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Has American weakness emboldened Iran?

Has American weakness emboldened Iran?

Since the creation of the nation of Israel after World War II, America has been unequivocal in its support of the Jewish state – or has it?  I should note that this commentary looks at actions by past administrations specifically in terms of Iran as the primary force behind world terrorism.  Has the United States’ Iran policy been correct in dealing with the rogue nation?  Judge for yourself. 

Previous Presidents

It was on President Carter’s watch that Islamic terrorists took over Iran from an American allied government of the Shah – setting the stage for terrorist insurgency that has afflicted the Middle East ever since.  He did impose sanctions on Iran in 1979 after terrorists seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran.  However, he eased sanctions in the last days of his presidency as part of the Algiers Accord that secured the release of hostages held in Iran – a financial benefit that can be seen as a ransom.

President Reagan imposed an arms embargo on Iran.  He followed up in 1987 with a trade embargo due to Iran’s support of international terrorism.

President George H.W. Bush signed the Iran-Iraq Arms nonproliferation Act that sanctioned material used in the production of nuclear weapons.

In 1995, President Clinton issued an Executive Order that banned trade and investment with Iran – which was later enacted into law as the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act.

President George W. Bush extended the Clinton sanctions and added others impacting on Iranian entities and individuals involved in terrorism or nuclear proliferation.  He also pushed through a UN Security Council resolution that imposed international sanctions on Iran for continuing uranium enrichment activities.  Bush also designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard (IRG) and its Quds Force as terrorist organizations and imposed sanctions on the IRG and its affiliates.

President Obama

The most significant shift in American policy vis-à-vis Iran came with President Obama.

President Obama shifted American policy to what has been referred to as “an even-handed” approach – that means more favorable to normalizing relations with Iran.   More than any previous administration, Obama favored policies that tended to benefit Iran’s proxy in Gaza.  He endorsed the Palestinian positions on the two-state option and was critical of Israeli management of the Palestinian population. 

In a symbolic gesture, Obama refused to meet with Israeli President Netanyahu when he came to Washington to address Congress in 2015.  The White House gave two reasons for the refusal.  Obama claimed it was not traditional for heads of states to meeting during election campaigns – and the Israeli election was two months off at the time.  It was a tradition that no one had ever heard of. 

Obama also said that he was in the midst of negotiation for the Iran Nuclear Deal during the visit, which Netanyahu opposed.  Being seen welcoming the Israeli Prime Minister was not good imagery at the moment.  That makes more sense.

In terms of policy, Obama eased sanctions on Iran. That was a complete reversal of the policies of previous presidents, who mostly imposed sanctions – Carter the  one exception. 

Obama eased sanctions in 2013 and again in 2016 – when Iran agreed to the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, a multilateral deal designed to restrain Iranian nuclear ambitions.

In many ways, Obama’s shift in U.S. policy empowered the anti-Israel faction of the Democratic Party regarding the Palestinians – most notably those associated with the so-called “squad.”  Democrats and the radical left were emboldened in the condemnations of Israel – with a number of Democrats endorsing the BDS (boycott, divest and sanction) Movement against Israel.

We see the influence of the anti-Israel faction of the Democratic Party today in their support for Palestinian terrorism – including the holding of pro-Palestinian (Hamas) rallies in cities such as New York.  After the attack on Israel Democrat Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib posted a Palestinian flag outside her office alongside an American flag.

President Trump

President Trump took a complete reversal of the Obama policies toward Iran and Israel – and was the most aggressive President in sanctioning Iran.   He terminated the Iran Nuclear Deal.  That was possible because the Deal was an agreement between the Obama administration and Iran.  It was not a treaty or deal approved by Congress – which was unlikely to approve the Deal.

Trump imposed more sanctions on Iran than any previous president.  He re-imposed all the sanctions that were lifted by Obama as part of the Iran Nuclear Deal.  Specifically:

  1. In August of 2018, Trump imposed sanctions on Iran’s ability to trade in gold and precious metals, its automotive sector and access to U.S. dollars.
  2. In November of 2018, Trump re-imposed sanctions on Iran’s oil export, shipbuilding, port operations, energy and on transactions with Iran’s Central Bank and other financial institutions.
  3. In April of 2019, he ended waivers that allowed eight countries to continue importing Iran oil.
  4. In May of 2019, Trump imposed new sanctions on Iran’s iron, steel, aluminum, and copper industries.
  5. In June of 2019, Trump imposed new sanctions on Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his office.
  6. In July of 2019, Trump imposed new sanctions on Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
  7. In September of 2019, Trump imposed new sanctions on the National Bank of Iran and its Foreign Wealth Fund.
  8. In January of 2020, Trump ordered a strike that killed Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard – the terrorist wing of the Iran military.
  9. Following the attack on Soleimani, Trump imposed new sanctions on the Iranian metals industry and several Iranian officials.
  10. In June of 2020, Trump imposed new sanctions on the Irani nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
  11. In October of 2020, Trump imposed new sanctions on 18 Iranian banks which included secondary sanctions.
  12. In November of 2020, Trump imposed new sanctions on Iranian oil, targeting the Ministry of Petroleum and related industries.
  13. In December of 2020, Trump imposed new sanctions on Iran’s shipping industry, specifically targeting the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines and its subsidiaries.

President Biden

President Biden has moved to re-establish the Iran Nuclear Deal.  While Biden has not lifted any of the Trump sanctions, that possibility remains on the table as part of a new Iran Nuclear Deal.

Biden has sanctioned individuals and entities located in Iran and several other nations who have supported sanctioned Iranian energy exports.   Biden has been hesitant to sanction Iran out of concern that it would disrupt negotiations over a new Iran Nuclear Deal.

In a controversial move, Biden agreed to the release of more than $6 billion frozen by sanctions in South Korea in return for the release of American hostages.  Though Biden claims it was not a ransom it has the smell of one.

In what has been described as a powerful speech in support of Israel following the Hamas attack, Biden did not mention the 500-pound gorilla in the room – Iran.  There is no doubt that the planning, training, and funding for that attack came from Iran over many years.  Biden did not use that moment to stop the transfer of the $6 billion dollars in ransom money that remains in banks in Qatar.

Summary

The record is clear.  Other than Clinton, Democrat presidents have taken a much more conciliatory approach to Iran specifically – and Middle East terrorism generally.  We need to look to the future to know how American policy toward Iran will roll out after the Hamas attack on Israel. There should be no misunderstanding that Hamas is a subsidiary of Iran and is culpable in the attack.  As such, Iran must be made to pay along with its subsidiaries of Hamas and Hezbollah.  Unless Iran is diminished, terrorism against Israel and the world democracies will continue.  There can be no Middle East peace with Iran in charge.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

19 Comments

  1. Dan tyree

    Yes. Our weakness is causing a much more dangerous world. Along with a retard in the White House

  2. frank stetson

    “The United States and Qatar have agreed to deny Iran access to $6 billion recently transferred to the nation as part of a deal between Washington and Tehran that led to the release of five imprisoned Americans from Iran last month.

    Wally Adeyemo, the deputy Treasury secretary, told House Democrats on Thursday that Iran would no longer have access to the funds, according to a person familiar with the matter. The money was under close supervision and strict conditions that it be used only for humanitarian purposes.

    U.S. officials did not describe the money as frozen permanently but said that case-by-case applications to spend it under the current arrangement will be denied for the foreseeable future.” New York Times 10/12/23

  3. GERONIMO

    I think you have a misunderstanding about the “creation of Israel.” Israel has been a nation for 5,500 years. The world finally recognized that in 1947. Better late than never.

  4. Tom

    This whole Palestinian question and the Gaza strip is very complicated. It actually started at the end of World War 1 with the break up of the Ottoman Empire, and, Britain’s mis-administration of the area and lack of any real interest is a viable solution. The land many Jews occupy in Gaza was purchased by the Jewish League from wealthy Arabs who owned the land in Gaza but did not live there, nor at the time did they have any interest in Gaza. They sold the land to the Jewish League. And this is when the conflict begins with Jews immigrating to the Gaza area to the point where by the beginning of World War 2 they were one-third of the Gaza population. The League of Nations was no help either, and became the United Nations! They kicked the can down the road until World War 2 happened, where the Palestinians stayed neutral and did not side with Allies or Axis powers, but Jewish immigration to Gaza continued on and on. There were many agreements to limit the immigration but that lacked real enforcement nor did Britain have the energy to enforce because it was exhausted from two world wars. So it just folded and said we are done, and left. And when they did this, they left the USA and other interested democracies holding the bag to figure it all out. Meantime, Arabs were not only out in the desert eating their dates, they were also aligning with Iran and Palestine. And that is when the situation got on steroids. Arab nations aligned with Palestinians, and democracies aligned with Israel. And bingo, in 1948, against all Arab objections, the state of Israel is born. I mention all of this because I just got done researching it. Its not just recent democratic administrations, this is a failure of earlier democratic administrations under Wilson, Roosevelt, Truman to solve the problem which was created by the democracies and Russia when they divided the area after WW1. I am not sure what Kennedy and Johnson did towards solving the problem. Johnson I do not think did anything because of Vietnam. Kennedy was immersed in Cuba and Russian troubles.

    I think we are seeing that kicking the can down the road does not work. Looking the other way does not work. Appeasement does not work. Playing nice and talking nice and not calling out Iran does not work. Nothing will work until the main culprit and representative of the Arab historic grievances, Iran, is dealt with. I find this interesting because Iranians are Persians, not Arabs in the first place. Until then, Arab nations will continue to fear Iran and attempt to appease it enough to keep terrorism out of their state. That is why now, Saudi Arabia, is walking back some of the Abraham accords.

    Iran needs to be dealt with firmly by the world. Hamas needs to be eliminated because they are nothing more than a cult of hatred who’s only goal is to see every Jew die. Palestinian people need to be involved with destroying Hamas but then who will plead their case, Trump? You see, this is the problem. Palestinians see everybody getting along, they see the nations being at peace and prosperity of the Abraham Accords, and they are caged in Gaza, no way to get out, many with no homes, no employment, and basically no hope – while to them the rest of the world is doing great. And they blame Israel for this, but they have more than an equal share of the blame. Hezbollah needs to be dealt with but that means dealing with Lebanon – and who will do that?

    I won’t criticize Obama or Biden for their policy because at least we learned that such policy does not work either! But it was worth a try to use the carrot rather than the stick. And to fully understand and comment intelligently on the issues, one needs to know the pre-WW2 history of the Gaza strip and area from pre-WW1 to post WW2. And then there is Britain who was in charge and ignored the problem then walked away – not good since it left us and the remaining democracies holding the bag to figure out, so lets criticize them too! The reality is that this mess was created by colonialism and imperialism. This problem will not be solved by US or other democracies policies. It will only be solved when Jew and Arab can see how Iran is playing all of them to its advantage. Iran sees “supremacy through instability”. It will only be solved when both sides can put aside Hamas, Hezbollah, and their deep hatred and begin to talk to each other. Arabs have always opposed the splitting of Gaza and any two state solution – and this must change. I do not expect anything good to come of it all in my lifetime, but for now, if Israel can wipe out Hamas, that may do some good but I am not sure of that. Its that complicated!

  5. frank stetson

    It’s complicated but a quick look at the map and you easily can say it’s crazy to begin with. Israel has few easy borders to protect, Palestine is a country within a country, as in apartheid, and they have little say in governing themselves, aka freedom. While GAZA could be cordoned off, the West Bank is like Swiss cheese of Palestinian control and Israeli control which many Israeli land grabs going on. Each war moves the boundaries.

    Ultimately, the Palestinians must be given freedom to control their own destinies. Either through or around Israel. Israeli Palestinians can vote, but since they feel their vote does not matter, do not. At most, they could sway an election for the Prime Minister, but at best could only garner less than 3% of Knesset seats. So, gaining freedom via Israeli law is slim; the two State solution seems dead in the water. It breeds the hopelessness and frustration that fostered today’s tragedy.

    I say let’s clean it all up, give Israel to the Palestinians and give Oregon to the Israelis. That will clean up Portland once and for all time. Just kidding, but a better long-term solution that’s not extermination of either side is needed. I still say two-state solution is better than assimilation.

  6. Darren

    Had all of Trumps regulations remained in place today, this war would have not been started.
    The history lesson pointed to above is very nice and accurate, but just
    the more reason why everything Trump accomplished should not have been erased by a drooling old Fart.

    And yes, you do not go to the zoo and hand feed a Carrot to a Grizzly Bear.
    You keep your distance and keep him contained.

    Any one who thinks different should pick up a weapon and go to Gaza and let
    things get a little more into prospective for you.

    Make no mistake, Trump did what he did for the betterment of our country and the world.
    Biden did what he did so maybe one day in would enrich his pocket!

  7. Mike f

    Larry, your bullshit is baffling. Can you point to any reductions in terror that came about due to the tougher sanctions of republican presidents? No is the correct answer there. Trump pulling out of the Iranian nuclear deal? Unmitigated disaster that has allowed Iran to continue their weapon development unchecked. How about the classified information that trump passed to the Russians in 2017-Israeli classified information at that? And weakness in our current policy-let’s get real and point to two of the ignorant republican senators-tuberville for his hold on the military and Paul for holding up the Israeli ambassador. So yes-I am sure than Iran sees a golden opportunity due to weakness in our government-just not for the reasons you mentioned, but rather due to various Republican idiots that have served (and are serving) in positions of power…

    • larry Horist

      Mike f … Yes you are baffled as usual … and utterly ignorant. When Kaddafi was funding terrorism — including the Olympics and Lockerbie — Reagan bomb the presidential palace in Libya — and the was a notable decline in terrorist activities. When Iraq was operating as a rogue terrorist state, Bush forced a regime change. No matter how you view the aftermath, Iraq ended its terrorist activities. Trump wiped out ISIS. Even his detractors give him credit for that one. Sorry …”No” is the wrong answer. You really do not know what you are talking about. And who are those Republican “idiots” serving in positions of power today? You ignorance is stunning.

      • Mike f

        Larry, I believe most of the conversation in your post was about Iran, but I honestly don’t think that anything that effected Qaddafi matters today. There has been no notable decline in Iran’s terrorist activity due to any sanctions. In fact there was a significant increase in Iranian interactions with our military and unexplained (but thought to be due to Iran) bombings of Saudi oil fields during the trump regime. You outright lied about the money released to Qatar-Biden has put a hold on that money contrary to your statements. Many of your readers may be too stupid to realize the truth behind your misinformed statements, but someone needs to call out your bullshit. Consider that done…

        • larry Horist

          Mike f … Arrogant people like you are a joke. You keep referring to all those other people who are stupid. LOL Mike, YOU are the dim bulb in the chandelier. You got called out on your bullcrap and your attempt to recover is pathetic. Arrogance and ignorance are a bad combination.

          • Mike f

            Larry, It continues to amaze me how when republicans sling arrows at their detractors, they usually are more applicable to themselves than the person they attempt to demean. Arrogant-few more so than Larry, stupid-ditto..Isis is not gone, as Frank points out. Also, Obama deserves as much credit for actions against Isis as trump. And somehow you questioned who are ignorant republican elected officials? Just for a few: MTG, Boebert, Gym Jordan, Paul Gosar, Tubberville, Paul, of course trump (fortunately that idiot is not in direct power, just leading your elected officials around by the nose). You continually lie in your posts and just rely on the stupidity of your fans to not call you out..

          • larry Horist

            Mike f … there you go AGIAN. Exposing your arrogance by declaring those who do not agree with you are stupid. Thanks for doubling down and clearing away any doubt a person might have about your arrogance — and your propensity for childish name calling. Grow up.

      • frank stetson

        “Trump wiped out ISIS. Even his detractors give him credit for that one.” That’s the oft-repeated Trump line that has become Republican lore for the less discerning amongst us. Braggadocio runs deep in Republican folklore often accepted even by quasi-sceptics. Fact is that when Trump took office, ISIS had lost 50% of their territory which, at it’s peak, was about the size of PA. That first 50% was Obama and Trump completed the job, using Obama’s plan, and then left the Kurds hang out to dry.

        How did Trump accomplish this in 18 months? He used Obama’s strategy and loosened the rules of engagement which led to more destruction of urban areas and far higher civilian deaths as recorded during his reign of terror. Ultimately, that will create more terrorists against America. Obama’s strategy was slow and steady and avoid all civilian deaths. Trumps was more of a scorched Earth policy. But it was Obama’s plan, just on steroids.

        And then Trump cut and ran leaving the Kurds to fend for themselves as the Turks came to complete it’s blood feud. The Kurds lost 11,000 defenders fighting with us against ISIS. After Trump cut and ran, the United Nations announced that 130,000 Kurds have evacuated their homes, 70,000 of them mere children because of what Trump did. Turkey’s assault was swift and certain. Thousands of Kurds died because Trump ran. With the Kurds diminished, Turkey wins, Russian wins and the US gets another black eye.

        And remember Trump’s success in freeing 11,000 ISIS prisoners in northern Syria, along with thousands of other ISIS women and children, because the Kurds were unsupported, disowned by Trump and had to flee from the Turks, Trump’s new friend. Trump’s friends the Turks also fired on our men and women in service supposedly an accident.

        According to the UN, as of August of 2023: “The Islamic State group still commands between 5,000 and 7,000 members across its former stronghold in Syria and Iraq and its fighters pose the most serious terrorist threat in Afghanistan today.” They conclude the largest threat is in conflict areas, less likely outside. IOW — they still have sleeper cells in the region.

        In the first five months of 2020, ISIS conducted 600 raids in Iraq and Syria. They have changed style with raids being low-risk affairs as they try to regain strength and power. They may not hold land, they may not be “flashy” anymore, but they have expanded into Africa and Central Asia. Nowhere near the power they had, but they are clearly not gone either.

        As one expert said in direct opposition to Horist and oft repeated Trump braggadocio: “The Islamic State group also lost large numbers of fighters under Obama. In December 2016, a month before Obama’s term ended, CNN reported that the Pentagon said it had killed 50,000 militants in airstrikes since 2014, leaving no more than 15,000 Islamic State fighters to defend their collapsing state. Just weeks after Obama left the White House, Gen. Raymond Thomas, head of U.S. Special Operations Command, told a symposium in Maryland, “We have killed over 60,000 [ISIS members].” In addition to losing territory and fighters under Obama, the Islamic State lost most of its oil-producing capacity in 2015, as a result of a massive bombing campaign known as Tidal Wave II, which drastically limited the group’s ability to fund its operations. Under Obama, the Islamic State also lost its backup headquarters city, the Libyan town of Sirte.

        Trump’s claims of conquering “almost 100% [of the Islamic State] … since our election” are false. Objective history records that Obama launched and oversaw much of the victorious war that the current president claims for himself.” *https://theconversation.com/who-really-defeated-the-islamic-state-obama-or-trump-148066*

        Mr. Horist. Trump lies. He lies a lot. You can call some braggadocio. Perhaps. But it’s not personality. It’s a lie. A lie you readily accept like many Trump lies. It is most certain a lie. He likes to repeat lies so that you fool yourself as to the truth. While totally destroyed on Trump’s watch, 50% of the work, and most of the plan, was under Obama’s watch. Trump merely loosened the safety net to kill more civilians in favor of expedience. And then he left our allies to die while freeing tens of thousands of ISIS fighters and their families. ISIS is diminished, but they still exist.

        The Kurds did not like Trump’s deadly deal.

  8. frank stetson

    “Trump wiped out ISIS. Even his detractors give him credit for that one.” Yeah, that’s the oft-repeated Trump line that has become Republican lore for the less discerning amongst us. Braggadocio runs deep in Republican folklore and is often accepted even by quasi-sceptics. Fact is that when Trump took office, ISIS had lost 50% of their territory which, at it’s peak, was about the size of PA. That first 50% was Obama and Trump completed the job, using Obama’s plan, and then for some inexplicable reason left the Kurds hang out to dry.

    How did Trump accomplish this so quickly? Easy, he used Obama’s strategy and loosened the rules of engagement which led to more destruction of urban areas and far higher civilian deaths as recorded during the Trump reign of terror. Ultimately, that will create more terrorists against America. Would not be surprised if some of them are Kurds. We sort of deserve that. Obama’s strategy was slow and steady and avoid all civilian deaths. Trumps was more of a scorched Earth policy. But it was Obama’s plan, just on steroids.

    And then Trump cut and ran leaving the Kurds to fend for themselves as the Turks came to complete it’s blood feud. The Kurds lost 11,000 defenders fighting with us against ISIS.

    After Trump cut and ran, the United Nations announced that 130,000 Kurds have evacuated their homes, 70,000 of them mere children because of what Trump did. Turkey’s assault was swift and certain. With the Kurds diminished, Turkey wins, Russian wins and the US gets another black eye. as a result of the invasion, nothing that the number stands to rise as Turkey continues its assault killing hundreds of Kurds. Perhaps the Trump Tower in Istanbul provides an answer.

    And remember Trump’s success in freeing 11,000 ISIS prisoners in norther Syria, along with thousands of other ISIS women and children, because the Kurds were disowned by Trump. We prematurely pulled back our troops and let Turkey slaughter the Kurds, release ISIS prisoners apprehended at the cost of thousands of Kurdish lives.

    Trump’s friends the Turks also fired on our men and women in service supposedly an accident.

    According to the UN, as of August of 2023: “The Islamic State group still commands between 5,000 and 7,000 members across its former stronghold in Syria and Iraq and its fighters pose the most serious terrorist threat in Afghanistan today.” They conclude the largest threat is in conflict areas, less likely outside. IOW — they still have sleeper cells in the region.
    In the first five months of 2020, ISIS conducted 600 raids in Iraq and Syria. They have changed style with raids being low-risk affairs to ISIS as they try to regain strength and power. They may not hold land, but they have expanded into Africa and Central Asia. Nowhere near the power they had, but they are clearly not gone either.

    As one expert said in direct opposition to Horist and oft repeated Trump braggadocio: “The Islamic State group also lost large numbers of fighters under Obama. In December 2016, a month before Obama’s term ended, CNN reported that the Pentagon said it had killed 50,000 militants in airstrikes since 2014, leaving no more than 15,000 Islamic State fighters to defend their collapsing state. Just weeks after Obama left the White House, Gen. Raymond Thomas, head of U.S. Special Operations Command, told a symposium in Maryland, “We have killed over 60,000 [ISIS members].”

    In addition to losing territory and fighters under Obama, the Islamic State lost most of its oil-producing capacity in 2015, as a result of a massive bombing campaign known as Tidal Wave II, which drastically limited the group’s ability to fund its operations.

    Under Obama, the Islamic State also lost its backup headquarters city, the Libyan town of Sirte.

    Trump’s claims of conquering “almost 100% [of the Islamic State] … since our election” are false. Objective history records that Obama launched and oversaw much of the victorious war that the current president claims for himself.” *https://theconversation.com/who-really-defeated-the-islamic-state-obama-or-trump-148066*

    Mr. Horist. Trump lies. He lies a lot. You can call some braggadocio. Perhaps. It is most certain a lie. He likes to repeat lies so that you fool yourself as to the truth.

    While totally destroyed on Trump’s watch, 50% of the work, and most of the plan, was under Obama’s watch. Trump merely loosened the safety net to kill more civilians in favor of expedience. And then he left our allies to die while freeing tens of thousands of ISIS fighters and their families. Further, ISIS is diminished, but they still exist.

    Facts are our friends. Braggadocio is not facts, nor friendly, it’s a mere boast, usually not fully true, to make one look better.

    • larry Horist

      Frank Stetson … Congrats on mastering AI. But what you offered is spin based on bias. When you note that ISIS still remains as a shadow of its former self, you forgot to mention Biden’s surrendering Afghanistan to the terrorist Taliban — and al Qaeda, ISIS, etc. He gave the international terrorists land, resources, money and even US military equipment and weapons. Terrorism has expanded and become more aggressive under Biden — and that is a fact. And as usual, you go on another anti-Trump rant that is off the point. That is distraction and whataboutism — two of the main tools in your toolbox. Obama did not defeat ISIS. He did not get tough on Palestinian terrorism. He thought he could get along with Iran. That is the Obama record on terrorism. I am not saying Obama supported terrorism, but just that he was weak and misguided in his leading from behind strategy. I would just say that he was naive and that made him weak on the issue. Biden is not naive. He is just a disaster in terms of weakness.

      • Mike f

        Larry, Your ignorance is shown on a daily basis, as is the ignorance of your republican elected officials. You disowned the two smartest republican members of Congress because they wouldn’t bend down and kiss the ring of trump. And now you are left with a ship of fools in Congress. I know, you liked Steve scalise, aka David duke light which says a lot about what you stand for. But those of us reading your tragic posts know what you stand for-governmental control of our lives and no hinderance to business. You fail to study the facts in an analytical fashion, so you always spin your tales so the democrats are the bad guys. If, by some stroke of foolishness, republicans regain control of government in 2024, you will start to see where republicans actually stand, as Ukraine will be cut off on January 22 2025 (but I have no doubt that you will have shifted your opinion by then and find that to be a ‘smart move’)

        • Frank stetson

          MikeF; I stop reading after the personal attacks by you.

  9. frank stetson

    Mr Horist: you got close to having a discussion until you, once again, decided to get personal. No, Larry, I do not use AI like you. I search, research, and write my own stuff. And I repeat myself when under stress, repeat myself when under stress. You will note I made some edits on the repeat. Although AI and I do share a certain wordiness :>) I did not say Obama beat ISIS, I said: “Fact is that when Trump took office, ISIS had lost 50% of their territory which, at its peak, was about the size of PA. That first 50% was Obama and Trump completed the job, using Obama’s plan, and then for some inexplicable reason left the Kurds hang out to dry.”

    You show me the spin, you show me the bias. Big words, little support.

    There is no doubt:
    1. Obama took 50% of ISIS territory back
    2. Trump did the rest using a modified version of Obama’s plan and tactics
    3. Trump modified the plan by loosening the rules of engagement which made the ISIS demise faster and killed more innocent civilians
    4. Trump hung the Kurds out to dry, many displaced, many killed, many ISIS prisoners freed
    5. ISIS is diminished but still exists, still conducts operations

    You show me the spin, the bias, since every statement is factual.

    Further, Biden’s Afghanistan is a prime example of whataboutism by you and fulfilled the Trumpian “deal” by Biden. Could have gone better but Trump telegraphed the ending giving the Taliban plenty of time for planning, recruitment, and training. FYI: the weapons left behind were small caliber, everything else was rendered inoperable, SOP.

    The UN and other experts were noted as sources supporting my evidence in the original post. Your response had little evidence and less sourcing support.

    You did not lie, but you made it sound like this was all Trump. Trump as superman, Trump alone, Trump the trading cards as reality. And it wasn’t. Sure, that might be considered spin, but I chose to try to have a discussion.

    You added “Terrorism has expanded and become more aggressive under Biden” which is not only untrue, but smacks of your desire for the US to police the world.
    BUSTED
    Taking out current events which change everything, “In 2022, deaths from terrorism fell by nine per cent to 6,701 deaths and is now 38 per cent lower than at its peak in 2015. The fall in deaths was mirrored by a reduction in the number of incidents, with attacks declining by almost 28 per cent from 5,463 in 2021 to 3,955 in 2022. However, if Afghanistan was removed from the index, terrorism deaths would have increased by four per cent.”

    Add in: “The deadliest terrorist groups in the world in 2022 were Islamic State (IS) and its affiliates, followed by al-Shabaab, Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and Jamaat Nusrat Al-Islam wal Muslimeen (JNIM).” IS is ISIS.
    *https://reliefweb.int/report/world/global-terrorism-index-2023*

    There’s a good chance that terrorism is up in the US, I did not check, but that would be domestic, not foreign. At this point, when you utter things, you have to know you will be checked by one or more of your readers. Do better.

    Trump being tough on Palestinian terrorists basically refers to the Trump policy of putting no constraints on Israel. Removing all pushbacks and constraints from previous American Presidencies. That’s a topic for another day, but Trump sets the stage for today’s tragedy with his actions allowing Israel to remove all restraints in the Palestinian “problem.”. It’s not on Trump, IMO, but just letting Israel do what they want with the Palestinians is NOT being tough on Palestine, it’s being easy on Israel. Guess that’s why there’s Trump Heights in Israel on stolen land from the 1967 war. That’s a discussion for another post but it is clear that giving Israel a free hand did not lead away from this point.

    Almost a good discussion: try harder.

  10. Mike f

    Larry, Your inability to comprehend what you are saying is astounding. Stupidity is repeatedly voting people into office who do the same things over and over and then wonder why things aren’t improving. You run off at the mouth about my “so called” arrogance, but you never in any of your responses have refuted what I state-instead providing snippets about what worked with Qaddafi many years ago, rather that the current Iranian regime, and relying on denigrating my character. Arrogance is stating that policy is wrong simply because it is the policy of democrats. The republicans that are running the party now are idiots, I listed a bunch of them, and didn’t notice you mentioning that any of them were intelligent-because they are not. Trumps policy on Iran did not have any positive effect, and it is likely that the intelligence he shared with Russia early in his regime gave Hamas the info they needed to defeat the Israeli weapons shield. Your arrogance and stupidity on most matters you write on is quite frankly disgusting…..