Raging mutiny 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Aiding the enemy 7

Donald Trump has said that South Korea, Germany, and Japan should pay for the US troops stationed on their soil.

Bad enough that Americans pay for the defense of allies.

But America also gives money to its enemies; most notably to Pakistan, which, though classed as an ally, is in fact an enemy. 

As far back as 2011, Americans were informed that Pakistan was helping the Taliban, the Islamic terrorist organization in Afghanistan with which they had been at war since October 2001.

Reuters reported:

Pakistan’s security service provides weapons and training to Taliban insurgents fighting U.S. and British troops in Afghanistan, despite official denials, Taliban commanders say, in allegations that could worsen tensions between Pakistan and the United States.

A number of middle-ranking Taliban commanders revealed the extent of Pakistani support in interviews for a BBC Two documentary series, Secret Pakistan … 

A former head of Afghan intelligence also told the program that Afghanistan gave Pakistan’s former president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, information in 2006 that Osama bin Laden was hiding in northern Pakistan close to where the former al Qaeda leader was eventually killed by U.S. special forces in May.

Admiral Mike Mullen, then the top U.S. military officer, accused Pakistani intelligence last month of backing violence against U.S. targets including the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. He said the Haqqani network, an Afghan militant group blamed for the September 13 embassy attack, was a “veritable arm” of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI).

Pakistan denies the U.S. allegations.

One Taliban commander, Mullah Qaseem, told the BBC the important things for a fighter were supplies and a hiding place.

“Pakistan plays a significant role. First they support us by providing a place to hide which is really important. Secondly they provide us with weapons,” he said …

Other Taliban commanders described how they and their fighters were, and are, trained in a network of camps on Pakistani soil.

According to a commander using the name Mullah Azizullah, the experts running the training are either members of the ISI or have close links to it.

“They are all the ISI’s men. They are the ones who run the training. First they train us about bombs; then they give us practical guidance,” he said.

Another Taliban fighter, known as Commander Najib, said al Qaeda trainers also operated in the camps, talent spotting possible suicide bombers.

“I was in the camp for a month … They were giving us practical training in whatever weapons we specialized in … Suicide bombers were taken to a different section and were kept apart from us. Those who were taught to be suicide bombers were there,” he said.

And, of course, Pakistan was hiding Osama bin Laden from American revenge for 9/11 – though of course the Pakistani government denied it.

A former head of Afghan intelligence told the BBC Afghan officials gave Musharraf information in 2006 suggesting bin Laden was hiding in Mansehra, a town just 12 miles from Abbottabad, where bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces in May, but that the information was not acted upon.

Amrullah Saleh, head of Afghan intelligence from 2004 to 2010, said Syed Akbar, a Pakistani believed to be smuggling guns to the Taliban, told Afghan intelligence he had escorted bin Laden from one location to another.

“The information we had was suggesting Mansehra was the town where bin Laden was hiding … It happens after so many years that bin Laden was about 12 miles from that location,” he said.

Saleh and Afghan President Hamid Karzai took the evidence to Musharraf who, according to Saleh, reacted angrily.

“He (Musharraf) banged the table and looked at President Karzai and said, ‘Am I president of a banana republic? If not, then how can you tell me bin Laden is hiding in a settled area of Pakistan’. I said ‘Well, this is the information so you can go and check it.’,” said Saleh …

Nothing has changed. Pakistan continues to train, equip, and protect the Taliban. 

But, we learn from an article by Joe Pappalardo at Townhall, the Republican dominated US Senate intends to give that treacherous Muslim state  yet more aid – to “compensate” it for “helping” the US in the war against the Taliban: 

A proposal for a new fund to pay Pakistan for its assistance in the war on terror has received approval from the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee.

Senator John McCain, committee chairman, introduced the funding bid as part of the Senate’s 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which was passed on May 18. If Pakistan can meet all of the bill’s conditions, the new fund will grant the nation $800 million in compensation.

This new fund replaces the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) from 2013, and solely focuses on Pakistan. The CSF paid Pakistan for its support of the U.S. and Coalition forces in Afghanistan. To date, Pakistan has received $3.1 billion, but the old fund will expire at the end of the fiscal year on September 30.

The reimbursement fund will still require Pakistan to maintain communication lines to Afghanistan, and if Pakistan does not act against the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Haqqani network, the U.S. will withhold $300 million.

Committee members noted that removing Afghanistan operations from the fund’s objectives was timely because U.S. involvement in Afghanistan had decreased. Most U.S. troops in Afghanistan have been withdrawn, and the coalition forces will soon do the same, lawmakers said.

The House of Representatives, which also has a Republican majority, is just as keen to reward Pakistan:

The House of Representatives passed a bill last week that also aims to reimburse Pakistan. However, it does not replace the CSF and offers $900 million with $450 million tied to acting against the Haqqani network.

The new bill marks a shift to a focus on Pakistan’s national security, which has become a major interest for America’s own national security.

Q: How exactly does America’s national security depend on the security of Pakistan?

The committee said continuing to use the CSF would hinder any U.S. support of Pakistan’s anti-terrorism efforts.

Q: What “anti-terrorism efforts” by Pakistan would those be?

If the recklessness with which the US gives aid to Pakistan looks to you like insanity,  you will find your suspicions confirmed when you know that your tax money also goes to aid the extremely wealthy Islamic tyranny of Saudi Arabia, which works night and day to impose Islam upon America and the whole of the Western world.  

And the insanity doesn’t stop there.

In the years when the US was supposed to have no ties whatsoever with Communist Cuba – yes! Your tax dollars were going there too.

And while you are still gaping in disbelief, there’s one more enemy you need to know you were aiding – Iran.

You will find Cuba and Iran listed as recipients of US aid here. The list makes interesting reading.

The bad, the bad, and the sickening 2

We have often wondered how the staffers of the New York Times could stomach the poisonous ideas they swallow, digest, and apparently enjoy.

Now we learn there is something they have gagged on at last: this video. The maidens at The Times have blacked out half of it, being considerate of the public’s susceptibilities. We have seen worse, but apparently The Times staffers have not.

The result of their shock and horror seems to be that, at this late date, they find fault with the jihadist rebels in Syria, although their hero, Barack Obama, is keen on supporting them with American military might.

We have taken the video and text from The Daily Beast:

The raw video was so grisly, and so barbaric, that the New York Times staffers who watched and edited it for online publication were made “physically ill”, according to the newspaper’s spokeswoman. …

The scene of Syrian rebels standing over seven soldiers of the Syrian regular army while the rebel commander recited a bloodthirsty poem — and pointing rifles and a pistol at the heads of their prostrate, shirtless, and badly beaten prisoners — was shocking enough. Times video editors tactfully blackened the screen as the rebels — who, just like the United States government, oppose the regime of dictator Bashar al-Assad — began to execute the soldiers; the only indication of the slaughter taking place was a noisy fusillade of 10 seconds in length. Then an image flashed of the broken bodies in a mass grave. …

The video — which the Times reported was obtained a few days ago from “a former rebel who grew disgusted by the killings” and smuggled it out of Syria — is suddenly haunting the Obama administration, and it could not have surfaced at a more inopportune moment. For the past six days, President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and other officials have been waging an all-hands-on-deck public-relations and lobbying campaign to gain congressional authorization next week to punish the Assad regime with a military strike for its [alleged – ed.] illegal use of poison gas against thousands of Syrian civilians, including young children.

The potential U.S. action, probably a cruise-missile attack, is also being marketed as an early step to help the Syrian opposition — an inchoate agglomeration that apparently includes Islamic jihadists, al Qaeda members, and other avowed enemies of America [including the Muslim Brotherhood much beloved by President Obama – ed.— and ultimately drive Assad from power. But the president’s plan is widely unpopular domestically, and in terms of sheer impact, the Times video is not doing any favors for the campaign to sell it. It hardly matters that the executions reportedly occurred more than a year ago, in the spring of 2012—not this past April, as the Times initially claimed, while offering no explanation for its embarrassing mistake and correction.

“Because the White House and, more broadly, those arguing for direct U.S. military intervention are portraying this as a battle between ‘good guys’ and the ‘bad guys’, to put it in crude terms, this video demonstrates that there are bad guys on both sides,” said Ed Husain, senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. “It does make a mockery of Secretary Kerry’s praise on Wednesday [before the House Foreign Affairs Committee] for the Syrian opposition.”

But the brain-challenged Secretary of State John Kerry, who is making Obama’s pitch to Congress and the nation for interference on the rebels’ side, knows of quite another rebel army, having nothing to do with this vile lot, and insists – by implication – that the guys he and the President are supporting would never do anything like that.

Kerry, appearing Thursday night on MSNBC’s All In With Chris Hayes, was at pains  to minimize the video’s influence on the debate in Washington and beyond. “No,” he insisted when Hayes asked if the killers in the video “become, by definition, our allies.” Kerry argued: “In fact, I believe that those men in those videos are disadvantaged by an American response to the chemical-weapons use because it, in fact, empowers the moderate opposition.” Kerry added that “they [the killers in the video and their co-fighters] are not part of the opposition that is being supported by our friends and ourselves”. 

And so does the other war advocate with special mental needs, John McCain:

Similarly, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the leading congressional voice in support of a more robust U.S. military intervention in Syria than even President Obama is proposing, all but ignored the video.

“He hasn’t put a [statement] out on it, except to point out that the moderate opposition and their military council immediately condemned it,” a McCain spokesman emailed me, citing a press release from the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces declaring that “they, and all mainstream opposition groups, condemn in the strongest possible terms any actions that contravene international law. Additionally,” the press release continued, “killing or mistreating captured soldiers, or those who have surrendered, is an affront to the hopes and principles [? -ed.] that fueled the initial popular uprising against the Assad regime.”

Oh yeah! How many people are members of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces? Our guess? Fewer than there are words in their grand-sounding name.

But Husain said the video presents a compelling argument against such reassuring boilerplate. “The implications are that Senator McCain and others leading the charge that the Syrian opposition seeks democracy are mistaken,” he said. “Time and again, opposition fighters have shown callous disregard for human life in the same way as the Assad regime … These images ought to be a wakeup call for those who think Syria is headed for a better future under the rebels.”

No Arab state is headed for a better future. None foreseeable even with that most powerful of telescopes, wishful thinking.

The “terror” war escalates 7

We face a military challenge unlike any we have had in the past. Our military was designed to defeat the Soviet Union. Now we face tens of thousands – perhaps millions – of anonymous enemies armed with cheap weapons, but advantaged by the element of surprise and the will to commit suicide in order to damage us. We have entered a new and terrible epoch of war – and the president has announced that the war is over. 

These extracts are from an article by David P. Goldman at PJ Media:

The collapse of Middle Eastern states from Libya to Afghanistan vastly increases the terrorist recruitment pool, while severely restricting the ability of American intelligence services to monitor and interdict the terrorists. In addition, it intensifies the despair that motivates Muslims like the Tsarnaev brothers or Michael Adebolajo to perpetrate acts of terrorism. That makes President Obama’s declaration that America is winding down the “war on terror” – a misnomer to begin with – the worst decision by an American commander-in-chief since the Buchanan administration, perhaps ever. …

The breakdown of putative nation-states extends across nearly all of the Muslim world. …

The prime minister of Libya “has to cross checkpoints manned by five different militias, on his way home from office”.

In place of regular armies controlled by dictators, Libya is crisscrossed by ethnic and sectarian militias (including the one that murdered our ambassador last September).

Egypt is on the brink of economic collapse and state failure; Iraq is in the midst of a low-intensity sectarian war; Syria’s civil war already is being fought out in Lebanon; and Turkey’s border has become unstable.

A vast number of young men have been drawn into irregular combat. Syria has become the cockpit of a Sunni-Shi’ite war, with Turkey and the Gulf states funneling money and jihadists into Syria while Iran sends Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah irregulars to the aid of the Assad regime. The young men of Libya already are mobilized into militias; Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood cells and Salafists and football mobs are not yet armed, but are organized. Iraq’s sectarians are armed to the teeth, in part thanks to American funding of the “Sunni Awakening” during the 2007-2008 surge. Very large numbers of young men are ready to fight to the death, while the breakup of the fragile civilian society of these countries draws more and more of them into the maelstrom. Terrorism has become a way of life in Syria, where both sides instigate atrocities, in part to intimidate their opponents and in part to bind their own fighters to the cause by making them complicit in such crimes.

If Afghanistan fed the terrorist pool during the 1980s and the 1990s, the sectarian wars of the 2010s will increase the prospective pool of terrorists – young men with no skill except irregular warfare, nothing to return to, nothing to lose, and with no motivation except fanatical hatred. …

America leaned on Arab governments; after the overthrow and execution of Saddam Hussein, it had considerable credibility to do so. Nasty, dictatorial, oppressive regimes usually chose to help rather than thwart the U.S. out of fear that they would be next. That is why it was a good idea to make a horrible example out of one unfriendly regime (I would have preferred Iran), and why I supported the American invasion of Iraq (although not the nation-building commitment that followed).

Arab governments are less states than hotels, where the proprietor rents out rooms without asking too many questions about what happens inside the rooms. It is possible to twist the proprietor’s arm to kick down the doors when the behavior of the guests becomes to troublesome. Now many of the states are gone. There is no-one to lean on. There are no cooperative state intelligence services to control their own unruly elements and do our dirty work.

The result is an enormous increase in the number of prospective terrorists and a drastic reduction in our capacity to control them.

The motivation for terrorism has increased correspondingly. Radicalized Muslims must now contemplate the ruin of their civilization from Tripoli to Kabul. Millions of Syrians are displaced and have no homes to go back to. Millions of Egyptians are hungry. Not only the suffering, but the humiliation of the national ruin of Egypt and Syria leave radical Muslims with little to hope for. The motivation to take as much of the world down with them [as they can] has mushroomed in the context of state failure.

It is not simply a matter of non-state actors running out of control. The remaining states, prominently Iran, have seized the opportunity to increase their ability to use terror on a grand scale. Iran’s open attempt to turn Syria into a Persian satrapy–through Hezbollah as well as the infiltration of tens of thousands of Iranian fighters–is intended to gain control of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal and to turn Syria into a weapons platform from which to attack Israel. The scattering of Middle Eastern arsenals (starting with Qaddafi’s shoulder-fired surface-t0-air missiles), meanwhile, provides terrorists with a quality of weaponry they never before possessed.

There simply is no historic precedent for this deadly mixture of state and civil breakdown. American policy has piled blunder atop blunder. …

America devoted its main attention during the 2000s to nation building in Iraq while ignoring Iran’s expansionism in the region. By wasting resources and credibility on Iraqi nation-building and neglecting Iran’s influence, the United States allowed the Shia government in Baghdad to drift toward the Iranian sphere of influence, compelling Iraq’s Sunnis to respond. Funding and arming the “Sunni Awakening” during the 2008 surge gave the Sunnis the means to respond. And encouraging the Muslim Brotherhood to replace Mubarak was a destabilizing factor. Threatened by Iranian expansion on one side, and encouraged by the Brotherhood’s success in Egypt on the other, Syria’s Sunnis decided that the moment had come to overthrow the Assad regime.

At the moment, Assad is winning, chiefly because he has received and will continue to receive massive help from Iran and Russia.

And meanwhile the US, under Obama’s feeble leadership, is doing nothing except reinforcing the Muslim Brotherhood at home and abroad. Whatever aggressive war it was that Bush actively engaged in, under whatever misnomer, was at least a recognition that defense was needed against the Islamic onslaught on the West. It intensifies, and Obama manages not to notice it.

For those who do notice it, to hope that internal – chiefly Sunni-Shiite – conflict may keep the attention of jihadis off America and the West, or bring about mutual defeat and ruin, is to indulge in desperate optimism.

However unwillingly, America is caught up in the “new and terrible epoch of war”. What should it be doing?  Goldman does not say. John McCain seems to think the rebels in Syria should be actively supported, even though they consist mainly of al-Qaeda terrorists. Secretary of State Kerry is totally absorbed in trying to revive that ancient game in which Israel and the Palestinian Authority talked at cross purposes about making… peace was it, or was it butter out of moonbeams?

So what should be done? Suggestions anybody?

Oh please, not John McCain again! 1

Sarah Palin is making her first really big mistake in our view.

She has announced that she will be working to get John McCain re-elected.

Michelle Malkin writes:

In the wake of the Massachusetts special election, the nation’s most popular conservative political figure Sarah Palin announced she would be campaigning for her former running mate in Arizona in March. Palin told Facebook followers that she’s going to “ride the tide with commonsense candidates” and help “heroes and statesmen” like McCain.

Facing mounting conservative opposition in his home state and polls showing him virtually tied with possible GOP challenger and former Rep. J.D. Hayworth, McCain welcomed the boost: “Sarah energized our nation and remains a leading voice in the Republican Party.” …

With all due respect to McCain’s noble war service, it’s time [for him] to head to the pasture. As the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday, he was wrong on the constitutionality of the free-speech-stifling McCain-Feingold campaign finance regulations. He was wrong to side with the junk-science global warming activists in pushing onerous carbon caps on America. He was on the wrong side of every Chicken Little-driven bailout. He was wrong in opposing enhanced CIA interrogation methods that have saved countless American lives and averted jihadi plots. And he was spectacularly wrong in teaming with the open-borders lobby to push a dangerous illegal alien amnesty.

Tea Party activists are rightly outraged by Palin’s decision to campaign for McCain, whose entrenched incumbency and progressive views are anathema to the movement. At least she has an excuse: She’s caught between a loyalty rock and a partisan hard place. The conservative base has no such obligations — and it is imperative that they get in the game (as they did in Massachusetts) before it’s too late. The movement to restore limited government in Washington has come too far, against all odds, to succumb to McCain Regression Syndrome now.