Wednesday, January 18, 2012

All in a Day's Work: Obama Kills Keystone XL Pipeline, Thousands of Jobs, and Millions in Public Revenue in One Fell Swoop

It now appears that the Obama administration will reject the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Business Insider reports:

The administration will be unlikely to approve the pipeline under the timeline for the payroll tax cut extension law which requires a decision by February 21

The project has been extremely controversial for two main reasons. Those in favor of the pipeline point to the 8.5% unemployment rate, and point out that the pipeline could create much-needed high-paying jobs. Moreover, it would provide cash-strapped governments with tax revenues. On the other hand after the BP Deepwater spill of 2010 and ExxonMobil's July 2011 pipeline spill, environmentalists are pressuring the Obama administration to nip the project in the bud.
Let's review. The project will provide "much-needed high paying jobs" in a time of excessive unemployment.  That's good for the private sector.  The project would also increase tax revenues.  That's good for the public sector.  It's good for small-government conservatives and big-government progressives alike. It is ready-made middle ground to boost employment and lessen public debt, no negotiation necessary.

Yet Obama will kill the project because environmentalist kooks don't like oil, and because they fear another accident might take place.
It would be nice if ideological bulwarks paid the bills- but they don't. I cannot just stop going to work because I don't like traffic and I have been in a car accident before. But that's the real world that we live in- Obama and his far-left zealots do not occupy it. He lives in a world where $4 million dollar family vacations grow on public money trees and another trillion in debt is just "stimulus." 
And now, thousands of Americans will remain unemployed by Obama's hand. State coffers that provide for teachers, police, firefighters, and their pension funds are in dire need of revenue to remain afloat- Obama has ensured that they get millions less than they could potentially have. He is willfully suppressing job growth and depressing government revenues to appease the environmentalist fringe.

Independent voters, are you paying attention?
William Sullivan

Sunday, January 15, 2012

"War is Hell." So Why Do We Expect That Our Soldiers Be Saints?

I understand that our soldiers are held to a much higher moral standard than soldiers of other nations, and certainly higher than that of the fantatical and barbaric insurgents in our current zones of conflict.  But I think in the public indignation over the marines that urinated on Taliban corpses, we forget something. It's easy to harness your emotions when the most aggravating thing in your day is your boss making you work late. It might be harder to do so while battling a subversive and bloodthirsty enemy that makes no bones about killing you at all costs.

The Taliban is already employing the most effective and violent measures in combatting our soldiers, and our soldiers endure that reality on a daily basis.  Yet the criticism of our enemies' use of such measures is implied, rarely voiced.  When the opportunity arises to demonize our own soldiers for a momentary lapse of judgment, however, Western voices are only too eager to offer their harshest criticism- and as loudly as possible.

Rep. Allen West addresses this anomaly in flawless fashion in an email to The Weekly Standard, seen below, original found here.  And on behalf of America and our soldiers that are often happily targeted by our media pundits, thank you, Mr. West.

William Sullivan
“I have sat back and assessed the incident with the video of our Marines urinating on Taliban corpses. I do not recall any self-righteous indignation when our Delta snipers Shugart and Gordon had their bodies dragged through Mogadishu. Neither do I recall media outrage and condemnation of our Blackwater security contractors being killed, their bodies burned, and hung from a bridge in Fallujah. 
“All these over-emotional pundits and armchair quarterbacks need to chill. Does anyone remember the two Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division who were beheaded and gutted in Iraq? 
“The Marines were wrong. Give them a maximum punishment under field grade level Article 15 (non-judicial punishment), place a General Officer level letter of reprimand in their personnel file, and have them in full dress uniform stand before their Battalion, each personally apologize to God, Country, and Corps videotaped and conclude by singing the full US Marine Corps Hymn without a teleprompter.

“As for everyone else, unless you have been shot at by the Taliban, shut your mouth, war is hell.” 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Bleak Prospects of Our Search for Palestinian Moderates

“Moderate” Palestinians.  Western voices attest to their existence any time that Palestinian aggression, anti-Semitism, and refusal to acknowledge Israeli sovereignty is cited.  They assert that somewhere, hidden in the streets bearing the names of murderous Palestinian terrorists and speckled in the throngs of shouting rabble calling for death and destruction in Israel, they exist in vast numbers, ready to emerge and assert their rational influence in the peace process.
Though one can't rationally argue that there are not singular examples of moderates within the populations of those who call themselves Palestinians, it's safe to say that the notion that they exist in large numbers is pure bunk.   
First of all, it has proven impossible to locate even a single moderate among Palestinian leadership.  Most often cited as the most convincing example of Palestinian moderation is Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority.  To really believe he is a moderate, however, requires an incredible leap from reality.  Abbas earned his doctorate by justifying Holocaust denial.  He has offered generous pensions to the families of suicide bombers and endorsed the execution of Palestinians who sell property to Jews. And his position on the matter of Israeli sovereignty is entirely unilateral, not moderate. In past negotiations, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made the generous offer to concede "95% of the land conquered in response to Jordan's offensive against Israel."  Abbas demanded it all.  Now, he is demanding all of it again, threatening "harsh measures" if Israel does not comply.
And as Isi Leibler laments in the Jerusalem Post, "Unfortunately, all opinion polls demonstrate that the Palestinian masses have been brainwashed and endorse these views."
And looking at the actions of the Palestinian general populace is truly disheartening, as the murderous overtones are much less subtle. Consider that last year, upon the savage murder of the Fogel family in the West Bank settlement of Itamar, the common reaction among Palestinians was not horror, but celebration- complete with the distribution of candy to local Palestinian children. Or perhaps consider that while Israelis celebrated the release of Gilad Shalit, Palestinians celebrated the release of murderous prisoners and exalted them as heroes. Among these released Palestinian terrorists was the “mastermind of the 2001 bombing” of a Sbarro’s pizzeria in Jerusalem that killed fifteen innocents. Also released was the ringleader of a lynch mob that, after brutally murdering an Israeli, was photographed presenting his bloodstained hands to a crowd of cheering Palestinians. This murderer, particularly, was lucky enough to collect a second round of accolades for this evil deed upon his release.
Jonathan S. Tobin offers a reason for this twisted behavior. He suggests that during the Second Intifada, “mass slaughter became not only a tool of war but the touchstone of a people’s identity.” And that identity is not only well-evidenced in Palestinian actions, but also in their cultural and intellectual mediums.
In their new book, “Deception: Betraying the Peace Process,” Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Ziberdik relate that the Palestinian magazine Zayzafuna is a generally “positive and educational” publication that enjoys funding by the Palestinian Authority. However:
These positive messages are directed at Palestinian society, Muslims, Christians and Druze. When it comes to portraying Israel and Jews, Zayzafuna changes its tone and includes items glorifying Jihad against Israel and praising Martyrdom death for Allah, and the Martyrs themselves.
Indicative of this anti-Semitic slant is a selected essay published by the magazine, written by a teenage girl. The essay describes a dream the child had, where she was visited by such Islamic icons as Al-Khwarizmi, who stressed the importance of “Islamic sciences,” Naguib Mahfouz, who stressed the importance of making use of one’s time, Saladin, who unsurprisingly suggested a new liberation of Jerusalem, and a rather oddly included bedfellow, Adolf Hitler.
Upon meeting Hitler in her dream, she asks him, “You’re the one who killed the Jews?” Hitler responds, “Yes. I killed them so that you would all know that they are a nation that spreads destruction all over the world. And what I ask of you is to be resilient and patient, concerning the suffering that Palestine is experiencing at their hands.” She thanks Hitler for the advice, which she finds sound, and her rationalization of the Holocaust is something that the Palestinian Authority and the magazine’s editors find suitable for publication in their educational endeavors.

To call such things "moderate" is an absolute travesty.
I truly hope that moderate Palestinian voices can be found and heard, and I hope they will be instrumental in crafting a peace where Palestine and Israel can coexist.  But all of the evidence our search has uncovered thus far has made optimism difficult to muster.

William Sullivan