During Sunday night’s presidential debate, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton denied that she was in office as Secretary of State when President Barack Obama refused to punish Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad for using chemical weapons against civilians after calling chemical weapons use a “red line” which could not be crossed.
“They had a chance to do something with Syria, and that was the line,” Republican nominee Donald Trump said of his Democratic rival and the administration in which she worked. “You were there as Secretary of State with the so-called ‘line in the sand.’”
“No, I wasn’t, I was gone,” Clinton replied.
Fact-Check: MOSTLY FALSE
President Obama delivered his famous “red line” speech – in which he described the use of chemical weapons against civilians by Assad as a “red line” that Assad could not cross without suffering serious international consequences – in August 2012.
“We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus,” President Obama said at the time.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte warned President Barack Obama on Monday not to question him about extrajudicial killings, or “son of a b…h I will swear at you” when they meet in Laos during a regional summit.
Duterte said before flying to Laos that he is a leader of a sovereign country and is answerable only to the Filipino people. He was answering a reporter’s question about how he intends to explain the extrajudicial killings to Obama. More than 2,000 suspected drug pushers and users have been killed since Duterte launched a war on drugs after taking office on June 30.
In his typical foul-mouthed style, Duterte responded: “I am a president of a sovereign state and we have long ceased to be a colony. I do not have any master except the Filipino people, nobody but nobody. You must be respectful. Do not just throw questions.
It isn’t clear whether Obama plans to raise the issue of extrajudicial killings with Duterte during a meeting on the sidelines of the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
“Who is he to confront me?” Duterte said, adding that the Philippines had not received an apology for misdeeds committed during the U.S. colonization of the Philippines.
He pointed to the killing of Muslim Moros more than a century ago during a U.S. pacification campaign in the southern Philippines, blaming the wounds of the past as “the reason why (the south) continues to boil” with separatist insurgencies.
Duterte also pointed to human rights problems in the United States.
Last week, Duterte said he was ready to defend his bloody crackdown on illegal drugs, which has sparked concern from the U.S. and other countries.
Duterte said he would demand that Obama allow him to first explain the context of his crackdown before engaging the U.S. president in a discussion of the deaths.
The leader of Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group quoted Trump at a rally in the country’s south Saturday, saying the presidential candidate’s statements were based on facts.
Hassan Nasrallah says: “this is an American presidential candidate who is saying this. What he says is based on facts and documents.”
Trump described President Barack Obama as the “founder” of IS. Trump later said the claim was intended as sarcasm.
Nasrallah, who has sent thousands of his fighters to Syria to shore up President Bashar Assad’s forces, has long claimed that the U.S. helped create and fuel the rise of Islamic extremists to destabilize the Middle East.
Turkey has become a principal financial hub for terrorists under the leadership of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose government has helped Iran skirt sanctions, supported jihadi groups in Syria, and provided financial backing to Hamas, according to a new report by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD).
Turkey, a key U.S. ally, “has turned a blind eye” to terror financing and is potentially on the verge of crossing the line to becoming an official state sponsor of terrorism, according to the Friday report, which cites the Erdogan government’s close ties to some of the world’s top terror organizations and operatives.
The report comes just a day after 84 U.S. lawmakers and former government officials urged President Barack Obama to confront Erdogan over his harsh repression of political opponents.
As Turkey’s support for terrorism expands, the Obama administration has remained silent out of fear of offending Erdogan, whom the White House considers a strategic asset, according to the report authored by FDD’s Jonathan Schanzer, a former terrorism finance analyst at the U.S. Treasury Department.
The Obama administration “has remained on the sidelines, expressing relatively mild concern about the crackdowns on law enforcement officials and the jailing of journalists, while electing not to mention terrorism finance issues publicly,” the report states.
“Washington’s silence stems from fears of a fall-out with Turkey, which has been a crucial ally over the years, and is situated strategically at the intersection of Europe and the Middle East,” according to the report. “But Turkey’s actions constitute a direct challenge to Washington’s sanctions regime.”
The report catalogues in detail Turkey’s cozy relationship with jihadi groups, terrorist operatives, and the Iranian regime.
Last year, “Turkey was involved in a massive sanctions-busting scheme with Tehran,” according to the report. “Now known as ‘gas-for-gold,’ the scheme helped the Iranian regime gain some $13 billion” despite international sanctions meant to stop such deals.
Additionally, over 2,000 Iranian companies are reportedly registered in Turkey, where pro-Erdogan political elites have been accused of facilitating large cash transfers with Tehran.
Turkey’s top intelligence agency is also believed to be working with Iran in a bid to “scuttle intelligence operations” aimed at stopping Iran’s nuke program, according to the report.
Erdogan has also gone to great lengths to bolster extremist rebel groups in Syria, according to the report, which cites “mounting evidence suggests that Turkey has been directly or indirectly arming, training, and even financing Sunni jihadi groups” in the country.
Turkey reportedly sent 47 tons of weapons to Syrian rebels during a six-month period in 2013, according to the report.
There are “few questions that it has been Turkish policy to provide support to a range of rebel factions,” the report states. “Turkey now appears to allow a broad spectrum of anti-Assad forces, including those with radical ideologies, to operate on Turkish territory.”
“Jihadi personnel and finances” have been identified as flowing from Turkey to Syria.
Israeli military officials have additionally claimed that “Syrian al Qaeda groups were training in three separate bases in the Turkish provinces.”
Erdogan has also been exposed for having a close friendship with Yasin al-Qadi, a Saudi Arabian businessman who has faced sanctions for his financial ties to al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, and other terrorist fronts.
Hamas has become another ally of the Erdogan government, which has held meetings with the terror group’s senior leadership and allows one of its key operative to work in Turkey.
Senior Hamas leader Saleh al-Aruri has been living in Turkey, “where he has been allegedly involved in the financing and logistics of Hamas operations,” according to the report, which states that “al-Aruri may be raising funds on Turkish soil that go to support terrorism.”
This coincides with “broader Turkish support” for Hamas, including political cover and financial backing.
Turkey has even inked a $4 billion deal with a Chinese missile firm that has been sanctioned “multiple times by the U.S. for selling prohibited missile technology to Iran,” according to the report.
Turkey’s deal with the controversial China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp appears “to be a direct attempt to undermine the U.S.-led sanctions against Iran,” the report states.
The Turkish government’s growing ties to terror have come amid a corruption scandal that has rocked Erdogan’s AKP political party, which has “purged the investigators, prosecutors, and journalists involved” in exposing the corruption.
FDD’s Schanzer warned that left unchecked by the United States and the rest of the international community, “Turkey’s terrorism finance problems could fester further.”
“These problems have already raised questions about whether Turkey currently serves as a barrier to extremism from the Middle East,” Schanzer said.
Uwe and Hanalore Romeike want to educate their seven children at home, rather than in the school system. But in Germany where they come from originally, home schooling is illegal.
It isn’t just discouraged, it is punishable by heavy fines and imprisonment and their children could be taken away from them.
“We are being persecuted, as are many other home schooling families in Germany,” says Mr. Romeike. “Parents should have the right to choose the best education for their children. That’s what’s lacking in Germany. We don’t have freedom of education.”
The Romeike family fled Germany and came to America for religious asylum in 2008 and settled in Tennessee. In their native country, they ran afoul of the government for trying to protect their children from some of the anti-Christian influences in the German public schools — the same kind of influences often found in American public schools for that matter.
In 2010, Judge Lawrence Burman, an immigration judge granted the family asylum saying that if the family returned to Germany they would assuredly face persecution because of their religious beliefs. The judge agreed that if the family returned to Germany that the children would be taken from their parents who face arrest for wanting a Christian education for their kids.
Two years later the Obama administration called for a review and a higher court overturned the decision. Thanks to the efforts of Attorney General Eric Holder, every court since the government appeal was filed has ruled against the family. In May, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled:
“The Romeikes have not shown that Germany’s enforcement of its general school-attendance law amounts to persecution against them, whether on grounds of religion or membership in a recognized social group. There is a difference between the persecution of a discrete group and the prosecution of those who violate a generally applicable law.”
On October 10, 2013, the Home School Legal Defense Association filed an appeal with the US Supreme Court, asking them to hear the case. In November their appeal was up for consideration with the high court, but they delayed hearing the case because they asked Eric Holder to respond to the appeal in writing. The HSLDA believes that the request of the court for a written response from Holder was a good sign that at least one of the justices is interested in the case. It takes 5 members of the court to agree to hear a case, and they are praying that is the case.
This Friday, February 21, the Supreme Court is scheduled to review the case. The HSLDA is asking everyone for prayer that the high court will uphold the history of America as being a place of refuge for those persecuted for their faith. They believe that they have a strong and solid case and a persuasive argument.
Attorney Michael Farris who founded the HSDLA and is helping the Romeike family says: “The Obama administration is basically saying there is no right to home school anywhere.”
In reference to German restrictions of homeschooling, Farris adds: “That means they don’t want to have significant numbers of people who think differently than what the government thinks…. It’s an incredibly dangerous assertion that people can’t think in a way that the government doesn’t approve of.”
The sad situation with the Romeike family clearly demonstrates what our government has become. They say yes to foreign gays, to Muslims and to illegal aliens, but they scream NO at Christians.
The permanence of the Internet is a great thing. Every now and then, someone will revive, for present-day scrutiny, some sanctimonious declaration or other made by an elected official who never should have been elected.
President Obama has taken heat recently for working around Congress whenever he thinks it necessary to, among other things, delay Obamacare mandates and trim immigration enforcement.
President Obama’s abuses of power are well-known and numerous, so when he said within earshot of the press, “That’s the good thing as a president, I can do whatever I want,” he was really just confirming what we already know.
Mr. Obama made the tongue-in-cheek remark as he toured Monticello, the Charlottesville, Va., estate of Thomas Jefferson, with French President Francois Hollande. The visit is part of Mr. Hollande’s three-day stay in the U.S. this week.
The soundbite occurred as Obama and guest, French President Hollande, were bending the rules at Monticello by touring a normally restricted area.
The president delighted in his ability to “break the protocol” and view the Monticello grounds from a private terrace which is a normally restricted area.
“That’s the good thing as a president. I can do whatever I want,” Mr. Obama said.
It was a nothing maneuver, done on a day when the White House once again did whatever Obama wants by unilaterally and illegally altering the Affordable Care Act, and the Department of Justice announced it will violate states’ laws on homosexual “marriage” across the country.
Obama isn’t a tyrant because of what he said; he said what he did because he’s a tyrant.
Even though it was spurred by a seemingly innocuous event, it seems likely the phrase “I can do whatever I want” will one day be the final word on this Administration.