Special-Ops Reps A Trio of Incoming Congressmen Bring Counter-Terror Experience to Capitol Hill. By Andrew Johnson

Their résumés are unlike those of any of their soon-to-be colleagues: one from SEAL Team Six; one a member of the team that captured Saddam Hussein; and one who worked undercover for the CIA in some of the world’s most dangerous places.

Montana’s Ryan Zinke, Oklahoma’s Steve Russell, and Texas’s Will Hurd will soon be freshmen members of Congress, but their credentials will probably separate them from their peers. This trio of Republicans, each with his own unique special-operations background, expect to use their experience in national security when they arrive on Capitol Hill next month to help reverse what they see as the country’s declining standing in the world.

“We’re going to look to move the ball up the field,” Zinke told National Review Online, referring to advancing policies that keep the country safe both abroad and at home.

Zinke knows what that’s like. A third-generation Montanan, Zinke, 53, attended the University of Oregon on a football scholarship, racking up multiple accolades as an offensive lineman. After college, he embarked on a 23-year career as a Navy SEAL, during which he was awarded two Bronze Stars for combat. He served two three-year stints as a commander of SEAL Team Six and performed duties in Europe, the Middle East, and the Pacific. He hesitates to share details of his time with the SEALs, whose operations are highly guarded, and calls the Obama White House’s habit of leaking information about their missions, such as in the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound, an example of the administration’s national-security failings.

Overall, Zinke blames President Obama and his team for involving themselves too much in military decisions — a complaint registered by his former defense secretaries as well. As a result, the military and its missions are put at risk when officials don’t trust the servicemen and women in the field to make these decisions, he says. For example, the White House’s ISIS strategy, “by every estimation, is failing” because of the president’s controlling approach, such as (reportedly) insisting on signing off personally on all strikes. Zinke expects the U.S. to be in the same position in three years unless it changes course. This approach is not only affecting how the military operates, but other areas as well.

Obama’s Cuban Olive Branch: His Idea of Burnishing his Legacy is to Clinch Deals With his Country’s Enemies. By Rich Lowry

Candidate Barack Obama said that, as president, he would talk to anti-American dictators without precondition. He didn’t mention that he would also give them historic policy concessions without precondition.

His surprise unilateral change in the U.S. posture toward the Castro dictatorship came without even the pretense of serious promises by the Cubans to reform their kleptocratic, totalitarian rule.

The trade of Alan Gross, the American aid worker jailed in Cuba for the offense of trying to help Jewish Cubans get on the Internet, for three Cuban spies is understandable (we also got back one of our spies, and Cuba released several dozen political prisoners as a sweetener).

The rest of Obama’s sweeping revisions — diplomatic relations and the loosening of every economic sanction he can plausibly change on his own — are freely granted, no questions asked. It is quid with no pro quo.

After waiting out ten other U.S. presidents, the Castro regime finally hit the jackpot in Obama, whose beliefs about our Cuba policy probably don’t differ much from those of the average black-turtleneck-clad graduate student in Latin American studies.

Every dictator around the world must be waiting anxiously for a call or a postcard from Obama. The leader of the free world comes bearing gifts and understanding. He is willing to overlook human-rights abuses. And his idea of burnishing his legacy is to clinch deals with his country’s enemies.

Who helped negotiate the one with Cuba? Harry Truman had Dean Acheson. Richard Nixon had Henry Kissinger. Barack Obama has Ben Rhodes, the deputy national-security adviser who has what it takes to collapse U.S. policy toward Cuba and get nothing in return.

Michelle Obama’s Tales of Racialized Victimhood She Changes Her Story About her Adventure at a Big-Box Store. By Michelle Malkin

Oh, woe is she. In an “exclusive” interview with People magazine this week, first lady Michelle Obama lamented the “sting” of “racist experiences” that she and her husband allegedly still suffer. My message for America’s Marie Antoinette? Cry me a river.

To show how she’s down with The Struggle of post-Ferguson agitators, Mrs. Obama cited a supposedly horrifying incident at a Target store where she was treated, in her paranoid mind, as a subservient. “Even as the first lady,” she bemoaned, “not highly disguised, the only person who came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf.”

A lowly peon asked her for an innocent favor? It’s Jim Crow all over again! ABC News reports that Mrs. Obama said such “incidents are ‘the regular course of life’ for African-Americans and a ‘challenge’ for the country to overcome.”

News flash: Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe that it is part of the “regular course of life” of tall people of all colors (Mrs. Obama is 5-foot-11) to be prevailed upon to reach high on behalf of those of us who are vertically challenged. These are not odious “incidents” of racism between slaves and masters. They’re matters of common courtesy between equals.

So overcome your ridiculously hypersensitive, privileged self and deal with it, girl! (And now don’t get all hot and bothered about the “girl” thing. Sheesh.)

There is, of course, a truly insidious “-ism” at work here: Cynicism. Mrs. Obama’s dissemination of her false racial narrative in a popular celebrity rag is cunningly calculated to pander to America’s aggrieved leftists. We know Mrs. Obama’s victim sob story is a steaming pile of rotten turnips because the last time she talked about The Incident, it was a feel-good late-night talk-show anecdote devoid of discrimination.

On David Letterman’s show in 2012, the haute-couture-clad first lady recounted the same “incognito” Target visit to demonstrate her just-like-you bona fides. She chuckled as she shared how the shopper asked, “Can you reach on that shelf and hand me the detergent?” As the audience laughed with delight and Mrs. Obama grinned from ear to ear, she told Letterman: “I reached up, ’cause she was short, and I reached up, pulled it down — she said, ‘Well, you didn’t have to make it look so easy.’ That was my interaction. I felt so good.”

Something Is Rotten in UCLA’s Center for Near East Studies by Mitchell G. Bard Can You Guess Which Country Gets Consistently Picked On?

Recently, UCLA’s federally subsidized Center for Near Eastern Studies (CNES) has come under fire by a pro-Israel watchdog that conducted a review of the Center’s programs from 2010-2013 and concluded that many featured “anti-Semitic discourse and anti-Israel bias.”

Among the findings of the report by the AMCHA Initiative:

CNES Israel-related events had an overwhelmingly anti-Israel bias: Of the 28 Israel-related events, 93% were anti-Israel;

CNES favors speakers who engaged in anti-Semitic activity prior to speaking at CNES: Of the 31 speakers at the CNES Israel-related events, 84% have engaged in Anti-Semitic activity, including the demonization and delegitimization of Israel, denying Jews the right to self-determination, comparing Israelis to Nazis and condoning terrorism;

Each CNES director had engaged in anti-Israel and anti-Semitic activity: All three CNES directors from 2010-2013 publicly opposed the UC Israel Abroad Program, despite touting the public abroad program as part of the center’s fulfillment of the Title VI funding requirement. In addition, each of the directors endorsed boycotts of Israel, and one is a founder of the U.S. Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel.

Professor James Gelvin, a historian studying the Middle East, wrote a spirited defense of CNES on behalf of the Faculty Advisory Committee, which, oddly enough, appeared in an Arabic publication. Gelvin focused his rebuttal on AMCHA’s statistics regarding the number of programs regarding Israel; however, he presents no evidence to dispute the fundamental charge of anti-Israel bias. His answer to the failure to bring speakers who might balance some of the panels critical of Israel is to say that CNES also does not feel the need to “balance” the criticism of Arab states. He further justifies the faculty invited by CNES by asserting that they are “accomplished scholars presenting original work.” If you look at much of what the invited guests have said about Israel, it is highly questionable whether they deserve to be called accomplished and certainly are not presenting original critiques of Israel.

Obama’s Revolution in America — on The Glazov Gang

This week’s Glazov Gang was guest-hosted by Michael Finch, the president of the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He was joined by Morgan Brittany, Conservative TV and Movie Star, Nonie Darwish, author of “The Devil We Don’t Know” and Mell Flynn, the president of Hollywood Congress of Republicans.

The Gang gathered to discuss Obama’s Revolution in America, analyzing how the Radical-in-Chief is tearing the foundations of the country down from every angle (starts at the 9:30 mark). The episode also focused on Feinstein’s Destructive Torture Charade, Ferguson and an Arsonist-in-Chief, and much, much more:


Andrew Klavan: Defend Cancer Against the Jews!!!!!!

In this special episode, our host sides with the under-privileged victim of the Israeli occupation of science — Cancer! See the video and transcript below:

I’m Andrew Klavan and this is the Revolting Truth.

Today a disturbing story from across the sea. International news sources are reporting that Israeli scientists have been plotting to kill cancer. That’s right, sinister Jewish researchers who are Jewish have unleashed several new and deadly weapons in their insidious war against cancer. They’ve developed a revolutionary new protein that could cause cancer cells to destroy themselves in what can only be described as a massacre of the innocent… cancer cells. Israelis have also developed the first blood test for breast cancer and new techniques using extreme cold that could viciously murder lung and breast cancer cells with minimally invasive techniques. Needless to say, since these techniques are being developed by Israeli Jews, we must defend cancer!

After all, there were cancers living in the Middle East before the Israelis got there. By what right did the imperialist forces of the west decree that Jews could simply move into cancer’s territory and start killing off these peaceful indigenous disease cells left and right? Are we in the international community going to stand by and allow cancers that are just going about their humble business in someone’s breast or lung to be suddenly uprooted and destroyed by the kind of high tech weaponry only Israel would deploy. Every television network should be leading their newscasts with graphic pictures of the pitiful dead and dying cancer cells that have come under relentless attack by Israeli researchers. The New York Times, a former newspaper, should keep a running count of how many cancer cells have been killed in this invasion. After all, only about 40-thousand Israelis die of cancer every year; whereas hundreds and hundreds of millions of cancer cells are killed by Israeli doctors. Do those numbers seem fair to you?


A Haaretz poll, conducted on Tuesday by the Dialog Institute and supervised by ‎Professor Camil Fuchs of Tel Aviv University, revealed seemingly paradoxical results.

According to the poll, which was taken among a representative sample of 505 Israelis, ‎Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is very unpopular, but remains the best candidate for ‎the job.‎

Indeed, while most of the public does not want him to win a third consecutive term ‎‎(which would constitute a fourth term overall), his rivals fare worse.‎

It must be kept in mind that the Knesset elections are scheduled for March, nearly three ‎months away. A lot can happen in that time, especially in Israel, where events are ‎incredibly dynamic on a daily basis. ‎

Proof of this is how distant the war in Gaza now seems, though it ended very recently. In ‎July and August, Hamas missiles were flying all over the country, sending the entire ‎populace into bomb shelters and a smaller number into Gaza to fight the terrorists and ‎destroy their infrastructure. By October, the cheap cost of chocolate pudding in Berlin ‎compared with that in Tel Aviv was front-page news.‎

In addition, because of the nature of survey questions, which leave no room for nuance or ‎qualifications, they are not reliable. What they provide, however, is a general, anecdotal ‎sense of the way the wind is blowing at any given moment. Like man-in-the-street ‎interviews, they serve as a gauge of temporary gut sentiment.‎

Due to the way the political system works in Israel, one main question on the mind of ‎average voters is whether to cast their ballot for the largest party that comes closest to ‎their worldview, or to go with a smaller party with a more specific focus. Opting for the ‎latter often means throwing one’s vote into the garbage, since narrow-interest tickets — ‎such as the marijuana party — usually don’t pass the electoral threshold to make it into the ‎Knesset. ‎

This used to be a far more cut-and-dry choice between Left and Right. The major parties ‎would garner most of the votes, and the victor among the two would form the coalition.‎

But since both previous major blocs, Likud and Labor, have split over the years, the Knesset ‎map has changed. Today, there are three or four parties hovering around the same number of seats, or at least garnering a sufficient number to make them a force for the party ‎forming the coalition to be reckoned with.‎

Geert Wilders Was Right by Uzay Bulut

“Hate Speech” was invented in the Kremlin of the USSR by political operatives who saw that it could be used effectively against anyone who did not agree with you, whom you wanted to silence.

It would seem indispensable for all people who want to defend their liberty to take a stand against criminal and violent people who aim to destroy or damage their societies. If those people are extremist Muslims, why should they be exempt? And if they are not extremist Muslims, why should they not be protected from the same threats and violence that menace us?

Ironically, however, it is not the violent Islamic teachings inspiring these crimes that are questioned, criticized — or prosecuted — as hate speech on major media outlets or among political circles. It is, instead, the victims of these teachings: among others, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Lars Hedegaard, Susanne Winter, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, Imran Firasat, and Geert Wilders.

What Geert Wilders does cannot be called hate speech. It is legitimate a struggle, if occasionally imperfect, to protect the liberties of all of us in the face of unending threats and attacks, most recently from Islamic extremists.

Geert Wilders is not an extremist of any kind. He is a democrat who defends Western values, the most important of which are liberty and life. We should not prosecute Wilders. We should thank him for sacrificing his life to defend us — and defend him back.

What a week. In an Australian café, a self-declared Jihadi seized at least 17 hostages, two of whom died; and in Pakistan,148 people, including 132 children, were massacred by the same branch of the Taliban that tried to murder Mala Yousafzai to prevent her from being educated.

Whether the terrorist in Australia acted alone or had an organization behind him is irrelevant. It did not stop him from killing two hostages. The manager of the Lindt cafe, 34-year-old Tori Johnson, and a 38-year-old lawyer and mother of three, Katrina Dawson, lost their lives

Cuomo Bans Fracking Safely Re-Elected, New York’s Governor Hides Behind Bad Science and Hurts Upstate Jobs.

The natural gas shale boom has been a blessing for much of America in these otherwise difficult times—from Texas to North Dakota through Ohio and Pennsylvania. But the bounty won’t be coming to New York, where Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday banned hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the rich Marcellus Shale. New York follows Vermont as the only other U.S. state to ban fracking, joining such economic superpowers as France and Bulgaria.

During his recent re-election campaign, Mr. Cuomo hinted to business supporters that he would end the fracking moratorium the state has had in place since 2008. He said he was merely waiting on his health and environmental regulators to review fracking’s impact. Their “Public Health Review” arrived this week, and it reads as if it were ghost-written by the Sierra Club, and maybe it was.

The reports claims there are “significant uncertainties about the kinds of adverse health outcomes that may be associated with [High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing], the likelihood of the occurrence of adverse health outcomes, and the effectiveness of some of the mitigation measures in reducing or preventing environmental impacts which could adversely affect public health.”

Until “the science provides sufficient information to determine the level of risk to public health from health from HVHF to all New Yorkers and whether the risks can be adequately managed,” health regulators recommend banning fracking. Yet as the report notes, “absolute scientific certainty” regarding fracking’s impact on public health “is unlikely to ever be attained.”

In other words, all of the Governor’s men couldn’t find conclusive evidence that fracking presents a significant risk to public health or the environment. So they’re going to ban fracking until they do.

The truth is that fracking has been taking place around the country for many years without evidence of environmental harm. Even the federal Environmental Protection Agency, which desperately wants to find it, has uncovered no credible evidence that fracking causes groundwater contamination.

Five Puzzles About Occupation and Settlements: Questions for GenevaBy Eugene Kontorovich

Today, Switzerland convened a conference of State Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, to discuss the law of occupation as it pertains to Israel. There have been just a couple of previous occasions when Geneva convened the signatories of its eponymous treaty, and every single one has been about Israel. (Jerusalem, Washington, Ottawa, and Canberra have announced they will snub the confab.)

Yet there is nothing wrong with an international conference to discuss the Fourth Geneva Convention, and to attempt to better understand its requirements as they apply in particular situations. Art. 49(6)’s prohibition of “deportation and transfer” into occupied territory could certainly do with elucidation. (The “deport or transfer” ban is commonly referred to as “settlement building.”)

Indeed, an examination of movement into occupied territory in Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Western Sahara, and Cyprus would be both timely and instructive. Needless to say, this is not what the state parties will be discussing. They are, sadly, not interested in the Geneva Conventions, but only their possible use against Israel. But if the State Parties were to want an interesting agenda, here are some questions they might ask.

1. The first relates to the ICRC’s own definition of occupation (a precondition to the applicability of the “deport or transfer” norm). The state parties apparently regard Israel as occupying Gaza, to say nothing of all of the West Bank, despite the removal of Israeli troops from those areas and the existence of an independent Palestinian administration there. However, occupation in all other contexts requires the occupying power to displace and actually function as the governing authority, conditions that do not apply in Gaza and large parts of the West Bank (Area A).

Indeed, an ICRC manual excludes areas like Gaza: