President Trump creates a new state 4

Under his hand the map of the Middle East is changing.

Will he succeed? He usually does.

Posted under Arab States, Israel, middle east, Palestinians, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, January 28, 2020

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The coming day of wrath 8

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But:

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

President Trump looks stronger. Iran looks weaker.

All good.

But Iran is still working on producing nuclear bombs.

President Trump has not lost sight of that.

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

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

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

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

The president spoke of imposing more sanctions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The mullahs quake 2

… and so may the land beneath their feet.

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

Some could be oil production facilities.

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

Chuck de Caro writes at American Greatness:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

President Trump destroys the world’s leading terrorist 21

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brilliant intelligence work! Marvelous precision bombing!

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

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

Kenneth R. Timmerman writes at Front Page:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the end what happened? Absolutely nothing.

That’s what I predict here as well.

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

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

This is exactly what we needed to do.

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

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

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

Of rats and Democrats 16

The Democratic majority in the House of Representatives is guilty of abuse of power and conspiracy to overthrow a duly elected president.

We quote from an article (well worth reading in full) by Michael Anton at the Claremont Review.

People capable of feeling shame would not have immediately followed up the Russiagate hoax fiasco with another transparently phony—and in “substance” nearly identical—attempt to remove President Trump from office, overturn the 2016 election, and shower deplorable-Americans with contempt and hatred. But our ruling elites have no shame. …

The Democrats, the corporate-Left media (CLM), the permanent bureaucracy or “administrative state”,and the “deep state” (which is not precisely the same thing), along with a few Republicans, have “publicly voiced” many causes for removing the president—a few specific but most maddeningly, yet safely, vague.

From the beginning—that is to say, from November 9, 2016—impeachment has been a cause in search of a trigger, an occasion. The president’s enemies hoped they’d finally hit pay dirt when an anonymous “whistleblower” alleged that the president made, or attempted to make, foreign aid to Ukraine contingent on that country’s government investigating his likely 2020 challenger. Or, in other words, that Trump attempted to “collude” with a foreign power to influence an American election. …

If we are to take the current “publicly voiced” cause at face value, then we may say that the entire Washington establishment, plus most of the country’s elites, are trying to remove the president from office on the basis of an anonymous individual’s private opinion of the content of one phone call he heard about second or possibly even thirdhand. A phone call, let’s remember, of which we have extensive notes that almost, but not quite, constitute a transcript—in other words, whose content everyone in the country can examine for himself.

That the “telcon” (national security geekspeak for what people are calling the “transcript”) does not support the “publicly voiced” cause is made plain by two facts. First, you can read it yourself and see that it doesn’t say what it is alleged to say. Second, if it did say what the president’s enemies want it to say, they could just quote it verbatim, which they never do, instead of deliberately mischaracterizing it, which they always do.

Only two substantive points make the phone call at all interesting. First, President Trump very plainly wants to get to the bottom of the entire, still-obscure “election-meddling” story of 2016. That includes not just “deep state” attempts to prevent his election and to set him up for removal should the first effort fail, but also allegations of Russian hacking against American targets, including the Democratic National Committee. It appears—and the Justice Department apparently agrees—that some actors within Ukraine may have had something to do with some of this, possibly colluding … with a shady, Democrat-linked tech firm called CrowdStrike, though we as yet know nothing like the full story. Trump wants to know and asked the Ukrainian president for his help in finding out. …

The second question President Trump asked the Ukrainian president is another “publicly voiced” cause to seek his removal. That question regarded a specific instance of a well-known Washington-insider phenomenon. It is a measure of how insouciantly our elites accept and even welcome the immense corruption of our government that they raise not a single eyebrow at the phenomenon that underlay the president’s question: exactly how is it that well-connected Americans with no particular or relevant skill sets can “earn” enormous sums of money for doing, essentially, nothing?

The “specific instance” was to do with Hunter Biden being paid an enormous sum for doing nothing but getting his dad, Obama’s Vice-President Joe Biden, to threaten to withhold funds in aid to Ukraine if its government didn’t stop investigating corruption in the firm that was … well, to put it bluntly, bribing Hunter. Joe Biden did as he was asked. President Trump wanted to have the matter investigated and said so in the phone call to a new Ukrainian leader.

Understand this plainly: Trump may well be impeached, ostensibly, for asking about this corrupt arrangement. But no one is ever impeached for engaging in it. Nor can our elites, who almost all benefit from this system one way or another, muster the integrity to do, or even say, anything against it.

Though currently central to the “publicly voiced” case, this charge is not the only one levelled [against President Trump in connection with the phone call]. It is also insinuated that the administration somehow acted improperly by not making the telcon available within the government to a wide enough range of bureaucrats. But that’s preposterous.

Such documents are inherently products of the executive branch. They may be shown to, or withheld from, absolutely anyone the president and his senior staff want. To argue anything else is to presuppose that bureaucrats whom the president doesn’t know and likely will never see somehow are entitled—have a “right”—to review anything and everything they wish. Does this sound reasonable to anyone not out to get Trump? Would you run your business this way? Or would you try to limit information—especially sensitive information—on a “need-to-know” basis? Formally, the U.S. government insists that it operates according to the latter principle, but in reality, everyone in Washington believes himself so important that he becomes indignant when not allowed to see what he believes by right he ought to see.

Then ask yourself: assuming the president and his team did try to limit access to this or other documents, why would they do that? Perhaps to prevent illegal and damaging leaks? What could possibly give rise to that concern? I dunno—maybe because this has been, and continues to be, the most leaked-against White House and administration in the history of the United States government?

When one thinks for a second about the impact this particular document has already had—the president may well be impeached over it, on the say-so of precisely such a bureaucrat from whom his team allegedly tried, but evidently failed, to withhold it—can one blame Trump or his team for trying to limit the dissemination of internal documents? A saner response is to wish they had restricted the circle even more. The detail, alleged in the press, that the “whistleblower” (more on him below) heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend, etc., does not, to say the least, suggest any kind of cover-up. …

[But] “cover-up” is the latest “publicly voiced” charge. A member of the National Security Council staff  [Lt.-Col. Vindman] alleges that he attempted to include language in the telcon that others insisted on excluding. This is held to be a very serious charge.

Here’s what they’re not telling you. The document, as noted, is not a transcript; there’s no stenographer on the line and such calls are not recorded. Several people, however, will be listening and taking notes for the express purpose of creating the telcon. These will include duty officers in the White House Situation Room, who are not necessarily—and are not expected to be—experts on the country being called; rather, they are covering the call simply because it takes place during their shifts. These duty officers, with the aid of impressive but not infallible voice recognition software, prepare a first draft of the telcon. Since neither the voice recognition software nor human notetakers can catch every word perfectly, sometimes “Inaudible” appears in brackets. But ellipses—about which much is currently being made—represent not omissions but natural pauses in the conversation. This is before we even get into the thorny issues raised by sequential translation, which is necessary for most foreign leader calls.

After the first draft of the telcon is prepared, the duty officer hands it over to the National Security Council’s (NSC’s) executive secretary (ExecSec), the office responsible for all NSC paper flow and records management (among other things). ExecSec then routes the telcon to specific individuals, whom the national security advisor has personally authorized to review it, for their “chop” or edits. The person responsible for shepherding the document through this phase of the process is the “country director”, the NSC staffer who coordinates policy and handles documents with respect to a given country or countries. The country director will, in almost all cases, have been listening to the call. He will check the draft telcon against his notes and make corrections, even as others cross-check against their own notes. These will include the relevant senior director (the country director’s boss) and others, up to and including the national security advisor.

The key takeaway here is that the country director is the not highest or final authority on the content of the call. He’s one person who heard it; others may have heard it or parts of it differently. And the country director does not have the final say over what the telcon says. He works in a chain of command and has superiors. His senior director—who presumably was also on the call—can overrule him. If other “equities” such as classification or legal issues are affected, the senior director for intelligence programs and the legal advisor can as well. Ultimately the final say falls to the national security advisor—who, in almost all cases, would also have been listening to the call.

The person alleging a cover-up, Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Vindman, was, at the time, the country director for Ukraine. But the way he’s being presented—and has presented himself—is meant to convey a much grander impression. No less than the “whistleblower”, he is being sold as a patriotic, dedicated, impartial, non-partisan, career officer simply standing up for what’s right. …

But he is also, unquestionably, a mid-level officer in the U.S. Army working a mid-level staff job at the National Security Council, i.e., someone who as such has no standing even to serve as the final arbiter of a telcon, much less make policy or remove a president.

We actually don’t know what language the country director was prevented from including in the telcon, but we do know … that “the phrases do not fundamentally change lawmakers’ understanding of the call”. …

At least the country director [Vindman] was actually in the NSC chain of command and so had some standing to weigh in on the issue. This cannot be said of the so-called “whistleblower”, who of course is nothing of the sort—not as defined by law nor in any commonsense understanding. As to the former, the statute is clear: officials qualify for legal protection if they blow the whistle on activities within their own organizations and relevant to those organizations’ official duties. There is no possible way to interpret this particular “whistle” as consistent with that standard. By definition, the president’s phone call was not conducted under the auspices of the “whistleblower’s” “home agency” (reportedly the CIA) nor did it have anything to do with intelligence matters. …

The “whistleblower” reportedly wasn’t on the call and never saw the telcon. Given that several—probably at least a dozen—others were and did, why didn’t one of them lodge a complaint? One—our country director—did complain to the NSC’s top lawyer, who could find no wrongdoing. The others? Nothing. Is it possible most of them also saw no wrongdoing? …

But then the question arises: complain to whom? Neither the NSC nor its parent organization, the Executive Office of the President (EOP), have a formal whistleblower process. If one wishes to make a complaint, one has five options: complain within your chain of command, complain to the lawyers, complain to the White House chief of staff, complain to Congress, or complain to the press. Even our country director declined four of these five avenues, and all the others apparently declined them all. Why? Perhaps someone calculated that the optics would be better—more “disinterested,” less nakedly political—if the complaint came from somewhere else, a “patriotic career civil servant just doing his job”. …

The “whistleblower” was just a tool, witting or not (I’m betting on the former) to get something new going after the ignominious collapse of Russiagate. His usefulness over—indeed, his presence in the drama now counterproductive—we are instructed to forget he ever existed. …

It was a dirty plot. How did it begin? Who leaked (inaccurate) information about the phone call to “a friend” who leaked it to “a friend” who leaked it to his friend the “whistleblower”. Or was that not really how the “whistleblower” came to know about it?

Vindman, the “country director”, is the obvious suspect for the original leak: “One [who was on the call] —our country director—did complain to the NSC’s top lawyer, who could find no wrongdoing.”

Did Vindman then report the call to Adam Schiff? (Had Schiff asked him to report anything he could use against the President? Very possibly.)

If so, Schiff would need to account for the leak reaching him, and Vindman would certainly not let himself be named as the leaker. A stooge had to be found to take on the role of the leaker  a “whistleblower”.  Someone who would be “good for the optics”.

Did Schiff consult with Biden, and did Biden suggest Eric Ciaramella – who has been named on social media as the “whistleblower” – be employed in that role? Or did Vindman suggest him?

Who is Eric Ciaramella?

The Washington Examiner reports:

[Eric] Ciaramella is a career CIA analyst and was the Ukraine director on the NSC from 2016 until the summer of 2017. In October 2016, he was [Joe] Biden’s guest at a State Department banquet. …

Ciaramella could be told to say that he had heard about the call “from a friend who had heard about it from a friend” and had been shocked and appalled by what he heard.

But there would be no obvious reason why he would take his complaint to Adam Schiff. A plausible explanation for Schiff finding out about it had to be invented. 

Well, what if there happened to be someone on Schiff’s staff who knew Eric Ciaramella? 

There wasn’t, but that was a lack easily remedied.

The alleged whistleblower filed an Aug. 12 complaint with the Intelligence Community inspector general about the July 25 phone conversation between Trump and Zelensky …

 … which he “had heard about from a friend who had heard about it from a friend” …

after meeting with a House Intelligence Committee aide on Schiff’s staff about the call

Hey presto! Suddenly there was someone on Schiff’s staff to whom Ciaramella might reasonably confide his outrage. Who was this “aide on Schiff’s staff”?

Sean Misko, who [had] worked with alleged Ukraine whistleblower Eric Ciaramella at the NSC during the Obama and Trump administrations”, was hired by Schiff [on July 26] the day after the phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Both Ciaramella and Misko started their tenures during the Obama administration and left during the first year of the Trump administration. The Washington Examiner was told by a former senior White House official that both had a close, “bro-like” relationship while working at the NSC together.

Smell a rat? There’s a whole stinking nest of them.

Michael Anton again:

The worst charge thus far alleged against President Trump is that he attempted to make $400 million in aid to Ukraine contingent on that country’s government investigating possible corruption by the Bidens. This is the much hoped for “smoking gun,” the “quid pro quo”—as if the foreign policy of any country in history has ever been borne aloft on the gentle vapors of pure altruism. …

I don’t see it. Especially since a) no aid was actually withheld; b) no investigation was actually launched; c) the American people don’t care about Ukraine and would probably prefer to get their $400 million back; and d) they would inevitably ask: so were, in fact, Joe Biden and his son on the take from a foreign government? And if it looks like they might have been, why, exactly, was it improper for the president to ask about it?

Trump’s enemies’ answer to the last question is: because the president was asking a foreign government to investigate a political opponent for purely personal gain. Really? Is potential corruption by a former vice president—and potential future president—and his family a purely private matter, of no conceivable import or interest to the public affairs of the United States? That’s what you have to insist on to maintain that the request was improper. That’s the line we can expect the Democrat-CLM axis to flog, shamelessly and aggressively. But will a majority of Americans buy it? Especially since career officials at the Department of Justice already determined, and anti-Trump witnesses appearing before Representative Adam Schiff’s secret star chamber reluctantly conceded, that nothing Trump did or is alleged to have done was technically, you know, illegal.

And besides all that, aren’t all relations between nation-states conducted on the perpetual understanding of quid pro quo? Isn’t quid pro quo what all diplomacy is about: the exchange of envoys; the setting up of embassies and consulates; treaties? Isn’t even the giving of aid done in wistful hope for some reward (such as a supportive vote in the UN)? What is trade between countries – or, come to that, what is all trade – but a system of quid quo pro?

A system of honest, open, mutually beneficial quid pro quo is what international trade needs to be. And President Trump is working to make it so. Part of that effort may involve asking the more trustworthy leaders of foreign governments to investigate corruption, even if an American Democratic leader and his son get caught in the sweep.

Too late? 10

In an article at Front Page, Bruce Thornton celebrates the overwhelming vote in Britain to elect a government that will restore “national sovereignty and citizen political autonomy”.

He sees it as the fulfillment of a movement begun in 2016, when “the Britons voted to take England out of the EU” and Donald Trump became president, causing “a stunning upset” that reflected a similar desire among American voters. Both events were “political earthquakes” that upheaved “the establishment consensus”. And “both events were met with concentrated and passionate resistance by each country’s ruling elite”.

He sees this conflict between the popular will and what he calls “illiberal technocracy” as “the latest iteration of the fundamental question of political philosophy for the last 2600 years: should the masses be allowed political power?”

He goes on:

In both countries, elites refused to honor the results of legal elections [to be accurate, a referendum and an election], then turned to media, academic, and celebrity calumny of voters, along with judicial and political skullduggery, to undo the outcome and hamstring their political enemies, the Brexiteers and Trump.

Last Thursday [December 12, 2019] came the voter backlash in the UK.  PM Boris Johnson and the conservative Tory party won a majority of seats in Parliament, their biggest majority since Margaret Thatcher, while Labour suffered its worst defeat since 1935. This means that finally Britain will be leaving the EU on January 31. In the U.S., however, we still have eight months before the voters can make their displeasure known. That election will be as critical as the Brits’, but the stakes will be even higher for the most powerful and consequential nation in the world: pushing back on the progressive ideology that for a hundred years has sought to undo the Constitutional order that protects the freedom and autonomy of the states, civil society, families, and individuals––the very bulwarks against the tyranny that the Founders feared.

We may, however, be on the cusp of a paradigm shift away from illiberal technocracy. The Tory victory means that the UK will indeed leave the EU, weakening it considerably and perhaps encouraging other disgruntled members to depart as well. But the more important event will be the reelection of Donald Trump, and the continuation of policies that lessen government interference in the economy and that push back against the tyranny of political correctness and its subversion of our freedoms …

Right now, it seems that absent a significant economic down-turn, Trump will prevail. The Brexit vote should concentrate the minds of the Democrats, since it was fear of the hard, nasty socialism of Jeremy Corbyn that helped turn many Labour voters to the Tories. The current dominance of socialist policies, illiberal identity politics, and extravagantly costly policies being promoted by the Dems’ primary candidates suggests that they will suffer the same fate as the Labour Party in the UK. The preposterous articles of impeachment, which include nothing close to “high crimes or misdemeanors”, is likely to backfire …

Also, voters have not forgotten the Dems’ hysterical, hyperbolic, fabricated Mueller investigation, the corruption of the FBI and DOJ, and the unjust, Salemite treatment of Justice Kavanagh during his confirmation hearing, a performance they have repeated with impeachment hearings. These have violated Constitutional norms and displayed, as law professor Jonathan Turley pointed out during Rep. Nadler’s hearing, a very real “abuse of power”. And don’t forget that Trump has brutally and relentlessly in word and tweet fought back against the entitled, smug, self-righteous, hypocritical celebrities, Democrats, and academic “experts” who lecture us about “social justice”, “racism”, “Islamophobia”, and “open borders” from the opulent safety of their walled mansions, armed guards, and not very diverse tony neighborhoods. …

He lists some of President Trump’s achievements, impressive in themselves and all the more remarkable for being accomplished against unremitting harassment and obstruction. Above all, a spectacularly thriving economy:

Record stock-market highs, low unemployment rates, high workforce participation, fewer people on food stamps, more cash in people’s pockets, fewer growth-killing regulations, and record oil and natural gas production: all point to an electorate eager to keep the good times rolling. Things will get even better now that a revised trade agreement with Canada and Mexico will finally become law, and China is close to signing a trade agreement that will end for now the tariff war and stop China’s blatant violations of World Trade Organization rules.

And the appointment of judges who will uphold the Constitution:

There is Trump’s transformation of the federal judiciary by appointing a record 174 federal judges, including two Supreme Court justices, with the likelihood that if he wins a second term, he will appoint at least one more. And just in his first term, now more than one-quarter of appellate court justice are originalists. His pick of relatively young jurists faithful to the Constitution as written means that for decades the progressive agenda will be slowed, and in some cases reversed.

But, the writer asks, despite all that, is it too late to save personal freedom and national sovereignty?  

Even if Trump is reelected, will the country return to the Constitutional order of unalienable rights and limited government power? Or are we too far gone? The latter may be a more defensible conclusion. Progressivism’s Leviathan federal government, and the redistributionist policies it has created, are pretty much accepted by most Republicans––as they are by today’s Tories, who campaigned on more social welfare spending rather than less. On that front the progressives have won. Then there is demography. The Greatest Generation is nearly gone, and the Boomers are right behind them. The Millennials who will follow have been marinated in political correctness and progressive ideas their whole lives, as indicated by the pluralities and sometimes majorities of Millennials who approve of socialism and despise capitalism. Perhaps, like many Boomers, they will outgrow their juvenile utopianism. Perhaps not.

And there is this:

Most important is the looming debt, deficit, and entitlement spending crisis. Few people, politician or citizen, have the inclination or political nerve to address a problem that in a few decades will eat up every dollar of the budget. When that reckoning comes, we may see social disorder that will make the antics of Antifa look like an unruly Cub Scout pack.

In his view, reason favors pessimism. The socialist “progressive” agenda (which has caught up the terrifying ideology of Islam) will continue, Brexit and the astonishing achievements of Donald Trump notwithstanding. These are interruptions, temporary barriers to a tide of history that cannot be permanently held back. Not only will it break over us in full force, but it will be worse than we have experienced or can even imagine.

We are not convinced that it has to be so. We think that the era of Socialism is over. As a dominant political creed it lasted a hundred years, from 1917 (the Russian Communist revolution) to 2017 (the inauguration of President Trump). Over now, the socialist century that included Nazism and the fascism of Italy and Portugal as well as the Communist regimes. Some of those will continue, and will die hard. But they will die. And no new regimes like those of China and North Korea and Cuba are likely to be established. Welfare, which could be called “socialism light”, will not be affordable by any state.

Of course, no prediction can be depended on. The unforeseen occurs.

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? 40

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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