The gains of Helsinki 1

What actually was discussed by the presidents of the US and Russia at Helsinki on July 16, 2018?

Was anything achieved, anything agreed between them that will have an effect in reality?

Were the leaders of these two powers, who together have more than 90% of the world’s nuclear weapons under their control, able to find common cause in at least some troubled areas where their militaries are or might be engaged?

Angelo Codevilla writes at American Greatness:

The high professional quality of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin’s performance at their Monday press conference in Helsinki contrasts sharply with the obloquy by which the bipartisan US ruling class showcases its willful incompetence. …

Having taught diplomacy for many years, I would choose the Trump-Putin press conference as an exemplar of how these things should be done. Both spoke with the frankness and specificity of serious business. This performance rates an A+.

Both presidents started with the basic truth.

Putin: The Cold War is ancient history. Nobody in Russia (putting himself in this category) wants that kind of enmity again. It is best for Russia, for America, and for everybody else if the two find areas of agreement or forbearance.  

Trump: Relations between the globe’s major nuclear powers have never [since the Cold War? – ed] been this bad — especially since some Americans are exacerbating existing international differences for domestic partisan gain. For the sake of peace and adjustment of differences where those exist and adjustment is possible, Trump is willing to pay a political cost to improve those relations (if, indeed further enraging his enemies is a cost rather than a benefit).

In short, this was a classic statement of diplomatic positions and a drawing of spheres of influence.

As Putin listed his agenda, he showed that today’s Russia is a status quo power, whose primary objective is stability. Having come to power over a country diminished and dispirited, he sought to recover as much as possible of what Russia had lost in the Soviet break-up. He forcibly took back parts of Georgia and Ukraine. In doing so, he pushed against open doors.

Today, no other doors are open. Now being ahead, he wants to stop the game. He knows that this is possible because nobody is going to wage or even risk war against Russia to try disgorging Abkhazia and Crimea. He wants Trump to acknowledge that. Warning against extending NATO to Ukraine and Georgia, he signaled that all else is negotiable.

He also has rebuilt Russia’s military and wants to protect its edge by persuading Trump to keep US missile defense in its current dysfunctional mode. This is an inflexible demand that deserves an equally inflexible rejection. Trump had already delivered it by ordering the establishment of the US Space Force.

By securing his naval and air bases in Syria, Putin succeeded in returning Russia to warm-water sea power. That required backing the Shia side in its intra-Muslim war against the Sunni in Syria, while the United States backed the other side. Today Iran, Syria, Iraq, and Turkey are much as Putin wants them. He wants Trump’s acknowledgment of this statusRussia continues to argue to Americans that both countries have suffered far more from Sunni terrorism — ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood — than from the Shia version.

The two made clear that their commitment to stability in the Middle East outweighs support for either side, and signaled wider cooperation, especially on military matters.

Trump, leaving no doubt that America’s commitment to Israel’s security is absolute, faced Putin with the choice of partnering with America in restraining Iran or of being drawn into an Israeli-American war against an Iran with whose forces Russia’s are interwoven. Putin, for his part, seemed to concur with Trump’s priority. That along with tripartite security consultations with Israel is likely to cool Iran and Hezbollah’s ardor for war.

Trump signaled that America’s interest in Eastern Europe lies in re-establishing peace there, and in safeguarding the independence of its states. Poland and the Baltic States are not just NATO members, but also close to the American people’s hearts. By stressing peace, he made clear that America does not intend to make its defensive commitments there the occasion for a war at or beyond the extreme reach of American power.

Though Russia has backed North Korea in the past, Putin signaled that he is not happy with its acquisition of a modern nuclear force that is effectively China’s pawn. He seemed to promise pressure on North Korea to denuclearize — something that would displease China. Though that was a minor part of both sides’ press conference, it may well signal both sides’ recognition of their mutual interest in not letting China become the Western Pacific’s overlord. Such an understanding would be no minor achievement.

The American ruling class’s attribution of the 2016 election to Trump-Putin collusion, which has characterized US-Russia relations for two years, provided the press conference’s fireworks. Both denied any such thing and insisted there was no evidence of it. In response to a question about whether Putin would make available the 12 Russian state intelligence employees indicted for interference in that election to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Putin pointed to the existence of a treaty of cooperation on criminal matters and promised Mueller that access to the accused through the treaty.

This led to the final flourish. The Associated Press reporter demanded that Trump state whether he believes the opinions of US intelligence leaders or those of Putin. It would be healthy for America were it to digest Trump’s answer: The truth about the charge that Russia stole the contents of the Democratic National Committee’s computer server is not to be found in the opinions of any persons whatever. The truth can be discovered only by examining the server in question—assuming it has not been tampered with since the alleged event. But, said Trump emphatically, those making the accusations against Russia have refused to let the server be examined by US intelligence or by any independent experts. What is the point of accusations coupled with refusal of access to the facts of the matter?

The classic texts of diplomatic practice teach that diplomacy advances the cause of peace and order only to the extent that its practitioners avoid contentious opinions and stick to demonstrable facts.

The AP reporter, who should be ashamed, is beyond shame. Then again, so are the ruling class representatives who have redoubled their animus against Trump. Cheap partisanship is not all that harmful. It is the transfer of domestic partisan animus to international affairs, however, that has the potential to start wars. …

What that ignorant “journalist” was demanding of Trump — precisely what the credentialed experts should know better than to have demanded — was that the president of the United States scream at the president of Russia for all his evils. Competitive “virtue signaling” has become the way of political life in America. To the extent that it bleeds into America’s foreign policy, we are all in big trouble.

It did not, and will not, “bleed into America’s foreign policy” through President Trump. Though his style of negotiating is to be frank and straightforward, he knows, through long experience, how to maintain an atmosphere of amicable goodwill which makes agreement easy where it is possible.

Contrast this meeting with the silly performance that a giggling US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, put on with her failed “Reset” act when she met the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov on March 6, 2009, in Geneva; a farce which simply signaled to the Russians that Obama’s America was a push-over.

From the Obama-Clinton “reset’, Russia made all the gains. The US agreed to reduce its nuclear arsenal by a third (which Vice-President Biden hailed as a victory for the US!). Obama broke a US promise to Poland and the Czech Republic to provide them with missile defense systems and radar stations because the Russians were furious at the very idea. The Russians proceeded to destabilize Ukraine, shoot down a civil aircraft in Ukrainian airspace – and annex the Crimea. Though Obama drew a “red line” against the Syrian dictator, Bashar Assad, using chemical weapons against his own people, he did nothing about it when Assad crossed the line by gassing the population of Ghouta, an area in southwest Syria, in August 2013. In the following month, the egregious John Kerry, successor to Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, claimed to have reached  an agreement with the Russians whereby they would reign Assad in, to prevent such a horror being perpetrated again. Russia, he was confident, would oversee the destruction of Assad’s arsenal of sarin and mustard gas and the facilities for their manufacture. Needless to say, Russia did no such thing.

True, we have yet to see the long-term results of any understanding reached by the two presidents at Helsinki. But of this this we can be sure: Vladimir Putin will have understood that Donald Trump is not a man to be trifled with.

Whose side was the Obama administration on? 2

Jacki Pick, host of the Jacki Daily radio show and former Counsel to the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee’s Constitution Subcommittee, reveals that the Obama administration required the Department of Homeland Security to “scrub terrorist databases”.

And on the subject of protecting the enemy, Daniel Greenfield writes at Front Page:

On September 4, 2001, Robert Mueller took over the FBI …

[He] fought alongside [James] Comey against surveilling terrorists. Materials involving the Muslim Brotherhood were purged. Toward the dawn of the second Obama term, Mueller met with CAIR and other Islamist groups and a green curtain fell over national security.

But the surveillance wasn’t going anywhere. Instead it was being redirected to new targets.

Those targets were not, despite the wave of hysterical conspiracy theories convulsing the media, the Russians. Mueller’s boss was still quite fond of them. Barack Obama did have foreign enemies that he wanted to spy on. And there were plenty of domestic enemies who could be caught up in that trap.

By his second term, the amateur was coming to understand the incredible surveillance powers at his disposal and how they could be used to spy on Americans under the pretext of fighting foreign threats. ….

While the Mueller purge was going on, Obama was pushing talks with Iran. There was one obstacle and it wasn’t Russia. The Russians were eager to play Obama with a fake nuke deal. It was the Israelis who were the problem. And it was the Israelis who were being spied on by Obama’s surveillance regime.

But it wasn’t just the Israelis.

Iran was Obama’s big shot at a foreign policy legacy. As the year dragged on, it was becoming clear that the Arab Spring wouldn’t be anything he would want to be remembered for. By the time Benghazi went from a humanitarian rescue operation to one of the worst disasters of the term, it was clearly over.

Obama was worried that the Israelis would launch a strike against Iran’s nuclear program. And the surveillance and media leaks were meant to dissuade the Israelis from scuttling his legacy. But he was also worried about Netanyahu’s ability to persuade American Jews and members of Congress to oppose his nuclear sellout. And that was where the surveillance leapfrogged from foreign to domestic.

The NSA intercepted communications between Israelis and Americans, including members of Congress, and then passed the material along to the White House. Despite worries by some officials that “that the executive branch would be accused of spying on Congress”, the White House “believed the intercepted information could be valuable to counter Mr. Netanyahu’s campaign”.

The precedent was even more troubling than it seemed.

Obama Inc. had defined its position in an unresolved political debate between the White House and Congress as the national interest. And had winkingly authorized surveillance on Congress to protect this policy in a domestic political debate. That precedent would then be used to spy on members of the Trump transition team and to force out Trump’s national security adviser.

National security had become indistinguishable from the agenda of the administration. And that agenda, like the rest of Obama’s unilateral policies, was enshrined as permanent. Instead of President Trump gaining the same powers, his opposition to that agenda was treated as a national security threat.

And once Obama was out of office, Comey and other Obama appointees would protect that agenda.

We still don’t know the full scope of Spygate. But media reports have suggested that Obama officials targeted countries opposed to the Iran sellout, most prominently Israel and the UAE, and then eavesdropped on meetings between them and between figures on the Trump team.

Obama had begun his initial spying as a way of gaining inside information on Netanyahu’s campaign against the Iran deal. But the close election and its aftermath significantly escalated what had been a mere Watergate into an active effort to not only spy, but pursue criminal charges against the political opposition. The surveillance state had inevitably moved on to the next stage, the police state with its informants, dossiers, pre-dawn raids, state’s witnesses, entrapments and still more surveillance.

And the police state requires cops. Someone had to do the dirty work for Susan Rice.

Comey, Mueller and the other cops had likely been complicit in the administration’s abuses. Somewhere along the way, they had become the guys watching over the Watergate burglars. Spying on the political opposition is, short of spying for the enemy, the most serious crime that such men can commit.

Why then was it committed?

Yes, WHY?

To understand that, we have to go back to 9/11. Those days may seem distant now, but the attacks offered a crossroads. One road led to a war against our enemies. The other to minimizing the conflict.

President George W. Bush tried to fight that war, but he was undermined by men like Mueller and Comey. Their view of the war was the same as that of their future boss, not their current one, certainly not the view as the man currently sitting in the White House whom they have tried to destroy.

Every lie has some truth in it. Comey’s book, A Higher Loyalty, his frequent claims of allegiance to American ideals, are true, as he sees it, if not as he tells it. Men like Comey and Mueller believed that the real threat came not from Islamic terrorists, but from our overreaction to them. They believed that Bush was a threat. And Trump was the worst threat imaginable who had to be stopped by any means.

But WHY?

Daniel Greenfield has an answer which he explains:

What Comey and Mueller are loyal to is the established way of doing things. And they conflate that with our national ideals, as establishment thugs usually do. Neither of them are unique. Washington D.C. is filled with men and women who are registered Republicans, who believe in lowering taxes, who frown at the extremities of identity politics, but whose true faith is in the natural order of government.

Mueller and Comey represent a class. And Obama and Clinton were easily able to corrupt and seduce that class into abandoning its duties and oaths, into serving as its deep state against domestic foes.

It is a plausible answer. But we do not and cannot really know why some people – a large number of intellectuals – feel more anger about a reaction to terrorist criminality than to the crimes themselves. We do not and cannot know why highly educated Westerners – children of the Enlightenment – admire, and even desire to protect, the deeply immoral religion of Islam.

We agree with what follows:

Quis custodiet ipsos custodies? It’s the old question of who watches the watchmen that no society has found a good answer to. And the answer is inevitably that the watchers, watch themselves and everyone else. What began as national security measures against Islamic terrorism was twisted by Obama and his deep state allies into the surveillance of the very people fighting Islamic terrorism.

Spygate was the warped afterbirth of our failure to meaningfully confront Islamic terrorism. Instead, the political allies of the terrorists and the failed watchmen who allowed them to strike so many times, got together to shoot the messengers warning about the terror threat. The problem had never been the lack of power, but the lack of will and the lack of integrity in an establishment unwilling to do its job.

After 9/11, extraordinary national security powers were brought into being to fight Islamic terror. Instead those powers were used to suppress those who told the truth about Islamic terrorism.

Trump, Trumpism, and THEM 2

It’s altogether too much for THEM to bear! The man is a billionaire who loves life, lives well, and enjoys himself tremendously both at work and at play; has a wife who is one of the most beautiful women in the world, and is also graceful, gentle, intelligent and competent; has handsome successful children and bright charming grandchildren; and, on top of all that, has become the most powerful man in the world. To add a final insult to THEM, he is perfectly healthy at the age 0f 71; immensely energetic and strong; and fully capable of continuing to do what he wants to do.

And then, try as THEY might to find something he has done terribly wrong to blot his intolerably immaculate escutcheon, THEY cannot find anything!

Actually, it is even worse for THEM. Far worse. Because not only is he victorious, THEY are defeated. Probably (with luck) irrecoverably. He has risen to power at a moment when THEY had  almost conquered the world; almost made it poor; almost brought the nations – possibly even including the USA – into universal homogeneity at the lowest level of subsistence in subjection to THEM running a world communist government (in order to “save the planet” from people using cars and making things in factories); almost destroyed Western civilization.

We are enthusiasts for Trumpism because we are warriors against THEM.

As such, do we exaggerate his achievements? If so, by how much? Overlook his flaws? If so, what are they?

As a corrective to our possibly overindulgent judgment of the president, we reproduce an article by Victor Davis Hanson; surely a reasonable and fair assessment of the Trump presidency thus far and prospectively. It is also necessary to know that it appeared at the mostly, persistently, and emphatically anti-Trump National Review:

As President Trump finished his first full year in office, he could look back at an impressive record of achievement of a kind rarely attained by an incoming president — much less by one who arrived in office as a private-sector billionaire without either prior political office or military service.

As unintended proof of his accomplishments, Trump’s many liberal opponents have gone from initially declaring him an incompetent to warning that he has become effective — insanely so — in overturning the Obama progressive agenda. Never Trump Republicans acknowledge that Trump has realized much of what they once only dreamed of — from tax reform and deregulation to a government about-face on climate change, the ending of the Obamacare individual mandate, and expansion of energy production.

Trump so far has not enacted the Never Trump nightmare agenda. The U.S. is not leaving NATO. It is not colluding with Vladimir Putin, but maintaining sanctions against Russia and arming Ukrainians. It is not starting a tariff war with China. The administration is not appointing either liberals or incompetents to the federal courts. A politicized FBI, DOJ, and IRS was Obama’s legacy, not Trump’s doing, as some of the Never Trump circle predicted. Indeed, the Never Trump movement is now mostly calcified, as even some of its formerly staunch adherents concede. It was done in by the Trump record and the monotony of having to redefine a once-welcomed conservative agenda as suddenly unpalatable due to Trump’s crude fingerprints on it.

On the short side, Trump has still not started to build his much-promised border wall, to insist on free but far fairer trade with Asia and Europe, or to enact an infrastructure-rebuilding program. Nonetheless, Trump’s multitude of critics is unable to argue that his record is shoddy and must instead insist that his list of achievements is due mostly to the Republican Congress. Or they claim he is beholden to the legacy of the Obama administration. Or they insist that credit belongs with his own impressive economic and national-security cabinet-level appointments. Or that whatever good came of Trump’s first year is nullified by Trump’s persistent personal odiousness.

At the conclusion of Trump’s first year, the stock market and small-business confidence are at record highs, and consumer confidence has not been higher in 17 years. Trump’s loud campaign promises to lure back capital and industry to the heartland no longer look quixotic, given new tax and deregulatory incentives and far cheaper energy costs than in most of Europe and Japan. Trump has now ended 66 regulations for every one he has added. Few believed a Republican president could cut the corporate-tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent while capping state- and local-tax deductions for mostly high earners to $10,000. Those are the highlights of a comprehensive tax-reform and -reduction agenda that will likely accelerate the economy to an even more rapid growth rate than Trump’s first two full quarters of annualized increases in GDP of more than 3 percent. Dozens of large companies are already passing along some of their anticipated tax cuts to employees through increased wages or bonuses — dismissed as “crumbs” by House minority leader Nancy Pelosi. Rising workers’ wages and anticipated tax credits and savings for the lower and middle classes for now are rendering almost mute the age-old fights about state-mandated minimum-wage laws.

The mostly unheralded nixing of the Obamacare individual mandate — once the great ideological battlefield of the Affordable Care Act — will insidiously recalibrate the ACA into a mostly private-market enterprise.

Domestic oil production is slated to exceed 2017 record levels and soon may hit an astonishing 11 million barrels a day. “Peak oil” for now is an ossified idea, as are massive wind and solar Solyndra-like government subsidies and the mostly unworkable Paris Climate Accord. Gas, oil, and coal production are expected to rise even higher with new Trump initiatives to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge field in Alaska, encourage more fracking on federal lands and offshore, and complete needed pipeline links while encouraging coal exportation.

For all the political horse-trading over extending or ending the Obama executive orders on DACA, illegal immigration has declined according to some metrics by over 60 percent. It is now at the lowest levels in the 21st century — even before the ending of chain migration and enacting of new border-security initiatives. Abroad, the ISIS caliphate is for all purposes now extinct. Its demise is in part due to Trump’s outsourcing of the conflict to Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who liberated ground commanders from Obama-administration-era legalistic rules of engagement. Trump’s appointees, such as Mattis, National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, have worked in concert to restore U.S. deterrence.

Variously called “principled realism” or a new “Jacksonianism”,  the Trump doctrine has now replaced the “strategic patience” and “lead from behind” recessionals of the prior administration and not emulated the neoconservative nation-building of the George W. Bush administration. New pressures on nuclear North Korea have prompted the toughest U.N. trade sanctions in history on the rogue state. After Trump’s fiery and erratic rhetoric and muscular displays of U.S. naval and air power in the Pacific, Pyongyang has agreed to landmark talks with Seoul. China is slowly beginning to pressure North Korea to stop launching missiles. Beijing’s Asian neighbors are beefing up missile defense and growing closer to the U.S. For now, the bad cop Trump and the good cops Mattis and McMaster have encouraged friends and frightened enemies, although the shelf life of such diplomatic gymnastics is limited.

Trump almost immediately voiced support for mass demonstrations in Iran, in a manner Obama failed to do in 2009. An ironic fallout of the disastrous 2015 Iran deal may be that the theocracy so hyped its cash windfalls from American relaxation of embargoes and sanctions that it inadvertently raised Iranians’ expectations of a rise in the standard of living. Then it dashed just those hopes by squandering hundreds of millions of newfound dollars in subsidizing Hezbollah, conducting a costly expeditionary war to save the genocidal Bashar al-Assad regime, and likely continuing an exorbitantly costly nuclear-weapons program. What is different about Iran’s internal unrest this time around is twofold. The Trump administration is not invested in any “landmark” deal with Tehran that requires ignoring protesters in the street. Trump also does not envision revolutionary and terror-sponsoring Iran as a “very successful regional power” with “legitimate defense concerns”. Rather, he sees Tehran, along with ISIS and al-Qaeda, as the chief source of Middle East unrest and anti-Americanism.

Moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, in line with past congressional mandates, along with threatening to curtail Palestinian aid, only reifies what is now widely accepted. The new Middle East is not the old. There are no longer any ongoing and viable “peace plans”, “road maps”, or “summits”.  America is becoming energy-independent and immune to oil boycotts. There are new and greater threats than Israel to Arab regimes, from nuclear Iran to the scourge of Islamic terrorism in Iraq and Syria. Patience is wearing thin as after 30 years the Palestinians still cannot create transparent and consensual government. Seventy years after the birth of Israel, the Palestinians still insist on being called “refugees” — when most of the world’s millions of displaced persons decades ago moved on.

Yet as Trump heads into the 2018 midterms, his favorability ratings are unimpressive. Because of loud Democratic threats of using impeachment proceedings to undermine the Trump project, the 2018 fight for the House is taking on historic importance. It is not just a referendum on the Trump agenda, but likely a means to seek to discredit or remove Trump himself — even if the prosecution in the Senate would likely never find the necessary 67 votes. In sum, an embattled Trump now finds himself in a war on all fronts. The first and most important conflict is one of favorability. Trump’s actual approval ratings, as in 2016, are probably somewhat higher than the low 40s reported in many polls. But Trump’s image is still astonishingly dismal in relation to his unappreciated achievements. For congressional Republicans to survive the midterms and retain majorities, Trump perhaps has to hope that the economy will grow not just at 3 percent but even more robustly — with marked rises in workers’ take-home wages due to tax cuts and labor shortages. Is it really true that politics can be reduced to “It’s the economy, stupid”? Obama failed to achieve 3 percent growth per annum over his eight years. As a result he may have lost both houses of Congress, but he also was reelected. More likely, no one quite knows the exact political consequences of economic growth. Between November 1983 and November 1984, the economy grew at 7 percent and ipso facto ushered the once “amiable dunce” Ronald Reagan into a landslide reelection victory over a previously thought-to-be-far-more-impressive Walter Mondale. Yet this time it may be that 3 percent GDP growth will not mitigate Trump’s personal negatives but 4–5 percent would.

It is said that Trump is also at war with himself, in the sense that his tweeting alienates the key constituencies of women voters and independents. Conventional wisdom assures that Trump’s off-the-cuff invectives only fuel his critics and overshadow his achievements. In the heart of immigration negotiations, Trump was quoted secondhand as having called Haiti and other formerly Third World countries “sh**hole” countries and thus undesirable sources of mass immigration to the U.S. Whatever the reliability of reports of the slur, Trump is certainly not the sort of politician to have said instead, “It would seem wiser to encourage diverse immigration, including immigration from the most developed countries as well as the least developed” — even as many people privately agree with Trump’s earthy assessment that immigration should be far more selective and include a far greater variety of countries of origin.

Both Trump’s spoken and electronic stream-of-consciousness venting can be unorthodox, crude and cruel, and often extraneous. But can anyone measure whether and to what degree his Twitter account energizes and widens his base more than it loses him supporters otherwise sympathetic to his agenda? The orthodox wisdom is that Trump should let his achievements speak for themselves, curb his raucous campaign rallies, and restrict his daily tweets to expansions on his agenda and achievement and leave the feuding to subordinates. When Trump has avoided ad hominem spats, and been filmed conducting policy sessions with his cabinet and congressional enemies and friends, he has looked and acted “presidential”.  How good then must Trump’s record become to overshadow both the prejudices against him and his own inner demons to achieve favorability ratings that will provide coattails for his congressional supporters and fuel an even more ambitious second-year agenda? Again, time is running out, and in the next ten months the economy must boom as never before or Trump must learn to sound more like a Ronald Reagan than a Howard Stern.

Trump is simultaneously at war with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Once again, the critical element is time in the sense of the looming midterm elections. So far, after months of media speculation and press leaks, there is no evidence of Russian–Trump collusion. Robert Mueller’s investigative team has been riddled by charges of conflicts of interest, workplace unprofessionalism, and political bias. The basis of the entire writ against Trump, the Fusion GPS–Steele dossier, is now mostly discredited. The file’s lurid sexual accusations alone likely won it notoriety in 2016 among journalists and Obama-administration enablers. The more that is learned about the Steele opposition-research file — paid for by the Clinton campaign, polluted by Russian rumor-mongering, peddled to the FBI, manipulated by the Obama administration to justify FISA surveillance, likely leaked to pet reporters by Obama-administration and Clinton-campaign officials — the more apparent it may become that Mueller is investigating Russian collusion in entirely the wrong place. Another irony is that pushback against the Mueller fishing expedition may prompt reinvestigations into the earlier election-cycle-aborted inquiries about Clinton email improprieties. The Obama administration also likely acted improperly in ignoring the Clinton–Uranium One connections and Hillary Clinton’s violations of agreements with the Obama administration to report the sources of all private donations to the Clinton Foundation during her tenure. So far resistance at both the Department of Justice and the FBI to releasing documents pertaining to all these avenues of interest has stymied House and Senate inquiries. If the Republicans lose the Congress, these investigations will shut down entirely. Democratic majorities will give Mueller a free hand to do as he pleases without worries about past complaints over the ethical shortcomings of his investigation. Select Intelligence and Judiciary Committee hearings will likely give way in the House to impeachment proceedings. But if within the next nine months there are new explosive revelations about the improper or even illegal uses of the Steele dossier and the Clinton scandals, while the Mueller team settles for face-saving indictments of former Trump subordinates for transgressions that have little to do with the original Mueller mandate to investigate Russian–Trump collusion, then Trump will win the legal war. In that case, Trump finally will not only weather the collusion crisis but find himself a political beneficiary of one of the most scandalous efforts to subvert a political campaign and improperly surveil American citizens in recent American history.

Trump wages a fourth war against the proverbial mainstream media, whose coverage, according to disinterested analyses, runs over 90 percent anti-Trump. Negative Trump news fuels Trump-assassination chic in popular culture, the rants of late-night-television comedians, the political effort to grandstand with impeachment writs, calls to invoke the 25th Amendment, and lawsuits alleging violations of the emoluments clause. The threats of a Madonna, the raving of Representative Maxine Waters, the boasts of the “Resistance,” the efforts of blue states to nullify federal immigration law or to dodge compliance with unwelcome new federal tax statutes, and the conspiracy fables of Representative Adam Schiff are all fueled by media attention and preconceived narratives hostile to Trump. The anti-Trump news is still determined to accomplish what so far the Clinton campaign, Obama holdovers, and deep-state bureaucrats have not: so discredit Trump the messenger that his message becomes irrelevant. Trump apparently fights his war against the media in the fashion in which toxic chemotherapy battles cancer. His personal and electronic rants against “fake news” and “crooked” journalists are intended to exhibit media biases and thus discredit negative coverage just before the public tires of Trump’s own off-putting venom. On the one hand, Trump’s anemic approval ratings might suggest the media are winning in their 24/7 efforts to portray Trump as a Russian colluder, rank profiteer, distracted golfer, tax cheat, sexual predator, trigger-happy warmonger, or senile septuagenarian. On the other hand, the media are polling worse than Trump. And his battle has nearly destroyed the credibility of CNN, which has fired marquee journalists for false anti-Trump narratives, been embarrassed by hosts mouthing scatological venom, suffered employees’ hot-mic wishes for Trump’s death, and seen its anchors and special correspondents reduced to on-air rants. For now, no one knows whether Trump’s war against the media is pyrrhic, in that he may defeat his journalist enemies and even render their entire networks discredited, but at such costs that he is no longer politically viable.

Trump is waging a fifth and final war against Democrats. So far Trump has sucked all the oxygen out of the Democratic atmosphere. Politicians and operatives are so obsessed with proving Trump a liar, a cheat, a pervert, a con artist, or an incompetent that they have offered so far no viable opposition leader or alternative agenda. But will just being not-Trump make Democrats preferable? The centrist Democratic party of the 1990s no longer exists. It has become instead a coalition of patched-together progressive causes. The redistributionism and neo-socialism of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are now Democratic economic mainstays. Barack Obama’s lead-from-behind legacy remains Democratic foreign policy. Identity politics still constitutes the culture of the party establishment.

In more practical terms, for all the animus against Trump the person, his agenda — tax cuts, deterrence, reindustrialization, middle-class job growth, closing the borders, the melting pot — is increasingly polling well. In many cases, Trumpism is more popular than Democratic signature issues such as tax hikes, larger government, more entitlements, open borders, more identity politics, and European Union–like internationalism.

The idea of Oprah Winfrey as the 2020 Democratic nominee and the unwillingness of Democrats to secure the border reveal what can happen when a party is reduced to defining itself as not being the incumbent president. The Republicans learned that lesson in their four-time failure to defeat the hated Roosevelt. Democrats in the 1980s had little to offer the country other than not being the supposed buffoon Ronald Reagan. Shutting down the government is also rarely a winning strategy for an out party — as the Republicans learned in their politically disastrous 1995–96 showdown with Bill Clinton. In 2018, it may be enough for congressional candidates to run on anti-Trump invective without expressing strong views on the issues or identifying with any particular national leader. But it won’t be so in 2020, especially if the Trump agenda grows more popular and Trump allows it rather than himself to become his signature message.

For now, all that is certain about Trump’s first year is the 2016 truism that past prognostications and current polls are irrelevant. The jester candidate, Donald Trump, destroyed, not just beat, his 16 primary rivals. The doomed candidate Trump defeated the most well-financed, experienced, and media-favored Democratic candidate in memory. The inept President Trump’s first year was not liberal or directionless, but marked the most successful and conservative governance since Ronald Reagan’s. Trump’s critics insist that his comeuppance is on the horizon. They assure us that character is destiny. Trump’s supposed hubris will finally earn an appropriately occasioned nemesis. But in the meantime, nearly half the country may be happy that the establishment was not just wrong but nearly discredited in its non-ending, prejudicial dismissal of the Trump agenda and, so far, the successful Trump presidency.

So: HOWL globalists, socialists, warmists, feminists, Muslims, and Democrats.

He is impervious to your insults.

He is charitable and generous. Yes, he is.

He is not a “racist” or “anti-woman”. Certainly not.

He does not take drugs, drink alcohol – or even coffee.

He has not colluded with the Russians, or any other foreign power. (Obama did with the Russians and the Iranians. Hillary Clinton did with anyone who would pay her.)

He flourishes, he laughs, he acts, he wins.

Hamas, Abbas, PLO – good-bye to all that? 1

Yet another badly needed change has been accomplished byPresident Trump, one that will change political alignments and actions all over the world – for the better. 

DebkaFile reports:

The White House has decided to quietly withdraw from all its ties with the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority and Mahmoud Abbas.
DEBKAfile’s exclusive sources report that the Trump administration has resolved to scrap all ties with the Palestinian leadership in retaliation for its campaign against US President Donald Trump and his Jerusalem policy. Several warnings to Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) of what was in store if he did not desist from castigating the US president fell on death ears.
Last week, two Arab crown princes, Saudi [Crown Prince] Muhammed bin Salman and UAE Sheikh Muhammed bin Zayed, summoned Abbas to their capitals and urged him strongly to back away from his attacks on President Trump. He got the same advice from the ruler of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Al Thani, who conferred with Washington on the subject – all to no avail. The Trump administration has therefore set out an eight-point program of sanctions, which is first revealed here:

  • The Israeli-Palestinian peace plan under preparation in Washington will not be submitted to Ramallah – only to Israel and the relevant Arab governments.
  • US-Palestinian interaction is to be suspended – not just at the senior levels but in day-to-day interchanges. The administration has notified Palestinian and other Arab parties to stop addressing queries on political and economic matters to the US consulate in Jerusalem, because they will not receive answers. The status of the PLO office in Washington will be reevaluated with a view to shutting it down.
  • Palestinian officials will no longer be invited to Washington by the US government, including the State Department and Department of Treasury.
  • Above all, they will not be welcome at the White House or the National Security Council where US Middle East policy is designed. Senior US officials congratulated the senior Palestinian negotiator Saab Erekat, who also holds the PA’s American portfolio, on his recovery from illness, at the same time warning him that he would no longer be received at the White House. [That’s witty – ed.] 
  • The Trump administration will not make any public announcement of the cutoff of financial aid to the Palestinians. Since the funds are mostly earmarked for specific economic projects, each allocation will simply be held back on the pretext of the need for a “reappraisal”.
  • The US will halt its contributions to the UN Work and Relief Organization, an estimated one billion dollars per annum.
  • The US administration moreover intervened with the governments of Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and Qatar with a request that they freeze or slow their economic aid to the Palestinian Authority.
  • According DEBKAfile’s sources, Palestinian officials in Ramallah were devastated by news of the sudden cutoff of the main sources of the PA’s revenue. Even the Qatar ruler, whom Abbas visited last week as a last resort to save the PA from economic meltdown, refused to release any more funding.

 

(Hat-tip Cogito)

Winning 17

We had a commenter recently on our Facebook page who said that President Trump should “get off his ass” and do something. When we replied that he had achieved more in his first year than any other president in living memory, and against more deliberate hampering, blocking and resistance than any other president – and that he, the commenter,  only did not know this because he read the mainstream media which refused to report President Trump’s accomplishments – his further comment was a long string of hahahas.

As there must be millions who would also laugh at our assertion, it is time to list those accomplishments. And it is also time to name the conservatives who joined the hamperers, blockers and resisters in making it as hard for the president to achieve anything as they possibly could – out of sheer prejudice.

John Nolte has made such a list and named some of the most prominent guilty conservatives.

He writes at Breitbart:

Remember these names: Jonah Goldberg, David Frum, Bill Kristol, Rich Lowry, Max Boot, Mitt Romney, John Kasich, Joe Scarborough, Jeff Flake, Ben Sasse, Jennifer Rubin, George Will, Josh Jordan, Tom Nichols, Charles Cooke, Stephen Hayes, Tim Miller, John Podhoretz, Nicole Wallace, Steven Schmidt, Bret Stephens, Ross Douthat, Leon Wolf, David Brooks, Rick Wilson, Evan McMullin, Stuart Stevens, Red State, National Review, the Weekly Standard 

These are the so-called conservative men, women, and institutions who (among others) fought the hardest to sabotage Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, all in the unforgivable hope that Hillary Clinton would become president.

These are so-called conservatives who have, for nearly two years now, been promoting themselves and fundraising by smearing Trump as incompetent and “not a real conservative,” as a “Democrat in sheep’s clothing” — when, in fact, all of that best describes #NeverTrump.

These are the so-called conservatives who — after Trump’s first year in office — have now been proven as wrong as wrong can be. If their conservative credentials lost all credibility during a 2016 campaign during which they used whatever residual influence they had to hand the Oval Office to Clinton, the proven results of the past year should mean that they are written off forever as idiots, quacks, mercenaries, and con men.

Trump has had, in my opinion, the most successful first year of any president since Ronald Reagan. And not just a consequential first year that has already built a legacy, but conservative first year. Below, I do my best to list these accomplishments, but there are so many, forgive me if a few are missed:

  • Real, honest-to-goodness tax reform and cuts — the most consequential in 30 years.
  • Opening ANWR for oil exploration, an accomplishment few can appreciate who do not remember the 90s and what a sacred cow this is for the left.
  • Killing the Obamacare mandate that brutalized those making less than $50,000 a year.
  • The Islamic State (ISIS) has been decimated. [We would say obliterated– ed]
  • After a 2016 of just 1.9 percent GDP growth, we have now had two quarters in a row of growth over three percent; predictions for the final quarter of 2017 are as high as four percent.
  • [The appointment of] Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, who has already proven himself the perfect replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia.
  • The Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines are a go — which means tens of thousands of jobs.
  • A record number of judicial appointments on the appeals courts.
  • The end of the War on Coal.
  • A surge in coal mining after 2016’s decline.
  • The end of the federal government’s violating the religious conscience through indefensible Obamacare mandates involving birth control and abortion pills.
  • The civil rights movement for school choice is getting the green light throughout the country.
  • Illegal immigration is way down.
  • The stock market hit record highs 70 times in 2017, rising 5,000 points for the first time ever.
  • The long-overdue recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
  • We are free of the awful Paris climate treaty.
  • Regulatory reform that is just getting started, but it has already had a hugely positive effect on our economy.
  • Withdrawal from the Global Compact on Migration, which undercut American sovereignty.
  • Return of nearly two million acres to the state Utah that the federal government had stolen.
  • A $250 billion trade deal with China.
  • Many of our NATO allies are finally paying their dues.
  • Consumer confidence is the best we have seen in more than a decade.
  • Pulled us out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in favor of the American worker and sovereignty.
  • Trump has managed to get China to help rein in North Korea. [To some extent – ed]
  • Black unemployment is at a 17-year low.
  • Hispanic unemployment is at an all-time low.
  • Overall unemployment is at [four point] one percent.
  • Manufacturing jobs boom.
  • Standing up for persecuted Christian minorities in the Middle East. [More needs to be done, but it’s a start – ed]
  • Promoting Christmas.
  • Banning [immigration] or demanding stronger vetting [of immigrants] from [predominantly Muslim] countries most likely to [export] terrorists.
  • Housing sales are at an 11-year high.
  • Ban on transgender military recruits.

Now, you need to close your eyes and imagine what the list above would look like had #NeverTrump won the day and made Hillary Clinton president.

Now, try to imagine any one of the 16 Republicans who competed [with Trump] for the 2016 nomination accomplishing all of this, or even having the courage to stand up to a media onslaught to accomplish all of this, or even being, yes, conservative enough to do things like pull us out of the Paris climate agreement (something the Republican establishment’s failed 2012 nominee, Mitt Romney, opposes).

Trump’s conservatism, his competence, his willingness to stand up to gale force media hate to keep his promises, is unlike anything we have seen since 1981.

In the pursuit of only their own grift, personal fame, the gratification of bottomless egos, and a soft place to land among the Beautiful People, #NeverTrump lied to us, took our money, and fought tooth and nail to extend the disastrous Obama presidency into a third term.

And now, just one year into Trump’s presidency, #NeverTrump has once again been exposed for who they truly are — bitter, dishonest saboteurs more interested in their lofty place at the trough than the future of their own country.

All these bitter clingers have left now is to further degrade outlets such as the once-necessary National Review, a once-cherished laboratory of vibrant conservative ideas and thought, which is now a hangout for sore losers to keep rewriting the same column over and over and over again about how pure and virtuous they are, as they scold the rest of us for fighting for and sticking with a president who has delivered in ways they told us was not even within the realm of possibility.

So now the real conservatives can laugh – the longest string of triumphant hahahas they can manage while their breath lasts.

*

Later: WND provides an even longer list: 168 accomplishments.

Savage resolutions 1

The great Pat Condell tells it as it is again:

Posted under Islam, Israel, United Nations by Jillian Becker on Friday, December 22, 2017

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How and why Obama protected a global crime syndicate 1

Obama protected Hezbollah drug ring to save Iran nukes deal.

Here’s the New York Post’s report on yet another scandal from Obama’s cuckoo-occupation of the White House. We choose it because it is a short account of a very long story.

The Obama administration protected members of notorious terror group Hezbollah from prosecution to save the Iran nuclear deal …

A team at the Drug Enforcement Administration had been working for almost a decade to bring down the Lebanon-based militant organization’s sophisticated $1 billion-a-year drug ring — which it found was smuggling cocaine into the US and laundering the profits by buying used cars stateside and shipping them to Africa for resale …

But the departments of Justice and Treasury delayed and rejected prosecution and sanctions requests from the team that had exposed the Iran-backed criminal network because the Obama White House feared “rocking the boat” with Tehran ahead of the deal … .

The taskforce, named Project Cassandra, worked for eight years out of a top-secret facility in Virginia with help from 30 American and foreign security agencies, unraveling the global crime syndicate that was funding Hezbollah’s Jihadi operations, the site reports.

Among those the team sought to bring to justice were Abdallah Safieddine, the group’s envoy to Tehran and a shadowy operative nicknamed “Ghost”, who it considered one of the biggest cocaine smugglers in the world.

But the administration repeatedly stymied efforts to prosecute Safieddine — even though the team had eyewitnesses willing to testify that he’d overseen big weapons and drug deals — and ultimately shut Project Cassandra down once the nuclear deal was settled

A  long report on the whole horrible story may be found here at Politico.

It includes this:

The man who would become Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser and then CIA director, John Brennan … recommended in a policy paper that “[Obama] has the opportunity to set a new course for relations between the two countries” through not only a direct dialogue, but “greater assimilation of Hezbollah into Lebanon’s political system”. 

By May 2010, Brennan, then assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, confirmed in a speech that the administration was looking for ways to build up “moderate elements” within Hezbollah.

“Hezbollah is a very interesting organization,” Brennan told a Washington conference, saying it had evolved from “purely a terrorist organization” to a militia and, ultimately, a political party with representatives in the Lebanese Parliament and Cabinet …

That was his spin on Hezbollah’s coup d’état by force. Brennan shared Obama’s warm feelings for Islam.

Obama was willing to pay any price (with tax-payers’ money), make any concession or sacrifice, bow as low as he could bend to the ayatollahs, to get a “deal” that permitted Iran to develop nuclear weapons and accumulate a nuclear arsenal, under the guise of a “deal” that it would not do so – for ten years.  After which, it would be equipped and free to attack the United Sates and destroy Israel and Saudi Arabia – its Sunni rival for power in Islam.

It could not be writ more large and clear on the Obama years that he wanted the victory of Islam in its jihad against the rest of the world.

A nuclear armed Iran was the most likely to achieve that high objective.

Meanwhile Iran’s proxy, Hezbollah, now the ruling power in Lebanon, grows in strength and threatens the Arab states as well as Israel.

Iran and Hezbollah need to be disarmed – and that can only be done by force.

Posted under Arab States, Iran, Islam, Israel, jihad, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Treason, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Monday, December 18, 2017

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President Trump and the capital of Israel 2

Today President Trump made a speech of historic significance.

Here’s the text:

When I came into office, I promised to look at the world’s challenges with open eyes and very fresh thinking.

We cannot solve our problems by making the same failed assumptions and repeating the same failed strategies of the past. All challenges demand new approaches.

My announcement today marks the beginning of a new approach to conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

In 1995, Congress adopted the Jerusalem Embassy Act urging the federal government to relocate the American Embassy to Jerusalem and to recognize that that city, and so importantly, is Israel’s capital. This act passed congress by an overwhelming bipartisan majority. And was reaffirmed by unanimous vote of the Senate only six months ago.

Yet, for over 20 years, every previous American president has exercised the law’s waiver, refusing to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem or to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city. Presidents issued these waivers under the belief that delaying the recognition of Jerusalem would advance the cause of peace. Some say they lacked courage but they made their best judgments based on facts as they understood them at the time. Nevertheless, the record is in.

After more than two decades of waivers, we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

It would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result.

Therefore, I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver.

Today, I am delivering. I’ve judged this course of action to be in the best interests of the United States of America and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. This is a long overdue step to advance the peace process. And to work towards a lasting agreement.

Israel is a sovereign nation with the right, like every other sovereign nation, to determine its own capital. Acknowledging this is a fact is a necessary condition for achieving peace. It was 70 years ago that the United States under President Truman recognized the state of Israel.

Ever since then, Israel has made its capital in the city of Jerusalem, the capital the Jewish people established in ancient times.

Today, Jerusalem is the seat of the modern Israeli government. It is the home of the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, as well as the Israeli Supreme Court. It is the location of the official residence of the prime minister and the president. It is the headquarters of many government ministries.

For decades, visiting American presidents, secretaries of State and military leaders have met their Israeli counterparts in Jerusalem, as I did on my trip to Israel earlier this year.

Jerusalem is not just the heart of three great religions, but it is now also the heart of one of the most successful democracies in the world. Over the past seven decades, the Israeli people have built a country where Jews, Muslims and Christians and people of all faiths are free to live and worship according to their conscience and according to their beliefs.

Jerusalem is today and must remain a place where Jews pray at the Western Wall, where Christians walk the stations of the cross, and where Muslims worship at Al Aqsa Mosque. However, through all of these years, presidents representing the United States have declined to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In fact, we have declined to acknowledge any Israeli capital at all.

But today we finally acknowledge the obvious. That Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It’s something that has to be done.

That is why consistent with the Jerusalem embassy act, I am also directing the State Department to begin preparation to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This will immediately begin the process of hiring architects, engineers and planners so that a new embassy, when completed, will be a magnificent tribute to peace.

In making these announcements, I also want to make one point very clear. This decision is not intended in any way to reflect a departure from our strong commitment to facilitate a lasting peace agreement.

We want an agreement that is a great deal for the Israelis and a great deal for the Palestinians. We are not taking a position of any final status issues including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem or the resolution of contested borders. Those questions are up to the parties involved.

The United States remains deeply committed to helping facilitate a peace agreement that is acceptable to both sides. I intend to do everything in my power to help forge such an agreement.

Without question, Jerusalem is one of the most sensitive issues in those talks. The United States would support a two-state solution if agreed to by both sides. In the meantime, I call on all parties to maintain the status quo at Jerusalem’s holy sites including the Temple Mount, also known as Haram al-Sharif. Above all, our greatest hope is for peace. The universal yearning in every human soul.

With today’s action, I reaffirm my administration’s longstanding commitment to a future of peace and security for the region. There will, of course, be disagreement and dissent regarding this announcement. But we are confident that ultimately, as we work through these disagreements, we will arrive at a peace and a place far greater in understanding and cooperation. This sacred city should call forth the best in humanity.

Lifting our sights to what is possible, not pulling us back and down to the old fights that have become so totally predictable.

Peace is never beyond the grasp of those willing to reach it.

So today we call for calm, for moderation, and for the voices of tolerance to prevail over the purveyors of hate. Our children should inherit our love, not our conflicts. I repeat the message I delivered at the historic and extraordinary summit in Saudi Arabia earlier this year: The Middle East is a region rich with culture, spirit, and history. Its people are brilliant, proud and diverse. Vibrant and strong.

But the incredible future awaiting this region is held at bay by bloodshed, ignorance and terror.

Vice President Pence will travel to the region in the coming days to reaffirm our commitment to work with partners throughout the Middle East to defeat radicalism that threatens the hopes and dreams of future generations.

It is time for the many who desire peace to expel the extremists from their midsts. It is time for all civilized nations and people to respond to disagreement with reasoned debate, not violence. And it is time for young and moderate voices all across the Middle East to claim for themselves a bright and beautiful future.

So today, let us rededicate ourselves to a path of mutual understanding and respect. Let us rethink old assumptions and open our hearts and minds to possible and possibilities.

And finally, I ask the leaders of the region political and religious, Israeli and Palestinian, Jewish and Christian and Muslim to join us in the noble quest for lasting peace.

Thank you.

We applaud and celebrate the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and the starting of the building of a new US embassy in Jerusalem.

And we wait for the first rockets and acts of terrorism that will show how keenly Muslims are joining in the noble quest for peace.

Posted under Israel, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, December 6, 2017

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People drifting in the rising ocean of Islam – and an island called Israel 1

This is about the drowning of the West.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), since its establishment in 1950, has resettled some 50 million refugees – an extraordinary achievement by any standards.

So Denis MacEoin writes at Gatestone.

An achievement? We would call it a vast disaster, a colossal calamity. (The United Nations must be destroyed.)  And the rest of his article proves our contention.

So we quote his article with appreciation, in strong agreement with most of his opinions.

Refugees are back in the news. This summer, the number of migrants crossing the Mediterranean from North Africa is likely to rise significantly.

According to the Daily Telegraph:

Europe could face a new wave of migrant arrivals this summer, a leaked German government report has warned. Up to 6.6m people are waiting in countries around the Mediterranean to cross into Europe, according to details of the classified report leaked to Bild newspaper.

Six million six hundred thousand people are about to cross the Mediterranean and enter Europe.

With the closing of the route through the Balkans and entry via Greece, most refugees, economic migrants and asylum seekers are crossing the Mediterranean into Spain or Italy, putting those countries under enormous strain. Since 2016, Austria has strengthened border police to prevent thousands more entering from Italy, and increased the number of troops and armored vehicles on the border in 2017.

On World Refugee Day 2016, the United Nation’s High Commission for Refugees announced that there are now more displaced persons than there were after World War Two: “The total at the end of 2015 reached 65.3 million – or one out of every 113 people on Earth… The number represents a 5.8 million increase on the year before.”

There are over sixty-five million displaced people in the world right now. 

…  The rise in criminality in general, rape, Islamic radicalization, and even terror attacks as a result of a barely controlled influx of migrants from mainly Muslim countries has created alarm in [European] country after country.

This alarm has led to serious divisions. It has divided people politically, with the left and centrists welcoming increasing numbers and the right  …  calling for more rigid controls and even the expulsion of many incomers. Even this division conceals two important issues.

First, it is easy to forget that many countries are legally bound to accept refugees from wherever they originate. These are the 142 countries who are signatories to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol extending it. They include European countries into which refugees have been coming, such as Germany, Spain, Italy, France and the UK. (The United States is signatory only to the 1967 Protocol.) The Convention guarantees that refugees shall not be sent back into harm’s way, and that, according to the UNHCR, “refugees deserve, as a minimum, the same standards of treatment enjoyed by other foreign nationals in a given country and, in many cases, the same treatment as nationals”. Among the few non-signatories are the Gulf states of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

Second, there is a moral dimension that transcends simple party politics. Many religious people, such as Christians, may give greater priority to compassion for their fellow man than national concerns about the ability to cope with overwhelming numbers of new arrivals or ways of integrating them into their own societies. Many Jewish people, conscious of the world’s failure to take in hundreds of thousands of Jews in the years leading up to, and even during, the Holocaust, also feel a moral obligation to show a level of concern for today’s refugees far above what was shown to their grandparents. This view also extended to the way a barely-established state, Israel, took in around a million Jews expelled from Arab states after 1948.

Generosity and moral actions, however, may unintentionally make matters worse. In a recent Gatestone article on migrants, Douglas Murray quotes a statement by Bill Gates, a philanthropist who has started to rethink the results of such generosity:

On the one hand you want to demonstrate generosity and take in refugees. But the more generous you are, the more word gets around about this – which in turn motivates more people to leave Africa. Germany cannot possibly take in the huge number of people who are wanting to make their way to Europe.

Balancing legal requirements, stemming from the 1951 Convention, with the needs of national security, finance, and social cohesion, still proves a major dilemma for signatory states. Non-signatories such as the Gulf States, vastly wealthier than European countries such as Greece or Italy, have no such a dilemma, even though many Syrian and North African refugees speak much the same language, have the same religion, and practice similar customs in daily life.

There are likely to be further waves of refugees in the next few years, then more from Syria now that Islamic State is all but finished in Raqqa. The civil war in Syria, with the ISIS threat to a large extent removed, is certain to intensify; then more will flee Iraq with the recapture of a battered Mosul and further clashes between Sunni and Shi’i militias; then more from Libya, where ISIS-affiliated groups clash with a multitude of other Islamist fighters; then more from other failed and failing states in North Africa, the Middle East, the rest of Africa and Afghanistan, where the Taliban are again resurgent – more, in fact, from everywhere as social structures break down further, now that so many qualified people such as doctors, teachers, scientists have vanished to Europe. …

The collapse around the world of so many countries that never became democracies – countries lacking in abundant natural resources and whose dictators, taking international aid for their own pockets, sucked them dry – has led to an exodus that threatens to displace some of the world’s leading democracies. Many are now under a barely manageable strain and growing impoverishment, actually enabled by our democratic values, our concern for international conventions, our compassion and, at times, our naïvete. … Our decline will leave future refugees without sanctuaries in which they may thrive and give their children the opportunities for which they came.

In other words, Western democracies that accept hordes of refugees from the world’s hellholes will be turned into hellholes themselves, and there will be no refuge anywhere on earth. 

Tyranny scatters the miserable, who can only turn the world into one big hellhole of misery. 

Something, however, is missing. The left, who so often lead the campaigns to welcome to our shores an almost unfettered number of newcomers …  have in recent years justified their actions through the concept of intersectionality.

In itself, intersectionality could a useful way of looking at the world by seeing links between people who suffer different forms of oppression, such as racism, misogyny, homophobia and so on. It argues, for example, that a poor black woman has more issues to solve than, say, a middle-class white woman, even though both may be victims of male oppression. In theory, it is a useful tool; in practice, not so much.

How does intersectionality apply to refugees? Well, in general the “Left” have made the open reception of refugees a major cause, using intersectionality to justify this while condemning any other approach as fascist.

Articles often drip with standard far-left language: “emancipate ourselves from all forms of oppression”, “if we want to fight capitalism with all its forms of oppression”, and “white supremacist behavior harms our political self-organization” and other displays of racism framed in victimhood.

Referring to Linda Sarsour, a prominent Palestinian-American “anti-Zionist”, Benjamin Gladstone argues in Tablet Magazine that

No matter what the Sarsours of the world say, Jewish issues do belong in the intersectional justice movement. … Despite its enormous value and importance, however, the idea of intersectionality can also be manipulated to exclude Jewish issues from pro-justice movements.

Why “Jewish issues”? And what does this have to do with refugees? The answer is that the “Left” … [has] turned intersectionality into two seemingly unlinked matters: as an argument to call for unlimited entry for refugees and other migrants; and as a weapon to advance their hostility for Israel in demonstrations, in conferences, and in their written work.

The clearest expression of this refusal to include Jewish concerns in any intersectional discussion is the way “Left-wing” and anti-racist demonstrators, and speakers, starting in Ferguson in 2014, have consciously linked the Black Lives Matter movement to the Palestinian cause, blaming the “oppression” of the Palestinians on Jews, Zionists, and Israel, and then appealing to intersectionality as the basis for that link. This pairing of two causes rapidly became a core part of the Black Lives Matter movement. Already by 2015, in a deeply anti-Semitic and anti-Israel document, the 2015 Black Solidarity Statement with Palestine, one reads:

Our support extends to those living under occupation and siege, Palestinian citizens of Israel, and the 7 million Palestinian refugees exiled in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Palestine. The refugees’ right to return to their homeland in present-day Israel is the most important aspect of justice for Palestinians.

There is, of course, no mention of Palestinian repression of free speech, of corrupt Palestinian governance, of Palestinian terrorism, or other abuses that follow in the wake of rotten governance. This overdone concern for generations of the descendants of Palestinian refugees – people forced to live in camps, not by Israel but by the Arab states referred to – is then artificially made to meld with the intersectional concern for refugees who are fleeing into Europe from wars in Muslim countries.

It is precisely here that the pretence of intersectionality on the left is most fully exposed. It is not just that supporters of intersectionality refuse to accept Jews as recipients of their outpourings of love and generosity, or that they focus in a racist and fascist manner on the supposed evils of the only Jewish state. They show themselves to be hypocrites in two ways.

To begin with, there actually are no Palestinian people, as used in the current sense of the term. The Oslo Accords accurately refer to Arabs, which is what they are – Arabs who left Israel in the war of 1947-8 in order not to be involved in a conflict in which other Arabs fought with Jews and Christians and who currently make up more than a million of the Arabs now living in Israel as citizens with equal rights. These Arabs who abandoned Israel while it was fighting for its life and who afterwards wanted to return. Israel refused on the grounds that these countrymen had not been loyal. It is those displaced persons, largely in Jordan and Lebanon, who then found themselves on the wrong end of a war that their brother Arabs had started and, to everyone’s astonishment, had lost. It is these Arabs (and their descendants), who fled Israel during the War of 1947-8, and who are therefore considered by Israel a fifth-column, who are what we now call the Palestinians.

And the UN has never attempted to resettle them. On the contrary, that nefarious institution has deliberately kept them, generation after generation, as  refugees.

Jews have remained in place in the area continuously for more than three thousand years – with Arabs, Christians, Turks, Helenes, Philistines, and whoever else came along – even when, at times, many were forced out.

One might have assumed that this history of abuse of the Jews would excite intersectionalists into reaching out to Jewish people everywhere and working with them to quell anti-Semitism and anti-Jewish terrorism. Instead, they have chosen to align with a people whose leaders have refused multiple times to accept a Palestinian state each time it was offered to them.

Instead, they apparently prefer to hate Jews and the Jewish state of Israel.

This is important. Jewish refugees from the Russian pogroms and Russia in World War I, long before the Holocaust, and from Arab and Muslim states were among the earliest to head for Palestine, then Israel, in order to build a new Jewish homeland, where Jews would be guaranteed a refuge from violence and hatred. Do not those refugees deserve the same intersectional support as those flowing into Europe today? Do not the many thousands of black Jews who went from Ethiopia and Sudan to Israel deserve backing from Black Lives Matter? Do not the thousands of Indian Jews now in Israel deserve friendship from people of color?

We are sure that Denis MacEoin knows that as Black Live Matter and all anti-Israel movements are battalions of the international Left, they class the Israelis as “colonialists”, and – however absurdly – as “white supremacists”. What BLM is really all about is promoting communism. That is what they are paid for, by George Soros and other haters of America and Western civilization. They should not be allowed for one moment to think that we are taken in by their claims to victimhood or believe they have any sympathy for actual victims. They are transparently hypocritical, as is the whole of the Left.

Instead, left-wing intersectionalists work towards an increasingly unachievable Palestinian “right of return”. …

There is no room here for a discussion of the spurious nature of “Palestinian Refugees” or the fact that they are kept in refugee camps – not by Israel but by Arab states. But such a discussion within groups who use intersectionality as a tool for hatred against Jews and Israelis is long overdue.

If intersectionality means anything as a system for bringing diverse peoples together, for helping refugees settle, for expressing solidarity with people who have suffered, it is meaningless if certain people are excluded. The “mistake” the Israelis made seems to have been that, although driven out as refugees, they exercised their right to self-determination, returned to their homeland, and turned it into one of the most successful countries in the world. The Palestinians, who had an equal opportunity to attain the same success, remain in poverty and disarray, with terrorism for 80 years as their only notable achievement. If they had agreed to work with the Jews instead of fighting them, who knows where they might be today? That would have been positive intersectionality, bringing two suffering people together for the common good. But to some, being “politically correct” evidently matters more than making the world a better place.

When most European countries have become Muslim countries – which will be quite soon now – Israel will be an island of freedom and democracy in a vast ocean of  Islam. That is a sea that really is rising. How can Israel survive? Islam will flow over it, as it will over every democracy eventually. Unless it is stopped now. And there is no sign of it being stopped (except perhaps in America, by President Trump).

Admitting millions of Muslims into Western democratic countries is not a way to save the drowning, but to be drowned.

Bitter disappointment? 6

If President Trump:

Grants amnesty to illegal aliens

Does not build the Wall

Does not reduce taxes for all

Does not get Congress to repeal Obamacare

Does not tear up the Iran deal

Does not crush ISIS

Does not continue to call Islamic terrorism by its name

Does not move the US embassy in Israel to its capital Jerusalem

Does not put an end to Kim Jong-un

Does not put a stop to the investigation of his non-existent collusion with Russia

Does not insist that his Department of Justice indict known felons of the Clinton Foundation

Ditto of the IRS

Does not stop the State Department continuing Obama policies

Allows himself to continue being putty in the hands of McMaster and Kelly

Does not protect free speech

The 63 million people who voted for him, the thousands who applaud him at his rallies, and all who have put their hopes in him, will be bitterly disappointed.

 

Ann Coulter on amnesty at Townhall:

Donald Trump is being told that amnesty for “Dreamers,” or DACA recipients, will only apply to a small, narrowly defined group of totally innocent, eminently deserving illegal immigrants, who were brought to this country “through no fault of their own” as “children.” (Children who are up to 36 years old.)

Every syllable of that claim is a lie, and I can prove it. …

In 2005 — nearly 20 years after the 1986 amnesty — the Ninth Circuit was still granting amnesty to hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens who claimed they had been unfairly denied because they were not in the country for the first amnesty. Seriously.

No matter how the law is written, as long as anyone is eligible for amnesty, everybody’s getting amnesty.

President Trump is the last president who will ever have a chance to make the right decision on immigration. After this, it’s over. The boat will have sailed.

If he succeeds, all the pussy-grabbing and Russia nonsense will burn off like a morning fog. He will be the president who saved the American nation, its character, its sovereignty, its core identity. But if he fails, Donald Trump will go down in history as the man who killed America.

Breitbart on the Wall:

President Donald Trump admitted that he wasn’t actually going to build a great new wall on the southern border but repair existing fences and build selective strategic border structures.

[Yet] “The WALL, which is already under construction in the form of new renovation of old and existing fences and walls, will continue to be built,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Thursday morning.

Politico on no tax relief for “the rich”:

President Donald Trump declared Wednesday that the rich won’t be getting richer under his administration’s tax plan and even signaled a willingness to raise taxes on the wealthy.

“The rich will not be gaining at all with this plan,” he told reporters ahead of a meeting with a bipartisan group of House members at the White House.

NBC reports on Obamacare repeal failure (so not the president’s fault?):

Obamacare stays. For now.

Senate Republicans failed to pass a pared-down Obamacare repeal bill early Friday on a vote of 49-51 that saw three of their own dramatically break ranks.

Three Republican senators — John McCain, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski — and all Democrats voted against the bill, dealing a stinging defeat to Republicans and President Donald Trump who made repeal of Obamacare a cornerstone their campaigns.

The late-night debate capped the GOP’s months-long effort to fulfill a seven-year promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

ABC News reports on maintaining the Iran deal: 

The Trump administration is poised to extend sanctions relief to Iran, avoiding imminent action that could implode the landmark 2015 nuclear deal.

But the move expected Thursday comes as the White House seeks ways to find that Tehran is not complying with the agreement. President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized the deal, but has yet to pull out of it.

Trump is working against a Thursday deadline to decide whether to extend the sanctions waivers, which were first issued by the Obama administration.

In exchange for Tehran rolling back its nuclear program, the U.S. and other world powers agreed to suspend wide-ranging oil, trade and financial sanctions that had choked the Iranian economy.

Administration officials say Trump is ready to extend the waivers and that no serious alternatives have been presented.

The American Center on Law and Justice reports on the spread of ISIS:

ISIS is spreading, just like they promised.

Six months ago we warned that “the need to defeat ISIS is not a problem isolated to Iraq and Syria. It is, indeed, an international concern.” As Iraqi President Fuad Masum observed in 2014, “the whole world is realizing that this is not an ordinary enemy with small ambitions. ISIS is a cancer that can spread very quickly.” And spreading it is.

ISIS is on the move and is expanding into Southeast Asia.  One U.S. intelligence official explained that ISIS “harbors global ambitions and seeks to expand its influence in Southeast Asia by cultivating a network of adherents and supporters”.

Breitbart deplores President Trump’s failure to use the word “Islamic” to describe Islamic terrorism:

On the sixteenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, Islamic terrorist attacks, President Donald Trump did not once mention the terms “radical Islam” or “Islamic terrorism” during a commemoration ceremony at the Pentagon.

The Financial Times reports on President Trump’s failure to move the US embassy to Jerusalem:

Donald Trump has decided not to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, marking a reversal of one of the president’s core campaign pledges. Mr Trump issued a waiver to a congressional requirement to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. Congress in 1995 mandated that the US diplomatic mission in Israel be moved to Jerusalem, but Bill Clinton, George W Bush and Barack Obama all signed repeated six-month waivers postponing the move for national security reasons.

On regime change in North Korea:

Dr. Sebastian Gorka – Trump Not Interested In Regime Change In North Korea (video).

USA today reports that trump will not fire “special counsel” Robert Mueller:

President Trump said he does not intend to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, whose federal investigation into Russia’s election meddling he frequently denounces as a “witch hunt” or a “hoax.”

Breitbart reports on FBI investigations of the Clinton Foundation (on this one there seems to be some cause for hope, but it is not strong):

Fox News Special Report anchor Bret Baier reports that two sources with “intimate knowledge” of the Clinton Foundation FBI investigation say that an indictment is “likely” down the road in the case.

“I pressed again and again on this very issue, and these sources said, ‘Yes, the investigations will continue,’” if Hillary Clinton defeats Donald Trump on election day, Baier said Wednesday night. His sources added, as he said, “There is a lot of evidence.”

“And barring some obstruction in some way, they believe they’ll continue to likely an indictment,” Baier said.

Baier made the bombshell announcement in an appearance with his fellow anchor on Brit Hume’s program On The Record, after earlier on his own program breaking the news that the FBI was indeed investigating the Clinton Foundation and the investigation was expansive, wide-reaching, and has gone on for a year.

PowerLine comments on the DIJ’s decision not to prosecute Lois Lerner for her IRS crimes:

The Trump Justice Department has decided not to prosecute Lois Lerner for her leading role in the IRS targeting scandal. The Obama Justice Department made that call in 2015, but House Republicans asked the Trump administration to take a fresh look.

Having done so, the Justice Department today notified members of Congress that it will not alter the Obama administration’s decision.

Breitbart reports on Tillerson’s State Department continuing Obama’s policies:

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has presided over a department … eager to contradict statements out of the White House or other agencies of the executive government. Below are seven of the strangest, most contradictory, and often baffling statements and actions from the State Department and the nation’s top diplomat.

U.S. Denies Millions in Funding to Egypt over ‘Human Rights’ Concerns [offends President al-Sisi who opposes the Muslim Brotherhood and is regarded as a friend by President Trump].

State Department Welcomes Muslim Brotherhood-Linked Group [to the State Department]

Tillerson Soft on Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran During Confirmation Hearing

Tillerson Signs Climate Change Provisions, Including Commitment to Paris Agreement [from which President Trump withdrew]. 

State Department Refusing to Withdraw Presence in Cuba After Sonic Attacks

Tillerson to North Korea Following Missile Test: ‘We Are Not Your Enemy’

Tillerson: “Trump and I Have Differences of Views on Iran Deal”

PJ Media reports that McMaster yells at Israeli defense officials and denies Hizbollah is a terrorist organization:

During the week of August 27, an Israeli delegation met with members of the National Security Council (NSC) at the White House to discuss the current threat to Israel by the terror group Hezbollah.

Israel believes this threat is currently dire. This meeting preceded a two-week long Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) exercise to rehearse for possible war with Hezbollah. The Jerusalem Post described this exercise, which commenced on September 4 and is ongoing, as the IDF’s largest in 20 years.

Hezbollah has been a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization since 1997. However, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster brought NSC Senior Director on Counter-Terrorism Mustafa Javed Ali to the White House meeting with Israel. Ali, a McMaster appointee, is described by a senior administration source as being “opposed to Hezbollah’s designation as a terrorist organization”. 

What then transpired at the meeting has been confirmed to PJ Media by several administration sources, by members of non-governmental organizations involved in national security, and by a source within the Israeli government.

The Israeli delegation demanded that Mustafa Javed Ali leave the room.

This demand was made despite the clear likelihood that Ali would later be privy to the meeting’s materials and discussion. As such, sources speculated that Israel intended the demand to serve as a message to President Trump that McMaster’s behavior has constituted a subversion of Trump’s stated Middle East policy. None of the several sources were aware if Trump had been made aware of the incident.

As has been widely reported, Trump’s Chief of Staff General Kelly has instituted tight restrictions on information and contacts reaching the president. Additionally, Kelly has been said to be working closely with General McMaster on issues related to the flow of information within the administration.

Friction between General McMaster and the Israeli delegation did not end with Israel’s demand that Ali leave the room.

Sources reported that McMaster went on to explicitly dismiss the Israelis’ specific concerns about Hezbollah.

In particular, the Israelis expressed concern that the “safe zone” currently being established within Syria — an idea that had been vociferously supported by Hezbollah’s sponsor, Iran — would immediately become a safe zone for Hezbollah to operate.

McMaster was said to “blow off” this major Israeli concern, and to be “yelling at the Israelis” during the meeting. …

I put the responsibility on Mr. Trump. With regard to radical Islam, he simply seems to have lost interest.

Yet senior administration sources are far less charitable about McMaster and his appointee Mustafa Javed Ali. … They described Ali as taking the breathtaking position that Hezbollah should not be a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizationThey described Ali as holding the same view regarding the Muslim Brotherhood.

They claimed Ali’s work within the NSC essentially amounts to her attempting to prevent the Trump administration from using any of the means at its disposal to target Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood as organizations. …

These are recognizable as Obama-era policies – the “smart set” foreign policy strategies behind the Obama administration’s disastrous “Countering Violent Extremism” programs. This is the thinking that marched the Middle East to bloody catastrophe: a half-million dead in Syria.

Yet General McMaster appointed Ali as NSC Senior Director on Counter-Terrorism, and purged the NSC of voices supporting President Trump’s Mideast agenda. Then McMaster reportedly sat Ali in front of an Israeli delegation visiting the White House to share its concerns about Hezbollah.

Raheem Kassam on free speech and Trump being overMcMastered at Breitbart:

Many Americans don’t seem to appreciate as much as outside admirers do, that the United States is the only country in the world with a commitment to free speech enshrined in the nation’s Constitution. Many nations do not even have codified constitution of which to speak.

Which is why it is almost more egregious to the outsider than the American that such protections are under assault, not just on the streets of Berkeley or Charlottesville, but in your legislature — and soon in your Oval Office.

This afternoon, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmedPresident Trump would “absolutely” be signing a resolution drafted by Republican and Democrat lawmakers “condemning” hatred.

“He and Senator Tim Scott talked about that and discussed that and agreed that that was the appropriate place to be,” Sanders said. “In terms of whether or not he’ll sign the joint resolution, absolutely, and he looks forward to doing so as soon as he receives it.”

But the resolution is manifestly a ruse — the first line of attack in a new wave of assaults against free speech in America.

Let’s examine what the motion, passed by both legislative chambers early this week, says.

The preamble, in addition to expressing “support for the Charlottesville community,” demands of the President that he rejects “White nationalists, White supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, and other hate groups” and urges him and his cabinet to “use all available resources to address the threats posed by those groups”.

From the outset this is disingenuous and troublesome.

The President has already disavowed these groups, including Neo Nazis and the KKK. Why are elected members, alongside the White House, wasting time virtue signaling over it?

Perhaps because it backs POTUS into a corner, especially when you consider many establishment media organizations call his former Chief Strategist Stephen K. Bannon — who has mocked and derided ethno-nationalists — a “white nationalist” or “white supremacist”. This week, ESPN even let one of its hosts off with no more than a slapped wrist for suggesting the President himself was a “white supremacist”.

So by whose definitions are we going? And what exactly does “use all available resources” mean?

The President and his cabinet ostensibly have all resources available to them. The U.S. military, trillions of dollars, three and a half years of power. To what is the President subscribing? …

The U.S. Constitution is perfectly clear on this too. No matter how vile your views — as those of the KKK and Neo Nazi groups are — you still have a right to express them in America.

The five page document the President is now committed to signing refers to violence on the side of Neo Nazi protesters, but fails to mention Antifa, or any other leftist-inspired violence, including but not limited to the Bernie Sanders supporter who recently attempted to murder Republican congressmen.

It demands signatories “speak out against hate groups that espouse racism, extremism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and White supremacy” — laudable aims were it not for the fact that the political left has abused and debased these terms, effectively stripping them of all meaning.

Today, a “racist” is someone who believes in legal immigration. An “extremist” is someone who doesn’t believe in mass, state-funded abortion. A “xenophobe” is someone who takes pride in their nation. An “anti-Semite” is — curiously — someone who supports the State of Israel, and “white supremacy” now occupies the Oval Office. …

Speaking of Islamophobia, why has that been left out of this resolution? Will there be — as Islamic supremacists often demand — a special case and motion for Muslims alone, to go before the President later this year? Will the White House be equally excited to sign what would effectively be a blasphemy law?

Perhaps the most insidious part of this document comes right at the end, where the President will accede to ensuring “the heads of other Federal agencies… improve the reporting of hate crimes and… emphasize the importance of the collection, and… reporting to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, of hate crime data by State and local agencies”.

Given the precedent set in Europe for the monitoring and prosecution of so-called “hate crimes”, it should be of gravest concern that the White House has been so readily bounced into endorsing the idea of limiting speech and the freedom of assembly.

Has President Trump given up?

Does he not want a second term?

Have the Left and Islam won?

Is Trump “killing America”?

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