The soft cover version has now arrived!
Dick Berkowitz, has written a booklet entitled:"A Conservative Capitalist Offers: Eleven Lessons and a Bonus Lesson for Raising America's Youth Born and Yet To Be Born."
By Dick Berkowitz - Non Expert
Dick wrote this booklet because he believes a strong country must rest on a solid family unit and that Brokaw's "Greatest Generation" has morphed into "A Confused, Dependent and Compromised Generation."
He hopes this booklet will provide a guide to alter this trend.
You can now order a .pdf version from www.brokerberko.com/book that you can download and read on your computer, or print out if you want. Cost is $5.99
The book is now available in soft cover format at a cost of $10.99.
Booklet illustrations were by his oldest granddaughter, Emma Darvick, who lives and works in New York.
Dick, I read your book this weekend. I hardly know where to start. You did an excellent job of putting into one short book a compendium of the virtues which only a relatively short time ago all Americans believed. It’s a measure of how far we have fallen that many Americans, perhaps a majority of Americans, no longer believe in what we once considered truisms. I think your father would have agreed with every word, but the party he supported no longer has such beliefs.
I would like to buy multiple copies of your booklet..
You did a great job. I know your parents would have been proud and that your family today is proud.
You wrote a great book. The brevity is one of its strong points and I know it was hard to include that in and still keep it brief. Your father in haste once wrote an overly long letter to our client, then said in the last sentence, “I’m sorry I wrote such a long letter, but I didn’t have time to write a short one.”
"Dick, I indeed marvel at how much wisdom you have been able to share with so few words. Not too unlike the experience in reading the Bible. I feel that with each read of "A Conservative Capitalist Offers:…." one will gain additional knowledge and new insights…
Your book is outstanding! Due to illness, I've been unable to read it in entirety until today .Your background is often very similar to mine (e.g. Halliburton's influence was very important in my life), and your thoughts reflect very closely the the teachings that I received from my parents and granddad. I will write a more detailed statement in the near future!
All the best, Bob
Your book is outstanding! Due to illness, I've been unable to read it in entirety until today .Your background is often very similar to mine (e.g. Halliburton's influence was very important in my life), and your thoughts reflect very closely the the teachings that I received from my parents and granddad. I will write a more detailed statement in the near future!
All the best, Bob
Regarding your booklet, I have begun to read it and look forward to finishing it this weekend. Congrats on getting it published and on the great reviews. I know how much this booklet means to you and how important getting this message out to the public is.
Two videos worth watching:
You don't have to be a genius to have a foreign policy. What you need is common sense, courage and an understanding of America's role in the world.
What foreign policy experience did Obama have when he entered the Oval Office? OOPS I just lost my argument! (See 1, 1a, 1b,1c and 1d below.)
Obama loves to point to the fact that he saved the auto industry and jobs. What he does not talk about is the thousands of jobs that were lost as dealerships were closed and less union workers were rehired and at much lower wages.
To the unthinking Obama's claims make for a great sound bite. The problem is that allowing the auto to go through bankruptcy would also have saved the industry, still cost jobs as did Obama's plan but not result in a pay off to union bosses.
Going through bankruptcy would not have violated the rule of law, the very foundation on which our nation rests. Furthermore, it would have allowed bond holder claims to be protected.
The damage Obama did by protecting the industry and paying off Democrat union constituents was a travesty and will haunt this nation far beyond his term in office.
I just watched Romney and Obama at The Al Smith Dinner.
Romney was funny, had some great quips and came across as someone you might not mind watching and listening to for the next four years. Romney seemed to be enjoying himself.
Obama had some clever lines but he appeared un-comfortable and the bounce is out of his step (so to speak) though I could not see his feet.
I leave it to those who saw their performance to make their own judgement.
Just seems to me the pounding Obama has been taking since the first debate and recent turn of events have had an effect on his spirits and he seems beaten. It is as if the air has come out of the Obama balloon.
Glick writes about her belief that Obama has a fundamental flaw in understanding the Middle East and thus the consequences of the past several weeks.(See 2 below.)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1)The Foreign Policy Debate
How Romney can show Americans he can be a capable Commander in Chief.
When the history of the Obama Administration is written, it will be noted that never before has an American President bet so much on the power of his own charisma to change the world. As Mitt Romney prepares for the foreign policy debate in Florida on Monday, his challenge will be to show what a losing bet that's been—and how a Romney Administration would do better.
That won't be easy to do, and not merely because Mr. Romney has so far proved less sure-footed on foreign affairs than on domestic policy. The power of incumbency carries with it the voice of Presidential authority, which Mr. Obama deployed effectively at Tuesday's debate when he took belated responsibility for the security lapses at the Benghazi consulate. The President has kept his promise to get out of Iraq and looks set to do the same in Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden is dead, as you may have heard.
Above all, Mr. Obama has presented himself as the antidote to the Bush Administration and all he said it represented: costly wars, harsh interrogations, global opprobrium. Mr. Romney should expect the President to try to define him as a Bush retread, and to paint America's foreign policy options as a choice between sober restraint and swaggering bellicosity.
We don't expect Mr. Romney to offer an explicit defense of the Bush Doctrine, never mind that its core tenets—keeping weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of rogue regimes and promoting liberal democracy in places like Egypt—are ones Mr. Obama rhetorically endorses. Nor do we anticipate that Mr. Romney will retreat from the protectionist rhetoric he's been peddling on China, though it would be nice to hear him recognize that the biggest "currency manipulator" in the world today is the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Mr. Romney should also give full credit where it's due, not least because some graciousness would be a refreshing contrast to Mr. Obama's abrasive partisanship in an area where Americans yearn for consensus. That means not only commending the President for the bin Laden raid, but also for the areas in which the Administration has adopted the policies of its predecessor: the reauthorization of the Patriot Act; the use of military tribunals; the intensification of drone strikes; the (admittedly reluctant) non-closure of Guantanamo. All that should cause some indigestion among Mr. Obama's friends at MSNBC.
Mr. Romney can also play to his own strengths by pointing out that a U.S. economic revival is crucial to world stability. One reason America has less sway now than it did when Mr. Obama took office is that the world won't heed a great power whose policies produce slow growth and runaway debt.
Ronald Reagan understood that before he could defeat the Soviet Union he had to show again the superiority of the American model of economic freedom. The U.S. military will inexorably and rapidly shrink without growth of 3% or more. This theme is right in Mr. Romney's wheelhouse.
Moving to the President's record, he likes to boast about responsibly ending the war in Iraq. Yet the war had already been won when Mr. Obama became President thanks to a surge that he opposed as a Senator—even as he later tried to emulate it in Afghanistan under the same military commander. Mr. Obama also tried to negotiate a Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq that would have maintained a residual U.S. military presence in the country, and Joe Biden even offered to "bet you my Vice Presidency" on the negotiations succeeding. But they pursued it too half-heartedly to entice the Iraqis to a deal.
The result is that American soldiers won a victory in Iraq at great cost only so Mr. Obama could squander the strategic fruits of their victory: a viable alliance with Baghdad and a bulwark against Tehran. Mr. Obama may think that he's come out of this as a political winner, but nobody is happier about his Iraq policy than the mullahs in Iran.
Now the U.S. runs similar risks in Afghanistan, the war Mr. Obama once said was the one we must win but from which his Vice President last week promised full withdrawal by 2014—let the Taliban do what it may. Given that Mr. Obama signed a Status of Forces Agreement with the Afghan government in May that explicitly opens the door to a post-2014 U.S. military presence, Mr. Romney might ask whether the President stands by his own signature—or by his Vice President? It can't be both.
Mr. Obama will no doubt reply that the U.S. cannot endlessly be at war in the Middle East. That's true, but Mr. Obama's policies of premature military withdrawals have increased rather than diminished the chances that we will be at war in the Middle East again. The Administration can hope that its training of Afghan forces will suffice to keep the country together after 2014. But if it doesn't and the Taliban return, we will find ourselves back at square one—2,000 lives and hundreds of billions of dollars later.
Mr. Obama is also courting war in the Middle East by his ambivalent posture on Iran's nuclear designs. Mr. Romney can applaud Mr. Obama for insisting that "all options are on the table" when it comes to thwarting those designs, and for publicly opposing a containment strategy for a nuclear Iran.
Yet the Obama Administration has consistently undermined its own message by advertising that it believes a military option would be ineffectual, by failing to provide Israel with reassurances that it needn't consider its own military options, and by first resisting sanctions until Congress passed them and then handing out waivers to those same sanctions. The result is that Iran has not been remotely deterred despite sanctions, and it is now only months away from being able to produce weapons-grade uranium.
If Mr. Obama implies (as he no doubt will) that Mr. Romney wants to start a third Middle Eastern war, the answer is that the only way to prevent one is to let Tehran know we're deadly serious. Weakness and indecision invite war, while credibility and resolve still have a chance to prevent it.
The same mixed-messaging helps explain why America's position throughout the rest of the Middle East is dramatically weaker than it was four years ago. The President's Cairo speech promised a new beginning with the Muslim world. Yet in practice Mr. Obama was friendlier to Hosni Mubarak than George W. Bush had been until Mr. Obama cut him loose in the final days, and he made no effort to push the Arab autocracies toward reform before their downfall.
The result, if you can believe it, is the worst of both worlds. The U.S. has become even less popular with the publics of such countries as Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan and Lebanon than it was in the last year of Mr. Bush's Presidency. And it also has less credibility with the rulers of those countries that have been our allies. When the Saudis invaded Bahrain, they never bothered to tell the U.S.
So much, then, for the transformative powers of Mr. Obama's charisma and good intentions—which have also failed to work their supposed wonders on the likes of Russia's Vladimir Putin (who continues to obstruct us at the U.N.), or of China's new leadership (which is trying to lay claim to most of the South China Sea), or even of little Cuba, which continues to hold American Alan Gross as a hostage. It has occurred too late to the President and his advisers that "smart diplomacy" mainly entails the calibrated uses of power, not the promiscuous promotion of personality.
As for Mr. Romney, he can't and shouldn't promise to return the genies to their bottles by reversing the gains of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood or renegotiating a new military agreement with Iraq. He also seems disinclined to propose anything more than Mr. Obama is doing to depose the Assad regime in Syria. But if nothing else he can explain the risks that Syria's expanding war poses to U.S. interests and allies and how a defeat for Assad would mean a defeat for Iran's growing regional influence.
More broadly, Mr. Romney can promise to restore America's credibility as a guarantor of peace and stability—not simply for the sake of far-flung peoples and countries, but for our own.
America has been the chief underwriter of global order for nearly seven decades, which has required large defense budgets and difficult military commitments. But we have also been a major beneficiary: no world wars; open sea lanes; expanding trade and freedom; and the human and economic possibilities of a world that, until Mr. Obama came to office, was freer than it had ever previously been.
In his farewell interviews, Mr. Obama's first Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, made a point of quoting Reagan's line that he had lived through many wars but not one of them began because the U.S. was too strong. Mr. Obama's first term has been marked by economic decline at home and less respect and influence abroad. Four more years of the same will tempt the world's rogues to become even more assertive.
On Monday night Mr. Romney can make clear that his foreign policy will understand that strength at home and confidence abroad aren't incompatible objectives, but are mutually reinforcing.
1a)A Foreign Policy Failure to Acknowledge the Obvious
After the Benghazi attack, the Obama administration's focus on the YouTube video reflected a years-long denial of the Islamist threat.
A month after the murder of four American officials in Libya on Sept. 11, congressional testimony and leaked government cables have revealed that some U.S. officials immediately recognized that terrorists had planned the attack. So why did the Obama administration's top policy makers—including the president himself—persist in claiming that the catastrophe was a spontaneous outburst of rage against an anti-Islam video posted on YouTube by an American provocateur?
Many critics smell cynical politics. The president, after all, has an electoral interest in denying that terrorism remains a serious problem. Likewise, during the second presidential debate, when he could no longer justify his initial emphasis on the video, Mr. Obama claimed misleadingly that he had called the Benghazi attack a terrorist act a day after it happened.
But there's a bigger problem here than cynicism. It is that the administration's first response—to blame an American video, not Islamist terrorists—reflected strategic misjudgments. First is the refusal to accept that the terrorism threat is part of a larger problem of Islamist extremism. And second is the belief that terrorism is spawned not by religious fanaticism but by grievances about social, economic and other problems for which America bears fault.
When Mr. Obama became president, he was intent on repudiating the previous administration's war on terrorism, which saw al Qaeda as part of a diverse international movement of Islamist extremists hostile to the United States, to liberal democratic principles (in particular the rights of women), and to most governments of predominantly Muslim countries.
Mr. Obama chose to define America's enemy not ideologically but organizationally, as al Qaeda and its affiliates. White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan, in his speeches over the past few years, has insisted that terrorists should never be described as Muslim because their extremism is not consistent with Islam. Mr. Brennan discourses on Islam as if he were an imam. The Obama administration, he said in 2010, does not "describe our enemy as jihadists or Islamists because jihad is holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam meaning to purify oneself or one's community." He failed to mention that jihad also means holy war.
It is clear that not all Muslims embrace extremist Islamist ideology—perhaps only a small minority do. But the extremists claim to speak for the true Islam. Their pretensions are disputable, but it is false and presumptuous for Mr. Brennan, an American and non-Muslim, to assert that the extremists cannot be Islamic or religious leaders.
The problem with ignoring ideology is made clear—unintentionally—in President Obama's National Counter-Terrorism Strategy, released in June 2011. In it he writes: "We are at war with a specific organization—al-Qa'ida." But America also has to work aggressively against Hezbollah, he notes a few pages later—and against a number of terrorist groups in South Asia, he further adds, "even if we achieve the ultimate defeat of al-Qa'ida in the Afghanistan-Pakistan theater."
So our problem is substantially broader than al Qaeda—and even broader than al Qaeda and its affiliates. What all these groups have in common is Islamist ideology—yet Mr. Obama ignores that.
And what, according to the Obama administration, stokes the fires of extremism? It isn't the supremacist exhortations of Islamist ideology. Rather, it is longstanding political and economic "grievances," according to Mr. Brennan, such as "when young people have no hope for a job," "when governments fail to provide for the basic needs of the people," and when the Palestinian-Israeli conflict remains unresolved. President Obama, Mr. Brennan has said, thinks America should be "addressing the political, economic and social forces that can make people fall victim to the cancer of violent extremism." Mr. Brennan has also noted that the president is "concerned with how the United States was viewed in the world and how these attitudes were fueling the flames of hatred and violence."
Thus the way to defeat the terrorists, according to President Obama, isn't to counter extremist Islamist ideology but to focus on how the United States, through its actions and delinquencies—its supposed excessive support for Israel, for example, and failure to provide more economic aid—is to blame for the hatred that spawns terrorism.
White House senior director for the National Security Council Samantha Power wrote some years ago, while a Harvard University lecturer, that America should adopt a foreign-policy "doctrine of mea culpa." This is the frame of mind that President Obama brought to his famous June 2009 Cairo speech in which he suggested that tensions between America and the world's Muslims are largely America's fault. It was in that speech that President Obama asserted: "Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism."
And so we get to the false insistence for day after day that the murderous attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi arose from anger about a YouTube video. Because Mr. Obama misdiagnoses terrorism and extremism, it is not surprising that he failed to recognize their consequences; instead, he reflexively looked in the Benghazi wreckage for a cause that originated in this country.
Such thinking infects many streams of Obama administration foreign policy. If the president were clear-eyed about Islamist extremism, he wouldn't have cold-shouldered the antiregime demonstrators in Iran in June 2009. He wouldn't have cut funds for promoting democracy and human rights abroad. He wouldn't have made a diplomatic representative of Salam al-Marayati, who calls for Hezbollah's removal from the U.S. terrorist list and has said that "Israel should be put on the suspect list" for the 9/11 attack. And the president wouldn't have spent more energy denouncing foolish American bigots than condemning organized, anti-American terrorism.— Mr. Feith was undersecretary of defense in the George W. Bush administration. Mr. Cropsey served as deputy undersecretary of the Navy in the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations. Both writers are Hudson Institute senior fellows.
1b)Why Benghazi is a Crucial Strategic MomentBy James Lewis
"Ghazi" means "great warrior" in Arabic. The name "bin ghazi" means "the tribe of ghazi." Turkish Sultans used "ghazi" as an honorific, as in Caliph Sultan Ghazi Mehmed II Khan Caesar. Benghazi, the town in Libya, is also a notorious hangout for AQIM, al-Qaeda in the Maghreb (Mediterranean Africa). Those are the thoughts that come up in Arab minds when they hear Benghazi. It's the perfect propaganda place for al-Qaeda.
Radical Islam is at war with us, as they keep telling us out loud -- and we just handed them a historic victory, a repeat of 9/11/01 to the very day, eleven years later. A decade of war, and Obama has sacrificed whatever victories we achieved.
One month ago, there were nearly identical twin attacks on our Cairo Embassy and our legation in Benghazi, ordered by al-Qaeda's Al Zawahiri the week before and carried out by AQIM. Those attacks on sovereign American diplomatic legations tell the world loud and clear that in spite of all our efforts and sacrifice since 9/11/01, al-Qaeda is alive!
Both our Cairo and Libya buildings were burned by AQ, flying the black AQ flag for the world media. In both cases our host governments -- their police, intelligence apparatus, and military, financed by U.S. tax -- were nowhere to be seen. They fled and colluded in the attacks. Our ambassador to Libya was burned out and killed.
Obama is in denial of what every Muslim knows. The message is clear, but Washington just hopes it will go away if we pretend hard enough, like little children. That is why our administration and media have been lying about Benghazi and Cairo for the last month, and why those assaults by battalion-size AQ forces equipped with mortars, RPGs, and possibly anti-aircraft MANPADS are so important.
The AQ assaults happened with the collusion of our host governments -- the Morsi Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo and the "liberated" Libyan regime in Tripoli. A CIA station in Libya was exposed by the AQIM attack.
Everybody understands that but the American voter, who is kept in ignorance. That's what a month of lies and blaming has achieved. When Mitt Romney says the word "Benghazi" on Monday, the corrupt press corps will go into hysterical fits. You just watch.
Eleven years after 9/11/01, al-Qaeda has triumphantly shown who is the strong horse and who is the weak horse. The United States can concentrate overwhelming force anywhere in the world, but we have no staying power. Instead, we have been penetrated by enemy ideology, so that the words "war on terror" are censored. Osama bin Laden is dead, but his ideology has grown immensely in the last eleven years, so that now Iran, Egypt, Libya, and Saudi Arabia are enemies of the United States and our allies. This administration constantly tries to blame Israel, but the same battle has been raging since 1948 between Pakistan and India, with terrorists sent into India by the Pakistani ISI. The same historic conflict has also been raging in North Africa, with the Sudanese genociders killing African tribes and Christians in a classic jihad war. Sudanese refugees flee to Israel to be safe. The same historic conflict between Islam and the European Enlightenment is now in Europe itself, with Euro-socialist governments bowing down to Saudi imams and Iranian mullahs. Hoping against hope that the crocodile will eat them last.
As historian Samuel Huntington pointed out in his book Clash of Civilizations:
Islam's borders are bloody and so are its innards. The fundamental problem for the West is not Islamic fundamentalism. It is Islam, a different civilization whose people are convinced of the superiority of their culture and are obsessed with the inferiority of their power.
Huntington's words have been borne out every day since 9/11/01. With Benghazi they have turned into a strategic crisis for the United States and the West.
In its usual cowardly fashion, the Obama administration tried to blame it all on a thirteen-minute internet video by an Egyptian Copt. Nobody believes that. For the last month, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice has been laughed at by the United Nations, because a strong horse does not need to tell lies. Only a weak horse lives in denial and pre-emptive surrender. Muslim men are telling each other that this is how women behave, because this is how women do behave in the radical Islamic world, where they are beaten and threatened like household slaves.
Islam means surrender. Denying that we have suffered a bloody defeat is dishonorable, the ancient desert code of Mohammed. It is yet another sign of weakness. If you don't recognize your defeats, you will never have a victory. This is a war theology, and when it comes to war, terror, and intimidation, they are experts.
The patriarchal values of 7th-century Islam demand that women surrender to men, and the fact that Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice are women acts like a red rag on a bull for the Islamic fascists. Feminists may not understand this fundamental fact yet, but they will soon. The fight for civilization is also the fight for women's rights.
To confess the obvious truths of Benghazi is therefore to confess that Obama and Mrs. Clinton have retreated helter-skelter before an Islamist fascist assault. The world sees Benghazi as a bloody nose for the United States and Western values. It's 9/11 Number Two, even as we are letting AQ-allied Taliban triumph in Afghanistan, even as a 14-year-old heroine of resistance to the throwback Taliban suffered a near-assassination over there. The Taliban hate women's education, preferring to keep them literally barefoot, black-tented, and jailed in every home, guarded by violent fathers, brothers, and cousins. Islam has a long history of abuse of women and children, as well as of killing men who don't surrender. Every Muslim schoolchild learns that.
The other day, Hillary Clinton fake-apologized for the assassination of Ambassador Chris Stevens and other U.S. personnel in Benghazi one month ago. But she forgot to tell us the meaning of Benghazi. Hillary never explained why we were left defenseless and back-stabbed by our "Arab Spring" buddies in Libya and Egypt, including Brother Morsi, the new radical dictator in the Middle East. She never confessed that the United States and the West just suffered our biggest defeat since Carter dithered over Khomeini in the embassy hostage crisis three decades ago. Hillary never apologized for the humanitarian disaster that is the "Arab Spring." She forgot to tell us that our children are now in greater peril than we have been since the death of Josef Stalin sixty years ago.
Mrs. Clinton did not even bother to explain four weeks of cover-up lies by the media, the White House, her State Dept., U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, the whole permanent ruling party in D.C. One big lie after another, all destined to be exposed in hours, all ponied up to rescue Obama -- because, if Benghazi is seen for what it is, Hillary's career is over, along with that of Barack Hussein Obama Abu Mau Mau Shabazz. Benghazi will follow them down the years like Watergate followed Nixon.
So Hillary gave a non-apology apology to cover Obama, along with a swipe at those who would turn Benghazi into a "gotcha" moment. Benghazi is a gotcha -- a moment of blinding clarity -- for what it showed about this administration of radicals. Only the mind-washed are still in the dark; power-mongers all over the world see our defeat for what it is. They see the half-staff flags of American surrender, signaled by Obama in one long string of apologies and lies.
The Arab Spring, so-called, has immensely strengthened the near-nuclear radicals in Tehran, Cairo, Riyadh, and Tripoli. The Muslim Revival is the biggest defeat of the West in our lives, and it was inflicted by the Obama administration with malice aforethought. Make no mistake about it: this is the radical left in charge.
So yes -- Benghazi is a strategic point. Just as the crumbling Soviet Union around 1990 was a historic victory for democracy and enlightenment, Benghazi represents the revenge of left-fascism in the world. The Muslim Reaction -- not the phony "Arab Spring" -- is a humanitarian and political defeat of historic proportions, turning back the clock to the worst days of the Cold War. Or worse.
Already scores of missiles and soon nuclear weapons are pointing our way from the Imam Ali missile base in Iran. Muslim radicals now control the weapons of the 21st century. Those missiles and nukes will spread to a radicalized Egypt, financed by the Saudis, who need Egypt to balance against their historic enemies in Iran.
Meanwhile, Syria's civil war has turned into a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia -- the Shi'ites against the Sunnis, a struggle that goes back a thousand years. Talk about cultural throw-backs. Living in the year 2012, we are suddenly transported back to 1012, about a century before the Crusades.
That's how important Benghazi is.
Syria's chemical weapons and missile bases are now exposed to al-Qaeda and its ilk. Just the other day, a Syrian missile base was overrun by Muslim radicals. Nobody knows where Syria's big stash of chemical weapons might be scattering. The "revolution" in Libya has spread Gaddafi's arms everywhere, so that Libyan MANPADs are now in the hands of Hamas in Gaza and Hezb'allah in Lebanon.
The word "Benghazi" captures the whole strategic fiasco in one word. It's not a "gotcha." It's Pearl Harbor -- a lesson in what happens when the United States hides from a violent and barbaric world.
In Obama's quaint, old-fashioned ideology, Benghazi is a victory of third-world socialism against Western democracy and civilization. But no -- third-world socialism is on the butcher's rack even now. Instead, people in the Middle East are now back to a totalitarian theology of radical Islam against the freedom and tolerance of Christianity and the West. The left has won, they think. But Islam can tolerate no competition. Ayatollah Khomeini killed off his leftist rivals first of all. Then he put the women under house arrest.
Within months, Iran will have a nuclear bomb, thanks to Obama. Joe Biden's grinning smile in the veep debate last week will look very strange in those documentaries we will see very soon, looking back at this fateful page turning in the book of history. Obama's slickster evasions will be exposed for what they are. The Clinton and Obama administrations will be seen as the pre-emptive surrender of the American left after the crumbling of the Soviet Union and its colonies in 1990.
After half a century of struggle, we won the Cold War and squandered the peace. That is how posterity will see Benghazi. The USSR crumbled, and the West sank back into laziness, fantasy, and torpor. Obama and Hillary symbolize our unwillingness to wake up. We just want to turn over and go back to sleep.
Benghazi is a shrill alarm going off.
Don't let them lie about it.
1c)How Much of a Set-Up Was Crowley's Libya Question?By Jack Cashill
On Tuesday night's debate, the evening's most notorious exchange did not begin with moderator Candy Crowley's wildly appropriate intervention on the "act of terror" question. It almost assuredly began minutes earlier.
The audience question that prompted the exchange came from Long Islander Kerry Ladka, who, reasonably enough, asked in regards to the Libyan consulate, "Who denied enhanced security and why?"
The question went to President Barack Obama, and he launched into a well-rehearsed set piece about how he was handling the issue. Mitt Romney responded much as one would expect him to respond, criticizing the White House response to the attack, especially Obama's Las Vegas trip a day afterwards, and Obama's Mideast policy in general.
It was at this point that the debate, certainly from appearances, took a turn for the prearranged. It was now 70 minutes on. Crowley conceded a shortage of time and an excess of audience questions. Nevertheless, instead of moving on to that next question, Crowley asked a question of her own. Even before she began to ask, however, Obama was strolling confidently towards Crowley as though he knew what was going to happen next.
The question involved Secretary of State Clinton's taking responsibility for embassy security. Asked Crowley, "Does the buck stop with the secretary of state?" Obama was more than ready for this one. "Secretary Clinton has done an extraordinary job, but she works for me," said he forcefully. "I'm the president, and I'm always responsible."
From there Obama launched into a pitch-perfect, if thoroughly dishonest, defense of his own role in the affair:
The day after the attack, governor, I stood in the Rose Garden, and I told the American people and the world that we were going to find out exactly what happened, that this was an act of terror, and I also said we are going to hunt down those who committed this crime.
Obama did not throw the "act of terror" line away. He said it clearly and defiantly, as though he knew he could get away with it. Feigning outrage, Obama then told of how he manfully greeted the caskets as they arrived at Andrews Air Force Base and how he was offended at the very suggestion that anyone on his "team" would "play politics or mislead when we have lost four of our own."
Sensing an opening, Romney moved in for the kill over Crowley's protestations that he respond "quickly." Romney looked straight at Obama, raised his eyebrows quizzically, and asked, "You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack it was an act of terror? It was not a spontaneous demonstration, is that what you are saying."
Now back on his stool, Obama answered uncomfortably, "Please proceed. Please proceed, governor." Romney turned back to Crowley and said that he just wanted to get Obama's response on record. With the camera still on Romney, the TV audience heard Obama say off-camera, "Get the transcript."
The camera then moved to a wide-shot and showed Crowley waving a piece of paper. Several of my correspondents -- and, I am sure, many others -- believed that to be the transcript and wondered how Crowley just happened to have it.
"He did in fact, sir, call..." said Crowley hesitantly to Romney, "so let me call it an act of terror."
"Can you say that a little louder, Candy?" said a suddenly revived Obama while the Obama fans in the audience, Michelle included, cheered in violation of the rules.
"He did call it an act of terror," said Crowley, consummating the most egregious act of real-time media malpractice in recent memory. She then stumbled through a temporizing bit of nonsense about the two weeks it took for the "whole idea" to be revealed.
When Romney then tried to discuss Ambassador Susan Rice's appearance on five Sunday talk shows, Obama walked into his space and started talking over him. At that point, Crowley said, "I want to move you on and people can go to the transcripts." She then turned quickly to an audience member who wanted to talk about AK-47s -- "a question we hear a lot," said Crowley preposterously.
As to what Obama actually said in his September 12 Rose Garden speech, there is no mystery. He laid out the cause and effect of the Benghazi attack as he saw it one and a half minutes into the presentation: "While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants."
It is hard to misinterpret his meaning. The effort "to denigrate the religious beliefs of others" clearly refers to the absurd for the would-be The Innocence of Muslims. The violence that followed, says Obama, was "senseless." Here, Obama strongly implies that four Americans were killed in a spontaneous outburst devoid of strategy and provoked by the offending video. There is no other way to read this.
Three minutes later, near the end of a five-plus-minute speech, after discussing the events of September 11, Obama adds, "No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation." This bit of generic tough talk is the rhetorical life raft to which Crowley, the president, and their fellow travelers cling. Before the emergence of the internet, they might have gotten away it, but as this American Crossroads video unequivocally shows, Obama's "team," the president included, did play politics with the truth for as long as two weeks after the event and right up through the debate.
Obama cannot get away with this. Romney will surely call the president on this during the foreign policy debate on Monday. My suspicion is that Obama was playing for time, that he could not afford a full-body Benghazi blow on Tuesday, that he hoped to reverse the momentum and bury the controversy under the media chatter about the new comeback kid. That did not exactly happen, but he escaped better than he might have.
To save whatever credibility it has, CNN needs to question Crowley regarding her role in this intervention. Why did she serve up Obama that "buck stop" question? Did he know it was coming? Did she wave the paper intentionally to give the illusion that she had the transcript in hand? And finally, how dare she add new information into a debate -- false information at that -- at so crucial a moment?
We need these answers quick. Forget the polygraph. Let's go right to waterboarding.
1d)Romney's Trump Card for the Foreign Policy DebateBy Ed Lasky
Mitt Romney has a chance to upstage Barack Obama at Monday's upcoming foreign policy debate and use the strongest hand he has against Obama. And it has nothing to do with Libya.
Polls after their second debate highlight a source of strength for Mitt Romney that has consistently attracted likely voters to his candidacy. While various reports gave Obama a small "win" in the second debate, which focused on domestic policy, reading beneath the headlines reveals an emerging trend: Romney scores stronger when it comes to people's views of who better can handle their most important concern: the economy.
A editorial notes in the wake of the second debate:
Then again, maybe Romney won. Blogress Carla Marinucci notes that in that same CNN poll, Romney did better on who would better handle the economy (58% to 40%), handle (49% to 46%) and taxes (51% to 44%), as well as on who is a "stronger leader" (49% to 46%) and who "cares more about your life" (44% to 40%). Obama did better only on who is "more likable" (47% to 41%).Similarly the CBS poll--which again was limited to debate watchers "who are undecided or who may still change their minds"--found that 65% said Romney would do a better job with the economy, vs. just 34% for Obama. With this group, however, Obama helped himself some: Before the debate, the margin was 71% to 27% in Romney's favor.
Clearly Romney (who knows how to solve problems and takes advantage of opportunities even if the ideas come from the other side of the aisle) is following the "it's the economy, stupid" theme that Jim Carville used to help elect Bill Clinton. Romney weaves tales of his success as a businessman, governor, and savior of the Olympics to shape his image as a problem-solver who knows how to stoke growth.
Each debate ostensibly has a theme. However, candidates have taken control of the stage and addressed the subject matter they want. This is what smart and skillful politicians do: craft answers that emphasize their strongest advantages.
So how can Mitt Romney employ this strategy in a debate that focuses in on foreign policy?
By doing what he has been doing for the past year: going large.
While Obama may expect questions regarding Benghazi, the Arab Spring that has turned into the Arab Winter, a Russian reset that has so clearly failed, Iran's drive for nuclear bombs, the Muslim Brotherhood on the march, and a revived al-Qaeda, he might not be prepared (and we know how Obama looks when he is not prepared -- cue the video from the first debate) if Romney throws a curve-ball and interjects Obama's poor handling of the economy into the debate.
Romney's approach might follow that of Ronald Reagan. Reagan saw a strong America as the key that would unlock the chains that oppressed hundreds of millions of people and weaken (and eventually topple) the Soviet Union. His strategy for managing the Cold War was simple yet brilliant: "We win. They lose."
Romney can declare that "America is only as strong abroad as we are at home."
That bold declaration can be followed with the litany of Obama economic failures that Romney routinely trots out to challenge the veracity of Obama's rhetoric and show just how trivial Obama's small-bore ad hominem attacks have been. A poor American economy weakens not just our image abroad, but also our influence with other nations.
Indeed, the only sane statement Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ever uttered was when he recently taunted America with the question: how long can debt-laden America remain a world power?
Under Obama, executives from around the world are "profoundly pessimistic about the ability of companies operating in the U.S. to compete in the global economy and to pay high wages to U.S. workers." Economic freedom in America has fallen under the Obama years, and we now rank dead last in the top ten nations on the index that measures that standard.
America is handing power to our creditors (including the Chinese) to sway our policies through financial pressure. And Obama keeps adding trillions of dollars of debt that will enable and empower them even more.
This freedom creates the environment that allows a nation to prosper and grow strong.
Barack Obama has made us less free. His tools: legislation (ObamaCare is merely the best-known), executive orders, a ceaseless barrage of rules and regulations and interpretations of the same, higher taxes, czars, executive orders, anti-business rhetoric, uncertainty.
A strong economy certainly gives us greater ability to project power abroad. But it is not just the idea of a Fortress America that should animate Americans. After the last decade, Americans have understandably grown wary of war.
But wealth brings benefits in many other areas: the World Bank, the IMF, the World Trade Organization, the use of foreign aid to promote foreign policy goals, the ability to tie nations to America through trade.
Obama has tried to coddle and protect his union allies by putting on the back burner various trade pacts with other nations, South Korea and Colombia among them. These trade pacts create allies who have a vested interest in a strong and prosperous America. They create customers for American businesses, consumers of the bounty our farmers produce.
Alliances are also created when foreigners invest in America -- and they will be far more likely to do so under a Romney administration than under four more years of an Obama unbound.
Romney touched upon another aspect of our national security that Obama would rather ignore or, if forced to, address by his favorite mode of discourse: prevarication and distortion. That would be energy.
America is blessed with immense energy reserves: coal, oil, gas. Our from the fracking of gas and oil has surged, decreasing our reliance on our adversaries (the Middle East, Venezuela). No future president will ever again bow to a Saudi king.
Yet the Obama administration has tried to derail this progress, and Romney has been very astute in pointing this out. He should do so again and again while on the stump. America does not need Arab oil petrocrats. Indeed, more and more businesses (both American and foreign) are moving operations here -- and hiring Americans at high wages -- to take advantage of the abundant and cheap natural gas supplies unleashed by the industry Obama routinely castigated.
While "warring against carbon" (his efforts to impose cap and trade on America will be resurrected in a second term), he has wasted tens of billions of taxpayer dollars on green schemes that all too often enrich his donor base while impoverishing our nation. The industrial carcasses now litter the landscape.
These billions of dollars have often flowed to foreign nations and enriched them (Obama's own outsourcing), since many of the purveyors of cartel-like control to advance its foreign policy agenda and imperialistic drive., wind turbines, and the like are owned by foreigners: China, Spain, Holland -- those windmills aren't just for tourists. China also controls much of the world's supply of rare-earth minerals that are crucial for green energy devices. And China has shown no compunction in using its
How does relying on adversaries help our national security?
A strong economy will lead to a strong dollar, and a strong dollar is good for America. Our power on the world stage is immeasurably enhanced by the American dollar being the world's reserve currency: the dollar drives the world to some extent. But so did Spanish pieces of eight, and so did the English pound. The dollar has been weakening under Obama. China and other nations have expressed concerns that their dollar holdings are at risk of being "dumped" if America does not get its fiscal house in order (and soon). Speculation has spread that the world's new "reserve currency" can be some synthetic concoction that consists of a basket of currencies. The dollar will no longer reign supreme.
Obama not only has ignored his responsibility to address the fiscal crisis, but also has recently expressed a desire to play hardball with Republicans regarding the fiscal cliff. Is it any surprise that among the "firsts" of the Obama election and presidency has been the first time in history that America's credit rating has been downgraded? One downgrade is often followed by a cascade. Obama might understand this dynamic had he any real-world experience. Romney does.
During the next debate, Romney should not only describe how Obama has weakened our economy, but show how that has negatively impacted our ability to project power on the world stage. A strong economy is the single most important factor that empowers an effective foreign policy that serves American's interests.
Romney must inform and persuade Americans that his plans will create prosperity for America. Since Obama has no second-term agenda but more of the same (more debt, more deficits, more dreariness, more rewarding of his political allies), Romney has a clear opportunity to compare and contrast his record (creating businesses, governing Massachusetts, saving the Olympics) with the president's own sorry record.
Pivoting from foreign policy to the domestic economy will be a departure from the normal state of affairs -- but so was Candy Crowley's performance; so was Biden's boorishness.
Didn't Barack Obama say in 2008 that he brings a gun to a knife fight? Turnabout is fair play.
This will be the last debate of the campaign.
Romney should go for the gold and use all the strength he can muster for a fight that is so important for so many Americans.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------2)How Obama & friends helped 'advance' the Middle East
By Caroline B. Glick
The operational, intelligence and political fiascos that led to and followed the September 11 jihadist assault on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya all derive from the same problem. That problem is the failure of US President Barack Obama's conceptual framework for understanding the Middle East.
The Islamic revolutionary wave sweeping across the Arab world has rent asunder the foundations of the US alliance system in the Middle East. But due to Obama's ideological commitment to an anti-American conceptual framework for understanding Middle Eastern politics his administration cannot see what is happening. That framework places the blame for all or most of the pathologies of the Muslim world on the US and Israel.
What Obama and his advisors can see is that there are many people who disagree with them. And so they adopted a policy of delegitimizing, discrediting and silencing their opponents. To this end, his administration has purged the federal government's lexicon of all terms that are necessary to describe reality.
"Jihad," "Islamist," "radical Islam," "Islamic terrorism," and similar phrases have all been banned. The study of Islamist doctrine by government officials has been outlawed.
The latest casualty of this policy was an instructor at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, VA. Until he was sacked this week, the instructor taught a class called, "Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism."
According to Col. Dave Lapan, spokesman for the General Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the instructor was fired for committing a thought crime. He "portrayed Islam almost entirely in a negative way."
Dempsey himself ordered the probe of all Islamic courses across the US military educational system.
The administration's refusal to accept the plain fact that the Islamic regimes and forces now rising throughout the Muslim world threaten US interests is not its only conceptual failure.
Another failure, also deriving from Obama's embrace of the anti-American and anti-Israel foreign policy narrative, is also wreaking havoc on the region. And like the conceptual failure that led to the murderous attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, this conceptual failure will also come back to haunt America.
This second false conceptual framework argues that the root of instability in the region stems from the absence of formal treaties of peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors. It claims that the way to pacify the radical regional forces is to pressure Israel to make concessions in land and legitimacy to its neighbors.
Obama is not unique for his embrace of this conceptual framework for US Middle East policy. He is just the latest in a long line of US presidents to adopt it.
At the same time the concept that peace processes and treaties ensure peace and stability collapsed completely during Obama's tenure in office. So what makes Obama unique is that he is the first president to cling to this policy framework since it was wholly discredited.
Israel signed four peace treaties with its Arab neighbors. It signed treaties with Egypt, Jordan, the PLO and Lebanon. All of these treaties have failed or been rendered meaningless by subsequent events.
Today Israel's 31-year-old peace treaty with Egypt is a hollow shell. No, Egypt's new Muslim Brotherhood regime has not officially abrogated it. But the rise of the genocidally anti-Semitic Muslim Brotherhood to power has rendered it meaningless.
The treaty is no longer credible because the Muslim Brotherhood, including Egyptian President Muhammad Morsy reject Israel's right to exist. Their rejection of Israel's right to exist is not a primarily political position, but a religious one. Morsy and his regime perceive Jews as the enemies of Allah deserving of annihilation.
Morsy himself has a rich record of pronouncements attesting to this fact. For instance, in November 2004 Morsy said, "The Koran has established that the Jews are the ones in the highest degree of enmity towards Muslims." He continued, "There is no peace with the descendants of apes and pigs."
In January 2009 Morsy called Israelis "Draculas who are always hungry for more killing and bloodshed using all kinds of modern war weapons supplied to them by the American administration."
He accused Israelis of "sowing the seeds of hatred between humans."
With positions like these, Morsy has no need to pronounce dead the peace treaty for which Israel surrendered the Sinai Peninsula, and with it, its ability to deter and block invasions from the south. Its death is self-evident.
The peace was made with a regime. And once the regime ended, the peace was over.
The fact that the peace was contingent on the survival of the regime that made it was utterly predictable. In 1983 Israel signed a peace treaty with Lebanon. The treaty was abrogated as soon as the regime that signed it was overthrown by Islamic radicals and Syria.
Then there was the peace with the PLO. That peace — or peace process — was officially ushered in by the signing of the Declaration of Principles on the White House lawn on September 13, 1993.
Today the Obama administration opposes PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas's attempts to receive international recognition of a Palestinian state through an upgrade of their position at the UN to non-member state status. Monday US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice explained that the Obama administration opposes the PLO's move because it believes it "jeopardize[s] the peace process."
But this is not a credible reason to oppose it. The reason to oppose it is because the PLO's move harms Israel.
The peace process is dead. It is dead because it was a fraud. The Palestinians negotiated in bad faith from the beginning.
It is dead because the Palestinian Authority lost the Gaza Strip to Hamas in 2007.
It is dead because Abbas and his PA have no capacity to make peace with Israel, even if they wanted to — which they don't. This is so because their people will not accept peaceful coexistence with Israel. The Palestinian national movement is predicated not on the desire to establish a Palestinian state, but on the desire to destroy the Jewish state.
Abbas made this clear — yet again — this week in a statement published on his official Facebook page. There he said outright that his claim that Israel is illegally occupying Palestinian territory applies not only to Judea and Samaria but rather, "the point applies to all the territories that Israel occupied before June 1967."
With peace partners like this, it is beyond obvious that there is nothing that Israel can do short of national suicide that will satisfy them.
This brings us to Jordan. Jordan is one of those stories that no one wants to discuss, because it destroys all of our cherished myths about the nature of Israel-Arab relations, the relative popularity of jihadist Islam and the US's options going forward.
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is composed of three population groups. Ethnic Palestinians comprise the vast majority of Jordan's citizenry. The Hashemites have always viewed the Palestinians as a threat to the regime and so blocked their integration into governing and military hierarchies. The Palestinians have always been opposed to Israel's existence.
The second largest group of Jordanians is the Bedouin tribes. Until the last decade or so, the Bedouin tribes in Jordan, like those in Israel and Sinai were not particularly religious, nor were they inherently opposed to peaceful coexistence with Israel.
Israeli Bedouin served in the IDF in large numbers. The Bedouin of Sinai served in Israel's Civil Administration in Sinai and opposed the peace treaty that returned them to Egyptian control. And the Bedouin of Jordan did not oppose the monarchy's historically covert, but widely recognized strategic alliance with Israel.
All of this has changed in the last ten to fifteen years as the Bedouin of the area underwent a drastic process of Islamic radicalization. Today the Bedouin of Sinai stand behind much of the jihadist violence. The Bedouin of Israel have increasingly embraced the causes of irredentism, radical Islam and jihad. And the Bedouin of Jordan have become even more opposed to peaceful coexistence with Israel than the Palestinians.
This leaves the Hashemites. A small Arabian clan installed in power by the British, the Hashemites have historically viewed Israel as their strategic partners and protectors of their regime.
Since the fall of the Mubarak regime, Jordan's King Abdullah II has been increasingly stressed by regional events and domestic trends alike. The rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has empowered the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan. The rise of pro-Iranian Shiite forces in post-US withdrawal Iraq has made pro-Western Jordan an attractive target for triumphant jihadists across the border. The rise of Islamist forces in the Syrian opposition, not to mention the constant subversive activities carried out by Syrian regime agents, has limited Jordan's maneuver room still further.
Emboldened by all these forces, the Jordanian Bedouin are now in open revolt against the monarchy and its refusal to abrogate the peace treaty with Israel. This revolt was exposed in all of its ugliness in recent weeks following Abdullah's appointment of Walid Obeidat to serve as Jordan's new Ambassador to Israel.
Obeidat's tribe disowned him and his family and branded him a traitor for accepting the appointment. His tribe invited the other tribes to join it in a mass rally demanding the abrogation of the treaty and the destruction of Israel.
In this state of affairs, the strategic value of Israel's peace treaty has been destroyed. Even if Abdullah wished to look to Israel as a strategic protector, as his father King Hussein did in the 1970 Jordanian civil war between the Hashemites and the Palestinians, he can't. In 1970, the Syrians shared Hussein's antipathy for Yassir Arafat and the PLO and therefore did not intervene on their behalf. Today, there is no Arab force that would back him in an Israeli-supported fight against Islamic fundamentalists.
Perhaps in recognition of the fragility of the Hashemites' hold on power, last week it was reported that the US has deployed military forces to the Kingdom. According to media reports, the force consists of a few hundred advisors and other teams whose main jobs are to assist Jordan in handling the 200,000 refugees from Syria that have streamed across the border since the onset of the civil war in Syria, and to help to secure Syria's chemical and biological arsenals. It is more than likely that the force is also in place to evacuate Americans in the event the regime collapses.
In the current situation, the US has very few good strategic options.
But it does have one sure bet. Today the US has only one ally in the Middle East that it can trust: Israel. And the only no risk move it can make is to do everything in its power to strengthen Israel.
But to adopt this policy, the Americans first need to discard their false conceptual frameworks regarding the Middle East. Unfortunately, as the US response to the Benghazi attack and its continued assaults on Israel make clear, there is no chance of that happening, as long as Obama remains in the White House.