Missile strikes on Syria: punishment, prevention, and warning 4

“What did the missile strikes on Syria’s chemical weapons sites do for America?”

“Why should Americans expend blood and treasure for Syrians victimized by their own government?”

“America is not the world’s policeman.”

Such are the questions and protests that are coming from angry commentators, including many conservatives.

So was President Trump’s decision to act as he did right or wrong?

Claudia Rosett, for long a trusty reporter on the horror show called the United Nations, writes at PJ Media:

With air strikes on Syria’s chemical weapons facilities, carried out jointly with Britain and France, America has done the right thing.

Leading from in front, President Trump is finally redrawing the red line that President Obama erased in 2013. Whatever the threats and criticisms that will surely follow, the world will be safer for it. The vital message is that America is no longer the hamstrung giant of the Obama era. Tyrants such as Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, and his patrons in Moscow and Tehran, have been served notice that it would be unwise to continue to assume that America will waffle, appease or simply retreat while they take upon themselves the shaping – to monstrous effect – of the 21st-century world order. This message is also likely to resonate in Beijing (which has reportedly been planning live-fire naval exercises next week in the Taiwan Strait) and Pyongyang (with its nuclear missile projects).

The immediate aim of the US-led air strikes was to end the chemical weapons attacks that Syria’s Assad regime has continued to inflict on its own people – despite Assad’s promises in 2013 to surrender his chemical weapons, and Russia’s promise to ensure Assad did so. On Friday, speaking at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council, Ambassador Nikki Haley charged that by U.S. estimates, “Assad has used chemical weapons in the Syrian war at least 50 times” – some of these attacks within the past year, including the gas attack that killed dozens … in the Syrian city of Douma.

There’s room for debate about whether it is America’s responsibility, on humanitarian grounds, to stop such atrocities. But whatever your views on protecting children in a far-off land from the hideous effects of chemical weapons, there is a larger, strategic reason for trying to stop Assad. Syria, with its liberal use of chemical weapons, has been setting a horrific precedent – repeatedly violating the Chemical Weapons Convention to which Damascus acceded in 2013, and eroding the longstanding international taboo against chemical warfare. This is dangerous way beyond Syria. As Haley told the UN Security Council: “All nations and all people will be harmed if we allow Assad to normalize the use of chemical weapons.”

In theory, the United Nations was supposed to prevent this, ensuring in tandem with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons that Assad would give up all his chemical weapons – with the specific oversight and guarantees of Russia, under a deal cut in 2013 by Obama and Putin. As I explained in an article earlier this week for The Hill, the UN has failed utterly, thanks to Putin’s cynical exploitation of the entire setup. Russia used the chemical weapons disarmament deal as a portal for its own military entry into Syria in support of Assad, and has since been using its veto on the UN Security Council, along with a torrent of Kremlin propaganda, to run diplomatic cover for Assad.

As many conservative commentators pointed out at the time, it was stupid (if not collusional) of Obama and his secretary of state John Kerry to hand over the responsibility for overseeing Syria’s WMD abandonment to Russia.

The upshot has been that if the US does not stop Assad’s use of chemical weapons, then nobody will.

Neither Britain nor France would have done it without the US.

The US could have done it on its own. British and French participation in the missile attack was useful for President Trump, though not necessary for the success of the operation. The huge majority of the missiles were American – 88 of the 105. Nine were French and 8 were British.

Prime Minister May allowed British forces to strike Syria along with US forces because she “owed” President Trump for his supporting her, when she hit back at Russia for the poisoning of two Russian expats in Britain by expelling Putin’s diplomats and closing a consulate. She asked President Trump to do the same, and he did. She was able to give the order for the strike on Syria by the RAF without consulting parliament because the MPs were still absent on their Easter break. She seized the moment, and now there’s an outcry in the Commons – as well as the country – about it.

As for President Macron, he seems to be fascinated by President Trump, wanting to follow him and yet also to direct him. Macron claimed that he had “convinced” Trump that he should keep the US military engaged in Syria – and then he retracted the claim.

Last April, after Assad used sarin gas in an attack that killed almost 100 people, Trump ordered a strike of 59 Tomahawk missiles on a Syrian airbase. Evidently, that was not enough to stop Assad’s chemical weapons spree.

At a Pentagon press briefing Friday evening held shortly after Trump’s public announcement of the strikes on Syria, Gen. Joseph Dunford listed three targets “struck and destroyed,” which he said were “specifically associated with the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons program.” The last two on his list were chemical weapons storage facilities, one of which included “an important command post”. On these, I don’t know anything beyond the generic descriptions Dunford gave at the briefing.

But the first target on Dunford’s list had a very familiar ring. He described it as “a scientific research center located in the greater Damascus area”. He added: “This military facility was a Syrian center for the research, development, production and testing of chemical and biological warfare technology.”

That sure sounds like the notorious Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center, also known as the SSRC. In which case there can be no doubt that these air strikes were aimed at an incredibly high-value target, an outfit central to some of the worst depravities of Assad’s weapons programs, and – as it happens – a longtime client of North Korea and Iran. On the 99 percent probability that this was the research center to which Dunford referred, here’s some background:

For starters, I’d credit Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis with telling it exactly as it is, when he said at the same Pentagon press briefing Friday night, “We were very precise and proportionate. But at the same time, it was a heavy strike.”

The SSRC has been on the U.S. sanctions list for 13 years, first designated under the Bush administration in 2005, with periodic, horrifying updates under the Obama and Trump administrations, targeting its various fronts, procurement arms, officials and connections.

This is not just any old research center. According to the U.S. Treasury, it is “the Syrian government agency responsible for developing and producing non-conventional weapons and the missiles to deliver them”. …

On April 24, 2017, following Assad’s sarin gas attack on the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun, the Trump administration blacklisted 271 employees of the SSRC, stating that these individuals “have expertise in chemistry and related disciplines and/or have worked in support of SSRC’s chemical weapons since at least 2012”.  In other words, during the same time frame in which Russia (and former secretary of State John Kerry) were assuring us that 100 percent of the chemical weapons were gone from Syria, the Syrian regime’s SSRC was prolifically busy plowing ahead with Assad’s chemical weapons program.

We also have it on good authority that during roughly that same interval, the SSRC was ordering up shipments from North Korea. According to the UN Panel of Experts on North Korea sanctions, in a report dated March 5, 2018, their investigations into weapons and dual-use shipments to Syria from North Korea turned up more than 40 shipments between 2012 and 2017 “by entities designated by Member States as front companies for the Scientific Studies Research Centre of the Syrian Arab Republic.” Among these shipments were items “with utility in ballistic missile and chemical weapons programs”.

If the SSRC was indeed struck and destroyed, the likely benefits are enormous. That would deprive Assad of one of the most diabolical laboratories of his evil regime, quite likely providing a big setback to his chemical weapons program, with the two-fer that it might also have zapped his bioweapons program.

It would also send a useful message to everyone from the SSRC’s suppliers, such as Iran and North Korea, to such predatory dictators as Russia’s Putin and China’s Xi Jinping. Destroying the SSRC with air strikes ought to drive home, in a way that no amount of UN debate and no quantity of sanctions designations ever could, that these days the U.S. and its allies are serious about their red lines. 

The SSRC was struck. According to the caption to this picture in The Independent, this rubble is what’s left of “part” of it.

About the mass destruction of populations 69

Moral clarity is needed on the question of whether the Syrian dictator Bashar Assad can be allowed to get away with using gas against the Syrian people in the civil war over which he presides year after year.

The answer is NO. He cannot be allowed to.

Gas was delivered on to the Syrian town of Douma from the air. No rebel faction has aircraft. It could only have been delivered by Assad, or his Russian allies at his behest.

There is no defense against chemical and biological weapons. They can be used against large numbers of civilians. That is why they are called “weapons of mass destruction”.

So yes, it is worse to kill off whole populations with gas or anthrax than to engage an army with conventional weapons.

If Assad or anyone else in a position to develop and deliver mass-murdering gas gets away with doing it, others will do it too, such as the mullahs of Iran, the despot of North Korea.

And if gas is re-introduced as a weapon of war, no one anywhere will be out of its reach.

Bad actors hesitate to use biological weapons – the spreading of diseases, such as anthrax – because the stuff can kill the attackers as easily as the attacked. Disease is wholly impartial and no respecter of persons. But gas, dropped from the air as it was over Douma, kills only those below, not those who drop it or send it. It is the cheapest weapon of mass destruction an immoral government with an air force can use.

Elliot Friedland writes at the Clarion Project:

[President] Trump was on the phone with the leaders of France and Britain, the only two other Western powers with serious force projection capabilities, although their militaries pale in comparison to that of the United States. …

The question is whether the United States and her allies will wage war on Syria.

Many pundits and politicians from both sides of the aisle feel the question has already been decided. Of course the President should act in the face of such immorality. America has a responsibility to lead, to not let tyrants commit atrocities with impunity. Despite the partisan rancor that normally characterizes Washington, there is remarkable unity around the idea that Trump ought to authorize at least some military action in Syria.

There are many good reasons to support such a position. Clarion Project’s Ryan Mauro forcefully argued the case against Assad on Fox News, highlighting the vital importance of maintaining deterrence against chemical weapons attacks.

But opposition to the war is bringing a strange medley of personalities from across the political spectrum together.

Tucker Carlson, one of the most watched right-of-center talk show hosts on American television, delivered a blistering rebuke of the pro-war crowd on his show. He said that even if Assad did order a chemical weapons attack that killed children (which Carlson acknowledges he is perfectly capable of doing), to remove him would only bring further chaos at the expense of American lives and billions more dollars.

In this opinion, he is joined by none other than Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain’s Labour party, who called for restraint and a multilateral solution brought by the United Nations.

The iniquitous United Nations, that does much harm and no good! (It must be abolished.)

Corbyn has links to Islamist figures, has called Hamas and Hezbollah his “friends” and is embroiled in an on-going anti-Semitism scandal. In the UK, Corbyn’s position was supported by none other than Nick Griffin, former leader of the far-right British National Party. Griffin tweeted that he would vote Labour and support Corbyn if he stopped U.S. airstrikes in Syria.

Left-wing journalist and self-described “anarcho-psychonaut” Caitlin Johnstone wrote in Medium “We All Need to Unite Against War in Syria Regardless of Ideology.” She cites Intercept founder Glenn Greenwald, who got famous breaking Edward Snowden’s Wikileaks as also being against the war.

Patriarcha, an ultraconservative Christian Facebook page even shared her article, calling it “compulsory reading”, despite that page’s longstanding visceral hatred for anything emanating from the left.

The prospect of war is uniting people who normally couldn’t stand to even be in the same room without screaming at each other. The conventional partisan alignments are breaking down in the face of the ever-changing political reality.

Fortunately, the person who will decide what to do is not Tucker Carlson, or Jeremy Corbyn, or Nick Griffin, or Caitlin Johnstone, or Glenn Greenwald, or some “ultraconservative Christian” …

The Islamic Republic of Britain 12

The UK is accelerating its Islamization at an ever-increasing speed. The desire of the British establishment to submit to Islam appears to be overwhelming.

So Judith Bergman writes at Gatestone.

She first demonstrates how the state schools are becoming Islamized, then she continues (in part):

The [Christian] clerical establishment is … pressing Britons to accept and accommodate the ongoing Islamization more readily. …

Britain’s security establishment also seems longing to submit to Islam. Scotland Yard recently warned that hate crimes (“Islamophobia”, in other words, as no other hate crime is taken as seriously) are “hugely underreported”. Chief Superintendent Dave Stringer, Scotland Yard’s head of community engagement said: “The Met [the Metropolitan Police force] has seen a steady increase in the reporting of all hate crime, particularly racist and religious hate crime. Despite this rise, hate crime is hugely underreported and no one should suffer in silence.”

[But] it is virtually impossible for “Islamophobia” to be “underreported” in London. The UK is nothing if not clinically obsessed with “Islamophobia”. In 2016, London mayor Sadiq Khan’s Office for Policing and Crime announced it was spending £1.7 million of taxpayer money policing speech online. Less than six months ago, London police teamed up with Transport for London authorities to encourage people to report hate crimes during “National Hate Crime Awareness Week”, which ran from October 14-21. The events were mainly targeted at Muslims, with officers visiting the East London Mosque to encourage reporting hate crimes. British police have even been taking lessons about Islam and “Islamophobia” from radical Islamist groups such as Mend. One of the most active Mend figures, Azad Ali, has said that he has “love” for Anwar Al-Awlaki, an influential US-born Islamic terrorist, who was killed by a US drone strike in Yemen in 2011.

Meantime, while the police obsess over “Islamophobia”, regular crime in London is exploding. The latest statistics from the London Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime show that in the past year, homicides have increased 27.1%, knife crimes have increased 31.3%, and there were 2,551 incidents of gun crime, representing a rise of 16.3%. Police recorded 7,613 rapes in the 12 months through January 2018 compared with 6,392 for the previous year, a rise of almost 20%. … The figures also show an 8% increase in other sexual offenses in the past year, bringing the total number of reported rapes and sexual assaults in London to almost 20,000. Campaigners have suggested the real figure could be “significantly higher” once unreported attacks are taken into account. British police, meanwhile, say they are at a loss to explain what is causing the rise in rapes.

Because so many of the rapists are Muslims, and no one is allowed to say so. Those who do say so are hunted down by the police, who spend their resources on that absurd mission rather than on fighting real crime.

The Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner Sir Craig Mackey was recently asked if he had any idea what was behind the surge. His answer: “No, is the honest answer… there is something going on with sexual offending in London that we don’t fully understand, the causes of it. We see the end of it, [but] we don’t understand the causes.”

Meanwhile, 65,000 cases of child sex abuse reached a record high in 2017, or 177 every day: up 15% from 2016.

In Rotherham alone, after 16 years of dismissing the problem, the number of child abuse cases [Muslims “grooming” underage girls as prostitutes] rose to 1,510. The National Crime Agency (NCA) inquiry, “the biggest of its kind in the UK, has identified 110 suspects, of whom 80% are of Pakistani heritage”, officers said.

In its seeming eagerness to submit to Islam, the security establishment even appears to be willing to compare people responding to Islamization and Islamic terrorism with the Islamic terrorists themselves. In a recent lecture, one of the UK’s top counterterrorism officials, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, outgoing head of counter-terrorism policing, compared Tommy Robinson, an anti-Islamist activist, often described as “far-right,” to Anjem Choudary, a radical terrorist-linked Islamist cleric who has advocated sharia in the UK and is now serving a prison sentence for urging support for ISIS.

“Robinson also became a regular fixture in our media, giving him the platform to attack the whole religion of Islam by conflating acts of terrorism with the faith, often citing spurious claims, which inevitably stirred up tensions” Rowley said, “Each side feeds into each other’s extremist rhetoric with the common goal of increasing tensions and divisions in communities”.

Tommy Robinson’s “claims” about Islam were not spurious. He is a brave teller of the truth about that barbaric ideology.

Islam is supremacist, totalitarian, homophobic, misogynist, deeply intolerant, obdurately dogmatic, murderous and savagely cruel. And that needs to be said publicly, loudly, and often. 

Rowley also said, “The right-wing threat was not previously organized. Every now and then there’s been an individual motivated by that rhetoric who has committed a terrorist act, but we’ve not had an organized right-wing threat like we do now”.

Perhaps Rowley might stop to consider why there is now an organized right-wing threat. The British establishment – people such as Rowley – have categorically embraced the “Islam is peace” narrative. The establishment has even let itself and its police be lectured by radical Islamist organizations such as Mend on what Islam is – and has doggedly refused to listen to any dissident voices.

Here is a video in which a dissident voice makes itself heard. Anne Marie Waters, leader of the new political party For Britain, gives a rousing speech to inspire popular resistance against the Islamization of her country. She rightly rages against the “fascist” EU, then – starting at about the 5.50 minutes mark – daringly condemns Islam. “Millions of us are offended by this religion,” she declares.

 

(Hat-tip for the video to our British associate, Chauncey Tinker)

Human rights for rapists? 11

Another gift of a video from the great Pat Condell:

Posted under Britain, Europe, immigration, Islam, Muslims, United Kingdom, Videos by Jillian Becker on Saturday, March 24, 2018

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Do as I say, or else 1

Theodore Dalrymple, whose many excellent books commenting illuminatingly on our times includes Our Culture, What’s Left Of It, gives this account of how fascist-communist “anti-fascist” Antifa fell violently upon a quiet literary event in the English town of Lewes.

We quote much but not all of it from New English Review. Go here to read the whole thing:

I was to be the penultimate speaker, followed by a controversial conservative journalist, Katie Hopkins, who was to talk about her own recently published memoir, Rude.

The event ended in violence.

The festival organizer … had informed me in advance that there might be trouble from demonstrators who would want to prevent Hopkins from speaking. …

To say that she is unafraid of controversy or criticism is to understate the case. They are her stock-in-trade. …  [A]n outspoken, not to say militant, mocker of current political pieties, she is herself the object of the most severe objurgation, with no allowances made. In debate, she is uncompromising and fearless. …

She appears genuinely not to mind when attacked on television or in print or on social media: she accepts with good grace the fact that, if you express opinions in public, you must expect criticism and detraction, fair or otherwise, though she always returns blow for blow. She laughs at insults. …

Her main mode of defense is always attack …

She has been a severe critic of the Islamization of Britain. She speaks the truth about it. And that is not permitted in Britain now.

So Hopkins is widely regarded as a purveyor of hate speech — utterance that is to be answered by prohibition, rather than by argument. The category of hate speech is disturbingly expandable and depends on the propensity of groups of people to take offense or feel threatened (where it pays to be offended, people will take offense). Certain groups, but not others, are accorded legal or social protection from unpleasant name-calling, as if they were endangered species. …

Considerable efforts were made to bar Hopkins from speaking at the event. When I arrived in Lewes, posters in many windows proclaimed that Lewes wanted no hate speech. A town councillor had argued that the invitation to Hopkins should be withdrawn. The council had the right to ask for this because it owned and ran the venue, a deconsecrated church; and the councillor argued that the demonstration against Hopkins would be so violent that her appearance would constitute a threat to health, safety, and public order. On legal advice, however, that this argument was blatantly political, the council, with not a single Conservative member despite the town’s evident prosperity, voted overwhelmingly for the invitation to stand.

It turned out that the councillor who had argued for the withdrawal of the invitation was sympathetic to the demonstration against Hopkins, so that in essence his argument had been almost a threat: if you do not do as I say, like-minded people will react violently, and since you have been warned, such violence will be your fault. Do as I say, or else: the new democratic principle.

I gave my talk without interruption from the gathering crowd outside, but during the question-and-answer that followed, as Hopkins’s time to speak grew nearer, I heard some banging on the windows, at which fists and angry faces also appeared. Then there was some chanting, but not so loud as to make me inaudible. The trouble really began after I had finished speaking, in the short break before Hopkins was to start. The councillor’s self-fulfilling prophecy was about to come true.

A crowd of perhaps 120 had by now gathered outside the hall. Initially, only two policemen were present. One was pelted with so many eggs that he looked as if someone were planning to make him into an omelet. Eyewitnesses attested that some of the demonstrators handed eggs to children to throw at the police, presumably because the children would be too young to be arrested for assault. At any rate, it is significant that some adults were so determined to prevent Hopkins from speaking that they thought it reasonable and appropriate to bring children to a potentially violent occasion — an occasion, in fact, at which they themselves were prepared to employ violence. This is surely a demonstration of the ability of ideology to induce practical moral blindness.

Some of the demonstrators were masked. They tried to prevent those who had bought a ticket for the event from entering the building. One of those ticket holders subsequently wrote and published an account of what happened when she [and her companion] attempted to gain entrance:

There was a very large and noisy demonstration in the grounds and spilling onto the road, and we were immediately taunted as we made our way to the lynch gate [sic: a Freudian slip, if ever there was one, from lych-gate], despite no one knowing who we were. A militia of masked young men dressed in black tried to prevent us from entering the grounds. At first I thought they were working with the police, controlling the flow to protect attendees from the scuffles ahead, because a couple of policemen were observing at close quarters. One militiaman asked me why I was there. I said to hear Katie. He immediately swore at me, called me a fascist, bounced against me, manhandled me and tried to push me over. I was wearing stilettos and he easily pushed me into a bush, which thankfully cushioned my fall. I said: I have every right to be here. I looked towards a policeman for support, but he turned away, having seen everything. Anthony, who was now a few yards away, came to my side, and we stayed very close from then on as we determinedly made our way through to the church doors. Anthony is visibly Asian/ethnic and was not attacked as I was. Our keeping very close afforded me some protection as the crowd was chanting that it was pro refugees, unlike fascist Hopkins. 

We came to a stop about six feet from the church’s main doors, which were solidly closed. A line of five thugs, a man on a large mobility scooter, and a woman had blocked our path. I tried to reason with the woman, who looked out of place and even a little scared herself, being so petite. She said that people with vile views should not be allowed to speak. I said I thought we fought two world wars to protect free speech. I mentioned that my grandmother’s brother ended up in a concentration camp because he was a French citizen who stood up against the Nazis’ bullying. She maintained the mantra that evil people should not be allowed to spread their filth. There was no reasoning, and I didn’t want to provoke anyone, as we were trapped, and there were calls for Katie’s blood; so, I kept quiet. 

Suddenly, the crowd behind surged, and it looked like we might be in serious danger as eggs were thrown, a placard headed our way, and more militants appeared. Just then a journalist from More Radio appeared at my side. He was immediately denounced as a fascist by one of the thugs, but he brought out a mike and began to interview the most vociferous one, a particularly on-edge individual who looked a cigarette paper away from hurting someone. The ghastly young thug said it was necessary to stop this speech because if it was allowed we would soon become like Nazi Germany and worse.

It was well after the start time by now, and the journalist phoned a colleague and confirmed to us that the event [of Katie’s speech] had been cancelled.

News got around. The protestors chanted their victory. Some cried something like “When she comes out, we’ll get her.” We could hear others asking what to do when Katie appeared. …  The church door opened briefly and protestors surged forward. It was quickly shut. A policeman, who looked terrified, came to the front and spoke into his walkie-talkie, but soon disappeared into the graveyard. We knew we had to get out, as the crowd wanted blood.

We followed the radio journalist, who conducted a tortuous route to safety through the muddy graveyard. Later, on the pavement, when I suggested to him these folks were Momentum [a militant left-wing organization affiliated with the Labour Party], he said he believed they were from Antifa [a militant, ostensibly antifascist, movement that believes in political homeopathy, namely, that the employment of fascist methods will drive out fascism]. He said that most of the protestors were not people from Lewes (where he lived).

While all this was going on, my wife and I, who had intended to leave to catch our train before Hopkins spoke, were trapped inside the hall, having been advised by the egg-covered policeman to wait. The banging and the chanting were now incessant. There were about 40 of us inside to 120 outside. One lady I spoke to was terrified and in tears because she had been separated from her husband by the mob and did not know where he was. One man described how one of the demonstrators said to him that he would let him pass and enter the hall, as if he had the authority in his gift to permit or prohibit. Another lady wished that she had never come. A German lady said that she had come to live in England in 1968 precisely to avoid this kind of thing, which had then seemed so common in Germany. Where had the tolerance and good humor she had known in those days gone?

Some of the demonstrators managed to break into the church using a crowbar. Bouncers provided by a security company (after another such company had pulled out, fearing more serious violence than it could handle) rushed after the intruders. One bouncer suffered a serious injury to his arm, requiring an operation.

Hopkins was smuggled out of the building, the police having advised her, before she was able to speak, that they could not guarantee her safety if she stayed. She tweeted that she had left the building and asked the demonstrators to disperse peacefully. When police reinforcements arrived, somewhat tardily, the people in the hall were escorted under cover of darkness out through a back entrance and through the ancient graveyard. This was no doubt advisable, but, in effect, it turned the law-abiding rather than the lawbreakers into fugitives.

The police made no arrests, despite having been assaulted themselves and witnessed others being assaulted, despite the fact that a building was illegally broken into, despite the fact that 40 people had been falsely imprisoned, despite the fact that threatening language (of a degree likely to make any reasonably firm-minded person afraid for his safety) had been used repeatedly. They failed to protect citizens who were going about their lawful business. To say that they were useless would be an exaggeration: goodness knows what would have happened had they not been there. But they did not carry out their duty with alacrity, and the social media — videos, sound recordings, photographs — that helped to call the mob into being in the first place are now being used to hold the police to account for their passivity in enforcing the law.

The question arising from the episode is how far it was isolated … and how much was it a harbinger of things to come? Certainly, it gave me another lesson in how fragile public order is and how quickly it can break down. …  The Hopkins incident also demonstrates how weak is the attachment to freedom of speech and thought, especially among people so convinced of their own rectitude that they feel entitled — indeed, duty-bound — to silence others. …

As there, so here in America. And all over the West.

Theodore Dalrymple thinks that what happened in Lewes might be one of the early battles of a second Civil War in England, since violence begets violence.

One of the problems of this, apart from its sheer moral and intellectual idiocy, is that it will eventually call forth equal and opposite violence. Thus, the Lewes Speakers Festival would be an episode in the forthcoming English Civil War, the second of that name.

Civil war all over the West?

It is not impossible. It is not even unlikely.

Posted under Anarchy, Britain, Civil war, communism, Crime, Fascism, immigration, Islam, jihad, Leftism, Muslims, nazism, Race, United Kingdom, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, March 14, 2018

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Agenda 21 and the Ministry of Loneliness 19

In our town, and almost certainly in your town, and most of the towns (cities) of the United States, tall buildings are springing up at or near railway and bus stations, consisting of hundreds of very small living-units for single occupants. No areas are provided for cars, though there is accommodation for a limited number of bicycles. Occupants are encouraged to use public transport.

The living-units we have seen contain a narrow bunk bed, a small wardrobe and a couple of drawers to hold a few (standard issue) clothes, a desk big enough for a (frequently called-in and replaced) lap-top computer to stand on, a shelf where a very few books or a framed photograph or two might be displayed. And there is a narrow shower-closet, with the usual facilities, where the luxuries of rationed soap and toilet tissue may perhaps be enjoyed in the hours when the water is centrally turned on. We do not know for sure that there are recording devices hidden here and there, but we very reasonably suspect there are.

These buildings are part of the implementation by your local council of Agenda 21.

A video, issued in January 2009, explains what Agenda 21 is:

So families are to be broken up or never formed. That’s why the new living-units are for single people only.

Yes, the single persons will be lonely. That’s a vital part of the plan. 

The British Prime Minister (by what accumulation of errors?) Theresa May is the first political leader to appoint a Minister of Loneliness. Her name (it would of course be a woman) is Tracey Crouch. She is also the Minister of Sports (and “Digital, Culture, and Media”) who knows everything about team work, uniforms, mass transport, rules, penalties … Good choice, Theresa!

So as not to offend the Muslim community – which must never be offended even if its members rape and murder that little daughter of yours who has been taken away to be educated in group-think – males and females will be separated for all communal activities (pretty well the only kind of activities that will be allowed).

But also not to offend the LGBQTetc communities, there will have to be further separation for sports teams, work forces, organized social gatherings … Public toilet facilities, however, will be as open to all-comers as the borders of the late nation-states.

The human race will be relieved of the sin of private ownership. And of the burden of self-support. And of the responsibility of family support.  And of any cause to envy your neighbor.

Oh, brave new low-CO2 world that has such collectives in it!

Rights or Liberty? 26

Which would you rather be able truthfully to claim:

“I have a right to …”

or

“I am free to …” ?

There has been some discussion in the comments section of our post The Colossus … and the enriching of America (29 January, 2018) about whether government is necessary for the protection of a citizen’s rights or the protection of his liberty. I say, for the protection of his liberty. That is what defines “a free country”. In the United States of America, there are certain “rights” granted in law that are themselves protective of the individual’s freedom. The ultimate aim of the Founders in granting those rights was the protection of liberty.

*

Freedom is not a state of nature but an artifact of civilization

– Friedrich Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty, Chapter Four.

To be for freedom to do what one wants to do is not to be for unbounded liberty. (I use the words “liberty” and “freedom” interchangeably, as they are synonyms.)

What then are the bounds of liberty?

Ideally, my liberty is limited by nothing except everyone else’s liberty.

Sane, sober, sensible self-interest tells me that if I don’t want to be bonked on the nose by my neighbor, I would do well not to bonk him on his nose. But I cannot trust everyone else – or even myself – to be always sane, sober, and sensible.

If I live in a time and place when and where I have to fear continually that I will very likely be assaulted, injured, killed, and that the things I have acquired to sustain my existence, comfort, safety, and pleasure may be forcefully taken from me, I am not free. I am constrained to be perpetually on my guard against attack. I must never venture abroad unarmed. I must carry my possessions with me or stay with them. I am burdened with anxiety. I am severely hampered.

But if my freedom is protected by law and the apparatus of law-enforcement – police, judicial courts, prisons, gallows – I can take the safety of my person and my things for granted, and go lightly about my business among my fellow citizens. (Which is not to argue that it’s unnecessary to insure my house and its contents, or register my intellectual property. These are, it is true, private protections taken on by personal choice, but available to me only in a society governed by the rule of law.)

The city-states of ancient Greece embodied the idea of a society made up of people from many different countries, nations and tribes, all governed by the same rule of law. Your willingness to obey the law made you a worthy citizen, regardless of what region of the earth you derived from. The idea that people of many different nations could melt together into one nation ruled by law (“e pluribus unum”) was lost and forgotten for centuries and was not applied again until the eighteenth century with the founding of the United States of America.

However, the idea of a nation governed by the rule of law rather than by a monarch, re-emerged earlier than that, in England, with the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215. By signing it, King John conceded the principle: “Be you ever so high, the law is above you.” It was intended to be a “charter of liberties”, not a bestowal of “rights” on his subjects or on any one class of his subjects such as the barons. Clause 60 declared: “all the customs and liberties which we have granted to our own men shall be observed by all of our men, both lay and clerk [cleric], to their own men”. In other words, just as the king pledged liberty to the barons, so the barons, by the same token (the Charter) pledged liberty to their tenants.

Magna Carta affirmed the vital principle of freedom under the law. Clause 39 of the Charter said: ‘no free man shall be imprisoned or deprived of his lands except by judgement of his peers or by the law of the land’.  Clause 40 said: ‘To no one shall we sell, delay or deny right or justice’ (“right” in the sense of what is right, not “a right”).  Before Magna Carta, the king had been able to do pretty well whatever he liked – and did.  After the making of the charter of liberties, the king was as firmly subject to the law as everyone else.

(It is true that the monarchs of England nevertheless went on for centuries having too much arbitrary power. But it would be a mistake to believe that the continuing existence of an English monarch now means that the people are not as free as the American people. [The British have recently become less free, but not for that reason.] Since the Glorious Revolution of 1688, when William of Orange and his wife Mary became the constitutional monarchs of the United Kingdom, the reigning king or queen is the nominal and ceremonial head of state, not the power of the state. The present Queen has no choice but to sign the acts of law that Parliament passes. The people are “subjects” in name only.)

A free country is one in which the people are free to do anything that is not specifically prohibited by law. Most of its laws proscribe rather than prescribe. They say you must not do this and that, such as murder, steal, perjure yourself. While there  are some that say you must do – for instance, the laws of the fisc: you must pay your taxes – the fewer “must” laws there are, the freer the people.

Now let us suppose that legislators decide that the law should specify everything you may do. Those would be your rights. It would be an infinitely long list, never exhaustive. So the enterprise would be impossible.

Does that mean that there can be no such thing as a “right” granted by law? No, it does not mean that. The law, and only the law, can grant a right. Even if one believes in a god, and makes the claim that the god bestowed certain rights on every human being ever born – the right to life, say – it would be meaningless if it were not recognized as a right, and protected, by the law.

Only the law can grant a right. The rights the laws of a free country can grant are very few. And there is a danger in granting any: that some governments, having granted a few, may claim that what those few permit you is all that you are permitted.

Why can governments only grant a few rights? Because no one can have a right that puts an obligation on someone else.

That is why it is nonsense to speak of a “right” to health care; a “right” to an education, a “right” to a house, a “right” to a minimum income, a “right” to equality of pay; a “right” to social security; a “right” to an abortion; a “right” to contraception; a “right” to a sex-change operation; or, the crowning stupidity, a “right not to be offended”. That takes away the essential freedom on which all the rest depend – the freedom to speak. And it is in itself a deeply offensive notion.

If your “right” compels the labor of someone else, it is not a “right” but a privilege – and what is worse, the indefensible privilege of the parasite.

What of your “unalienable”[1] rights named in the Declaration of Independence as “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”? They do not put an obligation on someone else, so aren’t they good rights? You are declared to be endowed with them by your “Creator”, “Nature’s God” – which is a way of saying that they are yours simply because you exist. And many there are who believe that because they exist, they have a right to exist.

If you believe that God or Nature granted you the right to live, to be free, and to pursue happiness, you may also believe that God or Nature will protect those rights of yours. But in fact Nature guarantees you nothing. You have no natural rights. You can call them natural, you can call them God-given, but unless they are recognized and supported by the law, you may find that they are not dependable.

So what rights can the law grant – and sufficiently protect to make the granting of them more than just the wistful thought of a somnolent parliament?

These: The right to speak freely. The right to a trial if you are accused of breaking the law. The right to safeguard yourself, your property, your reputation. They are among the rights granted by the US Constitution in the first ten amendments (the Bill of Rights), and all of them can be, and are, protected by the law. By protecting them, the law – or say the government – is protecting your freedom.

That is what the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are all about: realizing the idea on which the USA was founded – the idea of liberty.

 

Jillian Becker   January 31, 2018

 

[1] “Unalienable” means the same as “inalienable”: that which cannot be taken away.

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.

Our Darkening Hour 8

Our Western civilization is roiled by conflict; political struggles of the utmost importance.

Some call them “wars”. They are being fought mostly without weapons and violence, though one side (the wrong side of course) often resorts to physical attack, convinced that its righteousness justifies and demands it.

We quote from an article by Paul Collits at the Australian magazine Quadrant. (Our cuts include most of the specifically Australian references.)

By my reckoning there are six key wars, all of which must be identified, understood and, most of all, fought.

First, there is the war that must be won against political correctness in all its forms.  This is a fight between the elites and the punters.  It is a battle for the heart and soul of our society.  On one side are the careerists and ideologues of the fevered swamps of Washington, Canberra and so on; on the other, the deplorables, the Reagan Democrats, the Howard Battlers, the Struggle Street listeners tuned in to talkback radio, the small businessmen and women, the two-income families who want what is right for their kids. …

Second, there is the war against environmentalism in all its guises.  The god of “sustainability”, born in the 1980s … is now so embedded in schools, universities and media it is not remotely clear how one might fight back.  The god of sustainability has delivered to us the scourges and nonsenses that are “peak oil”, “climate change” and “renewable” energy.

Third, there is the war between Islam and the West.  This takes many forms – from global migration of economic refugees, to sharia law, welfare fraud, gangs and terrorism.  Its fronts are the banlieu of Paris, the bookshops of Lakemba and the streets of Melbourne.  Taking the side of Islam in this war is politics 101 for today’s “leaders”.

Fourth, there is the war against the Administrative State.  The State’s overreach is now all but complete.  The nanny state rules our lives.  It is the tool by which political correctness is enforced, by which freedom of speech and freedom of belief are purged and personal conduct regulated. Paranoia, you say? … The State’s nannyism combines with political correctness to haul the innocent before the faux courts of our time … Their crime? Saying that which others do not want heard. …

Fifth, there is the war between globalism and nationalism. The Davos brigade, the Soros network of lavishly funded activists, and their many lackeys in politics, Silicon Valley and elsewhere, lead the charge. Their weapons are globalisation and technology.  Their institutions are global, not national. Their aim is global governance and the end of the nation state, with its old fashioned values of patriotism flag and family.

Finally, there is the war on truth. This is the biggest of them all. …  [We must fight for truth against] the victory of Derrida, Foucault and their fellow-travelling Marxists and neo-Marxists who occupy the commanding cultural heights of our society and have succeeded in embedding and seizing our key institutions – the media, political parties, schools, universities, Hollywood and now even the corporations. The whole phenomenon of fake news bespeaks their success. …

[Their] biggest victory … was over our poor dumb millennials, now two generations removed from any proper understanding of Western values and virtues, and the core value of the West is truth. Earlier, when I spoke of schools, I did not say “our” schools, for they no longer are. They, too, have been colonised. Their graduates will list the ills and crimes of the West and rattle them off by Pavlovian rote, and thus do we hear of a past populated by the likes of Simon Legree [the cruel slave-owner in Uncle Tom’s Cabin – ed] but seldom if ever of Wilberforce [who launched the successful campaign to free all the slaves in the British Empire – ed]. The ease with which, for example, the young are convinced of something patently untrue can be seen in the numbers of our young who lazily embrace the ersatz version of marriage now de rigueur. …

There are other battles outside the six wars, of course, but it would be hard to find a front or even a minor skirmish that is not a theatre of these six conflicts. …

In [the] “darkest hours” [of World War II] Churchill certainly did not believe that checking and defeating an existential threat to the very being of the British Isles would be easy, nor that it could be avoided. Everything was on the line. His own War Cabinet was divided.  A serious argument was made … that Britain should seek an accommodation with Hitler.  Much of the British army was stranded and exposed in a foreign land, albeit only 22 miles away at its closest. … Victory would be deemed by any reasonable appraisal as most unlikely. …

The two wars since – Vietnam and the second Iraq War – featured murky enemies, often hard to find and certainly hard to destroy, and new technologies. But far more telling was the lack of consensus at home about whether those wars should be fought at all — whether the enemy was, indeed, “the enemy”. What Churchill could count on was a united and angry populace … committed to the fight with heart and soul — “blood, sweat and tears”, as he put it. …

Who do we have manning the barricades today? 

The barricades of the wrong side, that is to say.

Justin Trudeau.  Macron.  Merkel. Theresa May. Jean-Claude Juncker.  Turnbull.  The Davos set.  The UN.  Pope Francis. Mark Zuckerberg. Oprah. Prince Charles. These are the figures that flit across the world’s TV screens and its collective frontal lobe, mouth their platitudes and move on to the next sound byte, their pronouncement’s on Islam’s amity or the wickedness of cheap power seldom questioned by a media imbued with the same views, the same agendas, the same presumption that projected virtue can trump the precedent of history. Just how they never explain. These leaders, so called, are almost to a man or woman, batting for the enemy by word and deed and silence.  The worst of them actively collaborate and work against the interests of their own people.

If, on the off-chance, our young people might be cajoled to see [the film] Darkest Hour, they just might begin to see with a clarity not previously available to them how we are, indeed, involved in a number of lethal wars. To lose them will destroy their futures in ways even more insidious than Hitler or even Stalin could have imagined. And they might consider voting for folks who might be minded to fight the battles that matter now.  An outsider?  One hated by his own party?  Someone who sees enemies and understands how to fight them.  Someone willing to spare the niceties?  Someone willing to make his country great again?  Err, wait a minute …

Although at present we have on our side – the side of truth, freedom, civilized values, and the nation state – a great Commander-in-Chief in the person of President Trump, it is not at all clear at this time which side will be victorious.

In all the wars, the enemy is the Left. With its “political correctness”, environmentalism, alliance with Islam, deep-state socialism, globalism, and hatred of our civilization which it is determined to destroy, the Left has conquered the institutions of education, most of the media, the entertainment industry, and the pinnacles of power in many Western states. It held the pinnacle of power in the US for eight years and did much harm to America, making the people poorer and the country weaker; and to the world by upheaving populations, sending millions pouring out of shithole countries and flooding into our world. The tide is against us.

Will President Trump, standing alone among leaders as Churchill did, succeed as he did in turning the tide?

The world’s (failing) hospital 6

An island state off the west coast of Europe has become the world’s hospital. It used to be Great Britain. Now it’s an asylum for the sick and the savage.

The Express reports:

[An] unnamed patient, from outside the EU, underwent £532,498 worth of treatment from a Manchester hospital last year.

But hospital chiefs have refused to disclose what treatment the person had at the University of Central Manchester NHS Trust or which country they are from, their age or gender due to “patient confidentiality”.

Health tourism is part of a wider scandal that sees tens of thousands of people arrive here for treatment from countries already receiving millions of pounds in UK foreign aid.

It costs the NHS [National Health Service] up to £2 billion a year.

Again the Express reports, in another article:

AN ESTIMATED £100 million has been spent on NHS translators in just five years as calls grow for the foreign aid bill to be redirected. Translation is provided for free at the point of delivery and – according to the NHS – must be of a “high quality, accessible and responsive to a patient’s linguistic and cultural identity”.

Among the most popular languages are Arabic, Bengali, Gujarati, Lithuanian, Nepalese, Panjabi, Polish, Portuguese, Turkish and Urdu.

Not all of them languages of the British Commonwealth. What does Britain owe Lithuania and Poland, Portugal and Turkey, even by the most masochistic measure of post-colonial shame?

Rules stipulate that patients must not be asked to pay for interpreting services and that they are entitled to “verbal and written language interpretation services” for 128 spoken languages.

Hundreds of face-to-face interpreters are drafted into hospitals, medical centers, and doctors’ surgeries each year.

And telephone interpretation service is provided for non-urgent standard consultations or appointments. It is especially ridiculous when we are also currently giving away £12 billion a year on foreign aid … 

There’s single payer health care for you! The “single payer” being THE BRITISH TAX-PAYER. Health care for everyone in the world who can get to his island hospital!

The Telegraph reports:

The heads of more than 60 Accident & Emergency [NHS] units have written to the Prime Minister warning that patients are “dying prematurely” amid “intolerable” safety risks.

It came as official figures show Accident and Emergency performance at major units is the worst on record, with fears the situation will worsen amid rising cases of norovirus and flu.

The letter from the most senior doctors at A&E units across the country said the health service is “chronically underfunded” and ill-prepared for winter.

They said more than 50 patients at a time had been left waiting for beds in casualty units, with 120 patients a day being managed in corridors, “some dying prematurely”.

The letter,  reported by the Health Service Journal, told the prime minister that shortages of beds and staff meant patients were being put at higher risk of death. …

The senior doctors said their hospitals were dealing with:

  • Over 120 patients a day managed in corridors, some dying prematurely
  • An average of 10-12 hours from decision to admit a patient until they are transferred to a bed
  • Over 50 patients at a time waiting beds in the Emergency Department
  • Patients sleeping in clinics as makeshift wards

It comes as hospital chiefs said the NHS was at a  “watershed moment” and needs tens of billions in extra cash to deliver the required levels of care. …

In addition, 50,000 surgeries have been cancelled by the NHS.

When Britain hosted the Olympics in 2012, its patriotic display on the first day featured the National Health Service as its greatest treasure and chief boast. Among all its claims to greatness, it never once mentioned THE BRITISH EMPIRE – the greatest empire in all history. Britain took modernity, freedom, education, essential institutions, impartial justice, railways, roads, economic opportunity, prosperity, emancipation of slaves, productive settlers, the glorious English language, and the values of the Enlightenment to a multitude of countries, many of them primitive and dirt poor. Shitholes, to be frank. But now the British establishment is ASHAMED of all that. And even guilty! Making up for all that harm Britain did to all those peoples by offering free medical treatment to the world.

And even that is not penance enough for doing all that good. Deeper abasement is deemed necessary. Britain is slowly turning itself into a primitive country. Only a few decades from now, it will be an Islamic shithole.

Britons who dare to say they are less than delighted at the prospect, are subject to prosecution and imprisonment.

 

(The links come from The Participator, where there are more worth following to see the sad plight of Britain today.)

Posted under Britain, Health, Islam, United Kingdom by Jillian Becker on Monday, January 15, 2018

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