While the media is still in Obama's corner, lately it doesn't seem like anyone else is. After a free ride, all of a sudden anything Obama touches turn to dust. From ObamaCare, which is now the subject of a long protracted Health Care Protest War, to Israel, where it remains unclear what if any commitments have been made, even down to Obama's plans to address the nation's youth and tell them how to serve him... everything he does begins to implode.
The heavily promoted boycott of Glenn Beck, promoted by the media of course, despite the political thuggishness and conflict of interest involved in promoting a boycott against a rival news network, has now turned around into serious questions about Van Jones. Now Jones is retreating from his own record, and the White House may be retreating from Jones.
The Obama admin had clearly learned nothing from its attack on Limbaugh, which only boosted Limbaugh's ratings. A political attack against a single media figure cannot be sustained for very long, and draws attention and boosts ratings. Had conservatives not attacked Michael Moore as much, it is possible that he would have never become as prominent. Beck is now serving as the flip side of that, and the repeated attacks on him are a political dead end. The left can't seem to understand that the political opposition is a niche that can never have a vacuum except through political suppression and repression. If Glenn Beck or Limbaugh die next week, others will step in to take their place.
Similarly ObamaCare has become a disaster, and the Obama admin escalating the conflict has only produced more controversy. And the one thing sure to kill a major government proposal that will impact most Americans is for it to become controversial. But Obama's radicals only understand escalation. They can't accept real bipartisanship, which has pushed even Grassley to the side.
And Obama's constant speechmaking clearly no longer has the impact it once did. Which leaves Obama with little in his arsenal, except the constant media coverage that too is not producing the results it once did.
Moving on to the roundup,
Andrew McCarthy at the NRO looks at the surge, post-surge and why we go to war in the first place
We can’t change that about them, and it cheapens us when we try. The State Department’s new “democratic” constitutions for Afghanistan and Iraq are a disgrace: establishing Islam as the state religion and elevating sharia as fundamental law. That is not exporting our values; it is appeasing Islamism. It is putting on display our lack of will to fight for our principles, which only emboldens our enemies. Recall, for example, the spectacle of the Christian prosecuted for apostasy a couple of years back by the post-Taliban, U.S.-backed Afghan government. He had to be whisked out of the country because it’s not safe for an ex-Muslim religious convert in the new Afghanistan. It’s not safe for non-Muslims, period. We’re not building a democratic culture.
Further, even if we could clear the hurdle that Islamists don’t want Western democracy, there remains the problem that a Muslim country’s becoming a democracy would not make us safer from Islamist terrorists. It is illogical and counter-historical to suppose otherwise. The 9/11 attacks were extensively planned, over long periods of time, in, among other places, Berlin, Madrid, San Diego, Florida, Oklahoma, and Connecticut. Clearly, thriving democracy in those places provided no security. The doctrine that democracy is preferable because democracies don’t make war on one another applies only if your threat matrix consists of hostile nation-states. A transnational terror network with no territory to defend and no normal economic system lacks the incentives a democracy has to avoid war. And, far from discouraging terrorists, democratic liberties work to their advantage.
We can’t stop Muslim countries from being Islamist. That is their choice. It should be no concern of ours who rules them as long as they do not threaten American interests. When they inevitably do threaten us, or allow their territories to be launch pads for terrorists, we should smash them. But the price of defending our nation cannot be spending years — at a cost of precious lives and hundreds of billions of dollars — in a vain attempt to give people who despise us a way of life they don’t want.
Meanwhile, we must accept that Islamism is our enemy and has targeted our constitutional system for destruction by slow strangulation via sharia. Instead of worrying about democracy in Afghanistan, we need to worry about democracy in America. The surge we need is at home: to roll back Islamism’s infiltration of our schools, our financial system, our law, and our government. In addition to not being universal, the “values of the human spirit” are not immortal. If we don’t defend them in the West, they will die.
I would point out that we can stop it, but that nation building is not the ideal tool for that. If Islamism was an issue only in Afghanistan, the situation might be manageable, but it isn't. And the head of the cobra is not on a mountain in Afghanistan, it's in a palace in Riyadh, it's in government buildings in Karachi and skyscrapers in Dubai. Oil money is the fuel of Islamism.
Oh My Valve has a great article on the White House's Racist Israel Policy
As if Marack Pajama's racism toward the Jewish homeland wasn't enough, his administration of stupid zombie leftist idiot morons is taking the racism to the next level...paternalism. Arutz Sheva quotes a senior US official who went on record with Politico's Ben Smith saying:
"Netanyahu's at a pivotal moment. Depending on what he decides, he could wind up with a very strong relationship with President Obama and potentially become a historical figure in Israel."
In other words, if Bibi is a good little Jew boy, lets the PLO cut out the heart of the land of Israel, and withdraws to borders that Abba Eban referred to as "The Auchwitz Lines," Papa Barry will give him poisoned candy. That would certainly put Bibi in the history books; as one of the greatest betrayers of Israel and the Jewish people. I hardly think that's what he's going for, but that is how he will be recorded if he makes the deal with the devils.
What would be historic would be for Bibi to tell the White House to take their freeze and their Falacstinian state and park 'em where the sun don't shine.
So, just so we're clear, Bibi is supposed to submit to the suicide of Israel so that Papa Poison will be good to him and pat him on the head before he shoves us into the line of fire of Arab rockets from all sides.
The US can cut off the money. The EU can demand sanctions. None of these things have halted brutal regimes like North Korea, Iran, or pre-war Iraq. A democracy like Israel with strengthening ties with economic power houses like India has nothing to fear by doing what it has had to do since it was born: stand on her own two feet. She has done it before. She will do it again.
And indeed Israel can. It just needs to find the courage to try. Sharon demonstrated that Israel could take the offensive and earn less backlash than the usual policy of "negotiate, defensive policies, occasional sorties" that has dominated Israeli politics for nearly two decades.
The Vlad Tepes blog has the story and Barbara's Tchatzkah's has the summary of the collision between Noami Wolf and Phyllis Chesler. The original Chesler article can be found here, as well as Chesler's reply to Naomi Wolf.
Naomi Wolf's original article took the now popular PC approach of treating the veil as part of Muslim culture which we Westerners misunderstand... and besides we oppress women too with cosmetics and fashion line.
Of course a fundamental difference is that women in the west are not forced to wear cosmetics or do anything by some authority. Muslim women are. But the larger issue is the way that Wolf's writing represents a larger trend in revisionism toward women under Muslim dominion.
The West interprets veiling as repression of women and suppression of their sexuality. But when I travelled in Muslim countries and was invited to join a discussion in women-only settings within Muslim homes, I learned that Muslim attitudes toward women's appearance and sexuality are not rooted in repression, but in a strong sense of public versus private, of what is due to God and what is due to one's husband. It is not that Islam suppresses sexuality, but that it embodies a strongly developed sense of its appropriate channelling - toward marriage, the bonds that sustain family life, and the attachment that secures a home.
This is all a nice speech, and Naomi Wolf and her cohorts would be the first to mock it if it was addressed as a defense of say the Promise Keepers or some Christian group. But somehow the same people who mock abstinence education in the US, praise covering up women in order to preserve morality.
But let's look at the semantic difference between "repression" and "channeling". The goal of repression is to "channel" the behavior of the people you repress along specific channels. One could say that banning women from voting also "channels" their energy into family life and home life. In fact that very argument was used to bar women from voting by arguing that women belonged in the private sphere, in the home life, not at the polling booth.
That strong sense of public versus private that Noami Wolf refers to does not simply stop with hair covering, it insists that all of a woman is sexual and therefore private. You can see the final logic of that scenario in Saudi Arabia where women must cover themselves from head to toe, and cannot drive and are expected to mainly stay at home.
The bridal videos that I was shown, with the sensuous dancing that the bride learns as part of what makes her a wonderful wife, and which she proudly displays for her bridegroom, suggested that sensuality was not alien to Muslim women. Rather, pleasure and sexuality, both male and female, should not be displayed promiscuously - and possibly destructively - for all to see.
Did anyone seriously assume that sensuality was alien to the Muslim woman? It is baffling that a feminist like Noami Wolf would somehow think that a system in which women are relegated to the home and given fewer rights would somehow preclude this. In fact a system which makes women wholly dependent on men would insure that women would want to please their husbands. And pleasing their husbands is exactly what Noami Wolf is describing here. It is ironic that Wolf has come full circle to essentially arguing that women who exist only to please their husbands is Muslim feminism.
Nor are Muslim women alone. The Western Christian tradition portrays all sexuality, even married sexuality, as sinful. Islam and Judaism never had that same kind of mind-body split.
That of course is because Islam does not have a "mind" in the first place. Islam is all "body". Muslim sexuality is treated as a treat with which Allah rewards men. So for example Allah rewarded Mohammed by letting him have more wives, or by Mohammed marrying his son's wife because he found her attractive.
Judaism and Christianity have codes of sexual behavior. Islam has codes as well, but it does not view sex as an interaction between two people, but as a matter of male appetite.
Among healthy young men in the West, who grow up on pornography and sexual imagery on every street corner, reduced libido is a growing epidemic, so it is easy to imagine the power that sexuality can carry in a more modest culture.
That is ironic because the most modest Muslim culture is Saudi Arabia where pornography dominates mobile phone use. To cite a BBC article that Noami Wolf is surely not familiar with,
p to 70% of files exchanged between Saudi teenagers' mobile phones contain pornography, according to a study in the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom. The study quoted in Arab News focussed on the phones of teenagers detained by religious police for harassing girls. The same researcher also found that 88% of girls say they have been victims of harassment using Bluetooth technology
So much for the "freedom from the male gaze" that Wolf celebrates. Clearly it doesn't work.
But for a feminist, a quick read of Naomi Wolf's blog demonstrates that she spends the bulk of her energy fighting not for women, Muslim or otherwise, but for male Muslim fanatics. The bulk of her posts are about the evils of Gitmo and the injstice done to the Taliban and assorted Islamist trash gathered up there.
Only one of her top posts is about a woman. Sarah Palin, who she claims is set to create some sort of Christian dictatorship.
There are none so blind as those who will not see.
IsraPundit has article by Ted Belman that asks Jews to choose between Obama and Israel.
I think Phillips rightly pointed out that Jews embraced Obama for his domestic views and not his views on Israel. Effectively they are saying that they like his domestic policies so they go along with him on his Israel policies. Then again many on the left or liberals believe that to force Israel to give in is in her best interests. So Obama has their support too.
Not me. Totally aside from shared values, Obama’s means are not shared by true liberals including Jews. Jews must evaluate what Obama’s plans for Israel are separate from his domestic policies. Then they must choose whether to defend Obama or Israel.
My own view is that most liberal American Jews care very little about Israel, because they have no real sense of Jewish identity. It's like the division between Irish Americans who can talk about the politics in Ireland, and those to whom it's a sentimental beer and harp logo, and Riverdance. Most of Obama's Jewish supporters are "Riverdance" or "Fiddler on the Roof" Jews. The liberal streams they originate from had discarded Jerusalem from their prayer books even before the creation of the State of Israel.
They may have Jewish last names, but aside from that they are essentially indistinguishable from non-Jewish liberals. They are no more likely to take on Obama over Israel, than the Kennedy family would be to take on Obama if he were to get into a diplomatic war of words with Ireland.
Faith Freedom has an op ed from the renowned Daniel Pipes on the Obama admin's approach to counterterrorism
Barack Obama’s assistant for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, John O. Brennan, conveniently outlined the administration’s present and future policy mistakes in a speech on August 6, “A New Approach for Safeguarding Americans.”
To start with, his address to the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, has an unusual tenor. “Sycophantic” is the word that springs to mind, as Brennan ninety times in five thousand words invokes either “President Obama,” “he,” “his,” or “the president.” Disturbingly, Brennan ascribes virtually every thought or policy in his speech to the wisdom of the One. This cringe-inducing lecture reminds one of a North Korean functionary paying homage to the Dear Leader.
Specifics are no better. Most fundamentally, Brennan calls for appeasing terrorists: “Even as we condemn and oppose the illegitimate tactics used by terrorists, we need to acknowledge and address the legitimate needs and grievances of ordinary people those terrorists claim to represent.” Which legitimate needs and grievances, one wonders, does he think Al-Qaeda represents?
Brennan carefully delineates a two-fold threat, one being “Al-Qaida and its allies” and the other “violent extremism.” But the former, self-evidently, is a subset of the latter. This elementary mistake undermines his entire analysis.
The entire thing is worth reading.
Square Mile Wife meanwhile is organizing a counter to Code Pink, which in the Obama era, has decided to focus on bashing Israel, specifically the AHAVA (Love) cosmetics company.
She's also organizing an Ahava Shop a Thon in London, so be sure to check it out.
The Infidel Bloggers Alliance reminds us that September 17th is Constitution Day
Lemon Lime Moon helps Diane Watson turn Obama into a President who really does look just like her
Solstice has the latest from the National Terror Alert Response Center
The Dame Truth looks at the coming of Propaganda 2.0
The stakes get bigger as the scene darkens and We The People turn on the lights in our ever growing commitment to expose the darkness the surrounds this government and its Usurper in the White House. Never before has a populace had so much access to knowledge and communication, and never before have they needed it more. Thanks to American ingenuity, resourcefulness and spirit of independence, we shall restore our Republic to its former glory, a nation of laws based on its Constitution and the sweat of our collective brows. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said that sunshine is the best disinfectant, and the time has come to shine it on all those who would presume to undermine it. As we stagger out from under the cover of media induced darkness, we rub our eyes in disbelief as we awaken from the dream that was once our America.
Let us hope that this is indeed what comes to pass.