Just finished watching Obama's televised address regarding America's response to developments in Iraq.
In all honesty, and for the first time in my memory, Obama actually sounded like a confident, committed leader, a genuine commander-in-chief who, by all appearances, sincerely believed what he was saying.
But, despite the intense, polished, in-charge demeanor, it was hard to shake that nagging awareness that Obama remains Obama, all the good, the bad and the ugly, and that he remains totally ideological and politically motivated in all that he says and does.
That said, his decision to conduct humanitarian airdrops to relieve the besieged and starving Iraqi minorities atop a mountain in northern Iraq, this to prevent "genocide" at the hands of ISIS, was refreshing. Though pleasantly surprising and completely out of character, it was nonetheless very good to hear.
And though undefined, his decision to permit "targeted air strikes" in order to "defend American personnel", and to provide "assistance" to both Baghdad forces and the Kurds, his decision was, indeed, encouraging. Again, not having better defined the nature and breadth of those "targeted air strikes" and the "assistance" to be provided to friendly forces in Iraq left me hanging and uncertain.
Throughout his speech he repeated "targeted air strikes" three times and assured Americans that he understood their reluctance to "get dragged into [another] war in Iraq". Certainly, there was no indication that this intervention would be anything but very, very limited.
I couldn't help but recall Clinton's very effective air strikes on Serbian forces in the 90's. It made all the difference in the world--and without boots on the ground. With that successful operation in mind, my hope, of course, is that these "targeted air strikes" will eventually encompass on-going and crippling strikes on all ISIS forces everywhere.
I appreciated his intention to "support moderate forces [in Iraq] to create stability" and to form a new, more inclusive Iraqi government. Obviously, PM Maliki, a divisive and debilitating political force in Iraq, has to go if the Iraqis can ever hope to restore political order, national unity and a more effective Iraqi fighting force capable of fending off or even defeating ISIS .
Ever the globalist, he underscored the need to "consult with the UN and other countries", though what he was expecting of such consultations remained unclear. Troops, arms, air bases?
His one comment which piqued my incredulity was his statement that it was always America's core interest to "support our allies and to lead coalitions", clearly an interest to which, in my humble opinion, he has paid lip service during his stint as Commander-in-Chief.
Another statement which caused me to shake my head in exasperation was that "the world looks to us to lead and that's why we do". Hmmm. I guess I missed all that "leading" over the last six years.
Anyway, I am heartened that this humanitarian effort has been undertaken, but I am also certain--as I am sure he is--that he will now get a bump in the polls for this action.
Finally, because I firmly believe he is, first and foremost, a cold, calculating me-first ideologue, I still don't trust him to do the right thing for the right reasons. Thus, I don't trust that this ill-defined and apparently very limited operation will, in the longer term, satisfactorily serve the interests of Iraq, the Kurds or the United States. Nor do I believe it will appropriately cripple ISIS. On this, I sincerely hope he proves me dead wrong.
Horrible: Democrats Set The Constitution On Fire With Fraudulent Impeachment
House Democrats unveiled two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Tuesday morning after an investigation that violated fundamental provisions of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
The investigation of the president began with the complaint of a so-called “whistleblower” who turned out to be a rogue Central Intelligence Agency employee, protected by a lawyer who had called for a “coup” against Trump in early 2017.
Democrats first demanded that the “whistleblower” be allowed to testify. But after House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) was found to have lied about his committee’s contact with the “whistleblower,” and after details of the “whistleblower’s” bias began to leak, Democrats reversed course. In violation of the President Trump’s Sixth Amendment right to confront his accuser, Democrats refused to allow the “whistleblower” to testify. They argue the president’s procedural rights, even if they existed, would not apply until he was tried in the Senate — but they also invented a fraudulent “right to anonymity” that, they hope, might conceal the whistleblower even then.
Schiff began the “impeachment inquiry” in secret, behind the closed doors of the Sensitive Compartmentalized Information Facility (SCIF) in the basement of the U.S. Capitol, even though none of the testimony was deemed classified. Few members of Congress were allowed access. Schiff allowed selective bits of testimony to leak to friendly media, while withholding transcripts of testimony.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), having allowed the secret process to unfold, legitimized it with a party-line vote authorizing the inquiry. The House resolution denied President Trump the procedural rights enjoyed by Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, and denied the minority party the traditional right to object to witnesses called by the majority.
Rather than the House Judiciary Committee, which traditionally handles impeachment, Pelosi also deputized the House Intelligence Committee to conduct fact-finding; the Judiciary Committee was turned into a rubber stamp. Schiff held a few public hearings, but often failed to release transcripts containing exculpatory evidence until after they had passed.
In the course of the Intelligence Committee’s investigation, Schiff quietly spied on the telephone records of his Republican counterpart, Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-CA). He also snooped on the phone records of a journalist, John Solomon; and on the phone records of former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, acting as President Trump’s personal lawyer.
Schiff’s eavesdropping violated both the First Amendment right to press freedom and the Sixth Amendment right to counsel. Yet he proceeded undeterred by constitutional rights, publishing the phone logs in his committee’s report without warning, confirmation, or explanation, alleging that Nunes and the others were part of a conspiracy to assist the president’s allegedly impeachable conduct. When Republicans on the Judiciary Committee asked the Intelligence Committee’s majority counsel, Daniel Goldman, to explain the phone logs, he refused to answer,
Ironically, Schiff had done exactly what Democrats accuse Trump of doing: abused his power to dig up dirt on political opponents, then obstructed a congressional investigation into his party’s and his committee’s misconduct.
Democrats’ articles of impeachment include one for the dubious charge of “abuse of power,” which is not mentioned in the Constitution; and one for “obstruction of Congress,” which in this case is an abuse of power in itself.
Alexander Hamilton, writing about impeachment in Federalist 65, warned that “there will always be the greatest danger that the decision will be regulated more by the comparative strength of parties, than by the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt.” Democrats have fulfilled Hamilton’s worst fears.
The Trump impeachment will soon replace the 1868 impeachment of President Andrew Johnson — which the House Judiciary Committee staff actually cited as a positive precedent — as the worst in American history.
In service of their “coup,” Democrats have trampled the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The Republic has never been in greater danger.