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Foreign Affairs

Politico reports on Obama’s favors to Hezbollah and conservative media responds

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Report from Politico The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook

An ambitious U.S. task force targeting Hezbollah’s billion-dollar criminal enterprise ran headlong into the White House’s desire for a nuclear deal with Iran.

What? In a short-sighted legacy quest, the Obama administration placed roadblocks in the way of anything that would have halted the nuclear deal with Iran:

The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook

https://www.politico.com/interactives/2017/obama-hezbollah-drug-trafficking-investigation/In its determination to secure a nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration derailed an ambitious law enforcement campaign targeting drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, even as it was funneling cocaine into the United States, according to a POLITICO investigation.

The campaign, dubbed Project Cassandra, was launched in 2008 after the Drug Enforcement Administration amassed evidence that Hezbollah had transformed itself from a Middle East-focused military and political organization into an international crime syndicate that some investigators believed was collecting $1 billion a year from drug and weapons trafficking, money laundering and other criminal activities.

The criminality stretched far and wide:

They followed cocaine shipments, some from Latin America to West Africa and on to Europe and the Middle East, and others through Venezuela and Mexico to the United States. They tracked the river of dirty cash as it was laundered by, among other tactics, buying American used cars and shipping them to Africa. And with the help of some key cooperating witnesses, the agents traced the conspiracy, they believed, to the innermost circle of Hezbollah and its state sponsors in Iran.

Here’s how conservative media is responding to the report:

Perspectives

Obama’s Iran Deal Makes Trump’s ‘Collusion’ Look Like Child’s Play

http://thefederalist.com/2017/12/18/obamas-iran-deal-makes-trumps-russia-collusion-look-like-childs-play/We don’t know how Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump administration will play out, but if it’s half as bad the Obama administration’s coddling of terror-supporting Iran, it should be a massive national scandal.

Empowering terrorist groups. Paying ransom that emboldened our enemies to kidnap Americans. Creating an echo chamber that undermined a free press. Releasing spies, terrorists, and criminals who assisted not only our enemy and her terrorist proxies, but Russia as well. In the Iran deal, we have clear-cut case of the United States handing over extensive concessions to a nation that openly aimed to destabilize our interests, attack our allies, and kill our people — for nothing in return. It’s worse than anything we know about “Russian collusion.”

BOMBSHELL REPORT: Obama Colluded With Putin To Release Lebanese Terrorist Responsible For Targeting Americans

https://www.dailywire.com/news/24799/bombshell-report-obama-colluded-putin-release-ben-shapiroWe’re all supposed to believe that President Trump, as a candidate, colluded with the Russian government to “steal” the 2016 election. There’s no serious evidence to that effect, despite a massive FBI investigation, a Congressional investigation, and a special counsel investigation initiated by the Department of Justice.

But there is clear evidence that the Obama administration colluded with the Russian government to free an Islamic terrorist responsible for the deaths of Americans — all in order to appease Iran to pave the way for the Obama administration’s surrender to the burgeoning Iranian nuclear program and Iran’s escalating regional ambitions.

REPORT: Securing the Iran Deal Turned Obama Administration into Hezbollah Enablers

https://www.redstate.com/slee/2017/12/18/report-securing-iran-deal-turned-obama-administration-hezbollah-enablers/In short, for the sake of the vanity project that gave Iran a pathway to nuclear weapons and an influx of cash, the Obama administration allowed Hezbollah to grow “from a Middle East-focused military and political organization into an international crime syndicate that some investigators believed was collecting $1 billion a year from drug and weapons trafficking, money laundering and other criminal activities.”

Over…eight years, agents working out of a top-secret DEA facility in Chantilly, Virginia, used wiretaps, undercover operations and informants to map Hezbollah’s illicit networks, with the help of 30 U.S. and foreign security agencies.

Obama, Iran & Hezbollah: Administration Ignored Terrorist Drug Trafficking

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/454737/obama-iran-hezbollah-administration-ignored-terrorist-drug-traffickingOver the weekend Politico’s Josh Meyer published a blockbuster report that can’t be allowed to disappear into the void of the holiday season. In painstaking detail, it documents claims that the Obama administration crippled Drug Enforcement Administration operations against Hezbollah as part of its effort to reach a nuclear deal with the Iranian regime.

Why would the DEA, of all agencies, target an international terrorist organization? It turns out that Hezbollah had become a major player in international cocaine trafficking and was using proceeds from its drug-running and arms-dealing to finance — among other things — the purchase of explosively formed penetrators (EFP’s), the deadliest IEDs used against American soldiers in Iraq.

Politico investigation: Obama protected Hezbollah in order to preserve Iranian nuclear deal – TheBlaze

http://www.theblaze.com/news/2017/12/18/politico-investigation-obama-protected-hezbollah-in-order-to-preserve-iranian-nuclear-dealPolitico released an in-depth examination Monday detailing the Obama administration’s alleged attempts to curtail Project Cassandra, a DEA campaign to expose a money-laundering scheme in which “proceeds from Latin American drug-running were being funneled to Hezbollah.” Hezbollah is the pro-Iranian Lebanese militia, which U.S. Department of State has declared a foreign terrorist organization since 1997, that has allied with, among others, Iran, Syria, Iraq, Venezuela and North Korea.

The Obama administration “tamped down” the investigations in order to preserve the Iran nuclear deal, which lifted economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for the alleged suspension of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

Differential equations teaches us that one can use the initial conditions of the present to extrapolate events in the near term balanced with the knowledge of the past. The interaction of technological advances and the march of history is fascinating. History can inform those willing to listen as to what will happen in the future because the laws of human natural are as immutable as the elegant equations of Newtonian physics.

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Foreign Affairs

Trump went full Globalist First with Syria strikes

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President Trump should redirect aid to Guatemala from nations who voted against the Jerusalem move

Too often we find ourselves in emotive cycles. For instance, mass shootings are used by the anti-gun crowd as a means to motivate a legislative attack on our Second Amendment. Likewise, chemical weapon incidences in Syria are similarly used to create an emotionally based reason to use military action. We are quick to assume that the Assad regime was responsible for the previous high profile uses of chemical weapons in the Syrian Civil War. This started under the Obama administration with his famous “Red Line” blunder in which he declared any use of chemical warfare unacceptable even if against the Al Qaeda affiliates or the JV team, ISIS. Trump, in contrast, followed through on Obama’s blunders, when the cycle repeated itself again.

A little over a year ago there was a chemical weapons attack in Khan Sheikhoun, in a province most openly ruled by the rebrandings of Al Qaeda. This incident led to Trump ordering airstrikes on Syria betraying his campaign promise of staying out of Syria. This attack was carried out under false and premature pretenses. This is an instance where the intelligence community says one thing but evidence says another. But before you defend the intelligence community’s infallibility, look back to how they insisted the DNC was hacked despite the lack of evidence, specifically from the server, that a hack took place. And so the Russian Farce Began. Theodore Postol, a professor at MIT and former DoD scientific adviser pointed out the staged nature of the evidence regarding sarin gas attack in 2017. He ultimately showed that the crater and canister that is credited with the chemical weapons rocket was detonated from the ground, not the air. Read more about his findings here. The point is: the emotive response automatically assumes that the Assad regime carried out the attack. There have been many chemical weapons uses in the war, but only about three or four have gotten media notoriety. I don’t deny that the Syrian Arab Army has used chemical weapons ever, but I seriously doubt the nonstrategic use of chemical weapons that occurred in these notorious incidences. Though as described below, this incident had a strategic outcome.

With the most recent incidence, guilt has already been pointed at Assad restarting the cycle. I don’t care to defend Assad in this instance. I do however want to call Trump and his supporters out on their own support of globalism. So let’s assume Assad carried out this attack. Let’s assume Assad gassed Al Qaeda territories a day after launching a new offensive and because he did, the terrorists surrendered. Why should we care?

The easiest reason to dismiss is that striking Assad is beneficial to America’s Middle Eastern strategy. This would imply that there has been a strategy in the Middle East. But even if we soften strategy to “interests” striking Assad is counter to America’s interest. Al Qaeda has lost in Syria and is clinging to certain besieged areas. In the particular area of this incident the group that was beseiged was called the “Army of Islam”. How does weakening the army that has done more to fight Al Qaeda and ISIS than the US in the last decade benefit Americans or their interests? If Hezbollah, a terror organization sponsored and allied with Assad, were alleged to have been responsible, this would be a different story. But instead, we target the one belligerent in the Syrian Civil War that can actually stabilize the region, even if slowly.

You could then claim about civilian deaths which have been a constant theme in this war on all sides. Most recently, this year Turkey has taken to slaughtering Kurds in its land grab of Northern Syria, but Donald Trump doesn’t seem to care about the death toll there. Nor have other brutalities in Syria been enough for Trump or Obama, to act. Assad, along with every belligerent, has killed civilians in this war. Why are these deaths special? News flash they aren’t. A person is a person is a person. A person dies whether being shot, stabbed or gassed. The people who died in the gas attack were no more important than the people who died in gunfire or strategic bombing. Every person has a moral worth that is irrelevant to their cause of death. So this isn’t about civilian deaths. This is about chemical weapons in and of themselves.

So now that we established Trump attacked Syria because of chemical weapons, now lets dive in to why he’s a globalist for it. Trump wanted to send a message that the use of chemical weapons is unacceptable. But why is it unacceptable? What makes chemical weapons different than bullets and shells. Why is gas morally reprehensible and incendiary bombs permissible? There is no logical way to construct an argument that chemical weapons are impermissible while nuclear, radiological, and biological aren’t (though biological weapons are difficult if not impossible to control thus having little strategic use.) If we are to accept that weapons of mass destruction are morally wrong to ever use, then it would be inconsistent to not favor disarmament. Furthermore as Americans we would have to admit that the use of atomic bombs was a immoral decision if we do insist that the use of WMDs is morally impermissible.

I refuse to accept these premises and rewrite history in a globalist politically correct way. So why are chemical weapons such a big deal? The short answer is that the UN says they are a big deal. After World War 1, the League of Nations sought to outlaw chemical warfare and war in general. The ladder was ineffective. Though chemical weapons didn’t see as much light in World War 2, more extreme weapons did. Since its founding, the UN has sought to control what weapons a country can have. In addition to chemical weapons, there’s the anti-nuclear proliferation treaty. Article V of the NPT requires disarmament which nuclear nations have thus far refused. Some nuclear nations tolerate this treaty because they don’t want have-nots to get nukes. Others such as Israel, India, and Pakistan recognize that the UN wants to place limitations on their self defense capabilities. UN limitations on chemical weapons are similarly globalist schemes for the UN to encroach on a nation’s sovereignty. Chemical weapon use is wrong according to international law, not in and of themselves. As Ben Shapiro noted:

One of the arguments for intervention in Syria is that if we do nothing to reimpose the Obama red line in Syria, chemical weapons use will become more common. That’s probably true. But it’s also true that if someone attacked Americans with chemical weapons, we would end them. Furthermore, not all chemical weapons are the same: some are indeed weapons of mass destruction, but others are not as dangerous in scope as cluster bombs. Do the 500,000 dead in Syria’s civil war care whether they were killed by Russian cluster bombs or sarin gas?

So when Trump attacked Syria, he wasn’t responding to a threat nor can we really say it was about the people killed. He was upholding the UN’s power which Syria defied. This is where Trump goes full globalist. Never go full globalist. To repeat myself: he had the United State’s military attack another country because of a violation of international law! In the United States, international law has very little power here. This was established in Medellin v Texas. The globalist community cares not about American interests. Do we not remember when the UN condemned America’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital? It was allowed by Congress for decades. The UN would want nothing more than for America to relinquish its power.

Globalist First

All of Trump’s talk of nationalism is really a farce. He had our military act on a globalist cause, not “America First”. Trump may talk tough on tariffs, but globalism isn’t really about economics, its about sovereignty. Being “tough” on China doesn’t benefit America First. Instead these tariffs are now the biggest  threat to our economic security coming out of the Great Recession. Bombing Syria doesn’t benefit America first. It benefits Turkey and their terrorists. It benefits the UN. Trump wasted military resources doing the UN’s bidding instead of making America or its allies safer. Trump upheld UN norms instead of his lawful duties as defined by Congress and the US Constitution.

In an America First foreign policy, we would have seen if the President had gone through America first. Congress. Instead Trump relied on a thumbs up which he got from the globalist community.

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Foreign Affairs

Trump ignores Constitution and his own words by bombing Syria

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After Trump launched a series of airstrikes against Syria without the Constitutionally required authorization from Congress—just as he did a year ago after his “advisor” Ivanka told him to do so—he sent a self-congratulatory tweet to his adoring followers and declared, “Mission Accomplished.”

Despite the unwise reference to the phrase used by George W. Bush when he announced the end of combat operations in Iraq—we’re still there—Trump’s strike on Syria had little in common with Bush’s war because Congress authorized military action against Iraq. In reality, Trump’s actions have more in common with Obama’s war in Libya in that Obama didn’t have Congressional authority either.

Regardless of any perceived moral benefit from last week’s actions, Trump has once again ignored the Constitution in the name of political opportunism—a fact pointed out by a few voices in Congress (Notice the one-two punch by Amash when he nails Paul Ryan along with Trump).

Though motivated more by Trump’s nationalist/populist ideals than they are his unconstitutional actions, his worshipers in the media are also speaking out about the airstrikes against Syria. FOX News Trump Pravda hosts Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham slammed the Syrian attacks as inconsistent with promises made during Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Michael Savage tweeted that warmongers had hijacked the country.

And Trump sycophant Ann Coulter continued to regret her support of Trump by expressing her disagreement with his war against Syria in a series of retweets from conservatives and other voices like those below:

Proof of Trump’s double-mindedness regarding Syria was also documented by DailyCaller.com in an article listing numerous past tweets by Trump opposing military action in Syria when Obama was president. Here are just a few:

Trump’s narcissism and Constitutional ignorance are not only a threat to liberty here at home, but they’re now a threat to Americans and others around a destabilized world—a world that grows more destabilized and dangerous with every tweet he sends.


Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 

David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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Foreign Affairs

Could Trump’s trade war lead to a real war in Korea?

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When Donald Trump issued his in-name-only tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, he immediately alienated many of America’s strongest allies due to fears of a new trade war. Unfortunately, as we are seeing in Japan and South Korea, these fears are beginning to materialize.

As the South Korean government works on getting a get-out-of-tariff-jail-free card like Canada and Mexico received before the tariffs even took effect, steel producers in South Korea have decided to halt steel exports to the US, even though we are their third largest customer.

So, how is Trump responding?

In a speech to donors at a fundraiser in Missouri, Trump informed those in attendance that he is prepared to take action against South Korea over what he sees as an unfair trade relationship.

“We have a very big trade deficit with them, and we protect them … We lose money on trade, and we lose money on the military. We have right now 32,000 soldiers between North and South Korea. Let’s see what happens.”

Yep! Trump is threatening to essentially begin dismantling the US Pacific Command (est. Jan. 1941) if South Korea doesn’t cough up his extortion money.

Besides the fact that Trump could be lying about a trade deficit—he admitted to the donors that he lied to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in their trade discussions—he displayed an incredibly dangerous ignorance with his threat to withdraw US troops.

In remarks before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Adm. Harry Harris, commander of the US Pacific Command, addressed Trump’s threat:

“I believe [regime leader Kim Jong Un] would do a victory dance. I think he’d be a happy man if we abdicated our alliance with South Korea and Japan.”

Trump’s threat is beyond stupid, but it follows a recent announcement that he will be meeting with Kim Jong Un to discuss ways to denuclearize North Korea. Seems to me that the man who brags about being a great dealmaker just surrendered one of his biggest bargaining chips.

What motivation will the North Korean dictator have to disarm if the US abandons the region? Wouldn’t the absence of US troops be an open invitation for Kim Jong Un to invade South Korea? At the very least, it would make an already unstable situation much worse.

Abandoning our allies is familiar territory for The Donald. You may recall that Trump attempted to bully NATO for not paying their “fair share” during his first foreign trip as President less than a year ago.

Legislation has been recently introduced that will return the power to levy tariffs back to Congress. We should hope that it becomes law because not only could it stop a trade war, but in the age of Trump, it could stop a real war in places like Korea.


Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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