Obama vs. Obama
April 13, 2011 10:28 P.M.
By Victor Davis Hanson
The president gave the sort of scare speech he not long ago warned against, and blasted the income-tax rates he not long ago agreed were necessary — in a context in which he has just presented a budget with a $1.6 trillion deficit of the sort he now says is unsustainable, and has warned about recklessly voting against raising the debt ceiling in a fashion that he himself had once done, in a larger landscape in which he had once damned attacking Middle East countries in optional wars, Guantanamo, renditions, tribunals, preventative detention, intercepts, wiretaps, Predators, and leaving troops in Iraq, and then embraced or expanded all that and more (this list is infinite and includes everything from drilling to campaign financing to earmarks).
These weird about-faces raise interesting questions that transcend the current politics of the deficit:
a) Has Obama in his past careers never been called to account and so reached a point where simply being Obama means that we are not supposed to apply standards of accuracy, memory, and consistency to him in the way we do to all others?
b) Or does an absent-minded Obama carelessly make up things up ad hoc as he goes along, forgetting what he said earlier, but secure that his hope-and-change delivery of the moment will so mesmerize the audience that no one will remember or care if at times he ends up saying exactly the opposite of what he had said earlier?
c) Or is he so blatantly partisan a politician that he has no principles at all and knowingly says things that are aimed at appealing to 51 percent of the public at any given moment, and therefore will always change with public opinion?
d) Or is he so cynical that he understands campaign rhetoric has nothing to do with actual governance, and so he is allowed to say something that he knows in advance that he is not bound to follow?
e) Or is he so bored with the trying job that he feels no responsibility to offer reliable, consistent governance, and so rashly throws things out and then hastens back to the more enjoyable PR aspects of the office?
Breaking News 17:29 Bus catc-
An airplane parked at a gate at Ben Gurion Airport.
Photo by: Ariel Jerozolimski
'Iran says it has stopped fueling European aircraft'
Tehran's state-run paper quotes Iranian VP as saying move was retaliation for refusal to fuel Iranian planes; follows sanctions on imports.
TEHRAN - Iran has stopped providing fuel to European aircraft in retaliation for their refusal to fuel Iranian aircraft, Iran's state-run newspaper quoted a senior official as saying on Wednesday.
"In a retaliatory move, we have stopped providing fuel to European aircraft," said first Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi, the daily reported.
Report: US agreement with European oil firms impacting Iran Air
Countries deny they've stopped refueling Iranian planes
Last year, US President Barack Obama signed into law far-reaching new sanctions on Iran that targeted the country's fuel imports, punishing any company worldwide that exports gasoline or other refined petroleum products to Iran.
Reports said Iranian planes had been denied fuel in Germany, Britain and a Gulf Arab state.
Click here for full Jpost coverage of the Iranian threat
Iran, at loggerheads with the West over its nuclear program, has been hit by international sanctions over its uranium enrichment activities, which the West fears are part of a plan to build a nuclear bomb. Tehran denies the charge.
Iran had warned European countries in 2010 that it would take action if some Western countries continued to refuse to supply fuel for Iranian planes.
The US legislation did not make clear whether its new sanctions were intended to require firms to refuse to refuel Iranian aircraft at airports in third countries.
Iran is a crude oil producer and a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). But it lacks refining capacity to meet its demand because of international sanctions and has for a long time imported 40 percent of its gasoline needs.
The Islamic state announced in 2010 that it had started exporting the fuel.
Syrian Website: Security Apparatuses 'Cleansed' Villages In Banias District
After days of armed clashes, a closure was imposed on the city of Banias – communication lines and electricity were cut off and food shortages were reported.
A Syrian website said that security clashes conducted "cleansing" in several villages in Banias district.
In addition, prominent opposition activists, including Faez Sara, George Sabra, and Ahmad Ma'atouq, were arrested.
It should be noted that several of the activists were recently summoned for a dialogue with the regime.
Syrian human rights activists called on the regime to stop the violence and to set up an independent committee to investigate the events.
The Damascus Declaration organization called on Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa to impose sanctions on the Syrian regime.
Sources: Syria-news.com, Al-Watan, Syria, Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, April 13, 2011; All4syria.info; Nidaasyria.org, April 11, 2011
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