The House Select Committee’s report on the lethal attack by Muslim terrorists on the US mission in Benghazi on 9/11/12, now released, is a damning indictment of the Obama administration, exposing its mendacity, incompetence, and callousness.
The whole document is a must read.
Everything in it needs to become common knowledge.
We select a section that seem to us particularly interesting and yet have seen no mention of elsewhere.
The report is titled:
Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi June 29, 2016
Betrayal in Benghazi: A Dereliction of Duty
We quote from pages 52 – 55:
Right around 8:00 p.m. Eastern time [on the night of the attack], Tripoli DCM (now Acting Chief of Mission) Greg Hicks spoke by phone with Secretary Clinton and her aides, telling them in no uncertain terms that it had been a terrorist attack and that the “Innocence of Muslims” YouTube video was a “non-event” in Libya …
A State Department “Call Sheet” stamped with the 11 September 2012 date states clearly as well that “Armed extremists attacked U.S. Mission Benghazi on September 11, setting fire to the Principal Officer’s Residence and killing at least one [of the] American mission staff, Information Management Officer Sean Smith … ”
Further, Secretary Clinton was personally in contact with foreign leaders, including Libyan General National Congress President Mohammed Yousef el-Magariaf and Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Mohamed Qandil. At 6:49 p.m. Eastern time the night of 11 September, Clinton was on the telephone with Magariaf, discussing the attack and frankly discussing with him the Ansar al-Shariah claim of responsibility for it.
Nevertheless, Secretary Clinton spoke with President Obama around 10 p.m. Eastern Time, and shortly thereafter (at 10:08 p.m.) issued a formal State Department statement that blamed the attack on the YouTube video. The statement read, in part: “Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet.” This State Department statement was coordinated with the White House. “Per Ben [Rhodes’] email below, this should be the USG comment for the night” …
Then comes a fact that seems to have been overlooked by commentators, but which makes it absolutely clear that the video story was concocted as a deliberate lie to mislead the public:
The cover-up in fact had begun even earlier, kicked off apparently while the battle was still raging in Benghazi, by a White House attempt to “reach out to U-tube to advise ramifications of the posting of the Pastor Jon Video”, referring to a video by Oregon-based Pastor Jon Courson, entitled “God vs Allah”.
The administration had already (by 9:11 p.m. Eastern Time, 11 September/ 3:11 a.m. Benghazi Time, 12 September) decided to blame an online video for the attack, but hadn’t quite settled on which video.
Ponder that. They hadn’t “quite settled” what video they would claim was responsible for provoking the attack in Benghazi!
Again, there was no question that Secretary Clinton knew it was an Islamic terror attack: she’d emailed her daughter Chelsea at 9:12 p.m. Eastern Time to tell her that an “Al Qaeda-like group” was responsible.
As the administration response to the Benghazi attack was taking shape, the one question never specifically asked by anyone seems to be about where Hillary Clinton, [Defense Secretary] Leon Panetta, General David Petraeus and President Barack Obama actually were throughout the night of 11-12 September 2012. In 2014, former national security spokesman Tommy Vietor told Fox News’ Bret Baier that President Obama was not in the Situation Room that night, but somewhere else in the White House. But aside from hints that emerge from various timelines and emails pried years after the fact from government databases, we still don’t know for sure where any of them, especially the President, were that night, or what they were doing.
The next morning, on 12 September, President Obama did appear and spoke in the White House Rose Garden about the Benghazi attack, saying “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.” Nevertheless, he refused to call the Benghazi attack forthrightly a terror attack, a pattern that would persist for weeks. 113 That same day, CBS’s Steve Kroft asked the president directly, “Mr. President, this morning you went out of your way to avoid the use of the word “terrorism” in connection with the Libya attack. Do you believe that this was a terrorist attack?” And Obama refused to answer the question directly, saying instead, “Well, it’s too early to know exactly how this came about, what group was involved, but obviously it was an attack on Americans.”
CBS sat on this exchange, refusing to air it even after the infamous moment in the 16 October presidential debate between Obama and Governor Mitt Romney. At that time, moderator Candy Crowley interjected to wrongly say that Obama had called the Benghazi attack an act of terror on 12 September. Then, on the afternoon of 12 September 2012, Clinton spoke by telephone with Egyptian Prime Minister Qandil. According to the official State Department record of that call (obtained by Judicial Watch), Clinton clearly told him, “We know that the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack — not a protest.” After PM Qandil replied back to her in a redacted segment, Clinton added, “Your [sic] not kidding. Based on the information we saw today we believe the group that claimed responsibility for this was affiliated with al Qaeda.”
Despite knowing that the attack at Benghazi was a pre-planned Islamic terror attack by a group affiliated with al-Qa’eda, the Obama administration decided to lie about it and tell the American people that the attack was the result of a video. Statements over the following days from Jay Carney, the White House spokesman, and from Clinton herself continued to push the narrative that the attacks were because of the YouTube video. On 14 September, Clinton attended the transfer of remains ceremony for those killed in Benghazi at Andrews Air Force Base. According to handwritten notes that Charles Woods, father of Tyrone Woods, kept, Clinton told him, “We are going to have the filmmaker arrested who was responsible for the death of your son.” …
She said the same to the mother of Sean Smith, whose coffin was also being carried behind her as she spoke.
And on 15 September, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the filmmaker who produced “Innocence of Muslims”, was duly arrested in California, accused of violating his probation, and ultimately sentenced to one year in jail on unrelated charges. This looks to many like a clear case of official U.S. government submission to the Islamic Law on slander.
It was precisely that.
Of course the actual events in Libya were the most atrocious part of the story. They were caused by the foreign policy of President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Neither of whom gave a damn for the hell that broke out in Benghazi that night, for the suffering and death of their ambassador, or of the men who died trying to protect him and the US mission.
Obama and Hillary Clinton cared only to save their own political reputations and stay in power. They deserve no power. Their reputations should be mud for all time.
For us, the arguments against Britain’s membership of the European Union are strongly persuasive. They are political arguments: for British self-determination; for the continuation of the nation state as a good in itself; for throwing off the burden of dictatorship by corrupt bureaucrats.
But what of the economic arguments? Is it better for Britain to remain in the EU or to leave? Is it better for the world economy for Britain to be in or out?
George Freidman, who founded the private intelligence firm Stratfor, and is internationally recognized as an authority on world affairs, writes at Mauldin Economics:
In looking at Friday’s market decline, it is clear that the investment community was surprised at the outcome of the referendum in the U.K. What is most surprising is that they were surprised. There were two competing views of the EU. One view regarded the European Union as essential to British economic well-being. The other saw the European Union as a failing institution, and saw Britain being pulled down if it remained.
The European Union has been caught in long-term stagnation. Eight years after the financial crisis it is still unable to break out of it. In addition, a large swath of Europe, especially in the south, is in depression with extremely high unemployment numbers. An argument could be made that these problems will be solved in the long run and that Britain should be part of the solution for its own sake. The counterargument is that if the problems had been soluble they would have been solved years ago.
For a financial community, there is a built-in desire for predictability. It can make money in good or bad markets and economies. It has trouble making money in uncertainty. Therefore, the financial community was inherently biased toward Britain remaining in the EU because it gave them predictability. There was a subconscious assumption that everyone had the same bias toward maintaining the status quo. This was not just the view of the global financial community. It was one shared with other elites – political, journalistic, academic and the rest.
Someone I know, who has many friends in Britain, told me that she didn’t know anyone who favored a British exit. That was true. As the graduate of an elite college she is in touch with similar people around the world. This enclosure has profound social indications to consider, but in this case it created a psychological barrier to anticipating what was coming. When everyone you know thinks an idea is rubbish, it is hard to imagine that there is a majority out there that you haven’t met that doesn’t share your views.
There was also a sense of contempt for the opponents. The leaders, like UKIP leader Nigel Farage, were odd from the elite point of view. Their rhetoric was unseemly. And their followers by and large did not come from the places in London where the elite did. Their views were not the liberal, transnational views of the supporters of the EU. They led much narrower, harder lives and did not know the world as the pro-EU people did. So they were discounted. There was an expectation that the elite, who had governed Britain for so long, were dealing with an annoyance, rather than a peaceful rising against them. Thus, in spite of the polls indicating the election would be extremely close, the “remain” supporters could not believe they would lose.
The reporters of leading British media were talking to their European and American counterparts. The politicians were doing the same. And the financial community is on the phone daily with colleagues around the world.
The challenge that was posed in the U.K. referendum is present in many countries around the world, albeit in different forms.
What has become universal is the dismissive attitudes of the elite to their challengers.It is difficult for the elite to take seriously that the less educated, the less sophisticated and the less successful would take control of the situation. The French Bourbons and the Russian Romanovs had similar contempt for the crowds in the streets. They dismissed their lack of understanding and inability to act – right to the moment they burst into the palaces.
The analogy should not be overdone but also should not be dismissed. The distance between what I will call the technocratic elite and the increasingly displaced lower-middle and even middle class is becoming one of the major characteristics of our time. This elite did not expect “leave” to win because it was clear to them that the EU would work itself out. They didn’t know anyone who disagreed with them – a measure of how far out of touch they had become with the real world. And above all, they were dismissive of the kind of people who led their opponents.
Not understanding their own isolation and insularity; not grasping the different world view of “leave” supporters or that they couldn’t care less if the financial institutions of the City moved to Frankfurt; not grasping the contempt in which they were held by so many, the elite believed that “leave” could not win. …
In the end, the financial decline on Friday resulted from the lack of imagination of the elite. And it is that lack of imagination that led them to believe that the current situation could continue. That lack of imagination, the fact that the elite had no idea of what was happening beyond their circle of acquaintances, is a far greater crisis in the West than whether Britain is in the EU or even if the EU survives.
We are living in a social divide so deep that serious people of good will and a certain class have never met anyone who wants to leave the EU or who supports blocking Muslim immigration or perhaps even who will vote for Donald Trump. …
No one had the right to believe that this couldn’t happen. No one should believe that it will be confined to Britain. No one should believe that it won’t happen again. The days when the elite could assert that the EU is going to be just fine in the face of evidence to the contrary are over.
This new wave in politics, this force arising directly from the “silent majority”, is transforming the political scene not only in Europe but throughout the West.
As it is a movement that favors capitalism, it will bring greater prosperity to greater numbers of individuals if it continues to succeed. The next victory needs to be the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States.
The government of the United States was intended by the Founding Fathers to be the servant of the people. But it has become the master of the people. The tyrannical master of the people.
And it is not only the statist, collectivist, Democratic administrations that have exercised and hardened the tyranny. Republicans, who oppose tyranny in principle, have done it too.
This is from PJ Media by Michael Walsh:
It was during the first Nixon administration that the hideous monstrosity of the Environmental Protection Agency came into being by executive order, along with its ugly twin, the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Seemingly innocuous and well-intentioned at the time, both agencies have metastasized, their original missions completed and now forever on the prowl for something else to meddle with. They’re both unconstitutional, of course, but what’s even worse is that they’ve turned into rogue agencies, issuing edicts, orders and regulations largely devoid of congressional scrutiny – pure instruments of executive power, with none to gainsay them. …
This week a young rancher in Wyoming, Andy Johnson, won a battle for private property rights against one of the bureaucratic entities that strikes fear in the hearts of farmers and ranchers nationwide, the Environmental Protection Agency. …
Johnson fought back against a mandate from the EPA to dismantle a pond that he had built on his own land with the required state permits. Fines totaling $16 million were imposed before they were finally overturned in the wake of his court victory. …
[He had] obtained a state permit before building the stock pond in 2012 on his sprawling nine-acre farm for a small herd of livestock. [Yet] not long after construction, the EPA threatened Johnson with civil and criminal penalties – including the threat of a $37,500-a-day fine – claiming he needed the agency’s permission before building the 40-by-300 foot pond, which is filled by a natural stream. … You can read all about the Johnson case, which ought to outrage every real American, here.
And another case:
To get an idea of just how obnoxious and intrusive these do-gooder agencies have become, get a load of this from Lou Ann Rieley, who owns a farm in Delaware:
A few years ago we received a notice that there was suspicious material piled behind our commercial poultry houses that looked like it may be illegally piled manure. Airplane surveillance photos showed large piles of material and had to be investigated by the powers-that-be. We got a letter informing us that inspectors would be coming on our farm and we could not refuse to extend our hospitality to them. We complied and they discovered, as we had told them, it was piles of dirt. Our sons were practicing moving dirt with the new front-end loader. After having gained entrance to our property they insisted on being granted complete access to every part of the farm even though there were no violations.
I looked outside one day to see two men that I did not recognize poking around our barn area. I watched them for a few minutes then went outside to question what they were doing. They informed me they were from the SPCA and had received an anonymous tip that someone in the area had a horse that was limping and it might be us. I told them there was none that I was aware of but they could look at the horses if they wished. They inspected the horses and found nothing wrong.
I asked who had made the complaint but was denied the information … I quoted the 4th Amendment to the Constitution and my right to be secure from unreasonable searches. Needless to say, that did not go over well and the investigators began to look for other things that could be violations of animal welfare since I dared to question their authority. I asked again who made the complaint that instigated their investigation and they told me that I could never know unless I was charged with something and went to court. I demanded that they charge me so I could have my day in court but they refused since they could find no violations, but not before threatening my property. These men demanded my vet records, which by law they had no right to access. It did not matter, they were the voice of government authority and I had to comply … or else.
… Faceless bureaucrats with guns arriving one fine day in order to investigate a citizen who is not even under suspicion. The Constitution doesn’t matter to them, nor do legalistic protestations, nor simple human decency. No … agents from EPA or OSHA or any other federal agency with a SWAT team (which is most of them) can simply make demands on citizens in the name of “regulations”.
This is the inevitable result of ceding representative government to cabals of empowered clerks. Recall that while Republicans talk a good game about “limited government”, in fact they’re almost as big proponents of Big Government as the Democrats, and promises to the contrary are just a ruse to sucker the rubes into voting for the junior wing of the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party, so we all can pretend to believe in democracy.
But democracy is null and void in the face of faceless tyranny like the EPA, which cannot reform itself, and will never stop until it is put out of business, dismantled and its buildings pulled down around its ears.
The IRS not only penalizes conservative organizations and assists leftists, its also seizes large sums of money belonging to innocent people and keeps it.
This is from the Daily Signal, by Melissa Quinn:
For more than four years, Maryland dairy farmer Randy Sowers has been fighting the federal government, asking it to right what many say was a wrong.
In Feb. 2012, two federal agents told Sowers, who owns South Mountain Creamery in Frederick, Md. that the Internal Revenue Service [IRS] was seizing more than $60,000 from his farm’s bank account under a subset of civil forfeiture laws governing cash transactions.
According to the IRS, Sowers had committed structuring violations. Structuring is the act of making consistent cash deposits or withdrawals of under $10,000 to avoid government reporting requirements.
But the dairy farmer didn’t know he was doing anything wrong, and because Sowers and his wife sold milk at local farmer’s markets — where customers paid primarily in cash — they frequently made cash deposits into the business’s bank account.
Sowers and his wife tried to fight the government to get their money back, but ultimately decided to settle.
The IRS returned $33,436 to the Sowers and kept $29,500.
On Wednesday, Sowers and his lawyer, Robert Johnson of the Institute for Justice, will appear before a panel of lawmakers on the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee to detail Sowers’ lengthy battle with the federal government and discuss broader issues with how the IRS is using civil forfeiture.
“One of the main issues that’s going to come out of this hearing is the IRS still is holding tens of millions of dollars that it seized from people that it wouldn’t have seized under its policies today,” Johnson told The Daily Signal. “Those people deserve to get their money back, and Randy Sowers deserves to get his money back.” …
Civil forfeiture and structuring laws were put in place to curb drug trafficking and money laundering. However, in recent years, the government has taken money and property from innocent property owners who were never charged with a crime and were unaware they were breaking the law. …
In the last two years, the IRS and Justice Department changed their internal policies regarding structuring, allowing the agencies to pursue structuring cases only in instances where the money stems from criminal activity. Under the policy changes, a number of business owners, including Sowers, wouldn’t have had their money taken.
So a small beginning has been made to curb the arrogant powers of the IRS.
There’s still a long way to go to restore – or initiate? – government of the people, by the people, for the people.
Mark Steyn talks about bad things in a recently published (April 25, 2016) video: environmentalism, Islam, state-created art.
Well worth the 27+ minutes it takes to hear it through.
We like the last few minutes best, starting at about 24.40 when he talks about how lucky we are to be living in a warm period.
Too late! 14
Paul Weston of Liberty GB deplores the election of Sadiq Khan, a blatant supporter of Islamic supremacy and the terrorist tactics of the jihadis, as Mayor of London.
What can you do?
By the waters of the Thames sit down and weep.
It’s too late to save Britain.
We are bombarded with comments and emails telling us that we are wrong to support Donald Trump.
Millions are voting for him. He is the Republican nominee for the presidency. Yet most articles about him in the conservative media are emotionally hostile.
Breitbart is an exception.
A. J. Delgado writes at Breitbart:
America’s bullies – the sneering, “we know better than you” establishment classes – have made many cower in silence rather than proclaim that Trump is a tremendous presidential candidate and has earned their support.
It is a replay of the worst aspects of high school peer-pressure, about what’s OK and what isn’t, based on selfish interests and prejudices.
Well, enough of that. Trump is already changing America for the better – and is encouraging us to boldly stand up for our beliefs about what’s best for our nation and best for our fellow Americans.
So let’s get right to it. Shifting America back on course requires Donald Trump as the Republican nominee. Not only is he the only Republican candidate who could win the general election, but he is the only choice Republican voters should consider (and should consider themselves lucky to have on their side).
The author gives 20 good reasons for choosing Donald Trump.
Here are some of them:
His business accomplishments. Shocker! Imagine having a president who has actually built and created things! Imagine having a president with a proven track record as an enormously successful businessman. But, silly me – why have that when we can have, for instance, a first-term senator, career-politician who’s never even passed any significant legislation or a governor whom, despite some laudable accomplishments, most of the nation, including Republicans, can’t stomach?
He’s pro-women. In the plot to take down Trump, one of the first tactics tried was to cast him as anti-women. But Trump has worked with many peers and sparred against many rivals – male and female alike – and thus actually shows he treats women as equals (e.g., Yes, he joked about Carly Fiorina – he also joked about Rand Paul. Get it?). Or are we, as women, demanding to be coddled and spared the same treatment as the gents? …
A man of sound morals. For those who judge a man’s character based on whether he called someone a “loser” during a silly Twitter feud, well, there is no helping your stupidity so stop reading this. The rest of us, however, know to look at a man’s actions and his record in life. What is Trump’s? For one, he’s known for treating his workers well. Second, is there no ugly scandal or brush with the law – he seems to lead a fairly straight-arrow life. Then there’s his family life. Two divorces? Sure. Marriages sometimes don’t work out. Ask Newt Gingrich or even Ronald Reagan himself. He’s on friendly terms with both ex-wives, though. What does that tell you? And his children routinely express what a loving, supportive father he’s been. Point me to another businessman of Trump’s money with four adult children, all of whom have stayed away from scandal and disgrace despite growing up in the spotlight. We’d be hard pressed to find one – meaning, Trump clearly did something right. Heck, forget the “Art of the Deal” — Trump should write the “Art of Parenting”. …
His policies are spot-on, particularly immigration. For brevity, this article is not meant to discuss the nuances of Trump’s proposed policies and positions. But he’s right on pretty much every position he espouses, first and foremost that of immigration, the most critical issue facing America.
How about taxes? Trump is the only one willing to take on the hedge-fund managers and blast their ridiculously unfair tax rate. It’s the ideal position – someone with a conservative tax plan but who realizes attacking the hedge-funders’ sweet deal doesn’t make one a “liberal” – and simply shows an individual with an astute understanding of finance and a genuine sense of fairness.
How about a dedication to veterans? Check!
A strong but sensible foreign policy? Check!
Negotiation skills. Presidents have the benefit of being surrounded by highly talented experts in their respective fields – it’s the entire basis for the Cabinet appointments. But, what’s the one area on which a president is on his own? Negotiations. When our leader walks into an international forum, or that one-on-one meeting with the British PM, there is no adviser that can speak for him. It’s the one time the president sinks or swims on his own merits. As such, a stern – even arrogant — president with negotiating expertise is of paramount importance. Governors have keen negotiating skills, sure – so do CEO’s. Trump is so good at it, though, he – literally – wrote the ‘bible’ on it.
Many Latinos love him. … The media keeps insisting Latinos despise Trump. Except, we don’t. In fact, many of us love him. Myriam Wichter, the Columbian immigrant from the recent Las Vegas Trump rally, is not an anomaly. Hang-onto-your-horses for this whopper of a “revelation”: America’s Latinos have the same wants, needs, and concerns as other Americans! Our priorities are the same as “Anglos”: jobs, healthcare, and so on! A truly novel concept!
And here are some more comments made in the course of the article which we like:
The more the powers-that-be try to take Trump down with breathless: “Can you believe he said ____?!” the more the American public shrugs and says: “Eh, sorry, still love him” or, worse yet, as seems to be the case lately: “Hey, actually, we like him even more now! I’m glad someone finally said ___!”
Attempt after attempt on ‘Teflon Trump’ slides right off him and instead backfires and blows up in their collective faces. …
It’s make or break time – and drastic times call for, well, not drastic measures but certainly something different. …
Yes, Trump is different. Guess what? That’s a good thing. His ideas – e.g., a sound immigration policy, returning manufacturing jobs to America, negotiating better trade deals – are not at all radical, but do go against the Washington status-quo. You see, we’re supposed to select another perfectly malleable politician – a Republican not unlike a Democrat – who won’t shake things up too much while in office. Same ol’, same ol’. And you, little person, you are supposed to vote for more of the same and like it. But the American public has reached a tipping point – we’d rather gouge out our eyes than select another career politician or Washington insider.
An exaggeration that, no doubt, but it reflects the mood of those who support the man.
Read it all here.
We had hoped that if Britain leaves the European Union after the referendum to be held on June 23, it would have a chance of saving itself from the Muslim conquest of Europe.
It was a forlorn hope. Britain is already lost to Islam.
Sadiq Khan, a Muslim lawmaker from Britain’s opposition Labour Party, is the strong favourite to win London’s mayoral election on Thursday after a bitter contest marked by religious tensions and accusations of racism.
Polls show Khan, the son of a bus driver, is as much as 20 percentage points ahead of rival Conservative Zac Goldsmith in the race to run one of the world’s top financial centres. If he wins, he will succeed current Conservative mayor Boris Johnson to become the first Muslim to head a major western capital.
London’s population of 8.6 million is among the most cosmopolitan in the world and it is rare for identity politics to enter British campaigning.
Yet Goldsmith, with the support of Prime Minister David Cameron, has for weeks focussed on Khan’s faith and past appearances alongside radical Muslim speakers, accusing him of giving “platform, oxygen and cover” to extremists.* …
It is the political influence that comes with the post, the second-largest direct electoral mandate of any politician in Europe, that is perhaps most at stake.
“The soft power of the role is very important,” said Tony Travers a professor at the London School of Economics. “The mandate of a city as big as London gives the mayor a voice and authority which goes well beyond that formal mandate.”
Polling shows neither Khan, 45, nor Goldsmith, 41, is likely to slip easily into the shoes of the incumbent Johnson, whose outsized personality was widely recognised from regular TV appearances before he took office.
Johnson’s globe trotting star turns as London’s trade envoy have made him famous, not only boosting the city’s international profile but also making “Boris” one of the most influential voices in the upcoming EU referendum.
The capital of Great Britain will be handed over to Islam largely by ignorant voters who have no understanding of what is at stake:
Around a third of people couldn’t even name the two mayoral candidates, and knowledge of their policies was even worse, said Laurence Stellings, director at polling firm Populus.
This is a tragedy for Britain and for the whole of Western civilization.
* Stand f0r Peace, a British research institute, reported one year ago on May 1, 2015, in a paper titled: Counter-Extremism Guide to the 2015 Election:
Sadiq Khan – the shadow Justice Secretary. In 2013, Khan … was listed as a speaker at the Muslim Brotherhood’s Global Peace and Unity conference. Other speakers included Yasir Qadhi, who claims the Holocaust is a hoax; Jamal Badawi, a Muslim Brotherhood activist who describes suicide bombers as “freedom fighters”; and Yusuf Estes, who advises husbands to beat their wives. Khan is a prominent supporter and “friend” of Babar Ahmad, a British Islamist convicted on terrorism charges by a U.S. court in 2014.
It is more than likely now that Donald Trump will be the Republican Party’s nominee in the presidential election this November.
It is therefore very likely that the Republican platform will be what he wants it to be. And many Republicans, especially the go-along-to-get-along pillars of the Grand Old Party, most prominently its leaders in Congress, do not like what he wants. They repudiate him and his ideas. They say he is unfaithful to conservative principles and will alter long-standing Republican policies. But if their choice is between changing principles and policies to those of Trump or breaking the Party asunder by thwarting the will of the millions of voters he attracts, they will accept – are slowly coming round to accepting – Trump and his vision for America. (While probably still planning to knock it into a more familiar and acceptable shape.)
What do his conservative Republican critics object to in particular?
In an article hostile to Donald Trump, but accepting that he is almost certain to be the Republican nominee, Linda Chavez writes at Townhall:
Trump represents a repudiation of the Republican Party’s commitment to smaller government, free trade and an internationalist foreign policy.
Let’s consider these commitments one by one, and assess how far Trump is likely to change them, and how bad the change would be.
Smaller government is certainly a cherished principle of conservative Republicanism. We list it among our core conservative ideals, along with individual freedom, a market economy, and strong defense. Regretfully we admit that government is not likely ever again to be actually small, but does Trump not say anything that suggests he would reduce the hugely overblown bureaucracy oppressing Americans now? He does. He says he will lower taxes. Lower taxes must mean some shrinking of government. And that’s probably the most any conservative Republican could do.
It’s on free trade that we have a difference of opinion with Trump. He has indicated that he would match tariff barriers with tariff barriers. We think that’s counter-productive. But it’s not enough to induce us to call Trump a wrecker of American prosperity. In fact, most of his economic thinking is likely to increase American prosperity very considerably. He would stop foreign aid unless America got something back for it. He would make those countries that want American military protection contribute to the cost of it. And he has plans for job creation which we’re inclined to trust because, as an extremely successful businessman, he has done it.
As for the Republican “internationalist foreign policy” – we’re coming to that.
Here are some points from Charles Krauthammer’s syndicated column on Trump’s recent foreign policy speech. Much as we respect Charles Krauthammer, on this rare occasion we disagree with him.
On the Republican side … foreign policy has been the subject of furious debate. To which Donald Trump has contributed significantly, much of it off-the-cuff, contradictory and confused. Hence his foreign policy speech on Wednesday. It was meant to make him appear consistent, serious and presidential. …
Its major theme, announced right at the top [was]: America First. Classically populist and invariably popular, it is nonetheless quite fraught. On the one hand, it can be meaningless — isn’t every president trying to advance American interests? …
On the other hand, America First does have a history. In 1940, when Britain was fighting for its life and Churchill was begging for U.S. help, it was the name of the group most virulently opposed to U.S. intervention. It disbanded — totally discredited — four days after Pearl Harbor. …
The irony is … it is the underlying theme of [Obama’s] foreign policy — which Trump constantly denounces as a series of disasters. Obama, like Trump, is animated by the view that we are overextended and overinvested abroad. …
Both the left and right have a long history of advocating American retreat and retrenchment. The difference is that liberals want to come home because they think we are not good enough for the world. Conservatives want to wash their hands of the world because they think the world is not good enough for us.
That’s nicely put! Our disagreements will come below.
For Obama, we are morally unworthy to act as world hegemon. Our hands are not clean. He’s gone abroad confessing our various sins — everything from the Iranian coup of 1953 to our unkind treatment of Castro’s Cuba to the ultimate blot, Hiroshima, a penitential visit to which Obama is currently considering.
Trump would be rightly appalled by such a self-indicting trip. His foreign policy stems from a proud nationalism that believes that these recalcitrant tribes and nations are unworthy of American expenditures of blood and treasure.
At least Krauthammer calls it “a proud nationalism”. Linda Chavez, in her article, likens Trump’s nationalism to disreputable [?] European nationalist groups which are better described as tribal. She seems to forget that the United States has for centuries been a melting-pot, and the American nation has been – until very recently under Obama – the least tribal in the world. And Trump’s “nationalism” is better described as patriotism. That’s what an American’s “proud nationalism” really is.
This has been the underlying view of conservative isolationism … It is not without its attractions. Trump’s version, however, is inconsistent and often contradictory. After all, he pledged to bring stability to the Middle East. How do you do that without presence, risk and expenditures (financial and military)? He attacked Obama for letting Iran become a “great power.” But doesn’t resisting that automatically imply engagement?
More incoherent still is Trump’s insistence on being unpredictable. An asset perhaps in real estate deals, but in a Hobbesian world American allies rely on American consistency, often as a matter of life or death. Yet Trump excoriated the Obama-Clinton foreign policy for losing the trust of our allies precisely because of its capriciousness. The tilt toward Iran. The red line in Syria. Canceling the Eastern European missile defense. Abandoning Hosni Mubarak.
Trump’s scripted, telepromptered speech was intended to finally clarify his foreign policy. It produced instead a jumble. The basic principle seems to be this: Continue the inexorable Obama-Clinton retreat, though for reasons of national self-interest, rather than of national self-doubt. And except when, with studied inconsistency, he decides otherwise.
Is Trump’s patriotism a “version of isolationism”? Is it “inconsistent and often contradictory”? By “unpredictable” did he mean what Krauthammer is taking his words to mean?
What did Trump actually say?
We quote his speech in part (find all of it here):
America first will be the major and overriding theme of my administration. But to chart our path forward, we must first briefly take a look back. We have a lot to be proud of.
In the 1940s we saved the world. The greatest generation beat back the Nazis and Japanese imperialists. Then we saved the world again. This time, from totalitarianism and communism. The Cold War lasted for decades but, guess what, we won and we won big. …
Does he regret those American involvements? Not at all. He is proud of them.
Unfortunately, after the Cold War our foreign policy veered badly off course. We failed to develop a new vision for a new time. In fact, as time went on, our foreign policy began to make less and less sense. … We went from mistakes in Iraq to Egypt to Libya, to President Obama’s line in the sand in Syria. Each of these actions have helped to throw the region into chaos and gave ISIS the space it needs to grow and prosper. Very bad. It all began with a dangerous idea that we could make western democracies out of countries that had no experience or interests in becoming a western democracy.
With that we could not agree more strongly. It is not possible to turn states like Iraq and Afghanistan – Arab states, Islamic states – into Western style democracies.
And as for his comment on Obama’s actions – they have been “unpredictable” in that they make no logical sense. Krauthammer chooses them as examples of unpredictability to condemn Trump’s recommendation of it, when in fact Trump means something entirely different – as we shall see.
We tore up what institutions they had and then were surprised at what we unleashed. Civil war, religious fanaticism, thousands of Americans and just killed be lives, lives, lives wasted. Horribly wasted. Many trillions of dollars were lost as a result. The vacuum was created that ISIS would fill. Iran, too, would rush in and fill that void much to their really unjust enrichment.
They have benefited so much, so sadly, for us. Our foreign policy is a complete and total disaster. No vision. No purpose. No direction. No strategy.
Trump goes on to “identify weaknesses in our foreign policy” and to say how he would fix them. Among them (they are worth reading in full) is this:
We’ve had a president who dislikes our friends and bows to our enemies, something that we’ve never seen before in the history of our country. He negotiated a disastrous deal with Iran, and then we watched them ignore its terms even before the ink was dry. Iran cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon, cannot be allowed. Remember that, cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. And under a Trump administration, will never, ever be allowed to have that nuclear weapon …
At the end of his analysis and outline of his intentions he promises:
This will all change when I become president.
To our friends and allies, I say America is going to be strong again. America is going to be reliable again. It’s going to be a great and reliable ally again. It’s going to be a friend again. We’re going to finally have a coherent foreign policy based upon American interests and the shared interests of our allies. …
Does that sound isolationist?
We need a long-term plan to halt the spread and reach of radical Islam.Containing the spread of radical Islam must be a major foreign policy goal of the United States and indeed the world. Events may require the use of military force, but it’s also a philosophical struggle, like our long struggle in the Cold War.
Absolutely right! And no other politician, as far as we can recall, has said it before.
He goes on to speak of “working very closely with our allies in the Muslim world”, which is one of the few points on which we disagree. There can be no such thing as an American ally in the Muslim world, precisely because “the philosophical struggle” prohibits it. Islam is ideologically opposed to the West.
… And then there’s ISIS. I have a simple message for them. Their days are numbered. I won’t tell them where and I won’t tell them how. We must as a nation be more unpredictable. We are totally predictable. We tell everything. We’re sending troops. We tell them. We’re sending something else. We have a news conference. We have to be unpredictable. And we have to be unpredictable starting now. But they’re going to be gone. ISIS will be gone if I’m elected president. And they’ll be gone quickly. They will be gone very, very quickly.
So that is what Trump means by “unpredicatble”. A commander-in-chief does not announce to his country’s enemy just when its army will stop fighting and when he will withdraw his troops – as Obama has done. It is a military absurdity!
He goes on to say “we have to rebuild our military and our economy”.
The Russians and Chinese have rapidly expanded their military capability, but look at what’s happened to us. Our nuclear weapons arsenal, our ultimate deterrent, has been allowed to atrophy and is desperately in need of modernization and renewal. And it has to happen immediately. Our active duty armed forces have shrunk from 2 million in 1991 to about 1.3 million today. The Navy has shrunk from over 500 ships to 272 ships during this same period of time. The Air Force is about one-third smaller than 1991. Pilots flying B-52s in combat missions today. These planes are older than virtually everybody in this room.
And what are we doing about this? President Obama has proposed a 2017 defense budget that in real dollars, cuts nearly 25 percent from what we were spending in 2011. Our military is depleted and we’re asking our generals and military leaders to worry about global warming.
We will spend what we need to rebuild our military. It is the cheapest, single investment we can make. We will develop, build and purchase the best equipment known to mankind. Our military dominance must be unquestioned, and I mean unquestioned, by anybody and everybody.
Does that sound “isolationist”?
But we will look for savings and spend our money wisely. In this time of mounting debt, right now we have so much debt that nobody even knows how to address the problem. But I do. No one dollar can be wasted. Not one single dollar can we waste. We’re also going to have to change our trade, immigration and economic policies to make our economy strong again. And to put Americans first again. …
But, he says …
I believe an easing of tensions, and improved relations with Russia from a position of strength only is possible, absolutely possible. Common sense says this cycle, this horrible cycle of hostility must end and ideally will end soon. Good for both countries.
Some say the Russians won’t be reasonable. I intend to find out. If we can’t make a deal under my administration, a deal that’s great — not good, great — for America, but also good for Russia, then we will quickly walk from the table. It’s as simple as that. We’re going to find out.
Fixing our relations with China is another important step — and really toward creating an even more prosperous period of time. China respects strength and by letting them take advantage of us economically, which they are doing like never before, we have lost all of their respect.
We have a massive trade deficit with China, a deficit that we have to find a way quickly, and I mean quickly, to balance. A strong and smart America is an America that will find a better friend in China, better than we have right now. Look at what China is doing in the South China Sea. They’re not supposed to be doing it. …
To be militarily strong again, and at the same time try to negotiate better relations with an aggressive Russia and China – is that “contradictory” or is it speaking softly while carrying a big stick?
I will not hesitate to deploy military force when there is no alternative. But if America fights, it must only fight to win. …
Our power will be used if others do not play by the rules. In other words, if they do not treat us fairly. Our friends and enemies must know that if I draw a line in the sand, I will enforce that line in the sand. Believe me. …
My goal is to establish a foreign policy that will endure for several generations. That’s why I also look and have to look for talented experts with approaches and practical ideas … We have to look to new people because many of the old people frankly don’t know what they’re doing …
No country has ever prospered that failed to put its own interests first. Both our friends and our enemies put their countries above ours and we, while being fair to them, must start doing the same. We will no longer surrender this country or its people to the false song of globalism. The nation-state remains the true foundation for happiness and harmony. I am skeptical of international unions … And under my administration, we will never enter America into any agreement that reduces our ability to control our own affairs. …
I will view as president the world through the clear lens of American interests. I will be America’s greatest defender and most loyal champion. …
The world is most peaceful and most prosperous when America is strongest. America will continue and continue forever to play the role of peacemaker. We will always help save lives and indeed humanity itself, but to play the role, we must make America strong again. … We have to and we will make America great again.
Where are the alleged “inconsistencies”? Where is the “jumble”. (We urge doubters to read the whole speech and tell us if they find any inconsistencies or contradictions that we have overlooked.)
The speech as a whole could be taken as a manifesto of the new Republicanism – what the Republican Party will stand for under the leadership of Donald Trump. He will take the Party forward, but not in the direction it has long wanted to go. It wanted to go, but did not move. He will make both good and bad decisions, as leaders generally do. But he will make them in the interests of a strong and prosperous America, and that is an America that is good for the world.
The media – Left and Right – declare Donald Trump to be hugely unpopular. Pollsters, asking some unknown question, announce that overwhelming majorities of the American public don’t like Trump and would not vote for him.
Isn’t it then passing strange that tens of thousands of voters fill vast stadiums to overflowing to hear this unpopular man speak – and cheer him to the rafters?
The New York Post reports:
Donald Trump will likely wind up winning the most primary votes of any GOP presidential candidate in modern history …
After convincing victories in Tuesday’s primaries in five East Coast states, Trump has roughly 10.1 million votes, about 200,000 more than Mitt Romney got during the entire 2012 primary campaign.
He won every congressional district in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware, all but six in Connecticut and one in Rhode Island.
And with the primaries ahead — including in populous states such as California, New Jersey and Indiana — [he] should easily break the modern record of 10.8 million held by George W. Bush in 2000 …
But hardly anyone likes him? Very few voters will vote for him in the general election? Most people would rather have, as president of the United States, a physically weak, infamously crooked, deeply dishonest old woman who lived in the White House in the 1990s and took its furnishings and valuables away with her when she had to leave it? And who inspires close to zero enthusiasm? (See here, here, here, here and here.) And whose Party is shrinking? Even as the GOP is growing according to Trump (though the Washington Post denies it).
The Democrats are putting out that the only Republican candidate they fear could beat their corrupt, old, sick candidate is a sentimental bore “awaiting a signal from God” (name of Kasich) who’s won only the state he is governor of. Seriously? How many do they think they’re fooling?
How long will old guard Republicans, the Democratic Party and the media be able to carry on with the fiction that the nasty, corrupt, sick old woman is likely to win the presidency in a race against the powerful, successful, energetic Donald Trump for whom a very large part of the nation is loudly cheering?
We quote the whole article:
If Mitt Romney had given the speech that Donald Trump did today, and if he had followed its strategy during the third presidential debate with Obama on foreign policy, he would have won the 2012 election.
Trump’s themes were straightforward: Make America strong again, put America’s interests first. The Obama-Clinton-Kerry foreign policy has strengthened our enemies, disparaged our allies, and earned us global disrespect. It has led to disasters that include the rise of ISIS and the destabilization of the Middle East. The theme of the Obama-Clinton-Kerry years has been the weakening of America – point Trump made with maximum bite: “If President Obama’s goal had been to weaken America, he could not have done a better job.” And of course the Jeremiah Wright-Billy-Ayers-radical-Barack Obama did set out deliberately to do just that.
Obama’s agenda is American weakness, which leads to losing. Trump’s agenda: we must start winning. There were specifics.
First a rejection of the neo-conservative dream of democratizing the world, and in its place old-fashioned conservatism: limited foreign policy goals and stability, as the framework of peace: “We are getting out of the nation-building business, and instead focusing on creating stability in the world.”
And second, a rejection of liberal internationalism, and a defense of the nation state, in particular this nation state with its unique political culture: “Under a Trump Administration, no American citizen will ever again feel that their needs come second to the citizens of foreign countries. I will view the world through the clear lens of American interests. I will be America’s greatest defender and most loyal champion. We will not apologize for becoming successful again, but will instead embrace the unique heritage that makes us who we are.”
And the (accurate) justification for this nationalism: “The world is most peaceful, and most prosperous, when America is strongest.”
These were reassuring clarifications by Trump about his foreign policy views and should be a step towards satisfying his conservative critics although obviously a speech can also be only that – words to pacify critics. We’ll have to wait and see how he elaborates it further in response to specific events. But this was a very good beginning.
Our only point of criticism: Mitt Romney could not possibly have given such a speech, because Mitt Romney – as far as the American public knows – did not have these ideas.
Trump is saying now what has needed to be said for sixteen years. May he be given the opportunity to put the ideas into practice!