Clinton’s False Email Equivalence Hillary tries to wrap Powell and Rice into her email security breach.

A week ago Hillary Clinton’s allies accused the State Department Inspector General’s office of belonging to the vast right-wing conspiracy. So you have to admire her chutzpah this week in trying to spin a memo from that same office to exonerate her use of a renegade private email server. All the more so because the new memo strengthens the case that she mishandled national secrets.

In Thursday’s Democratic debate, Mrs. Clinton hailed a new document from State IG Steve Linick that summarizes his view of the email practices of five prior Secretaries of State. The memo says he found a few instances of “sensitive material” sent to the private email accounts of Republicans Colin Powell and staffers to Condoleezza Rice.

“Now you have these people in the government who are doing the same thing [to Powell and Rice’s aides] they’ve been doing to me,” claimed Mrs. Clinton—that is, “retroactively classifying” documents. “I agree with Secretary Powell, who said today this is an absurdity.”
Ah, yes, the old everybody-does-it defense. Mrs. Clinton wants Americans to believe it was common practice for top diplomats to use private email, and that they are all now subject to overzealous interagency squabbling over classification. By Friday Democrats were spinning that Mrs. Clinton is a political victim for having been singled out. Her media phalanx is buying this line, though the Powell and Rice details prove the opposite—and how reckless Mrs. Clinton was by comparison.

Marco Rubio’s New Hampshire Crucible The Florida senator has become everyone’s target as he pitches optimism and conservative unity to build on his Iowa momentum.By Joseph Rago

Laconia, N.H.

Lake Winnipesaukee has a monsoon season, apparently, but sheets of rain did not prevent voters from packing the former mill where Marco Rubio spoke Wednesday. The fire marshals closed the doors, as they did the night before in Exeter and would later that evening in Dover. Fresh off his surge in Iowa to a stronger-than-anticipated third, the senator is drawing crowds beyond the merely curious that feature some ineffable, heightened quality—something approaching genuine enthusiasm.

Mr. Rubio’s message is the same as it always was, with a well-rehearsed rap that matches Ted Cruz’s. But his political bet is that some New Hampshire voters want their anger tempered by optimism and a cheerful note or two.

The Florida senator’s combination of optimism and despair can nonetheless be contradictory. America is the greatest nation in the history of the world, he says, but it’s at risk of decline amid extraordinary challenges, and by the way if the present is terrible, look forward to the glorious “new American century” of the future.

Mr. Rubio can be as acid as Mr. Cruz or Donald Trump about the failures of President Obama and the diminished potential of American life, and he says the election is no less than “a referendum on our identity as a nation and a people” (as he says at every stop).

Jihad Comes to Africa Boko Haram, al-Shabaab and other ruthless groups threaten to turn the continent into global jihad’s deadliest front By Yaroslav Trofimov

Africa’s Muslim belt is getting bloodier.

Boko Haram—the regional affiliate of Islamic State and one of the world’s deadliest terrorist groups—has accelerated its campaign of almost daily suicide bombings. Just last month, the group massacred 86 people, many of them children, in the Nigerian village of Dalori and 32 others in the Cameroonian village of Bodo.

To the west, al Qaeda’s regional franchise has been waging war on the government of Mali and expanded its reach last month to the previously peaceful country of Burkina Faso, slaying at least 30 people—many of them Westerners—in an assault on a luxury hotel. In the east, another al Qaeda affiliate, Somalia’s al-Shabaab, overran an African Union military base three weeks ago and slaughtered more than 100 Kenyan troops.

The Hillary Fantasy It’s duller than Bernie’s, but no less unrealistic.By James Taranto

Having been blindsided from the left for the second time in as many presidential campaigns, inevitable Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is trying to mount a defense. Here’s the thrust and parry with immoderate moderator Rachel Maddow, from last night’s Clinton-Sanders squirmish on MSNBC:

Maddow: Secretary Clinton, Sen. Sanders is campaigning against you now, at this point in the campaign, basically arguing that you are not progressive enough to be the Democratic nominee. He has said that if you voted for the Iraq war, if you are in favor of the death penalty, if you wobbled on things like the Keystone Pipeline or TPP [the Trans-Pacific Partnership], if you said single-payer health care could never happen, then you’re too far to the right of the Democratic Party to be the party’s standard-bearer.

Given those policy positions, why should liberal Democrats support you and not Sen. Sanders?

Mrs. Clinton: Well because I am a progressive who gets things done.

Before elaborating, she went off on three separate tangents. First, she informed viewers that “the root of that word, progressive, is progress.” (The word duh, by contrast, is sui generis.)

Second, she listed a bunch of Democrats, past and future, who supposedly wouldn’t be pure enough to meet Sanders’s definition of a progressive: President Obama; Vice President Biden; Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, the state in whose primary next week Sanders is expected to trounce Mrs. Clinton; and “even the late, great Senator Paul Wellstone.”

So according to Mrs. Clinton, even Paul Wellstone wasn’t as progressive as Sanders. If that’s meant to be an appeal to the left, it seems like one on Sanders’s behalf, not Mrs. Clinton’s.

Third, she went on about gun control, the only issue on which she is undeniably to the left of Sanders, hailing as he does from a constitutional-carry state. “I don’t think it was progressive to vote to give gun makers and sellers immunity,” Mrs. Clinton said. She said something about immigration, then finally circled back to the “progressive who gets things done” theme:

So we could go back and forth like this, but the fact is most people watching tonight want to know what we’ve done and what we will do. That’s why I am laying out a specific agenda that will make more progress, get more jobs with rising incomes, get us to universal health-care coverage, get us to universal pre-K, paid family leave and the other elements of what I think will build a strong economy, that will ensure Americans keep making progress. That’s what I’m offering and that’s what I will do as president.

Propaganda’s Bodyguard of Lies, Pt. 1 by: Diana West

Meanwhile … Bernie Sanders could possibly become the Democrat nominee for president.

A reader wrote in:

My wife and I have been looking forward to a Trump/Bernie general election precisely because we could witness a national MMA fight between capitalism and communism, and finish this thing once and for all.

He called my attention to a recent Sanders column by smear artist Ronald Radosh.

First, Paul Sperry wrote a column in the New York Post arguing that “self-described socialist” Bernie Sanders was also a “communist.” Small-c.

Radosh replied with a dissent posted at PJ Media arguing that Sanders was not a “Communist.” Large-C.

Typo? A large-C communist is a party member — a claim Sperry does not make. With Radosh, of course, errors are part of the MO. As redundantly demonstrated in The Rebuttal, Radosh makes errors (lies, smears); therefore he is. What I see more clearly than before is that the errors Radosh makes — and perhaps encourages disciples to make? — are a “bodyguard of lies” for his own line of propaganda.

Take his line against Sperry — Sanders Is Not a “Communist” (which, as noted, is not what Sperry wrote). Regardless of what motivates Radosh to try to knock down such a “charge,” he makes an argument based in error. Following the disinformation campaign against American Betrayal, many have pondered the degree to which such errors reflect sloppiness (as in incompetence) and/or conscious deceit. The point I wish to consider is the degree to which the facts, to Radosh, do not matter, period. His own party-line is the thing.

For the novice who might not understand how I have arrived a such a hypothesis, I will paste in a single page from The Rebuttal to Radosh’s dumbfounding campaign of lies against American Betrayal.

The Post-Constitutional Election, 3: The Cruz-Carson Timeline by: Diana West

Dr. Ben Carson calls it “dirty tricks,” “blatant lying” and wants someone fired. Donald Trump calls it fraud, a stolen victory, and wants a redo. Ted Cruz calls it a “mistake” and clearly hopes to move on, as they say, after apologizing to Carson.

What is “it”? The false rumor that Carson was suspending his presidential campaign which Cruz campaign people used to urge Carson supporters to support Cruz on caucus night in Iowa.

Evidence includes the email (image above) that CNN, Huffington Post, the Daily Mail and other media outlets have reported that the Cruz campaign sent to Iowa precinct captains.

As super op Karl Rove explained it, there are 1500 precincts in Iowa. If only 4 Carson voters per precinct decide to vote for Cruz, Cruz wins.

Where did the rumor come from in the first place?

Cruz supporters say it came from CNN. It seems more accurate to say the Cruz campaign took CNN reporting about Carson’s immediate, post-Iowa itinerary and, in effect, turned it into a political weapon to use during the whole night of caucusing — despite numerous real-time corrections from a CNN correspondent, plus protests from the Carson campaign on Twitter (reproduced below).

French appeasement déjà vue Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger,

The French intent to recognize Palestinian statehood in Judea & Samaria, if the Israel-Palestinian negotiations fail, reflects the French policy of appeasing Palestinian terrorism (since the 1960s) and Islamic terrorism (since 1978). Rather than sheltering France from terrorism, France’s appeasement policy – more than any other European country – has fueled anti-French and anti-Western terrorism. French policy has rewarded the 100-year-old systematic Palestinian hate-education, incitement and terrorism. It prejudges the outcome of negotiations and minimizes Palestinian incentive to negotiate.

While the November 13, 2015, and the January 7, 2015, combined slaughter of 147 people in Paris were committed by Islamic terrorists, much of the responsibility for enticing these heinous acts lies at the doorstep of French policy-makers, who have appeased Palestinian and Islamic terrorists, with the former facilitating the penetration of Europe for the latter.

Since the 1960s, France has tolerated the presence, on French soil, of Palestinian terror organizations, operationally, logistically and diplomatically. Notwithstanding – and due to – French hospitality and support of pro-Palestinian proposals at the UN General Assembly and Security Council, many acts of terrorism against French, Arab, American and Israeli citizens have occurred on the French mainland: the July 31, 1975 PLO hostage-taking at Iraq’s Embassy in Paris, the April 3, 1982 murder of an Israeli diplomat, the August 9, 1982 murder of six patrons (including two Americans) at the Chez-Goldberg Restaurant, etc.

The End of the Multiculturalist Consensus in Europe by Michel Gurfinkiel

In 2009, the American journalist Christopher Caldwell famously characterized the changes that a massive non-European, non-Judeo-Christian, immigration was forcing over Europe as a “revolution.” We may now be on the brink of a counter-revolution, and that can be as violent and far-reaching as revolution itself.

Last year’s massacres in Paris (the attacks on satirical cartoonists and a kosher supermarket’s customers in January 2015, then the November 13 killing spree) were a tipping point : the French – and by extension, most Europeans — realized that unchecked immigration could lead to civil war.

Then there was the Christmas crisis in Corsica, a French island in the Mediterranean. On December 24, a fire was activated at an immigrant-populated neighborhood in Ajaccio, the capital of Southern Corsica. As soon as the firemen arrived, they were attacked by local youths, Muslims of North African descent. Such ambushes have been part of French life for years. This time, however, the ethnic Corsicans retaliated; for four days, they rampaged through the Muslim neighborhoods, shouting Arabi Fora! (Get the Arabs out, in Corsican). One of Ajaccio’s five mosques was vandalized.

Then, there was the New Year’s crisis in Germany and other Northern European countries. On December 31, one to two thousand male Muslim immigrants and refugees swarmed the Banhofvorplatz in Cologne, a piazza located between the railway Central Station and the city’s iconic medieval cathedral. As it turned out during later in the evening and the night, they intended to “have fun”: to hunt, harass, or molest the “immodest” and presumably “easy” German women and girls who celebrated New Year’s Eve at the restaurants and bars nearby, or to steal their money. 766 complaints were lodged. Similar incidents took place in other German cities, like Hamburg, Frankfurt and Stuttgart, as well as in Stockholm and Kalmar in Sweden, and Helsinki in Finland.

A tale of 2 young women: Ruthie Blum

This week, a beautiful young Israeli woman lost her life serving her country. Hadar Cohen, the 19-year-old heroine killed in the line of Border Police duty, died from wounds she sustained in a terrorist attack on Wednesday afternoon. Two weeks earlier, her parents had beamed with pride at the swearing-in ceremony that marked the successful completion of her basic training. On Thursday, they were weeping over her freshly dug grave at a military cemetery.

In spite of being new to the job — made particularly daunting by the surge in Palestinian terrorism that has swept the Jewish state since September — Hadar acted both professionally and swiftly. Not only did she literally and figuratively take a bullet for her unit and the innocent Israeli civilians whom the three terrorists had come to slaughter with knives, guns and pipe bombs, but she also managed to shoot at them in the process. It was this, apparently, that saved a fellow female Border Police officer, who was wounded in the attack, from certain death.

Though Hadar will be remembered for her special bravery, her story is not unique. It is the common course that the life of her peers takes after high school. We only hear about those individuals who become unwittingly famous for being buried before getting a chance at life, enabling countless civilians to go about their business in peace.

Comparing this late-teen-early-adulthood reality with that of Hadar’s American counterparts requires a stretch of the imagination and a sense of satire. Take the case of Yale University student Jencey Paz, whose own fame was gained through having her feelings hurt by an associate master at her college. Right around the time when Hadar was going over a checklist of items she’d need to pack before entering the IDF, Jencey was gearing up for Halloween.

America Makes a U-Turn in the Middle East By Tony Badran

Obama’s long game is a complete restructuring of the balance of power in the region—but with what results?

The administration of President Barack Obama seldom missed an opportunity to insist that the alternative to the Iran nuclear deal was a war with Iran, a prospect that has now presumably been kicked further down the road. Middle Easterners are not so lucky: They get to fight their wars with Iran right now.

Where America stands on the question of the wars that Iran is fueling across the Middle East has been obscured to some extent by outdated expectations, diplomatic niceties, and deliberate smoke-screens. But it would be wrong to take pro forma statements about America’s alliances with old friends like Turkey, or Saudi Arabia, or Israel at anything like face value. The first thing the Obama Administration did following the recent burning of the Saudi embassy and consulate in Iran by a state-sponsored mob was not to condemn this assault on a longtime U.S. ally. Rather, the White House immediately launched a media campaign pushing the message that the problem was actually Saudi Arabia, and, as anonymous U.S. officials suggested on background, maybe it was time to reconsider America’s regional alliances.