August 25, 2014

NYT Op-Ed: It’s a ‘Moral Hazard’ to Call ISIS ‘Evil’ or a ‘Cancer’

In a Friday op-ed which appeared in the paper’s international print edition on Saturday and which can reasonably be seen as giving voice to an editorial board which wouldn’t dare put their name to it, La Salle University Political Science Professor Michael Boyle strenuously objected to recent characterizations of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

We can’t call ISIS “evil.” We also shouldn’t call them a “cancer,” or “savage,” or “barbaric.” Oh, and the fact that George W. Bush called Al Qaeda “evildoers” is why ISIS came to be, and why our problems with radical Islam are now worse. Excerpts follow the jump:

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August 22, 2014

Unlike ‘Mission Accomplished,’ Press Barely Mentions Obama’s ‘JV Team’ Ridicule of ISIS

The press never let George W. Bush forget about that “Mission Accomplished” banner on the USS Abraham Lincoln after Saddam Hussein was overthrown and his government’s military was routed in Iraq. They often pretend that Bush said it, or adopted it. He did no such thing, saying only that “Our mission continues.”

So while the press has come close to making a claim Bush 43 never made an article of faith, it is virtually ignoring something current U.S. President Barack Obama actually said, namely that, concerning ISIS, “The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.” Kristina Wong at the Hill is a rare exception. She reminded readers of what Obama said in January as she reported Thursday on how the nation’s defense secretary and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff completely disagree (bolds are mine):

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August 19, 2014

NYT Blames Hamas, Israel Equally For End of Cease-Fire; Story Ignores Hamas Plot to Overthrow Abbas

Over at Hot Air tonight, Mary Katharine Ham pointed to a headline at the New York Times, present at its web home page as well as at the story itself, which equally blames Hamas and Israel for the end of their cease-fire: “Rockets From Gaza and Israeli Response Break Cease-Fire.” Someone needs to tell Isabel Kershner and Jodi Rudoren that it’s the “rockets from Gaza” which broke the cease-fire.

There’s a bigger problem with the story, and with establishment press coverage of the conflict in general during the past 36 hours, namely that virtually everyone is ignoring a Monday blockbuster report at the Jerusalem Post presenting compelling evidence that Hamas intended to overthrow the Palestinian government and its President, Mahmoud Abbas, in conjunction with its attacks on Israel (Shin Bet is Israel’s internal security service; bolds are mine):

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August 17, 2014

Nixon’s Resignation, 40 Years On

From a tough standard to no standards.

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This column went up at PJ Media and was teased here at BizzyBlog on Friday.

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Friday, August 8 marked the 40th anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s resignation announcement. He resigned the next day.

I saw and remember that speech.

As a college student in a hurry to get out, I was taking summer classes at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio (the real Miami, not that latter-day interloper in Florida). Living off-campus in a sweltering second-floor dump posing as an apartment, I headed over many evenings to the one male dorm which remained open for its cooler temps, beckoning piano, and working TV.

Most evenings, I was typically the only person in the dorm’s common area. Not that night. Perhaps twenty students were there. The heckling and hollering in which I eagerly participated was fierce.

I thought back to Nixon’s reelection in 1972. After Nixon crushed George McGovern, perhaps a dozen bitter, unhinged Miami students paraded around campus, screaming at the top of their lungs in anger at the outcome well into the wee hours of the morning. I went past them during a late-evening jog, thankful that I could probably outrun them if they set their sights on me.

Wherever they were almost two years later, they must have been beside themselves with glee. My perspective was relief that just desserts had been delivered to a man who had betrayed his nation.

Though not a particular fan of Tricky Dick — a take which my late mother later shared, when she informed me that 1972 was the only time she couldn’t bring herself to cast a presidential vote — I nonetheless understood that this clearly shady guy was far better than what we would have had to endure with McGovern.

I was also fully aware that the press had been at war with the onetime ardent anti-communist Nixon for over a quarter-century, going back to his exposure of Alger Hiss as a Soviet spy and his 1952 Checkers speech.

They thought he was gone for good after two stinging electoral defeats. The first was his “loss” in the 1960 presidential contest to John F. Kennedy; Nixon bowed out gracefully on election night rather than spend months pursuing clear electoral improprieties which arguably erroneously swung the election to JFK. The second was the California governor’s race in 1962, after which he declared, “You won’t have Dick Nixon to kick around any more.”

The press and the left thought they had marginalized conservatism and even the Republican Party forever when Barry Goldwater lost to Lyndon Baines Johnson in 1964. They were furious that Dick Nixon could get past them — recall that until the advent of cable TV and talk radio, roughly a dozen media entities had virtually ironclad control over deciding what was news in the U.S. — and rise from the ashes of political oblivion to the presidency in 1968. They were absolutely beside themselves when he trounced McGovern four years later.

As president, Nixon did not govern as a conservative. His administration did as much as any to inflict the scourge of racial quotas and affirmative action on the nation. He imposed wage and price controls, which, as Milton Friedman accurately warned, would end in “utter failure and the emergence into the open of the suppressed inflation.” He opened relations with Red China, which four decades later is now this nation’s largest foreign creditor and is still working on destroying us.

The June 1972 “third-rate burglary” known as the Watergate break-in by people associated with the Committee to Re-elect the President — or CREEP, perhaps the dumbest self-inflicted acronym ever — ultimately exposed Nixon’s overarching paranoia. He was aware of at least some of the shenanigans of his underlings before the 1972 election, and he subsequently engaged in reckless behavior in covering up that knowledge after that.

Whether what Nixon did rose to the level of deserving impeachment is another matter.

The articles drawn up by the House Judiciary Committee seemed compelling enough at the time. But the conduct described is tame compared to what was seen during Bill Clinton’s presidency, and compared to what we’re seeing now from Barack Obama.

Significantly, each of the three articles against Nixon refers to the presidential oath of office with this language:

… in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed …

In other words, the House’s impending impeachment in 1974 was primarily predicated on the idea that violating one’s oath of office in and of itself meets the threshold of a “high crime” or “misdemeanor,” whether or not the specific offending actions described in the articles themselves do. If that’s the basis for impeachment, Nixon earned it, and deserved to be thrown out of office if he hadn’t resigned. That said, though the articles describe some actions which are crimes, many are not, and that Nixon committed any of them was never proven at the courtroom level.

If violating the oath of office is supposed to be the primary benchmark, it is beyond dispute that William Jefferson Clinton’s impeachment by the House of Representatives in December 1998 was earned. Further, that impeachment effort was supported by crimes Clinton obviously committed. He made “perjurious, false and misleading testimony” to a grand jury; he made perjurious statements in writing and in deposition testimony in the Paula Jones case; and he encouraged witnesses to give false testimony in sworn affidavits and testimony. All of these crimes were committed in court-related proceedings or in preparation for them.

The country is now paying dearly for the Senate’s 1999 failure to carry out its duty to convict Clinton. Completely opposing the standard to which Nixon was about to be held in 1974, it proved not only that violating one’s oath of office isn’t enough to get you thrown out on your ear, but also that committing brazen crimes won’t even cause that to occur – especially if your political views align with those in the leftist establishment.

No wonder Obama, his administration, particularly his “Justice” Department, and his regulatory army believe they’re untouchable.

August 15, 2014

Latest PJ Media Column (‘Nixon’s Resignation, 40 Years On’) Is Up

It’s here.

It will go up here at BizzyBlog on Sunday morning (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.

August 14, 2014

Politico Pity Party: Obama Is on a ‘Vacation From Hell’

Does anyone remember a media report expressing sympathy for former President George W. Bush when adverse events happened during his Crawford, Texas “vacations”? (Given that he and Laura lived there, calling a visit to your place back home hardly seems to qualify as some kind of “vacation”)

Well, this evening, Politico’s Carrie Budoff Brown took pity on President Obama for his “vacation from hell.” Excerpts follow the jump.

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August 13, 2014

Publisher Rejects Fellow Soldiers’ Book on Bowe Bergdahl, Because ‘the Right’ Might Use It

Remember all those books that the publishing houses rejected during the eight years before Dear Leader took office because they might get used by “the Left” to hurt George W. Bush? No you don’t, because it didn’t happen.

But now, things are different. Fellow soldiers of released 5-year Taliban captive Bowe Bergdahl are trying to publish a book on their side of the “he was a deserter” controversy. A divison of publishing giant Simon & Schuster has rejected their submission. That isn’t necessarily unusual, but the contents of a rejection letter from one of the publisher’s representatives certainly is.

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August 12, 2014

Thank You, David Horowitz: ‘Obama Deliberately’ Lost ‘The War in Iraq’

Ex-hard leftist Horowitz understands how the far left thinks, and nails it at National Review:

Obama’s Treachery and Republican Silence
When will they stop pretending this is a normal presidency?

Barack Obama deliberately set out to lose the war in Iraq, and he did. He defied the advice of his joint chiefs of staff to secure America’s formidable military presence and keep 20,000 troops in country, and left Iraq to its own devices and the tender mercies of Iran. In doing so, he betrayed every American and Iraqi who gave his life to create a free Iraq and keep it out of the clutches of the terrorists.

Iraq is now a war zone dominated by the terrorist forces of the Islamic State, whose rise Obama’s policies fostered.

As to his question concerning when Republicans, i.e., the Republican establishment, will “stop pretending this is a normal presidency,” they’ve had six years to see it, and, with far too few exceptions, are still treating the Obama presidency as part of the normal ebb and flow of politics. It’s not.

FLASHBACK 1:

  • Jan. 25, 2009 — “The hope is that Barack Obama won’t bungle his way into losing what George Bush and the US military won.”

In hindsight, it really wasn’t a “bungle.” As Horowitz asserted, Obama deliberately lost.

I underestimated Obama.

FLASHBACK 2:

  • August 19, 2009 — “Remember, this war is this administration’s and this Congress’s to lose, because the Bush 43 administration won it — twice.”

So sad, so true. With the majority of the country in ISIS/ISIL control, it has been lost — and, barring a philosiphical and tactical sea change, it’s going to take a different U.S. president to get it back, if anyone ever can.

August 10, 2014

Grave Danger

Filed under: National Security,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:54 pm

Iraq implodes, and genocide ensues.

Libya collapses, and, uh, yeah, we should care:

According to The Post’s Karen DeYoung, some U.S. counterterrorism officials believe Libya’s Islamists could seek to align themselves with the Islamic State, the al-Qaeda offshoot that controls western Iraq and eastern Syria. Whether or not that happens, it’s not hard to foresee eastern Libya becoming a launching pad for terrorist attacks against nearby Europe or even the U.S. homeland.

As much of the Middle East and North Africa descends into chaos, Western leaders only pretend to be interested, barely. The dominant mood in the halls of power is apparently, “Get this off my desk for a few days, will ya?”

Richard Fernandez observes, with no further comment necessary:

The Western left has finally manufactured a world that it likes, led by the object of their adulation. How could they have known it would be this way? They are like the dog that caught the car and found the occupants liked dog meat. And now we are about to witness a clash between the “how could we know” PC elites and a resurgent militant Islam. What can those caught in the middle do? Many are simply stupefied. The remainder seem to lack to tools to return to their previous homely, but familiar lives. The Yehzidis found there was no way back; no way forward either except through the slave market or the mass grave. Can the rest of the world still roll back events? Or do they let the monsters fight and scurry beneath their trampling feet?

Unless the citizenry of the world can get their destinies back from the crazy elites and crazy headchoppers, they can only watch the destructive spectacle and hope to survive as the monsters wreck civilization.

August 9, 2014

Press Mostly Ignoring Feinstein’s Warning That ISIS Wants ‘To Attack Us in Our Backyard’

Yesterday, Roll Call and The Hill both relayed Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein’s call, in Roll Call’s words, “for a broader military campaign against ISIL, not just the targeted missions authorized by the president.” She believes it is needed because “It has become clear that ISIL is recruiting fighters in Western countries … and possibly returning them to European and American cities to attack us in our backyard.”

Searches at their web sites indicate that the Associated Press and New York Times have not reported Feinstein’s stark warning, which directly contradicts the President’s January ridicule of ISIL/ISIS as the equivalent of junior varsity basketball players. At the Politico, in a worry-wart piece on “Obama’s liberal problem,” Seung Min Kim and Jeremy Herb shamefully omitted Feinstein’s “in our backyard” warning — while covering the rest of what she said.

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August 8, 2014

Indian TV Shows ‘How Hamas Assembles and Fires Rockets’; U.S. Press Mostly Ignores

In an English language report at NDTV.com on Tuesday, Sreenivasan Jain, reporting from Gaza, witnessed a Hamas “rocket silo being created under a tent right next to the hotel where our team was staying.”

His news team then “saw the rocket being fired, just before the 72-hour ceasefire came into effect.” It would seem that Western news organizations who have seen their onsite reporters intimidated and threatened by Hamas in Gaza would jump at the opportunity to report some of the reality they’ve refrained from showing. But there’s very little evidence that these organizations have used NDTV’s work. Video and a portion of the report’s accompanying text follow the jump.

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August 4, 2014

Surprise: CNN’s Blitzer Challenges Hamas Spokesman on His Blood Libel Against Jews

A popular blood libel Palestinian leaders and parents tell their people and children goes as follows: “Jews used to slaughter Christians in order to mix their blood in their holy matzos.”

In the video (HT Twitchy) which follows the jump, Blitzer asks Hamas spokesman Osama Hamdan to confirm that the quoted words just cited are what he recently said and meant. Over nearly seven agonizing minutes, Hamdan never admitted to anything, but certainly conducted himself as if he had done uttered those words. To his credit, Blitzer noted that the end of the segment that his question had not been answered, leaving reasonable viewers to believe Hamdan did previously say them, and that the bare outlines of his attempted excuse, which was essentially a claim that “I was just repeating something someone else said,” doesn’t fly.

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August 3, 2014

Scarborough Unfair: His Attempt at Damage Control Demonstrates Success of Hamas Censorship

On Thursday, as Connor Williams at NewsBusters reported, Joe Scarborough at MSNBC “ripped Israel for their ‘indiscriminate’ attacks upon Gaza, and feared that this would only cause the conflict to worsen in the future.” Specifically, Scarborough said that “this is asinine. This continued killing of women and children in a way that appears to be indiscriminate is asinine,” and “we will rue the day that this is happening every day and women and children are being seen.”

On Friday, as Laura Flint at NewsBusters noted, Scarborough attempted to walk back some of what he said, insulting his objectors by saying he would us “simple talk that simple minded people can understand.” He was apparently so proud of what he said that he had it printed virtually verbatim at the Politico late Friday afternoon, complete with an emphatic, condescending title. Let’s revisit the screed to make a few important points (produced in full because it has already been broadcast; bolds and numbered tags, used so Joe can better follow “simple-minded” points, are mine):

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July 29, 2014

Unreal: Language in Offensive AP Tweet on Israel-Gaza-Congress Led Its Actual Story Early Tuesday

Earlier today, I gave the Associated Press an unwarranted benefit of the doubt. I figured that there was no way the language contained in an offensive AP tweet on the Israel-Gaza situation would appear in an actual story by an alleged professional journalist. Boy, was I wrong.

The language in question was posted at 6 a.m. ET and is still present at the wire service’s official Twitter account. It reads: “As much of world watches Gaza war in horror, members of Congress fall over each other to support Israel.” I wrote this afternoon that “The tweet … links to a brief dispatch by Bradley Klapper, whose coverage, to be fair (but only if he’s not the tweeter), doesn’t reflect the sentiments expressed in the tweet.” Well, it didn’t then, because the underlying story had been revised. Here’s are the first five paragraphs of Klapper’s story as they appeared before comprehensive cleanup efforts ensued:

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July 28, 2014

AP’s Matt Lee ‘Jokes’ in a Tweet That U.S. Strategy Is to ‘P*ss Off Everyone’ in Mideast (See Update)

Of all the Associated Press reporters out there, Matt Lee, whose beat is the State Department, appears to have the least patience with the pablum (and worse) he is expected to swallow from the Obama administration.

In September of last year, as the situation in Syria escalated, Obama administration Secretary of State John Kerry proposed a non-mandatory request for a Congressional vote on U.S. military involvement in Syria. After hearing State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki defend that proposal as “courageous,” Lee, after getting a non-response to a question as why it was courageous, famously asked: “Was there some kind of, like, group spine-removal op procedure at the White House over the weekend?” Though he may not have exercised the best judgment this morning in posting the tweet which follows the jump, at least we can say that Lee hasn’t taken up permanent residence in the wire service’s otherwise very crowded water-carrier wing:

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