Is Ann Coulter Out of Her Mind?

I love Ann Coulter, but her latest column, in which she defends Michael Steele’s Afghanistan comments, bothers me. A lot.

Yes, she and Steele are right to call Obama and the Democrats out on their posturing about Afghanistan as the “good war” and Iraq as the bad one. Yes, the populations of the two countries are vastly different. No, I don’t know what the best strategy in Afghanistan is (check out David Forsmark and John Guardiano for two competing schools of thought).

Further, in our zeal to make these points, conservatives must be careful not to lose sight of what our ultimate goal should be in Afghanistan—and whatever we decide, we need to stick to it regardless of who’s in the White House. Ann punts on that question, and I don’t recall her voicing any of these concerns during the Bush years. But Afghanistan is “Obama’s war” might be true as far as it goes, but focusing on that aspect on it diminishes the significance of the war and obscures the core question of whether or not America should be there. And yes, in calling it a war “of Obama’s choosing,” Steele did suggest that it wasn’t worth fighting, and that Democrats held a monopoly on the blame for it.

Coulter suggests we’ve already won in Afghanistan, and that a minimal troop presence there to “prevent Osama bin Laden from regrouping, swat down al-Qaida fighters and gather intelligence” is sufficient (wait a minute—weren’t we trying to leave behind a government & military stable enough to do that on its own?).

What disturbs me most is, near the end, how easily—and suddenly—Ann lends credence to the old liberal trope about “neoconservatives” being for “permanent war.” One would think a pundit who’s repeatedly been on the receiving end of such smears would think twice before deploying it herself.

Come on, Ann.  For years, I’ve defended you as better than this.  Don’t prove me wrong now.

Conservatism Can’t Survive Without the Pro-Life Movement, Part II

In Part I, I argue that it would be politically foolish for the Right to further backpedal or abandon the pro-life cause. Here I want to make the case that the right to life truly is inseparable both from core conservatism and from any meaningful effort to advance conservative ideas—that, in fact, pro-abortion tendencies actually endanger the prospects of those who value limited government, the free market, and strong national defense.

As I explained on June 15, abortion is an affront to the Declaration of Independence. As the unjust taking of a human life, it is wrong for the same reason slavery, theft, assault, honor killings, rape, eminent domain abuse, and individual health insurance mandates are wrong: they are all violations of human liberty and natural rights.  Accordingly, society justly protects its citizens from them via law for the same reason.  As long as conservatism still “holds these truths to be self-evident” that all men have “certain unalienable rights” to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” and as long as conservatism still accepts that “governments are instituted among men” for the purpose of “secur[ing] these rights,” then philosophically-consistent conservatives have no choice but to oppose legalized abortion. Nobody can support abortion in good conscience without either honestly confronting this conundrum head-on, or asking himself what definition of “conservatism” he’s been operating under all this time.

That pro-choice views are an egregious exception to conservatives’ and libertarians’ pro-liberty rhetoric should be obvious. What may be less obvious—but is no less true—is that such dubious thinking cannot help but undermine other core conservative principles and efforts. Read the rest of this entry »

Shame of the Vatican

Sadly, organized religion is more supportive of the Left than many conservatives are willing to admit.  Now, perhaps the most disgraceful example:

The Pope on Wednesday said attacks such as one on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, which killed at least 20 international activists and injured hundreds others, would not resolve disputes.

Excuse me?  So Israel doesn’t have a right to keep deadly weapons out of its enemies’ hands?  Last time I checked, the Catholic Church did recognize the concept of just war, and the Gaza blockade isn’t even a full-blown war, but a security measure.  Would the Holy Father lecture police officers for “failing to resolve disputes peacefully” every time a suspect is injured or killed while evading arrest, or is killed by a cop in self-defense?

“Once again I repeat with heartfelt spirit that violence does not resolve disputes, but generates more violence,” the pontiff said, according to DPA. “I invite you all to join me in prayer for the victims and their families and for all those who suffer.”

Actually, sometimes violence does resolve disputes.  Sometimes it’s blind devotion to negotiation or dialogue without regard for reality that gets people killed.

The coastal sliver has been under a tight Israeli blockade since 2007. The deteriorating life conditions in Gaza took a new level after Israel’s 22-day long military offensive against the strip in 2008, which left at least 1,400 Palestinians dead.

Benedict, meanwhile, urged those “with political responsibility,” to find “just solutions through dialogue,” and to guarantee the people of the Gaza Strip better life conditions.

Last time I checked, the Pope was supposed to be a source of truth and moral guidance, not lazy platitudes that fail to make distinctions between good & evil or aggressor & defender, and that indicates little to no understanding of what’s actually going on in the Israel-Palestinian conflict.  Simply disgraceful.

Around the Web

At NRB, I review Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One.

Also at NRB, Horowitz and Knepper tear apart Andrew Sullivan, Patron Saint of Fail, over the Gaza flotilla attack.  The outrage over Israel defending herself (with, er, paintball guns) drives home one important truth America should have learned years ago: “international opinion” is worse than worthless.

Speaking of which, you probably won’t hear much about the Turkish “peace” activists’ terror ties on MSNBC or NPR…

As many as three million Chinese babies are hidden by their parents every year in order to get around the country’s one-child policy, a researcher has discovered.”  Yeah, but America has human-rights issues of its own, so really, who are we to judge?

Here’s LifeNews on the GOP’s dereliction of duty in letting pro-abortion zealot Elena Kagan slide.

Dan Riehl opines on Jim DeMint’s “telling inconsistency” on anti-war Republican candidates.

The Pope talks immigration.  Do his words actually bring anything useful to the debate?  They’re written in extremely general terms that don’t speak to whether or not any given voices are describing the issue’s various facets accurately.

ARE YOU BLOODY KIDDING ME?!

Here’s a new site conservatives should keep an eye out on (h/t David Swindle).

Unreal

Via the HA Headlines, Obama’s Department of Homeland Security is trying to deport Mosab Yousef on grounds that he’s a terrorist, when in reality, he’s an anti-jihadist with a record of service spying on Hamas for Israeli intelligence.  It seems to me this is the sort of thing a single phone call to Israel could clear up; unfortunately, US-Israeli relations haven’t been so hot since 44 took over.

Yet another Democrat disgrace allowed to pass with silence from Republicans.

There’s “Not Such a Thing” as Radical Islam?

Earlier this week, the always-slimy Alan Colmes was in rare form trying to defend Attorney General Eric Holder’s surreal inability to utter the phrase “radical Islam” (emphasis added):

COLMES: Because there’s not such a thing as radical Islam.

KELLY: What?

COLMES: It is not Islam. It is not part of the religion. People are not doing this in the name of true Islam.

KELLY: Nobody’s saying they’re doing it in the name of true Islam.

COLMES: Why don’t we say that when somebody bombs an abortion clinic, or Scott Roeder, who kills an abortion doctor, is radical Christianity? Why isn’t there a great movement to say, ‘you gotta call it radical Christianity’?

[…]

KELLY: It’s not Islam. No one’s condemning Islam. It’s radical Islam.

COLMES: Then don’t use the word…to attach the words of those religions to that act is wrong…they’re not Islamic; they’re not acting according to Islamic doctrine […] It’s religious bigotry! […] This is a political ideology, not a religious ideology. They are attacking us on political grounds, not religious grounds.  They are misusing Islam, and to use the word ‘Islam’ to try to apply to them because it satisfies our need to demonize a religion, is absolutely wrong, and bigoted…why are we so hung up on words?

Why are we so hung up on words?  I don’t know, Alan—go ask the guy you voted for.

Good gravy, where to begin?  First, let’s tackle the nonsense about how attaching “radical” to something is a smear.  Actually, Alan, it turns out that lots of people use the phrase “radical Christianity.” And y’know what?  I don’t blame ‘em!  It’s not anti-Christian to say there are radical versions of, or strains in, Christianity; it’s anti-Christian to say that “radical Christianity” IS “normal” or “true” Christianity.  I suspect most people with an above-toaster IQ would recognize that saying “radical” before a religion’s name is meant to distinguish what you’re talking about from the religion as a whole.  That Colmes needs something so elementary explained to him is clearly an indication that either he’s getting paid way too much, or I’m getting paid way too little. (Of course, Colmes’ blog is chock-full of whining about people using the word “radical,” but he has no qualms about identifying “radical tea partiers”…)

Second, Colmes and Holder are awfully certain that the jihadists can’t possibly be operating from an even remotely valid interpretation of the Qur’an.  Unfortunately, anyone who’s actually studied Islam in any depth can tell you, that’s not such a safe bet to make.  I think I may be forgiven for suspecting neither Alan Colmes nor Eric Holder has studied the matter as carefully as, say, John Quincy Adams and Winston Churchill.  Of course we should acknowledge that there are lots of moral, peace-loving Muslims, but it needs to be acknowledged that, at the very least, it’s not at all obvious that the jihadists are the ones on flimsy theological ground.

At the risk of again stating the obvious, it’s important to accurately identify your enemy so you understand his goals, motivations, and level of rationality, and you can respond accordingly.  But I guess hoping the United States Attorney General would understand that sort of thing is too much to ask.

Rand Wins, America Loses

I’ve put a lot of effort here and on NewsReal into defending Sarah Palin from various attacks.

Tonight, I regret every word of it.

Thanks in no small part to her endorsement (as well as that of James Dobson, Jim DeMint, & Erick Erickson), the deranged Rand Paul won the Kentucky GOP’s Senate nomination (more on Paul’s hideous record here and here).

Palin’s celebration of Paul’s victory on tonight’s “Hannity” consisted entirely of empty blather straight out of the Paul camp’s press releases: the grassroots are rising up, the establishment better take notice, blah blah blah.  Does she know anything about Paul’s record?  About how he’s diametrically opposed to her own views on national security?

Some of you who don’t share Paul’s affinity for appeasement or his tolerance of bigotry might nevertheless think Paul’s win is no big deal, because he only has one vote and most foreign policy will be set by the executive branch.  But first, consider that Democrats campaign for keeps – we all know the lengths to which Democrats will go to falsely smear conservatives as extremists; just imagine the field day they’ll have with all of the real dirt in Rand’s closet.  I predict a Democrat victory in the general election.

Second, odds are that more than a few mushy Republican pols and would-be candidates will interpret Paul’s win, and his legitimization by other mainstream “true” conservatives, as an indication that it’s okay and/or smart politics to tack left on defense issues.  Do we really want two pro-appeasement political parties?

I hope Jim DeMint is rewarded with the primary challenge of his life.  And Sarah Palin has proven that she does not deserve the presidency.

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