Showing posts with label US President. Show all posts
Showing posts with label US President. Show all posts

January 19, 2017

Poll: Trump Favorability Compare to Other Presidents







United States Presidential Inagurations








January 18, 2017

Poll: More Than Half Voters Think Tweets are TOO Much!



   
        



November 22, 2016

A Nation that Kills its Presidents and Leaders

In memoriam







 A day in Dallas, Tx. changed the world





                                                                               
After going through Johnson, Nixon and Ford, the limo was retired in 1977 and returned to its figurative home in Dearborn. One piece of the car, however, is not there: The windshield, riddled with bullet holes, is at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
A Navy ambulance awaiting the body of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963, at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington. Credit Agence France-Presse — Getty Images 

March 17, 2016

Get to Know Personal Details of Pres.Obama’s Pick for Top Ct.



President Obama has chosen to nominate federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, according to multiple sources. Garland has served as the chief judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia for almost two decades, and was confirmed to that position by a margin of 53 votes. 






October 28, 2015

Truth: GeorgeW.Bush was a Coward and Dan Rather a Screw Up



                                                                             


The only journalistic sin worse than disastrously misreporting an important story that turns out to be untrue is disastrously misreporting an important story that is true, so no one believes it anymore.
The end result of Dan Rather’s half-assed September 2004 report on George W. Bush’s already well-chronicled, cowardly, rule-breaking behavior as a young man during the Vietnam War was that Bush, once again, was able to avoid accountability for his conduct, and skated to an election victory over John Kerry, a genuine war hero his lickspittles had successfully smeared as unpatriotic.
                                           
So a story that should have taken down a president — a story that was already thoroughly documented, but that the mainstream media had hitherto shied away from as overly partisan — was instead discredited, never to be heard of again. Never, at least, until a very bad movie called Truth came out this month, trying to get us to see Rather (Robert Redford) and his producer, Mary Mapes (Cate Blanchett), as heroic and wronged, rather than grappling honestly with their journalistic failures.

Rather and Mapes had an obligation to make sure their segment for CBS’s “60 Minutes II” on Bush using pull to get into the National Guard instead of going to Vietnam — and then going AWOL for a chunk of what was supposed to be his service — was bulletproof. But it wasn’t even bloggerproof. The “new” documents they got copies of — from a source who was cagey about their provenance — were debunked by a bunch of Internet sleuths. An independent review commissioned by CBS found that the segment “failed to meet” CBS’s “two core principles: accuracy and fairness,” and Rather, Mapes and three other staffers were fired or forced to retire.
                                                                              

Two things are undeniably true about the Bush-AWOL story. One is that its collapse exemplified the Bush magic that somehow imbued him with the aura of competence, intelligence, and leadership and made him oddly invulnerable to obvious criticism — think “The Emperor’s New Clothes” — until it all came crashing down after Hurricane Katrina.
The other truth is that Bush was undeniably a shirker, and smugly AWOL from his safe, cushy National Guard gig at a time when thousands of young men his age were being sent to their slaughter in Vietnam.
That had been clear ever since Walter Robinson, the editor of the Spotlight investigative team at the Boston Globe, extensively reported out the story in May 2000, piecing together an article from available military records that has never been definitively challenged.
  The Washington Post in 1999 had raised questions of favoritism and joining the Guard to avoid dangerous duty in Vietnam. But it was the Globe that introduced the missing AWOL year.
Possibly because the Globe had out-reported its bigger colleagues, the story didn’t get picked up by the elite national outlets. When Democrats tried to bring it up again on the eve of the election, the New York Times pooh-poohed it under an instant classic of false-equivalence headline: “Bush’s Guard Attendance Is Questioned and Defended.” A “review of records by the New York Times indicated that some of those concerns may be unfounded,” the story said.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post castigated Democrats for their “11th-hour attempt to exploit a dormant issue.” The Post acknowledged the truth — “It is safe to say that Bush did very light duty in his last two years in the Guard and that his superiors made it easy for him” — but waved it off as an irrelevance.

During Bush’s first term, the AWOL story continued to burble on the Internet, including on websites like The AWOL Project and awolbush.com, but things didn’t pick up again until his reelection campaign.

In January 2004, iconoclastic filmmaker Michael Moore called Bush a “deserter.” And, as Moore himself wrote: “The pundits immediately went berserk. … As well they should. Because they know that they — and much of the mainstream media — ignored this Bush AWOL story when it was first revealed by an investigation in the Boston Globe (in 2000).”
Factcheck.org, even then the toothless watchdog of the Washington cocktail-party crowd, channeled the elite media with a response headlined: “Bush A Military ‘Deserter?’ [sic] Calm Down, Michael.”
In February, then-Democratic National Committee chairman Terence R. McAuliffe called Bush “AWOL,” and created a brief flurry of coverage. The Globe’s Robinson used the news peg to review the evidence he had collected four years earlier.


                                                                             



In response, the then-White House press secretary Scott McClellan issued robotic non-denial denials — “The President fulfilled his duties. The President was honorably discharged” and “It is really shameful that this was brought up four years ago, and it’s shameful that some are trying to bring it up again.” The White House released 400 pages of records, none of which were definitive. But the elite press, looking for a smoking gun in a case where the real clue was more of the dog-that-didn’t-bark-in-the-night variety, lost interest again.
The story wouldn’t entirely die, however. It came back with a vengeance in September, two months before the 2004 election.

On September 5, the Associated Press, which had sued in a failed attempt to see a microfilm copy of Bush’s entire Texas Air National Guard personnel record, declared: “Documents that should have been written to explain gaps in President Bush’s Texas Air National Guard service are missing from the military records released about his service in 1972 and 1973, according to regulations and outside experts.”

On the morning of September 8, the Boston Globe published Walter Robinson’s full-fledged reexamination of documents old and new, concluding that “Bush fell well short of meeting his military obligation.”
That same day — just hours before CBS aired Rather’s specious report — U.S. News published another thorough debunking of the Bush apologists, describing how “new examination of payroll records and other documents released by the White House earlier this year appear to confirm critics’ assertions that President George W. Bush failed to fulfill his duty to the Air National Guard during the Vietnam War.”

                                          


So Dan Rather, who aired his report that night, was hardly the first to report the story. He was simply the last.
Truth is a really odd movie. The casting alone makes it clear that the filmmakers consider Rather and Mapes to be heroic, sympathetic figures. But because the artless screenplay sticks mostly to the truth, most viewers will not be inclined to see things that way. Its painfully cliched establishing shots will give them plenty of time to mull this contradiction. Avoid it. Instead go see Spotlight — a film opening in November about another investigation by Walter Robinson and the Boston Globe team — where the journalistic heroes actually do something heroic, and it’s great to watch. (Disclosure: Spotlightwas partially funded by The Intercept’s parent company, First Look Media.)
The best that can be said for Rather and Mapes is that they didn’t intend to screw up the truth. But they did.

October 22, 2015

xPres.Jimmy Carter helps out Vladimir Putin in Syria




                                                          







Former President Jimmy Carter said recently that he provided maps of Islamic State positions in Syria to the Russian embassy in Washington, a move apparently at odds with the Obama administration’s official policy of not cooperating with Russia in the Syrian war.

Carter said on Sunday in Georgia that he knows Russian President Vladimir Putin “fairly well” because they “have a common interest in fly fishing.” When he met with Putin in April along with other global leaders to discuss the crises in Syria and Ukraine, the Russian president gave him an email address so the two could discuss his “fly fishing experiences, particularly in Russia,” Carter said.

The civil war in Syria, where U.S. officials say Russia has bombed rebels and CIA-backed groups rather than the Islamic State terrorist group, has also been a topic of conversation between the two. Carter said he sent maps of the Islamic State’s locations in Syria, produced by the Carter Center, to the Russian embassy so Moscow could improve the accuracy of its strikes.

“I sent [Putin] a message Thursday and asked him if he wanted a copy of our map so he could bomb accurately in Syria, and then on Friday, the Russian embassy in Atlanta—I mean in Washington, called down and told me they would like very much to have the map,” Carter said at his Sunday school class in Georgia, according to a video of his remarks first aired by NBC News. “So in the future, if Russia doesn’t bomb the right places, you’ll know it’s not Putin’s fault but it’s my fault,” he added as the audience laughed.

Obama administration officials have publicly said the United States will not collaborate with Russia as long as it targets U.S.-backed rebels in an effort to prop up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a longtime ally of Moscow. The administration has said Assad must eventually step down as part of efforts to seek a political resolution to the Syrian war. “We are not prepared to cooperate on strategy which, as we explained, is flawed, tragically flawed, on the Russians’ part,” said Ash Carter, U.S. defense secretary, earlier this month.

However, Carter appears to have reached out to Putin on his own initiative and urged him to find common ground with the United States by only targeting the Islamic State in Syria.

Cmdr. Elissa Smith, spokeswoman for the Department of Defense, declined to comment about whether the Pentagon was aware of Carter’s correspondence with Putin.

“I can’t speak to whether anyone in the Pentagon was aware the Carter Center provided maps to the Russia Embassy,” she said in an email.

The White House referred the Washington Free Beacon to the Carter Center, which did not respond to a request for comment. The Russian embassy also did not respond to a request for comment.

Carter has previously expressed support for Russia and its actions in Ukraine, where Moscow has supported separatists with weapons and troops against Ukrainian forces backed by the United States. After meeting with Putin earlier this year, Carter said Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine was “inevitable” and was what residents wanted—a stance that conflicts with most international observers who have said that Russia illegally invaded Crimea and held an illegitimate referendum.

He also said last year that the United States should not impose more sanctions on Russia and that he believed “Putin is not going to use military force” in eastern Ukraine. “I don’t think there is anything we can do that is going to deter Putin,” he said at the time.

Russia is currently supporting Iran and its regional militias with airstrikes as the pro-Assad forces prepare an offensive on the major Syrian city of Aleppo. The Islamic State is reported to have benefited from the Russian strikes on rebels as the terrorist group moved in from the north to gain more territory.

The Pentagon said on Tuesday that the United States had signed an agreement with Russia in an attempt to avoid incidents in Syrian airspace, where American planes are also bombing Islamic State positions.

Peter Cook, Pentagon press secretary, said in a statement that the memorandum with Russia “does not establish zones of cooperation, intelligence sharing, or any sharing of target information in Syria” and does “not constitute U.S. cooperation or support for Russia’s policy or actions in Syria.”

August 12, 2015

Ex President Jimmy Carter has Cancer


                                                                         



Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said on Wednesday that recent liver surgery revealed he had cancer that had spread to other parts of his body.

"I will be rearranging my schedule as necessary so I can undergo treatment by physicians at Emory Healthcare," Carter, 90, said in a statement. "A more complete public statement will be made when facts are known, possibly next week."

Carter, a Democrat, served as the 39th president from 1977 to 1981 after defeating Republican incumbent Gerald Ford. He was defeated for re-election in 1980 by Republican Ronald Reagan.

The Carter Center in Atlanta said last week that he had undergone elective surgery at Emory University Hospital to remove a small mass in his liver.

It added that the operation had proceeded without issues and that the prognosis was excellent for a full recovery.

Carter cut short a trip to Guyana in May after feeling unwell and returned to Atlanta. He had traveled to the South American country to observe national elections. At the time, the center said only that Carter had departed after "not feeling well."

Reuters
 

July 23, 2015

George Bush Made it Possible for Barak Obama to be President


                                                                            
 Americans' frustration with Iraq war launch both men to next level
In a way, they’re both a product of an America that was fed up with President George W. Bush. Without public frustration over Bush and his execution of the U.S.-led war in Iraq, comedian Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show would not be such a cultural force. And without that same angst, Barack Obama likely would have faced a tougher climb from his role as a little-known state senator from Illinois.

Yet, here they were Tuesday night, airing long-simmering frustration with politics and the media — and showing a readiness to try new gigs — as now-President Barack Obama made a final appearance as a guest on the late-night comedy show Stewart is soon to leave.

“You’ve been a great gift to the country,” Obama told Stewart as he left the New York soundstage where The Daily Show is taped. Obama was making his third appearance as President and seventh overall to chat in front of an audience that skews younger and more liberal than almost any other program on television.

It was classic Obama (professorial, dry and critical) paired with Stewart (sarcastic, glib and skeptical) in a 30-minute television segment that, perhaps, is a fitting illustration of liberal frustration with this President and vice versa. Obama won two hard-fought elections in part by motivating Stewart’s viewers to volunteer, donate and vote. But as both the President and the host are heading for the door, it’s a moment of inflection for each man’s audience. It’s not yet clear if the show or the political coalition can be passed on to a successor.
“Are you feeling like seven years in,” Stewart began one question. Obama cut in: “I finally know what I’m doing?”

The pair, more relaxed than at any other point during their seemingly friendly relationship, traded jokes and debated American policy, often with little transition between the two. Although the exchanges packed plenty of laugh-out-loud laughs from the audience and the two men on stage, Stewart used his last chance to interview Obama for the Comedy Central program to push him, especially on foreign policy.

“Whose team are we on?” Stewart asked, noting the strange alliances that the U.S. finds itself in while working to stabilize the fractured Middle East. Obama took issue with Stewart’s analysis — shared by foreign policy think tanks across the political spectrum. The details did not allay the host, who is stepping down after 16 years anchoring the nightly program that blends political commentary, comedy and celebrity interviews.
“Who are we bombing?” Stewart asked.

At another point, Stewart noted that the U.S.-brokered deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program resulted not from military force but through negotiations. “This new thing, you called it earlier, ‘diplomacy.’ That sounds interesting,” Stewart said to laughter. “But we still get to bomb people at some point?”
Stewart’s program rose in prominence and popularity during the lead-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the subsequent mismanagement of that war. Stewart’s coverage of the 2004 presidential race cemented him as a serious player in political journalism, although some in that stable still bristle when surveys find his show has a greater and more impactful reach than other more traditional newscasts.

If Stewart rode that popular frustration with foreign policy under Bush to ratings and critical acclaim, Obama channeled those same emotions to the U.S. Senate in 2006 and then to the White House in 2008. But the liberal fervor that propelled Obama to power has seemed to lose its power, especially as he has struggled to deliver on campaign promises such as closing the prisons at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

White House officials privately grumble that the liberal wing of the Democratic Party has not appreciated how much Obama has accomplished. Obama himself has often complained that too much emphasis is on the trivial. Last week, for instance, Obama confronted on live television one network correspondent whose question on the freshly-minted Iranian deal he found ridiculous.
“The media. You love them. They love you,” Stewart told Obama with impish sarcasm. The President did little to hide his amusement at such a statement.

“The media is a bunch of different medias. There are some who get on my nerve more than others,” Obama said. “I think it gets distracted by shiny objects and doesn’t always focus on the big tough choices and the decisions that have to be made.”
Both Obama and Stewart have expiration dates that are fast approaching. Stewart’s final episode as host is slated to air Aug. 6 — the same day Republican presidential hopefuls will face off in Cleveland for their first debate. Obama still has a way to go before he leaves the White House on Jan. 20, 2017. Yet Obama and Stewart each acknowledge they have an eye on the door.
“You’re also senioritis, yes?” Stewart asked Obama. “What do you’ve got? A year?”
Dryly, the President did not miss a beat: “I can’t believe that you’re leaving before me.”

December 18, 2014

Obama ,The Pope and a Change of Castro’s in Cuba Bring Overdue Change



                                                                            




This is a day that has been too long in coming. We sent soldiers to both Viet-Nam and Korea. WE had about 100,000 casualties between the two conflicts. We have relations with Vietnam and would love to normalize relations with North Korea. We never fought militarily with Cuba never had a single soldier die or injured in battle with them yet even though they are the closest nation on water to us and not standing that we had nothing to loose and everything to gain it took this long. Why? The The wealthy Republicans in Congress that don’t care how much this can cost the uS annually and the families, Who cares about them? When was the last time the GOP cared about food stamps or if children went without food here? NEVER This was a well orchestrated campaign from Cubans that moved here when things got hot in Cuba and brought their money and started living great lives here that they didn’t want the poor cubans to have. They form a great block as a GOP constituency because these guys knew dirt on politicians, these were the guys from  bay of pigs. These were the cubans that were CIA informants on Cuba and other of their countryman here on the land. They developed through money and lending money for business for Miami a net like the Grandfather’s. They we’re in control. Typical anti communists would continue to dream for a war against all communists at anytime and they almost got us to eliminate the rest of the world as they eliminated us. They hated Kennedy for not giving them air cover on the Bay of Pifs invasion. 

There are stories going around with many experts saying that Cubans with the CIA killed Kennedy. Anybody who has study those events find so many peculiar things. We even find Bush Walker, the father working as an intelligence analyst for the CIA (When Kennedy was shot) even though he alway said he never worked for the CIA prior to becoming the Director. When memos are shown with his name on them he’s said “it most be another George Bush.” Funny if it wasn’t that it killed the president of the US and his Brother ex attorney general and probably the next President of the US But today things get a detente with Cuba and since both governments have wanted this it seems is going to be good for both countries. About time that those poor families that could not leave Cuba reunite with thir own.

Today is a great day while the Russians are scrapping  for food the Cubans are eating their mangoes and coconut milk. Black beans and pork to soup of chicken without the chicken in Moscow. Thats how things are and now they have been made better for our neighbors like next to us and it will be good for Florida when we are able to start selling what they need. Adam Gonzalez


          



Barack Obama and Raúl Castro have thanked Pope Francis for helping broker a historic deal to begin normalising relations between the United States and Cuba, after 18 months of secret talks over prisoner releases brought a sudden end to decades of cold war hostility.
The two presidents spoke simultaneously on Wednesday to confirm the surprise reversal of a long-running US policy of isolating Cuba, detailing a series of White House steps that will relax travel, commercial and diplomatic restrictions in exchange for the release of Americans and dissidents held in Havana.
Though a formal end to the US trade embargo requires legislation in Congress, both Obama and Castro said they believed such executive action was sufficient to significantly open up relations between the two countries and allow travellers and trade to flow relatively freely.
“In the most significant changes in our policy in more than fifty years, we will end an outdated approach that, for decades, has failed to advance our interests, and instead we will begin to normalise relations between our two countries,” said Obama in an address from the White House cabinet room. “Through these changes, we intend to create more opportunities for the American and Cuban people, and begin a new chapter among the nations of the Americas.”
President Castro, who took over from his brother Fidel in 2008, was only slightly less expansive, calling on Congress to formally lift the embargo but saying he believed Obama could substantially “modify its use”.
“This decision of President Obama deserves the respect and acknowledgement of our people,” said Castro in an address on Cuban television. “The progress attained in the interchange show it is possible to find solutions to many problems. As we have repeated we should learn the art of coexistence in a civilised manner with our differences.”
The former defence minister welcomed the release of three Cuban intelligence agents held in the US and recalled a promise from Fidel that they would return. It was the only mention of his sibling, who retired in 2008 in poor health and remains largely out of the public eye.
Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero and Ramón Labañino were among five Cubans jailed for spying on anti-Castro groups in Florida. In exchange for them, Havana released a Cuban man described by Obama as “one of the most important intelligence agents that the United States has ever had in Cuba”. The man, who was freed after nearly 20 years in prison, is said to have been responsible for revealing the “Miami Five” and other prominent Cuban agents. The Cuban government also released 53 political dissidents as part of the deal. 

Cuban Five poster in Havana
A man walks in front of a banner of the Cuban Five which says ‘End the injustice’. Photograph: Alejandro Ernesto/EPABut the surprise breakthrough came principally after a phone call, said to last 45 minutes to an hour, between Obama and Castro on Tuesday finalized the release of Alan Gross, a Ugovernment aid contractor held for five years in Cuba, which accused him of being aspy. Gross, who the US insists was released on “humanitarian grounds” unrelated to the exchange of spies, was flown back to Washington on Wednesday accompanied by Senators Patrick Leahy and Jeff Flake and congressman Chris van Hollen.

Speaking in Washington on his return to the US, Gross said he hoped that the US and Cuba can now move beyond their “mutually belligerent policies”.
“Five and a half decades of history show us that such belligerence inhibits better judgement. Two wrongs never make a right. I truly hope we can get beyond these mutually belligerent policies and I was very happy to hear what the president had to say today,” he said.
Gross said he had the utmost respect for the Cuban people and said he was pained “to see them treated so unjustly”.
“In no way are they responsible for the ordeal to which my family and I have been subjected,” Gross said, describing the vast majority of Cubans as “incredibly kind, generous and talented”.
But even as Gross was en route to the US, it became clear that a far larger negotiation had been underway since private talks began in Canada in June 2013.
These were supported closely watched by Pope Francis, who personally wrote to both leaders and hosted a crucial secret summit at the Vatican this autumn, which they credited with helping clinch the deal.
“His Holiness Pope Francis issued a personal appeal to me and to Cuba’s president, Raúl Castro, urging us to resolve Alan’s case and to address Cuba’s interests in the release of three Cuban agents, who’ve been jailed in the United States for over 15 years,” said Obama.
Nevertheless, the deal brought immediate and fierce criticism from Congress, where many senior figures in both sides believe Obama has struck a poor deal, with few concrete commitments toward political reform from Havana.
“The White House has conceded everything and gained little in return,” said Florida senator Marco Rubio. “We are getting no commitment on freedom of the speech, elections, no binding commitment on opening up the internet or even the semblance of a transition to democracy.”
“This entire policy shift is based on a lie and illusion, that more access to money and goods will translate to more political freedom,” added the Republican presidential hopeful.
Democratic senator Bob Menendez, outgoing chair of the foreign relations committee, said: “President Obama’s actions have vindicated the brutal behavior of the Cuban government.”
A full end to the US trade embargo of Cuba would require legislation in Congress, something for which there has been virtually no appetite until now, but the White House hopes that by using a series of executive actions to minimise its enforcement, it can provide a breakthrough that will encourage political reform in Cuba and soften political opposition in the US.
“I’m not expecting transformation of Cuban society overnight,” said Obama. “[But] we can’t keep doing the same thing for five decades and expect a different result.”
“We fully expect we will continue to have strong differences, particularly on democracy and human rights ... [but] engagement is a better tool than isolation and nowhere is that more clear than Cuba,” added a senior US administration official in a White House briefing call for reporters. “By opening up we will able to promote freedom.”
Castro, who has introduced economic reforms but retained tight political control, said Cubans had stayed loyal to the revolution and its social justice ideals despite numerous challenges and would continue to do so. “We carry forward, given the difficulties, with the actualisation of our economic model to build a prosperous and sustainable socialism.”

November 22, 2014

Obama Vs Reagan and with Other Presidents and the Gay bathroom Question in the Homophobe Mind



Sometimes the truth comes in small packages and two people that write letters, the criminally insane or the one with nothing to do which sometimes takes to the computer could never match because these two stamens below are small but not in conscience, historical and factual events:

Obama Vs Reagan and other Presidents


George Owen Lambus, Jackson                            

Everybody that writes to The Clarion-Ledger is talking about how Ronald Reagan got rid of communism, how Reagan’s speech in Berlin eventually got the wall torn down etc.
I do not recall reading about a Gen. Ronald Reagan battling the Nazis. I do not recall a Gen. Ronald Reagan in the Korean War. I did see Reagan visit the grave of Hitler’s 55 (Schutzstaffel) troops and Hitler’s secret police called the Gestapo.
The United States under the presidency of Barack Obama is a force to reckoned with. If Russia, Red China or North Korea were to really threaten this country, I guarantee you there would be a flash of light over those countries and mushroom clouds, and they would be history.
This is the most powerful country in the history of mankind except for Israel when God fought her battles!
 Gay bathroom

C.E. Swain, Carthage
As I understand it, the recent controversy concerning homosexuality involves a mayor’s efforts to protect the rights of victims of Mother Nature’s cruel mistake and the use of restrooms. The reason many people feel so strongly about this issue is that they believe the Bible condemns homosexuality as a sin worthy of death.
I know it is heresy, but some of the words in the Word of God are not the words of God, and the time we recognize homosexuality for what it is and act accordingly is long overdue.
But, as I have the story, the mayor went far beyond the rule that says “my rights end where yours begin.” Homosexuals no doubt feel like the opposite sex and are more comfortable with “their kind,” but reason dictates that gays’ rights end at the restroom door.


September 15, 2014

US Can Destroy Islamic ISIL and Syria without Help from Iran but it Will Get Help from Some Allies


Contrary to this weekends American News channels there is a lot of support for the US to wipe out ISIL. Not only that, thanks to ISIL American and Iran’s interests are on the same side of the courtyard.
                                                                          

Is America at war with the Islamic State? On Friday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said as much. “In the same way that we are at war with al Qaeda and its affiliates around the globe, we are at war with ISIL,” he said, using the acronym for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. The remark set a thousand Washington keyboards aflutter, as Secretary of State John Kerry had said pretty much the opposite only a day earlier—and President Obama never used the word “war” in his primetime speech on Wednesday.

Washington loves nothing more than to oversimplify the complex. But the fight against the radical jihadist movement that has taken over large parts of Syria and Iraq is not simply a war. In a conventional war, you are fighting a massed army seeking to gain or hold territory; such an army can be destroyed by superior force and skilled tactics. In a civil war, you are fighting guerrillas or militias seeking to free themselves from the central government, or to take it over. They can be defeated by giving the central government military and financial support to defend itself, building up secure zones to protect civilians and killing or capturing rebel leaders. ISIL, by contrast, is conducting a revolutionary war, in which civilians are recruited to support an ideological cause and rallied to overturn and replace regimes that are widely seen as unjust and illegitimate.

The distinction matters. To destroy the threat embodied in ISIL requires approaching the task as one of counter-revolution. ISIL, after all, is at its core only about 30,000 fighters, tops; what has made them the group force that could take over much of two countries with a total population of more than 50 million people is that they are supported by millions as the vanguard of a revolutionary movement for justice. That support ranges from military recruits from former supporters of other rebel groups who are joining ISIL to financial support from conservative co-religionists in Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf states to the quiet support of tens of millions of Syrian and Iraqi Sunnis.

How could such a barbarous and brutal group as ISIL, as Obama described it Wednesday, earn the support of those millions? By promising to protect and avenge them against the Assad regime in Syria, which has slaughtered their children and gassed their relatives and fellow townspeople and tribesmen; and against the Shiite regime in Iraq, which has stolen their jobs and destroyed their livelihoods, contemptuously dashing the hopes and careers of Sunni Arabs in that country.

The history of revolutions shows that such ideologically extremist groups typically emerge from periods of chaos in the wake of weak or disrupted regimes. ISIL is, within its Islamic framework, the heir of the Jacobins of the French Revolution, and the Bolsheviks of the Russian Revolution, who engaged in terror tactics and the killing of tens of thousands to reinforce their power in the wake of regime collapse and civil war. We know from this history that if the extremist vanguard is able to win the support of the masses, and turn them against the elites and moderate leaders left over from the old regime, they will carry the day and create an expansionist revolutionary state. Only if the radicals can be separated from the broader population, and the latter brought within the framework of other institutions that can provide order, security and start to respond to the population’s legitimate goals, can the radicals be effectively hunted down and destroyed.
Now we start to grasp the size of the task. 

In the case of the French Revolution, it took the combination of Britain, Prussia and Russia cooperating to destroy Napoleon’s forces at Waterloo to finally end the threat of a revolutionary conquest of Europe. In the case of the Bolsheviks and the Russian Revolution, it took the combination of all NATO countries, with support from Australia and New Zealand and Japan, to contain the Soviet Union’s plans for global communist expansion and eventually produce its implosion and fall. Both of these cases show that revolutionary ideological states, once established, are robust; it took more than two decades of conflict on three continents to turn back Napoleon, and more than seven decades of global Cold War to turn back Soviet communism. To turn back ISIL and separate it from its supporters will likewise take a broad coalition and years of arduous effort, but failure to succeed now will likely mean many decades of further conflict ahead.
 




The difficulty lies in the dual nature of counter-revolution. It is necessary to do two things: First, isolate and weaken the revolutionary forces by attacking their military force and limiting their access to funding and to external allies. Second, and even more essential, displace their ideological appeal to the masses by providing an alternative regime that can offer security, opportunity and inclusion to satisfy the legitimate aspirations of the people. Only then can military actions to destroy the radical forces be effective.
That is why the success of President Obama’s strategy to destroy ISIL depends on political solutions in both Iraq and Syria that provide inclusive and resilient civilian regimes. Yet so far unspoken is an essential fact of life in the Middle East: There can be no political solution in either Iraq or Syria without Iran’s assent.

Fortunately, events in both Iran and the Middle East have moved in a direction favorable to improved U.S.-Iranian relations. The new regime of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani appears sincerely interested in negotiating limits on its nuclear program in order to obtain relief from international sanctions. Iran is now also deeply reliant on U.S. help to sustain a stable and friendly Iraq next door. And ISIL is a mortal threat to both U.S. interests and to Iran. Rarely have U.S. and Iranian interests aligned so cleanly.


Jack A. Goldstone is a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and Hazel professor of public policy at George Mason University. He is the author of Revolutions: A Very Short Introduction.The views expressed in this article are those solely of the author.


 http://www.politico.com 
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"I think Iran now realises they cannot win the Syrian conflict whilst Assad is in power," said one. Another diplomat, who has recently held talks with Iranian leaders, said the rise of Isil had injected a new dynamic into the conflict, which Iran was no longer sure Mr Assad could win. He said he thought the Iranian government would now be prepared to "burn" Mr Assad, especially if it eased a broader deal on Tehran's nuclear programme. Western diplomats, who have supported the opposition to Mr Assad from the start, have a vested interest in hoping that Iran may ultimately drop its support for him.
But his defeats in recent weeks were the most humiliating since rebels swept into Aleppo two years ago.
Isil seized Tabqa military air base in the province of Raqqa last month, removing the last major government-held post in a province the extremists claim as part of their new "Islamic State". The jihadis tortured and summarily executed Syrian soldiers, publishing videos of a long line of men being led at a jog into the desert in their underwear, some still weeping and begging to be rescued. Meanwhile another band of extremists in Syria - a mix of hardened jihadis from Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria and Europe - poses a more direct and imminent threat to the United States, working with Yemeni bomb-makers to target U.S. aviation, American officials say.
At the centre is a cell known as the Khorasan group, a cadre of veteran al-Qa'ida fighters from Afghanistan and Pakistan who traveled to Syria to link up with the al-Qaida affiliate there, the Nusra Front.
But the Khorasan militants did not go to Syria principally to fight the government of Assad. Instead, they were sent by al-Qa'ida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri to recruit Europeans and Americans whose passports allow them to board a US-bound airliner with less scrutiny from security officials.
(© Daily Telegraph, London)
Irish Independent 

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