Paris terror attacks expose idiocy of American college activists, ‘safe spaces’ for ‘hurtful’ words

Paris attack emergency workers

American college students spent the last week demanding “safe spaces” on campuses because people can be jerks — and then the Paris terror attacks exposed them all as a bunch of pathetic babies.

A university president resigned on Monday because a bunch of sheltered kids didn’t realize human beings were capable of doing something as bizarre as scrawling “poo-swastikas” on bathroom walls — and then a group of terrorists slaughtered over 100 innocent people across Paris.

Reuters reported Friday:

For the second time in less than a year, France and the world are asking how carnage could strike at the heart of this much-loved city, including at a concert hall barely a few hundred steps from January’s deadly attack on the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.

“As we went to our car we saw dozens of people running out of the Bataclan,” local resident Caterina Giardino, an Italian national, said of the 19th century theatre-turned-music venue where gunman clad in black systematically killed nearly 100.

“Many of them were covered with blood, people were screaming,” she added, sitting on a bench with a friend as she recalled how one young man emerged from the concert hall with the bloody imprint of a hand on his shirt.

The exact sequence of gun and bomb assaults on the concert hall, a sports stadium and restaurants in the French capital that left at least 120 dead is still unclear. …

For his government, as for the French, the coming days are likely to raise as many questions as answers.

To add insult to injury, ABC News aired Millennials’ favorite politician, President Barack Obama, hours earlier saying ISIL was “contained.” (The segment was taped on Thursday.)

“I don’t think they’re gaining strength. What is true is that from the start, our goal has been first to contain and we have contained them. They have not gained ground in Iraq, and in Syria they’ll come in, they’ll leave, but you don’t see this systemic march by ISIL across the terrain.” — Barack Obama. Nov. 13, 2015. ABC News, Good Morning America.

Regular readers of this blog will note that it was only two days ago that I said, “Sometimes, people say mean things. It apparently hurts [Ithaca college students’] feelings more than it hurts the skulls and spinal cords of gay men thrown off tall buildings by the Islamic State group in Syria. And so, there must be a “no confidence” vote in Ithaca College president Tom Rochon.

France1

Mark Steyn echoed this sentiment Friday in his excellent piece “The Barbarians Are Inside, And There Are No Gates.”

Twenty-four hours ago, I said on the radio apropos the latest campus “safe space” nonsense: This is what we’re going to be talking about when the mullahs nuke us.

Almost. When the Allahu Akbar boys opened fire, Paris was talking about the climate-change conference due to start later this month, when the world’s leaders will fly in to “solve” a “problem” that doesn’t exist rather than to address the one that does. But don’t worry: we already have a hashtag (#PrayForParis) and doubtless there’ll be another candlelight vigil of weepy tilty-headed wankers. Because as long as we all advertise how sad and sorrowful we are, who needs to do anything?

#PrayForMizzou. #BringBackourGirls. #MillionStudentMarch. #Kony2012.

The Twitter hashtag can be leveraged to disseminate important information and inspire people to action, but most Americans simply use it to convey that they care. They really, really care. Unfortunately for them, solving complex problems require more than just words. It requires action, sacrifice, and an ability to deal with conflict, which is something “safe space” junkies are not willing to provide.

If you get a chance, pray for the victims of the Paris terror attack — but do it alone in your room at night and then don’t tell anyone about it. In short, do the exact opposite with college activists standing in the middle of a quad with a bullhorn typically do. You’ll be glad you did.

‘1980s are now calling’ mockery of Romney haunts Obama: Putin takes control in Syria

Obama Romney 80s joke

It was only a few short years ago that President Obama openly mocked Mitt Romney for saying Russia was the greatest geopolitical threat to the America. Certain segments of the media thought his “zinger” was downright hilarious. Fast forward three years and Vladimir Putin has annexed Crimea, is primed to do the same in eastern Ukraine, and put himself in the driver’s seat in Syria.

The Huffington Post reported Oct. 22, 2012:

During the presidential debate on Monday evening, President Barack Obama deployed a Seinfeldian zinger to mock former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee. Romney had said that al Qaeda and other terrorist groups are “rushing in” as revolutions shake up the Muslim world.

“Gov. Romney, I’m glad that you recognize that al Qaeda is a threat,” Obama said, “because a few months ago when you were asked what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia.”

“The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War’s been over for 20 years,” Obama said.

What Mr. Obama didn’t realize is that the Cold War never ended for Vladimir Putin, which is odd because the Russian’s public statements have always made that very clear.

Reuters reported Thursday, Oct 1, 2015:

Hundreds of Iranian troops have arrived in Syria to join a major ground offensive on behalf of President Bashar al-Assad’s government, sources said on Thursday, a further sign of the rapid internationalization of a civil war in which every major country in the region has a stake.

Russian warplanes bombed a camp run by rebels trained by the CIA, the group’s commander said, putting Moscow and Washington on opposing sides in a Middle East conflict for the first time since the Cold War.

The U.S. and Russian militaries will hold talks at 11 a.m. EDT via video link to seek ways to keep their militaries apart as they wage parallel campaigns of air strikes in Syria, a U.S. defense official said.

Russian jets struck targets near the cities of Hama and Homs in western Syria on the second day of their surprise air campaign, which they launched on Wednesday.

Moscow said it had hit Islamic State positions, but the area where it struck is held by a rival insurgent alliance, which unlike Islamic State is supported by U.S. allies including Arab states and Turkey.

The problem with the Obama administration is that America’s adversaries around the globe telegraph exactly what their intentions are, and yet Mr. Obama and his hand-picked staff refuse to take them at their word.

Arizona Sen. John McCain pointed out this strange behavior out Wednesday on MSNBC with Andrea Mitchell:

John Kerry and his spokesperson said it is not clear what Russia’s intentions are. It was perfectly clear what Russia’s intentions are!”

A flashback to July 21 shows Kerry was also confused by Iran’s vow to undermine U.S. policy, which was made immediately after agreeing to a nuclear “deal” with the Obama administration.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said a speech by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Saturday vowing to defy American policies in the region despite a deal with world powers over Tehran’s nuclear program was “very troubling”.

I don’t know how to interpret it at this point in time, except to take it at face value, that that’s his policy,” he said in the interview with Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television.

“But I do know that often comments are made publicly and things can evolve that are different. If it is the policy, it’s very disturbing, it’s very troubling,” he added.

Why is Mr. Kerry always confused? Perhaps it is because he mistakes U.S. fallibility (a trait of all nations) with the idea that threats exist because America is, for all intents and purposes, always at fault.

Mitt Romney knew what he was talking about in 2012, and the president sneered at him. The media laughed along with the “Seinfeldian zinger” – but the real joke was on the American people.

The only people who are laughing now are the Russians, the Iranians, the Assad regime and their allies all around the globe.

Taliban seize major city; Barack Can-we-leave-yet? Obama shrugs shoulders

Kunduz

The world is seeing what happens when a U.S. commander in chief decides the only thing he wants to be transparent about is his desire to leave fragile Middle Eastern countries alone with a rogues’ gallery of Islamic radical groups and nation states.

President Obama failed to renew a status of forces agreement with Iraq and pulled all U.S. troops out of the country in Dec. 2011, despite the risk of losing everything Americans fought and died for over the course of a decade. Al Qaeda in Iraq essentially mutated into the Islamic State group, and the country is a mess. (We won’t even talk about the president’s “red lines” in Syria, which turned into “red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.)

CNN reported Monday on a preview of what is to come if Mr. Obama exits too quickly in Afghanistan:

The loss of the major city of Kunduz to the Taliban is a stunning reversal for the Afghan government, deepening worries about the ability of its security forces to take the fight to the Islamic militants. …

It’s the biggest Taliban victory since 2001. …

The loss of Kunduz, even if the Afghan government manages to take it back soon, is an ominous sign. It’s Afghanistan’s fifth largest city and the capital of the province of the same name.

“This is the biggest town they’ve been able to take since 2001,” said Nic Robertson, CNN’s international diplomatic editor. “This is a significant target and prize for the Taliban.” …

The Taliban’s intent to try to take Kunduz was well flagged, and yet Afghan forces were unable to hold the city despite outnumbering the attackers. “Since about April this year, the Taliban increased their strength in the countryside to the north of Kunduz and have essentially had it in their sights since then,” Robertson said.

The militant group hasn’t had the easiest year. ISIS has been reported to be eating into its recruitment efforts in Afghanistan, and internal divisions in the Taliban were laid bare after the admission that longtime leader Mullah Omar had died more than two years ago.

But despite initial questions over whether the group would fall apart, new leader Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour appears to have overcome the bumpy start and can now point to big blow against the Afghan government in Kunduz.

Mr. Obama does not get animated about very much, but conversations on leaving Afghanistan as soon as possible always seemed to perk him up. The White House was forced to delay its plan to have roughly 5,500 troops in country by the end of 2015 at the behest of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, but he still insisted the U.S. basically reach “embassy center presence” by the end of his term in office. How convenient.

Do you notice a trend with the president when it comes to Iraq, Guantanamo Bay Detention Center, and Afghanistan? He rushes to meet political objectives despite overwhelming evidence that keeping promises made on the campaign trail prior to his 2008 election will create national security nightmares in the long run.

A leader — a true leader — is willing to make decisions that will gut him politically if the alternative is a substantially more dangerous world. Look at Yemen, Libya, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan and then compare where they are today with where they were in 2008. There is no way to objectively look at those countries — and the millions of refugees fleeing the Middle East and northern Africa — and conclude the Obama administration’s foreign policy has been a success.

President Obama expresses frustration March 24, 2015 that his attempts to run from Afghanistan with a come-what-may attitude are being thwarted by harsh reality. (Image: CNN screenshot)
President Obama expresses frustration March 24, 2015 that his attempts to run from Afghanistan with a come-what-may attitude are being thwarted by harsh reality. (Image: CNN screenshot)

Obama’s $500M plan to train Syrian rebels yields ‘four or five’ troops, Gen. Lloyd Austin admits

Obama Syria

Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, commander of U.S. Central Command, was forced to tell the truth Wednesday in front of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee. As is often the case, the truth can be painful. It turns out that a $500 million dollar program launched by the Obama administration to train Syrian rebels has yielded “four or five” troops for the front line against the Islamic State group.

Here is the exchange between Gen. Austin and Republican Senator Deb Fischer on Wednesday:

Sen. Deb Fischer: When Senator Carter was here before this committee in July he testified that there were only about 60 Syrian fighters that had been trained in our train-and-equip program and reinserted. We’ve heard reports of attacks on those individuals when they were reinserted back into Syria. Can you tell us what the total number of trained fighters remains.

Austin: It’s a small number. The ones that are in the fight is, we’re talking four or five.

Yes, you read that correctly — “four or five.”

LLoyd Austin

The Daily Beast did a decent job summing up the situation:

It is a staggeringly low number for a project in which the Obama administration had initially planned to train 5,400 fighters a year. At this pace of training, U.S. Central Command Commander Gen. Lloyd Austin told a Senate committee, the U.S. “won’t reach the goal we initially established for ourself.” In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Austin and Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Christine Wormuth gave a relatively rosy picture of the U.S.-led effort to defeat ISIS, characterizing the Syrian train-and-equip program as merely “off to a slow start.”

“That’s a joke,” Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) told Austin, referring to the “four or five” figure.

It would be a joke if the situation wasn’t so serious.

As it stands, the Islamic State group still controls large swathes of Iraq and Syria, Libya and Yemen (once touted as White House foreign policy successes) have imploded, and the United Nations puts the number of registered Syrian refugees at 4 million.

Syrian Refugee

The Obama administration told the world for the past year that it had everything under control — and then Europe was flooded with refugees.

It also appears as though intelligence experts were pressured into giving the White House the exact message it wanted: Nothing to see here. Move along. Move along.

NBC News reported Sept. 16:

“Published media reports suggest that the CIA’s estimate of ISIL’s manpower has remained constant, despite U.S. airstrikes-which suggests that either they were wrong to begin with, or that ISIL is replacing its losses in real time. Neither is good,” said committee chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

“Indeed, this committee is disturbed by recent whistleblower allegations that officials at Central Command skewed intelligence assessments to paint an overly-positive picture of conditions on the ground,” McCain said. He said the committee was investigating the allegations. “If true, those responsible must be held accountable,” he said.

Mr. Obama raised his head up high after adopting a “lead from behind” strategy. He seems to care more about inviting Muslim high school “suitcase-clock” makers to the White House than dealing with Islamic terrorist armies marching across the Middle East. He created a leadership vacuum in the world, which was quickly filled by its worst actors.

Sadly, many media outlets still refuse to accurately cover just how disastrous the president’s foreign policy has been. Indeed, it is hard to blame George W. Bush for a $500 million Obama anti-ISIL plan that churned out “four or five” soldiers.

As time runs out on the Obama administration, expect dictators, despots and terrorists around the globe to make an extra push for easy geopolitical gains. They know a guy like Mr. Obama doesn’t come around too often.

Obama, guy who said ‘core principle’ is ‘never…to divide,’ now calls his critics ‘the crazies’

Obama core principle divideIt was only June 1, 2015 that President Obama said one of his “core principles” is to “never engage in a politics in which I’m trying to divide people.” The commander in chief must have let his stomach get flabby on his vacation, because he is now calling political opponents “the crazies.”

Politico reported Monday:

Ruddy from the sun, Obama described himself as “refreshed, renewed, recharged — a little feisty.”

And he delivered, recounting the ride he and Reid had just taken from the conference to the fundraiser in his up-armored presidential limo, where they talked about old times and getting back to Washington to “deal with the crazies in terms of managing some problems.”

The line evoked the late Dean Acheson, who as secretary of state liked to refer to opponents of Harry Truman’s foreign policy as ”the primitives.”

Getting the Iran deal through Congress will be Obama’s major hurdle coming into September.

Likely incoming Democratic leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is against the deal, as are a number of other Hill Democrats. Obama’s already been under fire for saying opponents of the deal have made “common cause” with Iranian hardliners, with Republicans pressing him on whether he’d lump Democrats into that group along with the GOP.

If you are a Democrat or a Republican who thinks it is a bad idea to give Iran’s Holocaust-denying rulers billions of dollars in sanctions relief — money they say will be used to undermine U.S. foreign policy — then Mr. Obama considers you one of “the crazies.”

Obama BuzzfeedOne week Mr. Obama is tweeting pictures of himself sending out magical unicorn-like rainbow waves from his right hand, and the next he is calling out “the crazies.” If media were honest, then reporters would call out the guy who campaigned on “hope and change” for his hypocritical behavior. Unfortunately, most mainstream media outlets appear to encourage work that is better suited for Orwell’s Ministry of Truth.

White House RainbowMr. Obama’s rhetoric is prime example of the Law of Attraction in action. For roughly eight years the president of the United States has demonized his opponents as some variation of “the crazies.” Failed Republican nominee John McCain and others like him have done exactly the same thing (e.g., McCain referring to “the crazies” who want a secure border). For close to a decade, Washington, D.C.’s so-called masterminds have told millions of patriotic Americans that they are kooks and nuts; the righteous anger of these voters has now boiled over and they are embracing men like Donald Trump.

In many ways, it feels as though a perfect storm is gathering. If it comes to pass, then the political “leaders” who have shown nothing but contempt for the legitimate concerns of millions of Americans will bear much of the blame.

An open letter to James Comey and the FBI about Hillary Clinton’s missing server Snapchat joke

Hillary Clinton Snapchat email jokeDear FBI director James Comey and the men and women of the FBI,

By now you know that former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s response to turning over her personal e-mail server to FBI investigators was to mock their work with a Snapchat joke at a campaign event.

“You may have seen that I’ve recently launched a Snapchat account. I love it. I love it. Those messages disappear all by themselves,” Mrs. Clinton said at an event in Iowa.

As an American who respects the rule of law, I interpret this joke as a giant middle finger to the FBI. It is the mark of a woman who thinks “My husband plays golf with the president while visiting Martha’s Vineyard. You won’t touch me. You can’t touch me.”

Given that the inspector general (IG) for U.S. intelligence agencies revealed Top Secret information had passed through Mrs. Clinton’s private server, and given that at least 305 more documents have now been sent to different agencies for review, I am pleading with you to respond to Mrs. Clinton’s rhetorical “Screw you” as you do to every other American who acts like they are above the law.

To every young FBI agent out there I ask the following questions:

  • What would happen if you somehow managed to have Platte River Networks set up your own private e-mail server, and then used it to conduct day-to-day operations?
  • What would happen if Top Secret information and hundreds (perhaps thousands) of classified documents passed through that server?
  • What if your supervisors found out about your private e-mail server and then you tried to wipe the device clean, held onto it for months, and only then turned it over to investigators?
  • Where would your career be after all of this, and what would happen if you joked about it in public?

In order for the great American experiment to work, citizens need to have faith in the system. When powerful people openly flaunt their ability to play by a completely different set of rules, civil society breaks down. When a politician’s behavior is so grossly irresponsible that the FBI needs to get involved to figure out if national security was compromised — and then she makes cavalier jokes about the matter — it sends the wrong message to anyone who cares about the future of the nation.

Mr. Comey, the pressure put upon you by well-connected people to make this all go away will be great. It must be hard to look at President Obama playing golf with Bill Clinton immediately after the FBI took Hillary’s private email server, and then move ahead with honesty and integrity. Mr. Obama has non-verbally asked the FBI to take the easy wrong instead of the hard right.

Now, more than ever, it is incumbent upon you to remember that the FBI motto — Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity — exists for a reason. I pray that you will go where the evidence takes you and do what is right.

Best,

Doug

Obama: Iran deal failure may bring war — but at least you can now enjoy my Spotify playlist

Obama SpotifyPresident Obama and his administration’s Twitter feeds are fascinating to read each week, given that the overall message can end up along the lines of: “If Congress doesn’t approve my Iran deal, then we may have to go to war. … In the meantime, at least you can sit back and relax to my newest Spotify playlist.”

Obama IranMr. Obama is a strange man. One day he is making the case that Americans really care that he likes to listen to Mos def’s “UMI Says,” and Erykah Badu’s “Woo,” and the next he is making the case that Republicans in Congress are no different than Iranians who chant “Death to America.”

The Hill reported August 7:

The president inflamed his critics with his tough tone in a major speech on Wednesday, defending the Iran deal.

Obama linked congressional Republicans opposed to the deal with Iranian hard-liners who chant “death to America,” saying they are “making a common cause with the Republican caucus.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) dismissed Obama’s claim that the only alternative to the deal is war as an “absurd argument.”

“That’s never been the alternative,” he said. “It’s either this deal or a better deal, or more sanctions, and I think that’s been a huge mistake on his part.”

The Obama administration seems to believe the matter is serious enough to have an official “Iran Deal” Twitter account, but then turns it into a joke by sharing disingenuous memes inspired by “Straight Outta Compton.”

Obama Iran DealRemember: The weekend after Iran “agreed” to the nuclear deal, its Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei joined a “death to America” rally. The next weekend he said he would use the billions of dollars in sanctions relief to undermine U.S. foreign policy.

The fact of the matter is that Iran will not be “straight outta uranium.” The deal merely kicks the can ten years down the road, if one believes that Iran won’t find a way to cheat. Sadly, the only people on earth who seem to think Iran won’t be able to cheat are members of the Obama administration.

Straight Outta ComptonThe world’s stage is filled with men like Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Vladimir Putin. Terrorist organizations like the Islamic State group control large swathes of the Middle East and northern Africa. Ask yourself what the world’s worst actors think when they see Mr. Obama’s weird obsession with coming across as “cool” to people who will only understand foreign policy if it’s delivered with a “Straight Outta Compton” hook.

The short answer: America’s enemies laugh at Mr. Obama. He is a joke to the kind of man who kills political opponents with radioactive isotopes (research the death of Alexander Litvinenko) and he is a joke to people who chop off heads in the Middle East.

Whether the next commander in chief is a Democrat or a Republican, one can only pray that the individual does not continue to behave as America’s first Buzzfeed president.

Iran continues to spit in Obama’s eye after nuclear ‘deal’; Kerry finds it ‘disturbing’

Iran Khamenei TwitterIran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has used the past two weekends since securing a nuclear deal with the U.S. to rhetorically laugh and spit in the Obama administration’s face. The response by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has been to rub his index finger back-and-forth over his lips as fast as possible while saying “PeaceblubberblubberPeaceblubberblubberPeace.”

Kerry APYesterday it was the silhouetted image of President Obama with a gun to his head. Last Saturday it was a rally featuring “Death to America!” chants. In response to Iran’s “supreme” leader saying the Middle Eastern nation would continue to undermine U.S. foreign policy in the region, Mr. Kerry was left dumbfounded.

Reuters reported July 21:

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said a speech by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Saturday vowing to defy American policies in the region despite a deal with world powers over Tehran’s nuclear program was “very troubling”.

“I don’t know how to interpret it at this point in time, except to take it at face value, that that’s his policy,” he said in the interview with Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television.

“But I do know that often comments are made publicly and things can evolve that are different. If it is the policy, it’s very disturbing, it’s very troubling,” he added.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the highest authority in Iran, told supporters on Saturday that U.S. policies in the region were “180 degrees” opposed to Iran’s, in a Tehran speech punctuated by chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”.

How does one not know how to determine the meaning of “Death to America!” or explicit vows to undermine U.S. foreign policy? The Obama administration just freed up billions of dollars for Iran through sanctions relief, which will be funneled into the hands of Mr. Ali “Death to America!” Khamenei’s proxies in the region. The White House’s response to crystal clear signs that Iran has no intention of honoring its “deal” is to mumble “It’s very disturbing, it’s very troubling.”

The Obama administration declared victory in Libya (Remember Hillary Clinton’s interview with CBS?: “We came. We saw. He died. Haha!”) The Obama administration pulled all U.S. troops out of Iraq and said our work was done there. The Obama administration declared relations with Russia were “reset.” The Obama administration declared it had a chemical weapons deal with Bashar al-Assad in Syria. The Obama administration said Yemen was proof that its foreign policy was working.

Question: How did all of those foreign policy successes work out?

Answer: Libya is a terrorist jungle gym. The Islamic State now controls large swathes of Iraq. Russia annexed Crimea and continues to support Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. Assad never gave up all of his chemical weapons and the White House now weirdly uses the defense that chlorine isn’t “historically” a chemical weapon. Yemen’s president resigned and literally ran for his life from Islamic “Death to America!”-chanting radicals.

The “peace at any cost” mentality is a sure recipe for war. Unfortunately, Mr. Obama and his administration will be long gone when the bitter fruit of his foreign policy comes to market. Another man (or woman?) will be commander in chief when that happens. That individual will then be forced to take political lumps — and send U.S. troops into harm’s way — because Mr. Obama vouched for “deals” with leaders who attend “Death to America!” rallies.

One must wonder just how bizarrely belligerent Iran must become before members of the Obama administration admit that maybe — just maybe — they made a deal with dishonest brokers.

Confederate flag debate cooked up for lemmings; politicians want China’s OPM hack forgotten

Confederate FlagAn interesting thing happened after the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church massacre in South Carolina — politicians and their willing media accomplices turned the actions of Dylann Roof into a weird, week-long debate on the Confederate flag. As The Joker might say: It’s all part of the plan.” It’s much easier to talk about the Confederate flag than a U.S. cybersecurity failure of epic proportions.

CNN reported Monday:

Washington — The personal data of an estimated 18 million current, former and prospective federal employees were affected by a cyber breach at the Office of Personnel Management – more than four times the 4.2 million the agency has publicly acknowledged. The number is expected to grow, according to U.S. officials briefed on the investigation.

FBI Director James Comey gave the 18 million estimate in a closed-door briefing to Senators in recent weeks, using the OPM’s own internal data, according to U.S. officials briefed on the matter. Those affected could include people who applied for government jobs, but never actually ended up working for the government. …

Katherine Archuleta, who leads OPM, is beginning to face heat for her agency’s failure to protect key national security data — highly prized by foreign intelligence agencies — as well as for how slowly the agency has provided information.

This is bad. Really bad. Really, really, really bad. (Should I go for the quadruple toe loop?) And yet, for whatever reason, cable news and social media have focused relentlessly on the Confederate flag — for days.

The message is simple: Look at the shiny thing over here and ignore that (likely) act of war over in the corner.

When does a cybersecurity breach become an act of war? When do the actions of state-sponsored hackers require the U.S. president to respond with force? Those are incredibly difficult questions to answer, but they demand to be asked after a world power steals the personal data on 18 million federal employees.

Politico spoke with ex-NSA senior counsel member Joel Brenner on the OPM hack. Here is what he had to say June 12:

The hackers are believed to have obtained data from a security intake form known as a Standard Form-86, which includes details such as financial trouble, past convictions, drug use and close relationships with citizens of other countries. The form is used for background checks of current, former and prospective federal employees.

“This is crown jewels material … a gold mine for a foreign intelligence service,” said Joel Brenner, a former NSA senior counsel.

The damage that has been done to U.S. national security because of this breach is enormous. Heads must roll in very public fashion, but to date there has essentially been silence on the part of President Obama and all of Congress.

Think of how bad the situation must truly be if Republicans have found themselves with a collective case of laryngitis.

If hordes of Chinese spies were found to be repelling into government buildings late one Saturday night, then there would be no question that a tough response was required. If video showed up of those same exact spies successfully taking off with backpacks filled with sensitive data, then there would be no choice but to cover the story. For some reason, however, there seems to be the belief that if it happens in cyberspace then it never happened.

Do not buy into the Confederate flag debate. You are being misdirected. You are being played for fools. A cyberattack that should define the presidency of Mr. Obama happened on his watch, and elected officials of all stripes are doing their best to change the subject.

Politicians in Washington, D.C. have one responsibility that trumps all others — to protect the American people — and they failed. Miserably. Because of that, they now want U.S. citizens focused on the failures of our forefathers. I encourage you not to take part in this pitiful charade.

Obama plan for Islamic State: ‘It will be up to the next administration,’ source tells Daily Beast

Islamic State group APIt’s been a rough couple of weeks for the Obama administration. The Islamic State group took control of Palmyra in Syria and Ramadi in Iraq. With each passing day the White House’s objective to “degrade and destroy” the Sunni terrorist group sounds more delusional, which begs the question: What the heck is going on?

According to multiple security officials who spoke with the Daily Beast, the White House’s primary goal is just to pass the baton to the next guy.

Senior national security correspondent Nancy Youssef reported Friday:

The self-proclaimed Islamic State has claimed a major provincial capital in Iraq and taken over another strategically key city in Syria. In response, the Obama administration plans to do—well, not much of anything new.

Four defense officials told The Daily Beast that there’s still strong resistance within the Obama administration to making any serious changes to the current strategy for fighting ISIS—despite mounting skepticism from some in the Pentagon about the current U.S. approach to the war.

Although the Obama administration’s public messaging is that it still wants to “degrade and ultimately defeat” ISIS, in reality, many in the Pentagon view the real objective as just running out the clock.

“I think this is driven by a sense that this not our fight and so we are just going to try to contain it and have influence where we can,” one official who works closely on the military strategy explained to The Daily Beast. “This is a long fight, and it will be up to the next administration to tackle.”

Rather than aiming for a decisive victory, the U.S. approach has devolved into simply maintaining a low boil in perpetuity. …

“It’s a political response,” one official explained. “They are doing ‘something’ to inoculate themselves from substantial criticism.”

There is a word to describe the president’s foreign policy right now: terrifying.

Mr. Obama is moving pieces around the global chess board, but he has no idea what he is doing and only hopes that he can survive long enough for someone else to take his seat at the table. The 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner (he was nominated less than two weeks after he took office) is piddling around playing politics while a terrorist group is using truck bombs that can take out entire city blocks to gain territory. Meanwhile, the media takes up multiple news cycles discussing the sick details of Josh Duggar’s past — elevating the criminal behavior of a TLC reality show star above an army of Islamic radicals that controls most of Syria and large swathes of Iraq.

Say what you will about former President George W. Bush, but the man didn’t give a rip about political repercussions when he ordered the surge in 2007. While Senator Harry Reid was literally surrendering on live television, Mr. Bush essentially told the military to do whatever it needed to do to stabilize Iraq before he left office — and it delivered. When Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno looked at Iraq prior to U.S. troops leaving in 2011, he saw a country that was incredibly fragile, but he was optimistic about the future.

Military Times reported Friday:

Odierno said he was most optimistic about Iraq’s future in September 2010, as he prepared to relinquish command of U.S. forces in theater.

“I felt very good about Iraq, and I felt we were absolutely on the right track,” he said.

But Iraq’s leaders have not been able to overcome the mistrust they have between the different sects, he said.

“It’s incredibly disappointing to me, personally, what I’ve watched happen,” he said. “I really believed, at that time [in 2010], that in five years or so, Iraq would be doing very well. But, frankly, they fractured.”

Sadly, Mr. Obama does not have the backbone of George W. Bush or the honor to fall on his political sword if it will set future presidents — and by extension America — up for success.

2016 cannot come soon enough.

Obama hands AP image