Category Archives: Gaza

West Bank Red Line Threat

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In 2012 President Obama said, “We have been very clear to the Assad regime — but also to other players on the ground — that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized.”

Here’s an Arms Control Association timeline of chemical weapons “moving around or being utilized” in Syria.

When it came time to act on his red line threat, Obama got cold feet. But Russia came to the rescue with a deal to remove and destroy the weapons:

The agreement seems to remove the prospect of any strike against Syria following the chemical attacks in Damascus on 21 August which killed up to 1,300 people.

Putin later entered the war with airstrikes in support of Bashar al Assad. That turned the tide in his favor and unleashed a greater flood of refugees and dead.

With the destruction of Aleppo in December Charles Krauthammer  wrote that the Obama administration could offer only bitter speechmaking at the UN:

In the end, the world’s greatest power was reduced to bitter speeches at the U.N. “Are you truly incapable of shame?” thundered U.S. ambassador Samantha Power at the butchers of Aleppo. As if we don’t know the answer.

Red Line Threat

Last week the administration drew a new red line through the West Bank and West Jerusalem for building settlements.

Bokbluster Weekend NATO Editon

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Last week President Obama assured member nations that NATO would defend them. Meanwhile, terrorists frolicked by the pool at the abandoned American Embassy in Tripoli.

Not NATO

On Friday Ukraine signed a ceasefire agreement with Russian separatists. Ukraine isn’t a NATO member. The only American military assistance it received where Meals Ready to Eat. Still it was making progress against the separatists. That is until Russian tanks invaded.

The beheading of two Americans seems to have concentrated the country’s attention on the use of military force. Even Rand Paul wants to wipe out ISIS. He says he’s always been in favor of war if it’s in the national interest. How far does the national interest go?

Pretty far, according to Robert Kagan and Victor Davis Hanson. They both made the same point that when you withdraw military power bad guys fill the vacuum.

Brett Bair interviewed three CIA contractors who were on the ground in Benghazi when Ambassador Stevens was killed. They say their station chief told them to stand down. Eventually they defied orders and fought the terrorists, some of whom may now be poolside in Tripoli.

Stupid Shit Obama Doctrine

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When President Obama is not saying “the Bear is loose”, as he pretends to break the bonds of his keepers, he likes to say he “doesn’t do stupid shit”. Not doing stupid shit seems to be the Obama Doctrine. (I changed “shit” to “stuff” in the cartoon to get it in the newspaper. Harry Truman wouldn’t have given a shit:

Reportedly, at a speech to a Washington garden club, he kept referring to the fact that flowers need manure. Now, in those days, even the word “manure” was a little extreme for such ladies, and afterwards one complained to Mrs. Truman. “Can’t you get the President to say ‘fertilizer?’” “Heavens, no,” Mrs. Truman replied “It took me twenty-five years to get him to say ‘manure’.”)

Anyway, with 2016 approaching, Hillary decided to put some daylight between herself and Barack I. In an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg in Atlantic, the former secretary of state said, “Great nations need organizing principles. “Don’t do stupid shit” isn’t an organizing principle.”

Obama’s response? “That’s horse shit!”

Dana Milbank accuses our fecund fecal minded ruler of going on vacation “while the world burns”. “If  not in the category of “stupid “stuff” it could fall under the heading of tone deafness.”

Even Obama agrees.

Kerry, Qatar, Hamas, and Turkey

140729Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and the Saudis want Hamas out and Fatah in in Gaza. So what did John Kerry  do? He met with Islamist Turkey and Qatar to come up with a cease fire agreement that keeps Hamas in power and its rockets and tunnels intact. The Israeli cabinet unanimously rejected the deal. Israel has Hamas on the ropes. Hammas is without friends – save for Turkey and Qatar – which is why Krauthammer called Kerry Hamas’s lawyer.

Here’s David Harsanyi in The Federalist:

Perhaps because of tragic loss of life, the United States would rather see a ceasefire than Hamas dealt a mortal blow. And that is almost certainly one of the reasons Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields.

Thomas Sowell , looking way back, says ” ‘Cease-fire” and “negotiations” are magic words to “the international community.” But just what do cease-fires actually accomplish?”

In the short run, they save some lives. But in the long run they cost far more lives, by lowering the cost of aggression…

At one time, launching a military attack on another nation risked not only retaliation but annihilation. When Carthage attacked Rome, that was the end of Carthage.

Looks like mutual assured destruction all around is the key to world peace.

The Washington Post’s David Ignatius calls this Kerry’s big blunder:

Kerry’s error has been to put so much emphasis on achieving a quick halt to the bloodshed that he has solidified the role of Hamas, the intractable, unpopular Islamist group that leads Gaza, along with the two hard-line Islamist nations that are its key supporters, Qatar and Turkey. In the process, he has undercut not simply the Israelis but also the Egyptians and the Fatah movement that runs the Palestinian Authority, all of which want to see an end to Hamas rule in Gaza.

The State Department’s response to Kerry criticism? Well, this is “not the way allies treat each other.”

Hamas and the Iron Dome

140718-Hamas-Iron-DomeHamas has fired over 1200 rockets claiming “every Israeli is a legitimate target”. So far only one “legitimate target” has been killed. That’s because of Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense.

Israel doesn’t consider individual Palestinians “legitimate targets”. Before striking back at Hamas it warned civilians with pamphlets and phone calls. Hamas responded by telling them to stay in place as human shields.

Charles Krauthammer writes in the Washington Post, “Rarely does international politics present a moment of such moral clarity”:

“Here’s the difference between us,” explains the Israeli prime minister. “We’re using missile defense to protect our civilians, and they’re using their civilians to protect their missiles.”

Hamas and the Iron Dome

William Saletan in Slate says there’s plenty to argue about in Gaza, “But one thing should be clear to everyone: Hamas is insane. It’s destroying Gaza.”

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, is perplexed:

What are you trying to achieve by sending rockets?” he asked rhetorically in a TV interview. In another appearance, he pleaded: “We are the losing side, and every minute there are more and more unnecessary deaths. … I don’t like trading in Palestinian blood.”

The Guardian disagrees. Seumas Milne says, “The idea of Israel defending itself from unprovoked attacks is absurd.”