It is really wonderful how every day I learn something new. Now I've learned that all government employees can be divided into three professions: teachers, police, and firefighters.
The Obama administration’s portrayal of the assassination of Osama bin Laden as some courageous decision shows more than anything how weak the President is. A normal U.S. government would have taken this choice for granted, and not felt the need to stress the president’s alleged machismo.
By now it's clear that President Obama isn’t going to visit Israel in his term of office. And yet that’s pretty curious, isn’t it? After all, American politicians who seek Jewish support usually find a trip to Israel a pretty good way to claim pro-Israel credentials. And Obama has been desperate to do so, especially this year. Why, then, isn’t Obama going to visit Israel? Of course, we cannot definitively answer that question but here are some thoughts.
Rubin Reports: Egypt’s Presidential Election – Moderate Establishment vs. Totalitarian Revolutionaries
Egypt’s fate, I think, will not be settled by the June 16-17 presidential election. It has already been set by the parliamentary election which has given a large majority to the Islamists as well as the ability to write the constitution. If Ahmad Shafiq defeats the Brotherhood candidate, Muhammad al-Mursi, the only way out would be a Shafiq-army alliance, giving the president — who has no political party and no organized base of support in parliament — some muscle.
The Palestinian Authority has received more aid money per person than anyone else in history and yet the results have been remarkably unimpressive. The Western taxpayers give the money, the PA leaders steal or use the money for political purposes, and the average Palestinian suffers more from this situation than from the largely extinct "Israeli occupation."
Many Americans, and particularly Jews, are starting to receive mailings encouraging them to vote for or donate to the reelection campaign of President Barack Obama by arguing that he is pro-Israel. Several readers have asked me to provide them with responses. Here is a brief answer.
Obama's policy shows three characteristics that have wider implications for the president’s strategies: It favors Islamist enemies; it “leads from behind” by giving the initiative to those who wish America no good; and it shows no interest in helping genuinely pro-American moderates who are fighting for their lives.
When the Obama Administration, to quote Bush's phrase, gets "to choose what side we are on," it picks the wrong one. It argues, again to quote Bush, that Ameica "should be content with supporting...flawed leaders...in the name of stability.” But these new Islamist dictators would deliver internal stability only at the price of freedom and will dismantle regional stability altogether.
Rubin Reports: Egypt’s (First-Round) Presidential Election is a Defeat (Perhaps Temporary) for the Islamists
Let’s remember that the Islamists are still headed for control of Egypt. They might win the presidency in the second round. The parliament, which they run, is going to make the rules and write the constitution. If they don’t like who becomes president, they will reduce his powers.
In an interview on an Egyptian television station, "moderate" Egyptian Presidential candidate Abul Fotouh said he was against “terrorism” but then explained that Usama bin Ladin was not a terrorist, that the United States only called him one in order to “hit Muslim interests,” and that the killing of bin Ladin was an “act of state terrorism.” In other words, he’s saying September 11 wasn't an act of terrorism but that Obama’s policy is anti-Muslim and terrorist.
Janice Fiamengo’s brilliant article, “The Unteachables: A Generation that Cannot Learn,” fits my past experience teaching at American universities. But I realized that her account applied perfectly to…something else.
If ever I've seen a single sentence that spells disaster in the Middle East, this is it:“`People say things in a campaign and then when they get elected they actually have to govern,’ [U.S. State Department] spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.”
Why would a leading figure in Turkey's ruling Islamist party identify the era of rising Islamism as a “great shame…[in which the Middle East ] fell prey to the thirst of barbarian bloodshed”?
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan once said that democracy was like a trolley. You ride it until you get to your destination and then get off. Presumably that’s at the point where you have consolidated power to the point you can do whatever you want and have turned Turkey into an Islamist state.
In his recent speech in Afghanistan Obama made the deadly error of claiming that, in effect, al-Qaida is America's only real enemy in the world. Even the Taliban is redeemable, though it answered him with a suicide attack in Kabul. As for Obama's other claims, he can't even get Pakistan to stop supporting the Taliban and concealing al-Qaida leaders. And India has been treated by Obama in a manner reminiscent of his policy toward Israel.
When asked whether they preferred to model Egypt on Saudi Arabia or Turkey regarding religion’s role in government, thy chose Saudi Arabia by a 61 to 17 percent margin. Note that Western pundits and experts keep insisting that there is some kind of Turkish model of moderate Islamism. Aside from the fact that Turks aren’t Arabs, this is a sign of the base of support for a fully sharia state.
Rubin Reports: American History Distorted – How Lawrence O’Donnell Unintentionally Shows Why Contemporary Leftist-Style...
O’Donnell says that “liberal” should not be a dirty word but a badge of honor. I agree. It should be, but it has been tarnished far less by conservatives’ attacks than by radicals who have hijacked that word and use it for an agenda that is bankrupting the United States, reducing liberties, and making a mess of U.S. foreign policy.
People don’t want to be told to sacrifice, especially because they suspect that the elite isn’t doing so and that this same elite is responsible for the mess. So they can be—easily?—manipulated into voting for those who tell them to eat, drink and be merry, with a minimal tax on billionaires and millionaires paying off the caterer.
The 'Islam-is-good school' makes the West defenseless to understand and deal with the threat. The 'Islam-is-bad' school discredits serious critiques of Islamism and honest analysis of Islam, thus letting their opponents win the debates and blind the West to the best strategy and potential allies.
The Obama Administration's policy toward Syria is turning into a scandal on both strategic and humanitarian grounds.
At times we seem to be living in the updated version of Ignazio Silone’s remark, “The final conflict will be between the Communists and the ex-Communists.” All too often, we cannot depend on Western-trained intellectuals in positions of power who either buy into leftist ideology or tremble in fear of being called racists or Islamophobes.
The great advantage of the Obama administration and the far left has been concealment and deniability. They deny their extremism and sugar-coat their message, helped by the mass media and other institutions. But the Occupy Wall Street movement isn’t this sophisticated “New New Left” but instead is like the Old Left and 1960s’ New Left in its rhetoric, methods, and symbols. It openly talks about anarchism, Communism, Marxism, and overthrowing capitalism.
Israel is apparently going to have elections this autumn and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will almost certainly win by a big margin. Understanding why explains a lot about the country that people think they know the most about but in fact comprehend the least.
As you know, just about everyone in the world outside of Israel has been claiming that an attack is imminent or that it is only being held back by the U.S. government. My argument has been that this is simply untrue. Most of the Israeli strategic and intelligence leadership oppose an attack, for the same reasons I do. Moreover, these people don’t believe it is going to happen in the near future.
The result may well be an Islamist versus Islamist run-off. In any event, it is likely that by the end of the year Egypt will have an Islamist president, parliament, and Constitution. Laws will be drastically altered, women’s rights will disappear, and Hamas will be backed up if it attacked Israel.