From the petty — such as his buttinsky remarks regarding Britain and the EU — to the tragic — his failure to support the 2009 Iranian revolution — Barack Obama and his “Smart Diplomacy” has been an absolute catastrophe the the United States and her allies, and a huge boon to those countries that wish us harm. (DONATE to Bill Whittle HERE)
Stolen from Moonbattery:
Democrats are more afraid of global warming than the threat posed by the Islamic State terrorists, according to a new Pew Research Center poll.
The poll shows that 68 percent of Democrats believe that global climate change is a major threat to the United States, compared to just 25 percent of Republicans.
In contrast, 65 percent of Democrats believe that ISIS is a major threat, three points less than climate change. Seventy-eight percent of Republicans cited ISIS as a major threat -+ a partisan difference of 13 points.
Here is more from Pew:
Overall, 54% say Obama’s approach to foreign policy and national security issues is not tough enough, while 36% say the president’s approach is about right and just 3% say it is too tough. The share saying Obama’s approach to security issues is not tough enough has increased 13 points since Sept. 2012.
Majorities of whites (60%) and independents (56%) say Obama is not tough enough in dealing with foreign policy and national security. Older Americans also are skeptical of Obama’s approach to foreign policy issues: Among those 30-49, 50-64 and 65 and older, more view his national security policy as not tough enough than about right. Those younger than 30 are divided: 45% say his approach is not tough enough, while 42% say it is about right.
Liberal Democrats offer strongly positive assessments of Obama’s foreign policy: 66% say his approach is about right while just 26% think it is not tough enough. But among conservative and moderate Democrats, 52% say Obama’s policies are about right and 40% say they are not tough enough.
Wow, no idea of the world they live in.
….The wide-ranging study indicated that 68 percent of Democrats see global climate change as a “major threat” to our nation, while only 65 percent say the same about ISIS. The number of Democrats worrying about global warming is also higher than those concerned about al Qaeda’s threat–and a full 10 points higher than the number who think North Korea’s nuclear program is a significant threat.
By comparison, eight in 10 Republicans define al Qaeda and ISIS as major threats, compared to just one quarter who feel the same about climate change. Among independent voters, those worried about al Qaeda (69 percent) and ISIS (63 percent) make up significantly larger groups than the 44 percent who see global warming as a major threat.
The poll also touched on a number of other international issues, including participants’ view of the role America plays on the global stage. While more than half of all those surveyed in a similar study last November felt the U.S. did too much to assist in solving the world’s problems, only 39 percent offered the same opinion in the latest poll.
As for America’s status as a world leader, the number who see the nation as occupying a “less important and powerful role than 10 years ago” has spiked in recent years.
Midway through George W. Bush’s presidency, just two in 10 respondents provided that opinion. Six years into the Obama administration, however, about half of those polled believe our global status has diminished over the past decade.
From video description:
I came across some video of Kirsten Powers being rationally honest, a trait she exhibits well from time-to-time even though a liberal Democrat. (Posted by: Religio-Political Talk) The original video can be found at The Right Scoop, but I wanted more, and found it. So here is her full comment on the issue of Libya and how the administration tried to package the narrative a couple of weeks ago via Susan Rice, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations.
It is now widely known that the administration knew it was a terrorist planned attack within 24-hours, and for the full week afterwards the media (still — in actuality) seems to have covered for the administration as well. This is what Miss Powers is commenting on, honestly, and truthfully. It comes from Special Report Online… where the panel on Special Report continues frank discussion after the main show. Here is Right Scoop’s comments:
Kirsten Powers believes that media bias has gotten out of control on the issue of the Benghazi attack and the subsequent lies from the Obama administration on what happened. There are so many questions that need answering and she says that the media could possibly be complicit in another terrorist attack on America if they don’t get to the bottom of what is happening here. She cites the attacks on our embassies pre-9/11 as warnings back then, and says Al-Qaeda is not dead and the media should be asking what this really means.
Kirstin Powers actually has a great column on this topic as well:
(Foreign Policy Magazine) From the bloody civil wars in Africa to the rag-tag insurgiences in Southeast Asia, 33 conflicts are raging around the world today, and it’s often innocent civilians who suffer the most.
- Eastern Congo: Eastern Congo has been particularly unstable since Rwandan Hutu militias (Interahamwe) and the Rwandan Tutsi military took their battle into the neighboring Congolese jungle following the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Since then, this massive, lawless region has been home to a number of rampaging militias, leading to the displacement of more than a million Congolese and the death of several million. In 2003, a Congolese Tutsi leader, Laurent Nkunda, took up the fight against the Hutu Interahamwe and established the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP) militia. Nkunda was finally captured in January 2009 by Rwandan forces, though remnants of the CNDP and other rebel groups have continued to wreak havoc in the area.
- Kashmir: Kashmir has been the site of conflict since the 1947 partition of British India. The resulting countries, India and Pakistan, have fought three wars over the disputed territory, and border skirmishes remain frequent. Unrest in Indian-held Kashmir is also common; tensions flared recently over the deaths of two unarmed teenage Muslims.
- China: A Uighur woman peers through a security fence as Chinese soldiers look on in Urumqi, Xinjiang, on July 9, 2009. The northwestern Chinese autonomous region is home to 13 major ethnic groups, the largest of which — at about 45 percent of the population — is the Uighurs. Although the region is classified as autonomous, some Uighurs have called for outright independence since the mid-1990s. While China has made attempts to further integrate Xinjiang, ethnic tensions, combined with religious repression and economic disparities between Han Chinese and Uighurs, have only made matters worse.
- Iran: Objecting to incumbent President Ahmadinejad’s victory in the 2009 presidential election, millions of Iranians took to the streets in support of opposition candidate Mir Hossein-Mousavi, who they thought had legitimately won the election, and in protest of what they thought to have been Ahmadinejad’s electoral fraud. The electoral protests, which were soon collectively referred to as the “Green Revolution”, marked the most significant event in Iranian politics since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. But unlike the regimes that were unseated as a result the color revolutions” that swept across Serbia, Georgia, and Ukraine during the first half of the decade, the Iranian regime showed no reservations about using force to quash the protesters.
- Chad: Chad is entering its fifth year of nearly continuous civil war, its anti-government rebels often aided by neighboring Sudan. Compounding matters further, war-torn Chad is a relative safe haven not only for thousands of Darfuri refugees but also for those fleeing the Central African Republic next door — as many as 20 per day.
- Eastern Chad: Over the last half-decade, fighting in eastern Chad and neighboring Darfur, Sudan, have sent at least 400,000 refugees spilling into refugee camps in the dusty Chadian desert. Rebel groups in the two countries cite a litany of grievances ranging from state neglect to ethnic persecution, and they are often backed by one government or the other. Civilians have been caught in the crossfire, terrorized by wanton rape, scorched-earth tactics, and ethnic cleansing.
- Korea: More than a half-century after the Korean War’s end, relations between communist North Korea and democratic South Korea remain tense. The two countries have never signed a formal peace agreement, and the United States continues to station well over 20,000 troops in the South. North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, who succeeded his father Kim Il Sung in 1994, has pushed forward with Pyongyang’s nuclear program despite repeated U.S. attempts to curtail it through negotiations. The North tested its first nuclear device in 2006, followed by a second in May 2009.
- Pakistan: Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) are two of the world’s most volatile war zones. Located along Pakistan’s porous, 1,500-mile border with Afghanistan, the two regions have, since 2001, seen fierce battles between Islamist militants and the Pakistani Army. Al Qaeda’s top leaders are thought to reside here, and U.S. drones patrol the skies in search of terrorist and Taliban leaders.
- Pakistan: While Iraq and Afghanistan have captured much of the public’s attention of late, Pakistan may well be the country whose security, stability, and partnership is most important to American success in the war on terrorism. Under increased pressure from the United States, Islamabad has recently begun to intensify its efforts at fighting the Taliban within its borders. While Pakistani forces have enjoyed some success in their counter-insurgency operations against the Taliban, such success has come at the cost of alienating civilian populations and destabilizing Pakistani society.
- Somalia: This East African country has been without a central government since the 1990s and without peace for even longer. Shortly after ousting strongman leader Mohamed Siad Barre in January 1991, rebel groups began splintering into various camps headed by individual warlords. The United States intervened in 1992 with Operation Restore Hope, but pulled out in 1994, several months after the infamous “Black Hawk Down” incident. The Islamic Courts Union (ICU) government brought a measure of stability in 2006, but its reign was short-lived. Wary of spreading Islamist activity, an Ethiopian-led offensive installed a U.N.-backed Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in early 2007. Today, much of the country falls increasingly under the control of militant groups while the TFG and its president, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, a former ICU leader, control only a few blocks. Since 1991, hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed, and the number of internally displaced persons is upwards of 1.5 million.
- Somalia: Somalia is a failed state and as such is controlled by several competing players. A weak government is seated in Mogadishu (backed by a joint U.N.-African Union force), while powerful warlords control territory across the country. Sharia courts provide some semblance of order while Islamist militias, the strongest of which is al-Shabab, are still gaining ground. In 2009, however, the major conflict narrowed into one between the central government and al-Shabab. Al-Shabab recently announced publicly that it would be joining the international jihad movement led by al Qaeda.
- Philippines: The Philippines is home to one of Asia’s longest-running wars, a 40-year conflict that has taken 40,000 lives. The fighting began in 1969 with the formation of a communist rebel group called the New People’s Army (NPA), founded to overthrow Ferdinand Marcos’s dictatorship. Despite Marcos’s 1989 death, efforts by international mediators have continually failed, including the two-decades-long attempt by Norway that collapsed in 2004 and has not resumed. The NPA is known for its guerrilla tactics and recruitment of child soldiers, who by some estimates make up 40 percent of new recruits.
- Gaza: After disputed parliamentary elections and a bloody fight against the rival Palestinian Authority, Hamas gained full control of this impoverished strip of sand and soil in 2007. When Israel tightened its sanctions, Hamas and other groups retaliated by firing homemade Qassam rockets into nearby Israeli cities. In December 2008, Israel launched a massive operation aimed at crushing Hamas’s military capability. Neither side came out of the war untarnished; Hamas has since been accused of using human shields while Israel has battled allegations that it improperly utilized white phosphorus and indiscriminately killed civilians.
- India: According to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the raging Communist Party of India (Maoist), known as Naxalites after Naxalbari, the site of their first rebellion, are “the single biggest internal security challenge ever faced by our country.” Although the Naxalite movement began as little more than a local peasant rebellion in 1967, over time it has evolved into a regional insurgency whose aim is to overthrow the Indian regime and install a Maoist government. In the last decade, the movement has quadrupled in land area, today active in up to 223 districts of the country.
- Afghanistan: Mere months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, U.S. forces drove the ruling Taliban and its al Qaeda allies out of power and installed a regime headed by President Hamid Karzai. Eight years later, elections have failed to bring stability, and the Taliban-led insurgency continues to rage. In December 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama ordered 30,000 more troops to join the flagging NATO efforts in Afghanistan, bringing the coalition contingent close to 150,000.
- Nigeria: The militant movement in Nigeria’s Niger Delta sprung up after environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and several of his colleagues were executed by the country’s military regime in 1995. Saro-Wiwa had been protesting the poverty and pollution of his home region after oil companies began exploring there a decade earlier. Today’s Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), founded around 2003, demands a higher percentage of the country’s oil wealth and a cleanup of villages polluted by oil.
- South Ossetia: South Ossetia is a breakaway province of Georgia along that country’s Russian border. In 1988, the South Ossetian Popular Front (Ademon Nykhaz) was created to fight for secession from Georgia and reintegration with Russia. Military confrontations since then have been frequent, with major episodes in 1991, 1992, 2004, and most recently in 2008, when Russia joined the conflict in support of South Ossetian separatist forces. Today, South Ossetia is firmly in Russian control, but tensions remain high.
- Nepal: Although the 2006 comprehensive peace agreement marked the end of a 10-year civil war that pitted Maoists against the central government, Nepal has yet to find any semblance of political stability as its two major parties have squabbled incessantly. The most recent flare-up in Katmandu occurred in May 2009, when Maoist Prime Minister Prachanda resigned after President Ram Baran Yadav of the Nepali Congress party overturned the prime minister’s decision to fire a key general, Rookmangud Katawal.
- Central African Republic: In 2004, the Central African Republic (CAR) exploded into full-blown civil war after more than a decade of instability. Rebels calling themselves the Union of Democratic Forces for Unity initiated attacks against the government of President François Bozizé, who had seized power in a 2003 coup. Although the conflict officially ended with a peace agreement on April 13, 2007, sporadic violence continues to plague the CAR. Since 2007, the European Union has maintained a mission there whose purpose has been to assist the government and protect civilians.
- Burma: The Karen, an ethnic minority, have been fighting the Burmese government to establish an autonomous state called Kawthoolei along the Thailand border since 1949, making Burma’s one of the longest-lasting internal conflicts in the world. In June 2009, the Burmese military undertook an offensive against Karen strongholds on the Thailand-Burma border, crushing seven rebel camps and driving the remaining 4,000 Karen fighters even deeper into the jungle.
- Colombia: Since 1964, Colombia has been the site of an low-intensity armed feud that has involved the Colombian government, paramilitary organizations, drug cartels, and guerrilla* forces such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN). Throughout the conflict, hostage-taking, drug-smuggling, and terrorist attacks against civilians have all become a familiar part of everyday life in much of Colombia.
- Peru: Since 1980, the Peruvian government has been working to stamp out the Shining Path, a Maoist guerrilla organization that seeks to displace what they see as a “bourgeois” government in Lima and install a “dictatorship of the proletariat.” Although the Shining Path was fairly active in the 1980s, the government’s 1992 arrest of Abimael Guzmán, the group’s leader, dealt a significant blow to its activities. But after a decade of dormancy, the Shining Path announced its comeback by exploding a bomb near the U.S. Embassy in Lima in March 2002, just days before a visit by then U.S. President George W. Bush.
- Northern Ireland: In 1969, a secret armed wing of Sinn Fein (Ireland’s oldest political party, founded in 1905) called the Provisional Irish Republican Armydeclared direct rule over Ulster. More than 3,500 people were killed between 1969 and 1998 — a period known as “the Troubles,” which ended with the 1998 Good Friday agreement. began a violent campaign to expel British troops stationed in Northern Ireland, which the radicals hoped to reunite with the rest of Ireland. The conflict escalated in 1972 when Westminster
- Darfur, Sudan: In recent years the conflict in Darfur has become one of the world’s most well-known, thanks to a U.S.-based advocacy movement calling for an end to what many say is genocide. The conflict’s origins are geographic: Sudan’s power and resources are concentrated in its northern capital, Khartoum, and other regions of the country tend to be marginalized. In the early 2000s, rebels in the western region of Darfur took up arms in protest. Khartoum responded forcefully, arming nomadic Arab militias called janjaweed that pillaged and raped their way through Darfur, killing an estimated 300,000 Darfuris beginning in 2003. Today, fighting has calmed and a U.N. peacekeeping mission has soldiers on the ground. But more than 400,000 Sudanese refugees are living in camps abroad, and another 1.2 million are displaced within Sudan.
- South Sudan: Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has the dubious distinction of being the world’s only acting head of state to be indicted for war crimes, with an International Criminal Court warrant issued on March 4, 2009, for his alleged crimes in Darfur. But Darfur isn’t Bashir’s only headache. South Sudan, a now-autonomous oil-rich region that fought Khartoum for two decades until the 2005 signing of the U.S.-facilitated Comprehensive Peace Agreement, has set a referendum for next year to decide on full secession. Elections scheduled for this year have caused both sides to start re-arming, and simmering violence in the South has killed scores in recent months.
- Mexico: Although Mexico, a developed state with a robust middle class, has long battled narcotics smuggling and the violence that comes with it, the recent spike in drug-related deaths has many observers worried about the country’s trajectory. The number of people who have died in Mexico from drug-related violence since January 2007 — some 10,000 — exceeds the number of U.S. soldiers who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Despite President Felipe Calderón’s redoubled efforts to crack down on drug gangs, border cities such as Tijuana and Ciudad Juárez, which serve as major transshipment hubs for cocaine and marijuana, have become cauldrons of violence.
- Indonesia: Indonesia’s two easternmost provinces of Papua and West Papua have staged an insurgent campaign to secede from the archipelago country since the early 1960s. Under the U.S.-backed New York Agreement, the Netherlands ceded the provinces to Indonesia in 1961 — but without Papuan consent. Today, the low-intensity conflict churns on between Papuan insurgents armed with bows and arrows pitted against the Indonesian Army. The leader of the Free Papua Movement, Kelly Kwalia, was killed in a shootout with Indonesian forces last December.
- Iraq: On Dec. 13, 2003, nine months after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, U.S. soldiers captured deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein on a farm near Tikrit in Operation Red Dawn. This success was followed by three years of civil war and chaos, during which U.S. forces were brutalized by Iraqi insurgents. Although the United States began to turn the tide of the war with Gen. David Petraeus’s 2007 troop surge, Iraq continues to suffer from political instability and frequent violence.
- Yemen: Since June 2004, the Yemeni government has been at war with the Houthis, a militant Shiite group named after its now deceased leader, Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi. Some analysts see the conflict as a semicovert proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, with Saudi Arabia, the major Sunni power in the region, backing the Yemeni government and even intervening with airstrikes and incursions along the countries’ border, while Iran, the major Shiite power in the region, supports the rebels. Although the Yemeni government and the Houthis signed a cease-fire agreement in early February 2010, it is too early to tell whether the accord will hold.
- Uzbekistan: Like Russia and other post-Soviet countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia, Uzbekistan has had a difficult time balancing the fight against Islamist extremism with the need to integrate its more moderate Muslim population. In particular, the Uzbek government’s habit of harassing and torturing suspected terrorists has frayed relations with local Muslim groups. Most recently, in 2005, members of the Uzbek Interior Ministry and security service opened fire on a crowd of Muslim protesters in Andijan. Estimates of the number killed range from 187 (the official government count) to more than 1,500 (the figure provided by an ex-Uzbek intelligence officer).
- Uganda: For the past 22 years, fanatical guerrilla Joseph Kony has led the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in a rampage across the country’s north and into the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Sudan. At first, the movement aimed to overthrow the Ugandan government and establish a Christian theocracy. Today, it has deteriorated into pillaging and banditry. The movement is notorious for taking children as servants and fighters; an estimated 3,000 fill its ranks today. A cease-fire between the Ugandan government and the LRA during 2006-to-2008 talks in Juba, Sudan, inspired great hopes for peace, but the negotiations came to a disappointing end when, in April 2008, Kony backed out of the deal.
- Thailand: The Thai government has long had a strained relationship with its Muslim population, many of whom live in the southern region of Pattani. But the tension came to a head in 2004, when Islamist rebels in Pattani began a full-fledged separatist insurgency. Bangkok claims that the restive southern region will soon be stabilized. Meanwhile, the death toll continues to mount: As of March 2008, more than 3,000 militants had been killed.
- Ogaden, Ethiopia: The Ogaden Liberation Front, a group of ethnic Somalis from a region of Ethiopia that juts into their native country, has been fighting for Ogaden independence since 1984 — an independence that would inevitably lead to incorporation into Somalia. Not eager for such an outcome, Ethiopia has cracked down in Ogaden, often preventing aid groups from operating there. Some think that the country’s 2006 invasion of Somalia was a pre-emptive move to warn Somalia’s Islamist government not to start fighting for “greater Somalia” with more zeal.