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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Obama's Ego Finally Gets Him In Trouble With The American People

Pragmatism, Obama and the Bergdahl Swap

For nearly six years, Obama and his supporters have managed to fend off allegations that his foreign policy is even more ideological – and far more radical – than Bush’s by channeling the public’s aversion to pie-in-the-sky rhetoric and obfuscating facts.
US President Barack Obama is an artist of political propaganda. Both his greatest admirers and his most vociferous opponents agree that his ability to manipulate public opinion has no peer in American politics today.
So how can we explain the fiasco that is his decision not only to swap five senior Taliban terror masters for US Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, but to take ownership over the decision by presenting it to the American people in a ceremony with Bergdahl’s parents at the White House Rose Garden? Clearly Obama overreached. He misread the public’s disposition.
This much is made clear by the immediate criticism his actions received from the liberal media. It wasn’t just Fox News and National Review that said Obama broke the law when he failed to notify Congress of the swap 30 days prior to its implementation.
It was CNN and NBC News.
MSNBC commentators criticized the swap. And CNN interviewed Bergdahl’s platoon mates who to a man accused him of desertion, with many alleging as well that he collaborated with the enemy. It was CNN that gave the names of the six American soldiers who died trying to rescue Bergdahl from the Taliban.
What was it about the Bergdahl trade tipped the scales? Why is this decision different from Obama’s other foreign policy decisions? For instance, why is the public outraged now when it wasn’t outraged in the aftermath of the jihadist assault on US installations in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, in which US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were murdered? Politically, Obama emerged unscathed from failures in every area he has engaged. From Iraq to Iran to Syria to Libya to Russia and beyond, he has never experienced the sort of across the board condemnation he is now suffering. His political allies and media supporters always rallied to his side. They always explained away his failures.
So what explains the outcry? Why are people like Senator Dianne Feinstein, who have been supportive of Obama’s nuclear appeasement of Iran, up in arms over the Bergdahl swap? There are three aspects of the Bergdahl deal that distinguish it from the rest of Obama’s foreign policy blunders.
First, the Bergdahl deal was conducted in an unlawful manner and the White House readily acknowledged that it knowingly broke the law by not informing Congress 30 days in advance of the swap. This brazen lawbreaking angered Obama’s loyal allies in Congress who, like Feinstein, were insulted by his behavior.
Second, Obama initiated the story and made himself the sole owner of the swap.
Obama didn’t have to make the Bargdahl swap a story about his foreign policy. He chose to. As commentators have argued, if Obama had simply ordered the Defense Department to issue a press release announcing the swap the story probably wouldn’t have caused more than the normal amount of controversy.
And whereas Benghazi was a story about jihadists attacking, and Obama was pilloried – and defended – for his response to an act of aggression initiated by US enemies, Obama presented the Bergdahl swap as his brainchild. So it is impossible to blame anyone else for this move, or wish it away.
As the administration saw it, the public would rally around the leader over this feel-good story.
Obama obviously believed that the Bergdahl trade would help him to surmount his opponents’ criticism over the Veterans’ Administration scandal and other issues.
And this is where his failure to understand the disposition of the American people comes into play.
The third aspect of the swap that distinguishes it from his other foreign policy failures is that by organizing the ceremony at the Rose Garden, and making it a story about himself, Obama denied his supporters the tools they have used in every other instance to explain away his failures and justify his counterproductive decisions.
Obama sailed into office by presenting himself as a non-ideological pragmatist. Obama recognized that the public was tired of foreign policies based on ideology. George W. Bush lost public support for the war in Iraq, and for his foreign policy goal of bringing freedom to the Islamic world more generally, when his ideologically charged rhetoric of American exceptionalism stopped matching the situation on the ground.
A year after Bush declared an end to major combat operations in Iraq, the sight of US military contractors being lynched in Fallujah soured the public on American exceptionalism. In Obama, they hoped that they found the antidote to Bush – a man who promised to replace ideology with hard-nosed pragmatism.
In the event, Obama turned out to be even more driven by ideology than Bush was. Obama is the anti-Bush not because he matches Bush’s ideology with pragmatism. He is the anti-Bush because he matches Bush’s grand foreign policy based on American exceptionalism with his own grand foreign policy based on American moral deficiency.
He made this clear most recently at his commencement address at West Point last month where he stipulated that “American influence is always stronger when we lead by example. We can’t exempt ourselves from the rules that apply to everybody else… .”
As to American exceptionalism, Obama sneered, “What makes us exceptional is not our ability to flout international norms and the rule of law; it is our willingness to affirm them through our actions.”
But while Obama’s critics have pointed out the radicalism at the heart of his foreign policy from the outset of his presidency, his supporters were always able to explain it away.
Obama’s appeasement of the Iranians was pragmatic.
We don’t want a war there, they say.
His support for the Muslim Brotherhood is not radical. It too is pragmatic, they soothe.
And so on and so forth.
As for Benghazi, in the fog of war, the media preferred its commitment to Obama’s reelection over its responsibility to report the truth of what happened.
Obama’s success in getting away with serial foreign policy failures, and his success in hiding the radical ideological basis of his decisions has always owed to his supporters’ ability to plausibly deny both the failures and the ideological motivation for his actions.
His Rose Garden announcement made such spin all but impossible. Americans are not particularly interested in foreign policy. But there are a few things that they won’t buy.
They won’t buy that a man who comes to the White House sporting a Taliban beard and praising Allah in Arabic is a normal American father.
They won’t buy spin that describes a deserter as an exemplary soldier.
They don’t want to free five senior terrorists and mass murderers in order to buy Bergdahl’s release.
In believing that the public would side with him and Bergdahl and Bergdahl’s dad against critics of the deal, Obama showed that for all his propaganda prowess, he doesn’t understand the public.
The public didn’t oppose the war in Iraq because they thought the US is morally deficient. They opposed the war in Iraq because Bush wasn’t winning it. And the public believed that Bush’s push for the abstract goal of democracy lay at the heart of the failure on the ground.
For nearly six years, Obama and his supporters have managed to fend off allegations that his foreign policy is even more ideological – and far more radical – than Bush’s by channeling the public’s aversion to pie-in-the-sky rhetoric and obfuscating facts. But the Bergdahl announcement at the Rose Garden ended all of that.
The reason Obama is being denounced for the Bergdahl swap is because he orchestrated a radical spectacle. Try as he may to castigate critics of the deal as partisan and cynical, Obama cannot pretend away the fact that the ceremony he arranged and oversaw was an open celebration of an American defeat, by the US president and the unsympathetic parents of an accused deserter.
And worse still for Obama’s protestations of pragmatism, his decision to take sole ownership of the swap revealed his ideological myopia. Only someone blinded by a worldview in which America is morally deficient could have thought that Americans would join him and the Bergdahls in celebrating an American defeat.
And now everyone knows what makes him tick.

Gowdy Threatened Over Benghazi Investigations

From: Politico

Police investigate threats against Trey Gowdy

Trey Gowdy is pictured. | AP Photo
Capitol Police would not comment on the scope of the investigation. | AP Photo
The U.S. Capitol Police are investigating threatening emails against Rep. Trey Gowdy, the South Carolina Republican recently tapped to lead a special panel probing the Benghazi terrorist attacks.
The investigation comes after POLITICO reporters and journalists at other outlets received two emails on Tuesday warning that Gowdy would be harmed because of his role in investigating the 2012 attacks.

The Capitol Police would not comment on the scope of the investigation but Officer Shennell Antrobus confirmed that there is “an active, open investigation.”
Gowdy was tapped on Monday to lead a new select committee on Benghazi. His office referred all questions to the Capitol Police.
Capitol Police investigate all threats against members of Congress but they’ve paid especially close attention to death threats — even those that seem improbably — after former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.) survived an assassination attempt in 2011.
In 2012, a woman approached Gowdy with a gun while he was sitting in his car in Spartanburg, S.C.

There Must Be Some Fire Related To The Benghazi Smoke. Investigator Is Threatened.

Lead Benghazi Investigator Receives Death Threat

Trey GowdyIn light of recent developments indicating the Executive branch has hidden key pieces of information surrounding the Benghazi scandal, a new panel has been selected to review the events of September 11, 2012.
Since assuming the position as the lead investigator,Trey Gowdy has received threats against his life.
Apparently, these were not empty threats. The Washington DC police found reason enough to open an “active investigation” into the matter.
Gowdy, who in 2012 was approached by a deranged woman wielding a gun as he sat in his car, is no stranger to threats of violence.
Politico reporters said they had received two emails that leveled direct and immediate threats to Mr. Gowdy’s life.
Though the exact emails have yet to be released, police have been quick to say that they are looking into the matter, and are working hard to protect Mr. Gowdy.
Though many on the left believe that the ongoing Benghazi investigation is nothing more than a ruse meant to drum up anti-Obama sentiment, Gowdy insists that he wants to get to the bottom of this ordeal and find out where the responsibility for Benghazi truly lies.
As MSNBC reported:
Gowdy has promised to bring a no-nonsense, “prosecutor’s zeal” to finding the answers and in examining the Obama administration’s handling of the attack. He has insisted he’s not interested in rehashing previous investigations by Congress or in “whether the appropriate questions were asked in the past.”

Texas Tea Party Win Big

Tea Party Tornado Sweeps Texas GOP Primary

Dan PatrickTo paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of the Tea Party’s death in Texas are greatly exaggerated. In four Republican primaries, Tea Party-supported candidates all won their respective contests, headlined by the race for Lieutenant Governor.
Challenger Dan Patrick beat well-funded incumbentand energy magnate David Dewhurst for the 2nd highest office in Texas. Dewhurst contributed over $5 million of personal funds to his campaign, and a Dewhurst ally – Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson – released records that showed Patrick had been treated for depression (and allegedly attempted suicide) back in the 1980s.
This wasn’t enough to overcome the strong anti-Establishment sentiment in the Lone Star State. The Houston Chronicle interviewed Robert Wilkerson, a 65-year-old handyman from Aledo (near Ft. Worth) who said he voted for Patrick because Dewhurst had become too “passive.”
From: Tea Party
“David Dewhurst hasn’t taken control,” Wilkerson said. “He wouldn’t get in the middle of anything, he would just kind of go along with the status quo and I think we need some changes.”
Patrick moves on to the November general election, where he will face Democratic state senator Leticia Van de Putte from San Antonio.
In the GOP primary for state Attorney General, Tea Party-backed Ken Paxton beat Dan Branch, a member of the Texas state House leadership team.
Sid Miller won the Republican race for Agriculture Commissioner over his former legislative colleague Tommy Merritt, whom he accused of being too moderate.
17-term incumbent Ralph Hall was the first incumbent to lose his bid for renomination after he was ousted by former U.S. Attorney John Ratcliffe in the 4th Congressional District race, 53% to 47% with 98 percent of precincts reporting.
While Tea Party candidates have had limited success in other states this election season, Texas is a very notable exception.
Will this primary be the springboard that propels other Tea Party candidates to success in 2014 and beyond? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Europe And The US Ignore Growing World Jihad. Ignorance Is Bliss But Stupid!

Europe is Still Sleeping

Catherine Ashton and others find it difficult to understand that Israel is not global jihad’s target. The target is the free world.
In his book “While Europe Slept,” Bruce Bawer described the processes Muslims in Europe are going through. They were not born radical, but the appeasing Europe allowed the radicals of all people to become a leading force.
There are Muslims trying to warn. One of them is Imam Hassen Chalghoumi from Drancy, near Paris, who has turned repeatedly to the French authorities and warned against mosques funded by the Gulf states which have become hotbeds of radicalization. There, they preach hatred of Jews, Israel and the free world.
His calls remained like a voice crying in the wilderness. Europe prefers illusions over reconciliation and multiculturalism. Everything will be okay.
Europe has known for years that hundreds of young people travel to Syria. A very small minority of the millions of young people. But it doesn’t take more than a minority. Europe knows that in the mosques they received the theory stage. In Syria they move on to the practice. There was no need to wait for Mehdi Nemmouche’s act of terror to know that this would be the result. Why there have been hundreds of reports about the jihad journeys.
The young people are not joining the Syrian opposition. They usually join bodies affiliated with al-Qaeda, like the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), another weed of the global jihad. Most of the acts of horror of beheading and crucifying heretics take place in the areas controlled by the jihad. Whoever returns from there is a ticking time bomb. But Europe is still sleeping.
Bawer was not the only one to warn: Melanie Phillips wrote “Londonistan”; Mark Steyn wrote “America Alone”; Ed Husain, who was an activist in a radical group in Britain, revealed the processes from within in his book “The Islamist”; Christopher Caldwell wrote “Reflections on the Revolution in Europe.” There is not a shred of racism in these books. They were written before the inrush to Syria. Europe knew, but preferred the sweet sleep.
Professor Anthony Glees studied the influence of the huge capital, £233 million (about $390 million), which came from the Gulf states to Islamic study centers in eight leading universities in Britain. The goal was to integrate young Muslims into the academia. In the name of academic freedom of expression, they did whatever they wanted there. It led to an opposite outcome: Radicalization.
In one area, Europe is completely alert. The European Union has a huge fortune, and part of it reaches the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well. The declared goal is advancing human rights – an important and superior goal. But part of the money reaches radical bodies which support the BDS campaign demonizing Israel.
German funds, for example, reach an organization supporting the destruction of Israel through the right of return. EU funds reach an organization whose leader, Jeff Halper, supports the BDS campaign and tells the world about dark schemes of the leaders of Israel and Arab states to oppress the masses.
So it’s a two-headed monster. On the one hand Islamic funding, on the other hand European funding. The goals are allegedly different, but there is one direction. There are those in Europe who think that turning Israel into a monster will exempt them from the rage of jihad. Even EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton once compared between the murder of Jews in Toulouse and what Israel does in Gaza. So terror receives justification.
Ashton and others are finding it difficult to understand that Israel is not the global jihad’s target. The target is the free world. The jihad representatives say so. Europe refuses to listen. It continues to fund bodies which are part of the red-green coalition of the far left and jihad.
Mehdi Nemmouche is another product among many of the same coalition. The result of incitement and propaganda against Jews, against Israel, against Europe, against the free world. But Europe is still sleeping.

Palestinians And Hamas Are Not Respectable, Not Peace Partners Even If EU, Palestinians And US Say So.

Making Murder Respectable

The international community has wasted little time in conferring legitimacy on this nascent terrorist regime known as the Palestinian Authority.
Barely a week has passed since the Palestinian unity government was sworn in, and the international community has wasted little time in conferring legitimacy on this nascent terrorist regime.
Tossing aside any pretense of morality, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations all embraced the new Palestinian administration, despite its incorporation of Hamas, a genocidal Islamic terror organization.
In case anyone forgot, Hamas is the Palestinian equivalent of Murder, Inc. Its main claim to fame is popularizing suicide bombings and rocket attacks against innocent civilians, blowing up passenger buses during rush hour and demonizing Jews as the “sons of monkeys and pigs.”
Adding irony to insult, the West agreed to work with these terrorists-in-suits during the week commemorating the 70th anniversary of D-Day, when Washington and its allies unequivocally mustered the determination to combat evil.
Nowadays, rather than standing up to the forces of darkness, America and the West prefer to kowtow. This is nothing less morally obscene. It shows a complete abdication of decency and leadership. President Barack Obama and other Western decision- makers should be ashamed of themselves.
Indeed, this year marks the 25th anniversary of Hamas’ first attacks, when the organization burst onto the scene in a brutally bloody manner. On February 16, 1989, two Hamas terrorists disguised as haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jews kidnapped Sgt. Avi Sasportas, an army medic, at Hodaya Junction and murdered him. A few months later, on May 3, 1989, Cpl. Ilan Saadon was abducted and killed in a similar manner. Seven long years would pass before their bodies were discovered and their families could finally bury their loved ones.
Hamas continues to take pride in such actions.
Not surprisingly they boast about them to Palestinian audiences with nary a word of remorse or regret.

Indeed, in June 2013, Hamas’ military wing produced a propaganda video bragging about the various Israeli soldiers it had kidnapped in the past, including Sasportas and Saadon.
And now, the very same group behind these atrocities is being treated as if it has something to contribute to Middle East peace.
Just two days ago, Robert Serry, the UN’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, paid a visit to Gaza, where he met with four ministers in the new Palestinian government.
“I congratulated the ministers on their appointment,” Serry said in a statement, “and discussed with them the many practical challenges ahead.”
Serry also “assured them of the full support of the United Nations, which is ready to increase its considerable program of works in Gaza, including in the priority areas of water and energy.”
The meeting led the new Palestinian housing minister, Mofeed al-Hasaina, to crow, “it reflects the international recognition of this unity government.”
Who said terrorism doesn’t pay? To be fair, the UN, the US and the EU have stated that the new Palestinian cabinet must recognize Israel and adhere to previous signed agreements. US Secretary of State John Kerry insisted that, “We are going to be watching very closely, as we said from day one, to be absolutely sure that it upholds each of those things it has talked about, that it doesn’t cross the line.”
But it is difficult to take such declarations seriously, particularly since the entire Western approach to the Palestinian unity government hinges on a transparent fiction.
Kerry and others have been vocally asserting that the new Palestinian administration consists of “technocrats” without political affiliation. US State Department Deputy Spokesman Marie Harf told reporters last week, apparently with a straight face, that the Palestinian cabinet “does not include any ministers affiliated with Hamas… They are all technocrats unaffiliated with any political party and are responsible for facilitating new elections.”
This, however, is nothing less than an act of willful deceit. After all, these “technocrats” were appointed by Hamas, got their positions as a result of Hamas’ deal with Fatah, and will obviously answer directly to the terrorist group’s leadership.
To suggest otherwise is sheer nonsense.
The fact is that by granting their blessing to Hamas’ participation in the Palestinian government, the US and much of the international community have done more in the past week to legitimize Islamic extremism than Osama bin-Laden, Sheikh Yassin and Mohammed Morsi combined.
As George Orwell noted in his classic 1946 work Politics and the English Language, “Political language…
is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”
Sadly, that is precisely what Washington and Europe have sought to do: to make Hamas murderers respectable.
But no amount of diplomatic deception and dress-up can disguise the unvarnished truth: the Palestinian Authority is now officially a terrorist regime. And that is how it should be treated.