Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has hit back against accusations by U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter that his country has "no will" to fight terror group ISIS, which prompted Vice President Joe Biden to call al-Abadi and speak about the issue. The Iraqi army has meanwhile launched a major military offensive to liberate the captured Anbar and Salaheddin provinces.
Abadi responded to Carter's accusations over the weekend by stating through a spokesman that the U.S. defense secretary had been given "incorrect information," and said that it's not right to "judge the whole army based on one incident."
Iraqi forces lost the battle for the key city of Ramadi earlier this month, giving ISIS its most significant victory in the country since the U.S. and its international allies began airstrike operations against the terror group last year. more >>
President Barack Obama warned of rising anti-semitism in the world, while seeking to reassure American Jews of his support for Israel, in remarks at Adas Israel Synagogue in Washington on Friday. Obama has spoken at more Jewish synagogues than any other American president.
"Our commitment to Israel's security and my commitment to Israel's security is and always will be unshakable," declared Obama. "We need to stand up to Israel's right to thrive and prosper."
The president also addressed what he sees as a "disturbing rise in anti-semitism," adding, "we know from our history it can't be ignored. 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 >>
The Rev. Franklin Graham has said that atheist groups are attempting to "bully Christians into silence" after the Military Religious Freedom Foundation called for an Air Force general to be court-martialed for giving credit to God at a National Day of Prayer event.
"Are Christians the only group of people who cannot identify themselves publicly in this country? Are we the only voices who cannot speak?" Graham asked in a Facebook post on Monday.
"I guess this group would've tried to court martial George Washington when he prayed at Valley Forge! Come on —whose civil liberties are really being infringed on here? They want to bully Christians into silence," he added. more >>
A detailed Islamic State "secret agent" training manual has been distributed on the Internet and is designed to provide prospective ISIS supporters in Western nations with ways to disguise themselves and their motives when trying to plan and carrying out "lone wolf" attacks and espionage missions.
The 71-page e-book, which was originally published in March and has recently resurfaced on the Internet, includes wide-ranging suggestions for the group's radicalized sympathizers in the West who are looking to make significant contributions to the terror group's jihad, Radio Free Europe reported.
The ebook, which contains 11 chapters, advises extremists in the west not to show any signs that they're devout Muslims so that they do not raise suspicion from national and local law enforcement agencies. more >>
A Fox News poll published on Thursday has revealed that as many as six in 10 Americans, or 60 percent, believe that terrorists are living in their hometown. The number is slightly higher than the 58 percent of respondents who thought the same in June 2002, nine months after the 9/11 attacks.
Among the wide-ranging questions, 29 percent of respondents said it was "very likely" that terrorists are living in their city or hometown, and another 31 percent said that it is "somewhat likely." Still, most Americans, or 65 percent, said that they are somewhat or very confident that intelligence agencies will be able to uncover real terror threats in America in time to prevent attacks.
The poll found that 60 percent of Americans also believe that the country is still in a recession, while 53 percent of voters said that President Barack Obama's administration has not been "competent and effective" in managing the federal government. more >>