Gaza, Russia, and the media

Featured image Last night, my wife channel-surfed her way into a bad neighborhood — RT, the Russian government’s news network. There, she saw a report about a “wave” of world wide “mass protests” against the Israeli government’s actions in Gaza. RT has also posted an article with this headline: “In our millions, we’re all Palestinian: Wave of protests worldwide demand end to Gaza slaughter.” The first paragraph of the article scales back »

“In a war for our home”

Featured imageTimes of Israel editor David Horovitz writes from Jerusalem this morning that this is his best effort to explain the Israel-Hamas war: “Hushed, determined Israel ‘in a war for our home’” (the internal quote is from Prime Minister Netanyahu’s press conference last night). David writes in the heart of his column: When Netanyahu said last night that Israel is in “a war for our home,” it sounded anything but demagogic. »

“Innocent civilians,” Hamas style

Featured imageThe invaluable MEMRI reports (footnotes omitted): In light of the recent round of fighting in Gaza, the Hamas interior ministry has issued guidelines to Gaza Strip social media users for reporting events and discussing them with outsiders. The ministry’s guidelines, which it is calling the “Be Aware – Social Media Activist Awareness Campaign,” were issued via an instructional video posted on its official website and via posters published on its »

The Morals of the Welfare State

Featured imageMitt Romney took a lot of grief, much of it deserved, for his infelicitous remark (albeit behind closed doors, supposedly) about the “47 percent” during the 2012 campaign.  But he’s not entirely wrong to raise the issue of whether dependency doesn’t eventually corrupt the recipients. There’s a fascinating short piece in The Economist this week about how socialism causes higher levels of lying among people who live under socialist rule.  »

George Will begs the question and blames America

Featured imageLast year George Will wrote a disappointing column on the Obama administration’s interim deal with Iran. The problem with Will’s columns is its assumption that Iran can be contained/deterred. Will assumes without argument that doctrines of containment and deterrence are viable in the case of Iran; he assumes what is to be proved, i.e., he begs the question. Two fundamental problems undermine his assumptions. First, Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons »

Groundhog Day Revisited

Featured imageI first used the phrase Groundhog Day with reference to the Palestinians in April 2013, in Groundhog Day In the Middle East. Having forgotten that post, I used it again last Monday in For Anti-Semitism, It’s Deja Vu All Over Again. The reference is apt. Anyone observing Hamas’s attacks on Israel, Israel’s effort to neutralize Hamas’s terrorist capabilities, and the international reaction to that effort–not, of course, to Hamas’s terrorist »

Looking Ahead to Obama’s Post-Presidency

Featured imageYes, yes, I know we should all wish that Obama’s post-presidency could begin right away, but setting that aside, I’ve been wondering for a while now what Obama will do after he leaves office.  He’s still relatively young, and is likely to be around for quite a while.  His announced intention to make his home in Washington DC is going to make for all kinds of delights. My prediction: he’s »

What’s next in Eastern Ukraine?

Featured imageLeon Aron of AEI takes a sober look at what’s likely to happen next in Eastern Ukraine. He begins by noting that, although new sanctions are likely to be imposed against Russia and are likely to be painful, they are not likely to cause Putin to permit the pro-Russian separatists to suffer defeat: After half a year of deafening war-mongering propaganda, the rebel’s defeat would be an enormous blow to »

Hell of a Pinhead SecState [Updated With Video]

Featured imageI’ll add the video when it is available, but for the moment I want to post this without further comment, as reported by the Washington Post’s Philip Bump regarding John Kerry’s interview by Chris Wallace on FOX News Sunday this morning. Bump omits Wallace’s reference to the loss of 14 lives as a result of Israel’s operation in Gaza, as I recall the set-up, but gives us Kerry’s live reaction »

From a Connecticut bookstore

Featured imageWithout a $300,000 speaking engagement to make on some public campus, Hillary Clinton resumed her book tour yesterday. She pulled in to R.J. Julia Booksellers, a small bookstore in Madison, Connecticut, where it is reported that “a mix of Hillary Clinton fanatics and local press crammed into a tiny room for a chance at catching a glimpse of the former First Lady, Senator, and most recently, Secretary of State, Hillary »

Bring Back McKinney

Featured imageSo why doesn’t former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney have her own show on MSNBC?  She’d fit right in with Al Sharpton.  I miss her, especially things like her tweet Thursday about MH17: Beyond the mind-numbing stupidity of thinking airliner can be hacked, it’s worth clicking through the link she included as her hint of who might be behind the hacking: Israel.  Naturally. »

Hot Tuna returns

Featured imageHot Tuna is/was Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady, the lead guitarist and bass player who broke off from the Jefferson Airplane in 1970 to pursue other interests, originally in acoustic blues. Their first album, recorded live in Berkeley, has been reissued in a deluxe two-disc format and sounds better than ever. The heart of the album consists of traditional blues songs with updated arrangements of numbers by Rev. Gary Davis, »

Illegal Immigration a Winning Issue For Republicans

Featured imageLong gone, evidently, are the days when the late, great Sonny Bono, asked for his position on illegal immigration, answered: “My position? What do you mean, my position? It’s illegal!” Still, I have never understood the claim that open borders is a winning political issue for the Democrats. That is borne out in the most recent Rasmussen Reports survey: Most voters don’t want any of the young illegal immigrants who’ve »

Nothing Happens for No Good Reason

Featured imageMy great teacher of foreign policy and strategic studies, the late Harold Rood, had a simple maxim at the heart of his analytical technique: “Nothing happens for no good reason.”  This maxim has come back to me watching the saga of the flood of “unaccompanied alien children” (as the government officially calls them) on our southern border.  Everyone seems to be treating this as though it was a random or »

Borderline personalities

Featured imageThe 1969 movie Z by Costa-Gavras depicts the assassination of a popular Greek politician at a campaign rally and the investigation that followed it. The investigating magistrate serially interrogates buffoonish military officers who describe the assassin jumping out of the crowd, “lithe and fierce, like a tiger.” The identical description provided by each of the officers is a key to the unravelling of the assassination conspiracy in which they were »

The Russian reset: Hillary’s “brilliant stroke”

Featured imageThe worse Vladimir Putin and the Ukrainian separatists he sponsors behave, the worse it is for Hillary Clinton. After all, her most publicized and most significant action as Secretary of State was the infamous “Russian reset.” So how does Hillary Clinton handle questions about the reset? The same way she handles most tough questions — badly and with plenty of false claims. Here, via Mario Loyola, is Clinton’s answer last »

Say the nonsensical thing

Featured imageScott correctly observes that we can count on President Obama to say the wrong thing. To make matters worse, all too often Obama says nonsensical things. Consider his remarks yesterday about the downing of the Malaysian airliner by Ukrainian separatists. Obama declared: We need to know exactly what happened, and everybody needs to make sure that we’re holding accountable those who committed this outrage. To this standard-issue mush, Obama added »