Tag Archives: Al Qaeda
The President of the United States announced today from the press briefing room, that all American fighting forces will be out of Iraq by December 31, 2011. “After nine years, the US war in Iraq will be over”, President Obama stated and then hurried off the stage, taking no questions from the press. This marks a truly definitive date of withdrawal for the troops in Iraq, which was a controversial promise he made during the campaign of 2008.
Many in the State and Defense departments wanted to extended the presence of troops (albeit a small amount) into the next year, but insisted that they continue to enjoy immunity from prosecution in Iraq. This was rejected by the Iraqi government and Prime Minister al-Maliqi.
The announcing of the timetable for withdrawal raises questions of whether the Iraqi military and police forces are fully prepared to defend the fledgling freedom again Al-Qaeda and other insurrectionist groups. Anti-democratic forces are likely to take advantage of the deadline to launch a new offensive in the country. Only time will see if Iraq is ready to stand on its own two feet.
As many as 20,000 shoulder-fired portable heat-seeking missiles are unaccounted for in Libya today, as the Obama Administration is caught flat-footed and left scrambling to do damage control in a very dangerous situation that they have had a big hand in creating. In their zealousness to promote the Arab Spring [supposed] Democracy uprisings in Libya, the Obama administration is shown to be eager to bomb first and deal with dangerous consequences later in this debacle. In the rush to help oust the long-time tyrant and oppressive dictator Moammar Gadhafi, numerous stockpiles of these missiles have been left unguarded and have already in fact, been carted off by who knows what terrorist groups and individuals by simply pulling up and loading them into vehicles. The following ABC News video describes the dangers of not securing these weapons depots, BEFORE removing the Libyan military that was guarding them:</p
These 4 to 5 foot long, portable heat-seeking missiles shown in the above video could now be used against our military aircraft in Iraq, Afghanistan and across the globe, and were basically left free for the taking in Libya. From the ABC News report, we see that this dangerous situation was brought to the Obama Administration’s attention over 6 months ago:
Peter Bouckaert of Human Rights Watch first warned about the problem after a trip to Libya six months ago. He took pictures of pickup truckloads of the missiles being carted off during another trip just a few weeks ago.
These missiles are deadly from distances up to two miles and do not have to actually be aimed, as they zoom in on an aircraft’s engine heat, and it also doesn’t take a lot of training to fire one. Basically put it on your shoulder and point it in the direction of any aircraft, and the missile will track the aircraft, strike it, and then explode.
Mr. Bouckaert was right there in Libya taking pictures of these missiles, and stated: “I myself could have removed several hundred if I wanted to, and people can literally drive up with pickup trucks or even 18 wheelers and take away whatever they want,” said Bouckaert, HRW’s emergencies director. “Every time I arrive at one of these weapons facilities, the first thing we notice going missing is the surface-to-air missiles.”
Former White House counter-terror adviser Richard Clarke stated, “I think the probability of al Qaeda being able to smuggle some of the stinger-like missiles out of Libya is probably pretty high,”
Recently we have seen The fast and Furious gunrunning scandal in which the DHS, ATF and other government agencies enabled the sale of assault weapons to drug cartels resulting in hundreds of murders on both sides of our Southern border, The Solyndra pay-for-play solar company scam where a good portion of half a billion taxpayer dollars have basically been shuffled into Democratic campaign coffers, and now we have the U.S. government enabling al Qaeda and any other anti-American maniac to acquire up to 20k portable anti-aircraft missiles. Meanwhile the ignorant sheep now known as Obama-supporters following his recent west coast taxpayer-funded campaign trip keep on screaming… Four more years, four more years! Lovely.
Since the beginning of the War on Terror, the United States has taken on the task of forming hostile nations into allies in the Middle East. The best analogy I can think of to currently describe the way things have gone is likening our nation building efforts to the comic strip “Peanuts”. The nations that we go to war with are much like Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown, America in this scenario, to kick. We run to kick the football, Lucy moves the football, and we fall on our behind. The difference is that immediately afterward, Charlie Brown knows that he’s been had and vows to never fall for that again, before he inevitably does. Our politicians on the other hand, refuse to reflect on the results of past interventions and many times embrace a “full steam ahead” approach.
I don’t write this as apologetics for Ron Paul, the Cato Institute, the founding fathers, Reason Magazine or any other well known libertarian intellectual cause. Instead, I’m going to use an inherently conservative thought process, the cost-benefit analysis. Liberals hate the cost-benefit analysis because it shows that their government programs to be counter-productive; this is why they often resort to arguing based on emotions and intent. Unfortunately, despite President Bush’s noble intentions, the major engagements of the War on Terror may not pass the cost-benefit test.
We invaded Afghanistan in 2001 to eliminate Al-Qaeda and to topple the country’s acting government, the Taliban. While fighting the enemy, we also helped set up an acting Afghan government. And in 2004 Hamid Karzai was elected president of the country and the US has supported him ever since. However, it has been revealed that Karzai and his family are corrupt and that he perhaps fraudulently won re-election in 2009. The US decided to express its disapproval by sending a troop surge of 30,000 to double down on our efforts of giving him a stable country to govern. Worse yet, its also been learned that Karzai, behind our back, has been in talks with the Taliban and has had diplomatic relations with Iran. But even before Karzai’s corruption became apparent, he still wasn’t exactly our BFF. Karzai frequently threw the US “under the bus” in press conferences and openly supports the farmers there growing Opium poppy despite our requests. Even taking Karzai out of the equation, a cost-benefit analysis must be done (not in this article) on whether or not we should still be fighting in Afghanistan. Former CIA director and current Secretary of Defense Leon Panneta estimated in 2010 that there were no more than 50-100 Al-Qaeda still in the country.
Next we turned to Iraq. Saddam Hussein was a terrible dictator who ended up getting what he deserved, not many Americans on either side of the political aisle would disagree with that. But, as the Iraq war winded down and the US turned into a police force to help stabilize their government, the people at home wondered what the new Iraqi government would look like. While still in its infant stages, details of the new Iraqi government have been disappointing at best. It appears as though Iraq has warmed up to its former hated enemy, Iran. This is particularly bad, because the Iraq-Iran conflict helped to keep Iran in check. This is why in the 1980s we helped supply Iraq with materials to produce chemical/biological weapons; with the idea of them to using the weapons against Iran. Further showing its gratitude towards the US, Iraq recently voted against Saudi Arabia’s proposal to increase oil production at OPEC’s 2011 conference. Seeing nations turn their back on the US after the US had invested large sums of money isn’t particularly unusual, but what makes this different is that the US still has 50,000 soldiers over there. This is a blatant slap in the face.
Worst of all is Libya. If there is something positive to be said of the War in Libya, one could say that its been the least costly of the wars. Despite its comparatively low price tag, Libya could quite possibly have the costliest long term consequences. To clarify, just like Saddam, Muammar Gaddafi is an evil dictator who deserves whatever grisly fate that awaits him. But, the United States went to war for the stated goal of stopping an alleged massacre that never took place, not for “regime change”. Then, in spite of goals which stated otherwise, we stayed until the regime change was complete. Now the question that remains is, “What now? Who are these rebels?”. That answer appears to be an interesting mix of regular citizens who grew tired of their oppressor, radical Islamic insurgents, and long term US ally Al-Qaeda. Wait… no, that’s not right, Al-Qaeda’s goal is to destroy the US and Israel. While the new Libyan constitution hasn’t been written, it was released that Sharia law is anticipated to be the main source of inspiration. If the Muslim Brotherhood’s popularity in Egypt is any indication, the so called “Arab Spring” will not have positive long term effects on the US and it’s allies. Rarely do events have 100% negative consequences without a silver lining, and Libya very well could be one of those times. In life there are disappoints and ideas that backfire, but rarely do you spend money and resources to create a nation whose leadership’s stated goal is to destroy you. Before many marriages that end in divorce go bad, there is usually a blissful honeymoon. Likewise the Libyan rebels started off giving the US a deserved gift, by denying their request to extradite Lockerbie bomber Al-Megrahi.
The Middle East has plenty of hostile countries, some unfriendly indifferent nations, and very few allies. One of those nations considered friendly to the US is Kuwait, particularly after we saved them from Saddam Hussein’s invasion in Desert Storm. Now to Kuwait’s credit, they have repaid us with their support in the UN by voting against us a region-low 67% of the time. More and more on the right, people grow disenfranchised by our foreign involvements. Republican California Congressman Dana Rohrabacher said that behind closed doors, most republicans will admit that Iraq was a mistake. This sentiment briefly gave businessman Donald Trump the affection of some republicans when he considered a presidential run. One of Trump’s main platforms was taking trillions of dollars in oil from Iraq to offset our costs there. The fact that the idea garnered some support among republicans shows that at the very least, they’re willing to admit that the Iraq war didn’t yield desired results; so they feel the need to get something out of it. I agree that in retrospect, knowing what we know now, it was a mistake. But you can’t go around taking nation’s oilfields or anything else for that matter, might doesn’t make right. The equivalent I draw from the people who support the US taking oil from these nations we intervene in is this: Let’s say I cut your grass without me asking. You either try to stop me or passively let it happen. When its done I take some household appliances to compensate myself.
A best case scenario in these countries is that we pay billions yearly for their defense, having them become reliant on us, allowing them to become socialist in nature; all while complaining about our presence and influence. This allows them to become what I like to call “International democrats”. They do nothing to warrant the US taxpayer paying for their defense or fighting for them, yet we do it. What would be better is if we charged them at cost or more for us to protect them, but even then, that’s only a solution if you want to use our military men and women as mercenaries instead of only using them to “protect the US Constitution from enemies both foreign and domestic”. Better would be forcing these nations to pay for their own defense, taking them off the government payroll.
In the world there are going to be problems that arise on an international level. Friendly dictators and elected officials alike will lose power or get overthrown from time to time. When a US-friendly regime loses power its one thing, when the US pays great costs in lives and money to create a hostile regime is infinitely worse. Woodrow Wilson’s progressive dream is alive and well today with the goal of “making the world safe for democracy”, championed by republicans (McCain, Graham) and democrats (Lieberman). Creating democracies in a region where the people who make up the electorate despise the US would seem to make the policy mutually exclusive with safety at home.
Over the weekend Libyan rebels moved in on the capital city of Tripoli where they arrested several of Muammar al-Qaddafi’s children, including his son, who had been instrumental in the dictator’s regime. Qaddafi himself has not been located and rumors have been flying about his possible whereabouts. The “conflict” President Obama entered the nation into without Congressional approval looks to be shifting gears. The President took a position of cautious optimism.
In Qaddafi’s absence, rebel forces have declared a tentative victory, but the question remains – should we? We still have no clear idea of just what elements this rebel force is comprised. From the beginning the State Department has been, at best, vague about their knowledge regarding the identity of the rebels. There seems to be no consensus. Some fear Al Qaeda may have at least infiltrated the ranks; others seem sure that the extremist Muslim Brotherhood is pulling the strings. If either of those groups turn out to be the ruling faction then the United States will have aided in placing what is currently their most pressing military enemy in charge of a small country, replete with its own stockpile of aging chemical weapons and artillery. In fact, the L.A.Times reports that American officials have urged the rebels to secure all weapons storages and facilities as soon as possible as to prevent such destructive technology from reaching the hands of terrorists. No word yet on what the U.S. will do if the rebel forces turn out to be the terrorists.
The situation becomes even more precarious considering the Obama administration has yet to reveal a goal for America’s involvement in the conflict. There have been no hard deadlines set, no general strategy has been unveiled for the public, and no “endgame” has been discussed. Without a confident U.S. position, Americans are left to surmise and speculate about the outcome of a war that they are paying for but had absolutely no say about engaging in.
None of this bodes well for Obama, who is struggling in the polls. Without confirmation that Qaddafi has indeed been unseated for good, without any idea about the identity of the rebels in Tripoli, without any clear goals for the conflict Obama cannot count on a “Bin Laden” type bump. There is no clear victory to trumpet here. Add to that the fact that one murdering regime may have simply replaced another and the situation becomes less than encouraging.
Qaddafi is certainly no man to weep for, however it may be that his successors are even more dangerous. Despite the news from Tripoli over the weekend, this conflict is far from over, and Americans will need to keep a watchful eye on Libyan developments in the coming months.
Dr. Jim Denison Explains to Westerners ‘Why Muslims Still Hate Us, What We Can Do’
DALLAS, July 26, 2011 — On the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, author and educator Jim Denison explains in his new book, “Radical Islam: What You Need to Know,” that the greatest threat our children have ever faced is Muslim extremism. “The battle waged against the West by radical Muslims is the war of our generation,” Denison says. “Killing bin Laden doesn’t end this war.”
James C. Denison, Ph.D., is a cultural apologist, building a bridge between faith and culture by engaging contemporary issues with historical, scientific and biblical truth. He founded the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture (DFTC) in February 2009 and writes for “The Dallas Morning News,” contributing weekly to the “Texas Faith Forum.” He currently serves on the board of the Baylor Health Care System and as chair of the advisory board for Dallas Baptist University. Denison is former senior pastor of Park Cities Baptist Church, a 10,000-member congregation in Dallas.
Dr. Denison’s daily cultural commentary is made available around the world to thousands of subscribers. It offers a faith perspective on topics as varied as medical ethics, the 2012 election, the Casey Anthony trial, gay marriage and many more topics.
“The events of 9/11 are still painfully raw for many,” said Dr. Abraham Sarker, former Muslim and founder and president, Gospel for Muslims, who has worked alongside Denison in his native Bangladesh. “Ten years later, questions remain about the world’s fastest-growing religion and the worldview of its 1.6 billion adherents. Jim Denison’s book provides a timely, insightful interpretation of this movement in our times. His understanding of radical Islam is accurate and balanced. His intellectual brilliance and excellent communication skills engage and support readers in navigating these complex issues.”
“Radical Islam” begins with a look at Osama bin Laden, the Al Qaeda leader killed in May in a U.S. Special Forces raid in Pakistan, and examines the ramifications of bin Laden’s death, including whether it was just. The book goes on to explain what distinguishes radical Islam from the rest of the Muslim world, then addresses basic questions: “Where was God on 9/11?” and “How Do We Win This War?”
“It’s been my privilege to know and befriend Muslims from six continents through respectful dialogue over the past 30 years,” said Denison. “But the fact remains that the threat of radical Islam is even more real and dangerous than it was 10 years ago. Osama bin Laden is dead, but his story isn’t over. His followers are more resolved than ever.
“This book is a primer that tells Westerners what they need to know about this threat, why radical Muslims still hate us and what we can do about it.”
Denison briefly touches on basic Muslim beliefs before focusing on the two tenets that distinguish radical Islam. First, extremists contend the West has been attacking Islam since the Crusades, and therefore Islam must be defended through violent attacks. Second, radical Muslims believe all Westerners are complicit in the ongoing siege of Islam because of their participation in a democratic society, and therefore in terrorist attacks on the West there are no innocent victims.
Faced with this worldview, Denison writes, both Christians and secular Westerners must act. He offers practical ideas on how to handle the threat, including praying for Muslims and supporting Christians from Muslim backgrounds.
“Radical Islam” will be available in August as a trade paperback for $13.99 and distributed by Wescott Marketing. It also will be available as an e-book Aug. 15 through all major e-book sales sites.
The first chapter, which explores bin Laden’s life and whether his death was just, along with an opportunity to subscribe to Dr. Denison’s daily cultural commentary, are available at http://www.dftc.co/presskit.
“Radical Islam” is the first in the “Unlocking the Truth” series of books offering a spiritual perspective on key cultural issues facing America. Denison is also the author of six books, including the most recent, “Wrestling with God: How Can I Love a God I’m Not Sure I Can Trust?” by Tyndale House Publishers.
The Denison Forum on Truth and Culture (DFTC) (http://www.denisonforum.org) exists to engage contemporary culture with moral truth. Founded by Dr. Jim Denison in 2009, the Forum responds to issues through a variety of communications and channels, including a column in “The Dallas Morning News,” daily online cultural commentary, Baylor Health Care System board membership, books, articles and speaking engagements.
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CONTACT: Ty Mays @ 770-256-8710
The news out of Pakistan over the last several years has been a roller coaster of strategic victories and suspicious losses. News of high-level Al Qaeda captures are interspersed with reports of last-minute tip-offs before raids. The Pakistani government did help capture such notorious figures as Khalid Sheikh Mohammad (9/11 attacks), Khalid bin Attash (U.S.S. Cole attack), and Abu Faraj al-Libi (Al Qaeda’s #3), but sometimes its difficult to tell which side Pakistan is on.
The U.S. knows that members of the Pakistani government and military have ties to Islamic militant groups, many of which the U.S. State Department considers terrorist organizations. Some of these militant groups (created by the Pakistani government itself) are utilized in guerilla warfare along the Pakistan-India border. The Lashkar-e-Tabai (LeT), for example, claimed responsibility for the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks and is widely believed to have been supported by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
The U.S. is also aware that the Tribal Areas of western Pakistan have been used as safe havens for fugitive Taliban fighters and as staging areas for cross-border attacks by Al Qaeda. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton even remarked during a May 2010 interview that members of the Pakistani government likely know where Osama bin Laden was hiding. Thus it was no surprise when the May 2nd kill/capture mission revealed that Osama bin Laden had been living for five years in a compound near Pakistan’s premier military academy. Underscoring the distrust of the Pakistani government were revelations that the U.S. purposefully kept Pakistani intelligence in the dark during the top-secret operation.
Referring to the successful operation as a violation of Pakistani sovereignty, Pakistan quickly condemned the mission to kill/capture the mass murderer. Echoing this sentiment are poll figures recently released by the Pew Research Center showing 63% of Pakistanis “disapprove of the operation that killed bin Laden,” while 69% of Pakistanis view the U.S. as “more of an enemy than a partner.”
As of FY 2010, the U.S. (more enemy than partner) has appropriated or reimbursed more than $18 billion to Pakistan for security operations and economic aid, with nearly $4.5 billion contributed in 2010 alone. All this begs the question: “With so many red flags, why should the U.S. continue its strategic relationship with Pakistan?”
At least 60% of the supplies required by coalition forces in Afghanistan are currently moved through Pakistani terrain or airspace. Although the Northern Distribution Network (agreements to cross the borders of certain Asian countries) was created to handle some of the supplies, many of the agreements do not allow for the transport of troops, weapons and other sensitive items. Through various political pressures these routes are ultimately at the discretion of Russia. An agreement between President Medvedev and President Obama last summer supposedly allows for all manner of cargo to move through the region. However, Radio Free Europe reports that as of July 2, 2011, only two flights have taken place. The only other alternative is an overland route through Iran – a contigency only expected to be used when Hell reaches its freezing point.
Stabilization of Afghanistan
A stable government in Afghanistan will require the assistance and cooperation of Pakistan. In the early stages of an independent democracy in Afghanistan, the government will be especially vulnerable to coups and Taliban sympathizers eager to inflitrate the new government (not to mention chaos from narcoterrorists and cartels). Pakistan will be invaluable in providing tactical support during any sudden Afghani uprising, as we saw when Saudi Arabia sent 1000 troops to support the Kingdom of Bahrain in March of this year.
Efficacy of Counterinsurgency Operations
Without the current contributions to the Pakistani government, future counterinsurgency incursions by the U.S. military may be regarded as an act of war. The U.S. took a lot of heat for its unilateral kill/capture mission of Bin Laden. This week the Pakistani government ordered U.S. personnel out of the Shamsi Airbase. Shamsi airfield serves as a critical staging area for immediate drone strikes in the Tribal Areas. While it appears the demand was a ruse to placate the Pakistani populace, U.S. personnel must maintain its presence inside of Pakistan in order to react quickly on actionable intelligence.
Increased Chinese Influence in Pakistan
Although Pakistan regularly faces nationwide power outages and serious economic issues, its government believes that acquiring submarines and nuclear capabilities from China has been the most prudent use of its resources. Such irresponsible deals have allowed China to gain a major economic foothold in Pakistan – some sources claim $20 billion or more in investments. With increasing Chinese domination will come attitudes against free society and the American way of life.
Suppressing Future Islamic Threats
Finally, as one of the largest Muslim populations in the world, Pakistan is essential in preventing and suppressing future Islamic terrorists. A serious concern is that the domestic militancy in Pakistan will become regional insurgency, and regional insurgency will become global terrorism. In this age, the U.S. must maintain a strategic presence in South Central Asia. Maintaining a working security relationship with Pakistan will go a long way toward preventing the next Islamic attack.
Florida Congressman Allen West (R-FL) went down to Guatanimo Bay, Cuba recently and reports back his observations, not only as a Congressman, but also as a 22 year U. S. Military officer whom has served in Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Afghanistan. Rep. West exposes the many myths and misconceptions about Gitmo today in his weekly wrap-up newsletter, in which he keeps his constituents informed of just what he is doing each week on their behalf, and is quite detailed and refreshing. I would like to see more representatives make their weekly official-duties-performed newsletters availiable to the people they are supposed to serve. This is called accountability, and we see very little true accountability from the majority of our members of Congress today. In the Congressman’s newsletter, the following quotes pretty much summarize what he encountered in his first ever trip to Gitmo:
“There are many misconceptions and pre-conceived notions about the detention facility at GITMO. Every American should be absolutely proud of our men and women in uniform serving at GITMO because their discipline and professionalism is above reproach.”
“The video footage shown on most news reels is not showing the current camps occupied in GITMO. The old Camp X-Ray, also known as Camps 1-3, is no longer in use. There are now new state-of-the-art facilities affording the detainees 21 satellite TV stations, access to Skype and cell phone, mail, bountiful food, up to 20 hours of communal living (I toured an active communal living block), and medical care.”
Rep. West also compares the life of Gitmo detainees, (of which 95% of them have been proven to have been waging Jihad against America, or having had ties to terrorist organizations), with the lives of our very own soldiers who have been imprisoned for alleged transgressions committed during wartime. He expresses his anger about this double standard in the following statement:
“In contrast, I think of our own American Warriors such as Lieutenant Michael Behenna who is serving 15 years in Fort Leavenworth prison for killing a known Al Qaeda terrorist in Iraq. I also consider the plight of young Army Private Corey Claggett who has been held in solitary confinement for over a year. The conditions at Fort Leavenworth are not nearly as comfortable. Something else that deeply angers me…at GITMO, 24-year-old Omar Khadr will serve one more year before being released to his native Canada, even though he was found “guilty” of five war crimes, including killing an American serviceman in Afghanistan. Upon release to Canada, the maximum time he will serve is seven years. What message does that send to our men and women in uniform? “
An American soldier is serving 15 years in prison in Levenworth, Kansas for killing an Al Qaeda terrorist, while Omar Khadr , whom was found guilty of five war crimes and the killing of American Soldiers in Afghanistan, will be free to kill again next year. What kind of a country have we become to let these kinds of politically correct injustices be done to our Soldiers fighting to protect America ? Private Clagett sits in solitary confinement for over a year, while these murderers sit in Club Gitmo with better medical care than the average American taxpayer can afford, with satellite tv and a custom engineered schedule taylored to their so-called peaceful religion of Islam? The whole idea behind the incarceration of someone is to deter them from continuing to commit the acts that landed them there in the first place, not reward them with a life of comfort. The people behind these kinds of acts of politically correct ideology in dealing with terrorists are only emboldening these Jihadists to continue murdering Americans, due to the fact that these terrorists now see that they will not be truly held accountable for their actions. America is too weak and leaderless to take swift action against terrorists, is what they see. We may as well post signs all across Iraq and Afghanistan that say, “Kill a few Americans and win a freee trip to Club Gitmo. where