Thursday, June 27, 2013

Taliban kill 6 Afghan police officers & 4 civilians; 80 US military helicopters in Afghanistan damaged in "unprecedented" hailstorm

Taliban fighters killed four Afghan police officers and their commander during an attack on a Afghan police patrol in western Afghanistan, authorities said on Thursday.

In Afghanistan’s eastern province of Laghman, four people returning home from a wedding were killed and another injured when a roadside bomb exploded next to their car. An Afghan police officer was also killed in the attack.

In other news: The U.S. military revealed on Thursday that a "sudden unprecedented hailstorm" struck Kandahar airfield on April 23, raining down golf ball-sized hail stones and inflicting heavy damage on more than 80 US military helicopters, ultimately grounding the choppers for weeks until repairs were completed. About eight of the helicopters are still unfit for operation. 

However, the Obama administration recently entered into a $572 million helicopter contract with Russia's state-owned arms exporter for 30 military helicopters that will go to Afghan security forces. Hence, the U.S. military could always borrow some of the Russian-made, Afghan helicopters. Or, a second option: The Obama administration could continue to enrich the aforementioned Russian arms dealers and order some additional Russian helicopters for the U.S. military in Afghanistan........

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Taliban launches attack near Afghan Presidential palace and CIA station in Kabul

The Taliban Tuesday launched an attack near the Afghan Presidential Palace in Kabul, killing at least three security guards.

The gun-battle, and the subsequent suicide car bombing, occurred near the gate leading to the Presidential palace next to the Afghan Defense Ministry and the former Ariana Hotel, which houses a CIA station.

A Taliban spokesman released a statement saying the Presidential palace, the Defense Ministry and the CIA station were the intended targets.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Obama administration's Russian arms supplier equipping Syrian regime with powerful S-300 missile system?

From Fox News:
Russia says it will honor its controversial contract to deliver S-300 air defense missile systems to Syria.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with Russian state TV Thursday that "we respect all our contracts and are honoring all our contractual obligations.

"As yet, the contracts are not finished, they have not been delivered in full," he added.

Russia last month acknowledged it has agreed to sell Syria advanced S-300 air-defense missiles, which are considered to be the cutting edge in aircraft interception technology.

Russia has stood by Syrian President Bashar Assad during the two-year civil war, blocking several U.N. resolutions and calls for his ouster. The death toll from the conflict is at least 93,000.
The S-300 systems have been described as state-of-the-art airplane and rocket-destruction devices. The latest updated version of the S-300, the S-300PMU-2, has the capacity to launch six missiles at once. Each missile is capable of knocking out aircraft flying at several times the maximum speed of the F-16 and F-22 fighter jets. The S-300PMU-2 also has the capacity to intercept tactical ballistic missiles, cruise and Tomahawk missiles.

In short, the S-300 missiles give the Syrian regime an incredible weapon that is capable of knocking out the most advanced military aircraft and missiles.

Last month, various media outlets quoted Syrian President, Bashar Assad, as saying that Syria had already received the first shipment of S-300 rockets from Russia. Other media sources report that, as of yet, Syria has not received any of the S-300's. While other media outlets have reported that Syria might have received some components of the S-300 systems. And, as noted earlier via Fox News, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with Russian state TV on Thursday that, "As yet, the contracts are not finished, they have not been delivered IN FULL", which would seem to suggest that, while the S-300's "have not been delivered IN FULL", they HAVE been delivered....

Whether Syria has actually received the S-300's from Russia, or some of the S-300's, or some of the components of the S-300 system, is not clear. However, Mr. Lavrov's quote, and the quote attributed to Bashar Assad, would seem to confirm that deliveries were made.

Nevertheless, the S-300 system aside, we do know with certainty - as I noted on Wednesday - that Russia, via its state-owned arms distributor, Rosoboronexport, is currently supplying the Syrian regime with various kinds of weapons. Rosoboronexport is also the arms firm that distributes the S-300 systems. It is also the same firm that has entered into a $572 million contract with the Obama administration for 30 Mi-17 military helicopters that will go to Afghan security forces. It is also the same company that has supplied Iran with various weapons, including surface-to-air missiles and aircraft bombers capable of carrying tactical nuclear weapons. It is also the same firm that was placed under sanctions by the Bush administration, until 2010, when Obama decided to lift the sanctions. And, starting in 2011, Obama decided to enrich the rogue Russian arms exporter with lucrative military contracts.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Obama administration enriching Russian company that supplies weapons to Syria & Iran

From Fox News:
A Republican senator blasted the Pentagon after it entered into a new helicopter contract with a Russian company [the state-owned Russian arms dealer Rosoboronexport] which is supplying the Syrian regime - even as the U.S. moves to arm the Syrian opposition.

The [$572 million] contract was announced Monday with Russian arms firm Rosoboronexport, for [30 Mi-17] military helicopters that will go to Afghan security forces...

"American taxpayers should not be indirectly subsidizing the murder of Syrian civilians," Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said in a statement.

Cornyn first challenged the Pentagon over a prior contract with Rosoboronexport last year, and was able to successfully pass an amendment in November barring the use of funds for contracts with the company.

But the latest contract used money from the fiscal 2012 budget, which was approved before Cornyn's amendment.

Cornyn said Tuesday that the Obama administration also could get around that amendment by arguing the contract was in the country's national security interests.

"In other words: they want us to believe that we are promoting U.S. security by doing business with a Russian arms dealer that is helping an anti-American, terror-sponsoring dictatorship commit mass atrocities," he said...

A Pentagon official wrote a letter to Cornyn in March 2012 that acknowledged "evidence" that Rosoboronexport's arms "are being used by Syrian forces against Syria's civilian population."...

Rosoboronexport... appears to be Syria's main weapons supplier.
In July of 2006, a Russian Daily reported that Rosoboronexport had contracted with Iran to modernize 30 Iranian Sukhoi Su-24 bombers that have the capacity to carry tactical nuclear weapons. Subsequently, the Bush administration, in August of 2006, imposed sanctions on Rosoboronexport for a period of two years. In 2008, the Bush administration renewed sanctions on Rosoboronexport after the company contracted once again to sell additional weaponry to Iran, incluing surface-to-air missiles.

However, in 2010, the Obama administration lifted the sanctions against Rosoboronexport, and, in June of 2011, the administration awarded the company with a $375 million contract to purchase 21 Russian-made MI-17 helicopters for the Afghan air force. And, as I noted earlier, the administration has now entered into a new agreement with the Russian company: a $572 million contract to purchase 30 Mi-17 helicopters for the Afghan security forces.

During a recent press briefing, White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, sharply criticized the Russian government for supplying the "tyrannical" Syrian regime with advanced weaponry. But apparently, the supplying of weapons to the Syrian regime hasn't deterred the Obama administration from doing business with the very same state-owned, Russian company that is supplying these weapons to Syria.

Bottom line: Obama deserves high marks for the way he has managed to reset U.S/Russian relations with his proverbial "Reset Button", thereby enabling the Russians to dictate U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, while at the same time enabling Russia's state-owned, rogue arms dealers to rake in millions upon millions of dollars from the American taxpayers.

An incredible achievement, indeed!

Obama in '08 lambasted Pakistani President over Taliban talks

"We have to change our policies with Pakistan," said then-Sen. Barack Obama during an October 2008 Presidential debate. "We can't coddle a dictator, give him billions of dollars, and then he's making peace treaties with the Taliban..."

Fast forward: American taxpayers coddle Obama, give him billions and trillions of their hard-earned dollars, "and then he's making peace treaties with the Taliban..."

Taliban kills four U.S. soldiers after Obama administration announces formal talks

The Taliban claimed responsibility on Wednesday for a deadly overnight attack on Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, just hours after the Obama administration announced that it would begin formal talks with the group, the AFP reported. Four U.S. soldiers were killed in the attack.

"Last night two big rockets were launched at Bagram (air base) which hit the target. Four soldiers are dead and six others are wounded. The rockets caused a major fire," a Taliban spokesman told the AFP.

A pentagon official also confirmed that four Americans were killed during an overnight rocket attack at Bagram Airbase.

Bagram Air Base is the largest US-led military base in Afghanistan and is situated just 30 miles north of Kabul, the capital.

Related Post from January of 2012: Obama reaches out to Mullah Omar, while Mullah Omar reaches out for more destruction 

Friday, June 14, 2013

After Clinton critique, Obama finally acknowledges Syria crossed Red Line

Despite the fact that the Syrian regime had crossed President Obama's declared "Red Line" quite some time ago with its use of chemical weapons, Mr. Obama, only yesterday acknowledged this fact, two days after former President Bill Clinton took a swipe at him and criticized him for ignoring the situation in Syria and paying too much attention to opinion polls.

The question of whether President Obama should intervene in the Syrian crisis or not, or whether he should have intervened at an earlier date, before Al Qaeda had significantly infiltrated the rebel ranks, is open for debate. But, nevertheless, it's worthy to note that "Red Lines", Chemical weapons, violence, chaos and terror are of little import to Obama. What matters to the Politician-in-Chief are Bill Clinton's critique and public opinion polls.

Hence, although Syria had already crossed the President's "Red Line" several months ago, it is only now, after Clinton's critique that Obama has decided to acknowledge this fact.

Precisely what course of action Obama plans to take in Syria depends on what the Politician-in-Chief feels is both the "politically correct" course of action for him to take and in his own best interest.

As to why Mr. Clinton suddenly took a swipe at Obama and sharply criticized his handling of the Syrian crisis, I speculated on that in my previous post: Mr. Clinton, perhaps, is trying to pave the way forward for Hillary's 2016 Presidential bid, hence he is trying to absolve her of any responsibility for the way Obama has handled the crisis in Syria.

Previous Post: Bill Clinton sharply criticizes Obama

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Bill Clinton sharply criticizes Obama

During a joint question-and-answer session with Sen. John McCain at the McCain Institute for International Leadership in Manhattan Tuesday night, former President Bill Clinton sharply criticized the way President Obama has handled the ongoing crisis in Syria.

Why did Clinton suddenly lash out at Obama and criticize his handling of the Syrian crisis? Is the former President paving the way for Hillary's 2016 Presidential bid by absolving her of any responsibility for the way Obama has handled the turmoil in Syria? Who knows.

According to Politico, the former President told McCain - during the joint question-and-answer session - that he agrees with his sentiment that President Barack Obama is not acting forcefully enough to support anti-Assad rebels in Syria.

"I agree with you about this", Clinton told McCain. Blaming a lack of intervention on opposition in polls or among members of Congress would be “lame”, Clinton said, adding that the American public elects presidents and members of Congress “to see down the road” and “to win."

The former President implied that Obama or any president risks looking like “a total fool” if they listen too closely to opinion polls and act too cautiously, Politico reported.

The masterful and cunning politician and PR man - albeit nowhere near a cunning and masterful politician as Obama - went on to say that Syria "is like Afghanistan was in the ’80s when they were fighting the Soviet Union … when President Reagan was in office [and] got an enormous amount of influence and gratitude by helping to topple the Soviet-backed regime and then made the error of not hanging around in Afghanistan” to try to cash in on the gains.

The former President omitted the fact that Obama and Hillary Clinton made the decision to prematurely withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan even as the level of violence in the country continues to rise at an alarming pace. On the flip side, Ronald Reagan had no way of knowing in the 80's that an Al Qaeda threat would arise from Afghanistan and attack the U.S. In fact, the Taliban did not take over the reigns of power in Afghanistan until 1996, and, guess who the U.S President was in 1996?

Oh, and did we forget to mention that Bill Clinton refused to take out Bin Laden when he had the chance.

Whether President Obama should intervene in Syria or not, or whether he should have intervened at an earlier date, before Al Qaeda had significantly infiltrated the rebel ranks, is a question that can be debated. What is an indisputable and sad fact is that, although Syria had been, and still is, designated by the U.S. State Department as a state sponsor of terrorism, Obama, in 2009, eased sanctions on the Syrian regime. And, despite the fact that the U.S ambassador to Syria had been recalled by President Bush because of Syria's involvement in the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Harri , Obama returned the U.S. ambassador to Syria in 2010, because, well, because, as Hillary Clinton likes to say: "What difference does it make?"

And, as long as we're quoting Hillary Clinton, let's not forget what the former Secretary of State called Bashar Assad, shortly after the turmoil in Syria started to brew: "A reformer." Heh...

Bottom line: "Incompetence" would be one way to describe Obama and Hillary, but a more appropriate label would be "terrorist appeasers". And, believe me, that's putting it mildly........

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Iranian regime targeting internet users ahead of Presidential election, but don't expect any meddling from Obama, heh...

Google revealed on its security blog on Wednesday that it has detected a large-scale phishing campaign targeting and compromising the Google accounts of Iranian users ahead of Iran's June 14 Presidential election. 

"The timing and targeting of the campaigns suggest that the attacks are politically motivated in connection with the Iranian presidential election on Friday," Google noted.

The attacks appear to be the work of the Iranian regime, as Google, in its announcement, noted that it [Google] was seeking to warn "targets of state-sponsored attacks" to take extra steps to protect their accounts.

Incidentally, it should be noted that only candidates who are approved by Iran's Guardian Council can run for the Iranian Presidency. The Guardian Council is essentially controlled by the country's tyrannical Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and his cronies - which means that all of the candidates are, in essence,  proxies of the Supreme Leader. And thus, regardless of who wins the presidential election, the government's policies, and agenda, will likely remain the same.

But, in any case, don't expect President Obama to express any concerns about the the Iranian regime's phishing campaign and its interference in the country's Presidential election.

In 2009, when massive protests broke out in Iran  following the country's rigged presidential election, President Obama refused to criticize the regime and speak out in support of the protesters, because, as he explained at the time, "It is not productive" for the U.S. President to be seen "as meddling in Iranian elections." Hence, while it may be productive for the Iranian regime to meddle in the Iranian people's internet accounts in order to influence the outcome of the upcoming election, it is not productive for the U.S President to criticize the Iranian regime and to meddle in its private affairs - especially when the Obama administration is simultaneously meddling in the phone activity, web activity and internet accounts of Americans nationwide......

Violence in Afghanistan is increasing sharply as Obama hails progress in the Afghan war

As President Obama continues to hail so-called progress in the war in Afghanistan and continues to facilitate his Afghan exit strategy, violence in the country is increasing at an alarming pace.

Par for the course for the President....
Georgia said Wednesday that the country has closed two of its bases in Afghanistan after 10 of its soldiers were killed by militant attacks within the last four weeks... The bombings were part of a wave of militant attacks in recent weeks, pushing violence to some of the highest levels of the 12-year war as Afghan forces take over most security responsibility from international troops set to withdraw next year.

Violence continues to escalate this month in Afghanistan, with the Taliban and other insurgents targeting NATO troops, government forces, politicians and civilians. On Tuesday, 17 people died in Kabul when a Taliban car bomber hit buses carrying employees of the Supreme Court, the deadliest attack in the capital in a year and a half.

Wednesday morning, a motorcycle bomb killed an Afghan soldier and civilian in the south of the country, officials said...

In eastern Afghanistan, militants attacked a NATO convoy carrying supplies on Tuesday night, killing two Afghan police officers and two truck drivers...
The Taliban forced dozens of primary schools in southern Afghanistan to close for two months when provincial officials banned motorbikes — the insurgents’ favored form of transport, according to the United Nations. [The Taliban use motorbikes to conduct drive-by attacks on U.S. and NATO troops, and for suicide attacks.]

The government caved in after watching children go without school and their families sometimes without food, because the schools were used as aid distribution centers.

The closure of schools were detailed in a report warning that the conflict in Afghanistan is getting more complex, and the civilian death toll is rising. It was published [Wednesday] the day after a suicide bomber killed 17 people as they boarded commuter buses near the supreme court

“A growing number of local militia and other armed groups are targeting civilians through intimidation, coercion, extortion, abuse and targeted killings,” the Monthly Humanitarian Bulletin said...

Nato forces are heading home, leaving Afghan troops to lead the battle against the Taliban in most of the country, but the withdrawal of foreign forces is not bringing the reduction in violence that some had hoped for. [Quite the contrary; violence in Afghanistan is spiking.]

The number of civilians admitted to hospitals for war-related injuries rose sharply this year compared with 2012, and conflict-related admissions nearly doubled in Helmand province...

The number of people who have fled to other parts of Afghanistan because of violence has risen more than half a million for the first time.

Hagel to Ryan: Obama never consulted me about Defense bill veto

During a House Budget Committee hearing on Wednesday, Committee chairman Paul Ryan asked Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel the following questions:
"Last week, the House passed the military construction appropriations bill by a vote of 421-4. The administration then released a statement of administration policy saying that, 'Unless this bill passes the congress in the context of an overall budget framework' - meaning, one that's supports the President's increase in non-defense discretionary spending - 'the President's senior advisers would recommend a veto.' We're meeting the number that was requested by the administration. Are you among the senior advisers recommending a veto on that bill? And, the second followup is: Today the House is marking up the DOD appropriations bill, again, basically meeting the administration's number. Are you going to recommend a veto of that one as well?"
The White House's complete statement is as follows: "Unless this bill passes the Congress in the context of an overall budget framework that supports our recovery and enables sufficient investments in education, infrastructure, innovation and national security for our economy to compete in the future, the President’s senior advisers would recommend that he veto H.R. 2216 and any other legislation that implements the House Republican Budget framework."

Mr. Ryan, in his question to Mr. Hagel, pointed out that the House Military appropriations bills are in sync with the President's defense budget numbers. But of course - as was the case when the President threatened to veto any efforts by Congressional Republicans to do away with his sequestration mandate - in Obama's world, it's either my way or the highway, and politics as usual.

Mr. Hagel responded to Mr. Ryan's questions as follows:
"First, Mr. Chairman, I have not been asked for my opinion on whether the President should veto the bill or not. Um, my, um, as you know, [my] responsibility is this department and that’s where I stay focused. If I’m asked for my thoughts on the overall budget, then I’ll give them to him, but I have not been asked."
Interesting: Despite the fact that it is the Defense Secretary who is largely responsible for allocating Defense funds, Secretary Hagel was never consulted about the President's plans to veto the House defense appropriations bill.

It should be noted, however, that Mr. Hagel stated in September of 2011 that the defense budget is "bloated". This was several months after Obama had already announced $400 billion in defense cuts. Hence, even if the House bill is in sync with Obama's military budget numbers, it is likely still over bloated in Hagel's eyes, and in need of additional trimming - hence there was no need to consult with Hagel over the matter. Moreover, if the House defense appropriations bill meets the President's current numbers, that likely means Obama will feel compelled to change his numbers and seek additional defense spending cuts - which makes the need for consultation on the House bill totally unnecessary. Heh.....

Monday, June 10, 2013

Did Obama's parents set the world record for the longest wedding ever?

Did the President's parents - Barack Obama, Sr. and Ann Dunham - set the world record for the longest wedding ever?

If their wedding party commenced in 1960 and ended in 1961, then, that very well may be the case!

In 2007, while discussing civil rights, and the civil rights movement, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama stated that, "When my parents got married in 1960, '61, it would have been illegal for them to be married in a number of states in the South." [See the video below.] A wedding that began in 1960 and stretched out till 1961 is, in all likelihood, a world record! Which begs the question: Why wasn't this monumental achievement listed in the Guinness Book of World Records?!

In Dreams from my Father, Barack Obama wrote that his parents were married in February, 1961. However, from Obama's 2007 statement, it appears as if the unusually long wedding ceremony, and party, commenced in 1960 and concluded in February of 1961.

A world record, befitting the parents of our illustrious President!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Afghan insider attack kills 3 more Americans

An Afghan soldier shot and killed three of his American trainers on Saturday. The tragic shooting was the latest in a perpetual stream of “insider attacks” that continues to raise concerns about the training of Afghan soldiers, the handover of Afghan security to the Afghan forces and President Obama's overall exit strategy.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Obama's Transparency Pledge: Making Americans' Privacy transparent - PRISM electronic surveillance, data mining, media wiretap, eavesdropping etc.

Whether its the government's PRISM [electronic] surveillance program: the mining of private data from social media outlets: Google, Apple, YouTube Facebook etc., or, the wiretapping of journalists' cell phones, or, the targeting and auditing of Tea Party & Conservative groups - President Obama has completely fulfilled his transparency pledge by making the privacy of ordinary Americans more transparent [and open] before the eyes of the U.S. government and the eyes of his scandalous administration.

A job, well done! Congratulations, Mr. President!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Michelle Obama gets heckled at fundraiser & threatens to leave, what happened to the "thick skin"?

"Barack and I have been in the public eye for many years now, and we've developed a thick skin along the way. When you're out campaigning, there will always be criticism. I just take it in stride, and at the end of the day, I know that it comes with the territory."
Michelle Obama - July 31, 2008

"You just sort of have to have a thick skin in this thing . And your kids do too."
Michelle Obama - May 29, 2012

Whether Michelle Obama actually developed thick skin or not is debatable, but one thing is for certain, any thick skin she claims to have developed has clearly started to shed.
First lady Michelle Obama had a rare run-in with an audience heckler Tuesday during a fund-raising event in Washington for the Democratic National Committee.

The outburst from the crowd distracted Obama from her prepared remarks, prompting her to threaten to leave if the woman wanted to keep speaking.

“One of the things I don’t do well is this,” she said, according to a pool reporter who attended the event. Television cameras were not allowed inside.

Obama walked toward the protester, saying she could “listen to me or you can take the mic, but I’m leaving. You all decide. You have one choice,” according to the pool report.

The protester..., [who] was calling on President Barack Obama to sign an executive order barring discrimination based on sexual orientation by federal contractors..., was escorted out of the event.
The White House transcript of the First Lady's remarks omitted the part where she threatened to leave.

Although President Obama has never responded to hecklers in the same fashion - he never approached or accosted any of his hecklers, nor did he ever threaten to leave an event - nevertheless, he did lose his temper, on at least one occasion, when a group of AIDS activists interrupted his speech during a 2010 campaign event.

The activists were upset because the Obama administration had begun flat-lining funding for PEPFAR [President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief], a program which was launched in 2003 by George W. Bush. Dr. Peter Mugyenyi, director and founder of the Joint Clinical Research Center in Uganda, said at the time that PEPFAR had saved millions of lives. But, he said, AIDS patients were suddenly being deprived of life-saving treatments because the Obama administration had begun flat-lining funding for the program.

Obama lashed out angrily at the hecklers and engaged in one of his typical spin jobs, as seen in the video below. I embedded the video starting at the midway point where Obama goes off the deep-end, but you could rewind the video to the beginning to see the background material and to listen to Mr. Mugyenyi's remarks in a clearer and uninterrupted fashion.

Obama IRS scandal: President should heed his own advice: no obstruction, no phony assistance

In order to clean up Barack Obama's mess - namely, his scandalous scheme of targeting Tea Party and other Conservative groups via the IRS - it is imperative that the President heed his own advice [in 2009] and to allow Republicans in Congress to both investigate the White House scandal and to clean up the President's mess without any obstruction, whitewashing or phony and counterproductive assistance from the White House and its allies in the Eric Holder-led Justice Department. Obama should heed his own advice, and simply get out of the Republicans' way.

Mr. President, no obstruction, please.

Monday, June 3, 2013

David Plouffe: Obama administration has avoided scandals, and we hope to continue that!

Despite the multitude of Obama administration scandals, President Obama's campaign manager, David Plouffe, asserted in January of 2013, [while putting on his usual poker face]: "Some other administrations got in trouble with scandals. We avoided that, and we hope to continue that."

"We hope to continue that"?! Does that mean the Obama administration is going to continue treading down its scandalous path with abandon?!