Sunday, October 22, 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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From Powerline this week:

In condemning the removal of Honduran President Mel Zelayaya by the Honduran military, Pesident Obama stands shoulder to shoulder with the Fidel Castro and his thug epigones Hugo Chavez and Daniel Ortega.

That's telling it like it is -- "it" being the new kind of American history we're living through in the run-up to the nation's birthday party this weekend -- the history of how the US found common cause with the hemisphere's most virulently anti-American thugs. Powerline asks: "Why is Obama standing with Castro, Chavez and Ortega to support [power-grabbing Honduran prez] Zelaya? The company...

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Here's the scoop:

 

More than half the people with Turkish and Moroccan backgrounds in the Netherlands say they would consider leaving the country due to the growing popularity of anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders. A third say they would definitely like to emigrate, according to a survey published on Monday. The current affairs TV-programme Netwerk commissioned the survey in response to the success of Wilders' populist Party for Freedom (PVV) in the recent European parliamentary elections. Research bureau Motivaction interviewed 319 Turkish and Moroccan people asking them about their feelings about the Netherlands in general and Wilders in particular. A large majority (70 percent) of Dutch Muslims have either Turkish or Moroccan roots.

Bottom line in this poll on feelings? Aside from feeling like heading back to Dar al-islam (land of Islam), most Muslims in Holland feel "less comfortable" (57 percent) due to Wilders' success, and nearly 75 percent said " they thought Wilders had intensified negative feelings towards Musims among the Dutch public."

...

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Finally, a Supreme Court decision on Ricci v. Destefano, the racial discrimination case in which the city of New Haven refused to promote  firemen who passed a 2003 managerial test because of the color of their skin -- white. In a vote of 5-4, the court reversed lower court rulings, including one signed onto by Supreme Court nominee and "wise Latina" Sotomayor, upholding New Haven's discriminatory practices. From the Wash Post:

"Fear of litigation alone cannot justify an employer's reliance on race to the detriment of individuals who passed the examinations and qualified for promotions," Justice Anthony Kennedy said in his opinion for the court. He was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

In dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the white firefighters "understandably attract this court's sympathy. But...

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The title of this post is taken from the title of a front page article in today's Washington Post that talks on (and on) about all the "hope" kindled by protesting women in Iran, all the "inspiration" drawn from protesting women in Iran without ever specifying what the object of that hope or the source of that inspiration is. (This will comes as no surprise to Ruth King, who has highlighted this glaring omission.)

Oh, sure, there is mention of "demanding the rights that have been stolen from us," and  "women [fighting] for their rights,"  but there is no further mention of what those...

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Via Michelle Malkin.

 



Check out the sass and punch of this letter to Fox that a reader shared with me this morning:

Hey, FoxNews.  Mr. Murdoch. All of you:   I see that Michael Jackson is still your headline story today.   How is it that you're not concerned that the House voted yesterday to pass the largest tax increase in American history and no one in Congress (yet again) even read the bill before voting on it?  How about the 300 pages that the Dems dumped into the bill yesterday at 3:00 a.m., and that there was not a House Republican who actually had a copy in his hands as the bill went to a vote?  Not interested?   But let's all get back to this freak of nature Michael Jackson - he's the real story here - the pillar of our Republic - the one who made this nation what it is - ah, yes, let's hear some more - for the next month or so as we wait breathlessly for the toxicology reports to come back.   I give up on you people.  The last beacon...

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Over at Family Security Matters, Ruth King tells it like it is ... to women. She writes:

I am dismayed by a number of stylish, well coiffed, décolleté and manicured “feminists” in America, including Iranian expatriates, who urge the courageous women of Iran to continue their bloody struggle against the regime in Iran without naming the real enemy….Sharia. It is like telling them to die in vain.   The poster-boy for the rebellion is Moussavi and he and his “reformist” wife, who dresses in hijab, utter not a single word of opposition to Sharia, the cruel, misogynist Islamic law that oppresses women and reduces them to the status of animal.   ...   Revolution cannot be successful if sacrifice brings more Islamic repression and degradation with another face and a new set of Ayatollahs. Their jail is Islam and changing the warden from one thug to another will not set them free....

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Over at Pajamas Media, Ed Driscoll kindly cites The Death of the Grown-Up in his news-round-up-cum-obit for Michael Jackson, who, in case you inhabit Pluto, died yesterday. Driscoll takes the long view here to illustrate changing establishment ("overculture") attitudes, then and now, on passing pop stars. Once upon a time 40 years ago, Jimmy Hendrix died at 28 of a drug overdose and the event was covered as a curious news item; now, Michael Jackson suffers a fatal heart attack at 50 and garners wall-to-wall media genuflection. Driscoll writes:

Flashback: For a look at how the culture has transformed in the last forty years, which ties in with Diana West’s...

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This week's column examines the Green Pundit Rush to Judgment that "the Persian street" is filled with Our Kind of People: anti-Khomeini, anti-sharia, anti-Islamic Revolution, anti-regime, anti-nuke, pro-West, pro-Israel, pro-secular masses yearning to "free"--  in the specifically Western sense, which emphasizes the rights and will of the individual, and nothing to do with the Islamic sense, which speaks to a "perfect enslavement" to Allah. This would necessarily mean that most of the protestors do not support the opposition candidate Mousavi, who, having spent his early political career advancing jihad against the West (US), has made his current intentions to restore Iran to "the pure principles of the Islamic Revolution" quite clear.

Is it possible most protestors are motivated by political beliefs wholly separate from Mousavi's candidacy? By the available evidence, It doesn't seem likely. The point is, though, the...

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In a riff off "The Spirit of '79," Andrew Bostom points out for anyone still wondering that the protestors in Tehran are actually saying "Allahu Akbar," not -- as those who see a secularist behind every headscarf seem to think -- "I Want a Clark Bar."

Along more serious lines, Bostom goes on to respond to the Mousavi speech contained in my earlier post, a speech that stands as a paean to the noxious Ayatollah Khomeini and ends with Mousavi's stated intention to return Iran to "the pure principles of the Islamic Revolution." Bostom writes:

This depressing closed Islamic circle mindset—which still holds sway—was elucidated a century ago (in 1909) by the scholar W.H.T. Gairdner, while his candor and wisdom are  absent among our contemporary elites, most` notably those suffering from Soylent Green Revolution Derangement Syndrome:

...

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Below is the text of statement attributed to Mousavi. I have seen it reproduced or referenced at blogs of The Atlantic, The Guardian, Michael Ledeen's Pajamas Media blog and elsewhere, but no Old Media.** There doesn't seem to be any way to verify its provenance for sure, but it merits consideration as very possibly the Real McCoy. I have posted it below in its entirety to allow readers to see for themselves what is apparently Mousavi's reverence for and devotion to the 1979 Islamic revolution that brought Ayatollah Khomeini to power, ultimately turning Iran into a sharia-guided, jihadist sponsor of global terror. If this statement is for real, it tells us (again) that Mousavi isn't about to take Iran into the future;  he's all about turning the clock back to 1979--as he puts it, "to the Islamic revolution as it was."

**UPDATE: I have since found a June 20 Reuters story datelined Tehran that quotes from this Mousavi speech, sourcing it to Mousavi's website--I'm guessing Kalameh, a Farsi language news portal linked at the bottom of this post. It wasn't the imprimatur of Old Media I was after; just some credible attribution to anchor the online appearance of the text itself. I'm satisfied it's his words.

...

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Went to Mousavi's website and found this under "Policies" : "An effective foreign policy agenda that enhances the county's [sic] world image is undoubtedly in the best interests of the people."

But that's all it says. Maybe the site is still under construction. Also on the page, beneath a curiously placed ad for getting a "master of arts in diplomacy" from one Norwich University in Vermont (huh?), is a Youtube featuring an Al Jazeera interview with Mousavi in which he makes three points: in the future, "direct talks with the United States will be possible" (big whoop), and that under no circumstances will Iran halt its nuke program (duh). The most interesting question was about Israel:

Al Jazeera: There is fear in the West among many right-wing extremist groups...

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Photo: The WSJ calls him "Iranian reformist clergyman" Mohsen Kadivar.

Ahistorical and illogical things have been been written by many observers of the Iranian election protests who, looking at what the evidence to date suggests is little more than an intra-Islamic power struggle, see a glorious revolution of liberty-loving secularists ready to propel Iran into the heart of the Western world. Maybe it's the blue jeans that confuse them. Anyway, I think we have a winner in this dubious category: Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal. His column begins this way:

It isn't always that the words Allahu Akbar sound this sweet to Western ears.

I'm actually going to let "Allahu Akbar" sounding so "sweet to Western ears" pass because there is so much more....Stephens continues:

It's a muggy Friday afternoon and I'm standing curbside right outside Iran's Permanent Mission to the U.N. in New York City. Preaching in Farsi is a turbaned Shiite imam named Mohsen Kadivar. Hours earlier, in Tehran, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had delivered a bullying sermon at Tehran University, warning the opposition that they would be "responsible for bloodshed and chaos" if they continued to march. Mr. Kadivar's sermon -- punctuated by the Allahu Akbars of 20 or so kneeling worshippers -- is intended as a direct riposte. Allahu Akbar has also become the rallying cry of the demonstrators in Iran.

...

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In a New York Daily News op-ed, Fred Gedrich reports something shocking that I am sure most Americans do not know: The State Department, from Bush to Obama, has never designated the Taliban a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).

Given that the Taliban is foreign, terrorist and an organization, what gives?

Gedrich writes:

Neither the Bush nor Obama administrations has articulated the reasons for failing to designate the Taliban as an FTO, and congressional overseers haven't publicly asked them why. The most reasonable assumption is that administration officials were hopeful that nonlisting would eventually facilitate rapprochement with "reconcilable" Taliban elements.

To date, the facts prove this option...

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Today's NYT carries an observation that should give us further pause before assuming the Iranian protest movement is a movement of "freedom fighters."  UC Irvine's Roxanne Varzi, described as a cultural anthropologist "who has studied the way the [Iranian] government spreads its ideology," says, as the paper puts it, "The strength of the protests is that they have remained within religion." That would be Islam, natch. It is her view that "the opposition movement adopted the whole Islamic discourse." She says: "It is not meant to something anti-Islamic, even for those who are secular in their practices. Because they have kept inside that structure, it is hard for the government to justify clamping down on them."

Well, if the opposition movement is not meant to be anti-Islamic, it's not meant to be anti-sharia, either. So, poof, there goes the...

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Today's lead Page One article in the Washington Post -- three columns wide down the top middle -- is headlined "A Personal Touch in Taliban Fight." It features two photographs of US Army Capt. Michael Harrison, described in the headline as "a company commander [who] strives to gain the trust of frustrated villagers."  Besides the main picture of the captain with a villager, which is available online, there is a secondary picture, which is not available online. Maybe that's because it was taken by the writer of the piece, Greg Jaffe, and not a Post photographer; I don't know. This smaller photo shows the American officer, on duty, in a war zone, dressed in a sky-blue salwar-kameeze, the native Afghan dress US soldiers refer to as "manjammies." The caption reads: "Harrison, dressed in a salwar-kameez to seem less like a foreigner, talks with an Afghan family after meeting with villagers."

...

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Having been in transit during the start of the Iranian election protests, I've taken a little time to come up to speed on the issue. Scanning English-language (UK) papers in airports, I will say that my initial reaction to the euphoria I saw breaking out all over the West -- especially the US? -- to the obtusely labeled "green" revolution was, Why should we be so happy about Mousavi? When I learned that Mousavi was Mullah Rafsanjani's boy, that A-jad was Mullah Khameini's boy, my wonder deepened, as in: What's the diff? When I read John Bolton's piece at Politico noting that nobody runs for president in Iran without the express approval of the mullahs, my gut reaction was bolstered by some real facts. Here is Bolton's cheat sheet rundown:

First, only candidates screened and approved by the mullahs in the...

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Photo: Iran's Rafsanjani (Mousavi's mullah) with Iraq's Maliki, March 2009.

Off the wires:

BAGHDAD, June 20 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said Saturday that the U.S. troops' withdrawal from Iraqi cities and towns by the end of this month would be a "great victory" for Iraqis.

"It is a great victory for Iraqis as we are going to take our first step toward ending the foreign presence in Iraq," Maliki said during a conference in Baghdad for leaders of ethnic Turkmen minority.

So, Maliki is claiming a "great victory" in "ending the foreign presence in Iraq" as US troops withdraw from Iraqi cities. "Ingrate" doesn't begin to describe this creep -- or, as Bush loyalists still prate, "our ally."

More than 4,000 US troops died defending...

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This week's syndicated column:

COPENHAGEN, Denmark -- I am being patted down by a female Danish security officer in the basement of the parliament building in Copenhagen and I have a thought. I have just triggered the metal detector -- my heels, I'm sure -- en route upstairs to the Landstingssalen, formerly the parliament's upper house. There, I am scheduled to deliver a speech at the invitation of the Danish Free Press Society, or Trykkefrihedsselskabet. (Say that three times fast -- or slow.) Indeed, I am holding the text of my 20-minute address inside a folder in one of my hands, now rigidly outstretched as I am...

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On Sunday, June 14, I joined (from L to R) Ann Fishman of the Liberty Legal Project, Wafa Sultan, author of the upcoming "A God Who Hates," Mrutyuanjai Mishra of the Danish Free Press Society, and Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders in the Danish parliament for a daylong conference sponsored by the Danish Free Press Society on "Free Speech and Islam."

My topic was "The Impact of Islam on Free Speech in the US." Here is the written text:     Americans are proud, and rightly so, of the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights, which, among other things, protects speech from government control. The Amendment says in part: “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”

Increasingly, however, Americans seem content to regard the First Amendment not as the fundamental working tool of democracy, but as a national heirloom, a kind of antique to admire rather than put to use. I don’t think...

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Pick one:

"Columns like Diana West’s don’t belong in the newspaper"

or:

"Newspaper needs more columns like Diana West’s"

Hmmm....

Now, I'm really off the page till next week....

One more thing: I appreciate the Cumberland Times-News in Western Maryland for publishing both sides of this burning question!

 

No column this week, folks. Back next weekish.

 



Photo of Hezbollah: Petraeus thinks they have "justifications"

I've never been a huge fan of Gen. David Petraeus due to 1) his elevation as an advisor of David "Accidental Guerilla" Kilcullen (whose Islam-free war analysis blinds the US to this day), 2) his PC reliance on "hearts and minds" (at one point in Iraq, he ordered posters hung in every barracks asking, "What Have You Done To Win Iraqi Hearts and Minds Today?"), and, not least, 3) his abject failure to force the belligerency of Iran into the national debate over US strategy in Iraq. Talk about Vietnam Redux: Ignoring Iranian (and Syrian) safe havens for anti-American fighters has led to I don't even want to think of how many US casualties. Meanwile, I still don't see "the surge" as more than stolid police work -- as in, put more men on the streets, crime goes down -- assisted...

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Photo: B. Hussein O. in the Cairo al-Bully Pulpit

Frank Gaffney has beaten me to it, darn it, in an excellent column in which he makes the apt point that if Bill Clinton is nicknamed our "first black president" (so dubbed admiringly by Toni Morrison) for pandering to black special interests, then Barack Hussein Obama should surely be recognized as our first Muslim president for advocating, lobbying and even preaching on behalf of Islam. Here is the Gaffney column, along with a final point of my own:

During his White House years, William Jefferson Clinton — someone Judge Sonia Sotomayor might call a "white male" — was dubbed "America's first black president" by a black admirer. Applying the standard of identity politics and pandering to a special interest that earned Mr. Clinton that distinction, Barack Hussein Obama would have to be considered America's first Muslim...

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This week's column argues that the President of the United States should have addressed the Muslim world from Little Rock, where Pvt. William Long was killed in a jihad attack on Monday--not "the land where Islam began"....

One additional point: the pathetic acknowledgment of the attack that finally came out of the White House on Wednesday afternoon was only released to Arkansas media in response to their requests for a statement. I have never heard of a state-specific statement like that. Guess the White House didn't want anyone outside Arkansas (as in Cairo) to find out about it?

Here's the column:

The last thing...

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My friend Paul Belien analyzes the "unofficial results" of yesterday's elections in the Netherlands today at Brussels Journal. They indicate:

the Freedom Party PVV of Dutch opposition leader Geert Wilders has won at least 4, maybe even 5, of the 25 Dutch MEP seats in the first European elections in which the PVV has ever participated. The party, founded by Mr Wilders two years ago, became the second largest party in the Netherlands, after the governing Christian-Democrat CDA of Prime Minister Jan-Peter Balkenende, which wins 5 seats. In studying the Dutch electoral map, Paul also observes that the results reveal that "the PVV appeals to the whole spectrum of the Dutch indigenous population, from the right to the left, with its program against the Islamization of Europe, its outspoken support for Israel, and against the transformation of the European Union into a European superstate."

Mark the use of the phrase "indigenous...

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GREAT news on the first day of European elections.

In PVV's very first run for European Parliament, the anti-immigration, anti-EU party of Geert Wilders is running huge--so far looking as if it will have started out on Election Day with zero seats and ended up with four of the Netherlands' 25 seats--the second largest bloc of Dutch seats. 

One of PVV's policies is to oppose Turkish accession to the EU. As Wilders puts it:

"Should Turkey as an Islamic country be able to join the European Union? We are the only party in Holland that says, it is an Islamic country, so no, not in 10 years, not in a million years," he said.

The clarity. The forthrightness. If I hadn't already said goodbye to Mitt, I would urge him to take copious notes.

According to The Telegraph: "The three main Dutch parties all lost seats on the first day of voting across the 27-country European...

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Never seen anything quite like this: an American president on a receiving line with his hand hanging out...unshaken. The power attraction here is the Saudi King.

UPDATE: Mystery explained--not quite. The prez-dissers are Obama's very own David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett. Guess they get enough of the boss at home. Or maybe the allure of "His Majesty" was so overwhelming that they forgot The (mere) One ....

Via Debbie Schlussel:



While the 44th al-POTUS has traveled to Saudi -- "the place where Islam began ...  to seek seek his majesty's counsel," as Obama put it (insert air sickness bag here) -- and has "Holy Koranned" his way through his Cairo dawa, it is my regrettable task to report that Beau Romney appears to have been been drinking out of same oasis. Lawrence Auster has the bad news:

Asked by Dan Gilgoff of U.S. News & World Report if his repeated references to "jihad" in a speech at the Heritage Foundation this week characterized Islam in sinister terms, Mitt Romney surprised Gilgoff with this reply: 

 

I didn't refer to Islam at all, or to any other religion for that matter. I spoke about three major threats America faces on a long term basis. Jihadism is one of them,...

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Dick Morris and Eileen Gann describe the real Saudi bow now in motion as Al-POTUS touches down in "The Kingdom" on Magic Carpet One  -- (hey, I'm just getting into the Islamo-spirit of Barack Hussein Obama's extremely delusional and/or extremely hopeful? statement of yesterday calling these United States "one of the largest Muslim countries in the world"). There, he is  utterly dissing our kindred ally Israel with the Big By-Pass, determining that Israeli babies are the gravest threat to Middle East peace, reaching out to Iran, and now this:

But as he goes to Saudi Arabia, the United States State Department, headed by Mrs. Hillary Clinton, has announced that it has accepted the ground rules for media coverage of the Obama visit to the royal family and its domain. Reporters will only be allowed to cover the actual meetings...

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From the AP:

In a new overture to Iran, the Obama administration has authorized U.S. embassies around the world to invite Iranian officials to Independence Day parties they host on or around July 4th....

So, we'll bring the sparklers, they'll bring the centrifuge....? Sounds like, er, fun. (Insert raucous peals of inappropriate Hillary laughter here.) Meanwhile, in a distinctly less congenial frame of mind, Obama is telling the Israelis not to have any more babies.

Maybe this is all part of Obama's new "good role model" offensive. As he told the BBC on the almost-eve of his foreign trip (first bow, I mean, stop, Saudi Arabia), ...

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If Nero got a bad rap just for fiddling while Rome burned, what will happen to the Obamas for jetting off to "date night" in the Big Apple amidst economic gloom, just as once-mighty GM was preparing to file for bankruptcy and lay off some 21,000 workers?

Nothing. The media, the political elites see nothing even the slightest bit amiss, let alone unseemly, about the Obamas taking three planes, some helicopters and a motorcade -- courtesy the US taxpayer -- to get them to dinner and a show in NYC because the prez "promised" this to Michelle during the campaign for "when it was all over."

Well, just because the man was elected doesn't mean "it's all over." Indeed, the hard presidential work has hardly begun. Meanwhile, flitting off to a night on the town in NYC is a thing of Boom, not Bust times, no? It was left to the RNC to wonder what was wrong with the presidential box at the Kennedy Center if the Prez and First Lady wanted a night out -- not (never) the media.

...

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