Monthly Archives: May 2010

Good news from Colombia

If there were an award for outstanding head-of-state since 2000, my nominee would be Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. His indefatigable leadership has enabled Colombia — which my wife and I had the pleasure of visiting earlier this year — to progress from a lawless state to a reasonably safe and secure democracy. Uribe is also a staunch ally of both the United States and Israel. President Bush awarded him the »

A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth gets a chance to put its pants on

The wisdom of Winston Churchill’s lament was never more evident than today, in connection with press coverage of the confrontation at sea between IDF forces and anti-Israeli blockade busters. David Hazony observes: I spoke this morning with a senior producer for one of the major network news divisions in the United States. “This morning, I received a well-phrased press release from the office of [PA spokesman] Saeb Erekat,” he told »

Phase Two

Now that the thugs on board the Mavi Marvara have gotten the violence they wanted and instigated, the second stage of Hamas’s operation has begun: protests against Israel around the world. In Paris, peace activists throw rocks and “rip up gratings to be used as projectiles.” Later, they tried to break into the Israeli embassy. This group of peace activists is in Athens: This peaceful-looking London lady waves a Hezbollah »

When paintballs weren’t enough

According to this report, which Scott linked to below, the Israeli commandos who were attacked as they boarded the Marmara initially used paintball rifles, the kind used to disperse minor protests, to fight off the attackers. The commandos also had hand-guns, but were told they should only use them in the face of life-threatening situations. According to the same report, the commandos kept shouting, “don’t shoot, don’t shoot” even as »

Useful idiots on parade

The reaction of European leaders to the clash between the Israeli Defense Force and the armed activists who, it appears, attacked them when they boarded a boat headed to Gaza has been swift, predictable, and baseless. It is summarized in this equally predictable headline in the New York Times: “Deadly Israeli Raid On Aid Flotilla Draws Condemnation.” French President Nicolas Sarkozy, once considered a friend of Israel but now a »

An American Trilogy

Mickey Newbury grew up in Houston wanting to become a songwriter. In the event, he became one of the several talented songwriters who brought new life to country music in the late sixties and early seventies. Some such as Willie Nelson, Tom T. Hall and Kris Kristofferson went on to successful performing careers of their own. Others such as Townes Van Zandt and Newbury also recorded their own work, but »

At Least Ten Killed as “Peace Activists” Attack Soldiers

We wrote yesterday about the six-ship flotilla of left-wing “peace activists” who were trying to end the Israeli/Egyptian blockade of Gaza. Israeli officials said that the ships would be taken to an Israeli port and that food, medical supplies and so on would be delivered to Gaza by a land route. But that isn’t what the activists wanted; their interest wasn’t in supplying Gaza, which is easily done, but in »

What Obama could learn from Canada, Part Two

Fred Barnes tells us that Canada, considered an “honorary member of the Third World” not that long ago, “is now in a far better economic situation than the United States” Its unemployment rate is lower, its budget deficit breathtakingly smaller (after nearly a decade of balanced budgets), its debt burden far lighter, its banks more stable. The Canadian dollar, once worth as little as .62 cents, is currently nearly at »

What Obama could learn from Canada

It’s no secret that relations between Israel and President Obama are quite strained, though Obama, presumably with some assistance from Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, will pretend otherwise when the two meet this week. By contrast relations between Israel and the Canadian government appear never to have been better. Speaking in Toronto, where he was greeted warmly, Netanyahu praised Harper, declaring him “a great champion of Israel’s right to defend itself »

Attacking the Heroine; Why?

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is one of the great heroes of our era. Born a Muslim in Somalia, she was subjected to genital mutilation at age five. Her family fled to Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and Kenya. After her father ordered her to marry a stranger, she sought political asylum in the Netherlands and eventually was elected to the Dutch Parliament in 2003. Hirsi Ali became a feminist spokesman for women who »

A Tired Propaganda Battle At Sea

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists have gathered in the Mediterranean and, after meeting up at sea, are proceeding toward Gaza in a “flotilla” of six ships. According to news accounts, the passengers aboard the ships include a co-Nobel Peace Prize winner from Northern Ireland–no surprise there–an “Israeli legislator,” which I assume means an Arab member of the Knesset, a Holocaust survivor–who, I think, should know better–and “peace” activists from various countries. »

Urban Wildlife

I took this photo of a hawk off my deck this morning: He (she?) is building a nest on my house. I suppose I should intervene, but the birds are pretty formidable. And maybe there is an upside: if I let them build the nest, we won’t have to worry about mice next winter. UPDATE, because inquiring readers want to know: I’m pretty sure it’s a Cooper’s hawk. »

Still Wrong on the Middle East

Daniel Pipes reports that a researcher from the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, working on documents at the Carter Center, came across a memo from William Quandt, Middle East specialist on the National Security Council, to his boss, Zbigniew Brzezinski, written on the occasion of Menachem Begin’s 1977 electoral victory over Israel’s Labor Party. As Pipes notes, it is striking how little things have changed in our national security establishment. Quandt’s »

The media wolf pack holds itself at bay

Here’s how Washington Post reporter Michael Shear opens his front page story about the Obama administration’s offer, via Bill Clinton, of a position to Joe Sestak: For nearly three months this year, President Obama and his senior White House aides resisted acknowledging what the top West Wing lawyer finally admitted on Friday: This administration plays politics. I have three observations about this paragraph. First, shouldn’t a news report begin by »

Necessary Secrets: A necessary review

Gabriel Schoenfeld’s Necessary Secrets: National Security, the Media and the Rule of Law was published on May 24. I read Schoenfeld’s book in galley proof. It is an important and (to borrow an adjective) necessary book. We posted a word from Schoenfeld adapted from the book’s preface here. Schoenfeld’s book does something that hasn’t been done before. It provides an unexpurgated account of the media’s disclosure of highly classified national »

Is Obama the New Cheney?

No, not in terms of competence, which Cheney oozed and Obama, to put it mildly, does not. Rather, in terms of Cheney’s inability to fake emotional involvement. Bill Clinton was a master of insincerity; when he felt our pain, we almost believed it. Cheney, on the other hand, once sheepishly admitted that he “doesn’t do funerals.” Emotional symbolism wasn’t his forte, and he knew it. Obama strikes me as, in »

The Asher doctrine applied

Yesterday we highlighted the self-professed doctrine underlying McClatchy News investigative editor James Aher’s defense of McClatchy’s “Tea party protesters scream ‘nigger’ at black congressmen” story. Under the Asher doctrine, McClatchy got the story right despite the absence of any corroborating evidence under circumstances where such evidence must exist if the story is accurate: “I… can’t believe that anyone – congressman or garbageman – would make up this fact that one »