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THE WEIRS TIMES & THE COCHECO TIMES, Thursday, April 12, 2012



by Oliver North Syndicated Columnist

Passover and Easter -- intrin- sically linked in the Jewish and Christian tradi- tions -- are be- ing celebrated this weekend. For observant Jews, Passover commemorates the Hebrews’

liberation from slavery under Egypt’s Pharaoh. For faithful Christians, Easter is a celebration of Jesus’ resurrection from the grave and the fulfillment of a new covenant between God and man. Biblical passages in Exodus 12, Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24 and John 20 describe these his- torical events and the reasons for festivities among people of faith. But this year, these holidays are a time of extraordinary anxiety for Christians and Jews in the Middle East. The Egyptian Pharaohs and Ro-

man emperors are gone. Yet Jews and Christians now living in the region must contend with new lethal threats: the hatred of radi- cal Islamists seizing power from Tunisia to Syria; vicious sectar- ian cleansing; and the prospect of being incinerated by an Ira- nian nuclear weapon. Tragically, all this is being facilitated by the catastrophic incompetence, mal- feasance, naivete and hubris of an American president -- with the complicity of the mainstream media. In the days leading up to this year’s Passover and Easter holi- days, we have seen no fewer than three “leaks” of sensitive informa- tion from the U.S. government about possible Israeli plans to stop the ayatollahs in Iran from building nuclear weapons. Sto- ries in Foreign Policy magazine, Bloomberg News and ABC News -- all sourced to anonymous White House, Pentagon, State Department and congressional officials -- allege that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has consummated a secret mili- tary alliance with the autocratic government in Azerbaijan to use Azeri airfields in the event of an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear sites. When questioned about the stories, White House and State Department spokesmen claim to

have “no information” to confirm the validity of the information. That’s completely disingenuous.

For months, the Obama adminis- tration has been doing everything possible -- overtly and covertly -- to dissuade Israel from launching a pre-emptive attack on Tehran’s nuclear weapons facilities before the U.S. presidential election. In February, The Washington Post claimed that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta believed that an Israeli action likely would take place in April, May or June of this year. During last month’s meeting with President Barack Obama, Netanyahu purportedly was told that the U.S. would not assist in a military strike on Iran and that new appropriations for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system and spare parts for Israeli air force F-15s and F-16s could be “at risk” if Israel were to act unilaterally. Now leaked cables, congressional reports and “ad- ministration sources” describe how such an attack could be con- ducted by prepositioning refueling and search-and-rescue assets at bases in Azerbaijan. These stories are a gift to the rulers in Tehran. The ayatollahs’ atomic bomb

isn’t a singular existential threat to Israel. In Egypt, radical Isla- mists now control Cairo’s parlia- ment and are poised to take power in next month’s presidential elec- tion. Islamist candidates all talk about “renegotiating” or even abrogating the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty. Though Obama professes “steadfast support for Israel,” he and his allies in the press have been mute about re- cent attacks on Israeli civilians from Gaza and Sinai. Islamic militants in the Sinai Desert have blown up the Egyp- tian natural gas pipeline serving Israel and Jordan more than a dozen times in the past year. Last week, a group of armed men pro- fessing “jihad and martyrdom” surrounded and blockaded a Mul- tinational Force and Observers base in Sinai -- sequestering U.S., Spanish and Fijian troops enforc- ing the peace accord. Somehow these events -- and a Passover-eve rocket attack on an Israeli resort in Eilat -- evaded the attention of the mainstream media and offi- cials in Washington. The Jews of Israel and American troops deployed as “peacekeep-

ers” in Sinai aren’t the only ones facing great danger this Passover- Easter season. So, too, is every Christian in the Arab Middle East. Copts unable to flee Egypt are under increasing duress as

their homes, churches and busi- nesses are destroyed. This week, an Egyptian court sentenced a Christian teenager to three years in prison for “blasphemy” and See NORTH on 28


by Thomas Sowell Syndicated Columnist

One of the highly devel- oped talents of President Ba- rack Obama is the ability to say things that are demonstra- bly false, and ma k e t h em s ound no t only plausible but inspiring.

That talent was displayed just

this week when he was asked whether he thought the Supreme Court would uphold ObamaCare as constitutional or strike it down as unconstitutional. He replied: “I’m confident that

the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.” But how unprecedented would it actually be if the Supreme

Court declared a law unconsti- tutional if it was passed by “a strong majority of a democrati- cally elected Congress”? The Supreme Court has been

doing precisely that for 209 years! Nor is it likely that Barack Obama has never heard of it. He has a degree from the Harvard law school and taught consti- tutional law at the University of Chicago law school. In what must be one of the most famous Supreme Court cases in history -- Marbury v. Madison in 1803 -- Chief Justice John Marshall established the principle that the Supreme Court can declare acts of Congress null and void if these acts violate the Constitution. They have been doing so for

more than two centuries. It is the foundation of American con- stitutional law. There is no way that Barack Obama has never heard of it or really believes it to

See SOWELL on 28

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