Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Not Their Finest Hour

Quick thought for those who watched or listened to the Inauguration coverage today: I can't decide which was most discouraging, the fawning hagiographical coverage of much of the MSM whose reporters have in some cases thrown objectivity to the winds to declare their undying fealty to their new political Adonis, or the niggling whining of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity over the merest parsings of Obama's speech.

All that these guys managed to do today was to remind a lot of those tuned in why they'd rather listen to Obama's dulcet adjurations than to their vacuous carping. It wasn't conservative talk radio's finest hour.


Little Arab Sympathy for Hamas

Strategy Page explains why Muslim criticism of Israel in the latest round of warfare against Hamas was relatively muted. It turns out that most Arab Muslims don't particularly care for Hamas, and weren't really sorry to see it get clobbered.

The article opens with this:

The only chance Hamas has of surviving its current battle with Israel, is to stir up enough anger against Israel to force the Israelis to stop fighting and enter into a ceasefire agreement that Hamas can easily subvert. This Information War campaign is not going well for Hamas. While there are demonstrations in Moslem countries, and in the West as well, they are not as numerous or as spirited as in the past. Worse, most Arab countries are either lukewarm in their criticism of Israel, or openly blame Hamas for the current round of fighting.

There are several trends going on here. First, most Moslem nations have had it with Islamic terrorism. Even before September 11, 2001, the current round of Islamic terrorism was unpopular in Moslem countries where Islamic terrorists had already been operating. The al Qaeda campaign in Iraq was particularly demoralizing to Moslems worldwide. Al Qaeda revealed itself to be more capable, and willing, to kill Moslem civilians, than non-Moslem troops. Al Qaeda made things worse by bragging about non-existent successes and claiming that victory was inevitable. By 2007, it was obvious that al Qaeda had been defeated, and even al Qaeda eventually admitted it. Now Hamas is asking Moslems to buy into another campaign, just like the failed al Qaeda effort. A lot of Moslems are not taking the bait, despite efforts by Arab media organizations to make it appear otherwise.

Read the rest at the link.


Inauguration Day

Today is certainly an historic day. A milestone in our cultural history has been reached as we inaugurate the first African-American president, indeed the first president of African descent ever to be elected in any non-African country. I'm delighted that the United States, alone, I think, among the nations of the world, has democratically chosen a member of a racial minority to be their chief executive and their commander-in-chief. It's another sign of America's greatness relative to the rest of the world. I just wish it had been a different African-American.

Don't misunderstand. I wish President Obama well, and insofar as he turns out to betray the people most responsible for getting him elected - the political far left - I will be cheering him on, but if he's a man of character he will strive to do the things he has promised to do over the last two years, all 510 of them, and the things he has promised are not things that I find particularly comforting.

Before the election we listed fifteen measures that Democrats could be expected to pursue should they acquire the political power to work their will in the legislature. Obama may not support all of these efforts, but if we're to take him at his word, he certainly supports most of them.

Here they are:

  • Remove all restrictions on abortion, including partial birth abortion.
  • Alter the meaning of marriage so that it's no longer the union of one man and one woman.
  • Appoint judges and Supreme Court Justices whose decisions will be based on political fashion rather than on the text of the constitution.
  • Effect a redistribution of wealth from the middle and upper classes to the underclass.
  • Treat terrorism as a police matter rather than as a global war on Western civilization.
  • Pile onto American business onerous regulations and taxes - e.g. higher minimum wage, capital gains taxes, greater health insurance costs - that will make it impossible to compete in the global market and which will result in higher cost to business and consequently higher unemployment.
  • Continue the accelerating secularization of our society.
  • Open our borders to anyone who wants to take up residence in our country and give illegal aliens the right to a driver's license, health care, education, and welfare.
  • Nationalize health care.
  • Deny to parents the right to choose the schools their children will attend.
  • Push fuel costs back up so as to force us to conserve and develop alternative energy sources.
  • Quell freedom of speech, particularly conservative or religious speech, through vehicles like the "Fairness Doctrine."
  • Downgrade our military preparedness and end the program that would enable us to shoot down incoming nuclear missiles.
  • Take away the right to own or buy most types of guns or to acquire a license to carry them on one's person.
  • Strip workers of the right to a secret ballot in elections related to union matters.

To the extent that President Obama tries to achieve the agenda laid out above we will voice our displeasure. Until then he will have our support. Moreover, if and when we do find it necessary to oppose our new president that opposition will be carried out with as much civility as firmness. We will extend to him the benefit of whatever legitimate doubts there may be and will strive always to treat the man and his office with courtesy and respect.

In short, we will not act like so many of President Bush's detractors in the congress and the media. We urge our readers to do likewise. One service the left has inadvertently done for the political discourse of this country over the last eight years is to display the ugliness of their brand of rhetoric and the unfairness of consistently putting the worst possible interpretation on the President's actions, aims, and motives. It's our hope that those who now find themselves in the political opposition will recoil from the left's jejunne foot-stamping and follow instead the example that President Bush himself has set.