03/6/15
Obama's Foreign Policy

The Council Has Spoken!! Our Watcher’s Council Results – 03/06/15

The Watcher’s Council


Jon McNaughton on Obama’s Foreign Policy…

With thanks to Moonbattery, NoisyRoom would like to add to the Weasel festivities this week:

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thought-crime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. – George Orwell’s 1984

Whoever controls the media, controls the mind. – Jim Morrison of The Doors

The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses. – Malcolm X

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This week’s winning essay, The Noisy Room’sNet Neutrality: “Young fool … Only now, at the end, do you understand”, takes apart the Obama dominated FCC’s plans to ‘regulate’ the Internet and turn it into something unrecognizable. Here’s a slice:

We keep hearing, from the saviors in Washington, DC, how government regulation is the answer and how “evil monopolies” (created, incidentally, by other government regulations) are responsible for all our trials and tribulations and the “fundamental unfairness” of the Internet as she is currently wrote.

Obligatory movie quote:

“No. No government. I know those people. Absolutely not.” – Col. Ira Kane

Yeah, it’s a movie. It’s also absolutely right.

The founder of Broadcast.com, Mark Cuban, has recently been vociferous in his opposition to so-called “Net Neutrality” with his most recent public appearance on the subject in an interview where he breaks it down. His effort to “plain-language” the argument notwithstanding, and frankly, it’s a subject that should not be oversimplified, he laid out the unintended consequences dominoes and how this “everything is equal” push plays out in terms of common services.

Now, you might want to shrug Mark Cuban off as “some rich guy who owns a sports team” and clearly that’s being done a lot, but don’t forget how he got rich: he pioneered live broadcasting over the Internet. He’s not some political hack, evil cable company exec, or mushy thinking me-too “fairness uber alles” flag waver. He is, for once, someone who knows what the hell he’s talking about.

Net Neutrality, like so many political labels, is a “fair sounding” name that hides the actual motives and consequences of the real world implementations we will experience after the seemingly inevitable adoption of this latest government overreach.

It won’t be fair. It won’t be optimum. And the right answer will never even be mentioned, never mind entertained: deregulate the cable and broadband space to eliminate the protected monopolies.

The broadband space needs more competition, not less; needs less regulation, not more. Companies like Google laying fiber? Cox, AT&T, Verizon and Comcast suddenly no longer have a free pass.

Otherwise? The cynical and dystopian view?

One of the unavoidable dominoes will be broad censorship. Once the deprioritization of broadcast packets leads to the epic traffic jam that will reduce the Web’s US speeds to worse than those found in Europe, the government of the day will, once again, have to “save us” from this “unforseen” outcome and their clever plan will include limiting who can “legitimately” have bandwidth preferences, since clearly “legitimate” news outlets need to bypass the buffering jams that will afflict TV signalling and once dot-gov starts adjudicating who’s a “real” news or other “essential” service, licensing will naturally follow, and then “standards” of what is “acceptable” traffic.

At which point, whichever political party is in power at that time will have the distinct advantage of licensing whomever they deem to be more politically correct in their eyes. “Neutrality” on the ‘Net? Yeah, not so much.

We’re in the hands of fools and corrupt bureaucrats. Last Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission held a faux meeting on open Internet rules and access to broadband Internet. Commissioner Ajit Pai made a statement before the FCC vote to take unprecedented control over the internet with a secret plan. Yes, secret. Secret as in no exposure to the public or Congress prior to its enactment. What follows is the transcript of his comments – in echoes of Obamacare, this had to pass before we could know what was in it. Except, they are still keeping it under wraps. It must be very, very bad indeed.

From Breitbart:

“The Wall Street Journal reports that it was developed through ‘an unusual secretive effort inside the White House.’ Indeed, White House officials, according to the Journal, functioned as a parallel version of the FCC. Their work led to the president’s announcement in November of his plan for internet regulation, a plan which the report says blindsided the FCC and swept aside months of work by Chairman Wheeler toward a compromise. Now, of course, a few insiders were clued in about what was transpiring. Here’s what a leader for the government-funded group Fight for the Future had to say, ‘We’ve been hearing for weeks from our allies in D.C that the only thing that could stop FCC chairman Tom Wheeler from moving ahead with his sham proposal to gut net neutrality was if we could get the president to step in. So we did everything in our power to make that happen. We took the gloves off and played hard, and now we get to celebrate a sweet victory. Congratulations. what the press has called the parallel FCC at the White House opened its door to a plethora of special interest activists. Daily Kos, Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, Free Press, and Public Knowledge, just to name a few. Indeed, even before activists were blocking the chairman’s driveway late last year, some of them had met with executive branch officials.

“But what about the rest of the American people? They certainly couldn’t get White House meetings. They were shut out of the process altogether. They were being played for fools. And the situation didn’t improve once the White House announced President Obama’s plan, and ‘asked’ the FCC to implement it. The document in front of us today differs dramatically from the proposal that the FCC put out for comment last May, and it differs so dramatically that even zealous net neutrality advocates frantically rushed in, in recent days, to make last-minute filings, registering their concerns that the FCC might be going too far. Yet, the American people, to this day, have not been allowed to see President Obama’s plan. It has remained hidden.

“Especially given the unique importance of the internet, Commissioner O’Rielly and I ask for the plan to be released to the public. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune and House of Representatives Chairman did the same. According to a survey last week by a respected democratic polling firm, 79% of the American people favored making the document public. Still, the FCC has insisted on keeping it behind closed doors. We have to pass President Obama’s 317-page plan so the American people can find out what’s in it. This isn’t how the FCC should operate. We should be an independent agency making decisions in a transparent manner based on the law and the facts in the record.

“We shouldn’t be a rubber stamp for political decisions made by the White House. And we should have released this plan to the public, solicited their feedback, incorporated that input into the plan, and then proceeded to a vote. There was no need for us to resolve this matter today. There is no immediate crisis in the internet marketplace that demands immediate action. now. The backers of the president’s plan know this. But they also know that the details of this plan cannot stand up to the light of day. They know that the more the American people learn about it, the less they will like it. That is why this plan was developed behind closed doors at the White House. And that is why the plan has remained hidden from public view.

“These aren’t my only concerns. Even a cursory look at the plan reveals glaring legal plans that are sure to mire the agency in the muck of litigation for a long, long time. but rather than address them today, I will reserve them for my written statement. At the beginning of this proceeding, I quoted Google’s former CEO, who once said, the internet is the first thing that humanity has built, that humanity doesn’t understand. This proceeding makes it abundantly clear that the FCC still doesn’t get it. but the American people clearly do. The proposed government regulation of the internet has awakened a sleeping giant. I’m optimistic we’ll look back on today’s vote as a temporary deviation from the bipartisan consensus that’s served us so well. I don’t know whether this plan will be vacated by a court, reversed by Congress, or overturned by a future commission, But I do believe its days are numbered. For all of those reasons, I dissent.”

More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Jim DeMint in the Daily Signal with If Not Now … When? Will the GOP Majority Ever Stand for Anything? submitted by Ask Marion. As the man who, along with Sarah Palin, was pretty much responsible for the victory in the 2010 midterms that resurrected the GOP from the grave, De Mint is definitely in a position to look at the Republicans in Congress today and wonder if they stand for anything.

After lying to their supporters again in 2014 about ow they would dismantle President Obama’s radical agenda and being rewarded with majorities in both houses of Congress, they’ve reneged on everything they said they would do at election time. Can they ever be trusted again? Do read it.

Here are this week’s full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

03/4/15
Obama and Iran

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Let’s Make A Deal Edition

The Watcher’s Council

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

The Council In Action!!

WoW community member, Council Alumnus, author and speaker Trevor Loudon will be appearing on Glenn Beck’s TV show on March 9th, 5 PM EST. If you’ve ever had the good fortune to see Trevor in person before, you won’t want to miss this.

This week, Blazing Cat Fur, Gates Of Vienna and The Pirate’s Cove earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

02/27/15
The Watcher's Council

The Council Has Spoken!! Our Watcher’s Council Results – 02/27/15

The Watcher’s Council

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The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne’er within him burn’d,
As home his footsteps he hath turn’d
From wandering on a foreign strand!
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no Minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonour’d, and unsung. – Sir Walter Scott

Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of men who follow and of the man who leads that gains the victory. – General George S. Patton

I was only the servant of my country and had I, at any moment, failed to express her unflinching resolve to fight and conquer, I should at once have been rightly cast aside. – Sir Winston Churchill

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. – 1 Samuel 16:7

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This week’s winning essay, Joshuapundit’sIs President Obama A Christian? Does He Love America? was my reaction to the question raised by former NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani and the media meltdown that followed. Here’s a slice:

Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani created a press-fueled tempest in a teapot when he raised those issues at a private dinner. As you know, only Democrats and Leftists are entitled to  private conversations and secrecy even the Mafia would envy. And of course, to the freedom to express their opinions  no matter how bat sh*t crazy they are. Rudy Giuliani obviously doesn’t qualify for that kind of protection.

Of course the press leaped on this. The current administration and its minions are free to refer to ‘right wing Tea Partiers’ as  terrorists and to deride a serving US General commanding a combat operation as ‘General Betray Us’ in the New York Times,  but again, the rule for Democrats and the Left is that you may never question  their patriotism under any circumstances, no matter what they say or do.

Having pretty much struck out trying to smear GOP front runner Governor Scott Walker for not undergoing four years or more of Leftist indoctrination at someplace like Harvard, Yale, Columbia or Princeton, the Obama media decided to grab at another straw and make a point of asking Governor Walker if he thought this president was a Christian.

His quite sensible reply was that he didn’t know, and as Byron York pointed out, a fair amount of Americans don’t know either. I suppose it all depends on whether you consider Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church with its radical politics and its  anti-Semitic and racialist overtones ‘Christian.’  Or whether you’re confused about a president who defends Islam and Islamists at every turn while dissing Christianity and standing by and doing nothing while Christians are being  ethnically cleansed from the Middle East by those peaceful Islamists.

But at any rate, the only way to know for sure would be to look inside this president’s head and heart, and Walker was astute in simply saying he wasn’t going to attempt that.

Now, does this president love America? Again, like the question about Christianity, it all depends on what your definition of loving America is.

In his memoir about his time as Secretary of Defense in the Bush and Obama Administrations, Robert Gates chronicled his struggle to contain his rage as former Democrat Senators and 2008 presidential candidates Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden chuckled to Gates about how their efforts during the second Bush administration to sabotage America’s war effort in Iraq and the Surge in particular while our troops were under fire were ‘hah hah,just politics, ho ho.’ As Gates related, these efforts along with their calculated attempts to insult and emasculate its commander General Petraeus literally cost American lives.

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Now again, some people are going to say ‘what difference does it make?’ Others would be outraged at this and a lot of other things that have happened in this administration.

So you see, it all depends on your point of view.

But walk with me a minute.

Let’s say,just for giggles, we elected a president who actually didn’t love the country, but whose agenda could more accurately be described in one word – payback.

How would such a president behave?

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was the one and only Mark Steyn with Oh Beautiful For Specious Guys submitted by The Noisy Room.

Steyn exercises his usual mastery at getting to the heart of the matter, in this case the Obama Administration’s craven response to violent, radical Islamism uhhh, ‘violent extremism’ that dares not speak its name. A must read.

Here are this week’s full results. Only the Right Planet was unable to vote this week, but was not subject to the usual 2/3 vote penalty for not voting:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

02/25/15
ISIS Job Fair

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Getting Ahead Edition

The Watcher’s Council

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Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

This week, The MidKnight Review, Anne’s Opinions and The Pirate’s Cove earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

02/20/15
50 Shades of Government

The Council Has Spoken! The Watcher’s Council Results – 02/20/15

The Watcher’s Council


The People’s Cube

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

“The difference between golf and government is that in golf you can’t improve your lie.” – George Duekmejian, former Republican governor of California

“It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself. – President Thomas Jefferson

“If we can really understand the problem, than the answer will come out of it, because the answer is not separate from the problem.” – Krishnamurti

“It’s easy being a humorist when you’ve got the whole government working for you.” – Will Rogers

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This week’s winning essay, The Right Planet’sMore Hipster Harf: ‘We Can’t Stop ISIS by Killing Them; We Need to Give Them Jobs’, uses State Department spokesperson Marie Harf’s ridiculous statement about buying off Islamic State and others with ‘jobs’ as a starting point for an explanation on why the Left has such a problem facing up to radical Islam. Here’s a slice:

For many years now I have said the State Department needs to be cleaned out from top to bottom. And I’m not alone in that opinion, either. The U.S. Department of State has a long history of working against the best interests of the United States, consistently shilling for all things socialist. Those who have looked into tax-exempt foundations like the Carnegie Endowment, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Consortium, Guggenheim Fellowship, etc., and the subsequent investigation by the Reece Committee, might know what I’m talking about.

The first U.S. Secretary of Defense, James Forrestal, once said, “Consistency has never been a mark of stupidity. If the diplomats who have mishandled our relations with Russia were merely stupid, they would have occasionally made a mistake in our favor.”

State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf recently told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews ISIS could be stopped if we could just create jobs for them.

At first blush, for those ignorant of Marxist ideology, this sort of thinking seems preposterous. Well, I am strongly inclined to agree. But I digress.

For dyed-in-the-wool Marxists and their fellow travelers (sympathizers), it makes perfect sense. This is why I believe it so important more Americans gain a better understanding of Marxism—since it is lauded and approved of by so many American universities and the liberal media, not to mention those in positions of power within our own government.

Karl Marx believed our view of history needed to be changed (cf. “hope and change”). Cleon Skousen wrote in his book The Naked Communist about the central importance economics plays in the Marxian religion. Marx believed history should be changed to “a fixed, undeviating, pre-determined course of progress which could be charted in the past and predicted for the future on the basis of a single, simple criterion—economics.”

According to Marx and his votaries, if we could only “level the playing field” by making everyone and everything the same (see “equality and fairness”), it would usher in a veritable utopia, i.e., the long hoped for “workers’ paradise.” Interestingly, about 90 percent of what Karl Marx wrote concerned economics (see Das Kapital).

Well, let’s just get something straight: ISIS doesn’t give a damn about economics—quite the contrary. Their motivations and actions are not influenced by Marxism, per se, but rather the teachings of Muhammad, and a literal interpretation of the Koran and the Hadith.

Although it should be noted that Marxism and Islam have quite a bit in a common.

More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Graeme Wood in the Atlantic with an interesting piece, What ISIS Really Wants, submitted by Bookworm Room. He attempts to present something very rare in today’s climate, an examination of the conflict from the point of view of the Islamic State. An excellent read.

Here are this week’s full results. Only Bookworm Room and Ask Marion were unable to vote this week, but neither was subject to the usual 2/3 vote penalty for not voting:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

02/18/15
Obama on Jobs for ISIS

Watcher’s Council Nominations – ‘All ISIS Needs Is Jobs’ Edition

The Watcher’s Council

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The Obama Regime’s State Department in action, courtesy of spokeshole Marie Harf:

When even Chris Matthews gets it (sort of), we’re in real trouble.

The Obama regime can’t even create decent jobs here in America, let alone Iraq. Do these people seriously think we’re going to be able to buy off the Islamic State?

Then there’s the president’s new ‘war’ request, which ought to be voted down, at least at this time. The video above tells us why the sort of mindset that prevails in the White House shouldn’t be trusted to manage a successful war.

  • First, the AUMF Matthews refers to isn’t really a declaration of war, just another half-assed ‘authorization’ and we’ve certainly been there before.
  • Second, IS is not anywhere near the imminent threat Iran is, and taking ISIS out simply delivers Iraq to Iran as part of their goal… a Shi’ite, Iran-ruled nuclear armed bloc controlling both sides of the Persian Gulf and stretching to the Mediterranean. Taking out ISIS simply removes one more obstacle to Iran, the same way our taking out Saddam Hussein did. Let’s deal with Iran first… which of course will never happen with this president.
  • And finally, based on this president’s record as Commander-in-Chief, do we really want him in charge of creating yet another stupid blunder? Do we want our troops fighting another war and dying because they’re handcuffed by his ridiculous rules of engagement? Just today, he insulted the Egyptians and criticized them for bombing targets in Libya after ISIS killed a number of Egyptian Copts there… whom the Obama Administration in their statement pointedly did not refer to as Christians. Our president would be challenged running a McDonald’s successfully,let alone a war. A loose AUMF that gives him the leeway to play amateur strategist inbetween golf games is not the answer.

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

This week, Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion, The People’s Cube and The Political Commentator earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

02/13/15
Dictator Valentines

The Council Has Spoken – Watcher’s Council Results – 02/13/15

The Watcher’s Council


The People’s Cube is committed to safe dictator-dating and actively promotes it by being a go-to guide for all those in the totalitarian dating community.

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

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This week’s winning essay, Joshuapundit’sThe Burning Man And The Walking Dead is my look at the Islamic State, the recent immolation of a Jordanian Pilot, the reaction of certain western leaders and the uncomfortable truths of what they all signify.

Here’s a slice:

By now, the burning alive of captured Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh by Islamic State has become common knowledge.

His captors imprisoned him in a cage, doused it with gasoline, and made a trail of gas leading to it, so that he could see the flames approaching. They then lit it on fire, filmed his agony as it spread to the cage and engulfed it and then put out a slick,professionally produced video of the whole thing, released by Islamic State’s Al-Furqan media center. The video was titled ‘Healing the Believers’ Chests,’ which has a meaning worth exploring it detail.

The video itself started with footage of Jordan’s King Abdullah essentially declaring war on Islamic State and announcing his support for the anti-IS coalition. It then interspersed shots of al-Kasasbeh sitting in a darkened room and giving details on the air strikes he participated in against Islamic state with TV-style news reports showing the results of the airstrikes. And of course, an emphasis on scenes dead and dying child victims. It then cuts to the immolation of al-Kasasbeh.

The reaction from the West was illuminating. Both UK PM David Cameron and British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond referred to this as ‘murder’. President Barack Hussein Obama’s statement didn’t even go that far:

“You know, I just got word of the video that had been released. I don’t know the details on the confirmation. Should in fact this video be authentic, it’s just one more indication of the viciousness and barbarity of this organization. And I think we will redouble the vigilance and determination on the part of global coalition to make sure that they are degraded and ultimately defeated. It also indicates the degree to which whatever ideology they are operating off of, it’s bankrupt. We’re here to talk about how to make people healthier and make their lives better. And this organization appears only interested in death and destruction. Thank you very much, everybody.”

Both PM Cameron and President Obama’s remarks reveal a great deal about their mindset. To Cameron and Hammond, this is a ‘murder’ carried out by criminals. President Obama didn’t even go that far, just seeing IS as some malcontents who need ‘increased vigilance’ and ‘determination’ to be thwarted. That’s how they see it..not as war, or as terrorism or, mercy no, anything to do with Islam, but just a band of criminals.

Want to know how Islamic State sees it?

As a wartime execution, as tactics, as fully justified by Islam and not as murder at all. And as barbaric as they are, they have a point. Murder, after all, has a personal element, for sex, for money or to shut someone up. This wasn’t murder.

Perhaps it’s worth remembering that Islamic State was originally armed and trained by the Obama Administration,  and that their enemies were Hezbollah, the Syrian forces of Basher Assad and the corrupt Shi’ite Iraqi government and its troops. They did not attack U.S. forces or those of any European country. The way they see it, we declared war on them, and without formally announcing it as the Qu’ran mandates. And it was the U.S. that intervened with air strikes, that has put together a loose coalition of Sunni autocrats to attack them and has been allowing Shi’ite Iran to intervene directly and wage war on them.

Of course, after the brutality Islamic State has made its trademark, especially  on any non-Muslims like Christians and Yazidis, a case could be made for going to war against them. But it wasn’t and we haven’t. All we’ve done is supply some arms and advisers to the Kurds and the Iraqi Shi’ite army and perform some air strikes and drone attacks.

Because to actually go to war against Islamic State might also involve certain problems, since literally everything Islamic State is doing is fully justified by the Qu’ran. That’s why the Obama Administration and UK PM David Cameron are ever so careful not even to whisper the word ‘Islam’ where IS is concerned.

Now, Jordan, being an Arab Muslim State did declare war on IS, and publicly. That’s exactly why Islamic State showed that footage of the King doing so in their video, why they were careful to include the Jordanian pilot’s confession of participating in the bombing attacks and why they were careful to show a number of brutalized children that IS  claimed were victims of those attacks.

You see, they learned this tactic from Hamas and Hezbollah. And while they probably may have figured out by now that it only works in creating an uproar in places like Europe and in the UN if it’s Israel defending itself, it will likely have that desired effect on many Muslims.

In fact some Arab members of the coalition were already easing themselves out, although the White House is claiming that they’re all still committed to defeating Islamic State and were just taking a breather.We’ll see, but it’s a fact right now that only Jordan is now more committed than it was after Moaz al-Kasasbeh’s death. That’s why the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a big part of the coalition,  just sent a squadron of F-16s to Jordan that the  Obama Administration just gifted the UAE as a ‘reward’ for joining up .

King Hussein’s renewed commitment can be understood because Jordan is a U.S. client state heavily dependent on foreign aid, and because al-Kasasbe’s death has been a unifying issue in an increasingly disunified kingdom. How long that lasts is anyone’s guess.

The Sunni autocrats are wary for a couple of reasons. First, as they see the Obama Administration becoming increasingly closer to Iran, they also understand now that the Sunni forces of Islamic State represent one of the few checks to Iran in the region.

Obama allowing Iranian backed Shi’te rebels to overthrow a Sunni ally of America in Yemen and essentially okaying an Iranian colony and a brand new strategic threat to the Saudis and the UAE to emerge was a major wake up call. The Saudis are now bracketed by Iranian client states from the north in Iraq and from the south by Yemen, and they fear being surrounded and overwhelmed.

The second reason is that the Saudis and the other Sunni autocracies are gradually becoming leery of fighting Islamic state has to do with their need to placate conservative religious constituencies in their own kingdoms. However barbaric Islamic State seems to us, their ideology isn’t ‘whatever it is’  to quote President Obama but a mainstream fundamental reading of the Qu’ran and Sharia.

Which of course, is the core of the matter.

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense and former Senior Director of the National Security Council Michael Doran’s essay in Mosaic MagazineObama’s Secret Iran Strategy submitted by Joshuapundit.

What he’s done here is a must read. His premise – and I largely agree with him – is that President Obama’s appeasement of Iran isn’t merely inexperience. It’s not so much that there is no strategy in place, but that there has indeed been a consistent strategy, one based on this president’s malignant ideology that has been his goal since day one. And thus far more dangerous.

Here are this week’s full results. Only Ask Marion was unable to vote this week, but was not subject to the normal 2/3 vote penalty for not voting:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

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