Category Archives: War on Terror

ISIS Strategy Session

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President Obama still isn’t impressed by the JV team. Ten months into the contest he doesn’t yet have a strategy for ISIS.  He’s reaching out to Sunni tribes in Iraq to scout more fighters. Thomas Sowell says the president blew a big lead and now the game is his to lose.

Prison Press Pass

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President Obama is good at getting prisoners released from GITMO but not so much from Iran. While he polishes his nuclear deal, a Washington Post reporter rots in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison.  Jason Rezaian has been the Supreme Leader’s guest there since last July.

Rezaian’s trial was yesterday. Secret – like the nuke deal. So far no word on the outcome.

Climate of Fear

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The Islamic Caliphate is capturing and holding territory in Anbar province and Syria. ISIS murdered 262 people in Palmyra over Memorial Day weekend. If past behavior is any guide, antiquities there could be doomed. President Obama called the defeat of Ramadi a “tactical setback”.

In a commencement speech at the Coast Guard Academy last week the president hinted at his military priorities. He named climate change the top national security threat.

 

Knowing What We Know Now

150519-knowing-what-we-know-nowMegyn Kelly asked Jeb Bush if, knowing what we know now, he would have supported the invasion of Iraq. It would be a great question to ask Hillary Clinton since, as a Senator, she voted for the war. Alas, Hillary is above questioning so Megyn’s question is only being asked of Republican candidates.

Nobody asked him, but Professor Victor Davis Hansen answers the question here.

It’s a good question. Most of the Senate Democrats who voted for the the war quickly turned against it. Many Republicans and public opinion soon headed for the exits too.

With everybody against him, President Bush finally fired Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, poured more troops into Iraq, and put General David Petraeus in charge. The NYT published MoveOn.org’s ad calling him General Betray Us. Hillary called him a liar.

As it turned out the Petraeus plan worked.  In 2010 Joe Biden proclaimed events in Iraq the Obama administration’s finest hour. President Obama withdrew U.S. forces as he had promised.

Islamic man-burning barbarians soon filled the vacuum. Obama called them al Qaeda’s JV team. On Sunday the JV team routed the Iraqi defenders in Ramadi – 70 miles from Baghdad.

At present the last line of defense appears to be Shiite fighters from Iran.

Knowing what we know now, who in their right mind would answer yes?

 

Cartoon Punch Down

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If somebody tells you you can’t draw something, the proper response of any self-respecting cartoonist is to draw that thing. Bosch Fawstin did exactly that and won first prize in the “Draw Mohammad” contest a week ago. In his cartoon a sword wielding Mohammad says, “You can’t draw me”, to which Fawstin responds, “That’s why I draw you.”

He also drew a response. Two heavily armed would be jihadis were gunned down by a cop with a pistol as they tried to turn “Draw Mohammad” into a “Charlie Hebdo” style massacre.

Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau’s approach is different from the Fawstin way. He explained it in his acceptance speech for a Polk lifetime achievement award  last month. It’s the punching bag theory of cartooning. He says that satire must always punch up at the powerful and never punch down at the powerless.

Now they tell me. There are rules for satire.

I like Doonesbury but haven’t liked its politics ever since the entire cast cheered Nixon’s wage/price controls back in the early 70’s. But that’s no reason to not appreciate a good cartoon. Doonesbury has been like an ongoing play with well developed characters who grow over time. It’s witty too. Most of the time.

Steyn Punch Down

Mark Steyn, on the other hand, hates Trudeau’s guts. So I picked out some of the good stuff from his column A Contemptible Man Strikes Down:

“The Polk Award is named after a journalist shot dead at point-blank range in 1948 while covering the Greek civil war. So you might have thought it would be in ever so mildly bad taste to use the opportunity of a Polk acceptance speech to piss on the graves of a group of journalists similarly murdered. Nevertheless, that’s what Mr Trudeau did:

Charlie Hebdo, which always maintained it was attacking Islamic fanatics, not the general population, has succeeded in provoking many Muslims throughout France to make common cause with its most violent outliers. This is a bitter harvest.

Ah, so Charlie Hebdo is to blame for provoking ordinary, peaceful, moderate Muslims into supporting the Allahu Akbar guys who killed them.

Traditionally, satire has comforted the afflicted while afflicting the comfortable. Satire punches up, against authority of all kinds, the little guy against the powerful. Great French satirists like Molière and Daumier always punched up, holding up the self-satisfied and hypocritical to ridicule. Ridiculing the non-privileged is almost never funny—it’s just mean.