What to do about Iran and North Korea 1

A plan for the US administration:

Pass a resolution that acknowledges that North Korea and Iran have declared war on America. Not being a direct declaration of war, it keeps America’s response ambiguous, but establishes the legality of military response. It also frees us from thinking of the Iranian and North Korean populations as hostages of the regimes – and keeps lawyer-committees from second-guessing operations. It also trumpets the end of strategic patience – a masterpiece of empty diplomatic virtue-signaling.  Then be prepared to:

1. Load up on anti-missile missiles around Iran and North Korea.

2. Fire them on any test missile launched by either state.

3. At the next launching of a missile by Iran, unilaterally cancel the Iran deal.

4. Reimpose sanctions; impose boycott. Russia, China, Germany, UK, France can choose between trade with US or trade with Iran (and North Korea). Interdict all “suspicious” shipping. Blockade?

5. Notify that any aggressive action by Iranian or North Korean navy vessels will bring down fire upon them.

6. Let Israel take out Iran’s proxy terrorists without crying “foul”. Decouple Israel from any settlement with Arab or Muslim adversaries in the Middle East. (Israel’s sovereignty is not a bargaining chip.) Send special forces to combat all Islamic terror franchises throughout Africa. Wipe out Boko Haram along with AQ, ISIL, and the Yemeni lot. Upgrade our spy and infiltrator game. (Stop hiring spies and special ops. according to race and gender quotas. Loyalty, ruthlessness and competence to do the job should be qualifications.)

7. Launch new cyber weapons against Iran’s government operations and its nuclear program – and keep ’em coming. (What’s the hold-up? Or have we already lost our tech edge?).

8. Find other means to sabotage the nuclear program – like bunker busting the nuclear sites in Iran – if 7 doesn’t work.

9. Work for regime change in both North Korea and Iran. Send out assassins, foment sedition and riots. Dust up on dirty tricks. (Yep, this had better be “who we are” or we will be sitting ducks.)

10. Defund the UN.

 

C. Gee   March 30, 2017

Posted under China, Germany, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Russia, United Kingdom, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Thursday, March 30, 2017

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The dangerous Russian alliance 1

According to the Pentagon:

A ballistic missile launched by Iran on Sunday [March 12, 2017] was North Korean in construction or design. …

This latest test could set Iran on a collision course with the Trump Administration, which has promised to take a hard line on Iran.

Why has President Trump not already torn up the “deal” Obama made with Iran? It really is “the stupidest deal of all time”, as President Trump himself called it.

Is the process of disempowering Iran starting with a warning to Iran’s nuclear-armed ally North Korea?

Reuters reports:

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Friday [March 17, 2017] issued the Trump administration’s starkest warning yet to North Korea, saying that a military response would be “on the table” if Pyongyang took action to threaten South Korean and U.S. forces.

Speaking in Seoul after visiting the Demilitarized Zone dividing the Korean peninsula and some of the 28,500 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea, Tillerson said former President Barack Obama’s policy of “strategic patience” towards Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs was over.

“We are exploring a new range of security and diplomatic measures. All options are on the table,” Tillerson told a news conference.

He said any North Korean actions that threatened U.S. or South Korean forces would be met with “an appropriate response,” turning up the volume of the tough language that has marked President Donald Trump’s approach to North Korea.

“Certainly, we do not want for things to get to a military conflict,” he said when asked about possible military action, but added: “If they elevate the threat of their weapons program to a level that we believe requires action, that option is on the table.”

Nuclear co-operation between Iran and nuclear-armed North Korea is hastening the day when there will be a nuclear-armed Iran.

But at present, the alliance between Iran and Russia is even more dangerous. 

This is from an article at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, by Anna Borshchevskaya, dated February 6, 2017:

It is going to be difficult to drive a wedge between Russia and Iran. Too many interests hold them together …

From Moscow’s perspective, the U.S. has been and will continue to be an enemy, no matter how hard any U.S. president tries to improve relations. Putin needs the U.S. as an enemy to justify domestic problems at home and he sees the current geopolitical order, anchored by the U.S., as disadvantaging him. Nothing short of a rearrangement of that order will satisfy Putin. Nobel Prize-winning author and journalist Svetlana Alexievich observed in October 2015 that Russians “are people of war. We don’t have any other history. Either we were preparing for war or we were fighting one. And so all of this militarism has pushed all of our psychological buttons at once.” Putin needs allies who share this worldview.

President Trump expressed two contradictory policies during his campaign: being tough on Iran and improving relations with Russia. These two goals are incompatible because Putin wants a partnership with Trump in Syria, but Syria is where Putin is most closely allied with Iran. In order to push Iran and Russia apart, Trump needs to resolve this contradiction. The recent Syria peace talks in Kazakhstan only brought Russia and Iran closer together, if anything, given their pledge to fight “jointly” against ISIS and al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat Fateh al-Sham [aka the al-Nusra Front]. This development will also make it even more difficult for Trump to ally with Russia on Syria.

So far, Putin has succeeded in balancing Israeli and Sunni interests with its growing relationship with Iran. But it is unclear how long Putin can sustain this policy. Certainly, Putin did not hesitate to discount Israel’s interests when it came to selling S-300 weapons to Iran. Indeed, it is not in Israel’s interest for Putin to continue supporting Bashar al-Assad and thereby expand Iran’s influence in the Middle East. The Trump administration could encourage and support U.S. allies like Israel in order to make it more difficult for Putin to maintain his balance of good relations with all sides. It should also step up security cooperation with its allies to demonstrate that it is still committed to the region.

In the long term, Russia and Iran diverge somewhat on Syria. Iran perceives Syria as within its sphere of influence, which is not very different from how Putin views the former Soviet Union countries that he does not consider real states. Iran is interested in exacerbating sectarian divisions in Syria so that the Assad regime becomes an Iranian client-state with no independent decision-making. Iran is also closer to Assad himself than Putin, who simply wants Assad or someone else like him to ensure his interests in Syria. He cares more about how he can leverage Syria in his relations with the West than Syria itself. At the same time, Putin also increasingly perceives the Middle East as falling within the Russian sphere of influence, albeit differently than Iran. Historically, Moscow always looked for buffer zones out of its sense of insecurity, and this is precisely how it feels now.

The Trump administration could emphasize to Putin that Russian and Iranian interests in Syria are bound to clash in the future, and therefore an alliance with Iran can only go so far. But most of all, the U.S. needs to be present in the region and regain its leadership position. Putin preys on weakness and has perceived the U.S. as weak for years. He stepped into a vacuum in the Middle East, especially in Syria, that was created by America’s absence. By taking an active role in the region, the U.S. would limit Putin’s influence, including his alliance with Iran.

The article ends with a statement that seems to contradict the one with which the quotation opens.

Can the US “limit Putin’s influence, including his alliance with Iran”, or is it “going to be difficult to drive a wedge between Russia and Iran”?

The Russian-Iranian alliance is extremely dangerous for the US and the world. Can President Trump weaken it? Can he disengage Russia from Iran? Can he subdue Russia’s intensifying belligerence? Will he tear up Obama’s “deal” and put an end to Iran’s acquisition of nuclear bombs and the missiles to deliver them to the Middle East, Europe, and America?

Is there a plan to achieve all that, a process starting with the much-needed, long-delayed, serious warning to North Korea?

The atrocious ideology of the beautiful people 2

The Marxist Left has nowhere to go. Wherever it has gained power it has failed, and it has no new ideas. Like a demented parrot it screeches words at the world outside its intellectual cage: “Racist!”, “Sexist!”, “Xenophobe!”, “White male privilege!”, “Global warming denier!” – as if they were statements complete in themselves and nothing needed to be added. They are subjects without predicates.

For a hundred years, 1917-2017, the enemy of liberty, reason, humanity, justice, civilization itself was the Marxist Left.

From the beginning of its era of implementation – the seizing of power in Russia by Vladimir Lenin and his Bolsheviks – to its fading with a cacophony of screeches when its American president, Barack Obama, stepped down from power, the Atrocious Ideology was fomented and imposed on nations by intellectuals who knew how to argue at a dinner table or a Stammtisch, in a classroom or a newspaper column, but had no understanding whatsoever of how most people lived or to what they aspired.

From the 1920s onwards, a majority of the intellectuals in the free Western world embraced the collectivist ideology of Marx and Lenin and called for the ruin of their own house. In the Anglosphere (e.g.), the writers who enthralled the reading classes – though they esteemed themselves artists and above politics – were almost all dedicated to the destruction of their warm, comfortable, beautifully appointed, endlessly entertaining, safe nursery. And they convinced untold millions that to smash it and everything in it was the nobly ideal thing to do.

To take just one of the noble destroyers who thought they would enjoy Communism,[1] one who attracted, and continues to attract, devoted admirers, let us consider Virginia Woolf (1882-1941). She was not merely a typical member of that class, she was the leading light of it.

A revelatory portrait of her is to be found in an essay by the great British essayist, Theodore Dalrymple.[2]

Virginia Woolf,” he writes, “belonged by birth not merely to the upper middle classes but to the the elite of the intellectual elite”.

He concentrates his surgical analysis on one of her books in particular, Three Guineas.

It was about how women could prevent war.

Virginia Woolf’s  name is not normally associated with great affairs of state, of course. Quite the reverse. She regarded them with a fastidious disgust, as a vulgar distraction from the true business of life: attendance to the finer nuances of one’s own emotional state. Along with the other members of the Bloomsbury group – that influential and endlessly chronicled little band of British aesthetes of which she was the moving spirit – she was dedicated to the proposition that beings as sensitive as they to the music of life ought not to be bound by gross social conventions , and that it was their duty (as well as their pleasure) to act solely upon the promptings of the sympathetic vibrations of their own souls.  …

Despite its concern with war, the book is not a work of political philosophy or contemporary history:

No: it is a locus classicus of self-pity and victimhood as a genre in itself. In this it was certainly ahead of its time, and it deserves to be on the syllabus of every department of women’s studies at every third-rate establishment of higher education. …

The book is important because it is a naked statement  of the worldview that is unstated and implicit in all of Virginia Woolf’s novels, most of which have achieved an iconic status in the republic of letters and in the humanities departments of the English speaking world, where they have influenced countless young people. The book, therefore, is a truly seminal text. In Three Guineas, Virginia Woolf lets us know without disguise what she really thinks: and what she thinks is by turns grandiose and trivial, resentful and fatuous. The book might be better titled: How to Be Privileged and Yet Feel Extremely Aggrieved. … 

Her point about war is that it is waged by men, and men suppress women; and if instead they treated women as equals, there would be no more wars.

One might think that to descend from the aesthetic to the ideological plane would be distasteful for a woman of such languorous, highly strung, thoroughbred equine beauty as she; but under the influence of a general idea, Mrs. Woolf revealed herself to be a thoroughgoing philistine of the most revolutionary and destructive type, quite prepared to bring the temple crashing down about her ears, that her grudges might be paid back. Let my ego be satisfied, though civilization fall.

The temple of learning, that is. She had in mind one of the repositories of the riches of Western civilization – a Cambridge university college. A woman’s college. (A great achievement in itself as women’s colleges were only established at Oxford and Cambridge in the 1880s – in Virginia Woolf’s lifetime). She advises that it should be burnt down with all that it contains; all the books in its library consigned to the flames. The worthlessness, in her estimation, of all that accumulation of knowledge and wisdom in print on paper, suggests that she would be happiest if the whole venerable university were to be reduced to ashes.

Dalrymple quotes her:

And let the daughters of educated men dance round the fire and heap armful upon armful of dead leaves upon the flames. And let their mothers lean from the upper windows [before, presumably, being burnt to death] and cry “Let it blaze! Let it blaze! For we have done with this education!” 

Virginia Woolf was consumed with bitter, contemptuous, snobbish distaste for everything that did not appeal to her exquisitely refined aesthetic sensibility. Form, appearance, was all to her. She expressed a low shallow anti-Semitism in passages describing, with revulsion and disgust, the appearance of Jewish men. Yet she married a Jew! (They had no children. Did she, like her character Mrs. Dalloway in the novel of that name, lie alone in a narrow bed?)[3]

Food disgusted her too. She  was revolted (again) by seeing through the window of a London tea room, well-dressed women eating cakes.[4] They were fat. They obviously had rich husbands who paid for their cakes. Nauseating! Despicable! Thin-ness and sterility were aesthetic and moral ideals to her. Instinctively, her philosophy of life was based on anorexia.

Life was too messy, the world too unbeautiful for her. It was Jewish. It was fat. It was sexual, fertile, dirty. She sought water, drowned herself in the River Ouse near her country house in East Sussex. (The reason she gave in her suicide note was that she couldn’t face another attack of recurring insanity.[5])

Theodore Dalrymple describes the sort of academy that Virginia Woolf would have approved of. It is one with which we are all too familiar:

Mrs. Woolf’s ideal college … would be entirely nonjudgmental, even as to intellect. … Henceforth there is to be no testing of oneself against the best, with the possibility, even the likelihood, of failure: instead one is perpetually to immerse oneself in the tepid bath of self-esteem, mutual congratulation, and benevolence toward all.

And he concludes:

Had Mrs. Woolf survived to our own time … she would at least have had the satisfaction of observing that her cast of mind – shallow, dishonest, resentful, envious, snobbish, self-absorbed, trivial, philistine, and ultimately brutal – had triumphed among the elites of the Western world.

It triumphs chiefly now in the universities, where the diehards of the Marxist Left linger on beyond their time with that Atrocious Ideology of theirs, stale, dull, tragic, disproven.

 

NOTES

1.This essay displays Virginia Woolf’s distaste for capitalism, and asserts that [her being above politics] what she desired was “a communism of the soul”. And the author quotes this from Woolf’s novel A Room of One’s Own: “Masterpieces are not single and solitary births; they are the outcome of many years of thinking in common, of thinking by the body of the people, so that experience of the mass is behind the single voice.” It is a notion that Barack Obama and Elizabeth Warren would heartily endorse.

2. The Rage of Virginia Woolf in Our Culture, What’s Left Of It by Theodore Dalrymple, Ivan R. Dee, Chicago 2005

3.  Mr. Virginia Woolf  by John Gross, Commentary Dec.1. 2006: “It also seems clear that the marriage worked. Many things about it are mysterious. Did, for instance, the fact that it was sexless leave Leonard constantly frustrated, or did it in some way suit him? We are unlikely ever to learn the answer to such a question, and perhaps it is none of our business.”

4. Yet Mrs. Woolf was not wholly consistent in her distaste for food, pleasure, or even sex. She also wrote this: “I want to dance, laugh, eat pink cakes, yellow cakes, drink thin, sharp wine. Or an indecent story, now – I could relish that. The older one grows the more one likes indecency.” (From Monday and Tuesday by Virginia Woolf.) Perhaps that was an aberrant thought that occurred to her in one of her periods of madness (see Note 5).

5. Virginia Woolf wrote to her husband:

Dearest, I feel certain I am going mad again. I feel we can’t go through another of those terrible times. And I shan’t recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can’t concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don’t think two people could have been happier till this terrible disease came. I can’t fight any longer. I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work. And you will I know. You see I can’t even write this properly. I can’t read. What I want to say is I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that – everybody knows it. If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can’t go on spoiling your life any longer. I don’t think two people could have been happier than we have been. 

*

Post Script:

Virginia Woolf and her coterie were erudite, cultured, brilliant – but nevertheless a silly lot.

Here’s one of them recording his significant thoughts:

 

The philosopher of Trumpism? (Part Two) 1

(Continuing from the post immediately below, being a commentary on an article by Gwynn Guilford and Nikhil Sonnad at Quartz, about the political philosophy of Stephen K. Bannon, whom President Trump has appointed Chief  Strategist.)  

The authors write:

It’s important to note that “Judeo-Christian values” does not necessarily seem to require that all citizens believe in Christianity. Bannon doesn’t appear to want to undo the separation of church and state or freedom of religion enshrined in America’s constitution. After all, both of these are traditions that have led America to success in the past. What he believes is that the founding fathers built the nation based on a set of values that come from the Judeo-Christian tradition. …

But the values the founding fathers built the nation on did not come from “Judeo-Christian values”; they came from a revolution against Christian values – the Enlightenment.

True, “Nature’s God” is mentioned in The Declaration of Independence, which also declares that Men “are endowed by their Creator” with certain rights. But when one looks at the actual values that the Declaration and the Constitution enshrine, they are the values of the Enlightenment – individual freedom, self-determination, tolerance, responsible ownership, rationality, patriotism: not the values of any religion.

It is [in Bannon’s view] through … the primacy of the nation-state’s values and traditions — that America can drive a stake through the heart of the global, secular “establishment”.

In addition to enriching themselves and encouraging dependency among the poor, global elites also encourage immigrants to flood the US and drag down wages. Immigrant labor boosts the corporate profits of globalists and their cronies, who leave it to middle-class natives to educate, feed, and care for these foreigners. The atheistic, pluralist social order that has been allowed to flourish recoils at nationalism and patriotism, viewing them as intolerant and bigoted. …

Atheism has nothing whatever to do with it. Hundreds of thousands of the immigrants have been Muslims, and however secular the Left governments have been, they have demanded that the host nation treat the – extremely intolerant – newcomers with deference. But it is true that those who welcome the Muslims “recoil” at nationalism and patriotism. 

[Bannon] pointed out that each of …  three preceding crises had involved a great war, and those conflicts had increased in scope from the American Revolution through the Civil War to the Second World War. He expected a new and even bigger war as part of the current crisis, and he did not seem at all fazed by the prospect. …

War with whom?

Bannon is left searching for a major, existence-level enemy. Does the “Party of Davos” alone qualify? Who else could this war be fought against?

In the 2014 Vatican lecture, Bannon goes further. “I think we are in a crisis of the underpinnings of capitalism, and on top of that we’re now, I believe, at the beginning stages of a global war against Islamic fascism. … I believe you should take a very, very, very aggressive stance against radical Islam…. See what’s happening, and you will see we’re in a war of immense proportions.” …

We agree with Bannon about that too.

Bannon’s remarks and his affiliations with anti-Muslim activists like Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer leave the impression that the enemy might well be Islam in general.

Yes. And so it is. Islam has declared war on the West, and sooner or later the West must fight and win it.

[He] entertains the argument that Islam’s “war” against Christianity “originated almost from [Islam’s] inception.”

It did.

He endorses the view that, in the lead-up to World War II, Islam was a “much darker” force facing Europe than fascism.

It was as dark. And Turkey and most of the Arabs were allies of Hitler and Mussolini.

Other ideas he has supported include: a US nonprofit focused on promoting a favorable image of Muslims is a terrorist front

If they mean Hamas-affiliated CAIR, which seems most probable, then again Bannon is right …

the Islamic Society of Boston mosque was behind the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing

It very likely was …

and Muslim-Americans are trying to supplant the US constitution with Shariah law.

Many are.

… Bannon’s diatribes against the media brim with spite toward journalists’ arrogance, superiority, and naivety.

“Spite”? The media are spiteful. Say “anger” instead, and there are millions of us who share it with him.

… [R]ecently, he told the New York Times that the media “should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while”. He added: “I want you to quote this. The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.” …

Again, we agree.

In his 2014 Vatican speech, he says:

I could see this when I worked at Goldman Sachs — there are people in New York that feel closer to people in London and in Berlin than they do to people in Kansas and in Colorado, and they have more of this elite mentality that they’re going to dictate to everybody how the world’s going to be run. I will tell you that the working men and women of Europe and Asia and the United States and Latin America don’t believe that. They believe they know what’s best for how they will comport their lives.

And we think that is true.

But this cosmic avenger role Bannon seems to claim as voice-giver to the “forgotten” middle-classes hints at a deeper relish of conflict. … In particular, the aesthetic of his documentaries can be nauseatingly violent. Torchbearer is a tour de force of gore. (There are at least six separate shots of falling guillotines, as well as lingering footage of nuclear radiation victims, mass burials from Nazi gas chambers, and various ISIL atrocities.)

Events brought about by self-appointed elites and savage jihadis. Should they be ignored? Forgotten?

The authors then ask what all this means for the Trump presidency, and give us their answer:

Even before he took charge of Trump’s campaign, in Aug. 2016, Bannon’s philosophies pervaded its rhetoric. If there was any question about the role his views would play in the Trump administration, the last two weeks have made it clear: The president’s leadership hangs from the scaffolding of Bannon’s worldview.

Trump’s inaugural address was basically a telepromptered Bannon rant. Where inaugural speeches typically crackle with forward-looking optimism, Trump’s was freighted with anti-elite resentment. He described a Bannonistic vision in which the “wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed all across the world.” The “forgotten men and women of our country” — a meme that Trump claimed, but that appears in Generation Zero — had a cameo too.

Trump heaped blame on the “establishment,” which “protected itself” but not American citizens from financial ruin. “And while they celebrated in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land,” Trump continued. “We’ve made other countries rich, while the wealth, strength and confidence of our country has dissipated over the horizon.”

“America first” is Bannon’s economic nationalism in slogan form. Trump’s vow to “unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate from the face of the Earth” was a mellowed-out version of the West’s battle against “Islamic fascists.”

There’s more. Trump’s remarks that the “Bible tells us how good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity,” that “most importantly, we will be protected by God,” and that children from both Detroit and Nebraska are “infused with the breath of life by the same almighty creator” seemed kind of bizarre coming from a not-very-religious man. …

We are glad of that.

Within days of the inauguration came the dizzying spurt of executive actions — written by Bannon and Stephen Miller, [another] White House policy advisor …

Now the authors, whose hostility to Bannon has been growing in clarity and force, openly show their antagonism to the Trump administration:

Bannon’s philosophy toward Islam seems likely to have influenced the order, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”. Recalling that line about how immigrants are not “Jeffersonian democrats”, the document prescribes ensuring the allegiance to America’s “founding principles” and the US constitution of anyone admitted to the country, including tourists.

How is that an unreasonable requirement?

Trump also implied in a TV interview with the Christian Broadcast Network that he wanted to prioritize Christians refugees over Muslims, accusing the US government of favoring Muslim refugees over Christians in the past (a claim for which there’s no evidence).

That is an outrageous statement. The Christians of the Middle East have been, and are being, atrociously persecuted by Muslims, yet far more Muslims – who do not have any values in common with most Americans – have been let in enthusiastically by President Obama, while Christians, who do, and who need asylum far more urgently, have been admitted in far smaller numbers. They were deliberately excluded by Obama. See here and here.

Some argue (fairly convincingly) that Trump’s ban risks lending credence to ISIL recruitment propaganda claiming that the US is leading the West in a war on all of Islam.

And that is an absurd argument, not convincing in the least. ISIL/ISIS has been doing its atrocious deeds for years. Everyone knows it. It is long past time for it to be opposed, eliminated from the face of the earth – and all possible ways its operatives can enter America shut off.  A banning order is common sense.

Another of the new administration’s focuses — the danger posed by Mexicans flooding over the border — is also a central theme of Bannon’s vision of America under siege. …

“America under siege”. Has Bannon made such a claim? Or Trump? A belief to that effect is attributed to President Trump by his opponents, but has he or Bannon ever actually said it? Anyway, the authors present  some spurious arguments against Trump’s executive action which declares that “many”  unauthorized immigrants “present a significant threat to national security and public safety” – something we all know to be true – and they back them up with reference to pronouncements made by “criminology and immigration experts”. The plain fact that “unauthorized immigrants” are in the United States illegally bypasses the authors’ consciousness.

 Finally, Trump’s withdrawal of the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a multilateral trade deal supported by what would count as the “elite”, includes a special shout-out to “the American worker”, the classic Bannon theme.

The TPP was a rotten project. It was supported by the “elite”. American workers have been overlooked and made poorer. Bannon is not the only observer to have noticed that and Trump did not need Bannon to point it out to him.

The possibility that many of these positions are right and good, and the fact that many people support Trump in espousing them, are not considered by Guilford and Sonnad.

Bannon savors the power of symbolism. That symbolic power infused Trump’s campaign, and now, apparently, his administration’s rhetoric. …  So it’s possible that the narrative flowing through Trump’s inaugural address and executive actions is simply what Bannon has calibrated over time to rouse maximum populist fervor — and that it doesn’t reflect plans to upend America.

There’s also, however, the possibility that Bannon is steering Trump toward the “enlightened capitalist”, Judeo-Christian, nationalistic vision that he has come to believe America needs.

Which it is, we can’t know, of course: Only Bannon knows what Bannon really wants. What we do know for sure, though, is that a man who has … a deep desire for a violent resurgence of “Western civilization” now has the power to fulfill it.

A “violent resurgence” of something dubiously called “Western civilization”. Is that deplorable? Is there no such thing as Western civilization? Is it not under attack?

Is there some means other than violence to destroy ISIS?

Or to stop Iran from nuking the West as it plainly intends to do?

The mind-set, assumptions, prejudices, and obliviousness to stark dangers that Guilford and Sonnad manifest, illustrate the need for the vision shared by President Trump, Stephen Bannon, and Stephen Miller to be acted upon by all necessary means.

An unintelligent organization of Intelligence 2

Maybe four of the 17 [US Intelligence agencies] could have or should have had an opinion on the Russian hacking. The rest having an opinion is either because of coercion or it is simply false that they had any direct knowledge of the hacking of the DNC by anyone.

From Townhall, by Bruce Bialosky:

The Russians are coming. The Russians are coming. This all started when Hillary Clinton reversed what Barack Obama had started four years earlier in a debate with Mitt Romney who actually stated the Russians were a problem. The only thing is that she stated that all 17 intelligence agencies agreed that the Russians had hacked the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Though technically correct there are “17” intelligence agencies, Ms. Clinton knows that these agencies “agreeing” is a hoax.

My initial reaction to the statement was a logical and rational one. I stated Mr. Trump should have replied to her: “Why do we have 17 intelligence agencies and why can they not stop the Russians from hacking?” I thought this issue would go away after Hillary was sent into retirement, but the sore loser Democrats keep making a big deal about this.

We only reluctantly mention, or quote someone else’s mention of Hillary Clinton. We want the Clintons to fade out of memory – unless either of them is brought to public attention again by being indicted, tried, and sentenced to a long period in jail. But to deal with the present subject – the failures of US Intelligence over the last two decades – we cannot avoid mentioning her, the Liar of Benghazigate, the Taker of Bribes, the Seller of Her Country.

There are actually 17 government entities considered part of our “Intelligence Community”. That is if you consider the Office of the Director of National Intelligence one of them. That position goes back to 1955 when our sprawling intelligence community was determined to be too big and too diverse so they needed another person (and all their staff) to oversee all the operating entities. Ten of the 17 agencies were formed after the director position was established. The coordination did not seem to work because Attorney General John Ashcroft stated his biggest challenge after 9/11 was synchronizing efforts between the various intelligence agencies.

The 17 agencies are broken into three groups. The first are ones within the different arms of the military. There is the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and that could be considered warranted, but why do we need separate departments within every branch and why would they not just be considered part of the DIA? The Marines, Navy, Army, Air Force and Coast Guard do not need separate intelligence departments. No wonder we can’t get anything right when just our Defense Department has eight separate intelligence agencies.

If we go back to the claim that all 17 agencies agreed it was the Russians who were hacking, please explain to me what information the Coast Guard had on that. Or, for that matter, any of the other four wings of our armed forces. Why would they be following domestic matters like this? That would seem improper or illegal to me.

Then there are the agencies that are part of cabinet departments. Energy, State, Treasury, Homeland Security and Justice all have intelligence agencies. Why do any of these departments except for maybe Homeland Security need their own agency? The Justice Department, which has the FBI (an important domestic intelligence agency), has another agency (Office of National Security Intelligence) that was created in 2006 under the DEA. What a waste.

All these departments should have their efforts coordinated through one entity – the FBI. If the FBI needs people assigned to these departments they should do so, but everything should run through one central point. Back to the Clinton claim, why would the agency under the DEA have any knowledge about Russian hacking of the DNC? Or the agency in the Energy Department? Again, obviously a ridiculous claim.

Then there are the Big Five of the intelligence community. They are the CIA, DIA, National Security Agency (NSA), National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (GEOINT). We all know what the CIA does (as much as we are allowed to know). But why is there the DIA and NSA? They are both part of the Defense Department. The NSA was formed in 1952,  and the DIA in 1961 and I cannot tell why it exists. It seems we allow our government to create overlapping entities so they can all miss out on accomplishing their mission.

The ones that baffle me totally are the NRO and the GEOINT. GEOINT states “Geospatial intelligence, or GEOINT, is the exploitation and analysis of imagery and geospatial information to describe, assess and visually depict physical features and geographically-referenced activities on the Earth. GEOINT consists of imagery, imagery intelligence and geospatial information.” What exactly is that? Maybe this should be a separate agency feeding the others, but they should be under either the CIA or NSA and not another separate operation.

When you look at the description of what the NRO does it certainly seems like it is splitting hairs between what it does and GEOINT. Both are part of the Defense Department and provide services to other intelligence agencies. These are certainly two entities that by definition should have no clue whether the Russians hacked the DNC nor an opinion.

In conclusion, there maybe should be three or four separate intelligence agencies: CIA, FBI, NSA and maybe the director of national intelligence. The other agencies should be folded into these. One would be independent (CIA), one part of Justice (FBI) and one part of Defense (NSA). All the confusing overlap and inefficiency will be eliminated. …

Now that President Trump has appointed Mike Pompeo to replace John Brennan as head of the CIA, will something of that sort happen?

From Front Page by Lloyd Billingsley:

 John Brennan …  should not have had that job or any intelligence post, not even to make coffee.

In 1976, year of the American Bicentennial, the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) ticket of Gus Hall and Jarvis Tyner got 58,992 votes. One of them came from college student John Brennan and that requires some context. The CPUSA has always been a wholly owned subsidiary of the Soviet Union, and in 1976 that was evident to all but the willfully blind. …

Gus Hall [was]  a slobbering Stalinist who defended the USSR during the worst of its atrocities and remained faithful to the end. So it took a special kind of person to vote for Gus Hall and the Communist Party USA in 1976, but John Brennan was up to the task.

Brennan said he voted Communist because he was unhappy “with the system” and saw “the need for change”. … The CPUSA at that time was dedicated to gaining support for Soviet foreign policy, with the intent of defeating the United States in the Cold War. …

Yet Brennan “got the job [of CIA director], which makes sense, given the person who chose him”.

Namely, President Obama. He put the US agency whose duty it was to keep Americans safe from its enemies, under the directorship of a man who had voted for the victory of the USSR over the US, and was an admirer of Islam even after 19 Muslim terrorists had killed close on 3,000 people in New York and Washington, D.C., on 9/11/2001.

The signs of where Brennan’s sympathies lay were not hard to read – and they were not the United States:

In 2012, Brennan played a role in fabricating the false narrative that Benghazi was a spontaneous protest of a video.

After Brennan became CIA boss in 2013, he transformed the agency into a partisan propaganda service for [Obama] and his designated successor Hillary Clinton. She was the Secretary of State who dismissed the four American dead in Benghazi with: “What difference, at this point, does it make?” 

Mike Pompeo, by all indications a capable man, understands that the Central Intelligence Agency is the eyes and ears of the United States against all enemies, radical Islamic terrorists prominent among them. The CIA does not exist to function as a private Comintern for any politician.

Stalinist-voting John Brennan, who believes Islam is a “faith of peace and tolerance,” is out but questions remain. 

Brennan’s moles remain in place. As with corrupt Justice Department and IRS officials, they need to be exposed, fired, and prosecuted.

Director Pompeo should also take a hard look at anyone hired on the watch of John Brennan and [Obama]. Neither [of them] was properly vetted, so check out whom they let slip in. …

In the war for the nation’s future, this will be a crucial battle. … The Trump administration … might consider scrapping the CIA and starting afresh with a new agency. As President Trump says, the nation has deep needs in infrastructure.

Bulletin from a battleground of the people’s revolution 12

The rulers of Europe and their supporting media are beginning to feel seriously embattled. They are aware and frightened of a spreading discontent, a darkening mood of defiance and even rebellion among the peoples they lead.

Their instinct – the instinct of tyrants – is to protect themselves by using government to silence criticism.

Of all the members of the European Union, Germany, it seems, is where the ruling class feels most insecure and is responding with most high-handed imperiousness. This is not hard to account for. Germany is anxious to live down its appalling modern history; dissolve its guilt in the wider sea of a European state; dilute its very nationhood in a flood of immigrants bringing different laws, culture, and religion.

But rising populist movements are demanding the dissolution of the European Union and a stop to Muslim immigration.

From Gatestone by Stefan Frank:

The elites and intellectuals are apparently now counted among the German minorities in need of protection.

Toward the end of last year, Germany experienced a previously unheard-of boycott campaign – funded by the German government, no less – against several websites, such as the popular Axis of Good (Achse des Guten). The website, critical of the government, was suddenly accused of “right-wing populism”.

The German government’s efforts at thought control seem to have begun with the victory of Donald J. Trump in the US presidential election – that seems to set the “establishment” off. Germany’s foreign minister and the probable future federal president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier – one of the first to travel to Iran after the removal of sanctions there to kowtow to the Ayatollahs – called America’s future president a “hate preacher”.

Herr Steinmeier, uniquely among European leaders, has come to his senses since then, recognized that there has been a world-transforming political upheaval in America, and plans to talk to President Trump in an effort to understand what the popular revolution is all about.

Germany’s newspapers were suddenly littered with apocalyptic predictions and anti-American fulminations.

For hard-core Trump-haters, however, a witch hunt by itself is insufficient; they want activism! Since November, Germany’s left-wing parties have had a strong increase in membership, as reported by Der Spiegel. At the same time, the federal government evidently decided, at least regarding the federal elections taking place in 2017, that it would no longer count on journalists’ self-censorship.

The German government, instead of merely hoping that newspapers would voluntarily – or under pressure from the Press Council – refrain from criticising the government’s immigration policies, decided that it, itself, would inaugurate censorship.

To this effect, as reported by Der Spiegel, the Federal Interior Ministry, intends to set up a “Defense Center against Disinformation (“Abwehrzentrum gegen Desinformation“) in the fight against “fake news on social networks”. “Abwehr” – the name of Nazi Germany’s military intelligence agency – is apparently meant to demonstrate the government’s seriousness regarding the matter.

“It sounds like the Ministry of Truth, ‘Minitrue,’ from George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984,” wrote even the left-leaning daily, Frankfurter Rundschau.

Frank Überall, national head of the German Association of Journalists (DJV), bluntly stated: “This smells like censorship.”

It seems that all ideas suspected of being “populist” – or simply those ideas without the blessing of the elites – will now be banned in Germany. This restriction applies to criticism of the government (especially regarding immigration and energy policies), of the EU, of Islam, of government officials and of the media.

The Federal Agency for Political Education – the information agency of the Interior Ministry – is quite open about it: “Anti-elitism”, “anti-intellectualism”, “anti-politics” and “hostility toward institutions” are “the key characteristics of populism”.

Toward the end of 2016, one of the biggest German media scandals in recent memory erupted when Gerald Hensel, undoubtedly a member of Germany’s elite, tried to introduce a new form of internet censorship with the help of a team of media agencies and political players. Until recently, Hensel was “Director of Strategy” at Scholz & Friends, one of Germany’s two big advertising agencies. The firm counts among its clients multinational corporations such as General Motors, the German federal government and the European Commission; so one might say the company is close to the state.

Apparently in anger over Trump’s election victory, Hensel demanded: “Let us freeze the cash flow of the right-wing extremist media!” He had previously written a strategy brief declaring debate to be useless; instead, the political enemy — the “populists” – needed to be fought, even with questionable methods:

The liberal center must, especially in these new digital and information-based wars, take off the kid gloves. We have to turn the tables and learn about populism, particularly on the Internet … Thus, we have to respond in a more wide-spread digital manner and with explicitly less sympathy to those people who want to force their own future on us – and do this long before the next federal election … Political storytelling, targeting the political enemy, influencers, forums, rumors…”

“Measures,” he added, have to be taken against the “new right” – measures that:

… [A]re “Below the Line” and also digital. We need “good” troll factories in our fight against [European “populist” leaders] Frauke Petry, Beatrix von Storch, Geert Wilders, Marine Le Pen and the fat stupid white men behind them. Ideally, as quickly as possible. Starting in 2017, they will continue to dismantle the EU and thus our future and that of our children.

Toward the end of November, Hensel appealed to his colleagues in various advertising agencies, under the banner of “no money for the right”, to boycott all those who fit the description of his bogeyman – because they were “hostile towards the EU”, or because they might even harbor sympathies for Donald Trump. He was jumping on a bandwagon. A witch hunt was already under way against the American website Breitbart, due to the closeness of its former executive chair, Steve Bannon, to Donald Trump.

Without providing any kind of proof, countless German newspapers and broadcasters claimed that Breitbart was “racist”, “sexist”, “xenophobic”, “anti-Semitic” and “Islamophobic”, and a “hate site”. The state-owned German television station ARD described Breitbart as an “ultra right-wing” platform for “white supremacy”. Other journalists followed suit.

Hensel went one step farther. In the style of a prosecutor during the Inquisition, he called to break the “dominance of right-wing micro media”. He seems to consider particularly dangerous and subversive, anyone who reads articles that do not originate from one of Germany’s media empires:

“While I may satisfy my thirst for information with my subscriptions to ZEIT or Le Mode Diplomatique, the brave new-right freedom-fighter likes to stay informed via online media such as the Axis of Good or Breitbart News.”

This alone raises several suspicions. Hensel, whose website (which since December can only be accessed with a password) is graced by the display of a Soviet red star, likes to eliminate his opponents swiftly. Breitbart, for example, is deemed fascist (“salon-fascists”). Why? Because the blog — and here he, supposedly for simplicity’s sake, quotes an article from the Süddeutsche Zeitung — “covers all the topics of German right-wing populism”; Breitbart reports about “the migrant and refugee policies of the German federal government, as well as of supposed criminal acts conducted by migrants and Islamic activities”.

There is freedom of speech in my stupid little world. Undoubtedly, websites such as Breitbart News and the Axis of Good … are legal media. Nevertheless, one could ask brand names whether they … are aware that their banner ads appear on these particular websites and represent their brand there.

This type of “asking”, of course, roughly corresponds to the mafia “asking” the pizzeria owner if he has fire insurance.

Hensel also considerately provided detailed instructions for his readers. Those employed by an enterprise should check whether the websites that he deemed “right-wing” are registered on a blacklist. Employees of advertising agencies should form a team, with Hensel and other authoritarians, for internet censorship:

If your career in a media agency has propelled you a little higher up the hierarchy, you might be able to bring up the topic at the next media get-together with colleagues. 2017 is an election year. You, dearest colleagues, clearly have a part in determining who receives our advertising dollars.

Hensel also suggests that consumers put direct pressure on companies or approach them via social media, to dissuade them from advertising on “hate publishers” and “destroyers of the future”.

This manifesto was only published on a private blog — one that barely anyone had ever heard of before. But the power of which Hensel boasted – the networks in the advertising agencies and editorial offices – is real. On Hensel’s command, big newspapers and websites reported on the operation with much sympathy, along with the hashtag #NoMoneyForTheRight.

Large companies such as Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile), BMW, Mercedes-Benz and the supermarket chain REWE obeyed straightaway, and promised to place “Breitbart” on the blacklist immediately and never to advertise there againDer Spiegel cited Hensel’s “resistance” (!) and pilloried one business that did not follow suit: A plucky little pizza delivery service that responded to the blacklisting demand by declaring that it was “not the morality police”. The company was denounced by Der Spiegel as “inept”, and after “protests from customers”, it ended up capitulating, as the newspaper reported with much satisfaction.

Breitbart will cope with missing out on a few hundred dollars of advertising revenue from Germany. Hensel, however, was successful in his attempt to motivate his ad agency colleagues against German websites such as the Axis of Good. Within a few days, none of them advertised there anymore. Advertising revenue, equally important for websites as it is for newspapers, came to a halt. Hensel had achieved his goal.

For this campaign, Hensel also received support from the group Network Against Nazis (Netz gegen Nazis), which receives financing from by Germany’s federal government, the German Football Association and the newspaper Die Zeit, and which, until recently, also counted Scholz & Friends among its supporters. In the tried and true Orwellian fashion of calling things their opposite, the definition of “Nazi”, for Network Against Nazis, encompasses anyone who is “Islamophobic” or “hostile toward the media”.

Shortly after Hensel’s call for boycotts, the Axis of Good was placed on a list of “popular right-wing blogs” by Network Against Nazis – together with the liberal publisher Roland Tichy and the evangelical civil rights activist Vera Lengsfeld (who is a thorn in the side of communists, because she fought against the East Germany’s dictatorship in the 1980s). The Amadeu-Antonio Foundation, which runs the Network Against Nazis website, receives almost a million euros per year from the federal government. Not surprisingly, it demonstrates its gratitude with character assassinations of critics of the government.

Within a short time, Hensel had put together a kind of mafia, bent on economically ruining whoever rejected his ideological commands, by using libel and slander to scare away their customers.

As the Frankfurter Allgemeine daily newspaper commented:

It is very fashionable right now to stigmatize people and denounce them as “right-wing” if they do not share your views. Companies want nothing to do with that label, and, as you can see on Twitter, they quickly change direction if they are aggressively made aware that they support the wrong side with their ads (which are often automatically activated and run on the internet).”

The Left’s lie that Nazism (National Socialism) was “right-wing” rather than one of its own branches – which it was – has stuck, giving the Left one of its few lasting victories.

In response to the boycott campaign against it, the Axis of Good showed how a business can defend itself: the editors raised a public alarm about Hensel’s campaign in a series of reports and commentaries. Thousands of readers complained on the Facebook page of Hensel’s employer, Scholz & Friends, which, after its initial support, began to distance itself from its employee’s campaign and finally severed ties with him.

According to Hensel’s version, his campaign was “so successful” that he wanted to take his employer “out of the line of fire”.

My former employer and I became the victims of a massive hate storm consisting of countless tweets, emails and comments on social media … This is a systematic campaign.

As if that was a wicked thing, and as if his campaign had not been “systematic”.

Of course, it was Hensel himself who initiated a systematic campaign, including dirty tricks, which were waged with an eye to the government’s apparent plans to consolidate the population ideologically.

That is the chilling plan, precisely worded. And that is true Nazism, true Stalinism. 

As research by the Axis of Good has revealed, Hensel’s boycott operation was closely tied to the plans by the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs to conduct an advertising campaign in support of an open-door immigration policy in 2017. For this, an advertising agency was necessary, as reported in September by an industry journal:

As revealed by a Europe-wide announcement, the Federal Minister of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth is looking for an agency to advertise the brand “Living democracy! Actively against right-wing extremism, violence and inhumanity”.

Ad agencies were invited to submit their suggestions by the middle of December. The Axis of Good concluded:

There is a suspicion that this [boycott] operation was a hurried pilot project for the bid for the million-euro project by [Federal Minister] Schwesig’s Family Ministry. A free trial run for the so-called “advertising pitch”.

Regarding the question of how much economic damage was caused to the Axis of Good by the boycott campaign, Henryk M. Broder, the website’s publisher, told Gatestone:

It is significant, but how big it really was, we will only know in a few months. After all, it is not the companies themselves that stopped advertising, but the agencies. The damage for Scholz & Friends could be even bigger, but they do not talk about it.”

The Hamburger Abendblatt daily referred to Hensel’s campaign as an “attack on the freedom of the press,” adding: “It seems as if the shot from the activists backfired.”

As in communist dictatorships, the more obvious the failings of the government, the more aggressively the establishment attacks those who speak out about them.

Fueling Iranian nuclear power 1

Pretending to save the world from a nuclear onslaught by Iran’s Islamic regime, Obama went to great lengths to enable it. 

It was clear, sheer, obvious treason. Obvious despite the elaborate deceptions attempted by his administration.  

The State Department acted vigorously to implement Obama’s furtive plan.

With only a few days before the treasonous administration passes away and a patriotic one replaces it, the State Department continues to help Iran towards its evil goal.

The Tower reports:

Global powers, including the United States, have reached an agreement to provide Iran with nearly 130 tons of uranium — which experts believe would be enough to make 10 nuclear bombs. … 

David Albright and Andrea Stricker of the Institute for Science and International Security criticized Iran’s excess heavy water deals in a research paper (.pdf) published last month, pointing out that instead of insisting that Iran abide by the terms of the deal, “the United States tolerated and minimized Iran’s violations and sought to legitimize its international standing as a commercial supplier of heavy water”. Albright told the AP that “depending on the efficiency of the enrichment process and the design of the nuclear weapon”, Iran could create more than 10 atomic bombs with the uranium it will receive. …

Iran has not stated what it will do with the uranium. It could store it or process it into low-enriched uranium to be sold as nuclear fuel. But the nuclear deal itself allows Iran to step up approved nuclear enrichment activities even before the 15-year deal expires.

In addition to Iran’s heavy water violations, the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] warned last month that Iran was likely to exceed its cap on low-enriched uranium if it continued producing it at current levels. That warning came just days after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani ordered his nuclear agency to draw up plans to develop nuclear-powered engines that would require uranium to be enriched to 20 percent (in violation of the terms of the deal, which only allows Iran to enrich up to to 3.67 percent).

The IAEA publicized documents last month that essentially showed that Iran could violate the deal without receiving penalties. Certain amounts of low-enriched uranium in Iran’s possession are considered “unrecoverable”, and therefore do not count against its cap. “If this whole thing rests on [Iran] promising not to build a facility that they’d probably only build in secret if they were going to actually break out, then this material probably should not be deemed non-recoverable,” Albright wrote.

When serving as Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Rouhani agreed to a temporary halt of uranium enrichment as part of the November 2004 Paris Agreement. But Iran backed out of the deal nine months later and began enriching uranium again. The following year, Rouhani boasted to a meeting of clerics that during the time that talks were ongoing in Paris, Iran was able to install equipment for converting yellowcake, a necessary step in enriching  uranium.

Omri Ceren explains how dangerous this is, and reveals how the State Department wriggles out of admitting the danger:

As long as the deal is in place, Iran will be able to blackmail the U.S. on non-nuclear issues by threatening to collapse the deal and pocket the uranium — Iran deal advocates have already been making a two-step argument for why the U.S. must not act against Iran’s terrorism, ballistic missiles, etc: 1st, they say the deal was front-loaded to give Iran most of its benefits at the beginning, while the U.S. only benefits from long-term Iranian compliance, so the Iranians win if the deal collapses now, 2nd, they say new non-nuclear pressure would cause the deal to collapse. It’s the blackmail scenario predicted by deal critics in late 2015, and the new uranium will play out the same way: Iran deal advocates will argue the U.S. must not act against Iran because the Iranians will walk away from the deal, and now they have enough new uranium for 10+ nuclear bombs.

Once the deal expires, Iran will be able to enrich the uranium to weapons-grade levels — President Obama told NPR the deal enables Iran to shrink its breakout time “almost down to zero” as soon as 13 years after implementation, which is 12 years from now. Restrictions on enrichment levels expire over that period.

The criticisms came up at yesterday’s State Department briefing. Spokesperson Kirby responded that as long as the deal has not collapsed or expired, the new uranium will be monitored. It’s not clear how that addresses any of the major criticisms of the swap: Iran profits from violating the deal, Iran gets blackmail leverage to prevent U.S. action on non-nuclear issues, and the deal will expire.

Transcript of Q & A, with John Kirby, State Department spokesman:

QUESTION: Well, is it not correct… if they store it away for 25 years, can they then not take this 116 tons and then do whatever they want with it?

MR KIRBY: Well, the – first of all, I really hate – I hate hypotheticals —

QUESTION: Or whatever the quantity —

MR KIRBY: — particularly the ones that go out two and a half decades from now, but —

QUESTION: Look, the – your whole point is that don’t worry, this is going to be subject to inspection and verification… under the JCPOA, but those – that expires at some point… So after those limitations expire, is it not correct that they could do whatever they want with it?

MR KIRBY: I’m not going to speculate one way or another here about something that… may or may not happen 25 years from now, Matt. There’s a strong inspection regime in place —

QUESTION: Now.

MR KIRBY: — to – and for well into the future to prevent Iran from —

QUESTION: For 25 years.

MR KIRBY: — to prevent Iran from ever being able to achieve a nuclear weapon, and that’s on page – by the way, not 25 years. The deal says Iran will never achieve nuclear weapons capability, but let’s get beyond that. I’m not going to speculate about what might or might not happen 25 years from now… I just don’t think that’s a useful exercise.

That last part about the deal saying “Iran will never achieve nuclear weapons capability” is not true.

Will the State Department switch sides and become an ally of the United States when Donald Trump is president?

We long to see heads roll at Foggy Bottom!

Posted under Iran, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, January 10, 2017

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Japan then, Iran now 1

We continue commentary on the article we discussed yesterday in our post How to defeat Islam (immediately below):  

In his well reasoned article recommending that Iran be treated as an enemy of the US – and the world – and utterly defeated, John David Lewis argues:

Given that we should win, how then must our government confront Islamic Totalitarianism? Let us call again upon the defeat of Japan in 1945 as a valid, and vital, historical precedent. …

The basic similarities between the two conflicts begin with the ideas that motivated the attacks. The Japanese were motivated by a politicized religious ideology — Shintoism — that posited an all-powerful deity, indoctrinated their children, infected every aspect of their culture, and drove them to suicidal military actions that killed millions.

Islamic jihad is motivated by just such a “politicized religious ideology”. It too posits an “all-powerful deity” in whose name Islam “indoctrinates its children” with its aggressive, supremacist, totalitarian ideology that “infects every aspect” of Muslim culture, and “drives them to suicidal military actions”.

An educational rescript of 1890 — an Imperial decree, and one of the most influential documents in Japanese history — built this “mytho-religious ideology” into the classroom, making worship of the Emperor and duty to the State into the primary goals of education. Japanese people memorized its tenets, and were inculcated with what one Japanese scholar called “socialization for death’. A Japanese civilian remarked how, when she heard that the Emperor was going to address his people — an unprecedented event — the words she had memorized as a child rose in her mind: “Should any emergency arise, offer yourself courageously to the State.” Such ideas, deeply internalized and mandated by law, motivated suicide bombers — kamikaze — to throw themselves fanatically against superior U.S. forces, and gave them hope for a final battle over weak-willed Americans. This kamikaze fire was extinguished by the crushing American offensive of 1945.

The key to extinguishing this fire, I submit — the sine qua non required to end the spiral of indoctrination, jihadand suicidal attacks on the West — is to do what was done against Japan: to break the political power of the state religion. State Islam — Totalitarian Islam — rule by Islamic Law — must be obliterated.

He describes how this was done in the case of Japan:

Waves of bombers obliterate dozens of enemy cities. His food is choked off, his military is decimated, his industry is bombarded, his ships are sunk, his harbors are mined — his people are psychologically shattered. In a single night, a hundred thousand civilians die in a firestorm in his capital. Americans drop leaflets telling the enemy population which cities could be next. …

When they face starvation, we remind them that their miseries are their own fault. We charge them for many of the costs of the occupation. Not one dime of aid arrives until they demonstrate their complete surrender, in word and in action, including their repudiation of the militaristic ideology that motivated their attacks.

We agree with him that “State Islam — Totalitarian Islam — rule by Islamic Law — must be obliterated”. And we agree that war on Iran, the utter defeat of the Iranian Islamic theocracy, would go a long way to achieving that end.

But there is an important difference between Japan then and Iran now.

He makes it clear that the Japanese people were heart and mind, unquestioningly, with the Emperor; with his government and his military in wanting to make war on America and the world.

In the case of Iran, however, it is apparent that the people are not in agreement with the tyrants who rule them. It is not their will that war – ultimately nuclear war – should be waged on America and the world. 

The Iranian people rose in rebellion against the regime in 2009. The uprising was called “the green revolution”. [Nothing to do with environmentalism.] Much regret has been expressed that President Obama did not help the protestors. Had he helped them, the reasoning goes, the regime might have been toppled.

But Obama did not want regime change. He wanted to make friends with the Ayatollahs. Why remains a matter of conjecture. The explanation given by his administration was that negotiating a “deal” with the Iranian government would stop the development of Iranian nuclear bombs. But that is belied by the terms of the “deal” itself, which allows Iran to become a nuclear armed power in little more than ten years after the date of the agreement.

To want regime change is to want to save the Iranians from their oppression.

To want regime change is to want the defeat of the Ayatollahs – but not of Islam.

And Lewis’s whole point is that the defeat of Iran would effect crushing defeat on Islam as a whole. It would prove that Islamic state totalitarianism would not be tolerated. It would be a severe deterrent to jihad.

In which state is Islam most solidly linked with political power, dedicated to the violent spread of Islamic rule, and infused with hatred of America? What state is founded on these ideas, and their practice, as a matter of principle? There is a clear answer, which is known, admittedly or not, by almost everyone today. The political centerpiece of Islamic Totalitarianism today — the state in which Islam is most militantly welded to political power and contempt for America and the West — the world leader in the violent spread of Islam — is Iran. …

The road to the defeat of Islamic Totalitarianism begins in Tehran. America, acting alone and with overwhelming force, must destroy the Iranian Islamic State now. It must do so openly, and indeed spectacularly, for the entire world to see, for this is the only way to demonstrate the spectacular failure and incompetence of the Islamic fundamentalist movement as a whole.

So by his well-reasoned argument, war on Iran – not regime change – is essential. War and total defeat.

And the methods he advocates – the methods used on Japan, now capable of being much more quickly applied, including the deployment of nuclear weapons before Iran has them to retaliate with – could achieve the objective.

But unlike the Japanese in the Second World War, the Iranian people are not deserving of retribution. So war cannot be waged on Iran as it was waged on Japan.

The bombing would need to be targeted on nuclear facilities. And Obama stopped Israel doing just that in 2014 with threats of forcefully intercepting Israeli bombers. He would have ordered Israeli planes to be shot down before they could reach their target, according to credible reports (which were neither officially confirmed or denied by the US or Israel).  

Lewis makes a strong case that the devastation of Japan, the starvation of the people, the use of nuclear bombs was morally justified, and so too would be the devastation of Iran.

Only after we understand that we should defeat these enemies, can we ask how. This point is vital, for the question of moral rightness is logically and psychologically prior to any question of strategy or tactics. If we do not understand that we should defeat them — if we think that we are as bad as they are, or that they have legitimate grievances that justify their attacks, or that we have created a situation that morally demands that we compensate them — then our lack of moral self-confidence will undercut our motivation to fight. But the facts do not warrant such a conclusion. We are morally right and the Islamic Totalitarians are evil — not merely in their methods, but, more fundamentally, in their values and goals. We have a moral responsibility to defeat them

But would it be morally right to kill millions of Iranians whose “values and goals” are not those of their government? If not, then only something less than total war would be morally justified.

Iran’s nuclear facilities are now deeper underground and so much harder to destroy. Still, they must be destroyed. Iran must be kept from becoming a nuclear power. May President Trump find a way to achieve that end!

The destruction of Islam will be even harder.

Posted under Iran, Islam, Japan, jihad, middle east, Muslims, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Monday, January 9, 2017

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How to defeat Islam 8

Waves of bombers obliterate dozens of enemy cities. His food is choked off, his military is decimated, his industry is bombarded, his ships are sunk, his harbors are mined — his people are psychologically shattered. In a single night, a hundred thousand civilians die in a firestorm in his capital. Americans drop leaflets telling the enemy population which cities could be next. …

One of our generals announces his personal goal: to “kill the bastards”. … A force of overpowering magnitude amasses on the enemy’s borders, as thousands of American bombers pulverize his cities. …

We call upon the enemy to proclaim now the unconditional surrender of all armed forces, and to provide proper and adequate assurances of their good faith in such action. The alternative is prompt and utter destruction.

[Finally] atomic bombs are dropped on [the enemy’s] cities. He surrenders, thus acknowledging the reality of his defeat and making a political decision to cease fighting. …

We tell them, pointedly and publicly, that they are defeated, and that we have no obligations to them. When they face starvation, we remind them that their miseries are their own fault. We charge them for many of the costs of the occupation. Not one dime of aid arrives until they demonstrate their complete surrender, in word and in action, including their repudiation of the militaristic ideology that motivated their attacks.

That’s how America responded to Japan when it attacked Pearl Harbor.

The quotation comes from an article by John David Lewis, adapted by the author from a lecture he presented at an Ayn Rand Institute’s conference on October 21, 2006, published January 2017 by The Objective Standard.

The author urges that Islam, the “militaristic, religious-political ideology that values war as a demonstration of loyalty to a deity, demands obedience to its spokesmen, and imposes its edicts over millions of people” – and that attacked America on 9/11/2001 – be responded to in the same way, the specific Islamic country to be counter-attacked being Iran. 

Here is more from the article:

Ayn Rand, in her essay on the nature of government, observed a vital relationship between man’s right to life and his right to self-defense:

The necessary consequence of man’s right to life is his right to self-defense. In a civilized society, force may be used only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use. All the reasons which make the initiation of physical force an evil, make the retaliatory use of physical force a moral imperative.

If some “pacifist” society renounced the retaliatory use of force, it would be left helplessly at the mercy of the first thug who decided to be immoral. Such a society would achieve the opposite of its intention: instead of abolishing evil, it would encourage and reward it.

These words ring especially true in the war against Islamic Totalitarianism. The consequence of our failure to respond forthrightly to these attacks has been precisely to encourage and reward this movement. We have granted it a safe haven, allowed it to claim victory through continued existence, appealed to its apologists who spread anti-American venom, and emboldened those who wish to take up the fight against us. The solution is to renounce altruistic appeasement and pragmatic compromise, to recognize our own value, and to defend our lives by right. We must defeat these enemies, and we can.

Only after we understand that we should defeat these enemies, can we ask how. This point is vital, for the question of moral rightness is logically and psychologically prior to any question of strategy or tactics. If we do not understand that we should defeat them — if we think that we are as bad as they are, or that they have legitimate grievances that justify their attacks, or that we have created a situation that morally demands that we compensate them — then our lack of moral self-confidence will undercut our motivation to fight. But the facts do not warrant such a conclusion. We are morally right and the Islamic Totalitarians are evil — not merely in their methods, but, more fundamentally, in their values and goals. We have a moral responsibility to defeat them — if we want to live. We can and must approach this war with the moral self-confidence of those fighting for civilization itself … because that is precisely what is at stake. …

[T]he sine qua non required to end the spiral of indoctrination, jihadand suicidal attacks on the West — is to do what was done against Japan: to break the political power of the state religion. State Islam — Totalitarian Islam —rule by Islamic Law — must be obliterated.

A vital point about politics and government must be remembered here. Government holds a legal monopoly on the use of force in a geographic area. Governments do not make suggestions — they pass and enforce laws. They must do this in order to protect our freedom to think and speak — but within proper limits, defined by the principle of individual rights and codified in a constitution that is the nation’s fundamental law. The purpose of a proper government is to protect the rights of its citizens — each citizen’s freedom to think and act on his own judgment — by using retaliatory force as necessary against criminals and foreign invaders.

A government that turns its force against its own citizens, especially to impose an ideological doctrine on them, subordinates the rights of individuals to the demands of the State. This is statism — the elevation of the State over the individual, and the inversion of the very purpose of government. Statism is the greatest killer in history — dwarfing all attacks by criminals — precisely because it is motivated by some form of mystical political ideology. Because statists claim an authority that is above the rights of man — whether the Fuehrer’s master race, the communists’ dialectic, or the theocrat’s God — they do not recognize the principle of individual rights or the self-ownership of men on earth; rather, they claim the right to rule men, and to kill with impunity anyone who disobeys the ideology or regime. …

[T]here is no recognition of individual rights, no legitimate constitution, and thus no freedom, under religious law in any form.

The all-encompassing, totalitarian nature of Islamic Law — its claims to divine origin, its commitment to uphold “Allah’s” will, and its ultimate goal of making everyone on earth submit to it — leaves no room for individual rights or freedom. This code is barbaric and tribal, frozen in time for over a thousand years, not open to rational scrutiny but only to unquestioned obedience … To impose this primitive code by force is to inject religion into every aspect of human thought and action — which is the ultimate goal of Islamic Totalitarianism.

To begin to enshrine the inviolability of individual rights as the central principle of government, clerics of all kinds must be stripped of political power. There can be no freedom of thought and speech if those with claims to mystically derived ideas can enforce them coercively. Only by breaking the link between state power and religious belief can the state become a protector of each person’s right to worship or not worship as he wishes; only complete separation of religion and government can enable the government to serve its proper function: to protect each person’s right to think, speak, and act as he chooses. …

Individual religious belief is to be left alone … [but] Totalitarian Islam, an ideology that merges state power with religious belief, must go.

But proponents of Islamic Totalitarianism have political power, to some extent, in dozens of nations. Should we attack them all, immediately? No. We need to aim for the political, economic, and ideological center of this movement — the core that embodies its naked essence and that fuels it worldwide. This does not mean finding the particular people who organized the 9/11 attacks. The question is: In which state is Islam most solidly linked with political power, dedicated to the violent spread of Islamic rule, and infused with hatred of America? What state is founded on these ideas, and their practice, as a matter of principle? There is a clear answer, which is known, admittedly or not, by almost everyone today. The political centerpiece of Islamic Totalitarianism today — the state in which Islam is most militantly welded to political power and contempt for America and the West — the world leader in the violent spread of Islam — is Iran.

The conclusion is inescapable. The road to the defeat of Islamic Totalitarianism begins in Tehran. America, acting alone and with overwhelming force, must destroy the Iranian Islamic State now. It must do so openly, and indeed spectacularly, for the entire world to see, for this is the only way to demonstrate the spectacular failure and incompetence of the Islamic fundamentalist movement as a whole. …

We must not seek legitimacy for the removal of the Iranian Islamic State beyond the principle of our right to defend ourselves. To pretend that something more than this principle is needed would be to deny the sufficiency of the principle. To base our reasons on the alleged good of others, especially on any alleged benefits to the people of the Middle East, would be to accept a position of moral dhimmitude: the moral subordination of our right to life and self-defense to an allegedly higher principle. …

To remove this cancerous Islamic State loudly and forthrightly will have immediate benefits. We would avenge the thousands of American terror victims since the 1960s. We would reverse the pitiful image we projected when Iranians stormed our embassy in 1979, and when we fled from Mogadishu and from Lebanon — actions that the Islamic Totalitarians claimed as evidence of our weakness. We could even reverse a tremendous injustice by un-nationalizing the oil companies in Iran — stolen from their owners in 1951 — and placing them back into private hands, under government protection. … The pipeline of money into Islamic jihad would be cut.

Most importantly, by ousting the regime in Iran, we would send a clear message to the world: Political Islam is finished. Weaker states and groups would cringe in terror — as they did briefly after 9/11 — and would literally retreat into holes in the ground. Anti-totalitarian forces across the world would be emboldened by the sight of a real defense of life and liberty. Allies we never knew existed would raise their heads with confidence and join the cause of freedom. The land of the free — rejuvenated as the home of the brave — would rejoice as the nation of the secure. …

The Muslim world must be made to understand that any government that provides economic support to jihadists will be summarily destroyed. … Only the clear threat that “you will be next” can break the entangled network of Islamic economic support for jihad that masquerades as “economic development’. There can be no more playing games with Saudi apologists who speak smooth English and describe their work as “charity.” … Such “charity” means raising money to spread the ideas, and tactics, of Totalitarian Islam. It must end. …

America needs a Commander-in-Chief today who can understand and state this simple truth: In war, there is no “right” to free speech on behalf of an enemy. The string of obviously false, contrived, and manipulated “news” by the supporters of jihad — the staging of civilians crying when a home is destroyed, and the throwing about of children’s dolls when a terrorist’s safe house is wrecked — are all part of the enemy’s war effort. In war, the psychological disarmament of the enemy, including the inculcation of terror through vicious propaganda, is part of the fight. American unwillingness to quash such propaganda is seen, by our enemies, not as respect for freedom of speech, but rather as a lack of will and as evidence of weakness. In the present situation, Americans must forcibly prohibit the dissemination of militaristic ideology and propaganda anywhere it rises. To make the point clear, Al-Jazeera — the fountainhead of Muslim taqiyya, or deception — must be shut down. …

This is not a clash between civilizations; it is a clash between civilization and barbarism. Until civilized people assert themselves with a depth of moral confidence exceeding that projected by those who submit to the “will of Allah”, America will remain permanently on the defensive, in a state of moral dhimmitude, and the war will continue to its logical conclusion: a mushroom cloud over America. …

In relative terms, the physical forces facing America and her allies in 1941 were far more formidable than those we face today, and America then was far weaker militarily. In our own day, the technological and industrial superiority of the U.S. over the Middle East is staggering. Islamic warriors can shoot an AK-47, but they cannot build one; all of the arms possessed by Islamic countries come from outside those countries. They are pathetically weak; the American army ended the regime of Saddam Hussein in three weeks, after Iran could not beat him in eight years. Our overwhelming material advantage, however, will be of no help if we lack the will to drop a bomb — or if we use our forces to strengthen our enemies. As it was for Germany and Japan in the 1930s, so it is today: The power of the Islamic Totalitarians grows every day that we wait. The strategic balance will shift — the Islamic Totalitarians will have the capacity as well as the will to bring about the nuclear Armageddon that they so deeply crave — if Iran acquires nuclear bombs. It is not a kindness to wait, knowing that our response will have to be even more lethal after a mushroom cloud rises over American soil. To wait, in light of that knowledge, is irrational — criminally irrational.

We recommend the reading of the whole thing. The author has not revised his article to take account of President Obama’s submission to Iran – his surreptitiously forcing the American tax-payer to pay tribute to that evil regime, and his assisting it to become a nuclear power. These circumstances, into which the worst president in American history has put his country, make the action against Iran which Mr. Lewis recommends all the more urgently necessary.

 

[Hat-tip to our very valuable commenter, liz, for telling us about the article]

Posted under Iran, Islam, jihad, middle east, Muslims, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Sunday, January 8, 2017

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The first labor of Trump 3

… undoing Obama’s “deal” with Iran?

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On July 14, 2015, the P5+1 countries finalized a nuclear agreement with Iran. Iranian president Hassan Rouhani announced: “Today major world powers recognized Iran’s nuclear program. Our dreams have come true.”

Of all the bad that Obama has wrought upon the world, the worst may be his empowering of the Islamic regime of Iran.

Secretary of State John Kerry, under the orders of Islam-loving President Obama, concluded a “deal” with the Iranian regime.

This is what they brought the United States to agree to.

The quotations and information come from Discover the Networks:

The key elements of the deal were the following:

Iran will be permitted to keep more than 5,000 centrifuges, one-third of which will continue to spin in perpetuity. (Note: Pakistan created a nuclear bomb with just 3,000 centrifuges.)

Iran will receive $150 billion in sanctions relief. (In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice conceded the following: “Yes, it is real, it is possible, and, in fact, we should expect that some portion of that money would go to the Iranian military and could potentially be used for the kinds of bad behavior that we have seen in the region up until now.”)

Russia and China will be permitted to supply Iran with weapons. Indeed, Russia has agreed to sell Iran S-300 anti-missile rocket systems in exchange for 500,000 barrels of oil. As the InternationalBusiness Times reports, “Russia and China will continue to make weapons deals with Iran under U.N. procedures.” According to political analyst Charles Krauthammer, “the net effect of this capitulation will be not only to endanger our Middle East allies now under threat from Iran and its proxies, but to endanger our own naval forces in the Persian Gulf.” “Imagine,” he added, “how Iran’s acquisition of the most advanced anti-ship missiles would threaten our control over the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, waterways we have kept open for international commerce for a half century.”

Iran will have the discretion to block international inspectors from military installations and will be given 14 days’ notice for any request to visit any site. If Iran in fact denies access to any suspected site, that denial is then adjudicated by a committee on which Iran sits as a member. Next, the matter goes through several other bodies, on all of which Iran likewise sits. All told, the entire process may take up to 24 days.

Only inspectors from countries that have diplomatic relations with Iran will be given access to Iranian nuclear sites. Thus there will be no American inspectors. The embargo on the sale of weapons to Iran will be officially lifted in 5 years, though in reality it has not been enforced at all in recent years under Obama.

Iran’s intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) program will remain intact and unaffected; indeed it was never even discussed as an issue in the negotiations.

The heavy water reactor in Arak and the underground nuclear facility in Fordo will remain open, violating the “red lines” that Obama has repeatedly cited.

Iran will not be required to disclose information about its past nuclear research and development.

The U.S. will provide technical assistance to help Iran develop its nuclear program, supposedly for peaceful domestic purposes.

Sanctions will lifted on critical parts of Iran’s military, including a previously existing travel ban against Qasem Suleimani, leader of the terrorist Quds force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Suleimani was personally responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans in the Iraq War.

Iran will not be required to release American prisoners like Iranian-American Christian missionary Saeed Abedini, Iranian-American Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, or U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati. The P5+1 nations “and possibly other states, as appropriate, are prepared to cooperate with Iran on the implementation of nuclear security guidelines and best practices”. This would include “co-operation through training and workshops to strengthen Iran’s ability to protect against, and respond to nuclear security threats, including sabotage, as well as to enable effective and sustainable nuclear security and physical protection systems“.

Last and worst – we must add – the “deal” allows Iran to make nuclear weapons freely ten years from the date of the “deal”.

What, you may ask, does the US get out of the “deal”?

Answer: Nothing but enmity, hatred, and threats.

The ruler of Iran, [the Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Hosseini] Khamenei, is quoted as saying that Iran needs to plan to fight the US regardless of whether there is an agreement. The president of Iran, Rouhani, stands at the head of the march of hatred in the streets of Tehran, in which US and Israeli flags were burned, and in which many chanted “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”.

Concessions [were made by the US] even on issues that had been marked as red lines … which is a bad deal in its own right.

It [the deal] paves Iran’s way to many nuclear bombs and gives it hundreds of billions of dollars for its terrorism and conquest machine, thereby endangering the peace of the entire world.

(The full text of the “deal” may be found here.)

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