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Friday, March 08, 2013

Friday Afternoon Roundup - The Senator from Al Qaeda




RAND PAUL/VAN JONES 2016

Here's an easy way to tell when your position isn't a conservative one. When you're standing with Van Jones, your position isn't a conservative one. When you're standing with Code Pink, then your position is not a conservative one.

No amount of noise or chest-beating is going to change that. 

The Republican Party has taken a severe beating in the last year. With so many hopes down the drain, some will take a victory where they can find it, even if it's a younger version of Ron Paul.

There are Conservative sites that are positively giddy about Rand Paul getting positive mentions from John Cusack and Van Jones. Code Pink's endorsement is being treated like some kind of victory.

Are we really getting worked up about getting a pat on the head from the left? Are we all Paultards now or are we all RINOs now?

Or is finding someone to the left of Obama to side with... supposed to be a victory for conservative principles?

"Will the Left finally get the Tea Party now?" Breitbart's site asks. If Andrew Breitbart were alive, he could have answered that question in one four letter word.

The left "gets" the Tea Party. It gets it as a middle class bourgeois defense of its property and rights against the the rule of the left.

That is what the Tea Party is. That is what the Left is.

Even saner heads are calling Rand Paul's filibuster a political victory. The only place that it's a victory is in the echo chambers of a victory-starved party. And to Code Pink and Van Jones who are happy to see the Republican Party adopting their views.

The "brilliant victory" was that some Republicans tried to go further on the left than Obama on National Defense. Maybe next they can try to go further left than him on Immigration, Gay Marriage and Abortion.

And if that doesn't work, Rand Paul and Jon Huntsman can get together on ending the War on Drugs.

Most Americans support using drones to kill Al Qaeda terrorists. Most Americans don't know about the filibuster or care. Most Americans want political and economic reforms, not conspiracy theories.

The Paul filibuster was about drone strikes on American soil, the way that Obama 'only' wants to ban assault rifles. 

This isn't about using drones to kill Americans on American soil. That's a fake claim being used by Rand Paul as a wedge issue to dismantle the War on Terror. Now that he manipulated conservative support for that, he can begin moving forward with his real agenda.

Rand Paul is on record as opposing Guantanamo Bay and supports releasing the terrorists. He's on record opposing drone strikes against Al Qaeda terrorists in Pakistan, saying, "A perpetual drone war in Pakistan makes those people more angry and not less angry."

This position is no different than that of his father. The only difference is that Rand Paul is better at sticking statements like these into the middle of some conservative rhetoric.

It's the same trick that Barack Obama pulls every time he gives a speech.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) blasted fellow GOP Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Thursday, saying the two “think the whole world is a battlefield.”  

Like Ron Paul, Rand shifts the blame to America. It's not Senator McCain who thinks the whole world is a battlefield. It's Al Qaeda.

Here, in the middle of Rand Paul's drone rant is what he really stands for and against.

It's one thing to say yeah, these people are going to probably come and attack us, which to tell you the truth is probably not always true. There are people fighting a civil war in Yemen who probably have no conception of ever coming to America.

The people fighting that "civil war" are tied in with Al Qaeda, including the Al-Awlaki clan, whose scion, Anwar Al-Awlaki helped organize terrorist attacks against America and was linked to 9/11.

 Friedersdorf (Andrew Sullivan's underblogger) goes on to say we do know the U.S. drones are targeting people who have never pledged to carry out attacks in the United States, so we're talking about noncombatants who have never pledged to carry out attacks are being attacked overseas.

Think about it, if that's going to be the standard at home, people who have never really truly been involved with combat against us. Take Pakistan where the CIA kills some people without even knowing their identities. This is more from Friedersdorf.

Think about it. If it were your family member and they have been killed and they were innocent or you believe them to be innocent, it's going to - is it going to make you more or less likely to become involved with attacking the United States?

This isn't about stopping Obama from killing Americans. This is straight-line anti-war garbage.

You know, or how much - if there's an al-Qaida presence there trying to organize and come and attack us. Maybe there is. But maybe there's also people who are just fighting their local government.

How about Mali? I'm not sure in Mali they're probably worried more about trying to get the next day's food than coming over here to attack us.   

And a politician reciting Michael Mooreisms like these is supposed to stand for a "Conservative Victory"?

I think that's a good way of putting it, because when you think about it, obviously they're killing some bad people. This is war. There's been some short-term good. The question is, does the short-term good outweigh the long term cost, not only just in dollars but the long-term cost of whether or not we're encouraging a next generation of terrorists?

Is this the new conservative position now? That killing Al Qaeda terrorists only encourages more terrorism?

Are we all Paultards now?

The other thing about this is, is you need to try to understand who - who are these terrorists? Members of al-Qaida. There are no people walking around with a card that says "al-Qaida" on it. There are bad people and there were bad people associated with the terrorists. We've killed a lot of them who were in Afghanistan training and part of the group that attacked us. But there are terrorists all over the world that are unhappy with their own local governments. Some of them are unhappy with us, too. But to call them al-Qaida is sometimes a stretch, and sometimes open to debate, who is and who isn't. But then they use other words, and words are important. They're either a member of al-Qaida or associated forces. I don't know what that means.

And here is the ultimate point.

This isn't about opposing drone strikes on Americans, it's about using that to salami slice the debate to get to his real agenda which is opposing drone strikes on Al Qaeda.

Ultimately we as a country need to figure out how to end war. We've had the war in Afghanistan for 12 years now. The war basically has authorized a worldwide war. 

This is Rand Paul's position. It's the position of anti-war protesters in 2002. It's Barack Obama's original position before he discovered that war wasn't so easy to end.

If you stand with Rand, this is what you stand with.

Everyone can do what they please, but if you're going to stand with Rand, then let's be clear about his positions and agenda. And be clear about whether you share them or not.

No more dressing this up in "Rand Paul is standing up for the Constitution." That's the same dishonest claim his father made for years. And none of the even more dishonest, "Drone strikes on Americans in cafes" nonsense. 

That's not what this is about.


1. Do you think that the United States is murdering innocent Muslims and inspiring terrorist attacks?

2. Do you think that if we just leave them alone, they'll leave us alone?

3. If you think all those things, then wasn't the left, which has been saying all these things since before September 11, right all along? 

Is Van Jones agreeing with you... or are you agreeing with Van Jones?


One blogger called the filibuster the biggest Republican victory since the midterm elections. Sure. In one case, the Republican won the House of Representatives. In the other a guy who believes that drones are a New World Order conspiracy got to trend on Twitter at night for a few hours.

For years Ron Paul supporters believed that flying a blimp and googling Who Is Ron Paul would lead to the people coming over on September 11 being caused by American foreign policy. It hasn't and it won't. Every Paultard victory was an imaginary triumph that took place in their own bubble. Now the Republican Party is climbing into an even smaller version of that bubble.

And then a few years from now we can celebrate every one of the Paul clan's publicity stunt complete with the No Drones blimp while losing by a landslide to Hillary Clinton.

The lesson that the Republican Party refuses to learn is that you don't win by abandoning conservative values.

You don't win by going liberal on immigration.

You don't win by going liberal on government spending

You don't win by going liberal on social values.

And you don't win by going liberal on national defense.

You either have a conservative agenda or a mixed bag. And Rand Paul is the most mixed bag of all, because the only area that he is conservative on is limited government.

If the new Republican position is open borders, pro-terror and anti-values, then what makes the Republican Party conservative?

Reducing conservatism to cutting the size of government eliminates it and replaces it with libertarianism. It transforms the Republican Party into the party of drugs, abortion, illegal immigration, terrorism... and spending cuts. And the latter is never going to coexist with a society based on the former.

This isn't the popular thing to write. The popular thing to write is to praise Rand Paul for his political theater and to call it courage. And then maybe to timidly dissent in one or two areas, while praising him as the future of the Republican Party.

But if Rand Paul is the future of the Republican Party... then the party has no future.



I don't blog on Sultan Knish to be popular. If I did, I would have embraced Paul Ryan as the savior of the Republican Party, back when that was the thing to do. I would have never criticized Bush until 2007 or so when it became legit. And I would be busy evolving on gay marriage and immigration.

Still I considered not writing this. It would have been easier to throw up some easy observations about Obama. And move on.

But I regret not speaking out in the past as much as I should have done. And while it would be easy to let this go, to let Rand Paul have his anti-war moment and let Marco Rubio have his immigration moment, so they can run in 2016 and show how wonderfully diverse our party is while bringing in the 'kids'... I don't believe that we can win through political expediency that destroys principles.

We tried that in two elections and we lost. Watering down what we stand for until we stand for nothing at all except the distant promise of budget cuts is how we walked into the disaster of 2012.

John McCain in 2008. Mitt Romney in 2012. Rand Paul in 2016. And what will be left?

To be reborn, the Republican Party does not need to go to the left. It doesn't need to stumble briefly to the right on a few issues that it doesn't really believe in. It needs to be of the right. It needs to be comprehensively conservative in the way that our opposition now is comprehensively of the left.

If we can't do that then we will lose. America will be over. It'll be a name that has as much in common with this country, as modern Egypt does with ancient Egypt or as Rome of today does with the Rome of the imperial days.

And we will be able to distract ourselves with the latest political gimmick. The latest piece of theater.




Conservative media voices have been growing incoherent lately, adopting positions that contradict their last positions and the positions that they will take a week from now.

We are suffering from a conservatism without context where each day and each week's position exists in a vacuum and is not guided by bedrock principles.

Too much of that same media has become guided by attacking Obama. Not by attacking Obama from conservative principles, but just by attacking him. And the problem with that is when you define yourself by attacking Obama... you become defined by Obama.

Conservatives are defined by positive principles, by the presence of values, not by negative principles, by pure antipathy. We attack Obama because of what we believe to be true, not because we believe that everything he believes is false.

The slippery slope is that when you become defined by what you attack, then you lose sight of what you do stand for. And then suddenly you find yourself standing on the same side as Van Jones and Code Pink.

Reagan said that conservatism is a three legged stool. Social, fiscal and national defense. Either we have all three. Or we have nothing.




There are Conservative sites that are positively giddy about Rand Paul getting positive mentions from John Cusack and Van Jones. Code Pink's endorsement is being treated like some kind of victory.

"Will the Left finally get the Tea Party now?" Breitbart's site asks. If Andrew Breitbart were alive, he could have answered that question in one four letter word.

The left "gets" the Tea Party. It gets it as a middle class bourgeois defense of its property and rights against the the rule of the left.

That is what the Tea Party is. That is what the Left is.

The left is not concerned about the Constitution. It does not care about civil rights. It cares about taking over. Allying with the far left against the middle left is allying with the people who really want to enslave you to further radicalize the system.

If the Cold War should have taught us anything, alliances like these end with the duped handing a victory to the left.

We can fight the left. We can fight the Islamists. Or we can cheer a man who is pushing the agenda of both.

There's nothing conservative about that.




THE ROUNDUP


Rusty at The Jawa Report has a comprehensive and well thought out piece on the strategy for Obama and Rand Paul. I don't agree with all of it, but it's well worth a read.

 Since the majority of the American people have not actually read the Holder memo on drone strikes, they simply do not know that the Administration never asserted a right to assassinate Americans on US soil.

Rand Paul knows this.

What he's asking the Administration to do is prove that they don't believe something which they never claimed they believe.

I can't believe that even he believes the slippery slope argument that he's making. I'm also not sure the political game he's playing or what he thinks he'll get out of this. He's certainly getting a lot of attention and a lot of support from the Right.

...

Which is why Holder's answer is so puzzling. If the administration wanted to clear the air why didn't they just tell Sen. Ryan, "No, we can't do that"?

Isn't the answer simple? They don't want to clear the air. They want to keep this political maelstrom going. They want to distract the American people from, well, everything!

$16.5 trillion in debt.

The worst recovery in US history -- ever!

Millions of people unemployed or underemployed.

And no end in site of the economic misery. Obama's failures are simply the new normal.

But, look kids, the Republicans are so nutty!

Rand Paul may be scoring some personal political points by trying to drag this thing out for as long as possible. It may help him with several elements in the base.
Sure. Politicians play to their base. It's a careerist game. The real story isn't in what they say, it's in what they do. Don't read their lips. Read their votes.



Lisa Graas, a Kentuckian who has been a big proponent of three legged stool conservatism has her own comments on the Rand Paul circus.

I’m sure many will claim this means I don’t care about civil liberties. To the contrary, what I see is a lot of people making an argument that (whether true or not) is going to have the opposite effect that you desire.

Remember back in olden times when most people who identify as conservative understood human nature and acted as such? Good times. Good times.



A HUG FOR EL DIABLO

Hugo Chavez’s grand Bolivarian Revolution, his answer to Kim Jong Il’s Juche, Ceauşescu’s Systematization and Oceania’s Newspeak has halted in its second phase, as the sovereign territory of El Comandante’s indigenous biological reservations was overrun by a capitalist invasion that Cuba’s Socialist medicine was unable to fend off.

The Bolivarian Revolution have been preempted by a meeting with an important revolutionary leader known only as El Diablo.

Chavez, who has built alliances with Iran’s Ahmadinejad and Cuba’s Castro, is reportedly hoping to sway El Diablo to his point of view, but initial reports, based on all the screaming and burning smells, suggest that the negotiations between the two revered Socialist leaders are not going well.

El Comandante Chavez, Wraps Up Bolivarian Revolution, Meets El Diablo





A SWING

Washington. D.C.  — President Barack Obama, injured during a golfing mishap, died Tuesday afternoon after a struggle with an aneurism complicated by a stroke, the government announced, leaving behind a bitterly divided nation in the grip of a political and economic crisis that grew more acute as he languished for three days, silent and out of sight, as American and Cuban doctors worked day and night to bring the president back to consciousness.

Michelle Obama, the First Lady, told reporters on Martha's Vineyard that it wasn't her fault that her much-beloved husband died so quickly after what sources said was a severe tongue-lashing of her husband after the golfing incident, and denied any responsibility for aggravating what was already a serious medical condition

... no, no. It's just a satirical piece from Edward Cline on Rule of Reason





WHILE THE FILIBUSTER RAGED, THE REAL STORY WAS UNFOLDING

Even as government officials applauded the arrest of Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law and an al-Qaida spokesman, his transport to the United States stirred a debate among lawmakers who appeared caught by surprise by the news.

Abu Ghaith was apprehended, transported to New York and charged with conspiracy to kill Americans, according to court documents unsealed Thursday. Abu Ghaith appeared alongside his father-in-law in a 2001 video in which they took responsibility for the 9/11 attacks and warned of more.

Abu Ghaith’s trial will be one of the first prosecutions of senior al-Qaida leaders in the United States. Upon taking office in 2009, President Barack Obama said more foreign terror suspects should be charged in American federal courts, as part of his goal to close Guantanamo Bay.

Republicans in Congress would like to keep Guantanamo open and have strongly opposed bringing terror suspects on U.S. soil.

“And when we find somebody like this, this close to bin Laden and the senior al-Qaida leadership, the last thing in the world we want to do, in my opinion, is put them in civilian court. This man should be in Guantanamo Bay,” Ayotte said.



THE RED SCREEN

The American movie theater industry is largely in the hands of a small number of companies. Half the movie screens in America are controlled by only four companies, Regal, AMC, Cinemark and Carmike.

AMC is the second largest theater chain in the country and it owns around 22 percent of the movie theater screens in the country. And it has been sold to China’s Dalian Wanda Group.

Aside from the usual economic impact of such a move, Dalian Wanda Group is now in the position of controlling what movies are shown in American theaters.

Communist China’s Hollywood Takeover




BETTER RED AND DEAD

If you wake up each morning wondering which Che t-shirt to put on today and your only non-Che t-shirt says, “I went to see the embalmed corpse of Communism’s Third-Greatest Mass Murderer and All I Got Was This T-Shirt”… boy does Venezuela have a great tourist destination for you.

The good news is that at least Latin America has some pyramids, even if they had a different purpose, so when the next shlock filmmaker wants to reenact Night of the Chavez, they can just bundle up the dead dictator inside one of them and film the story of a bunch of explorers looking for Chavez’s buried 2 billion dollar fortune only to experience the Curse of the Dead Socialist Economic System.

If You Liked Lenin’s Tomb, You’ll Love Chavez’s Tomb





IF ONLY SHE HAD BEEN WEARING HER HIJAB

An Islamic mufti in Copenhagen, Shahid Mehdi, has sparked political outcry from the left-wing Unity List and right-wing Danish People’s Party, after stating in a televised interview that women who do not wear headscarves are “asking for rape.”

“Women are not entitled to respect when they walk around without a Hijab. They are to blame for it when they are attacked,” Imam Shahid Mehdi said.

Now, however, he is accused of pulling his penis out and chasing a 23-year-old woman around in a park in Malmö in August 2012, according to the court in Malmö.

During the interrogation he refused to plead guilty and believes that the accusation is based on racism because he has Pakistani roots.

Muslim Imam Claims Women Who Don’t Wear Hijabs are “Asking to be Raped”, Arrested for Trying to Rape Woman




HOW MANY DOES IT TAKE?

According to a study by the Congressional Research Service, nearly 47,000 illegal aliens flagged for deportation between 2009 and 2011 were instead released by the Obama Administration, and 16% of them went on to commit further crimes, including 19 murders, 3 attempted murders and 142 sex crimes

Since this time only a few thousand are being released, they probably won’t commit more than a dozen rapes.

How Many Women Will Obama’s Freed Illegal Detainees Rape?





HOW ROBERT SPENCER WON AND 'LOST' A CPAC AWARD

I was surprised and honored that Jihad Watch was among the nominees for the People's Choice Blog Award, sponsored by Right Wing News and TheTeaParty.net, to be awarded at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) 2013.

As you can see from the vote above, Jihad Watch won decisively, getting over 50% of the vote in a field of fifteen. And I received confirmation of the victory from one of the organizers of the CPAC blog awards when I asked him when voting officially ended:

But as time went by and no announcement was made of this victory, and the voting continued despite my having been told that it officially ended last Friday night and that I had won, and the promised links and other placement promised to the winning blog didn't materialize, I started to wonder. So I contacted the organizer who had written me telling me I won and asked him what was going on.

The positive outcome of this is that Robert clearly won showing that his work and his importance can't be suppressed.

CPAC can keep Robert Spencer out of a hotel, but they can't shut down what he has to say even now.





KNIFE MEET BACK

Hillary Clinton and Richard Holbrooke, the eternal Secretary of State in waiting, another Clinton man, are the heroes, and the White House and Obama are the villains.

The purpose here is to disengage Hillary Clinton from the upcoming disaster in Afghanistan in preparation for her 2016 run. As in Benghazi, the theme is that it isn’t her fault. It’s Obama’s fault. It’s the fault of the military, the CIA and the White House.

The Clinton Gang were right on every single issue, from opposing the Afghanistan surge to opposing an Afghanistan deadline, to supporting negotiations with the Taliban at the right and not at the wrong time and supporting the takedown of Bin Laden… while Obama’s people were always wrong.

Hillary Clinton Already Shifting Blame to Obama for Afghanistan Disaster





IT'S OBAMA'S WORLD, WE JUST LIVE IN IT

Obama’s Brother Accused of Beating his 12 Wives While Running for Office

The U.S. health care system is ramping up to implement a massive new coding system called ICD-10. It’s a bland name for a system capable of coding thousands of colorful injuries. A full 68,000 to be exact, as opposed to the 13,000 under the current ICD-9.

Take these, straight from ICD-10:

Hurt at the opera: Y92253

Stabbed while crocheting: Y93D1

Walked into a lamppost: W2202XA

Walked into a lamppost, subsequent encounter: W2202XD

Submersion due to falling or jumping from crushed water skis: V9037XA


Reason #41 Health Care is So Expensive: Medical Codes for Being Struck by a Turtle at the Opera

Are Islamists Trying to Drive Christians Out of Benghazi?

 Obama Claims Al Qaeda Defeated, Al Qaeda Claims It Has Scud Missiles

 Is MSNBC Using Chinese Spam Bots to Trend on Twitter?

 Egyptian Protesters Accuse Kerry of Muslim Brotherhood Membership

 Code Pink Stages Massive Anti-Israel Rally Consisting of 4 People, 8 Cardboard Boxes






CRAFTSMANSHIP

This is from the New York Times and from David Brooks, neither of which are recommendations, and while there is nothing new here, it's interesting to see the in-crowd slowly waking up to the new Jewish reality.

Nationwide, only 21 percent of non-Orthodox Jews between the ages of 18 and 29 are married. But an astounding 71 percent of Orthodox Jews are married at that age. And they are having four and five kids per couple. In the New York City area, for example, the Orthodox make up 32 percent of Jews over all. But the Orthodox make up 61 percent of Jewish children. Because the Orthodox are so fertile, in a few years, they will be the dominant group in New York Jewry.

Pomegranate looks like any island of upscale consumerism, but deep down it is based on a countercultural understanding of how life should work.

Those of us in secular America live in a culture that takes the supremacy of individual autonomy as a given. Life is a journey. You choose your own path. You can live in the city or the suburbs, be a Wiccan or a biker.

For the people who shop at Pomegranate, the collective covenant with God is the primary reality and obedience to the laws is the primary obligation. They go shopping like the rest of us, but their shopping is minutely governed by an external moral order.

Meir Soloveichik, my tour guide during this trip through Brooklyn, borrows a musical metaphor from the Catholic theologian George Weigel. At first piano practice seems like drudgery, like self-limitation, but mastering the technique gives you the freedom to play well and create new songs. Life is less a journey than it is mastering a discipline or craft.

For the record, I set foot in the Pomegranate supermarket once. And that was it. I don't much care for Whole Foods or any version of it that make conspicuous consumerism trendy. And the loss of Friedman's on 13th Ave, a genuinely good all-around supermarket, left a real hole in the neighborhood, much like the loss of Kosher Plaza a decade earlier.




COALITION GAMES

I was too disgusted with the EY election and the subsequent coalition games to write anything on the subject. And while I do sympathize with the Haredi situation, let me just say a few things.

1. The Haredi willingness to vote for any horror for other people so long as their yeshivas get paid is at the root of many of Israel's problems. If it wasn't for their corruptibility and for Shas, the entire mess of accords and agreements, the murder of countless Jews and the destruction of thousands of Jewish homes would have never happened.

2. With that in mind, the Haredi high horse in regard to Yeshivas has very little moral backing. When you are willing to destroy other people's houses to get money for your schools, it's open to question whether your Mosdos deserve to survive.

3. Any threats to boycott settlements should be considered very carefully in light of the amount of money that Haredi institutions receive from Modern Orthodox donors in the United States. Yatza schara be'hefsedoh.

4. The other sides are hardly clean, but the Haredi world never seems to perform any communal chesbon hanefesh. Individuals do, but communities never, and that is a major problem because how can you practice, al telech aherei rabim lehatos, if you never question your own rabim?




A RETURN TO CATALONIA

The aristocracy is, of course, our coastal elite, the five or six million high earners who live near the Pacific Ocean from the Bay Area to San Diego. They are more likely to administer both our inherited and natural wealth, symbolized by everything from top universities, Hollywood, and state government to Silicon Valley, Napa Valley, and California finance and natural resources. Their children, if industrious and motivated, are prepped at Stanford and Berkeley, interned at proper law firms and government bureaus, and usually inherit enough of their patrimony and early enough to afford the $1,000 per square foot price that a Newport or Atherton keep costs — along with its flocks of attendant nannies, gardeners, neighborhood security guards, and maintenance people.

The middle is still shrinking. They are mostly the over three million who have left California for no-tax Nevada or Texas, or crime-free Idaho, or sane Wyoming and Utah. High-paying jobs in manufacturing, construction, and energy are disappearing. The aristocracy, whose religion is the green government, believes that to extend the conditions of its own privilege to millions of less well-educated and less correct-thinking others (e.g., build new affordable condos alongside interstate 280, open up the Malibu hills to low-income development, start drilling for oil and gas in the Monterey Shale formation, build some more dams to ensure irrigation water, widen the 99 and 101 to three lanes from northern to southern California) is to destroy the hallowed lord-serf system altogether.

The aristocracy sails in the summer, not powerboats. In winter, it tends to ski, not use snowmobiles. Its SUVs are Volvo and Mercedes, not second-hand Tahoes and Yukons. Ideally, its kids go to UC, Stanford, or USC, not to CSU campuses in Turlock, Fresno, or Bakersfield. The aristocracy believes in noblesse oblige, but it is a funny sort of one: shutting down a quarter-million acres of farmland is good for all of us, especially for a three-inch bait fish, and even for the farmworkers and managers who must lose their jobs for a just cause. Keeping derricks out of the coastal panorama is wonderful for rich and poor — and really, who would want a smelly job anyway out on a nauseous oil platform?

...from the great Victor Davis Hanson's Beautifully Medieval California




SITE NOTE

Anyone on the Blogspot domain has probably noticed a major increase in spam. I have been trying to cope with it as much as possible, but it's becoming time consuming and exhausting because too much garbage is getting through.

I don't have a solution to the problem, but I am going to experiment with putting comment moderation back on for a while and approve comments manually so that the comments section isn't filled with volumes of garbage.

It's not my preferred choice, but some of the latest comment spam contain links to malware and sites that steal passwords, and leaving them up for a day is just not an option. Hopefully Blogger will tackle this problem soon.

Your comments are going to be posted, there is just going to be a delay.

71 comments:

blah blahl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Dan wrote: “Is this the new conservative position now? That killing Al Qaeda terrorists only encourages more terrorism?”

I seldom disagree with you Daniel, but this time I must. The reason is simple. American citizens are afforded protections, such as due process, that non-citizens aren’t. (Similarly, the protections in the Geneva Conventions only apply to uniformed combatants. This is a fact that defenders of Islamic radicals like Van Jones habitually gloss over in their peace-mongering).

So, what Rand Paul and others highlighted for the world is the importance of gaining full-fledged citizenship to our Republic if one desires its constitutional protections, like civic protections against unwarranted searches and officious trespass, whether airborne, ground-borne, remote-controled, or not.

This difference matters. And just look at the alternatives. John Kerry’s law-enforcement approach to international terrorism extended our civic policing frameworks onto non-citizens. Obama’s is his exact opposite, as it foists a militaristic approach onto American citizens.

Rand Paul’s approach, in contrast, properly assigns law-enforcement personnel the duties of protecting citizens in-country from mayhem AND it decisively charges military officers to fight a military war against foreign combatants overseas.

Taken to its natural end, Rand’s approach ends with the entire world adopting American constitutional protections, such as those our Bill of Rights guarantee. But, follow Obama’s or Kerry’s diametric methods and the American citizen either finds himself funding his own capricious surveillance or discovers that his nation’s fisc is consumed by world-policing, nation-building and otherwise engorging the “human rights” NGO industry. Both require that the citizen tax-payer fleece himself. While Rand’s method protects the flock.

"Join the flock if you want its freedoms!" is the greater message. I hope this note helps to spread it.
-steveaz

Hawkins1701 said...

Daniel,

Well, first time for everything. Regarding Rand Paul, this is the first time I've ever been in solid disagreement with you.

I anticipated this reaction from you, given your past writings on the use of drones and Senator Paul.

This is good though, that finally there's a line of demarcation between us. Let's me know I'm still my own unique person. :-)

Within the scope of the specific issue Rand raised on Wednesday (the use of drones on U.S. citizens on U.S. soil), I do stand with him, proudly so.

The warning that he may be entirely his father's son, is taken and accepted.

And to the extent he has or will echo his father in blaming America first, justifying the actions of our enemies, and advocating the belief that the best America is one that has nary a military arm anywhere, I will oppose Senator Paul. (Not to mention the anti-Semitism.)

For now, within the scope of his actions and the national discussion on Wednesday, I'll cheer Senator Paul on loudly and, if necessary, wear the label of Paultard, if it must be worn.

Cheers

Naresh Krishnamoorti said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fuzzy Slippers said...

Your brain makes me happy. Okay, so this (re: Rand Paul) is some serious food for thought, and as I've only just read this, I've not actually digested it properly or given it the thought that it deserves (but I will). Off the top of my head, you are exactly right and possibly exactly wrong at the same time.

If #StandWithRand meant I'm a big fat libertarian who supports every stance he's ever taken and immediately relinquish conservatism in favor of libertarianism (or worse, progressivism) then you're right. But it didn't. Standing with Rand was about several things, but none of them were donning a tinfoil Paulbot hat and shrugging our shoulders about Iran getting nukes (etc.). It was about separation of powers, due process, the question of whether or not the executive branch has or even should have the power to order the killing of American citizens. He already announced his authority to detain Americans on American soil indefinitely and without representation or recourse. Isn't it possible to agree with one aspect of a pol's ideology without gobbling up his whole nutty worldview?

When I first heard that Obama was using drones to kill Americans overseas, I was not happy. I was so not happy that I engaged in a several-days' interconservative blogger discussion ( http://fuzislippers.wordpress.com/2011/10/01/are-we-really-awake-update-link-to-further-discussion/ ). My stance then, as it is now, is that no president, left or right or center or off on some distant planet of lunacy, has the right to suspend the Bill of Rights. I didn't like the drones being used to kill American citizens abroad because I knew (well, I suspected, thought, expected) that it wouldn't be long before we'd hear murmurings about the same thing happening at home.

And lo! Here we are, the WH and DOJ hemming and hawing about whether or not they have the right to murder American citizens on American soil simply because the president has deemed them a "potential terrorist." The president decides this, the order goes out, the drone follows, boom, no more "potential terrorist." This would be great if humans were perfect, flawless, devoid of personal prejudices, grudges, ambition, greed, hate, envy, etc. But we are not. We are flawed. And the second we hand over our right to life, liberty, and property without due process, we can indeed be "droned" simply for being a political dissident. Think that's absurd? Well, I guess you do, you say as much ("...nonsense"). But is it? I don't think it's at all absurd. What I think is absurd is giving the president the power to secretly compile and execute kill lists of American citizens (at home or those abroad), no matter what activity they are engaged in. Including terrorism. That is treason, and American citizens can and should be tried for treason if they are engaged in it. They should not, however, be deprived of their right to due process or their very lives without any ability at all to defend themselves. Is that really such a lunatic idea? Do leftists really have sole jurisdiction over civil liberties? I think not.

However, you do make a lot of sense (as always), and I do see what you are saying. I don't think, though, that I'll be signing up for the Communist Party USA or Code Pink any time soon. Or ever. I can be a conservative and still stand with Rand against this latest in a long line of presidential power grabs, one that I find particularly offensive because I know that to this president, I am--and you are--the "potential terrorist," the "threat" to his regime, the "enemy" of the state who must be "punished." So no, I don't think I'm in any hurry to hand him, uncontested, the authority to do order me--or you--killed on his say so.

Fuzzy Slippers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edward Cline said...

Daniel: You get a heart-felt pat (or slap) on the back for your merciless dissection of Rand Paul and his phony filibuster stunt. I've never seen you lay into someone with the vigor and anger you justifiably displayed in this Roundup. You chewed him up and down and spat him out. You said little about John Kerry and Hagel and Brennan, but I guess that's because you were all tuckered out after wiping the floor with Rand Paul and his back-patters. Two thumbs up for this column, three if I had three.

IgorR said...

When I first heard of McCain criticizing Rand Paul, my immediate verbal reaction was that this is a three-way controversy (McCain, Paul, and Obama), and every one is an enemy of the United States. The positive reaction from conservatives wasn't mostly about supporting Paul's position, it was because he was "standing up to Obama". In fact ANYONE who mounts a vigorous, vocal, and unrelenting public campaign against Obama gets a lot of public support For some strange reason everybody but a very small number among those who could get through the MSM blockade want to be very gentle with Obama. Trump wasn't any more conservative than Paul, and look how far he got. Paul is a chip of the old block with better public relations, but let's learn the real lesson that's more important than his pseudo-conservative fakery: attacking Obama with theatrical simulated "fearlessness" gets one noticed. A real conservative can use this just as well as a fake one.

But of course your observation about what Paul is all about is totally true. What got to me the most was that this is the guy who supports Amnesty just as much as the traitorous Rubio. What a swamp we got there! There are not good guys but Cruz at this point, and even he kinda, sorta "stands with Rand", although he is too smart and too principled (I think) to go all the way. But one should never fall in love with any politician, they will ALWAYS betray you sooner or later.

Anonymous said...

knish my friend....i know you hate to endorse candidates but someday you really should. someday before 11-8-16

-- spanky

Edward Cline said...

Daniel: You get a heart-felt pat (or slap) on the back for your merciless dissection of Rand Paul and his phony filibuster stunt. I've never seen you lay into someone with the vigor and anger you justifiably displayed in this Roundup. You chewed him up and down and spat him out. You said little about John Kerry and Hagel and Brennan, but I guess that's because you were all tuckered out after wiping the floor with Rand Paul and his back-patters. Two thumbs up for this column, three if I had a spare.

GoogleBlogger said...

Thanks for sorting out Rand Paul for us.

mmercier said...

Incisive analysis.

Expect no further comments.

Once again... Daniel has enunciated that which shall not be spoken in polite Company.


Godspeed

Grog said...

I've read several stories that describe volumes of support for Paul's fillibuster, or a resemblance of support. He gave a good presentation of how this used to work. But it's not about Dem vs Rep anymore, or those two groups vs Libertarians, or Tea Party vs Dem, it's about politicians vs Citizens. It's about a collective mindset that describes how people should live and work vs letting people think for themselves. This has been applied in small increments for over 30 years now. The frog in the pot analogy has been accurately given to the current morass that passes for society, and the pot is about to be empty of water because it's all boiled off, so either the frog will jump out of the pot or get burned, I don't know which or when. This has been described by you and others for some time now, and while I don't pretend to know the specifics of the future, even though I recognize the overall picture, as you and many others do, only the willingly ignorant or the manipulators will discuss current events as if there's no significance to what's occurring. Thanks for your perspective.

srdem65 said...

Here I am, a registered Dem, who doesn't agree with the Dem agenda, can't figure out what the Repubs are all about, and found myself rooting for SenRand's filibuster. I'm not sure where I fit in today's political options.

The "drones in America" issue is real to a lot of us. We know our homeland government is stockpiling billions of rounds of hollowpoint bullets, purchasing assault weapons, tanks and other stuff used for warfare. Since it's highly unlikely that NorthKorea plans a land invasion of the US, or that our resident Muslims will suddenly go on the attack in any of our cities, all that's left to shoot at is us, the people.

LEL said...

I'm so glad you decided to comment about the Rand Paul issue. It needed to be said.

Mr.L's Tavern said...

I wanna thank you for writing this. I passed it around. I have a podcast and I questioned Paul's motives on Wednesday when the filibuster was going on. http://www.mrltavern.com/2013/03/why-i-dont-stand-with-grandstanding-rand.html you're thoughts go into more detail to what I was saying there. in a 13 hour filibuster, did he even bother to expose John Brennan, who will now head the CIA, and his radical ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, CAIR, involvement in Benghazi cover up, his statements sympathetic to jihad etc? No. Paul didn't. Because he was too busy airing out old grievances from the Bush years and discussing many of the Paul family pet issues.
You wrote: "John McCain in 2008. Mitt Romney in 2012. Rand Paul in 2016." You couldn't be more correct. That would be a disaster. And I wouldn't be shocked if Karl Rove is behind Rand Paul. Rove is establishment--always has been and always will be. And let us not forget it was Ron Paul who helped Romney secure the GOP nomination in 2012. Is propping up relatively unknown to the majority Rand Paul the establishment plan for 2016? It may just be. God bless the Sultan Kinish.

Biff said...

I have been a great admirer of your column so it came as quite a surprise to me that for the first time I find myself in disagreement over your take on Rand Paul. I watched over 5 hours of the filibuster and I did not see the anti-drone dogma that you seem to fear. Sure he did raise a few mild concerns about the long-term strategic effectiveness of the use of drones in foreign countries as you point out, but that was a very small part of his message. I think Tea Party Republicans embrqced his performance because it was the first time that someone effectively stood up to the creeping totalitarianism of the Obama regime and forced them to back down on constitutional grounds.

Anonymous said...

February 13, 2010 - Debate - National Security
@ 1:09:00 Bill Johnson corrects RP @ 1:15:00
http://vimeo.com/9523786

Bill Johnson was the Tea Party Favorite...
http://www.teapartypr.com/?p=4568

...but he lacked funds
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2478123/posts

... and a bullhorn.
http://treygraysonrandpaul.blogspot.com/2010/04/rand-pauls-2010-thuggery-tour-continues.html

Our Kind of People?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PE9gVeykPAU

Wes said...

Re: compromising conservative principles

If winning elections requires surrendering our principles, then we don't deserve to win; under those circumstances, in fact, winning isn't even a positive outcome.

My loyalty lies with the principles themselves, not with political parties. What value to conservatives has a liberal Republican Party victory? How is that presenting an opposition to Democratic leftism? I wish people like Hannity and Rubio understood this simple reasoning, but they don't; rather, they're part of the problem, because their dedication lies with winning, not with conservative/traditional ideals. The end justifies the means.

I can see the next Republican presidential contender's motto during the 2016 election cycle:

"Selling out for victory!"

Fuzzy Slippers said...

[deleted above due to silly typo]

Oh! And I meant to mention, too, in response to your side note: come to WordPress. Their spam filter is quite wonderful. ;)

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Blah, Rand Paul is his father with more subtlety. It's like the difference between Obama and Bill Ayers.

steveAz, first of this is about Rand Paul's opposition to drone attacks against Al Qaeda terrorists in general

Rand is using a non-existent situation where drones are being used to kill Americans in the United States to push that agenda, as I demonstrated by quoting his own filibuster

Rand's approach does not end with Pakistan adopting the Bill of Rights. It ends with us not being allowed to kill Al Qaeda terrorists in Pakistan without due process.

Hawkins1701, Rand didn't just limit those points to drones against US citizens on US soil. He also included the use of drones on Islamic terrorists in Pakistan.

Naresh, your comments are contradictory. You claim to be anti-libertarian, but you're backing a libertarian argument.

Killing leaders in an Islamist group at war with the United States is not a preemptive strike.

"I'm dealing with an ant problem in my house. There's no way I'm going to solve the problem by killing every ant that I see. You have to take a more strategic approach.

Actually that's how ant problems are generally dealt with. But we're not dealing with ants. We're dealing with men who are at war with us.

Do you really believe that we have to capture and put each member of an enemy force on trial rather than bombing them?

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Fuzzy, the Bill of Rights hasn't been suspended.

Nothing is happening that wasn't also happening under Bush. No precedents have been set that didn't exist in every previous war.

No Americans are or have been attacked by drones or are being assassinated on American soil. It would make no sense to spend millions of dollars worth of drone doing what the police and the FBI are designed for.

This is a non-issue being blown up in order to attack the use of drones against Al Qaeda terrorists overseas.

I am on Blogger, it catches 80 percent, but 20 percent filled with malware links is too much to leave up for 24 hours.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Edward, thank you. I've talked about Kerry, Brennan and Hagel in the past. But I was alarmed by the extent to which people had embraced the Rand Paul stunt without looking at what he was really pushing.

People still seem unwilling to read the posted quotes from him.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Igor, that's very true. It's why more Republicans need to pull a Wilson (Joe, not Woodrow) and stand up to him.

Yes, few people are talking abut Rand's stance on amnesty, which he isn't being vocal about.

Strangely McCain supporting amnesty gets him called a RINO, but Rubio and Rand taking the same stand are getting a pass.

What we need is a consistent conservatism.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Spanky, candidates have to pander. As this post shows, I'm not much for that. I would rather be the guy calling out the candidates.

LEL said...

"I think your ethnic prejudices blind you from seeing America's strategic interests".
................................................
A bigoted statement, Naresh.

I think it is very much in America's strategic interests to kill terrorists.

Since when has it become a conservative position to be soft on terrorism and soft on national security?

It was a breath of fresh air to read this column after being bombarded with all the Rand worship.

Anyone who supports Rand Paul on national security issues are the ones who betray conservatism, not Daniel.

You stand with Rand Paul, you stand with CAIR and Code Pink.

Frankly I'm surprised at all the negative comments about this article. I wouldn't have expected readers of the Sultan Knish to be on the side of an extreme anti-war libertarian who doesn't regard islam to be a threat.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

GoogleBlogger, thank you

MMercier, hopefully others speak about it too. I haven't seen many, but maybe this will get them to start.

Grog, yes it's about those in power and those without it, but for now those without power think they can take it back by using those in power, which generally tends to be a dead end

But we'll see...

Srdem, of course it leaves the people to shoot at

LEL, thank you and thanks for linking to it

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Mr. L

I doubt Rand cares about the Brotherhood. To his group the real issue is a secret coalition of bankers and the military industrial complex of the NWO trying to take over the world, etc...

Certainly Rand has now aligned with the establishment, in a way that his father was never able to, and I do have to wonder what is going on behind the scenes.


Biff,

it was actually a large part of his message if you look at the transcript. His American drone strike was piggybacking on criticism of drone strikes in Muslim countries.


Anon,

yes Bill Johnson was the Tea Party choice. The Pauls wormed their way into pretending to be the Tea Party.


Wes,

and we don't tend to win anything when we do win while losing our principles.

When we forget what we stand for, then we end up pushing someone else's agenda without realizing it.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

LEL,

there weren't nearly as many negative comments as I expected.

But to a lot of people, this has been sold as opposition to Obama.

They're not seeing what the real agenda is, which is opposition to terrorism and the same old Paul "Live by the sword, die by the sword" crap.

Hawkins1701 said...

Daniel,

"Hawkins1701, Rand didn't just limit those points to drones against US citizens on US soil. He also included the use of drones on Islamic terrorists in Pakistan."

I agree that he mentioned the use of drones on Islamic terrorists overseas, and questioned their efficacy and the wisdom of attacking our enemies in such a manner. I heard such a passage with my own two ears in listening to the Senate online recording last night. (A key distinction is "efficacy" vs. "constitutional." He made no statement as to the latter vis a vis overseas drone strikes. Could be a rhetorical ploy, could not be, but I have to judge him solely on the filibuster's content in judging the same. The constitutional question was limited to domestic drone strikes on U.S. civilians.)

And I fully grant that domestic drone strikes, at the end of the day, may be nothing more than a wedge issue for Rand Paul to continue his father's work to undermine America's ability to strike against its enemies. I'm not putting all my chips on Rand just yet as the Next Great Hope (TM).

But, I echo other comments here that, whatever else we may feel about Rand Paul and his father, he raised important points on Wednesday that our government needs to address, regardless of whether or not there's a (D) or an (R) in the White House.

I'm curious if you've seen Mark Steyn's latest column. He raises the best points I've seen thus far in support of Rand Paul's thesis. I would be glad to hear your thoughts if you have time. See here:

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/342564/panopticon-state-mark-steyn

Post-Waco, post-Benghazi, post-the DHS naming Tea Partiers as potential terrorists, and factoring in the examples Steyn relates.....whatever else Rand Paul may be selling, I'm buying what he sold on Wednesday.

Cheers

LEL said...

"I think your ethnic prejudices blind you from seeing America's strategic interests".
..................................................
The antisemitism eventually boils to the surface. I've got news for you, the islamic jihadis are not just targeting Jews, but all non-muslims the world over. Given your own ethnic background, Naresh, I would expect you to understand that.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

A sizable chunk of the filibuster was about drone strikes in general. Which means that the issue that Rand Paul was advancing was drone strikes in general, rather than just the improbable hypothetical of Obama using drones to kill Americans in America... instead of sending the FBI to arrest them.

A politician's position on an issue has to be judged in terms of his views, rather than his statement at a given moment.

Obama is actually out to ban all guns, despite claiming that he only wants to ban assault rifles.

Rand Paul has the same kind of record on the War on Terror that Obama has on guns. And you can't view that in isolation.

Is the government capable of turning on Americans? Obviously. Does this do anything about that? No it doesn't.

If the government turns on Americans, it won't be spending millions on sending drones to your house. Nearly every Federal agency has its own armed law enforcement branch.

And that's what we should be focusing on.

IgorR said...

The most important point that Daniel makes is that when a person makes a statement that matters, you have to apply as much knowledge as possible about their prior history to evaluate it as you can. You have to read between the lines, otherwise a politician can fool you like a small child. If Obama tomorrow proclaims that he is an anarcho-capitalist, would you believe him? When the group of Senators that had a dinner with him seem totally delighted and quite complimentary about his "sincerity" they must have been either fools or playing a political game, but they can't be both intelligent and sincere with this sentiment because Obama can't be trusted to work with Republicans on financial matters in good faith given his record no matter what he says.

When Holder gave Paul his supposed victory with some statement, should you really put a lot of trust in that statement? That would be ridiculous based on Holder's record. He'll say anything. When Hagel underwent a confirmation conversion contradicting his entire public record, did you believe him? That would be ridiculous as well.

Similarly, when Paul "stands up" to Obama, you have to ask "Where is he going with this?" and "Why is he doing this?". Anyone who is not an insane maniac is against the use of drones to hunt down and kill innocent Americans or innocent anybody at home or abroad. Why does it than matter whether Holder says he agrees with that or not. To quote Hillary, what difference would his words then make at this point? Then why is Paul fighting so hard to get a meaningless statement out of Holder?

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Most politicians are not honest about their endgame. If they were, they wouldn't be elected.

To give him some credit, Ron Paul was 70 percent honest about his endgame. His son probably clocks in at 30 percent.

What a politician is saying at a given moment is really about moving closer to his endgame.

For some politicians the endgame is getting elected. For others they have actual goals.

If a Democratic Senator held a filibuster in support of banning plastic guns, a thing that doesn't even exist... but spent a lot of it talking about the evils of guns in general...

... would anyone really believe that he was just out to fight against 'plastic guns'?

IgorR said...

Both Pauls seem to believe in similar things but the younger one is indeed the more deceptive one. His recent trip to Israel was the kind of deception that would probably be a bridge too far for his father.

There is something inherently admirable about any person who has some deeply held convictions as opposed to being purely tactical in the pursuit of personal gain, but someone whose deeply held convictions are profoundly wrong is more dangerous than a political prostitute, because at the extremes you wind up with not just saints but suicide bombers who think of themselves as saints. When you combine deeply held convictions with deceptiveness you wind up with someone like Rand Paul. Or Obama.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Yes.

I would much rather have a Dennis Kucinich than a Barack Obama. And ditto for Ron Paul over Rand Paul. If you're going to argue with someone, it's best if they at least are open about what they stand for. But of course that also makes them unelectable.

Still honest enemies are best. When everyone is pretending to be something they're not, most people stop being able to understand what's going on.

It's why so many Democrats who are gun owners don't understand that Obama really wants to ban all guns.

And why Catholics who are serious about their religion can still vote for him because he uses the right language.

IgorR said...

It's been a long story, but today we have a very fragmented and polarized country. There is actually not a lot in common between the industrial union members from the Midwest, Latino immigrants, and Blacks, or between young single urban females and miners from West Virginia. Therefore being able to push the right buttons in just the right way for a coalition that adds up to 51% of the electorate is a key skill. Another name for that skill is being highly deceptive. Therefore being very deceptive has become the easiest way to win. The only other way barring a major crisis is to have such a powerful personality that all kinds of people will follow just because of it, and even that type of person has to be deceptive to at least hide what makes them unique in order not to antagonize voters unnecessarily. Both of these types of personalities are dangerous. Today a great President like Calvin Coolidge could not win. That's unfortunate, but that's reality. Barring a major upheaval, and probably even then, our next President will be a master deceiver.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

The key to winning these days is a very simple message, which also usually means a deceptive message.

Everyone wants someone to look out for them, but few really want to do the research. They want to emotionally bond with a leader. Another savior or cult figure to give an inspiring speech and fix everything for them without any sacrifices or hard choices.

And that lie is easier to sell without any harder looks at the man behind the curtain.

And that's how we ended up with eight years of O.

Fuzzy Slippers said...

[quote]Fuzzy, the Bill of Rights hasn't been suspended.[/quote]

When asked directly if the president has he authority to order a drone strike on an American citizen on American soil, the answer was a non-answer. It should be crystal clear that no president has that authority and a simple question, but for this president, at least, it wasn't. Indeed, Holder actually said that it could be justified and that it was well within the president's purview. That's shocking and quite appalling. Or it should be.

And yes, that is a complete suspension of the Bill of the Rights. The Fifth Amendment very clearly states: "nor shall any person be . . . deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;" The president deciding a a circumstance is "extraordinary enough" to warrant his issuing a death warrant on an American citizen on American soil clearly deprives them of their life as well as, of course, the due process of the law. This is not unclear at all.

If someone is a traitor, working with Islamic terrorists against the United States, then we have a law that covers that quite well. There is no "well, if the citizen is really really horrible, even evil, he or she can be killed on the president's say" clause in the Bill of Rights. Treason is the crime, and the crime should be duly prosecuted. Period.

To me, this is the entire issue at debate here, and I find it truly confounding that you think it's okay for the president to order the immediate assassination of any American citizen without even an arrest or any ability to defend themselves against whatever accusation has been made. It boggles my mind, really.

But you say that it hasn't happened, so it's not worth worrying about (or you imply this rather strongly). Well, nothing covered in the Bill of Rights had happened yet when they were added, not under the newly-formed republic, anyway, but they were still included. You know, to ensure they didn't happen. But now, what? We wait until the president goes too far and then complain? Really?

Ugh. Anyway, as happened back in '11 when I had this same debate with fellow conservatives about this exact topic, we'll just have to agree to disagree. And it would be nice if we could do so without questioning one another's conservative credentials. ;)

Anonymous said...

Disagreeing with Mr. Knish (do you prefer Sultan?) is unusual for me.

Paul's position on Hagel destroyed 90% of his credibility with me, but the filibuster restored part of it. (Still more skeptical than a fan.)
I don't accept your idea that his real goal is to disable use of drones overseas without due process.

I accepted the filibuster at face value (no drones on US citizens in the USA) but then the timing of the ending made it all suspect.

If this was planned in advance, Paul would have done a bowel prep the day before and hooked up a Texas catheter (essentially a small condom with a drain tube and reservoir) and also planned out his questioners to allow him a bit a sleep time, while standing in a corner.

Instead, he quit early. Had he stayed 4 more hours, the filibuster would have been front page news in every morning paper in the country. By quitting early, it ended up on page 4 (Dallas).

There's just more going on here than meets the eye.

Rubio is the new Graham who was the new McCain, Scarborough's all three.

I do have hopes for Ted Cruz. In an unusual bit of biology, the presence of Cruz in the Senate has actually caused John Cornyn to grow a pair.

Hawkins1701 said...

Agree to disagree. :-) (Had a longer comment, but my browser ate it. Oh well.)

gwst said...

Even Glenn Beck, a staunch defender of Israel, has admitted how destructive America's unending wars are to her morale and her economy, and to the soldiers who are committed to fight in them. Even Glenn Beck lauds Rand Paul's stance.

The vision of the neocons is fading amongst its ruinous failures, and is having to face reality.

Sorry, Daniel, I agree with you on most things (and recommend your blog constantly)... but on this, not so much.

IgorR said...

The article has caused a minor civil war on one of my favorite websites

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2995286/posts

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Fuzzy,

does the president have the authority to order an 'assassination on American soil'. Obviously not. Does he have the authority to order the use of military force on American soil under some circumstances such as hijacked planes heading for targets? Obviously yes.

Those are wartime conditions and deal with repelling an active attack.

Rusty has gone into this at Jawa Report more than I have.

http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/215334.php

http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/215043.php

No one is saying that it is okay for the president "to order the immediate assassination of any American citizen without even an arrest or any ability to defend themselves against whatever accusation has been made"

That's Rand Paul's strawman argument.

But you say that it hasn't happened, so it's not worth worrying about (or you imply this rather strongly). Well, nothing covered in the Bill of Rights had happened yet when they were added, not under the newly-formed republic, anyway, but they were still included. You know, to ensure they didn't happen. But now, what? We wait until the president goes too far and then complain? Really?

The Bill of Rights largely covered things that had happened in one form or another.

It also covers the topic under Due Process.

Complaining about something that is not happening and is not being proposed by anyone except the man claiming it's going to happen, even though he can't show that it has happened, and keeps talking about something else entirely when asked for examples...

...is like trying to claim that if American privateers can seize British vessels then they can also seize American vessels and then they can also seize any random American anywhere.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

As for not questioning each other's conservative credentials, sure that would be best.

I am however seeing anyone who questions throwing full support behind a guy who thinks that we cause terrorist attacks against us being derided as a RINO.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Hawkins, I assume you're Anon?

He spends much of the filibuster attacking the use of drones overseas. So it's not much of a stretch to assume that this is the agenda, rather than a non-existent drone attack on Americans in America.

It goes from easiest sell to hardest sell

1. Americans on American soil (never happened, not likely to, most opposition)

2. Al Qaeda terrorists with US citizenship in Yemen, etc (has happened, will keep on happening, not very much opposition)

3. Al Qaeda terrorists without US citizenship (happens all the time, least opposition)

So either Paul is agitating against something that doesn't happen, or he's using that as a test case for targeting something that does happen.

The latter is likeliest.

The filibuster accomplished its goal. I doubt Rand Paul wanted the front page of the morning papers. That would have gotten him the wrong kind of attention. He wanted conservative sites which he got.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

gwst,

So do you think that using remote drones to take out Al Qaeda terrorist leaders is a mistake?

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Igor,

depressingly about what I expected. No arguments, lots of shouts about RINOs and moonbats.

Fuzzy Slippers said...

[quote]As for not questioning each other's conservative credentials, sure that would be best.

I am however seeing anyone who questions throwing full support behind a guy who thinks that we cause terrorist attacks against us being derided as a RINO. [/quote]

Funny, I'm seeing the same thing with anyone who supports ONE thing he's said. :P It rather reminds me of a conversation I had during which I was accused of being a "bad Christian" because I read Atlas Shrugged and agreed with some of the ideology fictionalized there. Apparently, because Rand was an atheist, one cannot agree with her on anything. Seems a bit intellectually stifling to me.

Fuzzy Slippers said...

Oops, missed that first comment. I see what you are saying, and it's the same argument others made in '11. But since then, various groups and pols have tried to find out the criteria for a presidential kill order. Apparently, this is too sensitive to be revealed and we are assured that the president thinks about it a lot. Oh goodie. Sorry, I have a huge problem with this idea that the president can, in secret and by secret guidelines, order the death of any American for any reason he's thought about bunches.

This "war on" thing is the problem for you, it seems. We have a "war on terror," so the president has the right, you say, to use war powers to assassinate Americans on American soil without arrest, trial, or conviction. Okay, fair enough, but we also have a "war on drugs" and a "war on obesity," can the president then decide to drone people who run drugs or (who's up for some real hyperbole?) who are fat? I know these examples are absurd, they are intended to be to highlight how ridiculous the "war on terror" argument is.

Look, the bottom line is that Obama will never ever drone a Muslim American on American soil. He didn't even drone bin Laden's brother-in-law. He's clearly and overtly sympathetic to Muslims in this war on terror. Numerous of his appointees, both failed and still serving, have stated unequivocally that the "real" terrorist threat in America is white people they deem to be "extreme." I hate to break this to you, but that's you and me. How many sitting politicians have loudly questioned whether or not simply speaking out against this president is "seditious"? Why is the DHS sending out memos to warn law enforcement that anyone who pays with cash, has the wrong bumper sticker, supports the 10th Amendment, is pro-life, etc. and etc. is a potential terrorist? This bothers you not one bit? Do you really think that an administration who has clearly and loudly proclaimed that we should not even use the word "terror" when talking about Islamic extremists (but who drop that particular term when the GOP won't cave) either sees the "war on terror" as you do or sees the same threat that you do?

Honestly, though, for me, that's neither here nor there. I still say that any American who is committing terrorist acts, engaged in terror in some provable way, is guilty of treason. We have laws against that. And a means of dealing with it. Droning an American on American soil is an absolute outrage. And despite what the WH and DOJ say, I still think it will happen in the next few years.

Biff again said...

I missed the first five hours so perhaps Rand cleaned it up for prime time, and I have not read the whole transcript, but the five hours I heard included some strong support from other Senators including Ted Cruz and Mike Lee that pretty much stuck to the domestic issue. Do you want to throw them under the bus too?I was not aware of Paul's position on Israel or other foreign policy issues being like his crazy Dad so I will certainly look at his future statements more closely. In politics, however, you sometimes have strange bedfellows, and if he was right about the domestic issue which many of us consider much more than a strawman, perhaps it wouldn't hurt you to say so!

Elise Ronan said...

Simply because your political opposite agrees with a position does not mean this position is wrong Simply because Van Jones and Code Pink agreed with Rand's filibuster does not mean he was wrong. The issue is due process, the Bill of Rights, rules of modern warfare, and the right of the people of this nation to be free and to not have their rights usurped by an imperial presidency.

I do not have to agree with every one of Paul's other positions to believe in the US Constitution either. Having watched the vast majority of the filibuster I can honestly say that Paul had it right. The Senate as co-equal branch of the government was and is entitled to answers from the President. We were entitled to have Paul's question about drones on American soil answered. He was entitled to extrapolate the Obama white paper to the soil of the US and demand answers.

Whether I agree with Paul about drone strikes in war zones and whether they are helpful or not; Whether I agree with Paul on any number of national and international issues is not in play here. Paul got it right this time.

I am sorry that your own political blinders did not allow you to see that.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Fuzzy,

for the second time no one is saying that "president has the right, you say, to use war powers to assassinate Americans on American soil without arrest, trial, or conviction".

The use of military force on American soil is governed by existing and well known conditions, namely a military attack on the United States.

Which is why Holder's response mentioned Pearl Harbor and September 11.

Considering that Obama Inc. has repeatedly refused to try American citizens who commit terrorist attacks like the Fort Hood Massacre as terrorists and has refused to even try Bin Laden's son in law by military tribunal and even planned to give Bin Laden a civilian trial, this is a complete non-issue.

And if Obama goes after Americans, which he already is, he'll do it with the same law enforcement tools that are already in place. He's not going to be spending millions of dollars on drones to kill his domestic critics. It makes absolutely no sense.

Short of a civil war, there is no remotely plausible scenario in which an American is going to be hit by a drone on American soil.

This is a strawman being used to pursue Rand Paul's real agenda about the use of drones in Pakistan.

If we are to be concerned about Obama targeting critics, then we need to be talking about the militarization of the civilian branches of Federal government, not demonizing the military.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Biff, the transcript is up there in the post. The best way to decide is to read through the whole thing and see what you agree with and what you don't.

Rand Paul in his filibuster claims that we're killing innocent people in Pakistan and inspiring terror against us

he claims that Al Qaeda in Mali is no threat to us and just wants something to eat

these are his father's politics wrapped up in a more subtle approach

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Elise,

the question is whether Van Jones and Code Pink are agreeing with Republicans or whether Republicans are now agreeing with them.

Considering the standard position during the Bush Administration, it's obvious that Republicans are now agreeing with them.

That's a shift and let's be honest about it.

We're going from "Let's get the terrorists" to "Let's give Anwar Al-Awlaki due process" and falsely accusing America of "murdering" his son.

The issue is not Due Process, because Due Process hasn't gone anywhere.

The issue is that Rand Paul is using a strawman to push his agenda about dismantling the War on Terror.

Rand Paul had his answer all along. He carried off a publicity stunt by hammering a fake issue into the ground.

His filibuster repeatedly cited lefty writers while criticizing US drone attacks against terrorists.

Standing with him means agreeing with those comments.

And let's be honest about that.

LEL said...

The attacks from the right on John McCain are really ugly. It reminds me of what the left was doing to him in '08. Now I think he was the wrong candidate and don't see him as conservative, but he is not deserving of the types of personal attacks against him in defense of a punk like Rand Paul. I see the conservative movement drifting toward a libertarian, anti-war mindset. There are the same kind of attacks against "neo-cons" that was coming from the left during Bush.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Yes, I'm not a big fan of John McCain, but I saw one piece on him at a major conservative news site that looked like it came from DailyKos.

Utterly nasty and downright psychotic stuff.

McCain's foreign policy views are wrong in many areas, but Rand Paul's views are far more wrong.

And Rand Paul is more liberal than McCain is.

It's bizarre that McCain gets hammered for his immigration views, but Rand Paul gets a pass.

anonymous said...

Bravo Elise!
I guess the US was also wrong to side with Communist Russia against Nazis

Fuzzy Slippers said...

[quote]This is a strawman being used to pursue Rand Paul's real agenda about the use of drones in Pakistan.

If we are to be concerned about Obama targeting critics, then we need to be talking about the militarization of the civilian branches of Federal government, not demonizing the military.[/quote]

I was with you (not necessarily agreeing, just with you) until this last part. Are you just a bit cranky or did you really mean to suggest that I am in any way "furthering Rand Paul's real agenda"? That's patently absurd and smacks of leftists snipping that anyone who doesn't agree with them is working for the Koch brothers. I said all of this in 2011 when alwhatsits was droned and his 16-year-old son two weeks later (both American citizens); this isn't something I just dreamed up because of the filibuster. I have no idea what Rand Paul's "real agenda" is and I have absolutely no interest in furthering it (or him, for that matter--I think he's a nutter just like his father on many issues).

That I agree with him on this one thing doesn't make ME the enemy, Daniel. And I am most certainly not casting aspersions on, much less demonizing, our military (that's really over the top). It really is okay if we don't agree on every single thing, you know. It's what separates us from the uni-brain leftists who can't think for themselves.

Edward Cline said...

The filibuster was pointless because it didn't matter if Obama or Holder or anyone in the administration said drones wouldn't be used on American soil. They could've said no, maybe, or whoop-de-do, given the catalogue of lies and deceptions any of them have made over the last five years. We can't take Obama for his word because his word is worthless. As I remarked elsewhere, a denial cost him and his cronies nothing. Rand Paul, unless he's a certified idiot, had to have known this. And libertarianism is so screwed up a political policy -- it certainly isn't a moral one, because libertarianism eschews moral arguments, and libertarians are notorious for eschewing philosophy, as well -- that it certainly can creep over to the Left, and the Republicans can tag along, as well, as they have after the Democrats for over a century.

There are no moral premises in libertarianism that can stop it from defaulting to the Left, nothing to cause it to pause and reflect on where it's headed. Greenfield, put his finger on a phenomenon that can't be raised in The National Review or Canada Free Press or any other "conservative" publication or weblog. I think that's an example of the kind of intellectual honesty not apparent in Rand Paul. As he writes in that column, what must be examined are the reasons why a communist like Van Jones and a loopy outfit like Code Pink would applaud Rand Paul's filibuster against drone strikes in the U.S. As Greenfield points out, they're against drone strikes even against our enemies beyond our borders. Obama uses drone strikes that way not because he's genuinely concerned about defending the country against terrorists and terrorism, but because it's an expedient way of consolidating his popularity and power and making poll points. He has no compunction against ordering economic and regulatory "drone strikes" against American citizens over here.

No, I don't think it "hurt" Obama and Holder to say "no" to Rand Paul. As I remarked above, it cost them nothing to say it. Rand Paul may have thought he got Obama and Holder to say "uncle." But what's that "uncle" worth in the long-term? Nothing.

What Rand Paul did was tantamount to his ranting on about how evil it would be if the Wizard of Oz slew the Cowardly Lion, The Tin Man, the Scarecrow, all the Munchkins, and Dorothy and her dog with lightning bolts, instead of granting them their wishes. As Daniel points out, Paul's premises and filibuster tactic are as bogus as a six-dollar bill. The imagined drone attack on Americans on American soil was pure fantasy not even contemplated by the actual Wicked Wizard who occupies the White House and his flying monkey Attorney General. (Washington D.C. being the new Emerald City.)

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

anonymous,

as a strategic matter the US could ally with the USSR against Hitler. What it could not do was ideologically ally with Stalin.

Unfortunately the United States did indeed ideologically ally with the Soviet Union to a degree which made it that much harder to cast off and fight the Cold War.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Fuzzy,

Disagree is healthy and I'm not trying to make you the enemy.

I'm not speaking about you specifically. I don't know what you said in '11. I am speaking about the nature of the filibuster and the argument that has come out of it.

I don't see a real world scenario where drones, rather than federal agents, are being used to take out Americans in the United States short of the condition of a civil war.

And that makes it hard for me to take that as a serious issue that needs to be worried about.

Sorry if my tone was a bit harsh.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Edward,

Indeed. The administration insisted it never smuggled weapons to Mexican drug cartels. It insisted that it wasn't into gun control until it was. It insists that it isn't stifling religious liberties in any way.

Until there's a policy in place, it's all a point scoring game.

Less government is not in and of itself a meaningful principle, though some people are acting as if it is.

OTKUGOTT said...

This is a tough issue because neither side is close to being entirely right. Obviously the Left is hopeless, closing its eyes to the fact of Islam-inspired terrorism. But at the same time, Establishment-type Republicans, including McCain and Graham, do support endless and pointless war without victory, and much of Rand Paul's support comes from those who recognize the GOP Establishment must be defeated before we can have a truly conservative party in this country.

Most of the conservatives who stood with Rand understand that we're in a war that must be prosecuted effectively overseas; they also see no harm in denying that the President may kill anyone he wishes on American soil. Daniel is correct in pointing out that Holder didn't need to leave that possibility open, but he did, whether intentionally or out of ineptitude, and it wasn't wrong to attack him using the opening he left.

Rand Paul forced a concession from Obama and handed him a political defeat. The concession was a small one, true, but the more significant fact is that Paul dealt Obama a defeat in the eyes of the general public. He fought Obama and won, something the Establishment wing of the GOP would never have tried to do. Conservatives can draw inspiration from Paul's win over Obama without being drawn into his Libertarian foreign policy views, and Paul himself could serve the cause of Conservatism well in the Senate, although not in the White House.

The big losers here are Obama and McCain, and I view that as a win for conservatism.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

I'm not McCain or Graham. Their foreign policy is wrong. So is Rand Paul's. They both deny the reality of what we're dealing with.

McCain/Graham think that we need to reform Muslims. Rand Paul thinks that if we leave them alone, they'll stop attacking us.

They're both wrong.

Paul didn't force a concession from Obama. He put on a show and the real issue that he was fighting for is something Obama would have agreed with before taking office.

Naresh Krishnamoorti said...

I deleted my comment as it was badly thought out.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Okay Naresh, no hard feelings

Elise Ronan said...

Daniel,

I am well aware of Rand's use of articles by @attackerman. I even read them. The point that RP was making was simply that this is a bipartisan issue. I have no problems with reading articles by the "other side." Their thought processes do not frighten me and as I said simply because it comes from them does not mean it was a bad notion either.

I also do not think it is always a bad idea to review your stand on certain issues and perhaps "evolve" in some way. The GOP is not always right just as the DNC is not always right. That is why I am an independent and have been since Bush 41.

Also thinking that the filibuster made some very important points does again not mean I agree with RP on all or most of his ideas. I am not a libertarian but neither am I a constitutional conservative. I do believe drone strikes in war zones are legal. But that does not mean that the Obama administration has thought it out on an appropriate legal basis and there is nothing wrong with requiring them to make their point properly.

Strawman? Even if that were the reality, it does not invalidate the discussion of the Constitution, due process and 5th amendment rights. What is so wrong with the discussion anyway? What is so wrong with discussing the extent of a war zone? What is so wrong with discussing the new nature of war in the 21st century? So much of our laws of war are actually predicated on 19th and 18th century warfare. It is important to acknowledge and understand how war has changed and then revamp the law to fit the situation. But you cannot do that if there is no discussion. What is so wrong with discussing the War on Terror and its international and national legal consequences? If these were Rand's true topics as you say then lets discuss them, including the responsibility for collateral damage, the use of human shields by a terror organization, is a terror org actually a state actor, imminent threat and preventive self-defense. Let's have that national argument and lets figure out where this country is headed. Bring it on. It is an important national discussion. Why shut it down?

As far as Soviet Russia and WW2. We in the USA did not assimilate the communist ideal, we simply let the Soviets run rampant over Europe and Indo-China. It was lack of resolve, more so rather than communist indoctrination into our system. Besides having grown up in the era of Vietnam, I can honestly say that there would have been no way I would have gone to that theatre. I wasn't planning to waste my life, not with the way that war was waged. I can also say that there is no way I would send my sons today to Iraq nor Afghanistan. I salute those who serve in our military, but if my child were to go to war I would make sure that those running the campaign knew what they were doing, which today is not the case.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

The fact that the issue does come from the left should raise the question of what the left's agenda is on the issue.

Is Van Jones really concerned about an Obama tyranny, as some of us are, or about something else entirely?

The left builds its program based on a larger agenda, while we often look no further than the next issue.

The Constitution is not actually under discussion. Nor has Due Process been invalidated. The guidelines for military domestic action are what they were under Bush, using drones or any other military intervention in the homeland.

If Rand wants to have a discussion about the use of drones in Pakistan, he should have that discussion. Instead he's having that discussion by putting the prospect of drones being used to assassinate Americans in the US, a non-issue with no credible basis.

Do you really see the government, under anyone, launching drone strikes at people in a cafe?

Does that even make any sense.

Elise Ronan said...

Yes Daniel... we are always but one generation away from losing our liberty...Ronald Reagan.

We have given you a republic, if you can keep it..Benjamin Franklin.

Van jones, Code Pink, RP, or CPAC everyone has an underlying agenda. Does it matter? Sure their overall take away matters but it does not invalidate the question nor does it preclude you pursuing your agenda either.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Yes and the danger of losing our freedom comes from the left... not from drones.

Van Jones' agenda is far more dangerous than a thousand drones.

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