Tag: ISIS

Israeli politicians think that fighting against ISIS is a threat to Israel

In this edition of The Progressive Midwesterner’s Wide World of Politics, we take a look at the wild and woolly world of Israeli politics.

Yolav Galant, the Israeli Housing Minister, said this about the growing alliance of both Israeli allies and Israeli enemies that have come together to form an international coalition to take out ISIS:

The developing ties between Israel’s allies and enemies as they join forces to fight Islamic State pose a threat to Israel, Housing Minister Yoav Galant, a senior IDF commander turned Kulanu party lawmaker, warned Tuesday.

“They are fighting side by side against a joint enemy, Daesh [Islamic State], building ties, and learning from joint experience, and it creates new challenges for Israel,” Galant told the annual international conference of the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv.

“In the framework of these joint actions, the gates are opening for Iran and the significance of that are far-reaching.”

After the threat of Islamic State has been removed, Israel will face Iran and its Lebanon-based proxy Hezbollah almost alone, he said. “We need to isolate Iran and Hezbollah, and prevent a situation in which they isolate us.”

In short, the Housing Minister of Israel believes that fighting against ISIS poses a threat to Israel. That is downright laughable. If there’s anything that actually poses a grave threat to Israel’s existence, it’s ISIS. Quite frankly, if ISIS saw an opportunity to launch a full-scale war against Israel, they would waste no time doing so.

I think that the U.S. should seriously consider abolishing the treaty between the U.S. and Israel, since it’s absolutely clear to me that Israeli politicians in office today are total dumbfucks  when it comes to foreign policy and their own national security.

Right-wing extremists are the biggest threat to America

It’s become inherently clear to me that right-wing extremists are the biggest threat to America today.

Last night, President Barack Obama gave a rare speech from the Oval Office about ISIS, national security, gun control, and the recent San Bernardino shooting. In his speech, Obama said that letting the right define America’s fight against ISIS and other Islamic fundamentalist terror groups as a fight between America and Islam is exactly what ISIS wants. He’s right.

Republicans running for president, such as Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio, as well as Republican elected officials and right-wing blowhards, support launching a full-scale war against ISIS, spying on American Muslims, and other extreme measures. The truth of the matter is that those type of measures would do little more than play into the ISIS narrative that America is at war with Islam, thus emboldening ISIS and leading to U.S. involvement in yet another long, drawn-out war in the Middle East. Furthermore, Republican and NRA opposition to efforts to ban those on U.S. no-fly lists encourages terrorists to buy guns in order to carry out terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.

It’s not Islamic fundamentalists that pose the biggest threat to America today. It’s our own country’s right-wing extremists, who want to aid and abet ISIS and other similar terror groups.

47 House Dems side with ISIS and Nazi-like bigotry from the GOP

47 House Dems side with ISIS and Nazi-like bigotry from the GOP

A total of 47 Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted for anti-Syrian refugee legislation straight out of a Nazi Germany mindset. Here are the House Democrats who voted for the legislation:

Pete Aguilar California 31st
Brad Ashford Nebraska 2nd
Ami Bera California 7th
Sanford Bishop, Jr. Georgia 2nd
Julia Brownley California 26th
Cheri Bustos Illinois 17th
John Carney Delaware At-large
Gerry Connolly Virginia 11th
Jim Cooper Tennessee 5th
Jim Costa California 16th
Joe Courtney Connecticut 2nd
Henry Cuellar Texas 28th
John Delaney Maryland 6th
Lloyd Doggett Texas 35th
Tulsi Gabbard Hawaii 2nd
John Garamendi California 3rd
Gwen Graham Florida 2nd
Gene Green Texas 29th
Janice Hahn California 44th
Jim Himes Connecticut 4th
Steve Israel New York 3rd
Marcy Kaptur Ohio 9th
Bill Keating Massachusetts 9th
Ron Kind Wisconsin 3rd
Ann McLane Kuster New Hampshire 2nd
Jim Langevin Rhode Island 2nd
Dan Lipinski Illinois 3rd
Dave Loebsack Iowa 2nd
Stephen Lynch Massachusetts 8th
Sean Patrick Maloney New York 18th
Patrick Murphy Florida 18th
Rick Nolan Minnesota 8th
Donald Norcross New Jersey 1st
Scott Peters California 52nd
Collin Peterson Minnesota 7th
Jared Polis Colorado 2nd
Kathleen Rice New York 4th
Raul Ruiz California 36th
Tim Ryan Ohio 13th
Kurt Schrader Oregon 5th
David Scott Georgia 13th
Terri Sewell Alabama 7th
Kyrsten Sinema Arizona 9th
Louise Slaughter New York 25th
Marc Veasey Texas 33rd
Filemon Vela Texas 34th
Tim Walz Minnesota 1st

When I say that these 47 Democratic traitors sided with ISIS, I mean that they are effectively fueling ISIS propaganda by refusing to take in the very people who have been oppressed by ISIS and the Syrian dictatorship of Bashir al-Assad. When I say that this legislation is straight out of a Nazi Germany mindset, I’m referring to public opposition here in the U.S. to accepting Jewish refugees who were fleeing the Holocaust and the Nazi Germany regime of Adolf Hitler in the late 1930’s.

It’s not just moderate and conservative “Democrats” who are effectively siding with ISIS and repeating the history of the Nazis by opposing Syrian refugees. Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ben Carson have used racist, Nazi-like language to stir up fear of Syrian refugees among white racist Americans.

Here’s what Trump recently said, courtesy of Yahoo! News:

“We’re going to have to do things that we never did before. And some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule,” Trump said. “And certain things will be done that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy. And so we’re going to have to do certain things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago.”

Yahoo News asked Trump whether this level of tracking might require registering Muslims in a database or giving them a form of special identification that noted their religion. He wouldn’t rule it out.

“We’re going to have to — we’re going to have to look at a lot of things very closely,” Trump said when presented with the idea. “We’re going to have to look at the mosques. We’re going to have to look very, very carefully.”

Here’s what Carson recently said, courtesy of NBC News:

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson on Thursday suggested that concerns about Syrian refugees in the United States are akin to a parent’s concerns about “mad dogs.”

“If there’s a rabid dog running around in your neighborhood, you’re probably not going to assume something good about that dog, and you’re probably going to put your children out of the way,” he said during remarks in Mobile, Alabama. “[It] doesn’t mean that you hate all dogs, by any stretch of the imagination, but you’re putting your intellect into motion and you’re thinking ‘How do I protect my children? At the same time, I love dogs and I’m gonna call the humane society and hopefully they can come take this dog away and create a safe environment once again.'”

Any Democrat who voted for the anti-Syrian refugee legislation has effectively sided with right-wing racists like Donald Trump and Ben Carson, who are using Nazi Germany-like language in opposition to allowing Syrian refugees to enter the United States. Supporting requiring that Muslims have special identification is eerily reminiscent of the Nazis forcibly tattooing identification numbers onto Jewish people in concentration camps, and comparing Syrian refugees fleeing war and terrorism to mad dogs is eerily reminiscent of Nazi propaganda comparing Jewish people to rats (in fact, at least one British newspaper, the Daily Mail, actually compared Syrian refugees to rats). Normally, I’m not a fan of Nazi comparisons, but, if there’s actual historical context behind a Nazi comparison, then I’m all for it.

One last thing, I find it ironic that the number of House Democrats who voted for the anti-Syrian refugee bill (47) equals the number of Senate Republicans who signed a letter to Iranian leaders in an attempt to undermine diplomacy in efforts to stop a nuclear deal designed to keep Iran from producing nuclear weapons (47), as well as the percentage of Americans that 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney claimed were dependent on the government (47).

My letter to Bruce Rauner on Syrian refugee resettlement in Illinois

AUTHOR’S NOTE: The following blog post is a letter that I sent to Gov. Bruce Rauner (R-IL) via the contact page on the Illinois state government website for the governor’s office.


Governor Rauner,

This is Aaron Camp, a resident of the Village of Westville in Vermilion County. I am writing to you in regards to resettlement of Syrian refugees in Illinois, which I support. I am strongly critical of your opposition to resettlement of Syrian refugees here in Illinois.

Just a few days ago, terrorists launched multiple coordinated attacks in Paris, France, and the Islamic fundamentalist terror group that is commonly known as ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks. While there needs to be proper screening in place to make sure that terrorists don’t migrate here to the United States among the refugees who are fleeing the terrorists, I believe that Illinois, and the United States as a whole, is more than capable of accepting Syrian refugees who are fleeing war and oppression.

America is a nation of immigrants. In fact, my hometown of Westville was settled by immigrants from dozens of countries many, many years before I was born. In fact, at one time, Westville once had people of 37 different nationalities living in the community. Many other Illinois communities were shaped by immigrants at some point in their histories.

For you to say no to accepting Syrian refugees is, in a way, doing what ISIS wants. One of ISIS’s goals is to terrorize politicians in our state and our country into making reactionary decisions with negative consequences. The negative consequences of not accepting Syrian refugees are numerous, although one of them is that the refusal of American politicians to accept Syrian refugees would likely be used in ISIS propaganda to recruit more ISIS terrorists, which is something that the U.S. and our nation’s allies simply cannot afford.

Sincerely,
Aaron Camp

An open letter to America about Scott Walker from an Illinoisan who has blogged about Walker

My fellow Americans,

Sometime tomorrow, Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker will formally launch his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.

As someone who has blogged about Walker on a regular basis for the past few years, I’ve come to know Walker as a horrible politician who, with the help of his political allies in the Wisconsin State Legislature, has destroyed Wisconsin’s economy, reputation, and quality of life. In a sane world, Walker’s record as Governor of Wisconsin would be an immediate disqualifier for any future campaign for public office. To give you a description of Walker’s style of politics, if one combined the worst elements of Richard Nixon, George W. Bush, Herbert Hoover, Jerry Falwell, and Grover Norquist, you’d get Walker.

Since taking office as Wisconsin’s chief executive four and a half years ago, Scott Walker has, among other things:

  • Stripped collective bargaining rights from public employee unions
  • Enacted wage theft laws allowing non-union workers at unionized workplaces to refuse to join a labor union and/or pay union dues despite receiving union-negotiated wages and benefits
  • Drastically cut the pay of public employees
  • Made it harder for Wisconsin women to seek legal recourse if they’ve been denied equal pay for the same work as their male counterparts
  • Established a corporate welfare agency in Wisconsin that is rife with corruption, cronyism, and mismanagement
  • Cut funding from public elementary, secondary, and higher education
  • Expanded Wisconsin’s school voucher programs that funnel taxpayer money to religious schools
  • Made it harder for Wisconsin women to get the reproductive health care they want
  • Given out tax breaks to big businesses and the wealthy
  • Weakened environmental protections
  • Arrested people for singing
  • Enacted discriminatory voter ID laws designed to keep Wisconsinites from voting
  • Stripped local control from counties and communities in Wisconsin that usually vote for Democratic candidates
  • Openly compared the people of Wisconsin to terrorists
  • Blatantly violated campaign finance laws
  • Given wealthy right-wingers and big business interests virtually complete control of Wisconsin’s state government

Walker’s policies and actions have, among other things:

  • Driven down the wages of Wisconsinites
  • Stifled economic growth in Wisconsin
  • Has made Wisconsin one of the most corrupt states in the entire country
  • Lowered the percentage of middle-class Wisconsin households
  • Left Wisconsin with severe budget problems
  • Made Wisconsin the laughingstock of America

However, we don’t live in a sane world. Walker has been elected Governor of Wisconsin three times in a four-year period against weak, uninspiring corporate Democrats. I believe that, if Democrats do not nominate Bernie Sanders for president, Scott Walker will become the next President of the United States, and, given how he’s wrecked Wisconsin over the past four and a half years, that is a truly scary thought. If Walker is elected president, what little remains of the American middle class and American sovereignty will be completely destroyed, big business interests will completely take over the federal government at every level, America’s federal budget deficit and national debt will grow massively, social safety net programs like Social Security and Medicare will be privatized or outright eliminated, America’s economy will crash again, and corruption will run amok in the federal government.

You can read about Scott Walker’s horrible track record here, here, here, here, and here, among many other places. Furthermore, if you ever get in touch with these people either in person or by other means, you can ask people like Lori Compas, Wendi Kent, Karen Vieth, Kati Walsh, Chris “Capper” Liebenthal, Zach Wisniewski, Kelda Roys, Chris Taylor, Melissa Sargent, Kathleen Vinehout, Rebecca Kemble, Fred Risser, Kelly Westlund, Barbara With, Randy Bryce, Sara Goldrick-Rab, Heather DuBois Bourenane, Ingrid Laas, Sachi Komai, Laura Komai, Jenni Dye, JoCasta Zamarripa, Laura Manriquez, Mandela Barnes, LaTonya Johnson, Angela Walker, Christine Sinicki, Lisa Mux, and Mike McCabe, just to name a few, about what they think about Scott Walker…they’re all Wisconsinites, and they know how horrible Scott Walker’s policies and actions have been for Wisconsin.

As a lifelong Illinoisan and proud progressive, I would walk through fire to vote for the Democratic opponent to Scott Walker if he were to be nominated by the Republican Party for the office of President of the United States if that’s what it took for me to get to the polls.

Sincerely,
Aaron Camp
Westville, Illinois

Likely Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson praises ISIS at RNC meeting

Ben Carson, a Maryland neurosurgeon who intends to run for Republican presidential nomination, publicly praised the Islamic fundamentalist terror group Islamic State, commonly known as ISIS, at this year’s Republican National Committee (RNC) winter meeting in Coronado, California:

Republican presidential prospect Ben Carson on Thursday compared the Islamic State group to American patriots willing to die for freedom.

In a speech to the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting outside San Diego, the former neurosurgeon and conservative favorite praised American patriots for their willingness to give their lives for their beliefs. Then he mentioned the Islamic State group.

“They got the wrong philosophy, but they’re willing to die for what they believe, while we are busily giving away every belief and every value for the sake of political correctness,” he said as Republican officials from across the country interrupted him with applause. “We have to change that.”

The Islamic State terrorists are not like those who fought to make the United States of America an independent, sovereign country in the late 18th century. Islamic State is fighting to impose a Islamic religious fundamentalist agenda over its enemies, whereas those who fought for an independent United States of America fought to make their homeland a sovereign country ruled by representatives of the people.

This kind of bizarre praise of Islamic State from Carson reminds me an awful lot of Ozzie Guillen, a former Major League Baseball manager for the Miami Marlins, bizarrely praising former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, which ultimately resulted in Guillen being fired by the Marlins:

“I respect Fidel Castro,” Guillén is quoted as saying in the online article. “You know why? Many people have tried to kill Fidel Castro in the last 60 years, yet that [SOB] is still there.”

For this country to elect a nutjob like Ben Carson to the White House would be a huge travesty.

Corporate media hack Don Lemon asks a ridiculously stupid question once again

CNN anchor and corporate media hack Don Lemon asked yet another ridiculously stupid question. This time, he asked Arsalan Iftikhar, an editor of The Islamic Monthly and a human rights lawyer, if he supported the Islamic fundamentalist terror group ISIS in a televised interview:

Here’s the transcript of the relevant part of the interview:

Don Lemon: Again, in August, 16 percent of French citizens support ISIS. Would you describe those who support ISIS as Islamic extremists? Do you support ISIS?

Arsalan Iftikhar: Wait, did you just ask if I support ISIS? I just answered your question. I said that obviously these 16 percent of people support the ideology, but again, I don’t think that would necessarily extrapolate to the killing of innocent people.

Iftikhar publicly stated earlier in the interview that he was “shocked and appalled” by the attack on the Paris, France-based satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and condemned the attacks as “something that is against any normative teaching of Islam or any religious teaching” and “a crime against humanity and an act of mass murder”. It’s absolutely clear from Iftikhar’s thoughts and remarks about the terrorist attack on the Charlie Hebdo headquarters that Iftikhar does not support terrorism, whether it be from ISIS, al-Qaeda, or any other group or individual.

Sadly, this isn’t the first time that Lemon has asked a downright asinine question to a guest he was interviewing on national television. Just a couple of months ago, Lemon asked Joan Tarshis, one of over two dozen women who have accused comedian Bill Cosby of sexual assault, about why she didn’t bite Cosby’s dick off. Don Lemon is one of many reasons why CNN has gone from a well-respected institution of journalism to total garbage over the past several years.

Scott Walker compares immigration reform to union busting, has no immigration reform plan of his own

Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who will likely run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, attacked President Barack Obama, who is legally prohibited from seeking a third term in the White House, over, among other things, Obama issuing a lawful executive order on immigration:

Gov. Scott Walker criticized President Barack Obama’s handling of a range of national and international issues, including immigration and foreign policy, in his annual end-of-the-year interview with the Wisconsin State Journal at the Governor’s Mansion Monday.

Walker, who is mulling a run for president in 2016, joined a lawsuit earlier this month seeking to block Obama’s executive action sparing as many as 5 million people living illegally in the United States from deportation. Obama announced the action in November, saying it was an important step to fix the nation’s broken immigration system.

Perhaps the most moronic comment that Walker made in his interview with the Madison, Wisconsin-based Wisconsin State Journal newspaper was his bizarre comparison of immigration reform and union busting:

Citing his controversial 2011 measure to all but end collective bargaining for most of the state’s public workers, Walker likened Obama’s executive action on immigration to trying to “invoke Act 10 without the Legislature.”

For those of you who are not familiar with Wisconsin politics, “Act 10” refers to 2011 Wisconsin Act 10, a state law that was enacted by the Republican-controlled Wisconsin State Legislature in violation of the state’s open meetings law, signed into law by Walker, upheld by courts controlled by far-right supporters of Walker and his destructive agenda, and stripped Wisconsin’s public employee unions (except for what few public employee unions supported Walker in his 2010 gubernatorial campaign) of nearly all of their collective bargaining rights. Walker is a total moron for comparing immigration reform to stripping collective bargaining rights from public employees.

Furthermore, Walker has no plan whatsoever to reform the broken immigration system in this country:

On how he would resolve the problem of the estimated 12 million immigrants living in the United States illegally, he said he’d “leave that up to the people who are running for federal office or in federal office to decipher.”

I find it hypocritical and downright asinine that Walker, who is considering running for federal office, has no plan to reform the immigration system in this country, and then turns around and says that he’d leave the issue of immigration to those “who are running for federal office or in federal office”. He’s already passing the buck on immigration, and he hasn’t even officially entered the presidential race yet!

In addition to immigration, Walker also criticized Obama over the fact that Obama hasn’t (yet) started a full-scale war with the Islamic fundamentalist terror group ISIS and over Obama’s plans to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba. In other words, Walker wants to return to the failed George W. Bush-era hawkish/neoconservative foreign policy of fighting multiple full-scale wars at the same time that drive up the national debt and is whining about a lack of democracy in Cuba while, at the same time, he’s trying to destroy democracy in Wisconsin and the rest of America.

Make no mistake about it, America can’t afford four years of the Hillary Clinton-Jeb Bush-Scott Walker police, surveillance, and military state. America needs Bernie Sanders to run for the Democratic presidential nomination, because he’ll bring real progressive leadership to the White House.

Rand Paul, who criticizes Democrats for being war hawks, is trying to declare war on ISIS

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who is trying to find a way to run for re-election to the U.S. Senate and run for president simultaneously despite being legally prohibited from doing so in his home state of Kentucky, tried to get an Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) against the Islamic militant group ISIS (also known as ISIL and Islamic State) attached to a completely unrelated bill pushed through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Paul pulled his proposal in exchange for a vote on an AUMF against ISIS before the new Congress is sworn into office next month:

A surprise move by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is driving action on an issue that many in Congress, and the White House, were hoping to punt into the next year: war.

Paul tried to force a vote on legislation declaring war against Islamic State militants during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Thursday. He offered his measure as an amendment to an unrelated water bill about to get voted out of the committee.

After hearing loud resistance from fellow Republicans, who urged more time for debate on the matter, the Kentucky senator pulled his proposal. But he had achieved what he actually wanted: a promise from the chairman, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), to schedule a broader debate on the issue next week, along with a vote on a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) on Wednesday.

This is the same Rand Paul who once criticized Hillary Clinton, the former U.S. Secretary of State who is one of several individuals who are considering running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, for being a war hawk. While it is an indisputable fact that Hillary is a war hawk, Rand Paul is a total hypocrite for complaining about Democrats being war hawks when he’s trying to declare war against ISIS.

President Obama just got this country into another Vietnam

In an official address to the nation, President Barack Obama announced that U.S. forces will carry out air strikes against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants in Syria.

While President Obama promised that there will be no ground troops in Iraq or Syria, I seriously doubt that the president would hold to that promise for long. In fact, I think that the president just got this country into yet another Vietnam.

While I support humanitarian aid to those fleeing ISIS’s wrath and counterterrorism efforts to prevent ISIS from pulling off a terrorist attack on U.S. soil (so as long as said counterterrorism efforts don’t violate the U.S. Constitution), any kind of war with ISIS, whether it be an air war, a ground war, or a combination of both, is, more than likely, going to bog this country down in another long, drawn-out war, similar to the Vietnam War and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I firmly believe that ISIS is an extremely dangerous organization that intends, through violence, to destroy everything they consider a enemy, including the United States of America, in fact, they are the most extreme Islamic fundamentalist organization that I’ve ever seen in my life. However, the U.S. becoming involved in a war with ISIS would, more than likely, be a big mistake.