Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

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 »

Report: Hamas executed tunnel diggers

Featured image Digging tunnels for Hamas and living to tell about it is no sure thing. At least 160 Palestinian children reportedly died while performing the hazardous duty that the tunnel digging for Hamas entails. This number was reported in a pro-Palestinian journalist based on statements by Hamas officials in Gaza. But surviving the digging was only half the battle. Hamas reportedly executed dozens more diggers in the past few weeks out »

Hard-line Hillary: where is it coming from?

Featured image Jeffrey Goldberg reports on his remarkable interview with Hillary Clinton. The report and accompanying transcript make the former Secretary of State sound like a neo-conservative, at least in the loose sense in which the term is tossed about. First, Clinton takes President Obama to task for not intervening against ISIS in Syria. “The failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of »

Obama’s pathetic excuse for not acting in Iraq

Featured image Why did President Obama stand by while ISIS conquered much of Iraq? The reason seems straightforward: he doesn’t believe in using force unless it’s part of an international effort. Obama has offered a different explanation, though. He says he’s been unwilling to intervene because “there’s no American military solution to the larger crisis in Iraq.” “The only lasting solution,” he adds, “is reconciliation among Iraqi communities and stronger Iraqi security »

Gary Williams enters the basketball Hall of Fame

Featured image Two coaches helped define my life as a Washington D.C. area sports fan — Joe Gibbs and Gary Williams. The contrast between the two is sharp. Gibbs was understated, mellow on the outside, and a conspicuous family man; Williams was brash, edgy, and seemingly a lone wolf. Gibbs made it look relatively easy (at least during his first Redskins coaching stint); Williams made it look painfully hard, — which, of »