When WMDs were not found in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, though they had been a compelling reason for the US invasion, the story coming through unofficial channels was that Saddam had hastily moved them to Syria, to be stored there for him until he had beaten back the President Bush-led onslaught.
Although the sources were unofficial, they had proved themselves to be generally trustworthy. So many of those who heard the story believed it. But the sources could not be cited.
When the story was largely confirmed to “defense reporters” by [then] Lt. Gen. James Clapper* in 2003, it was still not widely accepted.
Is it more likely to be accepted now? If so, it may be too late to be useful to those who have defended the invasion of Iraq, but not too late to be interesting to historians.
Today, May 2, 2016, Front Page is re-running an article by Bill Gertz that was first published in the Washington Times on October 29, 2003:
Iraqi military officers destroyed or hid chemical, biological and nuclear weapons goods in the weeks before the war, the [US’s] top satellite spy director said yesterday.
Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James Clapper, head of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, said vehicle traffic photographed by U.S. spy satellites indicated that material and documents related to the arms programs were shipped to Syria.
Other goods probably were sent throughout Iraq in small quantities and documents probably were stashed in the homes of weapons scientists, Gen. Clapper told defense reporters at a breakfast.
Gen. Clapper said he is not surprised that U.S. and allied forces have not found weapons of mass destruction hidden in Iraq because “it’s a big place.”
“Those below the senior leadership saw what was coming, and I think they went to extraordinary lengths to dispose of the evidence,” he said.
Congress is investigating whether U.S. intelligence agencies overstated information indicating that Iraq had hidden its chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. The Bush administration has defended the intelligence agencies on prewar reports that the weapons were there.
Iraqi government officials “below the Saddam Hussein and the sons level saw what was coming and decided the best thing to do was to dispose, destroy and disperse [them]”, he said.
So maybe it wasn’t Saddam himself who gave the order to transport the WMDs to Syria, but some authority did. (Was there an authority in Saddam’s Iraq other than Saddam himself?)
Gen. Clapper said he felt strongly that the satellite imagery of Iraq’s weapons facilities before the war was “accurate and balanced”. …
He also said the Iraqi government carried out operations after the fall of Baghdad in April to cover up the hidden weapons programs. The chaos following might have included both looting and “organized dispersal made to look like looting“, he said. “So by the time that we got to a lot of these facilities, that we had previously identified as suspect facilities, there wasn’t that much there to look at,” he said.
Valuable documents on Iraq’s weapons were destroyed or lost in the chaos, which included burning of major government ministries.
Saddam began dispersing his weapons and sending elements of his chemical, biological and nuclear programs out of the country in the weeks before the war, he said.
The dispersal included moving both weapons and equipment as well as documents. …
As for shipping weapons out of Iraq, he said, there is “no question” that people and material were taken to Syria. …
Convoys of vehicles, mostly commercial trucks, were spotted going into Syria from Iraq shortly before the start of the war March 19 and during the conflict, he said.
It may be a sign of instinctive wisdom that people are inclined to believe what they overhear more than what they are told.
*James Clapper is now Director of National Intelligence.
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.
A world war is being fought, by one side only: Islam.
The other side, the civilized West and its outposts and allies, is letting the invaders into its territory and suffering the enemy’s attacks from within, over and over again.
The West has far greater military and technological strength than Islam. Yet it is choosing not to fight back. Or, where it now and then does, it chooses not to win.
There is surely no precedent for such an irrational, suicidal choice in all recorded history.
Sohrab Ahmari reports in the Wall Street Journal:
Islamic State jihadists staged a triple-bombing in the Belgian capital — two at the Brussels airport and a third at a metro station downtown — that killed [more than] 30 people … It was the latest reminder that Islamic terrorism is now a permanent and ubiquitous hazard to life in every city, on every continent.
In coming days European authorities will level reproaches about the missed warning signs, security lapses and the larger failure to integrate Belgian Muslims. Commissions will be formed. Sympathetic memes will proliferate on social media. Je suis Belge.
This routine has become numbingly familiar. And these habitual responses, while understandable, defer a reckoning with a larger truth: Not a single day now goes by without an Islamist suicide bombing, rocket attack, shooting spree, kidnapping or stabbing somewhere in the world.
Consider the past 10 days [up to March 22, 2016, when the bombings in Belgium were carried out].
On Sunday, March 13, jihadists sprayed gunfire on sunbathers in Grand Bassam, a resort town in the Ivory Coast popular with Westerners and wealthy Ivorians. The attack, which was claimed by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, killed 16 people, including Burkinabe, Cameroonian, French, German, Ivorian and Malian citizens.
On Monday, March 14, two Palestinians fired on Israelis waiting at a bus stop in Kiryat Arba, in the West Bank, wounding one soldier before Israeli forces killed both. A third Palestinian terrorist rammed his car into an Israeli army vehicle in the area and was shot dead. Israel has suffered a wave of Arab knife-and-car attacks for six months, known as the stabbing intifada.
On Tuesday, March 15, al Qaeda’s Somali franchise, al-Shabaab, kidnapped three Red Crescent aid workers in the country’s southwest, according to local media. The abductions followed al-Shabaab’s seizure of a village in central Somalia, amid a broader Islamist resurgence in the Horn of Africa. The aid workers were freed a day later after local villagers pleaded for their release.
On Wednesday, March 16, a pair of female suicide bombers blew themselves up at a mosque in Nigeria, killing 24. No group has claimed credit, but the bombing took place in Nigeria’s Borno state, the birthplace of Boko Haram, an Islamic State affiliate that is Africa’s most savage terror outfit.
On Thursday, March 17, the stabbing intifada claimed a fresh victim when a pair of Palestinian terrorists jumped and wounded an Israeli soldier with a knife in Ariel, in the West Bank. Israeli security forces killed both assailants.
On Friday, March 18, suspected al Qaeda fighters fired rockets at the Salah gas facility in Algeria. No one was injured, but BP and Norwegian oil giant Statoil, which operate the facility, withdrew some staff and suspended operations.
On Saturday, March 19, a bomb went off in a tony shopping district of Istanbul, killing three Israelis (two of whom were U.S. citizens) and one Iranian, and wounding 39 others. This was the fifth mass-casualty terrorist bombing in Turkey in as many months, most of them claimed by or attributed to Islamic State. The same day, a mortar assault on a checkpoint in El-Arish, Egypt, killed 15 policemen. A Sinai-based Islamic State affiliate claimed responsibility.
On Sunday, March 20, al-Shabaab overran a Somali military base just 28 miles from the capital, Mogadishu, killing at least one person and seizing several vehicles. Also on Sunday, the Istanbul governorate canceled a hotly anticipated soccer match after receiving “serious intelligence” regarding a planned terror attack.
On Monday, March 21, Islamist fighters likely affiliated with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb targeted a hotel in the capital of Mali, Bamako, that houses a European Union military-assistance mission. EU personnel were unharmed, and one attacker was killed by hotel security.
Brussels was the first major terrorist incident in the West since November’s jihadist killing spree in Paris and December’s in San Bernardino, Calif.
You could create a calendar like this one that stretches back for weeks and months, and the above doesn’t even include the civil wars and humanitarian calamities in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Afghanistan.
The Syrian vortex is especially perilous. It has been drawing the barely stable nations that surround Syria into its spin and spewing out battle-hardened jihadists along with millions of legitimate refugees. The biggest refugee crisis since World War II was bound to pose serious security threats to Europe.
Meanwhile, the longer Islamic State and al Qaeda thrive in Syria and Iraq, the stronger their adherents and affiliates elsewhere will become.
(In fact, there have been even more such attacks in that period. See The Religion of Peace for a more comprehensive list. And see their tally of lethal Muslim attacks world-wide since 9/11 in our margin.)
Here’s a picture of the train bombed by Muslim holy warriors in Brussels yesterday (the dead bodies cut off by the publishers, not by us).
And here’s the scene after one of the Muslim holy warriors’ bombs exploded at Belgium’s international airport.
With all the excitement over who will be the next president, the man in the office is getting little or no attention, even from his toadies in the media.
Victor Davis Hanson turns his thoughts to him, and sees him as the lamest of lame ducks.
He writes at PJ Media:
President Obama is boxed in a state of paralysis — more so than typical lame-duck presidents.
His hard-left politics have insidiously eroded the Democratic Party, which has lost both houses of Congress and the vast majority of the state legislatures, state elected offices, and governorships. Obama has redefined the black vote, as a necessary, no-margin-of-error 95% bloc majority to offset his similar creation of an increasingly monolithic 65% bloc white vote. We are no longer individual voters, but, in Chicago-politics style, merely faceless “Latinos”, “Asians”, “African-Americans”, “gays”, “women”, and now “whites”.
Obama issues a new initiative — and the nation snoozes. He wastes the day on the golf links — and the nation snoozes. He smear his critics, invites a rapper to the White House whose latest album cover has a dead white judge lying in front of the White House — and the nation snoozes. He cozies up to America’s enemies and snubs our friends — and the nation snoozes. For the nth time, he blusters about closing down Guantanamo — and the nation snoozes. He opens the border even wider to welcome in more illegal aliens and future constituents — and the nation snoozes. Lame duckestry means not even being able to wake up your opponents.
There is so far no Obama legacy, except the creation of Donald Trump, a $20 trillion debt and zero interest rates …
Almost every major bureaucracy is awash in scandal or charges of incompetence. The common theme of the disasters at the GSA, EPA, ICE, IRS, NASA, Secret Service, and VA is ideological subversion and ingrained hostility to meritocracy. Would anyone be surprised that another government official pled the 5th, created fake email personas, resigned at 5 PM on a Friday afternoon, declared a foremost mission Muslim outreach, or withheld subpoenaed documents?
Obamacare, borne of rank partisanship and serial mendacity, can survive until 2017 only by bailouts and executive-order manipulations. We now call health care affordable by ignoring the new astronomical deductibles: we pay premiums of $6,000 a year and forget that an annual $4,000 “deductible” ensures no one thinks the real cost is $10,000. Is that a small price to pay to ensure granny has contraceptive coverage?
Americans shrug that Obama has left the world abroad a far scarier place. Libya has been destroyed. We can see in Iraq what Obama would have done to South Korea had he been in Eisenhower’s shoes. Syria’s death toll is nearing Saddam Hussein’s. We gave up our golden special relationship with Israel for one of dross with an Islamist and roundly disliked Turkey that, logically, now dislikes us.
What was astonishing about Obama’s empty red lines that finished off any lingering sense of U.S. credibility and deterrence in the Middle East was that after issuing such threats and then ignoring them, Obama then blamed the UN and the U.S. Congress for setting them!
But then again, he blamed congressional Republicans for opposing the Iran deal and compared House members to Iranian theocrat hardliners, in a way his team earlier had compared them to suicide bombers. …
In a tragic sort of way, Obama has reminded us how savage is human nature, by demonstrating that a vicious thug like Putin won more of an amoral world’s respect for his savagery than a whining Obama earned pity for his diffidence.
While the Middle East is aflame, China is marking out new atolls to control, like toll pirates of the 17th century, European-Asian sea traffic. Russia is eyeing neighbors, unsure only whether gratuitously embarrassing Obama is worth the hassle of another annexation. Is the solution to global tensions really a trip to Cuba or shutting down Guantanamo by executive order? When Castro soon harangues Obama in Havana for his country’ sins, will he, as he did after Daniel Ortega’s April 2009 dressing down in Trinidad, sheepishly reply with, “I’m grateful that President Castro did not blame me for things that happened when I was three months old”?
Obama cannot address the massive debt he has run up. He cannot address entitlement reform. He has neither the imagination to offer solutions, nor the disposition to share accomplishment with any other than himself — even if he had the political clout to compromise and reach consensus.
For the next nine months the Obama presidency will be mostly teeth-gnashing and petulance. He will offer executive orders and do his best to incite division and rancor from a somnolent public, the more the better to please his hard-core base, and to pave the way for a lucrative (and iconic) post-presidency among leftwing foundations, universities, non-profits, foreign governments, sports, Hollywood, Goldman Sachs progressives, and the media.
But at least Obama … transformed racial relations? Not really. Perhaps no single individual has done more to erode racial reconciliation than did Barack Obama. The racialism of the 2008 campaign — the nativist clingers of Pennsylvania, his “typical white person” grandmother who did so much to ensure his own upper-middle-class prep-school existence, the savage anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism of consigliore Rev. “audacity of hope” Wright, the childish calls to “get in their faces” and “bring a gun to a knife fight” – really was the foundation for the next eight years of Trayvon Martin as the lost Obama son, the Ferguson mythologies, racism explains all opposition to Obama, the beer summit, “punish our enemies”, and Eric Holder’s “nation of cowards” and “my people”.
Obama’s racial legacy is the strange phenomenon of whiny, wealthy black elites — whether a Skip Gates, Spike Lee, Melissa Harris-Perry, Will Smith, or Chris Rock — acting hurt and oppressed if rewards to elites such as themselves are not doled out on the basis of racial percentages. … America is now supposed to work on a strict 13 percent racial spoils system, everywhere except in non-disparate impact professional sports or federal employment. …
Cairo-speech mythohistories pass for foreign policy. Euphemisms about terrorism only empower radical Islam. The mythologies of Ferguson are canonized at the UN. All that can be said for all this and more is that our enemies were put off guard and confused that a president of the United States seemed so intent on deprecating his own country and traditions, and thus could think Obama’s sermonizing might really be some elaborate hoax, con, or Trojan Horse.
Nothing in the last eight years is sustainable or can be emulated.
Race relations will change after Obama for the simple reason that if they were to continue on his segregationist trajectory we would quite soon end up like Bosnia or Beirut.
Fiscal policy will change, because if we followed Obama’s all “by his lonesome” Bank of China credit-card binge borrowing of another $10 trillion in the next eight years, the country would implode.
Monetary policy will change because eight more years of zero interest would wipe out the age-old idea of the wisdom of saving money altogether. Government policy will change because the bureaucracy cannot endure legions of more Lois Lerners, Lisa Jacksons, Kathleen Sebeliuses, Hilda Solises, or Eric Holders.
Health care will change after Obama, because if Obamacare were to persist, the entire country would turn to cash-only concierge medicine.
Foreign policy will change after Obama, because to persist with his policies would lead to four or five major theater wars, a nuclear Middle East, Russia in the Baltic states, and Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan as client states of China.
Immigration will change, because to follow Obama’s open borders policy is to arbitrarily declare federal law null and void, and to establish the roots of a new third world country, neither American nor Mexican, along the border, but inside the United States.
The media will change after Obama because it is about to be enshrined as an embarrassing government Ministry of Truth. It cannot again proclaim that the next president is the smartest person in the history of the presidency, a veritable god, a wizard that can lower the seas and cool the planet or send tingles down our legs or make us wish to press our pants just like the commander in chief. At some point, journalists will get back to sniping that the next president should know that there are not 57 states, that “corpseman” is not the proper pronunciation, that the trilled politically correct name for the Falklands is not the Maldives, and that presidents do not normally make fun of the Special Olympics.
We are witnessing the lamest of the lame-duck presidencies, with the power neither to act nor inspire — nor even to shock or surprise.
In this excellent video published by the Clarion Project in December 2015, Raheel Raza, president of Muslims Facing Tomorrow, talks truthfully about radical Islam.
(Hat-tip to our Facebook commenter, Darryl Kerney)
Western Journalism reports:
Last week, CNN reported that a new mass grave filled with the bodies of mainly Yazidi women and children has been discovered in the city of Sinjar in northern Iraq. Mayor Mahama al-Shangali showed CNN reporter Nima Elgabir the new mass grave that contained the remains of 130 young men, women, and children. The Yazidis were murdered after they refused to convert to Islam or to cooperate with the Islamic State. The Iraqi Minister for Human Rights Affairs [sic!], Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, claims that ISIS terrorists buried more than 500 Yazidis alive in Sinjar.
On August 3 2014, Islamic State jihadists overran and captured the town of Sinjar, in northern Iraq’s Nineveh province, sending tens of thousands of Yazidis fleeing before them to the supposed safety of Mount Sinjar.
Kurdish forces managed to retake the town in November 2015. The liberators found one grave filled with 78 elderly women and another with at least 50 people.
Who are the Yazidis? What do they believe?
Here is a slightly re-edited version of our April 4, 2010 post on this obscure religion:
The Yazidis worship The Peacock Angel, Malak Taus. He’s identified by Muslims and Christians with Shaitan/Satan, so the Yazidis are held to be devil-worshipers.
They are ethnic Kurds, most of them settled in Mosul, Iraq. There are some in Iran, Kurdistan, Armenia, and the Caucuses. In all, it’s estimated, there are [were] about half a million of them. Their cult is in part an offshoot of Sufism, with various accretions.
They build small temples, shrines with conical white spires, and they keep sacred snakes. They practice circumcision. The eating of lettuce is forbidden.
They have an hereditary priesthood under a High Priest, and sacred books.
There is no need, they believe, to worship the Supreme God, because he is all good and so will never do you harm. The Peacock Angel, on the other hand, must be propitiated. He is capable of doing harm or good, and so must be won over to doing you good. Eventually he will be reconciled with the Supreme God, and that eventuality could come about at any moment.
In their cosmogony, the Supreme God created the world, which is watched over by 7 lesser divinities or “mysteries”, chief among whom is the Peacock Angel, Malak Taus. God created him first, out of his own light, and ordered him never to bow to other beings. Then God created the other six angels, and ordered them to make Adam out of the dust of the earth. God took the inanimate body of Adam and breathed life into him, and instructed the angels to bow down to him. Of course Malak Taus did not bow. “I cannot submit to him because,” he reminded God, “I am made of your own light, while he is made of dust.” This pleased God who then appointed him his vicar on earth.
As its ruler, Malak Taus visits the earth on the first Wednesday of Nisan (March/April – roughly the same time as Easter), which is the Yazidi New Year’s Day, and the anniversary of the day on which God made the Peacock Angel. On that day they feast, make music, dance, and decorate eggs.
God made the earth by first making a pearl, which remained very small for some forty thousand years, and was then expanded and reworked into its present state. From time to time the 7 angels are incarnated in human form and dwell among the living on earth. Their main annual festival is a week-long pilgrimage to the tomb of Sheikh Adi, their founder, who they say was the incarnation of one of the 7 angels. The tomb is at Lalish, north of Mosul.
All Yazidis are descended directly from Adam, not through Eve. At first the sexual roles of Adam and Eve were not fixed. Each produced a seed which was was sealed in a jar. Eve’s seed bred creepy-crawly things, but Adam’s developed into a boy-child who grew up, married a houri [no word on who made her- ed], and fathered the Yazidis.
As Adam’s seed, they are different from all other peoples. They permit marriage only within the sect, and members of each caste of their social and religious hierarchy can only marry among themselves.
They pray five times a day facing the sun. Their holy day is Wednesday, but their day of rest is Saturday.
In 2007, al-Qaeda suicide bombers drove oil tankers into two Yazidi communities near Mosul which they exploded, killing more than 500 and injuring about 1,000 more. This sent thousands of Yazidis to the Syrian border to seek asylum.
They are safe nowhere in the region. It is unlikely that the sect will survive the current wars and persecutions in the Middle East.
At the time of this writing, 129 people are known to have been killed today, Friday November 13, 2015, in co-ordinated terrorist attacks in France. [Update Sunday 11/15/2015: 132 killed.]
The attacks by IS/ISIS/ISIL on six crowded public places in Paris must have taken a lot of organizing. There must have been a few hundred operatives involved in the plot and an immense amount of “chatter” about it on cell phones and the social media for weeks and probably months beforehand. And yet the French police caught not a whiff of it? Not a whisper on the wind?
The attacks are an intelligence failure of monstrous proportions. Or was there monstrous corruption? Always a possibility.
ISIS – the Islamic State – is of course primarily responsible for the deaths, injuries, and terror. But the French government – which like the German government, the Swedish government and all the other European governments have let in and are letting in millions of Muslims – must be held responsible for preparing the conditions that ISIS takes advantage of to spread its savage war.
There will certainly be more such attacks in Europe.
And in America?
Shortly before the hour when the attacks in Paris began, President Obama ridiculously declared that ISIS was “contained”.
He also continues to maintain that the Islamic State “has nothing to do with Islam”. So clearly, in the blind and stupid stakes, Obama keeps up with the front runners.
However, according to Judicial Watch, “the FBI has nearly 1000 active ISIS probes inside the US”. If that is so, they are doing a lot better than the French police.
ISIS will act in America. It is just possible that they will find it more difficult than in Europe. But not very difficult. Not when Obama is importing tens of thousands of Muslim “refugees” from the Middle East, unvetted and unvettable. And not when any terrorist can cross the southern border illegally, be met by a bus, and be driven to a welcome center where he can start collecting cash and goods.
And getting busy on his cellphone to organize the murder of Americans.
Islam is invading Europe and will conquer it without firing a shot.
European political leaders not only refuse to resist the Islamization of their countries, increasingly they positively encourage it. Add to this a high Muslim fertility rate and a very low rate among indigenous Europeans, and you may be certain Muslims will become a majority on the continent in this century unless something – civil war, perhaps – interrupts the processes already set in motion.
From Gatestone, by Guy Millière:
The flow of illegal migrants does not stop. They land on the Greek islands along the Turkish coast. They still try to get into Hungary, despite a razor wire fence and mobilized army. Their destination is Germany or Scandinavia, sometimes France or the UK. Some of them still arrive from Libya. Since the beginning of January, more than 620,000 have arrived by sea alone. There will undoubtedly be many more: a leaked secret document estimates that by the end of December, there might be 1.5 million.
Journalists in Western Europe continue to depict them as “refugees” fleeing war in Syria. The description is false. According to statistics released by the European Union, only twenty-five percent of them come from Syria; the true number is probably lower. The Syrian government sells passports and birth certificates at affordable prices. The vast majority of migrants come from other countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Eritrea, Somalia, and Nigeria.
Many do not seem to have left in a hurry. Many bring new high-end smartphones and large sums of cash, ten or twenty thousand euros, sometimes more. Many have no passports, no ID, and refuse to give fingerprints.
Whenever people flee to survive, the men come with whole families: women, children, elders. Here, instead, more than 75% of those who arrive are men under 50; few are women, children or elders.
As Christians are now the main targets of Islamists (the Jews fled or were forced out decades ago), the people escaping the war in Syria should be largely composed of Christians. But Christians are a small minority among those who arrive, and they often hide that they are Christians.
Those who enter Europe are almost all Muslims, and behave as some Muslims often do in the Muslim world: they harass Christians and attack women. In reception centers, harassing Christians and attacking women are workaday incidents. European women and girls who live near reception centers are advised to take care and cover up. Rapes, assaults, stabbings and other crimes are on the rise.
Western European political leaders could tell the truth and act accordingly. They do not. They talk of “solidarity”, “humanitarian duty”, “compassion”. From the beginning, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany said that illegal migrants were welcome: she seemed to change her mind for a moment, but quickly slid back. In France, President François Hollande says the same things as Angela Merkel.
After the heartbreaking image of a dead child being carried on a Turkish beach was published, thousands of Germans and French initially spoke the same way as their leaders. Their enthusiasm seems to have faded fast.
The people of Central Europe were not enthusiastic from the beginning. Their leaders seem to share the feelings of their populations. None spoke as explicitly as Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary. He said out loud what many of his countrymen seemed to think.
Orbán decribed the “massive and brutal” entry of the migrants into his country as an “invasion”, and said that “a country has the right to decide who is allowed to enter its territory, and to guard its borders”. He also dared to point out that the invaders are from a “different culture”, and that Islamic values “might not be compatible” with European values.
To which Western European leaders reacted with predictable (and surely irrational or even insane) fury.
Western European political leaders harshly condemned his remarks and the attitude of Central Europe in general. They decided to take a hard line approach, including: forcing recalcitrant countries to welcome immigrants, setting up mandatory quotas that define how many immigrants each EU country must receive, and threatening those countries that declined to obey. Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, said that Europe was built in a spirit of “burden sharing”, and that EU breakup was a risk that could not be excluded.
An acute division, in fact, is emerging between the leaders of Western Europe and the leaders of Central Europe. Another division is growing between the populations of Western Europe and their leaders. …
Any criticism of Islam in Europe is treated as a form of racism, and “Islamophobia” is considered a crime or a sign of mental illness.
Islam … is creating increasingly distressing problems that are almost never brought to light. Muslim criminality across Europe is high. Consequently, the percentage of Muslims in prisons in Europe is high. In France, which has the largest Muslim population in Europe, the prison population is 70% Muslim. Many European prisons have become recruitment centers for future jihadis.
Muslim riots may occur for any reason: police upholding the law, a Soccer League celebration, or in support of a cause.
Populations of Western Europe increasingly think that … their leaders speak and act as if they have no awareness of what is happening.
Central European leaders and their people, who have directly experienced authoritarian rule, seem to be thinking that entering the European Union was a huge mistake. When the Soviet Union collapsed, they became members of the EU to join what was called then the “free world”. They do not seem willing to be subjected again to coercive decisions made by outsiders.
After living under the Soviet yoke, they preserved their desire for freedom and self-government, and evidently will not now agree to give them up. They know what submission to Islam could mean. Bulgaria and Romania were occupied by the Ottoman Empire until 1878. Hungary was under the boot of Ottoman rule for more than a hundred and fifty years (1541-1699).
Polls show that a majority of Muslims living in Europe want the application of sharia law and clearly reject any idea of assimilation.
Hundreds of thousands of Muslims living in Europe have joined fundamentalist Islamic organizations. Thousands have joined jihadist movements and are now fighting in Syria or Yemen. Many have returned and are ready to act against Europe.
Illegal Muslim migrants are likely to join the Muslims already living in Europe; and they will remain Muslim. They will live on social benefits until the bankruptcy of welfare states. They will reside in the “no-go zones,” and the “no-go zones” will continue to grow. Their occupants come from countries where Christians and women are mistreated; in Europe, they are already mistreating Christians and women.
They come from countries where Western civilization is despised and where hatred of Jews is inescapable — and this remains so among Muslims already living in Europe. For more than two decades, almost all assaults against Jews in Europe were committed by Muslims. …
A project to overwhelm Europe by a huge wave of migration was described by the Islamic State in documents discovered this February. It is hard to rule out that the Islamic State plays a role in what is happening. Turkish authorities are ignoring the massive departures taking place from their coast. If they really wanted the current process to stop, they could stop it. That is clearly not what they do. The Islamic State could not survive without Turkish help. Daily flights on Turkish Airlines bring illegal migrants to Istanbul; they continue unhindered to Europe. …
In all 28 countries of the European Union, birth rates are low and the population is aging. People under thirty account for only 16% of the population, or 80 million people. In the 22 Arab countries, plus Turkey and Iran, people under thirty account for 70% of the population, or 350 million people.
Jews are fleeing Europe in increasing numbers. “Native” Europeans are starting to flee as well.
In 1972, in his book The Camp of the Saints, French writer Jean Raspail described flooding Europe with Muslim migrants crossing the Mediterranean. At the time, the book was a work of fiction. Today, it is reality.
So this man, Barack Hussein Obama, the son of an American hippie and a Communist member of the Luo tribe of East Africa …
educated for a few years in an Indonesian madrassa …
then in America promoted through affirmative action to position after position beyond his abilities …
all the way to being elected to the presidency of the United States of America, and so nominally to the leadership of the free world ….
has had, as a result of his inadequacy of understanding, his pusillanimity of character, his political puerility …
an enormous effect on the direction history is taking.
He has not just voluntarily but insistently surrendered the West to the mullahs of Shia Iran, empowering and enriching them to such an extent that millions of Sunnis are fleeing their homes and making for Europe in fear of them.
And the Europeans have no idea what to do about it. They dither about being humane, welcoming refugees, sharing what they have with their Muslim brothers and sisters. Christian-style. Self abnegation. Self-sacrifice. Not resisting evil. Forgiving. Not being racist. Caring. It makes them feel good. They probably even expect gratitude …
… And, as nations, they are dying.
Already ISIS, who seized territory from the erstwhile and short-lived states of Iraq and Syria, has announced that Sweden will be the first European country to come under its caliphate.
This drift of populations, this overwhelming of the liberal democracies, is no longer hypothetical. It is WHAT IS HAPPENING.
And it is not only changing geopolitical conditions, but also the very ideas on which Western political order and civilization are built.
The European leaders who are letting it happen, are all at sea. They don’t know what they’ve done or what the consequences will be.
Nothing anyone says will change their minds. But reality will. Reality has a nasty way of continuing to accrue consequences regardless of whether it is reckoned with or not. The result is the end of the liberal democratic nation-state.
Who are the people who have let this happen?
They are the bien pensants, the Great and the Good; climate alarmists plotting world government; and the people who meet at Bilderberg get-togethers (like Peter Sutherland, the man we wrote about and quoted yesterday), who believe that they are the natural movers and shakers, the best qualified to steer the good ship Mankind.
They have steered it to shipwreck.
Obama is the man who shakes hands with himself.
Amir Taheri writes at Gatestone:
Sometime this week, President Obama is scheduled to sign an executive order to meet the Oct. 15 “adoption day” he has set for the nuclear deal he says he has made with Iran. According to the president’s timetable the next step would be “the start day of implementation”, fixed for Dec. 15.
But as things now stand, Obama may end up being the only person in the world to sign his much-wanted deal, in effect making a treaty with himself.
The Iranians have signed nothing and have no plans for doing so.
The so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has not even been discussed at the Islamic Republic’s Council of Ministers. Nor has the Tehran government bothered to even provide an official Persian translation of the 159-page text.
The Islamic Majlis, the ersatz parliament, is examining an unofficial text and is due to express its views at an unspecified date in a document “running into more than 1,000 pages”, according to Mohsen Zakani, who heads the “examining committee”.
“The changes we seek would require substantial rewriting of the text,” he adds enigmatically.
Nor have Britain, China, Germany, France and Russia, who were involved in the so-called P5+1 talks that produced the JCPOA, deemed it necessary to provide the Obama “deal” with any legal basis of their own. Obama’s partners have simply decided that the deal he is promoting is really about lifting sanctions against Iran and nothing else. So they have started doing just that without bothering about JCPOA’s other provisions.
Britain has lifted the ban on 22 Iranian banks and companies blacklisted because of alleged involvement in deals linked to the nuclear issue.
German trade with Iran has risen by 33 percent, making it the Islamic Republic’s third-largest partner after China.
China has signed preliminary accords to help Iran build five more nuclear reactors.
Russia has started delivering S300 anti-aircraft missile systems and is engaged in talks to sell Sukhoi planes to the Islamic Republic.
France has sent its foreign minister and a 100-man delegation to negotiate big business deals, including projects to double Iran’s crude oil exports.
Indian trade with Iran has risen by 17 percent, and New Delhi is negotiating massive investment in a rail-and-sea hub in the Iranian port of Chah-Bahar on the Gulf of Oman.
With help from Austrian, Turkish and United Arab Emirates banks, the many banking restrictions imposed on Iran because of its nuclear program have been pushed aside.
“The structures of sanctions built over decades is crumbling,” boasts Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
Meanwhile, the nuclear project is and shall remain “fully intact,” says the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency, Ali Akbar Salehi. “We have started working on a process of nuclear fusion that will be cutting-edge technology for the next 50 years,” he adds.
Even before Obama’s “implementation day”, the mullahs are receiving an average of $400 million a month, no big sum, but enough to ease the regime’s cash-flow problems and increase pay for its repressive forces by around 21 percent. …
The mullahs see the “deal” as a means with which Obama would oppose any suggestion of trying to curb Iran.
“Obama won’t do anything that might jeopardize the deal,” says Ziba Kalam, a Rouhani adviser. “This is his biggest, if not only, foreign policy success.”
Let’s pause and contemplate that for a moment! This farce of a deal, this green light to one of the most oppressive regimes on earth to go ahead and become a nuclear power, is – Obama’s “biggest, if not only, foreign policy SUCCESS”!
More follows on this success:
If there have been changes in Tehran’s behavior they have been for the worse. Iran has teamed up with Russia to keep Bashar al-Assad in power in Syria, mocking Obama’s “Assad must go” rhetoric. More importantly, Iran has built its direct military presence in Syria to 7,000 men.
Tehran has also pressured Iraqi Premier Haidar al-Abadi’s weak government to distance itself from Washington and join a dubious coalition with Iran, Russia and Syria.
Certain that Obama is paralyzed by his fear of undermining the non-existent “deal” the mullahs have intensified their backing for Houthi rebels in Yemen. Last week a delegation was in Tehran with a long shopping list for arms.
In Lebanon, the mullahs have toughened their stance on choosing the country’s next president.
And in Bahrain, Tehran is working on a plan to “ensure an early victory” of the Shiite revolution in the archipelago.
Confident that Obama is determined to abandon traditional allies of the United States, Tehran has also heightened propaganda war against Saudi Arabia, now openly calling for the overthrow of the monarchy there.
The mullahs are also heightening contacts with Palestinian groups in the hope of unleashing a new “Intifada.”
They have done so. (See yesterday’s post, immediately below.)
“Palestine is thirsty for a third Intifada,” Supreme Guide Khamenei’s mouthpiece Kayhan said in an editorial last Thursday. “It is the duty of every Muslim to help start it as soon as possible.”
Obama’s hopes of engaging Iran on other issues were dashed last week when Khamenei declared “any dialogue with the American Great Satan” to be “forbidden”.
“We have no need of America” his adviser Ali-Akbar Velayati added later. “Iran is the region’s big power in its own right.”
Obama had hoped that by sucking up to the mullahs he would at least persuade them to moderate their “hate-America campaign”.
“Death to America” slogans, adorning official buildings in Tehran have been painted afresh along with US flags, painted at the entrance of offices so that they could be trampled underfoot.
None of the US citizens still held hostages in Iran has been released, and one, Washington Post stringer Jason Rezai, is branded as “head of a spy ring “in Tehran. Paralyzed by his fear of undermining the non-existent deal, Obama doesn’t even call for their release.
Government-sponsored anti-American nationwide events are announced for November, anniversary of the seizure of the US Embassy in Tehran.
The annual “End of America” week-long conference is planned for February and is to focus on “African-American victims of US police” and the possibility of “self-determination for blacks.”
Iran is inciting rebellion and treason among Americans.
According to official sources “families of Black American victims” and a number of “black American revolutionaries” have been invited.
Inside Iran, Obama’s “moderate partners” have doubled the number of executions and political prisoners. Last week they crushed marches by teachers calling for release of their leaders. Hundreds of trade unionists have been arrested and a new “anti-insurrection” brigade paraded in Tehran to terrorize possible protestors.
The Obama deal may end up as the biggest diplomatic scam in recent history.