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Posts Tagged ‘Yemen’

State Department’s Jen Psaki Taken to Woodshed by Fox’s Megyn Kelly

Posted by Steve Markowitz on February 15, 2015

Last Thursday State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki was interviewed by Fox News’ Megyn Kelly. The interview, link provided below, was another demonstration of the Obama Administration’s feckless and incompetent foreign policy.

The subject of the Psaki interview was the overthrow of the Yemeni government three weeks ago, which was relatively friendly to the United States, by the Houthoi rebels who are not. Also discussed was the unplanned and chaotic departure of American embassy personnel.

When pressed by Kelly as the weather the Yemeni situation was another demonstration of failed American policy in the Middle East, Psaki did the bureaucratic two-step, passing it off as just one of those things. The unwillingness by the Obama Administration to accept any responsibility for the degenerating state of foreign affairs shows the utmost gall.

Just five months ago President Obama touted Yemen as an example of his successful counterterrorism strategy stating: “This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years.” This brings to question what failure looks like to Barack Obama.


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

Liberal MSNBC Commentators Criticize Obama’s State of the Union Address

Posted by Steve Markowitz on January 23, 2015

MSNBC has been a stalwart liberal proponent and outward supporter of Barack Obama and his policies for most of his first six years in office. However, even this Left-leaning network has become increasingly critical of Obama.

Shortly after the President’s State of the Union address, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and Andrea Mitchell were highly critical of the President’s bravado concerning foreign policy in the exchange included in video posted below:

Chris Matthews: “… even in a solipsistic way. Because I kept thinking tonight, there’s a real world out there that he didn’t really talk about. And perhaps the over-ambitious notions where we stood in the war against ISIL, the Islamic State – he doesn’t want to call It the Islamic State, but that’s what they call themselves – uh, there’s two Japanese people, no guilt on their shoulders, just staring out of the desert, who are going to be, apparently, decapitated… Uh, that reality, what is going on in Nigeria is reality. How close was the President to reality, overall, globally, tonight?”

Andrea Mitchell: “I think that on foreign policy, his projection of success against terrorism and against ISIS in particular, as I said, is not close to reality. It’s just that… they have not come up with a strategy. And they built a global coalition… but again, he talked about Ukraine, he talked about Putin being isolated… yes, Putin is isolated economically, and the falling oil prices have hammered his economy, but at the same time there is renewed fighting in Donetsk, and we haven’t figured out Ukraine, we haven’t figured out how the NATO alliance can push back. The sanctions have not really worked, and Ukraine is going to need more weaponry. They have not reached that point. So, you’re right, Chris. It doesn’t match the reality.”

Perhaps putting an explanation mark on Matthews’ and Mitchell’s criticism of Obama, yesterday the Middle East country of Yemen fell to a radical Shiite-backed militias. It was not long ago that Obama had the extreme naïveté to call Yemen a success story in his administration’s counter attack to Islamic terrorism

It is clear that Western and America’s interests throughout the world are under attack in the most significant ways since World War II. It is not by coincidence that this is occurring six years after the continuation Obama’s feckless foreign policy. The President has shown an inability to understand, let alone manage, foreign affairs in a way that serves America’s interests. It is unreasonable to expect improvement during Obama’s last two years in office. We can only hope that the problems are relatively contained until the next president takes the office. While hope is not a plan, it is unfortunately the only option available given the President’s unwillingness to admit failure and change course.

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

Water Boarding Versus Drone Assassinations

Posted by Steve Markowitz on November 25, 2012

It the early days of the Obama presidency, the Administration attacked President George W. Bush’s war on terror policies.  This included Obama’s promise to close the Guantánamo Bay terrorist detention center, which still remains open.  There were also announcements of prosecuting some involved in the war on terror including CIA employees who used enhanced interrogation techniques including waterboarding.  While the Administration did not follow through on this politically motivated war against its predecessor, it caused embarrassment for the Country and fear within the intelligence community.  The Leftist mainstream media was an eager assistant in the Administration’s effort.

Nearly four years later it is instructive to review the Obama Administration’s related policies against suspected terrorists.  No longer is there talk about enhanced interrogation techniques, but that is not a guarantee that such techniques are not being used.  However, the Obama Administration’s increased use of targeted assassinations through drone strikes has conveniently eliminated the possibility of such interrogation in many cases.

The mainstream media does not seem to a problem with Obama’s use of assassinations.  In fact, when it does report on this issue it does so with a callous attitude towards the killings.  Today’s New York Times published an article titled Election Spurred a Move to Codify U.S. Drone Policy, which demonstrates this remarkable metamorphosis by the press.

The Times reported that during the Obama presidency, there have been over 300 drone strikes by the CIA killing approximately 2.500 people including suspected terrorists and innocent bystanders.  These attacks have occurred in various countries without permission including Pakistan and Yemen that have created ill will towards America.

The Times also reported that prior to the recent presidential election, there was concern in the Administration that Romney might be elected and therefore began creating legal papers to define and add constraints on the drone assassination program.  The President raised a related issue in mid- October on The Daily Show saying: “One of the things we’ve got to do is put a legal architecture in place, and we need Congressional help in order to do that, to make sure that not only am I reined in but any president’s reined in terms of some of the decisions that we’re making.”  However, after his reelection the Administration has placed this effort on the back burner.

The United Nations has announced plans to investigate America’s drone strikes.  It is likely they will find the program in breach of international law.  This raises the interesting question as to whether the President could be subject to prosecution by an international court.  Given that the United Nations is run by Progressives with similar views to those Leftists currently occupying White House should give Obama concern.  Hopefully his successor will act with more dignity concerning this issue than Obama did concerning the Bush Administration’s use of waterboarding.

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

Eric Holder Approves Assassinating American Citizens

Posted by Steve Markowitz on March 7, 2012

Eric Holder recently gave a speech at the Northwestern University Law School that again shows Progressives do not mind using deadly force to enforce national interests as they perceive them.  It has become clear that their problems with George W. Bush’s use of such force was based on the man dishing out the punishment, not on moral grounds.

The New York Times reported that Holder’s speech offered a justification for the Obama Administration’s killing of American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, in Yemen via a Predator drone strike.  Holder called al-Awlaki a terrorist that the United States could not capture and therefore had “the clear authority to defend the U.S. from lethal force.”  He also added a few caveats for future assassinations including that targeted individuals would need to be located in a foreign country and be a leader of a terrorist organization planning to kill Americans.  Then, in an attempt in to sanitize deadly force, Holder indicated that the killings must be done in compliance with the Geneva Convention.  Yikes, that caveat certainly does not make the victims any less dead.

The negative response from the American Civil Liberties Union to the Obama Administration’s position was immediate.  One director, Hina Shamsi, correctly said: “Few things are as dangerous to American liberty as the proposition that the government should be able to kill citizens anywhere in the world on the basis of legal standards and evidence that are never submitted to a court, either before or after the fact.”  A positive outcome of President Obama’s election has been to bring together to diverse groups: Libertarian Conservatives that include this Blog, and the heavily left-leaning ACLU.

It is ironic that radical Leftist Barack Obama, who ran for the presidency on a peace platform and against Bush’s anti-terror policies, not only ratcheted up the war in Afghanistan, but is using international assassinations as a central tool of his foreign policy.  This same Administration that would take criminal action against CIA employees who used waterboarding prior to Obama’s election has no problem justifying the use of assassination against similar targets.  This perverted logic is allowed to continue by a press that remains silent and the radical Left that treats Obama more like an emperor than a servant of the people.

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

Bad Intelligence Led to Yemen Drone Strike

Posted by Steve Markowitz on January 20, 2012

The Wall Street Journal reported that bad intelligence led to the killings of six innocent civilians in a US drone attack in Yemen.  It seems that some Yemenis fed the bad intelligence to the U.S. that led to a May 25, 2010 drone attack that took out some fellow Yemenis they had grudges against.

It is telling that when George W. Bush authorized waterboarding on a handful of known terrorists bent on killing Americans that the Leftist press created headlines for months.  However, when President Obama authorizes the use of drones for assassinating terrorists that leads to the killing of innocents, it receives almost no press.  It makes a strong statement as to the perverted logic and morals of Progressives.

Posted in Mainstream Media, Terrorism | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Yemeni Dictator to Be Admitted Into U.S.

Posted by Steve Markowitz on December 27, 2011

The Obama Administration has decided to allow Yemeni President (dictator), Ali Abdullah Saleh, to enter the United States for medical treatment.  The New York Times reported that Yemeni leader will be treated at New York-Presbyterian Hospital this coming week for injuries he sustained during attempted assassination earlier in the year in Yemen.

The President’s decision has potential consequences.  It suggests yet another comparison between Obama and President Jimmy Carter.  In the late 1970s, Carter decided to allow another embattled dictator, the Shah of Iran, to enter the United States for medical treatment.  This led to Iranian hostage crisis and a break in Iranian-American relations that continues to this day.

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

Obama Verses Bush Justice

Posted by Steve Markowitz on October 21, 2011

All presidents have narratives created about them.  Sometimes the narratives accurately reflect the man, as with Nixon being “tricky”.  Other narratives have not reflected the individual with an example being that Eisenhower supposedly accomplished little and played too much golf.

It is interesting to compare the related narratives created by the Leftist media for George W. Bush and his successor, Barack Obama concerning the use of force.  Bush was portrayed as a cowboy ready to use force on a moment’s notice.  Obama, on the other hand, has been portrayed as more cerebral, instead using negotiations.  Reality, however, tells quite a different story.

On the use of the U.S. military, Bush engaged America in two wars; Afghanistan and Iraq.  Most Americans would agree that the initial invasion of Afghanistan was justified due to that country protecting the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks.  Similarly, most Americans believe that the Iraq invasion was ill-advised.  Obama has a similar record in this area.  He has not only continued the Afghan War, but has increased America’s effort with more troops.  Obama has also involved America in the Libyan civil war and more recently committed troops to Central Africa.

A comparison of Bush’s and Obama’s willingness to use deadly force against terrorists is more telling.  During the Bush presidency two world-known terrorists were captured; Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM, 9/11 planner) and Saddam Hussein (Iraq’s dictator).  KSM was brought to America and is currently in a U.S. jail.  Hussein was turned over to the Iraqi government and later executed.

President Obama has been even more successful in getting high-value bad guys.  During this year alone, America Navy SEALS assassinated Osama Bin Laden.  Then, a few months later Obama order a successful drone hit on American citizen in Yemen, Anwar alAwlaki, which also resulted in the death of others; i.e. collateral damage.  Yesterday, a U.S. drone strike hit a convoy in Libya that resulted in first the capture and then the execution of former dictator Colonel Gadhafi.  Three bad guys located; three assassinated.  That’s the trifecta for President Obama.

The use of force narratives created for Bush and Obama by Progressives are but fantasies.  For Obama’s narrative he was awarded the Noble Prize for Peace.  That’s Progressive Chutzpah!













Posted in George H. Bush, President Obama | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Waterboarding and Drone Strikes

Posted by Steve Markowitz on October 20, 2011

Since the election of Barack Obama as president, the Left has had its sole tested and it has failed.  Moral issues that Obama raised in the campaign against the Bush Administration included the Patriot Act and governmental intrusion into individual Civil Liberties, the terrorist prison in Guantanamo, America’s worldwide military interventions, and the government’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques; i.e. waterboarding.  Now nearly three-years in the Obama Administration it is instruction to revisit these issues.

Patriot Act – The president has supported the continuation of this Act that is likely un-Constitutional.

Guantanamo Prison – The prison remains open even though one of his first acts as president, Obama signed an order to close it.

America’s Military Interventions – They have not lessened under the Obama Presidency.  The Afghan War has been escalated; the President has and continues to breach Pakistan’s and other countries’ sovereignty through clandestine strikes; Obama has participated in an attack on Libya; and most recently the President has sent troops to Central Africa.

Perhaps the key issue showing Obama’s and the Left’s disingenuous behavior towards the Constitution is the Administration’s use of assassinations in foreign countries.  While most Americans agree that the hit on Bin Laden was justified given his participation in the 9/11 attacks, Obama’s use of Drones in Pakistan, Yemen and other countries to assassinate those targeted by the Administration is on shaky legal and moral grounds.

It is ironic that in justifying the assassinations, the Obama Administration now uses a lawyer who was an attack dog of the Left against less lethal use of force by the Bush Administration.  Former law professor and dean of the Yale Law School, Harold Koh, was a vocal opponent of the Bush Administration and its use of waterboarding.  Now Koh is part of the Obama Administration and prepares legal documents justifying the use of drones to assassinate those defined as terrorist by the Administration.

Progressive Leftist either have a unique sense of morals or none at all.  Should we accept that they have morals, then they believe that waterboarding individuals after capture is a crime, but killing them before capture is not.  Unbelievable!

It is evident that the Left has used claims of morality in the past to pursue political ends.  Not only has Obama changed potion on these issue, but the Leftist mainstream remains silent and the anti-war movement has not initiated a protest.

Posted in Constitution, President Obama | 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 »