POLITICS: Victor Davis Hanson takes down The Rolling Stone and McChrystal

You really can’t do much better than this:

In short, each gamer and conniver did not quite get out of this sordid episode what they had hoped: Instead of Bruce Lee with four stars surrounded by a brilliant but misunderstood Lawrence of Arabia staff, we get a near insubordinate general desperate for his supposedly unique “story” to get out, surrounded by a crowd of well-meaning groupies — all to be exposed by a duplicitous Hunter Thompson wannabe who now finally “makes it” with the scalp of a four-star — all against the backdrop of an anti-military tabloid that can’t quite believe its good fortunate that its intended victim gladly put his head in their noose, and all for their ultimate aim of getting the U.S. out of Afghanistan in defeat and shame.

As my other grandfather, the old Swedish horse-breaker, used to say, “What a bunch.”

I’m changing my mind on all this as it’s become clear that McChrystal had to go and the President correctly accepted his resignation. And in it all Obama may have gotten the first real break of his presidency by having a David Petreaus available to pull his chestnuts out of the fire both politically and militarily.

Yet the Obama foreign policy in the end will not be able to resolve itself in the event Israel has to be defended in any way. If Israel gets into a war with an Iranian, Syrian and Turkish backed Hezbollah and the Jewish state is not backed by Obama it has the potential to make our efforts in both Afghanistan – and Iraq for that matter – to be one big catastrophic “why bother.”


This post was written by bobsikes on June 27, 2010

MIDDLE EAST WATCH: Is Hezbollah planning on blowing up one of it’s ships in the next flotilla?

And naturally blame it on Israel. From Con Coughlin:

Now I hear that Hizbollah has its own plans to get involved in the new flotilla with the sole aim of heaping further international condemnation on Israel. Incredible though it might seem, my Lebanese sources tell me that senior Hizbollah officials have even discussed the notion of using explosives they captured from Israel during the 2006 war to blow up one of the ships while it is en route to Gaza, and blame the incident on Israeli recklessness.

Far-fetched though this may seem, with tensions between Iran and Israel approaching crisis point over Iran’s refusal to abandon its uranium enrichment programme I can easily understand why Tehran might be encouraging Hizbollah to indulge in some drastic action that will divert attention away from Iran. In the unseen dirty war between Israel and Iran, in which Iranian nuclear scientists regularly go missing, and unexplained “accidents” occur at Iran’s nuclear facilities, I suppose anything is possible, even something as mad as Hizbollah blowing up an aid ship destined for its Hamas allies in Gaza.

Always on the outlook for a “reason” to attack Israel, this would certainly do it for Hezbollah. Iran will be taking part in the flotilla this time. They could assert that they were attacked by Israel as well.

H/T: Jerome Di Costanzo


This post was written by bobsikes on June 24, 2010

OBAMA WATCH: The folly of paying attention to world opinion

Mona Charen:

President Obama’s most concerted effort since taking office has been to improve America’s image in the Muslim world. The president’s first interview was granted to Al Arabiya. He traveled to Cairo to sprinkle the fairy dust, and filmed a fawning New Year’s message to the gangsters who rule in Tehran. He has sent multiple envoys, most notably Sen. John Kerry, to woo Syria’s brutal Bashar al-Assad. With what result?

As this survey indicates, Obama has achieved very little in terms of popularity in Muslim lands. After a short spike following the inauguration, approval of America has fallen fast. The number of Egyptians expressing confidence in Obama fell from 41 to 31 percent, and in Turkey from 33 percent to 23 percent. The Pew report notes that “Last year only 13 percent of Pakistani Muslims expressed confidence in Obama, but this year even fewer (8 percent) hold this view.”

Who knows why so many respondents in Muslim countries are disappointed in Obama? It’s possible, based on the way rumors and conspiracy theories metastasize in that part of the world, that many believed our president was actually a Muslim Manchurian candidate and have been disappointed in the reality. It’s possible they expected a complete repudiation of Israel, rather than the icy disdain this administration has shown. It’s hard enough to interpret the views of our own voters — South Carolina Democratic primary anyone? — the motives of foreigners are even more mysterious.

Independent Obama voters who bought into the “restore our standing in the world” gambit, might find this dwindling popularity of Obama in the Muslin world instructive.

And how’s that apology tour with all the waiter’s bow’s working out? Says Charen:

OK, popularity is slipping, but perhaps the apology tour/charm offensive has yielded dividends in policy support? Not so much. Syria has clutched Iran even closer to her bosom than before and has recently transferred Scud missiles to Hezbollah in Lebanon — all while the U.S. continues to grovel to al-Assad. Iran is racing toward nuclear status while essentially dropping the fig leaf of “peaceful” energy. Turkey, the Muslim nation with the warmest ties to the West, has accelerated its turn toward jihadism. Brazil has spurned the U.S. by embracing Iran and Turkey.

Machiavelli provides ballast for Jefferson: “And that prince who bases his power entirely on … words, finding himself completely without other preparations, comes to ruin.”

A liberal colleague once pouted to me during conversation about the Iraq war, “alot of people are mad at us.”

Well, sure. But we cannot protect ourselves or make decisions regarding our national self-interests based on what European anti-semites and leftist academics are saying. Our president’s cannot base decisions and policy as if he’s rush chairman.


This post was written by bobsikes on June 22, 2010

MIDDLE EAST WATCH: Israel wants Nazi officers living in Egypt


The Kuwaiti daily Al-Jarida said that the Israeli Embassy in Cairo has submitted a request to the Egyptian authorities for help finding three former Nazi officers.

The officers, sentenced to death in the Nuremberg Trials, have been fugitives ever since, and the Israeli Embassy says that they have been living in Egypt since 1960.

However, the Egyptian authorities are not cooperating.


This post was written by bobsikes on June 21, 2010

MIDDLE EAST WATCH: Calling out the hatred that exists in the Muslim world

Shelby Steele:

In other words, my hatred is my self-esteem. This must have much to do with why Yasser Arafat rejected Ehud Barak’s famous Camp David offer of 2000 in which Israel offered more than 90% of what the Palestinians had demanded. To have accepted that offer would have been to forgo hatred as consolation and meaning. Thus it would have plunged the Palestinians—and by implication the broader Muslim world—into a confrontation with their inferiority relative to modernity. Arafat knew that without the Jews to hate an all-defining cohesion would leave the Muslim world. So he said no to peace.

And this recalcitrance in the Muslim world, this attraction to the consolations of hatred, is one of the world’s great problems today—whether in the suburbs of Paris and London, or in Kabul and Karachi, or in Queens, N.Y., and Gaza. The fervor for hatred as deliverance may not define the Muslim world, but it has become a drug that consoles elements of that world in the larger competition with the West. This is the problem we in the West have no easy solution to, and we scapegoat Israel—admonish it to behave better—so as not to feel helpless. We see our own vulnerability there.

Political correctness and moral equivelance have emasculated the west from recognizing that the Muslim world’s hatred of Jews is as Steele says “one of the world’s great problems.” As Golda Meir said, we will have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.”


This post was written by bobsikes on June 21, 2010

What does Helen Thomas’ “I’m from Arab decent” tell us?

Writing in WaPo, the New York rabbi that filmed the now infamous statement by Helen Thomas has this:

And why? Because, as Thomas went on to explain to me, “I’m from Arab descent.”

In the past weeks I have relived this moment over and over, on television and radio, in newspapers and blogs. I’ve listened to a constant stream of commentary. And my sharpest impression is this: Where before I saw a foggy anti-Israel, anti-Jewish link, it’s now clear. This feeling is not about statehood. It’s about an ingrown, organic hate. It’s a sentiment that bears no connection to history, dates, passages or verses. Erase the facts, the dates and the lore. Erase the Jew. Incredibly, even the Nazis said to the Jews, “Go home to Palestine.” But Thomas and a babbling stream in our world and country dictate to Jewish people to “go home to Poland and Germany.” Yeah, I said “oooh.”

Coupling Thomas’ “I’m from Arab decent”, with Rabbi Nesenoff’s “it’s about an ingrown, organic hate,’ serves as a teachable moment.

We have a cause and effect, a chemical reaction, an algebraic equation all meaning I am an Arab, therefore I hate.

Nesenoff asks the rhetorical-also teachable:

That’s it? That’s all you got? Do we all travel with only our parents’ stereotypes to guide us, never going beyond them to get to a peaceful destination?

While the Thomas gaff doesn’t explain away anti-semitism in Europe or among the western left, it illuminates that which is common thread in the Arab and unltimately the Muslim world. Hatred for the Jews is not an acquired taste, but one that is part on a set of univeral common values. It’s past from generation to generation. It’s taught in schools. It’s emphasized by religious leaders-supposed men of good will.

The left’s fondness for moral ecquivelance justifications can actually be applied here. We are constantly reminded here of “our racist past” or ” our institutional racism.” So let’s look at the term.

From Wiki:

Racism is the belief that race is a primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.[1] As a practice, it means the same thing as racial discrimination. In the case of institutional racism, certain racial groups may be denied rights or benefits, or receive preferential treatment.

Racial discrimination typically points out taxonomic differences between different groups of people, although anyone may be discriminated against on an ethnic or cultural basis, independently of their somatic differences. According to the United Nations conventions, there is no distinction between the term racial discrimination and ethnic discrimination

Emphasis mine.

Not so much in Europe, but here in the United States, it might be useful to couch Arab and Muslim hatred for Jews as racism and both groups as, well, racists. As much as the term is used, whether fairly or unfairly, as a society we are familiar with what the term implies.

Thus, it may indeed be time to go there. The term “anti-semitism’ is clear in it’s meaning. When considered next to the UN’s stand that there’s no distinction between racial and ethnic descrimination” Arab and Muslim hatred – especially if reminded of the level of barbarism that the two have demonstrated they will go to in expressing their hate – such a simple application of a word isn’t much of a stretch.

But in our country, “racism” or “racist” causes a unique visceral response. The kind of hatred that Arabs and Muslims have for Jews might be better understood in the United States if we start using the “R” word when describing it.


This post was written by bobsikes on June 20, 2010