http://ruleofreason.blogspot.com/2014/07/western-death-wishes.html It is quite obvious that Islam inculcates a death wish among Muslims, even in the “pacific” numbers of the “silent majority” of them. Wishing death on non-Muslims of every variety and stripe, even at the price of a Muslim’s own life, is the fundamental fabric of the creed, which lends itself to a life-stifling, […]
There is no change in U.S policy toward Israel that will win any true allies in the Middle East, despite what Arab leaders claim. They often assert that if only we would solve the Palestinian-Israeli problem first, relations would improve. This is a tactic. These leaders employ it simply to divert Western officials from making demands on them, instead of on Israel. The reality is that most Arabs view the U.S., its European allies and Israel with ineradicable contempt.
Remember the commentaries after 9/11 that “we should have been expecting something like this”? Some even implied that America was, in part, responsible for the attacks because of our one-sided policy toward the Muslim world, and in particular, “our support for Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land.”
Remember also, though, the news reports about the cheering and dancing in Palestinian Arab neighborhoods on 9/11? Perhaps these celebrations resembled the high-fives and other macabre gestures of glee made by some Palestinian Arabs following the recent kidnapping and murder of three Jewish teenagers in Gush Etzion, near the ancient Judean city of Hebron.
Guilt-riddled apologies for America’s alliance with Israel can only be explained by ignorance, by disingenuous attempts to curry favor with Arabs, or for some, by a darker motivation.
Given the pervasive Orwellian double standard applied to Israel by Western media and the often sanctimonious comments by U.S. and European politicians that Israel should be fearful of being internationally isolated, a reality check might be in order.
First, there is no change in U.S. policy toward Israel that will win any true allies in the Muslim world, no matter what its leaders claim. They often assert that only if we would solve the Palestinian-Israeli problem first, relations would improve. This is a tactic. These leaders employ it simply to divert Western officials from making demands on them instead of on Israel. The reality is that most Arabs view the U.S., its European allies, and Israel with ineradicable contempt.
No Arab state has recognized the legitimacy of a Jewish — or often even a pluralistic — state in Palestine. Egypt and Iraq have been persecuting their Christians, only because the Jews were all forced out already; and many Muslim countries cannot even abide each other, as seen every day in the Shia-Sunni conflict, still under way after centuries.
This struggle between Israel and the Palestinians is not about land. If it were, there would have been a two-state solution long ago. Former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat would have said yes to the Camp David Plan offered by President Clinton and former Israeli Prime Minister Barak. The current strife between the Hamas terrorist movement and Israel is just another stage in the permanent state of Arab hostility towards the existence of a Jewish state in the region.
Nearly eight years ago, I wrote The Third World Cometh…and Soon. The third world has now arrived, and America – as you and I know it – is all but gone.
The Obama-engineered “humanitarian” border crisis is the latest shameful example of just how far the government that is supposed to protect its own citizens will go, in order to further the total destruction of a once great nation. Once again the politically correct have pulled out a well-worn page from their playbook to implore that it is “for the children”- children who are “undocumented”. Many of these so-called “undocumented children” are disease ridden with scabies, lice and worse. In addition, it has been reported that a number of them are teenagers who are members of criminal gangs such as MS13 or members of jihadist terrorist groups.
In fact, former US Border Patrol Deputy Chief Ronald Coburn has stated that 1 in 5 illegal aliens crossing our border has a criminal record:
“One in ten of every adult male crosser[s] in this day and age more than likely already has a violent criminal record here in the United States, has been removed, and is returning. Another one in ten, making it one in five, is bringing with him or her their violent criminal tendencies and records from their own countries of which we don’t know yet” Coburn said.
The Obama administration and their open borders sycophants in the mainstream press want us to believe that these Central American “children” are refugees, when in reality the majority are 14 to 17 years of age and were sent by their parents who paid coyotes to bring them. Despite this suddenly being “news”, the so-called “crisis” actually began at least a year ago when the influx at the border increased five-fold.
Obama created this “crisis” by signaling to those living in Central America that the US government would allow those who crossed the border to remain, when he unilaterally enacted the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012 – and remain they have. With the aid of the administration, illegal aliens are being dumped into facilities in towns across the country without notification to those towns’ respective state governments. To add insult to injury, the liar-in-chief wants to spend $3.7 billion in taxpayer money to fund this operation, of which less than ten percent would go to customs and border protection. Thus far at least, the measure has not passed congress.
While Obama has been instrumental with his endorsement of this de facto amnesty, along with his encouragement of illegal aliens to come en masse, he is by no means alone in this destruction of our nation’s very foundation. In addition to the Obama-Reid-Pelosi axis, there have been plenty of so-called “conservatives” who have aided and abetted this agenda. George W. Bush was very pro open borders as is his brother Jeb. Add to that the usual establishment RINOs such as John McCain, Lindsey Graham and others – not to mention the US Chamber of Commerce, who have furthered the cause of national self-annihilation, and you have a veritable smorgasbord of globalists who would like nothing better than to erase the last vestiges of national and state sovereignty, and the common culture that was once the glue that did make us one people.
The nation’s No. 2 court on Tuesday slapped down the Obama administration in a 2-1 decision that could kill the president’s signature health-care law.
A less-prestigious federal appeals court issued a contradictory opinion the same day, but if the Supreme Court upholds the DC Circuit’s ruling, it will force Congress back to the drawing board to design a health law that is genuinely affordable, not just falsely titled “Affordable Care Act.”
The ruling in Halbig v. Burwell bars the federal government from handing out taxpayer-funded subsidies to people who buy ObamaCare plans in nearly two-thirds of the states – New Jersey and 35 others that refused to set up their own insurance exchanges.
Those subsidies took the sting out of being forced to buy pricey ObamaCare plans. If the ruling sticks, buyers in those states will have to pay full price, on average a whopping four times the subsidized price they paid this year.
Quadrupling the price would trigger a mass exodus out of the plans, causing what the insurance industry calls a “death spiral.”
Sadly, many of the people who’ll be forced to flee the exchanges had cheaper health coverage pre-ObamaCare – but the president’s law outlawed plans that didn’t contain all the bells and whistles he deemed necessary.
The DC Circuit ruling also chastised the Obama administration for rewriting the law to suit its own ends.
Judge Thomas Griffith, writing for the majority, declared: “The Constitution assigns the legislative power to Congress, and to Congress alone.” No more governing by fiat, Mr. President.
I argued in Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy that the illusion’s signature feature is a fantasy: By holding free elections, a people is choosing freedom: joining modernity, adopting pluralism and tolerance, rejecting revolutionary violence and totalitarianism.
Today, we are yet again being inundated with tales of Palestinian woe after Hamas’s familiar barbarism has provoked an Israeli military response. It thus bears remembering that the Palestinian people chose Hamas. What ever happened to all those Democracy Project paeans to self-determination? Hamas is Palestinian self-determination. Hamas was not forced on Palestinians. Hamas did not militarily conquer Gaza. No, Hamas swept parliamentary elections freely held in the Palestinian territories in 2006 – thrashing its rival, Fatah, which is only marginally less committed to the destruction of Israel.
Hamas did not suddenly become a terrorist organization after it was elected. Hamas was elected because it was a jihadist organization. It was elected because, by its own declaration, Hamas connects Palestinians to something they find attractive: the global Islamic-supremacist movement. Palestinians widely reject Israel’s right to exist. They regard not just Gaza, Judea and Samaria but all of Israel as “occupied Palestine.” Even those Palestinians who purport to accept the “two-state solution” see it as a way-station on the march to a one-state solution in which the Jewish state eventually ceases to be. Palestinians chose Hamas precisely because Hamas was seen as more dedicated than Fatah to the achievement of that goal—not to mention, more brutally competent.
At the time of its election, Hamas was well known to be the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian terrorist wing. It has been formally designated as a terrorist organization by the United States since the mid-nineties. Indeed, shortly before Palestinians endorsed Hamas at the ballot box, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted several Hamas operatives in the Holy Land Foundation case, a multi-million dollar terrorism financing conspiracy orchestrated by the Muslim Brotherhood in which several of the Brotherhood’s American affiliates—CAIR, the Islamic Society of North America, the North American Islamic Trust, among others—were proved to be complicit in the promotion of Hamas and thus designated as unindicted co-conspirators.
The Wall Street Journal gets close to the heart of the matter in its fine editorial this morning about Hamas’s “civilian death strategy”:
The people of Gaza overwhelmingly elected Hamas, a terrorist outfit dedicated to the destruction of Israel, as their designated representatives. Almost instantly Hamas began stockpiling weapons and using them against a more powerful foe with a solid track record of retaliation.
What did Gazans think was going to happen? Surely they must have understood on election night that their lives would now be suspended in a state of utter chaos. Life expectancy would be miserably low; children would be without a future. Staying alive would be a challenge, if staying alive even mattered anymore.
Does the United Nations ever read its own press releases? This week’s case in point being the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, known as UNRWA, which provides entitlement programs in Hamas-ruled Gaza — where Israel is now fighting to rid the enclave of terrorist tunnels and rockets.
For the second time in less than a week, UNRWA has discovered rockets hidden in vacant UNRWA schools in Gaza. UNRWA has disclosed these discoveries in press releases condemning “the group or groups” responsible for placing the rockets on its premises. But that is apparently no bar to UNRWA condemning Israel for shelling an UNRWA school.
Thus do we see the following lineup of UNRWA press releases:
July 17: “UNRWA STRONGLY CONDEMNS PLACEMENT OF ROCKETS IN SCHOOL”
July 22: “UNRWA STRONGLY CONDEMNS SHELLING OF A SCHOOL IN GAZA SHELTERING CIVILIANS AND CALLS FOR AN INVESTIGATION”
July 22: “UNRWA CONDEMNS PLACEMENT OF ROCKETS, FOR A SECOND TIME, IN ONE OF ITS SCHOOLS”
There are now questions about whether UNRWA, in turning over the first round of hidden rockets to local authorities, effectively turned them right back over to the terrorists of Hamas.
One might well wonder whether the real problem here is rockets being stored in UNRWA schools, or UNRWA running schools in what might better be described as terrorist rocket-storage facilities.
We had decided to spend a year with our children in Israel. We won’t let Hamas stop us.
In two weeks, we’re taking our four kids to Israel for a year — that is, unless El Al decides to stop flying into Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport.
Amidst the current conflagration in the Holy Land, friends and family have (cautiously, nervously) asked us if we still intend to go forward with our move. Our answer has been an anxious, fearful, gut-wrenching, but still resounding and joyful “YES!”
Our saga began this spring when we, parents and children, decided to spend the coming year in the Holy Land, where Michael would develop new business for his law firm among Israeli technology companies (while working remotely for his American clients), where Debra would study Hebrew and Jewish texts, and where our family as a whole would enjoy a year of religious, cultural, and linguistic exploration.
We would enroll our children in Israeli schools, where they would study every subject from math to Bible to history in Hebrew while also studying the Hebrew language intensively on the side, in addition to the usual suite of athletic and artistic extracurricular activities.
We would spend quality time with our many relatives and friends living throughout the country, and we hoped to travel to its four corners, from spelunking in the caves of Rosh HaNikra on the northern coast, to skiing the slopes of Mount Hermon on the Syrian border, to snorkeling among the reefs off Eilat in the south.
But, for a proudly Zionist, Orthodox Jewish family like ours, spending a year in Israel would always amount to far more than the sum of its parts, an all-encompassing religious, historical, and cultural experience that never relents. Michael and Debra were both privileged to spend extended periods living in the Jewish state as young adults, reveling in the cycle of holidays and enduring the mundane details of quotidian life, and we desperately wanted our children to share that experience.
And then thousands of rockets began raining down indiscriminately on civilian population centers in Israel — including the Tel Aviv suburb we’re moving to — ultimately prompting a State Department travel advisory and a temporary FAA ban on flights into Ben Gurion.
Monday, in National Journal, Ron Fournier considered President Obama’s odd scheduling choices over the last several days. Why, Fournier asks, did the White House see a game of pool as more presidential than crisis management? Fournier then ventured an answer:
[Obama] and his advisers are so certain about their moral and political standing that they believe it’s enough to make a declaration. If we say it, the public should believe it.
Indeed. But this dysfunction is not only due to arrogance. Ultimately, it’s a symptom of the administration’s strategic incompetence. Since January 2009, administration officials have never wavered in their belief that Obama’s rhetoric is a portal to policy utopia. If only, they assert, Obama would speak more, his agenda would come to fruition.
It’s easy to understand their assumption. Many of Obama’s White House staffers are inside-the-bubble warriors who served in the 2008 rapture-like presidential campaign and who helped haul Obamacare to legislative victory (if not popular support). These insiders are the Obama dream, and his “change” is one they will always believe in. Their self-righteousness feeds what I call the Obama matrix.
Correspondingly, White House officials simply can’t understand that many Americans have escaped the matrix and shut their ears to the standard Obamaite spin. Most damaging, these officials don’t seem to realize that rhetoric detached from action is the opposite of persuasive. And Obama’s failure of leadership isn’t limited to any particular issue. Just speak to congressional staffers. In public, Democrats will praise the president’s initiatives and Republicans will criticize him. In private, Republicans will still criticize Obama, but they’ll also offer possibilities for compromise. But what’s most interesting is what Democrats say behind closed doors (or in bars). Their typical complaint? Outreach from the White House is pathetic.
This has been a long-brewing problem for the president, and it’s fostered much rancor in D.C. Take John McCain’s disdain for the administration. In a 2012 interview with the Hill’s Alexander Bolton, McCain explained the alienating effect of Obama’s photo-op-style approach. “Let’s get real here,” McCain said. “There was never any outreach from President Obama or anyone in his administration to me.”
Were it only McCain, one might write off the complaint. But it isn’t just McCain. The Obama administration’s anti–charm offensive began in 2009, when the president withdrew without explanation the appointment of retired General Anthony Zinni as ambassador to Iraq. Obama has continued the pattern of snubs, keeping an unfriendly distance from Congress and even from his cabinet — in his memoir, former defense secretary Bob Gates provides a litany of examples of the Obama White House’s paranoia toward Pentagon personnel.
Even as the nation celebrates the passage of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, some liberals are using the occasion to bash Republicans as inheriting the legacy of Jim Crow — ignoring the fact that a higher percentage of Republicans in Congress voted for the Civil Rights Act than did Democrats.
President Obama recently accused the GOP of waging an all-out assault on voting rights. Speaking to a group founded by Al Sharpton, that non-paragon of racial healing, Obama claimed: “The stark simple truth is this: The right to vote is threatened today. . . . This recent effort to restrict the vote has not been led by both parties. It’s been led by the Republican party.”
Leaving aside the fact that clear majorities of both African Americans and Hispanics support voter integrity measures such as showing voter ID at the polls, Obama is using incendiary rhetoric in an area where reasonable people can disagree.
The American Civil Rights Union, a conservative group that has filed suit in favor of voter-integrity measures, has had enough of such tactics. Its leaders include former attorney general Ed Meese and former Ohio secretary of state Ken Blackwell. ACRU has just published a booklet on the real history of Jim Crow. Available for free at TheTruthAboutJimCrow.org, it sets the record straight on a hidden racial past that many Democrats would rather see swept under the carpet. While Richard Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” is constantly referenced in the media as a tool to attract white voters, less well remembered are Woodrow Wilson’s segregation of the entire federal civil service; FDR’s appointment of a member of the KKK to the Supreme Court; John F. Kennedy’s apathy toward civil-rights legislation; and the rise of Robert Byrd, a former member of the KKK, to the post of Democratic leader in the Senate in the 1980s.
Is it fair to remind people of the awful historical antecedents that can lurk within a political party? The study quotes author Bruce Bartlett as asking, “If the Republican party is to bear responsibility for Joe McCarthy through all time, why doesn’t the Democratic party have to bear responsibility for a century of racist leaders?”
The majority of the ACRU study focuses on the horror of Jim Crow, which at its core was a system of state-enforced laws that relegated blacks to inferior status. When police enforcement wasn’t enough, lynchings were used to keep Jim Crow in place. At least 3,500 blacks were lynched during the Jim Crow years, and people were murdered right up through the mid 1960s.
It was a really nice try.
Heritage Action (the activist arm of the conservative Heritage Foundation) invited Senator Elizabeth Warren to speak at an event dedicated to phasing out the Export-Import Bank. The Ex-Im, as it’s known inside the Beltway, has become a favorite target of populist forces on right.
The Ex-Im gives U.S. taxpayer-backed loan guarantees to the foreign customers of giant U.S. corporations that don’t need the help. It socializes the risk while privatizing the profits. Basically, it’s free money for big businesses like GE, Caterpillar, and particularly Boeing (hence the outfit’s nickname, “the Bank of Boeing”). Even Barack Obama, shortly before he became president, derided Ex-Im as “little more than a fund for corporate welfare.”
Ex-Im is up for reauthorization in September. Not surprisingly, both the people who get free money and the people who enjoy giving out money that doesn’t belong to them would like to continue doing so.
Since Warren is the dashboard saint of left-wing populism these days, denouncing big business and Wall Street at every turn, the puckish policy pixies at Heritage Action thought they could enlist her in their cause. As first reported by Bloomberg News, Heritage sent Warren a letter asking her to speak against Ex-Im “and the political favoritism it engenders.”
“We, like you, are frustrated with a political economy that benefits well-connected elites at the expense of all Americans,” Michael Needham, the head of Heritage Action, wrote. “Your presence will send a clear signal that you are going to fight the most pressing example of corporate welfare and cronyism pending before Congress right now.”
Warren didn’t take the bait. Her spokeswoman told Bloomberg, “Senator Warren believes that the Export-Import Bank helps create American jobs and spur economic growth, but recognizes that there is room for improvement in the bank’s operations.”
Warren’s decision to turn down the invitation sparked numerous charges of hypocrisy from Ex-Im opponents. As one writer for Reason magazine put it, “That’s right: The woman best known for demonizing big businesses nevertheless wants to maintain an outlandishly generous subsidy package for them.”