Links for 12-31-2016

  • The FBI and DHS released a report on Russian hacking during the 2016 election season, and Sharyl Attkisson wrote a good summary of how much factual evidence the report provides (not much).

  • Andrew McCarthy tries to nail down how much Donald Trump really understands about radical Islam:

    Transnational progressives see Israel as intransigent, notwithstanding its many attempts to trade land for peace. They rationalize Palestinian terrorism as the product of that intransigence, not of ideology. Thus, their smug calculation that branding Israel as an “occupier” of “Palestinian land” in gross “violation of international law” is the nudge Israel needs to settle. This will effectively grant the Palestinians their coveted sovereign state. Thus accommodated, Palestinians will surely moderate and co-exist with Israel — if not in peace, then in the same uneasy state in which Parisians coexist with their banlieues and Berliners with their refugees.

    It is not just fantasy but willfully blind idiocy. No one who took a few minutes to understand the ideology of radical Islam would contemplate for a moment a resolution such as the one Obama just choreographed.

    Later:

    We are not merely in a shooting war with jihadists. We are in an ideological war with sharia supremacists. Mass-murder is not their sole tactic; they attack at the negotiating table, in the councils of government, in the media, on the campus, in the courtroom — at every political and cultural pressure point. To defeat jihadists, it is necessary to discredit the ideology that catalyzes them. You don’t discredit an ideology by ignoring its existence, denying its power, and accommodating it at every turn.

    President Obama never got this. Will President Trump?

  • The Trump transition team supposedly negotiated a federal hiring freeze with the Obama administration effective December 1 so Donald Trump could begin implementing his plan to shrink the federal workforce through attrition. Instead the Obama administration went on a hiring binge, trying to stuff as many of its supporters into federal slots as it could.

  • A gunman dressed as Santa Claus killed at least 35 people at a nightclub in Istanbul.

  • Three bombs killed 29 people in Baghdad as the offensive against ISIS in Mosul resumed.

  • China Central Television announced plans for new global channels and a new media agency to increase the Chinese government’s influence abroad.

Links for 12-30-2016

Links for 12-29-2016

Links for 12-28-2016

Links for 12-27-2016

  • Victor Davis Hanson explains how President Obama’s foreign policy differs from ancient foreign policy that actually works, even today:

    In contrast, when a national leader repeatedly lectures the world on peace, takes options off the table, uses the megaphone to blast his own country’s flaws and distance himself from its supposedly checkered past, heralds soft power, and in psychodramatic fashion issues rhetorical red lines, deadlines, and step-over lines, then he erodes deterrence (in becoming predictably passive). And the while, his empty sanctimoniousness grates rivals and invites gratuitous adventurism. The gunslingers of the world vie to gain a reputation by showing other outlaws how enervated the once-robust sheriff has become, despite his trash-talking — and sometimes they stage a shoot-out on Main Street for no apparent reason other than that they can.

  • A judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit revived lawsuits filed by Judicial Watch and Cause of Action over how the State Department and the National Archives handled Hillary Clinton’s emails.

  • An engineer who worked for Hamas and Hezbollah, Mohammed al-Zawari, was gunned down in Tunisia. Al-Zawari was an expert on drones, and was reportedly working on underwater drones that could be used to attack Israel’s offshore natural gas platforms.

  • Adriel Kasonta writes that it’s time for the EU to get tough on Turkey:

    According to Hans-Christian Ströbel, a Green-party member of the German Bundestag, Turkey’s intelligence agency MIT has around 6,000 informants in Germany alone. These informants reportedly pass the names of dissidents to the MIT, which adds them to the government’s blacklist of people it wishes to arrest in the future. Intelligence expert and author Erich Schmidt-Eenboom explained in an interview with The Local that each informant could be responsible for monitoring 500 people with Turkish roots in Germany, which is a home to around 3 million Turks. This would also mean that these spies are each monitoring more people than the Stasi did in West Germany during the Cold War.

    The main difference between the MIT and the Stasi, according to Schmidt-Eenboom, is that the later engaged primarily in gathering military, political, and economic intelligence in West Germany, rather than targeting former citizens. “This is no longer about intelligence reconnaissance, but rather this is increasingly being used for intelligence repression,” he warned.

  • Gunmen broke into the home of a prominent Iraqi female freelance journalist, Afrah Shawqi al-Qaisi, and kidnapped her.

  • An Argentine judge indicted former President Cristina Fernandez, accusing her of participating in a corruption scheme that stole money from public road projects.

Links for 12-26-2016

  • Heather Mac Donald writes on the connection between immigration policy and terrorism, as exemplified by the Berlin truck attack:

    Even if the number of illegal-alien criminals in the U.S. who commit terrorism is small, using immigration laws to prevent even one such attack is patently justified. And even if there were no illegal-alien criminals in the U.S. who committed terrorism, deporting aliens who commit crime is nevertheless a just and sound policy. Communities do not benefit from criminals in their midst. Sanctuary scofflaws ritually claim that honoring federal immigration detainers might discourage illegal-alien victims from reporting crime, but federal immigration authorities are seeking to deport criminals, not their victims.

    The apprehension of Anis Amri by Italian police vindicates another challenged law-enforcement practice as well: proactive policing. Two Milanese officers, Cristian Movio and Luca Scata, observed a disheveled man loitering outside a northern Milanese Metro station at 3 a.m. They stopped him to ask some questions and check his identity papers. Amri quickly pulled out a gun and started shooting at them; he was fatally shot in return. Had the Black Lives Matter movement taken hold in Italy, with its specious charge that pedestrian stops are a means of racial oppression, the two officers might well have taken the less politically risky course of walking past Amri rather than acting on their reasonable suspicion that something needed checking out.

    There is no reason to protect illegal-alien criminals from deportation. And cities that defy the law should face serious consequences. If Anis Amri had been jailed in San Francisco for stealing a car and had been in the country illegally, the San Francisco sheriff, with the support of the city’s board of supervisors, would have provided him safe passage back to the “community.” President Trump’s response to the wave of Islamic terrorism should include new screening for people coming in. But it should also make sure that people in the country illegally be promptly deported when they go on to commit further crimes. Such a policy is essential to preserving safety and the rule of law.

  • Abby Schachter writes on American governmental agencies dictating how children are raised:

    There are two important lessons to draw from all this government-run child-rearing. The first is how improperly we are defining private life and public life. Only in a world where a healthy population is defined as a public good can the state justify breaking apart families over a health problem that will cause no harm to anyone but the sufferers.

    The second lesson is that there are both individual parents and groups of advocates across the country who are focused on returning the rights of parents to raise their own children. These parents — Captain Mommies and Daddies, I call them — have had run-ins with the overbearing state and decided to advocate on their own behalf and on behalf of their kids. Then there are organizations like the Family Defense Center, which provides legal defense for parents caught in the child-welfare and legal systems. At ParentalRights.org the goal is to amend the U.S. Constitution and support state laws to empower parents. And the National Association of Parents wants to shape public policy on parents’-rights issues through education and advocacy.

  • Ninety-nine years ago today, President Woodrow Wilson nationalized the entire railroad system.

  • Recep Tayyip Erdogan is Turkey’s new Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, and that’s not a good thing for American interests.

  • Britain’s Royal Air Force will shift its focus from Iraq to Syria next year.

Links for 12-25-2016