Afternoon Links

Kevin Williamson writes a much better version of the refugee post I tried to write the other day.

Syrian refugees aren’t 1939’s Jews. Stop making this dumb comparison.

The first, and most obvious, difference: There was no international conspiracy of German Jews in the 1930s attempting to carry out daily attacks on civilians on several continents. No self-identifying Jews in the early 20th century were randomly massacring European citizens in magazine offices and concert halls, and there was no “Jewish State” establishing sovereignty over tens of thousands of square miles of territory, and publicly slaughtering anyone who opposed its advance. Among Syrian Muslims, there is. The vast majority of Syrian Muslims are not party to these strains of radicalism and violence, but it would be dangerous to suggest that they do not exist, or that our refugee-resettlement program need not take account of them.

A recent Arab Opinion Index poll of 900 Syrian refugees found that one in eight hold a “to some extent”-positive view of the Islamic State (another 4 percent said that they did not know or refused to answer). A non-trivial minority of refugees who support a murderous, metastatic caliphate is a reason for serious concern. No 13 percent of Jews looked favorably upon the Nazi party.

Third, European Jews in the early 20th century were more amenable to assimilation than are Syrian Muslims in the early 21st.

“Normal Americans might wonder: Doesn’t the wearing of Halloween costumes end at about the time puberty begins?”

A+ trolling

John Kerry is a disgrace. Maybe we really should have sent James Taylor again. Might have resulted in fewer words spilling out of Kerry’s dumb mouth.

16 of the worst ways to respond to the attacks in Paris. This list is amazingly comprehensive.

Powerful, must-read piece by Walter Russell Mead on Obama’s cynical refugee ploy. Here’s an excerpt, but go read the whole thing.

To see the full cynicism of the Obama approach to the refugee issue, one has only to ask President Obama’s least favorite question: Why is there a Syrian refugee crisis in the first place? Obama’s own policy decisions—allowing Assad to convert peaceful demonstrations into an increasingly ugly civil war, refusing to declare safe havens and no fly zones—were instrumental in creating the Syrian refugee crisis. This crisis is in large part the direct consequence of President Obama’s decision to stand aside and watch Syria burn. For him to try and use a derisory and symbolic program to allow 10,000 refugees into the United States in order to posture as more caring than those evil Jacksonian rednecks out in the benighted sticks is one of the most cynical, cold-blooded, and nastily divisive moves an American President has made in a long time.

Not even President Bush’s decision to go to war in Iraq has been as destructive for Europe or as damaging to the Transatlantic alliance as President Obama’s hard-hearted and short-sighted Syria policy. The flood of refugees is shaking the European Union to its core, and Obama’s policy has cemented perceptions among many around the world that the United States is no longer the kind of useful ally that it once was. France didn’t even bother to invoke NATO’s Article 5 after the Paris attacks; nobody really thinks of President Obama as the man you want at your side when the chips are down.

Wringing your hands while Syria turns into a hell on earth, and then taking a token number of refugees, can be called many things, but decent and wise are not among them. You don’t have to be a xenophobe or a racist or even a Republican to reject this President’s leadership on Syria policy. All you need for that is common sense and a moral compass.

And it’s worse. The Obama Administration’s extreme caution about engagement in Syria led it to insist on such a thorough process of vetting potential Syrian allies that years of effort and tens of millions of dollars resulted in only a paltry handful of people being found acceptable to receive American weapons and training. The refugee vetting process won’t be nearly this thorough; it’s almost certain that the President’s program will result in settling people in the United States who could not be certified to fight for the United States in Syria. Given our gun laws, uncertified Syrians living in the United States will soon have the opportunity to get weapons that the United States government would refuse to give them in Syria. To millions of Americans, this is a double standard they can neither understand nor accept. To call people troubled by these concerns racists and xenophobes is to divide and polarize this country in ways that will cost us all dearly down the road. We have enough hate, enough radicalism, enough mutual misunderstanding and distrust between left and right in America as it is. The President is adding to that distrust, and doing it in a particularly ugly and damaging way.

A little humility, a little acknowledgement of responsibility, a little self-reflection could go a long way. For no one, other than the Butcher Assad and the unspeakable al-Baghdadi, is as responsible for the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria as is President Obama. No one has committed more sins of omission, no one has so ruthlessly sacrificed the well-being of Syria’s people for his own ends, as the man in the White House. In all the world, only President Obama had the ability to do anything significant to prevent this catastrophe; in all the world no one turned his back so coldly and resolutely on the suffering Syrians as the man who sits in the White House today—a man who is now lecturing his fellow citizens on what he insists is their moral inferiority before his own high self-esteem.

From the standpoint of American interests and of the well being of the Syrians, the primary responsibility that the United States has toward the people of Syria is not to offer asylum to something like 0.25 percent of its refugee population. The primary duty of this country was to prevent such a disaster from happening and, failing that, to support in-country safe havens and relief operations. No doubt President Obama and the unthinking press zealots who applaud his every move prefer a conversation about why ordinary Americans are racist xenophobes to one about why President Obama’s Syria policy has created an immense and still expanding disaster.

“You don’t have a right to pants.”

Dumb, naive administration gets dumber, more naive.

Beyond parody

The crucial and distinctive element of conservatism is experience. There’s a reason why people in general tend to grow more conservative as they age: partly because they have more responsibilities and pay more taxes, yes, but also because they have seen more of life.”

A guy who isn’t a student at the University of Kansas is on a hunger strike until the student body president resigns.

Paris has a fever and the only cure is more dumb hippies singing ‘Imagine.’ As Mark Steyn says in the linked article: “The European Union doesn’t need to imagine John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ because it lives in it.”

“Most transparent administration in history”: Obama officials cancel OPM hack testimony one hour before because they didn’t want to be transcribed.

“Don’t you dare call feminist comedians hot!”
Ok, I won’t. Don’t worry.

Seriously, how does this even happen? Where do you find a map like that? Did they farm it out to a graphics company and the company decided to mess with them and then somehow nobody noticed or what?

Game over

UnitedHealth Group, the largest insurance company in the U.S., on Thursday slashed its earnings outlook, citing new problems related to Obamacare, and told investors it may exit the program’s exchanges.

Words cannot describe how much I despise this man and how angry I am at his supporters for the damage they’re doing to the conservative movement by pretending this tyrannical, fascistic jackass is a conservative. Maybe he can make them walk around with little yellow crescents pinned to their clothes. Jesus fucking Christ, I weep for my country.

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Filed under Foreign Policy, Politics, The Left

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