Tony Blankley

Beyond the little matters of either deflation or hyper-inflation, Hamas broke its ceasefire with Israel, and Israel started defending herself again last week. Muslims worldwide and our many anti-semitic European friends are crying out for Israel to show "restraint."

Nobody cares what lame duck Bush says about this anymore, but the whole angry world awaits the first presidential utterance of Barack H. Obama on the matter of putting the Jews in their place. Will he speak for all the Jew haters in Europe and the Middle East -- or will he speak as every American president since Harry Truman has, and defend Israel's right to exist and militarily protect itself when its civilians are attacked by yet more fanatic, Islamist bombs and rockets?

Down the road a piece from Gaza, the Pakistani and Indian fanatics in the subcontinent are gearing up for another of their regular flirtations with nuclear annihilation. As I write, the Pakistanis and Indians are rushing troops up to their mutual border -- but, of course, hope to avoid war. Unless they have backed down by Jan. 20 at noon, stopping war while not antagonizing either of those needed allies will fall to Obama and his vastly experienced Secretary of State (who once rode foreign elephants with Chelsea -- so is superbly equipped to manage Hindu/Muslim fanaticism).

And, oh, by the way, the Chinese are talking of building their first aircraft carrier to compete with our blue water navy.

To add to the burdens of our young president elect, reports from around the world suggest that the instinct to protect local economies is growing, thus putting more pressure on free trade. While strong arguments can be made in individual trade cases, history is unambiguous about the result of increased protectionism during a period of world economic contraction.

Economically beggaring thy neighbor is a sure path to depression. Contrary to Obama's prior words and union allies's desires, he fails to champion world trade at the serious risk of repeating Herbert Hoover's catastrophic Smoot-Hawley protectionist mistake.

With history before Obama, I think of Shakespeare's young King Harry -- Henry V, the duties of fateful war falling on his inexperienced shoulders, the chorus early recites:

"For now sits Expectations in the air, and hides a sword from hilts unto the point With crowns imperial. Crowns and coronets, Promised to Harry and his followers."

Let us hope that the inexperienced Obama -- now with crowns and coronets and followers -- rises to his duty as young Harry did six centuries ago.

Tony Blankley

Tony Blankley, a conservative author and commentator who served as press secretary to Newt Gingrich during the 1990s, when Republicans took control of Congress, died Sunday January 8, 2012. He was 63.

Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.

In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.

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