The Four Great Waves of Defense Neglect by PETER HUESSY ****

If an additional $50 billion a year seems like a lot, how much would be the cost to the United States if adversarial nations continue to chip away at the free world until America finds itself either isolated or impotent to effect a reversal as it faces rogue terrorist states armed with the most deadly of weapons?

America’s fourth wave of neglect of its military since the end of World War II may have disastrous geostrategic consequences.

While Congress has passed a temporary slowdown in the decline in American defense spending with a two-year budget framework, the Ryan-Murray budget agreement, which restores $32 billion to the Department of Defense, the projected defense resources available for the next eight years will not allow the United States to protect its own security, let alone that of its allies.

Taken together, as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff warned[1], previous and projected cuts to military budgets from 2009-2023 threaten dangerously to undermine the stability required for both economic prosperity and relative peace among the world’s major military powers, as well as America’s global standing.

One of the nation’s top defense analysts sums it up: “The reality is, for all its promise, the Ryan-Murray budget agreement still only addresses less than 7 percent of the defense sequester. Much more work needs to be done to lift the specter of sequestration once and for all …”[2].

After World War II, U.S. security suffered. The decline in defense spending after 1945 was large, $90 billion down to $14 billion at the beginning of the first year after the war’s end (FY1947 or July 1, 1946). With the end of World War II, support for a strong US military was not a sure thing.

While the Marshall Plan, or European Economic Recovery Plan, did stop a significant portion of the planned expansion of the Soviets into Europe[3], these efforts consisted primarily of significant American economic assistance and the transfer of surplus military equipment to designated countries, with some American personnel transferred for training purposes as well – but without the deployment of American soldiers[4].

Despite the success of the Marshall Plan, however, serious security threats remained in the post-WWII period. The communists threatened to come to power in Turkey and Greece and succeeded in taking power in Czechoslovakia in February 1948 — a move, it was feared, that would imperil the freedom of other states of Europe.

Obama Silences Complaining Employers With IRS: Betsy McCaughey, PhD

President Barack Obama is using the IRS to silence employers unhappy about Obamacare.

That’s the hidden purpose behind the employer mandate delay announced on Feb. 10. The administration released 227 pages of mind-numbing regulations ridiculously billed as making “the compliance process simpler and easier” for employers. Hidden in the gobbledygook (on pages 125-126) is a requirement that employers sign a statement to the IRS – meaning under penalty of perjury – claiming they have not reduced the number of employees or cut hours to shield themselves from the costs of Obamacare.

The administration called it a mandate delay. Nonsense. The delay applies only to a minuscule fraction of midsize employers (50-99 full-time workers) who currently don’t provide coverage. They’re mostly in retail and hospitality, and they will be allowed to continue not offering it. Their workers (about 1.9 million) plus dependents will either stay uninsured or sign up with Obamacare. The administration is hoping for the latter.

But nine out of every 10 midsize employers already provide coverage, and for them, last Monday’s announcement was about hush money, not delay. They are required to continue providing coverage, and worse, most will have to switch to the costlier Obamacare package of benefits because that’s the only plan for sale. State insurance regulators and insurance companies have already said “no” to renewing noncompliant plans.

The only thing these employers get from last week’s rule change is a “stop complaining” bribe. The Affordable Care Act says employers have to pay a whopping $3,000 each time a worker goes onto the Obama exchanges and gets a taxpayer-subsidized plan. Now the administration is offering to waive that penalty. Employers who want this deal must attest to the IRS that they haven’t laid off workers or cut hours to squeeze under the 99-worker threshold.


King Abdullah of Jordan is displaying discernible signs of panic over the future of his kingdom. Dismissing any notion that it might become an “alternative homeland” for Palestinians, he recently declared to high Jordanian officials: “Jordan is Jordan and Palestine is Palestine and nothing but that, not in the past or the future.”

According to Arutz Sheva (February 24), the Jordanian state news agency Petra reported that in a meeting with his parliamentary leaders the king warned of “talk about the so-called alternative homeland” for Palestinians. “This, God willing, will be the last time we talk about this subject.” There is, apparently, increasing apprehension in Amman lest Secretary of State Kerry’s proposed framework agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority might implicate Jordan. The king is worried that Jordan would be required to accept even more West Bank Palestinians than it already has (now comprising a majority of the population). He is hopeful that any peace agreement will include the transfer of Palestinians from Jordan to the new Palestinian state.

The first indication of concern was back in 2007 with the revocation of Jordanian citizenship of thousands of Palestinians, who were declared to be “stateless refugees.” (Imagine the international outcry if Israel acted similarly toward its own Palestinian citizens.) Further revealing of their precarious status in the Hashemite kingdom, some 340,000 Palestinians are still confined in Jordanian refugee camps.

The king has reason to be worried lest Jordan might become the State of Palestine. History reveals why. Back in 1920, when the League of Nations Mandate to govern Palestine was bestowed upon Great Britain, it cited “the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and the legitimacy of grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.” Jews were granted the right of settlement throughout “Palestine,” comprising the land east and west of the Jordan River.

Great Britain, however, retained the right to “postpone” or “withhold” Jewish settlement east of the Jordan. Two years later, with the creation of Transjordan by the British to reward Prince Abdullah of Arabia for his wartime cooperation, Jewish settlement was restricted to the land – all of it – west of the Jordan. That right has never been rescinded. It includes Hebron no less than Tel Aviv.

So it is that Jordanian Palestinians are already at home, east of the Jordan River, which comprises two-thirds of Mandatory Palestine. Surely the resistance of Hashemite monarchs, backed by Bedouin tribes, should not be permitted by the international community to impede Palestinian statehood within the borders of their own national home according to international law.


Jews of European origin tend to think of their roots in the “old country”—if they think of them at all—with nostalgia for a sweet bygone era of people speaking in cutesy Yiddish, wandering around a picturesquely poverty-stricken farming village the way the characters do in Fiddler in the Roof, eating various smoked meats. In fact, the world of 19th-century and 20th-century Jewry in Europe was an extraordinarily complicated, jangly, emotionally fraught, tragic, and soon-to-be-tragic-on-an-unimaginable-scale place and moment in time. This was a historical moment during which a beleaguered, tormented, bedraggled people with no social capital but their connection to an ancient peoplehood and faith made their mark on the world in an almost unimaginably bold cultural ferment.

This hit home, and hard, for me last night in the concert hall at the Kennedy Center, when the remarkable non-profit group Pro Musica Hebraica presented a most unusual evening. The sole performer was Evgeny Kissin, the 42-year-old Jew born in Soviet Russia universally considered one of the greatest living pianists. Kissin played pieces by three almost entirely forgotten Russian-Jewish composers—Mikhail Milner (1886-1953), Alexander Veprik (1899-1958), and Alexander Krein (1881-1953)—as well as a sonata by the far-better known Swiss-born Jew Ernest Bloch (who spent his adult life in the United States and died in Portland in 1959).

That Kissin played magnificently wasn’t surprising. What was surprising was this: Kissin paused twice to recite, entirely from memory and in Yiddish, 11 poems, many of them lengthy—a set by the original “Jewish intellectual,” I.L. Peretz, and the other set by the great modern Hebraist Haim Bialik (who, I only learned last night, also wrote in Yiddish). In a demonstration of the fact that a showman is a showman no matter the medium, Kissin declaimed them in a deep, rich voice with the plummy fervor of a Thomashefsky.


Israel, needless to say, is not an apartheid state. But—in a distinctly Jewish way—it is a state apart.

Just in case the anti-Israel calendar wasn’t crowded enough, “Israel Apartheid Week” began on Monday. On university campuses and at sit-ins in North America and Europe, activists have been showcasing the alleged brutality of Israel toward the Palestinians, persuading the persuadable to connect the Jewish state with the despised whites-only regime of South Africa, and mobilizing support for the “Boycott, Divest, Sanction” campaign that is aimed at turning Israel into an international pariah.

At the University of Toronto, where the event had its genesis in 2005, this week’s attendees are being treated to such elegant nuggets as “Globally Resisting Settler Colonial States through Campaigns & Solidarity,” “Pinkwashing, Homonationalism & Love under the Time of Apartheid,” and, my personal favorite, “Rethinking the Syrian Golan in the Context of Apartheid.” (At this point in their civil war, not even the Syrians know who controls the Syrian side of the Golan.) A few movies and other cultural events make brief nods to actual Palestinians, but for the most part the focus falls relentlessly on the state of Israel and its crimes.

When it began in 2005, the event was simply another among the many campus protests associated with the American war in Iraq and Israel’s supposedly disproportionate measures of self-defense during the second intifada: some flag-waving, some posters, some quaint 60s-style chants. But even as the intifada tapered out, Israel Apartheid Week took off, quickly spreading beyond North American university campuses to cities around the world. Disheveled protest gave way to meticulously planned programs featuring anti-imperialist celebrity speakers and lurid open-to-the-public exhibits of alleged Israeli war crimes. Over the years, studiously avoiding any analysis of the actual dynamics of life in Israel or the territories, the event has stayed on message: Israel treats the Palestinians the way apartheid South Africa treated blacks, forcing them into the equivalent of Bantustans and brutally depriving them of all political and social rights. To judge by recent endorsements garnered from movie actors and pop stars, always a bellwether of politically correct opinion, the movement might be gaining strength.

Which means that it has now, alas, become a dreary necessity to respond to the substance of the allegation. Is there any truth at all to the equation of Israel with South Africa?


“”….This is the creed that I seek to promulgate both now, and forever. The Jewish people are free — and they of right ought to be free. No journalist, academic, professor, statesman, student, or governmental organization can ever take that right away. It is the spirit of that day which resides in me. It is the song that they sung that I will never cease to sing. And I will work to ensure that that song comes to reside throughout all the earth, eternally….”
When addressing contentions that run counter to such normative values as justice, morality, and truth, I believe it is my academic professional duty to analyze the details of the argument in question and illustrate to my audience why such contentions are sub-par, nefarious, and worthy of reproach.

Admittedly, it is difficult to analyze such pieces from a purely academic standpoint when invectives are hurled at me personally — not in a spirit of academic debate, but rather, to malign and denigrate my personal character. Indeed, I am tempted to speak out in an equally hostile tone against those who would attack me in a pejorative manner. However I will attempt to refrain from doing so here as it is my moral duty to be civil both to my enemies and to my friends, and because I do not believe it to be fitting to stoop down to the level of disrespectful persons. It is in that spirit of civility that I write this piece.

On February 22, a gentleman by the name of Richard Silverstein took considerable issue with an article I wrote in the The Times of Israel about the contentions of one Judith Butler, professor at the University of California, Berkley. I find Butler’s analysis regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict lamentably disagreeable.

Silverstein did not point out any possible faulty premises in my column. He did not question the evidence I presented. He did not find I was lacking in my analysis. Instead, to illustrate his (ahem) intellectual prowess, he shared a Facebook status linking to my column and in his commentary, wrote: “They finally did it: found a Negro Zionist: Uncle Tom is dancin’ for joy!”

Educated Mainstream: The Bastion of Western anti-Semitism: Evelyn Gordon

It’s no accident that “Israel Apartheid Week,” an annual two-week extravaganza that began this week, focuses on Western college campuses. It’s not just because that’s where young, impressionable future leaders can be found. It’s also because, as a new study reveals, the educated mainstream is the mainstay of good old-fashioned anti-Semitism in today’s West. That counterintuitive finding explains why college campuses are such fertile ground for attacks on the Jewish state.

Prof. Monika Schwarz-Friesel of the Technical University of Berlin reached this conclusion after studying 10 years’ worth of hate mail–14,000 letters, emails, and faxes in all–sent to the Central Council of Jews in Germany and the Israeli embassy in Berlin. In an interview published in Haaretz yesterday, she said she fully expected to discover that most of it came from right-wing extremists. But in fact, right-wing extremists accounted for a mere 3 percent, while over 60 percent came from educated members of “the social mainstream – professors, Ph.Ds, lawyers, priests, university and high-school students,” she said. Nor were there any significant differences between right-wing extremists’ letters and those of the educated mainstream, Schwarz-Friesel said: “The difference is only in the style and the rhetoric, but the ideas are the same.”

To be clear, these letters weren’t just criticizing Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians; we’re talking about classic anti-Semitism–as evident from the samples Haaretz cited:

“It is possible that the murder of innocent children suits your long tradition?” one letter said.

“For the last 2,000 years, you’ve been stealing land and committing genocide,” said another.

ISRAEL’S ECONOMY MINISTER ON BBC “WOULD YOU HAND OVER HALF OF BRITAIN TO SOMEONE WHO KEEPS KILLING YOU?” Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett on Tuesday turned the tables in an interview on BBC’s Hard Talk when he asked host Stephen Sackur, “Would you hand over half of Britain to someone who keeps on killing you?” In the combative interview, Bennett countered Sackur at every turn. Asked about his resistance to the internationally acclaimed […]


Multiculturalism’s Child Brides
Recent reports of under-age marriages in Australia are evidence that the authorities need to do more to enforce marriage laws in Western nations, and in particular to restrict the practice of unregistered ‘clandestine’ religious marriages, particularly Islamic marriages.

This article was first published on Quadrant Online (here).

Two cases recently came to public attention of NSW girls being married to older men in unregistered religious ceremonies, allegedly with the approval of their guardians. The first case was of a 14-year-old girl who reported she was deceived into marrying a 21-year-old. After being subjected to years of sexual and physical abuse she fled the relationship. Her case came to light in October, 2013, when she needed to pursue custody of her daughter through the courts.

The second case was of a 12-year-old married to a 26-year-old overseas student by her father, an Australian-born convert to Islam. Imam Riaz Tasawar, who allegedly conducted the ceremony, has been charged by the police, which is remarkably the first prosecution in NSW for at least 20 years of someone for solemnizing a marriage without being an authorized marriage celebrant. The father has also been charged with procuring his daughter for sexual intercourse and being an accessory to a sexual offence against a child.

Teenage Jihadists, Car Burnings and Muslim-Only Cemeteries by Soeren Kern

During a press conference on January 14, French President François Hollande revealed that French intelligence services believe more than 700 French nationals and residents have travelled to fight in Syria. This figure is more than double the previous estimates.

One month into 2014, Islam-related controversies continued making headlines in newspapers across Europe. The most salient topic involved the dramatic increase in the numbers of European jihadists participating in the war in Syria.

An ominous foreboding is unfolding over Europe, as counter-terrorism officials intensify their warnings about the negative security implications surrounding the return of hundreds—possibly thousands—of battle-hardened jihadists to towns and cities across the continent.

But Syria is only one of many concerns. What follows is a brief survey of some of the more noteworthy stories involving Islam in Europe during just the month of January 2014.

In Britain, a Muslim extremist who hacked a soldier to death on a London street in May 2013, launched a taxpayer-funded appeal against his murder conviction. Michael Adebolajo, 29, who tried to behead the British soldier Lee Rigby with a meat cleaver, maintains he should not have been convicted because he is a “soldier of Allah” and therefore Rigby’s killing was an act of war rather than premeditated murder.

Adebolajo and his co-defendant, Michael Adebowale, 22, were found guilty by a jury in December 2013, but have yet to be sentenced. The judge in the case, Nigel Sweeney, is said to be considering a whole-life prison term, but is awaiting legal guidance from the Court of Appeal of England and Wales. That court is currently reviewing a ruling by the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights, which states that whole-life terms violate the rights of prisoners.

Also in London, a Muslim woman was arrested by counter-terrorism police at Heathrow Airport on January 16 as she was preparing to board a flight to Turkey. Nawal Masaad, 26, is accused of trying to smuggle £16,500 ($27,000; €20,000) in her underwear to jihadists in Syria. She and her alleged co-conspirator, Amal El-Wahabi, 27—a Moroccan who does not work and claims British social welfare benefits for herself and two young sons—are the first British women to be charged with terrorism offenses linked to the conflict in Syria.

In a separate but related incident, two 17-year-old schoolgirls were arrested at Heathrow over suspected terrorism offenses. Police say they were “inspired by jihad” and were attempting to fly from Britain to Syria to fight in the civil war there.

The head of Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism unit, Commander Richard Walton, revealed that 14 British minors were also arrested on charges linked to the Syrian conflict in January, compared to 24 for the whole of 2013. Calling the figures “stark,” Walton said it was shocking to see “boys and girls enticed” to join jihadists fighting in Syria. He said he believes it is “almost inevitable” some fighters will try to mount attacks in Britain upon their return.

In a sign of further challenges ahead for Britain, an analysis of recent census data published by the Daily Telegraph on January 10 shows that nearly ten percent of the babies and toddlers in England and Wales are Muslim. The percentage of Muslims among children under five is almost twice as high as in the general population. By way of comparison, fewer than one in 200 people over 85 are Muslim, an indication of the extent to which the birth rate is changing the religious demographic in Britain.

The long-running war on free speech in Britain continued apace in January, when a British Muslim lawmaker was threatened with beheading after he posted an image of Jesus and Mohammed on his Twitter account.

Liberal Democrat Maajid Nawaz (an MP who is also the co-founder of counter-extremism think-tank the Quilliam Foundation) posted a cartoon on January 12 of Jesus and Mohammed greeting one another with the caption, “This is not offensive and I’m sure God is greater than to feel threatened by it.” Furious Muslims launched a petition to have Nawaz removed from Parliament.