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Ed Driscoll

War And Anti-War

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

I have been in the White House on a number of occasions when military operations are launched and once the decisions are made and the orders have been issued the people in the White House from the President on down are really out of the action, at least is they are smart. And President Bush was especially good as was President Reagan of giving the military their mission, their orders and staying the hell out of the way. And not trying to micro-manage the conflicts, so you don’t have a Lyndon Johnson going down the situation room picking targets as he did in Vietnam. Bush and Reagan stayed out of the way, so when the land war started we were basically in the receive mode, just waiting for information to be past in the Presidents case from either Powell or Cheney and in our case the same way, about how things were going and the only information we really had after the beginning of the ground war was simply that it was going well and that the units had broken through the lines very fast.

– Robert Gates, then-Deputy National Security Advisor, quoted by PBS’s Frontline as part of their “Oral History of the [1990-1991] Gulf War. Flash-forward to the present day:

“The U.S. military campaign against Islamic militants in Syria is being designed to allow President Obama to exert a high degree of personal control over the campaign, going so far as to require that the military obtain presidential sign-off for any strike in Syrian territory,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The requirement for the Syrian strikes will be far more stringent than those in Iraq, at least at first, to assure the Syrian air campaign remains strictly limited, in an attempt to mitigate the threat that the U.S. could be dragged more deeply into the conflict, according to the U.S. officials.”

“Obama to Personally Control Strikes in Syria,” Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire, yesterday.

As Moe Lane writes in the headline of his blog post linking to the above story, “Attention, whoever in the White House monitors this site. Google ‘Lyndon Johnson micromanagement Vietnam’ — Google that RIGHT NOW:”

Speaking dispassionately, you can understand – sort of – why LBJ and Richard Nixon both were very bad about trying to run the Vietnam War by themselves: it was probably the first real war we had where a President could, in something approximating real time.  And it obviously was a major temptation, given the way that both men and their staffs succumbed to it.  But also note that Presidents since have largely learned from that particular set of catastrophic mistakes and tried to keep their oversight restricted to strategic goals, not tactical ones.  Largely.  Most of the time.  Good faith efforts were made.

Alas, nobody explained any of this to Barack Obama.  Or, more likely? Somebody did, but he didn’t bother to listen, because whoever was doing the explaining wasn’t Barack Obama.

After the New York Times reported the other day that the recently retired president was offering freelance consulting advice over the transom to ISIS, Iowahawk tweeted:

And now he thinks he’s a better strategist than his generals. And speaking of whom: “Remember When Democrats Were Saying ‘Listen to the Generals?’”

Related: At Ricochet, Jon Gabriel posits, somewhat conspiratorially, “Obama Can’t Afford to Win in Iraq:”

The only reason that Obama acted at all is politics. Polls showed that midterm voters demanded a military response to ISIS’ beheading of American journalists and repeated threats to our homeland. Drones, air strikes and military advisors are merely a PR campaign to assuage moderates that their Democratic president is “doing something.”

Obama does not want to win his new Iraq war. He can’t afford to. If the projection of American military power successfully solved the problem of Islamic terrorism, it would shatter Obama’s entire worldview.

Well, so far, the recently retired president is doing everything he can to live up to that impression.

In the Clearing Stands Two Boxers In One

September 17th, 2014 - 3:34 pm

“Corker’s Kerry Critique Leaves Boxer ‘Shaking and Trembling,’” Breitbart TV notes, complete with (autoplay, alas) video of the far left San Francisco Democrat* in action:

Wednesday at the Senate Foreign Relation Committee hearing on U.S. strategy for combating ISIS, after Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) criticized Secretary of State John Kerry, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) was left “shaking and trembling” in shock.

Boxer said, “I think it is shocking and a sad state of affairs that we heard just now, such angry comments aimed at you, Mr. Secretary, and through you, at our president instead of at ISIS, a savage group who decapitated two Americans and have warned, and I quote, that their thirst for more American blood is right out there.”

“I think it’s shocking,” she continued. “I’m actually shaking and trembling. This is not the time to show anger at the people who are working night and day, whether you agree with them or not, to protect our people.”

Yes, we wouldn’t want to show anger at someone working day or night, whether you agree with them or not, to protect Americans from Islamic terrorism:

At the time, Boxer defended her tirade by using the phrase “speaking truth to power,” a phrase whose origins date back to a mid-’50s pamphlet written by the American Quakers as a form of moral equivalence at the height of the Cold War. As we noted at the time:

Attempting to defend her much-publicized attack on Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice due to Rice’s lack of children Thursday, Barbara Boxer invoked one of the hoariest clichés in the political lexicon:

Asked if her exchange with Rice was, as some suggest, a personal attack, Boxer insisted it was not.“I spoke the truth to power,’’ she said. “Condi Rice is in the room when George Bush decides to send 20,000 more of our beautiful men and women into the middle of a civil war.

“And I’m not going to apologize for making an extremely clear point,’’ she said.

As Allahpundit writes in response:

What bugs me is the self-congratulation. If one of the most powerful pols from the most powerful state in the most powerful country on earth can assume the mantle of “speaking truth to power,” then what’s left of “power”? Is that just a synonym for “Bush” now?

Isn’t it always?

Last week, the Washington Examiner speculated that the 73-year old Boxer may be retiring in 2016. Given her increasingly frail nerves, her shaking and trembling, and Claude Rains-esque level of shock, perhaps it’s time.

Related: “Gee, if only that Obama fellow showed the concern for constitutional niceties on warmaking that George W. Bush did.”

* As Jean Kirkpatrick would say.

Perhaps ISIS needs OSHA, as a workplace accident resulted in 14 deaths and seven injuries, according to this report by India’s Business Standard yesterday:

Baghdad, Sep 16 (IANS/EFE) At least 14 members of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group were killed Tuesday near Baghdad when a rocket whose warhead they were filling with chlorine gas exploded.

Iraqi security officials said seven more IS militants were injured in the incident, which occurred near the town of al-Dhuluiya, about 90 km north of Baghdad.

Al-Dhuluiya was also where four members of the Iraqi security forces and Shiite militiamen suffered symptoms of asphyxiation after inhaling chlorine gas released by two improvised explosive devices.

It was the first time that chlorine has been used as a weapon in Iraq, although it is not uncommon in neighbouring Syria, where the regime’s use of it has been denounced by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

At Breitbart.com’s Big Peace Website today, Frances Martel adds:

The use of chemical weapons has not been confirmed by other sources, as Dhuluyia, 90 miles north of Baghdad, is remote for many media sources. However, if confirmed, it would be the first official use of chemical weapons by the Islamic State in Iraq. The Islamic State has been suspected of possessing chemical weapons for months. On July 9, reports began to surface that the Islamic State had captured a chemical weapons plant northwest of Baghdad, which still contained some degraded, but nonetheless, active chemical rockets. By July 15, Kurdish Peshmerga forces began to warn that they had seen evidence of the use of chemical weapons, including “thermal missiles of USA,” by the Islamic State terrorists.

Exit quote:

Filed under: War And Anti-War

Sandy Berger Could Not Be Reached For Comment

September 16th, 2014 - 3:11 pm

Did a Clinton aide remove damaging evidence to help Hillary’s election chances? In addition to, and more recently than Sandy Berger, that is:

Former CBS News investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson, writing in the Daily Signal, tells the story of former State Department official Raymond Maxwell, a well-respected 21-year diplomat who personally contributed to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Mr. Maxwell has told lawmakers that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s closest aides–including her chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, and her deputy chief of staff, Jake Sullivan–privately removed politically damaging documents before turning over files to the Accountability Review Board, the independent board investigating the Benghazi terror attack.

Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz confirmed to Fox News that last year, in a private interview, Maxwell told him and other lawmakers that Hillary Clinton’s aides oversaw the operation, which allegedly took place on a weekend in a basement office of the State Department.

As Peter Wehner concludes at Commentary, “if the details of the Benghazi story were identical but it had happened in the Bush, Reagan, or Nixon administration, there would be a fierce, relentless, around-the-clock investigation led by the major media outlets:”

But not in this case. Not with the Obama administration. Not with Hillary Clinton. Because many in the elite media have a narrative–the truth about what happened about Benghazi doesn’t really matter–and they’re sticking to it. Some reporters may go through the motions now and again, but that’s all. There’s no driving ambition to get to the bottom of this story. They would really rather not know. And the fact that they would really rather not know tells you a very great deal of what’s wrong with American journalism today. Elite journalists are as infected by ideology and motivated reasoning–in this case, by motivated reporting–as members of the DNC or the Obama White House.

Missed it by that much, as the MSM largely are Democrat operatives with bylines, and in some cases self-admitted members of the “non-official campaign” to elect Obama, ever-eager to airbrush the narrative, on the air in real-time if necessary:

Speaking of which, as Thomas Lifson of the American Thinker noted in April, “Attkisson charges Media Matters helps produce news reports for CBS.”

Quote of the Day

September 15th, 2014 - 8:55 pm

Mic drop.

Our Global Consultant In Chief

September 15th, 2014 - 7:27 pm

Jim Geraghty asks, “Why Is Our President Thinking About What He Would Tell ISIS if He Were Advising Them?”

Notice Obama’s assessment presumes ISIS wants to avoid a U.S. military intervention. Is this a manifestation of the mirroring effect, where Obama projects its own values and priorities onto its foes? (Think about how often he insists publicly that seizing Crimea and moving into Ukraine isn’t in Russia’s interest, or that bellicose or provocative actions on the part of Iran aren’t in that country’s interest.) ISIS appears to want to send the message, far and wide, that they don’t fear a clash with the U.S. military. Perhaps they want to demonstrate that they can commit horrific crimes against American civilians with no serious repercussion. Maybe they think God wants them to do this. Maybe they’re nuts! In the end, the “why” matters less than the “what.”

Viewed from another angle, President Obama’s comment sounds like a complaint. If ISIS hadn’t beheaded Americans, there wouldn’t be such widespread demand for action against ISIS in the American public.

“If I were advising ISIS…”

Well, you’re not, Mr. President. What, are you looking for another job? Some sort of freelance consulting gig on the job, when you clock out as Commander-in-Chief?

As Geraghty asks, “Are we about to learn what happens when the United States goes to war with a commander-in-chief who doesn’t really want to go to war? A president who’s ordering a particular military action because he feels he has to in order to placate public opinion, but that he has deep doubts about? How can that possibly turn out well?”

Wow — relax, Jim. After the stunning successes of the Stimulus, the GM bailout, diplomacy with Russia, Obamacare, Benghazi, Syria, and Obama’s previous efforts in Iraq, what could possibly go wrong? Failure is so not an option, it’s not even being anticipated!

Related: Of course, if something does go wrong and it impacts Mr. Obama’s approval ratings, the MSM will be quick to inform its viewers, right?

No Doubt Running on Windows ’39

September 15th, 2014 - 1:52 pm

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

 


Of course, if you’d like to buy a tank or other armored surplus military vehicle for yourself, a payment plan can be worked out; they’re not just for heavily-armed school districts anymore.

Our Source was the New York Times

September 14th, 2014 - 5:55 pm

Past performance is no guarantee of future results:

Unlike Mr. Bush in the Iraq war, Mr. Obama has sought to surround the United States with partners. Earlier on Wednesday, he called King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia to enlist his support for the plan to step up training of the Syrian rebels.

—Mark Landler, the New York Times, September 10th, 2014.

Really? That’s not how I remember history:

Why does the United States need a coalition?

From the start of its confrontation with Iraq, the Bush administration has tried to create the impression that its drive to topple Saddam has broad international support. Having allies–even some who do little more than lend their names to the war–is apparently meant to undercut widespread criticism that the world’s sole superpower is acting unilaterally.

Who are the coalition members?

According to the Bush administration and press reports, they are: Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Palau, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Singapore, Slovakia, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, Uganda, and Uzbekistan. Noticeably absent are major powers–France, for example–that were members of the coalition that overturned Iraq’s occupation of Kuwait in 1991.

Are all the members “willing?”

No. Officials in some of the countries have distanced themselves from participating in the war. For example, the Czech president, Vaclav Klaus, has sharply criticized the attacks on Iraq, and the government of the Netherlands has assured its citizens that Dutch forces won’t enter combat.

Other countries have not been named publicly but are likely members of the coalition. They include Israel, as well as several Arab states that are providing bases or other assistance to the war: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, Oman, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Egypt.

“Q&A: What Is the ‘Coalition of the Willing?’”, the New York Times, March 28th 2003.

At the Daily Caller, Betsy Rothstein quips that one of her readers suggested that “Maybe the Times could have looked for some really hard-to-find information, like at – oh, I don’t know – Wikipedia?”

Or simply, the New York Times.

Of course, Timesmen aren’t the only Democrat operatives with bylines making this same “error.”

Question of the Day

September 14th, 2014 - 3:46 pm

Which bumper sticker will leftists need to remove from their Prius or Smart Car in the coming weeks? “For example, this typical car spotted yesterday in Berkeley, with 2008-era bumper stickers,” as photographed by Zombie. I don’t want to steal the photo, so click over to see it:

On one side: “No Blood for Oil“; on the other: “Obama ’08.”

Oh dear oh dear oh dear.

One of those stickers simply has to be scraped off. Otherwise the cognitive dissonance would be too intense to tolerate.

But which sticker to remove?

The answer to that question may determine America’s political future in the near term.

Will anti-war liberals hold true to their unwavering belief that whenever America wages war in the Middle East, it is “for oil”? Or will they defend Obama politically as he once again sends American troops to Iraq?

Because when Obama invades Iraq, as he is about to do, you can’t have it both ways.

As former Democrat National Comittee chairman Howard Dean once claimed, “I will use whatever position I have in order to root out hypocrisy.” Given the left’s utter obsession on the topic, it’s fun to call them out, but the cognitive dissonance that led to Obama’s coronation in 2008 could lead to far worse things as well.

“Obama’s Ship is Sinking,” Michael Goodwin writes in the New York Post today. “I fear, we are on the cusp of tragedy,” he warns. It is reasonable to assume the worst-case scenarios about national security are growing increasingly likely to occur:”

Obama’s fecklessness is so unique that our adversaries and enemies surely realize they will never face a weaker president. They must assume the next commander in chief will take a more muscular approach to America’s interests and be more determined to forge alliances than the estranged man who occupies the Oval Office now.

So Vladimir Putin, Iran, China, Islamic State, al Qaeda and any other number of despots and terrorists know they have two years to make their moves and advance their interests, and that resistance will be token, if there is any at all.

Throw in the fact that Europe largely has scrapped its military might to pay for its welfare states, and the entire West is a diminished, confused opponent, ripe for the taking. Redrawn maps and expanded spheres of influence could last for generations.

Of course, there is a possibility that America could rally around the president in a crisis, and there would be many voices demanding just that. But a national consensus requires a president who is able to tap into a reservoir of good will and have his leadership trusted.

That’s not the president we have.

Long before the media tied their collective panties into knots over the Tea Party, Obama’s self-described “non-official campaign” staffers worked exceedingly hard in 2007 and 2008 at dividing America, dubbing anyone who was against him as racist, all the way to Bill and Hillary Clinton — and the workaday Democrat Americans who supported them in the primaries. Between alienating both sides of the aisle in Congress with his aloofness, pitting the rest of America from 2007 until today against itself and most recently angering his dove-ish BUSH SUX MAN! supporters by threatening ISIS, Obama’s has burned through an enormous amount of political capital and good will.

Perhaps with only a couple of years left in his administration, he didn’t think he’d need very much of it by now.

But in regards to Zombie’s statement that “when Obama invades Iraq, as he is about to do, you can’t have it both ways,” of course you can — if there’s a (D) after your name, you can flip-flop and contort your ideology — 360 degrees or more, as Maxine Waters might say — on every issue like you were John Kerry catching some really tasty waves on his windsurfing rig:

“That awkward moment when the President of the United States pretends he’s an ISIS terrorist:”

Moe Lane brilliantly juxtaposed that tweet with this reminder of Barry’s galaxy-sized hubris from Iowahawk:

Another Twitter user questions the timing:

As Moe writes, “:rubbing head in hands: Please make President Barack Obama stop talking, OK, Democrats?” Maybe Obama could simply write ISIS a nice letter. That worked so well for Lyndon Johnson

Update: Meanwhile, in what is perhaps a much more difficult role to game out, former President Obama is also pretending what it’s like to be former President Bush, Ann Althouse writes today:

Another way to put that is: Obama feels like George Bush, yet he must not be George Bush. Obama feels compelled to go to war in Iraq, but it must not be the same as what George Bush did. So he’s grasping at distinctions: 1. He’s taking it more slowly, being deliberate, and thoughtful. (Remember: Bush had no brain and was a cowboy.) 2. He doing it all from the air, so lofty and elevated. (Remember: Bush put boots on the ground. Ugh! Boots, so brutal! The ground, so lowly and filthy!)

“This will be a problem for the next president,” Mr. Obama said ruefully…

Ruefully…. see? Obama is not like Bush, he and his friends in the press are desperate to have you know. I’ve long seen “ruefully” an absurd adverbial boost to the good old verb “said.” (Ask my ex-husband, the novelist, who I don’t think ever used “ruefully” again after that one time I pointed it out, though I adopted “he said ruefully” to add punch to subsequent conversations. By the way, one of Elmore Leonard’s 10 rules for writers was: “Never use a verb other than ‘said’ to carry dialogue.” I’d add: Especially not “ruefully.”)

Of course, some reporters are much more desperate than others to remind their readers — perhaps themselves — that Obama isn’t his evil, scary, warmongering Texas predecessor, even if takes Orwellian Ministry of Truth-level airbrushing of history to do so.

That’s a lie worthy of Jay Carney’s career as a journalist — somebody’s clearly angling to be the next press secretary for Mr. Obama.

‘Where Have All the Anti-War Protestors Gone?’

September 13th, 2014 - 10:51 pm

springsteen_missing_milk_carton_9-7-13-3

“Gee — could it be that the anti-war movement is just another partisan creation of the Democratic party? Looks that way,” Rick Moran concludes at the American Thinker:

Apparently, the far left believes that as long as Obama’s heart is in the right place, all else can be forgiven.

The grand dame of liberal commentary magazines — The Nation — is opposing the expansion of the war in Iraq, but in the most mild terms you can imagine. No calls to bring the president up on war crimes. No calls for impeachment for going to war without authorization. The rhetoric is rueful and disappointed rather than righteous and indignant.

In fact, the protests held to date have not been against the administration, but rather “racism” or “police brutality.” You can bet if Ferguson occurred six years ago, there would have been loud and vociferous calls for the resignation of President Bush’s attorney general, among others.

With no lefty media calling for protests, there probably won’t be any. Even the anarchists and commies are silent. It’s a phenomenon that proves the shocking level of hypocrisy and partisanship inherent in any leftist protest movement, but especially the anti-war crowd.

Oh, I don’t know — the protests this weekend were rather dramatic in their size and scope:

Perhaps the protestors are going the John & Yoko bed-in route. But hey, to borrow from the rhetoric of John Winston Ono Lennon, War is Over, If You Want It.

“On CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper,” Twitchy notes that “former NSA director Gen. Michael Hayden expanded on his comment to U.S. News and World Report that ‘The reliance on air power has all of the attraction of casual sex: It seems to offer gratification but with very little commitment:’”

While President Obama’s primetime address to the nation Wednesday night was intended for the American public, “there are other audiences – our allies and our enemies. They view that as limiting our commitment to this enterprise … (and) limited enthusiasm on the part of our allies to take up the role we said we would refuse to do,” said Hayden.

So, is “casual sex” a valid metaphor for airstrikes? Yes or no?

So just to review, we now have a real-life (former) Air Force general using a sex-related aviation metaphor that’s straight out of Dr. Strangelove. It took half a century, but at last, Muggeridge’s Law, which posits that no satirist can compete with reality for its pure absurdity, at long last catches up with Stanley Kubrick and Terry Southern:

Well, the war as sexual metaphor part. The end of the world at (SPOILER ALERT!) the conclusion of Dr. Strangelove hasn’t happened yet, but former President Obama — who makes Peter Sellers’ President Merkin Muffley* seem like a font of Eisenhower-esque rationality and grace under pressure — still has a year and a half to go in office.

* To say nothing of how good Mr. Obama makes Peter Sellers’ Chance the Gardener look in comparison.

Quote of the Day

September 12th, 2014 - 5:01 pm

In previous posts I’ve introduced the metaphor of the attrition mill–a machine in which two steel disks, rotating at high speed in opposite directions, crush between them the grain or other substance to be milled. Our society is caught in a gigantic attrition mill, with one disk being the Islamic terrorist enemy and the other being the “progressive” Left within our own societies–some of whom are wishful thinkers who deny uncomfortable realities, an alarming number of whom forthrightly despise their own societies and the majority of their fellow citizens. Without the existence of the second disk, the terrorist threat would be serious, inconvenient, and dangerous, but would not be an existential threat to Western civilization. But it is the interaction of the two disks, despite the differences in their stated philosophies of life*, that increases the societal threat by orders of magnitude.

“9/11 Plus Thirteen Years,” David Foster, the Chicago Boyz Website, yesterday.

* The key word in that sentence being stated. The two ideologies actually have much in common.

Tom Maguire on a Pivot Too Far:

“The Times noted that our Arab allies seem a bit tentative. No kidding – Obama and Kerry were wrong about the surge in ’07, wrong about the Iraqi troop withdrawals in ’11, wrong to walk away from post-Qadaffi Libya in ’11, wrong not to arm the moderate Syrian rebels in ’11, wrong to draw a faux red line in 2013, and now no one will get behind him? The headless chickens have come home to roost.”

WELL, YES: “How do you ask a man to be the first man to die for a mistake?” – Kerry, any day now.

To paraphrase the quote on war invariably attributed to Trotsky, you may not be interested in reality, but eventually, reality is interested in you. Speaking of which, with the Obama fanboys at the New York Times now reduced to running a column this week titled, “The Grand Strategy Obama Needs,” as Steve Green notes, “keep in mind that in Year Six of this administration, people still feel the need to remind the President that a strategy might be a nice thing to have.”

“I should’ve anticipated the optics,” the Washington Post quoted Obama saying on Meet the Press this past Sunday:

“Part of this job is also the theater of it,” Obama said, adding that “it’s not something that always comes naturally to me.  But it matters.”

Indeed it does; file this under Example 3,922,627 of What If Bush Had Done This? But fortunately Mr. Obama’s fellow Democrat operatives with bylines are eager to cover for him, Debra Heine wrote yesterday at Breitbart.com:

Not to state the obvious, but as KaBOOM! is a word used to represent loud explosions, wouldn’t they want to leave that logo at home on 9/11 — a day of horrifying loud explosions?

The Washington post kindly left the KaBOOM! logo out of its feelgood description of the Obamas’ visit the school.

As flags flew at half-staff Thursday morning to commemorate the 13th anniversary of 9/11, dozens of volunteers wearing bright purple T-shirts were doing jumping jacks at the Inspired Teaching charter school in the District’s Brookland neighborhood. With feel-good hits playing, the volunteers prepared to build a playground for the school to mark the National Day of Service and Remembrance.

In the early evening, hours after the playground had been built, President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama arrived at the school via motorcade to lend a hand.

The couple helped two students fill “playpacks” with books, chalk and other items, which will be given as birthday gifts to children in a nearby homeless shelter, according to a press pool report. They also helped volunteers put a piece of a climbing structure in place, with the president helping to lift the piece and Michelle Obama securing it with a wrench.

As Heine concludes:

I’m trying to imagine what the First Lady thought when she saw the KaBOOM! logos. I know if it were me, my cheeks would have flushed red, and I would have asked to speak to the person in charge, in private. And with the assembled media in mind, I would have asked who the brainiac was who thought 9/11 was a good day for the president and first lady to be seen stuffing backpacks with KaBOOM!

Which is worse: an administration that’s just trolling us all now, or one that’s so incompetent that its staffers can’t see the strange optics of the president and first lady at an organization named KaBoom! on the anniversary of 9/11?

Have You Seen Me?

September 12th, 2014 - 11:06 am

cindy_sheehan_missing_milk_carton_9-8-14-1

“Where exactly is the anti-war movement?”, Howie Carr asks in the Boston Herald:

Have you see a single “No Blood for Oil” sign in Cambridge?

To paraphrase the John Kerry of 2004: “Can I get me a candlelight vigil here?”

Whatever happened to Cindy Sheehan? Where is Code Pink? I haven’t seen an “EndLESS War” bumper sticker in years, since 2009 to be exact.

The anti-war movement is MIA as this war, er counter­terrorism operation, begins. Back when Bush was waging war, dissent was the highest form of patriotism. Now it’s “racism.” If you speak truth to power in the Obama era, they call it hate speech. The IRS will audit you.

Obama’s media sycophants described his prime-time speech as “nuanced.” I’d call it ragtime.

I thought the moonbats didn’t want the U.S. “going it alone.” You hear that phrase on the networks now about as often as you hear the words “full employment.”

And why is the president so outraged about a couple of beheadings? When a Muslim terrorist yelling “Allahu akbar!” murdered 13 servicemen at Fort Hood, Obama shrugged it off as “workplace violence.”

Now Obama’s suddenly “all wee-wee’ed up” about non-Muslim Muslims murdering Americans.

Flag-draped coffins at Dover AFB are no longer a feature of the nightly news. Remember Wolf Blitzer’s nightly trumpeting of Bush’s plummeting approval ratings?

Now the polls are so bleak for the Kenyan Katastrophe, CNN doesn’t even mention them anymore. I’m surprised they ran the Kerry soundbite even once about how we’re not really at war against SIS, or is it SIL?

Last year, when Bruce Springsteen, Susan Sarandon, and other members of the Hollywood anti-war crowd of the first eight years of the naughts were silent as our jingoistic president and Secretary of State (who by the way, served in Vietnam) thumped the war drums against Syria, I put their faces on milk cartons in an effort to help find them. Earlier this week, someone on Twitter suggested the same for Cindy Sheehan, so I’ve added her above.

Yesterday, Allahpundit asked, “When exactly did President Obama decide that the Bush doctrine is awesome?”, by waging preemptive war in Iraq. What has cased the anti-war left to become nouveau neocons as well? Protestors were silent in early 1960s when Kennedy sent “advisors” to Vietnam, but as Jeffrey Lord noted in the American Spectator a while back, were quickly driven insane by LBJ’s southern drawl. Does that explain why the reverse has happened — GWB’s Texas twang drove them bonkers, but BHO’s poseur preppy baritone is far more soothing? But why were they silent when this Southern president was bombing Iraq?

Obama: There is No I in ISIS

September 11th, 2014 - 4:37 pm

“Sorry Mr. President, ISIS Is 100 Percent Islamic,” Daniel Pipes writes in response to the recently retired president’s speech last night:

In a televised address on how to address the Islamic State this evening, President Barack Obama declared the organization variously known as ISIS or ISIL to be “not Islamic.”

In making this preposterous claim, Obama joins his two immediate predecessors in pronouncing on what is not Islamic. Bill Clinton called the Taliban treatment of women and children “a terrible perversion of Islam.” George W. Bush deemed that 9/11 and other acts of violence against innocents “violate the fundamental tenets of the Islamic faith.”

None of the three has any basis for such assertions. To state the obvious: As non-Muslims and politicians, rather than Muslims and scholars, they are in no position to declare what is Islamic and what is not. As Bernard Lewis, a leading American authority of Islam, notes: “It is surely presumptuous for those who are not Muslims to say what is orthodox and what is heretical in Islam.”

Indeed, Obama compounds his predecessors’ errors and goes further: Clinton and Bush merely described certain actions (treatment of women and children, acts of violence against innocents) as un-Islamic, but Obama has dared to declare an entire organization (and quasi-state) to be “not Islamic.”

So just to review how the left has responded to a 100 years of inconvenient history, National Socialism wasn’t “real” socialism, except that it certainly was — it was just socialism that the rest of of the left didn’t like. The Soviet Union wasn’t “real” communism or socialism, except that as Tom Wolfe once impolitely reminded “liberals” in the mid-1970s, ”On the contrary — it was socialism done by experts!” And now ISIS isn’t Islamic. Gotcha.

But say, in regards to all of the above “isms,” what about the “peaceful majority…?”

Two Administrations in One!

September 9th, 2014 - 4:17 pm

Past performance is no guarantee of future results:

President Obama told congressional leaders in a meeting Tuesday that he has the authority to launch broader attacks against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, downplaying the prospect of a Capitol Hill vote on his military plan ahead of his prime-time address to the nation Wednesday night.

Obama “told the leaders that he has the authority he needs to take action against [the Islamic State] in accordance with the mission he will lay out in his address tomorrow,” the White House said in a readout of the meeting that included Obama, Vice President Joe Biden; House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.; Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

—”Obama to lawmakers: I don’t need your approval to attack Islamic State,” the Washington Examiner, today.

Huh — it was just a month and a half ago when the Obama administration begged Congress to prevent it from going to war in Iraq:

The Obama administration is calling on Congress to fully repeal the war authorization in Iraq to ensure that no U.S. troops return to the country, which is under siege by the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS).

White House national security adviser Susan Rice petitioned Speaker of the House John Boehner (R., Ohio) in a letter Friday to completely repeal the war authorization, officially known as the Authorization for Use of Military Force in Iraq, or AUMF.

Rice’s letter was sent as Congress just hours before it approved a resolution opposing U.S. military intervention in Iraq, where the terrorist group ISIL claims to have established an Islamic caliphate.

“We believe a more appropriate and timely action for Congress to take is the repeal of the outdated 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force in Iraq,” Rice wrote, according to a copy of her letter obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

“With American combat troops having completed their withdrawal from Iraq on December 18, 2011, the Iraq AUMF is no longer used for any U.S. government activities and the administration fully supports its repeal,” Rice wrote. “Such a repeal would go much further in giving the American people confidence that ground forces will not be sent into combat in Iraq.”

“White House Wants Repeal of Iraq War Authorization: Move could be boon for ISIL terrorism in Iraq,” the Washington Free Beacon, July 25, 2014.

Shades of all of the flip-flopping ultimately signifying nothing on Syria — right around this time last year. (Actually worse than nothing, as it made the administration look feckless in the eyes of Vladimir Putin, who then happily began to gobble up Ukraine.)

When Obama declared ISIS to be the Junior Varsity team at the start of the year, it’s astonishing how much projection was involved.

Update: Welcome those readers clicking from the Drudge Report and Instapundit.com. Please look around; there may be more here which you’ll like.

Britain’s Summer of Hate

September 7th, 2014 - 6:44 pm

“The UK recorded more anti-Semitic incidents in July than any month in the last 30 years,” Yair Rosenberg of Tablet magazine tweets. “This video helps explain why:”

Don’t worry; the historical ignorance that fuels such hatred and idiocy can’t happen in America, right? Well, so much for that idea:

“The paths of political correctness and conformity lead to terrible places in culture,” Erick Erickson of Red State wrote this past week:

 Francis Schaeffer, the theologian, wrote a remarkable book called The God Who is There in 1968. In the book, Schaeffer posits that the United States lags Europe by about thirty years in cultural shifts and he predicted a thirty year or so lag in growing secularism and conformity in the United States.

Just imagine the culture of both nations in the coming years. Or as Mark Steyn wrote in After America, “Look around you. From now on, it gets worse:”

In ten years’ time, there will be no American Dream, any more than there’s a Greek or Portuguese Dream. In twenty, you’ll be living the American Nightmare, with large tracts of the country reduced to the favelas of Latin America, the rich fleeing for Bermuda or New Zealand or wherever on the planet they can buy a little time, and the rest trapped in the impoverished, violent, diseased ruins of utopian vanity.

Surrounded by people with no sense of history, who think that Israel is the second coming of the Third Reich.

Or as Victor Davis Hanson asks today, “Are the Orcs Winning?”

First up, Barry in the Bubble, courtesy of his favorite television network. “Obama Goes on Meet the Press, Reality Fails to Intrude,” John Hinderaker writes at Power Line, quoting Obama’s Kinsleyesque gaffe this morning that “part of this job is also the theater of it. A part of it is, you know, how are you, how, how are you, well, it’s not something that– that always comes naturally to me. But it matters. And I’m mindful of that.”

Obama went on to say what a great job he is doing on policy, even though “theater” doesn’t “come naturally to [him].” What a crock! Obama has always been about theater, and little else. What were the Greek columns if not theater? How about the silly Latin motto, “vero possumus,” on his fake presidential seal? How about healing the earth and making the oceans recede, or the election night extravaganza in Grant Park? Obama’s problem isn’t that he is no good at theater. His problem is that the time eventually comes when a president has to stop pretending and make decisions.

But this was all just spin. The air of unreality was just as dense when it counted the most, when Obama tried to explain his security policies. His plan for dealing with terrorism from the Middle East involves–no surprise here–”working smarter.” Smarter than whom? He doesn’t say. But this is what Obama calls “smart”:

We’re going to have to work smarter.

We’re going to have to train the military there more capably. We’ve got to do more effective diplomatic work to eliminate the schism between Sunni and Shia that has been fueling so much of the violence in Syria, in Iraq. And so we put together a plan that is compatible with the kind of work that we’re doing now.

Whoa! We are going to “eliminate the schism between Sunni and Shia”? The schism that goes back to the 7th Century? And we are going to “eliminate the schism” through diplomacy? Don’t hold your breath waiting for that critical part of Obama’s “plan” to bear fruit.

Isn’t eliminating the schism between Sunni and Shia covered by Mr. Obama’s 2008 pledge to heal the world (and/or lower the oceans)?

What happens to the recently retired president when he dares to leave the Democrat media-political bubble and attempts to explain his security policies to an audience that cares rather more about the topic than the gang at NBC? Reality intrudes rather dramatically, as the American Legion slowclaps the former president as he phones in his recent speech at their convention:

As should quickly become apparent based on the feedback loop generated by the American Legion’s lack of response and Mr. Obama’s increasingly monotone teleprompter readings, never has a performer and his audience so palpably begged for the curtain to drop.

It wasn’t always like this for the former president, however. Before reality intruded, the World’s Biggest Celebrity used to know how really rev a crowd into a frenzy, as Ed Henry of Fox News notes, via an excellent rejoinder to the former president: