PowerLine – Vice-Presidential Speculation

PowerLine – Vice-Presidential Speculation

PowerLine Daily digest - Old Guard Audio.com

PowerLine Daily digest – Old Guard Audio.com

Daily Digest


The spirit of Entebbe

Posted: 04 Jul 2016 04:37 PM PDT

(Scott Johnson)Israel’s incredibly daring operations to free Jewish hostages held by murderous terrorists at the Entebbe airport in Uganda took place forty years ago today, as we celebrated the bicentennial of our Independence. It was a great day for freedom all the way around. Suffice it to say that the spirit of Israel’s Operation Thunderbolt holds much in common with our Independence Day.

Almost unbelievably, Prime Minister Netanyahu–the brother of the rakishly handsome Israeli officer who died leading the operation on the ground–celebrated the anniversary of the operation today as the honored guest of Uganda’s current president. (Operation Thunderbolt is now referred to as Operation Jonathan. The site honoring Jonathan Netanyahu’s memory recounts the raid on Entebbe that he led.)

Video of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s remarks is below; the text of his remarks is posted here. The Times of Israel’s Raphael Ahren has a good report on the event.

If I understand correctly, and I’m not sure that I do, Netanyahu spoke the following remarks in Hebrew, the translation of which is provided at the link above. I thought our readers might be interested in the remarks as translated by the Office of the Prime Minister in addition to the remarks spoken in English on the video:

I am moved standing here as the Prime Minister of Israel, in this place that brought endless pride to our soldiers, to the IDF and to our nation. I am moved standing here, in the place where IDF soldiers liberated the hostages in the heart of Africa, thousands of kilometers from Israel, with the commanders and soldiers who took part in the operation. I am moved standing here with the relatives of Jean-Jacques Mimouni, Ida Boruhovitch, Pasco Cohen and Dora Bloch, who lost their lives at Entebbe. I am moved standing here in this place, right in the place where my brother Yoni, commander of the Special Forces unit, was killed while leading the force that stormed the old terminal, overcame the terrorists and freed the hostages.

Here, where the old terminal stood, our brethren were held hostage by cruel terrorists, and this is where our soldiers came to rescue them in a brilliant mission that is almost unparalleled in history. Entebbe is always with me, in my thoughts, in my consciousness and deep in my heart.

The hijacking of the Air France plane to Entebbe touched a raw nerve with the people of Israel. Thirty-one years after the Holocaust, Jews again had to undergo a separation of Jews and non-Jews by those who wanted to kill us. The terrorists freed the hostages of other nationalities, but they condemned the Jews to the terror of death.

Essential intelligence was provided by members of the Mossad, and the determination of the commanders, the soldiers and the pilots helped convince the Government of Israel to act. Each of you, soldiers and pilots who flew to Entebbe, those who are here and those who are not, members of the Air Force, the General Staff Reconnaissance Unit, the Paratroopers, the Golani Brigade and the Medical Corps, each of you flew here without knowing if you would come home. You came to rescue, but you knew that in the event there was a problem, there would be no one to rescue you. And despite this, each of you fought to be on the planes because you understood the importance of the mission.

The late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin deserves tremendous respect for the leadership he showed when making the fateful decision to embark on the operation. Senior partners who approved the operation and its execution include Minister of Defense Shimon Peres, Chief of General Staff Motta Gur, Air Force Commander Benny Peled, Commander of the Infantry and Paratroopers Branch Dan Shomron, who commanded the entire operation, Commander of the Paratroopers Matan Vilnai, Commander of the Golani Brigade Uri Sagi and Commander of the General Staff Reconnaissance Unit, my brother Yoni.

The General Staff Reconnaissance Unit, its commanders and its soldiers were tasked with the mission of killing the terrorists, incapacitating Idi Amin’s soldiers, grounding the MiGs and releasing the hostages. In less than an hour, our soldiers were back on their planes, but this time with the hostages, on their way home.

I wish to pay my respects to the Captain of the hijacked plane, Michel Bacos, who is in France. He and his crew stayed with the hostages out of an amazing sense of responsibility. For the families of the hostages killed during the operation and directly afterwards, the price was unbearable. The same is true for my family and for me. When Yoni died, our world was destroyed.

Not a day goes by that I do not think what might have been. If only I had not refused the unit commander, the late Uzi Yairi, who asked me to go to officers’ school. If only I had not consulted that Saturday with my older brother, who had just returned from Harvard and told me, “What’s the problem? Tell Uzi Yairi that I’ll take your place.” And then maybe Yoni wouldn’t have come to the unit, and then maybe he would not have died here at Entebbe. In any event, a short while after Yoni joined the unit, I also joined the officers’ course and we served together as commanders in the Special Forces unit.

Grief struck us, my family and the families of the hostages, as it strikes many families in Israel today, during these times of great cruelty. And despite this, the power of life sweeps us forward, and it brings us to times of hope and joy. However, the scars always remain, and they are not limited to bereavement. For 40 years, Paratrooper Surin Hershko has lived with the results of his serious injury. Surin told me more than once that if he had to do it all over again, even knowing the price, he would not hesitate for a moment. Surin Hershko represents the best, the most beautiful and noble parts of our people.

At Entebbe, justice overcame evil, and for this simple reason, the operation has earned the sympathy of the world and its praise. Operation Jonathan at Entebbe has become the symbol of standing strongly against terror. It set the rule that when the location of the hostages is known – action should be taken to rescue them. It improved Israel’s standing in the worlds and struck a deadly blow against terrorism. The battle against terrorism continues today. Terror threatens all countries and all continents, and we must stand against it united in spirit, a united front, in the spirit of Entebbe. This is the only way we will beat it.

Dear soldiers who fought in Entebbe, you were privileged to take part in an operation that will remain engraved in the history of our people for generations, and which is burned into the heart of everyone who wants peace. Those who follow in your footsteps, IDF soldiers from the same units that participated in the operation, are here today. As Prime Minister, I can tell you they carry the same spirit with them in their overt and covert missions, those close to home and those far away.

On behalf of the people and State of Israel, I salute you all.

Another reason to celebrate today.

Vice-Presidential Speculation

Posted: 04 Jul 2016 04:31 PM PDT

(John Hinderaker)Donald Trump met with Senator Joni Ernst today, fueling speculation that she could be a front-runner to be Trump’s running mate. Possibly so. But more interesting to me was Senator Tom Cotton’s appearance yesterday on Meet the Press, and Trump’s reaction to it.

Tom did an excellent job, as usual, discussing foreign policy and the Obama administration’s failures. Chuck Todd then floated the idea that Cotton’s foreign policy views are the “exact opposite” of Trump’s, and that he seems much closer to Hillary Clinton. Cotton explained that his views are nothing like Hillary’s, which led Todd to urge the senator to make the case not just against Hillary Clinton, but in favor of Donald Trump. In the ensuing exchange, Todd noted that Cotton doesn’t come across as an enthusiastic Trump supporter, an observation that Tom didn’t really deny. Here is the seven-minute video:

What is interesting about all of this is Trump’s reaction. He tweeted:

I find it revealing that Trump went out of his way to praise an appearance that included nothing very positive about Trump. That suggests–I speculate–that Trump has considerable interest in the qualities that Cotton could bring to his ticket. With all due respect to Joni Ernst, of whom I am a fan, one would have to place a lot of value on her gender to put her on an equal footing with Tom Cotton as a potential vice president.

It is easy to understand why Trump would want to ally himself with Senator Cotton’s ability, foreign policy and intelligence credibility, youth, and reputation for seriousness and probity. Whether Cotton would want to associate himself so closely with Donald Trump is another question, but a place on a national ticket is hard to turn down.

Trump’s Star of David tweet, a dissenting view

Posted: 04 Jul 2016 12:27 PM PDT

(Paul Mirengoff)A friend and long-time reader disagrees with my post about Donald Trump’s Star of David tweet. I thought the tweet displayed incompetence; my friend (and he is not alone) sets forth a darker explanation:

Having independently ascertained on Saturday that the graphic Trump tweeted out had originated at least as early as June 22 on a web forum apparently dedicated to — to put it mildly — “politically incorrect” homemade images, I would suggest an alternative (and considerably less innocent) explanation as to how “realDonaldTrump” came to cast that particular offensive bit of bread upon the waters.

I went to the aforementioned site on Saturday, having learned of it and wanting to see for myself if the origins of the Trump graphic was indeed to be found there, and was greeted right off the bat with a more recent graphic, featuring a picture of the late Elie Weisel, with the caption “Ding, Dong, the Kike is Dead!”

See, I’m not as inclined as some to make excuses for the repulsive man that the GOP seems prepared to nominate for President. I don’t myself think that the Clinton/Star of David graphic just “migrated” into the Twittersphere, at which point some clueless Trump lackey found it, and passed it along to whatever further clueless Trump lackey happened to then be in control of Trump’s twitter handle. Trump, et al. are not, to my mind, entitled to that much benefit of the doubt.

Rather, my working assumption is that many of the persons directly associated with Trump’s “campaign” — if what Trump is engaged in at the moment can in any sense be called a “campaign” — are the persons who make a habit of frequenting white supremacist/neo-Nazi sites in search of the latest memes that their dimwitted boss can use to appeal to the misogynist, racist, Jew-hating troglodytes that seem now to constitute a plurality that calls itself the Republican party.

Is Donald Trump himself a misogynist, racist, Jew-hating troglodyte? Heavens no. I would surmise, in complete seriousness, that there is not enough substance to that shallow, self-absorbed cartoon of a man even to BE a misogynist, racist, or an anti-Semite. Perversely, for Trump to be a misogynist, a racist or an anti-Semite would actually require him a measure of introspection (albeit, in a warped form) that he rather obviously lacks. Rather, the world begins and ends with Donald Trump. Nothing, and no one else, even exists.

That said — and I suppose this is my only point — this unstable, repugnant charlatan certainly seems to be surrounded any number of people who, while they might not be honest enough to say out loud, “Ding, Dong, the Kike is Dead,” do in fact think in such terms. They now contaminate the Republican party.

I note that you will find that some of them have even commented on your Power Line post on the matter.

Again, I’m not inclined to make excuses for such a thing, although I suppose reasonable minds can disagree. I just find it to be unfortunate if “Clinton derangement syndrome” drives otherwise sensible, sober, and responsible men to make any sort of excuse for what we’re seeing, or rationalize it away.

Keep the Gov’t Away from Your Grill (Updated)

Posted: 04 Jul 2016 10:29 AM PDT

(Steven Hayward)Not sure whether I shared this Remy video back in 2003 when it came out, but it’s worth running again on this July 4, as a healthy reminder to annoy liberals everywhere by grilling your beef rare, drinking domestic beer (from a can—bonus points), waving the flag, and enjoying fireworks. (more…)

Randy Barnett on the Declaration

Posted: 04 Jul 2016 09:45 AM PDT

(Steven Hayward)Barnett cover copyRandy Barnett, currently professor of law at Georgetown Law School, is one of the most important constitutionalists today. His latest book, Our Republican Constitution: Securing the Liberty and Sovereignty of We the People, will have a long shelf life as an important treatise on constitutional originalism. Barnett is all the more interesting for having come to his interest in constitutional law indirectly. As he explained in a previous book (Restoring the Lost Constitution), he began his academic career in practical legal fields like tax law, with little interest in constitutional law until by degrees he came to see how modern legal doctrine was perverting the substance of the Constitution.

Today in the Washington Post’s Volokh Conspiracy subsite Barnett has a great piece drawn from the second chapter of his book about the centrality of the Declaration of Independence for understanding the Constitution—a proposition that is often controverted or denied even by conservatives. Beyond the argument about natural right and consent in the famous second paragraph, Barnett understands clearly the important of “one people” in the first paragraph, and the importance of the list of specific grievances against the king in the bulk of the Declaration that too many people skip over or do not give enough weight.

The whole thing is worth reading, but here’s one highlight:

The Americans had to allege more than mere violations of rights. They had to allege nothing short of a criminal conspiracy to violate their rights systematically. Hence the Declaration’s famous reference to “a long train of abuses and usurpations” and the list that followed. In some cases, these specific complaints account for provisions eventually included in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

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