Tag Archives: Israel

Who has the better record on foreign policy? Donald Trump or Joe Biden?

President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

Christians often like to try to make elections about a single issue, typically abortion. I’m pro-life, and opposing abortion is important to me. However, my goal is to get the election result I want in the real world, not just to be right in my own mind. So, I think conservatives should be able to discuss many different issues, like economics, energy, job creation, health care, education, etc. persuasively.

One issue you can use to convince people to vote Republican is foreign policy. Has Trump got a good record on foreign policy? Is it better or worse than Joe Biden’s record? Let’s take a look.

It’s always a good thing when a leader is able to make peace between warring countries. Trump is actually really good at this.

The Federalist explains:

Sudan will be removed from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list and will begin a partnership with the United States and Israel, President Donald Trump announced on Friday.

[…]The agreement comes just weeks after Trump secured two other historic peace deals in the Middle East through the signing of The Abraham Accords with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, which established full diplomatic relations of the countries with Israel. These deals facilitated by the Trump Administration are meant to bring “stability, security, and prosperity” in the region.

[…]Trump granted Sudan’s removal from the terrorism list after the nation paid “$335 million to compensate American victims of past terror attacks and their families.”

In addition to those deals, Trump’s diplomatic team just brokered a deal to get Armenia and Azerbaijan to stop shooting at each other.

The Wall Street Journal explains:

Armenia and Azerbaijan, which have spent nearly a month engaged in a violent conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, have agreed to a humanitarian cease-fire, the U.S. and the two Caucasus neighbors said Sunday afternoon.

The cease-fire, based on commitments made in Moscow earlier this month, will take effect at 8 a.m. local time on Monday, according to the joint announcement.

[…]Sunday’s announcement follows a series of meetings in Washington aimed at preventing the long-simmering conflict between the two former Soviet republics from expanding to the wider region.

Trump didn’t start any new wars in his first 4-year term, and kept his promises about bringing troops home. That’s a lot better than Joe Biden, who was VP during THREE failed US interventions in Egypt, Libya and Syria. And the Obama-Biden administration pulled us out of Iraq, which caused the rise of the Islamic State caliphate. Trump actually had to clean up the ISIS mess, and he did: reducing them from a massive area of influence to a tiny area of influence.

Trump also likes to deter Iran, the number one sponsor of terrorism in the world. He pulled out of the Iran deal, which Biden championed. That deal gave Iran pallets of cash, and allowed them to work on developing nuclear weapons. In contrast, Trump has been very tough with Iran.

The Washington Examiner explains:

Qassem Soleimani, the Iranian military general who was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Iraq on Thursday, was responsible for the deaths of over 600 U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

“General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more,” the Pentagon said. “He had orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months — including the attack on December 27th — culminating in the death and wounding of additional American and Iraqi personnel. General Soleimani also approved the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that took place this week.”

The Department of Defense added that the strike against Maj. Gen. Qassim Soleimani, the leader of the Quds Force, the extraterritorial wing of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, “was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans.”

And just this past week, Trump continued to sanction Al Qaeda leaders.

Sky News reports:

The man believed to be al Qaeda’s second-in-command has been killed, Afghan security forces have said.

Abu Muhsin al-Masri was on the FBI’s most wanted list and was charged with conspiracy to kill US nationals.

[…][Al-Masri] had also been charged in America with providing material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organisation.

Very good, and much better than Joe Biden, who seems to be always wrong on foreign policy.

The Washington Examiner again:

In his 2014 memoir, Duty, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates famously shared his view that Biden, then the vice president and previously chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, had been wrong about “nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”

[…]Early on Jan. 7, Biden was savaging Trump as “dangerously incompetent” for the strike that had killed Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps terrorist leader Gen. Qassem Soleimani a few days earlier. Biden claimed that Trump was close to starting an “endless war in the Middle East” and that “this outcome of strategic setbacks, heightened threats, chants of ‘Death to America’ once more echoing across the Middle East, [and] Iran and its allies vowing revenge — this was avoidable.”

None of Biden’s predictions ever materialized, because he knows less about foreign policy than my keyboard.

Biden is terrible on Osama Bin Laden and the Cold War:

This is the man who once tried to dissuade Obama from his operation against terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden; who supported the Iraq War and said in 2003, “I voted to go into Iraq, and I’d vote to do it again”; and who vocally opposed President Ronald Reagan’s military buildup and the Strategic Defense Initiative, which helped bring down the Soviet Union.

The Obama/Biden administration created ISIS by retreating from Iraq:

Biden claimed he had atoned for his Iraq War vote by spearheading Obama’s 2011-2012 withdrawal from Iraq. But that withdrawal was a disaster, and it led to the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS).

Joe Biden was also part of the administration that traded FIVE top Taliban commanders for Private Bowe Bergdahl. Bergdahl put his fellow soldiers in danger when they had to go searching for him, after he deserted his post. And then there was the Benghazi scandal, when the Obama-Biden administration abandoned their people when they came under attack by terrorists. Then they blamed the attack on a YouTube video.

We shouldn’t put someone with a bad record on foreign policy – Biden – into the White House, when we can have someone with a good record on foreign policy instead: Trump.

General Mattis: Obama covered up Iran terrorist attack on U.S. soil to save Iran deal

How far did Obama go to give Iran nuclear weapons?
How far did Obama go to give Iran nuclear weapons?

Everywhere I turn in the mainstream media, I’m told how the Obama administration was the most scandal-free administration in history. There wasn’t even a hint of corruption, according to the mainstream media. I’m beginning to think that it’s a good test of intelligence to ask a person how many Obama scandals they can name. In this post, I want to look at an Obama scandal that the media ignored.

First, let’s start with a list of Obama scandals:

  • 1. Operation Fast and Furious
  • 2. Benghazi.
  • 3. The IRS targeted conservative organizations.
  • 4. The DOJ seized Associated Press phone records as well as phone and email records from Fox News reporter James Rosen.
  • 5. The NSA conducted mass surveillance against American citizens without a warrant.
  • 6. The Obama administration paid ransom to Iran for hostages, and lied to the American people about it.
  • 7. Hillary’s email scandal.
  • 8. The Environmental Protection Agency poisoned a Colorado river.
  • 9. The EPA also broke federal law in promoting a regulation.
  • 10. The GSA scandal.
  • 11. The Secret Service scandal.

This list doesn’t even include many of the foreign policy scandals of the administration, like leaking classified information, trading a deserter for 5 senior Taliban commanders, releasing the traitor Bradley/Chelsea Manning early, etc. I mean, the list could be twice that length. But you would never know about any of these if you relied on the mainstream media, or their “fact checkers”, because they are Democrats and they lie to cover up for their party.

Here is the latest scandal, reported by the Washington Examiner:

Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says he predicted years ago that Iran would escalate its provocations against the United States — and he partly blames the Obama administration’s anemic reaction to an Iranian plot to bomb a restaurant in Washington, D.C.

[…]Mattis says Washington didn’t even inform him when Iran committed an “act of war” on American soil.

[…]As Mattis writes, “Attorney General Eric Holder said the bombing plot was ‘directed and approved by elements of the Iranian government and, specifically, senior members of the Qods Force.’ The Qods were the Special Operations Force of the Revolutionary Guards, reporting to the top of the Iranian government.”

[…]“In my view, we had to hold Iran to account and strike back when attacked. But there was a reason for the administration’s restraint. The administration was secretly negotiating with Iran, although I was not privy to the details at the time.”

Those negotiations would lead to the Iran nuclear deal, signed in 2015. Mattis is critical of the agreement, which President Trump withdrew from last year. “In my military judgment, America had undertaken a poorly calculated, long-shot gamble. At the same time, the administration was lecturing our Arab friends that they had to accommodate Iran as if it were a moderate neighbor in the region and not an enemy committed to their destruction,” Mattis writes. “As long as its leaders consider Iran less a nation-state than a revolutionary cause, Iran will remain a terrorist threat potentially more dangerous than Al Qaeda or ISIS.”

So, Obama covered for a terrorist attack attempted by Iran against a U.S. ally on U.S. soil.But that’s not the only time that Obama covered for Iran in order to save his Iran deal.

Here is another one, reported by the far-left New York Post:

The Obama administration stymied a sprawling investigation into the terror group Hezbollah — and its highly lucrative drug- trafficking networks — to protect the Iran nuclear deal, according to a bombshell report.

A team at the Drug Enforcement Administration had been working for almost a decade to bring down the Iran-backed militant organization’s sophisticated $1 billion-a-year drug ring, which laundered money and smuggled cocaine into the United States, Politico reported.

But the departments of Justice and Treasury repeatedly undermined agents’ efforts to arrest and prosecute key members of the criminal network — because the Obama White House feared upsetting Tehran ahead of the nuclear agreement, according to Politico.

Former Treasury official Katherine Bauer even admitted in little-noticed testimony to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs last February that “under the Obama administration . . . these [Hezbollah-related] investigations were tamped down for fear of rocking the boat with Iran and jeopardizing the nuclear deal.”

In my opinion, Obama made the Iran deal happen because he wanted to send $1.7 billion in cash to Iran to help them to develop nuclear weapons that they could then use against their enemy Israel. And that’s the foreign policy that every single Democrat voter voted for when they voted for him in 2008 and again in 2012. They believed in destroying Israel and they paid a terrorist-sponsoring, drug-smuggling nation to do their dirty work for them. Hitler would have been proud.

New study: literacy more widespread around ancient Israel than previously thought

Investigation in progress
Investigation in progress

Some skeptics like to attack the traditional authorship of the gospels by arguing that the gospels couldn’t have been written by anyone close to Jesus, because they were all illiterate. The impression I get from the skeptics is that they think that illiteracy was widespread in and around ancient Israel.

But then, in the radically leftist New York Times, of all places, there is news about a new peer-reviewed study:

Eliashib, the quartermaster of the remote desert fortress, received his instructions in writing — notes inscribed in ink on pottery asking for provisions to be sent to forces in the ancient kingdom of Judah.

The requests for wine, flour and oil read like mundane, if ancient, shopping lists. But a new analysis of the handwriting suggests that literacy may have been far more widespread than previously known in the Holy Land around 600 B.C., toward the end of the First Temple period. The findings, according to the researchers from Tel Aviv University, could have some bearing on a century-old debate about when the main body of biblical texts was composed.

[…]The new study, published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, combined archaeology, Jewish history and applied mathematics, and involved computerized image processing and the development of an algorithm to distinguish between the various authors issuing the commands.

Based on a statistical analysis of the results, and taking into account the content of the texts that were chosen for the sample, the researchers concluded that at least six different hands had written the 18 missives at around the same time. Even soldiers in the lower ranks of the Judahite army, it appears, could read and write.

[…]The study was based on a trove of about 100 letters inscribed in ink on pieces of pottery, known as ostracons, that were unearthed near the Dead Sea in an excavation of the Arad fort decades ago and dated from about 600 B.C. That was shortly before Nebuchadnezzar’s destruction of Jerusalem and the kingdom of Judah, and the exile of its elite to Babylon — and before many scholars believe the major part of the biblical texts, including the five books of Moses, also known as the Pentateuch, were written down in any cohesive form.

The Arad citadel was small, far-flung and on an active front, close to the border with the rival kingdom of Edom. The fort itself was only about half an acre in size, and probably would have accommodated about 30 soldiers. The wealth of texts found there, recording troop movements, provisions and other daily activities, were created within a short time, making them a valuable sample for looking at how many different hands wrote them.

[…]One of the longstanding arguments for why the main body of biblical literature was not written down in anything like its present form until after the destruction and exile of 586 B.C. is that before then there was not enough literacy or enough scribes to support such a huge undertaking.

But if the literacy rates in the Arad fortress were repeated across the kingdom of Judah, which had about 100,000 people, there would have been hundreds of literate people, the Tel Aviv research team suggests.

That could have provided the infrastructure for the composition of biblical works that constitute the basis of Judahite history and theology including early versions of the books of Deuteronomy to II Kings, according to the researchers.

I just heard a debate on the weekend in which atheist historian Bart Ehrman made the argument that around the time of Jesus, almost no one was literate. Therefore, it’s unlikely that anyone who was an eyewitness to Jesus’ would have been able to write anything down about it.

I think this evidence does have some bearing on that question, because it shows that literacy of at least Hebrew was more widespread in the area than previously thought. That means that the people around Jesus are more likely to be able to keep their own notes, and then pass those notes off to a writer of Greek. Instead of having stories being circulated for the 30-35 years between the death of Jesus and the writing of Mark (note: I think Mark was written much earlier than that), you would have written notes by the eyewitnesses that could then be translated into Greek.

But there’s more interesting stuff about Bart Ehrman’s charge of widespread illiteracy. Consider this post that I found on Catholic apologist Jimmy Akin’s blog, where he makes the case that Bart Ehrman is even wrong about his estimate of illiteracy. And when I say wrong, I mean it looks like Ehrman deliberately misrepresents a primary source that he quotes in order to make his point. Maybe that will be fixed in a future edition of his book, but it wasn’t fixed in the debate on Saturday – he used the same botched quote then.

New study: literacy more widespread around ancient Israel than previously thought

Investigation in progress
Investigation in progress

Some skeptics like to attack the traditional authorship of the gospels by arguing that the gospels couldn’t have been written by anyone close to Jesus, because they were all illiterate. The impression I get from the skeptics is that they think that illiteracy was widespread in and around ancient Israel.

But then, in the radically leftist New York Times, of all places, there is news about a new peer-reviewed study:

Eliashib, the quartermaster of the remote desert fortress, received his instructions in writing — notes inscribed in ink on pottery asking for provisions to be sent to forces in the ancient kingdom of Judah.

The requests for wine, flour and oil read like mundane, if ancient, shopping lists. But a new analysis of the handwriting suggests that literacy may have been far more widespread than previously known in the Holy Land around 600 B.C., toward the end of the First Temple period. The findings, according to the researchers from Tel Aviv University, could have some bearing on a century-old debate about when the main body of biblical texts was composed.

[…]The new study, published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, combined archaeology, Jewish history and applied mathematics, and involved computerized image processing and the development of an algorithm to distinguish between the various authors issuing the commands.

Based on a statistical analysis of the results, and taking into account the content of the texts that were chosen for the sample, the researchers concluded that at least six different hands had written the 18 missives at around the same time. Even soldiers in the lower ranks of the Judahite army, it appears, could read and write.

[…]The study was based on a trove of about 100 letters inscribed in ink on pieces of pottery, known as ostracons, that were unearthed near the Dead Sea in an excavation of the Arad fort decades ago and dated from about 600 B.C. That was shortly before Nebuchadnezzar’s destruction of Jerusalem and the kingdom of Judah, and the exile of its elite to Babylon — and before many scholars believe the major part of the biblical texts, including the five books of Moses, also known as the Pentateuch, were written down in any cohesive form.

The Arad citadel was small, far-flung and on an active front, close to the border with the rival kingdom of Edom. The fort itself was only about half an acre in size, and probably would have accommodated about 30 soldiers. The wealth of texts found there, recording troop movements, provisions and other daily activities, were created within a short time, making them a valuable sample for looking at how many different hands wrote them.

[…]One of the longstanding arguments for why the main body of biblical literature was not written down in anything like its present form until after the destruction and exile of 586 B.C. is that before then there was not enough literacy or enough scribes to support such a huge undertaking.

But if the literacy rates in the Arad fortress were repeated across the kingdom of Judah, which had about 100,000 people, there would have been hundreds of literate people, the Tel Aviv research team suggests.

That could have provided the infrastructure for the composition of biblical works that constitute the basis of Judahite history and theology including early versions of the books of Deuteronomy to II Kings, according to the researchers.

I just heard a debate on the weekend in which atheist historian Bart Ehrman made the argument that around the time of Jesus, almost no one was literate. Therefore, it’s unlikely that anyone who was an eyewitness to Jesus’ would have been able to write anything down about it.

I think this evidence does have some bearing on that question, because it shows that literacy of at least Hebrew was more widespread in the area than previously thought. That means that the people around Jesus are more likely to be able to keep their own notes, and then pass those notes off to a writer of Greek. Instead of having stories being circulated for the 30-35 years between the death of Jesus and the writing of Mark (note: I think Mark was written much earlier than that), you would have written notes by the eyewitnesses that could then be translated into Greek.

But there’s more interesting stuff about Bart Ehrman’s charge of widespread illiteracy. Consider this post that I found on Catholic apologist Jimmy Akin’s blog, where he makes the case that Bart Ehrman is even wrong about his estimate of illiteracy. And when I say wrong, I mean it looks like Ehrman deliberately misrepresents a primary source that he quotes in order to make his point. Maybe that will be fixed in a future edition of his book, but it wasn’t fixed in the debate on Saturday – he used the same botched quote then.

Iran side deal allows Iran to inspect its own nuclear weapons site

He's better at golf than foreign policy
He’s way better at golf than foreign policy, and he sucks at golf

Everything is awesome!

The normally-leftist Associated Press explains how awesome everything is:

Iran will be allowed to use its own inspectors to investigate a site it has been accused of using to develop nuclear arms, operating under a secret agreement with the U.N. agency that normally carries out such work, according to a document seen by The Associated Press.

[…]The agreement in question diverges from normal procedures by allowing Tehran to employ its own experts and equipment in the search for evidence of activities it has consistently denied — trying to develop nuclear weapons.

[…]The Parchin agreement was worked out between the IAEA and Iran. The United States and the five other world powers were not party to it but were briefed by the IAEA and endorsed it as part of the larger package.

Everything is fine, stop worrying. Obama and Kerry and Clinton think that there is nothing wrong with this side deal. We can trust Iran to inspect themselves, it’s not like they’ve cheated on any agreements in the past. Oh wait, they have.

The Wall Street Journal points out:

Secretary of State John Kerry has said he hasn’t read the side deal, though his negotiating deputy Wendy Sherman told MSNBC that she “saw the pieces of paper” but couldn’t keep them. IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano has told Members of the U.S. Congress that he’s bound by secrecy and can’t show them the side deals.

That secrecy should be unacceptable to Congress—all the more so after the AP dispatch. The news service says it has seen a document labelled “separate arrangement II.” The document says Iran will provide the IAEA with photos and locations that the IAEA says are linked to Iran’s weapons work, “taking into account military concerns.”

In other words, the country that lied for years about its nuclear weapons program will now be trusted to come clean about those lies. And trusted to such a degree that it can limit its self-inspections so they don’t raise “military concerns” in Iran.

Foreign policy expert Charles Krauthammer is not pleased:

But let’s just trust Iran again, because Obama needs a legacy. What are you, a racist? You better shut up before the IRS audits you.