Parade of the Pretentious, the Preposterous and the Puerile: Martin Sherman

The current leadership seems totally incapable of recognizing the Palestinians for what they are, and what they declare themselves to be – an implacable enemy.

‘What happened yesterday, when four senior ministers gave public addresses one after the other with each proposing a different political solution, was a grotesque performance.”

– Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman on Sunday evening session at the 14th Herzliya Conference, “Israeli Leaders Debate Peace,” June 9.

I was thinking of headlining this column “Depressing, disturbing, disarray,” a title that I believe Liberman, would warmly endorse – given his censure of the abysmal appearances of four government ministers (and the head of the Opposition) at this year’s Herzliya Conference, earlier this week.

I have, of course, serious differences with Liberman on several issues, including some of those on which he excoriates his colleagues. I must confess, however, that watching the cavalcade of almost comic caricature his colleagues provided the Israeli public, I found myself strongly identifying with his acerbic assessment of their performance.

‘Israeli Leaders Debate Peace’

At the plenary session of the conference on Sunday evening, a succession of five senior Israeli politicians took the podium to present their prescriptions for what should be done now, in the wake of the collapse of the US Secretary of State John Kerry-sponsored “peace initiative.” Of the five, four were leaders of political parties in the current parliament; three of them in the ruling coalition – Finance Minister Yair Lapid of the Yesh Atid faction, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett of Bayit Yehudi, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni of Hatnua; and, as mentioned, one from the Opposition, MK Isaac Herzog, head of the Labor Party.

The largest faction in the coalition, the Likud, was represented by Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar.

In many ways, the debate was a disconcerting – almost heartbreaking – spectacle, exposing the appalling paucity of the Israeli political leadership. (Please don’t take my word for it – you can judge for yourselves, as the entire depressing debate is available on the conference’s website, which I urge you to visit.) True, some of the speakers (notably Bennett and Sa’ar) did make several good points, but these were confined to critical appraisals of the others’ proposals, rather than relate to any rational blueprint of their own policy that could secure Israel’s long-term future as the nation-state of the Jewish people.


Poor Hillary. First she had to back off the statement that she and Bill were almost penniless when they left the White House. (And what about the tens of millions they’ve made since?) Then, on Monday night, Diane Sawyer of ABC took her on about the 9-11-2012 attacks in Benghazi.

Clinton’s performance was sharp and hard-nosed. She failed in her effort to emulate Obama’s “I wasn’t there, I didn’t do it and I’m shocked and angered” standard defense because she has all the charm of a rusty hammer. What we saw was a presidential candidate fending off an attack from a network that heretofore was her ally and protector.

The segment began with films of the Benghazi diplomatic outpost and asked us to imagine what Ambassador Chris Stevens thought as he saw the armed terrorist gang approach. Sawyer showed a video clip of Stevens passionately arguing for a better Libyan future. And then she asked Clinton about the final entry in Stevens’s diary in which he wrote, as shown on camera, of “never ending security threats.”

When Sawyer began to ask about Stevens’s presence in Benghazi, Clinton interrupted to say he was there “of his own choosing,” trying to shift blame for his death from herself to the dead ambassador. When Sawyer countered that Clinton wanted a post there, Clinton tried to deflect the question by saying that it was important to have diplomatic assets there.

But why was it important? Clinton never said. What she did was try, unsuccessfully, to deflect the issue again by saying there was a long list of American facilities abroad under threat. When Sawyer tried to tie her down, Clinton wouldn’t even concede that the Benghazi diplomatic post was one of the top risks, and then admitted that maybe it was in the top ten under threat.

Sawyer reminded her that there had been at least two attacks on the Benghazi diplomatic outpost before 9-11-12 and that both the Red Cross and the British government had pulled out of Benghazi because of the high threat level.

Clinton said, “There were places where we had much higher concern.” Seriously? If we’re talking “top tens,” that is one of the Top Ten lies in Clinton’s interview.

Hillary in 5 Wonderlands By Tom Rogan

In a recent BBC interview, her statements ranged from hypocritical to ludicrous.

As I argued earlier this week, all the evidence suggests that Hillary Clinton 2016 is well underway. And for that reason, everyone should watch Thursday’s BBC Newsnight interview with the former secretary of state. At first glance, Clinton comes across as articulate, even charismatic. Admittedly benefiting from an uncharacteristically friendly Jeremy Paxman (renowned for his aggressive interviews), Clinton exudes confidence and composure. What she says, however, defies belief.


Wonderland 1: Clinton won’t support U.S. assistance to the Iraqi government until Prime Minister Maliki makes concessions.
Reality:Maliki must certainly make concessions. But if the U.S. fails to provide intelligence and air capabilities immediately, as I explain here, Maliki is likely to jump into the arms of Iran. That outcome would be a disaster. The Iranians are a mafia foreign-policy outfit; they’ll use this opportunity to save Maliki and then turn him into a puppet. No one is talking about a re-invasion of Iraq, but for Clinton to push off intervention in order to ingratiate herself with liberal voters is pathetic and absurd. The way to get concessions from Maliki is to save him with intelligence assets that only the U.S. can provide, and then tell him that future U.S. support (which he knows he needs) will be contingent upon his reforms.

Wonderland 2: Clinton claims that the Russian reset was a “brilliant stroke” that appears “even more so” today.
Reality: I laughed when she said that. Because it’s a ludicrous comment. Clinton lists a number of supposed successes of the reset. These include the New START arms-control treaty (which Putin wanted as much as Obama did ) and tougher Iran sanctions (which Putin endorsed and since then has ignored at a whim). In reality, the reset has been a failure of catastrophic proportions. It has enabled Putin to put Ukraine under siege, help Assadcontinue to gas his fellow Syrians, and to undermine American leadership around the world. This, apparently, is Clinton’s measure of success.

Hillary’s Bad Week The Presumed 2016 Candidate has Bounced Boisterously From Gaffe to Gaffe. By Charles Cooke…see note please

Gloating is premature however much one delights in her gaffes. The GOP is in disarray with no real frontrunners except for a backburner Rand Paul….rsk

Whatever it is that has projected Hillary Clinton to the front of the Democratic party line, it is not a talent for politics. Thus far, Clinton’s governmental achievements consist of having won election to the Senate in a state she couldn’t possibly have lost, having been appointed to a cabinet position by a president who had little choice, and . . . well, that’s about it really. Earnest challenges, meanwhile, have swiftly floored her. Conventional wisdom suggests that the unique combination of Barack Obama’s preternaturally adroit campaign skills and the country’s exhaustion with the Iraq War precipitated her 2008 collapse. But one is starting to wonder. Before her inevitable 2016 campaign has even begun, her numbers continue to drop — she is now at 52 percent approval, down from 70 percent in December 2012. All told, the last five days cannot have done much to stem the tide.

Clinton started the week by telling Diane Sawyer that she and her husband had been “dead broke” when they left the White House, and had thus been put in the devastating position of not knowing how they were going to fund the purchase of the many mansions that life in Pennsylvania Avenue had led them so desperately to covet. Later, in an attempt to let the public know just what a responsible leader she’d be, Clinton answered Sawyer’s question on Benghazi by first stopping the buck and then cutting it into many pieces. “I take responsibility,” she allowed. “But I was not making security decisions.”

“You should blame me as long as you don’t blame me,” then? “Hard Choices” indeed.

Since that rather rocky start, she has bounced boisterously from gaffe to gaffe, with no demonstrable loss of energy. On the Today show on Wednesday, Clinton implied that her support of the Bergdahl deal served as a solid example of the sort of difficult decisions she’d been asked to make in the past, and might perhaps be asked to make in the future. In the meantime, her team continued to confirm off the record that she hadn’t been comfortable with the swap at all and thus should not share any of the blame. (This, you might notice, is a theme.) Clinton proved unwilling, too, to flesh out exactly why the decision had been such a tough one for President Obama. That Bergdahl may have been a deserter “doesn’t matter,” she explained, because we bring our soldiers home regardless. More important, perhaps, she posited that the five hardened Taliban leaders that the United States traded in exchange “are not a threat to the United States” but only “to the safety and security of Afghanistan and Pakistan.” If so, one wonders why it was such a difficult call to release them.



That summarizes the situation on America’s southern frontier, as well as Obama’s freeing of almost 104,000 illegal-alien criminals last year. He clearly doesn’t give a damn about shielding Americans from the public-health and public-safety dangers posed by those who breach the border, including deadly felons now walking American streets.

Waves of unaccompanied children are washing over the border with growing intensity. And many are bearing dangerous diseases.

Illegals are heading into the general population, even after testing positive for tuberculosis. “The feds are putting them on public transportation to God knows where,” a law-enforcement official recently told columnist Michelle Malkin.

“We are starting to see chicken pox, MRSA staph infections; we are starting to see different viruses,” Texas-based Border Patrol agent Chris Cabrera explained to ABC’s KNXV-TV in Phoenix. “There’s been an outbreak of scabies that’s been going on for the past month.” Scabies is a contagious, intensely itchy skin infection caused by microscopic, burrowing, egg-laying mites. Border Patrol officers have contracted it while handling the flood of illegal-alien children.

In the Border Patrol facility in McAllen, Texas, sick and healthy illegals are separated by a strip of yellow tape that reads: “Police line. Do not cross.”

In May 2013, an illegal, age 28, was diagnosed with rabies while detained in southern Texas. “He was in his cell, and his throat hurt so bad, he was spitting on the floor,” Ryan Wallace of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. After the Guatemalan died, doctors had to evaluate 742 individuals who had been in contact with him.

Don’t Blame Iraq on Obama Alone Some Republicans are Indulging in Revisionist History. By Andrew C. McCarthy

I’ve just written Faithless Execution, a book positing that there is such a solid legal case of high crimes and misdemeanors committed by the president that the time is ripe to build a political case for his impeachment. I have argued, moreover, that the president’s policy of appeasing and empowering Islamic supremacists has been a national-security catastrophe, catalyzing a jihadist resurgence across the Middle East.

It is pretty safe to say I am no fan of Barack Obama’s. But it is just as safe to say that for Beltway Republicans to blame Obama alone for the implosion of Iraq — which is now being overrun by the same Sunni jihadists those Republicans have championed in Syria and Libya — is shameful.

Look, I will stipulate that the president’s signature recklessness is abundantly evident in Iraq. He heedlessly withdrew U.S. forces, making no effort to preserve the security gains they achieved in routing al-Qaeda, even as it became obvious that the withdrawal had evaporated those gains and invited the terror network to return with a vengeance.

Still, it was not Obama who agreed to the withdrawal schedule. It was President Bush. And it was not Obama who turned Iraq into an Islamic-supremacist state seething with anti-American and anti-Semitic hatred. Long before Obama came to power, Iraq was an Islamist country, rife with Sunni and Shiite militants who agreed on little else besides their devotion to sharia and their abhorrence of the West.

In late 2008, several weeks before Obama entered the Oval Office, I wrote here about the status of forces agreement (SOFA) the Bush administration was then entering into with the ingrate Shiite government of Nouri al-Maliki. Even then, Iraq was pulling ever closer to the terrorist regime in Iran while American troops continued fighting to protect Maliki’s fledgling government from al-Qaeda jihadists — jihadists that the insidious mullahs were also supplying with money, training, and IEDs.

In the SOFA, the Bush administration agreed to strict withdrawal deadlines that invited al-Qaeda to catch its breath, wait out the United States, then resume the jihad as Americans were leaving — the better to make it look to the world like they were chasing us out. All American combat operations were to cease in mid 2009; and, at the end of 2011, all American forces would pull out of Iraq. The 2008 SOFA is the basis for the American withdrawal that Obama so anxiously consummated. It is what promised a resumption of Islam’s eternal, internecine bloodletting between Sunnis and Shiites that now has Iraq on the verge of collapse.

To listen to Republicans and those who foolishly repeat their revisionist history, you would think Obama inherited the Iraq so delusionally envisioned by Islamic-democracy-project devotees: a free, pluralistic democracy that would be a reliable counterterrorism ally and a thorn in totalitarian Iran’s side.

What if the Greatest Generation Had Declared Victory and Gone Home? By George Rasley….see not please

What if, after all the blood and treasure expended in the Normandy invasion and expelling the Nazis from France, the United States had simply declared victory and gone home?
Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the great leaders of the western alliance against the Nazis, understood that such an outcome was impossible to contemplate because more than territory was at stake in the war.
And in the lead-up to the war and especially once the United States was in the war, Roosevelt educated the American public, and the American military, for a long war against the darkness of Nazi ideology, “There are men who believe that democracy, as a form of Government and a frame of life, is limited or measured by a kind of mystical and artificial fate that, for some unexplained reason, tyranny and slavery have become the surging wave of the future–and that freedom is an ebbing tide. But we Americans know that this is not true.”
Roosevelt prepared Americans for a war to preserve our way of life, not to simply reclaim the territory Hitler and his dark legions had conquered.
And contrary to much of today’s conventional wisdom about American public opinion in the lead-up to Pearl Harbor, Americans understood what was at stake.


I endured eleven episodes of the thirteen-episode Season Two of Orange is the New Black, which debuted June 6th. I can’t watch the rest of the series. The whole series, Seasons One and Two, leave me numb. No. Indifferent. See my first review of the series published last August, “Fear and Loathing are the New Freedoms,” for a synopsis of this naturalistic, rubbish-tossing romp through the garbage bin of contemporary society and culture.

Orange is on its way to becoming a liberal cult classic, when it’s simply drawn-out agitprop for the Left.

Set in a minimum security women’s prison in Connecticut, it focuses on the conflicts of the female inmates as well on those of those of the security staff. There are no heroes, nor any heroines in the series. Staff and inmates alike, they are all criminals of one stripe or another. The series is purported to be based on Piper Kerman’s book about her time in such a prison.

The series, both Seasons, boils over with graphic lesbian sex scenes (with a few heterosexual ones thrown in for “diversity’s” sake), graphic violence among the prisoners, conniving, lying, and scheming by everyone, racial tensions between whites, blacks, and Latinos (who have now taken over the kitchen), competition among “queens” of the roost in bringing in contraband things like lipstick, cell phones, dope, and even junk food.

The word “f…k” occurs seven or eight dozen times in the dialogue, the term “c…t” perhaps half as often. Other obscene slang terms are sprinkled throughout for good measure, to make sure viewers understand that they’re not watching Leave it to Beaver, or the old Perry Mason. Or even a James Cagney gangster movie. There’s more “realism” in Jimmy Stewart’s Call Northside 777 than in Orange.

I reached a point where I don’t really care if any of the characters resolve their external or internal conflicts. I could develop as little or no empathy for any of the characters as I could for Jeremiah Wright, Gloria Steinman, or Vladimir Putin. I felt as though I wanted to put every one of them out of their misery. Including the head of the prison, a tall, shapely brunette who is the prison’s administrator and is as corrupt as the rest of the characters. Including one black inmate character, “Crazy Eyes,” who is turned by a black witch, dope racketeer, and manipulator of feeble minds, called “Vee,” from a harmless, mildly amusing whacko into a vicious thug and brainwashed toady who beats up a fellow black inmate on orders from Vee. Vee also sics her black girl thugs on the dethroned ruler of the kitchen, Russian”Red,” whose contraband racket she wants to take over.

Bowdoin’s Crackdown on Religious Liberty: By Michael Toscano

The school isn’t being honest about its hostility to Evangelical Christianity.

Bowdoin College is not happy with the New York Times. Earlier this week, the paper ran a front-page story about the way Bowdoin engineered the eviction from its campus of a Christian group that had proved troublesome. The small liberal-arts college was apparently stung by the negative attention from a newspaper it cannot ignore and promptly issued a blanket denial.

The college’s response falls into the category of audacious obfuscation.

The Times cited Bowdoin as an example of the growing conflict on American campuses caused by a new interpretation of the principle of “non-discrimination.” The idea is that it constitutes unacceptable discrimination for religious student groups to require that their leaders affirm certain religious tenets and moral teachings. This new interpretation conflicts with the longstanding principle that colleges respect the religious freedom of their students. Increasingly, the Times reported, colleges are sacrificing religious freedom in the effort to open positions of leadership in religious groups to gay students.

The Times’ lead example was the burden that Bowdoin College put on the Bowdoin Christian Fellowship (BCF), an Evangelical group with about 40 members among the college’s 1,800 students. “After this summer, the Bowdoin Christian Fellowship will no longer be recognized by the college,” the Times reported. “Already, the college has disabled the electronic key cards of the group’s longtime volunteer advisers.”

In its official reply, Bowdoin asserted that, on the contrary, (1) the college has “no plans to drop . . . recognition” of the BCF, (2) the BCF is “free to sponsor speakers or other presentations that promote their beliefs,” and (3) the group is “free to choose their own student leaders.” The statement declared, “Religious freedom and spirituality are alive and thriving at Bowdoin.”

But Bowdoin is not telling the whole story. My organization, the National Association of Scholars, has been watching the college closely for some time. In April 2013, we published What Does Bowdoin Teach?, a 370-page study, of which I was co-author, on how Bowdoin’s curriculum and student activities shape the intellectual and moral lives of its students. The BCF was featured in 15 pages of the report, and we found a recurring and highly public conflict between the Bowdoin administration and the BCF over the issues of homosexuality and same-sex marriage.


Jonah Goldberg was never among those conservatives (names withheld in order not to humiliate the guilty) who were positively ecstatic about the “Arab Spring”- some even getting into hyperbole and calling it a parallel of the American Revolution. Sharia loving Jeffersons and Madisons….rsk
The Arab Spring is over, and tweeting slogans won’t change the chaos that has followed it.
The Arab Spring is over. Welcome to the Jihadi Spring.

Across a huge swath of what, up until recently, had been known as Iraq and Syria, a transnational movement of Sunni Islamic extremists has taken control. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has conquered — without much effort — Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, along with most of the province of Nineveh. It’s also taken Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s hometown. Along the way it has ransacked banks (to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars), pillaged weapon stockpiles (including the stuff we left behind for the Iraqi army), and recruited ever more fighters from Iraq, Syria, and abroad.

ISIS started out as an al-Qaeda franchise, but in 2011 it broke off to become an independent dealer of Islamist mayhem. If anything, it is more extreme than al-Qaeda — though that fine distinction probably means little to the Shiites and Christians it slaughters.

Sunday in Pakistan, Taliban militants attacked the airport in Karachi, the country’s busiest and most important travel hub. They followed up with an attack on an airport security-training facility, showing that there was no area of Pakistan it could not threaten. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif came into office seeking an accord with the Taliban. But the Taliban won’t abandon its key objective: a total Islamist state. After the attacks, most observers think Sharif will have little choice but to unleash the army on the insurgents.