Posts Tagged ‘Obama administration’

Crossing the Line

June 14, 2013

The Obama administration has determined that the Assad regime in Syria is using chemical weapons against the rebels and so has decided to send arms to the rebels. As CBS News puts it.

The Obama administration has concluded that Syrian President Bashar Assad‘s government used chemical weapons against the rebels seeking to overthrow him and, in a major policy shift, President Obama has decided to supply military support to the rebels, the White House announced Thursday.

“The president has made a decision about providing more support to the opposition that will involve providing direct support to the [Supreme Military Council]. That includes military support,” Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communication Ben Rhodes told reporters.

President Obama has repeatedly said that the use of chemical weapons is a “red line” that, if crossed, would be a “game changer” for more U.S. involvement in the Syrian civil war.

“The President has been clear that the use of chemical weapons – or the transfer of chemical weapons to terrorist groups – is a red line for the United States,” said Rhodes in a separate written statement.

“The President has said that the use of chemical weapons would change his calculus, and it has,” he continued.

In terms of further response, Rhodes said, “we will make decisions on our own timeline” and that Congress and the international community would be consulted.  Mr. Obama is heading to Northern Ireland Sunday for a meeting of the G8 group of nations; Rhodes indicated the president will consult with leaders of those countries.

“Any future action we take will be consistent with our national interest, and must advance our objectives, which include achieving a negotiated political settlement to establish an authority that can provide basic stability and administer state institutions; protecting the rights of all Syrians; securing unconventional and advanced conventional weapons; and countering terrorist activity,” Rhodes said.

To date, the U.S. policy on Syria has primarily focused on offering the rebels nonlethal assistance and humanitarian aid.

I think that this is a very bad idea. There are no good guys in this conflict. On one side there is a vicious secular Arab nationalist/socialist government that has an awful human rights record. On the other side there are rebels who are Islamist and almost certainly have ties to al-Qaeda and will probably impose Sharia law on Syria. Neither side is likely to be grateful for any aid we provide and both sides hate us and the West. As far as I can tell our only options are staying out of this conflict or, if we’re feeling especially cynical and Machiavellian, to keep the fighting going as long as possible.

And then there’s this from the Los Angeles Times.

Two years into a civil war that shows no signs of ending, the Obama administration is considering resettling refugees who have fled Syria, part of an international effort that could bring thousands of Syrians to American cities and towns.

A resettlement plan under discussion in Washington and other capitals is aimed at relieving pressure on Middle Eastern countries straining to support 1.6 million refugees, as well as assisting hard-hit Syrian families.

The State Department is “ready to consider the idea,” an official from the department said, if the administration receives a formal request from the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees, which is the usual procedure.

I don’t think this is a good idea either. Hasn’t the bombing of the Boston Marathon taught us anything about the wisdom of allowing refugees from war-torn Muslim countries? We really do not need to import more radicalized fanatics who hate us into this country. In fact, I would suggest, as a matter of policy, that no Western country accept Muslim immigrants under any condition and the Europeans should consider ways of evicting the immigrants who are slowly taking over their countries.

 

 

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Hobby Lobby

January 7, 2013

Here is a story that is becoming all too typical these days. I read about it at Breitbart.com.

In an authoritative and dynamic open letter written by David Green, the openly religious Christian CEO of Hobby Lobby, the arts and crafts company with 525 stores, Green indicts the Obama Administration for its war on religion and his company’s decision to file suit against the HHS mandate that discriminates against the religious.  Hobby Lobby is a remarkable company; it started as a miniature picture frames business located in Green’s garage in 1970, now has stores all across the nation, and carries no long-term debt.

English: Benito Mussolini and Fascist blackshi...

Our future?

Green, fed up with the HHS mandate that threatens the Christian way he does business, minced no words. The text of the letter follows:

When my family and I started our company 40 years ago, we were working out of a garage on a $600 bank loan, assembling miniature picture frames. Our first retail store wasn’t much bigger than most people’s living rooms, but we had faith that we would succeed if we lived and worked according to God‘s word. From there, Hobby Lobby has become one of the nation’s largest arts and crafts retailers, with more than 500 locations in 41 states. Our children grew up into fine business leaders, and today we run Hobby Lobby together, as a family.

We’re Christians, and we run our business on Christian principles. I’ve always said that the first two goals of our business are (1) to run our business in harmony with God’s laws, and (2) to focus on people more than money. And that’s what we’ve tried to do. We close early so our employees can see their families at night. We keep our stores closed on Sundays, one of the week’s biggest shopping days, so that our workers and their families can enjoy a day of rest. We believe that it is by God’s grace that Hobby Lobby has endured, and he has blessed us and our employees. We’ve not only added jobs in a weak economy, we’ve raised wages for the past four years in a row. Our full-time employees start at 80% above minimum wage.

Our government threatens to fine job creators in a bad economy. Our government threatens to fine a company that’s raised wages four years running. Our government threatens to fine a family for running its business according to its beliefs. It’s not right. I know people will say we ought to follow the rules; that it’s the same for everybody. But that’s not true. The government has exempted thousands of companies from this mandate, for reasons of convenience or cost. But it won’t exempt them for reasons of religious belief.

So, Hobby Lobby – and my family – are forced to make a choice. With great reluctance, we filed a lawsuit today, represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, asking a federal court to stop this mandate before it hurts our business. We don’t like to go running into court, but we no longer have a choice. We believe people are more important than the bottom line and that honoring God is more important than turning a profit.

My family has lived the American dream. We want to continue growing our company and providing great jobs for thousands of employees, but the government is going to make that much more difficult. The government is forcing us to choose between following our faith and following the law. I say that’s a choice no American – and no American business – should have to make.

Sincerely, David Green, CEO and Founder of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

The threats and bullying by the Obama Administration against those of religious faith continue apace. But those of us who honor faith know that we will fight back: the pendulum will surely turn.

Do you begin to see a pattern here? Businessmen who wish to run their businesses by Christian principles, whether it be Hobby Lobby, Chick-Fil-A or hospitals run by the Catholic Church, are being singled out for harassment because they hold their principles to be of greater importance than the dictates of the state. In other words, they are rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. Unfortunately, that is not good enough for our modern Caesars. They demand our sole loyalty and hate and detest anything that might come in the way; churches, businesses, families. It is bad enough that these people are entrepeneurs and do not rely on the state for direction. Now they insist on following their own conscience.

I think the following quotes will give a good idea what our Caesars are really after.

Against individualism, the Fascist conception is for the State; and it is for the individual in so far as he coincides with the State, which is the conscience and universal will of man in his historical existence. It is opposed to classical Liberalism, which arose from the necessity of reacting against absolutism, and which brought its historical purpose to an end when the State was transformed into the conscience and will of the people. Liberalism denied the State in the interests of the particular individual; Fascism reaffirms the State as the true reality of the individual. And if liberty is to be the attribute of the real man, and not of that abstract puppet envisaged by individualistic Liberalism, Fascism is for liberty. And for the only liberty which can be a real thing, the liberty of the State and of the individual within the State. Therefore, for the Fascist, everything is in the State, and nothing human or spiritual exists, much less has value,-outside the State. In this sense Fascism is totalitarian, and the Fascist State, the synthesis and unity of all values, interprets, develops and gives strength to the whole life of the people.

That was from Benito Mussolini. Here are a few from Lenin that seem appropriate for our time.

It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed.

The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.

The best way to destroy the capitalist system is to debauch the currency.

One man with a gun can control 100 without one.

I used to think that Obama was an incompetent fool. Now I realize that he knows exactly what he is doing.

Obama read his book

Obama read his book

 

Sacred Beliefs Here and There

May 3, 2012

Now that Newt Gingrich has suspended his campaign for president, I hope he will have more time to write and think about policies. I read his last column in Human Events and I am afraid that Newt simply does not understand the difference between sacred beliefs in Afghanistan and here in America and why those beliefs must be respected there but not here.

The Obama administration may have adopted a formula that will come back to haunt it.

In an effort to appease religious elements in Afghanistan it has established a standard that could become a major defeat for secular extremists here in America.

In response to Afghan outrage over the inadvertent Koran burnings by the U.S. Military in February, the Obama Defense Department created a mandatory training for military service members in the region. It is entitled, “Proper handling and disposal of Islamic Religious Materials: Service Members/Civilian Training.”

You can read the 11 slides in the briefing here.

The most fascinating slide is the last one. There the Obama administration asserts: “We will hold sacred the beliefs held sacred by others.”

Apparently to President Obama, the sacred beliefs of Islam in Afghanistan must be held sacred by the U.S. government, but Christianity in America is a nuisance to be reshaped by ObamaCare, the courts and the bureaucracy with no regard for its beliefs.

Americans are noticing. Consider this protest from a Catholic group as reported to me by my friend and co-author Bill Forstchen:

“Without doubt the most powerful ad, aimed straight at Catholics, to take a political stand based upon our most basic beliefs.  This one is incredible and you know I rarely forward such things.”

You can see the video here.

The ObamaCare war against religious liberty extends far beyond Catholics. As the president of Louisiana College, a Baptist college dedicated to right-to-life principles told me, “If Obamacare forces us to violate our religious beliefs we will close the college.”

Let’s challenge President Obama’s assertion that “We will hold sacred the beliefs held sacred by others”.

If we must hold sacred Korans being used by Afghan terrorists to pass messages back and forth, then certainly we can hold sacred religious symbols held sacred by law-abiding Americans here in the United States. We can put back up the crosses and the Ten Commandments courts have forced us to take down—right?

If President Obama doesn’t object to Afghan children praying five times a day in school (he cited his own childhood memories of studying the Koran at school in Indonesia and hearing the call to prayer), why isn’t he open to allowing American school children to pray once a day, if they choose?

By its own words the Obama administration has set the test for defining itself.

Is Obama prepared to “hold sacred the beliefs held sacred by others” if those others are Americans?

Congress should put President Obama to the test and him to his new rule—first by passing legislation overriding the Health and Human Services Mandate that was an overt attack on the Catholic Church.

Silly Newt. There is a very good reason that religious beliefs in Afghanistan must be respected while in America we are free to disparage and ridicule them. You see Christians don’t usually blow people up when they are disrespected. Moslems have been known to do that.

An Ally No More

December 10, 2011

Caroline Glick does not feel that Israel can consider the US an ally any more. I wouldn’t go quite as far as that since there is still a lot of pro-Israel sentiment here, but it is clear that Obama is no friend of Israel. It is far less clear just what, if anything, he is trying to accomplish in the Middle East, beyond blindly supporting our enemies and undermining our allies. She makes a good case and I urge you to read the whole column on the Obama administration’s attacks on Israel. My favorite part would have to be this.

The same Secretary of State that has heralded negotiations with the violent, fanatical misogynists of the Taliban; who has extolled Saudi Arabia where women are given ten lashes for driving, and whose State Department trained female-hating Muslim Brotherhood operatives in the lead-up to the current elections in Egypt accused Israel of repressing women’s rights. The only state in the region where women are given full rights and legal protections became the focus of Clinton’s righteous feminist wrath.
In the IDF, as in the rest of the country, religious coercion is forbidden. Jewish law prohibits men from listening to women’s voices in song. And recently, when a group of religious soldiers were presented with an IDF band that featured female vocalists, keeping faith with their Orthodox observance, they walked out of the auditorium. The vocalists were not barred from singing. They were not mistreated. They were simply not listened to.
And as far as Clinton is concerned, this is proof that women in Israel are under attack. Barred by law from forcing their soldiers to spurn their religious obligations, IDF commanders were guilty of crimes against democracy for allowing the troops to exit the hall.
Now, think about this for a minute. This is a part of the world in which women are expected to walk around in mobile tents, but Hilary Clinton can only criticize Israel’s lack of progress. Oh, there’s more.
Panetta excoriated Israel for not being involved in negotiations with the Palestinians. Israel, he said must make new concessions to the Palestinians in order to convince them of its good faith. If Israel makes such gestures, and the Palestinians and the larger Islamic world spurn them, then Panetta and his friends will side with Israel, he said.
Panetta failed to notice that Israel has already made repeated, unprecedented concessions to the Palestinians and that the Palestinians have pocketed those concessions and refused to negotiate. And he failed to notice that in response to the repeated spurning of its concessions by the Palestinians and the Arab world writ large, rather than stand with Israel, the US and Europe expanded their demands for further Israeli concessions.
Panetta demanded that Israel make renewed gestures as well to appease the Egyptians, Turks and Jordanians. He failed to notice that it was Turkey’s Islamist government, not Israel, that took a knife to the Turkish-Israeli strategic alliance.
Now, maybe I don’t know very much about international relations or diplomacy, but it seems very odd to me to expect someone to make concessions to people that have repeatedly made it clear that they want to destroy them. Maybe if Israel is really, really nice the Palestinians will agree to kill only half the Jews.
There are two possible explanations for this state of affairs – and they are not mutually exclusive. It is possible that the Obama administration is an ideological echo chamber in which only certain positions are permitted. This prospect is likely given the White House’s repeated directives prohibiting government officials from using terms like “jihad,” “Islamic terrorism,” “Islamist,” and “jihadist,” to describe jihad, Islamic terrorism, Islamists and jihadists.
Restrained by ideological thought police that outlaw critical thought about the dominant forces in the Islamic world today, US officials have little choice but to place all the blame for everything that goes wrong on the one society they are free to criticize – Israel.
The second possible explanation for the administration’s treatment of Israel is that it is permeated by anti-Semitism. The outsized responsibility and culpability placed on Israel by the likes of Obama, Clinton, Panetta and Gutman is certainly of a piece with classical anti-Semitic behavior.
I can think of at least one more reason, that does not exclude the two Glick gives. How about abject stupidity and cluelessness on the part of the President and nearly everyone in his administration?
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Attckwatch Defunct

September 25, 2011

I didn’t think that the latest effort by the Obama administration to fight the smears would last very long and it seems that I was right. Jim Garaghty notes that the attackwatch site has been dormant since September 12.

The creators and managers of the Obama campaign web site “ATTACK WATCH” have not Tweeted since September 14, and the last “Attack File” was posted September 12. Perhaps they realized that they couldn’t top themselves after making Mark Steyn look sinister and demonic.

Yup, cleared the shark easily.

By ceasing to do any work, the “Attack Watch” team has now joined the ranks of 14 million other Americans under Obama’s economic policies.

I guess it’s back to the drawing board for the people at Obama for America.

 

 

Will o’ the Wisp

May 19, 2011

If you go out into a swamp at night, you might see a strange flickering light, in the distance, the will o’ the wisp. This light recedes if approached, and according to folklore, if you follow it, it will lead you to the deepest parts of the swamp and leave you stuck in a quagmire.

U. S. Presidents have followed the will o’ the wisp, since at least Nixon. Each president has followed the ghostly light and wound up stuck in the mud. The reason for this is quite simple. In order to have peace, both sides must want peace, and the Muslims do not want a peace that includes the continued existence of Israel.

Now, Obama has decided to go into the swamp, in a particularly foolish and amateurish way. He has essentially taken the Palestinians’ side and demanded that Israel withdraw to its borders of 1967.

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is endorsing the Palestinians’ demand for their future state to be based on the borders that existed before the 1967 Middle East war, in a move that will likely infuriate Israel. Israel says the borders of a Palestinian state have to be determined through negotiations.

In a speech outlining U.S. policy in the Middle East and North Africa, Obama on Thursday sided with the Palestinians’ opening position a day ahead of a visit to Washington by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

This is not going to work. Whatever anyone may think of the Arab-Israeli situation, the fact of the matter is that Israel will not withdraw to borders it considers indefensible, without some guarantee that the Palestinians will refrain from further attacks. Since the Palestinian leadership has repeatedly shown that they cannot be trusted to keep their word, there is just no way Israel can or will withdraw back to the 1967 borders, and no amount of bullying from the Obama administration can make them.

Also, by endorsing the Palestinians demands, he has placed the Palestinians in a bad position. They can’t back down or accept less than their first demands, even if they were interested in making concessions. I’m afraid Obama will be lost in the swamp now.


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