July 20, 2014

Juan Williams vs. Charles Krauthammer on Obama’s AWOL Leadership

Filed under: National Security,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:09 am

On Fox News Friday, Williams defends the indefensible, and Krauthammmer nails him:

“The least the President can do is make a damned decsion for once in his life. …”

To Williams’s contention that the U.S. is already helping the Ukrainians, Krauthammer contends that all we have given them is MREs.

D’Souza’s Next Film

“America” was great, but he needs a follow-up.

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

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Sunday evening, I ventured to a local theater to see Dinesh D’Souza’s America: Imagine the World Without Her.

It is an outstanding effort by a man who clearly loves his country and is deeply concerned that everything unique about it is slipping away — to the detriment of the entire world.

D’Souza correctly calls out and identifies the pieces of an orchestrated, five-front attack by those who wish to remake these United States. To do so, they must first convince enough of us to disregard and denigrate this nation’s accomplishments and its exceptional and unprecedented contributions to human well-being and dignity. That campaign, much of it embodied in Howard Zinn’s execrable textbook, A People’s History of the United States: 1492 to Present, a publication scandalously used in thousands of schools, is an attempt to shame each and every one of us into stifling our patriotic instincts, forgetting our national pride, and memory-holing any positive elements of this country’s founding. D’Souza correctly notes that liberty’s enemies cannot accomplish their desired transformation without tearing down what is already present.

The following, while no substitute for seeing the movie, summarizes the five themes of the left’s attack. The rebuttals which follow are largely D’Souza’s, but some are mine — so you’ll have to go to the movie to see which is which.

We stole much of our land from the Indians. As seen in the title of Zinn’s book, the revisionists’ narrative goes back to Christopher Columbus — which is pathetic, given that Christopher Columbus never landed in the U.S. More substantively, Indian tribes were continually remaking the U.S. map by conquering and either driving out or enslaving other tribes — but our doing so, which did not involve genocide or enslavement, was apparently the only malign enterprise.

What horse manure. D’Souza notes that the Sioux have turned down a $1 billion reparations offer because they will settle for nothing less than getting “their” areas of the Upper Midwest back. Somehow, we’re supposed to ignore the fact that they took that land from other tribes. The Indians, like virtually the entire rest of the world, subscribed to the “conquest ethic.” The U.S. was among the first, if not the first, nation on earth not to automatically impose colonialism, tyranny or worse on those it defeated in war.

We stole half of Mexico. Actually, we conquered Mexico, gave half of it back, and made American citizens of everyone living in the American Southwest — something the conquest ethic-driven Mexicans under Santa Ana would never have dreamed of doing had they somehow turned the tables.

Slavery stole the labor and lives of Africans. Slavery is indeed this country’s original sin. But our Founders, who knew that they could not have formed a full union at the time of the Constitution’s adoption unless they allowed the practice to continue, nevertheless sowed the seeds for its destruction in the nation’s founding documents. No less than Frederick Douglas declared that the Constitution was hostile to slavery.

The abolitionists, including Abraham Lincoln, capitalized on this disconnect when they sensed that the nation’s moral compass could be moved. It was, but not until a horrible, four-year war — a war D’Souza says is the “first time in history” a war was fought to end slavery — took the lives of over 300,000 Union and over 200,000 Confederate soldiers. My opinion: The impossible task of “reparations,” if ever undertaken, would have to include payments to those who whose relatives died to end slavery, or it would be objectively unjust.

Our military adventures have been about plundering the world for its resources. For starters, if that were so, there would be no Japan Inc., Korean corporate giants like Samsung (MacArthur had to retake almost all of what is now South Korea, which had been lost to Communist troops), or independent German corporations. We would have taken those countries over and run their industries ourselves. Today, Iraq’s oil would exclusively be our province. None of this is the case.

Until Vietnam, when a left-dominated U.S. Congress deliberately chose to abandon before it could become self-sufficient and self-defending, the best thing that could happen to any country in the long run was to lose a war with or be successfully defended by the U.S.

Capitalism is theft. The left seems to understand that much of this core argument no longer works. That’s because capitalism obviously creates wealth where none formerly existed — it apparently required high-tech liberals to prove this obvious point beyond doubt — and continues to lift people out of subsistence-level lives around the world at an astonishing rate. Their backstop is the ”you didn’t build that” argument made by the likes of President Barack Obama and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. D’Souza reasonably asks, when businesses and their owners flourish, if they end up getting more in public benefits than those who don’t own or never built businesses. The answer, unless they engage in the cronyism game, is obviously “no.” So why should they be expected to hand over even more than the wildly disproportionate share they provide to fund public services?

D’Souza then moves to recent political history, particularly chronicling the influence of Saul “Rules For Radicals” (with an admiring nod to Lucifer) Alinsky. I wonder how many left-leaners might begin to question their beliefs if they realized that many of the strategies Alinsky developed arose from his acknowledged first-hand observations of the inner workings of the murderous Chicago mob?

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are indisputably disciples of Alinsky. Obama’s allegiance is plainly seen in his governance. Thus far, Hillary’s has been primarily visible in her college thesis, which proposed taking Alinsky to a new level. Then-Ms. Rodham believed that instead of radicals toiling as perpetual outsiders trying to coerce governments to do what they believe they should do, radicals needed to become the government.

Though I understand the limitations of time, this is where D’Souza fell down a bit. A friend who has seen the movie noted, and I agree, that many people leaving America will believe that “restoration,” D’Souza’s one-word theme for what genuine reform-minded Americans should be focusing on in the coming years, will be far more likely if Obama is somehow prevented from doing critical damage in his final years in office, and a Democrat, be it Mrs. Clinton or Lizzie Warren or anyone else, fails to win the White House in 2016. At best, that only slightly improves the odds.

In case anyone has missed it, a significant portion of the federal government’s bloated bureaucracy, whose interests have historically been job preservation and perpetuation, now sees its primary mission as carrying out the Alinsky agenda from within. Thousands of apparatchiks with the mindsets of Lois Lerner, Tom Perez, and Al Aremendariz pervade this government. There are no meaningful checks and balances on their actions and dictates. There never will be unless a massive downsizing of their size and influence takes place.

Recognizing current and future political dangers is important, and America does a great job of that. But it’s far from enough. We need a way out of the regulatory tyranny we see flexing its muscles virtually on a daily basis — and we need someone like D’Souza’s to cinematically expose its ugliness and suggest solutions.

July 18, 2014

As World Tensions Mount, State Dept.’s Psaki Tweets on Being ‘Smart, Savvy and Fashionable’

The Obama administration is probably wondering why so many people of all political stripes don’t believe that they take foreign policy seriously, up to and including charges that the president and his minions are doing the equivalent of fiddling as some parts of the world burn, and others threaten to.

I don’t see why would anyone think that (in case it’s not obvious, that’s sarcasm). After all, wasn’t Bush 43 press secretary Ari Fleischer linking to a friend’s column on men’s suits after the Bali bombings in 2002? And didn’t the London bombings in 2005 lead the otherwise hapless Scott McClellan to wax eloquent on the importance of tie-shirt coordination? The answer to both of those questions is, “Of course not.” But yesterday, on a day when Israel invaded Gaza, pro-Russian forces shot down a passenger airliner with almost 300 aboard, and diseases this country hasn’t seen in decades continued to be carried over the U.S. Mexican border by “Unaccompanied Alien Children” (that DHS’s term), State Department spokesman Jen Psaki tweeted on the dreadfully important topic of how you can be “informed” and fashionable (HT The Blaze):

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Latest PJ Media Column (‘D’Souza’s Next Film’) 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.

July 13, 2014

NYT Pentagon Correspondent: Government-Media ‘Dysfunctional Marriage’ Is Necessary ‘For the Kids’

Well, this explains a lot.

A Justin Lynch column (“Wartime Press”) originally posted at the Weekly Wonk and republished at Time.com with a more foreboding title (“Bloggers, Surveillance and Obama’s Orwellian State”) really ends up being an attempted justification by those Lynch quoted for having a close alliance between the government and “journalists” with “professional standards.” Thom Shanker, the Pentagon correspondent for the New York Times, gets the award for the most Orwellian quote in the litter, which will come after the jump. Its prelude is his belief that “The government really needs to get its message out to the American people, and it knows that the best way to do that is by using the American news media.” What a surprise it is to learn after all these years that the news media’s job is to serve as a conduit for the government’s message. Excerpts follow (headline and subhead are Time’s; bolds and numbered tags are mine):

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July 11, 2014

Chuck Hagel Must Resign

Filed under: National Security,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 2:14 pm

No Secretary of Defense with a conscience would allow this.

From the New York Post:

In a stunning display of callousness, the Defense Department has announced that thousands of soldiers — many serving as commanding officers in Afghanistan — will be notified in the coming weeks that their service to the country is no longer needed.

Last week, more than 1,100 Army captains — the men and women who know best how to fight this enemy because they have experienced multiple deployments — were told they’ll be retired from the Army.

While they’re still in harm’s way, these soldiers now have to worry about how they’ll feed their families once they return.

The honorable thing to do would be to give them the requisite 60-90 days’ notice when they return.

But from here, it looks like the Pentagon is saving money by starting that clock while soldiers are still on the battlefield.

Imagine the blowback if Bush 43 had done this, which of course he never would have thought of doing.

Chuck Hagel must resign — Even if he somehow didn’t know about it. If he won’t do so voluntarily, President Obama must demand his resignation and get it — or fire him, now. If he doesn’t, the presumption has to be that Obama is fine with treating combat troops this way.

July 8, 2014

Do You Agree, Brian? Williams Says Shevardnadze ‘Admitted That Too Much Democracy Was a Bad Thing’

On Monday evening’s NBC Nightly News, host Brian Williams used a perhaps revealing verb to describe a belief held by former Soviet foreign minister and Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze, who died on Monday at 86.

It would be good to look back and learn how Shevardnadze came to say what he said a decade ago before getting to how Williams framed it. As reported in Doug Martin’s obituary at the New York Times (bolds are mine throughout this post):

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‘Gates of Hell’ Update

Via emailer Dan Friedman, with the accompanying commentary:

An “incident” here and an” incident” there, to America’s eyes and its media, they all seem unconnected. But the origin of the current chaos circling the globe has a nexus – 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, where the man in the White House has, with malice aforethought, opened the Gates of Hell.

Buckle up friends, and say your prayers. This is going to be one for the ages.

Here are Dan’s headlines. It’s only a small sample of what he could have included:

July 4, 2014

CNN’s Tom Cohen Baffled by the Obama Popularity ‘Disconnect,’ Holds Real Answers Until the Very End

A prominent exhibit explaining why the nation’s trust in its media establishment has dropped to precipitous lows would likely include Tom Cohen’s Thursday afternoon column at CNN expressing befuddlement over President Barack Obama’s unpopularity.

After all, Cohen’s headline crows that under Obama we have “more jobs” and “less war” (!), so there’s a “disconnect” which must be explained. To give you an idea of how pathetic his attempt is, he managed not to mention any form of the words “immigration,” “scandal,” or “contraction” (as in, the first-quarter decline in GDP) while pretending to present a complete analysis. Meanwhile, one of CNN’s embedded headline links to another story (“Obama to Republicans: ‘So sue me’“) openly mocks Cohen, doing a better job of explaining the “disconnect” in six words than anything he wrote in his first 37 paragraphs. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post; numbered tags are mine):

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June 18, 2014

Dick and Liz Cheney: Obama Has ‘Betrayed Our Past and Squandered Our Freedom’

In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal (bolds are mine):

The Collapsing Obama Doctrine
Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.

As the terrorists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) threaten Baghdad, thousands of slaughtered Iraqis in their wake, it is worth recalling a few of President Obama’s past statements about ISIS and al Qaeda. “If a J.V. team puts on Lakers’ uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant” (January 2014). “[C]ore al Qaeda is on its heels, has been decimated” (August 2013). “So, let there be no doubt: The tide of war is receding” (September 2011).

Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many. Too many times to count, Mr. Obama has told us he is “ending” the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—as though wishing made it so. His rhetoric has now come crashing into reality. Watching the black-clad ISIS jihadists take territory once secured by American blood is final proof, if any were needed, that America’s enemies are not “decimated.” They are emboldened and on the march.

The fall of the Iraqi cities of Fallujah, Tikrit, Mosul and Tel Afar, and the establishment of terrorist safe havens across a large swath of the Arab world, present a strategic threat to the security of the United States. Mr. Obama’s actions—before and after ISIS’s recent advances in Iraq—have the effect of increasing that threat.

On a trip to the Middle East this spring, we heard a constant refrain in capitals from the Persian Gulf to Israel, “Can you please explain what your president is doing?” “Why is he walking away?” “Why is he so blithely sacrificing the hard fought gains you secured in Iraq?” “Why is he abandoning your friends?” “Why is he doing deals with your enemies?”

In one Arab capital, a senior official pulled out a map of Syria and Iraq. Drawing an arc with his finger from Raqqa province in northern Syria to Anbar province in western Iraq, he said, “They will control this territory. Al Qaeda is building safe havens and training camps here. Don’t the Americans care?”

Our president doesn’t seem to. Iraq is at risk of falling to a radical Islamic terror group and Mr. Obama is talking climate change. Terrorists take control of more territory and resources than ever before in history, and he goes golfing. He seems blithely unaware, or indifferent to the fact, that a resurgent al Qaeda presents a clear and present danger to the United States of America.

… The tragedy unfolding in Iraq today is only part of the story. Al Qaeda and its affiliates are resurgent across the globe. According to a recent Rand study, between 2010 and 2013, there was a 58% increase in the number of Salafi-jihadist terror groups around the world. During that same period, the number of terrorists doubled.

In the face of this threat, Mr. Obama is busy ushering America’s adversaries into positions of power in the Middle East.

At some point, it becomes reasonable to believe that all of this is whawt Obama wants to see happen. Cheney posits the possibility:

… Despite clear evidence of the dire need for American leadership around the world, the desperation of our allies and the glee of our enemies, President Obama seems determined to leave office ensuring he has taken America down a notch. Indeed, the speed of the terrorists’ takeover of territory in Iraq has been matched only by the speed of American decline on his watch.

Al Qaeda and its affiliates are resurgent and they present a security threat not seen since the Cold War. Defeating them will require a strategy—not a fantasy.

President Obama is on track to securing his legacy as the man who betrayed our past and squandered our freedom.

If this government won’t abandon its fantasies, the people in it shouldn’t be there.

As ISIS Nears Baghdad, US Press Snoozes, But AFP, UK Telly Are Covering

At roughly 8 a.m. Eastern Time Tuesday morning, the wire service AFP (Agence France-Presse) had a story entitled “Fighting nears Baghdad as UN warns crisis ‘life-threatening.’” AFP reported that “Militants pushed a weeklong offensive that has overrun swathes of Iraq to within 60 kilometres (37 miles) of Baghdad Tuesday.” A Skynet video found at Gateway Pundit tells us that “ISIS Terrorists Surround Baghdad From Three Sides.”

Meanwhile, as of 12:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday only one of the three Iraq-related stores (here, here and here) at the Associated Press refers — and even then only in a very late paragraph — to how ISIS (or ISIL, using AP’s preferred acronym) “overran Mosul then stormed toward Baghdad.”

There is a news outlet which has been liveblogging from Baghdad for at least the past four days. No, it’s not AP, even though it has a bureau in Baghdad. It’s the UK Telegraph. Its lengthy and enlightening June 16 liveblog is here; June 17 is here). Bloomberg News, in a story which seems completely invisible (I only stumbled upon it in the course of doing another post) has a sobering interview with someone who is there (bolds are mine):

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June 17, 2014

AP Pair Continues the ‘No WMDs’ Lie, Defines Anyone Who Doesn’t Support Military Action in Iraq Now As a ‘Dove’

The Obama administration doesn’t have a plan for dealing with the crisis in Iraq. The left apparently believes it’s up to obviously out of power “neocons” to have a plan.

Though he has dispatched 275 military advisors to that country, his virtual ultimatum to that Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki — no angel by any stretch, but still a better alternative to a civil war or an ISIS-run terrorist state — that he must negotiate with all parties involve before the U.S. will even think about making a meaningful military commitment seems destined to allow matters to deteriorate further, perhaps to the point of no return. Despite all of this, Donna Cassata and Bradley Klapper at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, implied in a Tuesday afternoon dispatch that anyone who doesn’t support plan-free military action now is some kind of hypocrite — except for Democrats who say that their support of going to war in 2002 was a mistake. The AP pair also falsely asserted that weapons of mass destruction “were never found” in Iraq.

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