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Ed Driscoll

War And Anti-War

Victor Davis Hanson knows why:

Glance about — Central America, Venezuela, China, Russia, Ukraine, Crimea, Gaza, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Turkey, etc. — and the world outside the West is mostly a nasty place.  The three common denominators in all these catastrophes are the usual demagogic leaders blaming someone else for their people’s own self-inflicted miseries, a comfortable West that shrugs that somehow all these depressing things and mean people will just go away — and a tired global enforcer whose community organizer leader went into retirement and offers “make no mistake about it” warnings between swings on the golf course.

Read the whole thing.

John Kerry, Reporting For Duty

July 27th, 2014 - 2:37 pm

“Astoundingly, the secretary’s intervention in the Hamas war empowers the Gaza terrorist government bent on destroying Israel,” David Horovitz, the founding editor of the Times of Israel writes. Though I’m not at all sure why he spelled “absolutely par for the course for feckless archleftist John Kerry” using the word “astoundingly:”

The Netanyahu government has had no shortage of run-ins with Kerry in the mere 18 months he has held office. The prime minister publicly pleaded with him in November not to sign the interim deal with Iran on its rogue nuclear program, and there has been constant friction between the two governments over thwarting Iran’s bid for the bomb. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon in January ridiculed Kerry’s security proposals for a West Bank withdrawal, calling the secretary “messianic” and obsessive” in his quest for an accord with the Palestinians that simply wasn’t there. The collapse of the talks in March-April was accompanied by allegations from Jerusalem that Kerry had botched the process, telling Israel one thing and the Palestinian Authority another, including misrepresenting Israel’s position on Palestinian prisoner releases.

But none of those episodes, though deeply troubling and relating to issues central to Israel’s well-being, provoked the kind of outraged disbelief at Kerry’s performance that has been emanating from the Israeli leadership in the past 48 hours. Leaked comments from unnamed senior government sources to Army Radio, Channel 2 and other Hebrew outlets have described the secretary as amateurish, incompetent, incapable of understanding the material he is dealing with — in short, a blithering fool.

But actually, it’s worse than that. What emerges from Kerry’s self-initiated ceasefire mission — Israel had already accepted the Egyptian ceasefire proposal; and nobody asked him to come out on a trip he prefaced with sneering remarks about Israel’s attempted “pinpoint” strikes on Hamas terror targets — is that Jerusalem now regards him as duplicitous and dangerous.

As Bookworm adds, “For John Kerry, when it comes to an American ally and a deadly enemy, it’s 1971 all over again:”

In acceding to Hamas’s demands, John Kerry is injuring not only an American ally (that would be Israel), but America too, since Hamas is, as I mentioned, an official terrorist group, not to mention a sworn enemy of the West.

So, a two-fer, then.

 

“SHOCK: Jewish students shown ‘photos of ovens and told to get in’ by classmates in Chicago:”

CHICAGO – A school principal has been reassigned after a series of shocking bullying incidents that targeted Jewish students.

DNAinfo Chicago reports Ogden International School of Chicago principal Joshua VanderJagt asked to be reassigned because “challenges” arose after two students – one 14 years old and one 8 years old – suffered repeated threats by classmates.

The challenges surrounded allegations from Ogden parent Lisa Wolf Clemente that her 14-year-old and 8-year-old sons were bullied at both campuses by classmates for their Jewish heritage.

The Gold Coast resident said her teen son was shown photos of ovens and told to get in during lunch periods, intended as a reference to the Holocaust.

At the Streeterville campus, Wolf Clemente said her 8-year-old was invited to join a team called “Jew Incinerator” on the popular game app Clash of Clans. The team was allegedly created by Ogden eighth-graders.

In a screenshot provided by parents, the team description reads: “We are a friendly group of racists with one goal — put all Jews into an army camp until disposed of. Sieg! Heil!”

After the incidents, the bullies were suspended for two days – one in school and one out of school. They were also barred from “eighth grade graduation ceremonies,” according to the news service.

As I’ve written before, I shudder to think of how we’ll collectively remember World War II by the time this decade is out. If at all:

Oh, and speaking of Chicago, “Rahm Emanuel: Illegal Aliens are Fleeing Violent Conditions, So Let’s Move Them to Chicago.” Or as JWF quips, faced with the ongoing violence of Chicago, “perhaps the ‘migrants’ might fare better at home.”

US Evacuates Embassy in Libya

July 27th, 2014 - 12:05 pm

“The United States suspended operations at its embassy in Libya Saturday and evacuated its diplomats to neighboring Tunisia under U.S. military escort amid a significant deterioration in security in Tripoli as fighting intensified between rival militias, the State Department said,” according to a Fox News report:

“Due to the ongoing violence resulting from clashes between Libyan militias in the immediate vicinity of the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, we have temporarily relocated all of our personnel out of Libya,” spokeswoman Marie Harf said.

The withdrawal underscored the Obama administration’s concern about the heightened risk to American diplomats abroad, particularly in Libya where memories of the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in the eastern city of Benghazi are still vivid and the political uproar over it remain fresh ahead of a new congressional investigation into the incident. A senior military official told Fox News the Pentagon has been advising the State Department leave the post for weeks.

“Securing our facilities and ensuring the safety of our personnel are top department priorities, and we did not make this decision lightly,” Harf said. “Security has to come first. Regrettably, we had to take this step because the location of our embassy is in very close proximity to intense fighting and ongoing violence between armed Libyan factions.”

American personnel at the Tripoli embassy, which had already been operating with limited staffing, left the capital around dawn and traveled by road to neighboring Tunisia, according to Harf. Roughly 70 embassy staffers were driven out of the city in a caravan by 80 Marines, Fox News has learned.

Former President Obama is on the case, though.

Nahh, just kidding. He’s on the links, of course:

As Twitchy notes, “Ouch! World in turmoil, President Voting Present golfs; Newt Gingrich brutally nutshells:”

Mark Steyn brutally nutshells as well:

Dinesh D’Souza has a new movie out called America: Imagine A World Without Her – but we don’t really have to “imagine”, it’s happening before our eyes. Nothing difficult and complicated about it: in this decline and fall, the Emperor simply went fundraising.

At any rate, Jamie Weinstein sat in for Hugh Hewitt this week, and took me on a brisk trot round current topics:

MARK STEYN: Well, what’s going on in the world is of very little interest to President Fundraiser. He’s got other priorities, and the rest of the planet, as I believe it’s marked on the State Department maps, can go take a hike… There’s a vacuum of American power. And John Kerry is the physical presence of American absence. Nobody wants to see him. Nobody wants to do the handshake. Nobody wants to pose for photographs.

Finally, at the Belmont Club, Richard Fernandez contrasts additional news of fresh global disaster and concludes, “This is Obama Tranquility Base bidding you goodnight.”

“Israeli ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer slammed CNN for its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict Thursday on OutFront, telling host Erin Burnett the network did a disservice to viewers by not providing facts and context in their reports on the violence there,” as spotted by the Washington Free Beacon:

Dermer reminded Burnett Hamas has been using schools, hospitals and other non-military installations as weapon depots.

“It would be a disservice to your viewers for a reporter from Gaza not to mention that in the last week we had two different UNRWA schools where we had actually rockets found in the schools and handed over to Hamas,” he said.

Dermer grew angrier when he mentioned he’d watched two hours of CNN and not heard a single reporter tell the viewers of this practice.

“I have not heard a single person say what I just said to you now, and I think that that does a disservice to your viewers to not give them the context they need to make these judgments,” he said. “Hamas is placing missile batteries in schools, in hospitals, in mosques, and there must be outrage by the world at Hamas to end this.”

I’m forced to watch about a half hour of CNN in the background on the monitor above my treadmill at the local gym each night, and while it’s always been a train wreck, sadly, the events of the past two week have been tailor-made for the only thing left that the low-rated Time-Warner owned network can apparently still do: bash Israel and report on horrific plane crashes.

Say, does anybody know Jeff Zucker’s whereabouts when the Air Algerie flight was shot down over Africa this week…

 

‘Obama: Stop Me Before I Invade Iraq!’

July 25th, 2014 - 4:04 pm

As Daniel Greenfield writes at Front Page, “This is probably one of the more confusing stories to come out of a completely confused administration:”

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.

“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.”

Wait, the Obama administration is actually claiming it will cooperate with a GOP-led Congress? Perhaps they could demonstrate their sincerity by first complying with its subpeonas. I know — I keed, I keed.

In the meantime, Greenfield has the perfect metaphor for this latest absurdity from the administration led by the recently retired President Obama. (Language alert, for obvious reasons. Please address all complaints to Mel Brooks and/or Warner Brothers Pictures, a division of Time-Warner-CNN-HBO):

Whitewashing Israel

July 25th, 2014 - 1:18 pm

“Mainstream-media outlets in the West love to run photographs of Palestinians, typically looking sympathetic in the ruins of bombed-out buildings. On the rare occasions when editors include photos of Israelis, the images bear a striking similarity to one another: All the people in them are white,” Nathaniel Zelinsky writes:

In reality, Israelis — including thousands of soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) — are not uniformly white or even Jewish. Consider the commander of the Golani Brigade, one of the country’s elite infantry units, currently fighting in Gaza as part of Operation Protective Edge. Colonel Rasan Alian is an Arab Druse who has served in the IDF for over two decades. Recently wounded in the eye and hospitalized, he returned to the front lines as quickly as he could to lead his men. In Alian’s own words, quoted in the Israeli press, “I want to go back to Gaza, and get to as many terrorists as possible.”

Do you find it intriguing that an Arab abhors Hamas and has spent 20 years of his life defending the Jewish state? Well, CNN doesn’t. Its investigative journalists prefer to malign Israelis as “scum.” Apparently Rasan Alian just isn’t a compelling story.

Or what about Chief Warrant Officer Baynesian Kasahun and Staff Sergeant Moshe Malko, two of the Israeli soldiers tragically killed in combat? They are both black. In fact, peruse the entire list of those who have given their lives to stop Hamas’s reign of terror. There is a lot of diversity there.

Funny how the MSM, which is obsessed with skin color, can’t see its diversity when it comes to those whose ideology they despise.

Fly the Unfriendly Skies

July 24th, 2014 - 3:05 pm

Gerard Baker of the Wall Street Journal tweets, “2014 is already the deadliest year for air travel since 2010, data show.”

Meanwhile, PJM’s David Steinberg spots an alarming bit of synchronicity in a Drudge-linked post: “Boeing 777s, After 18 Spotless Years, Crash Three Times Since July 2013:”

The disappearance of MH370 certainly appears to have been terror — the pilot intended to at least hijack the flight, though I have yet to hear evidence that he chose a 777 for any reason relating to the product itself. And MH17 most definitely was taken down by terror, though intercepted recordings point to the malicious operators of the Buk having not intended to target a passenger craft, much less a 777 specifically.

The San Francisco crash, strange at was, was stranger still in that a fatality occurred when a survivor was struck by an emergency vehicle.

In a year, 540 people have perished on one of the safest, soundest transports ever created — and it’s still just as safe as ever. Crazy world.

It’s always been a crazy planet; as Michael Ledeen recently wrote, “The World Is Returning to Normal:”

Of all the popular myths about “how the world works,” the most dangerous to us at this moment is the one that goes “peace is normal, war is an aberration.”  Truth is, war is normal and peace very unusual.  We’ve lived through a happy time, ever since the Second World War.  Thanks to American superpower, and the destruction of the totalitarian regimes in Rome, Berlin and Moscow, we’ve had a happy period of relative peace.  Very few big wars.  Little genocides (China is exceptional, but they changed to accommodate the global pattern).  Deterrence (as in “mutual assured destruction”) mostly worked.

That was a rare time.  Now we’re getting back to normal.  There’s a good reason for that old Roman wisdom “if you want peace, prepare for war.”  It’s because “peace” most always happens when somebody wins a war, and then imposes conditions on the losers.  That’s what “peace conferences” are all about.  Our recent happy time was the result of war, and our adoption of the Roman wisdom.  We smashed our enemies, we created military alliances to deter our new enemies (NATO, etcetera), we built and maintained a big arsenal on land, air and sea.

We prepared for war to make peace possible.

As Michael notes, in the past, the world was made safer when men who had America’s best interest at heart were in power and the notion of America as the world’s policeman was met with, well, perhaps a sneer from our enemies, but not a dismissive eye roll and chuckle.

Related: “President To Dem Donors: ‘You’re Chronicling The Slow Deterioration Of Barack Obama.’” And funding the rapid deterioration of America itself. (Not to mention the rest of the world as well.)

“Let me save you a bunch of time: All the news overseas is bad this morning. Bad, bad, bad,” Jim Geraghty writes:

Breaking news out of Algeria:

An Air Algeria-operated MD83 carrying 116 passengers and crew disappeared en route from Burkina Faso in Africa to Algiers, the aircraft’s owner said.

The plane, which took off in the west African country shortly after midnight, was supposed to land at 05:10 a.m. local time, Swiftair, a charter company based in Spain said in a statement today. The plane carried 110 passengers and six crew.

“There has been no contact with the plane until now,” Swiftair said. “Emergency teams and the company’s personnel are working to figure out what happened and will notify people as further information is available.”

Ukraine: “While Kiev made significant advances against rebels in the country’s east in recent days, Ukrainian and U.S. officials say Russian weapons are continuing to pour over the border. The escalation in fighting suggests Russian President Vladimir Putin has no intention of dialing back his support for the separatists, denting Western hopes that international attention from the airliner crash would force him to change course.”

In contrast, a “tiny bit of good news” spotted by Jim out of Israel…

“Under pressure from Israeli and American officials, the Federal Aviation Administration lifted a temporary ban on flights by American carriers to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport late on Wednesday night.” The European airlines are reinstating flights.

…Followed by more grim news from Europe, which reads like the continent is reverting back to 1930s-era antisemitism.

Meanwhile, Time magazine, as Ed Morrissey notes at Hot Air, is running the following cover:

time-putin_7-24-14

Naturally, Time-Warner-CNN-HBO has a serious case of amnesia as to how we got here. To refresh their memory, here’s the man they propped up in 2008 holding a copy of Time columnist and CNN droning head Fareed Zakaria’s then new book, which portrayed the brave new “Post-American World” as if it were a good thing. Here’s CNN clearing a path for Barack Obama in mid-2008 via “The Wright-Free Zone”:

In November of 2008, even before he took office, Time magazine declared Barack Obama the next FDR. Apparently, now Time-Warner-CNN-HBO is surprised to see a similar amount of moral relativity from this president in regards to Russia and Putin as FDR displayed towards Stalin and the Soviet Union.

No one perhaps more so than Candy Crowley of CNN, who asked Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) if she “believes that U.S Russian relations are now at cold war levels.”

Feinstein responded yes.

Gee, who knew?

And who did everything she could to derail Romney’s chances in 2012? But of course:

I’m not sure which is worse — Time-Warner-CNN-HBO feigning surprise that the world has ended up as ugly as it has during the administrations that they greased the skids for twice, or their amnesia regarding their complicity. But in any case, today’s news of fresh disaster was sadly all too predictable — and avoidable.

Update: “How Our World Fell Apart,” from Ed Klein at Townhall. For my interview earlier this week with Ed, click here.

Tweet of the Day

July 23rd, 2014 - 4:40 pm

As one person writes on Twitter, “Netanyahu’s expression in this photo with John Kerry speaks for all sane human beings who see through the bullsh**.”

Related: “Kerry to Mother of Fallen IDF Soldier: ‘How’s Your Day?’”

Dispatches from Airstrip One

July 23rd, 2014 - 3:50 pm

“Did I Hear This Correctly? (From the BBC Files),” a Ricochet poster asks:

Was just watching BBC World News which I do when seeking the Global Left line on the news.  According to the BBC, the “International Community” (who are those guys?) have two demands:

1.  Ukrainian separatists must stop launching missiles which threaten commercial aircraft and the Russians must stop supplying such missiles.

2.  Israel must stop attacking those who are launching missiles which threaten commercial aircraft.  No mention as to what those who are supplying such missiles should do.

It’s not at all a coincidence that Orwell was inspired to create the “Ministry of Truth” and Room 101 from his days at the BBC.

Or that the BBC views 1984 as a how-to guide:

The Bear Is Loose

July 21st, 2014 - 2:51 pm

Former President Barack Obama’s* penchant for fundraising during world crises is explored by Matthew Continetti at the Washington Free Beacon:

“The bear is loose!” President Obama has been saying, whenever he leaves the White House to visit Starbucks, or sandwich shops, or burger joints, or BBQ shacks, or neighborhood diners, in his increasingly rote and pathetic attempts to “connect” with “real people.” Obama, we have been told, is frustrated, “restless,” bored with the responsibilities and chores of office. He thinks of himself as the bear—intimidating, wild, untamed, roving—escaping his den. But he is flattering himself. Obama is not the bear. He is the cub: aimless, naïve, self-interested, self-indulgent, irresponsible, irresolute. The bear is in Moscow.

As Steve Green writes, “That might be the single most devastatingly accurate paragraph I’ve ever read about Professor Ditherton Wiggleroom, but you’ll want to read the whole thing.” An earlier president knew who the bear was, and take him seriously — and was ultimately rewarded for his efforts:

*Hey, if Obama has decided to check himself out of the day to day process of what was once called “running of the federal government,” he should be titled accordingly…

The Sleeping Policeman

July 21st, 2014 - 12:28 pm

Greg Gutfeld writes that when America had executive leadership, we used to understand “that small matters when confronted, as a group, can prevent bigger matters. Now we see everything as ‘not our business,’ without taking the next step and asking, ‘Then whose business is it?’

So what should be done here about that field of horror in Ukraine? What should the leader of the free world do?

That field is no longer a war zone. It is an international crime scene, and we must lead the way, immediately, to secure it. And save the evidence, and seek justice. If Putin sees this as troubling, then it is up to him to make the “hard choices,” lend a hand—or back off and vote “present.”

Here’s a plan: 12 nations had victims on that plane. Those nations must be assembled together into a force of investigators, by the United States, who are pretty good at this kind of thing. That crew must go to the site, asap.

Of course, we must demand a cease fire, and all “bystanders” currently in control (or rather, standing in the way), must go. It’s not up to Russia; it’s up to the Dutch, the Malaysians, the US, Australia, etc. The sooner we stop the movement of wreckage, evidence and bodies, the better. We must comb the area and track down all witnesses, if they haven’t already been terrified into silence.

We need those black boxes and must fly their manufacturers in to determine whether they’ve been tampered with (once we retrieve them). If the boxes are gone, then an investigation must determine where they went. And if they’re in Moscow, those boxes must come back—or become the costliest of Putin’s possessions. According to the latest reports, the rebels claim they’ll be handing these boxes over, but it would be foolish at this point to believe it.

Oh please, let’s see the Obama administration forcefully demand the black box from the plane be recovered in a condition where the data can be retrieved. In the areas of record keeping and data recovery, the Obama administration is absolutely unimpeachable….

As for America being a sleeping policeman, hey, its attorney general is forever vigilant when it comes to “homegrown violent extremists” — whom he defines as anybody who disagrees in the slightest with whatever the Obama administration’s worldview is on any given day.

‘All The News Hamas Sees Fit to Print’

July 21st, 2014 - 12:02 pm

“Something important is missing from the New York Times‘s coverage of the war in Gaza,” Noah Pollak writes at the Weekly Standard:

It appears the Times is silently but happily complying with a Hamas demand that the only pictures from Gaza are of civilians and never of fighters. The most influential news organization in the world is thus manufacturing an utterly false portrait of the battle—precisely the portrait that Hamas finds most helpful: embattled, victimized Gaza civilians under attack by a cruel Israeli military.

A review of the Times‘s photography in Gaza reveals a stark contrast in how the two sides are portrayed. Nearly every picture from Israel depicts tanks, soldiers, or attack helicopters. And every picture of Gaza depicts either bloodied civilians, destroyed buildings, overflowing hospitals, or other images of civilian anguish. It is as one-sided and misleading a depiction of the Gaza battle as one can imagine.

The concept of Pallywood doesn’t just refer to the Palestinians faking the news, but influencing willing dupes in the MSM to slant their coverage to make it as favorable to their side as possible:

Oh and speaking of Pallywood, like the fortunately late Yasser Arafat, a Washington Post “reporter” has developed the same ability say one thing to one audience, and a deliver a very different message to another, as spotted by Tim Graham of NewsBusters:

The lead reporter on Monday’s Washington Post story on Palestinian protests is Britain Eakin, whose Twitter bio reads “Graduate Student Extraordinaire in Journalism and Middle East Studies at UA, Tucson.”

Eakin is in no way a neutral observer of the Israel-Palestine conflict. As she’s reporting “objectively” for the Post, she’s tweeting out an editorial she’d written defending the Palestians against “Israel’s disproportionate war on Gaza”  for al-Jazeera America[.]

As Moe Lane commented last week when the Post ran an ugly cartoon showing Benjamin Netanyahu punching a Palestinian infant(!), “I was unaware that @amazon’s Jeff Bezos hates Jews.” Like GE funding first MSNBC and now Ezra Klein’s equally far left JuiceVox Mafia, Bezos will have to ponder how much he wants to let his news and opinion organization spiral out of control, lest it harm the reputation the cash cow that allowed him to purchase it.

Related: Of course, the crony socialism has paid off bigtime for GE: “Governor Andrew Cuomo just bet $135 million of New York taxpayer dollars on backing GE’s silicon carbide manufacturing efforts and IBM’s gallium nitride efforts:”

Which raises the question: if this technology is so terrific, why can’t the private sector do the research and development on it without extra funding from taxpayers? Part of the answer may be that the productivity gains from the technology are incremental rather than exponential. A GE report on silicon carbide touts that the material “could” improve the efficiency of wind and solar farms “by more than one percent.”

The other part of the answer is that the companies are able to find politicians, like President Obama and Governor Cuomo, who are willing to put public funds on the line. For the politicians, the danger is that the investment will result in a well-publicized failure, like the Obama administration’s investment in Solyndra, the solar energy company that went bankrupt. But in a lot of cases, the politicians will be out of office and on to other things before success or failure becomes obvious.

I await Vox’s explanation of why using tax payer funds to enrich behemoth corporations is an unalloyed public good.

Audio Interview: Ed Klein on Blood Feud

July 20th, 2014 - 11:26 pm

blood_feud_cover_7-18-14-1

Much to the chagrin of the Washington Post, Ed Klein’s Blood Feud is outselling Hillary Clinton’s new memoirs.  Naturally, Klein is elated. “It is a terrific thrill to knock Hillary off the top of the [best-seller] list, I have to tell you. She helped me a lot, because she put out a committee-written book that has absolutely nothing new in it.”

In contrast, Klein’s Blood Feud is loaded with juicy details, and dramatic scenes of five of the most powerful people on the planet scheming against each other.

Five? In addition to his portraits of the Clintons and the Obamas, Klein’s Blood Feud sheds new light on one of the most mysterious members of Barack and Michelle’s inner circle, Valerie Jarrett. As Klein describes Jarrett, she’s the distaff equivalent of Tom Hagen, the dangerous consigliere pulling the strings behind the scenes of The Godfather.

During our 18-minute long interview, Klein will discuss:

● What roles did Jarrett and Hillary play in the Benghazi debacle starting on September 11, 2012?

● What was the key promise that the Obamas made to Bill and Hillary, that the president would later renege on?

● Obama’s political skills versus his performance on the job he’s landed with them.

● How will Hillary perform on the campaign trail in 2015 and 2016 and, if she wins, as president?

● What are the health issues plaguing Bill and Hillary, and how serious a threat are they?

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

(18 minutes, 50 seconds long; 17.2 MB file size. Want to download instead of streaming? Right click here to download this interview to your hard drive. Or right click here to download the 5.38 MB lo-fi edition.)

If the above Flash audio player is not be compatible with your browser, click on the video player below, or click here to be taken directly to YouTube, for an audio-only YouTube clip. Between one of those versions, you should find a format that plays on your system.

Transcript of our interview begins on the following page; for our many previous podcasts, start here and keep scrolling.

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Hell of a Pinpoint Gaffe, John Kerry

July 20th, 2014 - 2:30 pm

Reason number 1,327,922 why the left hates Fox News: the MSM only catches Republicans on hot mics and call them on their rhetoric; leftist icons such as Kerry and his boss are always given a pass for their gaffes:

Fox News Sunday reports on a hot mic that caught John Kerry mocking Israel’s “pinpoint operation” against Hamas in Gaza:

“It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation,” Kerry was recorded as saying, in the middle of network interviews. “It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation.”

“We’ve got to get over there. Thank you, John. I think, John, we ought to go tonight. I think it’s crazy to be sitting around.”

Because if there’s anybody that the Israeli government will listen to — especially when he lurches leans on them in person, it’s John Kerry, who in recent months has called Israel an “apartheid state” during its Holocaust Remembrance Day, and reminded them — as if anyone could ever forget — that he’s served in Vietnam, where he was “attacked before by people using real bullets, not words, and I am not going to be intimidated.”

When John Podhoretz called Kerry on his apartheid slur in the New York Post, he quipped, “What are you going to do about it, tough guy? Windsurf over me?”

Oh, and speaking of pinpoint gaffes, “US Under Secretary of State apologizes after tweeting ‘United For Gaza’ hashtag.”

Micheal Kinsley, call your office.

Tweet of the Day

July 19th, 2014 - 3:24 pm

I hope they’re both put out of their misery, the latter merely rhetorically, of course.

CNN Reporter: Israelis Are ‘Scum’

July 18th, 2014 - 12:17 pm

diana_magnay_cnn_israelis_scum_7-17-14-1

This is CNN:

CNN International correspondent Diana Magnay referred to a group of Israelis as “scum” after she claimed that they were standing on a hill near the town of Sderot cheering as bombs landed in Gaza, according to a screen-shot of the comment captured by National Review.

“Israelis on hill above Sderot cheer as bombs land on #Gaza; threaten to ‘destroy our car if I say a word wrong’. Scum,” Magnay tweeted and then quickly deleted, though it was retweeted nearly 250 times before being taken down.

Magnay has been removed from covering the conflict and CNN issued an apology for her tweet.

Which they do on a regular basis when their correspondents express their true feelings regarding the Middle East. Right around this time in 2010, I wrote:

I must confess that as one of the vast majority of Americans who no longer watches CNN unless trapped in an airport, I hadn’t heard of Octavia Nasr, CNN’s senior editor of Mideast affairs, until I stumbled over a YouTube clip of her discussing the Gaza flotilla for today’s “Cold Civil War” video.  But, she’s now the latest CNN journalist to let the mask slip on her biases via Twitter. Or as as the URL of Daniel Helper’s post at the Weekly Standard describes succinctly, “cnn-editor-mourns-loss-terrorist:”

How did CNN senior editor of Middle East affairs Octavia Nasr celebrate July 4? By mourning the passing of Hezbollah’s Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah. Here’s what the CNN editor posted on her Twitter account:

Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah.. One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot..#Lebanon

I grabbed a screen shot of Nasr’s Twitter, both to illustrate this post, and because Tweets from leftwing old media figures occasionally seem to disappear from time to time.* “Oddly enough,” as Reuters, a news agency with a similar worldview as CNN, might say.

After Nasr was pushed out of CNN, I wrote:

Hey, Nasr was just carrying on where former CNN propagandist reporter Peter Arnett, soon-to-be departed Christiane Amanpour, and former head honcho Eason Jordan all left off. (Not to mention founder Ted Turner.) Unfortunately, much like Jordan himself when he preposterously declared at Davos in 2005 that US troops in Iraq were deliberately targeting journalists (after admitting that he was perfectly cool working for a former Iraqi dictator who was busy targeting US troops), Nasr also dropped the mask, and eliminated any shred of “objectivity.”

She eventually wound-up at MBC — the Dubai-based Middle East Broadcasting Center. Perhaps MBC considers CNN their farm team.

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Jim Geraghty on our asleep-at-the-wheel administration:

Russian president Vladimir Putin didn’t order the separatists to shoot down the airliner. But his intelligence agencies and military have provided all kinds of support to these separatists. To borrow P.J. O’Rourke’s metaphor, Putin gave whiskey and car keys – and powerful explosives – to teenage boys. The disastrous consequences were not hard to foresee. You can see it in the absurd, nonsensical, instant justification by one of the speakers that if the plane is labeled, ‘Malaysia Airlines,’ it must be a disguise for a spy plane. Putin didn’t commit murder; just reckless endangerment.

There will be a lot of debates and discussions about what the United States can or should do in response to this reckless, deadly decision. But let’s begin by asking, if we had the opportunity to reach out and strike 23 Russian separatists involved in the decision to launch this missile, would we do it? I’d like to think so. Fighting a war is not inherently evil, nor is stupidity, but the combination of the two is a fertile ground for evil. These guys need to be taught a lesson, and it’s not clear who can teach them.

Commercial airliners fly – usually quite highly – over dangerous or not-so-friendly parts of the world all the time. Right now commercial jets are avoiding Eastern Ukraine. Should they avoid Syria, too? Iran? Iraq? Afghanistan? If so, you’ve just cut off India and a big chunk of Asia from Europe.

These guys need to pay – and Putin needs to see consequences of his reckless support of these dumb, brutal goons.

Moe Lane: “I never thought that I’d see the day that the US government would just shrug off a no-fooling war crime committed against our citizens.”

Well, we know that the State Department has far more important things to do — such as tweeting out fashion tips.

And the president has far more important things to do — such as expressing his love of guacamole.

Perhaps they’re simply waiting for one of the FLOTUS’ talking shopping carts to provide instructions, HAL 9000-style.

Fortunately though, Mr. Obama’s would-be successor is pouncing at the opportunity to set a much more focused example of what she would do if in office. Nahh, just kidding:

No, Obama’s caution is another example of the president refusing to address crises in a timely fashion due to what he probably believes is an attachment to the doctrinal fantasy that the United States is overextended in the world. Hillary Clinton confirmed that when she told Charlie Rose on Thursday night that this whole plane mess is really Europe’s problem.

“As you know, the Europeans have tried to figure out the best way forward,” she said when asked how the United States should respond to clear evidence that pro-Russian separatists using Russian hardware killed nearly 300 foreign civilians. “From my perspective — and I have the benefit of not being in the government — if there is evidence linking Russia to this, that should inspire the Europeans to do much more.”

After noting that the world should put “[Russian President Vladimir] Putin on notice” and not “stand idly by,” Clinton reassured Rose that the United States would stand idly by.

“So Europeans have to be the ones to take the lead on this,” said the former secretary. “It was a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur over European territory. There should be outrage in European capitals.”

That sucking sound you hear is the rapid formation of a power vacuum in Europe as the United States signals its noninterest in matters of regional and global security.

Hey, after World War II, Europe was happy to hand over their defense to America, so that they could spend all of their taxpayers’ money on expanding their socialist welfare states. And they loathed America’s past “Cowboy Presidents” and their lack of nuance and politesse.

I guess European leaders never counted on their defense winding up in the hands of wannabe Europeans. But then, to be fair, neither did most Americans.

Israel Starts Ground Invasion

July 17th, 2014 - 1:03 pm

“IDF ground forces began to move into the Gaza Strip on Thursday evening, the prime minister’s office confirmed,”  The Jerusalem Post reports, as today’s news cycle accelerates into overdrive:

The purpose of the operation was  to destroy the Gazan terror tunnels leading to Israel, according to a statement released by the prime minister’s office.

“Israel is committed to act to protect its citizens. The operation will continue until its goals are reached: To bring quiet to the citizens of Israel for a long period of time, and to seriously harm Hamas and other terrorist organizations’ infrastructure in the Gaza Strip,” the statement read.

Prior to the commencement of the ground invasion, the IDF launched a massive wave of combined air and artillery strikes on Thursday night.

The IDF said that the operation will involve infantry, engineering corps, and tank units combined with air force and naval support and intelligence.

Palestinian sources said strikes occurred up and down the Strip, adding that one strike targeted a motorcycle apparently carrying members of a rocket launching cell on their way to an attack on
Israel.

At around 10:00 p.m. rocket sirens sounded in the Tel Aviv area, and in the Shfela. Iron Dome made a number of interceptions in the Tel Aviv area.

I’m reserving judgement on this story until Ezra Klein’s GE-sponsored JuiceVox Mafia tells me what to think about it:

vox_anti_israel_7-17-14