Commentary Magazine


Flotsam and Jetsam

Do you think the British public will figure out what rubbish is the latest pronouncement by their “health experts” that “fetuses before the age of 24 weeks do not feel pain, and thus may be rubbed out without even the tiniest bit of conscience-pricking for Mum or abortionist”? It would require them, after all, to ignore the ”daily new discoveries in the science of the womb.”

The Washington Post could never figure out that its “conservative” blogger has nothing but contempt for conservatives. But he quit, so we wait with baited breath for the next “conservative.”

Anyone who cares to figure out what J Street is up to, can: “J Street clearly does not share a viewpoint with Kadima. If anything it shares a viewpoint with Meretz, Israel’s hippy-dippy left-wing eco-party that boasts all of three seats in the Knesset. The views J Street espouses have been overwhelmingly rejected in Israel. They’ve been overwhelmingly rejected in Congress.Unfortunately, this White House is exactly where J Street is on the peace process, on the blockade, on settlements, and you have to worry they’re in the same place on Iran, too, despite the occasional half-hearted insistence to the contrary.”

It’s not hard to figure out why the world is getting more dangerous: “The United States and its allies have all the tools at their disposal to defeat our shared enemies. Success will depend on three basic commitments: American leadership, a stronger Europe, and a common transatlantic vision. Unfortunately, we have recently been witnessing the opposite: an internationally reluctant American president, a Europe which is mired in its own problems, and an eroded Atlantic bond. … Today, the growing perception among European elites is that the U.S. president is not interested in Europe at all. Many of those elites instead believe that, as president, Obama is mainly concerned with improving America’s image in the Muslim world.” It took Obama to make European elites seem sane.

It’s not taking very long to figure out what’s wrong in Afghanistan: “A military source close to Gen. David Petraeus told Fox News that one of the first things the general will do when he takes over in Afghanistan is to modify the rules of engagement to make it easier for U.S. troops to engage in combat with the enemy, though a Petraeus spokesman pushed back on the claim. Troops on the ground and some military commanders have said the strict rules — aimed at preventing civilian casualties — have effectively forced the troops to fight with one hand tied behind their backs.” Now all we need to do is can the incompetent civilian officials. Then we might win this.

Jeremy Warner can figure out what Obama is up to in demanding Europe to follow his lead on spending: “Like much of what Mr Obama says and does these days, the US position is cynically political. With mid-term elections looming and the Democrats down in the polls, the administration hasn’t yet even begun to think about deficit reduction. … In berating others to carry on spending, Mr Obama is being neither politically wise nor economically sound. He should instead be attending to his own back yard by mapping out some sort of credible, long-term plan for returning the U.S. to balanced budgets.” Cynical or economically illiterate? Both, maybe.

Voters can figure out that “stimulus” means “stimulate the growth of government”: “Since the beginning of the recession (roughly January 2008), some 7.9 million jobs were lost in the private sector while 590,000 jobs were gained in the public one.  And since the passage of the stimulus bill (February 2009), over 2.6 million private jobs were lost, but the government workforce grew by 400,000.”

If you figure out a topic on which Peter Beinart is credible, please send word. Regarding Afghanistan, he wrote on June 23: “[Obama] should use McChrystal’s transgression to install a general who will publicly and unambiguously declare that America’s days in Afghanistan are numbered.” Well, instead he appointed Gen. Petraeus and started to walk back the timeline.