Thursday, March 31, 2011

Defense Secretary Robert Gates Rules Out Ground Forces for Libya


In his strongest statement yet on Libya, Defense Secretary Robert Gates reiterates that the U.S. would not send ground troops. The administration is still considering whether to provide arms to the rebels, but what opposition forces need most is training, he says.
And at Hot Air, "Gates kinda sorta threatens to resign if Obama sends ground troops into Libya." RELATED: At NYT, "Gates Says Other Nations Should Arm Libyan Rebels" (via Memeorandum).

'We've got something stronger than bombs, we have solidarity ...'

What's perplexing is not that Obama hired this guy, but why Van Jones thought it good to sign on with a Democratic presidential administration. Musta thought he'd be getting some reciprocal solidarity from folks within and around the Oval Office.

At Gateway Pundit, "SHOCKING DISCOVERY: The Day After 9-11 Van Jones Led Rally Where They Cheered American Killers." And Big Government, "Racist Van Jones Rally Cheered 9/11 Attacks" and iOWNTHEWORLD (via Memeorandum):

Obama Authorizes Covert Support for Libya Rebels: Progressives All Messed Up

The Libya campaign is really sorting out a lot of partisan recrimination dating back to the early Bush administration. CNS reports on Barack Obama's 2002 campaign ad that claimed:
"I don't oppose all wars. ... What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne."
Now the president's saying that it's our responsibility as world leader to "protect fellow human beings" facing extermination at the hands of their own governments.


And to top it off, lefties are a little discombobulated that Obambi's authorized covert action in Libya. Seriously. Emptywheel wants "The One" placed before a war crimes tribunal, and Excitable Andrew Sullivan just can't accept the truth:

I simply cannot believe it. I know the president is not against all wars - just dumb ones. But could any war be dumber than this - in a place with no potential for civil society, wrecked by totalitarianism, riven by tribalism, in defense of rebels we do not know and who are clearly insufficient to the task?
Contrast that to Ann Coulter, who's hardly dumbstruck at the president's perfidy, "Obama Cried, Kids Died":
... Democrats couldn't care less about the interests of their own country. Indeed, if there were the slightest possibility that our intervention in Libya would somehow benefit the United States, they would hysterically oppose it.

When it came to the Iraq War -- which actually served America's security interests -- Democrats demanded proof that Saddam Hussein was 10 minutes away from launching a first strike against the U.S. They denounced the Iraq War nonstop, wailing that Saddam hadn't hit us on 9/11 and that he posed no "imminent threat" to America.

What imminent threat does Libya pose to the U.S.? How will our interests be served by putting the rebels in charge?

Obama didn't even suggest the possibility that our Libyan intervention serves the nation's interest. Last weekend, his defense secretary, Robert Gates, said the uprising in Libya "was not a vital national interest to the United States, but it was an interest." So, not a vital interest, but an interest. Like scrapbooking, surfing or Justin Bieber.

CPAC Day Two

Julian Schnabel's Anti-Israel Propaganda

From my review of "Miral" at NewsReal Blog: "Movie Review: Julian Schnabel’s Anti-Israel Propaganda “Miral”":

Julian Schnabel

I went to see this movie without prejudice or preconception. I’d heard only minor details of the controversy surrounding “Miral,” most notably the vehement denunciation that was issued by the American Jewish Committee upon the film’s screening at the United Nations. I thus hoped my mind would be clear of preformed bias or ideological castigations. As it turns out, then, I was perhaps even more surprised by Schnabel’s vision of a hellish, Jewish police state. With the exception of a sympathetic Jewish Israeli woman (played by Stella Schnabel, the director’s daughter), Israelis are portrayed as police enforcers and murderous military bureaucrats in the Schutzstaffel mold. It’s one faceless scene after another where Palestinian homes are razed by Israeli heavy machinery and Muslim street protesters are gunned down by police bullets during the uprisings. But never does Schnabel offer a hint of background information, thus viewers are robbed of the chance at greater understanding of the issues and causes — especially those deeply gripping humanitarian violations rooted on the Palestinian side of the Middle East standoff (think Itamar).
Read the whole thing at the link above, FWIW. And see Phyllis Chesler's much superior essay, "Anti-Israel Agitprop on the Silver Screen."

PHOTO CREDIT: At top, Julian Schnabel pictured with Rula Jebreal (left) and Freida Pinto, c/o Wikipedia.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

UCI's Olive Tree Initiative Met Secretly With Hamas Speaker Aziz Duwaik

I just recently learned of the Olive Tree Initiative.

The group's not on the up and up, it turns out (although this isn't a surprise to folks following the Muslim Students Association at UCI). See Roger Simon, "UCI Facilitates Secret Meeting with Hamas for their Students." Also, at the O.C. Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism, "Letter: UC Irvine Olive Tree Initiative Students Met with Hamas Leader in 2009 trip." Read the letter here. And an excerpt:

On Sunday, September 20, 2009, the second class of the Olive tree Initiative (OTI) returned from their travels in Israel and the west Bank. As its largest funder, Jewish Federation has strongly supported the concept and development of OTI from its inception.

... We expected, and believed we had received, full disclosure about program details. This is why we were quite surprised to learn, following the recent return of the OTI group, that they conducted an unapproved, off-itinerary meeting on September 16th with Aziz Duwaik, a notable Hamas figure.

We were further distressed to learn that, ostensibly, the students were asked to keep this meeting a secret. We have been informed by OTI student participants, that they were instructed by [name redacted] ‘not to tell anyone about the meeting with Duwaik. According to the information we received, the students were given two reasons to keep the meeting under wraps; (1) to avoid being detained upon reentering Israel from the west bank or being held at the airport before leaving the country; and (2) to avoid confrontation with anyone who would have disagreed with this meeting had they known about it in advance – namely Orange County Jewish community and leadership, and UCI administration. One UCI faculty member and two UCI doctoral candidates were in charge of arrangements on the ground. [Name redacted] was well aware of Jewish Federation's ‘redlines’ – what could or could not be done on an OTI trip. Taking UCI [students] to meet a Hamas leader crossed those red lines, and put the University and Jewish Federation in a precarious position. We are deeply troubled that this incident could potentially derail the substantial progress we have made together in building multicultural bridges at UCI ...

Hamas remains on the State Department's list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO). So hey, no wonder UCI's organizers tried to keep this secret. Oh boy. Talk about derailing "the substantial progress" toward building "multicultural bridges" at UCI! And the letter is from October 2009, almost 6 months before Ambassador Michael Oren was shouted down by fanatical MSA activists last year. See also the furious response from The Institute for Jewish & Community Research (IJCR):

This disclosure comes as the University of California system faces federal anti-Semitism complaints against the Santa Cruz and Berkeley campuses. The Olive Tree Initiative was intended to address similar problems at Irvine. Kenneth L. Marcus, Director of The Anti-Semitism Initiative at IJCR, comments, "Now the University of California must explain how introducing its students to Hamas leadership was supposed to address this serious problem." The meeting with a U.S. designated terrorist organization follows years of controversy on the UC Irvine campus, including a federal investigation of anti-Semitism. Charges are currently being pursued against 11 members of the UCI Muslim Students Association for repeatedly disrupting Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren’s speaking engagement.

IJCR urges UC Irvine to respond to this serious misuse of funds and gross violation of public trust. It is not known how many such meetings took place or whether UCI has arranged any meetings with Hamas since. Ironically, UCI obtained funding from the Jewish community to support the Olive Tree Initiative. Kenneth L. Marcus, commented, "It is inconceivable that UCI would expose its students to a recognized terrorist organization, and then try to conceal the matter from the public. This not only jeopardizes UCI’s ability to address the anti-Semitism problem on its campus today, but also UCI’s academic integrity.”

Look, the Olive Tree Initiative was set up as a front organization for the Muslim Students Association. The MSA in turn is a U.S. branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the original ideological and Islamist foundation for Hamas. But everything's so politically correct that it takes Freedom of Information Requests to get the truth out there. Shame on UCI! Faculty and graduate students are organizing student organizing junkets for Palestinian terrorism! Jeez, something's the matter with that, you think? But no, backers of the Olive Tree Initiative are working feverishly to silence critics of the group --- as recently as last week, it turns out. See the Jewish Journal, "Groups clash over public discussion of Olive Tree Initiative."

Expect updates ...

Obama Authorizes Covert Operations in Libya!

I confess this is a wow! kinda moment. Obambi basically declared victory in his address to the nation on Tuesday, and now he's going all Nixon-Kissinger on us with some CIA action.

At Los Angeles Times, "CIA officers in Libya are aiding rebels, U.S. officials say." And also ABC News, "President Obama Authorizes Covert Help for Libyan Rebels: Head of House Intel Committee Says Arming Unknown Rebels May Be a Mistake" (via Memeorandum). This part's the best:

Earlier this week, Obama declined in an interview with ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer to rule out arming the Libyan insurgents. When asked by Sawyer whether he would consider sending weapons to the rebels, Obama said, "We are examining all options to support the opposition."

White House spokesman Jay Carney repeated echoed Obama today saying the president is "not ruling something in or ruling something out in terms of lethal assistance to the opposition... We're coordinating with the opposition and exploring ways that we can assist them with nonlethal assistance. And we'll look at other possibilities of assistance as we move forward.

Rep. Mike Rogers, head of the House Intelligence Committee, warned the Obama administration against sending arms to the Libyan insurgents.

"It's safe to say what the rebels stand against," Rogers, R-Mich. said. "But we are a long way from an understanding of what they stand for. We don't have to look very far back in history to find examples of the unintended consequences of passing out advanced weapons to a group of fighters we didn't know as well as we should have."

"We need to be very careful before rushing into a decision that could come back to haunt us," Rogers said.

As always, the fear is that Islamists may end up in power, and thus the U.S. will have backed a (new) regime opposed to American interests and those of our allies, especially Israel. Not only that, the administration's been all over the map, with confused and contradictory statements, and of course a Jello policy on regime change or not. More on that from Melanie Phillips, "Humpty in Toytown and the Arab Boomerang."

'Antiwar' Protesters Call for Revolution in U.S. — Nationwide ANSWER Rallies Ignored by Mainstream Media Organizations

This isn't news to me, although I'm glad that a growing number of bloggers and citizen journalists are paying attention. The Los Angeles ANSWER organizers held their annual march in Hollywood on Saturday, March 19th. I had my taxes done that day and missed it, but veteran protest photographer Ringo was on the scene, and he reports: "Anti-War Demonstration, Hollywood, CA - March 19th, 2011." I've been focused lately on Israel and the rising tide of global anti-Semitism, and recall the ANSWER folks are at the forefront of the campaign for a new Jewish Holocaust. Naturally, the "push-the-Jews-to-the-sea" crowd was well represented in Hollywood. I'll have more on this in continuing coverage here. Meanwhile, Rebel Pundit has an excellent report from the event in Chicago on March 19th: "Exclusive: Chicago Media Covers Up Socialist Revolution Extravaganza!!" (also at Breitbart and Memeorandum).

After arriving at the protest, we began to notice a trend in the message of the day. The message was transitioning back and fourth between ‘Anti-War, and ending the occupation of Iraq’, to a ‘blatantly obvious and proud Communist/Socialist revolutionary’ message. Threats of taking to the streets, with directives to become ungovernable and to mimic the revolutions spreading across the Middle East and North Africa were prominent in the speeches, most of which were given by radical left wing socialist activists and organizers.

There was clearly no intent on anyone’s behalf at the rally to cover up their radical views. However, in each case of the local mainstream media coverage, (CBS 2 News, NBC 5 News and ABC 7 News) it appears there may have been a deliberate intent to conceal this prominent message, that was delivered loud and clear by the protesters and speakers, or perhaps they decided to just simply ignore it, hoping it wouldn’t be noticed. In ABC 7 Eyewitness News’s coverage, they didn’t even mention the words; socialist, communist, or revolution once. However our footage reveals this was a prominent and consistent theme present during the entire march, and to no one’s surprise, considering the radical ties of those who organized it.

Rebel Pundit argues for a media cover-up of the revolutionary agenda, but that's pretty much standard operating procedure. Some of the first days of the Wisconsin budget protests saw the exact same comparisons between the U.S. and the Middle East (Mubarak), although it was mostly bloggers that brought the news to the wider audience. Last year's pro-immigration march in Phoenix was dominated by communists calling for revolution and the destruction of nation-state borders. I specifically highlighted mainstream coverage of the march at the Arizona Republic and the Los Angeles Times. They treated the event, with dishonest reports and photos of children protesters, etc., as a "civil rights" march. Meanwhile, we've got leftists who continue to insist that revolutionary agitation --- not to mention the left's global anti-Israel campaign of annihilation --- is "imaginary" and the product of a "persecution" complex. It's thus all around us, the lies and subterfuge relentlessly grinding away at the basic fabric of society, warping young minds with anti-American, pro-Holocaust propaganda. Add on top of this the growing black bloc movement of anarchist violence, which despite the "anarchist" label is really about state destruction to prepare for the communist takeover, and folks can get a pretty good picture of the current revolutionary agenda on today's progressive left. Also reporting: Another Black Conservative, The Blast, Left Coast Rebel, and Weasel Zippers.

Obama's War That Isn't

From ReasonTV (via Theo Spark):

Nick Gillespie is so intellectually attractive, with his careful and deliberate speaking, and his arguments indicating the hypocrisy of it all. But libertarians always short change moral values, so I rarely go all in for them. Not only that, libertarians have strange bedfellows in the America-hating antiwar left, for example, in Freddie deBoer, "An Open Letter to Juan Cole on Libya." I despise the pro-war left as well, but it'd be a shame not to share Freddie's juvenile whining.

Crystal Bowersox: 'Farmer's Daughter'

Via Theo Spark:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Lies of 'Israel Apartheid Week'

From the David Horowitz Freedom Center:

I Was Born in a Cross-Fire Hurricane...

I don't care about the politics. How'd you like to sit down the Mick and Keith for a couple of beers, and maybe sing a song two, drunk and loud? Beautiful stuff, and double clips for you, years apart. I'll be on afternoon drive time until later ...

'The Ron Paul people are the biggest a-holes of them all...'

I was crackin' up at this!

At Daily Caller, "Levin takes on Ron Paul supporters: ‘I promise you his followers are the biggest a-holes of them all’."

“And so we get into these debates on constitutional issues, on economics, on history,” he continued. “And that’s a good thing. But the Ron Paul people are the biggest a-holes of them all. Now some of you may be thinking about Ron Paul – I promise you his followers are the biggest a-holes of them all. Not necessarily because of what they believe, but the way they express themselves. They’re obnoxious. They’re like Marxists, really. The mob mentality, the language, true believers, and yet there is a lot that is sensible, particularly on the Rand Paul side of the family when it comes to the Constitution, and economics and so forth.”
Well, it's not sensible when these same cranks start spouting ugly anti-Semitic rants. Bunch of freakin' dwids. And funny thing is that these bashers are flocking to my site from Conservative Times, the guy Red Phillips, for example. The dude's in my comments claiming how Levin's getting his butt kicked or something. Mostly looks like amusement to me.

Scott Marshall, Vice Chair of Communist Party USA, Stoked by Radicalization of Wisconsin's Democratic Party!

Yo, Tintin!

More imaginary communists!

And from Doug Ross, "Radicalization of Democrat Lawmakers Surprises Even Communists":

The Democrat Party is so poisoned, so laced with the traitorous and defective ideology of Marxism, that it must be flushed into the toilet bowl of history ...

Sarah Palin Slams Obama's 'Profoundly Disappointing' Speech on Libya

This is great.

At Politico, "Sarah Palin 'profoundly disappointed' by Obama's Libya speech," and Gateway Pundit, "Sarah Palin on President’s Libya Speech: “It Proved That the Obama Doctrine is Still Full of Chaos and Questions”."

What's interesting is not so much that she hammer's Obama, but that her comments raise implications for the debate on the "Neocons vs. the Anti-Jihad Movement." Palin sounds like a neoconservative regime-changer, but that's a dangerous bet at this point. See David Horowitz, who continues his campaign against Obama's intervention: "Bill Kristol Drinks the Kool Aid."

Melanie Phillips: 'The People Who Carried Out the Massacre in Itamar Were Indeed Morally Depraved and Savage'

And it's not just the murderers, but those who incite them. Melanie Phillips is a treasure (via Blazing Cat Fur):

'Abortion is Black Genocide'

At PuffHo, "Obama Featured On Chicago Anti-Abortion Billboards Targeting Black South Siders."

Also, at Jill Stanek's, "Breaking: New “abortion is black genocide” Chicago billboard to feature Obama." And Moral Outcry, "New Billboard Campaign against Abortion Features President Obama."

RELATED: At That's Abortion, "Life Always Rebuttal to Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar":

Anti-Semitism in Norway

From Alan Dershowitz, at Wall Street Journal, "Norway to Jews: You're Not Welcome Here: Anti-Semitism Doesn't Even Mask Itself as Anti-Zionism":
I recently completed a tour of Norwegian universities, where I spoke about international law as applied to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But the tour nearly never happened.

Its sponsor, a Norwegian pro-Israel group, offered to have me lecture without any charge to the three major universities. Norwegian universities generally jump at any opportunity to invite lecturers from elsewhere. When my Harvard colleague Stephen Walt, co-author of "The Israel Lobby," came to Norway, he was immediately invited to present a lecture at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim. Likewise with Ilan Pappe, a demonizer of Israel who teaches at Oxford.

My hosts expected, therefore, that their offer to have me present a different academic perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would be eagerly accepted. I have written half a dozen books on the subject presenting a centrist view in support of the two-state solution. But the universities refused.

The dean of the law faculty at Bergen University said he would be "honored" to have me present a lecture "on the O.J. Simpson case," as long as I was willing to promise not to mention Israel. An administrator at the Trondheim school said that Israel was too "controversial."

The University of Oslo simply said "no" without offering an excuse. That led one journalist to wonder whether the Norwegian universities believe that I am "not entirely house-trained."

Only once before have I been prevented from lecturing at universities in a country. The other country was Apartheid South Africa.

More at the link above. Norway's university professor attack not Israel, but "the Jews," who are alleged to be just like "the Germans around 1938."

New Britney Spears Album‎ Out Today

A review at the Hartford Courant, "Britney Spears' 'Femme Fatale' Is Her Best Yet." Also, at MTV, "Britney Spears Was 'Over-The-Top' In Las Vegas, Palms Owner Says."

And here's another FMJRA effort, with a big thanks to Jonn Lilyea for the linkage.

And see the other friends of American Power: American Perspective, Amusing Bunni's Musings, Astute Bloggers, Bob Belvedere, CSPT, Dan Collins, Eye of Polyphemus, Gator Doug, Irish Cicero, Left Coast Rebel, Mind-Numbed Robot, Legal Insurrection, Lonely Conservative, PA Pundits International, Pirate's Cove, Proof Positive, Saberpoint, Snooper, WyBlog, The Western Experience, Yankee Phil, and Zion's Trumpet.

Plus, top it off with Theo's Bedtime Totty.

BONUS: Linkmaster Smith: "Good Tactically, But What Of Strategy?"

'Man, the Donalde is such a douchey little freak'

From the comments at Rumproast, where those dolts are still trippin' on Sasquatch Israel. Pathetic bunch of asshats too. They're just steaming after being called out for backing the anarchists in London. Bloodthirsty mofos, the lot of them.

RELATED: Dr. Sanity has some comments on London's anarchy and the mental sickness of leftists:

The little children who make up the left side of the political spectrum have never learned that reality exists separate from their own wants or desires. They still want what they want when they want it no matter what. And they are prepared to stage a temper tantrum if Mommy or Daddy -- or Reality, in this case -- say, "No!"

You can ignore reality, but reality will not ignore you.

The question is why are so many so determined to ignore the fiscal reality that is taking down nation after nation; state after state; individual after individual?

Why, is reality no longer something that exists outside one's wishes, whims or wants for some people?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Obama's Speech on Libya: 'Wherever People Want to Be Free — You Will Find a Friend in the United States'

After all the fancy words and lofty rhetoric --- and this was one hella lofty speech --- the key question remains unanswered: What if Gaddafi hangs on?

The president said NATO and our European allies would maintain a no-fly zone and continue to monitor threats to the security of the Libyan people. But the mission won't be successful as long as Gaddafi remains in power, free to launch brutal reprisals against the opposition when Western willpower falters. But check The Economist, with one of the best commentaries ever, "The Challenge of Libya: Where Will It End?":
Colonel Qaddafi is the Arab world’s most violent despot. In one day in 1996 his men killed 1,270 prisoners in a Tripoli jail. He has backed terrorism and assassinated dissidents. Western leaders were right to have given him a chance to turn a new leaf after 2003, when he renounced his nuclear programme. But when peaceful protesters marched for change a few weeks ago he shot them—seemingly with relish. Whatever the course of the coming weeks and months, do not forget that the colonel and his sons had vowed to slaughter the people of Tobruk and Benghazi, house by house. In the narrowest of senses, a mission that many said was pointless and too late has already chalked up one success.

Moreover, what happens in Libya, for good or ill, will affect its more hopeful neighbours, Egypt and Tunisia. Farther afield, even Syria is beginning to stir and its government may be tempted to be as ruthless as Libya’s ... If violence prevails in Libya, the momentum for peaceful change across the Middle East may drain away, as both autocrats and protesters elsewhere in the Arab world conclude that violence is after all an essential tool for getting their way.

I'll give it up for Obama on his forceful affirmation of our values. But I'm more critical than William Kristol, who's going all out with effusive praise: "You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby." But there's a split in the neoconservative camp. Jennifer Rubin likes the rhetoric but calls out Obama for weaseling on the exercise of U.S. hard power, "Obama’s Libya speech":
Obama can’t bring himself to embrace the view of those conservatives, you know the ones who pushed to liberate Iraq. (“Thanks to the extraordinary sacrifices of our troops and the determination of our diplomats, we are hopeful about Iraq’s future. But regime change there took eight years, thousands of American and Iraqi lives, and nearly a trillion dollars. That is not something we can afford to repeat in Libya.”) Moreover, he won’t, he told us in no uncertain terms — despite all the interests he outlined — use our military to remove Moammar Gaddafi. And this is where he became, frankly, incoherent. WHY aren’t we using our military? Ah, the price of multilateralism.

Neocons vs. the Anti-Jihad Movement

Editor David Swindle has a nifty post at NewsReal Blog, "David Horowitz on Nation-Building: “I agree with Haley Barbour”." It's a summary of David Horowitz's recent comments on U.S. foreign military intervention. I laid out my position this morning at "Libya's Rebels?" I think things are a little more complicated than Horowitz has laid out, although David Swindle's contrast of the paradigms is excellent --- a conservative divide over regime change and humanitarian intervention:
The divide can be summarized in both movements’ reactions to one fact: 84% of Egyptians believe apostates from Islam need to be executed. The traditional neo-conservative establishment ignored that fact in their embrace of the revolts in Egypt. (Apparently traditional neoconservatives are so eager to remove one tyrant that they don’t care if a worse one steps in to fill the void.) The Anti-Jihad movement was more clear-eyed in realizing that “democracy” in such a country would be many things but “freedom” is not one of them.

Libya's Rebels?

John Lee Anderson reports from Benghazi, "Who Are the Rebels?":

Three of the world’s great armies have suddenly conspired to support a group of people in the coastal cities and towns of Libya, known, vaguely, as “the rebels.” Last month, Muammar Qaddafi, who combines a phantasmagorical sense of reality with an unbounded capacity for terror, appeared on television to say that the rebels were nothing more than Al Qaeda extremists, addled by hallucinogens slipped into their milk and NescafĂ©. President Obama, who is torn between the imperatives of rescuing Libyan innocents from slaughter and not falling into yet another prolonged war, described the same rebels rather differently: “people who are seeking a better way of life.”

During weeks of reporting in Benghazi and along the chaotic, shifting front line, I’ve spent a great deal of time with these volunteers. The hard core of the fighters has been the shabab—the young people whose protests in mid-February sparked the uprising. They range from street toughs to university students (many in computer science, engineering, or medicine), and have been joined by unemployed hipsters and middle-aged mechanics, merchants, and storekeepers. There is a contingent of workers for foreign companies: oil and maritime engineers, construction supervisors, translators. There are former soldiers, their gunstocks painted red, green, and black—the suddenly ubiquitous colors of the pre-Qaddafi Libyan flag.

And there are a few bearded religious men, more disciplined than the others, who appear intent on fighting at the dangerous tip of the advancing lines. It seems unlikely, however, that they represent Al Qaeda. I saw prayers being held on the front line at Ras Lanuf, but most of the fighters did not attend. One zealous-looking fighter at Brega acknowledged that he was a jihadi—a veteran of the Iraq war—but said that he welcomed U.S. involvement in Libya, because Qaddafi was a kafir, an unbeliever...

Be sure to read the whole thing, although it's worth appending the conclusion here:
In Benghazi, an influential businessman named Sami Bubtaina expressed a common sentiment: “We want democracy. We want good schools, we want a free media, an end to corruption, a private sector that can help build this nation, and a parliament to get rid of whoever, whenever, we want.” These are honorable aims. But to expect that they will be achieved easily is to deny the cost of decades of insanity, terror, and the deliberate eradication of civil society.

Reading this, it's clearly an extremely fluid situation in Libya, and intense caution is warranted. Thus, I woudn't quibble much with David Horowitz's latest commentary, "
Ominous Signals on Libya: A Response to Andrew Sullivan." No doubt the administration's been caught off guard. Not only have goals been left vague, but should ground troops be deployed, President Obama will have purposely deceived the nation. Most of all, folks like Horowitz worry that extremists will come to power, and an Islamist front could eventually span the region from Tripoli to the West Bank. Andrew Sullivan doesn't care. He's got an epic Obama man-crush going and wants Obama to out-cowboy G.W. Bush on military intervention. But there are differences. Rick Moran builds on Horowitz's analysis, putting things into progressive perspective: "Libya and the Soros Doctrine." And the morally bankrupt Juan Cole does yeoman's work in sitiuating Libya as the center of ideological battle against "evil" conservatives in the Horowitzian mold, whether neoconservative or not: "An Open Letter to the Left on Libya." Add on top of these the freak paleocons at American Conservative and Conservative Times and folks can get an idea of how complicated the politics of foreign policy are at present. As always, my standard remains the expansion of freedom around the world. I may differ from Horowitz and Rick Moran on the immediate tactical agenda, but my friends on the right join me in battle against the progressives, who support the rebels now, and would continue to support Libya should it become, after a change of regimes, a North African front against the U.S. and Israel.

Stephen Walt on Mearsheimer and Walt's Israel Lobby Five Years On

Professor Walt asks, "Did 'The Israel Lobby' Change Anything?"

I think a lot has changed, especially the ease in which opponents of Israel can bash the Jewish state. But what's especially interesting is how Mearsheimer and Walt have been co-opted by Israel's enemies across the ideological spectrum and across the globe. That's quite an accomplishment. That said, some fellow writes this passage below, from the comments at Foreign Policy, which is so true. Walt's response would be that the majority of supporters want the wrong policies for Israel --- and that's not going to change no matter the evidence thrown at the Israel-bashing academic egghead:

Walt, this is the "Israel Lobby:"

The American people support Israel by an over 4:1 margin. If it wasn't for this fact, the influence of AIPAC and similar groups would be marginal at best. The truth is that the American people respect and empathize with Israel and wish it to survive as a prospering, Jewish, democratic state in an exceptionally hostile environment. They also realize that Israel has, since the 1979 peace treaty with Egypt, made huge concessions for peace with the Palestinians, giving away Gaza and most of the West Bank and allowing them to govern themselves, but generally has only gotten intifada, rockets, missiles, and suicide bombings in return. I know these facts are such a shock for you, but not everyone is some out-of-touch leftist academic. In fact, they are evidently are more realistic than the supposed "realist."

Israel Deploys 'Iron Dome' Missile Defense System

At NYT, "Israel Rolls Out First Mobile Battery of Antirocket System":

BEERSHEBA, Israel — The Israeli military deployed the first mobile battery of a new antirocket missile defense system on Sunday on a dusty rise at the outskirts of this southern Israeli city after a week of heightened tensions between Israel and Gaza.

Military officials said the deployment was accelerated because of the recent escalation in rocket and mortar fire by Gaza militants against southern Israel and Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, which have led to fears of an all-out confrontation. But Israeli officials warned that the system, known as Iron Dome, was still experimental and could not provide the country with full protection from approaching rockets.

The situation along the border remained volatile. On Saturday, Gaza-based militant groups met and agreed to restore an unofficial cease-fire, according to officials from Hamas, the Islamic militant group that controls Gaza. The cease-fire has largely held since the end of Israel’s three-week military offensive in Gaza in the winter of 2008-9. That war came after years of rocket fire against southern Israel.

More at the link above. The Iron Dome system is effective against radar-guided missiles, but not against the Qassams, which are launched with no guidance technology. Who knows where those mofos are going to land? Also noted is that Israelis normally have 45 seconds to duck and cover when warning systems sound. Man, that's unreal. We used to do duck and cover when I was a kid, but that was just practice. The Soviets weren't lobbing heavy missiles at the U.S., although better safe than sorry. The Israelis aren't doing duck and cover drills. It's the real thing, but of course when the IDF defends the national security it's "war crimes." Unreal.

'America is the world policeman against oppression and dominance'

Word! Go read Nikki's hot essay on humanitarian intervention!
Do not turn your cheeks away from God's children around the world. The refuge they seek is only possible by America's hand and yet there are so many who preach otherwise and proclaim conservative values. Isolationism is not a conservative value. Isolationism is a communist value. Closing our borders for "self interest" is oh so North Korea. Our economy would collapse and Obama would end up looking like a genius economist.

Take that Stephen Walt.

Rule 5 Britney Spears Free 'Femme Fatale'

Turns out the hotty did a free concert in San Francisco, "Britney Spears Concert on 'GMA': Singer Wows Thousands of Fans at San Francisco Concert," and "Watch Britney Spears Perform 'Till the World Ends' in San Francisco":


Turns out I scooped Linkmaster Smith on the Britney news. The dude's been giving me the heads up on the "Femme Fatale" for some FMJRA blogging, which is cool. Not only that, Sir Smitty deserves a stand alone shout out for doing some great blogging from the Bagram location, which isn't the most common spot for us denizens of the conservative 'sphere. Ya dude.

Anyway, here's some link around action. First off TrogloPundit's hit a milestone: "How to get a million hits on your blog in two years, one month, and fourteen days." That's sweet. I'd love to be getting my 3 million hits, but traffic's been down and Instapundit's been keeping me dry! On the other hand, This Ain't Hell linked yesterday to my round up on progressive anarcho-endorsements: "I wish, I just wish…"

And see the other friends of American Power: Amusing Bunni's Musings, Astute Bloggers, Bob Belvedere, CSPT, Dan Collins, Eye of Polyphemus, Gator Doug, Irish Cicero, Left Coast Rebel, Mind-Numbed Robot, Legal Insurrection, Lonely Conservative, PA Pundits International, Pirate's Cove, Saberpoint, Snooper, WyBlog, The Western Experience, Yankee Phil, and Zion's Trumpet. Plus, top it off with Theo's Bedtime Totty.

And also a big thanks to Proof Positive, who once again has been doing some great roundups.

BONUS: * American Perspectives, " Shakira - She Wolf - rule 5." Not my favorite politically, but lovely nevertheless!

What is Obama's Mission in Libya?

Ross Douthat comments on President Obama's address to the nation on the Libya intervention, "A War By Any Name":

Tonight, in a speech that probably should have been delivered before American planes began flying missions over North Africa, Barack Obama will try to explain to a puzzled nation why we are at war with Libya.

Not that the word “war” will pass his lips, most likely. In press briefings last week, our Libyan campaign was euphemized into a “kinetic military action” and a “time-limited, scope-limited military action.” (The online parodies were merciless: “Make love, not time-limited, scope-limited military actions!” “Let slip the muzzled canine unit of kinetic military action!”) Advertising tonight’s address, the White House opted for “the situation in Libya,” which sounds less like a military intervention than a spin-off vehicle for the famous musclehead from MTV’s “Jersey Shore.”

But by any name or euphemism, the United States has gone to war, and there are questions that the president must answer. Here are the four biggest ones: What are our military objectives? ...

Keep reading for the rest of it. Interesting though is how divided the administration remains on Libya. Robert Gates saying the mission's not in the vital interests of the United States? Well, check with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, I guess, since she's saying Libya's a greater interest to the U.S. than is Syria, or something? Well, what the heck? At least neocon-bashing Juan Cole knows what's going on: "An Open Letter to the Left on Libya." (At Memeorandum.)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hey New York Times, It's Not a 'Social Media Quandary', It's Terrorism

Don't you just love this piece from the New York Times: "Social Media Sites Face Quandary Over Activists' Use"? The article starts off with a discussion of Hossam el-Hamalawy and Wael Abbas, who had pictures of Egyptian rights violations taken down from Flickr and YouTube. The hosting companies' policies are selectively applied, but at least el-Hamalawy and Abbas aren't terrorists. Not so with the Palestinian jihadists calling for a new intifada against Israel. But the Times bleats about how Facebook is in some kind of newfound quandary:


Facebook has remained mostly quiet about its increasing role among activists in the Middle East who use the site to connect dissident groups, spread information about government activities and mobilize protests. But Facebook is now finding itself drawn into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has been pushed to defend its neutral approach and terms of service to some supporters of Israel, including an Israeli government official.

Yuli Edelstein, an Israeli minister of diplomacy and diaspora affairs, sent a letter last week to Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, asking him to remove a Facebook page created on March 6 named the Third Palestinian Intifada. The page, which calls for an uprising in the occupied Palestinian territory in May, has more than 240,000 members.

“As Facebook’s C.E.O. and founder, you are obviously aware of the site’s great potential to rally the masses around good causes, and we are all thankful for that,” Mr. Edelstein wrote. “However, such potential comes hand in hand with the ability to cause great harm, such as in the case of the wild incitement displayed on the above-mentioned page.”

Facebook has, so far, not removed the page. The administrators are not advocating violence, and therefore, it falls within the company’s definition of acceptable speech, company officials said.

“We want Facebook to be a place where people can openly discuss issues and express their views, while respecting the rights and feelings of others,” said Andrew Noyes, a spokesman for public policy at the company.

That's a bunch of bull. I'll bet Zuckerberg and company are frightened stiff of a jihadist fatwa against Facebook. Pamela has more: "Israel Asks Facebook to Remove Page Calling for War Against the Jews - 230,000 “friends” of the "Third Palestinian Intifada."

Pro-Terror Backlash Against Horowitz's 'Wall of Lies' at University of Michigan-Dearborn

I had a nice background roundup previously, "'Wall of Lies' From David Horowitz Freedom Center." And now here comes the controversy out of University of Michigan at Dearborn. The Horowitz Freedom Center took out an ad in the school's student newspaper, and conflict erupted. And in classic progressive style, not a single point of the "Wall of Lies" is rebutted. Instead, we get wailing allegations of "hatred" and "racism." This is what the "pro-Palestine movement in academe" is all about, I guess. Embarrassing anti-intellectualism. See, "Anti-Palestine ad in Michigan-Dearborn paper draws harsh criticism" (via NewsReal Blog).

Wall of Lies

U.S. Progressives Endorse Anarchist Violence at London Budget Protests

More excellent coverage of the violent demonstrations in London, from the Daily Mail, "200 arrested as anarchists fight police after 500,000-strong anti-cuts march... and cover Trafalgar Sqaure in graffit." It's a pretty pathetic sight all around. Conservatives have alternated between bemusement and outrage, but radicals on the U.S. progressive left are offering throaty endorsements of the mayhem. According Steve Hynd at Newshoggers:

Exactly this kind of protest is what the US needs to [sic] - aimed bi-partisanly at the corporate-serving conservatives and neoliberals who can find endless money for endless warfare, but none for nation building at home.
And No More Mister Nice Blog hesitates to endorse the violence, but ends up doing it any way:
I don't want to see it happen in England or in any other country. But what I do want to see happen -- a real reckoning for the worst abusers in the global financial system, accompanied by "shared sacrifice" that's actually shared, all the way to the top -- apparently will never happen through peaceful means.
Commenting at the post, CUND Gulag, a regular fixture of the demonic progressive fever swamps, offers an endorsement:
Maybe if we had some of this in NYC, Connecticut, Palm Beach, Rodeo Drive, Dallas, Houston, etc., some of the wealthy will realize that all of the security on the planet can't protect them if there are enough of us angry out there. I love Ghandi, and have followed his principles for over 30 years. The same 30 years that have seen our countries steepest decline. If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, like beating my head against the wall, I'm willing to try beating someone else's head up against that wall.
And from a commenter at AMERICAblog:
The only way we, the ordinary people, will get a decent chance at a decent life again is by rising up against our oppressors: The powerful, wealthy, neo-feudal authoritarians.
And from Sarah Jones, in a lengthy economic analysis at Politicus USA, "London Protests Echo Wisconsin Anger At Conservative Class Warfare":
I have yet to meet an honest conservative accountant who would not stress revenue as a crucial part of any balanced budget. And so the question really becomes why are conservatives so averse to doing the one thing they know will help the economy? If conservatives were serious about deficit reduction, they would raise revenue by taxing corporations while making careful budgetary cuts. The worldview of the modern day conservative is that everyone should fend for themselves, except for corporations and the uber wealthy, who are entitled to tax breaks and bailouts. This is not an honest ideology; and therefore, the debate is not about conservative financial approaches versus liberal. If we allow ourselves to have a debate over the deficit or over public sector employees “deserving” their pay, we are being manipulated.
And from the comments there:
The moral and intellectual bankruptcy of further enriching the wealthy few at the expense of everyone else is made even clearer by the protests in London. It looks like there are various rebellions going on around the world against that kind of ideology. The uprisings in Middle Eastern countries, while more bloody and violent against dictators who have been in power for decades, are a pushback against tyranny. Although this country and Great Britain are not nearly at that point, we are seeing threats to rights we have enjoyed and taken for granted for a long time. The common enemy is fascism, which is disguised as patriotism here and in Great Britain. As far as I am concerned, the Republican Party in this country has forfeited its credibility with the unabashed power grabbing of both the House of Representatives and these Republican governors. In their pursuit of power at any cost, they seem bent on alienating almost all American constituents. People like Palin, Beck, Limbaugh, and others are their foot soldiers in selling the kind of propaganda that induces Americans to vote against their own interests and look at other Americans as the enemy. The potential GOP candidates are a bunch of court jesters who are trying to outdo each other in mouthing the kind of lunacy that will get their base to vote for them, and who will willingly carry out the destructive agenda of the Koch brothers and their ilk. That’s why they are trying to dismantle any institution that stands between them and their efforts to reduce us to serfdom.
The comparison to Wisconsin is telling. So far progressives at home have resorted to thuggery, threats and intimidation, but frustration is building, obviously, and all it takes is one spark to set off a larger conflagration of violent unrest. Dan Riehl sees it coming:
We're not that far away from the freeloaders and Marxists taking to the streets in numbers like this in America.
And John Hinderaker issues a warning:
The first duty of any government is to maintain order. Peaceful demonstrations are fine, but mob rule is incompatible with civilization. Any government that cannot maintain order deserves to fall, and will. Napoleon had his faults--well, to be blunt, he was crazy as a loon--but he had the right prescription for dealing with mobs: a whiff of grapeshot.
RELATED: Telegraph UK has the rogue roster: "TUC march: The militants behind the violence":
A ragtag army of anarchists, squatters, student militants, environmental activists and radical academics planned the spin-off protests that led to violence during Saturday's march against cuts.
Coming to America.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Anarchy in the U.K. — Hundreds Arrested as Violent Anti-Capitalists Occupy and Smash London!

Various reports put the number of protesters marching against budget cuts in the 500,000 range. That's a massive show of opposition, but it's the black bloc occupiers and violent anarcho-communists who're dominating the news. And that's half the kick of all this. Commentators are riffing on the headlines, for example, at Instapundit, "LONDON: Moochers And Looters Clash With Police." And at Slap Blog, "Rioting Anarchist Freeloaders Hijack and Rampage London," as well as PJ Tattler, "Wild Animals on the Loose in London":

The “largely peaceful” march saw masked thugs going wild in Oxford Circus smashing shop windows and attacking the police. Americans should take careful note of events, for the London mob has American cousins who share similar attitudes about budget cuts.
But see London's Daily Mail especially, "After blitz of the Ritz, it's the siege of Fortnum & Mason: Anarchists hijack the anti-cuts demo and go on rampage in central London" (via Memeorandum).

RELATED: At Telegraph UK, "
Police intelligence gathering failed to prevent occupation of Fortnum & Mason: The disastrous policing of the cuts protests was principally a failure of intelligence-gathering."

I'll have some commentary on all of this later ...

The Controversy Over 'Miral'

I'm hoping to head up to the Landmark tonight, in West Los Angeles, to catch "Miral," the new pro-Palestinian film from director Julian Schnabel. I'm skeptical of the review at the Los Angeles Times, which quotes Schnabel in defense of his movie:

Using the touch-points of 1967's Six Day War and 1987's intifada, when teenage Miral is galvanized into action by the sight of Israeli bulldozers razing Palestinian homes, Schnabel paints a convincing picture of displacement and life under occupation. Without undue emphasis, he and cinematographer Eric Gautier use the parched landscape — they filmed in Jerusalem — and its checkpoints to eloquent effect.

The film works best in its depictions of everyday negotiations, as when Miral's cousin begins dating a Jew (played by the director's daughter, Stella Schnabel).

"Miral" doesn't aim to present every point of view, only that of its characters. There's nothing "anti-Israel," as some have claimed, about its earnest, if simplistic call for compassion and peace. One of the strongest scenes involves a would-be act of terrorism by a Palestinian and unequivocally identifies with the intended victims. And Miral's journey leads her back to her gentle father (Alexander Siddig) and to Mama Hind, voices of patience, moderation and love.


Moderation and love. I doubt it, but I'll have more after I see the film.

Schnabel's full interview is at Boston Globe, "Schnabel describes 'Miral' using fine brush strokes."

Meanwhile, from Solomonia, "An Open Letter to Harvey Weinstein":

On the same day that a family of five were being murdered in their home in Israel, Harvey Weinstein ran a self-congratulatory promotional piece for his company’s terrorist propaganda flick, Miral. The photos stand out. The fat smirking face of Harvey Weinstein contrasted with the sleeping baby, the smiling little boys and the earnest couple who were their parents. They are all dead, and a Harvey Weinstein lives on to smirk another day. So it is with perpetrators and victims. The innocent children and the fat ugly men who profit from trafficking in the narrative of their killers.

Harvey Weinstein denounces Peter King and urges him to go watch Miral. But perhaps it is Harvey Weinstein who should drive to a small town lost in the Samarian Mountains and retrace the steps of the murderers in the name of the nationalistic mythology that movies like Miral glamorize. To fit himself through the living room window where the two terrorists entered, moving quietly in the dark, not seeing the six year old boy sleeping peacefully on the couch. That six year old boy who survived because like so many other little boys during the Holocaust, the men who were coming to murder him went right past him without seeing him. The six year old boy who was being orphaned around the same time that Harvey Weinstein and his PR people were conferring on a final draft for their Miral puff piece.
More at the link above, and also, "Elder of Ziyon: Miral, the Posters."

More on this later ...

Kirstie Alley on 'Dancing With the Stars'!

I meant to post this earlier but couldn't find a YouTube clip. And since Robert Stacy McCain isn't warming up to David Weigel, perhaps the lovely former Cheers star will generate some linkage!

And the hat tip goes to
American Perspective!

RELATED: At E! Online, "Feud Alert! Kirstie Alley Smites "Big Bad Drunk Wolf" George Lopez After Piggy Comment." And "Oh, Snap! Kirstie Alley Rejects George Lopez's Pig-Headed Apology."

Washington's New Media Elite

David Weigel, seen below at CPAC, gets top billing. But conservatives --- especially middle-aged conservatives like Robert Stacy McCain --- got nothing! And don't get Amanda Marcotte started about the exclusion of radical feminists women from the hot roster of D.C.'s "juicebox mafia"! See New York Times, "Young Pundits Become Washington's Media Elite."


Israel-Hamas War Now Inevitable

Following the revolution in Eygpt, according to Barry Rubin, "Egypt's Revolution Plus U.S. Government Mistakes Makes Israel-Hamas War Inevitable":

I'm going to make a prediction here that, unfortunately, I'm sure will come true. Any good analyst should be able to see this, yet few will until it happens within the next one or two years:

The Egyptian revolution and U.S. policy mistakes make a new Israel-Hamas war inevitable, and as a result it will be a lot more of an international mess.


First, Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, is a revolutionary Islamist movement that views itself as directed by God's will; considers Jews to be subhuman; believes that a willingness to court suicide and welcome death and destruction will bring victory; is certain that it is going to destroy Israel; and is determined to transform Palestinian society into an Islamic utopia, no matter how many people it has to kill. It is indifferent to the well-being, or even physical survival, of the Palestinians it rules ...
Lots more at the link above.

Rubin's the go-to guy on this stuff!

America Still No. 1

From yesterday's letters to the Los Angeles Times:
Re "Letting others lead," Opinion, March 20

The headline could have read, "Let others lead as we pretend to follow" — pretend because everyone above first grade knows the reality is we have to lead. Oh sure, others saber-rattle and bloviate, but they need the U.S. at the forefront.

This is why we elect the supposed leader of the free world. This leader, however, goes out of his way to talk down his and his country's leadership — for fear of what, a poor international image? The international community is the first to come knocking on our door when trouble arises.

I am all for building consensus and strong coalitions, but never at the expense of our leadership role in the world.

Andrew Chawke

Sherman Oaks
It's pretty amazing this one got approved by the editorial board. Yesterday's lead editorial offered a nearly 100 percent opposite perspective. See, "The Libya Calculation."