War

Irreconcilable differences: genocide in Iraq, Part 1 — Videos

Posted on August 28, 2014. Filed under: Army, Blogroll, Central Intelligence Agency, Columns, Courage, Crime, Genocide, Government, Government Spending, Homicide, Law, Liberty, People, Philosophy, Politics, U.S. Constitution, War, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Obama: U.S. strategy over Islamic State requires Sunni cooperation in Iraq, Syria

News Wrap: Islamic State executes captured Syrian fighters

Beyond Iraq, what’s next for the Islamic State?

What is ISIS, ISIL, Islamic State?

Is the U.S. underestimating the Islamic State?

The Beast : Obama’s Assyrian ISIS Army declares Caliphate Islamic state on Ramadan (Jun 30, 2014)

The Islamic State (Full Length)

 

 

Irreconcilable differences: genocide in Iraq, Part 1

By Raymond Thomas Pronk

iraq_map

 

Map of Iraq.                                                                                        Credit: theguardian.com

U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, when asked in November 2008 what one word best describes Iraq, answered “fear.” Today it’s terror.

When Barack Obama was elected president in November 2008, he said in his victory speech “To those who would tear the world down, we will defeat you.”

The Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), certainly qualifies as a terrorist army of extremist fanatics who want to “tear down the world” and transform it into a global Islamic state, called the caliphate, ruled by Islamic Shariah law.

The last caliphate was the Ottoman Empire until its collapse in 1918. It was abolished in 1922 and included what is today the nations of Turkey, Iraq, Kuwait, Syria,, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

In World War I (1914-1918) the Allied Powers including Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy and the United States defeated the Central Powers of Austria-Hungry, German and Ottoman Empires. The victorious nations split up the Ottoman Empire into a number of nations including Iraq and Syria.

States or governments kill people, especially when they go to war. About 16 million died in World War I of which an estimated 8 to nearly 11 million were military and about 2 to nearly 7 million were civilian deaths. Another 22 to 23 million were wounded military casualties.

When governments systematically kill people due to their ethnic, national, racial or religious group membership, it is called genocide, a term coined in 1944 by Raphael Lemkin that combines the Greek genos (“race, people”) and Latin cidere (“to kill”).

Today, according to Dr. Hisham al-Hashimi, Iraq’s leading expert on ISIS, “I would say there are now between 30,000 and 50,000 of them. Of those, I would say 30 percent are ideologues. The others have joined out of fear or coercion.”  They are noted for their brutality and violence directed primarily at Iraq Shia Muslims, Christians and other religious minorities and the Iraq army, police and government dominated by Shia Muslims.

On June 29, ISIS changed its name to Islamic State and proclaimed a caliphate with its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, named caliph. The Islamic State is systematically killing those who do not share their religious Sunni Islamic faith, including Shia Iraqis, Sunni Kurds, Yasidis, Christians and those who do not speak Arabic and do not obey Sharia law.

The genocidal atrocities committed by the Islamic State are graphically displayed and documented in many videos posted on YouTube and used by the Islamic State as propaganda to terrorize all those living in Iraq as well as abroad. Iraqis fleeing their homes and communities are literally running for their lives.

The inspiration of most modern violent Islamic terrorist jihadist groups including Hamas, al-Qaeda and the Islamic State is the Muslim Brotherhood, also known as the Ikhwan and Society of Muslim Brotherhood, founded in 1928 by a school teacher, Hassan al-Banna.                                                                                                  .

The Brotherhood is a totalitarian and Islamic supremacist movement that seeks world domination mainly through violent jihad or holy war as mandated by Allah through his prophet, Mohammed. One of Mohammed’s final “revelations” set out in the Quran is the “Verse of the Sword” which states in part: “When the sacred months are over slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. If they repent and take to prayer and render the alms levy, allow them to go their way. God is forgiving and merciful.” (9:5)

The doctrine of a violent or offense jihad or holy war against all infidels of other religious faiths including Christians, Jews, Hindis, and Buddhists is the mainstream interpretation of Islamic scripture, not just the interpretation of terrorist Jihadists such as the newly created Islamic State.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Yusuf al-Qaradawi is one of the world’s most well-known and respected Sunni clerics and Islamic scholars based in Qatar who broadcasts a weekly program on al-Jazeera, “Shariah and Life” to an estimated audience of 60 million worldwide. Al Qaradawi is the spiritual leader of Hamas and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. He has sanctioned the use by the Palestine brothers of suicide bombings in Israel as divine justice and stated Shias are not Muslims and must be killed, according to videos posted on YouTube. He inspires the Islamic State’s genocide in Iraq of Shias, Kurds, Yazidis, Christians and other religious minorities.

What motivates the Muslims of the Islamic State to embrace the violent jihadist ideology? A former terrorist named Tawik Hamid explains how he embraced the jihidist mindset of the violent Islamic Salafi sect: “I passed through three psychological stages to reach this level of comfort with death: hatred of non-Muslims or dissenting Muslims; suppression of my conscience; and acceptance of violence in the service of Allah. Salafi religious indoctrination played a major role in this process. Salafists promoted our hatred for non-Muslims …” quoted in the book authored by Erick Stakelbeck, “The Terrorist Next Door.”

The Islamic State’s violent jihadist ideology and indoctrination directly leads to the systematic killing or genocide of those who do not share their religious beliefs and ideology. Convert or be killed.

Parst 2 and 3 of this column will address how Obama and the U.S. government are responding to the terrorist threat posed by the Islamic State and their continuing genocide or mass murder in Iraq and Syria.

 

 

 

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Medal of Honor: A portrait of valor beyond the call of duty

Posted on November 13, 2013. Filed under: Army, Courage, Government, Liberty, People, Philosophy, Politics, U.S. Constitution, Valor, War, Weapons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Medal of Honor: A portrait of valor beyond the call of duty 

By Raymond Thomas Pronk

Captain_Swenson_Medal_of_Honor

President Barack Obama awards the Medal of Honor to Captain William D. Swenson, veteran of the War of Terror at White House ceremony on Oct. 15. Credit: AP

In a ceremony at the White House on Oct. 15, President Barack Obama awarded Captain William D. Swenson the nation’s highest military honor for valor, the Medal of Honor.

Captain Swenson was assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, as an adviser to the Afghan Border Police Mentor Team on Sept.8, 2009, when both Afghan soldiers and their American military trainers were ambushed near the village of Ganjgal in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, by more than 50 Taliban fighters.

The official citation for the award reads in part: “Surrounded on three sides by enemy forces inflicting effective and accurate fire, Captain Swenson coordinated air assets, indirect fire support and medical evacuation helicopter support to allow for the evacuation of the wounded. Captain Swenson ignored enemy radio transmissions demanding surrender and maneuvered uncovered to render medical aid to a wounded fellow soldier. Captain Swenson stopped administering aid long enough to throw a grenade at approaching enemy forces, before assisting with moving the soldier for air evacuation.”

“With complete disregard for his own safety, Captain Swenson unhesitatingly led a team in an unarmored vehicle into the kill zone, exposing himself to enemy fire on at least two occasions, to recover the wounded and search for four missing comrades. After using aviation support to mark locations of fallen and wounded comrades, it became clear that ground recovery of the fallen was required due to heavy enemy fire on helicopter landing zones. Captain Swenson’s team returned to the kill zone another time in a Humvee. Captain Swenson voluntarily exited the vehicle, exposing himself to enemy fire, to locate and recover three fallen Marines and one fallen Navy corpsman.”

Swenson is the sixth living person awarded the Medal Honor for valor in the Iraq and Afghanistan war, according to the Defense Department.

Marine Cpl. Dakota Meyer was awarded the Medal of Honor by Obama in 2011 for rescuing troops that same day and recovering the remains of four Americans killed in the battle of Ganjgal and served beside Captain Swenson. Meyer in his book, “Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War” said he would not be alive today if it was not for the actions of Captain Swenson and advocated that Swenson should receive the Medal of Honor.

Swenson was outspoken and critical of his superiors for not receiving timely air and artillery support. An investigation subsequently led to three Army officers being reprimanded. Swenson’s Medal of Honor was delayed when the paperwork for the award was lost.

Swenson helped rescue and deliver to the medevac helicopter Sgt. Kenneth W. Westbrook, 41, of Shiprock, N.M. who later died from complications from his wounds in the United States. This small part of the battle was captured in a video on YouTube titled “Army Capt. William Swenson Receives Medal of Honor.”

Gone but not forgotten are the four Americans killed in the ambush: 1st Lt. Michael Johnson, 25, of Virginia Beach, Staff Sgt. Aaron Keneflick, 30 of Roswell, Ga., Corpsman James Layton, 22 of Riverbank, Calif., and Gunnery Sgt. Edwin Wayne Johnson Jr., 31, of Columbus, Ga. Also killed that day were 10 Afghan troops and an interpreter.

Swenson left the Army in February 2011 but has asked to return and is waiting for a decision by the Army.

After the ceremony, Swenson standing in front of the West Wing, said, “Today, I stand with the Medal of Honor…but this award is earned with a team, a team of our finest, Marines, Army, Air Force, Navy and our Afghan partners, standing side by side. This medal represents them, represents us.”

Raymond Thomas Pronk presents the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 4-5 p.m. Monday thru Thursday and from 3-5 p.m. Friday and authors the companion blog http://www.pronkpops.wordpress.com.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

The Benghazi cover story

Posted on November 13, 2013. Filed under: Central Intelligence Agency, Columns, Congress, Crime, Foreign Policy, Homicide, Law, Liberty, People, Philosophy, Politics, War, Weapons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Benghazi cover story

By Raymond Thomas Pronk

Transfer_Remains_Ceremony

President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speak at transfer of remains ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base for Americans killed in Benghazi.         Credit:www.vosizneias.com

The Benghazi cover story was an awful, offensive, crude and disgusting online video that insulted believers in Islam lead to a spontaneous protest that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya.

On Sept. 14, 2012 during the transfer of remains ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made remarks to the families of the four Americans killed in Benghazi. She briefly reviewed the careers and lives of the deceased: Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, Glen Doherty and Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Clinton said, “We’ve seen the heavy assault on our post in Benghazi that took the lives of those brave men. We’ve seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with.”

On Sept. 16, 2012, United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice appeared on all five Sunday morning TV news shows. The interviewers on all five shows asked Rice to provide the Obama administration’s explanation for the murder of the four Americans in Benghazi.

On ABC’s  “This Week,” in response to a question by Jake Tapper,  Rice answered, “But our current best assessment, based on the information that we have at present, is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous — not a premeditated — response to what had transpired in Cairo. In Cairo, as you know, a few hours earlier, there was a violent protest that was undertaken in reaction to this very offensive video that was disseminated.”  Rice repeated this explanation on all five shows.

On Sept. 25, 2012, President Barack Obama addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York. He also repeated Rice’s explanation for what happened in Benghazi. Obama said, “That is what we saw play out in the last two weeks, as a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world. Now, I have made it clear that the United States government had nothing to do with this video.”

According to an Associated Press story by Paul Schemm and Michael Maggie: “Within 24 hours of the attack, both the embassy in Tripoli and the CIA station chief sent word to Washington that it was a planned militant attack,” and “there was no sign of a spontaneous protest against an American-made movie denigrating Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.”

The terrorist attackers numbering about 150 are suspected of being members of the powerful militia organization Ansar al-Shariah. Their members espouse a jihadist al-Qaida-like ideology. They fought in the Libyan civil war that overthrew the 42-year dictatorship of Moammar Gadhafi.

Gregory Hicks was deputy chief of mission and charge d’affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Libya on Sept. 11. He was called to testify before the House Oversight Committee that is investigating Benghazi on May 9. Hicks said, “I thought it was a terrorist attack from the get-go. I think everybody at the mission thought it was a terrorist attack from the beginning.”

On Oct. 27 CBS’s 60 Minutes Lara Logan said, “Contrary to the White House’s public statements, which were still being made a full week later, it’s now well established that the Americans were attacked by al-Qaida in a well-planned assault.”

Logan’s reporting coup was an interview with a new source, a British security officer, who uses a pseudonym. He said, “On his first drive through Benghazi, he noticed the black flags of al- Qaida flying openly in the streets and he grew concerned about the guard forces as soon as he pulled up to the U.S. compound.”

Also interviewed was Lt. Col. Andy Wood, chief security officer in Libya, and Hicks. Wood said, “Al-Qaida — using a familiar tactic — had stated their intent in an online posting, saying they would attack the Red Cross, the British and then the Americans in Benghazi. They made good on two out of the three promises. It was a matter of time ‘til they captured the third one.”

Wood added, “I made it known in a country team meeting, ‘You are gonna get attacked. You are gonna get attacked in Benghazi. It’s gonna happen. You need to change your security profile.’”

On Oct. 28  Fox News interviewed Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). He said, “So I am calling for a joint select committee. … The people who survived the attack in Benghazi, have not been made available to the U.S. Congress for oversight purposes. I’m going to block every appointment in the United States Senate until the survivors are being made available to the Congress.”

The truth was known from the beginning that the terrorist attacks were planned and well-organized by a militia group called Ansar al-Shariah and had absolutely nothing to do with a YouTube video. The Benghazi cover story was a lie repeatedly told to deceive the American people during an election year.

Raymond Thomas Pronk presents the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 4-5 p.m. Monday thru Thursday and from 3-5 p.m. Friday and authors the companion blog http://www.pronkpops.wordpress.com.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Obama’s SAD Deal

Posted on November 13, 2013. Filed under: Banking, Business, Congress, Credit, Economics, Fiscal Policy, Government, Government Spending, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, Law, Liberty, Macroeconomis, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, People, Philosophy, Politics, Tax Policy, U.S. Constitution, War | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Obama’s SAD Deal

By Raymond Thomas Pronk

sad-face

Presidents like to make deals with the American people that supposedly will fix things.

Theodore Roosevelt had his Square Deal, Franklin D. Roosevelt had his New Deal, Harry Truman had his Fair Deal, and President Barack Obama has his SAD (Spending Addiction Disorder) deal.

The most recent developments in Obama’s SAD deal are the federal government will be completely open for business and funded through Jan. 15, 2014 under yet another continuing resolution passed on Wednesday by Congress and signed by the president. The gross national debt ceiling was suspended until Feb. 7, 2014. By then the national debt will be approaching $17.5 trillion and will exceed the entire gross domestic product for 2013 estimated to be about $16 trillion.

In other words the SAD deal means more government spending and taxes, more massive budgetary deficits, more government debt and more money and credit creation by the Federal Reserve System to finance the SAD habit.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced on Wednesday that they had reached an agreement to open the government until Jan. 15, 2014 and extend the debt ceiling through Feb. 7, 2014.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said, “The deal that has been cut provides no relief to the millions of Americans who are hurting because of Obamacare. The deal that has been cut provides no relief to all the young people coming out of school who can’t find a job because of Obamacare. It provides no relief to all the single parents who have been forced into part-time work, struggling to feed their kids on 29 hours a week.”

Unfortunately, the SAD deal will continue the annual massive budgetary deficits that over the last five years have averaged more than $1.2 trillion per year and will increase the burden of debt on existing and future generations of the American people. Under Obama’s SAD deal the gross national debt has been increased over $6 trillion to fund the fiscal year deficits from 2009 through 2013. The White House has optimistically estimated that the fiscal year deficit for 2014 will be only $750 billion!

The SAD deal has resulted in the worse post-World War II economic recovery with unemployment rates exceeding 7 percent for the 56 months of the Obama’s presidency. Tens of millions of Americans are searching for a permanent full-time job.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) at the Republican conference meeting on Oct. 16 said, “We all agree Obamacare is an abomination. We all agree taxes are too high. We all agree spending is too high. We all agree Washington is getting in the way of job growth. We all agree we have a real debt crisis that will cripple future generations. We all agree on these fundamental conservative principles.”

The American people agree that the Washington ruling elite of both the Democrat and Republican parties are simply incapable of controlling their SAD habit.

Cruz is right. The ruling elite are not listening to the American people.

The American people want federal spending and taxes to be cut, a balanced budget, the national debt paid off and Obamacare repealed. The American people can no longer afford to pay for Obama’s SAD deal.

Raymond Thomas Pronk presents the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 4-5 p.m. Monday thru Thursday and from 3-5 p.m. Friday and authors the companion blog http://www.pronkpops.wordpress.com.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Political junkies overdose

Posted on November 13, 2013. Filed under: Banking, Business, Congress, Credit, Economics, Fiscal Policy, Government, Government Spending, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, Law, Liberty, Macroeconomis, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, People, Philosophy, Politics, Tax Policy, U.S. Constitution, War, Weapons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Political junkies overdose

By Raymond Thomas Pronk

us_debt_ceiling_cartoon

The ruling elite in Washington, both Democrats and Republicans, are addicts with a bad habit.

The ruling elite share many of the common addictions of the American people to alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, food, gambling, games, pornography, television, sex and surfing the Web.

Yet the ruling elite have a unique habit that the American people can no longer pay for or support. The name of this habit is SAD — Spending Addiction Disorder.

The primary symptoms of SAD are massive annual federal government budget deficits, raising the national debt ceiling and blaming others for their addiction problem.

Like most habits that turn into addictions, the ruling elite can no longer control themselves. They are hooked on spending other people’s money.

How bad is the SAD habit? For the past five fiscal years the federal government forced the American people to support their habit by collecting more than $12 trillion in taxes. However, the ruling elite’s habit is much worse. Besides the $12 trillion in taxes, the federal government spent in excess of $6 trillion by running annual budget deficits averaging more than $1.2 trillion per year.

This required the ruling elite to order the Department of the Treasury to issue more new Treasury debt securities in the form of Treasury bills, notes and bonds to finance these deficits that exceeded $6 trillion. As a result the total gross national debt now exceeds $17 trillion.

To put these amounts in perspective, the total U.S. real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 2013 is estimated to be about $16 trillion.

President Barack Obama and Congress fear the American people will finally wake up and demand they kick their SAD habit and live within the means of the American people. This would require real cuts in the fiscal year 2014 federal budget spending with the aim of balancing the budget within three or four years.

The ruling elite SAD junkies are lashing out and demonizing American taxpayers who support their habit by calling them anarchists, arsonists, extremists, hostage-takers, kidnappers, terrorists or worse, Tea Party Republicans.

Obama held a press conference on Oct. 8 and warned that if the national debt ceiling is not raised by Oct. 17, the U.S. could default on its national debt and put the U.S. into another recession. Political junkies with the SAD habit have been known to lie in order to get another fix for their habit. On average the American people are currently paying the ruling elite about $225 billion each month in taxes which would more than cover the $35 billion monthly interest paid on Treasury debt, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement (MTS) report. The last thing the U.S. government will do is default on the national debt by not paying the interest when due.

Mandatory spending makes up about 66 percent of all government spending and is required to be paid under existing authorization laws. Currently the federal government collects enough taxes to pay for mandatory spending including interest on the national debt, entitlements (Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid), and income support programs (unemployment compensation, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program [SNAP], Supplemental Income for the blind and disabled, earned income and child tax credits).

Discretionary spending makes up about 33 percent of government spending and includes spending for all federal departments, agencies and programs. Discretionary spending must be authorized each fiscal year and funded through appropriation bills.

The reason the political junkies with the SAD habit are panicking is they need to raise the national debt ceiling imposed by Congress by an additional $1 trillion above the existing national debt of $17 trillion to pay for discretionary spending for fiscal year 2014.  In order to get another debt raising fix, Congress must raise the debt ceiling once again.

Cutting federal government spending to balance the budget over a period of three or four years is never an option for the ruling elite junkies hooked with SAD. More and more government spending and taxes is the default solution for SAD political junkies.

The time has come for the American people to put the political junkies hooked on SAD in a rehab job in the private sector. The American people need to elect representatives, senators and a president that are fiscally responsible stewards of the general welfare and insist that all federal government budgets be balanced.

Raymond Thomas Pronk presents the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 4-5 p.m. Monday thru Thursday and from 3-5 p.m. Friday and authors the companion blog http://www.pronkpops.wordpress.com.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Count down to government shut down

Posted on November 13, 2013. Filed under: Banking, Business, Credit, Economics, Fiscal Policy, Government Spending, Health Care, Law, Liberty, Monetary Policy, People, Philosophy, Politics, Tax Policy, U.S. Constitution, War | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Count down to government shut down

By Raymond Thomas Pronk

Senate_Must_Act

House votes to fund federal government but defund Obamacare                Credit: http://www.ktvu.com

The nonessential parts of the federal government may be shut down on Oct. 1 until Congress passes either a fiscal year 2014 budget appropriations bill or a continuing resolution.

Fiscal year 2014 begins Oct. 1 and ends Sept. 30, 2014. Since the Democrats want to increase government spending and taxes and the Republicans want to decrease government spending and taxes, neither party will agree to a budget appropriations bill.

Instead of a stalemate, Congress could pass a joint continuing resolution that appropriates funds for government departments, agencies and programs at current, expanded or reduced levels until a formal appropriations bill is signed into law or until the resolution expires. A continuing resolution would have to be passed by both the House and Senate and then signed into law by the president.

The House passed a continuing resolution on Sept. 20 that would fund the federal government at current levels for the first 11 weeks of the fiscal year 2014 and keep the federal government open. If this continuing resolution is not passed by the Senate, some nonessential parts of the federal government would need to be shut down.

The House resolution had two amendments. The first would strip out funding for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more commonly referred to as Obamacare and thereby stop its implementation. The second would direct how federal government spending is prioritized in the event the Treasury hits the borrowing debt ceiling limit in the near future.

The 230-189 vote was mainly along party lines with 228 Republicans and two Democrats voting in favor and 188 Democrats and one Republican voting against the continuing resolution.

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) held a victory rally after the resolution passed and remarked, “The American people don’t want the government shut down, and they don’t want Obamacare. The House has listened to the American people. Now it’s time for the United States Senate to listen to them as well.”

House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor put several Democratic Senators, who are up for re-election in Nov. of 2014, on the spot. Cantor called out Sens. Mark Begich of Alaska, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Kay Hagan of North Carolina. Cantor said, “It’s up to Senate Democrats to follow House Republicans and show some responsibility.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said on Sept. 19, “I will do everything and anything possible to defund Obamacare.” Cruz promised to filibuster any attempt to strip out the language of the House continuing resolution that defunds Obamacare. A filibuster is the use of irregular or obstructive tactics by a Senator to prevent the adoption of a measure.

Cruz began his filibuster by saying: “I rise today in opposition to Obamacare. I rise today in an effort to speak for 26 million Texans and for 300 million Americans. All across this country Americans are suffering because of Obamacare. Obamacare isn’t working and yet fundamentally there are politicians in this body who are not listening to the people. They are not listening to the concerns of their constituents. They are not listening to the jobs lost, the people forced into part-time jobs, the people losing their health insurance, the people who are struggling. A great many Texans, a great many Americans feel that they do not have a voice. So I hope to play some very small part in helping to provide that voice for them. …I  intend to speak in opposition to Obamacare. I intend to speak in support of defunding Obamacare, until I am unable to stand.”

Cruz delivered on his promise by standing and speaking for more than 21 hours on Sept. 23-24.

According to a Sept. 15 NBC/WSJ poll, 44 percent of respondents call Obamacare a bad idea and 31 percent believe it’s a good idea.

In a national survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted on Sept. 14-15 by Rasmussen Reports, 51 percent favor a government shutdown until Congress cuts health care funding. The Rasmussen survey also found that “58 percent favor a federal budget that cuts spending, while 16 percent prefer one that increases spending. Twenty-one percent support a budget that keeps spending levels about the same.”

According to Rasmussen, “74 percent of Republican and 62 percent of unaffiliated voters would rather have a shutdown until the two sides can agree on what spending to cut,” while “63 percent of Democrats agree with the president and would prefer to avoid a shutdown by authorizing spending at existing levels.”

“Republicans are simply postponing for a few days the inevitable choice they must face: pass a clean bill to fund the government, or force a shutdown. I have said it before but it seems to bear repeating: the Senate will not pass any bill that defunds or delays Obamacare,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada).

The Democrats are determined to fund Obamacare, shut down the government on Oct.1 and blame it on Republicans.

Raymond Thomas Pronk presents the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 4-5 p.m. Monday thru Thursday and from 3-5 p.m. Friday and authors the companion blog http://www.pronkpops.wordpress.com.

 

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Richland Celebrates Constitution Day

Posted on November 13, 2013. Filed under: Law, Liberty, People, Philosophy, Politics, U.S. Constitution, War, Weapons | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Richland Celebrates Constitution Day

By Raymond Thomas Pronk

US_Constitution

 

United States Constitution   Credit: historicdocumentsofamerica.com

Richland students celebrated Constitution day Sept. 17 by learning how the United States goes to war.

Dr. Edward J. Harpham, associate provost and professor of political science at the University of Texas at Dallas, presented a lecture and answered questions on how the Constitution and Wars Powers Resolution of 1973 applies to the possible use of military force in Syria. Harplam earned his masters and doctorate degrees in political science from Cornell University.

President Barack Obama initially sought a Congressional resolution authorizing military operations against the Assad regime in Syria for using chemical weapons against his people. The Assad regime had crossed the red line set by Obama in a press conference on Aug. 20, 2012.

However, Obama in his Sept. 10 televised address to the nation on Syria asked congressional leaders to postpone a vote on a resolution authorizing the use of force. Obama wanted time for Secretary of State John Kerry to pursue a diplomatic initiative proposed by Russia and agreed to by Syria that could lead to the eventual destruction of chemical weapons controlled by the Syrian military.

In the absence of an emergency, where Congress has no time to react, Obama does not have the legal authority under the Constitution, the War Powers Resolutions or a United Nation’s Security Council resolution funded by Congress, to unilaterally attack Syria.

In a future military crisis a problem might arise if Congress votes down a presidential request for military action and the president ignores Congress and proceeds with military operations anyway.

Harpham concisely summarized the history of the authorities used by U.S. presidents to go to war and possible solutions to the shortcomings of the War Powers Resolution process.

Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11 of the Constitution gives Congress the power to declare war. Congress has exercised this power only five times: for the War of 1812 upon the United Kingdom, the Mexican-American War, the Spanish-American War, World War I upon Germany and Austria-Hungary and World War II upon Japan, Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania.

However, the United States has used military force many  times without Congress declaring war. Instead, Congress passes resolutions authorizing the use of military force. This was done for the Lebanon crisis of 1958, the Vietnam War, Multinational Force in Lebanon in 1983, the Gulf War in 1991, the 2001 war in Afghanistan and the Iraq War.

Congress has also authorized funds for extended military operations for United Nations Security Council Resolutions such as the Korean War, the Multinational Force in Lebanon in 1978, the Gulf War, the Bosnian War in 1992 and the intervention in Libya in 2011.

On more than 100 occasions presidents acting in their capacity as commander in chief have authorized the deployment of troops and the use of military force without a congressional declaration of war or a resolution authorizing military force.

After the withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam in 1973, Congress wanted to limit the power of the president to deploy troops for extended periods of time without a congressional declaration of war or resolution.

In 1973 Congress passed the War Powers Resolution of 1973, a joint resolution over the veto of President Richard M. Nixon.  When Congress has not declared war or authorized  the use of military force, the law requires the president to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action. It also prohibits armed forces for remaining more than 60 days but allows an additional 30 days as a withdrawal period.

Harpham offered several possible solutions to the War Powers Resolution process, including revoking the law and replacing it with a new law or preferably a constitutional amendment that would address the president’s use of force where a military emergency, Congressional declaration of war, resolution or funding has not been authorized.

Harpham’s presentation will be posted on the Richland Chronicle Television archives for those who missed the lecture (richlandchronicle.com/chronicletv).

Raymond Thomas Pronk presents the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 4-5 p.m. Monday thru Thursday and from 3-5 p.m. Friday and authors the companion blog http://www.pronkpops.wordpress.com. You can listen to an interview with Harpham on the Pronk Pops Show 131, Sept. 17, by going to http://www.pronkpops.wordpress.com.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

The Missiles of September

Posted on November 13, 2013. Filed under: Economics, Government, Government Spending, Law, Liberty, People, Philosophy, Politics, War, Weapons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Missiles of September

By Raymond Thomas Pronk

abort_launch_button

Did Russian President Vladimir Putin abort President Barack Obama’s plan to launch the missiles of September?

In a surprise move on Sept. 9, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, “We are calling on the Syrian leadership to not only agree on placing chemical weapons storage sites under international control, but also on its subsequent destruction and fully joining the treaty on prohibition of chemical weapons.”

Lavrov added, “If the establishment of international control over chemical weapons in that country would allow avoiding strikes, we will immediately start working with Damascus.”

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said Syria was ready for, “full cooperation with Russia to remove any pretext for aggression.”

Also on Sept. 9 in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Obama said, “It is potentially a positive development. I have to say that it is unlikely that we would have arrived at that point where there are even public statements like that without a credible military threat to deal with the chemical weapons used inside of Syria.”

Diane Sawyer of ABC News asked Obama, “If Bashar Assad yields control of his chemical weapons to an international authority, are we back from the brink? Is the military strike on pause? Obama answered, “Absolutely, if in fact that happened.”

In his televised speech of Sept. 10 on Syria, Obama said, “This initiative has the potential to remove the threat of chemical weapons without the use of force, particularly because Russia is one of Assad’s strongest allies. I have, therefore, asked the leaders of Congress to postpone a vote to authorize the use of force while we pursue the diplomatic path.”

In response to Obama’s speech, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said, “Twelve years after we were attacked by al-Qaida, 12 years after 3,000 Americans were killed by al-Qaida, President Obama now asks us to be allies with al-Qaida. Al Qaeda. Americans by a large majority want nothing to do with the Syrian civil war. We fail to see a national security interest in a war between a leader who gasses his own citizens and Islamic rebels who are killing Christians.”

Paul added, “Some argue that American credibility is on the line, that because President Obama drew a red line with chemical weapons, America must act or lose credibility. I would argue that America’s credibility does not reside in one man. If our enemies wish to know if America will defend herself, let them look no farther than our response to 9/11. When attacked, we responded with overwhelming force and with the military objective of complete victory over our attackers.”

On Sept. 9 Charlie Rose on “CBS This Morning” interviewed Bashar al-Assad. Assad denied ordering the use of chemical weapons and said his own troops were attacked by Syrian rebels that used chemical weapons.

Rose asked what repercussions the United States could expect in the event of a strike. Assad replied “You should expect everything. Not necessarily through the government. The government is not necessarily the only player in the region . . .  Expect every action.”

Rose asked, “Including chemical warfare?” Assad replied, “If the rebels or the terrorists in this region have it, it could happen. I don’t know . . .  Nobody expected the 11th of September.”

Ryan Crocker, former ambassador to Syria, Iraq, Pakistan and Kuwait, wrote in an article titled “Containing the Fire in Syria” in YaleGlobal Online, “So what are the options? First, to recognize that as bad as the situation is, it could be made much worse. A major western military intervention would do that. And lesser steps, such as a no-fly zone, could force the West to greater involvement if they proved unsuccessful in reducing violence. The hard truth is that the fires in Syria will blaze for some time to come. Like a major forest fire, the most we can hope to do is contain it. And it’s already spreading. Al-Qaida in Iraq and Syria have merged, and car bombs in Iraq are virtually a daily occurrence as these groups seek to reignite a sectarian civil war.”

On Sept. 8, in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on “ABC This Week,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said “I think a military attack is a mistake. One, because I think the administration is proceeding with the wrong objective, and two, because they have no viable plan for success.” Cruz added, “They are beginning from the wrong objective because this attack is not based on defending U.S. national security… I don’t think that’s the job of our military to be defending amorphous international norms.

“Just because Assad is a murderous tyrant doesn’t mean his opponents are any better. … Either the strike is really significant, it weakens Assad and the result is the rebels are able to succeed, and if that happened there is al-Qaida taking over, or Al Nusra taking over, and extremist terrorists getting access to those chemical weapons. That hurts U.S. national security,” Cruz added.

In 2007 then Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) said, “The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” Biden’s view was that if President George W. Bush ordered an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities without Congressional authorization, it would be unconstitutional and an impeachable offense.

In poll after poll the American people oppose military intervention in and war with Syria.

In a CNN/ORC international poll of 1,022 adult Americans conducted Sept. 6-8 and released Sept. 9, eight in 10 Americans believe the Assad regime gassed the Syrian people. However, 39 percent favor and 59 percent oppose Congress passing a resolution authorizing military action in Syria for 60 days. Should Congress fail to pass a resolution authorizing the president to use U.S. air strikes against military targets in Syria, 27 percent favor and 71 percent oppose the use of air strikes unilaterally by the president.

The reality is the American people, their representatives in Congress and the United State Constitution aborted the president’s plan to launch the missiles of September.

Raymond Thomas Pronk presents the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 4-5 p.m. Monday thru Thursday and from 3-5 p.m. Friday and authors the companion blog http://www.pronkpops.wordpress.com.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Obama’s red lines

Posted on November 13, 2013. Filed under: Government Spending, Law, Liberty, People, Philosophy, Politics, War, Weapons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Obama’s red lines

By Raymond Thomas Pronk

President Obama has a credibility problem concerning red lines.

On Aug. 20, 2012, in a press conference from the White House, Obama said, “We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus.” A YouTube video titled “US President Barack Obama in ‘red line’ warning to Syria over chemical weapons” captured Obama’s statement.

On Sept. 4, in a press conference in Stockholm, Obama said, “I didn’t set a red line. The world set a red line. My credibility’s not on the line. The international community’s credibility is on the line. And America and Congress’ credibility’s on the line.” A YouTube video titled “President Obama: I Didn’t Set The Red Line, The World Set The Red Line” captured Obama’s latest statement regarding a red line.

On Aug. 31, Obama announced that he would be seeking from Congress a resolution authorizing military action against the Assad regime for using chemical weapons on the Syrian people.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky) appeared on “Face The Nation” on Sept. 1 and was asked, “How would the United States look if the president says I have decided to take military action,  I want Congress to give me authority, Congress does not give that authority?”

Paul answered, “I think it would show that he made a grave mistake when he drew a red line. I think a president should be very careful about red lines he is not going to keep.   But, then again, when you set a red line that was not a good idea and now you are going to adhere to it or show your machismo, I think then you are trying to save face and adding bad policy to bad policy.”

On Sept. 3 the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on Syria. Paul praised Obama for asking Congress for a resolution to use military force. However, he pressed Secretary of State John Kerry as to whether Obama would still order military action should Congress vote down the resolution.

Kerry said, “The president still has the constitutional authority, and he would be in keeping with the Constitution.”

Paul replied, “I disagree. I do not believe he has the constitutional authority.”

“This power is a congressional power, and it is not an executive power. They didn’t say big war or small war. They didn’t say boots on the ground or no boots on the ground. They said declare war. Ask the people on the ships launching the missiles whether they are involved with war or not. If we do not say that the Constitution applies, if we do not say explicitly we will abide by this vote, you are making a joke of us. You are making us into theater. So we are playing constitutional theater for the president. If this is real, you will abide by the verdict of Congress,” Paul added.  A YouTube video titled “Rand Paul Grills John Kerry: Will Obama Honor Congress’ Vote or Make ‘Constitutional Theater” captured the exchange between  Paul and Kerry.

Paul paraphrased the words of James Madison, the father of the Constitution, who wrote in a letter to Thomas Jefferson in 1798, “The Constitution supposes, what the history of all governments demonstrates that the executive is the branch of power most interested in war and most prone to it.  It has accordingly with studied care vested the question of war to the legislature.”

Paul agrees with Madison who wrote in 1793, “The power to declare war, including the power of judging the causes of war, is fully and exclusively vested in the legislature . . . the executive has no right, in any case, to decide the question, whether there is or is not cause for declaring war.”

Obama would be well advised not to cross this constitutional red line, since in poll after poll the American people have indicated they do not want military action in Syria.

Raymond Thomas Pronk presents the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 4-5 p.m. Monday thru Thursday and from 3-5 p.m. Friday and authors the companion blog http://www.pronkpops.wordpress.com.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Launching World War 3 with the missiles of September?

Posted on November 13, 2013. Filed under: Economics, Law, Liberty, Macroeconomis, People, Philosophy, Politics, War, Weapons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Launching World War 3 with the missiles of September?

By Raymond Thomas Pronk

Operation Iraqi Freedom is the multi-national coalition effort to liberate the Iraqi people, eliminate IraqÕs weapons of mass destruction, and end the regime of Saddam Hussein.

Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) launched from guided missile cruiser USS Cape St. George

Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

In poll after poll the vast majority of the American people have opposed United States intervention in the Syrian civil war by military action and the shipping of arms to the Syrian rebels opposed to the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad.

The Syrian civil war is essentially a religious-based civil war between an Islamic Sunni majority and an Islamic Shia minority that controls the Syrian government.

Sunni Muslims comprise about 60 percent of the population with the Syrian rebels being mostly Arab Sunni Muslims. The Syrian rebels are supported by the United States, Britain, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Arab Shia Muslims (Alawite, Twelvers and Ismailis) comprise about 13 percent of the Syrian population. Hafez al-Assad ruled Syria from 1970-2000 and Bashar al-Assad since July 2000. The Assad family is Alawite and most members of the Syrian government are Arab Shia Muslims. The Assad government is supported by Russia, China, Iran and Hezbollah. The Iranian government is a Persian Shia theocracy of Twelvers that also support the Shia Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The civil war is more than two years old with over 100,000 killed, nearly two million Syrians fleeing to other countries including Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt and several million displaced Syrians moving to other areas within Syria to avoid the violence, according to the United Nations Syrian Refugee Response online report.

“About 60 percent of Americans surveyed said the U.S. should not intervene in Syria’s civil war, while just 9 percent thought President Barack Obama should act,” according to a recent Reuter’s poll. The Reuters/Ipsos tracking poll, taken Aug. 21-26, found that 47.4 percent would oppose, 27.6 percent would support U.S. intervention in Syria, even if Assad’s forces used chemical weapons against civilians, while 25 percent do not know.

After more than a decade of U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) military action and Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) covert action in the Libyan civil war to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi, the American people may have become war weary and opposed to further U.S. government intervention in the Middle East.

In the Libyan civil war the submarine USS Florida launched 100 cruise missiles to takeout Libyan air defenses. This opened a cleared corridor for airstrikes by NATO aircraft and the eventual overthrow of Gaddafi, according to John Barry in his Aug. 20, 2011 online story, “America’ Secret Libya War.”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), in a foreign policy speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention on July 22, said “The Assad regime is no friend to freedom or the United States. But this does not mean the enemy of our enemy is our friend. There are currently 17 different rebel groups in Syria, including the largest group, al-Nusra. Al-Nusra fighters are radical anti-American jihadists that are affiliated with al-Qaeda. Politicians in Washington, who are eager to send these weapons, promise they will not fall into the hands of our enemies. Do you believe that? Does anyone believe that?”

On Aug. 20, 2012 at the White House, Obama said, “We cannot have a situation where chemical or biological weapons are falling into the hands of the wrong people.  We have communicated in no uncertain terms with every player in the region, that that’s a red line for us, and that there would be enormous consequences if we start seeing movement on the chemical weapons front, or the use of chemical weapons. That would change my calculations significantly.”

On Aug. 26 Secretary of State John Kerry accused the Syrian government of crossing Obama’s red line when he said, “Let me be clear: The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity. By any standard, it is inexcusable and despite the excuses and equivocations that some have manufactured, it is undeniable.”

Kerry pointed out in his statement, “the U.N. investigation will not determine who used these chemical weapons, only whether such weapons were used, a judgment that is already clear to the world.”

The question left unanswered is who actually used the chemical weapons, the Syrian government or the Syrian rebels? As of press time, the Obama administration has not provided concrete proof that the Syrian government ordered the use of chemical weapons.

Obama as much as admitted this in a CNN interview on Aug. 23 when he said, “If the U.S. goes in and attacks another country without a U.N. mandate and without clear evidence that can be presented, then there are questions in terms of whether international law supports it – do we have the coalition to make it work?”

Obama appears determined to order the U.S. navy to launch Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAM). Four destroyers, the USS Barry, the USS Mahan, the USS Ramage and the USS Gravely as well as several submarines armed with TLAMs are at press time in position off the coast of Syria, according to naval officials. These cruise missiles would most likely be used to destroy Syrian air defense, communications and command and control systems. After these have been taken out, cruise missiles and fighter and bomber aircraft could be used to destroy the Syrian air force aircraft and runways and the stockpile of chemical and biological weapons.

According to recent polling however, by Reuters and others, the American people, want no part of the Syrian civil war even if chemical weapons were used, no matter who used them.

The American people may be concerned that given the Syrian government’s allies, the launching of cruise missiles could lead to rapid military escalation and a war with Russia, China and Iran.

Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution gives Congress the power to declare war, not the president. Congress is not scheduled to reconvene until Monday at 2 p.m.. By then an undeclared war may have begun with the launching of the missiles aimed at Syria.

Raymond Thomas Pronk presents the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 4-5 p.m. Monday thru Thursday and from 3-5 p.m. Friday and authors the companion blog http://www.pronkpops.wordpress.com.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...