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Belmont Club

Climbing Mount Hillary

June 10th, 2014 - 5:25 pm

Al-Qaeda, once described by president Obama as being on the road to extinction, has now seized Mosul, the third largest city in Iraq. The Christian Science Monitor’s Dan Murphy wrote “the scale of the catastrophe, as troops loyal to Mr. Maliki flood north and troops controlled by the Kurdish Regional Government rush west and south, can’t be overstated. Chicago is the United States’ third-largest city. Munich is Germany’s. Osaka is Japan’s.”  The Washington Post puts it more bluntly: “ISIS: The al-Qaeda-linked Islamists powerful enough to capture a key Iraqi city”.

Whether it will be this generation’s Buôn Ma Thuột remains to be seen. But things aren’t much better across the border in Syria, where ISIS threatens to wrest control of the boundary between the two countries.  Who can stop them? Like the NVA in 1975 they know who’s not coming.  The only thing between them and the gates of the presidential palace are the locals themselves.

Slate’s Joshua Keating writes “after the fall of Mosul today, some terrorism experts, including Charles Lister of Brookings  and Peter Neumann of King’s College, suggest that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria—the militant group that took over the city, is coming close to actually being the “Islamic State” implied by its name”.

As Liz Sly notes in the Washington Post, ISIS, which began only about a year ago as the Syrian offshoot of al-Qaida in Iraq, now “effectively governs a nation-size tract of territory that stretches from the eastern edge of the Syrian city of Aleppo to Fallujah in western Iraq – and now also includes the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.”

Islamic rebels are on a rampage in Libya as well. “The newly elected Libyan prime minister has taken charge of his office with the help of an Islamist militia … Maiteg, who was recently elected prime minister by Libya’s Islamist-dominated parliament … held his first Cabinet meeting behind closed doors.” To quote Hillary Clinton’s surprised reaction in the wake of the Benghazi consulate attack, “how can this happen in a country we helped liberate, in a city (Benghazi) we helped save from destruction?” The cry of surprise speaks volumes because it explains Benghazi and a whole lot of other things too. It’s the cry of a rube who’s just bought a bridge in Brooklyn and found it belongs to someone else.

Shifting the view to Southwest Asia, the Washington Post reports that “Pakistan militants launch new attack on Karachi airport; Taliban claims responsibility.” The Taliban, you will remember, is that defeated organization written off by president Obama.

Nake Kamrany, writing in the Huffington Post, looks across the border and advises Obama to end the war in Afghanistan by getting a deal with the Taliban while he can. “President Obama’s magnanimous decision to gain the freedom of U.S SGT Bowe Bergdahl after five years captivity in exchange for five Taliban Guantanamo prisoners (each after 12 years of captivity) may pave the way for broader peace agreements and an end to the war in Afghanistan.”

A “peace agreement” in this context can only mean surrender. But even the chance to grovel may be slipping away. Kamrany points out that the surrender barge is leaving the pier and may leave Obama alone on the dock with about 10,000 zombies converging on the quay. “During June of 2013, when the U.S. still had leverage, a diplomatic opportunity for a peaceful resolution availed itself when President Obama ordered a peace conference with the Taliban. The Taliban acquiescent and opened an office in Doha, Qatar. Afghan President Karzai opposition and some U.S. State Department diplomats congruence did not capitalize on the opportunity for reconciliation.”

And now it may be too late to avert humiliation.  Still why not eat the crow? Obama can tell Journolist to spin it as victory and may still need the Taliban’s help to deal with the next al-Qaeda front: Western cities. The VOA writes, “Jihadist Recruitment in West Difficult to Stop”.  The war is coming Mainstreet USA. The UK recently discovered that “militants” were planning to take over British schools under an operation codenamed Trojan Horse.  It “was an organized attempt by Islamists to co-opt schools in Birmingham, England and run them according to their extremist ideals.”

Investigations by Ofsted and the Education Funding Authority in 21 schools found evidence of an organised campaign to target certain schools by Islamists and that head teachers have been “marginalised or forced out of their jobs”.

Golden Hillock School, Nansen Primary School, Park View School – all run by the Park View Educational Trust – Oldknow Academy and Saltley School were placed in special measures after inspectors found systemic failings including the schools having failed to take adequate steps to safeguard pupils against extremism.

The Islamists planned to use the exquisite PC rules of Western society and the mantle of “multiculturalism” to gradually recruit their own Taliban, al-Qaeda and Boko Haram right under the noses of our great leaders. All these developments cast doubt on the famous State assertion by the Department, made at the height of Obama’s presidential re-election campaign: that al-Qaeda is on the “path of decline that will be difficult to reverse”.

The contrary seems true: the Obama administration is on a losing streak that will be difficult to reverse.

By itself the terrorism defeats would be serious, but taken in the broader context of other Obama administration failures, they leave little of the of administration’s narratives intact.  Suppose it’s all a crock?  What if al-Qaeda in ascendance; suppose Obama has lost against Putin in Eastern Europe; maybe China is expanding in Asia. And zounds, what if Iran will actually get a nuclear bomb despite the lifted sanctions. etc. etc.

It is the possibility that all the reports have been cooked, all the narratives faked that gives the most unease. Riffling through a list of Obama’s public policy achievements is like opening a briefcase of money with which you’ve been paid only to discover it contains nothing but newspaper cut as hundred dollar bills.  An electorate which believed it had struck a golden vein with the Lightworker must now reconcile itself to the contingency that it’s been paid in worthless scrip.

In an example of just how far the rot has gone, the NYT editorial board wrote on June 5, “the administration has now lost all credibility” with regard to its telecommunications data collection program. Would that that the failures were limited to the NSA, though that in itself is a debacle so great that in any other administration it might have brought down the president. In the Obama administration, the NSA scandal simply had to get in line behind VA, Obamacare, IRS, the borders enforcement collapse, etc.  It’s Dense Pack. There are so many catastrophes one loses track.

What is most troubling about the administration’s failings is that they are generalized. They are everywhere you look. Failure is not the exception but the rule. The medical term sometimes applied to this condition is metastasis. “Metastasis, or metastatic disease, is the spread of a cancer from one organ to another.” This means the problem can longer be treated with local excisions. The cancer now affects the whole organism. Untreated, this metastasis is of course a death sentence for the Obama administration. The only question must be how much else will be pulled down before the disease runs its course.

While first step must be an acceptance of the seriousness of the condition, the next must surely be the identification of an alternative to Hillary Clinton as the standard bearer of the liberal future.  Hillary Clinton’s unsinkable candidacy contains the key symptom of the disease afflicting the Democratic Party.  She has been described as “representing a third Obama term” which if accurate means she is Exhibit A of all that ails them.

Despite Obama’s faults, Hillary may be the one person who makes him look good by comparison. Selecting Hillary as antidote to Barack Obama is like choosing to floss with razor blades after chewing on broken glass. It is a sign of a major hardware failure. The motherboard is fried, the hard disk has crashed, the power supply has blown. Or maybe all three at once.

If this is the best alternative the Democratic party can put forward then the political system is truly kaput.  Clinton, even more than Obama, symbolizes the sheer sterility of Democratic power politics, which now is stuffed like a Christmas turkey full of stale ideas from the era of Karl Marx and Tammany Hall and bizarrely called “progressive”.

While many pundits have focused on the Tea Party as the symbol of rebellion in American political life, they have failed to focus on a far more important mystery: why has  there been no rebellion or insurgency within in the Democratic Party? The fact that the dog did not bark in the night-time means something altogether sinister. The current crisis is unlikely to be resolved solely on the efforts of conservatives. The Tea Party, doughty though it may be, must find allies to make a difference. But where are those allies? They must of necessity include passengers on the liberal train, but who is willing to say basta!

Although dramatic news developments will continue to grab the spotlight the key things to watch for in the next months are the outcome of the struggle between the Tea Party factions and the GOP establishment and the possible emergence of a non-Clinton candidate for 2016.


Recent items of interest by Belmont readers based on Amazon click-throughs.

Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway
Quantum: Einstein, Bohr and the Great Debate About the Nature of Reality
The Rise of Christianity: How the Obscure, Marginal Jesus Movement Became the Dominant Religious Force in the Western World in a Few Centuries
On the Psychology of Military Incompetence
We Were Liars
The Idiot Vote: The Democrats’ Core Constituency
Troubleshooting & Repairing Audio & Video Cassette Players & Recorders
Fellowes 9-Foot Heavy Duty Indoor Extension Cord – 99595
Gardman R616 Fold Away Garden Kneeler and Seat
Spirit Horses
Storm Over The South China Sea
The War of the Words (The World of Information)


Did you know that you can purchase some of these books and pamphlets by Richard Fernandez and share them with you friends? They will receive a link in their email and it will automatically give them access to a Kindle reader on their smartphone, computer or even as a web-readable document.

The War of the Words for $3.99, Understanding the crisis of the early 21st century in terms of information corruption in the financial, security and political spheres
Rebranding Christianity for $3.99, or why the truth shall make you free
The Three Conjectures at Amazon Kindle for $1.99, reflections on terrorism and the nuclear age
Storming the Castle at Amazon Kindle for $3.99, why government should get small
No Way In at Amazon Kindle $8.95, print $9.99. Fiction. A flight into peril, flashbacks to underground action.
Storm Over the South China Sea $0.99, how China is restarting history in the Pacific
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Top Rated Comments   
They can win battles. They can kill and wreck and ruin lives and blight children and destroy objects and desecrate shrines. The totalitarians can chain much of the earth in a long night.

They cannot win the war. They cannot create. They cannot deliver. All they can do is squat over a shrinking plot. Even if it expands spatially it shrinks by every other measure. In the long run we are all dead. That was always so. In the long run they are not only dead but in a dead end. Freedom cannot be abolished and neither can the truth be. While there will be much loss and waste the future will be better because it must be. They cannot touch the stars.

The Virginia primary will induce more panic among the Democrats than among the Republicans. Time magazine was doing spadework for the DNC in trying to push GoP hostility towards Cruz and the Tea Party. Republicans who dislike Cruz will now know that attacking him and defending Obama is suicide.

The threads of the Left's cheap suit are now unraveling faster and in more places than they can respond. Of all the blatant breeches of law before us the current invasion of Arizona and Texas by illegal aliens is the most promising one that Republican state governors can use to challenge the administration. If the Governors declare themselves under attack, and declare that women accompanying this migration are "camp followers of an invading army" then two things can happen. First Congress can offer them help without deferring to the Executive. Second is that children born of those women will not be US citizens. At that point things would get interesting.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bubba never, ever stops looking in the pink. That's the problem.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
OT but big-Cantor defeated in primary. Virginians give verdict on amnesty!!!
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (94)
All Comments   (94)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Hmmm, the Islamists got the better deal on the Bergdahl trade, by either 5:1 or 12:1 (depending on whether you count years or man-years.) I like Kipling's ratio much better.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
More good news of Hill and Buraq's "success stories":
ISIS loots more than $400 million dollars from Mosul Banks.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-06-11/al-qaeda-jihadis-loot-over-400-million-mosul-central-bank-seize-saddams-hometown
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-06-11/mapping-al-qaedas-grand-ambitions-iraq-and-syria

ISIS:
Territory: Check
Money: Check
Oil: Check
Arms: Check

I don't know if we stand anymore of these kind of successes from Buraq and Hillary.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Remember, the Benghazi video was created by the same bunch that breached (along with a company then owned by the current CIA Director) candidate Obama's files at the state dept passport office in the spring of 2008, then got the Obamacare website contract but didn't really do the work, and now holds the contracts for the base closings across Afghanistan (and before that, Iraq).

I can't figure out the meaning of this, but whatever it is, it isn't what those guys at Valley Forge had in mind.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
“This means the problem can longer be treated with local excisions. The cancer now affects the whole organism. Untreated, this metastasis is of course a death sentence for the Obama administration.”

I am afraid that Obama may be the disease the same way that Lou Gehrig had Lou Gehrig disease. The organs are other organs of government and they had the germ of infection long ago, waiting for the cue to set them forth in a malignant tumor that has entwined so completely with the host that we are told that to unravel the murderous tendrils would be worse as a cure than just increasing the size and breath of the totalitarian state until the whole organism, we the people have been excised to rot on the surgeons floor.

Yes, we the people have been infected by a cancer. We are the organism struggling against the ravishes of the social disease also known as progressivism. Our immune system is vulnerable to the seven vices with greed being the most vulnerable of all. It is where the disease attacks the cell, at its largesse attachment sites.

The cures are all the same because diseases do not leave by discouraging the cells to quit accepting foreign largesse. Those cures being the palliative of national bankruptcy, local excisions, massivedectomy, or gamma radiation. When the treatment begins, it is better to apply the remedy on each cell delivered with nano precision. Think globally, act locally.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ok, AM, after rereading THAT, i think you're finally ready for THIS:

http://www.theresnothingnew.org/index/WWIII_Updates
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
I normally enjoy your headlines, Richard. This morning, my tired brain in the initial stage of caffeinization (sic), read this headline and dutifully started forming the mental picture before a few circuit breakers in the self preservation nexus tripped, thereby preventing the destruction of the possibility of a future sex life. To echo a previous commenter (we really need those numbered posts again), please don't use "mount" and "Hillary" in the same essay again.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
While many pundits have focused on the Tea Party as the symbol of rebellion in American political life, they have failed to focus on a far more important mystery: why has there been no rebellion or insurgency within in the Democratic Party?

I read through the comments, and there are many fine answers that address various facets of the general question. The one thing I did not see mentioned is that the ideological pigeonholes that once held the now-mythical "honest liberals" are currently occupied by the GOP establishment.

The Clintons and the rest of the McAuliffe DLC invaded and conquered Rockefeller Republican territory. While ostensibly pulling the democrat party to the center as so loudly bemoaned by the far left at the time, that contact with big business, Wall Street, and the country club set spread democrat marxist, anti-American counterculturalism like syphilis. The impeachment, Bush v. Gore, the anti-GWOT movement, the Kerry defeat, and Hurricane Katrina further and further unhinged the democrat mainstream. The 2006 mid-terms rewarded and reinforced that behavior, so the entire democrat party took a dive off the left edge of the map.

There was no shortage of GOP ready and willing to fill the vacuum.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh, GOD.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
aw, relax --we can get 'em back --we can trade some hostages for 'em.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
"As Liz Sly notes in the Washington Post, ISIS, which began only about a year ago as the Syrian offshoot of al-Qaida in Iraq, now “effectively governs a nation-size tract of territory that stretches from the eastern edge of the Syrian city of Aleppo to Fallujah in western Iraq – and now also includes the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.”

This is a big F'ing Deal, and it stains badly Hillary as well as Buraq.

ISIS has likely taken over AQ as Terrorist Threat No. 1, and Buraq and Hillary in concert helped create them. They were nobodies; now they are a near nation-state with tons of our military hardware at their disposal and potentially a big chunk of Iraq's oil within their grasp. Way to go Hill! Add Benghazi, the Russian Reset, Start II, the Syria mess, Iran nukes, and FastN'Furious to this latest disaster and you've got one humdinger record of gross incompetence and treasonous negligence.

Only a bumbling RINO like John McCain or Mitt Romney could not beat Hillary to a bloody, unrecognizable pulp with this issue.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Back to Mosul. I was wondering why the chart of the oil price looked so bullish. If they can take Mosul just by turning up, Baghdad is only a matter of time. Taking 3 million barrels a day out of the market will do the trick handily. $150 per barrel here we come. No wonder the Chinese are stockpiling frantically at 1.4 million barrels per day:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/10839701/China-steps-up-speed-of-oil-stockpiling-as-tensions-mount-in-Asia.html
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
"stockpiling against tensions in Asia', AKA 'preparing for what they are getting ready to do'.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Time for Barry to sell off the strategic oil reserves.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
they are trying to do just that --to "give hard working Americans a break at the pump", y'know.

Not to mention, bleed down our 200 day ex-import supply. China is climbing past a 60 day ex-import supply, no doubt the Obama gang would like to level that strategic power differential.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
6 Percent of Veterans Sympathize with the Bergdahl Swap.

"Veterans in the USA Today survey were also among the most likely to express anger with Bergdahl himself, who is accused of abandoning his post in Afghanistan before his capture by the Taliban. Some 33 percent said they were angry with Bergdahl, while just 6 percent said they sympathized with him.

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/208767-obama-takes-hit-in-new-polls-over-bergdahl#ixzz34IWPFKn4
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Female Lindbaugh caller suggests loading the poor kids on C-5s and flying them back to their parents in Mexico.

I'd suggest south of Mexico City so the Mexican government will have time to find their parents.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
We don't have enough C-5s and C-17s. And a lot of those kids are Central American. Mexico has strict immigration laws.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
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