Obama gave his speech only to discover what being on the other side of the media bias line looks. Suddenly articles ominously mentioned his "controversial" speech, because of course a controversial speech is one that the media disagrees with. Stories before the speech ran touting the soldiers who don't want to serve or deploy.
And Obama's speech was a failure on both sides, providing a temporary limited surge along the lines of the same policy Gorbachev enacted right before the end. Liberals who wanted Afghanistan to be Vietnam right now, and wanted to see US helicopters taking off and US interpreters being slaughtered discovered that they will have to wait another 18 months. Meanwhile anyone who takes the War on Terror seriously realizes that all Obama offers is a face saving gesture for his own political career.
Peter Roff at US News and World Report pointed out that Obama's Speech on Afghanistan Said nothing At All
In a more narrow sense, however, the speech was wanting because it displayed, in a most disquieting way, the idea that, to Obama, it seemed more important for the United States to be able to get out of Afghanistan than it was to win or, for that matter, to achieve a meaningful, measurable objective as the result of sending additional troops into the region...
The whole business, for all of the apparent deliberations that went into crafting a new policy, continues to smack of indecision. "Never before has a speech by President Barack Obama felt as false as his Tuesday address announcing America's new strategy for Afghanistan," he wrote, adding it "left both dreamers and realists feeling distraught."
Indeed. There was nothing in the speech, or in the spin coming from the president's allies within his government and on Capitol Hill, that could not have been announced with significantly less fanfare two, six or even nine months ago, somewhere around the time that the U.S. commanding general in Afghanistan, Stanley McChrystal, originally asked for reinforcements. Instead we were left with a speech that, trying to be all things to all people on all sides of the issue, ended up being nothing of significance at all.
Der Spiegel was equally devastating
One can hardly blame the West Point leadership. The academy commanders did their best to ensure that Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama's speech would be well-received.
Just minutes before the president took the stage inside Eisenhower Hall, the gathered cadets were asked to respond "enthusiastically" to the speech. But it didn't help: The soldiers' reception was cool.
One didn't have to be a cadet on Tuesday to feel a bit of nausea upon hearing Obama's speech. It was the least truthful address that he has ever held. He spoke of responsibility, but almost every sentence smelled of party tactics. He demanded sacrifice, but he was unable to say what it was for exactly.
The speech continued in that vein. It was as though Obama had taken one of his old campaign speeches and merged it with a text from the library of ex-President George W. Bush. Extremists kill in the name of Islam, he said, before adding that it is one of the "world's great religions." He promised that responsibility for the country's security would soon be transferred to the government of President Hamid Karzai -- a government which he said was "corrupt." The Taliban is dangerous and growing stronger. But "America will have to show our strength in the way that we end wars," he added.
It was a dizzying combination of surge and withdrawal, of marching to and fro. The fast pace was reminiscent of plays about the French revolution: Troops enter from the right to loud cannon fire and then they exit to the left. And at the end, the dead are left on stage.
Liberal responses have meanwhile ranged from angry to disappointed to conspiracy mongering hysteria. In particular a piece at CBS News by Tom Engelhardt claimed that the entire speech had been the product of a military coup against Obama. No seriously. The piece is a hysterical full run on rant that could have been authored by a younger Bill Ayers and demonstrates the level of denial permeating some of Obama's liberal media backers.
Apparently though despite this supposed coup, Obama was able to successfully banish an F-22 from the vicinity of his speech, so that the Prince of Chicago's would not be tainted by any military association.
But some things are best summed up by late night jokes
"President Obama ordered 30,000 more troops in Afghanistan to fight the Taliban, but on an 18-month timetable. In a related story, the Taliban announced they are on a 19-month timetable." -Jay Leno
Meanwhile the Climategate fallout continues with a UN Panel set to begin its investigation.
It is interesting so far that the two most serious blows to the left's political hegemony came from two young people with a video camera, and an anonymous hacker.
Obama meanwhile is busy making the case for healthcare by slurring the Roma. He really is a European politician.
And April Ryan or the American Urban Radio Networks has made the news twice.
First when Chris Matthews declared that "Homeland" was a Communist Neo-Con word.
MATTHEWS: It sounds so vaguely, it sounds like Russia. It sounds like- because it`s one of those neo-con words I despise. Defending the United States. You don't have to defend the homeland, the off-land islands, like we're Japan. We have some other space we defend. That's what got us into trouble in the first place... Okay next time. By the way, when we stop term, using terms, start using terms like the motherland and the fatherland, that's when we are getting imperial.
I don't think anyone's surprised that Chris Matthews doesn't like the homeland. Then April Ryan told off Gibbs when he once again felt the needs to compare reporters asking questions he didn't like to little children.
Look for the usual liberal and feminist blogs who would have lost their minds had Rumsfeld talked to a black female reporter this way to remain completely silent.
Meanwhile for those who can make it there will be a protest against Obama and Holder's plan to hold civilian trials for Al Queda terrorists in New York.
***CALL TO ACTION***
# SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5 RALLY IN FOLEY SQUARE:
STOP THE TERROR TRIAL IN NYC!
NEW YORKERS TO ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER:
“WE WILL FIGHT YOU ALL THE WAY!”
What: December 5th rally protesting the NYC based trial of 9/11 conspirators
Where: FOLEY SQUARE, MANHATTAN
When: Saturday, December 5th, 2009 12:00 noon
The 9/11 Never Forget Coalition, a diverse group of 9/11 victims, family members, first responders, active and reserve members of the military, veterans, and concerned Americans, is holding December 5th rally protesting the plan to bring the 9/11 terrorist conspirators to trial in New York City.
Meanwhile at the Jerusalem Post, there's an interesting article from a former Islamic terrorist who worked together with Zawahari defending the Swiss decision to ban the Minaret.
The Swiss people who rejected building minarets may be sending a message that their tolerance did not change the Muslim world and is not reciprocated. For several decades Muslims have been allowed to build mosques in Europe, wear their traditional symbols such as the hijab, and preach Islam to non-Muslims. Despite such high levels of tolerance in the West, non-Muslims are not permitted to practice similar rights in several parts of the Islamic world. Preaching Christianity is criminalized in a number of Muslim countries. Furthermore, non-Muslims are not permitted to have their holy books or to build their religious temples in many Shari'a-controlled areas. This lack of reciprocity of Western tolerance will naturally make many Westerners feel that showing tolerance to Muslims is not effective.
The entire thing is worth reading.
In the aftermath of my article this week on Wafa Sultan, I have noticed someone very aggressively circulating a hit piece targeting her from In Focus, a paper as the largest Muslim newspaper in California. The piece relies mostly on claims from some anonymous Syrian informant who supposedly knew the Sultans.
Let's take a look at what In Focus is.
Asma Ahmad, a Pakistani Canadian citizen who grew up in Saudi Arabia attending American-run schools and formerly edited the national newsletter of the Muslim Students Association, is the paper's managing editor and only full-timer staffer
The Muslim Students Association is a project of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is behind the creation of Hamas and Al Queda. We're talking about hard core Islamist propaganda funded by the Saudis.
And what sort of things does In Focus and Asma Ahmad print...
Asma Ahmad is the managing editor of CAIR-California’s monthly tabloid, In Focus. Under her leadership, in October of 2006, In Focus published an article lauding Hezbollah and its leader Hassan Nasrallah. The piece read, “[I]t was undoubtedly the epic heroism of the resistance fighters that dealt the humiliating defeat to the Anglo-American-backed Zionist forces, but such heroism would not have been possible without the larger-than-life leader to inspire, direct and focus it. Nasrallah’s leadership in war and later has made him into an emblematic figure of long-cherished hope not only to a majority of the Lebanese people but also to the Arab nation as a whole and indeed to the Muslim world.”
This isn't even Islamism. This is open support for terrorism. And that's the source of the hit piece targeting Wafa Sultan.
For more on this topic, please see my previous article today, Rebutting the Smears Against Wafa Sultan
Some in the blogsphere have noticed Charles Johnson of LGF's official statement about breaking with the right. A statement that is redundant since the break seems to have actually come at least a year ago. It's tantamount to David Horowitz suddenly writing an article to state that he is no longer a liberal. File this one under things everyone already knew.
By way of personal disclosure, LGF used to be my home away from on the internet. Long before I began blogging myself, it was the blog I loaded first every day and throughout the day. For a while it epitomized the best of the counter-Jihad blogsphere. That LGF is long gone and I miss it a lot. I haven't mentioned LGF in a while because there is nothing to say about it anymore.
The new LGF is obsessed with waging war on Creationists, anyone who doesn't believe in Global Warming and pretty much everyone to the right of Johnson. The War on Terror has gone by the wayside, folded in between 20 other stories about how Palin will destroy America, mainly I suspect to make the original readers feel less uncomfortable about being at a site that has become virtually indistinguishable from DailyKos except by its color scheme.
But this isn't about the "Right". It's possible to be pro-evolution, gay marriage and global warming-- and write against Islamic terrorism. It's possible to be an atheist who's 100 percent for secularism and blog against Islamic terrorism. Talk of breaking with the right is nonsense. Charles Johnson was always a liberal, but he used to be anti-Jihadist liberal.
Johnson was not the only one who woke up after 9/11, only to go back to sleep again. He just took longer than most to do it. And it is a shame because for a while LGF was a great resource, a roundup and a snapshot of what terrorists were up to around the world, combined with rebuttals for the anti-war movement.
But much as Johnson may protest, this isn't about Beck or Lew Rockwell or Robert Stacy McCain or the BNP. If it really was, then LGF would still be covering the War on Terror as the major focus.
This is because Charles Johnson with the passage of time discovered something worse than 9/11, Creationism. Just as Andrew Sullivan discovered something worse than 9/11, Opposition to Gay Marriage. And claiming anything else is simply dishonest. Johnson may or may not wake up again. Probably not. But the War on Terror goes on regardless of him or any other individual or any infighting in the blogsphere.
By dropping out of the fight, Johnson has not ended it, only made himself irrelevant to the true great struggle of our time. Others will see the struggle and come in his place.
At Love of the Land, a piece by Dr. Aaron Lerner noting the impact of Obama's demanded settlement freeze on Israel.
Israeli property owners, possessing all the necessary permits to build their homes, will now face the costs of having the completion of their homes delayed by ten months.
And the building contractors and others associated with the construction activity that has been frozen will also face various costs through no fault of their own.
Mystical Paths further points to the devastating impact on the same Palestinian Arabs that Obama claims to want to help
Palestinian Authority statistics from 2007 state that 13% of "Palestinian" men in the West Bank work in construction in the settlements and Israel (including Jerusalem and other supposed "occupied" areas).
In the name of peace, the U.S. just forced Israel to place 13% of "Palestinian" men, the main or sole wage earner for their families, on the unemployment line. Oh wait, there is no unemployment line in the West Bank. No unemployment insurance, government benefits, social security, dole, etc.
13% of the "Palestinian" workers of the West Bank were just set up to starve in the name of peace. Given an unemployment rate of 18% in the West Bank "Palestinian" areas, we're going to take that up to 31% for peace.
In AFSI's Mideast Outpost meanwhile Rael Jean Isaac and Ruth King look at the Axis of Anti-Semitism.
In Germany the left has put the Jewish community in a double bind. Historian Suzanne Urban reports that groups on the left embrace Jews as valued allies against neo-Nazi Holocaust denial, even as these same groups defame Israel and her supporters. As German Jewish journalist Henryk Broder observed in a hearing by the Interior Committee of the Bundesrepublik: “The modern anti-Semite condemns ordinary anti-Semitism, but he names himself without hesitation anti-Zionist. He is grateful for having his chance to show his resentments in a politically correct way. The anti-Zionist has the same attitude toward Israel as anti-Semites carry toward Jews.” Making the situation of Jews even more uncomfortable, the left demands that as victims of the Holocaust, they publicly identify with Moslems, their chief tormentors. Writes Urban: “The former victims should be alert and help the actual victims—it is seen as their duty to warn against anti-Islamic attitudes.”
And Yoram Ettinger reports that as usual the Israeli public, outside the voting booth, seems to be more right than their leaders. At Israpundit
A Jew with a View asks people to turn out at the Stop Islamization rally on the 13th
Climate Realists has a video discussing whether Al Gore's Oscar should be revoked in the wake of Climategate. Of course if falsehood revokes an Oscar, Michael Moore would have to give his back too. But then again we already know that falsehood and even covering up for mass murder won't revoke even a Pulitzer Price.
Victor the Contractor at Director Blue charges that Obama represents Dictatorship, not Communism.
Lemon Lime Moon describes Obama's speech as his defining moment.
And finally to close off the roundup, IED Dog
Cena, an easygoing two-and-a-half-year-old black Labrador retriever, is the unit's IDD: IED Detection Dog. He's trained to sniff out the homemade bombs — the military calls them improvised explosive devices — that insurgents have planted all over the roads, fields and paths where the Marines patrol on foot.
Patrols sometimes look like one big frolic for Cena, who likes his job. It is, after all, not much different from being walked. He lopes around, sniffing paths and piles of hay and corn shucks, wagging his tail and usually — but not always — obeying the command of his boyish handler, Lance Cpl. Jeffrey De Young, 19, of Holland, Mich.