http://www.nationalreview.com/blogs/print/338278 Were Barack Obama reelected, I predicted two months before the November 2012 presidential vote, “the coldest treatment of Israel ever by a U.S. president will follow. Well, the election is over and that cold treatment is firmly in place. Obama has signaled in the past two months what lies ahead by: Choosing three senior […]


http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/338303/write-your-own-inaugural-john-o-sullivan Some years ago a musicologist with a sense of humor patented a piano parlor game called “Write your own Mozart.” It didn’t enable the player to write music as well as Mozart, of course, but by shuffling a series of musical bars in some sort of order, it did allow him to produce an […]




AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — From a podium at an Amman street rally, the leader of Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood vowed that soon the country would become a “state in the Muslim Caliphate,” bringing cheers of “God is great” from the crowd of bearded, Islamist supporters.

It was extreme rhetoric, suggesting that the monarchy that defines this U.S. ally in the Mideast will disappear to be replaced by an Islamic state. The Brotherhood, the top opposition group in Jordan, usually avoids such bold strokes and insists on its loyalty to the king.

But the speech last week by Hammam Saeed points to how the heat is turning up in the country’s simmering political confrontations as Jordan holds parliamentary elections Wednesday that the government touts as a milestone in a gradual process of bringing greater democracy.

King Abdullah II is trying to control the pace of change, ceding enough of his absolute powers to parliament in hopes of forestalling any Arab Spring-style uprisings like the ones that toppled autocratic leaders in Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Tunisia and devolved into a bloody civil war in Syria. But the Brotherhood and others in the opposition say his moves do not go far or fast enough to end his monopoly on power.

“The elections are a theatrical comedy, which we will not take part in,” said Zaki Bani Irsheid of the Islamic Action Front, the Brotherhood’s political party. “It is part of a royal gimmick to buy time and block any moves toward real and genuine reforms.”

The Brotherhood is boycotting the vote, as are four smaller parties, including communists and Arab nationalists. But the Islamists’ frustration is growing because they haven’t been able to rally a large sector of the public to their side. Though there is anger over the economy, rising prices and corruption, many Jordanians also distrust the Brotherhood, eyeing its rise in Egypt and fearing it could grab power in Jordan and throw it into instability.

The protest Friday at which Saeed spoke was far smaller than expected, numbering only just over 1,000, despite the Brotherhood’s boasts it would bring out tens of thousands to show the people’s rejection of the reform program.

The government says the measured pace of reform aims to acclimatize Jordan to democracy. Constitutional reforms made last year by Abdullah start to edge the government out from under his total domination, handing more authority to the newly elected parliament. The Chamber of Deputies will now have a freer hand to draw up legislation, a stronger role in monitoring the Cabinet and for the first time lawmakers, not the king, will choose the prime minister.

An Independent Electoral Commission was created and tasked with supervising Wednesday’s voting, taking over the responsibility for the first time from the Interior Ministry, which is in charge of security forces.

Last week, Abdullah signaled that he was ready to relinquish more powers in the future.

“The system of ruling in Jordan is evolving … and the monarchy which my son will inherit will not be the same as the one I inherited,” he told a French magazine. He didn’t elaborate, but his comments raised speculation Jordan could eventually move toward a constitutional monarchy, with the king in a more ceremonial role.



Chuck Schumer had his footprint, handprint, and just about every other print over Barack Obama’s second inauguration Monday. The New York senator even merited some gentle ribbing by his friends on Huff Post Comedy – Chuck Schumer Photobombs The Oath of Office.

This behavior should be no surprise considering the senator’s well-known camera-hogging proclivities and that he happens to be chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, therefore charged with being master of ceremonies for the inauguration and overseeing all preparations for Obama’s swearing-in, including making sure the traditional Congressional lunch that followed is chuck full [pun intended] of New York State products (Hudson Valley apple pie, etc.).

The New York Times’ The Caucus blog had some gentle fun of its own about this – This Inauguration Brought to You by the State of New York. We all know how “ungentle” the NYT would have treated this kind of porky behavior had Schumer been a Republican, but skip over that for a moment to a more important matter.

Just a few days ago, the New York senator was in the eye of a storm surrounding Chuck Hagel’s nomination as secretary of Defense. After a private interview with the former Nebraska senator (he of the well-documented slurs against gays and Jews contrasting with a more laissez-faire attitude toward Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran), Chuck Schumer — in the role of wise counsel for all Jewish-Americans — announced he was “convinced” Hagel had changed his noxious opinions.

Well, good. But imagine if Hagel had not really changed his opinions (or if he semi-hemi-demi changed them). What would Chuck Schumer, as the president’s inaugural emcee and chief factotum of his second inauguration, have done then? Excoriate Hagel and demand he not be nominated, thus humiliating his mentor?

Not likely. But Schumer would never have had to do that — would never be put in that position — because the game was already rigged. Hagel would say the right things to Schumer who would relay those words to the world, reaping glory less than a week later in the role of president’s “best man” on national and international television.

The game has similarly also been rigged against the state of Israel. Schumer, consciously and/or unconsciously, has been one of the riggers, he and a squadron of Obama’s other “good Jews” including David Axelrod, Jack Lew, and Rahm Emanuel.

Meanwhile, the president — actually treating Israel like the fifty-first state she has been accused of being — has reportedly said the Jewish state doesn’t know what’s good for her.

Israel, for her part, is moving to the right. The reason is simple – although contra everything Obama thinks or wishes. The Israeli public is finally facing – years after the Oslo Accords and after unilaterally departing from the Sinai and Gaza only to be the recipient of endless missiles and terror attacks — that the Palestinians, leadership and public, have no real interest in a two–state solution. It is only the Israelis, ironically, that want one. For reasons of tribalism, vengeance, and religious primitivism, the Palestinians seek only a one-state solution. Theirs. If they had wanted a two-state solution, they could have had one of their own decades ago.



The lady is a skilled liar and obfuscater….and she probably has prepared answers….the real question for her is more simple. “Do you acknowledge that Islamic Jihad is on the uptick throughout Africa?”….rsk
Some questions for Secretary Clinton when she testifies on Benghazi this week

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has agreed to testify on the Benghazi debacle before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, January 23, two days after President Obama is inaugurated.

I doubt that very many journalists and citizens will closely follow the hearing held so soon after the inauguration. But even so, I have some questions that a member of the Committee may want to ask. (Of course, these questions are the tip of the iceberg.)

1. On October 15, 2012, did you take responsibility for the lapses in Benghazi security that resulted in the 9/11/12 murders of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

2. Do you take responsibility for the State Department not improving security or withdrawing after terrorists exploded two bombs (one in April 2012 and the other in June 2012) at the American Benghazi diplomatic post?

3. Do you take responsibility for the State Department not improving security or withdrawing after a May 2012 terrorist attack on the Red Cross in Benghazi that caused the organization to withdraw effective August 6, 2012?

4. Do you take responsibility for the State Department not improving security or withdrawing after an attempted assassination of the British Ambassador in Benghazi on June 10, 2012, that resulted in the withdrawal of all British consular staff that same month?


Excoriating the Apathy That Aided the Nazis
A Review of ‘Cartoonists Against the Holocaust,’ in New Rochelle

It may take a village to raise a child, but what does it take to ensure that that child grows up to respect people raised in different ways by other villages? “Cartoonists Against the Holocaust,” an exhibition combining the efforts of a Westchester County high school and two nonprofit organizations, in White Plains and Washington, suggests a history lesson.

Created in Washington by the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, brought to Westchester by the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center and installed at the Museum of Arts and Culture in New Rochelle High School’s new wing, “Cartoonists Against the Holocaust” merits its subtitle, “Art in the Service of Humanity.”

The title itself, however, is a bit of a misnomer. The cartoon reproductions in this small, eye-opening show are not decrying the crimes of the Third Reich. And let’s face it: Holocaust deniers notwithstanding, most of us, even the students who will be visiting the exhibition as part of their course work, don’t need to be told that the Nazis were evil. The cartoonists represented here were, rather, using their art to cajole, embarrass and pillory the politicians in London and Washington who failed to help save Jewish lives when they had the opportunity.

There was the infamous episode of the St. Louis, the stranded German passenger ship whose 900-plus refugees had to return to Europe after being refused entry to the New World, first by Cuba and then by the United States. There was Britain’s unrelenting opposition to opening Palestine to fleeing European Jews. There were international conferences about the Jewish plight that resulted in much talk and no action.

These cartoonists took umbrage. Some, including The New York Post’s Stan MacGovern, responded with simple, scathing images, like the one he drew in 1944, after the Nazis started deporting Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz. With the walls of Jerusalem in the distance, a pathetic figure on all fours representing “500,000 Jews in Hungary” reaches desperately for the Palestine visas in the pocket of John Bull’s tailcoat, while a ribbon marked “Delay” drapes the Englishman’s wrists and he says, “Sorry, my hands are tied.”

Other examples are equally blunt but display more finesse in the drawing. In Fred L. Packer’s “Ashamed,” published in The New York Daily Mirror in June 1939, as the trapped passengers of the St. Louis were making headlines, the Statue of Liberty averts her gaze from a refugee ship steaming away from the New York skyline, turned away by the enormous “Keep Out” sign hanging from her torch.

There are also cartoons that serve not just to make a political point but also to display the academic training and sheer artistry of the draftsman, like Arthur Szyk’s “Palestine Restricted” (1944). With a crowd of Jews trapped in front of a locked gate as a Nazi vulture attacks, it isn’t that different in content from the Packer and the MacGovern cartoons. But visually, its ornate composition, rich detailing and haunted faces have more in common with a Rembrandt etching.



“President Obama is trying to sell some of his own moonshine, distilled in the White House basement from corn grown in Michelle’s back-yard garden, to get Chuck Hagel through the Senate. He will need Mr. Hagel and his heroic war record as cover for the evisceration of the U.S. military he must get through Congress. Mr. Hagel says the Defense Department is “bloated” and the Pentagon should be “pared down.”

Nobody wants rain on Inauguration Day. For the partisans among us – and that includes approximately half of us, give or take a few hundred thousand – it’s a day for celebration of the nation and its history, the continuity of its institutions, and the promise of the future.

For the celebrating pols, it’s a day to celebrate not having to go home and get a job, and to mark the promise of another four years at the public trough.

For Barack Obama, it’s a celebration of his agenda, both the one seen and the other unseen. We’ll see soon enough what’s in the unseen, and how much he can get through a divided House and a soft and compliant Senate.

The big fight is one he’ll lose if the Republicans in Congress remember why they’re in Washington and who sent them here. He should win the other big fight, over whether to confirm Mr. Obama’s choice to be the secretary of defense. Presidents nearly always get the assistants they want.

Imitation messiahs can’t imagine why anyone should think they need advice and counsel from mere mortals, but Mr. Obama got a little good advice over the weekend from Bill Clinton. It’s not likely this White House will take it, but somebody in the West Wing should write it down and post it next to James Carville’s famous message to Stupid that elections are about the economy.



The newest Jewish commemorative institution scheduled to open in Europe this year is The Museum of the History of Polish Jews, built on the site of the Warsaw Ghetto According to Barbara Kirshenblatt Gimblett, the director of its Core Exhibition, the museum will honor the memory of those killed during the holocaust and other pogroms by remembering how Jews lived in Poland for 1,000 years. The governments of Warsaw and Poland have contributed much of the funding for this venture but Jewish philanthropists have given many millions of dollars to this 200 million dollar project and luminaries such as Elie Wiesel have affirmed its importance as an exposition of the full and varied lives lived by Polish Jews throughout the centuries.

For most people, Poland remains the primal scene of the extermination of Europe’s Jews. The word Auschwitz alone is emblematic of all Nazi death camps and the ready cooperation of Polish citizens with the Nazis in the goal of ridding their own country of Jews has been well and often documented. At the beginning of World War 11, Poland had the largest Jewish population in Europe, over 3 million people, 90% of whom were slaughtered during the war. For the remaining stragglers who made it back to their hometowns, there were incidents such as the pogrom in Kielce in which 80 Jews were killed and more than 50 wounded, and later government sponsored anti-semitic incidents in 1956 and 1968. The extermination of 6 million European Jews, half of whom were Polish, did little to abate the long-standing anti-semitism of the Polish people. After the war, 1,000 delegates of the Polish Peasants Party passed a resolution thanking Hitler for annihilating the Jews and urging the expulsion of those who had survived.


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324624404578255330637047510.html While France gets bogged down in Mali, far more dangerous extremists have entrenched themselves in eastern Libya. Mapping out drone strikes over the past year would be one way to understand U.S. policy toward al Qaeda and the war on terror. Unrelenting missile attacks in Yemen and Pakistan, compared with near-inaction against al Qaeda […]


http://pjmedia.com/spengler/2013/01/21/israels-choices-and-americas-failure/?print=1 A number of commentators have drawn a parallel between Israel’s national elections on Tuesday and the formation of a national unity government just prior to Israel’s preemptive attack on Egypt in June 1967. Despite stern warnings to the contrary from the Johnson administration and being at mortal risk, Israel won the Six-Day War. The […]