World

CDC Won’t Halt Flights Because It Might Harm Fledgling Economies

By on 10.16.14 | 3:17PM

The CDC doesn't seem especially willing to contend with the subject of Ebola virus transportation via air travel. Not to a nurse calling the CDC with potential symptoms of Ebola requesting to take a weekend getaway to Ohio, and most likely to Congress in today's emergency Congressional Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on the Ebola outbreak, featuring CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden, NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci, and other directors from the HHS, DHS and FDA. Although Rep. Tim Murphy is reportedly going to try.

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The War on Terror Spectator

Ben Affleck’s Islamophilia

By 10.9.14

Ben Affleck has a case — a bad case — of Islamophilia. By now the exchange on Bill Maher's show is everywhere, as well it should be. Maher and Sam Harris argued that much more than just a tiny fraction of the Muslim world holds extreme views, such as the death penalty for apostates. Affleck retorted that calling out Islamic radicalism in this way was “so gross" and "racist," like calling someone a “shifty Jew.” New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof essentially agreed, saying that the position held by Maher and Harris “does have the tinge a little bit of the way white racists talk about African-Americans."

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Jimmy Carter: President Obama’s Middle East Policy Sucks

By on 10.8.14 | 3:50PM

Jimmy Carter is not an expert in Middle Eastern foreign policy. Or, at least, he wasn't an expert when Middle East foreign policy was happening to him. But now, after decades away from the limelight, after building countless homes for America's impoverished families and speaking regularly on the scourge of Israel's right to self-defense, Jimmy Carter has, apparently, acquired enough foreign policy acumen to entice CNN to interview him on the current situation with ISIS.

Or they figure if anyone would know how to functionally dismantle an entire region, it would be Jimmy Carter. 

Either way, Jimmy Carter, the man best known for messing up our Middle East foreign policy, cannot begin to explain to you how badly President Obama is messing up our Middle East foreign policy.

Former President Jimmy Carter said President Barack Obama "waited too long" to go after ISIS and criticized what he described as the president's changing foreign policy.

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Jesse Jackson is in Dallas Fighting Ebola, Because Obviously

By on 10.7.14 | 3:22PM

For a moment there, yesterday, when the Dallas Ebola apartment was being fumigated by HazMat crews, and the Dallas medical community confirmed that the Dallas Ebola patient was receiving experimental medical care and that his family and friends were disease-free and cleared to return to work, it almost looked as though the media were about to lose their opportunity for wall-to-wall coverage of the deadly African virus's appearance in Texas.

Thankfully, Jesse Jackson arrived to save the day, and - according to Jesse, at least - the Dallas Ebola patient himself

The Rev. Jesse Jackson is in Dallas Tuesday to make sure Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan is getting the best medical care possible.

Rev. Jackson said Duncan's family asked for his help. He recently tweeted that "he should not be shunned" and to "kill the disease and not the person."

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Ian Paisley Is Dead: Should We Speak Ill of Him?

By on 9.12.14 | 12:48PM

As Tim Stanley pointed out over at the Telegraph, it's hard not to do so. When Pope John XXIII died in 1963, Paisley assured a group of protestors that "This Romish man of sin is now in hell." "De mortuis nil nisi bonum" meant nothing to him.

Paisley was a wretched, mean-spirited man, a figure of Cromwellian unpleasantness. He had no tastes, no interests. (Asked by Sue Lawley of the BBC what book other than the Bible he would bring with him to a desert island, he replied "Foxe's Book of Martyrs.") The only thing he ever seems to have enjoyed was speaking in public, whether behind a podium or a pulpit. His theology, such as it was, comprised the two beliefs, held with something like equal fervor, that priests were hell-bound sodomites and alcohol was "the devil's buttermilk." A good day's work for Paisley was shouting "Antichrist!" when Pope John Paul II addressed the European Parliament and having things hurled at him by his fellow MEPS before being dragged out of the chamber by Otto von Habsburg.

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History

From the Thousand Year Reich to the Global Caliphate

By 9.4.14

First it was the Thousand Year Reich. Now it’s the Global Caliphate. The pattern is as simple as it is stark. It always begins with the unruly rabble-rousers. A curiosity at first, then a police problem, then a raised governmental eyebrow. Eventually, the rabble-rousers attract more rabble. Now the jails begin to fill. Then the streets. There is violence. Then the sympathizers appear, making the case that, well, when you think about it, the growing rabble has a point or two or three. Money starts to flow in from supporters as well as the sympathizers. The rabble rousers finally get organized. The media gets involved, with the rabble getting their hands on communications capabilities and attracting attention from other media not their own. The latter media follows along, ignoring the first stirrings, then not, then with some leaping over the side into the deep water with the rabble’s “rising star.” And don’t forget the foreigners. They are always there to be attracted, supplying everything from money to support in their own country, when not simply abandoning their own country altogether and joining the cause.

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Loose Canons

With ISIS and Russia, None of the Above Is Not the Answer

By 9.2.14

Why the shock at President Obama’s confession that he doesn’t have a strategy to deal with Syria and ISIS?

Here’s the deal: a strategy—be it diplomatic or military or a combination of the two—can only be developed after a president decides what the policy objective is to be. His job is to decide what the desired result of a strategy is supposed to be, and our military leaders and diplomats are supposed to craft strategies to achieve that result. Unless and until Obama decides what result he wants to reach in Syria and Iraq—or in Ukraine, the South China Sea, or anywhere else for that matter—no one can create a strategy to produce that result.

It may be that Obama is afraid of making such policy decisions. Or it may be what it appears: that Obama’s most fundamental policy decision is not to make the decisions essential to defending our interests or the freedom of our allies. Regardless, you can’t have a strategy without the predicate policy decision.

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Letter From Paris

Hollande’s Last Chance

By 9.2.14

Maybe the third try will be a charm for President François Hollande. After doggedly attempting to apply socialist dogma for his first two disastrous years in office and bringing the French economy to its knees, he reshuffled his cabinet again this summer. It has dawned even on this Socialist Party apparatchik that governing by tax-and-spend while subjecting businesses to an incomprehensible thicket of hostile, hobbling regulations—the Labor Code now runs to over 3,000 pages—won’t work. That inventing a new levy here, tweaking an old one there, creating still another special handout, is ruining not only his term in office, but the country as well. His third stab at forming a viable administration, coming only 147 days after the second one, set a record for the shortest duration in Fifth Republic history and makes the Italian government look rock-stable by comparison. The sweat on the beleaguered presidential brow is now visible to all.

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Dictator Watch

Cairo and Moscow: So Happy Together

By 8.19.14

While America’s attention was focused on Kim Kardashian’s new book of selfies, the Ebola virus, and events in Gaza, Iraq, Ukraine, and Ferguson, Missouri, a single 130-word Wall Street Journal dispatch last Tuesday described events in Sochi, Russia, that might portend a dangerous shift in the allegiance of one of America’s most important allies.

Though it missed the attention of most news editors, newly elected Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi arrived a week ago Monday in Sochi for two days with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the Black Sea coast.

The duo toured the Olympic cross-country ski center, but not until Al-Sisi got to view an elaborate and tempting display of Russian military hardware that Putin had kindly set out before him, right there at the Sochi airport. Al-Sisi was barely out of his plane before he was gazing upon a massive array of armored vehicles, missile systems, and other weapons goodies — all of them available for sale. 

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Why the Vatican Backs Airstrikes in Iraq But Not Syria

By on 8.18.14 | 10:51AM

The Vatican, working off Catholic doctrine of just war, has announced that it condones American military intervention in Iraq, the Washington Times reported last week. The Holy See’s ambassador to the United Nations, Silvano Tomasi, is quoted as saying, “Military action might be necessary,” and calling for, “intervention now, before it is too late.”

The move to endorse American airstrikes against the militants of the Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS, diverges from Vatican policy in Syria. Last year when President Obama considered intervening with airstrikes in the Syrian civil war, the Vatican condemned the plan. It disapproved, too, of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Fear for the safety and freedom of Christians and other minority religious sects in Iraq today has altered the assessment.

Just war theory is perhaps best summarized in paragraph 2309 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It reads:

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