Archive for May, 2011
31 May 2011

This Memorial Day and the War in Iraq

, , , , , , , , ,

Walter Russell Mead thinks the American intellectual establishment ought to have taken the occasion of this year’s Memorial Day to face the truth and applaud the victory delivered by American servicemen in the face of their own betrayal.

The story of Iraq has yet to be told. It is too politically sensitive for the intelligentsia to handle just yet; passions need to cool before the professors and the pundits who worked themselves into paroxysms of hatred and disdain for the Bush administration can come to grips with how wrongheaded they’ve been. It took decades for the intelligentsia to face the possibility that the cretinous Reagan-monster might have, um, helped win the Cold War, and even now they haven’t asked themselves any tough questions about the Left’s blind hatred of the man who did more than any other human being to save the world from nuclear war.

It may take that long for the truth about the war in Iraq to dawn, but dawn it will. America’s victory in Iraq broke the back of Al-Qaeda and left Osama bin Laden’s dream in ruins. He died a defeated fanatic in his Abbotabad hideaway; his dream was crushed in the Mesopotamian flatlands where he swore it would win.

Osama’s goal was to launch the Clash of Civilizations against the West. He would be Captain Islam, fighting against the Crusader-in-Chief George W. Bush. By his purity, wisdom, daring and above all by his special knowledge of the hidden ways of God, Captain Islam would crush and humiliate the evil Bush-fiend and unite the Muslim world behind the Truth. Osama would complete at a spiritual level the mission his father undertook on the physical plane. His father’s construction company rebuilt and modernized the ancient holy city of Mecca; Osama would rebuild and restore the entire Muslim world.

The 9/11 attacks propelled Osama to the historical height he sought: in the minds of many he had become a caliph-in-waiting, the fierce servant of God whose claims to leadership were vindicated by the dramatic success of his plans. Angry young people across the Islamic world, frustrated by a host of frustrations and privations, wondered if this was the charismatic, God-aided figure who would overturn the world order and lead Islam to its old place on the commanding heights of the world.

9/11 was the trumpet, Iraq was the test. The US invaded an Arab country, overthrew its government, and found itself condemned to the hardest task in international politics: nation building under hostile fire. More, the US had taken a country run by its Sunni minority and put power into the hands of an inexperienced and fractious Shi’a majority. Then the US occupation began to fail: the government institutions fell apart, there was no security in country or in town, the economy went into free fall, and basic services like electricity and health failed across the land. The provocations were serious and real; the Americans were clumsy and awkward. US checkpoints and raids were humiliating and degrading; the scalding Abu Ghraib scandal was a propagandist’s dream come true. The ham-handed diplomacy and tongue-tied defense of American policy from Washington created a sense of rising, unstoppable global opposition to Bush’s War. …

For roughly three years America writhed in the toils of our predicament in Iraq. The Democratic establishment had supported the war. Some leading Democrats did so out of conviction, some out of a political calculation that no other stand was viable in the post 9/11 atmosphere. Now the grand panjandrums of the Democratic Party, one after another, made their pilgrimage to Canossa. Some came to believe and perhaps more came to say that the war was lost and that their original backing for it had been a mistake.

Well do I remember the many impassioned statements in those dark years by leading politicians and pundits that the war was lost, lost, irretrievably lost. It was over now, they wailed on television and in print. The Iraqi government was a farce and could never take hold. These clowns made Diem look like Charles de Gaulle. We had no option but to get out as quickly as possible. On and on rolled the great choir of doom, smarter than the rest of us, deeper thinkers, capable of holding more complex thoughts behind their furrowed brows.

Now they have glibly moved on to other subjects; the mostly complicit media is helping us all to forget just how wrong — and how intolerant and moralistic — so many people were about the ‘lost’ war.

While the politicians washed their hands and hung up white flags, and while the press lords gibbered and foamed, the brass kept their heads and the troops stood tall. And gradually, a miracle happened. America started winning the war.

The French scholar Gilles Kepel, no friend of the war in Iraq and no admirer of George Bush, makes the core point. Osama’s dream was to shift history into the realm of myth. He passionately believed that the ordinary course of mundane history wasn’t what really mattered: there was a divine and a miraculous history just behind the veil. Osama aimed to pierce the veil, to bring hundreds of millions of Muslims into his reality, transfixed and transported by the vision of a climactic fight of good against evil, of God against America and its local allies.

That dream died in Iraq.

But on this Memorial Day it is not enough to remember, and give thanks, that Osama’s dream died before he did and that the terror movement has been gravely wounded at its heart.

Because the dream didn’t just die.

It was killed. ..

All wars are tragic; some are also victorious. The tragedies of Iraq are real and well known. The victory is equally real — but the politically fastidious don’t want to look. The minimum we owe our lost and wounded warriors is to tell the story of what they so gloriously achieved.

On ths Memorial Day, a truth needs to be told.

We have not yet done justice to our dead.

Read the whole thing.

31 May 2011

Sealed Tunnel Discovered Under Teotihuacan Temple

, ,


Temple of Quetzacoatl

Daily Mail reports that archaeologists using radar discovered a 120 m. (or 130 yard) long tunnel beginning under the Temple of the Feathered Serpent in the ancient pre-Mexican city of Teotihuacan apparently sealed roughly 1800 years ago. The tunnel leads to three chambers likely to be burial vaults of some of the city’s former rulers.

city map

31 May 2011

State Stereotypes in Two Minutes

, ,

30 May 2011

Memorial Day 2011

,


WWII Victory Medal

All of my grandparents’ sons and one daughter, now all departed, served.

Joseph Zincavage (1907-1998) Navy
(No wartime photograph available)


William Zincavage (1914-1997) Marine Corps


Edward Zincavage (1917-2002) Marine Corps


Eleanor Zincavage Cichetti (1922-2003) Marine Corps

28 May 2011

Attending Virginia Foxhound Show

, ,

Blogging will be late to non-existent on Sunday. We’ll be attending the Virginia Foxhound Show at Morven Park all day.

last year’s show

28 May 2011

Norway: All Rapes During Last 5 Years Committed By Muslims

, , ,

And Pam Geller reports that Norwegians have been prosecuted by the authorities for alleged racism for discussing Islamic violence against women in private conversations.

28 May 2011

Palin is Running

,

Byron York quotes political professionals who are sure that Sarah Palin isn’t really running.

The bottom line is Sarah Palin is not going to run for president,” says a Republican adviser close to front-runner Mitt Romney. “She’s making money, she’s moved on, she’s kind of an entertainer rather than a politician. She still has some sway with the grass roots, but she is not going to run.”

“I don’t think she’s going to run,” says a Republican close to Tim Pawlenty. “She has faded a lot in the last few months. I look at what she’s doing now and say that she’s found a way to get back in the story.”

Maybe these representatives of rival campaigns are just spinning. But the fact is, some of the most serious people in the 2012 Republican race don’t believe Palin will run. While the press looks at the former Alaska governor’s publicity operation, political pros look at her campaign operation, or, more accurately, her lack of a campaign operation.

“Watch what she has done,” says the Republican close to Romney. “Has she contacted one major donor across the country about putting together an organization? Has she talked to one member of the Republican National Committee about working for a campaign, or one governor, or one former governor about working for a campaign? The answer is no.”

————————

I think her impending bus tour and soon-to-be-released biopic provide strong counter-evidence.

And, as Rodger notes, Palin running will polarize the race and intensify the debate, and those are good things.

I do know not all of you share my enthusiasm for a Palin presidential campaign. But you should be happy as hell that she’ll try, for this reason.

Win or lose, Sarah Palin will define the issues that the 2012 election will hinge on. What the GOP is offering as we speak are the traditional clusterfluck of b-s artists and, you know, McCains. Yeah, a few, well maybe just one, Herman Cain, can electrify a room, but the rest are yawners. Sarah Palin will come out swinging; talking stuff that milquetoasts would never hazard. She, better than any of them, will operate in the firestorm of media hostility with no flapping. Sarah Palin will ignite things. It may be that the GOP still has enough punch left to knock her out, or the anticipated multi-billion dollar (in kind) media attack campaign will succeed, but the man left standing will have embraced her ideas. And that’s a good thing.

Sarah Palin would not be my first choice for GOP nominee.

I think she would have the disadvantage as a candidate of actually helping Obama by intensively mobilizing the community of fashion to come out against her and turning the election into a class warfare contest in which a certain kind of aspirational person would vote against Sarah Palin simply as a way of affirming his class identity.

Her past performances have been sufficiently uneven that the prospect of the Alaskan equivalent of a cockney flower girl attempting to debate the glib Obama is not something one necessarily looks forward to with comfort and assurance.

Yet… Sarah Palin has definite star power, and more importantly she has genuine conservative principles, and she has also distinguished herself by simply refusing to be crushed or dismissed by the most determined efforts of the establishment media. Palin has guts, and as Marine Corps sergeants are wont to observe, guts can be enough. She may quite possibly be able to pull it off.

Palin may not be my first choice for GOP nominee, but I’m not worried about my class credentials. I can vote for her.

27 May 2011

Train Meets Tornado

, , ,

The location is not identified for this rearview camera mounted on the locomotive footage. Watch the trees.

Hat tip to Vanderleun.

26 May 2011

Obama Takes Another Ride in the Clown Car

, , , , ,

Walter Russell Mead rants brilliantly on the subject of Barack Obama’s singular ineptitude at framing American Middle Eastern policy: “As so often in the past, but catastrophically this time, he found the “sour spot”: the position that angers everyone and pleases none.”

I had never thought there were many similarities between the pleasure-loving Charles II of England and the more upright Barack Obama until this week. Listening to his speeches on the Middle East at the State Department, US-Israel relations at the AIPAC annual meeting and most recently his address to the British Parliament the comparison becomes irresistible.

“Here lies our sovereign king,” wrote the Earl of Rochester about King Charles:

Whose word no man relies on.
Who never said a foolish thing
Or ever did a wise one.

This seems to capture President Obama’s Middle East problems in a nutshell. The President’s descriptions of the situation are comprehensive and urbane. He correctly identifies the forces at work. He develops interesting policy ideas and approaches that address important political and moral elements of the complex problems we face. He crafts approaches that might, with good will and deft management, bridge the gaps between the sides. He reads thoughtful speeches full of sensible reflections.

But the last few weeks have cast him as the least competent manager of America’s Middle East diplomatic portfolio in a very long time. He has infuriated and frustrated long term friends, but made no headway in reconciling enemies. He has strained our ties with the established regimes without winning new friends on the Arab Street. He has committed our forces in the strategically irrelevant backwater of Libya not, as he originally told us, for “days, not weeks” but for months not days.

Where he has failed so dramatically is in the arena he himself has so frequently identified as vital: the search for peace between Palestinians and Israelis. His record of grotesque, humiliating and total diplomatic failure in his dealings with Prime Minister Netanyahu has few parallels in American history. Three times he has gone up against Netanyahu; three times he has ingloriously failed. This last defeat — Netanyahu’s deadly, devastating speech to Congress in which he eviscerated President Obama’s foreign policy to prolonged and repeated standing ovations by members of both parties — may have been the single most stunning and effective public rebuke to an American President a foreign leader has ever delivered.

Netanyahu beat Obama like a red-headed stepchild; he played him like a fiddle; he pounded him like a big brass drum. The Prime Minister of Israel danced rings around his arrogant, professorial opponent. It was like watching the Harlem Globetrotters go up against the junior squad from Miss Porter’s School; like watching Harvard play Texas A&M, like watching Bambi meet Godzilla — or Bill Clinton run against Bob Dole.

Read the whole thing.

26 May 2011

Iowahawk Identifies Obama’s Toughest Re-Election Opponent

, , ,

25 May 2011

Russlynn Ali and Title IX

, , , , , ,


Russlynn Haneefa Ali, Assistant Secretary of Education

NPR rejoices in the occupancy of the Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights by Russlynn Haneefa Ali, a first generation American, raised by a single mother from Trinidad, who is thoroughly committed to a philosophy that holds that inequality of results is immoral and intolerable and requires vigorous correction through an aggressive agenda of coercive federal social engineering.

Russlynn Ali, the youthful, curly-haired assistant secretary of the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, oversees the enforcement of all anti-discrimination laws related to education. With broad jurisdiction that includes admissions and recruitment, student discipline, as well as classroom assignment and grading, she investigates schools and districts nationwide to ensure equitable conduct across race, gender, national origin and disability.

It’s the same perch once occupied in 1982 by conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. But over the past two years Ali, 40, has elevated the office’s work to new heights.

While previous OCR leaders have relied on filed complaints to launch probes, Ali has proactively opened 60 investigations based on the agency’s own research. That’s in addition to nearly 7,000 complaints recorded last year, the most in Education Department history. Of the thousands of cases handled in the first year under the Obama administration, resolution agreements increased by 11 percent. Voluntary resolutions, in which schools made sufficient changes without additional prodding, jumped 32 percent.

“My sense of urgency could not be greater,” Ali says in her raspy voice, punctuating each word with insistent hand motions over her office’s mahogany conference table. “We’re talking about questions of fundamental fairness.”

—————————————————-

Here is a video of Russlynn Ali addressing the Sankofa Project on gender equity and Title IX.

Ms. Ali describes the 1972 passage the 36-word Title IX amendment as “one of the most effective and profound Civil Rights laws in American History… One of the greatest Civil Rights accomplishments of the last 30 years. ”

“There’s been a great slippage in Title IX… We came so far from 1972 to 1980, then we started slipping. Then we picked back up in the early ’90s, but then by 2000 we started slipping badly… And I made a commitment… I promise you no more slippage. Not while Barack Obama is President of the United States, and not while Arne Duncan is Secretary of Education, and not while Russlynn Ali is the Assistant Secretary of Education.”

The Yale DKE business represents Russlynn Ali’s attempt to revive Title IX aggression on the liberties of Americans and the autonomy of American colleges and universities in the name of radical egalitarianism.

25 May 2011

Yale’s DKE Fraternity: Only a Canary in the National Coal Mine

, , , , , , , , ,

null
Yale University

Caroline May, at the Daily Caller, quoted several opinions: those of Doug Lanpher, the executive director of the national DKE organization; Amy Siskind, president and co-founder of the feminist New Agenda; Robert Shipley, senior vice president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE); and Hans Bader, Counsel for Special Projects at the Competitive Enterprise Institute on the peculiar action of the Yale University Administration in awarding new sanctions (banning the fraternity Delta Kappa Epsilon from the Yale campus for five years) in May in connection with a controversial initiation ritual last October. Despite denials by an obviously mendacious university spokesman, all agreed that Yale was acting in specific response to federal pressure.

So, why is the Federal government’s Department of Education twisting the arm of Mother Yale to beat up on DKE for a frankly sophomoric minor incident?

It seems that DKE was deliberately selected to serve as an example to demonstrate the renewed advance of Title IX federal enforcement, a key element of coercive social engineering fundamental to the strategic agenda of the democrat party’s radical leftwing base.

The complaint about an atmosphere at Yale allegedly hostile to ladies conveniently materialized early last month, from a small group representing in a Yale context the same strategic agenda at precisely the same time when the Obama Administration’s Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights, Russlynn Haneefa Ali, issued a “Dear Colleague” letter to essentially every college and university in the land, declaring a federal witch hunt against “sexual harassment” to be underway, defining sexual harassment in the broadest possible terms to include “verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct” in any fashion connected with sex which is “unwelcome” to someone or anyone, and asserting that harassing conduct in general may create “a hostile environment” anytime the conduct is deemed “sufficiently serious” as to interfere with some student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the school’s program.

Instances of witchcraft presumably would be similarly worthy of federal intervention if someone engaged in verbal, nonverbal, or physical magic unwelcome to the alleged victim which created a hostile environment or interfered with a student’s studies.

Universities are not currently obligated to abjure witchcraft, to hire a particular person to receive complaints from persons claiming to have been hexed, and they are not federally required to conduct judicial inquiries into witchcraft complaints or to entertain spectral evidence, but Russlynn Ali’s Dear Colleague letter did decree that, in cases of sexual harassment, the federal government intends to require an official witch-hunter and an entire set of judicial apparatus and procedures be created, complete with victim counseling and support services. Additionally, universities are going to have to keep elaborate sets of records and keep Big Sister intimately informed about how many witches (Excuse me! sexual harassers) they have caught and punished and all the things they are doing to suppress heresy (Excuse me! sexual harassment).

25 May 2011

Governing the Chicago Way

, , , , , , , , ,

Michael Barone cites 1,372 waivers from Obamacare, the NLRB’s intervention to prevent Boeing building an assembly plant in South Carolina, and an innovative attempt by the IRS to apply gift taxes to certain 501(c)(4) organizations guilty of supporting Republican candidates.

Punishing enemies and rewarding friends — politics Chicago style — seems to be the unifying principle that helps explain the Obamacare waivers, the NLRB action against Boeing and the IRS’ gift-tax assault on 501(c)(4) donors.

They look like examples of crony capitalism, bailout favoritism and gangster government.

One thing they don’t look like is the rule of law.

—————————————

Warner Todd Huston finds the same “Chicago Way” of doing things applies also to White House press pool access.

The Boston Herald recently found itself excluded from the press pool covering presidential visits. The Herald angrily reported finding out the reason for the ban.

The White House Press Office yesterday refused to address its policy on choosing local reporters for pool coverage, after the Herald was denied full access to the president’s Boston visit this week in part because the administration didn’t like the newspaper’s coverage. A press staffer’s e-mails cited a Mitt Romney op-ed that ran March 8 on the front page, challenging Obama’s policies the same day the president came to town for a fund-raiser.

24 May 2011

Le Mot Juste

, ,

The Daily Mail reports that the British police have chosen a bit of Punjabi slang from the Imperial attic to be used as the code word for the American president during his state visit.

More than one person has wanted to call Barack Obama a ‘smart alec’, and now British police will get the chance to do so without getting reprimanded.

That’s because Scotland Yard has tapped the codename ‘Chalaque’ to refer to the U.S. president for security reasons during his upcoming state visit to the United Kingdom May 24-26.

Indarjit Singh, a Punjabi speaker in the UK who is director of the Network of Sikh Organisations, told the Sunday Times the word ‘is sometimes used when we want to denigrate someone who we think is too clever for their own good’.

Another Punjabi speaker told the paper the word Chalaque is ‘not considered rude’, but could be ‘mildly offensive’.

It is also said to mean ‘cheeky, crafty and cunning’.

Your are browsing
the Archives of Never Yet Melted for May 2011.















Feeds
Entries (RSS)
Comments (RSS)
Feed Shark