John Kerry, belatedly, proven right

Qasem Soleimani, deceased commander of the Quds Force (Iran’s amalgam of the CIA and Navy Seals), a division of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps – designated as a terrorist organization last year – has a long history of conducting war against the United States.

He helped plan the attack on our Benghazi diplomatic facilities. He armed dozens of militia groups enabling them to kill hundreds of Americans. He was responsible for the Dec. 27th attack near Kirkuk that killed an American contractor. He organized the recent attack on the American embassy (i.e., American soil) in Baghdad by Quds Force proxy Kata’ib Hezbollah; who raised their flags on its walls.

He had been sanctioned by the previous administration in 2011:
Flashback: Obama Sanctioned Soleimani for Attempted Terror Attack in Washington, DC

“Under Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, Soleimani was to be removed from international sanctions after eight years, though then-Secretary of State John Kerry promised that sanctions against Soleimani would be in place “forever.””

Now, John Kerry is right. If not about the sanctions he was thinking about.

Soleimani was traveling when he died after a very short illness.

Our Maim Scream Media is describing Soleimani as a “revered figure” and a “war hero.” One Progressive wag suggested Soleimani’s demise was like the killing of Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Captain America “all in one.”

This person was referring to the sentiments of Iranians, most of whom, au contraire, are glad the asshole is in pieces. Still, I can’t help but consider that promoting such concern over a terrorist is like the Confederate press favorably noting the North’s mourning of Lincoln’s assassination, the British press happily detailing celebrations of Washington’s victories, and the Red Skull posting excerpts of Captain America’s eulogy on his blog.

So, the parallel with the American press is accurate.

Thank you, sir, may I have another?

Ten United States Navy sailors are abducted by Iran and then released. The Obama Administration claims the Iranians were helping our boats in distress. That doesn’t explain why our sailors were forced to surrender on their knees, blindfolded and given sparse accommodation; why no actual distress call was received by the Navy; or how two boats with dual engines simultaneously lost power. Did someone put sugar in the gas?

Nonetheless, our gratitude is heartfelt:

Secretary of State John Kerry expressed “gratitude to Iranian authorities for their cooperation ‎in swiftly resolving this matter,” in a statement Wednesday…

[A]dding later, “That this issue was resolved peacefully and efficiently is a testament to the critical role diplomacy plays in keeping our country safe, secure, and strong…”

If not a testament to the right of passage in international waters.

The Secretary might have mentioned that the swiftest way to resolve this matter would have been not to seize our military personnel in the first place and not to even think about it again or we’ll keep our $150 billion, but that would have been politically incorrect undiplomatic.

There is nothing to indicate the capture was a hostile act on the part of Iran, a senior Obama administration official said.

That statement is an admission by our government that our sailors were in Iranian waters, even though the US Navy is still investigating. That’s the only explanation for the abduction not having been a hostile act.

First they came for Indiana pizzarias

Easter Sunday, and this past week’s events, prompt me to worry specifically about the future of freedom of conscience in the United States and, generally, about erosion of 1st Amendment rights. Contrast the MSM treatment of Iran’s Mullahs of Mass Destruction with that of obscure private citizens in the United States.

Our Secretary of State is engaged in granting the right to produce atomic bombs to a farrow of fanatics in Iran. Iran’s leaders claim their State religion requires destruction of Jews and Christians – in fact, any they identify as apostates. Our leaders tell us Iran’s screams of “Death to Jews!” are merely internal politics, while we observe Iranian inspired mass murders proving the opposite.

Here in the land of the free, the Media have mostly been approving of letting Iran have nuclear weapons. “Nothing to see here,” they say, “the real outrage is Indiana’s anti-gay law.” This law, similar in all essentials to laws in 19 other states, and to one at the federal level signed by President Clinton, is intended to protect the free exercise of religion. This is intolerable to a vocal cadre of Social Justice Warriors intent on enforcing thought control. That is, establishing their relativist, secular religion.

The furor eventually ensnared a Mom and Pop business (Memories Pizza) in Indiana when a TV reporter perpetrated a bit of “gotcha” journalism. Threats of violence forced the pizza parlor to shut down after the owner indicated (when specifically asked) she would decline to cater a gay wedding. “Glad to serve gays,” she said, “but we wouldn’t do a wedding.”

She’s in hiding at the moment.

The good news is a GoFundMe campaign supporting Memories Pizza is approaching a million dollars. The bad news is that it was necessary.

It is noteworthy that the “Liberal” outrage on this has been applied exclusively to Christians. I would really like to see some intrepid reporter asking Muslim photographers, bakers and pizza makers in Dearborn the same question. Muslim businesses in Dearborn, though, would be considered “hard targets” compared to Christian businesses in rural Indiana.

If gays need to worry about religious persecution, Christianity is not first on the list of dangers. I have not heard that any Christian sect is debating whether the proper way to kill gays is to throw them off tall buildings vs. collapsing a wall on them. This is a consequential theological debate for some Imams. Baking a cake doesn’t enter into it.

The intent of this broad assault on religious conscience goes far beyond whether bakers can be forced to provide cakes with 2 grooms, or photographers frog-marched into the local Satanist temple to take pictures of 2 brides in front of the Sigil of Baphomet. As usual, the real object is aggrandizing the State. How else can “Liberals” make you act as if you agree with them?

That is, calling it Fascist is fair and accurate, however much that seems like hyperbole. Classical liberals did not flinch from naming it, nor should we.

Leo Strauss (1899-1973, the Robert Maynard Hutchins Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of political science at the University of Chicago) offered this note on the difficulty classical liberal democracies face in his book Spinoza’s Critique of Religion:

Liberalism stands or falls by the distinction between state and society, or by the recognition of a private sphere, protected by the law but impervious to the law, with the understanding that, above all, religion as particular religion belongs to the private sphere. Just as certainly as the liberal state will not “discriminate” against its Jewish citizens, so it is constitutionally unable or even unwilling to prevent “discrimination” against Jews by individuals or groups. To recognize a private sphere in the sense indicated means to permit private “discrimination,” to protect it and thus in fact to foster it. The liberal state cannot provide a solution to the Jewish problem, for such a solution would require a legal prohibition against every kind of “discrimination,” i.e., the abolition of the private sphere, the denial of the difference between state and society, and the destruction of the liberal state.

Consider the destruction nearly complete.

Update 3:55PM – added ‘classical’ to describe the Strauss quote. Trying to prevent any confusion, he wasn’t talking about “Liberals,” aka “Progressives.” He meant Locke, not Alinski.
Hat tip Powerline for the Strauss quote.

Just Words

Our President has subjected us to a wearing parade of oversights, sleights, and pettiness – at once vacuous and calculating – a tendency that seems to lay close beneath his intellectual patina. I say calculating rather than accidental because it has become impossible to imagine these blunders are not deliberate. This is insensitivity masquerading as cluelessness.

Large policy errors can be understood within the overarching sweep of an ambition to “remake this country,” but when the tiny things at the edges, the easy to avoid slips and smallness, continuously suggest that the clothes have no emperor, it is disquieting.

Some examples:

  • The DVD package, for the wrong region, he gave to Prime Minister Brown after returning a bust of Winston Churchill which had been in the Oval Office on loan from the UK.
  • The picture of the soles of the President’s shoes while he’s speaking to the Israeli Prime Minister.
  • Flipping the bird to Hillary. It’s the childish “I’m clever” grin and the crowd reaction that makes the case the gesture was no accident.
  • Calling the Poles and the Czechs in the middle of the night to tell them he was scrapping anti-missile deployment the next morning.

Sometimes he even acknowledges mistakes. President Obama actually apologized for jokes about Nancy Reagan “speaking with the dead” and comparing his terrible bowling skills with the Special Olympics. He “clarified” remarks about his grandmother being a “typical white person,” and tried to recast a comment about his opponents bitterly “clinging to their guns and religion.”

Most of these cannot be written off as accidental cluelessness. The most recent one surely resulted from a plan. You might argue the planning itself was uninformed by reality or responsibility, but it was premeditated: Our President’s first remarks on the shootings at Fort Hood.

All of TV breaks to cover his words, and he speaks for 2 minutes before mentioning the murders of American soldiers on a US Army post in what, at that time, had to be considered a possible terrorist conspiracy (and it was a terrorist attack, even if not an al-Qaeda conspiracy). Before even a nod of reassurance to Americans, who were only watching because of that attack, and before acknowledging the sacrifice of those American soldiers, President Obama thanks the conference organizers and Department of Interior staff. He gives a “shout out” to some Tribal Nations Conference delegate as a winner of a Congressional Medal of Honor (false, the President confused a military award with the Medal of Freedom, a civilian award). (Applause) Then he thanks the attendees and assures them, “[I]t’s not the end of a process, but the beginning of a process” (Applause) “…every single member of my team understands this is a top priority for us.”

At this point the President mentions himself in a clumsy segue from the cozy repartee; “…[B]eyond that, I had planned to make some broader remarks about the challenges that lay ahead, …but as some of you might have heard, there’s been a tragic shooting at the Fort Hood Army base [sic] …my immediate thoughts and prayers are with the wounded and the fallen” Well, yeah, “immediate”ly after the implied apology for failing to deliver his “broader” wisdom on the “top priority” conference items. And all of you “might have heard” about it 2 minutes earlier if our Commander in Chief had had the sense to make that tragedy his immediate priority.

This is one more demonstration of tone-deafness on the part of the man himself, and it is an indictment of his advisers, by whose character and skill he invited us to judge him. None of them apparently thought the sole focus should be on murdered American soldiers.

Skipping the folksy, campaign style preamble is what a CinC would have done. A CinC would not have been seen to regard the death of American soldiers as a contretemps.

When our President did get to the shooting the words were right, but delivered in the trademark boring, affectless tones and cadence so in contrast to the soaring rhetoric on things he cares about.

Apparently, being a Community Organizer teaches one the square root of zero about leadership. The leadership qualities required at ACORN seem to be quite different from those required to lead America’s Armed Forces. Or the free world.

It’s what he’s tone-deaf about that’s worrisome.