Carpe diem et Trump 1

It becomes plainer every day that a sizable majority of Republican voters want Donald Trump to be their nominee for the presidency.

Astonishingly, there are leading Republicans who would actually rather have another Democrat in the White House for at least another four years! (See here and here.)

Roger L Simon writes cogently at PJ Media:

I thought one of the first duties, if not the first duty, of a political party was to win. If you don’t win, everything else, every policy, every theory, every idea, is air.

That was until I joined the GOP.  … The attacks on Donald Trump by his fellow Republicans have been, to put it bluntly, waaaay out of proportion.  If – as Trump himself said in his press conference Tuesday after winning handily in Mississippi and Michigan – Mitt Romney had attacked Obama with half the vitriol he has attacked Donald Trump with, Romney would be president today.

And then there’s the conservative punditocracy, so many of whom seem to be suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome — or perhaps it’s Trump Envy (for which I wouldn’t blame them).

But I ask – as someone who would gladly vote for any Republican candidate still running and probably any of the thirteen who dropped out – what exactly do they find so terrible about Donald Trump?  … Maybe he isn’t the most conservative of conservatives (wasn’t John Roberts supposed to be that?), but he is clearly one of the more politically shrewd candidates to come along in a while – and not just for a non-politician.  Just the way he is turning post-primary victory speeches into quasi-press conferences, monopolizing the media, reinvents the game.

And he is expanding the Republican vote.

What most surprises me, however, is the approach taken to Trump by his enemies, those known under the rubric #NeverTrump and those better heeled who have blown millions on nauseating and evidently useless attack ads painting Donald as Mussolini … For a group of smart people, in some cases very smart, they seem to have skipped Psychology 101 in college, making them curiously oblivious to the blowback from their assaults. … (Personally, I find it hard to resist someone who finally spoke a truth at that press conference that the media seems deliberately to have ignored all year: “I don’t think there is such a thing as an establishment.” There isn’t – and who would want one?)

The best approach to someone like Trump, who is at heart a business pragmatist without rigid  ideological convictions (convictions that would make it extremely difficult for a businessman to function), is to … bring him over to your side, politically and ideologically. … He wants to make a deal and fairly invites co-optation.

Trump himself, in that press conference or whatever you want to call it (press-infomercial?), extended an olive branch of sorts to his opposition in the Republican Party at large.  They should take him up on it – at the same time urging him to reciprocate and keep it up on his end.  Start a mutual admiration society. …

The Trump Derangement Syndrome has got to go. …  We are headed to an epochal  general election and November is closer than it seems. Close your eyes and it’s here. The time to start dialing down the internecine warfare is now.

Posted under Commentary, United States by Jillian Becker on Sunday, March 13, 2016

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Be there? 14

Much can be said against Donald Trump. And much is said against him.

But what if he is the force – the only force on the horizon – that can and will smash “political correctness”? And ISIS? And keep savage Islam from any further invasion of America? And restore the borders?

Roger L. Simon looks on the bright side of a Trump presidency, writing at PJ Media:

Now that Donald Trump has wiped the floor yet again with the other Republican candidates in the Nevada caucuses, it’s time for the GOP to face reality — barring force majeure, they have a presidential candidate, like it or not. The so-called establishment has a choice: Get on the Trump bandwagon or try some desperate maneuver to stop him. But what would that be? A Rubio-Cruz ticket, assuming they would do it?  At the time of this writing, the two men added together don’t equal the Trump vote in Nevada — and that’s even assuming their voters would hold, which is a risky assumption, given the current momentum. I mean — Donald won 46% of the Hispanics!  Enough already.

A lot of my Republican friends are depressed about this situation. They worry that Trump is not a real conservative.  They cringe at his vulgarity. They are concerned he’s a bully, even totalitarian. I’m not.  And  I am not depressed, even though I admire many of the other candidates in the race.  Given the gravity of the situation, what Obama has done to this nation and the candidates being offered by the Democrats, a world class liar and a Eugene V. Debs retread, a personality as large as Donald may be necessary to revive our country. In fact, I think I’ll take the “may” out of that.

This is what I think the electorate senses and what the Republican establishment fears. Rather than being afraid that Donald will lose, many establishment folks, I suspect, are afraid he will win.  It will not be business as usual and most human beings seek business as usual, especially successful ones. What, for example, is more conventional and unchanging than the Democratic Party?  They have patented stasis under meaningless junk terms like “liberal” and “progressive”.  Nothing ever changes.  Republicans are at risk of doing the same thing with the word “conservative”.  If I hear another candidate claim to be the most “conservative”, I think I’ll bang my head against the table.  I can’t be the only one who feels that way.

So if I were a member of the Establishment, whatever that is, I would quit bellyaching, embrace Donald and make him my friend.  He’s ready and willing.  If you bother to check that ultimate news source the Daily Mail, you’d see that already he is hobnobbing with such Republican stalwarts as Rudy Giuliani, Arthur Laffer and Steve Moore. Unless I missed it, I didn’t notice the article mentioning David Axelrod or James Carville.

And listen to what Trump is actually saying.  He’s for lower taxes and a strong defense and he’s not really against free trade.  He just wants a better deal.  Who wouldn’t and who wouldn’t assume he’d  get a better one than the Obama crowd?  Or the Bush crowd for that matter, on just about anything. He’s also pro-life, despite soreheads … screaming that Trump supports Planned Parenthood when he has said explicitly he does not support what they do on abortion, only on other women’s health issues. …

Don’t fight Donald.  Be smart, co-opt him.  Or, as we used to say, be there or be square.  Next November depends on it.

Arguments pro and con are invited.

(And please do follow the link to the Daily Mail article, which is worth reading.)

Posted under Commentary, Conservatism, liberalism, liberty, Progressivism, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

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Jihadism in the White House 5

Is it possible that most Americans are waking up at last to realize what sort of person they elected president?

Hard to say. They – astonishingly – elected him twice!

Roger L. Simon for one is “flabbergasted” at what Obama is doing to America and the world. (But then, as far as we know – and we’d be flabbergasted to be told otherwise – he never voted for him.)

He writes with understandable emotion at P.J. Media:

Barack Obama  …. and the media and the brainwashed public that elected him are destroying our country (and the West) all by themselves.  They don’t need any secret conspirators in the back room. They’re all there in public view. And how.

Obamacare and the sabotaging of the immigration system were bad enough, but they are absolutely trivial compared to what is going on now.  We have the next thing to a jihadist in the White House.  From the inability to name Islamic terrorists as Islamic, to the failure to name Jews as the objects of homicidal anti-Semitism at a kosher market, to the complete omission of the word Christian when 21 Christians have their heads cut off (simultaneously!) for being Christian, we have in the Oval Office not only the worst president in the history of our country, we have the worst person to be president.

And now he is opening the door to a huge number of Syrian refugees, who knows how many of whom may be members of ISIS, al Qaeda or some group we haven’t even heard of yet. If I were a Christian or a Jew … I’d make sure [my] door was locked at night and [I] had exercised [my]  Second Amendment rights.

And if this weren’t enough, Obama is colluding with the Iranian ayatollahs as if he were a Shiite imam, not only to help them get nuclear weapons, but to form a permanent alliance with the United States against the Sunni world. How insane is that! …

But is Obama aware that the alliance is “against the Sunni world”? His closest political buddies are the Muslim Brotherhood, and they’re Sunni. He’s quite capable of being so confused that he hasn’t thought of that. But wouldn’t his Muslim Brotherhood advisers point it out?

I have to say I’m flabbergasted.  I never thought I’d be living in times like this. …

I wish I knew what to do, because convincing Obama to act is a double-edged sword. He is a horrible person to be a commander-in-chief and to put our troops in his hands is an awful thing to do to them. He will undoubtedly pull the rug out from under them just at the wrong moment. And they certainly know it. How could they not?

So what do we do?  Maybe hunker down and hope we make it through to 2016 with the right result.  It’ll be a long slog, and a miserable one.

We see it that way too.

Posted under Commentary, Islam, jihad, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, February 18, 2015

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The principal enemy 21

The picture and the following text by Roger L Simon come from PJ Media:

Whether they know it or not, Republicans, conservatives, libertarians, center-right folks, all those who favor smaller government and increased freedom, do have a principal enemy. But … it’s no longer Barack Obama. He is over. He was already a lame duck when Obamacare plucked most of his remaining feathers. The damage he can do may still be serious, but most of it will be reparable.

The principal enemy for the right and the center-right is now Hillary Clinton, the vastly favored frontrunner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. She is so far in front, in fact, that her competitors are not even in hailing distance. Hillary is the one who can consolidate and solidify the “gains” of the Obama era in a way Obama himself never could because she is much more politically savvy — Obama was only savvy about getting elected, not governing — and has the backing of her even more politically savvy husband. Hillary is the one who can fully remake the United States into some version of Western Europe or, yet more frighteningly, China, a permanently stratified state capitalism governed by quasi-totalitarian bureaucrats.(We can call this system Soros Marxism, meaning a ruling clique of increasingly rich corporate czars employing a propagandistic veneer of socialist equality to keep the power and wealth for themselves.)

The New York Times (the very model of that propagandistic veneer) already knows their bread is buttered with Hillary, not Obama. They demonstrated that … with their revisionist article on Benghazi, bent on taking that scandal (Hillary’s Achilles’ heel) off the table for the coming elections or at least seriously defusing it.

For the New York Times’s special pleading on this issue, and criticism of its spurious case, see our post, Signs of Democrats’ desperation over the scandalous tragedy of Benghazi, December 29, 2013.

Republicans would do well to redouble their efforts to make sure this particular obfuscation does not succeed by doing the proper research and communicating the results to the public — succinctly and repeatedly.

If the Republicans could do anything so sensible it would be mighty nice!

Benghazi could be used to bring Hillary down permanently. It wouldn’t even be difficult. It would take nothing more than the resolution to accuse her of dereliction of duty, extreme incompetence, and the callous sacrifice of American lives, day after day, at every possible opportunity, through every available medium, loud and clear.

But will they do it? Or will they McCain the issue ? Which is to say, politely overlook it. Or Romney it? Which is to say, touch on it ever so lightly and immediately let it go.

Maybe one of the younger bolder men of the party – Ted Cruz perhaps? –  will seize the hammer of Benghazi and flatten Hillary with it.

Posted under Collectivism, Commentary, Islam, jihad, Libya, Muslims, Progressivism, Socialism, United States by Jillian Becker on Sunday, January 5, 2014

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What the cover-up reveals 2

Barry Rubin writes convincingly – and very depressingly – about the pathetic Benghazi cover-up (see our post immediately below, Covering up The Big Secret):

It was well-known that in 2011 the United States was facilitating the weapons supply to Syrian rebels. The weapons were paid for by Qatar and Saudi Arabia and delivered through Turkey.

We have known for more than a year of this traffic. There were two big UN Reports on this traffic.( By the way this meant that the United States was arming Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist groups.)

What wasn’t known was a simple detail: the United States was also collecting and shipping the weapons.

That’s it! This is what was being concealed. After all, it was openly known previously that the Libyan rebels against Qadhafi were armed by the United States.

The whole mess was unnecessary!

If it was known that the CIA guys in Turkey weren’t just watching the weapons supply but delivering it, to quote Clinton, what difference would it make?

Would Congress have stopped the weapons’ traffic? No, they wouldn’t even do anything about the arms to Mexican drug gangs that killed Americans.

Would Americans rise in revolt? No.

Would it have cost one percent of the votes in the election? No.

Sure, some bloggers would have talked about parallels to Iran-Contra and a handful of members of Congress would have complained but the massive media machine would have ignored it and the majority of Republicans would have snored.

Did President Obama have to lie in a UN speech saying the ambassador was just there to supervise a hospital and a school? No.

Did a video have to be blamed so as to blame Americans and Islamophobia for the attack? No.

Was the cover-up necessary even to defend the administration’s “perfect record against terrorist attacks on Americans”? No.

The exposé of this arms’ supply channel would have bothered few and changed nothing.

But since we knew already that the administration was helping arm anti-American, antisemitic, anti-Christian, and homophobic, and anti-women Islamist terrorists I don’t think the difference was huge.

Did the cover-up have to lead to the refusal to defend properly American personnel to prevent what they were doing from leaking out? No.

In short this program of lies and deception and cover up wasn’t even necessary. Those Americans may have been rescued and those lies might have been avoided with no harm to the administration.

I think that tells a lot about how the Obama Administration treats and manipulates the American people. And it also tells about its very profound incompetence and ignorance.

While it is a bleak thought that the mass media would have ignored the truth, that only “a handful of members of Congress would have complained”, and “the majority of Republicans would have snored”, we believe Barry Rubin is right.

Roger L. Simon agrees. He comments at PJ Media:

For nearly a year, we have had no answer to why the administration lied about Benghazi — why it told the world, not to mention the parents of our murdered SEALs at the funeral of their sons, that the cause of that fatal conflagration was an anti-Islamic video no one saw, when the various arms of our executive branch (White House, State and intelligence) already knew, or strongly suspected, it was a terror attack orchestrated by al-Qaeda affiliates.

You only have to read the now infamous talking points to know that.

That this lie was deeply immoral is obvious. What still eludes us is the cause of that lie, other than the equally obvious desire to avoid embarrassment weeks before a presidential election.

But what was this embarrassment about? Recent events have supposedly unearthed a tie to secret arms shipments to Syrian rebels, but as the always cogent Barry Rubin points out, anyone paying attention to the story has known this for some time. Rumors of such shipments filled the Internet even before the Benghazi fireworks.

Furthermore, as Rubin also indicates, if that information had been immediately revealed or leaked to the public soon after the event, it would have been met by a national shoulder shrug that was firmly ratified by Obama’s loyal media claque. It wouldn’t have impacted the election much, if at all.

So is there another, more important fact that the Obama regime is covering up? Another fact that makes it so uneasy that it lies, red-faced, to America?

Roger Simon pulls it out into the daylight:

No, something more problematic was involved and I suspect I know what it was.

No one wanted to admit — or probably face for themselves — the extent to which the president, and therefore his administration, the State Department, the CIA and even the military, was in bed with Islamists.

And still is. And more and more “Islamists” are creeping into that rank and fetid bed.

That the Benghazi consulate (or whatever it was) was guarded by al-Qaeda types who surely either turned on the people they were supposed to be defending that night, or simply gave safe passage to the enemy, is only tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Like many icebergs this one has different sections and ridges. An important one was that the death of bin Laden meant the death or diminution of al-Qaeda, as Obama continually bragged during the election campaign.

Nothing could be more absurd, if you think about it, and not just because al-Qaeda is once more at the top of the news, closing down dozens of embassies before a shot is fired, but because bin Laden was just one (okay, dramatic) ripple in the Islamist story.

And he quotes the cry of “the Arab street”: “Obama, Obama, we are all Osama!”

… Obama — and therefore the administration, State Department, intelligence and military — threw in to a greater or lesser extent with the Brotherhood and their Islamist colleagues. They did this despite the Brotherhood’s obvious extreme misogyny and homophobia, which, under normal circumstances, we would assume to be anathema to so-called “progressives.”

Leaving aside that mind-boggling inconsistency, Islamists also see democracy, when they decide to engage in it, as a temporary tool for jihadist ends. (Obama’s putative buddy Turkey’s Erdogan famously said, “democracy is like a train. You take it where you have to go, and then you get off.”)

Lately, Obama has incurred the ire — with some justification, I think — of new Egyptian military strongman al-Sisi  for going against the wishes of the Egyptian people in favor of a kind of desperate nostalgia for Morsi and the Brotherhood. (Forget the rapes and the rest of it.)

So what accounts for Obama’s weird attraction for this “Muslim revivalism,” despite all its Medieval tenets and near-psychotic behaviors? …

Like so many schooled in post-modernism and cultural relativism, he has an immediate and intense enmity for anything that smacks of imperialism — and an equally intense desire to be seen as supportive of (although certainly not to live like) the downtrodden of the Earth.

Because it makes them feel good. It is the moral hubris of the Left. It is the moral narcissism of the Left intelligentsia. 

Which leads us back to Benghazi. You don’t have to be Muslim to love the Muslim Brotherhood or even, consciously or unconsciously, sympathize with the goals, if not the actions, of al-Qaeda. You just have to have been imbued with a blind hatred of imperialism. That’s all you need.

Yes – but we would have written it as “imperialism”.

What this myopia leads to, however, is consorting with people with no values at all. You get in bed with the worst of the worst. …

What the administration doesn’t want, of all things, is for these dots to be connected via Benghazi.

No wonder the culprits have not been arrested. They might talk!

The one thing the disgraceful story reveals that is not depressing, that could be taken as a sign for optimism, is this:

For Obama and his minions to go to such lengths to cover up up their cultivation of the intensely evil Muslim Brotherhood, because their Leftism trumps everything, they must – as both these commenters indicate – be very deeply ashamed.

In their shame lies freedom’s hope.

The conservation of liberty 2

At the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) yesterday, March 14, 2012, two potential leaders of the Republican Party described their visions of the Party’s future. (Videos of their speeches in full here.)

We quote from a report /opinion column in Time magazine:

The back-to-back pairing of Rubio and Rand was seen as the most significant matchup of the annual conference, pitting two likely 2016 Republican contenders before the party’s conservative base. The result pointed to the growing schism in the Republican Party between resurgent libertarians and more traditional Republicans.

The two men – Paul age 50, Rubio just 41 – laid out divergent visions of an inclusive Republican Party. Rubio called for a focus on economic opportunity and a muscular role overseas. Paul called for a reduction in the size of the U.S. government … [and for] the Republican Party to shift away from neoconservative foreign policy.

Actually, Paul did not “call for the Republican Party to shift away from neoconservative policy”. At least, not on this occasion. “Neoconservative foreign policy” means “the US acting in the world at large, including militarily”. The phrase also implies criticism of President Bush’s foreign policy which some libertarians and the Left believe was unduly influenced by “neoconservatives”. Time’s use of the word may convey, as some libertarians have intended it to convey, a flicker of antisemitism (though Rand Paul would almost certainly deny that he ever intends any such thing).

With almost all of what Rand Paul said we agree:

He warned that the Republican Party is “encumbered by an inconsistent approach to freedom”.

“The GOP of old has grown stale and moss-covered — I don’t think we need to name any names, do we?” he said, though the target, Sen. John McCain, was clear.

‘The new GOP,” Paul said advocating for … a smaller government …, “will need to embrace liberty in both the economic and the personal sphere. If we’re going to have a Republican Party that can win, liberty needs to be the backbone of the GOP.”

He pledged to introduce a budget in the coming weeks to balance the budget in five years that would also slash the income tax in half, and create a flat tax at 17 percent.

The contrast between the pair couldn’t be more obvious or consequential for the party struggling to remake itself after two straight presidential defeats.

On foreign policy we agree with Marco Rubio. In general we like Rand Paul’s ideas.

An unavoidable question is: could a more libertarian Republican Party still be the party of conservatism?

Roger L. Simon, writing at PJ Media, considers the question.

He starts on a personal note:

Last month my ninth-grade daughter attended a conference for the Junior State of America. Almost none of the high school students, she told me, caucused with the Republicans. A throng went to the libertarians.

He makes the same criticism of libertarians as we do:

I can’t totally identify as a libertarian, since I find some of their more extreme views silly. (Someone does have to pay for the interstate highway system. And Islamic jihadists are quite serious about a world caliphate. Declaring ourselves the purest of free marketers and rolling up the gangplank will not deter them in the slightest. In fact, it will only encourage them.)

All this is the long way around to saying that the problems creating the current dissension [among conservatives] stem in part from the word “conservative” itself. It seems mired in the past — even when it is not. …

Young people particularly (and even some older folks like myself) like to see themselves as oriented toward the future. …

What should conservatives do? Declare themselves to be “classical liberals,” which many are? That seems a bit academic.

Whatever the case, new terminology should and must be found. And whatever it is, it should be forward looking. …

Conservatives and libertarians — whatever they are now called — should market themselves as the party of the future. Respecting the Constitution is important, but something more than that is necessary.

We don’t think the word “conservative” needs to be replaced. Not in America. The United States was founded on the ideal of liberty. It is supremely important that it stays that way. An American conservative is someone who believes in liberty and will act to keep his country and everyone in it free. (A point implied by Marco Rubio in his speech.)

Respecting and defending the Constitution is vital to that end. If more is needed, it is in pruning away dead wood rather than tacking on “something more”.

Conservatives who drag in extraneous ideas – religion and stuffy views on sex, marriage, and drug control – are the element needing to be changed.

It is up to a new generation of Republican conservatives to effect the change.

*

There has been criticism of this year’s CPAC which we think is justified:

This is a condensation (which we quote from our own Facebook page) of an article by Robert Spencer, the indispensable expert on Islam. Read the article itself here for the author’s full explanation of why he is and yet is not a conservative.

I am generally considered to be a conservative. It is a label I have used myself, as a way of distinguishing my position from that of the liberals and Leftists who have generally sold out to the jihad, so blind in their hatred of Western civilization and the United States of America that they eagerly cast their lot with the foremost enemies of both. Nonetheless, for all that, I am not a conservative. Mitt Romney is a conservative. He called for the creation of a Palestinian state and said that “jihadism” has nothing to do with Islam. Grover Norquist is even more of a conservative than Mitt Romney. His conservative bona fides are impeccable as the leader of Americans for Tax Reform, but he also has extensive ties to Islamic supremacists, supporters of Hamas and other terrorist organizations that are sworn enemies of the United States and our ally Israel. So I must not be a conservative. Then what am I? I am an advocate of freedom: of the freedom of speech, of the equal treatment of all people under the law. Consequently, I am a foe of the global jihad and Islamic supremacism, which are enemies of both those principles. I know that there are many others like me, but neither party seems interested in us right now, and neither does the conservative movement, such as it is. It is time for a new movement, a genuine movement of freedom, one that is not compromised, not beholden, and not corrupted. Are there enough free Americans left to mount such a movement? That I do not know. But I do know that if there aren’t, all is lost, and the denouement will come quickly – more quickly than most people expect.

We sympathize with Robert Spencer’s position. We are equally exasperated by Romney’s and (far worse) Norquist’s position vis-a-vis Islam and jihad.

But why should they be allowed to define what conservatism is?

We define it as loyalty to the Constitution; to five core principles; and above all to the ideal of freedom on which the USA was founded.

The five core principles of our conservatism are: individual freedom, small government, low taxes, the free market, strong defense.

Islam is the enemy waging a war of conquest against America. How conservative can Americans be who do not even acknowledge that that is the case?

It’s past time for real conservatives to fight back with passion against its enemies: Islam, and the pro-Islam anti-America Left which managed to get one of its own elected to the presidency.

Treason in the highest places 10

Why are we posting so much, so often, on the events of 9/11/12 in Benghazi, Libya?

Because what happened there is extremely grave. The US ambassador’s death was an enormity committed against the United States of America. The deliberate sacrifice of American soldiers was also deeply criminal. These were grave deeds, but gravest of all is the probability that these events were the result of treason.

Treason committed by whom? By the President of the United States of America.

Could any American in the history of the Union have believed such a thing to be possible? Or even thinkable?

We are not alone in thinking the unthinkable. See Roger L. Simon’s thoughts on the subject here at PJ Media.

He writes:

Our Constitution defines it [treason] this way: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.” Aid and comfort to the enemy — what is that? When you ascribe an action to the protest of a video when it is actuality a planned terror attack by Ansar al-Shariah, an established offshoot of al-Qaeda (if that’s not your “enemy,” then who) — and you knew that all along, you watched it live without doing anything, and then you told those who wanted to help to “stand down”? Meanwhile, our government may have been conspiring to arm another offshoot of al-Qaeda in Syria. How much more treasonous can you get? Benedict Arnold was a piker.

And Bob Owens considers the question of treason in the highest places also at PJ Media. Some of his conjectures as to what happened when the secret CIA center was attacked are even more shocking than the revelations that have been leaking out slowly over the last few weeks. If what he surmises is right, then a charge of treason against President Obama is fully justified.

He writes:

For starters, we now know that not a single American life should have been lost. Trucks with with the Islamist cell’s logo and with heavy machine guns mounted on them took up blocking positions around the consulate no later than 8:00 p.m., according to Libyan eyewitnesses. These so-called “technicals” did not let anyone in or out for one hour and 40 minutes, until the attack began at 9:40 p.m. local time.

In that time, air assets based in Italy, Sicily, and the Mediterranean Sea could have easily dispatched the forces preparing for an attack, using precision weapons to destroy these logo-identified blocking vehicles. There is every reason to believe that the timely launch of air assets would have destroyed the attacking force as they prepared for their assault, without the loss of a single American life. For reasons as yet unknown, these easily identifiable enemy assets massing for an attack on the U.S. consulate were met with indifference by U.S. forces.

Our CIA assets, which seem to have been composed of former SEALs and other special operations personnel, conducted an unsupported rescue mission under fire. They saved the lives of the remaining consulate staff and recovered the body of Sean Smith, whom they then escorted back to their safehouse a mile away.

Once there, they came under fire again — including fire from a terrorist team armed with mortars. Then something truly extraordinary and troubling took place:

“At that point, they called again for military support and help because they were taking fire at the CIA safe house, or annex. The request was denied. There were no communications problems at the annex, according to those present at the compound. The team was in constant radio contact with their headquarters. In fact, at least one member of the team was on the roof of the annex manning a heavy machine gun when mortars were fired at the CIA compound. The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing, and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Spectre gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. special operations forces to provide support to special operation teams on the ground involved in intense firefights.”

After reading this, I was simply stunned. According to the article, an American CIA agent had a laser on a target and was attempting to call in close air support — and was denied. While this article never explicitly says so, some have suggested that the “security officer” in the article was Ty Woods, soon to be killed by that same mortar.

Let’s unpack this.

In this context, there are two ways to “lase” a target. One is simply using a visible laser designator/laser sight to point out the target’s location. The second is the use of a laser target designator (LTD), which is a far more sophisticated device. An LTD uses coded pulses of a band of light not visible to the human eye, and these pulses communicate and synchronize with an aircraft-mounted module to direct a finite and fairly exclusive family of air-launched guided weapons. 

If the CIA officer was lasing a target with the laser designator/laser sight on his weapon, one might argue (and some have) that this was an act of improvisation — a hope that the visible lasing would convince the mortar team to flee their position in fear of being bombed. This position is not without merit but overlooks two salient facts. The first is that these security officers lasing the target were manning a heavy machine gun, which presumably would have the reach and power to eliminate the mortar team, or at least suppress it, without air support. It also overlooks the fact that the article directly states that the target was being lased for a specific asset, a “Spectre.” 

Airborne gunships have been around since the Vietnam war, when C-47 transport planes were first equipped with port-side mounted miniguns for close air support missions, becoming AC-47s. By 1967, a desire to improve upon the concept involved replacing the aged twin-engine C-47 base aircraft with the four-engine C-130, which had greater speed, more fuel, and a greater capacity for weapons and ammunition. These AC130s carried various nicknames, including “Spooky” (inherited from the AC-47) and “Spectre,” the latter of which has been the most publicly recognizable name of these powerful ground support aircraft.

If the CIA operators were using an LTD, it additionally means that air assets were not in Italy or Sicily on the ground. It means that strike aircraft were overhead, and were denied permission to fire from someone in the chain of command. LTDs must sync with overhead aircraft; they have no deterrent effect since they use a spectrum of light we cannot see and can only communicate with craft overhead.

I will caution that this is highly speculative, but an LTD would presumably not be used for just any variant of the C-130-based gunships. While we did have AC-130 gunships based close to Benghazi, they would not make the best use of targets lit by an LTD. The AC-130 uses guns, not guided weapons. [But] the same cannot be be said of another “Spectre” variant, the MC-130W.

The MC-130W is built to use precision-guided weapons, including the GBU-44/B Viper Strike glide bomb and the AGM-175 Griffin missile. Both are laser-guided weapons that can be directed using a ground-based LTD. Both are weapons designed to be highly accurate, with small warheads to greatly reduce the danger of collateral damage. They are precisely the kind of weapon an experienced CIA operator would call in if they wanted to reduce the threat of collateral damage, like the kind of damage that might be caused by firing an HMG from a rooftop.

If this is what occurred, it seems that even in weapon selection, the primary concern of the HMG operator was saving innocent lives.

But we do not know at this time which actually occurred. Based upon the information we can glean, we’re left with two most probable outcomes.

Either the Obama administration refused to launch close-air support aircraft from nearby bases that could have eliminated enemy forces attacking Americans trapped on the ground, or we had close air support aircraft overhead that could have taken out the terrorists that had Americans under fire with precision weapons — and the administration refused to let them fire.

The moral cowardice of both decisions is unconscionable.

Retired Admiral James Lyons notes various sources claiming: ”One of Stevens’ main missions in Libya was to facilitate the transfer of much of Gadhafi’s military equipment, including the deadly SA-7 — portable SAMs — to Islamists and other al-Qaeda-affiliated groups fighting the Assad Regime in Syria.”

Barack Obama has long had a cozy relationship with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and their alliance with Islamists in Syria battling Bashir Assad has been criticized before. If Ambassador Stevens was facilitating weapons transfers from Libya to Syrian Islamist forces aligned with al-Qaeda, via his Turkish alliance, then we are at a troubling, perhaps catastrophic point in this republic’s history.

We have been at war with the Islamist hydra of al-Qaeda for more than a decade, and now sources are accusing a sitting president of arming this enemy.

18 USC § 2381 provides us with a legal threshold for treason: “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.”

Providing munitions to al-Qaeda-aligned Islamist forces would seem to meet that standard. The Obama administration has the most damaging charge of all to which it must answer, and can be offered no quarter.

*

Aggravating the frustration and fury of those who want the truth about what happened and punishment of those to blame for it, is the unbearable indifference that Obama and Hillary Clinton have displayed to the suffering of the murdered men and their families, as well as to the fact that America was attacked and the battle thrown away or gifted to the enemy.

Mark Steyn’s comments highlight their vicious, shallow, self-important, impenetrable insouciance – and their cruel, glib lies:

Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods fought all night against overwhelming odds, and died on a rooftop in a benighted jihadist hell hole while Obama retired early to rest up before his big Vegas campaign stop. …

Ty Woods, Glen Doherty, Sean Smith and Chris Stevens were left to die, and a decision taken to blame an entirely irrelevant video and, as Secretary Clinton threatened, “have that person arrested.” And, in the weeks that followed, the government of the United States lied to its own citizens as thoroughly and energetically as any totalitarian state, complete with the midnight knock-on-the-door from not-so-secret policemen sent to haul the designated fall guy into custody.

And “that person” – a horrid little anti-Semite who invented a Jewish film-maker for him in turn to accuse, but nonetheless one who is entirely innocent of the murder of Ambassador Stevens and Sean Smith, of the sacrifice of Woods and Doherty – is sitting in a prison cell in California, having had these crimes heaped on his head by the great political messiah of the Democratic Party, Barack Hussein Obama. Even for such a victim of injustice and political persecution decent men and women must express outrage.

And for these grave, these monstrous wrongs in foreign lands, the real perpetrators  – be they the President of the United States and the most highly placed members of his administration – need to be punished with the full force of the law.

 

Postscript 10/31/12:  It now emerges that Glen Doherty was one of the 8 Marines sent from Tripoli, met by a (terrorist) escort, delayed by the escort for 45 minutes at the Benghazi airport, and eventually taken to the secret annex which soon after their arrival was pounded with mortars, one of which killed him.

Is the Republican Party snatching defeat from the jaws of victory? 11

A short while ago it looked as if any Republican candidate would beat Obama in this year’s presidential election.

Now the appalling prospect of a second term for the Obominable Obama looms.

His re-election would be a disaster that cannot be overestimated.

This is by Roger L. Simon, from PJ Media:

To say the least, things do not look good for the Republicans at this moment. Rasmussen polls released Tuesday showed Romney trailing Obama at 49 to 42 and Santorum lagging even further behind at 41. No word on Gingrich, but it’s hard to be optimistic.

According to the pollster: Among unaffiliated voters, the president leads Romney by 10 and Santorum by 16.

Yikes. … And it gets worse. The candidates, bunched closely together in the polls and looking to separate themselves, are too busy denigrating each other to pay much more than temporary lip service (except on the evening of a primary victory) to the main enemy in the White House who expands his lead over them even while his own approval rating is a dismal -11.

What seemed even weeks ago as potentially a banner year for Republicans now appears a potential debacle. Not only is the continued loss of the presidency (Intrade now has Obama’s reelection at 60%) and the Senate an increasing likelihood, the loss of the House looms as a possibility.

Sure [the Republicans] have to contend with a dishonest and biased media, not to mention a meretricious administration honed on Chicago and Alinksy — but this is a surprise? In reality, what the Republicans mostly have to contend with is themselves in an endless roundelay of “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the most conservative of all?” – a game more befitting a theocracy than a democracy.

The debates came down to a contest about who had the more unsullied conservative bona fides and who would really fulfill their campaign promises about curtailing government spending and appointing pro-life judges to the Supreme Court. In truth they all would, but the media played up (and encouraged the candidates to play up) the idea that one or all of them might be lying, that there was a hidden liberal under the rock waiting to explode, whether it was Santorum with his earmarks and anti-right-to-work voting record, Gingrich with Fannie/Freddie links and global warming flirtation, Romney of RomneyCare and one time tolerance of abortion, etc., etc. The Republican electorate … sat complaisantly at the debates as the media manipulated them into thinking one after the other of the candidates might be prevaricating. No one paid the slightest attention to the candidate’s actual ideas, even though the country was and is in the worst pass it has been in decades. And so, with little encouragement, fewer ideas were discussed in public, most relegated to the back pages of a website.

No wonder the candidates look so unsatisfactory. The system has been rigged – and the Republican Party has allowed it to be rigged – against the Republicans and in favor of the incumbent. So we are left with tarnished candidates poised to compete with a president (himself a total failure) who has barely had to break a sweat as the polls tilt in his favor. If this continues, he will waltz back into office. What an abysmal prospect for us and for our children.

So what is to be done … ? For now, not much. The string must play out. Maybe someone will separate himself from the field sufficiently to redirect the focus where it belongs – on the president and his policies.

But if not, all is not lost. There is still the chance of a brokered convention, dicey as that may be. No one likes to see political decisions made behind closed doors. But that is something the Tea Party and others may have to swallow. Names like Rubio, Ryan, and Daniels (to choose just a few) may end up having more resonance with the electorate than the ones we have been living with lo these many months. The question is: where were they in the first place?

Amazing that in a population of over 307 million people, the Republican Party cannot find a candidate who’ll save America from a Communist, pro-Islamic, would-be dictator!

What America and the world needs is somebody who will hammer away, day after day after  day, at all that Obama and his henchmen and the Democratic Party are doing wrong. The list is long. Their crimes against the American people are vile, topped by the economic ruin of the country and the destruction of America’s power in the world. However bad they’re said to be, exaggeration is impossible. The man who will by-pass the left-biased media by using his opportunities to be heard by the tens of millions every single time he’s on TV shouting out against the treachery, the betrayals, the illegalities, the corruption, the scandals, the trickery of the Democrats; who will not allow the lying accusations that the left will bring against him to stand for a moment, remembering always that the best defense is attack; who will constantly hold before the voter the facts of Obama’s lifelong commitments to radical leftism and the equally collectivist totalitarian creed of Islam – he  is the man who will win the election and save America, the last beacon of freedom in a darkening world. 

Where is he?  Who is he?

The Democratic Party and its dissolving ideology 8

“Will the Democratic Party destroy us all?” ex-Democrat Roger L Simon asks at PajamasMedia.

Our answer is “Yes – if they’re again given the chance.”

But what does Simon say? In part, this:

I used to be a Democrat — for decades. Was it always this bad? Was I that blind?

Well, maybe. But the situation now is drastic. The United States of America has never been in worse shape — foreign or domestic — not since the Civil War anyway. We are en route to being a pathetic, powerless, overblown Greece, but unlike Greece there is no one who can bail us out. We’re too big. We’ll bring everyone else down with us — those left anyway …

Yet to the Democrats — and their bizarrely compliant media — it’s business as usual. According to such solons of big journalism as CNN’s John King, the Dems main aim is and should be retaking the Congress with the same methods they have used for years – blocking spending cuts, accusing Republicans of excessive greed, and catering to unions and reactionary race-based interests groups.  …

This is ridiculous. Why can’t these people wake up? Don’t they have children, grandchildren? Don’t they realize we are going broke? The evidence is everywhere — from Michigan to Madrid. Keynesian economics — the welfare state itself — has become completely inoperative, morphed into a Ponzi scheme by an aging population.

You can pretend that’s not true. You can put your fingers in your ears and wait for it all to go away. You can recite the mantra about taxing the rich until you drop, blame Bush until he’s a figment of our memory more distant than William Henry Harrison, or pledge your allegiance to Gaia while circling the globe in a solar-powered Lear jet. But the reality remains.

(By the way, if you taxed the rich at a hundred percent, it would only push back our bankruptcy from entitlement programs a year, possibly two.)

And what do envious lefties think the rich spend their money on if not employing people and buying stuff and investing in growth? Do they imagine they hoard it under their mattresses?

So what exactly is wrong with the Democratic Party and its constituents? I know change is difficult, that breaking with old ideas … can be painful, and that few of us like to admit we were wrong, but do we have to wait for bread lines?

So what’s the explanation? Why is it that, in these times, there is nothing less liberal than a “liberal,” less progressive than a “progressive”? Why do they and their party adhere to an ideology so shopworn and stultified … ? What explains this political party of lemmings?

I don’t buy the Cloward-Piven argument. Sure, there are some who would like to bring this country down economically so they can rebuild it as some sclerotic socialist utopia replete with Young Pioneer camps and pompous people’s art in the subways (and no food in the stores), but most are not even imaginative enough for that.

I think there are three things at work — habit, fear of change, and pure, unbridled, screw-the-rest-of-us, self-interest. And the ones who focus on the latter — the powerful and self-interested – rely on the habit and the fear of change on the part of the others … to hold the whole tawdry ball of wax together.

And what about stupidity? That’s surely a fourth thing at work.

The Democrats are at a crossroads. Will they face reality?

I sincerely doubt it.

We doubt it too. They won’t face reality any more than the welfare-weakened population of Greece will face it. But real events and conditions go on accruing their consequences whether they like it or not.

Leftism is the stuff that dreams are made on; and the baseless fabric of the Democrats’ vision shall dissolve, leaving an economic wreck behind for the Republicans to deal with.

Either that, or  – if they’re re-elected to power in Congress and the White House – the Democrats will wreck America beyond reclamation.

Global warring 1

This past weekend there has been, and there continues to be, a blood-bath in Syria, as its Alawite dictator, Bashar Assad, slaughters the people his family has been oppressing for decades.

There is little about it in the news media in America.

This is what’s happening there:

Bashar Assad has launched all-out war on his people. Tanks firing artillery, APCs [Armored Personnel Carriers], infantry units, commandoes and snipers were deployed for the first time at daybreak Monday, April 25 in cities across Syria for the most brutal assault on any Arab anti-government protest in the four-month uprising.

In the first few hours, hundreds are estimated to have been massacred (over and above the 350 shot dead in the last three days) and thousands injured. Denied medical attention, they are left in the streets to die.

Cities with populations of 2-3 million have been stormed by Syrian troops backed by tanks firing automatic 120-mm guns at random, commandoes dropped by helicopter and snipers.

The military offensive to break the back of the uprising is led by [dictator Bashar Assad’s] younger brother Maher Assad at the head of the Republican Guard and the 4th Division which is made up mostly of the Assad’s Alawite clan. Its first target Sunday night was the southern town of Deraa where the protest movement began and the Mediterranean coastal town of Jableh.

Monday, Syria shut its land borders to Jordan to conceal the scale of the carnage inflicted on the border town of Deraa from outside eyes. Foreign correspondents have been banned from the country since the uprising began.

Monday, indiscriminate fire was also reported in Duma, a dissident suburb of the capital Damascus. By Monday afternoon, thousands of soldiers had spread out across the North, South and Center of the country, apparently preparing to storm the large cities and protest centers of Hama, Homs, Latakiya and the Kurdish north. …

April 23 saw the constantly mounting uprising against the Assad regime finally reaching the Syrian capital Damascus where  300,000 – 15 percent of the city’s dwellers – took the streets shouting: “Bashar Assad you are a traitor!” That day too the Syrian ruler unleashed his security forces for the harshest crackdown yet in order to break the back of the five-week civil uprising. The result: 350 dead, tripling the number of Friday’s bloodbath and thousands of injured.

Early Sunday, secret service thugs hauled thousands of protesters out of their homes. They broke down doors in the Harasta and Ghouta districts of Damascus, dragged their victims out and dumped them on covered trucks which drove off to unknown destinations. ….

The growing number of injured are condemned to being treated privately or not at all. The authorities have commandeered ambulances to prevent them reaching hospital and hospital wards are raided by security agents who either kill the wounded or arrest them.

PajamasMedia has videos of the protests and the killing. SEE THEM HERE.

Roger L. Simon comments:

In more proof, if any were needed, that liberals are the reactionaries of our time, it was only weeks ago that Hillary Clinton was calling Bashar al-Assad a “reformer” and Vogue magazine was proclaiming his wife a “rose in the desert.”

As we know, and the horrific videos from Syria on PJM show conclusively …  the ophthalmologist is as much a reformer as Josef Mengele and Asma as much a rose as Eva Braun.

Since his father Hafez brutally imposed his will over Syria in the Hama massacre, the Assads have been a family of secular fascist torturers and murderers in league with religious fascist torturers and murderers in Lebanon (Hezbollah), Gaza (Hamas), and Iran (the mullahs) … They assassinate democratically elected foreign leaders (Hariri), encourage and facilitate global terrorism, and shoot as many of their own people as necessary to maintain power while exploiting the best of their country’s resources for personal gain. In other words, pure evil.

Nothing new there — yet, for some reason, our liberal leadership and their media allies were never able to acknowledge fully something so obvious. Always — as Obama did with Ahmadinejad while the Iranian democracy demonstrators were being shot in their streets and tortured in prison cells — they sought to reason with despotism. Or, more likely, pretended to do so because it was all game for the aggrandizement of the self, for image. The policy itself never made sense.

When the Middle East street started to rebel, our government had no plan. They didn’t know what to do about Egypt and then went into Libya willy-nilly when things started to look bad. So now we are left with the odd situation where Gaddafi — clearly also a murderous sociopathic dictator — is despot number one, with NATO intervening and the U.S. providing Predators, while Assad, demonstrably a much more active and dangerous enemy of the U.S. and its allies, is merely verbally chastised by our president and secretary of State.

Because of the moral confusion at the heart of our administration, the USA and by extension the West have their priorities screwed up. The downfall of Assad would mean big trouble for the mullahs, Hezbollah, and Hamas — good things for the region and the world. The downfall of Gaddafi would mean what exactly? Nobody knows. An al-Qaeda regime? The Muslim Brotherhood? Some oil contracts for the French? …

But during all this, there is no question that the foreign policy of the United States is simply ad hoc. It doesn’t exist. The secretary of State was in cloud-cuckoo-land when she called Assad a reformer, the same totalitarian-loving cloud she inhabited when she bussed Suha Arafat.

The president himself has no real values, only vague notions received from lamebrain post-modernist professors …

We don’t think that America should intervene in Syria. We also don’t think that America should have diplomatic relations with tyrannies like Assad’s, and we’d like to see the ambassador whom Obama foolishly sent there withdrawn. We don’t think America should interfere in an Arab country whether to give it money, or “protect” its civilians, or unseat its tyrants. We’d rather America was drilling for its own oil than buying it from Arab countries. We’re not dismayed by rebellion, civil war, or revolution in the Arab or wider Islamic world – whichever side wins in any Islamic state, the victory will go to Islam. But we observe the inconsistencies and sheer incoherence of Obama’s foreign policy with trepidation. How long will it take for America to recover its leadership role in the world after Obama is gone? American hegemony, which Obama has deliberately sabotaged, is essential. The world needs a power that stands for liberty and has the military might to support it. By forcing America to abdicate its responsibility as the world’s only superpower, Obama – far from causing rising seas to subside, as he claimed he could and would – has stirred up tumult in the oceans of human discontent. The result is a manmade disaster as the heat of war and blood spreads over the earth.

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