Tag Archives: Obama

Cat Meet Pigeons

smoking-gunTrump has been tweeting again and this time he’s dropped the bomb on the Obama Administration’s alleged tapping of the Trump campaign.

Assorted Obama spokespeople have said that Obama himself did not order the wiretaps. Which many have taken as tacit confirmation that there were wiretaps but that the big O did not actually put them in place.

There is a bit of business about two separate applications to the FISA Court which grants wiretap authorizations for surveillance of agents of foreign states – but not Americans. And the wonderfully oily James Clapper told “Meet the Press”:

“For the part of the national security apparatus that I oversaw as DNI, there was no such wiretap activity mounted against the President-elect at the time, or as a candidate, or against his campaign,” Clapper said Sunday morning on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Asked whether he could confirm or deny whether the FBI could have tapped Trump’s phones under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, Clapper was unequivocal.
“I can deny it,” he said. “There is no FISA court order, not to my knowledge, of anything at Trump Tower.” CNN
That this activity was reported some time ago in the NYT is largely dismissed as the Times apparently relied on a report at Heat Street where the very excitable Louise Mensch reported that the FBI had been granted a FISA warrant.
Clapper has a bit of form as being willing to lie under oath but I can’t see any reason why he would lie in these circumstances when it is pretty much inevitable that a FISA application will or will not have been made and decided. There is a record and that record will come out.
At the same time, there is no reason to believe that Trump is not in possession of some evidence that his campaign was tapped. Otherwise, why make the allegation? (And, for sake of argument, let’s put aside the idea that the human Cheeto is simply a deranged lunatic liable to tweet anything.)
The  “Trump ties to Russia” story keeps surfacing as various members of the “intelligence community” leak material to MSM. There does not seem to be much there but what there is can be amped up and puts the Trump Administration on the defensive.  From his tweets and other statements, it is pretty clear Trump is, like many Presidents before him, annoyed with the leaks.
Unlike many Presidents whose response to leaks usually involves some sort of internal investigation, Trump seems willing to try and get to the source of the leaks. He has called for, and is apparently getting, a full scale Congressional investigation of his allegations within the context of an overall investigation of the “Russian influence” on the election.
One read of this is that Trump wants to put the Russian connection allegations on ice for a while and kicking the whole thing over to Congress might have that effect. It is a plausible explanation but it seems somehow inefficient. Very little reward for a significant risk.
My own sense is that Trump has, or thinks he has, a smoking gun. Something which will tie Obama and his administration to illegal activity. If there was a FISA application there would have to be affidavits in support of that application. There would have to be disclosure of the sources and methods whereby the DOJ (the only entity which appears before the FISA court) concluded that there was foreign agent activity at Trump Tower. And that would open several cans of worms.
It is also pure speculation. What is not speculation is that no one in the Obama administration ever, for a minute, believed that Trump would win. Playing a bit fast and loose with rules when there was a Hillary lock on the next administration might well have seemed like a good idea at the time.After all, the orangutang and his flying monkeys were hardly ever going to be in a position to find out.
If there is a “smoking gun”, Trump, by making his allegations and then calling for a Congressional investigation, is ensuring that its discovery will be the work of Congress and not the Trump Administration. Which is not to say the Trump Administration will not leave a trail of boulder-sized, glow in the dark, bread crumbs which even the thickest Congressional investigator will be able to follow.
Trump and his people know that if they are going to put the Russian claims behind them and, perhaps, tarnish the halo the MSM has placed on Obama’s head, the actual investigation has to be at arm’s length. Trump has got his arms-length investigation, now the question is whether he has the actual smoking gun.
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Peace through Strength

Our Russian friends have a funny idea about how to conduct a war: they go and bomb and then dig out the people who are their declared enemies. They support their friends. They are not so much winning in Syria as not losing.

America has a rather vast response capacity. Tomorrow morning President Obama could let lose his heavy bombers and flatten, with a week, every known rallying point of ISIS, all of its oil resources and it’s so called capital.

Obama could send in the attack helios and the AC-130s and kill every formation of ISIS on the ground.

Obama could deploy the several thousand special forces personel at his command and shoot up ISIS at a granular level.

Russia does a lot with, relatively speaking, very little. But what Russia has is a strategic vision. It may be brutal. It may accept civilian casualties. But it gets the job done for Russia.

Tolstoy wrote a little less than a dozen chapters at the end of War and Peace on the philosophy of war. He made the point that the will of an Army and it’s commanders turns destiny in its direction. But without that will nothing occurs. All is chaos.

Pugin, outgunned, knows this. He cannot defeat America, but he can defeat America’s pathetic proxies. Hell, he has them shooting each other. Putin understood Tolstoy… I suspect Obama skipped the last few chapters.

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President Dumb

So Obama will not share information with the Egyptians bombing ISIS.

And, apparently, he was not willing to share information with Jordan either.

The dimwit holds a conference on “violent extremism” and avoids mentioning Islam.

Now there are righties who suggest that Obama is a Muslim, or that he has been captured by the Muslim Brotherhood; I don’t think so.

What I do think is that Obama, and his gang of soft power advisers, are in so far over their heads that they have not a clue what to do. What they are certain of is that “War is bad” and so they are trying to avoid war by being extra nice. I can’t help but think that death from laughter is taking its toll in ISIS.

There are a lot of things which America can and should be doing to deal with ISIS. One of those things is to provide a lot of material and intelligence support for the people willing to actually attack the beast. This, apparently, has escaped the dimwit in chief.

Counting the days until his term is over may be a luxury America cannot afford. Impeachment – for a variety of offences – may be the only solution. The only problem being that Obama gone means Joe Biden. Not a good choice but, perhaps, better than the present idiot.

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ISIS

As I write this I suspect some other poor Shi’ite bastard is having his head hacked off by the charming men of Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams continue their march on Baghdad. Where, apparently they will run into the equally charming hard men of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Two groups who deserve each other.

One hopes the jihadi/Guard fight lasts a long time with many, many casualties on both sides. But, when they have exhausted each other lets also hope that Obama is bright enough to send serious air strikes at the jihadi rear. And not just fighters. Send the B-2s with cluster munitions and by all means the AC-130s.

There is a kill zone which stretches from Syria to Iraq. The Kurds will hold the Western flank and the Shi’ites should be able to bottle up the jihadis to the South. American, Jordanian and Saudi forces should be able to hold the borders of those countries.

If Obama had the will he could kill or assist in the killing of the flower of the jihadi movement. In every crisis there is opportunity and the opportunity here is scorched earth in an area pretty much built for bombing, strafing and cluster munitions.

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Liberals Fail…but it doesn’t matter

American foreign policy

Soft Power

Liberals don’t see failed liberal policies as “failed,” any more than people of faith think that unanswered prayers are “failed” prayers. The difference is that people of faith abnegate themsevles in prayer to a wholly-other divine person, while liberal poster-children subject the world to the narcissistic demands of their own spiritual needs. Jody isn’t the first to make the point. “Remember the war against Franco/That’s the kind where each of us belongs,” sang Tom Lehrer. “He may have won all the battles/But we had all the good songs.” But he makes it in a theologically-informed way that exposes the phemonology of liberal self-worship.

The slaughter in Syria is a minor annoyance to the poster children, whereas peace and prosperity in Israel are cataclysmic disasters. That sounds funny, but it isn’t to the liberals: bringing a liberally-conceived peace to the Middle East is one of those Great Opportunities for Redemption, and to miss it is a tragedy of unimaginable proportions. Darwin forbid that Israel might carry on as a pocket superpower in science, business, and the arts, educating and empowering a new Arab middle class, without submitting to the demands of liberal theology. It’s not only John Kerry who stands to lose his last shot at a Nobel Prize. Liberals of all stripes stand to lose the chance, to demonstrate that particularity (or example, Zionism) is inherently wrong and that liberal universality is right. Spengler, PJ Media

The disaster that is Obama’s flight from the real world no longer even has the virtue that it might prevent war. The Assad regime is back to gassing children , the Russians are playing cat and mouse in Ukraine, there is a full scale civil war in Iraq and the Taliban are simply flowing back in Afghanistan.

And why not? The Rices and the Powers and the excretable Kerrys of the Administration have taken it upon themselves to make America loved rather than feared. To no one’s surprise this has meant America is mocked, ignored and rendered incapable of intervention where intervention is needed. The Syrian red line’s erasure marked the end of the Obama regime’s international credibility.

Unfortunately, there is nothing to do but to wait out the term of this sorry little man and the midgets who surround him. The best America and the rest of the world can hope for is that the damage he is doing is reparable.

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Crunch

The crunch and clangs you are hearing is the sound of the car wreck which passes for American foreign policy at the moment.

Russia is not keen at this stage for a binding U.N. Security Council resolution that would provide a framework to control Syria’s chemical weapons’ stocks, France’s foreign minister said after talks with his Russian counterpart on Tuesday. reuters

There was never much chance that Syria and Russia would actually act to sequester the chemical weapons. In the middle of a civil war it is not all that terrifically easy to deal with the logistics leave aside the politics.

However, faced with certain defeat in the House and a good chance of defeat in the Senate and the American people 3 or 4 to 1 against the idy, biddy, no really, really small, attack on Syria, Obama needed a way out. Putin threw a lead life buoy and the very dim Obama and the even dumber Kerry grabbed it. (The laughter echoing through the halls of the Kremlin can be heard in Damascus.)

Hitting Syria, or, more accurately blowing a raspberry in its general direction, was not the credibility piece here. Everyone knows that the US has awesome raspberry blowing capacity. The credibility was all about the President’s ability to deal with a complicated international situation. While the Court Press will hail the Russian “deal” as proof Obama can wield the power of his office for a peaceful outcome, anyone paying attention will know just how badly he and his team have done.

The audience here is not the Washington tounge bathing media nor, in fact, the American people: rather it is the Iranian, North Korean, Syrian, Russian, Israeli, Egyptian and world strategic elite. People whose job it is to assess the resolve of the American President.

I rather suspect that, no matter what the Big Zero and his spinners say tonight, the universal verdict will be:

Pwned

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Someone is playing checkers

Syria to give up control of chemical weapons.

Do they even play checkers in Russia?

Do the Big 0 and Big, Dumb, John even know how to play checkers?

Sadly, America has been completely outplayed. Kerry should resign citing his own inability to do the job of Secretary of State.

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Credibility

The Big Zero is rolling out a few Generals and the Senate Intelligence Committee released some awful video about what gas does to people.

At the Childrens Table, Andrew Coyne asks “If not now, when?” and the Lying Jackal has found a moral crusade.

As Conrad Black points out,

Until recently, it would have been unimaginable to conceive of John Kerry as the strongman of the National Security Council. This is the man who attended political catechism classes from the North Vietnamese to memorize and repeat their accusations against his country of war crimes in Indochina, and, inter alia, ran for president in 2004 asserting that while he had voted to invade Iraq in 2003, he was not implicated in that decision because he did not vote to fund the invasion once underway. the new york sun

The rationale for a “strike” on Syria has gone from “punishing” Assad for his use of chemical weapons to propping up an incredibly lame President because he is the only President the poor Americans have. At least the latter makes some strategic sense.

Realists recognize Syria for the murderous sideshow it really is.

It is also a potential opportunity to brush back Iran and, more or less, destroy Hezbollah.

Michael Ledeen pointed out some time ago that the road to Damascus starts in Tehran. And that may very well be where a strategically effective strike should take place.

There is hard evidence that Hezbollah is aiding Assad. There is evidence that Iranian Revolutionary Guards are aiding Assad. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that the intelligence agencies of the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia and all the rest, have a pretty good idea as to where Hezbollah and Revolutionary Guards are headquartered.

Rather than a pointless exercise in Tomahawk throwing at empty buildings, it might be a good idea to send a few special forces people and some drones to clear these vipers’ nests. But, for God’s sake, don’t announce it. (And, for good measure, the same death from above could do the elements of Al Quada and the Chetcheyns no end of good. I am sure Mr. Putin would be delighted to help with the Chetcheyns.)

A good rule here is that you can’t go wrong killing thugs on either side. And you keep killing them. And you shut up about it.

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A Serious America

Mr. Putin is making fun of Obama at the G-20. Which is pretty rich for the leader of a has been superpower but, hey, it is a target rich environment.

The problem America faces goes well beyond the Big Zero and the clowns in his Cabinet and on his National Security Council; it is that America does not understand the Machiavellian view that a Prince is better feared than loved.

Most of the time there is no particular reason for the US to become embroiled in minor overseas disputes no matter how morally repellent the participants. So long as no critical American interest is at stake, and there almost never is, America can sit on the sidelines. However, when intervention is in the American interest, there is little point in pussyfooting around.

A limited, invariably “surgical”, no boots on the ground, no collateral damage, shot across the bow is as useless as it is cliched. Nuance and proportionality are the legacy of losers. Worse, they are a strategically boneheaded waste of time.

If America is going to engage its enemies need to know that the force will be overwhelming and utterly disproportionate. The head of the offending state needs to know that he will be hunted down and killed. The leading generals and regime supporters should know that they will suffer the same fate unless they immediately disavow the regime. Outside forces need to know that they will be accountable for their actions and that interference will be regime lethal.

There should be no question of international legitimacy. No UN sanctimony. Just raw, deadly power applied for as long as it takes to accomplish the American objective.

The point being that the use of American power should shock and awe and appall – and the American President and Congress should accept the consequences of its use.

As long as America is unwilling to “go Roman” in defence of its interests it is actually encouraging the rest of the world to believe that America is an overarmed push over.

No nation, particularly America, should ever go to war lightly. War is, and should be, terrible. But no leader should ever ask his nation to go to war half heartedly. No leader should ever ask his people to fight for vague purpose. And no leader should ever go to war unless the full range of his nations’ power can and will be concentrated on securing clear war objectives.

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Er, American Spring II

As Sir Nigel Sheinwald, our former ambassador to the US, told me: “Globalisation makes governments look small because they are incapable of controlling huge global processes. And the vast amounts of online information mean that people are sceptical of what governments tell them and check up on it instantly. Social media allows campaigns to be mounted at the drop of a hat. Traditional means of political organisation and mobilisation of opinion have been overtaken.” telegraph

If this blog has a theme it is a profound scepticism about government and politicians. At the moment, the Big Zero is being embarrassed at the G-20. Soon he will fly back to the US and, apparently, address a sceptical nation on why they should follow him into a “not a war” about “not a red line” for which neither he nor the dimwits in his administration can make a convincing case. His leadership is of so little consequence that there is a good chance a Syria resolution will not be brought in the House of Representatives because it would almost certainly lose.

And that is because Congressmen are hearing from their electors and those electors are not in favour of this “not a war” over this “not a red line” lead by this dismal failure of a President.

While this is being spun as a repudiation of Bush, the fact is he was able to gain the support of Congress for both Afghanistan and Iraq. Obama can’t.

This inability to lead now matters. Massive, instant, electronic response from individual citizens changes how politicians can do business. Gone are the days where agreements could be stitched up before the citizens had time to find out what was going on.

If Obama is defeated on his bully little war there is every chance that an empowered citizenry will begin to look sceptically at the other cozy deals the “leadership” in Washington is hatching.

The political class (in every country) should be afraid, very afraid.

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