Wednesday, November 21, 2012

More on Israel and the Palestinians; and Benghazi

* Before Israeli jets attack Gaza, the Israelis do everything possible to avoid civilian casualties. They drop leaflets in advance. They make phone calls into the soon to be targeted area. And strikes are even called off at the last minute when live feed shows civilians in the area. And what does Hamas do? They put their rockets on the rooftops of residential buildings, or near schools and mosques. Hamas P.M. Ismael Haniya said: "We desire death more than you desire life." A Hamas TV campaign urged: "bombs are more precious than children." Any wonder why Israel has a prosperous society while Hamas prides itself on death and destruction - and having tens of thousands of rockets and mortars. And let's not forget that after an Israeli bus full of civilians was blown up the Palestinians praised the attack and celebrated. Then again, the Arabs living in New York and New Jersey celebrated after our 9/11 attack.

* According to the Jerusalem Post, 1506 rockets were fired into Israel during the past week. 421 were intercepted by Iron Dome, the Israeli anti-missile system. Given that they only target rockets likely to hit civilian areas, it was quite an impressive display of the first functioning anti-missile system to ever be deployed.

* Cease-fire now in effect. As the LA Times described it in their lead article on 11/19/12: "An Israeli missile kills nine family members, increasing global pressure on both sides to end the hostilities." Can you imagine if these idiots were writing the news during WWII? Imagine the headlines: "Ike declares thousands died on Omaha beach, therefore U.S. should cease all hostilities." Or: "London devastated, Churchill needs to surrender!" Given that the mainstream media has completely lost their moral compass, it all becomes a numbers game. "Israel, you only have five dead, so make sure that you do not kill more than five Palestinians." The foolish leaders in the West are no better. This from the EU: Israel "must act proportionately and ensure the protection of civilians at all times..." Meanwhile, Assad's Syria can murder over 30,000 of its people, but...

* Meanwhile, masked gunmen in Gaza shot dead six people suspected of collaborating with Israel. They then dragged one of the bodies through the streets as Palestinians spit upon it. No indictment, no trial, just execution. Don't look for the mainstream media to be outraged. Anybody else think it's disgusting that Egypt's Morsi gets to be the "peacemaker"? Hamas' rockets and mortars come through Egypt via the Sudan or Libya. Morsi says he want to see the destruction of Israel and all Jews killed - but he is the peacemaker? Outrageous. Outrageous for Israel to agree on a cease-fire yet again. The only result is that Hamas will continue to fire rockets and mortars and missiles until a few years down the road when Israel decides they can no longer tolerate it and launches another attack. Here's the proof - the Jerusalem Post says 20 rockets have already been launched into Israel after the cease-fire took effect.

* Who supports Israel? A CNN poll found significant Republican support for Israel's defensive measures in Gaza - 74% in favor with 12% opposed. Democrats? Not even one-half in favor - 41% agreed, 36% disagreed. Sad, is it not? Thank G-d that most Congressional Democrats are supportive of Israel, notwithstanding the ever dwindling support amongst the rank and file. As the Democrat party goes further and further to the left this is not surprising - every major leftist group is anti-Israel (and often anti-semitic). And Obama? Anybody else tiring of his "violent extremists" phrase? When will he start telling the truth and call it radical Islam?

* More on Benghazi. The question in the past week has been who changed the original "talking points" used by Susan Rice when she went on the five Sunday talk shows. Specifically, who removed the references to terrorism and Al Qaeda? Originally, the intelligence agencies denied making any such deletions. Now, a spokesman for National Intelligence Director James Clapper said the intelligence community was SOLELY responsible for "substantive" changes to the talking points. So here's a question or two. Who authorized the changes? Was any pressure brought to bear by the White House or others? As noted above, Obama avoids use of the terms "terrorism" and "radical Islam." I would sure like to know how those changes came about. Whether or not the media cares (other than to try to prove that the White House was not behind it) I certainly hope Congress continues to investigate.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Israel and the Palestinians; GOP Blues; and More on Benghazi

* Israel and the Palestinians. Why the increase in hostilities? Who started it? If one just reads the mainstream media, you may not know that Hamas and Islamic Jihad have launched thousands of rockets and mortars into Israel from Gaza since 2005, when Israel vacated Gaza. Over one thousand were launched into Israel just this year up to Friday. Here is what everyone needs to know about the conflict: "We are sending a short and simple message: there is no security for any Zionist on any single inch of Palestine..." So said Abu Obeida, spokesman for the Hamas military. Inasmuch as Israel left Gaza years ago, and the rockets and mortars are falling on Israel, Obeida is telling the world that the Jews who live in Israel are actually living in "Palestine." As they do not recognize Israel's legitimacy, and say they never will, what else do you need to know?

* While the motivation of the Palestinians is clear, things do get more complicated by the involvement of others. Hamas has launched longer range Fajr-5 missiles at Tel Aviv. These missiles are supplied by Iran, proving that Iran is not just a threat if they get nukes. Meanwhile, the new Islamist leaders in Egypt and Tunisia, as well as the now Islamist leader in Turkey, have expressed their solidarity with the Palestinians. Does that mean they would get involved in a ground war with Israel if Israel sends troops into Gaza? Not likely, given their own internal problems, but it cannot be ruled out. And what about the U.S.? Two former military men (Col. Oliver North and 4 star General Jack Keane, former Vice Chief of Staff of the Army) believe that the Islamists, like Hamas, have felt emboldened since the 9/11/12 attack on Benghazi, killing the U.S. Ambassador and others. Obama blamed the attack on an anti-muslim video, and has taken no action against the terrorists. The U.S. has been perceived as being weak, resulting in a significant increase in anti-U.S. and anti-Israel "chatter." Nevertheless, I credit Obama for stating that "Israel has the right to defend itself," not something that every country acknowledges.

* As noted in the last post, Obama seems intent on presiding over a seriously diminished U.S. military force. A weakened U.S. always emboldens the enemies of peace and freedom. The mainstream media never gets it. In a 11/15/12 editorial, the New York Times opined: "The group (Hamas) has mostly adhered to an informal cease-fire with Israel after the war there in the winter of 2008-09." I suppose if you don't count a few thousand rockets and mortars raining down on Israel then they are correct. The Times continues: "Israel has a right to defend itself, but it's hard to see how Wednesday's operation could be the most effective way of advancing its long-term interests." If rockets were falling all around and in the NY Times' offices, would they want the NYPD and Homeland Security to stop it, or would they say fighting back would not be "an effective way of advancing the Times' long-term interests?" What a bunch of morons! One million Israelis have had to live in bomb shelters the last several days. Israel's long-term interests are in destroying the ability of Hamas to attack; not to worry about "new waves of condemnation against Israel in Arab countries," as the Times suggests. As if the Arabs would otherwise support Israel. The Times then concludes with their usual blaming of Israel - suggesting more countries would support Israel if they made peace with Abbas' Palestinian Authority. The dreamers of the left forever eschewing reality.

* GOP Blues. Numerous post-mortems have been written and verbalized about the GOP and what it needs to do since the election. Here are just a few suggestions that have been mentioned by commentators: back off on social issues like abortion and gay marriage, fix the immigration problem, learn to use social media, stop putting up Mr. Nice Guys to run, become more moderate, be better advocates of the free market, and select a more charismatic candidate. Having three young adults in my family, there seemed to be a general consensus that it was more "cool" and "in" to vote Democrat. My conservative son suggested the GOP stop talking about abortion and gay marriage. Abortion has been legal for 40 years, and gay marriage appears to be headed in the same direction. Mike Pence, a conservative Congressman, won the governorship in Indiana by avoiding discussion of the social issues. My older, more liberal daughter explained that Obama was more likeable, younger, cool, does Twitter, has a stylish wife and more easily relates to people.

* What seems clear from that daughter's analysis is that not a single substantive, policy issue was mentioned. And yet, she may be on to something. An exit poll asked people who was more "in touch with you," with 53% saying Obama to Romney's 43%. That ability to relate to people may trump substantive issues. If people sense that you understand them, they may feel that they can trust you to do the "right" thing on any policy issue. Some Republican governors are not happy with Romney saying Obama won with "financial gifts" from the government. Gov. Bobby Jindal says the GOP needs to campaign for every vote, and not insult people. Jindal says not to let demographics be destiny. As Gov. Scott Walker says, the Republican message works for everyone.

* The Investor's Business Daily suggests that the GOP "narrow the media gap." They want to see the GOP going on the mainstream media TV talk shows and fighting back. Of course, we need articulate conservatives doing so. I would add that conservatives should increasingly speak on college campuses, while acknowledging that even university presidents may hinder that effort. Fordham's president criticized the College Republicans for inviting Ann Coulter to speak, which ultimately resulted in the withdrawal of the invitation. Nevertheless, the effort must be made. When so many people hear only one viewpoint, it is incumbent upon Republicans to get the message out.

* We on the right should not be too discouraged. Of course, we felt extreme disappointment on the re-election of such a divisive, leftist ideologue. But, as noted by Don Campbell in the 11/14/12 USA Today, the GOP holds 30 of 50 governorships. Republicans also hold 27 of 49 state Houses/Assemblies, and 28 of 49 state Senates. (Nebraska has a non-partisan unicameral legislature.) The GOP also has a 40 seat majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and 45 seats in the U.S. Senate. So let's not take the gas pipe just yet. Can we expect Obama to now work with the Republican House? No, he remains an ideologue. He has said he wants to bring "fundamental change" to this country and that "elections have consequences." He wants to be a significant President, like a Roosevelt or a Reagan. So House Republicans will need to pick and choose their battles carefully.

* More on Benghazi. Now former CIA Director Gen. Petraeus claimed that the CIA "talking points" after the 9/11 attack in Benghazi made it clear that the attack was an act of terrorism, likely linked to Al-Qaeda in Africa. Yet, the "talking points" given to UN Ambassador Susan Rice contained no such statement. We are supposed to believe that that is how she ended up on five Sunday talk shows after the attack blaming it all on an anti-muslim video. Said Obama: Amb. Rice had "nothing to do with Benghazi." Then why was she selected to speak for the Administration on all the Sunday shows. Why not the Sec. of State or Sec. of Defense? Might it be that Rice, a longtime political ally of Obama's, could be counted on to lie for the Administration? Or, did they simply keep her in the dark and allow her to tell a story that had no basis in truth?

* Who are the racists and sexists? After Rice received heaps of criticism from Senators McCain and Graham, Obama said if they "want to go after somebody, they should go after me." Is Obama suggesting that, as a woman at the highest level of government, Rice still needs the protection of a man? And how about Congresswoman Marcia Fudge of Ohio, in line to be next chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. Fudge: "It is a shame that anytime something goes wrong, they pick on women and minorities." And this by Fudge: "There is clear sexism and racism that goes with these comments" by McCain and Graham. Sorry Congresswoman, if you can't take the heat, don't hold political office. According to Fudge's "logic," only white males may be criticized. THAT is racist and sexist. It is also typical of the left's constant focus on race and sex. As we on the right know, criticism of Obama is likely to result in a charge of racism. It is divisive, and a child-like reaction to legitimate criticism. Let's not forget why they do it though; they believe that the ends (supporting the Obama Administration in this case) justify the means (lying about McCain and Graham being racists and sexists). And they know the mainstream media will never call them on it.