This year’s Nakba commemoration coincides with slightly changing attitudes towards Israel in the Middle East

Israeli flagToday is Nakba Day, the day Muslims the world over violently commemorate the “disaster” that was Israel’s creation. (JoshuaPundit explains what nakba is really about and why it is such a loathsome commemoration.)

But here’s something interesting: Even as anti-Israel sentiment burns ever brighter on America’s college campuses, most recently at UCLA, there’s a different narrative shaping up in the Middle East. I have three (admittedly small) pieces of evidence to support my contention that some Arabs are very cautiously changing their attitude towards Israel. It gives me hope that, if Israel can survive the Obama administration, she may be entering a second golden age, this one without a uniformly genocidal Muslim world taking aim at her existence.

The first interesting thing is an opinion piece in the Arab News (a Saudi publication, I believe), telling Arabs it’s time (1) to learn the real truth about the 1948 war, (2) to get over the Nakba, and (3) to start accepting Israel’s existence within their midst. My first thought was that the author, Abdulateef Al-Mulhim, is an incredibly brave man. I still think that’s true, but I had a companion second thought that’s a bit more Machiavellian. Could it be that Saudi Arabia is laying the groundwork for some sort of formal recognition of Israel as a counterweight to a nuclear Iran?

The second interesting thing is that a Syrian rebel contends that the rebels should ally themselves with Israel, which is their only stable, true friend in the region. I commented on this piece before, noting that it’s nothing more than a reasonable extension of the old Arab doctrine that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” In other words, it reflects precisely what I think might be going on with Saudi Arabia. Nevertheless, it represents a new age in Arab-Israeli relationships because, before this explicitly expressed desire for a partnership with Israel, Egypt, way back in 1977, was the only Arab nation ever to contemplate that there could be a benefit, even a short-term one, to working with Israel.

And the third interesting thing is a report from the Gatestone Institute saying that more and more Arabs in surrounding nations are envious of Israel’s criminal system, one that is willing even to prosecute politicians. Looking at Israel and then looking at their own countries, they realize that their countries suffer badly from the comparison.

As I said, these are all little bits of data, but I certainly hope that the shifting allegiances in the Middle East — all related to Iran, whether her nuclear ambitions or her proxy war in Syria — will work to Israel’s benefit.

Bret Stephens explains precisely why the West cannot let Iran get the bomb *UPDATED*

nuclear-explosionThe Left liked to call George Bush a “cowboy,” implying that there was no telling what he’d do.  Even the Left, of course, must have understood that this was a rhetorical trope and that there was no possibility that Bush would ever push the red button and start a nuclear war.  He may have been feisty, but he wasn’t crazy.

What I’ve been saying forever, though, is that Iran is in fact crazy.  Unlike Christians, who merely prepare for the coming apocalypse, the Shiites in Iran believe that it is their obligation to bring about the apocalypse.  When Iranian leaders talks about wiping Iran’s enemies from the face of the earth, they aren’t just playing tough for the camera.  Their core religious belief urges them towards doing what they can to rush towards Armageddon.

That’s just my opinion, of course.  But it’s also the opinion of a Middle East expert like Bret Stephen, as he explains in this easy-to-understand video examining Iran’s belief system, her hierarchy of enemies, and the reach she has once she creates a deliverable nuclear weapon:

Stephens wraps up the video by saying (emphasis mine):

Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a man often described as a “moderate” and a “pragmatist” in the Western press, articulated the Iranian position this way:

If one day the Islamic world is also equipped with weapons, like those that Israel possesses now, then the Imperial a strategy will reach a standstill because the use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel will destroyed everything. However, one bomb will only harm the Islamic world.

He’s right. That’s why the civilized and sensible leaders of the world cannot allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons — because once the Iranians do, they will pose a severe threat to the security of America and Europe, spark a regional arms race that could see the world’s worst players acquire the world’s worst weapons, and threaten the Jews with extermination for the second time in a century. Or, to put it more simply, Iran cannot be allowed to get the bomb because they might actually use it.

Think about that line that “the civilized and sensible leaders of the world cannot allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons.” Now think about the fact that President Obama, rather than pressuring Iran to stop its nuclear program, has lifted sanctions on Iran based on nothing more than its leaders’ promises that their country’s frenetic nuclear work is just for power plants.

These are lies so barefaced that a kindergartner could see through them. Obama too must know that they are lies, leading to only a few possible conclusions: First, per Stephens, Obama is neither civilized nor sensible. Second, Obama is insane. Third, Obama approves of Iran’s nuclear goals.

UPDATE:  Given Obama’s fecklessness, not to mention is unseemly yearning for a “deal” that allows Iran to get the bomb, Israel is getting very concerned.

Clearing the inbox and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesWhew!  I was quite productive today.  I think those iron pills I’ve been taking because of mild anemia have helped.  I felt much less sluggish.  I still have a lot of stuff in my inbox, but these articles are a good start:

The always-astute Lee Smith has a surprising take on Obama’s coziness with Mahmoud Abbas.  I don’t believe that Obama has thought the issue through as carefully as Smith, but I think that the outcome is the same whether Obama acted deliberately or accidentally.

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Oy voy vey!  It’s not just that Obama is giving away the Free Speech internet, which is disastrous enough.  It’s that, back in 2010, when he wasn’t even in full flexibility mode, Obama handed something very valuable over to Putin.  And Putin, being no fool, will play this card as he reinstates the former Soviet Unions geopolitical reach.

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The pro-Iranian faction has always argued that sanctions hurt the poor the most. In Iran’s case, they said, sanctions deprived the poor of medicine. But what if it turns out that sanctions are just depriving the rich of luxury articles? Will that information change Obama’s calculus? No. At a fundamental level, he thinks it’s wrong that Israel has the bombs and Iran doesn’t. He’s working to redress that inequity.

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If you like creative literature with a libertarian/conservative bent, a new site called Liberty Island is the place for you. Here’s a snippet of its mission statement, explaining that conservatives are the new counterculture:

Once upon a time the mainstream culture was conservative and the so-called counterculture was left wing. Today the situation is reversed and a new counterculture has arisen, one that boldly challenges the cynicism, nihilism, and stifling political correctness of popular culture today.

Our mission is to support this raw and untamed counterculture by gathering its creators in one place and providing the tools and resources they need to succeed. Here they can present their latest works, interact with colleagues, and connect with a likeminded audience. At Liberty Island, readers of a conservative or libertarian bent can find fiction, music, video and graphics that reflect their social values and political beliefs — and readers of all persuasions can find new voices and undiscovered talent. Writers and creators you’ve never heard of, and won’t find anywhere else, because their views have been excluded from the mainstream popular culture.

One of my favorite writers, Ray Zacek, already has a story online at Liberty Island.

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Rogue government? Well, yes.  The ATF ignores a court order and raids a gun store to get its customer lists. Let me quote Elmer: Be afwaid. Be vewy afwaid.

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Let me reiterate a point I’ve made repeatedly before: Women do not belong in combat units.

Barack Obama : the president as spectator to the world’s democratic uprisings

Obama mouth taped shutFrom the time he hit the campaign trail in 2007, Barack Obama made it plain that he considered America to be too big for her britches when it comes to international matters.  Looking at imperfect nations, you could see him mentally scolding America — “Haven’t you done enough already?” — for bringing so much pain and suffering to the rest of the world.

In the years since his election, Obama has reacted strongly to only three international issues:  climate change, gay rights, and Libya.  The first two are pet issues of the Left.  As for Obama’s enthusiasm about invading Libya . . . well, that continues to mystify me.  Obama’s silence has been most pointed and damaging when it comes to naturally occurring democratic movements within a despotic state.

It’s one thing (usually a stupid thing) for America to waltz in and take out a tyrant; it’s another thing entirely when the nation’s own citizens are yearning to be free, and are willing to face their own government’s guns to gain that freedom.  Under those circumstances, every person who believes in individual liberty should speak up — especially the president of the nation that has long represented itself as the land of the free and the home of the brave.  Obama, however, will not speak.

When brave Iranians challenged the mullahs, Obama was silent.  The mullahs tightened their hold.

When the Muslim Brotherhood filled the power vacuum in Egypt, Obama was silent.  A year of repression ensued.

When brave Egyptians challenged the Muslim Brotherhood, Obama was silent.  The country is now once again under a military dictatorship.

When brave Syrians challenged the tyrannical Assad regime, Obama was silent.  Had he spoken up sooner, a violent, bloody civil war — violent and bloody even by civil war standards — might have been avoided.  When the civil war took a chemical turn, Obama spoke up, only to retreat quickly when called to make good on his words.

When brave Turks challenged Erdogan’s increasingly totalitarian, Islamist rule, Obama was silent.

Today, Obama continues this familiar pattern.  Ukrainian citizens, horrified at the realization that their government is trying once against to drag them back into the Soviet orbit (we know how well that went for them in the 1930s and beyond) are battling in the streets.  Obama is silent.

And in Venezuela, citizens worn down by the repression and poverty of Chavez’s and Maduro’s hard-core socialism are rising up in the streets.  Obama is silent.

Since WWII, people around the world knew that if they sought freedom and called upon America for help, America would help.  Sometimes the help was military, sometimes financial, and sometimes it was moral.

This aid wasn’t for America’s benefit — at least it wasn’t directly for America’s benefit.  To the extent that democracies tend to be the most peaceful form of governments, it was always to America’s benefit to encourage democratic governments around the world.  Nevertheless, America’s first motive was often altruistic.  Because we were the world’s most powerful free nation, we believed that we had a moral obligation to wield that power beneficently.  Sometimes America’s road to Hell has been paved with those good intentions, but our craven retreats from Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan have all revealed that the post-American vacuum is often infinitely worse than the American occupation.

We’ve learned from our experiments in Iraq and, especially, in Afghanistan, that countries that have always had dictatorships, especially tribal and/or theocratic dictatorships, do not benefit from removing the existing dictator, because another one will always come along.  I therefore wouldn’t recommend interceding directly in a Muslim country ever again. Instead, we should be doing what Saudi Arabia did for Wahhabism:  establishing and funding institutions throughout the Muslim world that are dedicated to teaching the principles of freedom.  This generation may be lost, but perhaps we can save the next one and, along the way, save ourselves too.

Things are different, though, when the cry for freedom (or at least for less tyranny) originates within a country.  Had Obama immediately given moral support to internally grown democratic movements in Iran, Egypt, and Syria, he might have been able to turn the tide.  American moral support in Venezuela and Turkey would have fallen on especially fertile soil, because both are countries that have known some form of democracy.

Obama, however, considers that there is no such thing as beneficent American power.  To him, America’s strength is, by definition, malignant and destructive.  He truly believes that the Iranians are better off under the mullahs, the Egyptians under the Muslim Brotherhood, the Syrians under Assad, the Turks under Erdogan, the Ukrainians under Putin, and the Venezuelans under Maduro.  Judging by his complicit silence, there is no tyranny worse than that of being behold to the United States.

 

On Iran, this is the most depressing thing you will read today

israel-iran-map

From American Thinker:

I called a hardheaded realist, a Harvard trained PhD who has been watching the Middle East professionally for decades, to ask him about Obama’s Iran deal. This is what he told me.

It’s done. Iran will get a bomb.

They want a bomb and they will not be denied unless somebody stops them. Obama does not want to stop them. He does not want a friendly regime in Iran. He wants Iran as a counterforce to America and Israel. Obama is not a Muslim, but he is a radical. He sees the U.S. and Israel as imperialistic and oppressive. He doesn’t like the U.S. military. He’d cut it to nothing if he could get away with it.

We’ll have to pull our troops and our aircraft carriers out of the Persian Gulf. We’ll lose our ability to protect Middle Eastern oil. The Gulf Arabs will have to cooperate with Iran. So will Europe; they depend on that oil.

The Iranians want the ascendance of Shia Islam. People don’t remember, but when Ayatollah Khomeini took over, he sent Revolutionary Guards to Saudi Arabia and they seized Mecca. French paratroopers had to go in secretly and get them out. The Saudis couldn’t do it themselves.

The Iranians want to take over Mecca and Medina. They want to take over the Arab world. With their nuclear weapons they will pressure Israel. They don’t need to bomb them. They will test a nuclear bomb, they will send in missiles, they will issue threats, they will strangle them economically. Israel’s high tech people will leave. They can do start-ups in Silicon Valley just as easily as in Israel; the weather is just as nice. Investments in Israel will dry up.

Read the rest here.

Why Israelis are right not to trust Obama

Obama at the Western WallObama doesn’t like the Jews and the Jews don’t trust Obama.

From the “Jews don’t trust Obama” file comes Jonathan Tobin’s excellent analysis, which ends with this compelling paragraph:

The United States seems to be retreating from the Middle East, a position that frightens many Arabs as well as the Israelis. They see the drift toward the appeasement of Iran as a sign that this administration is prepared to accept a compromise with Tehran that will leave the nuclear threat in place. Under these circumstances, it’s hard to blame the Israelis for believing that Obama can’t be trusted. American friends of Israel—including those who voted for Obama—have good reason to take a long, hard look at the Israeli poll results and reconsider their longstanding unblinking trust in this president.

And from the “Obama doesn’t like the Jews” view, read this:

A US official close to President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry said both men are disturbed over what is being perceived in their inner circle as ‘Jewish activism in Congress’ that they think is being encouraged by the Israeli government, Israel Radio reported on Thursday.

And this:

One other nugget from Obama’s interview with the New Yorker’s David Remnick has direct bearing on the Iran debate:

“Historically, there is hostility and suspicion toward Iran, not just among members of Congress but the American people,” Obama said, adding that “members of Congress are very attentive to what Israel says on its security issues.” He went on, “I don’t think a new sanctions bill will reach my desk during this period, but, if it did, I would veto it and expect it to be sustained.”

“Very attentive to what Israel says on its security issues”! Points for subtlety. That aside, with 58 co-sponsors, the bill really is within striking distance of a veto override, though Senate Dems really might prove reluctant to take that step in the end.

To summarize:  Jews look back at five years of dealing with Obama and conclude that, despite his periodic pro-Israel speeches, his actions have consistently insulted and destabilized Israel. (In other words, looking at a dog that’s both wagging its tail and barking viciously, they’ve concluded that the bark is where the truth lies.) Meanwhile, Obama and his administration are telling everyone back home that the nefarious “Jewish lobby” (the same one that made a starring appearance in “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”) is controlling Congress to America’s detriment.

This is all very not good.  It’s also very much as I predicted.  Four years, I had a lunch with a Jewish couple who were simultaneously very pro-Israel and pro-Obama.  I politely told them that Obama’s history and affiliations trumped his speeches and that the man could not be trusted to support the only stable, truly liberal democracy in the Middle East.  They scoffed.  I wonder if they remember my words now or if they’re still telling themselves “But Obama said that he loves Israel.”

Obama’s dream deal with Iran is the pathway to more Killing Fields

obama gives us the finger_thumb[41]Tacitus (of the Romans): “They make a desert and call it peace.”

Iran (on its dealings with Obama): “Our relationship w/ the world is based on Iranian nation’s interests. In #Geneva agreement world powers surrendered to Iranian nation’s will.”

Barack Obama (on his dealings with Iranians): “What we want to do is give diplomacy a chance, and give peace a chance.”

John Lennon, Obama’s newest national security adviser:

Which brings us full circle to Tacitus, because this is what Lennon’s peace looked like after the U.S. pulled out of Vietnam and Cambodia:

cambodia-killing-fields-08

Cambodian dead from killing fields

cambodia-killing-fields2

Obama is an evil man, QED

Obama the devil

I’m tired of pussy-footing around calling Obama merely dishonest, stupid, feral, leftist, etc.  Let’s call it like it is:  the man is evil.

Only an evil man would say this (emphasis mine):

There are times where I as President of the United States am going to have different tactical perspectives than the Prime Minister of Israel and that is understandable. Because Israel cannot contract out its security in light of the history that the people of Israel understand all too well… But ultimately it is my view, from a tactical perspective, that we have to test out this proposition. It will make us stronger internationally, and it may possibly lead to a deal.

On its face, that statement looks merely stupid, but just the slightest bit of analysis reveals that it is a statement by a man who is morally corrupted to the point of evil.  Let me explain:

Israel has been America’s friend for decades.  Iran has been remarkably clear that, when it achieves full nuclear weapon status, it will obliterate Israel.  The apocalyptic strain of Shiite Islam that Iran practices is comfortable with the idea of a nuclear holocaust, especially because most of the Muslims in the line of fire are Sunnis, who are Shiites’ ancient enemies.

When seen through the reality spectrum, as opposed to the evil spectrum, Israel and America should have identical interests.  Israel wants to survive.  And America, as Israel’s longstanding friend, should want Israel to survive, just as America, as a humanist nation, shouldn’t want to see a huge swath of the Middle East vanish under mushroom-shaped clouds.

So what does Obama say?  He says, big-hearted guy that he is, that he understands that Israel and America will have “different tactical perspectives.”  And yeah, sure he also vaguely gets that Israelis don’t want to be destroyed en masse.  When push comes to shove, though, who cares about the Israelis’ survival instinct.  It’s much more important that Obama gets a chance “to test out this proposition [letting Iran go nuclear].”

That is bad enough on its face, but please keep in mind that Obama is manifestly undeterred by the fact that every single proposition he’s tested out thus far has failed:  his economic propositions have failed, his healthcare propositions are failing in a way that could bring down the U.S. economy, his Arab Spring propositions have failed, his foreign policy propositions have failed — everything he touches fails.

That global failure leads to one of two conclusions:  He’s pathologically stupid, which I no longer believe; or all these failures are intentional, which makes him evil.  Moreover, once one adds this new Iranian “test proposition” to Obama’s list of known failures, you pretty much have proof of my theorem:  Obama is an evil man, QED.

Hat tip:  Gateway Pundit

Another bouquet of goodies from the blogosphere

Quick Link and Open Thread image

Before I begin, how do you like this lovely Currier and Ives image of nature’s bounty?  My webmaster, Trip, suggested that as part of my site upgrade, I try to have a few images that are strongly associated with posts that might not otherwise be image-rich.  When I think of my “flotsam and jetsam” or “clearing off the spindle” posts, I always think of a bountiful bouquet.  So, here I am, “branding” my posts.  And here I go, sharing the blogosphere’s bounty:

According to MSNBC, Consumer Reports, which had first warned its readers away from the Obamacare Exchange, is now raving about it:

“Now we’re saying, ‘it’s time,’” [Nancy] Metcalf [Consumer Reports health care expert] said, in particular praising the new window-shopping function, in which users can peruse health plans without registering with the site. The requirement to make an account before viewing options was considered one of the main causes for the site’s initial traffic bottleneck. “It’s terrific, I’ve tried it, it was working yesterday through the busiest times,” Metcalf said.

Dig down in the report, though, and you discover that the only thing Metcalf is actually raving about is the fact that the revised website gives consumers a chance to see products early in the process, rather than waiting until after having given over all their information.  Otherwise, Metcalf notes that problems persist, problems such as actually buying insurance:

Metcalf warned that consumers had no control over the back-end problems, which are giving inaccurate information to insurance providers, and said that if you enroll through Healthcare.gov and don’t hear from your new provider within a week, your best bet is to contact the insurer directly.

In other words, Consumer Reports, which was an early Obamacare supporter, is trying to put lipstick on a pig, while ignoring the effluvia flowing out of the pig’s back end.

Should you want a better sense of what’s going on with Obamacare, I always recommend Jonah Goldberg, who can make you smile, even when what he’s reporting is actually the stuff of tears.

Still, one can’t ignore the fact that more people have been using Obamacare since November 30.  It remains to be seen whether any of the 29,000 last reported are satisfied customers or are even customers at all.  It’s also unknown whether they are customers who fund subsidies or customers who use subsidies.  To many of the latter and too few of the former and yet another Obamacare flaw will reveal itself to the public at large.  Right now, it seems as if the youngsters who are required to buy insurance to prop up Obamacare are staying away in droves.  In any event, as it is, no one currently has any ideas what the subsidies will be, so the insurers are guessing and the government is essentially writing them a blank check.

What we do know is that a lot of people are waiting in long, long cyberlines.  Charles C. W. Cooke has a great post about socialism’s love affair with lines.  I’ve told jokes on the subject (with pictures!), and Cooke includes an absolutely splendid 1979 Tory ad out of England — an ad that might have something to do with Margaret Thatcher’s success:

pic_giant_120313_SM_The-Return-of-the-Queue-Rev

Okay, that’s the Obamacare portion of this bouquet post.  Now on to other stuff:

Surprisingly, despite the Islamist sweep that followed the Arab Spring, if one ignores Iran and the bomb, Israel expects 2014 to be a safer year for it than 2013 was.  Basically, it’s benefiting from the fact that Arabs and Muslims in surrounding nations are so busy fighting amongst themselves, they don’t have the energy to attack Israel.  In addition, citizens in those countries are noticing that their own governments, rather than Israel, might be the problem.

Karl Marx loathed Jews.  Why therefore should we be surprised that Marx’s political descendents despite them too?  In New York, which has now moved as far Left on the American spectrum as it’s possible to do without going full Soviet, the Jew-haters are stealthily crawling out from under cover.  I recently spoke with a delightful, ultra-liberal New York Jewish transplant who couldn’t believe that de Blasio could herald an antisemitic tinge to New York politics.  Perhaps a few years will leave him a sadder but wiser, and less liberal, Jew.

The House has the power of the purse.  Why doesn’t it use it?  Angelo Codevilla points out that, now that the Senate has taken the nuclear option regarding the filibuster, the House can take the nuclear option regarding budgets, at least insofar as controlling judicial nominations goes.  I’m of two minds about this.  The House has power of the purse for a reason, so there’s no reason it shouldn’t use it in the face of a starkly ideological Senate.  Having said that, just as people have pointed out that the Democrats may regret ending the filibuster if/when Republicans regain power, Republicans may be worried about letting the “no funding” genie out of the bottle in the House because of the presumably inevitable day when Democrats will regain power.

Speaking of inevitability, weren’t we told that Obama’s election, and then his re-election, heralded a new era of unending Democrat majorities?  Apparently no one told that to the youth vote, which has become disenchanted with a Democrat government that lies to them, spies on them, takes their money, and leaves them without a future.  Remember, the higher on the pedestal you place yourself, the further and harder you’re going to fall.

And a sad story about one of the Sudanese “Lost Boys” who’s finding it harder than anyone could have realized when it comes to making it in America.

An embarassment of riches; or links to all over

Quick Link and Open Thread image

There’s so much good stuff out there, I’m just going to spill it all here, a la Instapundit.

Jonathan Tobin doubts that Obama’s upcoming three-week long “Sham-Wow” commercial for ObamaCare will miraculously turn around the public’s perception that the program is a failure and the president a liar.

The success of the president’s snake-oil show is especially doubtful given that the narcissists in the White House are now blaming the public for the website’s manifest failings.

Oh, and Obama junket will also have dubious success because news is leaking out that the Obamacare site is a hacker’s wet dream.

Right now, it looks as if Obama has finally been unable to fool all of the people all of the time, at least when it comes to Obamacare.

After Chief Justice Roberts resuscitated Obamacare, I find it hard to imagine the courts dismantling that monstrosity.  Still, it’s possible.

For people who want to see the inevitable graveyard of Obama’s anti-capitalist, anti-freedom, redistributionist policies, they need look no further than Venezuela, where the country has gone from stable to basket-case in a decade.

If you want to renew your driver’s license in Oregon, you’d better come in prepared with every bit of proof known to man showing that you are who you say you are.  Interestingly, though, you don’t need to show any ID to vote in Oregon.  Just sayin’.

I was reading Glenn Reynold’s article explaining why we should abolish the TSA, and I was nodding so hard in agreement, I looked like one of those bobble-head dolls in someone’s car.

I could dig up the zillions of posts I’ve done about the way in which the welfare state destroyed the black community because it was rational for blacks to put forth less effort.  I won’t though.  Thomas Sowell makes the same point, only he does so brilliantly in his article about test scores.

When you’re George Bush and increase AIDS aid to Africa, you’re reviled; when you’re Hillary Clinton and you decrease AIDS aid to Africa, you get a reward from the AIDS Foundation.  It’s not what you do, it’s whether there’s an “R” or a “D” after your name.

Regarding Iran, here’s the good news:  Obama’s an idiot, but the Iranians aren’t necessarily that smart (although, so far, their madman chess is a lot more successful than Obama’s amateur basketball).

On Passover, Jews the world ask “Why is this night different from all other nights?”  When it comes to Islam, if you still find yourself “Why is this religion different from all other religions?”, you’re not asking that because you’re engaging in a timeless religious ritual.  Instead, if you still have to ask that question you, like our President, are an idiot.  Islam is indeed different from all other religions and that difference lies in the fact that it’s utterly barbaric as written and as practiced.

No, Obama is not Hitler.  (He’s more Neville Chamberlain, with a large dollop of the Hugo Chavez school of economics.)  Nevertheless, the Dems couldn’t have been more tin-eared when they came up with “White House Youth” or WHYouth (to which I either want to answer, Why not? or I want to do an endless bullet-point list explaining why you’re not getting good public policy if you look to young people as your guide).

I’m sure there’s someone in the British government who could be dragged to a microphone to say, “Hey, some of my best friends are Jews.”  Nah!  Not really.  Because there’s no one left in Britain who could say that with a straight face, why Britain was able to ban Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller from entering England in part on the ground that they were pro-Israel.

Is it the Onion or is it just an ordinary Progressive news report about businesses in America?

And finally, if you’re a veteran and you can’t get a gun, Dom Raso has some helpful practical advice.

White House Alinsky-izes Bibi

Alinsky rule No. 13:  “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”

Today’s news:

Senior officials in the White House have said that Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu “is desperate and weak,” in reaction to Netanyahu’s remonstrations against the deal struck with Iran over its nuclear weapons program.

Israeli television Channel 10 quoted the officials as saying “His pronouncements show a lack of self-confidence,” in an unusually harsh personal attack on Netanyahu. “We are not perturbed by his vocal opposition.”

In fact, given that Israel’s former friend just stabbed her in the back and put a target on her for Iran’s benefit, Netanyahu is acting powerfully, not weakly. Weak would be to acquiesce to this evil conduct (and I have mentioned before that Obama has now aligned America with an Axis of Evil or an Evil Empire?). Strong is to speak out loudly, repeatedly, and clearly against a Chamberlain-esque travesty of “peace.”

Hat tip: Gateway Pundit

Thanksgivukkah — the perfect storm

clould_storm

A “perfect storm” occurs when circumstances that normally operate independently from each other occur at the same time, with each heightening the other’s impact.  Starting at sunset tonight, we are about to see the nexus of four circumstances that normally operate independent of each other, especially since two of those circumstances have never before occurred.  Two of the four are symbolic events; and the remaining two are entirely real, with possibly cataclysmic outcomes.

I refer, of course, to the fact that Thanksgiving and Hanukkah overlap, an event that will not occur again for something between 600 and 70,000 years (depending who’s doing the calculations).  This holiday nexus overlaps with two real-world occurrences, the first of their kind in America:  Obamacare, which threatens to undermine America’s still-vaguely-capitalist economy, and Obama’s agreement to allow Iran, a totalitarian Islamist state with an apocalyptic religion and visions of world domination, to go ahead with its nuclear program.  The real world events are deeply disturbing to those who love America and Israel (the only true democracy in the Middle East), but perhaps Someone is try to send us a sign insofar as they occur in the year of Thanksgivukkah.

Tying these four seemingly disparate strands together requires understanding fully what these strands are.  I won’t bore you by repeating everything you know about Obamacare and the deal with Iran, since each can be summed up in one or two sentences.  Hanukkah and Thanksgiving, however, deserve somewhat more detailed treatments.

Obamacare saw President Obama and his democrat minions use outright fraud to take over the American healthcare and insurance system in such a way as to throw most Americans off the insurance that 85% of them found satisfactory, and to dump them in an exchange that sees them lose their doctors and hospitals, all for significantly more money.  It was manifestly meant to be a way-station to socialized medicine (complete with death panels), but the government’s ineptitude with regard to the exchanges meant that Obama and Co. tipped their hands as to the fraud before they were ready to do so.

Obama’s deal with Iran gives Iran permission to continue its uranium enrichment program to something just short of full weapons potential, and unlocks the money that the mullahs need to maintain their despotic hold over their country and that Iran needs to continue with its nuclear program.  Obama did this after years of telling Israel not to strike at Iran’s weapons program when it was still possible for Israel to do so, using the fraudulent promise that he would protect Israel from Iran’s frequently expressed genocidal intent towards Israel.  (And no, the doctrine of mutually assured destruction is not a deterrent for Iran.  Iran subscribes to an apocalyptic form of Islam that differs significantly from the Christian view of the apocalypse:  unlike Christians, who wait for the apocalypse, Iranian Shiites believe that it is their responsibility to bring it about.)

Put simply, we are looking at two possibly apocalyptic events, one that has the power to downgrade America irrevocably to the status of a poor, socialized nation, and the other that could witness Israel’s destruction and decades of turmoil and death in the Middle East.  Knowing this can leave anyone feeling lost, hopeless, and abandoned.  But I do believe that the concatenation of these events with both Hanukkah and Thanksgiving means something.  That all of this occurred now might be a coincidence, or it could be part of something larger — a Divine plan, for those religiously inclined — from which we should draw hope.

Lighting the Hanukkah menorah

For those who think of Hanukkah as a holiday that involves lighting candles, spinning dreidels, and giving gifts (the “Jewish Christmas”), let me take a few minutes to tell you about the miraculous military victory that Hanukkah commemorates, a victory that every Israeli must surely be thinking about today given Obama’s Munich-esque deal with Iran.

In 168 B.C.E., Greek soldiers in modern-day Syria (and isn’t that symbolic too?) seized the great Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and defiled it by dedicating it to Zeus.  Jews passively accepted this desecration for fear of incurring Greek wrath.  Human nature, though, is human nature, and you cannot appease a tyrant.  Within one year, Antiochus, the Syrian-Greek emperor, declared that observing Jewish ritual was a capital crime.  Instead, he said, all Jews must affirmatively worship the Greek gods.

As before, most Jews acquiesced, but they raged inside.  The smoldering tinder of Jewish resistance burst into flame when Greek soldiers in the village of Modiin tried to force the Jews to bow to an idol and eat pork.  Realizing that where the leader goes, the others will follow, a Greek officer focused his efforts on Mattathias, a High Priest.  Mattathias refused to acquiesce to the Greek demands.  In fear, another villager offered to violate Jewish law on Mattathias’ behalf.  Mattathias, rather than being grateful, was outraged.  He killed first the appeasing villager and then the Greek officer.  Mattathias, his five sons, and a handful of villagers then killed the remaining Greeks.

Outlaws now in Greek-controlled Israel, Mattathias, his sons, and their followers hid in the m0untains and began a guerrilla campaign of resistance against the Greek occupiers.   The fight came at a terrible cost.  Mattathias and several of his sons died in battle, leaving only one of his sons, Judah Maccabee to carry the fight to its conclusion.  As was the case with the American revolutionaries fighting their seemingly quixotic battle against the might of the British Empire (the most successful military in the world at that time), it seemed impossible to believe that the Maccabees (or Hasmoneans) could win — but they did, driving the Greeks from their lands and restoring the Temple to its rightful glory.

When the Maccabees re-claimed the Temple in Jerusalem, they knew it had been defiled by Greek religious practices, including the slaughter of swine on the altar.  They believed that they could purify the Temple by burning the ritual oil in the Temple’s menorah for eight days and eight nights.  The problem was that they had only enough oil left for one day and one night.  Nevertheless, the triumphant Maccabees lit the menorah and a great miracle happened there (nes gadol haya sham):  the menorah burned for eight days and eight nights.  It is this miracle that the Jews celebrate when they light the menorah every night for the eight days of Hanukkah.

The Hanukkah story is a wonderful story of faith, commitment, and bravery.  It is also a reminder that tyrannies, even those that appear to have unlimited power, are fundamentally unstable.  A committed band of people can come together to topple them.

Thanksgiving

And as for Thanksgiving, that tale too, deserves to be retold, since Progressives in the past 40 years have watered it down to a story about noble Native Americans rescuing fanatically religious Pilgrims who, having broken bread with the indigenous people, returned the favor by slaughtering them.  As Rush Limbaugh tells annually on his radio show and demonstrates in both See, I Told You So and in his best-selling children’s book, Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims: Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans, that story is bunk.  The real story is much more interesting and lays the foundation for America’s robust development. Here is my précis of Rush’s factually accurate, extremely important telling of American history:

The Pilgrims set sail for American aboard the Mayflower on August 1, 1620.  Their reason for leaving the world they knew and striking how for this unknown wilderness was religious freedom.  While still aboard the ship, their leader, William Bradford, had them enter into a biblically inspired agreement that came to be known as “The Mayflower Compact.”  It established just and equal laws for all members of the new community, irrespective of their religious beliefs.

When the Pilgrims landed on the northeast tip of what came to be America, Bradford said that they found themselves in “a cold, barren, desolate wilderness.”  They were in an isolation that was anything but splendid, one without food or shelter.  In that first long, cold winter, says Rush, half the Pilgrims – including Bradford’s own wife – died of either starvation, sickness or exposure.

In the spring, the native population came to the Pilgrims’ rescue, teaching them how to harvest the land’s plant and animal bounty, an act of great kindness and humanity, and one that deserves to be remembered.  As Rush says, that is the beginning and the end of most American’s understanding of the Thanksgiving story.  Chapter two in every child’s history book is “and then the Pilgrims eventually killed the Indians.”  There is much, much more to the story, though.

When the Pilgrims had left England, they had entered into an agreement with their merchant-sponsors in London.  That agreement called for the Pilgrims to pool all their resources — their land, their crops, their meat and furs — and to draw from those resources according to their need.  Karl Marx would have recognized this:  “From each according to his ability; to each according to his need.”

Things did not go well.  Indeed, William Bradford, who was now the colony’s governor, realized that, just as the Pilgrim’s first winter proved deadly, so too would this experiment with communism.  Bradford later summed up precisely what had happened with this first “commune”:

The experience that was had in this commone course and condition, tried sundrie years, and that amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanitie of that conceite of Platos and other ancients, applauded by some of later times; -that the taking away of propertie, and bringing in communitie into a comone wealth, would make them happy and florishing; as if they were wiser then God. For this comunitie (so farr as it was) was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much imployment that would have been to their benefite and comforte. For the yong-men that were most able and fitte for labour and servise did repine that they should spend their time and streingth to worke for other mens wives and children, with out any recompence. The strong, or man of parts, had no more in devission of victails and cloaths, then he that was weake and not able to doe a quarter the other could; this was thought injuestice. The aged and graver men to be ranked and equalised in labours, and victails, cloaths, etc., with the meaner and yonger sorte, thought it some indignite and disrespect unto them. And for mens wives to be commanded to doe servise for other men, as dresing their meate, washing their cloaths, etc., they deemd it a kind of slaverie, neither could many husbands well brooke it. Upon the poynte all being to have alike, and all to doe alike, they thought them selves in the like condition, and ove as good as another; and so, if it did not cut of those relations that God hath set amongest men, yet it did at least much diminish and take of the mutuall respects that should be preserved amongst them. And would have bene worse if they had been men of another condition. Let pone objecte this is mens corruption, and nothing to the course it selfe. I answer, seeing all men have this corruption in them, God in his wisdome saw another course fiter for them.

Put in modern English, what Bradford said was this:  The ancient writers loved the theory of a commune, assuming that the doctrine of “from each according to his ability and to each according to his need” would result in universal happiness.  Put into practice, though, communism bred laziness, jealousy, and discontent.  The most deleterious effect was seen on young men — the most important workforce in any agriculture society — who resented deeply having to expend their labor for other men’s families without any return on effort.  Redistribution of wealth ultimately meant less labor in an agrarian society, with the inevitable and dangerous decrease in the food supply.  People work cheerfully, industriously, and productively only if they know there is the possibility that outcome will correlate to effort.

Made wise by experience, Bradford abolished the commune and, instead, assigned to each family a plot of land for which it was solely responsible. The result was predictable.  “This had very good success, for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.”  Or, as Rush said, “supply-side economics.”

Because the Pilgrims had a personal stake in their labor, they worked hard, and produced surplus crops that they traded with the Indians or sold to British merchants.  Soon, this small band of wanderers in a far-off outpost of the nascent British Empire had created a profitable, growing, and quite attractive little society.

Paspajak Patrol

So, where are we now?  We are witnessing two events unfold, both of which have the potential to wreak terrible destruction on healthy, functioning, open democracies.  And we have those two events unfolding during the once-in-a-lifetime convergence of holidays that celebrate a military victory over tyranny and an economic victory over socialism.  These holidays celebrate defining moments in history.  They show that, no matter how dark things appear, people of passion, intelligence, and faith can “repair the world” (hebrew:  tikkun olam).  A great miracle happened there, in Jerusalem; a great miracle happened there, in the Plymouth colony; and we cannot reject the idea that great miracles can still happen, whether in the Middle East or in America.

We lose under only two circumstances:  we are wiped off the face of the earth (something all tyrannies have tried against the Jews, but thankfully without success) or we give up (something that too many disaffected, disheartened conservatives keep threatening to do).

Call it coincidence or call it a sign from a higher power, but the fact remains that, as Israel and her friends in America watch Obama try to include America in the Axis of Evil, and as we Americans watch a concerted effort to socialize the American economy, destroying America’s fundamental character and greatness, tonight and tomorrow serve as powerful reminders that, with faith and courage, a small band can destroy a great tyranny and that the socialist experiment can be undone with a return to greatness.

To everyone, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, I wish you a very happy Hanukkah, as we take eight days to remember that miracles do happen and that tyrants are overthrown.

And to everyone, American and non-American alike, I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving, a day on which we count the myriad blessings in our lives, both big and small, and we remember that, while socialism may temporarily mute the striving, creative, dynamic, productive, energetic parts of human nature, it cannot destroy them.