Wednesday, April 30, 2014

State Department: Global terrorism spiked 43% last year; Al Qaeda & Iranian terror remained the predominant concern

Terrorist attacks worldwide increased 43% in 2013 from 2012, the State Department said in its annual report on terrorism released on Wednesday. There were 9,707 terrorist attacks around the world in 2013, resulting in more than 17,800 deaths and more than 32,500 injuries.

The 43% spike in terrorist attacks worldwide would seem to be a strong indication that President Obama's foreign policy is succeeding. Ahem......

The State Department noted, however, that, "Terrorism by non-state actors related to al-Qaeda and state-sponsored terrorism originating in Iran remained the predominant concern of the United States." [Iranian terrorism might be the "predominant concern of the United States", but it is clearly not the predominant concern of President Obama.]

"Designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1984, Iran continued its terrorist-related activity", which included increasing "its presence in Africa and [attempting] to smuggle arms to Houthi separatists in Yemen and Shia oppositionists in Bahrain."

[Previous Related Posts: Iranian terror plot discovered in Bahrain

Obama: No regime change for Iran's regime changing regime! ]

"Iran used the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) and its regional proxy groups to implement foreign policy goals, provide cover for intelligence operations, and create instability in the Middle East. The IRGC-QF is the regime’s primary mechanism for cultivating and supporting terrorists abroad."

"Iran views Syria as a crucial causeway in its weapons supply route to Hizballah, its primary beneficiary. In 2013, Iran continued to provide arms, financing, training, and the facilitation of Iraqi Shia fighters to the Asad regime’s brutal crackdown, a crackdown that has resulted in the death of more than 100,000 civilians in Syria... There are reports indicating some of these troops are IRGC-QF members and that they have taken part in direct combat operations."

"Despite its pledge to support Iraq’s stabilization, Iran trained, funded, and provided guidance to Iraqi Shia militant groups. The IRGC-QF, in concert with Hizballah, provided training outside of Iraq as well as advisors inside Iraq for Shia militants in the construction and use of sophisticated improvised explosive device technology and other advanced weaponry."

"On January 23, 2013, Yemeni authorities seized an Iranian dhow, the Jihan, off the coast of Yemen. The dhow was carrying sophisticated Chinese antiaircraft missiles, C-4 explosives, rocket-propelled grenades, and a number of other weapons and explosives. The shipment of lethal aid was likely headed to Houthi separatists in Northern Yemen. Iran actively supports members of the Houthi movement, including activities intended to build military capabilities, which could pose a greater threat to security and stability in Yemen and the surrounding region."

"On December 29, 2013, the Bahraini Coast Guard interdicted a speedboat filled with weapons and explosives that was likely bound for Shia oppositionists in Bahrain... Bahraini authorities accused the IRGC-QF of providing opposition militants with explosives training in order to carry out attacks in Bahrain. The interdiction led to the discovery of two weapons and explosives cache sites in Bahrain, the dismantling of a car bomb, and the arrest of 15 Bahraini nationals."

"Iran remained unwilling to bring to justice senior al-Qa’ida (AQ) members it continued to detain, and refused to publicly identify those senior members in its custody. Iran allowed Al Qaeda facilitators Muhsin al-Fadhli and Adel Radi Saqr al-Wahabi al-Harbi to operate a core facilitation pipeline through Iran, enabling Al Qaeda to move funds and fighters to South Asia and also to Syria. [Related Post: Why is Iran assisting Al Qaeda-linked rebels in Syria? Here's why......] Al-Fadhli is a veteran AQ operative who has been active for years. Al-Fadhli... assumed leadership of the Iran-based AQ facilitation network [in 2011]."

In Syria, "the Assad regime continued its political support to a variety of terrorist groups affecting the stability of the region and beyond, even amid significant internal unrest. The regime continued to provide political and weapons support to Hizballah and continued to allow Iran to rearm the terrorist organization."

"The Syrian government had an important role in the growth of terrorist networks in Syria through the permissive attitude the Assad regime took towards al-Qa’ida’s foreign fighter facilitation efforts during the Iraq conflict. Syrian government awareness and encouragement for many years of violent extremists’ transit through Syria to enter Iraq, for the purpose of fighting Coalition Troops, is well documented. Syria was a key hub for foreign fighters en route to Iraq..."

Obama success story: Syria still using chemical weapons on children

From the Telegraph-UK:
President Bashar al-Assad is still using chemical weapons against civilians, a scientific analysis of samples from multiple gas attacks has shown...

Soil samples from the scene of three recent attacks in the country were collected by trained individuals... and analysed by a chemical warfare expert... Sizeable and unambiguous traces of chlorine and ammonia present at the site of all three attacks.

The use in war of “asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases” - both of which can be produced by chlorine and ammonia - is banned by the Geneva Protocol, of which Syria is a signatory.

The attacks, which in some cases used canisters marked with their chemical contents, were conducted by helicopter - [the toxins came from barrels that were dropped from helicopters]. In the Syrian civil war, only the regime has access to aerial power, making it now certain that the recent chemical attacks could only have been carried out by the regime...

Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a British chemical weapons expert involved in the testing, said: “We have unequivocally proved that the regime has used chlorine and ammonia against its own civilians in the last two to three weeks.”...

In the last two weeks alone there have been eight separate chemical attacks... Chemical tests... now confirm that chlorine gas and ammonia have been used in Idlib, and that the toxins came from barrels that were dropped from helicopters....

Several people, including children, died and hundreds were seriously wounded in three [recent] attacks [that happened on April 11, 18 and 21]. Video footage and eye witness testimony show casualties displaying symptoms typical of chlorine gas and ammonia poisoning: sore eyes, irritated skin, difficulty breathing and a bloody foaming from the mouth...
Hence, the title of this post: "Obama success story: Syria still using chemical weapons on children"...

Obama's red lines? Yeah, right........

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Benghazi: More evidence of White House cover-up, lies

Last year, the Obama administration claimed that the White House bore no responsibility for the phony Benghazi talking points that emanated from the White House after the September 2012 terrorist attacks. According to the Obama administration, the CIA crafted the phony talking points and subsequently passed on the false information to the White House. Of course, it was obvious back then that the White House was prevaricating and attempting to cover up its own cover-up. It was clear that the Obama administration had devised a host of phony talking points and, in typical fashion, was now trying to pin the blame on someone else.

This following update on Benghazi is just more evidence that the White House was indeed lying and trying to cover up its own cover-up.

From Fox News:
Newly released emails on the Benghazi terror attack suggest a senior White House aide played a central role in preparing former U.N. ambassador Susan Rice for her controversial Sunday show appearances -- where she wrongly blamed protests over an Internet video.

More than 100 pages of documents were released to the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. Among them was a Sept. 14, 2012, email from Ben Rhodes, an assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for strategic communications.

The Rhodes email, with the subject line: "RE: PREP Call with Susan: Saturday at 4:00 pm ET," was sent to a dozen members of the administration's inner circle, including key members of the White House communications team such as Press Secretary Jay Carney.

In the email, Rhodes specifically draws attention to the anti-Islam Internet video...

The email lists the following two goals, among others:

"To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy."

"To reinforce the President and Administration's strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges."

The email goes on to state that the U.S. government rejected the message of the Internet video. "We find it disgusting and reprehensible. But there is absolutely no justification at all for responding to this movie with violence," the email stated.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the documents read like a PR strategy, not an effort to provide the best available intelligence to the American people.

"The goal of the White House was to do one thing primarily, which was to make the president look good. Blame it on the video and not [the] president's policies," he said.

The Rhodes email was not part of the 100 pages of emails released by the administration last May -- after Republicans refused to move forward with the confirmation of John Brennan as CIA director until the so-called "talking points" emails were made public.

The email is also significant because in congressional testimony in early April, former deputy CIA director Michael Morell told lawmakers it was Rice, in her Sunday show appearances, who linked the video to the Benghazi attack. Morell said the video was not part of the CIA analysis...

The newly released emails also show that on Sept. 27, 2012 a Fox News report -- titled "US officials knew Libya attack was terrorism within 24 hours, sources confirm" -- was circulated at the most senior levels of the administration. This included going to then-deputy national security adviser Denis McDonough; then-White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan; Morell; and Rhodes, among others, but the comments were redacted, citing "personal privacy information."
"Personal privacy information", heh....

Luckily, for the Obama administration, the White House's personal privacy is protected - which is more than I can say for everyone else's personal privacy. Heh...

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Obama is right, it's "not a myth", the pay gap between male and female employees in the White House is an absolute "embarrassment"

Speaking from the East Room of the White House on Tuesday, President Obama stated: "Today, the average full-time working woman earns just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns... And in 2014, that’s an embarrassment. It is wrong."

The President went on to say that the pay gap between men and women is "not a myth; it’s math. You can look at the paychecks. You can look at the stubs... If [people] tell you that there’s not a pay gap out there, you tell them to look at the data, because there is."

Sadly, we do not need to look at paychecks or stubs to recognize that there is a huge pay gap between male and female employees in the White House. Some diligent individuals have already done the research; they examined the White House records and discovered that the median salary for female employees in the Obama White House in 2013 was 13% less than the median salary for male employees.

Obama is spot-on! "It's not a myth; it’s math!" The pay gap between male and female employees in the Obama White House is real, and, as the President rightfully noted, it's "an embarrassment" and "it is wrong!" Period!

It is also worthwhile to note that a 2008 report revealed that then-Sen. Obama paid his female senate staffers 83 cents for every dollar he paid his male staffers. And that's "not a myth; it’s math!" The pay gap between Obama's male and female senate staffers was "an embarrassment" then, and the pay gap in the Obama White House is "an embarresment" now! It was "wrong" then, and it is "wrong now"! Period!

To paraphrase a plea from President Obama during his speech on Tuesday: "If you care about this issue, then let your senators know where you stand - because female employees in the White House deserve equal pay for equal work!"

Related Post from January 2014:  Obama? Women deserve equal pay, Hmmm... State of the Union address

Related video below, from January 2014 - Obama's hypocritical State of the Union address:

Monday, April 7, 2014

Hillary Clinton distinguishes between Syria & Libya: "There’s a difference between calling out aircraft and indiscriminately strafing and bombing your own cities"

Appearing on CBS Face the Nation in March of 2011, Hillary Clinton was asked whether the Obama administration would respond to the Syrian regime opening fire and killing anti-government protesters the same way it responded to the violence in Libya, and whether the administration would take similar action to put an end to the carnage in Syria.

Clinton made a distinction between Syria and Libya, and between Bashar Assad and his father, Hafez Assad, the former President of Syria.

"There is a different leader in Syria now," Clinton said. "Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer. What’s been happening there the last few weeks is deeply concerning. But there’s a difference between calling out aircraft and indiscriminately strafing and bombing your own cities, then police actions, which frankly have exceeded the use of force that any of us would want to see."

Of course the number of people who were killed during the Libyan upheaval is now a drop in the bucket compared to the number of people who've been killed in Syria [over 100,000, and probably a lot more than that. The UN does not keep a tally of the death toll in Syria anymore because it is too large to track].

Moreover, Clinton argued that "there’s a difference between calling out aircraft and indiscriminately strafing and bombing your own cities [in Libya], than police actions [in Syria]."

But calling out aircraft and indiscriminately strafing and bombing its own cities is precisely what the Syrian regime has been doing for quite some time.

Just one example: The UPI reported on Monday that "Air raids by the Assad regime killed around 30 Syrians as the government continued to drop barrel bombs on civilians"....

Oh, well....

The report also went on to say:
More than 100,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began 3 years ago...

The West may not be making many substantial efforts in Syria, but Russia is sending more weapons to the Assad regime during a time when Russia already has escalated tensions with the international community after the annexation of the Crimean peninsula.

"Russia is now doing everything to ensure that Assad wins convincingly," said Alexei Malashenko, a Middle East analyst at the Moscow Carnegie Center. "If Russia can show it’s capable of carrying out its own foreign policy, regardless of America’s wishes, it will be a major achievement for Putin."

Hezbollah, which has been fighting alongside the pro-government forces, says Syria's government is no longer at risk of being toppled.
That last sentence was the topic of my previous post: Assad & Nasrallah declare victory in Syria

Here's a video clip from Clinton's 2011 Face the Nation interview:

Assad & Nasrallah declare victory in Syria

The government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is no longer in danger of being toppled, the leader of the Hezbollah terrorist organization, Hassan Nasrallah, said in an interview with a Lebanese news media outlet on Monday.

Hebollah militants in Syria have been fighting alongside Assad’s forces.

"In my estimation, the phase of overthrowing the regime... is over," Nasrallah said.

Nasrallah added that Russia, after annexing Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula, will continue its “support and protection to Syria.”

Nasrallah went on to say that he believes Bashar Assad will run for reelection in July in this year's Syrian Presidential election and that Assad will nominate himself as a candidate for the election, which no doubt, will be rigged in Assad's favor.

"It's natural that he nominates himself, and I believe that will happen," Nasrallah said.

A Russian news media outlet reported on Monday that Sergei Stepashin - a former Russian prime minister who recently met Bashar Al Assad - said that the Syrian dictator told him that most of the fighting in Syria would be over by the end of the year.

The reassurance from Nasrallah and Assad that the Syrian regime will emerge triumphant and will remain in power is no doubt music to the ears of Obama, who, early on in his Presidency, was an enthusiastic supporter of Bashar Assad.

The US withdrew its ambassador from Syria in 2005 after Rafiq al-Hariri, the former Lebanese prime minister, was assassinated in a Beirut bomb attack perpetrated by Hezbollah and the Syrian regime. Nevertheless, in June of 2009, Obama announced that he was returning the US Ambassador to Syria.

Obama also began to soften the economic sanctions that had long been imposed on Syria.

Enerpub reported in August of 2009:
In February, the Obama Administration waived Syria Accountability Act provisions to approve the export of aircraft parts and repair services to Syria for civil aviation... Additionally, the return of a U.S. Ambassador to Damascus was announced on June 24th.

In July, according to Agence France Presse, US envoy George Mitchell told Assad he would work to speed up the process of obtaining exemptions to anti-Syrian sanctions. At the end of July, the United States announced a decision to ease sanctions on spare aircraft parts, information-technology products and telecommunications equipment.
But, in 2011, when the Syrian regime began shooting upon anti-government protesters, Obama was in a bind.

Despite the killing of civilians, Assad was initially labeled a "reformer" by then-Secretary of State, Hillaty Clinton. However, as the situation in Syria spiraled out of control, and more and more people were being killed, a reluctant Obama was left with little choice but to denounce his good buddy, the "reformer", and to call on him to step down from office.

Nevertheless, Obama stayed out of the fray and stood on the sidelines as thousands upon thousands of Syrians were being killed. But luckily for Obama, after months and months of him standing on the sidelines, al-Qaeda militants began infiltrating the ranks of the Syrian rebels, and Obama was able to avoid further criticism over his decision to remain inactive in Syria and turn a blind eye toward his good buddy's atrocities.

The President continues to feign phony condemnation of Assad while calling on his pal to step down from office, but of course, inside his heart, Obama couldn't be any happier with Assad and Nasrallah's latest declaration of victory, because ultimately a good buddy like Assad is hard to come by........

Reset Button: Obama resets US, Russian Relations to Cold War era

President Obama promised he would reset US, Russian relations, and indeed the relationship has been successfully reset, and restored, to an earlier era from the 20th Century when the Cold War was at its peak - which proves once again that Obama is a man of his word.

Ah, yes, the "Cold War-style war of words" between the Obama administration and the Kremlin.


From the AFP:
Ukraine faced a fresh secessionist crisis on Monday as pro-Kremlin militants occupying the Donetsk government seat proclaimed independence from Kiev and vowed to hold a referendum on joining Russia.

The declaration and accompanying appeal for Russian military assistance put the culturally splintered nation of 46 million in danger of disintegration and intensified pressure on Western powers to act.

The White House responded by calling on the Kremlin to stop trying to "destabilise Ukraine"...

But Moscow brushed off the accusations and called the latest unrest a sign of Kiev's Western-backed leaders' ineptitude and illegitimacy.

The Cold War-style war of words over the ex-Soviet nation's future comes with the added urgency of the Ukrainian border being watched by Russian soldiers who had already annexed Crimea in response to last month's ouster in Kiev of a Moscow-backed regime.

Several heavily Russified eastern regions have recently been hit by calls for referendums on joining Russia when Ukraine holds snap presidential polls on May 25.

The political pressure on Kiev's embattled leaders reached boiling point on Sunday when thousands of activists chanting "Russia!" seized administration buildings in Kharkiv and Donetsk as well as the security service headquarters in the eastern region of Lugansk.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Obama: "The Debate over repealing" Obamcare "is over!" Really?! Heh, heh, heh

President Obama told an audience of White House staff members and supporters on Tuesday that, "The debate over repealing this law [Obamacare] is over!"

However, it should be noted that the right to debate is a basic and fundamental right that can not be squashed by a US President, even an all-powerful President the likes of Obama - particularly when the topic of debate is a law that can detrimentally effect the health of millions of Americans, their livelihood and their bank accounts.

Hence, contrary to the President's assertion, the Obamacare debate is far from over.

More in the video below: