This and that — about the Middle East, mostly, with a little Obama stuff thrown in too.

It’s been another family-maintenance day, which precludes not only blogging but, quite often, even thinking.  Having a house full of children is revitalizing and exhausting all at once.

I also took my Mom clothes shopping, which makes her extraordinarily happy, but leaves me limp and floppy.  I am every cheapskate’s dream, because I just hate to shop.  When I was young and shopped only for clothes to hang on my lithesome frame, it was all fun.  Now, though, shopping means shlepping out to get groceries, household supplies, supplies for my Mom, clothing for the children, etc.  It’s drudgery not pleasure and, to add insult to injury, I’m not as lissome as I once was.  Clothes shopping tends to demoralize rather than hearten me.

All of which is irrelevant to this post’s purpose, which is to pass on to you interesting articles I read this weekend.  So without further ado, here are things that you might find as interesting as I did.

I begin with a whole series of articles relating to the fact that, after having rockets rained down upon her for years — and in exponential numbers since Obama’s reelection — Israel is finally pushing back.  I’ll throw in here that, while Obama got encomiums from Israel’s supporters yesterday because he said that Israel has the right to defend herself, today he managed to un-deserve those same encomiums.  Why?  Because he added that this right to self-defense exists so long as Israel doesn’t actually do anything . . . you know, defensive:

Obama said that his message to Erdogan, as well as Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, was that it would be “preferred” if Israel could deter missiles from landing in its territory without ramping up military activity in Gaza. “That’s not just preferable to the people of Gaza, that’s also preferable to Israelis,” he said.

In other words, Israel is once again going to be bullied into a ceasefire after universal obloquy from the usual suspects, but before she can achieve any of her national defense goals.  Obama can’t seem to get it through his head that it takes two to tango — and two to make peace.  Constantly forcing Israel to hold back, while doing nothing about the thousands of rockets from Hamas and others (well, not nothing, because Obama does send them lots of taxpayer dollars) is just another example of government picking winners and losers — and in this game, Israel always loses.

Yesterday I posted about how the educated elite is economically ignorant, so today it shouldn’t be surprising that we learn that the educated elite is also ignorant about realities in the Middle East.  Obama is simply the most visible ignoramus on the subject.  Barry Rubin focuses on the foolish mentality Obama displays:  namely, that Israel is totally entitled to defend herself, provided that she doesn’t do anything . . . you know, defensive.

One of the things I love about my conservative friends is that, contrary to the stereotypes the Left likes to propagate, they truly respect Israel — and it’s not just because they want all the Jews packed back into that small nation in order to facilitate the Second Coming and subsequent destruction of the Jewish nation.  This canard, incidentally, is one of liberal Jews’ deepest suspicions about philosemitic Christians.  Instead, true conservatives are people who value individual liberty and economic freedom, and they recognize what the elites refuse to see; namely, that this beleaguered Middle Eastern nation is a bastion of humanism in a dark, cruel, Islamo/Marxist region.

Richard Baehr points out that one of Israel’s problems is that the media and the Left (to the extent there’s any difference) completely ignore the dark cruelties that are integral to Islamic nations today, ranging from starvation in Egypt to civil war in Syria to attacks on sovereign U.S. territory in Libya.  Instead, the media focuses obsessively on the small number of civilian deaths Israel tries so desperately to avoid, against an enemy that deliberately places its most vulnerable citizens in the softest targets.

Jay Gaskill tries to give the media a reality check:  the problem isn’t Israel, the problem is an aggressive Islamism that has been pushing against and probing at the non-Muslim world since Mohamed first ordered it to do so.  Given that this last election proved that the media has deep, strong tentacles into the American psyche, as long as it cannot distinguish cause from effect and predator from prey, both America and Israel are in great danger.

Not everyone thinks that Israel’s imminent incursions into Gaza will be disastrous.  Jonathan Spyer argues that the Islamists aren’t truly ready for the fight they picked.  Instead, they’re acting from a burst of hubris brought about by Obama’s reelection.  According to Spyer, Hamas acted too soon because the Arab Spring effectively bankrupted Egypt, which is now dependent on American and other Western dollars to keep its citizens from starving.  As long as the West wants to avoid all-out war in the Middle East, it can put economic pressure on Egypt, which will then put pressure on Hamas.

Okay, I’m done with the Middle East, but no Bookworm Room political post would be complete without some Obama bad-mouthing.  I don’t like the man.  It’s not just his Leftist policies and ignorance.  It’s him.  I find his narcissism and egotism repellent and dangerous.  So does Neo-Neocon.

And finally, on a lighter note, Joel Pollak has some advice for surviving the holidays if you find yourself with liberal relatives.  I’m fortunate in that my relatives, like me, have also made the transition from unthinking Leftist Jews to thoughtful Jewish conservatives.  For me, the Thanksgiving holidays mean a restful time in the company of intelligent, fun, like-minded people.


Be Sociable, Share!
  • Mike Devx

    Ah, Book, you’ve been letting the usual bad actors get away with murder.

    First, the UN issues a stern warning:  “Israel must exercise all possible maximum restraint!”
    And yet, not a word about Palestinian or Arab restraint… of ANY sort.

    Then during Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil’s visit to Gaza, a Hamas rocket misfires and kills a Gaza boy.  (Of course it was a Hamas or Egyptian missile. Hamas officials rushed in, gathered up all the missile fragments and took them away, and refuse to show them to anyone.  Why not, if it were an Israeli missile?  The conclusion is clear.)   So Hamas arranges for all the media to show up, and Qandil takes the dead boy in his arm, and weeps… and denounces… ISRAEL!

    And what do the media do?  Those noble caretakers of the truth?  Do they even say, “Why did you take the missile fragments away?  Where are the pictures?  Show us the missile fragments now, at least.  We’ll take some pictures, and within hours you’ll know EXACTLY where the missile came from.”

    Those noble caretakers of the truth, the media… did they even ask any of the obvious questions?  No.  They have all, including CNN, dutifully parroted the Hamas line.  Why?  I’ll tell you why.  It is called the deliberate aiding and abetting of evil.

    Hamas I can understand.  I will however continue to call them evil itself.  But the UN?  World media?  US Media?  How to explain them?  This is nothing new.  The hatred and the deceit, the lies directed at Israel… they are all complicit in the evil.  They know the truth, yet they hide it, and deceive you, on purpose.  Evil.  I am done allowing any of them any excuses.


  • Michael Adams

    Although the Party’s propagandists would like for you to forget, you must not: Hamas puts rocket launchers and mortars on the roofs of apartment buildings. Israel targets the heat signatures of the weapons, and hits them with deadly accuracy,  causing heavy civilian casualties in the building underneath. (as intended) Then the media start talking about those heavy casualties, much heavier on the Arab side than for the Israelis. The Geneva and more so, the Hague Conventions place the responsibility under international law upon the belligerent who fights from civilian residential areas, or from cultural and religious sites. They want us to forget that, too. Evil incarnate.

  • 11B40


    Islam is the millstone.  If your plan doesn’t include constraining, undermining, or eradicating Islam, you don’t have a plan.  What you have is a hope.

    Every “Islamist” that comes down the camel track tell us that what he does and wants done is what the Koran requires of him and them, and yet what the West has for leaders these sorry days continue to bend over backwards to reinforce the “Religion of Peace” propaganda.  A while back I was watching one of those real crime news program and the prosecutor was going on about motive and opportunity.  Well, for those Islamaniacs extant, the Koran is the motivation and they are just looking for their or any opportunity.

    When Eastern Europe and Russia fell out from under the Marxist-Leninist yoke, it was because that failed ideology had be so constrained militarily and politically, so undermined as to be laughable, that its eradication was the only viable alternative.  Yet, even Israel’s leaders refuse to connect the ideological dots and hold Islam and all its intendant nonsense up to public ridicule.

    More than ten years after the worst terrorist attack in America’s history, we are still trying to whistle past the graveyard that is Islam.


  • Charles Martel

    11B40, the West long ago passed the point where it could openly and plainly identify Islam as its greatest existential threat. You, I, and millions of others see Islam for what it is, but we are a minority. Our elites, our intellectuals, our media are simultaneously scared out of their wits by Islam’s inherent violence as well as fascinated by its willingness to proclaim what they, ball-less wonders that they are, fear to: The open and unapologetic subjugation of mankind.

  • Alix


    Has Mr. Bookworm also made the transition to being a conservative?! 

  • Bookworm

    Alix:  Nope, not yet. 

  • Mike Devx

    Michael Adams 2: Israel targets the heat signatures of the weapons, and hits them with deadly accuracy,  causing heavy civilian casualties in the building underneath. 

     Michael, it’s been my understanding that Israel skips those targets, for the exact reason of avoiding such heavy casualties.  And that’s one of the reasons they are considering going with a ground troop invasion: To clean out Hamas military assets such as missiles and launchers that they have ruthlessly and cynically installed at elementary schools, mosques, hospitals, etc.

    It seems to me, by the way, that if a mosque is to be considered a holy shrine, and untouchable during a military conflict due to its utter, complete sacredness, that the LAST thing anyone would ever do, is to store missiles within the mosque, or place missile launchers next to a mosque.  Nor would combatants or terrorists ever hide within a mosque.  If it’s so very sacred, that is.  This inquiring mind would like to understand.  Ahem.


    “An army cannot win a war and win over the New York Times at the same time. And so long as it fears Incidents more than operating in an aimless counterinsurgency twilight that eventually shades into defeat, then it is bound to lose both to both the terrorists and the New York Times.”

    Hiroshima and Nagasaki two “incidents” that ended WWII in the Pacific. Sixty years after the Korean War, fifty years post Viet Nam, eleven years after September 11, 2001 … no incidents and no means to an end. The politicians and generals just keep rearranging the soldiers on the war board.

  • Ymarsakar

    The more US Marines and soldiers die, the less Obama has to worry about covering up their missing absentee votes.

    Then there’s things like Benghazi where the less US military personnel are around, the better. 

  • Ymarsakar

    “More than ten years after the worst terrorist attack in America’s history, we are still trying to whistle past the graveyard that is Islam.”

    It’s been more than 100 years since the Left started their move towards human domination and evil, yet plenty of Americans still believe Democrats are just another political party.

     Until Americans fix their own home grown domesticated terrorists, we’re not going to make much of a dint in overseas ones.

  • Pingback: Bookworm Room » Random links to interesting things()