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Ed Driscoll

War And Anti-War

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.”

Unexpectedly.

“Two years ago this week, my stepson came home wearing an Arabic black thawb. He walked into the sitting-room, smiled defiantly at me and at his father, and asked us how he looked. We were a little shocked, but being English of course we said he looked very nice,” an author writing under the pseudonym of “Claire Stevens” in the UK Spectator notes:

Over the next few months we saw the boy we knew become buried beneath a spiritual totalitarianism. The word Islam means submission. It allows you to love nothing else; to be a good Muslim, you must surrender yourself completely. Under the informal tutelage of his new friends, our boy eagerly took on the attitudes of his Muslim ‘brothers’ in place of his former personality. Why, he protested, didn’t I cook every night? Why didn’t I ‘look after’ him and his dad like a good (Muslim) woman would? I was lazy, I was ‘irresponsible’, he would say, a smug little smile on his face. I felt angry and sad.

To keep the peace, I tried to take it as a joke, informing him that I had a career that involved more than just having babies. Gradually though, I found myself worn down by his attitude.

It wasn’t just women who found themselves at the sharp end of our boy’s new found sagacity. A news story about Afghanistan prompted him to join in our discussion of politics, something which in the past had been of no interest to him. He informed us that the problems in the region were the fault of ‘The Jews’; everything bad in the world could be laid at the door of ‘The Jews’. The Holocaust never happened, he insisted, but in the same breath he would say that ‘the Nazis should have finished them off’. ‘The Jews’ had caused the world financial crisis and, of course, ‘The Jews’ were the reason why he couldn’t find work. It was not because he had neither qualifications nor work experience, although that was probably their fault too.

See also upbringing of John Walker Lindh among the arch-leftists of Marin County. As my fellow PJM columnist Claudia Rosett wrote in December of 2001 in the Wall Street Journal:

John–a k a “Sulayman,” a k a “Abdul Hamid”–is from Marin County, Calif., a place where it is, like, totally uncool to make value judgments.

From Marin, the young Mr. Walker’s parents spot him on the TV news and hustle to share with the world the alternative reality that shaped this self-described jihadi in the first place. Their son John is a spiritual, questing guy, we are told, a pacifist at heart, young and maybe susceptible to brainwashing. John’s mother, Marilyn Walker, tells the press that her son is just a “sweet, shy kid,” “totally not streetwise,” a peaceful, scholarly type who wanted to help poor people. His father, Frank Lindh, announces that John “is a really good boy” even if he does deserve “a little kick in the butt for not telling me what he was up to.”

A Marin musician, Neil Lavin, tells the Associated Press that Mr. Walker was in Afghanistan on a spiritual quest, quite possibly a rewarding one: “I imagine he lost himself there. Or found himself.” A family friend, Bill Jones, tells the San Francisco Chronicle that fighting for bin Laden was just “a youthful indiscretion.”

Even outside Marin, a lot of folks just don’t seem to get it. In one account after another, there is the same perplexed tone: How could it happen that John Walker Lindh, the second of three children reared by broad-minded parents in the emotionally supportive 1990s, in a 3,000-sqare-foot home in one of the wealthiest enclaves on the California coast, ended up questing away with an assault weapon on the enemy side in Afghanistan? Newsweek quotes Mr. Lindh, his father, as saying, “I can’t connect the dots between where John was and where John is.” The magazine concludes: “Neither, it seems, can the rest of the world.”

Unexpectedly.

40 years ago in “The ‘Me’ Decade and the Third Great Awakening,” writing in New York magazine, Tom Wolfe explored the “unexpected” result in America in the 1970s, after the “New Left” began running the culture starting in the mid-1960s, in much the same way that England’s left had dominated its culture since the post-war era:

Ever since the late 1950s both the Catholic Church and the leading Protestant denominations had been aware that young people, particularly in the cities, were drifting away from the faith. At every church conference and convocation and finance-committee meeting the cry went up: We must reach the urban young people. It became an obsession, this business of “the urban young people.” The key—one and all decided—was to “modernize” and “update” Christianity. So the Catholics gave the nuns outfits that made them look like World War II Wacs. The Protestants set up “beatnik coffee-houses” in church basements for poetry reading and bongo playing. They had the preacher put on a turtleneck sweater and sing “Joe Hill” and “Frankie and Johnny” during the hootenanny at the Sunday vespers. Both the priests and the preachers carried placards in civil rights marches, gay rights marches, women’s rights marches, prisoners’ rights marches, bondage lovers’ rights marches, or any other marches, so long as they might appear hip to the urban young people.

* * * * * * * * * *

Today it is precisely the most rational, intellectual, secularized, modernized, updated, relevant religions—all the brave, forward-looking Ethical Culture, Unitarian, and Swedenborgian movements of only yesterday—that are finished, gasping, breathing their last. What the Urban Young People want from religion is a little Hallelujah! . . . and talking in tongues! . . . Praise God! Precisely that! In the most prestigious divinity schools today, Catholic. Presbyterian, and Episcopal, the avant-garde movement, the leading edge, is “charismatic Christianity” . . . featuring talking in tongues, ululation, visions, holy rolling, and other nonrational, even antirational, practices. Some of the most respectable old-line Protestant congregations, in the most placid suburban settings, have begun to split into the Charismatics and the Easter Christians (“All they care about is being seen in church on Easter”). The Easter Christians still usually control the main Sunday-morning service—but the Charismatics take over on Sunday evening and do the holy roll.

This curious development has breathed new life into the existing Fundamentalists, theosophists, and older salvation seekers of all sorts.

It shouldn’t be very surprising that after England’s left had hollowed out its religious roots that many teenagers, adrift and searching for answers would want to have a “great awakening” with the most charismatic religion they could find.

Pay no attention to the horrible aftertaste, though.

Another day, another hit piece on Walker, this time from Philip Rucker of the Washington Post. (Link safe; goes to Hot Air; I’m not rewarding attack articles with extra traffic):

Walker responded by ticking through his recent itinerary of face time with foreign policy luminaries: a breakfast with Henry Kissinger, a huddle with George P. Shultz and tutorials at the American Enterprise Institute and the Hoover Institution.

But then Walker suggested that didn’t much matter.

“I think foreign policy is something that’s not just about having a PhD or talking to PhD’s,” he said. “It’s about leadership.”

Walker contended that “the most significant foreign policy decision of my lifetime” was then-President Ronald Reagan’s move to bust a 1981 strike of air traffic controllers, firing some 11,000 of them.

“It sent a message not only across America, it sent a message around the world,” Walker said. America’s allies and foes alike became convinced that Reagan was serious enough to take action and that “we weren’t to be messed with,” he said.

According to Politico, Rucker was the guy who whined, “What about your gaaaaaaaffffffes!!!!!!” to Mitt Romney in 2012; but what about Rucker’s gaffes, specifically, his lack of knowledge of history? Specifically, history that happened likely before the young Democrat operative with a byline was even born. Rucker’s article is headlined “Scott Walker calls Reagan’s bust of air traffic controller strike ‘most significant foreign policy decision,’” but that’s not a bad summation of how those events played out.

Return with us now to the early 1980s. In his 2009 book The Age of Reagan: The Conservative Counterrevolution: 1980-1989, Steve Hayward of Power Line wrote:

Smashing the air traffic controllers union has loomed large in populist lore ever since as a “signal” to private sector management that it was now okay to squeeze unions, but this is too simple. (If Reagan had really wanted to send an anti-union message, he would have proposed privatizing air traffic control.) Generally polls showed that public esteem for organized labor was at an all-time low by the time of PATCO’s ill-considered gambit. Labor was getting the message. A Wall Street Journal headline a month later told the story: “Economic Gloom Cuts Labor Union Demands for Big 1982 Contracts.” Fed chairman Paul Volcker later said that Reagan’s firing of the PATCO strikers was the single most important anti-inflationary step Reagan took.

There was one unanticipated audience that paid close attention to Reagan’s manhandling of the strike: the Soviet Politburo. Since taking office the administration had been looking for an opportunity to demonstrate in some concrete ways its toughness toward the Soviet Union. As is often the case, the most effective opportunity came in an unexpected way and from an unlooked-for place. The White House realized it had gotten Moscow’s attention when the Soviet news agency TASS decried Reagan’s “brutal repression” of the air traffic controllers.

For the American news media, Reagan’s handling of the strike became the opening for a new line of criticism. During the budget fight, the dominant line of criticism was that while Reagan’s policies might be cruel and uncaring, he himself was a kindly man. Having wondered whether Reagan was too “nice,” Haynes Johnson now wrote: “A glimmer of a harsher Reagan emerges…. For the first time as president, he has displayed another, less attractive side. Firmness is fine in a president; indeed, it is desirable. But something else came through last week—a harsh, unyielding, almost vengeful and mean-spirited air of crushing opponents. It makes you wonder how he will respond if faced with a direct, and dangerous, foreign challenge, one requiring the most delicate and skillful combination of strength and diplomacy.”

Gee, ask Secretary Gorbachev how that worked out.

In her 2003 book about Reagan,  Peggy Noonan quoted the Gipper’s Secretary of State George Schultz, who called it:

“One of the most fortuitous foreign relations moves he ever made”. It was in no way a popular move with the American public but it showed European heads of state and diplomatic personnel that he was tough and meant what he said.

Yesterday, Noonan added at the Wall Street Journal:

What Reagan did not speak about was an aspect of the story that had big foreign-policy implications.

Air traffic controllers in effect controlled the skies, and American AWACS planes were patrolling those skies every day. Drew Lewis: “The issue was not only that it was an illegal strike. . . . It was also that a strike had real national-security implications—the AWACS couldn’t have gone up.” It is likely that even though the public and the press didn’t fully know of this aspect of the strike’s effects, the heads of the union did. That’s why they thought Reagan would back down. “This hasn’t come up,” said Lewis, “but the Soviets and others in the world understood the implications of the strike.”

Foreign governments, from friends and allies to adversaries and competitors, saw that the new president could make tough decisions, pay the price, and win the battle. The Soviets watched like everybody else. They observed how the new president handled a national-security challenge. They saw that his rhetorical toughness would be echoed in tough actions. They hadn’t known that until this point. They knew it now.

However, I’m not at all surprised that the newspaper whose then-subsidiary magazine declared “We Are Socialists Now” upon Mr. Obama’s inauguration in 2009 would not be all that familiar with the history of the final years of the Cold War.

And speaking of Reagan:

Exit quote:


The pile continues to grow.

Update: “Arrogant Media Elites Mock Middle America,”  Salena Zito writes today at Real Clear Politics:

As consumers of news, most Americans want an honest look at the potential presidential candidates and where they stand on serious issues.

Reporters mock those news-consumers when they mock candidates who aren’t like the reporters themselves — but who are very much like normal Americans.

It is unforgivably arrogant for anyone in the media to think that the rest of the country thinks like they do.

“A reporter’s job is to report the news, not to drive it or to create it. A reporter’s audience is not just an echo chamber, not just D.C. friends, rivals, partisans and followers on social media. (Remember: Only 8 percent of Americans get their news through Twitter.),” Zito writes.

Don’t think of the DC media as reporters, as Glenn Reynolds recently noted:

The press sees itself first and foremost as political allies of Democrat-dominated institutions, which most emphatically includes universities, a major source of funding, foot-soldiers, and ideological suport for Democrats. When outsiders want information that might hurt Democrat-dominated institutions — see, e.g., ClimateGate — they are always portrayed by the press as partisans, malcontents, and evil. That is because the press today functions largely as a collection of Democratic operatives with bylines.

And the successful pushback against government unions by Walker — like Reagan before him — explains much of the subtext driving Rucker’s ahistoric ruckus.

Israel National News claims:

The Bethlehem-based news agency Ma’an has cited a Kuwaiti newspaper report Saturday, that US President Barack Obama thwarted an Israeli military attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities in 2014 by threatening to shoot down Israeli jets before they could reach their targets in Iran.

Following Obama’s threat, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was reportedly forced to abort the planned Iran attack.

This lede sounds a bit like telephone tag, but this is what Giuliani was getting at last month and why the press erupted so angrily against him. If  this report is true, who at this late stage in Mr. Obama’s administration who’s been paying the slightest bit of attention to his actions would be at all surprised by it?

In any case, “I wish Obama was half as mad at ISIS as he is at Netanyahu,” Jon Gabriel of Ricochet tweets.  Or as Mark Steyn asked last month when the media ginned up the Rudy kerfuffle, if Obama was “working for the other side, what exactly would he be doing differently?”

Update: Roger L. Simon explains “Why Obama Order to Shoot Down Israeli Jets [is] Most Likely Untrue:”

More likely, the report, which emerged from Kuwait, is disinformation timed to discredit Prime Minister Netanyahu and make him seem a warmonger in advance of his address to Congress Tuesday.

Read the whole thing.

The judge has sentenced Eddie Ray Routh to life in prison without parole; Routh can appeal the decision, the Blaze reports:

After over two hours of deliberation, a jury in Stephenville, Texas, found Eddie Ray Routh, 27, guilty of capital murder in the killings of legendary Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield. The jury, made up of 10 women and two men, rejected the Routh’s insanity defense following the nearly two-week murder trial.

The verdict was unanimous. Routh now faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Katie Pavlich adds that “the trial revealed Routh’s drug use, not mental illness or PTSD, played a part in the murders.” On Friday, the Dallas Morning News reported, “Expert testifies ‘American Sniper’ killer faked paranoia, schizophrenia to avoid jail time”:

The combination of drug and alcohol use with the mood disorder likely caused Routh to seem erratic.

“His feelings were scattered and moved around and that’s more common with a mood disorder” than a severe mental disorder, Arambula said.

On the day of the slayings, Routh was likely suffering from marijuana-induced psychosis, said Randall Price, a forensic psychologist. And despite that psychotic state, Routh still knew that his actions were illegal.

“He did know what he was doing was wrong, and he did it anyway,” Price said.

Price met with Routh twice at the Erath County Jail. He said he believes Routh was faking symptoms of schizophrenia and often lied about his state of mind in the days leading up to the day he killed Kyle and Littlefield.

Or to put it another way, “Crazy don’t run.”

Eddie Ray Routh,  J. Warren St. John

Former Marine Cpl. Eddie Ray Routh, right, enters the court behind defense attorney J. Warren St. John during Routh’s capital murder trial at the Erath County, Donald R. Jones Justice Center Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, in Stephenville, Texas. Routh, 27, of Lancaster, is charged with the 2013 deaths of former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield at a shooting range near Glen Rose, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero,Pool)

 

Filed under: War And Anti-War

Don’t Hold Your Breath, Rudy

February 22nd, 2015 - 11:01 pm

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

Barack Obama’s victory should once and for all finally break the notion that race is a barrier to any goal in the United States. And those who’ve built their power from anger and racial divisiveness, like Ayers, the Panthers, and Reverend Wright should now be mocked like the small men they are. It will be up to Obama as president to transcend the figures of his past–and it’s up to the rest of us as a nation to finally put them into the rearview mirror.

“Congratulations, President Elect Obama,” Ed Driscoll.com, November 4th, 2008.

I hope and pray that President Obama can rise to the occasion and underscore America’s greatness as our history and values merit. If he does so, I will be the first to applaud him. But I can only be disheartened when I hear him claim, as he did last August, that our response to 9/11 betrayed the ideals of this country. When he interjected that “we tortured some folks,” he undermined those who managed successfully to protect us from further attack.

And to say, as the president has, that American exceptionalism is no more exceptional than the exceptionalism of any other country in the world, does not suggest a becoming and endearing modesty, but rather a stark lack of moral clarity.

Over my years as mayor of New York City and as a federal prosecutor, I earned a certain reputation for being blunt. The thoughts I express, whether clearly or ambiguously, are my own and they are my individual responsibility. But whether you agree or not with what I said last week, I hope the intention behind those words can be the basis for a real conversation about national leadership and the importance of confidence and optimism in framing America’s way forward. I hope also that our president will start acting and speaking in a way that draws sharp, clear distinctions between us and those who threaten our way of life.

—”Rudy Giuliani: My Bluntness Overshadowed My Message. Whether you agreed with me or not, I hope this can be the basis of a real conversation about national leadership,” Rudy Giuliani in the Wall Street Journal, today.

Given that our semi-retired president is clearly in the You’re Only President Once back nine phase of his time in office, I doubt anyone, least of all America’s Mayor Emeritus, is waiting for Mr. Obama to “start acting and speaking in a way that draws sharp, clear distinctions between us and those who threaten our way of life” anytime soon.

On the other hand, “Marie Harf has Turned all Democrats into Neocons,” Leon Wolf quips at Red State, as Harf, Media Matters and other leftists were all frantically quoting GWB to justify Harf’s loopy “jobs for ISIS” dissembling:

Of course, the Democrats don’t really believe this, inasmuch as they don’t believe anything of conviction with respect to foreign policy. They are merely saying it aloud because they are reflexively incapable of refusing to defend anything the Obama administration does, even though Obama is term limited and the statement in question fell out of the mouth of the Lucy and Ethel duo that have been systematically (and probably purposefully) embarrassing the State Department since their arrival. It does not matter – if Obama (or even one of Obama’s low-level flunkies) wants them to be neocons, then neocons they shall be.

And if you wanted people who were capable of a coherent view of foreign policy, you shouldn’t have voted to put Democrats in charge.

Well, yes. But then, as Glenn Reynolds writes at USA Today, “Unpatriotic voters elect unpatriotic leaders,” though I think the fault lies much more in the pundit class, who built a failed community organizer turned tyro senator with excellent trousers into the second coming of JFK, FDR and Lincoln than the voters who blindly accepted their rhetoric.

The ‘Bam in the High Castle

February 22nd, 2015 - 3:27 pm

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What if Obama had been president in 1939? To understand the measure of just how temperamentally unsuited Barack Obama is to the job of president, just imagine him in the role of FDR on the eve of World War II, and the language he would use to describe the Axis, which is what VDH does in his latest column at PJM, “President Franklin Delano Obama Addresses the Threat of 1930s Violent Extremism:”

“As for acts of violence in Germany itself, we must express our worry to the German government over apparent extremism, but at the same time we must not overreact. As far as these sporadic attacks on random civilians, as, for example, during the recent Kristallnacht violence, we must keep things in perspective, when, for example, some terrorists randomly targeted some folks in a store. My job is sort of like a big-city mayor, to monitor these terrorist acts that are said to be done in the name of the German people. Let us not overreact and begin to listen to radio commentators who whip us up into a frenzy as if we were on the verge of war. We must not overestimate the SS, a sort of jayvee organization that remains a manageable problem.

“Here let me just say that we must never fall into the trap of blaming the German people abroad, but especially our German community here at home. National Socialism by no means has anything to do with socialism. These terrorists are desperate for legitimacy, and all of us have a responsibility to refute the notion that groups like the SS somehow represent socialism because that is a falsehood that embraces the terrorist narrative. It is true that America and Germany have a complicated history, but there is no clash of civilizations. The notion that the America would be at war with Germany is an ugly lie.

“So make no mistake about it: National Socialism has nothing to do with Germany or the German people but is rather a violent extremist organization that has perverted the culture of Germany. It is an extremist ideology that thrives on the joblessness of Germany and can be best opposed by the international community going to the root of German unemployment and economic hard times. Let us not confuse Nazism with legitimate expressions of German nationalism. Stiff-arm saluting and jack boots are legitimate tenets of Germanism, and the German Brotherhood, for example, is a largely peaceful organization.

“So we Americans must not get on our own high horse. We, too, have bullied our neighbors and invaded them. We, too, have struggled with racism and anti-Semitism, slavery and Jim Crow. And our own culture has at times treated American citizens in the same callous way as the National Socialist do Germans. Before we castigate the Nazis, let us remember the Inquisition and the Crusades.

It’s brilliant stuff; a reminder that Obama will make a great host on MSNBC in 2017, or a great Ivy League lecturer on Ferguson or income inequality or whatever the hot lefty fad du jour is, but was a disastrous choice by the left and the pundit class (but I repeat myself) to lead the nation in 2008. Get off your high horse and read the whole thing. Because the Crusades, maaaan.

Since this seems to the weekend for both revisionist history and exploring Obama’s own fantasyland worldview, also check out Kyle Smith in the New York Post, who notes that “Sure, Obama loves America — just not the America we live in:”

Even when Obama claims to support American exceptionalism, he can’t do so without a “but.”

At West Point last year he said, “I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being. But what makes us exceptional is not our ability to flout international norms and the rule of law; it’s our willingness to affirm them through our actions.”

That’s a strangely twisted definition: We’re only special if we stop acting as if we think we’re special?

Americans are, of course, far more skeptical of the idea that our actions must receive the blessing of international bodies. In a 2011 Pew Survey, only 45 percent of Americans said we should get UN approval before using military force. In France, Britain, Germany and Spain that number was 66 percent to 76 percent.

The reality of American exceptionalism is that it tells a story of a country very much at odds with the fantasy version preferred by Obama and other liberals, a sort of continental campus where “hate speech” is carefully controlled, everyone thinks income inequality is a big deal, government is respected or even beloved, the churches are empty and no one owns a gun.

Much to Obama’s chagrin, Americans overwhelmingly reject the idea that we’re all enrolled at the United States of Oberlin. They love America as it is.

Or to put it in graphic terms:

Fox Butterfield, Is That You?

February 20th, 2015 - 3:59 pm

“Getting a gun legally in Europe may be hard, but terrorists have little trouble,” insists a Washington Post headline.

Fox Butterfield could not be reached to comment. As for the first half of that headline’s equation, Europe has pretty much forgotten everything from 1933 through 1945, haven’t they?

Oh, That Return of the Primitive

February 20th, 2015 - 11:06 am

“They sought paradise in a Scottish field — and found hunger, boredom and mosquitoes,” Roger Lewis writes in the London Spectator, in a review of a book titled The Utopia Experiment by Dylan Evans:

Evans, the author of this book, was one of those oddballs who rather looked forward to the apocalypse, because it promised ‘challenging times ahead’. If, in the not too distant future, famines and droughts more or less wipe us out, that will be our own fault for allowing population levels to reach an unsustainable nine billion — the predicted figure for 2050. How much better the planet will be with a select handful living in their villages of yurts, log cabins, teepees and straw-bale huts, the children gambolling happily ‘amidst the bracken and the trees’. The air will be cleaner. Wildlife ‘will make a comeback’. Neighbours will help each other out. People will be fitter as a result of their manual labour.

Evans couldn’t wait to create his retrograde society, where waif-like girls ‘with long, tawny dreadlocks’ would be doling out ‘bowls of bean stew from a steaming cauldron’. He sold his house, gave up his academic career and moved to a field near Inverness. He looked at an adjacent waterfall and thought it could ‘generate electricity’. He gazed at an acre of scrubland and believed he could ‘keep a few pigs and chickens’. He spotted a deer and, though he had no butchery or tanning training, imagined turning its hide into shoes and gloves.

Fair play to Evans: by the time he came to write this book he realised he was delusional.

Why do people believe the world is coming to an end? Steve Hayward of Power Line had a simple and concise answer to that question, during the period when the late Harold Camping, the Al Gore of evangelism, was a media sensation in 2011 after his apocalyptic vision didn’t pan out:

At least the religious versions of the end of the world come with a promise of redemption for man and nature. The secular apocalypse is usually without hope. Yet they share one larger thing in common: the deep, passionate commitment that the end is near. And when the end doesn’t come, instead of relief, there is disappointment. Fundamentalist preachers and environmental prophets-of-doom react the same way every time: they d go back over their math, and offer new predictions for the end. The preachers end up with dwindling congregations and radio audiences; the green prophets get appointed science adviser to the president.

People often ask me why environmentalists tend always to incline to apocalyptic conclusions about the state of the planet. “Because it makes them happy,” is my standard response. This is not tongue-in-cheek. There is something about certain kinds of personality types that derives a frisson of delight from contemplating the end of the world. And if you point out that the end of the world is not at hand, it makes environmentalists very unhappy, in part because it deprives them of the opportunity to play savior to the world.

Which also sounds a lot like another group that seeks doomsday, as Peggy Noonan writes in her latest column, drawing heavily from Graeme Wood’s recent blockbuster Atlantic article, “What ISIS Really Wants:”

ISIS has allure: Tens of thousands of foreign Muslims are believed to have joined. The organization is clear in its objectives: “We can gather that their state rejects peace as a matter of principle; that it hungers for genocide; that its religious views make it constitutionally incapable of certain types of change . . . that it considers itself a harbinger of—and headline player in—the imminent end of the world. . . . The Islamic State is committed to purifying the world by killing vast numbers of people.”

The scale of the savagery is difficult to comprehend and not precisely known. Regional social media posts “suggest that individual executions happen more or less continually, and mass executions every few weeks.” Most, not all, of the victims are Muslims.

The West, Mr. Wood argues, has been misled “by a well-intentioned but dishonest campaign to deny the Islamic State’s medieval religious nature. . . . The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers,” drawn largely from the disaffected. “But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam.” Its actions reflect “a sincere, carefully considered commitment to returning civilization to a seventh-century legal environment, and ultimately to bring about the apocalypse.”

Mr. Wood acknowledges that ISIS reflects only one, minority strain within Islam. “Muslims can reject the Islamic State; nearly all do. But pretending it isn’t actually a religious, millenarian group, with theology that must be understood to be combatted, has already led the United States to underestimate it and back foolish schemes to counter it.”

* * * * * * * *

Mr. Wood’s piece is bracing because it is fearless—he is apparently not afraid of being called a bigot or an Islamophobe. It is important because it gives people, especially political leaders, information they need to understand a phenomenon that may urgently shape U.S. foreign policy for the next 10 years.

In sorry contrast, of course, are the Obama administration’s willful delusions and dodges. They reached their height this week when State Department spokesman Marie Harf talked on MSNBC of the “root causes” that drive jihadists, such as “lack of opportunity for jobs.” She later went on CNN to explain: “Where there’s a lack of governance, you’ve had young men attracted to this terrorist cause where there aren’t other opportunities. . . . So how do you get at that root causes?” She admitted her view “might be too nuanced of an argument for some.”

Yes, it might.

It isn’t about getting a job. They have a job: waging jihad.

Do Islamic terrorists and the doomsday fringe of the global warming cult have something in common? It’s not a coincidence that a few months before he died of a massive case of lead poisoning, the Washington Post ran the headline, “Osama bin Laden embraces his inner Al Gore.”

But to get back to The Utopia Experiment by Dylan Evans, who “sold his house, gave up his academic career and moved to a field near Inverness,” didn’t the London School of Economics-educated author realize that he was living out a 45 year old Monty Python sketch?

(Via Tim Blair.)

To paraphrase Mr. Obama, apparently the non-Islamic ISIS has serious legitimate Islamic grievances with the Slingerland company:

ISIS in Libya have released pictures of armed fighters burning musical instruments as the extremist group continues its propaganda assault in the north African country.

Pictures of the heavily armed masked militants watching while a pile of drums burnt in the Libyan desert were released earlier today – purportedly by the ‘media wing’ of the local group.

It is understood the brightly coloured instruments had been confiscated by the religious police, and were destroyed near the port city of Derna, in eastern Libya.

* * * * * * * * *

Earlier this year, religious police were filmed beating musicians and destroying their instruments as punishment for playing an ‘un-Islamic’ keyboard.

The men were pictured being hit across the back and legs with a wooden stick in a public square in Syria after ISIS’s fanatical Islamic enforcers ruled the electric keyboard was ‘offensive to Muslims’.

Another picture shows two keyboards and what appears to be a lute smashed to pieces after raids thought to have taken place in Bujaq, a few miles to the east of Aleppo in Syria.

Serious question: Given ISIS’ love of propaganda photos and videos, what is it that makes Sony digital cameras, Adobe editing software and the American-created Internet as a distribution system as not being “un-Islamic?” What about the Soviet-designed AK-47 and the Toyota Hilux SUV?

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“Why Obama Won’t Talk About Islamic Terrorism,” is a topic explored by David Frum in the Atlantic. (OK, that’s two strikes against it, but read it anyhow.) It’s an essay that ties together Obama’s radical chic roots as a community organizer trained in the Alinsky methods hanging out with Bill Ayers and Rev. Wright, and brings his LBJ-era-inspired salad days full circle with his recent mutterings about the “randomly-targeted” in France and remember the Crusades, maaaan:

As part of the partnership-building, the Obama administration has opened its doors to foreign and domestic individuals and groups who might have been unwelcome in the prior administration, including supporters of the overthrown Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt. Tom Wolfe anatomized this line of thinking in his classic essay, Mau-Mauing the Flack Catchers:

The idea that the real leadership in the ghetto might be the gangs hung on with the poverty-youth-welfare establishment. It was considered a very sophisticated insight. The youth gangs weren’t petty criminals … there were “social bandits,” primitive revolutionaries … Of course, they were hidden from public view. That was why the true nature of ghetto leadership had eluded everyone for so long … So the poverty professionals were always on the lookout for the bad-acting dudes who were the “real leaders,” the “natural leaders,” the “charismatic figures” in the ghetto jungle. These were the kind of people the social-welfare professionals in the Kennedy Administration had in mind when they planned the poverty program in the first place. It was a truly adventurous and experimental approach they had. Instead of handing out alms, which never seemed to change anything, they would encourage the people in the ghettos to organize. They would help them become powerful enough to force the Establishment to give them what they needed.

What began as a farcical element of the antipoverty programs of the 1960s has ended in the tragedy of American national security policy in the 2010s.

Mona Charen spots a similar radical chic connection with Obama’s disastrous Crusades reference:

President Obama’s scolding of Western civilization at the National Prayer Breakfast (“Let’s not get up on our high horse”) may go down in history as the emblematic moment of his presidency. It was atrociously ill-timed and characteristically sophomoric. My colleague Jay Nordlinger observed that Obama sounded just like the students in the 1980s who, when presented with evidence of the Soviet gulag, would respond with the tu quoque rejoinder: “Well, what about racism?”

* * * * * * *

Though [Obama] has come to power in an era when everyone except the village idiot understands that radical Islam is a worldwide menace claiming (mostly Muslim) victims on every continent, and that it has gained serious footholds even in formerly moderate nations like Turkey, this president and his party are so solipsistic that they cannot even see the Islamic world in its own terms. He and they can see it only as a victim of the West.

And of course, this administration, its enablers, and its Spokesbarbies are all perfectly prepared to play the victim cards themselves.

Related: Victor Davis Hanson’s Sunday essay on “The Reckoning,” for which I created the above Photoshop. And from Brendan O’Neill at Reason, “How Political Correctness Aided and Abetted Sex Crimes” in Rotherham, England.

“Alan Parsons Rejects Roger Waters’ Anti-Israel Riff,” Paul Miller writes at Big Hollywood:

Lana Melman, Director of the Creative Community for Peace (CCFP), arranged an exclusive interview with Parsons and his band’s Israeli bassist, Guy Erez. The conversation, right before their Tel-Aviv performance, challenged Waters’ motives and took the BDS movement to task for “censorship.”

CCFP: Alan, you mentioned bringing people together. And as you for sure know now, there’s the cultural boycott movement which basically wants two main things: to prevent international artists like you [Alan] from coming to Israel and to prevent Israeli artists like you [Guy] from performing abroad. Do you guys see this as a form of censorship at all? And do you think it can have any particular impact on the artistic community?

Parsons: It’s totally censorship, yeah. I mean, people who follow it would be considered succumbing to censorship. But we didn’t. We said we want to do this.

CCFP: You had a lot of pressure. And not even just from activists but also from your fellow musician Roger Waters. How did it feel to be getting that pressure onto yourself and why was it important for you to not listen and to come here?

Parsons: Well, Guy would have killed me to start with.

Erez: If he doesn’t come and visit my country, we have a problem.

Parsons: No, the language of music has nothing to do with the language of politics. I don’t think…  I have no aspiration towards political statements, contrary to what certain musicians do. I don’t think any of the band does, particularly.

Erez, a native Israeli who was discriminated against in the past at an undisclosed European venue, questioned Waters’ motives.

“Instead of saying don’t go here and there and play, if Roger Waters really wanted to be a peaceful person, why won’t you take a group of Israeli kids and Palestinian kids and make a camp of making music together. Use the power of music to put people together. But don’t just say ‘I’m taking a side, don’t share music with the Israeli people,” Erez said. “Why do the Israeli people or any other people have to get punished even though let’s say you disagree with their government? It’s just something I don’t understand how he even puts it together.”

Really? I don’t think Waters’ motives are all that hard to ascertain. But big kudos to Parsons and his bassist for pushing back against them.

Incidentally, I have a review of Alan Parsons’ new book The Art & Science of Music Recording at the PJ Lifestyle blog. If you’re into home music recording, it’s chock-a-block full of valuable tips from a man whose salad days were spent engineering for Pink Floyd and The Beatles.

“The White House’s Summit on ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ may be on day two, but some left-of-center personalities think the ongoing response from the Obama administration is nothing more than a charade,” Al Weaver writes at the Daily Caller:

On her Wednesday show, MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell called the White House’s summit on terrorism “a dog and pony show” due to the lack of high level officials from foreign nations.

“Here he has the summit, no heads of government coming, the participation has not been at a particularly high level. We’ll have foreign ministers, we’ll be speaking to the Egyptian foreign minister shortly, who will be participating,” Mitchell said. “But there hasn’t been a whole lot of support from Europe or the Middle East at a very high level for what the president is setting out here.”

“It seems to be more of a dog and pony show,” Mitchell added.

Nom, nom, nom! Given Mitchell’s role as a leading Democrat operative with a byline, I’m rather surprised to see her using that phrase, given its unfortunate association with her boss.

“Islamic extremism isn’t specifically named and won’t be during the three-day conference at the White House this week,” Katie Pavlich writes at Townhall. Because Crusades, y’all, apparently:

But the President touting a victory about core Al Qaeda isn’t the most bizarre part of the piece. Further down, Obama claims those engaging in violent extremism have “legitimate grievances” that must be addressed.

Governments that deny human rights play into the hands of extremists who claim that violence is the only way to achieve change. Efforts to counter violent extremism will only succeed if citizens can address legitimate grievances through the democratic process and express themselves through strong civil societies.

What, exactly, does Obama mean when he says “legitimate grievances”? The grievances Al Qaeda and ISIS hold are against infidels and Muslims who don’t go far enough to wage jihad on the West. These “grievances” aren’t economic, despite what the State Department would like us to believe.

Wait, it’s not like the president still parties with Bill Ayers. He’s way past his teenage Marxist radical chic phase, right?

Well, so much for that idea. Which is one reason why Roger L. Simon, our Maximum Pajamahadeen Emeritus asks today, “Is Obama a Manchurian Candidate?”

I am so NOT into conspiracy theories.  For me, it was always  Oswald with the Mannlicher-Carcano in the Texas School Book Depository.  The only conspiracy I ever believed in was the Black Sox Scandal.  And yet… and yet….

No, I still don’t believe it. It’s simply not true.  Barack Obama is not the Manchurian candidate. That’s just an excuse. The only problem is…

He’s worse.  He’s far worse.  Barack Obama doesn’t have to be a Manchurian candidate.  He can and is doing more damage without being one.  A Manchurian candidate could be exposed (yes, and possibly could not).  Barack Obama doesn’t need that.  He and the media and the brainwashed public that elected him are destroying our country (and the West) all by themselves.  They don’t need any secret conspirators in the back room.  They’re all there in public view. And how.

Obamacare and the sabotaging of the immigration system were bad enough, but they are absolutely trivial compared to what is going on now.  We have the next thing to a jihadist in the White House.  From the inability to name Islamic terrorists as Islamic, to the failure to name Jews as the objects of homicidal anti-Semitism at a kosher market, to the complete omission of the word Christian when 21 Christians have their heads cut off (simultaneously!) for being Christian, we have in the Oval Office not only the worst president in the history of our country, we have the worst person to be president.

Exit question: “Will there be a Festivus Pole at the summit?”

Update: Bonus exit question, which will “unexpectedly” never be asked of the president by an MSM journalist:

Marie Harf, Spokesbarbie for the State Department, after spending yesterday typing the equivalent of “nu-uhhhhh” yesterday over and over again on Twitter, then dropped by Wolf Blitzer’s CNN show to thumb her nose at her critics and pout that, as Noah Rothman writes at Hot Air, “My comment about ISIS needing jobs was ‘too nuanced’ for you boors:” 

When Wolf Blitzer observed that the poverty-breeds-terrorism theory is hopelessly flawed and that high-profile attackers like Osama bin Laden and Mohamed Atta were relatively comfortable and privileged, Harf declined to acknowledge his point. Though she issued an emphatic “absolutely” so as to convey that she was, in fact, listening to Blitzer and understood the words that were coming out of his mouth, she instead plunged into a pre-canned attempt at damage control as her response:

“If we looked around the world and say long-term we cannot kill every terrorist around the world nor should we try, how do you get at the root causes of this?” she asked. “Look, it might be too nuanced of an argument for some like I’ve seen over the past 24 hours some of the commentary out but it’s really the smart way for Democrats, for Republicans, military commanders, our partners in the Arab world think we need to combat it.”

There’s really no other way to interpret that. If you don’t think that statements like “we can’t kill our way out of this war” and asserting that ISIS militants “lack opportunity for jobs” oversimplifies the crisis in the Middle East, Harf does not believe that you are her intellectual equal.

In 2006, when the future president was watching his campaign team being assembled for him, he told one of hischief operatives, “I think I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.” And now with the B-team that invariably replaces an administration in its twilight, he has finally assembled the colleagues he deserves. And ISIS permitting, two more fun-filled years to go!

Oh and speaking of CNN and nuance:

Update: “More Marie Harf: I notice people don’t talk much about Joseph Kony’s Christian terror group anymore,” Allahpundit adds. “Another reason you don’t hear much about Kony is because — ta da — Harf’s boss hasn’t had much success in catching him.”

Still though, as I’m sure FDR would have told Congress on December 8th, 1941, it’s the hashtag that counts, right?

From the Network that Brought You Brian Williams

February 17th, 2015 - 10:54 am

Dispatches from the Reality-Based Community: State Department spokeswoman tells MSNBC host, “We cannot kill our way out of this war,” instead, as Allahpundit paraphrases Marie Harf at Hot Air, “we need to go after ISIS’s root causes, like lack of job opportunities:”

Via Newsbusters and Powerline. “We cannot kill our way out of this war,” says Marie Harf, reciting a bit of wisdom so conventional among America’s ruling class since Vietnam that it might as well be etched in granite above the entrance to the State Department. What’s less conventional is that it falls to Chris Matthews(!) to perform the reality check: We’re not going to job-create our way out of this war either. Any honest list of “root causes” of the Islamic State begins with the “Islamic” part, a point stressed repeatedly in Graeme Wood’s superb new essay on ISIS for the Atlantic:

But really, aren’t there more important things we should be going after than supplying ISIS anyhow? Take it away, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes!

According to MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes, global warming apparently trumps terror concerns such as ISIS. While much of the country is covered with snow and facing brutal cold, Hayes appeared on the February 17 edition of Last Call to warn: “The single most important thing we face globally is the fact that we are heating the planet to a level that is never before been tried, while also trying to have human civilization.”

Talking to host Carson Daly on the program that airs at 1:30 in the morning, Hayes predicted, “100 years from now, people will look back and be like, ‘How did they talk about anything else, ever?’ Like, didn’t they understand they were sitting tied to train tracks with a train coming?”

Wow, how does a guy like that sleep at night, after spending the day in a studio filled with electrically-powered hot lights, video camera, and computers, knowing that he’s working for a corporation with such an enormous carbon footprint, that blithely transmits for mere entertainment, such wanton carbon-producing activities as this and this. C’mon Chris — quit your job, shrink your personal carbon footprint, then successfully lobby Comcast to buy into your shtick and go off the air, and then maybe others will listen.

Fortunately, one man stands as the lonely voice of reason at the Peacock Network today:

Holy schnikes: was that really Ed Schultz, or has the soul of Norman Schwarzkopf suddenly assumed control of the MSNBC host’s body?

On his show this afternoon, Schultz—discussing the latest ISIS outrages—stunningly declared that we are in a “religious war” in which we haven’t been “strong enough,” and repeatedly raised the possibility that ground troops might be necessary.

But Ed, remember the Crusades, maaaaan:

Mike Barnicle: proud member of the Barack Obama “terrible deeds in the name of Christ” school of moral blindness . . .Joe Scarborough opened today’s Morning Joe with a protracted and impassioned plea for America—and in particular President Obama—to call out radical Islam by name. Mika Brzezinski was dubious, citing unspecified “difficult times” in the past when presidents used the wrong language. But taking Mika’s misgivings a giant step further, Mike Barnicle flatly declared that we can’t call radical Islam by name because “we’re the Crusaders.”

Finally, question asked and answered:

Hey, to answer Harf’s question and bring this post full circle, ISIS does take the MSNBC-approved concept of reducing the world’s carbon footprint by reducing population growth one sliced neck at a time pretty darn seriously in their own way. I’m sure, like the president, their views on gay marriage will evolve eventually, right?

Update: “I can’t believe that I have to write this, but here goes: no, people do not burn other people alive, or slit their throats in a mass human sacrifice, or set up slave markets, or crucify other people, or throw them off buildings, or any of the other things that death cultists do, just because those death cultists don’t have access to better jobs. Those death cultists like their jobs. It feeds something in their souls. You’d think that the State Department would know better… well, no, not really: but they used to be better at hiding that.  Six years of this administration’s reverse Midas touch is taking its toll.”

Plus, “General Marie Harf Through History!” “When you set out to take Vienna, take Vienna. But first, consider providing the Viennese with employment opportunities so as to lessen their agitation and mitigate the need for taking it at all.”