Monday, April 1, 2013

Los Angeles Times discovers that Iran is chief beneficiary of U.S. intervention in Iraq

From Jihad Watch / Posted by Robert Spencer


They could have read that the chief beneficiary of our misguided Wilsonian adventure in Iraq is Iran at Jihad Watch since at least 2006:

June 27, 2006: "Of course, Ahmadinejad may be jumping the gun a bit as far as that is concerned, but he is certainly doing all he can to bring into being a Shi'ite client state in Iraq."

September 13, 2006: "Here we see looming in Iraq the Shi'ite client state of Iran that the U.S. has unwittingly helped put into place with its short-sighted democracy project."

October 31, 2006: "Is al-Maliki on the road to creating the Shi'ite client state that the Iranians have been trying to foster in Iraq for quite some time now?"

February 11, 2007: "Iran continues its efforts to create a Shi'ite client state in Iraq."

June 10, 2008: "Or are U.S. troops the main obstacle to Iraq's becoming a full-fledged client state of Iran?"

November 12, 2008: "Very soon now the President of the United States and the President of Iran will sit down, without preconditions, and hash this out, and clear everything up before Iraq turns fully into the Shi'ite client state that the Iranians covet."

July 1, 2009: "Their goal of creating a Shi'ite client state is closer than ever to being realized."

July 30, 2009: "Was this what we have been fighting for in Iraq all these years? An Iranian Shi'ite client state in Baghdad?"

"Ten years after Iraq war began, Iran reaps the gains," by Ned Parker for the Los Angeles Times, March 28 (thanks to all who sent this in):
BAGHDAD — Ten years after the U.S.-led invasion to oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, the geopolitical winner of the war appears to be their common enemy: Iran. American military forces are long gone, and Iraqi officials say Washington's political influence in Baghdad is now virtually nonexistent. Hussein is dead. But Iran has become an indispensable broker among Baghdad's new Shiite elite, and its influence continues to grow.
The signs are evident in the prominence of pro-Iran militias on the streets, at public celebrations and in the faces of some of those now in the halls of power, men such as Abu Mehdi Mohandis, an Iraqi with a long history of anti-American activity and deep ties to Iran.
During the occupation, U.S. officials accused Mohandis of arranging a supply of Iranian-made bombs to be used against U.S. troops. But now Iraqi officials say Mohandis speaks for Iran here, and Prime Minister Nouri Maliki recently entrusted him with a sensitive domestic political mission.
Iran's role reinforces its strategic position at a time when the world looks increasingly hostile to Tehran, the capital. It faces tough international sanctions for its disputed nuclear program and fears losing longtime ally Syria to an insurgency backed by regional Sunni Muslim rivals.
Western diplomats and Iraqi politicians say they are concerned that the Islamic Republic will be tempted to use proxies in Iraq to strike at its enemies, as it has done with Lebanon-based Hezbollah.
American officials say they remain vital players in Iraq and have worked to defuse tension between Maliki and his foes.
During a visit to Baghdad on Sunday, however, Secretary of State John F. Kerry was unable to persuade Maliki to stop Iranian flights crossing Iraqi airspace to Syria. The U.S. charges that Iranian weapons shipments are key to propping up Syrian President Bashar Assad; Maliki says there is no proof that Tehran is sending anything besides humanitarian aid. Kerry's visit was the first by a U.S. Cabinet official in more than a year.
Overall, Iraqi officials and analysts say, Washington has pursued a policy of near-total disengagement, with policy decisions largely relegated to the embassy in Baghdad. Some tribal leaders complain that the Americans have not contacted them since U.S. troops left in late 2011.
Iraq's political atmosphere has deteriorated. Maliki has ordered the arrest of his former finance minister, a Sunni. Disputes in the north between the central government and leaders of the semiautonomous Kurdish region are unresolved.
"The Americans have no role. Nobody listens to them. They lost their power in this country," said Deputy Prime Minister Saleh Mutlaq, a Sunni, commenting on the disappearance of the Americans as a broker for most of Iraq's disputes....

Gun Nuts vs. Anti-Gun Nuts II 

By: Bruce Bialosky / Townhall Columnist

A few weeks back we wrote a column about the issues being debated regarding potentially restricting the rights of gun owners established by the second amendment. The column was generally well received, but there was one point of contention that remains the center of debate regarding gun owners’ rights -- especially with the flaming out of Senator Feinstein’s bill on what she refers to as “assault weapons.” We need to correct this point and we discuss the issue in greater depth.

We stated that, as someone not clearly on either the side of Gun Nuts or the Anti-Gun Nuts, we could potentially agree with one point being made to restrict gun rights. We stated, “The only proposal we can see as logical is the expansion of background checks. Logic makes us question why you have to go through a background check if you xgo to a gun shop or Wal-Mart, but if you attend a gun show you don’t have to go through a check.”
 
We checked everywhere and listened to every argument, but it turned out we just blew it. Having never attended a gun show, we did not have first-hand knowledge that if you purchase a gun at a gun show you go through the exact same background check you would go through if you were in a gun shop. There are phones set up to do the same checks and get the same approvals you would normally get anywhere else. No approval – no gun.

We received a barrage of comments from knowledgeable gun owners clarifying what the issue is and how we are being misled by the press and certain members of Congress. The real issue is that private citizens make sales of their own guns at these shows and certain members of Congress want to restrict their rights to sell their own guns.

For the uninitiated, let’s explain what we are dealing with here. Some private owners go to gun shows to sell their private collections. In discussions with multiple readers, they estimate about 10% of sellers at gun shows (there are typically 100 vendors) are private owners. You get the understanding that the people selling these guns are not whack jobs. They appear to be very much on the straight and narrow. Neither can they be disguising themselves as private sellers when they are really dealers as the ATF tracks these things. Are the private sellers offering better deals? Not from what our readers told us. Do people flock to the private dealers? No; not at all. They get no special attention.

The remaining question is why do the private citizens pay for a table at a gun show? The answer given was because that is where the gun buyers are – plain and simple. Just like going to a car show to sell your car. Or an airplane show to sell your airplane.x

Thus, the debate is solely over one matter. Does the government have the right to restrict a private citizen from selling a product legally obtained to another private citizen? Obviously, a private citizen is not set-up to do a background check like a dealer. That would certainly be a matter that is particularly inconvenient under the current system, but the Gun Nuts say they should not be held to a higher standard than someone selling other private property legally obtained. The Anti-Gun Nuts feel they are closing a loophole that will help to solve the problem of gun violence in this country.

We remain skeptical on this. As long as we are not advancing the issue of mental health restrictions, we believe that background checks serve limited purpose. We also still maintain that criminals get guns in ways we cannot even imagine. There will be little if any increased security to passing a law requiring universal background checks because it will stop few if any of the two suspect groups from obtaining a gun. We are seriously put off by a President who tells the public that up to 40% of all guns are sold without a background check. That seems ludicrous on its face based on the information above.x

We will leave it to you to judge whether the Gun Nuts have a point about it restricting the rights of private citizens in regard to their private property. We will just state the Anti-Gun Nuts have seriously oversold this as a remedy to our problems.

The Pandora Box of Obamacare

By: Morgan Brittany/ Townhll Columnistxx


“We have to pass the bill before we can find out what’s in it.”  Ah…the famous words of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi talking about the massive, cumbersome, confusing and costly Affordable Care Act… or in other words, Obamacare.

If ever there was a Pandora’s Box, this is it, with new surprises and revelations jumping out at us almost daily.  As the time draws nearer to the complete implementation of this debacle, people are realizing that what was promised and what we are going to get are two entirely different things.

This sleight of hand was forecast by many on the right who sounded the alarm way before the bill was passed but to no avail.  The eleventh hour arm-twisting, back room deals and false promises saw to it that this monstrosity was pushed through so quickly that hardly anyone had the time to read it.

Who in their right mind agrees to something this massive and game-changing without seeing the intimate details in writing?  Oh, sorry, we’re talking about Congress here, I forgot.  But I digress.  They obviously took it on “good faith” that what was told to them was true.  I mean, how bats, in a moment of insanity deemed it to be Constitutional and allowed it to become the law of the land.

So now here we are, Pandora’s Box is open and our heads are spinning withxxx the revelations coming to light.  For instance, look what was revealed just last week.  “Insurance companies will have to pay out an average of 32% more for medical claims on individual health policies under President Barak Obama’s overhaul.”  This means that premiums will go up.  What?  We were promised that premiums would go down, not up.  The Society of Actuaries report also states that by 2017, the estimated increase could be 62% for California, 80% for Ohio, more than 20% for Florida and 67% for Maryland.  There are stats that indicate some states may be reduced, but the overall majority of us will be hit with major increases.

As employers drop their employee’s health care coverage, increases will grow even larger.

If that little surprise isn’t enough, how about a pending Federal food- labeling rule that stems from the health care lawrequiring store owners to label prepared, unpackaged foods found in salad bars and food bars, soups and bakery items.  This could potentially cost upwards of $1 billion in the first year alone which means it would translate to higher costs at the register.   The consumer would pay the price of another Obamacare “hidden” surprise.  Not only that, but if the stores get it wrong, they could be subject to thousands of dollars worth of fines and executives could be put in federal jails.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring?  Will there be a limit on how many times you can see a doctor in a year?  Will your dependents be covered the same as before or will they be dropped from your policy?

Will a panel of government experts decide whether or not you qualify for a medical procedure?  These questions could be lurking within the health care law and will reveal themselves little by little over time.

One thing is certain however; the American people overwhelmingly were against this law and pressure is being put on Congress to repeal it piece by piece.  We can see some hope on the horizon with the Senate support to repeal the tax on medical devices.  The outrage is beginning and when it becomes clear that, “you can keep your health plan if you like it….you can keep your doctor too”, was all a lie, then all bets are off.  The majority of us want to keep the best medical care in the world; we want the best doctors, facilities and research because we have always had it.  Once people see where Obamacare is really taking us with its high costs, restrictions and regulations, the outrage will escalate.

For decades people from all over the world have come to the United States for their medical care because they know it is far superior to anything else.  With the implementation of Obamacare in 2014, where will they go?
Op-ed: 
This enemy brought the battlefield to our shores
By: Diane Sori

This past Friday, the US Army officially denied Purple Hearts to the victims of the Fort Hood massacre.  Awarding the medals, Army officials said, may infringe on US Army Major Nidal Hassan's (the shooter) right to a fair trial.

Shame on them for who gives a damn about Hassan's rights...how about the rights of his victims, both dead and alive.

The Army claims that by awarding Purple Hearts to those wounded, and posthumously to those murdered, would be a declaration that Nadal Hasan is a terrorist.

Guess what...he is!

According to Army Regulation 600-8-22 this is among the conditions for which the Purple Heart is awarded: "The Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the President of the United States and per 10 USC 1131, effective 19 May 1998, is limited to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who, while serving under component authority in any capacity with one of the U.S. Armed Services after 5 April 1917, has been wounded or killed, or who has died or may hereafter die after being wounded.”

Simply, the Purple Heart is given to any military member who is wounded or killed in ANY action against an enemy of the United States, and the indisputable fact is and always will be that Nidal Hassan was and is a terrorist...an enemy combatant...an enemy of the United States...because remember, he kept shouting 'allahu akbar' (the correct spelling)* as he went on his murderous rampage.

'allahu akbar'...the fighting words of the enemy.

And herein lies the conundrum that does NOT have to be for what Nidal Hassan did was clearly a terrorist attack NOT workplace violence like Barack HUSSEIN Obama and his minions claim, and as such meets the criteria for issuing the victims their long overdue Purple Hearts.

Fort Hood is an officially designated and operational US military base NOT a place considered 'a civilian workplace' even though there are always some civilians working on a military base. And very critical to the point that this was NOT civilian workplace violence is that Hasan passed up several opportunities to shoot civilian employees, targeting and killing ONLY soldiers in uniform...soldiers preparing for deployment to Afghanistan (soldiers who Hassan saw as the enemy of his brethren)... unarmed soldiers who were not allowed to carry personal firearms on the base due to military policy...military policy NOT civilian workplace policy.

Workplace violence refers to violence that originates from civilian employees or civilian employers and threatens civilian employers and civilian employees with physical assault, threatening behavior, or verbal abuse occurring in a civilian work setting NOT on a US military base.

A terrorist attack is a surprise without warning attack involving the deliberate calculated use of violence against civilians or others (in this case military personnel NOT currently engaged in battle against anyone) in the hope of attaining political, religious, or ideological goals.

And this fits Nasal Hassan's attack to a tee for his shouting 'allahu akbar' and targeting ONLY military personnel crossed the line into terrorism as 'allah akbar' is the calling card of ALL terrorists. 'allahu akbar' means "God is great" and muslims say those words when starting a prayer, when they are in danger, making a huge effort, or fighting. The muslims believe that no matter what a person does, whether there is success or failure, victory or defeat, God (allah) is above all that and his (allah's) glory is NOT tarnished NO matter what vile, perverted, or murderous act they do in his name.

A political ideology based on religious fanaticism...the basis of all terrorist acts...the basis of the murderous act by Nidal Hassan.

Nidal Hassan was indeed a terrorist, make NO mistake about it, as e-mail communications between Hasan and the Yemen-based cleric Anwar al-Awalaki, who at that time was being monitored by the National Security Agency (NSA) as a security threat because he was a known Al Qaeda terrorist commander (he has since been killed), was NOT someone who communicated with ordinary folks. People of this sort communicate ONLY with those who share their so-called holy mission of jihad.

Even the Bipartisan Policy Center released a report called 'Assessing the Terrorist Threat,' and listed the Fort Hood massacre as a terrorist attack, but NOT Obama, because if he acknowledged the Fort Hood massacre as an act of terror, then Nidal Hassan indeed becomes an enemy combatant, and that would throw a wrench into his constant bloviations that terror in general is 'on the run'...a stance he stands by even after the slaughter at Benghazi and his subsequent cover-up.

So while Army policy states that "US military personnel are organized, trained and equipped to combat foreign, not domestic, forces or threats...To expand the Purple Heart award criteria to include domestic criminal acts or domestic terror attacks would be a dramatic departure from the traditional Purple Heart award criteria" the bottom line is that it would NOT for while Nidal Hassan was a US Army Major his allegiances were to foreign governments...to enemies of the United States...and that makes the Fort Hood massacre victims in line with Army policy and thus able to receive the Purple Heart.

So I hope the right thing is done for the victims, and that the US Army stops catering to those out to kill us and stops catering to those like Barack HUSSEIN Obama who stands by them...for these people were victims of war...victims of the War on Terror...and Nidal Hassan was one of their operatives...an enemy combatant against everything our country stands for and everything 'We the People' hold dear.

* I NEVER capitalize anything to do with islam because to do so would show respect for and give credence to islam, muslims, and their made-up deity 'allah' and I do neither.