First We Define Anti-Americanism, Then We Crush It Again Even Harder


For season 2 of the 13 Weeks Radical Reading Regimen each weekday I juxtapose excerpts from my book readings with a selection of the previous day’s headlines and noteworthy excerpts. The goal is to make fresh connections between the events of the day and the bigger picture of history and humanity’s place in the universe.


So far in this ongoing series highlighting the six PJ Media columnists whose foreign policy writings have most shaped my views, I have discussed Michael A. Ledeen and Andrew C. McCarthy. Each of PJ’s writers have different areas in which they specialize. For Ledeen I particularly go to him for deeper understandings of political philosophy (see his masterful Machiavelli and Tocqueville books) and Iran. With McCarthy, he’s the authority on Islamism, the Muslim Brotherhood, and counterterrorism tactics. I still need to read McCarthy’s first book — Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad — and  Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy, (They’re both on my want-to-read list at the Freedom Academy Book Club and I’ll get to them soon enough. It’s part of the Radical Reading Regimen to always be reading at least one book about Islam. I’ll also have to make room for Ledeen’s books on fascism.)

Barry Rubin is PJ Media’s Middle East editor. For the last least three years, his Rubin Reports blog has served as the roadmap to the Middle East that I rely on the most. Written from the center of the storm in Israel, his typical columns are densely filled with facts and fascinating observations. Perhaps the crucial insight that I’ve gained from trying to keep up with Barry all these years — he tends to publish his loaded analyses very prolifically, not that I’m complaining! — is the depth of complexity to the Middle East. The game is not a chessboard between two sides, and there are rarely easy answers given that there are so many different actors on the field.

But Barry has gone out of his way, dedicated his life really, to trying to help people understand better the chaos in the Middle East. Recently he decided to GIVE AWAY 13 of his books. These titles of his are available in convenient online and downloadable PDF reading. It’s a lifetime’s worth of scholarship in the history and politics of the Middle East:

The Arab States and the Palestine Conflict

Assimilation and Its Discontents

Cauldron of Turmoil

Children of Dolhinov: Our Ancestors and Ourselves

Islamic Fundamentalism in Egyptian Politics

Istanbul Intrigues

The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East

Modern Dictators: Third World Coupmakers, Strongmen, and Populist Tyrants

Paved with Good Intentions: The American Experience and Iran

Secrets of State: The State Department and the Struggle Over U.S. Foreign Policy

The Truth About Syria

Tragedy of the Middle East

(Barry describes this as his favorite of his books that he’s written. Thus it’s the next on my to-read list for him after the one I’ve already started, below.)

Hating America: A History


The first of this haul that I’ve decided to dive into is Hating America: A History, which Barry co-wrote with his wife (a practice Ron Radosh has also engaged in and which I hope to explore with my own wife someday).

As the above list of Barry’s titles shows, he jumps all over the place in trying to understand the many different angles of the Middle East. I confess: foreign policy was what dragged me into leftist activism and then fueled my shift to conservative activism, but it was Barry’s writing above all others that turned me into a full-blown foreign policy geek. Because of him I feel like I could pick up just about any book on a Middle Eastern country, culture or an individual and be interested and excited to learn from it. For that — and for much else — I’ve thanked him privately and now I do so publicly.

The problem of anti-Americanism is a perpetual theme of Barry’s work.  In spite of the knowledge and erudition he jams into his articles, often Barry ends up with the same questioning, hands-up-in-the-air lament: how is it that so many of our nation’s leaders can be so naive in tolerating the rise of forces like the Muslim Brotherhood whose history of anti-Americanism is so out in the open? There isn’t a single answer to this question, but in the coming days I’ll introduce more PJ columnists whose writings offer important clues…

Tuesday Book Reading:

George Washington was the original American Badass: “Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and show the whole world that a freeman, contending for his liberty on his own ground, is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.” An excerpt from page 74 of Logan Beirne’s Blood of Tyrants


Tuesday Morning Headline News Round Up:

Lead PJM Stories:

Victor Davis Hanson: Obama Who?

One way or another, Obamacare will be repealed. If a House representative in 2009 had suggested that those in the executive branch should not enforce the employer mandate of the newly passed Obamacare, he would have incurred charges of being disloyal to the Constitution. Now the author of the bill calls it a “train wreck,” and the president chooses not to faithfully execute elements of his own law, his “signature” legislative achievement. With friends like these, why does Obamacare need enemies?

Why would the IRS, charged with enforcing Obamacare, wish its own employees to be exempt from the statutes it will enforce on others? Beware, Democrats: maybe Lois Lerner & Co. will do more freelancing and punish those who spiked their health care premiums. The more vehemently a group in 2009 demanded Obamacare — unions, government employees, pro-Democratic businesses — the more likely they were by 2013 to wish exemption from it. Is the lesson something like: “I should be excused from it, since I promoted it more than others”?


Jimmy Carter’s four years had short-term consequences — almost all negative — but little long-term damage. Obama’s eight years in theory should have far more lasting ramifications, given the huge debt, radical appointees, job-killing regulations, and dismal economy of the last five years. Yet we are learning that he is proving even a more inconsequential figure than was Carter. And so likewise in years to come, even his true believers will talk more of an iconic Barack Obama before and after he was president — but rarely during.


Richard Fernandez: An Administration’s Self-Deception: Jay Carney Becomes ‘Baghdad Bob’

Jack Dunphy: Again, Los Angeles Tries to Weed Out Mythical Police Profiling

Nicholas Ballasy: House Dem: Senate Immigration Bill Would Pass with ‘About 245 Votes’

Bryan Preston: 10 Things that Cost More than the Washington Post

3. John Carter. The 2012 Disney flop reportedly cost $300 million to make. Disney could have just bought the Post and, well, they’d still have lost money.

For some reason, no one has bothered to make animated gifs of John Carter.

PJ Lifestyle Featured on PJ Home Page:

Paula Bolyard: Will Your Kids Grow Up to Be Weird if You Homeschool Them?

Yes — but weirdness is good. Paula Bolyard is such an inspiration — she’s convinced me that when I have my own children homeschooling is the best option.

New at PJ Lifestyle Tuesday:

Chris Queen: Smearing the South: First Honey Boo-Boo, Now The Angry Ginger?

Theodore Dalrymple: Can Living With Chickens Protect Against Face-Eating Bacteria?

Kathy Shaidle: Sound Familiar? Rapist-Murderer Complains He’s Misunderstood

Kathy reminds us of Canada’s version of Ariel Castro…

Susan L.M. Goldberg: New Jersey Wines: Challenge Your Assumptions

The first of Susan L.M. Goldberg’s New Jersey wine blogging! Check it out!

Becky Graebner: Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli, And Maybe Stay for Dinner!

New at PJ Tatler on Tuesday:


Stephen Green: Feds Can’t Protect Their Own Secure Data

Bryan Preston: US, UK Evacuate Yemen

Bryan Preston: Obamacare: Aetna Pulls Out of Maryland, Connecticut

Insurance giant Aetna is sending strong signals that Obamacare is a major problem. Over the weekend the companyannounced that it would not sell individual insurance on the government-run exchange in Maryland. The state government had ordered Aetna to sell insurance below cost in the state. In a letter in reply, Aetna said that it could not do that, and therefore would not sell insurance in the state.

Bryan Preston: AG Eric Holder Billed Taxpayers for Travel to 2009 Gun Trafficking Strategy Meeting

Bridget Johnson: Lawmakers Ask Kerry to Protect Gays at Russian Olympics

A group of House Democrats and one Republican — former Foreign Affairs Committee chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) — are imploring Secretary of State John Kerry to take measures to protect gay athletes and fans at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), ranking member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, said the U.S. “must do everything we can to protect those Americans who are traveling to Russia for the Olympic and Paralympic Games this winter” in the wake of recent laws passed in Russia.

Those include making it a crime to publicly support gay rights and to publicly acknowledge one’s sexual orientation, and foreign nationals can be arrested and detained under the laws for up to 15 days.

“Russia’s anti-LGBT laws defy basic human rights that should be guaranteed to everyone at all times and in all places,” said Nadler. “These laws are completely contrary to the uniting spirit of the Olympics, which brings diverse nations together in a spirit of peaceful and friendly competition.”

A total of 88 members signed on to the letter to Kerry, which was led by Nadler.

Bridget Johnson: Gohmert: If We Probed Benghazi, We Wouldn’t Have to Close Embassies ‘Like Big Cowards’

Bridget Johnson: CNN, NBC Pledge to Move Forward with Clinton Shows Despite RNC Protests

Seton Motley: The Solution to Government Snooping? Privatize Collection and Search of Data

Bryan Preston: RNC’s Priebus: If the DNC Can Knock Fox, We Can Ban MSNBC and CNN

Bridget Johnson: Congressman Suggests VA Partnership with Law Schools to Help Backlogged Vets

Bryan Preston: Yep, This Sounds Like Classic Workplace Violence to Me…

Bryan Preston: Another ‘Why Won’t Those Horrible Republicans Learn from Romney and Move to the Middle Already?’ Media Story

Bryan Preston: State Department: Don’t Call Our Swift Exits from the Middle East ‘Evacuations’ (Update: Hmm. Separated at Birth?)

Bryan Preston: Hey, Look, the Obama Administration Finally Files Charges Related to Benghazi

Bridget Johnson: D.C. Delegate Hopes Bezos Can Save WaPo from the Scourge of New Media

Bryan Preston: States Where Obamacare Will Cost You More Money

Bryan Preston: This Just Might Be One Reason Mitt Romney Lost

There are moments to think, and there are moments to fight. If the GOP doesn’t kill off Obamacare now by defunding it, when will the GOP kill it off? People will start getting their addictive freebies next year. Once those start rolling out, who’s strong enough to step up and stop it?

Mitt Romney is a good man, he should be president now and we would be in better shape as a nation if he was, but “fighter” is not a word I’d use to describe him.


Bryan Preston: Texas State Senator Wendy Davis Earns a New Nickname: ‘Abortion Barbie’

Stephen Kruiser: So That Happened: Media Matters Founder Brock Supports RNC On CNN, NBC Hillary Flicks

Stephen Kruiser: Think Progress: White Economic Supremacy Same As In 1963 Or Something

Stephen Kruiser: POTUS to Leno: ‘Spies? What Spies?’

Stephen Kruiser: Obama Says Private Capital Should Have Bigger Role In Mortgage Market, Isn’t Struck By Lightning

Stephen Kruiser: Mine Just Ate Rocks And Drew A Lot: The Child Stars Of Instagram

Do we have a social media strategy to start working on the 2028 youth vote?


Also Around the Web Tuesday:

Via Drudge:

AP State Dept. urges US citizens to leave Yemen

New York Post: I’m a guy again! ABC newsman who switched genders wants to switch back

“I’m asking all of you who accepted me as a transgender to now understand: I was misdiagnosed.

“I am already using the men’s room and dressing accordingly,” he noted.

“It’s so odd to be experiencing this from the other side; as recently as last Friday, I felt I was indeed a woman, in my mind, body and soul.

“Even though I will not wear the wig or the makeup or the skirts again, I promise to remain a strong straight ally, a supporter of diversity and an advocate for equal rights and other LGBT issues including same-sex marriage.”

Ennis had previously told friends that he suspected his sex mix-up happened because his mother gave him female hormones as a child that made him look and sound young to prolong a bit-part acting career, but he ended up developing breasts and started thinking he was a woman.

He explained he had gone to the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Md., for testing last month to understand why his mind and body changed from male to female. He said he learned it was a hormone imbalance that could be fixed.

A week after he was discharged, his wife rushed him back to the hospital because he thought he was having a seizure and was experiencing a “drastic loss of memory.”

Don added that he now feels “fantastic” as a man again.

E-Marketer: Digital Set to Surpass TV in Time Spent with US Media

Average time spent with digital media per day will surpass TV viewing time for the first time this year, according to eMarketer’s latest estimate of media consumption among US adults.

The average adult will spend over 5 hours per day online, on nonvoice mobile activities or with other digital media this year, eMarketer estimates, compared to 4 hours and 31 minutes watching television. Daily TV time will actually be down slightly this year, while digital media consumption will be up 15.8%.

The most significant growth area is on mobile. Adults will spend an average of 2 hours and 21 minutes per day on nonvoice mobile activities, including mobile internet usage on phones and tablets—longer than they will spend online on desktop and laptop computers, and nearly an hour more than they spent on mobile last year.

Recently my wife and I decided to make a kind of strange TV decision: we canceled our cable but kept the local channels and HBO. Between those, Netflix, and YouTube we’ve got more than enough to fall asleep to at night and relax with on weekends.

US News and World Report: Michelle Obama’s Newest Initiative: Using Hip-Hop to Fight Obesity

CNN Money: Where Obamacare premiums will soar

Ohio, meanwhile, said there would be an average increase of 41% by comparing a trade association’s report of premiums for all plans available today with the average premium expected on the exchange.

Indiana officials said prices would rise an average of 72%. But they were looking at the cost of providing care, not actual premiums.

All of these rate hikes must still be reviewed by the federal government and do not take into account the fact that Americans with incomes up to $45,960 for an individual and $94,200 for a family of four will be eligible for federal subsidies.

At The Daily Beast:

Lloyd Grove: The Grahams Sell ‘The Washington Post,’ and Woodward Is Sad

Josh Rogin: Exclusive: John McCain on His Meeting With the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo

“We met some Muslim Brotherhood representatives. They were senior level people,” McCain told The Daily Beast Tuesday in an exclusive interview from Cairo, adding that the officials requested to remain anonymous. “They believe things are going to get a lot worse before they get better. They demand that [deposed President Mohamed] Morsi get released. They believe it was a military coup and they are very far apart from the military and the new government.”

McCain and Graham also believe the removal and imprisonment of Morsi and several other Muslim Brotherhood leaders was a military coup, one that could mandate a cutoff of $1.3 billion of U.S. military aid to Egypt. The Obama administration has avoided saying whether or not they believe there was a coup in Egypt.


“We have determined that we do not need to make a determination on Egypt,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said this week.

Nevertheless, McCain and Graham told the Muslim Brotherhood leaders that they should be open to negotiations with the new government if and when the government makes some concessions that international actors are pushing for, such as letting up on the arrests and prosecutions of the leadership of the deposed group.

“We told [the Muslim Brother leaders] that in our view, the best way to resolve this issue was to renounce and condemn violence, that they should be willing to negotiate if some of the brotherhood were released from prison,” McCain said. “We were not negotiating, we were just saying what we thought had to be done to get back to the negotiating table.”

John McCain choosing to meet with the Muslim Brotherhood is morally equal to meeting with the Mullahs of Iran, the leaders of Al Qaeda, or the Nazi Party. Or Ariel Castro or Nidal Hasan.

At Salon:

Is the word “marijuana” racist?

A certain faction considers marijuana itself pejorative and racist, based on a longstanding theory that narcotics agents in the 1930s chose that word over the more scientific cannabis when crafting drug laws; the word is of Mexican-Spanish origin and thus, the belief is, sounded more exotic and sinister. For others, cannabis is too pretentious to take seriously […] The act of actually inhaling is also a linguistic minefield. In the modern world of medical marijuana, to talk of “getting stoned” is an immediate giveaway […] Patients medicate, even if the need to do so is no more pressing than that South Park comes on in fifteen minutes.

Fine, like Campbell, believes that changing the debate about marijuana involves updating its lexicon: for him, pot becomes medicine, farmers become “ganjapreneurs.” Fine argues that it would be better to call medical marijuana dispensary products names like “Redwood Serenity” and “Heavenly Recovery” instead of off-putting, non-medical nomenclature like “Satan’s Pussy.” His ultimate point is that prohibition doesn’t work, and that, while the demand for marijuana will not radically change, the source can: whether marijuana is taxed and regulated, and whether it is sold by farmers or criminals is a matter of policy. And policies can be changed.

Should marijuana be treated as a recreational drug like alcohol and cigarettes or a legitimate medicinal drug like opiates? I’ve long argued the latter. The problem is not the cannabis plant itself — the problem is a stoner culture that promotes irresponsibility and immaturity. Cannabis can either be refined into medicine to relieve pain and improve quality of life or it can be an escape just like alcohol. Invoking a frequent 2nd amendment formulation – drugs don’t kill people, people kill themselves through abusing drugs.

At the Daily Mail:

Is this the anti-Jersey Shore? MTV creates new reality show about young virgins as they contemplate sex for the first time

Samsung IS working on a smartwatch called the Galaxy Gear, patent application reveals

At Mediaite:

Josh Feldman: Rand Paul Lets Loose On Radio Show: ‘Southern Avenger’ Staffer Wasn’t Racist, This Is A ‘Bunch Of Crap’!

Hunter resigned a few weeks ago, but on NPR’s On Point, Harwood challenged Paul’s “pretty strong association with him.” Paul insisted that while “many of the things he wrote were stupid,” the media unfairly maligned him and falsely branded him as a racist. Paul said, “None of it was racist,” and attempted to bring the conversation back to his civil libertarianism.

But Harwood continued, citing an Economist article claiming prominent libertarian politicians have risen to power with the help of alliances with “racist and nativist movements.” Paul quickly shut him down before he could continue.

“Don’t you have something better to read than a bunch of crap from people who don’t like me? I mean, that won’t make for much of an interview if I have to sit through reading after recitation of people calling me a racist.”

Dear Rand, it’s not YOU PERSONALLY that we don’t like, it’s your ACTIONS in choosing to revive your father’s evil, antisemitic, anarchist, ANTI-AMERICAN (Murray Rothbard wanted us to go back to the Articles of Confederation), paleo-libertarian, Old Right ideology. But I imagine you’re smart enough to already know that…

At Buzzfeed:

33 Skeletor Affirmations To Get You Through Even The Worst Day


At Slate:

William Saletan: Fear of Immortality — Americans don’t want to extend their declining years. But what if you could stay young?

Would you like to live forever? Probably not. According to a new survey by the Pew Research Center, most Americans don’t want to stick around much longer than current life expectancy. Sixty percent don’t want to live past 90. Thirty percent don’t want to live past 80. People who make lots of money don’t want longer lives any more than the rest of us do. Nor do people who think there’s no afterlife.


What’s driving our misgivings? Much of it is uncertainty about what kind of lives we’d be living. Would medical progress keep us feeling young? Or would it only stretch out our declining years?

The survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults, taken four months ago and released today, packs several surprises. First, Americans are far more optimistic than is justified by current medicine or technology. By the year 2050—just 37 years from now—25 percent of the respondents think it’s at least probable that “the average person in the U.S. will live to be at least 120.” Sixty-nine percent think “there will be a cure for most forms of cancer.” Seventy-one percent think “there will be artificial arms and legs that perform better than natural ones.” Scientifically, there’s no reason to expect any of these achievements in that time frame.

What BS. “Scientifically” there are lots of reasons to think that by 2050 we’ll have tons of amazing technical advances. Here’s one: exponential growth of technology.

At Politico, hat tip AH:

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross at Politico: Put a sock in it!

There is no reason to divulge that Al Qaeda’s communications have been penetrated. Gaining access to its inner discussions is no easy task: This organization is aware of America’s awesome surveillance capabilities and has for more than a dozen years adapted its communications to minimize the U.S. government’s chances of intercepting them. Al Qaeda is so secretive that there have been periods of years during which U.S. intelligence lacked the information it needed to have basic insights into the group’s inner workings.

But now officials, both unnamed and named, are busily telling the media exactly what messages from Al Qaeda give rise to concerns about the present plot. Based on newspaper accounts alone, neither Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s successor as Al Qaeda’s emir, nor Nasir al-Wuyashi (reportedly the new general manager) will have any doubt about which messages have been intercepted — and thus they will have no doubt about which channels of communication have been compromised. And they will adapt.

The timing of these disclosures is all wrong, tactically and strategically. Officials are explaining how we know what Al Qaeda is planning before the current plot has been disrupted, and before any members of the attack team (or teams) have been apprehended. Since it’s clear from the number of diplomatic posts that have been closed that U.S. intelligence doesn’t know where the attackers are, Al Qaeda has the option of telling the plotters to stand down, after which more secure means of communication can be established. And they can try again.

And these foolish leaks come just as Al Qaeda seems to be regrouping. Recent large-scale jail breaks are going to, without question, bolster jihadist capabilities. Announcing how the United States has compromised Al Qaeda communications when in the midst of a growing threat is unbelievably irresponsible.

At National Review:

Victor Davis Hanson: Obama’s Watergates

The truth about Benghazi, the Associated Press/James Rosen monitoring, the IRS corruption, the NSA octopus, and Fast and Furious is still not exactly known. Almost a year after the attacks on our Benghazi facilities, we are only now learning details of CIA gun-running, military stand-down orders, aliases of those involved who are still hard to locate, massaged talking points, and the weird jailing of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula.

We still do not quite know why Eric Holder’s Justice Department went after the Associated Press or Fox News’s James Rosen — given that members of the administration were themselves illegally leaking classified information about the Stuxnet virus, the Yemeni double agent, the drone program, and the bin Laden document trove, apparently to further the narrative of an underappreciated Pattonesque commander-in-chief up for reelection.

Almost everything the administration has assured us about the IRS scandal has proven false: It was not confined to rogue Cincinnati agents; liberal and conservative groups were not equally targeted; and there were political appointees who were involved in or knew of the misdeeds.

I think it is a fair guess that had the public learned the truth about the Benghazi deaths — that a videomaker had no role in the violence and that the administration was paranoid about drawing attention to an ascendant al-Qaeda, U.S. missile-running, and lax diplomatic security — or about the IRS targeting or the NSA surveillance or the AP/Rosen monitoring, Barack Obama would have lost a close election. All these scandals had their geneses before the 2012 election, and all were adroitly hushed up until after Obama’s second inauguration.

Rich Lowry: The Prison-Industrial Complex

Thomas Sowell: School for Scolds


It is hard to read a newspaper or watch a television newscast without encountering someone who has come up with a new “solution” to society’s “problems.” Sometimes it seems as if there are more solutions than problems. On closer scrutiny, it turns out that many of today’s problems are a result of yesterday’s solutions.

San Francisco and New York are both plagued with large “homeless” populations today, largely as a result of previous housing “reforms” that made housing more expensive and severely limited how much housing, and of what kind, could be built.

The solution? Spend more of the taxpayers’ money making homelessness a viable lifestyle for more people.

Whether in housing, education, or innumerable other aspects of life, the key to busybody politics, and its endlessly imposed “solutions,” is that third parties pay no price for being wrong. This not only presents opportunities for the busybodies to engage in moral preening but also to flatter themselves that they know better what is good for other people than these other people know for themselves.

Dennis Prager: Yes, Ariel Castro Is a Monster

In August 2002, a homo sapiens known as Ariel Castro abducted 21-year-old Michelle Knight, the mother of a two-year-old boy. In April 2003, he abducted Amanda Berry, a day before her 17th birthday. And in April 2004, he abducted 14-year-old Gina DeJesus.

For the next ten years, these girls were regularly raped, kept in chains, beaten, humiliated, and almost never allowed to see the light of day. When Michelle Knight became pregnant, Castro starved her for two weeks and kicked and punched her in the stomach to induce an abortion. He repeated this method of pregnancy termination on Knight four additional times.

It is important to try to understand the magnitude of the sadism and other forms of cruelty and suffering inflicted by this creature.


We have substituted therapeutic language for moral language. That’s why we have substituted “sick” for “evil.” And in that way, too, we have transformed monsters into victims.

A frequent theme that I write about, often inspired by Prager: male sexual nature unrestrained is monstrous. Ariel Castro is not a man — he is an evil, primitive, barbarian male who victimized women in the same way male sharks treat female sharks. Being a man means learning how to control, tame, and channel the male sex drive into loving one wife forever and creating a family.

Daniel Pipes: The Right Moment for Israel’s Danny Danon?

Danon’s moment may have arrived. As Netanyahu appears to be making excessive and immoral concessions to the Palestinian Authority, Danon has emerged as a leading dissident ready to challenge his prime minister (remember “lunacy”). Should Netanyahu feel no longer welcome in his own party and leave it to found a new one (following exactly in Ariel Sharon’s 2005 footsteps), Danon will be a potential candidate to lead Likud and win a subsequent election.Finally, the vision: Its fullest articulation is found in his 2012 book, Israel: The Will to Prevail, where he sketches an ambitious and contrarian view of his country’s foreign policy. Arguing that “history shows us Israel is often better off when she acts on her own behalf . . . even if that means contravening the wishes of U.S. administrations,” he concludes that the Jewish state “fares best when she makes decisions based on her own best interests.” Jerusalem, he holds, should pursue its goals “with or without backing from her allies.” This argument, commonplace enough for most states, is audacious in the case of small, beleaguered Israel.


On a personal note, through the two decades since Shamir, I have constantly looked for someone with the character, energy, skills, and vision to lead Israel. I have known Danon since 2009 and have concluded that he has the necessary qualities. I hope and expect he stays true to his principles and rises to the point where he can end the recent desultory politics of the Jewish state and bring them in line with the country’s many remarkable achievements. Much hangs in the balance.

At PowerLine Blog:

Scott Johnson: Ledeen on the Benghazi Cover-Up 

John Hinderaker: Benghazi: Is the Alleged CIA Cover-up Real? 

Over the last week, there has been a lot of buzz about a supposed CIA angle to the Benghazi story. Specifically, it has been alleged that a substantial number of CIA employees were on the ground in Benghazi, carrying out a mission that involved rounding up Libyan weapons and transferring them to rebels in Syria. Further, it has been reported that the CIA has leaned on its employees not to cooperate with Congressional investigations or the media, and it has been suggested that the CIA’s role in Benghazi may be related to the al Qaeda attack there that killed four Americans. All of these reports are unsourced, but they have been treated as credible by many. Steve reported on the story here, and I expressed skepticism as to how the recent claims fit with what we thought we knew about Benghazi here. Michael Ledeen questioned the claim that the CIA was arming Syrian rebels here.


John Hinderaker: “I Did It” Major Hasan Proclaims: So What Took Four Years?

Wednesday Morning Book Reading:

An excerpt from page 3 of Barry Rubin and Judith Colp Rubin’s Hating America: A History which you can download in full from the GLORIA center here:



See the previous four weeks’ link round-ups:


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