Russia Authorizes Boots on the Ground in Syria + More – Daily Digest

Posted on Wed 09/30/2015 by

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THE FOUNDATION

“The rights of neutrality will only be respected when they are defended by an adequate power. A nation, despicable by its weakness, forfeits even the privilege of being neutral.” —Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 11

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Russia Authorizes Boots on the Ground in Syria

Russia’s parliament Wednesday unanimously gave Russian President Vladimir Putin the authority to use military force in Syria. Unlike the United States, Russia has committed to the conflict, which will result in the defeat of the U.S.-backed Syrian rebels — a Pax Russiana through Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorship — and less American influence in the Middle East. While the Obama administration hoped that moderate Syrian rebels would topple the Assad regime and defeat the Islamic State, Obama lacks the fortitude to play Putin’s diplomacy game. As Obama said Monday, “Ultimately, however, it is not going to be enough to defeat ISIL in the battlefield.” While Russia wants the defeat of the Islamic State, Putin told “60 Minutes” last Sunday the only way peace can come to the country is through the Kremlin-backed Assad regime. As commentator Charles Krauthammer said, “This isn’t about the Russians taking on ISIS; this is about the Russians taking over Syria and keeping Assad as a client in place. That’s what happened even as the administration sputters because it has no idea what to do.”

Surprise! Planned Parenthood Doesn’t Do Mammograms

From Democrats and their political operatives to Hollywood glitterati and Miss America contestants, one of the more pervasive and oft-repeated myths about Planned Parenthood is that it provides mammograms. Whenever an abortion advocate defends the nation’s largest abortion provider — especially arguing that it should continue to receive half a billion taxpayer dollars every year — inevitably, they bring up all the great women’s services Planned Parenthood provides. Like mammograms. Except the organization doesn’t have a single mammogram machine in any of its offices. Don’t take our word for it. Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards told Congress Tuesday, “There aren’t any Planned Parenthood clinics — I believe, to the best of my knowledge, not any have mammogram machines at their facility.” She was answering a question from Rep. Cynthia Lummis, who asked, “How many Planned Parenthood clinics have mammogram machines?” That question, in turn, followed the sycophantic cooing of Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who included mammograms in her list of the wonderful services provided. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration confirms that, out of more than 8,700 licensed mammogram facilities in the country, exactly zero are run by Planned Parenthood. So why is the myth so prevalent? First, abortion advocates are always fast and loose with the facts because abortion is so abhorrent it can’t be defended on the merits. Second, Planned Parenthood is perfectly content with the false narrative — it boasts of helping women “get access to mammograms” — because it makes the organization look like it just cares about women. Tell that to the 438 unborn baby girls Planned Parenthood kills every day.

Largest ObamaCare Co-Op Admits Failure, Starts Closing Shop

Joining three other ObamaCare health care co-ops that already found themselves unable to operate in the current health care landscape, Health Republic, the co-op servicing the State of New York, started closing down its operation Friday, Sept. 25. “[A]fter coordinating with state and federal regulators, Health Republic will begin winding down operations in an orderly manner starting today,” CEO of Health Republic Debra Friedman wrote to the co-op’s members. “While we are deeply disappointed with this outcome, we believe it is in the best interests of our members. Starting a new insurance company is a daunting task in any environment, but the systemic challenges placed on us by the structure of the CO-OP program were simply too difficult to overcome.” In other words, ObamaCare’s worst enemy in this case was its own regulations. As The Daily Signal reported, the government loaned out $265 million to get the co-op off the ground. You shall know the program by its fruits: In this case, an effort by ObamaCare to provide more solutions and health care “competition” yielded government waste and failure. Surprise!

FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

The Iraq Model for Afghanistan?

By Paul Albaugh

U.S. forces should be allowed to stay and do good

Recent events in Afghanistan indicate that Barack Obama seriously needs to reconsider his plans to withdraw all U.S. forces from the country over the next 16 months. (Not that he will reconsider…) Several major cities that were once held and governed by Afghan forces have been captured by the Taliban. All is not well and it would be foolish and irresponsible for the United States to withdraw too soon. Need evidence? Just look at Iraq.

On Monday, the city of Kunduz, Afghanistan’s sixth largest city, was overrun by the Taliban — the first city taken by the Taliban since it was ousted from Kabul in 2001. Afghan forces mounted a counteroffensive with the aid of U.S. airstrikes and special forces. Afghan forces have retaken the police station, but are still facing fierce resistance from approximately 500 Taliban fighters.

“Obviously, this is a setback for the Afghan security forces,” said Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook. “But we’ve seen them respond in recent weeks and months to the challenges they face, and they’re doing the same thing in Kunduz right now.” The fact that Afghan forces are fighting to take back Kunduz is a good thing — they are doing what the U.S. military trained them to do. But that’s all the more reason why pushing to draw down forces too soon would be catastrophic. Afghan forces still need U.S. backing if they are to be successful.

Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), chairman of the House Armed Services committee, noted, “The fall of Kunduz to the Taliban is not unlike the fall of the Iraqi provinces to ISIL. It is a reaffirmation that precipitous withdrawal leaves key allies and territory vulnerable to the very terrorists we’ve fought so long to defeat.”

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is optimistic about the Afghan forces’ success, but noted a particular problem that has plagued operations for the last 14 years. During a recent news conference Ghani said, “The treacherous enemy is using civilians as a human shield.” That’s why the government of Afghanistan cannot and will not simply bombard the cities.

Indeed, no responsible government would want to harm its own citizens in the quest for destroying the enemy, which is precisely why the U.S. military has been limited to targeted airstrikes and ground forces have been operating in a training and advisory role. To make matters even more difficult, the Taliban has taken to the streets and the mosques and told residents of Kunduz that they are safe. The residents are of course terrified — and torn between whether to trust the Taliban or risk being caught in the urban gun fire that will be coming soon.

The situation is more complex though. On the one hand we have the Taliban, which is notorious for looting, killing, enslaving and terrorizing the Afghan people. On the other hand, we have a morally bankrupt culture that is causing significant problems for our troops. One recent example is the revelation that there have been instances of “Bacha Bazi” — translated as “boy play” — being perpetrated by members of the Afghan armed forces.

Yes, sadly, the same Afghan forces that Americans have trained.

So what exactly is to be expected of U.S. military personnel who witness or discover the heinous act of a man raping a boy? Is the service member to do nothing, or is he to intervene?

One particular Green Beret, Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland, chose to intervene — and was discharged from the Army for body slamming and beating an alleged child rapist. Martland’s team leader, Capt. Daniel Quinn, was also stripped of his command for being involved in the same incident.

We don’t know all of the facts about this incident — whether direct orders were disobeyed or whether these soldiers went too far (if there is such a thing when dealing with a child rapist). So what is U.S. policy for its service members to respond to such egregious acts?

One recent report reveals that U.S. Marines and Soldiers have been instructed not to intervene in cases of sexual abuse. Yes, you read that right.

Which brings up another point. Sharia law, which is practiced in Afghanistan, forbids sodomy and sex before marriage. Yet it’s happening and even being tolerated by the very people we have helped to put in positions of power. Is it any wonder the Afghan people can’t quite decide who to trust? The Taliban has cracked down on anyone engaging in “Bacha Bazi,” but the Taliban cracks down on everything to the point of severe oppression.

So our troops are put in harm’s way to fight the Taliban while simultaneously being asked to ignore child rape coming from those we are supposed to be fighting alongside. Quite the dilemma.

Where are Obama and the top brass in the military on this? Why are they turning a blind eye to those who have been punished for intervening on behalf of young boys? For a sitting commander in chief who frequently speaks out against human rights violations, he certainly has not backed up his words with decisive action. Nope, he is still more concerned about fighting climate change and making sure homosexuals can serve openly.

Perhaps the main question should be this: Where do we go from here? Do we continue to fight the Taliban while simultaneously propping up morally bankrupt officials? This president certainly hasn’t shown any indication that he is willing to intervene, which is why he wants to withdraw all troops before he leaves office. It’s better for him to leave it to the next guy. Thanks, Obama — said no Afghan citizen ever.

MORE ORIGINAL PERSPECTIVE

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Terence Jeffrey: “In its latest annual report, Planned Parenthood revealed that it killed 327,653 unborn babies in its abortion clinics in fiscal 2013. It also stated that in the year that ended on June 30, 2014, it received $524.8 million — or 41 percent of its total funding — from the government. … For Americans who respect innocent life, one obvious question is this: Why is Congress taking hard-earned money from American families struggling to raise their own children in a safe and decent environment and handing it over to a group that kills hundreds of thousands of babies per year and sometimes cuts out their organs? … Planned Parenthood, right now, is waging a war against defenseless unborn girls and boys. It is denying these children their equal opportunity to enjoy what ought to be the blessings of being born in a nation founded on the principle that the right to life is God-given and unalienable. When Rep. Gerry Connolly was mocking members of his committee for questioning Cecile Richards for her salary at a government-funded organization, he did not mention what that salary was. She did: It is $523,000 per year. Thanks to Congress, if you pay taxes, you helped pay that salary.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” —John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

Upright: “Leadership isn’t defined by polls or head counts. It is defined by principles and courage. If polls that reflect what happened yesterday are left to determine what happens tomorrow, why do we need leaders? If politics is the art of the possible, it is leadership that takes what seems impossible and brings it into the realm of the possible. Facts appear to bear out that it is not conservatives but the absence of principled leadership that has hurt the Republican Party.” —Star Parker

Non Compos Mentis: “I do not believe in a God who would consider abortion a sin. God created abortion. As he did all of us. God created choice for all to DECIDE.” —”comedian” Margaret Cho

Annals of the absurd: “I don’t think we do children a favor by forcing women to give birth.” —Rep. Gwen Moore

Braying Jenny: “[I]t’s terrible to see a woman, the only woman running for president, attack Planned Parenthood that helps so many millions of women. It’s a sad day, but it’s the way it is. Not all women are going to fight for women. Carly Fiorina does not.” —Sen. Barbara Boxer

Dezinformatsia: “On my Twitter feed yesterday there was a woman who tweeted at me that said thanks to Planned Parenthood I’m still alive.” —Washington Post editor Jonathan Capehart (“Jonathan, have you given any thought to the six million people who will never be able to tweet you because their lives were ended by Planned Parenthood abortions?” —Newsbusters’ Mark Finkelstein)

Good question: “If the videos were selectively edited, if this was entrapment, all untrue, then why did you apologize?” —Rep. Jim Jordan to Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards during congressional testimony

Late-night humor: “Hillary Clinton went on ‘Meet the Press’ yesterday, and I saw that Chuck Todd actually showed her a video of all the times she’s flip-flopped on issues. At first Hillary said she felt bad about it, but now she says she feels OK about it.” —Jimmy Fallon

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

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