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November 2012


“Your first time shouldn’t be with just anybody. You want to do it with a great guy.”

So begins the now famous official Barack Obama for President campaign ad that was released last week. The ad depicts a young woman named Lena Dunham, who is apparently a celebrity among Americans in their teens and 20s.

After that opening line, Ms. Dunham continues on for another minute and a half discussing how having sex for the first time and voting for Barack Obama for president are really the same thing, and how young women don’t want to be accused of either being virgins or of having passed up on their chance to cast their votes for Obama next Tuesday.

I’ve never been particularly interested in so-called “women’s issues.” It never seemed to me that any party or politician was particularly good or bad for me due to the way they thought of women. That all changed with the Dunham ad for Obama.

With this ad, Obama convinced me he is a misogynist.

The Obama campaign’s use of a double entendre to compare sex – the most personal, intimate act we engage in as human beings, with voting – the most public act we engage in as human beings – is a scandal.

It is demeaning and contemptuous of women. It reduces us to sexual objects. When called on to vote, as far as Obama is concerned, as slaves to our passions, we make our decisions not based on our capacity for rational choice. Rather we choose our leaders solely on the basis of our sexual desires.

Beyond the ad’s bald attempt to impersonalize, generalize and cheapen the most personal act human beings engage in, the ad is repulsive because it takes for granted that what happens in our private lives is the government’s business.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is a totalitarian position.

THE WHOLE point of liberal democracy is to put a barrier between a person’s personal life and his or her government. A liberal democracy is founded on the notion of limited government. It assumes there are a lot of places where government has no role to play. And first and foremost among those places is the bedroom.

The theory behind limited government is that if the government is permitted in our private space then we are no longer free. When – as in the case of the Dunham ad – a political campaign conveys the message that there is something personally wrong with not actively supporting its candidate, it communicates the message that it sees no distinction between personal and public life, and therefore rejects the basic notion of freedom from government. And this is repugnant, not just for women, but for everyone who values freedom.

One of the oddest aspects of the Obama sex ad is that to believe that this sort of message can be effective, the campaign had to ignore mountains of data about the demographic group the ad targets – young college-educated women.

According to just about every piece of survey data collected over the past 20 years, young women in America today are more accomplished, more professionally driven, and more intellectually successful than their male counterparts. That the Obama campaign believes the votes of this successful, smart group of women can be won by appealing to their basest urges rather than their capacity to reason is demeaning and perverse and, one would think, counterproductive.

But it isn’t surprising.

The fact is that the Obama campaign – and indeed, the Obama presidency – has treated the American people with unprecedented arrogance and contempt. On issue after issue, Obama and his minions have eschewed intellectual argumentation.

On issue after issue they have preferred instead to attack Obama’s detractors as stupid, backwards, bigoted, bellicose and evil.

For instance, however one feels about current events in the Middle East, there is a legitimate – indeed critical – argument to be had about the nature of the Islamist forces the Obama administration is supporting from Cairo, Egypt, to Alexandria, Virginia.

The Muslim Brotherhood is the most popular movement in the Islamic world. It is also a totalitarian, misogynist, anti-Jewish, anti-Christian and anti-American movement. It seeks Islamic global supremacy, the genocide of Jewry, the subjugation of Christianity and the destruction of the United States.

There is an intellectual case to be made for appeasing these popular, popularly elected forces.

There is a (stronger) intellectual case to be made for opposing them. But rather than make any of the hard arguments for appeasing the Muslim Brotherhood, the Obama administration has deflected the issue by castigating everyone who opposes its appeasement policies as racist, McCarthyite warmongers.

If women who don’t support Obama are prudish geeks, Americans who oppose his appeasement policies are bloodthirsty bigots.

Then there was the attack in Benghazi on September 11 and the general Islamic assaults on US embassies throughout the Muslim world that day.

The acts of aggression that Muslims carried out against several US embassies on September 11 and since have all been acts of war against America.

The rioters who stormed the US embassies in Egypt, Tunis and Yemen and replaced the American flag with the flag of al-Qaida all violated sovereign US territory and carried out acts of war. The US had the right, under international law, to repel and respond with military force against the rioters as well as against their governments. Instead the White House blamed the acts of war on a US citizen who posted a video on YouTube.

Then there was Benghazi. In Benghazi, jihadists took this collective aggression a step further. They attacked the US Consulate and a US government safe house with mortars and rocket-propelled grenades. Their goal was to murder all the US citizens inside the compounds. In the event, they successfully murdered four Americans, including the US ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens.

In the six weeks that have passed since the attack in Benghazi, despite administration attempts to stonewall, and despite the US’s media’s inexcusable lack of interest in the story, information has continuously dribbled out indicating that Obama and his senior advisers knew in real time what was happening on the ground. It has also come out that they rejected multiple requests from multiple sources to employ military power readily available to save the lives of the Americans on the ground.

There may be good reasons that Obama and his top aides denied those repeated requests for assistance and allowed the American citizens pinned down in Benghazi to die. But Obama and his aides have not provided any.

Rather than defend their actions, Obama and his advisers first sought to cover up what happened by blaming the acts of war on that YouTube video.

When that line of argument collapsed of its own absurdity, Obama shifted to blaming the messenger.

His campaign accused everyone asking for facts and truthful explanations about what happened in Benghazi of trying to politicize the attack.

Obama himself has twice struck the Captain Renault pose and declared himself “Shocked, shocked!” that anyone would dare to insinuate that he did not do everything in his power to save the lives of the Americans whose lives he failed to save.

The reason specific sectors of a society usually feel compelled to vote on the basis of their sectoral interests rather than their general interests as citizens of their country is that they feel that one candidate or party specifically endangers their sectoral interests. Hence, the Lena Dunham ad, which insults women specifically, compels women to vote as women against Obama.

In the case of Obama’s appeasement of the Muslim world, there is no specific group that is hurt more than any other group by his policies.

As we saw in Libya, Egypt, Tunis, Yemen and beyond, his appeasement policies endanger all Americans equally.

This is not the case with Obama’s treatment of Israel and Jews. Obama’s supporters always highlight statements he has made and actions he has taken in relation to Israel and Jews that are relatively supportive of both.

To be sure, like every other US president, Obama has made some statements, and taken some actions, that have been supportive of Jews and of Israel. But unlike most other US presidents, he has made far more statements and taken far more actions that have been contemptuous and hostile to Israel and Jews. And this is inexcusable.

It is inexcusable that Obama uses coded anti- Semitic language to blame America’s economic woes on “fat cat bankers.” It is inexcusable that his secretary of state and his senior advisers have repeatedly made references to the so-called Israel Lobby to explain why America is supposedly hamstrung in its ability to sell Israel to the wolves.

It is inexcusable that Obama sends his surrogates before the cameras to refer to Israel’s prime minister as “ungrateful,” or to castigate Israel for permitting Jews to build homes in Jerusalem on land they own and for permitting Jews to exercise their legal rights to their property – simply because they are Jews.

Israel is the US’s most important ally in the Middle East. As such, it deserves to be treated well by the US – all the time. Any move to treat Israel with contempt is an unprovoked hostile act and therefore inexcusable.

So, too, US Jews have a right to make an honest living doing anything they wish – including working on Wall Street or owning a casino in Las Vegas. Jews have a right to be treated with respect by the US government. They should not have to be concerned about having their reputations maligned by politicians who use anti-Semitic tropes to gain political advantage.

Obama’s contemptuous vilification of Israel and successful American Jews make him bad for Jews specifically. Just as the Dunham ad exposes his underlying hostility towards women and so makes clear that women’s interests are imperiled by his presidency, so Obama’s repeated hostile treatment of Israel and American Jews make him a specific danger to Jewish interests.

MANY WOULD-BE deep thinkers have proclaimed that the presidential election is a choice between two competing narratives. But that isn’t an accurate description of the race.

Only Republican nominee Mitt Romney is presenting a narrative. In his narrative, the US faces very difficult problems in domestic and foreign policy alike. Romney has laid out his priorities for which problems he wishes to contend with, and has presented policies he will adopt to do so if he is elected next Tuesday.

On the other hand, by Obama’s telling, the real problems America faces are all the result of the empowerment of his political opponents and America’s allies.

Benghazi wouldn’t be a problem if his political opponents weren’t talking about it. Jihadists aren’t a problem. The problem is the people who say they are a problem. The national debt isn’t a problem. The problem is the “fat cat bankers.”

Women will vote for him because we are dimwitted sex objects. And Jews will vote for him because we are taken in by his occasional Borscht Belt schmaltz platitudes about Hanukka.

God help us all if his contemptuous assessment of his countrymen is borne out next Tuesday.

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.



Red lines and preemption

Just like the role of red lights in intersections, so would “red lines” reduce the probability of a military collision with a nuclear Iran. Clear red lines would upgrade the U.S. posture of deterrence and enhance preparedness against — and minimize the cost of — aggression. On the other hand, the absence of red lines constitutes a green light to aggression.

For example, the U.S. provided a green light to Iraq’s Aug. 2, 1990 invasion of Kuwait by failing to flash a red light during the July 25, 1990 meeting between Saddam Hussein and the U.S. ambassador to Kuwait. At the meeting, which took place during the height of the Iraq-Kuwait border dispute, Ambassador April Gillespie echoed Secretary Jim Baker’s self-destruct policy of engagement and diplomacy with rogue Iraq. She stated, “we have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait … We hope you can solve this problem using any suitable methods via the Arab League or via President Mubarak … All that we hope is that these issues are solved quickly.”

Prior to that meeting, the State Department clarified to Saddam that the U.S. had made no special defense or security commitments to Kuwait. Setting and implementing red lines would have deterred Saddam Hussein, and would have spared the U.S. the first, and possibly the second, Gulf Wars and their devastating human life, economic and military cost.

The U.S.’s failure to establish effective red lines to combat Islamic terrorism, and Washington’s determination to engage and negotiate with rogue Islamic regimes, has eroded the U.S.’s power of deterrence, constituting a green light to intensified anti-U.S. Islamic terrorism. For instance, the first attempt to blow-up the World Trade Center in 1993; the 1995/6 killing of 17 U.S. soldiers in Saudi Arabia; the murder of 300 civilians during the 1998 car-bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania; and the killing of 17 U.S. sailors during the 2000 suicide attack on the USS Cole. The absence of U.S. red lines and appropriate military response emboldened Islamic terrorists all the way up to 9/11.

The absence of red lines in the face of clear and present danger to U.S. diplomats in Libya; the U.S. suspension of disbelief; the subordination of unilateral U.S. military action to multilateral diplomatic considerations; and the submission of counter-terrorism to the ideology of engagement and negotiation, signaled — inadvertently — a green light to the bombing of the U.S. Consulate and the murder of the U.S. ambassador and the three American security personnel in Benghazi.

The Second World War could have been avoided if British Premier Neville Chamberlain had approached Hitler with thundering red lines rather than with appeasement. Moreover, a British-French steadfastness in defiance of Hitler’s pre-war could have triggered a revolt by the top German military command.

In order to be effective, the violation of red lines by terror-sponsor, Hugo Chavez-supporter Iran must be followed by a devastating, disproportional military preemption with no boots on the ground. The 1980 Iraqi invasion of Iran united the oppressed Iranian people and the tyrannical Ayatollahs against the mutual threat of occupation. However, “no boots on the ground” would clarify that the goal is not occupation, but the elimination of the oppressive regime. The Iranian people yearn for a regime-change, which they know cannot be realized via diplomacy or sanctions, which require the unattainable cooperation of China, Russia, Japan and India. They were betrayed by the West during their 2009 uprising, and will not attempt to topple the Ayatollahs while the U.S. refuses to confront Tehran. They are concerned that the U.S. is hell-bent on repeating the mistakes that paved the road to the nuclearization of North Korea.

A military preemption, with no boots on the ground, is a prerequisite for regime-change. It would constitute a departure from the U.S. apathy of 2009, thus providing a robust tailwind to the Iranian people in their attempt to overthrow the Ayatollahs.

In fact, a military preemption with no boots on the ground would prevent a nuclear war with Iran, while refraining from military preemption would — unintentionally — pave the road to a devastating nuclear war.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Oman all register with the U.S. Congress their anxiety about a nuclear Iran, which would devastate their pro-U.S. regimes. They urge the U.S. to preempt and relieve them of a lethal threat, just as Israel did in 1981, preempting Iraq’s nuclear drive, thus ridding pro-U.S. Gulf regimes of a nuclear Saddam Hussein. Will the U.S. heed the desires of the Iranian people and U.S. allies in the Gulf, thus sparing the U.S. the economic and national security devastation caused by a nuclear Iran in control of the Straits of Hormuz, the nerve center of global oil price and supply?


Unemployment ticks up to 7.9 percent in October
Associated Press
Friday, November 2, 2012
Unemployment ticks up to 7.9 percent in October
The unemployment rate inched up to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent in September because the work force grew. Still, President Barack Obama will face voters with the highest unemployment rate of any incumbent since Franklin Roosevelt. Read more…

Read more: http://times247.com/#ixzz2B4LuZIwx
Terror officials cut out of Libya response
Fox News
Friday, November 2, 2012
Senior counterterrorism officials felt cut out of the loop the night of the attack on the Benghazi Consulate, according to emails that were shared with Fox News by military sources who are familiar with discussions of how to respond the night of the September 11 attack. Read more…

Read more: http://times247.com/#ixzz2B4MBJjse
U.S.-based “research” nonprofit promotes Islamist message
Bob Taylor | Terrorism is never complacent. It is ongoing and perpetual.To prove the point, take a moment to view some YouTube videos that should make your skin crawl and shock you out of that complacency. All you need to know is in the translation at the bottom of the screen as a child prays for the destruction of Presidents Sharon, Bush and Obama. Read more…

Read more: http://times247.com/#ixzz2B4MdGjN3



Obama’s ‘black power’ past and present

When Barack Obama won the U.S. presidential election, I watched the celebrations on TV in Jerusalem and wished I could be happy. All the carry-on about seeing an African-American in the White House was contagious. I, too, wanted to get all teary-eyed along with Oprah Winfrey, and jump up and down like a love-struck teenager the way my female peers in the Israeli press were doing.

But my worldview wouldn’t let me celebrate the victory of a Democrat in general, and such a radical one in particular. I mean, Obama made even Hillary Clinton look like a member of the Tea Party.

Still, there was one aspect of the historic event that appealed even to me. With a black at the helm — put there by a clear majority of the American electorate — the Left’s “race card” would be rendered ridiculous. That was a “change” worth “hoping” for.

I should have known better.

If anything, the whole issue of victimhood based on skin color took a turn for the worse four years ago. And no amount of sudden, self-imposed separation on the part of the Obamas from their beloved Pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, altered that reality.

For some odd reason, the Jews who voted for Obama in droves didn’t find it problematic that their candidate and his wife had been attending Wright’s church every Sunday for 20 years, listening to his blatantly anti-American and anti-Semitic sermons.


http://frontpagemag.com/2012/bruce-thornton/the-legacy-of-islamic-totalitarianism/print/ The murder of four Americans in Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11, and the subsequent attempts by the Obama administration to blame the attacks on a YouTube video critical of Islam, exposed the delusional assumptions of Obama’s foreign policy. This notion that Western bad behavior––whether colonialism, support for Israel, or insults to Islam and […]



As we arrive at Election Day, some of the most crucial questions left unanswered about Benghazi are, in fact, the simplest. They are not “fog of war” questions. They are not questions rendered unanswerable by “conflicting intelligence.” They are questions that probe clear actions taking place not on the roof of a safe house under mortar fire, but inside the fortress-like, orderly and well-lit White House.

Who turned down requests for military relief for Americans under rocket and mortar fire? Who decided to suppress the fact that no protest preceded this attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya that claimed four American lives? Who ordered senior Obama administration officials to lie to the American people for two weeks by blaming a YouTube video for a “spontaneous” outbreak of violence that was, in fact, a coordinated terrorist assault?

President Obama declared he made his priorities about Benghazi clear “the minute I found out what was happening.” He said: “Number one, make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to.” If he issued an unexecuted order to this effect, there was a grievous breakdown in the chain of command that must be exposed. If, on the other hand, Barack Obama is lying, that must be exposed, too. It’s not a hard fact to find out.

But is Thomas Pickering, Obama’s choice to lead the Benghazi investigation, the proper person to search for it? On first glance, Pickering, a retired top diplomat and State Department official, sets off conflict-of-interest alarms for heading an investigation that must focus closely on the State Department. On closer inspection, however, so many red flags pop up around Pickering that his selection becomes another Benghazi-gate scandal in itself.

Pickering is one of those Washington insiders whose public record is less a matter of what he’s done than what he’s been: U.S. ambassador to Russia, Israel, El Salvador, Jordan, India, Nigeria and the United Nations. What such postings may obscure, however, is that the man is a foreign policy establishment leftist. It’s not just that Pickering serves as chairman of the board of trustees of the International Crisis Group, a George Soros group that, for example, advocated engagement with the Shariah-supremacist Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Pickering has personally explored opening relations with Hamas; pushed peace talks with the Taliban; argued for getting rid of, or removing to the U.S., all tactical nuclear weapons in Europe (and moving Russia’s to east of the Urals); and promoted bilateral talks with Iran without preconditions. And speaking of Iran, Pickering sits on the boards of two pro-Tehran groups, the American Iranian Council and the National Iranian American Council. The Iranian connections are additionally disturbing since one Benghazi scenario to be explored is whether Iran was involved, possibly in retribution for U.S. support of anti-Assad forces (including jihadists) in Syria.

Pickering’s politics place him squarely inside the Obama foreign policy mainstream, but that’s not the proper point from which to investigate an Obama foreign policy fiasco. Indeed, Pickering has expressed support for Obama’s Libya policy, “where,” as he put it in March, “we play a major role behind the scenes and … incorporate many other people in the activities we did in Libya.” Explaining the Libyan “experimentation” in “consultative leadership” that minimizes the U.S. military role, Pickering sounds as if he also endorsed the disastrous policy of relying on local jihadist militias for U.S. security.

On a panel titled “The Muslim Experience in America” at Washington’s National Cathedral, Pickering recently advocated “dialogue with the Iranians … informed by an effort to develop religious understanding and perhaps harmony,” while also bridging the “gulf” with Islam in America more generally. He also made an ominous call for “strong efforts … to deal with opinion leaders who harbor (anti-Islam) prejudices, who espouse them and spread them.” Then he took a question on how returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans might “complicate efforts to promote the acceptance of Muslims in America.” His answer, in a nutshell, was that it wouldn’t. He noted that soldiers “understand that as loyal Americans that kind of prejudice is not to be expressed.”

This drew a fervent rebuttal from co-panelist James J. Zogby of the Arab American Institute, who argued that “the racism [of soldiers] was really intense”; further, that it resulted from manuals and classes now expunged from Pentagon and Justice training. (“The FBI training program is shameful,” he added, referring to Islamic educational materials and trainers “purged” earlier this year.)

“There’s a direct correlation between the president of the United States and Islamophobia,” Zogby said, adding: “This hatred toward Muslims is largely concentrated with middle-class, middle-aged white people. And men. And it overlaps almost identically with the Tea Party.”

Racism, hatred and the Tea Party: Zogby put this whole concoction down not to jihad, not to the Islamic movement to spread Shariah (Islamic law), but solely to economic hard times. “And in the midst of all of that,” he continued, “this group of white, middle-aged, middle-class men looked around and saw a young African-American, educated at Harvard, with the middle name Hussein, get elected president of the United States. It fueled this phenomenon. It opened the door for the wedge issue to operate.”

Noting polls reflecting persistent doubts about the president’s birth certificate and other documents, Zogby concluded: “So there’s an overlay between the racism and the Islamophobia, and I think that we have to understand it and address it. And realize that there is this dangerous cancer that has affected the electorate. And is being used as a wedge issue.”

Pickering’s response? “Let me just go further. Jim, I agree with what you say about both domestic politics and the wedge issue. And the effect on the attitude toward the president. I’m deeply concerned. I don’t agree with you that the veterans are a problem. I agree with you we had a huge problem with the armed forces, and you’re right: It is the enemy.”

Those “racist” armed forces are “the enemy”? That’s a U.S. diplomat talking? Perhaps this most undiplomatic expression of institutional animus toward the military represents the mindset that helped lead us to Benghazi.



On this week’s Glazov Gang, Nonie Darwish, Jacqueline Brandwynne and Susanne Reyto discussed Why Libyan Guards Were Protecting an American Ambassador. The dialogue occurred in Part II and focused on the uncomfortable truths about the failure to send U.S. Marines to defend American diplomats in a volatile Muslim city. In Part I, the guests shared their immigration experience of coming to the United States and what led them to fall in love with America. Each guest voiced their dread of a potential re-election of Barack Obama, which they see as having catastrophic consequences for the country they have grown to love and cherish. Both parts of the two part series can be seen below:


Israel’s Gaza Dilemmas http://frontpagemag.com/2012/davidhornik/israels-gaza-dilemmas/print/ Tuesday night was a “quiet one” in southern Israel—just two rockets fired from Gaza, no injuries or damage reported. Monday night was “louder,” with 20 rockets and mortars fired. As the Jerusalem Post described it: Air raid sirens sent residents fleeing for cover in the Eshkol, Sha’ar Hanegev and Ashkelon coastal […]


http://frontpagemag.com/2012/richard-l-cravatts/benghazi-and-the-oslo-syndrome/ In their third and final presidential debate in Boca Raton on October 22nd, this one focused on foreign affairs, neither President Obama nor Governor Romney, somewhat inexplicably, addressed a still nagging question on the minds of many, both Republican and Democrat: namely, why, for some two weeks after the lethal attack on the Libyan […]



Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Stephen Schecter, Ph. D, a sociologist, poet, lecturer and performance artist. A retired university professor, he specializes in telling stories from the Hebrew Bible and offering analyses of contemporary issues using perspectives derived from Niklas Luhmann’s systems theory. He has delighted audiences across North America with his readings, lectures, and performances, and is available to speak to an audience in your area. Contact: shabbtai@gmail.com or 604-676-9697. He is the author of the new book, Grasshoppers in Zion: Israel and the Paradox of Modernity.

FP: Stephen Schecter, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Let’s begin with how and why you wrote your new book. How is it different from everything else that has been written about the situation of Israel and the Middle East?

Schecter: Thanks Jamie.

There are two unique aspects to my book. One is that I explain why so many otherwise intelligent people, Jew and non-Jew alike, continue to misread the situation, continue to advocate for a two-state solution, and continue to avoid holding the Palestinians accountable for the mess that exists. I explain this in terms of the blind spot that comes as a result of living in a modern society, whose political form is a democracy. Modern society engenders expectations that favor tolerance, inclusion, compromise. It teaches people to put themselves in the place of the other. It fosters the idea that society is made up of people and all people are equal and want basically the same things, share the same aspirations. This makes it difficult for modern societies to understand traditional societies which operate on opposing principles and to accept that what they say is what they truly want. Hence the failure of the West to take seriously that the expectations generated by the Arab Muslim world, a society based on kinship and cemented by Islam – that the West is infidel, promiscuous, decadent and deserving of obliteration – are exactly that.