Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday Afternoon Roundup - The Buck Stops Somewhere Else

With the Ground Zero Mosque approval, it seems timely enough to run this satirical video of the Palestinian Minister of Uncontrollable Rage visiting the Great Muslim City of New York.

Meanwhile America's greatest actual Muslim, after steadily avoiding any association with that giant mess in the gulf you may have heard of, Obama waited until the company he maligned seemed likely to fix it, to roll out his big "Savior of the Gulf" tour. This was cynical posturing from a man who spent so much time passing the buck that he even got called out for it by party loyalists like Chris Matthews and James Carville, who now wanted to get the credit for a solution he had nothing to do with.

But this was also typical behavior from a man surrounded by PR people who had cut their teeth on spinning modern corporate failures. Rule 1 is to avoid being associated with the scandal, Rule 2 is to be associated with the solution.

It's the same reason why Obama avoids the military, whether it's ducking out on Memorial Day or delaying a visit to Afghanistan for as long as possible once in office. Egotists only want the credit, never the blame. And the kind of people who surround Obama think in terms of "branding" not responsibility. But a year of this kind of game has made it a little obvious. The press corps over getting ignored. And even party loyalists can see that Obama doesn't do anything without expecting a PR payday. Forget Harry Truman's The Buck Stops Here, Obama's motto is, The Buck Stops Here, the Blame Stops Somewhere Else.

But Obama's tour was not only ill timed, because the solution was not quite as instantaneous as his crew had been expecting, but because it seemed to be as much about ducking the Sestak accusations, as about plugging the hole. The dubious achievement here was that Clinton had managed to get involved in a political scandal without even being in office. But there's only so far this can go. The primary source for the claim is a Democrat wannabe Senator, who isn't about to bring down the Obama Administration just because they tried to suppress him in the primary. He may be bitter, but mostly he's maneuvering in an environment in which Obama has lost his golden halo, and has to hold off the possibility of an independent bid by Arlen Specter. Like a surprising number of Democratic Senators, he doesn't seem to mind screwing over Obama, but neither is he about to do any real damage there.

But you can spot the return of the words Clinton + Scandal by the media as US News and World Report wonders "What Constitutes a Bribe?" Media Matters trips all over itself with one of its more convoluted headlines to date, "Right-wing media absurdly declare false Sestak "bribe" allegations "Obama's Watergate". Meanwhile the Washington Post helpfully informs us in an editorial that; "Ethics laws do not seem designed for this circumstance." Which is convenient of course. If only Gore were here to remind us that there's no legal controlling authority.

So far the only winners here are Sestak and Issa, both of whom have leveraged this to raise their profile. But the Obama Administration has suffered another embarrassment, and each one serves to undermine its standing, not only with the general public, but with its own supporters. Even the Washington Post is being forced to argue that its whitewash of Sestakgate was complicated by the White House's lack of transparency. This reflects the underlying frustration of an MMS that wants desperately to give Obama favorable coverage, but is being shown a brick wall instead.

But Republicans should be worried. As public frustration continues to grow, it won't just stop with the Democrats. Particularly if the Republicans score recognizable victories in 2010. There are troubling poll shifts in some elections already.

Thomas Del Beccaro at Big Government argues that local races need nationalization, but that too may be a fundamental mistake. Critz didn't beat Burns on national issues, but on local issues. Just as Bill Owens beat Doug Hoffman on local issues.

Senate races can be fought and won on national issues, but congressional fights are local. And trying to fight national battles locally is how NY-23 was lost. Critz won because he connected himself to Murtha's legacy, such as it is, trotted out his widow, and pretended to be fairly conservative on issues that mattered locally. Most voters just want someone to represent their community, and the Democrats have their majority thanks to the fraud of Conservative Democrats who pretend to believe one thing while doing another.

But over in New Jersey, Governor Christie is teaching a master class in how to win locally by applying national conservative principles to local matters. Christie never has to mention Obama or a national deficit. Instead he attacks liberal arrogance and entitlement directly with common sense challenges. It's what Reagan did so well and had McCain done that, we wouldn't have Obama in office right now. And any Republican Presidential candidate who wants to run in 2012 had better master doing it now.

Right now the Republican party does not have its house in order, and the Rand Paul and Haley Barbour messes are not helping. The only winning Democratic strategy has been to focus on Republican scandals, which is a win because they have a tame media in their corner. They played that card effectively enough once before. They'll be happy to do it again to sabotage a Republican congressional takeback.

The Democrats have realized that focusing on tarring Tea Party activists directly is a losing hand, and they're slowly backing off that strategy, which only helped build the Tea Party's populist appeal. And so they're shifting for another go at Republican politicians. Rand Paul's win was a major victory for them, as it allowed them to put an ugly face on a movement by associating it with a politician who had little to actually do with it. Between the Paulestinians and the liberal media, the trap was neatly sewn together for Republicans by these two groups. And with the Maddow interview, plenty of them fell into the trap of defending Rand Paul. Which is the old strategy that Dick Morris formulated under the Clinton Administration.

Winning requires being smart. Because it's very easy to be stupid. It's very easy to get bogged down in internal politics and rivalries, or sabotaged by people who seize the advantage to exploit the political chaos for their own benefit.

Because of the media imbalance, Republicans will need to go forward with a clean house. If they can't do that, things will get very ugly, very fast. And the public will decide that both parties are hopeless, and that it doesn't matter who wins.

Turning to the Ground Zero Mosque, Walid Shoebat has an article in which Imam Feisal admits he wants to bring Sharia law to America.

Is Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf – founder of the hugely controversial Ground Zero Mosque – lying to the American public?

We have uncovered extraordinary contradictions between what he says in English and what he says in Arabic that raise serious questions about his true intentions in the construction of the mosque.


Only two months before, on March 24, 2010, Abdul Rauf is quoted in an article in Arabic for Rights4All entitled (from one of his responses) “I Do Not Believe in Religious Dialogue”.


In the article, the Imam said the following of the “religious dialogue” and “interweaving into the mainstream society” that he so solemnly seems to advocate in the Daily News and elsewhere: “This phrase is inaccurate. Religious dialogue as customarily understood is a set of events with discussions in large hotels that result in nothing. Religions do not dialogue and dialogue is not present in the attitudes of the followers, regardless of being Muslim or Christian. The image of Muslims in the West is complex which needs to be remedied.”

But that’s only the beginning of what we learn from the Rights4All piece. When asked his view regarding an Islamic state, Abdul Rauf responded that “Throughout my discussions with contemporary Muslim theologians, it is clear an Islamic state can be established in more then just a single form or mold. It can be established through a kingdom or a democracy. The important issue is to establish the general fundamentals of Shariah that are required to govern. It is known that there are sets of standards that are accepted by [Muslim] scholars to organize the relationships between government and the governed.”

When questioned about this, Abdul Rauf continued “Current governments are unjust and do not follow Islamic laws.” He added “New laws were permitted after the death of Muhammad, so long of course that these laws do not contradict the Quran or the Deeds of Muhammad…so they create institutions that assure no conflicts with Shariah.”


In yet plainer English, Abdul Rauf’s goal is the imposition of Shariah law – in every country, including the U. S.

He made that even clearer in an interview with Sa’da Abdul Maksoud that appeared on the popular Islamic website Hadiyul-Islam on May 26, 2010 – one day after his article for the New York Daily News.

In the Hadiyul-Islam article, Abdul Rauf reiterates that an Islamic state under Shariah law with no separation of church and state can be established even when the government is a kingdom or a democracy.

...and we are letting it happen.

But never fear the Federal Government is keeping up its war on terrorists. Wait, no not on terrorists, on people who infiltrate and expose terrorist organizations.

The Department of Homeland Security is trying to deport the son of a Hamas founder who told of his conversion to Christianity and decade of spying for Israel in a New York Times best-seller.

Yousef said the DHS informed him Feb. 23, 2009, he was barred from asylum in the U.S. because there were reasonable grounds for believing he was "a danger to the security of the United States" and "engaged in terrorist activity."

An incredulous Yousef said the U.S. government's belief he is a terrorist is based on a complete misinterpretation of passages of his book in which he describes his work as a counterterrorism agent for the Israeli internal intelligence service Shin Bet...

Meanwhile in Peru, convicted terrorist Lori Berenson has been freed and her parents are working hard to get her "deported" to the US. Despite the fact that a Peruvian court convicted her of participating in terrorist activities. While the hard left has tried to turn Lori Berenson into another Rachel Corrie, a suffering martyr, the fact is that Berenson hates America, just as much as she hates Peru.

Her own words are her best indictment
More than a year ago, the world witnessed the inhumane transfer of Taliban prisoners of war to the US military base in Guantanamo, Cuba, and, of course, no one really knows what they may be suffering, as is the case of the many detained in jails across the US after the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. It reminds me of life in Peruvian jails where, for many years, the public could not find out what happened to prisoners in jail, much less what happened in the army or police headquarters during interrogations designed to extract information. Being a political prisoner myself, I have first-hand knowledge of what it is like to be in the hands of a system that not only detests prisoners (especially political prisoners or prisoners of war), but also regards them as being something less than human.

and again...

President Bush insists that we won’t let terrorists destroy our way of life. Remembering the suffering experienced in the aftermath of Katrina and the blatant indifference many politicians demonstrated to the people in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, one should wonder why anyone would want to defend that way of life.

Lori Berenson is a hardened radical. She does not belong in the United States. She belongs in jail. People like her aid terrorists with the aim of bringing down all of society into ruin and rubble, and creating their own perfect dictatorship. And the people who have been taken in by her, who wrote letters on her behalf asking for her release made a terrible mistake. And before you say anything about her parents, her mother wrote a book about Lori Berenson. The foreword to it was written by Noam Chomsky. The afterword by Ramsey Clark.

Whether it's Rachel Corrie or Lori Berenson, the enemy knows quite well that we are vulnerable to the sight of what seems to be innocent young girls suffering. But they are not innocent. They chose to affiliate themselves with evil. With murder and atrocity. They do not deserve any pity whatsoever.

In the UK meanwhile Muslims are continuing their campaign against Jewish rights to our own history and identity

A Muslim campaign group has written to the new Education Secretary Michael Gove to object to state-aided Jewish schools promoting Zionism.

Mohammed Asif, the chief executive of Engage (not to be confused with the antisemitism monitoring group of the same name), said he was "more than a little surprised" to see Zionism included as part of the ethos of several Jewish schools.

Mr Asif cited a number of Jewish schools professing explicit support for Zionism, including Manchester's King David High School, Broughton Jewish Cassel Fox Primary in Salford, and Simon Marks Jewish Primary School in Hackney, north London.

He wrote that he understood the Jewish nature of the schools, but that he would "contest the place of Zionism in the school's governing ethos".

A spokesman for the Department of Education said it had not yet had time to respond to the letter. Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the Board of Deputies, commented: "There is nothing at all remarkable or contentious in a Jewish school stressing the spiritual and historical connection of Jews to the land of Israel, and the centrality of those connections to our faith. It is those who attempt to characterise Zionism as an anathema to Judaism who are trying to score political points."

King David's website, explaining the aims of its Jewish studies programme, states that the school has "a strong Zionist ethos and all students are given the opportunity to visit Israel. A love and appreciation of Israel is woven into the curriculum."

Of course no one is demanding that say Muslim schools stop mentioning their claims to Jerusalem or Mecca.

And a Muslim demand to remove Israel from the values of a Jewish school is a direct attack on Judaism and the Bible, which is after all the story of G-d and the Jewish people as defined by the Land of Israel. There is no way around that.

Square Mile Wife has her own take on my Liberalism's Obesity Obsession piece.

Health and fitness are all about class. In the UK (where a class system is still rigidly in place) people of a certain social strata will refuse to shop at certain grocery chains because in their eyes they are not up to snuff. If you tell people here you work-out, they will immediately ask you what gym you belong to and based on your answer will try to estimate your income level and social position.

The number of responses to Beinart's smear continues to grow. Noah Pollak had the definitive response at Commentary, Ted Bromund has an interesting conclusion as well. (Via Love of the Land)

For Beinart is not really writing about Israel at all. For him, and for the thousands of allies this lonely man possesses, the real issue is that, as Ben points out, Israel was born of a 19th-century nationalist impulse. At the time, that was not illiberal. On the contrary, support for national self-determination, as long as the people in question were capable of founding and sustaining a legitimate, sovereign state, was the essence of liberalism. The only difference was that the Jewish people, instead of being oppressed by one foreign power — as the Poles were by the Russians, or the Greeks by the Turks — were being oppressed by many.

The problem today is not that the peace process has failed or that this reveals the failure of the liberal vision. All that is true enough. The problem is that the liberal vision itself has changed. Not all liberals reject the nation-state, but suspicion of the nation-state as the organizing unit for the world does stem predominantly from the left. In view of the importance that the left attaches to the state as the provider of welfare benefits, this is both ironic and contradictory. But it does not change the fact that one reason liberals (especially those of a European persuasion) have fallen out of love with Israel is that it — along with the United States — was founded on and persists in maintaining a democratic and nationalist vision.

This is why the liberal critics bracket Israel and the U.S. They claim they do so because the U.S. supports Israel. Actually, they do it because they reject the worldview on which both nations are founded, the worldview that has motivated the U.S. to support Israel. For the critics, democracy and nationalism must ultimately be in conflict. Hence the importance of the EU and transnational initiatives like the International Criminal Court. This is a worldview founded in the European reaction to the Second World War. The fact that this war led to the destruction of the European nations and the rise of the Israeli one is another reason for anti-national liberals to look upon it with scorn: to them, Israel appears to be resisting the lessons of history.

There is a good deal of truth to that, but there is one complication. Liberals are enthusiastically in favor of some states. They want a Palestinian state. They supported Saddam's right to massacre his own people. What they oppose are states that represent a particular set of values. Not merely nationalism, but the nationalism of civilized countries.

And another addendum vis a vis a different foreign policy approach for Israel
This foreign policy will succeed if it drives a wedge between liberal, Western democracies and the Arab world by exploiting the biggest point of weakness of that peculiar alliance. Namely, the fact that Arab demand that Jews be expelled from their homes, violates deep seated Western values and legal traditions. Furthermore, this foreign policy will succeed by demanding that the West adhere to its own democratic values by demanding that Arab nations grant to their own people those civil rights routinely granted by Western societies. The objective is to drive a wedge between Arab totalitarianism and Western liberalism.

This new foreign policy will make demands of the Arab world consistent with Western values, by demanding Arab states grant their Arab inhabitants basic civil rights, such as citizenship for Palestinians living inside the Arab world. It will force the West to deal with Gaza not as a “humanitarian crisis” caused by Israel but as a totalitarian state oppressing its own people, allied with Iran. The objective is to drive a wedge between Arab totalitarianism and liberal Western governments.

To close wit , Rahm hears some truth, Noam Shalit still ready to sell out to Hamas in any way to get his son back and Caroline Glick on the importance of reclaiming our language from the left.

Chomsky has repeatedly defended Holocaust deniers while accusing Israel of being the ideological heir of Nazi Germany. When he hasn't been too busy championing the Khmer Rouge and Josef Stalin, and attacking the US as the Great Satan, Chomsky has devoted much time and energy to calling for Israel's eradication and defending Palestinian and Hizbullah terrorists.

IT WAS the government's job to point this out. But instead, faced with the leftist onslaught against its right to control its borders, the government crumpled. Instead of explaining that Chomsky is an enemy of Israel and an abettor and defender of genocide, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's spokesman Mark Regev apologized for the unpleasant reception Chomsky received at the Allenby Bridge. Regev also promised that if Chomsky returns, he will be granted an entry visa.

The government's cowardly handling of the Chomsky incident is testament to the Left's success at intimidating Western leaders to the point where instead of standing up to leftist propaganda and lies, they accept them as truth and even collaborate in disseminating them.


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