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Intervention and Abdication

mideast refugees

from the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board, The West’s Refugee Crisis

The lesson is that while intervention has risks, so does abdication. The difference is that at least intervention gives the West the opportunity to shape events, often for the better, rather than merely cope with the consequences of doing nothing. As difficult as the war in Iraq was, by 2008 the insurgency was defeated and Iraqis were returning to Baghdad. Only after Mr. Obama withdrew entirely from Iraq and ignored Syria did Iraq deteriorate again and Islamic State advance.

Europeans who dislike an America they think is overbearing should note what happens when the world’s policeman decides to take a vacation and let the neighbors fend for themselves. In the modern world of instant communications and easy transportation, the world’s problems will wash up on the wealthy West’s shores one way or another. If Europe isn’t prepared to handle nearby crises, militarily if necessary, be prepared to accept the refugees.

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The Real Cost of Virtue


from Bret Stephens at The Wall Street Journal, Farewell to the Era of No Fences:

How did this happen? We mistook a holiday from history for the end of it. We built a fenceless world on the wrong set of assumptions about the future. We wanted a new liberal order—one with a lot of liberalism and not a lot of order. We wanted to be a generous civilization without doing the things required to be a prosperous one.

There is no such thing as a lesson from the past that people won’t ignore for the sake of the convenience of the present.

Is there a way out? Suddenly, there’s talk in Europe about using military power to establish safe zones in Syria to contain the exodus of refugees. If U.S. administrations decide on adopting Kant, Europe, even Germany, may have no choice but to reacquaint itself with Hobbes by rebuilding its military and using hard power against unraveling neighbors.

Europeans will not easily embrace that option. The alternative is to hasten the return to the era of fences. Openness is a virtue purchased through strength.

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Ideas Will Remain

from Jeff Jacoby in the Boston Globe,’ I see parchment burning, but the letters are soaring free’

I refuse to excerpt this article. I insist you read it in its entirety.

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More than Mere Tactics

At an industry meeting last week at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, CO, the first speaker on Monday, May 2,  was General Stanley McChrystal.  Given the killing of Bin Laden the day before he changed his topic from one of leadership to speak about the special forces and the situation in the middle east.

He touched on two subjects that was probably new information to most of the people in the audience.  He explained the perspective that the Iranians have on the US by going back 50 years to our (alleged) overthrow of their democratically elected leader Mossadegh and supplanting him with the Shah who proved very unpopular.  We supported Iraq heavily in their long bloody war with Iran.  Read about Mossadegh here. (Rebelyid – October, 2007)

He offered an insight about Islamic radicals.  Many young devoted Islamists are trained to memorize the Koran in Arabic, a language many of them are not familiar with and are thus dependent on their Imam to ‘tell’ them what it means.  Many learn that jihad is war against infidels- the west.  Yet other Islamic scholars contend that ‘jihad’ is a personal struggle of redemption. As with any theology there is likely every shade of distinction between them.  The general’s point was that education is the key to turning the tide of Islamic radicalism.

Our modern military is educated with far more depth than field tactics.  They are deeply aware of the culture and history of the lands they engage.

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The Israelis did not Kill Massoud Mohammadi

… according to Mideast expert Micah Halpern


This explosion was so powerful and out of control it was designed to kill, maim and damage in a wide circumference around the bomb. This was not the work of a Western intelligence force, it was not even the work of a Western assassin. Israel has perfected the art of destroying their target and their target only – a car and the people in the car, nothing else at all. Israel goes the extra mile to make sure the damage is restricted and does not injure people or property around the explosion site.

This explosion was the work of others, it was not the work of Israel and neither was it the work of the United States.

Find out who Micah believes is responsible here.