The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hard Choices

Every new President talks about the dawn of a new era, about the need to make government work, about friends and foes abroad, about the myriad challenges that face his fellow citizens, about … well, you get the picture. Barack Obama was no exception. His inaugural address was well-crafted and delivered in his impeccable style, but it was, dare I say it, rather pedestrian. He hit all the right notes and set all of the appropriate themes, but as in all things, we’ll all have to wait until his actions begin to flesh out his words.

He correctly noted that we (and his administration) have substantial challenges:
That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

He's right when he notes “our collective failure to make hard choices.” But he avoids stating an underlying truth—politicians and political parties avoid “hard choices” the same way they would avoid Bird Flu. Proximity can kill ya.

The problem, I suppose, is that making “hard choices” implies that you’re going to make more than a few people unhappy.

For example, the “hard choices” that are required to mitigate the problems associated with social security are relatively easy to identify. The problem is that no coalition of politicians has had the courage to make them. Everyone clucks about the Bernie Madoff scandal and asks how a Ponzi scheme like his could have gone undetected. Folks … our social security system is a government-sanctioned Ponzi scheme that over the next 30 years just might bankrupt our already beleaguered treasury. Ditto Medicare. And to a lesser degree, a panoply of entitlements that range from farm subsidies, to bank bailouts, to a broad range of ineffective “poverty programs.”

But hard choices on each will gore someone’s ox and a constituency of “someones” will scream bloody murder. The political class will rapidly decide that hard choices can be delayed.

Will Barack Obama herald in an era of “hard choices?” It isn’t likely, but I must say that he has an excellent opportunity to do so. The media will cut him more slack that any other President in my lifetime. He is, after all, their guy. The majorities he has in Congress will give him enormous clout. His personal charisma and the good will of the people will provide support.

If he does try, I would suggest amending his phrasing just slightly. The new President must help the country make not only hard choices, but the right choices—choices that will not bankrupt our children and grandchildren, choices that will encourage personal responsibility and initiative, choices that are targeted on real problems, not imagined crises, choices that couple humility with the hard-nosed realization that we simply can’t continue to kick the can down the road.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Barack Obama has rightly made an effort to suggest that a bipartisan (dare I say, “centrist”) approach to the nation’s many problems is the appropriate path forward. In his inaugural address, the new President stated: “On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.”

Unquestionably, there will continue to be ideological differences, sanctimonious outrage by one side or the other, and attempts at class warfare and the politics of division. Washington is, after all, still Washington.

But President Obama seems to have the good sense to recognize that Democrats do not have a monopoly on truth, justice and the American way. Neither do Republicans.

And yet, the far-Left and the leadership within the President’s own party—led by Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi—seem to favor a period of vengence—a painful continuation of Bush Derangement Syndrome. It’s as if they just can’t let it go. As if the real problems we face and the real solutions that our government must craft are somehow secondary to senate and house “investigations,” hearings, and maybe even show trials.

Some Democrats argue that we need to “know the truth” or that we need to “cleanse the country.” I can only comment that those positions are so breathtakingly ridiculous, you’d think that the adults in the Democratic party would intervene. The problem, of course, is that Pelosi and Reid are children in adult bodies. Unfortunately, it appears that President Obama may have to expend his own political capital to stop this shameful display of continuing BDS.

John Barry (certainly no supporter of George W. Bush) comments on “The Politics of Vengeance” in Newsweek:
What would that [Congressional inquiries] achieve, exactly? Obama is surely right to think that the verdict that matters most is the one the voters rendered in November. Leave the rest to historians—who surely will collectively judge [hmmm, it nice to know that Barry can see 30 or 40 years into the future with such clarity] that the president, Congress, the judiciary (with the public's tacit assent), in a panic after 9/11, colluded to order, do or acquiesce in actions which ill-became a great nation.

Representative Conyers sees inquiries as essential if America is to regain "our moral authority". Really? Is the rest of the world waiting for some bloodletting? No. Obama's election is seen, joyfully, as evidence that America has turned the page. Let us do the same. Leave the new president to restore America's standing by his actions—actions hopefully overseen by a more vigilant legislative branch.

It’s time to move on. It’s way past time to put an end to BDS. The future is Obama’s. Let’s give him an opportunity to address our many problems without the divisions that a continuation of BDS will surely cause.


That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land — a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America — they will be met.

Barack Obama
44th President of the United States

And so, with age old tradition and a 20-minute inaugural address we move to a new time. As our President so rightly states, his ascendancy to office will not magically eliminate the problems we face. It will not eradicate the petty politics that infects government at every level. It will not fully bridge the ideological divide between the Left and the Right, and despite the near-religious fervor that some of his long-time supporters have, it surely will not lead us to the land of milk and honey.

But it can serve as the basis for a new beginning—one that is onCenter—one that grasps the best ideas from all political positions and melds them to form the best path forward for our country. One that gives us reason to hope and leads to change that means something.

I wish our new President well.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Greed and Envy

As the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues, the sanctimonious hypocrisy of most of the MSM, the UN (of course), and much of Western Europe drones on. In a cacophony of delusional, even deranged rhetoric, writers and politicians misstate current facts on the ground, warp history to fit their ridiculous claims, and condemn a nation that is properly defending itself from murderous thugs by claiming “disproportionality,” or in the most deranged rants—"genocide."

The delusional and deranged seem to think that cease-fire is the goal, that stopping the Israelis is paramount even if it provides a respite for Hamas to rearm and continue the killing of Israelis. Only Israel is to blame and to be condemned. Like Lebanon in 2006, the terrorists are portrayed as the aggrieved party and a western liberal democracy is condemned for defending its borders. "Negotiate," the delusional and deranged cry.

David Gelernter warns against negotiation with murderous thugs who want you dead, and uses a wonderful metaphor to help those who aren’t delusional and deranged understand the underlying cause of the Arabs' claims against Israel:
The dispute has many causes, but one root cause. If I own an old junker Buick that's worthless to me, and a stranger offers me $10,000 for it, naturally I'll take the money. But at the same time I might grow suspicious (or at least thoughtful): Maybe the thing is valuable after all. Maybe I could have got more for it.

And suppose the new owner proceeds to enthuse rapturously over the old car, and repairs and rebuilds it and makes it shine, makes it better than new, and starts exhibiting it at car fairs and winning big prizes. Under those circumstances, I'm even more likely to feel aggrieved, cheated, angry, and (especially) stupid--if I'm the kind of person who dwells on old hurts and imagined grievances. And my friends can make matters worse by egging me on. (Everyone loves a fight, especially if he can watch from the sidelines.)

Now, every human being on earth who cares about facts and can tell a lie from a truth knows that there was no such thing as "Palestinian nationalism" until modern Zionism created it out of whole cloth, by placing enormous value on a piece of land that used to seem as precious to its landlords as a rat-ridden empty lot in a burnt-out neighborhood in the middle of nowhere, in the suburbs of nothing. The Jews gradually got possession of an arid stony wasteland (where the sun beats, / And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief / And the dry stone no sound of water)--complete with the odd picturesque, crumbling, dirty town; and they loved it. They turned it into a gleaming, thriving modern nation, not only a military but an intellectual powerhouse. And so it is only natural that the former owners' descendants want it back, and remember how much their ancestors loved it, and how the new owners only got possession by wickedness and deceit. Such memories have the strange property of growing clearer instead of cloudier every day.

Only one thing can restore the former owners' peace of mind. They must be kicked firmly in the pants and told "stop whining and get lost" so many times that they finally move on to another grievance.

Any competent psychologist will agree: When someone is mooning over a thing he can't have because it belongs to someone else, the responsible and humane course of treatment is not temporizing sweet-talk but a blunt lesson in the facts of life.

Greed and envy. With those two words, Gelertner cuts through all the diplomatic vapor and exposes the raw truth of it all.

Think about it. Would you “negotiate" with a thug who fathered your legally adopted child but then abused and abandoned it. Now he sees the beauty of the child and claims it as his own. Would you allow him parental rights because he threatens violence or whines to some international lost children’s association, or pleads that he is now childless and lonely. Would you relent because he attacks you physically. I. Don't. Think. So.

You’d do what you have to do to be sure that greed and envy—two of the seven deadly sins, by the way—do not prevail. That is, unless you're the Media, the UN or Western Europe. In that case, you’d split the child into pieces, and feeling quite Solomon-like, give part to the thug while preening in the moral certitude that you’re defending the “oppressed.”

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Faux Ghetto

Desperate to outdo the extreme bias emanating from the MSM regarding the Israeli-Hamas conflict, far-Left blogs and commentators are feverishly searching for a compelling anti-Israel meme that will resonate with the broader public. On more than a few far-Left sites, I’ve seen Gaza compared to the Warsaw Ghetto. As the son of a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto, I will not dignify such ludicrous, counter-historical comparisons with a rebuttle. But the mime does reinforce my contention that the far-Left is moving from delusional to deranged in its pro-Hamas, anti-Israel rhetoric.

The Ghetto mime is used to reinforce the Left’s delusional view that Gaza is grossly overcrowded and that thugs like Hamas are forced to store their weapons in schools, mosques, and hospitals and launch their rockets in civilian population centers. After all, there’s just no room to operate, is there?

If you have 2:09, spend the time viewing this video. If you have a bit more time, use Google Earth to fly over Gaza. What you’ll find is plenty of open land. Land that could be used for agriculture and industry. Land that could form the basis for an economy that doesn’t depend solely on international welfare. Land that could form the basis for a peaceful, new beginning for the Palestinian people – you know, the very same people the Left cares so much about. Nah. Not gonna happen. Hamas won’t let it (and neither will Fatah). Hamas would rather use the Palestinian people as cannon fodder, working to maximize casualties among its own in a cynical attempt to garner sympathy for itself and universal condemnation for the Israel. The incredible thing is the tactic works.

By the way, since there’s so much open land, why is it, do you think, that Hamas feels compelled to use schools as launch sites, hospital as command and control centers, and Mosques as weapons storage depots in clear and irrefutable violation of international law and Palestinian human rights. As the video states, “Take a guess.”

Double Threat

Rather than focusing on the day to day tactics of the Israeli-Hamas conflict, Bernard Lewis looks at broader strategic issues and sees a very small glimmer of hope for reconciling the Arab crescent to the existence of Israel. His solution has nothing to do with the Arabs acceptance of an infidel (Jewish) presence in their region. Rather it has everything to do with the existential threat that Iran poses to the Arab dictatorships of the region.

Lewis begins by discussing the reasons behind Egypt’s long-lasting peace treaty with Israel. During the later 1970s, Anwar Sadat was driven to make peace with the “Zionist entity” not because he loved the Jews, but because he felt his country was threatened by the broad Soviet presence in his country. Lewis writes:
Sadat realized that, on the best estimate of Israel’s power and the worst estimate of its intentions, Israel was far less a danger to Egypt than the Soviet Union was. He therefore decided on his epoch-making peace initiative.

Despite many difficulties, the 1979 peace accord signed by Egypt and Israel has endured ever since -- at best cool, sometimes frosty, but preserved for the mutual advantage of both sides. It was even extended with the signing of a peace agreement between Israel and Jordan in 1994 and informal dialogue between Israel and some Arab governments.

In Iran, Sadat’s murderer is venerated as a hero of Islam, and a street in Tehran is named after him.

In several Arab countries at the present time, and in wider Arab circles, there is a growing perception that once again they face a danger more deadly and menacing than Israel at its worst: the threat of militant, radical Shiite Islam, directed from Iran.

Double Threat

This is seen as a double threat. Iran, a non-Arab state with a long and ancient imperial tradition, seeks to extend its rule across the Arab lands toward the Mediterranean. And it is an attempt to arouse and empower the Shiite populations in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf and other Arabian states, long subject to Sunni domination. Iranian tentacles are spreading westward into Iraq and beyond by the northern route into Syria and Lebanon and by the southern route to the Palestine territories, notably Gaza.

This double threat, of Iranian empire and Shiite revolution, is seen by many Arabs, and more particularly by their leaders, as constituting a greater threat than Israel could ever pose -- a threat to their very societies, their very identity. And some Arab rulers are reacting the same way that Sadat did to the Soviet threat, by looking toward Israel for a possible accommodation.

During the war in Lebanon in 2006 between Israel and the Iranian-supported Shiite militia Hezbollah, the usual Arab support for the Arab side in a conflict was strikingly absent. It was clear that some Arab governments and Arab peoples were hoping for an Israeli victory, which did not materialize. Their disappointment was palpable.

If Barack Obama’s diplomatic initiatives focus on anything, they should emphasize the threat that Iran poses to Arab dictatorships (with special emphasis on Saudi Arabia). Existential threat tends to focus the mind and a Hillary-run State Department might very well use diplomatic bribery to convince the Arabs that peace with Israel is the best defense against Iran.

The sad reality, however, is that the Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. After years of cultivating virulent Jew-hatred among their masses, it will be difficult to establish détente with Israel. Worse, their ideology, Islam, offers relatively little room to maneuver. But you never know. If Obama is savvy enough to realize that peace in the Middle East will be driven by the Arab’s fear of Iran, and Hillary is cynical enough to do what has to be done (and offer the necessary “bribes” to get it done), the problem just might become more manageable.

My own feeling is that the Arab-Israeli problem will remain intractable throughout the remainder of my lifetime. But clever use of Iran as a boggie man might just change the facts on the ground.


I think that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are smart and pragmatic enough to recognize that a guy like John Bolton presents just the kind of realistic diplomatic thinking that might make the Israeli-Palestinian conflict somewhat less intractable. In today’s WaPo, Bolton states:
Let's start by recognizing that trying to create a Palestinian Authority from the old PLO has failed and that any two-state solution based on the PA is stillborn. Hamas has killed the idea, and even the Holy Land is good for only one resurrection. Instead, we should look to a "three-state" approach, where Gaza is returned to Egyptian control and the West Bank in some configuration reverts to Jordanian sovereignty. Among many anomalies, today's conflict lies within the boundaries of three states nominally at peace. Having the two Arab states re-extend their prior political authority is an authentic way to extend the zone of peace and, more important, build on governments that are providing peace and stability in their own countries. "International observers" or the like cannot come close to what is necessary; we need real states with real security forces.

Bolton goes on to delineate all of the objections to this concept, but if Iran can be used as a forcing function and the Arab league gets behind the idea, it actually could work, Remember, the Palestinians claims to “their country” is an historical fiction. There was never a separate Palestinian state, never a President, prime minister, or parliament. Arab people lived in the region, but so did Jews, Christians and many others. Palestine only existed because the British put a name on a map. Therefore, absorption into viable states (Egypt and Jordan) is the only reasonable “roadmap” to take.

If Barack Obama really wants change and if, as he states, he wants to move away from the "tired approaches of the past" he might (gasp) take the time to consider Bolton's words.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Media Rules

During the Israeli-Hezballah conflict in Lebanon in 2006, much of the western world’s print and broadcast media honed a set of rules for reporting any military action undertaken by Israel. Driven by left-leaning reporters, editors, and TV producers, all of who have a delusional view of the realities in the Middle East, the media works hard to shape public opinion with a tableau of subtly anti-Israel reporting. Sometimes, it’s as simple as a choice of words. Sometimes, it's a misrepresentation or omission of facts, and sometimes it blatant, unadulterated bias.

Here are just a few “rules” that much of the MSM follow when reporting the Israeli-Hamas conflict:

  • When discussing the Israeli “occupation” of Gaza, conveniently forget to mention that the "occupation" ended in 2005. Never tell your readers or viewers that Israel withdrew from Gaza unilaterally, while physically expelling Israeli residents who lived there, all in hope of encouraging the Gazans to develop a viable proto-state.

  • When lamenting the Israeli “blockade” of Gaza, never indicate that a continuous stream of humanitarian supplies flows across the border, even though Hamas is at war with Israel. Never indicate that the borders are closed in order to reduce the number of Hamas-sponsored suicide bombings inside Israel.

  • When mentioning the current military action, always call it an “incursion” rather than a defensive response to Hamas-precipitated acts of war.

  • When recounting the deaths that have occurred, always refer to all casualties as “Palestinians,” hoping that your audience will infer that all are innocent civilians. Don’t bother mentioning the the vast majority of those killed are Hamas thugs who have sworn to eradicate the “Zionist entity.”

  • When specifically noting deaths of Gazan civilians, forget to mention that Hamas purposely houses it facilities, bomb factories, and weaponry (rockets) in civilian neighborhoods with the cynical expectation that any attack will have collateral damage. Under no circumstances indicate that Israel warns Gazan residents (via cell phone calls and leaflets) in advance of air attacks in order to reduce collateral damage.

  • When using pictures or video, be certain to show wailing Gazan mothers. Avoid any image of rocket damage in Israel and be certain never to show grieving Israelis.

  • When using pictures or video supplied by Palestinian stringers, never vet the image until it has been broadcast worldwide. If the image is staged or false, allow significant time to pass before there is a small correction on page 34.

  • Never, ever, mention that Hamas is currently conducting a terror campaign (as the Israeli military actions continue) against Palestinians who disagree with it, summarily executing members of Fatah and any other critics.

  • Consciously omit the fact that Hamas rules Gaza because it conducted a bloody coup that unseated the Palestinian authority—the one group sanctioned bu the UN to lead the Palestinian people.

  • Avoid context at all cost. If you must mention the fact that Hamas launches rockets, always use the adjectives “primitive” or “home made” and never, ever provide an accurate count of the number of rockets launched over the border (well over 3,000 since 2005).

  • When referring to pro-Palestinian rallies in Europe (anti-Israel) or Arab countries (virulently anti-Israel), be certain to extrapolate these and refer to them as “worldwide” protests.

  • When recounting UN actions, fail to mention the organization’s inherent anti-Israel bias, its inability to be a impartial arbiter, and it’s complete incompetence when asked to provide border security (think: Lebanon).
    The media follows these rules assiduously and their affect cannot be ignored. They have, either purposely or inadvertently, become a propaganda arm for one of the most violent and dangerous of all Jihadist groups. But no matter. After all, the media is simply following the rules.

  • Friday, January 02, 2009


    As I predicted on the first day of hostilities, the Left’s anti-Israel bias is in full flower now that the response to over a year of rocket attacks enters its second week. In the deluded worldview of the Left (media, print commentators, and blogs) the tiny Jewish state attacked Hamas without provocation, or worse, rained terror purposely targeted at civilians. The far Left goes so far as to argue that Israel provoked the entire incident and is culpable for the entire conflict.

    Consider the overwrought words of Uri Avnery in The Progressive:
    It was impossible not to think about the tens of thousands of Gazan children who were hearing that sound at that moment, cringing with fright, paralyzed by fear, waiting for the bombs to fall.

    Where was Avnery Gazan when 3,000 Hamas rockets rained down on “tens of thousands of Gazan Israeli children who were hearing that sound at that moment, cringing with fright, paralyzed by fear, waiting for the bombs rockets to fall.”

    Oh, right, Hamas, a terrorist group that is sworn to destroy each and every one of those children and who considers them to be combatants, is “oppressed” and therefore not to be blamed for gross and obvious violations of international law. Never mind history, or facts, or charters, or policy positions—delusion reigns supreme.

    But the Left goes far beyond unthinking support of terrorist thugs. It suggests that Israel provoked Hamas by keeping border crossings closed and “eliminating most sources of employment, pushing hundreds of thousands to the brink of starvation, stopping most hospitals from functioning, disrupting the supply of electricity and water.” Again facts don’t matter to Avnery. The border was closed because a de facto state of war exists between Hamas—the elected representative of the Gazans—and Israel. I guess it's too difficult for Avnery and all who think like him to recognize a simple reality. Let me state it very simply so that even the deluded can comprehend it:

    Rockets flying across the border = closed borders
    No rockets and a cessation of hostility = open borders

    But that might still be too difficult to understand. How about this:

    Israel unilaterally left Gaza, and the residents did nothing to build a viable proto-state. They were given hundreds of millions in aid; they were left operational factories and greenhouses, a viable, albeit bedraggled, infrastructure, and much more. And they trashed it. Worse, the Gazans elected Hamas who they clearly understood would initiate a perpetual state of war with Israel.

    And now, after a year of provocation, Israel strikes back, the Gazans act as if they are the bereaved party. I don’t blame them for using a biased media to foster those bogus claims, but I do blame the Left for buying into them without any critical thinking. Then again, on this matter, there’s very little thinking, critical or otherwise, emanating from the Left.

    Thursday, January 01, 2009

    Levers and Hammers

    In my recent posts on the situation in Gaza, I have referred to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as an intractable problem and (like thousands of other writers) discussed the absurd double standard in the MSM, the EU, the UN, and the political Left that vilifies Israel for defending its citizens again attack by Hamas. But I’m now coming to recognize that the real conflict is far broader that Israel and Hamas. Walid Phares explains:
    The big picture is obvious. The current conflict is not really about the classic Arab-Israeli process, which can resume between Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the Arab League anytime it is not obstructed. The Gaza fight is about Iran’s confrontation with Israel, and perhaps with the U.S. globally. A global strategic reading leads us to conclude that — just as we saw in Lebanon in 2006 -Tehran is pulling the strings and very smartly. Timing the Hamas end to the cease fire between two American presidencies in Washington and just before the Israeli and Palestinian elections, the Mullahs thought they would drag Israel into the Gaza battle on an Iranian timetable, triggering a “street” show of anger, boosted by the jihadi propaganda machine in the region with all the usual ramifications in the West. The astute Iranian move is to drag Israel enough into Gaza’s mud to indict it internationally so that any future Israeli strikes at Iran’s nuclear program will be seen as catastrophic. Tehran is calculating the minutia hoping Hamas will win at the end of the day, and that the Obama administration will begin its “talks” with Iran from an inferior position (since Israel will be blamed for the violence not the jihadists in Gaza). But the game has lots of risks, including the possibility that Hamas may lose its ability to be a military event maker after this campaign is over.

    My opinion remains that the Israel-Palestinian conflict is intractable, at least with Iran sabotaging any legitimate peace efforts through their puppets Hezballah and Hamas, the broad array of Arab countries using the Palestinians as a lever to rid the Moslem crescent of the “Zionist entity,” and Saudi Arabia funding Jihadist ideology around the world.

    There are, however, some interesting possibilities that could lead to progress. Any road to peace leads through Tehran, but be warned: There is no possibility that talking nice to Mahmoud Amadinejad and the Mullahs will lead to anything useful – none! However, the two of the culprits that pull the strings in this sad drama are also arch enemies. There is no love lost between Tehran and Riyadh.

    In his brilliant book on the historical use of power, Robert Green notes “Your enemies are an untapped gold mine that you must learn to exploit.” In this case our enemies Saudi Arabia (make no mistake, the Saudis are not our friends) and Iran hate one another, opening many useful opportunities for a savvy diplomatic operator. Enter Hillary Clinton and a state department hierarchy that she will rapidly shape. There may be ways for a Hillary Clinton to lead the State Department to actually do some good. But to accomplish this, Hillary must jettison 60 years of ineffective State Department blather on the Middle East, go behind the scenes, and become far more Machiavellian.

    To make progress on the intractable problem that is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Iran leadership and theocracy must be weakened or destroyed. Open warfare is not a viable option at this time, but internecine warfare is not only appropriate, it is essential if the Mullahs are to fall. Hillary and State might be able to find a way to use Iran and Saudi hatred (of each other, of Israel, or us) as a tool—a lever first and then a hammer. The how’s are difficult, but they’ve got to be there. Just ask Robert Green.

    And for those who are troubled by my invocation of Niccolo Machiavelli, a man who was distrustful, cynical, and ruthless, I have only this to say – Grow. Up.