I was overseas when Obama gave his momentous Isis address, but figured I could pretty much guess how things would go. Despite being the greatest orator of the last thousand years, he’s a complete bust at selling anything but himself, as comprehensively demonstrated in his first couple of years: see his rhetorical efforts on behalf of ObamaCare, or Massachusetts Senate candidate Martha Coakley, or Chicago’s Olympics bid. When it comes to war, he suffers from an additional burden: before he can persuade anybody else, he first has to persuade himself. And he can’t do it. So he gave the usual listless performance of a surly actor who resents the part he’s been given. It’s not just the accumulation of equivocations and qualifications – the “Islamic State” is not Islamic, our war with them is not a war, there’ll be no boots on the ground except the exotic footwear of a vast unspecified coalition – but something more basic: What he mainly communicates is that he doesn’t mean it.

That’s what the jihadist militias now in control of Tripoli understood about his “leading from behind”. That’s what Putin grasped about Obama’s “red line” in Syria. And that’s what any Isis member who took time out of his beheading schedule to watch the President on CNN International will have taken away from this week’s speech.

As for the “coalition”, they seem to intuit that, with a leader leading from this far behind, you want to stand even further back. From the mellifluously named Jacaranda FM:

Turkey will refuse to allow a US-led coalition to attack jihadists in neighbouring Iraq and Syria from its air bases, nor will it take part in combat operations against militants, a government official told AFP Thursday.

So much for the only Nato member to border Isis. What of the other Atlantic allies?

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told journalists on Friday that Germany will not take part in US-led air strikes against Islamic extremists Isis in Syria.

The United Kingdom’s position is more, ah, nuanced. First, the Foreign Secretary:

Asked about plans for an open-ended bombing campaign, Mr Hammond said: ‘Let me be clear – Britain will not be taking part in any air strikes in Syria. We have already had that discussion in our parliament last year and we won’t be revisiting that position.’

Steven Salaita and the Racistist Ghost of Edward Said: Joshua Murovchik

The hottest flap in American academia this semester revolves around
the decision of the chancellor of the University of Illinois to block
the appointment of Steven Salaita to a tenured professorship on the
grounds of his comments on Twitter during this summer’s conflict
between Israel and Hamas. The chancellor drew a distinction between
free speech and “disrespectful words . . .that demean and abuse.”

Salaita’s offending torrent of tweets began with the kidnapping of
three Israeli teenagers in June. “You may be too refined to say it,
but I’m not,” wrote Salaita. “I wish all the f***ing West Bank
settlers would go missing.” Then, during the fighting, he poured forth
an endless stream of accusations that Israel was committing “genocide”
and that America was under the control of Israel. “Israel slaps around
the USA, and all [Republicans] do is ask for more,” said one. “Redneck
. . . slogan . . . Gaza is a disaster but Netanyahu is my master,”
said another. A third read: “Israel’s message to Obama and Kerry:
we’ll kill as many Palestinians as we want, when we want. p.s.: f***
you, pay me.”



September 11 had disrupted the multicultural consensus by raising serious questions about immigration and Islam. It had also thrown away the consensus that the collapse of the USSR had made American military power obsolete. Obama had come to revive these consensuses and as recently as the last election dismissed Romney as a reactionary warmonger who didn’t understand the new world order.

Obama had declared victory over an undefeated enemy. He had passed off a strategic withdrawal as a victory. His wars, victories and withdrawals were a series of blatant lies that are catching up with him.

His administration tried to blame the takeover of Libya by Islamist militias after his disastrous regime change intervention on a YouTube video. But there isn’t a YouTube video big enough to blame ISIS on.

ISIS: Obama’s ‘Al-Qaeda on the Run’


I sure hope that Hillary Clinton can talk Hillary Clinton into running. It would be a shame if all those donors to the Clinton Foundation had wasted their cash. Especially the foreign donors.

Hillary Clinton has a full campaign in motion. She has a media operation. She has a campaign biography. She’s selling merchandise. Whom is she kidding here?

“And I will have to be convinced that I have a very clear vision with an agenda of what I think needs to be done,” Clinton said.

Hillary Clinton: “I Will Have to Convince Myself to Run for President”


“Would she be quicker than President Obama to order kinetic military action? Yes,” the former official said. “Her tendencies are more bellicose than the president. … She is a decisive person. She doesn’t speak with a whole lot of semicolons and commas.”

Hillary Clinton never uses commas. She speaks entirely in exclamation marks with occasional guillemets and sheffer strokes thrown in.

As a bellicose and decisive leader, since last week, she will decisively bomb countries without using any commas. If you bring her coffee without sugar, she will bellicosely and decisively bomb Columbia.

At least until the polls change and then her bellicosity will be confined to throwing shoes at Secret Service agents.

Clintonites: Hillary Will be “Bellicose Interventionist”


Body odour is among 52 criteria that officials at San Diego International Airport use to judge taxi drivers. Cabbies say that smacks of prejudice and discrimination.

It does discriminate between cabbies who smell like an open sewer and those who don’t. It further prejudges what a good smell is.

Check your hygiene privilege. Cabbies who smell badly are probably just oppressed folks who came directly from their terrorist training camp to the airport and didn’t have time to change.

Third World Cabbies Say Expecting Them to Shower is Racist

Will The New European Commission Be Less Biased Against Israel? by Peter Martino

Barely two years ago, in 2012, Mogherini showed her pro-Palestinian sympathies by posting on her blog a picture of her visit to Yasser Arafat in 2002. The picture has meanwhile been removed form the blog but can still be found on the internet.

During the next five years, the EU’s policies and attitudes toward Israel are not likely to change.

A new European Commission will be installed on November 1 as the European Union’s executive body for the next five years. The previous Commission, headed by the Portuguese politician José Manuel Barroso, will be replaced by one led by Jean-Claude Juncker, former Prime Minister of Luxemburg. Unfortunately, there is no indication that the new Commission will be less biased in its attitudes against Israel than the old one.

Catherine Ashton was the Commissioner responsible for foreign affairs under Barroso This British baroness never concealed her anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish bias. In September 2011, Ashton praised Palestinian leaders Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad in a speech in the European Parliament, saying: “They are people who believe in the values we hold.” In March 2012, she publicly displayed her anti-Semitism by comparing Mohammed Merah’s attack on a Jewish school in Toulouse, France, in which three Jewish children and a rabbi were murdered, with “what is happening in Gaza.” And last January, she issued a short statement on the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, in which she managed to avoid the words Jews and anti-Semitism.

Ashton will be replaced by Frederica Mogherini as the EU’s next High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Like Ashton, Mogherini during the Cold War was active in movements that advocated Western disarmament. That seems to have become a prerequisite for acquiring the top EU foreign policy position.


Some things just never change: Otherwise sterling democracies still
hold fast to their archaic prejudices despite the dizzying flux and
scary savagery of our times.

Why are the White House, Whitehall and hubs of diplomacy in all the
capitals of the EU so irascibly indignant over Israel’s decision to
declare 400 hectares in Gush Etzion state lands?

Under whichever conceivable future compromise (if any) this minuscule
area is sure to remain Israeli, as it was even before Israeli

The Etzion Bloc fell to Arab besiegers in 1948 and its Jewish
defenders were cold-bloodedly massacred after they had already
surrendered. Destroyed and desolate, it languished under Jordanian
occupation for merely 19 years. Nonetheless, the dysfunctional family
of nations decrees that for the sake of world peace the Etzion Bloc
must forever revert to its brief erstwhile judenfrei status.


When you are dealing with an administration whose officials look you in the eye and tell you the Muslim Brotherhood is a “largely secular” organization, it’s tempting to laugh off the idiocy spouted by President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry about how the Islamic State has nothing to do with Islam. We should resist the temptation, though, because there is a dangerous purpose behind the laughable assertion.

Obviously, Bing West and Daniel Pipes are correct that the terrorist group is entirely Islamic. As I’ve been arguing here more times and for more years than I care to remember, what we presume to call “radical Islam” (a/k/a Islamic supremacism, Islamic extremism, political Islam, Islamism, and whatever other “Islam [fill in the caveat]” terms we devise to avoid considering whether Islam itself inevitably breeds terrorism) is not very radical among the world’s Muslims. There are pacific constructions of Islam, too, but it is silly not to acknowledge that Islamic supremacism is a mainstream interpretation of Islam. It is firmly rooted in Islamic scripture and endorsed by many of Islam’s most influential scholars. Indeed, when you read what the scriptures say, there is a good argument that the pacific constructions are the ones that are radical revisionism.

This point has been made so many times it should hardly be necessary to point out that Obama and Kerry, like Kerry’s predecessor Hillary Clinton, and like many Bush-administration officials before them (including President Bush), are dead wrong when they deny the nexus between Islamic doctrine –– the literal scriptures –- and terrorism, decapitations, totalitarian government, repression of women, rabid anti-Semitism, the murder of homosexuals, and so on. Still, it would be a serious error merely to observe that they are wrong, snicker at their fecklessness, and move on.

There is a reason they are taking a position diametrically opposed to reality.

When Words Lose Their Meaning By Jonah Goldberg

The president would like to think the Islamic State isn’t Islamic, and that we aren’t at war with it either.

Dear Reader (Including the millions of poor souls staring at their TV like a big dog whose food bowl has been moved, disappointedly expecting me to be on today’s installment of Outnumbered),

People ask me all the time, “Isn’t it awfully early to be drinking straight gin like that?”

I’m kidding. Only British hookers and Martin Landau in Rounders drink warm gin straight.

But they do ask me, “Hey, when’s your next book?”

I’m often tempted to make my first response, “Did you buy my last book? Because if you didn’t, who the #$%^ are you to nag me to write another one? It’s because of people like you I can’t have nice things.”

But right before I start looking for places I could non-fatally jam a ballpoint pen into their upper torso, I realize this is uncharitable. The problem, you see, is that people who don’t write books don’t know what an unending, unyielding ass-ache they are. I’d compare them to a non-stop flight in a middle seat between John Goodman’s sweaty former body double who’s now jobless because he “let himself go” and a runny-nosed, cotton-candy-loving small child who is hard to distinguish from a deadly pathogen vector.

But I can’t make that comparison — because writing a book is worse than that. You see there’s nothing “non-stop” about writing a book save the constant yearning to either reach the destination or the unending sound of the siren on your shoulder counseling you to give up and beach the ship. Even though you’re often surrounded by people, you’re always alone in that community-of-one called “the author of your unfinished book.”

Indoctrination by ESPN By Andrew C. McCarthy

For the Left, the Ray Rice episode is an opportunity to “reprogram the way we raise men.”

If conservatives want to know why we are losing the culture and the country, it is important to understand that while very few kids and young adults are watching Fox News (or news programs of any kind, for that matter), they inhale sports programming. It’s ubiquitous — television, radio, the Internet. And thus equally unavoidable is sports commentary, more and more of which has less and less to do with sports. Tendentious “sports journalists,” the majority of whom are decidedly left of center, are much less guarded about their hostility to conservatives than their fellow progressives on the political beat. It is a hostility that takes for granted the chummy agreement of its viewers and is designed to make Millennials want to be part of the fun.

This week, the big national news is a sports story. It involves Ray Rice. The star running-back was cut by the Baltimore Ravens after video surfaced showing him punching his now-wife’s lights out in an Atlantic City casino elevator. The National Football League and its commissioner, Roger Goodell, are in the hot seat because, some allege, the NFL had the video before suspending Rice for a measly two games. Logically, the video shouldn’t matter: The commissioner clearly knew Rice had knocked Janay Palmer out cold before issuing the trifling suspension. But graphic video has a way of overrunning logic.

My purpose here is less to wade into the Rice mess than to consider how radical ideas — like the Left’s war on boys — get mainstreamed.

Let’s say the New York Times published, or CNN aired, a fawning news story about tribal politics and Alinsky-style community organizing — how the Left uses (and often manufactures) crises to shake down big corporations, the payoffs from which pour into the coffers of “grass-roots community groups” (i.e., left-wing grievance activists such as ACORN and Al Sharpton’s National Action Network), underwriting their promotion of the “social justice” agenda in schools and the media. Big deal, right? Such stories are standard mainstream-media fare, and very few impressionable young people see them.

But what if the news story was not ostensibly political? And what if it was not published in news media but in entertainment programming — say, a hip sports show, slipped into the mix between the top plays of last night’s ballgames?


It’s 9/11 the 13th, and these United States have never been closer to losing the last vestiges of their foundational identity.

Long ago, our first president, George Washington, prophetically warned against “attachments and entanglements in foreign affairs.” In the last century, such sentiments, tragically (as I increasingly believe), fell into disrepute. In our time, Washington’s 21st-century successors, George W. Bush and Barack Hussein Obama, have no such compunction. On the contrary, their response to the Islamic assault of 9/11 and the aftermath of continuing jihad have been to link the fortunes of this great nation with those of warring tribes and factions in the Islamic world. That’s about as attached and entangled in foreign affairs as it is possible to get.

For the past 13 years, it has been the flawed crux of U.S. foreign policy to micromanage “moderates” in the Islamic world by waging “counterinsurgencies” as a means of defusing the “extremism” of Islam. This failed effort has had the disastrous effect of calibrating America’s fate – as well as exhausting our military and emptying our treasury – according to the rise and fall of Islamic strongmen and blocs.

It gets worse. Now, President Obama plans to fight against ISIS in Iraq and to support ISIS-allied forces in Syria. This makes no American sense. Repel ISIS (or al-Qaida, or Hezbollah, etc.) at our borders, but don’t pretend there is an American “side” in Iraq or Syria. The United States’ fate is not Iraq’s fate, not Syria’s fate, not Afghanistan’s fate. Entangled, however, we have grown used to thinking in such terms. Maliki is causing gridlock in Iraq? An American problem. Abdullah is threatening to bug out of elections in Afghanistan? An American problem.

Why? Who cares? Cut the apron strings and the funding streams and learn from our leaders’ mistakes. Acknowledge publicly that “moderates” in the Islamic world are as common and/or as reliable as unicorns, and “extremism” is the basis of Islam, and formulate new policy.

Remember “Islam is peace”? That was George W. Bush reaching out to the Islamic world right after 9/11 rather than sitting back and building a good, high and high-tech border fence to the north and south. It was also Bush, as some people (Fox News, for example) seem to forget, who presided over the redaction of the 9/11 Commission Report, and the stripping away of the language of Islam from government communications, making it impossible for officials to have a sensible discussion about Saudi Arabia or Islam ever since.


Marilinda Garcia (R) Challenger To Incumbent Ann McLane Kuster (D) in District 2


HEALTHCARE “I will work to dismantle Obamacare and replace it with bottom-up reforms that allow consumers and their doctors to make decisions for themselves.”

Obamacare was a misguided and destructive policy from the start. Since the law was proposed in 2009, I have argued that putting health care decision-making in the hands of politicians and bureaucrats would lead to higher prices, fewer choices, no improvement in health outcomes and restricted access in the doctor-patient relationship. Now, unfortunately but as expected, we are beginning to see the evidence. Thousands of New Hampshire families have had their insurance canceled because of this new law, and thousands more who are being pushed onto the exchanges are seeing significant and unaffordable premium increases. Additionally, this broad government mandate overtakes 1/6th of the US economy and severely inhibits innovation in medicine through higher taxes, limiting and cumbersome regulations and centralization of power. In my hometown alone, I have seen highly-specialized clinics that feature state of the art equipment and medical innovation be sold by what will be the few large nationwide providers – ending the delivery of patient-centered care and transparent pricing in our community and state. But it is not enough to just oppose Obamacare. While ObamaCare has made the system worse for millions of Americans due to policy cancellations and skyrocketing premium increases, the pre-Obamacare health care system was riddled with flaws and failures. Next generation conservative leadership means providing alternatives that enhance health care options for all New Hampshire families. Instead of top-down solutions, in which politicians, bureaucrats and insurance executives are in charge of our decision-making, we should promote bottom-up solutions in which consumers make decisions for themselves. Here are some specific ideas I support:

Tax fairness: Individuals who buy insurance for themselves should be afforded the same tax exclusions that employers get when they provide insurance for their employees.
Interstate competition: Allow consumers to purchase health plans across state lines.
End lawsuit abuse: Defensive medicine, whereby doctors prescribe unnecessary treatments in order to prevent lawsuits, is contributing greatly to health care costs.

FOREIGN POLICY America has no greater ally in the Middle East than Israel. Unlike any other nation in the region, with Israel we share a commitment to individual rights, religious tolerance and representative democracy. That is why we must emphasize our commitment to Israel as we continue to face common threats, such as a nuclear-ambitious Iran and global terrorism. America must stand with her friends and allies globally. The Obama Administration has proven itself to be an unreliable partner for our allies. We should never pursue policies that alienate our greatest allies in unstable regions for the purpose of placating the demands of nations that publicly seek to harm us.

ENERGY Energy Policies That Work “I will prioritize smart domestic energy development that reduces energy prices, increases our national security and independence, and creates more job opportunities.” New Hampshire families and small businesses are feeling the pinch of high energy costs. It doesn’t have to be this way. My top priority is opposing any new energy taxes, such as the Cap-and-Trade tax or the plethora of new taxes and regulatory burdens associated with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). I oppose the cap-and-trade energy tax. Second, we can positively impact energy prices by pursuing a smart energy policy. I support policies that would increase domestic energy exploration and production, increase our refinement capacity and build more efficient energy transport systems, such as the long-overdue Keystone XL Pipeline. These policies would reduce the cost of energy, reduce our dependency on foreign oil and create new, good-paying American manufacturing jobs.