Archive for the ‘Obama’s legacy’ category

The Left’s Shifting Overton Window

March 27, 2017

The Left’s Shifting Overton Window, Front Page MagazineBenny Huang, March 27, 2017

[The “Overton Window” represents the breadth of ideas that the public considers acceptable discourse superimposed over a spectrum ranging from far left to far right. At both ends of the spectrum lurk ideas that are literally “unthinkable.” As we inch closer to the Overton Window we find ideas that are merely “radical.” The first category contained within the Overton Window is “acceptable,” followed by “sensible,” then “popular,” and finally “policy.”

The goal of most progressive strategists has been to move that window so that previously unthinkable ideas become conceivable and eventually uncontroversial. People who don’t adopt the newly mainstreamed idea quickly enough are usually shamed into silence. If they refuse to keep quiet they are shunned by polite society and often lose their livelihoods because their old ideas have been pushed into “radical” and “unthinkable” territory.

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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is prepared to go to the mat to prevent the construction of a wall on our southern border. The senator from New York is threatening to use all available options, including a government shut-down, to forestall three key provisions in the new budget: a deportation force, a border wall, and the defunding of Planned Parenthood. 

Well, it’s good to know where Schumer draws his line in the sand. Anything that impedes the endless flow of undocumented Democrats he considers to be an act of war. 

But I’m old enough to remember when Chuck Schumer supported at least one of these budget items. In 2006, he and 25 other Democratic senators voted for the Secure Fence Act which would have built a double-layered fence on the US-Mexico border. The bill passed, by the way, and President Bush signed it into law. It wasn’t a close vote because it wasn’t particularly controversial. 

Now I’m sure that a persnickety liberal like Chuck Schumer would split hairs on this one. He voted for a fence, not a wall! That argument is a non-starter. Walls and fences are both barriers intended to keep people out so let’s not pretend that the difference between then and now is the type of barrier. What’s changed is that Chuck Schumer now supports endless and unlimited immigration with no distinction made between those who enter the country legally and those who don’t. He has likely learned that his party’s best interests are best served by diluting the voice of their actual constituents.

There is perhaps no better example than Chuck Schumer of how much this country has changed since the Bush years. Positions once held by a proud New York liberal are now considered reactionary. What happened? In short, the Overton Window has moved quickly and decisively leftward.

The Overton Window? What’s that? 

Glad you asked. I’m not talking about Glenn Beck’s boring novel but rather about its namesake: the handy mental model formulated by political scientist Joseph P. Overton. His window represents the breadth of ideas that the public considers acceptable discourse superimposed over a spectrum ranging from far left to far right. At both ends of the spectrum lurk ideas that are literally “unthinkable.” As we inch closer to the Overton Window we find ideas that are merely “radical.” The first category contained within the Overton Window is “acceptable,” followed by “sensible,” then “popular,” and finally “policy.”

The goal of most progressive strategists has been to move that window so that previously unthinkable ideas become conceivable and eventually uncontroversial. People who don’t adopt the newly mainstreamed idea quickly enough are usually shamed into silence. If they refuse to keep quiet they are shunned by polite society and often lose their livelihoods because their old ideas have been pushed into “radical” and “unthinkable” territory.

This is perhaps one reason the Left so despises the slippery slope argument—except when they employ it against their adversaries, of course. They want people to concentrate only on the issue as they narrowly define it without considering the principles at stake or the long-term ramifications. Who could have imagined, for example, that a little sensitivity toward racial issues would eventually lead to the stifling environment we find on college campuses today, in which it’s now considered a microaggression to say something as harmless as “I just believe the most qualified person should get the job”? That’s against the rules at the University of California, the largest university system in the country and a state school with an obligation to protects students’ free speech. Certainly no one foresaw this in the 1960s. We just thought we were telling racists—genuine racists—to shut up. What’s the next forbidden phrase? The Left doesn’t want you to ask. If people knew where this crazy train is going they’d demand to be let off.

But we should ask. What radical ideas will the Left be pushing in ten years? What unthinkable ideas will they champion in twenty? You can bet that they won’t admit to any of them now because the time isn’t right. That’s how this game is played.

For another example of the sliding Overton Window, consider Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders, both Democrats who sought the presidential nomination of their party, one successfully and the other unsuccessfully. When conservatives called Obama a socialist throughout his presidency, the Left balked. “Don’t be ridiculous!” they said. “He’s no socialist.” This protégé of the radical anti-American CPUSA member Frank Marshall Davis, who openly bragged of hanging out with the Marxist professors on his college campus, who praised a Soviet-backed communist terrorist like Nelson Mandela, was absolutely the furthest thing from a socialist a person could possibly be—or so we were told.

But then along came Bernie Sanders who didn’t even bother to hide his socialism. Of course, he made the highly dubious claim that he preferred the Danish variety of socialism to the Latin American brand he championed earlier in his political career, but at least he was honest enough to use the “S” word. And suddenly there really was nothing wrong with being a socialist. Who knew that after eight years of fervently denying Obama’s socialism—as if it were a bad thing—that the party’s next rising star would be a self-described socialist?

Sanders might even have won the nomination of the Democratic Party if Hillary Clinton hadn’t stacked the deck against him. His loss can be attributed to a number of factors but an aversion to socialism among Democratic voters isn’t one of them. Six in ten Democratic primary voters think socialism “has a positive impact” on society. That’s because the Democratic Party is really just America’s socialist party by another name.

The Left has been particularly successful in radically shifting the frame of acceptable discourse for three reasons. First, they have the media on their side to give them top cover. Second, they are masters of emotion-laden propaganda. And third, they recognize golden opportunities when they see them.

When Barack Obama came to power he recognized that an unpopular war and an economic collapse had left the American people stumbling and woozy. It was an opportune moment to remake society. “You never let a serious crisis go to waste,” said Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. “And what I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

Emanuel’s maxim has been the Left’s unarticulated strategy for a long time. They recognize that in times of national tumult the electorate often grants to progressives plenty of latitude to enact their policy wish lists. Obama benefited from one of these moments when he entered the White House in 2009 with a cooperative Democratic Congress to work with. The road was wide open and Obama went pedal to the metal into territory that most Americans would have considered too far afield just a few years before.

Few presidents have changed the nation as fundamentally as Barack Obama—and not in a good way. Within his first two years he had made the ideas of Saul Alinsky look all-American. I would argue that only Franklin Roosevelt spearheaded a more complete American transformation and he had twelve years to do it. Now there was a man who knew how to move the Overton Window. FDR’s New Deal was considered radical when he proposed it and would have been unthinkable a generation before.

But there was still work to be done. Thirty years later, President Lyndon Johnson exploited America’s national grief over the Kennedy Assassination to push through the atrocious Great Society agenda. President Carter pushed the window further to the left in those disorienting days after Watergate and the Vietnam War.

We conservatives never really push it back, often because we’re afraid we’ll be accused of “turning back the clock.” We need to get over our fear of moving the Overton Window in the other direction for a change. With both houses of Congress and the White House now in conservative hands, there is no excuse not to reverse most of the horrid policies of the Obama years. While they’re at it, they ought to reverse the policies of the Carter, Johnson, and Roosevelt years too.

Thank Obama for Iranian Missile Tests

January 31, 2017

Thank Obama for Iranian Missile Tests, PJ MediaAndrew C. McCarthy, January 31, 2017

notamissile(Amir Kholousi, ISNA via AP)

There is great shrieking from the “international community” over Iran’s ballistic missile test over the weekend, the latest of what the Wall Street Journal reports is nearly a dozen such tests since President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal — the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — went into effect last year. The United Nations Security Council, which endorsed the deal even though no party has actually signed it, is set to hold an “emergency meeting” today to discuss the matter.

What is there to discuss?

French foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said it best in complaining that such tests are “contrary to the spirit” of the JCPOA.

When they talk about a violation of the “spirit” of a pact, you can be certain that there has been no violation of the letter of a pact — i.e., the thing that is required for there to be a real, actionable violation.

The provocative missile tests further elucidate the obvious: Iran’s nuclear program is about developing nuclear weapons — which Iran will be able to do consistent with the terms of the JCPOA. But regardless of the crying and gnashing of teeth at the emergency meeting, the tests do not violate the JCPOA.

For that, we can thank Barack Obama.

Prior to the JCPOA, Iran’s ballistic missile activities were barred by a series of UN resolutions backed by American and international sanctions. But sensing Obama’s desperation to complete the JCPOA at any cost, and by indulging any fiction, Iran threatened to walk away from the table unless the restraints on missiles were eliminated.

Obama quietly accommodated the mullahs — despite having repeatedly told the American people that the negotiations were confined to nuclear activities, and that his administration would hold a hard line on Iranian missile development and terror promotion.

There was nothing in the JCPOA about ballistic missiles. When Obama brought the deal to the Security Council, however, he used its endorsement vehicle — Resolution 2231 — to undermine the missile sanctions. The pertinent paragraph is buried deep in the resolution (Annex B, Paragraph 3 — scroll all the way down to page 99 of 104). It states (italics is mine):

Iran is called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology, until the date eight years after the JCPOA Adoption Day[.] …

Notice three things:

  1. The words “Iran is called upon” not to undertake ballistic missile activity. That is not the same as being forbidden to do so. Because of the way the JCPOA was codified in the resolution – for what the parties will call international law purposes — the former proscription against ballistic missile activity has been watered down to a mere encouragement of Iran not to engage in such activity. In UN-speak, a country’s ignoring what the Security Council “calls upon” it to do does not even rise to the level of a tsk-tsk letter from the principal. It is just a suggestion along the lines of “Pretty please don’t fire missiles after we’ve told everyone how moderate you are.”
  2. Then there is the fiction: the paragraph refers to “missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.” Bear in mind the fraud on which the JCPOA is based: Iran has no intention of manufacturing or otherwise acquiring nuclear weapons. Therefore, so the story goes, Iran would not build missiles “designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.” We, like the Obama administration, are supposed to ignore what Iran’s missiles are technologically capable of doing and trust the stated intentions of the world’s chief sponsor of jihadist terror.
  3. The resolution not only abandons the prohibition against missile activity; even the insipid suggestion that Iran not engage in such activity is only operative for eight years. After that, they can do what they want … just as, after no more than 15 years, they are free to develop nuclear weapons free and clear.

How could Obama have agreed to such disastrous terms (in addition to giving the mullah’s over $100 billion in sanctions relief — including ransom cash)? The Obama administration illusion was that Iran was in the process of a powerful, inevitable reform movement that would, in the course of eight to 15 years, transmogrify it into a normal, reasonable, moderate nation-state. According to this thinking, by the time the JCPOA ran its course, Iran would be so benign it would probably not want nuclear missiles; and even if it did, that would be no problem because, by then, its regime would have evolved into a stable pillar of the international community.

Of course, we now know this was a consciously false narrative that Obama peddled to sell the Iran deal to the public — orchestrated by deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes, with the help of an echo chamber media.

Iran ratcheted up missile development almost immediately after the JCPOA went into effect. The missiles test-fired last March were inscribed “Israel must be wiped out.” In Tehran, that’s known as “the spirit” of the agreement.

Obama’s Transparent Presidency

January 13, 2017

Obama’s Transparent Presidency, Front Page MagazineCaroline Glick, January 13, 2017

barack_obama_discusses_ukraine_with_national_security_staff

[During Obama’s Cario speech], he turned his attention to Israel and the Palestinians. Obama opened this section by presenting his ideological framework for understanding the conflict. Israel he insisted was not established out of respect of the Jews’ national rights to their historic homeland. It was established as a consolation prize to the Jews after the Holocaust.

That is, Israel is a product of European colonialism, just as Iran and Hamas claim.

In contrast, the Palestinians are the indigenous people of the land. They have been the primary victims of the colonial West’s post-Holocaust guilty conscience. Their suffering is real and legitimate.

Hamas’s opposition to Israel is legitimate, he indicated. Through omission, Obama made clear that he has no ideological problem with Hamas – only with its chosen means of achieving its goal.

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Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

President Barack Obama promised that his would be the most transparent administration in US history.

And the truth is, it was. At least in relation to his policies toward the Muslim world, Obama told us precisely what he intended to do and then he did it.

A mere week remains of Obama’s tenure in office.

But Obama remains intent on carrying on as if he will never leave power. He has pledged to continue to implement his goals for the next week and then to serve as the most outspoken ex-president in US history.

In all of Obama’s recent appearances, his message is one of vindication. I came. I succeeded. I will continue to succeed. I represent the good people, the people of tomorrow. My opponents represent the Manichean, backward past. We will fight them forever and we will prevail.

Tuesday Obama gave his final interview to the Israeli media to Ilana Dayan from Channel 2’s Uvda news magazine. Dayan usually tries to come off as an intellectual. On Tuesday’s show, she cast aside professionalism however, and succumbed to her inner teenybopper. Among her other questions, she asked Obama the secret to his preternatural ability to touch people’s souls.

The only significant exchange in their conversation came when Dayan asked Obama about the speech he gave on June 4, 2009, in Cairo. Does he still stand by all the things he said in that speech? Would he give that speech again today, given all that has since happened in the region, she asked.

Absolutely, Obama responded.

The speech, he insisted was “aspirational” rather than programmatic. And the aspirations that he expressed in that address were correct.

If Dayan had been able to put aside her hero worship for a moment, she would have stopped Obama right then and there. His claim was preposterous.

But, given her decision to expose herself as a slobbering groupie, Dayan let it slide.

To salvage the good name of the journalism, and more important, to understand Obama’s actual record and its consequences, it is critical however to return to that speech.

Obama’s speech at Cairo University was the most important speech of his presidency. In it he laid out both his “aspirational” vision of relations between the West and the Islamic world and his plans for implementing his vision. The fundamentally transformed world he will leave President-elect Donald Trump to contend with next Friday was transformed on the basis of that speech.

Obama’s address that day at Cairo University lasted for nearly an hour. In the first half he set out his framework for understanding the nature of the US’s relations with the Muslim world and the relationship between the Western world and Islam more generally. He also expressed his vision for how that relationship should change.

The US-led West he explained had sinned against the Muslim world through colonialism and racism.

It needed to make amends for its past and make Muslims feel comfortable and respected, particularly female Muslims, covered from head to toe.

As for the Muslims, well, September 11 was wrong but didn’t reflect the truth of Islam, which is extraordinary. Obama thrice praised “the Holy Koran.” He quoted it admiringly. He waxed poetic in his appreciation for all the great contributions Islamic civilization has made to the world – he even made up a few. And he insisted falsely that Islam has always been a significant part of the American experience.

In his dichotomy between two human paths – the West’s and Islam’s – although he faulted the records of both, Obama judged the US and the West more harshly than Islam.

In the second half of his address, Obama detailed his plans for changing the West’s relations with Islam in a manner that reflected the true natures of both.

In hindsight, it is clear that during the seven and a half years of his presidency that followed that speech, all of Obama’s actions involved implementing the policy blueprint he laid out in Cairo.

He never deviated from the course he spelled out.

Obama promised to withdraw US forces from Iraq regardless of the consequences. And he did.

He promised he would keep US forces in Afghanistan but gave them no clear mission other than being nice to everyone and giving Afghans a lot of money. And those have been his orders ever since.

Then he turned his attention to Israel and the Palestinians. Obama opened this section by presenting his ideological framework for understanding the conflict. Israel he insisted was not established out of respect of the Jews’ national rights to their historic homeland. It was established as a consolation prize to the Jews after the Holocaust.

That is, Israel is a product of European colonialism, just as Iran and Hamas claim.

In contrast, the Palestinians are the indigenous people of the land. They have been the primary victims of the colonial West’s post-Holocaust guilty conscience. Their suffering is real and legitimate.

Hamas’s opposition to Israel is legitimate, he indicated. Through omission, Obama made clear that he has no ideological problem with Hamas – only with its chosen means of achieving its goal.

Rather than fire missiles at Israel, he said, Hamas should learn from its fellow victims of white European colonialist racists in South Africa, in India, and among the African-American community.

Like them Hamas should use nonviolent means to achieve its just aims.

Obama’s decision attack Israel at the UN Security Council last month, his attempts to force Israel to accept Hamas’s cease-fire demands during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, his consistent demand that Israel renounce Jewish civil and property rights in united Jerusalem, in Judea and Samaria, his current refusal to rule out the possibility of enabling another anti-Israel resolution to pass at the Security Council next week, and his contempt for the Israeli Right all are explained, envisioned and justified explicitly or implicitly in his Cairo speech.

One of the more notable but less discussed aspects of Obama’s assertion that the Palestinians are in the right and Israel is in the wrong in the speech, was his embrace of Hamas. Obama made no mention of the PLO or the Palestinian Authority or Fatah in his speech. He mentioned only Hamas – the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, which shares the Brotherhood’s commitment to annihilating Israel and wiping out the Jewish people worldwide.

Sitting in the audience that day in Cairo were members of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood.

Then-Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak rightly viewed Obama’s insistence that the brothers be invited to his address as a hostile act. Due to this assessment, Mubarak boycotted the speech and refused to greet Obama at the Cairo airport.

Two years later, Obama supported Mubarak’s overthrow and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood to replace him.

Back to the speech.

Having embraced the Muslim Brotherhood and its Palestinian branch, branded Israel a colonial implant and discredited the US’s moral claim to world leadership, Obama turned his attention to Iran.

Obama made clear that his intention as president was to appease the ayatollahs. America he explained had earned their hatred because in 1953 the CIA overthrew the pro-Soviet regime in Iran and installed the pro-American shah in its place.

True, since then the Iranians have done all sorts of mean things to America. But America’s original sin of intervening in 1953 justified Iran’s aggression.

Obama indicated that he intended to appease Iran by enabling its illicit nuclear program to progress.

Ignoring the fact that Iran’s illegal nuclear program placed it in material breach of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Obama argued that as an NPT signatory, Iran had a right to a peaceful nuclear program. As for the US and the rest of the members of the nuclear club, Obama intended to convince everyone to destroy their nuclear arsenals.

And in the succeeding years, he took a hacksaw to America’s nuclear force.

After Obama’s speech in Cairo, no one had any cause for surprise at the reports this week that he approved the transfer of 116 tons of uranium to Iran. Likewise, no one should have been surprised by his nuclear deal or by his willingness to see Iran take over Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. No one should be surprised by his cash payoffs to the regime or his passivity in the face of repeated Iranian acts of aggression against US naval vessels in the Strait of Hormuz.

Everything that Obama has done since he gave that speech was alluded to or spelled out that day.

Certainly, nothing he has done was inconsistent with what he said.

The consequences of Obama’s worldview and the policies he laid out in Cairo have been an unmitigated disaster for everyone. The Islamic world is in turmoil. The rising forces are those that Obama favored that day: The jihadists.

ISIS, which Obama allowed to develop and grow, has become the ideological guide not only of jihadists in the Middle East but of Muslims in the West as well. Consequently it has destabilized not only Iraq and Syria but Europe as well. As the victims of the Islamist massacres in San Bernardino, Boston, Ft. Hood, Orlando and beyond can attest, American citizens are also paying the price for Obama’s program.

Thanks to Obama, the Iranian regime survived the Green Revolution. Due to his policies, Iran is both the master of its nuclear fate and the rising regional hegemon.

Together with its Russian partners, whose return to regional power after a 30-year absence Obama enabled, Iran has overseen the ethnic cleansing and genocide of Sunnis in Syria and paved the way for the refugee crisis that threatens the future of the European Union.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s Islamist leader, was a principle beneficiary of Obama’s admiration of Islamism. Erdogan rode Obama’s wave to destroy the last vestiges of the secular Turkish Republic.

Now he is poised to leave NATO in favor of an alliance with Russia.

Obama and his followers see none of this. Faithful only to their ideology, Obama and his followers in the US and around the world refuse to see the connection between the policies borne of that ideology and their destructive consequences. They refuse to recognize that the hatred for Western civilization and in particular of the Jewish state Obama gave voice to in Cairo, and his parallel expression of admiration for radical Islamic enemies of the West, have had and will continue to have horrific consequences for the US and for the world as a whole.

Cairo is Obama’s legacy. His followers’ refusal to acknowledge this truth means that it falls to those Obama reviles to recognize the wages of the most transparent presidency in history. It is their responsibility to undo the ideological and concrete damage to humanity the program he first unveiled in that address and assiduously implemented ever since has wrought.

Obama’s Betrayal of Israel

January 13, 2017

Obama’s Betrayal of Israel, Gatestone InstituteGuy Millière, January 13, 2017

(Please see also, Israel is the legal occupant of the West Bank, says the Court of Appeal of Versailles. — DM)

President Obama’s decision not to use the US veto in the UN Security Council and to let pass Resolution 2334, effectively sets the boundaries of a future Palestinian state. The resolution declares all of Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem — home to the Old City, the Western Wall and the Temple Mount — the most sacred place in Judaism — “occupied Palestinian territory,” and is a declaration of war against Israel.

Resolution 2334 nullified any possibility of further negotiations by giving the Palestinians everything in exchange for nothing — not even an insincere promise of peace.

The next act is the Orwellian-named “peace conference,” to be held in Paris on January 15. It has but one objective: to set the stage to eradicate Israel.

In this new “Dreyfus trial,” the accused will be the only Jewish state and the accusers will be the OIC and officials from Islamized, dhimmified, anti-Israel Western states. As in the Dreyfus trial, the verdict has been decided before it even starts. Israel will be considered guilty of all charges and condemned. A draft of the declaration to be published at the end of the conference is already available.

The declaration rejects any Jewish presence beyond the 1949 armistice lines — thereby instituting apartheid. It also praises the “Arab Peace Initiative,” which calls for returning of millions of so-called “refugees” to Israel, thus transforming Israel into an Arab Muslim state where a massacre of Jews could conveniently be organized.

The declaration is most likely meant serve as the basis for a new Security Council resolution on January 17 that would recognize a Palestinian state inside the “1967 borders,” and be adopted, thanks to a second US abstention, three days before Obama leaves office. The betrayal of Israel by the Obama administration and by Obama himself would then be complete.

The US Congress is already discussing bills to defund the UN and the Palestinian Authority. If Europeans think that the incoming Trump administration is as spineless as the Obama administration, they are in for a shock.

Khaled Abu Toameh noted that the Palestinian Authority sees Resolution 2334 as a green light for more murders and violence.

Daniel Pipes recently wrote that it is time to acknowledge the failure of a “peace process” that is really a war process. He stresses that peace can only come when an enemy is defeated.

Resolution 2334 and the Paris conference, both promoted by Obama, are, as the great historian Bat Ye’or wrote, simply a victory for jihad.

The Middle East is in chaos. More than half a million people have been killed in the Syrian war and the number is rising. Bashar al-Assad’s army used chemical weapons and barrel bombs against civilians; Russia has bombed schools and hospitals.

Syrians, Christians, Yazidis, Libyans, Yemenis and Egyptians all face lethal treats. Iranian leaders still shout “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” while buying nuclear equipment with money from lifted sanctions. Turkey is sliding toward an Islamist dictatorship, and unable to stem attacks against it.

The only democratic and stable country in the region is Israel, and that is the country U.S. President Barack Obama, in the final weeks of his term, chooses to incriminate. His decision not to use the US veto in the UN Security Council, to let pass Resolution 2334, effectively sets the boundaries of a future Palestinian state. The resolution also declares all of Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem, home to the Old City, the Western Wall and the Temple Mount — the most sacred place in Judaism — “occupied Palestinian territory,” and is a declaration of war against Israel.

UNSC Resolution 2334 nullified any possibility of further negotiations, by giving the Palestinians everything in exchange for nothing — not even an insincere promise of peace. US Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech five days later confirmed Obama’s support for the resolution. Kerry, like US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, used the existence of Jewish towns and villages in Judea and Samaria as a pretext to endorse the position of Palestinian leaders, who want to ethnically cleanse Jews from these areas. But this was just a prelude.

The next act is the Orwellian-named “peace conference,” to be held in Paris on January 15. It has but one objective: to set the stage to eradicate Israel.

Organized by François Hollande, a failed French President who will leave power in four months, it was supported from the start by the Obama administration. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman called it “the new Dreyfus trial.” The accused will be the only Jewish state and the accusers will be the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and officials from Islamized, dhimmified, anti-Israel Western states. As in the Dreyfus trial, the verdict is known before it starts. Israel will be considered guilty of all charges and condemned to what its accusers hope will be the beginning of its end.

2208Is Barack Obama planning another betrayal of Israel at next week’s Paris “peace conference,” organized by French President François Hollande? Pictured: Obama and Hollande in Washington, May 18, 2012. (Image source: White House)

Some commentators have compared what will happen in Paris to the 1942 Wannsee Conference in Nazi Germany, because the aim seems clearly to be the “final solution” of the “Jewish problem” in the Middle East. A draft of the declaration to be published at the end of the conference is already available. It affirms unreserved support for the “Palestinian Statehood strategy” and the principle of intangibility (that the borders cannot be modified) of the “1967 borders,” including East Jerusalem, the Old City and the Western Wall.

The draft declaration rejects any Jewish presence beyond these borders — thereby instituting apartheid — and praises the “Arab Peace Initiative,” which calls for returning millions of so-called “refugees” to Israel, and thus the transforming of Israel into an Arab Muslim state — where a massacre of the Jews could conveniently be organized.

The declaration is most likely meant to be the basis for a new UN Security Council resolution that would endorse the recognition of a Palestinian state in the “1967 borders” as defined in the declaration. The new resolution could be adopted by a second US abstention at the Security Council on January 17, three days before Obama leaves office. The betrayal of Israel by the Obama administration and by Obama himself would then be complete.

On January 20, however, Donald J. Trump is to take office as President of the United States. Trump sent a message on December 23: “Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!” He added explicitly that the U.S. “cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect.”

On January 5, the US House of Representatives approved a text harshly criticizing Resolution 2334. Congress is already discussing defunding the UN and the Palestinian Authority. If Europeans and members of UN think the incoming Trump administration is as spineless as the Obama administration, they are in for a shock.

Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens recently wondered if the creation of a Palestinian state would alleviate the current Middle East chaos. His answer was that it would not, and that the creation of a Palestinian state would be seen as a victory for jihadists. He also noted that the Palestinian Authority still behaves like a terrorist entity; that an Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria would encourage Hamas and lead to the creation of another terrorist Islamic state in the West Bank, and that an Israeli withdrawal is something that most Palestinians do not even want:

“[A] telling figure came in a June 2015 poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion, which found that a majority of Arab residents in East Jerusalem would rather live as citizens with equal rights in Israel than in a Palestinian state.”

Khaled Abu Toameh, an Arab journalist who has never yet been wrong, noted that the Palestinian Authority sees Resolution 2334 as a green light for more violence, murders and confrontation. He added that if presidential elections by the PA were held today, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh would win by a comfortable margin.

In another important article, Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes writes that it is time to acknowledge the failure of a “peace process” that is really a war process. He stressed that peace can only come when an enemy is defeated. He predicts that for peace to come, Israel must win unambiguously, and the Palestinians pass through “the bitter crucible of defeat, with all its deprivation, destruction, and despair.”

Jihadi indoctrination, as well as the financial aid given to Palestinian terrorists, have been paid for by the United States, France, and other Western European nations. That too should stop.

Resolution 2334 and the Paris peace conference, both promoted by Obama, are, as the great historian Bat Ye’or wrote, simply victories for jihad.

The 18th Hole

January 12, 2017

The 18th Hole, Front Page MagazineBruce Bawer, January 12, 2017

shuh

Some thoughts at the end of the Obama presidency.

[I]n 2008, American voters were seduced by high-flown oratory and a promise of spectacular social and cultural transformation, only to discover that they’d been stuck with a master of menefreghismo, a slick character who was all talk (except when he decided to do something outright damaging and probably petty).
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All these years later, it can be hard to remember quite what it was like. For the very youngest members of today’s electorate, it’s something that happened when they were just children. Even those of us who have been casting presidential ballots for decades may have trouble recollecting exactly how it felt. Because in the entire history of the Republic, there’s never been anything quite like it.

Around a decade ago, during a brief visit to New York, I had dinner with an old friend of mine who is highly intelligent and supremely level-headed and certainly not the type to give in to sudden and rhapsodic enthusiasms. As it happened, she had come straight to the restaurant from what I assume must have been a fundraiser. At it, she’d heard a talk by a certain individual who at that point, I guess, was at the exploratory stage of a presidential candidacy. Her eyes were aglow. He was all she could talk about. She’d been floored by his eloquence, his charm, his palpable earnestness, his passionately articulated vision of a post-racial America. I had been aware of this fellow, but had not thought seriously about him as a candidate for the White House: all else aside, he was simply too inexperienced, with no national record to speak of. But my friend’s excitement challenged my perceptions. If she, of all people, could get this worked up over Barack Obama, maybe I should pay him a bit more attention.

So I read his book, Dreams from My Father. It disturbed me. This was supposed to be the post-racial hero who’d finally heal America’s most ancient wound? Take his family. The middle-class white grandparents who’d raised him had, apparently, been invariably loving – in his narrative, they came across as veritable saints – but he called them racists; by contrast, his accounts of his privileged, polygamous Kenyan father made it clear that the old man had been a world-class jerk and egomaniac, utterly indifferent to his wives and children, but in Obama’s eyes every one of the man’s failings was, somehow, the product of white racism.

As I wrote in December 2007: “Forget the content of our character; this is a work preoccupied with skin color.” It was, moreover, a book by a man more in love with Kenya and Indonesia than with America; a man who, at least in his boyhood, had had a close attachment to Islam, the religion of his father and stepfather; a man who’d enjoyed immense good fortune and experienced very little real hardship but who seemed to feel he’d had a rough ride and hadn’t gotten his due.

Months later, when the news came out about Obama’s virulently racist pastor and longtime mentor, Jeremiah Wright, it just confirmed – and then some – my worst suspicions about the junior senator from Illinois. “Millions have been drawn to Obama,” I blogged in March 2008, “because he has seemed to them to be something more than a politician. Alas, it seems increasingly clear that in fact he’s the best, the slickest, politician of them all.” Seeking to put the Wright debacle behind him, Obama delivered his now-famous speech on race. For me, it only underscored “the absurdity of the fact that a man capable of such an eloquent affirmation of America’s founding principles could have spent twenty years’ worth of Sunday mornings listening to the vile ravings of a boorish jackass.”

Yet for Obama’s true believers, his sermon on race was only further proof that he was The One. Instead of holding him up to any standards, they felt it was their job – our job – to live up to him. “We have been asked to reflect in the most serious of ways about the role that race plays in the life of our country,” wrote the political scientist Alan Wolfe. “I cannot recall any leader or potential leader in the last two or three decades asking us to do that. I hope we are up to the challenge.” As I commented at the time: “This is not how America is supposed to work, people. We’re not here to prove anything to our leaders….But Obama has already got so many people thinking otherwise.”

Myself, I wanted Giuliani. As a native New Yorker, I’d seen him turn the city around in a way no mayor had ever done anywhere. And his response to 9/11 had been perfect. I’d applauded him when, on behalf of the city, he flatly turned down a $10 million donation from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. Meanwhile George W. Bush – who was so chummy with another Saudi Prince, Bandar bin Sultan, that he’d given him the nickname Bandar Bush – was busy hugging imams and calling Islam a religion of peace. Bottom line: Giuliani had Islam’s number. Bush didn’t – or, at least, thought it advisable to play dumb on the topic.

But Giuliani’s candidacy went nowhere – and soon we were left with McCain, who also was demonstrably useless on Islam. So I voted for Obama, in the slim hope that, knowing Islam as intimately as he did, he understood the existential threat it represented to freedom and, once installed in the presidency, would rise above his boyhood attachment to it (and above the racism of Jeremiah Wright) and act responsibly on that understanding – and, perhaps, as a bonus, would use his gifts of persuasion to bring other Western leaders on board. Still, I knew I was betting on a long shot – a very long shot.

It was, of course, a bad bet – the worst. As soon as Obama won, he apparently thought his job was done. No presidential candidate had ever promised more than he had – he’d all but vowed to change heaven and earth – and surely no candidate had ever raised expectations as high. Not even Reagan – who, after all, had had a track record, complete with blemishes. Obama, in the eyes of his fervent admirers, was virtually unsullied – not a politician but a savior just waiting to be seated on his throne. Millions who had cast their votes for him felt they’d hitched their wagons to a shining star.

But Obama himself didn’t seem to care. He didn’t seem remotely interested in delivering. It was astonishing to realize that a man who had worked so hard to run for the presidency would put so little effort into the job itself once he was actually in office. The lack of effort was especially remarkable given that this was a healthy, energetic young man who, having come to the job with an extremely thin résumé, had a lot more to prove. You’d think, too, that as the first black president, he’d have wanted to do “his people” proud, to not let down the team, to be a magnificent role model for all those black kids he was always talking about. Imagine how impressed we all would have been – even those of us who can’t stand him – if he’d foregone all vacations and golf games and concentrated full time on work. But he didn’t. Nobody’s expectations, either his worshipers’ or his enemies’, seemed to weigh on him in the slightest. The man who had presented himself as an exponent of high ideals and great ideas turned out to be the most cynical candidate ever.

To be sure, while Obama had little interest in hard work, and little skill at responsible governance, he was still eager to hear himself talk – and to use the bully pulpit to promote his ideological views. So one of his first major acts as president was to go to Cairo and give a “speech to the Muslim world” that, as I wrote in my book Surrender, was “a staggering pastiche of half-truths, exaggerations, and utter nonsense about Islamic history” and “an implicit announcement that his administration’s policy toward the Muslim world would be one of shameless appeasement.” So much for any hope that Obama would stand up to the Islamization of the West.

And how fitting it was that, after having begun his presidency by brown-nosing Islam, he ended it by kicking Israel in the cojones. I need not go into detail about the massive mess he has made in these last eight years – the ways in which he’s alienated America’s allies while kowtowing to its enemies, stood up for criminals while rebuking cops, whitewashed Islam while ignoring its Jewish and Christian victims in the Middle East, defended illegal aliens while sneering at law-abiding, hard-working citizens, and lauded “community organizers” while demonizing entrepreneurs. The list goes on: the Obamacare fiasco, the climate-change fraud, and so on. Not least, there’s his sowing of racial discord: how stunning that a man so capable of articulating a noble vision of a post-racial America could turn out to be so toxically obsessed with race, so thoroughly convinced that America is still steeped in racism, so gifted at creating and aggravating racial division while claiming that his goal is to heal.

But as bad a president as Obama has been, imagine how much more damage he could have done if not for his laziness. Fortunately for all of us, it turned out that his sloth exceeded his determination to transform America into Venezuela. If he’s leaving office with a far higher level of popular support than he deserves, it’s not because of anything he’s accomplished but, in large part, because a lot of people who don’t pay close attention to politics, and who haven’t been personally damaged by his policies, retain an admiration for his style. He’s smooth, he’s suave, he’s “cool.” That “cool” factor seduced a lot of voters in 2008. But over the years it has seemed increasingly clear that that “cool” factor was a function of his indifference. I was thinking about this the other day and it suddenly occurred to me whom he reminded me of : Dean Martin.

Yes, Dean Martin. Humor me here. Martin was cool, too. Audiences loved his laid-back style: he never seemed to be trying too hard. As Bob Greene wrote in 2012,  “Frank Sinatra may have liked the image of being Chairman of the Board, but the core of Martin’s enduring allure is that not only did he not want to be chairman, he didn’t even want to serve on the board: It would mean that he would be cooped up in some boardroom for meetings when he’d rather be out playing golf.” Hey, whom does that remind you of? Writing about Martin this year, jazz critic Ted Gioia noted that “There’s a term in Italian for this kind of attitude: menefreghismo, a couldn’t-care-less manner that brings with it overtones of extreme macho coolness and total disregard for all consequences.” Ahem.

There you have it: in 2008, American voters were seduced by high-flown oratory and a promise of spectacular social and cultural transformation, only to discover that they’d been stuck with a master of menefreghismo, a slick character who was all talk (except when he decided to do something outright damaging and probably petty). Is it any surprise that in 2016 the electorate turned to a literal Chairman of the Board, a man of action, a man who had behind him a long, hands-on career of actually building things, a man who, eschewing lofty words, spoke in a blunt, honest, and no-nonsense way about the issues – even Islam! – and about the nuts-and-bolts business of fixing problems and getting things done?

What Hath Barack Wrought?

January 8, 2017

What Hath Barack Wrought? PJ Media, Michael Walsh, January 7, 2017

obama-salman-saudi-sized-770x415xtObama and Saudi “king” Salman (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst – RTS77JX

Over at the Weekly Standard, my friend Lee Smith — one of the shrewdest voices in American journalism on the subject of the Middle East and foreign policy — takes the measure of the Obama administration’s foreign policy. It ain’t pretty:

The Obama chapter in American foreign policy ends like the climax of an action movie—with a fireball growing in the distance and filling the screen as a man in silhouette approaches in slow motion and then veers off camera. Barack Obama has set the Middle East on fire, and now it’s spreading.

The Obama administration’s nuclear agreement with Iran has emboldened the world’s leading state sponsor of terror, which now makes war openly in four Arab states (Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen) and is a growing threat to Israel and Saudi Arabia. The deal with Tehran that Obama boasts of as his signature foreign policy initiative guarantees, as the president himself acknowledged, that Iran will have an industrial-scale nuclear weapons program within 15 years.

After a 40-year absence from the Middle East, Russia has returned to the region, where it bombs Syria’s schools and hospitals as America and Europe watch helplessly. Washington’s traditional regional allies are scrambling to adjust to the new reality, which for the likes of Israel, Jordan, and Turkey means an opportunistic power on their borders that is allied with their existential enemies.

For Europe, the millions seeking refuge from the conflagration are agents of potential instability on the continent in the years to come; some in their midst are terrorists plain and simple. In just four years, or one presidential term, a civil uprising that started in Syria became a great Middle Eastern war over a host of sectarian, religious, and political hostilities dating back centuries.

Naturally, the country’s first affirmative action president doesn’t see it that way; no doubt, by his lights, he’s still every bit the equal of FDR and Abraham Lincoln he’s always thought himself to be. For a chief executive like Barack Hussein Obama, coddled practically from birth by a series of handlers, sycophants, media worshipers, excuse-makers and hagiographers, being an utter failure means never having to say you’re sorry.  The half-black president with the Muslim name was supposed to at least bring some cultural empathy to the thorny, if not to say intractable, problems of the Middle East — not just the eternal Arab-Israeli conflict but the even more eternal Muslim-Muslim conflict, not to mention the collateral damage of the one-sided Muslim-Christian conflict. That he hasn’t solved any of it is not his fault, but that he has exacerbated it most surely is.

Critics and even admirers of the president say that Syria will be a stain on his record. But that’s not how Obama sees it. The death and suffering of so many undoubtedly pains him, as he says. He says he wonders if he could have done anything else. Of course he could have, but he believed he had better reasons not to….

Obama’s foreign policy issued in part from his understanding of global realities but more from his interpretation of the American character. He believed that Americans tend to make a mess of things around the world. Obama is like a narrator in a Graham Greene novel; in our relations with the rest of humanity, as he sees it, we are 300 million naïfs abroad, whose intentions may be good but who lack the tragic sense that the rest of the world feels in its bones.

So who’s the naif now? Obama was less a Graham Green figure than Mark Twain’s Innocent Abroad. The way Smith sees it, Obama’s entire rationale was to wean America from what he saw as its shoot-first second nature; his entire foreign-policy apparatus became Dickens’ Circumlocution Office from Little Dorrit, dedicated to the proposition of How Not to Do It:

The Circumlocution Office was (as everybody knows without being told) the most important Department under Government. No public business of any kind could possibly be done at any time without the acquiescence of the Circumlocution Office. Its finger was in the largest public pie, and in the smallest public tart. It was equally impossible to do the plainest right and to undo the plainest wrong without the express authority of the Circumlocution Office. If another Gunpowder Plot had been discovered half an hour before the lighting of the match, nobody would have been justified in saving the parliament until there had been half a score of boards, half a bushel of minutes, several sacks of official memoranda, and a family-vault full of ungrammatical correspondence, on the part of the Circumlocution Office.

This glorious establishment had been early in the field, when the one sublime principle involving the difficult art of governing a country, was first distinctly revealed to statesmen. It had been foremost to study that bright revelation and to carry its shining influence through the whole of the official proceedings. Whatever was required to be done, the Circumlocution Office was beforehand with all the public departments in the art of perceiving — HOW NOT TO DO IT.

And that’s the Obama foreign policy in a nutshell. Of course in domestic affairs, the Choom Ganger from Punahou has been the exact opposite, baldly lying about such sub-rosa proclivities as same-sex marriage and hairy transvestites in the ladies’ loo until he was well past his final election. In both areas, however, he’s been a disgrace to the office and to the country, and we will be well rid of him when he finally leaves on Jan. 20.

Obama’s foreign policy, in the end, was not primarily about the rest of the world—it was about transforming the character of America. So where are we eight years on? Gelded, as he intended.

And, to coin a phrase, that’s one of the many reasons we now have Donald Trump. America never has been and never will be a neutered metrosexual among nations. As the Obama-ites are about to find out.

The Obama Legacy: Those golden years

January 6, 2017

The Obama Legacy: Those golden years, Israel National News, Joe David, January 6, 2016

Despite the tears you have caused us over the years with your many spankings, we are all very thankful in the end for the main thing you have done for us. You have given us “deplorables” back our common sense.

**********************

There is talk that President Barack Hussein Obama is concerned about his political legacy once he is out of office. This is nonsense. Nothing he has ever done during his presidency could tarnish his eight years in the White House. Valerie Jarrett, the President’s closest advisor, said it all so well when she reminded the world on CNN that during the Obama Administration there was never a scandal.

She is absolutely correct. Not one single word of an indiscretion was ever written about him by the establishment media during his years in the White House and barely a word of criticism. That’s because the media felt that everything he did was always for the glory of our country – including those trillions of dollars of debt that he so unceremoniously incurred for America with his generous give-away programs.

In just eight years, the former senator from Illinois whose background has never been satisfactorily clarified has given new and rich meaning to the word patriotism.

Unlike President-Elect Donald J. Trump who began surrounding himself from the start with conspicuously successful and intelligent advisors devoted to protecting the American dream, while the Obama administration, from the start, generously began to give our financial resources away to aliens and foreign countries begging for their share of America’s prosperity. When I reminisce over all the wondrous things that occurred under his presidency, from exposing racially motivated cops to enabling ISIS, I can only wonder. Imagine for once in our lifetime, we have had a President, one mere mortal, dedicated to his promise of real hope and change for all.

To summarize the Obama administration’s entire legacy would require volumes. Nevertheless, here are a few exciting moments that occurred during his watch. Some of the moments his administration gave us during his two terms in office include, but are not limited to:

  • Providing people of ambiguous gender with the freedom to use the public toilet of their choice.
  • Allowing late night celebrations with occasional rioting and looting to celebrate the end of racism in America.
  • Encouraging large corporations to move their plants to needy countries around the world where they can enjoy large tax breaks and cheaper labor.
  • Abandoning old friends in order to buy a new friend with a plane load of money secretly delivered at night, when no one was supposed to have been looking.
  • Signing into law by executive order ambitious policies, which Congress would never have approved.
  • Screening airport passengers, not with intelligence and sophistication as was once the case, but in a way that would demonstrate TSA’s skill at intimate pat downs and body scans.
  • Hurling racism calls at anyone who needed to be silenced once and for all for their objectionable views.
  • Installing security guards at border points to allow the safe entry and exit of undocumented visitors, especially those carrying huge loads of contraband.
  • Offering new identities, food stamps, lodging, income, and, when appropriate, voting cards to immigrants, landing in remote U.S. areas of the country late at night, for their willingness to influence America’s cultural change.
  • Using political correctness as another sophisticated tool for silencing opposing views on campuses, in board rooms, and at parties when riots, sit-ins, and shout-downs don’t work.
  • Reducing the guest list at Guantanamo by returning the residents to their loving families abroad, where they may continue their noble crusade for peace through genocide.
  • Politicalizing the FBI and Department of Justice in order to accelerate hope and change among Americans who may not want it – and those in government who may need it to protect their reputation.
  • Using Air Force One as the President’s private carrier for vacations and lecture tours to world capitals, in which America’s past activities are discussed apologetically with appropriate shame.
  • Introducing two new words, Allāhu akbar, to the vocabulary of students interested in joining a growing international movement.
  • Supporting as a Presidential Candidate Hillary Rodman Clinton, whose impressive résumé includes e-mail indiscretions, Benghazi, and pay-to-play deals while Secretary of State.
  • And expecting Americans to accept Obamacare, a limited health care program that few really want and even fewer can afford because of its swiftly escalating costs.

Yes, there’s no question about it. Mr. Obama’s presidency will long be remembered, especially his parting shots at Russia and Israel, and God only knows who else.

Goodbye, Mr. Ex. None of us hard-working Americans will ever forget you. You are absolutely right about Mr. Trump. Time will prove that his electoral landslide is the result of Russia’s meddling, not anything you or Ms. Clinton did to bring about such dramatic party change.

Despite the tears you have caused us over the years with your many spankings, we are all very thankful in the end for the main thing you have done for us. You have given us “deplorables” back our common sense.