Many readers are no doubt aware of the millions in taxpayer dollars that the Obama administration has contracted out to PR firms for the purpose of hawking Obamacare to a reluctant public.
Morsi has assumed dictatorial powers in Egypt. Courageous Egyptians are protesting that move, but Morsi has less compunction than Mubarak did, and we can expect the protests to be dealt with effectively. Those of us who said Morsi was an Islamist extremist who would quickly reestablish authoritarianism in Egypt – with a sharia flavor – were right. There’s a new Pharaoh in town.
Why are we sending an amphibious readiness group (ARG) with a Marine expeditionary unit (MEU) embarked to sit off the Levantine coast? U.S. officials say it’s to be prepared for any eventuality, including the need to evacuate American citizens, as the conflict between Hamas and Israel heats up.
No summary of today’s events would be complete without mentioning the backstory on the IDF’s operation name.
Attacks from Gaza on Israel have ramped up significantly in the last several days. An Israeli patrol was hit by what was thought to be a roadside bomb on Tuesday (three were wounded), near the border fence with Gaza. On Saturday, terrorists in Gaza fired an anti-tank missile at an Israeli jeep with four infantrymen in it, as the patrol operated in the area of the roadside bomb attack. The four soldiers were wounded, one severely. More than 80 rockets have been launched from Gaza into Israel since the attack on the jeep on Saturday, 10 November. At least three Israeli civilians were injured in the rocket attacks. Geography is beginning to rear its head again, as Israel has also sustained incursions into the Golan from Syria in recent days.
In the early dawn of 24 October, an arms factory in Sudan was attacked in the Yarmouk Industrial Complex approximately 6 miles south of central Khartoum. Video of the exploding building makes it clear that it was an arms factory, with an extended series of powerful secondary explosions characteristic of ammunition dumps. A Sudanese official claims that four Israeli aircraft conducted a strike on the factory.
Romney sees the Navy as a core element of our enduring strategic posture. For national defense and for the protection of trade, the United States has from the beginning sought to operate in freedom on the seas, and, where necessary, to exercise control of them. We are a maritime nation, with extremely long, shipping-friendly coastlines in the temperate zone and an unprecedented control of the world’s most traveled oceans, the Atlantic and Pacific.
The news keeps getting worse. The Washington Free Beacon reports today that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has “blocked” four senior military officers from answering questions on the Benghazi attack posed by Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC).
We’ve reached a watershed here, where we either live in our own heads affirming reality, regardless of spurious inputs from demagoguery or sentiment, or we give up on reality and let demagoguery and sentiment take over at the decision table. Did the president pull off a performance last night, in terms of sounding passionate and full of conviction? To some extent, yes. Does that mean he won the debate, or even achieved a draw with Romney? No.
The short answer is: because he’s got nothing. There is no record to run on, no argument to make for four more years. The ideology that drives him is outdated and bankrupt. He has, in fact, implemented his policies – Republicans have had little means of stopping him – and those policies are the problem. But there’s a slightly longer answer too.
Instead of sticking with our commitment to a new Libya, one in which Americans have friendship and influence – one in which we can walk free, and so can Libyans – we have closed our post in Benghazi and drawn down our embassy staff in Tripoli to “essential” personnel only. It will be of some interest to see how long it takes al Qaeda or other terrorist savages to attack us in Tripoli.
The year 1984, by Gregorian reckoning, came and went, and Americans seemed to have dodged the Nineteen-Eighty-Four bullet. We weren’t being interned for reeducation by a Ministry of Love. Although conservative, constitutionalist, limited-government ideas came under relentless attack in the mainstream media and the academy, those who expressed the ideas remained free to do so. (They in fact became freer with the lifting under Reagan of the genuinely Orwellian-named “Fairness Doctrine.”) In 2012, the atmosphere has changed.
There has been a tremendous growth in vague, elliptical, and/or tendentious narration of what’s going on in the nation and the world. The people can be pardoned for being tired and confused.
The U.S. is being made to look weak in Egypt, and is actually acting weak with allies and foes alike.
Dinesh D’Souza’s film, 2016: Obama’s America, is very good at putting the viewer in the milieu of Jakarta or Nairobi, which continue to feel “different” enough to engage the American viewer’s sense of distance and wonder. Conveying the difference of Barack Obama’s childhood and his idea of cultural roots – the difference from American life – is the movie’s most effective accomplishment.
Iran’s relative situation has deteriorated. To regain a sense of leadership and invulnerability – as well as to vindicate Shia Islam over the recent Sunni triumphs in the region – Iran needs a big strategic win. She needs a trump card over the emerging Sunni centers of gravity in Cairo and Ankara.
Prosperity has met its match. Regulation will kill prosperity by stealth unless we the people wake up to what’s going on. We are wildly, insanely overregulated today, and if we don’t attack the idea of the regulatory state on those terms – on the premise that regulation itself is mostly a bad thing, and we need far less of it than we have – then we will never recover.
India has just conducted an unprecedented four-day port visit in Haifa, during which Indian sailors roamed Israel as American sailors have for many years, and joint ceremonies were held with the local population. A naval visit to Israel is a big political signal; India would not be sending it lightly.
Watching the ceremony last night, I had a profound sense of sadness for the hollow revelry. There was no dignified memorializing of the greatness, uniqueness, and courage of Britain’s past. There was “irreverent, idiosyncratic” entertainment, and a very long segment of writhing self-abasement before the shibboleth of socialized medicine.
How should an American president use the military in an intimidating, persuasive manner, to induce Iran to give up her nuclear-weapons purpose? Very little has been discussed on this topic in the forums of punditry; virtually all treatments focus on the feasibility or proper method of a military attack campaign. Is there an “intimidation option,” short of a shooting war? And if so, what would it look like?