The fortunes of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) appear to be taking a nosedive - finally. FBI policy toward CAIR had been murky; on the one hand, it named CAIR as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation case (the Holy Land Foundation was convicted last November of funding Hamas). On the other, local FBI offices used CAIR as an important conduit to the ‘moderate’ Muslim community.
For more excellent analysis of President Obama’s Al-Arabiya interview, read Charles Krauthammer’s column here. In particular, he disputes Obama’s characterization of U.S. policy as lacking interest in and respect for the Muslim world. As Krauthammer says:
This French faux documentary based on a year in a Parisian school won the Palme D’Or at Cannes and has opened in New York to unanimously rave reviews. Its protagonist is a real teacher, Francois Begaudeau, who wrote a book on which the film is based and stars as a version of himself with the fictional name of Monsieur Marin. His students, played by non-professional real students, would be the equivalent of our junior high school age (13, 14) and they are mostly Black, Arab and Asian immigrants. Considering the volatile mix of cultures, the students are relatively tame - no one has brought weapons to school and no recess fights end in stabbings, mutilation or death. Given the history of violence in American schools, things don’t seem as bad in France as in Columbine or New York City.
So far in his first week in office, Barack Obama has moved to suspend military trials of terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, succeeding in halting one against a jihadist who “crouched in the rubble waiting for U.S. troops to get close enough so he could take one of them out.” This past election year, when the masses chanted “Vote or Die,” what that really meant was “Vote to Die.” Well at least thanks to Obama, Osama bin Laden is probably already dead. From laughing his ass off. So let the countdown begin: Just 1450 days left until he’s out of office.
The Catalunya government has called off the ceremony marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, citing the Israeli offensive in Gaza as the reason. In other words: How can we celebrate Dead Jew Day while Jews are refusing to drop dead? What’s gotten into them, anyway? They were so much more cooperative last century. [For more on the Sparabic phenomenon, read here.]
Peggy Noonan in the Journal: “[D]o you know anyone, Democrat or Republican, dancing in the street over this [bailout/stimulus bill]? You don’t. Because most everyone knows it isn’t a good bill, and knows that its failure to receive a single Republican vote, not one, suggests the old battle lines are hardening. Back to the Crips versus the Bloods. Not very inspiring.” She cited the Bloods and the Crips, surely because it’s a convenient reference, not because she thought it was a perfect metaphor. But think again. It’s a pretty good–if unintentional–replacement for the two parties. What do the Bloods and the Crips have in common? They’re both the bad guys.
During the 1973 energy crisis, President Nixon took criticism for his habit of running the fireplace and the air conditioning at the same time. And so it is worth noting this item from today’s New York Times:
I frequently wonder why most people in the economic world are afraid to point out the obvious. Certain things on the face of it are patently absurd. Was anybody as amused as I was to see Vladmir Putin and Wen Jiabao on the front page of the Wall Street Journal today waxing philosophic about what has caused the world’s economic problems?
This is required reading. Johns Hopkins Professor Fouad Ajami has written the best critique so far of the Obama foreign policy, at least the policy we can make out. Ajami doesn’t like what he sees. His arguments are worth studying:
What with President Obama’s attack on Rush Limbaugh and the stirrings on Capitol Hill to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine, I have a question. If the Fairness Doctrine is reinstated, wouldn’t that imply that MSNBC, CNN and all the others would have to give equal time to conservative viewpoints? Why would only talk radio be affected?
Fouad Ajami, a well-known Mideast expert, interprets Obama’s TV interview on Al-Arabiya as confirming that the United States will return to its long-standing policy of getting along with Mideast dictators. “Where Mr. Bush had seen the connection between the autocratic ways in Muslim lands and the culture of terror that infected the young foot soldiers of radicalism, Mr. Obama seems ready to split the difference with their rulers. His embrace of the ‘peace process’ is a return to the sterile diplomacy of the Clinton years, with its belief that the terror is rooted in the grievances of the Palestinians.”
The world is convening in Davos, Switzerland for the annual economic conference. If the opening speeches and panel discussions are any indication, uplifting is not a word I would use to describe the tenor of the outlook. For me, it has always been difficult to prognosticate what is going to happen by what has recently happened. It fits into my “nobody knows nothing” mantra.
Hi, all! I’m proud to announce that I am now blogging movie reviews at Andrew Breitbart’s Big Hollywood. It’s a brand-new site where libertarian and conservative writers hold forth on movies, pop culture and their intersection with politics.
Analyst Caroline Glick reports that last week the Israel Defense Forces ordered all Israeli media outlets to obscure the faces of soldiers and commanders who fought in the Gaza campaign. Why? To keep British citizens from suing them for alleged war crimes.
Technology continues to bring strange and not so desirable things into our lives. I’m talking about “sexting” the new rage of sending explicit photos via cell phone to friends. I was in Miami recently and listened to a statewide public service radio campaign attempting to discourage young women from posting suggestive or explicitly sexual photos on their websites or sending them from phones. The spot made clear that once it’s posted, the photos can easily be copied, redistributed and viewed by pedophiles, stalkers, the leering neighbor next door, or perhaps most embarrassing of all, their parents. In 2008 the Associated Press reported that prosecutors have begun using photos posted on social networking sites to embarrass and damage the reputation of defendants in the courtroom. More proof that technology isn’t values-neutral.
Says here that Blago considered offering the Obama senate seat to Oprah Winfrey. I wish he had, and I wish she had accepted. It would have demonstrated a lot of things, such as the completion of our descent into celebrity culture and the valuation of popularity over wisdom. But best of all, it would have shown that it doesn’t take somebody who knows anything about politics and policy to be a senator. Anybody can go along with the tax-everybody-and-make-taxpayers-foot-the-bill-for-everything crowd and Oprah is certainly a member of that mob. Woulda been nice to have a high-profile political novice appear in the senate and see that the world didn’t slip from its orbit.