The Washington Post reports:
Senators left Capitol Hill early Saturday morning without taking action to extend or replace a controversial surveillance program set to expire at month’s end, paralyzed by a debate over the proper balance between civil liberties and national security.
Our tentative answer to the dilemma: As there’s an administration in power that believes government should control our lives, we would vote for civil liberties over national security; if there were an administration that knows it’s first duty is to protect our freedom, we would trust it not to overstep the mark, so we would vote for national security.
And yet …
Trouble is, even if we were so lucky as to get a reasonably trustworthy administration, it could all too easily be replaced by another statist gang such as we have at present.
Readers are invited to give their own views on this difficult conundrum.
This year, June 19 will be the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta.
The chief significance of the document is that it established that nobody, not even the King, is above the law.
In England until then, and in all other kingdoms, the monarch was the law. One man (or woman) had total power over every other person in the realm. The monarch was the only free individual.
The Magna Carta also curbed the power of authorities throughout the land, bringing the first protection of individuals from arbitrary arrest and imprisonment – not all individuals, only the barons whose rebellion against King John had brought him to make concessions to them. In so doing, it paved the way for habeas corpus, which ensures early and open trial for everyone who is taken into custody, though it only became law centuries later in 1679.
The idea that people could live in an ordered society ruled not by a person but by the rule of law, had been conceived and put into practice by the ancient Greeks in their city-states, and in pre-imperial Rome, but had been lost to Europe through the long dark Christian centuries. It meant that peoples of different origins, from nations and tribes of varying customs and traditions, could live together as fellow citizens. It did not matter what country they came from, as long as they would obey the same laws. Or as it has often been put: ius not rus (law not land). It was an idea that made monarchs essentially redundant.
And it was the idea that underlay the creation of the Republic of the United States of America.
And continued to influence American constitutional law.
We quote the first paragraph of an essay by H. D. Hazeltine: The Influence of Magna Carta on American Constitutional Development (1917).
For seven [now eight] centuries Magna Carta has exerted a powerful influence upon constitutional and legal development. During the first four centuries after 1215 this influence was confined to England and the British Isles. With the growth of the British Empire during the last three hundred years, the principles of the Charter have spread to many of the political communities which have derived their constitutional and legal systems from England, and which have owed in the past, or which still owe, allegiance to the mother-country. The earliest, and perhaps the most important phase of this imperial history of Magna Carta is its effect upon the constitutions and laws of the American colonies and of the Federal Union that was established after their War of Independence.
The essay concludes:
The history of Magna Carta in America has a meaning far deeper than the influence of a single constitutional document; for Magna Carta typifies those ideals of law and government which have spread to America and to many other political communities that lie beyond the four seas encircling the island-realm itself. The world-wide diffusion of those ideals of liberty and justice deserves to be studied in its entirety, as a vast historical process which had its beginnings far back in the middle ages, and which has shaped and is still shaping in modern times the institutions of all the political commonwealths that owe their spiritual inheritance to England. The history of the Charter’s influence upon American constitutional development, as one phase of that vaster process, should be illuminating alike to subjects of the Crown and citizens of the Republic. Above all it teaches them that English political and legal ideals lie at the basis of much that is best in American institutions. Those ideals, jealously preserved and guarded by Americans throughout their whole history, still form the vital force in political thought and activity within the Union. As the Americans adapt their institutions to the ever-changing conditions of national and international life, those ideals of liberty and justice, founded upon the Great Charter, will continue to inspire and guide them. The Charter has a future as well as a past in the American commonwealth, for its spirit is inherent in the aspirations of the race.
We can interpret “the race” to mean “the human race” – even if that was not exactly what Mr. Hazeltine himself meant by it.
But are the ideals of liberty and justice still continuing to inspire and guide the people of the United States of America?
Tragically, there are now many reasons to doubt it. At present America has a leader, Barack Obama, who manifests no acceptance of the idea that the law is above him. An attorney general, Eric Holder, has blatantly refused to apply the law equally to people of different ethnicities. Individuals protected by the administration have acted in the interests of the ruling party (Lois Lerner of the IRS – see here and here) or in their own interest (Hillary Clinton – see here), arrogantly defying the law with impunity.
It would take much more than a great document now to restore the Union to the republic of its founders’ intentions.
In the video below, Pat Condell, our fellow atheist, speaks eloquently about the many ways in which Islam is offensive.
The leader of Britain’s Labour Party, Ed Miliband, says he will ban and punish “Islamophobia” if he becomes Prime Minister, which he very well might if his socialist party wins the forthcoming general election. He is saying this in order to woo Muslim voters. Most Muslim votes go to the Labour Party, but some Muslims say that voting at all is wrong because only Allah must govern mankind. Also, Ed Miliband is Jewish. Are the Muslims who go to the polls likely to cast their votes for a Jewish leader?
If he gets into 10 Downing Street and has his Party make it a crime to criticize Islam, what will happen to Pat Condell? We are pretty certain he won’t stop making his videos, speaking freely, and expressing loud and clear the highly moral loathing and fully justified contempt he has for the criminal religion of Muhammad.
Ben Shapiro writes at Breitbart:
On Sunday [April 19, 2015] a migrant ship from Libya carrying 950 people sank in the Mediterranean … The reports of the sunken migrant ship came on the heels of a story just days before that 15 Muslims had thrown 12 Christians overboard on a migrant voyage from Libya.
The problem of migration from Libya springs from the chaos that has filled that country in the wake of the US-led Western invasion of the country – a policy championed first and foremost by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Ably assisted, we like to point out, by her two fellow round-the-cauldron witches. One was Samantha Power, then Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights and First Advocate of Pity, whose doctrine is that the US must intervene wherever she directs it to protect her selected underdogs (only). The second was Susan Rice, then US Ambassador to the UN and Liar-in-Chief for the Obama administration. The Weaving of the Spells was as always overseen from a distance by the Queen of the Witches who reigns in the White House: President-Whisperer Valerie Jarrett.
Clinton pushed regime change in Libya, and pushed it hard. In February 2011, an uprising against then-dictator Muammar Qaddafi broke out; President Obama quickly pushed for sanctions, and the United Nations voted for a no-fly zone above the country. In March, ABC News reported that Obama had signed a presidential finding to send covert aid to the Libyan rebels. In September 2011, Obama called for Qaddafi’s forces to surrender. In October 2011, Hillary visited Tripoli and pledged millions to the Libyan opposition, gushing, “I am proud to stand here on the soil of a free Libya.” Two days later, Qaddafi was sodomized with a knife and then killed; Hillary was caught on camera crowing and laughing, “We came, we saw, he died!”
The Libyan opposition, as it turns out, was honeycombed with terrorists, who promptly threw the country into total chaos. …
Hillary knew about the relationship between terrorist groups and the Libyan opposition and had no plan for what came next – an amazing fact given her own 2008 critique of President Bush’s Iraq invasion along the same lines.
According to The Washington Times:
U.S. intelligence did not support the story that Mrs. Clinton used to sell the war in Libya, mainly that there was an imminent danger of a genocide to be carried out by the Gadhaafi regime. The intelligence community, in fact, had come to the opposite conclusion: that Gadhafi would not risk world outrage by killing civilians en masse even as he tried to crush the rebellion in his country … The Pentagon and a key Democrat so distrusted Mrs. Clinton’s decision-making on Libya that they opened their own secret diplomatic conversations with the Gadhafi regime, going round the State Department.
Obama and Hillary, of course, never bothered to get Congressional authorization for offensive military action in Libya. Then, after terrorists took over the country, they refused security requests from Ambassador Chris Stevens for the American annex in Benghazi, [a failure] ending in the murder of four Americans, including the ambassador, by the terrorists we had helped take over the country.
After Qaddafi’s ouster, the country has turned into a haven for terrorists, from Al Qaeda to ISIS. Instead of facing up to Western responsibility for the chaos in Libya, however … President Obama stood by and said nothing.
Which is precisely what you would expect. Every aspect of the Obama administration’s foreign policy, as helped along by Hillary Clinton, has ended with innocent bodies in its wake. Those floating in the Mediterranean today are no exception.
The same writer, on the same subject, reports and comments in an article at Truth Revolt:
Headless bodies lie in the sand. Above those corpses stand the black-clad minions of ISIS, outlined against the coastline of Libya. This is the second video in three months depicting Islamic terrorists cutting the heads off of Christian captives.
Bodies float in the Mediterranean Sea, face down. Twelve Christian bodies, thrown from a rubber boat by 15 Muslims. Their launch point: Libya.
Approximately 700 more bodies float face down in the Mediterranean, victims of a smuggling operation gone wrong when their rickety craft sunk as it made its way to Italy. Its source location: Libya.
Four American bodies in Benghazi, Libya.
These are the wages of Hillary Clinton’s war.
In June 2006, as then-Senator Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., prepared a run for president, she stated that President George W. Bush had “rushed to war” in Iraq. A few months later, Hillary spoke of her opposition to Bush’s surge in Iraq, stating that it was a “losing strategy.” Iraq, a war for which Hillary voted, had been conducted on the back of flawed intelligence estimates and without a clear plan.
Five years later, Secretary of State Clinton rushed to war … manufacturing evidence to do so, and with no plan whatsoever for victory. According to The Washington Times, Clinton “was the moving force inside the Obama administration to encourage US military intervention to unseat [dictator Moammar Gadhafi] in Libya”. Clinton claimed that if the West did not intervene in Libya, Gadhafi would pursue a genocide against his enemies; in March 2011, she imagined a scenario in which “Benghazi had been overrun, a city of 700,000 people, and tens of thousands of people had been slaughtered, hundreds of thousands had fled. …” That genocide never materialized, nor did the best intelligence estimates support that argument.
Not only that: Hillary also ignored all available evidence suggesting that the Libyan opposition was honeycombed with terrorists.
She ignored Admiral James Stavridis, NATO Supreme Commander for Europe, who admitted “flickers in the intelligence of potential al Qaeda, Hezbollah.” Al-Qaida backed the Libyan uprising. There was a reason that neither Hillary nor President Obama risked going to Congress for approval of the Libyan adventure: they would have been rejected. …
Hillary’s war ended with terrorist chaos in Libya: a full-scale terror takeover of regions of the country including Benghazi, the exile of the legitimate government, a massive refugee crisis growing day-by-day amidst the upheaval. That refugee crisis has grown significantly worse since Hillary’s war.
As Vox.com, a leftist outlet, points out, 1,600 migrants “have drowned in the Mediterranean this year.” Why? Again, according to Vox.com, when Moammar Gadhafi “ruled Libya, his government had an agreement with Italy to try to intercept and turn back ships leaving for Europe. … And in the utter chaos that’s engulfed Libya over the past few years, there’s no government entity really capable of patrolling the Mediterranean.”
Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy has promoted chaos around the world. Nowhere is that better illustrated than in her signal foreign policy legacy, the collapsed state of Libya.
And Daniel Greenfield writes at Front Page:
Obama lied and claimed that his illegal Libyan War was necessary to stop a genocide. There was no genocide, at least until Obama achieved his regime change goals and put Jihadists from Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood in control of Libya.
Ironically the very Jihadists on whose behalf Obama was waging an illegal war from the air were Arabs targeting and murdering his fellow Africans.
“Reports for many months have stated that Libyan rebels have been killing and persecuting black Africans in Libya once areas came under their control. The number of reports highlighting this continues to grow and many images have been shown which show Africans being mutilated and having their bodies abused and mocked by non-black African Libyans. …
So much for Black lives mattering.
On the road between Misrata and Tawergha, rebel slogans like “the brigade for purging slaves, black skin” have supplanted pro-Gadhafi scrawl.
And as with every Obama accomplishment, the situation just keeps getting worse and worse.
One 17-year-old Eritrean named Brahane spoke of his ordeal at the hands of militias and gangs, who he said killed dozens of fellow migrants. “The traffickers took drugs and were always high,” he said. “I saw them spray people with petrol and set fire to them. …
While the media has done its best to wipe away a little factual tidbit, in his speech to Americans, Obama claimed that Benghazi was facing genocide.
If we waited one more day, Benghazi, a city nearly the size of Charlotte, could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.
It’s a lie. It’s a lie that Republicans have miserably failed to call Obama on. But Obama’s actions certainly made it true.
Benghazi did suffer a massacre … of Americans.
Daniel Greenfield writes again at Front Page:
Hundreds of people just died because of Obama and Hillary’s illegal Libyan war.
In particular he is alluding to the hundreds drowned in the Mediterranean, including the Christians who were pushed into the water by Muslims.
The Libyan War was based on a lie about genocide that is turning out to be real as ISIS beheads African Christians captured in Libya, as migrants claw their way abroad boats out of Libya, killing each other along the way, as a civil war between the legal government and the Muslim Brotherhood drags on.
The strange thing about left-wing wars is that we don’t talk about them. … The left has done its best to turn Benghazi into a contemptuous meme and the murder of four Americans into a joke. …
Libya was never paradise, but Obama opted for regime change, while lying about it, and then took no responsibility for the consequences.
The CIA backed Jihadist rebels, allowed Qatar, a state sponsor of terror, to smuggle weapons to terrorists right past NATO, then it made a futile effort to get them back.
Obama did not have a plan for Libya except to let the terrorists win. And the terrorists have won.
Instead of ending the civil war, Obama perpetuated it. Libya is fragmented between a coalition of Al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood Jihadists and what is left of the elected government. …
The administration criticized Egypt for carrying out air strikes against Jihadists who beheaded Coptic Christians, and [Libyan] General Haftar for trying to fight the same Islamic terrorists who murdered four Americans in Benghazi, even though they’re doing what we should be.
The costs of Obama’s Libyan adventure have been high. They include an Al Qaeda franchise nearly capturing Mali and the resulting French intervention. They include the murder of Africans and Christians in Libya. They include an ongoing civil war that shows no signs of ending. And a number of Americans killed along the way …
And yet, … this is the war that never existed. Obama and his people refused to call it a war. The media, which would never have reported on the troubles in Iraq without linking it to the war, doesn’t call it a war or mention that we might have had something to do with what’s going on.
Type in “Iraq War” and you’ll get plenty of results, but Obama’s Libyan bombing campaign is obscurely buried inside the country’s civil war, a development as odd as sandwiching the Iraq War within the Shiite uprising and the ISIS aftermath. And yet there’s a consistent pattern to these cover-ups. [Bill] Clinton’s own bombing campaign in Yugoslavia was likewise buried within a civil war. …
And was surely the most unnecessary war that America has ever fought.
But unlike Yugoslavia, Libya isn’t going away. It’s only getting bloodier. Like Iraq, where the media perpetuated the myth of a successful withdrawal until the genocide began, Libya keeps getting worse.
And sooner or later we’re going to have to talk about it.
Unlike Iraq, there is no one else to blame. And Hillary Clinton can’t shrug it off as Obama’s doing. Not when she was an aggressive champion of intervention.
The false claim of genocide which was used to justify a no-fly zone that served as a cover for regime change came from Hillary Clinton.
The Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff all opposed the war. In a reversal of the usual clichés about warmongers, the Pentagon was highly skeptical and attempted to negotiate a truce with Libya.
Hillary’s State Department rejected a peace venture by the military and forced a war.
For any Republican administration, the fact that an armchair warrior Secretary of State with presidential ambitions had illegally started a war over the objections of the military would be the ultimate story.
Instead it’s the Hillary story that cannot be told.
And yet it would be nice, if in between gushing over her highly scheduled visits to major brand name eateries and photogenic meetings with her own party’s staffers passed off as ordinary folks, someone in the media would ask Hillary why she wanted this war and what it was meant to accomplish.
But no such questions will be asked and no answers will be forthcoming.
The same media that incessantly manufactured Iraq War scandals seems utterly uninterested in the admission of former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, a Clinton loyalist, that the administration had lied … to the American people and that its real goal had been regime change.
An editorial at Investor’s Business Daily deals with the same subject, with similar indignation:
As refugees flood the Mediterranean, Europe is in a crisis. But the issue is not about how many lifeboats to send; it’s the failed state of Libya. Why isn’t Hillary Clinton, the architect of U.S. Libya policy, answering questions?
The European Union is being hit with a refugee crisis of unprecedented proportions as another boat loaded with emigres capsized near the Italian island of Lampedusa on Saturday. Nearly all of its 900 passengers drowned …
The Mediterranean, now known as “a cemetery without graves,” will be crossed by some 500,000 refugees this year, up from about 220,000 last year.
At the same time, a second round of beheadings of Christians by Islamic State terrorists on Libya’s beaches over the weekend drives the point home: Terrorists are on the rise, and a strong base of their operations is in Libya, a failed state that was taken over by a vile menagerie of pirates, slavers and smugglers in the rubble of the toppled Gadhafi regime.
Who’s responsible here? None other than Hillary Clinton, who served as President Obama’s secretary of state during the overthrow of the longtime dictatorship of Muammar Gadhafi in 2011.
And that raises again the valid questions on what really happened in Libya.
At that time, the U.S. was partnering with Europe, chiefly France, in a supposedly easy operation to get rid of the annoying dictator and then watch what the alliance thought would be the flourishing of democracy. It was called “leading from behind.”
The U.S. withdrew support from Gadhafi — who, by the way, had voluntarily renounced his nuclear program in the interest of preserving himself — only to be waylaid by mobs and killed.
Instead of democracy, what flourished was barbarism with absolutely no state emerging from what had been a largely tribal society.
The brazen murder of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans on Sept. 11, 2012, showed what was ahead for the country …
Who let that happen? And who was it who allowed their killers to get away with it with no fear of being hunted down and brought to justice? One suspect sipped on a strawberry frappe in a fancy hotel while being interviewed by the New York Times. He was at ease because he knew nobody was looking for him.
Weapons go unguarded and fall into the hands of terrorists. Islamic radicals destroy ancient cultural treasures [in Mali]. An even more menacing element takes advantage of the U.S. failure to support Egypt by attacking the country on its western flank …
A disaster this complete is the result of foreign policy incompetence on an untold scale, and demands answers from the policymakers behind it. But instead of calling on Clinton to answer questions, the press gives her a pass, and the Obama administration watched approvingly as she destroyed a gigantic cache of emails that might have shed light on what kind of trouble she was opening the country to during her service as secretary of state.
The only point on which we disagree is IBD’s putting it all down to the “incompetence” of Obama and Hillary. Not that we think First Witch Hillary is competent. Hell no!
Our contention is that North Africa and the Middle East are in flames, millions of people are suffering horrible deaths or enslavement or are scattering over sea and land, and worse is yet to come when Iran gets its nukes, because Obama wants the Islamic jihad to triumph.
All that has happened is the result of Obama’s policy, not his mistakes.
Hillary – cold and ruthless and hypocritical – was cluelessly one of his tools. But that fact, far from exonerating her, shows all the more plainly that she is unfit for any government office, let alone the highest in the land.
The Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation is nominally a charitable institution.
We listed some of the “charities” it supports or has supported in our post The great good works and wonky dilemmas of William J. Clinton (April 18, 2015). The list includes a grant to China for its electricity grid, and a few to Ulrainian politicians to “modernize Ukraine”.
Apparently 15% of the hundreds of million that pour into the Foundation are dispersed to such good causes.
According to Wikipedia (see the entry on the Clinton Foundation):
Between 2009 and 2012, the Clinton Foundation raised more than $500 million dollars according to its IRS filings. 15% of that, or $75 million, was spent on charitable activities. More than $25 million was spent on travel expenses. Nearly $110 million went toward employee salaries and benefits.
Investigative reporting on who sends in the money and in return for what favors has been begun, astonishingly, by Left-biased media, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Reuters.
Now a report is needed on what is done with that money.
We don’t have the resources to find out. But even the sort of superficial research that’s within our capability turns up information that cries out for deeper, wider, professional exploration.
The very easily accessed Wikipedia entry on the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative is a window-display of curiosities.
We select a few of them.:
The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) is a non-partisan organization that convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.
Each year, CGI hosts an Annual Meeting in September, scheduled to coincide with the U.N. General Assembly.
At the Annual Meeting, CGI members discuss major global issues, share ideas and knowledge about effective solutions, and form partnerships that enable them to enhance their work.
Each CGI member develops a Commitment to Action – a plan to take specific action to make the world a better place.
Commitments generally fit within one of CGI’s nine tracks:
The Built Environment
Education & Workforce Development
Solar and wind?
Girls & Women
By “Global Health” is meant what? The health of the globe, or the health of all the people on the globe?
A “commitment” to “approaches”?
Response & Resilience
Response to what? Whose resilience?
Commitments must be new, specific, and measurable, but beyond those three criteria, members have wide latitude to determine which actions to take. CGI then monitors the progress and success of these commitments throughout the year.
So there should be lots of reports on the progress and success of the “commitments”.
Funding pledged through commitments does not come through CGI, and is not donated to CGI. Rather, organizations commit to raise and distribute money on their own.
Since 2005, CGI members have made more than 2,300 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of over 400 million people in more than 180 countries.
Throughout the year, CGI helps its members – primarily corporations, NGOs, and government leaders – maximize their efforts to create positive change. CGI is not a grant-making organization. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. As of 2013, CGI members have made more than 2,300 commitments, which have improved the lives of over 400 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $73.5 billion.
So the CGI makes no grants. It does not itself disperse funds. It is for influence peddling. What it does is get powerful and/or celebrated people together once a year to “make commitments”. At the same time they make themselves more powerful and/or more celebrated. For which they reward Bill Clinton by making lavish donations to his Foundation?
In addition,it “helps” those people, “throughout the year”, to “maximize their efforts to create positive change”. When funded and implemented by others – not the Clinton Global Initiative – these “commitments” will be valued at $73.5 billion. Indeed, 2,300 such commitments have already “improved the lives of over 400 million people in more than 180 countries”.
Who are the 400 million people? How have their lives been improved? How do the improvements stem from the “commitments” made at the annual convention organized by the Clinton Global Initiative? .
On June 13 and 14 of 2013, President Clinton hosted the third meeting of CGI America in Chicago, an annual event focused on finding solutions that promote economic recovery in the United States. This working meeting purportedly brought together leaders from the business, foundation, NGO, and government sectors to develop solutions to increase employment, advance access to education and skills development, strengthen energy security, and promote an environment for business growth and innovation.
Were the effects noticed by the people of the United States? Were they noticeable at all?
Responding to increasing interest among business and governments around the world, President Clinton launched CGI International to supplement the Annual Meeting in New York with additional meetings in various regions of the globe.
In December 2008, President Clinton convened the first CGI International meeting in Hong Kong to address local, regional, and global challenges. The focus of the CGI meeting in Asia was on three main areas: education, energy and climate change, and public health. The two-day meeting attracted over 3,000 accredited delegates, a record number for a nongovernmental organization gathering in Asia.
One thing is certain. Bill Clinton is having a whale of a time being important at vast gatherings in many places round the world.
Prominent participants included … thought leaders such as … Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the UN.
We await the Little Red Book of the Thoughts of Ban Ki-moon.
Remember, all this costs the Clintons, the Clinton Foundation, and its Global Initiative nothing. How much the meetings gather in for the Clintons it would be interesting to know.
The CGI does give awards. To whom do they go? For what?
The Clinton Global Citizen Awards are a set of awards which have been given by the Clinton Global Initiative every year since 2007. The awards are given to individuals who, in the opinion of the Clinton Foundation, are “outstanding individuals who exemplify global citizenship through their vision and leadership“.
Past recipients of the award include Mexican business magnate and philanthropist Carlos Slim …
.. who is said to be the richest man in the world …
Moroccan entrepreneur Mohammad Abbad Andaloussi, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Afghan women’s rights activist Suraya Pakzad, and Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernández.
What did they do? Of what did the award consist? If money, how much? And does that money come from CGI itself, or from whom?
As you might expect, struggling against an alleged threat of “climate change” is central to this enormous, planet-wide, big-power enterprise presided over by Bill Clinton, the most important person in the world.
Building on his long term commitment to preserving the environment, President Clinton launched the Clinton Foundation’s Climate Initiative (CCI) in August 2006, with the mission of applying the Foundation’s business-oriented approach to fight against climate change in practical, measurable, and significant ways.”
Recognizing the opportunity to fight climate change in the world’s cities, CCI is working with 40 of the world’s largest cities to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions through a variety of large-scale programs, a purchasing alliance, and measurement tools to track progress and share best practices.
What best practices? We are told that part of this scheme to “help some large cities cut greenhouse gas emissions” is being carried out by “facilitating retrofitting of existing buildings”.
Insulating them against heat loss? Putting solar panels on their roofs? Who is paying?
Five large banks committed $1 billion each to help cities and building owners make energy-saving improvements aimed at lowering energy use and energy costs.
And what was the quid pro quo for the banks? We’d very much like to know.
And to be one of those lucky building owners – do you have to be a friend of the Clintons? Are you obliged to give a large donation to their Foundation?
At the 2007 Clinton Global Initiative, President Clinton announced the 1Sky campaign to accelerate bold federal policy on global warming. The 1Sky campaign supports at least an 80% reduction in climate pollution levels by 2050.
The CGI is going to “accelerate federal policy”? How? Is it perhaps relying on Hillary Clinton being president in 2017 for that?
On May 19, 2009, CCI announced the global Climate Positive Development Program where it will work with the U.S. Green Building Council to promote “climate positive” city growth.
Ah, the Clintons have their fingers in many pies and cookie jars. And they stir many pots.
Now we come to what may be an actual “good cause”, for which yet another initiative – the Clinton Development Initiative (CDI) - has been launched …
… to target the root causes of poverty in Africa and promote sustainable economic growth.
The initiative will invest $100 million over the next 10 years in projects that will improve food security, clean water and sanitation, and quality health care. Right now, these programs are focused in Rwanda and Malawi, but can potentially be expanded to other countries in the future.
What is the Clinton role in this?
Together with the governments of these two countries, CDI has had such successes as helping farmers access fertilizer, disease-resistant seeds, irrigation systems, advanced planting techniques and micro-credit. This assistance has led to a record harvest in eastern Rwanda. CDI has also helped Partners in Health build new health care facilities in Neno, Malawi. In 2007 and 2008, CHDI assisted in the training of thousands of farmers on advanced planting techniques, helped to strengthen the organization, operations and sales of Rwandan coffee manufacturers and Malawian cotton farmers and partnered with local governments in large-scale developments including irrigation, hospital and school projects.
Excellent work. But as far as we can make out, not a cent of Clinton money has been spent on it.
There are many more Initiatives. There are conferences, strategies, the convening of “national thought leaders” to “discuss ways in which individuals, communities, and corporations can contribute to the health of others“. Aims include, f0r instance, getting American children to consume fewer calories; “increasing the access of unbanked populations to starter bank accounts”; establishing a bus system in Rio de Janeiro whereby “four express corridors for articulated buses will connect the whole city”.
Who supplies the buses? Is the company that gets the contract duly grateful? Does it send a check to the Clinton Foundation to prove its gratitude? Or rather, of course, to suppport some good cause?
Still not a cent of Clinton money is said to have been given. We are assured, however, that 15% of $500 million has been spent on “charitable activities”.
If only someone would tell us how much on which.
What the Clintons want us to understand is that without them there are commitments that would not be made, advice that would not be given, thoughts that would not be thought, promotions that would not be promoted, strategies that would not be devised, buses that would not connect parts of cities, farmers that would not use advanced planting techniques.
All that must surely make us feel how small and petty are our efforts to expose the Clintons’ corruption and malfeasance – as petty and pointless as shooting peas at a monument. The Clintons are too big to fail.
For pity’s sake, stop fooling about and elect Hillary Clinton to the presidency so that the Clintons, re-installed in the White House with the furniture and china they stole from it when they had to leave it for a while, can get even richer, be as powerful as anyone could possible get, and do even more good to mankind.
Well, yes, there is global pollution. Whether it warms anything is another question. But the stink of corruption emanating from the Clintons and their Foundation is polluting the atmosphere of the world.
Ed Morrissey at Hot Air reports:
Ukrainian energy mogul Victor Pinchuk has connections to the Clintons that go back almost a decade, and financial connections to the regime in Tehran that go much farther …
Pinchuk owns Interpipe Group, a Cyprus-incorporated manufacturer of seamless pipes used in oil and gas sectors.
Newsweek [reports that it] has seen declarations and documents from Ukraine that show a series of shipments from Interpipe to Iran in 2011 and 2012, including railway parts and products commonly used in the oil and gas sectors. Among a number of high-value invoices for products related to rail or oil and gas, one shipment for $1.8m in May 2012 was for “seamless hot-worked steel pipes for pipelines” and destined for a city near the Caspian Sea. Both the rail and oil and gas sectors are sanctioned by the US, which specifically prohibits any single invoice to the Iranian petrochemical industry worth more than $1m.
In other words, Interpipe should have been slapped with penalties and sanctions for its operations with Iran. Pinchuk’s company has a US subsidiary, which means that US sanctions apply across the entire organization.
It was a clear case of sanctions-busting. So what happened?
The agency for imposing penalties for sanctions violations in these cases … is the State Department. …
Who was in charge at the State Department during this period? None other than Hillary Clinton. …
The person in charge of enforcing sanctions on Iran somehow missed key violations from a man who was pouring millions of dollars into her family foundation.
Between 2009 and 2013, including when Mrs. Clinton was secretary of state, the Clinton Foundation received at least $8.6 million from the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, according to that foundation, which is based in Kiev, Ukraine. …
In 2008, Mr. Pinchuk made a five-year, $29 million commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative, a wing of the foundation that coordinates charitable projects and funding for them but doesn’t handle the money.
The pledge was to fund a program to train future Ukrainian leaders and professionals “to modernize Ukraine,” according to the Clinton Foundation. …
Now there’s a good cause for you if you are searching for one! Modernizing Ukraine! Give, give to stanch your bleeding heart!
Despite all of Pinchuk’s activity with Iran, the State Department apparently took no action against his company or Pinchuk himself. That lack of response finally got the attention of Rep. Steve Stockman last November, before his retirement, who requested that the Department of the Treasury investigate Interpipe. So far, there have been no developments on that front. …
Sniff the air. As the reporter says: “That smells to high heaven.”
And the Pinchuk affair is only one instance of a foreign billionaire purchasing special favors from the present US government and a possible future US government:
There are many powerful people with access to enormous funds who go in for what we might call speculative bribery:
Pinchuk was among an elite few dumping tons of money into the Clinton Foundation … checks worth millions of dollars from company executives, philanthropists, billionaires and foreign organizations, among them … the Saudi Mohammed al-Amoudi and Rilin Enterprises, which is led by Chinese billionaire Wang Wenliang, a member of the Chinese parliament. …
It’s a sort of bet. The donors are willing to wager vast sums on what they consider a fair probability that Hillary will be elected president of the mightiest nation on earth, and then, they expect, their generosity will garner its reward.
With rather less of a chance on their side, however, they are also trusting to the Clinton honor. If their trust is well placed, we would have to expect US foreign policy under the next President Clinton to be bought and pledged already. But the saving disgrace of the Clintons may turn out to be that they have no sense of honor, any more than a sense of honesty. Who would be surprised? The foreign donors might be angry, but if they know anything about the Clintons at all they must know they were making no sure bet.
The Clinton Foundation’s “practice of accepting contributions from foreign countries” is said in the report to be “a major point of contention”. We can see why that may be the case. There was, for instance, a $500,000 check from Algeria “for Haitian earthquake relief”. There was nothing in the world stopping Algeria sending money direct to Haiti for earthquake relief, except that it was more concerned with bribing Hillary Clinton than relieving the victims of a natural disaster.
Saudi Arabia and Norway have each given between $10 million and $25 million to the Clinton Foundation since its inception, according to the organization’s records. …
For what? For Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea to fly about in a private jet? For Hillary to buy support for a presidential campaign run from the Foundation’s HQ?
Well, some of it perhaps. But some of it is also, definitely, for good causes.
On the subject of those lucky causes, what they are, and how good, we posted an article two days ago – The great good works and wonky dilemmas of William J. Clinton, April 18, 2015. Readers can judge for themselves how good they are.
Interested readers can also go to clintonfoundation.0rg/about, where the three Clintons boast:
We believe that the best way to unlock human potential is through the power of creative collaboration. That’s why we build partnerships between businesses, NGOs, governments, and individuals everywhere to work faster, better, and leaner; to find solutions that last; and to transform lives and communities from what they are today to what they can be, tomorrow.
Everywhere we go, we’re trying to work ourselves out of a job. Whether it’s improving global health, increasing opportunity for women and girls, reducing childhood obesity and preventable diseases, creating economic opportunity and growth, or helping communities address the effects of climate change, we keep score by the lives that are saved or improved.
What began as one man’s drive to help people everywhere grew quickly into a foundation committed to helping people realize their full potential. Because the best thing we can do together is give others the chance to live their best life stories.
We’re all in this together.
They’ll take the whole global village. They’ll take what there is to take. In a jolly, communitarian way. (And even individuals can be helped by the Clintons and a bit of foreign money to “work leaner”.) By hook and by crook, the Clintons will realize their full potential. They are living their best life story.
For more about this source of moral sepsis, read here about a new book by Peter Schweizer, titled: Clinton Cash: How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.
Our guess is that the corruption goes far, far deeper than anyone has yet found out, or ever will.
The Left likes to believe – as Obama and Harry Reid often iterate – that it is “on the side of history”.
Is history then stuck with those stale and failed ideas of a Marxian stamp propagated by the likes of Kenneth Galbraith, John Maynard Keynes, or the bone-headed strategies of Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Priven?
Or tending back to the Dark Ages with a resurgence of Islam?
Surely not. A civilization that has put a man on the moon; has invented the computer, the internet, the driverless car; that watches the expansion of the universe; that can replace a faulty human heart with a new one; that has used liberty to become rich, knowledgable, and ever more inventive, is not going to go back to communism or the law of the seventh century desert?
Quo vadis then?
The maliciously lefty and deeply nasty New York Times notices a rise in libertarian opinion in America.
Libertarianism has been touted as the wave of America’s political future for many years, generally with more enthusiasm than evidence. But there are some tangible signs that Americans’ attitudes are in fact moving in that direction.
The NYT goes on to substantiate its claim with figures and a chart.
It defines a libertarian, fairly enough, as “someone who believes that the government is best when it governs least”.
There have been visible shifts in public opinion on a number of issues, ranging from increasing tolerance for same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization on the one hand, to the skepticism over stimulus packages and the health-care overhaul on the other hand, that can be interpreted as a move toward more libertarian views.
The Tea Party movement also has some lineage in libertarian thinking. Although polls suggest that many people who participate in the Tea Party movement have quite socially conservative views, the movement spends little time emphasizing those positions, as compared with economic issues.
The perception that the Tea Party – whose chief issue is the need for fiscal responsibility – has “some lineage in libertarian thinking” is remarkable for that newspaper. It seldom removes its red blindfold long enough to replace it for a short time with blinders. For it to see something that is actually there but not obvious is a lucky moment of illumination worth a cheer or two. The author of the article is Nate Silver. Perhaps he found some cunning way to let that uncongenial revelation slip past editorial oversight.
Or perhaps he and his editors think that libertarian thinking is bad anyway. If we didn’t know that to be the case already, there’s a hint of it in what comes later.
The libertarian opinions, revealed by a CNN poll and quoted in the article, are these:
Some 63 percent of respondents said government was doing too much — up from 61 percent in 2010 and 52 percent in 2008 — while 50 percent said government should not favor any particular set of values, up from 44 percent in 2010 and 41 percent in 2008.
The author, apparently not happy to accept what the poll reveals, comments:
Whether people are as libertarian-minded in practice as they might believe themselves to be when they answer survey questions is another matter. Still, there have been visible shifts in public opinion on a number of issues, ranging from increasing tolerance for same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization on the one hand …”
So a tolerance with which he has sympathy …
… to the skepticism over stimulus packages and the health-care overhaul on the other hand …
So a skepticism he condemns …
… that can be interpreted as a move toward more libertarian views.
How confusing for Nate Silver! Libertarians like some of the things he likes. But they also dislike things that he holds dear.
Well, actually, that is the case with us too.
We welcome the spread of libertarian sentiment.
We too see no reason why marijuana should be illegal.
As for same-sex marriage, we think it is an hilarious farce, but would on no account oppose it. A 12-year old boy once defined marriage for us as “a legal union between two or more things”. Why not more than two? Why not things or beasts as well as humans? If – as the argument goes – they love each other? (Well, we said it’s a farce.)
Where we are strongly with libertarians is on the issue of economic freedom. As our contributing commenter Don L often recommends: accept that the Austrian School is right and allow no government interference whatsoever in economic activity – and abolish the Fed. We also advocate keeping taxes (flat-rated) very low. So low that they cannot sustain a government that does much more than it absolutely has to do – protect the liberty of the people, from outside enemies, and domestic criminals. And enforce the law of contract.
But we too have some quarrels with libertarians.
There are those among them who outrageously condone the corruption of children, even the use of them for pornography “as long as they are willing and are paid for their services”!*
Quite a large number of libertarians are historical revisionists, and some who ridiculously and with evil intent deny that the Holocaust ever happened.**
And most libertarians want America to take no notice of what’s going on in the world beyond its borders, except for trade and vacations. As if ignorance is a protection from a world full of expansionist tyrannies and ideologies.
No. None of that.
But a libertarianism that holds individual freedom as the highest value, and knows that it is only possible under the rule of law; and at the same time is committed to preserving the best of everything America has achieved in the past, is a libertarianism that we can – and do – embrace.
* We cannot link to articles that discuss this. Access to them is “forbidden”.
**Although the article we link to here does endorse what we say that some libertarians deny the Holocaust, it goes too far in criticizing Reason and its sponsors.
Will the myth of Anthropogenic Global Warming be laid to rest?
The solar physicist Willy Soon debunked it recently. The warmists fell upon him like a swarm of hornets. Unable to disprove his science, they poured contempt on the sources of his funding, being possessed of the peculiar theory that if a scientist’s work is funded by government it is moral, but if it is funded by business and industry it is not only immoral but for that very reason invalid. The implication is that a scientist who accepts money from non-government sources is being bought, and will make dishonest findings to suit his backers. Those who accept government money, on the other hand, cannot be similarly charged because the motives of government are always pure as the waters of a mountain spring.
Now comes more evidence against the AGW theory:
This is from Breitbart, by James Delingpole:
A new scientific paper has driven yet another nail into the coffin of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming theory.
The paper – Rethinking the lower bound on aerosol radiative forcing by Bjorn Stevens of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany, published in the American Meteorological Society journal – finds that the effects of aerosols on climate are much smaller than those in almost all the computer models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Aerosols are the minute particles added to the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels (as well as by non-anthropogenic sources, like volcanoes). The reason they are important is that they are so often cited by alarmists to excuse the awkward fact that the world has stubbornly failed to warm at the disastrous rate they predicted it would.
Apparently – or so the excuse goes – these aerosols are masking the true extent of runaway climate change by cancelling out the effects of man-made CO2.
Here, for example, is a NASA expert in 2009:
Using climate models, we estimate that aerosols have masked about 50 percent of the warming that would otherwise have been caused by greenhouse gases trapping heat near the surface of the Earth
Here is a report on a study from another institution – NOAA – with a long track record of ramping up the alarmist cause:
A new study led by the U.S, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows that tiny particles that make their way all the way up into the stratosphere may be offsetting a global rise in temperatures due to carbon emissions.
Aerosols are often used to explain the lack of “global warming” in the cooling period between 1940 and 1970 (when the growth in industrialisation and all that extra man-made CO2 ought to have begun taking effect).
They have also been used in [a] 2011 paper – whose co-authors include one Michael Mann, which gives you an idea of its quality and reliability – for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (PNAS). It claims that the reason there has been a “hiatus” in global warming since 1998 is because of the effect of aerosol emissions. This got one of the BBC’s resident alarmists Richard Black very excited. He wrote it up in an article entitled Global warming lull down to China’s coal growth. (Oddly he forgot to surround it with scare quotes, or finish it with a question mark.)
The new Stevens paper has been described as a “game-changer” by one expert in the field, Nic Lewis.
According to the IPCC’s models, the effect of aerosols on climate could be as much as 4.5 degrees C. But Stevens paper suggests that this is a considerable overestimate and that the reduction they effect on temperature cannot be more than 1.8 degrees C.
This pretty much kills the alarmists’ “the aerosols ate my homework” excuse stone dead. If the cooling effects of aerosols turn out to be much smaller than the IPCC thinks, then what this means is that the rise in global temperatures attributable to man-made CO2 is also much smaller than the alarmists’ computer models acknowledge.
As Andrew Montford comments here:
Jim Hansen, Bob Ward, Kevin Trenberth, Michael Mann and Gavin Schmidt, your climate alarmism just took one helluva beating.
So will the AGW theory be abandoned?
In the light of Bjorn Stevens’s new research, coming on top of other accumulating evidence such as Willy Soon’s, the answer should be yes.
But we think the right answer is, sadly, no. Because it was never expounded just to convince us that we were dangerously (and wickedly) over-heating the planet; it was always to give the would-be controllers of our lives – governments, and projected world-government – an excuse to extend their power over us.
The Daily Caller reports:
The United Nation’s climate chief says that reordering the global economy to fight climate change is the “most difficult” task the international body has ever undertaken.
“This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model, for the first time in human history,” Christiana Figueres, who heads up the U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, told reporters.
“This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for the, at least, 150 years, since the industrial revolution,” Figueres said.
So there you have it.
Terrorism is a method.
It is not an ideology, or a movement, or a conspiracy, or a policy, or an aim.
Its users might be an organized movement that conspires to adopt the tactic; and a state might use it against its own people as a matter of policy. But terrorism itself is simply a method. A tactic.
Terrorism is not hard to define:
Terrorism is the systematic use of violence to create public fear.
As a method of intimidation it is as old as mankind and will surely continue to be used as long as our species continues to exist.
It has been used for various types of causes, such as religious (eg. the Catholic Church with its Inquisition; Protestant powers such as Calvin in Geneva, the Puritans at Salem); commercial and criminal (eg. the Mafia); and political, by rebels, and revolutionaries, and adherents of diverse ideologies.
Whether terrorism is used by a small group like the Weather Underground or the Baader-Meinhof gang; a large group like the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) in Northern Ireland and England, or Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) in Peru; or a state like the Third Reich or the USSR, it is a method of instilling fear into many more people than it can directly attack so they or their rulers will do or not do what the terrorists want done or not done. That is why the attacks need to be random. Though you have done nothing personally to affront the terrorist organization doing its evil deeds in your corner of the world, you must be made to understand that their bomb could be in the bus you take to work or your child takes to school, and so could as easily kill or maim you or your child as anyone else.
The mentality behind terrorism is similar to the mentality of the racist. The users of the method target individuals indiscriminately because they “belong” to a group or class that the terrorists designate their enemy. You are a member of a political party that they oppose. You have a nationality they don’t like. You are a capitalist. You work for the “military-industrial complex”. Or you are one person in a national collective under a despotism that would keep you obedient.
Terrorism punishes the innocent. If a tyrant is killed, it is not terrorism; if his infant children are killed as “collateral damage”, it is.
Can the use of terrorism ever be justified? It is the moral question every terrorist needs to answer for himself. He alone makes the decision to do the deed. It is no excuse that he is obeying others. He – or she – is still responsible even under threat. The exception of course is when – for instance – a person is forcibly strapped into a suicide vest, deposited in a public place, and is detonated without taking any action himself. Islamic terrorists use children in this way.
An argument is sometimes put forward by persons – usually academics – who want, for various and usually disgraceful reasons, to discourage action against this or that terrorist organization, that the number of people who are hurt or killed in a specified period by terrorist action is smaller than the number killed by (eg) car accidents in the same time span. But an accident is by definition nobody’s fault. Because terrorism is a moral question, depending on people making decisions and implementing them, such comparisons are not only invalid but invidious.
What of war? Does that not harm and kill many innocents? Of course. But when war happens, all normal constraints are abandoned and the moral questions are changed. Was Churchill right to have Dresden bombed flat? Was America right to drop nuclear bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima? If more people were saved by these acts which brought war to an end than were hurt and killed by the actions themselves, were they good or were they evil?
The morality of war is open to argument. But clear acts of terrorism can be carried out within wars, and need to be unequivocally condemned. For instance, in World War Two, the Germans massacred all the inhabitants (642), men women and children, of the village of Oradour-sur-Glane on June 10, 1944, in reprisal for one of their officers being captured and held there. It was plainly a “war crime”, and plainly an act of terrorism.
What – it is sometimes asked – of random violence used against a conqueror occupying your country in war? Is that terrorism? And even if it is, is it not justified? Not an easy question to answer. The best one can do to decide the morality of (eg) blowing up a train that is bringing enemy reinforcements into your country but also bearing some of your fellow countrymen, is to ask whether the action would make most of your fellow countrymen feel more safe or more threatened. If the answer is “more safe”, it could be argued that the act was therefore justified. But much depends on what an action is, whom it kills and in what way; on the circumstances of the occupation, and on whether it is oppressive or comparatively benign. In each case, judgment is needed.
Communism and Islam are inherently terrorist ideologies.
Jillian Becker March 18, 2015
(Jillian Becker was director of the London-based Institute for the Study of Terrorism 1985-1990)
Where we part company with Libertarians is over the hugely important matter of defense.
Like them, we want a free market economy, small government and low taxes. And we too hold liberty to be a supreme value.
The article we quote below is by John Mueller and Mark G. Stewart of the libertarian Cato Institute in America. It was published by The Guardian in Britain on February 24, 2015.
Libertarians and The Guardian are not on the same side. Libertarians are for the freedom of the individual. The Guardian is for socialism, statism, big controlling government interfering in every individual life.
But The Guardian is also pro-Islam. And that is what brings these Libertarians and the collectivists of The Guardian together. Not that the Libertarians are pro-Islam. We have observed that, as a group, they know nothing about Islam and don’t want to. They obstinately refuse to learn what’s going on politically in the wider world, believe Americans have no need to take notice of foreign affairs, and should never go to war unless America itself is attacked. To them, the aggression of 9/11 did not qualify as a war-provoking attack. That’s why they want the (badly named but ever more urgently needed) “War on Terror” to be stopped. And that’s what got these two into the columns of The Guardian.
Terrorism Poses No Existential Threat to America. We Must Stop Pretending Otherwise
One of the most unchallenged, zany assertions during the war on terror has been that terrorists present an existential threat to the United States, the modern state and civilization itself. This is important because the overwrought expression, if accepted as valid, could close off evaluation of security efforts. For example, no defense of civil liberties is likely to be terribly effective if people believe the threat from terrorism to be existential.
At long last, President Barack Obama and other top officials are beginning to back away from this absurd position. This much overdue development may not last, however. Extravagant alarmism about the pathological but self-destructiveIslamic State (ISIS) in areas of Syria and Iraq may cause us to backslide.
The notion that international terrorism presents an existential threat was spawned by the traumatized in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. Rudy Giuliani, mayor of New York at the time, recalls that all “security experts” expected “dozens and dozens and multiyears of attacks like this” and, in her book The Dark Side, Jane Mayer observed that “the only certainty shared by virtually the entire American intelligence community” was that “a second wave of even more devastating terrorist attacks on America was imminent”. Duly terrified, US intelligence services were soon imaginatively calculating the number of trained al-Qaida operatives in the United States to be between 2,000 and 5,000.
Also compelling was the extrapolation that, because the 9/11 terrorists were successful with box-cutters, they might well be able to turn out nuclear weapons.
Who on earth said such a silly thing? What was said is that jihadists might become nuclear armed. And in fact the Islamic theocracy of Iran is becoming a nuclear-armed power, and repetitively threatens Israel, America and Europe with destruction. Why don’t these writers know that? Or do they know it and choose to ignore it?
Soon it was being authoritatively proclaimed that atomic terrorists could “destroy civilization as we know it” and that it was likely that a nuclear terrorist attack on the United States would transpire by 2014.
Many a terrorist attack that could have been devastating (how devastating it’s impossible to know) has been averted because sensible people – which category does not include Obama – have worked hard to prevent them, and so far have largely succeeded.
But no, okay, it is not “terrorism” that threatens Western civilization, it is Islam, using the method of terrorism to an unprecedented extent.
“Atomic terrorists” – namely Iran – could destroy civilization as we know it. Especially as atomic war against us will be accompanied by the Islamization of Europe – which these authors are above noticing.
The sneering scorn they pour on the menace makes their arguments all the more inapposite.
No atomic terrorists have yet appeared (al-Qaida’s entire budget in 2001 for research on all weapons of mass destruction totaled less than $4,000), and intelligence has been far better at counting al-Qaida operatives in the country than at finding them.
But the notion that terrorism presents an existential threat has played on. By 2008, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff declared it to be a “significant existential” one – carefully differentiating it, apparently, from all those insignificant existential threats Americans have faced in the past. The bizarre formulation survived into the Obama years. In October 2009, Bruce Riedel, an advisor to the new administration, publicly maintained the al-Qaida threat to the country to be existential.
In 2014, however, things began to change.
In a speech at Harvard in October, Vice President Joseph Biden …
Of all people! A man no one in their right mind would look to for insight, accurate analysis, or the most basic comprehension of what’s happening even if it’s going on under his own nose …
… offered the thought that “we face no existential threat — none — to our way of life or our ultimate security”. After a decent interval of three months, President Barack Obama reiterated this point at a press conference, and then expanded in an interview a few weeks later, adding that the US should not “provide a victory to these terrorist networks by over-inflating their importance and suggesting in some fashion that they are an existential threat to the United States or the world order”. Later, his national security advisor, Susan Rice, echoed the point in a formal speech.
Obama also said that al-Qaida was defeated, when in truth it has grown bigger and has spread further. Obama constantly signals that he loves Islam, so he would say those things. Libertarians ought not to be unaware of that.
And for them to quote Susan Rice, the notorious lie-retailer of the Obama administration, is absurdly ingenuous.
It is astounding that these utterances … appear to mark the first time any officials in the United States have had the notion and the courage to say so in public.
Whether that development, at once remarkable and absurdly belated, will have some consequence, or even continue, remains to be seen. Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham have insisted for months that ISIS presents an existential threat to the United States. …
And General Michael Flynn, recently retired as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, has been insisting that the terrorist enemy is “committed to the destruction of freedom and the American way of life” while seeking “world domination, achieved through violence and bloodshed”. It was reported that his remarks provoked nods of approval, cheers and “ultimately a standing ovation” from the audience.
Thus even the most modest imaginable effort to rein in the war on terror hyperbole may fail to gel.
“Rein in the war on terror hyperbole”? They mean, of course, do nothing about the jihad.
What is most remarkable about the article is that these two believers in the value of individual freedom ignore the tragedy of individuals who have been captured, tortured, and killed by terrorists inside America and in the Middle East – and we are speaking specifically of Islamic terrorists, Islam being the ideology that is posing a serious threat to the Western world and its civilization. They seem to have neither an instinctive nor a rational desire for justice. They consider only the collective of the nation in their assessment of existential danger. Of course the USA is not immediately threatened with destruction as a nation by Islam with its favored method of terrorism.
It is, however, being slowly destroyed by Leftist, statist, collectivist, redistributionist government which puts no value on civil liberties. And jihadis iterate often enough that America is their target, that they will replace the Constitution with sharia law, and that Americans will be given the choice of conversion, subservience, or death. So when Europe, much of Africa, all the Middle East, and a very large part of the Far East are Islamic; and when the US has abandoned its own Constitution, disarmed its citizenry, and allowed the population to be cowed by threats and demonstrations of horrific murders, how long will it take for the jihadis’ aim to be achieved?
Perhaps Mueller and Stewart seem to feel that they themselves are somehow immune from terrorist attacks, such as the one people experienced in Boston when bombs exploded in their midst as they watched a marathon race.
And perhaps an unwillingness to consider such a possibility can explain why they are not concerned about the deaths by terrorist violence of thousands of individuals.
No wonder The Guardian liked their article.