Winning a Lose/Lose War
Victor Davis Hanson
Once again neighboring enemies are warring in diametrically opposite ways. Hamas sees the death of its civilians as an advantage; Israel sees the death of its civilians as a disaster. Defensive missiles explode to save civilians in Israel; in Gaza, civilians are placed at risk of death to protect offensive missiles. Hamas wins by losing lots of its people; Israel loses by losing a few of its own. Hamas digs tunnels in premodern fashion; Israel uses postmodern high technology to detect them. Hamas's missiles usually prove ineffective; Israel's bombs and missiles almost always hit their targets. Quiet Israeli officers lead from the front; loud Hamas leaders flee to the rear. Incompetency wins sympathy; expertise, disdain. Westerners romanticize the Hamas cause; fellow Arabs of the Gulf do not. Westerners critical of Israel are still willing to visit Israel; sympathizers of Hamas do not wish to visit Gaza.
Please Stop Helping Us
Walter E. Williams
While reading the first chapter of Jason Riley's new book, "Please Stop Helping Us," I thought about Will Rogers' Prohibition-era observation that "Oklahomans vote dry as long as they can stagger to the polls." Demonstrative of similar dedication, one member of Congress told Vanderbilt University political scientist Carol Swain that "one of the advantages and disadvantages of representing blacks is their shameless loyalty...You can almost get away with raping babies and be forgiven. You don't have any vigilance about your performance." In my opinion, there appear to be no standards of performance low enough for blacks to lose their loyalty to their black political representatives. Riley says that between 1970 and 2001, the number of black elected officials skyrocketed from fewer than 1,500 to more than 9,000, but black poverty has remained roughly the same. Between 1940 and 1960, when black political power was virtually nonexistent, the black poverty rate fell from 87 percent to 47 percent.
Cease the Cease-Fires
Many years ago, on my first trip around the world, I was struck by how the children in the Middle East -- Arab and Israeli alike -- were among the nicest looking little children I had seen anywhere. It was painful to think that they were going to grow up killing each other. But that is exactly what happened. It is understandable that today many people in many lands just want the fighting between the Israelis and the Palestinians to stop. Calls for a cease-fire are ringing out from the United Nations and from Washington, as well as from ordinary people in many places around the world. According to the New York Times, Secretary of State John Kerry is hoping for a cease-fire to "open the door to Israeli and Palestinian negotiations for a long-term solution." President Obama has urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to have an "immediate, unconditional humanitarian cease-fire" -- again, with the idea of pursuing some long-lasting agreement. If this was the first outbreak of violence between the Palestinians and the Israelis, such hopes might make sense. But where have the UN, Kerry and Obama been during all these decades of endlessly repeated Middle East carnage?
The Bear is Loose
Sol W. Sanders
No, not the self-designated ursus in the White House, but the Kremlin's ruler. Having launched a program attempting to reinstate Moscow's hegemony over the former Tsarist/Soviet Empire, Vladimir Putin now has been hoisted on his own petard. When his naked aggression in Georgia in 2008 elicited no significant American-EU response, he followed it with his 2014 annexation of Crimea. When that produced little more than Western denunciation, he mobilized for further aggression, attempting to use the Russian-speaking minority in eastern Ukraine. But he has now become a prisoner of his own rhetoric and aggression. True, like the European dictators of right and left of the 1930s, he has gained wide popular support at home. But the chauvinistic reaction of the Russian public is a false flag. Shamed and humiliated by the implosion of the Soviet Union ("the greatest catastrophe of the 20th century", Putin has said), a catastrophic declining population, a start-and-stop economy, and an enormous flight of capital, Putin has used aggressive nationalism to try to reinvigorate a failed regime with all-too-well-remembered demagoguery.
Know Your Military Colonists
"Military Colonist" is a term that has gone out of fashion in this brave new world of "No Human Being is Illegal" and "Every Refugee Deserves to be Resettled." The university history professor with an office full of fake Indian jewelry and a view of the parking lot will lecture on the military colonies of the Roman period, always careful to emphasize their eventual fate. And he may even get up to the 16th century. But he'll stay away from the present. But if you are going to take land or seize power, you will need military colonists to hold it. The military colonist may be an ex-soldier, but he's more likely to be someone the empire, present or future, doesn't particularly need or have a use for. The Czars used serfs. The present day military colonist who shows up at JFK or LAX may also be a peasant with even less value to his culture.
Moral Clarity in Gaza
Israel accepts an Egyptian-proposed Gaza cease-fire; Hamas keeps firing. Hamas deliberately aims rockets at civilians; Israel painstakingly tries to avoid them, actually telephoning civilians in the area and dropping warning charges, so-called roof knocking. "Here's the difference between us," explains the Israeli prime minister. "We're using missile defense to protect our civilians, and they're using their civilians to protect their missiles." Rarely does international politics present a moment of such moral clarity. Yet we routinely hear this Israel-Gaza fighting described as a morally equivalent "cycle of violence." This is absurd. What possible interest can Israel have in cross-border fighting? Everyone knows Hamas set off this mini-war. And everyone knows the proudly self-declared raison d'etre of Hamas: the eradication of Israel and its Jews.
David M. Huntwork
We exist in a vast sea of ignorance and lack of understanding in regards to history, politics, and ideology. Not to mention the implications of each upon our nation and civilization. Perhaps we should not be surprised that large segments of society can't put the Civil War in the correct century or begin to find major countries on a map. There are entire political ideologies that rely on that mind-numbing, and sometimes frightening, misunderstanding and basic ignorance that a significant portion of society manifests as a source for their power and strength. I find liberalism/progressivism to be little more than a mental poison, an ideological and philosophical cancer on society that is malicious and destructive to everything that it touches from the sanctity of human life, to the traditional family structure (the basic foundation of all civilization), to national security, to free enterprise and beyond. It is the bane of Western Civilization, the concept of personal liberty, and a threat to all I hold dear.
Julia & Pajama Boy: A Millennials Love Story
A Millennial Love Story began the day Pajama Boy (P.J.) met Julia in a rope line outside an elite venue for an Obama fundraiser. They chatted excitedly as they awaited his coming. Talking while texting friends, they soon realized that they both attended the same Obama for President campaign event back in 2007 while in college, although Julia had fainted and missed part of Barack's awesome, inspirational speech. They hardly minded when it was announced that the President had entered through a back door and was already inside the hotel – a place where their presence was prohibited by the price of admission. Oh, well, at least they were close to him, on the same block! They snapped selfies to post on their Facebook pages to celebrate the event. More and more selfies followed in the weeks ahead as Facebook chronicled their budding romance. The two millennials soon found they had much in common.
Progressive Jews, Wake Up!
Abraham H. Miller
In the largely Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Chicago's Petersen Park, residents last Saturday morning found anti-Semitic leaflets on their way to synagogue to observe the Sabbath. The leaflets threatened violence against the community unless Israel stopped the war with Gaza. For those progressive Jews who have found solace in the myth that anti-Zionism has nothing to do with anti-Semitism, the events across the globe of the last few weeks have been a rude and discomforting awakening. And so they turned to their final recourse, the belief that America was different. Sure, there was a pogrom at a synagogue in Paris, but, well, that's Paris. Muslims and their neo-fascist and leftist allies might walk through the streets of Germany shouting anti-Jewish slogans reminiscent of the Hitler Youth, but, well, that's Germany. Then came the pro-Hamas demonstrations in Los Angeles, Boston, and Chicago.
Throw the Bums Out
Paul R. Hollrah
Taking a look at voter attitudes toward their own congressman, 57% of registered Democrats said they were likely to vote to reelect their current member of Congress, while only 33% of Republicans would vote to reelect their current member. What this seems to indicate is that Republicans, in general, are far more thoughtful, far more discriminating, and far less likely to be influenced by "cult of personality" than Democrats. These numbers also tell us is that people generally have a low opinion of Congress as a whole... always willing to speak ill of those who represent others... but a generally favorable attitude toward their own member, whoever he or she might be and regardless of his or her ideological stance. Why? Apparently because they are anxious to reconfirm what they consider to be their own perceptiveness in their voting booth decisions, while those who elected all those other dolts are dumber than bricks. The only fair way to rate the Congress would be to add up the winning margins of every member and divide the total by 435 for House members and 100 for Senators.