VICTORIES AND DEFEATS
The whole "Gutsy Call" narrative depends on the calculus of risk. In going after Bin Laden, the SEALs were risking their lives, but what was Obama risking?
An ordinary leader would at least be expected to suffer political fallout from a failure. But does anyone really believe that a media which failed to hold Obama accountable for his defeats in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Islamic disaster in Egypt and Libya, not to mention an economic crater, would have held him accountable if the operation had failed?
Even in the worst case scenario, had the SEALs been captured and paraded on Pakistani television, the blame for the operation would have gone to some military figures, while Obama would have given another speech, conducted more backdoor appeasement and would have been praised for his leadership in a difficult time.
This operation, like everything Obama has done, was strictly no risk. There are no "Gutsy Calls" when you never take responsibility for anything. When the buck never stops with you. To be "gutsy" you have to be playing without a net. And the media is Obama's net.
Had the operation gone wrong, we would never have seen that situation room photo. Obama would have pretended to have had little knowledge of the operation until it was too late to prevent it from going forward. The whole thing might have even been blamed on some eager beavers who went rogue in their eagerness to get Bin Laden. In time, the story might have unraveled, and there would have been tips and conspiracy theories, but you would likely never have have heard about it from the media.
The media bubble creates Obama's reality. The same operation under Bush would have been tagged with names like "unilateral" and "dangerously irresponsible" with a strong suggestion that the president had taken us to the brink of nuclear war because of his bloodlust and to improve his political standing. Under Obama, it's proof that he's a superhuman strongman who singlehandedly took down Bin Laden, doing what no one else would have done in his place.
It's easy enough to compare the narratives. Remember how much media furor there was about a proposed invasion of Iraq? How much skepticism, criticism and sheer coverage the whole thing got? Now compare that to our proposed invasion of Syria. Oh right, we're on track for that, but don't expect the media to tell you about it, or to challenge the "Friends of Syria" name for the coalition, far more risible than "Coalition of the Willing", which despite its ridicule and awkwardness was at least true. (For bonus points imagine, if Bush had dubbed it "Friends of Iraq")
That blast in Kabul was not the first or the last. We're losing the war. We're trying to cut a deal with anyone in the Taliban willing to deal with us. And most of them aren't. But you wouldn't know all that from the splashy media coverage of the "Mission Accomplished" tour.
Targeting individual terrorist leaders is the only thing that this administration has successfully done. But as victories go, it's akin to assassinating Hitler and Rommel while losing Africa and Europe. It's a victory of sorts, but only if you overlook the sheer scope of defeats that occurred as a direct result of administration policy.
We got Bin Laden and lost Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Tunisia and probably Yemen. A few more victories like these and we won't be facing one man's terrorist army, but an entity on the scale of the Soviet Union with the oil resources of OPEC. They call it the Caliphate. Obama calls it Mission Accomplished.
DROWNING MOSCOW IN BLOOD
“You think that we are coming here as foreigners, but we believe that we are at home here and maybe you are the foreigners. We will make those laws that suit us, whether you like it or not, and any attempts to change that will lead to spilled blood. There will be a second dead sea here and we will drown the city in blood.”
Those were not the words of some back alley preacher, but of noted Moscow lawyer, Dagir Khasavov, giving an interview to a television station about his proposal to implement Sharia courts in Russia. Interspersed with footage of death sentences being executed, Khasavov spoke about his new organization that would protect Muslim rights and claimed that his proposal was only the beginning of a worldwide expansion.
“We are going to expand this net, we will begin in Russia, first Asia, and then everything will be encompassed, as it was in the Caliphate,” Khasavov said. According to Khasavov, Russian security services already unofficially refer cases involving Muslims back to Sharia courts and his proposal to officially establish such courts would only legitimize the parallel justice system that already exists for the millions of Muslims who now live in Moscow and other cities.
...Those are the opening paragraphs from my Front Page article, "Sharia in Moscow."
....This is a generally unreported story and the larger tale of the fall of Russia to Islam. There have been a few, including Daniel Pipes, who have discussed it, but it gains far less attention than the stories about Europe falling to Islam. Yet Russia may get there sooner with its dreams of Eurasian empire.
BLIND MEN FROM CHINA
Sorry Mr. Chen, you mistook this for the America you heard about, but you ended up in an outpost of our government which is run by an Indonesian con artist and his cronies. It's a natural mistake, we made it too and we're not even blind men from China.
What is bitterly amusing is that in the run-up to all this, the Obamanoid media was touting his brave new foreign policy aimed at China. Even the generally reliable Walter Russell Mead suggested that Obama's Asia policy was a major game changer and that we had actually pushed China into a corner.
The Chen case reminds us of what a load of nonsense all that is. We haven't done anything to China. Obama may flap his lips, but China has him whipped, just as Russia and the Muslim world do. Stationing a few thousand marines in Australia isn't a game change. It's nothing. It might allow us to intervene in Indonesia's next killing spree, if we were likely to do that sort of thing to one of our wonderfully genocidal Islamic allies and its elegant dog cuisines. It isn't a game changer in the South China Sea, because everyone knows we don't have the guts for it.
The Philippines may run to us, just like Mr. Chen did, but we won't protect them, just like we didn't protect him.
On April 23rd, Obama stopped by the Holocaust Memorial Museum where he mouthed the words, “Never Again” and two days later he issued a memorandum waiving restrictions on funding to the terrorists of the Palestinian Authority, which routinely calls for the murder of Jews, and for its president who has described the Holocaust as a “fantastic lie.”
It took Obama a day to disavow his commitment to a united Jerusalem. It took him a little longer to disavow his commitment to “Never Again.”
At the Holocaust Museum, Obama said, “We must tell our children about how this evil was allowed to happen — because so many people succumbed to their darkest instincts, and because so many others stood silent.”
But Palestinian Authority television had another message for the children. “Our children are our glory and honor, they were created to be fertilizer for the land of Palestine, and for our pure land to be saturated with their blood.”
That's from my article, Obama Funds Terrorists, it's part of a long history of congress trying to rein in funding to Islamic terrorists and presidents overriding it with national security vetoes.
A DEMON VIRGIN NAMED JIHAD
Behind every dedicated Muslim Jihadist on trial for plotting to blow stuff up, is a liberal lawyer working hard to get him off. These are the unsung heroes of the Jihad, brave briefcased infidels trotting up the courthouse steps, and then down again to explain that their client can't get a fair trial because the country is biased against Muslim terrorists.
This time around Robert Gottlieb did his best to convince the jury that would-be subway bomber, Adis Medunjanin, went to Afghanistan to join the Taliban and stand up for Muslims. "They wanted to fulfill some romantic version of Jihad," he said. That was his defense. Just foolish boys in love with a beautiful demon virgin named Jihad.
Prior to this Gottlieb's prominent clients were Cindy Sheehan and Peter Braunstein, the former Village Voice writer who dressed up as a fireman and broke into an apartment to rape a woman with whom he worked. The Sheehan rep was apparently pro-bono. Around that time, the New York Times, which came out of closet as a propaganda rag, described the case as a "a clash between high principles, represented by the Zola-like lead defense lawyer, Robert C. Gottlieb, and the black letter of the law, represented by William Beesch."
Sadly this time Sheenan and Braunstein's Zola lost. Adis, romantic Jihadist and would be subway bomber, will join Peter Braunstein in the clink. And Robert Gottlieb will go back to work doing what he does best.
EUROPE HERE WE COME
American Muslims grew in number over the past decade, outnumbering Jews for the first time in most of the Midwest and part of the South, while most mainline churches lost adherents, according to a census of American religions released on Tuesday.
Some 158 million Americans were classified as “unclaimed” by any religion in the survey.
Among major religions, the census found the number of Catholics, the largest single faith, declined 5 percent to 58.9 million during the decade.
“Catholics had the largest numeric decline,” including big losses in Maine where a priest abuse scandal came to light, Jones said. In the New England region, Catholic funerals are outnumbering baptisms, he added.
Among the other largest U.S. faiths, adherents to the Southern Baptist Convention held steady at 19.9 million over the decade, the United Methodist Church lost 4 percent to 9.9 million adherents, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America lost 18 percent to 4.2 million, and the Episcopal Church lost 15 percent of its adherents to 1.95 million.
But of course it can't happen here. But then that's what Europe said.
In 2008, President Obama said, and I quote, “Israel’s security is sacrosanct. It is nonnegotiable.”
He has never wavered from that conviction.
That's from a speech given by Jack Lew, the Chief of Staff, one of them anyway. Sadly Lew does not understand the meaning of the word "non-negotiable".
It would be understandable if Lew didn't understand the meaning of "sacrosanct", that's a hard word. Go ahead try to say it ten times fast. But "non-negotiable" is kind of obvious. It means something that you do not negotiate over.
If Israel's security was "non-negotiable" then it would not be pressured to negotiate away its security with terrorists. The whole premise of the "Peace Process" is that Israel enters into negotiations to give up territory and security in exchange for the eventual someday over the rainbow promise of peace.
Now even given the most optimistic view of the process possible, the one that everyone in the media and official life is expected to take, it is still negotiable. The very negotiations in which Israel gives up control over security within the territories is proof that its security is non-negotiable.
Lew doesn't get the full blame for this. He's quoting Obama who just says things he doesn't mean or understand, particularly when it comes to Israel. Obama also said that he supports a "United Jerusalem" which he explained really means a "Divided Jerusalem". So when he said that Israel's security is non-negotiable, he clearly meant that it is completely negotiable.
It might be helpful to rewrite Obama's speeches that way so they start making sense. For example his 2008 speech to AIPAC originally sounded like this...
I want you to know that today I'll be speaking from my heart, and as a true friend of Israel. And I know that when I visit with AIPAC, I am among friends. Good friends. Friends who share my strong commitment to make sure that the bond between the United States and Israel is unbreakable today, tomorrow and forever.
But if we run it through the ObamaTranslatatron2000, then it suddenly starts making a frightening amount of sense.
I want you to know that today I'll be lying my ass off as an enemy of Israel. And i know that when I visit AIPAC I am surrounded by my enemies. My worst enemies. Enemies who don't share my commitment to breaking the bond between the United States and Israel, tomorrow and forever.
Just looking at administration policy, which version of the speech seems more plausible?
To understand just how senseless Obama's "Non-negotiable" statement was, let's give it some context.
Let me be clear. Israel's security is sacrosanct. It is nonnegotiable. The Palestinians need a state that is contiguous and cohesive, and that allows them to prosper," Obama said.
Now the "Palestinian state" happens to consist of pieces of territory that Egypt and Jordan captured in 1948. This is not contiguous territory. Not unless you carve a whole other sizable chunk out of Israel to create a state that has no contiguous territory because it was never a contiguous state.
So Israel's security is non-negotiable, but the negotiations over it have to carve Israel in two.
IMMIGRATION SOMETHING SOMETHING! REFORM!
Ann Coulter always seems like she's the only one in on her own joke. Her latest column has the usual snarky headline, "Deport the GOP Establishment", as if she wasn't part and parcel of it, as if she hadn't spent the last months determinedly shoving the establishment's choice down our throats.
But okay this time she's back on conservative terra firma. Reform immigration. Sounds good, right?
On no issue is the elite/American divide so great as on immigration. For decades, a majority of Americans have wanted to decrease immigration. Not just illegal immigration -- all immigration.
Our official policy is to turn away scientists in order to make room for illiterate Pakistani peasants who will drop out of high school to man coffee carts until deciding to plot a terrorist attack against the United States.
There's one paragraph of separation here. Just one.
But apparently Coulter is under the impression that Americans don't want to lose coffee cart jobs, but they're okay with losing college degree jobs. But she's not really under that impression. It's more phony Chamber of Commerce populism.
Coulter isn't one of those bad GOP elites, she wants what the common man wants. More immigrants with college degrees.
But Adis Medunjanin, had a college degree in economics. Muslim terrorists plotting attacks are more likely to have college degrees than to be illiterate Pakistani peasants. Illiterate peasants rarely have the cash and wherewithal to make it to this country.
In a novel thought, Romney proposes that we grant citizenship to people who would make America a better place, repeatedly saying that he would like to "staple a green card" to the diplomas of foreigners who receive Ph.D.s in math or the hard sciences. He may be the first national politician in two generations who thinks we should use legal immigration to get our average up.
That's not a novel thought. It's an old punch line. But let's start that stapling.
Mohammed Atta had a degree in architecture and was working on a master's degree in urban planning. He was part of the "engineering syndicate" of the Muslim Brotherhood. Marwan al-Shehhi was working on a degree in shipbuilding. Ziad Jarrah was studying aerospace engineering in Hamburg.
If we staple enough of those green cards we'll take care of our terrorist pilot quota for a good while.
Behind Coulter's snappy lines is a complete intellectual incoherence. She starts off as an immigration populist, pivots to promoting immigration by educated elites, throws in something about Muslim terrorists and the problem of Third World immigration, goes back to pushing immigration by degree, which does not actually limit Third World immigration, bashes the DREAM Act, when her whole premise is that we need graduates, so long as don't pay for their education.
Those are all different problems looped together with punchlines and boiled into a stew. They all have to be addressed individually. Limiting immigration to people with degrees will not keep out terrorists, it may shift the balance away from the Third World, but I wouldn't entirely bet on that.
Romney's opposition to the DREAM Act isn't quite as iron-clad as Coulter pretends and with Rubio, we've got a Republican version in the works, which Romney hasn't come out against.
THE MOST DANGEROUS MISSION OF THEM ALL
You knock off from a round of golf and make your way -- surrounded by armed guards -- into a building that sits at the center of a concentric series of defensive rings involving armor, artillery, the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines of the United States of America. Did I mention that your house, among many other things known and unknown, has a Norwegian Advanced Surface to Air Missile System installed on the roof?
Going from the golf course to your home, you exist in a bubble of protection formed by some of the finest, most highly trained and heavily armed whoremongers in the history of the world. Your personal automobile is nicknamed "The Beast" and cannot be penetrated by an anti-tank missile. In addition it "is perfectly sealed against biochemical attacks and has its own oxygen supply and firefighting system built into the trunk. Unseen at a glance are two holes hidden inside the lower part of the vehicle's front bumper, which are able to emit tear gas."
Once "at home" -- in what is risibly called "The People's House" -- you take a little stroll surrounded by your guards down to the Situation Room in the basement. There a bunch of people will keep tabs on "your" take-down of Bin Laden through one of the most sophisticated global communications systems in the world. You take your seat in the corner like Little Jack Horner, and sort of hunch over while an admiral of the US Navy turns on a large screen TV and you watch whatever happens to come over the net.
When the TV show put on for you is over you knock off for the rest of the day and go upstairs for some refreshments. Then it's time to make an announcement and to begin to preen around the world. Your acolytes will abase themselves without shame. You will brag without shame.
But I'm sure there was a gutsy call in there somewhere when he had to choose between the "Crisped Halibut with Potato Crust, on a bed of braised baby kale... or the Bison Wellington".
Sadly all this could have been foreseen.
I met FDR inside a deserted airplane hangar. He was smoking a pipe and sitting in his trademark wheelchair. Besides him was Winston Churchill, old, fat and racist. On his left was Joseph Stalin, who had been my godfather.
"Barack," FDR said, "I'll get straight to the point. We want to integrate the army and you're a one man integrated army already. That's why we're sending you to Auschwitz to blow up the oil wells and assassinate Hitler. Or maybe it's Buchenwald or Berlin. Hell who can remember these things."
"Sir," I replied, "despite the fact that I hate and despise this racist country for the crimes of the past, I will volunteer to selflessly and patriotically serve this bigoted white nation. But in the meantime what's in it for me?"
MUSLIM VOTERS FOUND TO BE MOST FORGETFUL
A senior official at Tower Hamlets has rejected allegations of postal vote fraud — claiming Muslim voters simply forgot how they signed registration forms.
Asked about an increase in rejected postal votes from 10 per cent to 14 per cent, Ms Freeman said this was because “voters have forgotten how they signed the registered application in the first place ... this is not unusual in relation to Muslim voters.”
Yes, I don't doubt that it's not unusual. Apparently in the UK they actually still verify votes. That's an outmoded racist custom that we have long since abandoned under Generalissimo Holder.
THE DEMOCRATS AND THE JEWISH VOTE
However, on January 26, 2012, while I was on a visit to the US, historian Dr. Rafael Medoff published an article where he documented how the American Zionist Emergency Council sent the State Department a 13-page memo urging the United States to indict the mufti and how Prof. Netanyahu had taken out ads in major US newspapers, headline, “The Mufti Must Be Brought to Trial!” while featuring a photograph of Husseini meeting with Hitler.
Dr. Medoff confirmed that the Truman administration had indeed ignored the protests and that this “contributed to the Republican landslide in the 1946 midterm congressional elections (including the election of the first Republican senator from New York in 30 years) and the shocking defeat of Truman’s candidate in a congressional election in New York City in early 1948”.
Dr. Medoff concluded that “these developments doubtless had a profound impact on Truman. Fear of losing Jewish votes to the Republicans moved Truman to endorse the idea of a Jewish state in 1946, when he heard Dewey was about to do so; to support the 1947 U.N. partition plan, when his advisers told him failure to do so would cost him “two or three pivotal states” in the 1948 presidential election; and surely influenced his decision in May 1948 to recognize the newborn State of Israel”.
Few Democrats today would be afraid of that. I'm not convinced that Truman really had much to worry about. His general unpopularity could be put down to any number of reasons other than this, Dewey never did pick up any Jewish votes, though Truman lost some. Wallace arguably the most pro-Israel candidate in the race, picked up far more. Eisenhower however did pick up quite a few Jewish votes and had the largest share for a Republican until Reagan-Carter.
The Democratic share of the Jewish vote has never reached the high points of FDR and LBJ again (maybe Jews just like voting for acronyms). Appeals to ethnic solidarity don't work. Goldwater had the worst Jewish vote share of any Republican and Dukakis' Jewish wife and promises to hold a Seder in the White House did not save him from a worse performance than Walter Mondale.
Stridently anti-Israel presidents of both parties have suffered a noticeable falloff of Jewish support. Carter went from 71 percent of the Jewish vote to 45 percent. Bush Sr went from 35 percent to 11 percent. But it can be hard to tell to what extent Jews are following a general trend in abandoning unpopular incumbents.
The source of the article that David Bedein cites above can be found in the New York Sun from the always informative Rafael Medoff.
Meanwhile, the Republicans were taking up the Zionist cause. In 1944, the GOP had adopted the first-ever platform plank endorsing Jewish statehood (which the Democrats then had to match). From 1945 to 1948, the likely contenders for the Republican nomination, Sen. Robert Taft and Gov. Thomas Dewey, repeatedly urged creation of a Jewish state and criticized the Truman administration for waffling on the issue.
Despite the mythology built up afterward, partly by Truman, who may have come around to believing his own press, Truman was not particularly well disposed toward Israel or Jews. George Marshall of the Marshall Plan was a strong opponent of Israel and the British government had agents of influence in Washington, under the British Security Coordination, and was pushing to have the United States jointly police the Mandate.
New York in 1946 did see a startling amount of Republican victories and the first Republican senator from New York in 30 years was the Jewish Senator Jacob Javitz.
WEEPING TEARS OF CARBON
So British Columbia got on the carbon tax train and is now discovering that
1. No one else really wants to be on the carbon train, except California, and that's like joining up with an alcoholic who's drinking up the last of his supply before jumping off a bridge.
2. Carbon taxes hurt your economy.
This leads to a long eulogy in National Geographic (to think that once nature magazines were not aggressively political shills for environmental scams) over the whole thing. The implication is that BC needs higher gasoline taxes to really hurt people and get them to drive magic cars powered by starshine and sunbeams.
The funny thing about the piece is that it has no rebuttal to any of it. Just a vaguely sad tone.
Michael Sweeney, president of the Cement Association of Canada testified last September to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government that the carbon tax will cost his industry more than $20 million (U.S. $20.7 million) by July 1, 2012.
Since the carbon tax was instituted in 2008, he told the committee, imports of cement have risen from 4 percent to 23 percent of market share, slicing into the share produced within the province.
But in deciding the future of its climate change efforts as the 2013 election nears, British Columbia's leaders must walk a tightrope between industry interests and popular sentiment. Polling last year by the Pembina Institute showed that 70 percent of B.C. residents wanted the province to continue showing leadership on climate change without waiting for other jurisdictions to catch up.
You guys know the drill already. FORWARD!
THE CRAZY NATIONAL JEWISH DEMOCRATIC COUNCIL
Every week or so I get another bizarre missive from the National Jewish Democratic Council. Last time they claimed that Eric Cantor had denounced Republican anti-semitism, a complete fabrication that exceeded the fabrication in the source ThinkProgress story. This week isn't quite as nuts but still brings an accusation that Romney accepting Bachmann's endorsement will drive Jews away.
Now Bachmann is strongly pro-Israel and she received quite a few contributions from Jewish supporters. That hasn't stopped one of David Harris' minions from sending out a crazy email like this.
"Michele Bachmann's endorsement of Mitt Romney seems to be yet another effort by Romney to drive American Jews away from him in droves. On so many issues that matter to the vast majority of American Jews -- including choice, protecting vital social safety net programs, and Obamacare.
Romney, is at least officially and currently, pro-life and anti-Obamacare, so Harris' contention that being endorsed by a pro-life anti-Obamacare candidate is a conspiracy to drive Jews away is a little confusing.
Harris, like most Jewish liberals, insists on identifying American Jewish values with liberal policies, without regard to the fact that these policies do not represent communal Jewish interests. But topping the crazy, is the final paragraph of the email which takes issue with Bachmann's credentials on Israel.
Bachmann continually turns Israel into a partisan wedge issue -- at the expense of the long-standing bipartisan consensus that has fueled support for Israel. Indeed, her views have come under severe scrutiny from pro-Israel journalists such as Jeffrey Goldberg.
That would be the consensus that drove Biden to throw a hissy fit during his visit to Jerusalem, that got Obama to sign a waiver sending more money to terrorists and that has Democratic congressmen bashing Israel at every opportunity. We wouldn't anyone to challenge that consensus.
The funniest part here is quoting Jeffrey Goldberg as a pro-Israel journalist. I suppose if you consider Obama pro-Israel, then Goldberg who does occasionally defend Israel, when he isn't attacking it, might qualify.
SPEAK OF THE DEVIL
Speaking of Jeffrey Goldberg, he's busy advocating that Israel unilaterally abandon its claim to Judea and Samaria and half of Jerusalem in order to make a "Grand Gesture".
Good Lord, as if the last 20 years haven't been full of enough "Grand Gestures". Surely one more of them will fix everything.
But Goldberg is casually talking about ethnically cleansing 100,000 Jews. And only 70,000 of them would have to be forcibly expelled. But if someone were to suggest a similar treatment of the Arab population, he would be up in arms. So the good news is that persecuting Jews is still moral.
Sarah Honig, probably the finest English language columnist, when it comes to Israeli topics, with Caroline Glick a close second, describes the opening round of this more succinctly.
On Israel’s first day, Arab League secretary-general Abdul-Rahman Azzam Pasha, articulated Arab priorities. Sending forth seven Arab armies to slay the newborn “Zionist entity,” he declared: “This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades.”
Of course to Goldberg, Honig is one of those crazy people who doesn't understand that we are living in a Tom Friedman world of Realpolitik and Globalization, where everything can be settled with a "Grand Gesture", another partition and another bit of diplomatic theater.
It's worked so well since 1991. Why not finish the job and dig the grave?
If you are plagued with someone who reads Goldberg and takes his insipid nonsense seriously, point them to Sarah Honig, to Caroline Glick to Steven Plaut and the many other columnists who are not just pro-Israel, but are also informed in a way that Goldberg isn't. They actually live in Israel, they understand the country and they can do more than parse diplomatic doggerel from think tanks and retired generals looking for a sinecure.
THE DEFINITE OWS VIDEO OF THE DAY
...is this one.
It's easy to talk about what's wrong with these people, much harder to educate them.
./.. just try living The Life of Barry. I don't see the part where the aliens take him back to his planet.
THE ALGERIA SYNDROME
A French court has sentenced an Algerian-born nuclear physicist to five years in prison for his role in plotting terrorism with al-Qaida's north African affiliate.
...but don't get too relieved
Speaking after the judgment, Hicheur's lawyer Patrick Baudouin called the verdict "scandalous".
Hicheur has yet decide whether to appeal against the verdict. If he does not, with time off for good behaviour, he "should be out rather quickly", added Baudouin.
Well that's good news... for Al-Qaeda.