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Foreign Affairs: What's going on around the world.

Report: Obama Delayed James Foley Rescue a Month, Fretting over His Image and Golfing

Aug 24, 2014 11:44 AM PT

According to a new Sunday Times report by Toby Harden, "Pentagon sources said Foley and the others might well have been rescued but Obama, concerned about the ramifications of US troops being killed or captured in Syria, took too long to authorise the mission."

It's claimed that Obama was concerned about his administration being Carterized had the mission failed. 

For President Barack Obama the decision to send in the Night Stalkers was an agonising one. The audacious bin Laden raid in Pakistan had been a success but also preying on his mind was the failed 1980 Delta Force operation to rescue American hostages in Tehran. Sandstorms and mechanical troubles led the mission to be abandoned and eight American troops were killed when two aircraft collided. The debacle cast a shadow over Jimmy Carter’s presidency.

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Kurdish Female Warriors On The Front Lines Fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria

Aug 23, 2014 8:41 PM PT

 notoriously fierce segment of the Kurdish security forces are striking terror into the hearts of ISIS terrorists - female fighters. The Jihadists have no problem slaughtering defenseless women but they don't like facing armed female warriors in battle -- because they don't believe they'll go to heaven if they're killed by one of them. 

The first official female unit was formed in 1996 when women began combat training in opposition to Saddam Hussein’s regime. They've earned a  reputation for bravery and skill in the battlefield - so much so Peshmerga women are sometimes compared to Amazons.  You could call them the Kurdish Peshmerga's First Cavalry Amazon Battalion. 

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Drumbeat of war vs. bagpipes of extended golf vacation

Aug 23, 2014 7:55 AM PT

In response to ISIS and the Obama Administration's Drumbeat of War:

This is one of the reasons Obama's dogged insistence on showing himself a good time in a moment of crisis - laughing and fist-bumping with his golf buddies within an hour of claiming to be shattered with grief and anger over the beheading of James Foley - is so inappropriate.  Part of this Administration is beating the war drums, while the White House is acting like it's no big deal, a few airstrikes here and there, no boots on the ground, no risk to American soldiers, the whole thing will be wrapped up in time for whatever domestic-policy horror Obama's planning to unleash in September.

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ISIS and the Obama Administration's Drumbeat of War

Aug 22, 2014 5:19 PM PT

Is the man who ran for President as the anti-war candidate about to take America to war in Iraq and Syria? Listening to the Obama administration this week, it certainly sounds that way.

U.S. engagement with ISIS started as a kind of quasi-humanitarian mission. Earlier this month, President Obama indicated the main goal of the strikes and of military support to Iraq and the Kurds was "preventing an act of genocide." But after the murder of journalist James Foley, the U.S. has stepped up the intensity of airstrikes and the administration seems to be striking a new, more aggressive tone.

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The unseen evil of ISIS

Aug 22, 2014 12:29 PM PT

The Boston Globe headlines its editorial on the hideous murder of American journalist James Foley "Beheading of Foley Exposes True Nature of 'Islamic State.'"

I'm sorry, guys, but putting the name of the new caliphate into scare quotes is too precious by half.  It's not a euphemism, it's their name, and thousands of Muslims from around the world are pouring into their ranks.  You can't make them go away by pretending they're inauthentic, as President Obama tried to do with all his whiny little digs about how they're not really Muslims, no just God would stand still for their atrocities, there's no room for them in the 21st Century, they'll inevitably fail, et cetera.  

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The Palestinian Authority is Not an Alternative to Hamas

Aug 21, 2014 6:28 AM PT

One of the more important strategic problems Israel faces as it returns to war in Gaza--this time with an even stronger case for deposing Hamas--is what to do in the aftermath. One member of the Israeli Cabinet, dovish justice minister Tzipi Livni, has introduced a plan that calls for replacing Hamas with the Palestinian Authority (PA), which the terror group dislodged from parliament in a 2006 election, and from office in a 2007 coup.

While it is useful to think about alternatives to Hamas, it is clear that the PA is not much of one. Consider the following: 

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Priorities: Obama Fundraises Ahead Of ISIS Speech

Aug 20, 2014 10:54 AM PT

The president took another brief time out from his vacation Wednesday to address the nation on the horrific beheading of an American journalist by the terrorist death cult ISIS. Speaking at a press conference in Martha's Vineyard, he declared that ISIS has "no place in the 21st century" -- which incidentally is the same thing he says about Republicans who oppose the "Equal Pay Act." 

But first things first. Before he faced the cameras to sound off about the ISIS menace, Obama sent out a fundraising appeal.

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Has the Moment Passed for Israel to Take out Hamas?

Aug 19, 2014 6:34 AM PT

As a 24-hour extension of the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas continued Tuesday, with a deal still elusive, it is becoming less clear that Israel can still count on the political will or international patience that would allow it to remove Hamas from power in Gaza. News of a foiled Hamas coup against the Palestinian Authority has made the case against Hamas clearer. Yet several factors are now pushing against any decisive Israeli action--for now.

One is undoubtedly the Obama administration's attempt to clamp down on arms shipments to Israel. Another is the threat of UN investigations for war crimes. The most basic challenge, however, is simply Israel's desire to return to normalcy. Having thousands of reservists mobilized drains the economy and morale; being at war also takes a large toll of tourism and trade. The longer negotiations drag on, the better Hamas's position becomes.

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