Like old King Ethelred the Unready, who either had no counsel or had no sense, or both, and often paid the Danegeld rather than attempt to deter the Norsemen, so Barack Obama and his lieutenants still believe that they can both appease radical Islam and convince others that is not what they are doing.
Various top-ranking U.S. officials, for instance, following the lead of President Obama himself, for days insisted that the murder of the American ambassador to Libya was a spontaneous act of a crowd that got out of control, enraged by the release of an anti-Islamic video trailer posted by an illiberal private American resident. We were to believe that the fault was not millions of medieval Islamists abroad who hate the West, but one Coptic American at home who had crude taste and ill intent.
U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney both insisted that the killings of our people in Libya had nothing to do with anti-Americanism, much less anger at or disdain for the White House or administration policy -- leaving their audiences wondering at what point in the future they would simply retract or ignore all the untrue things they were now asserting.
Of course, no one believed that narrative -- not when the video had been in the public domain for months without incident (is there even a film that follows the trailer?), not when some diplomatic personnel in the Middle East had been put on higher alert in response to Islamist promises of violence, not when it was the iconic eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 killings, not when "protesters" brought in heavy weaponry to assault our facilities, not when there was a long history of radical Islamists using trivial affronts -- from Danish cartoons to papal communiqués -- as catalysts for preplanned violence.
So why those unusual efforts to downplay the circumstances around the gruesome death of an American ambassador?
The murdering of Americans in Libya is, embarrassingly so, the logical fruition of a failed -- and increasingly dangerous -- foreign policy in the Middle East. We missed out on siding with the Iranians who went out in the streets in 2009 to protest their country's theocracy. Instead President Obama warned us about our own past culpable interference in the internal affairs of Iran. But note that Iranian reformers were far more likely to oppose fundamentalist, anti-American theocrats than were the more favored protesters in Egypt two years later. There is now no real obstacle to Iran's acquisition of the bomb, and administration surrogates in the media instead talk of containment, as if Iran were a Pakistan with an archenemy, 1 billion--strong nuclear India next door.
Our loud announcements of withdrawal from Afghanistan have left us unable even to accompany the allied Afghan army on patrol. We just suffered our worst loss in planes since Vietnam, without press attention or a comment from the commander-in-chief. Few believe that the Taliban will not be in power in 2014. Iraq was once secure and open to discussions over a vestigial American base; now snubbed, it is left intriguing with Iran, the assumed regional hegemon.
The Obama administration was confused about the Egyptian revolution -- mum on the old allied authoritarian Hosni Mubarak until it was clear that he would lose power, then rushing in to embrace the dissidents, then declaring the Muslim Brotherhood to be "secular," when it was clear that the Google crowd would not assume power, as if Cairo was supposed to have been a pre--Palo Alto. Now Morsi, the former Egyptian dissident, who found freedom, employment, and security only in America, lectures us on what we must do to win his friendship, and the conditions under which he is willing to accept nearly $2 billion in American aid.
No one knows what we were doing in Libya -- either strategically or tactically -- other than offering up the cute phrase "leading from behind," which was supposed to denote a new hybrid soft/hard-power protocol. Apparently when the crowds appeared to go 51 percent against Qaddafi, the new monster -- thought to be in rehabilitation -- became once more the old monster worthy of being bombed.
Syria's Bashar al-Assad went from being a "reformer," to a thug who had to go, to someone better left out of sight, out of mind. The more the administration declares our relationship with Israel unchanged, the more we know it has deteriorated to the lowest point in the history of the Jewish state -- largely because Benjamin Netanyahu has been demonized as a right-wing trouble-maker who on any given day might do something to embarrass the Obama administration in the Arab world during the election campaign. If only he were as smarmy as David Letterman or Whoopi Goldberg, he might have earned an audience with the president.
n short, there is no good or bad administration policy -- but rather no policy at all other than braggadocio about the killing of Osama bin Laden and Moammar Qaddafi and Predator score cards.
The murder of Ambassador Stevens may well have been the most horrific killing in our nation's diplomatic history. The administration's original narrative -- that the ambassador got separated from his security detail, suffocated amid the smoke, and was found unconscious by well-meaning Libyans who, in concern, rushed him to the hospital -- cannot be true. Some disturbing rumors and evidence later emerged to the effect that Stevens may have had no real security detail to speak of, but was helped only by the brave ad hoc service of some private security contractors, who gave their lives to save an American diplomat without military support. More disturbing even than the absence of adequate military security was the likelihood that Stevens was attacked viciously by the mob, perhaps sexually brutalized by it, and then taunted by his killers, before being dumped in the street. In the long history of attacks on our embassies, I cannot think of a comparable instance where an ambassador was caught alone, mobbed, tortured, and photographed in extremis -- or where an administration was so averse to disclosing any details of his demise.
Obama genuinely seems to believe that he, his administration, our present foreign policy, and America 2012 are somehow not the real objects of hate of the Arab Street mobs. That disconnect was also the theme of his mythmaking in Cairo, of his al-Arabiya interview, and of his apologetic commentary to the French and the Turks: A pre-Obama America was hubristic, insensitive, and culpable for damaged bilateral relations and would be acknowledged as such by an Obama America.
When Daniel Ortega enumerated the crimes of the United States in the presence of the president, Barack Obama did not defend his country, but simply shrugged, "I'm grateful that President Ortega did not blame me for things that happened when I was three months old." In other words, Obama felt that while his country may not have been innocent, he, a mere toddler at the time, most certainly was -- and that he is innocent now as well.
In the context of the Middle East, Obama is thus naturally confused by the violence. He had assumed the Islamic mobs realize that America changed after 2008. So while Muslim complaints against the United States certainly had some validity at one time, such writs can no longer be valid after Obama assumed the presidency. The Arab Street could not possibly be angry at Barack Obama, the Nobel laureate and sympathetic supporter of Arab Muslims. The murdering must be an artifact, a fluke brought on by some right-wing, provocative American zealot, whose constitutionally protected rights to obnoxious free expression are overshadowed by the damage he has done in giving millions the impression that a reset America of 2012 still bears some resemblance to the America of 1776 to 2008.
We can see this disconnect in both the serious and the trivial: from Obama's use of the adjective "natural" to describe unhinged mobs attacking U.S. properties over a video trailer, to his new personalized campaign version of the American flag. In that sense, one cannot entirely damn Mr. Morsi as he lectures America on its shortcomings -- given that much of his complaint merely follows up on Obama's own. Thus he may feel that he is ingratiating himself with the administration by channeling the Cairo speech.
If Obama were a conservative Republican, a George W. Bush for example, the media narrative of Libyagate would be one of an asleep, incompetent president, lieutenants who were brazenly mendacious, an incompetent secretary of state, and an administration conspiracy of silence -- juxtaposed with a wider story of a disastrous retreat from Afghanistan, an abandonment of any influence in Iraq, a refusal to recognize the situation in Syria and Egypt -- and impotence as a war looms between Iran and Israel.
Will we ever know the circumstances that led to the murder of Ambassador Stevens? Only when government auditors and inquirers feel free to find and disclose the truth, which probably means sometime after the Obama administration is well out of office.
There is now no real obstacle to Iran's acquisition of the bomb, and administration surrogates in the media instead talk of containment, as if Iran were a Pakistan with an archenemy, 1 billion--strong nuclear India next door.
IIRC, Pakistain got the bomb on Bill Clinton's watch. Slick Willy must have been very, very busy with something (or someone) to let that one get past him.
U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney both insisted that the killings of our people in Libya had nothing to do with anti-Americanism, much less anger at or disdain for the White House or administration policy
The insistence was actually on "the government is not responsible"; the 'government' being the current regime.
To paraph FOX NEWS' CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER > it appears that POTUS Bammer's campaign strategy going into the November 2012 Elex is to gener IGNORE ANY AND ALL DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN POLICY PROBS UNTIL AFTER HE WINS RE-ELECTION???
* VARIOUS BLOGGERS-POSTERS = collectively, argue or infer that every day that POTUS Obama ignores a major prob(s) due to 2012 [re-]electioneering is ANOTHER DAY THAT IRAN + RISING CHINA + RADICAL ISLAMIST JIHADISTS HAVE TO GET MILPOL STRONGER VEE THE US???
1. Anyone responsible for three hundred years of slavery would have to be a lot older than you and me.
2. There has to be some genetics in "racism's" DNA, some DNA in its gene pool, or it just isn't racism.
3. Racism could be eliminated in the United States if we could just eliminate the white liberals who so plainly depend on it so much and do so much to keep it going.
4. Reality isn't racist: The reality is that there are pond-scummy gallows bait in every group. Some of those will be more of a problem to their own group than to you (see Rule 14, below). Some will be more of a problem to you precisely because you're not a member of their group. It is wise, not racist, to avoid the latter. In Boston, this may be referred to as the "Evelyn Wagler-George Pratt Rule," and that's not code. Odd exception to half of Rule 4: Jesse Jackson would much rather be followed by a white on the streets of DC, at night, than a black.
5. There have been two instances in recent history where the concept of "honorary white" held sway. One was in apartheid South Africa where, for example, Japanese were considered "honorary white." The other was when, in relation to the Trayvon Martin shooting, the American mainstream media made Hispanic George Zimmerman an "honorary white." This is not entirely coincidence since (see Rule 18) the very liberal American media is as racist in their way as ever the Afrikaner Broederbond was in its.
6. Nobody really thinks whites are as evil as portrayed by white liberals and black demagogues. If they really thought so, they'd be too afraid to ever leave the house, since a) there are a lot more whites, b) those whites are much better armed, c) they're more likely to be veterans of the Army's and Marine Corps' ground gaining combat arms, and d) they have an historically demonstrated cultural aptitude for mass, organized violence.
7. People who insist you're speaking in code insist on it because they believe it's true. They believe it's true because they really do speak in code and can't imagine anyone who does not speak in code. It's not racist to think those people are idiots, nor to note that they're mostly white. (Exception to rule: When conservatives talk about guns and zombies? Especially in terms of using the former to kill the latter? Yeah; "zombie" is code for "liberals of any color." See Rule 6, above.)
8. It's not racist to note that white liberalism managed to do in about thirty years something that three hundred years of slavery could not, seriously damage the black family, generally though not universally, and ruin it completely over wide swaths.
9. Speaking of slavery, the bulk of slave raiding and trading in Africa was black, usually Islamic black (see Rule 16, below) on black. The Arabic word for black and slave is the same, "Abd." And the first registered slave owner in Virginia was black. Pointing this out to liberals, white and black, is always fun.
10. It's not racist to wish that our first black president had been Thomas Sowell.
11. The "Some of my best friends" defense against a charge of racism is no defense...unless it happens to be true. Sometimes it's best expressed to a white liberal as, "You don't have so much as a freaking day in uniform, do you, dipshit?"
12. The system of education that white liberals have inflicted on inner city blacks is a crime against humanity. No amount of money that they toss at it helps to overcome the elimination of discipline liberalism has caused. It's neither racist to note this...nor wrong.
13. The various college and university minority "studies" programs, because they give a useless pseudo-education, and at very high cost in both money and time, are racist in their effects.
14. Most black crime is black on black crime. It is racist in its effects to deprive the black community of the social good that comes from executing black criminals that prey on other blacks.
15. It takes a white liberal idiot (Lord, forgive us our redundancies) not to understand the difference between casual sex with a member of another race and marrying and investing one's entire reproductive effort in a member of another race. See, e.g., http://www.tomkratman.com/yoli.html. Dipshits.
16. Islam is not a race. Detesting Islam is not racist. There is nothing in Islam which genetically compels either slightly tanned Palestinians or totally white English reverts to pray toward Mecca five times daily, to self-detonate in crowded squares and movie theaters, to find offense in just about everything, nor even to clitorectomize their women. Flash alert: Lysenko was wrong. Dipshits.
17. When a liberal accuses you of racism, rejoice; it means the dipshit knows he or she is losing.
18. The worst racists are liberals, mostly white ones, who assume that blacks and hispanics are so inferior that only affirmative action in perpetuity would give them a remotely fair chance. (That this also keeps a lot of liberal white social workers and bureaucrats employed is, of course, merely incidental. Ahem. Dipshits.)
19. There was a conservative argument for a kind of affirmative action. Unfortunately, all the money's already been spent on employing white liberal social workers and bureaucrats, and we're broke now, so that ship has sailed. Again, blame dipshit white liberals.
20. Screaming "Racism! Raaaacissssm!" on the part of a white liberal, when the matter in question has no DNA in its gene pool, no genetics in its DNA (see Rule 2, above), is the surest proof that said white liberal is genetically defective. And a dipshit. And it's not racist to point this out.
Screaming "Racism! Raaaacissssm!" is a desperate punching of buttons to activate a root kit virus installed in one's mind by liberal educators. Do your introspection and your determination that what you don't like about Obama is his policies and his selective disregard for selected citizen's selected rights, not his skin color, in private, so when they punch that button, you don't auto-introspect like the rational being you are and they are not.
[Dawn] IN a more stable and mature polity, the explicit incitement to murder by the ANP Minister for Railways Ghulam Ahmad Bilour would have been met with his immediate suspension from politics and the opening of a police investigation to determine what crime he should be charged with. But in the warped and fearful Pakistain of today, the official reaction was characteristically and depressingly spineless. The prime minister has only distanced himself from his minister's remarks and offered to discuss it with the ANP boss, Asfandyar Wali -- while leaving Mr Bilour in his job. And the ANP has only said that Mr Bilour was speaking in his personal capacity and the party does not endorse his demand. Gone is the idea of collective responsibility, of the cabinet and of a political party.
Strip away the theatrics, and the reality is even more frightening. Mr Bilour said what he did precisely because he knew he could get away with it. No one will dare prosecute a man calling for the murder of an individual who has committed blasphemy against Islam -- though it is unlikely that the railways minister even really knows whose murder he has specifically called for. And Mr Bilour said what he did because he understands better than most that the ANP is headed into an election campaign after a disastrous term in charge of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa ... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central... government and with fierce competition expected from the political right in the province in the shape of the religious parties and PTI. So what better way to establish the ANP's religious credentials in an unfavourable electoral climate?
Therein lies the great tragedy of Pakistain. Moderate politicians have long argued that they are helpless in the face of a rising tide of conservatism and extremism in society on the lam. But the ugly truth is that all politicians -- even the so-called moderates -- are more than willing to pander to extremism if it means a few extra votes or political survival. To refer to the Taliban and Al Qaeda as 'brothers', as Mr Bilour did in calling on anyone to kill the producer of the hate film, Innocence of Mohammedans, is to desecrate the memory of the thousands who have died, many of them belonging to Mr Bilour's ANP, at the hands of the Taliban and Al Qaeda. If there is speech that should be criminalised in Pakistain, it is speech enabling and strengthening the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Of course, it won't happen because political survival is more important to a politician than national survival.
DEBKA, salt to taste. It's almost as if someone has a master plan...
Jordans Muslim Brotherhood has given King Abdullah II notice that he has until October to bow to their demand to transform the Hashemite Kingdom into a constitutional monarchy or face Arab Spring street pressure for his abdication.
debkafile's Middle East sources report that Israeli and Saudi intelligence watchers are becoming increasingly concerned about the approaching climax of the conflict in Amman between Islamists and the throne .
For Israel, an upheaval in Jordan bodes the tightening of the Islamist noose around its borders -- Egypt and Libya to the south and Syria to the north, with unpredictable consequences with regard to Jordan's Palestinian population. Saudi Arabia, already threatened by Iranian aggression, fears the oil kingdom may be next in line if its northern neighbor is crushed under the marching feet of the "Arab Spring."
The oil kingdom's royal rulers are reported to have belatedly woken up to the peril and are in a panic. They realize that their preoccupation with helping Syrian rebels overthrow Bashar Assad misdirected their attention from the enemies lurking at their own door. Thousands of articles in the Arab press in the past year have predicted that after the Muslim Brotherhood seizes power in Damascus, Amman would be next in its sights followed by Riyadh.
The latest DEBKA-Net-Weekly of Sept. 21 analyzed the plight closing in on the Jordanian monarch and outlined three of his options:
1. He could bow to the main Muslim Brotherhood's demand by submitting to the kingdom's transition to a constitutional monarchy and the transfer of executive power to an MB-led government by means of the electoral reforms for which the Brothers have been pushing for years. In Jordan as in Egypt, the Brothers hope for a two-third majority in a free election.
2. He could stand up to the Brotherhood's demands and order his security, intelligence and military forces to crack down on the opposition. This course carries the risk of plunging Jordan into the carnage of civil war among the diverse segments of the population. The biggest dangers come from the Bedouin tribes, whose traditional allegiance to the Hashemite throne has weakened in recent years, and the Palestinians who form 60 percent of the population.
3. He could seek to negotiate a compromise through various brokers. Our sources report that several attempts at mediation have been ventured of late, but got nowhere because the Muslim Brotherhood sent its most radical leaders to the table and they left very little margin for compromise.
DEBKA seems to have some very good sources and gets a significant amount of stuff right, and right very early on. On the other hand, they also get a lot wrong - possibly some of which would have been right if left alone in the dark.
True. Debka is a piece of work. Some items are spot on - and this particular one is food for thought. But Debka is also used for disinformation purposes by the military authorities in Israel. So you just have to look at each story they print and judge them individually for their merits.
Ohhh and by the way - a follow-up to a side discussion I had with Besoeker. Last week Debka reported the mobilization of a large number of Israeli reservists who were deployed to N. Israel and the Golan Heights. Supposedly it was an "exercise". This Debka news report was correct, by the way.
Well, guess what. Just as we speculated on Rantburg at the time - the reservists were NOT sent back home this week. The exercise is over, but the reserves are still there. So Israel has permanently reinforced all its northern borders. In preparation for SOMETHING.
Posted by: Barbara ||
KIng Abdullah just unplugged his red phone.
Posted by: jack salami ||
Raider, it's an interesting point. Makes me wonder if part of the reason why Egypt is getting frisky in the Sinai is to try and draw some of the Israeli forces out of the north. Mursi and Short Round had to be talking about something last week...
Posted by: Steve White ||
Who did cut that deal in the 90's with those cut throats anyways? 1993 wtc clinton then 911 muslim egypt etc etc! Ya know that nasty thing well you know!
The Islamists want this whole area to go back to the 7th Century. Well, that is what they want, and probably that is what the people there will get if they do not stand up to the Islamists.
Israel is coming up to its existential moment. There is no more breathing room in the 'hood.
Posted by: Alaska Paul ||
D *** NG IT, NO DISSING OF AC/DC ALLOWED!
Is the US-NATO/EU + Israel missing Uncle Muammar + Mubarak now - the threat of losing another one to the "Arab/Muslim/Islamic Spring" + being surrounded like Custer by anti-Israeli, anti-US-West, pro-Sharia Islamist Nuke-wannabes, NOT COUNTING IRAN, may induce Israel to do everything it can to save Baby Assad oer in Syruh???
The Muzzie BruderBund seems to be on a roll lately, taking advantage of some pent-up forces. My question is what happens on the day after?
Imagine a vast swath of fundie BruderBundness throughout the ME. Now what? The same problems are still there: everyone is young, poor and uneducated (and I would argue, stupid - they are infected with a cultural meme that seems to be a marker for developmental backwardness) There are no jobs and no food. And no prospects. Now what, Mossie Bruders?