Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

The Gaza confrontation — a major test case for the “Arab Spring”

Featured image In many ways, the current battle between Israel and Hamas is a familiar one. Hamas persists in launching rockets into Israel; Israel responds by targeting Hamas’ leaders and its rockets, and amasses troops for a possible invasion; Hamas launches potentially deadly but largely ineffective missile attacks at Israeli population centers; the world fixates on inadvertent Palestinian civilian casualties; and the U.S. publicly supports Israel while privately trying to defuse the »

Will Israel settle, in effect, for the status quo?

Featured image The big news over the weekend was that Israel did not launch a ground invasion of Gaza. Israel says it held off on the invasion to allow time for efforts at reaching a long-term cease-fire to continue. But Israel has also said that, although it prefers a diplomatic solution, any agreement must erase the threat of rocket attacks against Israel’s southern residents. This would seem to be an obvious point. »

What Obama would like us to believe about Benghazigate

Featured image Ralph Peters provides a helpful list of the things the White House wants the American people to believe about Benghazihate. It’s a long list: * That intelligence professionals watching the Benghazi attack in real time and reading flash messages from the scene weren’t sure an obvious terrorist attack was a terrorist attack. A Cub Scout watching that strike go down would have recognized a planned terror operation. * That, even »

How states can disarm Obamacare

Featured image Obamacare dodged two bullets this year. First, it survived Supreme Court review when Chief Justice Roberts found a way to uphold its constitutionality. Second, it survived the election which saw Obama defeat a candidate who promised to undermine Obamacare care and support its repeal. Does this mean that Obamacare is a done deal? Not according to Yuval Levin and James Capretta. They note that the law is heavily dependent on »

Should the Secretary of State be a dupe? Part Two

Featured image Rep. Peter King has criticized U.N. ambassador Susan Rice for relying solely on talking points provided to her when she appeared on the Sunday morning talk shows after the Benghazi attack. King notes that, as U.N. ambassador, Rice “had access to all the classified information from the State Department” and “could have gotten a classified briefing.” He argues that she should have taken advantage of this access and performed some »

News flash from President Obama: ground troops face the risk of wounds or death

Featured image President Obama has encouraged Israel not to send troops into Gaza if it can halt the bombardment of southern Israel without the use of ground troops. Obama pointed out that not sending in troops is “preferable for Israelis, because if Israeli troops are in Gaza, they’re much more at risk of incurring fatalities or being wounded.” What would the world do without Barack Obama to provide such insights? »

Democrats hold Giffords’ former seat

Featured image As we feared, Democrat Ron Barber has narrowly defeated Republican Martha McSally in Arizona’s Second Congressional District. This is the seat formerly held by Gabrielle Giffords. McSally led by about 400 voters on the day after the election. But the late-counted vote brought Barber victory by about 1,400 votes in a district that encompasses parts of Tucson and southeastern Arizona and is not identical to the one Giffords represented. Barber »

Obama takes the correct line on Israel’s conflict with Hamas

Featured image Let’s give President Obama credit for his public line on Israel’s conflict with Hamas. The White House has declared that Israel “has the right to defend itself” against attack and that the Israelis will make their own decisions about their “military tactics and operations.” If the conflict becomes particularly bloody and/or drags on for an extended period, Obama will likely go wobbly, as even George W. Bush did during Israel’s »

Two good reasons for Israel to neutralize Hamas in Gaza

Featured image Israel’s decision to leave Gaza some years ago meant that it could no longer police that cesspool of a Strip, and thus that it would suffer from the rocket attacks that have plagued it ever since. Now, Isreal’s only recourse is periodically to intervene in Gaza. That’s what is happening now, and the intervention might entail another invasion. Given that the Israelis must tackle Gaza every few years anyway to »

After Petraeus testimony, the White House falls back to a new dubious line of defense

Featured image In light of the testimony of General Petraeus that the talking points used by Susan Rice differed from his talking points and that he doesn’t know who changed them, the administration is offering a new defense of the highly misleading talking points. It now claims that the talking points were changed by “multiple agencies” to protect intelligence sources. Previously, the administration contended that the talking points Rice used were the »

Eric Holder comes up short

Featured image Eric Holder is defending his decision (or alleged decision) not to inform President Obama of the investigation the FBI was conducting of General Petraeus. Holder says that his department conducted the investigation “the way it normally conduct[s] a criminal investigation.” Normally, the Justice Department does not share the facts of ongoing investigations outside the FBI. Holder added that the Justice Department concluded that the facts it was investigating did not »

Report: Petraeus testimony will show that the White House fixed the Benghazi intelligence (updated)

Featured image As I wrote last night, yesterday’s testimony to Congress by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Acting CIA Director Mike Morell left plenty of work for General Petraeus, who is testifying today. For example, neither Clapper nor Morell could shed any real light on why the official line of the intelligence community apparently moved away from the initial (and correct) view that the Benghazi attack was terrorism. Now, CNN »

DNI and Acting DCIA can’t answer key Benghazi questions; perhaps Petraeus will

Featured image David Petraeus will testify tomorrow before House and Senate intelligence committee lawmakers about the Benghazi fiasco. If today’s testimony before the same lawmakers by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Acting CIA Director Mike Morell is any indication, Petraeus will have a lot of explaining to do. Based on this report by Fox News and statements made on Sean Hannity’s show by Reps. Peter King and Joe Heck, who »

Should the Secretary of State be a dupe?

Featured image Following President Obama’s testy defense of Susan Rice, as if on cue, CBS News reports that it has obtained the CIA talking points given to Rice on September 15 regarding the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, four days earlier. According to CBS News, the talking points, which were also given to members of the House intelligence committee, make no reference to terrorism being a likely factor in »

Defeated by Obama’s pandering to losers, have-nots, and the immature, Romney reportedly says so

Featured image During a conference call with donors, Mitt Romney reportedly said that President Obama targeted certain demographic groups, such as African-Americans, Hispanics, and young voters, by conferring “gifts” on them. Among the gifts Romney reportedly cited were Obamacare and “amnesty” for children of illegal immigrants. Romney’s remarks were made to a private audience. However, reporters from the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times apparently were able to listen in »

Goal of the decade

Featured image Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of soccer’s true super stars, and probably its most underrated (though not by me, I had him in my Euro 2012 all-star team even though his team, Sweden, didn’t make it out of the group stage). Ibrahimovic has scored prolifically, and often “for fun,” at the club level (including for the top clubs in Italy, Spain, and France). And, despite playing internationally for so-so Sweden, he »

Social issues, should Republicans re-calibrate?

Featured image John’s post on social issues, “Where Do Republicans Go From Here? The Social Issues” appears to be receiving plenty of attention, and deservedly so. Here is the prescription with which John concludes the post: 1) Don’t emphasize abortion, but don’t walk away from the issue, either, when issues legitimately arise, as with respect to public funding. When pressed on the subject, don’t be defensive, but respond by pointing out the »