Category Archives: Middle East

Netanyahu to Obama: “No.”

“Netanyahu defies Obama,” started the Reuters headline linked to on Drudge this evening.

At least somebody’s doing it, I immediately thought.The Israeli leader is not rolling over for Obama, who wants to stop so called “settlement growth” in Israel’s West Bank. Lay off it, Mr. President.

That’s all for tonight. I’m about to do some reading and then hopefully watch True Colors – one of the best political movies of all time.

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White House refutes reality, or “A bow by any other name.”

After President Barack Obama was criticized for bowing to the King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, the White House came up with a clever PR response: “It wasn’t a bow.”

That’s it. That’s the response from the White House. To refute reality even as hundreds of thousands view the event on YouTube.

Yet, insists a White House source speaking to the Politico: “It wasn’t a bow.”

How is one to respond to that? You pull a groundhog out of your hat and call it a rabbit. I object, pointing out the obvious. You simply grin and repeat, “Rabbit.”

This is insulting.

When I first started this blog, I made a point of discussing what would be appropriate in terms of the tone to take in criticizing the president – what would constitute Honorable Dissent. I concluded essentially that while the office of the presidency commands respect, no matter its inhabitant, assertive, principled criticism from the loyal opposition is always appropriate.

So: Is there any reason not to brand the White House spin on this as an outright lie? And if not, then why is the WH lying about this? Why are they refuting reality?

The obvious answer is that the truth is unacceptable, in political terms. The American public would not appreciate their president bowing to heads of foreign powers, so you simply tell them it didn’t happen. The truth doesn’t matter. Perception matters. Power matters. And so you lie.

As to the act itself, I hardly find it worth explaining and defending the obvious, but there will be some die-hard partisans who toe the party line and insist that, yes, a rabbit was just pulled out of a hat. To them I point to Merriam Webster’s dictionary, which defines the relevant verb as “to bend the head, body, or knee in reverence, submission or shame.” It could also mean “to incline the head or body in salutation or assent or to acknowledge applause.”

A review of the video indicates clearly that the president did “bend the head” or “body,” or “incline the head or body.” It may have been a brief physical gesture, but an indisputable one. Whether it was in reverence, submission, shame, salutation, assent or any combination thereof is irrelevant, as any of these motivations render the physical act a bow.

The dishonesty coming from the White House on this issue is shameful.

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Rupert Murdoch on Israel

News kingpin Rupert Murdoch penned an assertive, articulate defense of Israel in today’s Jerusalem Post. He highlights growing and various forms of anti-semitism, and makes the case that the fate of Israel predicts, and is directly tied to, the fate of the rest of the modern, civilized world.

As a Murdoch fan, this is good to see. There’s been some speculation that he might be becoming less conservative in his age and changing social circles, and this indicates that on the point of Israel and the survival of the West versus militant Islam, that is certainly not the case. It also indicates he’s still willing to shake things up by saying what’s right, even if it’s not popular with certain constituencies, like the international left.

I recommend the piece if you have time. Here’s a few excerpts (minor edits for brevity):

“In Europe…Jewish lives and Jewish property are under attack – and public debate is poisoned by an anti-Semitism we thought had been dispatched to history’s dustbin. In Iran, we see a regime that backs Hizbullah and Hamas now on course to acquire a nuclear weapon. In India, we see Islamic terrorists single out the Mumbai Jewish Center in a well-planned and well-coordinated attack that looks like it could be a test run for similar attacks in similar cities around the world”

“In the end, the Israeli people are fighting the same enemy we are: cold-blooded killers who reject peace, who reject freedom and who rule by the suicide vest, the car bomb and the human shield.”

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