Wow! Some very welcome and overdue straight talk from Israel
Major Adraee returns!
He speaks to Hamas both in the language they understand [Arabic] and in the vocabulary they understand.
Maj. Adraee, of course, was last seen laying down the law to Hamas back in Jan. 2009 (he was a captain back then), right about the time some 1,000 Hamas cadres were mysteriously incinerated. Or maybe not so mysteriously. In any event, Maj. Adraee has been a favorite here ever since. (See here and here.)
It's funny, the day the Arab League is crying to the UN to enforce a "no-fly zone" over Gaza, the IDF airs this video based on its flights over Gaza, talk about flipping them the bird!
Could it be that the Fakestinian provocations have become so despicable and overt that they have awakened even Bibi and Ehud from their comas? The IDF doesn't usually make a broadcast like this, check that, NEVER MAKES A BROADCAST LIKE THIS unless it is a part of a major strategic operation.
Especially when the IDF highlights that the Arabs have just "crossed all red lines." That is a clear and obvious code in this conflict.
Why the Obamas were omitted from the guest list to the Royal wedding
"Let me be clear: I'm not normally in favor of boycotts, and I love the American people. I holiday in their country regularly, and hate the tedious snobby sneers against the United States . But the American people chose to elect an idiot who seems hell bent on insulting their allies, and something must be done to stop Obama's reckless foreign policy, before he does the dirty on his allies on every issue."
One of the most poorly kept secrets in Washington is President Obama's animosity toward Great Britain , presumably because of what he regards as its sins while ruling Kenya (1895-1963).
One of Barack Hussein Obama's first acts as president was to return to Britain a bust of Winston Churchill that had graced the Oval Office since 9/11. He followed this up by denying Prime Minister Gordon Brown, on his first state visit, the usual joint press conference with flags.
The president was "too tired" to grant the leader of America 's closest ally a proper welcome, his aides told British journalists.
Mr. Obama followed this up with cheesy gifts for Mr. Brown and the Queen. Columnist Ian Martin described his behavior as "rudeness personified." There was more rudeness in store for Mr. Brown at the opening session of the United Nations in September. "The prime minister was forced to dash through the kitchens of the UN in New York to secure five minutes of face time with President Obama after five requests for a sit down meeting were rejected by the White House," said London Telegraph columnist David Hughes. Mr. Obama's "churlishness is unforgivable," Mr. Hughes said.
The administration went beyond snubs and slights last week when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton endorsed the demand of Argentine President Cristina Kirchner, a Hugo Chavez ally, for mediation of Argentina 's specious claim to the Falkland Islands , a British dependency since 1833. The people who live in the Falklands, who speak English, want nothing to do with Argentina . When, in 1982, an earlier Argentine dictatorship tried to seize the Falklands by force, the British -- with strong support from President Ronald Reagan -- expelled them.
"It is truly shocking that Barack Obama has decided to disregard our shared history," wrote Telegraph columnist Toby Young. "Does Britain 's friendship really mean so little to him?" One could ask, does the friendship of anyone in the entire world mean anything to him?
"I recently asked several senior administration officials, separately, to name a foreign leader with whom Barack Obama has forged a strong personal relationship during his first year in office," wrote Jackson Diehl, deputy editorial page editor of the Washington Post, on Monday. " A lot of hemming and hawing ensued." One official named French President Nicolas Sarkozy, but his contempt for Mr. Obama is an open secret. Another named German Chancellor Angela Merkel. But, said Mr. Diehl, "Merkel too has been conspicuously cool toward Obama."
Mr. Obama certainly doesn't care about the Poles and Czechs, whom he has betrayed on missile defense. Honduras and Israel also can attest that he's been an unreliable ally and an unfaithful friend. Ironically, our relations with both Israel and the Palestinian Authority have never been worse. Russia has offered nothing in exchange for Mr. Obama's abandonment of missile defense. Russia and China won't support serious sanctions on Iran . Syria 's support for terrorism has not diminished despite efforts to normalize diplomatic relations. The reclusive military dictatorship that runs Burma has responded to our efforts at "engagement" by deepening its ties to North Korea .
And the Chinese make little effort to disguise their contempt for him.
For the first time in a long time, the President of the United States is actually distrusted by its allies and not in the least feared by its adversaries. Nor is Mr. Obama now respected by the majority of Americans. Understandably focused on the dismal economy and Mr. Obama's relentless efforts to nationalize and socialize health care, Americans apparently have yet to notice his dismal performance and lack of respect in the world community.
They soon will.
The above is an expanded version (expander unknown) of a blog post by Alex Singleton of the London Daily Telegraph. The expansions are factual as far as I can see
Britain needs to end its love affair with the world stage
I rarely agree with anything in "The Guardian" but the points below seem reasonable. Britain is in too big a mess for foreign adventures
While we pull in our belts at home, our leaders get carried away abroad. It's time we turned our backs on our imperial past
There are three ways to respond when the going gets tough: head in the sand, try to sort things out, or suddenly get very busy elsewhere. Which perhaps explains why David Cameron has been focusing so much on "abroad" recently, and I don't just mean his bargain break in Spain.
With his government's two flagship policies in crisis, Cameron has decided to apologise for Britain's role in world conflicts. This will do nothing to sort out the chaos of tuition fees - with most universities now declaring themselves the exception and charging the full whack of œ9,000. Nor will it help the unnecessary revolution in the NHS, which has at least been "paused" in the light of howls of fury from the professionals.
Yes, the British are pulling in their belts and bracing themselves for some sparse years ahead - except apparently abroad, where the union flag flutters high as ever. Look at the pilots over Libya, the troops in Afghanistan, the diplomats and the aid workers. From the mountains to the deserts, the demands seem endless for Britain to "step in", and today's politicians clearly enjoy the international spotlight just as much as yesterday's. Yet the mismatch between the bulldog's growl and the reality of its kennel has never been greater.
It's often said that prime ministers arrive determined to push through a domestic agenda until they eventually get distracted by the glamour of overseas crises. This happened with Margaret Thatcher three years in, when the Falklands crisis was forced on her; and with Tony Blair as the Balkans blazed, long before Iraq. Blair's focus on domestic policy never really returned; had it done so, maybe he would have wrestled control back from his chancellor.
Cameron's whirlwind romance with the international spotlight has happened even faster. He arrived as a man bent on dealing with the deficit and promising his "big society" as a cure for socialist statism. Yet the crises at home now include not only health and higher education, but the cost of petrol, problems over pension reform and now, we hear, a row with the Lib Dems over banking reform. You would think, given all this, that the prime minister had no time for anything else. Far from it. The bugle has sounded, calling him to high-level talks in London; summits across Europe; confabulations with Barack and Hillary; more emergency statements in the Commons, with furrowed brows and much backbench applause. I am not particularly blaming Cameron. We have seen it all before; remember how Blair suddenly ascended into heaven on Blairforce One and spent most of his time pop-eyed with history-making grandeur?
Part of the problem, of course, is that it is simply more exciting to make peace and war, than to struggle with the details of welfare reform or how to cut civil service budgets without a vote-destroying loss of service. It's more exciting for the ministers but also for their advisers and for the media pack watching; bangs and clouds of smoke seem to sell front pages and news bulletins too.
Yet I would argue that something happens in particular to British prime ministers, in the here and now, which is a problem and is correctable. Few other countries, bar France, have an equivalently grand post-imperial, military-state set up. I don't mean the buildings, though these play their part, but more the whole panoply of mysterious secret service chiefs, chiefs of staff, UN security council membership, nuclear buttons and telephone hotlines. You want to speak to the White House? No problem. You need to visit our boys? Helicopters and jets are waiting. For a young politician who had only had a job as a PR man before Westminster it must have been particularly head-turning.
And once upon a time it might even have been reasonable, as Britain continued to gently adjust to new realities. But we have a big debt, dwindling military capabilities and far bigger problems to confront as a country. We don't know how we are going to pay our way in the world any more. We are still unsure of how, if at all, we fit into the rest of the European project. It is no longer appropriate that it is Britain who, when some part of the world goes up in smoke, rides first toward the sound of gunfire.
We should do our bit, but no more. We should learn our lesson after Iraq. Why should richer, bigger Germany do so little in Afghanistan? Why was Libya not an Italian problem before it was a British one? Now that India and Brazil bulk so large on the world stage, why aren't these two democracies doing more for the democratic cause?
If our gung-ho attitude to foreign intervention is a displacement activity, distracting us from economic and industrial decline, then we need to wake up. If we do it because we think it makes a little of America's lustre rub off on its most loyal ally, we should take a good look in the mirror and around the world. If we carry on because "that's what we're good at" (fighting) then we need to ask ourselves if this is really the national specialism we want, given how many people it kills and maims, how much anger it causes abroad and how we do it for no payment at all.
It's time, after Cameron's apology, to turn our backs on our imperial-military past and become a different kind of country again - harder working, better educated, readier to bring aid and medicine than warplanes. It would be a hard adjustment for parts of the London establishment but it would be better for our long-term security.
Had enough yet?: "It’s hard to be optimistic that the mountebanks running the government will do anything sensible in the near future. Until there is a deep rethinking about government, the public will not accept the near-term drastic budget cutting required to head off a fiscal crisis, much less the longer-term structural steps needed to prevent a repetition of what we’ve been through. People will need to understand that while the wish for 'social security' in an uncertain world is entirely reasonable, the route to it is not Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security -- which tether people to the political class -- but freed markets and voluntary mutual aid."
Hollow Obama talk about trade: "Pres. Obama has made expanding U.S. exports a centerpiece of his economic plan. In his January State of the Union Address, he noted that '95% of the world’s customers and fastest-growing markets are beyond our borders' and that export-related jobs 'pay 15% more than average.' At a time when jobs are in short supply, he later said, 'building exports is an imperative.' So naturally, he’s done everything possible to ease passage of the Colombia Free Trade Pact, which the Bush Administration negotiated and the then-Democrat controlled Congress battled up. Right? Wrong."
Lindsey Graham’s war on freedom: "Certainly the Founding Fathers considered free speech more than just a mere 'great idea' but one of the bedrock principles of our republic, even enshrining it in the first amendment to our Constitution. That Graham would be willing to capitulate to radical Islamists by curtailing this precious freedom is particularly astounding when you consider that the Senator consistently and adamantly opposes curtailing the one policy that unquestionably 'inspires the enemy' more than any other. In fact, when it comes to looking out for America’s proper defense and actual security — Lindsey Graham is arguably the most ass-backward politician alive today."
Mexicans fed up: "Yesterday, multitudes took to the streets in more than 40 Mexican cities -- and in protests by Mexicans and their friends at consulates and embassies in Europe, North America and South America -- to demand an end to the violence wrought by the US-imposed 'war on drugs.' What? You haven't heard about this? Or if you have heard something about it, did you know that it is the biggest news story in the Mexican media, on the front page of virtually every daily newspaper in the country?"
A tale of two bridges: "What do you do if you lose 25 percent of your population in a decade, bringing your city to a 100-year low, and you have a perfectly good private bridge? Well, why not have the taxpayers build a new $5.3 billion bridge using public money! It may sound strange but that is exactly what a combination of unions, government officials, and businesses are trying to do in Michigan."
Medicare CPR: "Faced with a budget deficit of $1.65 trillion this year, an on-the-books national debt of $14.3 trillion, and a real debt (including the future liabilities of Medicare and Social Security) of as much as $119.5 trillion, Ryan (R-Wis.) proposes cutting spending by $6.2 trillion over the next 10 years. It is a sign of how deep a hole we are really in that despite cuts of this magnitude, the national debt will increase by $6 trillion over the next decade even under Ryan's plan. The most important part of Ryan's proposal, however, is not the budget cuts; it is the idea of restructuring two of the government's biggest entitlement programs: Medicare and Medicaid."
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