Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A pansy President?


Obama’s Seven Premises About Islamist Terrorism and Revolution

Barry Rubin sets out some strange and destructive Leftist delusions
So you want to understand Obama foreign policy? Ok, here is an explanation in clear, simple, and accurate form based on Obama’s recent speech at Fort McNair about terrorism:

* Obama Premise Number One:

If one wanted to come up with a slogan for the Obama Administration regarding the “war on terrorism” it would be this:

To win the war on terrorism one must lose the war on revolutionary Islamism.

because only by showing that America is the Islamists’ friend will it take away the incentive of Muslims, including radical Muslims, to join al-Qaida and attack the United States.

This is NOT the same thing precisely as showing that the United States is the Muslims’ friend. For, after all, the United States is taking sides for some Muslims and against others. And the side it is taking is that of the Islamist Muslims against the moderate, traditionalist, and nationalist ones.

In other words, the administration is largely assuming in practice that the Islamists are the proper representative and leadership of the Muslims. (That is also true, by the way, of domestic preferences.)

Thus, if the Muslim Brotherhood governs Egypt, Tunisia, the Gaza Strip, and Syria, they would have what they wanted and there would be no need for them to attack America and would have every interest in suppressing al-Qaida.

Ironically, though, the Benghazi attack disproved this thesis, which was one of the reasons why the information about it had to be suppressed. The United States “proved” that it was the friend of Islamist rebels, helping them win the war and get rid of the oppressive dictatorship, but they still were ungrateful and attacked Americans. The same thing happened in Iraq where the Sunni Islamists objected to U.S. policy.

It is true that in Syria, Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist radical Islamists are not the same as al-Qaida and might oppose it. But they are not necessarily hostile to its ideas. When the United States tried to isolate the Syrian branch of al-Qaida (Jabhat al-Nusra) in December 2012  by designating it as a terrorist group, even the Free Syrian Army, supposedly the moderates, denounced the move as did more than 30 Syrian Salafist rebel groups.  How would these groups choose sides between the al-Qaida affiliate and the United States? What would the policy of an Islamist Syria be toward the United States and its interests?  While there is no reason to believe the Muslim Brothers or Salafists would attack the World Trade Center, they can be expected to attack U.S. diplomats, facilities, and citizens in Syria and to help Salafists stage revolutions elsewhere that would do the same thing.

At the recent meeting of the Syrian opposition, the State Department spokesman explained:

“We have recognized the coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people, and we will work with Prime Minister Hitto. Our assistance will be channeled in large part through him and his team into these towns in liberated parts of Syria.”

Translation: One among several opposition groups–the one controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood–is recognized by the United States as the legitimate representative (even though many groups are boycotting it); the Muslim Brotherhood’s guy is the “prime minister;” and the U.S. government intends to disburse a total of $1 billion raised internationally through the Muslim Brotherhood. How much patronage will that buy for the Brotherhood?

Kerry also announced that $250 million in U.S. taxpayer money is going to go directly to a group directed by the Muslim Brotherhood to spend as it wishes, presumably to go mainly to local Brotherhood groups and militias.

Actually, there was a much better way for the Obama Administration to have explained the Benghazi attack. It could have said that of course the attack was from al-Qaida but that was because the United States was doing a good thing– helping put into power a non- Islamist, democratic, moderate government. That is how other presidents–as with George W. Bush in Iraq–would have managed this issue. Listen to Obama’s words in his Fort McNair speech:

“What’s clear is that we quickly drove al Qaeda out of Afghanistan, but then shifted our focus and began a new war in Iraq. This carried grave consequences for our fight against al-Qaida, our standing in the world, and–to this day–our interests in a vital region.”

Suppose one substituted the words “Libya” or “Syria” for the word Iraq? After all, Bush’s surge defeated al-Qaida, though of course not completely, but in Syria al-Qaida is stronger than ever at this point, and in Libya it also murdered Americans.

And such a stance by Obama would also have required admitting that from the Libyan (and potentially Syrian) Islamist viewpoint the help given them wasn’t enough, that it resulted in Libya in an American “puppet” regime.

And that approach would have forced the Obama Administration to open itself up to the same criticism it keeps making against Bush in Iraq: that U.S. intervention strengthened terrorists.

* Obama Premise Number Two:

Think about the Benghazi attack in this context.

Real cause of attack: The Americans helped Islamists gain power so they could operate freely in Banghazi, a city where al-Qaida patrols the city and controls territory today. Thus, the mistake was that the U.S. government was too pro-Islamist.

Phony cause of attack: The Americans weren’t pro-Islam enough, i.e., they had this nasty video that offended Muslims.

In other words, the attack’s cause was reversed, it was made to seem as if it was the exact opposite of the truth.

Real lesson: Don’t arm radical Islamists. Fight them alongside Muslims who are also anti-Islamist.!

Phony lesson: Fight against Islamophobia.

Much more HERE


Tony Blair to be in charge of £3billion plan to revitalise Palestine's economy, U.S. secretary of state John Kerry reveals

More delusions -- but great news for Arab corruptocrats

Secretary of State John Kerry has declared he believes a potential £3billion plan is emerging that could boost the Palestinian economy by up to 50 per cent in the next three years.

It could also cut unemployment by almost two-thirds, and average wages could jump 40 per cent, he said. But Kerry said it all depends on parallel progress on peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Kerry has been working with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and global business leaders to devise economic plans to revitalise the Palestinian economy.

He offered few specific details and acknowledged that his vision might easily be taken as fantasy in a part of the world that has suffered through decades of conflict, and where peace prospects remain dim.

'We know it can be done,' he insisted. 'This is a plan for the Palestinian economy that is bigger, bolder and more ambitious than anything proposed' in the last two decades.

Kerry, outlining his hopes at a business conference on the Dead Sea in Jordan, was unsparing in his bold economic predictions:

- Palestinian agriculture production could double or triple

- Tourism could triple

- 100,000 new homes, many of them energy efficient, could be built in the next three years.

The former Massachusetts senator, who has been trying as well to restart direct Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, was to meet later Sunday in Amman with Blair, American hedge fund investor Tim Collins and the foreign ministers of Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.

He said he has been coordinating with leading business experts around the world and that the plan would explore new opportunities in tourism, construction, light manufacturing, agriculture, energy and communications.

'Is this a fantasy?' Kerry asked the crowd. 'I don't think so, because there are already great examples of investment and entrepreneurship that are working in the West Bank.

'We know it can be done, but we've never experienced the kind of concentrated effort that this group is talking about bringing to the table.'

He said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas support the plan, but he added that it won't truly take hold unless both sides make headway on restarting peace talks.

Abbas also attended the conference in Jordan, as did Israeli President Shimon Peres, though they offered two starkly different messages on the peace impasse.

The Palestinian leader spent much of the time criticizing Israeli intransigence, while the Israeli Nobel Peace Prize laureate pressed his government's view that negotiations should begin immediately without preconditions.

Kerry allowed that barriers to commerce would have to be removed to spur economic growth. The Palestinians have long complained about limitations on movement and investment that have hampered its economic potential.

Kerry has made four trips to Israel and the Palestinian territories over the last two months in an effort to rejuvenate the peace process. He hasn't made any tangible success so far but insists he is engaged in productive talks with both sides.



America as we know it is ending and conservatives feel fine

Libertarians should welcome government failure

Now that Obama has won a second term, some conservatives seem ready to admit that the country really has changed. In "Obama's Four Horseman," Human Events editor David Harsanyi writes, "Let's not fool ourselves. There's been a fundamental shift, especially among young people, in how Americans view government's role in society... A Pew Research study conducted after the election found that nearly six in 10 of the voters under 30 supported a more expansive role for government in solving problems."

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Harsanyi then spends most of the book detailing how Obama's agenda (debt, dependence, weakness and devaluing human life) will forever end "this particular iteration" of the United States.

"If you happen to believe, as I do, that government should be strong, but limited... -- guess what? We're screwed. And how." It's safe to say Harsanyi is a bit depressed.

But 2008 Libertarian vice presidential nominee Wayne Allyn Root isn't. His book, "The Ultimate Obama Survival Guide," is every bit as critical of Obama's agenda as Harsanyi.

"Our assets are melting away. Our incomes are in decline. Our job prospects are disappearing. Our bills are rising. Our options are shrinking. Our rights are being violated. The middle class is being squeezed out of existence... We are living a never-ending nightmare."

But unlike Harsanyi, Root sees opportunity amidst the destruction. "Did you know that more self-made millionaires were created during the Great Depression than any other epoch in our history," Root writes.

"For most Americans it was a terrible time. But for the smart and savvy few, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It's all about to happen again."

The rest of Root's book is a list of ways you can profit from "the Obama disaster," including investing in oil and gas, shorting profligate state bonds like Illinois and California, and moving to low-tax states like Texas.

"'The Ultimate Obama Survival Guide' is about "empowering and motivating you to higher levels of success than you've ever imagined possible."

National Review's Kevin Williamson takes Root's optimism, and raises it. Like Harsanyi and Root, Williamson's book, "The End is Near and It's Going to Be Awesome," also details how and why America's relationship with government is about to change forever. But for Williamson, this is an opportunity for everyone, not just a smart select few.

Williamson's main insight is that, just as the human body is a product of biological evolution, the institutions that make up human society are a product of evolution as well. The problem is, however, that government is simply incapable of evolving as fast as the rest of human society.

"Politics," Williamson writes, "almost alone among our contemporary institutions, lacks a strong and reliable feedback mechanism to help it learn."

"The model of organizing community life that has prevailed since the late eighteenth century is in the process of disintegrating. That fact is good news," Williamson continues.

"The historic challenge of our time is to anticipate as best we can the coming changes and to begin developing alternative institutions and social practices to ensure the continuation of a society that is humane, secure, free, and prosperous."

Williamson has no master plan as to how we can meet this challenge, but he does look at a number of issue areas (like Social Security, health care and education) and sketches out some possible non-governmental solutions.

It would be wrong to say that all conservatives are happy Obama won a second term, but it appears that some have accepted that Obama has changed the country, and they are eager to make the best of it.



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