Posts Tagged ‘killed

20
Oct
11

‘leading from behind is looking pretty good right now’

Ian Swanson (The Hill): Obama stands tall after the demise of Libyan strongman Gadhafi

The death of Moammar Gadhafi represents another major foreign policy victory for President Obama, who backed a months-long air campaign in Libya while facing criticism from the left and the right.

Obama stared down congressional skeptics across the political spectrum … Through it all, Obama kept his resolve.

…. On Thursday he basked in the second greatest foreign policy triumph of his administration, after the successful operation this spring that killed Osama bin Laden. Gadhafi’s death comes less than a month after the U.S. drone strike killed al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen.

…. For the unwavering Obama, Thursday came the big payoff as Gadhafi’s hopes for returning to power ended in a field outside his hometown of Sirte.

…. Obama entered the Oval Office as a novice on the international stage, criticized for a naïve outlook on the world.

…. three years into his term, both the bin Laden and Libya events suggest Obama can be steely in making decisions about U.S. force, and in sticking with them.

Full article here

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David Ignatius (Washington Post): ….  Obama saw that a no-fly zone wouldn’t be enough and lobbied for tougher U.N. language authorizing “all necessary measures” to protect the Libyan people. But he opted for limited U.S. involvement, front-loaded in the first week, and under the protective cover of NATO and the Arab League.

Obama deliberately kept the U.S. in the background even when critics began howling for a show of American “leadership.” And most important, he was patient through last summer, rejecting the counsel of those who argued that he must escalate U.S. military intervention to break the stalemate or, alternatively, bail out.

…. Obama took a lot of shots along the way to Thursday’s symbolic end of the Libya campaign. But it seems fair to say that his vision of opposing Gaddafi through a broad, international coalition – in which other nations share the burden, for a change – worked out pretty well.

Full article here

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Steve Benen: President Obama took an enormous risk by agreeing to intervene militarily in Libya. Military resources were stretched in Afghanistan and Iraq; U.S. military commanders were deeply skeptical; Pentagon chief Robert Gates urged the president not to act in Libya; and there was no great appetite among Americans for a third conflict in the Middle East. What’s more, there were all kinds of credible questions about whether this mission had a meaningful chance of success.

But it did succeed and the gamble paid off. Gadhafi and his regime are no more. There’s ample room for a fair debate about whether the mission was wise, but predictions of failure proved to be incorrect.

When it comes to American politics, the next question is what in the world Republicans are going to say about it … ABC’s report identified five different positions Romney has taken on the U.S. million in Libya this year, and as my friend Elon Green notes today, there’s actually a sixth: in his book, Romney accused Obama of appeasing Gadhafi. I’d imagine Romney would drop this attack now, but I suppose one never knows with that guy.

….As for “leading from behind,” it’s looking pretty good right about now.

Full post here

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FT: The demise of Muammer Gaddafi will bolster Barack Obama’s reputation as a strong commander-in-chief, credentials that will make it difficult for Republican rivals to attack his national security credentials as the 2012 election campaign begins.

… Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, two of the leading candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, have largely avoided talking about national security because it is an issue where they can score few points against Mr Obama.

They cannot even use the unpopular wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as lightning rods, as the president is making good on his pledge to withdraw American troops from the former and wind down the latter.

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Mark Landler (!) and David Leonhardt (New York Times): The final end to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s rule is the latest victory for a new American approach to war: few if any troops on the ground, the heavy use of air power, including drones, and, at least in the case of Libya, a reliance on allies.

Only a few months ago, the approach had few fans: not the hawks in Congress who called for boots on the ground, not the doves who demanded a pullout and not the many experts who warned of a quagmire. Most pointedly, critics mocked President Obama for “leading from behind”….

But the last six months have brought a string of successes. In May, American commandos killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. In August, Tripoli fell, and Colonel Qaddafi fled. In September, an American drone strike killed Anwar al-Awlaki, a top Qaeda operative and propagandist, in Yemen. And on Thursday, people were digesting images of the bloodied body of Colonel Qaddafi….

Full article here

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Meanwhile….

Steve Benen: Sen. Marco Rubio appeared on Fox News this morning …. His first instinct wasn’t to thank American troops, but rather, to thank French troops.

…. In the mind of this rising Republican star, the American military that helped drive Gadhafi’s regime from power deserves no credit at all. Marco Rubio is comfortable crediting the French, but not American men and women in uniform.

Wow.

Remember hearing about the “blame America first” crowd? Well, say hello to the “thank America last” crowd.

…. Republicans hate the president so much, they just can’t bring themselves to credit him for the success of the mission, or even thank American servicemen and women for their service in completing the mission.

….. When the fear of Obama getting some credit for success is stronger than the satisfaction that comes with Gadhafi’s demise, there’s a problem.

…. Update: McCain appeared on CNN this morning and said, “I think the [Obama] administration deserves credit, but I especially appreciate the leadership of the British and French in this in carrying out this success.” Shameless.

Full post here

20
Oct
11

rise and shine

BBC

Some news agencies (eg Reuters) are reporting that he has died – but there is no confirmation yet.

Update: He’s dead.

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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama talk with staff while ordering pizza at Anna’s Pizza and Italian Kitchen in Hampton, Va., Oct. 19, 2011. The President and Mrs. Obama had lunch with four veterans during the stop, a part of the President’s three-day American Jobs Act bus tour. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Love this:

Thanks Meta – original video here

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Woot! Thanks Meta ;-)

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From yesterday:

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Poor Mitt …. if this is what his GOP buddies are doing to him, just wait for the 2012 campaign ;-)

More here from Steve Benen on Romney v Perry

The pulled Romney ad:

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A gazillion thank yous to everyone who has helped the Drive for Five (Thousand) – my eyes nearly popped out when I saw the figure this morning:

You’re a bunch of gems ;-)

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Tim McCarver, the Fox Sports guy, will probably be hired soon by Romney as an economic advisor – he’s, eh, really good with numbers:

SportsGrid

30
Sep
11

“if this is defense, what does offense look like?”

BBC: US-born radical Islamist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, a key al-Qaeda leader, has been killed in Yemen, the country’s defence ministry said. Unnamed US officials confirmed the reports, but have not provided details. Awlaki, of Yemeni descent, has been on the run in Yemen since December 2007. The US had named him a “specially designated global terrorist” for his alleged role in a number of attacks and US President Barack Obama is said to have personally ordered his killing. More here

Jake Tapper: The list of senior terrorists killed during the Obama presidency is fairly extensive:

Osama bin Laden in May …. Anwar al-Awlaki today …. Earlier this month al Qaeda’s chief of Pakistan operations, Abu Hafs al-Shahri  …. In August, ‘Atiyah ‘Abd al-Rahman, the deputy leader of al Qaeda…

In June, one of the group’s most dangerous commanders, Ilyas Kashmiri … In Yemen that same month, AQAP senior operatives Ammar al-Wa’ili, Abu Ali al-Harithi, and Ali Saleh Farhan ….. In Somalia, Al-Qa’ida in East Africa (AQEA) senior leader Harun Fazul….

…. Going back to August 2009, Tehrik e-Taliban Pakistan leader Baitullah Mahsud was killed in Pakistan …. In September of that month, Jemayah Islamiya operational planner Noordin Muhammad Top was killed in Indonesia, and AQEA planner Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan was killed in Somalia .. Then in December 2009 in Pakistan, al Qaeda operational commanders Saleh al-Somali and ‘Abdallah Sa’id were killed.

In February 2010, in Pakistan,  Taliban deputy and military commander Abdul Ghani Beradar was captured; Haqqani network commander Muhammad Haqqani was killed; and Lashkar-e Jhangvi leader Qari Zafar was killed …. In March 2010, al Qaeda operative Hussein al-Yemeni was killed in Pakistan, while senior Jemayah Islamiya operative Dulmatin was killed during a raid in Indonesia.

In April 2010, al Qaeda in Iraq leaders Abu Ayyub al-Masri and Abu Omar al-Baghdadi were killed …. In May, al Qaeda’s number three commander, Sheik Saeed al-Masri was killed …. In June 2010 in Pakistan, al Qaeda commander Hamza al-Jawfi was killed.

Remember when Rudy Giuliani warned that electing Barack Obama would mean that the U.S. played defense, not offense, against the terrorists?

If this is defense, what does offense look like?

27
Jun
11

“are you a flake?” (updated)

Steve Benen: …..Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace apparently faced some criticism from the right over this, and he apologized, telling Fox News viewers, “I messed up. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean any disrespect.” ….It’s a shame Wallace felt the need to apologize for this, because he accidentally asked a good question, even if he regrets it now.

Societal norms apparently dictate that unhinged candidates who have no business running for president be shielded from such unpleasantness, but Michele Bachmann is arguably the most ridiculous person in Washington. She proudly embraces bizarre conspiracy theories; she routinely says crazy things on national television; she pretends to grasp public policies she doesn’t understand; and her worldview is comparable to someone who’s suffered a serious head trauma. Even as the Republican Party leaps off a right-wing cliff, Bachmann stands out for unique brand of madness.

Given this, of course response hosts should ask whether she’s a serious person. Bachmann doesn’t deserve deference; she deserves ridicule. I thought “are you a flake” was actually a rather polite way of asking a legitimate question about an unqualified candidate.

Full post (and full video) here

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LA Times: Rep. Michele Bachmann has been propelled into the 2012 presidential contest in part by her insistent calls to reduce federal spending….

But she and her family have benefited personally from government aid, an examination of her record and finances shows. A counseling clinic run by her husband has received nearly $30,000 from the state of Minnesota in the last five years, money that in part came from the federal government. A family farm in Wisconsin, in which the congresswoman is a partner, received nearly $260,000 in federal farm subsidies.

And she has sought to keep federal money flowing to her constituents. After publicly criticizing the Obama administration’s stimulus program, Bachmann requested stimulus funds to support projects in her district….

….despite her broadsides against “socialized medicine,” Bachmann’s husband, Marcus, applied for public funds for his counseling clinic, Bachmann & Associates. Since 2006, he has received nearly $30,000, according to Minnesota state records…

Michele Bachmann lists the Lake Elmo, Minn.-based clinic – which aims to provide “quality Christian counseling in a sensitive, loving environment,” according to its website – as one of her assets on her financial disclosure forms.

Another of Bachmann’s assets – a family farm owned by her late father-in-law, Paul Bachmann – received nearly $260,000 in federal money between 1995 and 2008, largely from corn and dairy subsidies …. Paul Bachmann died in May 2009, but the congresswoman retains a partnership in the farm.

Bachmann said in December that the subsidies went to her in-laws and she never received “one penny” from the farm, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. However, in financial disclosure forms, she reported receiving between $32,503 and $105,000 in income from the farm, at minimum, between 2006 and 2009.

More here

AP: ..…Examining 24 of her statements, Politifact.com, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking service found just one to be fully true and 17 to be false (seven of them “pants on fire” false)….. A look at some of her recent statements and how they compare with the facts:

BACHMANN: “The farm is my father-in-law’s farm. It’s not my husband and my farm. It’s my father-in-law’s farm. And my husband and I have never gotten a penny of money from the farm.” — On “Fox News Sunday.”

THE FACTS: In personal financial disclosure reports required annually from members of Congress, Bachmann reported that she holds an interest in a family farm in Independence, Wis., with her share worth between $100,000 and $250,000…..

BACHMANN: “Overnight we are hearing that potentially 10 to 30,000 people could have been killed in the strike.” — Criticizing Obama in May for the “foolish” U.S. intervention in Libya, and citing what she said were reports of a civilian death toll from a NATO strike as high as 30,000.

THE FACTS: The U.S. ambassador to Libya, Gene Cretz, said in late April that U.S. officials have seen reports that 10,000 to 30,000 people may have died in Moammar Gadhafi’s crackdown on protesters and the fighting between rebels and pro-government forces, but it is hard to know if that is true. He was speaking about all casualties of the conflict; no one has attributed such a death toll to NATO bombing alone, much less to a single strike.

BACHMANN: “It’s ironic and sad that the president released all of the oil from the strategic oil reserve. … There’s only a limited amount of oil that we have in the strategic oil reserve. It’s there for emergencies.” — On CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

THE FACTS: Obama did not empty all the oil from the strategic reserve, as Bachmann said. He approved the release of 30 million barrels, about 4 percent of the 727 million barrels stored in salt caverns along the Texas and Louisiana coasts….

BACHMANN: “One. That’s the number of new drilling permits under the Obama administration since they came into office.” — Comment to a conservative conference in Iowa in March.

THE FACTS: The Obama administration issued more than 200 new drilling permits before the Gulf oil spill alone. Over the past year, since new safety standards were imposed, the administration has issued more than 60 shallow-water drilling permits. Since the deep water moratorium was lifted in October, nine new wells have been approved.

More here

04
Jun
11

he’s soft on ‘terror’, you know

MSNBC: Senior al-Qaida operative Ilyas Kashmiri, regarded as one of the world’s most dangerous militants, has been killed by a U.S. drone strike, Pakistani intelligence officials and a militant group confirmed Saturday.

A fax from Kashmiri’s Harakat-ul-Jihad al-Islami militant group said Saturday that Kashmiri was “martyred” in the strike at 11:15 p.m. Friday in South Waziristan. It vowed revenge against America.

The Pakistani official also said Saturday that Kashmiri was among nine militants killed in the strike … Kashmiri is one of five most-wanted militant leaders in Pakistan and his apparent death is another blow to al-Qaida just over a month after Osama bin Laden was killed.

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BBC: ….According to a recent Associated Press report, his name figured among the top five al-Qaeda and Taliban militants US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mentioned during her meetings with the Pakistani leadership a week ago.

He was one of the most active al-Qaeda leaders, and was believed to have had a role in some high-profile attacks against Pakistani and US interests in Pakistan. It is believed that the capabilities of his 313 Brigade will suffer a setback now that he is gone.

What is more, the Pakistani government has admitted to agreeing to set up joint intelligence teams with the Americans to hunt down wanted militant leaders, and many would be led to believe the Pakistani intelligence operatives had a role in leading the Americans to Kashmiri, unless the Pakistanis or the Americans claim otherwise.

More here

17
Feb
11

in memory

President Barack Obama signs the John M. Roll United States Courthouse Bill in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on February 17. The bill will name a new federal courthouse in Yuma, Arizona, after slain federal Judge John M. Roll who died in last month’s shooting in Tucson. The President was joined by members of Roll’s family, members of the Arizona Congressional delegation, and members of his cabinet.




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