ZOIDBERG's blog

Obama's Summer of Discontent by Fouad Ajami

OPINION
AUGUST 24, 2009, 11:20 P.M. ET

Obama's Summer of Discontent
The politics of charisma is so Third World. Americans were never going to buy into it for long.

By FOUAD AJAMI

So we are to have a French health-care system without a French tradition of political protest. It is odd that American liberalism, in a veritable state of insurrection during the Bush presidency, now seeks political quiescence. These "townhallers" who have come forth to challenge ObamaCare have been labeled "evil-mongers" (Harry Reid), "un-American" (Nancy Pelosi), agitators and rowdies and worse.

A political class, and a media elite, that glamorized the protest against the Iraq war, that branded the Bush presidency as a reign of usurpation, now wishes to be done with the tumult of political debate. President Barack Obama himself, the community organizer par excellence, is full of lament that the "loudest voices" are running away with the national debate. Liberalism in righteous opposition, liberalism in power: The rules have changed.

The End of the World as We Know It By Mark Steyn

April 25, 2009, 7:00 a.m.

The End of the World as We Know It
Welcome to the “post-American era.”

By Mark Steyn

According to an Earth Day survey, one third of schoolchildren between the ages of six and eleven think the earth will have been destroyed by the time they grow up. That’s great news, isn’t it? Not for the earth, I mean, but for “environmental awareness.” Congratulations to Al Gore, the Sierra Club, and the eco-propagandists of the public-education system in doing such a terrific job of traumatizing America’s moppets. Traditionally, most of the folks you see wandering the streets proclaiming the end of the world is nigh tend to be getting up there in years. It’s quite something to have persuaded millions of first-graders that their best days are behind them.

Obama's Intelligence Choice By Gabriel Schoenfeld

Obama's Intelligence Choice
The president picks a China apologist and Israel basher to write his intelligence summaries.

By GABRIEL SCHOENFELD

During the presidential campaign, a constant refrain of Barack Obama and other Democratic candidates was that the Bush administration had severely politicized intelligence, resulting in such disasters as the war in Iraq.

The irony of course is that, if anything, President Bush badly failed at depoliticizing a CIA that was often hostile to his agenda. Witness the repeated leaks of classified information that undercut his policies. It now appears Mr. Obama has appointed a highly controversial figure to head the National Intelligence Council, which is responsible for producing National Intelligence Estimates. The news Web site Politico.com yesterday reported that it could confirm rumors that a former Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Charles "Chas" Freeman Jr., has been appointed chairman. (My calls to the White House and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence produced neither confirmation nor denial.)

Obama Naïveté at the U.N. By Anne Bayefsky


Obama Naïveté at the U.N.
By Anne Bayefsky

In a major foreign-policy decision taken over the weekend, President Obama has decided to legitimize the United Nations’s “anti-racism” forum known as Durban II. State Department officials announced in a press release buried on Saturday, that starting today the United States will attend for the first time the preparatory meetings of this controversial U.N. conference. The “Durban Review Conference,” scheduled for April in Geneva, is the progenitor of the anti-semitic hatefest that took place in South Africa in early September 2001.

The searing images of the demonization of America and Jews on the U.N.’s global stage, and the terrorism in New York 72 hours later, should have made joining this revived forum for U.N.-driven hate inconceivable. But President Obama seems intent on learning the lessons of history — and the relationship between hatemongering and violence — the hard way.

Benedict's tragedy, and Israel's by Spengler

Benedict's tragedy, and Israel's
By Spengler

World history is the history of Israel, argued the great German-Jewish theologian Franz Rosenzweig - not the tiny Jewish nation as such, but the Jewish idea, embraced by billions in the form of Christianity, or parodied and rejected by additional billions in Islam. The trouble is that no one wants to actually be Israel, least of all the Jews, who recite with fervor the prayer of Sholom Aleichem's Tevye: "God of mercy, choose a different people!" Jealousy at Israel's Election has provoked the persecution of the Jews for millennia, and it is not surprising that many Jews look for safety in insignificance.

Like many Jewish prayers, Tevye's prayer to be un-chosen also has become popular among some Catholics. The Catholic Church holds itself to be Israel, the People of God descended from Abraham in the Spirit. But many Catholics, including some in leading positions in the Roman Curia, think it an affront to the sensibilities of other cultures to insist on the unique role of the Church. At the other extreme , misnamed traditionalists do not think that the mustard-seed of faith is sufficient, and that the Church cannot fulfill its function without returning to the bygone days of state religion. Pope Benedict XVI, like his predecessor John Paul II, has fought manfully against these prospective deserters within his ranks. The tawdry burlesque over the case of the paranoid Jew-hater and Holocaust denier Richard Williamson is a sad gauge of his degree of success.

Obama has begun discreet talks with Iran, Syria


Obama has begun discreet talks with Iran, Syria

AFP Jan 31 10:59 PM US/Eastern

US President Barack Obama has already used experts within the last few months to hold high-level but discreet talks with both Iran and Syria, organizers of the meetings told AFP.

Officially, Obama's overtures toward both Tehran and Damascus have remained limited.

In an interview broadcast Monday, Obama said the United States would offer arch-foe Iran an extended hand of diplomacy if the Islamic Republic's leaders "unclenched their fist."

Eradicating the 'Little Satan' By Ze'ev Maghen


Eradicating the 'Little Satan'
The West should take Iran's threats to Israel seriously.

By ZE'EV MAGHEN

The accession of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the presidency of the Islamic Republic of Iran has been accompanied by a sharp transformation in the Iranian attitude to, and depiction of, the state of Israel. This change includes not only an amplification of the traditional hostility toward the Jewish polity, but also—most ominously—a new conception of that polity as weak and unstable, an easy target for a united Muslim (or united Shiite) offensive.

Israel, Iran and the Bomb By John R. Bolton

The Wall Street Journal

OPINION

Israel, Iran and the Bomb
By JOHN R. BOLTON
July 15, 2008; Page A19

Iran's test salvo of ballistic missiles last week together with recent threatening rhetoric by commanders of the Islamic Republic's Revolutionary Guards emphasizes how close the Middle East is to a fundamental, in fact an irreversible, turning point.

Tehran's efforts to intimidate the United States and Israel from using military force against its nuclear program, combined with yet another diplomatic charm offensive with the Europeans, are two sides of the same policy coin. The regime is buying the short additional period of time it needs to produce deliverable nuclear weapons, the strategic objective it has been pursuing clandestinely for 20 years.

America's special grace By Spengler

Jul 8, 2008

America's special grace
By Spengler

To ascribe a special grace to America is outrageous, as outrageous
as the idea of special grace itself. Why shouldn't everyone be
saved? Why aren't all individuals, nations, peoples and cultures
equally deserving? History seems awfully unfair: half or more of
the world's 7,000 or so languages will be lost by 2100, linguists
warn, and at present fertility rates Italian, German, Ukrainian,
Hungarian and a dozen other major languages will die a century or
so later. The agony of dying nations rises in reproach to
America's unheeding prosperity.

Israel Is Paying For Its Defeat By Jeff Jacoby

ISRAEL IS PAYING FOR ITS DEFEAT

By Jeff Jacoby

The Boston Globe

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

It was two years ago this month that Israel and Hezbollah went to war.

On July 12, 2006, Hezbollah, an Iranian-sponsored and Syrian-backed political and terrorist organization, staged an unprovoked raid across the Lebanon-Israel border, killing three Israelis and kidnapping two others, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser. The war that ensued -- a war for which Hezbollah had openly prepared for six years, constructing fortified bunkers and amassing thousands of Katyusha artillery rockets along the border -- was a disaster for Israel. The fighting lasted for 33 bloody days, during which Israel achieved none of its key objectives: It didn't destroy Hezbollah, it didn't stop the barrage of rockets slamming into its northern cities, and it didn't rescue its kidnapped soldiers.

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