This is, ahem, a different perspective on the troubles going on in Gaza:

Recall that, just last year, the president touted the “Arab Spring” – which any high school history buff could have predicted would devolve into the utter chaos it has – as “an extraordinary change taking place,” wherein, “Square by square, town by town, country by country, the [Muslim] people have risen up to demand their basic human rights.” (You know, like the Quran-given right for Muslim men to beat or kill women and homosexuals with impunity; or like the human right for both Iran and the Palestinian Authority to “wipe Israel from the face of the earth.”)

Whether due to naiveté, foolishness or pure dishonesty, President Obama’s bungling of the Middle East crisis – let alone his unprecedented attacks on our constitutional freedoms stateside – has disqualified him to lead the free world.

And so, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stepped forward to answer the call. He has become de facto leader of the free world – chief defender of Western civilization. [emphasis mine]

As America’s light fades under the Obama regime, Israel has become – for now at least – “the shining city on the hill.”

With a nuclear Iran perhaps only months away, Western civilization needs defending now more than ever. Israel needs defending now more than ever. Consider these words from top Hamas cleric Muhsen Abu ‘Ita: “Annihilation of the Jews here in Palestine is one of the most splendid blessings for Palestine.”

I realize this is Bircher claptrap to the extreme, but sometimes you just have to take a step back. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that Iran is indeed close (only months away!) from acquiring a nuclear bomb that can be delivered by a missile. Which is not at all the interpretation supported by the facts we know, but okay. Apparently pledging to use force only in the event that Iran acquires one single nuclear weapon not only makes Obama weak, incompetent, practically Carter-like, but also apparently an enemy of freedom itself? Only by being willing to use force well ahead of the development of such a device counts as strong, patriotic, and freedom-loving? I guess, by this logic, George W. Bush not only revoked his leadership in the fight for freedom when North Korea developed nuclear weapons, but he very nearly destroyed the whole free world, leaving such freedom-loving patriots like China President Hu Jintao to assume the heavy burden of leading the free world. Right?


Also, while I’m hardly going to waste my time thoroughly fisking this thing, it’s worth noting that the Qu’ran does not, actually, give men the right to beat women. Muhammad did, in fact, believe in gender equality to a striking degree for someone who lived 1300 years ago. Clearly his own view isn’t carrying the day among many of the supporters of the faith he founded, but neither have Jesus’s invocations to live in peace with your neighbors and to help the poor. Not entirely fair to hold those guys responsible for what people make of their message over a millennium later, now, is it? As with many things, the problem with domestic violence in the Middle East isn’t a “values” problem, it’s a poverty problem. Being poor with little work, less opportunity and no way to change it typically leads to free-floating anger and violence of many kinds, including violent crime and domestic violence. This is such an obvious point it shouldn’t be necessary to cite something, but here’s something anyway. In general, generalizing the behavior of poor people as some broader indication of local attitudes is silly–humans are humans and the pathologies are the same everywhere. The caricature of a liberal would say not to judge people under those circumstances, which is incidentally always good advice. But unless you’ve seen just how crushing poverty can be to people–and my experiences are admittedly limited to only a couple of weeks in my own lifetime–it’s rather icky for well-heeled pundits to talk about other people as if they have a clue who they’re talking about. Poor people are just as much an abstraction to Barber as Muslims are.


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