Archive for John Kerry

Where Have I Heard This Before?

This:

“We have no interest in seeing Russia weakened or its economy in shambles. We have a profound interest, as I believe every country does, in promoting a core principle, which is: Large countries don’t bully smaller countries,” Obama told reporters.

Really? Because the opposite appears to be true.

It sounds an awful lot like this:

“It’s really 19th century behavior in the 21st century,” Kerry said. “You just don’t invade another country on phony pretexts in order to assert your interests.”

That was almost a year ago. What’s changed? I love the sanctions, and the oil price plummet has squeezed Putin by his rubles, but if our leaders really believe their striped-pant rhetoric, dasvidaniya Ukraine.

His visit comes a day after city officials in Mariupol, Ukraine, said shelling in southeastern Ukraine killed at least 30 people, including two children.

Another 102 people were injured, at least 75 of whom needed hospital treatment, and many suffered shrapnel injuries, Mariupol City Council said.

Pro-Russian separatists are blamed for the attack on residential areas in the port city, Donetsk regional police chief Vyacheslav Abroskin said on his Facebook page.

PS: And don’t think Iran hasn’t taken notice.

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John Kerry’s Joke

Not a “botched” one either!

Addressing the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland today, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said, “the biggest error that we could make would be to blame Muslims collectively for crimes not committed by Muslims alone.” Kerry said we are increasingly fighting back, “but in doing so we also have to keep our heads.”

Oh, John, you wag you!

On second thought, maybe I used the wrong punctuation in the title. A colon rather than an apostrophe would have been more appropriate.

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I’ll See Your Mark Steyn…

And raise you a Kevin Williamson:

Let us call the roll of national badasses: the 75th Ranger Regiment, USMC Force Reconnaissance, the SEALS, Delta Force . . . James Taylor?

What sort of warriors does a weary nation facing a savage enemy turn to? “The Quiet Professionals,” “Semper Fidelis,” “Death from Above” . . .

“A Churning Urn of Burning Funk.”

The spectacle of the Obama administration’s dispatching Secretary of State John Kerry to “share a big hug with Paris” as James Taylor — who still exists — crooned “You’ve Got a Friend” is the perfect objective correlative for American decline: The pathetic self-regard of John Kerry and James Taylor’s Baby Boomers meets the cynical, self-serving, going-through-the-motions style of Barack Obama’s Generation X as disenchanted Millennials in parental basements across the fruited plains no doubt injured their thumbs typing “WTF?” It is the substitution of celebrity for power, of sentiment for analysis, of sloppy gesture for clear-headed commitment.

We’re responding to barbarism from the 7th century with soft rock from the 1970s.

It’s not about James Taylor, as past his sell-by date as he is. It’s about John Kerry. It’s about Barack Obama. It’s about what used to be the United States of America.

Does a policeman arrive at the scene of a gangland murder (late, after first sending a crossing guard) with a troubadour and a “big hug” for the victims, spouting liberal pieties that while these may be gangland murders, they are the crimes of no particular gang? Maybe in today’s America they do.

When it comes to jihad, there are no obvious solutions, but there are some obvious non-solutions, and an impromptu James Taylor concert surely is one of them.

Williamson’s solution:

Seriously: If you’re going to send a past-its-prime musical act to an ally in distress — instead of showing up to join the rest of the heads of state in a show of solidarity — then send in the wild boys from Huntington Park, Calif., who are, like the last effective foreign policy maintained by this country, born of the 1980s. James Taylor tells France, “You’ve got a friend.” Slayer tells the world, “You’ve got a problem.” And there’s something in the Slayer catalog for everybody: “Jihad” for the most literal-minded; “Evil Has No Boundaries,” a sentiment that social conservatives could surely endorse; “War Ensemble” for the neocons; and President John Bolton’s agenda for his first 100 days in office: “Raining Blood.” (“Endless war?” President Bolton scoffs. “Try three weeks.”) If you find yourself in a fight, you want to know that you’ve got a friend. But do you really want that friend to be James Taylor?

He suggests Metal, but I wonder if another genre might not be more juste?

Islamist terrorists, meet Neo-Nazis. You two should hit it off. Or just hit.

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Oh No He Di-unt!

Someone please tell we we are not being led by such a team of imbeciles. Someone? Anyone? Hello…hello?

After the administration’s noticeable lack of presence in post-attack Paris events, Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in France this week, bringing with him a “big hug” and a serenade from soft rock singer James Taylor.

Kerry is the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Paris after Islamist terror attacks left 17 people dead, not including the 3 gunmen killed in police raids. He met Friday morning with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and French President Francois Hollande “to share a big hug with Paris.”

Later in the day, Kerry attended a ceremony with Taylor in tow, who broke out the guitar and played his 1971 hit “You’ve Got a Friend” for all in attendance.

First of all, “You’ve Got a Friend” was written by Carole King, so I don’t know why Kerry left her at home.

Second of all, the lyrics go:

Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I’ll be there

But as photographic evidence clearly demonstrates, we weren’t there, or anywhere near:

I had a few issues with Bush’s Secretaries of State, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice (insufficient support for Israel), but my God, they are towering statespersons compared to Obama’s dunces:

Today, for the first time in my adult life, I am embarrassed to be an American.

PS: Maybe Kerry said he’s bring a “big lug” instead of a “big hug”. His French isn’t as good as he thinks it is.

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#bringbackourcartoonists

Mark Steyn beheads the preening, narcissistic media over the Charlie Hebdo murders:

Yes, the media feels the wrath of his tongue-lashing, but it’s the shots at John Kerry and Barack Obama that have me shouting “Steynu Akbar!”

He quotes Kerry’s stony-faced reaction: “John Kerry today said that this was a battle between civilization and, pregnant pause, the forces that are opposed to civilization,” he said. Alas, Kerry never named those forces. Our leaders may be as sensitive and politically correct as they like, but if they do not recognize that public enemy number one wears a beard and a turban (though he hates to have his picture taken), they are doing us more harm than good.

And if that ain’t clear enough for you: “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam,” President Obama said, most improbably.

Steyn’s reaction (and I paraphrase): technically, you can’t slander someone who died in the 7th century.

To which I add, also technically, Charlie Hebdo libeled—if they even did that, as truth is an absolute defense—not slandered, the prophet of Islam.

Slander and libel are offenses dealt with in court. The Charlie Hebdo killers, and Theo van Gogh’s killer, those who tried to hunt down Salman Rushdie, those whom Ayaan Hirsi Ali fears to this day—and countless legions of other murderers in the name of Muhammad—do not pursue legal remedies. Their grievances are not judicial in nature. Those who slander, libel, insult, slight, look cross-eyed at the prophet of Islam, are dealt by another form of justice, via the knife, the gun, the RPG, the 747.

I have no quarrel with the prophet of Islam. Seriously, I don’t. And I write that not out of fear, but out of ignorance. There are well over a billion Muslims—and a fair number of others—who know him better than I. Let them debate. Some of the more lurid stories (pick your own) I put down to local customs of the times. Child brides and slavery were once more common than they are now. Feigning shock at their existence over a millennium ago bores me, as long as we agree there’s no place for them today.

Just as there’s no place for smiting the infidel today. It is those who smite with whom I/we have a problem. Stop smiting and no one gets hurt. But as I write yesterday, the smiting comes last. There’s usually a long line of offenses, most criminal, that come before, and give us a good indication of where this is going. The earliest—the first wing pulled off the fly, the first tormented puppy—is often pure, distilled Jew-hatred. You may think it’s a long way from “descendant of apes and pigs” to “Allahu Akbar” and a hail of bullets, but there are those who know a shortcut. Charlie Hebdo might well still be an unappreciated satirical magazine (the best kind of satirical magazine), Private Eye with accents graves, rather than lying in their graves, if lesser offenses had been more greatly punished.

As I also wrote yesterday, these guys probably had a record (check), were probably home grown (check), and we’d soon learn how they did it (check, one is already under arrest). That’s hardly the Amazing Kreskin at work. We have all too much history with this sort of thing. Do we have the will to relegate it to history, that is the question.

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John Kerry Gets One Right

Hey, even a stopped clock finds a nut once in a while:

Though it went entirely unnoticed in the Western press, all major Russian news outlets – RIA Novosti, Sputnik, RT, and others – were only too happy to report on what US Secretary of State John Kerry said last week to the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in private: “Just ignore Obama’s statements.”

According to Mr. Lavrov, John Kerry advised him not to pay too much attention to the US President’s harsh rhetoric directed toward his state. As recently as September, during his speech to the 69th UN General Assembly in New York, Mr. Obama puzzled and shocked Mr. Lavrov by placing “Russian aggression in Europe” in second place among the world’s threats, behind only the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, resigning to third place the “brutality of terrorists in Syria and Iraq.” “Aggressive Russia” again was included in Mr. Obama’s world top-danger list during November’s G20 Summit in Australia.

According to a translation commissioned by the Observer, Mr. Kerry advised Mr. Lavrov to “just ignore Obama’s statements.” Google translator phrases the nuance slightly differently: “Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says US Secretary of State John Kerry called on him to ‘pay no mind’ to a statement by President Obama.” But the take-home message is clearly the same.

“Talking to John Kerry,” said Mr. Lavrov in his speech to the State Duma assembly, “I asked him, what did it mean. He said to me: ‘Just ignore it.’ You understand, if this is so serious, then, of course, it is very sad. And he said ‘just ignore it’ because he wanted at that moment to discuss how we were going to co-ordinate our approaches on solving Iran’s nuclear program and on the situation on the Korean peninsula.”

Actually, Kerry was accurate but premature. We will be able to ignore Jumbo-ears soon enough, just not yet.

It’s no secret that the country is in the hands of a bunch of rodeo clowns (hence the presence of so much bullsh*t, so many horse’s asses). Watching their press conferences is like watching the freaks who audition for American Idol.

But it is a secret to our press barons and anyone who reads their rags. How can any election be valid if the public is not informed?

PS: Now that I think about it, didn’t Chuck Hagel get fired for ignoring Obama? How is that fair?

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Lame And Lamer

But which is which?

For the first time since the beginning of the current wave of terrorist attacks in Jerusalem, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday issued a condemnation of the latest such act.

Abbas was forced to condemn the Har Nof synagogue attack after facing pressure from US Secretary of State John Kerry, who had phoned the PA president twice over the past few days to demand that the Palestinians stop anti-Israel incitement. On Tuesday, Kerry issued a call to the PA leadership to condemn the Har Nof attack.

Kerry’s pressure prompted Abbas to issue two condemnations of the incident. The first came in the form of a terse statement published by official PA news agency Wafa, in which the Palestinian leadership condemned the “killing of worshipers in a synagogue and all acts of violence regardless of their source.”

The statement also called for an end to “incursions and provocations by settlers against the Aksa Mosque.”

Later, Abbas’s office issued a second statement, which again condemned the Har Nof attack and “assaults on the Noble Sanctuary [Temple Mount].”

News Flash: Jews will continue to go to the Kotel and Jerusalem – all of it – is the capital of Israel. But, leaving that aside, who’s more of a dolt, John Kerry or Abu Mazen?

– Aggie

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Forgotten But Not Gone

Old Democrats never die. They just appear on MSNBC:

It’s been more than three years since the state Legislature redrew his congressional district, forcing ex-U.S. Rep. Barney Frank into early retirement, but the cranky liberal war horse just can’t let it go.

Case in point: The Massachusetts Humanities Council’s 40th anniversary gala at the JFK Library the other night. Frank was seated at the same table as incoming state Senate prez Stanley Rosenberg, who happened to be the point man for the Senate on redistricting, and Barney wasted no time in letting Stan have it!

“He didn’t say hello, how are you, congratulations, nothing. He just started screaming at him,” said Someone Who Was There. “It was very ugly.”

So much so that the organizers of the event moved Rosenberg and his partner, Bryon Hefner, to another table to get away from the grumpy ex-congressman!

Apparently the gist of Barney’s gripe was that Rosenberg didn’t do enough to preserve Frank’s district after the 2010 census forced the state to lose a seat in Congress. Instead, the new congressional map took New Bedford — a Barney stronghold because of his work on fishing issues — and parts of Fall River out of his district and added Blackstone Valley, where he was not a shoo-in, making the voting bloc more conservative. Instead of running for re-election in the newly drawn district, Frank retired. But apparently not without a lot of hard feelings!

“He was telling Stan that he should have gotten preference because of his seniority,” said our spywitness. “He thought that they catered to (now U.S. Sen.) Ed Markey and (U.S. Rep.) Steve Lynch over him, and he wasn’t happy about it.”

What really cheesed off some of Rosenberg’s friends who witnessed the brouhaha was that Stan had been hospitalized twice during the redistricting process for treatment of squamous cell carcinoma, but that apparently earned him no sympathy vote from Barney!

Can’t imagine why they redistricted you out of existence, Barn. What do you want to bet that he hasn’t been down to the grimy docks of New Bedford or Fall River since he left office? The closest he gets to the fishing industry these days is pan-seared bluefin tuna with Asian marinade at some chi-chi bistro in Provincetown.

Gay-on-gay crime. Very ugly indeed.

Thank God for the Boston Herald. This is the Globe:

Secretary of State John F. Kerry turned to his Chinese counterpart at lunch last month at Legal Sea Foods’ Harborside restaurant and drew attention to the view of Boston Harbor.

The port was once a symbol of pollution, Kerry told China’s chief diplomat, Yang Jiechi. But after persistent government effort, Kerry explained, it was dramatically cleaner.

“This is a small example that shows that these big problems can and must be addressed,” Kerry told Jiechi over squash bisque, Maine cod, and Boston cream pie.

The exchange, related by a senior State Department official with direct knowledge of the Oct. 18 meeting, marked a turning point in the Obama administration’s efforts to get the world’s two biggest polluters to commit to lowering the greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change.

The landmark agreement, announced this week by President Obama and President Xi Jinping of China in Beijing, came after months of behind-the-scenes discussions involving other officials in addition to Kerry.

Imagine having to sit through a lunch with John Kerry. And having to eat squash bisque (whatever that is). No wonder Obama gave away the store. Kerry might have picked up the tab, but China paid plenty.

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We Coulda Told You That

John Kerry “untethered”? He defines the term.

US President Barack Obama’s administration is coping with underwhelming performance on various fronts according to officials cited in the New York Times on Friday, who suggested he may replace some senior administration officials – including US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Citing the Ebola crisis in Africa that has spread to a few isolated cases in America under Obama’s watch, the rise of Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists in Iraq and Syria, and tensions in Europe between Russia and Ukraine, the paper noted world events have already led Obama to make changes by bringing in Ron Klain to manage Ebola and Gen. John R. Allen to lead the coalition against ISIS.

According to the New York Times, Kerry and US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel “are struggling to penetrate the tightly knit circle around the president and carve out a place in the administration.”

White House officials cited in the report said Kerry is out of sync with the administration, even comparing him to Sandra Bullock’s role in the movie “Gravity” as an astronaut somersaulting through space, “untethered from the White House.”

You know the old joke about the apocryphal British newspaper headline: “Fog in Channel: Continent Cut Off”? John Kerry thinks the White House is untethered from him. He is untethered from many (almost all) things, not least reality.

Still, if Obama already has buyer’s remorse toward his Defense and State secretaries, barely a year-and-a-half into their respective terms, that’s on him. We coulda told you what bozos they were. In fact, we did, repeatedly. He owns ‘em.

Why don’t you try appointing someone who didn’t screw up a chance to be president, like your first two Sec’ys of State? Maybe a black man or woman (not named Susan Rice). Or is that “too Bush”?

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Don’t Make Me Get Glick on You

I don’t do it often, but sometimes I have to bring out the big guns.

Here’s the JDAM of journalists, Caroline Glick:

Yehudah Glick has spent the better part of the last 20 years championing the right of Jews to pray on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem – Judaism’s holiest site. On Wednesday night, the Palestinians sent a hit man to Jerusalem to kill him.

And today Glick lays in a coma at Shaare Zedek Medical Center.

Two people bear direct responsibility for this terrorist attack: the gunman, and Palestinian Authority President and PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas. The gunman shot Glick, and Abbas told him to shoot Glick.

Abbas routinely glorifies terrorist murder of Jews, and funds terrorism with the PA’s US- and European-funded budget.

But it isn’t often that he directly incites the murder of Jews.

Two weeks ago, Abbas did just that. Speaking to Fatah members, he referred to Jews who wish to pray at Judaism’s holiest site as “settlers.” He then told his audience that they must remain on the Temple Mount at all times to block Jews from entering.

“We must prevent them from entering [the Temple Mount] in any way…. They have no right to enter and desecrate [it]. We must confront them and defend our holy sites,” he said.

As Palestinian Media Watch reported Thursday, in the three days leading up to the assassination attempt on Glick, the PA’s television station broadcast Abbas’s call for attacks on Jews who seek to enter the Temple Mount 19 times.

While Abbas himself is responsible for the hit on Glick, he has had one major enabler – the Obama administration. Since Abbas first issued the order for Palestinians to attack Jews, there have been two terrorist attacks in Jerusalem. Both have claimed American citizens among their victims. Yet the Obama administration has refused to condemn Abbas’s call to murder Jews either before it led to the first terrorist attack or since Glick was shot Wednesday night.

Oh, but the Obama regime has something to say:

“The Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount must be re-opened to Muslim worshipers and I support the long-standing practices regarding non-Muslim visitors to the site, consistent with respect for the status quo arrangements governing religious observance there,” said Kerry.

What the [bleep] does that even mean? Does anyone with half a brain in his head think it’s smart to allow these marauders to have the run of the place after Friday prayers? You think Halloween here can get out of hand…

Back to Glick:

Not only have the White House and the State Department refused to condemn Abbas for soliciting the murder of Jews. They have praised him and attacked Israel and its elected leader. In other words, they are not merely doing nothing, they are actively rewarding Abbas’s aggression, and so abetting it.

Since Abbas called for Palestinians to kill Jews, the White House and State Department have accused Israel of diminishing the prospect of peace by refusing to make massive concessions to Abbas. The concessions the Americans are demanding include accepting the ethnic cleansing of all Jews from land they foresee becoming part of a future Palestinian state; denying Jews the rights to their lawfully held properties in predominantly Arab neighborhoods; and abrogating urban planning procedures in Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem built within the areas of the city that Israel took control over from Jordan in 1967.

The most distressing aspect of Goldberg’s [“chickensh*t”] quotes is that in and of themselves, these profane, schoolyard bully personal attacks against Israel’s elected leader were the mildest part of the story.

The most disturbing thing about the gutter talk is what they tell us about Israel’s role in Obama’s assessments of his political cards as they relate to his nuclear negotiations with Iran.

The senior administration officials called Netanyahu a coward because, among other reasons, he has not bombed Iran’s nuclear installations.

And now, they crowed, it’s too late for Israel to do anything to stop Iran.

They are happy about this claimed state of affairs, because now Obama is free to make a deal with the Iranians that will allow them to develop nuclear weapons at will.

The obscene rhetoric they adopted in their characterization of Netanyahu didn’t come from “red hot anger.” It was a calculated move. Obama knows that he has caved in on every significant redline that he claimed he would defend in the nuclear talks with Iran.

Obama has chosen to demonize Netanyahu and castigate Israel now as a means to transform the debate about Iran into a debate about Israel. The fact that the trash talk about Netanyahu was a premeditated bid to capture the discourse on Iran is further exposed by the fact that Obama has refused to take any action against the officials who made the statements.

He isn’t going to punish them for carrying out his policies.

She’s not getting older. She’s getting better:

No Israel leader has done more to appease a US administration than Netanyahu has done to appease Obama. Against the opposition of his party and the general public, Netanyahu in 2009 bowed to Obama’s demand to embrace the goal of establishing a Palestinian state.

Against the opposition of his party and the general public, in 2010 Netanyahu bowed to Obama’s demand and enacted an official 10-month moratorium on Jewish property rights in lands beyond the 1949 armistice lines, and later enacted an unofficial moratorium on those rights.

And Netanyahu bowed to Obama’s pressure, released murderers from prison and conducted negotiations with Abbas that only empowered Abbas and his political war to delegitimize and isolate Israel.

And for all his efforts to appease Obama, today the administration abets Palestinian terrorism and political warfare.

As to Iran, Netanyahu agreed to play along with Obama’s phony sanctions policy, and bowed to Obama’s demand not to attack Iran’s nuclear installations. All of this caused suffering to the Iranian people while giving the regime four-and-a-half years of more or less unfettered work on its nuclear program.

Netanyahu only cut bait after Obama signed the interim nuclear deal with Iran last November where he effectively gave up the store.

Before formulating a strategy for dealing with Obama over the next two years, Israelis need to first take a deep breath and recognize that as bad as things are going to get, nothing that Obama will do to us over the next two years is as dangerous as what he has already done. No anti-Israel Security Council resolution, no Obama map of Israel’s borders will endanger Israel as much as his facilitation of Iran’s nuclear program.

As unpleasant as anti-Israel Security Council resolutions will be, and as unpleasant as an Obama framework for Israel’s final borders will be, given the brevity of his remaining time in power, it is highly unlikely that any of the measures will have lasting impact.

At any rate, no matter how upsetting such resolutions may be, Goldberg’s article made clear that Israel should make no concessions to Obama in exchange for a reversal of his plans. Concessions to Obama merely escalate his contempt for us.

Bearing this in mind, Israel’s required actions in the wake of Goldberg’s sources’ warnings are fairly straightforward.

First, to the extent that Israel does have the capacity to damage Iran’s nuclear installations, Israel should act right away. Its capacity should not be saved for a more propitious political moment.

The only clock Israel should care about is Iran’s nuclear clock.

I did try to cut, believe me. It’s just that good. But two points in particular stand out. One, the worst damage has already been done. Who would ever imagine that the state of affairs between the two allies would be in such a shambles? How could it be any worse?

Even more important, the Obamaguppenfuhrers practically called out Israel. Not just about being chicken (who cares?), but by declaring their intentions to let Iran win. Israel’s move. As the old joke goes, in a breakfast of bacon and eggs, the hen was involved, but the pig was committed. America can barely bother to be involved. And Obama needs to be committed.

See you after prayers.

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A Disturbing Feeling

We’ve long and often remarked that Israel can win the war, but always loses the peace. I’ve been getting that feeling ever more strongly over the past few days.

Leave it to John Kerry to crystalize those murky misgivings:

“There wasn’t a leader I met with in the region who didn’t raise with me spontaneously the need to try to get peace between Israel and the Palestinians, because it was a cause of recruitment and of street anger and agitation,” Kerry claimed, referring to a visit to Cairo that raised $5.4 billion for Hamas in Gaza on Sunday.

He further implied that Israel was responsible for “humiliating” the Palestinians.

“People need to understand the connection of that. And it has something to do with humiliation and denial and absence of dignity,” he said.

Ah yes, the Daily Humiliation of the Palestinian People™ canard. The only two words in that phrase that are not lies are “of” and “the”. The media account claims Kerry blamed ISIS on Israel, but that may be a bit of a stretch. But the “street anger” and “agitation”, whatever he may mean, have nothing to do with Israel. And even if they did, so what? Since when did we plot foreign policy based on the to-do lists of Islamist whack-jobs in Libya, Syria, and Iraq? In Lebanon and Gaza? In Somalia, Yemen, and Chad? In Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Chechnya?

What does any of it have to do with Israel?

But this does:

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: I think what the signals are is they are going to reach an agreement [with Iran]. It will be a terrible agreement for the west. It will allow the Iranians to enrich. It will leave them as a threshold nuclear state so that the administration will claim the fig leaf will be, it doesn’t have a bomb, the real story will be we will leave Iran within three months, four months, of going to a bomb any time it wants between here and eternity, which means it’s going to be essentially a nuclear power in the region. And as a result of that I guarantee you it will be a nuclear arms race in the most unstable area in the world with the worst people on earth. We will regret this for generations.

Contemporaneous with this, nations across Europe are officially and unofficially recognizing an entity they call the “Palestinian State”.

Lastly, Venezuela—as Jew-hating a state as exists in South America—was just voted to the UN Security Council.

Maybe this doesn’t matter. Israel is strong and relatively well off. It is used to being a pariah among unrighteous nations. I just wonder if Benjamin Netanyahu, no fool he, thinks about Obama like he’s some kind of crazy homeless man on the subway. Maybe if I don’t make eye contact, he’ll leave me alone, and this will all be over. That’s the way it feels to me. If we can just get to January 2017, we may be all right.

Lately, though, I’d bet on armageddon if I thought I could collect.

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Don’t Mention the War! [UPDATED] [TWICE!]

Just so everybody understands: we aim to “destroy” ISIS, not go to war with it.

Got it?

“What we are doing is engaging in a very significant counter-terrorism operation,” Kerry said on Thursday. “It’s going to go on for some period of time. If somebody wants to think about it as being a war with ISIL, they can do so, but the fact is it’s a major counter-terrorism operation that will have many different moving parts.”

In a separate interview with CBS News State Department Correspondent Margaret Brennan, Kerry said “war is the wrong terminology” to describe U.S. operations against ISIS.

“We’re engaged in a major counterterrorism operation, and it’s going to be a long-term counterterrorism operation. I think war is the wrong terminology and analogy but the fact is that we are engaged in a very significant global effort to curb terrorist activity,” Kerry said.

We can all agree that that is patently absurd, right? No need for further discussion? Good.

If I had to guess, such equivocation is in line with Obama’s left-foot-in-left-foot-out strategy:

Quoting two U.S. military officials, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday that Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, commander of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), said “that his best military advice was to send a modest contingent of American troops, principally Special Operations forces, to advise and assist Iraqi army units in fighting the militants.”

In a nationally-televised speech on Wednesday evening, President Obama repeatedly emphasized that U.S. forces will not have a combat role in Iraq. “We will not get dragged into another ground war in Iraq,” the president said. He specifically underscored that “this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” and will resemble U.S. counterterrorism campaigns in Yemen and Somalia.

Austin’s predecessor, Marine Gen. James Mattis, told the Washington Post that the president’s decision may place the mission at risk. “The American people will once again see us in a war that doesn’t seem to be making progress,” Mattis told the paper. “You’re giving the enemy the initiative for a longer period.”

You may understand war, General, but you’re a but you’re a buck private at politics. You can’t wrap yourself in the Not Bush Cloak for six years, and then slough it off to reveal yourself as the drawling Texan himself. Soldiers and American people be damned, he’d rather lose as Obama than win as Bush.

PS: Oh wait. There’s an even more obvious (and absurd) reason John Kerry won’t call it a war. They’d have to get Congress’s permisssion. Which is also what Bush did. Can’t have that.

UPDATE: To war! To war! Fredonia’s going to war!

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Friday during his daily press briefing that the battle against ISIS now mirrors the ongoing War on Terror closely enough to use the ‘W’ word.

‘The fact is ISIL has indicated that they’re ready to go to war against the world,’ Earnest said, ‘and this president – as is expected of American presidents – is stepping up to lead an international coalition to confront that threat and to deny ISIL a safe haven. And ultimately this international coalition will be responsible for degrading and destroying ISIL.’

‘So I think what you could conclude from this is the United States is at war with ISIL in the same way we are at war with al-Qaeda and its affiliates all around the globe.’

Of course you know, this means war.

UPPERDATE

Or does it?

BLITZER: It sounds like a war to me. Is it fair to call it a war?

[SUSAN] RICE: Well, Wolf, I don’t know whether you want to call it a war or a sustained counterterrorism campaign or — I think, frankly, this is a counterterrorism operation that will take time. It will be sustained. We will not have American combat forces on the ground fighting, as we did in Iraq and Afghanistan, which is what I think the American people think of when they think of a war.

So I think this is very different from that.

Be as Earnest as you like, Josh, you wouldn’t know war if it bit you in the ass. I just hope this isn’t literally the Gang Who Couldn’t Shoot Sraight.

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