Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

DOD, State Dept. show Obama admin knew about Benghazi attack in advance

original article: Judicial Watch: Defense, State Department Documents Reveal Obama Administration Knew that al Qaeda Terrorists Had Planned Benghazi Attack 10 Days in Advance
MAY 18, 2015 by Judicial Watch

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it obtained more than 100 pages of previously classified “Secret” documents from the Department of Defense (DOD)and the Department of State revealing that DOD almost immediately reported that the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was committed by the al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood-linked “Brigades of the Captive Omar Abdul Rahman” (BCOAR), and had been planned at least 10 days in advance. Rahman is known as the Blind Sheikh, and is serving life in prison for his involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and other terrorist acts.  The new documents also provide the first official confirmation that shows the U.S. government was aware of arms shipments from Benghazi to Syria.  The documents also include an August 2012 analysis warning of the rise of ISIS and the predicted failure of the Obama policy of regime change in Syria.

The documents were released in response to a court order in accordance with a May 15, 2014, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed against both the DOD and State Department seeking communications between the two agencies and congressional leaders “on matters related to the activities of any agency or department of the U.S. government at the Special Mission Compound and/or classified annex in Benghazi.”

Spelling and punctuation is duplicated in this release without corrections.

Defense Department document from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), dated September 12, 2012, the day after the Benghazi attack, details that the attack on the compound had been carefully planned by the BOCAR terrorist group “to kill as many Americans as possible.”  The document was sent to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Obama White House National Security Council.  The heavily redacted Defense Department “information report” says that the attack on the Benghazi facility “was planned and executed by The Brigades of the Captive Omar Abdul Rahman (BCOAR).”  The group subscribes to “AQ ideologies:”

The attack was planned ten or more days prior on approximately 01 September 2012. The intention was to attack the consulate and to kill as many Americans as possible to seek revenge for U.S. killing of Aboyahiye ((ALALIBY)) in Pakistan and in memorial of the 11 September 2001 atacks on the World Trade Center buildings.

“A violent radical,” the DIA report says, is “the leader of BCOAR is Abdul Baset ((AZUZ)), AZUZ was sent by ((ZAWARI)) to set up Al Qaeda (AQ) bases in Libya.”  The group’s headquarters was set up with the approval of a “member of the Muslim brother hood movement…where they have large caches of weapons.  Some of these caches are disguised by feeding troughs for livestock.  They have SA-7 and SA-23/4 MANPADS…they train almost every day focusing on religious lessons and scriptures including three lessons a day of jihadist ideology.”

The Defense Department reported the group maintained written documents, in “a small rectangular room, approximately 12 meters by 6 meters…that contain information on all of the AQ activity in Libya.”

(Azuz is again blamed for the Benghazi attack in an October 2012 DIA document.)

The DOD documents also contain the first official documentation that the Obama administration knew that weapons were being shipped from the Port of Benghazi to rebel troops in Syria. An October 2012 report confirms:

Weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the Port of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The weapons shipped during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPG’s, and 125 mm and 155mm howitzers missiles.

During the immediate aftermath of, and following the uncertainty caused by, the downfall of the ((Qaddafi)) regime in October 2011 and up until early September of 2012, weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles located in Benghazi, Libya were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the ports of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The Syrian ports were chosen due to the small amount of cargo traffic transiting these two ports. The ships used to transport the weapons were medium-sized and able to hold 10 or less shipping containers of cargo.

The DIA document further details:

The weapons shipped from Syria during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPG’s and 125mm and 155mm howitzers missiles.  The numbers for each weapon were estimated to be: 500 Sniper rifles, 100 RPG launchers with 300 total rounds, and approximately 400 howitzers missiles [200 ea – 125mm and 200ea – 155 mm.]

The heavily redacted document does not disclose who was shipping the weapons.

Another DIA report, written in August 2012 (the same time period the U.S. was monitoring weapons flows from Libya to Syria), said that the opposition in Syria was driven by al Qaeda and other extremist Muslim groups: “the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria.” The growing sectarian direction of the war was predicted to have dire consequences for Iraq, which included the “grave danger” of the rise of ISIS:

The deterioration of the situation has dire consequences on the Iraqi situation and are as follows:

This creates the ideal atmosphere for AQI [al Qaeda Iraq] to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi, and will provide a renewed momentum under the presumption of unifying the jihad among Sunni Iraq and Syria, and the rest of the Sunnis in the Arab world against what it considers one enemy, the dissenters. ISI could also declare an Islamic state through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of its territory.

Some of the “dire consequences” are blacked out but the DIA presciently warned one such consequence would be the “renewing facilitation of terrorist elements from all over the Arab world entering into Iraqi Arena.”

From a separate lawsuit, the State Department produced a document created the morning after the Benghazi attack by Hillary Clinton’s offices, and the Operations Center in the Office of the Executive Secretariat that was sent widely through the agency, including to Joseph McManus (then-Hillary Clinton’s executive assistant).  At 6:00 am, a few hours after the attack, the top office of the State Department sent a “spot report” on the “Attack on U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi” that makes no mention of videos or demonstrations:

Four COM personnel were killed and three were wounded in an attack by dozens of fighters on the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi beginning approximately 1550 Eastern Time….

The State Department has yet to turn over any documents from the secret email accounts of Hillary Clinton and other top State Department officials.

“These documents are jaw-dropping. No wonder we had to file more FOIA lawsuits and wait over two years for them.  If the American people had known the truth – that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and other top administration officials knew that the Benghazi attack was an al-Qaeda terrorist attack from the get-go – and yet lied and covered this fact up – Mitt Romney might very well be president. And why would the Obama administration continue to support the Muslim Brotherhood even after it knew it was tied to the Benghazi terrorist attack and to al Qaeda? These documents also point to connection between the collapse in Libya and the ISIS war – and confirm that the U.S. knew remarkable details about the transfer of arms from Benghazi to Syrian jihadists,” stated Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch president.  “These documents show that the Benghazi cover-up has continued for years and is only unraveling through our independent lawsuits. The Benghazi scandal just got a whole lot worse for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.”

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Obama wants to fundamentally transform Iran – wait, make that DOESN’T want to

Remember when President Obama said he wanted to fundamentally transform America? Yeah, he doesn’t want that to happen to Iran.

full article: Obama: Recognition of Israel won’t be part of Iran deal
April 7, 2015 by ED MORRISSEY

It’s not exactly a secret that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu opposes the terms of the framework for the deal with Iran on their nuclear program, but he offered a suggestion to improve it this week: demand that Iran recognize the state of Israel and its right to exist. If the Iranians want to create a peaceful nuclear energy program and refrain from using the economic windfall to sponsor regional terrorism and insurrection, what better way to show it than to open normal diplomatic relations with Jerusalem?

NPR’s Steve Inskeep wondered why the US wouldn’t make that part of their demands, and Obama said, in essence, because the Iranian leadership are anti-Semites with a seething hatred of Israel. And, er, we shouldn’t expect them to comply with something so obviously against their nature. Ahem.

So there’s still going to be a whole host of differences between us and Iran, and one of the most profound ones is the vile, anti-Semitic statements that have often come out of the highest levels of the Iranian regime. But the notion that we would condition Iran not getting nuclear weapons, in a verifiable deal, on Iran recognizing Israel is really akin to saying that we won’t sign a deal unless the nature of the Iranian regime completely transforms. And that is, I think, a fundamental misjudgment.

The — I want to return to this point. We want Iran not to have nuclear weapons precisely because we can’t bank on the nature of the regime changing. That’s exactly why we don’t want to have nuclear weapons. If suddenly Iran transformed itself into Germany or Sweden or France, there would be a different set of conversations about their nuclear infrastructure.

So, you know, the key here is not to somehow expect that Iran changes — although it is something that may end up being an important byproduct of this deal — but rather it is to make sure that we have a verifiable deal that takes off the table what would be a game-changer for them if in fact they possess nuclear weapons.

read the full article

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Is Iran deal a ‘forever agreement’ or does it merely delay the inevitable? Both, if you ask President Obama

Political double speak at its finest. In one moment President Obama defends the pending nuclear agreement with Iran calling it a “forever agreement” that will ensure Iran never gets a nuclear weapon.

Obama administration claims Iran deal a ‘forever agreement,’ despite expiration dates
April 6, 2015

But later the president admitted he was merely kicking the can down the road so a later president would have to deal with a nuclear Iran.

Obama admits Iran nuclear deal only delays inevitable, leaves problem for future presidents
April 7, 2015

And that’s what we like about leadership, compulsive lying and a complete lack of backbone.

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Iran accuses Obama admin of lying to the American people about nuke deal

original article: Iran accuses US of lying about new nuke agreement
April 2, 2015 by Adam Kredo

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Just hours after the announcement of what the United States characterized as a historic agreement with Iran over its nuclear program, the country’s leading negotiator lashed out at the Obama administration for lying about the details of a tentative framework.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif accused the Obama administration of misleading the American people and Congress in a fact sheet it released following the culmination of negotiations with the Islamic Republic.

Zarif bragged in an earlier press conference with reporters that the United States had tentatively agreed to let it continue the enrichment of uranium, the key component in a nuclear bomb, as well as key nuclear research.

Zarif additionally said Iran would have all nuclear-related sanctions lifted once a final deal is signed and that the country would not be forced to shut down any of its currently operating nuclear installations.

Following a subsequent press conference by Secretary of State John Kerry—and release of a administration fact sheet on Iranian concessions—Zarif lashed out on Twitter over what he dubbed lies.

“The solutions are good for all, as they stand,” he tweeted. “There is no need to spin using ‘fact sheets’ so early on.”

Zarif went on to push back against claims by Kerry that the sanctions relief would be implemented in a phased fashion—and only after Iran verifies that it is not conducting any work on the nuclear weapons front.

Zarif, echoing previous comments, said the United States has promised an immediate termination of sanctions.

“Iran/5+1 Statement: ‘US will cease the application of ALL nuclear-related secondary economic and financial sanctions.’ Is this gradual?” he wrote on Twitter.

He then suggested a correction: “Iran/P5+1 Statement: ‘The EU will TERMINATE the implementation of ALL nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions’. How about this?”

The pushback from Iran’s chief diplomat follows a pattern of similar accusations by senior Iranian political figures after the announcement of previous agreements.

Following the signing of an interim agreement with Iran aimed at scaling back its nuclear work, Iran accused the United States of lying about details of the agreement.

On Thursday evening, Zarif told reporters the latest agreement allows Iran to keep operating its nuclear program.

“None of those measures” that will move to scale back Iran’s program “include closing any of our facilities,” Zarif said. “We will continue enriching; we will continue research and development.”

“Our heavy water reactor will be modernized and we will continue the Fordow facility,” Zarif said. “We will have centrifuges installed in Fordow, but not enriching.”

The move to allow Iran to keep centrifuges at Fordow, a controversial onetime military site, has elicited concern that Tehran could ramp up its nuclear work with ease.

Zarif said that once a final agreement is made, “all U.S. nuclear related secondary sanctions will be terminated,” he said. “This, I think, would be a major step forward.”

Zarif also revealed that Iran will be allowed to sell “enriched uranium” in the international market place and will be “hopefully making some money” from it.

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Obama can ignore the rhetoric of one foreign leader, but not another

Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal released a statement Tuesday blasting President Obama as an “inept commander in chief. Jindal, who may run for the GOP nomination for president, criticized Obama’s willingness to dismiss the Iranian supreme leader’s “death to America” exhortations as “political rhetoric” while publicly criticizing the campaign rhetoric of Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel.

BobbyJindalKennerMcCain2008
“I realize President Obama is accustomed to misleading the voters, but he shouldn’t assume Middle Eastern tyrants use words as loosely as he does. He’s acting like this is no different than ‘if you like your health care plan you can keep it,'” said Jindal in his statement. “At the same time, the President and his minions are becoming more and more hostile to Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israel. The White House Chief of Staff is now saying they cannot ‘simply pretend’ that comments the Prime Minister of Israel clarified never happened.

Jindal continued: ““How did we get to a point where the White House believes the Iranian Supreme Leader’s comments about ‘death to America’ are just political rhetoric, and we don’t take the word of one of the leaders of our strongest allies?  It’s simply because President Obama doesn’t value the strategic and historic bond between the United States and Israel. This President can sit at a negotiating table with folks who say ‘death to America, but cannot sit at a table with the Prime Minister of Israel. He’s an inept Commander-in-chief.”

original article: Jindal: Obama an ‘Inept Commander in Chief’
March 24, 2015 by MICHAEL WARREN

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The Muslim Brotherhood in American Schools

November 22, 2014 by Tim Brown

Brigitte Gabriel spoke earlier this year at First Conservative Baptist Church and informed the people there that the Muslim Brotherhood is in the process of infiltrating American public schools, just as they have the United States federal government.

Gabriel, author of two New York Times Best Sellers, Because They Hate and They Must Be Stopped, and founder of Act for America, said that she is passionate about the subject because it has affected her life. Ms. Gabriel is an immigrant, who came to America after her home country of Lebanon (which was the only majority Christian country in the Middle East) was lost to fundamentalist Islam during the Lebanese Civil War.

In the few minutes that she speaks in the video, Gabriel provides the evidence that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated America’s school. She also warns that they will stop at nothing short of total domination of all non-Muslims countries.

The Muslim Brotherhood, founded in 1928, is the oldest Islamic terrorist organization in the world. There are 70 offshoot organizations which have sprouted from the Muslim Brotherhood, including Al-Qaeda and Hamas. This is exactly why Hamas-CAIR was recently branded an Islamic terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates.

Though we have been told that the attacks by Al-Qaeda were spawned due to America’s interference in the Middle East and it partnering with Israel, one must understand that Israel was not around in 1928. Yet, according to Brigitte Gabriel, the Muslim Brotherhood was established to begin the new Islamic Caliphate. As part of that goal (referred to in counter terrorist circles as “The Project”), the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the United States in order to neuter it on the world stage and ultimately to destroy it. This is right in line with the aspirations of one Barack Hussein Obama as well.

Gabriel went on to talk about the “behind the scenes” efforts by the Muslim Brotherhood to maintain an appearance of “moderation” with the goal of destroying Western society and establishing the Islamic State in America. This includes, but isn’t limited to: Using our liberties against us, using “buzzwords,” establishing non-profit and human rights organizations.

In referencing the Muslim Brotherhood’s goals for America, Gabriel read the section of their goals regarding settlement, which came from the Holy Land Foundation trial.

According to the document, Muslims must see their efforts in America as a “grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

She then picks up the issue of education and how it is used to advance the Muslim Brotherhood’s goals. Among those goals of education, a Virginia-based Turkish Islamist‘s charter schools are at the top of the list in the Islamic infiltration of America. For a full explanation, pickup at the 11:20 mark in the video.

original article: The Muslim Brotherhood in American Schools

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In failing to stop the Islamic State, U.S. ignores the lessons of Auschwitz

August 18, 2014 by Marc A. Thiessen

The worst part is that all of this could have been prevented. Just a few years ago, the Islamic State (then al-Qaeda in Iraq) was a spent force, defeated both militarily and ideologically thanks to the 2007 U.S. surge, and the Sunni masses who rose up to join the United States in driving them out. Then President Obama’s complete withdrawal of U.S. forces in 2011 took the boot off of the terrorists’ necks. And, as Hillary Clinton recently pointed out, Obama’s “failure” to act in Syria “left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled.”

Now, after standing by and allowing the Islamic State to established control in an area the size of Belgium, Obama has finally launched limited strikes — but only to prevent the Islamic State from overrunning U.S. diplomatic facilities in northern Iraq (for fear of another Benghazi), massacring Yazidis and controlling the Mosul Dam. Obama insists that “there’s no American military solution” to the rise of the Islamic State and that “it’s time to turn the page on more than a decade in which so much of our foreign policy was focused on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

Obama may be tired of war, as were Hitler’s enemies. But the Islamic State is not tired of war. It has been explicit about its intentions. The lessons of history are clear.

The free world ignores such barbarity at its peril.

full article: In failing to stop the Islamic State, U.S. ignores the lessons of Auschwitz

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It’s easy to blame Republicans when you don’t know how things work

The current government shutdown is, as we’ve all been told, a result of Congress failing to agree on funding measures. Since Congress controls federal money they have the responsibility of appropriating that money. If they don’t, stuff doesn’t get funded (well some stuff, a LOT of stuff is funded automatically). A curious thing about propaganda is that it works with the illusion of keeping people informed. But it does so in a way that makes people think they know what’s going on without ever looking into the situation for themselves. Propaganda works best when people are diverted away from thinking for themselves. If you haven’t looked into the situation, or if you have but you’ve made sure to protect yourself from the supposed lies of the other side, how do you really know what’s going on with only the one narrative you’ve been exposed to?

Thinking people ask questions. They don’t blindly accept someone else’s word on a controversial issue. Some people recognize the fact that both parties and both houses of Congress have failed to reach an agreement. With the news media insistent on finding someone to blame, with just the failure of Congress we should be blaming both parties. And some are doing that. But that is not what we’re supposed to do, because our faithful gatekeepers of the news are to determined to make sure you blame only Republicans for the shutdown. That’s especially odd considering how our American government actually works. So let’s take a closer look at that by following a simple and well known axiom: follow the money.

Once tax receipts are in the hands of the federal government, how does it make its way to the people who depend on it? It begins in the House of Representatives. According to the law of the land, Article I Section 7 begins with:

All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

So the House of Representatives starts the government funding process by producing funding legislation. And have they been doing this? How many funding measures has the House of Representatives approved recently? Since September 20, in efforts to avoid a shutdown before October 1, and in efforts to keep essential programs funded after October 1, the House has passed 22 pieces of legislation to fund the government. Since House Republicans are continually blamed for the shutdown Speaker John Boehner created this page to keep track of bills passed by the House.

According to the list, on October 1 the Speaker of the House attempted to create a conference between the House and the Senate specifically to negotiate about funding measures to end the shutdown – which Democrats refused. Seeing the shutdown before it actually hit, the House passed the Pay Our Military Act on Sept. 28. That bill passed in the Senate and President Obama signed it into law. All other measures designed to avoid a government shutdown either died in the Senate or the President simply hasn’t moved on it.

The only two measures both houses of Congress could manage to agree on funding were the Pay Our Military Act (Sept.28) and the Honoring Families of Fallen Soldiers (Oct. 9). The president hasn’t done anything with the latter. That leaves 21 other funding measures passed by the House but killed by the (Democrat controlled) Senate.

Here is the list of these funding measures:

  • Continuing Resolution (to keep government funded)
    passed by the House Sept. 20 – died in the Senate
  • Continuing Resolution (to keep government funded)
    passed by the House Sept. 28 – died in the Senate
  • Continuing Resolution (to keep government funded)
    passed by the House Sept. 30 – died in the Senate
  • another Continuing Resolution (to keep government funded)
    passed by the House Sept. 30 – died in the Senate
  • Provide local funding for the District of Columbia Act
    passed by the House Oct. 2 – died in the Senate
  • Open our National Parks and Museums Act
    passed by the House Oct. 2 – died in the Senate
  • Research for Lifesaving Cures Act
    passed by the House Oct. 2 – died in the Senate
  • Pay our Guard and Reserve Act
    passed by the House Oct. 3 – died in the Senate
  • Honoring our Promise to America’s Veterans Act
    passed by the House Oct. 3 – died in the Senate
  • National Emergency and Disaster Recover Act
    passed by the House Oct. 4 – died in the Senate
  • Nutritional Assistance for Low-Income Women and Children Act
    passed by the House Oct. 4 – died in the Senate
  • Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act
    passed by the House Oct. 5 – never brought up in the Senate
  • Food and Drug Safety Act
    passed by the House Oct. 7 – died in the Senate
  • Head Start for Low-Income Children Act
    passed by the House Oct. 8 – died in the Senate
  • Deficit Reduction and Economic Growth Working Group Act
    passed by the House Oct. 8 – died in the Senate
  • Federal Worker Pay Fairness Act
    passed by the House Oct. 8 – died in the Senate
  • Flight Safety Act
    passed by the House Oct. 9 – died in the Senate
  • Honoring Families of Fallen Soldiers
    passed by the House Oct. 9 – passed by Senate, stalled by President
  • Border Safety and Security Act
    passed by the House Oct. 10 – died in the Senate
  • Nuclear Weapon Security and Non-Proliferation Act
    passed by the House Oct. 11 – died in the Senate
  • American Indian and Alaska Native, Health, Education, and Safety
    passed by the House Oct. 14 – died in the Senate

Some on the political left don’t like the term “Obamacare”. They want to make sure you understand the legislation is called the Affordable Care Act (actually it’s the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act). Doesn’t that sound lovely and compassionate? Who would dare oppose such benevolent government? If the title of a piece of legislation is all you need to know about it (how may of the roughly 2800 pages of Obamacare have you read?) take a look again at the bills listed above.

The Republican controlled House has passed bill after bill for funding the government to end the shutdown. Senate Democrats and President Obama have decided not to negotiate until they get everything they want. The Senate has killed the vast majority of spending measures sent their way during this “crisis”. Apparently that’s what negotiation means in American politics today.

In this shutdown there is only one possible way the House of Representatives could be responsible for it – and that’s by refusing to appropriate money. They have refused to fund Obamacare, but Republicans have not refused to fund the rest of the government. It is the Senate and President Obama who have done that. House Republicans did exactly what the constitution says they should to fund government. Republicans did their job but the Senate can’t pass up an opportunity to politically exploit the situation. This is a Democrat shutdown, according to the law of the land.

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Does the president know what negotiation means?

So President Obama will talk with terrorists. But he won’t talk with Republicans. Republicans decide to give in to a major demand of Democrats. And the president and Democrat controlled Senate reject the offer, demand more.

Now you might be tempted to say that’s exactly how negotiation works, and Democrats are executing it brilliantly. If that were the only factor to consider you’d be right. But to reject almost every offer made by Republicans and yet continue blaming Republicans for the government shutdown doesn’t compute. Without willing accomplices among the information gatekeepers logic leads us to conclude the people who won’t accept any deal unless they get EVERYTHING they want are in fact responsible for the shutdown. But with a news media who does for Democrats what marketing does for business all you need is to put out a ridiculous narrative about how Republicans won’t play nice and it gets blindly repeated at almost every media outlet.

Thinking for yourself is tantamount to racism, so don’t bother trying. With a team like this who needs to negotiate?

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Is it irresponsible to treat NK threats as just rhetoric?

After threats of war, warning diplomats to evacuate the area, and now declaring Nuclear War is unavoidable, what is an appropriate response to North Korea? This is, unfortunately, a silly question by any of us outside the global intelligence field. We are not privy to most of the pertinent information. And even if we were keeping close tabs on the news reports about Kim Jong-un, we would still be poorly informed of the particulars and still unqualified to make judgements about the situation. But that never seems to stop anyone else from commenting.

It may be standard diplomatic protocol to apply international pressure on North Korea, as the United States and China are doing. The two nations have agreed to push for the “peaceful denuclearization of the Korean peninsula” even if this is likely to have little if any positive impact on the situation. There is reason to question what qualifications Kim Jong-un has to lead a country. He is quite young, and has little experience in such matters. His boisterous threats of late are not what one should expect from a wise and seasoned leader. So the question is, are his threats merely empty rhetoric, or is he inexperienced and foolish enough to actually follow through?

Responsible leaders around the world should be acting as though North Korea intends on doing exactly as they have threatened. Formal diplomatic relations can sugar coat the situation and provide cover for military preparations. One concern some have is that diplomacy has a tendency to merely delay the inevitable, giving time for war mongers to build up forces, while peace lovers do nothing but talk (because preparing for military conflict would be seen as “provocative”). While fools may not be able to distinguish between war mongers and wise nations preparing to defend themselves against war mongers, we find ourselves in a situation with similar circumstances as one merely a generation ago.

Iraq’s Saddam Hussein made threats and actually invaded neighbors. The United Nations was called in to defend the invaded countries. The UN mandate was not to defeat Hussein, but merely to drive his forces out of the lands he invaded. Iraq refused to follow subsequent UN edicts and diplomatic efforts proved useless in the effort to contain Hussein. When Hussein failed to comply with UN sanctions, eventually then President Bush saw fit to finally deal with him. But suddenly, the vast array of intelligence and common knowledge about the threat posed by Iraq were no where to be found. We forgot about Hussein’s use of chemical weapons (weapons of mass destruction) against his own people and decided he never possessed WMDs in the first place. We forgot about previous administrations criticizing Republicans for “ignoring Iraq’s ties to terrorism“. The theory that Iraq’s WMDs were moved to Syria was dismissed (though new evidence once again supporting the theory has been found – apparently merely deciding a theory is debunked isn’t the same as actually debunking it). The immense collection of intelligence showing Iraq should be dealt with as a serious threat was forgotten. And dealing with Iraq and its terrorist allies was decried as an unnecessary war.

If efforts, both diplomatic and military, to deal with North Korea result in merely delaying all out war until the next president, and if that president happens to be a Republican, will we forget the threat we now acknowledge North Korea poses to the world? Will we call that conflict unnecessary? Or worse, will treating Kim Jong-un like a dumb kid actually encourage him to unleash nuclear war, just as he said he would?

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