U.S. Aircraft Carrier to Head to Gulf

I get a strange set of irony in hearing the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier is being ordered to the Persian Gulf due to the rise of the ISIS terrorist group and it’s drive to topple the Iraqi government in Baghdad. This is especially so given the virulence of some pro-Obama anti-war towards the members of the Bush clan (admittedly their mindless ravings mostly aimed at the junior George W. rather than the senior George H.W.).

Perhaps more ironic is Iran, whose nation’s government despises everything that is the United States, has indicated that it is willing to work with the U.S. to combat ISIS.

But on a more serious note, it is concerning to see a regional war potentially cropping up in the region. A regional war that will not have clearly defined borders, opponents, or even objectives:

  • The Peshmerga (Kurdish forces) are reportedly solidifying their hold over the Kurdish region of Iraq as the Iraqi’s military and security forces pull out in the face of the ISIS assault and potential grab for Baghdad. I suspect given these events the Kurds are going to be even more emboldened to maintain or even expand their autonomy and military capabilities from external forces such as ISIS, Iran, Syria and Turkey.
  • Iran’s sudden involvement is not that surprising given they’re a Shia country where as ISIS is a Sunni based group. Other than not wanting the rise of a Sunni run government in Iraq I doubt the Iranian government cares much about their neighbors in anything other than in terms of controlling them for Iran’s benefit.
  • Iraq. I can’t say I’m surprised at the sudden rise of Sunni and ISIS over the discrimination Sunni’s have faced since the fall of Hussein. (Note that I am not too sympathetic to the Sunni’s given their own shoddy treatment of Shia’s and other non-Sunni’s during the Baath Party’s reign.) Ultimately this is a culmination of the hatred Iraqi Sunni and Shia have for one another for centuries, a hatred stoked by more recent decades of abuses aimed at one another. ISIS (a Wahhabi based group) feeds off of this with the idea that they will be victorious; beginning the first leg of their plan to create a new (allegedly sunni) caliphate in the region.
  • Syria. There’s not much really to say other than what’s happening there is a result of decades of the Assad’s and the Baath Party’s manipulation of the region and it’s people. ISIS has been successful in much of its campaign in Syria giving them a strong base from which to launch further attacks deeper into Syria and Iraq.

 

News Round Up

Iran has expertise to build nuclear bomb, says UN report – Telegraph

Well I imagine this is something for an embarrassment for President Obama after yesterdays announcement about killing the Eastern European Missile Shield and subsequent fallout and damaging of ties to those nations. The IAEA is denying the leaked report, of course, but France is also claiming their information contradicts the IAEA’s denials. So at this point who knows. I haven’t trusted the IAEA for years over the incompetence and don’t see much reason to believe them now.

Iran’s protest plans backfire – Channel 4 News

Seems the pro-democracy and pro-reform groups are still alive in Iran despite governments to the contrary.

Pelosi chokes up on demand; cries victim status | SmallGovTimes.com

Equating opposition to violence is asinine even by Pelosi’s questionable standards, which those familiar with that time period will know she is referring too. The public and opposition will not be silenced by such moronic statements. Funny how’s she’s changed her tune from opposition is a sign of patriotism to it now meaning your un-American. But not surprising, really. Politicians pull this patriotic-unpatriotic stunt all the time. I don’t buy her choking up, teary eyed act. Sorry, just don’t buy it given her own statements and actions.

Sibelius and Chuck Todd

Seriously, get over yourself Sibelius. As long as he covered his mouth and nose who the hell cares if he sneezed since he obviously doesn’t have any disease. Moron. The friggin’ universe doesn’t revolve around the flu, Sibelius, or her holier than thou nanny-state attitude. Being informed and prepared is one thing, but this fear mongering over the flu is getting downright stupid. Is she going to start wiping everyone’s ass now to make sure they’re cleaning themselves properly?

Obama Kills Missile Shield

Obama chose the worst day possible to make this announcement: the 70th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland! Funny how President Bush was accused of tarnishing America world prestige (which he did) where as President Obama just simply aims to destroy America’s credibility (which he just did today).

I was somewhat surprised today to hear President Obama decide to scrap the European Missile Shield in a time when the United States needs to bolster its image and appearance of strength abroad, not weaken it. He wasn’t completely stupid in that he did back another missile system that unfortunately won’t be fully in place (if ever) by 2020, far too late to address Iran’s emerging ballistic technology. It seems President Obama is under operating under the mistaken notion that removing the missile shield program will somehow garner him political support and leverage with Russia and seem more amenable to the Iranians. Unfortunately the exact opposite will happen given the Iranian missile and nuclear programs are dependent upon the Russians.

The backlash has started of course and I agree with most of those opposed to Obama naive plans. John McCain (R-Az) called it “seriously misguided“. Boehner encourages Obama to reconsider. John  Kyl (R-Az) has been quite vociferous and direct:

U.S. Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl released a statement Thursday morning accusing the administration of caving to Russia. 

“The decision announced today by the administration is dangerous and short-sighted,” the Arizona Republican said. “Not only does this decision leave America vulnerable to the growing Iranian long-range missile threat, it also turns back the clock to the days of the Cold War, when Eastern Europe was considered the domain of Russia. This will be a bitter disappointment, indeed, even a warning to the people of Eastern Europe.”

Russia will be happy and likely see it as tacit approval for their ever increasing aggressiveness and hostility towards their former Soviet republics. Likely too they will see this as tacit approval of their continued occupation of Georgian territory and a number of other issues that have strengthened America’s would be opponents.

More important than dropping one missile shield for another is this action will be seen to undermine U.S. influence and support in Eastern Europe who will now wonder if they can trust the United States any longer to stand beside them when a crises arises, especially nations like Poland, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, and Georgia who will have to wonder if they’ve just been handed over to slaughter to the Russians. How can they trust the  Administration after putting so much effort into assisting the United States in its War on Terror only to be effectively abandoned.

Whether Americans like it or not, the majority of the world still operates under the old political notion of “might makes right”. You have the guns and the money, you make the policy. Doing anything that is perceived to weaken your military capabilities or undermine your allies in turn makes you weak in many people’s eyes. Compromise is viewed as weakness. Appeasement is weakness.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” — E. Burke

Others commenting on this issue I thought were interesting:
Re: Obama’s Abandonment Of Missile Shield And New Developments in Iran’s Missile Capabilities :: Iran :: Hyscience

Left In Alabama:: Will Obama’s Cancellation of a Missile Shield Hurt Huntsville?

Bill’s Blog: Shuster Objects to Obama’s Decision to Deny Missile Shield to our East European Allies

Big Lizards:Blog:Entry “Gonna Lay Down My Missile Shield” (<–my favorite so far)

Gates warns of threat from China, Obama cuts missile shield to show he’s serious. « Sword and Sextant

Obama Kills Missile Shield

Obama chose the worst day possible to make this announcement: the 70th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland! Funny how President Bush was accused of tarnishing America world prestige (which he did) where as President Obama just simply aims to destroy America’s credibility (which he just did today).

I was somewhat surprised today to hear President Obama decide to scrap the European Missile Shield in a time when the United States needs to bolster its image and appearance of strength abroad, not weaken it. He wasn’t completely stupid in that he did back another missile system that unfortunately won’t be fully in place (if ever) by 2020, far too late to address Iran’s emerging ballistic technology. It seems President Obama is under operating under the mistaken notion that removing the missile shield program will somehow garner him political support and leverage with Russia and seem more amenable to the Iranians. Unfortunately the exact opposite will happen given the Iranian missile and nuclear programs are dependent upon the Russians.

The backlash has started of course and I agree with most of those opposed to Obama naive plans. John McCain (R-Az) called it “seriously misguided“. Boehner encourages Obama to reconsider. John  Kyl (R-Az) has been quite vociferous and direct:

U.S. Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl released a statement Thursday morning accusing the administration of caving to Russia. 

“The decision announced today by the administration is dangerous and short-sighted,” the Arizona Republican said. “Not only does this decision leave America vulnerable to the growing Iranian long-range missile threat, it also turns back the clock to the days of the Cold War, when Eastern Europe was considered the domain of Russia. This will be a bitter disappointment, indeed, even a warning to the people of Eastern Europe.”

Russia will be happy and likely see it as tacit approval for their ever increasing aggressiveness and hostility towards their former Soviet republics. Likely too they will see this as tacit approval of their continued occupation of Georgian territory and a number of other issues that have strengthened America’s would be opponents.

More important than dropping one missile shield for another is this action will be seen to undermine U.S. influence and support in Eastern Europe who will now wonder if they can trust the United States any longer to stand beside them when a crises arises, especially nations like Poland, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, and Georgia who will have to wonder if they’ve just been handed over to slaughter to the Russians. How can they trust the  Administration after putting so much effort into assisting the United States in its War on Terror only to be effectively abandoned.

Whether Americans like it or not, the majority of the world still operates under the old political notion of “might makes right”. You have the guns and the money, you make the policy. Doing anything that is perceived to weaken your military capabilities or undermine your allies in turn makes you weak in many people’s eyes. Compromise is viewed as weakness. Appeasement is weakness.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” — E. Burke

Others commenting on this issue I thought were interesting:
Re: Obama’s Abandonment Of Missile Shield And New Developments in Iran’s Missile Capabilities :: Iran :: Hyscience

Left In Alabama:: Will Obama’s Cancellation of a Missile Shield Hurt Huntsville?

Bill’s Blog: Shuster Objects to Obama’s Decision to Deny Missile Shield to our East European Allies

Big Lizards:Blog:Entry “Gonna Lay Down My Missile Shield” (<–my favorite so far)

Gates warns of threat from China, Obama cuts missile shield to show he’s serious. « Sword and Sextant

Iran Update

It appears increasingly likely that the open protests against the dictators of Iran are dwindling in the face of violent oppression and now calls for murder by the Ayatollahs and their minions. Mousavi’s own website has been taken down and accusations are rampant on torture of political prisoners and the use of foreigners to support the regime. If true is anyone really surprised that Iran would bring it’s terrorist arm in to oppress its own people?

I suspect though that the Iranian people will find new and inventive ways of making their oppressors regret their actions ranging from the reported Basiji Hunting to grassroots political and social efforts to unite the disparate groups in the country against the increasingly repressive Ayatollahs.

Nice round up of events from start to current can fe found The American Muslim (TAM).

Iran Crisis

The crisis in Iran appears to be continuing amazingly enough two weeks on, though it is difficult to tell with the increasingly restrictive flow of information. What has been shown is fractures among the ruling elite and the rallies seem to be fading for a long social and political battle that will be played out in the shadows and nights of Iran, not unlike how the Islamic Revolution started 30 years ago. It appears Mousavi is standing firm for now. Certainly the government there has been quick and harsh to quash any sort of dissent or free expression. The Iranian soccer team learned this. As did professors. And of course the protesters injured and killed by the Ayatollahs’ thugs.

Of course, AJ spewed his usual rhetoric about American interference in Iran and demanded an apology. Not surprising since he (AJ) views Obama as untested and weak.

I am pleased that the administration withdrew the Fourth of July invitations to the Iranian diplomats. There’s diplomacy and then there’s just outright bad form as was the case this time. You don’t invite diplomats of a nation murdering it’s political opponents to a celebration many Americans feel symbolizes freedom.

Iran Protests continue

Despite a crackdown, it appears the protests continue in Iran. Hopefully they will continue and gather strength. Naturally, I fear the Ayatollahs will soon unleash the Revolutionary Guard on the protesters since the Basiji seem to have suddenly lost their ability to instill fear into the masses (eg apparently Tehran’s new sport for the protesting masses is Basiji Hunting), despite their beating little kids and invading residences. The question is would even that extreme step end the protests if truly the masses have risen up in frustration against the Ayatollas continuing hardline.

The shah’s son coming out to back the protesters and claim “Neda is one of my daughters” seems kind of…opportunistic, no? There’s a reason the Shah and his family were punted from Iran. Mr. Pahlavi may truly want a parliamentary style democracy in Iran but his families shameful history there tarnishes the message somewhat.