Return of the Bush Doctrine

Featured image The Obama administration has doggedly refused to call what it proposes to do in Syria and Iraq a “war,” a fact that I found odd but hadn’t thought much about. Why is Obama so determined to avoid the word “war”? AllahPundit answers the question brilliantly: if it were a war, then it would be a pre-emptive war! “Question for the State Department: Isn’t Obama waging preemptive war in Iraq now?” »

Obama’s legal justification for asserting the power to attack ISIS: ironic and weak

Featured imagePresident Obama initially justified air strikes against ISIS on the legal theory that, as commander-in-chief, he has a responsibility to protect U.S. citizens and facilities. However, as Eli Lake points out, Obama’s battle against ISIS quickly expanded into an effort to protect Iraqi infrastructure. And now it has expanded into an effort (how serious we don’t know) to “degrade and destroy” ISIS. By what legal theory does Obama justify this »

Ted Cruz Stands Up For Israel [Updated]

Featured imageYou likely have heard about the event last night, billed as Christian, at which Ted Cruz was “booed off the stage” after he made pro-Israel remarks. While that isn’t exactly what happened, the incident was certainly of interest. The IDC Summit 2014 was sponsored by a just-founded group called In Defense of Christians. The event, which wound up today, took place over three days at the Omni Shoreham in Washington. »

NY Times: We Have Always Been at War With Syria!

Featured imageBarack Obama’s reluctant venture into war-making is causing heads to explode on the Left. The intellectually consistent are denouncing him as a warmonger and an imperialist, but there aren’t many of those. More typical is the New York Times editorial board, which, like Stalinists in the 1930s, follows the party line unquestioningly. For which it is taken to task by the far-left journal Counterpunch: “Perpetual War is Fine With the »

A question (or two) for Imam Obama

Featured imageI have an impertinent question for President Obama in his capacity as a spokesman for Islam. It seems to me to follow naturally from his brief disquisition on the Islamic State or ISIS yesterday (White House transcript here): ISIL is not “Islamic.” No religion condones the killing of innocents. And the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim. Thus spake the man who sounds like Imam Barry. Or Carnac »

Gallup: GOP Has Giant Lead on Terrorism

Featured imageOpinion is divided on whether 2014 will be a good year for the GOP, or a tsunami. I have inclined toward the former view, mostly because I don’t think Republican candidates have done a good enough job of explaining the ideological basis for the Democrats’ many failures, and why Republicans/conservatives have better ideas. Still, events have a force of their own. Today Gallup finds that Republicans have a stunning 23-point »

Dartmouth’s 9/11

Featured imageFollowing 9/11 the New York Times ran Portraits of Grief profiling many of those lost in the 9/11 attacks. We can’t capture the magnitude of the loss, or the meaning of who and what we lost, but the Times’s focus on individuals made a contribution. Taking just one small slice, I want to retrieve from the series the Times’s portraits of Dartmouth alumni who lost their lives on 9/11. With »

A day to be proud…

Featured imageI first wrote about Rick Rescorla in 2003 after finishing James Stewart’s Heart of a Soldier, the book based on Stewart’s New Yorker article “The real heroes are dead.” (“The real heroes are dead” is what Rescorla would say in response to recognition of his heroism on the battlefield in Vietnam.) The book is good, not great, but it touches on profound themes in a thought-provoking way: life and death, »

Foreign Policy Mulligan

Featured imageJohn and Paul are both working on reactions to Obama’s speech as I type–and maybe we’ll actually have the first ever Power Line competition to post first on Obama’s latest divot, I mean pivot, to jobs in a speech about foreign policy.  What was that about?  (Actually I see John already beat me to it.  Hey Scott: Care to play too, or is it past your bedtime?) Someone emailed before »

More Hobby Lobby Insanity: Are We As Dumb As the Democrats Think?

Featured imageThis is Senator Patty Murray, speaking earlier today about the Hobby Lobby case: “Just a few months ago, five men on the Supreme Court decided there should be a group of women across America who are required to ask their boss for permission to access basic health care.” This is completely insane; you really have to see it to believe it: But is it any crazier than everything else we »

ISIS: What Would Churchill Do?

Featured imagePower Line has come into possession of a transcript of a recent telephone conversation between President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron, who, as everyone knows, has been way out in front of Obama in judging the seriousness of the problem posed by the rise of ISIS. Obama: Hey Dave, it’s Barry. How you likin’ those groovy tunes on that iPod I gave you at the G-8? Cameron: Barry! »

Arab states not eager to follow feckless Obama

Featured imageSo now President Obama wants to organize a coalition to take on ISIS, the group whose rise he ignored on the theory that it was the terrorist “jayvee.” Arab states — notably Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan — and Turkey are to be key members of the coalition. Obama assigns these states primary responsibility for mobilizing Sunni communities in Iraq and Syria against ISIS. Presumably, Obama »

You cannot be Syrious!

Featured imagePaul Mirengoff has done the hard work and dissected the substance of President Obama’s speech on ISIS last night. John commented here and Steve here. The White House has now posted a transcript of the speech along with the video below. My impression was that Obama was trying to impersonate a serious man, though he has demonstrated spectacular misjudgment and neglect in his approach to ISIS. The misjudgment or neglect »

Obama again comes up short

Featured imageIn his mercifully brief address to the nation about ISIS, President Obama assured Americans that the military action he has in mind will differ from the action we took under President Bush in Iraq and Afghanistan. In those campaigns, we used U.S. ground troops. In the upcoming campaign, we will not, relying instead on Iraqi forces and Kurds in Iraq and the Free Syrian Army in Syria. While some may »

More Observations on Obama’s Speech

Featured imageShortly, Paul will note the most important problems with President Obama’s speech tonight. In the meantime, here are a few secondary observations: 1) Obama proclaimed the existence of an international coalition to combat ISIS: I can announce that America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat. And again: And in each of these four parts of our strategy, America will be joined by a broad coalition »

This day in baseball history: Phillies take 6 game lead with 22 left to play

Featured imageOn September 10, 1964, the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 5-1 behind the pitching of Chris Short, who pitched his 11th complete game of the season. With the victory, Philadelphia moved 6 games ahead of St. Louis. Cincinnati, which beat Pittsburgh 3-0 on a shutout by ex-Pirate Bob Purkey, and San Francisco, 5-1 winner over Los Angeles, also trailed the Phillies by 6 games. With their loss to »

“Obama to Deepen America’s Military Role In Mideast”

Featured imageThat Associated Press headline tells you pretty much all you need to know about the utter collapse of the Obama administration’s foreign policy. It was Obama’s uncompromising opposition to military action in the Middle East, particularly Iraq, that won him the presidential nomination six years ago. Now, he has no choice but to deal with reality: In a major reversal, President Barack Obama is moving to deepen the U.S. military »