A narcissistic fool and his terrible legacy 3

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Barack Obama thinks that his presidency has been a great success. That if he could have stood for a third term, he would certainly have been elected again.

And yet he is not entirely comfortable in his mind that he has accomplished everything he intended to while he had all that power.

We can reproduce the list if his top four aims with a fair chance of accuracy:

The empowerment of Iran. Okay, done that. Tick it off.

Compulsory health insurance as a step towards a national health service (“Obamacare”). Tick.

The emptying of Guantanamo prison for prisoners of war and terrorists (“Gitmo”) and its closure. Gosh! Not achieved. Try again. Not many prisoners left. Can I do it before January 19? Let them go, let them go, let them go!

The final settlement of the Israel-Palestine problem, to be accomplished to the advantage of the Palestinians, and to the severe disadvantage of Israel, possibly facilitating its ultimate extinction. TICK.

The  deal with Iran may be torn up by Trump? My State Department will stop that happening.

Obamacare will be repealed? I doubt it.

Gitmo still open. Damn!

Israel f***ed. Yay!

Now carve my head on Mount Rushmore.

Ben Shapiro writes at Townhall:

President Barack Obama likes to see himself as a moral leader. “The arc of the moral universe is long”, Obama likes to say, quoting Martin Luther King Jr, “but it bends toward justice”. According to Obama, Obama is a genteel representative of decency and good grace, a man pointing America toward a broader vision, a fellow questing for social justice and contextual consideration.

In reality, he’s a narcissistic fool. And like Burgess Meredith’s character in The Twilight Zone, he will be left standing in the ruins, bewailing the fates that abandoned him, leaving no worshipful admirers upon whom to lean.

Obama’s legacy is one of failure all around the world. He leaves office with a genocide in Syria on his record – a genocide he pledged to prevent, then tolerated and finally lamented, mourning the fates while blithely ignoring his own cowardice. Libya, meanwhile, remains a full-scale disaster area, with tens of thousands of refugees from that failed campaign swamping Europe, along with those fleeing Syria, and his leftist European allies paying the political price.

Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, stands on the brink of a nuclear dawn, its pockets filled with billions of dollars, its minions ascendant from Tehran to Aleppo to Beirut. Obama made that happen with nearly a decade of appeasement and a willingness to abandon freedom-minded Iranians to the tender mercies of the mullahs.

Meanwhile, Russia has only expanded its reach and influence, invading the sovereign nation of Ukraine and seizing Crimea to the deafening silence of the Obama administration. Russia has flexed its muscle in Kaliningrad, where it has stocked missiles, and in Syria, where it has assured Syrian President Bashar Assad’s continued dominance.

China has grown its sphere of influence across the South China Sea, putting American allies from Taiwan and Japan to the Philippines directly under its thumb. Thanks to Obama’s military cuts, China believes that it can bully American allies into embracing Chinese supremacy in international waters – and it may be right. Simultaneously, Obama continues to drive America into debt, and the Chinese are large buyers of that outstanding debt.

The communist Cubans have been re-enshrined; so have the socialist Venezuelan authorities. The Islamic State group remains an international threat, and western capitals have been struck by Islamic terror time and again, to Obama’s teeth-gnashing and general inaction.

Not so sure about that teeth-gnashing. Does Obama give a damn about Islamic terrorism?

But at least Obama is truly putting his focus where it’s necessary: on declaring that our only ally in the Middle East, Israel, has no historic claim to its own existence and threatening Jews with sanctions for building bathrooms in East Jerusalem.

Right. The sarcasm is necessary. Exasperation is hard to express adequately.

Obama came into office amidst grand promises to restore America’s place in the world.

Did he? If so, he saw its place as lower, not higher. We seem to remember that he desired – perhaps not saying so in exactly these words – to bring America down a peg or two.

Unless our place is the outhouse, he’s failed. But at least he feels good about his accomplishments, even if thousands have died – and thousands more will die – in order to ensure his moral stature in his own mind.

Posted under China, Commentary, Cuba, Europe, Iran, Israel, Japan, Libya, Palestinians, Russia, Syria, United States, Venezuela by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, December 28, 2016

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The ruinous presidency of Barack Obama 4

… ends with a diabolical act of treachery.

Bret Stephens writes at the Wall Street Journal:

Barack Obama’s decision to abstain from, and therefore allow, last week’s vote to censure Israel at the U.N. Security Council is a fitting capstone for what’s left of his foreign policy. Strategic half-measures, underhanded tactics and moralizing gestures have been the president’s style from the beginning. Israelis aren’t the only people to feel betrayed by the results.

Also betrayed: Iranians, whose 2009 Green Revolution in heroic protest of a stolen election Mr. Obama conspicuously failed to endorse for fear of offending the ruling theocracy.

Iraqis, who were assured of a diplomatic surge to consolidate the gains of the military surge, but who ceased to be of any interest to Mr. Obama the moment U.S. troops were withdrawn, and only concerned him again when ISIS neared the gates of Baghdad.

Syrians, whose initially peaceful uprising against anti-American dictator Bashar Assad Mr. Obama refused to embrace, and whose initially moderate-led uprising Mr. Obama failed to support, and whose sarin- and chlorine-gassed children Mr. Obama refused to rescue, his own red lines notwithstanding.

Ukrainians, who gave up their nuclear weapons in 1994 with formal U.S. assurances that their “existing borders” would be guaranteed, only to see Mr. Obama refuse to supply them with defensive weapons when Vladimir Putin invaded their territory 20 years later.

Pro-American Arab leaders, who expected better than to be given ultimatums from Washington to step down, and who didn’t anticipate the administration’s tilt toward the Muslim Brotherhood as a legitimate political opposition, and toward Tehran as a responsible negotiating partner.

Most betrayed: Americans.

Mr. Obama promised a responsible end to the war in Iraq. We are again fighting in Iraq. He promised victory in Afghanistan. The Taliban are winning. He promised a reset with Russia. We are enemies again. He promised the containment of Iran. We are witnessing its ascendancy in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. He promised a world free of nuclear weapons. We are stumbling into another age of nuclear proliferation. He promised al Qaeda on a path to defeat. Jihad has never been so rampant and deadly.

These are the results. They would be easier to forgive if they hadn’t so often been reached by disingenuous and dishonorable means.

The administration was deceptive about the motives for the 2012 Benghazi attack. It was deceptive about Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s service record, and the considerations that led it to exchange five Taliban leaders for his freedom. It was deceptive about when it began nuclear negotiations with Iran. It was deceptive about the terms of the deal. It continues to be deceptive about the fundamental aim of the agreement, which has less to do with curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions than with aligning Washington’s interests with Tehran’s.

Now the administration is likely being deceptive about last week’s U.N. vote, claiming it did not promote, craft or orchestrate a resolution that treats the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City as a settlement in illegally occupied territory. Yet in November, John Kerry had a long talk on the subject with the foreign minister of New Zealand, one of the resolution’s sponsors.

“One of the closed-door discussions between United States Secretary of State John Kerry and the New Zealand government today was a potential resolution by the United Nations Security Council on a two-state solution for the Israel-Palestine conflict,” the New Zealand Herald reported last month. “‘It is a conversation we are engaged in deeply and we’ve spent some time talking to Secretary Kerry about where the U.S. might go on this,’” the paper added, quoting Foreign Minister Murray McCully.

The Israelis claim to have more evidence along these lines. If so, it means the administration no longer bothers to lie convincingly.

Even this might be excusable, if Mr. Obama at least had the courage of his mistaken convictions, or if his deception were in the service of a worthier end. Instead, we have the spectacle of the U.S. government hiding behind the skirts of the foreign minister of New Zealand — along with eminent co-sponsors, Venezuela, Malaysia and Senegal — in order to embarrass and endanger a democratic ally in a forum where that ally is already isolated and bullied. In the catalog of low points in American diplomacy, this one ranks high.

After the Carter administration pulled a similar stunt against Israel at the Security Council in December 1980, the Washington Post published an editorial that does the paper honor today.

“It cannot be denied,” the editors wrote, “that there is a pack and that it hounds Israel shamelessly and that this makes it very serious when the United States joins it.” The editorial was titled Joining the Jackals.

Unlike Mr. Carter, Mr. Obama hasn’t joined the jackals. He has merely opened the door wide to them, whether at the U.N. or in the skies over Syria or in the killing fields in Ukraine.

The United States abstains: What a fitting finish to this ruinous presidency.

Yes. For America, if not for himself, Obama’s presidency has been a colossal foreign policy failure.

If his domestic policy failures – a long list, headed by his failure to achieve even 3% GDP growth in any year of his two terms and his worsening of race relations  – are added to the record, he surpasses Jimmy Carter to win the title of America’s worst president.

The UN must be destroyed 1

“Ceterum autem censeo Carthaginem esse delendum” – “Apart from all this, Carthage must be destroyed“.

That was the statement Cato the Elder (234-149 BCE) made at the end of every one of his speeches in the Roman Senate during the Punic Wars (Rome against Carthage), no matter what the rest of the speech had been about.

The statement became a slogan, often shortened to “Carthago delenda est”.

For years we have copied Cato the Elder by writing “The UN must be destroyed” at the end of every post that mentions that evil institution.

Now the need for it to be wiped off the face of the earth, or at the very least expelled from American soil and denied American tax-payers’ money, has been made urgent by the iniquitous action of its “Security Council”, initiated by the perfidious outgoing Obama administration of the US government, against the state of Israel. (See our post Obama’s parting act of extreme vindictiveness, December 23, 2016. For the harm the resolution will do see here.)

Daniel Greenfield writes at Front Page:

The United States pays 22% of the total UN budget. What we get for our $3 billion a year is a corrupt organization whose dysfunctional and hostile agencies are united in opposing us around the world.

The United Nations does only two things consistently and effectively: waste money and bash Israel. Sometimes it manages to do both at the same time.

After an extended, and no doubt costly, visit to the region, the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women blamed Muslim men beating their wives on Israeli settlements.

No wonder the UN Security Council just condemned them. Who wouldn’t rightfully be upset that Jews living in Jerusalem somehow causes poor Mohammed to batter his wife?

The Jewish State is the UN’s scapegoat for anything and everything. The Palestinian Authority blamed Israel at the UN for Global Warming. WHO [the World Health Organization, a UN agency] denounced Israel for violating “health rights”.

Israel is one of the foremost inventors and manufacturers of advanced life-saving medical technology in the world. Extremely effective Israeli teams rush to places where disasters occur to provide medical assistance, always free of charge. Israel even cures its enemies free of charge, and returns them to enemy territory to continue plotting its destruction.

And even when Muslim terrorists stab Israelis, it’s still Israel’s fault.

The latest anti-Israel vote at the UN has led to calls to defund the corrupt organization which, even when it isn’t actively trying to hurt us or our allies, is making the world worse every which way it can.

Just this summer the UN admitted that it had spread cholera that killed tens of thousands in Haiti. Sexual abuse allegations against its staffers were up 25% last year. In the spring, the UN admitted that peacekeepers from three countries had raped over 100 girls in only one African country. …

Here’s what we get for our $3 billion.

UNRWA schools are turning out students who want to fight for ISIS.  The UN’s email system has been used to distribute child pornography. UN staff members have smuggled drugs, attacked each other with knives and pool cues, not to mention a tractor. This month the UN marked Anti-Corruption Day despite refusing to fight its own corruption. The former President of the UN General Assembly was arrested on bribery charges last year. He had also headed UNICEF’s executive board. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is battling accusations of bribery.

Some of this might be defensible if the UN did anything useful. It doesn’t. It’s just a slush fund for redistributing our money to a vast UN bureaucracy and anyone willing to bribe it for benefits.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the UN vote by beginning the process of defunding the UN. And there’s every reason in the world for us to also stop tossing money at the United Nations.

It’s something that we and every sane country should have done decades ago. If you give money to the UN, it will end up anywhere and everywhere except where it’s supposed to go. But defunding the UN isn’t enough. There is no reason for us to remain there at all.

The United Nations has never met any of its lofty goals. During the Cold War it became a playground for the Communist powers. The USSR, the second signatory to the UN charter, helped force out the first signatory, Taiwan. Even while the treaty was being signed, it was taking over Poland, the 51st signatory.

These days, the United Nations is a forum for Islamist powers and the rotting remains of the Communist front to continue its war against the free world while seducing weak-minded nations into going along.

We are not making the world a better place by being members of this anti-American organization which vacillates between being evil and useless.

You can always count on UN peacekeeping troops to run away whenever they might be called on to use force. The head of the peacekeeping mission in South Sudan was fired by the UN for refusing to protect aid workers, including Americans, who were being raped and assaulted. …

The UN was brought into being in the aftermath of the horrors of World War II. Instead of ending “the scourge of war”, the UN has a solid track record of uselessness and complicity in the face of genocide.

Israel was the first to alert the UN to Pol Pot’s genocide in Cambodia. But Moscow and its Syrian ally conspired to protect the Communist dictatorship. The UN did not condemn the killing. And only a generation later did it convene the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, which has been running for almost twenty years. It took ten years to arrest Brother Number Three, the Foreign Minister of the Communist terror state, whose lies the United Nations chose to believe when the butchery was taking place.

He died six years later while still on trial.

The UN has been apologizing for its non-response to the Rwandan genocide for decades. But apologizing for not doing anything is what the United Nations does best. That and condemn Israel.

Earlier this month, the UN Security Council couldn’t even manage to pass a ceasefire resolution on Syria.

Venezuela, which championed the anti-Israel resolution, took time out from starving its own people to protect Assad. Why in the world would anyone take this vote, or any UN vote, seriously?

The UN’s Human Rights Council members include China, Cuba, Russia, Saudi Arabia and, of course, Venezuela. UN Women, the body dedicated to empowering women, includes China, which forces women to have abortions; Pakistan, where women can be murdered by their male relatives for marrying on their own; and Iran, where it’s practically illegal for a woman to leave the house.

The United Nations does not promote its own ideals. Or ours. Instead, it sanctimoniously violates them. Providing every brutal dictatorship with equal representation hasn’t ushered in an age of human rights. Allowing Islamic terrorists and the radical left to denounce their enemies hasn’t made the world better. And throwing $3 billion a year at the towering UN swamp on Turtle Bay only wastes our time and money. …

The UN doesn’t share our ideals. It’s time to build our closest alliances with the countries that do.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called the 2030 agenda a “Declaration of Interdependence.” We must declare our independence from the UN’s interdependency of corruption and tyranny.

We should defund and withdraw. Where quarreling diplomats once preened in the tower above Turtle Bay, seagulls will soar and young couples will walk with their children. The billions we waste on the UN will go toward taking care of our people. And once we are free of the UN, we will actually be able to promote real human rights instead of pandering to the dictators and Islamists of the United Nations.

Like the League of Nations, the United Nations is a failed experiment. The only difference is that, despite decades of wars, genocides and terror, we still haven’t pulled the plug.

President Obama has betrayed his own country – the country he has led for eight years – by colluding with the UN against Israel. 

President Trump will have the opportunity to pull out of the UN and drain the swamp in Turtle Bay.

UN delenda est.

Obama’s parting act of extreme vindictiveness 5

Egypt was somehow (how?) cajoled into bringing a resolution before the UN Security Council condemning the building of Jewish settlements on the so-called “West Bank” – ie. Judea and Samaria. Prime Minister Netanyahu and President-elect Trump opposed the move, and Egypt withdrew it – or, in UN-speak, Egypt “postponed” it, sine die.

Obama’s spite against Israel was not to be so easily frustrated. It is patently obvious that he feels his mighty will has been defied by Israel. Many times he ordered the Israeli government to stop building Jewish settlements on the “West Bank”, and he was not obeyed. So in the last days of his deeply regrettable presidency, he has paused between rounds of golf to find a way to squeeze in a vindictive act that he was looking forward to, to gratify his intensely anti-Israel, pro-Muslim sentiments. He has worked surreptitiously to bring a re-drafted resolution, serving the same ends, to the vote. And he has succeeded in doing so.

It is a heavy anti-Israel blow.

The traditional role of the US in the Security Council, when anti-Israel resolutions are voted on, has been to veto them. Not this time. The word in the ether is that he’ll have the US abstain – which means the resolution will be passed.

Aaron Klein writes at Breitbart:

The Obama administration secretly worked with the Palestinian Authority to craft a “shameful” United Nations resolution behind Israel’s back, an Israeli official told reporters on Friday.

The official told Breitbart Jerusalem by email:

President Obama and Secretary Kerry are behind this shameful move against Israel at the UN. The US administration secretly cooked up with the Palestinians an extreme anti Israeli resolution behind Israel’s back which would be a tailwind for terror and boycotts and effectively make the Western Wall occupied Palestinian territory.

President Obama could declare his willingness to veto this resolution in an instant but instead is pushing it. This is an abandonment of Israel which breaks decades of US policy of protecting Israel at the UN and undermines the prospects of working with the next administration of advancing peace.

Not so sure about that. Trump is not likely to let his hands be tied.

The official sent the same quotes to major news agencies, including Reuters and the Associated Press. He spoke as four UN Security Council members met on Friday to discuss how to advance the anti-Israel resolution despite Egypt’s decision to delay the vote on the draft that it introduced. The draft was originally scheduled for vote yesterday, but was delayed following criticism from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President-elect Donald Trump.

After the meeting, diplomats said the UN will move forward with the vote, which is expected to take place Friday at about 3 p.m. Eastern (10 p.m. in Jerusalem).

The text of the resolution repeatedly and wrongly refers to the West Bank and eastern sections of Jerusalem as “Palestinian territory occupied since 1967″. In In actuality, the Palestinians never had a state in either the West Bank or eastern Jerusalem and they are not legally recognized as the undisputed authority in those areas.

Jordan occupied and annexed the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem from 1948 until Israel captured the lands in a defensive war in 1967 after Arab countries used the territories to launch attacks against the Jewish state.  In 1988 Jordan officially renounced its claims to the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem.

The text of the resolution declares that the Israeli settlement enterprise has “no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-state solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace”.

That “two-state solution” is the longest-standing geopolitical joke in history.

When the Ottoman empire was broken up, the victorious allies of WWI created a bunch of new Arab states – there are 21 Arab states altogether –  and allowed Britain a mandate over the Palestine region  in order to implement the Balfour Declaration, which stated that Jews were to be “settled closely on the land”. Britain then illegally gave about two-thirds of the territory to the Emir Abdullah to rule over a new state called “Transjordan” – which was to be perpetually judenrein. The remainder was to be occupied by Jews and Arabs.

Then, after WWII, the UN divided the small remainder yet again, offering one part to the Jews to establish a state, and the other part to the Arabs to do the same. The Jews accepted; the Arabs refused, went to war against the Jews, and lost the war.

The offer of territory for a Palestinian state was made again, and again, and again. The Palestinian Arabs consistently refused all the offers. How can they do otherwise? To accept a Palestinian state with defined borders is to define the borders of the Jewish state, and so recognize the legitimacy of the State of Israel. They want all the territory or none. To get all the territory they are perpetually at war with Israel.

Yet it is Israel that is forever being pressed by the Western powers to make concessions. The only concession the Arabs will accept is the abolition of the State of Israel and the handing over of its territory to them. Some Arabs – the Saudi Arabians for instance – have indicated that they might allow some Jews to go on living there. They are called the “moderates”.

The “West Bank” territory on which the Palestinians have refused to establish a state is called by its enemies “occupied Palestinian territory“.

[The resolution] calls for Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem”.

As the Committee for Accuracy for Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) pointed out in an email blast, international law does not make Israeli settlements illegal.

CAMERA notes:

Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Conventions, which is relied upon by those who claim the settlements are illegal, does not apply in the case of the West Bank. This is because the West Bank was never under self-rule by a nation that was a party to the Convention, and therefore there is no “partial or total occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party”, as Article 2 of the Convention specifies. Moreover, even if it did apply, by its plain terms, it applies only to forcible transfers and not to voluntary movement. Therefore, it can’t prohibit Jews from choosing to move to areas of great historical and religious significance to them.

…. The UN draft resolution text states that “cessation of all Israeli settlement activities is essential for salvaging the two-State solution”, and it “calls for affirmative steps to be taken immediately to reverse the negative trends on the ground that are imperiling the two-State solution”.

The UN must be destroyed!

*

Update 

Virtual Jerusalem reports:

The UN Security Council on Friday [December 23, 2016] approved the resolution demanding that Israel halt its construction in Judea, Samaria, and eastern Jerusalem.

14 member states voted in favor of the resolution, which was resubmitted by New Zealand, Malaysia, Senegal and Venezuela a day after Egypt, which originally submitted it, withdrew it.

New Zealand!

Venezuela! A country where people are killing each other in food riots!

The United States abstained from the vote and did not use its veto power to stop the resolution.

Soon after it was announced that the resolution would be voted upon, senior Israeli officials attacked U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry.

“Obama and Kerry are behind this shameful move in the United Nations,” the officials said, according to Haaretz.

“Obama could announce at any time that he intends casting a veto on the resolution, but instead he’s pushing it. He is abandoning Israel and breaking a policy of decades to defend Israel in the UN,” they added.

One senior official added that Obama and Kerry were carrying out the move in the UN “in cahoots with the Palestinians” in an attempt to impose a policy on President-elect Donald Trump.

“Obama is attempting to get a decision passed by the UN, despite knowing that it does not represent the policy of the next president,” the official said, according to Haaretz.

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, responded harshly to the American decision not to veto the UN Security Council resolution.

“Neither the Security Council nor UNESCO can sever the tie between the people of Israel and the land of Israel,” said Danon. “It was to be expected that Israel’s greatest ally would act in accordance with the values that we share and that they would have vetoed this disgraceful resolution. I have no doubt that the new U.S. administration and the incoming UN Secretary General will usher in a new era in terms of the UN’s relationship with Israel,” he added.

The new US administration will certainly act in support of Israel. The incoming UN Secretary General, however, is likely to be at least as hostile to Israel as all his recent predecessors have been. 

Hate crimes 3

A person’s emotions and unrevealed thoughts, though they might be suspected, can seldom be proved.

And however aggressive thoughts and emotions may be, they are not in themselves criminal. They may be “sinful” to a Christian, but a crime and a sin are not the same thing. A crime is a deed done; a sin of thought is at worst only a potential crime. Sin is defined by faith, not reason, and faith does not – cannot – subject its dogma to the rigorous examination practiced in secular courts of law.

When a crime is committed, its perpetrator should be punished regardless of what emotions or thoughts motivated him. (Self-defense is an exception as the desire to live and not be harmed is assumed to be universal.)

Some crimes, it’s true, having no obvious or discoverable motive (such as gain), can plausibly be attributed to hate, jealousy, fear, or revenge. And a perpetrator might say that he was driven by the force of an emotion. But still, traditionally it is what he actually did that brings him before the judgment of society and its law.

Yet codes of law do exist that allow strong emotion to be taken into account – as a mitigating not an aggravating circumstance. In France, for instance, the crime passionel – a crime committed out of strong feeling such as, and usually, jealous love – is allowed special consideration for lighter punishment or none. It may be charming to find a place for sentiment in law, for love, or compassion, or “empathy”; but to esteem passion more highly than personal responsibility is to undermine the dependability of the law. The law must be dependably impersonal, objective, impartial, neutral, even-handed or it is not just.

Must be? Increasingly, the political Left – the side of the emotions – favors the idea of treating a defendant leniently if he is “underprivileged”, harshly if he is “privileged”. Obama and his Supreme Court pick Sonia Sotomayor have expressed a preference for “empathetic” judgment – finding according to the personal feelings of the judge. If judges always or often did that, it would be the end of the rule of law. If people permit them to do it, they’re demolishing the house that shelters them.

Some seem to think a judge is right to find for someone with whose opinions he agrees, and against someone whose opinions he dislikes, regardless of the merits of their cases. A British judge, for example, let off vandals who had been proved guilty, because they said they were doing it against the state of Israel which they deemed oppressive, and in sympathy with Palestinians whom they deemed victims of Israeli oppression. Because the judge shared their opinions of Israel and the Palestinians, he acquitted them. If all judges made their judgments on such grounds of personal preference, it would clearly be the end of justice and the rule of law.

Most if not all “hate crime” is attributed to “racism”. As “racism” is an attitude of mind that taints the individual, it is a sin rather than a crime. If it prompts a crime, it is the crime that is wrong, not the attitude of mind or depth of feeling behind it.

But almost everywhere in the Western world, the attitude and feeling are now regarded as more important, more to be condemned, than the actual crime. Since the rise to power of the New Left  in politics, education, and the mass media, “racism” tops almost every other offense.

And yet … It appears that in practice the gravity of the “racist’ offense depends on which “race” is carrying out the attack on which other “race”. Some – like the vandals in Britain – are given a pass on the grounds that they are the more unfortunate. (An extension of the crime passionel idea.)

What is “racism”?

“Racism” has come to mean dislike of a race, a nation, or a religious group. It is not applied – though it applies logically – to a group defined by occupation; say lawyers, or bankers, or the executives of corporations, all of whom are subjected to hate as an entire class.

The FBI has defined a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.” But that motivation remains guesswork, dependant on opinion and prejudice, which makes its even application impossible.

If a rule against racism were to be applied evenly, the defendants in the British case would not have been acquitted – and the judge would have been seen as committing a hate crime himself.

But to apply such a rule evenly would be to return to dependably impersonal, objective, impartial, neutral, even-handed justice.

That such real justice looks outdated, signifies that the Left has won. 

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We have said that judgment needs to be of the crime itself, regardless of its motive.

But are there some crimes for which the only discoverable or imaginable motive is “hate”?

Certainly there are.

And is the hatred motivating the perpetrators of such crimes sometimes a hatred of the race, or nation, or religion of their victims?

Certainly it is.

The worst hate crime in this century – worst in numbers, method, and effect – was what has come to be called simply “9/11” – the bombing of the World trade Center twin towers in New York on September 9, 2001. It was obviously motivated by religious hatred.

We argue that the motive does not excuse the crime. The motive does not make a crime less or more criminal.

But the Left holds that the motive of hate, however it is detected, does make a crime worse.

Any crime done out of hate is worse because of the hatred?

Well, no – comes the reply – not any crime. To conclude that would be logical, reasonable, Rightist.

In the case of 9/11, the argument goes, the hate was justified, because the crime and the hatred were in retaliation for prior crimes of hate committed by “the United States”, and/or “capitalists” involved with trade whose headquarters actual and/or symbolic were the World Trade Center, and/or President George W. Bush, and/or the Right in general.

In fact, many Leftists – or “social justice warriors”, SJWs – go so far as to argue that nothing done by the Left against any of those villains, even if done in a spirit of hate, can be classed as a hate crime, because it is always justified revenge. So the Left and its allies cannot commit a hate crime. For instance, a blow against a Muslim because he’s a Muslim is a hate crime, yes; but a blow by a Muslim against a non-Muslim because he’s a non-Muslim, is not a hate crime. Because Muslims are oppressed, strikes by Muslims are never morally wrong. The same argument applies if the striker is Black, or identified with any group they define as “oppressed”. The chief oppressors are always the United States, capitalists, white men, Israel, conservatives and Republicans.

All “oppressed” perpetrators of avenging attacks are justified by their victimhood. They cannot be accused of hate crimes. They are the eternal victims of hate crime.

And who are the “oppressed”? They are who the SJW’s say they are.

Posted under Commentary, Crime, education, Ethics, Islam, Israel, jihad, Law, Leftism, media, Muslims, Palestinians, United Kingdom, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, September 13, 2016

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An insoluble mystery – or an unutterable solution? 1

What can explain the zeal with which Obama has empowered Iran, against all reason, against all opposition and difficulty – including the truculent and obstreperous behavior of Iran itself?

Obama ardently wants Iran to be a power in the world. Why?

Bret Stephens’s report yesterday at the Wall Street Journal on the progress of Iran towards nuclear arms under Obama’s patronage only deepens the mystery of the motive.

What diplomats call the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—known to the rest of us as the Disastrous Iran Deal—was agreed in Vienna a year ago this week. Now comes a status update, courtesy of our friends at the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, or BfV.

In its fascinating 2015 annual report, published late last month … there’s this:

The illegal proliferation-sensitive procurement activities [by Iran] in Germany registered by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution persisted in 2015 at what is, even by international standards, a quantitatively high level. This holds true in particular with regard to items which can be used in the field of nuclear technology.

The report also notes …

a further increase in the already considerable procurement efforts in connection with Iran’s ambitious missile technology program which could among other things potentially serve to deliver nuclear weapons. Against this backdrop it is safe to expect that Iran will continue its intensive procurement activities in Germany using clandestine methods to achieve its objectives.

The BfV report arrived days before Germany arrested a Pakistani national, identified as Syed Mustufa H., accused of spying for Iran. It also corroborates another German intelligence report, this one from the intelligence service of North Rhine-Westphalia, that Iran’s nuclear procurement efforts have increased dramatically in recent years, from 48 known attempts in 2010 to 141 in 2015. Seven other German states have reported similar Iranian procurement efforts.

This violates Iran’s explicit commitment to go through an official “procurement channel” to purchase nuclear- and missile-related materials.

There is such a channel open to Iran?

All this was enough to prompt Angela Merkel to warn the Bundestag last week that Iran “continued to develop its rocket program in conflict with relevant provisions of the U.N. Security Council”. Don’t expect German sanctions, but at least the chancellor is living in the reality zone.

As for the Obama administration, not so much. For the past year it has developed a narrative — spoon-fed to the reporters and editorial writers Ben Rhodes publicly mocks as dopes and dupes — that Iran has met all its obligations under the deal, and now deserves extra cookies in the form of access to U.S. dollars, Boeing jets, U.S. purchases of Iranian heavy water (thereby subsidizing its nuclear program), and other concessions the administration last year promised Congress it would never grant.

“We still have sanctions on Iran for its violations of human rights, for its support for terrorism, and for its ballistic-missile program, and we will continue to enforce those sanctions vigorously,” Mr. Obama said in January. Whatever.

The administration is now weighing whether to support Iran’s membership in the World Trade Organization. That would neutralize a future president’s ability to impose sanctions on Iran, since WTO rules would allow Tehran to sue Washington for interfering with trade.

The administration has also pushed the Financial Action Task Force, an international body that enforces anti-money-laundering standards, to ease pressure on Iran, which FATF did last month by suspending some restrictions for the next year.

And then there’s the Boeing deal to sell $17.6 billion worth of jets to Iran, which congressional Republicans led by Illinois’s Pete Roskam are trying to stop. Iran uses its civilian fleet to ferry weapons and fighters to its terrorist clients in Syria and Lebanon.

“The administration is trying to lock in the Iran deal and prevent a future president from doing anything, including pushing back on Iran’s malign behavior,” says the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Mark Dubowitz, who knows more about Iran sanctions than anyone in Washington. “Instead of curbing Iran’s worst behavior, the administration effectively facilitates it.”

One last detail: In June, the Journal’s Jay Solomon reported that the International Atomic Energy Agency had discovered “traces of man-made uranium” at Iran’s military facility at Parchin. The agency reported this finding in a footnote to a report in December, but the administration made no comment then and now dismisses it as old news. The IAEA is no longer allowed to inspect Parchin, or any other military installation, under the deal.

So let’s recap. Mr. Obama says Iran is honoring the nuclear deal, but German intelligence tells us Tehran is violating it more aggressively than ever. He promised “snapback” sanctions in the event of such violations, but the U.S. is operating as Iran’s trade-promotion agent. He promised “unprecedented” inspections, but we’re not permitted to inspect sites where uranium was found. He promised an eight-year ban on Iran’s testing of ballistic missiles, but Tehran violated that ban immediately and repeatedly with only mild pushback from the West. He promised that the nuclear deal was not about “normalizing” relations with a rogue regime. But he wants it in the WTO.

Is Mr. Obama rationalizing a failed agreement or did he mean to mislead the American public? Either way, truth is catching up with the Iran deal.

Plainly Obama has misled the American public. What is the truth?

Iran has declared that it desires the annihilation of Israel. It has inscribed that aim on its missiles.

Is it illogical, or too far-fetched, to ascribe the same desire to the American commander-in-chief who is helping Iran become powerful enough to achieve its aim?

Posted under Commentary, Germany, Iran, Israel, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, July 12, 2016

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A simple truth 3

In this video, published on May 28, 2016, Colonel Richard Kemp – former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, and an expert on Middle East conflicts – discusses what the Palestinian leadership really wants.

Posted under Arab States, Commentary, Islam, Israel, Judaism, middle east, Palestinians, Terrorism, United Nations, War by Jillian Becker on Sunday, May 29, 2016

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The terrorist generation of America 2

Tiffany Gabay comments at Truth Revolt:

Film maker Ami Horowitz is perhaps best known for his college expose-videos. You might recall the one he did back in 2014 when he waved an ISIS flag at the UC Berkeley campus and students witnessing the scene were either unfazed or openly expressed support for the terror-outfit.

His latest video is just as disturbing.

Horowitz visited the campus at Portland State University where he posed as a member of Hamas raising funds to “wipe Israel off the map”.

Usually I refrain from posting these types of gotcha-videos as they can be edited to make anyone simply “look bad”. But given the egregious nature of the content here, we think it worth sharing.

Horowitz asked student passersby if they would consider donating to Hamas. He openly identified Hamas as a “terrorist” organization (in case the students were too dumb to know), and told students, at least in several cases, that their donations would fund suicide bombings and attacks on schools, cafes, houses of worship and other “soft targets”. He openly told several of the students featured that Hamas’s goal is to “wipe Israel off the map”.

Is the video edited to show instances in which students may have rejected his overtures? No doubt. But there is also ample footage showing enough students who were all too happy to reach into their pockets and support the murder of innocent Israelis, including children.

At the end of the day, Horowitz said he raised “hundreds of dollars” from these pro-Hamas students.

This is no laughing matter, because this isn’t about exposing how grotesquely ignorant students are these days. This isn’t even about their misguided politics, either.

This video illustrates how the minds of an entire generation have been completely and utterly poisoned — by the media, by Hollywood, through the words of presidential candidates (read: Bernie Sanders) and most of all by their professors.

Really consider this, for a moment. There are American students who don’t even flinch when approached by a so-called Hamas member. They don’t hesitate when told that Israel should be wiped off the map. They don’t blink an eye when told that children in schools will be murdered. In fact, they are even willing to fund such an effort.

This is anti-Semitism at its most blatant. This is utter lack of humanity. Barbarism at its basest. These students barely differ from the terrorists they openly support.

This is the left’s legacy. And once again, it is a disgrace.

Bernie and Francis, co-religionists 1

Bernie Sanders, whether he likes it or not, is a Jew. And as he is a man of the Left, he doesn’t like it.

The Jews – UNIQUELY – are both a nation and a religion. Yet it is not only possible but common for Jews to be one OR the other. Converts to Judaism are obviously of the religion but not of the nation. Many Jews – probably a majority of Western Jews – who are of the nation by birth, are not religious.

Perhaps it would be better to speak of the Jews being “a people” rather than a nation, as a Jew’s legal nationality might be American, or British, or French etcetera.

Bernie Sanders is of the Jewish people. And for two millennia his people were despised, humiliated, robbed, tortured, murdered individually and en masse by the Christian powers – longest and most atrociously by the Catholic Church. (Except in America.)

For a while, between the early 19th century and the mid-to-late twentieth century, many of the educated Jews of Europe and Russia put their hopes for relief from persecution in the new religion of Communism, in which (its theorists claimed) there would be neither Jew nor Gentile, neither bond nor free, neither male nor female, neither rich nor poor: for all would be one in the utopia of the Communist state.

But where Communist utopias were established in the twentieth century, Jews found they were not welcome. That should have told them that Communism would not save them. But many Jews who realized that the Lenins and Stalins of the Communist faith could not be relied on to treat them much better than had the Christians, were yet unwilling to give up the utopian Communist dream. Some Jews had realized this early on, so tried forming their own Communist party – the Bund. But as a separate group what could it achieve? A society in which there would be neither regrettably-still-sort-of -Jewish Jew nor absolutely-no-longer-Jewish Jew, neither bond Jew nor free Jew, neither male Jew nor female Jew, neither rich Jew nor poor Jew: for all would be one in the utopia of a Jewish Communist … What? Where?

Other Jews,  who could think better, decided to work to regain the ancient Jewish homeland in the Eastern Mediterranean region of the Ottoman Empire, and establish an actual state on real territory. They were the Zionists. In 1948 they achieved their state, their safe haven at last, on real territory that had been part of their ancient homeland.

Those Jews who, despite being unwanted, remained faithful to the Communism imposed on Russia and Eastern Europe, stuck to their abjuration of their Jewishness, the peoplehood as well as the religion. So did – and do – most of the Communists of Jewish descent everywhere in the free world.

As Communists often object to being called Communists since the Leninist-Stalinist utopias of Russia and Eastern Europe collapsed in poverty and criminality, we will call them Leftists for the rest of this article. Bernie Sanders is a Leftist.

Meanwhile, the Jews’ ancient persecutor, the Catholic Church, has selected a leader, Pope Francis, who is also a Leftist. He has found it possible to join the new religion without leaving his old one. He owes this achievement to his fellow Latin American priests, who spun the antithetical dogmas of secular Communism and Triune-God-worshiping Catholicism together in such a whirl of words that they came out of the Synthesizer as one substance, inseparable. And the stuff, the thing, was named “Liberation Theology”.

It is Leftism. The Pope is a Leftist, like Bernie Sanders.

For Leftists, their Leftism trumps all. No appeal to loyalty, history, precedent, reason, logic, decency, or common sense can move them. They want there to be neither black man nor white man, neither civilized nor savage, neither citizen nor illegal alien, neither CEO nor minimum-wage-earner, neither one sex nor any of the others, but all to be one in the global Communist mystic egalitarian low-carbon-emission utopia ruled by themselves.

To acknowledge and strengthen their brotherhood in the Kingdom of Means-Justifying-Ends, Bernie Sanders and Pope Francis shook hands on April 16, 2016.

The progress of the jihad 1

A world war is being fought, by one side only: Islam.

The other side, the civilized West and its outposts and allies, is letting the invaders into its territory and suffering the enemy’s attacks from within, over and over again.

Why?

The West has far greater military and technological strength than Islam. Yet it is choosing not to fight back. Or, where it now and then does, it chooses not to win.

Why?

There is surely no precedent for such an irrational, suicidal choice in all recorded history.

Sohrab Ahmari reports in the Wall Street Journal:

Islamic State jihadists staged a triple-bombing in the Belgian capital — two at the Brussels airport and a third at a metro station downtown — that killed [more than]  30 people … It was the latest reminder that Islamic terrorism is now a permanent and ubiquitous hazard to life in every city, on every continent. 

In coming days European authorities will level reproaches about the missed warning signs, security lapses and the larger failure to integrate Belgian Muslims. Commissions will be formed. Sympathetic memes will proliferate on social media. Je suis Belge.  

This routine has become numbingly familiar. And these habitual responses, while understandable, defer a reckoning with a larger truth: Not a single day now goes by without an Islamist suicide bombing, rocket attack, shooting spree, kidnapping or stabbing somewhere in the world.  

Consider the past 10 days [up to March 22, 2016, when the bombings in Belgium were carried out].  

On Sunday, March 13, jihadists sprayed gunfire on sunbathers in Grand Bassam, a resort town in the Ivory Coast popular with Westerners and wealthy Ivorians. The attack, which was claimed by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, killed 16 people, including Burkinabe, Cameroonian, French, German, Ivorian and Malian citizens.  

On Monday, March 14, two Palestinians fired on Israelis waiting at a bus stop in Kiryat Arba, in the West Bank, wounding one soldier before Israeli forces killed both. A third Palestinian terrorist rammed his car into an Israeli army vehicle in the area and was shot dead. Israel has suffered a wave of Arab knife-and-car attacks for six months, known as the stabbing intifada.  

On Tuesday, March 15, al Qaeda’s Somali franchise, al-Shabaab, kidnapped three Red Crescent aid workers in the country’s southwest, according to local media. The abductions followed al-Shabaab’s seizure of a village in central Somalia, amid a broader Islamist resurgence in the Horn of Africa. The aid workers were freed a day later after local villagers pleaded for their release.  

On Wednesday, March 16, a pair of female suicide bombers blew themselves up at a mosque in Nigeria, killing 24. No group has claimed credit, but the bombing took place in Nigeria’s Borno state, the birthplace of Boko Haram, an Islamic State affiliate that is Africa’s most savage terror outfit.  

On Thursday, March 17, the stabbing intifada claimed a fresh victim when a pair of Palestinian terrorists jumped and wounded an Israeli soldier with a knife in Ariel, in the West Bank. Israeli security forces killed both assailants.  

On Friday, March 18, suspected al Qaeda fighters fired rockets at the Salah gas facility in Algeria. No one was injured, but BP and Norwegian oil giant Statoil, which operate the facility, withdrew some staff and suspended operations.  

On Saturday, March 19, a bomb went off in a tony shopping district of Istanbul, killing three Israelis (two of whom were U.S. citizens) and one Iranian, and wounding 39 others. This was the fifth mass-casualty terrorist bombing in Turkey in as many months, most of them claimed by or attributed to Islamic State. The same day, a mortar assault on a checkpoint in El-Arish, Egypt, killed 15 policemen. A Sinai-based Islamic State affiliate claimed responsibility.  

On Sunday, March 20, al-Shabaab overran a Somali military base just 28 miles from the capital, Mogadishu, killing at least one person and seizing several vehicles. Also on Sunday, the Istanbul governorate canceled a hotly anticipated soccer match after receiving “serious intelligence” regarding a planned terror attack.  

On Monday, March 21, Islamist fighters likely affiliated with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb targeted a hotel in the capital of Mali, Bamako, that houses a European Union military-assistance mission. EU personnel were unharmed, and one attacker was killed by hotel security.  

Brussels was the first major terrorist incident in the West since November’s jihadist killing spree in Paris and December’s in San Bernardino, Calif.

You could create a calendar like this one that stretches back for weeks and months, and the above doesn’t even include the civil wars and humanitarian calamities in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Afghanistan.  

The Syrian vortex is especially perilous. It has been drawing the barely stable nations that surround Syria into its spin and spewing out battle-hardened jihadists along with millions of legitimate refugees. The biggest refugee crisis since World War II was bound to pose serious security threats to Europe.

Meanwhile, the longer Islamic State and al Qaeda thrive in Syria and Iraq, the stronger their adherents and affiliates elsewhere will become.

(In fact, there have been even more such attacks in that period. See The Religion of Peace for a more comprehensive list. And see their tally of lethal Muslim attacks world-wide since 9/11 in our margin.)

Here’s a picture of the train bombed by Muslim holy warriors in Brussels yesterday (the dead bodies cut off by the publishers, not by us).

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And here’s the scene after one of the Muslim holy warriors’ bombs exploded at Belgium’s international airport.

picture-taken-from-twitter-live-reports-show-aftermath-of-airport-bombing_648525

brussels

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