This morning, General David Petraeus, the Commander of the US Central Command, briefly fainted in the middle of a Senate hearing on Afghanistan. As he was being rightfully praised by Senator John McCain, Petraeus slumped over his microphone. After a few moments, he revived and walked out of the hearing room on his own. He returned about 15 minutes later, having had some food and water, and said he’d return tomorrow to continue his testimony.
Hundreds are dead and thousands injured in ethnic violence in Kyrgystan. Babies are lying trampled in the streets. Girls are being raped. Tens of thousands of refugees are fleeing their homes. Cities are burning.
Over the weekend the Times of London reported that unnamed Saudi government officials have indicated Saudi Arabia has taken measures to enable Israel to use Saudi airspace for a preemptive strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Read about it here.
Obama’s foreign policy failures are obvious to all. Robert Gates absurdly blames the EU for the loss of Turkey. James Rubin uses the hollow reed of international public opinion to declare Obama a foreign policy success and not the failure the recent Security Council vote on Iran sanctions revealed it to be. For contrary to Rubin’s assertion, Iran is less isolated in the age of Barack Obama than it has been in the Age of George W. Bush and the culprit is none other than Barack Obama. Why? Because our arrogant president made Lula and Erdogan look like gullible fools when he used them in his failed bet on Iranian intransigence.
As the most boring of all major sporting events snakes its way into my ESPN consciousness, I call my Time Warner guy and immediately increase my movie channels. There has to be a way to enjoy watching paint dry with a ball bouncing around. But, how? Read on…
Mark Twain once said, “A lie can travel halfway around the world, while truth puts on its shoes.” At no place is that more true than in the Middle East where an Islamist/leftist coalition is successfully conducting a campaign designed to legitimize Hamas by delegitimizing Israel. The Goldstone Report charging Israel with war crimes in Gaza was planned as a major lever. It was based on lies swallowed whole by a Jewish ex-judge who served the corrupt international UN human Right Council with the same zeal he has previously served the South African apartheid regime.
In a follow-up to last week’s post about the five Wahhabis (mixed Albanian and Bosnian) who were arrested two weeks earlier in Prizren, Kosovo, we have this cry for help from an Albanian pastor in Kosovo:
UPDATE: The father of Abby Sunderland admitted today that he had a television deal in the works with a production company entitled, “Adventures in Sunderland” about his daredevil children. “I’m broke and I signed a contract to do a reality show.” he confessed to the New York Post. Abby also plans to write a book about her experience now that others have rescued her and paid for it. I see the apple does not fall far from the tree…
White House Chief of Staff and Head B-ll Buster, Rahm Emanuel, deftly ducked the whole bribing-Joe-Sestak scandal (of which he was at the heart) by staying in Israel for an extended period of time. I think his son had the longest bar mitzvah there in the history of Judaism.
According to the Times reporter, the 5,000 year old leather shoe that was just unearthed from a layer of sheep dung in a spacious Armenian classic six cave was a size 7 and probably belonged to a woman. This left me puzzled and befuddled. My own 20th century Eastern European grandmothers and aunts, as well as my husband’s female relatives all measured between 4′9″ - 5′2″ and their shoe size never soared above 6. When you look at clothing and shoes from the 18th and 19th centuries in costume institutes, the sizes are tiny and this represents a relatively recent lag of hundreds of years, not thousands. It was always my understanding that human beings get successively taller and that ancient people were rather short. Could a short Cinderella have had feet long enough to fit a size 7 slipper?
In preparing for the 2010 midterm election, we need a progressive summit to prepare a shared narrative and shared positions. Currently, progressive groups are each pulling in a different direction, favoring distinct tactics, promoting their own rationales. True, despite all the talk about a “progressive movement,” there is no way to cobble the various progressive groups into one coherent force. However, one can find what political philosophers call “overlapping consensuses.” That is, instead of seeking one agreed-upon platform and strategy, progressives should identify major points all can agree to promote.
No one believes in the efficacy of UN sanctions. Their sole influence is international de-legitimization. Therefore, it is important to note that it was a divided UN Security Council which finally passed a fourth round of sanctions designed to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Two angry regional power and erstwhile American allies, Turkey and Brazil, voted against it and a third, Lebanon, abstained. The first resolution was passed in 2006 with the single opposition of Qatar. The second resolution passed in 2007 unanimously and the third passed with a single Indonesian abstention in 2008. In other words, the Obama/Clinton “smart diplomacy” focused on “bringing the world together” achieved worse results than the much derided George W. Bush’s “unilateralist” one not to mention that it took it longer to pass the sanctions and it paid a higher price for so doing.
Since the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig blew up on April 20, President Obama has been rightly and roundly criticized for his lethargic, passionless, and ineffective response to the crisis. We’re now into the 7th week of this catastrophe, and the president still looks weirdly disengaged: not only that he either doesn’t know what he’s doing or isn’t that interested in the crisis. It’s that he looks like he doesn’t belong in the job. He looks like a little boy stomping around the house wearing his father’s suit and shoes.
The political mavens who argue that President Obama has to be more expressive are barking up the wrong tree. The real question is if Obama has deep feelings (other than for his family) — or is a cold fish. If his blood does not boil when Republicans and conservative Democrats, in the same breath, refuse to extend unemployment benefits but further cut taxes for business; when he finds out that mine owners and oil companies bribe regulators rather than protect the lives of their employees; if he cannot feel the pain unemployment still inflicts on us rather than deficits — then he should not fake it and suddenly turn demonstrative.
Time for a little Common Sense head check. What does a bad economy, high unemployment, record deficits, declining prestige abroad and the worst environmental calamity of its kind in US history all have in common? If you said they’re all challenges poorly meant by President Obama, then you’re ok. If, on the other hand, you said they’re all stem from the Presidency of one George W. Bush, then I’m afraid it’s confirmed . . . you’re suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome. And judging by the analysis of some of the usual suspects in the old media, it looks like you’re not alone.
The FIFA World Cup TV spots, in the run-up to the opening events later this week, have been touting the ability of international football (what we dim Americans insist on calling soccer) to change the world for the better. A sport played on every inhabited continent, World Cup football has a universal appeal. It seems logical, then, to associate it with “internationalism” and the idea of everybody getting along famously. To further this impression, the FIFA ads show us soccer players of many ages and races engaged in sweaty sportsmanship, which we are led to believe can only lead to world peace.
What do Jewish Americans and Indian Americans have in common? Both groups were Obama voters and both groups are worried about the administration’s treatment of allies about whom they care deeply. American Jews worry about the treatment of Israel. American Indians worry about the treatment of India. Both have good reasons to worry. For as Eliot A. Cohen notes “President Obama has emboldened America’s adversaries and unnerved its allies.” Democratic Israel may be a much longer standing American ally but though much newer, anyone with minimal geopolitical sense realizes that Democratic India is a most important, if fragile, one.
How low can some American Jews sink? Lower than naive me would have thought. I am used to two Jews, three opinions. I know many American Jews believe they know better what is good for Israel and they do not shy from putting their dollars where their mouths are. The idea that it is not they or their children that would have to pay for their mistakes does not seem to restrain them. Still, the idea that Jews invited to a presidential Seder would use their access to the president to undermine Israeli strategic standing seems beyond the pale. Yet that is precisely what they have done according to the report in the NYT. Recognizing the unseemliness of their behavior, the cowards insisted on staying antonymous. Though the small number of Seder participants should help narrow the shameless field measurably as does the picture below.
A perfect game. The pitcher retires 27 batters in order; no one reaches base. There have been only 20 in Major League Baseball since 1876, making it one of sports’ rarest accomplishments (although in a statistical oddity, two have been pitched this season).
As could have been expected, the Jihadists are filled with conspiracy theories including the claim that Israel gave the passenger poisoned food. But most vicious is the one IHH President Bülent Yıldırım has been spreading that the reason there are only nine dead is because the Israeli marines threw some wounded men overboard. But Prime minister Erdogan made clear that the five originally thought to be missing are in Israeli hospitals and everybody is accounted for:
As I have suspected from the beginning, it was the specter of additional hostages like Gilad Shalits, apparently four more, that led the Israeli marines to open fire. That is also the conclusion reached by Yücel Köse, who was on another flotilla ship, the Gazze, were no one was harmed. He said, the Mavi Marmara was attacked right before our eyes . . . . because they were angered that our friends held some of their soldiers.
In a recent televised appearance with the first lady at a public school in Silver Spring, Md., a Peruvian second grader named Daisy Cuevas expressed concern to Mrs. Obama, saying, ”My mom says that Barack Obama is taking away everybody that doesn’t have papers…my mom doesn’t have papers.” The first lady reportedly replied, “Don’t worry–neither does Barack’s aunt.” Media are calling little Daisy Cuevas the symbol of America’s undocumented. But I always thought that was Barack Obama. [End.]
The blame game seems to be a pretty popular sport these days. One the left has played to perfection. Did you see they’re blaming George W. Bush for splitting up Al and Tipper Gore? It’s those kinds of hysterics that make your Chairman a little hesitant to start pointing fingers whenever something goes wrong, but if there is someone to blame for this BP disaster, let’s look at some of the original culprits.