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THE "OBAMA DOCTRINE" -- TRUE AND TERRIFYING

What are we to make of President Obama's decision to scrap the Iranian missile shields in Poland and the Czech Republic? Frank Gaffney sums it up well:

With his capitulation to Russia, Barack Obama has just affirmed what I call the Obama Doctrine: Undermining our friends, emboldening our enemies and diminishing our country.

Read it all.

President Obama is endangering American citizens not only by his constant displays of weakness in the face of foreign aggression, but by surrending to the Global War on Terror, preferring to treat terrorists driven by ideology seeking to destroy American and kill Americans as ordinary criminals rather than the war combatants they are.

Andrew McCarthy, who more than almost anyone, knows the limitiations of the criminal justice system in defending against attacks of war, makes clear the dangers that President Obama is exposing his country and its citizens to.

President Obama and Attorney General Holder are fond of labeling as a "false choice" the reality that, in national exigencies, we have to decide whether to trim some protections for enemy combatants in order to promote security. That's no false choice. It's a real choice, with the lives of our citizens hanging in the balance. If you want to defeat this enemy and prevent these attacks, you go to war and you get intelligence. If you are content to live with this enemy and endure its attacks, you go to court . . . . Obama has decided to go to court.
What Obama is in fact doing:
The problem is that [Obama] wants to treat international terrorists as suspects in a law-enforcement matter rather than as wartime enemies.

The consequences:


[I]f we return to law-enforcement mode under the Obama FBI's new "Global Justice" initiative, then we are back to September 10 -- to the embassy-bombing approach to counterterrorism, in which completed terrorist attacks, rather than interrupted terrorist plots, await us.

Americans will die in terrorist attacks because of Obama's abandoning the war against Islamic terrorism. Is this part of his wish to placate Muslims by denying the ideological hostility at the heart of Islam? In doing so, he is risking the lives of American citizens.

National security has always been the first responsibility of American presidents -- until Barack Obama.

Read the whole frightening story.

How War Fighting Became Law Enforcement

Obama Goes to Court

by Andrew C. McCarthy
National Review Online
June 17, 2009

(Note: In Part I of this article, Andrew C. McCarthy showed how Miranda warnings grew from a procedural safeguard into an inviolable constitutional right. In Part II, he explained how judges and the Justice Department expanded this right to the point where it applied to terrorists captured abroad. Here, in the final part, he describes how the odd couple of John McCain and Barack Obama have put the nation in great danger by turning the War on Terror into something resembling a police investigation.)

Two months after the 1998 bombers of the U.S. embassy in Kenya were convicted, al-Qaeda destroyed the Twin Towers, struck the Pentagon, and was foiled by the martyred patriots of Flight 93 in an attempt to attack the Capitol or the White House. Unlike its predecessor, the Bush administration deemed the attack an act of war, as did Congress, which overwhelmingly authorized the use of military force a week later. American officials were dispatched to foreign lands to conduct military and intelligence operations, not criminal investigations. Prosecution, which in the eight previous years had managed to neutralize fewer than three dozen jihadists, most of them low-level, was aptly judged to have been a provocatively weak response to a transnational terrorist network with global aims and frightful capabilities.

The name of the game was now intelligence and prevention, not evidence and prosecution. Radical Islam had to be stopped from attacking -- there could be no trials of suicide terrorists after they'd struck, and even if there could, they'd be a grossly inadequate measure. After 9/11, a premium was put on obtaining information for purposes of mapping the terror network, uncovering ongoing plots, and acquiring operational intelligence that would be of use to our military and covert intelligence forces.

Miranda was separate from all of this. The Miranda rule is a device to ensure the constitutional integrity of confession evidence for use at trial. It has no place in situations where trial either is not contemplated or, if contemplated, is at best a third- or fourth-tier consideration, subordinate to national security, force security, and the preservation of foreign intelligence sources and national-defense secrets. Miranda is designed for the criminal-justice process, in which we impose the burden of proof on the government, the suspect is presumed innocent, we arguably do not want him to implicate himself unless he sees it as in his interest to do so, and we would rather see the government lose than see an innocent person convicted. To the contrary, when the nation goes to war, our primary concern is the national interest, not the suspect's interest; we don't presume a detained combatant innocent, because it is not our purpose to establish his guilt; the government's burden is to prosecute the war, not the war prisoners; and we see it as imperative that the government win -- to the point that we sacrifice our blood and treasure and are resigned to the inevitability of horrific collateral casualties and damage.

In the post-9/11 strategy, then, Miranda had no place. Interrogation was conducted by military and intelligence personnel whose objective was to obtain intelligence, not derive prosecutable evidence. And the emphasis on interrogation has been remarkably effective. For eight years, despite intense efforts to reprise 9/11, al-Qaeda has not carried out a terrorist attack in the United States.

Nevertheless, scandal erupted in 2004, with revelations about prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib and, later, the CIA's top-secret enhanced-interrogation program for a small number of high-level al-Qaeda detainees. Amid growing public unrest over the war in Iraq, the interrogations controversy provided ample opportunity for demagoguery. Chief among the grandstanders was Sen. John McCain, then planning a 2008 run for the White House. A Vietnam War hero who had famously endured a years-long ordeal of captivity, isolation, and torture, McCain railed at the harsh treatment of prisoners in U.S. custody. Echoed by allies like Sens. Ted Kennedy (who likened the U.S. administration of Iraq to Saddam Hussein's) and Dick Durbin (who compared American soldiers to thugs who had served the Nazis, the Soviets, and Pol Pot), McCain contributed mightily to the Left's smear that the Bush administration had instituted a systematic torture regime.

In 2005, capitalizing on the atmosphere he had stoked, McCain proposed legislation (the "McCain Amendment") that would vest every person detained by American officials, anywhere in the world, with rights under the Fifth Amendment (as well as the Eighth and Fourteenth). I was among a small number of naysayers who vigorously opposed the McCain Amendment (see, e.g., here, here, here, and here). In the climate of the times, we were slandered as torturemongers for our trouble. But while I continue to believe it would be foolish to take off the table coercive interrogation tactics that do not meet the strict legal definition of torture, that was not the only reason for opposing the McCain Amendment. A principal reason was Dickerson, particularly as its Miranda requirement was construed by Judge Sand.

McCain explicitly included the Fifth Amendment in his legislation because it addresses his target, coercive interrogation. As we've seen, in Dickerson, the Supreme Court held that Miranda was now considered part of the Fifth Amendment's core. In the al-Owhali case, Judge Sand ruled that Miranda imposes daunting burdens on American agents overseas -- burdens far more challenging than the rote reading of an advice-of-rights card that typically happens in domestic policing. With the Supreme Court, beginning in 2004, imposing more and more criminal-justice procedure on the battlefield, the McCain Amendment would almost certainly be used by courts or a Democratic administration to impose Miranda protocols not just on FBI agents conducting criminal investigations (which is what it's meant for) in foreign countries, but on U.S. military and intelligence agents conducting combat and covert operations. That would be the death knell not of the "torture" over which McCain obsessed but of any effective intelligence collection.

The McCain Amendment passed by a 90-9 margin in the Senate, with all but nine Republicans joining the unanimous Democrats. It became law -- incorporated in the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 -- with the signature of President Bush.

OBAMA GOES TO COURT
This is the background against which we must consider Steve Hayes's report that the Obama administration has orchestrated the world's first Mirandized war. A war against a terror network that specializes in sneak mass-murder attacks, in which intelligence is at an unprecedented premium, is a strange setting for inaugurating a practice in which detainees are told they needn't speak to you and have a right to the assistance of an attorney underwritten by the American taxpayers they've been trying to kill.

But expect President Obama to gaze at his teleprompter and assure you that he is not inaugurating that practice. It was President Clinton, he'll quite rightly tell you, whose (Reno/Holder) Justice Department first started Mirandizing captured terrorists overseas. He'll elaborate that it was President Bush, prompted by Senator McCain, who extended Fifth Amendment rights to enemy aliens and imposed on our soldiers and intelligence agents the duty to safeguard those rights. And this, he'll insist, was just a recognition of the "rule of law," because after all, it was the Supreme Court that developed Miranda and (relying on the arguments of the Reno/Holder Justice Department) made it part and parcel of the Fifth Amendment. Why are you blaming me, Obama will shrewdly ask, for a lawful, long-established policy that I am merely continuing?

It will all be very clever. But it will be wrong. Contrary to what his spokesmen have said, Obama is not simply continuing the policy of previous administrations; he is vastly expanding it, to the point where it becomes a serious threat to our nation's security.

The Obama administration's protestations ring false from the start. The very notion of advising enemy combatants of Miranda rights seems so absurd that, as The Weekly Standard's John McCormack reports, President Obama himself poked fun at it only three months ago ("Now, do these folks deserve Miranda rights? Do they deserve to be treated like a shoplifter down the block? Of course not."). And that was after, as a candidate, he had mocked Gov. Sarah Palin for arguing that he intended to give terrorists Miranda protections.

This is not about Miranda; it's about how we view terrorism.

Miranda has been applied to some alien terrorists captured overseas for eleven years, but only in the context of criminal investigations. It arose in the embassy-bombing case -- and nearly cost that case -- because the Clinton administration chose to treat that attack as a crime and the captured prisoners as criminal defendants. Had President Clinton adopted the Bush approach and proceeded with a military response -- not a flurry of cruise missiles but a real war -- he'd have had robust congressional support, Miranda would never have been an issue, al-Qaeda would have been decimated, and Pres. Al Gore would never have had a 9/11 to deal with.

The McCain Amendment is a debacle because it theoretically extends Miranda to enemy combatants. That is a trickier problem, yet not an insurmountable one, for two reasons. First, the courts have held that a Fifth Amendment violation -- and therefore a Miranda violation -- occurs not during the actual questioning but when the prosecution attempts to use the statement in court. There is thus at least a plausible argument that if you do not intend to bring a detainee to court -- if you are just questioning him to gather intelligence -- you do not need to give him Miranda rights.

Concededly, this is dicey. The concept that the conduct giving rise to the violation (the coercion used during the questioning) is somehow not really the violation is a legal fiction, and an unattractive one. But it has been enough to justify withholding Miranda warnings in most cases where high-value suspects have been captured. Still, it would help if the McCain Amendment were repealed, or at least amended to make clear that it was not Congress's intention to impose the Miranda component of the Fifth Amendment on U.S. officials overseas.

Second, in upholding al-Owhali's conviction earlier this year, a panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued a superb opinion that clipped the worst excesses of Judge Sand's nine-year-old ruling. Federal agents, it instructs, are merely required to communicate accurate information about a suspect's rights; it is not their job to master foreign law, intercede with other countries on behalf of captured terrorists, or browbeat nations whose cooperation we need into adopting American right-to-counsel rules.

Perhaps more important, the Second Circuit construed Dickerson as glossing the Fifth Amendment with a commonsense Miranda, one that is flexible in its application to varying circumstances. The panel observed that Miranda itself disavowed "creat[ing] a constitutional straitjacket" and that Rehnquist's opinion for the Dickerson Court admonished that "no constitutional rule is immutable." Indeed, on this point, the panel noted that the Supreme Court had long ago dispensed with any need to comply with Miranda "in a situation posing a threat to public safety." The public-safety exception was carved out by the Supreme Court in 1984 (in New York v. Quarles) in a peacetime domestic police emergency. A fortiori, there should be no Miranda requirement at all in battlefield circumstances or in connection with national-security emergencies.

But here, at last, is the point. The problem is not just that Obama wants to extend Miranda to nearly all captured terrorists. That's just a symptom. The problem is that he wants to treat international terrorists as suspects in a law-enforcement matter rather than as wartime enemies.

Despite the McCain Amendment, the requirement of Miranda in warfare is something we have been navigating around fairly well. The recent Second Circuit ruling provides further reason for optimism that we can continue doing so -- as long as we remain in war mode. But if we return to law-enforcement mode under the Obama FBI's new "Global Justice" initiative, then we are back to September 10 -- to the embassy-bombing approach to counterterrorism, in which completed terrorist attacks, rather than interrupted terrorist plots, await us.

There's no point making this into a controversy about Miranda. After all, if we go the law-enforcement route, there is no question that Miranda applies. The issue is not Miranda, but whether we should view terrorists like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as mere criminals. If so, then obviously we must follow criminal protocols, and there is no question that Miranda applies. We must tell them they don't have to talk to us, and that we will get them a free lawyer -- who will promptly advise them to clam up. We must also accept that we will no longer get the timely intelligence that thwarts attacks. We must resign ourselves to more dead Americans.

President Obama and Attorney General Holder are fond of labeling as a "false choice" the reality that, in national exigencies, we have to decide whether to trim some protections for enemy combatants in order to promote security. That's no false choice. It's a real choice, with the lives of our citizens hanging in the balance. If you want to defeat this enemy and prevent these attacks, you go to war and you get intelligence. If you are content to live with this enemy and endure its attacks, you go to court and you get Miranda. Obama has decided to go to court.

--Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute and the author of Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad (Encounter Books, 2008). McCarthy was the lead prosector who sent the blind shiekh who mastermineded the first Wold Trade Center bombing in 1993 to prison.

AMERICA'S BETRAYALS MOUNT

More and more it looks as if Obama is returning to his Islamic roots and his Marxist upbringing. Bowing to the monarch of the Land of the Two Holy Places, extending his hand to Iran and endangering Israel's existence while destroying America's entrepreneurial economy couldn't be clearer signals, In befriending America's enemies, Obama is siding with those who have allied against America and the West for more than a century -- Russia and Islam. The Bolsheviks and Soviets supported Islam's goal of world supremacy for decades and they are united once again.

America's enemies are rejoicing as America's allies are betrayed.

But Americans are the principal losers.

Surviving in Obama's Post-American World

By Caroline Glick in the Jerusalem Post

Like it or not, the United States of America is no longer the world's policeman. This was the message of Barack Obama's presidential journey to Britain, France, the Czech Republic, Turkey and Iraq this past week.

Somewhere between apologizing for American history - both distant and recent; genuflecting before the unelected, bigoted king of Saudi Arabia; announcing that he will slash the US's nuclear arsenal, scrap much of America's missile defense programs and emasculate the US Navy; leaving Japan to face North Korea and China alone; telling the Czechs, Poles and their fellow former Soviet colonies, "Don't worry, be happy," as he leaves them to Moscow's tender mercies; humiliating Iraq's leaders while kowtowing to Iran; preparing for an open confrontation with Israel; and thanking Islam for its great contribution to American history, President Obama made clear to the world's aggressors that America will not be confronting them for the foreseeable future.

Whether they are aggressors like Russia, proliferators like North Korea, terror exporters like nuclear-armed Pakistan or would-be genocidal-terror-supporting nuclear states like Iran, today, under the new administration, none of them has any reason to fear Washington.

This news is music to the ears of the American Left and their friends in Europe. Obama's supporters like billionaire George Soros couldn't be more excited at the self-induced demise of the American superpower. CNN's former (anti-)Israel bureau chief Walter Rodgers wrote ecstatically in the Christian Science Monitor on Wednesday, "America's... superpower status, is being downgraded as rapidly as its economy."

The pro-Obama US and European media are so pleased with America's abdication of power that they took the rare step of applauding Obama at his press conference in London. Indeed, the media's enthusiasm for Obama appeared to grow with each presidential statement of contrition for America's past uses of force, each savage attack he leveled against his predecessor George W. Bush, each swipe he took at Israel, and each statement of gratitude for the blessings of Islam he uttered.

But while the media couldn't get enough of the new US leader, America's most stable allies worldwide began a desperate search for a reset button that would cause the administration to take back its abandonment of America's role as the protector of the free world.

Continue reading . . .

The two greatest threats to America today are the Obama Administration and radical Islam. As Mark Steyn notes, the Muslim demographic is not only exploding worldwide (ten times faster than the natives in Britain) it is also becoming more intimidating, more violent, more extreme due to the tens of billions of dollars spent over the past 30 years by the Saudis on selling Islam as Mohammad realily meant it to be -- the ruler of the world.

At the same time, the principal defenders of freedom and Western heritage, Britain and the United States, are in the process of dismantling their free market economies and substituting "Can't we all just get along?" capitulation for a strong national defense and civilizational pride.

As the ex-Muslim emigré from Syria Wafa Sultan, now a psychiatrist living and working in southern California, reminds us, we are not engaged in a clash of civilziations with Islam, it is a war between civilzation and barbarism. But who is listening?

A small vignette from a young woman in the Swat Valley of Pakistan (which Mark Steyn talks about in his piece), who has learned of the Pakistani government's agreement that Islamic law will be enforced throughout the valley:

"Today the party of the Mullah announced that 'democracy' is un-Islamic. It is too late. We have lost the battle against the militants. We have seen day by day how government and army have [been] weakened, how they have finally been reduced to talk and to deal. Nobody is accountable for the thousands killed, for the closure of schools, for the beheadings of men and women. Nobody. Someone said to me the other day - 'Don't complain, because the one you complain to will be your enemy.'


"We no longer can turn [to anyone] here to complain. We now have to think about how to survive this. We now have to give up much of what many of us believe in - tolerance, peace, educated women, and freedom."

She believes the North-West Frontier Province is lost. And she questioned whether President Obama understands the extremists. "He seems to think that these people can be contained within their land, or [any] land. He thinks there is a meeting point, a dialogue possibility. Those who think that giving the militants their haven will contain them - well, the rest of the country and the world will see what this will lead to. This is not the end, it is only the beginning."


February 21, 2009, 7:00 a.m.

From Islamabad to Bradford
Degrees of accommodation.

By Mark Steyn in National Review Online


'It is hard to understand this deal," said Richard Holbrooke, President Obama's special envoy. And, if the special envoy of the so-called smartest and most impressive administration in living memory can't understand it, what chance do the rest of us have?

Nevertheless, let's try. In the Swat Valley, where a young Winston Churchill once served with the Malakand Field Force battling Muslim insurgents, his successors have concluded the game isn't worth the candle. In return for a temporary ceasefire, the Pakistani government agreed to let the local franchise of the Taliban impose its industrial strength version of sharia across the whole of Malakand Region. If "region" sounds a bit of an imprecise term, Malakand has over five million people, all of whom are now living under a murderous theocracy. Still, peace rallies have broken out all over the Swat Valley, and, at a Swat peace rally, it helps to stand well back: As one headline put it, "Journalist Killed While Covering Peace Rally."

But don't worry about Pakistani nukes falling into the hands of "extremists": The Swat Valley is a good hundred miles from the "nation"'s capital, Islamabad -- or about as far as Northern Vermont is from Southern Vermont. And, of course, Islamabad is safely under the control of the famously moderate Ali Zardari. A few days before the Swat deal, Mr. Zardari marked the dawn of the Obama era by releasing from house arrest A. Q. Khan, the celebrated scientist and one-stop shop for all your Islamic nuclear needs, for whose generosity North Korea and Iran are especially grateful.

From Islamabad, let us zip a world away to London. Actually, it's nearer than you think. The flight routes between Pakistan and the United Kingdom are some of the busiest in the world. Can you get a direct flight from your local airport to, say, Bradford?

Where?

Bradford, Yorkshire. There are four flights a week from Islamabad to Bradford, a town where 75 percent of Pakistani Britons are married to their first cousins. But don't worry, in the country as a whole, only 57 percent of Pakistani Britons are married to first cousins.

Among that growing population of Yorkshire Pakistanis is a fellow called Lord Ahmed, a Muslim member of Parliament. He was in the news the other day for threatening (as the columnist Melanie Phillips put it) "to bring a force of 10,000 Muslims to lay siege to the House of Lords" if it went ahead with an event at which the Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders would have introduced a screening of his controversial film Fitna. Britain's Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, reacted to this by declaring Minheer Wilders persona non grata and having him arrested at Heathrow and returned to the Netherlands.

The Home Secretary is best known for an inspired change of terminology: Last year she announced that henceforth Muslim terrorism (an unhelpful phrase) would be reclassified as "anti-Islamic activity." Seriously. The logic being that Muslims blowing stuff up tends not to do much for Islam's reputation -- i.e., it's an "anti-Islamic activity" in the same sense that Pearl Harbor was an anti-Japanese activity.

Anyway, Geert Wilders's short film is basically a compilation video of footage from various recent Muslim terrorist atrocities -- whoops, sorry, "anti-Islamic activities" -- accompanied by the relevant chapter and verse from the Koran. Jacqui Smith banned the filmmaker on "public order" grounds -- in other words, the government's fear that Lord Ahmed meant what he said about a 10,000-strong mob besieging the Palace of Westminster. You might conceivably get the impression from Wilders's movie that many Muslims are irrational and violent types it's best to steer well clear of. But, if you didn't, Jacqui Smith pretty much confirmed it: We can't have chaps walking around saying Muslims are violent because they'll go bananas and smash the place up.

So, confronted by blackmail, the British government caved. So did the Pakistani government in Swat. But, in fairness to Islamabad, they waited until the shooting was well underway before throwing in the towel. In London, you no longer have to go that far. You just give the impression your more excitable chums might not be able to restrain themselves. "Nice little G7 advanced western democracy you got here. Shame if anything were to happen to it." Twenty years ago this month, Margaret Thatcher's Conservative ministry defended the right of a left-wing author Salman Rushdie to publish a book in the face of Muslim riots and the Ayatollah Khomeini's attempted mob hit. Two decades on, a supposedly progressive government surrenders to the mob before it's even taken to the streets.


In his first TV interview as president, Barack Obama told viewers of al-Arabiya TV that he wanted to restore the "same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago." I'm not sure quite what golden age he's looking back to there -- the Beirut barracks slaughter? the embassy hostages? -- but the point is, it's very hard to turn back the clock. Because the facts on the ground change, and change remorselessly. Even in 30 years. Between 1970 and 2000, the developed world declined from just under 30 percent of the global population to just over 20 percent, while the Muslim world increased from 15 percent to 20 percent. And in 2030, it won't even be possible to re-take that survey, because by that point half the "developed world" will itself be Muslim: In Bradford -- as in London, Amsterdam, Brussels, and almost every other western European city from Malmo to Marseilles -- the principal population growth comes from Islam. Thirty years ago, in the Obama golden age, a British documentary-maker was so horrified by the "honor killing" of a teenage member of the House of Saud at the behest of her father, the king's brother, that he made a famous TV film about it, Death Of A Princess. The furious Saudis threatened a trade boycott with Britain over this unwanted exposure. Today, we have honor killings not just in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, but in Germany, Scandinavia, Britain, Toronto, Dallas, and Buffalo. And they barely raise an eyebrow.

Along with the demographic growth has come radicalization: It's not just that there are more Muslims, but that, within that growing population, moderate Islam is on the decline -- in Singapore, in the Balkans, in northern England -- and radicalized, Arabized, Wahhabized Islam is on the rise. So we have degrees of accommodation: surrender in Islamabad, appeasement in London, acceptance in Toronto and Buffalo.

According to ABC News, a team of UCLA professors have used biogeographic theories to locate Osama bin Laden's hideout as one of three possible houses in the small town of Parachinar, and have suggested to the Pentagon they keep an eye on these buildings. But the problem isn't confined to three buildings. It ripples ever outwards, to the new hardcore sharia state in Malakand, up the road to nuclear Islamabad, over to Bradford on that jet-speed conveyor-belt of child brides, down to the House of Lords and beyond.

Meanwhile, President Obama has removed Winston Churchill's bust from the Oval Office and returned it to the British. Given what Sir Winston had to say about Islam in his book on the Sudanese campaign, the bust will almost certainly be arrested at Heathrow and deported as a threat to public order.


-- Mark Steyn, a National Review columnist, is author of America Alone.

THE PRESIDENT'S FIRST DUTY

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OBAMA "WOBBLES" IN RESPONSE TO RUSSIAN ANGER

The U.S. has been negotiating with Eastern European nations to install missile defense systems against the Iranian threat. Leaders in Poland and the Czech Republic have fought hard to gain the necessary approvals from their people. Russia doesn't like the defense installations (despite the fact they are indeed defensive and to be aimed at Iran) and has been bullying its near neighbors and issuing hostile statements about the U.S.

Now Russia is bullying the president-elect and to the dismay of our alies in Warsaw and Prague the Obama people issued an equivocal statement in response to the Russian president's hostile rhetoric. This show of weakness is disturbing and will only encourage our enemies in Russia, Iran and, indeed North Korea, too.

Here's the story.


MISSILE DEFENSE: BULLYING BARACK
By PETER BROOKES

November 18, 2008 --
Barack Obama campaigned on the promise of "change," but one change the president-elect may be planning on - not deploying a US missile defense in Eastern Europe - would be a big mistake.

Indeed, it's exactly the type of about-face that nations like Russia, Iran and North Korea hope for from the incoming administration.

Worse, it will likely be seen abroad as knuckling to Russian bullying.

ALBRIGHT KNOWS HOW TO STAND TOUGH

Madeleline Albright is reported to be providing her best advice to Obama about how to deal with foreign interests hostile to the United States.

McCAIN FOR PRESIDENT: TESTED, READY TO LEAD

Monday's Christian Science Monitor carried this argument for the election of John McCain composed b two of the brilliant lawyers who write for Power Line. We couldn't agree with it more. This is no time to gamble on a smooth-talking, inexperienced narcissist who wants to remake America in his image. We need John McCain to protect and defend the America we love.

A closing argument for John McCain

His mettle has been tested; he's ready to lead.

By John H. Hinderaker and Scott W. Johnson

from the November 3, 2008 edition

Minneapolis - Speaking in Seattle to campaign contributors behind closed doors earlier this month, Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden all but endorsed John McCain for president.

"Mark my words," Senator Biden warned the assembled supporters. "It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don't remember anything else I said. Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy."

"I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate," Biden continued, citing the Middle East and Russia as possibilities. "And he's gonna need help. And the kind of help he's gonna need is, he's gonna need you – not financially to help him – we're gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it's not gonna be apparent initially, it's not gonna be apparent that we're right."

Recalling that Senator Obama selected Biden as his running mate because of his purported foreign-policy expertise, one might think that more attention would be paid to the obvious import of Biden's words.

Not surprisingly, Biden made no mention of the world testing the mettle of Senator McCain if he were to take office (although he did later, lamely seeking to dismiss the meaning of his words). And for good reason. McCain's mettle has already been tested – proved under conditions beyond the imagining of most Americans. If it is possible to give something beyond the last full measure of devotion to our country, McCain has.

We think that the country would be best served by calling on McCain for one last mission – as president.

The financial crisis in which we now find ourselves poses an economic challenge to American well-being unlike any we have faced since the Great Depression. Before it materialized, Obama supported substantial tax increases through the expiration of the Bush tax cuts for the highest income-earners (of shifting definition). Now that America faces a recession, Obama still supports counterproductive tax increases – on capital gains, the most productive workers, and successful small businesses – that are guaranteed to throw additional sand into the wheels of the economy.

When Obama explained to Joe the Plumber that he believed in "spread[ing] the wealth around," he meant it. He doesn't seem to have much respect for the income and wealth of those who have earned it. He seems to believe it the job of government to redistribute to those trailing "behind" Joe.

If he wins, Obama will take the oath of office, in which he'll swear to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States." Yet the record shows that Obama isn't particularly fond of the Constitution. In a 2001 interview on Chicago public radio, Obama noted that the Warren Court had "never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society," and "to that extent as radical as I think people tried to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn't that radical." Obama asserted that the Constitution "reflected an enormous blind spot in this culture that carries on until this day."

He also noted that the Court "didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it has been interpreted." Obama seemed to think the Constitution deficient, because it provided only a guarantee of negative liberties – what the government can't do to citizens – rather than a positive right to welfare. The Founding Fathers would be shocked by Obama's attitude toward this cornerstone of American principles.

McCain is a more traditional figure. He advocates lower taxes on earned income and shared prosperity through economic growth rather than the redistribution of wealth. He supports the mutual economic advantage to be found in free trade, particularly with friends and allies such as Canada and Colombia, as well as the preservation of the secret ballot in union elections, a strong defense, and victory in war.

In short, Biden suggests that Obama would invite the kind of crises JFK faced when Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev tested him in the Cuban missile crisis, in Berlin, and in Vietnam. And he should know.

McCain, however, also harks back to JFK – the JFK who represented a generation "tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage – and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world."

John H. Hinderaker and Scott W. Johnson are Minneapolis attorneys and contributors to the blog Power Line.

TWO THOUGHTS AS THE ELECTION NEARS

Democratic policies promoting mortgage loans to those who couldn't afford them created the housing boom and bubble and its collapse that was at the heart of the worldwide financial panic that has cost American savers hundreds of billions of dollars of losses in their life savings. There was a chance to head off disaster in 2005 and 2006 but Democrats in the Senate led by Harry Reid and supported by Barack Obama and other Senate Democrats blocked the Republican bill to rein in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. House Democrats led by Pelosi and Barney Frank backed them up. The Democrats who pushed such policies deserve to be rejected. They sought to "spread the wealth" and instead impoverished tens of millions.

However, the most important decision on November 4th is electing our Commander-in-chief.

These are dangerous times, it is a dangerous world. Many don't want to think about it, but Islamic radicals are waging a world war against Western Civilzation targeting first and foremost the United States. Battlefronts are in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Lebanon, Israel, Nigeria, across all of Western Europe and in the United States, Canada and Australia. In some places it's active warfare, in others, terrorism, in others, subversion of our values and way of life to replace them with Islamic law. And Russia and China are building military strength while Iran seeks nuclear warheads for its long-range missiles.

Only John McCain is qualified and fit for the job of Commander-in-Chief. 69% of our military polled agree. McCain loves America and will do his utmost to protect it. Obama finds it difficult to say a good word about America. He constantly disparages America, it's bad and it needs to be changed.

Not only is Obama unqualified, he denies the importance of these threats, has pledged to slash our military to help fund new welfare programs and seems to believe appeasement and a weakened military will bring us peace in our time, just as Neville Chamberlain did in 1939. What prize would he offer up to Iran as Chamberlain offered (and gave) the Sudetenland to Hitler? No wonder Israelis polled prefer McCain by a wide margin.

The leading American expert on Islam Daniel Pipes said this a few days ago:

Obama's multiple links to anti-Americans and subversives mean he would fail the standard security clearance process for Federal employees. Islamic aggression represents America's strategic enemy; Obama's many insalubrious connections raise grave doubts about his fitness to serve as America's commander-in-chief.

For the many reasons why, see. Dr.Pipes' explantion published in the Philadelphia Bulletin.

As Dr. Pipes points out, Obama with the complicitness of the media, has been able to hide his extensive relationships with Islamist organizations and individuals whose goal is the subversion of the U.S. Constitution and the installation of Islamic law, Sharia, in the United States. Just recently we learned of Obama's disdain for the Constitution's "constraining" principles incorporated in the document by the founders.

It is disturbing how much of Obama's life and relationships he has still been able to hide. His birth records, his life at college, his life at law school, much of his Illinois senate activity, details of his community organizing are all closed off by the Obama campaign and the media has not demanded the facts be known. So Obama, a week before the presidential election, remains an unknown to millions, who know only what the campaign has packaged as his fictionalized and incomplete life story. What is he hiding? Will we learn the truth later to our sorrow and America's peril?

Remember, we don't know what we don't know. But we know we don't know.

The distinguished British political observer Melanie Phillips earlier wrote a column of disbelief that Obama was holding a lead in the presidential campaign. She reviewed all she had found out about the people who surrounded Obama and summed up her incredulity succinctly in this telling paragraph:

You have to pinch yourself – a Marxisant* radical who all his life has been mentored by, sat at the feet of, worshipped with, befriended, endorsed the philosophy of, funded and been in turn funded, politically promoted and supported by a nexus comprising black power anti-white racists, Jew-haters, revolutionary Marxists, unrepentant former terrorists and Chicago mobsters, is on the verge of becoming President of the United States. And apparently it’s considered impolite to say so.

In this article she turns to foreign policy. She is an expert on Islamic supremacism, having written a highly detailed account ("Londonistan") of how Islam has infiltrated the UK and is threatening its existence as an outpost of Western civilization. She examines the positions of McCain and Obama on the threat of Islam. We know that McCain has called Islamic supremacism "the transcendent challenge of our times." Obama has not really expressed himself on the threat. Ms. Phillips does her own evaluation. She concludes that McCain is the only reasonable choice for a president who will defend America. She has many reasons for her decision, but this statement is telling:

McCain understands that an Islamic war of conquest is being waged on a number of diverse fronts which all have to be seen in relation to each other. For Obama, however, the real source of evil in the world is America.

Also,

Obama assumes that Islamic terrorism is driven by despair, poverty, inflammatory US policy and the American presence on Muslim soil in the Persian Gulf. Thus he adopts the agenda of the Islamists themselves.

Obama has already stated he will emasculate America's military strength at a time of great danger from Islam and when both China and Russia are engaged in significant military build-ups.

It doesn't help that Obama has surrounded himself with enemies of Israel and appeasers of Iran and fails to see the importance of Israel to the U.S.

Obama dismisses the threat from Islamism, shows zero grasp of the strategic threat to the region and the world from the encirclement of Israel by Iran, displays a similar failure to grasp the strategic importance of Iraq, thinks Israel is instead the source of Arab and Muslim aggression against the west, believes that a Palestinian state would promote world peace and considers that Israel – particularly through the ‘settlements’ – is the principal obstacle to that happy outcome. Accordingly, Obama has said he wants Israel to return to its 1967 borders – actually the strategically indefensible 1948 cease-fire line, known accordingly as the ‘Auschwitz borders’.

Her analysis is worth reading in its entirety.

Is America really going to do this?

FRIDAY, 24TH OCTOBER 2008
Melanie Phillips in the UK’s Spectator

The impact of the financial crisis on the American presidential election has somewhat obscured the most important reason why the prospect of an Obama presidency is giving so many people nightmares. This is the fear that, if he wins, US defences will be emasculated at a time of unprecedented international peril and the enemies of America and the free world will seize their opportunity to destroy the west.

Personally, I don’t give any credence to the ‘support’ for one candidate over the other that has been expressed by the enemies of civilisation (Iran and Hamas ‘support’ Obama, while an al Qaeda blogger ‘supports’ McCain). Their agenda is simply to sow confusion and promote American recriminations and disarray. Nor do I set much store by many of the remarks made by either candidate during the latter stages of this election campaign, since under this kind of pressure both will now say pretty much anything to win it. The New York Times has run a useful analysis of the candidates’ foreign policy campaign statements which shows how Obama has carefully tacked to the ‘hard power’ agenda while McCain has in turn nodded towards ‘soft power’.

No, the only way to assess their position is to look at each man in the round, at what his general attitude is towards war and self-defence, aggression and appeasement, the values of the west and those of its enemies and – perhaps most crucially of all – the nature of the advisers and associates to whom he is listening. As I have said before, I do not trust McCain; I think his judgment is erratic and impetuous, and sometimes wrong. But on the big picture, he gets it. He will defend America and the free world whereas Obama will undermine them and aid their enemies.

Here’s why. McCain believes in protecting and defending America as it is. Obama tells the world he is ashamed of America and wants to change it into something else. McCain stands for American exceptionalism, the belief that American values are superior to tyrannies. Obama stands for the expiation of America’s original sin in oppressing black people, the third world and the poor.

Obama thinks world conflicts are basically the west’s fault, and so it must right the injustices it has inflicted. That’s why he believes in ‘soft power’ — diplomacy, aid, rectifying ‘grievances’ (thus legitimising them, encouraging terror and promoting injustice) and resolving conflict by talking. As a result, he will take an axe to America’s defences at the very time when they need to be built up. He has said he will ‘cut investments in unproven missile defense systems’; he will ‘not weaponize space’; he will ‘slow our development of future combat systems’; and he will also ‘not develop nuclear weapons,’ pledging to seek ‘deep cuts’ in America’s arsenal, thus unilaterally disabling its nuclear deterrent as Russia and China engage in massive military buildups.

McCain understands that an Islamic war of conquest is being waged on a number of diverse fronts which all have to be seen in relation to each other. For Obama, however, the real source of evil in the world is America. The evil represented by Iran and the Islamic jihadists is apparently all America’s fault. ‘A lot of evil’s been perpetuated based on the claim that we were fighting evil,’ he said. Last May, he dismissed Iran as a tiny place which posed no threat to the US -- before reversing himself the very next day when he said Iran was a great threat which had to be defeated. He has also said that Hezbollah and Hamas have ‘legitimate grievances’. Really? And what might they be? Their grievances are a) the existence of Israel b) its support by America c) the absence of salafist Islam in the world. Does Obama think these ‘grievances’ are legitimate?

To solve world conflict, Obama places his faith in the UN club of terror and tyranny, which is currently fuelling the murderous global demonisation of Israel for having the temerity to defend itself and is even now preparing for a rerun of its own anti-Jew hate-fest of Durban 2, which preceded 9/11 by a matter of days.

McCain understands that Israel is the victim rather than the victimiser in the Middle East, that it is surrounded by genocidal enemies whose undiminished intention is to destroy it as a Jewish state, and that is both the first line of defence against the Islamist attack on the free world and its most immediate and important target.

Obama dismisses the threat from Islamism, shows zero grasp of the strategic threat to the region and the world from the encirclement of Israel by Iran, displays a similar failure to grasp the strategic importance of Iraq, thinks Israel is instead the source of Arab and Muslim aggression against the west, believes that a Palestinian state would promote world peace and considers that Israel – particularly through the ‘settlements’ – is the principal obstacle to that happy outcome. Accordingly, Obama has said he wants Israel to return to its 1967 borders – actually the strategically indefensible 1948 cease-fire line, known accordingly as the ‘Auschwitz borders’.

Obama would thus speak to Iran’s genocidal mullahs without preconditions on his side (the same mullahs have now laid down their own preconditions for America: pull all US troops out of the Middle East, and abandon support for ‘Zionist’ Israel) but has said he would have problems dealing with an Israeli government headed by a member of Israel’s Likud Party. In similar vein, it is notable that Obama opposed the congressional resolution labelling the Iranian Revolutionary Guards a terrorist organization, which passed the Senate by a wide margin with support from both parties. And had he had his way, there would have been no ‘surge’ in Iraq and America would instead have run up the white flag, with the incalculable bloodbath and strengthening of the jihad that would have followed.

Obama assumes that Islamic terrorism is driven by despair, poverty, inflammatory US policy and the American presence on Muslim soil in the Persian Gulf. Thus he adopts the agenda of the Islamists themselves. This is not surprising since many of his connections suggest that that the man who may be elected President of a country upon which the Islamists have declared war is himself firmly in the Islamists’ camp. Daniel Pipes lists Obama’s extensive connections to Islamists in general and the Nation of Islam in particular, and concludes with this astounding observation:

Obama's multiple links to anti-Americans and subversives mean he would fail the standard security clearance process for Federal employees. Islamic aggression represents America’s strategic enemy; Obama’s many insalubrious connections raise grave doubts about his fitness to serve as America's commander-in-chief.

The hatred that these Islamist connections entertain towards Israel is reflected amongst Obama’s own advisers. With one notable exception in Dennis Ross, whose late arrival in Camp Obama suggests a cosmetic exercise designed to allay alarm among Israel supporters, his advisers are overwhelmingly not only hostile to Israel but perpetrate the loathesome canard that Jews have too much power over American policy.

The former Carter adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, for example, not only denounced Israel’s war against Hezbollah thus:

I think what the Israelis are doing today [2006] for example in Lebanon is in effect– maybe not in intent – the killing of hostages

but also supports Mearsheimer and Walt’s notorious smear that the Jews have subverted America’s foreign policy in the interests of Israel. Merrill McPeak, vice chairman of Obama’s campaign and his chief military adviser, has similarly blamed problems in the Middle East on the influence of people who live in New York City and Miami (guess who) whom no ‘politician wants to run against’ and who he says exercise undue influence on America’s foreign affairs. Most revolting of all is Samantha Power, a very close adviser whom Obama fired for calling Hillary a ‘monster’ but who says she still expects to be in Obama’s administration. Not only has Power has advocated the ending of all aid to Israel and redirecting it to the Palestinians, but she has spoken about the need to land a ‘mammoth force’ of US troops in Israel to protect the Palestinians from Israeli attempts at genocide (sic) -- and has complained that criticism of Barack Obama all too often came down to what was ‘good for the Jews’.

There are, alas, many in the west for whom all this is music to their ears. Whether through wickedness, ideology, stupidity or derangement, they firmly believe that the ultimate source of conflict in the world derives at root from America and Israel, whose societies, culture and values they want to see emasculated or destroyed altogether. They are drooling at the prospect that an Obama presidency will bring that about. The rest of us can’t sleep at night.


The Middle East's most perceptive observer Caroline Glick looks at an Obama presidency from the point of view of an American and an Israeli and shudders.

Some main points:

In speaking as he did, Biden essentially acknowledged three things. First, he recognized that Obama projects an image of weakness and naiveté internationally that invites America's adversaries to challenge him.

Second, by stating that if Obama is tested a crisis will ensue, Biden made clear that Obama will fail the tests he is handed as a newly inaugurated president. After all, when an able leader is tested, he acts wisely and secures his nation's interests while averting a crisis.

Finally, Biden made clear that Obama's failure will be widely noted, and hence, "it's not gonna be apparent that we're right."

IN LIGHT of Biden's dire warning about his running-mate, the central question that Americans ought to be asking themselves is whether or not Biden is correct. Is it true that Obama projects a posture of weakness and incompetence internationally and is it likely that this posture reflects reality?

Unfortunately, it appears that Biden knows exactly what he is talking about.

Obama has called for slashing the US military budget, cutting back the US's anti-missile programs and scaling back drastically the US nuclear arsenal. That is, although Obama has claimed that he will never take the option of the use of force off the table, by refusing to strengthen the US military which he perceives as weak, he is making certain that the US military option is ineffectual.
Iran will likely be the first US adversary to test Obama. And Obama will have no idea what to do. While Obama has stated repeatedly that a nuclear-armed Iran is a "game-changer," Obama's own rule book for international relations has no relevance for dealing with Iran's game.
Obama views international relations as a creature of American will. If America is nice to others, they will be nice to America. But the fact of the matter is that regimes like Iran hate the US regardless of how it behaves. The only question with strategic relevance for Washington is whether the Iranians also fear the US. And Obama has given them no reason to fear him. To the contrary, he has given them reason to believe that under his leadership, the mullahs can defeat America.

AMERICA STANDS to elect its new president in times of nearly unprecedented dangers. Iran is on the threshold of nuclear weapons. Thanks to the Bush administration, North Korea now feels free to vastly expand its nuclear proliferation activities. Oil rich states like Venezuela, Russia and Iran recognize that with global oil prices decreasing, now is the time to strike before they are impoverished. And the international economic turmoil will cause Western nations to recoil from international confrontations and so embolden rogue states to attack their interests.

Is Obama the man for this job? Clearly not.

Read the entire article, which includes comparisons to Israel's situation and the hugely increased existential risk and danger to Israel from an Obama presidency.

Testing Obama's mettle

Oct. 24, 2008
Caroline Glick , THE JERUSALEM POST

In a week and a half, American voters will elect the next US president. Their decision will impact the entire world.

Democratic nominee Senator Barack Obama now enjoys a significant lead in the polls against Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain. For McCain to win, a lot of Obama supporters will need to reassess their choice for president. This week, Obama's running-mate Senator Joseph Biden gave Obama supporters a good reason to change their minds.

Joe Biden was picked by Obama as his vice presidential running mate because he knew foreign affairs. So what's Biden's view of the dangerous world we live in today? He told us.

Joe Biden incredibly -- except the Senate's number one dunce keeps doing this, so how can it be incredible? -- predicts with 100% certainty that President Barack Obama will be tested within his first six months in a "manufactured crisis" to see how he responds and seems to suggest that Obama will flunk that test. If that what VP nominee Biden thinks, that's a firm recommendation of why McCain should be president.

Sarah Palin felt she should discuss this strange statement.

The text:

Two weeks from today, Americans will be asked to cast their vote for the next president of the United States. There’s no time to wait. Let’s get right to it.

Did you hear what Senator Biden said at a fundraiser on Sunday? He guaranteed that if Barack Obama is elected, we’ll face an international crisis within the first six months of their administration. He told Democrat donors to mark his words – that there were “at least four or five scenarios” that would place our country at risk in an Obama administration. Thanks for the warning, Joe!

He didn’t specify what all those four or five scenarios will be, but for clues, let’s review the Obama foreign policy agenda.

Our opponent wants to sit down with the world’s worst dictators. With no preconditions, he proposes to meet with a regime in Teheran that vows to “wipe Israel off the map.” Let’s call that crisis scenario number one.

Senator Obama has also advocated sending our U.S. military into Pakistan without the approval of the Pakistani government. Invading the sovereign territory of a troubled partner in the war against terrorism. We’ll call that scenario number two.

He opposed the surge strategy that has finally brought victory in Iraq within sight. He’s voted to cut off funding for our troops, leaving our young men and women at grave risk. He wants to pull out, leaving some 25 million Iraqis at the mercy of Iranian-supported Shiite extremists and al Qaeda in Iraq. By his own admission, this could mean our troops would have to go back to Iraq. Crisis scenario number three.

After the Russian army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama’s reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence – the kind of response that would only encourage Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine next. That would be crisis scenario number four.

But I guess the looming crisis that most worries the Obama campaign right now is Joe Biden’s next speaking engagement. Let’s call that crisis scenario number five.

The real problem is that these warnings from Joe Biden are similar to his earlier assessment of Barack Obama. It wasn’t so long ago that he said Barack Obama wasn’t up to the job, and that, quote, “the presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training.”

The same Joe Biden said he would be honored to run on the ticket with John McCain because, quote, “the country would be better off.” And here we have some common ground. I want a president who spent 22 years in uniform defending our country. I want a president who isn’t afraid to use the word “victory” when he talks about the wars we are fighting. I want a president who’s ready on Day One. I want a president with the experience and the judgment and the wisdom to meet the next international crisis – or better yet to avoid it. I want John McCain as our commander-in-chief.

How does the leading analyst of the Middle East Caroline Glick view the Obama/Biden ticket? She asks whether the addition of Biden as VP nominee means Israel can trust Obama. Her unequivocal answer in effect is “Hell, no.”

OBAMA is currently receiving the support of some 57 percent of American Jews. Although this is less than any Democratic presidential nominee in recent memory, it is still disturbing that a large majority of American Jews support him. The Obama campaign no doubt hopes the Biden selection will shore up Jewish support.

It can only be hoped that despite their party loyalty and what they're telling pollsters, American Jews (indeed, American voters generally) will judge Biden and Obama by their records and positions.

Biden has consistently denied the threat emanating from Iran and Syria not only for Israel but for the U.S. as well. And Obama's statements and actions expose him as a man ill disposed not only toward Israel but America itself.

Here's her analysis.

With Biden On Board, Can Obama Be Trusted?
By Caroline Glick, Aug. 28, 2008

Many American Jewish observers welcomed Barack Obama's selection of Sen. Joseph Biden as his vice-presidential running mate. As a member of the Senate since 1973, and the serving chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Biden is a seasoned political player and foreign policy heavyweight. His experience, it is argued, will make up for Obama's inexperience; his moderate liberal views will make up for Obama's radical liberal views.

Biden has a track record of often supporting Israel. And as he entered the Democratic presidential primaries last year, he stepped up his pro-Israel pronouncements. In an interview with the Forward for instance, Biden rejected the anti-Israel call to distance the U.S. from Israel in a bid to ratchet up Arab support for the U.S. As he put it, "In my 34-year career, I have never wavered from the notion that the only time progress has ever been made in the Middle East is when the Arab nations have known that there is no daylight between us and Israel. So the idea of being an 'honest broker' is not, as some of my Democratic colleagues call for, the answer. It is being the smart broker, it is being the smart partner.

But while Biden's rhetoric on America's relationship with Israel is firm, his positions on issues critically important to Israel's national security call into question his willingness to stand by Israel. He is a staunch supporter of an Israeli transfer of the strategically critical Golan Heights to Syria and has harshly criticized the Bush administration for its refusal to support Israeli negotiations with Syria. At the same time, he downplays the significance of Syria's strategic alliance with Iran and its sponsorship of terrorists in Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority. Belittling those ties, Biden has claimed repeatedly and without a shred of evidence that the Syrians really want to put all of that behind them.

OBAMA'S "AUDACITY OF HYPE"

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 070405sowellthomas.jpgHoover Institution Senior Fellow Thomas Sowell reflects on Obama's idea of "change" and the real change that McCain-Palin represent.


We don't need Barack Obama to create "change." Things change in politics, in the economy, and elsewhere in American society, without waiting for a political messiah to lead us into the promised land.

Who would have thought that Obama's big speech at the Democratic convention would disappoint expectations, while McCain's speech electrified his audience when he announced his choice of Governor Sarah Palin for his running mate?

Some people were surprised that his choice was a woman. What is more surprising is that she is an articulate Republican. How many of those have you seen?

Despite the incessantly repeated mantra of "change," Barack Obama's politics is as old as the New Deal and he is behind the curve when it comes to today's economy.

Not only is Obama peddling failed economic policies and stirring up class warfare, his national security policies would put the nation at great risk.

Senator Obama's rhetoric today is the anti-business and class warfare rhetoric that worked so brilliantly in a political sense for FDR in the 1930s. But Obama is following an opposite course from FDR when it comes to recognizing threats to American national security.

Senator Obama has repeatedly tried to deal with national security threats with rhetoric. He tried to dismiss the threat of a nuclear Iran with because Iran is "a small nation"-- even though it is larger than Japan, which launched a devastating attack against the United States at Pearl Harbor.

FDR had the good sense to begin urging greater military preparedness in 1940, more than a year before the United States was attacked. He said, "If you wait until you see the whites of their eyes, you will never know what hit you."

Cutting the military budget and taking foreign policy problems to the United Nations are Obama's version of "change."

That is change that we dare not believe in. It is the audacity of hype.

MCCAIN CONDEMNS RUSSIAN ATTACKS ON GEORGIA

Our best friend in the Caucuses the nation of Georgia is being attacked by Russia and hundreds of civilians have already been killed by Russian tanks and planes. Russians appear to be making bombing runs against a vital oil pipeline from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean that bypasses Russia by going through Georgia.

The Russian aggression has been condemned by the United States government, NATO, the European Union and very forcefully by John McCain. When the attacks broke out, the Obama position was that both sides were to blame and called upon the United Nations to mediate. With Russia on the Security Council, that's close to being a sick joke.

John Hinderaker, one of the lawyer bloggers of the excellent blog Power Line, expressed his disgust:

It is often said that Obama is not ready to be President, but I don't think this is exactly right. It seems pretty obvious that Obama, given his temperament, his self-regard, his blithe ignorance of history and of the material conditions of life on this planet, will never be ready to be President. He is not unready: he is unsuited for, and inadequate to, the office.
.

PROUD TO BE AMERICAN? YOU BET.

Before the glow from Independence Day fades, one should consider what Professor Thomas Sowell asks.

How did "God Bless America" become "God Damn America"?


Does Patriotism Matter?
Thomas Sowell
Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Fourth of July is a patriotic holiday but patriotism has long been viewed with suspicion or disdain by many of the intelligentsia. As far back as 1793, prominent British writer William Godwin called patriotism "high-sounding nonsense."

Internationalism has long been a competitor with patriotism, especially among the intelligentsia. H.G. Wells advocated replacing the idea of duty to one's country with "the idea of cosmopolitan duty."

Perhaps nowhere was patriotism so downplayed or deplored than among intellectuals in the Western democracies in the two decades after the horrors of the First World War, fought under various nations' banners of patriotism.

In France, after the First World War, the teachers' unions launched a systematic purge of textbooks, in order to promote internationalism and pacifism.

Books that depicted the courage and self-sacrifice of soldiers who had defended France against the German invaders were called "bellicose" books to be banished from the schools.

Textbook publishers caved in to the power of the teachers' unions, rather than lose a large market for their books. History books were sharply revised to conform to internationalism and pacifism.

The once epic story of the French soldiers' heroic defense against the German invaders at Verdun, despite the massive casualties suffered by the French, was now transformed into a story of horrible suffering by all soldiers at Verdun-- French and German alike.

In short, soldiers once depicted as national heroes were now depicted as victims-- and just like victims in other nations' armies.

Children were bombarded with stories on the horrors of war. In some schools, children whose fathers had been killed during the war were asked to speak to the class and many of these children-- as well as some of their classmates and teachers-- broke down in tears.

In Britain, Winston Churchill warned that a country "cannot avoid war by dilating upon its horrors." In France, Marshal Philippe Petain, the victor at Verdun, warned in 1934 that teachers were trying to "raise our sons in ignorance of or in contempt of the fatherland."

But they were voices drowned out by the pacifist and internationalist rhetoric of the 1920s and 1930s.

Did it matter? Does patriotism matter?

France, where pacifism and internationalism were strongest, became a classic example of how much it can matter.

During the First World War, France fought on against the German invaders for four long years, despite having more of its soldiers killed than all the American soldiers killed in all the wars in the history of the United States, put together.

But during the Second World War, France collapsed after just six weeks of fighting and surrendered to Nazi Germany. At the bitter moment of defeat the head of the French teachers' union was told, "You are partially responsible for the defeat."

Charles de Gaulle, Francois Mauriac, and other Frenchmen blamed a lack of national will or general moral decay, for the sudden and humiliating collapse of France in 1940.

At the outset of the invasion, both German and French generals assessed French military forces as more likely to gain victory, and virtually no one expected France to collapse like a house of cards -- except Adolf Hitler, who had studied French society instead of French military forces.

Did patriotism matter? It mattered more than superior French tanks and planes.

Most Americans today are unaware of how much our schools have followed in the footsteps of the French schools of the 1920s and 1930s, or how much our intellectuals have become citizens of the world instead of American patriots.

Our media are busy verbally transforming American combat troops from heroes into victims, just as the French intelligentsia did-- with the added twist of calling this "supporting the troops."

Will that matter? Time will tell.

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