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.

This raging war 9

The fiercest, most intense and most extensive war ever fought is raging now. The battleground where no blood is spilt, no corpses buried, is the abstract sphere of ideas. The weapons are words.

The sides are Globalism versus Nationalism.

The issue is the future of the human race.

The question is, should there be separate self-governing nations or world government?

The Cold War was about the same question. International communism with its world government aspirations sought to conquer nation states defending individual freedom. The communist side lost, but its ideologues lived to fight another day.

Many of them lived in the nation states whose governments opposed the spread of communism. They fight now for their world government ideal from within their free countries.

John Fonte writes at American Greatness:

In 2008, Robert Kagan, then advising the presidential campaign of Senator John McCain, declared that the “United States . . . should not oppose, but welcome a world of pooled and diminished national sovereignty.”

The social-material base of the transnationalists [the globalists – ed] is housed in many institutions and organizations. For example, in the leadership of the United Nations; with bureaucrats from the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank; with judges from the World Court in the Hague, the International Criminal Court, and the European Court of Human Rights.

The social base certainly includes the leadership of the European Union (which is a model for supranational governance) and its administrators in the European Commission, judges in the European Court of Justice, and other EU officials. It includes international non-governmental organizations (e.g. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Greenpeace, George Soros’s Open Society foundations, etc.); and it includes “the Davoisie,” the global corporate leaders who attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. …

[T]he Obama Administration [promoted] transnational progressivism and diminishing democratic sovereignty. As Obama told the United Nations in 2016:

We’ve bound our power to international laws and institutions . . . I am convinced that in the long run, giving up freedom of action—not our ability to protect ourselves but binding ourselves to international rules over the long term—enhances our security.

With the Brexit referendum, the election of Donald Trump, and the rise of conservative democratic nationalists throughout the West, the global governance project has been seriously challenged for the first time. It appears that the “arc of history” has been altered.

So, what is this conflict between democratic sovereignty and transnational progressivism (or globalism) all about?

It is about the oldest questions in politics, examined by Plato and Aristotle: who should rule and on what basis? Who makes the rules by which we are governed? What is legitimate and what is not?

The program for the National Conservative Conference states that since the fall of the Berlin Wall, many American conservatives have “grown increasingly attached to a vision of a ‘global rules-based liberal order’ that would bring peace and prosperity to the entire world while attenuating the independence of nations”.

Wait! Conservatives have done that? Which conservatives? Why? When? And in what way, then, are they conservative?

So, let us examine this post-1989 “global rules-based liberal order”.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, many conservatives embraced President George H. W. Bush’s call for a “new world order”. It appeared to be a consolidation of the West’s Cold War victory and, thus, the building of a Reagan-Thatcher global order based on expanding liberal democracy and free markets.

Ah! Phew! A Reagan-Thatcher liberal order would be just fine.

But the “rules” in this “rules-based” liberal global order began to “evolve” (as academics like to say).

“Evolve” to the “academics” means change into a totally different, in fact an opposite concept.

In the 1990s, the United Nations Landmines Treaty and the establishment of the International Criminal Court were enacted by globalist forces (including European nation-states, American NGOs, and foundations) against the concerns of American sovereignty.

Recognizing this new transnationalist challenge in September 2000, John Bolton, in a University of Chicago law journal article, portrayed a coming conflict between “Globalists and Americanists.” At that time, 19 years ago, Bolton warned that we must take global governance seriously as a threat to democratic sovereignty.

A decade later, the Obama Administration in the name of the liberal global order was strong-arming democratic nation-states into adhering to progressive social policies concerning radical feminism, abortion, LGBT, and gender issues.

Meanwhile, the EU forced the removal of democratically elected leaders in Italy and Greece, and, led by Germany, facilitated mass migration from the developing world without the consent of the people of Europe’s democratic nation-states. It appears that the “rules” have changed as the liberal global order envisioned by Reagan-Thatcher conservatives has morphed into the transnational progressive order of Barack Obama and Angela Merkel.

In a “rules-based” global order the crucial question, of course, is who makes the rules? We are always reassured by the foreign policy establishment, dominated by self-styled “liberal internationalists” (who are, in reality, transnational progressives)—“don’t worry, Americans and their democratic allies will be making the rules”.

Yes, it is true that American elites will play an oversized role in the formation of global “rules”. Therefore, we should take a close look at what American elites are saying.

A leading international relations specialist, and supporter of global governance, Princeton University Professor G. John Ikenberry asks how do nation-states “reconcile the international liberal vision of increasing authority lodged above the nation-state—where there is a sharing and pooling of sovereignty—with domestic liberal democracy built on popular sovereignty.” He admits, “This is the unresolved problem in the liberal international project.”

Ikenberry’s answer is buried in several footnotes in his book, Liberal Leviathan. He cites American international relations scholars, Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye. Their argument is that national democracies cannot be relied upon to formulate the global “rules” because they disregard the interests of foreigners (Keohane cites the United States and Israel explicitly as major transgressors in this regard.)

Given the “limitations” of democratic sovereignty—of democratic self-government—American international relations specialists contend that the legitimacy of the rules-based order lies with “external epistemic communities” and “external epistemic actors.” You got that? “External epistemic actors.” In other words, for American transnationalists, global experts in international law, human rights, the environment, gender equity, and the like, would have greater legitimacy in the creation of “global rules” than democratically elected officials. This is a prescription for post-democratic rule.

Unelected dictators – among them no doubt some Americans – will be the world’s rulers as they are now of the EU. And like the rulers of the EU, they will be redistributionists, Socialists, collectivists. Their world order will be ruled much as China is. By force and coercion. By the imposition of an orthodoxy of ideas. Heretics will be removed before the contamination of an unauthorized opinion can spread.   

Without a doubt, the American leadership class is crucial to the success of the post-democratic global governance project. Because of the power of the American nation-state, U.S. submission to global authority would have to be voluntary. And that, indeed, is the dream of American transnational progressives (including our corporate elites)—America would provide what they would loudly hail as “leadership” in first creating and then submitting to the “rules” of a supranational legal regime.

This is what the American Bar Association means when it advocates the “global rule of law”. This is what Robert Kagan meant when he asserted that the United States “should not oppose but welcome a world of pooled and diminished national sovereignty”.

This is what President Bill Clinton meant when he told his confidant Strobe Talbott that “we have to build a global social system” for a world in the future in which America was no longer the leading power. Talbott noted that Clinton was “careful not to broadcast” these beliefs “while in office”.

And this is what President Obama meant when he told the United Nations in 2016 that by “binding ourselves to international laws and institutions” and that by “giving up freedom of action” and “binding ourselves to international rules over the long term” America would actually enhance its security. …

For decades conservative thinking has ignored the globalist challenge. The good news is that the Trump Administration is taking the conflict between democratic sovereignty and global governance seriously.

During his U.N. speech in 2017, President Trump mentioned sovereignty more than 20 times. He began by declaring “In foreign affairs we are renewing the principle of sovereignty”. He stated, “Our success depends upon a coalition of strong and independent nations that embrace their sovereignty to promote security, prosperity, and peace.”

The following year, President Trump told the United Nations:

[S]overeign and independent nations are the only vehicles where freedom has ever survived and democracy has ever endured . . . so we must protect our sovereignty and our cherished independence above all . . . We reject the ideology of globalism, and we embrace the doctrine of patriotism.

So of course the globalists – aka the Left, the Progressives, the Communists, the Democratic Party, the EU, the UN, and namely Merkel, Putin, Xi Jinping, Corbyn, Pelosi – hate him. Hate him. The savior of freedom.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaking in Brussels, declared “our mission is to reassert sovereignty, reform the liberal international order, and we want our friends to help us and exert their sovereignty as well.” The speech was called, “Restoring the Role of the Nation-State in the Liberal International Order.”

Months later, Pompeo told the Claremont Institute:

Countries all over the world are rediscovering their national identities, and we are supporting them. We’re asking them to do what’s best for their people as well. The wave of electoral surprises has swept from Britain to the United States and all the way to Brazil.

Today, we are witnessing the awakening of a national conservatism that might have been dormant, but has always been with us. …

The old conservative formula, that essentially ignored the transnational progressive challenge externally—and the identity politics-multiculturalist challenge internally—is not adequate to face the contemporary threats from global progressive left-liberalism.

National conservatism (in our country, we could call it Americanism) is needed to frame the two core issues of our time: the external challenge from globalism that I have examined, and the closely related internal challenge from identity-politics, multiculturalism, intersectionality, political correctness, social justice, woke-ism, whatever you want to call it—that the Claremont Institute and several speakers at the National Conservatism Conference have identified as the major adversary facing our nation today.

On both fronts, externally and internally, we are now involved in a conflict that will determine, not simply the direction of politics, but the existence of the democratic nation-state in America, Britain, the West, and throughout the world.

Atheism growing in Turkey 1

President Erdogan’s refusal to see Trump’s envoy, John Bolton, when he visited Turkey recently for the very purpose of talks with him, adds to a history of Turkey behaving more like an enemy than a NATO ally of America. It would seem sensible, indeed necessary, for NATO to expel Turkey from the alliance.

But what if Turkey were to change when Erdogan goes? Is the country showing signs of changing?

It seems from this report by Deutsche Welle that Erdogan’s policy of returning his country to fundamentalist Islam – undoing Ataturk’s secularization – is itself causing many Turks to turn against Islam, even prompting a significant number to become atheist!

If the report is true, it is a good sign that Turkey could return to the Western model Ataturk embraced.

According to a recent survey by the pollster Konda, a growing number of Turks identify as atheists.

Konda reports that the number of nonbelievers tripled in the past 10 years. It also found that the share of Turks who say they adhere to Islam dropped from 55 percent to 51 percent.

“There is religious coercion in Turkey,” said 36-year-old computer scientist Ahmet Balyemez, who has been an atheist for over 10 years. “People ask themselves: Is this the true Islam? When we look at the politics of our decision-makers, we can see they are trying to emulate the first era of Islam. So, what we are seeing right now is primordial Islam.”

Balyemez said he grew up in a very religious family. “Fasting and praying were the most normal things for me,” he said. But then, at some point, he decided to become an atheist. …

Diyanet, Turkey’s official directorate of religious affairs, declared in 2014 that more than 99 percent of the population identifies as Muslim. When Konda’s recent survey with evidence to the contrary was published, heated public debate ensued.

The theologian Cemil Kilic believes that both figures are correct. Though 99 percent of Turks are Muslim, he said, many only practice the faith in a cultural and sociological sense.

“The majority of Muslims in Turkey are like the Umayyads, who ruled in the seventh century,” Kilic said. … “The Umayyads regarded daily prayer as a form of showing deference towards the sultan, the state and the powers that be.”  [In Turkey] the relationship between church and state endures. “Regular prayers have become a way to signal obedience toward the political leadership … and prayers in mosques increasingly reflect the political worldview of those in power.” …

For nearly 16 years under Recep Tayyip Erdogan, first as prime minister and since 2014 as president, Turkish officials have increasingly used Islam to justify their politics — possibly increasing the skepticism surrounding faith in government.

“People reject the predominant interpretation of Islam, the sects, religious communities, the directorate of religious affairs and those in power,” Kilic said. “They do not want this kind of religion and this official form of piousness.” This, he said, could help explain why so many Turks now identify as atheists.

Selin Ozkohen, who heads Ateizm Dernegi, Turkey’s main association for atheists, said Erdogan’s desire to produce a generation of devout Muslims had backfired in many ways.

Ozkohen cited the unsuccessful coup in 2016, in which followers of the preacher and religious scholar Fethullah Gulen were accused of rising up against Erdogan … The coup, she said, was a clash between opposing religious groups — which was followed by a major crackdown by Erdogan. … “Those who reflect rationally on this, turn to atheism. Today, people are more courageous and willing to openly say they are atheists.”

If atheism can grow in Turkey, is it too optimistic to suggest that it could grow in other Islamic states?

Well … yes.

Posted under Islam, Turkey by Jillian Becker on Thursday, January 10, 2019

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About the mass destruction of populations 69

Moral clarity is needed on the question of whether the Syrian dictator Bashar Assad can be allowed to get away with using gas against the Syrian people in the civil war over which he presides year after year.

The answer is NO. He cannot be allowed to.

Gas was delivered on to the Syrian town of Douma from the air. No rebel faction has aircraft. It could only have been delivered by Assad, or his Russian allies at his behest.

There is no defense against chemical and biological weapons. They can be used against large numbers of civilians. That is why they are called “weapons of mass destruction”.

So yes, it is worse to kill off whole populations with gas or anthrax than to engage an army with conventional weapons.

If Assad or anyone else in a position to develop and deliver mass-murdering gas gets away with doing it, others will do it too, such as the mullahs of Iran, the despot of North Korea.

And if gas is re-introduced as a weapon of war, no one anywhere will be out of its reach.

Bad actors hesitate to use biological weapons – the spreading of diseases, such as anthrax – because the stuff can kill the attackers as easily as the attacked. Disease is wholly impartial and no respecter of persons. But gas, dropped from the air as it was over Douma, kills only those below, not those who drop it or send it. It is the cheapest weapon of mass destruction an immoral government with an air force can use.

Elliot Friedland writes at the Clarion Project:

[President] Trump was on the phone with the leaders of France and Britain, the only two other Western powers with serious force projection capabilities, although their militaries pale in comparison to that of the United States. …

The question is whether the United States and her allies will wage war on Syria.

Many pundits and politicians from both sides of the aisle feel the question has already been decided. Of course the President should act in the face of such immorality. America has a responsibility to lead, to not let tyrants commit atrocities with impunity. Despite the partisan rancor that normally characterizes Washington, there is remarkable unity around the idea that Trump ought to authorize at least some military action in Syria.

There are many good reasons to support such a position. Clarion Project’s Ryan Mauro forcefully argued the case against Assad on Fox News, highlighting the vital importance of maintaining deterrence against chemical weapons attacks.

But opposition to the war is bringing a strange medley of personalities from across the political spectrum together.

Tucker Carlson, one of the most watched right-of-center talk show hosts on American television, delivered a blistering rebuke of the pro-war crowd on his show. He said that even if Assad did order a chemical weapons attack that killed children (which Carlson acknowledges he is perfectly capable of doing), to remove him would only bring further chaos at the expense of American lives and billions more dollars.

In this opinion, he is joined by none other than Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain’s Labour party, who called for restraint and a multilateral solution brought by the United Nations.

The iniquitous United Nations, that does much harm and no good! (It must be abolished.)

Corbyn has links to Islamist figures, has called Hamas and Hezbollah his “friends” and is embroiled in an on-going anti-Semitism scandal. In the UK, Corbyn’s position was supported by none other than Nick Griffin, former leader of the far-right British National Party. Griffin tweeted that he would vote Labour and support Corbyn if he stopped U.S. airstrikes in Syria.

Left-wing journalist and self-described “anarcho-psychonaut” Caitlin Johnstone wrote in Medium “We All Need to Unite Against War in Syria Regardless of Ideology.” She cites Intercept founder Glenn Greenwald, who got famous breaking Edward Snowden’s Wikileaks as also being against the war.

Patriarcha, an ultraconservative Christian Facebook page even shared her article, calling it “compulsory reading”, despite that page’s longstanding visceral hatred for anything emanating from the left.

The prospect of war is uniting people who normally couldn’t stand to even be in the same room without screaming at each other. The conventional partisan alignments are breaking down in the face of the ever-changing political reality.

Fortunately, the person who will decide what to do is not Tucker Carlson, or Jeremy Corbyn, or Nick Griffin, or Caitlin Johnstone, or Glenn Greenwald, or some “ultraconservative Christian” …

Rebuilding the might of the USA 6

President Trump has explained that he had to sign the outrageous “omnibus” bill because he urgently needs the funds for rebuilding the US military.

Matthew Vadum writes at Front Page:

After eight long years of Barack Obama decimating the military, President Trump is proudly beginning the process of rebuilding the nation’s armed forces and defense  capabilities.

Decimating? Destroying one in ten of whatever? Much as we appreciate the article we are quoting, it was not a “decimation” of the military; it was letting the equipment of national defense, the weapons of war, decay. The very fabric of America’s ships and planes was allowed to rot.

Obama manifestly hated the US military. (Not “the military” in general – he had a soft spot for Iranian missiles and potential nuclear bombs.)

As the president signed the omnibus spending bill Friday that avoided another partial government shutdown and funded the government through the end of the fiscal year Sept. 30, Defense Secretary James Mattis, hailed the measure as “the largest military budget in history, reversing many years of decline and unpredictable funding.”

At the White House Trump explained why such a spending boost was necessary as he reflected on the serious damage that the previous president did to national security and military preparedness.

For the last eight years, deep defense cuts have undermined our national security, hollowed out  — if you look at what’s taken out, they’ve hollowed our readiness as a military unit, and put America at really grave risk. My highest duty is to keep America safe. Nothing more important. The omnibus bill reverses this dangerous defense trend. As crazy as it’s been, as difficult as it’s been, as much opposition to the military as we’ve had from the Democrats –  and it has been tremendous –  I try to explain to them, you know, the military is for Republicans and Democrats and everybody else. It’s for everybody. But we have tremendous opposition to creating, really, what will be by far the strongest military that we’ve ever had.

Trump said at the press conference that he was signing the massive pork-laden spending bill that contains “a lot of things that I’m unhappy about” because of “national security.”

But I say to Congress: I will never sign another bill like this again. I’m not going to do it again. Nobody read it. It’s only hours old. Some people don’t even know what is in it. $1.3 trillion — it’s the second largest ever.

The bill contains an impressive $700 billion in military expenditures, about $3 billion of which will go to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. Trump rattled off a list of other line items, $1.8 billion for 24 FA-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft fighter jets, $1.7 billion for 10 P-8, $1.1 billion for 56 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, $1.1 billion to upgrade 85 Abrams tanks, and $705 million “for the cooperative programs that we’re working with Israel and others on various missile defense systems.”

“We’re spending a lot of money on missile defense,” Trump added. “We have a lot of offense that’s been recently installed. We’re spending tremendous money on missile defense.”

Ramping up spending after Obama’s assaults on the military is critical, defense analysts say.

Obama did lasting damage to the military, according to Thomas C. Donnelly of the American Enterprise Institute who after Obama left office inventoried the damage the 44th president did.

Obama attempted to end U.S. involvement in the Middle East by unilaterally pulling out of Iraq, carrying out a fake surge in Afghanistan, and ignoring the Syrian civil war, Donnelly writes. Obama let Russia annex Crimea, and China artificially create islands in the South China Sea.

Obama told outgoing then-Russian president Dmitry Medvedev in 2012 to pass the message on to Vladimir Putin to ease up on the missile defense issue until after that year’s approaching election when Obama would “have more flexibility”. 

There’s collusion for anyone who is really looking for it and not just inventing it in order to depose the president.

Obama also limited any future president’s ability to use the military overseas by curtailing its resources.

Comparing the five-year defense plan Obama left Trump with, with the plan Obama was left with at the end of George W. Bush’s presidency, the Department of Defense “has lost more than $250 billion in purchasing power”.

In his first year in office, Obama ordered then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates to slice off $300 billion from Pentagon programs, “which had the effect of eliminating several of the major weapons-acquisitions projects that had survived Donald Rumsfeld’s attempt to ‘transform’ the force by ‘skipping a generation of weapons systems’.”

Gates halted the production of the F-22, limiting it to 187 planes instead of the 750 the Air Force originally wanted and scuttled another $80 billion in spending, which Obama transferred to non-defense programs, Donnelly writes.

“Non-defense programs” such as “outreach to Muslims”, wasn’t it?

In 2011 Obama chopped another $400 billion from the DoD budget without even telling Gates in advance, which led to the so-called sequestration or Budget Control Act (BCA) that capped defense spending for years but left entitlement spending intact. The move led to long-term spending on Pentagon programs by almost $1 trillion from fiscal 2009 to 2023, he writes.

President Obama slashed Army and Marines personnel and gutted the ships and airplanes of the Navy and Air Force. The reduced force is not as well prepared as its predecessors.

“During the Cold War, the units of the Army and Air Force were always about 90 percent ready in terms of personnel, equipment, and training,” but nowadays readiness is down to about 60 percent or less, [Donnelly] writes.

This also means that the military’s ability to do anything more challenging than routine operations, such as keeping sea lanes open, is severely limited. It is no coincidence that in his 2012 “defense guidance,” Obama lowered the standard by which we determine the optimal size of our forces. Since the years prior to World War II, and as befits a global power, we have maintained the capacity to conduct two large-scale campaigns at once. Obama lowered the bar to just one war at a time.

Obama’s cockamamie social engineering schemes devastated the military’s morale, something his successor aims to turn around.

Trump’s presser came after his announcement Thursday that U.S. Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster (active) would soon be replaced by former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton as national security advisor. Bolton’s appointment is an unalloyed good that will benefit U.S. national security.

McMaster replaced Mike Flynn, also a lieutenant general in the Army (retired) in February 2017 after just 24 days in the post, the briefest such tenure on record. McMaster was a disaster at the National Security Council where he spent his time protecting Obama holdovers and purging competent professionals attuned to the threat that Islamofascism, including the brutal totalitarian theocracy in Iran, poses to the United States.

With Bolton at Trump’s side and ramped up defense spending, America may well be on its way to having its greatness restored.

Yes, and may it be so.

Is the Swamp swallowing Trump? 1

Is the  Swamp swallowing President Trump?

Seems so.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And Daniel Greenfield writes at Front Page:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ryan Mauro writes at Clarion Project:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To be continued …

For the control of people not climate 1

In this video, Ambassador John Bolton praises President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. It is actually about international political control, he says, rather than anything to do with climate – on which it can have no effect whatsoever.

Posted under Climate, Environmentalism, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Saturday, June 3, 2017

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“Our biggest national security crisis is Barack Obama” 2

Posted under Commentary, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, March 7, 2014

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A charade in Geneva 1

Unexpectedly, an important article on the current US and EU diplomatic talks with Iran, written by the excellent John Bolton (who would be a great Secretary of State) appears in the lefty pro-Islam British newspaper The Guardian. Here is a large part of it:

Tuesday’s opening of yet another round of negotiations with Iran over its nuclear-weapons program creates enormous risks for America’s anti-proliferation efforts. Tehran’s extensive propaganda campaign, stressing the “moderation” of its new president, Hassan Rouhani, seems to be working, softening up the gullible in the United States and Europe.

As in previous iterations of the charade now reopening in Geneva, Iran’s bargaining position benefits from our own repeated mistakes. The ayatollahs need only take advantage of these unforced errors, and success may well fall into their undeserving hands. Consider the most blatant errors that Iran is eager to exploit.

First, both Presidents Bush and Obama conceded that Iran was entitled to a “peaceful” nuclear program, for energy and scientific purposes. Under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), however, that view is flatly wrong. By pursuing nuclear weapons for over two decades, Iran has violated key NPT provisions – notably, the obligation it freely undertook to be a non-nuclear weapons state. Tehran is not, therefore, entitled to claim benefits under NPT sections permitting peaceful uses of nuclear power.

Beyond treaty interpretation, Iran’s long record of ignoring its commitments and lying about its nuclear program demonstrates beyond dispute that it cannot be trusted. What conceivable reason exists to believe today’s pledge to abstain from nuclear weapons when the ayatollahs have violated so many previous pledges?  …

Second, by allowing Iran to possess any uranium enrichment, nuclear reactors, or spent nuclear fuel reprocessing capabilities, the west will both legitimize Iran’s nuclear program and ensure that it can move to weaponization at a time entirely of its choosing. … By misunderstanding the physics of uranium enrichment, the Obama administration has made a mockery of itself.

Third, the White House retort that international inspections will prevent Iran from speedily moving to weaponization is a complete fiction. Given the broad, deep nuclear infrastructure Iran is building aggressively, Tehran need merely expel the International Atomic Energy Agency when it chooses to do so, and then move rapidly to weaponization. …

Fourth, what Iran really wants near-term, and what the west seems poised to give, is relief from international economic sanctions. Although these measures have caused Iran economic pain, there is no evidence they have impeded the nuclear program. …

So sanctions are working. But Obama and the Communist representative of the EU, Catherine Ashton, are already squandering that advantage.

While America and Europe insist they will demand reciprocal concessions for any weakening of the sanctions, Iran (with its backers, Russia and China) is bargaining from a position of strength. The ayatollahs sense from Obama’s desperate efforts for a handshake or phone call with Rouhani at September’s UN opening that he is hungry for a deal, thus allowing them to extract concession from the west before making even a superficial response.

Which is not just  diplomatic ineptitude on Obama’s part, it’s downright dumb – unless Obama wants Iran to get the bomb. Actually, we suspect he does; that he is sympathetic to Islam and its efforts to gain power. And we are convinced he is anti-Israel.

Our negotiators are already talking about “sequencing” steps by the two sides – meaning, in reality, we will make the first concessions, hoping that Iran will make substantive concession later. In fact, the likely scenario is the exact opposite: Obama will make significant reductions in sanctions that will be very hard to restore subsequently, and Iran will give us blue smoke and mirrors. Even worse, these non-reciprocal episodes could continue at length, giving Tehran another precious resource, time, to continue building its nuclear facilities.

We have only two very unpleasant choices: either Iran gets nuclear weapons in the very near future, or pre-emptive military force, fully justified by well-established principles of self-defense, must break Iran’s control over the nuclear fuel cycle and prevent (or, at least, substantially delay) weaponization. President Obama has said repeatedly that “all options are on the table”, the standard euphemism for military action. But, especially after Syria, no one believes him, the ayatollahs in Tehran, most notably.

By default that leaves Israel, which is watching today’s negotiations most uneasily.

The fact is we shouldn’t trust and can’t verify Iranian promises not to fabricate nuclear weapons. Indeed, even now, Washington really doesn’t know how quickly Iran could assemble a small number of nuclear weapons.

But a crash program has never really been Tehran’s objective. Iran is playing a much longer game that the west, largely because it fears neither our sanctions nor a possible military strike.

Our inability to see through this strategy has brought us grief time and again. Unfortunately, in Geneva, we may be watching a re-run.

Sound and fury signifying nothing? 1

Who gives a damn for the brave dead of Benghazi?

Neal Boortz wrote this yesterday, being realistic, but also bitter:

Here we go. The House Oversight Committee hearings on Benghazi begin today, and do you know what we’re going to learn? We’re going to learn that 0bama and Hillary Clinton were informed almost immediately that the attack on the Benghazi consulate was being waged by Islamic jihadists connected to al Qaeda. Then we’re going to learn that 0bama and Hillary immediately went into protective mode … protecting 0bama’s reelection efforts and Hillary’s chances for 2016.

His spelling of the President’s name with a small “o” as “obama” – so insistently that even when the “o” comes at the begining of a sentence it remains in the lower case – suggests that it might become a common noun, as occasionally happens with a name when its owner is identified with a particular idea or invention (eg. “orwellian”, “a clerihew”, “a crapper”.)  What might “an obama” be? Perhaps it might come to be said that when a nation “commits an obama” they give an enemy in their midst supreme power over them.

0bama had a narrative to protect. His diplomatic efforts in the Middle East had brought about a new era of cooperation and peace, right? Al Qaeda was on the run and all but decimated, right?

About (former) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton he is kinder than perhaps he need be. We think she is guilty not only of incompetence but actual malfeasance; that she was in on the rotten plans the President had for the Arab states and liked them as much as he did. We strongly suspect it was her idea to hire terrorists to protect the US mission in Benghazi (the February 17th Martyrs Brigade, affiliated with al-Qaeda), and that she it was who wanted to avoid any appearance of US counter-force against any Arab force, and so had rescue teams that could have saved the mission and the men ordered to stand down.

Neal Boortz writes:

Hillary? She had incompetence to cover up. Almost immediately she came to understand that this consulate had requested additional security and protection, and that her chain of command had said no. Now she had four dead Americans, including one dead Ambassador to deal with. The 3:00 am phone call came, and her phone was turned off.

There was one current and one future presidency to be saved here, so a narrative had to be developed and presented to the American people that would clear 0bama and Hillary of any culpability. So not only did they come up with this phony YouTube video lie, they actually used the police power of the Executive branch of government to take an American citizen, an unknown video producer from California, and jam him in jail on spurious (at best) charges in order to support their phony and entirely contrived YouTube video narrative.

Now, as the hearings begin, we have luminaries such as Senator Lindsey Graham, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton and my friend Mike Huckabee all predicting, to one degree or another, dreadful times ahead for 0bama. The predictions range from a Watergate-style scandal to outright impeachment.

And we have been happy to hear them.

But we should brace ourselves for disappointment:

Forget it. Ain’t going to happen. You’re dreaming.

But why, when their guilt – at the very least as callous swine and outrageous liars – has been proved?

Because …

Only a minority of Americans give a flying widget about any 0bama cover-up of the Benghazi matter. They are more likely to buy into White House Spokesman Jay Carney’s “That was a long time ago” narrative, or Hillary’s “What difference does it make” rant than they are to actually care about a deliberate, lying cover-up of the reasons behind the death of four Americans.

Which, if true, is a very sad verdict on most Americans.

Watergate? Gimme a big league break here. There’s a HUGE difference between 0bama’s problems with Benghazi and Nixon’s Watergate mess.

What is so different?

When the Watergate scandal broke we had a New York and D.C. press corps with a burning desire to destroy Richard Nixon. With 0bama and the Benghazi scandal we have the very same press corps ready to do anything it can reasonably expect to get away with to protect their God-like hero and preserve his presidency.

“But people died in Benghazi!” you say? And you think that’s enough to stop the 0bama hero-worship among the Fourth Estate?

But what about the American people? Really? Think about that for a few moments. Now … you’re not telling me that the same people who put this colossal failure back into the White House for four more years is going to get worked up over Benghazi, are you?

Ah! – now we feel the cold clutch of despair on the political section of our heart!

Let me tell you what the American people are concerned with right now – and we’re talking about those who aren’t gunched up with 24/7 discussions about college football recruiting and gay NBA players. In a nutshell (and thank goodness for the few exceptions we DO have) the majority of the American people are more worried right now about acquiring and keeping their monthly checks from the government than they are about 0bama’s lies or foreign policy failures. They think a Benghazi is a small yappy dog. …

Benghazi 0bama’s Watergate? For that to happen you need concerned citizens who actually care and a media that will do it’s job objectively. Both ingredients are in short supply.

It’s going to be a great show, to be sure. But in the end it adds up to nothing.

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