A Further Perspective

A Further Perspective

Like It or Not, 9/11 is About Islam

By 9.11.14

Thirteen years have now passed since al Qaeda terrorists carried out their attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. If not for the valiant efforts of the passengers of United 93, the White House or Capitol Hill might have been added to that list. Their courage would save thousands of lives.

Yet 2,977 people would perish on September 11, 2001. I saw the pictures of every one of those men, women and children at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum last May. As I noted at the time, the exhibit made it clear who was responsible for those pictures being there and the religious ideology that motivated them.

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Four Facts About a Strategy to Defeat ISIS

By and 9.10.14

Americans are outraged over the beheadings of James Foley and Steven Sotloff. We all want President Obama to defeat these savages. For any plan to be credible, it must acknowledge four important facts.

(1) Without oil, ISIS has no economy:

In 2012, crude oil was 84 percent of Iraq’s exports. Only 33 percent of Iraq’s GDP is generated from the private sector and many of those workers get much of their business from government contracts. 

Currently, ISIS controls seven oil fields in Northern Iraq that produce 30,000 barrels per day (bpd). This is small compared to overall Iraq production in August, which was reported to be 3.1 million bpd, of which 2.44 million bpd was exported. 

Most of country’s oil is in the south. The only place in northern Iraq with appreciable oil reserves is near Kirkuk, producing one million bpd. Any strategy against ISIS must involve keeping these terrorists away from Kirkuk and also destroying the few fields now under ISIS control. ISIS also controls refineries in Syria that produce 50,000 barrels per day. These should be targeted for destruction also. 

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Our Sentimental Humanitarian Age

By 9.8.14

I always thought it would be difficult to imagine a period in which the West would be more adrift than the 1970s. Being a child at the time, I was spared consciousness of most of that miserable decade. Thus far, however, the second decade of the 2000s seems likely to give the 10 years that spawned Watergate, stagflation, the Carter presidency, the Oil Crisis, Idi Amin, the Baader-Meinhof Gang, Jim Jones, Pol Pot, the Red Brigades, and the Iranian Revolution (to name just a few of the star attractions) a serious run for its money as a byword for Western decline.

One everyday sign of this malaise is the fact that much of the West remains, as in the seventies, mired in what’s now called the Long Slump. And persistently unhealthy economies are usually symptomatic of an unwillingness to acknowledge deeper problems. Examples are most Western governments’ reluctance to accept that it’s game-over for the regulatory and welfare state as-we-knew-it, or to do something about the growing cancer of crony-capitalism.

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Republicans Can Learn a Lot From Burger King’s Move to Canada

By 9.3.14

 

The merger of U.S. hamburger giant Burger King with Tim Horton’s, Canada’s favorite coffee shop, will create the world’s third largest “fast food” company with a total of 18,000 restaurants in over 100 countries. It is also a piercing wake-up call for the U.S. because the new company will make its global headquarters in Canada’s province of Ontario. That underscores what savvy business everywhere have learned, namely, that the United States is an increasingly less attractive place to do business. “Canada has quietly and politely become, well, more AMERICAN than America,” says columnist Stephen Green.
 
Since 2003, more than thirty-five major American companies have moved their headquarters and reincorporated overseas.
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What Congress Should Do to Stop ISIS

By 9.3.14

President Obama said last Thursday that he doesn’t “have a strategy yet” to combat ISIS in the Middle East. Worse is what Obama didn’t say — not one word about how to prevent ISIS from attacking us right here in the U.S. That’s despite security experts warning Congress repeatedly that ISIS’s gory threats to spill American blood should be taken seriously.

Compare Obama’s inaction to Prime Minister David Cameron’s decisive action. After British security experts raised the terrorist threat assessment there to “severe,” meaning an attack is “highly likely,” Cameron called for revoking passports of British citizens returning from Syria and Iraq and cracking down on jihadist recruiters, even by censoring the Internet and rounding up extremist organizers. These proposals are sparking a lively debate in Britain over balancing security and civil rights.

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The (More or Less) Eternal Verities

By 8.28.14

Some of the “The Eternal Verities,” things everyone seems to know seem do not change from one year to the next; others, like life itself, are subject to updates. Here are some of both:

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Standing With the Mob

By 8.27.14

Attorney General Eric Holder has been hailed widely for his “leadership” last week in Ferguson, Missouri. But he was following the crowd rather than leading it during his visit. He is famous for calling America a “nation of cowards” for refusing to speak honestly about race, but he shows no such inclination himself. He spent most of his time in Ferguson telling protesters exactly what they wanted to hear. The top law enforcement officer in the land considered it leadership to confirm them in their “mistrust” of law enforcement officials.

It was a display not of sober leadership but of raw politics, with Holder looking like a candidate as he mingled and joked with the crowds. Instead of warning the protesters against automatically assuming that officer Darren Wilson was racially motivated in shooting Michael Brown, Holder emboldened them in that view. “I wanted the people of Ferguson to know that I personally understood that mistrust. I wanted them to know that while so much else may be uncertain, this attorney general and this Department of Justice stands with the people of Ferguson,” he said.

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Racism Forever

By 8.22.14

It’s been a busy couple of days for U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

On Wednesday, the nation’s top law enforcement officer — who doubles as the leading impediment to law enforcement, whenever he sees a law he doesn’t like — flew to St. Louis for another exercise in the selective dispensation of justice.

Holder came to express sympathy with the protesters chanting “no justice, no peace” in Ferguson, one of the city’s close-in suburbs, where an 18-year-old black youth, described by friends and family as a “gentle giant,” on his way to visit his grandmother, had been shot and killed by a white police officer — touching off almost two weeks of nightly riots and looting in the town of about 20,000 people. At a community meeting Holder told residents:

I am the Attorney General of the United States, but I am also a black man. I can remember being stopped on the New Jersey turnpike… and accused of speeding. Pulled over… “Let me search your car”… Go through the trunk of my car, look under the seats and all this kind of stuff. I remember how humiliating that was and how angry I was and the impact it had on me.

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The Media and the Mob

By 8.20.14

Those of us who admit that we were not there, and do not know what happened when Michael Brown was shot by a policeman in Ferguson, Missouri, seem to be in the minority.

We all know what has happened since then — and it has been a complete disgrace by politicians, the media and mobs of rioters and looters. Despite all the people who act as if they know exactly what happened, nevertheless when the full facts come out, that can change everything.

This is why we have courts of law, instead of relying on the media or mobs. But politics is undermining law.

On the eve of a grand jury being convened to go through the facts and decide whether there should be a prosecution of the policeman in this case, Governor Jay Nixon of Missouri has gone on television to say that there should be a “vigorous prosecution.”

There was a time when elected officials avoided commenting on pending legal processes, so as not to bias those processes. But Governor Nixon apparently has no fear of poisoning the jury pool.

The only alternative explanation is that this is exactly what he intends to do. It is a disgrace either way.

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From Kent State to Ferguson

By 8.19.14

Ah, social justice. Here we go again—and it is again. Consider these words:

The first issue is the unfilled promise of full justice and dignity for Blacks and other minorities. Blacks, like many others of different races and ethnic origins, are demanding today that the pledges of the Declaration of Independence and the Emancipation Proclamation be fulfilled now. Full social justice and dignity—an end to racism in all its human, social and cultural forms—is a central demand of today’s students—black, brown, and white.

This might sound like something coming out of Ferguson, Missouri, right now. But in fact I have just quoted the preface to a report by the President’s Commission on Campus Unrest issued in September, 1970 following the shooting of four white students at Ohio’s Kent State University by the Ohio National Guard on May 4. The Kent State shootings were followed in turn eleven days later by the police killing of two students, both black, at Mississippi’s Jackson State.

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