President Barack Obama said he rejects the notion that the war on terrorism is any kind of "religious war" against radical Islam, and that the U.S. should align itself with the 99.9 percent of Muslims who are also looking for peace and prosperity.
"There is an element growing out of Muslim communities, in certain parts of the world, that have perverted the religion, have embraced an annihilistic, violent, almost medieval interpretation of Islam," Obama said Sunday on CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS."
The president acknowledged that they are doing damage in a lot of countries around the world. more >>
The United States may need to send its ground troops back into Iraq to push the Islamic State terror group out of that country, outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said. He also admitted that some White House officials were not happy with his cautious approach in releasing Guantanamo detainees.
"I think it [driving out Islamic State terrorists] may require a forward deployment of some of our troops, not doing the fighting, not doing the combat work that we did at one time for six years in Iraq and we did for many, many years in Afghanistan, but to help air strike," Hagel said in an interview with CNN aired Friday.
"I would say that we're not there yet," said Hagel, who announced his resignation allegedly under pressure in November. "Whether we get there or not, I don't know. Whether that's something that our military commanders would recommend into the future, I don't know." more >>
Saudi Arabia and the Islamic State terrorist group have a nearly identical justice system in their interpretation of Shariah law and the use of capital punishment, according to a Middle Eastern news site.
Known as Middle East Eye, the news site posted a chart on Twitter Tuesday noting the similarities between the legal code of the Saudi Kingdom and ISIS.
The Imitation Game, like all historical movies, has little relation to actual history and is primarily a fictional interpretation of the brilliant British mathematician Alan Turing who helped break the German military code during World War II.
Accepting that the film does not convey reality in specifics, and that it somewhat extols Turing as a gay martyr in sync with Hollywood p.c., it still entertainingly captures some larger realities about the ethics of global statecraft.
British code breakers at the now legendary Bletchley Park at the war's start struggled mightily to surmount Germany's encoding Enigma machine, a version of which had been smuggled to the British by Polish intelligence. Although unreferenced in the film, the heroic Polish agents were captured and tortured by the Germans but reportedly never surrendered their secret. more >>
At 9:30 p.m. on Saturday night, a packed theater in Franklin, Tenn., was completely quiet. As the credits rolled, some folks were filing out, but many more were standing, still looking at the screen, honoring the man whose life they'd just seen portrayed on the silver screen.
Before the movie, I'd never seen the parking lot so crowded. I had to park more than a quarter-mile away, hidden in the corner of a restaurant parking lot (hoping I wouldn't be towed), and watched in amazement as people were streaming into the theater from parking spaces scattered far and wide. It almost goes without saying when a January movie release breaks $90 million in three days, but I felt as if I was witnessing an important cultural moment. This movie was striking a chord in America beyond any post 9/11 movie — beyond even the best of movies about the War on Terror, including Lone Survivor. I think I know why.
First — and most important — it's a phenomenal movie. America is awash in "message movies," left and (recently) on the right. While there are some people who'll attend movies just to make a statement, most of us want to see good movies, with the right statement merely an optional bonus. American Sniper is better than good. It's one of the best war movies I've ever seen, and is now in the pantheon of my all-time favorite movies of any type. Bradley Cooper is outstanding, and the movie pulls off something I've never truly seen in a war film: It creates fully realized characters both inside and outside the combat environment. By the end of the movie, we feel that we understand who Chris Kyle was, who is wife is, what they endured, and what motivated them. They're not one-dimensional heroes but fully realized people who did heroic things. more >>
Dear French personnes,
I've been deep in thought while drinking a Double Ristretto Venti Half-Soy Nonfat Organic Chocolate Brownie Iced Vanilla Double-Shot Gingerbread Frappuccino at Starbucks, and feel like I owe an apology to you people for ditching France last Sunday. I realize over 40 world leaders and as many as three million people walked in the France Unity March to show solidarity against the fatal terrorist attacks on the French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo. As you know, I'm the most powerful man in the world, and up until the country started to go downhill under my administration, the U.S. was the number one superpower. Little people have plenty of free time, big people have legacies to make.
Now, I did instruct a wealthy donor of mine who lives in France, Jane Hartley, to attend the march, does that count? She raised me an impressive $500,000 in 2012, so I made her an ambassador to France last fall. Some assistant secretary at the Department of State also showed up, I can't recall her name, a low-level official. John Kerry was in India giving an important speech on manmade global warming -er, climate change is what we're calling it now - but gimme some credit, I did send him to France after the march because he appears kinda French. Eric Holder was already in France for a counterterrorism summit, but he bungled my instructions to attend the march - I think he got distracted by a race riot on the way there. more >>