Archive for the ‘defense policy’ Tag

White House Denies Considering Executive Action On Closing Gitmo   Leave a comment

…given Congress’s unwillingness to do anything, why shouldn’t the President do something?

WASHINGTON – The White House on Thursday denied a report that President Barack Obama is putting together options for executive action to close the controversial U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in defiance of congressional wishes.

The Wall Street Journal, citing administration officials, reported that the White House was “drafting options” to close the facility by overriding a ban put in place by Congress that prohibits prisoners from being brought to the United States.

“Since the president came into office in 2009 the administration has been examining all possible ways we could get to closure of the facility, but we are not drafting options to override the law,” said Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council.

“We are continuing to work on transfers (of prisoners) and calling on Congress to lift restrictions.”

Obama has vowed since his 2008 presidential campaign to close the prison camp, which critics say violates U.S. principles by keeping detainees locked up without trial.(MSN News/Reuters)

As a country, we’re better than this…Mr. President, close Guantanamo Bay!

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Posted October 10, 2014 by Matthew in Uncategorized

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Fox News Hosts Wonder If Female Fighter Pilot Is Considered “Boobs On The Grounds”   Leave a comment

…actually, the real boobs are those of Eric Bolling & Greg Gutfield, as illustrated below:

Two Fox News co-hosts just ridiculed a fighter pilot for being a woman.

During the Wednesday airing of “The Five,” co-hosts Greg Gutfeld and Eric Bolling made fun of Arab Emirates Maj. Mariam Al Mansouri, who is participating in the coalition airstrikes against the Islamic State jihadist group.

“Problem is, after she bombed it, she couldn’t park it,” Gutfeld said.

“Would that be considered boobs on the ground, or no?” asked Bolling.

View the segment below.(Business Insider)

…all I can say here is wow…followed by a long string of expletives directed at Messrs. Gutless & Boil.

5 Questions To Ask In The Wake Of Wednesday’s Presidential Speech   1 comment

There’s an interesting article over at Think Progress on what questions we should ask our elected officials in the wake of last night’s presidential speech by President Obama on what the U.S. and our allies plan to do against the growing threat posed by ISIS; here are the five questions…

  • What will happen in the spaces of Syria where ISIS is rolled back?
  • How much will this cost?
  • What will our allies, both in the West & within the Middle East, do to assist us?
  • What’s next for Iraq?
  • When will this end?

Mark Sumner Is A Tool, Argumentatively Speaking   Leave a comment

For what its’ worth, I agree with Booman Tribune on his assessment on the threat ISIS poses to the United States. I’m also of the opinion that Daily Kos’s Mark Sumner is a major tool, as evidenced by his anti-war screed over at the Great Orange Satan in regards to potential U.S. military action in Iraq.

Now, why am I of this opinion? A couple of reasons…first, I don’t buy his argument that ISIS poses no threat to America…sir, go tell that, as Booman points out, to the families of Americans being held by ISIS at present. Does this mean that ISIS poses as big a threat at the moment as al-Qaeda did years before? Not quite…close, but not quite. We know from historical evidence that, unlike ISIS, al-Qaeda had already hit us a few times (the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the East African embassy bombings and the U.S.S. Cole bombing) and had nearly pulled off another series of terrorist attacks and bombings back in the mid-90’s (Operation Bojinka) and as bad as ISIS appears to be at present, they’ve yet to attempt anything like that as of yet.

Second, if Mr. Sumner (and for that matter, Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitas), are that opposed to U.S. intervention in Iraq, they need to fully explain their reasoning and not just stand on their proverbial high horses and call the rest of us hyperventilating cowards for wanting to do something about ISIS. Given what ISIS has done at present in that part of the world, do we really want to sit around on our asses and wait to see what happens? I don’t think so..but it also doesn’t mean we rush in blindly. Say whatever you want about President Obama, but on this occasion, he’s dead-to-rights in taking his time, just as Bush the Elder back in 1990 was right to take his time prior to Desert Storm and build the necessary coalitions that we’re going to damn well need in that part of the world.

Does this mean we go in with large combat formations? No – on that point, I happen to agree w/Mr. Moulitas…on the other hand, no one of record here in the U.S. – or in the West, for that matter – has even suggested that we send in the 82nd Airborne or the 2nd Marine Division back into Iraq. No one’s made that argument as of yet and given the general war-weariness of the American people, it’d be downright foolhardy to suggest that. 

For what it is worth, my view is that, whatever we do in Iraq, it needs to be part of a broad-based coalition that doesn’t rush back into that part of the world but instead takes their time and makes sure that when we do leave this go-round, we won’t have to go back for a long time to come. 

A Smart Strategy At Work   Leave a comment

For what its’ worth, I agree with Booman Tribune in regards to President Obama’s foreign policy strategy thus far; as much as Americans would like to see us intervene in various places around the world, we have to remember that to do does entail risk, regardless of whether its’ through direct assistance or through outright military involvement and while we may complain that the president is being slow or cautious in his foreign policy actions..given the world we currently live in, let’s at least be glad that cautiousness is there in the first place.

Does Hillary Have A Rocky Road Ahead To The 2016 Democratic Nomination?   Leave a comment

After reading various news items and articles of interest – and after scouring through my own thoughts on the topic here – I’m of two distinctly different minds when it comes to the potential road that former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton has in front of her in regards to the 2016 presidential election (and the Democratic nomination).

On the one hand, we still don’t know whether she intends to run…and this is vital; if – for whatever reason (or reasons) – HRC decides not to run, then you’ve likely got one of the most wide-open and scrambolic Democratic primary campaigns in recent memory. The reason: at the moment, HRC is the presumptive nominee for the Dems’, which has not only tamped down potential insurgencies but also – to some extent – tamped down any latent enthusiasm Democratic base voters might have for 2016. I mean, just look at the fact that, for the all of talk of potential challengers to HRC, no one – and i mean, no one – has dared throw their name in the ring (and given the potential challengers – Elizabeth Warren, Martin O’Malley, Brian Schweitzer, Andrew Cuomo, etc. – and the reason is that no one, at least in my humble opinion, wants to get in and risk alienating Democratic voters by challenging someone who – like the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania – would make history by being elected President.

On the other hand…should Hillary run for president, she’s going to have to address two concerns vital to those of us on the Left: (1)her 2002 vote to authorize the use of military force in Iraq and (2)her seeming closeness to Wall Street. On the first point, there is the potential for trouble fir HRC in that she voted for the AUMF (a/k/a the Iraq War Resolution) when a sizeable chunk of the Democratic base opposed it and continues to oppose military action in Iraq. In this case, she runs the risk IMO of sounding too much like the neocons who’ve been thoroughly discredited over the past decade, thus opening herself up to attacks from both liberal and conservative critics of hers’. On the second point, I’ve made my views clear on this: if Hillary wants to energize the populist wing of the Democratic party, she honestly needs to throw – and throw in a public way – Wall Street under the bus. Would it cost her support from Wall St.? To some degree, yes..but it would also help begin to make a clear distinction between the two parties in regards to economic & business policy, which in recent years has shrunk to almost nothing. It would also help energize labor unions, who despite their shrinking numbers still make up a sizeable chunk of the Democratic base.

So, to the answer above…does Hillary have a rock road to the 2016 Democratic nomination? Right now, I don’t think that answer can be given…but as with anything in American politics, nothing is certain.

U.S. Bombs ISIS Militants As Iraqi Crisis Worsens & The Risk Of A Widening Conflict   Leave a comment

The more I read about today’s multiple U.S. airstrikes against ISIS militants in western and northern Iraq, the more you have to wonder if things could get any worse in that part of the world…short answer: yes.

Long answer: depends on the neighborhood. One look at the region and you can already spot a few countries (with the exception of Syria, which is essentially a volatile basketcase at the moment) that most assuredly are watching the situation in northern/western Iraq at present…

  • Iran: Iraq’s eastern neighbor, though it had a long and bloody war back in the 1980’s with the then-Saddam run country, Iran – like Iraq – is a Shi’a Muslim-run country that has – with varying degrees of success – tried to influence its’ neighbor. Given the brutality of the Sunni Muslim ISIS militants, Iran has made it no secret that should they push to the edge of Baghdad and points south, they would be tempted to intervene militarily.
  • Saudi Arabia & the Gulf States: While – unlike Iran – these countries, all Sunni-dominated, likely share an equal amount of skepticism towards ISIS, they all also know that, should ISIS begin pushing south, they might end up getting sucked in also..especially Saudi Arabia, which considers itself “the guardians of Islam”…while the House of Saud may want to remain on the sidelines, they will almost certainly go ballistic should ISIS make any moves against their kingdom for while Saudi Arabia may be one of the conservative Muslim countries on the earth, ISIS’s particular brand of Islam makes the Saudis’ look like party-goers on an alcoholic binge. 
  • Turkey: here it gets complicated, for several reasons. First, Turkey – like Iran and Saudi Arabia – shares a border with Iraq…in particular, its’ northern border, which gives the Turks’ some major skin in what’s going on there. Second, both Turkey & Iraq share part of what some have described as a “greater Kurdistan”, so anything that affects that region indirectly affects Turkey as well and while Turkey has long been opposed to Kurdish separatism, they also are aware that should Iraqi Kurdistan begin to fall, it would not be beyond the realm of possibility that Turkish Kurdistan might decide to agitate Turkey in response – namely along the lines of ‘help our brothers to the south, Ankara’ – which could prompt a Turkish response. Third, should Turkey intervene, this could blow the conflict wide open, for Turkey, as a NATO member, could try to invoke Article 5 of the NATO Treaty and if that happens, all bets are off.

For what it is worth, I agree with Booman Tribune on what should be done in regards to ISIS in Iraq…as much as I opposed, back in 2003, the Iraq War, not doing anything in this situation would be a lot worse than what the Iraq War has brought us over the past decade.

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