Proponents of action in Syria after the use of chemical weapons make a case — and it’s not a bad case — that the credibility of the United States is on the line. Once the President draws a red line, we either need to back up those words or risk losing the deterrent our power provides to keep our enemies in line, and our friends confident of our protection. With Iran still pushing to create its own nuclear-arms arsenal, that deterrent isn’t just a theoretical construct but a badly-needed reality. Advocates of action in Syria explicitly name Iran as the
Two of President Barack Obama´s White House predecessors offered their views of his impending decision on Syria Friday as global support for strikes in the country faltered. Former President George W. Bush, in an interview, said Obama has a "tough choice to make" on potential U.S. military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is accused of using chemical weapons against civilians. "If he decides to use our military, he´ll have the greatest military ever backing him up," Bush said in an appearance on Fox News. The United States and major allies are currently weighing major military action against Assad,
Why does the National Review want the United States to take stronger measures against Bashir al-Assad when the majority of its contributors, along with the American public, seem to be wary of any kind of intervention? In an editorial published Wednesday, “The Editors” endorsed the Obama administration’s intention to take military action in Syria, while arguing they should go further, putting U.S. special forces on the ground to arm and train a rebel army with links to al-Qaeda, “creating proxy forces on the ground.” Though they stopped short of calling for the U.S. to topple Assad — it’s a “manifestly
Congress hasn’t passed immigration legislation, but that hasn’t stopped President Obama from issuing directives that grant amnesty to illegal immigrants. Last week, the Obama Administration issued the latest in a line of policy directives granting amnesty by default. This latest directive instructs Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials not to enforce immigration laws in cases where an illegal alien is the primary provider for any minor child—regardless of the child’s immigration status—or the parent or guardian of a child who is a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident. In a statement about the new directive, House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte
A stellar ‘caterpillar’ in the midst of a metamorphosis has been spotted by astronomers. The light-year-long cosmic squiggle is currently collecting material from an envelope of gas surrounding it. A previous study has called the object, which lies 4,500 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus, a ‘tadpole in an interstellar pond.’ Harsh winds from extremely bright stars are blasting ultraviolet radiation at this ´wanna-be´ star, named IRAS 20324+4057, and sculpting the gas and dust into its long shape. Astronomers are now keen to see what will emerge from the protostar, which is in a very early evolutionary stage.
President George W. Bush appeared on Fox News Channel on Friday where he discussed his recovery from a recent heart surgery and his charitable works for veterans. Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade asked Bush for his thoughts on the debate over whether to intervene in the Syrian civil war. Bush said that President Barack Obama has a hard decision to make, the hardest any president can make. While Bush said that he is not a fan of Bashar al-Assad, he refused to be “roped in” to giving an opinion as to whether a strike on Syria was justified. Kilmeade
Israel plans to soon begin deporting migrants from Eritrea and Sudan, who number more than 50,000, back to Africa via Uganda, officials said. Israel regards most of the Africans as illegal visitors in search of jobs, and largely rejects the position of human rights groups that many fled their countries in search of political asylum. A statement late on Thursday from interior minister Gideon Sa´ar said Israel would soon begin a staged process of deporting the migrants, most of whom have crossed the border with Egypt since 2006. Sa´ar said an agreement had been reached with Uganda to absorb the "infiltrators", who would
Until Barack Obama´s presidency, the one certainty an American president could count on in the risky realm of war and peace was the support of the Brits. But now Obama finds himself with only France, as the UK Parliament debated and rejected support for military action against Syria. Bashir Assad appears to have called his bluff on a chemical weapons red line. With Russia dispatching warships and Iran fulminating as usual, a stare-down is underway and Obama´s "smart diplomacy" has isolated America, and the Russian reset has exploded in his face like an Acme cigar.
As U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush gave Sen. Mark Kirk a guided tour of Englewood from the safety of a bus Thursday afternoon, they rolled by the aftermath of a shooting outside a school at lunch time, punctuating the problem the South Side community faces. “I would like to crush the Gangster Disciples as an organization,” Kirk said after the tour. “I think the federal government should have the capability to do that.” Rush brushed off Kirk’s comment and said the idea of the Gangster Disciples as an organized group is a “myth” and a “figment of Kirk’s imagination.” “We have armed
As President Obama readies a possible military strike against Syria Thursday, the White House 2013 Christmas ornament is going on sale with the slogan, “Peace on Earth.” The White House Historical Association is advertising the new ornament on its website and on signs around town, including one in Lafayette Park across from the White House. This year’s ornament honors Woodrow Wilson, the 28th president, who pushed for a precursor to the United Nations. The center of the ornament depicts an American elm tree planted by Mr. Wilson on the North Lawn of the White House on December 18, 1913, just before
Twenty minutes after kickoff for the Bears’ final preseason game, swaths of people were still heading through tunnels south of Soldier Field after unsuccessfully trying to get backpacks, large purses and fanny packs into Thursday night’s game. They were headed to a block of about 600 lockers that could store their prohibited items for $10 cash. The National Football League announced this season that most purses and bags larger than a hand would not be permitted at games. Clear plastic bags provided by the Bears for season-ticket holders or purchased for $8 were allowed in. Other clear containers no bigger
Last week reader Martin Vaala forwarded the poem below to us. At the time I thought it might be too harsh, and it may be, but it might also be just about right. It captures something about the frivolous quality of the dilettante who is our president, or so it seems to me at the moment. You be the judge: Blood on my hands From Africa to Washington to Oklahoma If I had a son He would look like Chelsea Manning He’s almost as prissy Not much less the fool O.
Bashar Assad won Round 1, and there probably won’t be a Round 2. The momentum toward punishing the Syrian regime, payback for what everyone agrees are war crimes and crimes against humanity, has dissipated. Momentum blunted is difficult to recover. Through leaks, winks and nudges, President Obama first did a reasonably persuasive imitation of Sylvester Stallone and the Terminator, as the bold and decisive man of war bubbling with testosterone. He sounded as if he were trying to remind the world of George H.W. Bush who on the eve of the campaign to evict Saddam Hussein from Kuwait, famously cried: “This
Controversial Florida Pastor Terry Jones must get a county permit to use Loyce E. Harpe Park near Mulberry for his Sept. 11 protest burning of 2,998 Qurans, Polk County officials said Thursday. Jones said he´ll apply for a facility use agreement, but he´s not expecting the county to approve it. That won´t deter him from moving ahead with his plans, he said. "Quite honestly, we all know what this application means," Jones said Thursday. "It´s a way for them not to approve it. We´ll fill out the application, but we´re also going to proceed with our event."
The 11-year-old son of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Hafez, has reportedly goaded the US to strike Syria in a Facebook post. "I just want them to attack soooo much," Hafez al-Assad allegedly wrote, "because I want them to make this huge attack of beginning something that they don´t know the end of it." Whether the profile is real or not has not been confirmed -- but The New York Times has put forward evidence backing its authenticity. The Times notes it has been "Liked" and commented on by people who appear to be the children and grandchildren of senior members
A small-town education chief in Indonesia made headlines last week after he reportedly planned to impose mandatory virginity tests on female students entering high school. He cited concerns over premarital sex and teen prostitution as the reason. But H.M. Rasyid, the Education Agency chief of Prabumulih, a town in South Sumatra province, wasn’t saying anything Indonesians hadn’t heard before. In recent years, other figures have argued for virginity tests — an invasive, humiliating procedure that is based on pseudo science — including a provincial legislator in eastern Sumatra in 2010 and a district chief in western Java in 2007.
Phyllis Chesler has had a curious career. Back in the 1970s, along with Betty Friedan, Germaine Greer, Kate Millett, and company, she was a leading “second-wave” feminist, whose 1972 book Women and Madness sold 2.5 million copies. Yet, in some respects, she always differed from her activist sisters. For one thing, she didn’t idealize non-Western cultures, or seem deluded into thinking that she and her fellow middle- and upper-class American women were the most oppressed creatures on earth. For another, she didn’t hate men. On the contrary, far from buying into the notion that women are morally superior to men
A speech at the Lincoln Memorial, on the 50th anniversary of perhaps the greatest American speech since Lincoln breathed his last, is a speechwriter’s nightmare. It is comparable to crafting Memorial Day remarks for delivery at Gettysburg, or coming up with a new angle for a speech at Pointe du Hoc. The historical stage is already fully occupied. It is like lighting a bonfire on the surface of the sun. The Rev. Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech was not only an example of skilled rhetoric; it was also a moment of culmination. It was the culmination of a
"We will keep this promise to the American people. If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away." That was President Obama selling ObamaCare in 2009, and it was a promise he repeated on numerous occasions. As recently as this spring, Obama claimed that "for the 85% to 90% of Americans who already have health insurance ... they don´t have to worry about anything else." But this week, a survey of big businesses provided additional evidence that it´s a promise Obama won´t be able to keep.
The war drums now reverberate over the Potomac “Humane killer” appears to be an oxymoron that startles with contradiction. Yet talking of war is a way of drawing a fine distinction, not a contradiction. The civilized world clarifies an understanding of how civilized man can kill an enemy while separating human from inhumane. When Syrian President Bashar Assad turned poison gas against the rebels and their families, everyone could agree that even in a civil war, where passions burn hottest, that’s inhumane and not forgivable. The harsh and mechanical reporting of war rarely invites poetry to make a correspondent’s points, but a reader
Foreign policy grants American presidents almost supernatural powers. From thousands of miles away, they can mobilize fleets and squadrons at a whim, sometimes killing without risking a single soldier´s life. But foreign policy can also become a curse, with an equally mystical ability to ruin a presidency. Barack Obama learned that lesson watching his predecessor wage what Obama famously called "a dumb war" of choice in Iraq. His opposition to the invasion launched the one-term Senator´s first presidential run, and he arrived in the White House with a clear vision of a humbler America narrowly focused on core interests, like
The National Journal must be choking on its bile. It has had to acknowledge that the Republicans have been right about Obamacare. Republicans have long blamed President Obama’s signature health care initiative for increasing insurance costs, dubbing it the “Unaffordable Care Act.” Turns out, they might be right. For the vast majority of Americans, premium prices will be higher in the individual exchange than what they’re currently paying for employer-sponsored benefits, according to a National Journal analysis of new coverage and cost data. Adding even more out-of-pocket expenses to consumers’ monthly insurance bills is a swell in deductibles under the Affordable Care Act.
Having leaked to the world, and thus to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a detailed briefing of the coming U.S. air attack on Syria — (1) the source (offshore warships and perhaps a bomber or two), (2) the weapon (cruise missiles), (3) the duration (two or three days), (4) the purpose (punishment, not “regime change”) — perhaps we should be publishing the exact time the bombs will fall, lest we disrupt dinner in Damascus. So much for the element of surprise. Into his third year of dithering, two years after declaring Assad had to go, one year after drawing — then erasing
My last post was more negative against the evidence used by those who believe President Obama must seek support in Congress before any strikes against Syria. Let me add more positive arguments in support of the idea that the president’s commander-in-chief and executive powers, granted in Article II of the Constitution, give him the authority to use force abroad. A broader, more sophisticated account of the history of the Framing of the Constitution undermines the simple claim, made by Representatives Amash and Nadler and Senator Paul, that the Framers would want Congress to have the power over war because they