George W. Bush Bashes Obama on Middle East

In a closed-door meeting with Jewish donors on Saturday night, former President George W. Bush delivered his harshest public criticisms to date against his successor on foreign policy, saying that President Barack Obama is being naïve about Iran and the pending nuclear deal and losing the war against the Islamic State.

One attendee at the Republican Jewish Coalition session, held at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas with owner Sheldon Adelson in attendance, transcribed large portions of Bush’s remarks. The former president, who rarely ever criticizes Obama in public, at first remarked that the idea of re-entering the political arena was something he didn’t want to do. He then proceeded to explain why Obama, in his view, was placing the U.S. in “retreat” around the world. He also said Obama was misreading Iran’s intentions while relaxing sanctions on Tehran too easily.

According to the attendee’s transcription, Bush noted that Iran has a new president, Hassan Rouhani. “He’s smooth,” Bush said. “And you’ve got to ask yourself, is there a new policy or did they just change the spokesman?”

Bush said that Obama’s plan to lift sanctions on Iran with a promise that they could snap back in place at any time was not plausible. He also said the deal would be bad for American national security in the long term: “You think the Middle East is chaotic now? Imagine what it looks like for our grandchildren. That’s how Americans should view the deal.”

Bush then went into a detailed criticism of Obama’s policies in fighting the Islamic State and dealing with the chaos in Iraq. On Obama’s decision to withdraw all U.S. troops in Iraq at the end of 2011, he quoted Senator Lindsey Graham calling it a “strategic blunder.” Bush signed an agreement with the Iraqi government to withdraw those troops, but the idea had been to negotiate a new status of forces agreement to keep U.S. forces there past 2011. The Obama administration tried and failed to negotiate such an agreement.

Bush said he views the rise of the Islamic State as al-Qaeda’s “second act” and that they may have changed the name but that murdering innocents is still the favored tactic. He defended his own administration’s handling of terrorism, noting that the terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who confessed to killing Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, was captured on his watch: “Just remember the guy who slit Danny Pearl’s throat is in Gitmo, and now they’re doing it on TV.”

Obama promised to degrade and destroy Islamic State’s forces but then didn’t develop a strategy to complete the mission, Bush said. He said that if you have a military goal and you mean it, “you call in your military and say ‘What’s your plan?’ ” He indirectly touted his own decision to surge troops to Iraq in 2007, by saying, “When the plan wasn’t working in Iraq, we changed.”

“In order to be an effective president … when you say something you have to mean it,” he said. “You gotta kill em.”

Bush told several anecdotes about his old friend and rival Russian President Vladimir Putin. Bush recalled that Putin met his dog Barney at the White House and then later, when Bush went to Moscow, Putin showed him his dog and remarked that he was “bigger stronger and faster than Barney.” For Bush, that behavior showed him that Putin didn’t think in “win-win” terms.

Bush also remarked that Putin was rich, divorced his wife and loves power. Putin’s domestic popularity comes from his control of Russian media, according to Bush. “Hell, I’d be popular, too, if I owned NBC news,” he said.

Regarding his brother Jeb’s potential run for the presidency, Bush acknowledged that he was a political liability for Jeb, that the Bush name can be used against him, and that Americans don’t like dynasties. He also said that foreign policy is going to be especially important in the presidential campaign and that the test for Republicans running will be who has got the “courage” to resist isolationist tendencies.

Regarding Hillary Clinton, Bush said it will be crucial how she plays her relationship with the president. She will eventually have to choose between running on the Obama administration’s policies or running against them. If she defends them, she’s admitting failure, he said, but if she doesn’t she’s blaming the president.

For George W. Bush, the remarks in Vegas showed he has little respect for how the current president is running the world. He also revealed that he takes little responsibility for the policies that he put in place that contributed to the current state of affairs.

Communist Party USA Chairman Vows Cooperation With Democratic Party

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Communist Party USA Chairman Vows Cooperation With Democratic Party

The chairman of the National Committee of the Communist Party USA has penned a 2,023-word manifesto making the critical point that American Communists are eager to work with the Democratic Party to advance the modern communist agenda and achieve communist goals.

Communist Party chairman John Bachtell published his essay last week at People’s World, a “daily news website of, for and by the 99% and the direct descendant of the Daily Worker.”

“[L]abor and other key social forces are not about to leave the Democratic Party anytime soon,” Bachtell promised. “They still see Democrats as the most realistic electoral vehicle” to fight against perceived class enemies.

Bachtell, 58, is playing the long political game and he has a strategy, he said.

“First, we are part of building the broadest anti-ultra right alliance possible, uniting the widest array of class (including a section of monopoly), social and democratic forces. This necessarily means working with the Democratic Party,” the communist leader explained.

“Second, our objective is not to build the Democratic Party. At this stage we are about building the broad people’s movement led by labor that utilizes the vehicle of the Democratic Party to advance its agenda,” Bachtell further expounded. “We are about building the movements around the issues roiling wide sections of people that can help shape election contours and debates.”

“[W]e are for building movements in the electoral arena and see engagement in the electoral arena and democratic governance as a vital means to further build movements,” Bachtell also said.

To that end, he claimed, “thousands of trade unionists have been elected” at municipal and local levels of American government. Bachtell did not note a party affiliation of these elected leaders.

The rest of Bachtell’s declaration is mostly a somewhat modernized version of the same, garden-variety communist drivel communists have been spouting since roughly 1840.

Communists and other leftists have experienced “disillusionment with the Democratic Party” because of its “deep connections to Wall Street.” He is still mad at President Bill Clinton for NAFTA and welfare reform.

He’s mad at everyone about an increased number of private schools.

Republicans are an embodiment of caricatured evil for Bachtell.

“While the Republican Party is led by the most reactionary sections of Wall Street capital including the energy extractive sector and military industrial complex, it also consists of extreme right-wing elements including the Tea Party, white supremacists, social conservatives, right-wing evangelicals, climate deniers, anti-reproductive rights groups, etc.,” the communist leader writes.

Bachtell possesses a bachelor’s degree from Antioch College, an obscure, private hothouse of leftism that went defunct in 2008 and was resurrected in 2011 as an unaccredited, private work college.

Putin turns Obama into Jimmy Carter totally

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Henninger: Putin Carterizes Obama, Totally

The Democrats are vulnerable again on handling the world.

By

DANIEL HENNINGER


March 5, 2014 7:11 p.m. ET
Air-dropping himself into Kiev Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the Russian seizure of Crimea is “not 21st-century, G-8, major-nation behavior.” He said Mr. Putin should allow “international observers” to enter Crimea.International observers?This calls to mind Humphrey Bogart’s Fred C. Dobbs facing the gang of Mexican bandidos in “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre”:Dobbs: “If you’re the police, where are your badges?”Chief bandido: “Badges? We ain’t got no badges. We don’t need no badges!”We may assume Mr. Putin would say the masked Russians patrolling Ukrainian Crimea are “international observers.”As of this week, it’s official. Vladimir Putin has turned Barack Obama totally into Jimmy Carter.We may quibble over the timeline. Some might say it began when Mr. Obama whispered to then-Russian president Dmitry Medvedev he’d have “more flexibility” after the 2012 election; others that it set in when the U.S. president took Mr. Putin’s offer to let Bashar Assad escape the bombing of his airfields for using WMD against his own people.

A Russian-style international observer at a Ukrainian air base in Crimea. Getty Images

“Carterization” has a specific meaning in American politics. In 1980, Ronald Reagan delivered an August speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Chicago, just as he was starting his campaign to unseat Jimmy Carter, trapped then in the Iranian hostage crisis.

“The response from the administration in Washington” to foreign threats, said Reagan, “has been one of weakness, inconsistency, vacillation and bluff.”

“Our allies are losing confidence in us, and our adversaries no longer respect us,” he said. Our partners “are confused by the lack of a coherent, principled policy from the Carter administration.”

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The characterization stuck, helped by Mr. Carter’s foreign adventures after his presidency. And in truth, Mr. Carter’s team included sterner ballast in Defense Secretary Harold Brown and National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski. Nothing similar exists today in the Obama administration.

The consequences of Mr. Obama’s Carterization overseas are coming so fast it’s hard to keep track. Ukraine, though important, is the tip of the iceberg. Here’s what else happened in the week Mr. Putin captured Crimea.

-Israel on Wednesday intercepted in the Red Sea an Iranian shipment to Gaza of dozens of Syrian-made surface-to-surface rockets. These are our new Iranian negotiating partners.

North Korea last Thursday test-fired four short-range ballistic missiles and another this Monday. Then on Tuesday it deployed a new multiple-rocket launcher that fired four missiles with enough range to hit American and South Korean military bases near Seoul.

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-In Moscow last Wednesday,Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Russia plans to use military bases in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua for its navy and to refuel strategic bombers.

-Three months ago, Secretary Kerry ostentatiously announced in a Washington speech, “The era of the Monroe Doctrine is over.” Naturally the Russians took this as a green light to return to one of the Soviet Union’s favorite playpens. The next day, a Russian spy ship, the Viktor Leonov SSV-175, slipped unannounced into Havana Harbor.

-Then this Wednesday, a news bulletin: “China announces 12.2% increase in military budget.” That boost comes within 24 hours of the Obama budget proposing a decline in U.S. defense spending.

This is all in one week!

Ah, one more thing happened. With Ukraine, in Vladimir Putin’s word “stabilized,” Mr. Obama went to Connecticut to campaign for an increase in the federal minimum wage and from there to Boston for a Democratic fundraiser. What, me worry?

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Our allies have noticed. In December, Saudi Arabia separated itself from a decades-long alliance with the U.S. to arm the Syrian opposition because the Obama administration would not. That same month Vice President Joe Biden made a trip to Asia to reassure our allies there that the U.S. “pivot” to the Pacific is real. In February Secretary Kerry went to Asia to say it all again. This is unprecedented. Until now.

Democrats spent years trying to dig out from under the Carter foreign policy image and the blame-America-first Vietnam Syndrome. Because of the Obama determination to lead from behind—which is modern Democratic foreign-policy doctrine, not just one man’s whim—they are politically vulnerable again on handling the world.

But Hillary Clinton, who has managed never to articulate anything resembling a strategic vision, may get lucky. Because opinion polls say Americans have foreign-commitment fatigue (the actual number in the oft-cited Pew poll is 52%), Republicans have gone into a defensive crouch over the U.S.’s world role. Every prominent Republican commenting on Ukraine felt obliged to disavow military action. That disavowal is dangerous. Any Republican thinking of being a successful U.S. president should read that Chicago speech.

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A realistic hope for peace, Reagan said, is possible only if the U.S. maintains “the vital margin of safety.” The margin of safety wasn’t about public threats of war. It is about the marginal advantage gained when an adversary negotiating with a strong U.S. believed we might act militarily. If friends and foes conclude no one in the U.S. believes this in 2014, the margin of safety is gone.