» The Cartoon Kingdom

Ed Driscoll

The Cartoon Kingdom

Currently being updated by Brandon Darby of Breitbart Texas:

Police have the area blocked off and have removed reporters for up to half a mile away. Helicopters are patrolling the skies and police are standing in the intersection, blocking the roads and are armed with M-16s.

UPDATE, 8:51 PM: A senior officer has said that the officer taken to the hospital will be OK, and that the two suspects will not be OK. The 100 people being held inside singing the Star-Spangled Banner to comfort themselves.

UPDATE, 8:45 PM: Police appeared to have escorted a few individuals through a conference room, and continue to patrol the perimeter.

UPDATE: Suspects had two AK-47’s according to police on the scene. The officer has been transported to the hospital. The suspects are still on the ground at the scene. They are not moving and are not being touched at this time until a bomb squad checks out their bodies.

Approximately 100 people are being held by police in a secured facility inside the event.

The incident occurred in Garland, a suburb of Dallas; Darby notes that “Armed police officers rushed in to the Mohammed Art Exhibit and Contest and quickly removed Pamela Geller and whisked her away to safety after a gunfight erupted outside of the event.” More as it comes in.

Some related tweets:

 

 

And the Dallas Morning News begins the MSM spin that the victims had it coming:

 


Update: Jocelyn Lockwood, a reporter with the Dallas NBC affiliate, is live tweeting the aftermath of the incident. She notes that “two men pulled up got out of a vehicle and started shooting,” resulting in an officer being hospitalized after he was shot, and the nearby Walmart being evacuated as a precaution while “Garland PD setting up perimeter around vehicle near event, planning to search it.”

Plus at least one report of “Possible third suspect reportedly in Walmart with grenade.”

Meanwhile, Twitchy notes, “Tweeters bring the hate after shooting at Muhammad art contest in Texas,” and those praising the attack:

While Fox has live coverage, as of 7:14 PM PDT, apparently CNN is still working out the angle on the narrative and/or doesn’t want to break into its pro-pot documentary with actual breaking news:

At Breitbart Texas, Brandon Darby updates his post; he speculates “the shooting was timed for the end of the conference so that the gunmen could target the crowd flooding out into the parking lot. The event went longer than expected, which potentially prevented further casualties. The event was initially scheduled to end at 7 PM.” And from Daniel Greenfield at David Horowitz’s FrontPage Website, “Muslims Praise Texas Mohammed Cartoon Attack, Claim Responsibility.” In video at Ezra Levant’s The Rebel Website, “David Menzies reports from terror attack on Garland, Texas ‘Mohammed cartoon’ event.” The New York Times goes for “the victims shouldn’t dress and/or talk so proactively” route…


…Which is a curious approach to take for a paper that hired Piss Christ “Artist” Andres Serrano to illustrate one of its daily rants on Abu Ghraib back in 2005.

Late Update:

 

George Orwell will be spinning in his grave like a dreidel tomorrow, as the DNC-MSM ransacks their thesauruses to find new and unique ways to all say variations on “I believe in free speech, but…”

“As George Orwell put it, ‘Every joke is a tiny revolution.’ Free speech isn’t about having the right to criticize comfortably. It’s about confronting the unconfrontable,” Gavin McInnes writes at the Federalist:

The whole thing displays a jaw-dropping lack of self-awareness that can only come from growing up in a bubble of self-congratulation. Overindulged cowards such as Trudeau have cloaked their fear of the unwashed masses in some kind of holier-than-thou blanket of superiority, yet both are equally disgusting. It’s vile to refuse to mock one particular group because you’re scared of them, and it’s even worse to pretend you’re doing it because you’re better than them. That’s the very definition of a white supremacist.

* * * * * * *

Charlie Hebdo didn’t target Muslims, as the liberal media so often declares. It simply included them. USA Today points out, of the 38 covers Charlie Hebdo published mocking religion, the vast majority (21) attacked Christianity while only seven ridiculed Islam.

So, why can’t we make fun of them, again—because they’re “a powerless, disenfranchised minority” as Gary puts it? Last time I checked, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates were doing pretty well. They’re not disenfranchised, either. Islam is too big to be classified that way. The only one thing you can say about a religion that includes 1.57 billion people is it is remarkably intolerant (and disproportionately inbred). Trudeau singles out the extremists as some kind of exception, but, as Ben Shapiro pointed out, this is a myth and the real percentage of extremist thought goes well into the majority.

Entirely unrelated news: “Revealed: The Alabama student who tricked her parents and fled to Syria to become an ISIS bride. Now she’s radicalizing other Americans into carrying out attacks on U.S. soil.”

(Via Kathy Shaidle, who dubs the effete cartoonist, “Garry Trudeau, white supremacist.”)

obama_chamberlain_charlie_hebdo_1-11-15-1

“Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers ‘terrorists’, says head of BBC Arabic Tarik Kafala,” the London Independent reports. Check out this Orwellian dissembling:

Tarik Kafala, the head of BBC Arabic, the largest of the BBC’s non-English language news services, said the term “terrorist” was too “loaded” to describe the actions of the men who killed 12 people in the attack on the French satirical magazine.

Mr Kafala, whose BBC Arabic television, radio and online news services reach a weekly audience of 36 million people, told The Independent: “We try to avoid describing anyone as a terrorist or an act as being terrorist. What we try to do is to say that ‘two men killed 12 people in an attack on the office of a satirical magazine’. That’s enough, we know what that means and what it is.”

Mr Kafala said: “Terrorism is such a loaded word. The UN has been struggling for more than a decade to define the word and they can’t. It is very difficult to. We know what political violence is, we know what murder, bombings and shootings are and we describe them. That’s much more revealing, we believe, than using a word like terrorist which people will see as value-laden.”

“Of all the giveaways in those few lines, the most telling may be the reference to the U.N. as a supposedly neutral authority,” NRO’s  Andrew Stuttaford writes in response.

And I love this line from Kafala:

“The value judgements frequently implicit in the use of the words ‘terrorist’ or ‘terrorist group’ can create inconsistency in their use or, to audiences, raise doubts about our impartiality. It may be better to talk about an apparent act of terror or terrorism than label individuals or a group.”

Raising “doubts about our impartiality?” Wait, when it comes to the writers at Charlie Hebdo — whatever you think of their work — when it comes to choosing sides between journalists and cartoonists, and those want to kill them, you’re going to remain impartial? Gee, I think this is one issue where the media might want to take sides. But then, to borrow from Glenn Reynolds’ recent USA Today column, it isn’t just Islam that’s a tarnished brand in the years after 9/11.

Or as Stuttaford writes, “There’s little that’s more revealingly subjective than the elaborate pretense of objectivity.” (Note to self: file that sentence away for future use.)

CNN, Where Time Stands Still

January 21st, 2015 - 12:29 pm

Now is the time when we juxtapose, Small Dead Animals-style:

When Fox News started out, it got a generally skeptical and unfriendly reception from the journalistic establishment. Even reporters, who generally view any news media organization as a good thing (not to mention a potential source of employment), were largely disapproving. But no one greeted Fox News with more pure vitriol than CNN founder Ted Turner.

“I look forward to crushing Rupert Murdoch like a bug,” Turner told the press. He compared Murdoch to Hitler, which would make Roger Ailes a reincarnation of Goebbels, and followed up with an explanation, quoted by the Los Angeles Times [in October of 1996]: “The late Führer, the first thing he did, like all dictators, was take over the press and use it to further his agenda. Basically, that is what Rupert Murdoch does with his media.  .  .  .” The Nazi analogy was too much for the Anti-Defamation League, which rebuked Turner for trivializing the Holocaust. Turner apologized, but that didn’t prevent him from likening Murdoch to “the late Führer” a year later; or, in 2005, comparing the success of Fox News to the rise of Hitler.

— From Roger Ailes: Off Camera, by Zev Chafets.

Flash-forward to this week: “CNN’s Zakaria Takes Shot at Murdoch, ‘Quasi-Fascist’ Fox Hosts,” Mediaite’s Josh Feldman reports.

Both of which seem like pretty odd complaints, both from Turner, who after leaving the network he founded has gone on to praise North Korea, and from Zakaria, who in-between dodging plagiarism allegations, has complained on CNN that the American people have too much freedom and too little regulation.

Related: “Washington Post Catches CNN Red-Handed Reporting On Muslim ‘No-Go Zones.’”

And from Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit, “Sure, Take Out Your Frustrations And Anxiety On Fox, They Won’t Behead You: Paris mayor threatens to sue Fox for insulting Paris and injuring its honor (with ‘no-go zones’).”

It was pretty much a given that it wouldn’t be very long at all before the French would revert to form and quickly begin to lose the goodwill of the American people after the horror of the Islamofascist attack on Charlie Hebdo. Or as Glenn adds, “Funny, I could have sworn that there were a lot of people marching for free speech in Paris recently.”

We’re quickly discovering how many of them were simply engaging in pantomime.

Update: “Je Suis Fox News?” asks Ricochet’s John Gabriel:

Fox News’ jealous critics and the Parisian mayor should re-read their week-old paroxysms of support for an unbridled press. Because free speech doesn’t work if you’re only allowed to offend religious figures but not secular ones.

Heh, indeed.™

Reframing the Enemy, At Home and Abroad

January 19th, 2015 - 2:09 pm

“Why Obama Can’t Say ‘Radical Islam,’” as discussed by Eli Lake at Bloomberg News, who places BHO’s Orwellian euphemisms into context with the Mother of Them All, GWB original use of the phrase “War on Terror” after 9/11 instead of a war against radical Islamism. As Daniel Pipes noted as early as 2002, calling such an existential struggle a “War on Terror” is like calling World War I a War on Trenches or World War II a War on Submarines. But today, Lake writes:

Elliott Abrams, who served in senior National Security Council positions throughout the Bush administration, told me, “We were invading two Muslim countries and we were being accused of being at war with Islam. So the administration wanted to make it very clear that we are not at war with Islam and every Muslim in the world.”

All of this gets to a paradox of the war on terror. It has never been a war on the tactic of terrorism, and it has always been a war against networks of radical Islamists. But in order to wage that war, the U.S. has had to ally with Muslim countries and people, many of whom believe the state should punish apostates, adulterers and blasphemers.

Sadly, large pluralities of Muslims in countries allied with the U.S. in the war on terror disavow the tactics of terrorism but endorse the aims of radical Islam. For example, 74 percent of Muslims in Egypt feel that sharia should be the “country’s official legal code,” and an equal majority say it should apply to non-Muslims as well as Muslims, according to a 2013 Pew Survey. Three-quarters of Pakistani Muslims support laws banning blasphemy. A majority of Muslim Iraqis said they supported “honor killings” of women who engage in premarital sex or adultery.

Given these popular attitudes, even the governments in the Muslim world most actively aiding in the fight against al-Qaeda and the Islamic State have to tread a fine line over fundamentalist religion, and Washington doesn’t want to make that task harder.

At the Times of Israel though, Jeffrey Herf, the author of the brilliant 2006 book, The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda During World War II and the Holocaust, explores “Reframing the enemy after France’s 9/11:”

Today, it is a commonplace among historians of the Nazi regime that Hitler drew on a distorted and selective reading of the Christian tradition to justify his hatreds. Just as historians would not say that Christianity led to the Holocaust, so too we would not say that it had nothing to do with it at all. A very different understanding of Christianity inspired Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt to fight against the Nazis. Yet however distorted the Nazis’ selective reading of Christianity was, accusations against the Jews were a part of its religious teachings for centuries. The Koran did not lead to 9/11, Al Qaeda, Hamas or the Paris murders, but neither does a selective reading of some of its passages by young, impressionable minds have “nothing to do” with them either. The same standards of critique and selective reading that have been applied to Christianity and Judaism should be applied to Islam, no more and no less. Until this past week, when French Prime Minister Manuel Valls spoke so frankly in Paris, it has been primarily Israeli leaders who have been willing to publicly state the obvious about the impact of Islamism on the terrorism of recent decades.

Now that Valls has stated clearly that France is, in fact, at war with radical Islam, with the terrorism and anti-Semitism it inspires, the contrast with the euphemisms and avoidance coming from the United States since 9/11 is apparent. Three million people have just bought the first post-massacre edition of Charlie Hebdo. The French National Assembly sang the Marseillaise for the first time since 1918. Valls has said that if 100,000 Jews leave France, the Republic would be judged to be a failure. The candid talk in France is coming from left-of-center politicians. These days in France remind me of autumn of 2001, when minds opened in the midst of mourning and anger. Yet within a year or two, a conventional wisdom and a refusal to speak frankly came to dominate American public discourse and continues to today. With the American experience after 9/11 in mind, one wonders how long Valls’ willingness to speak frankly about radical Islam will persist, or whether the conventional wisdom many decades in the making will lead again to new forms of euphemism and avoidance.

In his latest USA Today column, on “France’s demographic bad luck,” Glenn Reynolds slips a phrase from Robert Heinlein into his title and conclusion. Heinlein wrote:

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.”

This is France’s moment to determine whether their “spell of bad luck” is temporary or permanent. I’m hoping they choose wisely, but their past decisions don’t inspire much long-term confidence, alas.

* Of course, the modern-day EU has their own Orwellian euphemisms for World War II, but that’s a whole other post.

Update: Victor Davis Hanson on “Untrue Truisms In The War On Terror.”

“Michael Steele: If Charlie Hebdo were published in the U.S., evangelicals would ‘raise up mightily,’” Allahpundit writes at Hot Air of the former Republican National Committee chairman’s visit to NBC’s Meet the Press yesterday:

Via NRO, I’ve watched this three times and still don’t see the point of the question or the answer. It seems to be a half-baked version of a tu quoque. Sure, says Chuck Todd, we laugh at French Muslims for being angry when Mohammed is mocked, but how would America’s Christians feel if there were a U.S. version of Charlie Hebdo goofing on their idols every week? Pretty darned offended, Steele concedes. There would be protests! Okay … and?

* * * * * * *

Guy Benson, reading a draft of this post, e-mailed with this recent clip from “Family Guy” about Peter Griffin trying to help Jesus lose his virginity. A magazine that’s a bit more crass in its mockery would be water off a duck’s back for most of them. Besides, a true American analog to Charlie Hebdo wouldn’t stop at Christians because Hebdo itself doesn’t. It would have to satirize Muslim sacred cows too, and I think Christians are more likely to cut a satirist some slack when they see that he really is an equal-opportunity offender.

Gee Michael, where have you been for the past 30 years? As I wrote in 2006 during Islam’s first round of cartoon wars, “Remember all the riots, looting and torching when Dogma and The Last Temptation of Christ played at your local multiplex? Me neither.” And the protests of religious conservatives haven’t stopped AP (until the Charlie Hebdo story broke) from selling photos of “Piss Christ” on their Website, or from the New York Times from hiring the “artist” who created it to illustrate their articles. Seinfeld co-creator Larry David would piss on Christ himself in 2009, and last time I checked, he’s also still very much alive and well. Similarly, far from even harassing the stars and director of 2005′s gay-themed Brokeback Mountain, as Mark Steyn wrote in National Review in 2006 regarding the hyper-politicized Hollywood of the Bush years, “The more artful leftie websites have taken to complaining that the religious right deliberately killed Brokeback at the box-office by declining to get mad about it.” Shortly thereafter, lefties at the L.A. Times were complaining about the lack of large-scale protests over the Da Vinci Code.

Heck, in the 21st century, conservative Catholics are so laid back, you can call them Nazis to their face on national TV and they won’t even attempt to slug you in response.

Just ask Michael Steele.

Nice catch by Scott Whitlock of NewsBusters:

In the wake of the massacre of journalists in France by Muslim terrorists, NBC has made an editorial decision to not show the cover of the new Charlie Hebdo cover featuring Muhammad, deeming it too offensive for viewers.

This is quite a contrast to the way the network promoted The Da Vinci Code in 2006. The movie (and Dan Brown book it was based on) insisted that Jesus Christ was not divine and had a sexual relationship with Mary Magdalene. Many Christians considered that offensive.

On Wednesday, MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell explained to her audience the decision to refrain from showing the Charlie Hebdo cover: “All of the networks of the NBC News group have made the decision, editorial decision, not to show it because we don’t publish things that are as provocative as Charlie Hebdo is.”

“Provocative” being code for “stuff that could our journalists killed.” Responding to similarly Orwellian code from the New York Times editor Dean Baquet over his  similar decision this month to censor news, just take this quote from Allahpundit this past week and substitute Catholics for Jews:

If Jews want the Times to take their feelings seriously, they can prove the depth of their injury by grabbing some AK-47s and machine-gunning a group of cartoonists. This moron is actually providing an incentive to overreact to blasphemy. Which is probably the closest he’ll come to acknowledging the real calculus in all this: To the extent that Times editors have more to fear from angry Muslims than they do from angry Jews, yes, it’s quite true that cartoons that offend each group don’t parallel each other.

As Glenn Reynolds warned a decade ago during the first round of Islamic terrorism inspired by European cartoons, “I’m sorry, but the lesson here is that if you want to be listened to, you should blow things up. That’s a very bad incentive structure, but it’s the one the allegedly responsible parties have created.”

And speaking of NBC and censoring images, “[Charlie] Hebdo Editor to Chuck Todd: When You Blur Our Cover, ‘You Blur out Democracy,’” as spotted by Mediaite:

Meet the Press host Chuck Todd asked Charlie Hebdo’s new editor-in-chief Gerard Briard Sunday morning what he made of the decision of many American news outlets, including NBC News, to blur the cover of this week’s issue, which featured a caricature of the Islamic prophet Muhammed. Briard basically told Western media to grow a pair.

“Écoutez, we cannot blame newspapers that already suffer much difficulty in getting published and distributed in totalitarian regimes for not publishing a cartoon that could get them at best jail, at worst death,” he said.

“On the other hand, I’m quite critical of newspapers published in democratic countries,” he continued. “This cartoon…is a symbol of freedom of religion, democracy, and secularism. It is this symbol that these newspapers refuse to publish.”

“When they refuse to publish this cartoon, when they blur it out, when they decline to publish it, they blur out democracy, secularism, freedom of religion, and they insult the citizenship.”

But blurring out democracy and insulting America’s citizens is what MSNBC, CNN and the New York Times does, a “Progressive” journalistic tradition that’s as old as Mencken and just as shopworn. It’s their raison d’être, as the French would say. Why would they start viewing any of these as bad things now?

Allahpundit-esque exit quote: “An unintended side effect of Paris is the revealing, or perhaps I should say reminder, that the left really has a hard time with this whole ‘free speech’ thing. Right alongside grand and glorious declarations of the absolute right of free speech are inserted codicils that, if followed strictly logically, simply negate all of their olympian sentiments.”

Hillary Clinton’s Charlie Hebdo Problem

January 17th, 2015 - 4:32 pm

“In the days since the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the response from American politicians has ranged from pathetic to parodic,” John McCormack writes at the Weekly Standard:

Through his press secretary, President Obama expressed regret on Monday that neither he nor any other high-ranking American official joined 44 world leaders who marched alongside millions in Paris last weekend. Then on Friday, in an effort to make amends, Secretary of State John Kerry brought James Taylor to Paris to sing “You’ve Got a Friend.”

The response from Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state and likely 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, hasn’t been any better. Clinton has remained silent about the Charle Hebdo massacre since it occurred on January 7.

Clinton’s spokesman Nick Merrill confirmed in an email to THE WEEKLY STANDARD that the former secretary of state has not publicly commented on the attack, but Merrill declined to give any particular reason for Clinton’s silence. (She did manage to find the time Friday afternoon, however, to condemn Republicans in Congress for “[a]ttacking financial reform.”)

What seems most likely is that Clinton has remained silent in response to the Charlie Hebdo massacre in order to avoid scrutiny of her own failure to defend free speech in the face of Islamist violence.

As McCormack notes, Hillary was one of numerous Obama operatives who blamed Benghazi on a hapless YouTube video maker, whom the administration promptly had jailed. Concurrently, Hillary pushed the “video did it” theme at Dover Air Force Base, as the remains of the Americans killed by al-Qeada were returned to US soil on September 14th of 2012:

But in addition to her role in the Benghazi cover-up, Hillary Clinton’s highlight reel is filled with anti-free speech moments, not the least of which was her show-stopping “Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy” soundbite in 1998. About which, Ann Coulter wrote in May of 2001:

The conservatives — primarily writers at The American Spectator — had a devilish plan to investigate Bill Clinton’s venality, corruption and crimes as governor of Arkansas. At the conclusion of their little scheme, the Spectator intended to publish the fruits of their conspiracy as widely as possible.

This is a highly unusual strategy for a criminal conspiracy. Typically, conspiracies are marked by hiding evidence, losing billing records and developing amnesia — pretty much everything the Clintons did. Rarely do criminal conspiracies plot to write magazine articles about their dirty business.

Though you wouldn’t know it from the behavior of the mainstream media, it is not, strictly speaking, against the law to publish articles critical of Democratic presidents. And it is not against the law to associate with individuals reputed to be conservatives engaged in journalism. (In fact, it’s not even against the law to consort with known felons, like Bill Clinton, or convicted felons, like Webb Hubbell.)

And of course, in the years since, Hillary has built quite an anti-free speech empire to advance her career:

In what was described as “a major power play,” Clinton minion and loyal Free Beacon reader David Brock is taking over as head of the allegedly nonpartisan (but actually left-wing) watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). Brock was elected chairman of the group last week “after laying out a multifaceted expansion intended to turn the group into a more muscular—and likely partisan—attack dog,” Vogel writes.

CREW, which plans to add a more explicitly political arm in order to target Republican politicians, donors, and other enemies of David Brock, is the latest addition to Brock’s stable of aggressive political attack outfits, such as Media Matters, American Bridge, and the recently announced American Independent Institute and American Democracy Legal Fund. “CREW gives us some potentially powerful tools in the tool box,” Brock told Politico. “We have been in the accountability for 10 years very successfully. It is kind of a one-stop-shop now.”

By “us,” Brock is presumably referring to himself and Hillary Clinton, whom he has defended as vigorously as Zoolander fashion mogul/villain Mugatu defended child labor in Malaysia.

In other words, if an American equivalent of Charlie Hebdo attempted to mock Hillary in the same savage fashion that they mocked Mohammed,  Hillary’s vast left wing conspiracy would quickly swing into action. No overt terrorism would be involved, but as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, Dinesh D’Souza and now David Petraeus have each discovered the hard way, jail and/or lengthy and expensive court trials could result.

All of which are reasons why, just as Obama tried to downplay the massacre at Charlie Hebdo’s office in Paris lest low-information voters become reminded that Islamic terrorism didn’t end in January of 2009, Hillary is similarly hoping that the fallout from the attack quickly diminishes. Any of her pronouncements on the topic would risk a certain amount of collateral damage to her presidential bid.

Oh and by the way, just as John Kerry delivered up James Taylor to a gaggle of bewildered French politicians, it’s worth noting that Hillary has her own collection of stars that occasionally follow her to exotic, war-torn locales.

Such as comedian Sinbad and pop star Sheryl Crow, who flew into Tuzla Air Force Base with Hillary in 1996 under a distinct lack of Bosnian sniper fire:

Update: There is one way that Hillary and her spouse have inadvertently helped to advance free speech. But I doubt either of them looks very favorably upon this landmark moment in journalism:

Krauthammer on Obama: ‘Charlie Who?’

January 16th, 2015 - 6:44 pm

 

Charles Krauthammer on Europe and the Obama administration’s intertwined no good horrible very bad week:

As for President Obama, he never was Charlie, not even for those 48 hours. From the day of the massacre, he has been practically invisible. At the interstices of various political rallies, he issued bits of muted, mealy-mouthed boilerplate. Followed by the now-famous absence of any high-ranking U.S. official at the Paris rally, an abdication of moral and political leadership for which the White House has already admitted error.

But this was no mere error of judgment or optics or, most absurdly, of communications in which we are supposed to believe that the president was not informed by staff about the magnitude, both actual and symbolic, of the demonstration he ignored. (He needed to be told?)

On the contrary, the no-show, following the near silence, precisely reflected the president’s profound ambivalence about the very idea of the war on terror. Obama began his administration by purging the phrase from the lexicon of official Washington. He has ever since shuttled between saying that (a) the war must end because of the damage “keeping America on a perpetual wartime footing” was doing to us, and (b) the war has already ended, as he suggested repeatedly during the 2012 campaign, with bin Laden dead and al-Qaeda “on the run.”

In June of 2005, Karl Rove caused the left to have their daily meltdown over this quote:

Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers.

But even Rove at his most prescient couldn’t have predicted that in addition to therapy and empathy (as Hillary herself proffered last month), state-sanctioned folk singing would be involved as well.

Presidential administrations often serve as reflections of their predecessors. The libertarianism of the Coolidge era was a direct result of the liberal fascism of the Wilson years. Despite sharing many of the same “Progressive” policies, FDR was very much a referendum on Herbert Hoover. No matter how big he supersized government, the cornpone LBJ was never seen by Democrats as a legitimate successor to the swank prep school style of JFK. The many auras and penumbras of scandals emanating from Bill Clinton’s trousers made many voters in the 1990s long for the grownup presidencies of Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

From Obama deliberately sitting out the march of world leaders in Paris to sending John Kerry and James Taylor(!) in his stead, this week, America is finally getting to see what the immediate aftermath of 9/11 would have been like had, God forbid, Barack Obama been in the White House at the time.

It would not have been pretty. And we all would have needed therapy watching the disaster unfold.

Update: When the Obama administration loses the BBC

‘Hold Me Closer, Tiny Francer’

January 16th, 2015 - 3:59 pm

My eyes, ze goggles do nothing!

(more…)

Shark Jumped

January 16th, 2015 - 11:30 am

Behold the international healing power of bad ’70s folk music.

“Kerry Brings James Taylor to Serenade French With ‘You’ve Got a Friend,’” the Weekly Standard’s Michael Warren reports. No, I’m not kidding:

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited Paris Friday in what was billed as a show of solidarity with the French people after terrorists attacked last week. The former Massachusetts senator brought fellow Bay Stater and singer-songwriter James Taylor to sing a slightly off-key rendition of “You’ve Got a Friend” to a Parisian audience. Watch the video below:

No. And you can’t make me. If the New Republic can write film reviews without actually watching the movie, I can snark about this without risking the video of James Taylor singing “a slightly off-key rendition of ‘You’ve Got a Friend’” being seered — seeered! — into my brain.

Picture this: Tom Wolfe is working on his next satiric novel, set in the White House. A French magazine has just had a dozen staffers murdered by Islamic terrorists. The president, who was dubbed by his critics “The World’s Biggest Celebrity” after his 2008 speech to pick up the badly needed electoral college votes of Germany, can’t be bothered to attend the enormous protest rally in Paris in memorial to the slain writers. His Francophile secretary of state can’t be bothered to attend. A week later, the 71 year old Washington lifer whose mind and haircut are trapped in his halcyon youth of Vietnam and the Beatles arrives to pay his respects.

With a folk singer in tow.

Critics would howl that Wolfe has gone senile — that this would never happen in real life. No administration is this cartoonish. Even George Bush, known for his “cowboy diplomacy” wouldn’t have brought a country & western singer armed with a Martin guitar to France.

Of course — it could have been worse. Kerry could have brought Cat Stevens, aka Yusuf Islam, to sing “Peace Train.” Or Jimmy Page and Robert Plant to play “Stairway to Heaven” on acoustic. I wonder if they were Kerry’s first choices?

In his Third Law of Politics, historian Robert Conquest posits that “The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.” This administration, which began with handing out an iPod of Obama’s speeches to the Queen of England and a Staples-style “Reset Button” to Putin really does seem to be the living embodiment of how a conservative would satirize a far left White House, doesn’t it?

On the other hand, look on the bright side. “With this the Boomer era is officially over, making today a wonderful day,” Allahpundit writes.

And speaking of aging boomers — if Lorne Michaels doesn’t jump on this tomorrow night on Saturday Night Live, we’ll know that…no wait, that shark was jumped decades ago. But this sketch does write itself, doesn’t it?

Update: Naturally, Twitter is having loads of fun with Kerry’s stunt:


Plus Senator Blutarsky offers his thoughts on the musical stylings of his esteemed Bay State colleagues.

The Backlash That Never Arrives

January 15th, 2015 - 12:55 pm

Shot:

● “Andrea Mitchell Worries About ‘Far-Right’ Response to France.”

—Headline, NewsBusters, yesterday.

“CNN Editor Compares France to Ferguson.”*

—Headline, CNS News yesterday.

“Terrorism doesn’t justify insulting Islam.”

—Headline, CNN today. (Link safe, goes to Vodkapundit’s deconstruction of CNN’s “Bass-Ackwards” insanity.)

Chaser:

● “Belgian Counter-Terrorism Cops Kill Two Suspected Terrorists, Forestalling What They Call an ‘Imminent’ Attack.”

—Headline, Ace of Spades today.

To paraphrase Tom Wolfe, the dark night of fascism is forever descending in the addled minds of MSM journalists everywhere, and yet, it’s a very different type of socialism that is actually arriving in Europe these day, one that the overculture is simply to cowardly to discuss.

Or as Mark Steyn recently wrote, during World War II, “An occupying army marches in, you defeat them, they march out …and Paris is Paris again. But Paris – and Picardy, and France — have been profoundly changed, and likely permanently. The French capital is a city of no-go zones, and Jews hunched in a freezer to avoid death, and a government gibbering the Official Lies no matter how ridiculous they sound. And there’s no easy way to get this occupation force to march out.”

Or to put it another way, “We were part of France — until France ceased to be France.”

* What, was a Charlie Hebdo cartoonist shot after he robbed an art supply store and tried to shoot a French policeman with his own gun?

It’s Origin and Purpose, Still a Total Mystery

January 15th, 2015 - 11:56 am

“Six Years In, Left Still Doesn’t Understand Who They Elected,” David Steinberg writes at his PJM column:

Powerline’s Steven Hayward notes yesterday’s remarkable article at the Daily Beast by Leslie Gelb, a liberal blue-blood who pronounced Obama’s presidency dead and gone after being a no-show in Paris this week. Further, Gelb demonstrated the reappearance of JFK-style “muscular” liberalism, in which policy is governed by silly ideas about economic utopianism yet still connected to reality in terms of our enemies’ intentions. A national liberalism, instead of the international socialism favored by Obama.

Gelb made several recommendations for dismantling Obama’s foreign policy apparatus — he offers plenty of commentary and specifics, but Gelb’s recommendations boil down entirely to “fire the leftists and hire some adults,” many of whom are establishment Republicans.

Oh no, the cry for the wise old men! Mickey Kaus was wondering when they’d be arriving since the beginning of 2010. But Obama perceives no need for a David Gergen-esque centrist fixer, and who among them would want to work with Obama’s distaff Svengali, Valerie Jarrett?

More from David Steinberg’s post:

Gelb wouldn’t be making these recommendations if he understood that Obama does not see his presidency as a teetering failure, and never intended today’s foreign policy approach to be anything besides what it has become. This is a key distinction representing the right’s analytical achievement over the prior six years as compared to Gelb’s elitist commentariat left. We not only were right about liberalism, we were right about Obama’s character and intentions, both then and now. The past six years played out exactly as predicted, both by the 23-million-listener radio show and by the Tea Party shopowner in Iowa who went under, both of whom you mocked and continue to mock mercilessly.

Read the whole thing. As David notes, the White House believes its foreign policy is moving along quite nicely, thank you very much, no matter how awful it looks to the rest of us — and to Democrat operatives with bylines such as Gelb and the New York Times’ Robert Mackey, who have to defend the White House’s lunacy to the rest of the world:

As for the GOP, this might be the perfect time for someone to assume the sale and start acting, umm, presidential to fill America’s leadership vacuum, as Roger L. Simon wrote last night.

Update: “Jarrett on Paris ‘Parade’: ‘We Certainly Got the Substance Right.’”

As I think Jonah Goldberg said in the latest Goldberg, Long and Podhoretz “GLoP” podcast at Ricochet, this is an administration that believes just saying the right words is the equivalent of solving any problem. In other words, this is an administration heavily vested in magical thinking. But that can happen when your administration’s chief spokesman made his bones posing front of styrofoam columns.

Your one-minute guide to the MSM’s craven response to last week’s massacre. As John Nolte noted yesterday when the producers of MSNBC’s hapless Ronan Farrow pixelated the Charlie Hebdo cover, don’t blame the newsreader in the studio or her director behind the boards switching out the shot and cutting the remote’s feed, they’re simply carrying out management’s wishes. But this clip neatly sums up where the West’s Overculture stands on this issue — we’ll voluntarily cut away, so please don’t cut our heads off.

And they should be called on their cowardice. “We can’t force cowards to be brave, but we can insist they answer to the word ‘Craven.’” Ace adds.

As Allahpundit writes, “This should play in a loop at the Newseum forever.” You mean the MSM’s mausoleum to commemorate their imagined past glories and bravery? Yes, that would be perfect on so many levels.

Oh and speaking of Nolte, as he tweets, note that when the MSM doesn’t have skin the game (literally), they’re perfectly happy to stoke a murderous riot if it suits their interests.

Update: Jim Treacher has an excellent suggestion: “Note to anyone who’s ambushed by Sky News: If you want to be left alone, just hold up the Charlie Hebdo cover,” Van Helsing-style.

That rule applies to far more “news” outlets than just Sky News.

Asleep in the Sleeper Cell

January 14th, 2015 - 12:18 pm

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“Is the White House a ‘Sleeper Cell’?”  Roger L. Simon asked on Monday. I think semi-satirically, in the style of Charlie Hebdo (as Roger writes), or maybe the old National Lampoon in the days of P.J. O’Rourke and Michael O’Donoghue:

Senator Dianne Feinstein has just informed us that, yes, there are Islamic terror sleeper cells in our midst in the USA.  If that’s true, I wonder why Feinstein wasted so much of her time wounding the CIA during the last weeks of her tenure as Senate Intelligence Committee chair, but never mind.  Could there be one of those cells in the White House?

I started this post thinking it was kind of funny.  I liked the hed — “Is the White House a ‘Sleeper Cell’?”  It reminded me of, um… Charlie Hebdo. But actually it’s not so funny.  And  it’s not impossible.  We know something close already happened during the communist era (Alger Hiss), and the Israelis famously planted an agent, Eli Cohen, at the highest echelons of the Syrian government until he was caught via the KGB and hanged in the central square of Damascus.  They say it was Cohen’s reports that were responsible for the rapid Israeli success against the Syrians in the Six-Day War.

But a “sleeper cell” in the White House?  It would certainly explain Obama’s not going to France, which was a decision that hurt the USA, hurt the effort against Islamic terror and hurt the president’s already tarnished reputation into the bargain. There are so many other things that the existence of a White House “sleeper cell” would explain that I couldn’t even begin to count them.  And as you know, a cell doesn’t have to be violent to be active.  There are many ways to do damage.

Today, Ace adds, “Islam Means ‘Submission,’ and So Does Liberalism:”

The West is now Islamic. All it took was some murderers to kill people, and then the craven institutions of the West to start signing away our cultural and political legacy in exchange for some promises that they’ll be the last to get their throats cut open.

Oxford University Press (OUP) explained that their books must take into consideration other cultures of the world and must avoid mentioning pigs or “anything else which could be perceived as pork,” the International Business Times reported.The move was revealed during a discussion on free speech during BBC Radio 4’s “Today,” following last week’s terror attacks in Paris.

“I’ve got a letter here that was sent out by OUP to an author doing something for young people.” Presenter Jim Naughtie said. “Among the things prohibited in the text that was commissioned by OUP was the following: Pigs plus sausages, or anything else which could be perceived as pork.”

All of this of course encourages terrorism and ever-more extreme brands of Islam, because the institutions of the West — our political, academic, and media institutions — are all essentially proclaiming that Islam, particularly violent, medieval Islam, is the only real and True religion in the world:

For what other religions do they bow and scrape to as if they were Slaves?

Only one.

If the Obama White House and increasingly the MSM wishes to be avoid being considered crypto-Muslims by much of the country, they could start by not acting like, you know, crypto-Muslims. The Blaze rounds up photos that illustrate “Four Ways the Associated Press Is Avoiding Showing the Muhammad Cartoon on New Charlie Hebdo Issue.” NBC is employing similar tactics. As Allahpundit writes:

Every media outlet that refuses to publish the image raises the risk, however marginally, to the ones who do. That’s why Charlie Hebdo was targeted to begin with. A small French paper shouldn’t be on jihadis’ radar screens, but if they’re one of only a handful globally willing to publish images of Mohammed, go figure that they might end up there.

Last week during his weekly interview with Hugh Hewitt, Mark Steyn told Hugh that when the Momamed cartoons first ran a decade ago, ”If we’d all just published them on the front page and said ‘If you want to kill us, you go to hell, you can’t just kill a couple of obscure Danes, you’re going to have to kill us all’, we wouldn’t have this problem. But because nobody did that, these Parisian guys are dead.” Which is why the MSM’s motto is simply “please kill us last.” But then, this is an MSM that in 2015 takes the concept of “better dead than rude” to literal new heights:

Exit quote from Ace, which dovetails well with the Mark Steyn quote above:

 

Not Your Mother’s New York Times

January 14th, 2015 - 11:34 am

 

And speaking of the New York Times as the “kiddie table.”

Update:
Allahpundit is spot-on today:

If Jews want the Times to take their feelings seriously, they can prove the depth of their injury by grabbing some AK-47s and machine-gunning a group of cartoonists. This moron is actually providing an incentive to overreact to blasphemy. Which is probably the closest he’ll come to acknowledging the real calculus in all this: To the extent that Times editors have more to fear from angry Muslims than they do from angry Jews, yes, it’s quite true that cartoons that offend each group don’t parallel each other.

To steal from my post yesterday, as Glenn Reynolds warned a decade ago during the first round of Islamic terrorism inspired by European cartoons, “I’m sorry, but the lesson here is that if you want to be listened to, you should blow things up. That’s a very bad incentive structure, but it’s the one the allegedly responsible parties have created.”

 

‘Kids Say the Darnedest Things’

January 13th, 2015 - 8:25 pm

“In the wake of last week’s atrocity in Paris, David Brooks felt it imperative to inform his New York Times readers that he is of a more cultivated class of pundit than Ann Coulter,” James Taranto writes, responding to Brooks’ ugly “kiddie table” slur on Sunday’s Meet the Press against not just Coulter, but the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, where 12 of its journalists had been slaughtered by Islamic terrorists last week:

To put the question another way, where does Maureen Dowd sit?

An exchange on Facebook last week led us to further pondering of the limits of Brooks’s tabular taxonomy. Marc Cooper, a journalism professor at the University of Southern California, posted a piece by New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan on the paper’s decision not to publish any cartoons or covers from Charlie Hebdo alongside its stories about the Islamist attack there. Cooper posed “a question for NYTimes editor Dean Baquet”:

Exactly how many people have to be shot in cold blood before your paper rules that you can show us what provoked the killers? Apparently 23 shot including 11 dead is not enough. What absolute cowardice. These MSM managers act is [sic] if they are running insurance companies, not news organizations.

To which Baquet responded: “Dear Marc, appreciate the self righteous second guessing without even considering there might be another point of view. Hope your students are more open minded. Asshole.” Kids say the darnedest things.

No, actually maybe Cooper is the kid and Baquet the adult here—in which case this would be one of those times when, as Brooks puts it, those seated at the kiddie table “say things that those of us at the adult table need to hear”—i.e., things that expose the hypocrisy of adults in positions of authority.

That points to yet another problem with Brooks’s analogy. The segregation of family dinners by age (or, more precisely, by stage of life) has nothing to do with exposing hypocrisy. At what actual family dinner has somebody at the kiddie table said something that those at the adult table “need to hear”?

As Matt Welch of Reason, who was an editorial contributor to the Times during the first round of wars from the cartoon kingdom in early 2006 writes today, “Baquet has had nine years to come up with a better justification” for not running cartoons insulting the Times’ Islam’s prophet, Instead, he has spent the past week beclowning himself again and again. I am not being unfair:”

I want Dean Baquet and the rest of America’s editors to be honest about their decision-making, is all. If they’re worried about the back-office staff getting blown up, I totally understand that, even if I doubt that risk would amount to much if people just acted on their news judgment instead of fear.

But I suspect it’s something far less noble. On Sunday The Times ran an article about an eight-foot statue of Mohammed that stood atop a Manhatttan Appellate Division Courthouse without incident for a half-century until 1955, when it was “removed out of deference to Muslims, to whom depictions of the prophet are an affront.” The next paragraph is killer:

(For the same reason, The New York Times has chosen not to publish photographs of the statue with this article.)

So it’s not that Charlie Hebdo went over the line of decency, it’s that The New York Times under Dean Baquet’s editorship has elevated a doctrinally questionable and physically non-existent taboo into a red line for the rest of his readers. Scientologists, grab your bricks. Seventh Day Adventists, take note. You, too, can make the historically existing figures who founded your churches into people who can never be depicted in the Paper of Record, even as a picture of long-forgotten, never-controversial statue. You just need to complain with enough force.

As Glenn Reynolds warned during the first round of Islamic terrorism inspired by European cartoons, “I’m sorry, but the lesson here is that if you want to be listened to, you should blow things up. That’s a very bad incentive structure, but it’s the one the allegedly responsible parties have created.”

Update:
A flashback to the era when Timesmen were made of sterner stuff:

Related: Where does Dean Baquet stand on this topic?

Two NBCs In One!

January 13th, 2015 - 1:51 pm

Shot:

● “Andrea Mitchell to French Amb: ‘Why Is It Permissible’ for Cartoons to be so ‘Provocative’?”

—The Washington Free Beacon, yesterday.

Chaser:

● “Brian Williams Weighs In on Daughter’s Televised Analingus: ‘No Animals Were Harmed.’”

Big Hollywood, yesterday.

Oh, and speaking of the intersection of nepotism, Hollywood, “journalism,” and  two NBCs in one:
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But then the Farrow family is nothing if not inconsistent.

‘Damn It, Who Talked?’

January 13th, 2015 - 11:42 am

Meanwhile, in France:

Drugs — and/or earth tones — are bad, kids. This is how it all starts:

The above tweets are where it can end up.

Or worse, the above passages were written…sober? Actually, the latter is far more likely the case, at least for Naomi. As Jonah Goldberg wrote on Friday, in the latest edition of his weekly G-File, “the liberal ideological comfort zone is incredibly narrow:”

If an issue can’t be turned into a critique of America (or: white privilege, the religious Right (variously defined), capitalism, the GOP, or some other float in the parade of horribles that is the legacy of those horrible Pale Penis People who gave us so much of Western civilization), then the conversation must be pulled in that direction. It’s simply where their minds go. Rhetorically they have to fight every fight on home turf.

Hence Bates says, “I think we also have to remember that this isn’t just Islamic extremism . . .” Blah blah blah. No, we don’t have to remember anything of the sort. You have a pathological need to change the subject. People like Bates can’t help themselves. They have to get the conversation back to a place where they are comfortable talking about their preferred enemies and demons, even if he has to haul a 30-year-old 600 pound red herring into the studio to do it.

Hence the descent into the fantasyland conspiracy theories. Not the first time in recent weeks for Naomi Wolf, former Al Gore advisor, and not the first time for the rest of the American left in recent years.

Update: Ace squares the circle: “Paris’ Muslims and Jimmy Carter Agree: The Charlie Hebdo Murders Were Engineered by The Jews.”

From the socialist perspective, isn’t everything?

Two Time-Warner-CNN-HBOs In One

January 12th, 2015 - 8:35 pm

That’s the shot. Here’s the chaser:


Just a reminder of what one of America’s largest media conglomerates deems permissible — and not permissible — in its corporate boardroom.

For those who can handle it, here is the image that Time-Warner-CNN-HBO deems more shocking to the delicate souls who make up its audience than simulated analingus:

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