PoliticsPolitics for Pros- moderated

Previous 10 Next 10 
From: LindyBill12/6/2011 12:31:18 AM
   of 661234
Threat Assessment: Transnational Jihadists and Mexican Cartels
from The Captain's Journal by Herschel Smith
Robert Bunker writing at Small Wars Journal assesses the relative threat posed by transnational Islamic jihadists versus the Mexican cartels. After citing a portion of Napolitano’s concern about the growth of the lone wolf terror threat, Robert weighs in.

  • While the above statements—some might even say political “sound bytes”— uttered by US Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano were directed at America’s European allies, they convey the ongoing Washington obsession with Al Qaeda to the exclusion of other non-state threat entities. The memory of the 9/11 attacks is still a visceral experience for most of our nation’s financial and political elites.
  • Napolitano now equates lone wolf (Al Qaeda inspired) attackers, who need to take commercial aircraft to reach the US, as a significant threat to our nation. Such terrorists have extremely limited combat capabilities, both destructive and disruptive, and suffer from lack of training, equipment, and finances. They represent nodal criminal-soldiers (devoid of network support) who at best can engage in sporadic active aggressor (shooter) or IED (improvised explosive device) attacks. Such attackers are not the most pressing US national security threat; even if a few got through, the damage inflicted will be inconsequential to the integrity of American society and the functioning of its governmental system. Yes—even a suicide bomber or two detonating in the Mall of the Americas, on Wall Street, or in a high-end bistro in N.W. DC is a survivable attack for our nation, though the media would replay newscasts of the incident ad infinitum and make quite a bit of money off of the ad revenue in the process.
I’m a bit troubled by Robert’s seeming dismissal of the threat of transnational Islamic insurgency. True enough, the so-called “lone wolf” cannot do much more than inflict terror and localized loss of life and property. But Robert is assuming that all such terrorists are going to be lone wolfs. Perhaps not, and perhaps also since we know that Hezbollah fighters are crossing the Southern Border, Robert’s assumption forces the conclusion that it isn’t a threat.

On the contrary, in A Terrorist Attack That America Cannot Absorb I described a plausible scenario in which economic disaster would be effected as a result of the attack. True enough, this kind of attack would require several hundred well trained, well equipped and highly motivated fighters – fighters and equipment that a group like al Qaeda may not currently be able to field. But it’s also true that Hezbollah may be able to, and an attack of this nature, even if only partially successful with fewer fighters than I have described, would have significant consequences. In my view Robert is thinking tactically rather than strategically as he pans the idea that transnational Islamic fighters are no longer a threat. Small time hits against human-targer rich environs are a tactic of terror. Destruction of infrastructure directly resulting the inability to replace that infrastructure is a strategy – one that thankfully the enemy hasn’t deployed.

However, I agree with his assessment of the threat of Mexican cartels.

  • What is most amazing about Napolitano’s statements is that they ignore a far more significant threat derived from geographic proximity, mass of numbers, training and organization, wealth, and corruptive capability. Mexican cartel operatives do not have to take commercial flights to get to the US and hundreds-of-thousands of personnel exist running the gamut from foot-soldiers through lookouts into narcotics production and distribution, street extortion, human trafficking, kidnapping, and bulk thefts. Tens-of-thousands of these cartel members operate in the US in conjunction with US street, prison, and motorcycle gangs which number well in excess of 1 million individuals. The Mexican cartels control more wealth than Al Qaeda ever had at its disposal—even at Osama bin Laden’s high point— and have specialized commando units on par, if not surpassing, the best Al Qaeda could ever field. Further, the Mexican cartels have taken corruption to an art form and have compromised entire regions of the Mexican state. This corruption is now being used in a targeted manner on the US border— hundreds of documented incidents exist— a capability with which Al Qaeda has never possessed to threaten the US homeland.
  • Common sense dictates that we address the real threat next door and already over the border— in excess of 1,000 US cities have Mexican cartel operatives in them. While the Mexican cartel threat to the US is subtler than that of Al Qaeda— the 9/11 attacks were indeed fierce and bloody— it is also in many ways more threatening, especially now that Al Qaeda central is a former shell of itself. While ‘border spillover’ attacks and corruption have been downplayed and wide swaths of Mexico resemble a war zone (with well over 45,000 deaths), we continually hear DHS rhetoric about Al Qaeda being the #1 threat to the United States.
On a related note, I am not at all persuaded that we are winning the border war by reports that arrests on the Southern border have plummeted. The number of Hispanic students in Alabama also recently plummeted due the implementation of E-Verify. The failing American economy is less enticing for illegal immigrants, and so it isn’t surprising that the balance of illegals coming and going is being modified. There is also a shift in violence within Mexico itself, meaning that areas that were once secure are now not, and vice versa.

That doesn’t mean that the border is secure. Analogous errors in judgment occurred in Iraq when we believed that the tribal awakening in Ramadi secured Anbar, when in reality the insurgents had simply moved to Fallujah and had to be cleared from that city in 2007. Pressing the Taliban out of Helmand moved them to Quetta (for R&R), Kandahar, Kunar and Nuristan.

The cartels will prove to be adaptive and amorphous, and we should generally ignore anecdotes as a pointer to larger trends.

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read

From: LindyBill12/6/2011 12:32:58 AM
   of 661234
Salafist Surge in Egypt
from FrontPage Magazine » FrontPage by Ryan Mauro

The West has long feared the advent of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, but the first round’s election results released Sunday night show an even worse group of Islamists surging: The Salafists. Nearly one-fourth of Egyptians voted for the group whose puritanism makes the Brotherhood look moderate.

On Sunday night, the Egyptian government released partial results for the first round of elections. Sixty-two percent of eligible Egyptians voted. The Muslim Brotherhood came in first place with 36.6%, followed by the Salafist bloc with 24.4%. The non-Islamists, the Egyptian Bloc and the Wafd Party, came in 13.4 and 7.1 percent respectively. It was a landslide victory for the Islamists, who are now expected to control about two-thirds of the parliament once all rounds of voting are completed.

The Muslim Brotherhood is not a moderate group, but it appears reformist when compared to the Salafists. Whereas the Brotherhood embraces elections, the Salafists are hostile to the very concept of voting. The Brotherhood is pragmatic and aware of political constraints, whereas the Salafists have no qualms about expressing their desire to turn Egypt into another Saudi Arabia. The Brotherhood is “moderate” in comparison to the Salafists like Hamas is “moderate” compared to Al-Qaeda.

The success of the Salafists is particularly terrifying because they are honest about their objectives. Some supporters of the Brotherhood are misled about the group’s ideology. All of the Salafists’ supporters know what they are asking for when voting. The Salafists regularly call for closing movie theaters, gender segregation, creating a morality police, stoning adulterers, severing the hands of thieves and banning alcohol and “fornication.”

“I want to say: Citizenship restricted by Islamic Shariah, freedom restricted by Islamic Shariah, equality restricted by Islamic Shariah…Shariah is obligatory, not just the principles—freedom and justice and all that,” said one top Egyptian Salafist leader, Sheikh Abdel Moneim el-Shahat.

“In the land of Islam, I can’t let people decide what is permissible or what is prohibited,” says another.

One of the parties belonging to the Salafist bloc, al-Gamaa al-Islamiyya, has Aboud al-Zumour, the mastermind of the assassination of Anwar Sadat, as one of its leaders. He still speaks affectionately about his old colleague, Ayman al-Zawahiri, calling him a “very kind and nice man.” He says he disagrees with his killings of civilians and tourists, but supports “resistance” against “occupiers.”

The Muslim Brotherhood, a group that supports terrorism and Shariah-based governance, criticized the Salafists for their inflammatory rhetoric. The Brotherhood favors a more incremental approach. The Deputy Supreme Guide, for example, says “the enforcement of Shariah punishments will need time, and will only come after Islam is planted in every heart and masters the life of people, and then Islamic punishments can be applied.”

The White House has yet to express alarm over the election results. The Israeli Defense Minister, on the other hand, said the results are “very, very disturbing.” Hamas is elated, as expected.

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read

From: LindyBill12/6/2011 12:34:48 AM
1 Recommendation   of 661234
Exports and Imports Are Flip Sides of Same Coin; Therefore A Tax on U.S. Imports Is a Tax on Exports
from CARPE DIEM by Mark J. Perry

In a short pamphlet from the American Enterprise Institute titled " Three Simple Principles of Trade Policy," economist Douglas A. Irwin writes this about the first simple principle, "A Tax on Imports is a Tax on Exports":

"Any restraint on imports also acts, in effect, as a restraint on exports. If a government undertakes policies that systematically reduce the volume of imports, it also systematically reduces the volume of exports. The converse of this proposition is also true: when a government undertakes policies to expand the volume of exports, it cannot help but to expand the volume of imports as well.

The fundamental reason for this truth is that exports and imports are flip sides of the same coin. Exports are necessary to generate the earnings to pay for imports, or exports are the goods a country must give up in order to acquire imports. Exports and imports are inherently interdependent, and any policy that reduces one will also reduce the other."

MP: The chart above provides annual historical data on U.S. international trade from 1790 to 2011 that confirm the strong statistical correlation between exports and imports over the last 221 years - they are inextricably linked and interdependent. It follows from Irwin's First Simple Principle of Trade Policy that:

1. Trade policies that attempt to stimulate exports simultaneously stimulate imports. Although he probably doesn't understand or recognize this, Obama's plan to double exports over the next five years will simultaneously double imports.

2. Attempts to tax (impose tariffs on) imports to protect domestic industries and increase jobs and exports in that industry will backfire because the tax on imports will simultaneously be a tax on U.S. exports, and there might actually be an overall decrease in employment.

The history of U.S. trade policy is based on the illusion that exports and imports are determined, or can be influenced, independently, since trade policy is almost always targeted at either decreasing imports or expanding exports, e.g. Obama's plan to double exports. But the reality is that exports and imports are dependent, determined simultaneously, and they rise and fall together.

3. This type of nitwitery will never work to create U.S. jobs:

"World News with Diane Sawyer" is gearing up for a " Made in America Christmas" and we need your help. The average American will spend $700 on holiday gifts and goodies this year, totaling more than $465 billion, the National Retail Federation estimates. If that money was spent entirely on U.S. made products it would create 4.6 million jobs. But it doesn't even have to be that big. If each of us spent just $64 on American made goods during our holiday shopping, the result would be 200,000 new jobs."

According to the First Simple Principle, reducing spending on imported Christmas gifts this year will simultaneously reduce spending on U.S. exports, and to the extent that any new jobs are created in some U.S. industries, they will be offset by job losses in other industries. No matter how successful the "Made in America Christmas" campaign is at increasing sales of American-made products, it won't create a single new American job, on net.

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read

From: LindyBill12/6/2011 12:37:34 AM
   of 661234
Send in the Krugman
from Ed Driscoll by Ed Driscoll

I don’t know about you, but I’ve certainly been waiting to hear what Paul Krugman has to say about the GOP presidential candidates:

  • The larger point, however, is that whoever finally gets the Republican nomination will be a deeply flawed candidate. And these flaws won’t be an accident, the result of bad luck regarding who chose to make a run this time around; the fact that the party is committed to demonstrably false beliefs means that only fakers or the befuddled can get through the selection process.
  • Of course, given the terrible economic picture and the tendency of voters to blame whoever holds the White House for bad times, even a deeply flawed G.O.P. nominee might very well win the presidency. But then what?
  • The Washington Post quotes an unnamed Republican adviser who compared what happened to Mr. Cain, when he suddenly found himself leading in the polls, to the proverbial tale of the dog who had better not catch that car he’s chasing. “Something great and awful happened, the dog caught the car. And of course, dogs don’t know how to drive cars. So he had no idea what to do with it.”
We’ve been watching this scenario play out since January of 2009. To borrow a favorite riff of the president, Krugman talks about Obama like a dog!

But to be fair to the former Enron advisor, clip art deconstructionist, erstwhile leader of Occupy Wall Street and helicopter journalist, and what he seeks in a GOP presidential candidate, not all of them can be the second coming of Richard Nixon.

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read

From: LindyBill12/6/2011 12:39:03 AM
12 Recommendations   of 661234
Horrible!… Obama Flat Out Lies About GOP Vote Last Week (Video)
from Gateway Pundit by Jim Hoft
What a horrible non-leader. Not only has Obama tripled the deficit and lost millions of jobs… Not only has he watched Islamists take control of the Middle East… Now he’s flat out lying about Republicans to the press.

Today Obama told reporters, “Virtually every Senate Republican voted against the tax cut last week.”
Wrong. 20 Republicans voted for the tax cut extension last Thursday night.

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last ReadRead Replies (1)

From: LindyBill12/6/2011 12:40:54 AM
1 Recommendation   of 661234
Maldives Muslims Fight for the Right to Flog
from FrontPage Magazine » FrontPage by Daniel Greenfield

When the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay visited the Maldives, she wasn’t expecting to make much of a splash there. Officially the Republic of Maldives is a Constitutional democracy with open elections that any Muslim can vote in (not being a Muslim happens to be against the law in the Maldives). Unofficially it’s a paranoid theocracy based on Sharia law where an Indian teacher who drew a compass had to be hurriedly evacuated after students mistook it for a cross.

The United Nations Human Rights apparatus generally tries to avoid looking too closely at human rights in Muslim countries because it knows exactly what it will find. The Maldives is a case in point. So when Navi Pillay stopped by the Maldives she followed the formula to the letter, praising the human rights progress in the Maldives and after a few minutes of that, briefly suggested that perhaps they should stop flogging women accused of premarital sex.

Naturally Pillay did not put it as harshly as I just did. In her words, “The fact that people, especially women, are still flogged in the Maldives is a serious blot on the country’s otherwise increasingly positive and progressive image overseas.” But how progressive can a country be when it outlaws the practice of any religion besides Islam and holds blasphemy trials and where a judge ruled that four men who gang raped a 14 year old would not be imprisoned because the girl had reached the age of puberty?

Despite Pillay’s careful wording, Muslims in the Maldives reacted by holding a protest that accused her of being a “racist Zionist” out to undermine Islam. This was an unfortunate setback for Pillay who had spent a good deal of time condemning Israel, only to be accused of being a “racist Zionist” for suggesting that flogging women might be undermining the progressive image of a country where a cross shaped design on a water bottle is a major scandal.

Maldives’ Foreign Minister Ahmed Naseem reassured his fellow Muslims that the government was not about to do anything crazy like ending the flogging of women. “”What’s there to discuss about flogging? There is nothing to debate about in a matter clearly stated in the religion of Islam. No one can argue with Allah. Our foreign ministry will not allow that to happen.”

That is literally true as arguing with Allah is against the law in the Maldives. Two years ago a drunk who tried arguing with Allah was sent to court and was forced to recite the Shahadah, the Islamic profession of faith. But Pillay had been careful not to argue with Allah. In her remarks she praised the Maldives for “reaching out in the Islamic world to promote dialogue on the compatibility of Islam and human rights” only to get a harsh reminder that in the real world Islam and human rights were as compatible as oil and water.

The Republic of Maldives, along with Libya, Cuba, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia is a member of the UN Human Rights Council, which has not been paying much attention to the right of women not to be flogged in the name of Allah, as it has to the right of Hamas members to blow up Israeli children. The Maldives had met most of the official benchmarks on human rights, so long as no one looked too closely at the fine print.

CEDAW, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, had been ratified by the Republic of Maldives, with one very minor caveat. “The Government of the Republic of the Maldives reserves its right to apply article 16 of the Convention… without prejudice to the provisions of Islamic sharia, which govern all marital and family relations of the 100 per cent Muslim population of the Maldives.” Which is to say that the Maldives will only grant those rights to women that don’t conflict with a 7th century document that treats women as legal and moral inferiors. But from the UN point of view, that makes the Maldives better than the US which has not ratified CEDAW at all.

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read

From: LindyBill12/6/2011 12:47:04 AM
   of 661234
Toward 2012: The Election of Our Lifetime?
from FrontPage Magazine » FrontPage by
The panel discussion below recently took place at David Horowitz’s Restoration Weekend in West Palm Beach, Florida (Nov. 17-20, 2011). The transcript follows. To view the question and answer session, click here.

Part I

Part II

Moderator: –2008. A lesson that was forcibly retaught to me by John McCain in this state in 2008. The Republican Party is the party of primogeniture. We always nominate the person who’s run before if someone has run before. There have been only two genuinely open GOP primaries in the last century, the most recent of which was in 2000. Mitt Romney will probably be the 2012 standard bearer because he’s genetically engineered for the crisis of the moment, and because he enjoys the priceless advantage of having run for the presidency in the last election cycle. The other GOP candidates each have strengths and some excellent ideas, but given the truncated nature of the early primary schedule and the sheer time and expense of building a credible campaign organization in a Republican primary as opposed to a Democratic primary, Pat, it’s almost impossible to generate sufficient name ID and presence in a first time presidential campaign to breakout ahead of someone who has already run and been tested. Even though it would be interested to see Newt Gingrich introduced at his first State Dinner, the President and the Third Lady, it’s not going to happen.

The second point of esoterica–Senator Marco Rubio will not be the GOP Vice Presidential Nominee in 2012. This is not because Senator Rubio isn’t qualified or because he isn’t likely to be asked. It’s because those around Senator Rubio, and I suspect even Marco himself, have figured out that Marco Rubio could one day be President and accepting a VP nomination dooms anyone’s presidential prospects. There are almost insurmountable barriers placed in the path of Vice Presidents seeking to rise to the top job. Martin Van Buren did it in 1836 and by essentially promising a third term of the most popular president in the 20th century since FDR, George H. W. Bush did it in 1988. Truman was President when he ran against Dewey, and the implosion of Lyndon Johnson made Nixon’s second bite at the apple impossible to recreate. This record is hardly encouraging. The Presidential court–the electoral corpses of Nixon in ’60, Humphrey in ’68, Mondale in ’84, Quayle in ’88, and Gore in 2000 are remarkable speed bumps in those–for those plotting the fast track to the Oval Office from Observatory Hill. And if the 2012 GOP nominee loses, God forbid, to President Obama, the taint of that loss by association, coupled with the historical damnation of being prominently introduced to the nation as the back-up guy is almost certainly fatal to future presidential ambitions.

Is this inevitable? Of course not. Predestiny is a crutch for the powerless. But the point is this. When you hear the names of potential VP nominees within the Republican Party next summer, lost in the endless political calculations in the moment, demographic or ideological voting blocks, geographic desirability, the ability to deliver even a single state is the harsh reality that Vice Presidents and Vice Presidential nominees can secure presidential nominations but they cannot be elected President–a lesson that penetrated even Sarah Palin’s small historical knowledge base. If you are going to accept the VP spot, be aware of what you’re giving up. Lesson to the wise.

On to the panel. Our first speaker is Bill McGurn. Bill was the chief speechwriter for President George W. Bush. He is now a Vice President of the News Corporation, parent company of both Fox News and the Wall Street Journal. Bill writes speeches for Rupert Murdoch, so he’s written for the most powerful man in the world, and President Bush. A graduate of both Notre Dame and Boston University, Bill was the D.C. bureau chief for National Review in the 1990s, and now pens a brilliant weekly column in the Wall Street Journal. In fact, his recent harangue on Mayor Bloomberg’s apparent abandonment of the broken windows theory of policing by tolerating the Zucotti Park campers in Obamaville may have shamed the mayor into finally cleaning house last week. Playwright Tom [Stofford] wrote that words are powerful things. If you get them right, you can change the world. Ladies and gentlemen, a man who has changed the world by using all the right words, Bill McGurn.

William McGurn: Thank you, Paul. I think you’ve over-introduced, in a way. There’s a famous British saying from the 1920s and 1930s, when the Rupert Murdoch of his time, a press baron was asked about his newspapermen. And someone said, well, I guess they’re smart guys. And he said, no, they don’t have to be smart. All they need is shorthand and certain low, rat-like cunning. Today, I’m here to tell you we no longer need shorthand. So when I asked Paul what we were supposed to speak about, he said about five minutes. So I’ll try to keep to that. I was the less-is-more speechwriter. The Golden Rule was sentence the Gettysburg Address was 271 words. I’m not going to match them in eloquence, but I’ll try to match them in brevity.

The topic was the 2012 elections, the elections of our lifetime. I’m not going to handicap races or talk about polls. You have some great political consultants here who know far more than I do on that. Also, I don’t think we have to contest the issue that this is the most important election of our lifetime. I think people are here generally because that’s the proposition that they assent to. So I don’t think we have to debate that.

What I’d like to talk about a little bit is just one aspect of how I see that playing out. I think what we have a choice, very broadly speaking, in 2012 for America, are two models of the future for our country. One is the European model, which is a lot of government intervention, a lot of dependency upon the state for different programs, kind of a top down approach, and also a declining military presence in the world. I mean, if Britain keeps going the way it’s going, it’s going to have fewer ships than Australia pretty soon.

The other is the Asian model. Now I lived in Europe for four years, and I lived in Asia for nine or ten years. And it’s such a striking difference today. It’s opportunity, it’s people increasingly based on the market. You know, when Tom Friedman goes to China, he comes back and tells us, gee this authoritarian model really works well. Look what China is building. Well, news flash–China has had an authoritarian model for most of its history. What’s changed? They’re moving to the market. It’s not authoritarianism that’s building this infrastructure and so forth, it’s the market. And it’s very alive. People–when I lived in Europe, you have a sense of people trying to hang on to what they have and very afraid people aren’t mobile. When I lived in Hong Kong, it’s the most dynamic place in the world. People sense opportunity out there. And also, a lot of people, you know, even in Hong Kong, were not that well off. But it seems to me there were two things that they valued. One was the opportunity, which was palpable, because you could see people that arrived owning nothing and became millionaires. The other is that even for people that arrived and are not necessarily millionaires–they might be a bus driver or sanitation worker–but they saw that their kids would have upward mobility.

I think that’s the same kind of thing at stake here. Which kind of model do we go to? The dynamic model–all these–the irony is that all these people that point to China and India, their prescriptions are always to make us more like Europe, you know, with government intervention and so forth. So those are the two broad models we have, and I think that Pat and John are going to talk a little bit about the voters that we need to attract, but I think it comes down to this. We all have differences here on which conservative candidate best represents us, but we’re–you know, we’re a highly polarized country now. Most of the Reagan Democrats have become Republicans, and really the election, I think, hinges on attracting independents and maybe a few disaffected Democrats that we could reach with our message. So it’s not so much about which candidate Republicans will settle on. I also hear people saying, I’ll never vote for Mitt Romney, I’ll never vote for Newt Gingrich. You know, I heard that before and I think we’ll all vote for whoever the nominee is when they’re running against Barack Obama.

So one of the questions that I have in this model is, there’s an assumption that the best candidate is kind of the guy that waters down his things, that is kind of in the middle ground. And one of the issues I have with Governor Romney is on his tax plans or something, he seems to accept some of the Obama parameters about the rich and so forth. And I think the general principle is indeed that we have to reach out with language that we’re not maybe used to and so forth to independents and Democrats. But I’m not sure that means actually watering down the principles. I think it means showing the relevance to their lives. To me, the person that’s doing this the most in Washington today is Paul Ryan, who talks about opportunity and upward mobility. And I think that’s the message we have to take to independents. And to me, if the challenge is Governor Romney–he’s in the lead, he would be the most likely candidate–the real question, I think, in this for him is, is he going to be seen as a rich guy, or is he going to be seen as a successful guy?

If he can portray himself as a successful guy, and a guy who can help you become successful, not necessarily as rich as he is, but have jobs, I think he’ll do a lot better. The fear is that we let ourselves be characterized as just the party of the rich.

Now we see this debate going on. The debate’s not new at the national level. To me, what I find fascinating is at the state level we have this working out all over the place. I mean, we have the tea parties, which is great. And I lived in the People’s Republic of New Jersey, so believe me, you know, I know what bad government is like. And Governor Christie has done a wonderful job in trimming back the budget and so forth, and making the argument. He has not yet, however, really addressed the structural problem. He’s addressed the balance sheet and made some cuts. But one reason I’d like to keep him in New Jersey is to start working on the structure.

We also have California. And one of the problems, I think, with our side, we’re always predicting Armageddon or it’ll become Greece. People have been predicting California is going to implode for years, and you kind of tune it out. It’s like when you’re told you have cancer and you only have five more years to live, and it’s ten years later. You still have cancer, but I think sometimes that we exaggerate, you know, how bad the things are and people tune out and numbers like trillions, –they don’t get it. Where I think it’s really playing out now–one of the things I think the national press is not paying sufficient attention to is the Midwest. If you look at the Midwest, the Rust Belt, you know once the real productive center of our country, you see the politics being raw. Then we tend to treat them very separately and individually.

I mean, it’s started in Indiana with Mitch Daniels, where he really has turned that state around. He says that because there’s a national problem, slow recovery, it’s kind of like getting the new dress for the prom and then the prom’s called off. But I think few would doubt that Indiana is in much better shape today than it was before, and looks at it with hope.

Up further to the north, you have Wisconsin, where Scott Walker has passed some remarkable reforms. And he’s withstood a lot of the pressure. You know, they’ve thrown everything at him. It looks like even the recall thing might be petering out a little bit. It’s a tremendous experiment. In Ohio you have John Kasich doing similar things. He had a setback, but I don’t think that story’s over, because really what happened is the voters–the voters chose layoffs and cutbacks over this reform. That’s what they’re going to find out. So there’s a lot of education. And in Michigan, you kind of have the midway thing. I think Michigan’s one of the worst cases. If I were a Republican running in any state, I’d say we can either be Indiana, or we can be Kentucky, or we can be Michigan. I mean, if you go to Michigan today, and you look in the–outside the cities–well look in the cities. Newsweek had a list of 10 dying cities and three of them were in Michigan. Detroit’s down to the population of 1909. And the whole state, which used to be, I think the sixth most important state in the country, a driver of our economy with its productivity, is now down in the 40s, I think–38th right now, 38th ranked. And slipping.

So all these states have looked to Republicans for solutions. What’s the one outlier? Illinois. I mean, Illinois in the last election–Governor Quinn ran on passing a tax–raise taxes 67%. This is business as usual. He was elected with the votes of Chicago. He won only four counties of 102 counties in that state. He won the important counties, but he won only four of them there. Passed his tax, what’s now happening? Sears is threatening to leave. The Chicago Merc is threatening to leave. All sorts of things are threatening to leave. So what are they doing? Crony capitalism. Let’s give tax breaks to these guys. But that’s an experiment too. You know, in some ways, Illinois is kind of the perfect bad example.

So I think in all these ways, what we see is a microcosm of what we’re going to see at the national level. And I think that the answer for Republicans, the ones who will succeed are the ones that not just have the conservative message, but the ones that can show to the people that it relates to their lives, that their opportunity is tethered to that message.

And I don’t think that means again watering down the message. I think it means relating it to people in language they can understand. Maybe not the language, you know, I like [Hiack] and Friedman and so forth. If I was an independent sitting in Michigan, I might want to hear something else. Thank you.

Moderator: I’m proud to report that our next speaker spells his last name correctly. Erick Erickson is one of those rare pundits whose byline has become interchangeable with his name. Red State Erickson was one of the first triumphs of the blogosphere’s ability to ferret out real talent, where clear thinking and right ideas, like the old Playtex commercials like to say, lift and separate those opinions that matter from those opinions that don’t. Mark Steyn being another fine example. He’s not only a radio talk show host, but is also a contributor to CNN’s John King, and like Kuato in the movie Total Recall, he’s the guy that lives inside John King’s door frame chest and gives him all the smartest things to say. The bottom line, when Red State speaks, conservatives listen. Ladies and gentlemen, Erick Erickson.

Erick Erickson: I don’t think I’ve quite ever had an introduction like that before. Wow. Although I’ve got to say, just full disclosure, it pains me to be onstage with an Erickson who’s supporting Romney. Just full disclosure, I’m–I don’t really have a dog in the fight other than the guy who is not Mitt Romney. That’s my guy.

Is this the most important election in our lifetime? I would actually argue that 2010 was the most important election in our lifetime. And the reason being is because this is the first time–we’re going through redistricting. This is the first time since passage of the Voting Rights Act that the Democrats control the Department of Justice during redistricting. So it’s very important in 2010 to grow as many Republican state legislatures and governors’ mansions as possible, to get us to this year, where they’re willing to actually fight the Eric Holder Department of Justice to draw congressional lines that may help Republicans. But this election in itself, yes, I think it’s a very important election, given what we’re facing.

If you look at 2008, I think the Obama administration over-read its mandate in 2008. In 2008, people were tired of who I repeatedly on the radio, having amalgamated all of the Democratic complaints against George Bush and Dick Cheney, that they were rejecting what the Democrats would call the George [Chibbing] McBush Hitler Halliburton Era. And they weren’t actually embracing this newfound love of socialism.

The Democrats, nonetheless, thought hey, we got it, we’ll use it. And they used it. And now the light’s coming on with the American public, and they’re kind of shocked that the Democrats went as far as they did. You know, I thought it was very interesting, a couple of weeks ago the Center for American Progress, the so-called think tank where 80% of their budget is actually PR, not actually thinking, tried to explain how 60% of the public actually like the individual mandate now, which is a poll number that Gallup–even the Democratic-leaning public policy poll and where they got their number from supposedly–all of them kind of disagree that most Americans don’t like the individual mandate, which is why I have a hard time believing the Republicans will nominate the guy who created it. But–on another issue.

So we’re going into an election where we will be facing the repeal of Obamacare, changing the tax structure, and then there’s this odd thing that I think the Republicans are dropping the ball on. And this goes directly to why I have a hard time with the guy who can’t get above 25% in Republican polling right now, and that is Occupy Wall Street is probably the greatest recruitment tool for the conservative movement to ever exist.

See, this is what I think the Republicans are missing this year. Conservatives hate Wall Street as much as liberals hate Wall Street. And what the liberals seem to be ignoring is that Wall Street financial firms have gotten richer in the past three years than in all eight years of George W. Bush combined. And likewise, they’ve given more money to Barack Obama than all of the Republican candidates, including Mitt Romney, combined. Barack Obama has gotten more money from Bain Capital than Mitt Romney, who worked at Bain Capital. That should tell you something about Wall Street. Yet the liberals would have you believe it’s the Koch brothers’ fault. I swear to you, Occupy Wall Street is the greatest recruitment tool for the conservative movement. When they try to shut down Black Friday, every soccer mom in America will be beating the hell out of those protesters, trying to get into Sears & Roebuck, and then going to change their registration to Republican.

So you’ve got this setup where the Republicans appear to be nominating a guy–and forget who the guy is–they seem to be willing to nominate a guy–and I’m not talking about Mitt Romney, I’m talking about all of the above–who they’re not resonating on a Reagan conservative populist message, a–if you will–Zell Miller from Georgia–this intrinsically conservative but populist message. Where the Republicans seem to have bought into the fact that we’re the party of Wall Street, when they’re not the party of Wall Street. They should be the party of the entrepreneur. They should be the party of the guy who you want to go out and build something yourself, go do it. Look at the legislation the Democrats and the Republicans are both supporting, the bipartisan support for example, for patent reform in Washington D.C., which is a very esoteric topic.

You’ll have to excuse me, but I’ve got an iPhone right here. There’s a good example of this. Individuals have created profitable companies, building software just for this device. But there’s this weird little patent that someone didn’t invent, they just bought from someone who bought it from someone else, who bought it from someone else who had invented it, that if I push a little “Accept” button on this iPhone–everybody knows where the Accept button is. It pops up and do you want to buy this application? You click Accept. Apparently someone years ago wrote a patent. They didn’t invent it. They just came up with the idea and sent it to the Patent Office, without ever actually developing it. But they got a patent. They sold it to someone who sold it to someone else who sold it to someone else, who is now suing every iPhone developer for daring to include a button that has the word Accept on a button. And Congress says that’s a good thing. Well, you know, up until 1990, you couldn’t patent software because it’s pretty easy to say, hey, let’s put a little button and write the word Accept on it. My favorite patent in America is literally some guy filed and got a patent for the idea of pointing a laser, the little red dot at the wall, and moving it around to catch the attention of a dog or cat. It was a patent to entertain animals. They actually got a patent to do that. There’s something flawed in our country when an entrepreneur can’t make a product without paying somebody a bunch of money because he just had a common sense idea. But the Democrats and Republicans got together with all the big corporations in America and said, hey, that’s a great idea. Let’s do that.

The problem is that the Republican party, and I realize this is very esoteric, but the problem relates to this. The Republicans have bought into what the Democrats have been saying the Republicans are. The Democrats have been saying the Republicans are the party of Big Business. The party of Big Pharma, the party of Big Oil, what have you. Until the Republicans get back to being the party of the small businessmen that everybody likes, the party of the entrepreneur, and the party, frankly, of the people who create jobs–instead of talking about giving tax cuts to the rich, start talking about helping people create jobs. I think they profoundly miss the message as we head into 2012, and we’ve got to elect a candidate who can relate to the entrepreneur, who can relate to the small businessmen, who can relate to the people who are going to be very angry when they try to walk into Target on next Friday and some damn dirty hippie is blocking the door because they smelled all week up in New York City and don’t know how to use a shower.

A funny story before I leave. In Atlanta, the Occupy Atlanta movement–the rich Emoroids, I call them–kids who go to Emory–they decided to join the Occupy Atlanta movement, and when no one was bringing them food because someone apparently stole all the money, who was in charge of collecting the money to buy the food, they decided to take over the local homeless shelter in downtown Atlanta. So the homeless people were booted out so the Emoroids could get the free food. According to the Atlanta Journal last week, there’s a problem–the homeless shelter and now a lot of the Occupy Atlanta kids are testing positive for drug-resistant tuberculosis. Maybe they should think better of taking over homeless shelters.

Let me leave you with this. I have a deep fear, because I am a pessimist at heart–why pray when I can worry–that the Republican Party is going to throw away 2012. I have a deep fear in this. Now let me tell you why. I have a deep fear in this because they’re not investing resources in the tea party movement that swept them into power in 2010. They seem–the Republicans I encounter on a regular basis in Washington seem to be embarrassed by the people who brought them to the dance. And unless they get over that and realize that, you know, these people are onto something–more Americans seem to like the tea party movement right now than these hippies on Wall Street who are blocking all the doors. I think they profoundly misjudged the mood of the American people. They went to Washington and have been apologizing for too long on what actually got them there. They need to actually pick a fight on repealing Obamacare. They need to pick a fight with the Administration on the budget. And they need to actually, believe it or not, pick a fight on cutting spending. If they don’t, I think we’re going to lose it.

Moderator: John McLaughlin has been a pollster and strategic political consultant for thirty years. Like Governor Chris Christie, he’s a huge fan of Bruce Springsteen. But unlike Governor Christie, he isn’t huge. His track record is simply remarkable. Former clients range from presidential candidate Steve Forbes to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. But unlike Arnold, after two terms and one divorce, John will be back. John has successfully advised 22 current or former U.S. Senators and 20 current members of Congress. He has the gift of unerringly predicting not merely election outcomes, but moods of the electorate before they even know what mood they’re in. There is simply no better pollster alive in America today than John McLaughlin. I would and have bet my political life on him at various times over the years, and my presence here is proof that unlike Kim Kardashian’s wedding vows, John is for real. Ladies and gentlemen, John McLaughlin.

John McLaughlin: For those of you who thought it was the John McLaughlin from TV, the John McLaughlin Group, I saw him on the plane last night. TV makes you look older, but not that much older. I saw him on the plane last night, and he had my seat in first class. And he was flying down here –he lives down here. But he used to call me for predictions all the time, so that’s why he was right. But it’s an honor to be here with Bill and Erick, and thank you Paul, and my colleague Pat Caddell. I’m going to run through some poll numbers that Pat and I–we work for, and these are poll numbers that we’ve done in August, and there’s some recent numbers, so as I go through them, Pat may comment, because that way we’re bipartisan, so we can keep going through this. But a lot of these numbers are very fresh and very real.

This is, by the way, the number on the right there, is as of two days ago–the generic vote for Congress. And this is why Pat–I often agree with Pat when he talks about the Republican Party being the stupid party. Unfortunately, we are. You will see there that a lot of the surveys going back to January of ’09, when after Barack Obama, everybody thought he was going to be a moderate and a good President, the Democrats were up on us by 11 points. And then Barack Obama decided to screw up and you had a stimulus, you had health care, you had the budget, etc. The Republicans, as Erick has already noticed–we got a really big win where we kind of peaked in September of 2010, 51-37. Then we actually won 52-45. And then the Republicans went back to being the Republicans.

And you can see, there’s a little bump there in May of this year, where we allowed the Democrats to run a campaign saying we were going to cut Medicare. Now as of September, I was involved in a couple of campaigns–Bob Turner’s, and there was a special election in Nevada when they said you want to cut Medicare, we said you already did with Obamacare. And we kind of fought back. But you can see, one in four voters are still undecided. So we could, as Erick mentioned, we could definitely blow this election. What’s bad about it, what’s in our favor, is of the one in four voters, two and three of them think they’re worse off than when Obama was President. They disapprove of the job the President’s doing. We should be able to win them. But we may not.

And this is the scary number. You will notice the blue line on the right there. These are the President’s job ratings. You could go back to May of ’09 where he was 2 to 1 positive, and then we figured out what he wanted to do, and he went almost 2 to 1 negative in that September of 2010, and he stayed pretty negative. But recently, you see what happens? He’s the only one with a jobs program. It may be a bad jobs program. But people are saying that the Republicans, what do they have? And we’ve got a supercommittee. So you can see the President’s definitely making a comeback, and he is definitely not out of it. But right now he’s upside down. There’s as 51 disapprove with a 47 approval on his job approval rating. It probably went up this week because he did go to Australia, right? Wait until he gets back in the country.

And this is a number that Pat and I have cautioned people about. You will see this is do you approve or disapprove of the job Barack Obama is doing regarding America’s defense and security. Although he’s a net negative, very much so on the economy, when it comes to security, he’s a net positive. He was a net negative in September of 2010, you could see 43 to 51, but he’s 49-45 right now.

How important an issue is national security when deciding your vote for President? 96% saying important. This was an August survey that Pat and I did. Two thirds, 67%, are saying very important right now. So it’s not just the economy.

This is one of my favorite questions. Who was the greatest threat to the United States? And these are verbatims off the top of people’s minds. If the Republicans were doing a good job, Barack Obama would be number one. But right now it’s the economy at 17%. Barack Obama is the greatest threat, 12%. That’s an amazing observation. He’s ahead of al-Qaeda, at 8%. (is only Which country is the greatest threat to the United States? These voters get it. They see threats. And Pat and I have seen in the surveys that we’ve done, where you’re seeing the greatest number of external threats since the Cold War. You know, we had a peace dividend in the 90s. You had 9/11. We have real enemies out there. Iran, 63% when you combine first and second choice. China, 50. So much for our trading partner. And North Korea, 47%. They’d be higher if they could shoot a missile accurately by.

This is an interesting question where the Washington Post–I don’t know how many of you there read the Washington Post. Maybe you do. You aren’t normal people. You’re sitting here on a Saturday morning listening to us. But they asked the question–they had a story yesterday that the United States is no longer an exceptional country, because when they asked the question on a Pew Research poll, while Americans aren’t perfect, our culture is superior. And it’s down to 49% agree. Well, they didn’t ask it right. And I would be, what do you mean, we’re not perfect, anyway. But this is the way Pat and I had figured we’d ask a question like that. President Ronald Reagan referred to the United States as a shining example of what is right in the world. Do you believe that the United States is an exceptional force for good in the world? 71% said yes, of all voters. So when you hear them talking about, like the Washington Post article actually said we’re not exceptional anymore. They’re really trying to do Obama’s work for them, dumb us down. But the reality of this is 7 out of 10 Americans actually believe this.

Do you think Obama’s policies towards Iran will succeed in convincing them to abandon developing nuclear weapons? 78% no. This is a scary number when you think about, a very scary number. But the people are way ahead. The voters in America are way ahead. And if I have anything to do with it, you know, you’ll hear from Congressman Bob Turner, who I’ve worked for, and you’ll hear from other members of Congress. If I have anything to do with it, I’m working for people that want to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

If Iran obtains nuclear weapons, do you believe Iran would use them to attack United States military bases and ships in the Persian Gulf or the Middle East? 70% say yes. If Iran obtains nuclear weapons, do you believe Iran would arm terrorists who would use these weapons to attack the United States? 80% said yes. Where I live, in New York, it’s probably 100%. But 4 out of 5 Americans think if Iran gets a nuclear weapon, they are going to give it to terrorists and use it against us. That is a big number. When you work for elected officials, you sit there and you tell them about math, 80% is a big number.

If sanctions against Iran do not work, would you approve or disapprove of using the military to attack and destroy facilities in Iran which are necessary to produce a nuclear weapon? Pat and I were getting over 50%. As of August, it was 64%. What’s amazing about this is most Americans want out of Iraq, want out of Afghanistan. But this question, when you tell them that if the sanctions do not work, which they already believe are not going to work, would you use the military to destroy facilities in Iran which are necessary to produce a nuclear weapon–64% of all Americans are saying yes. They get it. Our leaders may not. Iran can target embassies in Washington and want to assassinate ambassadors, and we’re going to let them get a nuclear weapon.

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read

From: ManyMoose12/6/2011 1:13:59 AM
   of 661234
Kumar sent me these links privately.

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read

To: SI Brad who wrote (459495)12/6/2011 1:29:09 AM
From: goldworldnet
   of 661234
>>I also offered refunds to anyone who had paid in the prior 12 months...that offer still stands.<<

Thanks! I think I qualify for that. :)

Message 27098322

* * *

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read

From: Nadine Carroll12/6/2011 2:14:20 AM
7 Recommendations   of 661234
Bibi Netanyahu has called a snap election in the Likud Party, long before he had to, to shore up his domestic mandate. Presumably in preparation for some Israeli action which may test if the USA still is an ally or not.

Our World: An ally no more
12/05/2011 23:47

Instead of warning Egypt against breaking its treaty with the Jewish state, US officials chose to criticize Israel instead.

With vote tallies in for Egypt’s first round of parliamentary elections in it is abundantly clear that Egypt is on the fast track to becoming a totalitarian Islamic state. The first round of voting took place in Egypt’s most liberal, cosmopolitan cities. And still the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists received more than 60 percent of the vote. Run-off elections for 52 seats will by all estimates increase their representation.

And then in the months to come, Egyptian voters in the far more Islamist Nile Delta and Sinai will undoubtedly provide the forces of jihadist Islam with an even greater margin of victory.

Until the US-supported overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt served as the anchor of the US alliance system in the Arab world. The Egyptian military is US-armed, US-trained and US-financed.

The Suez Canal is among the most vital waterways in the world for the US Navy and the global economy.

Due to Mubarak’s commitment to stemming the tide of jihadist forces that threatened his regime, under his rule Egypt served as a major counter-terror hub in the US-led war against international jihad.

GIVEN EGYPT’S singular importance to US strategic interests in the Arab world, the Obama administration’s response to the calamitous election results has been shocking. Rather than sound the alarm bells, US President Barack Obama has celebrated the results as a victory for “democracy.”

Rather than warn Egypt that it will face severe consequences if it completes its Islamist transformation, the Obama administration has turned its guns on the first country that will pay a price for Egypt’s Islamic revolution: Israel.

Speaking at the annual policy conclave in Washington sponsored by the leftist Brookings Institute’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hammered Israel, the only real ally the US has left in the Middle East after Mubarak’s fall. Clinton felt it necessary – in the name of democracy – to embrace the positions of Israel’s radical Left against the majority of Israelis.

The same Secretary of State that has heralded negotiations with the violent, fanatical misogynists of the Taliban; who has extolled Saudi Arabia where women are given ten lashes for driving, and whose State Department trained female-hating Muslim Brotherhood operatives in the lead-up to the current elections in Egypt accused Israel of repressing women’s rights. The only state in the region where women are given full rights and legal protections became the focus of Clinton’s righteous feminist wrath.

In the IDF, as in the rest of the country, religious coercion is forbidden. Jewish law prohibits men from listening to women’s voices in song. And recently, when a group of religious soldiers were presented with an IDF band that featured female vocalists, keeping faith with their Orthodox observance, they walked out of the auditorium. The vocalists were not barred from singing. They were not mistreated. They were simply not listened to.

And as far as Clinton is concerned, this is proof that women in Israel are under attack. Barred by law from forcing their soldiers from spurning their religious obligations, IDF commanders were guilty of crimes against democracy for allowing the troops to exit the hall.

But Clinton didn’t end her diatribe with the IDF’s supposed war against women. She continued her onslaught by proclaiming that Israel is taking a knife to democracy by permitting its legislators to legislate laws that she doesn’t like. The legislative initiatives that provoked the ire of the US Secretary of State are the bills now under discussion which seek to curtail the ability to foreign governments to subvert Israel’s elected government by funding non-representative, anti-Israel political NGOs like B’Tselem and Peace Now.

In attacking Israel in the way she did, Clinton showed that she holds Israel to a unique standard of behavior. Whereas fellow Western democracies are within their rights when they undertake initiatives like banning Islamic headdresses from the public square, Israel is a criminal state for affording Jewish soldiers freedom of religion. Whereas the Taliban, who enslave women and girls in the most unspeakable fashion are worthy interlocutors, and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, which supports universal female genital mutilation is moderate, Israel is an enemy of democracy for seeking to preserve the government’s ability to adopt policies that advance the country’s interests.

The unique standard to which Clinton holds the Jewish state is the standard of human perfection.

And as far as she is concerned, if Israel is not perfect, then it is unworthy of support. And since Israel, as a nation of mere mortals can never be perfect, it is necessarily always guilty.

CLINTON’S ASSAULT on Israeli democracy and society came a day after Panetta attacked Israel’s handling of its strategic challenges. Whereas Clinton attacked Israel’s moral fiber, Panetta judged Israel responsible for every negative development in the regional landscape.

Panetta excoriated Israel for not being involved in negotiations with the Palestinians. Israel, he said must make new concessions to the Palestinians in order to convince them of its good faith. If Israel makes such gestures, and the Palestinians and the larger Islamic world spurn them, then Panetta and his friends will side with Israel, he said.

Panetta failed to notice that Israel has already made repeated, unprecedented concessions to the Palestinians and that the Palestinians have pocketed those concessions and refused to negotiate. And he failed to notice that in response to the repeated spurning of its concessions by the Palestinians and the Arab world writ large, rather than stand with Israel, the US and Europe expanded their demands for further Israeli concessions.

Panetta demanded that Israel make renewed gestures as well to appease the Egyptians, Turks and Jordanians. He failed to notice that it was Turkey’s Islamist government, not Israel, that took a knife to the Turkish-Israeli strategic alliance.

As for Egypt, rather than recognize the strategic implications for the US and Israel alike of Egypt’s transformation into an Islamic state, the US Defense Secretary demanded that Israel ingratiate itself with Egypt’s military junta. Thanks in large part to the Obama administration, that junta is now completely beholden to the Muslim Brotherhood.

As for Jordan, again thanks to the US’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood and its aligned groups in Libya and Tunisia, the Hashemite regime is seeking to cut a deal with the Jordanian branch of the movement in a bid to save itself from Mubarak’s fate. Under these circumstances, there is no gesture that Israel can make to its neighbor to the east that would empower King Abdullah to extol the virtues of peace with the Jewish state.

Then there is Iran, and its nuclear weapons program.

Panetta argued that an Israeli military strike against Iran would lead to regional war. But he failed to mention that a nuclear armed Iran will lead to nuclear proliferation in the Arab world and exponentially increase the prospect of a global nuclear war.

Rather than face the dangers head on, Panetta’s message was that the Obama administration would rather accept a nuclear-armed Iran than support an Israeli military strike on Iran to prevent the mullocracy from becoming a nuclear-armed state.

Clinton’s and Panetta’s virulently anti-Israeli messages resonated in an address about European anti-Semitism given last week by the US Ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman. Speaking to a Jewish audience, Gutman effectively denied the existence of anti-Semitism in Europe. While attacks against European Jews and Jewish institutions have become a daily occurrence continent-wide, Gutman claimed that non-Muslim anti- Semites are essentially just all-purpose bigots who hate everyone, not just Jews.

As for the Muslims who carry out the vast majority of anti-Jewish attacks in Europe, Gutman claimed they don’t have a problem with good Jews like him. They are simply angry because Israel isn’t handing over land to the Palestinians quickly enough. If the Jewish state would simply get with Obama’s program, according to the US ambassador, Muslim attacks on Jews in Europe would simply disappear.

Gutman of course is not a policymaker. His job is simply to implement Obama’s policies and voice the president’s beliefs.

But when taken together with Clinton’s and Panetta’s speeches, Gutman’s remarks expose a distressing intellectual and moral trend that clearly dominates the Obama administration’s foreign policy discourse. All three speeches share a common rejection of objective reality in favor of a fantasy.

In the administration’s fantasy universe, Israel is the only actor on the world stage. Its detractors, whether in the Islamic world or Europe, are mere objects. They are bereft of judgment or responsibility for their actions.

There are two possible explanations for this state of affairs – and they are not mutually exclusive. It is possible that the Obama administration is an ideological echo chamber in which only certain positions are permitted. This prospect is likely given the White House’s repeated directives prohibiting government officials from using terms like “jihad,” “Islamic terrorism,” “Islamist,” and “jihadist,” to describe jihad, Islamic terrorism, Islamists and jihadists.

Restrained by ideological thought police that outlaw critical thought about the dominant forces in the Islamic world today, US officials have little choice but to place all the blame for everything that goes wrong on the one society they are free to criticize – Israel.

The second possible explanation for the administration’s treatment of Israel is that it is permeated by anti-Semitism. The outsized responsibility and culpability placed on Israel by the likes of Obama, Clinton, Panetta and Gutman is certainly of a piece with classical anti-Semitic behavior.

There is little qualitative difference between accusing Israeli society of destroying democracy for seeking to defend itself against foreign political subversion, and accusing Jews of destroying morality for failing to embrace foreign religious faiths.

So too, there is little qualitative difference between blaming Israel for its isolation in the face of the Islamist takeover of the Arab world, and blaming the Jews for the rise of anti-Semites to power in places like Russia, Germany and Norway.

In truth, from Israel’s perspective, it really doesn’t make a difference whether these statements and the intellectual climate they represent stem from ideological myopia or from hatred of Jews.

The end result is the same in either case: Under President Obama, the US government has become hostile to Israel’s national rights and strategic imperatives. Under Obama, the US is no longer Israel’s ally.

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last ReadRead Replies (1)
Previous 10 Next 10 

Copyright © 1995-2018 Knight Sac Media. All rights reserved.Stock quotes are delayed at least 15 minutes - See Terms of Use.