SARAH HONIG: NETANYAHU’S COATTAIL EFFECT Paroxysms of irrepressible nattering seized numerous local know-it-alls hot on the heels of the Knesset election results. None-too-amazingly they were of one mind. While brimming with self-importance, few had anything original to contribute to our understanding of what happened. Every self-aggrandized analyst, so at least it seems, obligingly subscribed to the prescribed conventional wisdom. […]

IS THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION DELIBERATELY FEEDING THE FLAMES IN EGYPT? VICTOR SHARPE What the Muslim Brotherhood’s victory in Egypt meant was the end of any hope on the part of secularists, women, and especially Egyptian Christians who were yearning for equal rights and the beginning of a true and enlightened fledgling democracy. Instead, they will now be forced to endure ominous Islamic Sharia law restrictions on […]

JOHN BERNARD: ON GUNS, ACCOUTREMENTS AND IDIOTS WHO REPRESENT US I have had just about enough of the queue of lambasting idiots whose sole desire is to control every aspect of American’s lives. Their bloated exhortations about things they obviously know nothing about has risen to the level of epidemic. What is more troublesome is that there seems to be an unending assortment and […]


And so it came, the coup de grace. The final “barrier” to “opportunities” for women in combat is no more. With a stroke of their pens, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin E. Dempsey decreed that no battlefield mission or military role is off-limits to the female sex. The defense secretary and the general thus liberated mothers, daughters, sisters and wives to kill and be killed in the infantry, commando raids, even in Obama administration “overseas contingency operations.” In so doing, they also slashed away at that last institutional protection for the space that separates men and women, where civilization once grew.

It (civilization) has been struggling there for decades, as social engineers and radical feminists – all heirs to Marx – have been cutting away at elemental human instinct, social grace, language and thought itself. This overhaul of manners and mores, the family structure and marriage – even private aspects of the relationship between men and women – has been successful to a point where the cultural argument against women in combat (women in the military being a lost cause) is rarely voiced, not even on the right. (I watched Fox News on women-in-combat announcement day, listening in vain for just one culture warrior.)

We are left to make only the utilitarian arguments – body strength and speed, unit cohesion, even urinary tract infections and other hazards that front-line deployment pose to females. These are compellingly logical points, but they are unlikely to reverse an ideological juggernaut. When the secretary of defense says putting women in combat is about “making our military … and America stronger” and no one says he’s lying to further a Marxian ideal via social engineering, the cultural argument is lost, and the culture it comes from is bound and gagged, hostage to what we know as “political correctness.”

I still see threads of the cultural argument in emails and some blog responses to the Pentagon’s latest whack at creating “gender neutrality.” It erupts like a reflex against the conditioning to deny differences defined, at their essence, by muscle mass and womb. Such conditioning erodes the male protective instinct – which, surely, is what war is supposed to arise from – and the female nurturing instinct, which surely is what a civilization depends on.

No more. Women with wombs and without manly muscle mass now count as Pentagon-approved “warriors,” modern-day knights in Kevlar, soon to be humping 80-pound packs over mountain and desert.

Or maybe not. Didn’t Gen. Dempsey indicate that dropping some of those old-fashioned strength and speed requirements might be in order? “If we do decide that a particular standard is so high that a woman couldn’t make it,” Dempsey said last week, “the burden is now on the service to come back and explain to the secretary, why is it that high? Does it really have to be that high?” Of course not! Why train Navy SEALs when Navy OTTERs will do as well?

And what about their children, when these front-line warriors bear them? And their pregnancies, when they decide it’s better for their mission, for their country, to terminate them? Don’t think Daddy Government, once again, won’t be a steady provider to his womenfolk.

And why not? “It is women who pass on the culture,” my daughters’ pediatrician – a font of human wisdom after six of his own kids and endless patients – used to tell me, his voice rising over baby girls screaming. But what kind of “gender-neutral” culture will they pass on?




Two of the five films nominated for Best Documentary by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences this year are Israeli films. Let’s hope one of the other films wins.

Missing a Chance at Greatness
A riveting examination of Israeli counterterrorism, The Gatekeepers stacks the deck, denying viewers their own judgment.

Zero Dark Thirty is not the only Academy Award–nominated film that raises profound moral questions about how democracies can strike back at terrorism without abandoning their own liberal values. Also up for an award this year is The Gatekeepers, a searing documentary in Hebrew with English subtitles, featuring revealing interviews with six former heads of the Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic security service, who testify about the methods they used in combating Palestinian terrorism.

Civil libertarians and some liberal politicians have excoriated Zero Dark Thirty’s director, Kathryn Bigelow, and screenwriter, Mark Boal, for purportedly justifying torture of captured al-Qaida operatives as a means of extracting leads that might have led to finding Osama bin Laden’s safe house in Pakistan. Because the movie seems to suggest that “torture works,” says Senator Dianne Feinstein, it “has the potential to shape American public opinion in a disturbing and misleading manner.” (Michael Totten has written a vigorous defense of Bigelow.)

The Gatekeepers, on the other hand, has won praise from liberal critics, here and in Israel, for arguing that Israel is in danger of “losing its soul,” and its democracy, because it employs similar brutal methods against Palestinian terrorists. The film’s director, Dror Moreh, is a 40-something Jerusalemite who previously made a well-received documentary about former prime minister Ariel Sharon’s decision to withdraw the Israeli army and uproot Jewish settlements from Gaza. For The Gatekeepers, Moreh was able to convince the six Shin Bet chiefs to spill their guts about the measures they authorized to combat Palestinian suicide terrorism. They’re also asked whether these operations contributed to a solution of the conflict. Their collective answer, in one word, is no.

It may seem astonishing to non-Israelis that former spy chiefs in that security-obsessed country would be willing, or even allowed, to reveal undercover operations they directed and to criticize government policies publicly. In fact, such outspoken criticism from Israeli security officials is hardly unprecedented. In 2003, four of the same ex–Shin Bet chiefs publicly warned Sharon’s government that its harsh policies in the Palestinian territories were leading the country to “near-catastrophe.” Partly because of their warning, Sharon eventually decided to withdraw troops from Gaza.


“The cruelest con in the schemes of Mr. Obama and the senators is the so-called “earned citizenship.” This would give “undocumented immigrants” a way to “come out of the shadows” and “play by the rules” by passing a background check, learning English and “civics,” paying their back taxes and penalties, and going to the back of the line to apply for citizenship. These are requirements almost no one could meet. The pointy-headed intellectuals (to use an apt phrase from the past) who dreamed up this scheme apparently never met anyone without tidy savings on which to draw “back taxes” and “penalties.”

The righteous cheers and applause for the latest amnesty schemes from the U.S. Senate and the White House recall the famous gathering of mice convened to deal with the cat. The cat was devouring the mice in alarming numbers.

“What we need,” said a wizened little gray fellow who looked a lot like an overstuffed senator, “is a bell for the cat. We can put it on his collar along with his identification tag, though it beats me why anyone would want to help a cat find his way home. Then we can hear the tinkling of the bell when the cat’s around. Then we can hide.”

All the mice cheered and squeaked. “What a great idea,” said one lean little mouse whose fur had gone gray around his ears. He looked something like John McCain. “Yes, yes,” echoed a mouse with a certain Carolina accent. “Let’s do it now.”

The chairman, a fair-minded fellow, asked for further comment.

“No, no, no” a mouse shouted from the back row. “No more talk. No more delay.” Another mouse, an editor from the Mall Street Journal just arrived from a two-hour business lunch at Chez Dumpster, with tiny crumbs still lodged in his whiskers, cried out: “Vote! Vote!”

And so they did, with only one dissenting vote. All the little mice screamed and cheered, mightily pleased with themselves. All but one, a plump, noisy mouse, a curmudgeon who looked like he might be a famous radio talker. He shook his head sadly. “You’ve got an interesting idea,” he said, “but who will bell the cat?”

No one spoke up. Silence fell across the room. Finally, one by one, the mice drifted away, back to their holes in the wall under the kitchen sink. The cat, from his perch on the sofa, licked his lips, and smiled true to the instincts of his Cheshire grandfathers. Lunch would soon be served.

The Path to Saving the Republic: Just Say ‘No’ By Michael Finch Our nation is in crisis. The Obama administration is centralizing power at a level unmatched in American history with grave consequences for our future liberty and freedom. Of that there is not much debate among conservatives. Conservatives, however, are always waiting for the next Ronald Reagan, wondering if Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan or someone […]

Palestinians’ Nazi-Style Youth Movement Prepares for Jihad by Khaled Abu Toameh More disturbing is that only a few of the dozens of Western-funded human rights organizations that operate in the Gaza Strip have raised their voice against Hamas’s abuse of children. Even the United Nations Children’s Fund [UNICEF], which was created to work for children’s rights, their survival, development and protection, has yet to condemn […]

Soeren Kern: New Hijab Controversies Looming in Europe A member of the Kuwaiti delegation of the UN Human Rights Council, Malik Al-Wazzan, said France should revoke the ban [on full-face Islamic veils] to “protect the human rights in discrimination and inequalities toward foreigners and those with different beliefs.” This comes as the Kuwaiti Parliament considers a draft law banning the construction of […]


The only firm opinions I have last about ten minutes until I read another convincing opinion. What about all woman battalions? That would elicit shrieks from the feminists and the “anything you can do I can do better crowd.”

But seriously…women have been in combat and done well and shown skill and bravery. and, isn’t patriotism the guiding force to enlist and serve and fight for your country? How can one oppose that?

These are problems, to quote Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof’ that would cross a rabbi’s eyes. However, civilians, clergymen and clergyladies should not make these decisions. They should be made by the military….by those who have been in the trenches…not arm chair generals among whom are some that could confront enemies but not resist the lure of lusty sirens.

And even among battle hardened marines opinions vary.

So let’s wait and see how PMS (pre menstrual stress) morphs into P.M. Mess.