Demystifying the Myths of WarInterview with Andrew Roberts, Author of “The Storm of War” Rael Jean Isaac
Europe Cries Wolf, Britain Calls Its Bluff David Cameron’s veto of Europe’s proposed fiscal union does not spell doom for the U.K. Quite the contrary.
‘Bye-bye England,” shouts the Bild. In Der Spiegel, a cartoon shows Prime Minister David Cameron being dropped into a rowboat as the great European liner steams ahead. Headlines in the New York Times and Financial Times agree: Britain is “isolated” from the euro zone. What could make a Briton feel warmer this Yuletide, or more nostalgic?

Britain has been warned ever since the European Coal and Steel Community was created by Jean Monnet in the 1950s that if she didn’t get onto the “top table”—sometimes it was “in at the ground floor”—then terrible things would happen. Europe would surge ahead without her


“Between Weizmann and Jabotinsky, it’s hard to know whom Ben-Gurion hated more. He schemed with Weizmann against Jabotinsky—but had contempt for Weizmann’s hesitancy and ultimately sidelined the elder statesman. True differences of principle separated Ben-Gurion and Jabotinsky. Ben-Gurion favored class struggle and an agrarian economy; Jabotinsky was a classical liberal who wanted to foster an urban middle class. Ben-Gurion also scorned Jabotinsky’s demand for the territorial integrity of Eretz Israel. But it went deeper: Jabotinsky died of a heart attack in 1940 in New York; when the state was founded, Ben-Gurion refused to allow his adversary’s remains to be reinterred in Israel.”

At this year’s yahrzeit ceremony in Sde Boker for David Ben-Gurion (1886–1973), Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with Iran clearly on his mind, emphasized—eight times—Ben-Gurion’s capacity for making hard decisions. This theme permeates Ben-Gurion: A Political Life. The book is a “conversation” between the author, advocacy journalist David Landau, and Israeli President Shimon Peres. Landau calls it a “fusion of memory and history and multiple competing narratives.” Here we have truth in labeling, for what this slim volume is not is reliable history.


The masses weeping over the death of Kim Jong Il and the frantic online defenders of Ron Paul have something in common, it isn’t the man they care about. It’s what he represents.

The course of events that took a cranky Texas congressman and turned him into the made man of a motley crew of online gambling entrepreneurs, racists, conspiracy theorists and the whole big circus tent filled with offshore accounts, UFO landing sites and copies of the Turner Diaries is an odd one, but not a completely unusual one.

Cults of personality are not about the man, but about the need that he fills in his followers. There is a point at which every dictator, rock star and celebrity realizes that it is the people who adore him that are in charge and all he can do is ride the wave of adulation. The men don’t matter, the reasons why people seize on them do matter.

Why Ron Paul? Because like so many at the center of a cult of personality, he is everything to everyone. The big tent he presides over is full of people who don’t agree on very much. They are a nexus of opposition to ‘everything’, but they’re also a collection of groups that splinter faster than old wood in a thunderstorm.

Egypt turning into a ‘house of dust’
Foreign Policy Research Institute
Monday, December 26, 2011
German poet Heinrich Heine famously warned, “Where they have burned books, they will end by burning people.” But the December 17 burning of Cairo’s Institut d’Egypte on the first anniversary of the self-immolation of the Tunisian vegetable vendor, Mohamed Bouazizi, which sparked the Arab Spring, stands the oft-used dictum on its head. Read more…

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MAURER: Limiting government limits on our speech
The Washington Times
12/27/2011 12:21 AM

Sen. Bernard Sanders has proposed an amendment to the Constitution to remove First Amendment protections from individuals who gather together to form corporations. New advocacy groups, run by influential media and political figures, are springing up to overturn “corporate personhood” so they cannot participate in elections.
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President says he won’t abide by spending bill he signed
When the president of the United States signs a bill into law, it’s expected that he will abide by it. That’s not the case with President Obama, who has a sudden interest in novel legalistic interpretations getting him off the hook from laws he doesn’t like.

On Friday, the president signed the $1 trillion omnibus spending bill, which funds the government for the remaining nine months of the fiscal year. Afterward, he released a statement saying he won’t abide by the law because the Justice Department had advised that certain provisions are “subject to well-founded constitutional objections.”

House Speaker John A. Boehner’s spokesman Kevin Smith told The Washington Times, “This president used to condemn the type of signing statements he is now embracing to ignore the will of Congress and the American people.”

One of the presidential pet peeves is that Capitol Hill put the kibosh on his czars. Those high-level White House appointments aren’t confirmed by the Senate but are central to implementing Mr. Obama’s liberal agenda. Lawmakers specifically blocked funding for salaries and offices for four of his nine czars: health care (who coordinates Obamacare), automobile industry (“car czar”), urban affairs and climate change.

In Islamic Law, Gingrich Sees a Mortal Threat to U.S.By SCOTT SHANE

WASHINGTON — Long before he announced his presidential run this year, Newt Gingrich had become the most prominent American politician to embrace an alarming premise: that Shariah, or Islamic law, poses a threat to the United States as grave as or graver than terrorism.

“I believe Shariah is a mortal threat to the survival of freedom in the United States and in the world as we know it,” Mr. Gingrich said in a speech to the American Enterprise Institute in Washington in July 2010 devoted to what he suggested were the hidden dangers of Islamic radicalism. “I think it’s that straightforward and that real.”

Mr. Gingrich was articulating a much-disputed thesis in vogue with some conservative thinkers but roundly rejected by many American Muslims, scholars of Islam and counterterrorism officials. The anti-Shariah theorists say that just as communism posed an ideological and moral threat to America separate from the menace of Soviet missiles, so today radical Islamists are working to impose Shariah in a “stealth jihad” that is no less dangerous than the violent jihad of Al Qaeda.

“Stealth jihadis use political, cultural, societal, religious, intellectual tools; violent jihadis use violence,” Mr. Gingrich said in the speech. “But in fact they’re both engaged in jihad, and they’re both seeking to impose the same end state, which is to replace Western civilization with a radical imposition of Shariah.”

Echoing some Republicans in Congress, Mr. Gingrich blasted the Obama administration’s policy of declining to label terrorism carried out in the name of militant Islam as “Islamic” or “jihadist.” Administration officials say such labels can imply religious justification for a distortion of doctrine that most Muslims abhor, thus smearing an entire faith.


WES PRUDEN ON “CLIMATE RESEARCH” “Climate research,” the New York Times confidently assures us, “stands at a crossroads.” This means that a lot of research scientists are standing at the crossroads, holding out paper bags like trick-or-treaters on Halloween night, standing in line for taxpayer largesse to fill ‘em up. These specialists in shakedown “science,” who speak only in […]

CAROLINE GLICK: NETANYAHU’S MISLEADING LESSONS Many of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s supporters were stunned last week when IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz announced he was promoting Brig.-Gen. Nitzan Alon to major general and appointing him to serve as the next commander of the Central Command. Alon completed a two-year tour of duty as Judea and Samaria Division […]


Obama’s Steep Uphill Reelection Battle Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought” “Israel Hayom” Newsletter, November 17, 2011—Israel-Hayom/Obama-s-Steep-Uphill-Reelection-Battle.aspx Irrespective of the uninspiring slate of Republican presidential candidates, President Obama is facing a steep uphill reelection battle. The predicament of Obama’s presidency was highlighted during its best possible week – following the May 2, 2011 elimination […]


It has been a full year since the earth was relieved of the weight of one Richard Holbrooke on December 13, 2010. I wanted to mark the one-year anniversary of his death since it is still many years before the world will recover from his life. While I feel I’ve already written apt eulogies, some things came up afterwards, most notably a painful-to-read piece of praise in Jerusalem Post at the time by Israeli former UN ambassador Dore Gold, president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Gold may be “one of the good ones,” as my philo-Semitic Italian friend puts it, but he is woefully wrong about what sort of man Holbrooke was.

For those who can stomach it, Gold’s Dec. 17, 2010 rhapsody about Holbrooke was titled “If Holbrooke had been given the Israel-Palestinian file” – A former UN ambassador praises the accomplished US diplomat who died this week, and wonders what he might have achieved in this region.

Probably something is amiss when an Israeli ambassador praises a man who was also being praised by the anti-Israel Christiane Amanpour ( “Why I Mourn,” Dec. 20, 2010). And notice that this Iranian-British woman, married to yet another confused Jew, was a key instrument in getting the West to help spread Jihad in Europe, even reporting from a Christian Serb cemetery as if from a Muslim one, the dead there attributed to “Serb” brutality.