Tuesday, 13 April 2010


Ken Berwitz

I guess he just can't help himself.

President Obama sees a despot and apparently has a compulsive desire to bow. 

From Scott Johnson at www.powerlineblog.com (the bold print is Scott's, not mine):

Why is this man bowing?

April 13, 2010 Posted by Scott at 5:45 AM

We criticized Barack Obama when he bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia. Americans do not bow to royalty. When the royal is the ruling tyrant of a despotic regime, the wrong is compounded. Obama's bowing to the King was deeply offensive.

When the story emerged from the shadows of the Internet, Ben Smith ran an item on Politico with the White House denying the bow. "It wasn't a bow. He grasped his hand with two hands, and he's taller than King Abdullah," said an Obama aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Bill O'Reilly ran a bemused segment on it once the White House denied what Obama had done.

A reporter asked Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs about the bow. Under his own name and on the record, Gibbs denied what any fool could see. Indeed, one astute observer commented on CNN that "Ray Charles could see that he bowed."

Obama did it again when he met up with the Emperor of Japan. Andrew Malcolm asked (and reported): "How low will he go? Obama gives Japan's Emperor Akihito a wow bow."

Yesterday Obama did it yet again, this time bowing to the Communist Chinese President Hu Jintao during the official arrivals for the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington.

Insofar as I am aware, Obama has not been asked directly to explain his behavior and he has not done so. ABC White House correspondent Jake Tapper sought comment on Obama's bow to the Japanese Emperor, not from Obama or one of his spokesmen, but rather from "[a]n old friend -- an academic with expertise about the Japanese Empire[.]" State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters that the bow was "a sign of respect to the emperor."

Whence the source of Obama's "respect" for the King of Saudi Arabia and the president of China as opposed to other heads of state? We are left to speculate on the meaning of Obama's bowing and scraping for ourselves.

Obama means to teach Americans to bow before monarchs and tyrants. He embodies the ideological multiculturalism that sets the United States on the same plane as other regimes based on tribal privilege, royal bloodlines and one-party rule.

Obama gives expressive form to the idea that the United States now willingly prostrates itself before the rest of the world. He declares that the United States is a country like any other, only worse, because we have so much for which to apologize. When it comes to the United States, he has a serious case of what Peter Wehner dubs denigration reflex.

Despite his obsequiousness to tyrants, Obama is not a humble man. On the contrary, Obama is a man of extraordinary arrogance. He seeks fundamentally to transform the United States. With him, a new age begins.

Don't expect Mr. Obama to be bowing to Benjamin Netanyahu any time soon.  or Stephen Harper.  Or Nicolas Sarkozy or Angela Merkel.  That would be far too obsequious and deferential. 

But countries like Saudi Arabia and China?  That's fine, no problem at all.

This, of course, leads to the question of how come Japan's Emperor Akihito got the bow as well.  And then it occurred to me:  with this administration's level of foreign policy, er, expertise, maybe he thought the Emperor still had full power and was a despot too. 

There you go.  Issue resolved.

Zeke .... ..... .... O' ... BOW ... ma ..... ..... ..... (04/13/10)



Ken Berwitz

How does the Obama administration define the term "deficit reduction"? 

Here, from the Washington Post, via www.msnbc.com, is your answer.  See if you agree:

Federal deficit slashed by 8 percent, say officials

Full year figures could show funding gap has started to fall


The federal deficit is running significantly lower than it did last year, with the budget gap for the first half of fiscal 2010 down 8 percent over the same period a year ago, senior Obama administration officials said Monday.

The officials attributed the results to higher tax revenue and to lower spending than projected on bailing out the financial system. If the trend continues for the rest of the year, it would mean the annual deficit would be $1.3 trillion -- about $300 billion less than the administration's projection two months ago for 2010.

But by suggesting the deficit may have peaked, administration officials are taking a political gamble.


If the favorable number does not hold up in coming months and the budget shortfall surpasses the $1.4 trillion recorded last year, voters in the November midterm elections could punish the Democrats for offering false hope.

No official statement on the deficit is scheduled until the release of a late-summer review. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the findings are preliminary and the results for the full year might not turn out so well.

The officials expressed cautious optimism about the figures but noted that the outlook remains uncertain. Although the economy has stabilized, growth has been lackluster.

Ballooning deficit
If the administration and Congress pursue a new round of measures to stimulate the economy, these could boost government spending. Officials also want to see whether the favorable trend in tax collections recorded in February and March holds up through the April tax season.

The improved budget figure comes at an opportune time for Democrats as they head into a difficult political campaign, with Republicans blaming the administration for running up record deficits.

The federal deficit was large when Obama took office, but it ballooned as the administration launched an ambitious stimulus program to soften the economic downturn, which was eating tax revenue and prompting increased spending on safety net programs.

In recent days, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke has added his voice to those of other prominent economic figures warning about the long-term dangers posed by large deficits.

A senior administration official acknowledged that the lower deficit number would not substantially ease the budget problems facing the government. But the favorable trend could allow Democrats to say they have turned the corner, and the number is one they would want to highlight for voters souring on Obama because of the government's red ink.

Administration officials said the favorable figure for the first half of the fiscal year, which began in October, reflected several factors.

Bailouts costing less
Taxes paid from corporations and withheld from individual paychecks were up February and March, compared with the same months last year, Treasury officials said Monday. This uptick reversed 21 months of year-over-year declines and, an official said, suggested that more Americans are getting back to work or earning higher salaries.

Government initiatives to bail out the financial system are also costing far less than officials had expected. The deficit figure for March, for instance, was down sharply from a year earlier, and most of that reduction came from a lower estimated cost for the Troubled Assets Relief Program, according to a Treasury report.

During the six months that ended in March, $10 billion was spent out of TARP. In contrast, that bailout program spent $186 billion for the same period ending March 2009. A separate program to aid mortgage financiers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac used $25 billion in taxpayer dollars in the six months ending in March, compared with $119 billion for the same period a year ago.

The deficit figure released by the Treasury Department for March means that the federal government has been spending more than it collected for a record 18 consecutive months, dating to the Bush administration.

With a brighter outlook on the deficit, bond analysts predicted that Treasury would sell fewer government bonds over the rest of the year to cover the gap between spending and revenue. Last year, the auction of Treasury bonds provided a net increase in government borrowing of more than $1.2 trillion. This year, the figure could decline significantly, two analysts predicted.

Treasury officials declined to comment on bond sales, but they are scheduled at month's end to release their plan for Treasury auctions over the rest of the year.

The White House proposed a budget in February that projects a budget gap of $8.5 trillion over the next 10 years. Obama's senior officials have argued that the huge outlays are essential to pull the economy out of its worst recession in generations. But Republicans say the administration's stimulus programs have not significantly reduced the jobless rate, now at 9.7 percent.

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that under Obama's policies, the 10-year deficit will hit nearly $10 trillion.

You have to hand it to these people.  They are nothing if not creative.

In 2009 the Obama administration's so-called "stimulus package" gave us a deficit of 1.4 trillion dollars - so much greater than any other year's deficit in our history that there isn't even any second place.

The reason for that deficit, we were told, was that it would cap unemployment at 8% and get the economy going again.  We were also told that 3,500,000 to 4,000,000 million jobs would be created by the end of 2010. 

But what actually happened?  Unemployment soared over 10% and is currently sitting at 9.7%.  And we lost 4,000,000 jobs. 

In other words, the payoff for incurring the biggest deficit in history was a far worse economy.

So now it is 2010.  And the same people who produced those wonderful results are telling us that a 1.3 trillion deficit is a reduction. 

Well, yeah, if it winds up 1.3 trillion dollars (a huge if), that will "reduce" the deficit to the second highest in history, over three times higher than the 400-or-so billion dollar deficit President Bush left us with. 

That's a "reduction"?  Whose deficit did he "reduce" it from?  His own, that's whose.  Nobody else's.

Now you know the definition of "deficit reduction" in this administration.

The 2010 elections cannot come fast enough.

And that goes double for 2012.


Ken Berwitz

How fairly, or unfairly, have the mainstream media addressed the Tea Party movement?

The (conservative) Media Research Center) has done some legwork on this issue, and issued a report detailing their coverage.  For people who see mainstream media as biased (and there are plenty of us, with the number seemingly growing every day), what you are about to read will not come as a surprise.

Here is a partial analysis, with a link to the entire report:

MRC Special Report: How the Media Have Dismissed and Disparaged the Tea Party Movement


By Rich Noyes (Bio | Archive)
Tue, 04/13/2010 - 07:49 ET

The Tea Party movement launched one year ago, in response to the unprecedented expansion of government by President Barack Obama and congressional liberals, a massive increase in spending that will create economy-crushing fiscal burdens for future generations of taxpayers.

In that relatively brief period, the Tea Party has demonstrated it is a formidable political force. The pressure the movement brought to bear at the grassroots level put liberals on the defensive for much of the health care debate, and nearly succeeded in torpedoing the entire scheme in spite of Democrats overwhelming congressional majorities. And Tea Party activists proved decisive in a string of electoral defeats for liberals, culminating in Republican Scott Browns victory in the special election to succeed Ted Kennedy in the U.S. Senate.

So how have the supposedly objective media covered one of the biggest political stories in recent years? The Media Research Center has a new report out today, reviewing every mention of the Tea Party on the ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening newscasts, Sunday talk shows, and ABCs Nightline from February 19, 2009 (when CNBC contributor Rick Santelli first suggested throwing a Tea Party to protest government takeovers) through March 31, 2010. Among the major findings:

The networks first attempted to dismiss the Tea Party movement:

     Given its demonstrated influence, network coverage of the Tea Party has been minuscule. Across all of their major programs, ABC, CBS and NBC aired a mere 61 stories or segments over a twelve month period, while another 141 items included brief references to the movement. Most of that coverage is recent; the networks virtually refused to recognize the Tea Party in 2009 (just 19 stories), with the level of coverage increasing only after Scott Browns election in Massachusetts.

     Most of the networks 2009 coverage was limited to individual Tea Party rallies: six reports on the April 15, 2009 tax day protests, along with five other brief mentions; just one report on the July 4 rallies; and six full reports on the September 12 rally on Capitol Hill, plus eight brief mentions.

     Such coverage is piddling compared to that lavished on protests serving liberal objectives. The Nation of Islams Million Man March in 1995, for example, was featured in 21 evening news stories on just the night of that march more than the Tea Party received in all of 2009. The anti-gun Million Mom March in 2000 was preceded by 41 broadcast network reports (morning, evening, and Sunday shows) heralding its message, including a dozen positive pre-march interviews with organizers and participants, a favor the networks never granted the Tea Party.

     Network reporters were dismissive of the first Tea Party events in 2009. Theres been some grassroots conservatives who have organized so-called Tea Parties around the country, NBCs Chuck Todd noted on the April 15, 2009 Today, but the idea hasnt really caught on. On ABCs World News, reporter Dan Harris warned viewers that critics on the Left say this is not a real grassroots phenomenon at all, that its actually largely orchestrated by people fronting for corporate interests.

By the fall of 2009, the networks had shifted to disparaging the Tea Party:

     After the September 12, 2009 rallies, the networks suggested the Tea Party was an extreme or racist movement. On CBS, Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer decried the angry and nasty Capitol Hill rally, while ABCs Dan Harris scorned protesters who waved signs likening President Obama to Hitler and the devil....Some prominent Obama supporters are now saying that it paints a picture of an opposition driven, in part, by a refusal to accept a black President.

     Overall, 44 percent of network stories on the Tea Party (27 out of 61) suggested the movement reflected a fringe or dangerous quality. ABCs John Berman was distressed by a tone of anger and confrontation he claimed to find at the Tea Party convention in early February. In September, NBCs Brian Williams trumpeted Jimmy Carters charge that the Tea Party was motivated by race: Signs and images at last weekends big Tea Party march in Washington and at other recent events have featured racial and other violent themes, and President Carter today said he is extremely worried by it.

     While network reporters have strained to protect left-wing causes (such as the anti-war movement) with the outrageous acts of individual protesters, they were quick to smear the entire Tea Party based on isolated reports of poor behavior. On the night of the final vote on ObamaCare in March, for example, ABCs Diane Sawyer cast Tea Partiers as out-of-control marauders, roaming Washington, some of them increasingly emotional, yelling slurs and epithets. CBSs Bob Schieffer also cast a wide net, accusing demonstrators of hurling racial epithets and sexual slurs, and even conjured images of civil-rights era brutality: One lawmaker said it was like a page out of a time machine.

While the broadcast networks seldom devolved into the juvenile name-calling and open hostility evident at the liberal cable news networks, their coverage of the Tea Partys first year reflected a similar mindset of elitist condescension and dismissiveness. Given how the networks have provided fawning coverage and helpful publicity to far-less consequential liberal protest movements, their negative treatment of the Tea Party is a glaring example of a media double standard. Rather than objectively document the rise and impact of this important grassroots movement, the news networks instead chose to first ignore, and then deplore, the citizen army mobilizing against the unpopular policies of a liberal President and Congress.

Check out the whole report at www.MRC.org.

In the immortal words of Gomer Pyle, Sur-prahz, sur-prahz!

And look at that comparative with the extent and quality of coverage for left wing and radical groups. 

Then they wonder why people call them biased.  And why people are leaving them in droves to find alternative avenues of information.



NOTE:  My one major objection to the report is its equating of  "liberal" and "left wing" - something that conservative venues relentlessly do.  They are not one and the same. 

Speaking personally, I am a social liberal but have conservative views on a good number of issues.  Where does that equation leave me?

Zeke .... 1) Unfunded pension & retirement benefits of public employees north of $50 trillion..... ... 2) No energy plan for the nation; no plan to develop KNOWN oil deposits (West Coast continental shelf, Alaska, Shale Oil).... .... 3) Legislators enriching themselves during & after their terms .... ... 4) Utter leftward partisanship of the media .... ... 5) Exporting of US manufacturing, jobs ......6) Enormous annual federal deficits with no end in sight ..... 7) Payoffs to cronies with the public treasury (Bank Bailouts, GM, Chrysler, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Sally Mae) .... ..... 8) Bribes with public funds for partisan votes in congress (Louisiana Purchase, Cornhusker Bribe, judgeship on Appeals Court). ... .... 9) Crooks in Congress like Charlie Rangle, Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi .... 10) States going bankrupt - MI, CA, NJ, NY, etc ..... ..... 11) Respected institutions becoming agents of narrow extremist agendas (Greenpeace, UN, ACLU, NAACP, most US Universities, primary & secondary education, Unions) ......... ...................... ........... just a few reasons that the US citizenry has lost confidence in their government and institutions. .... ...... ..... "I'm Mad as Hell, and I'm NOT Going to Take It ANYMORE" (movie "Network") (04/13/10)


Ken Berwitz

How proud they are to have come up with an "idea" for intentionally sabotaging the Tea Party movement.

Today I received the following email from "Josh Marshall" at www.talkingpointsmemo.com:

Hello Ken Berwitz,

Here's a TPM story we thought you should see today.

Oregonian Jason Levin has got an ingenious plan: his "Crash the Tea Party" effort is going to out-crazy the crazies at tea party events. You say Obama is a foreigner? Levin says he's an alien. And so on, until even the tea partiers recoil from the association.

Read the full story here.

What brilliance.  Simplicity itself.  Just infiltrate Tea Party events, act like an absolute idiot and hope that the Tea Party gets blamed for what you do.  Yeah, that's the ticket.  That'll show everyone what's wrong with the Tea Party people.

And if you click on the link this genius provides, here is what you will see:


Outcrazying The Crazy: How A Prankster Plans To Infiltrate And Destroy The Tea Party Movement

Evan McMorris-Santoro | April 13, 2010, 11:16AM

Meet Jason Levin, quite possibly the scariest man in the tea party universe. An Oregon technology consultant, Levin is the leader of Crash The Tea Party, a plan to take down the tea party from the inside. Levin says he's got a growing cadre of supporters across the country, and conservatives from the message boards to the set of the Sean Hannity's show are getting nervous.

"Our plan is not to shout them down," Levin told me yesterday, "but to infiltrate them and push them farther from the mainstream."

The scheme reads like a sequel to "Being John Malkovich": Levin's group of protesters plan to get in the heads of tea partiers at the Tax Day Tea Parties nationwide Thursday and manipulate them right out of relevance. They'll dress like tea partiers, talk like tea partiers and carry signs like tea partiers. In fact, according to Levin they'll be completely indistinguishable from tea partiers, except for one thing -- they won't be out-crazied by anyone.

"Our goal is that whenever a tea partier says 'Barack Obama was not born in America,' we're going be right right there next to them saying, 'yeah, in fact he wasn't born on Earth! He's an alien!" Levin explained. He said that by making the tea parties sound like a gathering of crazy people -- his group's goal -- the movement will lose its power.

Levin said he got the idea from a counter-protest to the infamous Westboro Baptist Church group held outside Twitter headquarters in January. Levin said the Westboro group broke up after counter-protesters showed up holding signs "even crazier" than the ones held by the Westboro group. "They realized they couldn't get their message out, so they just left" Levin said.

On the Crash The Tea Party website, managed by Levin, he explains how the plan will work. "Whenever possible, we will act on behalf of the Tea Party to exaggerate their least appealing qualities (misspelled protest signs, wild claims in TV interviews, etc.)"

"The lower the public opinion of them goes, the less coverage they're going to get in the mainstream media," Levin said when I asked him about the plan. "Then the GOP stops listening to them and they disperse and they go back to their militias and cabins in the woods."

He emphasized that his group is non-violent, and not interested in "perpetuating racism, homophobia or misogyny." Levin said that "members are free to do as they wish," but if violence breaks out at a tea party rally on Thursday, or more epithets like the ones thrown around during the health care debate are heard, it won't be because of his group.

He explained the distinction to me this way: If you see someone wearing a Nazi uniform at a tea party, it could be one of his members. If you see some one wearing a Nazi uniform throwing a rock, it's definitely not one of his members.

I asked him if he was worried publicly proclaiming that the most extreme people at the tea party rallies could be plans plants might help the movement he's trying to destroy. The tea party movement is struggling with its own identity, and some in the movement have already claimed that some of the darker chapters in its history (such as the death threats that came after the health care vote) were fantasies created by liberal infiltrators. Levin said no matter what the tea parties say about his plans, it's a "win-win" for his group.

"What can they say?" he said. "Either we've infiltrated their group so pervasively that they might as well hang it up, or we haven't infiltrated them that much they really are just racists."

Levin said he has 66 member groups (and growing) across the country planning to fan out at tea party gatherings on Thursday.

And while it's not clear how big the group actually is, or how serious the effort will be, the idea has already set off a small panic among tea partiers and their supporters. Upset tea partiers have posted Levin's address and phone number on the FreeRepublic.com message boards, leading, he said, to "silly threats" against him and his family. On Friday, Sean Hannity attacked the group in a segment on his radio show. And tea party groups across the country are warning their members to be on the lookout for the infiltrators. In Oregon, a tea party group has said it plans to get the police involved if they catch any of Levin's organizers.

Levin said all the attention just serves to make his plan more successful.

"How do you spot a fake tea partier? Do they have a tea bag tattooed on their forehead?" he said. "Thanks to us, the next time you're at a tea party and you see a guy with a misspelled sign you'll have to say 'is this guy an idiot? Or is he just an infiltrator?"

Late Update: Dave Weigel reports on FreedomWorks' plan to expose infiltrators like Levin and capture them on video at the Tax Day rallies on Thursday. The group is taking Levin's plan -- and the possibility of other infiltrators -- pretty seriously, and is planning to point out and confront anyone with a "racist or offensive" sign at a rally on Thursday.

In other words, jason levin and his fellow frauds intend to damage the Tea Party movement by planting people at their events who will act like lunatics, racists, etc.  That way maybe you will be gullible enough to think the plants are actually Tea Party members.

Here's a piece of logic that evidently is too complex for levin & Co:  If the Tea Partiers were actually behaving like that, they wouldn't need the plants. 

And then, of course, there is the hate-based sarcasm that Tea Partiers are a bunch of backwoods gun-toting rednecks.  You've seen Tea Party protests.  Whatever you might think of their positions, does the general run of participants match levin's hate-filled description?  You know and I know that it does not.  

Michelle Malkin outed levin just yesterday (as readers know, since I posted her blog).  Was she right about this moron or was she right?

We'll keep and eye out to see how our media will handle this overt in-your-face fraudulence.  Let's hope, for the sake of basic honesty, that a) levin is dead wrong and b) he and his group are condemned early and often. All it would take is a minimal level of journalistic integrity.

Anyway, we can hope, can't we?


Ken Berwitz

Ed Koch, the former congressperson and then three-time Mayor of New York City, is a very opinionated man.  Here is his opinion of the relationship between Barack Obama and Israel.  Make of it what you will:

April 12, 2010
A Dangerous Silence
By Edward I. Koch

I weep as I witness outrageous verbal attacks on Israel.  What makes these
verbal assaults and distortions all the more painful is that they are being
orchestrated by President Obama.

For me, the situation today recalls what occurred in 70 AD when the Roman
emperor Vespasian launched a military campaign against the Jewish nation and
its ancient capital of Jerusalem.  Ultimately, Masada, a rock plateau in the
Judean desert became the last refuge of the Jewish people against the Roman
onslaught.  I have been to Jerusalem and Masada.  From the top of Masada,
you can still see the remains of the Roman fortifications and garrisons, and
the stones and earth of the Roman siege ramp that was used to reach Masada.
The Jews of Masada committed suicide rather than let themselves be taken
captive by the Romans.

In Rome itself, I have seen the Arch of Titus with the sculpture showing
enslaved Jews and the treasures of the Jewish Temple of Solomon with the
Menorah, the symbol of the Jewish state, being carted away as booty during
the sacking of Jerusalem.

Oh, you may say, that is a far fetched analogy.  Please hear me out.

The most recent sacking of the old city of Jerusalem - its Jewish quarter -
took place under the Jordanians in 1948 in the first war between the Jews
and the Arabs, with at least five Muslim states - Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon,
Syria and Iraq - seeking to destroy the Jewish state.  At that time, Jordan
conquered East Jerusalem and the West Bank and expelled every Jew living in
the Jewish quarter of the old city, destroying every building, including the
synagogues in the old quarter and expelling from every part of Judea and
Samaria every Jew living there so that for the first time in thousands of
years, the old walled city of Jerusalem and the adjacent West Bank were
"Judenrein" -- a term used by the Nazis to indicate the forced removal or
murder of all Jews..

Jews had lived for centuries in Hebron, the city where Abraham, the first
Jew, pitched his tent and where he now lies buried, it is believed, in a
tomb with his wife, Sarah, as well as other ancient Jewish patriarchs and
matriarchs.  I have visited that tomb and at the time  asked an Israeli
soldier guarding it - so that it was open to all pilgrims, Christians,
Muslims and Jews -- "where is the seventh step leading to the tomb of
Abraham and Sarah," which was the furthest entry for Jews when the Muslims
were the authority controlling the holy place?  He replied, "When we retook
and reunited the whole city of Jerusalem and conquered the West Bank in
1967, we removed the steps, so now everyone can enter," whereas when Muslims
were in charge of the tomb, no Jew could enter it.  And I did.

I am not a religious person.  I am comfortable in a synagogue, but generally
attend only twice a year, on the high holidays.  When I entered the tomb of
Abraham and Sarah, as I recall, I felt connected with my past and the
traditions of my people.  One is a Jew first by birth and then by religion.
Those who leave their religion, remain Jews forever by virtue of their
birth.  If they don't think so, let them ask their neighbors, who will
remind them.  I recall the words of the columnist Robert Novak, who was for
most of his life hostile to the Jewish state of Israel in an interview with
a reporter stating that while he had converted to Catholicism, he was still
a cultural Jew.  I remain with pride a Jew both by religion and culture.

My support for the Jewish state has been long and steadfast.  Never have I
thought that I would leave the U.S. to go and live in Israel.  My loyalty
and love is first to the U.S. which has given me, the son of Polish Jewish
immigrants, so much.  But, I have also long been cognizant of the fact that
every night when I went to sleep in peace and safety, there were Jewish
communities around the world in danger.  And there was one country, Israel,
that would give them sanctuary and would send its soldiers to fight for them
and deliver them from evil, as Israel did at Entebbe in 1976.

I weep today because my president, Barack Obama, in a few weeks has changed
the relationship between the U.S. and Israel from that of closest of allies
to one in which there is an absence of trust on both sides.  The contrast
between how the president and his administration deals with Israel and how
it has decided to deal with the Karzai administration in Afghanistan is

The Karzai administration, which operates a corrupt and opium-producing
state, refuses to change its corrupt ways - the president's own brother is
believed by many to run the drug traffic taking place in Afghanistan - and
shows the utmost contempt for the U.S. is being hailed by the Obama
administration as an ally and publicly treated with dignity.  Karzai
recently even threatened to join the Taliban if we don't stop making demands
on him.  Nevertheless, Karzai is receiving a gracious thank-you letter from
President Obama.  The New York Times of April 10th reported, ".that Mr.
Obama had sent Mr. Karzai a thank-you note expressing gratitude to the
Afghan leader for dinner in Kabul.  'It was a respectful letter,' General
Jones said."

On the other hand, our closest ally - the one with the special relationship
with the U.S., has been demeaned and slandered, held responsible by the
administration for our problems in Afghanistan and Iraq and elsewhere in the
Middle East.  The plan I suspect is to so weaken the resolve of the Jewish
state and its leaders that it will be much easier to impose on Israel an
American plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, leaving Israel's
needs for security and defensible borders in the lurch.

I believe President Obama's policy is to create a whole new relationship
with the Arab states of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt, and Iraq as a
counter to Iran - The Tyrannosaurus Rex of the Muslim world which we are now
prepared to see in possession of a nuclear weapon.  If throwing Israel under
the bus is needed to accomplish this alliance, so be it.

I am shocked by the lack of outrage on the part of Israel's most ardent
supporters.  The members of AIPAC, the chief pro-Israel lobbying
organization in Washington, gave Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a
standing ovation after she had carried out the instructions of President
Obama and, in a 43-minute telephone call, angrily hectored Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu.

Members of Congress in both the House and Senate have made pitifully weak
statements against Obama's mistreatment of Israel, if they made any at all.
The Democratic members, in particular, are weak.  They are simply afraid to
criticize President Obama.

What bothers me most of all is the shameful silence and lack of action by
community leaders - Jew and Christian.  Where are they?  If this were a
civil rights matter, the Jews would be in the mall in Washington protesting
with and on behalf of our fellow American citizens.  I asked one prominent
Jewish leader why no one is preparing a march on Washington similar to the
one in 1963 at which I was present and Martin Luther King's memorable speech
was given?  His reply was "Fifty people might come."  Remember the 1930s?
Few stood up.  They were silent.  Remember the most insightful statement of
one of our greatest teachers, Rabbi Hillel: "If I am not for myself, who is
for me?  And if I am only for myself, what am I?  And if not now, when?"

We have indeed stood up for everyone else.  When will we stand up for our
brothers and sisters living in the Jewish state of Israel

If Obama is seeking to build a siege ramp around Israel, the Jews of modern
Israel will not commit suicide.  They are willing to negotiate a settlement
with the Palestinians, but they will  not allow themselves to be bullied
into following self-destructive policies.

To those who call me an alarmist, I reply that I'll be happy to apologize if
I am proven wrong.  But those who stand silently by and watch the Obama
administration abandon Israel, to whom will they apologize?

The Honorable Edward Irving Koch served New York City as its  105th Mayor
from  1978  to  1989.

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