Category Archives: War Commentary

Hillary’s Email Crimes

The coming constitutional crisis:

How the FBI can look at all this and not recommend prosecution of someone for something in EmailGate strains the imagination. Yet President Obama has clearly signaled that it’s all no big deal. Director James Comey has a tough job before him when he takes the FBI’s official recommendations regarding EmailGate to Attorney General Lynch for action, probably sometime this summer. Since Comey is now under a cloud over the FBI’s embarrassing mishandling of Omar Mateen, the Orlando jihadist mass murderer, perhaps his resignation over that matter would be welcome in the White House, which then could find a new director more willing to bend to Obama’s wishes.

Make no mistake, there are more than a few senior intelligence officials in Washington, DC, who are livid about Hillary Clinton’s willful disregard of clearly defined laws on the handling of classified information. Her misconduct endangered sensitive intelligence programs—and lives. Even if Comey is a sacrificial lamb here, there are high-ranking spies who are perfectly willing to leak the sordid details of EmailGate to the media if the president pulls a Dick Nixon and tries to subvert our Constitution to protect himself and his designated successor.

And in the unlikely event that nobody in our nation’s capital is willing to go public with exactly what Hillary Clinton did, it now seems the Russians may do so. It’s highly plausible that Russian intelligence services, among others, have many of Clinton’s emails, perhaps all of them, given how slipshod her security arrangements were.

If Comey does resign, the Senate shouldn’t approve anyone that Obama nominates to replace him.

Brexit

James Bennett proposes a CANZUK union to replace the UK’s membership in the EU.

Meanwhile, it looks as though the permission of the Scottish Parliament and Ulster may be required to leave:

We asked Sir David whether he thought the Scottish Parliament would have to give its consent to measures extinguishing the application of EU law in Scotland. He noted that such measures would entail amendment of section 29 of the Scotland Act 1998, which binds the Scottish Parliament to act in a manner compatible with EU law, and he therefore believed that the Scottish Parliament’s consent would be required.83 He could envisage certain political advantages being drawn from not giving consent.

We note that the European Communities Act is also entrenched in the devolution settlements of Wales and Northern Ireland. Though we have taken no evidence on this specific point, we have no reason to believe that the requirement for legislative consent for its repeal would not apply to all the devolved nations.

Stay tuned.

[Update a while later]

“Citizens of the World?” Nice thought, but don’t hold your breath:

The inability of those elites to grapple with the rich world’s populist moment was in full display on social media last night. Journalists and academics seemed to feel that they had not made it sufficiently clear that people who oppose open borders are a bunch of racist rubes who couldn’t count to 20 with their shoes on, and hence will believe any daft thing they’re told. Given how badly this strategy had just failed, this seemed a strange time to be doubling down. But perhaps, like the fellow I once saw lose a packet by betting on 17 for 20 straight turns of the roulette wheel, they reasoned that the recent loss actually makes a subsequent victory more likely, since the number has to come up sometime.

Or perhaps they were just unable to grasp what I noted in a column last week: that nationalism and place still matter, and that elites forget this at their peril. A lot people do not view their country the way some elites do: as though the nation were something like a rental apartment — a nice place to live, but if there are problems, or you just fancy a change, you’ll happily swap it for a new one.

[Update a few minutes later]

Brexit’s complicated aftermath:

For a long time, Britons who wanted their country to leave the European Union were regarded almost as mentally ill by those who wanted it to stay. The leavers didn’t have an opinion; they had a pathology. Since one doesn’t argue with pathology, it wasn’t necessary for the remainers to answer the leavers with more than sneers and derision.

Even after the vote, the attitude persists. Those who voted to leave are described as, ipso facto, small-minded, xenophobic, and fearful of the future. Those who voted to stay are described as, ipso facto, open-minded, cosmopolitan, and forward-looking. The BBC itself suggested as much on its website. In short, the desire to leave was a return to the insularity that resulted in the famous—though apocryphal—newspaper headline: fog in the channel: continent cut off.

And then there’s this:

One possible reason for the success of the Brexit campaign was President Obama’s ill-conceived intervention, when he threatened that if Britain voted to leave the Union, it would have to go to the “back of the queue” as far as any trade agreements are concerned. This sounded like bullying, and was not well-received by much of the British population, which had already been subjected to quite a lot of such bullying from others. If I were an American, I shouldn’t have been pleased with it either, for Obama spoke not as a president with a few months left in office, but as a president-for-life, or at least one with the right to decide his successor’s policy.

Yes, the arrogance would have been stunning, if it hadn’t been typical. And on that last Nigel Farage agrees:

Obama certainly has that reverse Midas touch. Recall his efforts to secure the Olympics for Chicago that ended in embarrassing failure.

After nearly eight years in the White House, President Obama can’t understand that the influence he has as president is a precious resource not to be wasted unless he is sure that he can make a difference. That includes efforts to influence domestic as well as foreign policy.

Have any of his ham-handed attempts to influence events overseas not backfired on him? I can’t think of any.

[Sunday-morning update]

Walter Russell Mead: The problem with Brexit is the “leaders,” not the voters.

And Roger Kimball says it’s not an exit, but an entrance.

Meanwhile, Richard Fernandez has a tart rejoinder to whinging from the children:

Essentially people much older than you gave you what you now take for granted. They won World War 2, fueled the great boom, walked through the valley of the shadow of nuclear death — and had you.

You didn’t make the present, nor as you now complain, are you making the future. No children, no national defense, no love of God or country.

But that’s just it. You’ve brainwashed yourselves into thinking someone else: the old, the older, the government, the dead would always do things for you.

If you learn anything from Brexit, learn that nobody got anywhere expecting someone to do things for him.

Time to grow up.

[Monday-morning update]

The howla against democracy:

Media commentary has dripped with contempt for the moronic people. ‘Some of the oldest and whitest people on the planet leapt at a chance to vote against the monsters in their heads’, howled a writer for Esquire. There’s much talk about the people being ‘manipulated’ by lies and misinformation, as if they’re lifeless putty in the hands of the likes of Farage. Some have gone so far as to twist the definition of democracy in an attempt to rubbish the people’s will. ‘The idea that somehow any decision reached anytime by majority rule is necessarily “democratic” is a perversion of the term’, says Harvard professor Kenneth Rogoff. Sometimes, democracy means making sure the people ‘avoid making uninformed decisions with catastrophic consequences’, he says. So it can be democratic to thwart the majority’s wishes if we think they’re stupid. And they have the gall to talk about manipulation.

And make no mistake: it is their aim to thwart our will. They want to use the law or politicians’ clout to undermine the result.

Because their totalitarian dream of world government is being undermined.

The Navy

Fundamentally transformed:

First, there was no navigation brief, a major violation of Navy protocol. When any Navy ship gets underway, even for something as minor as shirting berths from one pier to another, it is standard for a Navy crew to conduct a navigation brief discussing issues such as hazards to navigation or, in this case, an Iranian base near the planned course.

Second, the chain of command was not well defined on the two boats. While a young lieutenant was the highest-ranking individual on either of the two 50-foot boats, when the order was given to evade the Iranian forces, the helmsman refused the order.

Third, defense officials tell Fox News the Navy had become too complacent with the its treatment by Iranian forces in the months leading up to the January capture.

“The story here is these guys had gotten so used to Iranians doing stupid s—, having weapons pointed at them all the time, they didn’t know they were being captured until the Iranians boarded their boats,” one defense official said describing the lack of situational awareness by the Navy crew. “They messed up pretty bad.”

I guess I should be happy that at least people were relieved of their commands. But it makes you wonder how they got them in the first place.

I had beer in Seattle with a career Air Force colonel who’s about to retire. He said that, in his thirty years, he’s never seen morale in the military so low.

Blaming Guns For Orlando

…is like blaming Zyklon B gas for the Holocaust.

Yup. And the only real purpose of that stunt in the House yesterday was to divert attention from the fact that the massacre was committed by a Muslim member of the Democrat Party.

[Update a while later]

Yes, I agree: Paul Ryan should have sent down a shipment of juice boxes and stuffed animals. I’d have loved to see the media reaction to that.