Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cruising the Web

If you're wondering why Assad went ahead and used chemical weapons, just look at Obama's record in foreign policy and you will understand why Assad figured he could ignore Obama's warnings about a red line.
The administration has a knack for believing in the wrong people. “There is a different leader in Syria now,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said of Assad in 2011, touting his reformist credentials. This was just before Assad launched the slaughter of his opponents in good earnest. In response, the administration put its faith in an international peace initiative, led by the redoubtable former U.N. honcho Kofi Annan, that had zero chance of resolving the conflict.

When Assad prepared to use chemical weapons last year, President Obama warned of a fearsome “red line,” with no intention of following up on it. When Assad called his bluff, the president announced that he would provide small arms to the rebels in retaliation, but he hasn’t actually done it yet. Is it any wonder that Bashar Assad would, like Vladimir Putin, think he had taken the measure of the man? Last week, Assad killed hundreds in another chemical-weapons attack.

The sharply worded warning ignored by everyone has become the Obama administration’s characteristic rhetorical trope. Its warning to the military junta in Egypt not to crack down on the Muslim Brotherhood was taken with all the seriousness of its admonitions to Assad to step aside. The Obama administration has responded to the resulting crackdown by suspending some aid to Egypt in secret, at the same time that the Saudis — one of our closest allies — say it doesn’t matter what we do because they will replace whatever aid we cut.
This is not to say that figuring out what to do about Assad was an easy matter, but it is pretty clear that Obama's approach made it worse. And imagine the lessons that Iran has learned by watching all this.

Why is the administration leaking so much about what they may and may not do in Syria? Why are they announcing ahead of time how limited any attack would be?

Some others are starting to wonder what my husband and I have been wondering: why is a chemical attack that killed hundreds of Assad's countrymen worthy of a red line, but bombing and shooting and killing over a hundred thousand Syrians is not? CNN attempts to explain. It's all about trying to maintain some international limits on warfare, a concept that seems rather quaint in this day and age.

Obama, Kerry, Bush, and friends discuss Syria on Facebook.

So why is our government guaranteeing home mortgages for Palestinians on the West Bank?

Here's a case study that encapsulates what is wrong with government in Chicago. A new Ford dealership was all set to be built, but one Chicago alderman on the Zoning Committee put a block on the proposal that would have provided jobs and tax revenue to the city because he wants Ford to recruit more Hispanic car dealers. And now it comes out that the alderman has received donations from a Hispanic businessman who wants to get into the dealership business and now Ford is basically promising that businessman an opportunity to get his own dealership. So how many businessmen will look at this whole idiocy and decide not to invest in Chicago?

Bobby Jindal jabs back at Chris Christie. If these two both run for 2016, it should be a much more interesting nomination fight than 2012 or 2008 were.

John Hawkins reminds us of what liberals have termed as racism since the election of Barack Obama.

Richard Epstein discusses the two major goals of the March on Washington: freedom and jobs. He explains how the second goal has been twisted in such a way that it has led to fewer job opportunities for b lacks.

Here is an interesting look at Bob Dylan's participation in the March on Washington and how this led eventually to his decision to stop commenting on politics.

As a history major, I really enjoyed this list of 19 things only a history major will understand. Quite a few of them are so very true. Though I never ran into anyone who told me that a history major was easy.