Obama admin turns to Twitter crowdsourcing for foreign policy

POSYesterday, in a press conference at the White House, Barack Obama admitted  he doesn’t have a plan or strategy for defeating Islamic State (formerly ISIS/ISIL) militants in Syria and backed away from imminent military action.

Obama said about IS, “We don’t have a strategy yet. We need to make sure that we’ve got clear plans. As our strategy develops, we will consult with Congress.”

At the same time, Obama also downplayed reports of a new Russian invasion in Ukraine, insisting that “I consider the actions [of Russia] we’ve seen in the last week a continuation of what we’ve seen for months now.”

Despite that, U.S. Army troops from the 1st Cavalry Division have been deployed to NATO’s eastern border, bringing with them battle tanks that only 5 months ago had all been removed from Europe.

The latest:

The State Department today actually sent out a tweet, with no particular recipient in mind, soliciting our “thoughts” on how and what America’s foreign policy should be.

O makes foreign policy via TwitterIn other words, the Obama administration is now relying on crowdsourcing to make foreign policy.

Note: Crowdsourcing is the process of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, and especially from an online community, rather than from traditional employees or suppliers.

H/t Weasel Zippers and CODA’s MS

~StMA

Judicial Watch: Feds say imminent terrorist attack on US-Mexico border

Judicial Watch is a nonpartisan citizen’s watchdog based in Washington, D.C.

JW’s president Tom Fitton just sent out the email below and urges us to disseminate this far and wide.

Ciudad Juarez

Imminent Terrorist Attack Warning By Feds on US Border

Islamic terrorist groups are operating in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez and planning to attack the United States with car bombs or other vehicle born improvised explosive devices (VBIED). High-level federal law enforcement, intelligence and other sources have confirmed to Judicial Watch that a warning bulletin for an imminent terrorist attack on the border has been issued.  Agents across a number of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense agencies have all been placed on alert and instructed to aggressively work all possible leads and sources concerning this imminent terrorist threat.
Specifically, Judicial Watch sources reveal that the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) is confirmed to now be operating in Juarez, a famously crime-infested narcotics hotbed situated across from El Paso, Texas. Violent crimes are so rampant in Juarez that the U.S. State Department has issued a number of travel warnings for anyone planning to go there. The last one was issued just a few days ago.
Intelligence officials have picked up radio talk and chatter indicating that the terrorist groups are going to “carry out an attack on the border,” according to one JW source.  “It’s coming very soon,” according to this high-level source, who clearly identified the groups planning the plots as “ISIS and Al Qaeda.” An attack is so imminent that the commanding general at Ft. Bliss, the U.S. Army post in El Paso, is being briefed, another source confirms. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not respond to multiple inquiries from Judicial Watch, both telephonic and in writing, about this information.
The disturbing inside intelligence comes on the heels of news reports revealing that U.S. intelligence has picked up increased chatter among Islamist terror networks approaching the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. While these terrorists reportedly plan their attack just outside the U.S., President Obama admits that “we don’t have a strategy yet” to combat ISIS. “I don’t want to put the cart before the horse,” the commander-in-chief said this week [yesterday] during a White House press briefing. “I think what I’ve seen in some of the news reports suggest that folks are getting a little further ahead of what we’re at than what we currently are.”
The administration has also covered up, or at the very least downplayed, a serious epidemic of crime along the Mexican border even as heavily armed drug cartels have taken over portions of the region. Judicial Watch has reported that the U.S. Border Patrol actually ordered officers to avoid the most crime-infested stretches because they’re “too dangerous” and patrolling them could result in an “international incident” of cross border shooting. In the meantime, who could forget the famous words of Obama’s first Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano; the southern border is “as secure as it has ever been.”
These new revelations are bound to impact the current debate about the border crisis and immigration policy.
Sincerely,
Tom Fitton
President

H/t FOTM

France submits to Islam: 70% expect country to become Islamic

ISISJack Moore reports for International Business Times, Aug. 26, 2014, that a new poll by ICM Research found that almost a sixth (16%) of the French population have a favorable disposition towards the jihadist group ISIS or ISIL (now known as the Islamic State).

The younger the respondent, the more likely they were to have a favorable view of IS, with the youngest age group, the 18-24 year-olds being most favorable.

Worse still, France has witnessed a growing threat of terrorism in recent years as hundreds of young French Muslims are believed to have flocked abroad to fight for jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq, with the potential to return home as radicalized members of society.

ISIL’s territorial ambitions are evident in its name — Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Levant today consists of the island of Cyprus, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and part of southern Turkey. (See “ISIS: the savage jihadists laying waste to Iraq”)

New LevantOn June 29, 2014, ISIS/ISIL declared the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate or State (thus, IS or Islamic State) straddling the Syrian-Iraqi border. The caliphate is a political institution that the Islamic State claims will govern the global Muslim community. (See “A sober look at ISIS’s declaration of a pan-Islamic state or caliphate”)

Since then, IS has declared it intends to take the Caliphate to the United States. Senior Pentagon officials describe the IS as an “apocalyptic” organization that poses an “imminent threat.” But Army general Martin Dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, believes the IS is more a regional threat and is not plotting or planning attacks against either the U.S. or Europe.

Meanwhile, yesterday in a press conference, Obama admitted he doesn’t have a “strategy” for dealing with the IS.

Below are excerpts from an essay by Professor Guy Millière’s*France Submits to Islam” of May 13, 2014 for The Gallstone Institute, which paints an even more alarming picture of France than the ICM Research poll results.

More than 8,000,000 Muslims live in France, most of whom are French citizens, and the Muslim population in France continues to grow. France is now the main Muslim country in Europe. Successive French governments can decide to expel a Muslim preacher or a recruiter of jihadist fighters; they can deny visas, but they seem unable to do more.

Although the French government denies it, it seems clear that substantial ransoms were paid to Islamist groups for the release of French hostages: $28,000,000 to al Qaeda in Niger in October 2013 and $18,000,000 to Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant in Syria, on April 19.

The creation, on April 25, by French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, of a counseling center, website and telephone hotline to « advise » parents whose children are in the process of radicalization seems almost ridiculous. Entire neighborhoods are controlled by Islamist preachers and Bernard Cazeneuve knows it: officially, administrative authorities call these neighborhoods « Sensitive Urban Zones, » presumably because at any time they can explode. Unofficially, the police call them « Sharia Zones », and have been ordered by the Department of the Interior to keep out.

Political leaders of all parties know that most elections cannot be won if the Muslim vote is neglected, and the leaders of the National Front are no exception: Marine Le Pen has long ceased to incriminate Islam and now attacks « crime » and « immigration » without providing details. Sometimes she may denounce « calls to jihad » and « fundamentalism », but takes care not to go beyond that. Although she criticizes Qatar or Saudi Arabia, she says that France should become an « ally » of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and asks her « fellow Muslims » to join her fight against « American globalism and its Islamist allies« .

A « Collective Against Islamophobia in France » is gaining ground: it handles complaints against any critical remarks about Islam, and it can rely on the courts to punish offenders. A « League of Judicial Defense of Muslims » was also created in 2013 by Karim Achoui, a lawyer disbarred because of his links with organized crime. No anti-racist organization dares denounce Muslim anti-Semitism, and none of them criticizes speeches such as the one given by Hani Ramadan in Le Bourget.

Jewish institutions do not denounce Muslim anti-Semitism, either: they speak of an « unhealthy climate ». When, on April 28, during a tribute ceremony to the Jews deported from France to Auschwitz, Arno Klarsfeld, a member of the Council of State and son of Nazi hunters Serge and Beate Klarsfeld, said that « some of the suburban youth are anti-Semitic, » he was immediately summoned to appear before a judge.

NGOs fighting the Islamization of France are now marginalized. Their leaders are persecuted by the justice system and severely punished. The mainstream media demonize them. The main one, Riposte Laique, organized a demonstration on March 9. About four hundred people came. Three or four years ago, Riposte Laique could gather several thousand people. [...]

The number of Jews leaving France is steadily increasing. French people who have the financial means also leave the country. Most others expect the worst. Polls show that the French are now the most pessimistic people in Europe. They also show that more than 70% of the French are afraid of the rise of Islam in France: they expect that France will become a country under submission to Islam.

*Here’s a biographical sketch of Guy Millière, using Google Translate (French into English):

Guy Millière (specialization: economics, geopolitics). Holds three doctorates, he is a professor at the University Paris VIII History of cultures, philosophy of law, economics and communication lecturer at Sciences Po, and visiting professor in the United States. He contributed to many think tanks in the United States and France. Expert to the European Union in bioethics, Speaker for the Bank of France. Former visiting Professor at California State University, Long Beach. Translator and adapter for French language DanielPipes.org site. Columnist to Metula News Agency, Israel Magazine, Frontpage Magazine, upjf.org. Member of the Editorial Board Overseas Land, geopolitical magazine directed by Michel Korinman. Editor of the journal Liberalia from 1989 to 1992 he participated in the work of the American Enterprise Institute and the Hoover Institution. He has lectured for the Bank of France, he participated in the publication of books liberal contemporaries as The Constitution of freedom of Friedrich Hayek in 1994 in the Liberalia collection and collection “In the service of freedom” that it has created, published in 2007, Pathways was also editor of the journal Liberalia eponymous 1989 to 1992, and was vice-president of the Institute of the Free Europe and Chairman and member of the Scientific Council Institute of Turgot. It is part of the director of the Alliance France-Israel led by Gilles-William Goldnadel committee. He is the author of more than twenty books.

~StMA

Obama admin moves battle tanks back into Europe as Russian troops invade Ukraine

On April 4, 2014, Star and Stripes reported that the Obama administration was removing the remainder of U.S. battle tanks from Germany and, thus, from Europe.

Nearly five months later, the administration is reversing that decision.

NATO satellite image of Russian artillery in Ukraine NATO satellite image, taken on August 23, shows Russian artillery units in firing position near Krasnodon, Ukraine.

Joseph Trevithick reports for Medium.com, Aug. 28, 2014, that as the Ukraine crisis deepens — the latest being Russian troops reportedly having crossed the border into Uraine (see satellite image above) — U.S. Army troops from the 1st Cavalry Division are headed for NATO’s eastern border bringing Abrams tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles all the way from Fort Hood in Texas.

Bradley Fighting Vehicle

Bradley (armored) Fighting Vehicle

Detachments from 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry, a so-called “combined arms battalion” with tanks and fighting vehicles, will spend the next few months training with U.S.’s friends and allies in the region. The force will also take over from U.S. paratroopers who have been in Eastern Europe since April. The Pentagon has been rotating troops through the region since Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea region earlier this year.

But the M-1 tanks and M-2 Bradley fighting vehicles are a new twist. This relatively small shipment of heavy gear from the States to Europe is probably a first in over 20 years. Previous troops from the 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team had no heavy armor.

Last year, the ground combat branch pulled out the last permanent tank units in Europe. A pool of Abrams and Bradleys—the European Activity Set—in storage in Germany are the only such vehicles on the continent at present.

Until 1993, the Pentagon had prepared to blunt a Russian-led invasion by rushing thousands of troops across the Atlantic. During the Cold War, the Army planned to send large units to fight in Germany. Now, smaller company-sized elements from 2–8 Cav—between 100 and 200 people each—are on their way to Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Germany.

Washington hopes these training exercises will reassure its European allies as the crisis in Ukraine simmers. The Pentagon says pro-Russia insurgents fighting Kiev are getting “tanks, armored personnel carriers, rocket launchers, air defense equipment and other heavy weapons” from Russia.

~StMA

Japan considers building its own fighter jets

AFP reports, Aug. 21, 2014, that a report in the newspaper Nikkei says Japan is considering building its own fighter jets after years of playing second fiddle in a US construction partnership.

There is a growing need for Japan to develop a long-haul, highly stealthy fighter jets in face of China’s increasing assertiveness in the East China Sea, where the two countries are locked in a dispute over a group of Tokyo-controlled islands that Japanese call Senkaku and Chinese call Diao-yu.

Japan’s attempt in the 1980s to build its first purely domestic fighters since World War II faced US resistance and resulted in joint US-Japan development and production of the F-2. But joint F-2 production ended more than two years ago and the last of the fighters are due to be retired from Japan’s air defense force around 2028.

F-2 fighters in Japan's Air Self Defense Force

F-2 fighters in Japan’s Air Self Defense Force

Japan’s defense ministry plans to seek about 40 billion yen ($387 million) in state funding for the next year starting in April 2015 to test experimental engines and radar-dodging stealth airframe designs for a purely Japanese fighter. Developing a purely domestic fighter is estimated to cost a massive 500-800 billion yen ($4.8-7.7 billion).

Four years ago, Japan’s defense ministry began work on the Advanced Technology Demonstrator-X (ATD-X) stealth plane to explore the project’s feasibility by studying lightweight airframe designs and built-in missile-firing mechanisms. The ATD-X was due to start testing experimental engines in January and the stealth airframe designs in April. The ministry hopes to develop the actual engines for the project in cooperation with IHI, Mitsubishi Heavy and other defense contractors in about five years.

Advanced Technology Demonstrator-X stealth plane

Advanced Technology Demonstrator-X stealth plane

Should Japan go forward with producing its own fighter jet, it will likely stoke fears of Japan’s military resurgence among its Asian neighbors.

Beijing regularly warns of what it says is Tokyo’s intent to re-arm on the quiet and that Tokyo’s selective amnesia about its World War II militarism means Japan cannot be trusted to have a fully-fledged military.

Last month the cabinet of conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a highly controversial shift in the nation’s post-war pacifist stance by proclaiming Japan has the right to go into battle in defense of allies. Tokyo denies its intent is anything other than defensive and, reacting to China’s criticisms, points to Beijing’s opaque military spending and its burgeoning ambitions as the real danger in Asia.

Developing its own domestic fighter is estimated to cost a massive 500-800 billion yen ($4.8-7.7 billion), a decision Tokyo will have to make by the 2018 financial year.

Terrorism waiting to happen: Obama admin ignores Congress in lifting 30-yr. ban on Libyans training in U.S. flight schools

kingReportedly, Obama ignored the advice of senior military and intelligence officials in releasing 5 high-level Taliban terrorists from Gitmo in exchange for U.S. Army deserter Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

Now, he’s doing it again.

From the non-partisan citizens’ watchdog group Judicial Watch, Aug. 13, 2014:

Less than two years after four Americans got massacred in a terrorist attack on the U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi, Libya the Obama administration is disregarding congressional opposition to lift a decades-old ban on Libyans attending flight schools and training as nuclear scientists in the United States.

The ban was implemented in 1983 after a wave of terrorist incidents involving Libyans. The African nation continues to be a hotbed of terrorism and in fact, the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli was recently evacuated because violence between rival militias has created a deadly environment. Many other foreign governments have also shut down their embassies in Libya because the violence has spread throughout the entire country.

Nevertheless, President Obama has discounted congressional opposition to let Libyans train as pilots, airplane mechanics and nuclear scientists in the United States. Perhaps the commander-in-chief has somehow forgotten that many of the 9/11 hijackers—mostly Saudi nationals—received their training in American flights schools because our government allowed it. Have we not learned that it’s a really bad idea to help our enemies obtain skills that could later be used to attack us?

Official word of this senseless change comes via a final regulation approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). It lifts the longtime prohibition on Libyans coming to the U.S. to attend flight school, work in aviation maintenance or flight operations or to study or train in nuclear science. The Obama administration claims that the ban is no longer necessary because the “United States Government and the Government of Libya have normalized their relationship and most of the restrictions and sanctions imposed by the United States and the United Nations toward Libya have been lifted.”

The move comes just a few months after a congressional hearing addressed what was then the administration’s proposal to overturn the 30-year ban. Before actually reversing the longtime regulation, the administration was required to provide Congress with certain documents that were never provided, according to the heads of the House Judiciary Committee and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee considering the matter. In other words, the president has once again blown off Congress and this week the lawmakers involved in the process expressed outrage.

“The Obama Administration is turning a blind eye to real terrorist threats that exist in Libya today by carelessly forging ahead with its plan to allow Libyan pilots and nuclear scientists to study in the United States,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte. “The House Judiciary Committee has repeatedly sought information about the Administration’s policy reversal but political appointees at the Department of Homeland Security have stonewalled the Committee’s requests and have not articulated why it is in Americans’ best interests to change policy. Given the ongoing volatility in Libya, it is unconscionable and completely irresponsible that the Administration plans to lift a longstanding policy that protects Americans and our national security from threats in the region.”

At the congressional hearing earlier this year, a top Homeland Security official revealed that the Hillary Clinton State Department first requested the Libyan ban lift in 2010. Three years later, the official, Alan Bersin, told Congress, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano agreed to begin the process to amend the regulations relating to Libya. This illustrates that the administration started working to lift the ban long before the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Special Mission Compound in Benghazi. Clearly, it was not enough to deter the administration from going forth with its dangerous plan.

See also:

~StMA

The Stolen Valor of Military Imposters

Matt BuckinghamMatt Buckingham was uncovered by KMOV of St. Louis as a fake veteran soliciting donations to a fake military charity

STOLEN VALOR REDUX

By John J. Molloy, OSJ
National Vietnam & Gulf War Veterans Coalition

Over the years since Vietnam veterans have been recognized for their service and patriotism rather than being disparaged as war criminals, a phenomenon has occurred whereby some veterans who have served in our armed forces, and other individuals who have never served at all, claimed to have distinguished themselves in combat or served as members of elite units. This situation has become so pronounced that it appears that a disproportionate number of veterans and non-veterans claim to have served in elite units — US Navy SEALS, US Army Special Forces, USAF Reconnaissance, Army Rangers, Marine Corps Force Recon or Scout Snipers or even prisoners of war — and wear decorations to which they are not entitled.

In the first few years of the last decade, I was disappointed to learn that a friend, the late founder and national commander of the Veterans of the Vietnam War, who claimed to have spent his tour in Southeast Asia as an Airborne Ranger/Phoenix Operative, had actually served as a truck driver. All of us who have served, and do serve in America’s armed forces, essentially sign a blank check payable to the United States of America, representing our commitment of our lives for the benefit of our country. Everyone who serves honorably, in whatever capacity, should not feel it necessary to embellish his or her record of service.

Despite the publication of Stolen Valor authored by B.G. Burkett in 1998, and Fake Warriors by Henry Mark Holzer and Erika Holzer in 2003, the phonies and fakers continue to exit the woodwork and persist in their deception. The proliferation of fake veterans has led to the number of persons who claim to have served in Vietnam now exceeding several times over the number of those who are still alive who actually did serve.

In my own community, I have come across friends and others who are considered to be patriotic but who have been untruthful regarding their military service. Typically, on first acquaintance, these individuals offer some indication of the nature of their service and are given benefit of the doubt. But if one shows that they accept their claims, they begin to expand and embroider and so entrap themselves. What these deceivers fail to recognize is that in my capacity as Coalition chairman, and based on my familiarity with veterans and veterans’ issues, I can see through their deception and will seek to expose their falsehoods.

During the course of the year, and especially on anniversaries of their deaths, I reflect on my buddies and comrades with whom I’d served in the 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry, and 11th Light Infantry Brigade in Vietnam, but who did not return home alive:

  • Sgt. David Fielding, 1st Platoon, Bravo Company, wounded on Nui Hoac Ridge, May 7, 1968 and killed by a sniper on July 7, 1968.
  • SFC Abraham Ahuna, also of the 1st Platoon, who died on May 17, 1968 from wounds sustained from his fall into a pungi pit.
  • Sgt, Wayne Proctor of the Weapons Platoon, Bravo Company who died on June 4, 1968 from wounds sustained after being hit by a white phosphorus rocket-propelled grenade on Nui Hoac Ridge a month earlier.
  • Sgt. Ambrose Clay of Delta Company who was captured during the initial probe of Nui Hoac Ridge on May 7, 1968, and was tortured and beheaded by the North Vietnamese.

Sadly, the above are but a few of the fallen troopers.

Given the fact that the actual percentage of veterans in our armed forces actually assigned to a combat zone and actually engaged in combat is 10% for the Army and 15% for the Marine Corps, that so many veterans claim to have received combat-related awards is a statistical improbability. The fake veterans who steal the valor of those who had given their last full measure have become increasingly irritating. They must be exposed and publicly humiliated if they do not desist and acknowledge their deception.

While it is criminal to falsify one’s military records or wear decorations of the Silver Star for distinguished or gallant service, unfortunately it is not considered illegal to lie about one’s military service, however dishonorable. It is also not illegal for us to expose those who lie. Here are some signs that you may be dealing with an imposter:

  • When the individual who claims to have served in a certain unit is asked what he did, he answers: “If I tell you, then I will have to kill you.”
  • If a person claims to have been wounded in the military or claims to have what appears to be a service-connected disability when asked if they go to a Veterans Administration Hospital for treatment or if they are receiving a service-connected disability, they claim that they want nothing from the government.

If you come across an individual whose claims regarding their military service you suspect may be false, try to obtain as much information as you can, including the imposter’s full name, date of birth, period of service and unit. Once you have obtained that information, you may send an inquiry to fakewarriors.org, a division of the POW Network so that they may investigate. (Click here for Fake Warriors’ report form.) I also encourage you to consider sending a contribution to the POW Network for their dedication to and their diligence in obtaining the truth.

Once your suspicions are confirmed you will be in a position to confront and/or expose the individual who had made the false claim(s) regarding their military service. The method of exposure should be determined by the extent and nature of the falsehood.

Simply put, it is our moral obligation to uncover imposters who would steal the valor of those who have served honorably and died in our nation’s service.