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)
Linda Chavez reviews the core position of each major candidate on how as president they would select Supreme Court justices and lesser judges. Read her post, and the New York Times article she links to, but, in case you don’t have time, here’s a quick summary:
Barack Obama: Let’s replace the Constitution with the lyrics to ‘Feelings.’ Judges are support-group facilitators whose job is to make us all feel good.
Hillary Clinton: What does the Constitution say? What result do you want?
John McCain: The Constitution is a binding written contract. You want to change it? Then go through the democratic process we all agreed to, and don’t go whining to a judge if you can’t win.
Needless to say, I’m with the Grumpy Old Guy.
(Now, if we could only get the old goat to admit that McCain-Feingold is unconstitutional. Free speech? What’s that?)
LINK: For more on the kind of judges Obama would appoint, read Jennifer Rubin’s analysis for Pajamas Media.
A Conservative Member of Parliament in Great Britain has proposed carbon ration cards for every adult in the country:
Every adult should be forced to use a ‘carbon ration card’ when they pay for petrol, airline tickets or household energy, MPs say.
The influential Environmental Audit Committee says a personal carbon trading scheme is the best and fairest way of cutting Britain’s CO2 emissions without penalising the poor.
Under the scheme, everyone would be given an annual carbon allowance to use when buying oil, gas, electricity and flights.
Anyone who exceeds their entitlement would have to buy top-up credits from individuals who haven’t used up their allowance. The amount paid would be driven by market forces and the deal done through a specialist company.
MPs, led by Tory Tim Yeo, say the scheme could be more effective at cutting greenhouse gas emissions than green taxes.
But critics say the idea is costly, bureaucratic, intrusive and unworkable.
No, really? What’s next, a tax on excess exhaling? Forget that anthropogenic global warming is junk science, this would be a tremendous expansion of government intrusion into private lives. Since when did the land of John Stuart Mill surrender to Hobbes’ Leviathan?
(hat tip: Sister Toldjah)
I think the Prophet Barack’s handlers need to have a little talk with him. Not only does he show his ignorance of history and his own country almost daily, not only does he make himself sound like a nitwit on Memorial Day, not only does promise one thing in Ohio while secretly telling someone else "not really," but now he’s rewriting history:
Obama also spoke about his uncle, who was part of the American brigade that helped to liberate Auschwitz. He said the family legend is that, upon returning from war, his uncle spent six months in an attic. “Now obviously, something had really affected him deeply, but at that time there just weren’t the kinds of facilities to help somebody work through that kind of pain,” Obama said. “That’s why this idea of making sure that every single veteran, when they are discharged, are screened for post-traumatic stress disorder and given the mental health services that they need – that’s why it’s so important.”
Ahem… Mr. Prophet, sir? Not to interrupt your message of hope, change, and waffles with petty details, but…
On January 27, 1945, the Soviet army entered Auschwitz, Birkenau, and Monowitz and liberated around 7,000 prisoners, most of whom were ill and dying.
Auschwitz is in Poland, which, last I checked, is between eastern Germany and Russia. In January, 1945, your uncle was no closer than the western borders of Germany — we didn’t even cross the Rhine until February, 1945. So, unless your uncle was serving in the Red Army…
You’re a liar.
And I can’t decide what’s worse: that you would tell such a lame lie, or that you think we’re so stupid we wouldn’t see through it. Apparently your contempt for the average American isn’t reserved just for bitter people clinging to their guns and Bibles.
Or are you jealous of Hillary and her "Tuzla dash" moment?
Or maybe you’re not a liar. Maybe you’re just unbelievably ignorant. Which is it?
Where do the Democrats find these people?
(hat tip: Sister Toldjah)
In fact, campaign spokesman Bill Burton says, his great uncle was a
member of the 89th Infantry Division that liberated the Ohrduf camp,
part of Buchenwald and, according to the Holocaust Museum, the first concentration camp liberated by U.S. troops.
The Obama campaign wasn’t about to take any guff from the Republicans over this, but, as Allahpundit points out, the Washington Post Fact Checker blog still isn’t feeling kindly towards the Prophet Barack over this:
Prior to talking about Auschwitz, Obama mentioned his grandfather
(the one in Patton’s army), recalling that he did not like talking
about the war. This led into a riff on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,
a term that Obama said was unknown during World War II and the Vietnam
War. "People basically had to handle it on their own." He gave the
example of his uncle who hid away in the attic after liberating
Granted, it is getting late in the campaign. The candidates are
tired, and prone to making silly mistakes. Many Americans might have
problems distinguishing Buchenwald and Ohrdruf from Auschwitz. But
should we not expect more from a Harvard-educated presidential
candidate? Is it too much to ask that an aspiring commander-in-chief
knows (1) that Auschwitz (like many of the other Nazi death camps) is
in Poland, and (2) that the eastern advance of the U.S. Army in World
War II stopped on the river Elbe? Let me know what you think.
So, now we know the answer to the question I posed above: Obama’s not a liar. Just ignorant.
Anti-Bush Peace Prize winner should have his passport revoked, just for being a senile, old embarrassment.
Lawhawk has the latest details: Mouth of the South opens mouth, inserts foot again.
From Concord and Lexington to Fallujah and Kabul, it’s a day to remember:
For weeks now, the Prophet Barack, Harbinger of Hope, Change, and Waffles, has been slamming John McCain for ties to lobbyists.
Well, what do you know?
To be honest, I’m a little surprised Newsweek carried this, given how in-the-tank for Obama their recent articles have been. Good for them for not giving Obama and Axelrod a pass on this.
Of course, by tomorrow the Obama campaign will be denouncing any questions about Axelrod’s company’s lobbying to deny health care to the poor as "unhelpful to Michelle’s children." Or a "smear by the Republican attack machine." (Newsweek?) Or their favorite, "a distraction from the real issues facing America."
Such as health care, O Prophet?
Don’t misunderstand me: there may have been perfectly good policy reasons for opposing state-supplied health care for the indigent poor. But for the company run by Obama’s right-hand man to be the chief architect of that campaign when the candidate advocates universal coverage, is …what’s that word I want? Oh, yeah.
So much for the "new politics."
(hat tip: The Weekly Standard)
Iraqi journalist Nibras Kazimi has been surveying jihadist web sites and came across an amazing thing: an admission by an al Qaeda sympathizer on an al Qaeda-aligned web site that the jihad is suffering a strategic defeat in Iraq — that it has lost:
A prolific jihadist sympathizer has posted an ‘explosive’ study on one of the main jihadist websites in which he laments the dire situation that the mujaheddin find themselves in Iraq by citing the steep drop in the number of insurgent operations conducted by the various jihadist groups, most notably Al-Qaeda’s 94 percent decline in operational ability over the last 12 months when only a year and half ago Al-Qaeda accounted for 60 percent of all jihadist activity!
The author, writing under the pseudonym ‘Dir’a limen wehhed’ [‘A Shield for the Monotheist’], posted his ‘Brief Study on the Consequences of the Division [Among] the [Jihadist] Groups on the Cause of Jihad in Iraq’ on May 12 and it is being displayed by the administration of the Al-Ekhlaas website—one of Al-Qaeda’s chief media outlets—among its more prominent recent posts. He’s considered one of Al-Ekhlaas’s "esteemed" writers.
The author tallies up and compares the numbers of operations claimed by each insurgent group under four categories: a year and half ago (November 2006), a year ago (May 2007), six months ago (November 2007) and now (May 2008). He demonstrated that while Al-Qaeda’s Islamic State of Iraq could claim 334 operations in Nov. 06 and 292 in May 07, their violent output dropped to 25 in Nov. 07 and 16 so far in May 08. Keep in mind that these assessments are based on Al-Qaeda’s own numbers.
Be sure to read the whole thing. It’s fascinating, particularly Kazimi’s analysis that al Qaeda made a crucial mistake by declaring a caliphate too soon. Restoration of the Islamic caliphate is at the core of the jihadist movement, but playing that card now and seeing it trumped by the surge is a disaster for al Qaeda. This war is as much ideological as it is physical, and the growing defeat of al Qaeda in Iraq is showing their ideology to be fatally flawed, something that won’t be missed in the region. (Indeed, the turning of the Sunnis of Iraq against al Qaeda and the formation of various "Awakening" movements indicates it hasn’t been missed.)
This isn’t the time to throw victory parties, of course; the situation is still delicate enough that things could easily go wrong. Still, when your enemy is saying "we’ve lost," that’s a good sign.
Someone should tell Harry "Copperhead" Reid.
(hat tip: Richard Miniter)
LINKS: America’s ambassador in Iraq, Ryan Crocker, agrees with Mr. Wehhed.
Jeanne Kirkpatrick’s speech to the 1984 Republican National Convention included the now-famous refrain, “But then, they always blame America first.” At the time, she was referring to the weak foreign policies of George McGovern and Jimmy Carter.
It seems the Prophet Barack, Harbinger of Hope, Change, and Waffles, is carrying the family tradition.
Between Cuba and his willingness to talk to Iran, a government that wants to bring about a second Holocaust, Obama is going to have a heckuva time winning Florida this year. The Republican National Committee is going to make sure Florida’s Cuban-Americans hear all about the Prophet’s willingness to talk to Raul Castro without preconditions:
(hat tip: Hot Air)
"Liberal" and "conservative" have long been used as epithets in US politics. Most often, they’re used by people who really have no clear idea what the words mean, they just use them as convenient insults to throw at persons on the Left ("liberal") and Right ("conservative"). I myself am not always comfortable using them, since, even while I may know what I mean when I use them, I can’t always be sure the other person understands them the same way. As the great Inigo Montoya once said: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
One thing I’m certain of, however: when a politician threatens to nationalize an industry, that person is no liberal in the classical sense, nor a liberal of the post-New Deal, Massachusetts social liberalism and progressivism that’s dominated the Democratic party since the 1930s. No, said champion of the people is a Socialist, flat out. When you look at Hillary Clinton’s stance on corporate profits or Barack Obama’s position on taxes, you begin to wonder how far the Democratic Party has marched down that leftward path. Once you listen to Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Liberal Fascist), you stop wondering and begin to be certain:
Here’s a transcript, courtesy of Hot Air:
“And guess what this member* would be all about? This member would be all about socializing — er, uh. [Pauses for several moments] …. would be about … [pause] … basically … taking over, and the government running all of your companies.”
Now, one can argue that Waters is an idiot (she is) and a minor figure in the Democratic Party with at best middling influence (also true), but given the influence of people such as Clinton and Obama, or Charlie Rangel, or the influence of far-Left groups such as MoveOn.org, it’s hard not to observe a strong shift to the Left in the party’s center of gravity.
It also brings to mind again my belief that, to be left-liberal and Left these days, you have to be ignorant of economics. Example after example from around the world testifies to the at best mediocre performance of statist economies and state-run industries – and often their outright failure. Forget the collapse of the Soviet Union, just compare the economic performance of continental Western Europe vs. the US over the last 25 years. If carried out, Waters’ threat to nationalize oil companies would not only cripple the oil industry, but it would do massive harm to untold thousands of middle class investors who either own oil stocks directly or through mutual funds or their pension plans.
And she has the nerve to lecture oil-company executives about good business practices?
Here’s a question for you: Granted its run to the Left since Bill Clinton left office, at what point does the Democratic Party become the Democratic Socialist Party?
(hat tip: LGF)
Desperate to get attention for her cause to seat Florida and Michigan delegates, Hillary Clinton compared the plight of Zimbabweans in their recent fraudulent election to the uncounted votes of Michigan and Florida voters saying it is wrong when "people go through the motions of an election only to have them discarded and disregarded."
"We’re seeing that right now in Zimbabwe," Clinton explained. "Tragically, an election was held, the president lost, they refused to abide by the will of the people," Clinton told the crowd of senior citizens at a retirement community in south Florida.
"So we can never take for granted our precious right to vote. It is the single most important, privilege and right any of us have, because in that ballot box we are all equal. You’re equal to a billionaire. You’re equal to the president, every single one of us."
I’m no fan of Howard "The Scream" Dean or the policies of the Democratic Party, but to compare their admittedly poorly conceived attempts to enforce the Party rules to Mugabe’s brutal rule in Zimbabwe is obscene. It’s insulting not only to her fellow Democrats, but to the poor people of Zimbabwe, who have had their suffering trivialized by Hillary’s asinine comparison.
Once again, Senator Clinton has shown she has one of the biggest political "tin ears" in politics. She owes all sides a profuse apology.
(hat tip: The Weekly Standard)
LINKS: More at Hot Air.