Beyond the Cusp

September 5, 2014

President Obama to Request UN Permission to Fight Terrorism

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power speaking in reference to the hopes for a unanimous approval by the Security Council on measures that nations will be granted to take to fight the return of terrorists from foreign conflicts which threaten their nations was quoted referring to the Islamist State terrorists stating, that foreign fighters like those in Iraq and Syria participate in “brutal atrocities” becoming radicalized and their returning to their home country they were “posing threats of the most profound kind to their fellow citizens.” Her statements came during discussions of a United Nations Security Council Resolution being sought by the United States under the direction of President Obama which would set up and organize individual nations to coordinate and cooperate in addressing the threats posed by these returning fighters and an avenue to curb the flow of their citizens to war zones. Ambassador Power stressed the point that should the Security Council pass a resolution setting up an avenue and organizes the steps for nations then “a huge amount of hard work” will be required by the countries to curb the flow of fighters, tackling their financing and counter violent extremism. She also noted that there exist Russians, Germans, Canadians and French fighting with the terrorists in these foreign war zones that could potentially return to their native countries and pose extreme threats to their homelands. Estimates place around fifty Americans presently fighting in Syria and Iraq which President Obama is seeking to have methodologies put in place by the United Nations Security Council permitting the United States to join with other nations in addressing these threats and possibly preventing the problem from growing even more serious.

 

So, let us see if we have this correct. The President of the United States is turning to the United Nations to request that they set up the guidelines and approve the actions that nations are to be allowed to take in order to protect their citizens from the dangers that returning jihadists might pose emanating from their becoming exposed to extremist doctrines and activities which might have radicalized them making them more prone to committing violent acts against their native countrymen once they return from fighting with terrorists. President hopes that the United Nations Security Council will provide him with the tools and recommend actions which would permit the United States to prevent future Americans from going to support and fight with the Jihadi terrorist groups, particularly those in Syria and Iraq as well as other hot spots across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as well as empowering nations in taking actions addressing and mitigating the threats caused by those already fighting with these terrorist groups worldwide. President Obama cannot actually think that he needs the blessings and permission of the United Nations to take measures which would protect the United States from these dangerous jihadists returning from terrorist trainings and fighting in foreign wars. President Obama has to realize that there are already laws which the United States has at its disposal in order to fight this problem and that the permission and blessings of the United Nations are completely irrelevant to this situation. Perhaps President Obama is looking for guidance and actual steps which the United Nations has laid out and approved so that if any efforts taken by President Obama, Attorney General Holder, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and whatever other cabinet secretaries or department heads are included in these United Nations approved actions will be able to fall back on the excuse that the United Nations had defined and limited their actions should their actions fail to prevent every possible terrorist act which one of these returning jihadists might perform or terrorist actions they might plan and execute. Perhaps this is some grand stratagem simply to provide the President and the entire Administration with plausible deniability while placing the blame for any and all failures squarely on the fact that the United Nations prescribed the steps which were acceptable to the world and placing these limitations on the Administration in fighting any and all potentialities resulting from returning jihadists.

 

Making all of this nonsense of going to the United Nations Security Council to formalize those steps permissible and for furthering cooperation between nations in fighting jihadist terrorism was in the same source of news as an article on the steps taken, completely without any consultations with the United Nations or coordination with other nations around the world to receive approvals from any outside entities by the King of Saudi Arabia. It was reported that back in February the King of Saudi Arabia decreed jail sentences of up to twenty years for simply belonging to “terrorist groups” and fighting abroad as an additional step to deter Islamist Saudis from becoming jihadists. The article further reported that Saudi Arabia, acting on these simple steps put forth unilaterally by the King of Saudi Arabia they across the board blacklisted the Muslim Brotherhood as well as two Syrian jihadist groups designating them to be terrorist organizations and further insisting that all Saudi Arabian citizens fighting abroad must return home within fifteen days or face imprisonment. These were not the end of actions taken by the Saudi Arabian government as they even banned the sale of all books authored by two authors thought to be sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood. Finally, in June the Saudi Arabian justice system tried and sentenced thirty-three Islamist terrorists to prison sentences for as much as thirty years. Add to this, the Saudi Arabians took all of these steps completely independent and without the approval of the United Nations, neither the General Assembly nor the more prestigious Security Council. Imagine that!

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

February 12, 2013

The Big Three Obama Appointments

Three of the most important nominations a President makes, as the Administrative Branch of the government is primarily responsible for foreign affairs, are Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, and Director of the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency). President Obama could have made appointments which would have been uncontroversial, middle of the spectrum, and well versed in their fields and received quick Senate approval with little confrontational debate. But that was not his intent. The President cast cares aside and chose three candidates who were at best problematic.

For Secretary of State he chose Senator Kerry who originally made his name making outlandish and adversarial accusations before Congress demeaning his fellow soldiers with whom he had served side by side with in Viet Nam. He accused them of committing horrific atrocities comparing them with Genghis Kahn and the Mongol hordes. Since being elected to the Senate Kerry had castigated the State Department who served under Republican Presidents and was never really much of a defender of the state on the international stage. Still, of the three Senator Kerry was likely the least controversial and due to his relations with the members of the Senate received an easy confirmation hearing. Senator Kerry becoming Secretary of State was never in doubt and, by comparison with the other two appointees, was the least troubling.

Next is the President’s appointment for Secretary of Defense, former Senator Hagel. Senator Hagel’s hearings have had a grand display of ruffled feathers and looks to be flailing and headed to defeat. His hearings were a relief in many ways, none to Mr. Hagel’s credit. He was unprepared for answers which any competent appointee for Secretary of Defense would have known would be asked. His lack of having even a basic grasp of President Obama’s foreign policy positions was appalling and shocking. His admission after receiving corrections and admonitions from even Senators with whom he had served surprised and shocked even those who initially had supported his appointment. When even Senator McCain, who had been a friend and cosponsored legislation with Senator Hagel, appeared to lose his temper at Hagel’s’ evasions and prevarications was seen as shocking and a telling problem which evidenced the downturn of any possibility for Hagel to be approved. What may have been the final nail in the Hagel appointment coffin came when the senior committee member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, announced he planned to filibuster the appointment should it be brought before the Senate for confirmation. Seldom do we get to witness such a display of animosity shown publicly for a former Senator when brought before the Senate for confirmation. Partial proof of the deference shown by the Senate to former Senator during confirmation hearings was the easy and rapid approval given Senator Kerry just weeks prior when considered for Secretary of State.

The final appointment was the President appointing John Brennan to be the Director of the CIA. Any candidate for such a sensitive position is required to possess many varied and crucial qualifications. One of the most vital is the trust of both the employees of the CIA and the President while being able to display same before the Senate. Another would be a high sense of morality and a solid moral breadth to guide him in a position where temptations to go afield of the straight and narrow are numerous. That is where there may be some difficulty with the Brennan appointment. This was evident with his first appearance before the Senate where the hearings were disrupted repeatedly by demonstrators. What was amazing is that I have to give Code Pink credit for their consistency on this matter. Code Pink had problems with Mr. Brennan when he was instrumental in defending the use of enhanced interrogation techniques. Since then Mr. Brennan has been neck deep in President Obama’s use of drones for targeted assassinations including that of Americans overseas who have been identified of ties to terrorism. This too has troubled Code Pink and their demonstration against him as a President Obama appointee was something not often found in politics in the United States, a consistent and independent sense of morality that is applied without regards to political party. Code Pink was right on target about Mr. Brennan who has demonstrated that he has no internal morality and will simply take his orders and perform whatever he is assigned to without regards to legality or righteousness. He has uncanny ability to find justifications for any actions no matter their actual morality. That combined with Mr. Brennan’s tendency to be a simple yes man makes him problematic at best and a disaster waiting to happen at worst as Director of the CIA. Unfortunately, the Senate is very likely to allow Mr. Brennan to be confirmed as it is rare for the Senate to refuse two senior Presidential appointments so close together, but we can pray.

Beyond the Cusp

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