Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Education, Foreign Policy, Freedom, History, Intelligence, National Security, The United States | Tags: Eternal War, Principled Republicans, Unprincipled Liberals
Trying to succinctly describe the differences between the American Left and the American Right is a long-running and fascinating game for both parties. Liberals, as I often note, have told us specifically that they do not have principles—meaning they are not stuck with some old-fashioned, worn-out principles as a guide to how to behave. That is not intended as a compliment. They react, they say, to events, responding on a case by case basis. Much more noble.
Republicans do have principles which they believe are time-tested and proven to be effective and useful in human life. Things like equality of opportunity, free markets and free people, and small government. Those principles serve as a guide to actions, and research into how things work are a better guide to satisfactory policies.
Liberals react to things emotionally. For example, a UPI piece from Pew Research on the “Global Attitudes Project”poll says:
A new poll offers details on the way citizens of the world think about climate change, and U.S. participants are looking particularly ignorant to the risks of global warming. Only one in four Americans said climate change was a “major threat,” making the U.S. the least concerned nation. (emphasis added)
If we disagree with the “consensus” we must be ignorant. But nobody checks to see if there actually is a “consensus” among scientists. Emotional response. No, there actually is no consensus. And “consensus” isn’t science.
Here’s another from Investors, today: “For the Left, ‘Children’ Are the Battering Ram to Force Amnesty.”
Immigration: The White House and open-borders lobby have stepped up pressure for amnesty by painting the migrant tsunami as a flood of toddlers. But a Pew study, citing Border Patrol data, shows that more than half the entrants are teenage males. (emphasis added)
Here’s another example from Investors, by Robert Samuelson: Although a man of the Left, he suggests “To Keep corporations Here, Why Not Cut Their Taxes?”
Corporate America’s latest public-relations disaster comes under the banner “tax inversion,” where a U.S. company shifts its legal headquarters to a country with a lower tax rate.
He goes on to show how Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and President Obama have charged the corporations as lacking in “economic patriotism.” Emotional response. Make a law against them. Keep them from doing so. Far better would be to reduce the corporate tax to something close to the normal corporate tax among industrialized nations. We do have the highest corporate tax in the world. Their first and only response is to prevent corporations from what is a valid business decision.
ObamaCare was a program built on emotion. Liberals thought that we should offer everyone free health care like European states did. Everyone would be so grateful to Liberals for that gift that they would forever vote Liberals into power. They looked at Britain’s way of controlling expense by limiting the costs of old folks in their final years, and loved it. No old geezer should be able to have a hugely expensive operation when they might have only months to live anyway. But they never looked into the way the program really worked in Britain, or Canada, or France or Germany. Their bright ideas don’t work. What were expected to be money savers aren’t. Tom Sowell stated the whole problem simply and clearly:
It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.
They imposed ideas they thought would save money, or be especially popular, or would give them more control, but they didn’t check how those ideas work in the real world, they just rushed it through on pure emotion and are astounded at the complaints from doctors, patients, insurance companies, hospitals and suppliers. And it’s all falling apart.
Wind and solar energy are emotional responses to perceived evils of fossil fuels. Wind and solar energy are presumed to be free because they are “natural.” But a turbine only turns at the right speed to produce energy when the wind is at the right speed. But the wind is intermittent, and requires 24/7 backup from a conventional power source, which makes the energy produced expensive, and slight. And it kills way too many birds. Eagles may become endangered if the kill rate continues. If subsidies are removed, wind is not worthwhile.
Solar is about the same problem. You only get energy with 24/7 backup, because clouds cause problems. Solar energy is too diffuse, unavailable at night, and in some locations simply fries birds in flight. If subsidies are removed, it’s not worthwhile. These things were known before the big investments in wind and solar, but emotional attachment to “free energy” trumped common sense.
Over and over you will find Liberals responding to or devising policy based on their feelings about the subject. They don’t do their homework, and they don’t think through the unintended consequences. They don’t seem to understand incentives.
Republicans don’t always get their policies right, and unintended consequences come back and bite them. Human beings are complicated and not only don’t agree on everything, but often don’t agree on much. There are lots of differing opinions in the big tent we hope to have, and creating successful policies to help Americans and their allies and enemies to do things that turn out well is not easy, and results are not always a success. But if we work with an open mind and an inclusive attitude, and an appreciation for human folly, we might not do too badly if we do our homework.
Filed under: Entertainment, Humor, United Kingdom | Tags: British Comedy, Dave Allen, Supermarkets
Dave Allen is a British comedian, and brilliant. British supermarkets may be a bit different, but if you shop in a grocery, you will recognize some of your own angst in his performance. He has his audience in the palm of his hnd.
Filed under: Freedom, Israel, Military, National Security | Tags: Hamas Interior Ministry, Israeli Defense Forces, The Terrorists in Gaza
Thomas Lifson at American Thinker has a brief column demonstrating an amazing run of bad luck. Pictures from Israel show that the same family that was killed in Syria by Bashar Assad, was unfortunately also killed by IDF bombing in Gaza just a few days ago.
(Click to enlarge)
The Hamas Interior Ministry has released guidelines for how activists should describe Palestinian war casualties. Some excerpts translated by Memri read:
Any one killed or martyred is to be called a civilian from Gaza or Palestine, before we talk about his status in jihad or his military rank. Don’t forget to always add “innocent civilian” or “innocent citizen” in your description of those killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza.
Begin [your reports of] news or resistance actions with the phrase “In response to the cruel Israeli attack” and conclude with the phrase “This any people have been martyred since Israel launched its aggression against Gaza.” Be sure to always perpetuate the principle of “the role of the occupation is attack, and we in Palestine are fulfilling [the role of] the reaction”
Avoid entering into a political argument with a Westerner aimed at convincing him that the Holocaust is a lie and deceit; instead, equate it with Israel’s crimes against Palestinian civilians.
Hamas has a long track record of using mosques, as well as schools and hospitals for storage of its rockets and weapons. They are quite effective at propaganda, and many seem to buy the idea that Israel is the evil country. The use of language is carefully constructed: “refugee camps,” “occupied territories.” Israel is probably the only country in the world that warns civilians in advance to evacuate an area where a bomb in going to strike a Hamas rocket storage site. Hamas brags of 16.000 rockets ready to strike Israel. As Benjamin Netanyahu said:
The difference between us is simple. We develop defensive systems in order to protect our civilians and they use their civilians to protect their missiles.
“The strong Israeli response is focused on eliminating the rocket-launching sites, military facilities in genera, Hamas militants, and the underground tunnels on the Egyptian border that have been used to smuggle arms.” There are limits to Israeli willingness to live under constant rocket attack. Israel agreed to the Egyptian cease fire. Hamas rejected it.
The current operation is intended to destroy the tunnels from Gaza into Israel, used by Hamas to attack and murder civilians. Finding them all is difficult and destroying them even more so.
The current operation, which is both meant to neutralize the tunnel threat and serve as leverage during the search for a ceasefire formula, should take, from a technical perspective, two weeks, officers said.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Immigration, Latin America, Law, Media Bias, Mexico, National Security, Politics, Terrorism | Tags: A Manufacturered Crisis, Advanced Planning, Flood of Illegal Aliens
It is becoming increasingly clear that the chaos at our southern border is a “manufactured crisis,” initiated by the Obama administration. The surge was directly caused by the impression in Central American countries that unaccompanied children and mothers with young children could be admitted directly and free to America, where they would receive care, and welfare. At least that’s how Obama’s speeches were interpreted.
Earlier this spring the news broke that Health and Human Services (HHS) was advertising for private contractors to help transport illegal aliens throughout the interior United States. Before the surge. Then there was this:
♦ Between December 2010 and November 2013, the Catholic Charities diocese of Galveston received $15,549,078 in federal grants from HHS for “Unaccompanied Alien Children Project” with a program description of “Refugee and Entry Assistance.”
♦ In 2013, the Catholic Charities Diocese of Fort Worth received $350,000 from the Department of Homeland Security for “citizenship and education training” with a program description of “citizenship and immigration services.”
♦ Between September 2010 and September 2013, the Catholic Charities of Dallas received $823,658 from HHS for “Citizenship Education Training” for “refugee and entrant assistance.”
♦ From December 2012 to January 2014, Baptist Child and Family Services received $62,111,126 in federal grants from HHS for “Unaccompanied Alien Children Program.”
On Wednesday, a report from Texas confirmed the above grants. The Baptist Family and Child Services had received a $50 million contract to buy a Texas resort hotel and transform it into a 600 bed facility for juvenile illegal alien unaccompanied children. The post in Gateway Pundit featured pictures of the huge outdoor pool, the tennis courts, and sauna and exercise rooms. Not included in the pictures was the indoor olympic size pool, the simple but ‘well appointed rooms,’ racquetball courts and picnic areas.
They envisioned it as an intake center where children would spend about 15 days, as a sort of emergency room or triage center, for medical and mental health care, educational programs, recreational programs and case management. They planned on building a soccer field and adding a perimeter fence.
Well, one look at the pictures, and the proverbial excrement hit the fan. The monumental inappropriateness and misplaced and overblown ‘compassion’ provoked a monumental outcry from sensible American citizens, who perhaps reminded them of veterans dying while waiting for simple appointments with a doctor, or the 92,000,000 Americans of working age who have quit looking for unavailable jobs, or the folks existing on help from charitable food banks. Baptist Child and Family Services withdrew their bid for the Palm Aire Resort because of the ‘surprising’ outcry. Be sure to take a look at the pictures.
It seems to me that this is related to the brilliant “Fast and Furious” boneheaded gun-running scheme that killed one American Border Patrol officer and hundreds of Mexicans in an attempt to drive gun control in America. Obama invited the flood of Central American children with talk of amnesty and open borders to welcome children and mothers with children. That worked. The flood may have been more than expected.
The media is featuring sad stories of little children and mothers and Border Patrol agents changing diapers, while the border is unattended since the agents have been called away from that job to change diapers. Most of the illegals are working-age males. The media isn’t talking about Mara-Salvatrucha or MS-13, nor human trafficking.
We had Amnesty once before, that was supposed to take care of the illegal immigrant problem. Instead the assumption was that amnesty would always be repeated and there has been a continuous flow of illegals ever since. Some time this year Obama will attempt to unilaterally and illegally amnesty half or more of the roughly 12 million illegal aliens now living in this country.
The immediate response should be tent cities, folding cots, and expedited processing and return of the entire flood to their own countries. And the fence should be built. Fences do work. Israel’s does. The fence around the White House does. It won’t stop the influx, but it would help to make clear that the United States has laws and expects them to be obeyed. One man with a bunch of crackpot ideas about ‘reforming America’ should not be able to get away with this.
- The Judiciary Committee reports that 65% of Asylum requests are “immediately approved” in FY 2014.
- About 500 illegal aliens are to be released into American society each week.
- Only 38 illegal immigrants of the tens of thousand who have flooded the border have been deported. Most who have illegally entered the country since last October are expected to be allowed to stay.
Filed under: Australia, Capitalism, Economy, Politics, Taxes | Tags: Australia's Cap-and-Trade, Fulfilled Campaign Promise, Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Climate hysteria probably reached its peak in 2006-2009 in Australia. Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd called man-made global warming “the greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time.” Even though average global temperatures hadn’t warmed since 1989, we were headed for an environmental catastrophe and only drastic changes to our way of life could avoid Armageddon. Dissent was treated with shock and derision.
Mr. Rudd set out to pass a cap-and-trade scheme in 2009, but the Aussies didn’t buy it. But then the rest of the world declined to sign up with expensive carbon reduction proposals at the Copenhagen summit, Mr. Rudd lost even more credibility. In 2010 Julia Gillard promised not to impose a carbon tax, but she still lost seats in parliament and her coalition partners in the Greens persuaded her to push ahead with the unpopular levy of A$23 (U.S. $21.54) per ton of carbon. That further weakened Labor, and Tony Abbott won election last year on a platform of repeal of the tax. The Australian government’s own figures estimate the tax has added A$9.90 to the average household’s weekly power bill. (Think adding $40 to your monthly power bill here, and you see the objection.)
Cap-and-Trade Mr. Abbott argued, amounted to “a great big tax to create a big slush fund to provide politicized handouts, run by a giant bureaucracy.” He supported simpler, cheaper and more practical ways of creating a cleaner environment and most Australians realized that the cost of decarbonizing the economy outweighed any possible benefits. Australia’s Senate voted 39-32 last Thursday to repeal the carbon emissions price. Prime Minister Abbott told voters in a news conference after the vote:
Today the tax that you voted to get rid of is finally gone, a useless destructive tax which damaged jobs, which hurt families’ cost of living and which didn’t actually help the environment is finally gone.
Phillip Hutchings writes at Wattsupwiththat that:
Within minutes of the Australian parliament voting to scrap our carbon tax today, one of our major coal-fired electricity generators issued a profit warning announcement.
In this case, AGL Energy announced its pre-tax profits will fall by $186 million in 2014/15 solely due to the removal of the carbon tax. The majority of this is related to the very large, but inefficient Loy Yang brown coal station which supplies 30% of the power needs of the state of Victoria. It’s amongst the single biggest emitters of CO2 in Australia.
Yet it was due to get $242 million of “Government assistance” under the carbon tax arrangements this year. Most of which found its way to the bottom line.
Filed under: Entertainment, Foreign Policy, Humor, Politics | Tags: Catherine Tate, Comedy Skits, Lost in Translation
Catherine Tate is a British comedienne, and this is an oldie but goodie. One of her best.
Filed under: Afghanistan, Capitalism, China, Domestic Policy, Economy, Foreign Policy, Immigration, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Latin America, Middle East, National Security | Tags: Don't Blame Obama, He Didn't Know, No End of Excuses
He didn’t know that these unaccompanied minors had all sorts of contagious diseases unseen in this country for years. He didn’t know that there were Mara Salvatrucha recruiters among the unaccompanied minors. He didn’t have time to go to the border to spare from his fundraising. He didn’t know there were Americans aboard that Air Malaysian plane that was shot down by Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine, because he had fundraisers to attend. He didn’t know that the world turmoil hasn’t been this bad since the 1970′s. He was only a kid then, so he didn’t know.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Education, Health Care, Immigration, Latin America, Law, Liberalism, Mexico, National Security, Politics, Progressivism | Tags: Coming for Obama's Amnesty, The "Narrative", Why Illegals Are Coming
The narrative about the chaos on the border continues to unravel. That tale about poor unaccompanied children fleeing violence in Central American countries? Phony. They are coming because they believe that U.S. immigration laws are granting free passes or “permisos” to unaccompanied children and adult females traveling with children. That has been the word circulating in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. And once the ‘children’ are here they will be taken care of.
The Central American countries are dependent on remittances from American immigrants, and are not interested in stopping the surge of illegals.
When the Obama administration decided in 2012 to practice “prosecutorial discretion” in cases where individuals were brought into the U.S. illegally as minors. The violence in those countries is not new, and it has actually dipped. Some are sent by the human smugglers who have seen a weakness in the system, and used statements coming from the administration in order to increase the number of people coming over.
There is a lot of profit for coyotes in human smuggling, someone is paying the $7,000 fee, and as no one is checking the identity and status of the phone numbers which may be the only direction to the ‘relatives’ of the unaccompanied children—who are put on a bus to get to the address given. They may not actually go to ‘relatives.’ There is indication that Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) recruiters are being sent to recruit among the teen age young men.
Males between 15-17 years of age comprise 47 percent of all unaccompanied minors who are other than Mexican. Thirty percent are minors age 10-14. There has been an increase in the OTM minors who are pregnant or have physical or mental disabilities.
The same family members or sponsors are appearing several times to claim different children from the custody of U.S. authorities. The legal status of the family members or sponsors is not checked, nor is the address they offer as residence, or the accuracy of the relationship to the children. U.S. authorities do not know whether or how U.S. gang members are involved in the smuggling of minors.
53,375 OTM unaccompanied minors are predicted for FY 2014, and 95,500 for FY 2015. Officials say it may take years to process these minors through deportation hearings and actual deportation. Not all who are being sent to housing facilities are being medically screened. The number actually being returned to their home countries is infinitesimal, less than 50 so far.
The intent on the part of the Democrats is open borders and amnesty. But very simply, the flow of illegals from Central and South America will not end until it is made clear that we do not have open borders, and that the way to come to America is to obey the rules, come as a legal immigrant, and be welcomed.
ADDENDUM: The number of illegal aliens who have successfully filed asylum claims has almost tripled from 2012 to 2012. And that is ten times the number from 2008 when President Obama was elected, clear evidence that his immigration officials are approving most of the asylum requests from the growing surge of illegals coming from Central America. I call them illegal aliens because that is the accurate terminology according to any dictionary. If you came to America with a tale of escaping violence, there’s not any more than usual, and they are well coached in the words that might get them amnesty.
Congress did call for a little more discretion after it was learned that the Tsarnaev brothers of Boston Marathon fame successfully applied for amnesty in 2002. But “credible fear” of persecution by criminal gangs in their home countries in Central America works. In 2008 there were 118,457 claims of credible fear, it grew slowly to 123,180 in 2011, and then leaped to 183,681 in 2012. Then it goes to the Border Patrol or ICE for provisional approval. According to the Los Angeles Times only 1,669 claimants were rejected in 2013. That’s down from 8,143 in 2008.
Filed under: Afghanistan, Africa, China, Foreign Policy, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Israel, Latin America, Middle East, National Security, Politics, Russia, The United States | Tags: A World in Turmoil, An Arc Of Instability, The Obama Foreign Policy
A Wall Street Journal’s front page article on Monday said politely “Obama Contends With Arc of Instability Unseen Since 70s.” “A convergence of security crises is playing out around the globe from the Palestinian territories and Iraq to Ukraine and the South Chin Sea, posing a serious challenge to President Barack Obama’s foreign policy and reflecting a world in which U .S. global power seems increasingly tenuous.”
The breadth of global instability now unfolding hasn’t been seen since the late 1970s, U.S. security strategists say, when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, revolutionary Islamists took power in Iran, and Southeast Asia was reeling in the wake of the U.S. exit from Vietnam.
In the past month alone, the U.S. has faced twin civil wars in Iraq and Syria, renewed fighting between Israel and the Palestinians, an electoral crisis in Afghanistan and ethnic strife on the edge of Russia, in Ukraine.
Bewildered leftists say that he promised to end the War in Iraq, and wind down the war in Afghanistan and he did. He fulfilled his campaign promises. But there is ending and ending. I don’t know if anyone voted for Obama because he said he would end the War in Iraq. They voted for Hope and Change, and fancy theatrics and a litany of carefully crafted meaningless phrases.
Foreign policy is hard, and the big things may be controlled by the little things like personalities, and ego as well as deep knowledge and understanding of the history and culture of a country. Obama wasn’t much interested in foreign policy. He seems to have had in mind simply being the anti-Bush. Bush made wars, he would make peace. Bush had a muscular presence in the world and emphasized American strength. Obama wanted us to be just a nation among other nations, and let other nations deal with stuff. Obama found his national security briefings boring and quit going.
He yanked our people out of Iraq too abruptly and failed to establish a status of forces agreement to help prepare the Iraqi army for just what is happening now. The countries in Eastern Europe didn’t get their missile defense. Obama said in a May speech at West Point that the Obama foreign policy doctrine, would rely on U.S. leadership, but not troop deployments. Well, we’re not any good at the U.S. leadership business either, it seems.
A few meetings with Obama and Hillary’s “reset button” convinced Putin that nobody was likely to do anything, so he went right ahead to annex Crimea. The allies who had relied on America to prevent Russia’s ambitions lost confidence in American action as well. The Taliban got their leaders back. Obama drew a Red Line in Syria, and then erased it. The Arab Spring was misunderstood from the beginning, and the administration fell for the Muslim Brotherhood’s claim to Egypt. The feckless John Kerry has been trying to solve the problems of the Middle East by forcing Israel to give more land to the Palestinian terrorists. The Chinese, watching our military downsize, have decided to upsize theirs and are vigorously growing their navy and submarine fleet and flexing their muscles in the South China Sea.
And there is the self-declared new Caliphate, now encircling Baghdad, another surprise to the administration, and our negotiations with Iran go on. We want assurances, they are happy to give assurances. We seem unable to learn that deception is a way of life in the Middle East, and expect an agreement to be worked out that will enable them to have all the sanctions lifted.To call it all an “Arc of Instability” is perhaps the understatement of the year. But the stakes have never been higher.
Jonathan Karl lists some of the “instabilities.” Obama, we are told, no longer talks to anyone but Valerie Jarrett and Michelle. We are in the best of hands.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Immigration, Latin America, Law, Mexico, National Security | Tags: $3.7 Billion Budget Request, Chaos At the Border, No Funds for Deportation?
On July 8, 2014, the White House submitted its emergency budget request to the House of Representatives (Constitutional “power of the purse”) to deal with the “humanitarian crisis” on our southern border.
The budget request totals $3.7 billion. Many representatives immediately called it a blank check. White House Director of the Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Muñoz responded in the press that Congress cannot have it both ways, criticizing the administration and withholding the funding to effectively handle the crisis. Scroll down past the president’s letter to see what they want all the money for.
Uh huh. The combined airfare for 30,000 illegals back to Guatemala City would be around $20 million. So what’s all the extra for? DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, when interviewed on “Meet the Press” was unable to come up with a straightforward statement in response to a persistent David Gregory about whether any of the unaccompanied alien children would ever be returned to where they came from.
Government documents are written in soothing politically correct language that will not get anyone excited, but anyone with a sharp pencil could go through the list and separate out a big chunk of the nonsense. The administration, as usual, says one thing, and means another. It looks like their objective is not deportation, but resettlement. From The Center For Immigration Studies (CIS).
Of the $3.7 billion being requested, fully $1.8 billion (about 49 percent of the total) is for resettlement costs to be appropriated to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) — not just for the UACs, but for entire family units, including adult men and women. There is no reason to think that the accommodations will be temporary, insofar as the funds include authorization “for acquisition, construction, improvement, repair, operation, and maintenance of real property and facilities.”
Much of the so-called “enforcement” portion of the budget is not truly geared toward removal; rather, it is a recouping of costs for temporary detention and subsequent transporting of aliens (including adults) to facilitate their resettlement and relocation by HHS. (It is noteworthy that, according to a leaked Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Intelligence document, fully 47 percent of the arrivals are adults, who should be subjected to expedited removal, not to relocation and resettlement.)
As far I can tell, the Republicans are quite favorable towards legal immigration. Some high-tech companies want immigration reformed immediately so they can have more workers from India to bring down wage costs. We have some 92 million Americans of working age unable to find a job and who have given up looking. We have vastly more STEM graduates that there are available jobs. The Center for Immigration Studies has shown conclusively that immigrants have taken jobs that would otherwise have gone to American citizens.
Republicans would be happy to work on reforming immigration policy, but do not trust the president to enforce the law, to deport those who are here illegally, or to stop encouraging illegal immigrants and children to come here to take advantage of our generous welfare policies — and vote Democratic because of the free stuff. Our high-tech companies could offer training programs if they are dissatisfied with the technology graduates of our schools.
“The U.S. government is generally expected to act in the interest of the people of the United States.” That astonishing statement is the subhead of a splendid article about immigration by Kevin Williamson titled “How to Think about Immigration.” Sensible and an excellent guide to establishing your own opinions, whether you are a hawk or a ‘squish.’ If you read my earlier post today about Janet Daley, the most important thing is assimilation. We want immigrants who want to be Americans, and we want them to become Americans, not those who make no effort to speak English, learn our history, or think of this as “their country,” as in ‘this is my country, land of the free’…
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Education, Europe, Freedom, Islam, National Security, Terrorism, United Kingdom | Tags: Demographics, Jihad in Britain, Radicalization of Youth
I don’t know if you know Janet Daley. She was born in America, graduated from U.C. Berkeley, and has been living and reporting in Britain for many years. Her column in today’s Telegraph is notable for her outlook on the Islamization of Britain. Elsewhere there is a column noting that France is not a safe place for Jews. We have been warned that without some serious and real change, Europe will be entirely Muslim within fifty years.
In the midst of the deeply unfunny news coverage of the two young British jihadi volunteers who were arrested on terror charges when they arrived back from Syria, there was one moment of comic absurdity. It seems that before setting off on their mission, Mohammed Ahmed and Yusuf Sarwar found it necessary to place orders with Amazon for those invaluable scholarly treatises, Islam for Dummies, The Koran for Dummies and Arabic for Dummies. Hilarity aside, there is something important to be noted here.
First, these 22-year-olds were obviously not the products of some extreme mosque which had drilled them in Islamist fundamentalism. In fact, they were so untutored in the religion to which they were nominally affiliated that they had to equip themselves with a crash course in its basic principles. Nor had they come from families which were inclined to endorse their terrorist fantasies. Indeed, their own parents were so horrified when they learned of the men’s activities that they turned them in to the police. So we need to ask, as a matter of urgency, where it came from, this bizarre determination to be inducted into a campaign of seditious murder that (we can assume from their decision to plead guilty to the terror charges) they fully intended to bring home with them. What causes young men to risk their own lives, and those of who knows how many others, for a cause about which they know so little that they have to mug it up before they catch the plane?
Do read the whole thing. There’s a lot of food for thought there that includes our own present border crisis. Assimilation matters. She adds:
Contrary to all the educational shibboleths of our time, young men are motivated by aggression and power: their dreams are of glorious triumph over rivals. If they are denied these things – even in the ritualised forms that used to be provided by an education system that understood how dangerous male adolescence was – then they will seek them wherever they can be found. Gang violence, with its criminal initiation rites, or Muslim fanaticism can fill a void, offering not just a licence for brutality but for banding together into hostile tribes. There was a time – before characteristically male behaviour was devalued in favour of the female virtues of empathy and conciliation – when these proclivities were dealt with quite effectively by combative team sports and military cadet corps. Institutionalised aggression was supervised by adult authority until the young men grew up and became responsible for their own impulses.
Filed under: Freedom, Israel, Military, National Security, Terrorism | Tags: Israel, Limits to Tolerance, Rockets from Gaza
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeated a line that he used in the prepared statement he read at his Friday news conference on Fox News Sunday this morning. It warrants repetition. Israel and Hamas conduct in the current hostilities can be explained:
The difference between us is simple. We develop defensive systems against missiles in order to protect our civilians and they use their civilians to protect their missiles.
Here’s a brief cell phone video of “Summer Vacation In Israel” It conveys a sense of what it is like to live under constant threat of rocket attack, with only seconds to get to shelter.