Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Chicago officials on Tuesday evening released dash cam video from the 2014 incident in which a police officer shot teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times. Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez described the video footage as "chilling" during a news conference hours before the footage was released. "I have no doubt this video will tear at the hearts of all Chicagoans," Alvarez said. In the video, McDonald is carrying with a small knife and walking away from officers, Alvarez said. Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke opens fire as he stands about 10 feet away, and keeps shooting for roughly 13 to 15 seconds even after the teen falls to the ground. Tuesday morning, Alvarez's office brought a first-degree murder charge against Van Dyke, who could face 20 years to life in prison if convicted. Alvarez said her office is confident it can make its case against the officer. read more

Nancy LeTourneau, Washington Monthly: President Obama does have a plan and it involves understanding ISIS. From the beginning, we knew that they had a very different approach than al Qaeda. Bin Laden viewed his terrorism as a prologue to a caliphate he did not expect to see in his lifetime. His organization was flexible, operating as a geographically diffuse network of autonomous cells. The Islamic State, by contrast, requires territory to remain legitimate, and a top-down structure to rule it. (Its bureaucracy is divided into civil and military arms, and its territory into provinces.) That's why, just before the attacks in Paris, President Obama said that our initial goal was to "contain" them and that we were seeing some success in doing that. Its [U.S.] containment policy is designed to wall ISIS into increasingly restricted territory and letting it fail due to its own mismanagement, economic problems, and internal discord, rather than because of the actions of a foreign oppressor. read more

Friday, November 20, 2015

"Phuc Dat Bich" is not a 12-year-old's poorly spelled insult. He's a 23-year-old Vietnamese-Australian who asserts he had his Facebook profile shut down multiple times over accusations he was using a fake name. To prove his namesake to the world, he shared an image of his passport online. Originally posted in January, the photo surged in popularity online this week, with more than 128,000 likes and 68,000 shares on Facebook as of Friday. read more

Steve Benen, Maddowblog, "Here's the thing: to the average person, it seems perfectly reasonable to be suspicious of admitting Syrian refugees to the country," Kevin Drum wrote. "We know that ISIS would like to attack the US. We know that ISIS probably has the wherewithal to infiltrate a few of its people into the flood of refugees." The safe move, much of the country assumes, is to not take any chances. However, the typical American may not understand, for example, that the vetting process for refugees is actually strict and lengthy. The average person may not know that one of ISIS's goals is turning the West against refugees, so when we give into fear, we actually help the people we're trying to hurt. The typical U.S. voter may not know that half of the Syrian refugees brought to American soil have been children. read more

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Arnesa Buljusmic-Kustura, 26, and her family spent four years gathering documents and completing countless interviews to successfully apply for refugee status in Bosnia to enter the United States in 2002. Since then, Buljusmic-Kustura has gone through additional application processes to become a legal permanent resident and eventually, after proving that she's a "contributing member of society," a U.S. citizen. "I'm a refugee and all of my friends are refugees from either the Balkans or Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, everywhere," Buljusmic-Kustura, who's currently the executive director of the Bosniak American Association of Iowa, said in a phone interview. "I know these people, what they're going through, how they are when they actually get to America. These are good people, they're hard-working people. They just want a chance to survive." read more


Let me play this out for you Jeff:

Opposition: Obama has no strategy and is just playing it by the seat of his pants.

Obama: I've articulated my strategy for over the last 3 years. It's evolved as we learned new lessons from our successes and failures, but it's always been the same goal - defeating ISIL while minimizing local opposition to and damage from US-led actions - and stewarded by the best military minds this nation has to offer. I've listened to these people and this is the best thing we can do and here are the reasons why....

Opposition: Obama should order in US ground troops....

Obama: Already explained how that tends to bite us in the end. See Iraq War under W and Cheney. That's why we're fighting ISIL now, geeze, don't you guys even know your own history?

Opposition: Obama should have taken out Assad....

Obama: Haven't we covered this before?

Opposition: Obama should stop all Syrian refugees because of terrorists....

Obama: That's precisely what ISIL wants us to do because it strengthens their position with affected Muslims and engenders fear and hatred of Muslim refugees throughout non-Muslim countries so that they'll return to ISIL controlled territory. We're not helping ISIL by doing their bidding wrapped up as fake security fears. Refugees have the hardest path to enter America of any people on the planet because we already take most every precaution to keep potential terrorists out. That's the point of the program to begin with.

Opposition: Obama doesn't know what he's doing, he has no clue....

Obama: You really think I haven't been paying attention for the last 7 years? Osama bin Laden ring a bell? How about Jihadi Joe? Seen his head lately? Did you hear the part about listening to our military minds like any president should do and crafting policy around their considered opinions?

What's your strategy then?

Opposition: Basically do exactly what you're doing but under our own command, and say Islamic terrorism every other sentence.

Obama: I see....

Opposition: Obama hates America and is trying to destroy it from within....

Obama: Whatever bitches..... (OUTRAGE ensues!!!!!)

Where he needs to 'grow up' is in the manner in which he deals with his opposition and, quite frankly, anybody who challenges/questions him on anything he does/says.

He has tracing-paper thin-skin. So do his supporters. He habitually impugns the motives of anyone who disagrees with him. It's become a reflex reaction.

This may come as a shock to you but it is possible to have a principled disagreement with Obama's words, actions, policies and plans. You may find that impossible to believe, but it's true. But Obama doesn't appear to see it that way, nor do his supporters. Hence the incessant straw men and castigations of the motives and intents of those who voice disagreement with him.


I think I get it now. Jeff only sees the snide Obama because that is the one right wing media needs to fit their narrative. From my view (and likely many outside the fevered swamps' too) Obama has patiently and respectfully laid out his policies, answered his critics contrary views and rebutted them point by point without any malice whatsoever, only to be ignored and repeatedly faced with the same debunked talking points over and over again. Then, and only then, after he finally gets fed up with the nonsense and calls it nonsense in whatever offensive form the right chooses to get apoplectic about, that is the one focussed on without proper context of the events which led him there. W cut to the chase after 9/11. He wouldn't allow that dissent could still be patriotism for those more beholden to the hope enshrined in our Constitution instead of the fear and anger instilled in our breasts by an unspeakable atrocity.

Obama has never flied from the lip because that's not who he is when the discourse is spirited and civil. The very reason I find fault with your perception of his personality is that it's a projection of a person who doesn't actual;y exist as you see him. Yes, Obama has an ego, any president does and should to a point. But he appears to respect the office and the power more than his predecessor did, while Obama's most vocal critics were often cheerleaders of W's and Cheney's catastrophic decisions.

It ain't checkers


Thanks again, I'd never seen him speak about ISIL with such detail and specificity. Obama's opening remarks are only about 13:30 minutes, not 48. And to Jeff's criticism, Obama recognizes and anticipates his critic's questions and then articulates why he chose another direction. I've often seen him do this throughout his presidency.

It's literally like two people watching the same movie and seeing different things, unless it may be because the media tries less to inform the public as to dumb down complex, detailed information into bi-polar weapons of controversy and intentional misunderstanding.

The administration has operated from the "shadows" not because it was indecisive or weak, as its critics have attempted to argue, but because that is the strategy that will not simply get rid of the bad guys, but will offer us the prospect of replacing them with a regime that we can live with, and not be faced with yet another costly military intervention in that part of the world every five or ten years for the indefinite future.

In the same edition of the Post in which the Zakaria column appeared, another important piece by David Ignatius outlines how unpopular ISIS is within the Sunni Arab world, and how much common ground the west has with those in the Middle East who wish to or could be persuaded to oppose them. The question is whether we fight smart or stupid and right now the fight stupid advocates seem to be ascendant.

I think the White House has either said or implied all of this to be the case. But much like in the days following the passage of the Recovery Act in 2009, when funds for the creation of jobs were only beginning to flow and the toll of massive layoffs was still continuing to mount, the White House has failed to engage in the daily task of explaining what they are doing, why they are doing it and why the course they have chosen is far superior to the alternatives being advanced by their critics. They are abandoning the political battlefield when the need for leadership is the greatest. That failure not only places a well-considered Syria policy in jeopardy, but bleeds into the politics of every other issue from the budget to the treatment of immigrants who are in no way connected to the troubles of the Middle East.

Those who truly understand the complexity of using American force in a manner that will ultimately benefit our national interest are coalescing around the policy choices that the White House has selected, and the burden for informing the American people of the rightness of those choices lies with all clear thinking citizens, but most especially, it lies with the Obama administration itself.

It does little good to have chosen the right course if you don't win the public debate for maintaining it. That is the most important job now facing this White House. Let us hope that they will recognize that fact and rise to the occasion. www.huffingtonpost.com

I agree wholeheartedly.

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