ANGELO CODEVILLA: PRESIDENT HILLARY CLINTON’S FOREIGN POLICY

Hillary Clinton’s experience in foreign affairs-eight years as intimate counselor to the forty-second president, six years on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and then four as secretary of State to the forty-fourth-is the biggest obstacle that her candidacy for president in 2016 faces in establishing credibility regarding these matters. That is because, partisan rhetoric notwithstanding, U.S. foreign policy has been remarkably consistent for a generation. Correctly, the American people see little difference between the foreign policies of the two Bushes, of Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. Being dissatisfied by wide margins with what has come before, Americans naturally ask what difference the next president might make.

Hence, for candidate Clinton, offering herself as the continuation of the past generation’s policies is out of the question. Yet, she knows that articulating how her foreign policy might differ involves some kind of mea culpa-to which she is averse personally and politically. Besides, the Democratic Party’s base rejected her in 2008 and, more than ever, prefers Obama’s consistent soft-on-America instincts to the waverings of yesterday’s Democrats. So, Hillary Clinton tries to convey the image of difference, minus substance, for which she might be held accountable.

Reading her Atlantic interview with Jeffrey Goldberg on her book, “Hard Choices,” is a bit like watching a dance of the seven veils performed in leotards: suggestions, but no flesh. All too obviously, her presentation on foreign affairs is about sounding intimately involved but not responsible for unpleasant outcomes, ready with solutions without advocating any. After endless head fakes in one direction and hip fakes in another, readers tire of interpreting Delphic hints and of filling her pronouncements with their own imagination.

Just Answer the Question

DEROY MURDOCK: BEYOND BIZARRE IN TEXAS

The abuse-of-power indictment against Governor Rick Perry (R., Texas) is beyond bizarre. Prosecuting a governor for threatening a veto is like charging a Labrador for retrieving a Frisbee. For both species, this penalizes innate behavior.

This controversy began on the evening of April l2, 2013. After observing Travis County district attorney Rosemary Lehmberg operating an automobile erratically in a bike lane and then proceeding southbound in a northbound traffic lane, Austin-area sheriff’s deputies arrested her for driving while intoxicated. Her blood alcohol level was 0.239 percent, damn near triple the 0.08 percent legal limit. En route to jail, Lehmberg told deputies, “You have just ruined my career.”

“Though a high-ranking public official, she was uncooperative and abusive as she was hauled in and charged,” noted Merrill Matthews of the Dallas-based Institute for Policy Innovation. “She pleaded guilty, paid a $4,000 fine, and served about half of her 45-day jail sentence. And her law license was suspended for 180 days.”

Call him old-fashioned: Perry decided to pressure a convicted drunk driver from the wheel of a government-ethics panel. So, when Lehmberg refused to resign as D.A., Perry kept his threat. On June 15, 2013, he vetoed $7.5 million in state funds for Travis County’s Public Integrity Unit (PIU).

For demanding accountability, Perry could get 99 years behind bars.

Perry’s fiercest ally is the Texas constitution. It is Windex-clear about the chief executive’s veto power.

“Every bill which shall have passed both houses of the Legislature shall be presented to the Governor for his approval,” reads Article 4, Section 12 of the supreme law of the Lone Star State. “If he approve he shall sign it; but if he disapprove it, he shall return it, with his objections, to the House in which it originated.”

The U.N.’s Grotesque Gaza Inquiry :An Inquiry Into Israel’s Alleged Abuses Wins Approval From Iran, Syria, and Sudan: Claudia Rosett

Bias against Israel is the most glaring problem with the new Gaza inquiry that the United Nations Human Rights Council launched last month. The council has appointed as its chief investigator a Canadian ​lawyer, William Schabas, ​who has said in recent years that he’d like to see Israel’s prime minister and president hauled before the International Criminal Court. The resolution authorizing his inquiry is crammed with vilifications of Israel, but it makes not a single mention of Hamas, the terrorist group that rules Gaza and that is dedicated in its charter to obliterating Israel and killing Jews. And in the current Gaza conflict that the U.N. purports to investigate, Hamas plays no minor role: It is against the thousands of rockets fired by Hamas and the many miles of attack tunnels — conduits for Hamas death squads — that Israel, in Operation Protective Edge, has been defending itself.

This U.N. inquiry is not a problem just for Israel, however. With its unabashed prejudice, it is an assault on all those who stand up for genuine human rights, anywhere, around the globe. Ultimately, it is an attack on the foundations of a civilized world order.

If that sounds extreme, please consider. The outfit behind this inquiry is not some private club of freelance bigots. It is the Human Rights Council, officially the top human-rights body of the world’s leading international institution, the United Nations.

For its erstwhile role as a guardian of international peace, freedom, and human dignity, the U.N. is entrusted with special powers, privileges, and immunities, as well as billions every year in U.S. tax dollars. As part of the U.N. franchise, its officials enjoy access to a world stage, on which they appear as voices of authority, under the U.N. flag. It is of no small consequence when the U.N. system is exploited and abused in service of a diplomatic lynch mob.

This new Gaza inquiry, which is to provide a written report to the council next March, comes as a sequel to the U.N.’s 2009 “independent international fact-finding mission,” better known as the Goldstone Report, named for its lead investigator, South African jurist Richard Goldstone. That report savaged Israel over its 2008–09 conflict with Hamas. Two years later, Goldstone published an op-ed in the Washington Post, partially recanting — too little, too late — his committee’s findings against Israel. In his semi-apologia, Goldstone described the U.N. Human Rights Council as a body “whose history of bias against Israel cannot be doubted.”

Obama Delivers Empty Rhetoric About ISIS By Mark Tapson

President Obama took time out from his busy social schedule to present a statement Wednesday afternoon on the ISIS (or ISIL) beheading of a kidnapped American photojournalist. It was unsurprisingly full of empty rhetoric without any reference to action.

He began by announcing that “the entire world is appalled” by the murder of James Wright Foley – or as Obama referred to him repeatedly and familiarly, “Jim” (this has to be the first speech by Obama in which he referred to someone else more often than himself). Foley’s murder was “an act of violence that shocks the conscience of the entire world.” I don’t believe the President of the United States is authorized to speak for the entire world, but in any case there is a significant portion of the world that not only wasn’t shocked but has no conscience about the butchering of infidels, and that’s the problem that needs to be addressed.

But first, Obama eulogized Foley: “Jim was a journalist, a son, a brother, and a friend.” Such an intimate, even maudlin statement would be entirely suitable among friends and relatives at a funeral service but is frankly unworthy of a presidential announcement to the world. But Obama wasn’t done expressing his unconvincing grief: “All of us feel the ache of his absence. All of us mourn his loss.” Apparently Obama mourns by heading straight to the links for another round of golf, because that’s what he did immediately after he delivered this statement.

“We keep in our prayers those other Americans who are separated from their families,” he continued. Like U.S. Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, who remains jailed in Mexico and has been separated from his family since late March? Keeping him in one’s prayers is a nice gesture but is no substitute for the President of the United States actually lifting a finger to bring that Marine home, something Obama hasn’t done.

He moved on to address the monsters behind Foley’s beheading and countless other sick atrocities. “Let’s be clear about ISIL,” said Obama, although we know by now that anytime Obama declares that he’s going to be clear about something, he’s just posturing at sounding authoritative. He acknowledged that “they have rampaged across cities and villages, killing innocent, unarmed civilians in cowardly acts of violence. They abduct women and children, and subject them to torture and rape and slavery.” Then he purposefully notes that they have murdered Muslims by the thousands and “target Christians and religious minorities, driving them from their homes, murdering them when they can for no other reason than they practice a different religion.”

TWO AMERICAS: BOB LONSBERRY

The Democrats are right, there are two Americas.

The America that works, and the America that doesn’t. The America that contributes, and the America that doesn’t.

It’s not the haves and the have nots, it’s the dos and the don’ts. Some people do their duty as Americans, to obey the law and support themselves and contribute to society, and others don’t.

That’s the divide in America.

It’s not about income inequality, it’s about civic irresponsibility. It’s about a political party that preaches hatred, greed and victimization in order to win elective office. It’s about a political party that loves power more than it loves its country.

That’s not invective, that’s truth.

And it’s about time someone said it.

The politics of envy was on proud display last week as the president said he would pledge the rest of his term to fighting “income inequality.” He notes that some people make more than other people, that some people have higher incomes than others, and he says that’s not just.

It was the rationale of thievery.

The other guy has it, you want it, Obama will take it for you.

Vote Democrat.

AL QAEDA’S BALKAN TIES- THE BOSNIAN CONNECTION: GORDON BARDOS ****

Should anyone have had any doubts, the barbaric murder of US photojournalist James Foley fully exposes the true nature of the Islamist terrorists menacing the Middle East. Unfortunately, the savagery exhibited in what happened to James Foley was not unique—beheadings and suicide bombings have become standard tactics in the Islamist terrorists’ way of war. Just weeks before Foley’s murder Kosovo jihadi Lavdrim Muhaxheri posted similar photos of himself “in action” in Iraq. Such Islamist-terrorist ritual beheadings were seen during the Bosnian jihad as well, when extremists would produce “promotional videos” of their efforts showing the decapitation of Serb prisoners, or, in another case, when Bosnian jihad veteran Omar Saeed Sheik was involved in the murder/ beheading of Wall Street Journal reporterDaniel Pearl.

The expansion of militant Islamism from places such as Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran and Saudi Arabia to parts of the world such as the Balkans is no accident; it is part of a complex phenomenon involving several distinct elements, not the least of which is an organized, well-funded effort by hardline Islamist states to export their extremist ideologies to other parts of the world. With respect to the Balkans, for instance, by one estimate the Saudis alone spent $1 billion (US) on “Islamic activities” in Bosnia between 1992-98.[1]
A second important element in the spread of militant Islamism is the education of increasing numbers of local Islamic clerics in the Middle-Eastern universities and madrasas where the most extreme interpretations of Islam are promoted. All of the leaders of the Balkan militant Islamist movement, for instance, including individuals such as Nedžad Balkan, Bilal Bosnić, Nezim Halilović-Muderis, Nusret Imamović, or the Kosovo clerics (and Al-Azhar alumni) Zekerija Qazimi and Lulzima Qabashi, recently arrested for recruiting young men for the Syrian and Iraqi jihads, were educated in the Middle-East, where they were exposed to the ideology of militant Islamism and formed connections and ties with other members of the global jihad movement.

The Tortuous Debate Over the CIA’s ‘Torture’ Report :Jed Babbin

The biggest political drama of the summer isn’t about Hillary Clinton or immigration reform. It’s the intense behind-the-scenes battle between the CIA and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence over the committee’s report on the CIA’s alleged torture of terrorist detainees during the George W. Bush administration.

The committee wants to publish a 600-page summary of the 6,000-page report authored by committee Democrats to accuse the CIA of torturing prisoners by using the “enhanced interrogation techniques” — EITs — President Obama prohibited in 2009. The CIA is desperately opposed to publication, so much so that it admittedly spied on committee staffers writing the report.

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The CIA’s objection to releasing the report seems strange because in 2012 Attorney General Eric Holder announced that there would be no prosecution of CIA interrogators. The CIA’s fear must be that whatever conduct the report blames them for is so terrible that it could ignite another round of intelligence “reforms” like those of the 1970s Church Committee which obstructed intelligence-gathering for many years.

Committee Democrats apparently want to revive the torture debate in time for the 2016 elections, perhaps to accompany a push to close Gitmo or repeal the post-Sept. 11 authorization for use of military force when, per Obama’s schedule, the last American forces are withdrawn from Afghanistan.

The report apparently plays a lot of games with facts. One of its principal conclusions is rumored to be that EITs, which ranged from a slap in the face to waterboarding — were unnecessary because the intelligence gained through them could have been obtained by other means. That is speculative and it begs the question of timing. Was the intel gained and, if so, when? At this point, all we know is contained in former CIA Director George Tenet’s memoir, which says EITs yielded more valuable intelligence than the CIA, FBI, NSA and military operations combined.

The Fate of the West Posted By Enza Ferreri

It’s all very simple. We can’t fight Islam in the West without fighting the enablers of Islam in the West, namely the Leftists.

And, since the Left has many different and separate aspects, we have to fight against each one of them. Secularism, environmentalism, global warming alarmism, homosexualism, militant feminism, sexual relativism, multiculturalism, anti-Christianity, Islamophilia, post-nationalism, internationalism are just as important targets to attack as Marxist economics, the expropriation of the capitalist class (or, in its modern reincarnation, redistribution of wealth), and the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Neglecting any of these fronts is like fighting a war leaving a battleground to the enemy, like fighting on the Western front and leaving totally undefended the Eastern one.

Secularism and atheism are certainly the first lines of important wars.

A secularist West will always lose to Islam, because it will have enough compassion, tolerance and self-restraint from violence that are the remnants of its Christian heritage, but it will have lost the ideals, the passion and certainty of fighting for a just cause that were once part of Christianity and have disappeared with its erosion.

Two quotes here serve as epigrams. Robert Spencer wrote in his great work Religion of Peace? Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn’t: “People who are ashamed of their own culture will not defend it.” And Dennis Prager said during one of his radio broadcasts, “Only good religion can counter bad religion.”

Some people claim that there won’t be a religious revival in Europe because we are past believing in God. That this is not true can be seen by the high – and increasing – number of Westerners who convert to Islam. Many of them give as a reason for their conversion the need for absolutes, boundaries and well-defined status.

A journalist writing for The Spectator on this subject explained why she is Catholic:

Hillary’s Two-Faced Foreign Policy By Daniel Greenfield

Ever since Hillary broke with Barack over the virtues of doing stupid stuff, the editorial columnists have been pretending that she has some new and exciting foreign policy.

She doesn’t.

The left has denounced her as an interventionist. They just can’t explain how she is any more of an interventionist than her boss who bombed Libya, is bombing Iraq and wanted to bomb Syria. And all that is without mentioning his attempt to implement the Arab Spring’s regime changes.

The closest thing to a disagreement between them was over Syria and considering that Obama was days away from getting into Syria, that’s not much of a firewall.

Hillary took a cheap shot at Obama. The media spent so much time discussing the hugging summit that it completely ignored the fact that it was a cheap shot with no substance to it. Hillary and Obama have the same ideological DNA and get their ideas from the same narrow circles. Hillary doesn’t have a better or worse foreign policy. They both have the same foreign policy.

Hillary Clinton is trying to distance herself from the foreign policy of an administration in which she served as Secretary of State. Hillary is trying to distance herself from her own approach to international relations. That’s a level of schizophrenia that is a bit extreme even for a woman who sheds accents, identities and sports team affinities the way that a snake sheds its skin.

Hillary isn’t disavowing Obama. She’s disavowing Hillary.

The new Hillary is suddenly pro-Israel after spending years berating the Jewish State. She suddenly realized the importance of having a coherent foreign policy after having the same confused position on Iraq as John Kerry. And she’s somehow more of an interventionist than Obama even though they were both intervening in the exact same places.

Hillary is an interventionist. But so is Obama.

Holder’s Lynch Mob in Ferguson : Damn the Evidence! Full Speed Ahead: By Matthew Vadum

The cop-hating radical lawyers of Eric Holder’s Justice Department are reportedly continuing to feed the passions of the lynch mob in Ferguson, Mo., that is screaming for the blood of the white cop who shot and killed a young black man earlier this month in what now almost certainly appears to be an act of self-defense.

A white police officer’s racism, an allegation for which there is no evidence whatsoever, supposedly caused the unfortunate incident. But the leftists who run the federal government need this. They want it badly. A police officer has to be sacrificed to appease Democrats’ political base and to help fend off an increasingly likely Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate in November.

Federal civil rights charges may be in the works against Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot Michael Brown after an intense physical altercation that left Wilson with severe head injuries.

The feds may simply ignore local authorities and go forward with a case against Wilson, says Hans von Spakovsky, who worked in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division under President George W. Bush. He is currently a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation and is co-author of the recently published Obama’s Enforcer: Eric Holder’s Justice Department.

“Eric Holder has completely politicized the Justice Department,” von Spakovsky told WND’s Greg Corombos. “As we can see, unfortunately, this is happening in other places like the Travis County (Texas) D.A.’s office” that charged Texas Gov. Rick Perry with a crime for threatening to veto legislation.

“That should concern every American,” he said. “I don’t care what their political background is because that is a threat to everyone’s liberty and everyone’s freedom when that kind of power is used for political purposes.”

Von Spakovsky said “I am fearful that they will try to pursue a federal case even if there’s no evidence to justify it, because of the fact that they really see everything, including Eric Holder, through the prism of race even when race is not a factor in a case or an incident.”