American Elephants


The Propaganda Wars: Unfamiliar Strategy by The Elephant's Child

ISIS is depending on their videos to appeal to young Muslims who may be convinced to join the fight. The violence portrayed in many of them has encouraged hundreds to make their way to Syria to join ISIS. The Islamic State’s best recruiting tool is youth boredom. ISIS is offering excitement, a chance for young Muslims in the West to get back at the prejudice against Muslims that they may feel, and they find the extreme violence portrayed on the video thrilling and exciting. Just as we find movie portrayals of special effects exciting. But the reality is something else.

There are currently 3 young women, teenagers, from Britain currently making their way to Turkey and Syria to become brides of ISIS. There are at lest 8 impressionable schoolgirls that were attracted by websites recruiting brides, who have disappeared. A couple of them are already widows. Hundreds are proposing to ISIS fighters.

Have you ever been a member of the military, and gone through basic training? If so you will enjoy this newest ISIS recruiting video meant to strike fear into the hearts of the West. I can’t embed the video, so you will have to follow the link. The music is annoying, but the camouflage is priceless.

We need some evidence and videos of the setbacks being inflicted on ISIS and al Qaeda to counter their propaganda. But that may be another part of the Obama strategy that isn’t understood.



What Did Obama Mean By “Fundamentally Transform”? by The Elephant's Child

Obama lecturing

Most of us are apt to divide the world up into the good guys and the bad guys. Opposites.  Simplistic thinking, of course. No nuance. (when did that word slip into the daily vocabulary?) Winners and losers. Short and tall, rich and poor, hard-working and lazy, handsome and ugly, cruel and kind, smart and stupid. It helps us to understand those things we encounter in the world, we can modify our judgment later.

World War II was clear — Allies and Axis, and the Cold War — Communists and the Free World. Things began to get confused with the War in Vietnam. Protesters couldn’t decide who were the good guys and who were the bad guys. Jane Fonda has never been forgiven for her stupidity, but she was not alone among the far left. It was a confusing time, and when the Draft was ended, surprisingly so were the protests.

Questions today on the internet ask “Is Obama a Christian?” and “Is Obama a Muslim?” But those are the wrong questions. Obama has given every indication of signing up with the bad guys, the Axis, the Communists, and those who oppose our country. His dislike for the Israeli prime minister is obvious; his distaste for the United Kingdom is clear; his support for a deal with Iran; his support for the Muslim Brotherhood; for the deposed president of Egypt; inability to reach a status of forces agreement with Iraq; Benghazi; refusal to help the dissidents in Iran, and in Syria; and the silly outreach to Cuba; and the support for most anti-American governments in South America.

There is a pattern.  A pattern which is behind Rudy Giuliani’s asking if the president loves America. One would think that the media would be somewhat aware of the direction of the entire Obama administration, instead of dissolving in wrath when someone actually notices. (Or is that why the media boiled over —they’re beginning to notice?)

I think he is just doing exactly what he said he would do: attempt to “fundamentally transform the United States of America.” Everybody was so excited with the idea of the first black president, the mellow baritone voice, the moving phraseology “Yes We Can!,” “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for!,” that they didn’t really pay any attention to what he actually said that he wanted to do. I don’t think he is trying to destroy the country, he just wants to “fix” it.

We are paying the price for our inattention. And it’s up to us to find out exactly what he meant by “fundamentally transform.” It matters. It matters a lot.



They Celebrate Themselves and Sing Themselves… by The Elephant's Child

awards-2015-background-full

In spite of the theme that the most important thing happening in the world yesterday was—the Oscars— viewership was way down. The awards went to movies that no one had seen, and pointedly ignored the really big hits. It was the most political Oscar party in years. But the glitterati of Hollywood can never get enough of  red carpets, being photographed and getting awards—which they do with ever increasing frequency.

  • The 72nd Golden Globes Awards
  • The 25th Screen Actor Guild (SAG) Awards
  • The 57th GRAMMIES
  • The 87th Academy Awards (Oscars)
  • The 69th Tonys
  • The People’s Choice Awards
  • The Kid’s Choice Awards
  • The Webbys
  • MTV Movie Awards
  • Teen Choice Awards
  • MTV Video Music Awards
  • The 67th Emmy Awards

Beyond that, there are at least 50 major film festivals, the most notable being Cannes, Sundance, Toronto, Venice and Berlin, but most other major cities have one as well.

Can you spell n-a-r-c-i-s-s-i-s-m?

I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you. …
—just a random few lines from Walt Whitman


Barack Obama’s Preposterous Foreign Policy Ideas. by The Elephant's Child

Americans are puzzled by President Obama’s refusal to put the words “Islamic” and “terrorism” even close to each other in a sentence. Violent extremism is as close as it gets, and it is clear that the entire administration has been instructed in language control. If you’re good at it (Jen Psaki) you get promoted, if not, not.

But we hear the news, we remember 9/11, Charlie Hebdo, attacks in Australia, Canada, London, Denmark, Fort Hood, the Boston Massacre, and daily reports of the “violent extremism” of ISIS, beheading, crucifying, burning alive. The inability to say ‘Islamic terrorism’ seems preposterous. It is no wonder that so many think that perhaps Obama is a Muslim, or has extreme Muslim sympathies.

I don’t think so, but he probably has, as he has said, pleasant memories of the Islamic call to prayer, and of his time in Indonesia, where he lived from 1967 to 1971. He was taught to admire his absent father, and his father’s history. After 1971, he grew up in Hawaii. What brought him to national attention was “the Speech,” the keynote speech at the Democratic convention in 2004. Chicago Magazine gives a long and admiring story of how it came about and what went into it.

When Barack Obama launched into his keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, he was still an obscure state senator from Illinois. By the time he finished 17 minutes later, he had captured the nation’s attention and opened the way for a run at the presidency.

Barack Obama has always been fascinated by his own story. It sets him apart from other men as something truly special. It not only dominated his convention speech, but his autobiography Dreams From My Father, was published the following year, though it must have been already written. Who writes their autobiography at age 44?

Obama believed that he could bring about peace between Israel and the Palestinians. He told us that was his ambition. It just needed his magic touch. He was good friends with Rashid Khalidi, the American-Palestinian firebrand, who is now Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University. His views of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are that everything is Israel’s fault, and Palestinians are the abused party. If you read Victor Davis Hanson’s  explanation of Obama’s strategy, it becomes clear:

Leaders caricatured and demonized as a Cuban Stalinist, an Iranian theocrat, a Russian former KGB agent, and a plutocratic Chinese apparatchik in fact think no differently from us. But they have too often not been accorded a voice because the U.S. sought to bully them rather than reason with them. Polarizing and out-of-date labeling such as calling ISIS or the Taliban “terrorists” or “Islamists,” or reducing Bowe Bergdahl to a “traitor,” serve no purpose other than to simplify complex issues in ways that caricature those with whom we differ.

Instead, if we reduce our military profile and show other nations that what we are really interested in is fundamentally transforming U.S. society into a more equitable and fair place, our erstwhile enemies will begin to appreciate that we too are human and thus share their common aspirations. Ideals, persuasion, feelings, and intent are now the stuff of foreign policy, not archaic and polarizing rules of deterrence, balance of power, military readiness, and alliances.

It all makes sense to Obama. I’m not sure how much of the Democratic Party has moved sharply left. Certainly their spokesmen have, and the administration, but would the rank and file Democrats all sign on to this idea of a strategy for America in today’s world?  For me, it’s an increasingly dangerous world out there, with an administration unfamiliar with history and no understanding of strategy, or national security—conducting foreign policy with lightweights.

The mullahs of Iran have long demonstrated that they are not to be trusted at any time, on any subject. Vladimir Putin seems determined to reconstitute the Soviet Empire, without Communism, just tyranny. ISIS is growing and growing more vicious. The Defense Department is intent on getting rid of the A-10 Warthog, because they have a hot new toy for future wars, if it actually works. China is expanding in the South China Sea, and flexing its muscles. Showing other nations that we too are human and share their common aspirations just doesn’t cut it.

We tried to show Cuba our humanity, and Raul thanked us for surrendering to them and demanded that we return Guantanamo. So of course Nancy Pelosi took a delegation of Democrats to Cuba this last week. The message from Cuba is that Raul Castro has no intention of doing anything differently. He expects Washington to lift the embargo, and end any amnesty for Cuban doctors seeking asylum. Their top demand is that they be taken off the U.S. list of state-sponsors of terrorism.



You Can’t Say That! The Democratic Party Has A Hissy-Fit! by The Elephant's Child

Rudy Giuliani said:I do not believe — and I know this is a horrible thing to say — but I do not believe that the president loves America. He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”

The Washington Post said: “Let’s be clear: NO politician with any sort of national ambition — or any sort of ambition at all, really — would say what Giuliani reportedly said about Obama. Not one. Questioning patriotism is a line that simply is not crossed at that level of politics.

Senator Barack Obama speaking about George W. Bush:“We now have 9 trillion dollars of debt that we are going to have to pay back. That’s 30 thousand dollars for every man, woman and child. That’s irresponsible, it’s unpatriotic.” Today’s National Debt ($18,000,000,000,000+. $56.602+ for every man, woman and child. Irresponsible? Unpatriotic?)

Barack Obama said: “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” October 30,2008 (Loves it, but wants to fundamentally transform it?)

“The Democratic party is no longer the party of John F. Kennedy, whose politics were identical to Ronald Reagan’s (militant anti-Communist, military hawk, in favor of a capital gains tax cut and a balanced budget)…The Democratic Party has moved steadily leftward since the 1972 presidential campaign of George McGovern until it is now a party of the Left, led by progressives who are convinced that their policies are way stations on the path to a “better world.”…

The Democrats made Obamacare their priority because they are social missionaries whose goal is to “fundamentally transform” the United States of America, as Obama warned five days before the 2008 election. Creating a massive new government program that would absorb one-sixth of the economy and make every American dependent on government for his health needs was the first item on the Democrats’ missionary agenda. They saw it as a milestone on the way to a brave new future. That is the way progressives think, and their opponents had better understand what that means. Progressives are not in politics to tinker with the existing system, although they understand that tinkering and fixing problems along the way will gain them votes. They are in politics to transform the way Americans live. …

The very grandeur of their ambition turns progressives into zealots, they dream of using the power of the state to make everyone equal and to take are of everyone’s needs. They are going to legislate—and dictate—social equality and social justice. How intoxicating is that idea? It explains why progressives  approach politics differently from conservatives. It doesn’t matter to progressives that the massive entitlement programs they created—Social Security and Medicare—are already bankrupt. They can take care of that by making wealthy people pay their “fair share.”Progressives believe that if they can appropriate enough money and accumulate enough power, they can make their glorious future work. Everything Democrats do and every campaign they conduct is about mobilizing their political resources to bring about this result. It is about social transformation—one program and one candidate at a time. No Republican in his right mind thinks like this.”
David Horowitz: Take No Prisoners: The Battle Plan for Defeating the Left.

Obamacare has already become unaffordable. Not only does it not meet Obama’s boasting statements, it’s simply not going to work. You will have insurance that you cannot afford, that does not serve your health care needs, that you are forced to buy. The zealots on the Left want the good feelings of moving toward social equality and social justice far more than they care about anything actually working or improving anyone’s life. The future they are promoting has already failed elsewhere, but they can see only the promise, not the actuality. History is something to transcend, not evidence from which they are supposed to learn. Besides they weren’t the ones to do it. The future is an idea that has not yet been tried.

Progressives may have grand ideas about social equality and social justice, but they are sorely lacking in a most important attribute—self awareness.

ADDENDUM:  Democrat hissy-fits go like this. Giuliani’s comments were following in Obama’s own footsteps. The president has never hesitated to call someone who disagrees with him unpatriotic. 1) Immediate outrage. 2) Try to get other Republicans on the record about it, to make it part of the 2016 conversation and 3) Play the race card! “Whenever the president’s own behavior is indefensible, they can always find someone to call a racist.”

(Typo in 3rd Paragraph corrected)



Please, Just Tell Us The Truth. by The Elephant's Child

la-fg-beheading-libya-christians-coptic-20150215

ISIS just posted a video of the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya. We saw only pictures of the prisoners lined up on the shore, kneeling, wearing orange jumpsuits with a black-clad jihadist standing behind each one with a knife. Our media protected our delicate sensibilities by refraining from showing the executions. None of us want to see, but by sparing us, the media is lying about what happened. Does that matter?

President Sisi of Egypt promised revenge and attacked ISIS positions in Derna with at least two waves of air strikes.

In Iraq, ISIS jihadists have burned 45 people to death in the western Iraqi town of al-Baghdadi, according to the local police chief. Al-Baghdadi has been besieged for months by ISIS fighters until the town fell on Thursday. It was one of the few towns still controlled by the Iraqi government in Anbar province. It was the first time in the last few months that ISIS  had taken new ground according to the Defense Department.

ISIS has released another video of 17 caged Kurdish Peshmerga fighters dressed in orange jumpsuits and shackled in cages being paraded through the streets of Kirkuk, Iraq, the cages in the back of pickup trucks. Presumably they are to be burned alive as was the Jordanian pilot.

A while back there was a picture posted of an ISIS Fighter with his young son, maybe 9 or 10, proudly holding up a decapitated head by the hair. The website had blurred the head so we could see only a round shape and not any features. Many videos are presented with a warning that it might be disturbing to some. (And there is nothing, compared to what your imagination suggests).

I’m not suggesting any desire to see really ugly film, but wondering if its omission is a way of lying to us about what is really happening in the world. Do those of us who cannot bring ourselves to say the words “Islamic terrorism” or even just the simple “terrorism” fail to understand because they are sheltered by the news media, who will allow no distasteful images involving war or murder, but anything else distasteful is fine? Just wondering.

The White House is hosting its Summit on Countering Violent Extremism this week.”The event is supposed to showcase President Obama’s leadership against a threat he refuses to identify by name, gut the entire world has been watching Islamist jihadists advertise the specific threat across a brutal weekend,”said the Wall Street Journal.

A recent White House talking point has been that terrorism isn’t all that threatening and we shouldn’t overreact. If that’s going to be the message of this week’s summit, then call it off, Mr. President. The event will merely help Islamic State recruit more jihadists.



Democrats Are Out Trying to Mobilize Public Emotions, But Screwing-Up Big Time! by The Elephant's Child

The moment some Republicans appeared as possible presidential candidates, the Left was out combing the weeds and bushes for dirt with which to discredit them with — imaginary crimes. The Democrats are big on imaginary crimes, because most Republican politicians are not particularly sleazy.

In the last few weeks Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconsin has emerged as a popular possible candidate. Unleash the attack dogs!  New York Times columnist Gail Collins wrote that Walker had cut state aid to education, causing valued teachers to be laid off in 2010. Unfortunately, Scott Walker didn’t become governor until 2011. Conservative news sites had great fun with the error over the weekend. Perhaps, Politico said “In hindsight, perhaps the headline ‘Scott Walker Needs An Eraser’ wasn’t the best idea.”

The New York Times issued one of their frequent corrections:

Correction: February 15, 2015
An earlier version of this column incorrectly stated that teacher layoffs in Milwaukee in 2010 happened because Gov. Scott Walker “cut state aid to education.” The layoffs were made by the city’s school system because of a budget shortfall, before Mr. Walker took office in 2011.

Well, everybody makes mistakes, frequently in the pages of the New York Times —”the paper of record.”

Then on Monday evening, the unions that Governor Walker has defeated three times in elections, recall election, and election,unloaded a busload of union toughs in front of the home of the Governor’s elderly parents. The Journal Sentinel reported dutifully that the unions were protesting in front of the Governor’s house. Oops! The Governors sons corrected the media. Update:

B-AjQ4tCUAAW-C.jpg-large-5b47ad3eb289b410VgnVCM100000d7c1a8c0____

Here are the protesters, who seem to be from the teachers’ union. The pre-printed signs say “Governor Walker’s Budget hurts Public Education.”




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