Tag: Jonah Goldberg

There’s A Whole Arsenal Of Smoking Guns In The Clinton E-mail Scandal (Jonah Goldberg)

There’s A Whole Arsenal Of Smoking Guns In The Clinton E-mail Scandal – Jonah Goldberg

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Every time the State Department pulls out a new fistful of Hillary Clinton e-mails like Richard Dreyfuss yanking a license plate out of a shark’s belly in Jaws, someone declares that there’s “no smoking gun!”

I’ve written before about how shouting “There’s no smoking gun!” is a non-denial denial. Ask a cop. When a murder suspect immediately exclaims, “You have no indisputable evidence I murdered my boss!” instead of, “I didn’t do it!” it’s a good sign that the suspect thinks he covered his tracks, not that he’s innocent.

Fellas, if your wife asks if you’re having an affair, respond by saying, “You have no proof!” See if she takes that for a denial.

But here’s the thing. There is a smoking gun. In fact, there’s a whole smoking arsenal. The problem is that the standards for what counts as a smoking gun keep changing.

Nearly everything Clinton has said in her defense regarding her secret server has been a lie. Among the minor lies: her claim that she set up the server so she could use a single device. (She had two.) Her claim that the State Department was saving her e-mails to staff. (It wasn’t until 2010.) Her claim that she erased tens of thousands of e-mails because they included, among other things, her e-mail correspondence with her husband. (Bill Clinton doesn’t use e-mail.)

Hillary Clinton said she never solicited e-mail from her lugubrious political hatchet man, Sidney Blumenthal. The latest e-mails show that she was in near-constant contact with him, encouraging him to keep his various reports coming. Blumenthal was barred from getting a job at the White House, so Clinton set him up at her charity-cum-super PAC, the Clinton Foundation.

The more important lie: She said she never received or sent classified information. “I did not e-mail any classified material to anyone on my e-mail. There is no classified material.”

Note: This was not an off-the-cuff statement. She said this while reading from notes, after consulting with her campaign team and her lawyers, in a ballyhooed press conference in March at the United Nations.

And it was a lie. When the inspectors general of the State Department and the Intelligence Community confirmed in July that she had sent classified material, Clinton “clarified” her carefully prepared lie by saying that what she meant was none of the e-mails she sent or received were marked classified at the time.

This left out the fact that the whole point of the secret server was that it was hidden from the officials whose job is to designate documents as classified (and to keep it all hidden from Freedom of Information Act requests and congressional oversight). It’s like setting up an illegal still and then claiming none of the moonshine you sold was marked “illegal.”

But the deceit goes deeper. Most people can be forgiven for not understanding the difference between classified documents and classified information. A classified document is marked “Top Secret” or some such. But people who work in government understand that lots of information is classified simply by virtue of the kind of information it is.

My National Review colleague Andrew McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor, has been setting his head on fire trying to get the mainstream media to take note of this fact. He points out that according to an executive order issued by President Obama, all “foreign government information is presumed to cause damage to the national security” and is therefore presumed classified. Clinton routinely ignored this rule. That’s not just my opinion. A study by Reuters found that “Clinton and her senior staff routinely” ignored these rules.

“Here’s my personal e-mail,” Clinton told Middle East envoy George Mitchell, who then proceeded to convey numerous private conversations he had with foreign leaders.

The Washington Times reports that Clinton’s unsecured e-mails contained spy-satellite information about North Korea’s movement of its nuclear assets. This sort of information is universally recognized as top secret and is normally subjected to draconian safeguards. There is no way Clinton didn’t know this.

All of these – and many other – facts would have counted as “smoking guns” if they had been divulged immediately after Clinton’s U.N. press conference. But Clinton, with the help of her praetorian defenders in the media, keeps moving the goalposts.

Still, all of this ignores the biggest smoking gun of them all: her illicit server. It’s sitting in plain view, its smoke visible to anyone with eyes to see.

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*VIDEO* 20 Of The Most Important Conservatives Of The Past 30 Years


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*VIDEOS* Ten Of Ed’s Favorite Jews


DENNIS PRAGER

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ANDREW BREITBART

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DAVID HOROWITZ

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JONAH GOLDBERG

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CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER

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MILTON FRIEDMAN

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EVAN SAYET

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BEN SHAPIRO

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BENJAMIN NETANYAHU

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MARK LEVIN

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Obamacare Schadenfreudarama (Jonah Goldberg)

Obamacare Schadenfreudarama – Jonah Goldberg

To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, you’d have to have a heart of stone not to laugh at the unraveling of Obamacare.

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First, the obligatory caveats. It is no laughing matter that millions of Americans’ lives have been thrown into anxious chaos as they lose their health insurance, their doctors, their money, or all three. Nor is it particularly amusing to think of the incredible waste of time and tax dollars that has gone into Obamacare’s construction. And the still-unfolding violence that this misbegotten legislation will visit on the economy and our liberties is not funny either. This very magazine has been downright funereal about the brazen and unconstitutional seizure of one-sixth of the economy, and rightly so.

But come on, people.

If you can’t take some joy, some modicum of relief and mirth, in the unprecedentedly spectacular beclowning of the president, his administration, its enablers, and, to no small degree, liberalism itself, then you need to ask yourself why you’re following politics in the first place. Because, frankly, this has been one of the most enjoyable political moments of my lifetime. I wake up in the morning and rush to find my just-delivered newspaper with a joyful expectation of worsening news so intense, I feel like Morgan Freeman should be narrating my trek to the front lawn. Indeed, not since Dan Rather handcuffed himself to a fraudulent typewriter, hurled it into the abyss, and saw his career plummet like Ted Kennedy was behind the wheel have I enjoyed a story more.

Alas, the English language is not well equipped to capture the sensation I’m describing, which is why we must all thank the Germans for giving us the term “schadenfreude” – the joy one feels at the misfortune or failure of others. The primary wellspring of schadenfreude can be attributed to Barack Obama’s hubris – another immigrant word, which means a sinful pride or arrogance that causes someone to believe he has a godlike immunity to the rules of life.

The hubris of our ocean-commanding commander-in-chief surely isn’t news to readers of this website. He’s said that he’s smarter and better than everyone who works for him. His wife informed us that he has “brought us out of the dark and into the light” and that he would fix our broken souls. The man defined sin itself as “being out of alignment with my values.” We may be the ones we’ve been waiting for, but at the same time, everyone has been waiting for him. Or as he put it in 2007, “Every place is Barack Obama country once Barack Obama’s been there.”

In every tale of hubris, the transgressor is eventually slapped across the face with the semi-frozen flounder of reality. The Greeks had a god, Nemesis, whose scythe performed the same function. It was Nemesis who lured Narcissus to the pool where he fell in love with his own reflection. Admittedly, most of Nemesis’s walk-on roles were in the Greek tragedies, but in the modern era, comeuppance-for-the-arrogant is more often found in comedies, and the “rollout” of Healthcare.gov has been downright hilarious. (I put quotation marks around “rollout” because the term implies actual rolling, and this thing has moved as gracefully as a grand piano in a peat bog.) But, as the president says, “it’s more than a website.” Indeed, the whole law is coming apart like a papier-mâché yacht in rough waters. The media feeding frenzy it has triggered from so many journalistic lapdogs has been both so funny and so poignant, it reminds me of nothing more than the climax of the classic film Air Bud, when the lovable basketball-playing golden retriever finally decides to maul the dog-abusing clown.

During the government shutdown, Barack Obama held fast, heroically refusing to give an inch to the hostage-taking, barbaric orcs of the Tea Party who insisted on delaying Obamacare. It was a triumph for the master strategist in the White House, who finally maneuvered the Republicans into revealing their extremism. But we didn’t know something back then: Obama desperately needed a delay of Healthcare.gov. In his arrogance, though, he couldn’t bring himself to admit it. The other possibility is that he is such an incompetent manager, who has cultivated such a culture of yes-men, that he was completely in the dark about the problems. That’s the reigning storyline right now from the White House. Obama was betrayed. “If I had known,” he told his staff, “we could have delayed the website.”

This is how you know we’re in the political sweet spot: when the only plausible excuses for the administration are equally disastrous indictments.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, it took about five minutes for liberals to cast the chaos and confusion of the disaster as a searing indictment of not just the Bush administration but of conservatism itself. Whatever the merits of that argument (and there are not many), Katrina was at least a surprise. The October 1 deadline for Obamacare was set by Obama’s own administration years ago – and it caught them completely off guard. The president may now claim that he knew nothing, but he must have wondered why Henry Chao, Healthcare.gov’s chief project manager, set the bar of success at sea level last March: “Let’s just make sure it’s not a Third World experience.” At this point, it could only be more of a Third World experience if Healthcare.gov required enrollees to pay with chickens.

Regardless, if Obama were a tenth as good a politician as he thinks he is, he could have blamed the delay he desperately needed on his political enemies, calling them “hostage-takers” even as he secretly understood they had rescued his most beloved hostage from his own incompetence. Instead, on September 26, he went out and told an adoring audience: “On October 1, millions of Americans… will finally be able to buy quality, affordable health insurance. In five days.” “Starting Tuesday,” he added, Americans will be able to “compare and purchase affordable health-insurance plans, side by side, the same way you shop for a plane ticket on Kayak – same way you shop for a TV on Amazon. You just go on and you start looking, and here are all the options.”

Come on, that’s hilarious.

Okay, maybe he didn’t know then what bad shape the website was in. But how to explain the president’s remarks three weeks after the debut of Healthcare.gov? Even if it’s true that the president only hears about bad news from the newspapers, by then the papers were full of reports that Healthcare.gov worked about as well as a Somali superconducting supercollider. Obama knew that Healthcare.gov was a fiasco, and that the “navigators” used the same broken website that consumers had spent days poking at like Chinatown chickens in an abandoned tic-tac-toe machine, desperately but fruitlessly trying to get some reward.

And yet the president strode out into the Rose Garden anyway and told millions of Americans they could buy their coverage by phone. He told them the 1-800 operators were standing by. He told them it would take only 25 minutes to apply. None of these things were true. In his mind, Obama surely thought he was putting the issue to rest, like Zeus declaring that Odysseus would make it home alive. But here’s the thing: All that Zeus needs to do to make something happen is to say it. When Barack Obama says things, reality doesn’t bend to his will. Somehow, Barack Obama has been led to believe that his job is simply to go out and say things, as if saying things alone could change facts on the ground. So while I’m sure he thinks he sounded like the voice of eternal truth, in reality he sounded like the infomercial spokesman played by Chevy Chase in the old Saturday Night Live skit:

WIFE (GILDA RADNER): New Shimmer is a floor wax!

HUSBAND (DAN AYKROYD): No, new Shimmer is a dessert topping!

WIFE: It’s a floor wax!

HUSBAND: It’s a dessert topping!

WIFE: It’s a floor wax, I’m telling you!

HUSBAND: It’s a dessert topping, you cow!

SPOKESMAN [enters quickly]: Hey, hey, hey, calm down, you two. New Shimmer is a floor wax and a dessert topping! Here, I’ll spray some on your mop… and some on your butterscotch pudding…

HUSBAND [eating while wife mops]: Mmmmm, tastes terrific!

WIFE: And just look at that shine! But will it last?

SPOKESMAN: Hey, outlasts every other leading floor wax, two to one. It’s durable, and it’s scuff-resistant.

HUSBAND: And it’s delicious!

But not as delicious as the tears of his praetorian guard. First of all, every day Jay Carney looks even more like a little boy who put on his dad’s suit. You have to wonder what goes on in his mind, as a former journalist, when he tells his former colleagues that “the American forces have been completely destroyed with minimal Iraqi casualties.” (Oh, wait, that was Baghdad Bob. I get them confused.) And what about Dan Pfeiffer going on the Sunday shows to insist that no American should believe his or her lying eyes?

On October 1, Media Matters for America – David Brock’s sweatshop for twentysomethings who couldn’t get an internship at the DNC – raced to defend the crashed website as a sign of success, in keeping with the idea that all Obama failures are further proof of his awesomeness: “Right-Wing Media Frantically Spin Obamacare Exchange Success Into Failure.” Taking their cues from the White House, MMFA insisted that the administration’s only mistake was failing to appreciate just how popular the program would be. “Right-wing media were quick to jump on the problems, declaring them a sign of the law’s shortcomings rather than its popularity,” cackled MMFA’s Samantha Wyatt. She went on to mock various Fox News journalists and, of course, Rush Limbaugh for calling the disastrous launch a disaster. Meanwhile, Ezra Klein called the initial popularity of the site exactly “what the Republicans were afraid of.” Now even Klein has turned on the White House – more in sorrow than in anger, to be sure. When the White House has lost Ezra Klein… well, it still has the cast of Morning Joe. No, wait – even they have abandoned the president. Heh.

To be sure, there was some apparent plausibility to the claim that the website was working only too well, because the White House lied so confidently about what was going on. Few critics grasped at first that this was going to be the Charlie Sheen of IT launches – a spectacularly mortifying failure, punctuated with desperate shrieks of “Winning!”

It wasn’t until later that we learned that, of the uncountable hordes flocking to the federal exchanges that first day, the number who actually registered for an insurance plan totaled exactly six. At that rate, Obamacare would reach its target of 7 million enrollees around the year 5013, or 3022 a.o. (Anno Obamae).

Obviously, the website will get better. It could hardly get worse, short of a finding that it causes irritable bowel syndrome. Indeed, on the second day, the number of enrollees hit 248, according to the same leaked contractor memos. But the site needs to be able to handle tens of thousands of enrollees per day.

More recent numbers suggest that the federal exchange has enrolled about 27,000 customers since October 1, which amounts to about half an enrollee for each Obamacare “navigator.” (Someone in the White House is surely thinking, “Hey, let’s just hire another 14,000,000 navigators! Problem solved.) In order to rationalize that dismal performance the White House now must insist that they always knew the numbers would be tiny at the outset.

Here’s a number that isn’t tiny: Five million people – and counting – have lost their health insurance, despite the president’s years of “you can keep your plan” promises. The president has apologized, sort of. He says he’s “sorry” that people have found themselves in a bad situation because of “assurances” he made. But no one has lost their insurance because of the president’s assurances, they’ve lost their insurance because of the president’s law. If a captain has the lifejackets filled with cement, his assurance that “you can keep your lifejacket” is only half the crime. Obama knew the lifejackets wouldn’t work. In 2010 he admitted that 8 to 9 million people in the individual market might “have to change their coverage” because of the law. And that’s just the individual market. Millions more will eventually lose the insurance they like because of Obamacare, according to the administration’s own internal estimates.

The cancellations aren’t a bug, they’re a feature, and the president lied about it over and over again.

And now the Democratic panic has begun. Terry McAuliffe almost lost his bid for Virginia governor because of Obamacare. Senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina has seen her double-digit lead against a generic Republican all but vanish. Henry “let’s avoid a Third World experience” Chao is now insisting he never got the memo warning of “limitless” security problems. And, just this week, the big dog himself, Bill Clinton, announced he thinks Obama should honor the “commitment” the federal government made to Americans that they can keep their health insurance. Clinton’s brazenness is a marvel to behold, given that he surely knew all along that Obama’s “incorrect promise” – to borrow the New York Times’ latest desperate euphemism – was a lie and yet he happily defended the law. Moreover, he knows that honoring that commitment would, in fact, permanently gut Obamacare.

Which is one reason why Republicans are proposing a law that would do exactly that with the “Keep Your Health Care Plan” Act. This creates a miserable predicament for Democrats. As Jim Geraghty writes: “Can you picture the ads? Senator [Insert Democrat Here] voted for the Obamacare law that took away your health insurance… and then voted against the Keep Your Health Plan Act.”

Democrats are in the opening stages of the crab-in-a-trap phase. When crabs are caught in a trap they will try to climb out of their predicament. The problem is that other crabs will grab the would-be-escapee and pull them down. When the really nasty infighting starts, as countless Democrats look to fix or delay the law, I’m looking forward to pointing out that such an agenda was once considered “extreme,” even “racist,” by Democrats. Or to quote Harry Reid from last September: “Obamacare has been the law for four years. Why don’t they get a life and talk about something else?”

It would be great fun to watch Reid say something similar to the throngs of panicked fellow Democrats racing for the exits like the Irish peasants below decks on the Titanic. Reid, of course, is just desperate to buy time. He hopes to make it to November 30, the appointed date when the White House still insists it will be able to say, “Behold the power of this fully functional website!” Politically speaking, with every day still producing another terrible story for the White House, that is the sort of timeline that would make Godot look punctual. And that’s if they hit the deadline. So far, the press has been unable to produce a prominent IT expert willing to say on the record that the target date is feasible. Jay Carney is sticking to that promise, but the musky stench of fear, sweat, and urine wafting from the podium makes it hard for all but the true believers to put much stock in his words.

But let’s assume HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius makes the most of that copy of Web Sites for Dummies that a protester handed her at a town-hall meeting last week. Then what?

We have a hint from Colorado, where the state’s own version of Healthcare.gov has been up and running. Al Jazeera America interviewed one of Colorado’s exchange navigators a month after the debut. When asked how many people she had signed up, she replied, “So far, no one. Thus far everybody has taken a look at the rates and they’ve walked out the door. There’s sticker shock. They just can’t afford it.” Medicaid has been driving most of the enrollments, and those who have ended up in private plans are older and poorer on average than the planners had hoped.

Every day, the supposedly conspiratorial right-wing smear that Obama cared more about economic redistribution than he did about the middle class or economic growth looks more reasonable. Surely we’re allowed to say, “We told you so”?

As a matter of public policy and fiscal health, this is a mixed bag. It’s good that poor sick people without insurance coverage are getting something. On the other side of the scale, we have the fact that the country is racing toward entitlement-fueled bankruptcy. So if you can overlook that, yippee!

But as a political and ideological matter, this is beyond fantastic. For years we’ve been told that Democrats were more “reality-based,” that “facts have a liberal bias,” in the words of Paul Krugman, and that if they could just have their way, they could fix all of our problems. No one represented this arrogant promise more than Barack Obama himself. But, with an irony so rich it would be made of Corinthian leather if it was a car seat, the only way he could get his signature legislation passed was to baldly and brazenly lie about it, over and over and over again. He created a rhetorical cloud castle where no one would lose his insurance, every family would save thousands of dollars, and millions of the uninsured would suddenly get coverage. Anyone who doubted this was called a fool or a liar, or even a racist. It was, in the parlance of liberalism, a “false choice” to assert that Obamacare couldn’t be a floor wax and a dessert topping.

And all of this – every bit of it – is their own fault. The bedraggled cadres of Obama’s defenders are valiantly trying to blame it all on Republican sabotage: The Obama administration had to keep the whole thing secret for fear of “feeding the opposition,” in the words of a Washington Post reconstruction of the debacle. But when you read the stories, if you replace phrases like “keep the Republicans from finding out” with the more accurate “keep the public from finding out,” you’ll get a better sense of things. The Obama White House, by which I mean the Obama campaign, was desperate to keep voters from grasping the scope of its misinformation campaign until after the election. And then, after the election, it was afraid to let the public know what they’d been misinformed about.

The argument against gloating holds that conservatives should want Obamacare to succeed even though we said all along it couldn’t. It’s such an odd argument, particularly since the Democrats’ lies were of the first order, in that Obama’s aides actually debated and discussed them, no doubt presenting them to focus groups like a jar of “new Shimmer, now an erectile-dysfunction treatment and paint thinner all in one!”

When a product is brought to market and the market discovers – as it eventually has to – that the advertising wasn’t merely a tissue of lies but a geological stratum of lies, the utterly fair and justified response from the critics is “I told you so!” – not “Let’s make this thing bipartisan now.” That’s particularly true when the president continues to lie. On September 26 he said, “If you already have health care, you don’t have to do anything” to keep your plan. On November 3 he said, “What we said was you could keep [your plan] if it hasn’t been changed.” Who knew that dozens of flat declarative statements – “You can keep your plan. Period” – were trailed by a cloud of asterisks like so many invisible fireflies?

If Obamacare had been a shining success from Day One, do you think the Democrats would be in the mood to share the credit? Then why should Republicans be in more of a mood to share the blame?

Feel free to cross your fingers that reality will bend to the gravitational pull of Obama’s stellar ego, his invincible hubris. As for me, I’ll be sitting on the sidelines cheering on Nemesis, with joy in my heart.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Your Daley Gator Anti-War-In-Syria Op-Ed Roundup

Unserious About Syria – Thomas Sowell

Why are we even talking about taking military action in Syria? What is that military action supposed to accomplish? And what is the probability that it will in fact accomplish whatever that unknown goal might be?

What is painfully clear from President Obama’s actions, inactions, and delays is that he is more or less playing by ear what specifically he is going to do, and when. He is telling us more about what he is not going to do – that he will not put “boots on the ground,” for example – than about what he will do.

All this is happening a year after issuing an ultimatum to the Bashar Assad regime in Syria against the use of chemical or biological weapons. When the president of the United States issues an ultimatum to another sovereign nation, he should know in advance what he is going to do if that ultimatum is rejected.

But that is not the way Barack Obama operates. Like so many people who are masters of lofty words, he does not pay nearly as much attention to mundane realities. Campaigning is his strong suit. Governing is not.

With the mainstream media ready to ooh and aah over his rhetoric, and pass over in silence his policy disasters as president, Obama is home free as far as domestic politics is concerned. But, on the world stage, neither America’s enemies nor her allies are hypnotized by his words or his image.

Nations that have to decide whether to ally themselves with us or with our enemies understand that they are making life-and-death decisions. It is not about rhetoric, image, or symbolism. It is about whether nations can count on the realism, wisdom, and dependability of the American government.

Make no mistake about it, Barack Obama is a very clever man. But cleverness is not wisdom, or even common sense.

When he was in the Senate, Obama – along with Senators Joe Biden, Chuck Hagel, and Hillary Clinton – was critical of the Bush administration for not being favorable to the Assad regime.

Hillary Clinton said that she and other lawmakers who visited Assad considered him a “reformer.” Back in 2007, when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, both Senator Biden and Senator Hagel chided her for not being more ready to negotiate with Assad.

Senator John Kerry in 2009 said, “Syria is an essential player in bringing peace and stability to the region.”

Some people said that having Joe Biden as vice president meant that President Obama had someone with many years of foreign-policy experience. What they ignored was that Biden had decades of experience being wrong on foreign-policy issues time and time again.

Biden opposed President Ronald Reagan’s military buildup that countered the Soviet Union’s buildup and helped bring about both the end of the Cold War and the end of the Soviet Union. General David Petraeus’s “surge” strategy that greatly reduced the terrorist attacks in Iraq was opposed in 2007 by Senator Biden, who said, “We need to stop the surge and start to get our troops out.”

Senator Hillary Clinton not only opposed the surge from the outset, she was among those who refused to believe that it had succeeded, even after all the hard evidence had convinced most other people.

The grim reality is that the people in key positions to shape our foreign policy during the Obama administration – the president, the vice president, two secretaries of state, and the current secretary of defense – all have a track record of grossly misconceiving the issues, our enemies, and our national interest.

This is the administration that is now asking for a blank check from Congress to take unspecified military action to achieve unspecified goals. “Military action” is a polite phrase for killing people. It would be nice to believe that this has some purpose other than saving Barack Obama from political embarrassment after he issued an ultimatum without having thought through what he would do if that ultimatum was ignored.

He has the authority to take military action if he wants to. The question is whether he can sucker the Republicans into giving him political cover by pre-approving his unknown actions and unknown goals.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Clear-Cut Stupidity On Syria – Jonah Goldberg

‘The genius of you Americans,” the Arab-nationalist and one-time president of Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nasser, once explained, “is that you never make clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves which make us wonder at the possibility that there may be something to them which we are missing.”

I’ve long taken patriotic pride in such statements of befuddlement from foreigners. America is a gloriously complicated thing. We often confuse our national creeds for universal principles. We are a Jacksonian people (that’s Andrew Jackson, in case you were wondering) in love with Jeffersonian ideals and legalistically committed to Madisonian mechanisms. Like a guard dog that would rather not leave the porch, we are quick to anger but not necessarily quick to fight, and we are just as eager to forgive.

So from the vantage point of foreign brutes, bullies, and buffoons, it’s understandable that America’s methods could be confused for stupidity. This is why I love the old expression, “America can choke on a gnat, but swallow a tiger whole.”

So I am trying very hard to hold onto this perspective as I watch the president of the United States behave in a way you don’t have to be a pan-Arab autocrat to think is incredibly stupid.

Where to begin? Perhaps with Obama’s initial refusal to support the moderate rebels seeking to overthrow Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, a puppet of Iran and bagman for Hezbollah. Or we might start with Obama’s refusal to support the Green Movement in Iran, which sought to overthrow the Iranian regime, which would have been a triumph for both our principles and our national interests.

These were odd choices, particularly given his decision to help depose Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, an indisputably evil man, but also a dictator who posed no threat, who abided by our demands to relinquish WMDs, and whose domestic death toll was a tiny fraction of Assad’s.

“We cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people there will be no mercy… where innocent men and women face brutality and death at the hands of their own government” was Obama’s justification for an attack on Libya – without congressional approval. But when Assad killed tenfold as many men, women, and children, Obama refused to act for nearly two years. And when he finally decided it was imperative to attack Assad – after the dictator crossed a chemical-weapons “red line” drawn by Obama himself – he suddenly discovered the need for congressional authorization.

Sort of.

Obama doesn’t believe he needs authorization from Congress to strike Syria, he just wants it. He’s like a kid desperate for a prom date, but too vain to admit it. In Libya, Obama had the U.N. and NATO on each arm, so he didn’t bother with asking the dog on Capitol Hill for a date. But now, faced with the prospect of going it alone, he’s in effect telling Congress, “Hey, it’s not like I need your company, but you’d be crazy not to go to war with me.”

Whoops. As even Nancy Pelosi’s own grandkid now knows, we mustn’t call it a war. “The president is not asking you to go to war,” Secretary of State John Kerry told Congress. He’s merely asking them to authorize a sustained cruise-missile attack on military installations to “degrade” the regime’s “capabilities.”

But, according to Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Martin Dempsey, no one has asked the military to do anything that might change the “momentum” of the Syrian civil war. This is like saying you’re going to attack a runaway car barreling toward a crowd of kids, but do nothing to actually, you know, slow it down. What good does it do to trash the radio and rip out the cup holders on an out-of-control car?

Meanwhile, according to numerous accounts, Assad is moving military assets into civilian areas and civilians into military areas, even as the Obama administration insists it makes no difference militarily to wait for Congress to debate. That’s not just stupid; it’s an outright lie that will be fact-checked with blood.

I understand the attraction the buddy system has for a man who, as a state legislator, perfected the art of voting “present” on hard questions. But it’s hard to see this as anything other than rank political cowardice.

The buck stopped with Truman. For Obama, the buck is kryptonite.

In Stockholm on Wednesday, the president said that the credibility of the world, America, Congress, and the international community is on the line. Everybody is on the hook for his red line, except for the one person who actually drew it.

I’d love to see the genius in that argument, but it looks like clear-cut stupidity to me.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Community Organizer Goes To War – Ann Coulter

Oh, how I long for the days when liberals wailed that “the rest of the world” hated America, rather than now, when the rest of the world laughs at us.

With the vast majority of Americans opposing a strike against Syria, President Obama has requested that Congress vote on his powers as commander in chief under the Constitution. The president doesn’t need congressional approval to shoot a few missiles into Syria, nor – amazingly – has he said he’ll abide by such a vote, anyway.

Why is Congress even having a vote? This is nothing but a fig leaf to cover Obama’s own idiotic “red line” ultimatum to President Bashar al-Assad of Syria on chemical weapons. The Nobel Peace Prize winner needs to get Congress on the record so that whatever happens, the media can blame Republicans.

No Republican who thinks seriously about America’s national security interests – by which I mean to exclude John McCain and Lindsey Graham – can support Obama’s “plan” to shoot blindly into this hornet’s nest.

It would be completely different if we knew with absolute certainty that Assad was responsible for chemical attacks on his own people. (I’m still waiting to see if it was a Syrian upset about a YouTube video.)

It would be different if instead of killing a few hundred civilians, Assad had killed 5,000 civilians with poison gas in a single day, as well as tens of thousands more with chemical weapons in the past few decades.

It would be different if Assad were known to torture his own people, administer summary executions, rapes, burnings and electric shocks, often in front of the victim’s wife or children.

It would be different if Assad had acted aggressively toward the United States itself, perhaps attempting to assassinate a former U.S. president or giving shelter to terrorists who had struck within the U.S. – someone like Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood terrorist.

It would be different if Assad were stirring up trouble in the entire Middle East by, for example, paying bounties to the families of suicide bombers in other countries.

It would also be different if we could be sure that intervention in Syria would not lead to a multi-nation conflagration.

It would be different if we knew that any action against Syria would not put al-Qaida or the Muslim Brotherhood in power, but rather would result in a functioning, peaceful democracy.

And it would be different if an attack on Syria would so terrify other dictators in the region that they would instantly give up their WMDs – say, Iran abandoning its nuclear program.

If all of that were true, this would be a military intervention worth supporting!

All of that was true about Iraq, but the Democrats hysterically opposed that war. They opposed it even after all this was known to be true – indeed, especially after it was known to be true! The loudest opponent was Barack Obama.

President Saddam Hussein of Iraq had attempted to assassinate former president George H.W. Bush. He gave shelter to Abdul Rahman Yasin, a conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He paid bounties to the families of suicide bombers in Israel.

Soon after Bush invaded Iraq in 2003, Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi was so terrified of an attack on his own country, he voluntarily relinquished his WMDs – which turned out to be far more extensive than previously imagined.

Al-Qaida not only did not take over Iraq, but got its butt handed to it in Iraq, where the U.S. and its allies killed thousands of al-Qaida fighters, including the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Iraq became the first genuine Arab democracy, holding several elections and presiding over a trial of Saddam Hussein.

Does anyone imagine that any of this would result from an Obama-led operation in Syria? How did his interventions work out in Egypt and Libya?

As for chemical weapons – the casus belli for the current drums of war – in a matter of hours on March 16, 1988, Saddam Hussein slaughtered roughly 5,000 Kurdish civilians in Halabja with mustard, sarin and VX gas. The victims blistered, vomited or laughed hysterically before dropping dead. Thousands more would die later from the after-effects of these poisons.

Saddam launched nearly two dozen more chemical attacks on the Kurds, resulting in at least 50,000 deaths, perhaps three times that many. That’s to say nothing of the tens of thousands of Iranians Saddam killed with poison gas. Indeed, in making the case against Assad recently, Secretary of State John Kerry said his use of chemical weapons put him in the same league as “Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein.”

Not even close – but may we ask why Kerry sneered at the war that removed such a monster as Hussein?

There were endless United Nations reports and resolutions both establishing that Saddam had used chemical weapons and calling on him to give them up. (For the eighth billionth time, we did find chemical weapons in Iraq, just no “stockpiles.” Those had been moved before the war, according to Saddam’s own general, Georges Sada – to Syria.)

On far less evidence, our current president accuses Assad of using chemical weapons against a fraction of the civilians provably murdered with poison gas by Saddam Hussein. So why did Obama angrily denounce the military operation that removed Hussein? Why did he call that a “war of choice”?

Obama says Assad – unlike that great statesman Saddam Hussein – has posed “a challenge to the world.” But the world disagrees. Even our usual ally, Britain, disagrees. So Obama demands the United States act alone to stop a dictator, who – compared to Saddam – is a piker.

At this point, Assad is at least 49,000 dead bodies short of the good cause the Iraq War was, even if chemical weapons had been the only reason to take out Saddam Hussein.

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Say No On Syria – Dick Morris

Congress should reject President Obama’s appeal for authorization to attack Syria in retaliation for its alleged use of chemical weapons.

Just as state Sen. Barack Obama opposed the use of force resolution against Saddam Hussein in 2002, Congress should turn aside the president’s appeal to attack now that his particular “red line” has been crossed in Syria. If he was against drawing the line against Hussein, what is the need to draw the line with Bashar Assad?

In “The Great Deformation,” former Budget Director David Stockman writes eloquently about the costs of a “welfare” and a “warfare” state, noting that they both drain our national economy – the warfare state particularly. With our economy trembling on the brink of a major crash, in the opinion of many economists, this is no time for another expensive military operation.

Above all, it is wrong to commit our nation’s military to a confused and contradictory conflict. How can we fight when The Wall Street Journal attributes to a Pentagon official the fear that “the wrong groups in the opposition would be able to take advantage of [an American bombing campaign]?” He said that the administration did not want to topple Assad from power – just to punish him for using gas.

This kind of half-in, half-out mission is exactly the kind of intervention we must avoid. It creates its own momentum and leads to ever greater involvement, regardless of the initial intent.

Former Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) has said that we would become “al Qaeda’s airforce” should we attack Assad. The evidence is overwhelming that al Qaeda is the alternative to Assad in Syria. The illusion of a liberal, democratic alternative is as ephemeral in Syria as it has proven to be in Egypt. In bombing Assad, we would inevitably become involved on the wrong side of a civil war. Not that Assad is the right side; there is no right side, and we should stay out.

Why is the president asking for congressional approval of his intervention? Is it a sudden concern for the limitations of executive power? Or is it a desire to use the gas episode to get a Gulf of Tonkin-style open-ended OK for intervention in this civil war? Could it be related to his desire to appease the Saudi monarchy by backing the rebels that Riyadh desperately wants to win?

We must all step back, at this juncture, and question what five decades of war have accomplished. Vietnam was, unquestionably, a total waste of men, money and political credibility. We lost, and we would have accomplished nothing had we won. The fall of the Soviet Empire would not have been hastened one day by defeat or advanced one day by victory. The war between China and Vietnam within years of the end of U.S. involvement showed how flawed the domino theory really was.

The first Gulf War, obviously, achieved nothing. It left Hussein in power and we had to go in again. The second Gulf War is increasingly appearing to be destructive in its impact. We seem to have succeeded only in giving Iran a staunch ally in the Middle East. The recent killing of 52 Iranian dissidents in Camp Ashraf – the sanctuary we established for opponents of the Ayatollah – reportedly by Iraqi forces, shows how flawed our involvement was.

The Afghan War has degraded al Qaeda’s ability to fight, but the broader effort at nation-building has only really propped up a regime that non-governmental organization Transparency International rates as the second most corrupt on Earth.

Libya? The jury is still out, but the activity of al Qaeda there, as evidenced by the Benghazi raid, indicates it may have a similarly disappointing outcome.

It is plainly time to say no. It is time to heed the warning of President Eisenhower against limited wars, unbalanced budgets and the military industrial complex.

Syria is, indeed, the time to draw a red line. But the line should be against military adventures.

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Why Many Republicans Won’t Support Obama On Syria Attack – Byron York

Early signs say it will be hard for President Obama to win congressional authorization for military action in Syria. That could change; lawmakers might re-write the president’s draft authorization into something they can live with, ultimately allowing Obama to go forward. But whatever happens, Republicans have a compelling case for rejecting the president’s request. Based on off-the-record conversations with some of them, this is it:

1) The chemical weapons evidence. The Obama administration appears to believe that conclusive proof that the Assad regime used chemical weapons against Syrian civilians creates an unassailable case for U.S. intervention. A few lawmakers will likely challenge whether the proof is really conclusive. But a far larger number will accept the evidence that Assad used chemical weapons – and still reject intervention.

Those lawmakers will argue that Obama did not intervene when Assad used conventional weapons to slaughter thousands of innocent people; the death toll in the two-and-and-half-year civil war is put at 100,000. What is different now? They will also point to the various atrocities and human rights violations around the world in which the United States has not intervened. American involvement, they will argue, should be contingent on a genuine U.S. national security interest, not the simple fact that an awful thing has been done.

2) The blank check problem. Lots of lawmakers, Republican and Democrat, believe Obama’s draft resolution gives the president too much power. The draft would grant Obama the authority to use armed force “as he determines to be necessary and appropriate” in connection with weapons of mass destruction in Syria, for the purpose of preventing the future use or spread of those weapons, or, more generally, protecting the U.S. and its allies.

For many lawmakers, that’s too broad a mandate. But a significant number of members might reject even a narrowed version of the resolution on the grounds that, once the use of force is authorized, Congress as a practical matter will have little control over how the president exercises it.

3) The nature of the Syrian opposition. Many Republicans will never be convinced the U.S. can come to the aid of good rebels in Syria without also helping bad rebels in Syria. It’s just too complicated, they believe, and there are simply too many bad guys. Why risk aiding al Qaeda or its affiliates? These Republicans remain unconvinced by arguments from fellow GOP lawmakers like John McCain, who point out that in the Libyan operation the U.S. essentially set up a safe area for good rebels in Benghazi. Given what happened later in that Libyan city, the skeptics will remain unconvinced.

4) The lack of confidence in Barack Obama. There’s no doubt the president has been extremely reluctant to take action in Syria. He also showed terrible judgment by painting himself into a corner with his 2012 “red line” comments on chemical weapons. For those reasons, and more, some Republicans will argue that they simply cannot entrust special warmaking powers to a president who they believe is not competent to use them.

5) The “first to die” dilemma. Some Republicans are so war-weary that they would be loathe to authorize any military action in the absence of an actual attack on the United States. When Sen. Rand Paul re-phrased John Kerry’s words from Vietnam – Kerry famously asked, “How do you ask a man to be the last to die for a mistake?” which Paul changed to “How do you ask a man to be the first to die for a mistake?” – the senator from Kentucky was signaling that there is virtually no way lawmakers like him will ever support a Syrian initiative.

How many Republicans hold some or all of these beliefs? Quite a few. Perhaps in anticipation of a close vote, a new argument is circulating among pro-interventionists which says that protecting the prerogatives of future presidents is so important that Republicans should support Obama’s Syrian action even if there is no good case for doing so.

Rejecting Obama could permanently weaken the presidency, argues political scientist James Ceaser in an article cited by influential conservative commentator William Kristol. Therefore, Republicans should vote to authorize force “even if they think that the president’s policy will prove ineffective, do no good, waste money, or entail unforeseen risks…even if they think he has gotten the nation into this situation by blunders, fecklessness, arrogance, or naiveté; and…even if, and especially, if they have no confidence in his judgment.”

That will be a very hard sell for Republicans. In the end, many will carefully consider all the evidence and then vote their instincts. And that will mean a vote against Barack Obama.

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Unless He’s Serious, Vote No – Charles Krauthammer

Sen. Bob Corker: “What is it you’re seeking?”

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: “I can’t answer that, what we’re seeking.”

– Senate hearing on the use of force in Syria, Sept. 3

We have a problem. The president proposes attacking Syria, and his top military officer cannot tell you the objective. Does the commander in chief know his own objective? Why, yes. “A shot across the bow,” explained Barack Obama.

Now, a shot across the bow is a warning. Its purpose is to say: Cease and desist, or the next shot will sink you. But Obama has already told the world – and Bashar al-Assad in particular – that there will be no next shot. He has insisted time and again that the operation will be finite and highly limited. Take the shot, kill some fish, go home.

What then is the purpose? Dempsey hasn’t a clue, but Secretary of State John Kerry says it will uphold and proclaim a norm and thus deter future use of chemical weapons. With a few Tomahawk missiles? Hitting sites that, thanks to the administration having leaked the target list, have already been scrubbed of important military assets?

This is risible. If anything, a pinprick from which Assad emerges unscathed would simply enhance his stature and vindicate his conduct.

Deterrence depends entirely on perception, and the perception in the Middle East is universal: Obama wants no part of Syria.

Assad has to go, says Obama, and then lifts not a finger for two years. Obama lays down a “red line,” and then ignores it. Shamed finally by a massive poison gas attack, he sends Kerry to make an impassioned case for righteous and urgent retaliation – and the very next day, Obama undermines everything by declaring an indefinite timeout to seek congressional approval.

This stunning zigzag, following months of hesitation, ambivalence, contradiction and studied delay, left our regional allies shocked and our enemies gleeful. I had strongly advocated going to Congress. But it was inconceivable that, instead of recalling Congress to emergency session, Obama would simply place everything in suspension while Congress finished its Labor Day barbecues and he flew off to Stockholm and St. Petersburg. So much for the fierce urgency of enforcing an international taboo and speaking for the dead children of Damascus.

Here’s how deterrence works in the Middle East. Syria, long committed to the destruction of Israel, has not engaged Israel militarily in 30 years. Why? Because it recognizes Israel as a serious adversary with serious policies.

This year alone, Israel has four times conducted airstrikes in Syria. No Syrian response. How did Israel get away with it? Israel had announced that it would not tolerate Assad acquiring or transferring to Hezbollah advanced weaponry. No grandiloquent speeches by the Israeli foreign minister. No leaked target lists. Indeed, the Israelis didn’t acknowledge the strikes even after they had carried them out. Unlike the American president, they have no interest in basking in perceived toughness. They care only about effect. They care about just one audience – the party to be deterred, namely Assad and his allies.

Assad knows who did it. He didn’t have to see the Israeli prime minister preening about it on world television.

And yet here is Obama, having yet done nothing but hesitate, threaten, retract and wander about the stage, claiming Wednesday in Sweden to be the conscience of the world, upholding not his own red line but the world’s. And, incidentally, Congress’s – a transparent attempt at offloading responsibility.

What should Congress do?

To his dovish base, Obama insists on how limited and militarily marginal the strike will be. To undecided hawks such as Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who are prepared to support a policy that would really alter the course of the civil war, he vaguely promises the opposite – to degrade Assad’s military while upgrading that of the resistance.

Problem is, Obama promised U.S. weaponry three months ago and not a rifle has arrived. This time around, what seems in the making is a mere pinprick, designed to be, one U.S. official told the Los Angeles Times, “just muscular enough not to get mocked.”

That’s why Dempsey is so glum. That’s why U.S. allies are so stunned. There’s no strategy, no purpose here other than helping Obama escape self-inflicted humiliation.

This is deeply unserious. Unless Obama can show the country that his don’t-mock-me airstrike is, in fact, part of a serious strategic plan, Congress should vote no.

John McCain changed the administration’s authorization resolution to include, mirabile dictu, a U.S. strategy in Syria: to alter the military equation (against Assad). Unfortunately, Obama is not known for being bound by what Congress passes (see, for example: health care, employer mandate).

When Obama tells the nation what he told McCain and Lindsey Graham in private – that he plans to degrade Assad’s forces, upgrade the resistance and alter the balance of forces – Congress might well consider authorizing the use of force. But until then, it’s no.

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An Accidental War – Mark Steyn

I see the Obama “reset” is going so swimmingly that the president is now threatening to go to war against a dictator who gassed his own people. Don’t worry, this isn’t anything like the dictator who gassed his own people that the discredited warmonger Bush spent 2002 and early 2003 staggering ever more punchily around the country inveighing against. The 2003 dictator who gassed his own people was the leader of the Baath Party of Iraq. The 2013 dictator who gassed his own people is the leader of the Baath Party of Syria. Whole other ball of wax. The administration’s ingenious plan is to lose this war in far less time than we usually take. In the unimprovable formulation of an unnamed official speaking to the Los Angeles Times, the White House is carefully calibrating a military action “just muscular enough not to get mocked.”

That would make a great caption for a Vanity Fair photo shoot of Obama gamboling in the surf at Martha’s Vineyard, but as a military strategy it’s not exactly Alexander the Great or the Duke of Wellington. And it’s trickier than it sounds: I’m sure Miley’s choreographer assured her she was “just muscular enough not to get mocked,” and one wouldn’t want to see the United States reduced to twerking arrhythmically to no avail in front of an unimpressed Bashar Assad’s Robin Thicke. Okay, okay, that metaphor’s as thinly stretched as Miley’s talent, so what does unmockable musculature boil down to? From the New York Times: “A wide range of officials characterize the action under consideration as ‘limited,’ perhaps lasting no more than a day or two.”

Yeah, I know, that’s what Edward III said about the Hundred Years’ War. But Obama seems to mean it:

An American official said that the initial target lists included fewer than 50 sites, including air bases where Syria’s Russian-made attack helicopters are. The list includes command and control centers as well as a variety of conventional military targets. Perhaps two to three missiles would be aimed at each site.

Got that? So, if you’re a Syrian air-base commander, you might want to think about moving those Russian helicopters, or at least yourself – perhaps to that black-eyed cutie’s apartment, above the restaurant where the kibbeh with the pomegranate sauce is to die for, just for the night, until the Great Satan has twerked his ordnance at you twice or thrice and gone away to threaten the Yemenis or Somalis or whoever’s next.

In the world’s most legalistic culture, it was perhaps inevitable that battle plans would eventually be treated under courtroom discovery rules and have to be disclosed to the other side in your pre-war statement. But in this case it doesn’t seem to be impressing anyone. Like his patrons in Tehran and Moscow, Assad’s reaction to American threats is to double up with laughter and say, “Bring it, twerkypants.” Headline from Friday’s Guardian in London: “Syria: ‘Napalm’ Bomb Dropped on School Playground, BBC Claims” – which, if true, suggests that even a blood-soaked mass murderer is not without a sense of humor. Napalm, eh? There’s a word I haven’t heard since, oh, 40 years ago or thereabouts, somewhere in the general vicinity of southeast Asia.

The BBC footage is grisly; the British media have been far more invested in the Syrian civil war than their U.S. colleagues. But what’s the net effect of all the harrowing human-interest stories? This week, David Cameron recalled Parliament from its summer recess to permit the people’s representatives to express their support for the impending attack. Instead, for the first time since the British defeat at Yorktown in 1782, the House of Commons voted to deny Her Majesty’s Government the use of force. Under the Obama “reset,” even the Coalition of the Willing is unwilling. “It’s clear to me that the British Parliament and the British people do not wish to see military action,” said the prime minister. So the Brits are out, and, if he goes at all, Obama will be waging war without even Austin Powers’s Union Jack fig leaf.

“This House will not fight for king and country”? Not exactly. What the British people are sick of, quite reasonably enough, is ineffectual warmongering, whether in the cause of Blairite liberal interventionism or of Bush’s big-power assertiveness. The problem with the American way of war is that, technologically, it can’t lose, but, in every other sense, it can’t win. No one in his right mind wants to get into a tank battle or a naval bombardment with the guys responsible for over 40 percent of the planet’s military expenditures. Which is why these days there aren’t a lot of tank battles. The consummate interventionist Robert Kagan wrote in his recent book that the American military “remains unmatched.” It’s unmatched in the sense that the only guy in town with a tennis racket isn’t going to be playing a lot of tennis matches. But the object of war, in Liddell Hart’s famous distillation, is not to destroy the enemy’s tanks (or Russian helicopters) but his will. And on that front America loses, always. The “unmatched” superpower cannot impose its will on Kabul kleptocrats, Pashtun goatherds, Egyptian generals, or Benghazi militia. There is no reason to believe Syria would be an exception to this rule. America’s inability to win ought to be a burning national question, but it’s not even being asked.

Let us stipulate that many of those war-weary masses are ignorant and myopic. But at a certain level they grasp something that their leaders don’t: For a quarter-century, from Kuwait to Kosovo to Kandahar, the civilized world has gone to war only in order to save or liberate Muslims. The Pentagon is little more than central dispatch for the U.S. military’s Muslim Fast Squad. And what do we have to show for it? Liberating Syria isn’t like liberating the Netherlands: In the Middle East, the enemy of our enemy is also our enemy. Yes, those BBC images of schoolchildren with burning flesh are heart-rending. So we’ll get rid of Assad and install the local branch of al-Qaeda or the Muslim Brotherhood or whatever plucky neophyte democrat makes it to the presidential palace first – and then, instead of napalmed schoolyards, there will be, as in Egypt, burning Christian churches and women raped for going uncovered.

So what do we want in Syria? Obama can’t say, other than for him to look muscular without being mocked, like a camp bodybuilder admiring himself in the gym mirror.

Oh, well. If the British won’t be along for the ride, the French are apparently still in. What was the old gag from a decade ago during those interminable U.N. resolutions with Chirac saying “Non!” every time? Ah, yes: “Going to war without the French is like going hunting without an accordion.” Oddly enough, the worst setback for the Islamic imperialists in recent years has been President Hollande’s intervention in Mali, where, unlike the money-no-object Pentagon, the French troops had such undernourished supply lines that they had to hitch a ride to the war on C-17 transports from the Royal Air Force and Royal Canadian Air Force. And yet they won – insofar as anyone ever really wins on that benighted sod.

Meanwhile, the hyperpower is going to war because Obama wandered off prompter and accidentally made a threat. So he has to make good on it, or America will lose its credibility. But he only wants to make good on it in a perfunctory and ineffectual way. So America will lose its credibility anyway.

Maybe it’s time to learn the accordion…

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5 Reasons Not To Bomb Syria – John Hawkins

Barack Obama knows that America’s military is a big stick, but unfortunately Roosevelt’s advice about speaking softly doesn’t seem to have stuck. Because Barack Obama recklessly shot off his mouth about a “red line” in Syria, he’s demanding that our nation insert itself into a civil war between terrorist groups, both of which have chemical weapons, to protect his ego. Happily, the American people recognize what a foolish move this would be. A Reuters/Ipsos poll shows that only 9% of Americans currently support bombing Syria. This is why Barack Obama has punted his Syrian War to Congress. He’s hoping that it’ll be foolish enough to vote in favor of war to give him the political cover he needs to bomb. Not only should Congress vote against the war in Syria, if Obama bombs that country anyway, Congress should immediately cut off funds for the war and move to impeach him. Why?

1) We don’t have a son-of-a-b*tch in Syria. During the Cold War, America used to semi-regularly ally itself with some rather unsavory leaders and groups. The oft repeated rationale for supporting a dictator in those days was, “He may be a son-of-a-b*tch, but he’s our son-of-a-bitch.” In other words, both sides are bad guys, but this bad guy would work with us instead of the Soviets. In this case, we don’t have a dog in the fight. It’s a civil war between two groups that both despise us and will continue to hate us. Why risk American blood and treasure for people who will hate our guts no matter what we do?

2) Why act as Al-Qaeda’s Air Force? Barack Obama is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but even he should know that Al-Qaeda attacked America on 9/11. Well now, Bin Laden’s boys are teamed up with the rebels that are fighting Bashar al-Assad. We just spent a decade killing as many members of Al-Qaeda as humanly possible in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan; so how much sense does it make for Barack Obama to help Al-Qaeda take over Syria by bombing Bashar al-Assad? Bashar al-Assad may be our enemy, but we should be thrilled he’s killing Al-Qaeda and getting more of his terrorist pals in Hezbollah offed in the process.

3) What makes anyone think Obama can pull this off with no repercussions? What is there in Barack Obama’s tenure in the White House that makes anyone think he’s likely to handle this well? The fact that he didn’t kill a drone program George W. Bush set up? Because he was too distracted playing cards with Reggie Love to screw up killing Osama Bin Laden? Bush essentially won Iraq and Obama screwed up pulling out of that country and has put a hard-earned victory at risk. He’s also on track to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in Afghanistan. His incompetence got Americans killed in Benghazi, Libya. In Egypt, Obama helped get rid of a relatively friendly dictator in favor of anti-American, pro-terrorist theocrats who lasted just over a year before they were thrown out of power by an Egyptian public that seems to hate Obama almost as much as the Muslim Brotherhood. Yet, we now think Obama is going to insert himself into a terrorist-heavy civil war in the Middle East without creating as many problems as he solves? That’s like emptying a box of live spiders in a teenage girl’s slumber party and not expecting any screaming.

4) It invites retaliation from Iran and Hezbollah. Many conservatives believe that if we have a choice between bombing Iran or letting it acquire nuclear weapons, we’d be better off to bomb Iran. However, that is supposed to be a last resort after every other measure has failed. Given that Iran and Hezbollah are actively supporting Bashar al-Assad, bombing him means actively opposing both of them in a war. Could they retaliate against us with terrorist attacks? That’s certainly possible. Will they go after Israel to get at us? That’s highly likely. Will Israel respond to those attacks? Yes, Israel will. Could this set off a larger regional war? Again, that’s certainly possible. While Iran and Hezbollah have much more to fear from us than we do from them, you don’t walk up and kick a bee hive just because President Prissy Pants has worked himself into a huff.

5) It’s not in our national interest to bomb Syria. Costly though it may have been, it was in our national interest to overthrow the Taliban in Afghanistan over 9/11 and to target an aggressive enemy of America like Saddam Hussein in Iraq. That being said, had we known in advance how long our troops would be stuck in Iraq, it’s highly doubtful that we would have ever invaded. On the other hand, what’s the rationale for bombing the side that’s fighting Al-Qaeda in Syria? Both sides hate America. Both sides cooperate with terrorists. If anything, since Al-Qaeda is determined to kill Americans and Assad is not, the current dictator in charge is probably the lesser of two evils. Moreover, encouraging other nations to join us in imposing harsh sanctions on Syria would be just as effective as bombing when it comes to discouraging the use of WMDs without being as provocative. So, what argument is left? Are we supposed to bomb Syria to avoid looking “weak?” Well, if people have that impression, they can ask Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, and Anwar al-Awlaki what they think about that if they’re willing to search through the bowels of hell long enough to find them.

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Your Daley Gator Saturday Op-Ed Roundup Featuring John Hawkins, Mark Steyn, Stephen Hayes, Thomas Sowell, Michelle Malkin, Walter E. Williams And Jonah Goldberg

Everything You Need To Know About The Rubio/McCain Amnesty Catastrophe In 15 Quotes – John Hawkins

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1) This is President Obama’s number one political agenda item because he knows we will never again have a Republican president, ever, if amnesty goes into effect. We will perpetually have a progressive, liberal president, probably a Democrat, and we will probably see the House of Representatives go into Democrat hands and the Senate will stay in Democrat hands. – Michele Bachmann

2) The bill is worse than universal healthcare. Listen to me, it is worse than universal healthcare, and in the coming days as we get closer, we will explain why it’s worse than universal healthcare. It is the death knell of the country, there is no recovery from this one. None. No recovery. – Glenn Beck

3) If Republicans are opposed to what mass immigration is doing to the country demographically, ethnically, socially and politically, there are, as Reagan used to say, “simple answers, just no easy answers.”

Those answers: No amnesty, secure the border, enforce laws against businesses that hire illegals, and impose a moratorium on new immigration so wages can rise and immigrants enter the middle class and start voting as did the children and grandchildren of the immigrants of 1890-1920 by 1972.

So what are the Republicans doing?

Going back on their word, dishonoring their platform, and enraging their loyal supporters, who gave Mitt 90 percent of his votes, to pander to a segment of the electorate that gave Mitt less than 5 percent of his total votes.

Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad. – Pat Buchanan

4) The nation’s plutocrats are lined up with the Democratic Party in a short-term bid to get themselves cheap labor (subsidized by the rest of us), which will give the Democratic Party a permanent majority. If Rubio’s amnesty goes through, the Republican Party is finished. It will be the “Nancy Pelosi Democratic Party” versus the “Chuck Schumer Republican Party.” – Ann Coulter

5) Instead of cracking down on the Administration’s abuse of power, S. 744 places unprecedented new restrictions on interior enforcement – making the current situation much worse and much more hazardous. It is as if S. 744 were explicitly written to handcuff law enforcement officials – binding their hands while giving virtually unchecked authority to executive branch officials to prevent future removals, including removals of criminal aliens. – ICE Council president Chris Crane

6) It doesn’t stop illegal immigration. If anything it makes the problem worse by not securing the border and by incentivizing future illegal immigration. – Ted Cruz

7) Creating more than 30 million new immigrants, including 11 million former illegals, and supplanting their numbers with another 20-odd million guest workers is from a sociological and demographic point of view quite radical: 30 million is roughly a tenth of the current population of the United States. How we handle immigration is of fundamental importance to questions ranging from national security to economic growth to the character of our nation itself. That we cannot get a couple of small-time performance benchmarks written into the bill suggests that this issue is not being treated with the intelligence and the prudence it deserves. – The Editors at National Review

8) This is the administration that has refused to enforce the law… they have created new law out of nothing. They’ve violated the law in a number of ways. And our guys are counting on the administration to all of a sudden actually keep their word on something like securing the border when they’ve never done it before and they believe it’s in their political interest to continue not to secure the border even if there’s a deal? I mean that’s crazy to think they’re going to start securing the border and until we secure the border everything else is completely meaningless. – Louie Gohmert

9) Should this be grounds to primary challenge every Republican who voted for this bill, and I mean every single one? I don’t care if they just got re-elected. Next time they’re up for re-election. Ann Coulter’s right. This is a single issue – this is a single-issue primary challenge. You know why? Because this is it. As Bill Kristol said on this show, as he said on this show, once you give this pathway to citizenship all these benefits, all this discretion to [Janet] Napolitano, it’s over. It’s too late to complain about it. It’s over. – Laura Ingraham

10) The federal judge in Crane v. Napolitano has ruled that the ICE agents are likely to prevail in their argument that the Obama administration is ordering them to violate federal law. Think about that: This administration is ordering career law enforcement personnel to break the law. Now, the administration is pushing for an amnesty bill that contains almost nothing to improve immigration enforcement. All that the American citizens will get in return for the amnesty is the promise from the Obama administration that they will try harder to enforce the law. The administration has already shattered that promise, doing exactly the opposite. This is a stark warning to Congress. I sincerely hope that they hear it. – Kris Kobach

11) Almost every requirement in this bill can be waived by Janet Napolitano: for instance, the time limits on when people can be legalized, the requirements on criminal activity or even the enforcement triggers. Those basically don’t mean anything if any of them is held up in court, still. …The litigation over the 1986 bill didn’t end until just a few years ago. The ACLU has been quite clear that it intends to sue to stop mandatory e-verify and probably sue to stop a bunch of other things. If, for instance, mandatory use of electronic verification is still in the courts 10 years after the bill passes, it’s entirely possible the Secretary of Homeland Security can just give everybody Green Cards on her own – and there are hundreds of other examples of that kind of discretion. It’s not too much of an exaggeration to say that this 1,000 page bill after all of the amendments could be boiled down to, “We trust you, Obama; just do the right thing.” – Mark Krikorian

12) The ‘Gang of Eight’ bill is not immigration reform. It is big government dysfunction. It is an immigration Obamacare. All advocates of true immigration reform – on the left and the right – should oppose it. – Mike Lee

13) Okay. So what does that mean, the republic is at stake? This is the ball game. I remember people saying that about Obamacare. Now they’re saying it about immigration reform. And they’re both right. In the case of immigration reform, it effectively wipes out the Republican Party. – Rush Limbaugh

14) Will they listen? Suicidal Republicans have supported illegal alien amnesties dating back to the Reagan era. They have paid a steep, lasting price. As bankrupt, multiculti-wracked California goes, so goes the nation. The progs’ plan has always been to exploit the massive population of illegal aliens to redraw the political map and secure a permanent ruling majority.

Now, in the wake of nonstop D.C. corruption eruptions, SchMcGRubio and Company want us to trust them with a thousand new pages of phony triggers, left-wing slush-fund spending and make-believe assimilation gestures. Trust them? Hell, no. There’s only one course for citizens who believe in upholding the Constitution and protecting the American dream: Stop them. – Michelle Malkin

15) On every major front, this legislation fails to deliver on its core promises. It delivers only for the special interest groups who helped write it. Should it pass, it would represent the ultimate triumph of the Washington elite over the everyday citizen to whom Congress properly owes its loyalty. – Jeff Sessions

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More opinion articles:

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Big Politically Correct Brother – Mark Steyn

Excerpt – Every time I go on his show, my radio pal Hugh Hewitt asks me why congressional Republicans aren’t doing more to insist that the GOP suicide note known as “the immigration deal” include a requirement for a border fence. I don’t like to tell Hugh that, if they ever get around to building the fence, it won’t be to keep the foreigners out but to keep you guys in.

I jest, but only very slightly and only because the government doesn’t build much of anything these days – except for that vast complex five times the size of the Capitol the NSA is throwing up in Utah to house everybody’s data on everything everyone’s ever done with anyone ever.

Click HERE For Rest Of Article

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Our Disappearing President – Stephen Hayes

Excerpt – One might expect Keith Alexander to advocate on behalf of the two programs at the center of our national debate about terrorism and surveillance. He is, after all, the head of the National Security Agency, which runs them. “It’s dozens of terrorist events that these have helped prevent—both here and abroad-in disrupting or contributing to the disruption of terrorist attacks,” Alexander testified last week.

And it’s not entirely surprising that the four leading members of Congress on intelligence matters would argue on behalf of these programs, known as “215” and “702,” for the sections of the laws that authorize them.

Click HERE For Rest Of Article

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Who ‘Needs’ Immigrant Labor? – Thomas Sowell

Excerpt – One of the most common arguments for allowing more immigration is that there is a “need” for foreign workers to do “jobs that Americans won’t do,” especially in agriculture.

One of my most vivid memories of the late Armen Alchian, an internationally renowned economist at UCLA, involved a lunch at which one of the younger members of the economics department got up to go get some more coffee. Being a considerate sort, the young man asked, “Does anyone else need more coffee?”

“Need?” Alchian said loudly, in a cutting tone that clearly conveyed his dismay and disgust at hearing an economist using such a word.

Click HERE For Rest Of Article

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Barack Onama’s “Social Innovation” Slush Fund – Michelle Malkin

Excerpt – We all know now what the vengeful Obama IRS has been doing to conservative nonprofits the past four years: strangling them in the crib. But do you know how much pampering and largesse far-left welfare-state charities have received while limited-government groups suffered? You don’t know the half of it.

Before President Obama took office, I warned that Democrats planned to steer untold amounts of taxpayer dollars to his shady community-organizing pals. The Dems’ 2008 party platform proposed the creation of a “Social Investment Fund Network” to subsidize “social entrepreneurs and leading nonprofit organizations (that) are assisting schools, lifting families out of poverty, filling health care gaps and inspiring others to lead change in their own communities.”

Click HERE For Rest Of Article

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Unasked And Unanswered Questions – Walter E. Williams

Excerpt – Grutter v. Bollinger was the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that upheld the University of Michigan Law School’s racial admissions policy. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, writing for the majority, said the U.S. Constitution “does not prohibit the Law School’s narrowly tailored use of race in admissions decisions to further a compelling interest in obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body.” But what are the educational benefits of a diverse student body?

Intellectuals argue that diversity is necessary for academic excellence, but what’s the evidence? For example, Japan is a nation bereft of diversity in any activity. Close to 99 percent of its population is of one race. Whose students do you think have higher academic achievement – theirs or ours?

Click HERE For Rest Of Article

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Freedom: The Unfolding Revolution – Jonah Goldberg

Excerpt – “Why are there no libertarian countries?”

In a much-discussed essay for Salon, Michael Lind asks: “If libertarians are correct in claiming that they understand how best to organize a modern society, how is it that not a single country in the world in the early twenty-first century is organized along libertarian lines?”

Such is the philosophical poverty of liberalism today that this stands as a profound question.

Definitions vary, but broadly speaking, libertarianism is the idea that people should be as free as possible from state coercion so long as they don’t harm anyone.

Click HERE For Rest Of Article

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Benghazi’s Smoking Guns (Jonah Goldberg)

Benghazi’s Smoking Guns – Jonah Goldberg

President Obama was asked about the metastasizing Benghazi scandal in a joint news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday. Referring to the Americans who died in Benghazi, the president said, “We dishonor them when we turn things like this into a political circus.” He added that “the whole issue of talking points, throughout this process, frankly, has been a sideshow… There’s no there there.”

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He’s half right. The talking points drafted by the State Department, the CIA and the White House and given to congressional Republicans and, most famously, to U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice are not the center of this story.

I think there was a lot of mischief behind those talking points, which we now know were sanitized, folded, spindled and mutilated to fit a political agenda.

But it’s worth remembering that Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton didn’t get their information from the talking points. They got their information earlier and from much higher authorities, like then-CIA Director David H. Petraeus. The CIA believed the attacks were terrorist-driven early on. According to ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl, when Petraeus saw the talking points, he thought they were useless.

More central are the talking points – written or unwritten – that Obama and Clinton used for weeks after the attacks. The president said Monday that he immediately referred to the Benghazi attacks as “terrorism.” This is at best a brutal bending of the truth. He used the word “terror” generically in the Rose Garden on Sept. 12. And then for the next two weeks, he went on a media blitz blaming a video, including in an interview recorded that day with “60 Minutes.” In a segment that “60 Minutes” helpfully sat on for almost two months, Obama told Steve Kroft that “it’s too early to know” whether the attack was terrorism. He then went on “The View,” Univision and David Letterman pushing the idea that it was all about a video. At the United Nations, he condemned a “crude and disgusting” video but didn’t mention terrorism.

Clinton followed suit. She told grieving family members of the fallen that the U.S. would track down the makers of the video. And, so far, the only person connected with the whole incident who has been punished is the filmmaker, who continues to languish in jail, admittedly on unrelated charges.

If you assume they knew the truth about the nature of the attack, how are those statements not proof of a coverup? The talking points are incidental.

But in a very serious way, so is the coverup.

As Washington Examiner columnist Byron York notes, the Republican obsession with the smoking gun stems from the fact that “they are captive to the Washington mind-set that the coverup is always worse than the crime.”

This Washington cliche isn’t an iron law of the universe. The media like it, I think, because the coverup invariably involves them. When the story is about how the media have been misled, the media can always be counted on to perk up, as we saw last Friday when White House spokesman Jay Carney was eaten alive on C-SPAN.

But the true core of this story has nothing to do with media vanity or talking points – or a political circus. The real issue is that for reasons yet to be determined – politics? ideology? incompetence? all three? – the administration was unprepared for an attack on Sept. 11, of all dates. When the attack came, they essentially did nothing as our own people were begging for help – other than to tell those begging to help that they must “stand down.”

Again, there’s an arsenal worth of smoking guns, from uncontested sworn testimony at the Benghazi hearings to the State Department’s flawed internal review to the four dead Americans, including a U.S. ambassador sent to Benghazi on Clinton’s orders. That’s the there there — regardless of what happened with the talking points. There is, from what we know so far, at best circumstantial evidence pointing to why they pushed this video story so hard. Though, as Thoreau once said, “some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk.”

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Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Related article:

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Washington Post Factchecker Destroys Obama’s Claim He Called Libya ‘Terrorism’ – Big Journalism

Monday, during his appearance before the media with British Prime Minister David Cameron, President Obama was again caught lying to coverup his lying and covering-up in the aftermath of a successful terror attack in Libya that cost four American lives. Obama actually claimed before the world that, “The day after [Libya] happened, I acknowledged that this was an act of terrorism.”

That is a bald-faced lie. In fact it is such a bald-faced lie that Washington Post factchecker Glenn Kessler awarded the President the full-boat of four Pinnochios:

[T]he president’s claim that he said “act of terrorism” is taking revisionist history too far, given that he repeatedly refused to commit to that phrase when asked directly by reporters in the weeks after the attack. He appears to have gone out of his way to avoid saying it was a terrorist attack, so he has little standing to make that claim now.

Indeed, the initial unedited talking points did not call it an act of terrorism. Instead of pretending the right words were uttered, it would be far better to acknowledge that he was echoing what the intelligence community believed at the time – and that the administration’s phrasing could have been clearer and more forthright from the start.

[T]he president’s claim that he said “act of terrorism” is taking revisionist history too far, given that he repeatedly refused to commit to that phrase when asked directly by reporters in the weeks after the attack. He appears to have gone out of his way to avoid saying it was a terrorist attack, so he has little standing to make that claim now.

Indeed, the initial unedited talking points did not call it an act of terrorism. Instead of pretending the right words were uttered, it would be far better to acknowledge that he was echoing what the intelligence community believed at the time – and that the administration’s phrasing could have been clearer and more forthright from the start.

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Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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