In Washington, the Obama administration is agonizing over how it was taken by surprise by the dramatic events unfolding in the Arab world, first in Tunisia, then Egypt, now Libya. Where was the C.I.A.? The State Department? Isn’t anybody paying attention?
Any good news about Serbs has to come with an apology. Which is why this equivocating blogger on Huffington Post earlier this month couldn’t just do a positive story about tennis star Novak Djokovic. He had to remind you what the Serbs “did.” That’s how unacceptable it is to have any non-atrocity-related Serb news. And notice that he naturally lets you know off the bat that he’s married to a Serb, so that you can’t accuse him of bias. As if that’s ever been an effective inoculation against the deep-seated, insurmountable, and often imperceptible indoctrination that the writer’s mind — no different from the rest of humanity’s — seamlessly succumbed to long ago.
It seems subversively un-American to suggest that the Academy Awards have almost outlived themselves, become superfluous and are even a bit of a drag. The original purpose was mainly to provide a forum for hosts like Bob Hope, Johnny Carson and Billy Crystal to zing the nominees and Hollywood, for the film industry to prime the post-holiday box office pump, and for the actors to congratulate themselves for their gift to mankind.
Some key points from recent Foreign Policy article “THUG LIFE“: ‘Think Mubarak was bad? Kosovo’s leaders are accused of being organ-smuggling, drug-dealing goons — and the United States is looking the other way.’
My first active memory of Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi was in 1986, when I remember seeing images of the flamboyant terrorist on television. Why was he on TV? Our intelligence services intercepted messages from Libya’s East Berlin embassy suggesting Qaddafi had ordered the terrorist strike on a West Berlin disco frequented by U.S. servicemen that left hundreds dead. In response, President Reagan ordered a massive strike against Libya ten days later. U.S military jets bombed Tripoli and Benghazi in an operation that by all accounts stunned Qaddafi. Reagan didn’t play.
It recently came out that parts of the radar-elusive F-117 plane the Serbs shot down in 1999 (and cleverly commented, “Sorry, we didn’t know it was invisible!”), may have surfaced in China’s sleek new J-20:
The newly elected governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, has instantly shot to national fame because he is fearlessly staring down the government unions bankrupting his state. He is going eyeball to eyeball with them, refusing to do what every previous governor has done, which is negotiate huge (and fiscally impossible) pension and benefits packages, and then lie to everybody that it’s all doable. “Don’t worry! We’ll find a way to pay for it all. In the meantime, your big donation is so welcome!” Governor Walker, like Governors Chris Christie, John Kasich, and Mitch Daniels, among others, are calling out this bankrupting, vote-buying scheme. Enough.
After his party’s “shellacking” in November, President Obama pledged to usher in a new era of bipartisan cooperation. He said he got the message that the American people want both sides to work together. (Actually, that wasn’t the message of the election. The message was to strip the Democrats of as much power as possible and install Republicans as the majority in the House and with bigger numbers in the Senate to stop the Obama agenda. It wasn’t about getting “both sides to work together.” It was about stopping one side dead in its tracks. But Obama spun it as the people’s desire to see both parties work together to solve problems. Actually, his party has created and compounded most of those problems, and the American people want the Democrats to cease and desist—and they do not want the Republicans working together with the Democrats in any way, shape, or form, unless it’s in full service to the limited government, big spending cuts agenda.)
While Congress debates the pros and cons of Obamacare, a silent revolution proceeds apace in American medicine. Actually, it is not totally silent; it is heralded by the low hum of the CT scanner. Studies indicate patients are receiving more CT scans than ever before in emergency rooms, hospitals, and outpatient settings. This burgeoning application of CT scanning, has important implications for individual patients, diagnostically and in terms of radiation exposure, as well as consequences for the country’s overall medical budget.
Mentioning the March 2004 riots in the midst of the organ-trafficking story breaking was an Albanian journalist living in Brussels. The article in the EU Observer starts out uncharacteristically reasonable, then devolves into the usual creative chronology and inverted cause-and-effect when it gets to the part about the 2004 riots being sparked by a drive-by shooting of a Serbian teenager — leading those who don’t know to assume that the 2004 riots were done by Serbs rather than by Albanians:
Revolutions generally start out full of hope. When regular people successfully throw off the yoke of oppressive, brutal tyranny, they naturally hope for a new order that will give them better, freer, more prosperous lives.
One byproduct of the turmoil in Egypt is the focus on the Muslim Brotherhood. Some, including President Obama, appear to think that the Brotherhood is a legitimate political party; others disagree. Here are a couple of sources to help you decide for yourself.
This was the week that Lisa Jackson, head of the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) began her testimony on Capitol Hill, challenged for the first time by House committees with GOP majorities. The GOP is somewhat skeptical about some of the EPA’s work and its scientific claims.
“More hospitals and medical businesses in many states are adopting strict policies that make HIV/AIDS a reason to turn away job applicants, saying they want to increase worker productivity, reduce health costs and encourage healthier living….There is no reliable data on how many businesses have adopted such policies. But people tracking the issue say there are enough examples to suggest the policies are becoming more mainstream, and in some states courts have upheld the legality of refusing to employ HIV/AIDS sufferers.” This is adapted from a front page article in Friday’s Times by A.G. Sulzberger
Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have at least two things in common: a shared border and the apparent distinction of having rolled the President of the United States. Watching both men go to work on Barack Obama, you would never know that Israel and Egypt were the two largest recipients of American foreign aid. Both men have defied the president, and apparently with little cost.
Sixteen-year-old Melinda Ademi from Kosovo wowed judges and viewers on the premiere of “American Idol.” Not surprisingly, her war refugee background story was highlighted; however, the timing couldn’t be more conspicuous. While a war story is compelling on its own merit, one wonders whether the purpose of the talented girl — at least for some powers higher than a 16-year-old — could have been to counteract the still-not-dead news about the organ-harvesting racket by Albanians. News that sheds a dark light on America’s BFF, Greater Kosovo.Ms. Ademi didn’t just go on TV and say that 1999 Kosovo was a big mess and war sucks. No, Ms. Ademi had to demonize the Serbs in the only way that an indoctrinated four-year-old (her age during the war) could, and reinforce the four-year-old’s understanding that most Americans already have of that conflict: “When Yugoslavia broke up, Serbia wanted to get rid of all the other cultures, so they forced them out of their homes.”
No sane watcher of US foreign relations can miss the dichotomy between the kid gloves treatment with which the Obama administration accorded Ahmadinejad and the brutal treatment accorded Mubarak. I am no fan of Mubarak but he is no Ahmadinejad. Mubarak is on his way out but the American behavior is bound to cause serious harm to US interest around the world. Already China and Russia are quick to exploit the American blunder. Chinese foreign Ministry’s spokesman Ma Zhaoxu Said “China holds that Egypt’’s affairs should be decided independently by the country without foreign interference.” Similarly, “We, in Russia, don’t want to give recommendations because we trust the wisdom of the Egyptian people and leaders as well as the government,”Russian deputy forein minister Soltanov said. “Egypt will eventually emerge from the current crisis in light of legitimate measures and dialogue.”
Last year, the American people were crossing the street, minding our own business, when the Democrats came speeding down the road in a souped-up jalopy. They turned the corner on two wheels and plowed right into us. After they mowed us down, they fled the scene of the accident, evading the authorities in an egregious hit and run.
In Strasbourg on January 25th the Council of Europe voted to formally endorse Swiss senator Dick Marty’s report on organ-trafficking by the KLA mafia that the U.S. installed to run Kosovo. The resolution calls for an investigation by international judicial bodies as well as one by Albania (keep dreaming) into various serious crimes in post-war Kosovo.
How about “president for life” Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier landing unannounced back in Haiti 25 years after he fled to exile in France? Was that ever a sad, dumb move? Jean-Claude, now almost 60 years old, a dictator without a country, wandered around Port au Prince eyeing the destruction and meeting with a slim trickle of old supporters for one day, mumbling in his soft voice to reporters that, “I just came to help,” before he was arrested by authorities and charged with extortion and embezzlement.