There is an ongoing debate on whether the defense budget has increased or not, but there is no doubt that the defense duties have increased • The IDF used to rely on its offensive capabilities, but by 2012 Israel has invested billions in defense.
FP: Does reflect a direction of things to come, no? (see next)
Wave of terrorist attacks against Israeli diplomats catches defense establishment by surprise • Israel’s request for more stringent security measures is approved by host countries • Some diplomats provided with round-the-clock security details.
FP: If Israel was caught off guard in the current international climate, heads should roll at the very top. But they won’t. Israel is not what it was, it suffers from the same decline as the West, particularly a crisis of leadership.
JacksonDiehl Egypt Muslim Brotherhood adopts military playbook, says treaty with Israel depends on continued US aid.
FP: A superpower that is blackmailed by a starving failed state and pays is not a superpower no more.
Former journalist warns that Israel is headed toward self-destruction • Citing the record number of ultra-Orthodox and Arab first-graders, Lapid warns “12 years from now, 50 percent of Israelis will not be drafted or join the workforce.”
FP: Forget Lapid, another empty, self-centered celebrity striving for attention. But the message reflects yet another major strategic blunder by Israel.
Paul A. Rahe: More Than a Touch of Malice
In 2008, when he first ran for the Presidency, Barack Obama posed as a moderate most of the time. This time, he is openly running as a radical. His aim is to win a mandate for the fundamental transformation of the United States that he promised in passing on the eve of his election four years ago and that he promised again when he called his administration The New Foundation. In the process, he intends to reshape the Democratic coalition – to bring the old hypocrisy to an end, to eliminate those who stand in the way of the final consolidation of the administrative entitlements state, to drive out the faithful Catholics once and for all, to jettison the white working class, and to build a new American regime on a coalition of highly educated upper-middle class whites, feminists, African-Americans, Hispanics, illegal immigrants, and those belonging to the public-sector unions. To Americans outside this coalition, he intends to show no mercy.
Mark my words. If Barack Obama wins in November, he will force the Catholic hospitals to perform abortions, and the bishops, priests, and nuns who fostered the steady growth of the administrative entitlements state, thinking that they were pursuing “the common good,” will reap what they have sown.
FP: What Rahe misses here is the major component of the coalition: the Wall St./Corporate system which, in cooperation with the political system, be it Democrat or Republican, robs those outside the coalition and those inside it that Rahe lists blind.
Just remember that billions of dollars in U.S. bombs, pilot time, plane resources, and gasoline were spent bombing Qaddafi, so these animals could come to power. And that’s not to mention the hundreds of CIA agents who went to Libya to “advise” these scumbags. Now, let’s hear it for Obama-induced Libyan Arab Spring . . . and many Libyans just vanishing (no doubt, after they were tortured and cut into pieces). We were MUCH better off with Qaddafi ruling the roost and maintaining stability among the barbarians, as I’ve been saying for well over a year (and before that). This is from Mustafa Fetouri, an independent Libyan journalist without ties to Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, which are now running the place.
Sean Hannity, Mohammed Jasser Both Urged Obama to Back Libyan Rebels, Attacked Him for Not Doing So
Thanks, Barack! (And Newt Gingrich, Sean Hannity, and faux-”moderate” Muslim Mohammed Zuhdi Jasser, all of whom urged us to go in there and depose Qaddafi, too! Vannity and Newt both criticized Obama for not going in and supporting these Islamo-cretinous “rebels” before he decided to. Being the typical know-nothing, fake, and liar that he is, Sean Vannity now claims he was against going in–a bald-faced LIE. See the video, below.)
Rebel militias particularly in Misurata, Sirte and Tripoli are being accused of a series of basic rights violations, murder and armed robbery. The government has yet to make a single arrest in those cases, let alone begin the process of trying them.
At least 10 of my friends have long since disappeared. I know that at least three of them were killed in cold blood, while another two are in jail. I know nothing about the other five. Their families, desperate for news, every now and then check whether I have heard anything. Read the rest of this entry »
FP: That US politicians and pundits are clueless about the Arab world is nothing new, and that drives policy. But by letting Arabs free to jump at each other’s throats—their natural state—the policy has inadvertently achieved at least one positive result: it let them busy themselves, if only in the short-term, fighting each other rather than feed the Jihad. Haven’t you noticed that the media focus on demonizing Israel has gone way down? Why do you think there is concern that Assad/Hizb’allah will attack Israel to return that focus?
White House budget request for 2013 includes footnote that says U.S. State Department will work with Congress to waive ban on financial assistance to UNESCO, imposed after the U.N. organization recognized a Palestinian state in October.
FP: Let’s reelect him.
Matt Taibbi: Another March to War?
Once upon a time, way back in the stone ages, when Noam Chomsky was first writing about these propaganda techniques in Manufacturing Consent, our leaders felt the need to conceal – or at least sugar-coat – these Orwellian principles. It was assumed that the American people genuinely needed to feel like they were on the right side of things, and so the foreign powers we clashed with were always depicted as being the instigators and aggressors, while our role in provoking those responses was always disguised or at least played down.
But now the public openly embraces circular thinking like, “Any country that squawks when we threaten to bomb it is a threat that needs to be wiped out.” Maybe I’m mistaken, but I have to believe that there was a time when ideas like that sounded weird to the American ear. Now they seem to make sense to almost everyone here at home, and that to me is just as a scary as Achmedinejad.
FP: Just like Chomsky and the rest of the left, Taibbi is excellent in his coverage of the profound flaws of the US domestic system, but completely clueless when it comes to foreign policy (although I must admit that whenever Wall Street start pushing for something, be it domestic or foreign, I worry). I was surprised that Israel was not even once mentioned in this peace.
Megan McArdle: Envisioning a Post-Campus America
MIT is going to offer certificates for completion of low-cost online coursework, an offering the university is calling MITx. Stephen Gordon ponders the implications:
Now, imagine a personnel manager at a mid-sized corporation who's looking for an employee with some particular knowledge. There are two candidates: one with an appropriate college degree from the local state school, a second with relevant MITx certificates. Let's say all other things between the candidates are equal. Which should the manager choose?
Given the caliber of professor at MIT, the online student may have learned just as much. The candidate who went to college probably enjoyed his experience more, but the potential employer is unlikely to care about that. Finally, there's the financial reality: To some extent, the student debt of the job candidate dictates his salary requirements. If the MITx candidate has the knowledge required and far less student debt, he probably can be hired more cheaply. Ultimately, the cheaper option will win.
FP: Education has been systematically replaced by vocational training for employment, devoid of intellectual development—appreciation for and skills for acquisition of knowledge and ability to reason critically and independently. This is a significant factor in the collapse of the West and the elimination of the last remnant of the educational system, the campus, will kill whatever little education is left. The online system will, over time, gear itself to be a corporate/business training system, producing employees with serious intellectual limitations worse than even the current ones. Instead of bringing students up to the quality of current MIT professorship, the quality of the latter will deteriorate, particularly teaching ability, which is already rare and unrewarded. Furthermore, the university, on of the few components of social integration left, is also being eliminated.