Tag Archives: Syria


Advisor's vault doorBy his first comment, the Advisor could tell he had hit a presidential nerve. In an angry voice, the President said, “What do you mean I live in a different universe?”

“Simply judging by your last speech on the terrorism incident in San Bernardino, California. You focused on gun control, said don’t blame Islam, touted the success of your existing strategy against ISIS or ISIL and the effectiveness of your multination coalition, and the arming of Sunni and Kurdish forces with more Special Forces support and a continuation of the bombing of ISIS targets and the need for patience. Are you not aware that no one believes any of this?” The Advisor waved one of his arms across the table.

The President sat back in his chair. “You are so wrong. All my advisors, those who don’t live in a cave, tell me my speech was near perfect. I know my transformation program is going well. I’m close to closing Guantanamo Bay and issuing an executive order to strengthen existing gun regulations.”

The Advisor paused. “I don’t believe any of that has anything real to do with the threat from Islamic jihadists. Your statement that the Islamic religion has nothing to do with terrorist attacks is neither accurate nor believable by anyone living in the modern world. Of course, not all Muslims are terrorists, but nearly all of today’s terrorist attacks are carried out by Muslims in the name of Islam. Moderate Muslims are not speaking out against jihadists and are not helping to prevent the radicals from taking control of the Islamic world. What do you think the Caliphate ISIS is establishing is all about? Closing Guantanamo Bay and more gun control regulation actions make people wonder what you are thinking about and why aren’t you focusing on the real problem of terrorism being exported from Islamic safe havens?”

“Well, is this the real Advisor exposing his true beliefs? You just don’t understand. Your ancestors never suffered under British colonialism. My grandfather and father both lived under the British boot. They were persecuted for their beliefs.”

“I cannot give you the advice I think you can use without injecting my own set of values and historical information base. No, my ancestors did not suffer under British colonialism. My ancestors were slaves brought from Africa in American and European ships loaded with Africans captured and sold to them by Arab Muslims and some Muslim-Africans with Arab names.

“American blacks fought for and won legal and actual freedom. Freedom wasn’t given to us. We fought for it. That is something you don’t understand about black history in America. You and your Kenyan family never were part of the King crusade. I don’t know about your white mother.

“We blacks have and have had our problems with equality and opportunity in America but we are proud to be Americans. We built a large part of this nation and are just in the last generation coming into enjoying our share in the American dream. Islamic terrorism is not just a threat to wealthy white America, it is a threat to all Americans of all classes. Under rule by the Progressive Party, do you think a boy from your background could become president of the United States? Isn’t that a real example of social mobility between economic classes in America?”

Instead of answering, the President stormed out and slammed the old vault door.

The Advisor thought, he might not come back and at this point, I really don’t care. I’ve no more advice I can offer. It is probably time to make my last entries and close my journal. 




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Advisor's vault door“Mr. President, I want to read something you said last week when I asked, ‘Are you using the leading from behind strategy in the Middle East and primarily in Syria?’ And you answered, ‘Of course. My objective is to change or transform the world order. How could I do that if I was openly leading the action? I’m leading from behind. Iran, ISIS, and Russia are doing exactly what I want. If Russia ends up being a power in the Middle East with warm water ports for their warships and control of oil from the region won’t that end the strife and lead to a world society where the people will be much better off and the world’s wealth and resources will be more equitably distributed?

“‘Russia will have what they have always wanted. They have no desire to occupy Europe. The balance of world power will be forever changed for the better. The need for vast military expenditures will be gone. Colonialism, capitalism, and imperialism will be history. Those are the real evil “isms” of our world. Progressivism is the natural ideology for a world of equals.’”

“Given the very aggressive move by Putin into Syria in the last two weeks with his demand that U.S. aircraft no longer fly over Syria, will you need to change your approach?”

“Putin is following a long developed strategy followed by all the czars. He is the first to succeed in actually establishing a growing military presence in the Middle East. The Russian fleet will now have an all-weather sea port for their warships. He will be popular at home for a short time. Then the people will find out what it costs them to sponsor another client state. Control of Iraqi oil fields may provide some funds for Putin’s military build up and support for a bankrupt Syria but that will not be enough.

“He will soon have another Afghanistan on his hands. Remember how they moved into Afghanistan unopposed in President’s Carter’s one term? He was surprised. I am not. This a perfect response from Putin who is unknowingly assisting me in changing the current world order. Whether he stays for a decade or more in Syria, the Middle East will never be the same. The Christian, imperialistic, capitalistic western power will be balanced by the growing power of the Islamic nations who actually live in the Middle East. Those people will be governing themselves and using their wealth and intellectual resources for the good of a previously oppressed people.

“My concern is keeping the right wing ideologues from convincing my successor to oppose the Russian push into Syria. No matter what Putin does, I will not respond with American power. In a few more years American power both military and economically will be gone for good.”

“What about all the death and misery being inflicted on the people of Syria and Iraq?”

“It will pass in less than a decade. People always suffer when the tide of historical power shifts against existing rulers. Spreading Muslim people throughout the Christian world through chaotic refugee flows is not a bad thing. The shift in population demographics will actually act as a catalyst for a more rapid transformation in the Western world. I couldn’t be happier. Progress never takes place without chaos. The more chaos, the more rapid the pace of transformation can be.”

“Does anyone in your administration share your view of the world?”

“Really only one and she is constantly encouraging me to move more quickly.  A few others think they know but they don’t. Their thinking is still mired down in the Western approach of looking at governing as the constant solving of issues. As long as they stay out of the way, they do no harm in playing with transient problems that have no solution without transformation.”

“Mr. President, I think I’m safe in saying no other president has ever shared your view of America and the world.”

“I agree. See you next week. You are the only person I can truthfully talk to besides my co-partner in transformation. Good night.”


This is an account written by a fictional advisor who doesn’t exist but should.

Check out the latest Jack Brandon mystery suspense novel at your local bookstore. Follow the author on Twitter @factsfictions80.






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INSIGHTS 204 — The Advisor’s Core Facts of the Middle East

Advisor's vault door

The Advisor had no trouble putting together the realities of the Middle East, but he spent extra time deciding how to present a picture that would not cause the president to walk out on him during his presentation. The president was intelligent but had a very thin skin for such an accomplished political campaigner. Perhaps, he thought, it is because the truth had no place on his campaign trails. On the campaign, the ends for him clearly justified whatever needed to be done or said to weaken the opposition. The president had taken on board the Saul Alinsky rules totally. The issue is never the issue is his guidance for all his policies and speeches. The man is remarkably consistent and, for his followers, he is brilliant. He can avoid and ignore issues that any previous president would have believed he had to take on.

As he mused over his dilemma, the Advisor worked to stay within his historic guidelines. He had to advise his president to the best of his ability. The fact that he thought this president was clearly focused on destroying the political and economic structure he inherited was a problem, for his responsibility was to advise the president in his role to protect and improve the life of its citizens. If he could be just a little dishonest, he could rationalize that the president wanted to improve America. But in the process of socialization, great harm would be done. Freedom and the ability to rise above the norm would be lost as long as socialism, communism, or progressivism prevailed. He just couldn’t, or more honestly, wouldn’t follow that path.

At that moment, the Advisor’s only phone rang, with the only person he ever spoke to, outside the president, on the other line. Chris Hammond, the chief of the President’s Secret Service detail, said the president would late, somewhere near midnight. Good, he thought, that will give me time for a nap, a shower, and a frozen Indian curry dinner.

It was almost midnight when the Advisor put on a fresh pot of Sumatra dark roast. He was just getting ready to pour himself a cup when the faint alarm sounded and the president entered.

“Welcome, Mr. President. You must be able to smell fresh coffee brewing.”

The president chuckled. “When the coffee is as good as yours, I could smell it for miles, even when it is coming from an underground cave. Your existence is even more constrained than mine. I suspect you have learned to take pleasure in small things.”

“Yes, I have. That is very perceptive of you. There doesn’t seem to be much instant gratification in your life.”

“No, there isn’t. And I think I won’t get much in the next hour or so. Shall we begin? Surprise me.” The president sat back in his seat at the conference table, a cigarette already between his fingers.

“First, some basics. You know most of these but they are important in any discussion of the Middle East, no matter the subject.  The people of the Middle East have a past they are proud of and a present they are not. Tribal allegiance is still a very important factor. Mobility up the social chain is much harder than it is in America where education is the key to improved status. In the Middle East it is religion and revolution. For reasons beyond my understanding Asian and Middle Eastern people have a very long and usually patient view of the time/progress ratio. Americans are only comfortable with instant gratification plus a decade.

“Then, there is the history of religious wars and colonialism when troops from the West with superior weapons and technology subjugated people of the Middle East and attempted to impose Western culture and even religion in the conquered areas. As a result the people of this historic crossroad both admire and hate the West with its superior technology.

“After World War I, diplomats from the West drew national boundaries that failed to consider tribal loyalties, religious affiliations, and the hunger of people for their own homeland. The situation of present-day Kurds is an example. The destruction of  Saddam Hussain’s Iraqi ’empire’ created a vacuum that the Iranians are filling after noting the West had abandoned the region.

“Iran is the dominant single nation in the Middle East today. For decades, they have been working to take control of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen by creating and funding Shiite terrorists groups in all these nations. The West has been ineffective in thwarting the Iranian drive to hegemony in the Middle East. Now the Iranians want to solidify their gains and they need to be a nuclear power to do so. Unless they are presented with strong military and economic resistance, they will not be deterred in achieving nuclear status with an ICBM capability. They cannot be trusted to honor any agreement or treaty that stands in the way. Nor will they stop the funding and equipping of proxy terrorist organization to further their dominance of the Middle East. Nothing in Iran will change for the better in Western terms without a regime change. I know you have other reasons for negotiating with the Ayatollahs but there will be a terrible price to pay in human terms.”

The president sat still for a moment, then took a final drag on his cigarette before grinding it down on the table. “There were some surprises but you gave the speech I expected. I have to go, but this is interesting. I’ll give my response at one of our next meetings.” He left without another word or without a look back, per usual.

The Advisor found himself already impatient to hear the president’s response.

The above is a fictional account of a president meeting with a legendary but fictional advisor.

“ISIS: Quiet Justice,” a new Jack Brandon novel dealing with ISIS in America, is now available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble in print form and nook and kindle formats. Follow the author on Twitter @factsfictions80.


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While the president and his administration are pointing fingers of blame at everyone and everything but themselves, let’s look at some ground truths.

  • The Obama administration could have had a Status of Forces of Agreement in Iraq to protect our troops from being charged, arrested, and tried in Iraqi courts. All that is required is for us to leave a mobile Army Division augmented by its supporting logistical units, air support, selected combat teams, and Special Forces in a U.S.-controlled base strategically located in Iraq. Prime Minister al-Maliki was in no position to follow his Iranian guidance and refuse. We could have replaced him. Sometimes the development of a new democracy needs a little forceful guidance.
  • When Obama pulled out all our troops, the training of the Iraqi Army with critical American combat support had reached a point where it could have defended Iraqi territory. Without American boots and eyes on the ground to detect and stop al-Maliki from critically weakening the Iraqi Army by replacing most Sunni and Kurdish officers with Shiite replacements, the Iraqi Army was no longer the force America trained. It had no chance against the ISIS invasion. al-Maliki’s leadership destroyed any faint hopes the Sunnis and Kurds had in sharing Iraq’s resources and having a real say in the governing of the country.
  • The powerful Sunni tribes that fought with U.S. forces to destroy al-Qaeda in Iraq are not going to fight to defend a corrupt Shiite government in Baghdad. Many of these Sunnis joined ISIS as the better choice for them.  Some of the Sunnis trained by American forces may well be fighting with ISIS now. They only thing we can offer them to change sides is the promise of their own Sunni nation with no ties to a Shiite government located somewhere south of Baghdad.
  • The Kurds and their Peshmerga forces are good fighters. They will fight to the death to defend their people and their land. They will not defend the Shiite regime in Baghdad, no matter the name of the prime minister. For many decades, the Kurds have wanted control of their historical homeland. They have fought the Turks, Iranians, and Iraqis as far back as their oral history. American arms and supplies sent to the Kurds through Baghdad will never reach Kurdistan. Out of this chaos the Kurds are betting they have a good chance of winning their freedom. But they will need our help. Without assurances of a free Kurdistan, they will not fight ISIS forces very far from their own borders.
  • Iran is the biggest danger in the region. Their intent is to development nuclear weapons and missile delivery systems. We don’t know when it will happen, only that it will. Probably during President Obama’s time in office. The mindset of the current Iranian Islamic autocracy is that when they have nuclear weapons, they will use them.

Here again, the president holds views that have no basis in reality. He even has a secretary of state who shares his view of peace through negotiations even when the other side only demands instead of negotiating. It is a one-sided negotiation. Iran doesn’t want ISIS on its doorstep but will not change its focus on the development of nuclear weapons. Iran does not want to be involved in a punishing ground war with ISIS. The Iraqi Shiites will be protected by Iran and become an Iranian puppet pseudo state.

  • The Obama administration could have prevented the ISIS crisis if it had been more interested in the reality of foreign affairs rather than using inaction to create a make-believe, no-fault-of-Obama’a world. Inaction led to pulling all our troops out of Iraq and turning victory into defeat. Inaction led to the civil war in Syria from spreading into Iraq. Either the Obama Administration did not know or ignored indications al-Maliki was destroying the fabric of the Iraqi nation by cutting the Sunnis and the Kurds out of their share of oil revenue and a voice in the running of the national government, creating a fertile environment for ISIS forces.
  • The rate of training 5,000 fighters a year in Saudi Arabia to serve as ground troops is not going to work. It creates the illusion of action but is not going to be effective. NATO countries and Sunni coalition members need to field a force of at least 20,000 combat troops, augmented by as many regional fighters as we can recruit, and declare all of Syria and Iraq as a no-fly zone for military aircraft.  With the right approach the Sunni tribes we can cut them out of the ISIS recruitment pool and set up a Sunni government to rival ISIS. To do that, President Obama has to recognize the Baghdad government is over and to stop negotiating unimportant legalistic details with a government that will soon be fleeing south. He also needs to get over his anti-colonial hangups about the alleged misuse of America military power in foreign lands. It is not unusual to hear liberal Americans refer to our efforts in Iraq in the Bush years as the “occupation of Iraq.” This is the epitome of “hate America” thinking. We all deserve a better legacy than that espoused by progressives.


Written by the author of “Insights: Transforming America — Is This What We Fought For?” available now as an ebook, in paperback or hardcover on Amazon.com or BN.com. Follow the author on Twitter @factsfictions80. If you think this message is important, please share it.



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The thunder over Syria is a victory for President Obama’s diplomacy. Maybe he has more insights into Muslim politics than other foreign policy areas.



No matter what or how, this is one of those rare win-win events.  America gets very welcome cover for air attacks against Muslim targets. Muslim nations flying combat missions with our planes also will give Putin pause before he does something rash to protect President Assad in Syria. Putin may be happy to maintain and defend his naval base in Syria and leave the air war uncontested by Russian threats. Iran also may not be willing to militarily confront a powerful Sunni military and political coalition. I’m sure one of the prices we paid for Saudi, U.A.E., Jordanian, Qatar and Bahrain’s support is our agreement to defend them against external attacks.

In any agreement, it’s always instructive to understand the strategic and tactical goals of your allies. Our allies in the air war against ISIS have clear goals. They do not want a powerful Sunni radical nation on their borders. Many of the  Muslims butchered by ISIS were Sunnis. Some of the ISIS military units were once funded by members of our new Muslim air war allies. King Saud and the U.A.E. have been funding and equipping a proxy war against President Assad’s Syrian Shiite  regime for a few years. They have fighters on the ground. Now they have the freedom to provide air support for their fighters. The same Muslim air sorties can also punish any units that have double-crossed them and joined ISIS. It seems the U.A.E. has command and control to direct the Muslim air war. They have better intelligence on the ground where their fighting units are engaged with Assad then we do. It is still a win-win but getting rid of Assad’s Alawite (Shiite) Regime may rank higher with our Muslim air coalition than defeating ISIS in Iraq.

Bringing Saudi Arabia into the air war against ISIS is a very big deal. President Obama must have upgraded his foreign policy team. Openly talking about bringing Iran into the war against ISIS was a brilliant move. Nothing would make the Saudis move faster than the possibility of an American/Iran alliance in their front yard. We don’t have boots-on-the-ground but the military and diplomatic war against ISIS has moved several squares forward.

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Our president talks the talk better than any modern-age politician. But that is it. Walk the walk never follows.

He seems to believe words do not need to be followed up by actions. By some magic, the teleprompter follows up with more words that are delivered passionately with a choir of adoring acolytes standing behind him taking in every word. These people also believe President Obama’s words are complete in themselves. No action is required. Putin, the Ayatollahs, Syrian President Asad, ISIS, China, Iraqi Prime Ministers, all will fall in line once the King has spoken.

Maybe it worked that way a long time ago in make-believe land, but not in this cruel, hard, beautiful world we live in. It is incredible a two-term president who has a Harvard law degree can stand on his podium with a straight face and watch the words flow off the teleprompter believing he has handled whatever the crisis was. Does he believe he has a magic teleprompter that  converts words into actions?

When questioned about where is the presidential action, his puppets speak with one voice, with great patience, and in a condescending manner refer the rude questioner back to what the president said. It is wonderful to watch the expression on the questioner’s face — “Did I hear what I thought I heard?” — and so on until the next magical speech like the one he gave recently to the American Legion. Here, he promised a number of executive orders to improve the life of veterans needing assistance. There is nothing wrong with the executive orders, except, if he can do that with his pen why wait until now. Didn’t he know the Veterans Administration was in deep trouble over the deceitful ways it covered up its failure to help veterans? Don’t worry, the teleprompter will reach out and fix all wrongs. The imperial president has spoken.

The magical teleprompter won’t be able to fix the real problem of the president’s deliberate down-sizing of the Armed Forces. The teleprompter can’t do away with battalions of terrorists, or an increasingly aggressive China, Iran’s nuclear ambitions, or Putin’s plan to re-constitute the Soviet Empire. At times it seems Putin also has a magic teleprompter. Probably built one with the information Snowden stole from NSA.

How can a sane person stand in front of a audience of veterans and cast out promises of a better life for warriors when he is firing them and sending them back to an economy that has no jobs for them when the world grows more dangerous by the day? The teleprompter, in its best voice, implied American soldiers were responsible for the world troubles we are facing today because of their long occupation of other countries. Maybe he never heard of America’s role in two world wars or the Marshall Plan to give the European economy a new start. A world without America would be very different and not for the better. Does leaving some U.S. force level in Iraq look like a bad option now?

President Obama is stuck with his teleprompter in a pro-Muslim, anti-American mindset where the only solution is to destroy American military and economic power so wealth can be shared with the third world nations we have prevented from equal development and prosperity. All words, but very dangerous words because his inaction and failure to maintain a strong military force level equipped with advanced weapons will lead to the destruction of this great Republic.  The only applause will be from radical Islamists.

Written by the author of “Insights: Transforming America — Is This What We Fought For?” available now as an ebook, in paperback or hardcover on Amazon.com or BN.com. Follow the author on Twitter @factsfictions80. If you think this message is important, please share it.

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The first requirement for the development of an effective foreign policy is to differentiate between your beliefs and reality. I don’t believe President Obama can see the real world. He only sees what he wants it to be. That kind of vision is dangerous in the making and implementing of foreign policy.

Iraq is a clear example. General David Petraeus and his surge strategy won the war in Iraq. To be fair, President Obama did not inherit a stable Iraq. He made the situation worse by his haste to pull all troops out of Iraq. The Iraqi government Bush left him could not last without enough American troops on the ground to check Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki’s rush to follow Iran’s guidance and to purge his administration and military of all Sunni and Kurd leaders. The end result was the creation of a Shiite oligarchy, no better that the Sunni dictatorship President Bush defeated.

The Bush regime won the war, but paved the way for a failed Iraqi government when they destroyed the Iraqi army and the Bath party of Saddam Hussein. None of the existing infrastructure every government needs was left. To make matters worse, the Bush administration failed to understand a Shiite/Maliki government would never be a check to the Shiite nation of Iran. Instead the Iranians ended up owning Maliki who preceded to further weaken the Sunnis and the Kurds. For all the American blood and treasure the Bush administration spent in Iraq, little was left for Obama to work with, especially given his primary motive to get out of Iraq as quickly as possible. I doubt President Obama, or either of his inept secretaries of state, ever saw the real geo-political problem a Maliki government would cause. You would think that President Obama, who leans hard in the direction of supporting Sunni Muslims, would have recognized the growth and consequences of Shiite power in Iraq.

You didn’t need timely intelligence, which Obama claims he never received, to see the Sunni Islamic radicals that joined the rebellion against Syrian Shiite President Assad could easily cross the border into Sunni areas of Iraq. The Sunni tribes alienated by Maliki were ready to provide support in the form of manpower, logistics, weapons and money. Borders mean nothing if they are not defended.

The result of the ISIS invasion of Iraq is that tribal and religious areas no longer follow the lines drawn by western diplomats after WWI. All remnants of the Shiite/Maliki government are being forced to fall back into Shiite populated areas, primarily south of Baghdad. A realistic map of Iraq will soon show Sunniland, Kurdistan and Shiiteland. The Sunnis and the Kurds will never go back into a centralized Shiite-run government. That failed experiment is over. Only more American blood and treasure could delay the collapse of Iraq, and for what? Our government needs to stop believing a Iraqi centralized government is possible. It is not.

Our policy should be to support the Kurds with modern weapons and monetary aid until their own fighters get properly equipped and to persuade the outside Sunni world to help bring the ISIS under some restraint. In the meantime, use unfettered air power and required boots-on-the-ground to break the advance of ISIS and stop their atrocities against the Christians and other religious groups ISIS is now slaughtering. Some massive evacuations of endangered refugees may be necessary. All because two administrations failed to see the Middle East as it is. Hawks and doves are equally to blame.

Understand more of how the transforming of America is proceeding and what it means to you: Read “INSIGHTS: Transforming America — Is this what we fought for?”   Available at Amazon in hardcover, paperback, and FREE on some Kindle formats.

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