Tag Archives: Syria

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.

The Southern Baptist Convention’s progressive immigration policies threaten public safety

Russell Moore and Barack Obama
Russell Moore and Barack Obama

I have a confession to make. I have really been struggling with the Southern Baptist Conventions slide into liberalism, not just on moral issues, but on policy issues as well. The straw that broke the camel’s back for me is the SBC slide towards open borders. Thankfully, not everyone thinks it is “compassionate” to spend other people’s money and risk other people’s safety. The Heritage Foundation, my favorite think tank, is still taking the conservative view on immigration. And they do it by looking at the evidence of how open border policy is working out in other times and other places.

Here’s the latest on Germany from Robin Simcox, writing at the Daily Signal.

Excerpt:

Diana Feldman received an unusual text message from the phone of her 14-year-old daughter, Susanna, late last month.

Written in broken German, the message said she would be back home in a few weeks and that her mother should not try to find her.

Yet the message was not from Susanna. She had already been raped and strangled, and her body was dumped next to some railroad tracks in the city of Wiesbaden in western Germany.

[…]Ali Bashar, a 20-year-old Iraqi Kurd, entered Germany in October 2015 with his parents and was a blight from the beginning. According to the BBC, he was allegedly tied to a robbery, possession of a weapon, and sexual assault on an 11-year-old girl in the refugee shelter where he lived (and where he dealtdrugs).

Bashar’s asylum claim was rejected toward the end of 2016, but he was allowed to stay in the country while he appealed the decision.

Over 18 months later, when he killed Susanna, a decision on his appeal still had not been made. Days after his crime, Bashar and seven other members of his family returned to Iraq. However, he was tracked down by Kurdish authorities and extradited to Germany.

Bashar has since admitted to killing Susanna.

[…]Hussein Khavari arrived in Europe in January 2013. He proceeded to throw a woman over a cliff that summer in Corfu, Greece, and was subsequently imprisoned for 10 years in February 2014 for attempted murder. However, he was released after just 18 months, part of a government amnesty aimed at reducing strain on its overcrowded prisons.

Khavari journeyed on to Germany, where he arrived in November 2015, and claimed asylum the following February. He claimed to be a 17-year-old Afghan upon arrival, saying that his father had been killed fighting the Taliban.

In October 2016, Khavari raped and strangled Maria Ladenburger, a 19-year-old German student, in Freiburg, in southwest Germany. Khavari left his still-breathing victim to drown in a nearby river after his attack. He was sentenced to life in prison.

During his trial, it emerged that rather than being a 17-year-old fatherless Afghan, Khavari was a Iranian. His father was alive and well, living in Iran. Khavari’s asylum claim was also undecided at the time of Ladenburger’s killing.

Another case from southwest Germany, this time in Kandel, saw Mia Valentin, a 15-year-old girl, being stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend last December. The killer, Abdul D., came to Germany from Afghanistan in April 2016, claiming to be 14 years old. In reality, he is now 20.

Such stories—coming in the wake of the mass sexual assault of more than 1,000 women in Germany on New Year’s Eve of 2015—have a variety of consequences.

Now consider this article from June 2016 from the far-left National Public Radio, which is delighted with the new progressive policies of the SBC:

Matthew Soerens of the evangelical refugee resettlement group World Relief praised the move, noting that churchgoers of many religious denominations are eager to aid refugees, and are “strongly opposed to governmental efforts that would block their ability to be a part of this sort of ministry.”

Soerens says Donald Trump’s proposal to bar immigration from countries with a “proven history of terrorism” would likely keep out Christians and other religious minorities as well.

Got that? He wants to let in refugees from countries with a “proven history of terrorism”. The point about Christianity is a red herring, since almost none of the refugees admitted under Obama were Christians.

CNS News explains in this article from October, 2016:

The administration admitted a total of 12,587 Syrian refugees during the just-ended fiscal year, exceeding the target President Obama declared last fall by 2,587 (20.5 percent).

Of the 12,587, the vast majority are Sunni Muslims – 12,363 (98.2 percent) – while another 103 are identified in State Department Refugee Processing Center data simply as Muslims and a further 20 as Shi’a Muslims.

Sixty-eight of the 12,587 Syrian refugees (0.5 percent) are Christians. They comprise 16 Catholics, eight Orthodox, five Protestants, four Jehovah’s Witnesses, one Greek Orthodox, and 34 refugees self-identified simply as Christians.

The Bible says that rape and murder are wrong. Perhaps Southern Baptist leaders like Moore and Sorens are just more concerned with political expediency than sound theology.

Keep in mind that no one in the SBC has a real private sector job where they earn money in a competitive free market by providing goods and services. When they talk about letting in refugees, they aren’t going to be liable for the crimes and social costs (education, health care, public safety, etc.). That’s on you, the taxpayers. And on the little girls who are raped and murdered. The SBC is not primarily concerned about underage sex-trafficking gangs run by Pakistani Muslim immigrants. Their priority is feeling good and being liked. Meeting with Obama in the Oval Office and preening for the cameras and hearing the praises of the far-left mainstream media. They like to be seen as “compassionate” by spending other people’s money and risking other people’s safety.

Once again, I must mention that I myself am non-white, and I favor skilled immigrants from all races. I am in favor of naturalizing skilled immigrants who can keep a high-paying job, refrain from committing crimes, and who are barred from collecting from any social welfare program for some long period of time. But refugees and unskilled immigrants should not be put on a path to naturalization under any circumstances. If individuals want to help them, they are free to help them with acts of voluntary charity. I myself am more interested in funding pro-life, pro-marriage, apologetics, etc. efforts.

Trump defeated ISIS: Islamic State has now lost 98% of their territory

Islamic State operates in the red areas now, green = retreats
Islamic State retreats: light and dark green = previous ISIS areas, red = current ISIS areas

(Source: U.S. State Department via Business Insider)

I spent some time during my winter vacation reading through a whole bunch of military history books… “Lone Survivor”, “13 Hours” and “Red Platoon”.

In Thirteen Hours, I found out how the embassy in Benghazi was attacked, and then defended by security personnel at a nearby CIA outpost. The security personnel requested assistance over and over, and explained carefully that this was a planned terrorist attack, with pre-sighted indirect fire from mortars. All the requests for support were ignored by the Obama administration. Later on, Obama’s friend Susan Rice came out to assure us that the Obama administration had not failed to protect the ambassador, because the planned terrorist attack was just some minor protest violence caused by a YouTube video.

In Red Platoon, I found out about how U.S. forces were attacked in Eastern Afghanistan, near Pakistan, but no reinforcements were available because the entire army and air force was off looking for Private Beau Bergdahl, the deserter who Obama traded five Taliban commanders to get back. Is trading five experienced Taliban commanders for one deserter with the rank of Private a good deal? I don’t think so. Bergdahl was later convicted of desertion, by the way. At the time of the swap, Obama’s friend Susan Rice assured us that Bergdahl served honorably and was worth the five Taliban commanders.

In Lone Survivor, I found out about how how a 4-man team of Navy SEALs were discovered by Afghanistan civilians while conducting surveillance on a Taliban commander. Because they were afraid of the progressive mainstream media, and limited by the Obama administration’s pro-terrorist rules of engagement, they had to release the civilians. In gratitude for their lives, the civilians then immediately reported them to a nearby Taliban base. As a result, 3 of the 4 Navy SEALs were killed in action, and the fourth grievously wounded. He is very careful in the book to explain the costs of the mainstream media’s pro-terrorist bias, and the damaging effects of the Obama administration’s pro-terrorist rules of engagement (ROE).

Elsewhere, the pro-LGBT Obama administration gave convicted traitor Private Bradley Manning a free taxpayer-funded sex change, and then pardoned him for giving away our most important military secrets to WikiLeaks. Then Team Obama gave Iran a big boost in their development of nuclear weapons, including $400 million in untraceable cash. This is the same Iran that was killing our soldiers via IEDs in Iraq.

This is a snapshot of how the Obama administration handled foreign policy and national security during their eight-year reign of error. This is not even to mention the disasters in Syria, Egypt and Libya. It was the worst foreign policy presidency ever. And remember, Obama inherited a victory in Iraq, after George W. Bush’s successful surge. Obama turned that victory into a defeat by retreating prematurely instead of winning the peace. ISIS was created by Obama’s withdrawal from the battlefield.

Things have changed now that Donald Trump took over. He immediately gave the military more autonomy to go after our enemies, and now after one year, we have the results.

Fox News reports:

ISIS has lost 98 percent of the territory it once held — with half of that terror group’s so-called “caliphate” having been recaptured since President Trump took office less than a year ago, U.S. military officials said Tuesday.

The massive gains come after years of “onerous” rules, when critics say the Obama administration “micromanaged” the war and shunned a more intensive air strategy that could have ended the conflict much sooner.

“The rules of engagement under the Obama administration were onerous. I mean what are we doing having individual target determination being conducted in the White House, which in some cases adds weeks and weeks,” said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. David Deptula, the former head of U.S. Air Force intelligence. “The limitations that were put on actually resulted in greater civilian casualties.”

[…]The latest American intelligence assessment says fewer than 1,000 ISIS fighters now remain in Iraq and Syria, down from a peak of nearly 45,000 just two years ago. U.S. officials credit nearly 30,000 U.S.-led coalition airstrikes and regional partners on the ground for killing more than 70,000 jihadists. Meanwhile, only a few thousand have returned home.

The remaining ISIS strongholds are concentrated in a small area along the border of Syria and Iraq. ISIS, at one point, controlled an area the size of Ohio.

During the Obama administration, a lot of evil things were happening at the hands of evil men in the Middle East. I would like the American people to vote with their minds instead of with their feelings. Foreign policy and national security should be important, and they are certainly too important to be trusted to the radical left. We can do better than blame-America-first Democrats.

Obama was an active ally and supporter of Russia for his entire administration

Can we all just get along? Hillary Clinton ended Republican-led opposition to Russian aggression
Hillary Clinton ended Republican-led opposition to Russian aggression

I guess everyone remembers how Hillary Clinton presented the Russian Foreign Minister with a “reset” button that they pushed together, signaling to the world that Democrat politicians wanted nothing to do with the view that there was anything morally wrong with Putin’s thugocracy.

But all of a sudden, the same Democrats who bent over for Russia for eight years are complaining about Russia today.

This article from National Review is a helpful reminder of exactly what the Democrats did with Russia during the last eight years.

Excerpt:

He reset with Russia shortly after its clash with Georgia in 2008. He concluded the New START agreement with Moscow that reduced our nuclear forces but not theirs. When candidate Mitt Romney warned about Russia in the 2012 campaign, Obama rejected him as a Cold War relic. The president then went on to forge an agreement with Russia’s ally Iran to allow it to preserve its nuclear program. During the red-line fiasco, he eagerly grasped a lifeline from Russia at the price of accepting its intervention in Syria. He never budged on giving Ukraine “lethal” weapons to defend itself from Russian attack. Finally, Obama cut U.S. defense spending and cracked down on fossil fuels, a policy that Russia welcomed since its economy is dependent on high oil prices.

Put all of this together, and it’s impossible to conclude anything other than that Obama was a Russian stooge, and not out of any nefarious deals, but out of his own naivete and weakness. Obama didn’t expect any rewards when he asked then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev during a hot-mic moment at an international meeting to relay to Vladimir Putin his ability to be more “flexible” after the 2012 election; he was, to put it in terms of the current Russian election controversy, “colluding” with the Russians in the belief it was a good strategy. His kompromat was his own foolishness.

The cost of Obama’s orientation toward Russia became clearer during the past two weeks. When he pulled up short from enforcing his red line, an agreement with the Russians to remove Bashar Assad’s chemical weapons became the fig leaf to cover his retreat. This deal was obviously deficient, but Obama officials used clever language to give the impression that it had removed all chemical weapons from Syria. Never mind that Assad still used chlorine gas to attack his population — exploiting a grievous loophole — and that evidence piled up that Assad was cheating more broadly.

The Russians eagerly covered for Assad because he’s their client. What was the Obama administration’s excuse? It effectively made itself a liar for the Russians at the same time Moscow bolstered the Assad regime we said had to go, smashed the moderate opposition we were trying to create and sent a destabilizing refugee flow into Europe. This was a moral and strategic disaster.

Now, I’m pretty sure that if you ask a typical Democrat, they won’t remember any of the things that Obama did to embolden Russian aggression in the last eight years.

Remember this?

And how about this?

Obama was our President for the last eight years, and he supported our enemies (Russia, Iran, Cuba) and opposed our allies (Georgia, Ukraine, Israel). And now the Democrats complain about the evil Russians – the same evil Russians that they supported when they voted for Obama. They voted for the pro-Russia candidate and now they are complaining about the empowered Russia their President created. Obama sold our American foreign policy out for the Russians and the Iranians – that’s what Democrats voted for. TWICE.

Most people on the left can’t remember what Obama did in the last 8 years with Russia and Iran. Democrat political views just consist of demanding taxpayer-funded condoms, so that they can get drunk, get pregnant with a hot guy, then kill the baby or go on welfare. There really isn’t anything more to being a Democrat than that. Democrats today look at Syria and don’t realize that their President has been backing the two biggest Syrian supporters for the last eight years: Russia and Iran. They complain about the very situation that they created when they elected an America-hating progressive.

Foreign. Policy. Matters.

Obama’s weak Syria foreign policy produced the catastrophe of Aleppo

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

We elected a stupid man who doesn’t know how the world works. Although you would never know it from the mainstream media, Obama’s 8-year reign of error has been one foreign policy blunder after another. The retreat from Iraq, which created ISIS. The non-response to Russian aggression in Georgia and Ukraine. The disastrous interventions in Libya and Egypt. The deal to give Iran piles of cash to develop nuclear weapons. And his failure to react quickly to the Syrian crisis. Across the world it has been one failure after another, for 8 years in a row.

Here is the latest news from the far-left Washington Post:

THE BATTLE for Aleppo is ending in catastrophe, both for the tens of thousands of people who have been besieged there and for the future of Syria. On Wednesday, Syrian government and Iranian-led Shiite militia forces renewed attacks on the last rebel-held streets of the city, shredding a promiseto allow a peaceful evacuation. According to the United Nations, the pro-government forces have been executing civilians in the street or in their homes — including, on Monday, at least 11 women and 13 children. Thousands of men have been rounded up and gang-pressed into the Syrian army, or dispatched to an unknown but likely terrible fate. The United Nations’ term for this nightmare was apt: “A complete meltdown of humanity.”

The meltdown has several dimensions. One is the utter disrespect for the laws of war by the regime of Bashar al-Assad and its Russian and Iranian allies. These forces systematically destroyed hospitals, including pediatric facilities; decimated civilian housing with bunker-buster bombs and chlorine gas; and refused to allow food or humanitarian aid of any kind into the besieged districts of the city. Aleppo represents “the death of respect for international law and the rules of war,” David Miliband, the former British foreign secretary who now heads the International Rescue Committee, was quoted as saying . It sets a horrific precedent for conflicts in the 21st century.

The fall of Aleppo also means the elimination of any prospect in the foreseeable future for the end of Syria’s war or the waves of refugees and international terrorism it is generating.

Who is to blame for this?

The far-left Washington Post says it’s Obama’s fault:

Above all, Aleppo represents a meltdown of the West’s moral and political will — and in particular, a collapse of U.S. leadership. By refusing to intervene against the Assad regime’s atrocities, or even to enforce the “red line” he declared on the use of chemical weapons, President Obama created a vacuum that was filled by Vladimir Putin and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. As recently as October, Mr. Obama set aside options drawn up by his advisers to save Aleppo. Instead, he supported the delusional diplomacy of Secretary of State John F. Kerry, whose endless appeals to Moscow for cease-fires yielded — as Mr. Putin no doubt intended — nothing more than a humiliating display of American weakness.

And it’s not just the Washington Post.

Is Barack Obama focused on protecting the American people?
Is Barack Obama focused on protecting the American people?

The far-left extremist UK Guardian, one of the most radically secular and progressive newspapers on the planet, featured an article by a far-left writer entitled “Barack Obama’s presidency will be defined by his failure to face down Assad“.

Excerpt:

In an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic magazine earlier this year, President Obama said he was “very proud” of the moment in 2013 when, against the “overwhelming weight of conventional wisdom”, he decided not to honour his own “red line”, allowing Assad to escape accountability for a chemical attack that had killed more than 1,400 civilians.

Obama may be alone in this judgment. A year earlier, seemingly on a whim, he had set a red line on the use of chemical weapons at a time when none were being used. The red line was, in effect, a green light to conventional killing. But the regime called Obama’s bluff – and, predictably, he backed down. No longer fearing punishment, the regime escalated its tactics.

Nearly four times as many people were killed in the two years after the chemical attack as had died in the two years before. Obama’s abandonment discredited Syria’s nationalist opposition and empowered the Islamists. It helped Isis emerge from the shadows to establish itself as a major force. Together, these developments triggered a mass exodus that would displace over half the country’s population.

Everyone knows that the Obama administration bent over and bowed to the Russians and the Iranians from day one, with the “Russian reset” and the Iran nuclear weapons deal. Obama treated enemies like friends, and now we are seeing the consequences of his moral relativism and anti-American pacificism.

This part of the Guardian article is my favorite, because it really shows the fundamental problem – namely, that there is a complete disconnect between Obama’s high opinion of his own ability and the actual consequences of his policies in objective reality:

But in his valedictory press conference, last Friday, Obama defended his policy on Syria – albeit with logic whose fractures even his eloquence could not conceal. Inverting cause and consequence, he cited Russian and Iranian presence in Syria as his reason for not confronting Assad (neither was there in August 2013); he cited the disunion among rebels as the reason for not supporting them (they fragmented because they were denied meaningful support); and he cited the fear of deeper American involvement as his justification for restraint (even though a year later it would lead to a far bigger deployment across two states).

He really is in his own little world, where everything he does works fabulously well, because of his superhuman intellect. The man belongs in an insane asylum – never has someone so unqualified and incompetent had a higher opinion of himself, despite manifest failure that even the far left UK Guardian can see plainly. The American people elected an unstable clown who makes decisions based on delusions instead of evidence. And instead of correcting himself when his failures are known,  he persists in his delusions, casting the blame on everyone but himself. As if a narcissistic clown with no education and no resume ought to expect to be successful, and if he is not, then other people must be to blame.