Trump, Trumpism, and THEM 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He is impervious to your insults.

He is charitable and generous. Yes, he is.

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

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

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

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

Bitter disappointment? 6

If President Trump:

Grants amnesty to illegal aliens

Does not build the Wall

Does not reduce taxes for all

Does not get Congress to repeal Obamacare

Does not tear up the Iran deal

Does not crush ISIS

Does not continue to call Islamic terrorism by its name

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

Does not put an end to Kim Jong-un

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

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

Ditto of the IRS

Does not stop the State Department continuing Obama policies

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

Does not protect free speech

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


Ann Coulter on amnesty at Townhall:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Breitbart on the Wall:

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

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

Politico on no tax relief for “the rich”:

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

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

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

Obamacare stays. For now.

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

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

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

ABC News reports on maintaining the Iran deal: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

ISIS is spreading, just like they promised.

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

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

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

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

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

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

On regime change in North Korea:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

State Department Refusing to Withdraw Presence in Cuba After Sonic Attacks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From the outset this is disingenuous and troublesome.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Has President Trump given up?

Does he not want a second term?

Have the Left and Islam won?

Is Trump “killing America”?

Is the Swamp swallowing Trump? (2) 1

We continue our discussion, started in the post immediately below, of the Swamp swallowing President Trump, now looking at changes in his avowed foreign policy towards Israel, Egypt, Iran and North Korea.

This is from an article by Ryan Mauro at Clarion Project:

Israel and its supporters in the West are seeing danger signs coming from parts of the Trump Administration. Since taking office, the camp that views Israel as a liability and “root cause” of Islamic extremism has been gaining ground. That camp is at odds with those who view the Islamist ideology as the root cause and believes it must be defeated for there to be peace in the Middle East.

The biggest danger sign for America’s best ally in the Middle East came with the recent release of the State Department’s annual Country Reports on Terrorism. It blamed Israel for sparking terrorism while applauding the Palestinian Authority’s counter-extremism efforts.

The report frames Palestinian terrorism as a response to Israeli misconduct, with no attribution to an Islamist ideology or culture with a genocidal desire to wipe Israel off the map. Palestinian terrorism is essentially presented as a form of “resistance” motivated by legitimate grievances against Israeli actions. In other words, the terrorists are misguided freedom fighters.

The identified “continued drivers of violence” are listed as a “lack of hope in achieving Palestinian statehood, Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank, settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, the perception that the Israeli government was changing the status quo on the Haram Al Sharif/Temple Mount, and IDF tactics that the Palestinians considered overly aggressive.” The treatment of the Palestinian Authority, on the other hand, was mostly positive. The report lauded its efforts in combating extremism and claimed that it had minimized the incitement of violence by Palestinian Authority officials and institutions. It went so far as to say that incitement is now “rare” and “the leadership does not generally tolerate it.”

The State Department report undermines President Trump’s position on Israel.

The report by Tillerson’s State Department is even more hostile to Israel than the one issued under [Obama’s Secretary of State] Kerry, who furiously blasted Israel on his way out of office.

In fact, the State Department report spends more time assigning blame for terrorism to Israel than to Qatar, a massive sponsor of terrorism and extremism. One cannot help but wonder if Tillerson’s pro-Qatar position and business ties to the Qatari regime had something to do with it.

While the State Department plans a 28% cut in foreign aid to places around the world, State is planning to increase its aid to the Palestinian Authority.

State Department documents leaked to the media in April show it plans a 4.6% increase to the West Bank run by the terrorism-inciting Palestinian Authority and the Gaza Strip run by Hamas. A total of $215 million in aid is allotted for 2018.

The Palestinian Authority uses half of the foreign aid it receives to sponsor terrorism. It is increasing its compensation for terrorists in Israeli prisons by 13% and its financial aid to families of killed terrorists by 4%. The total amount of these two allotments is $344 million. …

On June 1, the Trump Administration backtracked on his vow to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, at least for the time being. No firm commitment to moving the embassy was made, despite Trump’s campaign promise.

Secretary Tillerson’s influence is widely seen as being responsible for the flip-flop. In May, Tillerson set off alarm bells for friends of Israel by refusing to commit to fulfilling Trump’s campaign pledge. He said that Trump’s promise has to be weighed against the considerations of the parties involved in the peace process. 

The “peace process” that has never advanced one inch towards peace and never could, but has become a ritual ceremony with implications of mysterious magical potency that will produce a sweet splendor at the end of days when a trumpet shall sound, and is not seriously expected by anyone ever to produce a result in reality.

In other words, Tillerson would rather upset Trump’s voters whom he made the promise to than upset Israel’s enemies, who are also America’s enemies.

Tillerson makes it sound as if an Arab government that genuinely gave up its genocidal ambitions would resurrect its genocidal ambitions because of where an American diplomatic facility is positioned. If that’s all it takes to trigger an Arab regime into a genocidal frenzy, then that regime was never truly interested in peace in the first place.

There are also danger signs in the staffing of the State Department.

In June, Tillerson appointed Yael Lempert as the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Egypt and the Maghreb. According to her bio, she was previously in the Obama Administration’s National Security Council from 2014 to May 2017, serving as the Senior Director for the Levant, Israel and Egypt and a Special Assistant to President Obama.

This means that Tillerson’s high-level appointee served as an official involved in the tension between the U.S. and Israel that reached its peak as the Obama Administration came to an end. She also was centrally involved in the Obama Administration’s policy towards Egypt that favored the Muslim Brotherhood.

One report quoted a former Clinton official as saying:

Lempert is considered one of the harshest critics of Israel on the foreign policy far left. From her position on the Obama NSC, she helped manufacture crisis after crisis in a relentless effort to portray Israel negatively and diminish the breadth and depth of our alliance. Most Democrats in town know better than to let her manage Middle East affairs. It looks like the Trump administration has no idea who she is or how hostile she is to the U.S.-Israel relationship.

In December 2014, when Lempert was on the Obama Administration’s National Security Council, she met with anti-Israel activist Michael Sfard. He has been paid by the Palestinian Authority to act as an expert witness in terrorism trials in its defense. He also works in an organization that seeks to put Israeli officials and soldiers on trial for war crimes.

Under Trump, Lempert was involved in putting pressure on Israel to suspend its settlement construction.

Another State Department official to watch is Michael Sfard, who was Secretary of State John Kerry’s consul to Jerusalem. In March, Jordan Schachtel broke the story that Tillerson appeared to have chosen Ratney to oversee the Israeli-Palestinian portfolio.

Ratney is currently the Special Envoy for Syria, so his reassignment either hasn’t happened yet or the administration has changed its mind. He is, however, currently involved in talks with Israel regarding Syria for the Trump Administration.

National Security Adviser General H.R. McMaster was asked twice whether the Western Wall is part of Israel and he refused to answer. He replied, “That’s a policy decision”. 

The peculiar non-answer appears significant in light of how the National Security Council is being staffed as McMaster shapes the office to his liking.

Kris Bauman was chosen in May as the top adviser on Israel for the National Security Council. Tellingly, the person he was replacing was the aforementioned Yael Lempert.

Daniel Greenfield reviewed Bauman’s 2009 dissertation and found highly disturbing content.

He blamed Israel and the West for failing to see “Hamas’s signals of willingness to moderate” and turning Gaza “into an open-air prison” instead of engaging Hamas. He advocated a policy that includes “Hamas in a solution,” dismissing Hamas’ oft-stated pledge to destroy Israel and kill Jews

Bauman cites The Israel Lobby, a book that purports to disclose how Israel secretly manipulates the U.S. institutions of power from behind-the-scenes. He says the Israel Lobby “is a force that must be reckoned with, but it is a force that can be reckoned with.”

Bauman  … blames the peace process for failing on Israel and the West because each offer “overwhelmingly favored Israeli interests.” Prime Minister Netanyahu is blamed for “inciting Palestinian violence” and deliberately undermining the prospects for peace.

A consistent theme appears in Bauman’s thesis: Israel is the instigator of terrorism. To defeat terrorism, stop Israel. And now he is in a strong position in the National Security Council to try to make that happen.

A cut in aid to Egypt must have been Tillerson’s decision, again apparently out of harmony with President Trump’s preference. (We are against all foreign aid, but if it’s going to be handed out, Egypt under President al-Sisi is a far worthier recipient than the Palestinian Authority which uses it to pay Hamas and imprisoned terrorists.) President Trump is friendly towards al-Sisi –  for the right reasons, that he is against the Muslim Brotherhood – the major jihad promoters whom Tillerson is strongly for! Trump spoke to al-Sisi to re-affirm their friendship, after Tillerson and Jared Kushner had completed their awkward visit to Egypt  and moved on to disturb and dismay the Israelis.

On North Korea, Tillerson contradicts Trump on US policy.

Vox reports:

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump said North Korean threats to respond to a US strike with nuclear weapons “will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen,” rhetoric that no previous American president has ever used with North Korea. On Wednesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson tried to cool things down, saying “nothing that I have seen and nothing that I know of would indicate that the situation has dramatically changed in the last 24 hours”.

“Americans,” the secretary said, “should sleep well.”

That soothing rhetoric lasted all of a day. On Thursday, top Trump aide Sebastian Gorka said … that Tillerson was not actually speaking for White House. Trump’s threats, Gorka said, were deadly serious.

“You should listen to the president,” Gorka said. “The idea that Secretary Tillerson is going to discuss military matters is simply nonsensical.”

Gorka got major reinforcement later in the day from President Trump, who said that his past statement “maybe wasn’t tough enough.”

But Gorka is gone from the White House and Tillerson remains.

On Iran, Tillerson has maneuvered the President into keeping the unsigned agreement that Obama made with that evil regime; the “deal” that allows the mullahs to become a nuclear armed power after a few years. Candidate Trump promised during his campaign for the presidency that he would dismantle it. He has re-certified it, albeit with reluctance.

To be continued …   

Is the Swamp swallowing Trump? 1

Is the  Swamp swallowing President Trump?

Seems so.

Seems he’s being isolated in the White House. His enemies have put a wall round him. They’ve stopped him from reading Breitbart. They take him print-outs of the news they want him  to read. The only person they cannot stop getting close to him is his son Don. They are trying to stop Don taking Breitbart news to him. 

People who should be carrying out his orders are not doing so. They do what they want to do. And what they want to do is the opposite of what he wants them to do.

They have got rid of or blocked everyone who was on his side.

But is the stalwart redoubtable winner Donald Trump so easily held captive? So easily bent to others’ will? Surely not!  

Linda Goudsmit writes at Canada Free Press an open letter to President Trump from which we quote:

Mr. President, your government continues to be informed and advised by Obama legacy staffers who remain in government advancing Obama’s anti-American, pro-Islamic, pro-Iranian, and pro-Muslim Brotherhood agenda. …

Identifying your friends and identifying your enemies in your administration, the military, and among national security staffers is an urgent matter. … Any advisor or staffer who refuses to utter the words radical Islamic terror does not belong in your administration. If staffers embrace sharia law, promote Islam, are apologists for Islam, are members of the Muslim Brotherhood or CAIR and support Obama’s purging of materials that implicate Islam, they are your enemies and must be removed.

You are being surrounded by Obama leftovers who will continue to disinform you so that your decisions will tilt toward Obama’s failed globalist policies.

Mr. President you are being dragged into the swamp you were elected to drain.

H.R. McMaster was recommended for the position of National Security Advisor (NSA) director by #2 swamp creature John McCain. Under McMaster’s leadership the people who have the courage to speak out and expose the existential danger of Islam are being purged from the military and from the national security staff. Those who have the courage to support the initiatives of your America-first candidacy are being eliminated while the Obama globalist leftovers remain.

Trump loyalists Michael Flynn, K.T. McFarland, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, Derek Harvey, Rich Higgins, Adam Lovinger, Steve Bannon, and Sebastian Gorka are all gone. Obama loyalists Dina Habib-Powell, Allison Hooker, Fernando Cutz, Andrea Hall, Rear Admiral David Kriete, Jessica Cox, Stephanie Morrison, Heather King, and Robert Wilson all remain. McMaster’s indefensible defense of Obama loyalist Susan Rice allowed her to retain her security clearance. McMaster claimed Rice did nothing wrong unmasking the identities of Trump transition aides and leaking the transcripts of Mr. Trump’s phone conversations with foreign leaders. REALLY? …

Sixteen years [after 9/11) there is no excuse for illiteracy regarding Islam, yet the national security voices are still trying to deny the connection between Islam and terrorism.

And now former FBI director Robert Mueller is investigating you?? Mueller is another leftover whose past foretells his future. Mueller has been part of the intricate cover-up protecting the Muslim Brotherhood for years.

Judicial Watch has uncovered stunning documentary evidence that Robert Mueller worked with Islamist groups to purge anti-terrorism materials offensive to Muslims while he was FBI director. Offensive to Muslims? Is this the metric for our national security? Candidate Trump promised to reverse Obama’s suicidal policies – President Trump has hired personnel who continue to advance them. …

You and your America-first policies pose an existential threat to the globalist elite and that is why they are determined to destroy you and eliminate any Trump administration personnel who share your vision. H.R. McMaster is part of the insidious swamp battling against you. He is part of the reheated Obama leftovers who are hazardous to your presidency. Candidate Trump’s courageous Americanism and bold America-first policies require President Trump to find fresh ingredients – throw out the leftovers. H.R.McMaster and his gang need to hear: “You’re fired!”

The last and most difficult message I have for you is a personal one. Your daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner are loyal loving members of your family and your administration but you must never forget that they have been educated toward globalism by the prevailing re-education curriculum in American schools. You can be proud of their extraordinary achievements but must never forget that their prism is not your prism. They were raised on John Lennon’s “Imagine.” You were raised on the “Star Spangled Banner” – the difference is Huge.

And Daniel Greenfield writes at Front Page:

The foreign policy deck has been cleared of Islam realists. And it shows.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday that Sebastian Gorka was “completely wrong” in his resignation letter’s assessment of the battle over Trump administration policy.

“Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace asked Tillerson about Gorka’s accusations, especially regarding the president’s recent speech on Afghanistan.

“Sebastian Gorka in his resignation letter wrote this about the Afghanistan speech: ‘the fact that those who drafted and approved the speech remove any mention of radical Islam or radical Islamic terrorism proves that a crucial element of the presidential campaign has been lost.’ Is he right?” Wallace asked.

“I think he’s completely wrong, Chris,” Tillerson said. “And I think it shows a lack of understanding of the president’s broader policy when it comes to protecting Americans at home and abroad from all acts of terrorism. The president has charged us to develop policies and tactics, both diplomatically and militarily, to attack terrorism in as many forms wherever it exists in the world and wherever it might present a threat to the homeland or to Americans anywhere.”

“This means that we have to develop techniques that are global in nature. All we want is to ensure that terrorists do not have the capability to organize and carry out attacks,” he added.

Are there any non-Islamic global terrorist threats? What are we fighting in Afghanistan except Islamic terrorism?

Are we at war with Mormons or the Amish in Afghanistan? Who are the Taliban again? Or the Haqqani Network? Or the Islamic State?

Best not to ask. See nothing. Hear nothing. Say nothing. It’s worked brilliantly since 9/11. I can imagine how different things might have been under Secretary of State [John] Bolton. But as Whittier said, “For all sad words of tongue and pen, The saddest are these, ‘It might have been’.”

And now the President’s Keepers are not allowing John Bolton anywhere near him.

Ryan Mauro writes at Clarion Project:

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson opposes designating the [Muslim] Brotherhood as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and is going to bat for Qatar and Turkey. National Security Adviser McMaster is also reportedly opposed, as would be expected from his staunch stance against using terminology like “radical Islam” and his endorsement of a book with the premise that only “militant Islamists” are our enemies, not non-violent Islamists.

Now, we have someone as the new Chief of Staff [John Kelly] who authorized the writing of a thank-you letter to CAIR.

A thank-you letter to an Islamic organization that supports Hamas and its terrorism, preaches the Islamization of America – and approves of the appointment of H. R. McMaster to his powerful position as the President’s chief advisor on national security (which in itself should be a warning to the President).

And this is from an article by Jeff Crouere at Canada Free Press:

President Donald Trump is attacked on a daily basis by his enemies in the media, the political establishment, and the deep state. He is under unrelenting assault, more so than any other U.S. President in recent history.

Usually, even a besieged President can count on support within the ranks of his top advisers. While they may disagree in private, top administration officials have an obligation to present a unified front to the American people. However, when a President starts getting attacked by a member of his own administration, it is time to fire that untrustworthy individual and demand loyalty of everyone else.

If the appointee is not fired, he should have the decency to resign if he cannot publicly support the President. A principled letter outlining the reasons for his resignation is what National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn should have delivered to President Trump.

Cohn, a former Democrat, was dissatisfied with the President’s balanced criticism of “both sides” in the aftermath of the riots in Charlottesville, Virginia. Instead of keeping his complaints private, Cohn gave a controversial and utterly unhelpful interview to the Financial Times blasting the President while inferring his own moral superiority. According to Cohn, “This administration can and must do better in consistently and unequivocally condemning these groups and do everything we can to heal the deep divisions that exist in our communities.”

Of course, Cohn was referring to the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists who attended the initial Charlottesville rally. He is right, the groups must be vigorously denounced, which is why the President condemned them multiple times. How many more times must the President criticize the hateful beliefs of these groups before it satisfies Cohn and the liberal media?

What really upset Cohn and all of the other Trump critics is that the President also criticized the “Alt-Left” groups who participated in a counter-rally in Charlottesville.  In the Financial Times interview, Cohn laughably said “Citizens standing up for equality and freedom can never be equated with white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the KKK.”

The “Alt-Left” protesters in Charlottesville included people who engaged in a variety of violent activities such as throwing bags of urine and feces and using pepper spray and bats to assault people. They also attacked innocent journalists, a photo journalist for a local TV station and a reporter for The Hill, who were trying to cover their activities.

The “Alt-Left” counter demonstrators in Charlottesville included anarchists, socialists and communists who subscribe to a deadly ideology that has caused the death of untold millions of people around the world. It is an ideology of evil that should be criticized by President Trump and everyone in his administration, including Gary Cohn.

Instead of telling the truth about the “Alt-Left” protesters, Cohn decided to launch a public attack against the President, who has been unfairly criticized by the liberal media since the day he entered the presidential race on June 16, 2015. …

These “Alt-Left” groups are spearheaded by the notorious band of thugs known as Antifa (anti-Fascist). While Cohn and his liberal colleagues in the media and the Beltway think the group is fighting for “freedom”, a growing number of Americans strenuously disagree. In fact, a recent White House petition demanding that the Pentagon label Antifa a terrorist group “on the grounds of principle, integrity, morality and safety” accumulated over 302,000 signatures in only eight days. …

As the President courageously declared, [Antifa’s] violent behavior undoubtedly contributed to the chaos and turmoil in Charlottesville. Sadly, Gary Cohn does not want to admit this reality for he prefers the illusion of political correctness.

Reportedly, in the aftermath of the President’s Charlottesville comments, Cohn was under intense pressure from his Wall Street friends to resign from the administration. He should have done the President and the country a big favor by succumbing to the pressure.

To be continued …

McMaster of the swamp 4

Why did President Trump appoint H. R. McMaster to head the National Security Council?

President Tump wants to “drain the swamp” – the agencies and bureaucracies of government filled with anti-American, pro-Islam, pro-illegal-immigration, pro-Iran, globalist, anti-Israel, Leftist denizens who had their heyday, glorying in the slime of treachery, under the Obama administration.

But then he goes and appoints H. R. McMaster?

Daniel Greenfield writes at Front Page:

Derek Harvey was a man who saw things coming. He had warned of Al Qaeda when most chose to ignore it. He had seen the Sunni insurgency rising when most chose to deny it.

The former Army colonel had made his reputation by learning the lay of the land. In Iraq that meant sleeping on mud floors and digging into documents to figure out where the threat was coming from.

It was hard to imagine anyone better qualified to serve as President Trump’s top Middle East adviser at the National Security Council than a man who had been on the ground in Iraq and who had seen it all.

Just like in Iraq, Harvey began digging at the NSC. He came up with a list of Obama holdovers who were leaking to the press. McMaster, the new head of the NSC, refused to fire any of them.

McMaster had a different list of people he wanted to fire. It was easy to make the list. Harvey was on it.

All you had to do was name Islamic terrorism as the problem and oppose the Iran Deal. If you came in with Flynn, you would be out. If you were loyal to Trump, your days were numbered.

And if you warned about Obama holdovers undermining the new administration, you were a target.

One of McMaster’s first acts at the NSC was to ban any mention of “Obama holdovers.”

Not only did the McMaster coup purge Harvey, who had assembled the holdover list, but his biggest target was Ezra Watnick-Cohen, who had exposed the eavesdropping on Trump officials by Obama personnel.

Ezra Watnick-Cohen had provided proof of the Obama surveillance to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes. McMaster, however, was desperately working to fire him and replace him with Linda Weissgold.

McMaster’s choice to replace Watnick-Cohen was the woman who helped draft the Benghazi talking points which blamed the Islamic terrorist attack on a video protest.

After protests by Bannon and Kushner, President Trump overruled McMaster. Watnick-Cohen stayed. For a while. Now Ezra Watnick-Cohen has been fired anyway.

According to the media, Watnick-Cohen was guilty of “anti-Muslim fervor” and “hardline views”.  And there’s no room for anyone telling the truth about Islamic terrorism at McMaster’s NSC.

McMaster had even demanded that President Trump refrain from telling the truth about Islamic terrorism.

Another of his targets was Rich Higgins, who had written a memo warning of the role of the left in undermining counterterrorism. Higgins had served as a director for strategic planning at the NSC. He had warned in plain language about the threat of Islamic terrorism, of Sharia law, of the Hijrah colonization by Islamic migrants, of the Muslim Brotherhood, and of its alliance with the left as strategic threats.

Higgins had stood by Trump during the Khizr Khan attacks. And he had written a memo warning that “the left is aligned with Islamist organizations at local, national, and international levels” and that “they operate in social media, television, the 24-hour news cycle in all media and are entrenched at the upper levels of the bureaucracies”. ”

Like Harvey and Ezra Watnick-Cohen, Higgins had warned of an enemy within. And paid the price.

McMaster’s cronies had allegedly used the NSC’s email system to track down the source of the memo. The left and its useful idiots were indeed entrenched at the upper level of the bureaucracy.

Higgins was fired.

Like Harvey and Watnick-Cohen, Higgins had also become too dangerous to the Obama holdovers. Harvey had assembled a list of names and a plan to dismantle the Iranian nuclear deal. Watnick-Cohen had dug into the Obama surveillance of Trump officials. And Higgins had sought to declassify Presidential Study Directive 11. PSD-11 was the secret blueprint of Obama’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood.

Pete Hoekstra, the former Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, linked PSD-11 to the rise of ISIS and called for its declassification.

Replacing Harvey is Michael Bell. When the Washington Post needed someone to badmouth Dr. [Sebastian] Gorka, they turned to Bell: the former chancellor of the College of International Security Affairs at the National Defense University.  Bell suggested that Dr. Gorka was an uneven scholar. And Dr. Gorka was accused of failing to incorporate other perspectives on Islam.

The pattern has never been hard to spot.

McMaster forced out K.T. McFarland from her role as Deputy National Security Advisor. Slotted in was Dina Habib-Powell.

McFarland was an Oxford and Cambridge grad who had worked at the Pentagon for the Reagan administration. Dina Habib-Powell had no national security background. She was an Egyptian-American immigrant and former Bush gatekeeper whose pals included Huma Abedin and Valerie Jarrett.

K.T. McFarland had written, “Global Islamist jihad is at war with all of Western civilization.”

It’s not hard to see why McMaster pushed out McFarland and elevated Habib-Powell. …

But that is typical of the McMaster revamp of the NSC. It’s populated by swamp creatures who oppose the positions that President Trump ran on. And who are doing everything possible to undermine them.

President Trump promised a reset from Obama’s anti-Israel policies. McMaster picked Kris Bauman as the NSC’s point man on Israel. Bauman had defended Islamic terrorists and blamed Israel for the violence. He had urged pressure on Israel as the solution. Ideas like that fit in at McMaster’s NSC.

Meanwhile Derek Harvey, who had tried to halt Obama’s $221 million terror funding prize to the Palestinian Authority, was forced out.

When Adam Lovinger urged that “more attention be given to the threat of Iran and Islamic extremism,” his security clearance was revoked.  Robin Townley was forced out in the same way.

Meanwhile, McMaster sent a letter to Susan Rice, Obama’s former National Security Adviser, assuring her that the NSC would work with her to “allow you access to classified information.” He claimed that Rice’s continued access to classified information is “consistent with the national security interests of the United States.”

Why does Susan Rice, who is alleged to have participated in the Obama eavesdropping on Trump people, need access to classified information? What national security purpose is served by it?

The same national security purpose that is served by McMaster’s purge of anyone at the NSC who dares to name Islamic terrorism, who wants a tougher stance on Iran, and who asks tough questions.

And the purge of reformers and original thinkers is only beginning.

The latest reports say that McMaster has a list of enemies who will be ousted from the NSC. And when that is done, the NSC will be a purely Obama-Bush operation. The consensus will be that the Iran Deal must stay, that Islam has nothing to do with Islamic terrorism, that we need to find ways to work with the aspirations of the Muslim Brotherhood, and that Israel must make concessions to terrorists.

If you loved the foreign policy that brought us 9/11, ISIS, and billions in funding to terrorists from Syria to Libya to the West Bank, you won’t be able to get enough of McMaster’s brand new NSC.

And neither will America’s enemies.

The swamp is overflowing. The National Security Council is becoming a national security threat. 

Caroline Glick writes on her Facebook page:

The Israel angle on McMaster’s purge of Trump loyalists from the National Security Council is that all of these people are pro-Israel and oppose the Iran nuclear deal, positions that Trump holds.

McMaster in contrast is deeply hostile to Israel and to Trump. According to senior officials aware of his behavior, he constantly refers to Israel as the occupying power and insists falsely and constantly that a country named Palestine existed where Israel is located until 1948 when it was destroyed by the Jews.

Many of you will remember that a few days before Trump’s visit to Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his advisers were blindsided when the Americans suddenly told them that no Israeli official was allowed to accompany Trump to the Western Wall. What hasn’t been reported is that it was McMaster who pressured Trump to agree not to let Netanyahu accompany him to the Western Wall. At the time, I and other reporters were led to believe that this was the decision of rogue anti-Israel officers at the US consulate in Jerusalem. But it wasn’t. It was McMaster. And even that, it works out wasn’t sufficient for McMaster. He pressured Trump to cancel his visit to the Wall and only visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial — ala the Islamists who insist that the only reason Israel exists is European guilt over the Holocaust. …

The thing I can’t get my arms around in all of this is why in the world this guy hasn’t been fired. Mike Flynn was fired essentially for nothing. He was fired because he didn’t tell the Vice President everything that transpired in a phone conversation he had with the Russian ambassador. … Flynn had the conversation when he was on a 72 hour vacation with his wife after the election in the Caribbean and could barely hear because the reception was so bad. He found himself flooded with calls and had no one with him except his wife.
And for this he was fired.

McMaster disagrees with and actively undermines Trump’s agenda on just about every salient issue on his agenda.

He fires all of Trump’s loyalists and replaces them with Trump’s opponents, like Kris Bauman, an Israel hater and Hamas supporter who McMaster hired to work on the Israel-Palestinian desk.

And he not only is remaining at his desk. He is given the freedom to fire Trump’s most loyal foreign policy advisers from the National Security Council.

One source claims that Trump’s political advisers are afraid of how it will look if he fires another national security adviser. But that makes no sense. Trump is being attacked for everything and nothing. Who cares if he gets attacked for doing something that will actually help him to succeed in office? Why should fear of media criticism play a role here or anywhere for this president and this administration?

Finally, there is the issue of how McMaster got there in the first place. Trump interviewed McMaster at Mara Lago for a half an hour. He was under terrible pressure after firing Flynn to find someone.

And who recommended McMaster? You won’t believe this.

Senator John McCain.

That’s right. The NSA got his job on the basis of a recommendation from the man who just saved Obamacare.

Obviously, at this point, Trump has nothing to lose by angering McCain. …

If McMaster isn’t fired after all that he has done and all that he will do, we’re all going to have to reconsider Trump’s foreign policy.

Because if after everything he has done, and everything that he will certainly do to undermine Trump’s stated foreign policy agenda, it will no longer be possible to believe that exiting the nuclear deal or supporting the US alliance with Israel and standing with US allies against US foes — not to mention draining Washington’s cesspool – are Trump’s policies.

How can they be when Trump stands with a man who opposes all of them and proves his opposition by among other things, firing Trump’s advisers who share Trump’s agenda.

BUT  …

An article by James Carafano of the (powerful and usually admirable) Heritage Foundation contradicts all this; and so contradicts the entire conservative – and President Trump approving – ethos of the Heritage Foundation itself:

For months, there have been reports of strong disagreements in the White House.

There’s nothing wrong with that. In our view, that’s often the best way tough decisions get made.

In national security adviser H.R. McMaster, the president has a leader of the National Security Council who has made a career of fighting for national security interests that involve very real sacrifice.

McMaster is someone who can make the tough calls. He is the right leader for a tough, determined president who only wants the best for the American people.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. But this can’t be done alone.

Here are five reasons why we think the president is already on the right track with his team.

  1. When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

What’s wrong with demanding winning policies and not accepting anything less? Grit and resolve were elements of character that used to be admired in Washington.

The recently released film Dunkirk resonated with many Americans for a reason. It’s not just fine filmmaking. It is a reflection of what we see in ourselve — the strength and resilience to persevere.

McMaster gets that. Throughout his career, he has worked for leaders who demanded more — and he delivered. He will do so for this president.

  1. Politics end at the water’s edge.

If anything has plagued the White House’s national security and foreign policy decision-making over the past eight years, it’s that tough decisions got filtered through a political lens that put politics before the needs of the nation.

In the toughest times, the toughest presidents — Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan — never did that.

Likewise, the instincts of President Donald Trump’s team are to put the nation’s needs ahead of politics. Such instincts are the glue that helps hold this National Security Council staff together.

McMaster shares their instincts, and that is how he leads his staff.

  1. There is war to be won.

America is at war with al-Qaeda, its affiliates, and the Islamic State, also known as ISIS. It faces daunting challenges from Russia, Iran, North Korea, China, and transnational criminal networks.

It’s time to settle on a team and get on with the business of winning. Now is not the time to make big changes in the national security and foreign policy team.

  1. Count on character.

When it comes to national security, Trump’s Cabinet officials — as well as his vice president, chief of staff, director of national intelligence, CIA director, new FBI director, and senior officials at the National Security Council — all share a core of character, competence, and the capacity for critical thinking and decision-making.

These are the essence of strategic leadership. They are the building blocks of a great team of leaders. No one exemplifies those traits more than McMaster.

  1. Leadership is a team sport.

What makes a foreign policy and national security team great is the capacity to work together in trust and confidence — regardless of the degree of difficulty or disagreements. McMaster is a team builder, not a divider or splitter.

There should be tough, tense moments in the White House. A president is ill served by yes men, and the country is ill served by a president who doesn’t demand the very best for the American people.

The finest steel comes from the hottest fire. The president and his team have an opportunity to prove this axiom is as valid as ever.

The White House needs to deliver a solid, actionable plan in Afghanistan that leaves no quarter for ISIS and al-Qaeda; that shows Russia, Iran, Pakistan, India, and the Taliban that we are winners, not quitters; and honors the sacrifices made by our military after 9/11.

We need a team that will consistently show resolve in the face of Russian aggression, patience and determination in the Middle East, support for allies in Europe and Latin America, and staying power in Asia.

In these tasks, the president will find no more a selfless servant than McMaster.

James Carafano is WRONG.

His article, in addition to being mostly bombast, is a piece of sycophancy worthy of Obama’s media toadies.

“A president is ill served by yes men “?  He’s  even worse served by no men – men who want to reverse the president’s foreign policies.

‘The finest steel comes from the hottest fire” – and the ashes of a president’s foreign policy come from any fire it’s consigned to.

McMaster must go!