Mosab Hassan Yousef, a Palestinian, takes the floor at the UN to tell tyrants that their support for Palestinian “leadership” betrays the people.
I don’t have anything to add. Just watch this amazing video:
Mosab Hassan Yousef, a Palestinian, takes the floor at the UN to tell tyrants that their support for Palestinian “leadership” betrays the people.
I don’t have anything to add. Just watch this amazing video:
Trump’s superb speech at the United Nations asserted American sovereignty, defended American security, and straightforwardly attacked America’s enemies.
I loath the United Nations. It’s a forum that gives a ridiculous amount of power to tin-pot tyrants, especially of the Muslim variety, and that exists in large part to destroy Israel and demean the United States (while still taking its money). UNICEF has turned into a scam with a strong element of pedophile and sexual exploitation trailing in its wake. WHO too often exists to force socialized medicine into the world.
Donald Trump earned huge gratitude from me when he sent Nikki Hailey into that den of thieves, thugs, and antisemites with marching orders to defend American values and to support Israel. He earned even more gratitude from me today when he stepped before the United Nations and made a speech defending American values, honoring American sacrifices, promising to put America’s needs first without denigrating anyone else, attacking uncontrolled immigration, directly challenging the Iran deal, putting North Korea on notice about the existential peril it is courting, and otherwise saying what needed to be said in a body that, for too long, has abandoned truth and moral decency.
All the usual suspects were offended, which tells me that every word he spoke was gold. This is the kind of thing that sees me forgiving him for weaseling around the DACA issue (and we all knew he was never going to support the optics of sending back to Mexico children raised their whole lives in America, just as we knew that the wall might be more of a metaphor for enforcing immigration laws, rather than an actual brick-and-mortar wall).
Here’s a video of his speech. It is a reminder that Trump is a polished showman and perfectly capable of giving a statesmanlike speech:
And here’s the full transcript. I’ve highlighted the parts that delighted me most, whether substantively or simply because they were lovely oratory: [Read more…]
I’ve examined all of the evidence carefully and it’s true: What Trump has done — from spying on journalists to unconstitutional treaties — is tyrannical.
Spurred on by my Facebook friends’ assertions that Trump is a dangerous fascist dictator, one who seeks to control all aspects of American life, I examined the evidence — and it’s true. He is. Here are the facts:
1. Trump has been using violence to shut down free speech.
Although he hasn’t activated any branch of the government to shut down free speech, Trump has sent his minions throughout America to quash free speech, especially when people are attempting to the right to free speech to advocate for free speech. We’ve even got the videos to prove it.
Here are Trump’s minions running riot in Berkeley:
And here they are running riot in Portland:
And here they are again in Berkeley:
Wait! Wait. I am so sorry, but my editor has just informed me that those black-clad people are not Trump’s minions. They are, in fact, opposed to Trump.
Never mind. Let’s move on to the next example of Trump’s fascist takeover of America.
2. Trump has spied on the media.
We all know that Trump has had a running feud with the American media, which he has accused of lying rather consistently about him and about other matters important to Americans. As part of this feud, he has actually spied on media figures. Thus, we have this story:
Fox News on Monday angrily denounced the Justice Department’s “downright chilling” decision to target of one of its reporters, James Rosen, in a national security leak investigation. Executive Vice President Michael Clemente portrayed the government’s actions as an assault on “what up until now has always been a free press.”
“We are outraged to learn today that James Rosen was named a criminal co-conspirator for simply doing his job as a reporter,” Clemente said in a statement.
“In fact, it is downright chilling,” Clemente said. “We will unequivocally defend his right to operate as a member of what up until now has always been a free press.”
And this story:
Exactly 10 days ago, President Barack Obama was piously telling reporters who cover him that free speech and an independent press are “essential pillars of our democracy.” On Monday, The Associated Press accused his administration of undermining that very pillar by secretly obtaining two months’ worth of telephone records of AP reporters and editors.
“We regard this action by the Department of Justice as a serious interference with AP’s constitutional rights to gather and report the news,” AP President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Pruitt wrote in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder.
Oh, darn it! The editor says I messed up again. Indeed, on second reading, I realize that the last quotation I used actually says it was the Obama administration that was spying on the American media. It seems that the James Rosen spying also occurred during the Obama administration.
I don’t know about you, but spying on the media would seem to me to have a much more chilling effect than publicly scolding them and calling them out, a behavior that sees the media giving (or at least trying to give) as good as it gets. [Read more…]
Modern Islam uses burqas, niqabs, and hijabs to control women. It wasn’t always this way, as a 1958 speech by Egyptian President Nasser shows.
Throughout the Muslim world — and, increasingly, throughout Europe and America — women are “appearing in public” in hijabs (head scarfs), burqas (full body tents), and niqabs (veils covering all but their eyes). I placed the phrase “appearing in public” in scare quotes because the more accurate phrase would be “disappearing from public.”
In many places, it is irrelevant whether women want to hide themselves in this way. Laws and frequently violent social strictures force them to cover themselves. A few examples will suffice:
Here’s just a little sampling of the burqas and niqabs that Islam imposes on women, whether they want to wear them or not: [Read more…]
The California travel ban against US states for claimed anti-LGBTQ laws follows its attack on the travel stay for Islamic countries that routinely kill gays.
In January and then again in March 2017, President Trump issued a temporary travel ban aimed at six countries that the Obama administration identified as terror sponsors. These countries are Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
In each of these six countries members of the LGBTQ etc. (hereafter “LGBTQer”) community are officially and/or unofficially physically abused, imprisoned, and murdered. Specifically:
The reason behind the universally violent, murderous hostility to LGBTQ identification or conduct in the above countries is sharia law, which is hardwired into Islam. After all, the Pulse nightclub terrorist attack did not happen in an ideological vacuum.
Also in January and, again, in March 2017, California officially and vociferously protested against the Trump administration’s temporary travel ban, a ban that affected terror-exporting Muslim countries that make LGBTQer conduct a capital crime, on the ground that the temporary ban was unconscionable, discriminatory, and ineffective: [Read more…]
For 100 years, the Wilson Doctrine defined American foreign policy, whether applied affirmatively or, under Obama, negatively. Trump is changing all that.
When the Great War (now known as World War I) erupted in 1914, dragging Europe from the pinnacle of civilization into an abyss of mindless killing, President Woodrow Wilson was resolute: America would not enter into this foreign war.
Americans themselves had no desire to be drawn into the war, although the country quickly divided into camps supporting the two sides in the battle. Those supporting England, France, Belgium, and Russia (the Allies) only slightly outnumbered the huge German-American population that put its moral weight behind Germany, Austro-Hungary, and a few other central European nations (the Central Powers).
The socialists, led by Eugene Victor Debs and Jane Addams (of Hull House fame), were deeply committed to peace. They felt it was an obscene inversion of the arc of history for workers of the world to fight along nationalistic lines, rather than to band together against the worldwide evil of capitalism. Many who were not socialists, but saw no good in the European war, joined their peace movement.
Although the population was divided and Wilson clung to neutrality, as the years passed that neutrality had a remarkably Anglophile feel to it. The moment the war started, the British had cut the transatlantic cable tying America to the continent. This meant that Americans got the British view of the war and not the German. Of course, considering the carnage the Germans inflicted on both civilians and ancient buildings in Belgium and France on their thwarted march to Paris when the war began, it’s fair to say that, from the start, transatlantic cable or not, Americans who were not of German or Austrian origin were going to be hostile to the Central Powers.
Something else that made neutrality more honored in the breach than in practice was the fact that American ships could reach Britain, but not the continent. This created an economic boom for the Americans selling weapons and food to England — and, of course, it was a lifeline for Britain, which could never have lasted as long as it did without American supplies.
As the war progressed, and the money the British owed American manufacturers increased, Americans increasingly had a vested financial interest in a European victory. There would have been a serious depression in America had Britain lost the war.
The Germans were understandably concerned about the vast influx of weapons and supplies heading from America to England. In 1915, a German submarine torpedoed the HMS Lusitania, killing over a thousand passengers, including 128 Americans. Americans were outraged that the Germans had attacked a passenger ship and were disinterested in the fact that the ship was almost certainly carrying weapons to the British. As far as they were concerned, it was bad enough that the German’s were attacking American merchant marines with their newfangled submarines, without having them attack civilian vessels. The Germans, worried that the ship’s sinking would bring America into the war, promised to stop attacking American ships.
By 1916, though, the Germans concluded that the Americans, because they were arming England, were a de facto combatant in WWI. The Germans therefore announced that they were reversing course on their submarine moratorium and, henceforth, that all American ships approaching Britain were fair game.
Worse, in 1917, to Americans’ horror, the British, with the panache of a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat, produced the infamous Zimmermann Telegram, an internal German communication. Through it, the Americans learned that the Germans were proposing a military alliance with Mexico if the Americans entered the war. Even Wilson could no longer turn a blind eye to these provocations. He therefore went to Congress in April 1917 to make the case for war. This speech was to set the tone for American foreign policy for almost 100 years.
What Wilson realized as he wrote his speech was that, despite German attacks on American ships, America did not actually have any good reason to enter the war. Germany was an ocean away and, provided that the U.S. stayed out of the war, keeping Mexico neutral, Germany did not threaten America’s security or sovereignty. Moreover, if American retreated to true neutrality — that is, if she stopped trading with Britain — Germany would instantly leave her alone.
The one thing that Wilson could not admit was that, thanks to his turning a blind eye for three years to America’s ongoing trade with Britain, the reality was that America had every reason to go into war: As noted above, the U.S. needed a British victory to recoup all the credit it extended to Britain. But again, there was no way that Wilson would ever say that he was sending American boys to a charnel house for crass commercial reasons.
Faced with an unspeakable reason for entering the war, Wilson instead came up with a high-flown moral doctrine justifying America’s entry into the war. And so the Wilson doctrine was born (emphasis mine):
Tonight marks the beginning of Passover 5778. Donald Trump’s targeted attack on Syria indicates that he understands the import of this timeless story.
In mid-2009, a few months into Barack Obama’s presidency, Iran had its Green Revolution, when tens of thousands of brave Iranians took to the streets in Tehran seeking to undermine the Mullahs. Their enemy was our enemy. Not only were the Mullahs repressing their own people, they were sowing terrorism throughout the world.
Had Obama thrown America’s moral weight behind the revolution, that alone might have been sufficient to destroy the Mullahs’ power base and create room for a somewhat more moderate and conciliatory Iranian government. Obama, however, chose to align himself, not with the Iranian slaves in the street yearning for freedom, but with the Mullahs, who were playing the role of Pharaoh.
Because those historic events coincided with Passover 2009, I was moved to write a post about the Passover message, a post I’ve reproduced every year at Passover since then. As you will read at greater length below, my post argues that a primary message to take away from the Passover story is that the only way to topple a tyrant and free the slaves crushed under his heel is to bring the revolution, not just to the tyrant’s door, but over the threshold and into his house.
Despite his ostentatious Passover celebrations in the White House, Obama has been blind to the meaning behind the story of the Jews’ exodus from Egypt. Throughout his eight years in the White House, whenever a tyranny arose anywhere, Obama chose to placate tyrants, rather than fight them. He placated the Mullahs, the Muslim Brotherhood, Kim Jong-un, ISIS (aka the JV team), Assad, Putin, and a rotating cast of Islamic fundamentalists who went by different names but hewed to the identical genocidal ideology. It was inevitable that, when Obama finally left office, he bequeathed to us a world remarkably close to the world in 1938/1939: trembling on the verge of a dangerous explosion, with tyrants of the ugliest cast having the momentum and initiative.
It’s this scary world that Donald Trump inherited when he stepped into the Oval Office. However, last week, I came away with the hope that, when Trump sat down to celebrate Passover with Ivanka and her family (assuming he did) or when he discussed Passover with his Jewish friends and family, he understood Passover’s message.
How else can we explain his intuitive understanding that, when dangerous men release weapons of mass destruction, the only possible action is immediate, powerful, targeted retribution. Both Daniel Greenfield and Andrew Malcolm understand this, so I urge you to read their articles. (You might also want to read my post about the Trump doctrine.)
With this introduction, it’s time for my annual Passover post. As I do every year, I’ve edited it slightly to reflect current concerns.
The real Obama legacy is a toxic administrative statute, a corrupt judiciary, the end of the Rule of Law, and a world that is unstable and very dangerous.
With only 1,392 days left in the Trump presidency, we’re already being told that, because Obamacare has not yet been repealed, Trump’s presidency is officially a failure. I happen to be a bit more sanguine. First, I think 1,392 days gives the administration and Congress time to act on the adage that, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Second, two bloggers who accurately called the Trump odyssey from its beginning, believe that this first attempt to remove Obamacare is, in fact, a Trump success.
According to Don Surber, who realized immediately how well Trump plays everyone, Trump went through this exercise as a way to chasten Paul Ryan, who has been unfriendly to Trump from the get-go. And according to Scott Adams, the repeal debacle destroyed the “Trump as Hitler” meme. For Lefties, the cognitive dissonance is too great if they try to hold “Trump is incompetent” and “Trump is Hitler” in their brains at the same time. The former drives out the latter . . . and Trump’s upcoming accomplishments will eventually erase the incompetent meme too, at least in the minds of all but the true believers.
The reality is that Trump is very competent indeed. While the media has been waxing alternately hysterical and lyrical about Obamacare, Trump has been decimating Obama’s regulations. With Obamacare temporarily sidelined, my Lefty Facebook friends are starting to get very, very upset about the fact that Trump is walking back a lot of regulations that kneecapped business and energy sectors. The energy walk-backs also remove the U.S. from the Paris climate accord.
Everything that Obama did with a pen and a phone, Trump is busy undoing with a pen and a phone. Moreover, thanks to Newt’s wisdom back in the 1990s, these regs once gone, stay gone.
Before the year is out, Obamacare will be gone too. There’ll be some toxic, sticky tentacles lingering, because the bill was drafted to be like a virus that infects every area of healthcare, but most will be gone.
So what is the Obama legacy if his regulations are gone and Obamacare is gone? He’ll actually have an impressive legacy, all the more impressive because everything that cannot be erased as easily has his regulations and Obamacare is truly awful.
Possibly the worst thing Obama did was to create a partisan administrative state. As is shown by the leaks aimed at invalidating Trump’s presidency; the attempts to manipulate documents in all administrative sectors; the EPA hysteria about “anti-science”; the IRS scandal; and myriad other agency drama and corruption, Obama has destroyed the idea of a non-partisan administrative state, one in which employees, regardless of their political preferences, simply do their job. Under Obama, partisanship, no matter how corrupt, was encouraged and rewarded — and most certainly, when employees were caught, they were not disciplined. If they were, IRS chief Koskinen would have been shown the curb years ago.
Not only are administrative agencies acting as if they are the executive, the judiciary, and the legislature combined, individuals within those agencies are way too powerful, at least in their own minds. This video about Comey’s investigation into Hillary, although it’s from October, perfectly exemplifies the power games Comey has been playing (and it’s very catchy):
Islam is an aggressive religion. Wahhabi Islam is an even more aggressive culture, wiping out all the color and light of the native cultures it destroys.
I got an email with reminding me of how Borg-like Wahhabi Islam is. Wherever it goes, it destroys the native culture and leaves blackness and despair in its wake. I’ve taken the liberty of organizing the photos a bit, but the text is original to the email:
Where have all where have all the flowers gone?
It is not rude but just another reflection of why Australians are growing tired of political correctness and racial tolerance. Have you heard of reverse racial discrimination?
The Progressives’ current dream — declaring Trump crazy and therefore unfit for office under the 25th Amendment — is a scary replay of a Soviet nightmare.
The latest Progressive idea for destroying Donald Trump is rely on the 25th Amendment. That’s the one that authorizing removing a president from office because he “is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” Because Progressives do not like the way in which Trump is governing (I beg to differ), they’re trying to conflate that dislike with his being constitutionally unfit to serve.
The problem for the Progressives is that the American people are not getting on that bandwagon. Indeed, while they’re not always thrilled with Trump’s habit of seemingly saying whatever he thinks, they’re on board with his policies and plans. An even greater problem, as I’ll explain below, is that the Progressives are lapsing into dangerous political behavior last ascendant in the former Soviet Bloc.
The American people do not believe that a president is manifestly unfit to serve when he declares that he’s going to use his executive authority to build a border wall that Congress mandated in 2006. Since that time, the American people have seen how well Israel’s fence worked, not to keep people trapped inside a prison nation a la the Berlin Wall, but to keep bad people outside of a democratic nation. They’ve also seen the bad effects that uncontrolled immigration has had in Europe. And of course, here at home, many Americans are not thrilled when people who have no permission to be here in the first place get welfare, take jobs, fill up academic slots, weigh down the healthcare system, commit crimes, and cause accidents. Building a wall does not prove you’re unfit.
The American people do not believe that freezing federal wages and slowing hiring is a sign that the president is unfit to lead. They’ve noticed that the burgeoning federal bureaucracy, rather than improving their lives, has come to the point at which it’s a serious drag on economic growth and a threat to individual liberty. They’ve also noticed that federal employees, who are theoretically the people’s servants, have wages and benefits far in excess of those the taxpayers — their employers — often receive. Americans aren’t mad at most individual government employees — only those waging war on a democratically elected government– but they understand that the madness needs to stop.
I’m still in my self-imposed news blackout. That does not mean that I do not care what’s going on. For those who have not yet cast their vote, here are a few things you might want to think about as you decide upon your chosen presidential candidate:
Which candidate is more likely to protect your free speech?
Which candidate is more likely to protect your free exercise of your religion?
Which candidate is more likely to protect your right to peaceable assembly?
Which candidate is more likely to protect your right to petition the government for redress?
Which candidate is more likely to support your right to keep and bear arms?
Which candidate is more likely to place upon the Supreme Court justices who respect the Constitution?
Which candidate is more likely to respect your right to live in a safe society, one in which those police officers who respect the rules are in turn respected and allowed to do their job?
Which candidate is more likely to limit immigration to legal immigrants (who are part of America’s life blood) and not illegal immigrants (who breach America’s sovereignty and destroy the rule of law)?
Which candidate is more likely to respect scientific fact, rather than repeatedly disproven scientific theories, ranging from anthropogenic climate change to gender theory?
Which candidate is more likely to be a friend to Israel?
Which candidate is less likely to Balkanize America by subdividing it into victim classes fighting for government spoils?
Which candidate is more likely to act aggressively to protect Americans and, indeed, Western civilization from the depredations of radical Islamists?
Which candidate cheats less than the other?
What candidate has so completely coopted the media that it has become impossible to trust the American media for truthful, balanced reporting?
You know what those of us who are not opera fans really hate about opera? We hate the fact that, after the heroine has been dealt the fatal blow, it still takes her another half hour of frantic soprano singing before she dies. I suspect that the attenuated operatic death scene will be an apt metaphor for the last 27 days of America’s 2016 election cycle. Trump and his supporters are still singing as loudly and as strongly as they can, but the death-blow has already been dealt.
You see, it’s become very apparent that the American media has been sitting on information that might have affected the outcome of the Republican primaries. Had the media been genuinely interested in reporting the news and/or in ensuring that each party offered its finest candidate to the American people, the stories of Trump’s behavior towards women would have been in the news during the peak of the primary season.
The media, however, was not interested in serving America and its democracy. It was interested only in ensuring that Hillary, the most corrupt, incompetent person ever to run for president, would be facing the most vulnerable candidate possible. So, during the primaries, the media gave Trump all the airtime necessary to build him up and now it’s again giving him all the airtime necessary . . . only this time it’s releasing a steady stream of deadly poison that is the equivalent of the poison the precedes the last half hour of the soprano’s tragic, but lyrical, end.
Scott Adams, who has called the election with remarkable acuity, believes that this carefully planned coup (my phrasing, not his) means that the election is over and that Hillary wins:
If the latest groping/kissing allegations against Trump hold up – and I assume they will, based on quantity if not credibility – it won’t matter what Wikileaks says about Clinton. She will win easily.
Hillary Clinton is all yours, ladies. She and her alleged rapist husband are your brand now. Wear them well.
The same female cohort that brought us the scandal-ridden Warren G. Harding administration is on the verge of bringing us a Hillary administration that is mired in scandal even before it begins. I am, as I often have been in the last two decades, incredibly embarrassed to share XX chromosomes with so many morons.
Charlie Kirk’s hypothesis about millennials forces one to reach much the same conclusion about them that Adams reached about women: The young Bernie supporters who cannot get excited about Hillary have been trained like Pavlov’s dogs to get excited about accusations of men engaged in sexual misconduct. While they wouldn’t vote for Hillary, now that she fits into their hardwired victim algorithm, they will turn out in droves to punish Trump.
Two other things lead me to believe we’re in the last half-hour of an opera that ends with all the good people scattered about dead on the stage:
Here it is: Your daily reminder that the revamped website for the Watcher’s Council is a brilliant collaborative online effort called WOW! Magazine. Since I last posted an update, Council members and their friends have uploaded all of these spot-on articles:
I don’t believe I’m exaggerating when I say that, if you visit WOW! Magazine regularly, you will be as caught up on the headlines as a New York Times or Yahoo News reader except that, unlike the readers of those publications, you’ll have a solid grasp of facts and be thinking about serious and honest indepth analyses.
I’ll spell out my premise and then see if I can sell you on it: In the dystopian world Obama is creating, his foreign policy is the “looking glass” version of Kissinger’s détente. Obama sees himself creating a balance between the Middle East and the West that will lead to stability without war and eventually bring the Muslim nations closer in line with Western values, something he believes is a historic inevitability. In fact, his core Leftist ideology, coupled with his calamitous ignorance means that, rather than providing the West with breathing space to gather its resources even as our enemy’s inherent instability weakens it, Obama is pushing the West headlong into an Islamist-inspired Apocalypse.
Let’s start at the beginning.
By 1969, the Cold War had been going on for twenty-one years. The highlights of that twenty-one year period were as follows:
East Germany’s complete closure in 1949, withdrawing it from the West and enveloping it completely in the Soviet bloc.
The Korean “police action” from 1950 through 1953, during which 200,000 anti-communist troops died or vanished and an estimated 2.5 million Korean civilians (mostly in the north) had died. The communists lost an estimated 360,000 to 750,000 troops. It was no World War II, but it was a blood bath.
The Vietnam War, which began in 1955 and essentially took up where the Korean War left off — with the communists, both Soviet and Chinese, again making a play for control of East Asia, this time in Vietnam. U.S. involvement began under President Kennedy (Democrat) and escalated under President Johnson (Democrat). Although Kissinger and Nixon couldn’t know it at the time, the war would eventually cost almost 60,000 American lives, as well as the lives of another 480,000 to 800,000 anti-communist troops. On the Communist side, losses would total around 460,000 to 1,170,000 troops. Along the way, an unknown number of civilians would die, with the numbers ranging from 1,500,000 to 3,800,000 dead civilians. At the end of it all, Vietnam would fall, Cambodia would fall and, in a way, America would fall too. Again, not a World War II, but definitely a blood bath.
The Hungarian Revolution of 1956, during which Hungarians failed to shake off Soviet control. The result was that the Soviet Union clamped down even tighter on Central Europe.
The Cuban Missile Crisis, which saw a game of nuclear chicken between Kennedy and Khrushchev escalate to a point just short of nuclear war. The bloodbath was avoided, but Americans were desperately afraid. Remember: Duck and cover!!
The Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, which saw 250,000 troops from the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Hungary and Poland sneak into Czechoslovakia, stopping the nascent Prague Spring and ensuring that Czechoslovakia remained yet another nation firmly in the Soviet bloc.
In addition to the above events, the following other countries fell within the Soviet or Chinese communist sphere during that twenty-year period: Yugoslavia, Albania, Bulgaria, and Romania. Half of Europe was locked behind the Iron Curtain, the pressure was on in East Asia and, although this wasn’t apparent at the start of détente, large sections of Africa and Latin America would come under Soviet control in the 1970s.
Offsetting the continued post-WWII rise of communism was the fact that America was booming, thanks in part to her resources (both human and natural) and to the fact that after WWII, she was one of the few intact nations in the world. These resources meant that, during the Cold War years, America fought on every front: she funded the free Western nations so that they could overcome the devastation wrought by war, she paid defense costs for these same countries, and she threw her own troops into the battles in the Far East. With America’s power, money, and anti-communist commitment, this was truly the era of the Pax Americana.
But after twenty-one years, things were stagnant. In the late 1960s, Henry Kissinger took a good hard look at the Cold War situation. He concluded that the Soviet Union had become a superpower and that America and the rest of the Western nations were near the limits of both their financial and military abilities. The West could maintain a standoff, but it could not win definitively against the communist hydra. Moreover, given the Soviet Union’s and America’s nuclear arsenals, total war was a very bad idea.
Kissinger was an anti-communist to the bone, so he wasn’t going to end containment (hence the decision to continue the fight in Vietnam), but he decided it was time to pursue the policy known as détente, or “relaxation.” Détente’s goal was to thaw out the Cold War a bit, lest escalation led to Armageddon. What supported this approach was the Nixon administration’s belief that, despite saber rattling, the Soviet Union and other communist nations were no more anxious for Armageddon than America was.
It was, if you will, a balancing act. A little war here; a little friendliness there. Each side both ready to fight and desperate to avoid the fight.
It’s unclear, at the end of the day, whether détente was a successful foreign policy or not. As I noted above, the Vietnam war continued for years (bringing in poor Cambodia), and the Soviet Union was able to bring substantial numbers of African and Latin American states into the communist fold.
On the other hand, perhaps it was a necessary pause, allowing America to gather her resources. When the USSR went into the black hole that is Afghanistan, at a time when the Soviet economy had definitively run out of other people’s money, America was perfectly situated under Ronald Reagan to strike. The arms race broke the Soviet economy and the Soviets, with both their troops and their national morale vanishing in Afghanistan, were ill-situated to carry out the proxy wars that dominated the Cold War era.
Whether détente was a necessary breather or a fool’s paradise, it was a completely rational decision at the time. Kissinger was never allowed ideological beliefs to blind him to facts. He was the ultimate realpolitik intellectual — irritatingly so for those who longed for a more robust response to Soviet expansionism. They saw détente as making a deal with the devil; Kissinger saw it as a necessary reprieve from endless wars against an equally matched enemy. (As the unbalanced fatalities listed above show — that is, always more communist troop deaths than Western troop deaths — what the communists lacked in money and weapons, they were more than willing to make up in bodies thrown in front of enemy fire.)
Before I get to Obama’s looking-glass twist on détente, let me reiterate what motivated Kissinger: A realistic look at the facts on the ground in the late 1960s and early 1970s showed that America and the Soviet Union were fairly equally matched. Kissinger, therefore, opted for a strategic thawing to stave off a possible war of attrition, similar to that seen in World War I, where two fairly equally matched sides could neither win nor stop fighting. (It’s reasonable to believe that, given enough time, Germany would have won, but that outcome was not certain. What was certain was that the U.S. functioned in some ways as the Deus ex Machina, stepping in and striking a necessary definitive blow in a war that had expended hundreds of thousands of lives over the same few square miles of ground.)
Obama, like the ill-educated and Leftist-educated man he is, has only the most superficial understanding of what constitutes détente: His foreign policy, especially in the Middle East and with Iran proves that, to him, it simply consists of reaching parity with the enemy, followed by a thawing, followed by the arc of justice and historic inevitability. A + B + C, plus a little bit of that ol’ Obama magic, and you’ve got the lion sleeping with the lamb around the world.
Armed with this “magic” formula, Obama managed to miss or misunderstand all of the really important stuff. Most significantly, he completely misunderstood that the parity with the enemy had to precede détente; indeed, had to be the driving force behind détente.
Because of this misperception, Obama made the deliberate (and insanely stupid) decision to weaken America and strengthen her enemies. He reduced the number of our troops, called down our weapons, and turned the military’s focus to climate change and gender equality. At the same time, he invested billions of dollars in Iran, while making no demands in exchange; bolstered the Muslim brotherhood; and allowed Syria to turn into an Islamic terrorist breeding ground.
Voila! Parity, Obama style. It takes a truly terrible leader to so thoroughly snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Obama also missed entirely that we’re dealing with a different enemy than the one America faced in the Cold War. By the late 1960s, Kissinger had realized that the Cold War leaders were pragmatists. They wanted power, but not at the cost of their own lives.
Détente’s mutually assured destruction and thawing both worked because there were lines — nuclear lines — that neither the Soviet nor the American leaders ever wanted to cross. It’s one thing to carry on an old-fashioned ground war in some godforsaken jungle, even if a whole bunch of grunts and civilians die; it’s another thing for Moscow to be immolated. In a nuclear age, even the Soviets understood that all victories would be Pyrrhic ones.
Obama, being cut from the communist cloth, understands how the Soviet politburo thought. He too wants power, not death (at least not his own death). What Obama cannot comprehend, because faith is alien to him, is that religious faith, with its promise of an afterlife, is a much more potent motivator than here-and-now communism can ever be.
As we’ve seen repeatedly over the last few decades, Islam is generally a religion that rejoices in death, not just of the enemy, but of any Muslim fighting in Dar-al-Harb (the House of War). Islam is so overwhelmingly powerful that it sucks out of its most ardent followers what we in the West think is an intrinsic aspect of all sentient life on earth — the will to live. It’s different with fundamentalist Muslims. With the brainwashing starting in the cradle, and teaching a range of thought and action running from violence to total submission to Allah’s will, Islamic fanatics embrace death.
In addition to the generic Islamist death wish, the Shia branch of Islam, which controls Iran (the country to which Obama has given the gift of a nuclear future) is apocalyptic in nature. And again, because Obama is a singularly ill-informed man who resists any efforts to enlighten him with actual knowledge, he fails to understand the unique nature of Islamic apocalyptic doctrine.
Devout Christians know the Apocalypse is coming, but they do not believe that it is incumbent upon them to be the engines of the Apocalypse. Contrast this with fanatic Shia Muslims (i.e., those in charge of Iran’s soon-to-be nuclear arsenal). They believe that it is their responsibility to bring about the Apocalypse.
Specifically, Iran’s leaders anticipate the return of the twelfth or hidden iman in the form of the Imam al-Mahdi, meaning “the [divinely] guided one.” This belief is the core of the Twelvers’ belief — and Iranian leaders are Twelvers.
The Imam’s return, the Twelvers claim, will establish Islam as the world’s only religion. That’s bad enough but, unfortunately for those in the West, a subset of this belief is the Twelvers’ further belief that it is their responsibility to initiate the chaos out of which both the imam, as well as an Islamized Jesus Christ, will emerge.
What this Apocalyptic doctrine means, and what Obama cannot comprehend, is that, unlike the old Soviets, Twelvers don’t worry about the fact that, should they fire a nuclear weapon at Israel or Europe or the U.S., their own country will swiftly receive like treatment. Not only don’t they fear it, it’s want they want. Just think about what’s going on in the Middle East today and compare it to the portents the Twelvers advance as the signs of the coming Apocalypse:
Syria is imploding, ISIS’s depredations are causing death and fear in Baghdad, Muslim hordes around the world are dealing out death and destruction, and Obama is helping Iran fund their red death. That’s exciting stuff for someone dreaming of imminent Armageddon. To the extent that Obama thinks that by making nice with the Iranians he can bring them into the American sphere of influence, he shows a profound inability to understand belief systems other than his own.
Obama also fails to grasp that Kissinger during the détente years could rely on an American sphere of influence. Back in the day, we truly supported our allies in every way. We funded them (no wonder they could afford to play around with their cozy European socialism) and we had their back.
Obama, in his anxiousness to decrease America’s power, has alienated our allies. He’s insulted them, broken promises to them, and left them believing that America isn’t just a weak reed, but an utterly unreliable reed that must be shunned. Putin is taking advantage of this dismay about American perfidy and is quickly reshaping allegiances the world over.
Comparing the two policy approaches side-by-side, one quickly sees the defining differences: Kissinger’s détente was built on the back of hard-headed pragmatism about the real world situation. Obama’s détente is built on a combination of ignorance and fantasy.
At best, Kissinger’s détente may have bought America time within which to strengthen her resources, even as the Soviet bloc, through a combination of hubris and the economic instabilities built into a centralized economy, fatally weakened. What started out as a military parity that Kissinger had no option but to address ended with America’s enemy in substantially worse shape than before. At worst, Kissinger’s détente allowed two pragmatic enemies, both of which were all right with killing each other but neither of which wanted to commit suicide, a chance to walk away from the precipice of all-out war.
Obama’s détente is the terrifying “looking glass” opposite of Kissinger’s. At the beginning of Obama’s administration, America, although tired from war was still at the top of her game: She had the biggest, best-equipped military in the world. Her economy, though badly shaken, still had the ability to recover. The Europeans, despite their endless condescending snideness, still looked to America for leadership. America’s allies outside of Western Europe (allies such as Poland or Israel) knew that they could count on America to protect them from the dangers just outside their borders. Iran had no nuclear weapons and the remainder of the Middle East was maintaining its usual messy stability.
Fast forward to today, when had seven years to create that parity he so badly wanted as a prerequisite for his version of détente: Our military is weakened; our economy staggers under the weight of endless unemployment and almost incalculable debt; our allies cannot trust us; Europe is witnessing a slo-mo invasion by America’s (and Europe’s) existential enemies; our borders are open to, and the Obama government is shipping in, those same enemies; our core civil rights are on the verge of being erased; the Middle East has gone from ugly but stable to hideous and completely unstable; and we are funding our enemies in their war against both us and our values throughout the world.
If directly challenged about his foreign policy (something Obama will never allow anyone to do), Obama could very well offer as his defense the fact that he’s doing nothing more than Nixon and Kissinger did back when Obama was a child — creating a window within which peace can develop — and that his political enemies didn’t complain then, and are only doing so now because they’re racists. He would find incomprehensible the charge that, when it comes to détente, Obama got everything wrong except the most simplistic definition of the term. Sadly, the price for Obama’s hubristic ignorance is one that America and the rest of the world may pay in decades of blood, pain, poverty, and death.
Domestic drudgery is over and blogging
beings begins. Yay!
The establishment is very afraid of Donald Trump. Thomas Lifson is correct that it is outrageous for U.S. “Intelligence” officials to try to sabotage Trump’s campaign by saying they’re afraid to give him intelligence briefings. This would be despicable under any circumstances, but it’s especially grotesque considering that the only reason Hillary is not rotting in prison for treasonous high crimes and misdemeanors is because the President is protecting her (probably because she knows his secrets, just as he knows hers).
What’s really disgraceful about this already disgraceful spectacle is that these establishment types seem to have forgiven Hillary the whole Benghazi debacle, from the mismanagement before; to the vanishing act during, which almost certainly cost four lives; to the cover-up after. Others have not forgotten:
Ann Coulter takes on those accusing Trump of racism. Ann is in fine, sarcastic fettle as she flushes out the cowards (on the Right) and race hustlers (on the Left) who are attacking Trump: