Category Archives: The World

The Amoral Nature of the Pawn Strategy

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online – The Corner

The Incoherent Excuses for Hating Israel

by Bruce S. Thorton // FrontPage Magazine

Photo via www.marketoracle.co.uk

Photo via www.marketoracle.co.uk

Israel’s military operation to degrade Hamas’ ability to rain rockets down on Israeli cities has stirred up the usual noisy and nasty protests in Europe. We need not dwell on demonstrations by Muslim immigrants, whose genocidal Jew-hatred has been an Islamic tradition for 14 centuries. More revealing is the hatred of Israel by so many Europeans, ranging from leftover leftists and idealizers of the dark-skinned “other,” to far-right xenophobes and morally addled Christians. Whatever its origins, one thing their bitter hatred of Israel does not have is any foundation in coherent principle.

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Illiberal Immigration ‘Reform’

People who call for “comprehensive immigration reform” seldom mean it.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

The Moral Crisis on Our Southern Border

A perfect storm of special interests have hijacked U.S. immigration law.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Moral Equivalence, Moral Idiocy

by Bruce Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

Image by © marco bottelli/Demotix/Corbis

Image by © marco bottelli/Demotix/Corbis

Scenes all too familiar from the Arab conflict with Israel have followed the murder last Wednesday of a 16-year-old Palestinian, Mohammed Abu Khdeir. Mourners at his funeral chanting the Muslim war-cry “Allahu Akbar” as they carry the boy’s open coffin, the crowd shouting slogans like “Intifada rise up” and “America and Israel are the terrorists,” banners representing terrorist organizations like Hamas and Islamic Jihad waving above the crowd, gangs of “youths” attacking Israeli police throughout East Jerusalem, barrages of rockets fired from Gaza into Israel, and the usual condemnations of Israel and calls for “restraint” from the “international community” – all sadly are business as usual. And the “business” is the demonization of Israel and the obscene double standards indulged by too many in the West.

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California’s Hydromania

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJ Media

Photo via PJMedia

Photo via PJMedia

Two events now characterize the California agrarian heartland, the richest and most productive farm belt in the world.

One, of course, is the third year of drought. I refer here to nature’s lack of rain and snow. But also factor in the state’s additional man-made drought, through diversions of precious stored reservoir water from agriculture and community use to environmental causes that demand more river water must flow out to the sea.

The state’s environmental fanatics over thirty years ago cancelled the critical tertiary phases of the California Water Project and the federal Central Valley Project. I guess those in the Bay Area whose lives rest on Hetch Hetchy [1] delivered reservoir water deemed reservoirs for all others passé and so 19th century [2].

The result is that a brilliantly engineered water transfer system — 80% of Californians live where 20% of the state’s rain and snow fall — designed to incrementally expand as population grew, became frozen in amber. We had a wonderful water storage system for 23 million people in 1980. But it proved completely inadequate for the 40 million plus of 2014, who assumed household and drinking water, irrigation supplies, and clean hydroelectric power came out of thin air [3]

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How Obama Lost the Middle East

The president put politics and ideology ahead of preserving hard-won gains in the region. 

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

In his first term, Barack Obama all but declared victory in America’s Middle East struggles.

As he precipitously pulled out all U.S. peacekeepers from Iraq, the president had his own “Mission Accomplished” moment when declaring the country “stable,” “self-reliant,” and an “extraordinary achievement.”

Those claims echoed Vice President Joe Biden’s earlier boast that Iraq somehow would prove Obama’s “greatest achievement.”

After the death of Osama bin Laden, and during Obama’s reelection campaign, the president also proclaimed that al-Qaeda was a spent force and “on the run.”

But what exactly was the new Obama strategy that supposedly had all but achieved a victory in the larger War on Terror amid Middle East hostility?

Fuzzy euphemisms replaced supposedly hurtful terms such as “terrorism,” “jihadist,” and “Islamist.” The administration gave well-meaning speeches exaggerating Islamic achievement while citing past American culpability.

We tilted toward Turkey and the Palestinians while sternly lecturing Israel. Military victory was caricatured as an obsolete concept. Leading from behind was a clever substitute.

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The Language of Despotism

by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

Long before 1984 gave us the adjective “Orwellian” to describe the political corruption of language and thought, Thucydides observed how factional struggles for power make words their first victims. Describing the horrors of civil war on the island of Corcyra during the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides wrote, “Words had to change their ordinary meaning and to take that which was now given them.” Orwell explains the reason for such degradation of language in his essay “Politics and the English Language”: “Political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible.”

Tyrannical power and its abuses comprise the “indefensible” that must be verbally disguised. The gulags, engineered famines, show trials, and mass murder of the Soviet Union required that it be a “regime of lies,” as the disillusioned admirer of Soviet communism Pierre Pascal put it in 1927.

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Obama’s World Disorder

by Victor Davis Hanson // Defining Ideas

Image credit: Zoriah

Image credit: Zoriah

Amid all the talk of the isolationism that supposedly characterizes the Obama administration’s foreign policy, we forget that since World War II, the global order has largely been determined by U.S. engagement. The historically rare state of prosperity and peace that defined the postwar world were due to past U.S. vigilance and sacrifice.

Germany in the last 150 years has been at the center of three European wars, winning one, losing another, and destroying much of Europe and itself in the third. Yet present-day Germany has the largest economy in Europe and the fourth largest in the world. It is a global leader in high technology and industrial craftsmanship. For seventy years Germany, even after its second historic unification in 1989, has not translated such economic preeminence into military power, much less aggression. In fact, the strategic status quo of postwar Europe—with Britain and France, and their relatively smaller and weaker economies, as the continent’s two sole nuclear powers—remains mostly unquestioned.

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Melancholy Lessons from Iraq

by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

Photo via Wikicommons

Photo via Wikicommons

The unfolding collapse of Iraq’s government before the legions of al Qaeda jihadists is the capstone of Barack Obama’s incompetent and politicized foreign policy. The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), armed with plundered American weapons and flush with stolen money, is consolidating a Sunni terrorist state in eastern Syria and northern Iraq, replete with mass executions, sharia law, and the beheading of violators. With revered Shiite cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani calling the Shia faithful to arms, a vicious civil war between Shia and Sunnis will likely intensify in the coming days. But whoever wins, the fallout for our security will be disastrous – a Shiite “crescent” from Aleppo to Mosul allied with Iran, which looks ever more likely to be nuclear armed, and a safe haven for terrorist training camps to prepare “martyrs” for attacks against the West. And our allies Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Israel all will to various degrees find their own security and interests impacted by this administration’s criminal foreign policy negligence.

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