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Three paragraphs from Jonathan Tobin’s latest post remind us how ideologically blinded and obtuse the president is.
… Mr. Obama was also brainy enough to declare his foreign policy a terrific success on the very day that a Shiite militia group took over the presidential palace in the Sana’a, the capital of Yemen, “sparking fresh concerns about a country that has become a cornerstone of U.S. counterterrorism strategy.” Which reminded me of how President Savant held up Yemen as a model of success only last September, telling us, “This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years.” Which in turn reminded me of Libya.
It was in the fall of 2011 when President Obama, speaking to the United Nations and announcing yet another of his grand achievements, declared, “Forty two years of tyranny was ended in six months. From Tripoli to Misurata to Benghazi — today, Libya is free.” Mr. Obama went on to say, “This is how the international community is supposed to work — nations standing together for the sake of peace and security, and individuals claiming their rights.” And what a success it was. Just last summer, in fact, the United States, because of rising violence resulting from clashes between Libyan militias, shut down its embassy in Libya and evacuated its diplomats to neighboring Tunisia under U.S. military escort. Earlier this month King’s College George Joffe wrote, “Libya seems finally to be about to descend into full blown civil war.” Call it another Model of Success during the Obama era.
Our percipient president also declared in his State of the Union speech, “Our diplomacy is at work with respect to Iran, where, for the first time in a decade, we’ve halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material.” That assertion is so reality-based that (a) the Washington Post fact-checker declared “there is little basis” for the president’s claims and (b) the highest ranking Democratic member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Robert Menendez, said the more he hears from Mr. Obama and his administration about Iran, “the more it sounds like talking points that come straight out of Tehran.” Oh, and the president made his announcement on the very day that we learned that Russia and Iran are more aligned than ever, having signed an agreement on military cooperation between the two nations. …
And Stephen Hayes writes on Iran nonsense.
When House speaker John Boehner invited Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress in the coming weeks, the reaction from the White House was swift. In background interviews with reporters, top Obama administration officials made clear that they considered the invitation itself an affront and the acceptance of it a breach of protocol.
This is the same White House that last week had British prime minister David Cameron making calls to Capitol Hill to lobby lawmakers against more sanctions on Iran. It’s the same administration that had to apologize to Senator Marco Rubio and others for violating its pledge to “consult Congress” before making any unilateral changes to U.S. policy on Cuba. This is the same president who has boasted repeatedly of his ability and willingness to ignore the legislative branch and use his “pen and phone” to do what he wants. And this is the same administration that used the cover of anonymity to call Netanyahu “chickenshit” in a recent interview. …
All of the above has led Craig Pirrong of Streetwise Professor to say “we are in the midst of another low and dishonest decade.”
… Indeed, ISIS has been expanding rather dramatically throughout Syria, giving the lie to this SOTU statement: “In Iraq and Syria, American leadership — including our military power — is stopping ISIL’s advance.” That’s true to a limited degree in Kobani and Mosul, but flatly wrong elsewhere in Iraq and especially Syria. Don’t even get me started on another Obama delusion: the “success” in Yemen, which has descended into absolute chaos with competing “Death to America” factions, both Shia and Sunni, vying for control.
It’s rather depressing to see the President of the United States do a Baghdad Bob imitation while addressing a joint session of Congress.
In sum, at present it appears that Putin is on the advance in Ukraine and ISIS is at best stalemated in Iraq and Syria. And the West’s leaders, reflecting the indifference of their citizenry, are content to let it happen, or at least do too little to prevent it from happening. In other words, we are in the midst of another low and dishonest decade. …
And has the Editors of Investor’s Business Daily starting to wonder if we have become a “banana republic.”
Yemen’s government fell and Saudi Arabia’s king died. But President Obama busied himself with YouTube stars and some of the lowest characters on the Internet. Is this our descent to a banana republic?
Another week has gone by in which the Free World could have used some leadership and President Obama was found wanting.
First, there were the events in Yemen, an ally that Obama had touted as one of our biggest successes in the war on terror but where the president was driven from office by tribal rebels. The commander in chief said virtually nothing. …
The Editors of IBD also rise to defend the A-10 Warthog.
… As Iraqi News reported last week after an A-10 sortie against IS forces near Mosul: “The aircraft sparked panic in the ranks of ISIS and bombing its elements in spaces close to the ground.” Such strikes also prove the value of such a low-maintenance aircraft built to take the punishment expected in close air support.
“Elements of the terrorist organization targeted the aircraft with 4 Strella missiles, but that did not cause it any damage, prompting the remaining elements of the organization to leave the bodies of the dead and carry the wounded to escape,” according to the Iraqi report.
This is not surprising, since the A-10 can almost hover over a battlefield as it picks out targets for its 20-foot-long, 2.5 ton, seven-barrel Gatling gun that can fire 1,100 of those 30 mm shells. The titanium shell that wraps around the bottom of its cockpit makes it difficult to shoot down.
The U.S. sent the aircraft to the region in late November with the 163rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, a unit with the Indiana Air National Guard. The unit also provided close air support for air operations against the Taliban in Afghanistan.
On Jan. 15, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James pointed out that the A-10 had conducted 11% of all sorties against IS since August, despite the fact it was not deployed to the battlefield until November.
But it may be shot down soon by the budget-cutters. …
The last piece today on this president’s disasters comes from Roger Simon.
… During Obama’s presidency the influence of Ayatollah Khamenei’s Iranian Shiite regime has spread across the world like the proverbial wildfire, reaching from North Africa into Iraq, Lebanon (via Hezbollah), Syria (via Assad whose red line on chemical weapons famously faded into invisibility), Gaza (via improved relations with Hamas) and now into Yemen (via the Houthis) and undoubtedly a number of other places, including Venezuela, North Korea and Cuba. And our president, consciously or unconsciously or both, has had as much to do as anyone with the creation of this nascent, soon-to-be nuclear armed and missile-ready fundamentalist “Greater Persia.” No wonder the Sunni Saudis are alarmed — they have been for a long time — and no wonder Obama suddenly decided to replace Biden in paying a condolence visit to Riyadh for the death of King Abdullah. He has some powerful fence-mending to do that pretend bowing and scraping may not so easily solve.
Much of this Iran-coddling began back when the Green Movement was in the streets of Tehran seeking the overthrow of the ayatollahs and chanting “Obama, Obama… Are you with us or are you with them?” Our president did not respond. He was already in private communication with the bizarre Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Obama wanted to be the one who got credit for reining in the excesses of the Islamic Republic, not those unruly student demonstrators who were the ones suffering from the regime in the first place, being murdered, tortured and raped in Evin Prison, often in reverse order.
Indeed, this unconscionable and out-of-control narcissism has been the key to Obama’s foreign policy throughout and accounts for the catastrophic global results we see in front of us now. The “leading from behind” mantra has always been a fraud, masking what it really means: “I, Barack, know best and manipulate affairs from behind.” It’s all about me. (Is it ever!) …
As if by magic, the Washington Post’s business section has an article that could stand as the perfect metaphor for the president. Turns out major auto manufacturers are adding fake engine noise to give their vehicles an undeserved V8 growl. But we all know President Bystander is a three cylinder two-stroke Saab.
Stomp on the gas in a new Ford Mustang or F-150 and you’ll hear a meaty, throaty rumble — the same style of roar that Americans have associated with auto power and performance for decades.
It’s a sham. The engine growl in some of America’s best-selling cars and trucks is actually a finely tuned bit of lip-syncing, boosted through special pipes or digitally faked altogether. And it’s driving car enthusiasts insane.
Fake engine noise has become one of the auto industry’s dirty little secrets, with automakers from BMW to Volkswagen turning to a sound-boosting bag of tricks. Without them, today’s more fuel-efficient engines would sound far quieter and, automakers worry, seemingly less powerful, potentially pushing buyers away. …
… That type of ire has made the auto industry shy about discussing its sound technology. Several attempts to speak with Ford’s sound engineers about the new F-150, a six-cylinder model of America’s best-selling truck that plays a muscular engine note through the speakers, were quietly rebuffed.
Car companies are increasingly wary of alerting buyers that they might not be hearing the real thing, and many automakers have worked with audio and software engineers to make their cars’ synthesized engine melody more realistic.
Volkswagen uses what’s called a “Soundaktor,” a special speaker that looks like a hockey puck and plays sound files in cars such as the GTI and Beetle Turbo. Lexus worked with sound technicians at Yamaha to more loudly amplify the noise of its LFA supercar toward the driver seat.
Some, including Porsche with its “sound symposer,” have used noise-boosting tubes to crank up the engine sound inside the cabin. Others have gone further into digital territory: BMW plays a recording of its motors through the car stereos, a sample of which changes depending on the engine’s load and power. …