President Barack Obama has said that despite recent setbacks, such as ISIS capturing the city of Ramadi in Iraq, the United States is not losing in the war against the terror group. Obama admitted, however, that there have been flaws in the U.S.'s approach to the conflict, which he said will be a "multi-year" campaign.
"I don't think we're losing," Obama told The Atlantic in an interview days after the fall of Ramadi.
"There's no doubt there was a tactical setback, although Ramadi had been vulnerable for a very long time, primarily because these are not Iraqi security forces that we have trained or reinforced.They have been there essentially for a year without sufficient reinforcements, and the number of ISIL [ISIS] that have come into the city now are relatively small compared to what happened in [the Iraqi city of] Mosul." more >>
After days of halting answers from Jeb Bush, it now looks like a rough consensus is emerging in the Republican presidential field. Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Chris Christie all agree: If they were president and they knew that our sworn enemy, the terrorist-supporting Saddam Hussein, only possessed thousands of deteriorating chemical warheads — rather than thousands of fully functional chemical weapons — they would not have invaded Iraq. Their answers to this question — which was designed mainly to remind the American people how much they hated the Iraq War and to force Republicans to distance themselves from George W. Bush — are troubling on two counts.
First, they allow the Left to define the terms of the debate by limiting our hindsight to the lessons we'd learned by 2005 — when we were fighting a losing war in a deteriorating nation perceived to be devoid of WMDs. But this is 2015, and we know much more — including that a chemical-weapons arsenal existed, that the insurgency could be defeated, and that the example of Syria shows that the alternative to deposing Saddam wasn't necessarily greater stability but potentially even worse genocidal chaos.
Most importantly, hindsight also teaches us that American withdrawal from Iraq led to military disaster that cannot be easily reversed — much less stabilized — by a limited air campaign. So, knowing now what we didn't know then, the answer is a smarter intervention, not the same intervention — an intervention that combines the tactics and lessons of the Surge with the staying power we've demonstrated in other volatile hot spots, like Korea. The alternative — as we know — is a growing jihadist menace, genocide against Christians and other religious minorities, and increased instability in a geopolitically vital region. more >>
This year Memorial Day, when we pause to reflect on the sacrifices of our fallen veterans, has special historic significance. In 2015 Memorial Day will fall between the 70th Anniversary of VE Day and the 70th Anniversary of VJ day on September 2 – the end of World War II. On May 8, 1945 the world celebrated VE Day that marked Victory in Europe in World War II. Church bells pealed all over England. Crowds gathered to celebrate in Piccadilly Circus. Seventy years ago, Prime Minister Winston Churchill gave a speech in which he summed it up…
"This is the lesson: never give in, never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force: never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. God bless you all. This is your victory!
About a week prior to VE Day, Adolf Hitler had committed suicide in his bunker on April 30, 1945. About three months later, VJ Day (September 2 in USA), marking Victory over Imperial Japan and the signing of the surrender documents aboard the USS Missouri Tokyo bay would be celebrated around the world. more >>
House Foreign Relations Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) recently briefed members of the Israel Allies Caucus on Capitol Hill. He spoke to supporters about Iran.
Leading off with a question from decades ago: "What distinguishes the United States' nuclear missile arsenal from that of the Soviet Union?" That question was asked of President John F. Kennedy. And that young President answered succinctly: Attitude. Exactly right. The attitude of the United States is not one of dominance and aggression, whereas that the USSR was undeniably so. President Kennedy had only to point to the Berlin Wall--an ugly spike driven through the heart of a great old European city.
Chairman Royce was too diplomatic to say it, but it is the case that liberal Democrats like Kennedy used to understand these matters. Not only could Kennedy brush away a pesky reporter's rude question with wit and concision, but he could play offense, too. Many Americans yet remember JFK at the Berlin Wall in the last hopeful springtime of his life. If anyone doubts that freedom is preferable to Communism, "lass is nach Berlin kommen" the young statesman said in very passable German: "Let them come to Berlin!" Happily, there are still some liberal Democrats on the Hill--supporters of the Israel Allies Caucus--who still do get it. They are part of a bi-partisan effort to make sure Iran does not get sanctions relief--a "signing bonus" in Chairman Royce's apt phrase--while making no real halt in its lurch for nuclear weapons. more >>
There has been no shortage of outrage directed at the pope for calling the phantom president (serving the 11th year of a four year term) of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, an angel of peace. Coming on the heels of the Vatican recognizing the equally fictitious state of Palestine, whose boundaries are a matter of conjecture, supporters of Israel have felt this was an additional act of betrayal.
But rather than unduly criticize the pope, we might wish to consider the tortured desperation confronting the leader of the Catholic Church as he watches daily reports of the wanton slaughter of Christians by an Islamic fundamentalism that is sweeping across the Middle East.
There is a reformation sweeping the Islamic world, but rather than being directed toward the greater advancement of liberty and tolerance, it has turned toward emulating the most violent and bloodthirsty aspects of Islam's beginnings. Like many revival movements, it requires "the other" (some group to be different) for its own definition of self. more >>
Osama bin Laden, the founder of al-Qaeda and mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, repeatedly warned his supporters against the formation of terror group ISIS, newly released documents by the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence revealed.
In one letter addressed to Atiyah abd al-Rahman, a now-deceased al-Qaeda figure, bin Laden said that efforts need to remain focused on attacking America, rather than establishing the Islamic State.
"You should ask them to avoid insisting on the formation of an Islamic State at the time being, but to work on breaking the power of our main enemy by attacking the American embassies in the African countries, such as Sierra Leone, Togo, and mainly to attack the American oil companies," bin Laden instructed, according to an English translation of the letter. more >>