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  • feedwordpress 05:43:42 on 2016/06/13 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Middle East, , , ,   

    Hit ISIS Decisively, Immediately, and Without Remorse 


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    There’s something that the United States could learn from Israel when it comes to dealing with radical Islamic extremism. When Israel is attacked, they find a target affiliated with the attacker and they deliver retribution. When the United States is attacked, we point fingers and call for gun control.

    Before anyone calls me out for taking on a hawkish approach as compared to the more conservative approach of limited intervention, it’s important to remember that we were hit. Just like with 9/11, the Orlando attack demands an immediate response. Unlike 9/11, we should select who we attack based upon the circumstance and not political expediency. Iraq was not responsible for 9/11, yet they were selected as one of the two big targets upon which to focus our fury. This was a mistake.

    With the Orlando attack, the attacker claimed allegiance to the Islamic State and the Islamic State has taken credit for the attack. The enemy is waving their hands and saying, “we did this.” In other words, the enemy is clear and as a result our actions should be clear.

    This has nothing to do with vengeance. This is a message that must be sent immediately. Those who support the Islamic State domestically and abroad must be made aware that the United States will respond furiously. We will respond decisively. We will not delay and we will have no remorse. That doesn’t mean upping air strikes. That means asymmetric warfare. It means sending a furious blitz through some of the lands known to be controlled by the Islamic State and delivering a 10x casualty count. They killed 50 and injured over 50 more. We need to decimate a portion of their forces large enough that they know any attack against the United States, lone wolf or not, will result in a major retaliation.

    It has to hurt. It can’t be a statement by politicians. It must be a show of the only thing that these extremists understand: strength. Right now, we are weak. In their eyes, we weep for the dead and argue over laws. They have zero fear in attacking the United States because they know we will do nothing of substance. This has to change. It needs to change now. It can’t wait for the election. President Obama and Congress must act without hesitation and bring the force of America’s military to bear against our enemies.

    Long-term, we should be working towards eliminating ALL forms of radical Islamic extremism. The response I’m describing would not be part of the long-term goal, but it would act as a warning that attacking the United States brings about consequences. They have absolutely zero fear of us. For the first time in a century, the United States does not intimidate our enemies at all. They don’t fear a response because they know there won’t be one. For once, President Obama needs to surprise them. He needs to demonstrate what his office and station as Commander-in-Chief truly means. He must be a leader. I wish it was someone who actually had the capacity to lead sitting in the White House today, but in lieu of such a person, it must be Obama and it must be right now.

    There are those who will point out that he was not a “part of” ISIS, that he was an American citizen. The reality is this: without radical Islamic extremists reaching into the United States and spreading their perverse ideologies and religious beliefs around the world, people like Omar Mateen would not become terrorists. They aren’t born terrorists. Despite what the left will say, they aren’t simply underprivileged or lashing out over poor treatment by Americans towards Muslims. They are radicalized through propaganda, direct communication, and indoctrination into a concept that pushes them towards terrorism. People like Mateen (and there are plenty just like him waiting to enact jihad in America) are made to believe that their attacks will benefit the Islamic extremist cause. They need to be made aware that they will not be helping ISIS but rather hurting them with their actions. ISIS is the enemy whether it’s an American citizen indoctrinated into jihad or a foreigner creeping into the country through legal or illegal means. Radicalization has no boundaries and does not recognize country of birth.

    If we do not act immediately, we are opening the door to more radicalization and terrorism on American soil. Now is not the time to debate policy issues or gun rights. It’s not the time to discuss hate crimes of ideological unity. It’s a time for action. Will the President step up?

     
  • feedwordpress 07:40:49 on 2016/01/04 Permalink
    Tags: , , Middle East, , , ,   

    Why are Christian Refugees Being Ignored by Christian Refugee Groups? 


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    If there’s any wonder why the Obama Administration chooses to ignore Middle Eastern Christian refugees in favor of Muslim refugees, one needs only to look at some of the most prominent US-based Christian refugee groups. They seem to share the preference and are as much to blame for Christians accounting for less than 2% of the accepted refugees over the last four years.

    There are two reasons that this is tragic. In reality, there are dozens of reasons, but we’re going to focus on the two most clear. First, Christians represent over 10% of the displaced refugees seeking a new home. Second, Middle East persecution of Christians is generally much more harsh than persecution against Muslim refugees. Neither of these facts are disputed. They’re simply ignored.

    Despite these facts, a mere 34 out of 2,100 refugees accepted by the United States have been Christians.

    It’s natural for us to rightly assume that the Obama administration is the reason for this, but they’re not alone. Much of the blame can be turned against alleged Christian organizations helping refugees. They, too, ignore the Christian refugees for one reason or another.

    Here’s where the conspiracy theorist in me comes out. There are only two possible reasons for this to be the case. The more realistic theory is that these church-driven groups are mindful of their status and do not want to demonstrate a preference for Christian refugees since that could be considered favoritism. As a result, they overcompensate by not highlighting the large number of Christians since the majority of refugees are, indeed, Muslim.

    The second and more nefarious theory is that these organizations might be church-driven, but they’re not Bible-driven. That’s not to attack any individuals within these organizations; I would venture that most involved are truly caring people who are doing what they can to help those in need. However, it’s conspicuous that their websites don’t even mention the Christian component of the refugee crisis at all. We’re not talking about a small number. There are hundreds of thousands of Christians in the Middle East who are lucky to be homeless and hungry. Many have brothers, fathers, and sons that are dead and sisters, mothers, and daughters who are kept alive to be raped.

    The most important change that must be made in America today is to solidify the immigration and refugee programs in ways that can properly screen and track those who enter the country regardless of religion. This is imperative; it cannot wait for the next President. This must be done immediately. It isn’t just for national security. It’s also based upon the assumption that there will be refugees brought into the United States because of the tremendous need in the world.

    More importantly, we can help to secure our own borders by helping those in the Middle East who are being persecuted by doing two things: destroying the Islamic State and helping to build or rebuild portions of the Middle East where these refugees can go. They don’t all have to go to Europe or the United States. There is enough room and with the help of the international community there would be enough resources to make this happen quickly.

    None of it will work as long as the Islamic State and other terrorist organizations have so much control over the lands.

    We can debate whether or not refugees should be allowed in the first place, but in the meantime if we’re going to accept refugees there should be the right proportions of them that are Christian. I’m not even calling for a preference at this point. I’m simply asking that they not be ignored and pushed to the back the way they’re being pushed today.

     
  • feedwordpress 11:46:44 on 2015/12/02 Permalink
    Tags: , , Middle East, , ,   

    Even Iraq Says They Don’t Need US Ground Forces to Defeat the Islamic State 


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    There’s nothing wrong with being a political hawk when it comes to fighting our enemies as long as it’s warranted. When the need to be hawkish for political expediency supersedes common sense and proper alignment with the geopolitical needs of the United States, I take offense.

    There’s no need to be hawkish for the sake of being hawkish, but that’s exactly what’s happening in Washington DC right now. Republican Presidential candidates wanting to beef up their military credibility are saying that we need more troops in the Middle East to fight the Islamic State when that’s simply not necessary. Iraq’s Prime Minister has declared exactly what is needed. The Kurdish factions in Iraq have said the same thing. When will President Barack Obama, Senator John McCain, Defense Secretary Ash Carter, and several Republican candidates realize that the solution to the Islamic State is staring us in the face.

    There’s no reason to put additional troops in the Middle East, not when an alternative is available that actually makes more sense. The limited engagement that Carter refers to which would put an additional couple hundred special forces units for particular missions is as far as we should go. Calls for massive troop deployments when there are fighters wanting to do the work is politically motivated.

     
  • feedwordpress 12:55:44 on 2015/11/23 Permalink
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    President Obama Must NOT Wait Until an Attack Before Getting Serious About the Islamic State 


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    Let’s state a fact. Some will say that it’s not a fact, but I’ll demonstrate why it is indeed a fact here shortly. The fact is this: if the United States continues with its current policy regarding the Islamic State, there will be a major terrorist attack on American soil perpetrated directly by the Islamic State or its supporters.

    The obvious question would be how this can be construed as a fact. There are no indications that we’re any closer today than we were a couple of months ago to being attacked. The reason we can state it as factual is because the current policy regarding the Islamic State is no working and every day that they’re allowed to exist increases the chances of someone doing in America what they did in Paris, Beirut, the Russian passenger jet… or worse. It’s not a question of if but rather when it will be successful. With the FBI investigating 1,000 active potential Islamic State threats on United States soil, there’s no way to keep them all. Our law enforcement agencies are the best in the world but the numbers are stacked against them.

    Some would say that the President will not do anything and therefore the best we can do is to wait for the next President to get into office. That’s not good enough. We’re over a year away from someone new in the White House and things are escalating with the Islamic State. It’s not just their military that needs to be eliminated. It’s their ideology. It’s the anger being felt by Muslims that are approaching the point of radicalization. It’s the risk of infiltration by the Islamic State among the Middle East refugees. It’s the tipping point that America and the world is reaching where the specter of terrorism is finding its way out of the dark corners and onto main street USA in some unsuspecting city.

    There are those who say we should have been able to stop the 9/11 attacks based upon intelligence and the history of attacks that led up to the tragedy. They might be right, but if there’s one notion that should not be forgotten its that they had the unfortunate luxury of complacency. Today, we do not have that luxury. Even a decade and a half removed from 9/11, the risks are still present in the minds of law enforcement, politicians, and the general population. Add in the three major terrorist attacks in recent weeks and we should no longer allow any form of complacency.

    Islamic State in America

    Paris isn’t Beirut, and while it’s unfair to view the two through different filters, it’s clear that Paris is too similar to American cities to ignore. I’m personally very aware of the terrorism and radical Islamic ideology that kills people every day around the country, but I don’t fault the general population for viewing it from a different perspective. Paris is a shared perspective. If it can happen there, it can happen here.

    Knowing this, there’s no excuse for waiting. There’s no reason that we should wait around for a terrorist attack to happen before acting to stop it. That’s not to say that nobody’s trying. It’s to say that the President of the United States is not trying hard enough. He has a history of underestimating the threat from the Islamic State and the American people are finally starting to realize the error in his ways. We must keep the pressure up, whatever pressure we have available to us, in order to bring the President to his senses. He’s clearly not seeing this straight. His judgment is clouded. Whether it’s by his lame duck status, his unearned Nobel Peace Prize, or by the hopes that nothing will happen until someone else takes over shouldn’t really matter. The reason is unimportant. The necessity for change is all that matters.

    Even if the President gets more aggressive, an attack still might come. However, if he doesn’t change his policy, an attack will almost certainly come. We have to act which means he has to act. Otherwise, we’re playing directly into the hands of the Islamic State.

     
  • feedwordpress 04:47:45 on 2015/11/22 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Middle East, , , , ,   

    The Refugee Plan that Makes Way Too Much Sense for Most Politicians 


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    The topic that is polarizing the United States right now is the Syrian refugee issue. Most Democrats (though not all) want to allow them into America with the current “screening” process in place. Nearly all Republicans want some measure of action ranging from revising the screening process to completely halting the refugee process altogether.

    Before we go into the details of a common sense plan that would work, let’s address the extremes within both parties. The Democrats that believe it’s okay to operate the process exactly the way it currently sits are being naive. We were calling attention to the fact that the Islamic State was taking advantage of the refugee crisis well before the terrorist attacks in Paris proved this to be true. Now that it’s confirmed, their defense of blind allowance of refugees is untenable.

    The Republicans cannot embrace a complete isolationist perspective, either. We can’t simply say, “not our problem.” It is absolutely our problem with the Middle East being so pivotal to the future of our country and even if it wasn’t, we are the leader of the world. We are able to help and we absolutely must fulfill our responsibility to help those who need help.

    That doesn’t mean opening our borders. It doesn’t mean acting stupid. It means that we must be smart about how we help, but we must help nonetheless. Of course, we don’t have to do it alone. This is where Saudi Arabia comes in.

    Saudi Arabia and Jack Sprat

    The Saudis do not want non-Muslims in their country, which means that they can sort through the refugees to identify Christians. If that doesn’t spark the clarity in your own mind of what we must do, then I’ll elaborate.

    Some Republicans have suggested allowing Christian refugees in while denying Muslim refugees. If the Saudis can be persuaded to allow refugees, they’ll want the exact opposite of what we want. What that means is that with a proper infrastructure and international funding, we could “pull a Jack Sprat.”

    Jack Sprat could eat no fat.

    His wife could eat no lean.

    And so between them both, you see,

    They licked the platter clean.

    The basic details can be seen in a previous post about the radical idea to solve the refugee problem. Here are are the basics:

    1. Compel Saudi Arabia to take on refugees. Remember, they don’t have all of the oil. They have many of the most lucrative oil contracts. There are plenty of countries such as Venezuela who would love the future benefits of those contracts if Saudi Arabia continues to be obtuse in their stance.
    2. Allow Saudi Arabia to conduct the first level of background checks. They can do it better than us. They can identify the likely Islamic State sympathizers. More importantly, they can find the Christians. They don’t want the Christians. America does.
    3. Those who are identified as likely Christians will then be vetted by the FBI. That doesn’t mean that all of them will be Christians nor does it mean that being a Christian means that they definitely aren’t terrorists. It does, however, reduce the chances of Islamic State infiltration.
    4. Christian and secular organizations in the United States will be given responsibility to help the refugees. They will assist and monitor with assistance from law enforcement. The American people can help as long as they’re comfortable with the vetting process. Otherwise, it will be hard to get enough support.
    5. The goal is to eventually return nearly all refugees to Syria once stability is brought to their ravaged lands.

    The first objection from politicians will be that Saudi Arabia cannot be compelled. This is ridiculous. They have held the world at bay for decades and it’s time for them to contribute more than money to solving the situation for their fellow Muslim brothers. They have a population density of 36 people per square compared to Germany at 591 per square mile. They have no excuse to not step up.

    Nobody in the US government has ever wanted to call out Saudi Arabia. Now is the time. The world hangs in the balance and the United States must act. That doesn’t mean we have to act alone.

     
  • feedwordpress 11:14:54 on 2015/11/20 Permalink
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    Using Peshmerga to Destroy the Islamic State isn’t Isolationism. It Makes Complete Sense. 


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    Conservatives already have to deal with great ideas getting shot down by liberals. That’s expected. What’s infuriating is when great ideas are shot down by Republicans. Peshmerga has been and will continue to be the best way to eliminate the Islamic State.

    For those not familiar, here are the bullet points to know about them:

    • Peshmerga is the 200,000 troop Kurdish army that has been fighting the Islamic State from the beginning.
    • They were our best allies in the Iraq war and were instrumental in taking Baghdad with minimal US casualties.
    • They aren’t jihadists. They aren’t anti-American or anti-Israel. When the phrase “moderate Islam” is used, these are the guys that best exemplify the concept. They just want to live in peace.
    • Unlike the Syrian rebels, they do not have any other motivation beyond destroying the Islamic State.

    Many of the Republican candidates for President are taking the gut-wrenching attacks last week in Paris and utilizing it to flex their muscles and call for American boots on the ground. This is ludicrous for several reasons, but the most important thing that every American should know is that the fastest, most efficient, and easiest to implement action that we could possibly take to destroy the Islamic State is by completely and unequivocally supporting Peshmerga.

    That means training, which they don’t need a ton of as they’re already pretty well trained.

    That means arms, which they already possess to some extent. They have tanks and decent weapons, just not enough. Everyone from the United States to Russia has been trying to get them a limited number of weapons, but not enough are coming in and many are being halted in Baghdad for defense without ever making it out to the battlefield.

    Most importantly, that means air support. Lots of it. The Islamic State has very little in the way of air defense, so a well-trained, well-equipped Peshmerga with massive American air support would end the threat very quickly. Since they’re already embedded in these lands, it would actually bring about the end of the Islamic State more quickly than to build a military infrastructure from scratch.

    In other words, helping the Kurds wouldn’t just keep many American boots off the ground. It would actually be more effective and efficient than attempting to send in our own military to defeat them.

    Some would wonder why we wouldn’t be doing it already if it would be so effective. The reason is because of a poor choice by the Obama administration. They saw the Syrian rebels as a better team to support because they underestimated the Islamic State and because they wanted to kill two birds with one stone. Peshmerga will not take out Bashar al-Assad and install a new Syrian government. The President hoped that the Syrian rebels would.

    By choosing the Syrian rebels over Peshmerga, we have actually helped the Islamic State to expand. The rebels have no loyalty to America and very little loyalty to Syria itself. Many are leaving the rebels to join the Islamic State because they feel they have a better chance of taking out Assad than the ragtag group of al Qaeda led rebels. They have taken the training and weapons that the Obama administration supplied them and given them over to the Islamic State.

    With Peshmerga, there is zero chance of that happening. They are adamantly dedicated to protecting their lands and their family from the existential threat that the Islamic State poses for them. They don’t view the Islamic State as a possibly obstacle, possible ally against Assad the way the Syrian rebels do. They want to destroy the Islamic State at all costs. Arming, training, and supporting them makes by far the most sense as a way to eliminate the ISIS threat.

    The problem is that Americans have been left in the dark about the circumstances in the Middle East. Most know that the Obama administration has “cooked the books” to make things seem better than they really are against the Islamic State, but what doesn’t get reported is that the Peshmerga have had the only documented successes against them. The reason: it doesn’t fit the narrative the administration uses to arm the Syrian rebels.

    Rather than bring this truth to light, most of the Republican candidates have chosen to highlight this plan or that plan in an effort to make themselves appear more hawkish (and therefore stronger) in the eyes of conservative voters. It’s more infuriating than what the President is doing because the Republican candidates shouldn’t be using “boots on the ground” as a political power play. Instead, they should be taking the best option available, the option that makes total sense on all fronts, in order to destroy the Islamic State.  That best option is complete support of Peshmerga. Unfortunately, wanting to do so doesn’t get the types of headlines they need to capture the attention of voters.

    It’s the right choice for America. It’s just not the right choice for their campaigns. When I hear candidates like Marco Rubio calling the idea isolationism, I realize how perverted his views on foreign relations really are. America needs to be strong around the world. That doesn’t mean we need to flex our muscle when it’s not necessary. The best way to stop the Islamic State is through the Peshmerga army. That’s not isolationism. That’s not Rand Paul style Libertarianism. It’s called being smart and doing this the right way even if it doesn’t score political points with the under-informed voters.

    It’s politically expedient for some Republican candidates to call for boots on the ground and there are times to do so. This is not one of them as Ted Cruz has rightly affirmed. We have a better option that is begging for help to destroy the Islamic State. That is the right way to do it even if it doesn’t score points for a candidate.

    Peshmerga Army

     
  • feedwordpress 07:21:03 on 2015/11/16 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Middle East, , , , , , , Syrian Civil War   

    The Radical Idea to Securely Handle the Middle East Refugee Crisis 


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    There are three major and conflicting problems with the Syrian refugee crisis. The first is the least serious but should be noted: it’s not just Syria. The second is much more important: terrorists are infiltrating the ranks. The third is the most important: people with their homeland destroyed need help or they may die.

    Before the uglier side of my chosen political affiliation barks out the standard response to the last issue by saying, “it’s not our problem,” I will say definitively that the isolationist perspective has merits but in this case it’s simply untenable. It isn’t just that there are tons of American interests in the Middle East. It’s the reality that the Middle East is the primary reason that the United States has not had an economic collapse. With the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency and its petrodollar moniker, there is nothing that can stop a catastrophic economic downturn that would destroy us. The Middle East is our problem, which means that the people in the Middle East are partially our responsibility.

    That doesn’t even take into account the “don’t be a dick” argument. People are dying and we have the means to help them. Ignoring the Middle East would not help those in the United States who are also suffering. In fact, they would be the first to feel the pain from the economic downfall that would hit us if we turned our back to the Middle East.

    Problem #2, the infiltration of the Islamic State and other terrorist sympathizers into the ranks of the refugees and therefore western culture is as big of an existential threat to us as the Syrian civil war is to Syrians. The turmoil and systematic upheaval that they could cause would make 9/11 seem relatively harmless to the overall health of the country. Paris was an example. As tragic as it was, it was potentially only the beginning. A single attack kills innocent people and shakes the nerves of the country and the world. A string of successful attacks would change the face of western culture and establish a civilian counterinsurgency that could destroy the fabric of America.

    As for the first problem, it’s semantics. There’s nothing that can really be done about it, so we should just accept that this is a Middle East refugee crisis. Whether they’re coming from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, or anywhere else in or around the region, we must not get caught up in trying to separate out the needy from the more needy.

    To solve this problem, we have to accept two major changes to our policy as well as the policy in Europe.

    This Must Be Temporary

    Temporary Solution

    Everyone is treating this situation as if the only hope is to bring the refugees into lands where they might have a better chance of prospering. This isn’t World War II. It’s the 21st century and we have to start treating this situation from that perspective. Whatever damage has been done in Syria and other countries in the Middle East can be repaired once the Syrian civil war is over and the Islamic State has been annihilated.

    That means that the refugees shouldn’t be flooding Europe. They shouldn’t be brought over to North America or other continents. They should be given a safe home in places close to their homeland to live until the world can help them return to their lands in safety. I’ll go into more details about that shortly, but let’s first look at the second major change that must be accepted, however reluctantly.

    The Syrian Civil War Must End Even if Assad is Still in Power

    Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin

    Whether Bashar al-Assad remains in power or not is really none of our concern. Again, I’m not siding with the isolationists on this one. I’m simply pointing out that over the last decade and a half whenever we go in and work on regime changes, they don’t seem to end as well for the people as they would had we never gotten involved in the first place.

    What we and the rest of the world must do is to bring about peace in the fastest way possible. This means working with Russia. If they are adamant about keeping Assad in power, so be it. We are in contact with the rebel forces. If we’re not going to give them the real assistance they need and go head to head with Russia in the prelude to World War III, then we acknowledge defeat for our friends and turn our attention to the Islamic State.

    It sounds harsh. Most would admit that Assad is not the right person to be leading Syria, but I’m not completely convinced that anyone we would help to put in power would be any better. Our track record is pretty shabby.

    More importantly, we never committed. Russia has. We had the opportunity to create regime change when President Obama’s red line was crossed. We chose not to take advantage of the situation and therefore we lost the initiative. Now that Russia has committed to his side of the war, we can either back off or escalate. Backing off means that Assad stays in power. Escalating means World War III. Our missed opportunity means that Russia and Assad have won. It’s time for the US to cut bait on regime change in Syria.

    Destroy the Islamic State

    A-10 Warthog

    Senator Ted Cruz is promoting the idea that if we dramatically escalate airstrikes and arm our Kurdish allies to the teeth, we can destroy the Islamic State. I would push it even further by forming a coalition of military forces led by a remarkable alliance between the United States and Russia, but then again I’m sitting in an office and Cruz has access to real intelligence reports, so we’ll go with his plan.

    Regardless of how it’s done, the #1 military goal for the entire world should be to utterly destroy the Islamic State. They have demonstrated a willingness to do anything, kill anyone, and use the types of tactics that demonstrate the evil in their collective hearts. They cannot be contained. They cannot be negotiated with in humane terms. The only way the Middle East and the world could ever be safe is if the Islamic State ceased to exist.

    In the Meantime…

    Saudi Arabia Refugee Camp

    Back to the Middle East refugee crisis. We’ve established that they need to be kept close enough to their homeland where it’s easy for them to return once the wars are over. Then, the world can assist them in rebuilding their homes, cities, and way of life.

    That means that Saudi Arabia is the ultimate answer for “temporary refugee housing.” Germany is accepting tons of refugees while having 17 times higher population density than Saudi Arabia. There are 232 people per square mile living in Germany compared to 14 per square mile in Saudi Arabia.

    Much of the land is uninhabitable. Make it inhabitable. Considering the tens of billions of dollars that the refugee crisis is going to cost many of the countries of the world just to cover the logistics, why not simplify the process and build the ultimate refugee camps. Install security, schools, opportunities for employment, healthcare, sanitation, and everything necessary for indefinite living. It won’t be indefinite, but make it last just in case.

    Currently, Saudi Arabia has 100,000 air-conditioned refugee tents that are not being used. Imagine if they had the world’s support to set up 20 of these quickly. It would still be cheaper than what European countries are going to have to pay with the current situation.

    Saudi Arabia Refugee Tents

    Some will argue that it would take too long. Again, this is the 21st century and we’re talking about tens of billions of dollars that countries are already going to have to spend. Why spend the money destroying cultures and creating an atmosphere of chaos that allows incidents like Paris to happen when we can use fewer resources to make a stable atmosphere close to their homeland?

    Others would argue that it takes away from the human spirit, that giving them opportunity in Europe and the United States is better for them. That is one of the most presumptuous arguments that anyone could make. Giving them opportunity elsewhere is a consolation prize to many of these people. What most of them really want is to return to their homeland once order is established so they can rebuild and move on. They aren’t seeking our way of life. Those who did could have left long ago. They’re seeking safety in desperate situations.

    The last argument is that Saudi Arabia won’t do it. At some point, we need to stop treating Saudi Arabia as the people with all of the oil and start treating them as the people who need other countries to buy their oil. This is their opportunity to further solidify their status as the leader in oil exports in exchange for cooperation with the refugee crisis. They can make out very well if they play ball. If they turn their back on their brothers in the Middle East, they could turn out like Venezuela, the country with the largest oil reserves. I’m sure Venezuela would be willing to take on the refugees in exchange for Saudi Arabia’s oil contracts.

    This is a complex situation, but that doesn’t mean the answers to the problems have to be complex as well. The safety of the refugees and the safety of the countries that take on the refugees do not have to be mutually exclusive goals.

     
  • feedwordpress 12:29:57 on 2015/11/15 Permalink
    Tags: DemDebate, , , , Middle East, , , ,   

    Clinton Dodges Question About How to Screen Syrian Refugees 


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    The Syrian refugee crisis is turning into a gigantic mess for all of the countries in Europe that are involved. Now, the terrorist attacks in Paris bring to the forefront the need to properly screen refugees before they can enter a country. Considering that the United States is one of the countries committed to taking 200,000 refugees, knowing how to screen them is extremely important. Hillary Clinton had the opportunity to tell us all how she would do it and she decided against doing so.

    Here’s a video that we made discussing this issue followed by the transcript if you’re one of those who prefer to read it (of if you just don’t like my voice):

    As a conservative, it’s easy for me to watch the Democratic debates and shake my head with nearly every answer that is given. That’s the nature of divisive politics today as both sides tend to love what their candidates say and hate what their opponents say. With that said, I heard a question on the CBS News debate that caught my attention and actually made me excited to hear the answer.

    Following the Islamic State’s terrorist attacks in Paris, CBS rightly changed the direction of some of their questions to address the important issue. A question came in from Twitter that I’d love to get an answer on from everyone, Democrat or Republican. The only candidate who got this question was Hillary Clinton and she answered it in a very Clintonesque way. Here’s the question:

    Pretty straight forward. As one post I read pointed out, this was really an opportunity for her to knock it out of the park. It was practically designed for her with her experience at the State Department and it’s the type of question that President Obama must answer immediately. It may be the first time in two decades that I really wanted to hear something of substance from Clinton. I should have known better.

    “I think that is the number one requirement. I also said that we should increase numbers of refugees. The administration originally said 10. I said we should go to 65, but only if we have as careful a screening and vetting process as we can imagine, whatever resources it takes.”

    Okay, so now it’s getting a little scary. Whenever a Democrat invokes their favorite catchphrase of “whatever resources it take,” that means that they’ll take as many resources, AKA tax dollars, as they can get their hands on and still figure out a way to squander it. Nevertheless, at this point I braced for the substantive answer to this extremely important question.

    “I do not want us to in any way inadvertently allow people who wish us harm to come into our country. But I want to say a quick word about what Senator Sanders and then Governor O’Malley said.”

    Wait, what? Seriously? Did Hillary Clinton just invoke the bait and switch to effectively not answer the question she was given but rather change gears to a talk track that she had practiced with her campaign team? What about screening the Syrian refugees? That’s a very current and very important immediate need for this country.

    The defense budget, which she’s about to discuss, has been set until the Presidential election is over and done with. We need to figure out right now how to prevent the tragedy in Paris from happening in an American city. She dodged it. She shamefully dodged a question that could have very easily been her defining moment in the debate. I guess in a way, her inability to answer it did become her defining moment in this debate as well as being a prelude to her Presidency if the American people chose to buy in to her rhetoric and misdirection. Let’s finish with her military babble response.

    We do have to take a hard look at the defense budget, and we do have to figure out how we get ready to fight the adversaries of the future, not the past. But we have to also be very clear that we do have continuing challenges. We’ve got challenges in the South China Sea because of what China is doing in building up these military installations. We have problems with Russia. Just the other day, Russia allowed a television camera to see the plans for a drone submarine that could carry a tactical nuclear weapon. So we’ve got to look at the full range and then come to some decisions about having more streamlined and focused defense budget.

    Look, I understand that there’s a lot of pressure being on stage and in front of a television audience of millions of people and she didn’t have weeks to memorize a canned response since the refugee crisis came back to center stage the night before, but certainly she could have offered some solution. She’s been doing this for three decades, including four years as Secretary of State. If any Democrat had the credentials to give us a real screening process that would address this issue, it should have been her.

    Oh well.

    As I said before, I’m a conservative, but I’d like to give some free advice to my progressive listeners out there. I don’t agree with Bernie Sanders or Martin O’Malley’s policies, but both of them are exponentially more trustworthy and honorable than Clinton and at least in the case of Sanders he’s much more intelligent and better prepared to handle the role of President of the United States. Hillary Clinton is an ethical mess and has demonstrated complete incompetence in her time as a politician. While part of me is foaming at the mouth at the prospects of her being the opponent in the general election, the honorable part of me hopes that you will all wake up and realize that she is not the person you want representing your party in any form or fashion. Thank you for listening.

    Syrian Refugee Children

     
  • feedwordpress 08:06:44 on 2015/11/15 Permalink
    Tags: , Middle East, , , , , ,   

    Accepting Syrian Refugees Now is Irresponsible 


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    Before liberals start their attacks on the concept of closing the borders or not contributing to the aid required to help those who are truly in need in the Middle East and Europe, let me state up front that I’m sympathetic and that the United States should help. With that said, accepting refugees into the United States under anything short of completely controlled conditions is ludicrous.

    Nothing has changed with regards to the threat. The attacks on Paris by radical Islamic terrorists is something that many have anticipated even before the refugee crisis swelled to the point that it’s at now. The Islamic State has influence over innumerable people across the world. That includes France. That includes the United States.

    The refugee crisis offers a way for terrorists and handlers who have been directly influenced by the Islamic State to meet and coordinate with those who have already sworn allegiance in other countries. They also offer a hands-on, face-to-face way to recruit, nurturing the seeds that have been planted but that haven’t fully budded yet.

    Now, the United States is bringing in these refugees. The Obama administration claims that they will go through an exhaustive screening process. This is, of course, a naive statement. You cannot screen ideology any more than you can screen someone’s favorite color. If they don’t want you to know that their favorite color is blue, they will tell you their favorite color is yellow. If they don’t want you to know they plan on shooting people at a concert, they won’t tell you they’re sympathetic to the Islamic State.

    The United States is the country that is most capable of helping those in need. We should find a way to help. That way should not include bringing the 200,000 refugees that President Obama has invited to the country. Unless we’re willing to build controlled environments like the alleged FEMA camps to house them, it makes no sense whatsoever to bring them to the country. We don’t have to give them access to commit terrorism in order to help.

    Some would say that the number of Islamic State sympathizers would be very small. They’re right. If 1% of 1% of those who come over are terrorists, that’s 20 men intending to do harm. There were likely fewer than that involved in Paris and they had help from French citizens.

    I’m compassionate towards their needs and I realize that the vast majority of refugees are people who need help. Unfortunately, the Islamic State has infiltrated them. If contaminates are found in a few packages of cheese, all of the packages made in the same facility are recalled, even if it’s hundreds of thousands. Even if it’s millions.

    The Islamic State proved in Paris that the flow of Syrian refugees into Europe has been tainted. We wouldn’t import food if some of that food was known to have killed people. We shouldn’t bring in Syrian refugees until the Islamic State is wiped out.

     
  • feedwordpress 22:37:16 on 2015/11/14 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Middle East, , , ,   

    If We Don’t Treat This as Good versus Evil, We Will Never Beat the Islamic State 


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    For the better part of the last two years, the evolution of our foreign policy regarding the Islamic State has barely moved. Despite calls from everyone from foreign leaders to US military commanders to a pair of US Defense Secretaries, the consensus has been that the Islamic State cannot be defeated with our current policy of contain and (eventually) drive back.

    Russia has stepped up and they’re paying consequences for being the first full force to hit the dance floor. It’s not just the terrorist bombing of a Russian jet that somehow still isn’t confirmed as such despite strong physical evidence and immediate credible claims from the Islamic State that they did it. The economic toll is registering in Russia at a rate that is likely surprising to the Russian government. They are incapable of doing this on their own or with the mild semi-assistance of US airstrikes.

    The difference between our policy and the enemy’s policy is that our government views the Islamic State as a geopolitical issue. We aren’t looking at this through the proper lens that this is a fight between good and evil. They don’t have that problem. Their perspective is that they are the righteous warriors for the good of their god and that the United States, secular Middle East Sunni governments, all Shiites, Israel, Europe, Russia, and pretty much everyone else are all on the side of evil.

    Perspectives change the way you handle situations. Let’s look at it from a law enforcement angle. It’s similar in that the responses to different degrees of crimes can vary just as the threat from geopolitical situations will vary. If law enforcement believes that a particular area is a hotbed for drug dealers, they might take the same basic approach the President Obama has taken with the Islamic State. First, they would try to contain the situation and keep the drug dealers relegated to a particular area. Then, they would systematically gather intelligence, secure search warrants, and make arrests when appropriate. They might even allow some drug deals to happen while learning more about the infrastructure so they could find the source of the drugs.

    On the other hand, if law enforcement receives credible information that there’s a child molester kidnapping children and keeping them in a house, they raid the house. They don’t allow it to continue in hopes of containing the rapist to just those children he already has captured. They go in and they take him out immediately. They do this because they understand they are fighting a good fight against a truly evil act.

    The Islamic State has perpetrated the worst types of crime. They are killing innocent people. They are taking women and children into forced sexual slavery. They are destroying the lives of millions of people. Now, they’re spreading their tentacles around the world in and effort to bring about the eradication of everything and everyone that stands in their way of complete domination over the rest of humanity.

    They are evil. Their goals are evil. They should never have been allowed to exist this long. They cannot be allowed to exist any further. We have to stop treating them like something that needs to be contained. They must be completely eliminated. Anything short of that is not only futile but actually supports their cause.

     
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