Whose Side are You On?

It is the question Joshua asked before the walls of Jericho.   Asked today of the President of the United States, a truthful answer augurs terribly for the People of Israel.  And for America.

This President is willing to have his State Department meet with members of the Muslim Brotherhood.  For the uninitiated, the Muslim Brotherhood is the spiritual inspiration for Al Qaeda, and for ISIS, and are open supporters of Hamas and Hezbollah.  In the 1940s they were an eager ally of Hitler’s Third Reich.   The Muslim Brotherhood enthusiastically supported the Final Solution, the Holocaust against Europe’s Jews, and still do, never having renounced that position.  But into Foggy Bottom they go. Imagine if, with American servicemen fighting against the Third Reich, the Department of State would have been hosting Primo de Rivera or Francisco Franco from among Spain’s fascists, or Leon Dagrelle from the Rexists, both highly sympathetic to Hitler and the Nazis.  

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Amin al Husseini und Adolf Hitler

This is the same State Department that, with the blessing of the President, sent operatives into Israel to help tip the election against the Prime Minister of an ally nation.   An Administration who took to the pages of the New York Times to threaten that ally with “consequences” should they decide to democratically re-elect Benjamin Netanyahu as their Prime Minister.

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The President is desperate for a deal with Iran regarding their development of nuclear weapons, undoing decades of precisely the opposite policy against the advice of virtually every one of America’s allies in the region.   The President believes we should trust Iran, an Iran whose supreme leader has vowed very recently the destruction of both America and Israel, and an Iran that has already begun testing nuclear detonators.

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The President refuses abjectly to even give name to this enemy who slaughters Christians and Jews, and shrieks hatred for the infidel and vows punishment and destruction on the non-believers.  The President declared long ago, in his autobiography, that he would “stand with the Muslims” should the political winds blow against them.  Nobody specified if those winds carried the odor of the burning flesh of their victims.   When those victims included cartoon illustrators in France, murdered in cold blood by Islamists angered at depictions of Muhammed, the President was very conspicuously absent from the world leaders who marched in Paris to show their support for France and condemn Islamic extremism.  Instead, the President vowed to set aside the First Amendment to keep the press from running stories critical of the Islamists.

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This Administration was complicit in the overthrow of the government of one American ally (Egypt) and another country whose dictator had long been cowed into behaving (Libya).  Both countries saw the scourge of radical Islam cause uncounted pain and suffering.  When the Egyptians had had enough of the bloodbaths of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, and took to the streets by the millions to topple him, Obama turned his back on Egypt, complaining that the Al-Sisi regime that replaced Morsi was “not democratically elected”.  No matter that Morsi’s first act was to abrogate Egypt’s treaty with Israel, and his next was to formalize the systematic slaughter of the Coptic Christians who had lived in Egypt for millenia.  From the White House came not a word of rebuke for the Muslim Brotherhood or Morsi.

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With the bloody two year-long rampage of Boko Haram in full swing, publicity as to the plight of the mostly-Christian victims of the Islamists there came only when the group kidnapped young girls.  Then, and only then, was the First Lady moved to hold up a hashtag sign, which apparently takes the place of actually doing something.

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Those who have sided with this President can spare me the outrage over the horrific death of the brave Jordanian pilot at the hands of ISIS.   How many hundreds of Americans burned similarly on 9/11 at the hands of Islamic extremists?  How many children lay screaming and bleeding for hours in Beslan?  How many in the flames of the churches in Nigeria and Cairo?

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If you are outraged over what you saw today, you should be.  If it is the first time you are outraged, great shame on you.  Had they the technical means, our enemy would engineer another holocaust, this time to the entire world, until every nation was destroyed or had submitted.   The willful blindness of the American people aids in the success of this enemy.  Those who labeled Chris Kyle a psychopath and a racist for calling these people barbaric savages, and who condemn him for killing them, need to go and smell the charred bodies of the victims of the Islamists.  They also need to ask themselves why our President refuses to identify our sworn and active enemies by name.   Why he has provided support and succor to that enemy.  And why he has invited that enemy into our country, our cities and towns, and into the halls of power of the United States Government.

Though a truthful answer would never be forthcoming, the question Joshua asked at Jericho should be asked of our President.

Whose side are you on?

Our Jihadist President

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The Daily Caller outlines a very disturbing notion emanating from the White House regarding our Constitutional liberties and Barack Obama’s predilection to render them void any time he sees fit.

“The president … will not now be shy about expressing a view or taking the steps that are necessary to try to advocate for the safety and security of our men and women in uniform” whenever journalists’ work may provoke jihadist attacks, spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters at the White House’s daily briefing.

“Steps necessary” up to and including disemboweling our First Amendment rights, apparently, for some notion of “protecting” our armed forces.  You know, the ones who risk and give their lives to uphold that First Amendment?  Yeah, them.   One should not be shocked at the criticism of free speech by this Administration, nor the rationalization of the violence perpetrated by the militant Islamists.  Despite the usual platitudes about how such violence is never justified, Obama and his minions have consistently provided just such justification by siding with the Jihadis in their public condemnation of criticism of Islam.

Obama’s willingness to pressure media outlets, to quit defending First Amendment rights and also to mollify jihadis, reflects Obama’s overall policy of minimizing conflict with militant Islam.

He also repeatedly praised Islam and Muslims, and criticized criticism of Islam. “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam,” he told a worldwide TV audience during a September 2012 speech at the United Nations.

This President wishes to disarm law-abiding Americans and abrogate our Second Amendment rights, ostensibly so we can all be “safer”, leaving the government with a monopoly on violence and a citizenry without a last redress against tyranny from that government.  Now, Obama wants to stifle the Press, and one presumes, other manners of free expression that criticize Islam, once again for the “safety” of our men and women in the armed forces.   The intellectual fascism of the Leftist Establishment will be codified as a legitimate power of government.

The chilling effect* on free speech by the actions and threat of actions by government at any level, long identified as unconstitutional, will be a cornerstone of Barack Obama’s erosion of our liberties.  It will be a favored tool used for the stifling of political and social dissent not just by leftist social organizations and academic institutions, (and Hollywood), but also by a government already practiced in these six years in using regulatory and statutory powers as extralegal coercion to suppress political dissent.   Hillary Clinton’s remarks in the wake of the Benghazi terrorist attack smack of such suppression.  Martin Dempsey disgraced his uniform and forfeited his credibility by doing the same.

Of course, Barack Obama could protect our armed forces by halting the willful destruction of the moral fiber of those who serve our country with social experimentation, and ceasing the blunting of the readiness of our operating forces in order to feed yet more tens of billions into a $1.7 trillion dollar welfare furnace.  But he will not.  In fact, he will not even name America’s enemy, militant Islam.  Instead, the only term his Administration will use to describe those who actively seek our destruction, “violent extremists”, is applied as liberally to the Left’s political opposition as it is to those Islamic extremists who would perpetrate another 9/11.

Obama’s 2009 Cairo speech was exactly what it sounded like.  It was a klaxon to our Islamist enemies that one of their own was now in charge.  He will not criticize them because he is philosophically one of them.  The frequent visits by members of the Muslim Brotherhood to the White House, a foreign policy more accommodating to Iran and Cuba than Israel and Britain, and an undeviating record of foreign affairs decisions resulting in maximum damage to US power and prestige have long since passed the point of being viewed as coincidental blunders.   How do we know?  Because Barack Obama claims the power to keep American citizens from saying so.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

(*The chilling effect occurs when any Constitutionally-protected activity is unduly discouraged by actions or threats of action by the government against those individuals and groups as a consequence of exercising that activity.)

Iskandar-M

It’s interesting that the US and Russia, with very different defense requirements and threat scenarios, often end up fielding weapons that, while not mirror images, are at least quite analogous to one another.

When the Army fielded the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS), soon after fielded ATACMS*, in which instead of a pod of six rockets, one pod would carry one large long range Army Tactical Missile System guided semi-ballistic missile.

ATACMS (“Attack ‘ems!”) was first used in Desert Storm to neutralized an Iraqi surface to air missile site.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-esGSsgLBKI]

The Russians, never slouches in the artillery and tactical missile fields, have two different platforms. They field the Smerch as the counterpart to our MLRS. And they field the 9K720 Iskandar-M short range tactical ballistic missile in place of ATACMS.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGCubmnU3ls]

Iskandar has a somewhat longer range, around 500km versus 300km for ATACMS. ATACMS has either a cluster bomblet warhead or a single 500lb warhead, where Iskandar has cluster bomblet, unitary or possibly a nuclear payload, and somewhat larger at that, at around 2000lb.

Both weapons, while flying a semi-ballistic path, are guided throughout the flight, rather than being true ballistic weapons. Inertial navigation with satellite updates (that’s GPS or its Russian cousin GLONASS) gives them excellent accuracy.

Typical targets would be air defense sites, airfields, command and control centers, logistics centers or other similar high value targets.  There are unconfirmed reports that Russia employed Iskandar against a tank depot during its brief war with Georgia over South Ossetia in 2008. The Dutch government concluded that a Dutch national present as a reporter was killed by a fragment from one in the vicinity of Gori.

One reason the US and its NATO allies are concerned about Iskandar-M is that it can reach deep into Western European territories when launched from within Russia. When the US reached an agreement with Poland to install ground based ballistic missile defense on Polish territory, Russia responded by announcing it would station Iskandar launch brigades in the Kalinangrad district, within range of the proposed US installations.  When the US dumped the proposal, the Russians decreed they would not deploy to Kaliningrad. Until eventually they did anyway.

But the real concern is that the Russians have used the launcher vehicle and associated control systems to test and field a new ground launched cruise missile. The missile in question, the R-500, has a reported range of 2000km. That puts Russia in direct violation of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty of 1987. Of course, in the face of a blatant violation of the treaty, the entirety of the Obama administration’s response was to send a mildly worded letter.

Deep strike missiles such as the ATACMS and Iskandar are a quick response, precise alternative to airstrikes. But they require significant intelligence collection and dissemination to support targeting, and very close coordination with air assets to deconflict airspace. 

 

*After a very protracted development that saw several different names and configurations.