Whose treason? 1

President Trump acts as the framers of the Constitution intended the president of the United States to act. But many of his civil servants want him to be a mere figurehead without power over their actions and decisions.

In fact, this president has achieved enormous gains for America by his personal efforts, persisting despite unprecedented moves on the part of civil servants, Democrats and the media to hamper and even incapacitate him.

Most recently he has compelled NATO members to pay more for the defense of the West – the ostensible reason for the organization’s existence. Until now, the US has uncomplainingly borne by far the greater part of the financial burden. Now the US is complaining – though still bearing most of the costs. And the president’s achievement, the very change itself such as it is, angers civil servants in the State Department

Julie Kelly writes at American Greatness:

Since 2016, delinquent NATO allies have coughed up an additional $130 billion in new defense spending. Trump also is redirecting NATO’s focus away from Russia and insisting the alliance address more serious threats such as cyber security, Syria, terrorism, and China.

But it’s not supposed to happen this way. Any progress with America’s allies—or enemies—only can be achieved, we are cautioned, through proper channels of carefully constructed diplomatic finesse.

Very important people with very important advanced degrees from very important universities must be involved at every step. Coaxing American allies to stop welching on their debt requires many white papers and think tank conferences and pricey parties at well-appointed embassies.

Before the president speaks with another head of state, polite talking points must be drafted and edited and redrafted and approved by dozens of people with lengthy titles who occupy offices situated along the Potomac River decorated with many impressive diplomas and commendations.

So it’s understandable why people who have been groomed their entire lives to one day serve as the deputy director assistant undersecretary of East Samoan Affairs are a little huffy at the Trump Administration. During her opening statement before the House Intelligence committee, ousted Ukrainian ambassador Marie Yovanovitch warned Congress about a “crisis” at the State Department. No, the crisis isn’t about rising tensions in Iran or the ongoing instability in the Middle East or desperate Venezuelans fleeing to neighboring countries.

The crisis, Yovanovitch emotionally explained, is empty corner office suites and silent cell phones and bruised egos. “Leadership vacancies go unfilled and senior and mid level officers ponder an uncertain future. The State Department is being hollowed from within in a competitive and complex time on the world stage. This is not a time to undercut our diplomats.” Morale, she warned, is low.

But Yovanovitch only told a portion of the harrowing situation besieging Foggy Bottom. There are more “horror stories”, according to GQ reporter Julia Ioffe. No, not horror stories about child trafficking or forced starvation or mass slaughter around the world. Ioffe tells the terrifying account of how one American diplomat in the U.K. got his walking papers from Trump’s appointed ambassador to that country. Trump, Ioffe fumed, is waging war on America’s diplomats!

Lewis Lukens, the deputy chief of mission (yes, his actual title) in London, got the boot after he offered effusive praise of Barack Obama in two speeches last year. In addition to raving about the previous president, Lukens gave Trump a few shots, asking Brits not to give up on the “special relationship” between the two countries.

Lukens was referring to Trump’s criticism of both former British Prime Minister Theresa May and London Mayor Sadiq Khan. In fact, Lukens tweeted his support for Khan a few hours after Trump ridiculed the London mayor for his response to a deadly terror attack in June 2017. Lukens also asked the Trump White House to stop criticizing May. It’s interesting how the diplomatic graces of these self-important envoys don’t ever apply to their American boss.

So Lukens, who worked for Hillary Clinton and helped set up her illicit email system when she was head of Obama’s State Department, got the ax about two years later than he should have. But rather than presenting Lukens’ ouster as a cautionary tale of how a disloyal political hack finally got his comeuppance, Ioffe instead claims his sob story is a “grim illustration of how the administration—through three years of attempted budget cuts, hiring freezes, and grotesquely personal attacks—has eviscerated the country’s diplomatic corps”.

Ambassadorships remain unfilled as are one-third of foreign service positions overseas, according to Ioffe. Recruitment in the foreign service is way down.

“Many of Trump’s political ambassadors have an unfounded belief that government bureaucrats are overwhelmingly Democrats and liberals and working against Trump’s agenda, and that’s just not the case,” Lukens, the Obama appointee, said⁠—presumably with a straight face.

But it’s not just Obama/Clinton loyalists who are living a nightmare. Nicholas Burns, the U.S. Ambassador to NATO under George W. Bush and a frequent Trump critic, cringed at the president’s performance in London this week.

“When interacting with allied leaders, Trump’s predecessors have generally followed a golden rule: Disagreements with friends are okay—but only behind the scenes, not in public,” Burns sniffed. “Trump, in contrast, seems to relish going after the Europeans in full view of the rest of the world.” Burns was aghast at Trump’s “testy” exchange with French President Emmanuel Macron. (In an April op-ed for the Washington Post, Burns called Trump “NATO’s most urgent and difficult problem”.)

But the real crisis for former State Department bureaucrats and their colleagues who have been recycled back to the Ivy League campuses whence they came is not that Trump poses an existential threat to national security; it’s that he poses a legitimate threat to their professional sinecures. If indeed the State Department is being “hollowed out”, no one outside the Beltway or the Kennedy School of Government has noticed.

Trump, almost single-handedly, is addressing the international fiascos left behind by Barack Obama including North Korea, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and China to name a few. He’s pushing our allies to get on board while pulling out of poorly-enforced and outdated international pacts that handicap Americans.

Meanwhile, the global chaos that the diplomatic class predicted under a Trump presidency hasn’t come to pass: “Donald J. Trump is entirely unqualified to serve as President and Commander-in-Chief. He is ignorant of the complex nature of the challenges facing our country, from Russia to China to ISIS to nuclear proliferation to refugees to drugs, but he has expressed no interest in being educated. We fear the damage that such ineptitude could cause in our closest relationships as well as the succor it might offer our enemies.”

That passage was part of a letter signed in September 2016 by 75 “former career ambassadors and senior state department officials”, as they humbly described themselves.

They were wrong then, and they’re wrong now. And there’s no strategic plan or multilateral talks that can save them from their transparent career angst. As Harry Truman observed in his memoirs about the challenges he encountered in recognizing Israel, “The foreign service officer has no authority to make policy. They act only as servants of the government, and therefore they must remain in line with the government policy that is established by those who have been chosen by the people to set that policy.”

Folks like Lukens and Yovanovitch and Burns might not like that reality. But it is they, not Trump, who are the problem.

The teasing question is: what are they – the US government’s servants who deal on Americans’ behalf with other countries – for, what are they on the side of?

President Trump is on the side of America: his slogans are “America First, and “Make America Great Again”. Among his chief foreign policies are: to trade with other nations prosperously for America; to put an end to China’s economic exploitation of America; to be militarily strong against perceived enemies, chiefly Russia and China; to demand that America’s allies pay their promised share of defense expenses; to keep rogue states from becoming nuclear powers or using nuclear weapons if they have them; to maintain friendly relations with friendly nations and ease tension with unfriendly nations; to prevent illegal and subversive immigration.

What is there in all that for America’s representatives and agents to object to?

They did not object to Barack Obama’s foreign policies. They cooperated enthusiastically with him. Among his chief policies were: paying huge sums of money illegally to Iran, an extremely oppressive tyranny, and enabling it to become a nuclear power; appeasing Russia by refusing to honor America’s commitment to provide defensive arms to Ukraine; stealthily supporting the enemies of allied Israel; encouraging illegal immigration; befriending Communist Cuba, another extremely oppressive tyranny; promoting world government through the United Nations and  “climate change”  pledges that would have harmed the American economy; conniving at corruption in foreign governments;  assisting the Muslim Brotherhood, the self-declared enemy of America and the West, to gain power in Egypt, and encouraging Islam generally to spread through the West?

What can be concluded but that a multitude of Americans appointed to serve the interests of their nation, are for tyranny, corruption, communism, the spread of Islam, unlimited immigration, the impoverishment of America in the name of combatting “climate change”, the weakening of America’s defenses, its governance by an international body, and so its dissolution as a free, prosperous, strong, independent nation-state?

The destruction of the Republic. Could there be any greater treason than that?

Training our enemies to destroy us 11

I was ordered to fight all men until they say ‘there is no god but Allah‘.” With these farewell words the Prophet Muhammad summed up the international vision of the faith he had brought to the world. As a universal religion, Islam envisages a global political order in which all humankind will live under Muslim rule as either believers or subject communities. In order to achieve this goal it is incumbent on all free, male, adult Muslims to carry out an uncompromising struggle “in the path of Allah”, or jihad. This in turn makes those parts of the world that have not yet been conquered by the House of Islam an abode of permanent conflict (Dar al-Harb, the House of War) which will only end with Islam’s eventual triumph. In the meantime, there can be no peace between these two world systems, only the temporary suspensions of hostilities for reasons of necessity or expediency. … [The caliphs] were, of course, extremely proud of their religion and convinced of its superiority over all other faiths. Yet this did not prevent them from appropriating the intellectual property of other cultures and religions …  [T]he largest source of borrowing by a wide margin came precisely from that part of the world with which the House of Islam was supposedly locked in a deadly civilizational confrontation – the West.

So Efraim Karsh, in his book Islamic Imperialism*, explains the unceasing aggression towards the West, and the simultaneous cultural appropriation from it by Islam in its early history.

As Islam still has not conquered the world – though it is making rapid progress towards that goal – there has been no change.

Yesterday (Friday, December 7, 2019) a Saudi Arabian jihadi, enrolled at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, to be trained as a military pilot, killed three “infidels” and wounded several more.  

Why does the United States train its enemies in the techniques of war?

We agree with Mark Steyn that it is a stupid thing to do.

He writes:

Sometimes a society becomes too stupid to survive.

Back when President Trump was Candidate Trump, he famously proposed a soi-disant “Muslim ban” on entry to the United States “until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on”.

Which was a rationale to which I was rather partial – because a failure to “figure out what the hell is going on” is a big part of why we’re where we are a generation after 9/11. Mohammed is now in the Top Ten boys’ names in America, which means it will sooner than you think be, as it is in Europe, among the Top Five boys’ names, and eventually the Number One.

Well, the “Muslim ban” never happened, after being struck down by judges and filleted into meaninglessness by the lawyers of the permanent bureaucracy. But you would think, given the mountain of corpses piled up on 9/11, that at the very minimum Saudi nationals would no longer be being given pilot training in Florida. After all, fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were Saudis, and half of those who flew the planes received their lessons in the Sunshine State.

Yet today Americans pick up their papers to read:

PENSACOLA, Fla. — A Saudi Arabian military pilot training in the United States opened fire Friday morning at Naval Air Station Pensacola, leaving three people dead and several others wounded before Florida sheriff’s deputies shot and killed him.

Or as The New York Times headlined it:

Florida Shooting Updates: Authorities Say It’s Too Early to Know if It’s Terrorism

We know it’s a Saudi national gunning down Americans, but it’s “too early to know” if it’s terrorism. Could be just “mental health issues” or “workplace violence” or “pre-traumatic stress disorder” or “involuntary self-radicalization” or whatever. Nothing to worry about and always remember … that “Allahu Akbar” is Arabic for “Nothing to see here”.

On “the day that everything changed” [9/11] nothing changed – except the rate of Muslim immigration to the west, which doubled. A US immigration bureaucracy … cannot stop itself admitting Saudi trainee pilots to kill Americans.

Recently, I marked (under the headline Diversity unto Death) the tenth anniversary of the Fort Hood slaughter – the first mass murder in American history in which the perpetrator gave a PowerPoint presentation on what he intended to do, and to a roomful of military and mental-health professionals to boot. Some of whom felt a little queasy about what they heard, but not enough to prevent him going ahead and murdering everyone. …

No matter how many times Islamic terrorists strike in the West, few dare speak of “Islamic terrorism”. In Europe, speaking or writing that phrase can land you in jail.

And in America –

We will admit more Saudi would-be pilots (for no district judge would countenance an end to the program) but also order up more bollards for US military bases, and longer security lines and more sophisticated latex gloves. And, whatever happens, it won’t ever be anything to do with Islam, and not even anything to do with terrorism unless you’re going to a dead-drop in the park to collect your orders from Isis High Command.

Oh, and even the “Muslim ban” guy is back to the usual “the Saudis are our friends” bollocks:

The King said that the Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter, and that this person in no way shape or form represents the feelings of the Saudi people who love the American people.

Yeah, sure. Aside from the three other Saudis who filmed the attack as it was in progress.

The flaw in Trump’s “Muslim ban” was its conditionality on us “figuring out what the hell is going on”. Actually, what the hell’s going on isn’t so difficult to figure out. But, as events at Fishmongers’ Hall and the Pensacola Naval Air Station both underline, most of the western world would rather do anything than confront honestly “what the hell is going on”.

And so the hell will go on …

The likes of today’s perp and last Friday’s perp are able to do this to us because we’re willing to have it done to us. We have not the will to resist even the most absurd provocations.

What is the nature of such weakness? What has happened to the West?

Can it be said that it has been emasculated? Feminized?

Induced to hate itself? Its self-esteem defeated by the weird alliance of two grotesque ideologies, the Left and Islam?

Yes.

But why did we let it happen? What is the flaw in our magnificent civilization that its enemies have insidiously exploited?

What can it be but what Mark Steyn bluntly says it is – stupidity?

 

 

*Islamic Imperialism: A History by Efraim Karsh, Yale UniversityPress, pp.62-64

 

Posted under Islam, jihad, Muslims, Saudi Arabia, Terrorism, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, December 7, 2019

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What is conservatism? 33

A heated altercation is proceeding between two groups of American conservatives. Each group is claiming to be the true conservatives.

The one group calls itself “Alt-Right ” and “America Firsters”. All its members are white and proudly white-supremacist, convinced that the white race is superior to all others. They are also called “groypers”. What they want to conserve, they say, are what they consider to be the traditional cultural norms of the white race, laying particular stress on the Christian religion and heterosexual marriage. Their motto is “Faith, Family, Community”. They are fiercely – and at the same time facetiously – aggressive in word and deed.

The other, much bigger group in America, are the conservatives who (generally, but not invariably and not uncritically) vote Republican; are Christian, but want a separation of church and state; are nationalists and patriots, but not racists; are tolerant of homosexual marriage; and who loyally uphold the Constitution of the United States.

These two rival versions of conservatism are to be found in an article and a speech from which we select the most telling passages:

Matthew Boose defends the “Alt-Right” and attacks what he calls “Conservatism, Inc.” in an article at American Greatness. He refers to the “civil war” between representative of the two sides, and sums up the arguments as he understands them:

In the wake of the Donald Trump moment, conservatism is up for grabs: white identitarians, “Catholic integralists,” paleocons, and American nationalists all sense an opportunity for greater representation. But the bigger story is that the globalist, anti-nationalist, progressive “conservatism” that came before Trump isn’t yet quite dead, and it’s fighting for survival.

The degree to which this is true has become apparent over the past few weeks as a civil war within campus conservatism has raged on between Charlie Kirk of Turning Point USA and paleoconservative activists who follow the nationalist podcaster Nicholas Fuentes.

Nicholas Fuentes is a Holocaust-denying anti-Semite.

As Kirk and his allies see it, the Fuentes fans, who call themselves “groypers,” have been trying to “hijack” campus conservatism by injecting “white nationalism” into the debate. But this so-called sabotage has been accomplished with extraordinary simplicity. The groypers have been showing up to Kirk’s events to air their grievances about the failures of mainstream conservatism and its wholesale embrace of the LGBT+ agenda and mass migration.

Rather than talk to these activists in good faith, though, the gatekeepers have decided their ideas are not worth debating. They have instead pursued a campaign of denigration and suppression. Leaving aside personalities, they have dismissed candid, important questions about demographics and the liberalization of the conservative movement as “bigoted” and “racist.” …

Kirk acknowledges that the demographic shifts … are real and that leftists are celebrating those changes. But Kirk ends up backing the leftist premise that such demographic shifts are inevitable and that the Republican Party’s only hope is to embrace this growing and diverse reality.

Kirk rejects without explanation putting a moratorium on immigration. Rather than restrict immigration to reverse the trend, Kirk [says that] … Republicans must reject “anti-immigrant” stances and instead do more to reach minority demographics. Only then can the GOP remain viable in a majority-minority future.

The premise is based on an obvious double-standard, one which is becoming more and more difficult to simply ignore. … If we’re talking about the interests of “natural Republicans” from El Salvador and “MAGA drag queens,” then Kirk and Conservatism, Inc. have no issue with appealing to demographics. But when it comes to talking about the interests of white Christians it’s a different story altogether. That’s “racist”. …

The leaders of the conservative movement must be able to answer these questions: why are white Christians, and only white Christians, prohibited from acting in their rational self-interest? Why must Republicans, given the prospect of a dim future in which it can only survive by pandering to the Left, respond by pandering to the Left now, just to win over people who hate and want to persecute them anyway?

In the end, this “strategy” is nothing more than a capitulation to the Left, the same surrender that has laid the country, and the party, so low for decades. By all means, the Republican Party must never waver in its support of the traditional family, of life, and of the Constitution. But it’s also not clear how exactly, or why, appealing to minority groups, and only minority groups, is the best way to do that.

It is disingenuous, not to say illogical, to say that the Republican Party must, for some unexplained reason, not think in terms of demographics when it comes to its most reliable voters—and join the Left in attacking any of those voters who may feel besieged by our liberal monoculture—and instead seek to recruit and celebrate other, reliably liberal groups, such as gays and Latino immigrants. With the exception of evangelicals and Cubans, Latino voters as a group are reliably Democrat, and they have been for decades. They support gun control, the welfare state, and even gay marriage by some margins. Their mythic social conservatism is not as solid as some Republicans would like to think. What does Conservatism, Inc. imagine it can do to change that in short order?

While the TPUSA controversy has focused on demographics, another core grievance of the “groypers” is the conservative movement’s inability to conserve the morals and traditions that made America great, especially traditional marriage. The conscious embrace of leftist identity politics, particularly LGBT rights, by Kirk and other Conservatism, Inc. figures justifies the impression that this is by unconscious design, if not conscious choice.

They pander to every identity group under the sun while at the same time feeling very free to attack white Americans who are troubled by the prospect of becoming a minority in their own country. Such people are denounced as “racists” just for feeling that way. It’s hard to see what’s conservative about this, or how it will help Republicans win elections in a deeply uncertain future.

It is no accident that some liberals have encouraged their Republican adversaries to embrace the “diversify” strategy Kirk advocates, as it advances the Left’s own goals and commitments. The gatekeepers in Conservatism, Inc. embrace the same ideas, the same methods, and even the same rhetoric as the Left to advance a globalist, anti-nationalist agenda. Their smears of outspoken America Firsters are indistinguishable from the Left’s familiar drive-by attacks on even the most unobjectionable conservatives.

The “conservatism” of groups like TPUSA isn’t conserving anything—nothing, that is, but liberalism itself. It does not offer young people anything they cannot already find in the ethos of consumerism and vacuous personal “liberation” so pervasive in our liberal culture and advanced relentlessly by the globalist Left.

For conservatives to embrace gay marriage is not an intuitive position by any means, but Kirk and his boosters have done exactly that, denouncing those with questions about this development as “homophobes”. Especially at a time when leftists scheme in the open about taxing churches that don’t recognize gay marriage, it’s hardly a logical position for a conservative to take.

The “conservatism” of Conservatism, Inc. isn’t conservatism, but a species of libertarianism. Like many in the libertarian camp, Kirk takes the view that matters of marriage and morals should be left to private contracts between individuals and what they do in the so-called privacy of their own lives; never mind that the Left has already invaded the public square and has made persecuting Christians and conservatives a moral mission. To the libertarians of Conservatism, Inc., moral authority appears not to rest with a higher power, but is arrogated instead to individuals. All that matters is the “free market” and securing the freedom to legitimize a deeper and deeper backslide into barbarism.

I’m not going to question Kirk’s faith, but the morality he advocates has more in common with the Left than with Christian principles. In an interview … Kirk described himself as a “conservatarian” and expresses the view that there is no contradiction between the libertarian non-aggression principle and his religious views: “you should be able to make your choices as you see fit, as long as you’re not harming someone else.”

This is the classic formulation of liberalism: the idea that society should be arranged to make people as free as possible to pursue their own adventures. But there is nothing obviously conservative about this mentality. By following it, Kirk has embraced a very recent cultural shift that repudiates centuries upon centuries of tradition on marriage and the family.

This libertarian ethos of personal liberation justifies the damage done to the social fabric by leftism, while inviting further degeneration down the road. It has no cohesive social vision beyond securing the “blessings of liberty” to invite drag queens into libraries to read stories to schoolchildren. It has neither the desire nor the conviction to resist America’s free-fall into social anomie and moral decay, and it has no plan for repairing the destruction of the past decades of experimentation. America is imagined not even to be a concrete place at all, but rather a collation of hoary abstractions coined by the Founding Fathers, who surely fought and died so that future generations of Americans would embrace state-sanctioned gender reassignment surgery for 7-year-olds.

Coupled with this moral indifference is a worship of the “free market” and its miraculous power to distribute goods, resources, and labor as efficiently as possible. It’s not by mistake that conservatives of Kirk’s stripe talk more about markets than morals. If all that matters is the free market and “doing whatever you want,” then it’s hard to justify restricting immigration or opposing gay marriage to preserve American jobs, values, and traditions.

These “conservatives” understand that the common good is most helped by inviting millions of foreign laborers to boost the GDP, that the Gospel preaches acceptance of whatever sexually permissive fashions the Left dreamed up yesterday, that America is just an idea in which all lifestyles, peoples, and cultures except those which define the historic American nation must be celebrated. …

Conservatism, Inc. can offer no assurances that Americans may expect to raise their children in a decent, moral society that cares about family, community, and faith. It does not seek to build a world where Americans may live free and prosperous lives without bearing false witness to the same idols that the Left, and the controlled opposition of Conservatism, Inc., worship. Americans are provided not the least guarantees of job security, or that America will even speak their native language in thirty years time. Neither are they provided the reprieve of knowing that they will be able to worship and raise their families in the faith of their upbringing and their ancestors without incurring ruinous financial and social consequences.

Kirk acknowledges that conservatives are besieged by a “far-left mainstream culture leading an assault on American values,” but whether he realizes it or not, Kirk and his defenders are part of enabling that mainstream. The entirety of Conservatism, Inc. is working towards the same ends as the progressive, globalist left. The irony is that they do this while styling themselves the “real conservatives” and attacking anyone with serious questions about the movement’s priorities.

Rather than answer challenging questions about the future of conservatism, the Beltway conservatives have responded with emotive attacks, threats of censorship and doxxing, and outright smears. Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) has warned that questioners who venture outside the gentle sandbox of Heritage Foundation good-think will regret showing their faces on camera. Ben Shapiro dedicated a 45-minute speech to obliquely attacking the groypers, but refused to engage with them directly. Coming from the guy who coined “facts don’t care about your feelings,” that’s just rich.

Conservatism, Inc. isn’t a movement but a corporate enterprise. Its self-styled “dissent” is all part of a shallow brand of rebellion that begins and ends with “triggering” blue-haired gender studies majors. Beyond these shallow displays of edginess, Conservatism, Inc. promotes the same agenda of social liberalism and open borders as the Left. They wear a mask of intellectualism and “free thought,” but the moment anyone questions the dogma, the gatekeepers fall back on exactly the kind of emotive attacks that they project onto the “triggered” Left.

Kirk says that the Right must resist “excommunicating” those with different opinions on important issues, but that is exactly what Kirk and his allies are trying to do to the America Firsters. He complains of being subjected to an ideological “purity test” by the America First crowd while simultaneously, and arbitrarily labeling them “fake conservatives,” “white nationalists” and “anti-Semites.” This is nonsense.

What Kirk calls a fake purity test is conservatives who are concerned about the direction of the Trump movement making sure that it actually remains committed to its priorities. Their concerns are legitimate. It doesn’t matter when and whether Kirk became a Trump supporter if his ideas don’t align with the agenda that propelled Trump to office.

The truth is that the groypers, however weird the “groyper” brand might be, are closer to the mainstream of how the American Right actually feels than the Beltway types who wear the conservative label while behaving exactly like leftists. They should be applauded for challenging Conservatism, Inc. and its bankrupt ideology. Their “trolling” is more effective activism than the totality of the establishment’s pathetic kowtowing to the gods of Diversity and Progress. …

Why don’t establishment conservatives like Kirk, who have also been smeared by the Left, ally with the conservative “trolls” who actually want to conserve something instead of pandering to the people who hate them? That they do not raises  two possibilities: that they are not sincere, or that they are sincere liberals.

Whatever they are, it isn’t “conservative”.

Ours is a conservative establishment that does nothing, and has done nothing, to conserve the traditions that made America great. This fact cries out for an accounting, and it is becoming impossible to ignore. If Conservatism, Inc. refuses to engage candidly with serious, legitimate questions about its priorities, then it deserves to be called out for its hypocrisy and emptiness.

It is an intensely emotional argument. It shows real fear that America is undergoing a demographic transformation that will make the whites a minority.

Ben Shapiro (who was not at first a supporter of President Trump, but seems to be now) defended the more common views of American conservatives and attacked the ‘”Alt-Right” in a speech he made at Stanford University (November 7, 2019):

I want to talk about the dangerous game being played by two particular nasty groups who feed off one another: I am speaking about the radical Left and the Alt-Right. …

The radical Left and the Alt-Right need each other. And they’re playing a game, in which the radical Left seeks to delegitimize anyone who isn’t radically Left by lumping them in with the despicable Alt-Right — and in which the Alt-Right seeks to make common cause with anyone “cancelled” by the radical Left, specifically with the supporters of President Trump who have been maligned falsely as evil by the radical Left, in order to artificially boost their numbers.

These two goals are mutually reinforcing. Here’s how this garbage works… Let’s say, for example, that you believe that ‘white civilization’ — a nonsensical term, since civilization is not defined by color but by history, culture, and philosophy — is under attack from multiracial hordes. Let’s say that you’re antipathetic toward Jews and enraged by the liberties guaranteed and protected by the Constitution of the United States. Let’s say you spend your days ranting about how American conservatives and traditional classical liberals — the sole protective force against the radical Left — haven’t “conserved” anything. You say America is not a propositional or creedal nation, even though the nation’s founding literally begins with the words, ‘We hold these truths to be self- evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights… Let’s say you cite Christianity as the basis of your values, but you’re more likely to quote Nietzsche than Christ. …

First, you declare your allegiance to President Trump, and declare that you aren’t really Alt-Right, even though you obviously are. You show up to lectures wearing a MAGA hat in order to get the media to cover it – and in order to demonstrate that you’re truly a representative of the 63 million Americans who voted for Trump. You call yourself “America First”, hijacking Trump’s slogan, but twisting it to mean “white Americans first”.  The media will eat it up, because the media love nothing better than suggesting that Trump is a white supremacist, despite the fact that he has repeatedly condemned white supremacism. …

You do so by simply lying about mainstream conservatives. You suggest that mainstream conservatives are insufficiently committed to social conservatism. You do this by asking questions like, “How does anal sex help us win the culture war?” [a reference to an Alt-Right heckler’s question at a TPUSA event]. “The purpose is to simultaneously pose as edgy and also preserve your ability to say you were just joking. …

What helps America win the culture war is freedom: freedom against a government encroaching on your activities that don’t harm anyone else. … As Edmund Burke put it, “Whatever each man can separately do, without trespassing upon others, he has a right to do for himself.” You know what else helps win the culture war? Engaging with your community, involving yourself in the social fabric. Not creating Pepe memes online and then jabbering about anal sex.

In fact, there’s great irony in watching alt-righters claim that they should use the commanding heights of government to cram down their viewpoints on others – while complaining that the Left uses the commanding heights of government to cram down their viewpoint on others. You can’t really whine about other people shutting down your viewpoint and activity that harms no one else while planning to shut down everybody else’s viewpoints.

The Left everywhere in the Western world likes to condemn all conservatives as “far-Right white-supremacists, Nazis, fascists, racists, sexists, homophobes, xenophobes”. Shapiro stressed how the Left does this in America:

[The Left] will label anyone on the right Alt-Right, even if we say vocally and in no uncertain terms that the Alt-Right is pure, unbridled, vile garbage — even if members of the Alt-Right target those on the mainstream right. Even if Donald Trump condemns the worldview. …

So the Boston Globe will call my website, The Daily Wire, an “Alt-Right outpost” (we forced them to recant); the Economist will call me “the Alt-Right sage without the rage” (we’ll force them to recant). Students at Boston University are festooning my posters with a Hitler mustache. Students at this university will mob those trying to put up posters for this lecture …

The media will suggest that Trump is in league with the Alt-Right, even at this late date – they’ll neglect all Trump has done to purge his administration to those who were remotely friendly with the Alt-Right  and his forcible disavowal of white supremacism. They’ll simply overlook that Trump isn’t a white supremacist, and declare that the MAGA hat is equivalent to a Nazi swastika – and they’ll say that, by extension, anyone who wears a MAGA hat or votes for Trump is a secret Brownshirt.

[But] if someone believes that all men are created equal, … that every American should have equality before the law, in free market capitalism, in small government, in equal opportunity for all people of all races, that person is not on the Alt-Right. In fact, they despise the Alt-Right, and the Alt-Right despises them. But people on the Left know this, they just prefer the lie. Why? Because their goal is to delegitimize the entire Right.

“The only difference between the radical Left and the Alt-Right,” he pointed out, “is they reverse the victim hierarchy.”

Despite Boose’s protests, it is obvious that the “groypers”, the “America Firsters”, are homophobic, anti-Semitic, white-supremacist racists.

We are none of those things.

We have a lot in common with the conservatives who are defended by Shapiro – and who are not “globalist”, “anti-nationalist”, or “progressive”. But we do not share all their principles, values and views. We quote neither Nietzsche nor Christ to support our opinion.

So why do we call ourselves conservatives? What is it that we think needs to be conserved?

Christopher Roach, writing in the same issue of American Greatness Conservatism to defend Nicholas Fientes and Matthew Boose’s notion of conservatism, says, “Conservatism is not a checklist of particular positions, an ‘established dogma’ or set of ‘doctrine’. It is a disposition, a love of what already is, and is in danger of being lost.”

Certainly it is not a set of doctrines. But it is a set of values.

Our motto, inscribed on our Facebook page, declares those values to be “Freedom, Justice, Reason”We were endowed with them by the Enlightenment. They are interdependent, and essential to our civilization. They need to be conserved if our civilization is to survive.

Freedom is our highest value. We want personal freedom. All our other wants flow from that one; wants of systems, policies and institutions. (This, as Matthew Boose observes, is libertarian – but we share little else with Libertarians.)

Freedom needs the protection of the rule of law, a system of impartial justice which treats all sane adults equally, and which the nation state – and only the nation state – can administer. (Something which libertarians we have read and listened to seem not to be convinced of.)

As we are so fortunate as to live in such a nation state, we are patriotic nationalists. We are uninterested in the race, color, ethnic background of our fellow patriotic nationalists.

We want a strong military to defend us from foreign invasion (but not to force outcomes in other countries).

We want our government to be no more powerful than it needs to be to do its essential job of protecting freedom; never to become so big and strong as to be our master. (It is here that we are furthest from the Left.)

Capitalism is essential to prosperity, and prosperity sustains freedom. The free market is inseparable from a free society. The Alt-Right’s contempt for business, trade and profit is as stupid as it is hypocritical, arising from the absurd value placed on poverty by Christianity (and endorsed by socialism).

We part company with the majority of American conservatives over the issue of “faith”. We accept no “truths” that cannot survive critical examination in the bright light of reason.

Nothing else is essential to our conservatism.

We do, however, have preferences which we do not expect all atheist conservatives to share.

We are against the killing of people except as condign punishment for those who kill, so we are against the killing of unborn living children unless for compelling reasons. We are unconcerned about individual adults’ sexual choices as long as they do not involve the exploitation or corruption of children, although we continue to understand the meaning of “marriage” to be a solemn (not “sacred”) contract between a man and a woman primarily (not imperatively) for the begetting of children.

Where do we stand on immigration, the future demographic composition of the United States? That seems to be the biggest issue in the argument between the Alt-Right and the mainstream conservatives.

Matthew Boose writes:

The elephant in the room is demographics. Not even progressives any longer pretend that mass migration won’t, at the rate we’re going, transform America into a majority-minority nation within our lifetimes. The implications for the nation and the Republican Party because of this shift are profound, and any conservative movement that is not willing to engage with it seriously cannot be taken seriously.

The Alt-Right wants America to be a nation of European-descended, heterosexual, English-speaking, Christian whites.

Do we agree with them?

To the only official language being English, yes. To the bearing and raising of children by husband and wife as a general custom, yes.

To worshiping Jesus Christ, no.

And we are not against immigration. While we see the influx of large numbers of people from less civilized countries, bringing customs and systems of law which we abominate, to be bad for the economy and the quality of life, we do want immigrants bringing inventiveness, expertise, wealth, ability, talent to enrich the nation.

Keeping the country white? Why? European culture, above all Anglophone culture, owes its greatness partly to being eclectic, taking what it likes from other cultures.

We took the zero from brown-skinned India. We took our numerals from India too (though they are wrongly called Arabic).

Did not your Christian god come from the Jews? More beneficially in our view, mobile phones did too.

Corruption 7

Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) has written a letter to House Republicans in which he makes it plain that President Trump has a principled and very strong hatred of corruption.

Here’s an extract from the letter (which needs to be read in full):

[President Trump] expressed strong reservations about supporting Ukraine. He made it crystal clear that he viewed Ukraine as a thoroughly corrupt country both generally and, specifically, regarding rumored meddling in the 2016 [American] election. …

I acknowledged that he was correct regarding endemic corruption. I said that we weren’t asking him to support oligarchs and politicians but to support the Ukrainian people who had given [the newly elected president] Zelensky a strong mandate to fight corruption. …

It was obvious that his [President Trump’s] viewpoint and reservations were strongly held, and that we would have a significant sales job ahead of us getting him to change his mind. I specifically asked him to keep his viewpoint and reservations private and not to express them publicly until he had a chance to meet Zelensky. He agreed not to, but he also added that he wanted Zelensky to know exactly how he felt about the corruption in Ukraine prior to any future meeting. …

I asked him about whether there was some kind of arrangement where Ukraine would take some action and the hold [on military aid] would be lifted. Without hesitation, President Trump immediately denied such an arrangement existed. … [He said] “No way. I would never do that. Who told you that?” I have accurately characterized his reaction as adamant, vehement and angry.

In the light of that, the irony is painful that President Trump is being corruptly accused by corrupt Democrats of committing crimes of corruption – extortion, bribery, treason – for none of which they have evidence; and could not have, since it does not exist.  

As usual Democrats falsely and shamelessly accuse a Republican of committing the very crimes they themselves are guilty of. They know President Trump did not commit them. 

However, by his own admission, Obama’s Vice-President Joe Biden did commit crimes of corruption – most notably in his dealings with Ukraine: as for instance when he bribed the Ukrainian government, with US tax payers’ money, to fire a Ukrainian prosecutor. The official was investigating the corruption of the gas firm Burisma, from which Biden’s son received  a colossal “salary” – for being the American Vice-President’s son.

Will Joe Biden ever be brought to trial in a properly constituted court of law? Or is the justice system of the United States now so corrupted by the Democrats that only the innocent are punished? 

 

Update: The head of the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings, Nikolai Zlochevsky, was indicted yesterday (Wednesday, 20 November, 2019) by the Ukrainian Prosecutor General.

Posted under corruption, Ukraine, United States by Jillian Becker on Thursday, November 21, 2019

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Fascist socialism versus Islam 3

President Trump will keep Americans safe from both Democratic Socialism and Islam while he is in power. But what will happen after him?

Is the American future to be fascist-socialist under Democratic rule – as California is now (see our post immediately below, Californian left-fascism, a model for the nation? November 15, 2019)?

Or is it to be Islamic?

Islam is already exerting decisive power in Europe. Most effectively in Sweden and France. And it is steadily advancing towards domination in America.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, acronym CAIR,  has announced that it wants to get 30 Muslims into Congress. And there are at least 100 members of Congress who would welcome CAIR’s chosen members into their company it would seem, since 100 members of Congress have written letters to CAIR to affirm their friendship with that Hamas-connected organization. Ninety-seven of the signatories are Democrats, three are Republicans.

The fascist-socialist Democrats and militant Islam are in alliance now, presenting a common front to their shared arch-enemy, President Trump with his tens of millions of followers. But the time may all too possibly come when one or the other – likely the Democrats first – will, by crooked means (because they cannot do it by honest election), take command of all three branches of government. Then the allies will become rivals and enemies.

Both are global and totalitarian in ambition, a similarity which will make them rivals.

And although they both suppress individualism, demand doctrinal orthodoxy and punish heresy, their differences of doctrine and character will make them enemies.

The New Left is:

Secular

Egalitarian

Libertine

Western, middle-class, modern, academic  

Revolutionary

Islam is:

A god-worshiping religion  

Male dominated

Puritanically prurient

Oriental, tribal, archaic, bellicose

Unalterable

So they way it looks now, if the worst should come to the worst, the American future will be either fascist-socialist or Islamic.

The question is: when the conflict between them comes as it must, which of the two dark forces is likely to prevail?

Posted under Europe, Fascism, France, Islam, Leftism, Socialism, Sweden, United States by Jillian Becker on Sunday, November 17, 2019

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The Californication of America 4

The word “Californication” is coined by Victor Davis Hanson to describe the nihilist antinomian revolutionary movement gathering pace in America, and already governing California, which he writes about in an article at American Greatness.

He speaks of the next election “becoming a stark choice between a revolutionary future versus American traditionalism”.

He warns that “in 2020 we will witness the penultimate manifestation of what radical progressivism has in store for us all—and the furious, often desperate, and unfettered pushback against it”. In two words, “Californication ahead!” – if it is not stopped.

He writes:

The Democratic Party as we have known it, is extinct for now. It has been replaced since 2016 by a radical progressive revolutionary movement that serves as a touchstone for a variety of auxiliary extremist causes, agendas, and cliques—almost all of them radically leftwing and nihilistic, and largely without majority popular support.

When … a number of Democratic presidential candidates sympathize with the New York subway jumpers who openly threaten the police, then what or who exactly is the alternative to such chaos?

When the media proves 90 percent partisan according to its own liberal watchdog institutions, or reports things as true that cannot be true but “should” be true, what are the forces behind that?

When the violence of Antifa is quietly—or sometimes loudly—condoned, who are those who empower it and excuse it?

If a late-term abortion results in a live baby exiting the birth canal only to be liquidated, who exactly would say that is amoral?

If the leading Democratic presidential candidates openly embrace the Green New Deal, reparations, abolishing the Electoral College, welfare for illegal aliens, open borders, amnesties, wealth taxes, a 70-90 percent income tax code, Medicare for all, and legal infanticide—what is the alternative vision and who stands between all that and a targeted traditional America?

In California, the nation’s largest utility preemptively shuts off power to multibillion-dollar industries and two-million customers, given its ossified grid and over-regulated operations, and the deliberate policy of the state not to clean up drought-stricken dead forests and underbrush that are ignited by wind and antiquated transmission cables. So, who or what then in 2020 would oppose all that?

In a state where half the nation’s homeless use the streets as open sewers and receptacles for refuse, incubating medieval diseases and public hazards, who exactly says that is unacceptable? The California attorney general openly boasts that he believes the state is the home for 10 million immigrants of undetermined legal status; is there any pushback to that agenda? If not, would 20 or 30 million immigrants be acceptable for Californians? Why not 50 to 60 million additional residing foreign nationals legal or otherwise?

Can even a leftwing Facebook, Google, or Apple operate within a landscape that cannot ensure reliable power to run its businesses? Do the progressive masters of the Silicon Valley want to hand over millions per year in wealth taxes on money that has already been taxed—but which is considered by the Warrenites and Sandersites as veritable public property given their own past use of state roads and infrastructure to build their businesses? Do these billionaires really think conservative state policies encouraged tens of thousands of homeless people to sleep in cars and streets near their businesses?

On the social front, we are bombarded with celebrities dreaming of various methods of assassinating the current president. Who speaks out against such incendiary smears? …

… Higher education is now controlled by a revolutionary clique. It institutionalizes racially segregated dorms and safe spaces, matter of factly promotes censorship, and either cannot or will not prevent students from disrupting lecturers with whom they disagree. What or who exactly say not to all that? Who would dare say that America in its third century is not going to change its use of English pronouns or decide that there are not three and more biological genders?

When a progressive mom takes her kids to walk and play in a California municipal park and, instead of relaxing comfortably with her fellow mom friends, finds blood-tainted needles sticking up out of the grass, what sort of policies does she imagine allowed that? When a small business owner in San Francisco finds vagrants defecating near his breezeway or mobs of shoplifters swarming his store, what sort of politics and ideologies will he consider led to that?

On the national level, what or who created a landscape in which the highest echelons of the FBI, CIA, and Justice Department sought to surveil American citizens, undermine a presidential campaign, and abort a presidential transition and then a presidency? If Hillary Clinton had won in 2016, would anyone have objected? Do any object today that she hired a foreign national to work with foreign sources to discredit and smear her political opponent?

Who or what is behind the constant remonstrations that the American people are racist, sexist, homophobic, nativist, xenophobic, and oppressing the transgendered? Who lodges such charges? Who believes them to be true?

Who exactly wishes to pack the court, to repeal the Electoral College, to nix the difference between residency and citizenship, to promote identity-politics tribalism over collective affinities, to nullify federal immigration law, to hunt down and disrupt political opponents as they eat and sleep—and who not?

Whose ideologies logically lead to promoting iconoclasm and statue-toppling, the Orwellian renaming of streets and buildings, the defacing of public murals?

The new progressive party is Jacobin. It sees politics in all-inclusive French revolutionary terms—encompassing every aspect of American life from entertainment, sports, academia, religion, and family matters to politics, foreign policy, and individual rights.

Who fights back? “In his own way”, Professor Hanson writes, President Trump does.

The result is not just that there looms a choice between two different agendas, but two quite different American lifestyles and experiences—and histories.

Like it or not, 2020 is going to be a plebiscite on an American version of Orwell’s Nineteen-Eighty-Four. One side advocates a complete transformation not just of the American present but of the past as well.

The Left is quite eager to change our very vocabulary and monitor our private behavior to ensure we are not just guilty of incorrect behavior but thought as well.

The other side believes America is far better than the alternative, that it never had to be perfect to be good, and that, all and all, its flawed past is a story of a moral nation’s constant struggle for moral improvement.

One side will say, “Just give us more power and we will create heaven on earth.” The other says “Why would anyone wish to take their road to an Orwellian nightmare?” The 2020 election is that simple.

That simple, that critical.

Americans must choose to live, thrive, and soar into an ever more prosperous and splendid future.

Or to sink, Californicated, into socialism, stagnation, ignorance, poverty, crime and disease.

 

Go here to see a video of California now. All America soon (minus the fine climate)?

Warning: It is disgusting.

Posted under Leftism, revolution, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, November 12, 2019

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Power speaks truth to power 10

Nigel Farage, leader of the Brexit Party, interviews his friend President Donald Trump.

Posted under United Kingdom, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, November 1, 2019

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What Islam teaches its scholars 1

… is to torture and murder and enslave.

Nothing Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi did, or caused to be done by his followers, was against Islamic doctrine. Its torturing and mass murdering and enslaving are not just permitted but positively commanded by Islam. The Washington Post meant to annoy President Trump and the half of the nation that supports him with its obituary headline calling al-Baghadi “an austere Islamic scholar”. But in fact it was telling the truth. Al-Baghdadi was “an austere Islamic scholar”. Unintentionally, it was condemning the man with an exact, though incomplete, description. The Left constantly claims that ISIS and other Muslim terrorists have “nothing to do with Islam”. The Washington Post contradicted that. It would have been telling the whole truth if it had said that al-Baghdadi was an Islamic scholar and therefore a terrorist, a jihadi, a torturer, a mass murderer, and an enslaver.

Muhammad the founder of Islam said:

I have been made victorious through terror.

Aerial photograph of a victory over Islam

The Daily Mail reports:

Once al-Baghdadi was confirmed dead, U.S. forces grabbed every computer, every phone, every bit of paper they could find before retreating. The last action was to call in an airstrike by US drones, reducing Baghdadi’s hideout to rubble, wiping it from the face of the Earth and covering their tracks.

ISIS has other leaders. But how safe will they feel now?

Posted under Islam, jihad, Muslims, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, October 29, 2019

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Death of a Caliph 2

President Trump announced in an address to the nation today (October 27, 2019) that US Special Operations Forces have killed – or, more accurately, have forced the death of – Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS.

ISIS had declared him “the Caliph of all Muslims and the Prince of the Believers”.

We quote our favorite part of what the President said about his death, slightly shortened from Breitbart’s report:

He died after running into a dead-end tunnel, whimpering, and crying, and screaming all the way. The compound had been cleared by this time, with people either surrendering, or being shot and killed. Eleven young children were moved out of the house, and are uninjured. The only ones remaining were Baghdadi in the tunnel, and he had dragged three of his young children with him. They were led to certain death. He reached the end of the tunnel, as our dogs chased him down. He ignited his vest, killing himself and the three children. His body was mutilated by the blast. The thug who tried hard to intimidate others spent his last moments in utter fear, in total panic and dread, terrified of the American forces bearing down on him. Baghdadi was vicious and violent, and he died as a coward, running and crying. A brutal killer has violently been eliminated. He will never again harm another man, woman, or child.

ISIS, which until recently occupied territory it called the Islamic State and the Caliphate, is intensely, relentlessly, unremittingly cruel. These devout Sunni Muslims have killed thousands of people, many by the most torturous methods they could devise; burning them, boiling them in oil, burying them alive, sawing their heads off …

Nothing they do is against the doctrine of Islam. Their actions and their aims are profoundly religious.

And the organization is a Hydra: no sooner is one head cut off than another will spring up to replace it.

But at least this one is dead and gone.

Thank you, President Trump!

Posted under Islam, jihad, Muslims, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Sunday, October 27, 2019

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The US and the Kurds: no debt owed 7

To serve another’s needs at the cost of disservice to one’s own, may be a virtue when a person does it (though we don’t think it is, any more than Ayn Rand did); but when a state serves the interests of another state at the cost of its own, it is incontrovertibly wrong. It is a betrayal of the people by their government.

President Trump, whose responsibility it is to serve American interests before all else and does so unfalteringly, recently announced that he was withdrawing US soldiers from a region of Syria where there are many Kurds, and letting Turkish troops enter the zone – as the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, intends they shall. The reaction of many conservatives, including Trump supporters, as well as liberals and Leftists, has been an outbreak of passionate concern for the Syrian Kurds.

“Turkey is the enemy of the Kurds and will surely slaughter them,” the cry goes up. “The Kurds have been our faithful allies. They helped us, and now we are abandoning them. Betraying them. Letting them down. Who will ever trust us again?”

Sober conservative voices have argued differently. Among them is Andrew C. McCarthy, from whose article in the National Review, disagreeing with that periodical’s editorial position, we quote:

The Kurds have been our allies against ISIS, but it is not for us that they have fought. They fight ISIS for themselves, with our help.

The US has helped the Kurds more than the Kurds have helped the US. 

They are seeking an autonomous zone and, ultimately, statehood. The editorial fails to note that the Kurds we have backed, led by the YPG (People’s Protection Units), are the Syrian branch of the PKK (the Kurdistan Worker’s Party) in Turkey. The PKK is a militant separatist organization with Marxist-Leninist roots.

During the Cold War, the PKK was one of a multitude of murderous terrorist organizations attacking Western interests all over the world, supported in one way or another by the Soviet Union. Russia has continued to support the PKK, and in retaliation Turkey has given material and diplomatic help to Chechnya in its terrorist war against Russia.

Like it or not (and we do not) –

Turkey remains our NATO ally, even though the Erdogan government is one of the more duplicitous and anti-Western actors in a region that teems with them.

McCarthy says he “would be open to considering the removal of both the PKK from the terrorist list and Turkey from NATO”. But he adds:

For now, though, the blunt facts are that the PKK is a terrorist organization and Turkey is our ally.”

(We aren’t entirely in agreement with him there. We too want to see Turkey removed from NATO, but we do not think the PKK should be removed from the terrorist list.)

Why did the US send its military into Syria?

Our intervention in Syria has never been authorized by Congress. Those of us who opposed intervention maintained that congressional authorization was necessary because there was no imminent threat to our nation. Contrary to the [NR’s] editorial’s suggestion, having US forces “deter further genocidal bloodshed in northern Syria” is not a mission for which Americans support committing our men and women in uniform. Such bloodlettings are the Muslim Middle East’s default condition, so the missions would never end.

ISIS is an atrocious organization, its savage cruelty so extreme as to render all words of horror and outrage inadequate for description of it. It cannot but be a good thing that it has been deprived of the territory it ruled with terror. But was anything it did forbidden by the religion in whose name it acted? It is Islam that threatens us all, the whole non-Muslim world.

Barbaric jihadist groups such as ISIS (an offshoot of al-Qaeda) come into existence because of Islamic fundamentalism. But saying so remains de trop in Washington. Instead, we tell ourselves that terrorism emerges due to “vacuums” created in the absence of US forces. On this logic, there should always and forever be US forces and involvement in places where hostility to America vastly outweighs American interests.

In ISIS’s “Caliphate” that appalling ideology could be, and has been, punished by defeat. And by defeating it, the US was serving its own interests. For the duration of the battle, US interests coincided with the interests of groups oppressed by ISIS, including the Kurds. But that battle is over. No debt is owed to those who fought with us. 

The easily foreseeable conflict between Turkey and the Kurds is at hand. We are supposed to see the problem as Trump’s abandoning of US commitments. But why did we make commitments to the Kurds that undermined preexisting commitments to Turkey? The debate is strictly framed as “How can we leave the Kurds to the tender mercies of the Turks?” No one is supposed to ask “What did we expect would happen when we backed a militant organization that is tightly linked to US-designated terrorists and that is the bitter enemy of a NATO ally we knew would not abide its presence on the ally’s border?” No one is supposed to ask “What is the end game here? Are we endorsing the partition of Syria? Did we see a Kurdish autonomous zone as the next Kosovo?” (We might remember that recognition of Kosovo’s split from Serbia, over Russian objections, was exploited by the Kremlin as a rationale for promoting separatism and annexations in Georgia and Ukraine.)

It is true, as the editors observe, that “there are no easy answers in Syria”. That is no excuse for offering an answer that makes no sense: “The United States should have an exit strategy, but one that neither squanders our tactical gains against ISIS nor exposes our allies to unacceptable retribution.” Put aside that our arming of the Kurds has already exposed our allies in Turkey to unacceptable risk. What the editorial poses is not an “exit strategy” but its opposite. In effect, it would keep US forces in Syria interminably, permanently interposed between the Kurds and the Turks. The untidy questions of how that would be justifiable legally or politically go unaddressed.

President Trump, by contrast, has an exit strategy, which is to exit. He promises to cripple Turkey economically if the Kurds are harmed. If early reports of Turkey’s military assault are accurate, the president will soon be put to the test. … For a change, he should have strong support from Congress, which is threatening heavy sanctions if Turkey routs the Kurds.

Americans, however, are not of a mind to do more than that. We are grateful for what the Kurds did in our mutual interest against ISIS.

As they are to us?

We should try to help them, but no one wants to risk war with Turkey over them. The American people’s representatives never endorsed combat operations in Syria, and the president is right that the public wants out. Of course we must prioritize the denial of safe havens from which jihadists can attack American interests. We have to stop pretending, though, that if our intentions toward this neighborhood are pure, its brutal history, enduring hostilities, and significant downside risks can be ignored.

Posted under Kurds, Syria, Turkey, United States by Jillian Becker on Sunday, October 13, 2019

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