While Hamas celebrates

Times of Israel editor is providing the best ongoing commentary I can find online regarding Hamas’s war on Israel. His column today is “Whle Hamas celebrates, Israel focuses on its security.” Here are a couple of excerpts worth pausing over:

Entirely unsurprisingly, Hamas is managing to further blacken Israel’s name wherever this conflict is depicted in terms that are the opposite of reality, which is most everywhere. Israel is under attack by the terrorist government of the state next door, which is openly committed to destroying it, in accordance with a perverted Islamist ideology, in partnership with Iran, Qatar, Hezbollah and the rest of this region’s most pernicious governments and terrorist organizations. Year after year, Hamas improves its capacity to do Israel harm, while Israel does its best to minimize that capacity. No attacks on Israel or preparation for attacks on Israel? No suffering in Gaza. It really is as simple as that. To Hamas’s delight, this simple truth is eluding much of the watching world.

Doubtless, it has often been said, Israel would gain more sympathy internationally if only more Israelis were dying. Well, more Israelis are dying now — except that since they’re the soldiers of the side widely misrepresented as the aggressor, even that works to Hamas’s advantage. Gaza’s terrorist government does its best to kill Israeli civilians. It’s managing to kill Israeli soldiers, drawing them into the residential areas where it’s thus also getting Gaza civilians killed. Israel’s even treating in its hospitals injured terrorists it captures emerging from the Hamas tunnels. And still, through every twist and turn of this conflict, the international presumption of blame is on Israel. The dangers to Israel are minimalized. The rocket attacks are dismissed as inconsequential (except, as mentioned, when they necessitate the abandonment of Ben-Gurion Airport) and the cross-border attack tunnels often aren’t even being reported at all. Through the manipulation of the willingly manipulated, it’s all Israel’s fault. Wonderful news for the Islamists.

This is where we come in:

Hamas is also widening the frictions between Israel and its most important ally, the United States. President Barack Obama expressed concern about Gaza civilian casualties, urged a ceasefire and dispatched his secretary of state even as Israel clearly needed time to tackle the horrifying network of terror tunnels Hamas dug under the Israeli border. That secretary showed his cynical dismissal of Israel’s efforts at “pinpoint” targeting of terrorist sites in Gaza in a risible hot mic fiasco, and has engaged Qatar — advocate for and financier of Hamas — in ceasefire contacts, undermining the Egyptian-led effort. It’s a rare and dismal moment when Israel’s leadership finds itself forced to reject a US-offered ceasefire; it showcases a profound disconnect between Jerusalem and Washington; it raises the question of why the US would want to constrain Israel’s capacity to demolish the tunnels through which Hamas sends killers into Israel. And the Hamas leadership must be absolutely delighted.

Whole thing — all of it worth reading — here.

Hillary Was Against the Reset Before She Was For It

The Russian “reset” has always been regarded as Hillary Clinton’s baby, one of her smug “smart diplomacy” initiatives. Why do we associate the reset with Hillary? Because it was Hillary who presented the famous button to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in 2009. She sure looked happy about it then:

hillary-clinton-russia_reset1

In the ensuing years, Hillary was always glad to take credit for the Russian reset. As recently as June 13 of this year, Hillary doggedly claimed that the reset was a “brilliant stroke which in retrospect appears even more so.”

But that was before pro-Russia Ukrainian separatists used a Putin-supplied surface-to-air missile to shoot down a civilian airplane. That incident, on top of Russia’s other transgressions, must have been the last straw. Because now Hillary is disavowing her role in the “reset” fiasco. Now she tells interviewer Fareed Zakaria that she was “among the most skeptical of Putin” in the Obama administration, and that she documented her skepticism “in meetings as well as in memos to the President.” So it’s all Obama’s fault! Sure, Hillary. Here she is:

When she starts running for president for real, it will be interesting to see what Hillary claims as accomplishments during her four-year tenure as Secretary of State.

The Week in Pictures: Same Damn Thing Edition

Ho-hum, another week, another loss for the Obama Administration in federal court (looks like still more work for Dread Pirate Roberts to sort out), another foreign crisis, another fundraising trip by Obama.  As Edna St. Vincent-Millay is reported to have said, “History isn’t one damn thing after another; it’s the same damn thing over and over again.”  Certainly is with the Obama White House.Obama Channells RR copy Perry v Obama copy Putin's Reset copy Obama Seal copy Obama Crisis copy Subsidy copy Worse Off copy Fundraising copy Obama Driving copy Lerner's Document dump copy Pelosi Finds Out copy New TSA Tax copy Obama Teleprompter copy Anofehr Red Line copy

Hamas Shield copy Hide the Rocket copy

Is this not the greatest pic ever showing what the Israeli government thinks of the Obama Administration?

Is this not the greatest pic ever showing what the Israeli government thinks of the Obama Administration?

Modern Good Samaritan copy

Libertarian Confusion copy DADDD copy

SF Minimum Wage copy

Bieber Whale copy

Order More Wine copy ADHD Sleep copy Decaf copy

Jayne 3 copy

And finally, a special shout out for the women of the IDF:

Hot IDF copy

Tools of jihad: Protective Edge edition

BBC Middle East editor Paul Danahar happened to be on hand in Gaza for the opening of Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012. When the son of Danahar’s BBC Gaza colleague Jihad Masharawi was killed at the outset of the operation, Danahar all but accused Israel of murder. Via his Twitter account ‏@pdanahar, Danahar tweeted his reaction to young Masharawi’s death: “Questioned [sic] asked here is: if Israel can kill a man riding on a moving motorbike (as they did last month) how did Jihad’s son get killed?” As a result of coverage afforded the incident by the BBC, the Washington Post and all the usual media suspects, the death of the young Masharawi allegedly at the hands of Israel created an international sensation.

Reasonable grounds existed to doubt Israel’s responsibility at the time, and we raised them here. Danahar’s own photo of Masharawi’s house after it was hit by the munition that killed Masharawi’s son strongly suggested all by itself that no Israeli munition did the damage. On the contrary, it suggested that an errant Hamas rocket killed Masharawi’s son.

Months later a UN report arrived at this conclusion. The Washington Post then sheepishly posted an “editor’s note” explaining why its own stories on the incident had misfired and erroneously blamed Israel. Adam Kredo picked up on it in the Washington Free Beacon article here.

By this time the question of responsibility had become the preserve of obsessives and cranks. I established myself as a charter member of the club in the Power Line series “Tools of jihad.” I thought the resolution of the story in March 2013 was a huge development because it provided a clear window opening onto the Terrorist Theater that Islamist forces routinely employ to advance the cause with the cooperation of the mainstream media.

This year’s model is the story involving the death of 15 or 16 Gazans at a UN school (or “school,” or weapons depot) earlier this week, according, as in this Time report, to “officials.” Television reports have routinely attributed the fault to Israel, although the published accounts that I find online include Israel’s questioning of responsibility somewhere in the story. Perhaps Israel is doing a better job on the public relations front this time around, or we are making some slight progress with the media.

CNN’s online account notes in paragraph five that it is unclear who was behind the incident, but the accompanying ITN video shows Terrorist Theater in full force and CNN performing its accustomed role as purveyor. As I noted here, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer powerfully raised the question with CNN’s Erin Burnett on Thursday. You can see for yourself in the video at the link what Ambassador Dermer was exercised about. Below is shorter ITN report found on YouTube to the same effect. It is pure propaganda. Terrorist Theater has resumed.

The media stories omit Hamas’s comprehensive use of civilians, schools, mosques and houses for military purposes (including the Hamas missiles that mysteriously appeared in two UN schools this week). If Israel’s forces misfired and hit the UN school, this is fine with Hamas; their tactics (as well as their initiation of the war) should be accorded ultimate responsibility. The media stories also omit Hamas’s instructions on shaping casualty figures for the purposes of Hamas propaganda. See MEMRI’s highly illuminating report on the subject.

Follow-up stories on the UN school incident include the Haaretz/AP analysis “Source of Gaza attack on UNRWA school remains unclear” and the National Post’s “A ‘high chance’ shell that hit school, killing 15, was shot by Hamas: Israeli defense official.” The truth will emerge with the assistance of the Israeli military in due course. In the meantime, extreme caution should be employed in consuming mainstream media reports emanating from Gaza and relying on Gaza “officials,” i.e., Hamas.

“Degraded,” fortunately

Islamic toilet etiquette specifies an elaborate protocol that goes well beyond our immediate need to know. (Warning: You also really don’t want to know.) Fortunately, however, it seems not to require clean underwear, at least not directly. In an update on the failure of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to detonate the bomb concealed in his underwear as he attempted to bring down Northwest Airlines Flight 235 back in 2009, the Daily Mail reports:

The notorious underwear bomber’s plot in 2009 to blow up a plane on Christmas Day failed because the explosives became ‘degraded’ after he wore the same pair of underpants for two weeks, according to a U.S. official.

Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was on a suicide mission when he attempted to detonate a bomb in his underpants as the plane, en route from Amsterdam, approached Detroit.

The bomb however failed to detonate aboard the flight, which was carrying nearly 300 people, but caused a brief fire that caused burns to his groin.

He was sentenced to life without parole in February 2012 after he pleaded guilty to all charges on the second day of his trial the previous October.

The head of the Transportation Security Administration said this week the bomb failed to detonate because of how long Abdulmutallab had been wearing his underwear.

John Pistole told the Aspen Security Forum: ‘The bomber had had the device with him for over two weeks.’

Mr Pistole was then asked whether the bomb had become ‘damp’, to which he replied: ‘Let’s say it was degraded.’

If the etiquette were to require clean underwear (or if it in fact does so), the requirement would probably be forgiven when the follower of Islam is engaged in jihad. Heeding the spirit of Mr. Pistole’s admonition, let’s just leave it at that for now.

Tweet of the Day

The Tweet of the Day comes from Ken Gardner and features Kimberly Guilfoyle. No further comment is necessary. Click to enlarge:

BtcHIn-CEAAhaCH.jpg-large

Impeachment? Seriously?

The Democrats are salivating at the idea that Republicans might try to impeach President Obama. They think, perhaps, that impeachment is the one thing that could salvage Obama’s second term. In the meantime, they are furiously raising money with the claim that Republicans are bent on impeachment. The Blaze offers a rather comical account:

The notion of impeaching President Barack Obama got substantial attention Friday from two White House officials, who both said senior Republicans wanted to see it happen. But they couldn’t name any senior Republicans when pressed.

Further, White House press secretary Josh Earnest expressed doubt about whether House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was sincere when he said impeachment is not on the table. …

The topic first made news Friday after Dan Pfeiffer, a counselor to the president, told a Christian Science Monitor breakfast: “I would not discount that possibility. I think Speaker Boehner, by going down the path of this lawsuit, has opened the door to Republicans possibly considering impeachment at some in the future.”

As far as I know, Sarah Palin is the only Republican of any stature who has talked about impeachment. There is no such movement afoot in the House. But the Democrats don’t care; fundraising is always priority number one for them, and talk of impeachment is catnip to their base. I get several emails a day from various Democratic Party organizations soliciting donations to combat the alleged threat of impeachment. This one, which came in today from my good friend Nancy, is typical. Click to enlarge file size:

ImpeachmentEmail06

Note that the Democrats say “Congress” voted to sue Obama. Actually, of course, it was the House. But the Democrats don’t want to admit that they control the Senate, and they frequently talk about Congress as though it were all Republican. To take advantage of those low approval ratings, I assume. Reportedly, the Democrats are raising a great deal of money with these impeachment scare appeals.

Is there any reason why Republicans should think seriously about impeaching the president? He certainly has committed impeachable offenses, as I have written before. He has failed to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” and on the contrary has deliberately subverted the rule of law with respect to immigration and other important subjects. Further, he has misused the powers of the executive branch to harass and intimidate his political opponents. These are precisely the sorts of offenses for which the constitutional remedy of impeachment was intended.

However, impeachment is a political remedy, not a legal one. Is there significant support in the electorate for such a drastic step? Some have gotten excited over polls like this one, in which 36% said that they favor impeachment. But that is a pretty typical number for a second-term president, and the 36% are overwhelmingly Republicans. Lots of Democrats wanted to impeach George W. Bush, too, but their party’s leaders were too smart to attempt that after they took control of Congress for the last two years of Bush’s second term.

Old-timers remember the Nixon impeachment drama, but for most voters, “impeachment” conjures up the Republicans’ well-intentioned but politically disastrous effort to remove Bill Clinton. That is the precedent to which the Democrats now appeal, and it is not an experience that Republicans should want to relive. Not unless events drastically change the political landscape.