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Commentary by Tony Blankley

Most Recent Releases

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November 25, 2009

Afghan Rebuttal and Surrebuttal on the Right By Tony Blankley

Two noteworthy responses to my column last week ("An Exit Strategy To Die For") deserve my reply. In the online magazine Commentary, Max Boot, one of the most respected foreign-policy voices on the right, explicitly dissented from the central premise of my column.

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November 18, 2009

An Exit Strategy To Die For By Tony Blankley

In the past few days, the White House has made it clear that the president wants specific exit strategies for all his Afghan war options.

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November 11, 2009

Hillary in 2012? By Tony Blankley

I write this week from New Orleans, where I am participating in the Bipartisan Policy Center's Inaugural Political Summit, organized by Tom Daschle, Howard Baker and Bob Dole and hosted by Mary Matalin and James Carville.

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November 4, 2009

A Curious Lack of Curiosity Over Intelligence Outrage By Tony Blankley

Not so long ago, there was a furious fight among different tribes in the White House, CIA and State and Defense departments over the correct war-fighting strategy. The coin of the realm back then was intelligence. Intelligence that pointed in the right policy direction was cherry-picked and shown to the public; covert players connected to undesirable conclusions were outed or disparaged. This fight for the hearts and minds of Washington opinion shapers was fought out on the battlefields of The Washington Post and The New York Times -- and from them to the networks and news outlets across the country and around the world.

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October 28, 2009

GOP Must Not Vote 'Present' on Our Future By Tony Blankley

A growing percentage of those Americans who oppose President Barack Obama believe the president is testing the envelope of acceptable domestic, constitutional and foreign policies. Staggering deficits measured in the trillions, unemployment measured almost in double digits and a weakening dollar measured in ever fewer ounces of gold are creating an economic crisis that is testing America's historic optimism and faith in a brighter future.

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October 21, 2009

The World Won't Wait On Washington Indecision By Tony Blankley

On three fronts -- South Korean trade, Ukrainian/Russian diplomacy and Afghan war fighting -- the Obama administration is being increasingly pressured by unfolding events to shed ideology and rationalizations and come quickly to a realistic analysis of world events and their consequences. In each of these cases, in the absence of very prompt United States policy decisions and actions, we shall incur long-term irreversible economic, geopolitical or national security harm. I will discuss the Afghan war decision in a future column.

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October 14, 2009

Washington Is Nuts By Tony Blankley

Want to hear a real laugher? Despite the current disharmony in politics, there's one policy on which all of Washington agrees. Republicans and Democrats, House and Senate, president and Congress all agree that after last fall's financial crisis, the federal government has to regulate the financial industry more closely to protect our economy from risk of systemic financial collapse.

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October 7, 2009

Cherry-picking Intelligence ... Again By Tony Blankley

Al-Qaida is becoming the weapons of mass destruction of the Obama administration's war in Afghanistan. Or, to be more precise, it is a reverse WMD. For the George W. Bush administration, the likely presence of WMD in Iraq was a major justification for going to war. For Vice President Joe Biden and some senior Obama White House staff members (we do not know the position of the president yet), the alleged weakness and ineffectiveness of al-Qaida is sufficient justification for ending our major ground troop presence in Afghanistan.

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September 30, 2009

Cut and Walk From Afghanistan? By Tony Blankley

The gist of Gen. Stanley McChrystal's analysis that presumably will be presented to President Barack Obama is: If 1) you and Congress fully resource the effort (troops, materiel and civilian aid) and 2) if we get much better at coordinating all our assets -- Defense and State departments, the U.S. Agency for International Development, intelligence, contractors, NATO and others -- then 3) there is a better than even chance of success in Afghanistan, which will take 4) between five and seven more years.

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September 23, 2009

End the Coarsening of Civic Discourse By Tony Blankley

As the town hall meetings on health care started in early August, the Democratic Party's talking points accused the attending citizens of being "demonstrators hired by K Street lobbyists." Then they started calling them a "mob." Getting into the spirit of his party, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called those who oppose Obamacare "evil." Then House Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer called the dissenters "un-American." For good measure, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused them of being Nazis.

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September 16, 2009

Administration Downsizes Our Diplomatic Muscle By Tony Blankley

With one-sixth of the Obama administration's term of office complete, last week it revealed its profound commitment to an unprecedented policy of eschewing the exercise of great-power diplomacy -- and indeed of being willing to consciously accept humiliation -- in the hope of gaining future advantage from talking with hostile but weaker nations.

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September 9, 2009

Impending Washington Deal on Health Care By Tony Blankley

As the politicians who support the president's health care plans escape back into Washington from America -- and as the politicians who oppose the president's health care plans leave their safe redoubt in the heartland and go once more behind the lines into the hostile territory of the Federal Triangle -- only one thing is certain: We don't know the end of this story.

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September 2, 2009

Waterboarding Policy and Consequences By Tony Blankley

"President George W. Bush kept us safe from further terrorist attacks." Few presidential claims have been less persuasive to the public than that. Yet after Sept. 11, most Americans thought, "It's not a question of whether, but when." We would have been grateful if we had known at the time that there would be no further attacks while Bush was president.

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August 26, 2009

Command Decision By Tony Blankley

On May 27, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson had telephone conversations about Vietnam with McGeorge Bundy, his national security adviser, and Sen. Richard Russell, chairman of the Armed Services Committee. First, to Bundy, he said: "It just worries the hell out of me. I don't see what we can ever hope to get out of there. ... I don't think that we can fight them 10,000 miles away from home and ever get anywhere. ... I don't think it's worth fighting for, and I don't think we can get out. It's just the biggest damn mess I ever saw. ... What the hell is Vietnam worth to me? ... What is it worth to this country?"

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August 19, 2009

Finally, Change We Can Believe In By Tony Blankley

Those of us who are self-appointed advocates -- who expend our efforts trying to persuade a few more people to our political point of view -- must sit back in slack-jawed wonder when the great American public makes one of its great roars, as we all have been hearing in town hall meetings across the country.

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August 12, 2009

Empower the Local Afghan Tribal Chiefs By Tony Blankley

I have talked with soldiers from Afghanistan -- both American and British, both in the ranks and field-grade officers -- in an effort at making sense of what we are doing there. The White House and Pentagon publicly say they are reassessing policy in Afghanistan. It is well that they should. So far, both means and goals are confused.

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August 5, 2009

Health Politics Quagmire By Tony Blankley

The president's health care initiative is vulnerable to defeat (and the high esteem in which the public generally has held him is in jeopardy) because of unforced errors on his part deriving from the emerging legislation's failing to carry out his stated policy and because of his political and policy responses to that problem.

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July 29, 2009

A Pocketful of Miracles By Tony Blankley

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whatever her other capacities, demonstrated last week that she is a master at the poetic art of haiku -- the Japanese poem form that encapsulates in three or fewer lines of 17 or fewer syllables a larger thought or image.

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July 22, 2009

Beware of Comprehensive Health Care Reform By Tony Blankley

I was listening to National Public Radio's morning "news" Monday on the way to work, during which the newsperson read the apparently "factual" statement that the United States is the only developed country that does not provide "comprehensive" health care coverage.

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July 15, 2009

'Freeing Tibet' By Tony Blankley

As I cruise around the Greek Isles for a few weeks, I want to recommend a truly remarkable book for your summer reading, "Freeing Tibet:50 Years of Struggle, Resilience, and Hope," by my great friend John Roberts and his wife, Elizabeth Roberts.