Patterico's Pontifications


Putin “Orders” U.S. Fighter Planes Out of Syria, Bombs non-ISIS Opposition

Filed under: General — JVW @ 1:31 pm

[guest post by JVW]

As we know, our lead-from-behind President has happily left the mess in Syria (a mess that he partly inherited but largely exacerbated with his own fecklessness) to our new and staunch ally Russia. Now we hear from Fox News that Russia is demanding that U.S. planes stop flying in Syrian airspace.

According to the Jerusalem Post, U.S. officials are said to be ignoring the request, but given the general weakness exhibited by the Obama-Kerry axis, and given their desperation to wash their hands of the whole mess, would it surprise any of us to discover that within a week or so we are no longer conducting flying missions over Syria?

And then just a few hours ago Russia began bombing Syrian opposition parties in the northern part of the state, an area where there are not known to be any ISIS-affiliated parties. In other words, Russia has just made very clear that their top priority is to protect Bashar al-Assad against all parties who would oppose his despotic rule, not just those of the Islamic State. As if delighting in the humiliation of the world’s only remaining superpower (for now), Vladimir Putin has ordered this bombing a mere two days after Barack Obama said this at the United Nations:

Let’s remember how this started. Assad reacted to peaceful protests by escalating repression and killing that, in turn, created the environment for the current strife. And so Assad and his allies cannot simply pacify the broad majority of a population who have been brutalized by chemical weapons and indiscriminate bombing. Yes, realism dictates that compromise will be required to end the fighting and ultimately stamp out ISIL. But realism also requires a managed transition away from Assad and to a new leader, and an inclusive government that recognizes there must be an end to this chaos so that the Syrian people can begin to rebuild.

You can practically hear the chuckling at the Kremlin. Barack Obama will leave office in January 2017 and Bashar al-Assad will still be riding high in Damascus.


Liberal Writer Jonathan Capehart: I Defend Planned Parenthood But Draw The Line At Watching Those Icky Videos

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:06 am

[guest post by Dana]

Jonathan Capehart, political writer at the Washington Post and regular guest on MSNBC, admitted that although he can’t stomach watching the Planned Parenthood videos, he nonetheless supports Planned Parenthood:

Capehart said he couldn’t watch them because “there are some things where I just have to draw the line.”

“I would say, I haven’t seen the videos,” Capehart said on Morning Joe. “The discussion of the videos is disturbing enough.”

“Is that why you haven’t watched them?” fill-in host Nicolle Wallace asked. “You just feel like you have enough information?”

“There are some things where I just have to draw the line, things that I can deal with as a human being,” Capehart said. “I cannot get to the point, though, where I say that Planned Parenthood should be completely defunded. They do so many other things, providing health care to women.”

Capehart added a woman tweeted at him that she was still alive thanks to Planned Parenthood. The BlazeTV’s Amy Holmes told Capehart he should watch the videos, “as we’re discussing this issue,” to decide for himself if he could abide the conduct being discussed.

“We are on the same page on that issue,” he said. “What I’m saying is I then can’t go the next step, like a lot of the Planned Parenthood opponents, and say that Planned Parenthood should be completely defunded.”

If it’s just tissue and blood, what’s the big deal about watching the videos? Wouldn’t a “professional” journalist want to be as fully informed as possible before taking a public stand on an issue?

As I noted last night on Patterico’s post, Gregg Cunningham, founder of the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, makes the point when discussing David Daleiden of CMP and the release of the Planned Parenthood videos: “What he has managed to accomplish is to shift the terms of the debate away from choice to a visualization of what is being chosen.”

If you’re going to choose to defend something, it’s good to know precisely what it is that you are defending. Especially in matters of life and death. Courage and honesty, Capehart, courage and honesty.


UPDATE BY PATTERICO: It is always such a delight when I wake up wanting to convey an idea, turn on my computer, and see it already expressed (and powerfully so) by Dana. I add this update only to express my agreement that the “visualization of what is being chosen” is what is central about this discussion. There is debate online about whether the video I described last night of a 17-week-old baby (estimated age) put in a metal bowl to expire was an abortion or not. It doesn’t matter to the larger debate. People can now see what a 17-week-old baby looks like — not just in images or ultrasounds, but after delivery, as it moves around. It looks like a baby. It may not be viable, but it is not “tissue.” It’s a baby. That reality scares a lot of people who don’t want the public to know the truth.

The only other thing I would like to do this morning is link Mollie Hemingway’s guide to the Planned Parenthood videos. In it, she makes a great point: “Planned Parenthood, contra the video, claims to only recoup fixed costs in sale of human organs. They’ve never explained why negotiations would be taking place if that were true.” That is a devastating point that the leftist defenders of Planned Parenthood like Michael Hiltzik do not even try to answer.

UPDATE x2: Thanks to Simon J. for the link to Mollie Hemingway.

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