Category Archives: War Commentary

Remembering Auschwitz

It’s a little surreal to be in Israel (for my first time) during the seventieth anniversary. But considering the past (and the subsequent almost complete loss of all the Jews in that country), it was touching and poignant that Poland allowed Israel to do an overflight of that now-sacred ground. I’m sure they wish they’d had that kind of military capability seventy years ago. It would have been a bombing run on the chambers and ovens.

Israel Flyover of Auschwitz

Thoughts About Being Wrong

about important things.

A little too close to home in my temporary circumstances of being in a country surrounded by murderous savages and religious fanatics whose Venn diagram has a high overlap, and want to drive its inhabitants into the sea by which I’m staying.

[Tuesday-morning Tel Aviv update]

Sorry, here’s the link. Posted that on ~27 hours sans sleep.

ISIS’s Plans

I have no problem believing that they plan to kill hundreds of millions of people in the name of Islam. It’s what totalitarians do. As Glenn says, “There are quite a few people in the world who are happy to join a movement that lets them do unspeakable things while being praised for it. The traditional response to such people was to kill them as soon as possible.”

But the Obama administration prefers non-traditional responses.

American Sniper

Kyle Smith liked it.

Its success will really piss off the Hollywood Left, after all their box-office bombs, after which they said Americans “just don’t like movies about the war.” No, they just don’t like anti-American movies.

The White House

…is it a sleeper cell?

Just yesterday I theorized the real reason Obama didn’t go is he just couldn’t put the words “Islamic” and “terrorism” together in one sentence even if, forgive the tired image, it hit him in the face. (The exception of course being when insisting that something is NOT Islam.) He just can’t handle it after nearly fifty years of virtually non-stop anti-imperialist programming. His mind would fly apart if he had to utter the words “radical Islamic terrorism,” which French PM Valls, and any honest person, was quite willing to do.

Now I admit that was just a supposition. Just because I’ve never heard him link Islam and terror doesn’t mean in his heart of hearts he doesn’t. Though not a genius, he does have an IQ in triple digits and sees what’s right in front of his nose, I assume. He just interprets it differently. But why?

Is someone whispering in his ear?

My money would be on (born in Iran) Valerie Jarrett.

Charlie Hebdo

How do we stop another one? Thoughts from Richard Epstein on religious tolerance:

The hard question then is what should be done with those who refuse to accept the universal truce not to use violence against those who dare to utter statements that they regard as blasphemous.

Here again the libertarian theory offers the first step towards a response. By their refusal, they become outlaws. Those who are prepared to use force should be subject to the full range of criminal and civil sanctions. Individuals and the state may use force to resist force, they may work hard to ferret out threats of the use of force before they materialize, and they may root out conspiracies of individuals for particular acts of violence. Similar hostility is the order of the day against the nations and groups that practice the use of unlawful force or harbor those that do. Once again, it is critical to note that the libertarian vision seeks to preserve a large domain for protest and dispute, but it is relentless against those do not play the game in accordance with those rules. Its basic principle is: you disarm, we disarm, but if you fight, we fight harder.

At this point, the practical program should be clear. It is no longer defensible to try to soft-pedal the enormity of the difficulty by announcing some supposed parity between murderers and the people they murder. Supposed social grievances against those who ridicule and deal in satire must fall on deaf ears. Moral equivocation worsens our ability to maintain an ordered liberty. Force must be met with force. France, the United States, and other nations must conduct massive manhunts against those who commit terrorist actions, properly labeled as such. They must go further and deprive these individuals of the sanctuaries from which these attacks can be brought, which means troops on the ground, as well as planes in the air.

No one has a right to not be offended. And yet, with perfect timing, the largest Islamic organization in the world calls for more anti-speech laws.

[Update a few minutes later]

Popehat has some questions for the New York Times regarding its policy on depicting Mohammed.

The Glamour Of Islamic Terrorism

In light of today’s events in Paris, this seems to be an even more important point:

Glamour is undermined by mockery. People steeped in multicultural respect will find that mockery difficult. The other thing that undermines glamour is crushing defeat. The Axis had glamour of its own, until Dresden and Hiroshima.

Both the Bush and Obama administrations suffered far too much from a lack of willingness to call the enemy what it is. The people who hijacked the planes were Islam, and they killed in the name of their religion. The same thing happened in Paris today, and they are starting to harvest the fruit of their unwillingness to confront the enemy they have absorbed within their midst over decades. Somewhere, Charles Martel weeps.

Here is the original piece from Virginia.

[Update a while later]

Holy crap. Claire Berlinsky was on the scene:

This was the worst terrorist attack in Europe since the London tube bombings of 2005. If I’m correct — I have not checked carefully — it was also the worst in France since the Nazis were running the place.

I was there only by luck: I had no desire to see this. Luck is probably not the right word. I wish I hadn’t seen it. But lucky, certainly is the right word to use in noting that I was running late, and thus there a few minutes after the fact. Had I not been running late, it’s fairly obvious what might have happened. They weren’t discriminate in their targets.

Do not submit.

Mohammed Cartoon

[Update a few minutes later]

A little more from Claire:

The assailants are as yet at liberty. I hope they’ll be dead by the time you read this. But if not:. You want me too? Come get me. Because nothing short of killing me — and many more of my kind — will ever shut us up.

And if you don’t believe that now, you’ll believe it very soon. Because there are more of us willing to die for that freedom than those of you eager to take it from us. And soon you will find out that those of us willing to die for that freedom are also much better at killing than you.

So come and get me. Je suis Charlie.

If the Islamists understood a little European history, they would, and should, be very afraid. This won’t end well, and many thousands will die, most of them innocent. If the French decide to remove the invasion they’ve invited and ignored for decades, it won’t happen peacefully, or bloodlessly.

[Update a few minutes later]

The Washington Free Beacon lives up to its name, and republishes the offending cartoons.

[Update a few more minutes later]

Thoughts from Larry Correia:

Because of my job I follow a lot of authors, artists, and creative types, so I noticed something this morning. Many of them were compelled to say something about the events in France, but most of them wouldn’t say anything about who did this horrible thing. They talked about tragedy, and violence, and shootings, and terror, but very few would come out and say anything about the actual bad guys. Anybody who did mention the actual bad guys had to put in the obligatory Most Muslims are Peaceful disclaimer and then walk on eggshells to avoid being slandered as hatemongers by their followers who are members of the Goodthink Police.

I felt like writing something here. But then I felt this momentary pang of dread. What if my words make somebody angry? What if I upset them? And that’s when it hit me, every single public figure, every person with an audience, felt that same doubt. That same little bit of fear that evil Islamic lunatics would take offense and kill them. No matter how unlikely or irrational, they felt it.

And that is exactly what evil wants.

Yes. We cannot let them cow us. But of course, it’s a lot easier for me to write this than Claire, who is in the city where these vicious monsters are still at large.

[Update a while later]

…although, thank goodness, Rushdie remains safe, the Islamists have largely been winning this war since. They have successfully intimidated a very large number of writers and artists and journalists and film-makers all over the world into silence (and many live in exile because of threats to their safety), and within Muslim countries they have in addition used blasphemy laws to persecute their enemies and basically make any discussion of religion impossible. All this while religious apologists continue to proclaim to CNN and the BBC that their religion stands only for peace. Tell that to the tens of thousands of victims of religious violence in Pakistan alone. “Oh, the number of extremists is very small; most Muslims are peace-loving people.” The number of actual terrorists is always small. The problem is that a great proportion of Muslims sympathize with these people, which is why it is impossible to eliminate them.


[Update a few minutes later]

Christopher Hitchens speaks from the grave about today’s Paris massacre:

This is not new. I’ve written about this many times. It’s reverse ecumenicism. It first became obvious to me when the fatwa was issued against Salman Rushdie in 1989. The reaction of the official newspaper of the Vatican was that the problem wasn’t that the foreign leader of a theocratic dictatorship offered money, in public, in his own name, to suborn the murder of the writer of a book of fiction in another country, who wasn’t an Iranian citizen. The problem was not that.

You and I may have thought, bloody hell, this is a new kind of threat. But it’s an old level of threat. Blasphemy is the problem. That was also the view of the archbishop of Canterbury. The general reaction of the religious establishments to that and to the Danish case—and, by the way, of our secular State Department in the Danish case—was to say the problem was Danish offensiveness. A cartoon in a provincial town in a small Scandinavian democracy obviously should be censored by the government lest it ignite—or as Yale University Press put it, instigate—violence.

Instigation of violence can only mean one thing. I know the English language better than I know anything else.

Yes, blasphemy is the problem. But now it’s only when it comes to one totalitarian belief system.

[Thursday-morning update]

This is for people attempting to make an equivalence between Christianity and Islam:


Can anyone point out the equivalent of this in Christendom?


Beating Bibi

Obama’s last campaign:

A goal of the White House seems to have been to break the bipartisan support for a strong U.S-Israel relationship in Congress by making it far easier for Democrats to go their own way. In essence, the White House has facilitated a transition within the party to better reflect the views of the Democratic Party’s base, now heavily made up of younger voters and minorities, among whom there is not nearly as much support for Israel as in the past. The Obama administration has set in place a longer-term process to separate Democrats in Congress from their historic role as strong supporters of Israel.

Whether Obama is following his base on this issue or leading it is a different question. As the single most visible political figure in government, when a president is viewed as being engaged in a bitter feud with a foreign leader, as the press has dutifully reported is the case between Netanyahu and Obama, a strong message has been delivered. This message particularly gets to those who support the president in general, and on pretty much all specific issues. The president has also blessed and opened the White House’s door to J Street, an organization allegedly committed to both Israel and peace. In reality, the group is a “blocking back for the White House,” as its own leaders have admitted, for the regular Israel-bashing and pressure campaign that has been underway since both Obama and Netanyahu took office in 2009. If one looks for instances of J Street uttering a kind word about Netanyahu, you will find even fewer than those from the president himself.

As noted there, Bill Clinton did something similar, dispatching James Carville to defeat the previous Netanyahu government.

Makin’ Mock Of Cops

Some thoughts on unrealistic expectations:

Essentially, the Left places an inhuman burden of patience and tolerance for risk on police officers, then jumps on the inevitable failure to achieve an impossible standard as proof of police corruption and violence. They do the same thing to soldiers in combat conditions, imposing on them restrictions that defy reason and human nature, then decry alleged “abuses” as creating moral equivalence between Americans and their enemies.

…The best way to lower the temperature in a neighborhood — to decrease the chances for the kinds of encounters that result in unarmed civilians dying to police gunfire — is to continue to engage in the law-enforcement and criminal-justice practices that we know can and do dramatically lower the rate of violent crime. And that means focusing on getting violent criminals off the streets. I strongly recommend Kevin Williamson’s piece on this point. Who commits murders? People with prior, violent criminal records. And so long as violent criminals are on the streets, police on those streets — who are properly and naturally more aggressive than civilians — will make exactly the kinds of decisions in the “fog of war” that cause anti-police radicals to chant for their deaths. It’s inevitable.

It’s all part of the Left’s war on human nature.

Two Tyrannies In One Day

The US caves:

Obama announced on Wednesday that Washington and the Castro regime would resume diplomatic relations after a 53-year estrangement. This platinum-medal prize for totalitarian legend Fidel Castro, 88, and his brother Raul, a sprightly man of 83, came at a cost to them of . . . nothing!

Normalization might have made sense in exchange for the Castros’ liberating all political prisoners from their dungeons. (In 2008, Obama promised that normal relations only would happen after the Castros’ political jails were emptied.) A strict timetable for free elections might have merited Obama’s move. So might have Cuba’s adoption of freedoms of movement, speech, press, property, and religion — for starters. The Castros still offer their people none of the above. Fidel and Raul get to eat their dictatorial cake and have it, too, with diplomatic-relations frosting on top. Free of charge.

Obama’s Christmas present to these aging autocracts lacks the geopolitical genius and strategic benefits of President Nixon’s February 1972 overture to China. Instead, it’s just one young strongman handing the ultimate bucket-list item to two ancient strongmen. The only strings attached to Obama’s gift are the ribbons around the wrapping paper.

America’s surrender to North Korea and its hackers is even more bothersome.

Not sure it’s more bothersome, but it is depressing.

Religion Of Peace Update

I know it’s become a sad joke, but when I heard last night about the execution of the two cops in New York, I thought “When will we find out that the perp was a Muslim”? With the last name “Brinsley,” I figured that we’d finally found a random murderous criminal act that wasn’t Jihad related — it was just from rage whipped up by the hateful race baiters like Sharpton (and de Blasio).

Well, it turns out that my relief came too soon:

In my previous posts on assassin Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who murdered two New York Police Department officers on Saturday, I noted that he had posted on Facebook a page of the Quran with a notorious verse calling on Muslims to “strike terror into the [hearts of] the enemies of Allah,” and another post about a fight he recently engaged in with an Atlanta panhandler when he discovered the panhandler was a “Muslim too.”

But an Instagram message posted by Brinsley during Ramadan five months ago may indicate that he visited one of America’s most terror-tied mosques.



A dangerous holiday:

For those liberals who believe that Jewish identity should be limited to donating to help Haiti, agitating for illegal aliens and promoting the environment; Chanukah is a threatening holiday. They have secularized it, dressed it up with teddy bears and toys, trimmed it with the ecology and civil rights of their new faith. Occasionally a Jewish liberal learns the history of it and writes an outraged essay about nationalism and militarism, but mostly they are content to bury it in the same dark cellar that they store the rest of the history of their people and the culture that they left behind.

Holidays aren’t mere parties, they are messages. Knots of time that we tie around the fingers of our lives so that we remember what our ancestors meant us to never forget. That they lived and died for a reason. The party is a celebration, but if we forget what it celebrates, then it becomes a celebration of celebration. A hollow and soulless festival of the self. The Maccabees fought because they believed they had something worth fighting for. Not for their possessions, but for their traditions, their families and their G-d. The celebration of Chanukah is not just how we remember them, but how we remember that we are called upon to keep their watch. To take up their banner and carry their sword.

History is a wheel and as it turns, we see the old continents of time rising again, events revisiting themselves as the patterns of the past become new again. Ancient battles become new wars. And old struggles have to be re-fought again until we finally get them right.

Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.

Our Dependence On Russian Engines


“Certainly the NDAA places future restrictions on the use of the Russian engines for national security space applications. Our application is in civil space. There’s a long history of U.S.-Russian cooperation in civil space, dating back to Apollo-Soyuz in the 1970s at the height of the Cold War. Since our immediate objective is in civil space supporting the International Space Station, it’s got a slightly different twist or perspective than supporting national security space. NASA already relies on cooperation with its Russian partner in other ways to execute the ISS program [including] crew transport. Certainly it would not make sense to restrict the use of engines manufactured in Russia on a program that’s already inherently dependent on cooperation between the United States and Russia.”

In other words, civil space isn’t important. We cooperated with the Soviets during the Cold War, but we were never dependent on them. I assume this means more INKSNA waivers.