Well, you heard it here first.
Today, the State Department released Benghazi-related email from the private server and one of the (at least) two private email accounts on which former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton conducted official business – recklessly and in violation of laws and guidelines relating to the exchanging and preservation of electronic communications. Within hours, the Obama administration was forced to concede that at least one of the emails contained classified information.
Mrs. Clinton has previously and dubiously claimed that she did not discuss classified information on her private email account(s). Despite today’s disclosure, she is standing by that claim as, apparently, is the State Department. Her rationale is that the information in question – which relates to suspects in the Benghazi attack and remains highly sensitive – was not classified “secret” at the time of the email exchange. Instead, it was upgraded to “secret” status just today by the FBI, which was plainly alarmed at the prospect of its disclosure.
Let’s make one thing perfectly clear: This Friday, hours before Shabbat is set to begin and one day before the holiday of Shavuot starts, President Obama walked into a D.C. synagogue and proceeded to tell Jews that their religious texts and traditions compel them to give away Israeli land for the creation of a Palestinian state.
That’s some big, clanging brass you-know-whats on display right there. It’s one thing to use a prayer breakfast to rip Christians a new one. Would he have the guts to walk into a church and do the same thing, hours before a holy day, one day before a holiday no less? Are we Jews that nice? That pathetic? Do we give the impression of being such pushovers that we turn our pulpits over to world leaders who crap on our identity and manipulate our covenant with God to suit their own personal political agendas?
The migratory invasion of Europe, uncannily but presciently foreseen in Jean Raspail’s much derided  1973 novel The Camp of the Saints,  is now taking place with near-irresistible force on the shores of that beleaguered continent. As National Post columnist Matthew Fisher reports , “Europe is in a deep quandary over how to respond to a huge and growing influx of desperate migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea from North Africa.” Fisher writes as a compassionate liberal whose sympathies go out to these poor wretches, victims of human traffickers, trusting their lives to rickety boats that frequently capsize. It is hard not to feel sympathy for these hapless multitudes.
At the same time, one must also remember that the overwhelming majority of asylum seekers form part of a vast transfer of Muslim populations to Europe, and that Christians in their midst have been thrown overboard . Equally distressing is the likelihood that as many as one million “would-be migrants [are] gathering on the Med’s southern shores” to make the crossing. At this rate it will not take long before Europe, already burdened by large, clamorous and disruptive Muslim enclaves, becomes the island of Lampedusa  writ majuscule.
Seventy years after World War II’s end, this Memorial Day would be a fitting time to visit a local monument.
World War II memorials—who notices them anymore? They blend into the background like telephone poles.
Chances are your community has a tribute to local men and women who served, but it’s likely you’ve never stopped to visit. Those who fought the Axis powers are out of mind now. “In three words I can sum up everything I have learned about life,” said Robert Frost. “It goes on.”
Still, it’s unbefitting that as we pass their chiseled names we fail to acknowledge these patriots for even an instant—especially on Memorial Day 2015, the 70th year after the end of World War II. From high-school history, we’re all familiar with the vast numbers. More than 400,000 Americans were killed during the war. Another 670,000 were maimed or wounded. They came from nearly every city and town. And they fell by the tens of thousands at Luzon, Normandy, Anzio, Guadalcanal and Okinawa.
This Army vet is trying to save their lives.
His Maryland driver’s license lists his name as “FNU Ajmal.” The FNU stands for “first name unknown.” It’s the way all his legal and identification documents appear, because this is what some bureaucrat slapped on the green card he received from Uncle Sam when he came to America.
His real name is Ajmal Faqiri. But the FNU that has become his legal name in America is a metaphor for the bungling that characterizes one of the noblest efforts to come out of our long wars in Afghanistan and Iraq: a 2008 decision by Congress to grant special visas to the Afghan and Iraqi interpreters and translators who put their own lives at risk to serve American troops.
“There are hundreds just like Ajmal who now go by F-N-U,” says Matt Zeller, a 33-year-old Army veteran of Afghanistan who now runs a nonprofit—No One Left Behind—founded to hold America to its promise to resettle interpreters such as Mr. Faqiri here in the U.S.
Secretary Clinton relied on a political crony for backdoor intelligence.
The State Department on Friday published about 848 of the some 55,000 pages of emails that Hillary Clinton personally decided were relevant before erasing the rest of her private server. Yet even this twice cherry-picked dossier—with a focus on the 2011-2012 Libya crisis—is revealing about the kind of operation she was running at Foggy Bottom. All that’s missing is the shoe phone from the “Get Smart” spy farce.
In the pre-Memorial Day weekend news dump, long-time Clinton plumber Sidney Blumenthal plays Maxwell Smart, passing along intel on Benghazi from half a world away. Secret Agent Blumenthal apparently derived this wisdom from his new business associates who were attempting to win contracts from Libyan nationals. Mrs. Clinton often circulates the memos among her top diplomats with comments like “useful insight” and “very interesting,” and they would often then push them down the chain of command, without identifying the source.
A remarkable concert reintroduces three Jewish composers who fled fascist Europe to America, where two of them pioneered a new art form—the symphonic film score.
In his program notes to the Pro Musica Hebraica concert at the Kennedy Center in Washington earlier this month, the historian James Loeffler points out that in 1927—just before the period in which the music on the program was written—a Russian-born musician by the name of Gdal Saleski published a “classic, biographical lexicon” under the title Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race.
At the time, this well-worn description of the Jews as a “wandering race” could still be invoked with pride, or innocence. Not for long, however. Loeffler observes that the post-Holocaust edition of the book would refer instead to composers of “Jewish origin,” and by then the book was more of a memorial volume. Still, that earlier phrase remains strangely resonant, evoking bards doomed to migratory journeys, singing of epic pasts, embodying the age-old fate of the disenfranchised Wandering Jew of Western mythology. And there was a certain element of truth in all of that—as the evening’s program bore out.
The US-Israel relations have experienced many crises, beginning with the Department of State’s opposition to the establishment of the Jewish State in 1948, the Department of State-inspired 1948/49 military embargo (while the British supplied arms to Egypt, Jordan and Iraq), and Foggy Bottom’s sustained refusal to recognize any part of Jerusalem as an Israeli territory.
However, since 1949, the US-Israel crises have always been “V”-shaped (quick to deteriorate and quick to rebound), not “U”-shaped (quick to deteriorate and prolonged to rebound), due to the healthy foundation of the bilateral relationship – as reflected by the attitudes of the American people and Congress – which transcend the Palestinian issue, the Arab-Israeli conflict, Israel’s bombing of Iraq’s nuclear reactor, Iran, etc..
The foundations of US-Israel relations were forged by the Bible-inspired Pilgrims of the 17th century and the Judeo-Christian-driven Founding Fathers of the 18th century, preceding the evolution of the organized Jewish community, the Holocaust, the establishment of Israel and the appearance of AIPAC on the American scene. These foundations have nurtured a covenant between the American people – and their state and federal representatives – and the Jewish State, which has accorded Israel a unique standing: a foreign, but also a value-driven domestic issue.
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“The Jewish Undergrounds Part 1: LEHI” describes the rise of the first underground to fight the British. Founded by Avraham “Yair” Stern, a poet and classical scholar, LEHI will carry out its war against the British chiefly through high-profile assassinations.
The Iraq debate that has erupted three, seven, eight, twelve years too late may end up disproving the old adage, “Better late than never.” Why? Too many glaring omissions from the conversation.
Let’s start with Numero Uno: Islam.
Once again, Islam is not part of the discussion.
This omission, as readers of the website know, is nothing new in discourse about American wars in the Islamic world. Many’s the time over the past dozen years when I attended Washington confabs where the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan were discussed at length by experts, military officers and elected officials, but Islam was not even mentioned — and certainly not as as a cultural-legal-political-religious roadblock against the US policy of “nation-building” through “hearts and minds” “counterinsurgency.” This is a failed policy, as we have seen.
Or have we? I think not.
So long as the discussion of Islam — its collectivist laws of supremacism and inequality, just for instance — is not part of the “what went wrong in Iraq and Afghanistan?” conversation, the answers will continue to elude us.