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Under Obama, there came to be a cancer in the Pentagon

Obama purged the Pentagon during his presidency. Recent events give us an insight into the anti-American mindset of those whom he left in place.


Do  you remember when Obama started purging the upper echelons in the Pentagon, sometimes under cover of law, sometimes under cover of darkness? After the pullout from Iraq, Obama had a little list of those people he didn’t want to see serving anymore in America’s military. Some he fired outright. Others he treated so shabbily that they had no option put to leave.

Just in the first five years of his presidency, Obama fired almost 200 military officers:

[W]hat has happened to our officer corps since President Obama took office is viewed in many quarters as unprecedented, baffling and even harmful to our national security posture. We have commented on some of the higher profile cases, such as Gen. Carter Ham. He was relieved as head of U.S. Africa Command after only a year and a half because he disagreed with orders not to mount a rescue mission in response to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack in Benghazi.

Rear Adm. Chuck Gaouette, commander of the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, was relieved in October 2012 for disobeying orders when he sent his group on Sept. 11 to “assist and provide intelligence for” military forces ordered into action by Gen. Ham.

Other removals include the sacking of two nuclear commanders in a single week — Maj. Gen. Michael Carey, head of the 20th Air Force, responsible for the three wings that maintain control of the 450 intercontinental ballistic missiles, and Vice Adm. Tim Giardina, the No. 2 officer at U.S. Strategic Command.

From’s Facebook page comes a list of at least 197 officers that have been relieved of duty by President Obama for a laundry list of reasons and sometimes with no reason given. Stated grounds range from “leaving blast doors on nukes open” to “loss of confidence in command ability” to “mishandling of funds” to “inappropriate relationships” to “gambling with counterfeit chips” to “inappropriate behavior” to “low morale in troops commanded.”

Nine senior commanding generals have been fired by the Obama administration this year, leading to speculation by active and retired members of the military that a purge of its commanders is under way.

I have no way of knowing whether some in that long list really deserved to go. Perhaps Obama discovered a badly-calcified, top-heavy, lazy, corrupt bureaucracy when he took office. Two things argue against that conclusion, though: First, Obama seldom fired other bureaucrats, which argues that generally he had no problem with calcified, top-heavy, lazy, corrupt bureaucracies. Second, in my remembered lifetime (that is, excluding my childhood years), I don’t know of any other president who pushed out so many high ranking officers.

When Obama was cleaning out the Pentagon, at least some retired officers expressed their concern that this was a purge, not a necessary reboot to a degraded institution:

-Retired Army Major General Paul Vallely: The White House protects their own. That’s why they stalled on the investigation into fast and furious, Benghazi and Obamacare. He’s intentionally weakening and gutting our military, Pentagon and reducing us as a superpower, and anyone in the ranks who disagrees or speaks out is being purged.

-Retired Army Major General Patrick Brady: There is no doubt he (Obama) is intent on emasculating the military and will fire anyone who disagrees with him.

-Retired Army Lt. General William G. Jerry Boykin: Over the past three years, it is unprecedented for the number of four-star generals to be relieved of duty, and not necessarily relieved for cause.

-Retired Navy Captain Joseph John: I believe there are more than 137 officers who have been forced out or given bad evaluation reports so they will never make Flag (officer), because of their failure to comply to certain views.

A Pentagon official who asked to remain nameless because they were not authorized to speak on the matter said even young officers, down through the ranks have been told not to talk about Obama or the politics of the White House. They are purging everyone and if you want to keep your job just keep your mouth shut. Now this trend appears to be accelerating.

Food for thought, right? I can’t say whether those quoted officers were correct or not, for I don’t know what was going on in the Pentagon. Maybe those retired officers were just whiners and malcontents, sorry to see the Pentagon under Democrat control.

However, when I look at Obama’s practical, strategic, and tactical demands on the military (e.g., draw-downs, aiding America’s enemies, unduly restrictive rules of engagement) and his open efforts to turn our military into a social justice experiment (e.g., women in combat, transgenders in the military, etc.), I’m inclined to believe that Obama’s decisions about officers were not primarily aimed at ensuring that our military was the best, most honorable fighting machine in the world. Obama seemed to have other goals in mind.

I’ve recently been thinking about all those missing officers and the mystery behind their banishment. The reason for these thoughts is that I’ve read statements from two officers Obama elevated to important positions and one who served under Clinton. The most touted statement came from William H. McRaven, the Admiral who oversaw the Osama bin Laden mission.

For those who’ve gotten hazy about bin Laden, he was the man who masterminded 9/11, killing 2,996 people on American soil. This attack included a direct strike on the Pentagon and an attempted strike at the White House or Congress. The latter was stopped only because brave citizens on United Flight 93 went to war with the terrorists. Bin Laden was also the man to whom McRaven gave a private, respectful burial at sea, one that ensured “that bin Laden’s body was be handled in accordance with Muslim traditions complete with.” How nice.

Anyway, a little over a week ago, McRaven launched a full frontal media attack against President Trump, including the not-so-subtle implication that Trump should be the subject of a coup. This implied attempt to destroy a sitting American president came after multiple paragraphs in which McRaven burnished his own military credentials by draping around himself the lives of others in the military. And then this:

As I stood on the parade field at Fort Bragg, one retired four-star general, grabbed my arm, shook me and shouted, “I don’t like the Democrats, but Trump is destroying the Republic!”


If our promises are meaningless, how will our allies ever trust us? If we can’t have faith in our nation’s principles, why would the men and women of this nation join the military? And if they don’t join, who will protect us? If we are not the champions of the good and the right, then who will follow us? And if no one follows us — where will the world end up?

President Trump seems to believe that these qualities are unimportant or show weakness. He is wrong. These are the virtues that have sustained this nation for the past 243 years. If we hope to continue to lead the world and inspire a new generation of young men and women to our cause, then we must embrace these values now more than ever.

And if this president doesn’t understand their importance, if this president doesn’t demonstrate the leadership that America needs, both domestically and abroad, then it is time for a new person in the Oval Office — Republican, Democrat or independent — the sooner, the better. The fate of our Republic depends upon it. (Emphasis mine.)

The sooner, the better? That doesn’t sound as if McRaven has the patience to wait for the November 2020 election, does it? That sounds like a call to arms . . . to military arms.

But McRaven isn’t the only one. Barry McCaffrey served in the Clinton White House and, judging by his words today, I’m betting Obama would have been glad to keep him on. McCaffrey is a West Point grad and a Vietnam vet. One would expect from him a strong grounding in history and a sober nature, one not prone to hysteria. Anyone expecting that would be wrong.

When word got out that Trump said the government (i.e., the taxpayers) should no longer have to pay for the Washington Post and the New York Times, both of which have abandoned any semblance of journalism in favor of operating as the media arm of the Democrat Party, McCaffrey got very, very excited:

I wonder if that tweet gives us a clue about the identity of the general whom McRaven quoted, the one who burst into tears and then started screaming to the Heavens about Trump’s iniquities. Only a hysterical ninny could liken cancelling newspapers to becoming Mussolini.

For those who have forgotten their history, there is no relationship at all between Trump and Mussolini. Politically Mussolini dragged every institution and business in Italy under the state’s umbrella. (“All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.”) Trump, in contrast, is doing his best to limit state power. To that end, he’s been shrinking the regulatory state by cutting regulations, decreasing the number of employees, and trying to move the agencies out of D.C. and closer to their mandates. In this regard, it’s useful to remember that Louis XIV consolidated his power by building Versailles and forcing the nobles who might have challenged him were they further away to live in his court under his watchful eye. Trump has also limited his own executive authority (he’s the first president to have done so) and placed strict constructionist judges on the court.

Also, for all the (well-deserved) insults Trump hurls at the press, he’s done nothing to harm journalists. During Trump’s presidency, no journalists have been imprisoned (unlike Judith Miller, who was imprisoned on Dubya’s watch), none have been spied upon (as happened to James Risen under Obama), or bugged a news outlet’s phones (as happened to the AP, which still happily carries water for the Left, and to Fox, again under Obama).

Mussolini on the other hand…. Mussolini was a former newspaperman himself, and he assiduously sought to co-opt the media as a propaganda branch of his fascist government. Those who did not get with the program, whether within or outside of the media, were subject to shattering violence and cruel deportations. Today, under Trump’s presidency, Democrats cannot point to a single journalist who has lost a job, been deported, or been the victim of government violence directed against the journalist or the journalist’s family. And no, being called names at Trump rallies doesn’t count.

But wait! There’s more! The above examples are just general complaints (get the pun?) about Trump’s presidency from two former Democrat military operatives. Al-Baghdadi’s death this weekend, however, not only shined a light on the Democrats’ relationship to terrorists versus Trump (respect the former, hate the latter), it also revealed again the kind of military officer the Left loves — and the kind whom Obama promoted even as he fired scores of other high-ranking officers.

Before I get to this last tweet, let me remind you who al-Baghdadi was. Or rather, let Clarice Feldman remind you, for she provides an excellent summary about the picaresque adventures of one of the most foul, evil, sadistic “austere religious scholars” ever to walk the face of the earth:

First, a little background to refresh your memory. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was an ISIS leader. He was a very, very bad man. In 2009, we had him captured and imprisoned in Iraq. For some utterly inexplicable reason, President Obama released him from Camp Bucca. Thereafter, Baghdadi and his troops took over the Iraqi cities of Fallujah, Ramadi, Tikrit and Mosul, and threatened Baghdad.

Along the way they burned down everything in their path and tortured and murdered civilians, soldiers and police officers.

Director Blue posted a gruesome photo essay of his butchery.

Baghdadi photographed and publicized how he and his fellow butchers roasted alive men hogtied over flames, burned whole families with their children in cages, drowned prisoners in cages, raped and murdered thousands of Yazidi women and girls, and beheaded, shot, and blew up countless thousands of people.

Among those he kidnapped, tortured and murdered was a young American woman Kayla Mueller whom Obama failed to rescue in time.

After his Iraqi mayhem, Baghdadi took refuge in Syria where he hid out.

Aside from inviting sadists like himself to enjoy the feast, Baghdadi also inveigled Islamic true believers into following his train by enticing them with the promise of a glorious martyr’s death, one that would lead the faithful, not to a meeting with the one true Islamic God, but something better! Follow me, he said, and you’ll not only get “infidel” women and children to rape in this life, if you get killed, you’ll enjoy the carnal pleasures of an eternal brothel. Surely that’s worth fighting and dying for!

Given the way in which ignorant and brainwashed fighters are brought into ISIS’s army, Trump understands that it is extremely important that Baghdadi’s followers know precisely how Baghdadi himself met that death: Did he embrace it as the final act of a glorious martyrdom that would give him the wonders of an endless orgasm or did he, as hypocritical a monster as ever lived, cling to life, dreading what awaited him in the afterlife? President Trump loudly, clearly announced that the same man who murdered tens of thousands and enticed thousands more to their own deaths, died in abject, pathetic, groveling, cowardly fear — and murdered his own children as his last act:

He died after running into a dead-end tunnel, whimpering and crying and screaming.  The compound had been cleared by this time, with people either surrendering or being shot and killed.  Eleven young children were moved out of the house un-injured.  The only ones remaining were Baghdadi in the tunnel, who had dragged three children with him to certain death.  He reached the end of the tunnel, as our dogs chased him down. He ignited his vest, killing himself and the three children.

As a throw-in, Trump again made sure in the same speech to remind people just how bad Baghdadi was, along with another reference to Baghdadi’s own cowardly end:

Baghdadi and the losers who worked with him – in some cases people who had no idea what they were getting into and how dangerous and unglamorous it was – killed many people.  Their murder of innocent Americans Jim Foley, Steven Sotloff, Peter Kassig, and Kayla Mueller were especially heinous.  The shocking publicized murder of a Jordanian pilot who was burned alive in a cage for all to see, and the execution of Christians in Libya and Egypt, as well as the genocidal mass murder of Yazidis, rank ISIS among the most depraved organizations in history.

The forced religious conversions, the orange suits prior to many beheadings, all of which were openly displayed for the world – this was all Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s work.  He was vicious and violent, and he died in a vicious and violent way, as a coward, running and crying.

Kudos to Trump for establishing unequivocally that America will catch up with the bad guys, that it will send them to their deserved death, and that it will not allow anyone to forget why they deserved the end they received.

You already know how the media and prominent Democrats responded to the unexpected news about Baghdadi’s death. I already alluded to the Washington Posts‘ infamous “austere religious scholar” headline (and you’ll find a boatload of spoofs here). Others in the media and in government were just as disgusting. Don Surber has a good round-up that includes the WaPo making Baghdadi’s death about abandoning the Kurds, James Clapper warning that ISIS will be “galvanized” by this, Bloomberg praising Baghdadi’s meteoric rise from teacher to ruler, and Nancy “the Leaker” Pelosi complaining that nobody told her about it.

Of all those pathetic, anti-American responses, though, the one that stopped me in my tracks was the reaction from James Winnefeld, a now-retired Navy Admiral who served as the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Obama from 2011 to 2014. He wasn’t purged under Obama, he was elevated. And here’s what one of Obama’s officers had to say about the death of a sadistic murderer who acted out his sick psychopathies against thousands of people:

Take a moment and contemplate what you just read: A former member of Obama’s Joint Chiefs celebrates the careful, respectful reverence with which America’s troops were forced to treat bin Laden, the greatest mass murderer of Americans in history, and mourns the fact that we didn’t do the same for Baghdadi, a sadist of the first magnitude.

As far as I know, Trump has not purged the military’s high officers. I’m wondering, though, whether he shouldn’t take a very close look at the caliber of men and women Obama left behind after his purges were through. If they’re anything like McRaven or Sperry, our military is in very big trouble.

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Trump’s Syria decision perfectly reflects the Trump doctrine

Regarding Syria, Trump is fulfilling a prediction I made two years ago about the Trump Doctrine, a repudiation of Wilsonian and Obama foreign policies.

More than 2 years ago, in April 2017, I wrote a post entitled Trump has a pro-American foreign policy that owes nothing to either Wilson or Obama. Although Trump had yet to articulate a policy, I concluded looking at his statements and actions during the campaign and the first three months of his presidency, that he was not only walking away from Obama’s foreign policy, but was also turning his back on 100 years of the Wilson Doctrine (a doctrine that even Obama, in his weird, inverted way, had embraced).

What follows in this post is a shorter version of that 2017 post, along with Obama’s own words about Syria which prove (to my own satisfaction at least), that I nailed the Trump Doctrine. It is, incidentally, a doctrine with which I agree. (If you’d prefer to listen, rather than read, you can find information about the companion podcast here.)

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 this foreign war. With the exception of Americans who had arrived recently from Germany or Austria, or who came from intensely German and Austrian enclaves, most Americans agreed.

Although Wilson clung to neutrality for three years, the reality was that, as the years passed that neutrality had a remarkably Anglophile feel to it. Part of this came about because, when war began, 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 – although accurate reports that trickled in about Germans slaughtering French and Belgian civilians would invariably have turned Americans against them. Additionally, American ships could reach Britain, but not the continent.

Because of the shipping, the war created an economic boom for those Americans selling weapons and food to England. Americans therefore increasingly had a vested financial interest in a British victory. There would have been a serious depression in America had Britain lost the war.

For obvious reasons, Germany did not want America to enter the war against it. After 128 Americans died in 1915 when the Germans sank the HMS Lusitania, Germans promised not to attack American ships. However, by 1916, with America funding Britain, Germans reversed that promised, which worried Americans and made them more inclined to war. Then, in 1917, the British revealed the Zimmerman Telegram, an internal German communication that promised a military alliance with Mexico if America formally entered the war. At that point, Americans were so deeply offended they began to demand war.

And that’s where the Wilson Doctrine began. Bowing to public pressure, the formerly anti-war Woodrow Wilson felt obligated to reverse course. In April 1917, he made his famous speech to Congress, one that would set the tone for American foreign policy for almost 100 years. Before reading the key part of the speech, it’s important to realize that Wilson knew, as he wrote his speech, that 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, which would keep 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 — that is, her shipping — alone.

What Wilson could not admit was the reality driving war: Thanks to his turning a blind eye for three years to America’s ongoing trade with Britain, 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. However, there was no way that Wilson could say that he was sending American boys to a charnel house for crass commercial reasons.

Faced with the need to justify entering the war, when he could not give voice to the true reason, Wilson instead came up with a high-flown moral doctrine justifying America’s entry into the war. And so the Wilson doctrine was born:

We are glad, now that we see the facts with no veil of false pretense about them, to fight thus for the ultimate peace of the world and for the liberation of its peoples, the German peoples included: for the rights of nations great and small and the privilege of men everywhere to choose their way of life and of obedience. The world must be made safe for democracy. Its peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty. We have no selfish ends to serve. We desire no conquest, no dominion. We seek no indemnities for ourselves, no material compensation for the sacrifices we shall freely make. We are but one of the champions of the rights of mankind. We shall be satisfied when those rights have been made as secure as the faith and the freedom of nations can make them. (Emphasis mine.)

By war’s end, Wilson had come to believe his own rhetoric and, indeed, believed that he had an almost messianic duty to carry it out. The 20th century might have looked very different if the successful Allied powers hadn’t viewed him as a naive American hick and proceeded to destroy what little was left of Germany’s economy, setting the stage for the horrors that would come twenty years later. But that’s a story for an alternative history, not for this post.

Wilson’s idea resonated deeply with an idealistic generation of Americans whose allegiance to the Bible and ties to the original Puritans meant that they had long believed themselves to be residents of a blessed City on a Hill. Of course they would fight to free the world, spreading far and wide the blessings of their own freedom. It did not occur to them then, as it did not occur to Iraq supporters almost 90 years later, that America’s freedoms might in fact be uniquely . . . American.

To show just how deeply the notion of altruistic war reached into American culture, Irving Berlin did his basic training at Camp Yaphank where he wrote a show for the soldiers to perform. Two of his songs are still known today: the plaintive Oh, How I Hate To Get Up In The Morning and the rousing God Bless America. But he also wrote a little, forgotten ditty called Kitchen Police, which directly echoed Wilson in the chorus:

Poor little me, I’m on K.P. I scrub the mess hall Upon bended knee. Against my wishes I wash the dishes To make this wide world safe for Democracy.

Even a peeled potato and a clean stack of dishes spoke to America’s beneficence.

So it was that, beginning in 1917, American foreign policy hewed tightly to the Wilson Doctrine. America would not fight for water rights, or to control people, or to gather slaves about her, or for empire, or for power, or for wealth: She would fight altruistically to free people. That’s what America did in WWI, in WWII, in Korea, in Vietnam, in Iraq (twice), and in Afghanistan. She fought on the principle that her blood and wealth, spilled on foreign shores, would free the world from tyrants, to the benefit of all, America included. In 2003, George Bush and the neocons were most certainly acolytes of the Wilson doctrine.

Barack Obama, peculiarly enough, also believed in the Wilson doctrine — or, rather, he believed in a bizarre inversion of the Wilson doctrine. Because Obama viewed America as a Typhoid Mary nation, one that destroyed everything it touched, his idea of making the world safe wasn’t necessarily to make it safe for democracy. It was, instead, to make the world safe from America.

To that end, Obama pulled America out of Iraq and Afghanistan, creating power vacuums that ISIS, the Taliban, and Iran happily filled. Made up to the Mullahs in Iran, the Erdogan Islamists in Turkey, (ironically) Putin and his Russian oligarchs, and a host of bad other actors around the world. The only time Obama would engage in warfare was when he had determined that doing so would not confer any benefit on Americans. At least prior exponents of the Wilson Doctrine believed that bringing democracy to other lands would protect America too. Not Obama….

One could say that, with Obama’s ascendancy came the birth of a subset of the Wilson doctrine: America would make this world safe by leading from behind. Her absence would allow native cultures to flourish in all their morally relativistic beauty.

What I said two years ago, and believe today’s announcements proves correct, is Trump’s foreign policy abandons both those doctrines, each of which is based upon America self-abnegation. Trump does not think America has a duty to make the world safe for democracy. Trump also does not think that America is a toxic nation that needs to make the world safe from itself. Trump simply wants America and Americans to be both safe and prosperous. He’ll do whatever it takes, at home and abroad, to make those twin goals happen.

Two years ago, I also said that, to this end, Trump has no interest in spilling American blood and spending American dollars to make Syria, North Korea, or Afghanistan safe for democracy. He simply wants the bad actors in those nations to know that, if they engage in acts that threaten America or her reliable allies, he will stomp them like bugs, quickly and efficiently.

Lastly, two years ago, I added that, while Trump had not articulated this doctrine, his actions to date had been consistent with it: Leave America alone and she will leave you alone. Be a good friend to America and she will be a good friend to you . . . up to a point. She will not fight your wars for you unless it’s in her interest to do so.

Writing today, Don Surber suggested the Trump has been influenced by the Powell Doctrine. This is a doctrine that Colin Powell came up with after being burned in Vietnam. Interestingly, Powell’s antipathy to Trump is so great that he’s abandoned his own doctrine to attack the president he hates.

The Orange Man — whom everyone who is anyone in Washington and on Martha’s Vineyard laughs at — is carrying out the Powell Doctrine better than Powell did. Remember that? It was Powell’s correction of the awful political expediency that led us into Vietnam — a war he had to fight long after Washington and Martha’s Vineyard had become bored with the whole thing. The Powell Doctrine was idealistic and based on 8 questions:

(1) Is a vital national security interest threatened? (2) Do we have a clear attainable objective? (3) Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed? (4) Have all other non-violent policy means been fully exhausted? (5) Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement? (6) Have the consequences of our action been fully considered? (7) Is the action supported by the American people? (8) Do we have genuine broad international support?

With the above in mind, a theory I advanced two-plus years ago, please consider Trump’s tweets from today.

The United States was supposed to be in Syria for 30 days, that was many years ago. We stayed and got deeper and deeper into battle with no aim in sight. When I arrived in Washington, ISIS was running rampant in the area. We quickly defeated 100% of the ISIS Caliphate,….. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2019

….including capturing thousands of ISIS fighters, mostly from Europe. But Europe did not want them back, they said you keep them USA! I said “NO, we did you a great favor and now you want us to hold them in U.S. prisons at tremendous cost. They are yours for trials.” They….. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2019

…..again said “NO,” thinking, as usual, that the U.S. is always the “sucker,” on NATO, on Trade, on everything. The Kurds fought with us, but were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so. They have been fighting Turkey for decades. I held off this fight for…. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2019

….almost 3 years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home. WE WILL FIGHT WHERE IT IS TO OUR BENEFIT, AND ONLY FIGHT TO WIN. Turkey, Europe, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia and the Kurds will now have to….. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2019

…figure the situation out, and what they want to do with the captured ISIS fighters in their “neighborhood.” They all hate ISIS, have been enemies for years. We are 7000 miles away and will crush ISIS again if they come anywhere near us! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2019

I was elected on getting out of these ridiculous endless wars, where our great Military functions as a policing operation to the benefit of people who don’t even like the USA. The two most unhappy countries at this move are Russia & China, because they love seeing us bogged….. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2019

….down, watching over a quagmire, & spending big dollars to do so. When I took over, our Military was totally depleted. Now it is stronger than ever before. The endless and ridiculous wars are ENDING! We will be focused on the big picture, knowing we can always go back & BLAST! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2019

As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!). They must, with Europe and others, watch over… — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2019

….the captured ISIS fighters and families. The U.S. has done far more than anyone could have ever expected, including the capture of 100% of the ISIS Caliphate. It is time now for others in the region, some of great wealth, to protect their own territory. THE USA IS GREAT! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2019

I think I nailed it and, as I said at the start of this post, I agree with it. After America twice saved Europe from complete self-destruction, rebuilt it after its second devastating war, and then paid for its so-called socialism for seventy-five years, Europe is so hostile to America it’s indistinguishable from America’s traditional enemies. Europe choked on the gratitude it ought to have felt and opted for moral condescension and preening. Who needs that?

Trump is right too about the Middle East. We can’t fix it with American blood nor should we have to. We will help our allies in ways that do not involve sending our young men and women oversees to get maimed or die. Moreover, Trump is clear that, if those nutcases in the Middle East threaten American interests, at that point he will have no qualms about sending in our military. Our military exists to protect us, not them. That threat alone ought to help keep everyone in line.

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President Trump is the “dayenu” president

No matter how imperfect Trump is, looking at his record of accomplishments, as to each one I say the Passover word “dayenu” — it would have been enough.

During the Passover dinner, one of the songs Jewish families sing is Dayenu. It is in the nature of a “count your blessings song,” with the song reciting each of God’s miracles during the Exodus and, after every verse reciting “dayenu,” which means “it would have been enough” or “it would have sufficed.” Growing up,  I considered this song one of the best parts of the proceedings. I was in good company, for Jews have been singing Dayenu for around one thousand years.

The song consists of three groups of praise for God’s miracles. The first group recites the miracles that challenged Pharaoh, the second recites the miracles that were the Exodus itself, and the third recites the miracles of being with God and getting the Ten Commandants during the forty years in the wilderness. Chabad provides a nice version of the lyrics in  both English and Hebrew:

If He had brought us out from Egypt, and had not carried out judgments against them Dayenu, it would have sufficed us! אִלּוּ הוֹצִיאָנוּ מִמִּצְרַיִם וְלֹא עָשָׂה בָהֶם שְׁפָטִים דַּיֵּנוּ
If He had carried out judgments against them, and not against their idols Dayenu, it would have sufficed us! אִלּוּ עָשָׂה בָהֶם שְׁפָטִים וְלֹא עָשָׂה בֵאלֹהֵיהֶם דַּיֵּנוּ
If He had destroyed their idols, and had not smitten their first-born Dayenu, it would have sufficed us! אִלּוּ עָשָׂה בֵאלֹהֵיהֶם וְלֹא הָרַג אֶת בְּכוֹרֵיהֶם דַּיֵּנוּ
If He had smitten their first-born, and had not given us their wealth Dayenu, it would have sufficed us! אִלּוּ הָרַג אֶת בְּכוֹרֵיהֶם וְלֹא נָתַן לָנוּ אֶת מָמוֹנָם דַּיֵּנוּ
If He had given us their wealth, and had not split the sea for us Dayenu, it would have sufficed us! אִלּוּ נָתַן לָנוּ אֶת מָמוֹנָם וְלֹא קָרַע לָנוּ אֶת הַיָּם דַּיֵּנוּ
If He had split the sea for us, and had not taken us through it on dry land Dayenu, it would have sufficed us! אִלּוּ קָרַע לָנוּ אֶת הַיָּם וְלֹא הֶעֱבִירָנוּ בְּתוֹכוֹ בֶּחָרָבָה דַּיֵּנוּ
If He had taken us through the sea on dry land, and had not drowned our oppressors in it Dayenu, it would have sufficed us! אִלּוּ הֶעֱבִירָנוּ בְּתוֹכוֹ בֶּחָרָבָה וְלֹא שִׁקַּע צָרֵינוּ בְּתוֹכוֹ דַּיֵּנוּ
If He had drowned our oppressors in it, and had not supplied our needs in the desert for forty years Dayenu, it would have sufficed us! אִלּוּ שִׁקַּע צָרֵינוּ בְּתוֹכוֹ וְלֹא סִפֵּק צָרְכֵנוּ בַּמִּדְבָּר אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה דַּיֵּנוּ
If He had supplied our needs in the desert for forty years, and had not fed us the manna Dayenu, it would have sufficed us! אִלּוּ סִפֵּק צָרְכֵנוּ בַּמִּדְבָּר אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה וְלֹא הֶאֱכִילָנוּ אֶת הַמָּן דַּיֵּנוּ
If He had fed us the manna, and had not given us the ShabbatDayenu, it would have sufficed us! אִלּוּ הֶאֱכִילָנוּ אֶת הַמָּן וְלֹא נָתַן לָנוּ אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת דַּיֵּנוּ
If He had given us the Shabbat, and had not brought us before Mount Sinai Dayenu, it would have sufficed us! אִלּוּ נָתַן לָנוּ אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת וְלֹא קֵרְבָנוּ לִפְנֵי הַר סִינַי דַּיֵּנוּ
If He had brought us before Mount Sinai, and had not given us the Torah Dayenu, it would have sufficed us! אִלּוּ קֵרְבָנוּ לִפְנֵי הַר סִינַי וְלֹא נָתַן לָנוּ אֶת הַתּוֹרָה דַּיֵּנוּ
If He had given us the Torah, and had not brought us into the land of Israel Dayenu, it would have sufficed us! אִלּוּ נָתַן לָנוּ אֶת הַתּוֹרָה וְלֹא הִכְנִיסָנוּ לְאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל דַּיֵּנוּ
If He had brought us into the land of Israel, and had not built for us the Beit Habechirah (Chosen House; the Beit Hamikdash) Dayenu, it would have sufficed us! אִלּוּ הִכְנִיסָנוּ לְאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל וְלֹא בָנָה לָנוּ אֶת בֵּית הַבְּחִירָה דַּיֵּנוּ

So you can get a sense of the melody, here is the Maccabeats’ charming version of the song (although when we were kids we perked up rather than collapsing during the song):

The point of the song, obviously, is not to get greedy, but to be grateful for whatever gifts or miracles come your way. God doesn’t need cumulative miracles to prove His greatness and the debt Jews owe Him. Each little thing He did, standing alone, would have been enough.

So what’s this got to do with Trump? Well, let me first assure you that I am not likening Trump to God. He is no God. He is, instead, a very imperfect man, but one who nevertheless has taken a series of steps that, even if each stands alone, is a reminder why a Trump presidency is so much better than the Hillary alternative.

The genesis for this thought came about because I got an email from a very dear friend, one whom I respect more than you can imagine, who is baffled by my fondness for Trump. Before the Mueller report, he saw Trump as a crude buffoon. Since the Mueller report, he sees him as a dangerously corrupt individual. Worse, he sees Trump as way less successful than a good Republican president should be. As readers of this blog know, I’ve come to hold Trump in quite high esteem. Thinking about how to explain my esteem to my friend, I came up with the “dayenu” meter.

To begin with, remember that America’s choice in November 2016 was completely binary: Hillary or Trump. So we’re not measuring Trump against some perfect Republican candidate; we’re measuring Trump against Hillary, who was committed to continuing the Obama administration, although with the addition of the Clintons’ unique brand of financial corruption. It is in that context that I look at what Trump has done. (As an aside, I would argue, as Wolf Howling already has, that Trump is proving to be an extraordinary conservative president who, only halfway through his first term, can measure up even to Ronaldus Magnus.)

Also, regarding what Trump has not done, or not yet done, I never lose track of the fact that, for two-and-a-half years, Trump has been contending with the weight of an entirely false accusation that he entered into a conspiracy with Russia to keep Hillary from the White House. (Incidentally, that’s why Trump said he was “f**ked* when he realized the immensity of this whole Russia collusion hoax. He wasn’t saying, “Oh, my God, the jig is up! I’m going to jail.” He was saying, “Oh, my God, this will paralyze my effectiveness as a president.”)

So here’s my dayenu recital for Trump:

If Trump had merely presided over a booming economy, even if one accepts Leftist talking points that it wasn’t his policies that made the change — Dayenu.

If Trump had merely lowered taxes, even if one accepts Leftists talking points that lower taxes didn’t help the economic boom — Dayenu.

If Trump had merely massively cut regulations, even if one accepts Leftist talking points that lessening the government’s stranglehold over businesses didn’t help the economic boom — Dayenu.

If Trump had merely presided over minorities seeing the best economic years of their lives, even if one accepts Leftist talking points that Trump didn’t help the economic boom — Dayenu.

If Trump had merely appointed two conservative Supreme Court justices, even though the remaining Leftists Supreme Court justices show no sign of vacating their seats — Dayenu.

If Trump had merely put dozens of strict constructionists in federal appellate and district courts, even though enough Leftist judges remain to thwart many of his policies — Dayenu.

If Trump had merely taken seriously and worked hard to address American’s concerns about illegal aliens flooding our southern border security, even though the Democrats’ have successfully hamstrung Trump through Leftists activist judges — Dayenu. (Don’t get me started on Congress’s failure to act on the southern border when Republicans controlled both houses. Just don’t get me started.)

If Trump had merely shifted the long-standing, failed paradigm that saw the US sending no-strings (or almost no-strings) money to North Korea and, instead, offered Kim Jong-un a carrot and stick approach to abandoning North Korea’s nuclear program, even though Kim recently conducted a rocket test and talked to Putin — Dayenu. (I’m not worried about Kim allying with Putin, because he’s always been allied with communist regimes; I think his recent posturing, including that rocket test, is just that — posturing intended to keep his own worst enemies, the ones inside his regime, at bay.)

If Trump had merely defeated ISIS on the battlefield, even though radical Islamism remains a worldwide scourge — Dayenu. (You have to start defeating radical Islamists somewhere, especially because it’s the nature of Islam to respect a strong horse and want to gut and devour a weak one.)

If Trump had merely walked out of the illegal Kyoto Accord, which was set to deplete the American economy while propping up the hyper-polluting Chinese economy, even though his administration is still paying some lip service to the cult of climate change — Dayenu.

If Trump had merely supported a reinvigorated American oil, gas, and coal sector, which will bring employment to vast numbers of people and lower product prices for everyone, even though the climatistas are up in arms — Dayenu. (I have long believed that “renewables” cannot provide First World energy needs. Forcing America onto renewables will return us to a pre-industrial time which, while pastoral, was deadly and uncomfortable. The answer is to use our technology to make cleaner-burning fossil fuels and, if Scott Adams is correct, to turn to Generation IV nuclear reactors, which are completely safe and will burn up existing nuclear waste.)

If Trump had merely withdrawn from the illegal Iran Deal — which propped up the mullahs and funded world-wide terrorism — and instead reimposed economic sanctions on Iran, even though the mullahs are still rattling sabers and making trouble — Dayenu. (Nobody expected the mullahs to collapse the instant Trump undid that vile deal; it’s enough that he undid it and is starting to reapply pressure on a very shaky regime.)

If Trump had merely reinvigorated the American military by pouring more funds into it and by ending the habit of treating it as a social justice experiment, even though doing so hurts the feelings of transgender people — Dayenu. (The military exists to protect our nation, not to make people feel good about themselves.)

If Trump had merely put the screws to China’s predatory trade practices, which have been depleting the American economy for decades, in such a way that China appears to be backing down, even though people on the Left and the Right are now saying all tariffs are bad — Dayenu. (I believe in free trade, but free trade works only if there isn’t cheating. Moreover, while many claim that things will eventually right themselves if left alone, that’s a fine thing to say to one or two generations of Americans who are economically destroyed by China’s unfair trade practices, which include intellectual piracy, slave labor, and government underwriting in the marketplace. This “dayenu,” incidentally, also goes to the new trade deals Trump negotiated with other nations.)

If Trump had merely managed to de-fang most of Obamacare, which was a drag on the economy and which destroyed people’s relationships with their physicians while doing nothing to improve the delivery of medical care in America, even thought the vicious, unprincipled John McCain did everything he could to block Trump’s efforts — Dayenu.

If Trump had merely proved to be the staunchest friend Israel has ever had in the White House, or certainly the staunchest friend since Reagan, and implemented policies that are putting a stop to the Palestinians’ non-stop, bad faith demands, even as the whole Democrat Party is turning increasingly anti-Semitic — Dayenu.

If Trump had merely presided over a Department of Education that withdrew the “Dear Colleague” letter that turned already Leftist campus administrations into fanatically man-hating entities that destroyed young men without due process and on the merest threads of accusations, even though . . . I don’t know what “even though” clause could be used here — DAYENU!

If Trump had merely threatened to withdraw federal funds from institutions of (ostensibly) higher education that squash free speech, even though . . . heck! There is no “even though” here either.  DAYENU!

If Trump had merely shown fearlessness in the face of stifling, Leftist political correctness, thereby freeing other Americans to speak honestly, even though . . . what’s the downside here? None. DAYENU!

I could go on all day with this. Trump is rude, crude, bumptious, impulsive, cold-blooded, combative, etc. I see that. I also see that he’s incredibly funny, that he has a wonderful knack for making Leftists reveal their true colors, and that his initiatives, even if imperfect or ultimately ineffective, nevertheless have shifted paradigms at home and abroad in ways that are important to and beneficial for America.

As far as I can tell, the worst thing that Trump has left completely unfixed and unaddressed — and something that is a dangerous time bomb that could destroy America — is the $21 trillion national debt, which skyrocketed under Obama and has continued to rise under Trump. This is unsustainable and we need to work hard and fast to bring government spending down even as we hope that the soaring economy will help increase tax revenues to pay off that debt.

Also, while I’m on the subject, I want to address the Mueller report’s statement that Trump refused to let Mueller interview him and the allegation that Trump played with the idea of dismissing Mueller and, while he eventually did not do so, asked White House counsel to lie about the fact that he even contemplated that dismissal.

First, the undoubted fact that Trump refused to allow Mueller to interview him: No sane attorney would have allowed Mueller anywhere near his client. We saw with General Flynn that the Mueller approach was to trip people up on small, inconsequential details, and then use those trip-ups to prosecute them for perjury in the hope of squeezing more out of them. It was Mueller’s version of the torture Torquemada used during the Spanish inquisition.T

Just think for a moment about the fact that the FBI agents who interviewed Flynn believed he was trying to tell the truth, but that he didn’t remember something they knew only because of their spying. Despite Flynn’s manifestly honest intentions, and the fact that he did not committed any of the crimes for which he was being investigated, Mueller destroyed Flynn professionally and financially, and finally brought Flynn to heel by threatening Flynn’s family.

Imagine what would have happened if Mueller, with all the information available to him through Obama-era spying, had gotten his talons into Trump. The only way to protect Trump was (a) to demand that Trump respond only to written interrogatories that could be carefully reviewed with an attorney and (b) to have Trump in those interrogatory responses denying remembering anything as to which he did not have absolutely perfect recall. To do otherwise would have thrown Trump into the maw of the new American Stasi.

I’m equally unimpressed with the allegation that, according to White House counsel Don McGahn, Trump wanted to fire Mueller, backed down on that desire, and then instructed his attorney to lie. It’s meant to show that Trump had evil in his heart, even though he didn’t fire Mueller, and then he tried to make his attorney complicit in that evil. Let’s unpack this, shall we?

First, we only have Don McGahn’s word for this. Trump was never asked about his side. The due process protections of examination and cross-examination are missing, making this pure hearsay from an attorney who had witnessed how Mueller destroyed the lives of those who didn’t cooperate with him. In that way, his testimony was probably as honest as any testimony coming from one of Torquemada’s victims.

Second, I can tell you as an attorney with decades under my belt that clients, when talking to their attorneys, often ask, “Can we do X?” or “Can we do Y?” with X and Y being either stupid or against the law. By the way, please remember that things can be against the law even if they’re not morally wrong. One of the scary things about today’s over-legislated and over-regulated world is that it’s impossible for us to know what the law is, making us sitting ducks for zealous or biased prosecutors. The fact that Trump didn’t know his suggestion couldn’t fly means nothing.

Once client asks such a question (“can we do X?”), the attorney’s role is to be extra cautious to protect the client. This may mean drawing lines that the attorney recommends the client not cross. When you have a bulldog client such as Trump, you, as the attorney, may have to take a strong stand to show that you’re not joking about the fact that something that seems logical and moral is still illegal: “No, you can’t do that, and if you insist on doing it, I’ll have to quit as your counsel.”

If that thread is indeed what McGahn had to make, Trump then did what 99% of clients do: He backed down and McGahn remained as his attorney. But Trump is in a unique class. Rather than this back-and-forth staying confidential, so that no one knows what ideas a client had before behaving perfectly legally, his attorney spilled the beans, making Trump look uniquely evil rather than completely ordinary.

One more thing about Trump’s query about firing Mueller, if he indeed did make that query: To the extent Trump knew he was being framed, it was quite reasonable for him to wonder if he could stop a baseless witch hunt intended to invalidate an American election.

Third, keep in mind that we’re dealing with exceptionally humorless people here. I sure you remember how, on the campaign trail, Trump said, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Sane people immediately recognized that Trump was making a humorous riff about the fact that Hillary’s blatant, grossly illegal security violations meant that the Russians had almost certainly been in possession of her emails for years.

Insane people — and that means the entire Left — insisted that Trump had the brazen effrontery to demand in public that Putin collude with him to hack Hillary’s already hacked emails. When you remember that Mueller’s attack dogs were all die-hard Democrat establishment members, you start to wonder, as I do, it’s entirely possible that Trump made an obvious joke to McGahn (“Hey, remember not to tell Mueller I wanted to fire his humorless little ass”).

So, yeah, I’m totally unimpressed by Mueller’s obstruction drama. And if you’d like more reasons to be unimpressed, I recommend watching this Mark Levin video on the subject:

Finally, if you’re interested in a stellar analysis of Trump — warts and all — as well as an explanation for why every American should find appalling the behavior of the bureaucratic caste arrayed against him, I highly recommend this Victor Davis Hanson interview, every minute of which is entertaining and informative (hat tip: Maggie’s Farm):

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Are You Better Off Today Than You Were 8 Years Ago?

I think it’s worth remembering something Ronald Reagan said at the last debate against the incumbent Jimmy Carter a week before the 1980 election.

Here’s what then candidate Reagan said:

Next Tuesday is Election Day. Next Tuesday all of you will go to the polls, will stand there in the polling place and make a decision. I think when you make that decision, it might be well if you would ask yourself, are you better off than you were four years ago? Is it easier for you to go and buy things in the stores than it was four years ago? Is there more or less unemployment in the country than there was four years ago? Is America as respected throughout the world as it was? Do you feel that our security is as safe, that we’re as strong as we were four years ago? And if you answer all of those questions yes, why then, I think your choice is very obvious as to whom you will vote for. If you don’t agree, if you don’t think that this course that we’ve been on for the last four years is what you would like to see us follow for the next four, then I could suggest another choice that you have.

We’ve lived under 8 years of Obama and are c0nsidering his acolyte to add at least 4 more.

Are you better off than you were 8 years ago?

  • Inflation is tamed but the result of that has been consecutive bubbles in the stock market that benefit the rich at the expense of the middle class or those living on a fixed income.
  • The unemployment statistics have been rigged. If we captured unemployment statistics using the same methodology in place in 1980 the unemployment rate would be double the current rate of 4.9%, with over a third of the country outside of the labor force.
  • Medical costs continue to soar, as does the cost of insurance. While Obamacare promised to boost access, it hasn’t delivered with an increasing number of insurers leaving the exchange market, leaving consumers with often no insurance choice at all.

Is America respected throughout the world as it was?

  • Ask the Chinese who are busy turning the western Pacific into their swimming pool.
  • Or the Russians who shot down an airliner full of civilians, annexed a chunk of a neighbor, and support a regime that made a joke of Obama’s red lines.
  • Or ISIS who formed in the power vacuum left in Iraq after Obama refused to negotiate a status of forces agreement with the Iraqi government.
  • Or the Taliban who is gradually reestablishing the safe haven that it once had that provided the launching pad for the greatest mass murder in American history.
  • Or North Korea which continues to refine its nuclear and missile capabilities without censure.
  • Or the Jihadis who have struck dozens of times in Europe, killing hundreds all over the continent and making Americans who travel there think twice, the way we once did when we traveled to the Middle East in the 1970s.

Do you feel that our security is as safe, that we’re as strong as we were eight years ago?

  • The Boston Marathon bombing.
  • The Pulse Nightclub attack in Orlando.
  • The San Bernardino massacre.
  • The Fort Hood shooting.
  • The Recruiting Center shooting in Chattanooga.
  • The 2016 Attack on the Dallas Police.

And how about the relations between the races after 8 years of America’s first black president?

  • The 2009 BART riots after the police shooting of Oscar Grant.
  • The 2010 BART Verdict riots. Another one occurred weeks later.
  • The 2010 Westlake district riots after police gun down a Guatemalan immigrant.
  • The 2012 Anaheim riots after multiple police shootings in which Manuel Diaz was killed.
  • The 2013 Flatbush riots after NYPD shoot and kill Kimani Gray.
  • The 2014 Ferguson riots after Michael Brown was shot and killed by Fergusson police.
  • The 2014 riots in NYC, Berkeley, and other cities after a grand jury refuses to indict Eric Garner.
  • The 2015 Baltimore riots after the death of Freddy Gray.
  • The 2016 riots in New York, Baton Rouge, St. Paul, Chicago and other cities after the police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
  • The 2016 riots in Milwaukee.
  • The 2016 riots in Charlotte after the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott by police.
  • And the year isn’t over.

As Reagan said, “And if you answer all of those questions yes, why then, I think your choice is very obvious as to whom you will vote for.” That choice today would be Hillary Clinton. And if you don’t, then your choice is clear. Donald Trump may not be Ronald Reagan, but having lived through the nightmare of the 1970s not once but TWICE thanks to Hillary and Obama, he is the only sensible choice.

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Movies as Political Propaganda: The Battle of Algiers, Part I

In The Battle of Algiers (1966) the Islamic terrorists are viewed as heroic freedom fighters. The truth is they were a bunch of IslamoNazi mass murderers.
In The Battle of Algiers (1966) Islamic terrorists are viewed as heroic freedom fighters. The truth is they were a bunch of IslamoNazi mass murderers.

by Robert J. Avrech

Movies are the most powerful tools of social and political propaganda the world has ever known. Consider: America wins wars only when Hollywood supports the conflict and puts itself squarely behind America’s efforts. During World War II, every studio in Hollywood backed the Allied effort against the Axis. Hollywood stars enlisted for active duty, raised money for war bonds, and the studios produced films that went all out for freedom and liberty against the tyranny of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. Hollywood played a huge role in America’s victory.

Contrast Vietnam. Hollywood, overwhelmingly anti-war, produced a series of movies that undermined the American effort against the spread of communism in Southeast Asia. Hollywood knew that with a few clever, glossy films (most notably “Coming Home” (’78), starring Jane Fonda and Jon Voight) and their carefully-manufactured anti-war narratives, it could undermine American foreign policy and turn heroic GIs into psychotic baby-killers. America lost Vietnam.

In our times, Hollywood produced several high profile movies that argued against America’s military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Not one of the films was profitable, but the damage was done. America withdrew from both fronts. IslamoNazis filled the vacuum — and Hollywood will never take notice or assume any responsibility for the chaos and mass murder it helped to create.

Fade In:

Intertitle: Movies Are a Moral Landscape

The Battle of Algiers, (1965) directed by Gillo Pontecorvo, a perennial favorite on college campuses, is hailed as a modern classic. Certainly the skillful use of black & white cinema verite is highly effective, making the viewer feel as if he’s been plunged into the heart of the Algerian maelstrom. The scenes of torture and terror are stomach churning. The score, by the great Ennio Morricone with some input by the director, is one of the most rousing and effective in film history. The film cleverly gives the impression of giving a balanced view of the conflict, with a particularly poignant scene where a cafe filled with French Algerians is bombed. But  let’s be clear, the film is a work of leftist propaganda that seamlessly justifies Islamic terror by proposing that the French were so brutal that the Algerians had no choice but to resort to unrestrained terror.

Director Gillo Pontecorvo was an assimilated Italian Jew from a wealthy family. But like so many secular Jews, he was drawn to the fanatic cult of Communism. Das Kapital in place of Torah. The Battle of Algiers is Pontecorvo’s penultimate work of cinematic propaganda. 

Let’s examine the real Battle of Algiers, free from the romantic imagery presented by Pontecorvo where Islamic terrorists are accorded heroic and mythic status. In truth, they were a bunch of sharia-spouting thugs, oppressors of women, and, of course, virulent Jew haters. In short: bloodthirsty IslamoNazis.

The finest source for the history of the Algerian conflict is A Savage War of Peace, Algeria, 1954-1962 by Alistair Horne.

It is the definitive account of one of the dirtiest colonial war of the 20th century. We tend to think of the French as a bunch of cowards and collaborators, their tanks welded into reverse gear. But in Algeria the French were, at first, determined and unbelievably ferocious. Once the Algerians revolted, the French army and especially the French Foreign Legionwhose ranks included numerous German POW volunteers, plus several Nazi war criminals escaping persecution—followed a scorched earth policy.

In 1954, the Legion was deployed from Indochina to Algeria. The shock and humiliation of the defeat at Dien Bien Phu was fresh in the minds of the proud Legionnaires and they were determined to erase that shameful episode. But the Legion were not the only troops ready to sacrifice and claim victory. As Horne writes:

“…the [French] army, incorporating Sengalese units legendary for their ferocity, subjected suspected Muslim villages to systematic ratissage–literally a ‘raking over’, a time-honored word for pacifying operations. This involved a number of summary executions. Of the less accessible mechtas, or Muslim villages, more than forty were bombed by Douglas dive-bombers…”

And this was just the opening salvo of the battle. It got worse. Much worse. The level of ferocity, on both sides, almost unimaginable.

Interpolation: Because Yours Truly Sees Connections Between Past & Present

The Palestinians are a lucky people because their enemies are Jews. Any other foe, especially other Arabs, would have wiped them off the face of the earth a long time ago.

In February 1982 the Syrian regime, feeling threatened by opponents of the Assad family  and the Alawite minority to which the Assad clan belongs, committed a massacre of over 25,000 men, women and children in the town of Hama, where opposition was centered. Scores of young girls were gang-raped by the Syrian soldiers and then shot in the public bathroom ‘Hamam Alsadia.’ The current slaughter in the state formerly known as Syria can be seen as continuation of Hama with Iran and Russia throwing in to protect Assad. 

 If Israel is foolish enough to surrender Judea and Samaria to the Palestinians, as she did with Gaza, then Jordan will have to square off against ISIS, Hamas, Hizbullah, Al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and thanks to Obama and the Democrat party, a nuclear capable Iran. These and other sharia-yearning barbarians will rush into the vacuum. The IslamoNazis will certainly move to overthrow the detested Hashemite Kingdom. For some Arabs, this will be payback for the 1970 Black September.

If that happens, buckle up for some old fashioned blood-letting. You can bet that the Jordanians will not use targeted assassinations like the Israelis.There will be mountains of Arab Muslim corpses choking the River Jordan. Or the conflict will spell the end of the Jordanian state—Trans-Jordan was created by Winston Churchill—and you can just say, “Howdy” to a completely insane Iranian proxy.

End Interpolation

The leaders of the Algerian revolt kept telling their cadres to have patience. Democracies, they lectured, cannot endure long wars. Democracies have a built-in weakness: elections. And wars are bad for elections. Democracies demand immediate results.

“We can hang on forever,” Ahmed Ben Bella explained to his men, “we can fight and fight, whereas democracies like France have to go to their citizens and explain why their men are dying. And sooner or later, they will grow sick of it. Democracies are inherently weak for they have no patience.”

This theme rises again and again in Horne’s invaluable book, and though the French fought in Algeria for eight long and bloody years, Ben Bella was right. In fact, the Battle of Algiers almost brought revolution to the streets of France, and mutiny in the French army.


The Algerian insurgents were, at the beginning, a mix of westernized intellectuals and Muslim fundamentalists, but soon enough the Islamic jihadists took control. Simply put, they were merciless, willing to commit the kind of atrocities that placed them in the vanguard.

It is vital to understand that what is going on in Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Kenya, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sweden, France, Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, England, Israel and now America, is part of an old and reliable guerrilla playbook. If you don’t understand Islamic terror and it’s parallel political stages (which includes mass migration) then you are fated to be crushed beneath the wheels of the Islamic fascists. There is nothing improvised or accidental about the daily homicides by IslamoNazis across the globe. It is a carefully constructed Islamist tactic pioneered and made holy by Muhammed, Islam’s founder, that is part of a grand strategy aimed at the soft heart of non Muslim societies.

Algiers is where the IslamoNazis first perfected terror.

The strategy for modern terrorism was defined by the Brazilian guerrilla leader, Carlos Marighela, before he was hunted down and killed:

“It is necessary to turn political crisis into armed conflict by performing violent actions that will force those in power to transform the political situation of the country into a military situation. That will alienate the masses, who, from then on, will revolt against the army and the police and blame them for this state of things.”

Marighela’s philosophy is simple and effective: using terrorism will inevitably provoke the forces of law and order to strike back with overwhelming force and repression thereby alienating the hitherto uncommitted native population. The idea is to polarize the situation into two extreme camps and make impossible any dialogue of compromise by eradicating the soft center.

Wrote Marighela:

“The government can only intensify its repression thus making the life of its citizens harder than ever… The population will refuse to collaborate with the authorities, so that the latter will find the only solution to their problems lies in having recourse to the actual physical liquidation of their opponents. The political situation of the country will become a military situation…”

It was along this simple but effective doctrine that the Algerians started their war against civilians—without mercy.

The opening attack came in a small hot place called Philippeville.

French-Algerian children massacred at Phillippeville by IslamoNazis.
French-Algerian children massacred by IslamoNazis at Philippeville, 1955.

Establishing Shot:

Philippeville was a small mining center of about 130 French Algerians, the pieds-noirs and about 2,000 Muslims, who for years had coexisted amicably. Apparently, labor relations were extremely good with a rare degree of equality and cooperation between Muslim and European.

It appears that the whole Muslim community was aware of what was about to happen on August 20, 1955. A number of Muslim families even left town in advance of the coming massacre.

But no one warned the French Algerians.


Shortly before noon, four groups of fifteen to twenty Muslim men attacked the village, taking it completely by surprise. They were led by Muslim mineworkers who knew each house and their neighbors. Intimately.

Telegraph lines were cut, the emergency radio transmitter was found to be “out of order” and the village constable who was equipped with warning rockets had “disappeared.”

The Muslim attackers went from house to house, slaughtering all the European occupants: men, women, children, and infants. All the time egged on by Muslim women with their eerie ululations. From the Mosque came exhortations to slit the throats of women and their nurses in the cause of jihad.

It was not until two o’clock in the afternoon that a French Para unit managed to reach the town. An appalling sight greeted them. In houses literally washed with blood, European mothers were discovered with their throats slit and their bellies slashed open by billhooks. Children had suffered the same fate. Infants had had their brains dashed against the wall. A young mother was disemboweled, her five-day old baby slashed to death and replaced in her open womb.

Four entire families had been wiped out to the last member; only six who had barricaded themselves in a house in the center of the village and had held out with sporting rifles and revolvers had survived.

Men returning from the mines had been ambushed in their cars and hacked to pieces. Altogether thirty-seven Europeans had died, including ten children under fifteen, and another thirteen had been left for dead.

Not surprisingly, Pontecorvo did not include the Philippeville massacre in his film. Dramatically, it would have shredded his carefully constructed thesis.

According to Horne, the reaction of the French army was immediate. Out in the streets they found:

“…bodies literally strewed the town. The Arab children, wild with enthusiasm–to them it was a great holiday–rushed about yelling among the grown-ups. They finished off the dying. In one alley we found two of them kicking in an old woman’s head. We had to kill them on the spot: they were crazed…”

The reprisals were severe. The Algerians claim that as many as 12,000 were killed by the French. The French claim, 1,273. We will never know the truth.

But the Philippeville Massacre had its intended impact. The polarizing effect of which Marighela spoke immediately took place. The Battle of Algiers went on for eight long bloody years. The brutality on both sides was unspeakable for there was a burning river of blood between the French and the Algerians after Philippeville.

Next Week, Part II, The Jews of Algeria

The post Movies as Political Propaganda: The Battle of Algiers, Part I appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.

The Council Has Spoken!! Our Watcher’s Council Results

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match up.

“Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls.
Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing;
‘Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him,
And makes me poor indeed.”
– William Shakespeare in ‘Othello

“The conservative-media revolution has caused the liberal media to abandon any pretense of objectivity and fairness and actively advocate on the Left’s behalf.”
– Rush Limbaugh

“My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me. But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth. They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes. – Psalm 63:10

This week’s winning essay,Bookworm Room’s The New York Times’ latest attack on Ted Cruz backfires, highlighting his virtues is pretty much about what the title implies it is as Bookworm turns the tables on Pravda-by-the-Hudson’s execrable Frank Bruni’s pathetic attempt at character assassination. Here’s a slice:

Early last week, the New York Times published Frank Bruni’s overwrought essay, Anyone But Ted Cruz. The piece is clearly meant to assassinate Ted Cruz’s character by explaining why conservative voters should hate and fear him as much as Progressives do.

As a preliminary matter, of course, any conservative who accepts advice from the New York Times about preferred Republican candidates is a fool. The Times does not have Republicans’ best interests at heart, and the past fifteen years make it highly questionable whether it has America’s best interests at heart either. Listening to the Times’ advice about Republican candidates is kind of like taking dating advice from Ted Bundy.

But back to Bruni. . . . After opening with some quick character assassination from the Left, Bruni works hard to explain that it’s not only the obvious suspects – i.e., Leftists – who dislike Cruz, but Republicans as well. His opinion piece is basically a “Dear Conservative voter” letter, claiming that, if these savvy Republican political figures hate Cruz, you, the voter, should too.

Bruni’s problem is that his explanations for Cruz’s unpopularity with Washington D.C.’s “in-crowd” Republicans manage to establish that Cruz has dedicated his entire adult life to advancing American constitutionalism and exceptionalism, notions that mainstream Republicans abandoned long ago. Thus, for anyone who rejects the Leftist and establishment assumptions underlying Bruni’s hit piece, it’s obvious that, during these troubled times at home and abroad, Ted Cruz is not ballot box poison. Instead, he is the best man to return America to her core values of personal liberty, economic freedom, and national security policies that benefit America and her friends.

There are, of course, some virtues Cruz possesses that no one can deny. Like the defense attorney who tries to immunize his client against the most damning facts by ingenuously acknowledging them when trial begins, Bruni opens his latest piece by accepting that Cruz is likely the ‘smartest man in the room’:

He’s clearly brilliant — maybe smarter than any of the others. He’s a whirlwind of energy. And man oh man can he give a presentation. On any subject, he’s informed, inflamed, precise.

Bruni’s statement comports with the opinion of many people who actually know Ted Cruz, including famed liberal Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz. So what is Bruni’s problem with Ted Cruz?

But then you talk with people who’ve worked with [Cruz] at various stages of his career. They dislike him.

No, scratch that.

They loathe him.

Let’s leave aside for a moment whether personal popularity — or skin color or type of sexual organs — should be a reason to vote for a person for President, since the job description for President is based on precisely none of those characteristics. Let’s also ignore for now that the practical experience we’ve gained from our recent experiment in voting for a President based on skin color shows how dangerous identity voting is. Instead, let’s examine at face value Bruni’s claim that Cruz’s lack of popularity should be disqualifying, complete with its insinuation that the lack of popularity arises from some sort of deep, dark character flaw.

Bruni certainly makes the case that Cruz is a polarizing figure in a political world in which Progressives take no prisoners and old-line Republicans valiantly try not to upset the Washington establishment apple cart. The real question for thoughtful voters is whether Cruz is “loathed,” not because he’s loathsome, but because he unnerves the people who need to be unnerved. That question requires delving more deeply into why Congress people, on both the Left and the Right, dislike Cruz.

To explain his own side’s hatred for Cruz, Bruni briefly looks to a Daily Beast article that reveals that, during Cruz’s first year at uber-liberal Princeton College, his roommate did not particularly like him:

His freshman roommate, Craig Mazin, told Patricia Murphy of The Daily Beast: “I would rather have anybody else be the president of the United States. Anyone. I would rather pick somebody from the phone book.

Given that so many hate Cruz for being an unrepentant Constitutional conservative idealist, it is ironic that Bruni’s choice of Mazin’s quotable quote, wittingly or not, plays on arch-conservative William F. Buckley’s famous quip, “I would sooner be governed by the first four hundred names in the Boston telephone directory than by the four hundred members of the faculty of Harvard.” Neither Bruni nor the Daily Beast author seem to pick up on that irony.

Bruni quickly abandons The Daily Beast article to get to the meat of his piece, which is to explain why Republicans also hate Cruz. Before we do the same, it’s worthwhile to delve deeper into the Daily Beast article, both because it explains why Mazin hated his roommate and because (obviously unwittingly from The Daily Beast’s world view) it gives valuable – and highly flattering – insight into the young Cruz.

First, at least as far as The Daily Beast article is concerned, we learn that seemingly the only substantive reason for Mazin’s disliking Cruz was that the 17-year-old Cruz was reading a rather startling book:

“I remember very specifically that he had a book in Spanish and the title was Was Karl Marx a Satanist? And I thought, who is this person?” Mazin says of Ted Cruz. “Even in 1988, he was politically extreme in a way that was surprising to me.”

Wow! A 17-year-old kid – more accurately, a 17-year-old bilingual kid – was reading a wacky book. For Progressives and mainline Republicans, that’s certainly a reason to hate him twenty-seven years later.

As an aside, Karl Marx probably wasn’t a Satanist, but he was most certainly a hate-filled anti-Semite whose writing unleashed a worldwide killing spree that, over 150 years, has murdered hundreds of millions of people everywhere from Russia to China to Germany to North Korea to all points in between. The irony is that few people today would label as extremists those who read Karl Marx or, worse, who think he’s brilliant. Instead, these people are just referred to as “Bernie Sanders supporters.”

The Daily Beast article reveals something more interesting than a silly book, which is that, when young Cruz erred, he then repented and reformed, at great cost to himself:

Cruz also angered a number of upperclassmen his freshman year when he joined in a regular poker game and quickly ran up $1,800 in debt to other students from his losses. Cruz’s spokeswoman, Catherine Frazier, said Cruz acknowledges playing in the poker games, which he now considers “foolish.”

He went to his aunt, who worked at a bank in Dallas, and borrowed $1,800 from her, which he paid in cash and promptly quit the game,” Frazier told The Daily Beast, explaining that Cruz worked two jobs and made monthly payments to his aunt for the next two years to repay the debt.

So to recap: a 17-year-old away from home for the first time foolishly gambled away money he did not have. Rather than walking away from what the British used to call “a debt of honor” or passing the debt on to his parents, he instead went to a reliable person for a loan, fully repaid his gambling debt, and then worked extremely hard to repay his loan. Moreover, there’s no indication that Cruz subsequently had a gambling problem. So not only did he face up to his failure, he learned from it. Call me old-fashioned, but that strikes me as laudable, not disgraceful, conduct.

Nor, despite Princeton’s overwhelmingly Progressive student body and faculty, was Cruz without friends:

While Cruz may have been disliked, and intensely so, by many of his classmates, he found a close and longtime friend in a gregarious, popular student from Jamaica named David Panton, who became Cruz’s tag-team partner on Princeton’s renowned debate squad, as well as his roommate for the remainder of their time at Princeton and when they both attended Harvard Law School.

Unlike what others may say, I consider Ted to be very kind. He is a very, very gentle-hearted person,” Panton told The Daily Beast. “He took me under his wing and was a mentor to me. He was very kind to me. I am a much smarter and much better person today because of Ted Cruz.”

Panton’s statement is a lovely encomium. Additionally, given our nation’s current obsession with identity politics, it seems worthwhile to point out something about the Jamaican-born Panton: he’s black. In other words, both Panton, who had a Hispanic friend in Cruz, and Cruz, who had a black friend in Panton, truly heeded Martin Luther King’s dictum, with each judging the other by the content of his character, rather than by the color of his skin. That speaks well of both men, who at a young age already had a principled belief that character matters.

Cruz and Panton were a dynamic debating duo, and their experience shows that Cruz was indeed brilliant, that he was socially comfortable, that he worked extremely hard, and that he was willing to mentor others to help them along as well

Cruz and Panton debated together for four years at Princeton and came to dominate the collegiate parliamentary debate circuit, winning the North American championships in 1992 and being named the top two collegiate debaters in the country (Cruz was No. 1). The competitive debate world also gave Cruz a different social circle, with fellow debaters congregating in his room to hang out and play Super Mario Bros. Debate weekends included Friday night parties that Cruz often attended, where he was remembered to be “sort of a stud” with girls on the debate circuit. Princeton debaters also said he spent extra time mentoring them to improve their skills, even though they competed against each other.

Cruz’s long-term friendship with Panton allows Panton to offer a deeper insight about Cruz than we get from Mazin’s simplistic scorn regarding Cruz’s reading material. It turns out that, as his supporters have known all along, Cruz is a bone deep conservative, as opposed to the unprincipled weathervane many in the GOP are trying to suggest that he is:

Throughout those years, Cruz and Panton remained friends, and Panton still speaks highly of him, saying with praise that the one word that describes Cruz best is “consistent.”

He’s not someone who shifts in the wind,” Panton says. “The Ted Cruz that I knew at 17 years old is exactly the same as the Ted Cruz I know at 42 years old. He was very conservative then, and an outspoken conservative. He remains strongly conservative today.”

Even at a young age, Cruz understood what his conservativism was about. Unlike today’s screeching Progressive college students, Cruz wasn’t a conservative because it was trendy (which it wasn’t during his time at Princeton, just as it isn’t now), nor was he unthinkingly following his parents’ lead, as so many less politically aware young people do. Instead, he delved deep into his ideas:

That [conservative] consistency reveals itself in Cruz’s senior thesis, which he completed under the mentorship of Robert George, a professor of jurisprudence whom The New York Times called “the reigning brain of the Christian right.” [Talk about your dog whistles.]

Cruz’s thesis, “Clipping the Wings of Angels,” quoted James Madison in the Federalist Papers saying in part that, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” Cruz focused on the history and theory behind the Ninth and 10th [sic] Amendments in a constitutional defense that reads like a speech he could give at any Tea Party event in the country.

The time-capsule quality of Cruz’s politics is lost on no one who knew him at Princeton, none of whom could point to a political position that he held 25 years ago that he does not seem to still hold today. For some, that amounts to a laudably consistent belief system. For others, it reveals a man of calcified thinking, dangerously impervious to facts, reality, and a changing world.

For Progressives, it is damning that Sen. Cruz has not “evolved” and, instead, has remained “dangerously impervious to facts, reality and a changing world.” That indictment is true, however, only if one is holding the wrong idea for too long.

More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Sharyl Atkisson in the with an extraordinary piece, The “Post Truth” News Media submitted by Joshuapundit. In it, the veteran investigative reporter gives us nothing less than a detailed analysis of how the news media got to its present sordid state, where it is and how it works today and the various techniques it uses to distort the news for partisan political purposes. A must read.

Here are this week’s full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the weeks’ nominees for Weasel of the Week!

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The Council Has Spoken!! Our Watcher’s Council Results

Article written by: Tom White

Perhaps the Scariest Comment by a Presidential Candidate

The left has worked itself into a tizzy for comments by Dr. Ben Carson and of course Donald Trump but this has got to be the scariest thing I have heard (Thanks also to the Daily 202, from the Washington Post) from any party’s Presidential candidate:

Languishing at the bottom in polls of the Republican presidential field, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey ramped up his tough talk on foreign policy on Monday, calling President Obama a “weakling” and saying that the United States should threaten to shoot down Russian planes conducting airstrikes in Syria.

“My first phone call would be to Vladimir, and I’d say, ‘Listen, we’re enforcing this no-fly zone,’” Mr. Christie said on MSNBC. “And I mean we’re enforcing it against anyone, including you. So don’t try me. Don’t try me. Because I’ll do it.”

It is thankful that is virtually certain that Gov. Christie will win the nomination, let alone the election, but Republicans and libertarians better ask the question to THEIR hopefuls:  Will you start a war anbd if so where and why?

A no-fly zone is an act of war.  And we do want a shooting war with Russia.  If I were running (Lord and Nina forbid!) I would remind the NJ Governor that we is calling for war.  But we are great at starting wars and breaking nations and then paying to put them back together again.  (The Court of Montejoy in the famous book The Mouse That Roared [Read the book but never see the movie – they ruined it] was ahead of his time!)

I would also say:  Maybe Russia is doing us a huge favor – they can take out ISIS for us!  Maybe we should offer to help them instead.

All these warmongers in both leading parties ought to be sentenced to watching Wounded Warrior Project commercials for about a half-hour or so.

Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders