Posted on

Not Much to Be Grateful for in Latest Presidential Poll Numbers


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Washington DC, President Biden celebrated Thanksgiving with his family in Nantucket , but if polls of his job performance and handling of issues like the economy and foreign policy are any guide, he didn’t have much to be grateful for.

Continue reading Not Much to Be Grateful for in Latest Presidential Poll Numbers

Posted on

CD5 Congressional Candidate Paul Duggan’s Connections Show a Step above the Rest in International Foreign Policy Experience

paul duggan 3 1

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, CD5 Congressional Candidate Paul Duggan shows his foreign policy experience in a recent visit to Berlin .

Duggans AfD connections in Berlin show a step above the rest in international foreign policy experience . Picture Conservative Party Candidate Paul A Duggan and AfD Berlin Parliament Representative Dr Hugh Bronson. AfD is the German Tea party and after recent elections in Thuringen are poised to topple Frau Merkels CDU .

Continue reading CD5 Congressional Candidate Paul Duggan’s Connections Show a Step above the Rest in International Foreign Policy Experience

Posted on

Dangers Rise as America Retreats

domestic terrorism

file photo by Boyd Loving

Fifteen years after 9/11, the next president will face greater risks and a weaker military to combat them.


Sept. 9, 2016 6:45 p.m. ET

Fifteen years ago this Sunday, nearly 3,000 Americans were killed in the deadliest attack on the U.S. homeland in our history. A decade and a half later, we remain at war with Islamic terrorists. Winning this war will require an effort of greater scale and commitment than anything we have seen since World War II, calling on every element of our national power.

Defeating our enemies has been made significantly more difficult by the policies ofBarack Obama. No American president has done more to weaken the U.S., hobble our defenses or aid our adversaries.

President Obama has been more dedicated to reducing America’s power than to defeating our enemies. He has enhanced the abilities, reach and finances of our adversaries, including the world’s leading state sponsor of terror, at the expense of our allies and our own national security. He has overseen a decline of our own military capabilities as our adversaries’ strength has grown.

Posted on

How 7 years of Obama brought the world from Kumbaya to chaos


By Post Editorial Board

October 3, 2015 | 6:27pm

Just three years ago, President Obama famously ridiculed GOP opponent Mitt Romney’s statement that Russia remained America’s main geopolitical foe by taunting: “The 1980s are calling to ask for their foreign policy back.”

Four years before that, Obama stood at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate to declare that once he became president, all people would join him around a global campfire, hold hands and put an end to the world’s evils and miseries.

Well, seven years into Obama’s presidency, the promised worldwide Kumbaya is instead global chaos — caused in large measure by his willful retreat from America’s position of leadership.

Washington’s traditional allies increasingly feel abandoned, its enemies emboldened. The United States isn’t even leading from behind — it’s cowering in weakness.

And no one is taking better advantage of this than Vladimir Putin, now storming headlong into the yawning chasm of American retreat and reasserting Russia’s global influence and power — just as Mitt Romney said.

Putin remains unchallenged in his invasion of Ukraine, leaving him free to intervene — again unchallenged — in the Middle East.

In Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, Obama’s outreach to the Muslim world hasn’t ended the threat of terrorism. On the contrary, it has seen the rise of “JV team” ISIS and new power for the Taliban. Israelis and Palestinians remain as far apart as ever — because only Israel has been targeted to make concessions.

This president accuses his political foes of wanting to wage war as their first option and warns of the limits of unilateral military power.

But in his eagerness to leave office as the president who ended America’s wars, he refuses to consider any use (or even a credible threat) of US force — even when hundreds of thousands are being massacred in Syria, many by the chemical weapons he claimed to eliminate.


Posted on

“The United States’ influence and prestige and respect in the world is probably lower now,” Jimmy Carter says.


Obama’s ‘Minimal’ World Leadership Brings Jimmy Carter, Chris Christie Together

Ken McIntyre / @KenMac55 / July 01, 2015 /

In a rare alignment of two very different politicians, Jimmy Carter and Chris Christie agree in their belief that America is less respected in the world than it was when President Obama took office in 2009.

“I can’t think of many nations where we have a better relationship than when we did when [Obama] took over,” Jimmy Carter says.

Christie, the two-term New Jersey governor, zinged Obama on foreign policy in some of the most well-received lines of his announcement Tuesday morning that he will seek the Republican nomination for president.

“After seven years I heard the president of the United States say the other day that the world respects America more because of his leadership,” Christie said. “This convinces me it is the final confirmation that President Obama lives in his own world, not in our world.”

It was a big applause line.

Not so much when Carter, the Democrat who served one term as the 39th president, said something similar last week in a public event—video of which began to surface late Tuesday.

America’s “influence and prestige and respect in the world is probably lower” than seven years ago, he said.

“The United States’ influence and prestige and respect in the world is probably lower now,” Jimmy Carter says.

Carter, 90, seemed to stun into silence a standing-room-only crowd at an Aspen Institute gathering in Aspen, Colo., when he said he “can’t think of many nations in the world where we have a better relationship now than when we did when [Obama] took over.”

When Aspen Institute CEO Walter Isaacson asked Carter to assess Obama’s “success or failures on the world stage,” Carter replied:

On the world stage, I think they’ve been minimal. I think he’s done some good things domestically, like the health program and so forth. But on the world stage, just to be as objective about it as I can, I can’t think of many nations in the world where we have a better relationship now than when we did when he took over.

You know, if you look at Russia, if you look at England, if you look at China, if you look at Egypt, and so forth—I’m not saying it’s his fault, but we have not improved our relationship with individual countries. And I would say that the United States’ influence and prestige and respect in the world is probably lower now than it was six or seven years ago.

During his off-the-cuff announcement remarks, Christie also criticized Obama for “weak and feckless foreign policy” and warned his audience not to “turn it over to his second mate, Hillary Clinton.”

Carter reiterated that he doesn’t “blame” Obama because “it’s been circumstances that have evolved.”

The former president and Georgia governor repeated praise for John Kerry, whom Obama chose to succeed Clinton as secretary of state.

To applause, Carter called Kerry “outstanding” and “one of the best secretaries of state we’ve ever had.” He later said Kerry is “very courageous and innovative and dynamic.”

The Washington-based Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization with a mission “to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues.”

Isaacson’s hour-long conversation with Carter and his wife, former first lady Rosalynn Carter, took place June 23. In this video from C-SPAN, Carter’s remarks on Obama and the world stage begin at the 19-minute mark.

Posted on

Report: Obama lied about bin Laden raid


May 10, 2015, 03:37 pm
By Mark Hensch

An expose published on Sunday alleges that President Obama deceived Americans with his narrative of the 2011 assassination of Osama bin Laden.

Author Seymour M. Hersh accuses Obama of rushing to take credit for the al Qaeda leader’s death.

This decision, Hersh argues in the London Review of Books, forced the military and intelligence communities to scramble and then corroborate the president’s version of events.

“High-level lying nonetheless remains the modus operandi of U.S. policy, along with secret prisons, drone attacks, Special Forces night raids, bypassing the chain of command, and cutting out those who might say no,” Hersh wrote of the Obama administration’s counterterrorism policies.

Hersh based his report on a single, anonymous source. This individual, he said, is a “retired senior intelligence official who was knowledgeable about the initial intelligence about bin Laden’s presence in Abottabad.”

Hersh’s source alleged that the Pakistani government had an active role in approving and implementing the raid on bin Laden’s compound.

In addition, the source said that the Obama administration originally agreed to announce bin Laden had been killed in a drone strike rather than shot during an active Special Forces mission.

“Obama’s speech was put together in a rush,” Hersh wrote of Obama’s announcement of Operation Neptune Spear to Americans.

“This series of self-serving and inaccurate statements would create chaos in the weeks following,” he added.

“This was not the fog of war,” Hersh quoted his anonymous source as saying.

Posted on

Isis on the run? The US portrayal is very far from the truth


Sunday 3 May 2015

The map issued by the Pentagon to prove that Isis had lost territory shows how false optimism dominates the actions of the outside powers towards the Middle East.

A graphic illustration of Western wishful thinking about the decline of Islamic State (IS) is a well-publicised map issued by the Pentagon to prove that the self-declared caliphate has lost 25 per cent of its territory since its big advances last year.

Unfortunately for the Pentagon, sharp-eyed American journalists soon noticed something strange about its map identifying areas of IS strength. While it shows towns and villages where IS fighters have lost control around Baghdad, it simply omits western Syria where they have been advancing in and around Damascus.

The Pentagon displayed some embarrassment about its dodgy map, but it largely succeeded in its purpose of convincing people that IS is in retreat. Many news outlets across the world republished the map as evidence of the success of air strikes by the United States and its allies in support of the Iraqi army and Kurdish forces in Iraq and Syria. The capture of Tikrit after a month-long siege is cited as a further sign that a re-energised Iraqi state is winning and one day in the not too distant future will be able to recapture Mosul in the north and Anbar province in the west.

Posted on

Menendez praised for role in Iran agreement bill

Robert Menendez, Bob Corker

APRIL 14, 2015, 6:45 PM    LAST UPDATED: TUESDAY, APRIL 14, 2015, 6:54 PM

Facing criminal charges that pushed him into a supporting role instead of a leadership position on the Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Bob Menendez still notched a victory Tuesday when the panel unanimously approved a bill he cosponsored dealing with Iran.

And the White House, which had threatened a veto and lobbied Democrats against the bill, signaled that President Obama would be willing to sign it. White House officials cited changes that had been made to the bill, which gives the Senate the power to object before any international agreement lifts economic sanctions that Congress had imposed on Iran.

But Menendez said the administration saw it was going to lose.

“I think that it’s more the administration seeing where the will of the Congress was and coming to that conclusion” that the bill could not be stopped, he said.

Attending his first hearing since stepping aside as the committee’s top Democrat following his indictment April 1, Menendez was praised by both Republicans and Democrats for his efforts.

“I can’t imagine a senator being more constructive,” said Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who succeeded Menendez as chairman of the committee in January when Republicans took control of the Senate. “There is no question over the last two years you have helped bring us to this point, where instead of debating things we in fact may well be taking up major legislation that will have a significant impact on security of Middle East.”

“I completely agree with you,” followed Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland, who is now the panel’s top Democrat after Menendez ceded that role because of the charges. “Senator Menendez enjoys the strong thanks for the incredible leadership he has given … I hope Senator Menendez’s issues will be resolved quickly.”

Posted on

Menendez: Obama Thinks ‘If You Open Your Hands to Dictators, That They Will Unclench Their Fists’

Robert Menendez, Bob Corker

April 13, 2015 – 7:33 AM

( – Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) says President Obama is wrong to “give the Cubans just about everything they want” without getting “something significant in return.”

“I think the president has a misguided calculation that if you open your hands to dictators that they will unclench their fists,” Menendez told “Fox News Sunday.”

“And while Raul Castro may have said some nice things about President Obama, at the same time, just last month, we had 600 arrests of innocent people inside of Cuba who were detained, many political activists and human rights activists who were not allowed to leave the country to go to the Panama Summit.

Posted on

How the U.S. thinks Russians hacked the White House


By Evan Perez and Shimon Prokupecz, CNN
Updated 7:06 PM ET, Tue April 7, 2015

The State Department computer system has been bedeviled by signs that despite efforts to lock them out, the Russian hackers have been able to reenter the system. One official says the Russian hackers have “owned” the State Department system for months and it is not clear the hackers have been fully eradicated from the system.

As in many hacks, investigators believe the White House intrusion began with a phishing email that was launched using a State Department email account that the hackers had taken over, according to the U.S. officials.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, in a speech at an FBI cyberconference in January, warned government officials and private businesses to teach employees what “spear phishing” looks like.

“So many times, the Chinese and others get access to our systems just by pretending to be someone else and then asking for access, and someone gives it to them,” Clapper said.

The ferocity of the Russian intrusions in recent months caught U.S. officials by surprise, leading to a reassessment of the cybersecurity threat as the U.S. and Russia increasingly confront each other over issues ranging from the Russian aggression in Ukraine to the U.S. military operations in Syria.

Posted on

Wall Street Journal: Castros Smelled Obama’s Weakness and Pounced


Monday, 06 Apr 2015 01:44 PM
By Jennifer G. Hickey

As a consequence of President Barack Obama’s decision to chart a new course in U.S.-Cuban relations, Cuban dictator Raul Castro will attend this week’s Summit of the Americas with the upper hand and an opportunity to set the regional agenda, says Wall Street Journal columnist Mary Anastasia O’Grady.

“Repression is on the march in the Americas, and U.S. ambivalence is part of the problem. In the White House’s lack of moral clarity, the region’s bullies smell weakness. One result is that a Caribbean backwater run by gangster brothers now has the upper hand in setting the regional agenda,” writes O’Grady.

For the first time, Cuba was invited and chose not to boycott the event, which O’Grady says is a sign of how much damage the Obama administration has done to the cause of democracy in the region.

“Being outcasts made Raúl and Fidel Castro feel disrespected. So they pressured much of the rest of the region to say that if Cuba were again left out, they would boycott the event. In December Mr. Obama folded. It was a sign of how bad things are in the Americas. Authoritarian governments now rule in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Venezuela, Ecuador,

Evidence of Cuba’s anti-democratic actions was seen on Sunday when dissident Rosa Maria Paya was arrested on Sunday night at the airport in Panama, according to The London Telegraph.

Read Latest Breaking News from

Posted on

OBAMA DOCTRINE: Incompetent leadership or does some grand, if misconceived, idea stand behind the pattern?



Daniel Pipes reviews the wreckage of Barack Obama’s foreign policies:

Count the mistakes: Helping overthrow Muammar Qaddafi in Libya, leading to anarchy and civil war. Pressuring Husni Mubarak of Egypt to resign, then backing the Muslim Brotherhood, leading now-president Sisi to turn toward Moscow. Alienating Washington’s most stalwart ally in the region, the Government of Israel. Dismissing ISIS as “junior varsity” just before it seized major cities. Hailing Yemen as a counterterrorism success just before its government was overthrown. Alarming the Saudi authorities to the point that they put together a military alliance against Iran. Coddling Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey, encouraging his dictatorial tendencies. Leaving Iraq and Afghanistan prematurely, dooming the vast American investment in those two countries.

And, most of all: Making dangerously flawed deals with the nuclear-ambitious mullahs of Iran.

As always, the question is: is Obama failing, or succeeding? As Glenn Reynolds keeps pointing out, that depends on what he is trying to achieve. Pipes continues:

Is this a random series of errors by an incompetent leadership or does some grand, if misconceived, idea stand behind the pattern? To an extent, it’s ineptitude, as when Obama bowed to the Saudi king, threatened Syria’s government over chemical weapons before changing his mind, and now sends the U.S. military to aid Tehran in Iraq and fight it in Yemen.

But there also is a grand idea and it calls for explanation. As a man of the left, Obama sees the United States historically having exerted a malign influence on the outside world. Greedy corporations, an overly-powerful military-industrial complex, a yahoo nationalism, engrained racism, and cultural imperialism combined to render America, on balance, a force for evil.

Being a student of community organizer Saul Alinsky, Obama did not overtly proclaim this view but passed himself off as a patriot, though he (and his charming wife) did offer occasional hints of their radical views about “fundamentally transforming the United States.” On ascending to the presidency, Obama moved slowly, uneager to spread alarm and wanting to be reelected. By now, however, after six full years and only his legacy to worry about, the full-blown Obama is emerging.

The Obama Doctrine is simple and universal: Warm relations with adversaries and cool them with friends.

Which implies that America’s adversaries are not Obama’s.

Posted on

It’s Getting Stupid on Iran


From pretending only Republicans oppose a deal to pretending the U.S.’ reputation is in jeopardy, the stupid on Iran is reaching new highs.

Ed Krayewski|Apr. 6, 2015 12:15 pm

U.S., Iranian, and other negotiators from around the world are going to spend the next two and a half or so months hammering out a deal over Iran’s nuclear program. They spent the last several years hammering out the “outline” which the deal will follow but that doesn’t mean it’s a done deal—within days of the announcement of an agreement on the outline of a deal, Iranian and U.S. officials exchanged accusations that the other side was lying about what exactly had been agreed to in the outline. With six countries, including Iran and the U.S., involved in negotiations, and powerful forces in the U.S. and Iran against a deal that could eventually rob them of their favorite respective stalking horses, a deal is far from certain. It could fail for a litany of reasons.

Domestic opposition to a deal, in the U.S., in Iran, or in any of the other countries participating in the talks is unlikely to scutltle a deal on its own, but would be politically useful to blame by a government reeling from a failure. Domestic opposition, of course, is real. In the U.S. a significant amount of members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats, oppose a deal. Liberals have tended to attribute domestic opposition solely to Republicans—Juan Cole laughably tried to connect billionaire donor Sheldon Adelson’s political activity to the prevailing anti-Iran atmosphere among Republican presidential candidates. Cole, like others on the left, are obsessed with Citizen’s United and corporations and other organizations of people spending money on political speech.

But the fact is an anti-Iranian mood has been around for longer than Adelson’s had an interest in presidential politics, and despite the popular media perception, is not exclusive to Republicans. Attributing Republican opposition to monied interests or to a hatred of Obama is intellectually lazy at best. If opposition to an Iran deal were limited only to Republicans then, even though Republicans now control both houses of Congress, it wouldn’t amount to much. When Fox News describes Obama and Congress on a “collision course” over Iran, that’s possible because of Democrat opposition to an Iran deal.

Posted on

Dominance of national security shakes up race for White House


By Alexander Bolton

The resurgence of Islamic terrorism and President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran is shaking up the race for the White House, pushing national security to the forefront of the GOP primary debate.

The primacy of foreign policy could be a problem for Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), the libertarian Tea-Party favorite, who is set to launch his presidential campaign next week in Louisville. He proposed steep defense cuts when he first came to the Senate and has expressed wariness about foreign military interventions.

On the other hand, the new dynamic could help Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who have touted their experience on the Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees, respectively, as they make the case for their candidacies.

Posted on

Menendez gets support on legal costs; backers of Israel see political overtones to indictment leak



Menendez gets support on legal costs; backers of Israel see political overtones to indictment leak

MARCH 26, 2015, 5:57 PM    LAST UPDATED: THURSDAY, MARCH 26, 2015, 11:41 PM

Sen. Bob Menendez, fuming over leaks about a looming corruption indictment, could see a surge of contributions to his legal defense fund because disclosures about a Justice Department probe came while he was having highly visible disputes with the White House.

Several pro-Israel activists said people were motivated by the possibility that anonymously sourced reports of Menendez’s facing criminal charges are linked to the Paramus Democrat’s criticism of the Obama administration’s handling of nuclear talks with Iran and relaxation of restrictions on Cuba.

“The majority of people I’ve spoken with feel he’s getting a bad rap, that the prosecution has political overtones to it,” said Ben Chouake, president of Englewood Cliffs-based NORPAC, a committee that raises money for Democrats and Republicans who support Israel. “On this particular matter, even Republicans will be supporting Bob Menendez.”

Menendez already raised nearly $900,000 for legal costs between April and December last year, and more than $100,000 of that came from ardent Israel supporters. As 2014 ended, the legal expense trust fund had $104,000 on hand.