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Posts Tagged ‘Saudi Arabia’

Hillary Equivocates on Terrorism Bill

Posted by Steve Markowitz on April 19, 2016

George Stephanopoulos, an ABC news commentator, in a previous life was a Clinton family apologist.  During a recent interview with Hillary Clinton even Stephanopoulos was taken back by her equivocation on an important pending legislation.  (See video below.)

The legislation would allow individuals to sue state sponsors of terrorism in federal court.  This bill has bipartisan support in the Congress, including Democrat Chuck Schumer, but is opposed by the Obama administration on the basis of national security interests.  When asked if Ms. Clinton supported the bill, she did the famous Clinton two-step indicating that she was not aware of the legislation’s specifics.  An incredulous Stephanopoulos questioned Clinton’s lack of knowledge on an issue that is been around for years.  After stammering a bit she incredibly said:

“…. unlike some people, I actually do,     do try to learn what’s at the core of any question before I offer opinion, because you know it’s not enough to say what’s wrong, I think you have a responsibility to fix it.”

It is interesting to review Hillary’s record when it comes to learning what’s “at the core of any question before I offer opinion”.  She certainly did not use this approach when blaming the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi on an obscure video.  She also did not use this analytical approach during her husband’s presidency when Bill was caught with his pants down in the White House.  For those who forget her infamous claim of a great right-wing conspiracy when it came to Monica Lewinsky, the video below offers insight into how Hillary views facts and in this case a vulnerable young female intern.



Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

US Middle East Allies Split with Obama on Egypt

Posted by Steve Markowitz on August 25, 2013

The Obama Administration once again finds itself taking the opposite position of its allies.  As reported in the Wall Street Journal in Allies Thwart America in Egypt, America’s allies in the region oppose Obama policies towards Egypt and more specifically the Muslim Brotherhood.

President Obama’s overall policies towards in Middle East have been a dismal failure.  This started with his apology tour to Cairo shortly after his election to his first term.  Since then the Arab Spring has led to civil war in Syria with over 100,000 being killed.  In Libya, after helping takedown Dictator Qaddafi, the American consulate in Benghazi was attacked with four Americans including the US Ambassador murdered.  The violence in Iraq has grown and Iran continues marching down the path towards obtaining nuclear weapons.  Adding insult to injury, Obama played a key role in downward spiral in Egypt when he threw former ally Hosni Mubarak under the bus, which led to the Muslim Brotherhood taking control.

Not surprising given the chaos in the Middle East, our closest allies in the region are long past being nervous with American policies.  This has led to an unlikely alliance of policy between Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and yes Israel.  All have the clarity of vision to understand what Obama either ignores or is unconcerned with: the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization that cannot coexist with secularists.  While the Obama Administration threatens Egypt with America’s $1.5 billion in annual aid, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have given Egypt $12 million of emergency aid.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to decide who is more important to Egypt.

Muslim_Brotherhood_EmblemAs reported by the Journal, prior to Egyptian military’s overthrow of the Morsi government the Obama Administration tried to persuade the military not to intervene.  The Egyptian military ignored this request.  After the overthrow the Administration asked the military to negotiate a political solution with the Muslim Brotherhood.  The military has done the opposite, harshly cracking down on the Brotherhood.  This led Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to state the obvious: “Our ability to influence the outcome in Egypt is limited.”  Seemingly to put an explanation point on this obvious reality, the Egyptian military released former Egyptian leader Mubarak from jail.

While President Obama continues with the mistaken belief that the Muslim Brotherhood can coexist with secularists, Saudi King Abdullah has appropriately labeled them terrorist and extremist.  This demonstrates just how out of touch Obama is with the realities of the Middle East.  The Obama position with the Brotherhood is akin to suggesting the Ku Klux Klan should be a part of the American government.

It is not surprising that the President finds himself on the opposite side of our allies’.  This has been his modus operandi since the day he became president.

Posted in Egypt | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Keystone Pipeline Decision has Upset Canadian Allies

Posted by Steve Markowitz on January 30, 2012

Earlier this month President Obama used his executive powers to halt construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.  This pipeline, which was to run from Canada to Texas oil refineries, would have brought significant quantities of Canadian oil to the US, reducing our dependence on oil from unfriendly countries.

In announcing the decision, Obama he blamed the Republicans in Congress for demanding action too quickly.  As he so often did when an Illinois State Senator, Obama believes that voting “present” is analogous to decision-making.  How juvenile!

Blog reader John forwarded the video posted below by Canadian talk show host, Ezra Levant.  As Levant explains, Obama’s decision to halt the Keystone pipeline was purely political, designed to assuage radical environmentalists and other Leftist supporters.

Obama’s decision to halt the Keystone pipeline has significant negative implications for the United States.  First, it tells our Canadian allies that we are not a dependable buyer for their oil.  This will force the Canadians to find other buyers, mainly in Asia.  Further, it forces America to continue buying oil from unreliable suppliers who do not particularly like us, including Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela as well as Saudi Arabia.  This is yet another example of Obama rewarding America’s adversaries at the expense of our allies.  How bizarre!

As shown towards the end of the video, during his campaign for the presidency Obama promised to end America’s dependence on oil from Venezuela in the Middle East.  This broken promise is so brazen that it must be considered a “lie”, as Ezra Levant so correctly concludes.


Posted in Environmentalists, President Obama | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

U.S. Accuses Iran in Saudi Envoy Assignation Plot

Posted by Steve Markowitz on October 12, 2011

Yesterday Attorney General Eric Holder announced a murder plot to assassinate a Saudi Arabian diplomat on U.S. soil.  An incredible part of the announcement was the involvement of the Iranian government with Holder saying that the plot was “directed and approved by elements of the Iranian government and, specifically, senior members of the Quds Force” and that “high-up officials in those agencies, which is an integral part of the Iranian government, were responsible for this plot.”

The story gets more bizarre.  The United States has claimed that the Iranians engaged an Iranian-American used-car salesman to hire assassins from a Mexican drug cartel for $1.5 million.  In addition, the Los Zetas cartel was to bomb Israeli and Saudi embassies.  Finally, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards was to funnel opium from the Middle East to Mexico

There have been concerns expressed by some that Attorney General Holder made this announce at this time to take the heat off of Congress’s investigation of his involvement with “Fast and Furious”.  This was the lame plan implemented by US government that allowed thousands of weapons to be sold to Mexican drug cartels with American government approval.  While this Blog would like to give the Attorney General the benefit of doubt, the fact that this serious accusation was made without strong retaliatory diplomatic steps also being announced is curious.

Eric Holder’s involvement in Fast and Furious makes it impossible for him to be an effective Attorney General.  He should immediately resign or be removed from office.

As for Iran, should the US government be certain of the charges it levied against them, it should immediately expel all Iranian diplomats from the United States including those involved with the United Nations.

Posted in Eric Holder, Iran | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Canadian Muslim Offers Profound Warning to the West

Posted by Steve Markowitz on September 19, 2011

Lee forwarded the video link below that is a must see for anyone concerned with the rise of radical Islam worldwide.  The speaker, Tarek Fatah, made the speech this past summer at Ideacity 2011 in Canada.

Fatah was born in Pakistan and also live in Saudi Arabia before emigrating to Canada.  While his college degree is in biochemistry, for most of his adult life Fatah has been a newspaper reporter and author.

Fatah founded the Muslim Canadian Congress and advocates liberal ideas including gay rights, separation of church and state, and opposes imposition of Sharia law.  While he often speaks out against against anti-Semitism, he is a supporter of Palestinian rights.

In February, 2011, Fatah vas diagnosed with a spinal tumor and underwent surgery and chemotherapy.  He is now considered cancer free.

The 18 minute video (link below) is not only a realistic warning to the West about the dangers of radical Islam, but also a condemnation Progressive Liberalism that has facilitated the rise of Islamofascism.

Tarek Fatah Talk Made at ideacity 2011

Posted in Radical Islam | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Saudi Arabia Recalls Ambassador from Syria

Posted by Steve Markowitz on August 8, 2011

While much of the today’s press reports will focus on the economic turmoil caused by the downgrade of the America’s credit rating, there are other tumultuous forces at work worldwide that deserve attention.

Today Saudi Arabia has recalled its Syrian Ambassador.  In a highly unusual move, Saudi King Abdullah demanded that Syria halt the bloodshed that has left nearly 2,000 Syrian protectors killed by Bashar Assad’s regime since March.  In undiplomatic words, the King said: “What is happening in Syria is not acceptable for Saudi Arabia.  Syria should think wisely before it’s too late and issue and enact reforms that are not merely promises but actual reforms.  Either it chooses wisdom on its own or it will be pulled down into the depths of turmoil and loss.

The Saudi actions follow harsh criticism on Saturday by the Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council.  Add to this Turkey’s strong condemnation of the Syrian regime and it is becoming obvious that the Bashar Assad’s days are numbered in Syria and we should expect other Islamic and Arab countries to join the exodus from Damascus shortly.

It is disappointing that the United States has yet to pull its ambassador from Syria.  Once again the U.S. under President Obama follows, rather than leads.

While King Abdullah’s actions toward Syria are to be commended, they are not entirely altruistic given his country is one of the most tightly controlled in the world.  The King is keenly aware that the protests sweeping the Arab world will not leave his country unchanged.  His willingness to throw Assad under the bus after that family has ruled Syrian for four decades is an attempted to get ahead of the wave.  It remains to be seen how long the Saudi population will continue to acquiesce to the rule of a monarchy during a time of historic change in the Middle East.

No one should shed tears when the Assad family is swept from power.  However, tumultuous changes have consequences.  On the positive side, the downfall of Assad will greatly weaken the despots in Iran.  Syria has been the only major Arab country that the Persians could count on as an alley.  As supporters of Assad, the Iranians will not be considered a friend of the new Syria.  In addition, Assad’s fail might spur protests in Iran.

On the negative side, we cannot predict what the new Syria will look like.  Will it be pro-West or become friendly to radical Sunni Islamists?  Finally, given the brutality Assad used to put down protests, it is likely that when they come to power the retribution could get ugly.

Posted in Syria | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

While Middle East Boil, Obama is Silent

Posted by Steve Markowitz on August 4, 2011

With most of the media’s attention recently focused on the debt ceiling circus in Washington, little press has been given to other potential world-changing events such as those playing out in the Middle East.  What started in Tunisia in January as a peaceful revolution has since led to what has been dubbed the “Arab Spring” with much broader implications.  Some of these events include:

Egypt – Shortly after the Tunisian dictator fell, Egyptians massed in Cairo and kicked out Hosni Mubarak.  While then viewed by many in the West as a pro-democracy movement, reality has the army still running the country.  There have also been other signs of concern since March.  Last Friday thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters and fellow Islamists rallied in Cairo against the current status.  Whether these events lead to positive or negative consequences for the West will be left to history.

Libya – It is now nearly six months since President Obama and NATO chose sides and entered this civil war on behalf of some undefined rebels.  The war has dragged on and the rebels are beginning to fight amongst themselves with a major rebel leader recently assassinated.  Even if Gadhafi’s forces are ultimately defeated, the civil war is likely to continue as Libya will be run by its own clan-based social structure.

Iraq – The Bagdad government is semi-dysfunctional.  Terrorist violence is increasing and Iran’s influence seems to be growing.  Obama’s new Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta, has asked Baghdad to make a “damn” decision about allowing American forces to remain in that country after the New Year.

Turkey – Turkey is showing signs of unrest.  Last week its top military leaders resigned in protest of the 40 generals that were arrested by the Islamic government on questionable charges.  In the past nine decades the military has been the most stable guarantor of power since Ataturk founded the modern Turkish Republic.

Yemen – This country on Saudi Arabia’s southern border has been in a state of civil war since the beginning of the year.  It has also become a haven for anti-Western terrorists.

Bahrain – As the home for the American 5th Fleet, this small Persian Gulf country has played an important strategic role for the United States.  Its majority Shiite population has become restless against Bahrain’s rulers who are Sunnis.  Earlier this year Saudi Arabia sent troops into Bahrain to help quell protests.

Iran – Iran continues to march down the path to acquire nuclear weapons.  While most often the danger of a nuclear Iran is discussed in terms of Israel’s security, its implications are much broader.  The tensions between Shiite Iran and the Sunni Muslim (Arab) world go much deeper.  Should Iran gain nukes we should expect that at least the Saudi’s, Jordan and Turkey will also join the nuclear weapons club.  Yikes.

Syria – President Bashar Assad this week upped the ante with Syrian protestors.  His military attacked protesters killing about 100 adding to the 1,600 already killed since in March.  Assad’s clan is part of an offshoot of Shiite Islam called Alawites that make up only about 10% of the Syrian population.  The majority Sunnis have had enough of the 40 year rule of the Assads.  It is likely that there is more bloodshed to come.  Civil war is a possibility and intervention by Iran is not out of the question.


President Obama has been eerily silent on most of the Middle East events this year.  It is evident that the Administration does not have a strategy for this important region.  Earlier in his presidency, Obama reached out to the Muslim world in a charm offensive designed to bridge the gap between Islam and the West.  It has clearly failed with America’s relationship with Islamic countries showing no improvement.  Obama also focused nearly solely on the Israeli/Palestinian issue in the belief that it was the key to peace in the Middle East.  The events listed above prove the fallacy of this policy.  Not only have the President’s polices not brought stability to the Middle East, they may have helped stoke the flames of instability.

During the recent debt ceiling talks, President Obama often publically lectured the Congress about not doing its job.  The President should start this lecturing by looking in the mirror.

The President has not led in the Middle East, but instead followed with erratic positions and policies.  When Iranians protestors were being killed in the streets two years ago by the Mullahs, Obama remained silent.  While Obama stepped in to assist the Libyan rebels, he offers but few words as Syrians protestors are being killed.  At the same time, Obama has been quite vocal in criticizing our only dependable Middle East alley, Israel, for building homes in Jerusalem.  It is little wonder that Middle East countries do not know where the United States stands.

When Barack Obama was elected president he had no executive or managerial experience.  To many on the Left this did not matter as he would bring “hope” and “change”.  Many independents voted for Obama hoping that he would be a quick learner, irrespective of his lack of experience.  Obama has not brought hope or change, nor has he learned to lead.  The legacy of the Obama presidency will include failure on the economic front, as well a foreign policy devoid of any coherent strategy.  This one-term president will vie with Jimmy Carter as the worst president of the last 100 years.

Incredibly, Barack Obama was awarded the Novel Prize for Peace early in his presidency.  You got to admire the gall of Progressives.

Posted in Middle East, President Obama | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

U.S. Airstrikes in Yemen

Posted by Steve Markowitz on June 9, 2011

Yemen, located on the southern border of Saudi Arabia, is in turmoil that is approaching a civil war.  It’s President, Ali Abdullah Saleh, has a tenuous hold on power after months of Yemeni protests.  In addition, the country’s tribal makeup is fracturing.

The New York Times today reported on the not so secret American military action in Yemen.  The Obama administration has been increasing airstrikes in recent weeks.  On Friday al Qaeda operative Abu Ali al-Harithi was killed in a strike.  Last month American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was the target of a failed mission.

It is ironic the President Obama who ran for office on a peace platform has become so aggressive on the use of American military force.  American troops remain in Iraq.  He has accelerated Afghan War, entered a war in Libya, uses Predator drone strikes at will in Pakistan, and most recently is conducting clandestine air raids in Yemen.  The world is learning that Chicago politics can be really nasty.

Posted in Yemen | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How Saudi Arabia Avoids Protests

Posted by Steve Markowitz on June 9, 2011

Arab countries throughout the Middle East are in turmoil.  Dictators in Tunisia and Egypt have fallen.  Civil war exists in Libya and Yemen, and in Syria nearly 1,300 protestors have been killed by the Butcher of Bagdad.  Significant protests have also occurred in other countries including Bahrain and Jordan.

Significant by its absence from the turmoil is Saudi Arabia, the richest Arab country and the most important one relating to the world’s energy resources.  According to the New York Times, this calm has been bought with King Abdullah pumping $130 billion into the economy this year to increase salaries and other benefits.  With the price of oil at about $100, the King has a huge bag of cash available.

The other reason for the calm in Saudi Arabia is the close relationship between the royal family and religious clerics.  The chief cleric in the Kingdom even made a fatwa forbidding street protests.

The calm in Saudi Arabia is a good thing in the short run.  The last thing the world needs is for this country to implode.  However, that calm will be difficult to sustain in the Internet age for a country where women still cannot vote or drive cars.  In addition, when the oil money is depleted and royal family’s bribes stop flowing, Saudi citizens will become unhappy quickly.

Posted in Middle East | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Syria’s House of Assad May not Fall

Posted by Steve Markowitz on May 5, 2011

In recent months Syrian dictator Bashar Assad has tried to brutally put down anti regime protests that have swept the country.  With over 500 protesters killed to date, Assad remains in power.  Clearly something different is at play in Syria as compared to Tunisia, Egypt and even Libya.

Stratfor.com has published a comprehensive recap of the dynamics that make up Syria’s politics and power structure, link provided below.  Titled “Making Sense of the Syrian Crisis”, it explains why the House of Assad may survive the Arab Spring.  This includes a review of how the Assad’s and his minority Alawite sect (10% of Syrian population) came to dominate Syrian politics ands its Army.  It also discusses why such divergent interests as Israel and Saudi Arabia are backing the Assad regime.

The Stratfor.com report helps show why the problems of the Middle East are so complex and difficult to resolve.  It is also helps explain why Western solutions in the Arab Middle East are often not unrealistic.

Making Sense of the Syrian Crisis

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