The 1st Amendment prevents the government from attacking ISIS ideologically? Really?

October 8, 2014
"But don't criticize them."

“But don’t criticize them.”

This is why the Left cannot be taken seriously on constitutional matters: they don’t even understand the basics. Via Power Line:

Bill Gertz has a lengthy and fascinating piece in the Washington Free Beacon about what he calls the Obama administration’s failure “to wage ideological war against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) terrorists.” Gertz attributes the failure to “fears that attacking [ISIS’s] religious philosophy will violate the constitutional divide between church and state.”

It seems difficult to believe that the First Amendment explains Obama’s unwillingness to acknowledge, for example, that the Islamic State is Islamic. Gertz cites James Glassman, former undersecretary of state for public diplomacy. Glassman seems to rely mainly on what he hears coming out of the State Department.

For the record, here’s what the 1st Amendment says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I don’t see anything in there about “the government may not criticize the religious doctrine of an enemy organization,” do you?  Perhaps our constitutional law professor-president can explain it to us.

Gertz calls this a “surrender in the war of ideas,” and he is right. It’s a pathetic bit of hand-waving to hide the fact that the administration desperately does not want to deal with the Islamic doctrine cited by ISIS as the justification for its jihad. For whatever reason –political correctness, a leftist reluctance to criticize “victims of colonialism,” a fear of upsetting allied Muslim states, or even a secular inability to deal with minds operating on a religious paradigm– the Obama administration (and, to a lesser extent, the Bush administration before it) will go to any lengths to deny the truth: we are in a global conflict with an Islamic supremacist/revivalist movement that, while having many sometimes fractious elements, is united by a largely common and mainstream understanding of Islamic texts and doctrines. And until and if (1) we can get imams willing to go public with their criticism in Islamic terms of the doctrinal arguments of the jihadists, we will continue to surrender in this war of ideas and the jihadists will continue to attract recruits.

Footnote:

(1) Which is problematic, because a) I think the Muslim Brotherhood, al Qaeda, and other jihad groups have a very good understanding of Islamic doctrine, and imams critical of them have trouble finding counter-arguments; and b) critics of the jihad who do come forward often put their lives at real risk.


I weep: our foreign policy has been reduced to hashtags

April 25, 2014
Your Obama foreign policy team

Your Obama foreign policy team

Well, I weep and I mock.

For those not familiar with Twitter, “hashtags” are labels preceded by a number sign, as in “#politics.” They were developed to make it easier for people to search for related messages on the system, though people also use them as asides to provide commentary, humor, or snark.

A few weeks ago, the United States Department of State, faced with the slow-motion dismemberment of Ukraine by Russia, apparently decided that hashtags were also effective tools of superpower diplomacy. Thus we saw this from State’s spokeswoman, Jen Psaki:

My reaction, you’ll be surprised to learn, was one of dismay and disgust. This is hardly the serious diplomacy one would expect from a department once headed by the likes of Thomas Jefferson, John Hay, Dean Acheson, and George Schultz. One would think that, having been roundly mocked here and overseas (You mean you didn’t hear the giggling from Moscow?), the State Department would have given up on managing our foreign affairs like it was a popularity contest, complete with cheerleading. But, no. No, some genius at State decided this was a winning strategy and deployed it again, only this time with an exhortation to Putin:

“Promise of hashtag??” You have got to be kidding me. “Yes, Vlad, be nice to Ukraine. You wouldn’t want to fail the spirit of the hashtag, would you?” Someone last night speculated that an intern forgot to substitute the real hashtag in place of the placeholder word “hashtag,” but that’s immaterial. The whole idea that anyone should think that using catchy social media slogans as a tool of diplomacy would be seen as anything other than self-inflicted humiliation is laughable. That the “strategy” originated at the highest levels of State is infuriating.

And so I couldn’t resist commenting:

And then I offered examples of the promise of hashtag and its power in US foreign affairs:

Others pointed out that the promise of hashtag was global. For example:

Indeed, Lincoln ended the Civil War with it:

But this one, I think, summed up the depth and gravity of State’s strategic thinking in this crisis:

While this baby speaks for me:

But I did offer Ms. Psaki and her co-workers a friendly and much-needed hint:

No, they do not, and it’s in part because people who think they do are in charge of our foreign policy that the world has become a much more dangerous place. It’s a common joke that both sides make to wish for the day “when the adults will be in charge, again,” but, in this case, it’s no longer a joke.  We’re facing foes around the globe who operate via the calculus of power, will, and national interest, while we are represented by community organizers who treat serious matters of state as occasions for virtual rallies.

Argh.

RELATED: More at Twitchy here and here. Jonah Goldberg on Obama’s foreign policy.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Not surprising: Londoners left undefended move to defend themselves

August 10, 2011

Well, what did anyone expect when the police are kept on a tight leash, the fire brigades are overwhelmed, and the Home Secretary thinks the proper response is to scold parents?

When the government refuses to do its duty, vigilantism is the inevitable result:

Top London officials have warned the city’s citizens against administering vigilante justice in the midst of widespread riots after several groups organized to protect their property by any means necessary.

“We don’t want to see vigilantism,” London mayor Boris Johnson said today in a press conference, according to The Telegraph. “People defending their homes and shops must only use reasonable force.”

Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stephen Kavanagh also urged restraint, saying “vigilantism” could lead to further violence, according to a report by the BBC.

Three men at least have already been killed, run over as they were apparently defending their neighborhood in Birmingham, also torn by riots. Whether it was an accident or deliberate isn’t known. And London itself seems to be quieter after thousands of police have been brought in. (And the rioters are probably tuckered out, poor dears.)

Maybe Mayor Johnson and Deputy Assistant Commissioner Kavanagh (and the rest of that gelded government) should consider that citizens wouldn’t be resorting to vigilantism if the government had only done its bloody job to protect lives and property. These riots should never have got past the first night. Where the state ceases to exist, people will revert to a Hobbesian state of nature to protect their lives and property, which is just we’re seeing here. Those men who were run-over were only doing what any reasonable person would do, and their deaths are to be laid directly at the door of this pusillanimous government.

And don’t get me started on the insane British restrictions on firearms. When Los Angeles erupted in riots in 1994 1992, stores in Korean neighborhoods were relatively untouched. Why? Because the Korean owners had guns and made it quite clear they were willing to use them if the police couldn’t protect them. As is their right.

But in the UK, the people aren’t allowed guns to defend themselves from a mob. They’re told to rely on the police. And when the police aren’t there? They’re reduced to ordering baseball bats from Amazon.

The government should resign. This is pathetic.

via Allahpundit

LINKS: More from The Guardian. Read it all, but here’s a sample:

When the rioters came to attack the premises of Kurdish and Turkish businesses in Hackney’s Stoke Newington High Street and Kingsland Road on Monday night, the owners were waiting for them.

“It was between about nine and 10 at night,” said Yilmaz Karagoz, sitting in his coffee shop next to a jeweller’s shop that has been shuttered since Sunday when the rioting began and a pharmacy that closed a day after.

“There were a lot of them. We came out of our shops but the police asked us to do nothing. But the police did not do anything so, as more came, we chased them off ourselves.” The staff from a local kebab restaurant ran at the attackers, doner knives in their hands. “I don’t think they will be coming back,” Karagoz said.

EDIT: Fixed the date of the LA riots. I lived through them, you’d think I’d remember.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Britain: Her Majesty’s Government surrenders to the rioters

August 9, 2011

Just unbelievable fecklessness:

The Home Secretary [Theresa May] appeared to rule out sending water cannon or the Army onto the streets of the capital, despite a third night of violence.

Speaking on Sky News, she said that police intelligence and the support of local communities would help quell the disturbances.

“The way we police in Britain is not through use of water cannon,” she said. “The way we police in Britain is through consent of communities.”

WTF??

Since when do the police need “consent” to enforce the law? And what about citizens whose properties are being burned to the ground, or the workers who no longer have jobs to go to because their workplaces are in ashes? What about law-abiding Britons too frightened to go out into their own neighborhoods to buy food?

Are they not part of the community, Madame Home Secretary? Perhaps you have their “consent” to defend their lives and livelihoods without having to ask “Mother, may I?”

I’m probably just overreacting because I’m one of those “Cowboy Americans” who doesn’t understand the subtleties and nuances of “sophisticated” Euro-policing. I should have guessed that Secretary May had the perfect solution:

As those charged with offences appear in court today, “people will start to see the consequences of their actions”, Mrs May added.

“There are many who are easily identified through CCTV cameras.”

She also told BBC Breakfast that “parents need to be asking themselves where were their children, what were their children doing in the evening.”

She added: “There are longer-term questions about when we see parents letting their children as young as that sort of age be out on the streets in this way.”

So, there you go. The perfect nanny-state answer to an uprising by vandals: passively watching and then threatening to tell their mothers. Excuse me while I go hurl.

And you can bet that the fascists of the British National Party are rubbing their hands with glee, knowing that this nerveless, cringing, emasculated, pathetic excuse of a government whose only response is a scolding will just drive more and more people their way out of desperation.

Alfred the Great, Edward I, Queen Elizabeth I, Queen Victoria, Canning, Disraeli, Churchill… They’re all spinning in their graves now.

via Bryan Preston

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Canada stands on principle; Obama goes “meh.”

July 13, 2011

A couple of weeks ago I could barely contain my disgust over the appointment of North Korea as head of the UN Conference on Disarmament. It seems I wasn’t the only one, and it’s great to see a liberal democracy refuse to participate in this disgraceful sham.

Good for you, Canada:

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird is set to announce Monday that Canada is boycotting the United Nations Conference on Disarmament over North Korea’s involvement, a senior government source told Postmedia News.

So Se Pyong, North Korea’s ambassador, was last week named chair of the Geneva-based group dedicated to promoting global nuclear disarmament.

“North Korea is simply not a credible chair of this UN body as its leaders are working in the exact opposite direction,” the source told Postmedia News on Sunday evening.

“Our government feels this undermines not only the Conference on Disarmament, but the UN itself. And Canada will not be party to that . . . Our government received a strong mandate to advance Canada’s values — freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law — on the world stage.”

During North Korea’s term as chair, Canada will not “engage” in the conference, the source said Baird will announce Monday.

Meanwhile for the Obama administration, it’s no “big deal:

The Obama administration will not follow Canada’s lead and boycott a session of the U.N.-linked Conference on Disarmament to protest North Korea’s appointment to the body’s rotating presidency.

“We have chosen not to make a big deal out of this because it’s a relatively low-level, inconsequential event,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Monday.

In one sense, Nuland is right; UN conferences often aren’t “big deals,” serving as little more than occasions to pad a resume, collect a per diem, and shop for things not available in your own country.

On the other hand, if the United States won’t defend the principles on which the commission and the larger UN were founded in the little, easy instances such as this, who should believe we would care in the big instances? By assenting to North Korea’s chairmanship of the conference and lending that act our prestige by our participation, we also say that North Korea’s serial illegal arms-trafficking is “no big deal” and encourage them (and others) to do even more. It’s an example of the broken-windows theory to international relations.

Canada and the Harper cabinet are right in this case, while the Obama administration again shows its casual, amateurish approach to foreign affairs.

via The Jawa Report and Weasel Zippers

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The fruits of Smart Power: Syria attacks US embassy

July 11, 2011

Since coming into office in 2009, the Obama administration has emphasized a policy of “reaching out” to the Syrian government, sending an ambassador there for the first time in four years. When the “Arab spring” revolts reached Syria and the Assad regime responded by shooting unarmed protesters in the streets, Secretary of State Clinton deployed Smart Power and called Assad a “reformer.” Despite Syria’s status as an Iranian ally and client, despite its support of terror (It’s even on Clinton’s list), and despite its pursuit of nuclear weapons, the Obama administration has shown remarkable restraint. Today, Team Smart Power got their reward.

Our embassy attacked by a mob:

Protesters loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad briefly broke into the U.S. embassy in Damascus on Monday and security guards used live ammunition to prevent them storming the French embassy, diplomats said.

No casualties were reported in the attacks but a U.S. official said Washington condemned Syria’s slow response and its failure to the prevent the assault on its embassy.

The attacks followed a visit by the U.S. and French ambassadors to the city of Hama last week in support of the hundreds of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators who have been gathering there despite attacks by Syrian forces.

“We are calling in the Syrian charge (d’affaires) to complain,” said the U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“We feel they failed (in their responsibility to protect U.S. diplomats). We are going to condemn their slow response.”

Well, that’s showing them. I bet the Syrian charge is even now quaking in his oxfords as he heads for his meeting with the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Outreach and Apologies — quaking from laughter, that is.

And I’m dead serious in the subject line: this attack on our and the French embassies was not a spontaneous expression of outrage on the part of people who just love Boy Assad. Syria attacked our embassy. The country a mafia-ocracy with the Assad clan at the top, and nothing happens without their say-so. You can bet this originated with the Mukhabarat, Syria’s intelligence service, who did the same thing in 2006. Assad was angered by the visit the US ambassador paid to Hama, a center of anti-Assad sentiment (1), and so, just like the little thug he is, he sent his boys around to trash our embassy.

And our response is to stamp our foot and whine “stop it!”

There was a time when this garbage would have been met with a different kind of protest: a warship and a barrage by naval artillery, sending its own message: “Don’t make us angry.”

But that was long ago, before the era of Hope, Change, and Smart Power.

Here’s how a “Phineas administration” would handle it. Since no American lives were lost, we can start with just a nice, little chat: the charge would come into this meeting and sit down before the desk of the Secretary of State. The Secretary would then quietly lay out a series of satellite photos — Mukhabarat headquarters, the Presidential Palace, Assad’s favorite summer home on the Mediterranean coast, you get the idea.

And in case the Syrian diplomat didn’t quite catch the drift, the Secretary would make the implied message clear: “That embassy is sovereign US territory. If this or anything like this ever happens again, I guarantee you President Assad will wake up to something far worse than an angry mob.” To put the punctuation on this, there would be small news items about the redeployment of (cruise missile carrying) US naval assets to the Eastern Mediterranean for “exercises.”

And that’s how you deal with Capone Assad.

LINKS: More at Hot Air and Legal Insurrection. Bryan Preston at PJM’s The Tatler blog sees the nature of the attack the same way I do and says the 3AM phone is ringing. Moe Lane has advice for Democratic administration appointees. As usual, Barry Rubin has sharp, hard-headed analysis.

Footnotes:
(1) The Assads have “a history” with Hama. A bloody one.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Great Moments in D’oh! History: Libya edition

April 18, 2011

Starting a war when you don’t have the ammunition to sustain it because you starved your defense budgets to feed the gaping maw that is the welfare state.

D’oh! 

via Big Peace


How The One screwed up in Libya: let VDH count the ways

March 24, 2011

Like most people outside the moonbat Left and isolationist Right, I supported the idea of intervening in Libya’s civil war, even though that support was qualified. And now that we’re in battle, my opinion is that we don’t stop until Qaddafi is gone; he’s too dangerous to leave behind, angry and vengeful.

But, well, Obama and his underlings have gone about this in about the most feckless, dunderheaded, and incompetent way possible. From dithering over getting involved until it was almost (and may still be) too late to stating goals that not only change, but are mutually exclusive, to coming up with the lame-brained idea of placing US forces under the command of an international committee of bureaucrats, this administration has done about everything one can think of to make sure it loses support for this kinetic military action war.

At National Review, Victor Davis Hanson enumerates the ways Obama is screwing this up. As with anything from VDH, read the whole thing, but here’s one in particular that stuck with me:

7) Leadership: This is a Potemkin coalition, far smaller than the one that fought in either Afghanistan or Iraq, notwithstanding loud proclamations to the contrary. We are not even done with the first week of bombing, and yet no one seems in charge: What body/country/alliance determines targets, issues communiques, or coordinates diplomacy? The U.K. goes after Qaddafi, and we plead “They did it, not us”? Again, fairly or not, the impression is that Obama dressed up preponderant American intervention under a multicultural fig leaf, earning the downsides of both. A loud multilateral effort could be wise diplomacy, but not if it translates into a desire to subordinate American options and profile to European and international players that are not commensurately shouldering the burden — and not if all this is cynically used to advance a welcomed new unexceptional American profile.

When we talk of “European leadership,” we mean the U.K. and France, not Germany, Italy, or most of the EU. When we talk of the “Arab League,” we mean essentially zero military assets. And when we talk of the “U.N.,” we mean zero blue-helmeted troops. So, like it or not, there is a level of understandable cynicism that suspects Obama’s new paradigm of multilateral, international action is simply the same-old, same-old, albeit without the advantages that accrue when America is unapologetic about its leadership role, weathers the criticism, and insists on the options and prerogatives that a superpower must demand in war by virtue of its power and sacrifice.

And on this theme of leadership and American exceptionalism, let me point you to this article by Tony Katz at Pajamas Media. It goes to the heart of Obama’s Socialist “education” in New York and Chicago: that America is no better than any other nation, that the exercise of overwhelming American power is a problem — that, in the end, America herself is the problem:

[The report on human rights in the US to the UNHRC –pf.] was the “tell.” Obama does not believe in American exceptionalism. America is no better, and no worse, than any other nation. So, in his estimation, why shouldn’t America be subject to the same “ruler on the knuckles” punishment as every other nation that abuses its people … like Libya?

These are the values that Obama holds dear, and they guide his decisions on every front.  While pundits and politicos were cackling about his trip to Brazil and South America, Obama kept along with seeing the sights, dancing in Rio, and staying away from press conferences.

For what reason would the president not go on his scheduled vacation trip?  The job of the president of the United States, as he sees it, is to be a willing, bowing cog in the world machine. To be morally unambiguous would be a slight to the ruling world order, the one that only multiculturalism brings.

Obama does not see the presidency, and himself in it, as the leader of the free world. Based upon the historical perspective, it is an impediment to a better world where all are equal. The president believes that America is the impediment to a safer, better world, just as he believes that “settlements” are the impediment to a safer, better Israel.

Emphases added. We can take this as part of the foundation on which all the errors VDH* lists are based.

*It truly is an unjust world, wherein an idiot like Barbara Boxer, and not Dr. Hanson, represents California in the Senate.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


President Hamlet makes a decision: we intervene in Libya

March 19, 2011

Yesterday, President Obama finally made up his mind that we should intervene in Libya’s civil war — but only after passing a Kerry-esque “global test.” Fine. In this case, I happen to agree with him: America’s moral values and national interests intersect in Libya. Morally, Qaddafi is a maniacal, brutal dictator who shown in the past few weeks he is willing to slaughter however many of his people it takes to stay in power. He also has American blood on his hands, having repeatedly launched terror attacks against us. Res ipsa loquitur — the thing speaks for itself. The world will be a better place with Qaddafi gone.

Strategically, instability in even a 2% supplier of the world’s oil can lead to chaos with skyrocketing prices; it’s in our interests to see this thing ended quickly. And there is a decided national interest in seeing another state-sponsor of terrorism and possessor of WMDs removed. Beyond that, once Western and Arab nations aligned against Qaddafi, even before deciding on a no-fly zone, a line was crossed and it became clear we could not let him remain in power. As Marc Thiessen wrote a few days ago at The Washington Post:

If the Libyan dictator survives, he is not likely to resume being the benign Gaddafi of recent years, who handed over his weapons of mass destruction, renounced terrorism and made nice with the West. More likely, he will be the brutal Gaddafi of old — the state sponsor of terror who blew up Pan Am 103 over Scotland, killing 270 people; destroyed a French passenger jet over Niger, killing 171 people; bombed the La Belle discotheque in West Berlin, killing two U.S. soldiers and injuring more than 50 American servicemen; established terrorist training camps on Libyan soil; provided terrorists with arms and safe haven; and plotted to kill leaders in Saudi Arabia, Chad, Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia and Zaire. If he succeeds in putting down the rebellion, Gaddafi would probably emerge angry and emboldened — a dangerous combination.

If Gaddafi survives, he would almost certainly put a halt to the destruction of his programs to develop weapons of mass destruction, begun during the Bush administration. Since 2003, Libya has handed over the key components of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and allowed the destruction of more than 3,300 aerial bombs designed to disperse chemical weapons. But Gaddafi still has stockpiles of chemical weapons — including mustard gas and chemicals for the manufacture of sarin and other nerve agents — that were slated for internationally supervised destruction. These are deadly toxins that terrorists are desperate to acquire.

If Gaddafi survives, his regime will probably not achieve a decisive victory. That means a stalemate in which eastern Libya could become a lawless, ungoverned area. Moderate rebel leaders — who pleaded to the West for help but failed to secure it — could be pushed aside by radical elements. Al-Qaeda could step in to furnish the weapons and training that America refused to provide — and be rewarded with sanctuary in exchange. As the United States continues to put pressure on al-Qaeda in the tribal regions of Pakistan, terrorists could migrate to eastern Libya, where several al-Qaeda leaders have roots, turning the region into a new terrorist haven.

Now, in spite of being a foaming-at-the-mouth neocon*, I recognize there are substantive arguments against intervening in Libya: we’re stretched as it is, we’re in a time of fiscal crisis, it’s not really our fight and we may in the end see an Islamist government take over, etc. And, while I respect those arguments, I cannot agree. Roger L. Simon frames it best for me at Pajamas Media:

I know there are some extreme libertarians that think Libya is none of our business — that we, and the international community, should stay out and let the locals blow each other to smithereens until the next dictator takes the throne or the old one keeps it and locks his enemies in torture chambers. Attractive and consoling as that idea may be, the world is nowhere near that simple. We live on a tiny globe that is shrinking by the moment for a myriad of reasons from instant communications to limited energy to a global economy. The bloodshed in Benghazi affects the refineries of Texas just as the tsunami at Fukushima rocks the boatyards of Crescent City. And those are only a couple of the most obvious instances this week.

We’re all in this together. Sorry.

And I have to tell you one other thing. Remember this: We’re Americans. Good is what we are supposed to do.

Thus, yes, I support our President’s decision to finally get involved and stop voting “present.”

But it’s not unqualified support, nor do I give it with equanimity. If there’s one thing Obama’s efforts overseas have shown us, it is that he is a Leftist ideologue who lacks a strategic vision and is in over his head. Whether it’s because of an innate passivity, a disinterest in foreign affairs,  or a Left-liberal reluctance to act like an “imperial” and “colonial” power, our policy lacks any sense of coherence or strategy. I seriously doubt he has asked himself and his advisers “What outcome do we want?” From that one question would come answers that would shape the nature of our intervention, giving it direction and logical consistency. We would know how to proceed.

But I just don’t see that from Barack Obama, which means the outcome is likely to be muddled and costlier to reach than if we had acted with clarity and decisiveness when Daffy Qaddafi was still on the ropes.

So I wish bon chance and good hunting to whatever forces we send into the fray; you’ll do your job well, whatever the assignment may be.

I just wish you had a leader worthy of you.

*At least in foreign affairs.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Extended quote of the day: Hitchens on Libya, Obama

February 25, 2011

Really, I wish Christopher Hitchens would stop being so shy about his feelings:

Evidently a little sensitive to the related charges of being a) taken yet again completely by surprise, b) apparently without a policy of its own, and c) morally neuter, the Obama administration contrived to come up with an argument that maximized every form of feebleness. Were we to have taken a more robust or discernible position, it was argued, our diplomatic staff in Libya might have been endangered. In other words, we decided to behave as if they were already hostages! The governments of much less powerful nations, many with large expatriate populations as well as embassies in Libya, had already condemned Qaddafi’s criminal behavior, and the European Union had considered sanctions, but the United States (which didn’t even charter a boat for the removal of staff until Tuesday. [See also. –PF]) felt obliged to act as if it were the colonel’s unwilling prisoner. I can’t immediately think of any precedent for this pathetic “doctrine,” but I can easily see what a useful precedent it sets for any future rogue regime attempting to buy time. Leave us alone—don’t even raise your voice against us—or we cannot guarantee the security of your embassy. (It wouldn’t be too soon, even now, for the NATO alliance to make it plain to Qaddafi that if he even tried such a thing, he would lose his throne, and his ramshackle armed forces, and perhaps his worthless life, all in the course of one afternoon.)

Unless the administration seriously envisages a future that includes the continued private ownership of Libya and its people by Qaddafi and his terrible offspring, it’s a sheer matter of prudence and realpolitik, to say nothing of principle, to adopt a policy that makes the opposite assumption. Libya is—in point of population and geography—mainly a coastline. The United States, with or without allies, has unchallengeable power in the air and on the adjacent waters. It can produce great air lifts and sea lifts of humanitarian and medical aid, which will soon be needed anyway along the Egyptian and Tunisian borders, and which would purchase undreamed-of goodwill. It has the chance to make up for its pointless, discredited tardiness with respect to events in Cairo and Tunis. It also has a president who has shown at least the capacity to deliver great speeches on grand themes. Instead, and in the crucial and formative days in which revolutions are decided, we have had to endure the futile squawkings of a cuckoo clock.

Ouch!


Libya: Just how pathetic is Barack Obama?

February 24, 2011

The British have dispatched the Royal Navy and their SAS –their elite Special Air Service— to evacuate their citizens from Libya:

The SAS was ordered into Libya on Thursday to oversee the evacuation of hundreds of British nationals after the Government’s response to the crisis came in for widespread criticism.

Nearly 500 Britons were successfully repatriated throughout the day after three RAF Hercules transport aircraft and a Royal Navy frigate were pressed into action.

The Daily Telegraph has learnt that special forces were on the ground in Tripoli to ensure the evacuation of all British nationals went smoothly.

SAS officers offered support and advice to private security firms drafted in to rescue more than 170 oil workers stranded in remote desert compounds.

Last night the frigate HMS Cumberland set sail from Benghazi with 200 passengers on board, many of them British.

Rescue efforts were still under way last night but the Government insisted that it was close to getting everybody out.

That is how the government of a world power is supposed to take care of its people!

So, what did President of the United States Barack Hussein Obama, Commander in Chief of the mightiest military the world has ever seen, do? Dispatch a carrier battle group with Marines to rescue our people? Drop in Special Forces to secure an evacuation zone? Declare a no-fly zone and crack a few sonic booms over Tripoli as a warning to Qaddafi?

Nope. The 45th President of the United States, successor in office to Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, TR, FDR, Reagan, and all the rest… rented a ferry:

Right now, in Libya, there are hundreds of Americans waiting for evacuation … by ferry.

Seriously.  The State Department has chartered a ferry to take the hundreds of waiting Americans to Malta.  But rough seas have delayed the ferry’s departure until Friday.

A ferry. We have the biggest navy in the world and all that wimp can do is rent a ferry, as if this were some excursion in the bay instead of an evacuation in the middle of a civil war.

Others offered earlier the reasonable argument that Obama wasn’t doing more because he didn’t want to do something that might set Qaddafi off to take revenge on Americans. But that obviously isn’t a concern if the Brits feel they can send in the SAS…

Yet we rent a ferry.

Unbelievable.

Mr. President… Barry… Stop it. Just stop. You’re embarrassing us.

UPDATE: After three days, the ferry has finally left the dock in Tripoli and the Americans are out. Maybe next time we should ask London to do it for us.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The Obama administration response to Libya: one Briton’s view

February 24, 2011

Ouch! This will leave a mark:

President Obama is already being outflanked by Nicolas Sarkozy, who has taken a far tougher line on Libya than his US counterpart. It is hugely embarrassing when even the French are doing more to confront a murderous dictator than the traditional leader of the free world. Frankly, President Obama makes Jimmy Carter look like General MacArthur by comparison.


The price of Obama’s weakness

February 17, 2011

When they feel this free to abuse Americans abroad, it means the tyrants no longer fear us.

So desperate to be loved and respected overseas, President Obama has made his country neither.


President Cipher

December 11, 2010

During the day yesterday, I’d read online of the bizarre impromptu joint press conference held by President Obama and former President Clinton after a meeting they’d had about how to save Obama’s bacon best sell the tax compromise. Apparently, a few minutes into the event, the President of the United States walked out to go to a party, leaving his Democratic predecessor in charge. Commenters online were generally aghast, but I figured it couldn’t be as bad as it sounded.

I was wrong. Watch this.

What the…??

Yo, Chief! You’re the President of the United States. The man in charge. You wanted the job!

And you just walk out of a press conference and let your stand-in handle it so you could go to a  party? I doubt you could make yourself look any more feckless if you tried. At least Nixon had the decency to issue a formal resignation.

After watching that video, I had to check to see if Clinton had named his Cabinet, yet.

And speaking of former (and current?) President Clinton, I offer a few observations, based on the video clip:

  • Self-serving to the last, he says he didn’t like the securitization and reselling of sub-prime mortgages by Fannie and Freddie. Bill, it was your administration that fed the beast!
  • He also thinks the financial regulation bill is a good idea. Ummm… Sir? Who signed the deregulation legislation? Oh,yeah
  • Ten years out, and he’s still more on top of policy than Obama. You can just tell he misses the job*.
  • Obama must be thanking his lucky stars for the 22nd Amendment. I really do think, if he could run again, Bill would beat Obama in the 2012 primaries.

But, back to the man who is supposedly our president… Will anyone, foreign or domestic, take him seriously after this last week?

*And the interns. Especially the interns.

LINKS: Bryan Preston calls this a cry for Bubba-Wan, while Ed Driscoll thinks something weird is going on. Fausta calls it amateur hour. Obi’s Sister suspects Clinton used the Force on Obama: “This isn’t the President you’re looking for!”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Tell me again why we give the UN any money?

July 12, 2010

Just when you think that body couldn’t be any more useless and corrupt, they do something like this:

UN Fails to Condemn North Korea for Killing Over 40 South Korean Sailors

When the results of the international investigation into the sinking of the South Korean ship the Cheonan were released in May, the U.S. State Department was adamant that it believed North Korea was responsible — and that the country would have to face some actual punishment for killing 46 innocent South Korea sailors.

“I think it is important to send a clear message to North Korea that provocative actions have consequences,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said May 21 while visiting her Japanese counterpart in Tokyo.

Fast forward to today, when the United Nations released a presidential statement which not only does not specify any consequences for the Kim Jong Il regime, but doesn’t even conclude that North Korea was responsible for the attack in the first place.

The statement acknowledges that the South Korean investigation, which included broad international participation, blamed North Korea, and then “takes note of the responses from other relevant parties, including from the DPRK, which has stated that it had nothing to do with the incident.”

“Therefore, the Security Council condemns the attack which led to the sinking of the Cheonan,” the statement reads.

Isn’t diplomacy-speak wonderful? Not only does the UN issue the weakest form of statement, the “presidential statement,” but it can’t even name the party behind the attack. I bet the families of those 40 dead sailors feel oh-so-comforted, knowing Turtle Bay has their backs.

As Daniel Halper asks,

“…how long did it take for the UN to issue a condemnation of Israel’s action against pro-terrorist flotilla members?”

A perfectly legal action, bear in mind, as opposed to North Korea’s act of war.

Tell me again, does the United Nations do any good, and is there any reason for us to remain a part of it?

Really, just try to convince me. I love fantasy stories.

(via Jeff Emanuel)