An Interesting Note On The Latest Attack On Donald Trump

Fred Fleitz is a former Central Intelligence Agency analyst, a former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst, former Chief of Staff to Ambassador John Bolton, and a former Senior Staff member of the House Intelligence Committee. He is currently a Senior Vice President for Policy and Programs with the Center for Security Policy. He posted an article at the Center for Security Policy on Friday about the rise of ISIS and the discussion of ISIS in the current political campaign.

He reminds us of the facts in the discussion, many of which have been overlooked in the news media:

Trump is making the point that irresponsible policies by Obama and Clinton led to the resumption of sectarian violence in Iraq which allowed Al-Qaeda in Iraq to rise from the ashes and morph into ISIS.  I believe Trump is exactly right.  The Obama/Clinton decision not to leave behind a small contingent of U.S. troops in Iraq after 2010 and the power vacuum created by the administration’s failure to lead in the Middle East is why ISIS exists and why it has become a global threat.

In my view, Obama’s and Clinton’s incompetence are undoubtedly responsible for the birth of ISIS.

The mainstream media does not want to talk about this.  It knows ISIS did not exist when President Obama entered office.  It also knows that ISIS grew from zero affiliates in 2009 to 43 affiliates today in 18 countries.

CNN this morning is jumping on a tweet Trump sent yesterday clarifying that his claim about Obama and Clinton being the founder and co-founder of ISIS was sarcasm.  This makes me wonder how dumb CNN thinks the American people are – they obviously knew this.

One can argue that a presidential candidate shouldn’t be using sarcasm on such a dire national security issue, but by doing so Trump forced the mainstream media to talk about a subject it was purposely avoiding and encouraged Americans to think about whether Obama/Clinton policies are responsible for the birth of ISIS.

Maybe Donald Trump has a better understanding of foreign affairs and the news media than his Democratic and press critics realize.

This is the side of the story you probably won’t hear in the mainstream media.

 

 

The Cost Of Inaction

NBC News is reporting today that President Obama stopped the CIA from executing a plan to remove Syrian President Bashar Assad from power in 2012. The President’s reluctance to do anything to end the Syrian Revolution had serious consequences–the rise of ISIS.

The article reports:

It’s long been known that then-CIA Director David Petraeus recommended a program to secretly arm and train moderate Syrian rebels in 2012 to pressure Assad. But a book to be published Tuesday by a former CIA operative goes further, revealing that senior CIA officials were pushing a multi-tiered plan to engineer the dictator’s ouster. Former American officials involved in the discussions confirmed that to NBC News.

In an exclusive television interview with NBC News, the former officer, Doug Laux, describes spending a year in the Middle East meeting with Syrian rebels and intelligence officers from various partner countries. Laux, who spoke some Arabic, was the eyes and ears on the ground for the CIA’s Syria task force, he says.

The article noted that the President, who must approve all covert operations, never approved the action.

The article further reports:

Petraeus and others who supported the plan believe it could have prevented the rise of ISIS, Assad’s use of chemical weapons, the European refugee crisis and the tens of thousands of civilian deaths that have happened since, the former officials say. President Obama and many other analysts strongly disagree.

Elements under discussion at the time included not only bolstering Syrian rebels, but pressuring and paying senior members of Assad’s regime to push him out, the former officials said. The idea was that the Syrian civil war could then have been peacefully resolved–a huge uncertainty.

Laux ultimately resigned in frustration — over that and other issues — after it became clear the Obama administration would not move forward.

…But former senior U.S. officials point out that the Lebanon-based terror group Hezbollah, and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, had not yet begun fighting in Syria in significant numbers in 2012. Many players in the region, they say, were waiting to see what the United States would do.

Interfering in civil wars in foreign countries is risky. Libya did not turn out well, and initially Egypt did not turn out well. However, in the case of Syria, not getting involved probably created more problems than it solved.

Part of the problem here is the cultural differences between western culture and the Middle East. The Middle Eastern culture has very little respect for anything but force. President Obama’s lack of action was seen as weakness and viewed as something to be taken advantage of. Unless America elects a leader who is viewed as strong by our enemies, we can expect the problem of ISIS and Hezbollah to grow. We shouldn’t be sending our troops overseas at every moment, but we need to project enough strength to prevent nations and groups that are less than friendly to us from taking advantage of perceived weakness.

Are We Really That Stupid?

It was really nice of Vladimir Putin to offer to help out President Obama in the effort to stabilize Syria. The problem may be that both men have very different ideas as to what constitutes a stable Syria.

On September 29th, Yahoo News reported the following statement by President Obama:

US President Barack Obama said Tuesday that Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad must go if the Islamic State group is to be defeated, as he rallied world leaders to revitalize the coalition campaign against the jihadists.

…”In Syria (…) defeating ISIL requires, I believe, a new leader,” Obama told the gathering, held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

I agree with President Obama that ISIS (the term ISIL President Obama is using denies the existence of Israel) must be defeated. However, if Bashar al-Assad is deposed, do we have any assurance that what replaces him will be either a stable government or a humanitarian government? Are we creating another Libya?

Meanwhile, Russia has agreed to help us defeat ISIS. They have moved some serious weaponry into Syria supposedly for that purpose. It is a really interesting move when you consider that Russia’s goal in Syria is diametrically opposed to our goal in Syria. Bashar al-Assad is an ally of Iran. Russia is an ally of Iran. Russia does not want Bashar al-Assad deposed–they would very much like to keep him in power. Under the guise of helping defeat ISIS, Russia has been able to move serious weaponry into Syria that might coincidentally be used to defeat the enemies of Bashar al-Assad. Unfortunately, the enemies of Bashar al-Assad are the troops we are training and supporting.

Today’s Wall Street Journal reports:

Russia has targeted Syrian rebel groups backed by the Central Intelligence Agency in a string of airstrikes running for days, leading the U.S. to conclude that it is an intentional effort by Moscow, American officials said.

The assessment, which is shared by commanders on the ground, has deepened U.S. anger at Moscow and sparked a debate within the administration over how the U.S. can come to the aid of its proxy forces without getting sucked deeper into a proxy war that President Barack Obama says he doesn’t want. The White House has so far been noncommittal about coming to the aid of CIA-backed rebels, wary of taking steps that could trigger a broader conflict.

Vladimir Putin has again successfully eaten President Obama’s lunch.

I Have An Absolute Attitude Problem With This Story

Yesterday Bloombergview posted a story about the fact that the Justice Department is threatening to bring charges against General Petreaus for classified information found on Paula Broadwell‘s computer. Paula Broadwell was writing a biography of the General, and he has been accused of giving her classified information. My first reaction to this is suspicion of the government. I posted a story in October (rightwinggranny) about Sharyl Attkisson, an investigative reporter who has done a tremendous amount of research on Fast and Furious and Benghazi.

The article at rightwinggranny stated:

Attkisson says the source, who’s “connected to government three-letter agencies,” told her the computer was hacked into by “a sophisticated entity that used commercial, nonattributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency or the National Security Agency.”

…“The intruders discovered my Skype account handle, stole the password, activated the audio, and made heavy use of it, presumably as a listening tool,” she wrote in “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.”

But the most shocking finding, she says, was the discovery of three classified documents that Number One told her were “buried deep in your operating system. In a place that, unless you’re a some kind of computer whiz specialist, you wouldn’t even know exists.”

“They probably planted them to be able to accuse you of having classified documents if they ever needed to do that at some point,” Number One added.

Considering the thuggish tactics often used by the Obama Administration, it is very possible that they did the same thing to Paul Broadwell’s computer.

So what is this really all about? Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted a story that provides some interesting information.

The story at Power Line states:

Petraeus denies that he gave classified information to Broadwell. However, FBI officials reportedly found such documents on her computer after Petraeus resigned from the CIA when news of the affair became public. But it does not appear that the disclosure by Petraeus, if any, resulted in harm to the nation.

Indeed, President Obama has said that he knows of no evidence that Petraeus disclosed classified information “that in any way would have had a negative impact on our national security.” Obama has also said that “we are safer because of the work that Dave Petraeus has done.”

General Petraeus is going to be called to testify before the Congressional Committee investigating Benghazi. I am inclined to believe that this is a warning shot across the General’s bow designed to control his testimony. I hope the intimidation effort by the Obama Administration fails miserably.