Friday, April 21, 2017

Maybe The Swamp Can Be Drained. Norman Podhoretz Recognized By A Liberal Group. Go For It and Eyal Draws a Blank.

All too often the wheel of justice grind too slow but
eventually they also grind fine.

Maybe the swamp can be drained.(See 1 below.)
Norman Podhoretz, John's father, is one of America's most insightful conservative authors and he has been recognized as such by this liberal group which is re-publishing one of his earliest books.

Many years ago I reviewed Norman's: "World War 1V ." (See 2 below.)
Alan Bergstein says take a page from Israelis and go for it. Meanwhile,  Krauthammer enumerates the cards we have to play against N Korea.. (See 3 and 3a below.)
My friend Eyal Blank and his wife just had their first child but no name as yet:

1) An Important Legal Ruling Against the IRS May Have Huge Implications

In a major victory in the ongoing Lois Lerner scandal at the IRS, non-profit election integrity organization True the Vote defeated an IRS motion to quash discovery in True the Vote v. IRS. The ruling means that everyone involved in the scandal could be compelled to submit every document related to the case and be deposed by True the Vote's legal team.
Judge Reggie Walton of U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia just issued a critical order in True the Vote v. IRS case. The order compels the IRS to submit to discovery and depositions, giving True the Vote a long-awaited opportunity to expose the full scope of the discriminatory practices used by the Internal Revenue Service to target and abuse organizations and individuals who expressed political views in opposition to the Obama Administration.
In an exclusive interview, the lawyer representing True the Vote, Jim Bopp, Jr., cheered the ruling:
What we have now is an opportunity to find out who did what. The IRS has doggedly fought anyone finding out what happened and how it happened that they launched this comprehensive campaign to attack and undermine and adversely treat Tea Party and other conservative groups. We finally get an opportunity to find out.
Bopp says that the suit does not seek monetary damages:
What we want, of course, is an order by the court to prohibit the IRS from ever discriminating based upon political viewpoint of any organization in how they treat and deal with it. Conservative organizations were selected for adverse treatment by the Obama administration and the IRS. 
We want the court to prevent that from happening, no matter if the group is conservative or liberal. They shouldn't be targeted for their views.
The process of discovery could have stunning implications. There are mountains of documents and dozens of bureaucrats potentially involved:
We have no idea how far up the chain this goes, but we're going to find out.
Despite the ruling, Bopp is prepared for more stalling tactics by the IRS:
The case was filed in 2013. They've fought hard to obstruct discovery. We don't think their obstruction will end with this court order. We're concerned that we're going to face further obstruction, even though they're ordered to do it.
True the Vote, founded during the rise of the Tea Party movement, is a conservative non-profit organization dedicated to rooting out voter fraud and securing free and fair elections across the United States. Its suit against the IRS claims its application for non-profit status was targeted for extra scrutiny due to its politically conservative cause. Lois Lerner was the head of the Exempt Organization unit for the IRS under President Obama, and stands accused of deliberately targeting conservative groups for delays and denials of applications for tax exempt status.
In recent years there have been several celebrations to mark important anniversaries of the publication of beloved books — “The Velveteen Rabbit,” for example, or the stories of Peter Rabbit. This month comes a celebration of a book hardly anyone liked at the time — and the story of its evolution from cautionary tale to classic is the story of the evolution of our times.

The book is “Making It” by Norman Podhoretz, and when it was released 50 years ago this month it caused a sensation, and not the sort that any author craved, then or now. Mr. Podhoretz, then the editor of the journal Commentary and one of the central figures in New York literary society, was pilloried for his apostacy, though really the criticism was for his honesty.

The novelist Norman Mailer, a friend of Mr. Podhoretz but not particularly of his book, nonetheless described the spectacle as “coarse, intimate, snide, grasping, groping, slavering, slippery of reference, crude and naturally tasteless.” He went on, in the pages of the Partisan Review, to say that Mr. Podhoretz had produced “a minor work of much excellence, severely flawed.”
The crime of Mr. Podhoretz, born in Brooklyn to Eastern European Jewish parents and thus the very model of the New York intellectual at mid-century, was to avow that he aimed for money, power, fame and social position and to admit “an order of feeling in myself, and by implication in others, that most of us usually do our best to keep hidden.”

He might well have kept that hidden, for the very New York literary world that he characterized as “the family” — men and women who, he wrote, were “madly in love with ideas” and were marked by what he called “a commitment to left-wing anti-Stalinism and a commitment to avant-gardism” — lived the fantasy that they were immune to ambition, or money, or power. He said he didn’t possess that immunity and admitted the truth that dared not speak its name, at least at the time: “[I]t was the attention of the family I most dreamed of arousing.”

He won that attention all right, and as a result was ostracized, isolated, repelled from the island, at least of part of Manhattan. So it was a surprise — really it was a shock — when the New York Review of Books, today more leftish than leftist, decided to reprint “Making It” this spring, in the “Classic” imprint of its book publishing arm. In an interview, Mr. Podhoretz told me: “I thought it was a practical joke. I was flabbergasted. I never thought I would live to see the day when ‘Making It’ would not only be reprinted but allow me to feel vindicated.”
That word “vindicated” struck me as poignant. Some 37 years ago I traveled to New York’s Upper East Side, sat down in Mr. Podhoretz’s apartment and heard him use the very same word in a very different context.
“Vindication,” he said that wintry day in 1980, repeating the word before going on: “Yes, there is vindication. There are incredible numbers of people who have been forced to admit that what we were saying was at least worth discussing if not true. But I also feel vindicated because these ideas have worked out exactly as I had predicted.”

This 1980 version of vindication had nothing to do with “Making It” and everything to do with the fact that, only five weeks earlier, Ronald Reagan had been elected president, causing funereal despair among liberals much the way the election of Donald J. Trump did several months ago. Always one of what A.J. Liebling once called “the boys from the literary quarterlies,” Mr. Podhoretz no longer was a liberal.

He was one of the founding fathers of the neoconservative movement, and the election of Mr. Reagan affirmed his passage and rehabilitated him, though not in the eyes of his onetime allies or, in a phrase that still stings, his onetime fellow travelers. He said that day: “I think 1980 is the beginning — Act I, Scene 1 — and not the end, and the drama is whether the United States is going to be able to reverse its decline in power and revitalize the Western alliance.”

More than a third of a century later, Mr. Trump — no conservative lineal descendant of Mr. Reagan — is committed to the former but not to the latter. And Mr. Trump is living in a world Mr. Podhoretz helped create, where new conservative voices argued for a muscular American role in world affairs

“He provided a respected venue where they could publish and be in dialogue with each other,” said Daniel Oppenheimer, who has written on how onetime leftists shaped modern conservatism. “It was not something that happened overnight. The process took a long time. And providing that legitimacy was vital.”

That was the first Podhoretz vindication. The second is the one he feels about ambition. Fifty years ago he wrote:

“The whole business of reputation, of fame, of success was coming to fascinate me in a new way. Everyone seemed to be caught up in it, and yet no one told the truth about it. People capable of the most brutal honesty in other areas would at the mention of the word success suddenly lift their eyes up to the heavens and begin chanting the most horrendous pieties imaginable.”
Today ambition is no sin, and no one is silent about it or, in the social media age, silent about anything. And so, in my 2017 interview, I asked Mr. Podhoretz whether he, and “Making It,” had been the victim of honesty in 1967. His answer:
“The book was published in a perfect storm. It came out at the high point of the counterculture, whose sworn enemy was anything having to do with commerce or capitalism or middle-class values. ... I still regarded myself then as a member of the left and I was uttering what amounted to blasphemies, and nobody could understand why. One of my closest friends told my wife, with love and affection, that she ought to have me institutionalized, because I had gone crazy.”

Crazy, perhaps. But the republication of “Making It” is an important moment in the American cultural passage, leading us to examine our own lives and motivations, re-evaluate our own priorities, discover our own sense of purpose and role in the world. The key, of course, is not to find the answer, but to ask the question.
David Shribman, a Pulitzer Prize winner in journalism, is executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


How did Israel win the 1967 war? And what stopped the Iraqis and Syrians from achieving devastating nuclear weaponry? Simple..... Israel's brilliant use of pre-emptive military strategy which was to attack Egypt IN 1967 before becoming victims themselves. Years later in 1981 Israel's airpower destroyed the Iraqi Osirak nuclear plant and in a nearly carbon copy strike in 2007 they demolished the Syrian Al Kibar atomic facility before they were operational. One can only shudder at the prospects of Israel's Prime Ministers at those times, Levi Eshkol and Ehud Olmert, respectively, delaying these attacks and even canceling them out of fear of international rebuke and condemnation. Both of these leaders understood that the first responsibility of a nation's commander in chief is the security, protection and safety of his/her nation and its citizens. This is the foremost obligation of every leader. Well, supposed to be, anyway.
Today, President Trump faces similar decisions relating to the bombast, threats and menacing moves from both North Korea and Iran. Both of these nations, one surely a nuclear threat and the other perhaps having a bomb or two secreted in its arsenal, have successfully intimidated us for the last eight years with threats of wiping us out if we did not kneel down to them and whimper our apologies for whatever their misgivings. Obama's goodies to them of favorable treaties, funding and the wink and the nod encouraging them to think that we would always back down at their menacing messages has created monsters that President Trump now has to face. They are like spoiled children assuming they would always get their way.
In this explosive situation does our president use our overwhelming military force to destroy Kim Jong-un's nuclear missile capabilities before that deranged leader launches an assault against our nation? Does he continue with Obama's "Let's try another conference" method of not facing reality? Unlike Israel's past leaders in this type of situation, Trump faces his own citizenry, fifty percent of whom are aligned with the Peacenik, Progressive, Democrat Party that not only condemns the use of our military might but wishes it mothballed and replaced with non-stop, worthless negotiating with nations having no sense of right and wrong.
Not having the background of a weak-kneed, vote hungry, party loyal politician Trump may very well decide that like in business, he has to take the horse by the tail and make a crucial decision before it's too late. Iran had been coddled and sort of breast fed by Obama to grow beyond its borders and metastasize its terrorist activities throughout the already explosive Middle East. Its troops and surrogates are now active in Yemen, Egypt, Syria and Jordan. They have been funded with hundreds of billions of our $$ and their nuclear plants are operating non-stop. North Korea has launched missiles over Japan and has similar batteries aimed at South Korea. Their leader is a lunatic who would not hesitate to initiate a suicidal war against us.
President Trump has to weigh his options. Does he sit back and wait for our avowed enemies to strengthen themselves to the point they will attack us or does he order our well prepared, modern military to pre-emptively cripple our adversaries before they ambush us? We feel our nation is endangered and at least a minimal military strike by us will send a lesson not only to North Korea and Iran but to the rest of the planet that the United States will do all in its power to see to it that its citizens are safe from the insanities of this world and the madmen who seem to be flourishing in its cesspools of hate, bigotry and lunacy. The light is green, Mr. President, go for it.

3a) With North Korea, we do have cards to play
The crisis with North Korea may appear trumped up. It’s not.

Given that Pyongyang has had nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles for more than a decade , why the panic now? Because North Korea is headed for a nuclear breakout. The regime has openly declared that it is racing to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile that can reach the United States — and thus destroy an American city at a Kim Jong Un push of a button.

The North Koreans are not bluffing. They’ve made significant progress with solid-fuel rockets, which are more quickly deployable and thus more easily hidden and less subject to detection and preemption.

At the same time, Pyongyang has been steadily adding to its supply of nuclear weapons. Today it has an estimated 10 to 16. By 2020, it could very well have a hundred. (For context: The British are thought to have about 200.)

Hence the crisis. We simply cannot concede to Kim Jong Un the capacity to annihilate American cities.
Some will argue for deterrence. If it held off the Russians and the Chinese for all these years, why not the North Koreans? First, because deterrence, even with a rational adversary like the old Soviet Union, is never a sure thing. We came pretty close to nuclear war in October 1962.

And second, because North Korea’s regime is bizarre in the extreme, a hermit kingdom run by a weird, utterly ruthless and highly erratic god-king. You can’t count on Caligula. The regime is savage and cult like; its people, robotic. Karen Elliott House once noted that while Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was a prison, North Korea was an ant colony.

Ant colonies do not have good checks and balances.

If not deterrence, then prevention. But how? The best hope is for China to exercise its influence and induce North Korea to give up its programs.

For years, the Chinese made gestures, but never did anything remotely decisive. They have their reasons. It’s not just that they fear a massive influx of refugees if the Kim regime disintegrates. It’s also that Pyongyang is a perpetual thorn in the side of the Americans, whereas regime collapse brings South Korea (and thus America) right up to the Yalu River.

So why would the Chinese do our bidding now?

For a variety of reasons

● They don’t mind tension but they don’t want war. And the risk of war is rising. They know that the ICBM threat is totally unacceptable to the Americans. And that the current administration appears particularly committed to enforcing this undeclared red line.

● Chinese interests are being significantly damaged by the erection of regional missile defenses to counteract North Korea’s nukes. South Korea is racing to install a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system. Japan may follow . THAAD’s mission is to track and shoot down incoming rockets from North Korea but, like any missile shield, it necessarily reduces the power and penetration of the Chinese nuclear arsenal.

● For China to do nothing risks the return of the American tactical nukes in South Korea, withdrawn in 1991.

● If the crisis deepens, the possibility arises of South Korea and, more importantly, Japan going nuclear themselves. The latter is the ultimate Chinese nightmare.

These are major cards America can play. Our objective should be clear. At a minimum, a testing freeze. At the maximum, regime change.

Because Beijing has such a strong interest in the current regime, we could sweeten the latter offer by abjuring Korean reunification. This would not be Germany, where the communist state was absorbed into the West. We would accept an independent, but Finlandized, North Korea.

During the Cold War, Finland was, by agreement, independent but always pro-Russian in foreign policy. Here we would guarantee that a new North Korea would be independent but always oriented toward China. For example, the new regime would forswear ever joining any hostile alliance.

There are deals to be made. They may have to be underpinned by demonstrations of American resolve. A preemptive attack on North Korea’s nuclear facilities and missile sites would be too dangerous, as it would almost surely precipitate an invasion of South Korea with untold millions of casualties. We might, however, try to shoot down a North Korean missile in mid-flight to demonstrate both our capacity to defend ourselves and the futility of a North Korean missile force that can be neutralized technologically.

The Korea crisis is real and growing. But we are not helpless. We have choices. We have assets. It’s time to deploy them.

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