Monday, September 8, 2014

Putin, Iran and ISIS - Obama's Trifecta! Obama's Response History Provides No Comfort!

Abbas to ask U.N. to intervene and take over failed Obama effort regarding Palestinian demands?

Once the U.N. takes over more of solving issues facing the world community the worse maters will get not only for the world but for the United States but that is Obama's dream because the U.N. will become a brake on our nation. However, China and Russia will feel no effect.  (See 1 below.)
One man's opinion - we dither, ISIS gets stronger and now that Obama has somewhat woken from his denial the question is will he carry through and be effective?  Time will tell but based on past performance and his psyche I suspect not. Valerie Jarrett is Obama's mommy and he listens to her and look where we are! (See 2 below.)

(While I am typing this, a hummingbird is drinking water from an apparatus outside my office window. Nature is amazing.)
Stratfor's Friedman believes the balance of power strategy we are employing is sound but the tactical strategy we have yet to select, and which Obama might announce today, is the tricky part and leaves the question unresolved. (See 3 below.)

Analysts often do a good job of making cogent comments after the fact but if they were truly as brilliant as one would hope they would also be writing before the fact.

I am, in  no way, smarter than the people whose articles I post but I have been somewhat more accurate in predicting events about which they write.  I am not a student of history but I have lived and observed and I know what I have experienced will resurface. As long as the world is inhabited by people one should have insights into the future.  It is timing that is so hard to predict.

One thing I know,  when anti-Semitism resurfaces it is generally associated with a world in economic stress and instability and generally results in conflict.

We have a very weak, confused and incompetent president being confronted by Putin, Iran and ISIS.  

Putin sees an opportunity,  has the courage of his convictions and  knows Obama is what he is.  Putin does not lead from economic strength but does control energy supplies going to powerful European nations that neutralizes their ability to be effective allies unless an American president is decisive and a strong leader and they have confidence he can help them.  This is certainly not the case because European leaders have no confidence in Obama and are weak themselves. (See 3a and 3b  below.)

As for Iran, they are playing us like a violin, are moving forward in obtaining a nuclear capability and Obama is conflicted because he does not apparently see Iran as the threat that it is and even if he does he is unwilling to take the necessary steps to stop them.

As for ISIS, it is really more a current  threat to Muslim nations in the region but since we still have diminished interests in the region but eventually, ISIS will become a threat to us.  Therefore, Obama is compelled to act but, here again, his history of responding gives no comfort to this observer. 

I fear Obama will indicate more what he is unwilling to do than convince us he is ready to go all out to win a war he cannot even bring himself to declare.  So now, ironically,  Obama is going to ask Congress for money to rebuild what he disassembled because he thought  it made for good politics by catering to voters who hated G.W. and because Obama sold himself as a 'withdrawal' president. (See 3c below.)

We are in deep doo doo because we have a president not up to the challenge, some of which he helped create and because of who he is - a disingenuous politician first and above all..

Americans should learn from their mistake of re-electing this man. That voters elected him in the first place is understandable and forgivable considering all that took place but nevertheless shameful and dangerous.

I always saw Obama as "The Music Man" but having to fall back on McCain gave me no comfort either. (See 3d below.)
Leaving tomorrow for extensive road trip back to sending emos in about three weeks.  
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1)-Abbas to Push for UN as Peace Broker Instead of Kerry, Aide Says

Photographer: Bilal Khaled/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Former Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath... Read More

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbaswill urge the United Nations to take over from the U.S. as the Middle East’s peace broker when he addresses the world body this month, a senior aide said.
Palestinians will try to shame Israel into withdrawing from the West Bank and eastJerusalem, and if it doesn’t agree to a pullout, “we will confront Israel politically all over the universe,” Nabil Shaath, an adviser to Abbas and his former foreign minister, said yesterday in an interview. “We are going to ask the world to treat Israel as it did apartheid South Africa.”
Following up on a failed effort two years ago to get full UN recognition for Palestinian statehood, Shaath said Abbas will ask the Security Council to “intervene and take control” of peace efforts. The Palestinian will be among dozens of world leaders to address the world body this month.
Abbas will seek a UN-endorsed deadline of three years for an Israeli retreat from the West Bankand east Jerusalem to prod Israel toward compromise in negotiations, Shaath said.
“We are telling the U.S., your plan has not worked out,” Shaath, 76, said at his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah. “We insist that the international community looks into another plan.”

Failed Peacemaking

The UN has become a vehicle for the Palestinians’ statehood campaign after more than two decades of peacemaking have failed to yield a final peace accord. The Palestinians seek to establish a homeland in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip, territories Israel captured in 1967. Israel withdrew settlers and soldiers from Gaza in 2005 while maintaining control over traffic in and out of the territory.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hopes Abbas “will play a positive role” at the UN in moving ahead with peace efforts, spokesman Mark Regev said in a phone interview.
The last round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, brokered by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, fell apart in April when Israel missed a deadline to release prisoners. Tensions escalated after Abbas struck an agreement with the militant group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, to form a joint government.
2)  Islamic State Is Getting Stronger, and It's Targeting America

U.S. air strikes in Syria are essential to defeating IS, but we should not cooperate with Iran or its militias.

By Ryan CrockerT

Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Friday that an international coalition is forming to confront the terrorists of the Islamic State. President Obama plans to address the nation Wednesday night, as he said over the weekend, to get "the American people to understand the nature of the threat and how we're going to deal with it." His strategy is expected to involve an emphasis on a U.S.-led coalition and a reliance on airstrikes in a campaign that could take years, not months. Less clear is whether the president will commit to strikes inside Syria and substantially expanded special-forces deployments to Iraq and as soon as possible to Syria. We will not win unless he does.

There is no time left to argue, dither and wonder what should be done about those who are butchering Americans— and anyone else they care to—across a growing portion of the Middle East.
The enemy has no such doubts. They are not going away. They are getting stronger. The war, ladies and gentlemen, is truly on. We're just not a meaningful part of it yet.

A name can say a great deal about the intentions of our enemy today. The group on the march in the Middle East began calling itself the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Then it chose the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the latter term including Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories as well as Syria. Now it's simply the Islamic State, geography unspecified. They already are a state, in that they carry out government functions in occupied territory. You can bet that their aspirations include Saudi Arabia and its holy cities of Mecca and Medina. With their gains in Iraq, nothing but sand separates them from the Saudi border.
It is hard to overstate the threat that this organization poses. I call it al Qaeda Version 6.0. The Islamic State is far better organized, equipped and funded than the original. They are more experienced and more numerous. Several thousand carry Western passports, including American ones. All the terrorists have to do is get on a plane and head west. But perhaps the most important asset they possess is territory. For the first time since 9/11, a determined and capable enemy has the space and security to plan complex, longer-range operations. If we don't think we are on that list, we are deluding ourselves.

So how do we deal with a looming regional and international disaster? First, we must understand that we are facing an army that will have to be confronted militarily. The pace of airstrikes in Iraq needs to be increased dramatically. Our actions thus far are not extensive enough to change the balance.

An Indonesian journalist holds flowers as she sits in front of a banner during a protest against the killing of journalists by the Islamic State (IS) militant group in Jakarta. European Pressphoto Agency

Second, we need to move immediately to strike Islamic State targets in Syria. These terrorists cannot be allowed a haven anywhere. Third, we need to increase special-forces advisers with loyal Iraqi units, with the Kurds and with Iraqi Sunni tribes who have been fighting the Islamic State for months. As we proceed with an air campaign in Syria, we need to look at possibilities for similar deployments with moderate opposition forces there.

Finally, we have to understand that military force is necessary but not sufficient. We will need to continue an intensive, high-level political effort to help the Iraqis form an inclusive government that will bring Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds into a unified front to confront a common enemy. We will have to ensure that they have the weapons to prosecute a successful campaign.

There are several things that we should not do. We should avoid any appearance of cooperation with Iran and the extremist militias they support. Otherwise, we would further alienate Iraq's Sunnis, already disaffected by the sectarian policies of the government of former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. It also would estrange key regional allies such as Saudi Arabia. Similarly, we must also avoid giving the impression that military action in Syria is intended to support the regime of Bashar Assad.

The Islamic State has arguably done more damage to other elements of the Sunni opposition in Syria than to Assad. And there are many Syrians who stand with him not out of loyalty but fear of the alternative: an ascendant Islamic State. Degrading the forces of radical Islam may change the political dynamics among the different factions in a way that may make it possible to begin a political process: Moderate Sunni forces should be strengthened—and with a lessened threat from the Islamic State, those around Assad may be persuaded that it is time for him to go.
Neither in Iraq nor in Syria can stability come through military force alone. But military force may create conditions that enable political deals.

Just as the Islamic State is a threat to the region and the world, it must be met by the region and the world. The decision at the NATO Summit in Wales last week to form a Western coalition against the Islamic State is encouraging. The planned visit of Mr. Kerry and Mr. Hagel to the region is equally important. Our partners there face the most immediate threat from the Islamic State, and they must be in this fight too. Among other reasons, it is crucial to show that this is not a Muslim-Christian confrontation. Instead, show that it is a fight with a truly evil entity against which the forces of moderation and order, both Muslim and Christian, will stand.

But all of this—military action, political engagement, effective coalition-building—will require something that has been in short supply in this growing crisis: American leadership. This country, and the president personally, must step forward and show the world that we can and will move decisively, collectively and immediately.

Mr. Crocker is dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. He is a former ambassador to Iraq and Syria.

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3) The Virtue of Subtlety: A U.S. Strategy Against the Islamic State
By George Friedman

U.S. President Barack Obama said recently that he had no strategy as yet toward the Islamic State but that he would present a plan on Wednesday. It is important for a president to know when he has no strategy. It is not necessarily wise to announce it, as friends will be frightened and enemies delighted. A president must know what it is he does not know, and he should remain calm in pursuit of it, but there is no obligation to be honest about it.
This is particularly true because, in a certain sense, Obama has a strategy, though it is not necessarily one he likes. Strategy is something that emerges from reality, while tactics might be chosen. Given the situation, the United States has an unavoidable strategy. There are options and uncertainties for employing it. Let us consider some of the things that Obama does know.

The Formation of National Strategy

There are serious crises on the northern and southern edges of the Black Sea Basin. There is no crisis in the Black Sea itself, but it is surrounded by crises. The United States has been concerned about the status of Russia ever since U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt negotiated the end of the Russo-Japanese war in 1905. The United States has been concerned about the Middle East since U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower forced the British to retreat from Suez in 1956. As a result, the United States inherited -- or seized -- the British position.

A national strategy emerges over the decades and centuries. It becomes a set of national interests into which a great deal has been invested, upon which a great deal depends and upon which many are counting. Presidents inherit national strategies, and they can modify them to some extent. But the idea that a president has the power to craft a new national strategy both overstates his power and understates the power of realities crafted by all those who came before him. We are all trapped in circumstances into which we were born and choices that were made for us. The United States has an inherent interest in Ukraine and in Syria-Iraq. Whether we should have that interest is an interesting philosophical question for a late-night discussion, followed by a sunrise when we return to reality. These places reflexively matter to the United States.

The American strategy is fixed: Allow powers in the region to compete and balance against each other. When that fails, intervene with as little force and risk as possible. For example, the conflict between Iran and Iraq canceled out two rising powers until the war ended. Then Iraq invaded Kuwait and threatened to overturn the balance of power in the region. The result was Desert Storm.

This strategy provides a model. In the Syria-Iraq region, the initial strategy is to allow the regional powers to balance each other, while providing as little support as possible to maintain the balance of power. It is crucial to understand the balance of power in detail, and to understand what might undermine it, so that any force can be applied effectively. This is the tactical part, and it is the tactical part that can go wrong. The strategy has a logic of its own. Understanding what that strategy demands is the hard part. Some nations have lost their sovereignty by not understanding what strategy demands. France in 1940 comes to mind. For the United States, there is no threat to sovereignty, but that makes the process harder: Great powers can tend to be casual because the situation is not existential. This increases the cost of doing what is necessary.

The ground where we are talking about applying this model is Syria and Iraq. Both of these central governments have lost control of the country as a whole, but each remains a force. Both countries are divided by religion, and the religions are divided internally as well. In a sense the nations have ceased to exist, and the fragments they consisted of are now smaller but more complex entities.

The issue is whether the United States can live with this situation or whether it must reshape it. The immediate question is whether the United States has the power to reshape it and to what extent. The American interest turns on its ability to balance local forces. If that exists, the question is whether there is any other shape that can be achieved through American power that would be superior. From my point of view, there are many different shapes that can be imagined, but few that can be achieved. The American experience in Iraq highlighted the problems with counterinsurgency or being caught in a local civil war. The idea of major intervention assumes that this time it will be different. This fits one famous definition of insanity.

The Islamic State's Role

There is then the special case of the Islamic State. It is special because its emergence triggered the current crisis. It is special because the brutal murder of two prisoners on video showed a particular cruelty. And it is different because its ideology is similar to that of al Qaeda, which attacked the United States. It has excited particular American passions.

To counter this, I would argue that the uprising by Iraq's Sunni community was inevitable, with its marginalization by Nouri al-Maliki's Shiite regime in Baghdad. That it took this particularly virulent form is because the more conservative elements of the Sunni community were unable or unwilling to challenge al-Maliki. But the fragmentation of Iraq into Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish regions was well underway before the Islamic State, and jihadism was deeply embedded in the Sunni community a long time ago.

Moreover, although the Islamic State is brutal, its cruelty is not unique in the region. Syrian President Bashar al Assad and others may not have killed Americans or uploaded killings to YouTube, but their history of ghastly acts is comparable. Finally, the Islamic State -- engaged in war with everyone around it -- is much less dangerous to the United States than a small group with time on its hands, planning an attack. In any event, if the Islamic State did not exist, the threat to the United States from jihadist groups in Yemen or Libya or somewhere inside the United States would remain.

Because the Islamic State operates to some extent as a conventional military force, it is vulnerable to U.S. air power. The use of air power against conventional forces that lack anti-aircraft missiles is a useful gambit. It shows that the United States is doing something, while taking little risk, assuming that the Islamic State really does not have anti-aircraft missiles. But it accomplishes little. The Islamic State will disperse its forces, denying conventional aircraft a target. Attempting to defeat the Islamic State by distinguishing its supporters from other Sunni groups and killing them will founder at the first step. The problem of counterinsurgency is identifying the insurgent.

There is no reason not to bomb the Islamic State's forces and leaders. They certainly deserve it. But there should be no illusion that bombing them will force them to capitulate or mend their ways. They are now part of the fabric of the Sunni community, and only the Sunni community can root them out. Identifying Sunnis who are anti-Islamic State and supplying them with weapons is a much better idea. It is the balance-of-power strategy that the United States follows, but this approach doesn't have the dramatic satisfaction of blowing up the enemy. That satisfaction is not trivial, and the United States can certainly blow something up and call it the enemy, but it does not address the strategic problem.

In the first place, is it really a problem for the United States? The American interest is not stability but the existence of a dynamic balance of power in which all players are effectively paralyzed so that no one who would threaten the United States emerges. The Islamic State had real successes at first, but the balance of power with the Kurds and Shia has limited its expansion, and tensions within the Sunni community diverted its attention. Certainly there is the danger of intercontinental terrorism, and U.S. intelligence should be active in identifying and destroying these threats. But the re-occupation of Iraq, or Iraq plus Syria, makes no sense. The United States does not have the force needed to occupy Iraq and Syria at the same time. The demographic imbalance between available forces and the local population makes that impossible.

The danger is that other Islamic State franchises might emerge in other countries. But the United States would not be able to block these threats as well as the other countries in the region. Saudi Arabia must cope with any internal threat it faces not because the United States is indifferent, but because the Saudis are much better at dealing with such threats. In the end, the same can be said for the Iranians.

Most important, it can also be said for the Turks. The Turks are emerging as a regional power. Their economy has grown dramatically in the past decade, their military is the largest in the region, and they are part of the Islamic world. Their government is Islamist but in no way similar to the Islamic State, which concerns Ankara. This is partly because of Ankara's fear that the jihadist group might spread to Turkey, but more so because its impact on Iraqi Kurdistan could affect Turkey's long-term energy plans.

Forming a New Balance in the Region

The United States cannot win the game of small mosaic tiles that is emerging in Syria and Iraq. An American intervention at this microscopic level can only fail. But the principle of balance of power does not mean that balance must be maintained directly. Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia have far more at stake in this than the United States. So long as they believe that the United States will attempt to control the situation, it is perfectly rational for them to back off and watch, or act in the margins, or even hinder the Americans.

The United States must turn this from a balance of power between Syria and Iraq to a balance of power among this trio of regional powers. They have far more at stake and, absent the United States, they have no choice but to involve themselves. They cannot stand by and watch a chaos that could spread to them.

It is impossible to forecast how the game is played out. What is important is that the game begins. The Turks do not trust the Iranians, and neither is comfortable with the Saudis. They will cooperate, compete, manipulate and betray, just as the United States or any country might do in such a circumstance. The point is that there is a tactic that will fail: American re-involvement. There is a tactic that will succeed: the United States making it clear that while it might aid the pacification in some way, the responsibility is on regional powers. The inevitable outcome will be a regional competition that the United States can manage far better than the current chaos.

Obama has sought volunteers from NATO for a coalition to fight the Islamic State. It is not clear why he thinks those NATO countries -- with the exception of Turkey -- will spend their national treasures and lives to contain the Islamic State, or why the Islamic State alone is the issue. The coalition that must form is not a coalition of the symbolic, but a coalition of the urgently involved. That coalition does not have to be recruited. In a real coalition, its members have no choice but to join. And whether they act together or in competition, they will have to act. And not acting will simply increase the risk to them.

U.S. strategy is sound. It is to allow the balance of power to play out, to come in only when it absolutely must -- with overwhelming force, as in Kuwait -- and to avoid intervention where it cannot succeed. The tactical application of strategy is the problem. In this case the tactic is not direct intervention by the United States, save as a satisfying gesture to avenge murdered Americans. But the solution rests in doing as little as possible and forcing regional powers into the fray, then in maintaining the balance of power in this coalition.
Such an American strategy is not an avoidance of responsibility. It is the use of U.S. power to force a regional solution. Sometimes the best use of 
American power is to go to war. Far more often, the best use of U.S. power is to withhold it. The United States cannot evade responsibility in the region. But it is enormously unimaginative to assume that carrying out that responsibility is best achieved by direct intervention. Indirect intervention is frequently more efficient and more effective. 

3a)What Does Vladimir Putin Want?

Not money, power, territory or revenge. The Russian strongman is after bigger game.

By Bret Stephens

Vladimir Putin aims to reconstitute the Russia of the czars. He wants to avenge the historic humiliation, as he sees it, that was the collapse of the Soviet Union. He's got to do what he's got to do to stay in power, probably for life, if necessary by whipping Russians into nationalist frenzy. And he wants to have a lot of fun while doing all of it.

To adapt Mel Brooks : It should be good to be king.
All true. But maybe Mr. Putin is after bigger game. And maybe our failure to think about how Mr. Putin thinks about himself explains our consistent failure to anticipate his moves and check his ambitions. "What a novel my life has been!" said Napoleon on St. Helena. It wasn't an idle remark: Napoleon had been an aspiring writer as a young man. Suppose Mr. Putin is also living his life as a novel. How would he write the next chapter?
Here's a guess: Not by quivering in fear that a fresh round of sanctions is going to spark the third Russian Revolution, or that NATO is going to stop him from another advance into Ukraine or some other tempting neighbor. There's a reason men who are on a roll never take a break: audentes fortuna iuvat. Fortune favors the daring.
Right now, fortune for Mr. Putin comes, first, in the shape of Barack Obama. The Russian was bound to see the American president as the classic self-infatuated liberal, half as clever and twice as weak as he imagines himself to be. As a former KGB agent working in East Germany, Mr. Putin would have had training, and perhaps experience, in reducing these types to human rubble.
Well, yes: Energy prices that remain stubbornly high, despite global supply increases, shoring up Russia's export earnings in an economy that should be in free fall. A European recovery that remains stubbornly elusive, despite ultra-loose monetary policy, causing deep reluctance to increase military spending or impose punitive sanctions on Russia. The return of the politics of illiberalism to Europe, nowhere seen more clearly than in the rise of the Front National in France. (NF leader Marine Le Pen would defeat French President Fran├žois Hollande 54% to 46% if the election were held tomorrow, according to a recent Ifop poll.)Nothing Mr. Obama has done since coming to office can have dissuaded Mr. Putin from that impression. The U.S. president isn't an impediment to Mr. Putin's ambitions. He's an opportunity. When else will Mr. Putin have an American adversary who thinks that foreign policy is a global popularity contest, and that it's OK for Russia to gain ground, territorially speaking, so long as the U.S. retains ground, morally speaking? Could anything be better?
All this is wind in Mr. Putin's sails, and it does no good to say that, in the long run, Russia is in decline and possibly doomed. "In Russia," historian Dietrich Geyer once observed, "expansion was an expression of economic weakness, not exuberant strength." That may be a consolation for future generations, assuming the pattern holds. But it doesn't help present-day Ukrainians, Estonians, Kazakhs or Poles.
In other words, Mr. Putin has the incentive, and probably the desire, to move with haste. He will want to finish his "land bridge" to Crimea by way of the port of Mariupol. He will be tempted by provinces in northern Kazakhstan where there are large Russian populations.
And he will give serious thought to a Baltic incursion, if only to showcase the hollowness of NATO's military guarantees. Friday's kidnapping by Russian forces of an Estonian counterintelligence officer named Eston Kohver, just as NATO was wrapping up its summit in Wales and in the same week that Mr. Obama visited Tallinn, was a carefully premeditated expression of contempt—and intent. With Mr. Putin, humiliating his opponents tends to be the appetizer; the main course is their destruction. Just ask former oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, or former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, or now, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
Which brings us, at last, to the question with which we began: What does Mr. Putin want?
It can't be money, power or territory, all of which he has in effectively unlimited supply. It could be his own political standing, although that's debatable: His political grip was plenty tight before he decided to intervene in Ukraine. It might be his concept of the Russian national interest, although that's also debatable: For Mr. Putin, Russia is as much the vehicle of his self-interest as he is the vehicle of Russia's. So it usually is with strongmen purporting to act for the sake of the nation.
In 1838, a 28-year-old lawyer gave a speech to the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Ill., on the subject of "the perpetuation of our political institutions." There were some men, said Abraham Lincoln, whose ambitions could be satisfied with a "gubernatorial or a presidential chair." But that was not true for everyone. "Think you these places would satisfy an Alexander, a Caesar, or a Napoleon?—Never!" Such men, Lincoln warned, would seek distinction at any cost, and if there was "nothing left to be done in the way of building up, he would boldly set to the task of pulling down."
Mr. Putin is no Bonaparte. But it's beginning to look like he thinks of himself as one. A West that continues to pursue a policy of toothless opposition and de facto accommodation will feed his vanity, his ambitions and his illusions.

3b)Ukraine Abandoned

At his first press briefing after the beheading of American James Foley, President Obama stunned the assembled when he admitted that he had no strategy in Syria for confronting the Islamic State. Yet it was not nearly the most egregious, or consequential, thing he said.

Idiotic, yes. You’re the leader of the free world. Even if you don’t have a strategy – indeed, especially if you don’t – you never admit it publicly.

However, if Obama is indeed building a larger strategy, an air campaign coordinated with allies on the ground, this does take time. George W. Bush wisely took a month to respond to 9/11, preparing an unusual special ops-Northern Alliance battle plan that brought down Taliban rule in a hundred days.

We’ll see whether Obama comes up with an Islamic State strategy. But he already has one for Ukraine: Write it off. Hence the more shocking statement in that Aug. 28 briefing: Obama declaring Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – columns of tanks, armored personnel carriers, artillery and a thousand troops brazenly crossing the border – to be nothing new, just “a continuation of what’s been taking place for months now.”

And just to reaffirm his indifference and inaction, Obama mindlessly repeated his refrain that the Ukraine problem has no military solution. Yes, but does he not understand that diplomatic solutions are largely dictated by the military balance on the ground?

Vladimir Putin’s invasion may be nothing new to Obama. For Ukraine, it changed everything. Russia was on the verge of defeat. Now Ukraine is. That’s why Ukraine is welcoming a cease-fire that amounts to capitulation.

A month ago, Putin’s separatist proxies were besieged and desperate. His invasion to the southeast saved them. It diverted the Ukrainian military from Luhansk and Donetsk, allowing the rebels to recover, while Russian armor rolled over Ukrainian forces, jeopardizing their control of the entire southeast. Putin even boasted that he could take Kiev in two weeks.

Why bother? He’s already fracturing and subjugating Ukraine, re-creating Novorossiya (“New Russia”), statehood for which is one of the issues that will be up for, yes, diplomacy.

Which makes incomprehensible Obama’s denial to Ukraine of even defensive weapons – small arms, anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles. Indeed, his stunning passivity in the face of a dictionary-definition invasion has not just confounded the Ukrainians. It has unnerved the East Europeans. Hence Obama’s reassurances on his trip to the NATO summit in Wales.
First up, Estonia. It seems to be Obama’s new red line. I’m sure they sleep well tonight in Tallinn now that Obama has promised to stand with them. (Remember the State Department hashtag #UnitedforUkraine?)

To back up Obama’s words, NATO is touting a promised rapid reaction force of about 4,000 to be dispatched to pre-provisioned bases in the Baltics and Poland within 48 hours of an emergency. (Read: Russian invasion.)

First, we’ve been hearing about European rapid reaction forces for decades. They’ve amounted to nothing.

Second, even if this one comes into being, it is a feeble half-measure. Not only will troops have to be assembled, dispatched, transported and armed as the fire bell is ringing. The very sending will require some affirmative and immediate decision by NATO. Try getting that done. The alliance is famous for its reluctant, slow and fractured decision-making. (See: Ukraine.) By the time the Rapid Reactors arrive, Russia will have long overrun their yet-to-be-manned bases.

The real news from Wales is what NATO did not do. It did not create the only serious deterrent to Russia: permanent bases in the Baltics and eastern Poland that would act as a tripwire. Tripwires produce automaticity. A Russian leader would know that any invading force would immediately encounter NATO troops, guaranteeing war with the West.

Which is how we kept the peace in Europe through a half-century of Cold War. U.S. troops in West Germany could never have stopped a Russian invasion. But a Russian attack would have instantly brought America into a war – a war Russia could not countenance. 
It’s what keeps the peace in Korea today. Even the reckless North Korean leadership dares not cross the Demilitarized Zone, because it would encounter U.S. troops and trigger war with America.

That’s what deterrence means. And what any rapid reaction force cannot provide. In Wales, it will nonetheless be proclaimed a triumph. In Estonia, in Poland, as today in Ukraine, it will be seen for what it is – a loud declaration of reluctance by an alliance led by a man who is the very embodiment of ambivalence.


A President Whose Assurances Have Come Back to Haunt Him

Obama’s Case for Airstrikes in Syria

President Obama is expected on Wednesday to present his argument for airstrikes against ISIS in Syria, but past statements may hurt his appeal to the public.

WASHINGTON — When President Obama addresses the nation on Wednesday to explain his plan to defeat Islamic extremists in Iraq and Syria, it is a fair bet he will not call them the “JV team.”
Nor does he seem likely to describe Iraq as “sovereign, stable and self-reliant” with a “representative government.” And presumably he will not assert after more than a decade of conflict that “the tide of war is receding.”

As he seeks to rally Americans behind a new military campaign in the Middle East, Mr. Obama finds his own past statements coming back to haunt him. Time and again, he has expressed assessments of the world that in the harsh glare of hindsight look out of kilter with the changed reality he now confronts.

In making his speech, Mr. Obama faces the challenge of reconciling those views with the new mission he is presenting to the American public to recommit the armed forces of the United States to the region he tried to leave. Rather than a junior varsity nuisance, he will try to convince Americans that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria represents a clear threat to national security in a state that is hardly stable. And he will seek to win patience for more war from a public that wishes it really was receding.

To Mr. Obama’s critics, the disparity between the president’s previous statements and today’s reality reflects not simply poorly chosen words but a fundamentally misguided view of the world. Rather than clearly see the persistent dangers as the United States approaches the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, they said, Mr. Obama perpetually imagines a world as he wishes it were.

“I don’t think it is just loose talk, I think it’s actually revealing talk,” said Peter H. Wehner, a former adviser to President George W. Bush now at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. “Sometimes words are mistakes; they’re just poorly put. But sometimes they’re a manifestation of one’s deep belief in the world and that’s what you really get with President Obama.”
White House officials said the president’s opponents distorted what he said to score political points or hold him responsible for evolving events that were not foreseen. They also say Mr. Obama’s past statements are hardly on a scale of Mr. Bush’s unfounded assertions about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, not to mention Mr. Bush’s May 2003 speech in front of a banner that said “Mission Accomplished,” meant to signal an end to the major combat in Iraq.

“There is context or facts that explain what the president meant at the time, or things change over the course of time,” said Dan Pfeiffer, a senior adviser to Mr. Obama. “The people who try to beat us up over these things will continue to do so.”

The comment that has caused Mr. Obama the most grief in recent days was his judgment about groups like ISIS. In an interview last winter with David Remnick of The New Yorker, Mr. Obama sought to make the point that not every terrorist group is a threat like Al Qaeda, requiring extraordinary American action.
“The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms, that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant,” Mr. Obama told Mr. Remnick. He drew a distinction between Al Qaeda and “jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian.”

Asked about that by Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press” last weekend, Mr. Obama denied that he necessarily meant ISIS. “Keep in mind I wasn’t specifically referring to ISIL,” he said, using an alternate acronym for the 

“I’ve said that regionally, there were a whole series of organizations that were focused primarily locally — weren’t focused on homeland, because I think a lot of us, when we think about terrorism, the model is Osama bin Laden and 9/11,” Mr. Obama said. And some groups evolve, he noted. “They’re not a JV team,” he added of ISIS.

But the transcript of the New Yorker interview showed that Mr. Obama made his JV team comment directly after being asked about terrorists in Iraq, Syria and Africa, which would include ISIS. After Mr. Obama’s initial answer, Mr. Remnick pointed out that “that JV team just took over Fallujah,” a city in western Iraq seized by ISIS. Mr. Obama replied that terrorism in many places around the world was not necessarily “a direct threat to us or something that we have to wade into.”

Journalistic organizations like PolitiFact, and The Washington Post’s Fact Checker all rejected the contention that Mr. Obama was not referring to ISIS when he made his comment about JV teams.

Other statements by Mr. Obama look different today as well. When the president pulled American troops out of Iraq near the end of 2011 against the urging of some Republicans, he said the armed forces were “leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq with a representative government.”

Aides defended the conclusion, saying that was the president’s hope and it was up to the Iraqis to make good on that promise, an opportunity they squandered, leading to the emergence of ISIS as a major threat.
Just a few months before that, Mr. Obama told the United Nations that “the tide of war is receding.” Aides said that statement had to be viewed in the context of two wars fought with hundreds of thousands of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last 13 years. Even with new airstrikes in Iraq and potentially in Syria, they noted, just a fraction of those troops were still overseas.

Other statements that have come under fire lately include Mr. Obama’s comment setting a “red line” if the government of President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against his people, which he eventually did. Mr. Obama vowed to retaliate but instead accepted a deal to remove and destroy Mr. Assad’s chemical weapons.

Just a month ago, Mr. Obama told Thomas L. Friedman, an op-ed columnist for The New York Times, that it had “always been a fantasy” to think that arming moderate rebels in Syria a few years ago would have made a difference in Syria. But now his emerging strategy for combating ISIS in Syria involves bolstering those same rebels rather than using American ground troops. Aides said Mr. Obama was referring to the rebels as they were three years ago, arguing that they have developed a lot since then.

Either way, Aaron David Miller, author of the forthcoming “The End of Greatness: Why America Can’t Have (and Doesn’t Want) Another Great President,” said Mr. Obama would have a real challenge selling his new approach to the public on Wednesday.

“Presidents rarely persuade through speeches, unless the words are rooted in context that seems real and credible,” Mr. Miller said. “Obama has a problem in this regard because his rhetoric has often gone beyond his capacity to deliver, especially on Syria.”

3d)  Diplomat claims Israel provides intelligence on Islamic State

Israeli satellite imagery passed on to US, Arab powers; Lapid: Israel should 'build a coalition of sanity' to help defeat terror in Middle East.

Israel has provided satellite imagery and other intelligence in support of the US-led aerial campaign against Islamic State in Iraq, a Western diplomat said on Monday.
Once "scrubbed" of evidence of its Israeli origin, the information has often been shared by Washington with Arab and Turkish allies, the diplomat said.

Israel's Defense Ministry neither confirmed nor denied involvement in any international efforts against the militant group.
"We don't comment on any assistance by us, or if there is such assistance, in the fight against ISIS," said Yaacov Havakook, spokesman for ministry, using one of Islamic State's former names.
The spread of Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, the insurgent group's foreign volunteer contingent and the execution of two US journalists have jolted Western powers into military intervention.
Israel, worried that Islamic State could eventually reach its borders and keen to repair international ties frayed by its policies towards the Palestinians, has offered to help.

Satellites and databases

The Western diplomat said Israeli spy satellites, overflying Iraq at angles and frequencies unavailable from US satellites, had provided images that allowed the Pentagon to "fill out its information and get a better battle damage assessments" after strikes on Islamic State targets.
Israel had also shared information gleaned from international travel databases about Western citizens suspected of joining the insurgents, who could be potential recruits for future attacks in their native countries.
 "The Israelis are very good with passenger data and with analyzing social media in Arabic to get a better idea of who these people are," the diplomat said on condition of anonymity.
Underscoring Israel's backstage role, it is not among countries being visited by US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel this week as he builds the anti-Islamic State coalition.
But the Israeli-supplied intelligence would reach the US partner "with the Hebrew and other markings scrubbed out" to avoid raising hackles among Arabs, Turks and perhaps even the Iranian forces who also view Islamic State as a foe, the diplomat said.
Lapid, a member
Finance Minister Yair of 
Prime Minister's  Benjamin Netanyahu's security cabinet, told a conference hosted by the IDC Herzliya college near Tel Aviv that Israel should "build a coalition of sanity" in which Israeli intelligence "is part of the regional effort" against Islamic State, Lebanon Hezbollah group and al-Qaeda.

A Great Christian Dies - Truett Cathy, RIP!! P.T Barnum Was Not My Father But Might As Well have Been! Does President "Optics" Really Give A Damn!

Israel anticipates a big war with Hezbollah. Again, should this occur, it will be another attempt by Iran to take the pressure off its nuclear program while, at the same time, trying to send a crushing blow to Israel. (See 1 below.)
A bucket list from a friend and fellow memo reader who believes most everyone, regardless of their political stripe, might support.  (See 2 below.)
What  really seems to be the case, regarding the IRS Scandal, is there is no smidgen of e mails because they were all lost, destroyed or whatever.  (See 3 below.)
A good and decent man, Truett Cathy, founder of Chick fil A, died today.  I went to Ga. Military Academy in College Park (suburb of Atlanta) and, when I could, I would go to The Dwarf House - his initial restaurant.

Chick fil A serves wonderful food, priced appropriately and Cathy was and his son is true to their religious calling.  Their company and franchisee's close on Sunday and the family has given millions to good and worthy causes.

RIP Mr. Cathy. You set a great example of what it means to be a great Christian.

Liberal  Hollywood types poured out for Joan Rivers' burial. Common folk will most probably attend Mr. Cathy's. (See 4 below.)
Based on what I have been reading, Obama's Wednesday speech will make the following points. You can use these for reference:

a) Has he will finally come around to what he told us that terrorists are no longer a  threat since he told us they had been defeated. Has he already begun the wiggle process by defending  his past views and expressions, ie. ISIS was not referred to as a JV Team! (See 5 below.)

b)  He will state we cannot do what needs to be done without other Muslim nations, Sunnis, Shias and Kurds joining our coalition. Can he form such a coalition and why, if you were a ruler of a Muslim nation why would you follow this president based on his history?

c) Destroying ISIS will take a long time. Will take longer if he does not fight to win.

d) He will ask for U.S Taxpayer money from Congress to fight a Muslim Civil War involving the security of Middle East Muslim nations as much as ours.

e) He will reiterate, no American troops will do any fighting as we expand our air attacks. A sign he tells our enemy more about what we will not do than what we will. (See 5a below.)

Because Obama disregarded the red lines he drew regarding Syria, chose not to lead in Libya, was wrong about the Muslim Brotherhood, was totally wrong about withdrawing from Iraq, was also wrong about terrorists having been defeated, ignored what he was told about the ISIS build-up over a year ago and ignored it and has demonstrated contempt for our sole ally in that region, Israel;, now he comes, with his tail between his legs, and expects me to trust and have confidence in what he proposes.

P.T.Barnum was not my father but he might as well have been because I ain't buying much of anything from President "Optics!"


Author:  Times of Israel staff 

Just 10 days after a ceasefire ended a 50-day Israel-Hamas conflict, the Israeli army is “making plans and training” for “a very violent war” against Hezbollah in south Lebanon, an Israeli TV report said Friday night, without specifying when this war might break out.
The report, for which the army gave Israel’s Channel 2 access to several of its positions along the border with Lebanon, featured an IDF brigade commander warning that such a conflict “will be a whole different story” from the Israel-Hamas conflict in which over 2,000 Gazans (half of them gunmen according to Israel) and 72 Israelis were killed. “We will have to use considerable force” to quickly prevail over the Iranian-backed Hezbollah, “to act more decisively, more drastically,” said Colonel Dan Goldfus, commander of the 769th Hiram Infantry Brigade.
The report said Hezbollah has an estimated 100,000 rockets — 10 times as many as were in the Hamas arsenal — and that its 5,000 long-range missiles, located in Beirut and other areas deep inside Lebanon, are capable of carrying large warheads (of up to 1 ton and more), with precision guidance systems, covering all of Israel.
Israel’s Iron Dome rocket defense system would not be able to cope with that kind of challenge, and thus the IDF would have to “maneuver fast” and act forcefully to prevail decisively in the conflict, Goldfus said.
Pictured left: IDF brigade commander Dan Goldfus (screen capture: Channel 2)
Goldfus said it might be necessary to evacuate the civilian residents of the area. “Hezbollah will not conquer the Galilee (in northern Israel),” the officer said, “and I won’t let it hurt our civilians.”
He said that anyone who thought Hezbollah was in difficulties because it has sustained losses fighting with President Bashar Assad in Syria is mistaken. The report noted, indeed, that Hezbollah has now accumulated three years of battlefield experience, and has greater military capabilities and considerable confidence as a consequence.

Pictured left: Channel 2 illustration of potential rocket fire on Israel from southern Lebanon (screen capture: Channel 2)
The report said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2012 that, in a future war against Hezbollah, Israel would have to hit homes in villages across southern Lebanon from which Hezbollah would seek to launch rockets into Israel.
As with Hamas in Gaza, the report said there were concerns that Hezbollah has also been tunneling under the Israeli border ahead of planned attacks. A deputy local council chief, Yossi Adoni of the Ma’aleh Yosef Council, said dozens of border-area residents have reported the sounds of tunneling under their homes since 2006 — when Israel and Hezbollah fought a bitter conflict known as the Second Lebanon War. “We are absolutely certain there are cross-border tunnels,” Adoni said.

Pictured left: Hezbollah fighters attending a rally in Beirut, November, 2011.
(photo credit: AP/Bilal Hussein)
“There could be,” noted Goldfus, describing the tunnel threat as “one more concern… If in Gaza there were tunnels, it stands to reason that it’s possible here too.” Israel’s launched a ground offensive in Gaza in mid-July to destroy some 30 Hamas tunnels dug under the border; 11 IDF soldiers were killed during the Israel-Hamas war by gunmen emerging from the tunnels inside Israel.

I think most Americans - Republican - Democrat - Libertarian will agree with at least 75% of this list.

Bucket List

MY BUCKET LIST FOR 2014,15,16...
 We are getting old and our tickers aren't what they used to here is Our Special Bucket List for 2014,15,16....
 1. Obama: Gone! And NO Clinton in his place ! ! !

2. Put "GOD" back in America !!! 

3. Borders: Closed! 

4. Congress: On the same retirement & healthcare plans as everybody else . 

5. Congress: Obey its own laws NOW! 

6. Language: English only! 

7. Culture: Constitution, and the Bill of Rights! 

8. Drug Free: Mandatory Drug Screening before & during Welfare!

9. NO freebies to Non-Citizens! 

10. Balance the budget. 

11. Stop giving away our money to foreign countries! Charge them for our help! We need it here. 

12. Fix the TAX CODE! 
 And most of all.



This admission dropped late Friday in a classic news dump -- the purpose of which is to bury a damaging story over the course of a weekend.  There was zero chance we'd allow this update to the IRS scandal to slip our minds, however. The preposterous and insulting cover-up continues apace, reports the Associated Press:

The IRS says it has lost emails from five more workers who are part of congressional investigations into the treatment of conservative groups that applied for tax exempt status. The tax agency said in June that it could not locate an untold number of emails to and from Lois Lerner, who headed the IRS division that processes applications for tax-exempt status. The revelation set off a new round of investigations and congressional hearings. On Friday, the IRS said it has also lost emails from five other employees related to the probe, including two agents who worked in a Cincinnati office processing applications for tax-exempt status. The agency blamed computer crashes for the lost emails. In a statement, the IRS said it found no evidence that anyone deliberately destroyed evidence.

More wildly improbable "crashes," which we're blithely assured were not deliberate in nature.  This time, the coincidental malfunctions afflicted a number of agents from the infamous Cincinnati office, which was initially and falsely scapegoated by DC higher-ups as the source of a narrow, local scandal.  (Astonishingly, the president has continued to cling to this thoroughly debunked talking point, blaming "bone-headed" decisions by "local" employees" as recently as this year).  Darrell Issa is right to say that merely trying to keep up with the IRS' ever-changing explanations and excuses is a Herculean task unto itself.  Here's my stab at a Cliffs Notes version of the acrobatics performed over the last four months alone:

 June 2014 - Just over one year after the IRS scandal detonates in Washington, the embattled agency announces that a large cache of emails from to Lois Lerner, the senior DC-based manager at the center of the targeting controversy, had been mysteriously lost.  They attribute this mass deletion to a "hard drive crash."  The lost communications happen to span from 2009, when the abuse began, to 2011 -- and the 'accidental' crash occurred just ten days after the first Congressional inquiry into allegations of improper targeting was launched.  A National Archives official testifies that the IRS violated federal law in failing to report the deleted data as soon as the crash occurred.  After the controversy went public, Lerner inquired whether the IRS' internal instant messaging system was archived anywhere.  She'd previously admonished coworkers to be "cautious" about what they said in emails.

July 2014 - The agency reveals that emails from at least a dozenadditional employees facing targeting-related scrutiny had also been inadvertently and permanently misplaced, again due to "crashes."  At the very least, this signals serial disregard for data retention protocolsimplemented to comply with federal laws.

July 2014 - It emerges that Lerner's hard drive was only "scratched," and that IRS information technology experts at the time recommended seeking outside assistance to cull what they believed to beer computer's retrievable contents.  This advice was ignored, for reasons that remain unclear, and Lerner's hard drive was destroyed.  Separately, agency commissioner John Koskinen testifies that the IRS moved heaven and earth to restore the lost data, but is forced to admit under questioning that they hadn't even checked the six-month 'back up tape' to which he freely admitted they had access at the time.  A flustered Koskinen's only excuse for this failure was that the process would have been "costly and difficult."

August 2014 - An attorney at the Justice Department informswatchdog organization Judicial Watch that Lerner's emails were, in fact, backed up somewhere, but that the recovery process has been deemed "too hard."  This echoes Koskinen's explanation above and reflects a previous nugget of testimony from March, in which the commissioner asserted that all agency emails were "stored in servers."  He later back-pedaled from that claim, just as the Justice Department said that Judicial Watch had misinterpreted its attorney's comment.

August 2014 - The IRS confirms that a Blackberry belonging to Lois Lerner was wiped clean and recycled in June 2012, after investigations into targeting accusations were underway.

September 2014 - Emails from five more relevant IRS employees are declared lost, also due to flabbergastingly ill-timed "computer crashes." This development comes directly on the heels of non-lost targeting emails revealing a previously-indisclosed "secret research project," under the auspices of which IRS officials inappropriately collected donor lists from various conservative groups.

What we're witnessing is a powerful and feared arm of the federal government systematically punishing its ideological opponents over two election cycles, crudely destroying the evidence of its actions after the fact, and having a good laugh as it serves up risible and contradictory public excuses, even as virtually no one believes them.  The IRS lied about the targeting as it occurred, lied about how the abuse was finally disclosed, lied about who was responsible for it, and lied about their efforts to secure and retrieve missing evidence.  The White House changed its story nearly half a dozen times about how and when it was informed of the practice, and the administration transitioned abruptly from pro formaexpressions of outrage to a messaging strategy of smirking mockery and dismissal.  Democrats ridiculed angry conservatives as conspiracy theorists fixated on a "phony scandal," muddying the waters by claiming that liberal groups were similarly targeted.  (They were not).  The president glibly shrugged that there's nothing to see here, declaring that not even "a smidgen of corruption" had infected the IRS.  The active perpetrators of the wrongful targeting campaign and its political beneficiaries seem supremely confident that their ongoing stonewall will hold.  They appear smugly convinced that serious consequences will be evaded -- thanks, at least in part, to a mainstream media whose short attention span is compounded by the realty that they're simply not especially concerned with demanding accountability over an egregious abuse-of-power scandal that endangers their preferred political party.
4) S. Truett Cathy dies at 93; rose from poverty to build Chick-fil-A

ObituariesLifestyle and LeisureDining and DrinkingChick-fil-A, Inc.PovertyS. Truett CathyGay Rights
Billionaire Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy, who rose from poverty by building a privately-held restaurant chain that famously closes every Sunday but drew unwanted attention for the Cathy family's opposition to gay marriage, died Monday at his home in suburban Atlanta. He was 93.
The company announced his death but did not disclose the cause.
Cathy opened his first postwar diner in an Atlanta suburb in 1946 and by 1967 he had founded and opened his first Chick-fil-A Inc. restaurant in Atlanta. Over ensuing decades, the chain's boneless chicken sandwich he is credited with inventing would propel Chick-fil-A expansion to more than 1,800 outlets in 40 states and the District of Columbia. By early 2013, annual sales topped $5 billion as the chain offered up a taste of the South that went beyond chicken to such offerings as sweet tea, biscuits and gravy.

Under the religiously conservative founder, the chain gained prominence for its Bible Belt observance of Sunday — none of its restaurants are open on that day, to allow employees a day of rest. Its executives often said the chain made as much money in six days as its competitors do in seven.
Those religious views helped win Cathy and his family a loyal following from conservative customers, but also invited protests when Cathy's son defended the company's donations to groups campaigning against gay marriage.
Cathy's son, Dan, who is currently chairman and president of the chain, told the Baptist Press in 2012 that the company was "guilty as charged" for backing "the biblical definition of a family." Gay rights groups and others called for boycotts and kiss-ins at Cathy's restaurants. The controversy later subsided.

Cathy's $6 billion fortune as the founder of Chick-fil-A puts him on the yearly Forbes magazine list of the wealthiest Americans in the country.
Samuel Truett Cathy was born March 14, 1921, in Eatonton, Ga., and grew up poor in Atlanta.
"I've experienced poverty and plenty, and there's a lesson to be learned when you're brought up in poverty," he said in 2007. "I had to create some good work habits and attitude."
An opportunity in 1961 led to the development of the restaurant chain's trademark chicken sandwich when a company that cooked boneless, skinless chicken for airline meals wanted to sell him pieces that were too big for the airline customer's needs. Cathy took those pieces and cooked them in a pressure cooker and served them in buttered buns.
The sandwich was sold at independent restaurants for a few years before he opened his first Chick-fil-A restaurant at an Atlanta shopping mall in 1967.
The author of several books, his 2007 book "How Did You Do It, Truett?" outlined his strategy for success that included setting priorities, being courteous, cautiously expanding a business and not being burdened with debt.
"There's really no secret for success," he said then. "I hope it will open eyes for people. They don't have to follow my recipe, but this is what works for me."
Cathy is survived by his wife of 65 years, Jeannette McNeil Cathy; sons Dan T. and Don "Bubba" Cathy; daughter Trudy Cathy White; 19 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.