Tag Archives: Qods Force

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.

Are snowflakes and libertarians right to worry that killing Iranian terrorists will start a war?

Neville Chamberlain Obama: peace in our time
Neville Chamberlain Obama: peace in our time

I talked to a few progressives and libertarians on the weekend. They seemed to think that Trump’s decision to sanction two Iranian generals would lead to war. Now, I asked the libertarians and progressives a bit about how World War 2 started. They didn’t know anything about how it started. Let’s see what Trump did in Iran, and then look at WW2 history to see if it is likely to stop or start a war.

Before I start, I just want to say that someone shared a post by far-left filmmaker Michael Moore claiming that Americans had ever heard of Soleimani or the Quds Force. Here are my previous 134 posts on Iran, my previous 9 posts on the Quds Force, and my previous post on Soleimani. Speak for yourself, Michael Moore.

First, who is Solemani, and what is the Quds Force? The New York Times explains:

More than any other American military operation since the invasion of Iraq, the assassination yesterday of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the head of Iran’s Qods Force of its Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, is a seismic event. The killings of Osama bin Laden and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leaders of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, were certainly meaningful, but they were also largely symbolic, because their organizations had been mostly destroyed. Taking out the architect of the Islamic Republic’s decades-long active campaign of violence against the United States and its allies, especially Israel, represents a tectonic shift in Middle Eastern politics.

[…]In Lebanon, Mr. Suleimani built Lebanese Hezbollah into the powerful state within a state that we know today. A terrorist organization receiving its funds, arms and marching orders from Tehran, Hezbollah has a missile arsenal larger than that of most countries in the region. The group’s success has been astounding, helping to cement Iran’s influence not just in Lebanon but farther around the Arab world.

Building up on this successful experience, Mr. Suleimani spent the last decade replicating the Hezbollah model in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, propping up local militias with precision weapons and tactical know-how. In Syria, his forces have allied with Russia to prop up the regime of Bashar al-Assad, a project that, in practice, has meant driving over 10 million people from their homes and killing well over half a million. In Iraq, as we have seen in recent days, Mr. Suleimani’s militias ride roughshod over the legitimate state institutions. They rose to power, of course, after participating in an insurgency, of which he was the architect, against American and coalition forces. Hundreds of American soldiers lost their lives to the weapons that the Qods Force provided to its Iraqi proxies.

I think this part is worth emphasizing – Solemani was the aggressor in the Iraq embassy attack, and he has a record of attacking American armed forces:

Soleimani, who was designated and sanctioned by the U.N., E.U., and U.S. alike, directly approved Tuesday’s U.S. embassy storming in Baghdad by Iranian proxy militia Kataib Hezbollah, and was credibly assessed by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as actively planning more “imminent” attacks against hard American assets in the Middle East, has been directly active in the mass murder of Americans. He personally oversaw the mass arming of Shiite Iraqi insurgents and it is estimated that the IRGC-QF targeted and killed over 600 Americans in Iraq from 2003–2011. The State Department asserts that this personally amounts to a whopping 17% of all deaths of U.S. military personnel during the Iraq War.

So, far from Trump’s response being disproportionate, this was actually a long-overdue response. It was even overdue from Trump.

The message that Iran got after 8 years of Obama was clear: acts of aggression committed by Iran against the United States and her allies would be rewarded, including the $1.7 BILLION payoff from the Obama administration. The Obama administration’s policy was isolationism and appeasement. And this was fine with Democrat voters, because not a single Democrat voter (or libertarian ) knew anything about Iran, the Iran deal, Soleimani, or the Quds Force. They are low-information voters.

Now let’s see how World War 2 started.

Here is a helpful lecture by military historian Victor Davis Hanson.

Germany re-armed in 1936. Austria was annexed in 1938. The Rhineland was re-occupied in 1938. Czechoslovakia was invaded in 1939. And the allied democracies did nothing to stop Hitler. Similarly, Japan also re-armed, broke treaties and invaded neighbors. And the allied democracies did nothing to stop them, despite having superior planes, tanks, and ships. This allowed the Axis powers time to research better weapons, re-arm, and gain a strategic advantage. The Axis powers could have been stopped early on, at a much lower cost in blood and treasure. It was the libertarians and the progressives with their policies of isolationism and appeasement that made World War 2 much worse than it needed to be.

VDH explains:

Hitler assumed the United States either could not or would not offer much military help to his intended European targets.

Why, then, did a relatively weak Nazi Germany between 1939 and 1941 believe that it could take on much of the world, and inspire Axis partners such as Italy and Japan to follow its suicidal lead?

The answer is obvious. British and French appeasement, Soviet collaboration and American isolation had together convinced Hitler and his Axis allies that the victors of World War I were more eager to grant concessions at any cost than were the defeated.

In the lecture, VDH explains that we know from the writings of the leaders of Germany and Japan that they interpreted the isolationist / appeasement policies of the libertarian progressives as weakness, and this is what caused them to re-arm and attack their neighbors. Prior to the historical start of WW2, the Western nations had better tanks, planes and ships than the Axis powers. But they refused to use them to deter the Axis powers. And that’s why World War 2 was much more costly and bloody than it needed to be.

Finally, I should quickly note that America pursued a different strategy in the Cold War, under Ronald Reagan. Reagan was villified by the libertarians and progressives for taking a strong stand against communism. Instead of appeasing and isolating, he put America on a war footing, making aggression costly to the Soviet Union. This approach worked to avoid an actual World War 3. Although his critics attacked him for being pro-war, his tough approach was exactly what was needed to cause the bully to back down.

Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

Iran deal: no snap inspections, sanctions dropped, nuclear weapon within one year

What difference does national security make?
What difference does foreign policy make?

Hillary Clinton supports the new deal that Obama has struck with Iran. So let’s see what’s in the deal.

Here are the key points about the Democrats’ deal with Iran from foreign policy expert Nile Gardiner:

[…][T]his is a disastrous agreement that leaves Iran’s nuclear infrastructure largely in place, with only limited “managed” access to inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In effect the Iranian regime will be able to deny unfettered inspections of its nuclear facilities. Iran has never cooperated with good faith with the IAEA in the past – there is no reason to believe it will do so now.

[…]Under the proposed arrangement, Iran would be in a position to produce enough weapons-grade uranium for a nuclear weapon within a year – the “breakout” time – if it chose to renege on the agreement. Even if Iran sticks to the deal, which is highly unlikely, the sunset restrictions on uranium enrichment will expire in a decade. In the meantime there are no restrictions put in place to limit Iran’s development of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) or its conventional weapons capability.

[…]With the impending lifting of economic sanctions against Iran, which had been painstakingly put together by the UN Security Council over the course of many years despite Russian and Chinese resistance, Tehran will have potentially hundreds of billions of additional dollars to invest in its nuclear facilities, conventional weapons capability, and its state sponsored terror network, including Hamas and Hezbollah.

[…]There can be no doubt that the Iran nuclear deal will spark a dangerous arms race in the Middle East, with Iran’s Arab neighbours seeking to defend themselves in the event that Tehran becomes a nuclear weapons power. The prospect of a nuclear war in the Middle East will be dramatically raised as a result of this agreement.

[…]The end result can only be an emboldened Iran that grows ever more aggressive as it seeks to establish regional dominance. For Israel… the deal threatens its own long-term survival. In the face of a genocidal tyranny that has vowed its destruction, the people of Israel are nervous for their own future.

Is that threat to Israel real, or am I just exaggerating? Well, it’s no secret that Iran has made the threat many times in the past to annihilate Israel. But what’s striking is that they have been making it during the negotiations as well.

CNS News explains:

A photograph posted on Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s official website–as the Obama administration was finalizing negotiations on a deal intended to prevent Iran from building a nulcear weapon–shows the walking stick-waving supreme leader striding across, and apparently glaring at, a painted representation of Israel’s national flag.

The caption on the photo, according to a translation by American Enterprise Institute scholar Michael Rubin, reads, “The Zionist Regime is Condemned to Vanish.”

Now, if you ask Obama and Clinton, Israel has nothing to worry about from a nuclear-enabled Iran. Does that seem reasonable in view of the facts, though? I would not be surprised to see Israel nuked the day after the 2016 presidential election… with the United States as the next target, of course.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the aisle, Republican presidential candidates oppose the deal with Iran.

Finally, let’s close with a sobering recap of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s disastrous string of foreign policy blunders, courtesy of Ben Shapiro:

America used to worry about its allies being targeted for destruction. Obama’s new deal with Iran contains zero restrictions on their terrorist activity across the Middle East and the world, and relieves sanctions on figures including Qasem Soleimani, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Quds Force, a group responsible for the murder of hundreds of American troops. The deal also enriches Iran massively, and Iran has made clear that it will use those increased resources to help its terrorist allies like Hamas and Hezbollah.

[…][Obama] has purposefully hollowed out America’s military, and fully embraces Iran’s regional aspirations.

[…]Obama wants Iran to take over large sections of the Middle East. Like most Europeans, Obama sees America and Israel as greater threats to world peace than Iran or North Korea. His top priority in the Iran deal was forestalling action by the United States and Israel. He achieved that, at the cost of Saudi Arabia and Egypt seeking nuclear weapons, Hamas reinforcing its position as a terrorist cancer in the Gaza Strip, Hezbollah retrenching as the controlling force in Lebanon, Bashar Assad ensuring his continued leadership, Iraq turning into an Iranian client state, Afghanistan preparing for Iranian-influenced sectarian violence, and Houthi-caused chaos in Yemen, for a start.

It’s the foreign policy blunders that will be the hardest to fix. The domestic stuff we can fix, the foreign policy – it’s going to almost impossible to roll that back. And if we do see a nuclear weapon within a year, Obama will veto anyone who tries to stop Iran from using it on Israel – or on us. Iran is not kidding when they say “death to Israel” and “death to America”. We are about to find out, and sooner than you think.

Now the big question is this – will that make any difference to Democrat voters? Sometimes I think that Democrat voters have their heads so far up their asses that no amount of facts can break in. Maybe the only thing that will wake them up is the mushroom cloud over Israel… or maybe over New York or Los Angeles. But honestly, they will probably just blame Bush or something. It’s invincible ignorance. Prove me wrong, Democrats. Because this time, it’s life and death serious.

Report: Iran shipping arms and personnel to Syria through Iraq

From left-leaning Reuters.

Excerpt:

Iran has been using civilian aircraft to fly military personnel and large quantities of weapons across Iraqi airspace to Syria to aid President Bashar al-Assad in his attempt to crush an 18-month uprising against his government, according to a Western intelligence report seen by Reuters.

Earlier this month, U.S. officials said they were questioning Iraq about Iranian flights in Iraqi airspace suspected of ferrying arms to Assad, a staunch Iranian ally. On Wednesday, U.S. Senator John Kerry threatened to review U.S. aid to Baghdad if it does not halt such overflights.

Iraq says it does not allow the passage of any weapons through its airspace. But the intelligence report obtained by Reuters says Iranian weapons have been flowing into Syria via Iraq in large quantities. Such transfers, the report says, are organized by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

“This is part of a revised Iranian modus operandi that U.S. officials have only recently addressed publicly, following previous statements to the contrary,” said the report, a copy of which was provided by a U.N. diplomatic source.

“It also flies in the face of declarations by Iraqi officials,” it said. “Planes are flying from Iran to Syria via Iraq on an almost daily basis, carrying IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) personnel and tens of tons of weapons to arm the Syrian security forces and militias fighting against the rebels.”

It added that Iran was also “continuing to assist the regime in Damascus by sending trucks overland via Iraq” to Syria.

I was recently having a conversation with someone who was all in favor of regime change in the Middle East, but thought that the best way to achieve that was by abandoning our military involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq. I didn’t say anything to him about it, but I do think it’s important to understand that any kind of intelligence gathering, covert operations, interdiction, espionage, etc. depends on having military bases nearby to support such operations. In particular, covert operations often require military support. You can’t wish the Middle East well, and then pull out of Afghanistan and Iraq. We need to be there to stabilize the region, just like we did in Japan, South Korea, etc. after other wars.

Related posts

Top Iranian official assisting Syria to crackdown on protestors

Map of the Middle East
Map of the Middle East

From Haaretz.

Excerpt:

A top Iranian military official is activily aiding the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad in suppressing popular unrest throughout the country, a top member of the National Syrian Council said on Monday.

According to the Syrian official, Kassam Salimani, commander of the Quds Force, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard special forces unit, has arrived in Syria recently and has taken up a spot in the war room which manages army maneuvers against opposition forces.

[…]The Quds Force includes 15,000 elite soldiers who operated, among other locations, in Iraq during the war, and the specialty of which is engaging in unconventional warfare on foreign soil. Among other duties, the Quds Force is in charge of traning and funding Hezbollah.

Salimani’s presence in Syria serves as an indication of the kind of battle that Assad is planning against opposition forces, with the Syrian army reportedly planning to wage all out war against the rebel city of Homs.

[…]The report also claimed that the Syrian army for the first time has been using rockets in order to target houses as well as mortars to hit populated areas. So far, 60 people were reportedly killed and hundreds wounded in this battle, as well as reports of the demolition of seven houses, residents and all.

[…]Syrian opposition organizations that are active internationally are currently trying to gain a political front bypassing the UN Security Council, where a resolution underwritten by the Arab League failed due to Russian and Chinese vetoes on Saturday.

At this stage, opposition leaders are trying to find a way forward, as it is clear that Turkey and the Arab states oppose military action against the Assad regime, and the imposing of economic sanctions will not stop Assad.

Facing Russia and Chinese opposition, and the Iranian threat to open a new front, there is doubt whether a western coalition will agree to act directly against Syria. The question is whether the Free Syrian Army will be able to get additional military assistance, and to arm itself with heavy artillery, tanks and shells so that it will be able to pose a real challenge to the Syrian army, and change the civilian resistance into a real military struggle, much like the rebel forces in Libya.

Where’s Obama? Why isn’t he supporting the civilians and the Syrian resistance?

Well, Obama only commits the US armed forces to wars that are likely to result in radical Islamist governments – as in Libya and Egypt. That’s “smart diplomacy”. America would benefit if the Assad regime were replaced in Syria – and that’s why Obama isn’t going to lift a finger to make that happen.