Google+

The Corner

The one and only.

The Latest Tweets from Team NRO . . .


Krauthammer’s Take: Obama’s Climate Plan an ‘Incredibly Stupid Idea,’ but Any Agreement Would Have to Be International



Text  



On Wednesday’s Special Report, Charles Krauthammer reacted to the Obama administration’s efforts to develop a climate-change agreement among nations without the approval of Congress. Krauthammer said the idea that the Obama administration could think itself capable of shaming other countries into an international emissions restrictions was “the dumbest idea since the Russian reset.”

“It’s [the idea of the agreement] also based on the same assumptions that the Russians and the Chinese and others act the way Obama does — with adolescent idealism when it comes to foreign policy,” Krauthammer said. “So it is an incredibly stupid idea.”

But, Krauthammer said, he understands one aspect of Obama’s plans: Any climate-change agreement would indeed have to be international. “Anything that we do unilaterally here would only kill our economy and do nothing,” he said. “There’s a front-page story today on Germany, which is abandoning nuclear weapons and nuclear energy and fossil fuels and its economy is sinking as a result. You want to have an international agreement, but you want to have a treaty,” which would require Congress.

Obama Finally Sends His Toughest Stuff to Ukraine



Text  



As Nat noted earlier today, Russia has apparently opened a new front in its invasion of Ukraine and begun openly shelling the country. In response, it seems that President Obama’s State Department has sent Kiev the most deadly weapons in our deterrence arsenal:

ADVERTISEMENT

L.A. Times Defends the College Board on AP U.S. History



Text  



Michael Hiltzik, a columnist for the Los Angeles Times has published a heated response to my piece on the intellectual and political background of the College Board’s changes to the AP U.S. History Exam.

Hiltzik accuses me of being part of “the right’s effort to suck the teaching of advanced U.S. History into the culture wars.”  Actually, the College Board itself became responsible for sucking history education into the culture wars when it substituted a massively detailed set of teaching guidelines for the brief conceptual outline it issued in previous years.  That earlier outline, by virtue of its brevity, wisely allowed AP U.S. History to be taught from a variety of perspectives.  Because of its length and its inevitably controversial choices of particular themes and issues to emphasize, the College Board’s new Framework cannot help but stoke public debate.

The College Board itself was perfectly aware that its unprecedented decision to issue a detailed teaching framework would stir up public controversy.  In a 2013 article published in the OAH Magazine of History, Lawrence Charap, in overall charge of the new Framework’s development, said, “…the choices made around which details are explicitly included in the Curriculum Framework will inevitably invite detractors.”  Charap goes on to acknowledge receiving feedback from AP U.S. history teachers complaining about the new Framework’s “political correctness.”  Invoking memories of the “history wars,” Charap goes on to say that he expects the new Framework will kick up a debate among “historians, history teachers, and the public.”  Charap claims to welcome such debate.

So the College Board knew this controversy was coming, and could easily have avoided it by sticking with the brief and flexible conceptual outline it had used for many years.  Or, if that outline needed tweaking, this could easily have been done without creating the vastly more coercive attempt to frame the teaching of American history that eventually emerged.

Hiltzik suggests that I want “everything” about U.S. history to be “viewed positively and uncritically by Americans themselves or by people outside its borders…”  I neither said nor believe that.  I do believe that the Framework is far too negatively tilted.  Again, however, differences of this sort should be left to states, school districts, teachers and parents to resolve.   The extended, selective, and directive nature of the new Framework inhibits freedom of decision at the local level.

When I say that historian Thomas Bender, who seeks fundamental changes to the way American history is taught, wants less taught about the Pilgrims, Plymouth Colony, and John Winthrop’s City on the Hill, and more taught about the role of the plantation economy and the slave trade in the rise of an intrinsically exploitative international capitalism, Hiltzik asks “What’s wrong with that?”  Hiltzik sees Bender’s preference as a welcome move away from “stereotypes” toward a focus on “the flow of underlying historical trends.”

That is far too simple.  There is plenty to criticize in John Winthrop and the Pilgrims, of course.  And there is real distance between the ideas that shaped Pilgrim society and the principles that eventually came to serve as the foundation of American democracy.  Yet there is important continuity as well.  All of that needs to be traced and discussed in any good account of American political and cultural history.  When Hiltzik dismisses the very subject matter of Winthrop and the Pilgrims as a “stereotype,” he betrays the kind of bias that taints the AP U.S. History Framework itself, since the Framework greatly downplays political and religious history in favor of a negatively tilted social-historical approach.

Nor need we accept the notion that attention to social history and “the flow of underlying historical trends” is identical with the recognition of capitalist exploitation.  Leftist American historians paint capitalism is inevitably flawed, even racist, at its core.  That is eminently disputable.  Hiltzik, however, seems to have made up his mind on that score.

Again, my purpose is neither to force the teaching of American history into an entirely positive mold, nor to prevent states, districts, teachers or parents who prefer the approach from left-leaning social history from adopting it.  On the contrary, I am asking for a return to a brief conceptual outline that allows a variety of approaches.

Thomas Bender and the historians behind the La Pietra report have made a concerted public effort to radically reshape the teaching of American history at every educational level.  Those efforts may be familiar to historians, but they are not familiar to the American public.  If we are going to have the public debate over the teaching of AP U.S. History that the College Board says it welcomes, why shouldn’t Americans be informed about this movement among historians, and its long-standing alliance with the College Board and the authors of the new Framework?

The College Board has claimed merely to be updating the teaching of AP U.S. History to bring it into conformity with the “findings” of current scholarship, as if the latest scholarship in American history was the equivalent of recent discoveries in physics or chemistry, with no political agenda of its own.  It’s important to bring across to the public the underlying political agenda of historians who’ve influenced the College Board, so as to puncture this myth of academic neutrality.

Hiltzik says he favors” critical” history.  Well, I’m offering a critical history of intellectual and political influences on the College Board.  It’s a history that’s sorely needed.

 

Web Briefing: August 27, 2014

Here’s the Best Way to Pay for Ending the Corporate Tax Altogether



Text  



Corporate inversions are in the news again after Burger King’s announcement that it will be buying the Canadian chain Tim Hortons. I wrote about why American firms would do something this dramatic a few weeks ago: The U.S. happens to have a highly uncompetitive corporate-income-tax system. And not surprisingly, the Burger King move has revived the debate about the need to reform the corporate income tax — in particular, the idea that we should get rid of the corporate tax system altogether. NR’s editors noted yesterday that Harvard’s Greg Mankiw suggested on Saturday in the New York Times on Saturday that we need to repeal the whole corporate tax altogether.

But we usually don’t get anywhere with this idea because money-hungry lawmakers don’t want to deal with the loss of revenue that would result, even though the revenue the corporate tax generates is relatively small. But Stan Collender, writing in Forbes, has a solution to this problem:. Pay for it by ending all corporate welfare!

He writes:

The usual assumption and recommendation is that it be eliminated but replaced with other taxes. Mankiw, for example, recommended that a consumption tax be considered.

But there is a way to change the debate substantially: Don’t just repeal the corporate income tax;, repeal it and at the same time eliminate all federal support for corporations on the spending side of the budget.

There is clearly $300 billion of subsides and other kinds of support for corporations in the federal budget in fiscal 2014. In fact, if you define federal corporate support broadly and include direct support, insurance, indirect subsidies and other types of payments to all industries, the amount of spending is at at least that level. It could be substantially higher.

This would create a serious debate within the corporate community that hasn’t existed so far and would likely pit the companies and industries that don’t want to pay taxes against those that get significant spending side payments and subsidies.

It would also create a serious problem for the accounting profession where some of the largest firms make a significant amount of their revenue from helping corporations comply with the tax laws. These firms could, therefore, find themselves opposing their largest clients on the issue. Add in tax lobbyists, professors and those companies that have currently have a competitive advantage because they don’t pay any federal corporate income tax and the politics of the debate would change profoundly.

Now, that’s what I call a win-win.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

IRS Ethics Lawyer Accused of Embezzling, Lying to Court Board



Text  



A lawyer in the IRS ethics office may lose her job and her bar certification if the D.C. Court of Appeals’ recommendation is upheld. Takisha McGee, a section manager in the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility, is accused of embezzling funds intended for two medical providers and of lying to the D.C. court’s board of professional responsibility. The Washington Times reports:

In its 43-page report, the board detailed the personal injury case, which resulted in an $8,900 insurance settlement. But after receiving the settlement check, she failed to pay about $3,000 combined to two medical providers whom she was supposed to reimburse for treatment given to her client, according to records.

The board found Ms. McGee took $7,850 from an account set aside for her client’s settlement through a series of “counter withdrawals.” But other than $5,000 paid to her client, “it is not clear where these funds went,” the board report stated. . . .

What’s more, the board found “clear and convincing” evidence that Ms. McGee provided false testimony about her handling of the settlement money during a hearing in the case.

“There are no unique and compelling circumstances here that could justify reducing the recommended and presumptive sanction from disbarment to a lesser sanction,” the board wrote in its ruling. . . .

“In addition to intentionally misappropriating third-party funds, respondent also violated a number of other ethics rules and gave false testimony during the hearing,” the board concluded.

Naturally, McGee regularly delivers lectures to audiences about (in the Times’ words) the “importance of maintaining high ethical standards.”

The CBO’s New Budget Outlook: Debt Ahoy!



Text  



This morning, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released an update to its budget and economic outlook for the next decade. In news that will be shocking to none of my readers, the federal debt is projected to grow over the course of the decade.

Check out their chart below:

By CBO’s estimate, the federal debt held by the public will reach 74 percent of GDP at the end of this fiscal year, a level not seen in the US since the topsy-turvy budgetary days of FDR and WWII. By 2024, the federal debt is projected to reach 77 percent of GDP. Before the onset of the recession, federal debt constituted a “mere” 35 percent of GDP. If current economic trends continue, debt levels that were once rationalized by extraordinary economic circumstances may simply become the new normal.

The CBO is more pessimistic than the Obama administration about GDP growth over the next decade, but they’re probably still more optimistic than a lot of Americans. These projections are assuming improvements in aggregate demand, higher consumer spending, and a turnaround of the housing sector. Should any of these changes fail to materialize, GDP growth may remain below even the CBO’s tempered projections, and the debt-to-GDP ratio could be even higher than expected.

Now, here is another alarming aspect of this report: Outlays are growing at an average of 5.2 percent per year, which is greater than nominal GDP growth. This is one of our key problems. We will never get the budget under control with federal spending consistently growing faster than our economy.​

Keep reading this post . . .

L.A. Mayor to Propose $13.25 Minimum Wage



Text  



The Los Angeles Times reports that L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti is working on a proposal, to be released on Labor Day, that would raise the city’s minimum wage to $13.25 an hour over the next three years. Garcetti’s office will not confirm the plan, but insiders tell the L.A. Times that the current minimum wage ($9) would jump immediately to $10.25, then increase by to $13.25 by 2017, after which it would grow proportionally with the area’s consumer-price index.

City activists aren’t even satisfied with that: They hope to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour via ballot measure, and some L.A. city-council members are preparing a plan that would pay workers at the city’s largest hotels $15.37 an hour.

In June, the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to raise Seattle’s minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next few years.

With all this progress on the West Coast, President Obama’s $10.10 proposal is beginning to look, well, conservative. 

Jindal Sues Federal Government over Common Core



Text  



Bobby Jindal is having a hard time stopping the implementation of Common Core in his state, so he’s taking it to the next level: The Louisiana governor will sue the federal government on the grounds of that the learning standards’ implementation violates states’ rights.

CBS News reports that the lawsuit argues that the Department of Education is attempt to coerce states in to adopting the controversial standards by tying their implementation to federal grants.

“Common Core is the latest effort by big-government disciples to strip away state rights and put Washington, D.C., in control of everything,” Jindal said in a statement. “What started out as an innovative idea to create a set of base-line standards that could be ‘voluntarily’ used by the states has turned into a scheme by the federal government to nationalize curriculum.”

Jindal is facing a state-level legal fight over Common Core already – supporters of the program sued him for several executive measures he’s taken to withdraw the state from the standards. Last week, a state judge ruled that Jindal’s decision was harmful to students, teachers, and parents in Louisiana and that Common Core’s implementation did not violate state laws, which the governor had alleged.

Jindal has appealed the ruling but, for the time being, the state’s education superintendent is proceeding with implementation.

The standards have grown more unpopular nationally of late, with Republicans turning more quickly on the program than Democrats. Louisiana’s Republican-controlled legislature and Republican-appointed state superintendent, however, are fighting to implement the standards. Jindal’s effort to undo the standards has been seen as preparation for a 2016 presidential run.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn Makes Cringe-Worthy Little League Appearance



Text  



Illinois Democratic governor Pat Quinn is one of the most unpopular governors in the country, so much so that he couldn’t even get gratuitous applause at a Little League team’s rally. Quinn made the embarrassingly awkward appearance at a celebration for U.S. Little League Champions Jackie Robinson West.

“Everybody say, ‘Hey Pat!’ Make some noise!” the host told the crowd before welcoming Quinn. The crowd was almost dead silent as Quinn took the mic.

The governor greeted the crowd asked them to join him in chanting the team’s initials — “J-R-W!” — to no avail.

Via Washington Free Beacon.

Bernie Sanders: Companies Relocating Abroad Are Disrespecting Vets



Text  



Companies such as Burger King that are weighing relocating to more business-friendly countries aren’t grateful for the sacrifices of members of the U.S. military, Senator Bernie Sanders says.

“I think where the American people get really, really angry is that we have families that are sending kids off to war, these kids get killed, they come home wounded — and then you have corporations where we’re seeing corporate profits at an all-time high,” Vermont’s socialist senator told CNN on Tuesday. “Many of these corporations have absolutely no loyalty to the people of the United States or to our government.”

Sanders worried that if more companies feel the need to move abroad because some U.S. companies have already done so, federal tax revenues that pay for infrastructure, education, and health-care could be imperiled.

Melchior: ‘Clear Favoritism’ By Obama Admin for Punishing Oil Companies More than Wind Farms for Killing Birds



Text  



Make sure to check out Jillian’s latest piece, “Bye Bye Birdie.”

Liberals Catch Mitch McConnell Repeating His Public Statements in Private



Text  



The Nation has Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) “caught on tape” describing his hopes for the Senate “at a secret meeting of elite donors convened by the Koch brothers.”

The Nation introduced it by comparing it to a Politico interview McConnell gave recently. “What McConnell didn’t tell Politico was that two months ago, he made the same promise to a secret strategy conference of conservative millionaire and billionaire donors hosted by the Koch brothers,” Lauren Windsor writes.

As scoops go, it’s a pretty odd one. The Nation is reporting that Mitch McConnell said the same thing in private that he has already said in public.

The closest they get to an inconsistency is that McConnell mentioned that he wanted to “go after” Democrats on financial-services issues.

“[That’s] a key omission from his Politico interview,” Windsor writes, before noting how McConnell has already made his opposition to Obama’s financial-services policies very clear, in public. “He has been a vocal opponent of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in particular, and presumably under his Senate leadership funding for the CFPB would be high on the list of riders for the appropriations chopping block.”

Secret recordings of politicians’ conversations are fun to write about, but they’re more fun if they’re different from the public interviews the politician gives.

From Where, Peanut Butter?



Text  



The American Enterprise Institute’s online magazine has an interesting essay on the history of, among other things, peanut butter (which I love, which WFB loved, and which mentions WFB’s love).

Like many other prepared foods, though, peanut butter is not a traditional homemade product that was merely industrialized in the 19th century, like jelly or bread. Instead it developed decade by decade, shaped by innovations in chemistry, marketing, distribution, and even packaging. And its popularity shows both the power and limits of intellectual property.

Also interesting:

Economic crises and wartime emergencies have shaped our diet since at least the 17th century, when German peasants, recalling the marauding bands of the Thirty Years War (1618-1648), realized that a hard-to-plunder potato field could be life-saving insurance against future military foraging. The 20th-century Depression brought a boom for cheese as a protein alternative. Kraft began to market premixed macaroni and cheese in 1937, and it has remained a staple. At about the same time, the Swiss Cheese Union mounted a successful marketing campaign based on a pseudo-historical identification of fondue as a national dish for “spiritual defense” of the nation. For thrifty meat eaters there was Spam, a mix of ham and an oversupply of pork shoulder meat, introduced by Jay C. Hormel. Even Nutella breakfast spread was developed by a pastry maker in wartime Italy who used locally abundant hazelnuts to extend scarce cocoa. Taste for these foods survived the hard times that made them popular.

In addition to interesting history, the essay uses peanut butter to illustrate “both the opportunities and the risks of intellectual property.” The essay also mentions the Wienermobile, in the driver’s seat of which I have personally sat.

The entire essay, by Edward Tenner, can be found here.

— Michael R. Strain is a resident scholar and economist at the American Enterprise Institute. You can write to him on Twitter at twitter.com/MichaelRStrain.

Al Michaels on Bob Costas: Viewers ‘Don’t Want to Be Lectured To’



Text  



The only point of injecting political commentary into football broadcasts to “piss [the fans] off,” says Sunday Night Football play-by-play man Al Michaels, commenting on his NBC Sports colleague Bob Costas’s new habit of offering commentary during halftime broadcasts.

Over the past few seasons, Costas has used his halftime soliloquies to tackle various political or cultural issues, including gun control and the name of the Washington Redskins.

“You should have seen Twitter on Bob that night, but that’s a whole other story,” he told the Hollywood Reporter when asked about the name controversy. “Our audience wants to watch a football game, and all you really do to fans when they’re watching the game, if you go in that direction, is piss ’em off. They don’t want to be lectured to — period.”

On whether he was surprised that the Redskins controversy has gotten so big, Michaels said, “You know how things go in this world right now: Something gets out there, and . . .”

Last year, Costas called the team’s name “an insult, a slur” during a halftime disquisition on the issue. And following the murder-suicide of Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher in 2012, Costas said that the United States’ “gun culture simply ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy.”

Rogan: Obama’s Strategy for Islamic State ‘Makes No Military Sense’



Text  



Be sure to check out Tom’s latest piece on the Obama administration’s approach to the Islamic State, “Dempsey’s Clarity and Obama’s Confusion.”

Don’t Give Nine-Year-Old Girls Automatic Weapons



Text  



Per the Las Vegas Review-Journal, horrific news from Arizona:

An instructor who was shot by a 9-year-old girl who fired an Uzi at a northwestern Arizona shooting range died Monday night at University Medical Center in Las Vegas.

The girl fired the weapon at the outdoor range that caters to heavy tourism traffic along U.S. Highway 93 between Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon Skywalk.

The girl seems to have lost control of the weapon:

He said the girl safely and successfully fired the 9 mm weapon several times when it was set in the “single-shot” mode.

He said the weapon was put into the “fully-automatic” mode before the girl fired again with the instructor standing off to her left. The weapon recoiled and drifted left as the girl squeezed off an undetermined number of rounds as she maintained possession but lost control of the Uzi as it raised up above her head.

“The guy just dropped,” McCabe said of shooting instructor Charles Vacca, 39, of Lake Havasu City, who suffered at least one gunshot to the head.

It’s easy to play armchair expert, I accept. But this strikes me as having been a terrible idea from start to finish. As a general rule, smaller people — especially children — are restricted to smaller weapons that are commensurate with their size. At my range, kids who are being taught to shoot are not only limited to .22LR ammunition but also to long guns that they can get their shoulder behind. That way, if the gun pushes back, it hits something solid. This may cause bruising, sure. But it’s unlikely to be dropped or to fly upwards — or, heaven forbid, to kill somebody. When American children used to go to school with a rifle slung over their back, it was almost certainly a low-powered .22. There weren’t many Tommy Guns in American classrooms.

An Uzi, on the other hand, seems to be the worst of both worlds – especially when it is chambered in a larger caliber. Because their recoil tends to push the weapon upwards, handguns are inherently more difficult for young people to control. This is especially so when they keep firing upon a single trigger pull. Frankly, it is difficult to imagine a gun less suited to a small girl. Contra the Piers Morgans of the world, I don’t think it tells us too much about the law, nor do I think it’s that relevant to the question of firearms in the United States. But it does suggest gross negligence on the behalf of the range, the instructor, and the parents. I’m all for teaching children about firearms at a young age. But there is a good way to do this and a bad way to do this. We shouldn’t be giving nine-year-old girls automatic weapons.

Russia Opens New Front in ‘Stealth Invasion’ of Ukraine



Text  



The New York Times reports:

NOVOAZOVSK, Ukraine — Tanks, artillery and infantry have crossed from Russia into an unbreached part of eastern Ukraine in recent days, attacking Ukrainian forces and causing panic and wholesale retreat not only in this small border town but a wide swath of territory, in what Ukrainian and Western military officials are calling a stealth invasion.

The attacks outside this city and in an area to the north essentially have opened a new, third front in the war in eastern Ukraine between government forces and pro-Russian separatists, along with the fighting outside the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Exhausted, filthy and dismayed, Ukrainian soldiers staggering out of Novoazovsk for safer territory said Tuesday that the forces coming from Russia had treated them like cannon fodder. As they spoke, tank shells whistled in from the east and exploded nearby.

This is the same city outside which Ukrainian border guards had halted the advance of a Russian armored column on Monday. The news comes shortly after the secretary general of NATO announced plans to expand the organization’s presence and bases in Eastern Europe to deter Russia from interfering in other countries in the region (most notably the Baltic states) with significant Russian minority populations.

Join the Just-Launched National Review Wine Club Today and Save $100 on Twelve World-Class Wines!



Text  



You enjoy fine wine, right? So why not get amazing wines delivered right to your door by joining the National Review Wine Club. Enjoy wines selected by a wine-sourcing team with over 70 years of wine-buying experience and credentialed with the Court of Master Sommeliers. And if you join right now, you’ll not only save $100 on 12 world-class wines, but you will also be supporting National Review’s critical mission! To take advantage, click here.

Sorry NARAL, Most Americans Aren’t Pro-Abortion



Text  



Last week, the abortion-advocacy group NARAL Pro-Choice America released the results of a poll that they’re using to claim a strong majority of Americans espouse “pro-choice” views and support access to abortion. Their conclusion has been picked up by a range of media outlets including the Hill, Politico, and Salon.

But the actual results tell a different story: The poll found that 23 percent of respondents said they believe abortion is morally acceptable and should be legal. Forty-five percent said they personally oppose abortion, but do not feel that the government should place restrictions on it. About 25 percent said abortion should be illegal.

Unsurprisingly, NARAL is spinning the results to suggest that a high percentage Americans think abortion should be legal and reject restrictions on it. However, there are two important takeaways here. The first is that regardless of whether or not people think abortion should be legal, a very high percentage of Americans are opposed to it.

Second, the NARAL survey conveniently does not ask respondents about their opinions on specific abortion restrictions. In fact, those saying they are personally opposed to abortion but think it should be legal merely answered affirmed that they “don’t believe government should prevent a woman from making [the abortion] decision for herself.” NARAL is doubtless aware of the substantial body of survey research which shows that a range of incremental pro-life laws  – parental-involvement laws, informed-consent laws, and late-term abortion bans — enjoy very broad public support.

Plenty of polls have shown that the pro-life position has made some nice gains in the court of public opinion during the past 20 years. Yet pro-lifers should not take this progress for granted. NARAL’s survey does show that abortion is still an issue about which many Americans feel deeply conflicted, meaning the continued success of pro-life candidates and pro-life legislation depends in no small part on good outreach efforts and smart messaging.

— Michael J. New is an assistant professor at the University of Michigan–Dearborn and an adjunct scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_J_New

Hamas Wins



Text  



From the start of the fighting in Gaza this summer, the Obama administration publicly insisted on a return to the status quo ante, specifically a ceasefire based on the outlines of the agreement that ended the 2012 Gazar war. Given the administration’s steadfast commitment to doing nothing about terrorist safe havens and preventing others from doing anything about them, that was no surprise.

What remains a mystery is why Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed so readily to those terms, which were the essence of the Egyptian ceasefire proposal put forward July 15. Even if a return to status quo ante was justifiable in the opening days of the conflict, surely the missiles that landed near Ben Gurion Airport, temporarily scaring off commercial traffic from Israel’s one international airport, should have changed the calculus. Surely the scores of Israeli dead, the continued rocket fire, and the 2,000 Palestinian dead should have changed the calculus.

Once it was revealed that Hamas’s missiles could reach all the major cities of Israel, Israel should have demanded that Hamas agree to disarm its missile stocks as a ceasefire condition. When I saw the recently agreed ceasefire, I was still holding out hope that some explanation — perhaps a secret side agreement — would effectively deal with the missiles.

Well, apparently not:

“The decision to accept the latest cease-fire with Hamas is completely without justification,” said Danny Danon, a member of parliament and leader of Netanyahu’s Likud party. “After thousands of rockets fired at our cities, and scores of Israelis killed and wounded, we are agreeing to accept the very situation that allowed Hamas to arm itself and prepare its forces for their murderous attacks on Israel,” Danon said.

We may soon now why Netanyahu acted as he did. And we will eventually know what kind of pressure the Obama administration put on Israel. I sincerely hope it was not the United States that brought about this terrorist victory, which contains the near-guarantee of another major war in the near term.

While we’re waiting for Netanyahu to explain Israel’s decisions, it would be nice if the Obama administration would explain just how a two-state solution is possible while Hamas is ensconced in a terrorist safe-haven armed with thousands of missiles, right on Israel’s border. 

Pages

Sign up for free NRO e-mails today:

NRO Polls on LockerDome

Subscribe to National Review