Monday, June 30, 2014

Pledge Allegiance to New ‘Caliph,’ ISIS Demands of World’s Muslims in Ramadan Declaration

As Ramadan began on Sunday, the terrorist group fighting to control territory across northern Syria and north-western Iraq effectively named its leader as head of the world’s Islamic fighters and demanded that Muslims everywhere pledge allegiance. Read

Bill Clinton Misleads on Number of Diplomatic Deaths During Bush Years

Dismissing Republican criticism of Hillary Clinton over the Benghazi terrorist attack, President Clinton referred to ten occasions during the Bush administration when U.S. diplomatic personnel had been killed, and asked where the GOP anger had been then. Read

Friday, June 27, 2014

State Dep’t Official: Don’t Take Kerry’s ‘Literally’ Comment on Russia/Ukraine Literally

With the clock running down on a ceasefire between Ukraine’s government and pro-Russian separatists in the country’s east, Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday called on Russia to show, “in the next hours, literally,” that it was working on disarming the militias. Read

‘Hypocrisy’ Seen in Saudi-Funded Event on Muslims and Christians in Arab World

A Saudi-funded inter-religious dialogue event last weekend focusing on “common citizenship for Muslims and Christians in the Arab world” prompted critics to observe the irony of a regime notorious for religious intolerance underwriting the initiative. Read

Cruz Blasts Hamas, As Israel Names Kidnappers of 3 Israeli Teens

The Israeli government on Thursday named two Hamas militants it said had kidnapped three teenagers two weeks ago, and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu urged Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas to end his unity agreement with the terrorist group. Read

Thursday, June 26, 2014

State Dep’t: No Comment on U.S. Move to Re-Name D.C. Street Where Chinese Embassy Is Located

Caught between U.S. lawmakers wanting to make a political point to Beijing and a Chinese government bristling over the move, the State Department on Wednesday chose not to comment on an initiative to re-name the street in front of the Chinese Embassy in Washington in honor of a jailed Chinese dissident. Read

Obama Mocks Climate Skeptics in Congress: ‘I’m Going to Just Pretend...I Can’t Read'

President Obama on Wednesday mocked members of Congress who challenge man-made climate change, saying in many cases they really believe otherwise but don’t want to be run out of town by those who call it “a liberal plot.” Read

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Kerry on Plummeting Foreign Policy Ratings: ‘I Don’t Pay Attention to Polls’

Confronted with the latest in a series of opinion polls showing declining American approval of the Obama administration’s foreign policy, Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday he doesn’t “pay attention to polls.” Read

Rep. Wolf Rips His Church for Being Hard on Israel, Sensitive to Muslims' Concerns

Rep. Frank Wolf took his Presbyterian denomination to task Tuesday for a decision to divest from three U.S. companies doing business with Israel in the disputed West Bank, even as it chose not to support a recent pledge of solidarity with Christian minorities in Islamic lands lest it be perceived as “anti-Muslim.” Read

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

State Dep’t Sees Syria’s Surrender of Chemical Weapons As a Punishment for Using Them

As the last of Syria’s declared chemical weapons were handed over, the Obama administration maintained Monday that the Assad regime had reaped consequences for its use of the deadly agents to kill more than 1,400 Syrians. But when asked what price Syria had paid, the administration pointed only to the arsenal’s surrender. Read

Kerry Hints That US Could Take Military Action Against ISIS Soon

Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday gave the clearest indication yet that President Obama may order military action of some type against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) fighters who have been capturing territory in northern and western Iraq – and may do so soon. Read

Monday, June 23, 2014

Top Polish Politician Quoted As Saying Alliance With U.S. Is ‘Worthless’

Poland’s government has long been uneasy about the Obama administration’s “reset” of relations with Moscow and its scaling down of a Bush-era missile defense plan, but private comments allegedly by Warsaw’s foreign minister have cast an awkward light on the relationship just weeks after a presidential visit. Read

Kerry: Removal of Saddam, Gaddafi Not to Blame for Crises in Iraq, Libya

Secretary of State John Kerry pushed back Sunday at the notion that U.S. intervention to remove dictators in Iraq and Libya stoked terrorism and sectarianism, and is consequently to blame for the current crises in those countries. Read

Friday, June 20, 2014

Global ‘Islamophobia’ Report Points to ‘Islamaphobe’ on U.S. Religious Freedom Watchdog

A new report on global “Islamophobia” by the bloc of Islamic nations cites examples of negative trends in the United States, including the presence of an anti-Islamic Muslim activist on a statutory religious freedom body. Read

Kerry: Foreign Gov’ts Must Accept Same-Sex Spouses of US Personnel Stationed Abroad

The U.S. is leading by example in promoting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) rights at home and around the world, Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday. Read

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Islamic Bloc Chief’s Speech Barely Touches on Iraq and Syria

The conflict raging in Syria and Iraq hung heavily over a meeting of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) foreign ministers in Saudi Arabia Wednesday, but judging from the OIC chief’s keynote address, his top priority was “Palestine.” Read

Kerry: 'At Least 98, 99% of All Scientists in Our Country’ Believe in Climate Change

At a time when debate is swirling over the assertion that 97 percent of scientists endorse man-made global warming, Secretary of State John Kerry – a frequent citer of the 97 percent figure – in a speech Wednesday nudged the figure up to “at least 98, 99 percent.” Read

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Final Deadline on Syrian Chemical Weapons Agreement Will Be Missed

The international community will miss its June 30 deadline for the complete destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons program, due to a series of regime breaches of an agreement which the Obama administration has touted as a key foreign policy accomplishment. Read

State Dep’t Sides With Saudis As Iraq’s Maliki Points Accusing Finger

In urging an end to sectarianism in the crisis engulfing Iraq and Syria, the Obama administration is focusing largely on the Shi’ite side of the equation – despite indications that Sunni parties, including U.S. ally Saudi Arabia, are fueling the strife as well. Read

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Collaborate With Iran Over Iraq? Don’t Do It, Analysts Warn

As Secretary of State John Kerry voiced a cautious willingness Monday to talk to Iran about stabilizing Iraq, experts are urging strongly against cooperating with a hostile regime that leads the world in sponsoring terrorism. Read

As Iraq Burns, Islamic Bloc Meeting to Focus on ‘Palestine,’ Central African Republic

Just days before the start of Ramadan – a month dedicated to daytime fasting, Muslim unity and peace – foreign ministers from the bloc of Islamic nations will gather Wednesday at a time when sectarian strife is raging in Iraq and Syria. Read

US Troops ‘Equipped for Combat’ Head For Iraq

The U.S. is sending around 275 troops, “equipped for combat,” to Iraq to bolster security at the American Embassy in Baghdad, President Obama informed Congress on Monday night – the first operational deployment there since the withdrawal in late 2011. Read

Monday, June 16, 2014

Sen. Graham: ‘We Need to Coordinate With the Iranians’ Over Iraq Crisis

Less than a year after Sen. Lindsey Graham was advocating for a use-of-force authorization against Iran, the South Carolina Republican on Sunday suggested the U.S. sit down and talk to the Iranians about stopping the advance of Sunni jihadists in Iraq. Read

PLO: Israel Using ‘Alleged Kidnapping’ of 3 Teens As Pretext to Attack Palestinians

Less than two weeks after Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas controversially set up a Hamas-backed “unity” government, the disappearance of three Israeli teenagers has triggered an even deeper crisis in Israeli-Palestinian relations. Read

Friday, June 13, 2014

Iraq’s Vulnerable Christians Further Imperiled by Jihadist Advance

The startling gains made by jihadist fighters in Iraq are placing the region’s already extremely vulnerable Christians in even greater peril, Christian advocacy groups are warning. Read

On Decision to Leave No Troops in Iraq, Hillary Clinton Points to Bush

Hillary Clinton on Thursday defended the Obama administration’s handling of the Dec. 2011 withdrawal of troops from Iraq, pointing out that the timetable was first negotiated by its predecessor. Read

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Timeline: Al-Qaeda-Linked Terrorists Move Closer to Establishing an Islamic State

The Islamist terrorist group that this week seized Iraq’s second-largest city now effectively controls a large swathe of territory across Iraq and northeastern Syria, as it advances towards its declared goal of establishing an Islamic state, or caliphate, incorporating parts of both countries. Read

Hagel: Freed Taliban Not Directly Involved in Attacking Americans; McKeon: Neither Was Bin Laden

Defending the administration’s controversial swap of five high-level Taliban detainees for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told a House panel Wednesday the freed men had not directly taken part in attacks on Americans – and was reminded that neither had Osama bin Laden. Read

Susan Rice Claims U.S. Participation in U.N. Rights Council Has Moved Focus From ‘Demonizing’ Israel

National Security Adviser Susan Rice said Wednesday that the Obama administration’s participation in the U.N. Human Rights Council has moved its focus away from “demonizing” Israel, but a look at the resolutions passed by the Geneva-based body does not bear out that assertion. Read

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Polls Don’t Back Hillary Clinton’s Claim That She Restored U.S. Leadership

Opinion polls during Hillary Clinton’s years as secretary of state raise questions about her claim this week that her most important achievement in that position was “to help restore America’s leadership around the world.” Read

Rep. Speier: 'Not Necessarily Accurate' to Call Taliban 'Terrorists’

A Democratic lawmaker has challenged the use of the term “terrorists” to describe the Taliban. Read

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

State Dept. Official Advises Against Conflating 'Islamists With Terrorists'

The desire of some elements in the Middle East to “eliminate Islamists entirely from the political scene” was complicating the fight against violent extremists, a senior State Department official said on Monday, citing the tendency of some to “conflate Islamists with terrorists.” Read

State Dep’t Thanks Qatar’s Emir for ‘Firm Commitment to Securing’ Freed Taliban Leaders

The most senior administration official to visit Qatar since the Gulf state brokered the controversial Taliban prisoner exchange paid homage to its government Monday for helping to obtain Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s freedom and “its firm commitment to securing” the five freed Islamic extremists. Read

Arab Journalist: I Give Obama a ‘C-Minus, If Not Worse’ for Syria

Defending President Obama over the Syria “red line” episode, a White House official told an audience in Qatar Monday that the president had “prepared a significant military action” in response to the regime’s use of chemical weapons last August, but then came up against an “overwhelmingly” opposed American public and Congress. Read

Monday, June 09, 2014

Kerry: Concerns That Freed Taliban Will Return to Terror a ‘Lot of Baloney’

Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday called concerns that some of the recently-freed Taliban leaders could resume their violent anti-U.S. campaign “a lot of baloney,” but an intelligence assessment touted by his department just days ago shows that three in ten former Guantanamo Bay detainees are either known or suspected to have returned to “terrorist activities.” Read

Rand Paul: Swap 5 Dems for Marine Held in Mexico: ‘I’m Thinking John Kerry, Hillary …”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has a tongue-in-cheek suggestion for President Obama: Negotiate another prisoner exchange, but this time trade five senior Democrats for a U.S. Marine being held in Mexico. Read

China Slams Pentagon Report on Its Military: End This Annual ‘Belly-Aching’

Criticizing the latest Department of Defense report on Chinese military developments, Beijing called the legally-mandated assessment to Congress “annual belly-aching” that should be abandoned. Read

Friday, June 06, 2014

Australian Gov’t Rejects ‘Occupied’ to Describe Jerusalem

he Palestine Liberation Organization reacted furiously Thursday after an Australian government minister declared that it is not his government’s policy to describe the territories disputed between Israel and the Arabs, including eastern Jerusalem, as “occupied.” Read

Bolton: Children Should Not Be ‘In Charge of Foreign Policy’

“Children” should not be in charge of foreign policy, former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton said Thursday, responding to a State Department spokeswoman’s comments earlier this week about claims by some former squad members that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl had deserted. Read

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Rubio: Obama’s Taliban Prisoner Swap ‘Has Endangered Americans’

The Obama administration’s exchange of five senior Taliban prisoners for a captured U.S. soldier has endangered “countless American men and women in uniform across the globe,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said Wednesday. Read

Little Progress Seen in Bid to Rescue Nigerian Schoolgirls Held by Terrorists

More than 50 days have passed since al-Qaeda-linked terrorists seized hundreds of schoolgirls in northern Nigeria with little progress seen, but on Wednesday night G7 leaders meeting in Brussels reiterated their support for efforts to rescue them. Read

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

State Dep’t: ‘Probably Very Good Reasons’ Not to Give Details of Taliban Deal With Qatar

Amid reports that Qatar will allow five senior Taliban terrorists freed from Guantanamo Bay in the controversial Bergdahl exchange to move around freely, a State Department spokeswoman on Tuesday repeatedly declined to discuss “specifics” of the agreement struck with Qatar. Read

Expectation Gap: Obama Offers Troop Rotations, But Poland Wants a NATO Base

President Obama in Warsaw on Tuesday announced a proposed $1 billion fund to increase U.S. troop rotations in eastern Europe, but what his hosts were really hoping to hear were plans for a permanent NATO base in Poland. Read

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Obama’s Europe Trip Includes Opportunities to Rile Putin

President Obama Tuesday began a European trip offering several opportunities to rile President Vladimir Putin, including a top-level summit explicitly excluding Russia, a meeting with Ukraine’s president-elect, and a celebration of a former Moscow ally’s emergence from communism. Read

Israel 'Deeply Disappointed' U.S. Will Fund Palestinian-Hamas Unity Gov't.

The often prickly relationship between the Obama administration and Israeli government looked set to take a sharp downward turn Monday after the State Department confirmed that the U.S. will work with and fund a newly-created Palestinian “unity” government backed by the terrorist group Hamas. Read

Monday, June 02, 2014

Attack on Indonesian Catholics Stokes Fears of Religious Intolerance As Election Nears

An attack by Muslim extremists on a group of Indonesian Catholics holding a home prayer meeting has stoked concerns about religious intolerance ahead of next month’s presidential election in the world’s most populous Muslim nation. Read

Christian on Death Row for Apostasy: Sudan Dashes Hope for Quick Release

A day after a senior Sudanese official told media outlets that Meriam Ibrahim, the Christian woman sentenced to death for apostasy, would be freed within days, Khartoum’s foreign ministry on Sunday clarified that it would happen only if an appeal court rules in her favor. Read