David Petraeus testified last month to the Senate Armed Services Committee on U.S. policy in the Middle East. Regarding Syria, the former general and CIA director urged a credible threat to destroy Bashar Assad’s air force if it continues to bomb its own people. He also recommended “the establishment of enclaves in Syria protected by coalition air power, where a moderate Sunni force could be supported and where additional forces could be trained, internally displaced persons could find refuge, and the Syrian opposition could organize.”
But Barack Obama does not agree. At his Friday press conference, the president described such views as “mumbo-jumbo,” “half-baked ideas,” “as-if” solutions, a willful effort to “downplay the challenges involved in the situation.” He says the critics have no answers to the questions of “what exactly would you do and how would you fund it and how would you sustain it.”
America’s greatest living general might as well have been testifying to his shower drain for all the difference his views are going to make in this administration.
So it is with this president. It’s not enough for him to stake and defend his positions. He wants you to know that he thinks deeper, sees further, knows better, operates from a purer motive. His preferred method for dealing with disagreement is denigration. If Republicans want a tougher line in Syria, they’re warmongers. If Hillary Clinton thinks a no-fly zone is a good idea, she’s playing politics: “There is obviously a difference,” the president tut-tutted about his former secretary of state’s position, “between running for president and being president.”
While most media critics — Fox News Channel’s Howard Kurtz for one — are quick to dispel accusations that the left-wing “progressives” are in control of most news organizations, a well-respected editor took potshots at a former four-star U.S. Navy admiral who openly opposes President Barack Obama, especially his nuclear weapons pact with Iran.
According to top news media watchdog, Accuracy in Media, the Huffington Post, which is part of America Online, has once again shown itself to be a compelling example of the liberal-left news media’s “willful ignorance and its consistent spin” on behalf of the Obama White House, the politicized government agencies, and all people associated with the Democratic Party, including its heir apparent to the White House, Hillary Clinton.
However, instead of blasting Hillary Clinton’s track record in the Middle East and North Africa or her shenanigans that poured millions of dollars into her husband’s coffers, Huffington Post’s senior political editor, Sam Stein, an August 18 column that denigrates the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi member and former Commanding Officer of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, Admiral James “Ace” Lyons.
Many people who may vote in the democratic primary election, if there is one and the general election in 2016 have no real knowledge of Mrs. Clinton or her accomplishments. As a public service, I thought I would provide some input regarding her triumphs for consideration.
When Bill Clinton was president, he allowed Hillary to assume authority over a health care reform. Even after threats and intimidation, she couldn’t even get a vote in a democratic controlled congress. This fiasco cost the American taxpayers about $13 million in cost for studies, promotion, and other efforts.
Then President Clinton gave Hillary authority over selecting a female attorney general. Her first two selections were Zoe Baird and Kimba Wood – both were forced to withdraw their names from consideration. Next she chose Janet Reno – husband Bill described her selection as “my worst mistake.” Some may not remember that Reno made the decision to gas David Koresh and the Branch Davidian religious sect in Waco, Texas resulting in dozens of deaths of women and children.
Husband Bill allowed Hillary to make recommendations for the head of the Civil Rights Commission. Lani Guanier was her selection. When a little probing led to the discovered of Ms. Guanier’s radical views, her name had to be withdrawn from consideration.
This special edition of The Glazov Gang was joined by Saba Ahmed, an Islamic Lobbyist with the Republican Muslim Coalition, and Nonie Darwish, an ex-Muslim who is the author of The Devil We Don’t Know.
The two guests went toe-to-toe about Taqiyya, if Muslims can take kafirs as friends, if Islamic verses inspire and sanction Islamic terror, and much more.
Don’t miss it!
I was going to write about the way the US Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, was instructed to boycott PM Netanyahu’s speech, but Elliott Abrams beat me to it:
Think of how petty that instruction, which can only have come from the White House, really is. To sit in the seat and listen to Netanyahu isn’t endorsing his remarks, it is the politeness we owe an ally. Deliberate absence recalls the years in which dozens of delegations, Arab and “Third World,” would leave the chamber when any Israeli rose to speak. The Obama administration is still griping about diplomatic errors Netanyahu has made, but a refusal to have the U.S. ambassador listen to his speech is petty and damaging, hinting to anti-Israel delegations that the United States may be willing to let all sorts of anti-Israel measures go without opposition or criticism.
Secretary of State Kerry wasn’t there either. Supposedly he was called away to participate in a video conference with President Obama. Abrams went on to call it a “low point for seven years of Obama diplomacy.”
What strikes me is that there was absolutely nothing to be gained from this exercise. There’s no way Netanyahu can torpedo Obama’s Iran deal, there are presently no negotiations going on with the Palestinian Authority, and Netanyahu isn’t running for office. All it can do is make a statement that the President holds our PM, and therefore our nation, in contempt.
Common sense is a term whose exact meaning has been debated from Aristotle to Immanuel Kant. For my purposes, let us define it as the process of using our five senses to perceive, understand and judge events and people. It is doing what most would consider intuitive, obvious and logical. It is a trait important to business, as Lehman learned to their dismay in 2008, and should be in politics. Unfortunately, it has become rare, at least in the political world. The art of politics involves the ability to persuade and the willingness to compromise. Successful politicians need the judgment and ability to work with and convince opponents to alter policies in a more desirable direction. Unilaterally, demanding that the ship of state, set on a course of south-south west, should reverse course and head north-north east may be fodder for a campaign speech, but will more likely founder the ship than approach a preferred destination.
It’s almost impossible to fathom what an unusual candidate Donald Trump is. Put aside his lack of political experience (except for his serial flirtations with running for president over the years). Never mind his violation of nearly every rule of thumb of politics: Always shoot up, never down. Avoid throwing reporters out of your press conferences. Pretend you don’t care about the polls. Maintain tight message discipline. Don’t wear hats! Disregard his constant feuds with nearly everyone, his blatant self-contradiction on basic policy questions, and his general outlandishness.
Consider only these facts: Trump has been leading the polls for the Republican presidential nomination for months, and he basically never says “freedom” or “liberty.” He gives no indication of caring about the Constitution. He talks only sparingly about the federal debt. He has, in short, ignored central and longstanding conservative tenets that seemed to have become only more important in the tea-party era — and he has not only gotten away with it, but thrived (so far).
How is that possible? Trump is truly a different kind of political phenomenon. He is supposed to be an outrageous right-winger, but he draws support fairly evenly across all factions of the Republican party and is heterodox or indeterminate on key policy questions.
It is tempting to dismiss him as merely a buffoon, given his routinely buffoonish behavior, and to dismiss his supporters as ill informed and misguided. This is, indeed, the approach taken by many of his journalistic critics and a few of his rivals. But their denunciations of Trump and the Trump phenomenon have frequently been overwrought, taking the momentary enthusiasm of a large fraction of a party to stand for the enduring convictions of the whole.
They have also frequently been unfair to Trump’s supporters. It is important to understand Trump’s draw. If he is wholly unsuited to be the Republican nominee for a myriad of reasons, including that he isn’t a conservative, there are nonetheless lessons to be gleaned from his meteoric, madcap rise, ones that can make the other candidates better and the GOP more appealing.
Theatrical shootings aren’t the problem, hysterical reactions aren’t the solution.
We’ve been here before. The worst massacre at an American school wasn’t at Columbine or Newtown, it wasn’t recent, and it didn’t involve an angry young misfit with a duffel bag full of guns. It happened in Bath, Mich., in 1927, when the local school-district treasurer, upset at having lost a township election and facing foreclosure on his house, murdered his wife and then bombed the school. Nearly 100 were injured, and 44 people died, including 38 children. The collective response of the nation was to do nothing: There was nothing to do.
As a quondam theater critic, I appreciate our weakness for the dramatic, though of course the quality of the show varies, from high tragedy to mere spectacle. (Consider that the two American cities in which visitors most commonly put “go to a show” on their agendas are New York and Las Vegas.) One theory of drama holds that by exaggerating events and compressing them into a defined period of time and space — two hours on a Broadway stage, say — we isolate an aspect of human experience for study the way a scientist might isolate an unusual cell under a microscope. But in spite of the best efforts of 22-year-olds everywhere, life isn’t drama. It isn’t even very much like it.
Hackers got malware-infected email through to the then-secretary of state.
Hackers linked to Vladimir Putin’s Russia tried to gain access to Hillary Clinton’s insecure private email account at least five times while the Democrat presidential candidate served as U.S. secretary of state.
The disturbing revelation comes months after retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn said the chances Clinton’s private email account was hacked were “very high.” At the time the former top Obama administration intelligence official implied Clinton should have been fired as the nation’s top diplomat.
“As a military officer, if I said I was doing something for convenience’s sake to the soldiers that I was leading and it was solely for my convenience instead of their, you know, their welfare, I should be relieved of duty. I would expect to be fired,” Flynn said.
“You know, it’s one of those things where if it doesn’t feel good it probably isn’t. And this one doesn’t feel good to me.”
Those who forget or ignore history are destined to be conquered by those who remember and praise it.
One of the primary reasons Islamic and Western nations are “worlds apart” is because the way they understand the world is worlds apart. Whereas Muslims see the world through the lens of history, the West has jettisoned or rewritten history to suit its ideologies.
This dichotomy of Muslim and Western thinking is evident everywhere. When the Islamic State declared that it will “conquer Rome” and “break its crosses,” few in the West realized that those are the verbatim words and goals of Islam’s founder and his companions as recorded in Muslim sources—words and goals that prompted over a thousand years of jihad on Europe.
Most recently, the Islamic State released a map of the areas it plans on expanding into over the next five years. The map includes European nations such as Portugal, Spain, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Greece, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Romania, Armenia, Georgia, Crete, Cyprus, and parts of Russia.