It is surprising that the Islamic State’s use of chemical warfare has taken this long. On August 11, ISIS shelled the northern Syrian town of Marea, with Mustard gas mortars. The specific effects of this deadly gas were almost immediately evident. Moreover, Mustard gas can be easily detected. There are several lightweight chemical agents detectors. The least sophisticated can “scan the surrounding environment in a 360 degree radius, and at a “distance of 5 kilometers for Mustard gas, and other known chemical warfare agent vapors.“

But the Pentagon and the White House said nothing. Instead of ringing the alarm bells, it took ten days for the chief of staff for Operation Inherent Resolve (the Combined Joint Task Force to fight ISIS), Marine Brig. Gen. Kevin Killea, to respond to Fox News commentator, Gen. Lucas Tomlinson, that “It is going to take us a couple of weeks to do the full testing…to figure out what was contained in or on those mortar rounds before we make a determination on exactly what it was, potentially how much it was and maybe even where it came from.”

Jeb Bush: Worse than We Imagined Robert Weissberg

Jeb Bush is struggling. Conservatives loath his support for the Common Core and open borders but let me suggest that his RINO (Republican In Name Only) credentials hardly stop there. Despite frequent claims of being a “real conservative” on his signature issue of improving public education, don’t believe him. More alarming, Jeb seems oblivious to the liberal character of these proposals. No wonder so many conservatives are uneasy—he talks one way, acts another and seem oblivious to the perniciousness of what he is trying to accomplish.
Consider Bush’s plan to reform K-12 education recently offered in Manchester, NH. He began by claiming—“I am the most outspoken Republican candidate for president in favor of high standards and accountability for public schools.” He then turned to a problem that bedeviled policy-makers for half a century while soaking up billions, all to no avail—the dreadful academic performances of inner-city black and Hispanic students, the academic bottom of the bottom.

Sex! Jack Boots! Trump! by: Diana West

Their frustration is palpable. All those sparkling, witty gambits by conservative pundits to denigrate Trump supporters — as, for example, when National Review’s Kevin Williamson wrote in a column that Trump supporters are “engaged in the political version of masturbation: sterile, fruitless self-indulgence” — has earned little more than approbation from their own kind — as when Commentary’s Noah Rothman, for example, responded with equally sparkling wit: “Man. This piece. @KevinNR grabs Trump supporters by the … well, you know.”

Do they ever. But no matter how many conservative websites take the dirty thang forward — “Donald Trump Is Porn for Nativists” The Federalist recently declared — Trump’s support continues to rise.

And that’s what’s so frustrating for these gentleman-pundits. Unable to reckon with Trump — namely, with his unique ability to bring the crisis of the immigration invasion to national attention, giving last-ditch hope to many that he is a man who will actually do something about it — their strangely, sexually framed hostility has proved to be (borrowing from their thesaurus) impotent.

Could this be how the elite’s New Man, from metrosexual to Girly Man, reacts on confronting the unreconstructed, un-focus-grouped leadership style of Donald Trump? This notion began to cross my mind even before I read a piece by Kent G. Bailey, professor emeritus of clinical psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University, who writes at that Trump takes “primal maleness to levels unseen for at least half a century. The everyday people of America long for strong warrior male leadership of the kind that has sustained the human race from the dawn of time.”

Reporting on ISIS and the Global Jihad:Rachel Ehrenfeld News that White House pressure on military and intelligence brass have led to massaging the truth about the United States led coalition success in defeating ISIS, did not come as a surprise. Especially so, since independent sources have been providing a different picture. Commenting on the ongoing investigations into pressuring intelligence analysts to “adjust” their […]

Does Israeli Intelligence Favor the Iran Deal? No! Martin Kramer

This post first appeared at the Commentary blog on August 24.

J.J. Goldberg at the Forward has been running a campaign to persuade Americans that Israel’s intelligence community is at odds with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the Iran deal. Not only the preponderance of retired professionals, but also currently serving ones, dissent from Netanyahu’s read of the deal. Netanyahu can’t silence the former, but he’s given a “gag order” to the latter—to no avail. Military intelligence has even produced a “surprising,” “game-changing” assessment that undermines him completely, according to which the “upsides [of the deal] aren’t perfect,” but “the downsides aren’t unmanageable…. The disadvantages are not too calamitous for anyone to cope with them.” Military intelligence sees “an imperfect but real opening in Iran. It believes that opportunities are being lost.” Netanyahu’s own “diagnosis doesn’t match his own intelligence.”

It’s all polemical and politicized nonsense.

A real expert, Emily Landau (at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv) has already taken Goldberg to the woodshed about the retired professionals (Goldberg has a weird predilection for calling them “spooks”). Landau, without naming the names of these “experts,” points out that Iranian politics and nuclear issues are well beyond the expertise of most of them. Not everyone with a pension and an opinion is equal. And most of those who think that Israel should back off a fight over the deal still think it’s a bad one. They just argue that it’s inevitable anyway, so why provoke Barack Obama? This isn’t support for the deal, it’s resigned acquiescence. (The military correspondent of The Times of Israel did a parallel debunking, after the White House began to tweet similar claims.)

Anonymous and the Islamic State Bafflement: A Reasonable Response to a Barbarian Upsurge By Paul Berman

Why do American diplomats sign their essays Anonymous whenever they have something large and upsetting to say? Why not Publius? It was Anonymous, anyway, who published a commentary on the Islamic State in the New York Review of Books of August 13—Anonymous, who is said, by the editors, to be “formerly an official of a NATO country,” which could mean Canada, of course, or Estonia. But the United States does seem probable. And Anonymous is said to be someone with “wide experience in the Middle East.” An expert, therefore, accustomed to the sobrieties of power. Anonymous, then—how does Anonymous account for the Islamic State? With what analysis? Anonymous is at a loss. Anonymous confesses to “bafflement.” This is large, and it is upsetting.

Sydney M. Williams Thought of the Day “The Phenomenon that is Trump”

First off, I have been wrong about Donald Trump. A few months ago, I thought that by now he would be gone. In terms of political ambitions, I have thought him a clown – not stupid, but neither funny nor nice. Now I fear he is a demagogue. When a leader (or would-be leader) appeals to emotions and prejudices rather than intellect and reasoning, or spews vitriol rather than hope, and when he (or she) appeals to those who prefer to be led rather than guided, the ground is set for demagoguery.

Mr. Trump has tapped into the unhappiness, which polls show to be prevalent, and the cynicism it breeds. Some of his followers may be ill-informed, but they all recognize condescension. Many Americans find offensive the aura of sanctimony that enshrouds politicians in Washington and much of the Press. People abhor attitudes of moral and intellectual superiority. Mr. Trump pierced that veneer and has shown it to be shallow. Despite his privileged background and his wealth, he has become the champion of the disenfranchised – or, at least, of those on the right.


There is an old Yiddish word “Trumpanik” which is defined as troublemaker. It is not “haute” Yiddish and its derivation is argued. Some say it comes from a diminutive of trumpet, therefore describing someone who blows his own horn. You get the picture.

To those friends who wring their hands with worry about a Trump victory, I say revisit some old polls and campaigns. Here are two examples.

1.HERMAN CAIN VAULTS TO LEAD – OCTOBER 2011 Cain Vaults to Lead in Poll – Wall Street Journal…/SB100014240529702047746045…
The Wall Street Journal Oct 13, 2011 – Former corporate executive Herman Cain has catapulted to the lead in the race … Mitt Romney, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds.
CONCORD, N.H.—Former restaurant-industry executive Herman Cain has catapulted to the lead in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, as GOP voters grow disenchanted with Texas Gov. Rick Perry and remain wary of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds.
Drawn by Mr. Cain’s blunt, folksy style in recent debates, 27% of Republican primary voters picked him as their first choice for the nomination, a jump of 22 percentage points from six weeks ago.


ROCHESTER, N.Y., Dec. 22 /PRNewswire/ — Howard Dean has established a strong national lead over all other candidates for the Democratic candidates.While the selection of the Democratic candidate will depend on the Iowa caucuses and primary elections in New Hampshire and many other states, the former Vermont governor has pulled ahead of all other candidates among
Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents nationwide. The Harris Poll(R) finds that Dean is now the preferred candidate of 21% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, with a strong lead overSenator Joe Lieberman (10%), who is in second place, and all the othercandidates.

David Singer: Palestine – Changed Narratives Needed To Nurture New Negotiations

France is not expected to present its anticipated draft proposal for the declaration of a Palestinian State to the U.N. Security Council in September – having reportedly been criticized both by Israel – which does not want any external solution imposed on it – and by the PLO – which fears the Security Council will not meet its demands.

The Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap are dead and buried – even if the headstone is yet to be ceremoniously unveiled marking the actual date when the collective records, transcripts and secret minutes detailing fruitless negotiations conducted during the last 20 years between Israel and the now-disbanded Palestinian Authority were finally consigned to the graveyard of history.

It is now also becoming increasingly apparent that creating a 22nd independent Arab State between Israel, Jordan and Egypt can:

Iran and ISIS: More in Common than We Think The supposed rivals are working together — and working with the Taliban. By Kyle Orton

The admission by the Taliban on July 30 that its leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar, had died was widely seen as good news for the Islamic State (ISIS) against its jihadist competitors. But while ISIS’s growing power in Afghanistan over the last year has garnered significant attention, the rise of Iran’s influence in the country has been less noted. Worse, in the light of the nuclear agreement with the U.S., Iran’s expanded influence is held by some observers to be a stability-promoting development. This is a dangerous fantasy that has already been falsified in the Fertile Crescent, where the synergetic growth of Iran and ISIS promotes chaos and radicalism — to the advantage of both and the disadvantage of the forces of moderation and order.

Several leaders of the Pakistani Taliban and the al-Qaeda–linked Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan have defected to ISIS in the Afghanistan–Pakistan theater, but ISIS’s presence in the area remains small. This has not prevented an outrageous attempt by Tehran to sell its recent increase in support to the Taliban as an anti-ISIS measure. Tehran’s argument does not fit the timeline — which shows consistent Iranian support for anti-Western Sunni jihadist forces in Afghanistan from the beginning of the Western intervention in 2001.