SARAH HONIG: THAT UNWITTING INDECENCY REVISITED Ever since my column, “That unwitting indecency,” saw light two weeks ago, I’ve needed to occasionally consult the mirror to make sure I hadn’t morphed into a hideous monster that feeds on Irish tots. The column recounted my encounter in Cahersiveen, a tiny Irish township, with pupils hoisting “Save Palestine” placards and soliciting funds […]

LEE SMITH: THE EU’S UNTENABLE POSITION ON HEZBOLLAH Yesterday the Bulgarian government announced the results of its investigation into the July 18, 2012 bus bombing that killed 5 Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver in the city of Burgas. At least two members of what appears to have been a three-man team belong to Hezbollah. More specifically, explained Bulgaria’s interior minister, […]

RUTHIE BLUM: PRETTY PATHETIC Last month, the Knesset passed a two-pronged law aimed at tackling eating disorders. Fashion models are now required to produce medical records proving that they are not malnourished. In the absence of proof of sufficient body mass — in accordance with World Health Organization standards — they cannot be hired for photo shoots, commercials, […]

FRANK CRIMI: AFGHAN WOMAN FORCED TO MARRY HER RAPIST A year after she was pardoned from prison on the condition she agree to marry her rapist, a young Afghan woman, faced with distressingly few options, has now reluctantly wed her attacker. In 2009, Gulnaz, then 16 years old, gained international attention after she was raped by her cousin’s husband and sentenced to 12 […]

HOORAY FOR KIRSTEN POWERS!!!! THE LAST LIBERAL? MARK TAPSON Last week Kirsten Powers, one of the more visible Democratic contributors to Fox News, wrote a lengthy piece for that organization’s website called “Obama vs. Fox News –behind the White House strategy to delegitimize a news organization.” In it she rather shockingly set herself apart from her more radical cohorts on the left by […]

JONAH GOLDBERG: THE ARGUMENT FOR ENHANCED INTERROGATION TECHNIQUES Zero Dark Thirty, the film about the hunt for and killing of Osama bin Laden, got a fresh infusion of buzz over the weekend when outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta confirmed again that enhanced-interrogation techniques aided the effort to find bin Laden. “Some of it came from . . . interrogation tactics that […]

MARIO LOYOLA: THE MISSION FOR CONGRESS…. Congress needs to mind its own business, and let the states mind theirs. As the March 1 sequester deadline looms, congressional conservatives should wake up to the fact that an agenda focused solely on spending cuts is a losing agenda, one that wouldn’t help matters much even if it prevailed. Our very system of […]

MARK DURIE:IS VIOLENCE A SIGN OF ISLAM’S STRENGTH OR ITS WEAKNESS In the early biography of Muhammad written by Ibn Ishaq there are many fascinating and intriguing incidents. One unforgettable story tells how Huwayyisa came to embrace Islam: The apostle said, ‘Kill any Jew that falls into your power.’ Thereupon Muhayyisa b. Mas’ud leapt upon Ibn Sunayna, a Jewish merchant with whom they had social […]


Will the Senate Confirm a CIA Director Who Denies the Existence of What the Secretary of State Called “the Global Jihadist Threat”?
In observations conveniently made on the way out the door, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton acknowledged that the United States faces “a spreading jihadist threat,” led by al Qaeda. [For those who may have forgotten, that would be the jihadist network the Obama administration heretofore told us had been crushed thanks to the president’s steely resolve.] Again and again, Madame Secretary told a senate committee that the administration was now gravely concerned about this growing “jihadist threat” — worried that Syrian chemical and biological weapons could “fall into the wrong hands, jihadist hands”; worried about migrant al Qaeda operatives “who are in effect affiliates, part of the jihadist syndicate”; and worried about the “complicated set of allegiances between jihadist groups.”

Sounds like a huge national security challenge, no? Only problem is that President Obama’s nominee to head the nation’s premier intelligence agency denies that there is a jihadist threat.

Our enemies, John Brennan insists, “are not jihadists, for jihad is a holy struggle, an effort to purify for a legitimate purpose, and there is nothing, absolutely nothing holy or pure or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women and children.” In fact, Brennan, the White House counterterrorism czar through the first Obama term, maintains that the president agrees with him on this point:

President Obama [does not] see this challenge as a fight against jihadists. Describing terrorists in this way, using the legitimate term ‘jihad,’ which means to purify oneself or to wage a holy struggle for a moral goal, risks giving these murderers the religious legitimacy they desperately seek but in no way deserve.

Brennan’s confirmation hearing is today. As Steve Emerson recounts in a comprehensive post on the dreadful nomination, Brennan has repeated the trope that there is no violent jihad numerous times. In shaping Obama’s national security policy, his top agenda item has been to deny the palpable nexus between Islamic doctrine and Islamist brutality, and thus to blind our intelligence community to the ideological underpinnings of the threat against our nation, the West and Israel. Say what you will about Obama’s other nominations, including the hapless Chuck Hagel. Never has there been a more monumental mismatch between man and mission than Brennan and CIA director.

As I have explained here and elsewhere, Brennan’s meanderings about jihad are frivolous. On their face they are silly because Islam and the West do not have a single, consensus value system. In fundamental ways, we don’t agree on what a “legitimate purpose” is.

Even those who buy into the revisionist attempt to evolve the concept of jihad into a personal struggle to “purify oneself” or attain “a moral good” must, if they are being honest, concede that Muslims mean “purity” and “morality” as determined by sharia, Islam’s societal framework. To sharia-compliant Muslims, “purifying” oneself or one’s community might include demanding the killing of apostates and homosexuals, or demanding the suppression of speech that exposes some of the other draconian and iniquitous elements of Islamic doctrine. We in the West would regard these as morally monstrous … but that they are sharia desiderata cannot be credibly denied. A “personal struggle” to achieve them would thus be a legitimate “jihad,” even under Brennan’s interpretation.


Good evening to all of you from California. Tonight, I’d like to talk to you about issues. Issues which I think are involved–or should be involved in this primary election season. I’m a candidate for the Republican nomination for president. But I hope that you who are Independents and Democrats will let me talk to you also tonight because the problems facing our country are problems that just don’t bear any party label.

In this election season the White House is telling us a solid economic recovery is taking place. It claims a slight drop in unemployment. It says that prices aren’t going up as fast, but they are still going up, and that the stock market has shown some gains. But, in fact, things seem just about as they were back in the 1972 election year. Remember, we were also coming out of a recession then. Inflation had been running at round 6 percent. Unemployment about 7 [percent]. Remember, too, the upsurge and the optimism lasted through the election year and into 1973. And then the roof fell in. Once again we had unemployment. Only this time not 7 percent, more than 10. And inflation wasn’t 6 percent, it was 12 percent. Now, in this election year 1976, we’re told we’re coming out of this recession just because inflation and unemployment rates have fallen, to what they were at the worst of the previous recession. If history repeats itself, will we be talking recovery four years from now merely because we’ve reduced inflation from 25 percent to 12 percent?

The fact is, we’ll never build a lasting economic recovery by going deeper into debt at a faster rate than we ever have before. It took this nation 166 years until the middle of World War II to finally accumulate a debt of $95 billion. It took this administration just the last 12 months to add $95 billion to the debt. And this administration has run up almost one-fourth of the total national debt in just these short 19 months.

Inflation is the cause of recession and unemployment. And we’re not going to have real prosperity or recovery until we stop fighting the symptoms and start fighting the disease. There’s only one cause for inflation— government spending more than government takes in. The cure is a balanced budget. Ah, but they tell us, 80 percent of the budget is uncontrollable. It’s fixed by laws passed by Congress. Well, laws passed by Congress can be repealed by Congress. And, if Congress is unwilling to do this, then isn’t it time we elect a Congress that will?