Raging mutiny 1

There is a civil war raging in America – a “cold civil war”.

The always interesting political analyst David P. Goldman, aka Spengler, writes at the Asia Times:

The distinguished political scientist Angelo Codevilla coined the ominous term “cold civil war” to describe America’s precarious condition, adding, “Statesmanship’s first task is to prevent it from turning hot.”

The attempted massacre this week of Republican Congressmen and their staff by a deranged partisan of Sen. Bernie Sanders turned up the heat a notch, but it would be mistaken to attribute much importance to this dreadful outburst of left-wing rage. The augury of American fracture will not be street violence, but a constitutional crisis implicating virtually the whole of America’s governing caste. The shock troops in the cold civil war are not gunmen but lawyers.

Here we interrupt an argument that we very largely agree with, to cavil: Lawyers acting as shock troops in this cold civil war, and the politicians who employ them, are themselves making “a dreadful outburst of left-wing rage”, albeit with words and not guns.

A considerable portion of America’s permanent bureaucracy, including elements of its intelligence community, is engaged in an illegal and unconstitutional mutiny against the elected commander-in-chief, President Donald Trump. Most of the Democratic Party and a fair sampling of the Republican Establishment want to force Trump out of office, and to this end undertook an entrapment scheme to entice the president and his staff into actions which might be construed after the fact as obstruction of justice.

By means yet undisclosed, the mutineers forced Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn from office and now seek to bring down the president for allegedly obstructing an investigation of Gen. Flynn that arose in the first place from the entrapment scheme.

By no coincidence is Gen. Flynn the central character in this scenario. … The CIA really is out to get him:

Flynn’s Defense Intelligence Agency produced a now-notorious 2012 report warning that chaos in Syria’s civil war enabled the rise of a new Caliphate movement, namely ISIS. … Flynn humiliated the bungling CIA and exposed the incompetence and deception of the Obama administration, and got fired for it. …

The mainstream media makes no effort to disguise its hatred for Trump and insinuates in countless ways that the president fired former FBI director James Comey in order to protect Gen. Flynn from a legitimate investigation. I do not believe this to be the case; I think it more likely that Comey showed insufficient zeal in uncovering the pattern of press leaks and other sabotage which the mutineers employed against the president.

Faced with a mutiny fed by illegal actions (leaking classified information is a felony that carries a 10-year prison sentence), the president requires a Pitbull for a counterintelligence chief. Comey, who in 2005 earned $6 million as general counsel for the giant defense contractor Lockheed Martin, is more of a Pomeranian. …

If it is proven that Russian cyber-spies hacked the email account of Democratic National Committee Chairman John Podesta and handed embarrassing information to Wikileaks, we will know that Russia has done what all intelligence agencies have done for centuries: leak embarrassing political information to the press.

Western intelligence services leak information about Putin’s alleged personal fortune and personal life and skullduggery to the media, as well as information about the dodgy connections of Chinese officials and their offspring to business.

Podesta and his gang at the DNC used unethical and perhaps illegal means to sandbag the campaign of Sen. Sanders, leaks about which embarrassed Hillary Clinton. Sanders, knowing on which side his bread is buttered, declined to make an issue of the sandbagging, allowing Trump’s enemies to transform what should have been an investigation of corruption in the Democratic Party into a fairy-tale about Russian spies stealing an American election with implied collusion by the Trump campaign.

The Trump-Russia collusion story is nonsense, as its disseminators know better than anyone else. The object of the exercise is not to support the innuendo, but to launch an investigation which can provoke the White House into responses that might be construed as illegal.

The intelligence leaks involved in framing the story alone are probably sufficient grounds to put several dozen senior officials in federal prison for double-digit terms. That consideration gauges the scale of the problem: the mutineers have committed multiple felonies, and their downside should the mutiny go wrong is not ignominious retirement but hard time at Leavenworth.

Oh, may it be so! It is a consummation devoutly to be wished.

For the moment, the mutineers have the momentum. The Trump administration continues to run on a skeleton staff, with the vast majority of key positions still unoccupied. If my surmise is correct, it was unable to persuade the director of the FBI, the nation’s chief watchdog, to undertake vigorous countermeasures against the mutiny, for example, a comprehensive screening of electronic communications by the reporters who received leaks of classified materials. …

The White House and in particular the National Security Council … remain riddled with Obama Administration holdovers, forcing Trump to rely on a close circle of trusted advisers. That limits the president’s ability to reach out for allies against the mutineers.

The installation of former FBI director Robert Mueller as Special Counsel … also constrains the counterintelligence operations of the White House. If senior intelligence officials claim to be engaged in counterintelligence investigations against Russian interference in US elections, is it obstruction of justice to investigate their illegal contacts with the media?

The mutineers also can count on the support of Establishment worthies like Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), for whom Trump’s election was an intolerable humiliation. Trump ran against the Bush wing of the Republican Party as much as he ran against the Democrats. …

Trump’s one great advantage in all of this is that he has done nothing wrong. He did not obstruct justice because there is no crime. The mutineers’ only hope is to provoke him to take actions which might be construed as obstruction of justice in an investigation with no crime and no victim. Still, it is a moment of great danger for the American Republic.

The mutiny has burned its bridges on the beach, and its perpetrators will risk everything to make it succeed. Whatever the outcome, the legitimacy of a political system designed to be litigious and oppositional will be called into question, and the polarization of American opinion will become more rather than less extreme.

More physical violence cannot be ruled out. The mutineers must lose the cold civil war, if only after inflicting crippling damage on the country. Then they face long years in jail (with a bit of luck and impartial justice from Trump appointed judges). The chances they will then turn to – or at least encourage – violence, are surely high. The Left will not surrender easily. It worked too long, too hard for victory, got it, and thought it had secured power for ever. It cannot let go without a no-holds-barred fight. It is mostly screaming biting and scratching now, but will almost certainly use guns and knives and all the weapons of mutiny that it can before it is forcibly crushed.

 

(Hat-tip for the Spengler article to our contributing commenter, liz)

Conservative scholars and writers for Trump 1

The editors of American Greatness held a symposium of scholars and writers who are for Donald Trump’s presidency.

We select some contributions and quote what we judge to be the most salient points.

The full texts of all the contributions can be found here:

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I always thought that Donald Trump was perfect … [being] the only person who could defeat Hillary Clinton. What with her corrupt ways, her alliance with the most destructive policies imaginable, and especially the manner in which through her immigration policies she’d render it impossible for any conservative to win in my lifetime, this was an easy one. It became easier still when I saw the fainéants and milquetoasts on stage with Trump at the first candidates’ debate in Cleveland in 2015. But on the positive side I also saw in Trump someone who could rescue what is living from what is dead in conservatism. And by dead I mean what passes for the higher thinking of today’s conservatism, the contempt for the poorest Americans, the indifference to mobility, the compromises with corruption, and mostly the sense of failure, the small-souled man’s belief that our best days are behind us. Against that, I take my stand. – F.H. Buckley is a law professor at George Mason University and the author of The Way Back: Restoring the Promise of America.

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There are many reasons for Americans of varying political persuasions to support Donald Trump for President. Among these reasons, three are especially important: First, Donald Trump has a plan to re-energize the U.S. economy after more than a decade of slow growth, stagnating incomes, and rising government debt. He will slash corporate taxes to encourage businesses to repatriate more than $3 trillion that they are holding offshore because of the current corporate tax rate that is the highest in the industrial world. Those funds once brought back home can be invested in American enterprises to provide jobs and incomes for American workers. He will cut individual income taxes to encourage work and investment, and economic growth. Just as important, he will cut regulations that have accumulated during the Obama years and that are discouraging investment and the hiring of U.S. workers. Second, Mr. Trump will focus on national security in all of its dimensions by attacking the interlocking problems of terrorism, illegal immigration, and rising crime in the inner cities. He is committed to restoring America’s borders as an essential feature of national sovereignty and to fulfilling the first duty of government, which is to protect the security of its citizensThird, Donald Trump is by far the preferred alternative to Hillary Clinton who promises to entrench further the failed economic and foreign policies of the past eight years. For conservatives and moderates who hope for a stronger and more dynamic America, and a nation of rising incomes, strong communities, and secure borders, the choice could not be clearer. Donald Trump … is the candidate in this race who promises to restore American greatness. – James Piereson is, most recently, the author of Shattered Consensus: The Rise and Decline of America’s Post War Political Order. His essays appear in many newspaper and journals, including The Weekly StandardThe American SpectatorThe Wall Street JournalCommentary, and The New Criterion.

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I register my support on this list not as a conservative partisan, but rather as a young academic with a critical perspective on the prevailing left-right political paradigm — a subject I have taught at the university level both in the United States and in Europe. … The Bush-Clinton politics of the past 30 years is the rotten carcass of a politics that perhaps made sense in the past but has proven woefully inadequate to address the contemporary challenges we face. Donald J. Trump is the first major politician to reflect an understanding of this post-Cold War reality and to point boldly toward an alternative — for this he has my admiration and my support. – Darren Beattie is Visiting Assistant Professor Department of Political Science, Duke University.

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Donald Trump shows an intuitive grasp of what most politicians must have explained to them: here in America, the people rule. Popular sovereignty requires borders, and it requires security. The people cannot govern by reflection and choice if they must forever respond to accident and force. Popular sovereignty also requires that the people not be slaves to an unelected and unrepresentative administrative state. The laws as well as the agencies of government must be trimmed and tamed so that they once again serve the people. Donald Trump grasps this too: the Supreme Court is the least republican branch of the federal government, and the people cannot rule if they are subjected to capricious judicial edicts masquerading as constitutional interpretation. Trump has put forth a serious list of judicial nominees who would only go where the text, tradition, logic, and structure of the Constitution — rather than currently fashionable political preferences — point. Beyond this, Trump has wisely called for the resignation of a transparently political Supreme Court justice, thereby reminding us of constitutionally legitimate political checks against an overweening judiciary. – Bradley C. S. Watson is Professor of Politics and Philip M. McKenna Chair in American and Western Political Thought at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, where is co-director of the college’s Center for Political and Economic Thought.

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No other presidential election in my lifetime has had so much at stake. The differences between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton could not be starker. If Clinton wins, she has promised that the Supreme Court Justices that she will appoint will overturn Citizens United. Few people seem to understand that would mean that the federal government would be able to ban movies and books deemed too political during election years. It is hard to believe that we could soon be living in a country where movies and books could be banned because of their political positions. The judges that Trump has listed as the ones he would appoint would protect the 1st Amendment and would not allow the government to ban movies or books based on politics. – John R. Lott, Jr. is President of the Crime Prevention Research Center.

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Of all the contenders for the office of president in the primaries and general, Donald Trump was alone in recognizing the seriousness of our national condition, and declaring that his goal was to make America great again. He understands that our national standing is on the line. A third of our adults do not “participate” in the labor force. Entrepreneurship and innovation are frozen. The stifling tax and regulatory policies of the last eight years have left us with the lowest productivity and family income growth in three generations. These are big problems, and Mr. Trump is willing to apply big solutions. Small-ball economics won’t save us. In national security matters, he has had the courage to break with past Republican mistakes and focus on America’s national security interests. We still have an opportunity to reverse course; after another four years of Democratic governance, it may be too late. Donald Trump is our last, best hope. – David P. Goldman (Spengler) is a columnist for Asia Times and PJ Media, and the author of How Civilizations Die (and Why Islam is Dying, Too). 

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America has become unmoored from the constitution that has maintained and encouraged her freedom, justice, and prosperity and has entered a period of post-constitutionalism that imperils the natural rights of her people  Coincident with the decline of American constitutionalism has been the rise of a ruling class that exercises authority through control of the state and elite cultural institutions without regard to the interests or consent of the sovereign people.  The ruling class is insensible of, when they are not openly hostile to, the legitimate interests of the American nation and her people.  They long for a post-national millennial utopia and will use whatever means necessary to achieve it.  Trump’s candidacy has already done the nation a great service by giving voice to the nagging, sometimes urgent, concerns of ordinary people imperiled by ruling class hegemony.  They said only Nixon could go to China so perhaps only a billionaire could name the peril posed by the globalist ruling class.  Only Trump, of the two candidates running this year – or of any candidate running since 1984 – has shown an innate understanding of the challenges the country faces and a willingness to name them publicly and face them head-on. – Chris Buskirk is the publisher and a senior editor of American Greatness.

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There are three basic principles of government in America, and only Donald Trump is likely to maintain them. These are that government exists to protect our rights and not to redistribute our property, that the only legitimate source of authority is the American people themselves, and that the sovereignty of the people cannot survive without adherence to the rule of law. These principles can only be secured if we have a judiciary committed to implementing the original understanding of our Constitution and laws, and not one committed to altering the meaning of the Constitution and laws to shift resources to groups or causes particularly favored by elite opinion. These were the views of the late Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court Justice whose recent passing has left the United States Supreme Court precariously divided and unable to fulfill its responsibilities. Donald Trump has made clear that his potential Supreme Court nominees would be in the mold of Justice Scalia, and any of them would begin the necessary process of restoring the Supreme Court and our nation to a point where the federal leviathan can be restrained, and where the American people can once again enjoy our ultimate Constitutional right, self-government. – Stephen B. Presser is the Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History Emeritus at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law, and the author of the forthcoming Law Professors: Three Centuries of Shaping American Law.

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America’s influence is in tatters, thanks to Obama and Clinton’s feckless foreign policies. Our friends no longer trust us. Our enemies are emboldened. This leadership vacuum has made America — and the world — far worse off than we were eight years ago. Terrorist attacks occur near-daily due to incompetent border-enforcement. ISIS is growing, thanks to Obama and Clinton’s suicidal policies. Trump has pledged to reverse these dysfunctions — through protecting our borders, fighting Islamic terrorism, and returning national-security-critical industries to America. At home, Trump would expand the economic pie for lower- and middle-income Americans through lowering taxes and reducing regulations. America’s dignity can be restored. But not if we continue the liberty-threatening, economy-killing policies championed by Obama and Clinton. Americans crave a change. Donald Trump alone can bring it. – Thomas K. Lindsay, has served as a university dean, provost, and college president. He was Deputy Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities from 2006-2008. He is co-author and editor of the college textbook, Investigating American Democracy. 

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Donald Trump is the only choice for those that look around the world — and at home — and see something very much wrong going on.  What is that wrong?  The inversion of common sense.  We conservatives have long-lamented the increasing state of political correctness and multiculturalism, the “kick me” sign on our country’s back, and the increasing hostility to our allies and appeasement of our enemies.  Donald Trump stands athwart the latter and has staked his campaign on reversing all of the former — in a way no other Republican has, in a very long time.  I will vote and urge others to vote for Donald Trump. – Seth Leibsohn is a Contributing Editor at American Greatness, a Senior Fellow of The Claremont Institute, and the host The Seth Leibsohn Show on KKNT in Phoenix. He is the co-author with William J. Bennett of The Fight of Our Lives.

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I am for Trump not only because of what he is not but because of what he is. He is not a progressive ideologue like Hillary and so there is greater reason to believe his nominations for the federal courts and executive branch will help extend the lives of these key freedoms. But I am also for Trump because he has shown great fortitude in insisting on the need to discuss topics of truly existential import like the growing influence of radical Islam in the United States. – Tiffany Miller is Associate Professor of Politics at the University of Dallas

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The political amateur Trump was the only one in 2016 who could assemble a majority for the elementary principles of American democracy — the sovereignty of the people, the consent of the governed, and standing on one’s rights as Americans. Political correctness had prevented conventional partisans from making obvious objections to nonsensical policies ranging from restrooms to terrorism; objectors were derided as bigots or dog whistlers. But “government of the people, by the people, and for the people” is absurd if government continues to ignore real people. That is the open secret of Trump’s victorious message. – Ken Masugi has been a speechwriter for two Cabinet members and for Clarence Thomas, when he was Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He has taught at the U.S. Air Force Academy,  James Madison College of Michigan State University, the Ashbrook Center of Ashland University, and Princeton University.

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One contributor to the “Against Trump” forum in the Feb. 15 issue of National Review wrote, “Should [Trump’s] election results match his polls, he would be, unquestionably, the worst thing to happen to the American common culture in my lifetime.” If Wikipedia is to be trusted, the author of this sentence was born not yesterday but in 1961, since which America’s common culture … has been nearly obliterated. The same issue of NR contained a review of two books on Bush 41, whose break with the politics of Reagan hurried America down the road of globalist post-constitutionalism and initiated three decades of bipartisan political ineptitude … that has driven America from a high point in its history to its knees. It read in part: “If ever there was an indispensable man at an essential time, it was George H. W. Bush.” The publication of such rubbish in National Review indicates that not only has conservatism failed to conserve a way of life consistent with our founding principles … but that too many conservatives have been co-opted by the administrative state or have grown so accustomed to it that they have forgotten what that way of life looked like and are incapable of imagining its recovery. Hence the realignment we see occurring, long overdue, for which we have Trump to thank. – Douglas A. Jeffrey is vice president for external affairs and editor of Imprimis at Hillsdale College.

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All the contributors state or imply that Hillary Clinton MUST be kept out of the presidency, and only a majority of votes for Donald Trump will do that.

In addition, taken together, they cover the most important positive reasons why Donald Trump is needed now, urgently, to be president of the United States.

Sunny outlook 1

We have been inclined to take a pessimistic view of the near future since Barack Obama came to power, weakened the United States, damaged its economy, and restricted the liberty of the people.

In that time, Islam has gained influence in Europe, the Middle East has erupted in civil wars, and an Islamic State – a “caliphate” no less – has been proclaimed by the army of ISIS, which continues to conquer, kill, crucify, decapitate, and oppress fellow Muslims.

Now the Muslim Brotherhood’s terrorist force in Gaza, Hamas, is waging an almost continuous rocket war on Israel.

But David P. Goldman, better known as Spengler, writes this optimistic personal report of the Hamas attack and Israel’s defense:

Sunny with light missile cover in Tel Aviv this morning. I awoke to muffled thuds in the distance, Iron Dome shooting down Syrian-made missiles launched from Gaza, according to news reports. I attended the obligatory morning mixer for hotel guests at the bomb shelter, which fortunately lasted only five minutes before the all-clear sounded. …

Hamas is making a demonstration out of weakness. Money is tight, 44,000 Gaza civil servants haven’t been paid for weeks, and the IDF did significant damage to its infrastructure on the West Bank after the kidnapping-murder of the three yeshiva boys.

Netanyahu will look indecisive and confused, because he has to deal with an openly hostile US administration on one side and his nationalist camp on the other.

Time, though, is on Israel’s side: economically, demographically, strategically. The proportion of Jewish births continues to soar. The fruits of a decade of venture capital investing are ripening into high-valuation companies.

And the Arab world is disintegrating all around Israel’s borders.

I have no idea whether the IDF will go into Gaza on the ground, or what they will do if they do so: that’s a tricky cost-benefit calculation, and no-one outside the government has relevant information. But the broader point is that Israel will win a war of attrition. Hamas has shot off hundreds of rockets (including one that landed a few kilometers from me up north in Zichron Yaakov while I had lunch there yesterday) without causing a single injury. Iron Dome has worked brilliantly. Traffic was a bit lighter than normal last night, but there wasn’t a free table at any of the hundred or so cafe terraces on Dizengoff St., Tel Aviv’s main drag.

There will be no Intifada on the West Bank: the Palestinian Arabs are older, more resigned and less inclined to destroy their livelihoods than in 2000.

Syria and Iraq continue to disintegrate, Lebanon is inundated with Syrian Sunni refugees (weakening Hezbollah’s relative position), and Jordan is looking to Israel to protect it against ISIS. Egypt is busy trying to survive economically.

Medium term, the boycott and BDS threat become irrelevant. “Startup Nation” is becoming market-cap nation as hundreds of Israeli firms exit the venture capital stage and become profitable, mature enterprises. There’s never been anything like this. India and China beckon with a combined market of 2.5 billion people. To the extent that the Europeans threaten Israel with sanctions, the term “Middle East” gradually will be replaced by “Western Asia”. 

(I was interrupted by another brief visit to the bomb shelter, again for five minutes.)

In the short-term, to be sure, Israel must proceed with caution. It is still vulnerable to pressure from the US, which provides the bulk of its military hardware, and economic pressure from Europe, which accounts for a third of its trade. Nonetheless, Israel is winning and its adversaries are losing.

Science and the Jinn 1

Each section of the Koran, except the first, has a title. One section is called The Jinn. 

This is from an enlightening article by David P. Goldman (aka Spengler) at PJ Media:

The leading ideologue of Turkish Islamism, Fethullah Gulen … presides over a business empire worth tens of billions of dollars and a system of Islamist schools that stretches from Central Asia to charter schools in the United States. The Gulen organization took control of Turkey by infiltrating its security services in a patient march through the institutions over the past two decades. Gulen’s pan-Turkic mysticism views Turkey as the center of a new caliphate uniting the Muslim world. He preaches a “Turkish renaissance” with a modern spin “to ensure that religion and science go together and that science penetrates not only individual lives, but also social life.”

 What Gulen means by science is of an entirely different order than the Western understanding. This “imam from rural Anatolia,” as his website describes him, inhabits the magical world of jinns and sorcery. Science is just a powerful form of magic of which Turks should avail themselves to enhance their power, as he writes in his 2005 book The Essentials of the Islamic Faith:

“Jinn are conscious beings charged with divine obligations. Recent discoveries in biology make it clear that God created beings particular to each realm. They were created before Adam and Eve, and were responsible for cultivating and improving the world. Although God superseded them with us, he did not exempt them from religious obligations.  

As nothing is difficult for God almighty, he has provided human beings, angels and jinns with the strength appropriate for their functions and duties. As he uses angels to supervise the movements of celestial bodies, he allows to humans to rule the Earth, dominate matter, build civilizations and produce technology. 

Power and strength are not limited to the physical world, nor are they proportional to bodily size … Our eyes can travel long distances in an instant. Our imagination can transcend time and space all at once … winds can uproot trees and demolish large buildings. A young, thin plant shoot can split rocks and reach the sunlight. The power of energy, whose existence is known through its effect, is apparent to everybody. All of this shows that something’s power is not proportional to its physical size; rather the immaterial world dominates the physical world, and immaterial entities are far more powerful than material ones.” 

He goes on to warn about sorcery and the danger of spells; he allows that it is meritorious to break spells (for evil witches are everywhere casting spells), although a good Muslim should not make a profession of this, for then he might be mistaken for a sorcerer himself.

The notion that “wind” and “energy” are “immaterial” forces exudes the magical world view of an Anatolian peasant; the miracles of technology are the secret actions of jinn, just as the planetary movements are the actions of angels. When Gulen talks about the union of religion and science, what he means quite concretely is that the magical view of jinns in the Koran aids the believer in enlisting these “immaterial” forces to enhance the power of Islam. Science for Gulen simply means the management of jinn. By our standards he is mad as a march hare.

Gulen is a shaman, a relic of pre-history preserved in the cultural amber of eastern Anatolia.

The present Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Erdogan, is a follower of Fethullah Gulen. And with him President Obama feels as much at ease as he feels irritated and uncomfortable with Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Last year Obama [said] … that the “friendships and the bonds of trust” that he forged with Erdogan (whom he named among five foreign leaders) is “precisely, or is a big part of, what has allowed us to execute effective diplomacy.”

“Bonds of trust” with an Islamic leader who –

 … is given to lurid, sometimes bloodthirsty outbursts. During a February 2008 visit to Germany, Turkey’s most important European trading partner, Erdogan scandalized his hosts when he told an audience of 20,000 Turks that assimilation into German culture was “a crime against humanity.”

Germany, after all, knows a thing or two about crimes against humanity. German opinion was outraged, and Turkey’s chances for membership in the European Community — a pillar of Turkish diplomacy for a generation — fell to negligible. Erdogan ignored the uproar, and told the Turkish Parliament upon his return to Ankara, “I repeat… assimilation is a crime against humanity . . . . We can think differently from (Chancellor Angela) Merkel about this, but that is my opinion.”

The German attitude towards its Turkish minority has swung from multicultural outreach to pessimism about their future in German society. In October 2010, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a gathering of her political party that Germany’s attempt to create a multicultural society has “utterly failed.”

A few days ago Erdogan declared that Zionism too is “a crime against humanity”.

What could the president’s friend have meant by that? Erdogan said exactly what he believes. The Turkish leader is a holdover from the enchanted world of rural Anatolia, in which Jewish conspiracies swirl in the night air along with jinn and witches. That is not an exaggeration, but an objective report … No-one should be surprised. Lunatics have run better countries than Turkey in living memory.

But, Goldman sensibly observes –

 American presidents would do well to find a better class of friends.