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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Obama"

Obama Photographer Suggests Trump Situation Room Photo Not Taken During Baghdadi Raid, Gets Busted by Facts

Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2019-10-27-at-5.35.34-PM Obama Photographer Suggests Trump Situation Room Photo Not Taken During Baghdadi Raid, Gets Busted by Facts Obama News Media journalism ISIS Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post fake news donald trump democrats Barack Obama Allow Media Exception Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Screenshot from this video

President Donald Trump announced the great news today that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed by U.S. Special Forces.

But some people just couldn’t say, “Great work” and celebrate the death of the world’s #1 terrorist.

Pete Souza is the former White House photographer for Barack Obama.

He has made it no secret that he dislikes President Donald Trump and has taken shots at him in the past.

But he sent out a fake news tweet that went everywhere quickly, suggesting that the picture showed Trump wasn’t in the White House when the action taken against Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi took place.

It has 15,000 retweets and over 38,000 likes as of this writing.

Media and Democrats immediately cried conspiracy, as Twitchy notes, spreading it further.

‘Journalists.’

Democratic strategist:

Even Andrew Zimmern retweeted the fake story to his over a million followers.

Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2019-10-27-at-6.45.35-PM Obama Photographer Suggests Trump Situation Room Photo Not Taken During Baghdadi Raid, Gets Busted by Facts Obama News Media journalism ISIS Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post fake news donald trump democrats Barack Obama Allow Media Exception Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Of course, Souza was wrong, as he later had to admit, that Trump was back in the White House before the raid and before the picture was taken.

But as with most fake news, you can see it got much less attention than the original false story. And people are still spreading the lie.

And most of the blue checks still have the false story up and haven’t taken it down, much less apologized for spreading the insanity.

The post Obama Photographer Suggests Trump Situation Room Photo Not Taken During Baghdadi Raid, Gets Busted by Facts appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2019-10-27-at-5.35.34-PM-300x179 Obama Photographer Suggests Trump Situation Room Photo Not Taken During Baghdadi Raid, Gets Busted by Facts Obama News Media journalism ISIS Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post fake news donald trump democrats Barack Obama Allow Media Exception Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Federal judge: Secret Mueller grand jury material must be shared with House Dems — because their impeachment inquiry is legally valid

Westlake Legal Group m-9 Federal judge: Secret Mueller grand jury material must be shared with House Dems — because their impeachment inquiry is legally valid The Blog Obama mueller Inquiry impeachment House grand jury democrats beryl howell

Expecting some solid rage-tweeting from POTUS over this later today, especially since the judge is an Obama appointee.

One of the core Republican critiques of the impeachment inquiry is that it hasn’t been authorized via a floor vote, as has traditionally happened in the House when an impeachment investigation begins. That’s not just a political complaint either. It was the very first legal claim made in the letter sent to Pelosi a few weeks ago by White House counsel Pat Cipollone:

Westlake Legal Group 1-2 Federal judge: Secret Mueller grand jury material must be shared with House Dems — because their impeachment inquiry is legally valid The Blog Obama mueller Inquiry impeachment House grand jury democrats beryl howell   Westlake Legal Group 2-3 Federal judge: Secret Mueller grand jury material must be shared with House Dems — because their impeachment inquiry is legally valid The Blog Obama mueller Inquiry impeachment House grand jury democrats beryl howell

That issue was before a federal district court this week in connection with Democrats’ demand for access to the redacted grand jury material in the Mueller report. The law says that grand jury material must be provided when it’s relevant to a “judicial proceeding.” But that’s Cipolline’s, and the DOJ’s, point — there’s no “judicial proceeding” in the House because they’ve never gotten around to formally initiating one. That forced Judge Beryl Howell to take up the question of whether an impeachment inquiry that hasn’t officially commenced with a House vote can be said to exist.

Answer: Yes. The key section runs from pages 49 to 62 of the opinion. Howell notes that the House has in fact impeached *judges* before without formally opening an impeachment inquiry with a floor vote, but the thrust of her argument is simply deference to the House on a matter where the Constitution gives it exclusive power. That deference isn’t unlimited — the court can and will scrutinize whether the House, in demanding grand jury material, really does want that material for an investigation whose “primary purpose” is judicial, i.e. impeachment. But if the House clears that bar, which it did in this case, the court isn’t going to tell it how to run its shop by voting on an official resolution to open an impeachment probe. Especially not based on something as gassy as tradition:

Westlake Legal Group 1-3 Federal judge: Secret Mueller grand jury material must be shared with House Dems — because their impeachment inquiry is legally valid The Blog Obama mueller Inquiry impeachment House grand jury democrats beryl howell

Howell emphasizes deference to the legislature again later:

Westlake Legal Group 2-4 Federal judge: Secret Mueller grand jury material must be shared with House Dems — because their impeachment inquiry is legally valid The Blog Obama mueller Inquiry impeachment House grand jury democrats beryl howell   Westlake Legal Group 3 Federal judge: Secret Mueller grand jury material must be shared with House Dems — because their impeachment inquiry is legally valid The Blog Obama mueller Inquiry impeachment House grand jury democrats beryl howell

The ruling can be and will be appealed, of course, but I’m skeptical that a 5-4 conservative majority led by John Roberts will start dictating procedural steps to Pelosi on a matter as glaringly political as impeachment. The other four conservatives might be willing to, but there are two ultra-high-profile examples in Roberts’s past of him allegedly changing his vote to side with the liberals in cases that had drawn intense political interest. Roberts reportedly is anxious that the Court not come to be seen as just another partisan operation; the Trump era, with POTUS complaining about “Obama judges” vis-a-vis “Trump judges,” must have only intensified that anxiety. It’s all but impossible to imagine Roberts casting a decisive vote for the Republican in a showdown over whether the Democratic impeachment process is constitutional or not, knowing that that decision will be demagogued as Republican justices covering for Trump. I’d bet on Howell’s ruling to stand, at least in its bottom-line holding that the House gets wide latitude on how to conduct impeachment.

I might even bet that the vote will be more lopsided than 5-4.

Exit question: What sort of bombshell would need to be lurking in the Mueller grand jury material for Democrats to add something related to Russiagate to the articles of impeachment? Pelosi has reportedly been adamant behind closed doors that impeachment should focus laser-like on the Ukraine matter. The further it strays from that subject, the more the public will lose sight of what Trump is accused of and the easier it’ll be for Republicans to accuse Dems of kitchen-sinking all of their grievances with the president via impeachment. I think they’re going to stay away from Russia stuff unless there’s something truly explosive in the Mueller stuff — explosive enough that it’s actually more incriminating than the Ukraine matter.

The post Federal judge: Secret Mueller grand jury material must be shared with House Dems — because their impeachment inquiry is legally valid appeared first on Hot Air.

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Trump and Susan Rice Battle Over Syria, She Gets Busted by the Facts

Westlake Legal Group susan-rice-andrea-mitchell-e1491417290742 Trump and Susan Rice Battle Over Syria, She Gets Busted by the Facts Syria Susan Rice Obama Middle East Iraq International Affairs Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post donald trump Benghazi Barack Obama Allow Media Exception

President Donald Trump and former Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice have been trading barbs over the last couple of days after Rice went on “Real Time” with Bill Maher and bashed Trump’s actions in Syria.

According to the Washington Examiner, on the show, Rice said that Trump’s actions in Syria and Iraq were “going nowhere good” and that “ISIS is going to come back.”

Trump responded, reminding her what a disaster the Obama administration was in Syria.

“Remember RED LINE IN THE SAND? That was Obama. Millions killed! No thanks Susan, you were a disaster,” he tweeted.

A lot of people have weighed in on Trump’s actions in Syria and Iraq. But one group who has absolutely no standing to speak is the former officials of the Obama administration.

The Obama administration failed to stand up to Vladimir Putin or deal with the chemical weapons attacks from the Syrian regime despite drawing multiple “red lines” in the sand, embarrassing the nation and letting thousands more be killed. Even after making a “deal” made with the Russians, chemical attacks continued. The Obama administration’s withdrawal from Iraq left a huge hole and his failure to act in 2014 when ISIS was beginning to rise then led to the deaths of thousands more, including Americans.

Democrats like Susan Rice are more upset about the last few days than the hundreds of thousands killed during the Obama administration. Susan Rice even promoted a fake propaganda video out of Syria with a woman waving a baby she claimed was dead (but who was blinking and clearly alive).

Rice shot back at Trump with another tweet.

Rice was pushing her book about that attacks in Benghazi when she was on Maher’s show.

Trump was likely being kind to her in a social setting, assuming that was what he said.

But, Benghazi is the last thing that she has any right to talk about after going on all the Sunday shows and blaming it on a internet video rather than calling it the Al Qaeda attack they knew it was. She was part of the Obama administration that failed Americans who died and were wounded in Benghazi on multiple levels. First, failing to provide proper security, despite specific threats and a prior attack by Al Qaeda on the mission a few months before. Then the failure to provide forces early enough to respond. Then lying about it later both to the American public and to the families themselves.

She’s also a factor in the Trump surveillance scandal that has not been settled yet. She was caught unmasking Trump aides and then lying about it, again on television? Remember that scandal from the administration that claims it had no scandals?

Trump was unfortunately left with the mess made by the Obama administration and they’re the last people who should be speaking after their huge failure there.

The post Trump and Susan Rice Battle Over Syria, She Gets Busted by the Facts appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group susan-rice-andrea-mitchell-300x153 Trump and Susan Rice Battle Over Syria, She Gets Busted by the Facts Syria Susan Rice Obama Middle East Iraq International Affairs Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post donald trump Benghazi Barack Obama Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Hunter Biden Was Hired to “Protect the Company,” Never Even Actually Worked In Ukraine

Westlake Legal Group JoeBidenAPimage-620x317 Hunter Biden Was Hired to “Protect the Company,” Never Even Actually Worked In Ukraine Zlochevsky Russia Reuters Protect the Company Politics Obama media bias Joe Biden hunter biden Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story donald trump democrats corruption Burisma Board Director Allow Media Exception 83K

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign event Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

And no, that’s not a point in his favor because he was still raking in gobs of cash from the company.

News has come out that Hunter Biden, while being paid $83,000 a month by a corrupt Ukrainian gas company named Burisma, never even actually visited the company on business. He was on their board for five long years, yet never made one appearance at the place that was shoveling him an enormous about of money for doing essentially nothing.

Nothing suspicious about that at all, right?

Biden got $50,000 a month in salary and never had to come to the home office? That’s quite a gig, especially for a corporate board director. Normally, those positions involve responsibility for overseeing the operations of the organization and ensuring regulatory compliance, which is tough to do when one never sets foot in the country where the corporation operates.

Even more unsurprisingly, one of the people Reuters interviewed (who is the source for Ed Morrisey’s above article at HotAir) admitted that Hunter Biden was hired to try to protect the company from ongoing investigations.

Oleksandr Onyshchenko, a businessman and former member of the Ukrainian parliament who knows the Burisma founder, said it had been Zlochevsky’s idea to appoint Biden as a director. “It was to protect (the company)” at a time when it was facing investigations, said Onyshchenko, who left the country in 2016. In the run up to Biden’s appointment, a popular uprising led to the removal of the Russian-backed Yanukovich in February 2014.

Zlochevsky was tightly connected with the former regime in Ukraine and was seen as corrupted by Russian influence. It was that person, after the ouster of his former government, who thought “hey, let’s hire the U.S. Vice President’s son, pay him a ridiculous sum, and never even have him visit the company or sit in a board meeting.” There’s so much smoke there that I’m choking as I write this.

The reason Hunter Biden was hired is incredibly obvious and it didn’t even take the above admission to see it. Burisma wanted a sort of human shield, betting that Joe Biden would do whatever it takes to protect his son. In the end, the former VP did just that, ensuring the prosecutor that was looking into Hunter Biden was fired and he used the threat of withholding one billion dollars in aid to do so.

If any part of this story had the name Trump in it, it’d not only be bandied about as the worst scandal in 50 years, it’d be headlining the “impeachment inquiry” currently going on.

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The post Hunter Biden Was Hired to “Protect the Company,” Never Even Actually Worked In Ukraine appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group 17329344-1af8-4a1f-8631-ab65d20076a0-1-300x153 Hunter Biden Was Hired to “Protect the Company,” Never Even Actually Worked In Ukraine Zlochevsky Russia Reuters Protect the Company Politics Obama media bias Joe Biden hunter biden Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story donald trump democrats corruption Burisma Board Director Allow Media Exception 83K   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Turkey Agrees to a Cease Fire and Mitt Romney Is Really Mad

Westlake Legal Group Mitt-Romney-Real-MR-Please-Stand-Up Turkey Agrees to a Cease Fire and Mitt Romney Is Really Mad YPG Unserious turks Turkey Speech SDF republicans Politics pkk Obama Mitt Romney Kurds Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story False donald trump cease fire Allow Media Exception

I don’t get it. I’m looking at my Twitter timeline and seeing this speech by Mitt Romney being passed around as “brilliant” and “nine minutes worth listening to.” Then I watch it and it’s full of false characterizations, ridiculous assertions, and a complete lack of respect for what it costs to wage war. Maybe I just have higher standards for what qualifies as brilliant?

But first, let’s talk about the background. Yesterday, Turkey and the United States agreed to a five day cease fire in Northern Syria. This allows the Kurds to pull back from the border and setup the safe zone that was already negotiated last year. Some argue this is unfair. It’s not.

The PKK/YPG are a terrorist group. We allied with them to fight ISIS out of necessity, not because they are innocent bystanders in the geopolitics of the region nor are these are not our traditional “Kurdish” allies in Iraq. The group has carried out terrorists attacks that have killed thousands of innocent people over the decades. These are simply facts that can’t be ignored, though Mitt Romney is going to do his darnedest in a minute to do so. Ever wonder why they changed their name to the SDF? It was because their history was so checkered that the Obama administration demanded they rebrand.

For Turkey’s part, their incursion is an overreaction, despite legitimate security concerns (of which even Sen. Lindsey Graham has admitted). They have no right to go kill civilians in response to the historical actions of the PKK/YPG. Left unchecked, that’d be left a real possibility.

Given the very complicated, gray nature of all this, the best outcome was a cease fire that allows the Kurds to withdraw a few miles and avoid anymore major conflict and that’s what has now been negotiated, with the Kurds agreeing as well.

This left Mitt Romney really upset.

You can watch the whole thing if you’d like, but it’s essentially exactly what you’d expect. At one point, he plays tough guy and opines that Turkey is a “small country” and projects that it should be exceptionally easy to deal with them. There’s no admission they are part of NATO or that war with Turkey would be profoundly harmful to the United States on a variety of levels.

At another point, Romney fumes that he doesn’t know why the Foreign Affairs Committee even exists in light of Trump’s decision to pull out. Perhaps we agree there. If these people were actually serious, they’d be fighting to pass a new AUMF and declare war on Turkey so we can “protect our allies,” because there is no other way (outside of the already negotiated cease fire) that we can fight for PKK/YPG otherwise.

Romney presents the situation like it’s a video game. If we just press the right combination of buttons really quick, it’ll all be fine. Worse, he won’t just say what he wants. If the cease fire and coming sanctions aren’t good enough, what’s he want to do then? He won’t say because like most members of Congress, he’s too cowardly to admit his ultimate conclusion.

Message to Romney: If you truly believe in protecting the PKK/YPG, start stumping for a vote on a new AUMF. 

His entire speech is fundamentally unserious. If we start killing Turks to stop their advance, we are inviting more cooperation between them and Russia, a major new war in the region, and an unprecedented crisis in NATO. There’s a reason no EU countries are rushing in to help here, even though they were far more at risk from ISIS and the refugee crisis than the United States. It’s an extremely volatile and complicated situation.

The cease fire was the best, and really only outcome here that could prevent further harm from being done. If we the PKK/YPG weren’t a terrorist group and we were formally allied with them, matters would be different. But the reality is what it is.

Romney goes on to say our actions are a “bloodstain” on American history, again ignoring all the complexities that exist and the fact that the majority of Americans do not want to risk getting involved in another war in the Middle East. What Romney says in this speech plays well with a certain minority of conservatives with big platforms, but it’s not mainstream at all.

My best advice for Trump skeptical Republicans, many of which own blue check-marks on Twitter, is to stop trying to make this guy a thing. Mitt Romney is not a serious person. He’s a politician who sees a future opening to run for President, nothing more. That speech might as well be from 2003 given how tone deaf it is to the realities on the ground. It’s the same rah-rah, Bush-esque foreign policy ranting we’ve heard for almost two decades that has led to so much jadedness, not just among Republicans, but among the entire country. Find a new hero.

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Enjoying the read? Please visit my archive and check out some of my latest articles.

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The post Turkey Agrees to a Cease Fire and Mitt Romney Is Really Mad appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Mitt-Romney-Real-MR-Please-Stand-Up-300x165 Turkey Agrees to a Cease Fire and Mitt Romney Is Really Mad YPG Unserious turks Turkey Speech SDF republicans Politics pkk Obama Mitt Romney Kurds Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story False donald trump cease fire Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

BREAKING: DOJ IG Report Due Out Friday, Will Cover More Than FISA Abuse

Quick bit of breaking news just dropped.

About a month ago, IG Horowitz announced he had finished his report dealing with the Trump-Russia investigation, which most assumed would only cover possible FISA abuse. Now we are getting word it’s coming out this Friday.

Per the Washington Examiner.

“I’m hearing the IG report will be out this upcoming Friday, Oct. 18, and my sources say it’s as thick as a telephone book,” Bartiromo said, adding that it covers “more than just FISA abuse.”

It has been exactly one month since Horowitz announced the completion of the investigation by his team, who pored over more than 1 million records and conducted 100-plus interviews. The inspector general gave a draft to the Justice Department and FBI for a classification review.

Upon the completion of that process, the report will first be delivered to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, who has pledged to do a “deep dive” of his own into FISA that will run concurrently with U.S. Attorney John Durham’s review of the early stages of the Russia investigation. The South Carolina Republican said his “No. 1 goal” is to have as much of the report declassified as possible.

Yeah, I’m sure Democrats and former Obama officials are shaking at the thought of another Senate committee investigation.

The real news here is that it’s seemingly confirmed that it covers more than FISA abuse, which likely will end up a dead end anyway. No doubt Horowitz will cite some breaches of protocol or label the FISA warrants illegal, but I have strong suspicions the DOJ will claim they can’t prove intent.

We’ll have to wait and see where this goes. The smart money is on it not mattering much, being buried by the media, and nothing actually happening.

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Enjoying the read? Please visit my archive and check out some of my latest articles.

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The post BREAKING: DOJ IG Report Due Out Friday, Will Cover More Than FISA Abuse appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group bill-barr-smiling-300x153 BREAKING: DOJ IG Report Due Out Friday, Will Cover More Than FISA Abuse report Politics Obama ig horowitz Front Page Stories Front Page fox news FISA Featured Story elections donald trump doj democrats corruption comey brennan Allow Media Exception abuse   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

BREAKING: We Just Found Out Which 2020 Presidential Candidate the “Whistle-Blower” Worked With

Westlake Legal Group JoeBidenSunglassesAPimage-620x317 BREAKING: We Just Found Out Which 2020 Presidential Candidate the “Whistle-Blower” Worked With Worked For white house whistle-blower Washington Examiner Ukraine Politics Politicla Obama Joe Biden ICIG Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post democrats CIA Agent Allow Media Exception

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden pays for his order at a Krispy Kreme following a campaign town hall on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019, in Spartanburg, S.C. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

This is just breaking per the Washington Examiner.

A few days ago, I reported on the fact that the Trump-Ukraine “whistle-blower” was said to have worked with a 2020 presidential candidate by the ICIG. Though we’ve had our suspcions here at RedState, there was no official word or evidence revealing who it was.

That just changed.

The 2020 Democratic candidate with whom the CIA whistleblower had a “professional” tie is Joe Biden, according to intelligence officers and former White House officials.

Lawyers for the whistleblower said he had worked only “in the executive branch.” The Washington Examiner has established that he is a career CIA analyst who was detailed to the National Security Council at the White House and has since left. On Sept. 26, the New York Times reported that he was a CIA officer. On Oct. 4, the newspaper added that he “was detailed to the National Security Council at one point.”

This always made the most sense. The only reason a CIA agent would have had contact with a 2020 presidential candidate is if it came in the form of working with the Obama administration.

Previously, the whistle-blower’s lawyer had claimed this.

“First, our client has never worked for or advised a political candidate, campaign, or party,” said Andrew Bakaj and Mark Zaid. “Second, our client has spent their entire government career in apolitical, civil servant positions in the Executive Branch.”

This is called lying without technically lying. It’s Clintonian nonsense. Though the whistle-blower didn’t work for Biden as a political official, he worked in a professional capacity with him and that should have been disclosed immediately, not hidden away. It’s perfectly reasonable to suspect some form of political motivation could form from their previous relationship, especially given we know he’s a registered Democrat.

If you read the article at the Examiner, you’ll see numerous officials laying out how deep the contacts likely went. It’s probable he would have accompanied Biden on oversees trips and been in near daily contact with him.

None of this is going to help the perception of the Democrat’s impeachment case.

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Enjoying the read? Please visit my archive and check out some of my latest articles.

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The post BREAKING: We Just Found Out Which 2020 Presidential Candidate the “Whistle-Blower” Worked With appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group 17329344-1af8-4a1f-8631-ab65d20076a0-1-300x153 BREAKING: We Just Found Out Which 2020 Presidential Candidate the “Whistle-Blower” Worked With Worked For white house whistle-blower Washington Examiner Ukraine Politics Politicla Obama Joe Biden ICIG Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post democrats CIA Agent Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

“Batsh*t crazy”: Time for a lecture on effective Syria policy from … Susan Rice

Westlake Legal Group s-1 “Batsh*t crazy”: Time for a lecture on effective Syria policy from … Susan Rice Turkey Trump The Blog Susan Rice red line Obama Kurds erdogan assad arms

There’s a reason you don’t hear much from Barack Obama these days, even as the news cycles get crazier and Trump’s troubles deepen. And it’s not because the “fraternity of presidents” requires O to maintain the same sort of respectful silence towards his successor as George W. Bush maintained for Obama himself. Trump obviously isn’t and won’t be part of that fraternity; criticism of Obama remains a staple of his own rhetoric.

O keeps his mouth shut because he understands he’s a perfect foil for the president. Republicans dislike him deeply and think most of his policies were stupid. The surest way to get GOPers who are troubled by the Ukraine business to rally around Trump would be for Obama to blast him over it. Likewise, the surest way to get Republicans to rethink their discomfort about abandoning the Kurds would be for O to slam Trump for ordering it — especially given how pitiful Obama’s own Syria judgment often was. There was never a good option on whether to intervene or not but O somehow made a bad situation worse, humiliating himself by refusing to enforce his own stated “red line” against the use of WMDs by Assad and then half-assing an attempt to arm Syrian rebels. By the end of his presidency his most prominent diplomatic initiative was to reach out to the Shiite terrorist state sponsoring Assad for a nuclear deal. His Syria policy was so bad that Trump’s decision to bomb a Syria airfield early in his presidency after Assad used poison gas again is the only one I can think that actually earned him some grudging favorable comparisons to O in the media even among Obama alumni (mostly anonymously).

Again, Obama grasps all of this and has kept his mouth shut, depriving Trump of an easy way to rally Republicans around him. Alas for Dems, not everyone who worked for him is as shrewd as he is:

Show of hands: Who feels *worse* about Trump’s judgment on Syria now that the Obama White House’s foreign policy brain trust has condemned it?

Anyone?

If you want a reason to worry about the decision to evacuate northern Syria (and there are many), read this account of how haphazardly it appears to have been made. No one in the field, starting with the Kurds, had any notice that the American shield protecting them from a Turkish onslaught was about to disappear.

According to multiple current and former U.S. officials, the White House’s announcement of the decision late Sunday night blindsided not just America’s Kurdish partners in the fight against the Islamic State militant group, or ISIS, in Syria, but almost everyone — senior officials at the Pentagon, the State Department and the White House, lawmakers on Capitol Hill, and U.S. allies in Europe and the Middle East

Sunday’s phone call between Trump and Erdogan was held to try to ease the Turkish leader’s fury that he didn’t get a one-on-one meeting with Trump last month on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, according to three current and former officials. Erdogan made it known to U.S. officials that he was not happy his only interaction with Trump during the gathering of world leaders in New York was at a large reception, according to the officials…

But Sunday’s phone call didn’t go as expected, officials said. Erdogan was adamant about Turkey going into Syria, officials said. Even Trump’s offer of a White House visit wasn’t enough to deter him.

Trump told Erdogan that a moderate incursion, such as clearing out a safe zone, would be acceptable, officials said. But he said a large invasion that leads to major combat operations would be unacceptable, officials said.

Reportedly Trump threatened on the call to withdraw the American troops who are serving as a buffer between Turkey and the Kurds if Turkey went ahead and launched a major military push instead of something more limited. Erdogan called his bluff. Go ahead and withdraw. I’ll blow them to bits. So that’s what we’re doing, although naturally Trump is spinning it as some sort of methodical attempt on his part to keep his promise about bringing American troops home.

And somehow, Erdogan is getting his White House visit anyway.

Michael Weiss peers into the not-very-distant future and sees a winner emerging from the Turkish/Kurdish conflagration:

For years, ISIS has watched as America’s reliance on the YPG/PKK has enervated the second-largest army in NATO. It has cleverly preyed upon this tension by waging terror attacks in Turkey it declined to claim credit for, knowing full well that Erdogan and his government might blame them on the PKK, which it did on more than one occasion.

Turkey, meanwhile, had maintained a see-no-evil policy (or worse) with respect to ISIS as its sovereign territory became a staging ground for exported jihad, not to mention a fallback base of operations for the many agents of ISIS’s Amniyat, or intelligence service, who were dispatched out of Syria and into Western Europe.

In other words, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (yes, he’s still alive) exploited the Kurdish Question before and will exploit again now that all-out war between Turkey and Syria’s Kurds is a foregone conclusion.

America will probably be lighting military and political fires that help ISIS spread, then putting them out, then lighting them again for the indefinite future as political currents in the Middle East shift. Maybe Rice will catch on in the next Democratic administration and show us amateurs what to do.

The post “Batsh*t crazy”: Time for a lecture on effective Syria policy from … Susan Rice appeared first on Hot Air.

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Syria Withdrawal Part II: Protecting (Our) Kurds

Westlake Legal Group kurds-territory-620x760 Syria Withdrawal Part II: Protecting (Our) Kurds Uncategorized Turkey Syria Samantha Powers responsibility to protect republicans Politics Obama NATO ISIS ISIL Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story elections donald trump democrats Allow Media Exception
Yesterday, President Trump announced that he was immediately withdrawing U.S. Forces from Syria. As expected, the usual suspects both Democrat, never-Trump and even sometime political allies of the President such as Senators Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham, immediately and stridently decried the decision. I did a little write up yesterday explaining some of the history of our Syrian experience and the why’s and wherefore’s of The President’s decision.

Today we will delve into what many folks consider a huge issue; As the United States executes this decision, how do we protect the Kurds from our NATO ally, Turkey? Turkey as we know, within hours of U.S. troops moving, attacked Kurdish positions in Western Iraq. This is a non-starter.

First of all, let’s talk about Turkey. Turkey is a NATO “ally.” The reason for the quotes as you might imagine, is that we’ve been having some issues with Turkey for the past few years. These have become more of a problem since the President Erdogan’s election and subsequent consolidation of power over his political rivals. Erdogan, like his predecessors, has been dealing with an active insurgency in his country fostered by the PKK, a Kurdish separatist movement. The PKK has been declared by not only Turkey, but also the United States, as a Terrorist group. This will become more clear shortly.

“The Kurds,” on the other hand, aren’t. They are not one homogenous entity in their relations with each other, or with Turkey. They are actually three separate groups, each with differing loyalties. The below graphic explains this and also shows how much of the angst over President Trump’s alleged “abandonment of an ally” might be misplaced.

Westlake Legal Group B7C87A33-7361-4C8B-8FD4-0E5182F3C3AF-620x874 Syria Withdrawal Part II: Protecting (Our) Kurds Uncategorized Turkey Syria Samantha Powers responsibility to protect republicans Politics Obama NATO ISIS ISIL Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story elections donald trump democrats Allow Media Exception

At the top of the graphic, we have the Turkish government, with arrows showing its relationship to each of the main Kurdish groups. It is important to note as I have above, that Turkey has been fighting an active separatist movement for several decade. Of course this colors its view of the Kurds. At the bottom of all four entities involved, including the Turkish government, we can see that all four have engaged the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL).

On the far left is the PKK, a Kurdish separatist group in Turkey who have for several decades, been considered a terrorist organization by both Turkey and the United States. Note that the arrow from Turkey to this group is titled “Fighting.” The Turks are trying to keep their native Kurds from establishing a separate state inside Turkey.

On the far right, are the Iraqi Kurds. These folks have their own semi autonomous region inside Iraq and have been reliable U.S. allies. The arrow from the “Turkish Government” block indicates “good relations” between both governments. Absent some signal change, there is likely to be absolutely no bloodshed between the Iraqi Kurds and the Turks in the foreseeable future, despite what the never-Trump crowd is saying.

Now for the difficult part, the Syrian Kurds. As the graphic shows, while the Syrian Kurds were fighting ISIS/ISIL (incidentally also trying to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Al Assad) they are considered a hostile force by the Turkish government because of their alignment with the PKK. This is likely one of the reasons that the first thing the Turkish forces attacked after the withdrawal of U.S. forces, was a base supporting the Syrian Kurds.

As a January 2019 Washington Times article explains

The Kurds are a Middle Eastern minority spread out from Syria in the West, through Turkey and Iraq, to Iran in the east, and further divided into various political groupings.

But this is not what the foreign policy establishment is referring to in the Syria debate. Rather, they are talking about a specific Kurdish political institution in northern Syria, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), and its military wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG). This is the Syrian franchise of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been at war with Turkey for 35 years, and is a U.S.-designated terrorist group inspired by Marxist doctrine.

There are obviously some competing issues here that we need to resolve, but as the Washington Times excerpt above indicates, they might not be quite as cut and dried as The President’s critics seem to believe. First of all, Turkey is a NATO ally. Although lately they have been “somewhat unfriendly,” we need to treat them as as an ally to avoid exacerbating the situation to a point that it’s irrecoverable. That ally has a righteous concern regarding the PKK, it’s allies and Turkish internal security.

Second, we have to resolve the Syrian Kurds’ support for us with Turkey’s desire to eliminate them as a threat. The most critical thing we need to understand, is what I mentioned in the first article in this series; We were illegally involved in Syria in the first place. Moreover, while the U.S. had its agendas, the elimination of ISIS/ISIL and the advancement of the Obama/Powers Responsibility To Protect doctrine, the Syrian Kurds also had theirs, the overthrow of President Assad.

When we combine these three agendas, what we have, is an alliance of convenience. The Syrian Kurds assisted us in eliminating ISIS/ISIL, but we also assisted them in defending themselves against Assad’s government forces. Should we simply abandon them to whatever their fate may be at the hands of Assad or Erdogan? Of course not. But we do need to recognize, that absent the aberrant policies of the Obama administration, we would have never invaded Syria and certainly never been involved with this particular group in the first place.

So, what do we owe the Syrian Kurds? Not as much as we owe the Turks, as unpalatable as it many seem at this particular instant. However, we do owe them something, as they were of some assistance in helping us. The solution could be as simple as brokering a peace deal and a change of alignment of the Syrian Kurds. If we can convince them to forswear their alignment with the PKK and accept a U.S.-Turkey negotiated autonomous region on the Syrian side of the Syria-Turkey border, we could preclude further bloodshed while at the same time adding to President Assad’s (and his Russian sponsor’s) concern about a hostile force on his frontier. Moreover, this just might send such a message to President Erdogan as to begin a modest rapprochement with this most important NATO ally.

Tomorrow: Syria Withdrawal Part III: The Way Ahead

Mike Ford, a retired Infantry Officer, writes on Military, Foreign Affairs and occasionally dabbles in Political and Economic matters.

Follow him on Twitter: @MikeFor10394583

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Westlake Legal Group kurds-territory-245x300 Syria Withdrawal Part II: Protecting (Our) Kurds Uncategorized Turkey Syria Samantha Powers responsibility to protect republicans Politics Obama NATO ISIS ISIL Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story elections donald trump democrats Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Iran Tried to Hack a 2020 Presidential Candidate As the Media Suddenly Don’t Care About Election Interference

Westlake Legal Group AP_06060409666-620x794 Iran Tried to Hack a 2020 Presidential Candidate As the Media Suddenly Don’t Care About Election Interference Politics Obama media bias Iran hack Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story elections election interference double standards donald trump dirt candidate ben rhodes 2020

Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers a speech on the 17th anniversary of death of the late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, in his mausoleum just outside Tehran, Iran, Sunday, June 4, 2006. Khamenei, warned Sunday that energy supplies from the Gulf region would be disrupted if Iran came under attack from the United States and insisted his country would not give up the right to produce nuclear fuel. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

The Democrats’ favorite rogue terrorist regime is at it again. This time they got caught trying to hack a 2020 Presidential candidate, among other government figures, in an apparent attempt to interfere in the coming election.

Here’s the report from Politico.

Hackers linked to the Iranian government have targeted the campaign of at least one 2020 presidential contender, Microsoft announced today in a blog post.

The technology giant also witnessed “significant” digital activity by the group, which it dubbed “Phosphorous,” against current and former U.S. government officials, journalists covering global politics and prominent Iranians living outside of Iran.

Not one major news source is reporting in their headlines who the actual target was. I’ll let you decide if that’s purposeful or not, but we do indeed know the answer.

I have a feeling that if Elizabeth Warren was almost hacked by Russia, for example, that she’d make the headline. Instead, the media are downplaying this as they always do when anything doesn’t play into their narrative. NBC put out a video on it but no print story. The Washington Post tried to spin it as “hundreds targeted” in order to downplay Trump as a victim. CNN couldn’t be bothered to even report it as of this writing.

It’s amazing how a foreign dictatorship trying to hack the 2020 election is all the sudden a page A47 story when it can’t be blamed on Trump. Odd, right? Of course, if Trump now asks for an investigation, he’ll probably be accused of trying to influence the election or something.

This is a serious problem though. For all the gnashing of teeth about Russia, Iran is a more prominent threat right now and they have every reason to see to it that Trump isn’t re-elected. Their dream scenario is to get another weak kneed Democrat to sign another “deal” with that guarantees them the farm. You can expect China to get in on the action as well. Meanwhile, you can also expect the media to not care at all.

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