in Syria. Both Secretary of State John Kerry and Senator John McCain cited O’Bagy’s work in the push for military action but did not disclose her ties to the rebel groups.
When asked about the potential conflict of interest, O’Bagy said she was working for the Syrian people.
“Frankly I mean the humanitarian crisis is just so horrific that I honestly could not spend significant amounts of time there without trying to contribute to the humanitarian situation in one way or another and that’s just kind of me as a human being. I literally could not go there without trying to use my knowledge for the betterment of these various humanitarian aid programs,” she told TheDC.
O’Bagy, whose Georgetown MA/PhD focuses on Arab women’s issue, explained that the work had been helpful to her dissertation, which she has written but not yet defended.
While John McCain has called her “doctor,” she isn’t one technically. “You can call me doctor, if you want,” O’Bagy said. She graduated Georgetown in 2013. The U.S. government has spent over a $1 billion on aid to the Syrian rebels, with nearly half going to the Department of State, which is used for “institution building,” and the other half going to USAID, which is used for diaspora community relations.
Secretary of State John Kerry said an “unbelievably small, limited” military strike will be enough to halt Syria’s use of chemical weapons and hasten a political settlement to the 2 1/2-year civil war.
As Congress got set to debate a U.S. intervention, Kerry sought to reassure the public that the Obama administration won’t let a Syrian campaign evolve into a years-long commitment with ground troops, like the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“We’re not talking about war, we’re not going to war,” Kerry said in a press conference in London today after a three- day mission to Europe. He spoke of a “limited, very targeted, very short-term effort.”
Syria’s bid to frustrate that effort took Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem to Moscow today, seeking a joint approach with Russia to defuse Western assertions that the Syrian regime is using chemical munitions against its own people. The two allies called for a peace conference instead of U.S. strikes.
Kerry’s tour yielded a European Union appeal to work through the United Nations, French determination to side with the U.S., support from as-yet undisclosed Arab countries and denunciations of Assad from Britain, the American ally in prior Middle Eastern wars which will stay out of this one.
The buildup toward another intervention by Western powers in the Middle East pushed oil prices to a two-year high on Sept. 6. West Texas Intermediate crude slipped from that peak today, falling 0.6 percent to $109.91 per barrel at 11:15 a.m. London time.
As President Barack Obama took his case to the U.S. public, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad did the same. In an interview with CBS News correspondent Charlie Rose, Assad denied a role in the Aug. 21 chemical attack near Damascus that the U.S. says killed more than 1,400 people.
According to Rose, Assad said there is no evidence that Syria had a chemicals arsenal or used it against its citizens. CBS will broadcast excerpts of the interview this morning and the full interview will air on Rose’s Public Broadcasting System show tonight.
U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague, who briefed the London press with Kerry, warned not to “fall into the trap of attaching too much credibility” to Assad’s declarations.
Obama’s call for a narrowly targeted, rapidly executed strike on Assad’s war-making capability hinges on evidence that the regime carried out the Aug. 21 massacre, one of the darkest days in a civil war that has cost more than 100,000 lives since early 2011.
Questions about the intelligence pervaded a statement issued by EU foreign ministers on Sept. 7 after a meeting with Kerry in Lithuania. The evidence “seems to indicate” that Assad was behind the attack, the EU said, reflecting doubts that have arisen in Washington as well.
Kerry offered a timeline of what happened on Aug. 21, saying that Assad’s regime ordered preparations for a chemical attack, moved forces to the location and then launched rockets that “all came from regime-controlled territory and all landed in opposition-controlled or contested territory.”
“We know this,” Kerry continued. “We know that within moments of them landing in that territory, the social media exploded with videos that we also know could not be contrived.”
Congress returns to Washington today from recess. The Democratic-controlled Senate is likely to vote on a Syria resolution by the end of the week. The House, controlled by the opposition Republicans, takes up Syria on Sept. 16.
U.S. international lobbying had echoes of the second Bush administration’s assembly of a “coalition of the willing” to back the 2003 invasion of Iraq, be it militarily or politically. Some countries in the U.S. camp want to go further than Obama’s plan for a one-time strike.
Saudi Arabia and Turkey, for example, are pushing for Assad’s ouster. In an editorial today, Arab News, a Saudi newspaper, said “merely seeking stop-gap military intervention is not enough to stem the rot in Syria.”