Author Archives: Scott Johnson

Triumph of the international will

Featured image President Obama held a press conference in Estonia this morning and vowed action to “degrade and destroy” the ascendant terrorist group he insists on calling ISIL (why?), as Justin Sink reports here for The Hill. As you might guess, however, there is a hitch in Obama’s giddy-up involving the “com[ing] together” of the “international community” to render ISIL “a manageable problem” by “shrink[ing] ISIL’s sphere of influence[.]” I see a »

Melanie Phillips: Paying the price for Gaza

Featured image I borrow from this HonestReporting post to note that Prominent British commentator Melanie Phillips addressed a crowd of nearly 300 people in Jerusalem’s Heichal Shlomo building on August 27 to address the subject: “The Jewish Diaspora: Paying the Price for Gaza.” Referring to Israel as a “life-affirming place of hope where Jews are not on their knees but are fighting for the defense of civilization against barbarism,” Ms. Phillips noted »

Reid rage

Featured image Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s diatribes against the Koch brothers on the floor of the Senate might be evidence of certifiable insanity if anyone took them seriously. But the attitude of the mainstream media, to the extent one can be detected, is ho-hum. The fact that no moderately well informed citizen of sound mind takes Reid’s diatribes seriously should be news all by itself. Reid renders his diatribes on the »

CRB: Déjà Two

Featured image The Summer 2014 issue of the Claremont Review of Books has arrived just in time for Fall, and our friends at the Claremont Institute have once again dropped the paywall to allow us to preview some of the issue’s best pieces. We will be rolling out four that I have selected with a bias toward deepening of our understanding of the challenges before us. Subscribe here for the ridiculously low »

The situation “remains very fluid”

Featured image FOX News is touting the video below this morning as “jihadis gone wild.” They assert that it depicts Libyan jihadis disporting themselves at what is described as the CIA annex to our embassy in Tripoli. If this is the CIA annex, this must be the double secret pool outside it. CNN reports on the video in “Libyan militia uses vacated U.S. embassy in Libya as swim club.” In the CNN »

Stephen Hunter: Thoughts on Ferguson

Featured image We first got to know Stephen Hunter when he was the Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post movie critic. He is best known as a successful novelist, and he happens to know a great deal about guns. Sniper’s Honor is his new Bob Lee Swagger novel. Here he offers his reflections on the shooting incident in Ferguson and the media coverage of it. Submitted for your consideration: So much has been written »

Dweller on the threshold

Featured image Van Morrison celebrates his sixty-ninth birthday today. Singer, songwriter and musician, Morrison is an artist who has absorbed all the strains of American popular music and recapitulated them in his own unique voice. Born in Belfast, he stands shoulder to shoulder with the greats in the pantheon of the Cosmic American Music. Beginning with Astral Weeks in 1968, Morrison experienced a tremendous burst of creative energy that is also reflected »

Obama explains to the very rich

Featured image At a fundraiser in the home of an occasional Obama golf partner and former president of UBS Investment Bank, Obama spoke before an audience paying $15,000 a couple to bask in his aura. Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They want to hear more Obama, and they can afford his policies. Speaking before a friendly crowd, Obama delivered real value. He »

From the land of sky blue waters

Featured image Sometimes it seems that Minnesota is ground zero in the war against terrorism. The problem is that we’re on the wrong side. This week we learned that two men identified as Minnesotans had died fighting for the Islamic State in Syria and now is such a time. Reporting from ground zero, we pause to ask what is happening here? One of the two — Abdiraaman Muhumed — was a Somali »

Dear Dean Wippman

Featured image The University of Minnesota is another brick in the wall of the institutional left that holds Minnesota under its thumb. The university has done and continues to do some great things, but in many ways it remains an enemy of the ordinary citizen seeking to get on with his life. Its outré history faculty, to take just one example, is among the vanguard of anti-Israel, pro-Hamas supporters, and they’re not »

Thoughts from the Ammo Line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll concludes her series on her high school reunion in a column she titles “50th Reunion, or, How Did I Get This Old?” She writes: You know those beautiful young ladies in high school back when you were a nerd who could never date them (if you were a boy) or BE them (if you were a girl)? Well, they are still beautiful! What kind of karmic fairness is »

Obama’s animus

Featured image No surprise here, but I had overlooked what Peter Wehner has extracted from the Jerusalem Post: Speaking extensively on US relations with Jerusalem since the end of the latest round of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians last April, and throughout Operation Protective Edge, a candid [former US special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations Martin] Indyk said at times US President Barack Obama has become “enraged” at the Israeli government, »

A pro-Hamas left emerges

Featured image The historian Jeffrey Herf writes at the American Interest of the emergence of a pro-Hamas left: On July 31, 2014, a group of left-leaning historians called “Historians Against the War” posted an open letter to President Obama denouncing Israel’s actions in the Gaza War and calling for a cut-off of American military assistance to Israel. On August 13, the letter was posted on the website of the History News Network. »

Critique of pure hippie

Featured image Visiting New York with my father in 1967 or 1968, I somehow persuaded him to take me to see the Fugs in one of their now legendary nightly performances at Greenwich Village’s Players Theater. It was a memorable show with something close to the founding group of the Fugs including Ed Sanders, Tuli Kupferberg and two or three others. Thankfully, my dad fell asleep before the Fugs hit their scatological »

As he’s always made clear

Featured image President Obama spoke yesterday to the annual convention of the American Legion in Charlotte, North Carolina, at what seemed like Castroite length. The Teleprompters were on hand and in service. The White House has posted the text of his speech here; the video is below. I think it’s fair to say, as the Daily Mail’s David Martosko does, that the response of Obama’s audience was “tepid” at best. Andrew Malcolm »

Risen rules

Featured image In an email message over the weekend, Gabriel Schoenfeld writes to raise a question close to my heart: Should journalists be free to choose which laws they are required to observe and which ones they can break at will? That, essentially, is what James Risen, Pulitzer-prize winning reporter at the New York Times, is demanding as the trial of alleged CIA leaker Jeffrey Sterling draws near. Is the Justice Department »

Hamas’s “victory”

Featured image Hamas and Israel have entered into a ceasefire on terms mediated by the government of Egypt. I believe that the terms mirror those to which Israel agreed on July 15. Hamas proclaims victory while Israel is already engaged in the political debate and self-criticism that follows its inconclusive wars. Bassam Tawil takes an illuminating look at Hamas’s “victory.’” Unfortunately, Hamas survives to continue on its genocidal mission. The genocidal mission »