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Posts Tagged ‘foreign policy’
May 16th, 2014 at 12:06 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Bring Back Our Competence
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

December 19th, 2013 at 1:28 pm
Baucus Beijing Appointment Shows White House Running Scared in 2014
Posted by Troy Senik Print

Word leaked out yesterday that the White House is planning on nominating veteran Montana Senator Max Baucus (a Democrat) to become the new U.S. Ambassador to China. This continues this Administration’s long pattern of using the ambassadorial post in Beijing to take care of domestic political concerns rather than to strengthen our hand in international affairs.

Recall that Obama’s first appointment to the post was Jon Huntsman, then the Republican Governor of Utah. The Administration’s political hacks crowed at the time that this was a bit of Machiavellian genius, having sent Obama’s foremost potential rival for the 2012 presidential election halfway around the world. There were only two problems with that theory: (1) The Republican primary electorate had no real interest in Huntsman (Team Obama should have realized that anyone they saw as an appealing Republican would be a non-starter in a GOP election) and (2) Huntsman proved this fact by resigning the post a few years in and returning stateside to run against the president anyway. He was then subsequently replaced by Secretary of Commerce (and former Washington Governor) Gary Locke, whose primary qualification seemed to be his Chinese ancestry.

My first reaction to the Baucus appointment was precisely the one that NBC’s First Read highlights this morning:

Ever since Baucus said he wasn’t running for re-election — and after former Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) took a pass on running — Montana has become a clear pick-up opportunity for Republicans, giving them a do-able shot at netting the six seats needed to win back the Senate next year.

But yesterday’s news means that the state’s Democratic governor, Steve Bullock, gets to appoint a replacement for Baucus, and most observers believe the replacement pick will be Lt. Gov. John Walsh (D), who is already running for Baucus’ seat.

Putting someone like Walsh in the Senate would boost his name ID, give him the benefits of incumbency (staff, official duties), and potentially clear the Democratic primary (although it seems like fellow candidate John Bohlinger is someone who isn’t easily persuaded to get out of a race).

At a minimum, Walsh — as an appointed senator — basically moves this race from Lean Republican to Toss Up.

This is a time-honored tradition of political gamesmanship, but one that I’m not sure will be adequate next year. In a normal election cycle, such humble benefits may be a difference-maker. In this one — which Republicans would be wise to make a national referendum on ObamaCare —it may not be enough to get it done. True, Montana often elects Democrats (though it consistently votes Republican in presidential races), but it’s a fundamentally conservative state. If there’s any year they’re going to look at Democrats with a jaundiced eye, it will be 2014. Republicans, of course, still need a viable candidate, but this is going to be tough sledding for the left.

This appointment shows us two things: (1) The Obama Administration is far too careless in making its foreign policy appointments and (2) they’re already scared to death of what the 2014 midterm elections will look like. The first is regrettable. The second may represent some rare interaction between this administration and reality.

December 5th, 2013 at 8:57 am
Ramirez Cartoon: The Obama Foreign Policy
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

November 1st, 2013 at 9:32 am
Video: How to Lose Friends & Alienate People
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In this week’s Freedom Minute, CFIF’s Renee Giachino discusses how President Obama’s foreign policy has changed America’s standing in the world:  Our enemies no longer fear us and our allies no longer trust us.

 

September 6th, 2013 at 6:58 pm
Let’s Cool it with the “Chicken Hawk” Nonsense
Posted by Troy Senik Print

I sometimes find the best way to settle your views on an issue is not to read the opinion of those you admire, but rather those whom you despise. Even my favorite thinkers go astray sometimes. The hacks are slightly more consistent.

One of the kings of errancy is the Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson, who spends today’s column trying to act as a moral backstop for President Obama in regard to Syria. It’s a throwaway remark early in the piece, however, that gets my hackles up:

At Wednesday’s hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I thought for a moment that [Secretary of State John] Kerry was going to blow. Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., launched into a self-righteous soliloquy about Benghazi, the IRS, the National Security Agency and what he portrayed as Kerry’s longtime aversion to using military force.

Kerry, you may recall, is a highly decorated Vietnam combat veteran. Duncan is an armchair warrior.

A few quick thoughts:

    – I’ll grant you that Duncan comes off as a blowhard in his questioning of Kerry. Hearings on the possibility of war are about as serious a task as a member of Congress faces and his insistence on turning it into a glorified campaign ad are both misplaced and unimpressive. He comes off like a guy trying to sell you insurance at a funeral. That being said, non sequitur droning constitutes about 90 percent of all congressional questioning. You know who used to be the king of that? John Kerry. So forgive me if I can’t muster sympathy when he’s on the receiving end of the same kind of firehose-intensity stream of inanity he spent over two and a half decades dispensing.

    – I’ve never understood why, in a nation that from its inception has insisted upon civilian control over the military, we try to settle policy arguments by determining who’s the closest approximation of Leonidas. You know who else was an “armchair warrior”? Franklin Roosevelt, who prosecuted World War II and never served in the military. Abraham Lincoln spent three months in the Illinois State Militia.

    And Mr. Robinson should be careful about tying credibility on foreign affairs to time in uniform. Barack Obama didn’t serve. Neither did Joe Biden. And neither did Eugene Robinson, who spends the rest of this column telling us how we should think about Syria.

    Liberals spent the last decade mocking conservative “chicken hawks” who had never served in the military but advocated for American intervention overseas. It was a bogus argument then and it’d be bogus (if not satisfying) to turn it back on them now. If we’re going to debate ideas, let’s do it on the merits, not according to the resumés of the people advancing them.

    September 6th, 2013 at 2:31 am
    Syrian Resolution Looks Doomed to Failure
    Posted by Troy Senik Print

    Earlier today, Rick Klein, Political Director for ABC News, tweeted out that 217 members of the House of Representatives have gone on record “as likely to oppose authorizing military force against Syria,” giving those opposed to the resolution a majority in the lower chamber (if we have any pedants in the audience shouting about the fact that it takes 218 to reach a majority, note that Alabama and Massachusetts both currently have one vacant seat).

    Now, “likely to oppose” isn’t the same thing as definitely voting no, but anyone who’s staking out territory this early in the process is disproportionately likely to to stick to his guns. And it’s clear that the momentum on this is all going in one direction — and it’s not the president’s.

    That’s remarkable, but not particularly surprising. Sometimes you can get a member to vote against his political interest for the sake of ideology. Sometimes you can get him to vote against his ideology for the sake of his political interest. But when both are imperiled simultaneously, the whipping gets much harder. That’s precisely the case with a potential military offensive that polls terribly and hits intellectual pressure points for liberals and conservatives alike.

    One dispiriting aspect of this debate is the chorus of conservative voices such as Jennifer Rubin, Hugh Hewitt, and Bret Stephens who’ve conflated opposition to feckless, limited airstrikes in Syria with “isolationism.” It may be fair to say that nearly all isolationists are opposed to taking action in Syria. It does not follow, however, that all who are opposed to taking action in Syria are isolationists. The scope of opposition is far too large to be constituted entirely (or even primarily) of those opposed to American action overseas in all but the most limited circumstances.

    I suspect that there are a fair number of conservatives like me — as far removed from the reflexive international reticence of Rand Paul as we are from John McCain’s “anytime, anywhere, for any reason” school of intervention — who just don’t see the strategic payoff here, especially given the manner in which the Obama Administration would be likely to conduct the fight.

    America has played too fast and loose with defining our national security interests in recent years. Doing so again — especially when it’s clear that the Obama Administration has no plan that will actually result in a change of circumstances on the ground in Syria — is an exercise in futility. The measure deserves defeat.

    August 30th, 2013 at 6:00 pm
    The Hollywood Slander of Ronald Reagan
    Posted by Troy Senik Print

    Ronald Reagan may have been the only American president to emerge from Tinseltown (excepting the fact that Barack Obama is clearly a character created by Aaron Sorkin), but that hasn’t inspired any loyalty. The new movie, The Butler, is rife with mischaracterizations of racial progress in America (as ably pointed out by Richard Epstein for the Hoover Institution) — and it’s especially unkind to the Gipper. As Steve Hayward, Paul Kengor, Craig Shirley, and Kiron Skinner — Reagan biographers all — note in today’s Washington Post, Reagan demonstrated a lifetime’s worth of tolerance and enlightenment on racial issues.

    One of the film’s larger errors is an implicit assertion that Reagan opposed economic sanctions against the apartheid regime in South Africa out of simple indifference to black suffering. But as his chroniclers note, the reality is much more complicated:

    The unfairness of this scene can be demonstrated by any number of historical facts. In June 1981, still recovering from an assassination attempt, Reagan sent his closest foreign policy aide, William Clark, on his first official trip; it was to South Africa to express America’s disapproval. An unsmiling Clark told Prime Minister Pieter W. Botha to his face that the new president and administration “abhorred apartheid.” Clark walked out on Botha.

    While accurate in depicting Reagan’s opposition to sanctions against South Africa, “The Butler” does not explain why he opposed them. Reagan saw sanctions as harmful to the poorest South Africans: millions of blacks living in dire poverty. He also feared that the apartheid regime could be replaced by a Marxist/totalitarian one allied with the Soviet Union and Cuba and that communism would spread throughout the continent. South Africa’s blacks were denied rights under apartheid, but communism would mean no freedom of speech, press, assembly, religion, conscience, emigration, travel or even property for anyone. Moreover, in communist nations such as Cambodia and Ethi­o­pia, people had been slaughtered and starved on mass scales. Nearly a dozen nations had become part of the Soviet orbit in the immediate years before Reagan became president. He didn’t want South Africa to undergo the same catastrophe.

    Reagan adopted a policy of “constructive engagement,” seeking to keep South Africa in the anti-Soviet faction while encouraging the country toward black-majority rule — no easy feat. In one of his finest speeches, he told the United Nations on Sept. 24, 1984, that it was “a moral imperative that South Africa’s racial policies evolve peacefully but decisively toward . . . justice, liberty and human dignity.” Among his administration’s successes was the Angola-Namibia agreement, which led to the withdrawal of the white South African regime from Namibia and paved the way for that nation’s independence.

    Moral preening is always easiest when one bears no responsibility for the consequences. Statesmen weigh trade-offs. Ronald Reagan knew that. Thanks to the current situation in Syria, Barack Obama is about to get a master’s class on the topic.

    August 16th, 2013 at 9:09 am
    Podcast – Embassy Closings: A Sign of Bad Things to Come
    Posted by CFIF Staff Print

    In an interview with CFIF, Tim Connors, Senior Manager in the Law Enforcement and Security Division of CAAS, LLC, and former Director of the Center for Policing Terrorism at the Manhattan Institute, discusses recent U.S. embassy closings, our nation’s diminishing military presence overseas, intelligence reports and prison crowding across the country.

    Listen to the interview here.

    July 26th, 2013 at 1:49 pm
    Killing … with Kindness
    Posted by Troy Senik Print

    We’ve all had the experience. You’re at a social gathering or a meeting with someone you don’t particularly care for and you offer up a totally insincere nicety just because it seems like the civil thing to do. But while that may be an isolated, awkward moment for you, what I’ve just described represents the lion’s share of the practice of diplomacy.

    There’s blowing smoke, however, and then there’s actively distorting the truth. That latter category is where President Obama’s remarks while hosting Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang yesterday fall. In his brief comments to the press following the meeting, Obama felt the need to note that Ho Chi Minh, the country’s former communist dictator, “was actually inspired by the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and the words of Thomas Jefferson.”

    Now, Ho did indeed invoke Jefferson and the rhetoric of the founding, but it shouldn’t exactly come as news to anybody that communist tyrants’ actions didn’t always match up with their rhetoric. How many “people’s republics,” after all, spent most of their time slaughtering the very ‘people’ they were supposedly organized to empower? As Chris Stirewalt notes for Fox News:

    While Jefferson did get pretty fired up about “the blood of tyrants,” it’s hard to see how the Sage of Monticello inspired the murderous career of the Vietnamese dictator. Ho famously slaughtered his opponents, including the infamous butchery of peasant farmers who resisted his brutal taxation in the early days of Ho’s regime. Not particularly Jeffersonian.

    Estimates run as high as half-a-million killed in Ho’s effort to consolidate power after his communist forces drove the French out of Indochina. The killing of landlords and bourgeois-class merchants was famous even in its day and since then has been documented in even more horrifying detail.

    And those who carried his banner forward following his death in 1969 – he remains “Uncle Ho” even to this day – built upon his brutal regime. Following the final U.S. retreat from Vietnam untold thousands of Vietnamese, deemed collaborators by the regime, were put to death. He and his Leninist regime used V.I. Lenin’s tactics: murder, terror and “reeducation” to obtain, maintain and expand power.
    OK, I get it. Sometimes being president requires you to find something nice to say in situations where there’s no real justification for it. But surely we can draw the line at anything that puts an even slightly positive gloss on a murderous regime that sent so many innocents to an early grave.
    June 29th, 2013 at 12:01 pm
    Ramirez Cartoon: Weakness
    Posted by CFIF Staff Print

    Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

    View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

    June 14th, 2013 at 8:12 pm
    How the Russians Roll Us
    Posted by Troy Senik Print

    John Bolton has a characteristically clear-minded op-ed just out in the Wall Street Journal about Russia’s antagonistic position vis-a-vis our interests in Syria. Quoth the former UN Ambassador:

    Since Syria’s civil war began, Mr. Obama has insisted, contrary to fact, that the U.S. and Russia have a common interest in resolving the crisis and stabilizing the Middle East. Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent efforts to secure Russian co-sponsorship of a peace conference, at which Washington will push for Assad’s ouster, reflect Mr. Obama’s illusion.

    The objective evidence consistently demonstrates that Russia has no interest whatever in eliminating its only remaining Arab ally. Moscow’s military and financial assistance to Damascus continues undiminished, along with its hold on the Cold War-era Tartus naval base, strategically positioned on Syria’s Mediterranean coast—but now facing only a phantom U.S. Sixth Fleet. Despite the hoopla surrounding the announcement of the proposed peace talks, their starting date, attendees, agenda and prospects all remain uncertain.

    Most dramatically, Russia last month reaffirmed its commitment to deliver sophisticated S-300 air-defense missile systems to Assad. Although Israeli leaders have played down the sale’s significance, this combination of advanced radars and missiles, which can defeat any non-stealthy aircraft (and Israel does not now have stealth planes), could change the strategic balance in Syria as well as in Lebanon and Iran—to Israel’s detriment and ours.

    These are not, needless to say the actions of a friend.

    Scratch the surface a bit and you’ll see the folly not only of the Obama Administration’s Russian “reset” policy, but also of every one of our “peace through vacuous niceties” diplomatic endeavors, whether in the former Soviet Union, China, or the Muslim world.

    Our differences are not the product of misunderstandings. All international conflict does not stem from a global game of telephone gone horribly wrong. States and certain non-state actors (such as terrorists) rationally pursue their interests, which are defined both in material terms (economic advantage, balance of power considerations) and ideological ones. If those interests are fundamentally incompatible, no measure of sweet reason will make them otherwise. In the case of Russia, which defines one of its imperatives as checking American power wherever it can, that is precisely the case.

    March 8th, 2013 at 2:54 pm
    Krauthammer: Kerry’s Egypt Deal Misses Point of Foreign Aid

    As a supplement to my column this week criticizing John Kerry’s $250 million in economic aid to Egypt, Charles Krauthammer dings the Secretary of State for apparently sleeping through Foreign Aid 101:

    We have no particular stake in Egypt’s economy. Our stake is in its politics. Yes, we would like to see a strong economy. But in a country ruled by the Muslim Brotherhood?

    Our interest is in a non-Islamist, nonrepressive, nonsectarian Egypt, ruled as democratically as possible. Why should we want a vibrant economy that maintains the Brotherhood in power? Our concern is Egypt’s policies, foreign and domestic.

    If we’re going to give foreign aid, it should be for political concessions — on unfettered speech, on an opposition free of repression, on alterations to the Islamist constitution, on open and fair elections.

    With Egypt’s newest strongman following the same script as his predecessors by taking money and failing to reform, the only thing missing here is to remind America’s chief diplomat that the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expect a different result.

    January 9th, 2013 at 9:36 am
    Ramirez Cartoon: The Three Stooges
    Posted by CFIF Staff Print

    Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez. 

    View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

    January 8th, 2013 at 8:10 pm
    Quin is Wrong on Procedure, Right on Substance

    In light of the volleys exchanged, let’s review how a senatorial hold works.

    From the U.S. Senate’s reference page on chamber rules:

    hold - An informal practice by which a senator informs his or her floor leader that he or she does not wish a particular bill or other measure to reach the floor for consideration. The majority leader need not follow the senator’s wishes, but is on notice that the opposing senator may filibuster any motion to proceed to consider the measure.

    Note the part stating, “The majority leader need not follow the senator’s wishes, but is on notice that the opposing senator may filibuster any motion to proceed to consider the measure.”

    What’s a filibuster?

    filibuster - Informal term for any attempt to block or delay Senate action on a bill or other matter by debating it at length, by offering numerous procedural motions, or by any other delaying or obstructive actions.

    Bear in mind that the majority leader, i.e. Harry Reid (D-NV), “need not follow the senator’s wishes…”  Recall also Reid’s musings that he’d like to enact the so-called ‘nuclear option’ to remove the usual supermajority requirement for overcoming a filibuster, and replace it with a simple majority.  So, if the Senate Democratic caucus wants to, they can 1) refuse to honor any hold requests on Hagel, and 2) change Senate rules on filibusters to shut down the opposition.  With several news outlets reporting that President Barack Obama is ready to pick a fight over Hagel, I think Reid does both if Republicans try to kill Obama’s nominee for Defense Secretary with obstructionist procedural tactics.

    Maybe if Hagel was nominated for some second tier Cabinet office Republicans could get away with relying on informal procedures to block his next career move.  But with Obama riding high after the fiscal cliff negotiations – Quin’s optimism notwithstanding – I think Republicans will lose, and lose big, with the public if they try to kill Obama’s top Pentagon pick on procedure rather than substance.

    It should be said that I don’t disagree with any of Quin’s criticisms of Hagel.  Instead, my point of departure is with Quin’s reliance on procedural obstruction rather than tough questioning and reasoned argument.  Conservatives have one of the most intellectually articulate groups of senators in living memory with the likes of Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, and others.  Let them and military stalwarts like John McCain and Lindsey Graham make a coordinated, sustained case against Hagel and his views on foreign policy.  In the process, they might even discover a countervailing vision that convinces the American people.

    November 29th, 2012 at 3:45 pm
    Obama, Under Hypnosis
    Posted by Troy Senik Print

    My new piece out today looks at the Obama Administration’s culpability in allowing Mohamed Morsi and his allies in the Muslim Brotherhood to drive Egypt to the brink of a new dictatorship — one far less liberal than its predecessor.

    Those of us observing foreign policy from the outside have a tendency to think of it in abstract terms — conflicting ideas, interests, and values. But, as anyone who has ever observed diplomacy up close will tell you, the human factor is also vitally important. And sometimes it actually obscures those far more important considerations. Writing at Politico, Rich Lowry nails this one:

    Morsi staged his latest power grab on Thanksgiving Day in the immediate aftermath of working with Obama to get a cease-fire in hostilities between Hamas (a Muslim Brotherhood offshoot) and Israel. In a New York Times piece that ought to be preserved in amber as a record of 21st-century liberal naiveté, the paper reported that in his talks with Morsi, “Mr. Obama felt they were making a connection.” How sweet.

    “He was impressed with the Egyptian leader’s pragmatic confidence.” And who can resist the lure of pragmatic confidence?

    “He sensed,” the paper continued, in a gushing tone, “an engineer’s precision with surprisingly little ideology.”

    This is the most embarrassing man-crush misjudgment of a noxious foreign leader since George W. Bush claimed to have peered into Vladimir Putin’s soul.

    November 26th, 2012 at 3:50 pm
    White House Stays Quiet Amidst Egyptian Turbulence
    Posted by Troy Senik Print

    From the Daily Caller:

    White House officials remained silent during the extended Thanksgiving weekend, as Egypt’s pro-democracy groups called on President Barack Obama to condemn Thursday’s power grab by their country’s Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi.

    Morsi decreed Nov. 22 that his pronouncements and edicts were beyond the reach of judicial review. The announcement was met by resistance from the nation’s top judges, who said they would fight Morsi’s unusual self-elevation to near-dictator status.

    Not to kick our Egyptian friends when they’re down, but point to any random spot on a map and chances are that you’ll be within hailing distance of a nation that has been disappointed waiting for the Obama Administration to do the right thing. Whether it’s supporting dissidents in Iran, protecting constitutional government in Honduras, or providing missile defense for Poland and the Czech Republic, the president has a real gift for making himself scarce when the stakes get high.

    If the devolution of Egypt continues apace, the implications for Obama’s legacy are decidedly negative. This president, after all, promised a new start for the Islamic world in 2009. And he did so in Cairo.

    November 20th, 2012 at 2:28 pm
    Holder and Rice Under Fire? Republicans Must be Racists
    Posted by Troy Senik Print

    As regular readers know, I’m something of a collector of asinine punditry. In the past, Tom Friedman, Joe Klein, and Gail Collins have all secured their place in my pantheon. But look out for the Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky, who has been breaking land speed records for inanity of late. Here’s an excerpt from his latest, defending U.N. Ambassador (and likely Secretary of State nominee) Susan Rice:

    … Are [Republicans] really considering filibustering the president’s choice to be the nation’s leading diplomat? That would constitute, among other things, an interesting form of minority outreach from the party that now says it’s so serious about winning over people of color. That party’s only two targets right now are Rice and Attorney General Eric Holder. Gee, what might they have in common, d’you think?

    A couple points:

    • Ignoring professional incompetence on the basis of race is not a form of ‘minority outreach.’ It’s a form of moral cowardice.
    • These rabid right-wing bigots are masters of disguise. Tea Party enthusiasm for the likes of Allen West, Mia Love, and Herman Cain was obviously an elaborate misdirect. And we should probably add Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Susana Martinez to that list, since the hatred must extend to brown people as well.

    The rest of Tomasky’s analysis has to be read to be believed.

    He defends the choice of Rice to be the Administration’s public face on Benghazi (despite the president’s concession that she had nothing to do with the issue) by noting that “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should have been the one to do those shows, and she was asked first, but she said no.” Oh, well, that explains that. Of course, why wouldn’t the Secretary of State be indisposed to respond to a security disaster involving American diplomats?

    Defending Rice’s complete misrepresentation of what happened in Benghazi, Tomasky trots out the Administration’s excuse de jure: “David Petraus has confirmed that while he knew or sensed from the start that it was a terrorist attack, America’s 16 intelligence agencies weren’t ready to say that publicly, mostly for fear of tipping off the bad guys. So Rice said what she was told to say.”

    It doesn’t matter if it came from Petraeus or not — this is an incredibly stupid excuse. You worry about tipping off terrorists when you have intel before an attack and think that keeping it quiet could thwart the plot and/or bring the terrorists to justice. You don’t do it after an attack, when said terrorist group is telling you they did it. Acting like you don’t know who’s responsible at that point doesn’t make you calculating; it makes you an idiot. And if the Administration wants to claim that it knew what was going on all along, then it behooves them to explain why they chose an affirmative lie rather than a policy of relative silence.

    The upshot for Tomasky: ‘Benghazi … was a terribly sad tragedy, but the kind of thing that, in a dangerous world, happens.” A man who responds to avoidable homicide with fatalistic detachment. That about says it all.

    November 14th, 2012 at 5:04 pm
    Obama’s False Machismo
    Posted by Troy Senik Print

    Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham preempted President Obama’s East Room press conference this morning by announcing that they would attempt to block — through use of the filibuster, if necessary — the potential nomination of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.

    Their rationale: Rice was directly responsible for propogating the Administration’s now completely-disproved contention that the Benghazi terrorist attacks were the product of an angry mob that spontaneously turned to violence. Whether Rice is guilty of incompetence or deception (there’s really no other plausible alternative), McCain and Graham argued, no one who was party to the Benghazi debacle should be expecting a promotion.

    That stance led to the president attempting to go all alpha male in his remarks at the White House:

    “When they go after the U.N. ambassador, apparently because they think she’s an easy target, then they’ve got a problem with me,” Obama said. “And should I choose, if I think that she would be the best person to serve America in the capacity at the State Department, then I will nominate her.”

    “Then they’ve got a problem with me?” Obama might as well have gone with “Nobody puts baby in a corner.”

    No one is actually afraid of this president. Which is why Graham’s response was so perfect:

    Mr. President, don’t think for one minute I don’t hold you ultimately responsible for Benghazi.  I think you failed as Commander in Chief before, during, and after the attack.

    Just so. The White House is going to need more than bluster to dodge accountability for what happened in Libya.

    November 8th, 2012 at 4:17 pm
    Oh, By the Way …
    Posted by Troy Senik Print

    You know, things got so busy in those last few days before the election — the hurricane, the swing state stops, the basketball game — that the President may have forgotten to tell you a thing or two. Like:

    Two Iranian Su-25 fighter jets fired on an unarmed U.S. Air Force Predator drone in the Persian Gulf last week, CNN has learned.

    The incident raises fresh concerns within the Obama administration about Iranian military aggression in crucial Gulf oil shipping lanes.

    The drone was in international airspace east of Kuwait, U.S. officials said, adding it was engaged in routine maritime surveillance.

    Although the drone was not hit, the Pentagon is concerned.

    Four years and counting. Surely that unclenched fist is just around the corner.

    October 31st, 2012 at 1:39 pm
    McCain Slams Obama on Benghazi Cover-Up
    Posted by Troy Senik Print

    Mark my words: if Barack Obama is reelected, he will be thrust into scandal perhaps before he even takes the oath of office for a second time. Though the media — with Fox as virtually the only exception — is studiously avoiding the scandal of Americans being abandoned during the terrorist attack in Benghazi, the implications are far too sweeping to be suppressed for long (particularly if, as Newt Gingrich has suggested, there is a damning paper trail floating around out there). The most concise reading of this development — and, in my judgment, the most accurate — is this one from John McCain:

    This president is either engaged in a massive cover-up deceiving the American people or he is so grossly incompetent that he is not qualified to be the commander in chief of our armed forces. It’s either one of them.

    Just so.