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 Obama the moment U.S. troops were withdrawn, and only concerned him again when ISIS neared the gates of Baghdad.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.

To shrink bureaucrats and swat pundits 4

Adolf Hitler. Dictator of Germany. Oppressor of nations. He launched a world war that destroyed tens of millions of lives. He ordered the murder of millions more by execution, torture, incarceration, starvation, forced labor.

Or didn’t he? There are American media people, opinion-writers, who seem to think that he didn’t do any of those things. In their view Hitler was just an authoritarian figure who powerfully opposed political correctness, safe spaces, redistribution, and combating climate change by driving Priuses and recycling garbage. Therefore, any American who comes to power by democratic election and is against those things, is just like Hitler.

Or Hitler’s Italian ally, Mussolini.

Persons who hold that view are ill-informed, under-educated, and/or intellectually stunted. But they are many. They are the rulers of the press and the airwaves; they constitute the greater part of the American Fourth Estate.    

William McGurn writes at the Wall Street Journal:

Guess it depends on what you mean by “authoritarian”.

During the election, Donald Trump was routinely likened to Hitler. The headlines suggest not much has changed.

From the New Republic: “Donald Trump Is Already Acting Like an Authoritarian”.  National Public Radio: “Donald Trump: Strong Leader or Dangerous Authoritarian?” The New York Times: “Beyond Lying: Donald Trump’s Authoritarian Reality”. The New Yorker: “Trump’s Challenge to American Democracy”.

What’s striking here is that the same folks who see in Mr. Trump a Mussolini in waiting are blind to the soft despotism that has already taken root in our government.

This is the unelected and increasingly assertive class that populates our federal bureaucracies and substitutes rule by regulation for the rule of law. The result? Over the Obama years, the Competitive Enterprise Institute reckons, Washington has averaged 35 regulations for every law.

In the introduction to its just-released report on how to address this federal overreach, CEI President Kent Lassman puts it this way: “It is time for a reckoning.”

Philip Hamburger is a law professor at Columbia and author of “Is the Administrative State Unlawful?” He believes the president-elect’s cabinet selections thus far — Scott Pruitt for the Environmental Protection Agency, Betsy DeVos for Education, Ben Carson for Housing and Urban Development, Andrew Puzder for Labor — may give Mr. Trump a unique opening not only to reverse bad Obama rules but to reform the whole way these agencies impose them. If Mr. Trump really hopes to drain the swamp, says Mr. Hamburger, cutting these agencies back to constitutional size would be a terrific start. 

For one thing, almost all these departments are legacies of some progressive expansion of government. While an uneasy William Howard Taft, for example, made Labor its own cabinet office on the last day of his presidency, Woodrow Wilson named its first secretary.

Meanwhile, HUD is a child of LBJ’s Great Society. The EPA was Nixon’s attempt to buy liberal approval for his administration. As for the Education Department, it was a reward from Jimmy Carter for the endorsement the National Education Association gave him in 1976. At the time this cabinet seat was established, even the New York Times called it “unwise” and editorialized against it.

There’s a good case that Americans would be better off without most of these departments meddling in our lives and livelihoods, however politically unfeasible this might be. The next best news, however, is that Mr. Pruitt, Dr. Carson, Mr. Puzder and Mrs. DeVos are not beholden to the orthodoxies that drive the rules and mandates these bureaucracies impose.

Mrs. DeVos, for example, has spent her life promoting school choice, and her husband founded a charter school. It is difficult to imagine an Education Department under Secretary DeVos ever sending out a “Dear Colleague” letter to bully universities into expanding the definition of sexual harassment and then encouraging them to handle allegations in a way that has turned many campus tribunals into Star Chambers. Not to mention making a federal case about bathrooms.

Ditto for HUD. Under President Obama, HUD bureaucrats, under the banner of “fair housing”, have taken it upon themselves to decide what the right mix of race, income and education is for your town — and will impose fines and punishments for communities that resist. Anyone remember the people’s elected representatives directing HUD to impose its ideas of social engineering on the rest of America?

Or take the EPA. Whether it’s some Ordinary Joe running afoul of wetlands laws or the department’s deliberate attempt to destroy the market for coal, the EPA needs more than good science. It also needs some honest cost-benefit analysis about the prescriptions it pushes.

And then there’s Labor. Under Obama Secretary Tom Perez, the department has so overstepped the authority Congress gave it (for example, on its overtime rule) that federal judges have stepped in to block it, notwithstanding the courts’ traditional deference. As an employer himself, Mr. Puzder appreciates the fundamental reality of labor: which is that you don’t help workers by making them too expensive to hire.

The good news is that Mr. Trump does not have to fight government by regulatory fiat alone. House Speaker Paul Ryan has a raft of legislation that would reassert the authority of the people’s elected representatives over an unaccountable bureaucracy — including a regulatory budget that would limit the costs an agency can impose each year.

Even without legislation, there are things Mr. Trump could do. Mr. Hamburger, for example, dreams of a president ordering federal agencies to submit all their rules to Congress for approval. He further believes the stars are in rare alignment for reform, with Mr. Ryan pushing it in the House, cabinet secretaries who appear sympathetic to the cause and a popular mandate against rule from above.

“Oddly enough, the danger is that Mr. Trump will not think big enough,” says Mr. Hamburger. “To paraphrase him, the impact of changing the way Washington issues rules would be YUGE—and it would make him a historic and transformative president.”

And he won’t be putting his enemies into concentration camps. Or launching a world war.

And the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN and the rest of them will no doubt claim he’s only refraining from such actions in order to prove them wrong.

Chronicle of a bare-faced hatred 1

Nothing could be more obvious than that Obama hates Israel. That’s probably his main reason for wanting Iran, which threatens to destroy Israel, to be armed with nuclear weapons. So it can do the job.

On March 2015, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu won re-election.

Obama refuses to call him to congratulate him for two days. When he does, he threatens to remove American support in the international community, even as he moves to loosen sanctions and weapons embargoes on Iran.

A few days later:

The press announced that the Obama administration would fully consider abandoning Israel in international bodies like the United Nations.

This is the culmination of a longtime Obama policy of destroying the US-Israel relationship. Obama has spent his entire life surrounded by haters of Israel, from former Palestine Liberation Organization spokesman Rashid Khalidi to former Jimmy Carter, National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, pro-Hamas negotiator Robert Malley, to UN Ambassador Samantha Power (who once suggested using American troops to guard Palestinians from Israelis), Jeremiah Wright (who said “Them Jews ain’t going to let him talk to me”) to Professor Derrick Bell (“Jewish neoconservative racists … are undermining blacks in every way they can”).

We quote from a very useful article by Ben Shapiro at Breitbart. He provides this “concise timeline”:

February 2008: Obama says while campaigning, ‘There is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt an unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel that you’re anti-Israel.” At the time … Israel was run [not by Likud but] by the Kadima government … [which] was attempting desperately to bring the Palestinians to the table. Instead, the Palestinians launched war, as always.

June 2008: Obama tells the American Israel Public Affairs Conference that Jerusalem ought to remain undivided, attempting to woo Jewish votes. He then walks that back the next day, saying only that the capital shouldn’t be divided by barbed wire.

March 2009: The Obama administration reverses the Bush era policy of not joining the United Nations Human Rights Council. Secretary of State Clinton said, “Human rights are an essential element of American global foreign policy,” completely neglecting the UNHRC’s abysmally anti-Semitic record. The Washington Post reported that the administration joined the Human Rights Council even though they conceded that it “has devoted excessive attention to alleged abuses by Israel and too little to abuses in places such as Darfur, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.”

May 2009: Obama tells Netanyahu that “settlements have to be stopped in order for us to move forward.” Netanyahu announces a settlement freeze to comply. The Palestinians refuse to negotiate. Obama then slams Israel: “They still found it very hard to move with any bold gestures.”

June 2009: Obama tells the world in his infamous Cairo speech that Israel was only created based on Jewish suffering in the Holocaust. He then says that Palestinians have been similarly victimized by the Jews: “They endure the daily humiliations – large and small – that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: the situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own.”

July 2009: Obama threatens to put “daylight” between the United States and Israel. He tells Jewish leaders, “Look at the past eight years. During those eight years, there was no space between us and Israel, and what did we get from that?” Except for Israel forcibly removing thousands of Jews from the Gaza Strip, the election of Hamas, and the launch of war by the Palestinians and Hezbollah, nothing happened. Obama then lectures the Jews about the need for Israeli “self-reflection”.  The same month, Obama tells CNN that the United States would “absolutely not” give Israel permission to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities.

September 2009: Obama tells the United Nations that “America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements”.  Obama’s definition of Israeli settlements, as the world soon learned, included building bathrooms in a home already owned by Jews in East Jerusalem. Obama offers no serious criticism of the Palestinians.

March 2010: Obama follows up on his threatening language about settlements by deploying Vice President Joe Biden to Israel, where Biden rips into the Israelis for building bathrooms in Jerusalem, the eternal Jewish capital. Hillary Clinton then yells at Netanyahu for nearly an hour on the phone, telling him he had “harmed the bilateral relationship”. David Axelrod calls the building plans an “insult” to the United States. When Netanyahu visits the White House a week and a half later, Obama makes him leave via a side door.

April 2010: Obama refuses to prevent the Washington summit on nuclear proliferation from becoming an Arab referendum on the evils of Israel’s nukes.

June 2010: An anonymous “US defense source” leaks to the Times of London that Israel had cut a deal with the Saudis to use their airspace to strike Iran. The deal is scuttled.

May 2011: The State Department labeled Jerusalem not a part of Israel. The same month, Obama demanded that Israel make concessions to the Palestinians based on the pre-1967 borders, which Israelis call the “Auschwitz borders” thanks to their indefensibility.

November 2011: Obama and French president Nicolas Sarkozy are caught on open mic ripping Netanyahu, with Sarkozy stating, “I can’t stand him, he’s a liar,” and Obama replying, “You’re tired of him? What about me? I have to deal with him every day.”

December 2011: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rips into the State of Israel, stating that it is moving in the “opposite direction” of democracy. …

February 2012: Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta tells David Ignatius at the Washington Post that the possibility he worried about most was that Israel would strike Iran. The Post then adds, “Panetta believes there is a strong likelihood that Israel will strike Iran in April, May or June – before Iran enters what Israelis described as a ‘zone of immunity’ to commence building a nuclear bomb.” The goal: to delay any potential Israeli strike.

March 2012: NBC News somehow gains information from “senior Obama administration officials” that Israel had financed and trained the Iranian opposition group Mujahideen-e-Khalq, and adds that the Obama administration had nothing to do with hits on Iranian nuclear scientists. More daylight. More leaks. The same month, Foreign Policy … reports that a “senior administration official” has told them, “The Israelis have bought an airfield, and the airfield is Azerbaijan.” Again, a potential Israeli strike is scuttled. …

June 2012: In an attempt to shore up the Jewish vote, top members of the Obama administration, including Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and then-CIA director Leon Panetta were quoted by David Sanger of The New York Times talking about the President’s supposedly deep involvement in the Stuxnet plan to take out Iran’s nuclear reactors via computer virus. Until that point, it had been suspected but not confirmed that Stuxnet was an Israeli project. The Obama administration denied leaking the information. A year later, the State Department released emails showing that Sanger had corresponded regularly with all the top Obama officials, including correspondence on Stuxnet.

December 2012: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at the Saban Forum on US-Israel Relations, where she says that Israelis have a “lack of empathy” for Palestinians, and that the Israelis need to “demonstrate that they do understand the pain of an oppressed people in their minds”.

March 2013: Obama forces Netanyahu to call Islamist Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to apologize for Israel’s actions to stop a terrorist-arming flotilla from entering the Gaza Strip to aid Hamas. Erdogan had recently labeled Zionism racism.

May 2013: Members of the Obama Pentagon leak information that Israel attacked the Damascus airport to stop a shipment of weapons to terrorist groups. Obama officials actually had to apologize for this leak, since it endangered American lives. They blamed “low-level” employees.

June 2013: The Obama administration leaks specific information regarding Israeli Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missile sites. Weeks later, US sources tell CNN that Israel attacked a Syrian installation full of Russian-provided missiles. The same month, “American intelligence analysts” tell the New York Times that Israeli strikes had not been effective. All that information was classified.

June 2014: Three Jewish teenagers are kidnapped, including an American, and murdered by Hamas. The Obama administration immediately calls on Israel for restraint, and says it will continue to work with a Palestinian unity government including Hamas. … Throughout the ensuing Gaza War, in which Hamas fired rockets at Israeli civilians and tunnels were uncovered demonstrating Hamas’ intent to kidnap Israeli children, the Obama administration criticized Israel’s prosecution of the war.

August 2014: In the middle of a shooting war, Obama stopped weapons shipment to Israel. According to the Wall Street Journal, Obama found out that Israel asked the Defense Department for shipments of Hellfire missiles. Obama personally stepped in and blocked the shipments.

October 2014: Jeffrey Goldberg, court Jew for the Obama administration, releases an article in The Atlantic quoting Obama officials calling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “chickenshit”. Goldberg, naturally, blames Netanyahu (of course, he also wrote in 2008 that any Jew who feared Obama on Israel was an “obvious racist”).

January 2015: Obama deploys his campaign team to defeat Netanyahu in Israel. A group titled “One Voice”, funded by American donors, pays for the Obama campaign team, led by Obama 2012 field director Jeremy Bird. The announcement comes days after Speaker of the House John Boehner’s invite to Netanyahu to speak before a joint session of Congress. Obama quickly announced he would not meet with Netanyahu, making the excuse that the meeting would come too close to the [Israeli] election.

Meeting him would be “interfering in the election”. Which in fact Obama was doing on a massive scale. Hypocrisy is one of Obama’s characteristics.

Shapiro concludes:

Nothing has changed. Obama is who he always was. The mask has simply been removed.

Loving the enemy 6

GOPUSA reports:

The presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America had a simple comparison for the similarities between Muslims and Lutherans when she spoke at the opening session of the Islamic Society of North America’s convention Friday.

[She said:]

I realized, looking at some of the lectures that you have scheduled, that if we were just to exchange “church” for “mosque” I would see I was in the same place with typical Lutherans.

… About 300 people attended the opening meeting at the Cobo Center. … More than 10,000 are expected before the 51st annual convention concludes Monday.

The convention’s keynote speech by former President Jimmy Carter is today [Monday, September 1, 2014].

What Jimmy Carter said to the convention is summed up in a few words at the end of this provoking video clip:

But what is this organization with which Lutheran Bishop Elizabeth Eaton finds she has much in common, and ex-President Jimmy Carter is happy to be associated with?

We quote from Discover the Networks’ entry on ISNA:

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) was established in July 1981 by U.S-based members of the Muslim Brotherhood …

Today ISNA is the largest Muslim organization on the continent. Its annual conferences routinely draw 30,000 to 40,000 attendees, and its website receives some 2.6 million hits per month.  …

ISNA leaders view Islam as being superior to all other faiths and destined to replace them. …

Based on a mid-1980s investigation, the FBI concluded that the Muslim Brotherhood members who founded U.S.-based groups had risen to “leadership roles within NAIT [North American Islamic Trust] and its related organizations”, including ISNA, “which means they are in a position to direct the activities and support of Muslims in the U.S. for the Islamic Revolution”.

Expanding on this, a late-’80s FBI memo said:

Within the organizational structure of NAIT, there have been numerous groups and individuals identified as being a part of a covert network of revolutionaries who have clearly indicated there (sic) support for the Islamic Revolution as advocated by the Ayatollah Khomeini and his government as well as other fanatical Islamic Shiite fundamentalist leaders in the Middle East. This faction of Muslims have declared war on the United States, Israel and any other country they deem as an enemy of Islam. The common bond between these various organizations is both religious and political with the underlying common goal being to further the holy war (Islamic Jihad).

Declassified FBI memos indicate that ISNA was identified as a Muslim Brotherhood front as early as 1987. “The entire organization is structured, controlled and funded by followers and supporters of the Islamic Revolution as advocated by the founders” of the Brotherhood in Egypt, said one source. … And a 1988 U.S. Muslim Brotherhood document bluntly identified ISNA as part of the “apparatus of the Brotherhood”. …

In the summer of 2007, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), which was based within ISNA’s headquarters in Plainfield, Indiana, was tried on charges that it had engaged in fundraising on behalf of Hamas. During the court proceedings, the U.S. government released a list of approximately 300 of HLF’s “unindicted co-conspirators” and “joint venturers”. Among them were … ISNA [and] the Council on American-Islamic Relations [CAIR] …

In a June 2008 brief filed on their behalf by the American Civil Liberties Union, ISNA and its related financial arm, the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), petitioned U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis to order that their names be removed from the list of co-conspirators in the HLF trial. The prosecutors, in turn, cited nearly two dozen exhibits establishing “both ISNA’s and NAIT’s intimate relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Palestine Committee, and the defendants in this case”.

In July 2008, ISNA’s lawyers conceded that their organization, through its affiliate NAIT, had given financial support to Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook. …

On July 1, 2009, Judge Solis upheld ISNA’s designation as an unindicted co-conspirator, ruling that the government had “produced ample evidence” linking the group to Hamas and thereby justifying the designation. …

The International Assessment and Strategy Center arrives at this conclusion:

From Al-Arian, to KindHearts, to terrorism itself, ISNA has publicly distanced itself from extremists only when there was no other choice. As one of the largest Muslim American organizations in the United States, its failure to strongly oppose terrorism is inexcusable, but not particularly surprising when one considers the organization in greater depth. ISNA’s history and past and present leadership are characterized by a long-standing relationship and connection with extremist groups and fundamentalist ideology. It has taken no decisive actions toward reform, such as purging its leadership of those members who have been most clearly linked with extremist views. Ultimately, the weight of evidence pointing toward ISNA’s extremist nature is too great to be explained away by coincidence, circumstance, or ignorance. It must be held accountable for its harmful influence, and certainly does not merit its status as a “moderate” partner of the State Department on the increasingly crucial area of relations with the Muslim community.

And yet –

In September 2013, President Barack Obama praised ISNA for having long “upheld the proud legacy of American Muslims’ contributions to our national fabric”  …

The contributions ISNA made to Hamas, on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood – which is dedicated to the destruction of the United States – the president did not mention.

 

Tarnished laurels 1

The Nobel Peace Prize has been so thoroughly debased that it could be considered a positive insult for a person who deserves honor to be awarded it.

What decent man or woman would want to be in this company?

  • Yasser Arafat, the grandfather of Islamic terrorism
  • Al Gore, who promotes the lie of manmade global warming for personal gain
  • Kofi Annan, who presided over the UN-Iraq food-for-oil scandal
  • Jimmy Carter – enough said
  • Rigoberta Manchu, another prize liar
  • Sean MacBride, Chief of Staff of the IRA,  also awarded the Lenin Peace Prize
  • Barack Obama, a leftist community organizer from Chicago

All of these have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace.

There have a been a few, a small minority, of  worthy laureates since the Second World War. Martin Luther King was one, Aung San Suu Kyi who continues to oppose the oppressive regime of Myanmar (Burma) is another. Amazing that the Norwegian committee could very occasionally get it right!

And now again – the committee has actually chosen to reward a worthy recipient: Professor Liu Xiaobo, who at great personal risk has opposed the Communist regime of China, and is therefore being punished with imprisonment.

He is a writer who has dared to call for democracy to replace communist one-party rule in his country. He participated in the Tiananmen Square protests. He has committed no violent acts and has harmed nobody.

China is outraged that he is being honored, and has pressed other countries to boycott the award ceremony, where Liu Xiaobo will be present only in effigy, his face seen in a portrait on his otherwise empty chair. No members of his family have been allowed to travel to Oslo to receive the prize on his behalf. His wife, Liu Xia, is being held incommunicado.

The New York Times reports:

China has been incensed by Mr. Liu’s award …   and the government has been waging an offensive to rebrand the prize as a Western ploy to undermine the Chinese Communist Party’s hold on power. …

Chinese officials [are] saying supporters of Mr. Liu are fundamentally opposed to China’s development and trying to interfere in the country’s politics and legal system.

A Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Jiang Yu, told reporters: “I would like to say to those at the Nobel committee, they are orchestrating an anti-China farce by themselves.”

“We are not changing because of interference by a few clowns and we will not change our path,” she said …

Eighteen countries will obey China and boycott the event.

Nineteen governments have said their ambassadors will not attend a ceremony this week awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, the imprisoned Chinese dissident, the Norwegian prize committee said on Tuesday … reflecting the strong pressure exerted by Beijing to boycott the event.

Those 19 countries are: China itself, Russia, Kazakhstan, Colombia, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Serbia, Iraq , Iran, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Venezuela, the Philippines, Egypt, Sudan, Ukraine, Cuba and Morocco.

Look at it, this list of countries who will do Communist China’s bidding. How disappointing to see Colombia on the list. And why is Serbia doing this? Or the Philippines? Or Egypt? Or Ukraine? And why Iraq and Afghanistan, countries for which so much American blood has been spilled to bring them the opportunity of freedom?

However, 44 countries will be sending a representative.

Invitations to the ceremony are routinely sent only to those 65 countries with embassies in Oslo, Mr. [Geir] Lundestad [the committee’s secretary] said  …  Those who accepted included “all the western countries” along with representatives from other countries including India, Indonesia, Brazil, South Africa, South Korea and Japan, he said.

There’s at least one surprise on that list too: South Africa.

If it makes Liu Xiaobo’s name better known throughout the world, and his cause better appreciated, the prize, this time, has been well awarded.

But the only historically important fact about the Nobel Prize for Peace, demonstrating how valueless it has become as a result of the usual perversity and moral blindness of the Norwegian judges, is that it was not awarded to Ronald Reagan who, along with Margaret Thatcher, was chiefly responsible for bringing the Cold War – the terror that hung over the whole world for 45 years – to a quiet end. And that it did go to Mikhail Gorbachev, freedom’s defeated enemy.

Cohabiting with an incubus 0

David Solway writes brilliantly about the terrible mistake American voters made when they elected Obama to the presidency:

An open letter to Americans:

As a Canadian, I’ve been observing for some time now, with great concern and even greater disbelief, the political farce enacted day after day in your country. And I keep asking, what have you done? For it seems to me, and to many others as well, that you have embarked upon a truly destructive course that may eventually bring the United States to the brink of ruination.

What have you done? You have elected a president on the strength of an ellipsis, neglecting to fill in the three dots trailing after his every echoing jingle—“Yes we can”…what? You have credited a nimble spinner of tales, a pretty fellow with no significant experience of the real world of risk, hard work and the hazards of survival, a thug with a beguiling smile. You have elevated to the highest office in the land a man without discernible qualifications who is plunging the nation into unredeemable debt for generations to come. You have installed possibly the most consummate liar in POTUS history, who breaks campaign promises as if he were cracking eggs for the skillet and changes his mind almost daily like a weathervane on steroids. You have put your trust in an intellectual lightweight and geopolitical bungler who makes Jimmy Carter look like a paragon of acute intelligence, moral substance and rare diplomatic foresight.

What have you done? You have bought into a fraudulent narrative. You have made a Faustian bargain with a suave Mephistophelian who offers hope and change but delivers instead inevitable suffering and a violated people. As in all such compacts, the price for a brief state of euphoria is subsequent prolonged distress. You have given carte blanche to a man with a personal dossier blacked out in many places like a letter from the front, so as not, apparently, to divulge sensitive information. You have raised among you a man whose friends and influences would surely have precluded him from meriting your confidence had you paid attention to plain facts rather than to quasi-mystical incantations. You have anointed a man with a sinister agenda. You have voted for your historical nemesis who with his every move and decision renders you increasingly insecure in a violent and unforgiving world.

If you need a slogan to trigger a reaction, it should not be “Yes we can”—whatever that might conceivably have meant—but “What have we done?”—whose implications should now be obvious. I pray it is not too late to reverse the trajectory you have unthinkingly plotted for yourselves. It may be a shame to let a serious crisis go to waste, as your president’s intimate adviser cynically put it, but it would be a much greater shame to let a crisis reach the point of no return. And there is little doubt that you are now facing an impending crisis of the first magnitude, both domestically and globally.

Let us count the ways. ….

Which he proceeds to do. His list of the disasters Obama is preparing is well worth reading in full.

This is how Solway concludes his denunciation of the worst president in American history:

Who am I to address the citizens of another country? A loyal friend, and a citizen of a nation whose fate is inextricably bound up with yours. My interests are also at stake. That is why I am glad to note that many people are now awakening to the nature and extent of their folly, but far too many still malinger in the grip of a profound narcosis. To these latter, I would say that, in your desire for novelty, your pampered sense of frivolous grievance and your hypnotic suggestibility, you have chosen to cohabit with an incubus. You have shown a readiness to be seduced not by a lover of freedom but by a votary of his own malign gods. Despite the recent surfeit of Hollywood films, TV programs and neo-gothic novels fondly rehabilitating the undead, deep down you must know there is no such thing as a good vampire.

And so, in conclusion, I ask once again. What have you done?

Posted under Collectivism, Commentary, government, United States by Jillian Becker on Monday, April 5, 2010

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Kill the bill 0

If enough Democratic votes are found to pass the monstrous health care legislation that will condemn America to the terminal illness of socialism, it will mean that many Democrats have decided to support their party rather than listen to their constituents, and so risk not being re-elected in November.

Why aren’t they troubled by this prospect? Mark Steyn and Andrew McCarthy have an explanation. Mark Steyn writes:

A big-time GOP consultant was on TV crowing that Republicans wanted the Dems to pass ObamaCare because it’s so unpopular it will guarantee a GOP sweep in November.

Okay, then what? You’ll roll it back — like you’ve rolled back all those other unsustainable entitlements premised on cobwebbed actuarial tables from 80 years ago?

Like you’ve undone the Department of Education and of Energy and all the other nickel ‘n’ dime novelties of even a universally reviled one-term loser like Jimmy Carter?

Andrew McCarthy concluded a shrewd analysis of the political realities thus:

“Health care is a loser for the Left only if the Right has the steel to undo it. The Left is banking on an absence of steel. Why is that a bad bet?”

Indeed.

Look at it from the Dems’ point of view. You pass ObamaCare. You lose the 2010 election, which gives the GOP co-ownership of an awkward couple of years.

And you come back in 2012 to find your health care apparatus is still in place, a fetid behemoth of toxic pustules oozing all over the basement, and, simply through the natural processes of government, already bigger and more expensive and more bureaucratic than it was when you passed it two years earlier.

If they are right – and we think they are – then there is only one sure way of killing off this “fetid behemoth” right now.

The Republicans must firmly decide and declare that they will repeal the legislation when they are returned to power. They must say it and mean it – and of course, if the Democrats think it’s only a bluff and go ahead anyway, then, when the time comes, they must do it.

The Little Community Organizer Who Can’t 0

Even the left, and his foreign fan club, are beginning to see that Obama cannot do the job he was elected to do.

Peter Wehner writes at Commentary-contentions (see the whole article here):

The President is “Obama the Impotent,” according to Steven Hill of the Guardian. The Economist calls Obama the “Pacific (and pussyfooting) president.” The Financial Times refers to “relations between the U.S. and Europe, which started the year of talks as allies, near breakdown.” The German magazine Der Spiegel accuses the president of being “dishonest with Europe” on the subject of climate change. Another withering piece in Der Spiegel, titled “Obama’s Nice Guy Act Gets Him Nowhere on the World Stage,” lists the instances in which Obama is being rolled. The Jerusalem Post puts it this way: “Everybody is saying no to the American president these days. And it’s not just that they’re saying no, it’s also the way they’re saying no.” “He talks too much,” a Saudi academic who had once been smitten with Barack Obama tells the Middle East scholar Fouad Ajami. The Saudi “has wearied of Mr. Obama and now does not bother with the Obama oratory,” according to Ajami. But “he is hardly alone, this academic. In the endless chatter of this region, and in the commentaries offered by the press, the theme is one of disappointment [for this we’ll not be too hard on him – JB]. In the Arab-Islamic world, Barack Obama has come down to earth.”

Indeed he has — and only Obama and his increasingly clueless administration seem unaware of this.

On almost every front, progress is nonexistent. In many instances, things are getting worse rather than better. The enormous goodwill that Obama’s election was met with hasn’t been leveraged into anything useful and tangible. Rather, our allies are now questioning America’s will, while our adversaries are becoming increasingly emboldened. The United States looks weak and uncertain. It’s “amateur hour at the White House,” according to Leslie Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations and a former official in the Carter administration. “Not only are things not getting fixed, they may be getting more broken,” according to Michael Hirsh at Newsweek. When even such strong Obama supporters as Gelb and Hirsh reach these conclusions, you know things must be unraveling.

It’s no mystery as to why. President Obama’s approach to international relations is simplistic and misguided. It is premised on the belief that American concessions to our adversaries will beget goodwill and concessions in return; that American self-abasement is justified; that the American decline is inevitable (and in some respects welcome); and that diplomacy and multilateralism are ends rather than means to an end.

Right now the overwhelming issue on the public’s mind is the economy, where Obama is also having serious problems. But national-security issues matter a great deal, and they remain the unique responsibility of the president. With every passing month, Barack Obama looks more and more like his Democratic predecessor Jimmy Carter: irresolute, unsteady, and overmatched. The president and members of his own party will find out soon enough, though, that Obama the Impotent isn’t what they had in mind when they elected him. We are witnessing the unmasking, and perhaps the unmaking, of Barack Obama.

Posted under Commentary, Defense, Diplomacy, government, United States by Jillian Becker on Monday, November 30, 2009

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Civil war? Or revolution? 0

By Andrew Walden:

Earlier this month, the Obama administration moved to transfer alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed from the military justice system at Guantanamo Bay to the jurisdiction of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. Behind this move away from the military tribunal system, which delivered justice so effectively at Nuremburg, is an $8.5 million lobbying effort by the so-called “John Adams Project” launched in April, 2008 by the American Civil Liberties Union.

With the endorsement of Clinton Attorney General Janet Reno, former boss of Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder, as well as former President Jimmy Carter, FBI and CIA chief William Webster, and others from both Republican and Democratic administrations, the ACLU‘s victory on behalf of the man sometimes described as “al Qaeda’s CEO” is also a defeat in the U.S.-led war on terror. Thanks to the ACLU, a terrorist like KSM will now enjoy the constitutional rights reserved for American citizens.

The civilian trial of a leading terrorist is the culmination of a years-long campaign by the ACLU to handicap U.S. efforts in the war on terror. The ACLU responded to the 9/11 attacks with the formation of its so-called National Security Project. Under the leadership of the ACLU and its ideological affiliate, the so-called Center for Constitutional Rights, hundreds of lawyers from top law firms have worked without pay to “serve the caged prisoners,” as they call the terrorist detainees in American custody. Their assault on the courts, combined with Democratic electoral gains in 2006 and 2008, has seriously undermined the military commission system. …

Their excuse is that they are safeguarding civil and constitutional rights. But as such rights do not extend to alien attackers, it’s  a thin and feeble pretext for doing what they are so passionately engaged upon that they do it free of charge. Their real aim is deeply malign: to damage America.

To the ALCU and its liberal allies, the al-Qaeda defendants are merely pawns in a larger game aimed at shackling the American and international forces who have been fighting al-Qaeda since 9/11.

Many of the ACLU’s campaigns have taken place under the “National Security Project.” Led by its CAIR-affiliated director, Jameel Jaffer, it reveals a broader picture of ACLU’s ongoing sabotage of American national security. …

Walden gives a number of examples to back up what he’s saying, including –

ACLU v. DOD –the ACLU seeks to … to go after individual US and international military and intelligence personnel — and after defense contractors if the right kind of precedent is created in Mohamed et al. v. Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc . John Adams Project operatives are also photographing CIA agents and giving the photos to Guantanamo detainees in order to generate torture allegations.

In Amnesty v. McConnell, the ACLU seeks to eliminate the right of the US government to spy without warrant on international telecommunication traffic. This is a right exercised by Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Bush and now by Obama–as well as many Presidents before them. An ACLU victory in this case could subject numerous US military and intelligence personnel telephone companies and military contractors to criminal or civil prosecution by or on behalf of jihadists in US or foreign courts.

The ACLU is seeking to extend constitutional rights to hostile foreign nationals living outside the US and to protect armed activities conducted partly or wholly outside the US. As the KSM trials suggest, it also has a sympathetic ear in the Obama administration.

For instance, Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder was a senior partner in the Covington & Burling law firm, which currently represents 16 Guantanamo detainees. Holder’s C&B law partner David Remes stripped to his underwear at a July 14, 2008 Yemeni news conference to demonstrate the strip-searches he claims are the most serious “torture” inflicted on detainees. Strip searches are a daily standard procedure in US and international prisons housing common criminals. But in the eyes of Holder’s former partner, this procedure is too debasing to be applied to jihadists. Remes soon left the firm to work on so-called “human rights” cases full time. …

The ACLU … wants to see all the Guantanamo detainees given civilian trials. The ACLU strategy has the potential to create a web of interlocking decisions and precedents that would serve to establish a basis for criminal prosecutions and more civil lawsuits by al Qaeda members against the US military personnel, contractors, Bush administration officials, and intelligence officers who have pursued them since 9/11.

If the ACLU is even partially successful, Americans and foreign allies who have risked their lives to pursue al Qaeda may find themselves in court answering to charges brought by the jihadists. With the civilian trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the ACLU is one step closer to that destructive goal.

Is this not civil war being fought by lawyers through the law courts? Or is it revolution?

Letting communist China devour Taiwan? 1

It seems that Obama is willing to go to some lengths to ingratiate himself with the Chinese communist regime. Will he go so far as to feed free Taiwan to the People’s Republic of China?

Obama stated that Taiwan was not part of China, but rather part of the People’s Republic of China. This is effectively a denial of any sovereignty for Taiwan whatsoever. Obama has erased the deliberate ambiguity that the US has cultivated with regard to the position of Taiwan by stating that Taiwan is part of the PRC. This reduces it to the status of a rebellious province, a position that China has always held. And while Obama did not explicitly disavow further US arms sales to Taiwan, considering his disregard for the TRA and the Six Assurances, such a move may not be long in coming. …

This policy should not be seen as a complete surprise either. Rejected former nominee for Chairman of the National Intelligence Council [Charles Freeman] was openly on the PRC payroll and an apologist for its worst atrocities. By drafting the National Intelligence Estimate, Freeman would have been in an ideal position to put pen to paper and make the argument that Taiwan was no longer threatened by the People’s Republic of China, and thereby drastically limit or cut off arms sales to China entirely.

Dennis C. Blair, Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, who nominated Freeman and backed him all the way, served as a collaborator in the Muslim Indonesian genocide of East Timor, also got rather cozy with China, assuring the Bush Administration that there was nothing to worry about with regard to an invasion of Taiwan, until he was finally forced out by Rumsfeld. That is the character of the Obama Administration’s position on Taiwan.

As a Senator running for office, Obama refused to back the sale of F-16’s to Taiwan. As Taiwan’s air force continues to age, it will have less ability to resist the People’s Republic of China, without additional US arms sales. Obama dodged the question about arms sales to Taiwan, and it’s likely that he will continue to dodge it, thereby weakening Taiwan and strengthening China.

In 1973 Mao assumed that the People’s Republic of China would have to wait another century to seize Taiwan. But he had not counted on Carter and Obama who less than 50 years later, have brought the vision of that red handed mass murderer closer to being than ever.

To read what he stated, or came very near to stating, and to follow the rather complicated history of US policy in regard to the PRC and Taiwan, see the whole of the article by Daniel Greenfield here.

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