Post-Gaddafi Libya’s ‘kind of a mess’: Obama regrets counting on allies too much

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Photo published for RT International

Image: Russia Today

“In terms of foreign policy, I’ve said this before, we decided to go in as part of a broader coalition, into Libya, to make sure that this guy [Colonel Muammar] Gaddafi, who had been state-sponsoring terrorism, did not go in and start slaughtering his own people,” Obama told PBS NewsHour on Wednesday at the Lerner Theatre in Elkhart, Indiana. “We succeeded and saved tens of thousands of lives, but I did all too much counting on other countries to then stabilize and support the government formation [in Libya] and now it is a kind of a mess.”

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American Muslims: Yes, We Feel Targeted By Cruz Surveillance Comments

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“We’re targeted even if it’s not our fault,” said Omar Ghanim, 23, eating Lebanese pizza Tuesday at a suburban strip mall in Orange County’s Little Arabia neighborhood, just miles from Disneyland in California.

Ghanim said Islamic State doesn’t represent his faith.

“They don’t follow the Islamic rules or anything Islam,” he said. “We’re a peaceful people — we’re not violent.”

Cruz said Tuesday that law enforcement should be empowered to “patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.” Echoing earlier statements from rival Donald Trump, Cruz also said the U.S. should stop the flow of refugees from countries where the Islamic State militant group has a significant presence. IS claimed responsibility for the attacks at the Brusselsairport and a subway station that killed dozens Tuesday and wounded many more.

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From regime change to ISIS: 5 years of US meddling in Syria

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The Syrian civil war began as protesters toppled governments across North Africa in the so-called “Arab Spring.” Washington has insisted on regime change in Damascus ever since, yet their rhetoric adapted over the years.

President Ben Ali of Tunisia was ousted in January, followed by protests demanding the resignation of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak and an armed rebellion against Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. A “Day of Rage” protest in Damascus and Aleppo on March 15, 2011 is commonly considered the start of the Syrian civil war. Protests escalated into an armed rebellion by July, after NATO warplanes intervened in Libya on behalf of the rebels

Map of Syria

Image: wikipedia

2011: ‘Peaceful transition,’ guns, and roses

President Barack Obama made the first call for regime change in Damascus in August 2011.

“The United States has been inspired by the Syrian peoples’ pursuit of a peaceful transition to democracy,” Obama said.“They have spoken with their peaceful marches, their silent shaming of the Syrian regime, and their courageous persistence in the face of brutality.”

“The future of Syria must be determined by its people, but President Bashar al-Assad is standing in their way,” Obama declared. “For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside.”

Bashar Assad became president of Syria in 2000, after the death of his father Hafez, who had run the country since 1971. Bashar had been an eye doctor living in the UK when his elder brother was killed in a car wreck in 1994.

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Here are 6 keys to understanding ISIS’ barbarism, Apocalyptic vision and desire for an End-Times battle

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Image: Raw Story

The latest terrorist attacks by ISIS have changed the 2016 presidential race, sparking a range of predictable reactions across the partisan spectrum, from “Fortress America” stances from Republicans to Democrats pushing to create a new international coalition and combined military response.

But most Americans, especially those running for president, do not really understand what ISIS is about: what they believe and seek, why they are so bloody, how they lure recruits from abroad, and why they are now striking in Paris and Beirut. Last winter, the Atlantic’s Graeme Wood spent weeks with ISIS defenders, sympathetic clerics and academics overseas before writing a revelatory profile, “What ISIS Really Wants.”

After it was published, Wood asked his sources if he got it mostly right. “In general, they saw the portrayal of ISIS in the Atlantic as one they could recognize,” he said in aninterview. “They saw it as something that legitimately attempted to portray them in terms they could see and say, ‘Yeah, that’s more or less us.’”

“The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths,” the article’s teaser begins. “It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse.”

What follows are six key takeaways from Wood’s reporting, updated from a previous AlterNet report.

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Questioning God in Afghanistan like putting match to powder keg

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Hundreds of angry faces, fluttering signs, fist-pumping cries of “Allahu akbar!” punctuated with shouts of “Death to America!” — last week’s demonstrations in Kabul showed just how fragile the country’s new optimism can be.


Image: EPA

It is also a sign of the hurdles that Afghanistan’s new president, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, must overcome as he attempts to move his country forward. Those obstacles are not limited to the knee-jerk fanaticism of a few hundred protesters; the architects of this particular crisis can be found inside Ghani’s own “National Unity Government.”

The overt reason for the outpouring of negative emotion in Afghanistan last week was a small article in an obscure English language newspaper, published nearly two weeks ago and that almost no one in Afghanistan actually read.

The Afghanistan Express, which bills itself as “the voice of a more hopeful generation,” is a small publication that targets foreign embassies, NGOs, “entrepreneurs and tourists” — none of whom much resemble the protesters gathered at the Eid Gah Mosque or Kabul University on Friday.

The article in question, “The Islam of the Taliban and ISIS,” is a cri de coeur against a God unwilling or unable to curb evil in the world.

“What type of God you are? Are you insane? … You ‘God’ are not understandable, I leave you right there alone in the sky.”

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TX Sheriff Warns Fox of ISIS Threat: ‘Quran Books’ Found Along Mexican Border

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Gary Painter, Sheriff from Midland County, Texas, warned Fox & Friends’ Elisabeth Hasselbeck that not only was ISIS poised to sneak into the U.S through the porous Texas-Mexico border, but that based on evidence he’d heard of, “Muslims” were already being smuggled across. He presented no evidence that the alleged Muslims were connected to ISIS or any other terror group.

“Are you saying that ISIS is ready to come across poised to perhaps execute what they have threatened to do, attacks on the United States, drown us in our own blood?” Hasselbeck asked. “Is that what you’re saying?”

“I’m saying the border is wide open,” Painter replied. “We have found copies, or people along the border, have found Muslim clothing, they have found Quran books that are laying on the side of the trail. So we know that there are Muslims that have come across, have been smuggled in the United States.”

The idea that ISIS is operating in Mexico, or even outside the eastern Syria/northern Iraq region where they’re based, has been rebutted numerous times, most recently by the Department of Homeland Security, something Fox News itself has reported on. In addition, Fox News anchor Geraldo Rivera told the Fox & Friends troika last week that the idea was nonsense.

Nonetheless, Hasselbeck agreed with Painter’s dire prediction and asked what he thought the U.S. should do.

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