A Fundamental Misunderstanding

Jeffrey Goldberg drew it out of President Barack Obama in Goldberg’s interview with Obama for a piece in The Atlantic. Unfortunately, Goldberg didn’t pursue it, perhaps because he has the same misconceived notion. The misunderstanding is about Iran; here is the core of the exchange that demonstrates Obama’s error.

The Iraqi “Army”

Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said, in the aftermath of the collapse of the Iraqi’s pseudo-defense of Ramadi, that the Iraqi army hasn’t the will to fight.

The Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight. They were not outnumbered. In fact they vastly outnumbered the opposing force and yet they failed to fight and withdrew from the site… We can give them training, we can give them equipment. We obviously can’t give them the will to fight.

They cut and ran, abandoning that American-supplied equipment, small arms and vehicles among it, to the Daesh and abandoning the city and its remaining residents to those terrorists.

Special Snowflakes

…gotta be part of the blizzard. That’s the opening lament of a collection of graduate pupils in the University of California’s Master of Arts program in Art and Design. These Magnificent Seven, an entire class of the program and who have completed a year of it, wrote a letter explaining their decision to withdraw en masse from the program and posted it on the Art&Education Web site.

Some high points of their letter follow.

We are a group of seven artists who have been forced by the school’s dismantling of each of these elements to dissolve our MFA candidacies.

The Obama Guarantee

President Barack Obama made this guarantee in his statement at the end of his recent Meeting of the Deputies involving the Gulf Cooperation Council national leadership seconds.

The United States is prepared to work jointly with the GCC states to deter and confront an external threat to any GCC state’s territorial integrity that is inconsistent with the UN Charter. In the event of such aggression or the threat of such aggression, the United States stands ready to work with our GCC partners to determine urgently what action may be appropriate, using the means at our collective disposal, including the potential use of military force, for the defense of our GCC partners.

“We Are Not Citizens of Ukraine”

That’s what Alexander Zakharchenko, a leader of the rebels in Donetsk Oblast of Ukraine, is quoted as saying in Christian Neef’s article of that name in Spiegel Online International.

Fair enough. Then you and your rebels should leave Ukraine and move to Russia, which you think is a better nation than Ukraine, anyway. After all, you’re in Ukraine illegally, now.

Security Guarantees

Several Arab states, members of the Gulf Security Council, are looking for

major new weapons systems and security guarantees from the White House in exchange for backing a nuclear agreement with Iran, according to US and Arab officials.

There are a lot of valid arguments on both sides of that question in The Wall Street Journal article at the link (RTWT), but one thing jumps out at me, and it wasn’t addressed in the article.

Suppose the GSC nations get those security guarantees and promises of delivery of those weapons systems. On what basis do they think this administration would deliver on those commitments?


Or something. President Barack Obama, through his Press Secretary Josh Earnest, says that helping with a ransom payment isn’t paying ransom.

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that the FBI helped the family of Warren Weinstein make a ransom payment to his al-Qaeda captors by vetting a Pakistani middleman who helped deliver the money.

Here’s Obama, through Earnest:

Speaking generally, helping with a ransom payment…is not tantamount to paying a ransom….

Yeah. And my grandson isn’t pulling the cat’s tail; he’s just holding on. The cat is doing the pulling.

Those Clinton Foundation Donations

On the matter of the Clinton Foundation’s need to refile some past tax reporting records because others had discovered that the Foundation had underreported its income, the Foundation’s Acting CEO Maura Pally offered this:

We made mistakes, as many organizations of our size do, but we are acting quickly to remedy them. And [we] have taken steps to ensure they don’t happen in the future.

Fair enough. Based solely on this instance of underreporting, it’s difficult to lay the error off to corruption or incompetence, even though the erroneous underreporting is a massive error, and the underreported donations occurred while Hillary Clinton was sitting in the Secretary of State’s chair.

Protect People, Not Borders?

That’s what Maximilian Popp, over at Spiegel Online International, thinks. The caption of the lead image is this:

The mass deaths of refugees like those seen this weekend on the European Union’s external borders is not a consequence of politicians looking away. We are in fact causing the problem with our Fortress Europe policies.

The capsizing of a refugee boat with the loss of the lives of hundreds was not caused by European policies, whether national or European. Neither was the murder of seven Christians on another refugee boat by their Muslim fellow refugees. Those were caused by a boat captain’s error and by Muslim murderers.