Michael Ramirez, via Fausta:
Now Obama’s disowned his entire church. It’s getting crowded under that bus.
Five will get you ten that the media keeps soft-pedaling this. And does anyone believe that, were the shoe on John McCain’s foot and he had been a member of a racist church with a conspiracy-mongering, anti-Semitic minister for 20 years, that he would even still be in the race?
I didn’t think so.
LINKS: Power Line comments on Obama’s typically self-indulgent statement.
At least, that’s according to the Hamas Deputy Minister or Religious Endowment:
If a Democrat comes to power, like [Bill] Clinton – who served them well in Oslo and elsewhere, and almost served them in the second Camp David, but then made statements [they didn't like] – what did Zionism do? It sent him the Jewish Monica, with whom Clinton had sex in the American White House.
Clinton left [the White House], but there are thousands of pages documenting his sexual depravity, because he had sex in the White House. I read a report that Clinton used to call Arab leaders and talk to them while she was having sex with him.
And we should talk to these loons? Where do they get these guys?
Even the Washington Post admits that we’re winning in Iraq:
Less than a year after his agency warned of new threats from a resurgent al-Qaeda, CIA Director Michael V. Hayden now portrays the terrorist movement as essentially defeated in Iraq and Saudi Arabia and on the defensive throughout much of the rest of the world, including in its presumed haven along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
In a strikingly upbeat assessment, the CIA chief cited major gains against al-Qaeda’s allies in the Middle East and an increasingly successful campaign to destabilize the group’s core leadership.
While cautioning that al-Qaeda remains a serious threat, Hayden said Osama bin Laden is losing the battle for hearts and minds in the Islamic world and has largely forfeited his ability to exploit the Iraq war to recruit adherents. Two years ago, a CIA study concluded that the U.S.-led war had become a propaganda and marketing bonanza for al-Qaeda, generating cash donations and legions of volunteers.
All that has changed, Hayden said in an interview with The Washington Post this week that coincided with the start of his third year at the helm of the CIA.
"On balance, we are doing pretty well," he said, ticking down a list of accomplishments: "Near strategic defeat of al-Qaeda in Iraq. Near strategic defeat for al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia. Significant setbacks for al-Qaeda globally — and here I’m going to use the word ‘ideologically’ — as a lot of the Islamic world pushes back on their form of Islam," he said.
The sense of shifting tides in the terrorism fight is shared by a number of terrorism experts, though some caution that it is too early to tell whether the gains are permanent. Some credit Hayden and other U.S. intelligence leaders for going on the offensive against al-Qaeda in the area along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, where the tempo of Predator strikes has dramatically increased from previous years. But analysts say the United States has caught some breaks in the past year, benefiting from improved conditions in Iraq, as well as strategic blunders by al-Qaeda that have cut into its support base.
Read the whole thing. It’s clear the vastly improved situation is Iraq puts the Democrats in a very tight spot, wedded as they are to the narrative of defeat they’ve been selling since 2004. They’re desperate to avoid talking about it, unless it’s to chant the Harry Reid mantra. What’s worse, the situation improved in large part because of the strategy backed by the likely Republican nominee.
Consider the facts: from nearly controlling western Iraq and swathes of Baghdad, al Qaeda has been reduced to a presence in Mosul — even their own people are admitting they’re facing strategic defeat in Iraq. The Shiite militia of Muqtada al Sadr, who, with Iranian help, tried to create an Iraqi Hizbullah, has been defeated in Basra and Baghdad, and their leader is bravely hiding in Iran. Iran itself has been thwarted in its efforts to dominate Iraq.
The Iraqi security forces have made a quantum leap in competence and can mostly operate on their own: the operations in Basra, Mosul, and Sadr City were largely theirs. This has allowed General Petraeus to schedule the first withdrawals of US forces. The elected government has made great strides toward becoming effective: Prime Minister al-Maliki, once thought of as a tool and a cipher, has shown real leadership in facilitating a reconciliation with the Sunnis and Kurds and uniting them behind the efforts of the Iraqi security forces. Laws governing the sharing of the nation’s oil wealth, the status of former Baath Party members, and provincial elections have been passed or are about to pass.
All these were demands of the Democrats in Congress, yet now they and their likely standard bearer steadfastly ignore the elephant in the living room and pretend it hasn’t happened. It’s as if time froze for them in 2004-2006. They still call for withdrawal regardless of the consequences. They still pin their electoral hopes on their own nation’s defeat.
Trouble is, it’s becoming too evident even for their allies in the mainstream media to ignore. And the American public as a whole will catch on, too. Arguing for retreat and defeat, especially when we’re finally winning, does not win elections. Yet abandoning their cherished dogma will make them look like cynical idiots for advocating losing over changing to a better strategy — one that the other guy had long been backing. Iraq is simply not a winning issue for the Democrats, who look to be making the same mistakes regarding the war that they made in 2004.
I wonder how long it will be before Obama declares it a "distraction from the real issues?"
LINKS: Peter Wehner at Commentary writes about Director Hayden’s testimony and provides a needed caution that near victory, like near defeat, can be reversed. Ed Morrissey at Hot Air notices the same article and discusses the broader context, including Pakistan. Jennifer Rubin notes that good news isn’t good news for everyone.
One thing we can say about Barack Obama’s "preacher problem:" it’s ecumenical:
The way the Harbinger of Hope, Change, and Waffles keeps having to throw people under the bus, it must be getting crowded down there.
Today is a sad day, the anniversary of the Fall of Constantinople, thus ending the last remnant of the Roman Empire, which had existed, if one accepts the traditional founding date of 753 BC, for 2,206 years. On May 29th, 1453, the city fell to the jihad armies of Sultan Mehmet II. Seven thousand defenders behind the city’s ancient walls couldn’t long hold out against an army at least 11 times their size and armed with siege cannons. The last Emperor, Constantine XI, fell defending his throne to the end. According to Runciman, whose Fall of Constantinople is the best book I’ve read on the topic, legend has it that the Emperor removed his regalia of office and died defending one of the city’s gates: his body was never found. Greek legend tells that an angel turned him to a pillar of marble and placed him in a hidden cavern, where he waits to return at his capital’s liberation.
So, of course, some wag made a bumper-sticker for the occasion:
Someone should tell the author that it’s 555 years. But who am I to quibble over details?
I’m sure there are Greek nationalists who take this seriously, but, sorry. Tragic as the city’s fall was, five centuries makes it a done deal.
Revanchist movements aren’t unique to Byzantine buffs, naturally. Palestinians and their Arab
exploiters brothers for so long and so steadily pushed the myth of the nakba and the forced Palestinian expulsion from what is now Israel, that many accept it as unvarnished truth. From 1871 to 1914, France dreamed of recovering Alsace-Lorraine from the Germans. Chicano nationalists work themselves into ecstasy at the thought of returning the US Southwest to Mexico — Viva Aztlan! More threateningly, jihadists lay claim to the whole of the ancient Islamic empire, from Spain to Indonesia, as Allah-granted parts of the Muslim umma: theirs to reconquer.
About the only group I think has a real claim to a "right of return" are the Jews: Israel hasn’t been perfect since its foundation, but few people have suffered as much for as long as have the Jews, nor have many given the world as much. If anyone has a moral claim to an ancient home, it is they.
With that exception, however, revanchism and other forms of railing against the past gain one nothing except grief. After enough time has passed, it’s better to accept reality and look to the future.
Byzantium ain’t coming back.
(hat tip: Jihad Watch)