The Left’s Lingering Oslo Delusions Posted By Ari Lieberman

Writing for The Times of Israel, senior staff writer Avi Issacharoff criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for scapegoating Abbas as the cause for the recent disturbances in Israel and for failing to point the finger at the real culprits, Hamas. He posits that Netanyahu, in a quest to avoid negotiations with Israel’s “peace partners,” has painted Abbas as a purveyor of violence and thus, an obstacle to peace. He also notes that as a result of the disturbances, “an entire country is in a panic.”

I submit however, that the only people who are “in a panic” are Issacharoff and leftists of like-mind who detest Netanyahu, seek his demise and will stop at nothing to disparage him. Israel has in the past witnessed and endured far worse violence and each time weathered the storm calmly and resolutely. The people of Israel in the instant mini-crisis are neither panic-stricken nor hysterical though many on the left would like to have us think that. What better way to produce an “intifada” than by talking about it incessantly in the hope of producing a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Issacharoff’s analysis is fundamentally flawed on a number of levels. First, it is Abbas and his Palestinian Authority who are primarily responsible for the uptick in violence. No doubt that Hamas shares some responsibility but it is the PA’s continued campaign of incitement, where Jews are compared to the descendants of apes and pigs and Palestinians are continuously urged in TV broadcasts to confront the “barbaric monkeys” and “wretched pigs” aka Jews, that has led to the current state of affairs.

Abbas’s inflammatory rhetoric adds fuel to the fire. Responsible leaders don’t incite their populace to attack the citizens of another state, and that is precisely what Abbas has done, over and over again. Responsible leaders don’t pay condolence calls to the families of assassins and refer to them as martyrs who will ascend to heaven, and that is precisely what Abbas has done. Responsible leaders don’t name squares and streets after people, who in normal societies, would be locked up in institutions for the criminally insane, but Abbas’s Palestinian Authority has done so repeatedly.

Child Marriage in Islam — on The Glazov Gang

This week’s Glazov Gang episode was joined by Louis Lionheart, a scholar of Islam who engages in open-air debates, dialogues and evangelism on 3rd. Street Promenade in Santa Monica, Ca. His website is:

Louis came on the show to discuss “Child Marriage in Islam,” dissecting the case of Mohammed and Aisha in Islamic texts. The evidence deals with the prophet of Islam’s marriage to a 6-year-old girl, and his “consummation” of that marriage when she was 9. Louis analyses the Islamic theology that describes this marriage and how the Islamic and non-Islamic world has dealt, and not dealt, with the Islamic reality of this case.


Brookings Institution’s New Idea: Try Failed Solutions Again

Bruce Riedel, senior fellow and director of the Brookings Institution’s Intelligence Project, published a piece in the Daily Beast last Sunday with the provocative title, “Why’s Al Qaeda So Strong? Washington Has (Literally) No Idea.” That is certainly true, but Riedel’s recommendations for how the political establishment can get a clue and finally defeat the jihadis are nothing but tired retreads of analyses that have been tried and have failed again and again. Coming from a think tank as influential as Brookings, this goes a long way toward explaining why neither party seems able to reevaluate and discard political points of view and plans of action, no matter how many times they lead to disaster.

Riedel rightly faults the U.S. for not meeting the ideological challenge that groups like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State pose, but then he advocates essentially what mainstream analysts on both the Left and the Right have advocated for years: establishing a State of Palestine, supporting “reform and justice” in Muslim countries, and working to end Sunni-Shi’ite sectarianism. These solutions have been tried, repeatedly, and every time they failed abysmally.

While Riedel is correct that the U.S. hasn’t countered the ideology of jihad groups, he shows no sign of knowing what that ideology really is. In fact, he demonstrates that he shares the same false premises that have led the U.S. government to its abysmal failure to understand why jihad groups are so strong and how they can be countered. Both Riedel and Washington policymakers assume that the appeal to Muslims of the stated goals and motivations of jihad groups — establishment of the caliphate, destruction of non-Sharia regimes, and ultimately global Islamic dominance — can be blunted, if not extinguished altogether, by essentially giving jihadis and Islamic supremacists some of what they want. They assume that in that event, the larger aggregate of Muslims will respond the way Westerners in secular democracies would respond: by accepting the compromise and rejecting more extreme solutions.

We have the record of the last thirteen years and more to show that this assumption is false.

First and foremost among Riedel’s faulty analyses is his scapegoating of Israel for the failure to achieve peace with the Palestinians. “Unfortunately,” Riedel laments, “for six years the Obama team has tried to push the two-state solution without any success. It rightly blames both Israeli and Palestinian intransigence for its failure. But the core issue is Israel’s refusal to end the occupation of the West Bank.”

One word exposes the falsity of this analysis: Gaza. Anyone who still thinks after the Gaza withdrawal that a Palestinian state would bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians (and yes, I know they are legion, and in both parties, and in all the corridors of power in the U.S. and Europe) hasn’t been paying attention. We were told in 2005 that “occupation” was the problem, and if Israel withdrew from Gaza, the Gazans would turn to peaceful pursuits. Only a few people, including me, warned that Gaza would just become a jihad base for newly virulent attacks against Israel. Events proved us correct.

Obamacare Architect Exposes Progressive Totalitarianism By Bruce Thornton

Professor Jonathan Gruber of MIT, who designed the Affordable Care Act, used to be the symbol of the Democrats’ technocratic bona fides, and an example of how big government with its “scientific” experts can solve social and economic problems from health care to a warming planet. Yet a recently publicized video of remarks he made at a panel in 2013, along with 2 other videos in the same vein, has now made him the poster child of the elitist progressives’ contempt for the American people, and their sacrifice of prudence and reason to raw political power.

In the video Gruber explains the spin and lies the Dems used to give cover to their Congressmen so they could vote for Obamacare. Especially important was avoiding the “t-word.” So, Gruber crows on the video, “This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure [the Congressional Budget Office] did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies.” He also explained how the bills’ writers covered up the obvious redistributionist core of the legislation, which to work has to take money from the healthy young to pay for health care for the sick and old. “If you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in — you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed.”

Then this handsomely paid consultant to the “most transparent administration in history” revealed the foundational contempt progressives have for the “people” whose champions they claim to be: “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass.” As David Horowitz tweeted, “Progressive totalitarianism: We know what’s good for you and will lie, cheat and then compel you to agree with us.”

This modern version of the Platonic “guardians,” who possess superior knowledge but who must camouflage their tyrannical rule with lies, is now over 100 years old, and has become deeply embedded in our politics. It was the fundamental assumption of American Progressivism, which argued that modern technology and social change had rendered the old constitutional order a dangerous relic. The native common sense and wisdom of ordinary people to know their own interests and pursue them primarily at the local and state levels were now replaced by the allegedly scientific knowledge of “experts,” who alone could solve the problems created by the modern world. As Progressive Theodore Roosevelt said in 1901, the “very serious social problems” confronting the nation could no longer be solved by “the old laws, and the old customs,” especially the power given to state governments and laws, which “are no longer sufficient.” Woodrow Wilson agreed, complaining in 1913 that “the laws of this country have not kept up with the change” of economic and political circumstances. To achieve “social justice” and eliminate income inequality, the “laws,” particularly the Constitution, had to change.

A Turkish Quest to “Liberate” Jerusalem by Burak Bekdil

Both Turkey’s President Erdogan and its Prime Minister Davutoglu have declared countess times that Gaza and Jerusalem (in addition to Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Somalia, and the Maghreb) are Turkey’s “domestic affairs.”

In truth, there is no mention of any city’s name in the Qur’an.

Turks have a different understanding of what constitutes an occupation and a conquest of a city. The Turkish rule is very simple: The capture of a foreign city by force is an occupation if that city is Turkish (or Muslim) and the capture of a city by force is conquest if the city belongs to a foreign nation (or non-Muslims).

For instance, Turks still think the capture of Istanbul in 1453 was not occupation; it was conquest.

In a 2012 speech, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (then Prime Minister) said: “Just like Mecca, Cairo and Istanbul are cities of the Qur’an.” In truth, there is no mention of any city’s name in the Qur’an. Never mind.

“Conquest,” Turkey’s top Muslim cleric, Professor Mehmet Gormez, declared in 2012, “is not to occupy lands or destroy cities and castles. Conquest is the conquest of hearts!” That is why, the top Turkish cleric said, “In our history there has never been occupation.” Instead, Professor Gormez said, “in our history, there has always been conquest.” He further explained that one pillar of conquest is to “open up minds to Islam, and hearts to the Qur’an.”

It is in this religious justification that most Turkish Islamists think they have an Allah-given right to take infidel lands by the force of sword — ironically, not much different from what the tougher Islamists have been doing in large parts of Syria and Iraq. Ask any commander in the Islamic State and he would tell you what the jihadists are doing there is “opening up minds to Islam, and hearts to the Qur’an.”

Hal G.P. Colebatch : Doctor Roger Dunkley- A Forgotten Hero of World War II

Lost and written off in the jungles and mountains of Timor after the island fell to the Japanese, the men of Sparrow Force thought medico Roger Dunkley deserved a Victoria Cross. He received only a mention in dispatches and today is all but forgotten

American and Australian veterans of World War II have rightly honoured the heroic doctors of World War II – the Australian surgeon “Weary” Dunlop probably pre-eminent among them – who worked miracles in Japanese prison camps. But a West Australian doctor with achievements at least as heroic has been largely forgotten, except by the few surviving members of the 2nd/2nd Independent Company. He does not even have an entry in The Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Lost and written off in the jungles and mountains of Timor after the island fell to the Japanese, the 2nd/2nd, numbering about 278 men, with a few stragglers from other units, fought a guerilla war at odds of around 100-to-1 for nearly a year. “Little-known but great in spirit are the men of Timor,” said Winston Churchill later. “They alone did not surrender.” They did more: they killed an estimated 1,500 enemy for the loss of 40 of their own men. They tied up about 30,000 Japanese and supporting resources which would otherwise have been available for the invasion of New Guinea. It is not unreasonable to suggest that they saved New Guinea and possibly northern Australia and saved countless American and Australian lives thereby. Further, they played a part in distracting Japanese forces that could otherwise have been used against the Americans struggling to establish a foothold in the Solomons.

Their campaign was one of the greatest feats of arms in the entire history of war. Without Dr C. R. “Roger” Dunkley, the medical officer (who was my uncle), their survival would not have been possible. He had served as a private in the First World War with the 28th Battalion and took a medical degree in Melbourne after the war. As well as general practice he became a radiologist and Honourary Assistant Surgeon at Fremantle Hospital. His experience as both a fighting soldier and a surgeon would stand him in good stead later. His step-father was Sir Frank Gibson, Fremantle’s long-serving mayor (all Sir Frank’s children and step-children served as officers in the Army, Navy and Merchant Marine).

Obama Trades Higher U.S. Energy Costs Now for Distant Chinese Promises.

The climate-change campaign against fossil fuels has been having a hard time with democracy. Voters in the U.S. support fracking and the Keystone XL pipeline, Australia repealed its carbon tax, and frustration with green energy costs is rising across Europe. So perhaps it’s not surprising that President Obama has turned to a dictatorship for help with his anticarbon ambitions.

In that sense, the emissions accord sealed Tuesday night between the U.S. and China is a perfect reflection of the mindset of Western climate-change activists. Cheap and abundant energy is popular among Americans because it raises living standards and helps the economy grow.

The romance of the fresh princelings of Beijing is that they needn’t abide such barriers to enlightened governance as elections, a free press, transparency, the rule of law and two political parties. They can simply order economic transformation in the next five-year plan, and censor any dissenters as Al Gore wants to do in the U.S. Thus in China Mr. Obama has found the ideal climate-change partner: A technocratic elite that can instruct the bourgeoisie how they must light their homes and commute to work.

We and many others have been skeptical of a U.S.-China carbon pact, though that was because we assumed the White House and green lobby would demand terms that imposed at least some discipline on Chinese behavior. We discounted the possibility that Mr. Obama preferred the illusion of progress, and that his green allies could be rolled as cheaply as the terms of Tuesday’s accord.

Under the nonbinding, no-detail agreement, Supreme Leader Xi Jinping promises “to intend to achieve the peaking of CO2 emissions around 2030,” and then maybe after that to decline. This is another way of describing the status quo.


The Democrats’ policies have been pillaging their own political base.

The Democrats who were caught standing on the beach last week when the GOP’s 40-foot wave washed over them are now explaining why it wasn’t their fault.

No. 1: It’s not us; it’s what’s his name, the unpopular president. (And that awful Valerie Jarrett. )

No. 2: It was a midterm election with a bad map; we’ll be back in 2016. Hillary to the rescue.

Official Obama Explanation : My ideas and policies are fine; I just have a messaging problem.

USS Democrat Captain Nancy Pelosi : “There was an ebbing, an ebb tide, for us.”

This all reminds me of the classic film satire, “I’m All Right, Jack,” about the dying days of the British trade-union movement. When an idealistic young factory worker shows the efficiency gains possible from actually using a forklift, the union steward calls a strike. Three guesses which Democrats in the U.S. version would play the roles of Peter Sellers, Terry-Thomas and Margaret Rutherford.

A few Democratic voices, mostly party professionals whose job is winning elections, have said the donkey herd that just ran off the cliff needs to rethink its sense of direction. No one is listening to them. Most Democrats, especially the left that took control of the party in 2008, deny any problem. And well they might. There is no Plan B.

The Democrats’ standard political model is generally attributed to FDR confidante Harry Hopkins : “We will spend and spend, and tax and tax, and elect and elect.” Hopkins denied ever using these words, but the formula lived on.

Tax, spend and elect just slammed into the mountain.

Iran’s Diplomatic Path to the Bomb Unless the U.S. Showers Concessions on Iran, No Nuclear Deal is Likely by the Nov. 24 Deadline. By Reuel Marc Gerecht And Mark Dubowitz

Let’s assume the Iranian nuclear talks in Vienna fail to conclude a final agreement by Nov. 24, the already extended deadline under the interim Joint Plan of Action signed in January. Iran’s clerical regime has refused to give much ground in key areas, and the Obama administration has, so far, been unwilling to meet Iranian demands. If the White House doesn’t end November with a cascade of concessions leading to a deal, there are four paths forward. None is appealing. Two might be effective—but the president is unlikely to choose either one.

The deadline is approaching with dwindling hope for a deal in part because Iran has already gotten so much that it wants. During the 2012 negotiations leading to the interim deal, the White House accommodated Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei ’s red lines against reducing enrichment capacity and foreclosing an industrial-size program.

Iran thus got its wish to continue programs for uranium enrichment, long-range ballistic missiles and centrifuge development. Iran further refused to accept intrusive U.N. or other inspections, balked at dismantling the heavy-water reactor at Arak, and declined to discuss past weaponization research. It also won agreement that any restrictions on its nuclear program would be of limited duration. Tehran has treated the U.S. concessions to its demands as permanent—effectively making further diplomatic advances contingent on greater Western “flexibility.”

Washington keeps trying to tiptoe around Mr. Khamenei’s red lines. Take the recent American suggestion that Iran disconnect all “excess” centrifuges and cascade piping used in uranium enrichment at Iran’s Natanz facility—and retire around 14,000 first-generation machines into storage under United Nations safeguards. That plan is likely a nonstarter: Mr. Khamenei has adamantly opposed any reduction in enrichment capacity.

If there is no final deal this month, other scenarios arise.

The Coming Polish Recession Must Be Blamed on the Political Corruption of the Incumbent Kleptocracy By Matthew Tyrmand

Matthew Tyrmand, the son of 20th century writer and anti-communist Leopold Tyrmand, is an investor and economist based in New York City. He co-runs a Chicago-based NGO focused on bringing transparency to government spending ( which he hopes to introduce to Poland now that he has obtained Polish citizenship.

I was recently asked by a Polish venture capitalist what my thoughts were on a recession occurring in the Polish economy and if so what the timing and depth of it would be. What follows is my response.

The short answer on the timing of the recession that I am predicting is right after the national elections in 2015, though I do believe the cracks in the economy are starting to show and with the recent 50 basis point interest rate cut, I think the nomenklatura see it too and are trying to put a “bandage on a gunshot wound” ahead of next year’s elections. Hopefully this coming recession lasts two to three years at most and is accompanied by a changing of the political guard. If Polish politics follows the trend of most of Europe- that of Brussels led socialism- then it will look more like a lost generation in the manner that Japan has had and the likes of which the US and parts of the EU are embarking upon. In this case the coming recession will last closer to ten years than two or three. Politics matters.

My reasoning behind this recession and its depth primarily hinges upon the preponderance of political corruption that has undermined Poland’s free market. To understand why there is an economic reversal occurring or about to occur (but not yet having commenced if you believe the statistics out of the government) one has to understand the previous positive trends. Poland’s strong tailwinds, and strong they have been, will not guarantee perpetual growth. Poland has had over two decades of uninterrupted sequential quarterly GDP growth with nary a recessionary contraction. Growth rarely occurs in this straight a line and Poland has amazed the world for how long this straight line has been (thanks to Balcerowicz and his eponymous economic liberalization plan). This is similar to the China of the last 20 years in the sense that after 1989 in Poland there were huge amounts of pent up animal spirits ready to be unleashed on a free market (one need only look at the entrepreneurship that followed passage of Wilczek’s Law in 1988) . Poland weathered the recent crisis well because it decoupled from the Eurozone in large part due to the potency of this massive 20 year tailwind. In essence, 40mm people from a closer-to-third-world post- Soviet regime saw economic development that moved the nation toward the first world Western European middle class quality of life and with it much stronger consumption trends and a more potent rule of law when it comes to private property protection. This was more prevalent in Poland than other Soviet satellites due to a stronger education system and a civic minded population. There has always been, even throughout the dark years of communist oppression and now to this day still, a stronger moral center in this society (politicians not withstanding) rooted in the Catholic Church.