Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

Rick Perry and the Democrats’ pattern of “lawfare” against rising Republicans

Featured image John and Scott have commented on the indictment of Gov. Rick Perry. As they note, it fits a pattern of politically motivated indictments of prominent Texas Republicans. The Perry indictment also fits a pattern of harassment via the legal process of prominent Republican governors: Sarah Palin, Scott Walker, Chris Christie, and now Perry. What do these four have in common? Why, they all are (or were) potentially viable candidates for »

Is Nancy Pelosi a crook?

Featured image Lachlan Marklay, writing in the Washington Free Beacon, reports that Nancy Pelosi steered more than a billion dollars in subsidies to a light rail project that benefitted a company run by a high-dollar Democratic donor and in which her husband is a major investor. Here, according to Marklay, is how the scheme operated: Pelosi has worked for more than a decade to steer taxpayer funds to a light rail project »

Leading ISIS fighters were former terrorist detainees

Featured image Today’s column by David Ignatius contains this line: “Most of al Qaeda in Iraq’s leading fighters were imprisoned by U.S. occupation troops, but incarceration was a school for jihad, and they emerged tougher, better connected and more dedicated.” Al Qaeda in Iraq is the original name for ISIS. I’m not sure what Ignatius’ point, if any, is. My point would be that the “incarceration as a school for jihad” theory »

Will ISIS be defeated in Iraq and will it attack the U.S.?

Featured image Yesterday, I attended a conference at the Heritage Foundation. The topic was Iraq and Obama’s approach to dealing with the current crisis. The panel consisted of Steven Hadley (formerly, President Bush’s National Security Adviser), Mary Habeck (of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies), and Steven Bucci (of Heritage and a retired Special Forces Colonel). The panel quickly agreed on two things. First, President Obama will not commit a »

Opportunism knocks in Missouri

Featured image Add Rand Paul’s name to the list of opportunists seeking to exploit for political purposes the tragic shooting of young Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The race-hustlers populate the list, of course. So does President Obama, who sees a topic in his supposed wheelhouse (but in reality a local matter) through which he can distract attention from his disastrous foreign policy. Writing in Time Magazine, Paul sees the opportunity to »

The limits of air strikes in Iraq

Featured image Robert Scales, a retired Army major general and former commandant of the U.S. Army War College, argues that an air campaign against ISIS is destined to fail. At first, it will probably set ISIS back, but before long the fighters will adapt. They will make targets more difficult to locate from the air and hide them (and themselves) in populated areas. Scales concludes: As the enemy grows more skilled, we »

Glad tidings to you; come join the CALIPHATE

Featured image ISIS supporters brought “glad tidings” (as they put it) to shoppers on Oxford Street in London today. The “Khilafah [sic] has been re-established” and “the dawn of a new era has begun,” read their posters. The bearers of glad tidings encouraged shoppers to “resettle” in the newly proclaimed Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. It could be a tough sell. The shopping is much better in London. On the other »

With Maliki out, what changes?

Featured image Nouri al-Maliki seems to be out as prime minister of Iraq, though he’s not going quietly. Haider al-Abadi’s has been asked to form a new Iraqi government. Maliki’s downfall became inevitable, says the Washington Post, when the massively influential Ayatollah Sistani wrote a letter to Dawa leaders saying that, due to the “critical circumstances” Iraq faces, a “new vision” is necessary. Dawa is the powerful Shiite political party which Maliki »

A baseball star is born, I hope

Featured image Michael Taylor had a major league debut to remember for the Washington Nationals last night. In his first major league at-bat, he singled. Later on, he belted a two-run homer, as the Nats routed the New York Mets, 7-1. My interest in Taylor stems from a visit earlier this year to Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Virginia. That’s the home of the Potomac Nationals, the Nats “High A” farm club. Taylor »

Hagel sends 130 advisers to deal with “the most brutal, barbaric forces we’ve ever seen”

Featured image In his address to Marines in San Diego, Chuck Hagel described the threat posed by ISIS this way: The Iraqi people, the government of Iraq, country of Iraq is now under threat from some of the most brutal, barbaric forces we’ve ever seen in the world today, and a force, [ISIS], and others that is an ideology that’s connected to an army and it’s a force and a dimension that »

“The world is exploding” but Chuck Hagel is on the case

Featured image Chuck Hagel addressed a group of Marines in San Diego yesterday and afterwards tried to answer questions. One Marine asked: My question is that, given that the administration’s primary focus is on the Pacific theater, how has all of the issues popping up in the world today, Russia, Iraq, Africa, the rest of the theaters pretty much affected that current mission? And how do you foresee that affecting the mission »

Hillary Clinton’s high wire act

Featured image I’d like to thank David Axelrod for his not so subtle reminder that Hillary Clinton voted for the war in Iraq. As Scott noted, Axelrod responded to Clinton’s statement that “‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ [President Obama's foreign policy slogan] is not an organizing principle,” by tweeting: “Just to clarify: ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ means stuff like occupying Iraq in the first place, which was a tragically bad decision.” Bad decision »

Meet Elise Stefanik’s hypocritical opponent

Featured image Elise Stefanik is the Republican congressional candidate for the House in New York’s 21st congressional district. Stefanik is a “Power Line Pick.” Her credentials are sterling. She served in the Bush White House as part of the president’s Domestic Policy Council Staff. Afterwards, Stefanik was Director of Communications for the Foreign Policy Initiative, which launched Defending Defense to fight against slashes in defense spending. Stefanik was Policy Director for Governor »

Obama brings his brand of “identity politics” to the Middle East

Featured image After months of ignoring the rise of ISIS in Iraq, and years of ignoring it in Syria, President Obama was finally moved to take limited action against the Islamist barbarians when they trapped the Yazidis on a mountain in Northern Iraq. I applaud the decision and feel pride in America for having saved (it appears) many members of this sect. But what was magic about the Yazidis? As Seth Mandel »

Obama fails the Norman Mailer test [UPDATED]

Featured image After reviewing a transcript of President Nixon’s secret tapes, Norman Mailer commented in The New Yorker, “He lacks the simple New York smart to keep the obscenities in. . . We still do not know if he even swears well.” As for President Obama, we now know that he doesn’t: Just before the Congressional recess, President Obama invited over a dozen Senate and House leaders from both parties to the »

Support Joni Ernst in terms Bruce Braley can understand

Featured image Here’s Bruce Braley, the Democratic candidate for the open Senate seat in Iowa, on the difficulties left-wingers encounter when running in the heartland: I think part of the problems that progressives have faced is that, at times, there has been an impression that there is an elitism among progressive policies that wants to ignore the realities of what’s going on in places between the east coast and the west coast. »

New Middle East reality should shatter West Bank myths

Featured image To superficial observers of the Middle East, the latest round of fighting in Gaza looks like a replay of previous rounds. Once again, it seems, Israel pounded Hamas but didn’t crush it. But there was something different this time around. This time, Hamas was far more isolated diplomatically. Egypt, the Saudis, and the Palestinian Authority all showed “no sympathy” for Hamas (as President Obama would say). Indeed, unlike President Obama »