What I Think About the Hebdo Attack

First off, the Charlie Hebdo drawings are rather crude and not at all to my taste.

Secondly, to call this an attack upon free speech when we’re decades into Political Correctness in the West is an absurdity.

Third, One might like to think that such a brazen crime as this will wake people up, but it won’t: we’ll have our candle light vigils and our hand wringing…and maybe someone will lob a few missiles in the general direction of Islamists, somewhere; but we won’t actually face up to the facts. To do so would call forth a whole series of very inconvenient things which would distract politicians from grafting, corporations from squeezing profits and average folks from watching mindless television programs.

One thing that caught my eye over the course of the day was the furious reaction – mostly on the right, as far as I can tell – to the head of the Catholic League’s statement on the matter. To quote a bit:

…While some Muslims today object to any depiction of the Prophet, others do not. Moreover, visual representations of him are not proscribed by the Koran. What unites Muslims in their anger against Charlie Hebdo is the vulgar manner in which Muhammad has been portrayed. What they object to is being intentionally insulted over the course of many years. On this aspect, I am in total agreement with them…

That is bound to make people mad. Partially because it appears to excuse the killers (though it doesn’t actually do that, if you read the whole thing), partially because lots of people are dead and we’re supposed to be agog at the heroism of Charlie Hebdo from now on.

Charlie Hebdo did create some rather vulgar depictions of a lot of things – including Catholic things. Of course, vulgar depictions of Christians of any sort are common in popular media. Its a sort of go-to thing for anyone wanting to (safely) make a name for themselves as transgressive. Sure, when you insult a Christian there might be a Christian or two who complains, but its not like Christians are going to kill you over it. To give a bit of credit to Charlie Hebdo, the insults were directed a lot of people, including Muslims – in a world where most people walk on eggshells around Muslim issues, that says something. But, it also doesn’t excuse crude insults.

Just to make myself clear: a person is not properly exercising his or her right to free speech when they are hurling an insult. To be sure, such things happen – and no one possessed of their wits will ever try to prevent someone from saying something because it might be insulting. But, here’s the thing: our entire Western world does precisely that. And, yes, that does make us rather witless. We’re making Charlie Hebdo into a hero for being ecumenically insulting but we’ll drive out of corporate America a person who once donated to a pro-traditional marriage cause. Yeah, that makes sense. People at Charlie Hebdo abuse the privilege of free speech and it is accounted heroic – someone properly exercises their right to free speech and he’s socially unacceptable. Am I the only one who sees a problem here?

My guess is that my more libertarian friends would say that both Charlie Hebdo and the corporate boss should have been left alone. And they would be right for saying that. Still, one man was fired for quietly expressing his opinion, the other were people gainfully employed for loudly shouting insults.

The drawings of Charlie Hebdo remind me of nothing so much as a the crude pictures in the anti-Semitic Der Sturmer; they shouldn’t have been printed in any decent publication in the world. If you have something to say against, then it is your bound duty to say it in a manner which provides information in a non-insulting manner. Like most social duties, this cannot be enforced; as per usual, being decent is something which pretty much has to be done voluntarily. If someone wants to wallow in the gutter, there’s not much anyone can do about it. But such people aren’t being brave or heroic – they’re just being jerks. Additionally, if something can’t be said politely then it is probably at least partially incorrect on factual grounds.

At the end of the day, Charlie Hebdo should have found different themes to draw upon. They could well have used art to provoke discussion – including discussion about the very serious problems the world confronts in Islamic radicalism. In a very small way, the world would be a better place had things gone like that. Of course, the Hebdo massacre could well have been done by Islamists for even carefully reasoned and polite criticism of Islam – the Islamist enemy is like that. But the old saw is that it costs nothing to be polite – and it can cost a lot to be insulting. Better, on the whole, to be polite.

Freedom is the ability to freely choose to do the right thing, or it is nothing. We know that shooting up a news office is not the right thing and thus anyone who uses his God-given right of choice to do such a thing has done wrong. I am hopeful that most people will also hold that insulting people is to freely choose to do the wrong thing – not nearly as wrong as killing, of course, but still wrong. Anyone out there want to lay odds on who will win in a fight between those who want to insult and those who want to kill those who insult?

The fight, I think, would have a different outcome if the Islamists were confronted with people who firmly but politely stated their views and demonstrated their willingness to kill or die for them.

(Ed Note: Updated to make it clear that Charlie Hebdo is a magazine, not a person. My excuse is that it was late at night and the original concept of this was to write specifically about Stéphane Charbonnier, but I felt that was to get too personal into it and re-worked the whole article…but forgetting that I was talking about a magazine, not a person. Sorry for being a bonehead. Not the first time it happened, won’t be the last!)

Karl Rove’s Silence About Saddam’s WMDs?

Quite a lot of people are upset about this:

Starting in 2004, some members of the George W. Bush administration and Republican lawmakers began to find evidence of discarded chemical weapons in Iraq. But when the information was brought up with the White House, senior adviser Karl Rove told them to “let these sleeping dogs lie.”

The issue of Iraq’s WMD remnants was suddenly thrust back into the fore this week, with a blockbuster New York Times report accusing the Bush administration of covering up American troops’ chemically induced wounds.

To people familiar with the issue, both inside that administration and outside, the blame for the coverup falls on one particular set of shoulders: Rove’s…

I was listening a little to Rush today and he was clearly flabbergasted about it. While we did not find in 2003-2004 the sort of active, WMD program that global intelligence services said would be there, it is clear from recent reports that Saddam had, indeed, quite a lot of WMDs and WMD-related materials. The fact of the matter is, of course, that Saddam wasn’t supposed to have so much as a spark-plug which could be WMD-related – per the 1991 Gulf War cease fire and various UN resolutions, every last bit of it was supposed to be removed and destroyed from Saddam’s domain. It is absolutely certain, now, that this was not done – Saddam secreted quite a lot of chemical weapons and various components for WMD programs. This, and this alone, gave sufficient moral and legal justification for the resumption of hostilities between the United States and Saddam’s regime in 2003. The whole liberal narrative about the war – that we faked evidence of WMDs in order to start a war in order to enrich Cheney’s buddies at Haliburton (and, really, this is what the left thinks the war was all about) – is false. Stupidly false, too.

Liberals will just keep on with their narrative as they never let facts get in the way of a good (for liberals) narrative, but quite a lot of criticism over these new revelations (which really aren’t all that new, of course; they are just being noticed, now, in the MSM) is coming from the right – condemnations of Karl Rove for not getting the Bush Administration to front-and-center this information, especially in the 2005-2006 time frame, when it could have proved crucial to resetting the political battlefield – a battlefield which ultimately went disastrously bad for the GOP in 2006 and 2008, largely on the strength of the liberals’ false narrative about the campaign in Iraq (to me, it wasn’t Katrina that wrecked the Bush Administration credibility – though the false narrative in that event played a big role – but, rather, it was the insertion into the American mind that Bush et al had lied about Saddam’s WMD that did the damage). Why, the question is being asked, did Rove drop the ball on this one? Why did he, so the accusation go, keep this information quiet? The allegation from other political players at the time is that Rove felt we had already lost the battle over WMDs and it was better not to stir things up, and so as evidence of WMDs piled up – and American soldiers were injured by said WMDs – a lid was kept on things. Why?

I can’t read Rove’s mind so I don’t know – if Rove gives comment on it, then those comments can be weighed in light of accumulated evidence. But here’s what I think really caused the problem:

The fundamental flaws in Bush Administration policy regarding the war were two:

1. A failure to clearly identify radical Islam as a problem.

To be sure, the Bush Administration was more clear about this than the Obama Administration, but even Bush Administration people – and President Bush – were out there routinely declaring that Islam means peace and essentially making it clear that there was no fundamental problem within Islam that needed to be addressed.

2. Following upon that, there was no strategic plan to completely remake the Muslim world.

As we couldn’t fault Islam, itself, so we couldn’t craft a plan which would have us knock down all known generators of the problem within Islam. We curtailed our efforts. We stopped at the Iraqi border and clearly never thought about marching in to Syria or Iran (two prime makers of radical Islam), but we also refused to cut our ties with the Saudis who provided lavish funding directly to Islamic groups who preached hatred, and indirectly (along with many other oil-rich Arabian States) actually funded Jihadist groups.

Hamstrung as we were, I can see Rove’s position: the only thing that was wanted, especially from 2006 onwards, was a successful conclusion to Iraq. Bush and team managed to accomplish that, but as the real problem was never addressed and all political activity had been exhausted on just getting to victory in Iraq, there was nothing left over, really, for the larger issue. Re-fighting the WMD issue would have been a waste of time – and, in fact, counter-productive. Of course, in reality, fighting the WMD issue the first time was a waste of time – and counter productive. We never should have bothered with such nonsense. We did it primarily because it was felt – incorrectly – that we needed a broad, international coalition and some sort of UN approval (and it was vital to get UN approval – or at least attempt to – in order to get Britain on board). We dithered around with that and got caught up in a side-show: whether or not Saddam had WMDs. Well, he did. And I remain convince that he had a lot more, but it was moved out of his territory by other, concerned actors during the period between our first demands and the many, many months which passed in trivial, useless action with the UN.

So, don’t fault Rove for silence on Iraqi WMDs – as a political operative, he was doing what was necessary to achieve a narrow, political goal: garner enough support to see us through to the end in Iraq. It wasn’t his job to set national policy – that was President Bush’s. Here is where I fault him – though, of course, partially with hindsight. While I’ve always felt that the reason for going into Iraq was for the larger, strategic necessity of changing the Middle East in a fundamental way, I did believe that if we could secure a reasonable regime in Iraq, we could provide an alternative to the Muslim people and they would cease to listen to the purveyors of hatred and war. I’m not so sure, today, that even if Obama had continued Bush’s policies in Iraq that this would have come to pass. It might have – and we certainly should have tried – but the more I see of radical Islam, the more convinced I become that only a really sound thrashing from one end of the Muslim world to the other will convince the Muslim people that they’d better get on board with stamping on the jihadists. This is not, by the way, because I think that most Muslims like the jihadists (I think most Muslims despise the beheaders and enslavers), but because I think that most Muslims are deathly afraid of the jihadists. And rightly so, as we’ve seen with the ISIS barbarians – our actions would be to show that if you sign on with us, we’ll be there for you as long as needed and we’ll ensure that the jihadists are never able to triumph.

We’ve pretty much lost the war right now. Iraq is a disaster, Syria is a disaster, Iran is triumphant and Afghanistan will go back to the Taliban within weeks of our withdrawal, from what I can see. The jihadists are strong and feeling stronger and the people of the Muslim world who don’t like the jihadists look out and see absolutely no one around the world who will come to their aid…so, they mostly just go along to get along and hope that not too many of their sons and daughters fall victim to the jihadists. We will, though, eventually have to get back into this war and win it – savagery like ISIS simply cannot be allowed to stand…and the longer we allow it to survive, the worse and more powerful it will get, and eventually those people will do something so horrible to us that we’ll have to act. And when that time comes, we have to treat the whole Muslim world as a unit, just as the jihadists do (they care nothing for the artificially created political boundaries within the Muslim world). We’ll have to go to war against the enemy where ever he is, and go after everyone who in any way, shape or form gives aid to the jihadists. But that is a war for another time – maybe even ten or twenty years from now. For now, the disaster is what it is – and what happened between 2004 and 2008 is what happened. No sense raking it over too much, or trying to assign blame for it all to Karl Rove. Mistakes were made; that we all know. Our job is to learn from them.

Obama’s Non-War

The usual course of action is that when the guns go off, we citizens are to rally ’round the flag and back our forces in the pursuit of victory. But that is a bit impossible right now – Obama and his Administration are telling us, over and over, that this isn’t a war. That we’ll be bombing the heck out of things and that lots of people will die horrific, violent deaths at our hands doesn’t count: per Obama and Co, war is only in existence is U.S. troops are on the ground doing the fighting.

So, no war – and thus no rallying ’round the flag. And even if we decided – correctly – that Obama and Co are just full of “stuff” and that this is a war so we’d better rally anyways, what would we be rallying for? Not for victory, because there can be no victory in this non-war. Its not like the enemy commander can offer to surrender to a drone. We’ll bomb a lot and kill a lot of people and this will help those who are fighting the people we’re bombing – and that, in turn, might lead others to victory. A Kurdish victory would be ok, as the Kurds seem a lot of very decent people – but it could also lead to Assad’s victory in Syria and Iran’s victory in Iraq; not exactly ideal outcomes for us. It could also lead to victory for non-ISIS, non-Assad forces in Syria, this might not work out well, either. Let’s just say I have my doubts about Administration assurances that they can pick the non-Islamist-screwball forces in Syria for us to back.

We can also get the worst of all worlds – we blow a lot of stuff up and kill a lot of people with attendant video showing what a bunch of hideous war criminals we are but after all that, Assad still rules his part of Syria, ISIS still rules vast tracts of Syria and Iraq and Iran has secured itself the part of Iraq it cares about (ie, Baghdad plus the oil fields). That sort of outcome is made doubly bad because if ISIS survives in any form, it will become the Islamist hero as it stood up to us, endured a pounding and emerged from the welter of slaughter with victory. Of course, all of this won’t fully come out until after Obama leaves office, so he probably doesn’t care in the least about it, even if he’s aware of the possibility.

This whole thing is the terribly bad decision of a man – Obama – who knows nothing of history, nothing of the world and yet sits assured that he’s the smartest guy in the room. I hope it works out – and I hope our losses are small. But the rule of thumb for war is that you either go all in, or stay all out. Our choices for ISIS were two:

1.  Go all out to war against them until they are all killed or taken, regardless of cost.

2.  Surrender to them and allow them to do as the wish.

Either course of action can have rational arguments to back them up. We have failed to choose between them – we’re just going to bomb a bit and hope for the best. I believe we will be disappointed – and maybe in a vastly worse geo-strategic situation two or three years from now.

UPDATE: Reeling from criticism about us not being at war, the Administration has decided we are at war with ISIS, just as we are against al-Qaeda. Meaning? I guess that six years from now ISIS will be around and a threat, just as al-Qaeda is still around and a threat after six years of Obama…

If You Really Want to Fight ISIS…

…then you’d better be willing to go to war. I mean real war. With two million American personnel over in the Middle East for a decade and a complete re-casting of Middle Eastern life under American rule for a long while.

As regular readers know, with Obama in the White House I have become a peacenik – all I am saying, is give peace a chance because I’m dead certain that any war Obama commands will be a lost war. But, maybe I’m wrong and Obama will turn into a regular Abraham Lincoln as war leader – and, so, let’s get to fighting, if that is what you want. After all, if ISIS isn’t worth fighting, then there’s never any cause to fight, ever.

But if we do this, then think about a few things. Don’t get upset about how long it takes: it will take a long time. Don’t get upset about harsh measures: harsh measures will be necessary. Don’t get upset about civilian deaths: civilians will die (especially as most of the people who would put up the stoutest fight are certain to use civilians as shields).  Think about what you want to accomplish: just to kill some ISIS guys, or to actually get to a general settlement of the Middle East?  Killing ISIS guys is fine; but just killing them won’t get rid of what created ISIS – which was not, by the way, Bush’s invasion of Iraq but a series of decisions of the past 1,000 years by the overall Muslim world as affected by various outside forces.

Resign yourself to a long, grinding, expensive fight among people who will alternately hate us or be resentful of us (with just maybe a few groups of people actually catching on that we’re helping them – these people will be invaluable to us). Or, just give it up and let things take their course.  Our choice. But let no one choose lightly. On either side is death and destruction – in a sense, there are no right answers to the problem.  There are a series of wrong answers, and we’d just be trying to find the least wrong thing to do, with a hope that we’ll eventually put things to right.

 

I Think it is Time We Go to War

The brutal murder of James Foley puts things in very stark relief. This is ISIS and it explains the sort of people who have gone to war with us – they are not just cruel, but glory in their cruelty. There is no act of barbarism they will not commit, and then brag about committing it. These are not people amenable to reason; not people we can negotiate with; not people we can share the world with.  They are enemies of the human race, plain and simple – and the sooner they are dispatched into the hereafter the better it will be for everyone.

If we can’t fight people who do this sort of thing – and this is after they have massacred thousands of foreigners and engaged in all manner of savagery – then we can’t fight anyone. Fight these ISIS barbarians. Kill them. Let them know that there is no safety for them against an aroused United States of America. Bomb them when we can get them in our bomb sites; send in troops when we’ve got a fair prospect of killing a lot of them. Arm anyone we reasonably think will go about the process of killing them for whatever reason they think best. No Geneva Convention. No Gitmo. No trials in the United States.  Just fight them and kill them until they are destroyed.

Sure, it won’t solve the whole problem. It won’t create peace and justice in the Middle East – but wiping out ISIS will do the world a favor, not least the Muslim world…and doing so will provide a useful lesson to those who seek the death of Americans: you can go just one step too far, and then all bets are off and there’s no bag limit.

Europe Funds al-Qaeda

Via ransom for kidnap victims:

BAMAKO, Mali — The cash filled three suitcases: 5 million euros.

The German official charged with delivering this cargo arrived here aboard a nearly empty military plane and was whisked away to a secret meeting with the president of Mali, who had offered Europe a face-saving solution to a vexing problem.

Officially, Germany had budgeted the money as humanitarian aid for the poor, landlocked nation of Mali.

The suitcases were loaded onto pickup trucks and driven hundreds of miles north into the Sahara, where the bearded fighters, who would soon become an official arm of Al Qaeda, counted the money on a blanket thrown on the sand. The 2003 episode was a learning experience for both sides. Eleven years later, the handoff in Bamako has become a well-rehearsed ritual, one of dozens of such transactions repeated all over the world…

$66 million was paid to the terrorists just in 2013 and the going rate for an European has soared from $200,000 in 2003 to $10 million in 2013. Its good business.  Criminal gangs appear to do the actual job – the kidnappings – while third party cut-outs arrange the ransom, everyone getting a cut, of course (and I’ll bet government officials in some of these Third World back waters also get a pay off to ensure the local constabulary stays out of the way).

As for why its Europeans – Europe has money; Europe is closer, Europeans are nitwit enough to travel to Muslim lands under the impression – carefully fostered by the European Ruling Class – that Muslim societies are just swell and, of course, it is highly unlikely that an European Special Forces soldier will provide a bullet for the kidnapper instead of the ransom money.  This is partially because European military forces are laughably small these days but mostly because no one in Europe has the will to fight.  As this is just on the 100th anniversary of the First World War, I think it worthwhile to note that the war – and WWII – seems to have killed the European strain which had any spirit, at all.

It is disgraceful and it is also unstoppable, as long as the terrorists don’t get too greedy.  It’ll only stop if the terrorists get better sources of funding, or have enough for the needs for some considerable period of time. There is zero chance that a forceful action by Europe – or even just a flat refusal to pay – will happen.  To be sure, the flat refusal would result in the deaths of those who are currently captive – and likely one or two more sets as the terrorists test resolve – but once you stop paying, eventually the kidnappers stop kidnapping.  But the craven Ruling Class of Europe won’t do that – they won’t fight because they’ve got no guts, and they won’t stop paying because they don’t want to risk popular outrage as You Tube videos of European kidnap victims getting beheaded become common.

Absent Divine intervention, Europe is doomed – unless there is a reconversion of that continent to Christianity in sufficient numbers to control things, Europe will just continue to flabbily go down to destruction.  A people which is bribing the barbarians to peace – as the Romans started to do in the 3rd century – is a people that is doomed.

After Iraq and Afghanistan, What Should Our Policy Be?

There was just a small chance at the end of 2008 that our effort in Iraq would work.  By extreme exertions we had mostly pacified the nation and with a bit of luck and more hard work, Iraq might have slowly developed into a pluralist democracy, thus providing a both a bulwark against extremism and a model for the rest of the long-suffering people of the Middle East.  It did not, however, work out like that.  Rather than keep a presence in Iraq, we withdrew all our forces and essentially left Iraq to its own devices.  Power does abhor a vacuum and as we weren’t there and the Iraqis weren’t quite up to the task, other powers started flowing into Iraq.  Now we see the result of that – a clash which is now really more between some people who want to create a Caliphate without reference to the existence of Iraq as a nation, and the Iranians who are bound and determined to keep control of as much Iraqi territory as possible, also without reference to the existence of Iraq as a nation.  Those in Iraq who would prefer neither Iranian nor Caliphate domination are squeezed between the two and will simply have to choose which evil they think is lesser.

At the end of 2008, Afghanistan was seeing an upsurge in trouble as the Islamist effort in Iraq was beaten back and Afghanistan became the only place an Islamist could fight the United States.  In the 2008 campaign, Obama told the American people that Iraq was the distraction, but that Afghanistan was the war we had to fight.  This is why we cut out of Iraq and then surged into Afghanistan.  Not with the number of troops recommended by senior military leaders and while giving a time frame for our withdrawal, thus allowing the enemy to know how long they had to endure before we quit – but, still, the effort was made in accordance with Obama’s oft-stated premise that we had to fight the war in Afghanistan.  In Afghanistan, it also didn’t work out.  The enemy knew we weren’t there forever and continual restrictions upon the ability of our forces to conduct the sort of brutal war necessary to defeat the Islamist forces made certain that victory wasn’t possible.  Meanwhile, the Afghan government descended into ever worse corruption and clearly started making arrangements for what would happen after the United States departed – mostly in terms of giving power to those who were fighting against us.

After all is said and done, whatever we were hoping to accomplish by going into Afghanistan and Iraq has proven a failure.  For you liberals out there who are of the opinion that killing bin Laden was key and winning in Afghanistan was right because Obama said so: you were wrong.  For us conservatives who believed that we could build a democratic, Muslim nation:  we were wrong.  For those on the left who want to harp upon circa-2004 BUSH LIED!!!!1!! memes; just shut up and go away.  Seriously – no one wants to hear that nonsense any longer.  However one felt about the efforts, they have clearly failed and now it is time to re-assess our policies.

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More Guns, Less Boko Haram

When the rest of the world is only offering you a Twitter hashtag in support, you some times have to take firm action to protect  yourself:

BAUCHI, Nigeria — Villagers in an area of Nigeria where Boko Haram operates have killed and detained scores of the extremist Islamic militants who were suspected of planning a fresh attack, the residents and a security official said.

Locals in Nigeria’s northern states have been forming vigilante groups in various areas to resist the militant group who have held more than 270 schoolgirls captive since last month.

In Kalabalge, a village about 250 kilometers (155 miles) from the Borno state capital of Maiduguri, residents said they were taking matters into their own hands because the Nigerian military is not doing enough to stem Boko Haram attacks.

On Tuesday morning, after learning about an impending attack by militants, locals ambushed two trucks with a gunmen, a security official told The Associated Press. At least 10 militants were detained, and scores were killed, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to give interviews to journalists. It was not immediately clear where the detainees were being held…

I have a friend who is from Nigeria and upon a time we were discussing his home country – which even though he has become an American, he still loves very much and he has a lot of family still living there. After a while, I asked him why the people of south Nigeria put up with it?  Why not just kick the mostly-Muslim north out of the country and have done with it? Nigeria is pretty evenly divided north and south, after all – and the guys who are causing all the ruckus are mostly from the north. Get rid of them, get rid of a large part of the problem.  My friend told me that after the Brits cleared out, the people of the south went to school and learned how to make and build – the people of the north joined the army and learned how to oppress and steal, and they won’t let the south out because the south has the oil.  If the south leaves, the north will have nothing to steal and no one to oppress.  And, so, rather stuck.

It occurred to me after that conversation that the solution, if we want to help Nigeria, is to figure out a way to arm Nigerian militias for local defense in the south. Help the people there just defend themselves and maybe either the north will go away, or will at least become a bit more respectful of the people of the south and won’t steal so often, nor kidnap little girls.  This action by the “vigilantes” (as they are described in the MSM article) is the way to go – and we should offer SEALs and other expert trainers to the Nigerian communities along with sufficient arms and ammunition.  Do that, and over a rather short period of time, the problem there will be resolved, one way or the other.

#BringBackOurGirls and the Death of Heroism

As we recently passed the 69th anniversary of the end of the Second World War (you might have heard of it; a rather significant historical event – even though it took less time for us than did building the ObamaCare website) I have been re-reading Cornelius Ryan’s excellent A Bridge Too Far, which details the “Market-Garden” campaign in Holland in late 1944. Ryan, who wrote several excellent books about major World War Two battles, has a deft way of both showing the utter horror of war as well as showing the sublime courage it took for American and allied forces to win it. One scene in the book, as American paratroopers are landing deep behind enemy lines, has a fighter plane being shot down by the Germans.  The pilot crash-lands his plane close to the American paratroopers, hops out of the wreck and immediately demands a weapon, saying, “I know just where that Kraut SOB is and I’m going to get him”, and off he charges after his enemy.  It seems to me that we, as a people, lack just a bit of that spirit.

Boko Haram has been around for a while, though for our liberals it seems that the group just sprang, fully armed, out of the ground last week – and likely is the result of racist, sexist Teabaggers in the United States.  Without a doubt, if there is something to all this, it is Bush’s fault. As I’m sure everyone is aware, the outrage which finally made even liberals notice was the kidnapping of several hundred Nigerian school girls, with the Boko Haram thugs announcing their plans to tell the girls into slavery (apparently at a bit less than $14 a head, at current exchange rates). While the MSM is careful about concealing the fact that Boko Haram is a Muslim terrorist group closely aligned with al-Qaeda (and, of course, has been massacring Christians in Nigeria for many years), even the bare-bones facts of the case are outrageous. The reaction of our liberals, from Obama on down, has been vigorous – they immediately started a Twitter hashtag, #BringBackOurGirls.  The theory is that the global shaming of Boko Haram will get them to realize the error of their ways and release the girls; but even if that doesn’t work, at least liberals who participated in the hashtag will feel that they did something to help, in much the same way that feeling sorry for a drowning man will excuse one from throwing him a rope, I guess.

Mark Steyn has nailed the whole problem we have here in his recent column, #BringBackOurBalls. Do read it; we here in the West have simply lost our spirit. Here are hundreds of sweet, innocent girls taken by beasts in human skin and our immediate reaction is not to send in military forces to kill the beasts, but to morally pose with a Twitter hashtag – and actually think we are doing something.

The West has a very large problem – we seem to lack the spirit to live. If we do die as a civilization it won’t be because someone stronger than us came along, but because we committed suicide.  When faced with clear evil, we refused to fight. 69 years ago, we charged eagerly at men who were doing evil. Now we stand shivering to one side, hoping that we’ll be left in the enjoyment of our toys at least through our own lifetime.

Benghazi

Given all that has been slowly and painfully dragged out of the Obama Administration about the Benghazi terrorist attack, this is my theory of what happened:

Once it was confirmed that a terrorist attack was underway in Benghazi, the primary focus of the Obama Administration became insulating President Obama from any possible political fall out.  This, I think, is why Obama was removed from the loop of what was going on – the reason he apparently never showed up in the Situation Room and why we have no clear idea where he was while the event was on-going…and why he was sent off on a fundraiser to Las Vegas immediately after.  This dovetailed in with the “it was a video” story line – if it was just a demonstration which got out of hand rather than a terrorist attack, then it simply wasn’t worthy of intense, Presidential-level effort.  The story was to be cast as, “nothing to see here folks; just a tragic event” – because if the truth was immediately presented to the American people it could well have cost Obama the election (remember, “GM is alive and bin Laden is dead!”; an al-Qaeda terrorist attack on 9/11 killing a US ambassador after repeated warnings of both al-Qaeda terrorists and that the facility was not secure would have wrecked the narrative).

Who decided to blame the video remains unclear – we have plenty of e mails and other information indicating that very quickly the video was pegged as the culprit, but who in the White House even knew of the existence of the video and decided to use it as an excuse is unknown.  It is clear, however, that very senior officials approved the lie and went out and backed it (Rice in her infamous interviews, Hillary with her bald-faced lie over the caskets of the dead, the sick and disgusting arrest of the video-maker over a minor charge – this is not done by low level people). Whether or not Obama was directly involved remains unknown – I doubt that he was.  My guess is that after a quick conference somewhere in there where the decision was taken to remove him from the loop, he gave no orders to anyone about it.

Since that time, the whole focus has just been on keeping the truth hidden until it became “old news”; which it has.  Finally dribbling out the last links in the cover-up chain now, in 2014, just makes sure that the whole scandal is also “old news” by the time Hillary runs in 2016.  But the bottom line is this:

President Obama’s policies in regard to the War on Terrorism have failed; al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups are strong and active. Obama’s policies led directly to the situation in which a US facility was attacked and four Americans died needlessly (we’ll leave aside, for now, just why no military response was made – the official word is “no stand down order was given”…which is fine, but it doesn’t explain why no “stand up” order was given; probably because only Obama could really order that, and that would put him in the loop, thus wrecking the “its just a video” narrative”). Obama and his team then deliberately and with malice crafted a lie to cover up the policy failure and sold it to the American people as a means of preserving Obama’s political viability in 2012.