Last year I noted a plan being advanced for 24/7 cameras at the Temple Mount in order to substantiate Palestinian claims of Israel violating agreements concerning it which the Jordanians, John Kerry and the Israelis agreed.

However for some reason our peaceful Palestinian who have been accusing Israel of misdeeds objected even though such cameras would allow any Jews violating said agreements to be caught in the act.

Of course the question was exactly who would be caught in what acts?

Another reason the Palestinians are opposed to King Abdullah’s idea is their fear that the cameras would expose that Palestinians have been smuggling stones, firebombs and pipe bombs into Al-Aqsa Mosque for the past two years. These are scenes at the PA, Hamas and the Islamic Movement do not want the world to see: they show who is really “contaminating” the Haram al-Sharif. Needless to say, no Jewish visitors have thus far been caught trying to smuggle such weapons into the holy site.

Well five months later the final verdict is in:

Following fierce palestinian protests and threats, Jordan said on Monday that it has abandoned its plan to install security cameras on the Temple Mount.

The decision was announced by Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour.

The security cameras were supposed to be installed on the Temple Mount in accordance with an agreement reached late last year between Israel and Jordan under the auspices of US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Apparently the Palestinians were so opposed to cameras recording all the evil actions of Israelis and the peaceful non threatening nature of Palestinian actions at the temple mount that they distributed leaflets urging Palestinians to break the cameras if installed.

One might be shocked at the lack of transparency on the part of the Palestinians, of course that’s because I find their actions transparent in the extreme.

For almost my entire life I’ve been hearing that all it takes is some concessions from Israel and you will have peace in the middle east.

There is however a poll at Israel National News that suggests otherwise:

A new public opinion poll among the Arab residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza found that an overwhelming majority supports continuing the ongoing terror wave to the bitter end.

The poll was conducted by the Watan Research Center between November 14-21 and included 1,167 Arab respondents.

A full 72% said they support continuing the “Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Intifada,” as it has been termed, until it achieves its “goals,” which they were later asked to define.

That refers to the series of fatal attacks on Jews that has been going on for the last two months.

At Elder of Ziyon Mike Lumish puts it in perspective


This is to say that 72 percent of Arabs who live within the Land of Israel believe that they have a religious-political imperative to send their kids into the streets with kitchen knives for the Allah-inspired purpose of murdering random Jews.
It does not matter the age of those Jews; a woman in her 80s, a child in her crib, it does not matter. Nor does it matter the personal beliefs of those Jews. All that matters is that, if you are to kill them – and you are, young Achmud – that they be Jewish.

 

Maybe it’s just me but I’d say it’s pretty had to make peace with people when the vast majority of them want you dead and are willing to sacrifice their kids to do it.

 

Another way of gaining perspective on this 72% figure is to understand that it also means that 72% of Arabs within Israel yearn for the genocide of the Jews. It can mean nothing else. If you believe that Allah wants you to send your children into the streets for the purpose of killing Jews then, ipso facto, you favor the genocide of the Jews.

There is no way to escape from that conclusion, now, is there?

 

Well that doesn’t mean that our friends on the left won’t try.

Why Israel doesn’t act accordingly frankly is beyond me, given the situation with ISIS there is never going to be a time where they can do more with less pushback from the west.

George Washington McLintock: Now Katherine, are you going to believe what you see, or what I tell you?

McLintock! 1963

Given all the tension in the Palestinian areas after rumors that Israel was violating agreements concerning the Temple mount spread among Palestinians the Jordanians advanced a plan to stop the trouble, cameras!:

The proposal for the surveillance cameras was initiated by Jordan’s King Abdullah. Although his father, the late King Hussein, had waived Jordan’s claim on the West Bank in favor of Palestinian sovereignty in the area, Jordan retained custodianship over the Temple Mount, third holiest site in Islam. As such, it has a direct interest in the current flare-up.

Secretary of State John Kerry loved the idea and ran with it

Secretary of State John Kerry applauded Abdullah’s proposal as “an excellent suggestion” and brokered an agreement between the king and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Such surveillance, said Kerry, “could really be a game-changer in discouraging anybody from disturbing the sanctity” of the Mount.

And despite the Obama administration’s reputation vis-a-vis Israel Netanyahu sold the idea to his cabinet

Netanyahu told his Cabinet Sunday that Israel had an interest in the installation of video cameras on the Temple Mount to demonstrate that Israel was not deviating from the status quo that permitted non-Muslims, including Israeli Jews, to visit the holy site at pre-determined hours but not to pray there.

Sounds like a great idea, if you have cameras install then if Israel is doing anything wrong it will be seen.  It’s like a body cam on a policeman, if Israel was doing what the Palestinians say, they’d be caught in the act!

There’s just one problem. While Israel has no problem with the world seeing first hand what they’re actually doing the Palestinians aren’t so keen on the idea:

Hamas and other radical Palestinian groups rejected the agreement, which calls for installing 24-hour surveillance cameras at the Temple Mount, holy to Muslims as the site of al-Aksa Mosque and the golden Dome of the Rock.

In statements issued from the Gaza Strip, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other groups called for escalating attacks on Israel, alleging that Kerry’s efforts were designed to “thwart the Intifada.”

They have a point there, after all if the video shows that Israel isn’t doing what the palestinians claim, entering the Mosque, preventing muslims from praying etc they are the it’s going to be hard to persuade people to go around stabbing jews in retaliation isn’t it? But it seems our Palestinian friends hesitation over cameras isn’t just about what we won’t see:

In an attempt to prevent Jews from entering the approximately 37-acre (150,000 m2) site, the Palestinian Authority and the Islamic Movement in Israel hired scores of Muslim men and women to harass the Jewish visitors and the police officers escorting them. The men are referred to as Murabitoun, while the women are called Murabitat (defenders or guardians of the faith).

What you haven’t heard of this? Perhaps because the west hasn’t bothered to cover it?

The installation of surveillance cameras at the site will expose the aggressive behavior of the Murabitoun and Murabitat, and show the world who is really “desecrating” the Islamic holy sites and turning them into a base for assaulting and abusing Jewish visitors and policemen.

Hmmm so if there were cameras at the temple mount there might be newsworthy video available to the press of arabs harassing jews and that’s not all they might find newsworthy either:

Another reason the Palestinians are opposed to King Abdullah’s idea is their fear that the cameras would expose that Palestinians have been smuggling stones, firebombs and pipe bombs into Al-Aqsa Mosque for the past two years. These are scenes at the PA, Hamas and the Islamic Movement do not want the world to see: they show who is really “contaminating” the Haram al-Sharif. Needless to say, no Jewish visitors have thus far been caught trying to smuggle such weapons into the holy site.

Yeah the whole idea of “Jews desecrating a holy site” argument might be tough for the BDS movement if there are real time images of muslims brings bombs into the Mosque.

Jordan as you might guess isn’t thrilled with the PA over this:

The Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad quoted Jordanian politicians as denouncing Malki’s remarks as “inappropriate and unfair.” They said that the PA leadership should have relayed its position on the cameras directly to the Jordanian government instead of making such “inflammatory” public remarks.

Adnan Abu Odeh, a veteran Jordanian politician and former advisor to both King Abdullah and King Hussein, said he did not believe that the cameras would serve Israel’s interests, as the PA claims. “The cameras will document everything, including those who want to assault Palestinians or Israelis,” he said. “The cameras will document anyone who caries out an assault or Jews who want to pray there.”

Abu Odeh dismissed Malki’s remarks as “provocative, tasteless and inappropriate.” He said that it was in the interest of the Palestinians to have cameras at the Temple Mount.

But the Palestinians are having none of it

Many Palestinians, however, were not enthusiastic about the security camera idea, a move that Israeli police have sought for years. “It is an additional trap to arrest Palestinians on charges of incitement,” Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad Malki said.

I don’t see how it can be a trap. After all the Palestinians have insisted that they haven’t been inciting anybody or smuggling weapons or doing anything nasty, if they’re telling the truth how could film backing them up be a trap? That would be like a police office arguing that dash cameras and body cams were all about framing him for something he hasn’t done.

You’d think they were trying to hide what’s actually going on or something?   Or as Bibi put it:

it would show where the provocations are really coming from.

Closing thought expressed via twitter:

I suspect there is plenty of BDS & Black Lives Matter crossover, would you buy that line from a cop?

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Anan 7: You realise what you have done?
Capt Kirk:Yes, I do. I’ve given you back the horrors of war. The Vendikans now assume that you’ve broken your agreement and that you’re preparing to wage real war with real weapons. They’ll want do the same. Only the next attack they launch will do a lot more than count up numbers in a computer. They’ll destroy cities, devastate your planet. You of course will want to retaliate. If I were you, I’d start making bombs. Yes, Councilman, you have a real war on your hands. You can either wage it with real weapons, or you might consider an alternative. Put an end to it. Make peace.

Star Trek A Taste of Armageddon 1967

In the final volume of Shelby Foote’s three volume series there is a very telling post war story.

aboard a Chesapeake bay steamer, not long after his surrender, the general [Joe Johnston] heard a fellow passenger insisting that the south had been “conquered but not subdued.”  Asked in what command he had served, the bellicose young man — one of those stalwarts later classified as “Invisible in wr and invincible in peace” —- replied that ,  unfortunately , circumstances ha made it impossible for him to be in the army .  ” Well sir, I was, Johnston told him.  “You may not be subdued, but I am.”

This illustrates a very important point, until the rise of Grant and Sherman an outnumbered south fought long and with some success against a better armed and supplied enemy.  It wasn’t until they faced Grant who was willing to keep going in the face of massive casualties and Sherman whose philosophy of combat was:

We can’t change the hearts of these people of the south but we can make war so terrible … [and] make them so sick of war that generations would pass away before they would again appeal to it.

that the south eventually fell, and even that took a full year of hard fighting.  But when it was done slavery was confined to the dustbin of American History, not because southern leaders like Alexander Stephens or Howell Cobb no longer believed in their right to hold slaves it but because the population that they persuaded to go to war to preserve it (and until you read the newspapers of the time please don’t start the “secession not slavery” argument)

And that brings us to the situation in Israel today:

For the last couple of weeks the citizen of the Jewish state have been regularly attacked by Palestinian who have deliberately targeted the population.  Israel’s ambassador to the UN put it very well:

Mr. President,
Over the course of the last month, 24 terror attacks have claimed the lives of 8 Israelis, and injured 70. 15 of them are still hospitalized. This tide of terror has washed over the entire nation and it spares no one: Young and old are being targeted every day.

Israelis do not feel safe walking down the street, they avoid taking the bus to work, and they fear for the lives of their children every time they walk out the door.

The root cause of this wave of terror is clear. It is inflammatory rhetoric and lies lit the fuse, and incitement that keeps feeding the flames.

The Israeli people have responded by arming themselves, the media  has responded with yet does of moral equivalency and in all the nonsense but within that noise is a hidden gem that Israel needs to take to heart:

But what does seem guaranteed is that most Palestinians will continue to believe that if the occupation is cost-free, there will be little incentive to end it.

While Nathan Thrall’s words have been correctly identified as BS there is a critical point that needs to be understood by Israel.

The Palestinian authority has absolutely no incentive to ease up on Israel.

They continue to receive funding, they continue to live easy and their leaders believe that thanks to western pressure they will remain untouched.

The history of the Arab wars against Israel has been a history of the west saving the arabs from destruction as Israel pounds them.  The only reason why Damascus is still in the hands of Syria and the Suez Canal is in the hands of Egypt is because outside pressure stopped it from happening.

But the dynamic today is different.

With the changing demographics and the dechristianization of the west, plus the sheer fear of the muslim populations within their borders the simple fact is that there is no action that the Palestinians can do that will draw the condemnation of the west.

Contrariwise  we have reached the point where if even shooting an active attacker by Israel is, in the eyes of any journalist not named Jake Tapper is an action to be condemned.

That changes the arithmetic for Israel much in the way Lincoln saw it.

After the disaster at Fredericksburg Lincoln commented if the battle was repeated everyday for a week with the same casualties the North would have a huge army and the southern army would be gone, as he put it:

No general yet found can face the arithmetic, but the end of the war will be at hand when he shall be discovered

Israel need to look at the arithmetic and simply say “enough” no more negotiation, no more fancy conferences, no more dinners.  Israel needs to annex the west bank, and give those living there a choice.  1.  become full citizens of Israel, 2.  sell their land to Israel and leave, or remain on a special lifetime visa which can be revoked if they aid or abet any terror activity.

The Palestinian “leadership” need to know that their meal ticket that is making them and their cronies rich is gone and the world needs to be presented with a fait accompli.

The Palestinians want war, give it to them.

The world will scream, the world will shout and there will be protests but the bottom line is the citizens of Israel will be safe in their own country.

This arithmetic has been true for a while but I suspect with this latest attack we’ve finally reached the point where Israel is finally ready to face the arithmetic.

and perhaps some day a arab student who has spent a lifetime in the west will be sitting next to Abbas on a plane and declare that the Palestinian will never be subdued and he will answer “You may not be subdued by I am.”

That should be Israel’s war aim.

Update: Case in Point via instapundit:

How does CNN report a near massacre of Israeli children? “Palestinians shot boarding kids’ bus”

While millions tune in to Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi testimony, CNN’s ticker continues to display the outrageous headline from earlier today where they reported on the Palestinian terrorists who tried to enter a children’s school bus to carry out a horrific terror attack this morning. The Palestinians were shot before carrying out the potential massacre – somewhat of a miracle in and of itself.

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Every now and then Amnesty International notices the things that some of us have been highlighting for a while:

A leading international watchdog on Wednesday accused the militant Hamas group of abducting, torturing and killing Palestinians during the war in the Gaza Strip last year, saying some of the actions amount to war crimes.
Amnesty International detailed the abuses in a report entitled “Strangling Necks’: Abduction, torture and summary killings of Palestinians by Hamas forces during the 2014 Gaza/Israel conflict.”
According to the London-based human rights group, some 23 Palestinians were shot and killed and dozens more were arrested and tortured by Hamas, which rules Gaza. The Palestinians targeted were either political rivals of Hamas, including members of the Fatah party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, or people the militant group had accused of cooperating with Israel, Amnesty said.

the report notes executions and beatings such as this:

While I was there Internal Security came to the house and knocked loudly at the door; a relative told them no one was home and the family was in Gaza City at their brother’s home. I went downstairs to see what was happening and two men took me into a Mitsubishi car. They said they were from Internal Security and I was wanted for questioning.

I sat in the back seat between two of them. They put a blindfold on me and a pistol to my head and told me not to raise my head. I don’t know where they took me; it seemed far away and they kept going around in circles with the car.

They asked if I knew why I had been taken. When I said I did not, they said, “Now you will find out”, and started
beating me. I was taken down steps to what seemed like a ground floor, where I was beaten for about half an hour while my hands were tied with rope. Someone else came and said I was to be brought upstairs, so I was taken to either the second or third floor, as we went up steps. Upstairs, I was hung by the legs and handcuffed and beaten.

Finally, someone said, “He does not want to confess, hang him up.” They hung my legs from the ceiling while I was handcuffed, then beaten with metal bars and pipes. I was accused of using and dealing the drug Tramal [a painkiller], and also of using and dealing in hashish and procuring women. I would not confess to any of the charges.

But while the report strongly and rightly hits Hamas, Amnesty being Amnesty reserves a strong critique of Israel in the 2nd & third paragraphs of the executive summary.

For a strange reason I suspect our friends in the press (you know the once who aren’t noticing the rockets being fired at Israel this week will be much more interested in reporting those paragraphs than the rest of the 40+ pages of the report, particularly since they need not fear for their physical safety for press attacks on Israel.

Elder of Ziyon sees Amnesty’s report as simply another means to make demands of Israel:

What does this have to do with the subject of the report?

Under the excuse of allowing any UN or international investigation into Hamas activity – investigations that simply will never happen – Amnesty is demanding that Israel open itself up to biased prosecutions, for example under the Rome Statute that includes text written specifically to damn Israel and no other country.

Amnesty isn’t interested in justice for Hamas. It wants to use Hamas as a fig-leaf to issue more ultimatums against Israel.

That sounds about right.

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Since the United States isn’t going to stop Iran it’s going to fall to Israel, but this is going to make things a tad harder:

President Vladimir Putin on Monday sanctioned the delivery of a highly capable Russian air defense missile system to Iran, a game changer move that would significantly bolster the Islamic republic’s military capability and fuel Israel’s concerns.

As the president’s attempt to arm Iran continues Israel’s options keep dwindling and this news isn’t going to help.

The question is this, if Israel can’t take out Iranian nukes with conventional weapons what are the odds that they risk angering a world that hates them anyway but using the Nuclear option?

Anyone who thinks backing the Jews into a corner is a good idea is a fool and anyone who think Israel is going to just let themselves be destroyed is even more of one.

Update:  I would have mentioned this Red Line being crossed

Russia’s announcement on Monday that it will proceed with the sale of advanced missile systems to Iran crosses a so-called “red line” established by the Obama administration in 2010, according to comments by senior administration officials.

But as nobody actually takes an Obama redline seriously I didn’t think it was newsworthy.

As you might have heard Egypt has decided to hit ISIS over the public murder of a bunch of its Christian citizens in addition to that strike there have been several developments:

On Monday, el-Sissi visited the main Coptic Cathedral of St. Mark in Cairo to offer his condolences on the Egyptians killed in Libya, according to state TV.

Combined with the his previous  visit with the Coptic pope which amazed Egyptian Christians and his blunt pronouncement that Islam must reform itself the government that overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood is taking unprecedented steps to recognize Egypt Christians as full members of the Egyptian community while pushing back against radical Islam.

That apparently hasn’t gone over well with some in the area:

Qatar recalled its ambassador to Egypt Thursday “for consultation” following a row over Cairo’s air strikes on jihadist targets in Libya, Qatari state media said.

A foreign ministry official said Doha was recalling its envoy over a statement made by Egypt’s delegate to the Arab League Tariq Adel, according to the QNA state news agency.

While there are attempts to minimize this Qatar relations are warming  with another key middle east nation

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman held talks in Riyadh Tuesday with Qatar’s emir, in what an analyst sees as part of a regional effort to strengthen ties against the Islamic State (IS) group.

Qatar’s Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani is the latest Gulf leader to visit Riyadh this week, after Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, the emir of Kuwait.

He and the Saudi monarch discussed the enhancement of their relations, as well as international developments, the official Saudi Press Agency said.

And it seems to be delighting some interesting folks:

The accession of King Salman in Saudi Arabia has caused glimmers of hope among Muslim Brotherhood exiles in Qatar that the Middle East’s political winds have started to shift in their favour, potentially giving the Islamist group more space to act.

King Salman is more sympathetic to religious conservatives than his predecessor Abdullah and is seen as less hostile to the group, but analysts and diplomats in Riyadh say any adjustment to Saudi policy towards the Brotherhood is likely to be minimal.

If we are seeing an actual divide among Arab nations between Islamists and non Islamists that could be huge for the region.

It will be interesting to see which side our administration decides to take.

There are a lot of people who have an interesting image in their minds of a religious conservative catholic who is a tea party person.

Such people would assume that I would strongly object if, for example an atheist gay couple who work at planned parenthood and owned the website Warren / Sharpton 2016 choose to buy a house in my neighborhood.

While I would likely think such people would be wrong on an incredible number of levels it goes without saying that they, like any other people, have the right to live wherever they damn well please and if I took any steps to prevent them from buying a house in my neighborhood not only would it be wrong but our friends on the left would likely excoriate me for such actions publicly, and rightly so.

And if such actions by an individual would be wrong it goes without saying that if my city, state or country choose to legislate restrictions on the ability of such people to buy a house in a neighborhood or of a person to sell to such people if they were able to meet the seller’s desired price would rightly draw outrage that would be likely be echoed across the various news networks.

Therefore I’m very curious of to see how long it takes for our friends on the left to express outrage over this:

Chairman Mahmoud Abbas published a decision on an amendment to the Jordanian penal law [still in effect in the PA] and on its previous amendments in the northern districts (i.e., the West Bank). In the new amendment, he instituted life imprisonment with forced labor for the clandestine transfer, leasing or selling of lands to a hostile country or its citizens. The previous penalty for the clandestine transfer of land was temporary forced labor.

So let me get this straight, the old lenient law stated that if a Palestinian choose to sell his house to a citizen of Israel (not the government mind you but any citizen of Israel) the punishment used to be forced labor now the penalty for selling property to a citizen of the Jewish state is life imprisonment.


The [Palestinian] Supreme Fatwa Council stressed in its meeting, chaired by the Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, the prohibition on selling lands and clandestinely transferring real estate property to enemies. This came following the occupation authorities’ and settlers’ takeover of several real estate properties in the area of Silwan [in Jerusalem]… The Council designated anyone selling Palestinian real estate to the enemy a traitor to Allah and His Messenger, as well as to his religion and homeland, and [decreed that] he is to be shunned by all Muslims.

This story predates the Paris shootings by several months, yet I’ve not seen a single person of the left denounce this as the evil that it is.

I wonder why?

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The Situation:  You are an Arab state that proclaims their support for Islam.  You have a group of jihadists called ISIS who are not only winning battles throughout Syria and Iraq inspiring your youth and emphasizing aspect of Islam that, while accurate, threaten your comfortable existence within your state?

Problem how you do keep your Islamic population for joining or supporting ISIS fighters who are proclaiming a version of Islam consistent with the Koran but inconsistent with your comfortable lifestyle?  Particularly when stuff like this doesn’t stop phase them:

today fleeing Kobane refugees, some of them teenagers, said they had witnessed beheadings and seen corpses with tongues and eyes cut out amid bloody fighting.

Father of four Amin Fajar said: “I have seen tens, maybe hundreds, of bodies with their heads cut off.

“Others with just their hands or legs missing.

“I have seen faces with their eyes or tongues cut out – I can never forget that as long as I live.

“They put their heads on display to scare us all.”

Easy, fall back on the favorite method of the Arab world, the Big Anti-Semitic lie:

In a recent Friday sermon in Kuwait, titled “The False War on ISIS,” Shiite Imam Saleh Jawhar said that ISIS sold thousands of women, girls, and children to the Jews in Israel. “Even if we accept everything else – what kind of religion allows the capturing of a Muslim woman, and on top of that, allows her to be sold to a Jew?!”

The video via Blazing Cat Fur is here

Remember there is no lie so big or so outrageous concerning Jews that it won’t be believed by arabs.  Furthermore there is no more effective way to produce anger and hatred toward a group among members of the “religion of peace” than to associate them with Jews.

 

Yesterday a unique event took place in the history of history. Pope Francis, Shimon Peres, Mahmoud Abbas and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew prayed together at the Vatican for peace.

The ceremony consisted of music & prayer, after a musical interlude we started with Jewish Prayer There were two readings from the Psalms and a third prayer that I did not know. After each prayer there was a musical interlude to allow reflection on the prayer.

This was followed by three Christian Prayers (the first being made by Patriarch Bartholomew) in the same pattern , prayer followed by a musical interlude and then finally Islamic Prayers each with a musical interlude in between.

When the prayers were completed Pope Francis spoke, followed by Shimon Peres and then finally Mahmoud Abbas. When each had finished their words and prayers for peace they embraced each other , planted an olive tree together and then the four of them formed a receiving line and each of them received the Jewish, Muslim and Christian (both Orthodox & Roman Catholic) guests.

There were several stories on the event up today, at Fox:

“In the Middle East, symbolic gestures and incremental steps are important,” noted the Rev. Thomas Reese, a veteran Vatican analyst for the National Catholic Reporter. “And who knows what conversations can occur behind closed doors in the Vatican.”

Reese wouldn’t be my first choice for a quote but that statement is very true.

Time:

it was Pope Francis who said, “To have peace, one needs courage, far more than you need for a war.” And it was the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople who read from Isaiah, “They shall not labor in vain, or bear children in calamity.” The black-clad Orthodox cleric Bartholomew I had prayed with Pope Francis in Jerusalem two weeks ago, where the Pontiff had come to celebrate the 50 years since a predecessor had formally ended 900 years of hostility between the two branches of the church. On Sunday, when the prayers ended, Francis pulled the onetime nemesis to his side for the group photo.There the two churchmen stood, one in white, the other in black, side by side between the Israeli and the Palestinian, showing it can be done.

Kudos for Time for noting the significance of Bartholomew’s presence and the Daily beast is reporting they are planning an event in 2025 for in Nicea that will be really significent.

BBC:

The Israeli president said: “It is within our power to bring peace to our children. This is our duty, the holy mission of parents.”“O Lord, bring comprehensive and just peace to our country and region so that our people and the peoples of the Middle East and the whole world would enjoy the fruit of peace, stability and coexistence,” Mr Abbas said.

The Washington Post:

During the service, Jewish, Christian and Muslim prayers were recited in English, Italian, Arabic and Hebrew. The words were intended to thank God for His creation, to seek forgiveness for the failure to act as brothers and sisters, and to ask for peace in the Holy Land.

The NYT

The ceremony was held in a garden behind St. Peter’s Basilica that is enclosed by a high hedge to provide a sense of intimacy, and that offers a spectacular view of the cupola of the basilica. It also was chosen as a place that seemed somewhat neutral in terms of religious iconography.

And CNN who quoted veteran Vatican reporter John Allen Jr.

“The metric that Pope Francis would be using to measure the success of this event is much longer term. I don’t think anyone is expecting an immediate result,” said CNN senior Vatican analyst John L. Allen Jr. “Now that said, you could also argue that the success of tonight could be measured by the simple fact that it happened.”

And their site had this clip

A fair amount of coverage, but if there is one complaint I would make it is this.

Why no live coverage from secular media, particularly from CNN?

The Event took place on Sunday, EWTN’s coverage started around noon EST and the meat & potatoes began 12:45 and ran two hours. I live tweeted the event from 12:47 PM till 2:39 PM ) I was frequently switching back and forth between EWTN & the cable news networks to see if any of it was carried live, not a sausage.

On a sunday afternoon I would think something like this would be newsworthy, Francis is a popular Pope & the Middle East conflict is something that always generates a debate.  Why stuck with bland sunday programing?

Well one might think that the people most interested were already turning to EWTN but I believe there is more to it.

I suspect this didn’t rate live coverage because it wasn’t exciting, there were no guns, no huge crowds, no shouting, or pointed questions just prayer in English, Arabic, Hebrew & Italian and a group of enemies together praising God together and invoking his name in the cause of peace.

And in our modern secularized America who wants to watch something like that live when there is nothing to spin?

 

O you of little faith,  why did you doubt?

Matthew 14:31b

Major Blass Vivar: There is only a small French Garrison in Torrecastro. The people of the town know the legend, secretly believe it. As soon as we raise the banner over the little chapel, the people will rise up against the French invader.

Lt. Sharpe:   Rise up? For a rag on a Pole? Are you mad Major?

Louisa: It’s a legend Mr. Sharpe the People believe in it

Shapre’s Rifles 1993

In her piece about the historic prayer service today that will be offered at the Vatican today with Pope Francis, Shimon Peres, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (along with late addition Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople ) Elizabeth Scalia notes the skepticism as the the utility of these prayers as a reflection of Christian skepticism with their own faith:

But we don’t really believe that, do we? Even as so many Christians pretend that “meh, he didn’t really mean what he said about marriage,” and divorce again and again, or “meh, he couldn’t possibly have meant what he said about his Flesh and Blood” and therefore dismiss the Eucharist, we don’t really believe that he was pitching blarney on something as basic to the life and practice of faith as the power of prayer, do we?

If so, what was the point of his teachings? Why bother with the whole bloody sacrifice and resurrection and all the subsequent martyrdoms and miracles, if Christ’s discourses were nothing but fillers for a bad spiritual salami, comprised of 90% faith by-products, and prayer had no truck with the Father?

That’s the question isn’t it? Do we say these words, to we talk a good game in public but when it comes down to it do we believe or do we not.

It’s easy to be skeptical, to look at the Pope and critique his declaration on the family and scoff at this effort that, as Elizabeth says affirms the common humanity of all the parties involved.

But it’s even easier to scoff at them coming together and calling on the one God for aid.

To the Christians, the Jew and the Muslim who all profess belief in God to deny the significance and the power of such prayer is to deny their own faith, to deny themselves.

To the skeptic, I leave this quote from the third Godfather Movie:

Michael Corleone: What is the point of confessing if I do not repent?

Cardinal Lamberto: I hear you are a practical man. What have you got to lose, eh?

Planting a seed does not produce an orchard the next day, but planting a seed is the first step to create one.

A seed will be planted today, how well it grows will depend on those who planted it, and the faith and the works of their people.

While the focus remains on Pope Francis’ peace initiative in the Middle East and his prayers at the barrier separating the Palestinians and the Jews

Renewing the appeal made by former pontiff  Benedict XVI, Pope Francis called for “universal recognition” of “the right of the State of Israel to exist and flourish in peace and security within internationally recognized borders.”

“At the same time, there must also be a recognition of the right of the Palestinian people to a sovereign homeland and their right to live with dignity and with freedom of movement. The “Two State Solution” must become reality and not remain merely a dream,” 

…there are several other issues the Pope discussed that might not get the same play in the media.

Right now the Arab lands including the Palestinian territories are becoming Christianrein as Christian Arabs are terrorized and slaughtered with abandon.  The Pope has decried persecution of Christians both in the Middle East and around the world and in Bethlehem he had this to say about Palestinian Christians

The pope also expressed his concern for Palestinian Christians, who he said contributed “significantly to the common good of society” and deserved accordingly to be treated as “full citizens.”

In Jordan a land where religious freedom is supposedly guaranteed but there is oddly not a single jew he said this:

“Religious freedom is in fact a fundamental human right and I cannot fail to express my hope that it will be upheld throughout the Middle East and the entire world.”

He also affirmed while in Jordan the right of people to change one’s religion.  And in Jerusalem while he again talked about the plight of Christians.

It’s worth noting that none of these are an issue in Israel but all of these are serious issues in Arab/Islamic lands including the Palestinian authority.

These are all good word and important words to say aloud but as a pilgrim said in Amman:

I don’t think he can change things, but he can make people think

While the various jihadist groups are playing nice during this visit until their change nothing will.

Exit question:  If the Arabs are treating their Christian brothers in this way why would any Israeli assume they would be treated any better if given the chance to have power over them?

 

There is a photo of Pope Francis at the security wall in Bethlehem during his visit to the holy Land. As you might guess a lot of people are going to be jumping all over those photos

The Pope stopped and prayed in front of the security barrier, with “profound” graffiti lining it.
The PLO couldn’t have hoped for a better image. This whole photo-op is obviously prearranged. Here’s an image of the same place, a few ours earlier, with Palestinian Arabs spray painting some graffiti slogans:

Now it is of course natural for the Pope to pray at such a spot with the hope of peace, but for the barriers to come down the reasons for those barriers much fall first.

In case you have forgotten why such barriers are necessary let start with this week in Brussels

Belgium launched a nationwide manhunt Sunday for a lone suspect in a shooting spree at the Brussels Jewish Museum that left three people dead and one in critical condition.

and Paris:

Two Jewish brothers dressed in “traditional” clothes were attacked near a synagogue in the Paris area, French officials and Jewish leaders said Sunday. The assault came hours after a deadly shooting spree Saturday at the Jewish Museum in Brussels.

Interior Minister Bernard Caseneuve ordered police around France to increase security at Jewish houses of worship and other Jewish establishments, according to a statement

That is of course far away from the Israel so lets turn the clock a few months back to Dec 2013 and travel to the holy land:

A bomb exploded on a public bus in Israel on Sunday, moments after passengers evacuated.
Someone spotted a suspicious bag and reported it to the driver, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
“The passengers were immediately taken off the bus,” he said, and made it out safely “just in time.”

It’s a sad thing that there is a wall making things difficult in Bethlehem, but it’s a sadder thing that the people on one side of that wall are trying to do things like this.

Moreover this reality is something the world understands  but will not say aloud as can be demonstrated by going back a bit farther to 2012 (emphasis mine)

In February, 2007, Defense Minister Peretz announced his choice of the Iron Dome as Israel’s defensive solution to this short- and mid-range rocket threat. The U.S. paid Rafael, Israel’s military industrial giant, upwards of $300 million to make it happen, and it is a marvel of technology. If you had a chance to watch the Iron Dome rockets meeting the oncoming Gaza rockets over the past week or so, it’s absolutely astonishing.Except, here’s a true story: Back in mid-June, during the great Paris weapons show, the Rafael pavilion was absolutely the busiest around, and everybody wanted to look at the new, exciting, Iron Dome system, the greatest achievement in rocket defense ever. But by the end of the show, Rafael hadn’t made a single sale. The Arrow sold well, other systems did great – Iron Dome wasn’t moving. So they contacted their big clients, the serious ones, and asked what gives. And those clients told them no one except Israel has any use for these things. Because in any normal, sane country, if some hooligans were to start targeting civilians with rockets – the army would go and kill them.

Funny how countries not named Israel are like that.  Let’s go a bit further to 2002 before the barriers were built to see just how they are.  (Emphasis mine)

An Israeli named Audrey, was showing me the children’s waiting room. I couldn’t help but notice, all around, an Arab woman with her son, an Arab family over there checking in, Arab children playing with the toys while waiting. The doctor saw the look on my face and laughed. “Oh, yes, we treat everyone.” I guess I was astonished. She just shrugged. “We’re Jews. This is how we live. It’s also for the future. They’re not going anywhere, and we’re not going anywhere. There will eventually be peace. There has to be.” When? A month? A year? A hundred years? More? She didn’t know. I had to say it. You’re incredible. You take everyone, you treat everyone, no one goes first, no one goes last, you just go in order of who needs help. That’s, like, Mother Teresa stuff. “We’re not saints, we’re just doing our jobs. It’s not easy, I admit. And it gets hard when they cheer when the bodies are brought in.” I looked at her. What did you say? She sighed. “Yes, it gets hard when they cheer.” This was one of the times during my trip when I held up my hands and said, “Stop. Wait.” I turned and walked away to breathe deeply for a minute. I wonder if they’ve restocked that mini-bar. Yeah, probably. It’s a good hotel.I didn’t meet one Jew the whole trip who didn’t think there would be peace, not one. “We can work it out. We have to. They’re not going anywhere. Neither are we.”

Of course, it gets hard when they cheer.

And that my dear friends is the trouble with the middle east.  Ask yourself honestly, would a wounded jew be treated the same in Palestinian hands?

Until that changes, the necessity for the wall will remain.

I welcome the Pope’s peace initiative, it certainly can’t hurt but men’s hearts much change before the situation on the ground does.  Of course with God all things are possible and who knows that better than the holy father?

Update:  And the problem isn’t just in the Middle East

Rachel (last name withheld), a sophomore at DePaul, explained that the “DePaul Divest” campaign, begun two months ago, has transformed this campus from one that used to be “safe and community-giving.”

“This entire campaign and entire sit-in going on in the SAC (Schmitt Academic Center) is totally unsafe for Jewish students and I have had a lot of Jewish students text me and call me today and tell me they are not comfortable walking through that part of our campus, which is really disheartening.”

This is the fruit of radical Islam and like rotten fruit in any basket it spoils all it touches.

Update 2: I suspect this action by the Pope will be considered less newsworthy:


At Israel’s request, Francis deviated from his whirlwind itinerary to pray at Jerusalem’s Victims of Acts of Terror Memorial, giving the Jewish state his full attention a day after voicing strong support for the Palestinian cause.

What you mean there is another side of the coin here? Amazing!

Francis’ gesture at the wall and at the terrorism memorial – head bowed in prayer, right hand touching the stone – was the same he used a day earlier when he made an impromptu stop at the Israeli separation barrier surrounding the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

I doubt the MSM is going to give this stop the same attention it gave the first but I would hope that some of my fellows in the pro-Israel side who were quick to critique the Pope’s first stop will acknowledge the second.

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Olimometer 2.52

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An awful lot of words are going to be said about the Iranian Nukes deal in the next few days. Quite a few well be said by me based on my reading of the deal and what I think our goals  as the United States and the leader  (assuming we still are) of the free world should be and how such a leader should act.

Others will judge this deal based on the needs of the region, the needs of allies or even the needs of humanity or their standards of right and wrong.

But when it comes down to it,  the government makes policy for a nation and their positions determine what deal is good and what is not.  So how do we figure out in reality (rather than by conjecture) if this deal is a good deal or not for America?  Well we have to know the answer to this question:

Is the Untied States of America willing to go to war to prevent Iran from acquiring/developing a nuclear bomb or not?

Mind you not the answer given in public to the nation or the world.  You can’t make the judgement without knowing the true answer to this question that is only known behind closed doors.

 

If the answer to this question is Yes”:

Then seemingly this deal is not a very good one.  Iran gets funds, has already announce the deal gives them the right to continue development and doesn’t dismantle anything.  It buys Iran time which is the single most important ingredient for an Iranian bomb to take place.  If you are willing to fight the last thing you want to do is put your intended target in a position to better defend.

If the answer to the question is “No”:

Then this deal is much better.  It saves face, gives the appearance of strength, kicks the can down the road and allows the nation to pretend that it actually achieved something that they could not.  Every day that there is seemingly “progress” your decision looks smarter and smarter.  The goal is to buy time for yourself with allies who are scared without revealing that you actually have no intention to defend them.  The longer those allies and the nations of the world believe it  And when Iran eventually  finishes their bomb and announces it to the world of (if they are REALLY smart) develops their bomb and then denies it’s existence publicly we can be shocked SHOCKED that Iran has done this, but oh well, they have the bomb, can’t risk nuclear war so we and the rest of the world will just have to live with it and hopefully contain them, after all it worked with the Soviets.

Since we can only guess the true answer to be base question we will have to wait and watch the re-actions over time to figure out what it is.

Bill Clinton is an unusually good liar

Sen Bob Kerry 1996

 

About nine months ago readers of this blog were introduced to a fellow by the name of Gen El-Haddid whose primary job seemed to be to give the English language version of Muslim Brotherhood propaganda:

Here is what I think. I think this fellow Gehad El-Haddad’s twitter feed is for lazy westerners who don’t want to sort though Arabic, I think it exists to build a real time narrative for the western world. As Nervana Mahmoud puts it in the Daily News of Egypt:

The Muslim Brotherhood is waging a war of perception, not just for domestic consumption but for a western audience, too. Perception is crucial for two reasons: To defeat non-Islamist opponents, who may lose faith quickly when watching the endless number of pro-Morsy protestors in comparison to their relatively lower number in Tahrir and, secondly, to convince western nations that Islamists are the only reliable, powerful force in Egypt and that they are backed by the “majority” of Egyptians.

That’s why Mr. El Haddad’s tweets are not in Arabic. If you consider how easily the west bought the Hamas narrative I can see why he would be sure to tweet “facts” in a language that the lazy western press could understand but the majority of Egyptians would not.

And in July when he was back to his old tricks during the 2nd revolution he was back to his old tricks:

Four of the five replies came from Arabic named accounts and rebuked him, only one supported what he said. So who IS that Mr. Kirpatrick, the Arabic person who is alone in retweeting a Muslim Brotherhood mouthpiece.

and the NYT was falling for them as was ABC’s This week who:

…made a video of him on the streets of Cairo pretending he is a man of the Egyptian people and not someone who’s primary purpose is to look good for the west while giving the Muslim brotherhood line while their followers repress them.

Well I came back from a relaxing few days in Maine word came of his arrest by the government of Egypt and along with that news came some other info about his day job:

Before emerging as a top Brotherhood official and adviser to Morsi, el-Haddad served for five years as an official at the Clinton Foundation, a nonprofit group founded by former President Bill Clinton.

El-Haddad gained a reputation for pushing the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamist agenda in the foreign press, where he was often quoted defending the Brotherhood’s crackdown on civil liberties in Egypt.

He was raised in a family of prominent Brotherhood supporters and became the public face of the Islamist organization soon after leaving his post at the Clinton Foundation.

You mean to say that an Egyptian raised in a prominent Muslim Brotherhood Family has been connected to the Clintons since she has been secretary of state coincidentally during the years where we had the most pro-muslim brotherhood foreign policy EVAH?

Powerline asks a question:

What was El-Haddad’s role with the Clinton Foundation? According to his LinkedIn profile, he set up its office in Egypt, supervised policy-making workshops, and presented Foundations views. He was also in charge of the its Clinton Climate Initiative in Egypt.

and Andy McCarthy has more to say but readers of this blog shouldn’t be surprised isn’t surprised because we made the point a long time ago that the Clinton had deliberately hitched their wagon to the Muslim Brotherhood.

In 1996 Bill Clinton was president and people were already talking about a political future for Hillary. Working with her must have been on of the most coveted positions for a young woman in the democrat party. Certainly there must have been plenty of sons and daughters of pols, campaign workers and democrat fundraisers who would have died for the chance to be in that position.

Yet Huma Abadin a young lady still in college who has spent a lifetime in Saudi Arabia not only gets the job, but has stayed with Hillary Clinton her entire life since.

Thinking of Huma I presumed the deal for the support from the Clinton’s was her placement, near power but these people are openly using Muslim Brotherhood guys then the relationship goes farther than getting one of their own in high places.

I wonder how much of that connection to the vast cash reserves of the Muslim Brotherhood and their supporters secured democrat support during impeachment, funded democrat think thanks and steered Mrs. Clinton and her “aide” to the point they has reached today not to mention paying for speaking fees around the world and I wonder how many times the Clinton’s name has been used to put Brotherhood allies all over America and the world?

I could be wrong but it’s my opinion that the Brotherhood considers themselves the owners of Bill & Hillary Clinton and if they demand the Clinton’s put an open leader of the Brotherhood in a position of authority they will answer any objection that the Bey of Algiers once gave when another American objected to their orders. He told them they were in fact his slaves and when it comes to slaves…

I have a right to order my slaves as I please.

I believed the Democrats sold themselves when they protected Bill Clinton, I hadn’t imagined they might have done so quite so literally.

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Olimometer 2.52

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Lewis Morris: Mr. Secretary, New York abstains, courteously.

John Hancock: Mr. Morris, WHAT IN HELL GOES ON IN NEW YORK?

1776 (1972)

In the special election to fill the seat vacated by John Kerry this year Gabriel Gomez only drew 45% of the vote that Scott Brown managed in 2012. Although I supported him once he was nominated many conservatives including Michael Graham refused to go along.

they didn’t like his running against his party or his positions on subjects like Immigration or gun control and when yesterday I suggested he might have superior judgement than Ed Markey on a vote concerning war my friend John LaRosa disagreed tweeting

 

That is true, it’s very possible that Gabriel Gomez would have voted with the president if he sat on the armed services committee and I might have strongly disagreed with his position…

…but at least he would have taken one.

The Massachusetts lawmaker, sworn in to office in July after winning a special election, voted “present” on a resolution giving President Obama limited authority to use military force against Syria. Markey, a liberal who often votes with Obama, didn’t vote “yes” as 10 of his Senate Foreign Relations Committee colleagues did.

He also didn’t vote “no” with seven others, including two Democrats. The “present” vote means Markey was there, but didn’t want to state which side he’s on.

Here is the vote

If he thought there was not enough evidence and needed more time for a vote he could have objected to the unanimous consent resolutions and have requested that additional time be granted. He might have been able to get enough votes to get such a delay.

But that would require the courage of his convictions, something apparently Senator Markey doesn’t possess. He actually makes Obama look decisive.

That vote is a disgrace to state of Massachusetts and there is no question who is to blame for our disgrace before the entire nation and world.

The voters of Massachusetts.

The citizens who voted for Ed Markey should be ashamed of themselves for knowingly voting for a hack pol with a history of expedient votes.

We who voted for Gabriel Gomez should be ashamed they were unable or unwilling to do their utmost to persuade enough people to join us.

Oddly enough the majority of Massachusetts voters who didn’t bother going to the polls should be overjoyed. They couldn’t be bothered to make a decision when it was time to choose a senator and he could be bothered to make a decision when it was time to decide to authorize their children to fight or not. He couldn’t have represented them better.

I thought this state was incapable of surprising me anymore. I was wrong.

Closing thought: Today should be the best day on the job that Kirsten Hughes has had since her election. How she handles this totally unexpected gift will say as much about the GOP’s choice of her as party chair as yesterday’s vote said about the state’s choice of Ed Markey as senator.

Michael Weston:  Nando Nando Nando You’re dead.  You just don’t know it yet.

Burn Notice Things Unseen 2013

 

Monday we talked about why I oppose strikes in Syria (because it aids Islamic Rebels). Yesterday I put up a dissenting view from longtime reader and commenter Proud to serve. (It’s vital to show the use of Chemical weapons has a terrible cost)

Both points are valid so the problem is this:

How do you punish Syria for the use of Chemical Weapons while not enabling the rebels?

I’ve thought about this and as far as I can figure there are three options.

#1 The Big way

#2 The small way

#3. The Tiny Way

Let’s examine all three in order

#1. The Big Way

The United States would declare war on Syria and invade both via Israel & the Mediterranean Sea. The United States would slowly prepare an invasion force over the course of 3-6 months building up troops in the area and giving Syria the option to

1. Surrender their chemical stockpiles

2. Remove the Assad family (Perhaps a UN protectorate until free elections)

at which point we would call the whole thing off.

The advantages of such a move is clear:

1. A US invasion would assure that the chemical stockpiles would not fall into the wrong hands

2. The Al Qaeda/Islamists who wish to take over Syria would be checkmated.  Instead of being in a position to take the country they would have to fight us to get it.

3. Such an invasion would become a “kill zone” for Hamas, Hezbollah & Al Qaeda. It would be a place where our enemies would instead of striking at civilian targets would be engaged against the single most powerful military in history.

4. Given the amount of time it took to actually take Iraq out there is every possibility that Assad would take the US (even under this president) seriously and choose to give in either willingly or overthrown by his generals hoping to make a deal.

5.  Such a move would re-assert US power globally while making it extremely clear that any use of WMD would be the death knell for any two bit dictator who chooses to use them.

6.  It would not only solve the problem with killing people with chemical weapons it would stop the whole damn thing.

If your priority is US prestige and deterrent in the long run this is in fact the best way to do this but there are many arguments against.

1. The Public: The US public does not support such an action. Culturally we are not the country that liberated Europe & deterred the Soviets. The people simply do not want this war and when you go to war against the will of your people, it generally ends bad

2. The Army: I’ve talked to service personal who have told me the Army is not in a postilion to fight a war in Syria. In terms of morale our forces are dealing with massive social change while still exhausted from fights where we simply have not be able to trust the people we would be fighting for.

3. The Cost: Financially we are not in a position to pay for such a war. It would be a long term situation with even higher costs in the long term.

4. The Russians: Unlike Iraq & Afghanistan Syria is a Russian client state. It is highly unlikely that the Russians will sit still and let us take out their best ally in the area.

5.  The UN:  I suspect the UN would not be up to the task of administrating Syria until an election as they have proven to be rather feckless over recent years.

Do I think we could pull this off? Yes it’s likely but the price would be high and it wouldn’t be pretty. Even worse as has been the case for the last decade the highest costs would be paid by a tiny percentage of our population willing to make the fight.

For those worried at the very suggestion of such a thing don’t be.  The odds of this administration going with this choice are as high as me permanently replacing Rush Limbaugh on the EIB network.

2.  The small way

Rather than striking at military assets target personal assets of the dictator Assad both physical and financial.

One of the basic truths of dictators is they are pretty much interested in their own comfort and well being.  They don’t give a damn if thousands of people die including their own troops, but if they aren’t sleeping in a comfortable bed, drinking the best wines, eating the best food and dressed in their 10,000 suits that’s something they take notice in.

This is done in two ways.

1.   We publicly destroy the biggest and most prominent palace and/or residence of Assad and make it clear (both in public and through private channels) that any repeat of this behavior will result in the destruction of the next two remaining, then the next three etc until he finds himself lucky to find a Holiday Inn Express willing to put him up.

2.  We go after his foreign assets, every dollar, every assets around the world until Assad can’t afford to order a Dr. Who CD without shaking his tip jar.

Like the military option this has clear advantages:

1.  The damage is limited to the person most directly responsible for the use of WMD.

2. It doesn’t aid any of the Islamists who are trying to take over the government.

3.  It’s cost effective

4.  It puts very few if any US forces at risk

5.  It doesn’t preclude the use of the Big Way if necessary.

and like the big way it has several drawbacks

1.  It a small cost to pay for hundreds of lives.

2.  It doesn’t have a huge impact.  Going from 8 palaces to 7 or even 6 or 5 is an annoyance, not a hardship

3.  The small nature of such a strike may be used as a propaganda to suggest the lack of resolve or strength of the US by our foes worldwide.

4.  It gives the precedent of a “mulligan” on WMD.   A dictator might calculate that the loss of a palace or two is worth the price to send a message on the battlefield or worse to protestors or political opponents.  In fact such a dictator might after such a strike boast about his willingness to stand up and take strikes from the most powerful nation in history.

5.  Assad may have already converted or hidden financial assets in anticipation of this.

This is both a low risk and low reward  The deterrent value is highly dependent on the person you are dealing with.

3.  The Tiny Way

Kill Assad or put a price on his head

The US can present its evidence declare that Assad has used chemical weapons in violation of international law and declare that the policy of the US is to kill him or to reward the person who does.

As with the other methods there are advantages and disadvantages.

1.  The punishment for the offense is directed at the person who ordered it

2.  It is a life for the lives his actions cost.

3.  The sight of the dead, burned or destroyed body of Assad is something that every single dictator considering the use of Chemical or biological weapons will have in their mind when they consider giving the order.

4.  Even if you fail to kill Assad in an age of drone warfare it means that he can not show his face, sleep in the same bed or enjoy any of the perks or powers of his dictatorship.  He becomes Bin Laden without the cave

5.  It becomes almost impossible for a dictator to rule a nation while constantly in hiding.  It slowly destroys his command and control

6.  This creates a HUGE incentive to his generals to do the dirty work for us both for the financial reward and in fear that when the bomb or drone comes said general will die with him.

7.  It doesn’t reward the Islamists fighting Assad’s government.

8.  It’s the cheapest choice pricewise

And of course there are disadvantages

1.  This is a HUGE departure from international norms of acceptable behavior

2.  Once such a declaration is made the target is likely to surround themselves with human shields and the choice has to be made to kill him anyway (the right choice) or no.

3.  If the target chooses to go into hiding it may take months or years to carry out the attack.

4.  There is a real possibility that the opponents of a dictator or ruler will use chemical weapons and slaughter thousands in order to turn their opponent into a target.

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All of these three choices would directly assert the principle that the use of WMD carries a price to not only Assad but any person or country who considers deploying them.  Each of them have drawbacks but empowering Islamists in the Middle East in any way shape or form is not one of them.

And I have an odd feeling that it is the reason why none of these options are acceptable to the administration.

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Bartlett: Look, sir, you talk about the high command of the Luftwaffe, then the SS and the Gestapo. To me they’re the same. We’re fighting the bloody lot. There’s only one way to put it, sir. They are the common enemies of everyone who believes in freedom.

The Great Escape 1963

Leonard: …I am clearly not the only person who is tormented by insecurity and has an ego in need of constant validation.

Sheldon: So you admit that you’re an egotist?

Leonard: Yes. (Turning to the audience) My name is Dr Leonard Hofstadter, and I could never please my parents so I need to get all my self-esteem from strangers like you. But he’s worse!

The Big Bang Theory The Cooper-Hofstadter Polarization 2008

Right now the Obama administration is looking to find support in congress and among the American People for a war in Syria. They sent John Kerry on all the Sunday talk shows to make the case for war to the American people.

Under normal circumstances any president, even this one, might expect my support for such an action.

Consider the record in Syria:

Syria is clearly an enemy and have been supporters of terror for a long time.

During the Iraq war Syria was actively supporting the forces fighting and killing Americans as an ally of Al Qaeda and were supplying terrorist in Iraq as late as 2010.

For a very long time Syria has supported Hezbollah a terrorist group that has been a thorn in the side of our ally Israel.

They have supported puppet governments that have undermined freedom in Lebanon that turned that state into a puppet.

They are the staunchest ally of our foe Iran

All of those reasons would have been, in my opinion,  more than a sufficient Casus Belli for us.  In fact if our army after taking Baghdad pivoted east and took out Assad,  or if at any time during our years in Iraq our forces drove to Damascus to bring down his tyranny I would have been all for it.  Of course that wasn’t possible, Bush didn’t have such a mandate and Assad was considereda reformer”  by this administration and their friends.

But DaTechGuy“, you ask, ” If that’s the case how can you oppose the president attacking Assad in Syria now, particularly after he’s used chemical weapons?  Are you just a racist bigot who suddenly opposes war just because it’s being waged by the first Black president?

No not at all, the problem isn’t Assad, the problem is the rebels.

You know the rebels who also have chemical weapons and demonstrated that fact last year

A person wearing a lab mask then mixes chemicals in a beaker in the glass box, and we see some gas emitting from the beaker. About a minute later, the rabbits start to have random convulsions and then die. The person says: You saw what happened? This will be your fate, you infidel Alawites, I swear by ALLAH to make you die like these rabbits, one minute only after you inhale the gas.

The rebels who plan on creating an Islamic state if they win

This led to a question about the future of Syria’s minorities such as the Christians. Ahmed, Basah, and Hamid Hassan all agreed – Christians could only live there if they either converted, or paid the ‘Jizyah’ – a special tax levied on non-Muslims in previous centuries in the Middle East. If not said Bahar, they could be killed. (emphasis mine)

When asked why, the answer was, to them, quite simple – because the Prophet Mohammed said so. I was then invited to become a Muslim.

The conversation verged on the surreal. There we were talking in a quite friendly manner, with the occasional joke, about killing people because they wouldn’t pay the Jizyah, which critics regard as effectively obtaining money through menaces.

Let’s not forget that these were the guys that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt wanted to send their army to support.

At the June 15th rally, Sunni Muslim clerics used the word “infidels” to denounce both the Shias fighting to protect Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and the non-Islamists that oppose Mr Morsi at home.

Mr Morsi himself called for foreign intervention in Syria against Mr Assad, leading to a veiled rebuke from the army, which issued an apparently bland but sharp-edged statement the next day stressing that its only role was guarding Egypt’s borders.

These guys are our enemies, they are full-blown Islamists and Al Qaeda, you know the folks who attacked us on 9/11 and now this administration wants to use our air assets to take out military targets that are fighting them in Syria? Seriously?

The reality is Syria is not good, the humanitarian situation is horrific and is going to get worse but if you take nothing else from this piece remember this:

There aren’t a lot of things worse than an anti-US anti-Israel murderous Tyrant who slaughters his own people uses Chemical Weapons in warfare and has a puppet army fighting in Lebanon, in charge of a well armed state with access to the Mediterranean Sea.  An Islamic state ruled by and/or allied with Al Qaeda & the Muslim Brotherhood with the resources of a nation-state possessing chemical weapons bordering Israel Iraq & Turkey is one of them.

 Any debate involving intervention Syria should start and end with that paragraph.  If it doesn’t then it’s not worth having.

 Update:  Cleaned up the paragraph after the list of reasons to oppose Assad

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Olimometer 2.52

For the very first time my full weekly paycheck has been achieved on the very first day of a pay week and as you can see I’m well on my way to this month’s mortgage.

Rest assured the lack of urgency to raise a paycheck for the rest of the week won’t result in a lack of effort around here.

I am grateful to all of you who kicked in and Andrea XX should take note one does not have to succeed in one’s major (mine was Computer Science) in order to succeed!

So this will be the last time you see DaTipJar pushed this week, but remember I’m looking to crowd source my radio show’s advertising, so if you’d like me to hit your tip jar for as much as $400 click here.

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Pull a Homer: to succeed despite idiocy.

Urban Dictionary.com via The Simpsons Homer Defined 1991

Buck Murdock: Irony can be pretty ironic sometimes.

Airplane II 1982

Sometimes the most foolish decisions produce the most unexpected positive side effects.

The US decision to back the Muslim Brotherhood has already caused the new Egyptian Government to begin working with Israel without a buffer, a situation unthinkable not long ago.

Now yet another US mistake has the potential to accidentally solve another pressing problem.

America’s president has been exposed as feckless and weak.  He, not having the wisdom to avoid intervention in Syria nor the strength of character to go all in to both secure the chemical stocks and make sure the government neither is taken over by Islamists nor kept in the hands of the murderous Assad family finds it necessary to demonstrate to the international community his power.

So like Bill Clinton in 1998 Barack Obama will likely launch missiles that will at worst prove simply symbolic and at best give the Al Qaeda supported Islamist rebels the upper hand and in the end do little if nothing to prove his strength or save the lives of the innocents there.

But his decision like his last poor one has produced an interesting side effect a most foolish threat from Iran:

“No military attack will be waged against Syria,” Sheikholeslam was quoted as saying on Monday by Iran’s state run Fars News Agency.

“Yet, if such an incident takes place, which is impossible, the Zionist regime will be the first victim of a military attack on Syria,” Sheikholeslam said in an apparent response to the Obama administration’s increasingly stern rhetoric against Syria.

Oddly enough this threat is the single most positive development I’ve seen. It has the potential to solve a big problem.

It is an empty threat of course, Iran’s assertion that Syria will strike at Israel is of course perfect nonsense there is noting more likely to cause the fall of Syria then to find themselves facing instead of a weak set of rebels the might of Israel’s Army & Air force and the Syrian’s know it and so does the rest of the world.

And the Iranians themselves are too busy trying to keep Assad up and running to even think of striking Israel.

Whatever the reality, it is  the threat that gives Israel the one thing that it needs more than anything else, a Causus Belli.

Not to strike Syria, they are much to smart to get involved in that mess.

But Israel has been watching Iran’s Nuclear Weapon development with fear for years.  If the US strikes Syria as soon as this week then Israel, taking Iran’s threats seriously would certainly be able to justify a follow-up strike on Iranian nuclear positions.

With the Iranian threats fresh off the presses even the UN would be hard pressed to censure Israel for such actions and would make the US veto of any resolution or boycott much easier.

And of course assuming Israel having prepared for such a strike against Iran for months, perhaps years could not pick a better time. Egypt in disarray, Lebanon neutralized, Syria busy, their capacity to strike back militarily has never been weaker.

If A feckless US strike leads to Israel finally taking out Iran’s nukes once and for all than Barack Obama acting out of weakness will have accidentally triggered one of the most positive results in the region of his entire presidential term.

How Ironic.

Update:  moved a phrase in the 4th paragraph to the end of that paragraph

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Olimometer 2.52

Still seeking that $305 paycheck for the week.

All that is required if your help by hitting DaTipJar below.

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and of course if you don’t want to hit my tip jar click here to find out how I can hit YOURS for up to $400?

Deputy Sheriff of Nottingham: You see Lieutenant When enemies fall out, it’s time to make friends.

The Adventures of Robin Hood Goodbye Little John 1960

Professor Van Helsing: A moment ago I stumbled upon a most amazing phenomenon, something so incredible I mistrust my own judgement.

Dracula 1931

Jim Hacker: I can’t make my support too public.

Duncan: It doesn’t have to be public, so long as everybody knows.

Yes Minister Party Games 1984

There are some stories that I never expected to read in my lifetime.

The Egyptian security officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information, said the Israeli attack was launched in cooperation with Egyptian authorities despite past insistence that the government would not allow anyone to use its territories to launch attacks against jihadi groups.

That Israel choose to strike at Jihad groups is not odd, that the Egyptian security was willing to cooperate with Israel that’s odd, but not as odd as members of the security forces being willing to say (even on  condition anonymity) that they worked with the Jews.  That’s amazing.

It’s a tad less amazing that officially this has been disavowed

Egyptian military spokesman Col. Ahmed Mohammed Ali initially said on his official Facebook page that security forces were investigating two explosions in el-Agra. He later issued a statement denying “in form and substance any attacks from the Israeli side inside Egyptian territories” and saying the claim of cooperation was “baseless.”

Ed Morrissey is impressed

Still, that’s a pretty mind-blowing thing to admit, even anonymously.  We’ll see whether it has any effect on the unrest still gathering in the streets of Cairo.

He should be impressed not a person in Egypt will believe the denial and if I’m a militant or a Muslim Brotherhood supporter the idea that the state might be able to enlist the help of Israel to locate and destroy them can’t be conducive to a good night’s sleep.

This is an incredible escalation and if the Egyptian people do not object or defect it could be a watershed moment in the middle east.

The real irony?  The distrust the current government has in the Obama Administration likely had a lot to do with their willingness to work with the Jewish state in a more direct way. In the past such things would be handled through the US but now we are no longer reliable.  Wouldn’t it be amazing if the first solid progress between Arab & Jew becomes not because of US power, but because of our fecklessness.

 

The Muslim Brotherhood is out in Egypt and the media has been….interesting.

All over CNN there is misery as Wolf Blitzer continues to stress the “thousands” of Muslim Brotherhood supporters and emphasize the “legitimacy” of the Morsi government.

On MSNBC Richard Engel gave MSNBC views what is really the first idea that the Muslim Brotherhood might actually consist of radical Islamists. I’m sure the views were shocked SHOCKED.

Fox seems to be focusing on if there will be clashes between the two sides and if the Muslim Brotherhood will fight and what is happening.

I suggest prayers for the people in Egypt and hope their make wise choices and the questions become:

1. Will the Muslim Brotherhood Moderate? No.

2. Will they fight? That’s the big question. if they are smart no, if they lose (and they will against the Military) they become the weak horse and Islamists will be in crisis all over the Middle East but they might figure it is their best shot and maybe only shot to get Egypt back in the short term.

3. Will the Christians be protected? I wouldn’t bet on it.

4. Will there be a less sharia compliant constitution? I suspect slightly

5. Will there be full and free elections? I wouldn’t bet money on it

6. Will the avg Egyptian be better off? Slightly, being free of the Muslim Brotherhood is good but will the military share the wealth? That is the key question.

My prediction: We will end up with 17th Century France with the Military as Richelu. I suspect there will be an election and a “democratic” government but the Military will make sure nothing take place that will put them in a war with Israel that they will lose or risk their monetary control of the country.

As for the US. This is both a victory and a defeat for the US in this respect.

It is s defeat for the US because Obama and Mrs. Clinton backed the losing guy they are linked to the failed regime and the people don’t trust them.

It is a victory because the actual interest of the United States, an Egypt not controlled by Islamists or likely to go to war with Israel, has an excellent chance of happening.

The question becomes if that victory is consistent with the goals of Barack Obama

Update:  Two key updates, first from PJ media & Bridget Johnson

After the Egyptian military announced the end of Mohamed Morsi’s rule flanked by both Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II and Grand Mufti Ahmed al-Tayeb, Islamists began predicting a purge of their kind in the new democratic Egypt.

The Muslim Brotherhood was not represented among the opposition leaders joining the leaders of Egypt’s two largest faiths and the powerful military figures.

“It is wonderful to see the Egyptian people taking back their stolen revolution in a peaceful way,” the Coptic pope said in a statement Tuesday.
That has to be reassuring for Christians but is like a red flag in front of a bull to the Muslim Brotherhood, expect Christians in countries where Islamists in control pay the price for that visual.
ZeroHedge has photos of anti-Obma banners but Glenn Reynolds notices something.
What’s interesting is that the banners are anti-Obama, not anti-America.
That’s not only a good sign but explains CNN ambivalence to these protesters.
Update 2:  Matthews on MSNBC has actually been practicing journalism tonight but the real news is the Obama administration statement of warning concerning US aid.  This is VERY foolish but not surprising considering how many friends the Muslim Brotherhood has in this administration.  As Pam Geller put it:
CAIR, ISNA, MSA, MSU all of them are on a jihad to save the Muslim Brotherhood. It is of course, sheer poetry that the vicious Muslim Brotherhood  was overthrown on the eve of Independence day. 80 years ago today, the Muslim Brotherhood was founded. Today, the Egyptians cut the MBs head off.
Hamas isn’t happy either likely because of this:
Security forces found explosives in the apartment, as well as military and police uniform. A security source told Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram that the four were members of Hamas.
Well I know what we’re talking about Saturday on DaTechguy on DaRadio

One of the nice things about elections is they bring clarity, now that it’s clear that US policy is to be run by Barack Obama rather than Mitt Romney for the next four years apparently Israel decided it was time to take off the gloves:

After suffering through hundreds of rocket attacks coming from Gaza (more than 700 have struck Israel since the beginning of the year, and more than 120 since Saturday) earlier today IDF directed a precision attack on Ahmed Jabri, the head of Hamas’ military wing in the Gaza Strip.

Let’s go to the tape

I don’t tend to cheer these things as war is a bad business but I’m taken aback at some of the outrage here that was not. After all it’s not as if Hamas has hidden for a single moment of its existence that the destruction of Israel is its goal.

What’s really interesting is I don’t recall a single story about the rockets hitting Israel this week until Israel hit back, as Melanie Phillips put it.

Rocket attacks on Israelis are not news; Israeli military action to defend Israel against such attacks is. Suddenly, media indifference has been transformed into media hyperactivity. And in the eyes of the British media and foreign office Israel is at fault; astoundingly, it is apparently Israel which is responsible for inflaming the situation, not the Palestinians. Never mind the 120 rockets in four days or the 50 further rockets this evening, including 17 Grads fired at the city of Beersheva; or that since the beginning of 2011, 1,100 rocket have been fired on Israeli targets, 797 since the beginning of this year; or that a staggering 5274 rockets have been fired from Gaza at southern Israel since 2006

Of course England also has a large Muslim population that it doesn’t want to police so it has objected, with one notable exception:

British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Thursday denounced the barrage of rockets fired by Palestinian terror factions into Israel, saying “I utterly condemn rocket attacks from Gaza into southern Israel by Hamas and other armed groups.”

“Hamas bears principal responsibility for the current crisis,” Hague continued, adding that the rocket fire “creates an intolerable situation for Israeli civilians in southern Israel, who have the right to live without fear of attack from Gaza.”

And Israel may be doing less damage than people think:

Ed Morrissey tells us Egypt is a tad worried:

Egyptian intelligence reportedly tried to negotiate a ceasefire between the two sides a few days ago, after Hamas started firing rockets. Whether that was window dressing to disguise the fact that Hamas is coordinating with the Brotherhood on this or a genuine sign that Morsi et al. don’t want Hamas feeling too frisky just because their friends are in charge in Egypt now, who knows.

That’s interesting but I think it’s also a clue to why Israel decided to play twisted sister today.

I think it was to push the Arab world that might feel emboldened by the President re-election. I think this idea is to demonstrate his weakness.

Barack Obama is a lot of talk but it’s too soon to the election for him to reveal all his promised the Jewish Community aloud is BS. By taking care of business now Israel preempts him in the future and discredits him among his Arab allies who won’t soon forget what side he put himself on.

Two birds with one stone.

Additionally it checkmates Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood, they have to either act before they are ready by several years (and have their Military destroyed) or sit back and do nothing and be shown as feckless to the radical Islamists who back them.

Make that three stones.

But all of this comes at a risk, a regional war, coupled with a strike on Iran perhaps, and maybe Turkey taking advantage to go after Syria ostensibly to stop the slaughter but perhaps the first step in their return to the Middle East proper as an actual regional power.

But what am I talking about, yeah things look bad but we’ve got the bestest most pro-Israel president that the US has ever had to take care of us. The Media said so. There’s nothing to worry about. Obama’ll fix it…

…just like he did for the victims of Hurricane Sandy

Something occurred to me on Sunday that I have not seen mentioned.

It is axiomatic that a video so poorly viewed is not the cause of the events of the Middle East since 9/11 the question becomes. If that is the case, then there has to be another reason.

It is true of course that our Islamic foes don’t need an excuse to attack but one other puzzle is this. The foreign policy of Barack Obama has led to advances for our foes why on earth would they try an event that might affect his re-elections chances & four more years of the same.

The answer unlike “The Innocence of Muslims” may have over 500,000 views.

During the Democrat convention the Arab Left won a notable victory. On Tuesday the Democrat Party adopted a platform that removed Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Now as a person who disagrees with this, I was one of many on the right who pointed this out, we objected and hit the Obama administration over this change, but there is one critique that was present in none of our objections.

Nobody claimed that the decision made was not the legitimate will of the delegates.

For example, I’m an opponent of Gay Marriage, but when it passed in NY it was by a vote of the legislators. I objected strongly but these were the people’s representatives and the people have the right to be wrong.

There are Millions of Americans who do not support Israel, millions of the Muslim Arab Americans in particular. Regardless of how right or wrong we think they are as citizens they have the right to vote and contribute money to candidates and causes who agree with this premise. Even non citizens have a perfect right to make their opinions known and attempt to change minds in every legal way allowed.

Imagine if you are such an Arab American, you live here, you have no ties to terror, you arbor violence but you passionately believe the policy on Israel is wrong. As an American you fight to advance that opinion to the point where you rise to the level of a delegate at the convention of a major political party.

On Tuesday you win the platform vote and you are glowing, all that hard work, all that argument, time and expense has paid off. Yes platforms are the least read documents in history but it is the first step you have hope! Your voice counted! You played by the rules and YOU WON!

You go on-line to facebook and twitter you tell your friend and your cousins about what happens, you tell them “See you guys don’t get it back in the old country. You think America is owned by the Jews & infidels but look here I am, an Arab American who got involved and I won, and not a drop of blood had to be spilled and nobody had to get hurt.”

Then 24 hours later it all changes at the order of the party heads all you worked for is taken away. The platform is reversed and not only is it reversed but it is reversed by a dishonest method where your vote is specifically ignored on national TV. CNN’s camera’s focus on a person wearing an “Arab American Democrat” t-shirt so not only is the humiliation public, but it is specifically directed at Arabs.

And to put the icing on the cake the media insists that the change was by direct order of Barack Obama, the man who had supposedly been the best friend your position ever had.

What do you think the reaction might be at home to this? What might happen the next day when online you are informed “I told you so.” What if the hope for change becomes no hope at all?

Now imagine you are the Muslim Brotherhood, you consider Obama a “useful idiot” and you see all this unfold. You’ve told your followers to tread carefully to protect the useful idiot in the white house. What happens if you decide that the useful idiot is not useful anymore?

What might you do to remind that leader who betrayed you, who made you lose face before your followers that such betrayal comes with a price? Might it be a demonstration of your power, and his weakness?

Again this complete speculation, but given Arab culture, this would not surprise me one bit.

Of course it could be as Glenn Reynolds suggests all the by Obama bragging about scoring four touchdowns in one game killing Bin Laden.

I tend to watch a lot of classic TV so when I saw this story:

China and Russia reaffirm support for Syria

China on Wednesday restated its opposition to military intervention in Syria, as Russia sought to halt fresh UN Security Council action after a massacre of civilians sparked global fury.

I thought for a second I might be watching MeTV

On a serious note to a person of my age or older this headline should not be any kind of surprise. With the Rise of Putin the old KGB man has gone fully back to its old Soviet days when it comes to foreign policy and China since it’s fall to communism has always done it’s best to protect the rights of dictators to slaughter their own people, as it’s a tactic they use themselves.

But to the young folks who have been taught that the Cold War was a fight between two equally questionable philosophies, to youth who have been taught that the US is an imperial power, to the occupods who believe that America represents the height of oppression and to the folks like Chris Hayes who don’t see our troops who stood against our cold war enemies as heroes it doesn’t compute.

There is and has been a simple reality that the US has been on the side of the angels for over 100 years and the rare times when we have looked the other way involved either fights against a greater evil (the Nazis, the Cold war) or exceptions, while for our communist friends in China since the 48 and the Soviets and the Putin era Russians, supported consistently by the left, have not. No amount of “cool” people wearing Che T-Shirts will change this.

One can debate if the US should or should not intervene in Syria, that’s legit, but the reality that Russia and China will always do their best to protect any nation that chooses to slaughter their own people can’t be debated. It is a simple fact.

I suspect that it will be used by Arabs in the middle east as an Anti-Israeli weapon.

Then again, if they don’t use this, they would make up something else anyway.

The single most memorable quote of the video?

Of course some anti-Semites believe the Jews already run America, but that’s ridiculous , if Jews ran America we wouldn’t be 14 trillions dollars in debt.

Andrew Klavan is a funny guy.

You have the Ny-26 election, you have the tornados in the midwest and they led with Netanyahu’s speech. It took them 11 minutes to get to the election in western NY.

Of course once they got there they didn’t disappoint not showing the “tea party” candidate Davis and his graphic because the viewers would put two and two together and get four and using Scott “I was for the Ryan Plan before I was against it” Brown to hit Ryan’s plan. (He will be on today, that should be interesting).

The fact that the MSNBC morning show led with the Netanyahu speech and highlighted the fact that he got more standing O’s then the one how earth shattering it was. Of course, perhaps the idea was to show Democrats along with the GOP supporting Israel to make sure the money from liberal Jews keeps coming.

Take a look at the speech

or read it here.

Will it be enough to move this administration when the time comes? I think Morning Joe thinks so, and I think Democrats are desperate to stop the damage to their brand by this president.

Update: They also gave Paul Ryan a good long segment to himself, full marks there.

We’ve established that scanty clothing offends Islam, now lets see some things that don’t.

Shooting down Muslims at Mass funerals in Syria for example:

Syrian security forces opened fire on mourners near a mosque in the flashpoint city of Deraa after a mass funeral for pro-democracy protesters, two witnesses said on Saturday.

Security forces used live ammunition and tear gas to disperse thousands of people who were chanting freedom slogans after assembling near the old Omari mosque in the old quarter of the city, near the border with Jordan, the witnesses said.

Or using force to clear the square in Cario:

Egypt’s ruling generals said on Saturday they were ready to use force to end protests in Tahrir Square after troops cracked down on demonstrators overnight and sparked violence that medical sources said killed two people.

Soldiers and police had used tasers and batons to try to drive out protesters from the square, the epicenter of protests that toppled Hosni Mubarak on February 11. Gunshots echoed across the square in the overnight operation.

And of course you’ll never offend Islam by firing rockets at Jews:

Gaza militants have fired over 70 rockets and mortars into Israel since Thursday, damaging a house, police said. Israeli media said half a dozen people have been wounded.

but you can bet that this will offend.

Israel killed four Palestinian militants and wounded half a dozen others as it pursued air raids in Gaza for a third day on Saturday, responding to increased rocket fire out of the territory, local medics said.

It’s one thing for Jews to kill Muslims after being shot at, but you can’t expect radical Islamists to be complaining about Egyptians or Syrian killing their fellow Muslims. After all Al Qaeda and the Taliban have been killing their fellow Muslims for years.

The US media has been playing down the connections between Al Qaeda and the Libyan Rebels for a while now, but today Byron York tackles it:

Take Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, a leader of U.S.-supported rebels in the fighting for Adjabiya. His hometown, Darnah, has produced many jihadis, and after the Sept. 11 attacks al-Hasidi traveled to Afghanistan to fight the “foreign invasion” — that is, the U.S. military. According to a report in Britain’s Daily Telegraph, al-Hasidi says he was later captured in Pakistan, handed over to the U.S., then held in prison in Libya before being released in 2008.

In addition to fighting the U.S. in Afghanistan, al-Hasidi also says he recruited about two dozen men to fight the U.S. in Iraq.

What is more amazing than those two sentences is the response of the NYT to this:

“No one seems all that frightened by him,” the New York Times wrote of al-Hasidi after a visit to Darnah in early March. Al-Hasidi, the paper reported, “praises Osama bin Laden’s ‘good points’ but denounces the 9/11 attacks on the United States.” And besides, the Times reported, al-Hasidi finds it amusing that the government of Moammar Gadhafi considers him an al Qaeda terrorist. “He promised to lay down his arms once victory is won and return, he said, to teaching,” the Times reported.

Whenever Afghanistan comes up on Morning Joe he repeats the mantra that there are only a few Al Qaeda present there. Apparently there are a lot more Al Qaeda in Libya and we are saving them from Gaddafi.

Now given that we are there now, and fighting we should fight to win, but it’s one thing to fight and win in Libya with Al-Qaeda at our side, it’s another thing to arm this guys:

But Sky News now understands the US is looking at a legal framework to allow limited supplies of arms to the rebels, if they can prove they need them to defend themselves from attack.

Mark Kornblau, spokesman for US Ambassador Dr Susan Rice, confirmed it was a possibility.

Uncoverage is not amused:

There is good reason to believe, from many reliable sources, that they are organized by radical Islamists associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Given that, how can it be that United States U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice can possibly even consider arming the rebels with our weapons?

If we are stupid enough to do this as a nation then we will deserve all we get from it.

You actually have people on Morning Joe debating if it is a war and Pat Buchanan used the line above to answer the question.

The most amazing thing is listening to Donny Deutch and Charles Blow talking about leaving too soon after fighting is done will leave a vacuum.

Do ANY of those people remember what they said about Iraq and Afghanistan?

Reading the speech of the president I’m wondering, if Gaddafi didn’t say aloud that he would have kill the people of Benghazi would we have intervened? In Iraq the mass graves were found by us after we were there, were those mass graves acceptable because we didn’t see them? It is the images not the mass graves that offended him.

And I find the false implication that we didn’t have allies in Iraq offensive, but it’s necessary for this president as a fig leaf for the left.

I have to say I’m with Pat here, if we are in, we should be in to win, period.

Update: The Obama doctrine: “We will intervene to prevent pictures that make me look bad.”

Update 2: Instalanche: hi all. Lots to See here. SEE: Byron York talk Al Qaeda in Libya while Susan Rice talks arming them, SEE racial incidents involving dems not worth covering. SEE that happiness is a clean Fedora. And remember Saturday 10 to noon on AM 830 WCRN’s DaTechGuy on DaRadio is the battle of the Bloggers: Robert Stacy McCain vs Little Miss Attila on Feminism and conservatives. Don’t miss it!

Update 3: How bad does it have to be for the left when even Joe Scarborough is calling BS on them.

If Obama and his liberal supporters believed Qadhafi’s actions morally justified the Libyan invasion, why did they sit silently by for 20 years while Saddam killed hundreds of thousands?

And how do they claim the moral high ground in Libya while not calling for the immediate invasion of Syria? The monstrous Bashar al-Assad regime is slaughtering his own people by the hundreds. More killings are sure to happen as that corrupt regime teeters on the brink of collapse.

For the American Left nothing is immoral if it is done by The One™.

Says Mrs. Clinton. Michael Totten who apparently knows more about Syria than anyone in the administration is picking his jaw up from the floor:

He’s actually a totalitarian state sponsor of terrorism with American, Israeli, Lebanese, Iraqi, and Syrian blood on his hands. And some of that Syrian blood is still warm on the streets.

and as Gateway pundit reminds us:

And, don’t forget that for years this “reformer” Assad allowed terrorists on his soil who had been moving, arming, and funding foreign jihadists traveling through Syria into Iraq in cooperation with al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi.

The actual difference is that one is an Iranian satellite who’s opposed us in Iraq and the other gave in to us when it came to WMD after Iraq fell.

Of course as Israel matzav writes it could be a question of fear:

Though no one is yet talking about a no-fly zone over Syria, Obama administration officials acknowledge the parallels to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi. Some analysts predicted the administration will be cautious in pressing Mr. Assad, not because of any allegiance to him but out of a fear of what could follow him — a Sunni-led government potentially more radical and Islamist than his Alawite minority government.

Frankly we aren’t in a position to intervene in Syria even if we want to, but why not simply be ambiguous? Just say: “All options are on the table.” Make Syria and Iran sweat? Make Assard think he has to give concessions?

This is what comes of judging based on what others want than our own national interest. 2012 can’t come fast enough.

At Patterico a relevant question has been asked concerning Libya that is not being asked enough concerning president Obama’s decision to go to war in Libya.

But before we hammer the President too hard, ask yourself a simple question. Is he right, right now? Forget what he said when he represented one of the most liberal jurisdictions in America, but is he right, right now?

The answer: It depends on how you look at it.

If you look at is in terms of preventing a slaughter, then yes. Our actions prevented an immediate slaughter and are thus worthwhile in the short term. The trick will be to keep it from becoming a bigger slaughter in the long term.

If you look at it in terms of dealing with troublemakers then perhaps. As a general rule if you have a chance to get rid of an enemy (Gaddafi) one should take the opportunity, however the time to have acted was when the rebels were outside of Tripoli not when Gaddafi was outside of Benghazi.

If you look at it in terms of national interest then frankly the answer is No. The rebels who are fighting him seem to also be fighting us elsewhere. If we give over Libya to a different set of enemies they can use that state to sponsor war against us. This is a very bad idea. Additionally historically we have gotten little payback when we have stuck our necks out for Arab countries in general.

All of this is pretty moot now that we are in, WE ARE IN. The real question is what will be the result of our actions. Here are the three possible results

#1. Gaddafi wins: I think this is the least likely outcome. As long as there is some kind of no-fly zone it becomes a ground fight, Benghazi can still fall but if his armor heads toward Tobruk it is very vulnerable from the air. If the west is willing to take out his tanks and armor then Gaddafi can’t finish the job. Of course if the west gets cold feet this goes from the least likely outcome to the most likely outcome, but I think that England and France have too much invested for them to let this happen.

#2 The Rebels win: This has a better chance of happening because you can’t be sure how loyal the forces supporting Gaddafi are. As long as the money holds out the hired guns from the south will stay loyal, but the loss of air superiority makes a huge difference. Of course it’s also a question of taking back cities held by the government which I think is not possible unless Gaddafi and his sons are dead. The question becoming if the rebels win, will they be grateful or will they use the new Libya as an Islamic state to support our foes internationally?

#3 The partition/administration of Libya. Almost certainly the final result. The west without US leadership doesn’t have the staying power or the willingness to actually win the war or commit the ground troops necessary to do so. Sans such will the end result will be a deal to save face for the west that allows Gaddafi’s family in charge of the east where his tribe lives and the rebels in charge of the west. That allows Gaddafi to claim a victory over the west while the west claims success in its mission even as the east is purged of supporters of the rebellion.

And of course this result is the worst of all possible results for the US. We will have a Gaddafi family looking for revenge by proxy in the east while in the west the rebels, who never liked us in the first place, will blame us for the failure to take the country and the purge of their supporters in the east. Since they were already supporting wars against us they will now have a nation to do so with, and it will be a nation “supported’ by the UN.

This is a mess full of bad choices and results. We can only hope it is done wisely.

One of the strangest bits of what is going on in Libya is watching people describe what is going on.

At my weekly game night I went around the table with the guys and asked the opinion of the people there. About 60% didn’t care for it thinking it was not our business, another 40% not only approved but they had an interesting take, they insisted what we were doing wasn’t a war.

By an odd coincidence that is exactly what the French are claiming too:

“We are not at war with Libya, we are protecting the civilian population,” said Fillon and added, “Our objectives are very specific… to protect the civilian population, excluding explicitly any occupation forces.”

Nope it’s nothing at all like a war, I would think the Libyans might disagree.

Exit question: As things are getting interesting in Syria what are the odds of seeing the UN or anyone else support “protecting the civilian population” there.

Police fired live ammunition and tear gas Sunday at thousands of Syrians protesting in a tense southern city for a third consecutive day, killing one person and signaling that unrest in yet another Arab country is taking root, activists said.

I suspect we will be hearing crickets over there.

Warner Todd Huston not only has a cooler Fedora than me, he noticed something that everyone else has apparently missed:

About 2,200 Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit will take part in support operations based aboard USS Kearsarge at sea. Those support operations have thus far included air strikes and one rescue operation. The overall mission is to help end the violence directed at the Libyan people.

“In Libya right now they are doing exactly what we need them to do. They are doing what they are told and right now that’s protecting Libyan people against Qadhafi forces,” said Captain Timothy Patrick, a Marine with the 26th MEU.

I don’t pretend to be a military expect but what non-combat role will 2200 marines be doing aboard the Kearsarge at sea that couldn’t be done by the sailors on the ship. It’s not like the Kearsarge is going to be boarding the CSS Alabama anytime soon.

Warner comments:

One suspects that US ground forces will have to become engaged if anything solid is to happen in NATO’s engagement in Libya. And it seems like Obama is warming us up for that yet.

and as Dan Riehl points out, the Kearsarge is an amphibious assault ship, if they aren’t going to be boots on the ground in Libya, just what are they going to be assaulting? According to Gates they are for “options and contingencies,”.

Apparently president Obama’s definition of “boots on the ground” is similar to a few of my friends who insist that this is “not a war”.

It will be very interesting to see what happens once this gets into the MSM.

Pat Buchanan on the attacks on Libya.

Watching Morning Joe twist in circles continues to be an awful lot of fun.

I know some disagree but why should we let the left off the hook for this kind of thing. All it does is enable them the next time they come after conservatives. Additionally the insistence of “limited war” against Gaddafi is nonsense.

He also referred to the French and Europe as the “JV” team.

There is a conflict here in one sense, If this was going to be done it needed to be done faster and a vote could have been asked of congress. I believe when the president spoke the words “Gaddafi must go” he did so without considering what that meant for the US. There is also the possibility that this was done as a sop to Egypt who fought a war with Gaddafi in the past.

In the meanwhile I intend to continue to tweak the left, in the end I hope this will all work out. As for the president regardless if the move was right or wrong or late we are committed and we have to stand behind the fight. In the words of a particular Giant: “I hope we win.”

or not.

A coordinated attack by Western forces targeting Libyan air capabilities and armor appears to have succeeded in damaging Libyan military installations and armor, but Arab support for the no-fly zone may be waning.

Arab League head Amr Moussa told reporters Sunday that the Arab league thought the use of force was excessive following an overnight bombing campaign that Libya claims killed at least 48 people.

“What we want is civilians’ protection, not shelling more civilians,” he was quoted saying by the Associated Press.

And more:

The volte-face by the Arab League raises uncertainty about the unity of Western and Muslim leaders and highlights varying interpretations of tactics and strategy.

Only Qatar has openly supported the Western-led campaign and Sky sources confirm the United Arab Emirates is offering help but does not seek to publicise

To steal a meme from Glenn Reynolds: “They told me that if I voted for John McCain and Sarah Palin, Arab friends who formally supported our actions would turn away. And they were right!

Update: As Captain Ed says, that didn’t take long.

Update 2: That’s what stinks about taxes, when you are busy doing them you don’t notice an instalanche, thanks Glenn.

Update 3: Just an FYI there has yet to be a person voting in this poll (bottom of page) who thinks Gaddafi will be out of power by April 1st.

Let’s stipulate the following right at the beginning.

1. We are in a fight, I hope we win.

2. Gaddafi being removed is a good thing.

3. Libyans have the right to determine their own fate.

All of that being said I must confess each day brings a new surprise to me.

I was surprised when Gaddafi was smart enough to offer a ceasefire outside of Benghazi, but I was even more surprised when he decided to flaunt. Honoring it would have put the allies in a difficult position, Gaddafi must have decided he could get by on bluff, bad move.

The willingness of the French to do close support against Armor surprised me. If the Libyan armor is struck on a regular basis this is going to stop any offensives in its tracks.

I’m wondering how long the Tomahawk strikes was planned, I suspect there have been existing contingency plans for such a strike.

Since a lot of Gaddafi’s fighters are from Niger I wonder how that will effect that country’s reaction to all of this, what will it mean?

Hugo Chavez was loudly supporting Gaddafi, He Castro and Morals of Bolivia are not amused:

“We know what’s going to happen: bombs, bombs, war, more suffering for the people, more death,” Chavez said in a televised speech in Caracas.

The socialist leader has been joined by Latin American allies including Castro and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega in strongly opposing U.S. and NATO military involvement in Libya, and in suggesting that reports of atrocities by Gadhafi’s troops were overblown or unproven.

In a column published in Cuba’s state media Saturday, Castro asked why the U.N. Security Council exists, and said NATO wields such a colossal military force that it “serves only to show the waste and chaos generated by capitalism.”

Speaking in Bolivia, President Evo Morales condemned the military intervention and said the strategy of some powerful countries has been to “invent a problem, and the problem is wanting to take control of oil.”

Birds of a feather and all that.

Politically the attacks by Michael Moore, Louis Farrahkan and Andrew Sullivan are going to help rather than hurt Obama in the long run.

It is actually funny watching the mainstream left twist itself into pretzels to support this war.

Oh Well.”

Stacy gives us a little history:

In 2001, the usual suspects had scheduled a Sept. 29 protest (“S29″) against the IMF and World Bank, which were scheduled to meet in D.C. that weekend. But after 9/11 the IMF/World Bank meetings were canceled, and so the “anti-globalization” rally instead became the first major anti-war protest of the Bush era.

Even more interesting, you might recall that the left always stressed that it was the Saudi’s that provided hijackers on 9/11 yet we are hitting Iraq. Now we see this from of all places the Huff Po:

According to a cache of al Qaeda documents captured in 2007 by U.S. special operations commandos in Sinjar, Iraq, hundreds of foreign fighters, many of them untrained young Islamic volunteers, poured into Iraq in 2006 and 2007. The documents, called the Sinjar documents, were collected, translated and analyzed at the West Point Counter Terrorism Center. Almost one in five foreign fighters arriving in Iraq came from eastern Libya, from the towns of Surt, Misurata and Darnah.

On a per capita basis, that’s more than twice as many than came from any other Arabic-speaking country, amounting to what the counter terrorism center called a Libyan “surge” of young men eager to kill Americans.

During 2006 and 2007, a total of 1,468 Americans were killed in combat and 12,524 were badly wounded, according to Pentagon records.

These are the guys we are fighting for. Or as the telegraph put it: Libya: the West and al-Qaeda on the same side

If you want to know how this is going to end, don’t watch Gaddafy watch his sons.

Apparently this is now the 3rd Clinton term:

This division in our leadership could not have been more evident today watching Obama speak from Brazil followed by Clinton’s Paris conference. Obama was a blip, his vaunted verbal facility from the ’08 presidential election now seeming a distant memory from a particularly bland and pompous advertising campaign. Meanwhile, Clinton handled her press conference like a true statesman, fielding questions exactly with ready answers. She had thought things through and it showed. The woman had not been off playing golf or taking samba lessons in Corcovado. She obviously skipped the March Madness, as well, for more significant matters.

And everything old is new again:

The protesters, some shouting anti-war slogans and singing “We Shall Not Be Moved,” were arrested Saturday after ignoring orders to move away from the gates of the White House. The demonstrators cheered loudly as Daniel Ellsberg, the former military analyst who in 1971 leaked the Pentagon’s secret history of the Vietnam War that was later published in major newspapers, was arrested and led away by police.

Libya is now Vietnam? How about that.

Pam Geller reminds us of this quite from a certain Chicago Reverend:

Obama’s spirtual svengali, former Nation of Islam adherent Jerry Wright’s longtime close association with Farrakhan is well known. In April 2008, when he appeared at the National Press Club in order to address the controversy that had engulfed the Obama campaign because of his incendiary anti-American remarks from the pulpit, his security detail was made of members of the Nation of Islam. He and Farrakhan even once traveled to Libya to confer with Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi – as Wright recalled during the 2008 campaign: “When [Obama’s] enemies find out that in 1984 I went to Tripoli to visit [Gaddafi] with Farrakhan, a lot of his Jewish support will dry up quicker than a snowball in hell.”

As you recall that didn’t happen, apparently they considered Sarah Palin a bigger threat after all it’s not like she would be the type to have Purim dinner with the PM in Israel or something. But we are apparently seeing the Palin Doctrine in action.

I have no idea how this is going to end, but the tribal nature of his military support is likely going help keep them loyal.

I still think that April 1st Gaddafi will still be in charge of most of Libya. What do you think?

Update: Just a coincidence I’m sure.

On Way too Early Mike Barnicle reported that the UN security counsel is getting ready to vote on a no-fly zone in Libya. The AP report via AOL (or is it Arianna?) that suddenly the US is willing to support it:

the United States, in a striking reversal, pushed for broader action to protect civilians from ground and sea attacks as well.

U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said the Obama administration is “fully focused on the urgency and the gravity of the situation on the ground,” where Gadhafi’s fighters are intensifying attacks and heading toward rebel-held Bengazi, Libya’s second-largest city, and is working “very hard” for a vote on Thursday.

“We are interested in a broad range of actions that will effectively protect civilians and increase the pressure on the Gadhafi regime to halt the killing and to allow the Libyan people to express themselves in their aspirations for the future freely and peacefully,”

Of course assuming there is no Russian or Chinese veto any such action is going to be too late as Allahpundit puts it:

His dirtbag “reformer” son, Seif, promised earlier today that it’ll all be over within 48 hours, which doesn’t seem unrealistic given the pace of recent advances. I’m sure the UN hopes it’s true: They’ve been waiting patiently for Qaddafi to finish off the rebels for weeks now so that they don’t have to act. Any further delay would be a bit, well, embarrassing.

I think they will not have to worry about such embarrassment. The vote in my opinion is not for the sake of protecting Libyans, it is for the sake of saying they “did something” for domestic use. Meanwhile at least one Italian company is not even trying to pretend where they stand:

Italy’s Eni (ENI.MI) called on Europe to abandon sanctions against Libya, becoming the first Western firm to try to rebuild bridges as Muammar Gaddafi is regaining control and may reopen the oil taps.

They can see the writing on the wall

Libyan rebels battled to hold a strategic eastern city against a punishing offensive by forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi, voicing anger and frustration at the West for not coming to their aid. At the same time, government troops heavily shelled the last main rebel bastion near the capital.

Charred vehicles, bullet-riddled pickup trucks and an overturned tank littered the desert highway where pro-Gadhafi forces had fought up to the entrance of the key eastern city of Ajdabiya. An Associated Press Television News cameraman counted at least three bodies by the side of the road, evidence of fierce battles.

Government troops were bringing in a stream of truckloads of ammunition, rockets and supplies — signs of an intensified effort by the Libyan leader to retake control of the country he has ruled with an iron fist for more than four decades.

And I wonder what all those diplomats who defected at the start when government started to back the rebels are now thinking?

All the arguments against intervention, no US interests, overextended, going to war, let Nato do it, the rebels are not good guys, we will get no gratitude for it etc etc etc… are valid, and if we had said at the outset: “The US believes that the future of Libya should be decided by Libyan people, not by US force.” and left it at that, it would be one thing. Instead our president said that Gaddafi “lost legitimacy” (did he ever have it?) said he must go, claimed there was a tightening noose around him, and then didn’t even start to act until the fight so far gone that it can’t be reversed without a full scale invasion. (Good luck getting support for that).

Personally my thought is that Gaddafi is an enemy, who is directly responsible for American deaths and if we had a chance to take him out we should have done so, if logistically possible. If it was not possible then we should have spoken the “not by US force” line and while doing what we could quietly behind the scenes.

The most significant part of it: It’s all of this is happening in front of our faces this time. Because of the rebel advances and the media rushing in we were actually able to see what people thought of an anti-west dictator independent of what those on the left had to say about “American Imperialism” or those paid to prop him up. (hello monitor group). The mask is off.

The result? It will be the same as the effect of Hal Chases acquittal on fixing games a year before he helped the White Sox throw the 1919 series as Bill James put it :

He was free, then. It had all been brought out into the open , and he had gotten by with it. This seems to have had a liberating effect of Chase’s activities…

Once Gaddafi takes Benghazi there will be a slaughter. There will be nothing and nobody to stop it and we will express regret that we were not able to act in time and vow that it won’t happen again. This should not be a surprise, as I wrote concerning Sudan in June of 2009 concerning Iran and Sudan:

This is why Obama can watch people slaughtered and invite the killers to parties, this is why Clinton can let Rwanda happen and then not be critiqued when he beats his breast in regret.

Our reaction to this is a national disgrace.

It is also why the left will always hate president Bush. 9/11 may have been the impetus but in the end in at least one place in the world the mass graves were stopped and he was responsible and still doesn’t apologize for it.

We are going say little and do less while these people are slaughtered. It’s what we are doing with Sudan and it is what we will do the next time and the time after that. This might seem odd but it’s not about saving slaughtered people; it’s about being able to say you care and convince others you care while doing nothing.

Lots of people are going to be beating their breasts and saying how they meant well but believe me Iran and North Korea are watching. They will recognize that we had the best chance ever to remove an actual enemy, a person directly responsible for killing Americans, a person for whom there was popular support to do so and we choose not to.

How hollow are any warnings concerning Nuclear Proliferation going to be from this point on? How willing will people considering a popular uprising move knowing there is not cost if the dictators choose to kill any who oppose them? How much will And when these foes consider how to aggressively supply those who would LOVE to hit us either at home or abroad do you think they are going to listen to any warning we give? It’s going to mean that when they act we will have to pay a much higher price to stop them.

And there is another consideration, how likely is the president in an attempt to look tougher going to overreact in a different situation just to show that he is the alpha male? As Michael Ledeen said about Carter:

At about this stage in the Carter years, I began to worry: the president was getting a reputation for being a wimp, the economy was going to hell, and his poll numbers were headed steadily south. The main enemy — the Soviet Union — was flexing its muscles, invading Afghanistan in December of 1979. This came amidst the Iranian hostage crisis, which began early the previous month.

We tend to forget that the U.S. military buildup, which ultimately played a big role in the successful outcome of the Cold War, was started by Carter in response to the Soviet move, I must confess I didn’t know that myself DTG but by the time it started, “the wimp” could not hope to recover his lost manhood by sending money to the Pentagon.

And so I asked myself, is there a point at which a president realizes that wimps don’t get reelected? And if so, what might he do to shatter that image? For the next two years I worried that Carter might overreact to some international crisis in order to make folks see that he was really a tough guy.

This is a real reason to worry and we’ll keep an eye on it, but this simply proves Teddy Roosevelt right when he said: “Speak softly and carry a Big Stick.” and Sarah Palin (who called for a no fly zone weeks ago when it would have worked) who said: “2012 can’t come fast enough.”

Update: Oh brother, talk about doublespeak. Via Josh Trevino on Twitter.

Update 2: Serious mulling going on.

We need to “be prepared to contemplate” action beyond an NFZ? Literally speaking, Rice isn’t even asking to contemplate action, but to prepare ourselves to contemplate action. If it took the US exactly a month into the uprising — and five days after the Arab League unanimously requested a no-fly zone over Libya — to merely think about preparing for contemplation of action, what exactly will be the timeline for making an actual decision?

Likely sometime after the start the polls support it.

Update 3: Related: It’s not just Libya: Where are the Americans?

Update 4: How bad is it? This bad:

“Obviously, she’s not happy with dealing with a president who can’t decide if today is Tuesday or Wednesday, who can’t make his mind up,” a Clinton insider told The Daily. “She’s exhausted, tired.”

He went on, “If you take a look at what’s on her plate as compared with what’s on the plates of previous Secretary of States — there’s more going on now at this particular moment, and it’s like playing sports with a bunch of amateurs. And she doesn’t have any power. She’s trying to do what she can to keep things from imploding.”

I never thought I’d see the say when I felt bad for Mrs. Clinton.

If you want to know the difference between barbarians and civilized people here it is:

IDF forces and local paramedics helped save the life of a Palestinian woman and her newly born infant Wednesday, at the settlement where Fogel relatives are sitting Shiva for the five Israelis brutally murdered last week.

Just as IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz arrived in Neve Tzuf to offer his condolences, a Palestinian cab raced towards the community’s entrance. In it, soldiers and paramedics discovered a Palestinian woman in her 20s in advanced stages of labor and facing a life-threatening situation: The umbilical cord was wrapped around the young baby girl’s neck, endangering both her and her mother.

The quick action of settler paramedics and IDF troops deployed in the area saved the mother’s and baby’s life, prompting great excitement and emotions at the site where residents are still mourning the brutal death of five local family members.

Talk about a hopeful sign. I wonder if Palestinians will be giving out cakes over this? Likely not.

Meanwhile how is the left is reacting to the previous murders, I’ll let Elder of Ziyon tell the tale:

Compare this article to how a Mondoweiss writer named Max Ajl describes what he think the left’s reaction should be to the Itamar murders:

You want my condemnation? You will not have it. No one should respond to such demagogic moral blackmail. We killed those children. There are those who will warp my words. Good luck. I do not want children to die, no child deserves to die or deserves such parents or deserves to be born into such a society or such a state.

It is amazing that the Jewish anti-Israel left is less sympathetic to the Itamar victims than the neighboring Arabs whose land is supposedly being stolen. And to these sickening leftists, Jews who want to live in Judea and Samaria do not have the right to life.

I suspect the MSM isn’t going to be big on this story either.