How can we fight, what can we do? 10

These comments were made to us by email or on this website on the election disaster, with suggestions as to what might be done about it.

An astute observer of the political scene, retired academic Alexander Firestone, emailed us on what to expect of a Biden administration’s domestic and foreign policy:

 This is Obama 2.

Biden has in fact been elected by a bigoted psychotic-left media and this country will suffer horribly for it.

The question now is, how do we get out of it?

Re domestic policy I have no answers: Janet Yellin and the other self-appointed “experts” will return to hyper-inflation, endless bailouts for corrupt and degenerate democratic cities and states, massive deficits, much higher taxes, plainly racist affirmative action programs, etc., etc., ad nauseam. A republican controlled senate may be able to forestall some of that crap, but a lot of it is bound to get through. 

Re foreign policy, we can expect a very pro-China administration. The Bidens are already all bought and paid for. Nothing to be done here. If that annoys the Russians, so much the better. Russia and China are already positioning themselves for conflict if not war in Central Asia. We can do nothing here. If an emboldened China,  green-lighted by Biden, goes too far and there is real shooting between China and Russia, we can only cheer from the sidelines.

In the absolutely critical Middle East we can only hope that the psychotic Mullahs of Iran, humiliated by the recent assassination of their chief nuclear scientist as well as Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States (except Qatar) defection to a quasi-alliance with Israel, will recklessly start a war. That will destroy the crackpot pro-Iran policy of the Obama administration and of people like Ben Rhodes, Martin Indyk, Valerie Jarrett (born in Isfahan), Jake Sullivan, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and the traitors of J-street, JVP [Jewish Voices for Peace the leading Jewish anti-Zionist organization in the US] and the ADL [Anti Defamation League – constantly defaming Israel]. Fascist Turkey may also escalate its war against Greece, Armenia, and the Kurds beyond the point of no return and create a new war with Russia.

The idea (excluding action): Letting our enemies at home fail by their own efforts, and those abroad destroy each other.   

This was a comment by our regular commenter/contributing writer Liz on the massive fraud that gave Biden a majority, and a possible reaction:

It seems to me that, so far, [Sidney] Powell and the other lawyers have presented evidence that is going to be hard to ignore or refute.

They have it on record from the makers of the [vote counting] Dominion machines themselves that they can be easily hacked and/or set up to produce fraudulent results, and the results themselves are extremely incriminating, being mathematical impossibilities.

Plus testimony by experts like Dr. Navid Keshavarz-Nia, and eyewitnesses.

If this can all be ignored, then justice, and government by the people, is truly dead.

If Biden is allowed to be our next pretend president, Trump voters just may have to form a Confederacy and secede from the Left coasts.

The idea (in extreme exigency): Form a new Confederacy and secede.  

And this comment was made by Jeanne Shockley on our Facebook page asking the right questions about where we go from here:

This is the dilemma. Civil protest and petitions seem to gain little. We try overwhelming all State Legislatures and Congress with conservatives, which seems an impossible task no matter what the people try to do. We have rallies and marches and petitions, which are ignored by media or downplayed to the extent that there is no truth in the reporting. Without doubt, there are plans for 2022 and 2024 already in the works, but there is still the problem of electoral fraud. So, we await the legal process of Trump’s team dealing with that.

We could go Galt. We could plot revolution. We could resist all compliance to authority that is Harris/Biden. We could “roil the waters”. We could start a civil war. All these are such serious tactics that would destroy our lives and possibly our country. Should we hang on and wait for 2022? Should we rally to a call to arms? Should we go Galt?

How far into the Great Reset are we? How much resistance is there around the globe to the Globalists? Are they waiting for the Americans to show up? Should Donald Trump call for the support of patriots? Would we answer that call? What then?

I have stood up before for minor things, and called for the support that I had in private circles, and ended up standing alone, then defeated because I stood alone. Revolution is not a minor thing.

The idea (tentative): We contemplate revolution or civil war, and their consequences.  

We found more suggestions for what we might do about the disaster in two articles at American Greatness: –

First, one who signs himself Bradford H. B., writes that what we should do is melt our enemies’ hearts with descriptions of our sentiments regarding hearth and home, ancestral custom, attachment to the native soil. He calls these “moral arguments”, but they have much more to do with emotion than morality:

What the conservative elite has long failed to understand is that the Left views itself more than just a pusher of human progress. It’s actually more grandiose than this. To them, they’re locked in a Manichean battle between good and evil. …

Many of us see it that way too.

Instead of approaching the Left as the strident moral crusaders they are, the Republican elite traditionally has written them off as amoral, nihilistic, and godless relativists.

We too see them as amoral and nihilistic, but don’t, of course, hold “godlessness” against them.

This is dangerously naïve. Conservative scholar Paul Gottfried recently skewered this tendency when he reminded conservatives that it’s the Left which is the “more fervent and more activist side in our culture wars”; the side that routinely “expresses itself in rage”. “It would be unimaginable,” he wrote, “if the Left was not driven by its own morality.”

For the “more fervent” side then, engagement with them on non-moral terms will be futile. That is, demands for fairness, charges of inconsistency, or practical arguments on issues of public policy won’t bring a single one onside. On illegal immigration, for instance, appeals to the rule of law will generally fall flat every time. For the Left, laws against allowing the free movement of “impoverished victims of historic U.S. imperialism” are heartless, unjust, and illegitimate. …

Moral arguments have to be met with competing moral arguments. …

Traditional conservatives or the Old Right … treat traditions and customs as not only just, but sacrosanct. … They take pride and find guidance in long-cherished traditions, ancestral ties, and historical distinctions. It’s what makes people special. For the Left, however, these links must be broken. This is exactly what they do when they topple statues, “decolonize” history and the arts, and deplatform those who defend their in-group interests. Same with accusing America-Firsters of “hate speech” or calling for open borders and “refugee justice”.  It’s all a way to destroy peoples’ unique value and cut their ties to ancestry and posterity, and it must be called out in precisely these terms.

On illegal immigration then, the GOP shouldn’t lead with a law-and-order argument, but instead forcefully say that it hurts communities which the American people love and cherish. By killing labor standards and disrupting local cultures and customs, illegal aliens uproot communities which people have built up for years and have a moral right to keep as they are. Illegal immigration isn’t just wrong because it’s illegal; it’s wrong because it dispossesses people and destroys a way of life.

To the extent equality absolutism—the essence of Marxism – flattens cultural differences and crushes meaning and value for people, it’s amoral. …

Normal people, it turns out, love their communities and don’t feel the need to permanently change them. But to the egalitarian extremist, no one is special …  For this, they can and should be made to feel embarrassed and ashamed. …

Defending tradition, heritage, posterity, and group customs and values is absolutely a moral good. To seek its erasure is evil.

This is the position the Right must take to counter the ascendant hard-Left …

What Bradford H.B. is actually doing, is putting the nationalist case to the anti-nationalists – aka globalists, world-government advocates, communists, redistributionists, militant  proselytizing religions. But he is doing it in terms of emotion that simply beg the answer, “That’s how you feel, it is not how we feel.” There is nothing wrong with having an emotional attachment to one’s country and way of life, but it is hard to see it is a clinching argument against the Left’s ideal of breaking those very ties.

The idea: Pleading one’s love of country and local community, custom and rootedness.

We don’t think it will make Leftist idealists feel embarrassed or ashamed. (The appeal of nationalism can be put – and has been put on this website – in more cerebral terms.)

Next, Stephen Balch writes that the answer is to make our protest gatherings match or outdo those of the Left in clamor, frequency, and persistence. 

Do we make a stand or nervelessly surrender our rights? Do we affirm ourselves citizens—an historically rare and noble title—or do we accept becoming subjects, the fate of most humankind? …

We face something altogether new, a genuine effort at revolution. …

What is to be done? Whatever that is, it must depart from politics as usual …

An audacity is now called for, a willingness to stretch institutional bonds to a degree that genuinely alarms our conniving subverters. At this late stage in our political degeneration nothing less will suffice.

President Trump and his allies have rightly taken their case into the courts. But more needs to be accomplished, and with swift and dexterous versatility, in the courts of public opinion. …

Our strategy must buttress legal arguments with formidable public acts.

Jurists are mortals—as are legislators whose ultimate support we’ll need more than the courts. Both are cowed by the pressure of elite opinion. To do the correct thing, both will need to be steeled by countervailing forces. They fear, correctly, that adhering to the law will bring out the rioters and streetfighters. They must be brought to see that vast numbers of peaceful but equally angry citizens won’t accept cowardly skulking when the nation is in danger.

The president must now lead his followers into America’s streets and squares. They must especially flock to the capitol complexes of all the critical states and register indignant protest. They must do the same under the media’s noses in Washington, New York, and Los Angeles, creating a clamor that broadcast agitprop can’t drown out. This has already begun, but its intensity must greatly ratchet up, becoming incessant and overwhelming.

In the face of their literal coup, let ours be a counter-coup de théâtre. If the president and his attorney general believe they have the federal goods on individual malefactors, let them convene grand juries, bring in indictments and make midnight (and televised) arrests of top perps. Why shouldn’t we take instruction from our foes?

And don’t just petition the jurists, have the president and his lawyers lay their case before a joint session of Congress. If House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) won’t give him House leave, provide the Senate with an exclusive. You say nothing like that has ever been tried? Then no better reason for doing it now. The proceedings would be an educational spectacle the networks, and the president’s traducers, couldn’t ignore. And its grand show would suit the occasion.

The courts won’t call the election for Trump. They shouldn’t. The best that can be expected is a vacating of the results in those states where misdeeds have been particularly egregious.

Since there’s no time for reruns, the state legislatures will then have to grasp the nettle. They could throw their electoral votes to Trump or, much more likely, find some way to withhold them, or perhaps pick electors who’ll abstain or vote for some stand-in.

If, in consequence, neither Trump nor Biden have an electoral majority, the choice will devolve upon the newly elected House, with the constitutionally prescribed delegation-by-delegation voting system strongly favoring the president. The (probably) Republican Senate will re-elect Vice President Pence.

Should state legislators fail to show sufficient spine, or should there be rival electoral ballots submitted, there is a final ditch to fall back upon. The Republican Senate could raise objections to accepting dubious electoral votes. Something like that happened in 1876, the last time rampant corruption caused official tabulations to be formally challenged. Possible end games in a scenario like that are too tangled to assess, but the battle could be won. …

And if we fail? We fail—but not without forever having branded this election as the leprous thing it was. And in doing so we will have laid the necessary foundation for a continuing unconventional struggle, one that explores the outer boundaries of our Constitution’s resources to trap “His Fraudulency” and friends in the snares they themselves have laid.

The idea: We could make ourselves more threatening, more frightening, than the Left – but without becoming violent.

So: Passive observation and hope? Secession? Revolution or civil war? Attempt to shame our enemy into concession or even capitulation? Unremitting protest calculated to frighten while remaining nonviolent?

Or … ?

The hypocrite of Turtle Bay 1

The United Nations MUST be abolished. 

It is evil and it does evil. Nothing but evil.

This organization is the most blatant hypocrite of all the hypocritical institutions in the world. More so even than the churches. And though hypocrisy is, as La Rochefoucauld said, the “tribute vice pays to virtue”, this hypocrite’s continued existence is an insult to the entire human race.

Hypocrisy House in Turtle Bay, N.Y.

Judith Bergman writes at Gatestone:

As accusations of “institutional racism” in organizations, professions, universities and cultural institutions continue to make the headlines, no one is calling out the institutional racism of the United Nations (UN).

What is institutional racism? The first entry on Google tells you, “Institutional racism is a form of racism that is embedded as normal practice within society or an organization”.

If you google “racism”, a Google dictionary defines it as:

Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized.

The UN counts all the states in the world as its members, and all are ostensibly equal under international law, to which the UN claims to adhere. According to its own rationale, therefore, all the member states in the UN should be treated equally by the organization’s various bodies and be judged according to the same standards. If the UN would systematically single out a minority of only one member state to be condemned for alleged human rights abuses for example, while completely ignoring the documented human rights abuses of an entire host of member states, this double-standard would amount to systematic discrimination, or “racism”, against that state according to the definition of “institutional racism” mentioned above.

This form of systematic discrimination, or “racism”, is in fact what the UN has been engaging in for decades against one country, Israel, a tiny state of roughly 8.7 million citizens – with a landmass roughly the size of New Jersey — out of a total world population of 7.8 billion people:

The UN General Assembly, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and the UN Commission on Human Rights have passed a large number of resolutions and decisions against Israel. According to the human rights non-governmental organization (NGO), UN Watch:

Every year, the General Assembly adopts some 20 resolutions against Israel and only 5 or 6 against the rest of the world combined, with one each on Iran, Syria and North Korea. The General Assembly adopts zero resolutions on systematic abusers like Cuba, China, and Saudi Arabia.

The discrimination is too obvious to ignore. There are 193 member states in the UN. For 20 resolutions a year to be lobbed at the only democratic country in the Middle East, which actually observes human rights and equality under the law — but only 5 or 6 at the remaining 192 states, which include major violators of international law such as China, Russia, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Nigeria and Iran — speaks of an extremely ingrained form of state-sponsored discrimination or “racism”.

China, a state of 1.4 billion people, continues to be the number one executioner in the world …  The Chinese Communist regime ruthlessly persecutes ethnic and religious minorities, and withholds from its own citizens the most basic human rights, such as freedom of expression, freedom of religion and freedom of assembly, as previously reported by Gatestone Institute. Every one of those rights is enshrined in the UN’s own conventions and declarations. …  Even though China is a leading violator of international law and one of the most outrageous abusers of human rights, neither the General Assembly nor the UNHRC has condemned its actions.

There are countless other examples of UN member states who do not live up to even a fraction of the UN’s treaties and declarations of human rights, yet those countries are never called out. The UNHRC has not passed a single resolution against Saudi Arabia, for instance, a country of more than 33 million people that largely continues to operate according to medieval human rights standards, despite the efforts of Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman to effect some reforms. Last year, the kingdom surpassed its own record for executions …  when it beheaded 184 people. Saudi Arabia only decided to end flogging a few months ago. The desert country, which takes up most of the Arabian Peninsula, also still operates a male guardianship system, which treats women as legal minors, so that they usually can only travel and perform the most mundane tasks, such as applying for a passport, under the supervision of a male guardian. …

There are countless other examples of countries with atrocious human rights records that are not only not called out by the UN and its human rights bodies, but actually serve on those bodies; countries such as Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Pakistan and Somalia, which all currently serve on the UN Human Rights Council. …

Even the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO), at its annual assembly, assigns Israel its own separate agenda item, number 14. In it, every year, Israel is condemned as a violator of “Palestinian health rights” in the “Occupied Palestinian Territories, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan”.

In fact, Israel provides free medical care to thousands of Arabs hurt in the ongoing war in Syria, and medical treatment and aid of all sorts to Palestinians.

The UN’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) “dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women”, also routinely singles out Israel for condemnation for “violating women’s rights” [which it does not, of course – ed], while countries such as Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia and Iran, some of the world’s most dangerous countries for women, are not even mentioned. Not only is there no condemnation of Saudi Arabia — where women are still treated as legal minors, and where campaigners for basic women’s rights face long prison sentences — but Saudi Arabia was even elected to the CSW a few years ago to assist in the task of “promoting women’s rights”.

Regrettably, almost all UN member states, apart from the United States, appear to find this discriminatory treatment of just one country in the world to be completely normal and as matters should be. There is simply a whopping international double-standard here on what passes as institutional racism and what does not — and it needs to be acknowledged.

Ironically, the institutional racism against Israel at the UN takes the focus away from countries that are in acute need of scrutiny — which is possibly the reason for its success. Countries where women have few to no rights, where political opponents are tortured and stashed away in prisons or killed, and where people cannot speak their minds freely, get a pass. At the very least, people might question whether an organization that has made discrimination against one country in the world one of its operating principles — as institutionalized in permanent agenda items and almost ritual condemnations — is worth the exorbitant cost. The United States, for instance, as the organization’s single largest donor, in 2018 funded the UN to the tune of $10 billion.

At a minimum, instead of paying a mandatory “slightly less than one-fifth of the body’s collective budget” every year, the US — and the UN — would fare far better if the US paid for what it wanted and got what it paid for. At present, the UN has long ceased being a force for good [it never was – ed] and is being used, first, to prop up its majority of un-transparent, unaccountable anti-democratic despots, and second, to perpetuate conflicts — largely at the US taxpayers’ expense.

UNITED NATIONS DELENDA EST!

Cold war with China 1

Yes.

Cold war with China needs no question mark. It is not a question – should there be, or should there not be …?

It is a fact. It is a war even longer than the one in Afghanistan.

Colonel Richard Kemp (who commanded British forces in Northern Ireland, Afghanistan, Iraq and the Balkans) writes at Gatestone:

Commentators and politicians today worry that the current situation might trigger a new cold war with China. They fail to understand that, in a similar but much more far-reaching pattern to the jihadist conflict, China has been fighting a cold war against the West for decades, while we have refused to recognize what is going on….

Few in the West fully recognize the threat to our own economies, security and liberty. Many who do refuse to speak out for four reasons: 

First, fear of coming into China’s crosshairs, provoking economic harm or character assassination.

Second, fear of accusations of racism, a concern readily exploited by the Chinese state whose own egregious racism is only too obvious.

Third, belief that our liberal values can change those that oppose us. The hope that Chinese exposure to free trade, including entry into the WTO in 2001, would have this effect has proven woefully misguided and served only to strengthen Beijing’s oppressive regime.

Fourth, many political leaders, businessmen, academics and journalists have been bought and paid for by Beijing whether by financial incentive or blackmail.

How can the West fight back? Although still militarily and economically inferior to the US, China is a formidable and growing economic power, interwoven with Western economies to an unprecedented degree. We must begin to divest from and sanction China, repatriate and use alternative sources of manufacturing and technology, restrict capital investment there and curb Chinese investment here, especially in our infrastructure.

We must re-invigorate and develop our own technology, much long abandoned to the Chinese juggernaut. We must enforce the norms of international trade and act vigorously to prevent and penalize China’s orgy of industrial theft that has gone largely unchallenged for decades. We must push back globally against Beijing’s imperialism and propaganda wherever it occurs.

But what if cold war with China leads to hot war with China?

We must also prepare for military conflict, with an emphasis on deterring Chinese aggression.

America will have to lead the fightback as it did previously in the cold war [with Soviet Russia], but success will require Europe and our allies around the world to stand with them for the long term. This is not a party political issue, but must become a fundamental element of enduring Western grand strategies. This is the task of decades and will be high-risk and costly. The alternative is to remain on the hook and in hock to the Chinese communist state and let future generations suffer the incalculable consequences of our continued purblind inaction.

Tom Basile, writing at American Greatness, thinks cold war with China is yet to begin in ernest on our side, but certainly will, and should be unhesitatingly engaged.

Our struggle will not be against China alone, but also against Russia and Iran.

 We shouldn’t be afraid of a new Cold War. …

Economic alliances that have made the Western democracies weaker, less focused, and often playing into the hands of authoritarian competitors seeking to expand their power.

We believed that opening China would produce a stronger level of trust, cooperation, and liberalization. …

It has not done so.

We genuinely wanted the Russian experiment in democracy to succeed. It hasn’t and we need to accept that. …

We may have wanted it to succeed, but not all of us expected that it would.

For decades we failed to make Iran pay for financing global Islamic terrorist networks that have taken countless innocent lives and destabilized countries around the world. The Obama Administration’s capitulation to the mullahs was perhaps the lowest point in American foreign policy of the last half-century.

Agreed.

The troika of China, Russia, and Iran represent a significant and present threat to the safety and security of the free world.

That requires an aggressive response.

Agreed again.

The Chinese, through their Belt and Road Initiative, have set about conquering Africa.

The three are also making inroads in the Western Hemisphere as well, including information manipulation that reaches the eyes and ears of Americans every day.

China, Russia, and Iran will act with insidious intent to damage the United States. Having an economic, military, and diplomatic counter-posture is absolutely critical.

America should not fight the “troika” alone, but with Western allies:

From 1960-1975, the United States threatened or imposed economic sanctions more than 25 times, not counting U.S. support for U.N. sanctions against South Africa and other nations. We invested in the developing world to provide an incentive for those nations to align with the West. The Cold War promoted enterprise-based, free-market capitalism that strengthened our democratic allies. The military effort led to significant technological advancements.

Redrawing the lines of engagement now would mean igniting the ability of the United States and Western economies again to consolidate economic power. The economic opportunity for American and European countries for freezing out Huawei is enormous.

But the opportunity is not being seized by America’s closest European ally. Britain is obstinately sticking to its contract with Huawei to build its G5 network, careless of the risk that doing so further empowers the Communist Chinese enemy.

A new Cold War means creating new trading blocs and incentives to dissuade free nations from supporting authoritarian competitors. It means governments making the tough decision to economically marginalize these regimes. Such a move may increase consumer prices but can lead to a restoration of millions of American jobs, economic growth in the developing world, and protecting superior Western innovation from piracy.

During the Cold War [with Soviet Russia], a vast majority of Americans understood that it was important for the United States and its allies to counter Communism. We cannot allow the moral relativism of the Left in America today to make us timid in the face of real threats to our security and individual liberty, not to mention the sovereignty of other nations.

Sure, there was debate and protest over disarmament and détente. Of course, there were those who were opposed our strong anti-Communist stance and Ronald Reagan’s “We win, they lose” posture, and many who railed against the so-called military-industrial complex.

Today, empowered by the media and digital platforms, those forces clearly have a strong voice.

Nonetheless, America’s destiny is—as it has always been—to be a beacon of freedom and prevent the human race from being dominated by authoritarianism that saps the soul of the individual, devalues life, and prevents human advancement for the sake of ruling elites.

Prevent the whole of the human race from falling under oppressive government? That is a very large assignment. Is it really America’s mission? And if so, is it possible?

Those who today fancy themselves experts in the media will say we can’t shift our posture in such a fashion. …

We would do well to remember our history. In the past century, hundreds of thousands of Americans died fighting the Germans, only to see Germany become one of our staunchest allies. We used the atomic bomb to obliterate two Japanese cities, yet today Japan is one of our closest trading partners.

A new Cold War-style approach to China, Russia, and Iran is a call for America reconstituting the strong allied bloc it once led and rejecting the free-for-all globalist movement that turns a blind eye to enemies allegedly for the sake of cheap products.

America first needs to mean America leads again.

[The pandemic of] COVID-19 can indeed reset the world order placing us in the familiar position of making bold moves to protect freedom. What remains to be seen is whether we have the courage to lead again.

Using economic and if necessary military power to fight China, preferably with the co-operation of Western allies, is one thing – necessary and possible.

But America resetting the world order?

That requires a question mark.

Posted under Africa, China, Iran, Russia, Soviet Union, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, April 22, 2020

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A superb unappreciated president 11

While President Trump bears the heavy responsibility of dealing with a pandemic – and doing so very competently – the Democrats whinge and carp at every step he takes and sneer at him for everything he says. All their efforts are made with the object of obstructing and discrediting him. They don’t give a toss for the people they ache to govern.

In an article at Front Page titled America’s Superb Unappreciated President, John Perazzo writes:

The coordinated campaign of premeditated lies and smears that the Democrats and their media mouthpieces have been waging against President Trump ever since the word “coronavirus” first entered the American people’s consciousness, has been obscene. But there is something else that also needs to be addressed. Have you noticed that even now — after the life-and-death dangers inherent in the Democrats’ open-borders, catch-and-release immigration policies have been thoroughly laid bare by the current crisis — Democrats in public office have been utterly silent about those dangers? Have you noticed that they have not ventured even to speculate that perhaps President Trump’s pre-coronavirus warnings about the need to regulate our nation’s borders were well-founded and had absolutely nothing to do with racism?

This is because the Democrat narrative never changes in any significant way. It merely makes minor adjustments for the sake of political expediency. So because right now it would be politically inconvenient to link racism to the type of border security that is very obviously a matter of life-and-death for many Americans, the Democrats have simply found a new way of framing their “racism” charade. Thus have we heard one Democrat after another intone their latest mantra-of-the-moment: the notion that Trump’s use of the term “China [he says ‘Chinese’] virus” is damnable proof of his “racism”.

The Democratic Party has devolved into something quite diabolical. Its very considerable energies are now spent on little more than a constant stream of frenzied efforts to cover their political foes in rhetorical bird droppings. Aside from that, the party has nothing to offer the American people.

And Victor Davis Hanson writes at American Greatness:

Trump once enraged liberal sensibilities by issuing travel bans against countries in the Middle East, Iran, Nigeria, and North Korea as they could not be trusted to audit their own departing citizens. His notion that nations have clearly defined and enforced borders was antithetical to the new norms that open borders and sanctuary cities were part of the global village of the 21st century.

Trump certainly distrusted globalization. He has waged a veritable multifront war against the overreach of transnational organizations, whether that be the European Union or the various agencies of the United Nations. Even relatively uncontroversial steps, such as greenlighting experimental drugs and off-label uses of old medicines for terminal patients drew the ire of federal bureaucrats and medical schools as potentially dangerous or irrelevant in cost-benefit analyses.

Yet since the outbreak of the virus, Trump’s idiosyncratic sixth sense has come in handy. The country is united in its furor at China—even if it is giving no credit to Trump for being years ahead of where it is now.

No longer is there a national debate over the evils of “protectionism” and “nationalism”, but rather over how quickly and effectively can the U.S. return the manufacturing of key medical supplies, pharmaceuticals, strategically vital technologies, and rare earth metals to American shores. Offshoring and outsourcing are now more likely synonymous with tragedy than smart investment strategies. …

When Trump issued the key January 31 travel ban that suddenly stopped the arrival of 15,000 visitors per day to the United States from China, the Left was as outraged as it had been with the ban against Libya, North Korea, and Iran. Candidates Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders saw an opening against their presumed 2020 opponent, and quickly sought to demagogue voters with “here-we-go-again” rhetoric that racist Trump is banning free travel of a marginalized people in his habitual “xenophobic” and “racist” fits. …

How odd that no prior critical major newspaper, network, or politician has now called for the end of such unnecessary and hurtful bans and the resumption of travel from China without further interruption …

We are learning, belatedly, that Trump was also rightly wary of transnationalism. The World Health Organization in the early weeks of the outbreak was mostly a paid-for Chinese megaphone. Its functionary director propagandized, on Chinese prompts, that the virus was likely not transmissible from human to human and that travel bans were ineffective and thus reflective of Trump’s repugnant views.

Americans were startled at how quickly the brotherhood of the European Union collapsed. Within days, individual countries were ignoring the Schengen open-borders rules and reinvented themselves as nations. None were eager to welcome in their neighbors. Few were willing to share medical supplies and key pharmaceuticals across ancient boundaries. …

The quite diverse manner in which Germany and Italy respectively reacted to the virus showed very little European commonality, but reflected that both were unique cultures and societies as they had been for centuries.

Here at home, under the present lockdown conditions, Americans worry about finding their needed but long-ago outsourced prescriptions and medical supplies, but they are not so fearful of running out of food or fuel for their vehicles and heat for their homes. Was it good then to have demanded expansions of native gas and oil production, to have supported pipeline construction and more fracking and horizontal drilling? Was it in retrospect wise or foolish to have tried vehemently to stop California authorities from releasing precious state and federal reservoir water out to sea thereby shorting the irrigation contracts of the nation’s most important food producer?

At such times as these, was it smarter to trust in bureaucracies like the CDC to issue test kits or to encourage private enterprise to step forward and become creative producers?

… as President Trump has done.

Could counties and states adapt better to the local and regional differences of the virus’s manifestations than a monolithic federal government?

President Trump believes counties and states can adapt better to local needs.

[The president’s] suspicions about China and globalization, his distrust of bureaucratic regulations, his support for domestic production of key industries, his promotion of the interests of farmers and frackers, and his vehement opposition to increased gun control, all reflect a world view of national and self-independence, in which Americans can only count on themselves and their fellow citizens.

He has been right all along.

Yet still half the nation fails to appreciate that he is a superb president.

The coming day of wrath 8

The aggressive, vengeful, jihadist Iranian regime can do nothing much now to harm the US or its assets or its allies.

But it looks to the time when it will have its nuclear arsenal.

This is the view of how things stand at present from the Heritage Foundation:

(The Iranian) objective was to show that they are striking back against the United States to save face in the eyes of their public, but to do so in a way that does not provoke the United States even more to retaliate back.

They fired 15 missiles. One landed at the airport in Irbil, four landed somewhere in the desert, and then the remaining missiles landed on that base in western Iraq. And there were no U.S. or Iraqi or coalition casualties, and very minimal damage to facilities on these bases.

So, it was enough, I think, where the regime in Iran could go to its people and say, “Look, we struck back,” and there’s already these wild rumors flying around on social media about so many U.S. service personnel wounded and being treated secretly in Israel. And, of course, Iran has to drag in Israel somehow.

And we all know this is nonsense in the way our system of government works here. There’s no way the U.S. government could cover up something like this, but it’s enough where the Iranians probably were able to save face and had an off-ramp.  …

President Trump over the past several months has shown a lot of restraint against Iranian aggression. There have been numerous occasions where the U.S. would have been justified to strike back. And President Trump chose not to, always trying to leave that door open for negotiations. …

He had to show the Iranians that the U.S. means business, and that’s what he did. And paradoxically, the demise of Qassim Suleimani might be looked upon as the de-escalatory strike, that’s the strike that deescalated the situation. …

Until this point, the Iranians thought they could keep going and going and going, and the U.S. would just kind of tinker on the edges in terms of its response, and then that response was so great, that impact, it was so great.

I don’t think we can overstate how important someone like Qasem Suleimani is to that, to the whole Iranian security apparatus. And whenever he was taken out, I think it probably gave some room for pause in Iran, and they probably thought, “Whoa, OK, can we afford another severe blow like this if we push the Americans too far when we retaliate?”…

President Trump … prefers negotiation. He prefers making a deal. His instincts are not to go to war. He does not want to go to war with Iran. He’s not looking for a fight.

But he did strike at last. He had Qasem Soleimani killed. He knew there would be an uproar from his enemies – the most virulent of them being the Democrats in Congress.

But:

President Trump comes out on top of all of this in many ways. And even some of his strongest critics have acknowledged this point as well.

President Trump looks stronger. Iran looks weaker.

All good.

But Iran is still working on producing nuclear bombs.

President Trump has not lost sight of that.

As we have come to expect, he dealt with the events masterfully. In a well-judged address the day after Iran’s gesture of revenge, he warned the Iranian leaders without humiliating them.

Most importantly, he made a strong statement about their ambition to become a nuclear-armed power first, before anything else, even his “Good morning”:

As long as I’m president of the United States, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. Good morning. I’m pleased to inform you the American people should be extremely grateful and happy. No Americans were harmed in last night’s attack by the Iranian regime. We suffered no casualties. All of our soldiers are safe and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases. Our great American forces are prepared for anything. Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world. …

But the fight with Iran – started by the regime in 1979 when it seized 52 American hostages at the US embassy in Tehran – is not over.

The president spoke of imposing more sanctions:

As we continue to evaluate options in response to Iranian aggression, the United States will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime. These powerful sanctions will remain until Iran changes its behavior.

Sanctions will not stop the making of nuclear bombs, but they might so weaken the government that it can be brought down by a popular revolt.

President Trump does not speak of regime change in Iran. But only if the theocracy falls and is replaced by an elected government, could the abandonment of the nuclear program be negotiated.

If that does not happen while Donald Trump is president – and if he means what he says as we have come to expect he does – the only alternative is the physical destruction of Iran’s  nuclear bomb-making facilities.

The Democrats, who would rather see the whole world laid waste than that Donald Trump should succeed at anything, will try to prevent it.

But there has to be either regime change or the dies irae of the bunker bombs.

Posted under Iran, Iraq, Islam, Israel, jihad, middle east, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Thursday, January 9, 2020

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The mullahs quake 2

… and so may the land beneath their feet.

Iran cannot do much to hurt America. It is already suffering from the economic sanctions President Trump has imposed on it. It would be very foolish of the mullahs to try violent retaliation on America or its foreign assets for the killing by a US drone of its top general Soleimani. If it does, Trump has 52 Iranian targets marked for destruction, one for each of the 52 American hostages seized in Tehran in 1979 (and not yet avenged).

Some could be oil production facilities.

And some could be underground nuclear weapons development sites. However deep underground they may be, they can be destroyed. The US has the weapons to do it.

Chuck de Caro writes at American Greatness:

While the mullahs in Iran continue to threaten the United States with worldwide terrorist attacks against American individuals and groups, it might be time for them to reconsider their position.

The mullahs are attempting to run a formerly evolving modern state, utilizing the ideas of 12th-century Shia Islam; they remain in power through the repression of the well-paid Revolutionary Guard. Their most urgent strategic priority is a regeneration of Persian ascendancy not seen since Darius the Great. Their methodology for this new Persian Empire is to complete a nuclear bomb production industry now nascent among some 40 dispersed and hardened sites.

The mullahs are willing to force the Iranian people to absorb the effects of crushing economic sanctions imposed by the United States, the United Nations [although it is evil’s HQ – ed], and cooperating countries in order to build their bomb.

As a result, the mullahs in 2019 precipitously raised fuel prices 50 to 200 percent and immediately were inundated by waves of violent protests in most of Iran’s larger cities. An estimated 1,500 Iranian protesters died.

The Iranian economy remains dependent on oil production and export. Its most vulnerable points are the six oil production centers at Abadan, Esfahan, Bandar-e Abbas, Tehran, Arak, and Tabriz. If any one of those is reduced in capability, even for a short time, the economy will further weaken, and domestic instability will increase.

Meanwhile, the religiously driven mullahs have continued to support Shia aligned groups wreaking havoc in Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, Gaza, and the West Bank. In Iraq, their surrogates went a step too far in attacking the American embassy, and the result was the obliteration of Qasem Soleimani (and his staff) who reported directly to Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader.

Despite loud cries of revenge, Khamenei must be quaking in his givehs. Why? Because the United States had the precise information to target his best general, head of the Quds Force (the elite military intelligence and unconventional warfare service) in his car, in an airport parking lot, and vaporize the sonofabitch before his seat bell stopped dinging.

Now if you are Ayatollah Khamenei, with a shaky domestic body politic and an even shakier economy, and you go to work in a palace which the United States likely has under satellite and drone surveillance, and you know it can target you with the precision of a micrometer, it might be wise to go easy until you get your bomb.

Meantime back in Washington, [President Trump] is thinking that the last thing he needs is Persians with nukes. He also knows there are two things that the mullahs absolutely must have: cash flow from petroleum and those nukes.

Thus the target set is defined: Each time there is an attack on U.S. interests, however small, directly or through surrogates, the United States will attack and cripple an oil production facility, and then another, and then another, along with a nuclear weapons site, and then another. The important part is to limit civilian casualties while causing the Iranian economy and regime to implode.

For this specific set of parameters, the U.S. can use a little jewel called the Small Diameter Bomb/Focused Lethality Munition. SDB is basically a 250-pound smart bomb with a composite case to limit collateral damage; the kind you use on some Tuesday afternoon while everybody is at lunch, to silently fly through a window and wipe out the computer control booth of an oil production facility.

If Khamenei’s subordinate, Brigadier General Alvarez Sabahifard were a bright guy, he’d be watching the skies for an SDB with his name on it, since he heads the Iranian Air Defense force, and his demise might cause some consternation when the rain of American bombs begins to fall.

On the other end of the spectrum from the Small Diameter Bomb are a family of special-purpose hole-diggers. Since World War II, the United States has developed bunker-buster munitions originally called “Disney Bombs” after a concept which was dreamed up by Walt Disney Studios for a 1943 film called “Victory Through Airpower”.

The Army Air Corps thought the cartoon bomb was so good that they actually went ahead and invented the real thing. Then they passed it to the mighty 8th Air Force to hurl against hardened Nazi positions in the spring of 1945, slicing through 14 feet of reinforced concrete, followed by a large “boom”.

After that came Azon, Razon, and Tarzon, the last being a 13,000-pound behemoth that we used in the Korean War against the Chinese and North Koreans.

In Iraq, the United States used the laser-guided GBU-28, a 5,000-pound deep penetrator, successfully against hardened targets.

And now, the Pentagon has the Son of the Disney Bomb, called the Massive Ordnance Penetrator, or MOP. Formally known as the GBU-57, it is a 30,000-pound (15-ton) bomb designed to dig a really deep hole.

The MOP is particularly interesting in that it is GPS guided and can be used at night or in bad weather or during sandstorms, with an accuracy measured in feet. Think of it as a candygram to bad guys in caves . . . 200 feet down.

The use of these diverse weapons on oil production and nuclear facilities would cause the Iranian economy to falter, their nuclear program to stumble, and protests to begin anew. The end effect would be the implosion of the mullahs’ regime.

We predict that the Iranian economy would collapse, and the regime’s dream of making Iran a nuclear-armed power would be irretrievably extinguished.

Then the Democrats, who are in deep mourning for Soleimani, could beat their breasts and tear their hair out in grief for the downfall of the Iranian theocracy, the disabling of its terrorist proxies, and for the victory of America, the triumph of Trump.

President Trump destroys the world’s leading terrorist 21

The Daily Mail, which always has the best pictures and video footage of dramatic events, reports and illustrates:

  • Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s highest ranking general, was killed early Friday at Baghdad International Airport
  • US drone missiles obliterated two vehicles carrying Soleimani, his entourage, and Iraqi Shiite militiamen
  • Grainy video purportedly taken by Baghdad locals shows the moment one of the cars was struck from above 
  • Iran has confirmed that two Islamic Revolutionary Guard generals, one colonel and  a captain were also killed
  • Five Iraqis, including militia deputy-commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, were also listed among the dead
  • Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed to carry out ‘jihad’ against America amid warnings of a ‘devastating war’

 

An American airstrike on Baghdad airport has killed Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's powerful Quds force, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy-leader of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (pictured, the burning remains of a car that was among a convoy the men had been travelling in)

As the sun rose over Baghdad airport, daylight revealed the twisted remains of one of the vehicles the men had been travelling in. In total, a US drone fired four missiles that struck a convoy of cars, killing the two men and their entourage

The attack unfolded in a precision strike on two cars that were carrying Soleimani and Iraq-based PMF militiamen who were picking him up from the airport.

Soleimani had arrived at the airport on a plane from either Syria or Lebanon around 12.30am when he was met on the tarmac by Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of the pro-Iran Popular Mobilization Forces [PMF] in Iraq.

Muhandis pulled up to the aircraft steps in two cars before Soleimani and Mohammed Ridha Jabri, public relations chief for the PMF who had been traveling with him, climbed inside and were driven away.

Moments later, as the cars passed through a cargo area headed for an access road leading out of the airport, the convoy was struck by four missiles fired by an MQ-9 Reaper drone.

Both vehicles were instantly reduced to smoldering wrecks – killing Soleimani, Muhandis, Jabri and two others who have yet to be identified.

Two officials from the PMF said Soleimani’s body was torn to pieces in the attack, while they did not find the body of al-Muhandis.

A senior politician said Soleimani’s body was identified by the ring he wore. Photos from the scene show a hand with large ring that looks identical to one Soleimani is seen wearing in old photos.

Local militia commander Abu Muntathar al-Hussaini told Reuters: ‘Haj Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were riding in one vehicle when it was struck by two successive guided missiles launched from an American helicopter while they were on their way from the arrivals hall on the road that leads out of Baghdad Airport.’

He said the second vehicle was carrying bodyguards from the PMF and was hit by one rocket.

Brilliant intelligence work! Marvelous precision bombing!

See more pictures and video of the moment the world’s top terrorist died here.

Will the Iranians now launch a “devastating war” ? Do they have someone to lead it? Can they afford it? Will the Iranian people support it?

Kenneth R. Timmerman writes at Front Page:

The killing of Iranian terror-meister Qassem Suleymani in a targeted U.S. air strike in Baghdad on Thursday will have a dramatic impact on Iran’s ability to conduct oversea terrorist operations and the stability of the Iranian regime.

But the real impact, one can legitimately wager, will be quite different from what you’ve been hearing so far from most of the U.S. and international media.

Rather than engendering some massive Iranian “retaliation,” as many talking heads have been warning, I believe this strike will throw the Iranian regime back on its heels, as wannabe successors contemplate their careers vaporizing in a U.S. drone strike and Iran’s civilian leaders fret that they have been exposed as emperors without clothes.

Put simply, the aura of the Iranian regime’s invincibility is over.

They have pushed us and our allies repeatedly, and have been encouraged by the modest response from U.S. political and military leaders until now.

But with this strike, the gloves are off. And the leadership in Tehran – and more importantly, the people of Iran – can see it.

Suleymani was not some run-of-the-mill terrorist. He was worst of the worst; a man with more blood on his hands than even Osama bin Laden. Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, Afghanistan, 9/11, Benghazi: all of them were his doing.

He was responsible for all those horrors? The accusation needs some explaining. But it is true that he was the most powerful Islamic terrorist of them all.

He was also the most respected and the only charismatic military leader to have emerged since the 1979 Islamist revolution in Iran.

No other leader in Iran today even comes close to Suleymani for sheer star power.

This is a huge loss for the Tehran regime; bigger, indeed, than if the Supreme Leader himself (who actually is a nobody) died or was killed. …

We have two historical parallels to compare to Thursday’s events: Operation Praying Mantis in April 1988, when U.S. naval forces sank 1/3 of the Iranian navy in a matter of hours after repeatedly catching them dispersing naval mines against international oil tankers in the Persian Gulf; and the presumed Israeli assassination of Iranian-Lebanese terrorist Imad Mugniyeh in Damascus in February 2008.

In both cases, we were told Iran and their proxies were going to counter-attack with devastating lethality. Hundreds of Americans and Israelis were going to die. Thousands! The entire region was going to explode.

In the end what happened? Absolutely nothing.

That’s what I predict here as well.

The Iranians have been lulled into thinking they can act with impunity in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere.

Finally, the United States has drawn a firm hard line on their bad behavior.

This is exactly what we needed to do.

I believe the Iranian people will draw the obvious conclusion that this once powerful regime has feet of clay. Expect bigger anti-regime protests inside Iran in the coming weeks, and popular revolts against Iranian interference in Lebanon and Iraq as well.

To me, the biggest question remains: is President Trump ready for the revolution he has unleashed? With this single act, the United States has set in motion big historical forces for positive change. Are we prepared to help the forces of freedom against tyranny and oppression?

We wait to see. We have come to expect that the President’s decision will be the right one.

Is NATO worth saving? 5

It is 70 years since the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was established.

Theodore Roosevelt Malloch writes at American Greatness:

Only nine of its 29 member states pay their agreed dues—up from five last year, thanks to President Trump’s pestering. Not that he gets any credit for it.

Nevertheless, that is $130 billion more for NATO’s collective defense! Which is both more money than one can fathom, and simultaneously a pitiful fraction (around 20 percent) of America’s defense spending.

NATO’s membership is paying more thanks to constant hammering by President Trump. But many [more than two-thirds of the member states] have not yet reached the treaty’s required 2 percent threshold, including the richest countries, like Germany. So long as Angela Merkel remains in power with the votes of left-wing socialists (called the “Grand Coalition”) in the Bundestag, the chance is near zilch of this issue being dealt with. For her part, Merkel has promised Germany will hit the 2 percent target sometime in the “early 2030s”. …

By which time Germany will be a Muslim ruled country, a fate from which its only salvation might be Russian conquest.

That Russian domination could be considered by indigenous Germans preferable to Islamic subjugation is in itself a vivid indication of just how horrible the outlook is for Europe.

But Trump is turning [NATO] round. Give him credit.

The world has changed a great deal in the 70 years since the Washington Treaty was first signed and the North Atlantic Charter was put into force. American soldiers held the line on the free side of the Iron Curtain long enough for Moscow to trip on its own contradictions.

But 1989 was 30 years ago and the triumph that was the 50th anniversary celebrations (1999) is a distant memory. Today NATO is fully benefiting from nostalgia for the 1990s, despite the Balkan wars awkwardly underscoring the limitations of collective security in the new world order.

This week’s NATO summit is less of a celebration of the military achievements and the collapse of the Soviet empire than it is a day of reckoning.

Does NATO have a future or is it, as French President Emmanuel Macron recently called it, “brain dead”? Merkel herself famously criticized NATO in the months after President Trump’s inauguration in 2017 and backed Macron’s version of a European army, widely seen as a threat to the alliance.

Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the enfant terrible of the alliance (whose rough neighborhood includes long borders with Iran, Syria, Iraq, all unstable war zones) has also come out swinging, this time against Macron. It is Macron who’s brain dead, the Turkish president said. His ambassador in Paris was called in for a stern dressing down.

Turkey has been not just an uncooperative member of NATO; it has been positively obstructive, in the past and again now.

The question has arisen whether Turkey could be expelled from NATO.

At [the 70th] anniversary summit of its members, President Trump, who has long thought the collective security arrangement “obsolete” … reiterated his demand that Europe pay more (South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Japan, as well) for their defense.

He suggested NATO should refocus on terrorism, Syria, cybersecurity, and most critically, China, the number one adversary NATO countries face. …

Can NATO adapt fast enough?

Can NATO adapt?

The Russians are in no state [at present] to take over Ukraine, much less Germany. …

The organization has certainly proven to be resilient—but is it relevant any longer?

Is it an alliance any longer?

Witness the differences in implementing nuclear sanctions on Iran—Europe has set up INSTEX, a sanctions-dodging mechanism for blockade-running. Iran’s regime, currently wracked by the worst protests in 40 years, when the mullahs came to power, is being thrown a lifeline by Paris, Brussels, and Berlin.

Why?

As the strongest and most successful military alliance in history—at least it is according to its own secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg of Norway—the crux of the matter on this birthday is, does NATO have an ability to change significantly? He certainly thinks so.

In our new book Trump’s World, Felipe J. Cuello and I argue that the “dog fight” over NATO is in a critical stage and the disruptor-in-chief, Geo Deus Donald Trump, may give it a second breath—but only if the alliance pays and it shifts.

GEO DEUS DONALD TRUMP.

 

 

An earthly Deus even we can believe in. Thank you Theodore Roosevelt Malloch and Felipe J. Cuello for that!

In his America First paradigm, but not alone, there is a new taskmaster in town and he plays by new rules not old ways and ideologies of globalism. NATO survives and grows in strength thanks to one Donald J. Trump.

That is to say, if it survives and grows in strength it will be thanks to Geo Deus Donald J. Trump.

Perhaps a new type of “alliance” is needed. States that want to be protected by the mightiest military in the world pay America directly; put their own forces – those few who have them in working order – under the command of the president of the United States; their ordnance, warships and aircraft, technological facilities, satellites, and foreign offices (yes, those too!) at his disposal. At least for as long as Donald J. Trump or successors approved by him are in power.

Would the world not then be a safer, more peaceful, more prosperous place? Could be. It’s at least a possibility.

The pursuit of happiness 57

Gentlefolk in the 18th. century thought that to try to live happily was a reasonable aim, to judge by the statement of the great authors of the US Declaration of Independence. To them it appeared “self-evident” that every person had a “right” (“endowed by their Creator”, or, in other words, a natural right) to his life and his choice how to live it, which surely meant that he would live it as nearly to his heart’s desire as he could.

Horny handed sons of toil, even if as free under the law, were not expected, either by themselves or their betters, to achieve the same forms of happiness. Enough for them if they could earn their daily bread. For that they lived and strove. Their life was the striving. It occupied their hours, their days, their years, their bodies and their thoughts. Success was survival. Survival was for most of them the only reasonable attainable happiness. If some strove for more – excess, property, leisure – and attained it, then happiness abounded. (Happiness, that is to say, as contentment. Other forms of gratification – thrills, excitement, delights of the senses, scoring triumphs – are not our subject. They are experienced episodically and enjoyed to the degree the individual is capable of.)

The welfare state relieved the workers of the need to strive for survival. Now all could be philosophers. The joy of exploring the limitless sphere of the mind was open to all. Universal happiness would reign.

But doesn’t.

The reasons why people commit suicide are many and various, but what they all have in common is that they find life unbearable. So suicide rates might be taken as a gauge of happiness and the lack of it in a population.

The figures for those rates from the last few years (according to Wikipedia – and perhaps not entirely trustworthy) provide some surprises. (Worth noticing in passing – far more males kill themselves than do females everywhere.)

Highest suicide rate in the world: Greenland. Average 82.8 per 100,000 per annum. It is a welfare state.

Google reveals:

As part of Denmark, Greenlanders have access to one of the most extensive social welfare systems in Europe, including universal, nationalized medical care and free state education, including college.

(President Trump has asked Denmark if it would sell Greenland to the USA. Rhetorical question: Would life in Greenland be better, more bearable, happier if it became the 51st. state of the USA, which provides much less welfare? USA suicide average per 100,000 per annum, 14.5.)

Big drop to the next highest. Guyana 30.2, Lithuania 28.27, South Korea 26.6

The average for most European countries is between 12.57 (Germany) and 17 (Belgium).

Britain? Only 7.23!

China? 9.8

Iran 4.8   The state does most of the killing there.

Venezuela 3.2  Nature does it there, because the people are starving and have no medicines. Venezuela is – way beyond a welfare state – a socialist state.

Syria 0.1  Constant civil war rages there.

Pakistan 1.1   People are happy in Pakistan?

Haiti  – a truly miserable place of hunger and disease. Average suicide?  0.0

But back to the pursuit of happiness in the civilized West.

What went wrong? Is it possible that the strivers enjoyed the striving and its meager rewards?

Or did philosophizing bring the newly leisured to ask, “What is it all for anyway?“. And find no answer?

There are thousands of counselors – even millions, we would guess – telling unhappy people how to be happy. There are hundreds of thousands of books giving readers rules for living –  from obedience to which, happiness might be expected.

And there is religion. Religion is supposed to “give meaning to life”.

Does it answer the question “what is it all for anyway?”

Let’s look at an individual case of unhappiness. In America.

At the American Conservative, we found this letter, reproduced by Rod Dreher, to whom it was sent as if to an agony aunt:

Mr. Dreher,

The things you have been writing lately about alienated young men and mass shootings prompt me to reach out to you. I am not a young man anymore, but I am dealing with things that I did not imagine I would be when I was young and newly married. Back then, everything made sense. I feel like I need to tell my story.

My background is that I am a successful businessman (a kind of consultant) living in a well-to-do suburb of a Southern city. My wife and I married relatively early, and had two kids. The boys are in good colleges in other states. They are getting ready to head back to school next week. It has been a real pleasure having them here this summer. Our house becomes a tomb when they are not around.

Four years ago, my wife told me that she didn’t want to be married to me anymore. After almost 30 years, she had had enough. I did not see that coming. We almost never fought. We used to go to dinner together, take family vacations, do things together, etc etc. She just said that she thought she had hitched herself to a man too young, and now that the boys were older and out of the house, she was reconsidering her life. I asked her if there was another man. She said no, and eventually I believed her. I asked her if she wanted a divorce. She said probably so, but she wanted to wait until the boys got out of school. She is a reasonable person with a finance background, and knows that a divorce would cost us a lot at a time when we are supporting two kids in college.

She has a job she loves. I work from a home office. I was so glad when my company gave me the chance to do this. I miss the friendships in the office, but when you talk on your blog about wokeness in the workplace, I always find myself nodding along. A few years back, my company started getting engaged with “diversity and inclusivity” in the workplace. I noticed that every time they would run us all through one of those seminars, we would all come out of it more suspicious of each other. It was crazy. It was as if our bosses were trying to poison the office environment. I got to the point where as a white male, I saw my co-workers as potentially the people who would try to get me fired if I said one wrong thing by mistake. They might have seen me that way too. It was crazy. The more management pushed “diversity and inclusivity”, the more anxious things felt in the office. When the company was restructuring and offered people in my division the chance to work at home, I jumped at it, just to get out of that tense environment.

It was a blessing at first, but nowadays I wonder if that was the right thing to do. The idea of working from home seems great, until you realize that you don’t see people at all. I have a nice home office where I put in my 9 to 5, which is really more like 8 to 7, but everybody does that. If I’m being truthful, I stay in my office longer than I have to on most days, because there is nothing for me outside of it. My wife used to be my best friend. Now we just share a house and a bed. She has friends from her office, and goes out with them a lot. When all this started, I honestly thought she was seeing some guy. I’m not going into the details, but I’m truly convinced that she’s not. She’s just hanging out with other middle-aged women who are sick of their husbands too.

I used to think only men behaved like that. Mother and Daddy have both passed away, but they had a good marriage. Some of their friends got divorced when I was a kid, and it was always the man leaving his wife for a younger woman. They were very judgmental of them, but in a way I still think was right. They were Southern people (I think you know what I mean, Mr. Dreher), and that meant that they thought it was dishonorable for a man to do his wife like that. I internalized that honor code, and have always lived by it, and my Catholic faith. If my wife demands a divorce, I will give it to her, but I won’t marry again. How could I go through an annulment? I can’t say truthfully that this was not really a marriage. I meant it when I said my vows, and I believe my wife did too. I am not going to make bastards of my sons because my wife abandoned me and I want to be married again. Besides, there would be no marrying again for me anyway. I look at myself in the mirror — mid to late 50s, half-bald, pot belly, etc etc. What woman would want me even if I was free to marry her?

I was an only child, so I have no close family to speak of. We are Catholics. My faith is just about the only thing that keeps me going through all this, but it’s thin. My wife refuses to see a marriage counselor. I made the first steps to getting an appointment to talk to our priest, but I gave up because that was hopeless. I feel bad for our priest. He’s managing a big suburban parish all on his own. It would have taken forever to get an appointment, and there was no way he was going to be able to give us the time it would take to save our marriage, especially given that my wife doesn’t want to save it. Besides, there is nothing I’ve ever heard our priest say that tells me he is a man who could help us. He talks like one of those life coaches our company used to bring in for team building exercises, a guy who gets all his ideas from Hallmark cards.

She still goes to mass with me, but just out of habit. When I stand there listening to Fr give his cheerful but empty homilies, I think about what’s keeping me from going home and blowing my brains out. I’m not going to do this because I’m scared of pain and I’m scared of going to Hell. Also, I don’t want to hurt the boys, and make them feel like they did something to cause it or give them something to be ashamed of. However, I think a lot about how little I have to live for anymore. I am not even sure that the boys think of me much, except as “Good Old Dad”…

Nobody can see it. I stand there in church, wearing my coat and tie, and people probably think I have it all together. We drive nice cars, we live in a nice house in a good neighborhood, etc, etc. I am grateful to have a good job that has allowed me to provide for my family. By all the world’s standards, I’m doing well. I have “white privilege”. 

What a joke. When I first started working in my home office, I would dress up in a coat, no tie, and dress pants to go to “work.” It felt right to hang on to that habit. Since my marriage fell apart, I notice that some days I don’t even get out of my pajamas. I sit there at my nice desk doing all my work on my laptop, and go right back to bed at the end of the day without even taking a shower. I know this is pathetic, and if the boys were still at home, I would know to keep up appearances. This is my life.

When the boys graduate and don’t have to depend on us, I guess that will mean Decision Time. I will probably move out, though to all rights we ought to sell the house. I remember the day we bought it, and talking with my wife about that big dining room, and how we looked forward to the kids coming home with their wives and children for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Oh, we sure had big plans for that dining room. We bought a house with a fireplace because we dreamed about sitting around it with the grandchildren. All that is over now, and not because I wanted it to be. I feel so powerless. Maybe I would stay here if either one of the boys moved back, but given the fields they have chosen, I don’t look for that to happen, and even if it did, we would just be keeping up appearances for their sake. Southern people are real good at that, as you know.

What prompted me to write to you is your writings about the loneliness crisis. I am not some white trash 22 y.o. living in a trailer somewhere, playing video games, and living off his Mama, but I am completely isolated in my life. My “video game” is Excel spreadsheets. The friends I had back in the happier days were all “couples friends” through my wife. When she said she didn’t want to be married to me, we stopped having people over, and stopped accepting invitations to other people’s houses. After a few years, those invitations stopped coming. I tried to keep up these friendships with the husbands, but it was awkward. I told a couple of the guys I was closest to about the mess in my marriage, and they seemed sympathetic, but there wasn’t a lot they could do. They all had kids, and their couples friends. Two or three times I went to their dinner parties by myself, but you talk about awkward! I was embarrassed by it all, and just quit going. I miss those guys, and I even miss their wives. We used to be happy all together.

If this is “white privilege”, screw it. I stopped by the shoe repair shop a couple of weeks ago, and there were some black guys my age sitting around talking and laughing with each other. I envied them. I probably make 10 or 15 times more than them, but they are probably rich in ways that I used to be before I went “bankrupt”. I would trade all this so-called “white privilege” for a happy marriage, a strong family, and good friends. Mother and Daddy didn’t have a lot of money, but at least they had that. They also had a small-town church where they felt at home. How can anybody feel at home in a big parish like mine? I was taught to be charitable, especially to the clergy, and I do feel bad for our priest, who is carrying a heavy load. But this ain’t church. I’ve gotten to the point where I sit there during mass and I wonder how many of those men in the pews are just like me: barely holding it together, wondering what the hell we’re living for, ignored by our wives, and starving for friendship. God feels so far away. I have never doubted His existence, but these days, He feels like the Pope — a nice man who lives far away and who doesn’t see us.

I know I sound like I’m feeling sorry for myself. I guess I am. But damn it, I didn’t think things were going to work out like this. I did everything I was supposed to do, and it all fell to pieces anyway. I’m racking my brains trying to figure out how I can fix this, but my wife doesn’t want it to be fixed. She just wants out. I recognize that I am privileged economically and socially, but I’m here to tell you that if you were a working man who drove by my house, and saw me out front mowing our big lawn, you would think I had it made. In fact, you would be looking at a dead man, at a man who secretly hopes he falls over from a heart attack so he doesn’t have to keep carrying this weight of loneliness. At this point, my only purpose in life is to do what I have to do so my sons can have a good life or think they have a good life, until they get to my age and it falls to shit, and they end up doing just what their Good Old Dad is doing.

The thought just occurred to me as I’m writing this that the only real reason we will have to keep our household together after our sons graduate is if one of them can’t find a job, and has to live with us. That’s a sorry state to be in, knowing that the only thing that would keep you and your wife together is an unemployed grown-up child.

I appreciate the opportunity to get this off of my chest. I like reading your blog because even though it’s depressing sometimes, I feel like you talk about the real world, which is more than I get from my priest. I would just ask your readers to keep in mind that when they see people at church, in the store, and at other places, that those people might be suffering in ways that are not obvious. You think folks have it made, but they don’t. You see me getting out of my [luxury car brand] at church, with my wife, and we’re all dressed up and smiling, but from my very jaded perspective, we’re dead people who have no future. At least my wife has the girls from the office.

I’ve thought about asking my manager if I can come back to the office, but I know that’s not a solution. I’m the Great White Male, the source of all evil in the world. Given my run of luck, it would be about right for somebody to falsely accuse me of something, and end up taking away the last I have left from what started out as an American dream. I’d end up jobless and poor, and then the gun to the head might not seem so scary after all.

Sorry. Thanks for listening.

One thing we find particularly interesting about this “confession” is how little the man’s faith does for him. Fear of hell keeps him from suicide. That’s about all.

If he were not a believing Catholic, he might have developed some curiosity about the world he lives in. It has not occurred to him to go exploring in the infinite realm of the mind.

He was happier when his children lived with him. If he had grandchildren living near by he might be happy again. For a while, anyway. Until they grew up. But young men are not quick to marry now and raise a family.

Readers, your comments are needed.

The man who got it right – has gone 24

Being strong supporters of President Trump, we are not happy making moan about his dismissal of John Bolton as his national security adviser. But make moan we do.

For one very important thing, John Bolton has always been right about how to deal with terrorist organizations like the Taliban, and terrorist regimes like Iran’s: they should never be negotiated with because to do so is to legitimize them. Now it seems that it is over this issue (inter alia, presumably) that the President and Bolton have parted company. (If proof were needed that in this matter Bolton is right, the Iranian government cheered the news of Bolton’s departure.)

Mark Steyn appreciates John Bolton as much as we do.

He writes  (in part … read it all for the wit, the sheer fun):

I first met the new National Security Advisor a decade and a half or so back, in a roomful of European prime ministers and foreign ministers. He delivered a line that stunned the joint:

‘International law does not trump the US Constitution.’

I was standing next to the Finnish Prime Minister, Paavo Lipponen, who had a genuinely puzzled looked on his face and eventually inquired of me: “He is making a joke, no?”

No. Since then, I’ve interviewed him at Fox a couple of times and passed him in the green room on many others. …

I first wrote about him fourteen years ago, after Bush nominated him as UN Ambassador. This is from The Spectator of March 19th 2005 – and my remarks about “the code-speak consensus of the global elite” are relevant, I think, to what drove Trump’s rise – as Mr Bolton was surely aware:

If you’re going to play the oldest established permanent floating transnational crap game for laughs, you might as well pick an act with plenty of material. What I love about John Bolton, America’s new ambassador to the UN, is the sheer volume of ‘damaging’ material. Usually, the Democrats and media have to riffle through decades of dreary platitudes to come up with one potentially exploitable infelicitous soundbite. But with Bolton the damaging quotes are hanging off the trees and dropping straight into your bucket. Five minutes’ casual trawling through the back catalogue and your cup runneth over:

The UN building?

If you lost ten storeys, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.’

Reform of the Security Council?

If I were redoing the Security Council, I’d have one permanent member … the United States.’

The International Criminal Court?

Fuzzy-minded romanticism … not just naive but dangerous.’

International law in general?

It is a big mistake for us to grant any validity to international law.’

Offering incentives to rogue states?

I don’t do carrots.’

But he does do shtick. I happen to agree with all the above statements, but I can see why the international community might be minded to throw its hands up and shriek, ‘Quelle horreur!’ It’s not just the rest of the world. Most of the American media are equally stunned. …

In a roomful of Euro-grandees, [Bolton] was perfectly relaxed … [He] thwacked every ball they served back down their gullets with amazing precision. …He seemed to relish their hostility. At one event, a startled British cabinet minister said to me afterwards, ‘He doesn’t mean all that, does he?’

But he does. And that’s why the Bolton flap is very revealing about conventional wisdom on transnationalism. Diplomats are supposed to be ‘diplomatic’. Why is that? Well, as the late Canadian prime minister Lester B. Pearson used to say, diplomacy is the art of letting the other fellow have your way. In other words, you were polite, discreet, circumspect, etc., as a means to an end. Not any more.

None of John Bolton’s detractors is worried that his bluntness will jeopardise the administration’s policy goals. Quite the contrary. They’re concerned that the administration has policy goals — that it isn’t yet willing to subordinate its national interest to the polite transnational pieties. In that sense, our understanding of ‘diplomacy’ has become corrupted: it’s no longer the language through which nation states treat with one another so much as the code-speak consensus of a global elite.

For much of the civilised world the transnational pabulum has become an end in itself, and one largely unmoored from anything so tiresome as reality. It doesn’t matter whether there is any global warming or, if there is, whether Kyoto will do anything about it or, if you ratify Kyoto, whether you bother to comply with it: all that matters is that you sign on to the transnational articles of faith. The same thinking applies to the ICC, and Darfur, and the Oil-for-Fraud programme, and anything else involving the UN. …

The normal Western deference to the [UN] has grossly over-inflated its ‘legitimacy’ and ‘moral authority’. That’s what John Bolton had in mind with his observations about international law:

It is a big mistake for us to grant any validity to international law even when it may seem in our short-term interest to do so — because, over the long term, the goal of those who think that international law really means anything are those who want to constrict the United States.’

Just so. When George Bush Sr. went through the UN to assemble his coalition for the first Gulf war, it might have been a ‘diplomatic triumph’ but it was also the biggest single contributing factor to the received wisdom in the decade and a half since that only the UN has the international legitimacy to sanction war — to the point where, on the eve of Iraq’s liberation, the Church of England decided that a ‘just war’ could only be one approved by the Security Council. That in turn amplifies the UN’s claim to sole global legitimacy in a thousand other areas, big and small — the environment, guns, smoking, taxation.

Yet the assumption behind much of the criticism of Bolton … is that, regardless of his government’s foreign policy, a UN ambassador has to be at some level a UN booster. Twenty years ago, the then Secretary of State George Schultz used to welcome the Reagan administration’s ambassadorial appointments to his office and invite each chap to identify his country on the map. The guy who’d just landed the embassy in Chad would invariably point to Chad. ‘No,’ Schultz would say, ‘this is your country’ — and point to the United States. Nobody would expect a US ambassador to the Soviet Union to be a big booster for the Soviets. …

A slyer argument is that yes, the UN’s in a terrible state, what with the Oil-for-Fraud and the Congolese moppets and the flop response to Darfur and the tsunami, but that’s all the more reason why America needs an ambassador able to build consensus for much-needed reforms. The problem with that seductive line is that most of the proposed reforms are likely to make things worse. Again, Bolton is right to be dismissive about restructuring the [UN] Security Council. Even as the Second World War victory parade preserved in aspic, it makes little sense.

I can find only one example of a senior UN figure having the guts to call a member state a ‘totalitarian regime’. It was former secretary-general Boutros Boutros-Ghali … and he was talking about America.

A Secretary-General of the United Nations dared to name a member country as a totalitarian regime, and the country he named was the United States!

John Bolton’s sin isn’t that he’s ‘undiplomatic’, but that he’s correct.

This ship of state has lost a great navigator.

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