http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/314680/get-lost-rich-lowry So, as you might have heard, Michael Mann of Climategate infamy is threatening to sue us. Mann is upset — very, very upset — with this Mark Steyn Corner post, which had the temerity to call Mann’s hockey stick “fraudulent.” The Steyn post was mild compared with other things that have been said about […]
If Israel jets show up in Iranian airspace, it will most likely happen while Obama is too busy accusing Mitt Romney of secretly storing all his money in a giant cave in the Rocky Mountains to do more than dispatch a flunky to chew out Netanyahu over the phone. The election is the perfect window for a strike on Iran’s nuclear program, because Team Obama will be too tied down on the Romney Front to do much damage to Israel.
Despite the signs being brandished at your local Anarchists for Peace rally, accusing the United States of being a puppet of the Zionist regime, the United States and Israel have different interests. Israel is interested in not getting bombed and the United States is interested in regional stability. And regional stability means keeping the Sunni Arab oil countries happy.
The United States is interested in somehow making Iran’s nuclear capabilities go away in the interests of regional stability. Particularly the regional stability of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar. But the last thing that this form of regional stability needs is Israeli planes flying over Saudi Arabia to take out that nuclear capability.
Just like during the Gulf War, regional stability demands that the United States protect Saudi Arabia and the Gulfies, while keeping Israel out of it. Since Iran’s Revolutionary Guard isn’t camped out in Kuwait City, protecting them is a matter of posture. That posture is there as a deterrent, a warning that Iran had better not interfere with our oil suppliers or there will be hellfire missiles to pay.
The posturing is hollow because everyone knows that Obama is not about to bomb Iran on behalf of Saudi Arabia and its colony in Bahrain. He is as likely to do it for Israel as he is to move to South Carolina and join the NRA. But he isn’t alone in that regard. Despite the fevered fantasies of everyone from Noam Chomsky to Ron Paul, no American president would ever bomb Iran for Israel. If a third Gulf War is fought, it will be fought for Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, one more time.
The last time the United States fought Iran, in 1988, it was to protect Kuwaiti oil tankers. If Iran interferes with oil tankers from our friendly Gulfie terrorist states, then a future administration is likely to bomb Iran. If oil prices go high enough to potentially cost Obama the election, then he might pry away his foreign policy people from drawing up maps of Syrian targets and actually hit some Iranian naval installations.
None of this has anything to do with Iran’s nuclear program… and that’s the point. George W. Bush did appear to think that Iranian nuclear weapons might be bad news for the United States, not just for the balance of power in the region. He was nearly unique in that regard. The diplomatic and military establishment is full of experts who view Iranian nuclear weapons purely as factors in the balance of power and utterly refuse to look at them from any other angle. To them, Israel isn’t really concerned about a nuclear attack, it’s only playing a regional power game along with everyone else.
For Israel, violence is not a posture or a theory. It has few trading connections and no alliances in the region. Its foreign policy has always been about dissipating physical threats to its people, whether through diplomatic or military means. It does not follow this line because it is a saintly state, but because it is a state always on the edge. It has too little territory and too many enemies around it to follow any other path.
Theodor Herzl, born Benjamin Ze’ev and known as the Visionary of the [Jewish] State, [Hozeh Ha’Medinah-חוֹזֵה הַמְדִינָה], was a Austro-Hungarian-Jewish journalist and the father of the modern political Zionism movement that gave birth to the state of Israel.
Last night I attended the screening of the documentary movie It Is No Dream, about the creation of the idea to restore the Jewish nation in its ancient homeland, Israel.
Trailer: It Is No Dream: The Life of Theodor Herzl: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=8CdfCZa2XOI
It Is No Dream takes the viewer through the life of Theodor Herzl. The documentary examines the life and times of Herzl, who was, almost single handed, responsible for the creation of the political movement Zionism that led, in 1948 to the founding of the Jewish state, Israel.
A Moriah Films production, narrated by Ben Kingsley and Christoph Waltz as the voice of Theodor Herzl, It Is No Dream tells the story of how the life of Theodor Herzl–an assimilating Jew, a successful playwright and author, who was born into a traditional but mostly non-religious family in Budapest in 1860–was changed by the trial of Captain Alfred Dreyfus in Paris, which he covered as a journalist in 1895.
Herzl realized then that there is a “Jewish problem” in Europe that needs to be solved. There must be a solution to the growing anti-Semitism of Europe. After witnessing the court proceedings where Dreyfus was falsely convicted of treason and seeing the anti-Jewish-anti-Semitic demonstrations of the French public, Herzl became convinced that the only answer to the anti-Semitism that was spreading across Europe was the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine, the Biblical homeland of the Jewish people.
He wrote a political treatise entitled “Der Judenstaat” or “The Jewish State” that became an international bestseller, laying out his ideas for creating a new Jewish state.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/story/2012-08-20/male-circumcision-rates/57169976/1 Benefits of infant circumcision reconfirmed as rates decline Circumcision by the numbers • Rates peaked at nearly 80% in the 1970s and 1980s. • About 56% of newborns were circumcised in 2008, down from 64% in in 1995. • Infant circumcision rates in Europe average 10% and are as low as 1.6% in Denmark. […]
Jews honor Manuel L. Quezon on his 134th birthday
By Nena C. Benigno, Philippine Daily Inquirer
As the country commemorates the 134th birthday today, August 19, of Manuel L. Quezon, he is also honored by thousands of Jewish families who have survived and prospered because they found a home in Manila at the darkest time in their history as a race.
It was a point of no return.
German and Austrian Jews—1,200 of them—narrowly escaped Adolf Hitler’s gas chambers just before the German dictator rounded up 6 million Jews who were eventually tortured and murdered in his concentration camps.
“The mob was screaming bloody murder: ‘Kill the Jews!’” recalls child refugee to Manila John Odenheimer who saw Nazi storm troopers rampaging through their Jewish neighborhood.
“We caught the last train out of Berlin, they closed the border after us,” recalls German refugee Guenther Leopold, whose house was smashed and ransacked by Nazi soldiers. “There was nothing left (but broken) glass on the floors.”
The year was 1940. On the other side of the world, a Filipino leader opened his country to fleeing Jewish refugees when no other country would take them.
President Quezon opened the Philippines’ doors to up to 10,000 Jewish refugees.
http://www.dianawest.net/Home/tabid/36/EntryId/2215/More-Reasons-to-Investigate-Huma-Abedin.aspx At his Iftar dinner, President Obama prasied Huma Abedin as “nothing less than extraordinary in representing our country and the democratic values that we hold dear.” Walid Shoebat disagrees, writing: “The Abedins for decades were actually serving a foreign entity, the government of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs, and not American Democracy as […]
http://frontpagemag.com/2012/daniel-greenfield/al-qaeda-allied-qatar-buys-into-europe%e2%80%99s-busiest-airport/ London’s Heathrow Airport is the busiest airport in the European Union with 70 million passengers passing through its corridors. It is busier than France’s Charles de Gaulle Airport and Spain’s Madrid-Barajas Airport. It has more than three times the traffic of New York’s JFK Airport and receives flights from around the world. Heathrow’s operator, […]
http://frontpagemag.com/2012/jamie-glazov/huma-abedin-islamist-connections-and-willful-blindness/ Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Andrew C. McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor and New York Times bestselling author who put the Blind Sheik behind bars in the first World Trade Center bombing. He is the author of Willful Blindness and, most recently, of The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America. FP: […]
President Obama has dismissed and derided the former military and intelligence officers who believe his administration passed out sensitive national security information for partisan gain. In a press conference yesterday, he said of the Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund and similar groups—“I don’t take these folks too seriously.”
Unsurprisingly, the White House has been quick to attack the men behind these accusations instead of explaining to the American people that this administration has not leveraged defense secrets for positive press reports. The best Obama was able to muster in his defense yesterday was “this kind of stuff springs up before election time.”
Of course, this does not adequately address accusations of leaks that many believe could amount to treason. While the specific source of the leaks remains in question, as a former intelligence officer, I see why so many informed observers, including the OPSEC whistleblowers, smell something rotten at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Let’s press into the facts of the case.
From the start of the controversy, the news articles that leaked the information claimed that their sources were members of “Obama’s national security team.” That would seem the drain the pool of possible leakers rather quickly, but alas—no progress has been made on the White House-approved investigation.
Even without that massive clue, there is plenty of circumstantial evidence pointing to the White House as the source. The leaks are obviously political because they are positive. Leaks usually hurt administrations, but not these leaks. Whoever told the press about these sensitive national security matters had very high-level access and used it to lionize the President. From the Bin Laden raid details to the President’s so-called “Kill List,” the leaks bolstered the perception that Obama had transformed into a hawk.
In response to the OPSEC group’s accusations, media outlets often tout that Obama’s Department of Justice has brought more Espionage Act prosecutions—six and counting—than every President before him combined. They cite this to further a narrative that Obama takes leaking seriously, but that’s a misreading. The prosecutions have everything to do with appearances for Obama and very little to do with national security.
Leaks can create major political headaches, as seen during the Bush years. To blunt this liability, the Obama administration established an early precedent: leak, and Attorney General Holder’s DOJ will ruin your life. This approach ensnared a range of offenders—from legitimately dangerous offenses to a case against former NSA analyst Thomas Drake that completely fell apart in court.
Thus the Obama administration has maintained a two-track enforcement approach to leakers. Senior political operatives seem to get away with them; working-level national security professionals cower in fear of DOJ’s wrath.
Instead of pulling clearances and firing alleged leakers, Obama’s DOJ jumped right to felony charges in these instances. Regardless of the trial outcomes, the message to all who have classified access and a political disagreement with Obama was heard loud and clear.
And what liberals claimed was laudable behavior under President Bush—leaking– was now treasonous under Obama. For a President who ran on a promise of transparency, this was a particularly craven abandonment of previously espoused principle.
Contrast the draconian enforcement approach to working-level intelligence employees with the zero arrests that have been made in relation to the major national security disclosures that set off the current furor. Despite the reckless revelation of sources and methods in the recent leaks, it is a near certainty that no senior White House officials will face charges or even lose their security clearance because of them.
Republican delegates arriving in Tampa for the convention this week will likely find one thing more oppressive than the humidity: hordes of motley Occupiers, political puppeteers, Teamsters, Code Pink activists dressed as giant female body parts, open-borders extremists, vegan Marxists, and tattooed anarchists, all assembling for their quadrennial temper tantrum.
One major target is the Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, and anything ever associated with him. Plans include a tent city called “Romneyville” and protests against any companies assisted by Romney’s old firm, Bain Capital.
The purpose, in line with the campaign against the Republican Party being waged by the Obama presidential campaign and its Super PACs, is to depict Romney as a heartless capitalist, oblivious to the suffering of people who can’t make it in the modern economic system.
It is as yet unclear how many protesters will trek to Tampa and endure the heat. Nonetheless, in a ritual that grows more sophisticated with every new Occupy camp and political convention, protesters and their ACLU lawyers have been “in negotiation” with Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and the city council for several months, demanding permits, demanding special restraints on the police, and threatening lawsuits if they don’t get their way.
The threat is not an empty one. After the 2004 Republican Convention in New York City, the ACLU published a 69-page report, Rights and Wrongs at the RNC, detailing the extensive legal campaign they waged to suppress the police’s ability to keep order during anti-RNC protests. The report was funded by George Soros, who is thanked in the endnotes. Soros is also a major donor supporting the ACLU’s many campaigns against law enforcement.
Rights and Wrongs at the RNC is now the leftist playbook for applying legal and financial pressure on cities before, during, and after protests. Municipalities that dare to host economic summits or try to rein in illegal Occupy encampments find themselves, and especially their police, virtually held hostage by the media strategies and legal actions detailed throughout the manual.
Ordinary citizens (and groups like the Tea Party) cannot stroll into city hall and demand special rules of engagement when dealing with the police. But this is precisely what is being done on behalf of Occupy protesters in city halls and university presidents’ offices across the country. Fear of legal backlash was one reason so many elected officials seemed paralyzed last autumn in the face of the Occupiers’ refusal to obey municipal laws.
The protesters who are about to hit Tampa’s streets, no matter how garish-looking or headline-grabbing, are mere pawns in this chess game. The lawsuits and forced “negotiations” being played out behind closed doors are where the real action is taking place.
And in this game, threats of violence are another crucial chess piece. The ACLU and protest leaders repeatedly insist that they have nothing to do with the violence that erupts in the vicinity of their “peaceful” marches. Yet in reality, violent protest serves their needs. The lawyers file police brutality charges if the police take any action to stop rioters, and they accuse the police of “failing to protect” the public and other protesters if the police don’t stop the riots quickly enough. No matter what police do, they are automatically accused of “silencing free speech.”
The media can’t get enough of the free speech angle, even if it doesn’t apply in any way to the reality on the ground, where rioters smash store windows and mob police vans.
The Anti-Police Narrative
Police in Oakland, New York City, St. Paul, Chicago and elsewhere have endured a sort of multi-pronged legal attack ever since the 1999 WTO riots devastated Seattle’s business district and set anti-globalization protesters on a new course. A dozen years later, after every new clash between protesters and police, police alone are subjected to drawn-out public inquiries and lawsuits. Even when they are found to have been behaving professionally, the police receive re-training, new limitations for engaging even the most violent protesters, and, sometimes, personal consequences.
In another case, the UC Davis pepper spray incident from November 2011, police were acquitted of charges of behaving inappropriately after an internal affairs committee found that the off-camera actions of the U.C. Davis protesters constituted a real threat. Yet, campus police officer John Pike, who used pepper-spray to disperse the protesters, was still dismissed from his job recently.
In spite of the ubiquity of the legal chess game, it remains largely unexamined. Less than a week before the convention, the Tampa media have not scrutinized the acceptance of violence as a strategy by the main activist groups coordinating the anti-RNC protests, and there has been sparse coverage of the violent protesters coming to Tampa. This November 2011 article on anarchist protesters, by Tampa Bay Times reporter Jessica Vander Velde, is an exception.
The litmus test for participating in the new protest movements is “respecting a diversity of actions,” sophisticated wordplay that means, specifically, that no protester should stop another protester from using violence or vandalism, nor should they report them to authorities if they know of such plans in advance. In practice, it means more than that: as journalist and onetime activist leader Mark Satin wisely observed back in 2000, while participating in protests at the Philadelphia RNC:
Ever since Seattle, protesters have been claiming that any violence ‘not caused by the police’ has been the result of bad apples or weird anarchists…”
When you watch what goes on at street level, though, you get a very different perspective on things.
True, probably fewer than 500 protesters in Philly were smashing windows, punching cops, overturning dumpsters, etc.
But the violent protesters were never stopped or even verbally discouraged by the thousands of other protesters. On the contrary-whenever violence was being wrought, the norm was for the “nicer” protesters to conduct support activities, such as chanting, cheering, and running amok so the police couldn’t easily give chase.
Besides, the theoretically neat distinction between “violence” and “nonviolence” becomes much less neat at street level. Is it not violent to spray-paint taxpayer-supported buses and buildings?
Is it not violent to shout endless insults at police officers-or to constantly harangue them about the “martyrdom” of a guy (Mumia) convicted of killing a police officer?
Is it not violent to keep working-class Philadelphians from being able to drive home at night because you and your friends have contempt for normal political channels?
There weren’t “good” and “bad” protesters in Philly. The protesters were an organic whole. They may have done different things on the street, but their separate acts were as connected as fingers on a hand.
And when you looked closely at that hand, it was really ugly.