Israel’s predicament today is the work of Rabin and Sharon; two generals turned prime ministers who launched ambitious ventures and died leaving them unfinished and their nation in twilight. Rabin’s peace process destroyed Israeli national security and revitalized terrorism as a force in political affairs. Had he lived, he might have turned away from it. The idea had been thrust on him by the fringe left and he had grasped it as a hedge against the political oblivion of a leftist party that had lost credibility in a new Israel no longer dominated by the Socialist vision of cooperatives and bureaucracies.

That door was shut permanently by Rabin’s death and Sharon’s rise to power was made possible by the terrorist fallout from the peace process. Israelis had attempted to make earlier course corrections by voting for Netanyahu over Peres, but Netanyahu, proved unable to change the course of the nation. And so, after Barak’s disastrous retreat from Lebanon, Sharon’s hour came.

There had only been two politically acceptable options in Israel for dealing with terrorism; negotiated appeasement or holding the line. The latter meant making occasional forays after a terrorist atrocity into the territories under Palestinian Authority control, arresting a few wanted terrorists and then pulling back, and hoping the public would be satisfied.

Voters expected Sharon to go further. And he did.

Obama’s True Legacy: Not Healthcare By Nonie Darwish

Even though President Obama always said that Afghanistan was the good war that we should fight, his true intention was to withdraw from Afghanistan. This has been confirmed in Robert Gates’ new memoir, “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War,” in which the former Secretary of Defense demonstrates that Obama does not believe in his own strategy regarding the Afghan war and that the president always just wanted to extricate America out of the conflict.

Forcing America out of Afghanistan was what all Arab and Islamic countries have hoped to achieve. Muslims have zero tolerance for infidel foreigners on Muslim land, even if the land is being used as a base by al-Qaeda for terrorism. That is Islamic logic.

Obama appears to be unsettled and torn in his decision-making process; a dangerous characteristic for any leader. That is probably the reason why his Affordable Care Act was a disaster — because, with Obama, there is often a gap between what he wants and what he does. We are told over and over again that Obamacare was the president’s signature legislation, but could it be that Obamacare is just like the president’s Afghan strategy, in which Obama says one thing, but does not really have his heart in his words?

What exactly is Obama’s true passion?

A signature legislation should take the full attention of the president in terms of crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s. It is what every president oversees at every step to avoid any embarrassment, especially if such legislation was passed without a single vote from the opposing party. Even though health care has always been central to the agenda of the Democratic Party, it does not appear to be number one on Obama’s mind because he totally relied on others to create and oversee Obamacare. However, he did appear very invested in it and rushed it through Congress by totally relying on Nancy Pelosi, who was the one who appeared to have true passion for it. Obama gave her total authority even to make ridiculous statements like “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” Obamacare served to keep Obama’s core supporters happy and hypnotized. Even though Obamacare has turned out to be a disaster, Obama’s supporters have never publicly acknowledged how Obama has failed them with such a defective product.



McChrystal, Tocqueville, and the Koran: The Postmodern ‘COINage’ of a Failed Policy

References to the Koran are all-but-missing from “COIN,” our counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan. In contrast, 150 years ago, Alexis de Tocqueville knew better.

Just over nine months ago, on September 20, 2009, the Department of Defense released a declassified version of Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal’s assessment of the war in Afghanistan. The Washington Post published a version of this report with minor deletions of material that officials maintained could compromise future operations, rather than a copy of the document marked “confidential.” Although Gen. McChrystal’s counterinsurgency (COIN)-based analysis, “updated” for the Afghanistan theater, at least mentioned the “Koran” (a word omitted entirely from the December 2006 COIN manual co-authored by Gen. David Petraeus), the Koran’s motivational relevance — consistent with a over a millennium of jihadism within Afghanistan (or “Ghazni”) — was completely misrepresented. Negating doctrinal and historical realities, past and present, McChrystal’s uninformed, panglossian Koranic gloss rationalized an ostensibly “more forceful” strategy:

whereby INS [insurgents] are exposed continually for their cultural and religious violations, anti-Islamic and indiscriminate use of violence and terror, and by concentrating on their vulnerabilities. These include their causing of the majority of civilian casualties, attacks on education, development projects, and government institutions, and flagrant contravention of the principles of the Koran. These vulnerabilities must be expressed in a manner that exploits the cultural and ideological separation of the INS from the vast majority of the Afghan population. (emphasis added)

McChrystal’s superficial, bowdlerized pieties on the Koran, and Petraeus’ complete neglect of this foundational Islamic text, contrast starkly with the contemplative, firsthand observations on the Koran (and Islam) made by Alexis de Tocqueville. Shortly after his return from America, Tocqueville studied North African Islamic culture and history — which included an analysis of the Koran (“Notes on the Koran,” March, 1838) — and made two visits to Algeria (in 1841, and 1846), becoming one of the foremost experts on these matters, while serving as a French parliamentarian.


Over at Real Clear Politics, Robert Tracinski muses on the degradation of “global warming” into “a textbook case of pseudo-science”:

One of the famous characteristics of pseudo-science is that it is “unfalsifiable.” That is, the theory is constructed in such a way that there is no evidence that could possibly refute it. The classic example is Freudian psychoanalysis, which tells you that you have an Oedipus Complex, and if you deny it, that’s just proof that you’re repressing it…

“Climate-change” theory is similarly irrefutable:

So sea water is freezing because it is melting.

Note that there is never any pause to acknowledge that maybe scientists should investigate the hypothesis that warming isn’t as big or inevitable as they have predicted. No, it’s on to the next ad hoc rationalization. That’s the basic pattern: an unproven theory reinforces itself in the face of contradictory evidence by generating additional unproven theories.

A relatively small number of us find Big Climate’s pretzel-like exertions hilarious and ridiculous. But should we be allowed to do so? To those who believe in his magical “hockey stick”, the fake Nobel Laureate Dr Michael Mann’s current legal battles are the result of “denialists” denying him the freedom to practice his “science”. But look at the actual court cases and a different picture emerges. First, Mann’s case before the Virginia Supreme Court:

A conservative advocacy group, the American Tradition Institute, filed the initial request for documents, and the University was apparently inclined to agree to much of the request until Mann, the American Association of University Professors, and other groups urged them not to.


http://www.commentarymagazine.com/ After several months of virtual radio silence in the mainstream press about the IRS scandal, the over-the-top coverage afforded Chris Christie’s Bridgegate fiasco reminded conservatives of the way many in the media downplayed the outrageous accounts of the government’s bias against conservative political groups. But the IRS affair got back into the news in […]


Trump: I May Run for NY Governor — If Republicans Unite


Billionaire developer Donald Trump says he may run for governor in New York state — if the political climate is right.

“Many of the leaders of the Republican Party in New York have come and asked me to do it,” Trump told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.

“New York is in bad shape. It’s got the highest taxes in the United States for a state, and we’ll look at it,” he said Tuesday.

And the political climate that would be right for Trump, star of NBC’s long-running hit show “The Apprentice” and one-time presidential candidate?

“If we could have a unified party in New York . . . which we haven’t had for a long time, many years . . . I would certainly give it very, very serious consideration, which I’m doing now,” he said.

To Put Equality Ahead of Liberty is to War Against Human Nature. By Victor Davis Hanson

“There is, in fact, a manly and lawful passion for equality which excites men to wish all to be powerful and honored. This passion tends to elevate the humble to the rank of the great; but there exists also in the human heart a depraved taste for equality, which impels the weak to attempt to lower the powerful to their own level, and reduces men to prefer equality in slavery to inequality with freedom.”

—Alexis de Tocqueville

In his famous admonition about the tyranny of the majority, Tocqueville went on to warn that “Liberty is not the chief and constant object of their desires; equality is their idol: they make rapid and sudden efforts to obtain liberty, and if they miss their aim resign themselves to their disappointment; but nothing can satisfy them except equality, and rather than lose it they resolve to perish.”

If we keep Tocqueville’s advice in mind, we can appreciate why and how the present war against personal liberty in service to mandated equality may become the greatest danger of the 21st century. The theaters of battle already extend to every segment of American life; and every weapon is employed, from government coercion to the progressive media to the Orwellian effort to change the meaning of language itself.

Millions of Americans have lost the liberty to select their own type of health insurance, purchased on their own volition to best match their own assessments of their particular needs. Obamacare — the federal government’s redistributive effort to equalize health care for all — sought to destroy the liberty of many millions in order to ensure a state-directed sameness in care for all. Note also how a redistributive plan that spiked costs, reduced care, and so far has taken away more health coverage than it has provided is named the “Affordable Care Act.” Better to call it the the “Unaffordable Uncaring Edict.”

Most initiatives that Obama has embraced are characterized by going after a suspect group or tradition — targeting particular businesses deemed not sufficiently socially sensitive to workers, focusing on legal gun owners, eroding the military tradition in infantry service of restricting women to non-combat roles, coercing schools that would discipline trouble-makers in class, promoting the suppression of interest rates by the Federal Reserve to reward the many who owe money and punish the fewer who saved some — all on the notion of helping the proverbial “people.” Such a thoroughgoing effort at enforcing ideas of fairness covers both the important and the trivial: The government renames terrorism “man-caused disasters”; the fight against it is merely “overseas contingency operations.” The Muslim Brotherhood is “largely secular.” If need be, we can jail an obscure video maker on trumped-up charges of parole violation to serve the larger need not to show bias against anyone.

The universities are probably society’s worst offenders. Under the guise of seeking race, class, and gender equity, they have denied free expression through “speech codes.” They have undermined traditional liberal-arts curricula on the grounds that they were not sufficiently sensitive to these same gender, race, and class issues. And they have placed their institutions — from the selection of graduation speakers, to the hiring and promotion of administrators and faculty, to the criteria for admitting students and the scale on which they are graded — in service not to academic excellence or even civil liberties, but to a perceived equality of result.

The Common Coring of Private Schools: The Fordham Institute’s Recommendation for Regulating Subsidized Public Schools is Dangerous. By Andrew J. Coulson & Jason Bedrick

Should private schools be primarily accountable to parents or to government bureaucrats?

That’s the central question the Thomas B. Fordham Institute seeks to answer in the report it released Tuesday. The institute proposes that state governments should require private schools to administer state tests to all students participating in school-choice programs, and that the results should be publicized. Any private school the state deemed “persistently underperforming” would be expelled from the choice program.

This policy is well-intentioned, but a bad idea. It isn’t supported by the evidence and would be detrimental to the hundreds of thousands of students participating in school-choice programs nationwide.

First, the evidence: It is telling that the Fordham Institute cites only one study that suggests its policy “may boost student achievement.” Problematically, one of the authors of that study has already publicly cautioned against drawing this conclusion, noting that his finding is “enticing and suggestive but hardly conclusive.”

But even if the support of that one study were not in question, it would still only be one study. And a single study, no matter how carefully executed, is not a scientific basis for policy.


What a bizarre spectacle. Assuming he did not lie during his marathon news conference last week, the feeding frenzy surrounding New Jersey governor Chris Christie will be remembered as one of those incredibly odd moments of elite journalistic hysteria that are difficult to explain to people who weren’t there or didn’t get it.

I’m not referring to the scandal itself; that’s easy enough to understand. What Christie’s team did was outrageous and deserves as much foofaraw and brouhaha as the New Jersey media can muster.

What’s harder to grok is the hysteria at the national level.

For starters, there have been countless greater outrages at the state level that have received far less national coverage. (Indeed, there have been national scandals under President Obama that have received less intense national coverage.) Since 1961, four Illinois governors have ended up in jail, and with the exception of Rod Blagojevich, few have received comparable media attention.

Meet the Press dedicated 33 minutes to the New Jersey scandal, including a grilling of Reince Priebus, head of the Republican National Committee, as if Christie were Nixon during Watergate (a comparison ostensibly serious people have made).


As recently as 1998, New York State’s Republican party controlled the governorship, a United States Senate seat, and the mayor’s office in Manhattan. Today, it is greatly diminished, with its sole beachhead of influence in the state senate, where it shares a majority with four independent Democrats.

In contrast, the Working Families party (WFP), a 15-year-old left-wing, union-fueled group with just 20,000 members, now holds the whip hand over much of the dominant Democratic party in New York — and is already spreading its wings to other states. The WFP not only was a major force behind Bill de Blasio’s victory for mayor last November; it dominated the rest of the election, too. “They propelled all three citywide officials in New York City into office, and have a huge chunk of the city council allied with them,” says Hank Sheinkopf, a leading Democratic consultant who has worked for Hillary Clinton. “They are a real force.”

In New York, the WFP’s power is magnified by state laws that allow minor parties to cross-endorse major-party candidates, which has given rise to a number of influential third parties. (Incidentally, one such upstart, the Conservative party, provided the ballot line for WFB’s mayoral campaign in 1965 and his brother’s successful Senate campaign in 1970.) But cross-endorsements are especially crucial in New York City: Rudy Giuliani won the mayoralty in 1993 only by running on the lines of both the Republican party and the heavily left-leaning Liberal party. He rewarded the Liberals with patronage jobs and hefty pay increases for their teachers’-union allies. Mike Bloomberg won in 2001 only by having both the Republican- and Independence-party lines, and in 2009 he even actively negotiated with Working Families for their endorsement, until his representative admitted “the price was too high.”