A Vital U.S. Interest? By Justin O. Smith

http://www.americanthinker.com/printpage/?url=http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2013/09/a_vital_us_interest.html The Executive Branch has become increasingly powerful over the past century, simply because Congress has not successfully checked the president whenever a power overreach occurred.  So now, more from fear of being mocked than dismay over 1,429 dead, including 400 children, Obama has placed himself in a politically precarious position, and the U.S. in […]



We in the West think about child abuse in terms of physical and sexual brutality. In all totalitarian societies, however, child abuse also takes the form of intense psychological manipulation.

And no better example can be found than this recent You Tube showing how Palestinian children are being taught to hate Israel in United Nations funded camps.

On August 16, 2013, the U.S. and the Palestinian Authority signed a new $148 million economic aid agreement. The money is used for the PA schools “many of which function in United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) facilities.”

UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East was created in 1949 to help individuals (along with their spouses and dependents) whose homes were in Palestine from June 1, 1946 to May 15, 1948 and who lost both their homes and their livelihoods as a result of the attack on the newly formed country of Israel. It is, in reality, one large welfare and terrorist training program in perpetuity. UNRWA has been a hotbed for radical ideas, terrorist training, and anti-American and anti-Semitic ideology for 64 years. No other refugee group in the world has had a single U.N. agency devoted just for them. Yet world leaders continue to prop up this agency which infantilizes Palestinians and holds the world hostage to terrorist activities. According to Adam Kredo of the Washington Free Beacon, as of 2013 “the UNRWA is responsible for the education of some 485,000 Palestinian children throughout the Middle East.”

Over the years, many authors have tried to shed light on the nefarious deeds of the UNRWA. In August 2006 Justus Reid Wiener and Noam Weissman stated that the

UNRWA educational institutions are controlled by individuals committed to Hamas ideology and they are educating terrorists. Numerous terrorist operatives and Hamas political leaders have been educated in UNRWA schools

Marty Glickman’s Triumph William Doino Jr *****

Triumph in Adversity – The black runner Jesse Owens humiliated the Nazis at the 1936 Olympics, but U.S. coaches wouldn’t let his Jewish teammates do the same. Luckily, that wasn’t the end of the Marty Glickman story.

For a moment, it all seemed like a dream. Young Marty Glickman, an eighteen year old from Brooklyn, was at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, ready to run the 4 by 100 relay, in hopes of winning gold. It was early in Hitler’s dictatorship, but Jews had already been persecuted for several years. As a Jewish American athlete, proud of his heritage, and proud to represent his country, this was Marty’s opportunity to help expose Hitler’s mad theories about Aryan supremacy—just as Jesse Owens, his African-American teammate, had humiliated the Nazis by excelling in his events.
The morning of the Olympic trials, as Marty prepared to help secure a spot for his relay team in the finals, he and his teammates were called together by Lawson Robertson and Dean Cromwell, the coach and assistant coach of the US team, respectively. In a grim tone, Robertson announced that he had been informed that the Germans were hiding their “best sprinters” for the relay event, to upset the heavily favored Americans. Therefore, Marty and Sam Stoller (Glickman’s Jewish teammate) would be replaced by Jesse Owens and Ralph Metcalfe, to give the US their best chance. Foy Draper and Frank Wykoff, whom Cromwell had coached at USC, would remain on the revised squad.

The decision never made any sense. Glickman and Stoller were at least as fast, if not faster, than Draper and Wykoff; and Glickman and Stoller had been specially trained in the 400 relay and its baton pass, which the otherwise exceptional Owens and Metcalfe had not. Shocked and angered, Marty spoke up: “Coach, there’s no reason to believe the Germans are any kind of threat to the relay.” The best German sprinter, Erich Borchmeyer, had finished a poor fifth in the 100 meter final. He was the best Germany had, and any of the American sprinters could defeat him.
Jesse Owens also spoke. “Coach, let Marty and Sam run, they deserve it. I’ve already won three gold medals. . . . They haven’t had the chance to run. Let them run. They deserve it.” But Dean Cromwell pointed his finger at the great Olympian and shouted him down: “You’ll do as you’re told!”

The race went on, without Glickman and Stoller participating, and the Americans, as expected, won. The Germans finished a distant third. Marty was forced to watch the relay from the stands, his heart breaking, as the second leg was run, thinking, “That oughta be me out there, that oughta be me!” Stoller, described by Glickman as “shattered” by the decision, wrote in his diary, “This is the one day in my life that I’ll remember to my dying day.”


In 2007 Obama asserted that American troops should be withdrawn from Iraq even if that would result in genocide:

“Well, look, if that’s the criteria by which we are making decisions on the deployment of U.S. forces, then by that argument you would have 300,000 troops in the Congo right now–where millions have been slaughtered as a consequence of ethnic strife–which we haven’t done,” Mr. Obama told the AP. “We would be deploying unilaterally and occupying the Sudan, which we haven’t done. Those of us who care about Darfur don’t think it would be a good idea.”


President Obama made a compelling moral case Saturday for military action against Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria:

What message will we send if a dictator can gas hundreds of children to death in plain sight and pay no price? What’s the purpose of the international system that we’ve built if a prohibition on the use of chemical weapons that has been agreed to by the governments of 98 percent of the world’s people and approved overwhelmingly by the Congress of the United States is not enforced?

Make no mistake–this has implications beyond chemical warfare. If we won’t enforce accountability in the face of this heinous act, what does it say about our resolve to stand up to others who flout fundamental international rules? To governments who would choose to build nuclear arms? To terrorists who would spread biological weapons? To armies who carry out genocide?

Then, he asserted that although “I believe I have the authority to carry out this military action without specific congressional authorization,” he will seek authorization anyway.

Our initial reaction was that if we were a member of Congress, we would be inclined to vote “no.” We ultimately, and with some difficulty, changed our mind, as we shall detail below. Our resistance–and our continuing misgivings about the prospect of an attack on Syria–are informed by reflection on our errors during the 2002-03 debate that preceded the Iraq war, of which we were a strong supporter.

This is not going to be one of those columns in which we repudiate wholesale our position back then, as no small number of former Iraq war supporters have done. That posture has always struck us as pusillanimous (abandoning one popular position for another), pointless (for one cannot annul an already-fought war), and intellectually lazy.

Administration officials downplayed any risk at the military level, saying they believed Obama’s strong words alone would prevent Assad or his allies from striking before the U.S. make [sic] a decision. One official simply called any future attack by Assad a “big mistake.”

This is an example of magical thinking that is not wishful. It would indeed be a big tactical mistake for Assad either to attack U.S. forces or again to use chemical weapons while congressional action is pending. But that is because of Obama’s political weakness, not his rhetorical strength. Congressional assent to Obama’s request for military authorization is far from assured; if Assad wants to keep it that way, he will lie low as the debate plays out.

Now, let us turn to analyzing the Syria situation in light of our three faulty assumptions about Iraq.

Obama is not making any claim that military action against Syria will have a transformative effect. His argument, instead, rests on the potential dire consequences of inaction. We find it persuasive. Maintaining the international taboo against the use of chemical weapons (and nuclear and biological ones) is a moral imperative. These armaments have the capacity to kill on a far greater scale than conventional explosives and bullets.

But if action is necessary as a moral matter, it must also be sufficient as a practical matter. And that is where Obama’s plan falls terrifyingly short. Here is what he said on Saturday:

This would not be an open-ended intervention. We would not put boots on the ground. Instead, our action would be designed to be limited in duration and scope.

On Friday, before Obama made the decision to seek congressional authorization first, Secretary of State Kerry said that “whatever decision [the president] makes in Syria it will bear no resemblance to Afghanistan, Iraq or even Libya.” That’s a bizarre and illogical assertion: It will be a “resemblance” to Afghanistan and Iraq, for instance, if Obama acts with congressional authorization, and to Libya had he chosen to act without it. But Kerry elaborated in words similar to those the president used the next day:

It will not involve any boots on the ground. It will not be open ended. And it will not assume responsibility for a civil war that is already well underway. The president has been clear: Any action that he might decide to take will be [a] limited and tailored response to ensure that a despot’s brutal and flagrant use of chemical weapons is held accountable.

In short, the administration is promising a cakewalk: an easy strike with little American blood or treasure at stake. As we argued Friday, it is fatuous to assume that would prove sufficient to hold Assad “accountable” or to deter him and other dictators from further bad acts.

To be sure, the authorization the administration is seeking is more open-ended than its rhetoric would suggest. As Politico reports:

[Capitol] Hill aides noted the White House-originated draft did not prevent the deployment of American ground forces in Syria in order to fulfill the mission of interdicting the Assad regime use of chemical weapons. That restriction is seen by some in Congress as a key to winning support for the military effort in both the House and Senate.

According to Politico, the resolution as written is drawing objections from members of the president’s own party, which holds the majority in the Senate. “I know it’s going to be amended in the Senate,” said President Pro Tem Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat. Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey “are overseeing the revisions, which seek to narrow the scope for any U.S. military mission in Syria, Democratic sources said,” Politico reports.

In addition to reflecting Obama’s own aversion to decisive military intervention, his promise of a “limited” response can be seen as a bow to political reality–and not only within his own party but among Republicans, who control the House. Whereas only one Republican senator and six representatives voted against the Iraq war in 2002, today isolationism is resurgent across party lines. To differing degrees, each party learned the same “lesson” from Iraq.

Which makes the president’s request for congressional authorization difficult to understand as anything but a political ploy, at best an exercise in buck-passing, at worst–and this has been suggested approvingly by some of his admirers–a strategic effort to inflict political damage on congressional Republicans. In support of the latter hypothesis one may note that Obama maintained the element of surprise with his Capitol Hill adversaries while going to ridiculous lengths to spare Bashar Assad of it.

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Even we feel his pain.

For now, we’ll go with buck-passing as the likely explanation. After all, no one seemed more shell-shocked by Obama’s announcement than Kerry, whose performance on “Fox News Sunday” (he was on all the Sunday shows, but we could endure only one) was painful to watch. For this columnist, empathy for John Kerry was a completely novel emotion.

Putin Warns West Against Attacking Syria Without Proof It Used Nerve Gas

NOVO-OGARYOVO, Russia—Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the West against taking one-sided action in Syria but also said his country “doesn’t exclude” supporting a United Nations resolution on punitive military strikes if it is proved that Damascus used poison gas on its own people.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Associated Press and Russia’s state Channel 1 television, Mr. Putin said Moscow has provided some components of the S-300 air defense missile system to Syria but has frozen further shipments. He suggested that Russia may sell the potent missile systems elsewhere if Western nations attack Syria without U.N. Security Council backing.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin during an interview Sept. 3; he said a Western attack on Syria in the absence of a U.N. resolution and of proof it used poison gas on its people would represent an aggression.
The interview Tuesday night at Mr. Putin’s country residence outside the Russian capital was the only one he granted prior to the summit of G-20 nations in St. Petersburg, which opens Thursday. The summit was supposed to concentrate on the global economy but now looks likely to be dominated by the international crisis over allegations that the Syrian government used chemical weapons in the country’s civil war.

Mr. Putin said he was sorry that President Barack Obama canceled a one-on-one meeting in Moscow that was supposed to have happened before the summit. But he expressed hope the two will have serious discussions about Syria and other issues in St. Petersburg.

“President Obama hasn’t been elected by the American people in order to be pleasant to Russia,” he said of their relationship.” And your humble servant hasn’t been elected by the people of Russia to be pleasant to someone either.”

“We work, we argue about some issues,” Mr. Putin said. “We are human. Sometimes one of us gets vexed. But I would like to repeat once again that global mutual interests form a good basis for finding a joint solution to our problems.”

He also denied that Russia has anti-gay policies—an issue that has threatened to embarrass the country as it prepares to host the Winter Olympics in February.

The Russian leader, a year into his third term as president, appeared to go out of his way to be conciliatory amid a growing chill in U.S.-Russian relations. The two countries have sparred over Syria, the Edward Snowden affair, Russia’s treatment of its opposition and the diminishing scope in Russia for civil-society groups that receive funding from the West.

Mr. Putin called “ludicrous” the idea that the government of President Bashar Assad—a staunch ally of Russia—would use chemical weapons at a time held sway against the rebels.

“From our viewpoint, it seems absolutely absurd that the armed forces, the regular armed forces, which are on the offensive today and in some areas have encircled the so-called rebels and are finishing them off, that in these conditions they would start using forbidden chemical weapons while realizing quite well that it could serve as a pretext for applying sanctions against them, including the use of force,” he said.

The Obama administration says 1,429 people died in the Aug. 21 attack in a Damascus suburb. Casualty estimates by other groups are far lower, and Mr. Assad’s government blames the episode on rebels trying to overthrow him. A U.N. inspection team is awaiting lab results on tissue and soil samples it collected while in Syria before completing a report.

“If there are data that the chemical weapons have been used, and used specifically by the regular army, this evidence should be submitted to the U.N. Security Council,” added Mr. Putin, a former officer in the Soviet KGB. “And it ought to be convincing. It shouldn’t be based on some rumors and information obtained by special services through some kind of eavesdropping, some conversations and things like that.”

He noted that even in the U.S., “there are experts who believe that the evidence presented by the administration doesn’t look convincing, and they don’t exclude the possibility that the opposition conducted a premeditated provocative action trying to give their sponsors a pretext for military intervention.”

He compared the evidence presented by Washington to false data used by the Bush administration about weapons of mass destruction to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

“All these arguments turned out to be untenable, but they were used to launch a military action, which many in the U.S. called a mistake. Did we forget about that?” Mr. Putin said.

He said he “doesn’t exclude” backing the use of force against Syria at the United Nations if there is objective evidence proving that the Assad regime used chemical weapons against its people. But he strongly warned Washington against launching military action without U.N. approval, saying it would represent an aggression.

Mr. Putin reinforced his demand that before taking action, Mr. Obama needs approval from the U.N. Security Council. Russia can veto resolutions in the council and has protected Syria from punitive actions there before.

Asked what kind of evidence on chemical weapons use would convince Russia, Putin said “it should be a deep and specific probe containing evidence that would be obvious and prove beyond doubt who did it and what means were used.”

Mr. Putin said it was “too early” to talk about what Russia would do if the U.S. attacked Syria.

“We have our ideas about what we will do and how we will do it in case the situation develops toward the use of force or otherwise,” he said. “We have our plans.”

Mr. Putin called the S-300 air defense missile system “a very efficient weapon” and said that Russia had a contract for its delivery of the S-300s to Syria. “We have supplied some of the components, but the delivery hasn’t been completed. We have suspended it for now,” he said.

“But if we see that steps are taken that violate the existing international norms, we shall think how we should act in the future, in particular regarding supplies of such sensitive weapons to certain regions of the world,” he said.

The statement could be a veiled threat to revive a contract for the delivery of the S-300s to Iran, which Russia canceled a few years ago under strong U.S. and Israeli pressure.

Mr. Putin praised Mr. Obama as a frank and constructive negotiating partner and denied reports that he had taken personal offense at remarks by Mr. Obama comparing Mr. Putin’s body language to that of a slouching, bored student. Mr. Putin said appearances can be deceiving.

Mr. Putin also accused U.S. intelligence agencies of bungling efforts to apprehend Mr. Snowden, the National Security Agency leader, who is wanted in the U.S. on espionage charges. He said the U.S. could have allowed Mr. Snowden to go to a country where his security would not be guaranteed or intercepted him along the way, but instead pressured other countries not to accept him or even to allow a plane carrying him to cross their airspace. Russia has granted him temporary asylum.

Mr. Putin also gave the first official confirmation that Mr. Snowden had been in touch with Russian officials in Hong Kong before flying to Moscow on June 23, but said he didn’t learn that Mr. Snowden was on the flight until two hours before it arrived. Mr. Putin once again denied that Russia’s security services are working with Mr. Snowden, whose stay in Russia has been shrouded in secrecy.

On another topic, he denied at length charges that Russia has anti-gay policies, indicating that Mr. Obama was welcome to meet with gay and lesbian activists in Russia during his visit. He even said he might meet with a similar group himself if there is interest from the gay community in Russia.

Mr. Putin rejected the criticism of a Russian law banning gay propaganda that prompted some activists to call for the boycott of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, arguing that it wouldn’t infringe on the rights of gays.

He also said that athletes and activists would not be punished if they raise rainbow flags or paint their fingernails in rainbow colors at the Feb. 7-23 Olympics.

But he clearly has no intention of allowing a gay-pride parade or other such actions: Last month, Mr. Putin signed a decree banning all demonstrations and rallies in Sochi throughout the Winter Games.

As for the body language between Mr. Putin and Mr. Obama that some have said suggested a difficult working relationship, the Russian president urged everyone to avoid jumping to conclusions.

“There are some gestures, of course, that you can only interpret one way, but no one has ever seen those kinds of gestures directed by Obama at me or by me at Obama, and I hope that never happens,” he said. “Everything else is fantasy.”


“The hysterical focus on Israel has blinded both Obama and Kerry on what really troubles the Middle East: Arab against Arab.”


— So are we going to war or not? Yes, no, maybe seems to be the answer of the day and it is only Tuesday.

Unsteady is the hand that rocks this cradle, the United States.

President Obama has decided to let Congress do the talking on whether to go after Syria’s President Assad. But here too Obama is hedging his bets. He seeks congressional approval. If he gets a yes vote, so we hear, he will take action… or maybe not. So, as Hillary might say, “What difference does it make?”

Meanwhile, as Obama resolutely dithers, the entire world is on edge. Friends and foes, among them England, China and Russia, are on standby for late word from our Obama/Kerry leadership.

And Kerry does seem to be especially gung-ho for this. Kerry, the 1960s peacenik, suddenly wants blood. London has already spoken, and the answer is “hell no, we won’t go.”

Israel, always sitting on a ticking time bomb, is simply waiting to get hit. Assad has generously provided a blueprint for where the bombs will fall.


President Obama is now hiding behind a reluctant Congress to take action in Syria. I’m not convinced that action is called for, but I long for a leader that at least makes the case instead of issuing a forceful wag of the finger and hollow rhetoric.

Here is an example of a President making the case for war: FDR on May 27, 1941:

“Some people seem to think that we are not attacked until bombs actually drop in the streets of New York or San Francisco or New Orleans or Chicago. But they are simply shutting their eyes to the lesson that we must learn from the fate of every Nation that the Nazis have conquered. The attack on Czechoslovakia began with the conquest of Austria. The attack on Norway began with the occupation of Denmark. The attack on Greece began with occupation of Albania and Bulgaria. The attack on the Suez Canal began with the invasion of the Balkans and North Africa, and the attack on the United States can begin with the domination of any base which menaces our security – north or south….We cannot bring about the downfall of Nazism by the use of long-range invective. But when you see a rattlesnake poised to strike, you do not wait until he has struck before you crush him.”

FDR again on the eve of D-Day in 1944:

“Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity. Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith. They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest–until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violences of war. For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.”

Today, the mere mention of the Almighty would offend the coercive atheists who legislate today and the notion of fighting to preserve our “Republic, our religion, and our civilization” would be derided in a “multicultural” and apologist society. Our president simply brandishes a limp carrot….inspiring absolutely nothing but the contempt of our enemies and allies…. rsk



Would a U.S. military response to the use of chemical weapons against Syrian civilians be justified? Ruthie Blum and Steve Ganot discuss.

An estimated 1,400 civilians were killed using chemical weapons in an Aug. 21 attack on the Ghouta region in Syria. Government officials from the U.S., Israel, Canada, France, the U.K., Germany, Turkey, and the Arab League hold the Syrian government responsible, and U.S. President Barack Obama is laying the ground for a military response against the Assad regime, while Iran and Russia blame Syrian rebels for the attack.

Iran, Syria and Hezbollah have announced that U.S. military strikes on Syria would be met with retaliation against Israel. Meanwhile, a British Parliament resolution in support of military strikes was voted down, and a number of other key U.S. allies appear to be backing away from supporting an American-led intervention. On Aug. 31, Obama announced that he would first seek congressional approval before ordering military strikes on Syrian targets.

Columnist Ruthie Blum and Israel Hayom editor Steve Ganot discuss the Obama administration’s attempts to deal with the Syrian crisis, and preparations in Israel for the possibility of retaliatory strikes.



The Libyan war gave us the doctrine of “leading from behind.” Now, in Syria, we are about to see the birth of a new Obama Doctrine: military action “just muscular enough not to get mocked.”

That’s how one U.S. official described President Obama’s plans for a strike against the Assad regime. This is far worse than leading from behind. At least in Libya, Obama’s reluctant intervention led to the toppling of the dictator. In Syria, administration officials say their goal is to strike the regime without dramatically altering the country’s balance of power. This is nonsensical. The very purpose of military action is to “alter the balance of power” in a conflict. If that is not your objective, you should not use military power.
So what is Obama’s objective in Syria? In an interview with PBS, Obama said it would be to fire a “shot across the bow” of the Syrian regime. Huh? A “shot across the bow” is a warning shot. It is designed to send a message that a far more devastating response will follow if the target does not alter its behavior. But Obama has already ruled out broader military action. “I have no interest in any kind of open-ended conflict in Syria,” he said last week. “I assure you nobody ends up being more war-weary than me.”

In other words, he’s just planning to blow some stuff up.

Maybe that’s why Obama has not been able to build a coalition to join him in Syria. It seems no one (save the French) wants to participate in an attack “just muscular enough not to get mocked.” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he sees “no NATO role in an international reaction to the [Syrian] regime.” The British Parliament has rejected the use of force in Syria. None of the Middle Eastern nations seeking to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are backing Obama either, because, as The Post reported this weekend, they are concerned that “limited strikes could actually work in Assad’s favor.”

They are right. When you say that your objective is to do just enough “not to get mocked,” you are projecting weakness — and weakness is provocative.

It’s not just the Assad regime that is watching our response. Al-Qaeda is watching. Hamas is watching. Hezbollah is watching. North Korea is watching. China is watching. So is Iran. Let’s not forget that Syria is not the only place where Obama has drawn a “red line” on weapons of mass destruction. In Jerusalem this year, the president declared that America would “do what we must to prevent a nuclear Iran.” Why should the mullahs in Tehran worry about crossing Obama’s red line on WMDs when they see the Syrians cross Obama’s red line on WMDs — and the president’s reaction is to do as little as he can without getting mocked?


http://www.nationalreview.com/article/357412/president-present-john-fund Obama’s pattern of indecisiveness continues — and it has Democrats worried. Washington is abuzz with talk about how much President Obama has damaged America’s credibility with his indecisiveness on Syria. It’s become accepted fact that Obama’s decision-making style resembles that of an academic convening an unruly seminar whose participants he largely disdains. What he […]