I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree with every—or any—opinion in the posted article.
Death toll in Afghan war nears 1,000
For the soldier who is killed or maimed, and that soldier’s family, there is no such thing as “light casualties.” But to put this in perspective, take the battle of Tarawa. The Japanese Commander who commanded the elite 7th Sasebo Special Naval Landing Force (called “Imperial Marines” by the press) said that a million men couldn’t take Tarawa in a hundred years. Despite having to wade into machine gun fire due to not being able to get landing craft over the reef, the Second Marine Division took it in three days. But 1200 Marines and sailors died. And Iwo and Okinawa were worse. Could we fight a war of survival like that today? Excerpt: More than eight years after the Taliban was toppled from power, the number of U.S. military fatalities in the war in Afghanistan is nearing 1,000, a grim milestone in a resurgent conflict that is claiming the lives of an increasing number of troops who had survived previous combat tours in Iraq.
Afghanistan's president becomes a NATO scold
Excerpt: Since U.S., British and Afghan troops began pushing into the Taliban stronghold of Marjah two weeks ago, they have gone to unprecedented lengths to minimize civilian casualties. Among other restrictions, they are forbidden from calling in air strikes until they have confirmed that targets pose a legitimate threat and that collateral damage can be minimized. Such caution may have its benefits in winning over the population, but it also has its price: As of Sunday, 13 coalition troops have been killed in the operation. Another 80 have died since the start of the year. One would think Afghan President Hamid Karzai would applaud the sacrifice being made by his foreign allies as they seek to put cities like Marjah under his government's control. Instead he has chosen to play the scold. At the opening session of the Afghan parliament last weekend, he held up a picture of a young girl whose family was killed in a Valentine's Day strike and criticized the U.S. And this week, his cabinet blamed and condemned an air strike launched by U.S. Special Forces on Sunday that left 27 civilians dead, including four women and a child. Nobody on the allied side of the war effort is indifferent to these tragedies, least of all U.S. Afghan commander General Stanley McChrystal, who yesterday went on Afghan TV to apologize for the accident. NATO also expressed its condolences—the second time it has done so since the Marjah offensive began.
Senate Dems look to one-year extension of key provisions in the Patriot Act
A year should do it. Doubtless by then BO will have talked that “tiny minority of extremists” who misunderstand that “Islam is a religion of peace” into becoming pacifists. He’ll be singing Kumbaya with Taliban guests at the WH before the next election. Excerpt: Senate Democrats are pushing for a short-term extension of key provisions in the Patriot Act as part of a package of must-pass measures. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is planning to ask for unanimous consent to pass an extension for a host of measures set to expire February 28, according to Senate sources. The request could be made as early as Tuesday night. The large package of bills includes a year-long extension of three provisions of the anti-terrorism law known a the Patriot Act, as well as extensions for expiring tax provisions, including unemployment insurance, COBRA, flood insurance, the law governing the highway trust fund, the federal flood insurance program and a measure governing satellite television signals.
My Gift to President Obama-- John Yoo
Excerpt: Barack Obama may not realize it, but I may have just helped save his presidency. How? By winning a drawn-out fight to protect his powers as commander in chief to wage war and keep Americans safe. He sure didn't make it easy. When Mr. Obama took office a year ago, receiving help from one of the lawyers involved in the development of George W. Bush's counterterrorism policies was the furthest thing from his mind. Having won a great electoral victory, the new president promised a quick about-face. He rejected "as false the choice between our safety and our ideals" and moved to restore the law-enforcement system as the first line of defense against a hardened enemy devoted to killing Americans. In office only one day, Mr. Obama ordered the shuttering of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, followed later by the announcement that he would bring terrorists to an Illinois prison. He terminated the Central Intelligence Agency's ability to use "enhanced interrogations techniques" to question al Qaeda operatives. He stayed the military trial, approved by Congress, of al Qaeda leaders. He ultimately decided to transfer Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the planner of the 9/11 attacks, to a civilian court in New York City, and automatically treated Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day, as a criminal suspect (not an illegal enemy combatant). Nothing better could have symbolized the new president's determination to take us back to a Sept. 10, 2001, approach to terrorism. Part of Mr. Obama's plan included hounding those who developed, approved or carried out Bush policies, despite the enormous pressures of time and circumstance in the months immediately after the September 11 attacks. Although career prosecutors had previously reviewed the evidence and determined that no charges are warranted, last year Attorney General Eric Holder appointed a new prosecutor to re-investigate the CIA's detention and interrogation of al Qaeda leaders.
Supreme Court weighs free speech against aid to terrorists
“The Constitution is not a suicide pact!” What Stalin called “useful idiots.” You want to help Hamas build homes? Go over there. Pitch in. See how you are treated. I’ll buy you a cute little skull cap to wear. The Supreme Court on Tuesday explored the tension between Americans' right to free speech and a federal law that prohibits aid to terrorist groups, and hardly anyone seemed clear about the lines of demarcation. The case stems from a challenge to an antiterrorism act by American advocates who say they want to support only the peaceful efforts of groups that the State Department has deemed to be terrorist organizations.
General Aviation: A Reminder of Vulnerability
Excerpt: On Feb. 18, 2010, Joseph Andrew Stack flew his single-engine airplane into a seven-story office building in northwest Austin, Texas. The building housed an office of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), along with several other tenants. According to a statement he posted to the Internet before taking off on his suicide flight, Stack intentionally targeted the IRS due to a long history of problems he had had with the agency. In the statement, Stack said he hoped that his action would cause “American zombies to wake up and revolt” against the government. Stack also expressed his hope that his message of violence would be one the government could not ignore. Stack’s use of violence to attempt to foster an uprising against the government and to alter government policy means that his attack against the IRS building was an act of domestic terrorism. (Terrorism is defined by the intent of the actor, not the effectiveness of the attack, a topic we will discuss in more detail at another time.) While Stack’s terrorist attack ultimately will fail to attain either of his stated goals, he did succeed in killing himself and one victim and injuring some 13 other people. The fire resulting from the crash also caused extensive damage to the building. We have received credible reports that Stack had removed some of the seats from his aircraft and loaded a drum of aviation fuel inside the passenger compartment of his plane. This extra fuel may account for the extensive fire damage at the scene. According to STRATFOR analysts present at the scene, it appears that Stack’s plane struck the concrete slab between floors. Had the aircraft not struck the slab head-on, it may have been able to penetrate the building more deeply, and this deeper penetration could have resulted in even more damage and a higher casualty count. For many years now, STRATFOR has discussed the security vulnerability posed by general aviation and cargo aircraft. Stack’s attack against the IRS building using his private plane provides a vivid reminder of this vulnerability.
Israel's Hit Squads
excerpt: The goal of any top secret assassination is to kill your target and get back to base without losing your team members or leaving evidence behind. In the era of ubiquitous security cameras and rigorous background checks, of course, that’s almost impossible. But a group widely suspected to be the Mossad took that risk in January, when they assassinated a senior Palestinian Hamas man in Dubai. Assassinations are nothing new for the Jewish state. Imagine you’re an Israeli leader aware of constant threats from terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah. If you try to play by polite rules and rarely resort to violence, you’ll be perceived as weak, and Israel’s deterrent ability will deteriorate. If you launch a military campaign, as Israel did in Gaza just over a year ago, you’ll likely end up killing innocents and be accused of war crimes. And if you go the American route, pursuing targets only using drone aircraft, there’s still a risk of collateral damage to civilians. So Israel chose to resort to the tried and true—its longstanding and mostly successful tactic of close-up, pinpoint, surgical assassination.
Nike to trash trainers that offended Islam
Step by step, not offending Muslims takes a higher value than any freedoms. Excerpt: Nike is to recall a range of sports shoes carrying a logo that offended Muslims in America. It has agreed not to sell the new line in Britain. In exchange for the sales ban and an apology, the Council on American- Islamic Relations (Cair) will urge Muslims around the world not to boycott Nike products. The company also agreed to donate a $50,000 (pounds 31,000) playground to an Islamic elementary school in the United States.
Iran: Ahmadinejad aims for 'global Islamic revolution'
Hitler told everyone his plans in Mein Kamph, and they laughed. Excerpt: Tehran, 23 Feb. (AKI) - Iran aims to spread its Islamic revolution beyond its borders, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad pledged on Tuesday. "The Islamic revolution's final objective is global revolution," Ahmadinejad said in a live televised address. Ahmadinejad also vowed to "cut the hands" of Iran's enemies if the Islamic republic was attacked.
Muslim Mafia's Chris Gaubatz: A hero, and more than a hero
Too Many Apologies by Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Public apologies to people who are not owed any apology have become one of the many signs of the mushy thinking of our times. So are apologies for things that somebody else did. Among the most absurd apologies have been apologies for slavery by politicians. For one thing, slavery is not something you can apologize for, any more than you can apologize for murder. If someone says to you that he murdered someone near and dear to you, what are you supposed to say? "No problem, we all make mistakes"? Not bloody likely! Slavery is too serious for an apology and somebody else being a slaveowner is not something for you to apologize for. When somebody who has never owned a slave apologizes for slavery to somebody who has never been a slave, then what began as mushy thinking has degenerated into theatrical absurdity-- or, worse yet, politics. Slavery has existed all over the planet for thousands of years, with black, white, yellow and other races being both slaves and enslavers. Does that mean that everybody ought to apologize to everybody else for what their ancestors did? Or are the only people who are supposed to feel guilty the ones who have money that others want to talk them out of? This craze for aimless apologies is part of a general loss of a sense of personal responsibility in our time. We are supposed to feel guilty for what other people did but there are a thousand cop-outs for what we ourselves did to those we did it to.
CBS Poll on Obama
Go ahead—vote again. I did.
Obama and Dems in 2005: 51 Vote ‘Nuclear Option’ Is ‘Arrogant’ Power Grab Against the Founder’s Intent
2005 quote from Joe Biden: "I pray God when the Democrats take back control we don't make the kind of naked power grab you are doing."
Republicans plan to stress private-sector alternatives to the president's plan
Excerpt: Republicans are preparing to use Thursday's White House health-care summit to sell their own ideas for using the private marketplace to expand coverage and reduce costs, but they remain wary of fumbling away what they believe is an advantage on the issue heading into this year's critical midterm elections.
Key Dems: The public option is dead
Not dead, just sleeping. After they bankrupt insurance companies by forcing them to cover everyone who is sick, with no rate increases, it will rise from the dead. Excerpt: After months on life support, the public option died Tuesday. The White House and House leaders on Tuesday pronounced the government-run health program dead even as some Democratic senators continued their effort to resurrect it.
ObamaCare at Ramming Speed
The White House shows it has no interest in compromise.
Excerpt: A mere three days before President Obama's supposedly bipartisan health-care summit, the White House yesterday released a new blueprint that Democrats say they will ram through Congress with or without Republican support. So after election defeats in Virginia, New Jersey and even Massachusetts, and amid overwhelming public opposition, Democrats have decided to give the voters what they don't want anyway.
Ah, the glory of "progressive" governance and democratic consent. "The President's Proposal," as the 11-page White House document is headlined, is in one sense a notable achievement: It manages to take the worst of both the House and Senate bills and combine them into something more destructive. It includes more taxes, more subsidies and even less cost control than the Senate bill. And it purports to fix the special-interest favors in the Senate bill not by eliminating them—but by expanding them to everyone. The bill's one new inspiration is a powerful federal board that would regulate premiums in the individual insurance market. In all 50 states, insurers are already required to justify premium increases to insurance commissioners, who generally have the power to give a regulatory go-ahead, or not. But their primary concern is actuarial soundness and capital standards, making sure that companies have enough cash to pay claims.
Doctors’ Letter to Obama on tort reform
GOP Should Send Doctors to White House
Excerpt: One out of 10 Republican congressman is a doctor and two GOP senators -- Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and John Barraso of Wyoming -- also practiced medicine before joining Congress. The Republican Party should send its doctors to the White House for the health care summit Barack Obama is staging right before he tries to ram through his Obamacare legislation. Poll show that the public respects doctors when it comes to health care far more than it does politicians or health economists. The House and Senate doctors should say to Obama: "You are the president, and we respect your status. But, Mr. President, when it comes to health care, we are doctors, and we know a lot more than you do." Then the legislator-doctors should explain to the president -- and the viewing public -- how the threat of malpractice litigation forces defensive medicine, unnecessary tests and huge extra spending. They should go on to spell out how thinly stretched doctors are these days and implore the president to augment the supply of doctors before he adds extra patients to the system.
Wall Street shifting political contributions to Republicans
They bought Obama, but he didn’t stay bought! Excerpt: Commercial banks and high-flying investment firms have shifted their political contributions toward Republicans in recent months amid harsh rhetoric from Democrats about fat bank profits, generous bonuses and stingy lending policies on Wall Street.
A mere millionaire is not wealthy
And, unfortunately, my assets are not close. Excerpt: A 60-year-old couple with a net worth of $1 million is hardly wealthy. They probably accumulated this wealth by hard work and savings. Their net worth is probably composed of a $500,000 house and $500,000 of pension assets. When they retire, they can expect a taxable income of $20,000 to $30,000 per year from their pension assets at today’s rates and about $25,000 per year from Social Security. $50,000 per year is enough to support a comfortable middle-class lifestyle, but it is hardly a luxurious retirement. President Barack Obama has repeatedly implied that families with incomes in excess of $250,000 are wealthy. There are many families in New York, Washington, San Francisco and other expensive American communities who barely live an upper-middle-class lifestyle on $250,000 per year. These couples tend to be successful professionals, business managers and small-business owners. If they want to retire with an upper-middle-class lifestyle on $250,000 per year without touching principal, they would need financial assets of $6 million to $8 million. In other words, a net worth of less than $10 million merely lets the retiring couple maintain a comfortable upper-middle-class lifestyle. This is the lifestyle of the “American Dream” to which most Americans reasonably aspire. It is not the super-luxurious and sumptuous lifestyle of the “rich and famous.” It is unfortunate that the progressives reject the proven economic tools that lead to general prosperity: tax reductions, less regulation, balanced government budgets and policies that encourage individuals to be productive and responsible. After all, the mere millionaires are the most productive members of the economy. Why do the progressives want to reduce America’s productivity by taking the hard-earned wealth of the mere millionaires? If this happens, the whole economy will suffer.
The Fix: Young Voters Abandoning Obama
Excerpt: A new Pew study of 18 to 29 year olds -- the "Millenials" -- set to be released today shows that this group, which turned out in large numbers and voted heavily for President Obama in 2008, became far less enchanted with the president and his party over his first year in office. Much of that falling-off appears to be due to a sense that things in Washington have not changed in the way the president promised they would; 46 percent of Millenials said Obama had changed Washington while 48 percent said he had not. Obama's job approval scores have also faltered among the youngest voter segment -- slipping from 73 percent approval in February 2009 to 57 percent by the end of the year. Not surprisingly, the Democratic party's advantage with these Millenials has also eroded significantly. In January 2009, 60 percent of those 18-29 identified with the Democratic party while just 31 percent called themselves Republicans; by the end of last year, the Democratic self-identification number had dropped to 54 percent while the Republican number had risen to 40 percent. Ask any Democratic strategists about the biggest unknown heading into the 2010 midterms and, to a person, they are likely to cite the uncertainty about how much of the Obama coalition -- of which Millenials were a key pillar -- will turn out for downballot Democrats in the fall. The 2009 Virginia governor's race was a bad omen for Democrats in that regard; Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) won voters age 18-29 by 10 points just one year after Obama had carried the same age group by 21 points in the Commonwealth. (My 34-year-old step-daughter, a perennial parasite, voted for BO because he was going to “help little people like her.” I notice when she puts her hand out, it’s still to me.)
The GOP's misguided hunt for heretics
Let me say it again. If Scott Brown loses in 2012, the chances of conservatives controlling the US Senate in 2013 goes down sharply. If he votes strictly GOP party line, he loses in 2012 in a state with only 11% Republicans. His vote on the jobs bill was brilliant—it positions him as an independent on a bill that was going to pass anyway, because of other GOP support. I’ve signed up to make a small monthly contribution to Brown, and as long as he is going to vote to put the GOP in charge of the senate, will continue to do so, regardless of how he votes on a particular issue. What the right wanrts is to get down to the one pure Republican, who will get one vote in every election, allowing the statists to run the country. Attacking Brown helps Harry Reid. Excerpt: The RINO hunt is back on, and the coveted trophy is Scott Brown. Inevitably and predictably, the new senator from Massachusetts -- Mr. 41, Mr. I-Drive-A-Truck, tea party poster dude -- has disappointed his base by, alas, representing his constituents. It's the purity test all over again; only this time, the stakes are high and the weird are turning seriously pro. Not that the tea partiers are weird, not most of them, anyway. But some are at risk of flying off into the blood-red zone of wing-nuttery. One of the sessions at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) questioned whether Abraham Lincoln was "friend or foe." Lincoln foes can't be said to define CPAC conferees -- and certainly not the GOP -- but the growing libertarian strain within the party (see Ron Paul's straw-poll victory) combined with an anti-RINO (Republicans in Name Only) attitude is making life increasingly difficult for moderates such as Brown.
Where Scott Brown Is Coming From
Price Controls by Any Other Name
They didn’t work so well when Richard Nixon tried them either, but they are popular with the economically ignorant. Rent control destroys affordable housing, but they keep on with it. Excerpt: In 301 AD, the Roman emperor Diocletian imposed price controls on most commodities and professions in the empire. The penalty for raising prices was death. Yet the controls failed utterly, leading to shortages, more inflation and the near collapse of the imperial economy. Now, nearly two millennia later, President Obama seems determined to demonstrate how little we've learned. Yesterday, the president proposed giving the federal government the power to regulate insurance premiums. Undoubtedly, this will be politically popular -- at least, in the short term. Insurance companies aren't exactly America's most loveable industry. Recent premium hikes will result in real hardship for many Americans. There is, of course, a certain arrogance in the assumption that Obama, Nancy Pelosi and a bevy of government bureaucrats know exactly what something should cost. No doubt, as soon as they finish setting insurance prices, they'll move on to negotiating Tracy McGrady's contract renewal.
Control Costs with Real Choice, Real Competition, Real Consumerism
But it would piss off a LOT of special interest groups, who would yell louder against it than people wanting lower insurance costs would yell for it. Excerpt: As the U.S. Chamber has spelled out, and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has also made clear, there are many ideas out there to get health care costs under control. As you can see in the House- and Senate-passed bills, many in Congress believe the best way to control costs is to raise taxes on health care products and insurance, slash payments to doctors and hospitals, create and expand government-run programs for health insurance and long-term care, and force individuals and businesses to purchase what they don’t want or can’t afford. At the Chamber of Commerce, we prefer proposals that will actually increase choice, competition, and consumerism. Real choice doesn’t come from a new government program. In fact, the “public option,” which might end up as the only option, would be just one more plan, and would cost more than private insurance. Why not break down state barriers, allow consumers to choose from thousands of insurance plans, instead of forcing them to stay in consolidated markets with burdensome coverage mandates? The CBO said that this option alone would both cut health care costs by 5% and save the federal government at least $12 billion. Allowing small businesses to pool together and purchase plans outside of state bureaucrats’ control would save billions more by getting people off of Medicaid and into new, more affordable employer plans. If we want real competition in health care, we should let people and plans see the costs and quality of providers and procedures. That’s a big project and it will take time, but it could be jump-started by releasing patient-protected CMS claims data to quality reporting organizations. Overnight, we could have massive amounts of data on thousands of hospitals and doctors, and could let people truly see the costs of care. This used to be called the “Clinton-Gregg-Obama” bill. Once people see the real costs of health care, those costs need to matter – which means a purely third-party-payer system needs some change. For starters, we need many more high-deductible health plan (HDHP) options to give people skin in the game. People often expect their health insurance to cover everything, because it costs so much; HDHPs have lower premiums but do not immediately kick in to cover all costs. But the plans need work – the accounts they are paired with should be able to pay the plan premiums, should have much higher contribution limits (especially for those with chronic conditions or low incomes), and they need to be tweaked to work better with innovative health programs like Patient-Centered Medical Homes and accountable care organizations.
Bending the Curve
Excerpt: Much of the motivation driving health care reform is grounded in the belief that U.S. health care spending is too high and rising too quickly. Whether measured by individual insurance premiums, average spending per person, total national spending, or federal and state government health spending, U.S. health care expenditures are growing faster than inflation, faster than average wages, and faster than the gross domestic product (GDP). Thus, the President has declared that one key purpose of health care reform is to "bend the cost curve" downward, explain Dr. Jason Fodeman, an Internal Medicine Resident at the University of Connecticut, and Robert A. Book, a health economist with the Heritage Foundation. However, this strong consensus that health care spending is too high and growing too fast has not led to agreement on the causes or the appropriate responses, say Fodeman and Book. The most commonly proposed explanations for increases in overall health care spending include: Increasing prevalence of disease, whether due to an aging population, unhealthy lifestyle choices, or other factors. The inefficient structure of the health insurance system. Expensive new health care technologies, such as new drugs, medical devices, and other treatments. Wasteful spending, such as over-treatment, "defensive medicine," excessive malpractice costs, and fraud. Each of these possibilities leads to a different set of appropriate policy solutions and has different implications as to whether the current proposals could, in the President's words, "bend the cost curve" downward, say Fodeman and Book. Regrettably, neither the House nor the Senate health care reform bills that were passed in late 2009 would "bend the cost curve" downward.
All educators fired at underperforming RI school
Bet the lawyers are already gathering. Excerpt: A Rhode Island school district has voted to fire all the teachers at an underperforming school. The Central Falls School Committee voted Tuesday evening to fire every educator at Central Falls High School at the end of the school year. It's the only school in the tiny, impoverished city north of Providence. Only about half its students graduate, and only 7 percent of 11th-graders were proficient in math in 2009.
Police tentatively ID young girl abandoned in Del.
Makes the heart bleed. Excerpt: Police in Delaware say they've tentatively identified a young girl found locked in a gas station bathroom. Newark Police announced Wednesday that photos and videos of the girl released to the media led to the identification. But police say because there are multiple jurisdictions involved and the investigation is ongoing they aren't releasing more information about the girl. The child, believed to be about 2 years old, was discovered in Newark on Sunday by a stranger who heard her crying.
Doubts Raised on Book’s Tale of Atom Bomb
Excerpt: A new book about the atomic destruction of Hiroshima has won critical acclaim with its heartbreaking portrayals of the bomb’s survivors and is set to be made into a movie by James Cameron. “The Last Train from Hiroshima,” published in January by Henry Holt, also claims to reveal a secret accident with the atom bomb that killed one American and irradiated others and greatly reduced the weapon’s destructive power. There is just one problem. That section of the book and other technical details of the mission are based on the recollections of Joseph Fuoco, who is described as a last-minute substitute on one of the two observation planes that escorted the Enola Gay. But Mr. Fuoco, who died in 2008 at age 84 and lived in Westbury, N.Y., never flew on the bombing run, and he never substituted for James R. Corliss, the plane’s regular flight engineer, Mr. Corliss’s family says. They, along with angry ranks of scientists, historians and veterans, are denouncing the book and calling Mr. Fuoco an impostor. (Phonies everywhere. Say, did I tell you how I heroically won my Good Conduct Medal by talking my way out of a formal Article 15 after the Shore Patrol picked me up drunk at the bus from TJ?)
Quotes from the Patriot Post www.patriotpost.us/subscribe/
"The state tends to expand in proportion to its means of existence and to live beyond its means, and these are, in the last analysis, nothing but the substance of the people. Woe to the people that cannot limit the sphere of action of the state! Freedom, private enterprise, wealth, happiness, independence, personal dignity, all vanish." --French economist Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850)
"People unfit for freedom -- who cannot do much with it -- are hungry for power. The desire for freedom is an attribute of a 'have' type of self. It says: leave me alone and I shall grow, learn, and realize my capacities. The desire for power is basically an attribute of a 'have not' type of self." --writer and philosopher Eric Hoffer (1902-1983)
"The world is weary of statesmen whom democracy has degraded into politicians." --British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881)
"This is a perfect snapshot of the West at twilight. On the one hand, governments of developed nations microregulate every aspect of your life in the interests of 'keeping you safe.' ... On the other hand, when it comes to 'keeping you safe' from real threats, such as a millenarian theocracy that claims universal jurisdiction, America and its allies do nothing. ... It is now certain that Tehran will get its nukes, and very soon. This is the biggest abdication of responsibility by the Western powers since the 1930s." --columnist Mark Steyn