February 23, 2011

Bill Whittle: Obama’s Friends and Enemies

After two years of craven diplomatic and substantive betrayal of allies and cozying up to philosophical and declared enemies, Bill Whittle “goes there” — and reaches the inescapable conclusion:

Y’know, there comes a point where no matter how hard you try to offer the benefit of the doubt, evidence builds up to such a degree that you can no longer deny that the evidence is telling you something.

Halfway into his first term, the foreign-policy decisions made by Barack Obama and his administration are so appalling, so destructive in the long-term, (that) they can no longer be credited to inexperience or even incompetence. They’re so consistent, they must be due to ideology.

… (conclusion, addressing the President) And the kind of evidence (I see) lifts me almost daily to the disgraceful conclusion that while they (America’s enemies) don’t share America’s core values, perhaps they share some of yours.

Watch the whole thing:

Select gems:

… President Obama cancelled a working missile defense that was to have been based in Poland. He did it to appease the country which divided Poland with the Nazis in 1939 — that would be Russia — and he did it on the 70th anniversary, to the day, of the German invasion of that country. That is a mortal insult to a brave people and a stalwart ally.

… Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, being officially received at the White House, was not allowed to enter through the front door, but rather, had to come in through the rear, like a house servant. The President of the United States dictated his conditions to one of our closest allies, and when the Israeli Prime Minister began to discuss these ultimatums, President Obama told him to work it out with his low-level advisers, as he was off to have dinner with Mrs. Obama. Now that is astonishing in the degree of studied, intentional diplomatic insult and humiliation. That’s not an accident, inexperience, or even incompetence. Wars have been fought over less than that.

… At a session of the United Nations in New York, the British Prime Minister pursued the President of the United States on a matter of pressing urgency, and the President hustled from room to room, like a rock star avoiding an annoying autograph request.

A spokesman for Obama’s State Department told a collection of British diplomats, quote: “There’s nothing special about Britain. You’re just the same as the other 190 countries of the world. You shouldn’t expect special treatment.” Well:

  • We didn’t get the example of the Magna Carta from Ecuador.
  • We didn’t learn respect for the rule of law from Uzbekistan.
  • We didn’t get the idea of the presumption of innocence from Thailand, or any of the other bedrock institutions and values that built America.
  • We didn’t get them from Luxembourg, or Chad, or Portugal, or Korea. We got them from Great Britain.

… The President of the United States of America gave to the Russians, over strenuous and almost incredulous protests, the actual serial numbers of the U.S. Trident missiles sold to Great Britain. KGB spies were presumably prepared to die to get this information, but Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, handed these secrets to the Russians over the protests of our closest ally so that he could get a START treaty with Russia to help his sagging poll numbers at home.

That’s just how he treats “friends.” Watch the rest so you can see how he treats our “enemies.”

Mostly Suppressed in AP Pirate Hostage/Murder Stories: Leader’s Threat, Couple’s Faith

USA Today’s Wednesday cover story (“Killings Escalate Piracy Crisis”), has this reference to a quote obtained by the Associated Press:

Killing hostages “has now become part of our rules,” said a pirate who identified himself as Muse Abdi in a statement to the Associated Press. “From now on, anyone who tries to rescue the hostages in our hands will only collect dead bodies,” Abdi said. “It will never, ever happen that hostages are rescued and we are hauled to prison.”

Pretty provocative, right? In fact, it resembles a declaration of war without the rules of war. You might even call it a declaration of t-t-t-t … terrorism.

The problem is, Abdi’s quote is no longer in any story at the Associated Press’s home web site, and is rarely present in other Internet news reports.

A search at the AP’s home site on “Muse Abdi” (in quotes) returns no results.

An AP home site search on “Abdi” returns one relevant item that relates to Abdiwali Abdiqadir Muse, a pirate who was sentenced to 33 years in prison last week. Muse’s sentencing is cited as being a possible motivation for the hostage-taking of Scott Adam, wife Jean Adam, Bob Riggle, and Phyllis Macay, who were killed by their captors on Tuesday.

As of 10:30 ET, six of the seven relevant stories found searching the AP’s home site on “pirates” (here, here, here, here, here, and here) have any reference to Abdi’s specific threat or any more generalized threats made by the pirates. The seventh does:

Pirates reacted angrily to the sentencing and have since vowed that they will kill hostages before being captured during military raids and being sent to face trial.

I believe that most readers will find the quote at the beginning of the post much more provocative than the just-excerpted sentence. The Buffalo News thought that the wording of Abdi’s threat was so significant that it included it in its “Quotations of the Day.” So why water it down?

If the wire service’s goal is to keep Muse Abdi’s inflammatory direct quote out of the news (in an attempt, in my opinion, to minimize the chances that public outrage will force the Obama administration and world leaders to actually do something comprehensive about the deadly pirate/terror menace), it has largely succeeded. A Google News search (sorted by date) on “anyone who tries to rescue the hostages in our hands” (in quote) returns only 26 items. A general Google News search on “pirates kill” (not in quotes) returns over 3,900.

The AP also seems to be going out of its way to avoid tying religion into the killings. Of course, there is frequent reference to the couple’s mission to distribute Bibles. But only one of the cited stories mentions that Scott and Jean Adam were member of St. Monica’s Catholic church in Santa Monica, California. An AP home site search on “Adam Christian” (not in quotes) comes up empty.

There’s also this odd quote from one of the earlier AP items that appeared before the hostage killings were committed:

The pirates from Puntland in northern Somalia are not hardline Islamists and the fact the Adams carry Bibles is not likely to be a problem. Pirates in Puntland are known to spend their ransom spoils on alcohol, drugs and prostitutes.

Given that the text of the Bible is not exactly approving of “drugs and prostitutes,” that seems to be a pretty naive assumption. Sinners are often less than thrilled at the idea of being confronted about their sins.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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BizzyBlog Update: Comment at the Detroit Free Press’s coverage of reaction to the murder of Phyllis Macay (“Former Southfield resident, MSU grad is 1 of 4 killed by pirates”):

if killing hostages is their standard protocol now all pirates should be killed on sight no questions asked. They set the bar let them die from it.

As long as the identification is certain, I don’t see a strong counter-argument to that.

30-Minute Drill: Quick-Hit Headlines and Highlights (022311, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 8:39 am

30 Minutes, No Timeouts:

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The Associated Press’s Hope Yen and John Raby want you to think that it’s partially the government’s supposedly insufficient largesse that has caused one-quarter of the nation’s counties to be “dying” — i.e., losing population — ” In America’s once-thriving coal country, 87-year-old Ed Shepard laments a prosperous era gone by, when shoppers lined the streets and government lent a helping hand. Now, here as in one-fourth of all U.S. counties, West Virginia’s graying residents are slowly dying off.”

They get closer to the right answer later in the story, quoting a sociology prof: “”The downturn in the U.S. economy is only exacerbating the problem.” In other words, the AP writers are giving us another example of what 32 months or so of the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy has done to the country.

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At the Associated Press (“US has modest goals for S. Africa climate talks”), Donna Bryson os still treating global warming and its alleged dangers as an established fact — “… poorer nations complain that the industrialized world that grew rich off polluting industries should make legally binding commitments to deeper cuts in the emissions of the greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.”

Geez Donna, meet Phil Jones. Yeah, THE Phil Jones — “Climategate U-turn as scientist at centre of row admits: There has been no global warming since 1995.”

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Politifact, which often blows it, didn’t blow this one — “George Will says Wisconsin governor’s benefits proposal would still leave workers better off than those in private sector.” That’s true.

At Big Gov: “Judicial Watch Gets Hillarycare Docs…After 5-Year Legal Battle”

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CNBC’s Patti Domm (“$4 Gasoline? Definitely in California, but Maybe Not for Everyone Else”) is downplaying the significance and future direction of gas price rises. Hope she’s right, but the guy referenced here thinks there’s a good chance she’s wrong.

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Hewlett Packard stock was down 12% at the close of after-hours trading. Zero Hedge notes that the company’s revenue and earnings per share guidance are both lower for future quarters and the full year, but not by a level that would appear to justify this kind of sell-off. Bigger implication, per ZH, which I hope is wrong: “… the new paradigm of economic growth, may be just slightly problematic.”

Positivity: ‘World’s finest’ Catholic school principal awarded with cash, chocolate

Filed under: Education,Positivity — Tom @ 5:58 am

From Chicago, IL and Beckley, WV:

Feb 17, 2011 / 05:47 am

A Catholic school principal from West Virginia was chosen out of 400 nationwide contestants to win a cash prize and 60 cases of chocolate for being titled the “World’s Finest” principal.

A competition sponsored by World’s Finest Chocolate and Today’s Catholic Teacher magazine recognized Karen Wynne – principal of St. Francis de Sales School in Beckley, West Virginia – after she was nominated by her staff and 150 students.

At a Feb. 15 ceremony at the school, Wynne received her title as World’s Finest principal and a check for $1,000. The school will receive 60 cases of personalized chocolate bars to use in fundraising.

“Unbeknownst to me, my student body and staff nominated me to be the World’s Finest Principal,” Wynne told the local Register-Herald Feb. 16. “In December, they asked me to come to the gym and surprised me by showing me all the things they had done to nominate me for the position.

“It was a national contest, and I never dreamt that we had a chance of winning,” she said.

St. Francis de Sales School’s assistant principal and third-grade teacher, Mary Grace Peck, lead the initiative to nominate Wynne for the award. Throughout the last several months, the staff and student body worked to prepare posters, essays, videos, and pictures for Wynne’s nomination.

Wynne noted that students at St. Francis came up with creative entries, including a song written by the second grade, a picture collage of Wynne’s daily activities by the third grade, and a newsletter on Wynne’s accomplishments created by the seventh grade. …

Go here for the rest of the story.