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.

A political resurrection 3

So old Joe Biden re-arises as a presidential candidate.

He again offers to lead the nation. He did it twice before, in 1984 and 1988, and his offer was not taken up.

Now he is 76 years old. Is the nation keener on him now than it was all those years ago? Will he be the nominee of the Democratic (Socialist) Party?

Does he qualify? Which is to say, to how many of these questions can he answer “Yes”? Only a score of 100% is sufficient: 

Is he black? No.

Is he a woman? No.

Has he tried to be a woman? No.

Is he homosexual? No.

Is he a socialist? N-ye-maybe.

Does he believe in manmade global warming? Yes.

Is he for late-term abortion? Yes.

Is he for open borders? Yes.

Plainly, on the question of qualification, he fails.

Breitbart reports:

The “women of color” who hosted this week’s presidential forum expressed frustration that the leading Democrat candidates are old, white men. It is an example, they say, of “racist” and “sexist” polling.

In particular, a member of the organizing committee for the event insisted that polls showing Joe Biden in the lead were absurd, especially because he had not yet even officially joined the race as the polls were being conducted, according to Politico.

“With all due respect to the vice president, he hasn’t even announced yet, but he’s the frontrunner?” said Leah Daughtry, organizer of the “She the People” event. “Racism and sexism are part of the fabric and the fiber and the founding of our country,” she added, “and the way that the [Democratic] candidates are being treated, it just reminds you of that. We’re not past it.”

Another minority Democrat activist, LaTosha Brown, co-founder of Black Voters Matter, also slammed the media for pushing white men as the Democrat frontrunners.

“When you got a media that’s constantly saying Biden and Beto and Bernie and literally elevating the male candidates, I think that’s going to be reflected in the polls,” Brown said.

(“She the people”? This solecism is a New American Fact. Grammar is outdated. It was a White masculine racist idea.)

Thing is, Joe, almost every country in the First World is now a gynocracy. Women rule, okay?

You scored quite highly on the old qualifications for Democratic leadership. They must have been just the ticket when you were picked for vice president.

What were those old-time qualifications?

Are you corrupt?  Yes.

[Joe Biden’s] family, particularly his son, cashed in while he was vice president of the United States. … Joe Biden was the Obama administration’s point-person on policy towards Ukraine. He steered $1.8 billion in aid to that government and while he was doing so, his son got a sweetheart deal with this energy company  … [which] paid $3.1 million into an account where Hunter Biden was getting paid.”

So says author Peter Schweizer, president of the Government Accountability Institute, who also revealed this:

“In December of 2013, Vice President Joe Biden flies to Asia for a trip, and the centerpiece for that trip is a visit to Beijing, China,” said Schweizer. “To put this into context, in 2013, the Chinese have just exerted air rights over the South Pacific, the South China Sea. They basically have said, ‘If you want to fly in this area, you have to get Chinese approval. We are claiming sovereignty over this territory.’ Highly controversial in Japan, in the Philippines, and in other countries. Joe Biden is supposed to be going there to confront the Chinese. Well, he gets widely criticized on that trip for going soft on China. So basically, no challenging them, and Japan and other countries are quite upset about this.”

Elaborating, Schweizer said, “Well, I think the reason he goes soft on China is because with him on that trip, flying on Air Force Two, is his son Hunter Biden, and ten days after they return from China, Hunter Biden — who has this small firm, he has no background in private equity, he has no background in Chinese finance — gets a whopping $1.5 billion deal from the Chinese government. This is the Chinese government giving Joe Biden and a [John] Kerry confidant the management over this money, and they made huge fees off of this money, and it’s an example of this kind of corruption. That’s the first of three major deals that the Chinese government does with people who are either the children — that is the sons — or close aides to Vice President Biden or Secretary of State John Kerry.

Schweizer discussed national security implications related to modern corruption, highlighting the acquisition of Henniges Automotive —  a formerly America-based company developing “dual-use” technologies with military applications — by Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), a Chinese state-run military contractor. AVIC acquired Henniges in 2017 with a 51 percent stake purchase. The remaining 49 percent was purchased by the Biden- and-Kerry-linked BHR.

“So [Hunter Biden and Devon Archer] get this $1.5 billion to invest, and what they are supposed to do is basically invest in companies that benefit the Chinese government,” stated Schweizer. “So just think about this for a second. This is the vice president of the United States whose father is supposed to be commanding American presence and power in the Pacific to deal with the rising challenge from China, and his son is investing $1.5 billion of Chinese government money. So what do they do? They invest in an American high-precision tools company called Henniges, which used to be owned by Rocket Company, but they produce anti-vibration technologies which have a dual-use application, so this transaction actually requires the approval of the federal government, as it has national security implications. So again, the vice president’s son is helping the Chinese government take over a dual-use military technology-related company called Henniges.”

BHR also invested in a Chinese state-run atomic energy company indicted by the Department of Justice in crimes related to stealing nuclear secrets, Schweizer said.

“But it gets even worse because another investment that they make is in something called CGN — China General Nuclear — which is an atomic power company,” recalled Schweizer. “They invest in this company in 2014. A year later, what happens? The FBI arrests and charges senior officials in this company with stealing nuclear secrets in the United States. Specifically, they’re trying to get access to something called the AP-1000 nuclear reactor that is very similar to the ones that we put on U.S. submarines. So again, you have the son of the vice president, a close aide to the secretary of state who are investing in a company that is trying to steal nuclear secrets in the United States. It’s a stunning story, and here’s the thing: none of this is required to be disclosed because they’ve figured out a way to get around these disclosure laws.”

Have you colluded with a foreign power? Yes.

“There is far more evidence of collusion involving Joe Biden — or even involving the Clintons — of collusion with these foreign powers than there was with Donald Trump, because you actually have the transaction of money, you have very favorable policies that were carried out. I think ‘collusion’ is not too strong a word. I think it’s a pretty accurate word.”

Schweizer added, “There’s no question. The Bidens got a lot of money — millions of dollars — from these foreign powers. Hunter Biden had no legitimate reasons to get the deal. He simply wasn’t qualified.”

Schweizer warned of politicians and officials monetizing their political influence.

“So what [Joe Biden] is doing is using U.S. taxpayer government resources for the personal benefit of his family, and by the way, all of this absolutely rings true,” remarked Schweizer. “Joe Biden was the Obama administration’s person on Ukraine, he traveled to that country something like 17 times during his tenure as vice president, which is pretty amazing.”

Schweizer went on, “What’s remarkable is when, a couple of days before Donald Trump was inaugurated in Washington, D.C., Joe Biden was actually in Ukraine. It’s pretty remarkable for a vice president of the United States to be overseas that late in the game, but he was in Ukraine. [Joe Biden’s] sway and influence there was enormous, and it raises all kinds of questions about the way that he used or abused government power, and of course it raises questions about what potentially did Ukrainians have on Hunter Biden.”

“What kind of evidence and information do we have?” asked Schweizer of corruption concerns regarding Joe Biden. “We know that millions of dollars flowed into Hunter Biden’s accounts. We know that he was not qualified for the job, and the question is, what did he get for Ukrainians in return? I think that’s all the sort of thing that needs to be investigated and looked into by a grand jury.”

Do you have traitorous impulses? Yes.

From Discover the Networks:

Shortly after 9/11, Biden told his staff that America should respond to the worst act of terrorism in its history by showing the Arab world that the U.S. was not seeking to destroy it. “Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran,” he said.

Do you have poor political judgment? Yes.

In 1979 Senator Biden shared President Jimmy Carter‘s belief that the fall of the Shah in Iran and the advent of Ayatollah Khomeini’s rule represented progress for human rights in that country. Throughout the ensuing 444-day hostage crisis, during which Khomeini’s extremist acolytes routinely paraded the blindfolded American captives in front of television cameras and threatened them with execution, Biden opposed strong action against the mullahs and called for dialogue.

Do you have a favorable opinion of Communism and advocate for good relations with Communist states? Yes.

Throughout the 1980s, Biden opposed President Ronald Reagan’s proactive means of dealing with the Soviet Union. Biden instead favored détente — which, in practice, meant Western subsidies that would have enabled the moribund USSR to remain solvent much longer than it ultimately did. He also opposed Reagan’s effort to fund the Contras, an anti-Communist rebel group in Nicaragua.

Biden was a leading critic of the Reagan defense buildup, specifically vis a vis the MX missile, the B-l bomber, and the Trident submarine. He criticized Reagan for his “continued adherence” to the goal of developing a missile defense system known as the Strategic Defense Initiative, calling the President’s insistence on the measure “one of the most reckless and irresponsible acts in the history of modern statecraft”.

Do you lie about your own record? Yes.

Biden first ran for U.S. President in 1987. He was considered a strong contender for the Democratic Party’s nomination, but in April of that year controversy descended on Biden’s campaign when he told several lies about his academic record in law school. In an April 3, 1987 appearance on C-SPAN, a questioner asked Biden about his law school grades. In response, an angry Biden looked at his questioner and said, “I think I have a much higher I.Q. than you do.” He then stated that he had gone “to law school on a full academic scholarship — the only one in my class to have a full academic scholarship”; that he had “ended up in the top half” of his law school class; and that he had “graduated with three degrees from college.”

But each of those claims proved to be untrue. In reality, Biden had: (a) earned only two college degrees — in history and political science — at the University of Delaware in Newark, where he graduated only 506th in a class of 688; (b) attended law school on a half scholarship that was based on financial need; and (c) eventually graduated 76th in a law-school class of 85. “I exaggerate when I’m angry,” Biden would later concede, “but I’ve never gone around telling people things that aren’t true about me.”

Do you steal intellectual property when you think you can get away with it? Yes.

Then, in August 1987 Biden plagiarized a portion of a speech made by British politician Neil Kinnock. Before long, revelations surfaced that Biden also had plagiarized extensive portions of an article in law school and consequently had received a grade of “F” for the course. (He eventually was permitted to retake the course, and the failure was removed from his transcript.)

So what makes Joe Biden think he should stand for president again now?

Is there some great issue on which he feels he – more than any other Democrat aspiring to the presidency – can run against President Trump and win?

Again Breitbart reports:

Former Vice President Joe Biden launched his third presidential campaign on Thursday [April 25, 2019] by referring to a debunked claim that President Donald Trump referred to neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 as “very fine people.”

In a three-and-a-half minute YouTube video, Biden cited the August 2017 riots as his primary motivation for running against Trump, presenting a version of events that even a CNN contributor has declared to be fraudulent.

After referring to the town’s historic role — including Thomas Jefferson, a slave owner — he added, “Charlottesville is also home to a defining moment for this nation in the last few years,” followed by footage of a neo-Nazi procession.

Biden noted that the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville were “chanting the same antisemitic bile heard in the ’30s”. He then added that they were “met by a courageous group of Americans, and a violent clash ensured.”

Go here to read a justifiably furious objection to those statements.

(Among that “courageous group of Americans” were left-wing Antifa extremists who specifically came to Charlottesville to cause violence, and whom even Nancy Pelosi later condemned after they caused another riot.)

Biden then cited the debunked “very fine people” claim:

And that’s when we heard the words of the President of the United States that stunned the world and shocked the conscience of this nation. He said there were, quote, some “very fine people on both sides”. Very fine people on both sides? With those words, the president of the United States assigned a moral equivalence between those spreading hate, and those with the courage to stand against it. And in that moment, I knew that the threat to this nation was unlike any I had every seen in my lifetime.

What Biden said is completely untrue, as the transcript of Trump’s press conference about Charlottesville shows.

Trump was referring to protesters against the removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, as well as to non-violent left-wing protesters against racism, and specifically excluded the neo-Nazis from “very fine people” (emphasis added):

REPORTER: The neo-Nazis started this thing. They showed up in Charlottesville.

TRUMP: Excuse me, they didn’t put themselves down as neo-Nazis, and you had some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides. You had people in that group – excuse me, excuse me. I saw the same pictures as you did. You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down, of to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.

REPORTER: George Washington and Robert E. Lee are not the same.

TRUMP: Oh no, George Washington was a slave owner. Was George Washington a slave owner? So will George Washington now lose his status? Are we going to take down – excuse me. Are we going to take down, are we going to take down statues to George Washington? How about Thomas Jefferson? What do you think of Thomas Jefferson? You like him? Okay, good. Are we going to take down his statue? He was a major slave owner. Are we going to take down his statue? You know what? It’s fine, you’re changing history, you’re changing culture, and you had people – and I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally – but you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, okay? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly. Now, in the other group also, you had some fine people, but you also had troublemakers and you see them come with the black outfits and with the helmets and with the baseball bats – you had a lot of bad people in the other group too. …

[Biden] apparently planned to launch his campaign directly in Charlottesville this week, but local leaders objected because “some residents [were] unhappy about the scene a tragedy the city would prefer to forget being used as a campaign launch backdrop” …

It is unclear why Biden chose to run on a divisive racial hoax, even one that remains dogma among many on the left. Biden may feel vulnerable in a Democratic Party now dominated by identity politics. Indeed, the Associated Press reported Thursday that some “women of color” were “frustrated” by his candidacy.

So would this corrupt, traitorous, dishonest man, this candidate out of a past era

Oh, yes, it must be mentioned too that he is also an assaulting groper and hugger, according to recent reports …

… be a good choice for president of the United States?

Europe-Iran: an evil partnership 17

Europe loves Iran.

Which is to say, Germany loves Iran. And Germany decides what Europe loves.

Which is to say, the rulers of Germany decide what Germany decides what Europe loves.

And Chancellor Angela Merkel decides what the rulers of Germany will decide, and she has decided that Germany and therefore Europe love Iran.

She can rely on the concurrence of the EU’s mascot, French president Emmanuel Macron.   

Here’s a bark or two of his clap-trap against Brexit in an open letter:

‘Brexit … symbolizes the European trap. The trap is not being part of the European Union. The trap is in the lie and the irresponsibility that can destroy it. … And this trap threatens the whole of Europe …”  (Our emphasis.)

We hope it does more than threaten the EU. We hope Brexit brings down the whole rickety structure. It really could set an example to other member states, and with a little bit of luck the European Union will fall into a heap of rubble in a pall of dust. 

Meanwhile, it loves Iran.

From Gatestone, by Majid Rafizadeh:

According to a report published by Amnesty International on February 26, the human rights situation in Iran has “severely deteriorated”. Why then does the European Union continue to pursue appeasement policies with a regime that has an excruciating human rights record? Sadly, Europe — in spite its endless moral preening and self-righteousness — seems to have become the world most immoral player — if it was not already. The European Union, for instance, unjustly singles out for bullying the only liberal, democratic, human-rights-abiding country in the Middle East: Israel … yet tries to find ways to keep on doing business with a country such as Iran that is not only trying to establish its hegemony throughout the Middle East — through proxies in Iraq, Yemen, Syria and Lebanon — but is also the serial violator of just about every human right imaginable … The only conclusion one can come to is that Europe would evidently still like to kill the Jews and is happy to support those wishing to kill them. How much more immoral can one get?

The list of unspeakable human rights violations committed by Iran’s regime is lengthy; however, by far the most disturbing seems the cruelty enacted against children.

According to the Norway-based organization Iran Human Rights (IHR), which closely monitors executions in Iran:

“Despite ratifying the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child which bans the death penalty for offenses committed at under 18 years of age, Iran stays the world’s top executioner of juvenile offenders. According to reports by IHR, Iranian authorities have executed at least 40 juvenile offenders since 2013. “

These children are held in custody and executed before they have the chance to reach adulthood. At least 6 minors, including two child brides were executed in 2018. Amnesty International comments on Iran’s use of capital punishment on children:

“Girls as young as nine can be sentenced to execution; for boys it’s 15. At least 73 young offenders were executed between 2005 and 2015. And the authorities show no sign of stopping this horrific practice. …

Under Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, executions can be conducted in four different ways: hanging, stoning, firing squad, or crucifixion.

Vague charges can be brought up by the Islamic Republic’s judiciary system or the Revolutionary Court, such as “waging war against God”, spreading moharebeh(“corruption on earth”) such as protesting, or endangering the country’s national security. These charges can be stretched to allow for simple acts such as criticizing the Supreme Leader to become crimes, simply to allow an order of execution to be carried out.

This is all allowed to occur while the deeply cynical EU continues to label the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as a “moderate”.

The use of cruel and inhumane punishments is also on the rise in Iran. According to Amnesty International’s report, the use of various forms of torture such as amputation and flogging has been increasing at an alarming rate. …

Due to the recent protests in the country, the theocratic establishment has also ratcheted up its censorship of media, jamming of foreign satellite television channels, and detention of human rights defenders. Human rights defenders and prominent lawyers … who defended or supported social movements such as the opposition of  compulsory hijab, have been unfairly prosecuted and sentenced to long prison sentences.

These increasingly wanton human rights violations should raise alarms among the European governments, who are always lecturing the rest of the world about how caring they are — for instance not sending criminals back to countries where they might be tortured. It should horrify them to know that they are in some way enabling and emboldening this regime and empowering it to continue to commit these vicious acts.

But Europe is not horrified by the Iranian regime. Not in the least. In fact the EU actively supports the Iranian theocracy, because Germany rules Europe, and Angela Merkel’s Germany loves Iran.

Caroline Glick writes at Breitbart:

In a recent conversation with senior Trump administration officials, Breitbart News was told that the force behind the European Union’s trenchant support for Iran is Germany.

This EU support for Iran is manifested in a series of ways.

For example, after President Donald Trump walked away from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), otherwise known as the Iran nuclear deal, last May, the EU responded harshly.

Brussels refused U.S. calls to join America in abandoning the deal that paves the way for Iran to develop a nuclear arsenal, and which funds its terrorism and aggression throughout the Middle East and world. The EU’s “big three”, Germany, France and Britain, spent months putting together a financial vehicle to sidestep U.S. economic sanctions on Iran. They instructed European firms to defy U.S. sanctions and maintain their economic operations in Iran.

In other words, rather than siding with their most powerful and important ally – the United States of America – in its efforts to forge a policy vis-à-vis Iran that actually diminishes the threat the regime poses to global security and stability, the Europeans – led by Germany — have stood with Iran against the United States.

The EU has also, following Germany’s lead, refused to ban Hezbollah – Iran’s terror proxy – from operating in Europe. Instead, the EU’s policy is to make an artificial distinction between what it refers to as the “military wing” of Hezbollah and what it refers to as Hezbollah’s “political wing”. The fact that even Hezbollah rejects the distinction, and that the so-called “political wing” in Europe raises money for Hezbollah and mobilizes terrorists to join Hezbollah through open indoctrination, is of no interest.

Like its Iranian controllers, Hezbollah seeks the obliteration of the Jewish state. When the British parliament voted last week to outlaw Hezbollah’s fake “political wing” from operating in the United Kingdom, the German government was quick to announce that it would not follow suit.

Germany — and through it, the rest of continental Europe — will continue to allow the genocidal terror group to operate openly on its soil.

As for the Iranians, German leaders insist that their continued allegiance to the nuclear deal stems from their conviction that the deal is a non-proliferation agreement and advances their security, and not from their support for Iran. But evidence grows by the day that the opposite is the case. Whereas in Iran, last month the regime had to hire people to fill the streets to “celebrate” the fortieth anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution, senior German leaders were happy to gush in joy as they congratulated the murderous regime for its longevity.

The German Foreign Ministry sent State Minister Niels Annan and an Iran desk officer to celebrate the occasion at the Iranian Embassy in Berlin. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeyer sent a congratulatory telegram to his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, praising the Islamic regime. In contrast, in November 2016, Steinmeyer refused to send a congratulatory telegram to President-elect Donald Trump and referred to him as a “hate preacher.”

In an article in the Washington Examiner, Iran expert Michael Rubin argued that Germany’s support for the Islamic regime is a function of financial interests.

In his words, “For German authorities across from the political spectrum, human rights is only a tool with which to dress its foreign policy rhetoric. … For German authorities, the primary goal is commercial benefit. The execution of gays, slaughter of Jews, repression of other minorities, and terrorism are inconveniences to ignore.”

There is much to support Rubin’s conclusion. But a cursory glance at Germany’s focus in its hypocritical human rights activism shows that money isn’t the only reason that Germany is the greatest defender of a regime that openly seeks the annihilation of the Jewish people and the Jewish state.

Israel’s NGO-Monitor is a group that reports on funding for radical non-governmental organizations (NGOs) dedicated to advancing the cause of Israel’s destruction. NGO-Monitor has documented copiously how the German government spends millions of dollars every year funding groups that criminalize Israel’s very right to exist, and goes to great efforts to hide reporting of is funding activities.

During a visit to Israel in 2017 by Germany’s then-foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel, the depths of Germany’s commitment to these groups was laid bare. Parallel to scheduling a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Gabriel ostentatiously announced his plan to meet with two radical anti-Israel propaganda groups funded by Germany …

When Netanyahu heard about Gabriel’s plan … he informed Gabriel that he had to choose between meeting with [the two anti-Israel organizations] or meeting with [him]. Gabriel insisted on meeting with the German-funded NGOs. So Netanyahu canceled their meeting.

When seen in the context of Germany’s extensive funding for political groups whose goal is to criminalize Israel and delegitimize its right to exist, Germany’s enthusiastic, warm, and supportive ties to the genocidally anti-Jewish Iranian regime seem to point to motivations far more sinister than mere greed.

We suspected that Islam-loving President Obama’s most compelling reason for wanting a “deal” with Iran that allowed it to become a nuclear-armed power, was that he thought it the most likely way Islam would be able to destroy Israel.

We suspect that Germany-dominated Europe thinks so too.

The coming tyranny – nightmare or prophecy? 46

Is it likely, is it possible, that the people of the United States will vote to be ruled by Communists, feminists, and Muslim jihadis?

Yes. Some have already done so. New Democratic members of Congress include (left to right in the picture) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Hispanic) who has published a Stalinist agenda, and Rashida Tlaib (Palestinian) and Ilhan Omar (Somali) who are  annihilationist enemies of Jews and the state of Israel and support the terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah.

The Democratic Party is now a party of the extreme Left, with a Socialist and pro-Islam platform. It will do anything to take power including voter fraud. And the rising generation of voters has been indoctrinated at school and college to favor Socialism, Islam, and tribalism; to despise the US itself; and to treat patriots, white people, Jews, Christians, conservatives, constitutionalists, nationalists, and heterosexual men as deviants, miscreants, and provocateurs.      

The Democrats in power will: make racist laws against Jews and white people; break the US alliance with Israel; ally with Russia, China, Cuba and Iran; heavily tax or totally confiscate your assets and savings; severely restrict your consumption of energy; limit the number of children you may have by enforcing abortion; criminalize nonconformist speech; monitor  your communications for punishable violations of their speech code; rewrite history nearer to their hearts’ desire.  

It will be one-party tyrannical rule. The United States will rapidly become poorer and weaker.

We have never hoped for any political outcome as much as we hope now that we are wrong.  

Slavery now 63

Britain passed the Slavery Abolition Act which set free all the slaves and abolished the institution of slavery throughout its empire in 1833.

The United States Congress freed all the slaves and abolished the institution of slavery throughout the Union in 1865.

People had been enslaved by other people for as long as there had been people on the earth. No power had ever before 1833 abolished slavery and made enslavement a crime.

So now, in the 21st. century, slavery is long over and gone?

No.

There are tens of millions of people trapped in various forms of slavery throughout the world today. Researchers estimate that 40 million are enslaved worldwide, generating $150 billion each year in illicit profits for traffickers.

Labor Slavery. About 50 percent toil in forced labor slavery in industries where manual labor is needed—such as farming, ranching, logging, mining, fishing, and brick making—and in service industries working as dish washers, janitors, gardeners, and maids.

Sex Slavery. About 12.5 percent are trapped in forced prostitution sex slavery.

Forced Marriage Slavery. About 37.5 percent are trapped in forced marriages. 

Child Slavery. About 25 percent of today’s slaves are children.

New slavery has two chief characteristics—it’s cheap and it’s disposable. Slaves today are cheaper than ever. In 1850, an average slave in the American South cost the equivalent of $40,000 in today’s money. Today a slave costs about $90 on average worldwide. (Source: Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy. See all Free the Slaves books.)

Modern slaves are not considered investments worth maintaining. In the 19thcentury it was difficult to capture slaves and transport them to the United States. But today, when someone in slavery gets sick or injured, they are simply dumped or killed.

So there are at least forty million slaves in the world. (“At least” because it can fairly be said that the populations of all Communist countries are held in slavery.) A quarter of the forty million are children. And the number of child slaves will grow because more are continually being born in slavery.

In 2017, a coalition of states and non-government organizations estimated that there were some 40 million people enslaved worldwide, as well as 152 million child laborers.

Modern slavery

Total

40 m

Forced labor in the private sector

16 m

Forced marriage

15 m

Forced commercial sexual exploitation

5 m

Forced labor imposed by state authorities

4 m

Child labor

Total

152 m

Agriculture

108 m

Children living in middle income countries

84 m

Hazardous work

73 m

Children (ages 5-14) outside the education system

36 m

An estimated 40.3 million men, women, and children were victims of modern slavery on any given day in 2016. Of these, 24.9 million people were in forced labour and 15.4 million people were living in a forced marriage. Women and girls are vastly over-represented, making up 71 percent of victims. Modern slavery is most prevalent in Africa, followed by the Asia and the Pacific region.

Although these are the most reliable estimates of modern slavery to date, we know they are conservative as significant gaps in data remain. The current Global Estimates do not cover all forms of modern slavery; for example, organ trafficking, child soldiers, or child marriage that could also constitute forced marriage are not able to be adequately measured at this time. Further, at a broad regional level there is high confidence in the estimates in all but one of the five regions. Estimates of modern slavery in the Arab States are affected by substantial gaps in the available data. Given this is a region that hosts 17.6 million migrant workers, representing more than one-tenth of all migrant workers in the world and one in three workers in the Arab States, and one in which forced marriage is reportedly widespread, the current estimate is undoubtedly a significant underestimate.

The 10 countries with the highest prevalence of modern slavery [and the predominant religion in each of them] are: 

North Korea [Communist]

Eritrea  [Christian and Muslim]

Burundi [Christian] 

Central African Republic  [Christian]

Afghanistan [Muslim] 

Mauritania [Muslim] 

South Sudan [Christian] 

Pakistan  [Muslim]

Cambodia [Christian] 

Iran [Muslim]

Mauritania and Cambodia remained in the top 10 in 2018. Mauritania continues to host a high proportion of people living in modern slavery. …

The practice is entrenched in Mauritanian society with slave status being inherited, and deeply rooted in social castes and the wider social system. …

In Cambodia, men, women, and children are known to be exploited in various forms of modern slavery – including forced labour, debt bondage and forced marriage. … The government has been slow to improve their response to modern slavery.

Both ISIS and Boko Haram (the Nigerian affiliate of ISIS) have captured and enslaved untold thousands. The number of Yazidi women and girls enslaved by ISIS is estimated at about 7,000. Some who escaped or have been freed as ISIS has been defeated, have reported what they had to endure.

One story in particular haunts us (and it is certainly one of many as terrible.) A little Yazidi slave girl, 5 years old, got sick and wet her bed. Her ISIS Muslim owners in Iraq, a man and his German wife, punished her by putting her, chained up, out in the scorching heat and letting her thirst to death.

Posted under Afghanistan, Africa, Arab States, Cambodia, communism, Iran, Islam, Labor, North Korea, Pakistan, Slavery by Jillian Becker on Monday, January 21, 2019

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