Bitter disappointment? 5

If President Trump:

Grants amnesty to illegal aliens

Does not build the Wall

Does not reduce taxes for all

Does not get Congress to repeal Obamacare

Does not tear up the Iran deal

Does not crush ISIS

Does not continue to call Islamic terrorism by its name

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

Does not put an end to Kim Jong-un

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

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

Ditto of the IRS

Does not stop the State Department continuing Obama policies

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

Does not protect free speech

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

 

Ann Coulter on amnesty at Townhall:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Breitbart on the Wall:

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

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

Politico on no tax relief for “the rich”:

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

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

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

Obamacare stays. For now.

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

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

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

ABC News reports on maintaining the Iran deal: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

ISIS is spreading, just like they promised.

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

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

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

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

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

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

On regime change in North Korea:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

State Department Refusing to Withdraw Presence in Cuba After Sonic Attacks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From the outset this is disingenuous and troublesome.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Has President Trump given up?

Does he not want a second term?

Have the Left and Islam won?

Is Trump “killing America”?

Islam not “Islamist” – and freedom is not “radically right-wing” 16

We have posted many articles in praise of Ayaan Hirsi Ali; praise of her campaign – in the teeth of vicious opposition – for the freedom of women in Islam and wherever else they are subjugated and oppressed; and praise for her courage, intelligence, and values. And – of course – we appreciate her atheism.

We have also posted many articles in praise of Geert Wilders, who has dared to oppose the Islamization of the Netherlands in particular and Europe in general, has stood staunchly for freedom of speech, and has been prosecuted and condemned by his own government for doing so.

So naturally we are disheartened to learn that Ayaan Hirsi Ali is denigrating Geert Wilders, accusing him of being “radically right-wing” – the implication of the words always being “therefore fascist”.

From the Daily Caller by Diana West:

If there’s one thing that 31,065 deadly Islamic terror attacks since 9/11 teach us, it’s that there is no way to foster a fact-based discussion of Islam in the halls of Western power.

That’s right — I said fact-based discussion of Islam. After 15-plus years since our Twin Towers burned and collapsed, I am still not talking about “Islamofascism,” “Islamism,” “Islamist extremism,” or any other figleaf-word made up by blushing Westerners to cover up the embarassingly appalling facts about Islam: its defining laws which can be as revolting as they are repressive; its history of violent conquest and “radical” religious and cultural cleansing; its totalitarian goals to apply “sharia” (Islamic law) everywhere to eradicate freedom of conscience, speech, other religions, and, oh yeah, rule the world.

In other words, exactly the things the Powers That Be will not talk about since even before George W. Bush rebounded from the shock of the Islamic attacks of 9/11 to realize that Islam was a “religion of peace.” In the land of the free and the home of the brave, Islamic blasphemy law rules.

Last week’s Senate hearing — even the title of last week’s Senate hearing — was more of the same.

Co-chaired by an affable Sen. Ron Johnson and an angry Sen. Claire McKaskill, the hearing was called: “Ideology and Terror: Understanding the Tools, Tactics, and Techniques of Violent Extremism.”

Notice no official mention of Islam. Or, more to the point, no official interest in Islam — except to protect it. Sen. Johnson, the “good guy” of the hearing for allowing that there might possibly be some teeny tiny slightly Islamist-ic thing about jihad (not that I heard the word), actually commended the two Muslim-born witnesses on the panel for “bending over backwards” to avoid tarring Islam with a truthful brush (or words not quite to that effect).

Meanwhile, the four Democrats on Team Violent Extremism, all women, ignored the Muslim born witnesses — ex-Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Muslim reformer Asra Nomani, asking neither witness a single question. Instead, they focused obsessively on the non-sense of Mr. See-No-Islam, former NCTC director Michael Leiter (whom we last met here). Perhaps the Democrats saw the two women of Islamic heritage as impediments to the indoctrination in the “Ideology” of “Violent Extremism” that causes “Terror.”

But did the Democrat senators really have that much to fear? I ask this after having read the op-ed Hirsi Ali and Nomani wrote for the New York Times about their dismal experience; also after having then watched much of the hearing. I cannot now un-notice their obvious determination to avoid speaking forthrightly about Islam — same as the Left.

Hirsi Ali and Nomani write:

What happened that day [before the committee] was emblematic of a deeply troubling trend among progressives when it comes to confronting the brutal reality of Islamist extremism ...

Here goes, one more time: This “brutal reality” they write about is a consequence of the laws of Islam. It is neither “Islamist,” nor is it a form of “extremism” within Islam. This brutal reality is all part of Islamic Normal.

The women note their own personal suffering growing up in “deeply conservative Muslim families”: genital mutilation, forced marriage, death threats for their so-called apostasy.

Despite any and all “ists” or “isms,” such horrors and more are part of mainstream Islam.

Then they point out:

There is a real discomfort among progressives on the left with calling out Islamic extremism

OK, but there is real discomfort in these two women when it comes to calling out the extremism of mainstream Islam. Just look how confused their discussion becomes on acknowledging fundamental conflicts between “universal human rights” and  “Islamic law,” and on listing a series of what they call “Islamist ideas” which, nonetheless, come straight out of any authoritative Islamic law book:

The hard truth is that there are fundamental conflicts between universal human rights and the principle of Shariah, or Islamic law, which holds that a woman’s testimony is worth half that of a man’s; between freedom of religion and the Islamist idea that artists, writers, poets and bloggers should be subject to blasphemy laws; between secular governance and the Islamist goal of a caliphate; between United States law and Islamist promotion of polygamy, child marriage and marital rape; and between freedom of thought and the methods of indoctrination, or dawa, with which Islamists propagate their ideas.

In sum, whether it’s Claire McCaskill or Hirsi Ali, discussion and education about Islam is completely off limits. “Political Islam,” “Islamism,” “Medina Islam” and Violent Extremism become interchangeable threats to the world community, including the pink bunnies and buttercups that make up The Real McCoy Islam. The only problem, all agree, are those dwedful extwemists.

Such gibberish is nothing new; it is not, however, what Hirsi Ali became known for when she first found international fame as a name on an Islamic hit list stabbed into the dead body of Theo van Gogh, killed in broad daylight by a Muslim acting out the sharia on an Amsterdam street in 2004. Another soon to be internationally famous name on that same hit list was Geert Wilders.

At the time, both Hirsi Ali and Wilders were Dutch parliamentarians; Hirsi Ali was also a colleague of the murdered van Gogh, with whom she had made a short film about the Islamic treatment of women called Submission whose script was entirely composed of verses of the Koran.

In those days, Hirsi Ali was still known for a clarity of mind which, I think it is fair to say, would have found this Senate panel discussion of -isms and -ists quite absurd. Multiple Islams? “No, that is an erroneous idea,” she said a dozen or so years ago. “If one defines Islam as the religion founded by Muhammad and explained by the Koran and later by hadiths, there is only one Islam that dictates the moral framework.”

That was then. Now she wades through the same bog of euphemism Western civilization has mired itself in, moving ever farther away from forthright talk of Islam.

But it’s seems to be even worse than that. There was something Hirsi Ali said in her testimony that tells me we see things even more differently than I might have thought, even as we both have been i.d.’d as public enemies by the vicious Leftist hate group, SPLC.

In stressing to the committee that we have yet to define the enemy, that our little programs here and there are meaningless next to the rising tide of “Islamists”, Hirsi Ali made it plain that she did not think the Senators understood the urgency of the matter. Well, neither do I. But after she turned to Europe, noting that France has been in a state of emergency since November of 2015, for example, she began to lament the rise in Europe of “radical right wing groups”, which, she said, “are on the rise as they have never been.”

In the split second before she completed her thought I wondered what exactly concerned her — neo-Nazi groups? Golden Dawn…? Was she possibly referring to Marine Le Pen …?

I was wrong on all counts.

Hirsi Ali continued:

“I have lived in Holland for 14 yrs and when I came there was a very small radical right wing group and today it’s the second largest party…”

Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom is the Netherlands’ second largest party.

I replayed her statement to make sure I had understood it correctly. I had. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is sounding the alarm on Europe by warning in part against the rise of “radical right wing groups” — namely, the brilliant and courageous Geert Wilders’ PVV, the most successful political movement to emerge in the West with a clear program to begin to reverse the process of Islamization in the West, which ultimately spells cultural extinction, as any historical map of the Islamic world reveals.

The greatest civilization, if lost will never come again 1

Ours is the civilization that built the modern world. 

We built it, and, if we do not maintain it, and defend it, then, as Donald Trump says, it will never come again.

So Mark Steyn writes.

President Trump’s speech in Warsaw was a remarkable statement from a western leader in the 21st century – which is why the enforcers of our public discourse have gone bananas over it and denounced it as “blood and soil” “nativism” (The New Republic), “racial and religious paranoia” (The Atlantic), and “tinpot dictator sh*t” (some comedian having a meltdown on Twitter). … This was the offending passage:

There is nothing like our community of nations. The world has never known anything like our community of nations.

We write symphonies. We pursue innovation. We celebrate our ancient heroes, embrace our timeless traditions and customs, and always seek to explore and discover brand-new frontiers.

We reward brilliance. We strive for excellence, and cherish inspiring works of art that honor God. We treasure the rule of law and protect the right to free speech and free expression.

We empower women as pillars of our society and of our success. We put faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, at the center of our lives. And we debate everything. We challenge everything. We seek to know everything so that we can better know ourselves.

And above all, we value the dignity of every human life, protect the rights of every person, and share the hope of every soul to live in freedom. That is who we are. Those are the priceless ties that bind us together as nations, as allies, and as a civilization.

I’m not certain we do put “faith and family” ahead of “government and bureaucracy”, …

And we atheists, of course, do not think that “faith” is a positive good …

… not in Germany or even Ireland, but we did once upon a time. Nor am I sure we still “write symphonies”, or at any rate good ones. But Trump’s right: “The world has never known anything like our community of nations” – and great symphonies are a part of that. I’m not sure what’s “nativist” or “racial” about such a statement of the obvious, but I note it’s confirmed by the traffic, which is all one way: There are plenty of Somalis who’ve moved to Minnesota, but you can count on one hand Minnesotans who’ve moved to Somalia.

As an old-school imperialist

For which we praise Mr. Steyn  …

…  I make exceptions for sundry places from Barbados to Singapore, which I regard as part of the community of the greater west, and for India, which is somewhat more ambiguously so, but let’s face it, 90 per cent of everything in the country that works derives from England.

But otherwise Trump’s statement that “the world has never known anything like our community of nations” ought to be unexceptional. It’s certainly more robust than Theresa May’s and David Cameron’s vague appeals to “our values” or “our way of life”, which can never quite be spelled out – shopping, telly, pop songs, a bit of Shakespeare if you have to mention a dead bloke, whatever… For his part, The Atlantic‘s Peter Beinart preferred the way Trump’s predecessor expressed it:

To grasp how different that rhetoric was from Trump’s, look at how the last Republican President, George W. Bush, spoke when he visited Poland. In his first presidential visit, in 2001, Bush never referred to “the West”.  He did tell Poles that “We share a civilization”.  But in the next sentence he insisted that “Its values are universal”. 

I wish that were true. It would be easier if it were. But it’s not. These values are not “universal”: They arise from a relatively narrow political and cultural tradition, and insofar as they took root elsewhere across the globe it was as part of (stand well back, Peter Beinart!) the west’s – gulp – “civilizing mission”.

Alas, left to fend for themselves, those supposedly universal values have minimal purchase on millions upon millions of people around the planet – including those who live in the heart of the west.

Yes. Millions of the children of the capitalist West, endowed with liberty, prosperity, tolerance, security, opportunity, good health, education, entertainment, luxury, hate the civilization that nurtures them, rebel against it, and call for its destruction. In Europe and America they are gathering in their tens and even hundreds of thousands to riot. They are smashing, burning, maiming, killing.  

They call the countries that allow them to do this in the name of freedom and tolerance, “fascist” and “oppressive”.

Equipped with their iPhones, which only Western freedom, capitalism and prosperity could have given them, they try to pull the house they live in down upon their heads.

And behind them, safe in their castles, mysteriously untouched by the law, are deeply evil people who pay the thugs who lead them:

Mark Steyn continues:

Bush’s bromide is easier to swallow because it’s a delusion – as we should surely know by now, after a decade and a half of encouraging Pushtun warlords to adopt Take Your Child Bride To Work Day. In contrast to Bush’s happy talk, Trump concluded his laundry list of western achievement on a sobering note:

What we have, what we inherited from our — and you know this better than anybody, and you see it today with this incredible group of people — what we’ve inherited from our ancestors has never existed to this extent before. And if we fail to preserve it, it will never, ever exist again. So we cannot fail.

That, I think, is also true. Were a catastrophe to befall our world – an EMP strike or a widespread nuclear exchange, a sudden devastating virus or a zombie apocalypse – we could not rebuild the modern world in anything like the time-frame in which we originally constructed it. The technological reason is obvious: The industrial revolution was powered by comparatively easily extractable coal and oil. We extracted it and used it to develop the skills to get at the less easily extractable stuff. A global calamity would put us back to Square One, but with resources we could only reach at Square Twelve. That goes for more basic human resources, too: We have lost a lot of the skills of our ancestors, because we assumed they were no longer required. And in a less quantifiable way it applies to artistic achievement, too. So, in a fairly routine stop on a foreign tour, Trump has introduced a rather profound warning:

What we’ve inherited from our ancestors has never existed to this extent before. And if we fail to preserve it, it will never, ever exist again.

It will never come again. Is there a “racial and religious paranoia” to this? Even the Globalist Kingpin himself, Klaus Schwab, founder of Davos, sees it as basic demographic arithmetic:

“Look how many countries in Africa, for example, depend on the income from oil exports,” Schwab said in an interview ahead of the WEF’s 46th annual meeting, in the Swiss resort of Davos. “Now imagine one billion inhabitants, imagine they all move north.”

As I commented at the time:

A billion man march, eh? The population of the developed world – North America, the European Union, Japan, Oz, NZ – is about a billion. Of the remaining six billion people around the planet, is it really so absurd to think that one-sixth of them would “move north” if they could? Or if they chanced to see a YouTube video of “refugees” in Sweden and Germany demonstrating how easy it is?

The population of Africa is projected to grow from one to four billion in the course of this century – to about two-fifths of the planet’s people. Is it remotely likely that 40 per cent of humanity will choose to stay in the most dysfunctional continent on earth when it can’t support a population a quarter that size?

And if a billion people move to the west what chance those “universal values”? Even the crappy Cameronian ones like lousy pop concerts, which in Sweden are already being canceled and boycotted because of the, um, lively interaction between vibrantly diverse non-universal values. As Trump continued:

We have to remember that our defense is not just a commitment of money, it is a commitment of will. Because as the Polish experience reminds us, the defense of the West ultimately rests not only on means but also on the will of its people to prevail and be successful and get what you have to have.

Indeed. In Sweden, the most “enlightened” and “progressive” social democracy on earth, under a self-proclaimed “feminist government”, cannot muster the will to defend the right of its women to enjoy an evening of music in the park unmolested. It’s a small pleasure, but illustrative, as Trump grasped, of an existential question:

The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive. Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it? …

Our own fight for the West does not begin on the battlefield — it begins with our minds, our wills, and our souls. Today, the ties that unite our civilization are no less vital, and demand no less defense, than that bare shred of land on which the hope of Poland once totally rested. Our freedom, our civilization, and our survival depend on these bonds of history, culture, and memory. …

I declare today for the world to hear that the West will never, ever be broken. Our values will prevail. Our people will thrive. And our civilization will triumph

As I said, a remarkable speech. …

I am nowhere near as confident of that answer. But he raised the question at a time when no other western leader will. It is a measure of our decay and decadence that the question is necessary, but in an age of cultural relativism a statement of the obvious is daring and courageous: Ours is the civilization that built the modern world – as even the west’s cultural relativists implicitly accept, if only because they have no desire to emigrate and try to make a living as a cultural relativist in Yemen or Niger. We built it, and, if we do not maintain it, and defend it, then, as Donald Trump says, it will never come again.

It will never come again.

Robert Mueller: the fix is in 4

Mueller and Comey: Two Denizens of the Swamp

The very fact that many voices were raised on the Left and among “NeverTrumpers” in praise of Robert Mueller should have been a warning sign to Republicans that he is not the right person to appoint as “special counsellor” to investigate allegations against President Trump. The allegations themselves are little more than slanderous rumors (summed up in the article quoted below as “Russia-gate”). Congressional committees are looking into them. No “special counsellor” was needed. But if there was going to be one, whose job must necessarily involve investigating the decisions and actions of the recently fired FBI chief  James Comey, why choose a former director of the FBI itself and a buddy of Comey?

Cliff Kincaid writes at Canada Free Press:

The Washington Post, a mouthpiece for Obama holdovers in the CIA and other agencies, reports that “sources” say a current White House official is under investigation as “a significant person of interest” in Russia-gate, but that the sources “would not further identify the official”.

This is a case of anonymous officials talking about an anonymous official.

Interestingly, the term “person of interest” was used by the FBI against scientist Steven Hatfill in the post-9/11 anthrax letters case. He was totally innocent and the Department of Justice paid him $5.8 million in damages.

After dismissing Hatfill and several others as suspects, the FBI blamed a dead U.S. Army scientist, Bruce Ivins. However, evidence indicates that the more likely culprits were al-Qaeda operatives who got the anthrax from a U.S. lab. The truth was too embarrassing for the FBI to reveal.

Read more details about the anthrax case in the full article here.

The new Russia-gate special counsel, former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, presided over this fiasco. What’s more, Mueller was sued for malfeasance in the case by FBI agent Richard Lambert who was put in charge of the anthrax investigation.

Yet, here is what we read about Mueller, who was FBI director under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama:

  • “Widely respected by members of both parties” and “an unflinching advocate for facts,” claims The New York Times.
  • “Skilled and upright,” writes Kimberley A. Strassel of The Wall Street Journal.
  • “Widely respected” and “highly regarded by both parties,” writes Andrew McCarthy of National Review.
  • “Uniquely suited to the task,” says The Washington Post.

These comments reflect the consensus of what President Trump would call the “swamp.”

A New York Times editorial was titled “Robert Mueller: The Special Counsel America Needs”. Making no mention of the anthrax debacle, it called Mueller “one of the few people with the experience, stature and reputation to see the job through”.

The New York Times trusts him. To do what? What else but to find something damaging against President Trump? If it didn’t trust him to do that, it wouldn’t praise him.

A far different opinion is offered by Carl M. Cannon, executive editor and Washington Bureau chief of RealClearPolitics, who noted that the FBI director fired by Trump, James Comey, and Mueller “have a long history as professional allies. For Mueller to be brought in to investigate the behavior of the guy who sacked Comey seems a conflict of interest.”

Cannon pointed to their work on the anthrax case, saying, “Comey and Mueller badly bungled the biggest case they ever handled. They botched the investigation of the 2001 anthrax letter attacks that took five lives and infected 17 other people…”

Like Mueller, Comey, who was deputy attorney general, declared Hatfill guilty.

President Trump has called James Comey a nut-job. We think that is a fair description, considering his extremely odd behavior. Reviewing it, we too have concluded that James Comey is deranged.

Leaving aside Comey’s mishandling of another major investigation, the Hillary emails, consider his conduct and behavior.

While President Trump has been attacked for calling Comey a “nut job” and “crazy,” Comey friend Benjamin Wittes says the former FBI director tried to hide in the curtains during a White House visit for a ceremony honoring law enforcement officials who provided security at the inauguration.

Weird! But he did not even try to hide behind curtains, which may have actually hidden him. He apparently tried to hide in front of them because he was wearing dark blue and the curtains are dark blue, and he so he imagined himself to be camouflaged. Even weirder!  

 

The New York Times reported, “Mr. Comey — who is 6 feet 8 inches tall and was wearing a dark blue suit that day — told Mr. Wittes that he tried to blend in with the blue curtains in the back of the room, in the hopes that Mr. Trump would not spot him and call him out.”

Was the 6 foot 8 inch Comey so crazy that he went to a White House event with Trump but tried to hide from him in the drapes?

Wittes, in his own words, says that Comey: “Felt that he could not refuse a presidential invitation, particularly not one that went to a broad array of law enforcement leadership. So he went. But as he told me the story, he tried hard to blend into the background and avoid any one-on-one interaction. He was wearing a blue blazer and noticed that the drapes were blue. So he stood in the back, right in front of the drapes, hoping Trump wouldn’t notice him camouflaged against the wall. If you look at the video, Comey is standing about as far from Trump as it is physically possible to be in that room.”

However, Comey was wearing a red tie that stood out like a sore thumb. His suit was darker than the drapes. Plus, Comey is so tall that he is hard to ignore, even with drapes behind him. Frankly this is nothing more than a diversion from the real issue—FBI corruption.

Reporters would rather write about the drapes than investigate the corruption under Comey and his predecessor, Mueller.

“Corruption under Comey and his predecssor, Mueller.”  Now Mueller is to investigate corruption under Comey? And that guarantees a totally unprejudiced finding?

Who is Benjamin Wittes? He is the co-author of The Future of Violence: Robots and Germs, Hackers and Drones — Confronting A New Age of Threat. He discusses the anthrax attacks in the book.

Five years after the FBI “closed” the case, Wittes doesn’t seem to accept the verdict that Bruce Ivins was the villain. He refers to Ivins as the FBI’s “suspect,” quickly adding, “or whoever else may have been responsible for the attacks”.

So why didn’t Comey reopen the case? One possible explanation is that he didn’t want to upset Mueller and the FBI officials who engaged in the cover-up. He had approved their targeting of, and conclusions about, Hatfill.

In return, Mueller, as special counsel in Russia-gate, can be expected to do Comey a big favor. He will not probe Comey’s malfeasance in using the phony “Trump Dossier” to investigate President Trump and his team. That is the real story — how Hillary donors financed by pro-Russian interests hired a former British agent to concoct an assortment of charges against Trump.

One has only to read the dossier (here) to see what a load of nonsense the concocted assortment of charges really is.

Mueller is a company man; he will protect the FBI and its former director and friend. The fix is in.

This is a far more important story than Comey hiding in the drapes. Writing about drapes may sound silly, but it is yet another way for the media to suggest that Comey was afraid of Trump trying to influence his inquiry into Russia-gate.

The story is not how Trump influenced the investigation, but rather how Comey used the phony “Trump Dossier” to go down dead-end roads and produce no results. It’s the anthrax investigation all over again.

Mueller’s job is to pump life into Comey’s fiasco, and turn the tables on Trump for firing Comey.

Meanwhile, corruption in the FBI goes unreported, and Congress fails to do adequate oversight of the intelligence community, which is supposed to keep us safe.

Mueller has fooled a lot of people. His appointment is good news for the Swamp but bad news for Trump.

Carl M. Cannon seems to think the outcome is preordained, noting the attitude of “official Washington” and what the “insiders” want to see happen — impeachment leading to Trump’s ouster. 

*

Update:

Headline:

Comey will speak to special counsel Mueller before testifying publicly, Chaffetz says

Read the story – manifesting not the least trace of suspicionhere.

Trump the avenger? 22

Of course both Trump and Cruz followers want passionately for the Left to be defeated in November 2016. But the defeat of Hillary and the Democratic Party, though it would be enormously satisfying to both factions, would not be enough for Trump voters. They want more. And that “more” is  revenge.

So we deduce from watching them and listening to them through the media.

We understand feelingly why that might be. The harm Obama and his gang have done to America and the world will take decades to repair, maybe even centuries. Europe will probably never recover from the Islamic invasion unleashed upon it by the devastating policies of the Obama regime towards Islam and the Middle East.

Whereas Cruz voters may be content with an election victory, Trump voters will also want Hillary in prison for a long stretch; Islam crushed; and, in as short a time as possible, Obama condemned by “history”.

Those who share that ache for revenge, will understand why all the reasons that anti-Trump conservatives pour out for not supporting Trump, fall on deaf ears.  

Michael Dansen writes at Truth Revolt:

Donald Trump is … a healthy antibody reaction to Obamaism … In a country that does not historically gravitate towards extremism at the highest levels of political office, he may be the medicine we need in order to even things out. Yes, the treatment may be harsh, but the patient is very sick.

In the words of the late, great Andrew Breitbart, if someone calls you a racist or a bigot, “Walk towards that fire.” A Trump presidency will prove that you can say things that are unflattering – but sometimes true – about preferred victim groups and the world will not come to an end. We will not re-introduce slavery. We will not become The Third Reich. We will not legalize rape. We will not make birth control illegal. There will be no reconstitution of Jim Crow. Those days are gone and good riddance.

The Right needs to learn to bring a knife, at the very least, to a knife fight. George W. Bush, who had this CRAZY notion that a country should use its military to kill its enemies, was destroyed over Iraq because he didn’t want to “lower himself” by responding to his critics. When called a “misleader” [read: “liar”] by the DNC in a July 2003 television ad over prewar intel, Karl Rove decided not to bring up the fact that WMD stockpiles actually were uncovered in Iraq.

Trump is always on offense and he’s a tougher target. Over-the-top Democrat attacks on Trump only help his cause. They’re having the same effect as protestors crashing Trump rallies – they make more people sympathetic to his campaign.

The Right also needs to push back against the Left’s specious income inequality arguments and their demonization of the wealthy. Democrats have been offering free stuff from rich people for 50 years. Not surprisingly, this is seductive and appealing. Rich people pay the OVERWHELMING majority of taxes in this country, but Dems still demand that they need to pay their “fair share”. Trump can be counted on to question and reject their premises – which is a major reason that progressives loathe the man with the white hot heat of a thousand suns.

As for Trump’s promised, controversial wall:

First, it is not a 2,000 mile wall. It will be built in certain sections which are the sites most common for illegal ingress.

Second, the U.S. has levers to elevate the Mexican government’s thinking on the subject of who pays for what – namely, foreign aid and impounding remittances.

Third, it’s a sordid situation indeed that Mexico City provides instructions to their citizens on how to subvert U.S. law, offers their consulates in the U.S. to help carry this out, and then calls us racists for noticing this. That Trump is controversial for being against de facto indentured servitude that’s incompatible with the melting pot ideal is the real controversy.

To opponents who hold to the “we are a nation of immigrants” school of thought: there is no limiting principle to that line of thinking and it is essentially an open borders argument. The idea that anybody who can physically get here deserves to remain here is absurd – even more so as we continue to build up the welfare state. We need more citizens who are contributing to the tax rolls, not who are net takers from them. America has traditionally gone through periods of opening the borders up through controlled, legal immigration from overseas and going through periods of assimilation and “insularity”.

We also had a common culture that was at first at least suspecting of the Dutch, Anglicans [sic] [he may mean Anglophones – ed], Germans, Catholics, the Irish, Italians, Jews, Greeks, etc. This was healthy as it winnowed the field of those who had what it took to be full-fledged American citizens and those who couldn’t quite hack it.

We’re not in unqualified agreement with that last paragraph. But we firmly agree with what he says next:

Do we have the right to prevent Muslims from entering our country after spasms of Islam-inspired terrorism? Yes.

He is implying that there is a sound reason to exclude Muslims. But his next point is that immigrants can be excluded for no sound reasons – even on whim only.

We also can prevent Congregationalists, left-handed people, towheads, Andorrans, etc. if that is the national course upon which we decide.

Because –

Immigration here is a privilege, not a right.

And so it is. It is the prerogative of the nation state to choose whom it will accept into its protection.

He returns to the Muslim question:

It will be a relief when we have a leader who does not say, after yet another Islamist atrocity, “First thing: get me to a mosque. I need to hug a Muslim and pronounce upon Koranic interpretations. The most important thing right now is not attending to our security concerns; it is stopping the bigoted, xenophobic, murderous impulse that lies just under the surface of our society!” …

And then he goes on to the Communist question (incidentally reminding us that from the start of the Cold War, Communists were denied immigration, or even a visitor’s visa to tour or study in the US).

For those who complain that there are some unsavory characters in Trump’s base, keep in mind that they may be scary but the left’s unsavory characters – in the media, academia, and the entertainment industry – are the inheritors of an ideology that has killed, according to The Black Book of Communism, 100 million people.

The outgoing president is also one of those unsavory inheritors. The electorate could not have made a worse choice other than an outright supporter of Islamic jihad … Oh, wait! …

The GOP – thwarted and vengeful? 14

The Republican establishment is appalled at the prospect of their nominee being Donald Trump.

What might they do about it?

Kevin Rex Heine writes (in part only – so please follow the link and read the whole thing) at RIGHTMI.com

To say that the 2016 Republican Presidential Campaign has become interesting since June of last year is a bit of an understatement, to say the least. An out-of-the-blue “chaos injection” on June 16th (that FOX News polling saw coming as early as March 31st, but no one else picked up on until late May) became the nationally-recognized front runner not five weeks later, completely leapfrogging the “heir apparent” (who promptly went into a freefall, and has now exited the campaign). Because of this chaos injection, one candidate, who was until that point considered to be irrelevant, leapfrogged to become the national runner-up about five and a half weeks later (and was the national front-runner for three days in November), and two young guns are now openly tussling for second place nationally, neither of whom were supposed to have a realistic chance to begin with.

As should have been expected, the thorough derailing of the coronation train for the republican heir apparent makes the professional political establishment very unhappy, and, of course, they’re hell-bent on doing something about that. But the reason that all of their scrambling is increasingly ineffective is that they don’t seem to really understand the causa provocare of the outsider’s challenge, perhaps because they really don’t understand the degree to which the typical voter is disgusted with the political status quo in America, or why. Thus, predictably, the flailing increasingly exposes them for who they are and what they intend, which conversely makes the outsider’s job that much easier. …

Beginning with congressional leadership action in late 2013, carrying through the 2014 national and state party decisions to modify the primary calendar and delegate allocation and binding rubrics, and concluding with the state legislative actions in early 2015 to set the 2016 primary calendar into law, the roadmap was set to secure the nomination for one John Ellis Bush, and accomplish it knowing that their hand-picked candidate would only rarely poll outside the 15% to 20% range of popular support until after the “game day” primary on March 15th (Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio). Anticipating viable “outsider” challenges from Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Scott Walker, and even Rick Perry (Ben Carson, Bobby Jindal, and Rick Santorum being considered either irrelevant or improbable, and Donald Trump completely unanticipated), the split-and-fracture strategy was implemented, and augmented by compromising from within the four anticipated challengers (a sabotage job that only Cruz seems to have recovered from).

Thus, with every single intel tripwire triggering in the exact order and construct needed to validate the hypothesis, the 2016 presidential cycle was looking to be a colossal exercise in futility for the grassroots activists and main street voters, as the coronation trains to Cleveland (republican) and Philadelphia (democrat) were designed to produce a very specific general election match-up (Bush vs. Clinton), which would be a win for the professional political establishment and deep pocket financiers regardless of the November outcome. And then . . .

… The one and only reason that Cruz has no path to nomination, absent Trump, is because the RNC/GOPe “roadmap to Cleveland” was specifically and explicitly designed to prevent Cruz (along with Perry, Walker, Paul, and Carson) from ever securing enough delegates to become the nominee, or enough delegation majorities to force a floor fight over the nomination. The roadmap was designed to produce exactly one predetermined result (with a backup option in the event that ¡Yeb! failed to gain traction), and lock it down on the first ballot in Cleveland. The one and only reason that both Cruz and Carson are still in the mix is that, eight months ago, Trump came in and proceeded to singlehandedly shred the establishment roadmap, and systematically demolish two years of meticulous backroom planning.

Accepting these truths also means accepting the reality that Cruz has exactly two options if he wants any post-convention relevance: (a) Do whatever is necessary to mend fences with both Carson and Trump, and position himself to provide constitutionally-sound policy advice to Trump post-convention, and perhaps even post-election. (b) Broker some behind-the-scenes deal with Rubio, and position himself to become Rubio’s running mate (or Rubio to become his), on the assumption that a combined Rubio-Kasich-Cruz effort can force a contested convention. …

Given that Donald Trump had floated the idea of campaigning for POTUS before (1988, 2004, and 2012), as well as for Governor of New York (2006 and 2014), one could forgive the professional political establishment, deep pocket financiers, and corporate media talking heads for not taking the guy seriously on Wednesday, March 18th, 2015, when he launched his exploratory committee for the republican POTUS nomination. But in the thirteen weeks between then and the Tuesday, June 16th, formal announcement of his candidacy (“I am officially running for president of the United States.”), Trump did things that he wouldn’t do if this were a mere publicity stunt – stock divestitures, disconnecting conflicts of interest, and escrowing certain real estate sources of income. Yeah, he’s serious about this, and because he isn’t owned by either Wall Street, or K Street, or the RNC/GOPe party apparatus, by the time that the professional political establishment, deep pocket financiers, and corporate media talking heads actually figured out that “The Donald” was, in fact, quite serious about his stated intentions . . .

The timing of Trump’s entry into the campaign was, I believe, intended to take advantage of the entire RNC/GOPe 2016 primary construct, once it was locked into place, in a way that allows him to use the rules changes against the very people those changes were designed to benefit, effectively hoisting them on their own petard. Should Trump secure a majority of the convention voting delegates (Rule # 40(d)), and a majority of the delegations of at least eight states severally (Rule # 40(b)), then, according to Rule # 16(a), which binds delegates to the outcome of their statewide (or district-specific) popular vote on at least the first ballot at convention, one Donald John Trump, Senior, becomes the nominee of the Party of Reagan. Game, set, and match to Trump, and there is absolutely nothing that can be done about it . . . on paper.

Trump was also savvy enough to know what he was walking into … brilliantly [exposing the weakness of] the road map during a presser last August (full video here). Yet, since his entry, he has spoken the truth both to the powerful and the common on trade reform, immigration reform, foreign policy failures, tax reform, and veterans’ issues (among many others). In doing so, he has forced the other candidates, on both sides of the aisle, to respond by engaging in serious discussions on those very same issues. He also had the stones to go after George W. Bush regarding 9/11 and Iraq, which is supposed to be sacred ground to “republicans” … And that wall on our southern border? Notice that neither Felipe Calderon nor Vincente Fox are questioning whether the wall should be built, but only that Mexico will not be paying for it (a distinction that the press is somehow overlooking). Yet, there’s something that neither of them wants us to know about, which likely provides a means (in addition to renegotiating trade agreements and impounding the foreign aid) to raise enough money – at Mexico’s expense – to pay for the wall. …

But –

Just because the game may soon be all but over on paper doesn’t mean that the powers that be are going to quit, no siree! The uni-party globalists are aware that a Trump win ultimately means that their hands will be forcibly pried from the public trough, and they don’t care for reversing the decline of America that not only they, but also their philosophical ancestors, have been engineering for a shade over a century. The prospect of a nominee, and in all likelihood a president, who isn’t owned by them (therefore doesn’t answer to them), has detailed insider knowledge of what needs to be done to restore America to greatness (plus openly “America first” in his thinking), and is well aware of what they’re up to, has them quite concerned. And those of us who’re paying attention are seeing the indicators that they’re preparing to reach deep into their bag of dirty tricks.

Students of history may recall the “Republican Disunity” 1964 campaign ad run by Lyndon Johnson, which focused on public remarks from republican governors Nelson Rockefeller (New York), William Scranton (Pennsylvania), and George Romney (Michigan), said remarks calling the credibility of republican senator and presidential nominee Barry Goldwater (Arizona) into question, and saying in effect that Goldwater’s nomination and election would essentially end the Republican Party. This was the ad that ultimately gestated the principle now known as Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment.

(Which was, “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.”)

More recently, in the 2014 U. S. Senate primary runoff in Mississippi, the National Republican Senatorial Committee pulled out all the stops to defend one of the establishment’s own (Thad Cochran) against an insurgency challenger (Chris McDaniel). Recall that McDaniel won the initial matchup on June 3rd, but because he finished 1,719 votes short of an outright majority, a runoff election took place three weeks later. During those three weeks, racist attack ads, paid for by prominent republican senators and Karl Rove’s super PAC motivated black democrats to show up and boost Cochran to a 7,667-vote runoff win. (Apparently, a little vote buying didn’t seem to hurt, either.)

Now, while you’re thinking about Goldwater and McDaniel, allow me to also remind you of Christine O’Donnell, Joe Miller, and Ken Cuccinelli, each of whom upset an entrenched establishment insider in their primaries, and each of whom was subsequently and openly betrayed by the Republican Party in the general campaign. These five names should suffice to remind you that the RNC/GOPe will not hesitate to burn down their own house, as long as they retain their seat at the public trough. And yes, that means that the professional power brokers and deep pocket financiers will have no problem with a Hillary win this year, because they will still have the access that they crave, and the damage to liberty and the republic be damned.

The signals were already being sent late last year, that the professional political establishment was preparing to lay the groundwork for one of two options, either (a) force a contested convention, so as to block Trump’s nomination on the convention floor and insert a more suitable option, or (b) field an independent general election candidate – à la George Wallace – who can potentially pull enough states to force an Amendment XII Electoral College deadlock, and throw the election to the House of Representatives. Option A requires the candidates already in the field to be able to, individually or collectively, hold Trump below the 1,237 delegates needed for nomination majority; option B requires someone acceptable to the RNC/GOPe, who could credibly conduct an independent campaign against both Trump and Clinton.

Do you think it a coincidence that now – after convincing wins in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada (and a credible second-place finish in Iowa) – that the attacks on Trump start to ratchet up in volume, intensity, and viciousness, attack ads that will be using paid acting talent in an attempt to force Trump to respond, and take him off his message? Do you think it ironic that the Isolate-Ridicule-Marginalize strategy includes last cycle’s news, who has been conspicuous by his heretofore silence, suddenly weighing in to state his absolute certainty that there must be some sort of bombshell hiding in Trump’s tax returns? Do you find it curious that there is now intel that the deep pocket financiers have already developed a contingency plan in the event that neither Rubio nor Kasich have gained any traction by March 15th? Does it surprise you at all that the person currently envisioned as the savior of the RNC/GOPe professional political establishment [Mitt Romney], is not in the current field of candidates?

And you can bet that Donald Trump is well aware of what the power brokers and financiers are up to, as he made subtly clear at a Mississippi rally roughly two months ago. Even better, we now have the probability that a certain former chairman of the Republican Governors Association [Chris Christie], previously thought to be a part of the plan to grease the skids for a JEB nomination, may in fact have been a Trump mole the entire time. That hypothesis, if true, would explain much.

If this analysis is right, Donald Trump, far from being the oafish clown so many are making him out to be, is extraordinarily smart, highly politically astute .

Thus far, he has outfoxed them all.

 

(Hat-tip for the Heine article to Sonya Kantor)

“Compassionate totalitarianism” 4

President George W. Bush was probably the most maligned president of modern times (though fans of President Obama make that claim for him).

Last night Rudi Giuliani, the great former mayor of New York, said in an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News, that President George W. Bush had kept Americans safe after the Muslim mass-murder attack of 9/11, and for that America owes him honor and gratitude. We agree. In practice President Bush did a good job.

Where we did not agree with President George W. Bush himself, was on a matter of theory: his political philosophy of “compassionate conservatism”. (It’s a sentimentality that Governor John Kasich now puts in his shopwindow as he advertises himself for the Republican presidential nomination.)

Compassion is an emotion. Individuals feel it or hold it as a moral value. But the state has no emotion. A government has no heart. Government is for protection – of the nation by means of a strong military defense, and of the individual by the rule of law strictly and indiscriminately applied. Government is not a father or mother or nanny or sugar daddy. In conservative philosophy, it has no duty to provide for the people it protects. It has no means to do so. It is not the nation’s money earner. It ought not to be an agency that forces some people to give it money so that it can hand it to other people. .

But in socialist philosophy, providing for the people’s needs is government’s chief function. Socialist government starts by “redistributing” private wealth: taking money from those who have earned it and giving it to those who have not. The long-term plan is for government (euphemistically, “the people”) to “own the means of production, distribution and exchange”. In plain words, to own everything. A socialist government is in loco parentis. The people are its children whom it must house, feed, educate, medicate, and make all decisions for. It knows what is best for you, and your duty is to obey it. It will give you what it judges you need – or withhold it if you step out of line. If you are disobedient, you will be punished. If you put your personal interests above the government-ordained interests of the collective “All”,  you may find yourself provided with no house, no food, no schooling, no doctoring, and – once the grip of a socialist regime has become absolute, as in Russia in the last century – no means by which you can supply these needs for yourself.

Socialists, Communists, Marxists – let’s say Leftists in general – believe that History (a sort of god whose prophet was Karl Marx) is moving humankind in a certain direction it has pre-ordained. Towards a world in which people live without private possessions. Where each is concerned only with the good of All. (Invention, which is essentially an individual enterprise is thus made impossible, so no actual advance is ever made.) Moving towards that utopia is what Leftists mean by “progress“. 

That’s why they call themselves “progressives”.

Professor Walter Williams writes at Townhall:

Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders seek to claim the “progressive” mantle. Both claim the other is not a true progressive. Clinton teased Sanders as being the “self-proclaimed gatekeeper for progressivism”. Bernie Sanders said that Hillary Clinton can’t be both a moderate and a progressive and that most progressives don’t take millions from Wall Street. But let’s talk about the origins of progressivism. It’s only historical ignorance that could explain black affinity for progressivism.

The Progressive Era is generally seen as the period from 1890 to 1920. President Woodrow Wilson, a leading [Democrat and] progressive, had a deep contempt for the founding principles of our nation. Progress for Wilson was to get “beyond the Declaration of Independence”,  because “it is of no consequence to us”. President Wilson implored that “all that progressives ask or desire is permission – in an era when ‘development,’ ‘evolution,’ is the scientific word – to interpret the Constitution according to the Darwinian principle; all they ask is recognition of the fact that a nation is a living thing and not a machine”.

President Woodrow Wilson was a believer in notions of racial superiority and inferiority. He was so enthralled with D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation movie, which glorified the Ku Klux Klan, that he invited various dignitaries to the White House to view it with him. … When President Wilson introduced racial segregation to the civil service, the NAACP and the National Independent Political League protested. Wilson vigorously defended it, arguing that segregation was in the interest of Negroes. Booker T. Washington wrote during Wilson’s first term, “I have never seen the colored people so discouraged and bitter as they are at the present time.”

President Woodrow Wilson’s predecessor, Theodore Roosevelt, was another progressive captivated by the notions of racial inferiority. He opposed voting rights for black Americans, which were guaranteed by the 15th Amendment, on the grounds that the black race was still in its adolescence. …

The Progressive era gave birth to the “separate but equal” doctrine that emerged from the Supreme Court’s notorious 1896 decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, a case that symbolized Jim Crow racism. Progressives were also people who attacked free-market economics. Along with muckraking journalists they attacked capitalistic barons. They were advocates of what might be called “scientific racism” that drew from anthropology, biology, psychology, sociology, eugenics and medical science. …

Legal scholar Richard Epstein concludes that progressivism sought to grant the state vast new authority to manage all walks of American life while at the same time weakening traditional checks on government power, including private property rights and liberty of contract, two principles that progressives hold in contempt. Epstein notes, “The sad but simple truth is that the Jim Crow resegregation of America depended on a conception of constitutional law that gave property rights short shrift, and showed broad deference to state action under the police power.”

It is clear that today’s progressives have the same constitutional contempt as their predecessors. I hope they do not share the racial vision. Black voters ought to demand, at a minimum, that progressives disavow their ugly racist past.

They should re-label themselves to something other than progressives, maybe compassionate totalitarians. 

Islam is Islam and that’s it 7

President Obama said:  “ISIL is not Islamic.” Of all the absurd things he’s said, this must be the most absurd.

ISIL stands for “the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant”. It is the same organization as ISIS: “the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria”,  and IS, “the Islamic State”.

These are excerpts from an article by David Solway at PJMedia:

Thirteen years after 9/11, after some 24,000 terror attacks perpetrated by Muslims since that fateful date, after the atrocities carried out and still being carried out by Caliphate-aspiring terrorist militias, after civil wars, incursions, the mass extermination and eviction of Christian populations in Muslim lands and territories, hostage-takings, kidnappings, beheadings, bombings, missile barrages — after all this, many Westerners still appear to endorse a strict distinction between Islam and Islamism. The former, we believe or have been led to believe, is a “religion of peace” whose doctrines have been twisted and misinterpreted by a cadre of extremists. Islam, according to this perspective, cannot be held accountable for a band of criminals willfully violating the tenets and premises of a venerable Abrahamic faith.

The claim is unsustainable. Where it is not advanced disingenuously — for profit, power or position — it is plainly a function of culpable or lazy ignorance or, at best, of a desire to be (or to seem) tolerant and supremely civil. I suspect that the majority of such Western apologists have not cracked a single page of the Koran or perused even a scattering of the ahadith and sirah, where the chasm on which they insist between Islam and Islamism is nowhere to be found. The Koran, in particular, brims with exhortations to violence against unbelievers, which the 1400-year imperial history of Islam has honored to the letter. The religious mandate as well as the empirical practice are undeniably Islamic, not “Islamist” — a concept that has no meaning in the theological literature.

Far too many of us cannot bring ourselves to understand that the enemy we are facing is not some fringe minority of “radicals” who are abusing not only their victims but the principles of the faith they proclaim. For one thing, the jihadists and their enablers may be a “minority,” but they number in the millions … A not unreasonable estimate of 10% gives 150-160 million. Any way you look at it, that’s a lot of people determined to kill you. When one considers that this number amounts to half the population of the United States out for one’s blood, it puts the issue into perspective.

For another thing, the shahids and mujahidin know perfectly well how to read their sacred texts, far better than their victims, dupes, extenuators and fellow-travelers who neglect to study either the scriptures or the history of Islam in order to gain a more acute and comprehensive knowledge of the enemy who plots their destruction. Others, of course, have been bought, suborned by donations or bribes and subsidized by petrodollars, or they are trimmers who have capitalized on business interests and opportunities. …

Cruelty, oppression, the call to perpetual warfare …  are actually integral to Islam, bred in the unabrogated scriptures which permit, approve and ratify such depravities as slavery, child marriage, polygamy, gynophobia, deception (taqiyya), the breaking of treaties, the doctrinally sanctioned acquisition of booty and of women as the spoils of war, dhimmitude and, most terrible of all, wanton slaughter of unbelievers. As Koran 8:39 commands, “Make war on them until idolatry is no more and Allah’s religion reigns supreme.”

It is not difficult, then, to see that ancestral Islam is demonstrably contemporary Islam since the Koran is understood to be an eternal book, coterminous with Allah, and thus does not allow for revision.

Further, critics of Islam who wish to spare the individual communicant, commendable as their attempt at fair-mindedness may be, are caught in a contradiction. In separating the institution of the faith, which they denounce, from peaceable and decent individual Muslims, whom they profess to applaud … they succeed only in undermining their own argument. Who or what can a “good” or moderate Muslim possibly be if he or she has no connection with or relation to the institution — the structure, practice, canons and prescripts — of the very faith from which he or she is said to be divorced? There is a blatant conundrum of identity at work here, which our charitable detractors apparently refuse to countenance or explain. Can there be such a chimera as a “Muslim” absent the institution of Islam? What is left but an empty jalabiya?

Muslims must be equally conflicted. Raheel Raza, whose film Honour Diaries decries some of the worst practices of her co-religionists, remains a pious Muslim who is comforted and nourished by her faith. What, we may ask, defines that merciful and solacing faith for her if it is based on the Koran, the ahadith, the sirah, the shariah and the diverse schools of a grim and stringent jurisprudence governing every detail of quotidian life? And if it is not predicated on authoritative Islam, what can possibly be left over from so aliquant a commitment except a few abrogated tropes and a number of rituals and customs? Perhaps it is a private faith she is espousing, but a private faith is not a religion and does not merit a historical name. …

What is the true core of Islam? …  The larger, Medinan portion of the Koran consists to an alarming extent of messages that would make any harbi (non-Muslim living in a country not subject to Islam) or apostate fear for his safety, freedom and very existence. …

We can no longer temporize and procrastinate. … The fact is, radical Islam is Islam, whose war against the West is transacted through the twin instruments of violence and infiltration, the latter a generally unacknowledged but even more effective form of terrorism. Merely remark the ruined neighborhoods, boroughs and suburbs of towns and cities in both Europe and America where Muslim immigration and mosque construction have gone unhindered.

Standard Islam is a war machine, an invading army with multiple techniques and weapons at its disposal.… Terror, however we define it, is a genuine expression of Islam.

“Islamism” is a figment of weak or frightened, naive or complicit minds

Countering the pabulum of American presidential farceurs Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush (and the equally mealy-mouthed claptrap of British PM David Cameron) that the conduct of Muslim terrorists is “not Islamic,” Daniel Pipes …  avers that “anyone with eyes and ears realizes that ISIS, like the Taliban and Al-Qaeda before it, is 100 percent Islamic.” Nota bene: Islamic, not Islamist.

A former Muslim who goes by the pseudonym of Brother Rachid is even more emphatic: the terrorist franchises are marching in lockstep with the Prophet, their every abomination sanctioned by a command in the Koran, a passage in the ahadith, and an example in the sirah. They live in a veritable reverie of slaughter and conquest and thus fulfill what they conceive as a pledge and a duty. They are attending to the text. And in so doing, they also march in lockstep with their covert accomplices, namely, the asylum seekers, the refugee streams, the vast number of residential immigrants, the “re-united” families (often consisting of multiple wives masquerading as relatives and eligible for welfare), the firebrand imams and dawah-spouting [proselytizing] preachers, the second-generation, born-again jihadists, and the pitiable revisionists who strive to re-interpret and redeem what is constitutively resistant to their efforts, yet cannot extricate themselves from the snare of creedal affirmation. There is much truth to Burckhardt’s observation that “obedience to a non-Islamic dispensation could never be enforced.”

Perhaps Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said it best: “There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that’s it.” “Islamism” is a Fata Morgana, a conceptual mirage that beckons in a mental desert.

Erdogan’s slogan merits repeating, its content worth absorbing. Islam is Islam and that’s it.

Here is “Brother Rachid” addressing President Obama, to inform him emphatically that IS/ISIS/ISIL is Islamic.

Posted under Islam, jihad, Muslims by Jillian Becker on Monday, October 13, 2014

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Sharper than a serpent’s tooth 0

European leaders are feeling how sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless US president.

According to this Washington Times report, Europe is rapidly losing its enthusiasm for Obama.

To Europe’s dismay, Mr. Obama can’t find the time to attend this year’s annual U.S.-European Union Summit – something Mr. Bush always managed to do. Mr. Obama’s decision to skip the summit offended Europeans, who saw it as a deliberate snub of the European Union – their favorite project to centralize government and internationalize the governance of human affairs great and small. Given Mr. Obama’s embrace of such ideas domestically, Europeans were understandably puzzled that he would not rush to link arms with them in the summit.

Further souring relations was Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates’s blast at much of Europe for dithering on defense. At last month’s meeting of NATO officials, Mr. Gates said the “pacification of Europe” (meaning Europe’s turning away from war and defense spending as necessary policies to keep the peace) was making it difficult for the allies to “operate and fight together.”

“The demilitarization of Europe,” he argued, “where large swaths of the general public and political class are averse to military force and the risks that go with it, has gone from a blessing in the 20th century to an impediment to achieving real security and lasting peace in the 21st.”

Europe (with the exception of Britain) has contributed little to its own defense ever since the end of World War II. It has depended heavily on the US to “keep the peace”. (The funds that European states might have needed to spend on defending themselves have been lavished on welfare.) This is perhaps the first time strong objection to that state of affairs has come from an American administration:

Mr. Gates is absolutely right … The in-your-face nature of his words is striking. No Bush administration official … ever publicly criticized Europe’s lack of military spending and support for NATO so bluntly. … Now we have a secretary of defense arguing that European fecklessness threatens world peace.

Yet it’s surely ironic that Obama’s Secretary of Defense should be saying this, since Obama himself favors disarmament, has taken active steps to weaken America’s military superiority, and has expressed an ideological ambition to rid America of its nuclear arsenal.

European interests are plainly of little concern to Obama, and his foreign policies are increasingly rousing Europe’s irritation, most recently Britain’s, the staunch ally of America in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars:

It is one thing to start a quarrel with France or even the EU, but Mr. Obama has managed even to offend the British. Many commentators in the UK now accuse Mr. Obama of harboring anti-British sentiments. The State Department’s recent announcement that we would remain neutral in the Falklands Islands dispute between the UK and Argentina has only fueled that perception. …

In general, Europe’s unwarranted expectations of Obama have been disappointed, its adoration scorned, its proffered gifts of wisdom spurned:

With regard to the Obama presidency, illusions are shattering across Europe. There, as here, the left’s exaggerated hatred of Mr. Bush was matched only by their naive embrace of Mr. Obama. They now increasingly realize that although Mr. Obama may admire Europe’s domestic polices on health care and energy, he has little practical use for the European Union’s pretensions to world influence and leadership.

But he does seem willing to give them precisely what they’ve requested for years: A diminished U.S. role in the world. Mr. Obama is pulling back on the projection of American power. Leaving the Europeans to their own devices (and ignoring their summits) is merely part of that program.

Their confusion is understandable. They expected that waning American power would mean less criticism from Washington and more European influence over U.S. policy. It didn’t work out that way….

Europe may never get over its disdain for Mr. Bush. But they may someday come to realize that things were not as bad under Mr. Bush as they thought. At least he showed up to their meetings.

Is America in decline? 2

Is the world entering a post-American era? Will the 21st century be dominated by some other power, or several others?

In the splendid speech that John Bolton delivered at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February 2010, he said of Obama, “He is the first post-American president.”

In Obama’s eyes, American superpower status is already over. The decline is happening. There’s no reason to regret it, and it would be pointless and unnecessary to try to halt or reverse it. Obama is content to let America be a nation among the nations, no different in any important respect, and certainly no better. “He sees American decline as a kind of natural phenomenon,” Bolton said.

In Bolton’s own view, however, America is still exceptional and still the one and only superpower. If its status as such is under threat, that threat proceeds from Obama himself, who, almost casually – not caring very much, as John Bolton remarked, about foreign and national security policy – is himself weakening it.

What Obama does care about is domestic policy. To achieve his redistributionist goals he has put America into crushing debt; and being determined, it seems, to turn America into a European-style socialist state, he can only make the debt vaster and heavier. That alone weakens America.

China is America’s chief creditor, but that does not mean China is now a second superpower. A China growing in wealth and confidence, and becoming an increasingly significant world actor, may pose an economic threat to America but is not, or not yet, a rival world power. Militarily it is far from a match. Militarily, America is still far and away the most powerful nation.

But there again, if Obama has his way, it won’t be for much longer. He has, in Bolton’s words, an “incredibly naïve idea” that if the US would get rid of its own nuclear weapons, other countries would give up theirs; those that do not have them but want them – such as Iran and North Korea – would abandon their intense efforts to obtain them; and the world would live at peace forever after. This belief or ambition represents, as John Bolton put it, “a pretty deep-seated strain in the left wing of the Democratic Party.” Obama will soon negotiate an arms control agreement with Russia by which he will undertake substantially to reduce America’s nuclear capability. America will not develop new nuclear weapons, or arms in outer space, or even keep its existing arsenal battle-ready by testing for safety and reliability. It is as if America had no enemies; as if America were not under attack; as if 9/11 had never happened; and as if Iran and North Korea would not drop nuclear bombs on America and its allies if they could do it and get away with it.

Furthermore, with the rest of the dreaming Left both at home and internationally, he aspires to another vision of a new earth: one that is not only sweetly irenic but held forcibly in union by a supreme governing authority. Those proposals for world taxes that we hear of; the intricate business of trading in carbon indulgences in the name of saving the earth from being consumed by fire or ice; international treaty regulations that would result in banning the private ownership of guns – all these are measures to realize the tremendous objective of “world governance”. It would mean the end of American independence, the end of national sovereignty. It would mean that the Revolution was lost, as Bolton said.

In a sense it would be the end of America, because America is an idea of liberty. And it is an idea that the world needs. Its loss would be a colossal disaster, a tragedy for the whole human race.

Can America be saved?

In his book titled The Post-American World, Fareed Zakaria asserts that “America is closing down”, but allows that it “won’t be demoted from its superpower position in the foreseeable future” because “it’s not that the United States has been doing badly over the last two decades. It’s that, all of a sudden, everyone else is playing the game.”

America can “remain a vital, vibrant economy, at the forefront of the next revolutions in science, technology and industry, as long as it can embrace and adjust to the challenges confronting it”.

“The challenges” come from other nations, now rising, which he groups together as “the rest”.

China is the first of them because it is becoming an economic giant. The 21st century, he considers, may be the Chinese century.

What if [China ] quietly positions itself as the alternative to a hectoring and arrogant America? How will America cope with such a scenario – a kind of Cold War, but this time with a vibrant market economy, a nation that is not showing a hopeless model of state socialism, or squandering its power in pointless military interventions? This is a new challenge for the United States, one it has not tackled before, and for which it is largely unprepared.

Next in line is India. Poorer but democratic, India is “the ally”. Then come Brazil and Chile (plausibly); South Africa (less plausibly); and (implausibly) Russia. (Russia is a demographic basket case.)

Ironically, Zakaria says, these nations are rising because they learnt from America:

For sixty years, American politicians and diplomats have traveled around the world pushing countries to open their markets, free up their politics, and embrace trade and technology. … We counseled them to be unafraid of change and learn the secrets of our success. And it worked: the natives have gotten good at capitalism.

America, then, has not been a malign power, or not always. In Roosevelt’s day other countries believed that “America’s mammoth power was not to be feared”. It was after it had won the Cold War, when it became the only superpower, that it began to go to the bad. “Ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States has walked the world like a colossus, unrivaled and unchecked”, and this “has made Washington arrogant, careless, and lazy.” Furthermore, he tell us, “people round the world worry about living in a world in which one country has so much power.”

To relieve that worry, America “must reduce its weaponry and work towards a non-nuclear world.” It is hypocritical for the US to insist that other countries should not have nuclear weapons while it is hoarding a nuclear arsenal of its own. By giving them up it would “gain credibility”, an end he apparently considers so desirable that it would be worth risking the nation’s very survival to achieve it.

The summer of 2002, Zakaria says, was “the high water-mark of unipolarity”. The world felt sympathy for America after 9/11. America went to war in Afghanistan, which was not good but not too bad. But then it invaded Iraq, which was very bad, and the world’s sympathy dried up. America was being too “unilateral”, too “imperial and imperious”.

George W Bush and “the nefarious neoconservative conspiracy” antagonized the world. He and his conspirators “disdained treaties, multilateral organizations, international public opinion, and anything that suggested a conciliatory approach to world politics.”

So the world’s dislike, contempt, and fear of America were justified, or at least understandable, in the light of the foreign policies of the “arrogant” Bush administration. Zakaria even claims that the animosity filled the Republicans – already full of “chest-thumping machismo” – with pride.

He asks:

Can Washington adjust and adapt to a world in which others have moved up? Can it respond to shift in economic and political power? … Can Washington truly embrace a world with a diversity of voices and viewpoints? Can it thrive in a world it cannot dominate?

The advice he gives to “Washington” for success in adjusting, adapting, responding, embracing, and thriving is to be conciliatory, apologetic. It must listen more; proclaim universal values”, but “phrase its positions carefully”; be like the chair of a board gently guiding a group of independent directors. America must “learn from the rest”. The president must meet more non-government people, have smaller entourages, rely more on diplomacy. Consultation, cooperation, compromise are the key words. He objects to such accomodations being called appeasement. Consult and cooperate, he urges, with Russia, and with “multilateral institutions” such as the UN, NATO, AFRICOM, OAS, and the International Criminal Court. (Even internally, the US legal system “should take note of transnational standards”.)

The federal government has been “too narrow-minded” about terrorism. When bin Laden got America to “come racing out to fight” him (in response to 9/11) this was “over-reaction.”  Zakaria’s advice: “take it on the chin” and “bounce back”. The government must stop thinking of terrorism as a national security issue, and think of it as criminal activity carried out by “small groups of misfits”. Although Democrats were on the whole “more sensible” about terrorism, both parties, he says, spoke “in language entirely designed for a domestic audience with no concern for the poisonous effect it has everywhere else.” His solution is better airport control round the world. The more urgent problem in his view is that American Muslims have become victims of over-reaction to terrorist attacks. Instead of being “questioned, harassed, and detained” they should, he urges, “be enlisted in the effort to understand the appeal of Islamic fundamentalism.”

Zakaria does not consider himself anti-American. He does not even see himself as a man of the left. He reiterates that he is a free marketeer. It is because America became “suspicious of free markets”, he says, that partly explains its “closing down”.

He wrote his book before the economic crisis. He saw a globalized economy bringing about an increasingly prosperous world in which the poorest nations were rising strongly enough for him to declare that “the world is swimming in capital”, and “there really isn’t a Third World any more “. But even then the dollar was sliding, and America was showing signs of being “enfeebled”.

At a military-political level America still dominates the world, but the larger structure of unipolarity – economic, financial, cultural – is weakening… every year it becomes weaker and other nations and actors grow in strength.

For all its military might, its chest-thumping phase is over and now it is “cowering in fear”. It must, he says, “recover its confidence.” ‘It must stop being “a nation consumed by anxiety”, with a tendency to “hunker down”, unreasonably “worried about unreal threats” such as terrorism, and rogue nations like North Korea and Iran. (Iran, he explains, has good reason to fear the United States, with its armies on two of its borders. It’s only to be expected that Iran would try to arm itself with nuclear bombs and missile delivery systems. He does not explain why America should not fear this as a real threat.)

He is certain about what America needs to do to propitiate and serve the world it has alienated. It should ‘‘build broad rules by which the world will be bound’’, rather than pursue “narrow interests”.

What the world really wants from America is … that it affirm its own ideals. That role, as the country that will define universal ideals, remains one that only America can play.

We know Obama has read Zakaria’s book, or at least looked into it, because there is a photograph of him holding it, one finger marking his place. Obama is doing much that Zakaria advises in foreign affairs. But that’s less likely to be because the writer has impressed the president with his arguments than because they have both drunk from the same ideological well.

Obama’s foreign policy lets us see if Zakaria’s theory works. So far it has not.

So is America’s decline beyond all remedy?

It’s a relief to turn from Zakaria’s dull and weakly reasoned book with its uncongenial credo to an article titled The Seductions of Decline (February 2, 2010) by brilliantly witty and insightful Mark Steyn. If America believes it is in decline, he says, it will be. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. The view that America has been too arrogant a power; that it is not and should not be exceptional; that humility and apology are required of it; that only endlessly patient negotiation in a spirit of compromise will improve foreign relations and dissuade states like North Korea and Iran from acquiring nuclear arms; that Islamic terrorism should be treated as crime and not as the jihad its perpetrators declare it to be; that Russia should be consulted on, say, the deployment of American missile defense; and that the US should reduce its nuclear arsenal and work towards a non-nuclear world – will bring about the decline.

National decline is psychological – and therefore what matters is accepting the psychology of decline.

His answer to the question “is America set for decline?” is yes, because of the policies of Obama and the Democrats, which arise from their acceptance of decline.

Strictly on the numbers, the United States is in the express lane to Declinistan: Unsustainable entitlements, the remorseless governmentalization of the American economy and individual liberty, and a centralization of power that will cripple a nation of this size. Decline is the way to bet.

American decline, he says, “will be steeper, faster and more devastating than Britain’s – and something far closer to Rome’s.” It will not be like France’s, or Austria’s.

Why did decline prove so pleasant in Europe? Because it was cushioned by American power. The United States is such a perversely non-imperial power that it garrisons not ramshackle colonies but its wealthiest “allies”, from Germany to Japan. For most of its members, “the free world” has been a free ride.

And after “Washington’s retreat from la gloire” as hegemon of the world, when America “becomes Europe in its domestic disposition and geopolitical decline, then who will be America?”

Of the many competing schools of declinism, perhaps the most gleeful are those who salivate over the rise of China. For years, Sinophiles have been penning orgasmic fantasies of mid-century when China will bestride the world and America will be consigned to the garbage heap of history. It will never happen: As I’ve been saying for years, China has profound structural problems. It will get old before it gets rich.

Not China then. Russia?

The demographic deformation of Tsar Putin’s new empire is even more severe than Beijing’s. Russia is a global power only to the extent of the mischief it can make on its acceleration into a death spiral.

Not Russia. How about the Caliphate that the terrorist war is being fought to establish?

Even if every dimestore jihadist’s dreams came true, almost by definition an Islamic imperium will be in decline from Day One.

So what might the post-American world look like? Mark Steyn’s answer is deeply depressing:

The most likely future is not a world under a new order but a world with no order – in which pipsqueak states go nuclear while the planet’s wealthiest nations, from New Zealand to Norway, are unable to defend their own borders and are forced to adjust to the post-American era as they can. Yet, in such a geopolitical scene, the United States will still remain the most inviting target – first, because it’s big, and secondly, because, as Britain knows, the durbar moves on but imperial resentments linger long after imperial grandeur.

But nothing is inevitable, and Mark Steyn offers a last hope. Though “decline is the way to bet”, the only thing that will ensure it is “if the American people accept decline as a price worth paying for European social democracy.”

When in 2008 a majority of the American electorate voted for Barack Obama to be president of the United States, it seemed that the deal had been made. But now Obama is failing, the Democratic majority is under threat, and the Tea Party movement is reclaiming the Revolution.

This could be another American century after all.

Jillian Becker   March 1, 2010

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