America going down 3

There is no bottom.

John Hinderaker of  PowerLine reports:

U.K. sources say that Meghan Markle wants to run for President of the United States. Markle’s political ambitions seem to be in tune with the times. She is playing the victim card as a “black” woman, although she is paler than many “whites”. Common sense suggests that it is hard to be a victim when you are a multimillionaire Duchess and your child is the great-grandson of the Queen of England. But then, Michelle Obama absurdly claimed to be a victim, as have countless college professors, intellectuals, students, and even business people. So why not Meghan? Joe Biden obviously won’t be the Democratic Party candidate for president in 2024. So a skeptic might ask: why is Kamala Harris any better suited to be president than the Duchess of Sussex, and is there any reason to think that Harris would do better in the general election than the Duchess? Further, the dominant quality of our age is whininess, and the Duchess of Sussex is perhaps the whiniest person in the world. So maybe the woman and the hour have met. In the degraded state to which our politics have sunk, it is hard to rule anything out.

Posted under United States by Jillian Becker on Monday, March 15, 2021

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Triumph and disappointment 9

President Trump is strong, but the Big State is stronger.

Bruce Bawer finds consolation in historical precedents for the political disaster happening now. They are interesting, but we omit them from our quotation of his article at Front Page, being concerned for the moment only with the great disappointment he describes:

This year’s apparently successful election fraud … was not a stand-alone event but the culmination of several years of Democratic chicanery, beginning with the effort to destroy Trump’s campaign and continuing with the attempt to bring down his presidency. During these years, one public figure after another was held up to us as a hero and then shown to be yet another Big State sewer rat. …

Remember being assured by people you trusted that Bill Barr and John Durham would get to the bottom of the Russia hoax? The other day, when Texas AG Ken Paxton took his election-fraud case against four other states to the Supreme Court, were you among those who expected the three Trump appointees to join Alito and Thomas in stopping the steal?

Yes, the Trump administration has yielded one triumph after another. But living through it has also meant experiencing one crushing disappointment after another. It’s been hard not to feel that the swamp was too deep even for Trump to drain, and that, by dreaming otherwise, we were being hopelessly naïve.

For heaven’s sake, not only did Barr, after promising to deliver a long-overdue reckoning, drag his heels on the Russia probe; it now turns out that during the entire campaign season he’s known about investigations into the Biden clan that, if made public, would almost certainly have reduced voter support for Joe to a point that would’ve made the election steal impossible.

We feel duped. Deflated. Stunned in 2016 by Trump’s victory, we’re even more stunned in 2020 to see victory snatched from our president and handed to a senile, China-owned mediocrity.

We now face the prospect of an inauguration at which Joe and Hunter, Bill and Hill, Barack and Michelle – all of whom should be in prison – will be celebrating their joint triumph over Trump.

We shouldn’t let this election steal … make us feel that a golden age of morality has given way … to an era of perfidy and lies. Nor should we feel disappointed in Trump if he fails to overcome the election steal. He’s accomplished a remarkable amount, but expecting the superhuman from him is neither fair to him nor good for us. …

Our country’s Founders … in their wisdom, sought to fashion a government that would, in the face of our species’ moral frailty, stand a chance not only of enduring in the long term but also of making possible, from one generation to the next, the survival of liberty.

But the preservation of that liberty depends on us. “Freedom,” Ronald Reagan famously proclaimed, “is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

Indeed. At this admittedly strange and disturbing historical moment, it’s important for all Americans of good faith to rise above any self-pitying or (heaven forfend) nihilistic sense of lost innocence that we might feel, to embrace with hope and heart our role as the Constitution’s current custodians, and – for the sake of our progenitors and our posterity – recommit ourselves to our obligation to right our beloved ship of State when she’s been buffeted, or worse, by the waves of malfeasance and mendacity.

Stirring stuff. But a gang of crooks has been wangled into power by the Big State in order to discard the Constitution and replace it with a Great Reset, a new world order, an agenda that renders our Constitutionally recognized rights no longer “unalienable”.

They will if they can scuttle the ship of State. Destroy America.

What will, what can, heart and hope do to save it?

Free thought as heresy again 9

The Left has captured the culture. That’s well known and oft repeated. Education is now religiously Leftist from kindergarten to doctorate. The entertainment industry – stage, film, television –  faithfully carries the sacred messages. The media, both “mainstream” and “social”, are packed with acolytes.

Not only the guardians of the culture have converted en masse to the Church of Marx. Big panjandrums of our capitalist economy are dropping their checks for hundred of millions of dollars into the collection boxes of the Left’s terrorist curates – buying time, they foolishly hope. That would be more surprising if we didn’t have Vladimir Lenin’s (possibly apocryphal but highly plausible) prophecy that “the capitalist will sell you the rope you’ll hang him with”.

And now it is all too horrifyingly possible that the Left will re-capture the legislative and executive branches of the US government. As for the judicial branch, seven of the Supreme Court  justices – all nine of whom were formerly Jewish or Catholic which was not harmful to determinations of law – are dancing arm-in-arm leftwards through a side door into the C. of M., where doctrinal orthodoxy is strictly enforced. Could SCOTUS become the tribunal of the next Inquisition?

A dark age lies ahead. But need we despair? There is consolation to be found in the records of the fast fading era of free thought (roughly 1700-2000), that will still be available to us in books.

Or will they?

Oh, oh! It seems that books by or about the great  – mostly white – scientists, inventors, discoverers, philosophers, visionaries, economists, historians, educators whose ideas debunk the doctrines of the C. of M., are to be removed from libraries, bookshops, even probably our private rooms, and destroyed. Blotted out of human memory. They will not be published  again; or if published by some rogue publisher, not advertised;  or if advertised by some mischance, not sold; or if sold on a black market market of color, confiscated and destroyed.

On the other hand, books supporting the doctrine of the C. of M. (chiefly concerning anti-racism and the evil of being White) will abound. Vast libraries will be built to contain them. There’ll be at least one in every hotel bedside drawer. There’ll be cutely illustrated versions of some on the shelves of kindergartens; thousands to be checked out by students in all grades or else; and subterranean university bookstores will be chockfull of them.

Bruce Bawer, observing the trend, writes at Front Page:

Of America’s most powerful and prominent cultural institutions, it’s quick work naming those that aren’t entirely left-wing satrapies. TV? Fox News, although things are looking less and less encouraging there. Colleges? Hillsdale, I guess, though how many Ivy League faculty members would ever admit to having heard of it? Newspapers? The New York Post (sometimes), Wall Street Journal (kind of)and perhaps one or two others from sea to shining sea. Silicon Valley? Nothing. Hollywood? ¡Nada! Big business? Hmm: what is there, nowadays, honestly, other than that My Pillow guy?

One field in which there’s at least a soupçon of ideological diversity is the book trade. Yes, staffers at the major publishing houses are overwhelmingly on the left. Ditto bookstore employees. Plus the people who give out the major book awards. Not to mention that the heftiest advances for political books go to Democrats. Since the turn of the century, the biggest nonfiction book deal, amounting to at least $65 million, was for Michelle Obama’s Becoming (2018) and for an as-yet-unpublished opus by Barack; second – raking in $15 million – was Bill Clinton’s My Life (2004); third – at $14 million – was Hillary’s Hard Choices (2014).

One more thing about the reflexive leftism of the book scene. Thanks to today’s lethal cancel culture, even classics are at risk. Recently, in an article for the School Library Journal headlined “Little House, Big Problem: What To Do with ‘Classic’ Books That Are Also Racist”, Marva Hinton identified both Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird as racist. No, she didn’t just say that they contained racist language, which would have been fair enough; she asserted that these two books – both of them key texts in the history of the American struggle against racism – are in fact racist.

Hinton quoted Julia E. Torres, a Denver school librarian, as saying that when she’s consulted by teachers who want to assign Harper Lee’s novel to their student, she often suggests replacing it with Samira Ahmed’s dystopic novel Internment, “about a teen sent to a U.S. internment camp for Muslim American people”. Alternatively, Torres “suggests they teach To Kill a Mockingbird using excerpts or through a critical consciousness lens, which would include lessons on white saviorism and the weaponization of white women’s tears”. Check, please!

I’m not familiar with the novel Internment – just out in paperback from Little, Brown – but it’s part of a full-court press by the book business to normalize Islam and demonize “Islamophobia”.  Also in on this effort are the major pre-pub reviewing outlets, all of which gave Internment starred reviews that were short on praise for aesthetic values and long on PC drivel. (“Taking on Islamophobia and racism in a Trump-like America…” – Kirkus.  “A very real, very frank picture of hatred and ignorance…” – Booklist. “An unsettling and important book for our times.” – Publishers Weekly.)

In 2006 I published a highly critical book about Islam. Even then, it was savaged by bien pensant book-world types. But criticizing Islam has become so verboten on the left that I doubt any major publisher today would touch a book like While Europe Slept – even though the problems described therein have grown far, far worse.

Meanwhile, to peruse the latest catalogues from those same publishers is to discover a blizzard of dreary-sounding new or forthcoming novels that, judging from the plot summaries, are drenched in identity politics. (Two quick examples from Knopf, perhaps the most respected of literary publishers: Burning by Megha Majumdar, about an Indian girl who’s falsely accused of terrorism and turns for help to a trans woman; My Mother’s House by Francesca Momplaisir, a novel that takes on “the legacy of colonialism” and “the abuse of male power”. …

Amazon’s current list of top ten bestsellers includes several far-left books on racism: Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility, Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be an Antiracist and Stamped from the Beginning, Ijeoma Oluo’s So You Want to Talk about Race, and Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me. You might think there’s a market for at least one book criticizing these authors’ views; but I’ve been assured by industry insiders that no major New York house would even consider publishing such a book.

Even in book publishing, then, the left is way ahead. But this isn’t good enough for Alex Shephard, a young staff writer at the New Republic, who in a recent article maintained that the book industry is “overdue” for a major “reckoning”. Here’s his article’s subhead (italics mine):

The industry is facing demands to live up to its stated values. That might mean ditching writers like Donald Trump Jr.

And later there’s this (italics again mine):

…these publishing houses are, like many corporations in the country, being asked by their employees and customers to live up to a set of values. And that would seem to be impossible while also publishing the likes of Tucker Carlson…

What does Shephard mean by “stated values”? Simple: left-wing ideological purity. In his view, conservative books are, with exceedingly few exceptions, “valueless”. (Shephard implies that “quality control” alone would eliminate most conservative titles.) Also by definition, they’re awash in “factual inaccuracies”. Because of course you can’t possibly mount a convincing non-leftist argument for anything without radically distorting the truth. (As Shephard puts it: “Being forced to tell the truth is not an existential issue for most of publishing; it is for conservative imprints.”)

Hence, if book publishers began to be serious about fact-checking, it would, argues Shephard, “make it impossible to publish a great many conservative books”. Indeed, even the “more ‘respectable’ side of conservative publishing”, as represented for Shephard by Jonah Goldberg’s 2008 bestseller Liberal Fascism (note, however, those scare quotes around the word respectable), would be challenged by a responsible fact-checking apparatus.

According to Shephard, another attribute of many conservative books is that their authors aren’t serious. He quotes Kimberly Burns, a book publicist: “I’m OK with books being published from different political viewpoints – in fact, it’s necessary for debate and being able to see a whole picture … The problem is when authors write things only to get themselves attention or to make news, instead of to enhance a dialogue…” Apparently this isn’t a problem with left-wing books.

Bottom line: Shephard really likes censorship of his ideological opponents. And he really admires his fellow “woke” types who put pressure on publishers to cancel books. He notes with obvious satisfaction that Henry Holt, the publishing house, “drew fire for its decision to continue publishing Bill O’Reilly after multiple accusations of sexual harassment were made against him”. (There’s no indication that Shephard believes multiple accusations of sexual harassment should affect Bill Clinton’s publishing career.)

Shephard approvingly mentions Simon & Schuster’s 2016 decision to drop the book Dangerous by Milo Yiannopoulos, whom he identifies as “a troll known for shallow publicity stunts”. And he tells us that he’s spoken to employees at another publishing house, Hachette, who “expressed discomfort about the company’s conservative imprint, Center Street, which publishes Donald Trump Jr., among others”.

Boy, I’ll bet they did. Since Shephard’s article appeared, Hachette staffers – largely lower-level Gen-Z brats – have said that they won’t work on J.K. Rowling’s forthcoming book because she’s criticized transgender ideology. Hachette is the same house that, in response to workers outraged over unproven quarter-century-old sex-abuse allegations, canceled Woody Allen’s about-to-be-published memoirs in March. Allen was never charged with any crime, let alone found guilty of one; years later he was permitted to adopt two children. Yet thanks to those junior Jacobins – every one of whom should’ve been fired – Allen was unceremoniously cut adrift.

And Shephard fully approves. He actually calls Allen a “pariah”. The ease with which this smug punk swats away the legendary writer-director is chilling. No matter what you may think of Allen or his films, the whole ugly spectacle is just too reminiscent of the way things worked under Stalin and Mao. And it’s all too representative, alas, of the atrocious attitudes of the rising generation of lockstep cancel-culture creeps who, like it or not, are well on their way to becoming our nation’s official cultural gatekeepers.

Doctoring WHO 5

“ANYTHING to oppose Trump” is the motto self-scorched into the anger-fired skulls of the Kings and Queens of the Universe – so crowned by the New York Times, with the Washington Post, the New Yorker, the Guardian, and the ghost of Che Guevara in perpetual attendance.

This time, for that great cause, Global Royalty is trying to resuscitate the COVID-19 patient, the World Health Organization, an institution born of the iniquitous UN, run at vast expense by a puppet of China, for the pleasure of the world’s Gasbags.

President Trump, knowing the patient was always a wasteful useless parasite who recently did great harm to the whole world by helping to cause a pandemic, rightly decided to let it fade away. By defunding it.

So – it follows as the night the day – Global Royalty rushes to save it. By raising funds for it.

Lee Cary writes at Canada Free Press*:

The Event: A Star-studded fund raiser for the World Health Organization (WHO)

Contributors, filmed in their homes, included Elton John, Jennifer Lopez, Stevie Wonder, British soccer star David Beckham, former U.S. first ladies Michelle Obama and Laura Bush, Andrea Bocelli, Celine Dion, Billie Eilish, Bill Gates, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lopez, Andrea Bocelli, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Beyonce, Oprah Winfrey, Stevie Wonder, Lady Gaga – the usual cast of celebrities who show up to promote global causes.

The event kicked off with a one-minute video from WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus—a “superstar” according to Ms. Gaga.

Tedros said [in a speech compiled from the UN Book of Utter-Ready Phrases – ed]:

Today, we come together as one to express our common humanity. To mourn those we have lost. To salute the health workers who save lives. And to say, with one voice, we shall not be defeated. Covid-19 has taken so much from us. But it has often given unique opportunity to put aside our differences, to break down barriers, to see and seek the best in each other. And to lift our voices for health for all. And to insure this never happens again. Never again. The World Health Organization is proud to be part of this historic show of solidarity. I want to thank Lady Gaga, the many artists and many (inaudible), global citizens, my friend Hugh Evans, and the United Nations, for bringing us together as one world together at home.” 

In an article in The Dispatch titled Suspending WHO Funding Should Be Just the Beginning: let’s talk about what the organization does—and what it doesn’t do, the author  Lyman Stone writes*:

[The WHO] is a body for research, conferences, and grant-writing, not frontline disease-fighting.

The WHO’s current head, Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is not a doctor of medicine. 

[The WHO] spends from $200 to $600 million on travel expenses each year.

High-ranking WHO official and Canadian scientist Bruce Aylward racked up $400,000 in travel expenses helicoptering around West Africa during the Ebola epidemic, even as many African countries could not afford basic medical supplies or body bags.

The WHO pays for the travel costs of experts they invite to conferences. A huge part of the WHO’s budget is simply buying plane tickets and booking swanky hotel rooms for prestigious experts to give speeches and present papers they’ve already published online. 

Dr. Tedros made Robert Mugabe [dictator of Zimbabwe, a mass murderer – ed] a “goodwill ambassador” for the WHO in Africa.

And under his watch, the WHO has begun to include “traditional Chinese medicine” remedies in its international diagnostic manuals. What’s particularly galling about this is that the ingredients for traditional Chinese medicine often include the very wild animals that are over-hunted and endangered around Africa, and from which so many novel zoonotic diseases originate. For the WHO to endorse these practices is absurd and dangerous.

The WHO has done everything it can to support the propaganda of authoritarian regimes and cover up [not cure – ed] embarrassing epidemics.

Dr. Tedros spent his major speeches urging the world not to blame China, and claiming that “stigmatization” [of China] was as big a problem as COVID-19. 

As a result of the WHO’s delay, many countries delayed their responses by weeks, making a crucial difference that epidemiologists say may have doubled the total death toll.

The WHO has been dominated by shills for the Chinese Communist Party for nearly a decade and a half, and in that time it has systematically suppressed information about numerous epidemic outbreaks and actively advanced propaganda for authoritarian regimes at great cost to public health.

Any appropriate responsibility for the U.S. being unprepared for a pandemic such as COVID-19 falls heaviest on the eight years of the George W. Bush presidency, followed by the eight years of the Barack H. Obama administration.

So it’s no surprise that Laura Bush and Michelle Obama are among the Global Royals eager to fatten up WHO and get it organizing those luxury conferences again.

 

The UN must be destroyed!

 

*We have shortened some of the quoted passages.

*

Later:

About Tedros Adhonom Ghebrevesus

From our Facebook page, quoting from Discover the Networks:

The US paid most of the costs of keeping the World Health Organization in existence, and yet successive US governments allowed this to happen:

Tedros Adhonom Ghebrevesus is a corrupt, dishonest, communist, terrorist-loving thug. From 2005-2016 he was a member of the corrupt government of Ethiopia. In 2017, when he ran for the post of Director-General of the WHO, he stood accused of complicity in the commission of “crimes against humanity” in Ethiopia. That charge was related not only to three cholera coverups, but also to allegations surrounding Tedros’s longstanding political affiliation with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), an organization that grew out of the Marxist-Leninist League of Tigray and was responsible for horrific atrocities — particularly targeting the Amhara ethnic group in the country’s northwest region. The TPLF became Ethiopia’s principal ruling party. In the 1990s, the U.S. government listed TPLF as a terrorist group. The Global Terror Database continues to list it as such, given the organization’s ongoing commission of armed attacks in rural areas. Tedros remains a high-ranking member of TPLF’s Central Committee, or politburo. TPLF provided millions of dollars for Tedros’s campaign to become the leader of the WHO. Those funds – along with vital support from China – propelled Tedros to victory when, at the Seventieth World Health Assembly in May 2017, the WHO Member States elected him to a five-year term as their Director-General, making him the first person to hold that position without a medical degree. Notably, the wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping was the WHO’s longtime goodwill ambassador – a post that enabled her to effectively promote Chinese interests under the umbrella of the UN.

Deconstructing whiteness 7

This is not a satirical sketch by us or The Onion. It is a true report (we trust) found at Breitbart, written by Thomas D. Williams:

A student group formed to address “white privilege” at Ohio’s Kenyon College bars white members from asking questions of a person of color as part of a process to combat racism.

“Racism is a white people problem,” said the group’s student founder, Juniper Cruz—a self-described “Queer Afro-Latinx Muslim”—at the first meeting, which drew about 50 students.

The Whiteness Group, run through the school’s multicultural center, “works to educate students on whiteness, what it means to be white, and ways to deconstruct whiteness to work towards anti-racist actions”, Cruz said …

“The discussions explore what it means to be a white person while benefiting from societal privilege, as well as what it means to be a white ally to marginalized groups,” according to campus news reports from the Gambier, Ohio, college.

The group’s second meeting was attended by Rachel Kessler, an Episcopalian priest and chaplain of Kenyon College, who afterward wrote in an email to the school newspaper, “As white people, we can become paralyzed by our sense of shame for our racial privilege or by our fear of accidentally saying something problematic. Neither of those impulses are actually productive for combating racism and white supremacy.”

Founded as a Christian seminary for the formation of Episcopal clergy, Kenyon College opened its doors to women in 1969 and now takes great pride in its diversity, as well as its commitment to “green initiatives”. 

“At Kenyon, we see diversity as central to who we are and what we do — an ideal of inclusiveness that we strive to put into practice every day,” the school’s website states. “We believe that it’s vital to foster diversity in all facets of campus culture, from the people who work and study here, to the experiences they have, to the environment in which they live — the spirit of the place.”

The Whiteness Group exemplifies the school’s quest for a certain sort of diversity typical of modern liberal arts colleges in America, where all opinions and viewpoints are welcome as long as they do not challenge the liberal Zeitgeist.

The group encourages a certain amount of debate but also has regulations.

“Some ground rules at the Snowden Multicultural Center’s Whiteness Group: If you have an unpopular opinion, speak up. No white person can ask a person of color questions; white people must try to answer their questions for themselves. And no spreading rumors about what people say during the meetings,” the Kenyon Collegian reported.

Cruz said the chief aim of the group is to create “a sustainable form of activism”.

Leftist activism forever!

Now, students, write an appreciation of the Whiteness Group and its aims, using these words, phrases, names, slogans, prefixes, each of them at least once: “Racist”, “racism”, “diversity”, “inclusiveness”, “who we are”, “white privilege”, “patriarchy”, “dead white men”, “green”, “sustainable”, “renewables”, “multicultural”, “activism”, “resistance”, “global warming”, “open borders”, “pro-choice”, “abortion”, “sexist”, “sexism”, “LGBQT”, “gender”, “xie”, “ze”, “zir”, “Islamophobia”, “hijab”, “religion of peace”, “xenophobia”, “xenophobic”, “bigot”, “bigotry”, “KKK”, “Nazi”, “neo-Nazi”, “Hitler”, “fascist”, “Trump”, “Russia”, “collusion”, “womyn”, “gender”, “social construct”, “social justice”, “cis-“, “trans-“, “fair share”, “rape”, “vagina”, “pussy”, “nasty woman”, “Linda Sarsour”, “Michelle Obama”, “Nancy Pelosi”, “Hillary”, “black lives matter”, “hands up don’t shoot”, “pigs”, “flag”, “anthem”, “black”, “brown”, “whiteness”, “deconstruct”, “hegemony”, “empower”, “narrative”, “conversation”, “liberation”, “post-modern”, “post-humanist”, “sanctuary cities”, “safe place”, “hate crime”, “Dreamers”, “DACA”, “refugees”, “Palestine”, “intersectionality”. Plagiarism will not be penalized. 

Extreme corruption: why Hillary Clinton protected Boko Haram 2

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A Christian child – one of many thousands – burnt to death in Nigeria by Boko Haram

The Nigerian Muslim group Boko Haram (meaning “book-learning – ie Western education – is forbidden”) is as savage as ISIS, of which it has declared itself an affiliate.

While she was secretary of state, Hillary Clinton blocked all attempts to designate Boko Haram a terrorist organization. Why?

Patrick Poole writes at PJ Media:

In January 2015, I was one of the first to report on a massive massacre by Nigerian terror group Boko Haram in Borno State in northwest Nigeria, with reportedly thousands killed. Witnesses on the ground reported that bodies littered the landscape for miles as towns and villages had been burned to the ground, their populations murdered or fled.

By that time, Boko Haram had already become the most lethal terrorist organization in the world, now responsible for tens of thousands of deaths.

And yet, as Boko Haram began to ramp up its terror campaign in 2011 and 2012, Hillary Clinton obstructed the official terror designation of the group over the objections of Congress, the FBI, the CIA and the Justice Department.

Why did Hillary Clinton’s State Department drag its feet on the terror designation in the face of near unanimous opposition from the rest of the U.S. government?

A recent series of reports exposes that a close Clinton family confidante — and Hillary campaign bundler — profited from Nigeria’s lucrative oil fields. He engaged in multiple illegal deals throughout Africa.

Also, other donors to the Clinton Global Initiative are deeply involved in Nigeria’s corrupt oil industry.

Were they the motivation behind Hillary’s inexplicable position on Boko Haram?

As PJ Media’s Bridget Johnson has previously asked, is Boko Haram Hillary Clinton’s biggest scandal?  Why is no one in the media talking about Hillary and Boko Haram?

It is worth nothing that Congress had to drag a reluctant State Department kicking and screaming to get Boko Haram designated in November 2013, after Hillary Clinton had left office.

Hillary Clinton’s willful obstruction in the matter is easy to document:

Members of Congress discovered in 2014 that the Clinton State Department intentionally lied and downplayed the threat from Boko Haram, and worked to kill bills in both the House and the Senate calling for their designation in 2012.

As Reuters reported, the Justice Department’s National Security Division strongly urged the State Department to designate Boko Haram, but then a group of 21 American academics rallied to the State Department’s aid by sending a letter to Hillary Clinton strongly arguing against Boko Haram’s designation.

The letter offers weak arguments. Our suspicion is that it was solicited.

We also now know that the Obama administration was sitting on intelligence — obtained as a result of the Bin Laden raid — that revealed Boko Haram’s direct connection to al-Qaeda and the international terror network in 2011 and 2012. In other words, Hillary’s State Department was arguing that Boko Haram had no such connections, that it wasn’t a transnational terror threat, even though the Obama administration — and likely Clinton herself — knew that was false.

And Mindy Belz and J. C. Derrick, writing at WORLD, answers Patrick Pool’s question. They find that – yes, “donors to the Clinton Global Initiative” who are “deeply involved in Nigeria’s corrupt oil industry” were indeed “the motivation behind Hillary’s [otherwise] inexplicable position on Boko Haram”.

The attacks on Jan. 20, 2012, began not so much as an explosion but as an earthquake.

“Whole buildings were shaking,” said secondary school vice principal Danjuma Alkali. “There was so much vibration that some people collapsed from it.” When the jolts stopped, with smoke rising and fire igniting all over the city of 10 million, it became quickly apparent the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram had pulled off the unthinkable.

In coordinated bombings at 23 separate locations in the city of Kano, including police headquarters and military barracks, the group left one of Africa’s largest cities in disarray and panic. The January attacks killed more than 185 people — Africa’s worst terrorism since the 1998 al-Qaeda attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. …

Boko Haram leader Imam Abubakar Shekau took responsibility for the Jan. 20 attacks in a video posted on YouTube …

It would be difficult for Washington to look away: Nigeria at the time was the third-largest source of U.S. crude oil imports. Further, the same day, American Greg Ock was kidnapped in Niger Delta, and Boko Haram announced “an arrangement” to kidnap 22 other Americans.

The next day, Jan. 21, the U.S. Embassy warned U.S. citizens “to review personal security measures”, and it prohibited government personnel from traveling to northern Nigeria. But tracking and cutting off the insider flow of funds propping up Boko Haram was what was needed—and the Kano attacks presented one more overwhelming reason the United States should have designated the group a Foreign Terrorist Organization, or FTO.

A strong chorus rose in Washington for FTO designation — from bipartisan members of Congress to Pentagon officials (including then-head of U.S. Africa Command, Gen. Carter Ham) to a coalition of faith-based human rights groups. At the State Department, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continued to resist it and other rudimentary steps against the terror group.

Meanwhile, Boko Haram often showed up better equipped than the Nigerian military: “Boko Haram was extorting even government officials in the north, state and local officials, and certainly the military,” said an American working in the area for more than a decade, who spoke to WORLD and is not named for security reasons. “Very wealthy Muslim businessmen totally have been backing Boko Haram. There was huge money involved. Money used to purchase arms — it was crazy.”

Where were the funds and support coming from? In part from a corrupt oil industry and political leaders in the North acting as quasi-warlords. But prominently in the mix are Nigerian billionaires with criminal pasts — plus ties to Clinton political campaigns and the Clinton Foundation, the controversial charity established by Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton in 1997.

The Clintons’ long association with top suspect tycoons — and their refusal to answer questions about those associations — takes on greater significance considering the dramatic rise of Boko Haram violence while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. Did some Clinton donors stand to gain from the State Department not taking action against the Islamic terrorist group?

Perhaps the most prominent Nigerian with ties to the Clintons is Houston-based Kase Lawal. The founder of CAMAC Energy, an oil exploration and energy consortium, Lawal had a long history with Bill Clinton before becoming a “bundler” for Hillary’s 2008 presidential bid, amassing $100,000 in contributions and hosting a fundraiser in his Houston home—a 14-room, 15,264-square-foot mansion. Lawal maxed out donations to Hillary’s 2016 primary campaign, and his wife Eileen donated $50,000—the most allowed—to President Obama’s 2009 inaugural committee.

Lawal describes himself as a devout Muslim who began memorizing the Quran at age 3 while attending an Islamic school. “Religion played a very important role in our lives,” he told a reporter in 2006. “Every time you finish a chapter they kill a chicken, and if you finish the whole thing, a goat.”

Today the Houston oil exec — who retired in May as CEO but continues as chairman of the board of CAMAC, now called Erin Energy — tops the list of wealthiest Nigerians living in North America. His firm reports about $2.5 billion in annual revenue, making it one of the top private companies in the United States.

In Africa, Lawal has been at the center of multiple criminal proceedings, even operating as a fugitive. Over the last decade, he faced charges in South Africa over an illegal oil scheme along with charges in Nigeria of illegally pumping and exporting 10 million barrels of oil.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lawal arranged a 2011 plot to purchase 4 tons of gold from a rebel warlord, Bosco Ntaganda, linked to massacres and mass rapes. Ntaganda was on a U.S. sanctions list, meaning anyone doing business with him could face up to 20 years in prison. Lawal contacted Clinton’s State Department, and authorities in Congo released his plane and associates in the plot. He never faced charges in the United States, and he remains a commissioner for the Port Authority of Houston.

Lawal’s energy firm holds lucrative offshore oil licenses in Nigeria, as well as exploration and production licenses in Gambia, Ghana, and Kenya, where he operates in a conflict-ridden area largely controlled by Somalia’s al-Shabab militants.

The firm also has held contracts in Nigeria for crude oil lifting, or transferring oil from its collection point to refineries. Until last year, when newly elected President Muhammadu Buhari began an effort to reform the process, contracting for lifting has been awash in kickbacks, bribes, and illegal activity.

Overland lifting contracts often involve partnership with the North’s past and present governors, including those who serve as quasi-warlords with ties to Boko Haram and other militants.

Lawal’s enterprises have long been rumored to be involved in such deals, as have indigenous oil concerns like Petro Energy and Oando, Nigeria’s largest private oil and gas company, based in Lagos and headed by Adewale Tinubu, another controversial Clinton donor.

In 2014, Oando pledged 1.5 percent of that year’s pre-tax profits and 1 percent of future profits to a Clinton Global Initiative education program. This year, Adewale gained notoriety when the Panama Papers revealed he holds at least 12 shell companies, leading to suspicion of money laundering, tax evasion, and other corruption.

In 2013 Bill Clinton stood alongside Adewale’s uncle, Bola Tinubu, while attending the dedication of a massive, controversial reclamation project called Eko Atlantic. Critics call Bola Tinubu, leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress party, Nigeria’s “looter in chief”. A Nigerian documentary says that when the billionaire landowner was governor of Lagos State (1999-2007), he funneled huge amounts of state funds — up to 15 percent of annual tax revenues — to a private consulting firm in which he had controlling interest.

In the United States, where he studied and worked in the 1970s and ’80s, Tinubu is still a suspect in connection with a Chicago heroin ring he allegedly operated with his wife and three other family members. In 1993 Tinubu forfeited $460,000 to American authorities, who believe he trafficked drugs and laundered the proceeds.

About the time of the Kano bombings, a lucrative potential for new oil opened up in Nigeria’s North — precisely in the Borno State region where Boko Haram has its headquarters.

Between 2011 and 2013, the Nigerian government allocated $240 million toward oil and gas exploration in the Lake Chad Basin, a petroleum reserve stretching from western Chad across Nigeria, Niger, and Cameroon. Largely unexplored until recently, oil production hit 100,000 barrels a day in 2013 on the Chad side of the basin.

On the surface Boko Haram violence halted exploration in Nigeria. Despite the millions it was investing, Nigeria’s government geologists and technical staff fled the region in fear of their lives. Using verified incidents provided by the Nigeria-based Stefanos Foundation and other sources, WORLD documented 85 separate terrorist attacks between 2011-2016 in the Lake Chad Basin areas of Nigeria.

The attacks ranged from market bombings that killed half a dozen to the January 2015 Baga attacks, which killed an estimated 2,000, destroying Baga plus 16 other towns and displacing more than 35,000 people (while the world fixated on Paris after the Charlie Hebdo attack).

Beneath the surface … Boko Haram was making it possible for illicit operators to lay claim to the area for their own purposes, and to pump oil from Nigeria’s underground reserves to Chad. Using 3-D drilling, Chad operators can extract Nigerian oil — without violating Nigerian property rights — to sell on open markets. One benefactor of the arrangement is Ali Modu Sheriff, a leading politician in the North, Borno State governor until 2011, and an alleged sponsor of Boko Haram, who is close friends with longtime Chad President Idriss Déby.

The very terrorism that seems to be deterring oil exploration in reality can help illicit extraction, forcing residents to flee and giving cover to under-the-table oil traders. In 2015, a year when overall oil prices dipped 6 percent, Lawal’s Erin Energy stock value skyrocketed 295 percent — the best-performing oil and gas stock in the United States.

The more unstable an area is, the more such traders can control supply and pricing, explained an oil analyst who asked not to be named for security reasons: “Terrorism is the poor man’s weapons of mass destruction. You want the land and what might be beneath, not the people, so you kill them.” …

Christians are the predominant victims of Boko Haram in Borno and surrounding states. Among 85 documented attacks in a five-year period, Boko Haram killed at least 11 pastors and destroyed more than 15 churches. They also destroyed about five mosques. In all, Boko Haram and its affiliated militants have killed an estimated 6,300 people and displaced  2 million in the Lake Chad Basin area since 2011.

The 2014 kidnapping of 276 girls from a Chibok Christian school catapulted Boko Haram into the international spotlight and sparked first lady Michelle Obama’s #BringBackOurGirls social media campaign.

Hillary Clinton once again demonstrated her superhuman ability to exonerate herself from blame for something for which she was eminently responsible:  

Hillary Clinton called the mass abduction “abominable” and “an act of terrorism”. Clinton said “It really merits the fullest response possible, first and foremost from the government of Nigeria.”

Critics argue it was Clinton herself who has led the way on U.S. indifference, spurning the standard FTO designation (issued 72 times since 1997) that could have bolstered U.S. efforts against Boko Haram years before the infamous kidnappings.

While it’s become increasingly clear that oil and corruption are fueling Boko Haram, the full story will take a serious U.S. investigation. Yet even now there is no evidence it’s happening. The Chibok girls, for example, are known to be in the Sambisa Forest with Boko Haram, but authorities have not pursued them.

“Besides military intervention, the United States has many tools for aiding Nigerian authorities. The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control — the unit tasked with enforcing key aspects of FTO designations — purportedly doesn’t have enough staff to focus on Boko Haram financing. The administration maintains that Boko Haram raises its funding through local means, such as robbing banks and pillaging villages, even though WORLD obtained evidence the militants have access to international bank accounts.

“There has not been an investigation that has had any positive consequences,” said Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., chairman of the House Africa subcommittee. He said he plans to convene a hearing to find out why U.S. inattention persists: “It’s time to have people come up and testify.”

How likely is it that the truth about the Clintons’ protection of Boko Haram will become known to the American public?

Will people come and testify before the House Africa subcommittee?

If they do, will they tell the truth?

If they tell the truth, will the media report what they say?

If the media report the truth, will Hillary Clinton have to answer for her part in the story?

No. Whether or not Hillary becomes president of the United States, she will remain powerful enough for the rest of her life to evade any attempt to bring her to justice, because she is the leader of the Good People, the ones who care about the underdogs of the world, the poor, the persecuted, the oppressed

The cloud of knowing (revisited) 1

President Obama openly promotes Islam both within the United States and abroad.

It seems that at first the plan to do this (or call it a conspiracy, since we are likely to have someone tell us that we are propounding a conspiracy theory), was being cunningly disguised as a plan to promote religion generally –  or at least those religions and religious organizations that “promote peace and human rights”.  As the World Council of Churches did, perhaps – when it had been penetrated, taken over, and manipulated by the USSR?

Did the Chicago Council on Global Affairs assist the plan?

In 2010, after a two year study, that institution found that “Western secularism feeds religious extremism“.

Is it still doing that? Did ISIS, for instance, arise as result of Western secularism?

Or has Western secularism become less “narrow, ill-informed and uncompromising”?

This article of ours was first posted February 24, 2010.

*

Traces of some very abstruse reasoning emerge tantalizingly from the Cloud of Knowing – the thinkers who influence current US foreign policy. Secretive ends are being pursued. Can we discern what they are, or guess what they might be, from the clues dropped by the press?

The Washington Post reports:

American foreign policy is handicapped by a narrow, ill-informed and “uncompromising Western secularism” that feeds religious extremism, threatens traditional cultures and fails to encourage religious groups that promote peace and human rights, according to a two-year study by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

So, according to a body that calls itself the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, secularism “feeds” religious extremism. Presumably that means it nourishes it, energizes it, makes it stronger than it would otherwise be.

Now how could it do that? Does it drive the religious mad by simply being non-religious? And if so, is it to blame for that, or are the religious perhaps over-reacting?

Wait. It’s not any old secularism that is guilty of annoying the religious; it is specifically Western secularism. Other sorts – if there are sorts of secularism – are not bad, or not as bad.

Why? Apparently because Western secularism, in contrast to, say, Eastern secularism if it exists, is “uncompromising”. But how should not-being-religious compromise? Should it be a little bit religious? If so, how much? And would it then still be secularism?

One may begin to suspect that here is another formulation of the now familiar accusation from the left that the West has only itself to blame for being attacked by religious extremists – aka Muslim terrorists – because it is not Muslim. Or is that leaping too quickly to an as yet unwarranted conclusion?

Let’s proceed cautiously. As well as “feeding” religious extremism, this Western secularism also “threatens traditional cultures”. How? Does it proselytize non-belief? Not that anyone’s heard. Does it try to force non-belief on believers? Again, no, not noticeably. Then does its mere existence raise questions that endanger the belief of “traditional cultures” – in which case what would the Chicago Council on Global Affairs have it do to lift the threat from those intimidated folk?

Wait again – the list of accusations against this dangerous force called secularism is not yet exhausted. It also “fails to encourage religious groups that promote peace and human rights”.

Which groups would those be – could we have some names, please? And why can they only carry out their noble mission if they are encouraged?

Answers to these questions cannot be found in the Washington Post story.

What it does tell us is that it took this body two years to reach its conclusion. So we  should not brush it off as nonsense: in two years it is possible to go very deeply into grievances.

What’s more, the conclusion requires, and will elicit, action by the government of the United States.

The council’s 32-member task force, which included former government officials and scholars representing all major faiths, delivered its report to the White House on Tuesday. The report warns of a serious “capabilities gap” and recommends that President Obama make religion “an integral part of our foreign policy”. 

A serious capabilities gap? Not a mere pothole in the diplomatic road to perfect global accord? And it could be filled in by – what exactly? A state religion? No – that could not be the recommendation of 32 officials and scholars representing all major faiths.

Just a generalized religiosity then?

But how is religion, whether specific or a mere aura of sanctity assumed by the State Department, going to improve American foreign policy, soothe the extremists of foreign creeds, reassure traditional cultures,  and stiffen the backbone of groups (presumably different from the religious extremists) intent on virtuously promoting peace  and human rights?

We are not told, and can only hope that the Chicago Council’s report to the White House provides answers to these difficult questions.

Thomas Wright, the council’s executive director of studies, said task force members met Tuesday with Joshua DuBois, head of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and State Department officials. “They were very receptive, and they said that there is a lot of overlap between the task force’s report and the work they have been doing on this same issue,” Wright said.

Something is already being done by the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships [and the State Department] to make religion in some way an integral part of US foreign policy? It would be most interesting to know what exactly.

DuBois declined to comment on the report but wrote on his White House blog Tuesday: “The Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnership and the National Security Staff are working with agencies across government to analyze the ways the U.S. government engages key non-governmental actors, including religious institutions, around the globe.”

Ah! He’s not being exact, but there’s a clue in here somewhere.

The Chicago Council isn’t as influential as the Council on Foreign Relations or some other Washington-based think tanks, but it does have a long-standing relationship with the president. Obama spoke to the council once as a state senator and twice as a U.S. senator, including his first major foreign policy speech as a presidential candidate in April 2007.

It could depend on his sympathy then, with whatever it is they want done.

Michelle Obama is on the council’s board.

Again, ah!

Now we learn that the problem, however obcure it may seem to the public, has been troubling smart people for quite some time.

American foreign policy’s “God gap”has been noted in recent years by others, including former secretary of state Madeleine K. Albright.

Well, she has been associated with a few faiths in her time – Judaism, Catholicism, Protestantism. So perhaps she would be especially aware of a shortage of religious belief in the State Department. Could have struck her forcibly when she assumed office.

“It’s a hot topic,” said Chris Seiple [read something very politically correct that he’s written here], president of the Institute for Global Engagement in Arlington County and a Council on Foreign Relations member. “It’s the elephant in the room. You’re taught not to talk about religion and politics, but the bummer is that it’s at the nexus of national security. The truth is the academy has been run by secular fundamentalists for a long time, people who believe religion is not a legitimate component of realpolitik.

Come now, politics can hardly be avoided by a Council of Foreign Relations. But you say that religion is “the elephant in the room”? And it is “at the nexus of national security” ?

The Chicago Council’s task force was led by R. Scott Appleby of the University of Notre Dame and Richard Cizik of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good.

Who is Richard Cizik, and what is the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good? According to Newsweek he was the Washington lobbyist for the National Association of Evangelicals for nearly 30 years, and then, towards the end of 2008, he announced “the formation of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, a group devoted to developing Christian responses to global and political issues such as environmentalism, nuclear disarmament, human rights, and dialogue with the Muslim world”.

Hmm.

“Religion,” the task force says, “is pivotal to the fate” of such nations as Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Iraq, Iran, Nigeria and Yemen, all vital to U.S. national and global security.

So the particular religion they have in mind is Islam?

Not necessarily … don’t jump to conclusions …  it could also be  .. hmmm-mmm … Hinduism and …  Christianity and … who knows what?:

“Despite a world abuzz with religious fervor,” the task force says, “the U.S. government has been slow to respond effectively to situations where religion plays a global role.” Those include the growing influence of Pentecostalism in Latin America, evangelical Christianity in Africa and religious minorities in the Far East.

All of which feel threatened by Western secularism? Are crying out for it to compromise a little?

But okay, mostly Islam:

U.S. officials have made efforts to address the God gap, especially in dealings with Islamic nations and groups. The CIA established an office of political Islam in the mid-1980s. … During the second Bush administration, the Defense Department rewrote the Army’s counter-insurgency manual to take account of cultural factors, including religion.

Could that have had something to do with the shooting of soldiers by an “extremist” Muslim officer at Fort Hood? Just wondering.

The Obama administration has stepped up the government’s outreach to a wider range of religious groups and individuals overseas

… even, say, the Dalai Lama if he’ll use the back door

…  trying to connect with people beyond governments, said a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Very hush-hush stuff this.

The effort, he said, is more deliberate than in the past: “This issue has senior-level attention.”

He noted that Obama appointed a special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference …

The envoy being a Muslim and a terrorist sympathizer [see our post The trusted envoy, February 20, 2010], and the Organization of the Islamic Conference being a major instrument of the Ummah for the conquest of the non-Muslim world, chiefly by methods of “soft jihad” in Europe …

… and created a new Muslim outreach position in the State Department. In the past year, he said, embassies in Muslim-majority countries have held hundreds of meetings with a broad range of people not involved in government.

Huh? Muslim-majority countries have had hundreds of meetings with individual people not involved with government? What people? Why? To what end? How does the government know about them?

Whatever was going on with that, it was apparently too “episodic and uncoordinated”. Now there must be something more programmatic, more official, more formal, more defined, and definitely involving government:

To end the “episodic and uncoordinated nature of U.S. engagement of religion in the world,” the task force recommended:

— Adding religion to the training and continuing educationofall foreign service officers, diplomats and other key diplomatic, military and economic officials. …

— Empowering government departments and agencies to engage local and regional religious communities where they are central players in the promotion of human rights and peace, as well as the delivery of health care and other forms of assistance.

Leaving aside the code words “human rights” and “peace” which in such a context as this usually mean “leftism” and “Islam” – diplomats, and military and even economic officials should deliver health care?

But here comes the stunner. (Remember that “clarify” in diplomatic talk always means “take it back and say something more to our liking”.)

– Address and clarify the role of religious freedom in U.S. foreign policy.

Cizik said some parts of the world — the Middle East, China, Russia and India, for example — are particularly sensitive to the U.S. government’s emphasis on religious freedom and see it as a form of imperialism.

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IS A FORM OF IMPERIALISM?

We give up. Such nuanced thought is beyond our grasp.

More corn 3

Noah Rothman writes (in part) at Commentary:

As most of the nation is preparing to celebrate the 239th anniversary of its founding, the left is going about producing self-affirmations and reinforcing its narcissistic prejudices. …

In keeping with this president’s desire to see every holiday politicized and to foist upon exhausted families one of his true believers who will ceaselessly proselytize in favor of the president’s policies, the administration asked its devotees to praise and promote the Affordable Care Act over the Fourth of July weekend. In a blog post, the Department of Health and Human Services provided administration supporters a script that they can recite for the unbelievers in their midst. “With greater access to affordable, quality health insurance, the Affordable Care Act is helping individuals and strengthening our economy!” HHS invited its backers to exclaim,  “Now would you like more corn?”

At a time when Americans should be reflecting on the sacrifices of the Founders and those subsequent generations who sacrificed so much to preserve freedom and self-determination, the administration’s narcissists prefer that you revel in their own accomplishments. This sentiment is of a kind with that expressed by first lady Michelle Obama who remarked that she had never been prouder of the United States than when it appeared set to elect her husband to the presidency. Rather than reflect on the sacrifices of those Americans who toiled so that we might enjoy our present comfort and security, those like Matthews, the first lady, and this administration prefer the reflection in the mirror.

Most Americans still know that the Founders who pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor were not merely penning a frat house oath; in revolt against the Crown, those things were truly in the balance. Most Americans do not pine for the legislative efficiency of dictatorial government; they have voted for a divided Washington consistently since 2010, and only the most arrogant would contend that the voters simply don’t know what they want.

Though in sympathy with the author’s drift, and being perplexed rather than arrogant, we ask – as an open, not a rhetorical question – what do they want?

Barak Obama was twice elected president of the United States. He has made America poorer, weaker, less free, less secure, much less respected, much more divided, even worse educated – in short, declining.

Was that what those who voted for him wanted?

In the year and a half remaining to him as president, he will do what he can to accelerate the decline: more debt, more poverty, more constraint, more terrorism, more empowerment of Islam, more concessions to enemies and betrayals of allies, more race-hustling, more indoctrination, more deception …

Now, who would like more … ?

Posted under Commentary, tyranny, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, July 3, 2015

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Whose misfortune? 3

What is unique about American foreign policy today is not just that it is rudderless, but how quickly and completely the 70-year postwar order seems to have disintegrated — and how little interest the American people take in the collapse, thanks to the administration’s apparent redeeming message, which translates, “It’s their misfortune and none of our own.”

We quote from an article by Victor Davis Hanson in the National Review.

He sets before us a picture of what passes for US foreign policy under Obama, and the disasters that have ensued from it – and continue to get worse.

ISIS took Ramadi last week. …

On a smaller scale, ISIS is doing to the surge cities of Iraq what Hitler did to his neighbors between 1939 and 1941, and what Putin is perhaps doing now on the periphery of Russia. In Ramadi, ISIS will soon do its accustomed thing of beheading and burning alive its captives, seeking some new macabre twist to sustain its Internet video audience.

We in the West trample the First Amendment and jail a video maker for posting a supposedly insensitive film about Islam; in contrast, jihadists post snuff movies of burnings and beheadings to global audiences.

We argue not about doing anything or saving anybody, but about whether it is inappropriate to call the macabre killers “jihadists”.  When these seventh-century psychopaths tire of warring on people, they turn to attacking stones, seeking to ensure that there is not a vestige left of the Middle East’s once-glorious antiquities. I assume the ancient Sassanid and Roman imperial site at Palmyra will soon be looted and smashed. …

As long as we are not involved at the center of foreign affairs and there is no perceptible short-term danger to our security, few seem to care much that western North Africa is a no-man’s-land. Hillary Clinton’s “lead from behind” created a replay of Somalia in Libya.

The problem with Turkey’s Recep Erdogan is not that he is no longer Obama’s “special friend,” but that he was ever considered a friend at all, as he pressed forward with his plan to destroy Turkish democracy in the long march to theocracy.

There was never much American good will for the often duplicitous Gulf monarchies, so the general public does not seem to be worried that they are now spurned allies. That estrangement became possible because of growing U.S. self-sufficiency in oil and gas (thanks to fracking, which Obama largely opposed). Still, let us hope the Gulf States remain neutral rather than becoming enemies — given their financial clout and the availability of Pakistani bombs for Sunni petrodollars.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration has it in for Israel. Why, no one quite knows, given that the Jewish state is the only democratic and liberal society in the Middle East. Perhaps it resembles the United States too closely, and thus earns the reflected hypercriticism that so many leftists cultivate for their own civilization.

Theocratic Iran has won more sympathy from the Obama administration. No neutral observer believes that the current policy of lifting sanctions and conducting negotiations will not lead to an Iranian bomb; it is hoped only that this will be unveiled on the watch of another president, who will be castigated as a warmonger if he is forced to preempt its rollout.

The current American foreign policy toward Iran is baffling. Does Obama see the theocracy as a valuable counterweight to the Sunni monarchies? Is it more authentic in the revolutionary sense than the geriatric hereditary kingdoms in the Gulf? Or is the inexplicable policy simply a matter of John Kerry’s gambit for a Nobel Peace Prize or some sort of Obama legacy in the eleventh hour, a retake of pulling all U.S. peacekeepers home from a once-quiet Iraq so that Obama could claim he had “ended the war in Iraq”?

Hillary Clinton has been talking up her successful tenure as secretary of state. But mysteriously she has never specified exactly where, when, or how her talents shone. What is she proud of? Reset with Russia? The Asian pivot to discourage Chinese bellicosity? The critical preliminary preparations for talks with Iran? The Libyan misadventure? Or perhaps we missed a new initiative to discourage North Korean aggression? Some new under-appreciated affinity with Israel and the Gulf monarchies? The routing of ISIS, thanks to Hillary’s plans? Shoring up free-market democracies in Latin America? Proving a model of transparency as secretary? Creating a brilliant new private-public synergy by combining the work of the State Department, the Clinton Foundation, and Bill’s lecturing –as evidenced by the Haitian renaissance and nation-building in Kazakhstan?

He also considers the administration’s domestic failures:

Meanwhile, no one seems to much care that between 2009 and 2017, we will have borrowed 8 trillion more dollars. Yet for all that stimulus, the U.S. economy still has staggering labor non-participation rates, flat GDP growth, and stagnant household income. As long as zero interest rates continue, the rich make lots of money in the stock market, and the debt can grow by $500 billion a year and still be serviced. Financial sobriety is now defined as higher taxes bringing in record revenues to service half-trillion-dollar annual additions to an $18 trillion debt.

The liberal approach to the underclass continues as it has been for the last 50 years: The elites support huge, unquestioned redistributionist entitlements for the inner city as penance for avoiding it. Minorities are left to run their own political affairs without much worry that their supposed benefactors live apartheid lives, protected by the proof of their caring. The public is left with the lie “Hands up, don’t shoot” as a construct that we will call true, because the made-up last-seconds gasps of Michael Brown perhaps should have happened that way. As an elite bookend, we have a Columbia coed toting around a mattress as proof of society’s insensitivity to sexual violence, which in her case both her university and the New York City police agree never occurred. In theory, perhaps it could have and thus all but did.

As far as scandals go, no one much cares any more about the implosion of the Veterans Administration. In the public’s defense, though, how does one keep straight the multitudinous scandals — Lois Lerner and the rogue IRS, the spying on and tapping of Associated Press journalists, the National Security Agency disclosures, Fast and Furious, the serial lying about needless deaths in Benghazi, the shenanigans at the General Services Administration, the collapse of sobriety at the Secret Service, the rebooting of air-traffic controllers’ eligibility to be adjudicated along racial and ethnic lines, and the deletions from Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server, which doubled as her government server.

Always there is the administration’s populist anthem of “You didn’t build that”; instead, you must have won the lottery from President Obama. If his economic programs are not working, there is always the finger pointing at those who are too well off. Michelle Obama lectured a couple of weeks ago on museum elitism and prior neglect of the inner city, in between recounting some slights and micro-aggressions that she has endured, presumably on jumbo-jet jaunts to Costa del Sol and Aspen. I think her point is that it is still worse to be rich, powerful, and black than, say, poor, ignored, and non-black. …

He concludes on a note of despondency not far off from despair:

The center of this culture is not holding. …

More Americans privately confess that American foreign policy is dangerously adrift. They would agree that the U.S. no longer has a southern border, and will have to spend decades and billions of dollars coping with millions of new illegal aliens.

Some Americans are starting to fear that the reckless borrowing under Obama will wreck the country if not stopped.

Racial tensions, all concede, are reaching dangerous levels, and Americans do not know what is scarier: inner-city relations between blacks and the police, the increasing anger of the black underclass at establishment America — or the even greater backlash at out-of-control violent black crime and the constant scapegoating and dog whistles of racism.

Whatever liberalism is, it is not working.

It’s certainly not “liberal” in the real meaning of the word. It is the opposite – dictatorial.

We call it Leftism. It has the Western world in its crushing grip.

Obama’s Nigerian candidate wins 12

The Muslim terrorist organization in Nigeria, Boko Haram – as cruel as ISIS, with which it has affiliated itself – was quietly and persistently protected by Obama’s State Department under Hillary Clinton. Throughout her years as Secretary of State, Boko Haram massacred Christians, burning, shooting, and hacking them to death, and carried off Christian girls to sell into slavery. (Though Michelle Obama did get herself photographed, with a rueful face, holding a hashtag sign asking Boko Haram to give one lot of girls back. If her message penetrated the darkness of Africa to reach the Boko Haram savages, it got no response.)

And now a Muslim, Mohammadu Buhari, sympathetic to Boko Haram, has been elected to the presidency.

He promises to implement sharia as the law of the land.

This is from The American Spectator:

Accuracy in Media … identified three steps the Obama administration took to thwart [former President] Goodluck Jonathan’s fight against Boko Haram:

It refused to sell Nigeria arms and supplies critical to the fight, and stepped in to block other Western allies from doing so.…

It denied Nigeria intelligence on Boko Haram from [US] drones operating in the area.…

It cut petroleum purchases from Nigeria to zero, plunging the nation’s economy into turmoil and raising concerns about its ability to fund its battle against the terrorists.

Nigerian Ambassador to the US, Prof. Adebowale Adefuye told members of the Council on Foreign Relations last November that the U.S. justified its actions against Nigeria on the ground that its defense forces “have been violating human rights of Boko Haram suspects when captured or arrested”. The Administration and its propaganda arm make the same complaints against Egypt’s President Sisi: he needs to use a gentler form of persuasion in his attempts to control the violence of the Muslim Brotherhood. …

As was the case in Israel, there were Obama operatives in Nigeria influencing the election results. Politico reported last month, a “strategy group founded by former Obama campaign manager David Axelrod, AKPD Message and Media” worked for Buhari during the campaign.

What is it (we wonder) that Obama likes about Boko Haram?

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