Fighting to Lose An Election-Eve Disaster for America in Syria By Ira Straus

Just when it looked like it couldn’t get worse, with the world imploding around us from the Mideast to Ukraine to West Africa, it has managed to get worse. An al-Qaeda affiliate has struck the latest blow, decimating America’s few moderate allies in Syria and capturing their American weapons.

Obama has taken America on a downward spiral in the Mideast and the world at large, by his active policies of promoting the Muslim Brotherhood and by his passive policies of withdrawing American power and avoiding victories by military means.

Never have the terrible lessons of the 20th century been more clearly shown to be right: When America removes its power, it pulls the plug on every part of the world order. The demons come of the woodwork. It does not take long for the consequences to come home.

Fighting a war as if we prefer to lose: It is a recipe for catastrophe, and that is what is happening now in Syria and Iraq.

Here is what the Washington Post reported in its lead article on Monday morning:

U.S.-backed Syria rebels routed by fighters linked to al-Qaeda

BEIRUT — The Obama administration’s Syria strategy suffered a major setback Sunday after fighters linked to al-Qaeda routed U.S.-backed rebels from their main northern strongholds, capturing significant quantities of weaponry, triggering widespread defections and ending hopes that Washington will readily find Syrian partners… Fleeing rebel fighters said they feared the defeat would spell the end of the Free Syrian Army.

Further on, we find the consequences of Obama’s “leading from behind” and not wanting to win militarily:

“When American airstrikes targeted al-Nusra, people felt solidarity with them because Nusra are fighting the regime, and the strikes are helping the regime,” said Raed al-Fares, an activist leader in Kafr Nabel, in Idlib.

“Now people think that whoever in the Free Syrian Army gets support from the U.S.A. is an agent of the regime,” he said.

Sizing America Up By Victor Davis Hanson

In today’s foreign-relations climate, even a Jimmy Carter would seem like a godsend.

A weak, lame-duck Barack Obama, who has now eroded a once exuberant Democratic party, will be even weaker in the next two years.

If Democratic senators who had been his stalwart supporters — voting with him over 97 percent of the time — campaigned on not wanting any connection with Obama, one can imagine what our enemies abroad think of him. If Obama adopted policies of neo-appeasement when he enjoyed a 65 percent approval rating in 2009, one can imagine his approach when his positives dip below 40 percent. But there is no need for imagination when Ali Younesi, the senior adviser to the Iranian president, bluntly dismisses Obama as “the weakest of U.S. presidents” and sums up his six years in office as “humiliating.”

What is dangerous about Younesi’s cruel dismissal of Obama is not that an Iranian high official despises an American president, but that such venom follows an extraordinary effort by Barack Obama to reach out to Tehran. Obama ran in 2008 on a promise to hold face-to-face talks with the Iranian theocracy. He kept mum in the spring of 2009 when a million anti-Khomeini Iranians hit the streets. He leaked occasional unhappiness at any Israeli idea of preempting the Iranian nuclear program. He ignored his own serial “deadlines,” demanding that Iran stop further uranium enrichment. He lifted the comprehensive sanctions to stop enrichment. And he is now stealthily courting Iran as a de facto ally in the American war against the Islamic State.

Given Obama’s ending of the special relationship with Israel (has a high Obama-administration official ever dubbed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chávez, Vladimir Putin, or Kim Jong-un “a chickens—” or trashed any of them in an open-mike putdown?), there is little likelihood that any state will move to preempt the Iranians’ effort to develop a bomb (for the politically obsessed Obama there would be no political upside any longer, given that after today there will be no more general elections during his tenure).

Accordingly, it is more than likely that in the next two years Iran will become a nuclear power. That fact will immediately change the Middle East. Iran’s getting a bomb will ensure that Iraq and Lebanon become its clients, encourage radical Shiite movements in the Gulf, and push Gulf monarchies and other Sunni “moderates” into even more openly supporting radical terrorist Sunni groups, as they pool resources to obtain their own nuclear deterrent.


On Thursday, Sweden finally solved all the problems in the Middle East by recognizing the State of Palestine.

It was a plan so crazy that it was bound to either work or kill a lot of people. Mostly it’s done the latter.

But our leaders kept the faith. The White House’s Middle East coordinator insisted that Israel’s obstinate refusal to create a Palestinian State, against the wishes of the unelected president of the Palestinian Authority who refuses to negotiate one or to stop the terrorism, was causing instability in the region.

Secretary of State John Kerry had denied that ISIS was Islamic, but blamed Israel for ISIS recruitment.

But it wasn’t John Kerry who saved the Middle East from instability. Instead Sweden did it by recognizing a terror state whose leaders stopped bothering with the onerous duty of holding elections once they realized that the Eurocrats and Obama would keep shoveling money at them even if they chose their unelected terrorist leaders by playing Russian Roulette.

Sweden’s new Palestine not only dispensed with elections, routing the business of governance through its core PLO organizations, but also has no economy, instead employing an army of people who are paid not to run a country that doesn’t exist with money sent over by America, Europe and Japan.

Some would call that a scam, but it’s remarkably similar to how the European Union works.

In addition to lacking such luxuries as an elected government and an economy, the State of Palestine also doesn’t control Gaza, which is run by another terrorist group, Hamas. The international community has been ignoring that minor problem because it wouldn’t do for a bankrupt terrorist state which happens to be our last best hope for stability in the Middle East to be disqualified just because it’s actually two quarreling bankrupt terrorist states.

One terrorist state can’t help but bring stability to the Middle East. Two terrorist states sound downright unstable. If the Arab Muslim settlers in the West Bank and Gaza can’t stop fighting each other long enough to peacefully unite under the banner of one anti-Israel terrorist group, all hope for peace is lost.


New evidence has just emerged that man-made climate change (aka global warming) is a fraud, potentially the greatest scam of the modern era.

You may be interested to read my 2012 book, Global Warning: Trials of an Unsettled Science, available for purchase at and

In this short and comprehensive study, I provide a readable survey of the latest research, indicating all my sources clearly so that you can follow up for yourself.

The evidence I cited in that book is now being widely recognized by such experts as Canadian scientist Tom Harris and John Casey, climate change researcher and former NASA consultant, among others.



Tuesday marks the 19th anniversary of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. As has been the case every year since that awful evening on November 4, 1995, the event that rocked Israel to its core is commemorated across the country at various venues, most prominent among them at the actual site of the murder.

Yes, it is in the Tel Aviv square next to City Hall (which came to be named after Rabin) where politicians, celebrities, intellectuals and anonymous peace-camp adherents gather annually to mourn.

The ostensible purpose of these vigils is twofold: to denounce the cold-blooded murder of the late leader at the hands of a Jewish Israeli who opposed his policies, and to keep the victim’s legacy alive. Their real aim, however, is to bash Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu specifically, and anyone in general who does not share the false view that Israel is to blame for the absence of peace.

The fervor and attendance of these memorials has waned somewhat over the years. This is only partly due to the passage of time, and the fact that an entire generation was born after the assassination.

The other reason for the ebb runs deeper. When the political-religious fanatic Yigal Amir pulled the trigger on Rabin, he granted the Israeli Left the much-coveted moral high ground. At the time, anyone who was against the Oslo process, which magically transformed arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat into a legitimate “peace partner,” was accused of war-mongering and told to engage in “soul-searching.”

Never mind that Arafat was openly calling for the annihilation of Israel and the killing of Jews. He had stopped doing so in English, and that was good enough for the peace fantasists. Reserving his jihadist speeches for Arab-speaking audiences — you know, the ones who were being called to take up arms — Arafat learned that all he had to do to get the world on his side was to camouflage his rifle with an olive branch, and all would be forgiven.

Unlike then-Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, Rabin’s longtime nemesis, Rabin was not so much a peacenik as a leader who had been beaten down by the beautiful people and international pressure. His response was to drink the Kool-Aid and go for the Nobel Prize. The only thing that must have put a damper on his pact with the devil was to have to share this holy grail with Peres and Arafat, to whom he also had an aversion.

A Professor’s Left Illusions By Mark Tapson

Recently I was contacted by Dr. Danusha Goska – a writer and professor in New Jersey, the author of the novel Save Send Delete, and a former leftist. “I am a teacher,” she introduced herself to me. “I see what my former comrades on the left have done to young minds.” She shared with me her excellent American Thinker articles “Ten Reasons Why I Am No Longer a Leftist,” “Coming Out as Pro-Israel on Facebook,” and “Islam, Postmodernism, and Political Correctness,” which prompted me to ask if she would be willing to share some of her political revelations and thoughts with FrontPage Mag.

Mark Tapson: Professor Goska, you wrote that you decided to leave the left when you decided that, instead of hating, you “wanted to spend time with people building, cultivating, and establishing, something that they loved.” Can you elaborate on that?

Danusha Goska: When I was a grad student, I was stricken with a crippling illness, a vestibular disorder, for which there is little proven treatment. I spent whole days functionally paralyzed and unable to stop vomiting.

My social world then was utterly left-wing: former Peace Corps volunteers, university students and professors, artists and writers. A subset of my left-wing friends repeatedly hammered into me how much they hated America on my behalf. “Oh, I hate America because we don’t have socialized medicine. Oh, I hate America because there’s so much capitalist pollution and that’s probably why you are sick.”

I can’t tell you how freakishly weird these interactions were. I used to want to shout at people: “Why do you think that telling me how much you hate America is helping me? It’s not helping me. Please do something positive. I have an illness that makes me vomit and paralyzes me and I can’t go to the grocery store. I could use some seltzer water. Am I asking too much?”

And they could not do that small thing – bring a friend who can’t stop puking some seltzer water. But they could rage against the Catholic Church for – what – not selling Vatican artwork and funding my surgery.

I am still friends with some of these folks. They are still banging the same drum: how imperialistic America is. How hypocritical Christianity is. How life-destroying capitalism is. They never talk about doing anything positive for anyone because I don’t think they ever do. Their entire political and ethical stance consists of loudly denigrating capitalism, Western Civilization and the Judeo-Christian tradition. Islamic gender apartheid, systematic abortion of female fetuses in China, India’s caste system that reduces over a hundred million human beings to the status of pariah dogs: none of these ever receive a peep of criticism.

Mary Burke Campaign’s Last Refuge: The Nazi Card? By Avner Zarmi

Yes, a swastika ad. First, the background.

Mary Burke’s thin résumé could only be highlighted with one claim: as an executive of the Trek bicycle firm, she managed their European operations so brilliantly that sales rose exponentially under her watch. Surely such an exemplary manager and problem-solver was just the ticket to serve as Democratic Governor Jim Doyle’s commerce secretary, and is now the person to end the political divisiveness which has characterized Scott Walker’s first four years.

This bubble burst last week when Gary Ellerman, who had worked 21 years for the Trek corporation, serving as vice president in charge of human relations, revealed the devastating truth: Trek’s continental European operations had suffered substantial losses under Burke’s leadership. She had caused critical personnel problems, such that she was stripped of her responsibilities by upper management, forced to return to the U.S. and to apologize to management for her incompetence, and then allowed to take her now-famous snowboarding sabbatical.

Burke’s only possible defense is to discredit this testimony, and Ellerman does have an Achilles’ heel: he himself had subsequently been terminated by Trek (he says over differences in hiring philosophy), and he is a politically active Republican, indeed, chairman of the Jefferson County branch of the party.

Two things prevent this from becoming a case of “he says, she says.”

The first is that Ellerman’s account of the affair has been confirmed in all its essentials by Tom Albers, who was president of Trek at the time and who conducted the review of Burke’s operations at the request of her father, then CEO, which led to her dismissal from the position.

The second is the absolute silence from Trek, currently headed by Burke’s brother, concerning the entire affair.

Burke’s account also requires that one believe that such a stellar performer would be “downsized” by her own family after two years on the job. She has tried to sell that with this ad, as picked up by the Washington Post [1].

The ad is one long exercise in mendacity. Let’s unpack the lies in order.

What the Jerusalem Passport Case Means for the Constitution By Yishai Schwartz

For seven months in 2011, the United States carried much of the weight in NATO’s extensive Libya campaign. Now, an American-led coalition is pummeling targets in Iraq and Syria. Neither of these extensive military actions was ever voted on by Congress. And just in the last few weeks, word has spread that the president will “do everything in his power to avoid letting Congress vote” on a settlement with Iran. Together, these episodes paint a picture of unbridled presidential power over foreign policy. Next Monday, in Zivotofsky v. Kerry, the Supreme Court will have its best opportunity in decades to check this rapid expansion of executive authority.

On its face, Zivotofsky is about passports and Mideast politics. For decades, presidential policy has held that the sovereignty of Jerusalem is a “final status” issue, only resolvable through a regional peace agreement. As a result, American citizens born in Jerusalem have no country of birth listed on their passports. (Their passports read “Jerusalem” rather than “Jerusalem, Israel.”) But in 2002, Congress tucked language into a larger bill insisting that the State Department “shall, upon the request of the citizen or the citizen’s legal guardian, record the place of birth as Israel.” President Bush signed the law, but issued a “signing statement” explaining that the directive was unconstitutional and that he had no intention of obeying. Enter Menachem Zivotofsky, a 12-year-old Jerusalem-born American citizen. Since his birth, his parents have waged a legal battle demanding that the State Department comply with the Congressional mandate. On Monday, the case goes before the U.S. Supreme Court.

As a matter of policy, the law is a foolish stunt. An eventual recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over much of Jerusalem—like the eventual recognition of a sovereign Palestine—is a moral necessity. But not all moral rights must be vindicated immediately. And it would be diplomatic malpractice not to use recognition as a tool for advancing American interests—for instance coaxing the parties to make concessions and reach a comprehensive settlement.

But constitutionality, not wisdom, is the question before the Court. And the constitutional question is more complicated: Can Congress force the president to issue passports in a manner that conflicts with his diplomatic objectives? Yes, argue the Zivotofskys, and for two main reasons: First, passports and diplomacy can be easily separated. After all, Congress invented passports (in 1856) and has passed all manner of related regulations and restrictions ever since. A 1994 law even allowed Taiwanese-born Americans to record “Taiwan” as their place of birth—over the objections of the State Department and despite the president’s official “one-China” policy.

How Obama Walked Boehner and GOP Leadership Off the Syrian Rebel Cliff By Patrick Poole

One of the last acts Congress undertook before leaving Washington, D.C., in September for the midterm election break was to add $500 million in new funding to arm and train the so-called “vetted moderate” Syrian rebels. The $500 million in funding had been an agenda item for Obama since June, when ISIS began making quick gains in an offensive push back into Iraq.

But the political net effect of this vote was to get the GOP leadership in Congress to publicly buy into Obama’s rapidly crumbling Syria policy. Led by Boehner in the House and McConnell in the Senate, the congressional GOP leadership allowed Obama to walk them off the Syrian rebel cliff.

As I reported here at PJ Media yesterday, the most important “vetted moderate” rebel groups are in retreat, having surrendered or defected to Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria.

This development should come as no surprise to any member of the congressional GOP. In the week before the rebel amendment funding vote, I was asked to brief a number of GOP members and prepared a presentation on the collapse of the U.S.-backed Syria rebels that was widely circulated amongst both the House and Senate GOP conferences.

Among the chief trends I noted in these briefings — and that I was concurrently reporting on here — was that large groups of Free Syrian Army (FSA) units were defecting to al-Qaeda and ISIS, surrendering their U.S.-provided weapons along the way, and that other FSA units were forging peace deals and fighting alongside al-Qaeda and ISIS in some areas.

Even before the votes on the rebel funding, there was growing evidence that these “vetted moderate” forces were not moderate at all, and certainly would provide little assistance in fighting against ISIS.

Obama was hinting at where his policy was headed, too. Just a month before those congressional votes, in an interview with Thomas Friedman of the New York Times, Obama said that the belief that arming the Syrian rebels would have changed the situation had “always been a fantasy”:

With “respect to Syria,” said the president, the notion that arming the rebels would have made a difference has “always been a fantasy. This idea that we could provide some light arms or even more sophisticated arms to what was essentially an opposition made up of former doctors, farmers, pharmacists and so forth, and that they were going to be able to battle not only a well-armed state but also a well-armed state backed by Russia, backed by Iran, a battle-hardened Hezbollah, that was never in the cards.”

Why This Election Matters By Roger Kimbal

We’ve come a long way since 2009. Back then, Barack Obama was crowing, “Elections have consequences, and at the end of the day, I won.” [1]

Now, a day before the 2014 midterms, there’s no crowing from the Dems, only a sullen susurration of rage. It’s no longer possible to blame George W. Bush for the party’s impending dégringolade (though there continue to be pathetic efforts [2] to do just that).

Someone is to blame, you can be sure that point will eventually be established. But in the meantime the Democratic grievance machine has shifted gears. Everyone’s still affronted. There’s still a “war on women” — at least on women who stay at home and take care of their children: quoth Obama, “That’s not a choice we want Americans to make.” [3] (Wow. Just wow.)

And there’s still “climate change” — or is there? The award-winning meteorologist John Coleman, founder of the Weather Channel, just sent an open letter to UCLA [4] that begins:

There is no significant man-made global warming at this time, there has been none in the past and there is no reason to fear any in the future. Efforts to prove the theory that carbon dioxide is a significant “greenhouse” gas and pollutant causing significant warming or weather effects have failed. There has been no warming over 18 years.

Uh oh. The great thing about the Green Philosophy, of course, is that you can never be green enough. As a strategy to promote moral smugness among liberals and scapegoating of the productive segments of the economy, the whole green apparatus is a godsend. It has the additional advantage of being international in scope. Not only can you employ it against domestic entities, but it can also be used to justify redistribution on an international scale. So people like Colemen, along with the 9,000 other scientists who endorse his contentions, must be ignored — demonized first as tools of the evil Koch brothers, then ignored.

But that’s not going to happen. Environmentalism, as the philosopher Harvey Mansfield observed a couple of decades ago, may be “school prayer for liberals.” But reality still counts for something, and in the clash between possible prosperity and certain immiseration, the former will always win out — unless, nota bene, it is prevented by the coercive power of the state.