Thursday, February 20, 2014
From: Gary L. Bauer
Obama Does It Again
Barack Obama seems to have learned little from his rhetorical missteps regarding intervention in Syria. No doubt you recall his infamous “red line” remark from August 2012. “We have been very clear to the Assad regime … that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized,” he said.
But after chemical weapons were used a year later, Obama backtracked and denied he ever drew a red line at all. In September 2013, Obama said, “I didn’t set a red line. The world set a red line.” After threatening military action, Obama eventually backed down and invited the Russians to call the shots in Syria. Obama’s line drawing, followed by his retreat, damaged America’s credibility around the world.
Faced with another brewing foreign policy crisis, one might reasonably expect Obama to be more cautious with his rhetoric. Apparently not. Responding yesterday to the escalating violence in Kiev’s Independence Square, Obama drew yet another red line, saying:
“We hold the Ukrainian government primarily responsible for making sure that it is dealing with peaceful protestors in an appropriate way… And I want to be very clear that … we expect the Ukrainian government to show restraint… there will be consequences if people step over the line.”
What consequences? This is Vladimir Putin’s backyard. What does Mr. Obama intend to do if Russia’s Ukrainian puppet smashes the demonstrators?
In many ways, watching the news from Kiev is a surreal experience for me. I walked through Independence Square several years ago after being invited to address the inaugural Summit on Peace and Tolerance sponsored by the World Conference for Christians, Jews and Muslims, the Global Foundation for Democracy and the Ukrainian Interfaith Association. That “tolerance” conference had to have armed guards because of threats from radical Islamists.
I was honored to meet former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in Kiev, another speaker at the summit. Mrs. Bhutto is now dead, assassinated in 2007 by jihadists, and Independence Square is in flames.
By the way, it should be noted that Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych is a leftist thug allied with the Kremlin. Venezuela, also in the midst of civil strife, is governed by a leftist thug who is constantly seizing more and more power. Add North Korea, ruled by communist thug, to the list. This week the United Nations formally accused that Stalinist regime of committing crimes against humanity.
Global Warming Causes Crime?
A new study purports to tell us that global warming causes crime. That’s odd. For years the left has tried to convince us that guns cause crime.
From 2010 until 2099, the study estimates, global warming will account for a “2.2% increase in murders, a 3.1% increase in cases of rape, a 2.3% increase in aggravated assaults, a 1.2% increase in simple assaults, a 1% increase in robberies, a 0.9% increase in burglaries, a 0.5% increase in cases of larceny and a 0.8% increase in cases of vehicle theft.”
Of course this is just plain nuts. Guns don’t cause crime and neither does global warming. Crime goes up when increasing numbers of people reject the Judeo-Christian moral code — something the left cheers.
While we’re on the subject, Secretary of State John Kerry recently declared climate change to be “perhaps the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction” and “the greatest challenge of our generation.”
Seriously, Mr. Secretary? A nuclear-armed Iran would seem to be a far greater challenge to our generation. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is demanding Kerry’s resignation, tweeting, “A delusional secretary of state is dangerous to our safety.”
Newt is not alone in his criticism of Kerry’s remarks. Two professors of atmospheric science and fellows of the American Meteorological Society, have published an op-ed arguing that the science of global warming, in their view, is not only far from settled, but flawed. Consider this excerpt:
“The warming numbers most commonly advanced are created by climate computer models built almost entirely by scientists who believe in catastrophic global warming. …We might forgive these modelers if their forecasts had not been so consistently and spectacularly wrong. …The models also fail to get details of the past climate right.”
It is political and journalistic malfeasance that is allowing global warming hype to derail critical infrastructure projects like the Keystone pipeline, while diverting tax dollars to boondoggles such as Solyndra and expensive alternatives that kill birds and consume massive amounts of land.
Speaking Of Hype…
California bureaucrats are patting themselves on the back. Covered California, the state’s Obamacare equivalent, is exceeding enrollment expectations, or so they say. But let’s add some context.
More than one million Californians had insurance policies cancelled because of Obamacare. State officials also refused to let insurance companies extend those policies. Far from being a success, the Golden State’s social engineers have simply recycled prior customers, many of whom are now struggling to find doctors who will accept the new Obamacare policies. By the way, Covered California is already facing a projected deficit of nearly $80 million.
Meanwhile, the White House is bragging about weak enrollment numbers from the federal exchange. But insurance industry estimates suggest that those figures are likely to be revised significantly downward because 20-30% of enrollees are not paying their premiums.
Pray For The Peace Of Jerusalem
I spent a good part of yesterday afternoon at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., speaking with key leaders about the growing dangers in the Middle East. I am not at liberty to divulge the details of those private talks, but I want to urge all our readers to pray for the peace for Jerusalem. You only need to skim the latest headlines to understand why.
While the administration pins its hopes on a scrap of paper, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said this week that “the nuclear negotiations will lead nowhere.” During a meeting yesterday with leaders of the Palestinian Authority, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reportedly called for the “liberation of [Jerusalem] from the yoke of Israel.” Neither man sounds particularly eager to “give peace a chance.”
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