CBS: Obama withdrawal from Afghanistan a ‘Milestone’, Trump withdrawal from Syria a ‘Retreat’

The relentless establishment media Leftist propaganda drumbeat never lets up, even for a moment. Meanwhile, the social media giants are working more energetically than ever now to silence dissenting voices, so that this propaganda is all that you hear, and the America-hating Left will win a comfortable majority in the House and Senate in the 2018 elections.

“The anti-Trump media caravan rolls on,” by Robert Knight, Washington Times, April 8, 2018:

One of the most vexing aspects of daily life is the nonstop flow of anti-Trump propaganda masquerading as news analysis. That is, unless you hate Donald Trump, as most of the media clearly do. Fake news oozes from nearly every media pore, some of it more subtle than others.

After President Trump last week announced a planned pullout of U.S. troops from Syria, CBS and NBC decried the plan, warning of bad consequences, with CBS calling the move a “retreat.” By contrast, when President Obama made clear in 2013 that he was done with the war in Afghanistan, CBS led this way:

“Eager to end a war he didn’t begin, President Obama announced in January plans to speed up the withdrawal of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. In Tuesday’s State of the Union address, the president will announce a milestone in the timetable on that drawdown ” What a guy. No retreat, just sound policy. This is not about the wisdom of either president’s move; it’s about the media’s instinctive reaction….

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on Jihad Watch.

Former Gitmo detainee donates taxpayer compensation money to terrorists

A former Guantanamo Bay detainee and Libyan national, who was paid £1 million in compensation by the UK taxpayer, gave some of the money to teenage jihadists who later died as terrorists in Syria……In 2010, the government paid £20 million to 17 former British Guantanamo detainees. One beneficiary, Jamal al-Harith, later became a terrorist suicide bomber in Syria.

Is this any surprise? The highest calling of a jihadi is martyrdom, and the mujahideen is favored in accordance with Quran 4:95: “Allah has preferred the mujahideen through their wealth and their lives over those who remain, by degrees.”

Sobering thought: remember that murderous jihadist Omar Khadr received $10,500,000 and an apology from the Canadian government because of his so-called “torture” in Gitmo.

“Former Guantanamo Detainee Gave Taxpayer Compensation Money to Jihadi Terrorists”, by Liam Deacon, Breitbart, July 28, 2017:

A former Guantanamo Bay detainee and Libyan national, who was paid £1 million in compensation by the UK taxpayer, gave some of the money to teenage jihadists who later died as terrorists in Syria.

Omar Deghayes (pictured, right) paid the money to two of his nephews – Abdullah Deghayes, 18 and Jaffar 17 – to encourage them to attend a Brighton gym behind a mosque where a network of radicalised Muslims met, a serious case review found Thursday.

The review, reported by The Telegraph, also slammed authorities for failing to intervene, after information about the gym was passed to Prevent (the government’s counter-radicalisation scheme), but the officer who received it failed to share it through the correct channels.

In 2010, the government paid £20 million to 17 former British Guantanamo detainees. One beneficiary, Jamal al-Harith, later became a terrorist suicide bomber in Syria.

Another prominent recipient, Moazzam Begg, has since built a career campaigning against anti-Terror laws with the group CAGE, who were criticised by the government for praising Islamic State executioner Jihadi John.

Thursday’s report discloses how the Deghayes brothers “had been paid money as a reward for attending the gym”.

Adding: “The payment was from an extended member of the siblings’ family who had previously been imprisoned, but released without charge”.

Lord Carlile, the former independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, commented: “We need a full investigation into how this money has been spent. We need to look at how this compensation has been used.”

The Deghayes brothers boarded a £59 one-way flight from Luton to Istanbul and travelled to Syria in 2014, and are believed to have been killed just a few months after their arrival.

Abdullah by a sniper while chasing retreating forces in Latakia, on the West coast of Syria, in April 2014 and Jaffar six months later during a close-range firefight amid the ruins of Idlib, in the north……


Australia: “Nice and normal” Muslims arrested for jihad plot to bomb domestic flight

UK: Muslim radio station loses license after broadcasting calls to jihad violence

Austria recognizes ISIS genocide against Christians

It is comforting to finally hear the truth being recognized by Austria, along with a determination to assist the victims.

According to the American Center for Law and Justice:

In Syria, the Islamic State has beheaded and stoned men, women, and children for blasphemy, heresy, and apostasy. One Christian Syrian woman described ‘Christians being killed and tortured, and … children being beheaded in front of their parents…

The Center continued:

Assyrian Christians have faced mass kidnappings; children and adults have been tortured for refusing to deny their faith in Christ; and other Christian children have been raped and burned to death by the radicals.

Anglican Reverend Andrew White, aka the “Vicar of Baghdad,” recounted the story of Iraqi Christian before they were slaughtered by Islamic State militants:

Children…were told by ISIS militants to convert to Islam or be killed. Their response? “No, We Love Yeshua (Jesus).”

It is atrocious that peaceful Christians have not been long prioritized by Western nations as refugees; they are not only victims of war but targets of murder and violence by jihadists for their faith. One could not begin to imagine the global reaction and outcry if Christians or Jews were murdering innocent Muslims in the name of their religion, and such an outcry would be warranted. Meanwhile, the word “Islamophobia” keeps getting rammed down the throats of Western infidels in the face of such atrocities committed against Christians and other human beings in the name of Islam. Such lack of sensitivity and remorse is telling.

“Austria Among First Nations to Recognize ISIS’ Genocide Against Christians”, by Stoyan Zaimov, Christian Post, June 21, 2017:

Austria has become one of the first countries in the world to not only formally recognize the genocide being committed against Christians in Iraq and Syria, but also to advance a seven-point plan aimed at helping victims.

The American Center for Law and Justice reported on Tuesday that the Austrian National Council formally recognized earlier in June the “heinous atrocities” being committed by the Islamic State terror group against Christians and other religious minorities, and committed itself to carrying out at least three steps of a seven-point plan to help those who are displaced.

“Austria has become one of the first countries to take a decisive stand,” the ACLJ wrote, calling it a “major step forward” in the conservative group’s campaign to rescue followers of Christ.

The legal group launched its seven-point plan last year, the details of which are available on the ACLJ website, and has urged U.N. member states to join the fight against genocide.

The plan in question calls for the establishment of in-region “safe zones” for genocide victims fleeing radical terror, along with expanding military efforts as part of the international coalition to defeat IS.

“It is imperative that we continue to pressure the U.N. and the international community in order to provide the relief these victims so desperately need,” the ACLJ urged, calling on people to join the cause as the legal group expands its “largest global legal advocacy campaign in defense of Christians facing jihadist genocide.”

In its letters to the U.N., the group has highlighted the urgency of cooperation when it comes to fighting IS.

“In Syria, the Islamic State has beheaded and stoned men, women, and children for blasphemy, heresy, and apostasy. One Christian Syrian woman described ‘Christians being killed and tortured, and … children being beheaded in front of their parents,’” the law group has said.

It added that Assyrian Christians have faced mass kidnappings; children and adults have been tortured for refusing to deny their faith in Christ; and other Christian children have been raped and burned to death by the radicals……


Germany to restart deportation process of jihadi-infiltrated Afghan refugees

Egypt: Christians serve Ramadan meals to Muslims despite jihad persecution

Time for an Independent Kurdistan as a buffer against Iran

Syrian Kurdish woman YPJ fighter

An independent Kurdistan would be a bulwark for the US and ally Israel as we, chaver Sherkoh Abbas, President of the Kurdish National Assembly of Syria (KURDNAS) and Former Reagan National Security Council senior official , Prof.Norman Bailey of the University of Haifa in Istael have espoused.

A start to that would be the establishment of a US controlled safe zones in the predominately Kurdish northeastern Syria and Russian one in the Northwestern enclave of Afrin. That was proposed by David Keleti and this writer in a March 2017 Israel Behind the News Interview.

That would be enabled by the existing tactical air fields that US coalition air units use in northeast Syria to fly missions in support of the 50,000 YPG Kurdish led Syrian Democratic Force now being armed by the US for the push to retake Raqqa, the administrative capital of the Islamic State.

Kurdistan in northeastern Syria could assist in covert operations of Kurdish resistance forces in adjacent northwestern Iran in the Zagros could protect the back door into the predominate Yazidi area of Sinjar in adjacent Iraq.

If the Kurdish safe zone could be extended to the Mediterranean coast in Syria it would facilitate shipment of both Syrian and Iraqi Kurdistan produced oil for export to Israel and the West via a network of pipelines.

A free Kurdistan could also develop into a commercial agricultural bread basket for the region.

We bet the estimated 300,000 Israelis of Jewish Kurdish legacy like MK Mickey Levy would kvell about an automous independent Kurdistan.

Kurdistan would serve as buffer against Iran

In order to assist the creation of a Shia Crescent from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea, the question remains: Is Iran working to thwart the creation of an independent Kurdistan? Are they working together with Syria in order to further this strategic goal? According to an Iraqi source, Ira…


VIDEO: Toronto anti-Islamophobia rally opposes war against ISIS

“No to war in Syria and Iraq” means no war to dislodge the Islamic State. It means allowing the Islamic State to continue to brutalize and oppress women, non-Muslims, and gays, and to incite jihad massacres in Europe and North America. Now we see that opposing even the bloodlust and aggression of the Islamic State is “Islamophobia.”

“Toronto pro Islam protest opposes the war on the Islamic State (ISIS),” by Jonathan D. Halevi, CIJ News, March 5, 2017:

The anti-Islamophobia, anti “white”-supremacy and anti Justin Trudeau protest at Toronto’s Nathan Philips Square on Saturday, March 4, 2017 highlighted also a message of opposition to the wars against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (aka ISIS, Daesh, Caliphate) and Yemen’s pro-Iranian militias.

A sign on the central stage read the following:

  • Refugees welcome
  • (Fascists not)
  • Yes to refugees
  • No to Islamophobia
  • No to war in Syria and Iraq

The first speaker on behalf the Organizing Committee Against Islamophobia (OCAI) accused Justin Trudeau Liberal government among other things of espousing white supremacist policy, committing ongoing “genocide” against the Indigenous people, arming the Islamic regime of Saudi Arabia that bombed Yemeni children and exploiting refugees and immigrants. She called the federal government to repeal the Barbaric Cultural Practices Act that criminalizes forced marriage and tackles ‘honour killings’. To read the transcript of her speech and watch the video click HERE.

The Canadian flag was not displayed and the National Anthem was not played at the protest. For a photo gallery from the event click HERE.

One of the speakers at the rally was Syed Hussan, who is affiliated with the organizations No One Is Illegal-Toronto, Toronto Community Mobilization Network and Migrant Workers Alliance for Change.

In his speech, Syed Hussan portrayed Canada as a rogue state accusing Justin Trudeau Liberal government of implementing a colonial policy, taking part in wars and criminally neglecting indigenous people. Hussan said that anti-islamophobia motion is not enough calling for an orchestrated popular struggle to make sure that “racists” cannot gather and to “cut off the head of racism.”

The following are excerpts from Syed Hussan’s speech:

Colonialism… continues on these lands…

We need to come to terms with the fact that we live in a country, we live in a society, we live in a community, that is racist (crowd: shame).

We live in a country, in a community in a society that goes to war (crowd: shame)…

We are not going to simply be ok with this motion to study the possible effects of Islamophobia and racism in this country. Are we? (crowd: no). We are not here to just defend a motion in Parliament by the same government that is breaking, that is breaking its promise to indigenous people, that sends more weapons to Yemen (sic. meant to Saudi Arabia)… that is not the government that we are supporting. This is not the policy that we can support…

[We gathered in a] symbolic protest to show that these racists cannot gather, will not gather. We need to commit to something more important, something more critical… if there is any work that you do, in your neighbourhood, in your community racism raises its ugly head and your job, our job is to find it and cut its head off….


Dubai: Man on trial for insulting Islam on Facebook

Oklahoma lawmaker gives questionnaire to Muslims, Hamas-linked CAIR enraged

ISIS child soldier of Allah: ‘We’re here only to support this religion’

Meanwhile, most Western authorities continue to insist that the Islamic State and its activities have nothing whatsoever to do with that religion. How to figure out what is really happening? One could simply study Islamic texts and teachings and discover what they say, but that would be “Islamophobic.”

This boy quotes his father saying, “Meanwhile, learn the sharia, fear God and educate Muslims.” Then he himself says: “My message to the infidels is: ‘I am Saladin el Turkistani. I migrated to the blessed caliphate to stop people from working for tyrants, to work for God instead. There’s no one beside Allah. We’re here only to support this religion. We’re the Cubs of the Caliphate. We won’t sleep, or stand erect, until we see the flag of our prophet (PBUH) in all of Allah’s lands.’”

Not only does that statement have everything to do with Islam, reflecting Islamic teaching about the necessity to wage jihad in order to establish the Sharia, but it doesn’t have to do with anything else. It reveals how wrongheaded mainstream Western analysis of the jihad terror threat really is.

“‘We won’t sleep until we see the flag of our prophet in all of Allah’s lands’: Horrific ISIS video shows child jihadi tell the story of how he was groomed – before he shoots a man in the head,” by Kelly Mclaughlin, Mailonline, February 21, 2017:

A young member of ISIS’s child soldier group the ‘Cubs of the Caliphate’ tells how he was groomed into the extremist organisation in a sickening new propaganda video.

The young boy says his father told him he would take him to a military camp if he ‘studied hard’, in the video titled The Story of Saladin.

The clip then shows the young boy cornering a man into a small room and brutally shooting him in the head.

Saladin in seen at the beginning of the video with a cast on his arm, watering plants and tending to a small garden.

‘It was the last time I spoke with my father, God rest his soul,’ Saladin says in the video. ‘Two hours before he brought me to a military camp he told me: “You plant a tree like this. Then you must be patient. Meanwhile, learn the sharia, fear God and educate Muslims.”

‘Before my father was killed, which happened in battle or just before a battle, he told me: “If you study hard I’ll take you to an army camp during your vacation.”

‘My message to the infidels is: “I am Saladin el Turkistani. I migrated to the blessed caliphate to stop people from working for tyrants, to work for God instead.

‘”There’s no one beside Allah. We’re here only to support this religion. We’re the Cubs of the Caliphate. We won’t sleep, or stand erect, until we see the flag of our prophet (PBUH) in all of Allah’s lands.”‘…


‘IT WAS NORMAL’ Captured ISIS militant who ‘killed 500 people and raped 200 Yazidi women’ says he has few regrets

Young Iranian chess grandmaster expelled from national team for not wearing hijab

Austria: Nine Muslim “refugees” gang-rape woman for two hours, ignoring her pleas

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on Jihad Watch.

Pope Francis: ‘Muslim terrorism does not exist’

Killer of the flock.

This man is a danger — millions hang upon his every word. It is laudable to want peace on earth, but that will not be achieved by lies or denying the plain truth.

Islamic terrorism is Jihad by another name. Jihad is the duty of all devout Muslims.

Pope Francis: “Muslim terrorism does not exist”

“What he apparently meant is that not all Christians are terrorists and not all Muslims are terrorists—a fact evident to all—yet his words also seemed to suggest that no specifically Islamic form of terrorism exists in the world, an assertion that stands in stark contradiction to established fact.”

Indeed. Pope Francis is not only disastrously wrongheaded about an obvious fact that is reinforced by every day’s headlines, but he is also deceiving and misleading his people about a matter of utmost importance, and keeping them ignorant and complacent about a growing and advancing threat.

“Leave them; they are blind guides. And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14)

“Pope Francis: ‘Muslim Terrorism Does Not Exist,’” by Thomas D. Williams, Breitbart, February 17, 2017:

In an impassioned address Friday, Pope Francis denied the existence of Islamic terrorism, while simultaneously asserting that “the ecological crisis is real.”

“Christian terrorism does not exist, Jewish terrorism does not exist, and Muslim terrorism does not exist. They do not exist,” Francis said in his speech to a world meeting of populist movements.

What he apparently meant is that not all Christians are terrorists and not all Muslims are terrorists—a fact evident to all—yet his words also seemed to suggest that no specifically Islamic form of terrorism exists in the world, an assertion that stands in stark contradiction to established fact.

“No people is criminal or drug-trafficking or violent,” Francis said, while also suggesting—as he has on other occasions—that terrorism is primarily a result of economic inequalities rather than religious beliefs. “The poor and the poorer peoples are accused of violence yet, without equal opportunities, the different forms of aggression and conflict will find a fertile terrain for growth and will eventually explode.”

The Pope also reiterated his conviction that all religions promote peace and that the danger of violent radicalization exists equally in all religions.

“There are fundamentalist and violent individuals in all peoples and religions—and with intolerant generalizations they become stronger because they feed on hate and xenophobia,” he said.

While denying the existence of Islamic terrorism, Francis also seemed to condemn the denial of global warming, asserting that “the ecological crisis is real.”

“A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system,” he said.

We know “what happens when we deny science and disregard the voice of Nature,” the Pope said. “Let us not fall into denial. Time is running out. Let us act. I ask you again—all of you, people of all backgrounds including native people, pastors, political leaders—to defend Creation.”

While acknowledging that science is not “the only form of knowledge,” and that “science is not necessarily ‘neutral’” and often “conceals ideological views or economic interests,” he still insisted that people of good will should not oppose “scientific consensus” regarding global warming.

Leftist media like the liberal Guardian in the U.K. immediately politicized the speech, predictably claiming that the Pope was backing “anti-Trump protests,” despite the fact that the Pope himself denied such a claim, explicitly declaring that “I am not speaking of anyone in particular.”

“I am not speaking of anyone in particular, I am speaking of a social and political process that flourishes in many parts of the world and poses a grave danger for humanity,” he said.

Moreover, although the Guardian claimed that the Pope was “condemning populism,” in point of fact, he was speaking to populist movements and praised their commitment to democracy.

“The direction taken beyond this historic turning-point,” Francis said, “will depend on people’s involvement and participation and, largely, on yourselves, the popular movements.”

Nevertheless, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said Monday that the Holy See is concerned over growing populist and nationalist movements, both in Europe and in the United States.

In an interview for the Italian evening news on the state-owned RAI network, the Cardinal was asked whether the Vatican is worried about what the interviewer called “the spread of nationalism and populism not only in Europe but also in the United States with Donald Trump.”

“I think so, I think so,” Parolin said. “Certainly these closings are not a good sign,” since many of them “are born of fear, which is not a good counselor.”…

RELATED ARTICLE: Islamic Converts Ask Pope in Open Letter To Change His Teaching on Islam

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The Geller Report.

Smuggling migrants into Europe a major funding source for ISIS

The Islamic State long ago promised to infiltrate the refugee stream. As far back as November 2015, the Islamic State claimed to have smuggled thousands of jihadists into Europe. It was also recently reported that the Islamic State “planned to infect refugee flows to the West with mass killers, and it has had some violent successes.” The CIA warned that the Islamic State’s “official strategy is to hide its operatives among refugees entering Europe and the United States via human flows out of the Middle East and North Africa.”

Western leaders opted not to take these warnings seriously. Leftists have equated responsible measures to protect homeland security with unkindness and racism. The “Islamophobia” narrative has been a useful and effective tool that now allows virtually any misdeed committed by Muslim migrants to go unnoticed or be excused, no matter how tragic the cost.

“Smuggling Migrants to Europe Now a Major Funding Source for Islamic State”, by Virginia Hale, Breitbart, February 1, 2017:

Islamist terror groups including Islamic State are now getting much of their revenue from smuggling migrants into Europe, Italy’s intelligence chief has said.

Information gathered by intelligence agencies shows that criminal gangs in Africa who work to traffick migrants into Europe have developed “partnerships” with terrorist organisations in the Middle East including Islamic State, Alessandro Pansa told La Stampa on Tuesday.

“ISIS is facing serious setbacks. Its biggest sources of income — smuggling oil products and antiquities, are at the edge of drying out. We think terrorists are resorting to human trafficking as a new source of revenue,” Pansa told the newspaper.

Pansa, the Director General of the Department of Information Security, revealed the intelligence agency’s findings at a talk in Naples about Africa and the ‘risks and opportunities’ of immigration.

Describing the involvement of Islamic terror groups in human trafficking as a major challenge for Italy, the security chief said it’s vital that Italy works with governments in Africa to “attack at the roots of the migration phenomenon”.

Reuters reported on Monday that the Italian government has set up a fund to help African nations seal their external borders and help stem the flow of migrants crossing the Mediterranean to Europe.

Pansa refused to give an opinion on actions taken by President Donald J. Trump to help protect the U.S. against terror attacks — suspending immigration of, and issuing visas to, citizens of seven countries.

However, Italy’s intelligence agencies are not surprised the new president has pushed forward with migration policies promised on the campaign trail according to the security chief, who added: “We were expecting it.”

Nearly 400,000 migrants reached Europe by sea in 2016, and more than 5,000 are believed to have died attempting the journey, aid agencies estimate.

In 2015 the then Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott, urged the European Union (EU) to turn boats back to Africa, saying: “If you want to keep life safe, you’ve got to keep the boats stopped.”….


Denver police, DHS were warned about jihadi who killed guard, chose to keep it quiet

Establishment propaganda media crows that Kellyanne Conway “made up” terror attack to justify Trump’s ban

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on Jihad Watch.

Muslim who shot Russian ambassador identified, member of ‘special ops unit’

The gunman who shot Andrey Karlov, Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, has been identified as a Turkish police officer Mevlut Mert Altintas. He was reportedly a “member of the special ops unit in Ankara.” According to eyewitness accounts, he was heard shouting:  “We die in Aleppo, you die here” and “don’t forget Aleppo, Syria.”

Altintas stood behind Karlov as he “gave a speech at an art gallery in the Turkish capital.” Then, only moments later, Altintas drew a handgun and shot the ambassador “nine times before reportedly shouting ‘Allahu Akbar.’”

WARNING: Graphic video of the assassination of Andrey Karlov.

Meanwhile, “Russian President Vladimir Putin has said then killing of the Russian ambassador to Ankara is designed to spoil Russo-Turkish ties.” Obviously.

“Gunman who shot Russian ambassador to Turkey named by Interior Minister”, by Will Worley, UK Independent, December 19, 2016:

The gunman who shot dead the Russian ambassador to Turkey has been named as Mevlut Mert Altintas.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said he was 22 years-old and worked for the police riot squad in Ankara for the past two-and-a-half years, PA reported.

Security sources told Reuters he was not on duty at the time.

Ambassador Andrey Karlov was speaking at an art exhibition in Ankara when the gunman opened fire.

The attacker had been stood alone, wearing a dark suit, behind Mr Karlov as he spoke.

Numerous shots were heard, before the attacker launched into a diatribe on the beleagured city of Aleppo in Syria.

“We die in Aleppo, you die here” and “don’t forget Aleppo, Syria,” were heard shouted by the gunman during the attack.

The city has been subject to an intense Russian bombardment in recent weeks…..


Russia-Turkey Relations Unlikely to Be Derailed by Shooting of Ambassador

Berlin truck attack: Merkel was warned weeks ago by U.S. State Department

Germany: Truck plows into Christmas market in “deliberate attack,” nine dead

Pence, Kaine Clash on National Security

Vice presidential nominees Tim Kaine (D) and Mike Pence (R) repeatedly clashed on national security last night in a debate that initial polls indicate was won by Pence.

Three important moments were:

  1. When the two agreed that the U.S. should militarily strike the Syrian regime,
  2. When Kaine argued that the terrorist threat had decreased “in some ways” since 2008, and
  3. The fact that a long-term plan to defeat Islamist extremism was missing from the discussion.

Kaine’s strongest moments were when he referenced Donald Trump’s statements about allowing Saudi Arabia, Japan and South Korea to develop nuclear weapons and asking whether Trump would put America’s interests above his alleged business interests with Russia.

He also mentioned the former ties between Russia and Trump’s former campaign manager. Pence said these were false accusations and incorrect depictions of what Trump said.

Kaine’s weakest moment was his argument that the terrorist threat has decreased since the Obama Administration came in by pointing to the killing of Bin Laden and the supposed stopping of Iran’s nuclear weapons program. (Pence obviously disagreed with that characterization.) He also said that the terrorist threat to U.S. troops has decreased because there were 175,000 troops at war and now there are only 15,000.

That was the most embarrassing line of the night; one easily debunked with four letters: ISIS. Although Kaine added the caveat that the terrorist threat declined “in some ways,” no one will remember that linguistic safety net. The way he described the terrorist threat was undeniably at odds with what’s happening in Iraq, Syria, Libya and elsewhere.

There were two missed opportunities for Kaine.

First, Pence went (as Karen DeYoung of the Washington Post put it) “far, far beyond Trump on Syria” yet Kaine did not press him on the contradiction within the GOP ticket. Pence agreed with Kaine that the U.S. should militarily strike the Syrian regime’s forces in order to alleviate the humanitarian crnisis in that country.

Trump has endorsed a safe zone but has previously opposed U.S. military action against the Assad regime backed by Russia and Iran, arguing that our sole focus in Syria should be ISIS and Al-Qaeda and that Assad can be dealt with later.

Second, Kaine did not focus on Trump’s repeated statements that the U.S. should have seized Iraq and Libya’s oil for itself and have a force there to hold onto it indefinitely.

Pence had many strong moments.

His sharpest counter-attack was mentioning the flow of foreign money to the Clinton Foundation, arguing that foreigners donated to the charity because they can’t donate to political campaigns. He claimed that half of Clinton’s meetings as Secretary of State were with donors. His pithy summary stung.

Pence countered Kaine’s boasts about the nuclear deal with Iran by pointing out that all of the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear weapons program expire at the end of the deal, ultimately leaving Iran in a stronger position to develop nukes. He also pointed to Israel’s opposition as proof of the riskiness of the deal and suggested Kaine is dismissive of Israel’s legitimate concerns because he was one of only a handful of senators who boycotted the Israeli Prime Minister’s speech to Congress about the Iran deal.

Pence didn’t have any moments in the debate where he was weak on national security in a way that was apparent to the audience. The only liability will be his endorsement of U.S. military action against the Syrian regime, a statement his ticket will struggle to reconcile with Trump’s position over the coming days.

He did, however, miss two major opportunities:

As expected, Pence offered Hillary Clinton’s email scandal as evidence that she cannot be trusted on national security, particularly in regards to cyber warfare. Kaine responded by citing the FBI director’s decision to not prosecute her and the conversation moved on.

Pence failed to point out the subtle shift that happened. Kaine moved it from a question of responsibility to a question of legality and the objectivity of the Justice Department (stronger ground where the waters can be muddied enough to confuse and bore the viewer).

Pence surprisingly did not raise the damning quote from the FBI director’s statement that Clinton and her aides “were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.” It’s a single sentence that is impossible for an aspiring commander-in-chief to effectively deflect.

The second missed opportunity was available when the two discussed the issue of Syrian refugees, border security and homegrown terrorism. Pence should have pointed out that Kaine appointed a Hamas supporter and leader of a known Muslim Brotherhood front to his state immigration commission. His administration initially accused those who pointed out the appointee’s background of being bigots.

The consensus is that the two tickets are now tied with each winning one debate. The next one is Sunday, October 9.


Ryan Mauro is’s national security analyst, a fellow with Clarion Project and an adjunct professor of homeland security. Mauro is frequently interviewed on top-tier television and radio. Read more, contact or arrange a speaking engagement.


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