Farewell to the Era of No Fences 


Europe’s openness rests on America’s strength—you can’t have one without the other.

Bret Stephensrenocol_BretStephens writes: This was supposed to be the Era of No Fences. No walls between blocs. No borders between countries. No barriers to trade. Visa-free tourism. The single market. A global Internet. Frictionless transactions and seamless exchanges.

In short, a flat world. Whatever happened to that?

In the early 1990s, Israel’s then-Foreign Minister Shimon Peres published a book called “The New Middle East,” in which he predicted paradwhat was soon to be in store for his neighborhood. “Regional common markets reflect the new Zeitgeist,” he gushed. It was only a matter of time before it would become true in his part of the world, too.

[Order Robert Kagan’s book “Of Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order” from Amazon.com]

I read the book in college, and while it struck me as far-fetched it didn’t seem altogether crazy. The decade from 1989 to 1999 was an age of political, economic, social and technological miracles. The Berlin Wall fell. The Soviet Union dissolved. Apartheid ended. The euro and Nafta were born. The first Internet browser was introduced. Oil dropped below $10 a barrel, the Dow topped 10,000, Times Square became safe again. America won a war in Kosovo without losing a single man in combat.

[Read the full text here, at WSJ]

Would Israeli businessmen soon be selling hummus and pita to quality-conscious consumers in Damascus? Well, why not?new-middle-east

[Check out Shimon Peres’s bookThe New Middle East: Protest and Revolution in the Arab World at Amazon.com

Contrast this promised utopia with the mind-boggling scenes of tens of thousands of Middle East migrants, marching up the roads and railways of Europe, headed for their German promised land. The images seem like a 21st-century version of the Völkerwanderung, the migration of nations in the late Roman and early Medieval periods. Desperate people, needing a place to go, sweeping a broad landscape like an unchanneled flood. Read the rest of this entry »

David Harsanyi: The Left’s Ugly Israel Freakout


You know who else came to power by winning an election?

 writes: After years of ginned-up conflict, Barack Obama has finally found a pretext to change the contours of the United States-Israel alliance. Israel’s policies might not be changing, but the administration will “reevaluate” the relationship, anyway.

POLITICO reports that Obama may, among other things, stop shielding Israel from international pressure at the United Nations. So Americans can look forward to joining Sudan or Yemen—feel free to pick any autocratic dump, really—in condemning Jews for living in their historic homeland and relying on democratic institutions rather than a consensus at the United Nation to decide their fate.

“Obama, with no more elections to run, will now use these threats to pressure Israel into compliance on an Iran deal that looks more dangerous every day. That’s not surprising.”

So our morally chaotic foreign policy is coming to a predictable climax. At least on this issue. Obama, with no more elections to run, will now use these threats to pressure Israel into compliance on an Iran deal that looks more dangerous every day. That’s not surprising. What is, though, is how self-proclaimed Zionists have co-opted some of the most absurd justifications for throwing Israel to the wolves.

“What is, though, is how self-proclaimed Zionists have co-opted some of the most absurd justifications for throwing Israel to the wolves.”

These rationalizations come in familiar flavors. There’s the tough-love crowd. The notion here is that Democrats are the ones who truly have Israel’s “long-term” interests at heart. And because of a deep and abiding love for the Jewish State, Democrats are obliged to support policies that will set Israel straight. Without the stern guidance of lefty columnists, how can we expect one of the most technologically advanced market economies in the world to remain a vibrant democracy?

Others argue, and have been arguing for a long time, that the United States has a moral responsibility to distance itself from Israel right now, because the two nations no longer share ideals about freedom and liberalism.

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The Roots of CAIR’s Intimidation Campaign


Brandeis sides with a spawn of Hamas over a champion of women’s rights. 

Author’s Note: This week, capitulating to Islamic-supremacist agitation led by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Brandeis University reneged on its announced plan to present an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the heroic human-rights activist. In my 2010 book, The Grand Jihad, I devoted a chapter to the origins and purposes of CAIR, its roots in the Muslim Brotherhood’s Hamas-support network, and its aim to silence critics of Islamic supremacism. In light of the continuing success of this campaign — despite a federal terrorism-financing prosecution that exposed CAIR’s unsavory background — it is worth revisiting that history. What follows is an adapted excerpt from that chapter.

Andrew C. McCarthy writes:  In January 1993, a new, left-leaning U.S. administration, inclined to be more sympathetic to the Islamist clause, came to power. But before he could bat an eye, President Bill Clinton was confronted by the murder and depraved mutilation of American soldiers in Somalia. A few weeks later, on February 26, jihadists bombed the World Trade ShowImage.ashxCenter. The public was angry and appeasing Islamists would have to wait.

Yasser Arafat, however, sensed opportunity. The terrorist intifada launched at the end of 1987 had been a successful gambit for the Palestine Liberation Organization chief. Within a year, even as the body count mounted, the weak-kneed “international community” was granting the PLO the right to participate (though not to vote) in U.N. General Assembly sessions. And when Arafat made the usual show of “renouncing” terrorism — even as he was orchestrating terrorist attacks in conjunction with Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other Islamist factions — the United States recognized him as the Palestinians’ legitimate leader, just as the Europeans had done. Arafat blundered in 1991, throwing in his lot with Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War, and that seemed to bury him with the Bush 41 administration. But Clinton’s election was a new lease on life. Read the rest of this entry »

Not Poisoned: Russia says Arafat Died of Natural Causes

Palestinian President Yasser Arafat reviews an honour guard on his arrival at the Gaza Strip.  Reuters/Suhaib Salem/Files

Palestinian President Yasser Arafat reviews at the Gaza Strip. Reuters/Suhaib Salem/Files

Russia said on Thursday former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat died of natural causes, not radiation poisoning, but a Palestinian official called the finding “politicized” and said an investigation would continue.

Samples were taken from Arafat’s body last year by Swiss, French and Russian forensics experts after an al Jazeera documentary said his clothes showed high amounts of deadly polonium 210.

The Swiss said last month their tests were consistent with polonium poisoning but not absolute proof of the cause of death. The Russian finding was in line with that of French scientists who said earlier this month that Arafat had not been killed with polonium.

“Yasser Arafat died not from the effects of radiation but of natural causes,” Vladimir Uiba, head of Russia’s state forensics body, the Federal Medico-Biological Agency, was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

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Arafat Poisoning Report Inconclusive, Ambiguous

 report: Yasser Arafat lived in ambiguity and died under circumstances shrouded in mystery and rumor. Should it come as any great surprise that the outcome of a scientific inquiry into the cause of his demise turned out to be something less than absolute as well?

The forensic examination of the Palestinian leader’s remains were released by his widow Suha on Tuesday, and immediately reported by al-Jazeera — the Arab satellite network that last year broke the news that Arafat’s clothes and personal effects contained suspicious traces of polonium 210, the radioactive isotope that killed Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006.

Swiss scientists exhumed Arafat’s body last November and tested his skeleton and grave for telltale evidence of the isotope. The verdict, a full year later: “The results moderately support the proposition that the death was the consequence of poisoning with polonium 210.”

Such a moderate word, moderately. Read the rest of this entry »

Report: Evidence of Possible Arafat Poisoning Revealed


(AP) Possible evidence of Arafat poisoning is reported
Associated Press
Swiss scientists have found evidence suggesting that Yasser Arafat may have been poisoned, adding new fuel to long-standing allegations about the Palestinian leader’s death, a TV station reported Wednesday.

hed what it said was a long-awaited 108-page report by a team of Swiss experts who tested Arafat’s remains. The scientists wrote that “the results moderately support the proposition that the death was the consequence of poisoning with polonium-210,” according to the pan-Arab satellite channel.

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Nobel Peace Prize Again Goes To Group That Has Done … What?


Globaloney: This year’s Nobel Peace Prize has been given to the “Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons,” a group whose main achievement seems to be good intentions. This award is getting ridiculous.

Alfred Nobel would be rolling over in his grave to see some of the absurd choices his beloved peace prize is now drawing.

No, it wasn’t just the award to global terror pioneer Yasser Arafat in 1994. Or the one that went to the bureaucrat-filled, bankrupt European Union in 2012.

There also was the premature award to just-elected President Obama in 2009, who had done literally nothing but get elected president of the U.S. on a make-America-smaller platform.

As these unworthies collect their laurels, authentic peacemakers — such as 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan, who was shot in the face by Taliban terrorists solely for urging girls to go to school — go ignored.

The fact that the blood-soaked Taliban fighters are now gloating at the news that Malala didn’t win ought to embarrass the Nobel committee.

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There Is a Responsible National-Security Libertarianism

By  David French

Three cheers for Ramesh’s piece in Bloomberg critiquing Chris Christie’s attack on Republican libertarians. Governor Christie’s attack was terrible politics, but — more important – it traffics more in caricature than substantive debate. To be sure, many of us who write about the war against jihadists — and in particular supported the war in Iraq — are familiar with the sneering name-calling of a small libertarian fringe, but I don’t know any serious foreign-policy-minded libertarian who endorses the pre 9/11 national-security infrastructure, and I’ve certainly never met any in the military (which, as I’ve discussed before, contains a strong libertarian element).

In reality, a more libertarian, less interventionist foreign policy may be in the cards whether Governor Christie likes it or not. Multiple constraints are driving America towards less intervention:

First, our military infrastructure is shrinking, rapidly. With the drawdown from Afghanistan, the end of the Iraq war, the sequester, and continued budgetary pressures, we may well see an Army of less than 400,000 active-duty troops. Large-scale interventions require large-scale forces, and the smaller size of all the major branches of the military will create its own limitations.

Second, there is little military or civilian appetite for nation-building. Nothing short of a direct attack on our country or a close ally (like South Korea) would currently motivate Americans to put substantial numbers of troops on the ground in harm’s way. There’s a reason why millions of Americans grew tired of our engagement in Afghanistan (and, before that, Iraq) that had nothing to do with pacifism or even ideology: quite simply, while they wanted to defeat our enemies, they were weary of attempting to transform near-medieval cultures. By late 2006 the Surge may have presented the best chance to defeat al-Qaeda in Iraq, but let’s not forget that the Surge was made necessary by many of our own military and diplomatic mistakes.

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