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Ed Driscoll

War And Anti-War

“Barack Obama faces a slew of Middle East crises that some call the worst in a generation, as new chaos from Yemen to Iraq — along with deteriorating U.S.-Israeli relations — is confounding the president’s efforts to stabilize the region and strike a nuclear deal with Iran,” the Politico reports. That lede from the Obama house organ presupposes that he wants to stabilize the region — and of course, it doesn’t say what kind of nuclear deal Obama wants with the mullahs, but still:

“If there’s one lesson this administration has learned, from President Obama’s 2009 Cairo speech through the Arab Spring, it’s that when it comes to this region, nothing happens in a linear way — and precious little is actually about us, which is a hard reality to accept,” said a senior State Department official.Not everyone is so forgiving. “We’re in a goddamn free fall here,” said James Jeffrey, who served as Obama’s ambassador to Iraq and was a top national security aide in the George W. Bush White House.

For years, members of the Obama team have grappled with the chaotic aftermath of the Arab Spring. But of late they have been repeatedly caught off-guard, raising new questions about America’s ability to manage the dangerous region.

Free fall you say? Roger L. Simon takes that metaphor to its ultimate conclusion:

Obama and his minions are huddled wherever they’re huddled, busy destroying the Western World with their bizarre policies and eagerness to make a deal with Iran that is so desperate it makes the word pathetic seem pathetic. The results of this desperation have been wretched, a fascistic new Persian Empire emerging from Libya to Yemen with Obama auditioning for the role of Cyrus the Great – or is it Ahmadinejad Junior? Whatever the case, it’s horrible  Even those same Democrats know it.  They’re embarrassed – and they should be.  But for the most part they don’t have the guts to say anything. This is the kind of administration that exchanges a creepy sociopath like Bergdahl for five Islamic homicidal maniacs and expects praise for being humanitarian.  And everyone walks away shaking their heads.

It’s hard to know why Obama is doing it all.  I know it sounds like a rude overstatement but in a way he reminds me of that crazy German pilot flying that plane into that alpine cliff, only the plane is us (America and the West).  Does he hate us all that much – or is it just Netanyahu?  Whatever the explanation, it’s mighty peculiar.  At this point almost no one  in the Congress appears to be backing him up – and yet he continues.  Who knows what will happen next?

How bad has it gotten? This Iowahawk tweet sums up the hash Mr. Obama and company have made of the region:

And it gets worse:

What a sad joke has been inflicted upon the American people. And in the Middle East, Israel will have to single-handedly deal with the fallout — which apparently unlike those in the Obama administration, I hope remains purely metaphoric.

Ride the Left-Wing ISIS Mobius Loop!

March 25th, 2015 - 6:20 pm

“My ISIS is the police,” Nebraska state Sen. Ernie Chambers said during a hearing on Friday, Ashe Schow reports at the Washington Examiner. Chambers “added that if he carried a weapon, he’d use it on a cop:”

“I wouldn’t go to Syria, I wouldn’t go to Iraq, I wouldn’t go to Afghanistan, I wouldn’t go to Yemen, I wouldn’t go to Tunisia, I wouldn’t go to Lebanon, I wouldn’t go to Jordan, I would do it right here,” he added. “Nobody from ISIS ever terrorized us as a people as the police do us daily.”

Nebraska Watchdog recorded the lawmaker’s statements and uploaded the audio to their website.

Chambers wasn’t done ranting at that point. He added that if he carried a firearm, he would shoot a cop.

“If I was going to carry a weapon, it wouldn’t be against you, it wouldn’t be against these people who come here that I might have a dispute with. Mine would be for the police,” Chambers said. “And if I carried a gun I’d want to shoot him first and then ask questions later, like they say the cop ought to do.”

But to the dean of Cornell, ISIS are lovable pussycats whom he’d welcome on campus, the New York Post reports:

This guy is either the dumbest Ivy League bigwig ever or politically correct to a fault — for welcoming offers to bring ISIS and Hamas to Cornell University.

A video sting operation shows Cornell’s assistant dean for students, Joseph Scaffido, agreeing to everything suggested by an undercover muckraker posing as a Moroccan student.

Scaffido casually endorses inviting an ISIS “freedom fighter’’ to conduct a “training camp” for students at the upstate Ithaca campus — bizarrely likening the activity to a sports camp.

Is it OK to bring a humanitarian pro-“Islamic State Iraq and Syria” group on campus, the undercover for conservative activist James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas asks.

Sure, Scaffido says in the recorded March 16 meeting.

Scaffido doesn’t even blink an eye when the undercover asks about providing material support for terrorists — “care packages, whether it be food, water, electronics.”

Click over for O’Keefe’s video, although the sadly at this point, the underlying story isn’t all surprising; to paraphrase William F. Buckley, recall the stories of God and Taliban man at Yale, summarized in 2006 by Linda Chavez at Townhall:

I thought I’d lost the ability to be shocked by anything that happened on an American university campus — that is until I read the New York Times magazine this weekend.

In an article entitled, simply, “The Freshman,” author Chip Brown describes a charming tale of a young man come to study at one of the premier institutions of higher learning in the country. He might more aptly have titled his piece “God, Country, and Yale.” Only in this telling, God is the vengeful Allah of Islamist fanatics, and the country to which this student once pledged his allegiance is the Taliban’s Afghanistan, for the first-year Yalie profiled is none other than the former “ambassador-at-large” of the Taliban regime, Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi.

Yes, Yale has decided to welcome into its fold a man whose previous visit to the New Haven, Conn., campus in March 2001 was as an official apologist for the misogynistic government that had just blown up the famous Buddhas of Bamiyan, the giant 1,500-year-old statues long considered among the most important ancient sculptures in the world.

This might be just another tale of multiculturalism run amok on campus were it not for the 3,000 dead Americans buried in the rubble of the World Trade Center and Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, and the more than 200 Americans who died fighting to liberate Afghanistan from Rahmatullah’s former paymasters. As it is, this story raises serious questions not just about what’s happening on America’s campuses but whether the student visa program that gave us Mohammed Atta and his murderous accomplices continues to pose threats to American security.

Mark Steyn ran into a spot of bother from the Australian equivalent of Media Matters in 2005 for writing that “With hindsight, the defining encounter of the age was not between Mohammed Atta’s jet and the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, but that between Mohammed Atta and Johnelle Bryant a year earlier,” but Mark was certainly onto something. “Bryant is an official with the US Department of Agriculture in Florida, and the late Atta had gone to see her about getting a $US650,000 government loan to convert a plane into the world’s largest crop-duster. A novel idea:”

The meeting got off to a rocky start when Atta refused to deal with Bryant because she was but a woman. But, after this unpleasantness had been smoothed out, things went swimmingly. When it was explained to him that, alas, he wouldn’t get the 650 grand in cash that day, Atta threatened to cut Bryant’s throat. He then pointed to a picture behind her desk showing an aerial view of downtown Washington – the White House, the Pentagon et al – and asked: “How would America like it if another country destroyed that city and some of the monuments in it?”

Fortunately, Bryant’s been on the training course and knows an opportunity for multicultural outreach when she sees one. “I felt that he was trying to make the cultural leap from the country that he came from,” she recalled. “I was attempting, in every manner I could, to help him make his relocation into our country as easy for him as I could.”

15 years later, as the clueless multiculti-meets-PC-meets-elitist-bureaucracy mindset that drives such encounters continues to roll on, Bryant is, alas, far from alone.

Bowe Bergdahl Charged With Desertion

March 25th, 2015 - 11:36 am

“American soldier and former Taliban captive Bowe Bergdahl has been charged with desertion for allegedly walking off his post in Afghanistan in 2009, Bergdahl’s attorney told ABC News today,” Yahoo reports:

President Obama called it a “good day” when Bergdahl was freed, but critics, including some high-ranking Republicans, loudly denounced the deal, likening it to negotiating with terrorists. Also, lawmakers complained that Congress had not been consulted about the exchange, as they said the law requires.

After Bergdahl’s dramatic return to the U.S., the Army launched an investigation into whether the soldier willfully left his post in Afghanistan before he was taken by the Taliban in 2009, as some Afghan war veterans alleged.

As we noted back at the time, the MSM performed quite a hatchet job on Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers when they came forward with details of his alleged desertion, reverting to Vietnam-era smear-the-troops form. In the Washington Examiner, Byron York wrote that all of these leftwing attacks could have been avoided, if the Obama White House had simply been straight with the American public for once:

So why did the White House send National Security Adviser Susan Rice to the Sunday shows to claim that Bergdahl “served the United States with honor and distinction”?

It wasn’t necessary. Rice, speaking for the White House, could have said something to the effect that “Bowe Bergdahl is a troubled young man who made a terrible mistake. Nevertheless, he is an American soldier, and the United States wants him back. The president had a difficult decision to make in balancing the release of the Taliban detainees with this country’s longstanding policy of not leaving U.S. forces behind in a war zone, no matter the circumstances.”

That would not have quieted the controversy over the Taliban trade; critics would still maintain it was a terrible precedent and will increase the danger to America and its allies around the world. And it would not have quieted the controversy over the administration’s decision not to inform Congress about the Taliban release, as specifically required by law. Lawmakers — including some in the president’s party — would still complain about that.

But it would have denied the administration’s critics a devastatingly effective argument. First, President Obama himself appeared with Bergdahl’s parents in rare Saturday remarks in the White House Rose Garden. And then Rice — who had been asked specifically about the circumstances of Bergdahl’s disappearance — said, “He served the United States with honor and distinction.”

In another Sunday appearance, on CNN, Rice suggested Bergdahl had been “captured … on the battlefield” — a claim backed up by none of Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers with him the night he disappeared. The military fully investigated the Bergdahl case in the months after he disappeared in 2009. The investigation reportedly concluded that he had willfully abandoned his post.

And today’s news appears to very strongly confirm those allegations.

By the way, at the risk of playing the “I question the timing” game, the right shouldn’t let the reappearance of Bergdahl in the headlines allow them to take their eyes off of more current news at the intersection of the Obama White House and the Middle East, specifically, the collapse of Yemen and the looming horrific “deal” with Iran.

Update: As Allahpundit writes at Hot Air, “The deeper point of the Bergdahl swap, as Sean Davis reminds us, was to create a pretext for starting to empty Gitmo:”

Anyway, exit question: What are the odds that Obama will pardon Bergdahl? Seems hard to believe he’d take even more heat over this fiasco by letting him go free after he’s been credibly accused by so many soldiers not only of deserting but of indirectly costing several troops their lives during the ensuing search. But then, we already know that O’s in the “WGAF” phase of his presidency; letting Bergdahl go will anger people, but he can spin it with some nonsense about how poor Bowe’s suffered enough, how it’s time to move on, etc. Which, for the White House, it is. The sooner they can put this clusterfark behind them and move on to the next clusterfark, the better.

And with an administration insane enough to “negotiate” with Iran, there will be loads more of those to come.

The Orwellian Obama Presidency

March 25th, 2015 - 12:00 am

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“There is an upside-down quality to this president’s world view,” Bret Stephens writes in the Wall Street Journal:

His administration is now on better terms with Iran—whose Houthi proxies, with the slogan “God is great, death to America, death to Israel, damn the Jews, power to Islam,” just deposed Yemen’s legitimate president—than it is with Israel. He claims we are winning the war against Islamic State even as the group continues to extend its reach into Libya, Yemen and Nigeria.

He treats Republicans in the Senate as an enemy when it comes to the Iranian nuclear negotiations, while treating the Russian foreign ministry as a diplomatic partner. He favors the moral legitimacy of the United Nations Security Council to that of the U.S. Congress. He is facilitating Bashar Assad’s war on his own people by targeting ISIS so the Syrian dictator can train his fire on our ostensible allies in the Free Syrian Army.

He was prepared to embrace a Muslim Brother as president of Egypt but maintains an arm’s-length relationship with his popular pro-American successor. He has no problem keeping company with Al Sharpton and tagging an American police department as comprehensively racist but is nothing if not adamant that the words “Islamic” and “terrorism” must on no account ever be conjoined. The deeper that Russian forces advance into Ukraine, the more they violate cease-fires, the weaker the Kiev government becomes, the more insistent he is that his response to Russia is working.

To adapt George Orwell’s motto for Oceania: Under Mr. Obama, friends are enemies, denial is wisdom, capitulation is victory.

He’s certainly met his match and come full circle with Iran — or to paraphrase Mr. Obama’s solipsistic campaign slogan, we are the obfuscators we have been waiting for:

“Obama Scores as Exotic Who Says Nothing,”  Froma Harrop, Real Clear Politics, the December 26, 2006.

“In Nuclear Talks, Iran Seeks to Avoid Specifics,” the New York Times, today.

And speaking of turning things upside down, all of the above is why “Cotton’s Iran Letter Turns Tables on Obama,” Salena Zito writes this week in Real Clear Politics:

If you think the White House wasn’t set back, consider the coordinated appearances by its surrogates and liberal elites on all media platforms, using words like “unprecedented,” “outrageous” and — best of all — “treasonous.”

As they say in the South, a hit dog hollers.

The genius of Cotton is that he met Obama in his own arena, with his own tactic.

He did not say there would be no deal with Iran. He did, however, plainly lay out a U.S. civics lesson in five short paragraphs: Any nuclear agreement with Obama that isn’t approved by Congress can be revoked “with the stroke of a pen” by the next president or changed by Congress itself.

Cheeky move? Probably.

It’s also probably not the last time we will hear from this Army vet of the Iraq war and Harvard-educated scholar, who sees a dangerous world in front of him and believes part of his job is to keep America not only secure but less vulnerable.

I remember when we used to have a president who thought that was his job as well. But nevermind what George W. Bush must think about Obama; right now, I’ll bet Jimmy Carter is watching Obama attempt to negotiate an arms deal with Iran and shaking his head in bewilderment.

Shot:

 

Chaser:

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Click to enlarge.

Hangover:

(H/T: Ed Morrissey.)

Is ISIS ‘The Fourth Reich?’

March 24th, 2015 - 2:08 pm

Writing in the London Daily Mail, V.S. Naipaul dubs ISIS “The Fourth Reich.” At Corner, David Pryce-Jones responds:

Born in Trinidad, British by adoption, winner of the Nobel Prize for literature, he is just about the only person with the authority to compare the twin totalitarianisms of Islamic State and Nazi Germany. Travels in Muslim countries have given him a lot of experience. His essential quality as a writer, I would say, is the insistence that the world is to be understood only through reason and the use of the mind.

The Islamic State, the self-defined new caliphate, exemplifies mindlessness. Its dedication to the general mass-murder of “Shias, Jews, Christians, Copts, Yazidis and anyone it can” is pure Nazism. Other similar characteristics include a belief in racial superiority; and pride in anti-democratic and anti-Semitic bigotry. Hitler’s Germans constructed a false past, and Islamists have the conviction that their history is so unique and important that the history of other people counts for nothing. These ignoramuses are destroying ancient cities and archaeological sites like Nimrud and Hatra. As Naipaul puts it, we all lose “everything that arises from the human impulse to beauty.” Decolonization gave rise to the idea that every advance in civilization is to be condemned as “colonial.” Barbarism, in this perspective, is confused with independence and freedom.

I’m not sure how apt the comparison is — “Without the loudspeaker, we would never have conquered Germany,” Hitler said in 1938, admitting that the Nazis viewed Germany as an essentially foreign nation to be occupied and conquered. But one with a rich cultural heritage and superior technological base for their conquerors to exploit and build upon, with the first nascent television network, and by the waning days of WWII, the first viable jet air craft and suborbital rockets, alongside the boxcars full of human beings being shipped to the gas chamber. ISIS will exploit foreign-developed technology as long as it keeps working, on the way back to a stone age culture the envy of Earth Hour enthusiasts throughout the world. Or as Kathy Shaidle wrote at the start of the month:

Because as wiser men than I have noted since 9/11, at least Germany and Japan were highly advanced civilizations. Some might say too cultivated for their own good (or make that “the good of the rest of us”), making a crashing, bloody regression toward the (other kind of) “mean” nigh on inevitable.

So after we bombed the crap out of them (although not enough in Germany’s case to suit me), at least some survivors retained memories of their culture’s rational past, all the better to reconstruct or even surpass it. (With an infusion of American billions, that is.)

Today’s Muslim belligerents either have no such past, or are busily trying to eradicate any trace of it. When we bother destroying their strongholds, who can even tell? You can’t bomb people back to the Stone Age if they never left. And in any case, this time we reinstituted the Marshall Plan before we half wiped them out—a fatally ass-backwards move.

Of course, to build on David Gelernter’s article today in First Choice (and Naipaul as well), there’s another connection between ISIS and the Nazis:

The totalitarian tyrannies of Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and Stalinist Russia had something crucial and telling in common. Amazingly, many of us don’t see it. All three were officially pagan regimes. The cult of the fuehrer (and the separate SS-cult), Shinto emperor-worship and the Stalin personality cult depended on the suppression of more sophisticated religions—in the first and third cases, Christianity.

Historians have too often misread the Nazis, who did not hate Christians but did hate Christianity. They saw it as a form of weakness, as a Jew-concocted poison that had helped ruin Germany. Historians have mostly failed to write about the importance of state paganism under the Nazis—both fuehrer-and-homeland worship (complete with scriptures and liturgy) in the schools and everyday life, and the special ceremonial of the SS, which had its own chapels and marriage ceremonies. Hatred of Christianity fed hatred of the Jews. Nor have we given the credit they deserve to the Christian heroes and martyrs of the anti-Nazi cause, not just Niemoller and Bonhoeffer and a few well-known others but the whole membership of the small yet robust German confessing church, and other nameless Protestants and Catholics who would not be reduced to animals.

Did German Christians rise en masse? No. But death-defying bravery is a trait not many of us have. Historians owe us a deeper, truer account of the nature of Nazism than most have provided. Nazi Jew-hatred swept the best-educated country in Europe because (many say) centuries of Christian anti-Semitism had paved the way. But Nazi denunciation of Christianity as weak Jewish nonsense also paved the way. Germans had been more restive under Christianity than any other major European people. Which paving counted more? Historians should be trying to answer that important question.

We must understand (not ignore!) Nazi hatred of Christianity so we can understand Germany, the moral character of the war in Europe, and the similarities between the three most bestial regimes in human history.

And as with the Nazis, Imperial Japan, and the Soviet Union, (and their current “Progressive” descendents in both Europe and America), ISIS is none too fond of Christianity either.

Smart power, smart president. “Obama Calls Afghan President Ghani by the Name of His Corrupt Predecessor,” as spotted by Brendan Bordelon at the Corner:

[Obama] noted the need to keep soldiers and advisers in the Central Asian nation “in part, so that President Karzai — who has taken on the mantle of commander-in-chief in a way that we have not seen in the past from an Afghan president — can do a serious review.”

Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai, who served for almost a decade before stepping down in September 2014, was plagued by corruption scandals and often served as a thorn in the side of American security forces in the country.

No wonder Obama displays a vestigial sympathy towards him.

And speaking of smart power, “Arab states are watching in horror as the U.S. increasingly openly switches sides from supporting them to supporting their (and our) worst enemy in the region,” Iran.

It will be cold comfort indeed if a man who ran for the presidency in 2008 under the guise of restoring America’s status with our foreign allies ends up with only one “ally” left — this one:

As Mark Steyn wrote last month:

I’m growing rather weary of the cheap comparisons of Obama with Neville Chamberlain. The British Prime Minister got the biggest issue of the day wrong. But no one ever doubted that he loved his country. That’s why, after his eviction from Downing Street, Churchill kept him on in his ministry as Lord President of the Council, and indeed made Chamberlain part of the five-man war cabinet and had him chair it during his frequent absences. When he died of cancer in October 1940, Churchill wept over his coffin.

So please don’t insult Neville Chamberlain by comparing him to Obama. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, because conspiracies are generally a comforting illusion: the real problem with Obama is that the citizens of the global superpower twice elected him to office. Yet one way to look at the current “leader of the free world” is this: If he were working for the other side, what exactly would he be doing differently?

On the other hand, get a load of this crazy, jingoistic radical: “Imagine a president who stands up and says we will defeat radical Islamic terrorism, and we will call it by its name.”

Wow, that’s some wild-eyed pie-in-the-sky stuff right there. You may say I am a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.

“The word ‘Obama’ is never once mentioned by the ever-diplomatic General Petraeus” during his interview yesterday with the Washington Post, Max Boot writes at Commentary. But, “reading between the lines this is a devastating criticism of the president’s policy from the man who was once his CIA director, Central Command commander, and Afghanistan commander:”

When Petraeus feels compelled to point out that Iran “is not our ally,” he is speaking directly to a White House that imagines otherwise. When he says that the U.S. pullout from Iraq in 2011 “complicated our ability to shape developments in the region,” he is indirectly criticizing Obama, in part, for failing to win a Status of Forces Agreement. And when he criticizes the “scale, scope, speed, and resourcing” of US efforts to support the moderate Syrian opposition, he is indicting the president for not backing the Free Syrian Army, as CIA Director Petraeus and much of the Obama security cabinet had proposed to do in 2012.

Obama wasn’t listening to Petraeus then. Let’s hope he—and the whole world–is listening now. Petraeus’s comments are entirely on the mark.

Hey, remember when the left and the MSM (but I repeat myself) screamed that the president needs to heed the advice of his former and current generals? Good times, good times.

David Frum wonders why World War I doesn’t receive much play in the American overculture:

First, Americans prefer narratives in which they play a central heroic role. The Dwight Eisenhower of the First World War was French, Marshal Ferdinand Foch. Those Americans who cared most intensely about the war found themselves enlisting under other people’s banners. John Singer Sargent painted his great war canvases for Britain’s Imperial War Museum. Edith Wharton volunteered for French relief organizations. Raymond Chandler joined the Canadian army. Ernest Hemingway drove Red Cross ambulances on the Italian front. Henry James forswore his U.S. citizenship and naturalized as British. John Dos Passos, another Red Cross volunteer, later savagely satirized the war as “Mr. Wilson’s war”—somebody else’s war, not his. So it has remained. When the great American literary critic Paul Fussell wrote his marvelous “The Great War and Modern Memory,” he focused on English writers. Their American counterparts may have had a lot to say, but somehow Fussell decided it was not an American thing.

Second, while Americans did win victories in 1918, on the whole, the performance of U.S. forces in the war was not very impressive. Americans did not lack for courage: U.S. forces showed a fighting spirit that had long before been bled out of their allies and adversaries. But they did lack experienced officers, adequate equipment, built-out logistical systems, and almost everything else necessary to fight an industrial war effectively. Their commanders resented and rejected advice from their bloodied French and British counterparts. Lacking sufficient artillery, tanks, and aircraft, they denied that those things were necessary. They drove Americans against German trenches and bunkers in 1915-style human lines, suffering monstrous 1915 casualties for pitiful 1915 gains in ground. There were few First World War equivalents of D-Day or Midway out of which legends could be made.

Third, the war does not obviously or immediately relate to contemporary controversies. We can’t talk about race without talking about the Civil War. Any discussion of America’s role in the world will soon invoke World War II and Vietnam. The Revolution will forever transfix the Republic it created. The First World War, however, now excites interest mainly from isolationist libertarians looking for a war it’s less awkward to oppose than World War II. The war’s most tragic lessons about the need for United States leadership to secure world peace have been so thoroughly internalized by the American political elite that it has forgotten where and how it learned them.

It’s that last item that’s key — Wilson’s hardline stance against free speech was so virulent, it caused his fellow “Progressives” to quickly rebrand themselves, even before he had left office, as “liberals.” He’s the direct predecessor to much of Mr. Obama’s anti-free speech, anti-journalistic, anti-American, pro-racialist worldview.

No wonder Wilson been airbrushed out of the left’s collective memories — with much American domestic history during World War I along with it.

Agents of Stalin, Allies of Hitler

March 11th, 2015 - 3:11 pm

In Artists Under Hitler: Collaboration and Survival in Nazi Germany, Jonathan Petropoulos quoted fellow historian Charles Maier to explain why so many German modernists were willing — in some cases eager — to accommodate Hitler:

In the 1930s the authoritarian party and regime seemed the wave of the future. Disciplined collective man was apparently on the march. Liberalism appeared the effete indulgence of a beleaguered Anglo-American elite or some aging West European philosophers. … In the 1930s the spokesmen for democracy were divided and apparently demoralized. The League of Nations seemed powerless before aggression.

And from the National Socialists’ perspective, “One can also see why the Nazi leaders would seek to cultivate these artists— or, at a minimum, retrain them,”
Petropoulos writes:

As Goebbels proclaimed in 1936, expressing some frustration with the younger generation, “One cannot manufacture artists.” His Nazi peer Göring observed, “It is always easier over time to make a decent National Socialist out of an artist than to make a great artist out of a minor Party member. Why was Hitler-the-artist not the first to recognize this?” The regime force-fed the population a diet of culture— far more than they had ever had before. The Nazis needed “cultural workers” of all kinds to realize their ambitions of indoctrination and the creation of a glamorous façade for the Third Reich. Or, in the words of David Schoenbaum, the Nazis shaped a “subjective social reality” that differed from its “objective” (or statistically measurable) counterpart. Germans perceived shifts in society— class divisions, income distribution, and gender roles, among others— that did not correspond to actual events. The state-directed culture and propaganda convinced many of the illusory transformations.

The same was true of International Socialism as well, as Ray Keating of Aleteia writes in his review of Allan Ryskind’s new book, Hollywood Traitors: Blacklisted Screenwriters, Agents of Stalin, Allies of Hitler:

Ryskind writes, “The Hollywood Ten, far from being ‘radical innocents,’ far from having just ‘flirted with Communist ideas,’ as their sympathizers so frequently insist, had all been committed to a Soviet America.” This is perhaps best illustrated by the flip-flopping by Hollywood’s communists in and around World War II as they followed Kremlin orders via the Communist Party in America. That is, being anti-Nazi initially; then working against the anti-Nazis, including Great Britain and the U.S., during the Hitler-Stalin pact; once again, turning passionately against Hitler when he attacked the Soviet Union; and finally, turning against U.S. foreign policy and ultimately advocating our nation’s violent demise. It was all about defending the U.S.S.R., not the U.S.A. [Oceania has always been at war with... -- Ed]

Ryskind makes clear that the Hollywood communists were working for Stalin, either unconcerned or supportive of “Stalin’s swallowing of Eastern Europe, his installation of Red regimes in Asia, his aggressive acts against Western Europe, and the deep penetration of his fifth column in virtually all areas of American society.” Oh yes, and there were the millions of Russians starved and murdered by Uncle Joe.

Which dovetails well with the Theodore Dalrymple quote Mark Steyn highlighted today:

In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better.

In contrast, in 1979, Vaclav Havel wrote:

Because the regime is captive to its own lies, it must falsify everything. It falsifies the past. It falsifies the present, and it falsifies the future. It falsifies statistics. It pretends not to possess an omnipotent and unprincipled police apparatus. It pretends to respect human rights. It pretends to persecute no one. It pretends to fear nothing. It pretends to pretend nothing.

Individuals need not believe all these mystifications, but they must behave as though they did, or they must at least tolerate them in silence, or get along well with those who work with them. For this reason, however, they must live within a lie. They need not accept the lie. It is enough for them to have accepted their life with it and in it. For by this very fact, individuals confirm the system, fulfill the system, make the system, are the system.

No wonder when “the authoritarian party and regime seemed the wave of the future” once again, the socialists with bylines stomped so aggressively on those who refused to live within the lie:

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(Via Orrin Judd.)

The Real Victor in Tikrit is Iran

March 10th, 2015 - 4:31 pm

Max Boot on “A Hollow Victory in Tikrit:”

There are reports that Iraqi forces have retaken much of Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s hometown, from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Pictures of jubilant Iraqi soldiers are appearing on the Internet. It remains to be seen whether these celebrations are premature or not; certainly Iraqi forces have a history of claiming victories over ISIS that soon unravel.

But even if this “victory” stands up, our jubilation should be tightly controlled. Yes, it’s a good thing if ISIS is suffering defeats, but who’s winning? It’s not the United States and it’s not  the lawful Iraqi state led by Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi. The real victor here, if there is a victory, is Iran. Most of the fighters who are taking Tikrit are Iranian-backed Shiite militiamen, not soldiers of Iraq. The real leader of this operation is not any general appointed by Prime Minister Abadi but rather Qassem Suleimani, head of the Iranian Quds Force, who has been a high-profile presence on the front lines.

And this is not an isolated occurrence. With Iran and its proxies taking the lead in fighting ISIS, there is a real danger that U.S. support for the anti-ISIS drive will wind up delivering Iraq into the hands of Iran. This is, of course, the danger that many opponents of the Iraq War warned about, but it was a danger kept in check as long as there was a substantial U.S. troop presence in Iraq. The U.S. departure at the end of 2011, however, opened the floodgates for Iranian influence.

Speaking of Iran, elsewhere at Commentary, Jordan Chandler Hirsch explains “How America Bamboozled Itself About Iran:”

If a nuclear deal is imminent, that is largely because over the past 13 years of on-and-off negotiations, the great powers of the world have slowly but surely given in to Iran’s demands. As Iran has flouted United Nations resolutions demanding a halt to its program, those nations have steadily softened their terms. Instead of ending the threat of Iranian nuclearization, negotiators have apparently limited their ambitions to an attempt to regulate it—an idea that, given the record of Iran’s lack of even rudimentary compliance with international law, is wishful thinking.

How did we get here? In speaking with nearly 30 experts and veterans of both the Bush and Obama administrations, I’ve found one core factor at the heart of this outcome: the desire to avoid military engagement with Iran at all costs—and, particularly during the Obama administration, the fear of even threatening it. Without a credible threat to use force, the United States has relied on tools that alone could never have compelled the Islamic Republic of Iran to abandon its nuclear program.

Convinced that the United States would not attack, Iran has largely dictated the terms. The history of negotiating with Iran suggests that no matter the result of the next round of diplomacy—full agreement, another extension, or collapse—the Iran talks have failed.

And finally, here’s Sen. Tom Cotton ably holding his own against the repeated badgerings of MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski, whose father Zbigniew worked under Jimmy Carter. As Jay Nordlinger wrote in his classic “Carterpalooza piece at NRO in 2002, “For years, Carter has been a thorn in the side of presidents, acting as a kind of ‘anti-president,’” particularly if the real president was from the opposite party. And note how Mika, the author of Women, Money and Getting What You’re Worth, is essentially siding with the mullahs, who aren’t exactly known for their views on gender equality.

Fancy that from a lefty.

But then the Senate versus Obama — and vice versa — is “A War of Obama’s Making,” as Byron York writes at the Washington Free Beacon.

Update:

I’m getting old; I remember the good old days when history for Democrats began in November of 2000:

Logan’s Run

March 10th, 2015 - 12:21 pm

“By interfering with the negotiation, the 47 Senators have violated the terms of the Logan Act,” is the second trope knocked aside by John Podhoretz in “2 Wrongheaded Liberal Takes on the Cotton Letter” at Commentary:

But turning the Logan Act on Senate Republicans is a genuinely hilarious bit of rank hypocrisy for liberals and Democrats to make, since almost every incidence of foreign-policy freebooting against an administration’s efforts in the modern era has come from the Left, and the outrage generated by such efforts—by Jesse Jackson in Syria in 1984, by Congressional Republicans in Nicaragua throughout the 1980s, by Rep. Jim McDermott in Iraq in 2003, by Jimmy Carter with Hamas in 2008. The silence at the time when it came to these acts of “interference” with Presidential foreign policy on the part of liberals and the media were deafening.

Not the least of which was Teddy Kennedy attempting to negotiate with the Soviet Union to undermine Reagan in the ’84 election.

“Oh, two last things for those trying to pin a Logan Act violation on the GOP for this one,” from Moe Lane:

One, you’re all a bunch of pig-ignorant doofuses (doofusi?).  Two, the reason why you’re all a bunch of pig-ignorant doofuses (doofi?) is because “The Logan Act doesn’t prevent members of Congress from speaking to foreign governments.”  As was noted by… Media Matters for America.  And here’s the screenshot, for when they take that entry down (H/T to @hunterpearce for that one). Mind you, the Constitution takes precedent over this one anyway, which is why the more rabid elements of the Left are screaming so loudly.  Well, and because they’re all a bunch of pig-ignorant doofuses (I should just stop trying to make that word operate under another language’s grammatical rules)*…

Meanwhile, staffers at the New York Daily News are busy pondering if Obamacare covers neck braces from the horrible case of whiplash caused by this 180 degree spin, as spotted by John Nolte at Big Journalism:

  1. Just a few weeks ago, The Daily News spent days blasting away at former-New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani for expressing his personal opinion of President Obama’s patriotism in what he thought was a private setting.
  2. For writing an open letter to the Iranians, on its front cover Tuesday morning, the Daily News blasted 47 Republican Senators, including decorated war veteran Tom Cotton, as “Traitors.”
  3. The New York Daily News advertises itself as an objective media outlet.

Of course, both of those headlines can be boiled down to a single root cause:

Update: “Time to reset the Vox ‘days without an error’ clock.”

Don’t Ever Change, Newsweek

March 9th, 2015 - 2:08 pm

No matter who’s running the show, whether it’s the Washington Post, Tina Brown, or these days, the International Business Times, (quite an interesting venture in and of itself) Newsweek remains a bedrock of continual insanity in this ever-changing world in which we live in, to coin a phrase:

Gosh, what could go wrong?

Not Anti-War, Just on the Other Side

March 7th, 2015 - 1:11 pm

The British Website Spiked gets a lot of things right, and is often a fun Website, but they really missed the mark here, describing Dalton Trumbo’s infamous 1939 novel Johnny Got His Gun as “A triumph of anti-war literature”:

Any Metallica fan worth his or her salt will have heard of, if not read, Johnny Got His Gun. This pacifist novel by Dalton Trumbo was the inspiration behind their 1988 single ‘One’, a legendary song that shows the band at their best (aside from the rancid lack of bass in the mixing, but that’s a different story).

Published in 1938, Johnny Got His Gun is an under-appreciated gem of experimental American literature. Told in a narrative mixture of first, second, and third-person, Trumbo’s First World War-set novel is a dream and a nightmare. The protagonist, Joe, regains consciousness in a military hospital only to discover that he has lost his arms, legs, eyes, mouth, nose and hearing. The novel is a gripping but depressing journey, through which Joe remembers his rosy – and pointedly physical – life in America, and his attempts to communicate with the outside world and to come to terms with existing as a conscious piece of meat. In its own extreme way, it highlights the sensory struggles that all those wounded or disabled must endure. The huge efforts made for the tiniest of victories –  such as telling the time of day by feeling sunlight on his skin  –  are situated in an unremittingly bleak context: Joe is imprisoned within his wounded body forever.

But Trumbo was no intellectual waif writing a pacifist novel. Published “the very month that Hitler marched into Poland,” Ann Coulter recently wrote, Johnny Got His Gun was “a pure propaganda piece designed to squelch American ardor for helping Hitler’s victims.” Trumbo’s novel was written during the Hitler-Stalin Non-Aggression Pact; as City Journal’s Stefan Kanfer notes in the middle of his review of two recent books on the blacklist:

At first glance, Johnny could pass for the tract of a conscientious objector, ruing the results of Woodrow Wilson’s call to “make the world safe for democracy.” But the book had a hidden agenda: Trumbo had fallen under the spell of Communism and now marched in lockstep with the Party line: Germany and Britain, preparing for all-out war, should duke it out themselves. Never mind the reports of Nazi atrocities; America must not get involved in this European squabble.

The Communist Daily Worker was delighted to serialize Johnny in its pages, and with good reason: the U.S.S.R. had recently signed a nonaggression pact with the Third Reich. But in June 1941, Hitler’s armies invaded Russia. Overnight, Johnny was excised from the Worker’s pages. Now, combat was not only moral but mandatory. When Trumbo’s publishers chose not to keep his novel in print, he went along with their decision. Trumbo sees no inconsistency in the writer’s position. “By 1941,” the book straight-facedly reports, “Hitler had become a menace to the whole world, and when the United States entered the war against Germany in December of that year Trumbo saw ‘no other way than to support it.’”

Also crafted during this same period was Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, which had a message quite similar to Trumbo’s Johnny, Ron Rosenbaum, the author of the 1998 book, Explaining Hitler wrote in 2006:

And speaking of trivializing, there is no more trivializing, over-rated, treatment of Hitler than Chaplin’s dimwitted, laboriously unfunny Great Dictator. Yes Chaplin made some funny movies, but when he tried his hands at politics Chaplin made a movie that did nothing but help Hitler because he made him seem like an unthreatening clown just at a time, 1940, when the world needed to take Hitler’s threat seriously.Yet Chaplin’s film makes it seem like Hitler was nothing but a harmless fool (like Chaplin, same mustache and all). And he made it at a time, during the Nazi-Soviet pact, when the world most needed to mobilize against Hitler’s threat. And yet Chaplin, to his eternal shame ended the film not with a call to oppose fascism, and its murderous hatred, but rather—because he was following the shameful Hitler-friendly Soviet line at the time—ended his film with a call for all workers in the world to lay down their arms—in other words to refuse to join the fight against fascism and Hitler.

Pete Seeger was also making similar noises in his folk music during this period, as PJM’s own Ron Radosh — who in his younger days took banjo lessons from Seeger! — wrote in the New York Sun in 2007:

[In] August 1939 Hitler and Stalin signed a pact and became allies. Overnight the communists took a 180-degree turn and became advocates of peace, arguing that Nazi Germany, which the USSR had opposed before 1939, was a benign power, and that the only threat to the world came from imperial Britain and FDR’s America, which was on the verge of fascism. Those who wanted to intervene against Hitler were servants of Republic Steel and the oil cartels.

In the “John Doe” album, Mr. Seeger accused FDR of being a warmongering fascist working for J.P. Morgan. He sang, “I hate war, and so does Eleanor, and we won’t be safe till everybody’s dead.” Another song, to the tune of “Cripple Creek” and the sound of Mr. Seeger’s galloping banjo, said, “Franklin D., Franklin D., You ain’t a-gonna send us across the sea,” and “Wendell Willkie and Franklin D., both agree on killing me.”

The film does not tell us what happened in 1941, when — two months after “John Doe” was released — Hitler broke his pact with Stalin and invaded the Soviet Union. As good communists, Mr. Seeger and his Almanac comrades withdrew the album from circulation, and asked those who had bought copies to return them.

For almost 70 years now, “Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia/Eurasia” has been a catchphrase to describe breathtaking intellectual 180-degree pivots. (QED: Democrats and Iraq.) Orwell’s inspiration for the constantly shifting fronts in the futuristic dystopia of 1984 was based on how his fellow socialists reacted after Hitler violated his non-aggression pact with Stalin.

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Quote of the Day

March 5th, 2015 - 5:01 pm

 

Obama: The Provincial President

March 3rd, 2015 - 6:23 pm

“Why Obama hates Netanyahu, and vice versa” is explored in a remarkable essay by Haviv Rettig Gur of the Times of Israel:

At a recent gathering of the Israel Council on Foreign Relations, the eminent former director general of the Foreign Ministry, Prof. Shlomo Avineri, called Obama’s foreign policy “provincial.” It was a strange choice of words to describe the policies of a president with such a cosmopolitan outlook and so much eagerness to engage the world.

But Avineri had a point.

Obama’s remarkable memoir, “Dreams from My Father,” includes a powerful account of how his experiences as a young, keenly observant social organizer in South Chicago instilled in him the sensibility that would come to define his presidency.

In the book, he describes his reaction upon hearing the children of a poor Chicago neighborhood divided into “good kids and bad kids – the distinction didn’t compute in my head.” If a particular child “ended up in a gang or in jail, would that prove his essence somehow, a wayward gene…or just the consequences of a malnourished world?”

“In every society, young men are going to have violent tendencies,” an educator in one majority-black Chicago high school told him in the late 1980s. “Either those tendencies are directed and disciplined in creative pursuits or those tendencies destroy the young men, or the society, or both.”

The book is full of such ruminations, and they echo throughout Obama’s rhetoric as president. In his last speech to the UN General Assembly, he asserted that “if young people live in places where the only option is between the dictates of a state or the lure of an extremist underground, no counterterrorism strategy can succeed.”

For Obama, terrorism is, at root, a product of social disintegration. War may be necessary to contain the spread of Islamic State, for example, but only social reform can really cure it.

Add to this social vision the experience of a consummate outsider – half-white and half-black, with a childhood and a family scattered around the world – and one begins to see the profile of a man with an automatic empathy for the marginalized and an almost instinctive sense that the most significant problems of the world are rooted not in ideology but in oppressive social and economic structures that reinforce marginalization. This sensibility is broader than any economic orthodoxy, and is rooted in the hard experience of South Chicago.

After taking the helm of the world’s preeminent superpower in January 2009, this social organizer set about constructing a foreign policy that translated this consciousness into geopolitical action.

“The imperative that he and his advisors felt was not only to introduce a post-Bush narrative but also a post-post-9/11 understanding of what needed to be done in the world,” James Traub noted in a recent Foreign Policy essay. “They believed that the great issues confronting the United States were not traditional state-to-state questions, but new ones that sought to advance global goods and required global cooperation — climate change, energy supply, weak and failing states, nuclear nonproliferation. It was precisely on such issues that one needed to enlist the support of citizens as well as leaders.”

The world was one large Chicago, its essential problems not categorically different from those of South Chicago’s blacks, and the solutions to those problems were rooted in the same essential human capacity for overcoming social divisions and inequities. This was Obama’s “provincialism” — his vision of the world that favored the disadvantaged and downtrodden, that saw the ideological and political clashes between governments as secondary to the more universal and ultimately social crises that troubled a tumultuous world.

No wonder the gang at NBC attacks anyone using the word “Chicago” as racist; it’s the entire prism through which their God King sees the world.

Perhaps what worried Mr. Obama the most about Prime Minister Netanyahu speaking today were the inevitable comparisons of tone and style, and for good reason. As a result of watching Netanyahu, Jazz Shaw of Hot Air takes a second look at Bibi:

When the Prime Minister finished speaking today, I realized exactly how wrong I had been in assuming that this was going to be some cheap, catchpenny display. This was, as I said on Twitter in the moments following the address, one of the most powerful speeches which I have seen delivered in that chamber in the modern era. Netanyahu was the essence of many attributes so lacking in American politics today. He was gracious, not only to those who obviously support him, but to those who might disagree with him here on various policy points. (And, as I will cover below, even with those who were simply rude.) He projected wisdom and rational thought, so frequently lacking in the cheap seats of the theater of American politics. He was sincerely grateful for all that he and the nation he represents have received from the United States and for the consanguinity between our nations. He expressed confidence and hope in a lasting relationship which should be a hallmark of civilized relations in the modern world.

Above all, he was not there to be a politician as I had previously supposed. He was there to be a leader, but also a gracious ally, speaking as an equal on the world stage. He did not come with his hat in hand to ask America to save him. He reiterated that Israel could save itself, but that it would not have to stand alone as long as those with common values which embrace basic goodness stood together in sodality. It was, quite simply, one of the most moving speeches I have witnessed in many years.

I was wrong – in the worst way, since I have clearly allowed cynicism to poison the well – when I supposed that this speech was a pointless, partisan, political ploy. I think I’ve spent too long watching American politicians standing up on cable news and barking out the same tired talking points which their minions repeat ad nauseam for the mainstream media complex. I was highly impressed and felt a bit ashamed. I owe the Prime Minister an apology and I do so now.

I miss the days when America was led by a grownup who had faith in his country and its people. I hope we have that experience once again.

Related: “Dreams from Netanyahu’s Father,” from Seth Lipsky of the New York Sun and Time magazine.

Shot:

—As collated by Twitchy, in a post titled “‘Like poo-flinging monkeys’: Journos high-five over ‘hilarious’ Benghazi report; Four Americans still dead,” November 21st, 2014.

Chaser:

Two weeks ago, we learned that the Clinton Foundation accepted contributions from foreign countries. Assurances from the Obama administration and Clinton aides that no donations were made during her tenure as secretary of State were proven false.

I called the actions sleazy and stupid. Sleazy because any fair-minded person would suspect the foreign countries of trying to buy Clinton’s influence. Stupid because the affair plays into a decades-old knock on the Clintons: They’ll cut any corner for campaign cash. In the 1990s, Bill Clinton and his top aides used the White House as a tool to court and reward big donors.

Now The New York Times is reporting that Clinton used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of State, an apparent violation of federal requirements that her records be retained.

Exposed by a House committee investigating the Benghazi Consulate attack, Clinton brazenly dug in her heels. Advisers reviewed tens of thousands of pages of her personal email and decided which ones to release: Just 55,000 emails were given to the State Department.

Those are our emails, not hers. What is she hiding?

“Maybe Hillary Clinton Should Retire Her White House Dreams: Maybe she doesn’t want to run in 2016, top Democrats wonder. Maybe she shouldn’t,” former AP journalist Ron Fournier, National Journal, today.

Related: “Michelle Malkin compiles history of administration’s ‘unorthodox’ email methods,” today at Twitchy.

Update: At the risk of serving Vodkapundit-worthy levels of shots and chasers, have another round:

 

Susan Rice speaks to AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference today, and you won’t believe what happens next! (Sorry.) As Twitchy notes, “The highlight of her speech was undoubtedly the standing ovation she received for acknowledging the desire for a complete halt to Iran’s nuclear enrichment program. The look on her face while waiting for the cheers to die down so she could add ‘but’ and finish her sentence: priceless:”

John Podhoretz responded, “So without a deal, Rice is saying, Iran will build a bomb. Also, with a deal, Iran will build a bomb. This is really astounding.” And Twitchy also quotes Bloomberg’s Dave Weigel, who tweeted, “Before Susan Rice got up to speak at AIPAC, the video screens played friendly reminders not to boo anybody.

Last night, Roger L. Simon asked, “Will Obama’s Iran Deal Be the Worst Deal Ever Made?” That is, if it even comes to pass:

 I don’t enjoy making predictions because I’m usually wrong, but this is what I suspect will transpire as of Sunday night, March 1.  A deal ultimately will not be made.  Khamenei never wanted one in the first place, only to mark time for more nuclear research.  To make a deal would, for him, undermine too many years of hating America, undercutting the rationale for his hideous regime.  BUT… Israel (specifically pushy Netanyahu), not Iran,  will be blamed for the failure by the U.S. administration and its MSM minions, led by the New York Times.  Iran will collude with this, dropping the proper hints — if it weren’t for those Israelis we would have had an agreement, but you know they can’t be trusted.  The Republican presidential candidates will be swept up in this. They better be ready, but I fear they are not.  They don’t impress me as a particularly sophisticated bunch on the international front, I’m sorry to say, and the Iranians know how to play disinformation-hardball almost as well as the Russians.  I hope I’m wrong in all this. I hope Netanyahu knocks that same hardball out of the proverbial park and with it some sense into the American public.  But I worry.

And for ever-increasing good reason.

Related: We know that, to paraphrase Sean Davis, Elizabeth Warren is off the reservation when it comes to Netanyahu’s speech tomorrow. So where does Hillary stand?

hillary_blackberry_3-2-15-2

In this Oct. 18, 2011, file photo, then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton works from a desk inside a C-17 military plane upon her departure from Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, bound for Tripoli, Libya. (AP Photo / Kevin Lamarque, Pool, File)

“Ever wonder why multiple investigations of the Benghazi attack failed to turn up much from Hillary Clinton’s e-mails?” Ed Morrissey asks at Hot Air:

So did the House Select Committee investigating the attack on the facility and the failures that led to it. To their surprise, the Secretary of State had conducted all of her e-mail on a private account rather than an official State Department account — and her aides had carefully culled only the e-mails they wanted investigators to see. The New York Times’ Michael Schmidt dropped that bombshell earlier this evening:

Hillary Rodham Clinton exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state, State Department officials said, and may have violated federal requirements that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency’s record.

Mrs. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act. …

The existence of Mrs. Clinton’s personal email account was discovered as a House committee investigating the attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi sought correspondence between Mrs. Clinton and her aides about the attack.

Two weeks ago, Mrs. Clinton provided the committee with about 300 emails — amounting to roughly 900 pages — about the Benghazi attacks that Mrs. Clinton’s aides had found among her personal emails.

Why, it’s not like Hillary is some sort of paranoid secretive character out of 1984, is she?

As Moe Line asked, shortly before news of Hillary’s private emails broke, “Hillary Clinton STARTED OFF as the villain. How does she plan to become the hero?”

But… that’s the problem, isn’t it? In 2007 the Democratic electorate was told, point-blank, You do not have to ‘settle’ for Hillary Clinton. You can have something that’s better. Different. Not more of the same.  And the Democratic electorate arguably responded* to that. And their reward? …Hillary Clinton has come back in 2016.  Only now she’s almost a decade older, and probably considerably more bitter about life.  Not to mention, really inevitable this time.

Thus the paradox. Hillary Clinton was used to establish, fix, and personalize everything that the Obama campaign wanted primary voters to think was wrong with the current system. Then they brought her into the administration, which means that she’s inextricably linked to it.  So Hillary Clinton can’t run on being opposed to Obama’s policies, because she helped implement them**.  But if she runs on being on-board with the Obama agenda, she’s left with two problems, the second*** one being that a large part of the Obama agenda was that he supposedly represented a break of the politics of the past, which were in no small part exemplified by… Hillary Clinton.

Of course, even before this latest Clinton scandal erupted* there was a simple solution for Democrats who pay lip service to transparency:

*You saw what I did there, right?

Update: And upon sighting a big juicy scandal to sink their shark-like teeth into, the Establishment Left MSM swings into action — to attack a conservative!

 

As Jon Gabriel writes at Ricochet after being singled out by the Over-the-Hillary Gang for ritual shaming, “The D.C. press corps is so unsettled by offering even the mildest concern about Democrats that they must quickly return to their comfort zone mocking proles. There is little interest in questioning the rich and powerful, it’s all about defending their tribe. The Clintons certainly don’t view Gray, Confessore, et al., as fellow elites, but this only makes these reporters more desperate to flaunt the tribal markers.”

MSNBC-parody-10-4-10

Geez, exaggerate much, Chris?

KATHLEEN PARKER: As far as all this concern with protocol, when did we start caring so much? But secondly, and I understand why the White House is upset about it, because it does come at a time when they’re trying to do something very serious, which is negotiate with Iran, but the Speaker has asked before for Netanyahu to come and invited him before, in 2011. He did go to the White House because he was worried about messing up then negotiations with Iran, and the White House did not respond for a month, according to the Speaker’s office. And when they did, they basically said it’s, it’s your call.

So he might have felt that it was not necessary to consult with the White House this time, but I do know that he did give him a heads up. The White House was notified before this went public, now, albeit only an hour before, but, there was some time to shuffle the papers at least.

CONNIE SCHULTZ, syndicated columnist: That’s not notice, Kathleen, you know that’s not notice.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: I think that’s the Japanese model.

PARKER: I’m just reporting. I’m doing the genius thing and just reporting.

Dude. It’s a speech to Congress, not a surprise attack on American battleships. MacArthur gave his “old soldiers never die” speech there as comeuppance after he was fired by Harry Truman. But that’s quite a comparison for Matthews to reflexively make. He’s employed by the network that hears racial dog whistles in the words “golf” and “Chicago,” and he used his own show immediately after the Giffords shooting in January of 2011 as a platform calling the end of violent gun and war-related metaphors in the media, comparing them to racial epithets.

Naturally of course, there will be no repercussions to Matthews after his slur; as my friend John Nolte likes to say, “Democrats sure got it good.”