Our Man in Moscow How President Obama turned over control of America’s Middle East policy to Vladimir Putin. Michael Doran

The jihadists struck Paris on November 13. On that Friday the 13th, the band on stage in the Bataclan theater, where 89 people were murdered, was Eagles of Death Metal. The song it was playing was “Kiss of the Devil.” The details sound like something out of Hollywood, but the horror was deadly real. In total, the terrorists would murder 130 people, the vast majority in the prime of their lives.

The multiple massacre left France reeling, vulnerable, and also deeply confused—but not about the nature of the operation. Islamic State (IS) took responsibility for the attacks, which were clearly another spillover from the Syrian civil war. Their so-called mastermind, the Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud, had spent time in Syria as the head of an IS unit devoted to dispatching jihadis to Europe. Earlier in the year, in a profile in Dabiq, IS’s propaganda magazine, Abbaoud flaunted the fact that he was planning acts of mass murder. “We spent months trying to find a way into Europe,” he said, “and by Allah’s strength, we succeeded in finally making our way to Belgium. We were then able to obtain weapons and set up a safe house while we planned to carry out operations against the Crusaders.”

So the problem was clear, as was the threat: global jihad enjoyed a safe haven in Syria, which allowed it to build jihadi networks across Europe and the Middle East. French confusion stemmed not from identifying that threat but from figuring out what, practically, could be done about it. In the immediate aftermath of the attack, Nicolas Sarkozy, the former French president, stepped forward. France, he said, is “in the worst of situations. We are sufficiently prominent to be a target, but not prominent enough to eradicate these barbarians.” His solution: “[T]he Russians must be associated with the work of the coalition to destroy [Islamic State].”

Sarkozy’s proposal was not new. Vladimir Putin himself had first floated the idea of a unified alliance against Islamic State two months earlier, at the meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. At the time, the government of François Hollande responded tepidly, observing that Russia was less interested in defeating Islamic State than in propping up the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad: a vicious sectarian actor whose wholesale slaughter of Sunni Muslims was IS’s greatest recruiting tool. In the view of the French government, Assad’s barbarism, abetted as it was by the Russians and the Iranians, was thus also the main cause of the refugee crisis plaguing Europe; until he was deposed, a stable new order would never arise.

Russia’s Failed Adventure in Syria by Con Coughlin

Then there is the question of just how long Russia can afford to sustain its expensive military adventure in Syria. The Russian economy already has enough difficulties without having to bear the cost of Mr Putin’s latest act of military aggression.

Russian President Vladimir Putin may well come to regret agreeing to Iran’s request for Moscow to intervene militarily in Syria’s brutal civil war.

The shooting down of a Russian warplane over the Syrian border by Turkey has graphically illustrated the risks Moscow faces after the Kremlin agreed to intervene on behalf of Syria’s beleaguered President Bashar al-Assad.

Mr Putin took his fateful decision to launch military action in Syria after meeting Major-General Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s notorious Quds Force, in Moscow last August. Visiting Moscow shortly after the conclusion of June’s deal on the future of Iran’s nuclear programme (JCPOA), Soleimani delivered a blunt warning to the Russian leader that the Assad regime, Russia’s long-standing strategic ally in the Middle East, faced defeat without outside support.

The West’s Self-Destructive Global-Warming Penance By Kevin D. Williamson

The global-warming crusade (we mustn’t call it a “jihad”) is a strange exercise in Protestant virtue. Consider the endlessly repeated argument: “Even if the threat is being exaggerated; even if the models aren’t as reliable as they say; even if the scientific consensus isn’t quite so iron-clad as the activists claim, wouldn’t we be better off, still, if we consumed less, conserved more, and invested in efficiency and green alternatives?”

This is a question of virtue masquerading as a question of engineering.

There is One True American Faith, and Joel Osteen (in the shadow of whose church, a former professional-sports arena, I type these words) is its prophet, the latest in a line that includes such diverse figures as Cotton Mather, Norman Vincent Peale, and Dave Ramsey.

One current of that faith is the so-called prosperity gospel, the belief that if one performs the proper offices honoring God, then He will proffer blessings in this world, as well as in the life to come. Put another way, some Christians believe that the One who commands us to take up our crosses and follow Him also cares a great deal about who wins at bingo and whether you get a preferential rate on your mortgage. (“Not a sparrow falls,” etc.) Material prosperity of supernatural origin comes with some indentures, however, and thus we have the ancient American cult of thrift, the deep-seated prejudice against indulgence and extravagance (our Protestant friends sometimes lament the fact that Europe’s Catholic altars are garnished with priceless masterpieces), and the mania for efficiency in American life. The ancient Calvinists believed debt to be wicked; Ramsey, their modern torchbearer, merely insists that “debt is dumb, and cash is king.” King of kings, for some, to be sure.

Yesterday’s Giants, Today’s Dwarves The Left’s highly selective application of today’s standards to yesterday’s heroes. By Victor Davis Hanson

The latest round of condemning the past on the moral criteria of the present started with banning the Confederate flag from public places. Now it is on to airbrushing away progressive old white guy Woodrow Wilson, in Trotskyized fashion, from public commemoration.

But do those on the Left realize that they are rapidly becoming captives to the consequences of their own ideology? Their current effort to rewrite the past is doomed to failure for a variety of reasons.

Left-Wing Hypocrisy

First, this damnation of memory is not a balanced enterprise, but predicated on today’s notions of politics, race, and gender. No one is insisting that the great work of Martin Luther King Jr. be dismissed from the pantheon of American heroism because he was a known plagiarist and often a callous womanizer who did not live up to our current notions of gender equality. The racist eugenicist Margaret Sanger is still a saint.

No one is claiming that Franklin Roosevelt was a third-rate president because his State Department was full of racists and anti-Semites, who were not too bothered by reports reaching the United States about the Final Solution, and who green-lighted the illegal internment of Japanese-Americans.

And why is Mohandas K. Gandhi exempt from left-wing ethical erasure? Was not his creed of non-violence tainted by the fact that his opposition to apartheid did not include much sympathy for blacks, while his advice to Jews facing extermination in Europe was heartless and anti-Semitic?

Feds Delay Deal for California ISIS Supporter Putting off punishment for the man who wanted to blow up a “Zionist” daycare. Lloyd Billingsley

Despite a tepid response from the president, the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris may be causing some U.S. officials to take stateside ISIS recruits more seriously. On November 17, the U.S. Department of Justice was to make an offer to Islamic State supporter Nicholas Teausant, seeking to resolve his case without trial “with the possibility of a guilty plea to an as-yet-undefined charge” as the Sacramento Bee reported. Reports of a settlement have yet to surface and Teausant, 22, remains in custody.

Teausant served in the National Guard’s 118th Maintenance Company in Stockton. He lacked extensive military training but gathered information on bomb making and jihad tactics from the English-language al-Qaida magazine Inspire. The Muslim convert talked about blowing up his daughter’s day care center, which was “Zionist.”

In March 2014 Teausant sought to join ISIS and said “I would love to join Allah’s army” and “I want to go fight in Syria.” He would only return to America after President Obama was dead, Congress gone, and chaos prevailing across the nation. Teausant offered to make a video for the ISIS and leave his face “wide open to the camera.” He wanted to be a “commander” and if he landed on the FBI’s 12 most wanted list “that means I’m doing something right.”

Forget Micro-Aggressions! Get Serious About Micro-Treasons! Why it’s high time we define micro-treasons — and take action against them. Steven Plaut

The campus moonbatocracy in the US has become obsessed with “micro-aggressions.” These are supposed to be seemingly harmless words or forms of behavior that make fashionable minorities feel oppressed. Things like wearing a sombrero on Halloween or telling a black women that you are proud that she graduated cum laude. I guess a macro-aggression would be to ask her if she’d like some watermelon. You can see a collection of alleged micro-aggressions here.

Well, it occurred to me that the jihad against micro-aggressions (and using the word jihad of course is a macro-aggression against Moslems) just invites us to balance the scales of sanity be defining a new concept.

Comrades, it is time we define micro-treasons and begin to take serious action against them.

Micro-treasons are acts that are far less blatant than macro-treasons. The latter would include joining ISIS or a Marxist group or Students for Justice in Palestine or Peace Now. Micro-treasons are far less obvious. They come in various forms. Here are a few examples:

– Referring to terrorists as militants or activists;

Paradigms Lost: The EU What are Europeans willing to fight for? Bruce Thornton

Historian of science Thomas Kuhn famously argued that scientific progress comes not from an incremental, stepwise accumulation of knowledge, but rather from a “paradigm shift,” the relatively sudden collapse of an old paradigm under the weight of new evidence and new insights. Kuhn’s idea has implications beyond scientific research. Historical changes as well often reflect an abrupt shift, as the old received wisdom is no longer adequate for understanding new events.

For example, the collapse of the Soviet Union was anticipated by at most a handful of analysts and historians. Indeed, in 1984 esteemed economist J.K. Galbraith claimed, “The Russian system succeeds because, in contrast to the Western industrial economies, it makes full use of its manpower.” Yet in a few years looming economic collapse swept away the communist superpower that for half a century threatened liberal democracy. In an instant, the seemingly permanent Cold War geostrategical paradigm disappeared, taking with it the whole academic discipline of Sovietology.

Perhaps today we are witnessing the beginning of a similar paradigm shift: the end of the notion that universal progress driven by scientific and technological innovations will eventually improve human life and political order to the point where the tragic constants of human existence––conflict, violence, oppression, brutal autocracy, and violations of basic human rights––will disappear. Considering the current failures of the West both domestically and abroad, this faith seems on shaky ground.

Rename the Racist Democratic Party All hail the anti-racist racist Know-Nothing Party. Daniel Greenfield

Former Democratic President Woodrow Wilson may be purged from his alma mater, Princeton University. The old “Schoolmaster of Politics”, as he was known for his academic background at Cornell, Bryn Mawr, Wesleyan and finally president of Princeton U, has been thrown under the bus by its current president for being a politically incorrect progressive. Also known as a plain old racist.

Woody was indeed a racist. Though even on his worst day he was still about 40% less racist than a #BlackLivesMatter protester screaming about “whiteness”. But if Princeton wants to get rid of him, it also needs to jettison his motto, “Princeton in the Nation’s Service” or in its current transnational incarnation, “Princeton in the Service of the Nations”. And then it needs to get rid of the color orange that defines its brand. The orange is in honor of William III whose reign oversaw the slave trade.

But if Princeton has to rename anything carrying Woodrow Wilson’s name, are there any Democratic presidents that the party and its faithful partisans can keep?

FDR enforced segregation through red-lining and liked to tell jokes about “darkies”. Truman wrote, “I think one man is as good as another so long as he’s honest and decent and not a n–ger or a Chinaman.” JFK was disgusted by interracial marriage. LBJ liked to describe the Civil Rights Act as “the n–ger bill”. Jimmy Carter ran for governor promising that “I can win this election without a single black vote” and accused his opponent of liking Martin Luther King. Bill Clinton’s view of Obama? “A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee.”

Christie Snags Endorsement of Top N.H. Paper, But Will It Matter? By Bridget Johnson

New Hampshire’s largest newspaper picked from a crowded field to anoint their pick for the first-in-the-nation GOP primary, but didn’t leave the editorial board’s losers unscathed in announcing their favorite.

The Union-Leader endorsement might give a shot to the campaign of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who’s polling at seventh in New Hampshire but is focusing his attention on the early state 10 weeks away from the vote.

“As a U.S. attorney and then a big-state governor, he is the one candidate who has the range and type of experience the nation desperately needs,” wrote the paper’s publisher, Joseph McQuaid.

“We don’t need another fast-talking, well-meaning freshman U.S. senator trying to run the government. We are still seeing the disastrous effects of the last such choice. Chris Christie is a solid, pro-life conservative who has managed to govern in liberal New Jersey, face down the big public unions, and win a second term. Gov. Christie can work across the aisle, but he won’t get rolled by the bureaucrats. We don’t need as President some well-meaning person from the private sector who has no public experience.”

White House Tries to Have First Word on Visa Waiver ‘Enhancements’ By Bridget Johnson

The Obama administration tried to defuse growing bipartisan discontent with the visa waiver program by announcing enhancements to the program that eases travel from Europe.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the top Dem on the Senate Intelligence Committee, announced days after the Paris terror attacks that she and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) would be introducing a bill after Thanksgiving to crack down on what she called “the soft underbelly of our national security policies.”

The visa waiver program allows 90 days of travel visa-free to the United States from 38 countries, including European terrorist hotspots such as Belgium. In its lobbying corner: business and tourism industries. Some 20 million travelers use the program to arrive visa-free in the U.S. each year.

Feinstein and Flake quickly got to work crafting a bill to make “several changes” to the program, including the requirement that anyone who has traveled to Iraq or Syria in the past five years must apply for a visa through the traditional process of an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate.