Posts Tagged ‘Iran’

Israel Picks Perfect Time to Kick Hamas’ Ass

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Just a quick note to compliment Israel on a perfect sense of timing in picking this week to kick Hamas’ incompetent ass (yet again) in Operation Protective Edge:

  • No one cares about Hamas’ propaganda bullshit anymore:

    Hamas has done more harm to the Palestinian movement in the past two decades, than any opponent of the Palestinians could have done. It has sabotaged relations with a sympathetic media through muddled press conferences and moronic bombastic statements about “opening the gates of hell.” It has driven out international supporters, managed to decrease the support it did have among various “free Gaza” committees and “shot its bolt” in its various ill-conceived wars with Israel.

    Snip.

    It gained a respite with the election of Mohammed Morsi in Egypt in 2012. But like Morsi, it over-reached and overestimated its military chances against Israel. It must have gained hope from Turkey’s Islamist government AK party and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s strong messages of support. But the Gaza flotilla incident of 2010 seems like a high point of Turkish resolve. Hamas’ other erstwhile friends in Iran and Hezbollah; although Shi’ite extremists, seemed like they might bolster the organization. The 2006 Lebanon War, which was roundly seen as a blunder for Israel, was a by-product of Hamas’ own kidnapping of Gilad Schalit that year. But Hezbollah and Iran were drawn into the Syrian quagmire and Hamas was left alone. The overthrow of Morsi by General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in Egypt put another nail in the blockade around Gaza as Sisi sought to root out terror in Sinai. Pro-Gaza activists from the West were roughed up routinely in Egypt.

    Whereas Hamas could once propagate stories about flour or electricity shortages in Gaza, the international media and activists began to shrug their shoulders. Another perennial sewage problem? In June of 2014 Reuters noted, “sewage at the beach, piles of garbage mar Gaza’s summer.” Various alarmist UN statements, such as a 2008 claim that the “blockage [by Israel and Egypt] is putting Gaza at risk of starvation” were met with a yawn. Hamas’ Gaza policy, with its need for international attention, has been marred particularly by the mass atrocities that have been taking place throughout the Middle East. Media outlets like the BBC caught on to the fact that images from Syria are routinely passed off as being from Gaza and there is less international outrage at Israel than in previous years as the European public is inured to suffering in the region.

    This latest round of violence is indicative. Al-Jazeera cobbled together various world leaders’ reactions to the conflict. The usual suspects were there – but were markedly tepid in their criticism of Israel.

  • Indeed, with much of the region embroiled in the ongoing merged Syrian and Iraqi conflicts, both sides of the nascent Sunni/Shia civil war are too preoccupied with possible existential issues to bother with any but the most perfunctory denunciations of Israel. Sure, they’d still like to wipe Jews off the face of the earth, but they have more pressing concerns right now. And with all the other atrocities going on, the usual “Hey, look at these horrible pictures of dead children because we just happened to put our rocket launchers in their preschool” photos just don’t pack the same punch.
  • Likewise, with ISIS making mischief on their own border, Iran may be in no mood to buy Hamas another round of missiles for them to waste launching indiscriminate attacks on civilians in Israel in the mostly vain hope one might manage to kill a Jew or two. (Iron Dome seems to be working pretty well.)
  • As the War Nerd pointed out, the World Cup slaughters jihad porn in the viewer ratings derby. By launching Protective Edge during the final week of the World Cup, Israel insured that all the regions casual jihad sympathizers were too busy watching people kick a ball on TV to go through the motions of pretending they cared what happens to Palestinians.
  • All that said, I bet we go through the whole thing again another two years from now…

    Iraq/Syria/ISIS Update

    Thursday, June 26th, 2014

    Since Iraq and Syria are now all part of the same greater Sunni/Shia conflict, let’s take a look at recent developments in the broader theater:

    The War Nerd pinpoints the biggest reason for ISIS’s rapid Iraq advance: the flat geography of the area they’ve taken: “It’s the Bonneville Salt Flats of insurgency, the place you go to set new speed records.” He also thinks the Kurdish Pesh Merga will slaughter them if ISIS is foolish enough to make a big push into the northern hill country.

    Michael Totten has a depressing interview with Lee Smith, the author of The Consequences of Syria:

  • For all Obama’s talk of arming Syrian rebels, no arms seem to have actually made it there. Indeed, the whole thing seems to have been a disinformation campaign the press lapped up. “This White House has been bad for the press, and the readership’s faith in our press, but it seems most journalists don’t much care.”
  • “The administration feared that helping topple Assad, an ally of Iran, might have angered the Iranians and pushed them away from the negotiating table, and getting a deal with Iran was the White House’s chief goal in the Middle East.” So the goal of the Obama Administration isn’t a free Middle East, or a stable Middle East, but signing a piece of paper with the ayatollahs.
  • Since Obama’s serial retreats have put us in a situation of such profound weakness, they won’t even be getting that: “What we’re seeing [is] a United States in retreat in the Middle East. So I don’t see what the accommodation would look like. It’s not a grand bargain with Iran, but an American fire sale, with the US virtually giving away its assets. The US is retreating from the region and leaving it in Iranian hands.”
  • “What we’re seeing in cities like Mosul is a Sunni rebellion against Maliki and the Iranians. In addition to ISIS, there are also former Baath party figures, like one of Saddam’s deputies, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, as well as Sunni tribes. ISIS would appear to be playing the role of Sunni shock troops, who are dispatched to the fronts to terrorize and create havoc. Behind them are the Baathis and the tribes.”
  • Reason for ISIS’ rapid advance? Maliki’s brutal sectarian incompetence. “What Maliki and the Iranians have done is unite the tribes and ISIS through their anti-Sunni policies.”
  • Read the whole thing.

    A look a Syria’s Christians, who are getting it from both sides.

    Here’s a piece that suggests that moderate Sunnis are just using ISIS to get Maliki out. (Well, what are a few Shia mass graves anyway?) Yeah, not buying it. It’s the guys with guns who use “moderates,” not the other way around. Also argues for a de jour rather than merely de facto partition of Iraq.

    More on ISIS

    Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

    For those who haven’t been following every twist and turn of the Syrian Civil War, the sudden rise of Islamic State of Syria and Iraq probably came as quite a shock. Yesterday you’d never heard of them, and today they’re capturing Mosul and Tikrit and advancing on Baghdad. No terrorist or guerrilla force grows that quickly without some sort of major financial backing. My suspicion that they were bankrolled by the Saudis and some of the other Sunni oil sheikdoms appears to have been more or less accurate.

    Over at The Daily Beast, Josh Rogin says that wealthy donors in Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia are funding ISIS.

    Under significant U.S. pressure, the Arab Gulf governments have belatedly been cracking down on funding to Sunni extremist groups, but Gulf regimes are also under domestic pressure to fight in what many Sunnis see as an unavoidable Shiite-Sunni regional war that is only getting worse by the day.

    “ISIS is part of the Sunni forces that are fighting Shia forces in this regional sectarian conflict. They are in an existential battle with both the (Iranian aligned) Maliki government and the Assad regime.”

    And therein lies the rub. The Syrian Civil War had already undertaken the character of a Sunni/Shia conflict that was drawing in Iran and Lebanon (and, by financial proxy, Saudi Arabia); their swift success in Iraq widens the scope of the war, but not the essential nature. Sunnis and Shiias have hardly needed an excuse to slaughter each other at the drop of a hat; indeed, the far more difficult task has always been to keep them from slaughtering each other.

    For what it’s worth, the exceptionally cynical and always-entertaining War Nerd says that ISIS has already peaked:

    This is one of those dramatic military reverses that mean a lot less than meets the eye. The “Iraqi Army” routed by ISIS wasn’t really a national army, and ISIS isn’t really a dominant military force. It was able to occupy those cities because they were vacuums, abandoned by a weak, sectarian force. Moving into vacuums like this is what ISIS is good at. And that’s the only thing ISIS is good at.

    ISIS is a sectarian Sunni militia—that’s all. A big one, as militias go, with something like 10,000 fighters. Most of them are Iraqi, a few are Syrian, and a few hundred are those famous “European jihadis” who draw press attention out of all relation to their negligible combat value. The real strength of ISIS comes from its Chechen fighters, up to a thousand of them. A thousand Chechens is a serious force, and a terrifying one if they’re bearing down on your neighborhood. Chechens are the scariest fighters, pound-for-pound, in the world.

    But we’re still talking about a conventional military force smaller than a division. That’s a real but very limited amount of combat power. What this means is that, no matter how many scare headlines you read, ISIS will never take Baghdad, let alone Shia cities to the south like Karbala. It won’t be able to dent the Kurds’ territory to the north, either. All it can do—all it has been doing, by moving into Sunni cities like Mosul and Tikrit—is to complete the partition of Iraq begun by our dear ex-president Bush in 2003.

    Also this: “Insurgent groups go through leaders like Spinal Tap went through drummers.”

    This analysis of the situation strikes me as just cynical enough to possibly be true, especially given his thoughts on our non-friends the Saudis. But the fact that ISIS probably won’t be able to take Baghdad doesn’t mean they won’t try. And there’s no reason the Sunni/Shia civil war can’t widen and drag even more countries into it.

    Which is not to argue that we should be intervening at this point. Indeed, someone who was especially cynical might suggest that years of Sunnis and Shias killing each other might be just the thing to distract them from killing us…

    Iraq: It’s All George W. Bush’s Fault

    Thursday, June 12th, 2014

    (Note: This headline is only slightly factitious.)

    The problem with George W. Bush’s Middle East policy is that there’s no political gain there, no matter how great the price or resounding the achievement, that Obama can’t throw away through his manifestly gross incompetence. Al Qaeda in Iraq’s successor organization, the Sunni Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) “consolidated and extended their control over northern Iraq on Wednesday, seizing Tikrit, the hometown of Saddam Hussein, threatening the strategic oil refining town of Baiji and pushing south toward Baghdad, their ultimate target.”

    That’s the same ISIS that captured Mosul, where they seized $429 million worth of Iraqi dinars from the local bank, making them the richest terrorist army in the world.

    Remember when Obama declared that “al Qaeda is on the run”?

    And remember when Obama pulled out of Iraq and walked away without a status of forces agreement there?

    Now two battalions of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Quds forces have deployed to Iraq, ostensibly to support Maliki’s Shiite government. So now, in theory, we’re allied with the Mullahs in Iran in Iraq against the Isalmists we’re supporting in Syria against the Iran-aligned government of Bashar Assad.

    About the only good news out of the region is that the Kurds are holding their own. An independent Kurdistan would be far from the worst development in the region, and would probably freak out both Iran and Turkey enough to distract them from further mischief elsewhere.

    The current situation highlights the age-old truth that the Middle East is filled with people whose deepest desire appears to be to kill and gain power over members of rival clans/tribes/factions/confessions/etc. This has been true for pretty much all of recorded history save when a strong power (Ottoman, British, Baathist) is able to keep those tendencies in check through heavy policing, military occupation, or a brutal security state apparatus. The presence of our troops there gives the natives a distraction and a target, allowing them to temporarily stop killing each other in preference to killing us. The exceptions to this rule, such as multicultural Lebanon circa 1946-1974, have proven frustratingly ephemeral.

    Israel provided a temporary target of unifying hatred, but the Jewish state’s defensive measures have made it increasingly difficult to get close enough to any Jews to kill them, hence back to the old internecine pursuits.

    Bush43′s foreign policy in the Middle East and the decision to invade Iraq stems, in large measure, from Bush41′s decision not to let Schwartzkopf take Baghdad in The Gulf War. Whether doing so would have brought all on all our Iraqi troubles two decades earlier is debatable. There is much to say for toppling a totalitarian thug like Saddam, not least of which was liberating the children’s prison, where children as young as 5 were tortured to make their mothers talk. Perhaps the ideal strategy would have been to depose and execute Saddam and his top regime supporters in 1991, then immediately leave and let Iraqi factions kill each other rather than our troops. But I doubt anyone put forward that idea as a serious suggestion at the time.

    Bush43 ultimately succeeded in largely pacifying Iraq, but the cost was high and, as recent events proved, the gains were temporary. The problem with interventionist policy in the Middle East is that there is no gain safe from the feckless impulses of surrender and appeasement that dominate the Democratic Party’s thinking today. The Scoop Jackson wing of the Democratic Party is dead, and Obama and Kerry perfectly embody the combination of naivete, hubris, multilateralist, and hostility to the military that dominates today. They love signing treaties and “the peace process,” even though it’s all process and no peace.

    It turns out that Ron Paul may be right for the wrong reasons. Because no foreign policy gain in the Middle East is safe from Democratic incompetence, Republicans should not pursue any interventionist foreign policy there, especially in the name of impossible “stability”. No interventionist accomplishment there can endure long past the end of a Republican President’s term, because there is no gain safe from the likes of Kerry and Obama. And since there is no indication the nature of the Democratic Party will be changing any time soon, a military interventionist foreign policy there, no matter how well-intentioned, well-planned, and well-executed, must be doomed to ultimate failure.

    In hindsight, the liberation of Iraq turns out to be a tragic mistake, because Bush underestimated how decisively his hard-won gains could be undone by the incompetence of his successor.

    LinkSwarm for March 10, 2014

    Monday, March 10th, 2014

    Time for another LinkSwarm, sweeping up all the news that was happening while I was churning out Texas primary news:

  • “The uninsured just aren’t buying ObamaCare.”
  • A not-so-short compendium of all the people Harry Reid is calling a liar.
  • ObamaCare will slash wages by as much as $5 an hour for hospitality workers.
  • ObamaCare helps states transfer medical costs for imprisoned felons to Medicaid.
  • In Sean Trende’s latest senate simulation, Democrats are more likely to lose 14 seats than 0 seats.
  • Among those in trouble: Mo Udall. (Hat tip: Shall Not Be Questioned.)
  • Even Obama is worried that Democrats will get “walloped.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • This week’s Democrat caught beating his wife: Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida
  • Senate to Obama’s cop killer fan nominee: REJECTED!
  • But evidently Mary Landrieu and Kay Hagan are just fine with cop-killer supporters.
  • New York City’s new mayor is perfectly willing to screw poor black kids attending a charter school because it’s a non-union school run by his “political nemesis.”
  • Speaking of cities run by Democrats: woman’s mummified remains found in foreclosed Detroit house.
  • A great list of things Obama won’t even consider to stop Putin.
  • Time magazine continues its record of unrivaled prognostication: “No, Russia Will Not Intervene in Ukraine.”
  • “If economic success is all but criminal in France these days, why not depart for places that reward it instead?”
  • Israel intercepts more Iranian freedom missiles and happiness rockets in route to Hamas.
  • Nigerian Muslim defends daughter’s conversion to Christianity, pleads for multiculturalism and tolerance. Ha, just kidding! He hacked her to death with a machete.
  • “What Nigerian scams are to your grandfather, Bitcoin exchanges are to the 20-30 semi-tech-savvy libertarian demographic.”

    “The exchanges are based on layers upon layers of bad software, run by shady characters,” he writes. “The Bitcoin masses, judging by their behavior on forums, have no actual interest in science, technology or even objective reality when it interferes with their market position. They believe that holding a Bitcoin somehow makes them an active participant in a bold new future, even as they passively get fleeced in the bolder current present.”

  • The bigger the cushion, the sweeter the pushin’…
  • Can anyone derail the juggernaut that is Biden 2016?
  • Vaunted liberal tolerance rears its head in Ireland:

  • We have an early winner for “stupidest Critical Race Theory race-baiting essay” from Salon (natch): “Why I can’t stand white belly dancers.”
  • Meanwhile, National Review is celebrating Chinese classical musicians. Now remind me again: Which side is racist?
  • More on Critical Race Theorist/Social Justice Warrior types: “These people don’t listen to things like “logic” and “reason” when they are in one of their social justice tizzies. It’s not even worth trying to be kind or polite to them.”
  • Winners and Losers from the Texas primaries.
  • LinkSwarm for January 29, 2014

    Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

    Lots of news from around the world, where the global economy is handing like a Kia that’s just started losing traction on an icy hill:

  • Bundesbank: Don’t look at us, broke PIIGS, you’re going to have to screw your own people.
  • Does a big default loom in China?
  • Russian bank halts all cash withdrawals?
  • Meanwhile, reports that Chinese banks have stopped allowing withdrawals turns out to be a false alarm.
  • European earnings outlook: Zero.
  • Problem: Greek economy still sucking wind. Solution: change how GDP is calculated.
  • Japan hits record trade deficit. Remember when they were supposed to take over the world?
  • The ruble flirts with record lows.
  • Obama and the Democratic Party’s numbers are worse than they were in 2010.
  • Planned Parenthood wonders what’s the big deal with a little statutory rape among friends?
  • Florida heroin kingpin is an illegal alien on food stamps.
  • Another Democrat convicted of that vote fraud that doesn’t exist. (Hat tip: Dwight.)

  • Democrats actually polling worse than they were in 2010. And that’s from Dem pollster/booster John B. Judis.
  • Target’s part-time workers get ObamaCared.
  • We have a winner for troll of the year:

    Every time I hear someone say that feminism is about validating every choice a woman makes I have to fight back vomit.

    Do people really think that a stay at home mom is really on equal footing with a woman who works and takes care of herself? There’s no way those two things are the same. It’s hard for me to believe it’s not just verbally placating these people so they don’t get in trouble with the mommy bloggers.

    Having kids and getting married are considered life milestones. We have baby showers and wedding parties as if it’s a huge accomplishment and cause for celebration to be able to get knocked up or find someone to walk down the aisle with. These aren’t accomplishments, they are actually super easy tasks, literally anyone can do them. They are the most common thing, ever, in the history of the world. They are, by definition, average.

    Amy Glass, come down and collect your coveted Trolly! (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

  • “Woman Takes Short Half-Hour Break From Being Feminist To Enjoy TV Show”
  • In case you didn’t notice, Iran’s mullahs are still lying, violent scumbags.
  • Strangely enough, Israeli’s trust Netanyahu more than Obama. Funny how a mere 40+ years Palestinians breaking every agreement they’ve signed will sour people on the peace process…
  • Michael Totten wanders around Cuba some more, where he let’s us know that Cubans can be arrested for unauthorized shrimp.
  • California Court determines that disgraced serial journalistic liar Stephen Glass is too dishonest to be a lawyer.
  • In other news, Eugene Volokh stuns Washington Post readers with non-liberal thoughts on guns and other topics.
  • Have you ever considered the possibility that Woody Allen isn’t a child molester?
  • Drive a Fit, a Prius, a Yaris, or a Fiat 500? Hope you’ve made out a will.
  • Anthony Weiner forced to downsize to an apartment whose rent is a mere 6 times my mortgage.
  • The World Peace Treaty: A Look Back on the Kellogg-Briand Pact

    Thursday, December 26th, 2013

    I got one of the most amusingly ridiculous pieces of political spam in my email box recently:

    DEAR SANTA

    please can be seated in your nice wormchair and email to the rest off the world to forward the red note to their head of state, if the world peace treaty ever take place (with your help and those that read this), there are enough monie spent on each country on defend budgets (that %30 off our taxes monie) we can all have 3 presents each every day for the rest of our lives the and also our great great great grand children lives, not including the ten year early retirement which we should have

    together we can kindly ask the world top 20 leaders to sign a world Peace treaty
    please can you copy and paste the message in the red below then email it to your local Members of Parliament (MPs) or someone who s head of state
    in your country or county
    do this once (mean you r a true beliver))
    copy and email all the text to a hundred people (mean this will happen, 100x 100 x 100x 100= 1 bilion people

    Etc. etc. etc., at great length.

    It would be the height of laziness to take potshots at a naive piece of badly-spelled spam, but since it’s the day after Christmas, and I’m feeling very lazy indeed, let’s grab the pump-action Remington and stroll out to the pike barrel, shall we?

    Putting aside the fact that this particular email seems to have been dictated by a Nigerian Prince to someone for whom English was not their first (or even second) language, let me concentrate on the underlying idea animating the missive, namely a world peace treaty to end war.

    Hate to tell you sparky, but it’s been tried. It was called the Kellogg-Braind Pact:

    WHEREAS a Treaty between the President of the United States Of America, the President of the German Reich, His Majesty the King of the Belgians, the President of the French Republic, His Majesty the King of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas, Emperor of India, His Majesty the King of Italy, His Majesty the Emperor of Japan, the President of the Republic of Poland, and the President of the Czechoslovak Republic, providing for the renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy, was concluded and signed by their respective Plenipotontiaries at Paris on the twenty-seventh day of August, one thousand nine hundred and twenty-eight, the original of which Treaty, being in the English and the French languages, is word for word as follows:

    THE PRESIDENT OF THE GERMAN REICH, THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF THE BELGIANS, THE PRESIDENT OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC, HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF GREAT BRITAIN IRELAND AND THE BRITISH DOMINIONS BEYOND THE SEAS, EMPEROR OF INDIA, HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF ITALY, HIS MAJESTY THE EMPEROR OF JAPAN, THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND THE PRESIDENT OF THE CZECHOSLOVAK REPUBLIC,

    Deeply sensible of their solemn duty to promote the welfare of mankind;

    Persuaded that the time has, come when a frank renunciation of war as an instrument of na tional policy should be made to the end that the peaceful and friendly relations now existing between their peoples may be perpetuated;

    Convinced that all changes in their relations with one another should be sought only by pacific means and be the result of a peaceful and orderly process, and that any signatory Power which shall hereafter seek to promote its ts national interests by resort to war a should be denied the benefits furnished by this Treaty;

    Hopeful that, encouraged by their example, all the other nations of the world will join in this humane endeavor and by adhering to the present Treaty as soon as it comes into force bring their peoples within the scope of its beneficent provisions, thus uniting the civilized nations of the world in a common renunciation of war as an instrument of their national policy;

    Have decided to conclude a Treaty and for that purpose have appointed as their respective Plenipotentiaries

    [List of Plenipotentiary signatories omitted]

    who, having communicated to one another their full powers found in good and due form have agreed upon the following articles:

    ARTICLE I

    The High Contracting Parties solemly declare in the names of their respective peoples that they condemn recourse to war for the solution of international controversies, and renounce it, as an instrument of national policy in their relations with one another.

    ARTICLE II

    The High Contracting Parties agree that the settlement or solution of all disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them, shall never be sought except by pacific means.

    ARTICLE III

    The present Treaty shall be ratified by the High Contracting Parties named in the Preamble in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements, and shall take effect as between them as soon as all their several instruments of ratification shall have been deposited at Washington.

    This Treaty shall, when it has come into effect as prescribed in the preceding paragraph, remain open as long as may be necessary for adherence by all the other Powers of the world. Every instrument evidencing the adherence of a Power shall be deposited at Washington and the Treaty shall immediately upon such deposit become effective as; between the Power thus adhering and the other Powers parties hereto.

    It shall be the duty of the Government of the United States to furnish each Government named in the Preamble and every Government subsequently adhering to this Treaty with a certified copy of the Treaty and of every instrument of ratification or adherence. It shall also be the duty of the Government of the United States telegraphically to notify such Governments immediately upon the deposit with it of each instrument of ratification or adherence.

    IN FAITH WHEREOF the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed this Treaty in the French and English languages both texts having equal force, and hereunto affix their seals.

    DONE at Paris, the twenty seventh day of August in the year one thousand nine hundred and twenty-eight.

    The brainchild of French foreign minister Aristide Briand and U.S. Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg, the Pact was conceived as a way of constraining future German aggression and eliminating the horrors of war for all time.

    Didn’t work out so well.

    Like all Utopian schemes, the Kellog-Briand Pact failed because it assumed human beings were both perfectible and rational in large numbers, neither of which is the case. Forged in a time of relative economic prosperity, when Hitler was an ex-con running the fringe National Socialist German Workers’ Party, no one could foresee the Great Depression and the conflagration of World War II just around the corner.

    Wars happen for a variety of reasons, none of which can be derailed solely because the countries involved signed a piece of paper saying war is bad and naughty and they’re having none of it. Treaties work when they either benefit both nations (see, for example, the Rush-Bagot Treaty, which demilitirized the Great Lakes), or because one party to the treaty has the obvious ability to completely beat the snot out of the other.

    Treaties with non-democratic regimes are only as good as the obvious willingness of democratic nations to use force to back them up. Which is why I have little-to-no faith that the recent treaty with Iran will have the slightest effect on Iran’s nuclear program beyond accelerating it…

    LinkSwarm for November 27, 2013

    Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

    I’m guessing a lot of people will be traveling or furiously cleaning their house today, so here’s a small pre-Thanksgiving LinkSwarm for the distracted:

  • Dear America: In case you didn’t notice in the ObamaCare meltdown, the economy is still screwed.
  • Current estimate for people losing their employer health insurance thanks to ObamaCare: 80 million.
  • Abbott Labs CEO: ObamaCare provides “clear incentives for companies to drop their health care plans and move people onto the exchanges.”
  • Noted right-wing white supremacists Al Sharpton and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter say the Knockout Game is real. (Hat tip Jammie Wearing Fool.
  • Israel is not the only country upset over Obama and Kerry’s Iranian cave-in; the Saudis are pissed, too.
  • The pro-Amnesty lobby thinks they can punish politicians for agreeing with the will of American voters. Fuzzy, feel-good “immigration reform” polls well right up until voters realize what they’ll actually get is illegal alien amnesty.
  • Leander ISD is bankrupting its children.
  • LinkSwarm for November 25, 2013

    Monday, November 25th, 2013

    This was supposed to go up Friday, but Stuff and Things interfered once again.

    Obama’s “deal” with Iran drops sanctions and lets them enrich uranium to their heart’s content. I guess Obama needs the Iran agreement as a disastrous fake achievement to distract from ObamaCare, his last disastrous fake achievement. I haven’t read all the details, so I can’t tell if it’s Madeleine Albright bad, or Neville Chamberlain bad, but it doesn’t appear to address Iran’s continued support of Assad, Hezbollah, or their other terrorist activities. Still to be decided: whether Obama personally plants the knife in Benjamin Netanyahu’s back, or has aide do it. (If Hillary Clinton wanted to put distance between herself and the Obama Administration, now would be a great time to denounce the Iran deal.)

  • Mother forced into Medicaid. “There was just one option—at the very affordable monthly rate of zero. The exchange had determined that my mother was not eligible to choose to pay for a plan, and so she was slated immediately for Medicaid.”
  • The real rationale behind ObamaCare was the redistribution of wealth. “The redistribution of wealth has always been a central feature of [ObamaCare].”
  • “Insurance is complex to buy”? Really, Mr. President? I’m pretty sure Forest Gump could have figured that out in less than 3 years…
  • The real reason behind Obama’s laughable deal with Iran is to shore up his shrinking liberal base, the only group that still supports him after the ObamaCare debacle.
  • John Bolton calls the deal “abject surrender”.
  • End result of the Iran deal? “War has now become a much more likely prospect.”
  • Given all that, Harry Reid nuking the Senate’s filibuster gets pushed further down the Stack of Perfidy. What it tells us is that Democrats believe they’re going to lose the Senate. “They think it’s very likely that they will lose their Senate majority in 2014. They are essentially writing off the last two years of Obama’s presidency, which means getting as much done as possible right now. They are going to spend the next year packing as many liberal justices and appointees onto the courts and various bureaucracies as they can.”
  • Democratic Rep mugged in DC. Does this mean she’ll turn Republican? (Hat tip: Ace of Spades.)
  • 16 things people couldn’t believe about America until moving here. (Hat tip: Michael Totten.)
  • I wonder how John Carter feels about being labeled part of “the House’s own pro-amnesty gang”?
  • Related: How Amnesty dies: Part 1, Part 2.
  • Syrian Kurds declare autonomy.
  • Crystal Mangum, the central accuser in the Duke Lacrosse “rape” case (which wasn’t) has been convicted of murder. Somehow I managed to miss Nancy Grace’s wall-to-wall coverage of her trial…
  • Not Too Syrious Roundup

    Friday, September 6th, 2013

    Obama’s call for attacking Syria is meeting such heavy opposition that he already has a domestic quagmire on his hands getting it approved. Here’s a mini-roundup of Syria news:

  • I can’t really start quoting this Charles Krauthammer takedown of the incoherence of Obama’s Syrian policy, because there’s so much good stuff here that it will be hard to stop. OK, one quote: “There’s no strategy, no purpose here other than helping Obama escape self-inflicted humiliation.”
  • There’s a word for what Obama and Kerry want in Syria: War.
  • Iran wants to attack us if we attack Syria. If this is Obama’s masterful scheme to jujitsu Iran into giving him cover to take out their nuclear program I may have to revise my opinion of him. But how likely is that?
  • Obama’s serial Syrian blunders. “The only nation contemplating joining the United States in military action is France. That’s 38 fewer allies than joined the United States after the supposed unilateralist George W. Bush, with congressional authorization, ordered troops into Iraq.”
  • Obama has changed the military’s strike plans against Syria 50 times. Does he think he’s planning the perfect Zerg Rush in Starcraft?
  • The world set a red line in Syria? Well then, let the world enforce it.
  • Democrats in congress will be dragooned into voting for war to “save the president’s hide.”
  • Was Samantha Powers really dumb enough to think that Iran would abandon Syria over chemical weapons? (Hat tip: Ace.)
  • Obama’s road to Damascus. The goal of the POTUS: “ultimately we have a transition that can bring peace and stability, not only to Syria but to the region.” Peace and stability in the Middle East. Well, nothing too naive or ambitious about that goal, is there?
  • When John Kerry says that the Syrian rebels are “mostly moderates,” he’s using the rhetorical device know as lying.
  • The New York Times has some disturbing intelligence on some of Kerry’s “moderates.”
  • Lindsey Graham continues his downward spiral into irrelevance by declaring that failure to bomb Iraq would mean an Iran-Israel war within 6 months. Honestly, I’m a lot more enthused about that possibility than us bombing involved in Syria, if only on the off-chance an Israel-Iran war might actually accomplish something.
  • As I’m not one who credits the left for, well, much of anything, really, let’s give credit where credit is due and give the anti-war types some points for consistency: Moveon.org opposes a strike against Syria.
  • George Mitchell of The Nation says no thanks as well, citing Obama and Kerry’s many Syrian lies.
  • Even Obama’s own OAF is twiddling its thumbs rather than voicing support or opposition.
  • Syria’s war spills into Lebanon.