Sunday, April 30, 2017
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While I was away not much minding the store for the past couple of weeks, I find that the Obama birth certificate story has finally garnered a widespread level of MSM  attention -- exclusively targeted at making it all go away, of course, along with anyone at all intrigued by it.

So I wrote this week's column (to come) about it, just in time for the president's August 4 birthday.

Meanwhile, I find a couple of fascinating new points have been added to the perplexing tale. One that I didn't know is the fact that Hawaiian state law makes birth certificates available for children born out of state, even out of country, so long as their parents claim Hawaii as their legal residence in the year prior to birth. I had heard, vaguely, from a State Department friend how Hawaii was known as a popular transit point through which foreign-posted Americans, for example, could sometimes  "pick up paper" for their...

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It has been an extremely unsettling experience witnessing the public geysers of adulation rising up and over the life and times of Walter Cronkite for many reasons, but the myths and lies being re-perpetrated about the 1968 Tet Offensive, which figure so prominently in the making of Cronkite's outsized prominence on the American stage, deserve special mention.

In obituary after obituary, the media have made the glib, matter-of-fact, even approving link between Cronkite's Tet "stalemate" broadcast and LBJ's "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost middle America" reversal on Vietnam without ever noting that Tet, contrary to Cronkite's and other MSM reports, was a military and political fiasco for North Vietnam -- not for the US and South Vietnam. At least not until the the story was turned into the Big Lie back in the US., and psychological and proganda victory for the communists ensued.

Such historical ignorance on Tet...

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Photo: Harvard's Skip Gates -- busted for showing i.d.?

Afghanistan, Russia, trillions in deficit, trillions in budget, the economy, unemployment,  North Korea, California's bankruptcy, oil dependency on cartel of jihad, Hamas, a US soldier captured by the Taliban ... and the 44th President of the United States ignorantly and divisely inserts himself front and center into a local Boston police matter in which no charges stand.

It happened in the last question (as recorded in the  transcript) of the Obama press conference last night:

Q Thank you, Mr. President. Recently, Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. was arrested at his home in Cambridge. What does that incident say to you? And what does it say about race relations in America?

...

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Been re-reading Peter Braestrup's indispensable Big Story: How the American Press and Television Reported and Interpreted the Crisis of Tet 1968 in Vietnam and Washington (more on that later), and something in the way Braestrup characterized the "pacification" program in South Vietnam caught my eye.  

It first comes up on early in the book (p. 28 of my Anchor Books paperback edition) where Braestrup is analyzing what he came to understand as the limitations and fallibilties of the press corps in Vietnam, his own included. (Braestrup had left the New York Times to become Saigon bureau chief for the Washington Post before Tet.) Discussing the program of "pacification," he writes: "It was the U.S.-South Vietnamese response, often shrouded in the Great Society rhetoric of social uplift ("winning hearts and minds"), to the Vietcong effort to "control" the rural population" (emphasis added).

...

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More from the Boston Globe on what may turn out to be the evolution of an Iraqi strongman, noted earlier here. Seems that Iraqi prime minister Maliki, whose reputation for "weakness" and malleability helped secure him his leadership post back in 2006, is concentrating powers, arresting and threatening rivals, and generally not showing all that much respect for what  Charles Krauthammer likes to refer to in Iraq as "the institutions of a young democracy."

The Globe reports:

 

Although Iraq’s parliamentary elections are not until January, the campaign has already begun, and Maliki has shown a determination to fight with a tenacity and ruthlessness borrowed from the handbook of Iraq’s last strongman, Saddam Hussein. From Diyala, where men under Maliki’s command have arrested and threatened to detain a host of his rivals, to Basra, where security...

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I do have to write the thing first, but I am very happy to announce that my second book, The Hollow Center, will be published by St. Martin's Press, which also published The Death of the Grown-Up.

 

 

 

 



Honduras Inauguration Day, January 2006: Now-ousted President Manuel Zelaya taking the oath of office next to his wife and then-Congress President Roberto Micheletti, who is now serving as acting-president. 

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Writing yesterday at NRO, Andy McCarthy picks up on Honduran-born legal scholar Miguel Estrada's LA Times piece explaining, as Andy writes, "why the ouster of aspiring dictator Manuel Zelaya was not a `coup,' as the Obama administration mind-bogglingly claims."

Of course, once you understand Obama as a professionally alienated, Marxian leftist, there is nothing "mind-boggling " about it. I think the mind-boggling part comes in when you realize that such a man with such an ideology now guides US policy. Andy continues:

In fact, the removal of Zelaya from office was compelled by the Constitution of Honduras. That is, it represents, through and through, the rule of law the Obama administration would rather pay lip-service to than heed. As Miguel explains, the only dubious aspect of the episode is Zelaya's transfer to Costa Rica when, as a matter of law, he should have been arrested and tried for treason (power grabs of the type Zelaya attempted, Miguel notes, are officially defined as treason under Article 4 of the Honduras Constitution)....

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Photos: This week's protests in Iran. Still wondering why the women are still wearing their head scarves.

Intriguing interview by Alyssa Lapin at the American Thinker with Faryar Nikbakht, an advisor to Roozbeh Farahanipour, leader-in-exile of the secular Iranian party Marz Por Gohar (MPG), which "spearheaded" the anti-regime demonstrations of July 9, 1999. This week, Farahanipour clandestinely and dangerously returned to Iran for the first time in ten years to try to organize...

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Photo: LTC Karcher transferring authority for Joint Security Station Sadr City in Northeast Baghdad to a representative of the Iraqi prime minister on June 20.

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This week's column grew out a post I wrote earlier this week in response to the news about Lt. Col. Timothy Karcher, the last US commander of Sadr City who himself signed over jurisdiction for the area to Iraqis last month. Ten days after the Iraqis took over, LTC Karcher's vehicle drove over an Iranian special, an EFP. and he lost both legs above the knees in the blast. As far as Iraq goes, as far as the US media go, the White House, the Congress, the Michael-addled people, it is as if it never happened. But it did happen, and Americans should know.

An additional point: I have argued that Maliki, in declaring "victory" over US forces in Iraq, has (further) shown himself to be no no ally of the US. I would also argue that Maliki, in completely ignoring this attack on a US commander of a blood-drenched zone considered "sacred ground" to both American and Iraqi soldiers, and failing to demand an end to such attacks and an investigation into this one, just continues acting according to non-ally type. This week, he asked the US to release five top Iranian terror-ops the US seized in 2007, "clearly [seeking] to exploit the situation diplomatically" -- with Iran, of course, as the New York Times put it.

...

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Photo: The few, the very, very few, the Afghan security forces

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So the Marine "surge" into Helmand Provice, Afghanistan continues apace, but, according to the New York Times,  mission commander Brig.Gen. Larry Nicholson  is having initial problems implementing his "drink tea, eat goat, get to know these people" strategy to win the "trust" of the Afghan people. It's not just that "we Muslims do not like them [US]." Now, it's becoming apparent, in the the Emperor-has-no-clothes words of Capt. Brian Huysman, commander of Company C of the First Battalion, Fifth Marines in Nawa: "We can't read these people; we're different. They're not going to tell us the truth...."

Whether he knows it, Captain Huysman has just launched a wrecking ball into the whole politically correct (multi-culti), self-censoring (Islam-free) underpinnings of the US misadventures in the Middle and Near...

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Photo: LTC Timothy Karcher meeting with Sadr City leaders shortly before signing over jurisdiction to Iraq last month on June 18 -- and shortly before losing both legs in an Iranian-supplied roadside bomb on June 28.

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I just this morning received the following email from a reader about my most recent column "Allies Don't Declare Victory Over Each Other":

I appreciate your fervor and feelings about Mr. al-Maliki's comments, but I must say that your biting commentary regarding the quote from Lt. Col Karcher has driven me to reply....You may not be aware, but on the day of the signover of the combat positions in Sadr City [DW: according to media reports, the signover was 10 days earlier], Lt. Col. Karcher's convoy was hit by a IED attack ... and Karcher [lost] both his legs. During the return of the convoy after evacuating casualties, they were hit again resulting in [the death of his driver].

...

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The Washington Post reports on Afghan prez politics today, noting that none of the 41 candidates is even talking about the Taliban war. Rather, they stick "to themes they knew would resonate with Afghan audiences."

Namely?

"They denounced civilian casualties by foreign forces" -- that's US troops, of course -- "and called for a negotiated settlement with the Taliban.

Steam.

There were a few other themes mentioned in the article, including corruption in government and invoking "past military triumphs" ( invoking "holy war" and "holy warriors" in Jalalabad). But the denunciations of the United States ("foreign forces") and calls for negotiating with the Taliban are what stand out. Remember, these are themes, we are told, that "resonate with the Afghan...

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After running many years in the Washington Times, my weekly syndicated column has changed Washington addresses. I am very pleased to announce it will now be running every Sunday in the Washington Examiner. Here is the latest:

"Allies Don't Declare Victory Over Each Other"

I've been stewing over something really lousy that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been saying since June 20: that Iraqis have won a "great victory" over the "foreign presence in Iraq."

That "great victory," as he calls it, is the June 30 withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq's cities. That "foreign presence," as he calls it, is the United States -- the thousands of mainly young American men who have fought a vicious enemy under the harshest conditions for more than six long years, with 4,321 Americans killed, many thousands wounded, often grievously so, and some small, tortured number wrongfully ensnared by the U.S. military justice system in apparent deference to Iraqi political considerations.

...

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...And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Massachusetts: John Hancock Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward Jr., Thomas Lynch Jr, Arthur Middleton Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carrol of Carrollton Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross...

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Looks as if it may not be so easy to carry out Brig. Gen. Lawrence D. Nicholson's orders in southern Afghanistan, where 4,000 marines have deployed this week -- his orders being, basically, as he told his officers, "drink lots of tea, eat lots of goat, and get to know the people. That's why we're here."

Why? The people don't like us. At all. The New York Times reports:

The mood of the Afghan people has tipped into a popular revolt in some parts of southern Afghanistan, presenting incoming American forces with an even harder job than expected in reversing military losses to the Taliban and winning over the population.

It's hearts-and-minds time, folks -- this time around re-packaged as "trust." In a nutshell, some people got it, some...

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Just read a big, frontpage story in the Wash Post about 4,000 Marines now deploying into Helmand and other southern provinces of Afghanistan. Presumably, the Taliban is reading the story, too -- maybe their partly Yale-educated official is doing the translation. I am sorry to say it should not only put their jihadist hearts at ease, it should give them more than a few yuks.

This deployment, the headline tells us, is "a Crucial Test for Revised U.S. Strategy." (Uh-oh is right.) And what is that strategy? On the one hand, the Taliban is off the hook. On the other, we have given our men Mission Impossible. "Our focus is not the Taliban," Brig. Gen. Lawrence D. Nicholson told his officers. "Our focus must be getting this government back on its feet."

...

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Been keeping special tabs on Iraq's Maliki since he declared Iraq's "great victory" over the United States on June 20.

Really gotta keep an eye on that guy. As MEMRI puts it today, "Outside critics are already accusing him of following the path of Saddam Hussein to create a new dictatorship in Iraq. For example, he has been arresting some opponents or imposing harsh conditions on his former partners in the United Iraqi Alliance. Hmm. A New York Times article this morning also noticed Maliki's strongarm showing, reporting: "He seems to be making a conscious effort to cement his image as a strong ruler by using many of the same tools of power as ... Saddam Hussein." 

What about...

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Anne Applebaum writes in praise of Morocco this week as the not-Iran. Certainly, Morocco doesn't move terror armies around the globe (Hezbollah) or kill American troops (in Iraq), but that's a plus she doesn't mention. What intrigues her about Morocco is that the government "admitted to carrying out crimes" under the last king (d. 1999) and in 2004 set up a " `Truth Commission' " along South African and South American lines" -- not that I would call South Africa or South America paragons of much at the moment.

Anyway, the main point to this Truth Commission, Applebaum writes, is that it has resulted in what she calls  "a kind of social peace" -- perfect for a submissive, I mean, Islamic country. The country has moved from "traditional monarchy to constitutional...

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