Current Articles of Interest

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Gorby In, Garbage Out

If this doesn't open your eyes up to what is going on, Nothing will!!


Mention the name Mikhail Gorbachev to anyone under 35 or so, and you'll likely draw a blank look. Even those old enough to remember Gorbachev may be astonished to learn that he is still alive. Yet although history's second and subsequent drafts have relegated him to a supporting role, the first draft--that is, the journalism of the 1980s--mistook him for the lead character. In 1989 Time magazine named Gorbachev, not Ronald Reagan (or Margaret Thatcher or Lech Walesa or Pope John Paul II), "man of the decade."
But Gorbachev's name came up earlier this week in an odd context, an Associated Press "analysis" by Steven R. Hurst of President Obama's foreign policy:
President Barack Obama has gone abroad and gored an ox--the deeply held belief that the United States does not make mistakes in dealings with either friends or foes.
And in the process, he's taking a huge gamble both at home and abroad, for a payoff that could be a long time coming, if ever. . . .
While historic analogies are never perfect, Obama's stark efforts to change the U.S. image abroad are reminiscent of the stunning realignments sought by former Soviet leader Michael Gorbachev. During his short--by Soviet standards--tenure, he scrambled incessantly to shed the ideological entanglements that were leading the communist empire toward ruin.
There are lots of problems with Hurst's analysis, one of which is that the "belief that the United States does not make mistakes" is not an ox but a straw man, as Hurst himself implicitly acknowledges:
Critics, especially those deeply attached to the foreign policy course of the past 50-plus years, see a president whose lofty ideals expose the country to a dangerous probing of U.S. weakness, of an unseemly readiness to admit past mistakes, of a willingness to talk with unpleasant opponents.
In other words, the people who supposedly believe that the U.S. does not make mistakes are arguing that the U.S., right now, is making a big mistake!

The Obama-Gorbachev comparison is what really got our attention, though. There is a striking parallel between the two men, in that both have drawn adoring coverage from the media. But what makes Gorbachev an interesting figure is also what makes him a relatively minor one: He was consequential because he was passive.

Gorbachev did not succeed in bringing down the Soviet empire. He failed at saving it. History is replete with circumstances in which evil triumphed because well-intentioned statesmen failed to act effectively. In this case, freedom triumphed because an ill-intentioned statesman failed to act effectively.

Gorbachev was a communist who presided over the disintegration of the country he had been chosen to lead. There are those who say the same thing about Obama, but most of them are right-wing nuts.

DHS Chief Napolitano: Illegal Immigration Is Not a Crime


By: Jim Meyers

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano stunned many listeners during an appearance on CNN when she asserted that illegal immigration is really not a crime.

In an interview with CNN’s John King last week, Napolitano discussed Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz., a strict enforcer of immigration laws who says he wants illegal aliens to be prosecuted and jailed.

King said: “A lot of Democrats in Congress want you to investigate him. They think he is over the line. He says he is just enforcing the law and the problem is the federal government.”

Napolitano responded: “Sheriff Joe … knows that there aren’t enough law enforcement officers, courtrooms or jail cells in the world to do what he is saying.

“What we have to do is target the real evil-doers in this business, the employers who consistently hire illegal labor, the human traffickers who are exploiting human misery.

“And yes, when we find illegal workers, yes, appropriate action, some of which is criminal, most of that is civil, because crossing the border is not a crime per se. It is civil. But anyway, going after those as well.”

The fact is, crossing the border without authorization is a crime. The statute reads: “Any alien who enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers . . . shall, for the first commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both.”

CIA Confirms: Waterboarding 9/11 Mastermind Led to Info that Aborted 9/11-Style Attack on Los Angeles

Tuesday, April 21, 2009
By Terence P. Jeffrey, Editor-in-Chief

( - The Central Intelligence Agency told today that it stands by the assertion made in a May 30, 2005 Justice Department memo that the use of “enhanced techniques” of interrogation on al Qaeda leader Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM) -- including the use of waterboarding -- caused KSM to reveal information that allowed the U.S. government to thwart a planned attack on Los Angeles.

Before he was waterboarded, when KSM was asked about planned attacks on the United States, he ominously told his CIA interrogators, “Soon, you will know.”

According to the previously classified May 30, 2005 Justice Department memo that was released by President Barack Obama last week, the thwarted attack -- which KSM called the “Second Wave”-- planned “ ‘to use East Asian operatives to crash a hijacked airliner into’ a building in Los Angeles.” (Full Story at

No wheeling or dealing when it comes to killing

Kudos to Carl Olson at Ignatius Insight

The New York Times ponders the fight and focus of the President:
Mr. Obama has not conceded on any major priority. His advisers argue that the concessions to date — on budget items, for instance — are intended to help win the bigger policy fights ahead. But his early willingness to deal or fold has left commentators, and some loyal Democrats, wondering: where’s the fight?
“The thing we still don’t know about him is what he is willing to fight for,” said Leonard Burman, an economist at the Urban Institute and a Treasury Department official in the Clinton administration. “The thing I worry about is that he likes giving good speeches, he likes the adulation and he likes to make people happy.”
So far, he said, “It’s hard to think of a place where he’s taken a really hard position.”

It's not hard at all. Here's a clue: it begins with an "a" and end with murder. It just happens to be the one issue on which Obama has always taken a really hard position. But perhaps that is simply a given for Mr. Burman...