Democracies Like Military Cuts By Bruce Thornton

President Obama has been rightly chastised for his proposed cuts to our military budget. Critics have gone after his Quadrennial Defense Review and its plan to shrink the armed forces, not to mention the clumsy optics of issuing pink slips to thousands of officers still serving in Afghanistan. More troublesome is the reduction of the military’s global mission from its traditional purpose of being able to fight and defeat two enemies at once, to only defeating one while keeping a second from “achieving its objectives,” a conveniently fuzzy criterion.

Worse yet, these cuts are coming just as China and Russia are flexing their geopolitical muscles, the Middle East is exploding in sectarian violence, and Iran is creeping ever closer to nuclear weaponry. As a bipartisan panel created by the Pentagon and Congress concludes of these latest reductions, “Not only have they caused significant investment shortfalls in U.S. military readiness and both present and future capabilities, they have prompted our current and potential allies and adversaries to question our commitment and resolve. Unless reversed, these shortfalls will lead to a high-risk force in the near future. That in turn will lead to an America that is not only less secure but also far less prosperous. In this sense, these cuts are ultimately self-defeating.”

As the national leader and Commander in Chief, Obama deserves much of the blame for this strategic blunder. But let’s not forget the role of us voters in these decisions. Historically democracies have had a bad habit of preferring butter to guns, privileging shortsighted interests over long-term security.

Consider ancient Athens, the first democracy. In the 4th century BC, the Athenians created a public fund to pay poorer citizens to attend the theater and religious festivals, which were celebrated on over 130 days a year. Soon a law was passed to divert surplus money into that fund instead of the military fund, and a bit later another law made transference of surpluses to the military fund a capital crime. Unfortunately, during this same period Philip II of Macedon embarked upon a program of aggression against the southern Greek city-states. With his defeat of Athens and Thebes at Chaeronea in 338 BC, Philip achieved his aim, and the Athenians lost their political freedom. Ancient critics linked Athens’ defeat to the decision to starve the military in order to finance “entitlement spending.” Three centuries after Chaeronea, the historian Pompeius Trogus wrote of the Athenians, “The state revenues they had once spent on the army and the fleet were devoted instead to holidays and festivals,” and public money “began to be divided among the people in the city. In this way it happened that in a Greece preoccupied with entertainment the previously lowly and obscure name of Macedon was able to emerge.”


The David Horowitz Freedom Center will be hosting an evening reception with “Making David into Goliath” author Joshua Muravchik on August 13, 2014. For more information, click here.

Empathizing with the underdog is a natural human instinct. When we see a little David facing off against a mighty Goliath, our hearts go out to the little guy. But what happens when Goliath pretends to be David and then accuses David of really being Goliath?

That is the situation that Israel finds itself in and it is also the topic of Joshua Muravchik’s new book, Making David Into Goliath: How the World Turned Against Israel.

Muravchik’s book looks at how the Arab Muslim countries swapped a hard military war for a soft political and cultural influence operation that combined murderous terrorism with economic boycotts and academic programming to convince the world that Israel was Goliath and they were little David.

It’s easy to spot the absurdity of the region’s intolerant and supremacist Sunni Muslim majority reinventing its identity as that of an oppressed people, but Muravchik also shows how this reinvention used the so-called “Palestinians” as a political vehicle for larger cultural goals. The current portrayal of Arab Muslims as an oppressed group stems in part from their association with the “Palestinian” cause.

“The Arabs, notwithstanding their regressive social and political practices, nor their recent alignment with the fascist powers, now, in the guise of the Palestinians, assumed a place among the forces of virtue and progress while the Israelis were consigned to the ranks of the villains and reactionaries,” Muravchik writes in Making David into Goliath.

Israel, as David, was able to leverage its limited manpower and resources in strategic military strikes against much bigger, but less centered opponents. Its opponents however learned to leverage the less demanding tools of soft power, such as the United Nations, to win soft power conflicts by demonizing Israel in as many international forums as possible.

War is a hard test of competence and courage. Influence operations in an international body are a matter of alliances. Academia, whose corruption Muravchik extensively chronicles in his chapter on Edward Said, specializes in the ability to infinitely invert ideas and distort their meanings.

Congress Needs Its Own Hippocratic Oath By Michael Cutler Congress is now in recess. We can now all exhale. While the media makes much of how members of both the Senate and House of Representatives have left Washington without accomplishing anything, I would offer a different perspective. Let’s be fair: everyone who works is entitled to vacation — even members of Congress. Here […]


He wants to use the ceasefire talks in Cairo to strengthen Fatah.

In remarks Wednesday, Obama said, “I have no sympathy for Hamas. I have great sympathy for some of the work that has been done in cooperation with Israel and the international community by the Palestinian Authority. And they’ve shown themselves to be responsible. They have recognized Israel. They are prepared to move forward to arrive at a two-state solution. I think [PA Chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, aka] Abu Mazen is sincere in his desire for peace.”

Obama’s plans for the ceasefire were spelled out in detail the day before in a column by Washington Post columnist David Ignatius. There Ignatius claimed that Secretary of State John Kerry has abandoned his previous position on the cease-fire. That position was harshly criticized by Israeli leaders and US media heavyweights, including Ignatius himself, for its clear bias in favor of Hamas.

In contrast to Kerry’s previous adoption of all of Hamas’s demands as official US positions, Ignatius wrote that “Over the past week, [Kerry] has been crafting a cease-fire plan that seeks to stabilize Gaza under the leadership of Abbas and the moderate Palestinian Authority….[The PA] (with the support of the international community) would have overall responsibility for the rehabilitation of Gaza.”

Ignatius continued, “The thrust of Kerry’s new plan is to leverage Hamas’s unity pact with Fatah and its pledge to transfer authority in Gaza to the [PA]. As a first step, the Palestinian Authority and its US-trained security service would assume responsibility for policing the Rafah crossing from Gaza into Egypt, as well as the passages into Israel.”


There comes a time when we have to start seeing the pattern, understanding its depth and meaning, and recognizing just how high are the stakes for the world we know.

Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again.

—Andre Gide
There is a Global Pogrom under way.

This is a terrible truth. And people tend to ignore terrible truths. So it must be said again: There is a Global Pogrom under way.

And another terrible truth must be spoken: The Global Pogrom has been under way for more than a decade. It has taken lives. It has destroyed property. It has injured, brutalized, and terrified Jews and Jewish communities in many nations. And it is creating a silent exodus, a de facto expulsion, an ethnic cleansing in slow motion.

To say again, because it must be said again, this is something almost no one wants to admit. A truth that almost no one, including many Jews, wants to speak or hear. But over the past month, it has become a truth that is impossible to ignore.

Yet even in the face of this, many continue to deny it, or at least to minimize it. And many, one regrets, have chosen to blame it on the Jews themselves.

A mere seven decades after the Holocaust, after the world was supposed to have learned its lesson, this is not only monstrous. It is not only evil. It is also an existential threat to the civilized world. Because the Global Pogrom presents the world with a stark choice: The Global Pogrom or civilization. And a civilization, any civilization, that cannot or will not say no to barbarism, is no longer a civilization at all.


Despicable! Outrageous! Do I have to dig back into my Thesaurus, Wolf Blitzer, to find more adjectives for your coverage over the past four weeks? You took sides. You fell flat on your face, disgraced yourself, disgraced everything that’s ever been taught in the schools of journalism.
In this topsy-turvy world this will probably win you an Emmy. Do I hear Pulitzer?

I swear, if soldiers are apt to be court-martialed, so too journalists for deception. Yes, I hold you criminally negligent for manipulating emotions to favor terrorism.

I watched your interview of yesterday with your chum Barghouti, wishing him all the best after he smeared Israel. You two need to get a room.

Where the hell do I begin? This minute? Okay this minute you admit that international journalists now emerging from Gaza are slowly saying what we always knew – that Hamas was firing from homes, schools and UN shelters. They were hiding behind women and children, their own women, their own children.

Journalists themselves were human shields, some willingly, some unwillingly. Either way, they were complicit, along with the UN.

But in a flash you and your man on the scene switched to Gaza suffering. Nice work, pal. That’s what you’re selling.

So it’s not about news, it’s about ratings. I remember how you kept chasing after that missing Malaysian airline. Got you good numbers, nearly catching Fox, so you kept after it round the clock — and now away we go with Gaza as long the Jewish State keeps getting hammered.

Archbishop: Hamas Fired Out of Our Church in Gaza (VIDEO)

Archbishop: Hamas Fired Out of Our Church in Gaza (VIDEO)

A Catholic Archbishop ministering to Gaza’s minute Christian minority says Hamas terrorists forced him to allow them to use his church to fire rockets at Israel during the four week-long Operation Protective Edge.

“Islam is the rule of this place and whatever Hamas says we must obey or face consequences,” Archbishop Alexios told The Christian Broadcasting Network.

Alexios showed the reporter where Hamas terrorists used the roof of the center to fire rockets at Israel.

Numerous Israeli UAV videos have shown similar images of rocket crews using mosques, schools, hospitals and other civilian structures as ammunition and gun nests, as well as launch sites – all war crimes according to the Geneva Conventions.

Anti-Semitic Double Standards: The Arts and the Jews :Nick Cohen

‘Would you force anyone else to behave like this?’ the promoters of the UK Jewish Film Festival asked the artistic director of London’s Tricycle Theatre.

Indhu Rubasingham and her colleagues dodged and hummed. They didn’t like the question and did not want to reply to it. The silence was an answer in itself. Of course the theatre would not hold others to the same standard: just Jews.

Accusations of racism are made so often it is hard to see the real thing when it looks you in the eye. Let me spell it out for you. Racism consists of demanding behaviour from a minority you would never dream of demanding from your friends; forcing them to accept standards or privations because of their race.

The Tricycle banned London’s annual Jewish Film Festival yesterday – cancelling 26 showings and six gala performances – after Rubasingham demanded that the festival organisers return a small sum – about £1,400 – they had received from the Israeli embassy. The grant did not come with political conditions attached, any more than an Arts Council grant from the British state comes with insistence that artists promote the policies of the British government. The organisers were not desperate for the money, particularly after the Tricycle offered to cover the loss. (Or rather offered to cover it with taxpayers’ money from its £725,000 Arts Council grant.) The organisers refused to comply nevertheless. The Tricycle administrators, who included the inevitable progressive Jew, were trying to force them into a political gesture; to make them prove that they accepted its politics before it would let them exhibit their work.

The Tricycle has not gone through the minutiae of the funding for any other group that has visited its premises. It does not demand that comedians and actors issue manifestos that meet with its approval before allowing them to appear. The Tricycle’s press spokeswoman, a hapless flak catcher named Kate Morley, told me that she couldn’t think of any other instance when it had imposed political conditions on performers that had no relevance to the work they were proposing to perform.

I could go on at length about how the conditions are irrelevant; how the Jewish Film Festival shows films that are sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, and tries to promote dialogue, understanding and all the rest of it. I could say that I can find no film it has shown that is propaganda for the current Israeli administration. I could add that if the arts are not a free space, where people can create without fear of intimidation, then we will not have art that is worth having, or indeed art that deserves taxpayer subsidy. I could take care to cover my own back from the inevitable ‘whatabboutery’ which greets everyone who writes on this subject, by saying that I find Israel’s behaviour in Gaza despicable.


We are in effect at war with Islamist radicalism. It is very unhelpful if this reality is denied, as the Obama administration has tried to do.

Two news items, spread within days over all the media, must be seen together so as to disclose an ominous reality. One was the news that Meriam Ibrahim and her family had finally arrived safely in the United States. The other news was that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was proclaimed Caliph of the new Islamic State. The story of Meriam Ibrahim tells of yet another horrendous cruelty perpetrated in the name of Islam. The new Caliphate expresses the intention of globalizing the horror.

There are two ways of looking at the record of these atrocities. One is to see them as intrinsic to Islam, the other as an aberration of genuine Islam. The first view is rarely proposed publically in the United States, though it may be quietly held by some Americans less affected by the prevailing culture of tolerance. It is more openly stated in Europe, for example by the Dutch populist Geert Wilders, who admitted that he hated Islam as an enemy of freedom (among other things he proposed that the Quran, like Hitler’s Mein Kampf, should be banned in the Netherlands). It is also interesting to compare the different attitudes to Islamist terrorism by the successive administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Immediately after the attacks of September 2001 President Bush made a speech in which he declared that we are not at war with Islam but with terrorism. (He also said that “Islam means peace”, which it does not. A linguistically challenged White House speech writer must have confused two Arabic words—salaam/”peace”, a common form of salutation among Muslims, and aslama/”submission”, the root of the religion’s name. Not that this matters; Bush meant well.)

The “war against terror” unleashed by the Bush administration has not gone well, to put it mildly. But the domestic reaction to the aforementioned speech was very positive. Numerous churches and synagogues went out of their way to express friendship for Muslims, courses on Islam proliferated in academia, and there was hardly any violence against Muslims (one terrible exception was the murder of a Sikh taxi driver, who was wrongly identified as a Muslim because of his turban). Early after his election President Obama gave a speech in Cairo in which he expressed his admiration for Islam (barely stopping short of apologizing for not being a Muslim). The response to the speech in the Muslim world was decidedly muted. Obama had no problem with Bush’s Islamophilia; he did have a problem with the word “war”—ever since the Cairo speech the Obama administration has maintained either that there was no war to begin with, or (presumably because of Obama’s wise foreign policy) the war was now over. Both Bush’s and Obama’s approaches are in tension with empirical reality. To suggest that Islamist terror has nothing to do with Islam is rather absurd. There is a great shortage of Presbyterian suicide bombers; the Muslim ones, as they blow themselves up, shout “Allahu akbar!”/”Allah is great!” To deny that radical Islamism (aberration or not) is not at war with us is also quite absurd. Barack Obama may not think that we are in a war, but the news has not reached Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

U.S. Hospitals Aren’t Ready For Ebola Outbreak by BETSY MCCAUGHEY, PHD

Ebola poses virtually no risk to most Americans, but hospital workers and their patients could face real danger if someone unknowingly infected with the deadly virus travels to the U.S. and comes to an emergency room here for care.

Many hospitals are poorly prepared to contain any pathogen. That’s why at least 75,000 people a year die from hospital infections. If hospitals can’t stop common infections like MRSA, C. diff and VRE, they can’t handle Ebola.

On July 20, Patrick Sawyer, an American working in Liberia, collapsed after an air journey from Liberia to Nigeria.

He had no idea he had Ebola, but five days later he died of it. He could have been getting off at JFK. At least 11 flights leave Liberia daily with connections to JFK.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s medical correspondent, says it’s a “real possibility” someone unknowingly sick with Ebola will fly to the U.S.

The Ebola outbreak has infected over 1,400 people, and killed 826 of them in three West African countries.

Last week, the World Health Organization issued guidelines for airlines. If a passenger is diagnosed with Ebola after the flight, all passengers on the same flight should be tracked down and tested.

As Ebola victims become sicker, they have vomiting, diarrhea, and internal and external bleeding. Those bodily fluids contain high concentrations of the virus, which can infect anyone exposed.

Airline cleaning crews are instructed to wear disposable gloves and wipe down arm rests, seat backs, trays and light switches if any passenger is sick.

Two Nigerian based airline companies and Emirates, the Dubai-based airline, already have suspended service to the affected countries. But Centers for Disease Control and Prevention head Dr. Thomas Frieden rejects that approach.

“We’re not going to hermetically seal the borders of the U.S.,” he said on ABC’s This Week on Sunday. “We’re reliant and interdependent with the world for travel, for trade, for economy, for our families and communities.”