“ΧΩΡΙΣ ΣΧΟΛΙΑ“ ΟΛΑ ΤΑ ΠΑΡΑΚΑΤΩ ΚΕΙΜΕΝΑ Η(ΔΙΑΖ) ΣΧΕΔΟΝ ΟΛΑ!
ΟΣΟΙ ΟΜΩΣ ΜΑΣ ΜΕΛΕΤΟΥΣΑΤΕ ΚΑΙ ΜΕΛΕΤΑΤΕ ΑΚΟΜΑ, ΘΑ ΚΑΤΑΛΑΒΕΤΕ ΜΟΝΟΙ ΣΑΣ ΤΙ ΣΧΟΛΙΑ ΘΑ ΚΑΝΑΜΕ, ΣΧΕΤΙΚΑ ΜΕ ΤΑ ΠΑΡΑΚΑΤΩ ΑΡΘΡΑ!
The Left’s Immigration Laws: The Ultimate Con Game
Undermining public safety, public health, national security and the jobs and wages of American workers.
I have written ever so many articles about how globalists have used deceptive language to deceive Americans about the true nature of our immigration laws, beginning with President Carter’s edict, issued during his administration, that INS employees, replace the legally accurate term “Illegal Alien” with the deceptive term, “Undocumented Immigrant.”
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released additional information Thursday on more unlawfully present foreign nationals facing serious criminal offenses in Mecklenburg County, who under the county’s ICE non-cooperation policy would currently be released back into the local community where they would be free to reoffend.
An Open Letter to Greta Thunberg
You are not a moral leader. But I will tell you what you are.
You have declared yourself a leader and said that your generation will start a revolution. You have comported yourself as a credentialed adult and climate change activist who has fearlessly addressed politicians and world leaders. You have dropped out of school and declared that there isn’t any reason to attend, or any reason for you to study since there will be no future for you to inherit. You have, rather than attend your classes, been leading Friday Climate Strikes for all students in your generation across the globe. Your attendance at oil pipelines has been striking. There, you unequivocally declare that all oil needs to remain in the ground where it belongs.
I shall, therefore, against the backdrop of your activism, address you as an adult rather than as a child.
In September of 2019 you crossed the Atlantic in a “zero carbon” racing yacht that had no toilet and electric light on board. You made an impassioned plea at the United Nations in which you claimed that, “we have stolen your dreams and our childhood with our empty words.” You claimed that adults and world leaders come to young people for answers and explained in anger: “How dare you!” You claimed that we are failing you and that young people are beginning to understand our betrayal. You further declared that if we continue to fail your generation: “We will never forgive you.”
You have stated that you want us to panic, and to act as if our homes are on fire. You insist that rich countries must reduce to zero emissions immediately. In your speeches you attack economic growth and have stated that our current climate crisis is caused by “buying and building things.” You call for climate justice and equity, without addressing the worst polluter on the planet China; the country that is economically annexing much of Africa and Latin America. You dare not lecture Iran about its uranium projects — because that’s not part of the UN’s agenda, is it?
You proclaim that we need to live within the planetary boundaries, to focus on equity and “take a few steps back” for the sake of all living species. You resent the hierarchical distinctions between human and animals and entertain no qualitative distinction between a monkey, a malaria-infested mosquito and a snarling hyena. You mouth slogans such as: “We have set in motion an irreversible chain reaction beyond control,” and you advocate for universal veganism on the Ellen DeGeneres show. You do not buy new clothes, and you don’t want the rest of us to either. You want us all to stop flying in jet planes without giving us an alternative as to how we would re-transform our financial and trading systems—to say nothing of our personal enjoyment of the world—without regression to a primeval era. Few can afford to cross the Atlantic in a $6M zero carbon yacht financed by rich people who made their wealth by the very means you condemn as loathsome.
There are a few things that we, the rational adults of the world who are not bowing to you like guilt-ridden obsequious Babbitts need to say to you, Greta.
First, we did not rob you of your childhood or of your dreams. You are the legatee of a magnificent technological civilization which my generation and the one before it and several others preceding it all the way to the Industrial Revolution and the Renaissance, bequeathed to you. That growth-driven, capitalist technological civilization has created the conditions for you to harangue us over our betrayal. It is a civilization that eradicated diseases such as small pox from the word, and that lifted millions out of abject poverty in a universe you think is dying and decaying. It assured you a life expectancy that exceeded that of your ancestors. Most likely by focusing on economic growth which you demonize, and scientific advancement, that civilization will further enhance a robust quality of life and health for your descendants.
Here is a hard truth to ponder, Greta: if the great producers of this world whom you excoriate were to withdraw their productivity, wealth and talents—in short—their minds from the world today, your generation would simply perish. Why? Because as children you have done nothing as yet, with your lives besides being born. This is what we expect of children until such time as they can be producers by learning from their elders. You are understandably social and ecological ballast. You are not yet cognitively advanced to replicate the structures of survival of which you are the beneficiaries.
Children are important installments on the future. We have invested in you. It is you and your smug generation which think they have nothing to learn from the older ones who are failing themselves. Whom do you expect to employ the majority of you if you have neither the job credentials or life competency skills to navigate the world? The future unemployable-skipping- school-on-Friday obstreperous children?
The truth, as one anonymous blogger aptly put it, is that your generation is unable to work up to forty hours per week without being chronically depressed and anxious. Its members cannot even decide if they want to be a boy or a girl, or both, or neither, or a “they.” They cannot eat meat without crying. I might add that your generation needs “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces” as pre-conditions for learning in school. Its members have a pathological need to be coddled and protected from the challenging realities of life. Your generation is the biggest demander and consumer of carbon spewing technological gadgets and devices. An hour without any of them and too many of you succumb to paralyzing lethargy. Your generation is the least curious and most insular set of individuals one has ever encountered. Your hubris extends so far that you think you have nothing to learn from your elders.
Yes, we have betrayed you: by capitulating the world of leadership to bored, attention-deficit children who spout bromides, platitudes and slogans that a rudderless and morally relativistic culture accepts because a significant number of its denizens have become intellectually bankrupt and morally lazy.
The logical endpoint of your ecological vision would see us living in primeval conditions eking out an existence in jungle swamps in which we would regard poisonous snakes and man-eating tigers as our moral equals. We would have to adapt ourselves to nature rather than adapt nature to meet our needs, like all members of civilized civilizations do. Your vision would see us foraging for mushrooms and plants without knowing which were inimical to our digestive systems. Under your system we would swelter from heat, die from rampant plagues and starvation because there will be no air-conditioning units, no sophisticated plumbing and irrigations and sewer systems, no anti-bacterial soap made from animal matter, no pesticides and chemicals to sanitize our food and drinking supplies: just one primordial swamp of human putrefaction.
If civilization is left in the hands of your ecofascist supporters we will be living in grass huts, drinking animal feces infested water, and shrinking in fear from polar bears instead of killing them for food when they attack us.
Greta, living in complete harmony with nature is the death of creativity. Understand this. All great civilizations were forged in the crucibles of proper exploitation of the earth. Those who lived on land with oil and did nothing with it never had a right to it in the first place. Non-usage of God’s resources is the cardinal sin because it results in the un-development of our human capabilities, and makes us indistinguishable from beasts.
Your generation needs to be taught the morality of wealth creation, rather than only parasitically benefiting from it. The only revolution you will lead is one into nihilism and civilization regression. You need to learn about the moral case for fossil fuel. You owe it to yourself to understand how as, Kathleen Hartnett White has detailed, the harnessing of the vast store of concentrated energy in fossil fuels allowed mankind, for the first time in human history, to escape intractable constraints and energy limits that had left all but the very privileged in total poverty and depravity. Before the Industrial Revolution all societies were dependent on a very limited flow of solar energy captured in living plants for subsistence needs such as food, fuel and shelter.
But we, the creative enterprisers, will not go back to the Dark Ages. Your philosophy can be summed up as follows:
What was good for my anthropoid ancestors is good for me. Do not rock the boat, or even build one as that will require cutting down a tree. Do not disrupt nature. Do not dare to see the earth as rightfully belonging to us. We don’t have the right to use our brains in a manner that can transform our needs into a material form. Let’s conveniently forget that production is the application of reason to the problems of survival. Let’s all diminish the grandeur of man and his luminous potential. Crush the Thomas Edisons of this world.
The apocalyptic world vision you hold has been a strip landing for those who have hated progress throughout history. Your apocalyptic predictions have been made for millennia, and, we’re still here. We will still be here long after you’ve grown up and we have forgiven you for skipping classes, thereby lowering the intelligence quotient of an entire generation.
Jason D. Hill is professor of philosophy at DePaul University in Chicago, and a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. His areas of specialization include ethics, social and political philosophy, American foreign policy and American politics. He is the author of several books, including “We Have Overcome: An Immigrant’s Letter to the American People” (Bombardier Books/Post Hill Press). Follow him on Twitter @JasonDhill6.
[Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons]
Hillary Clinton’s Latest Book is Another Miserable Failure
Here’s the book Hillary really needs to write.
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
What Happened, Hillary’s compendium of excuses and conspiracy theories about losing the election, opened with 100,000 in hardcover sales. Two years later, her latest book racked up a 30,000 debut.
And it got worse from there.
The Book of Gutsy Women, a collection of feminist stories by Hillary and Chelsea Clinton about role models like eco-brat Greta Thunberg, Rachel Carson, and Bella Abzug, remembered respectively for helping revive malaria and ugly hats, is the #1 bestseller in Women’s Studies on Amazon.
That’s about all it has going for it.
Even in its debut, the lazy cash-in fell behind the latest Trump conspiracy tract, Rachel Maddow’s Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth. Even Maddow’s title sounds like something a crazy homeless man might yell at you while waving a cup of his own urine, so it obviously sold more than twice as many copies as Hillary’s feminist tract.
Hillary might have taken a lesson from What Happened, which outsold her own memoirs, that her ex-base is a lot more interested in conspiracy theories about Republicans than feminist heroines. Lefties might claim that they want to read about inspiring women, but they really want to flip through a spittle-flecked rant written on tin-foil paper which blames all their problems on a vast-right wing conspiracy.
How could Hillary, who has been living that way for a generation, not pick up on the obvious?
Only the die-hard Hillaryites, who wear matching pantsuits to her book tours, and eagerly shell out hard cash for the opportunity to smell her chardonnay breath, showed up on Day 1. And there was no Day 2.
The Book of Gutsy Women debuted at No. 3 in NPD’s BookScan list which gathers data from thousands of booksellers. By next week, it was down to No. 10, meanwhile Maddow’s explanation of how the space aliens conspired with the Russians to elect Trump so he could let them construct a base in Wisconsin and perform experiments on local cows continued to reign over the bestseller list.
To add insult to injury, Hillary didn’t just fall below Maddow, but also below Gregg Jarrett’s latest book on Spygate, Witch Hunt: The Story of the Greatest Mass Delusion in American Political History, and Bill O’Reilly’s The United States of Trump: How the President Really Sees America. Unlike Hillary, O’Reilly’s book had a much smoother descent because the word of mouth was better than on Gutsy Women.
The news wasn’t much better from the New York Times, whose best seller list is notorious for being rigged to favor its favorites. Gutsy Women debuted at No. 2, then crashed down No. 8 and then No. 13. The Los Angeles Times list saw Gutsy Women come in at No. 5, crash down to No. 14, and then disappear like a Maddow UFO flying over Moscow with a load of Wisconsin ballots.
Even Chelsea Clinton, who is to literature what Alvin and the Chipmunks is to opera, managed to score No. 1 New York Times bestsellers with her She Persisted collection, whose premise, stories about feminist heroines, is suspiciously similar to Gutsy Women, but couldn’t do it with her mother on board.
Instead of Bill and Hillary creating a career for Chelsea based on nepotism, Hillary is actually weighing Chelsea down. In 2017, Chelsea Clinton’s She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World was a No. 1 New York Times bestseller. Take that same formula, add Hillary, and sales actually go down.
The next time Hillary wants to co-write a book with Chelsea, the former Pets.com sock puppet interviewer will have to hold an uncomfortable conversation about cutting her mother loose.
It’s either that or watch Hillary kill her new hobby of writing listicle books like she killed pantsuits, compulsive lying, and Vince Foster. Bill Clinton is already remembered, not as a two-term president, but as the other half of an unlikable two-time failed presidential candidate.
After wrecking Bill’s legacy, Hillary can finish the job by wrecking her daughter’s writing career.
Fast forward to the end of October and Gutsy Women had been buried by everything from two cookbooks, Food: What the Heck Should I Cook? and The Pioneer Woman Cooks, an Elton John biography, and Newt Gingrich’s Trump vs. China.
Maybe Hillary should have taken a smoke signal from Elizabeth Warren and written a cookbook?
“Destined to be a classic in the tradition of Profiles in Courage, The Book of Virtues and We Should All Be Feminists,” Jonathan Karp, the President of Simon and Schuster, had declared.
Two of these things are not like the other. And none of them are like The Book of Gutsy Women which is destined to be a classic the way that one of its authors was destined to be the President of the United States. What it is destined for is remainder bins, the shelves of 99 cent stores, and the town dump.
Much like its authoress.
Simon and Schuster had invested a whole lot of money in Hillary Inc. It paid her a record $14 million advance for Hard Choices, her second memoir, a flop, it paid her $8 million for her first memoir, Living History, it suffered through It Takes a Village and Dear Socks, and got back into bed with her for what was supposed to be a book of personal essays, and instead The Book of Gutsy Women happened.
And that’s all she wrote. Literally.
“For the past 21 years, the Gallup survey has ranked Hillary Rodham Clinton as the most admired woman in the world, and there are at least 65 million people in the United States who agree,” Karp had claimed. “We think a lot of them are going to want to hear her stories.”
Not so much.
Yes, the Gallup survey does claim that 65 million people admire Hillary Clinton. What it fails to mention is that they’re all located in a single Cook County cemetery. And none of them buy books because there isn’t a single Barnes and Noble bookstore that they can reach and return from before the sun rises.
The last time reality didn’t accord with Hillary’s polling, she blamed an international conspiracy. Now that her latest book sold fewer copies than SpongeBob Goes to the Doctor, it’ll have to be interstellar.
But the reality is that nobody likes Hillary. The only time people bought her books was when they expected her to have something to say. Living History sold big because everyone was waiting for her to dish on her husband’s affair. What Happened did very well because readers were waiting for her reaction to losing the election. There’s a winning formula here that Hillary ought to learn from.
Hillary’s books sell really well after she’s involved in a disaster, whether it’s her husband cheating on her, or losing an election. If she wants another bestseller, she needs a huge disaster to write about.
Bill Clinton cheating on her again won’t surprise anyone. And no one will let her run for president again.
That just leaves an extensive confession of her crimes. Everything from Whitewater to the Steele Dossier. In one book. It’ll outsell Living History and What Happened combined. She could even call it, What Really Happened. Unfortunately, the only place for her to go afterward would be a 6 by 8-foot cell.
But just think how many copies her fourth memoir about life in prison would sell.
Turkey: Arming Genocide of Christians in Nigeria?
Erdogan’s support for jihadis appears to go far beyond ISIS.
This article was first published by the Gatestone Institute. Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
Concerning Turkey’s increasingly suspect role in supporting jihadis — most recently, ISIS’s slain leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was found hiding in Syria’s “last refuge” for jihadi rebels, just three miles from Turkey’s border — one of the least mentioned is Turkey’s apparent alliance with the “other” ISIS, that in Nigeria, Boko Haram.
During a recent episode of bi’l waraqa wa’l qalam (“With Paper and Pen”), an Egyptian news program that airs on TenTV, its host, Nasha’t al-Deyhi, said:
Leaked information confirms that Turkey is a terrorist state; it supports terrorists — including with weapons. It supports terrorists with weapons. This time, however, not in Syria … Today’s leak confirms without doubt that Erdogan, his state, his government, and his party are transferring weapons from Turkey to — this is a shock, to where you may ask — to Nigeria; and to whom? — to the Boko Haram organization.
He then played an intercepted audio of what he said were Mustafa Varank (currently Turkey’s Minister of Industry and Technology) and Mehmet Karatas (a manager at the partly state-owned Turkish Airlines).
The gist of their brief conversation in Turkish, according to the Arabic transcript, is that weapons were being transferred from Turkey to Nigeria — and that there was a concern that the weapons might kill not just Christians but Muslims.
(This audio clip would seem to be the same leaked recording that was first reported by international media outlets in 2014. Varank served as Senior Advisor to Recep Tayyip Erdogan between 2011 and 2018.)
According to al-Deyhi, the recording is proof positive that Turkey is the one supplying Boko Haram with its weapons — including sophisticated weapons — the source of which has long puzzled international observers. He also offered to send the audio with translations to the Nigerian government, and apparently anyone else interested.
Boko Haram is an Islamist terrorist organization centered in Nigeria and spreading throughout west Africa. It has long engaged in the sorts of atrocities that ISIS is known for — mass slaughter, church bombings, kidnapping, rape, forced conversion — years before ISIS was even founded. As Nigeria is roughly half Christian and half Muslim, Boko Haram’s primary target has been Christians. Boko Haram and other Muslims — particularly the Fulani tribesmen, whose sophisticated armaments have also puzzled Western observers — have been slaughtering Christians to the point of genocide.
As for the issue of distinguishing between Christians and Muslims in Nigeria, Islamic law makes clear that Muslims, when prosecuting the jihad, should be careful not to kill fellow Muslims. For instance, according to a 2012 report, after Boko Haram stormed a college in Nigeria, they “separated the Christian students from the Muslim students, addressed each victim by name, questioned them, and then proceeded to shoot them or slit their throat,” killing up to 30 Christians.
Some Nigerian activists have already acted on this information by bringing it to the attention of U.S. lawmakers. According to an October 11, 2019 Nigerian news report by Steve Oko:
A US-based lawyer and rights activist, Emmanuel Ogebe, has filed a petition to the United States of America over alleged arms supply to Boko Haram terrorist organisation by Turkey.
According to Ogebe, President Edorgan [sic] of Turkey is one of those supplying Boko Haram with arms.
In a petition to the US Congress wired via a US Congress man [sic], Chris Smith, the lawyer alleged that a Turkish aircraft was directed to airlift arms to Nigeria for Boko Haram.
According to the petition made available to Wawa News Global, discussions between the airline manager and government officials were intercepted by Egyptian Intelligence.
In his letter to Congressman Smith, Ogebe writes:
An Egyptian TV program has again drawn attention to a concern I raised in testifying before your committee of evidence that Turkish Airlines surreptitiously flies armament into Nigeria. As a business operating in the US, I once again urge for proper scrutiny, investigation and sanctions as necessary. As we approach the sixth anniversary of the FTO [foreign terrorist organization] designation of Boko Haram, it is important that those sanctions be enforced especially as Turkey’s current onslaught on the Kurds could potentially recalibrate ISIS which already has a West African phalanx in Nigeria.
Erdogan has turned “Turkey into a safe haven for Hamas terrorists and a financial center for funneling money to subsidize terror attacks,” Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, recently said; “While he [Erdogan] was busy murdering those who have helped keep the world safe from the threat of ISIS, he allowed ISIS members to break out of prison and subject the world to future attacks.”
Worse, it appears that Erdogan’s sponsorship of terrorism may not be limited to neighboring Middle Eastern nations; it appears to have reached deep into Africa. A serious investigation with possible sanctions is in order.
Raymond Ibrahim, author of the new book, Sword and Scimitar, is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute, a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and a Judith Rosen Friedman Fellow at the Middle East Forum.
Democrats, Tyranny, and Sophistry
Something more ancient and dangerous is going on than just the usual Democrat double standards.
Bruce Thornton is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
The Democrats are furiously busy with preemptive damage control of the ongoing investigation by U.S. Attorney John Durham. As well they should. This and other investigations of the origins of alleged Russian electoral interference has morphed into a criminal probe that likely will implicate members of the Obama administration’s FBI, DOJ, and CIA, and tear off the veil of misdirection that the Democrats and their lackeys in the media have draped over the dirty tricks they employed during the 2016 campaign and Trump’s first years in office. If this happens, the Democrats’ equally dicey attempts to impeach the president will crumble.
Once again, we are being subjected to progressive double standards and “projection” of their own sins onto others. But something more ancient and dangerous is going on: The links between tyranny and sophistry.
With the hoax of Trump’s collusion with Russia to wound his rival Hillary Clinton debunked by the Dems’ hand-picked special prosecutor and his team of partisan Democrats, California Democrat Representative Adam Schiff has been attacking Durham and AG William Barr. Schiff’s joint statement with Jerry Nadler (D. NY), his accomplice in the House impeachment show-trial, is a masterpiece of jaw-dropping hypocrisy:
These reports, if true, raise profound new concerns that the Department of Justice under AG Barr has lost its independence and become a vehicle for President Trump’s political revenge. If the Department of Justice may be used as a tool of political retribution, or to help the President with a political narrative for the next election, the rule of law will suffer new and irreparable damage.
The glaring double-standard––this description more accurately fits Obama’s self-described “wingman,” AG Eric Holder, more than AG Barr–– is laid out in a Wall Street Journal editorial:
Democrats know that the Hillary Clinton campaign paid Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on Mr. Trump, and Fusion hired former British spook Christopher Steele, who compiled a dossier of allegations about Mr. Trump from Russian sources that turned out to be false. Worse, Fusion funneled the dossier to the FBI, which used it to persuade the secret FISA court to issue a warrant to eavesdrop on Trump official Carter Page. Democrats now want to discredit any attempt to hold people accountable if crimes were committed as part of this extraordinary dirty trick.
Moreover, as the Journal further points out, even if the charge that Trump demanded from the Ukrainian president an investigation of Joe Biden and his son in exchange for foreign aid is true, which it isn’t, it doesn’t compare to the Democrats’ very real Russian collusion. In Trump’s alleged attempt, he failed and the aid reached Ukraine even though there was no investigation. In contrast, the Democrats succeeded: “Russian disinformation was used by America’s premier law enforcement agency to justify investigating an American presidential campaign.” That “dirty trick” makes Watergate look like a jaywalking infraction.
How do we explain this shameless behavior of the Dems? A lot of smart people are characterizing the Democrats’ behavior as “projection” which according to Psychology Today, “is most commonly used to describe defensive projection—attributing one’s own unacceptable urges to another. The concept emerged from Sigmund Freud’s work in the 1890s.” In other words, a subconscious defense mechanism for people who can’t consciously acknowledge their own bad behavior.
But there’s nothing subconscious about what the progressives are doing, and telescopic psychologizing is notoriously unreliable, not to mention it lets offenders off the hook for what they say. If speech is conscious, it’s not projection, it’s lying. The more likely explanation is that Dems are following the ancient roadmap for reducing a democracy to tyranny: using sophistical rhetoric to gull the masses into giving an elite power outside the normal political protocols.
Plato, Aristotle, and Polybius laid out the conditions by which a democracy degenerates into tyranny. An ambitious man or faction, dissatisfied with the normal political processes for obtaining and using power, will win over the masses by redistributing property from the rich to the poor. Other instrument of this process are violence and sophistical rhetoric: The public speeches made during deliberations over policy. Once in power, a tyrant will concentrate more and more power in his and his faction’s hands, bringing about a regime based on violence and injustice.
For a century we have been witnessing a slow-motion, “soft” version of this process. Starting with progressive Woodrow Wilson, the Federal government has grown ever larger and more intrusive, concentrating power in federal agencies at the expense of the states, local government, civil society, families, and individuals. Obama’s presidency was the next giant step down the road to tyranny, his policies, especially Obamacare, marking an advance in centralized, concentrated power.
The ancient tyrant used violence to consolidate his power; our “soft despots,” as de Tocqueville called them, use federal investigative agencies and the instruments of political accountability to attack their enemies. Over the last three years we watched the FBI, DOJ, and CIA manipulate and abuse their powers to engineer the appointment of a Special Prosecutor armed with investigative and subpoena powers. Their aim was to destroy politically the duly elected president. Along the way they skirted and violated the law, just as ancient tyrants ignored the city-state’s procedures and protocols for using power.
When the Mueller investigation failed and the Democrats took back the House of Representatives, they then abused their oversight committee powers to lay the foundation for bringing impeachment charges. Next the traditional protocols of impeachment established in the cases of Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton have been abandoned. Rather than the House voting for articles of impeachment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her Luca Brasi Adam Schiff have used secret hearings and engineered anonymous “whistleblower” complaints based on second-hand information and mere personal opinion. I suppose it’s a civilizational advance that today our wannabe tyrants use procedure rather than the brutal violence the tyrants of old employed.
Back then, another important tool for aggrandizing power was rhetoric. A persistent theme in Athenian literature of the fifth-century B.C. is the dangers of public speeches made by orators trained in the skills of rhetoric by sophists. The main complaint, copiously documented in philosophy and literature, is that the “art of persuasion,” as Aristotle called political oratory, “makes the worse argument the better.” Indeed, sophists had exercises called dissoi logoi that argued both sides of a question. Sophistical rhetoric, then, turns the false, the unjust, and the bad into the true, the just, and the good by manipulating the citizens’ emotions, self-interest, and factional passions. Many Athenians, especially those opposed to the democracy, warned of the dangers of sophistical oratory. For example, Euripides’ Medea, who has been abandoned by Jason for a more politically useful bride, becomes enraged when Jason to her face tries to argue that his betrayal will benefit Medea: “The plausible speaker,” she tells Jason, “who is a villain deserves the greatest punishment.”
The dangers of being “slaves to the ear,” as Thucydides’ Cleon describes those who gape at a clever speaker, have been exponentially multiplied in our times. Today we are saturated with information and images 24/7, 365; we are now “slaves to the eye” as well as “slaves to the ear,” for the opportunities for sophistical rhetoric on social media, cable news, and twitter are unlimited, their effects magnified by the power of dramatic images. This explains the pronouncements coming from the House Democrats, echoed by their factotums in the media that quote and film them.
Take their complaints, for example, about Trump’s alleged “quid pro quo” that he imposed on the Ukrainians. Yet Dems are silent about Joe Biden’s bragging on video about an actual quid pro quo: His threat to withhold foreign aid until a Ukrainian prosecutor investigating the company that was paying Biden’s son $50-80 grand a month was fired. This hypocrisy exposes perfectly the essence of sophistry, which is “the big lie,” one people believe despite its transparent falsity. And of course, the whole “Russia collusion” and “interference in our election” crimes were in fact perpetrated not by Trump and the RNC, but by Hillary Clinton and the DNC, with ample help from allegedly non-partisan federal agencies.
Meanwhile, the House’s ongoing procedures for impeachment reek of Soviet-era show-trials, in which the accused cannot confront his accusers and cross-examined them––a model pioneered during the Obama era in our colleges and universities with their star chambers that tried accused sexual assaulter. This injustice was corrected by Trump and his Secretary of Education Betsy De Voss. Does anyone think a President Warren or President Biden will not turn back the clock to that ancient judicial instrument of tyranny?
For true believers like the bipartisan NeverTrumpers, such blatant falsehoods and unjust procedures are irrelevant as long as they serve to overthrow Trump’s administration, either by a successful impeachment, or by damaging the president enough that he is defeated in 2020. In other words, regime change, the overthrow of a legally elected president, and the disenfranchising of his 63 million supporters. The more long-term cost, of course, will be a quantum leap in the century-long progressive aim of changing our Constitutional republic into a tyrannical technocracy.
If that sounds extreme, just listen to the Democrat’s proclaimed policy goals: socialized medicine, gutting the First and Second Amendments, ceding more national sovereignty to the global technocratic elite, and appropriating through ruinous taxation more of the country’s wealth to finance more redistributionist schemes for their clients. Meanwhile, they shrug off the violence and verbal attacks on Republicans by Antifa and other goons, or, like Representative Maxine Waters, they even encourage them.
If we allow this coup to happen, we will have proved de Tocqueville a prophet by creating a tyranny “more extensive and more mild [than ancient tyranny],” one that “would degrade men without tormenting him.”
The Google Archipelago
Imprisoned in Big Digital’s cyberspace gulag.
Mark Tapson is the Shillman Fellow on Popular Culture for the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
Back in January, 2018, I interviewed New York University professor Michael Rectenwald for FrontPage Mag (here) about his experience being outed as “the Deplorable Prof,” the man behind an anonymous Twitter account which he used to criticize the “anti-education and anti-intellectual” social justice ideology of his fellow leftist academics. The subsequent shunning and harassment he endured from his colleagues and the NYU administration drove Rectenwald to declare himself done with the Left, and he later published a book about it titled Springtime for Snowflakes: Social Justice and its Postmodern Parentage (which I reviewed for FrontPage Mag here). The book is a must-read for understanding the intellectual collapse of the American university under the weight of a totalitarian ideology.
Now the prolific Rectenwald has published another short but vital work, Google Archipelago: The Digital Gulag and the Simulation of Freedom from New English Review Press. In it he argues that what he calls the “Big Digital” technologies and their principals like Google represent a new form of corporate state power and leftist authoritarianism. The once-and-future Deplorable Prof agreed to answer a few questions about this dangerous development.
Mark Tapson: Michael, thanks for taking time out for another interview. In Springtime for Snowflakes you exposed and combatted social justice totalitarians. How does your new book Google Archipelago follow from and expand upon the former one? What insights and/or experiences took you in that direction?
Michael Rectenwald: Hi Mark. Thanks very much for conducting this interview. I’m particularly grateful that you’ve asked me, again, to write out my answers, because I believe that I’m a much better writer than speaker.
Google Archipelago (hereafter GA) traces the metastasis of social ideology into the digital realm. It may be regarded as the second in a series of installments on social justice, a series that I began in Springtime for Snowflakes, and which I may continue in a third book, thus completing a trilogy.
The book represents a study of the vastly extended and magnified manifestation of the leftist authoritarian-totalitarian ideology as it expands into cyberspace, extends throughout the cyber-social body, and penetrates the deepest recesses of social and political life. In GA, I connect Big Digital’s politics with its technologies. I argue and demonstrate that the technologies are intrinsically leftist and authoritarian.
For reasons I give in the book, the only way to make sense of the politics of such organizations as Google, Facebook, Twitter, et al and how this politics is reflected in its technologies is to see Big Digital as the leading edge of an economic and governmental conglomeration that aims to monopolize human life on a global scale. Big Digital’s political ambition is to establish a two-tiered system consisting of global corporate-cum-state monopolies on top, with “actually-existing socialism” for everyone else. I call this two-tiered system “corporate socialism,” which I choose over the term “techno-feudalism,” used by others. I have very good reasons for adopting the name corporate socialism rather than techno-feudalism, not the least of which is the penchant of the monopolists for using socialist rhetoric and ideology in their attempts to bring the two-tiered system into existence. Corporate socialism aims to arrive at a singular, one-world state, with vast globalist monopolies controlling production. These monopolies would be paralleled by a socialism or equality of reduced expectations for everyone else. Unwary dupes like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez serve corporate socialists by habituating the masses to this state of affairs. The objectives of corporate socialism are ushered in under the guise of an economic and social equality, an equality of reduced expectations for the vast majority. The corporate socialists don’t need equality; equality pertains strictly to the majority deemed destined to live under the reduced expectations of “actually-existing socialism” on the ground.
Ultimately, Big Digital attempts to replace reality with a digital simulation or simulations, simulacra posing as substitutes for reality—to introduce simulated and faux realities or simulacra that displace and replace the real. Forget fake news. Try fake reality.
MT: The title of your book obviously echoes Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago. How are the social media of today, what you call Big Digital, imprisoning us in a sort of gulag of simulated realities?
MR: Yes, the allusion to Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago is blatant and quite deliberate. In the most basic rendering, the Google Archipelago simply represents a digital version of the Gulag Archipelago. Just as the Gulag Archipelago was a penal and surveillance system for the censorship, control, disciplining, and disappearing of dissidents, so too does the Google Archipelago undertake the same functions, only digitally. The Google Archipelago obviously represents a more technocratic, less corporal, and more sanitized set of apparatuses for its tyranny over the masses. But it is no less insidious for these differences. Indeed, it may be more insidious because it is subtler and more surreptitious. It leaves fewer if any traces, requires less force, and may assume greater deniability. While disappearing the denizens of the Soviet Union could be messy and bloody, digital disappearances or deletions are much easier to undertake and leave fewer if any traces. It is easier to delete digital subjects than it is to delete analog ones.
MT: Your new book is loaded with intriguing, challenging concepts. Can you briefly explain, for example, what “Digital Maoism” and “Google Marxism” are?
MR: I adopt the term “Digital Maoism” from Jaron Lanier, although I expand its meaning and significance considerably. As I define it, Digital Maoism refers to the ways in which the digital realm is used to deliberately encourage the formation of rabid digital Red Guards, the SJW bots that swarm around and attack dissenters en masse. But the term also refers to the aspect of that the digital realm that intrinsically lends itself to collectivism, as digital representations, including digital representations of people, ideas and beliefs, are sorted into bundles of zeros and ones by algorithms. Algorithmic “thinking” is intrinsically collectivizing. Thus, the digital tends toward the agglomeration and collectivization of digital subjects and ideologies and the simple sorting of groups and ideologies into zeros and ones, or “good” and “bad.” Hashtags also represent an example of how digitized human bots or people wielding Twitter effigies agglomerate or collectivize around topics, as well as around those engaging said topics. Hashtags tend to bundle digital subjects into the notoriously perfervid and fanatical Red Guard-like Twitter swarms that attack dissidents like pack animals. Other means serve to agglomerate Facebook fascists. (As readers of Frontpage Mag know, fascism is by definition a collectivist political ideology.)
Google Marxism is both the socio-political and economic structure of technocratic corporate socialism and the primary ideological formation that supports said socio-political and economic structure. I derive the term from George Gilder, but expand its meaning considerably.
MT: For an academic with such a literary background, you seem to have no traditionalist preference for books. Your recent work even erases the boundary between books and social media; for example, you devote an appendix of your book, as you did in Springtime for Snowflakes, to your best Facebook statuses. And at one point in Google Archipelago you even blur the lines between nonfiction and story. Why did you choose such unconventional techniques to make your argument?
MR: In GA, I weave fictional interludes and social media posts into the seams and hems of argumentative prose in order to show how the digital realm destabilizes reality. I mean to have the text perform effects of the reality subversion that it describes. I mean to intentionally disorient the reader, to render for the reader experiences of the reality disruption that I see produced in cyberspace, to blur the lines between reality and fiction by interposing fictional material within a “real” text that describes the disruption of reality by fiction. I like to think that I invented a new genre that may be called “historical-science-fiction-as-cyberpunk-within-nonfiction.” I don’t know whether it works. I do know that I particularly enjoyed writing the fictional interludes.
MT: You conclude by saying that the 21st century wants to reduce us to zeroes and ones – maybe even just zeroes – and that all of us need a metaphysics of truth to counter the false realities of the “New Knowledge.” What is one way each of us can pursue a metaphysics of truth and do something about this encroaching totalitarianism?
MR: As I suggest in the book’s conclusion, the main way to counter the false reality of “New Knowledge,” or the false narratives of encroaching totalitarianism, as I see it, is to pose more compelling because-more-faithful-to-the truth narratives, narratives bent toward truth and against that the attempted coup of reality by the narratives of/about simulated realities.
The narrative and normative project that I propose for countering the dominant narratives of cyberspace runs parallel to and accords well with the project for truth that President Trump is undertaking as he attempts to thwart the narratives of simulated reality that the contemporary left is propagating in the political sphere proper.
Both projects should counter the faux, simulated realities propagated in mainstream and dominant digital media narratives, narratives of/about simulations that are supposedly narratives of the real. Both would counter the new (leftist) McCarthyism, only in different registers—although the new (leftist) McCarthyism is actually a sham or simulacrum, whereas the original McCarthyism was legitimate, although deemed a sham or simulacrum by the sham-makers themselves, those subverted by the very political ideology whose impact they deemed grossly overblown. The original McCarthyism was not insane or delusional but instead failed only by misunderstanding the nature, while underestimating the depth and reach, of communist ideological subversion, a subversion supposedly analogous to but really entirely different from the supposed subversion perpetuated by Trump. Cries of “Russian bots” “collusion,” and Ukrainian “quid pro quos” are parts of a narrative of/about simulated realities. Cries of communism were a part of a true narrative that was deemed false by none other than those under the ideology in question.
Both projects, the one undertaken to counter the so-called New Knowledge of Big Digital Delusion, which is instead a new nescience, a lack of knowledge or worse, and the one to counter the simulacrum of leftism in the political sphere proper, must insist on a metaphysics and narrativity of truth, one that nevertheless will be deemed a narrative of/about a simulation by those actually responsible for producing narratives of/about simulations.
MT: Thanks again, Michael. To dive into Michael Rectenwald’s mind-bending newest work, click here.
Warning on A Warning
Be on the lookout for an axe to grind.
As Fox News reports, the Justice Department is demanding information on the anonymous Trump administration official allegedly behind the September 5, 2018, New York Times oped headlined, “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration.” The same official is reportedly the author of A Warning, billed as “an unprecedented behind-the-scenes portrait of the Trump presidency from the anonymous senior official whose first words of warning about the president rocked the nation’s capital.”
The DOJ wants to know if the author has legal obligations, non-disclosure agreements and so forth, but the DOJ attempt may be unnecessary. Fox News doubts whether the official is still in the administration but it is possible the author boasts White House experience during the previous administration.
The New York Times publisher of the oped prequel, was the employer of the Stalinist Walter Duranty, who long before Adam Schiff wrote fake stories about Ukraine. More recently, the Times was also home to faker Jayson Blair, who perpetrated “frequent acts of journalistic fraud.” This same newspaper, the Dead Sea Scrolls of fake news, proclaimed red diaper baby David Axelrod “Obama’s narrator.”
In the 2017 Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama, the official biography by Pulitzer Prize winner David Garrow, Axelrod does not appear until page 820. After more than 1,000 pages, Garrow cites an unidentified reporter who explains “The whole Obama narrative is built around this narrative that Obama and David Axelrod built, and, like all stories, it’s not entirely true.” That fits the way Axelrod sees himself.
“I felt more comfortable, and proficient at, telling stories than I did creating the ads that were state-of-the-art in Washington,” Axelrod revealed in his 2015 Believer. “I knew Barack was an exceptional writer,” he writes, though the future president had no record of publication. True to form, Axelrod’s style is evident in Dreams from My Father, which David Garrow proclaimed a “historical novel,” and the author a “composite character.”
What animated The Audacity of Hope, Axelrod writes, “were stories written with the narrative skill of a gifted novelist. It occurred to me, in reading the manuscript, that Obama approached every encounter as a participant and an observer.” So in more ways than one, Axelrod duly shows up in that story. “Axe,” as the president called him, kept rather quiet after David Garrow proclaimed Dreams from My Father to be fictional. At that point, the narrator shifted into damage control.
In 2018, Iran deal promoter Ben Rhodes came out with The World As It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House. Rhodes reported to David Axelrod, “a brilliant strategist who weighed in on every issue.” According to Rhodes, the president’s “first memoir, Dreams from My Father, is a kind of Rosetta Stone to Obama’s life and world view.” Rhodes claims he reread it “a dozen times” but never notes that official biographer David Garrow pronounced the book a work of fiction. Rhodes effectively airbrushes Rising Star out of existence.
Also in 2018, former First Lady Michelle Obama, like her husband never known as a writer, came out with Becoming. Halfway through this account readers meet David Axelrod, who would “lead the messaging and media for Barack.” True to form, Axelrod’s fingerprints are all over this account, which charges that questions about POTUS 44’s authenticity are “deliberately meant to stir up the wingnuts and kooks” and posed a danger to the family. This is a version of Axelrod’s charge that anyone less that worshipful of POTUS 44 must be a racist.
As Carol Feisenthal recalled in Chicago Magazine, “In 2009, Axelrod followed Obama to the White House where he was given an office near the ‘Oval’ and unusual access to the rookie president.” The narrator handled the messaging, signed off on everything, and has insider knowledge of how the White House works. With the “narrative skill of a gifted novelist,” the proficient storyteller is the ideal candidate for an anonymous hit job on President Trump, who spoiled POTUS 44’s plan to appoint his own successor and take out Trump. As FBI coup plotters Strzok and Page revealed, the president “wants to know everything we are doing.”
As David Garrow’s Rising Star reveals, the narrative Obama and David Axelrod built back in the 1990s is “not entirely true.” Like Dreams from My Father, A Warning may recount actual events and people but is best regarded as complete fiction.
“Axe” never uses a word when a paragraph will do, so look for the elephantine style, unctuous dialogue, and characters with one name only. Look also for what Axelrod and other POTUS 44 acolytes say about the account. Whatever Axelrod’s contribution, A Warning, will be entirely predictable, totally understandable, and completely without significance, with one exception.
A Warning can also be seen as an example of the left projecting onto others the very thing they are doing. The 2018 New York Times oped claimed that anyone who works with Trump “knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making.” Readers may wonder what first principles were in play when POTUS 44 told the American people they could keep their health plan, called the Fort Hood terrorist mass murder “workplace violence,” and shipped billions in cash to Iran.
A Warning is due for release on November 19. Look for the movie version in the run-up to the 2020 election.
The Socialists vs. Billionaires Democrat Primary
Bloomberg joining the primaries from hell will make them even worse.
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
Joe Biden is running out of money.
He blew too much cash on private jets while blowing away debating opponents with his confused mumbling and bleeding eye. Now Joe’s down to the single digit millions, while Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are in the double millions. Unless Joe can wangle a job on the board of a corrupt Ukrainian gas company, he’s not going to be able to afford private jets or a political campaign.
Kamala Harris is cutting staff and scaling back her campaign. Julian Castro is supporting his staff as they look for new jobs in a successful campaign. Too bad there aren’t many of those left. The only candidates still polling as if they’re in the running are Biden, Warren, Sanders, and Buttigieg, in a distant fourth place, buoyed by donations from vegan restaurateurs who don’t care if he actually wins or not.
Between them, Sanders and Warren command about 40% of the Democrat vote. Biden’s dying campaign has been shrinking from a third to around a quarter. And it’s largely dependent on black voters associating him with Obama. A project that’s gotten zero help from the actual Obama.
It’s time for the one thing the Dem dogfight desperately needs. More terrible candidates.
As money becomes the central factor, it’s the candidates with a fanatical following, the two radical socialists, Warren and Sanders, and the candidates with money to burn, who can stay in the race.
Tom Steyer, an eco-billionaire, bought his way into the primary, onto the debate stage, and was even accused of trying to buy endorsements. He’s blown through $47 million without batting an eye. With $1.6 billion to play with, Tom can keep this up a whole lot longer than Joe Biden can stay awake.
And, just to make matters more interesting, Michael Bloomberg appears to be jumping into the race. The former New York City mayor is rich enough to outspend Steyer 25 to 1. One of his political advisors had warned last time around that he had spent $100 million just to win reelection in New York City. Democrat apparatchiks have been suggesting that he was ready to spend $500 million on this election.
A bidding war between Bloomberg and Steyer for Democrat voters is just the thing to kick the economy into even higher gear and ensure President Trump wins reelection.
Steyer and Bloomberg can outspend and outlast Biden and all the other candidates who aren’t militant socialists glomming off the tsunami of socialist cash flowing through ActBlue to anyone willing to call for eliminating private health care and sending everyone who misuses transgender pronouns to a gulag.
And that could turn the primaries into a grueling battle between the millionaire socialists, who want to take away everyone’s health insurance, and the eco-billionaires, who want to make everyone eat gruel.
The socialists who are merely millionaires, (Warren’s net worth is $12 million while Bernie recently joined the 1%), will attack the billionaires as pernicious examples of income inequality. Why should some people have billions while others have mere millions to spend on their three homes?
Class warfare is going to be an uphill battle when your qualification to be one of The International’s “wretched of the earth” is not being able to afford to fly private jets outside of a presidential campaign.
But that won’t stop Warren and Sanders from claiming to be members of the working class even though the latter has never worked a day in his life and the former was paid six figures to teach a single class.
If that’s the working class, what the hell is the average American slaving away at a 9 to 5 job?
On the other side of the great class divide between seven figures and ten figures, Steyer and Bloomberg are duplicative candidates. Both are old billionaires obsessed with environmentalism while projecting all the human warmth of Greta Thunberg in her native Swedish habitat. Aside from their mutual platform of banning all forms of energy that don’t depend on sunny days or windy nights, Bloomberg is also obsessed with banning sodas, salt and guns, while Steyer is fixated on impeaching Trump.
Neither is a good fit for inheriting Biden’s base of black voters. But then neither are Warren and Sanders.
If Biden’s campaign collapses, black voters would have to choose between four other old white people they don’t like, and Buttigieg, a candidate who consistently pulls in fewer black voters than the KKK.
That’s going to be a problem because black voters are a huge part of the Democrat base.
If the Dems go in to 2020 without a presidential candidate who stirs passion or at least some enthusiasm among black voters, they might as well just give up now and fly their private jets into the Gulf of Mexico.
And can you imagine anything more likely to stir interest among black voters than Bloomberg, Sanders, Warren, and Steyer, arguing over which of them is more oppressed on account of having less millions?
The good news for the socialists is that Bloomberg and Steyer’s obsession with destroying human civilization to save the planet is likely to turn off black voters even more than Sanders and Warren turning every debate into a Marxist faculty meeting at some obscure New England college.
Ecology is not a selling point for black voters.
On the other hand, Bloomberg won elections in a minority city by buying support on a scale and with a directness that would stagger even Steyer. His allies included the likes of Lenora Fulani, an anti-Semitic black nationalist associated with an alleged Marxist cult. The support of black leaders and black voters is not the same thing. That’s what Hillary Clinton found out twice the hard way. And it may not matter.
Black voters don’t have to ‘blexit’ their way to Trump. They just have to shrug. That happened in 2016.
And Hillary, unlike Warren, actually had an extensive pipeline to black voters. She also had Bill, a guy who, like Biden, could campaign in the black community as a natural. If Biden goes, the only remaining turnout hope will be mobilizing angry lefty middle class suburbanites on an unprecedented scale. And it’s one thing to do that in local and midterm elections. And a very different thing to do it nationwide.
President Trump understood that Biden and Warren were the weak points in the Dem 2020 lineup.
Biden’s fall and Warren’s rise set off a civil war between rich and super-rich Democrats, between socialists and Wall Street, and that conflict between the socialists and billionaires could cripple them.
The financial fallout of that conflict opened the door for Bloomberg’s seeming quixotic bid. It’s gotten Bill Gates to talk about withholding his money. And he’s not alone. In a primary battle between unlikable socialist millionaires and eco-billionaires, the only winners will be the campaign consultants and Trump.
Al-Baghdadi and Trump’s Syrian Chessboard
The Al-Baghdadi assassination and related events demonstrate that Trump is not flying blind in Syria.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s many critics insist he has no idea what he is doing in Syria. The assassination of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi over the weekend by US Special Forces showed this criticism is misplaced. Trump has a very good idea of what he is doing in Syria, not only regarding ISIS, but regarding the diverse competing actors on the ground.
Regarding ISIS, the obvious lesson of the Baghdadi raid is that Trump’s critics’ claim that his withdrawal of US forces from Syria’s border with Turkey meant that he was going to allow ISIS to regenerate was utterly baseless.
Trump fundamentally changed the US’s counter-terror fighting doctrine, particularly as it relates to psychological warfare against jihadists.
The raid did more than that. Baghdadi’s assassination, and Trump’s discussion of the mass murderer’s death showed that Trump has not merely maintained faith with the fight against ISIS and its allied jihadist groups. He has fundamentally changed the US’s counter-terror fighting doctrine, particularly as it relates to psychological warfare against jihadists.
Following the September 11 attacks, the Bush administration initiated a public diplomacy campaign in the Arab-Islamic world. Rather than attack and undermine the jihadist doctrine that insists that it is the religious duty of Muslims to fight with the aim of conquering the non-Muslim world and to establish a global Islamic empire or caliphate, the Bush strategy was to ignore the jihad in the hopes of appeasing its adherents. The basic line of the Bush administration’s public diplomacy campaign was to embrace the mantra that Islam is peace, and assert that the US loves Islam because the US seeks peace.
Along these lines, in 2005, then secretary of state Condoleezza Rice prohibited the State Department, FBI and US intelligence agencies from using “controversial” terms like “radical Islam,” “jihad” and “radical Islam” in official documents.
The Obama administration took the Bush administration’s obsequious approach to strategic communications several steps further. President Barack Obama and his advisors went out of their way to express sympathy for the “Islamic world.”
The Obama administration supported the jihadist Muslim Brotherhood against Egypt’s long-serving president and US ally Hosni Mubarak and backed Mubarak’s overthrow with the full knowledge that the only force powerful enough to replace him was the Muslim Brotherhood.
Trump unceremoniously abandoned his predecessors’ strategy of sucking up to jihadists.
As for the Shiite jihadists, Obama’s refusal to support the pro-democracy protesters in Iran’s attempted Green Revolution in 2009 placed the US firmly on the side of the jihadist, imperialist regime of the ayatollahs and against the Iranian people.
In short, Obama took Bush’s rhetoric of appeasement and turned it into America’s actual policy.
The Bush-Obama sycophancy won the US no good will. Al Qaeda, which led the insurgency against US forces in Iraq with Iranian and Syrian support was not moved to diminish its aggression and hatred of the US due to the administration’s efforts.
It was during the Obama years that ISIS built its caliphate on a third of the Iraqi-Syrian landmass and opened slave markets and launched a mass campaign of filmed beheadings in the name of Islam.
In his announcement of Baghdadi’s death on Sunday, Trump unceremoniously abandoned his predecessors’ strategy of sucking up to jihadists. Unlike Obama, who went to great lengths to talk about the respect US forces who killed Osama bin Laden accorded the terrorist mass-murderer’s body, “in accordance with Islamic practice,” Trump mocked Baghdadi, the murdering, raping, slaving “caliph.”
Baghdadi, Trump said, died “like a dog, like a coward.”
Baghdadi died, Trump said, “whimpering and crying.”
Trump posted a picture on his Twitter page of the Delta Force combat dog who brought about Baghdadi’s death by chasing him into a tunnel under his compound and provoking him to set off the explosive belt he was wearing, and kill himself and the two children who were with him.
ISIS terrorists have richly proven they require no provocation to commit mass murder.
Trump later described the animal who killed Allah’s self-appointed representative on earth as “Our ‘K-9,’ as they call it. I call it a dog. A beautiful dog – a talented dog.”
Obama administration officials angrily condemned Trump’s remarks. For instance, former CIA deputy director Mike Morell said he was “bothered” by Trump’s “locker room talk,” which he said, “inspire[s] other people” to conduct revenge attacks.
His colleague, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff retired admiral James Winnefeld said that Trump’s “piling on” describing Baghdadi as a “dog” sent a signal to his followers “that could cause them to lash out possibly more harshly in the wake.”
These criticisms are ridiculous. ISIS terrorists have richly proven they require no provocation to commit mass murder. They only need the opportunity.
Moreover, Trump’s constant use of the term “dog” and employment of canine imagery is highly significant. Dogs are considered “unclean” in Islam. In Islamic societies, “dog” is the worst name you can call a person.
It is hard to imagine that Baghdadi’s death at the paws of a dog is likely to rally many Muslims to his side. To the contrary, it is likely instead to demoralize his followers. What’s the point of joining a group of losers who believe in a fake prophet who died like a coward while chased by a “a beautiful dog – a talented dog?”
Then there is Russia.
Trump’s critics insist that his decision to abandon the US position along the Syrian border with Turkey effectively surrendered total control over Syria to Russia. But that is far from the case. The American presence along the border didn’t harm Russia. It helped Russia. It freed Russian President Vladimir Putin from having to deal with Turkey. Now that the Americans have left the border zone, Turkish President Recep Erdogan is Putin’s problem.
Putin’s biggest problem in Syria is financial. The Russian economy is sunk in a deep recession due to the drop in global oil prices.
And he is not the main problem that Trump has made for Putin in Syria.
Putin’s biggest problem in Syria is financial. The Russian economy is sunk in a deep recession due to the drop in global oil prices. Putin had planned to finance his Syrian operation with Syrian oil revenues. To this end, in January 2018, he signed an agreement with Syrian President Bashar Assad that effectively transferred the rights to the Syrian oil to Russia.
But Putin hadn’t taken Trump into consideration.
US forces did not withdraw from all of their positions in Syria last month. They maintained their control over al-Tanf airbase which controls the Syrian border with Jordan and Iraq.
More importantly, from Russia’s perspective, the US has not relinquished its military presence adjacent to Syria’s oil facilities in the Deir Azzour province on the eastern side of the Euphrates River. Indeed, according to media reports, the US is reinforcing its troop strength in Deir Azzour to ensure continued US-Kurdish control over Syria’s oil fields.
To understand how high a priority control over Syria’s oil installations is for Putin it is worth recalling what happened in February 2018.
On February 7, 2018, a month after Putin and Assad signed their oil agreement, a massive joint force comprised of Russian mercenaries, Syrian commandos and Iranian Revolutionary Guards forces crossed the Euphrates River with the aim of seizing the town of Khusham adjacent to the Conoco oil fields. Facing them were forty US Special Forces deployed with Kurdish and Arab SDF forces. The US forces directed a massive air assault against the attacking forces which killed some 500 soldiers and ended the assault. Accounts regarding the number of Russian mercenaries killed start at 80 and rise to several hundred.
The continued US-Kurdish control over Syria’s oil fields and installations requires Putin to continue directly funding his war in Syria.
The American counter-attack caused grievous harm to the Russian force in Syria. Putin has kept the number of Russian military forces in Syria low by outsourcing much of the fighting to Russian military contractors. The aim of the failed operation was to enable those mercenary forces to seize the means to finance their own operations, and get them off the Kremlin payroll.
Since then, Putin has tried to dislodge the US forces from Khusham at least one more time, only to be met with a massive demonstration of force.
The continued US-Kurdish control over Syria’s oil fields and installations requires Putin to continue directly funding his war in Syria. So long as this remains the case, given Russia’s financial constraints, Putin is likely to go to great lengths to restrain his Iranian, Syrian and Hezbollah partners and their aggressive designs against Israel in order to prevent a costly war.
In other words, by preventing Russia from seizing Syria’s oil fields, Trump is forcing Russia to behave in a manner that protects American interests in Syria.
The focus of most of the criticism against Trump’s Syria policies has been his alleged abandonment of the Syrian Kurds to the mercies of their Turkish enemies. But over the past week we learned that this is not the case. As Trump explained, continued US-Kurdish control over Syria’s oil fields provides the Kurdish-controlled Syrian Democratic Forces with the financial and military wherewithal to support and defend its people and their operations.
Moreover, details of Baghdadi’s assassination point to continued close cooperation between US and Kurdish forces. According to accounts of the raid, the Kurds provided the Americans with key intelligence that enabled US forces to pinpoint Baghdadi’s location.
As to Turkey, both Baghdadi and ISIS spokesman Abu Hassan al-Mujahir, who was killed by US forces on Tuesday, were located in areas of eastern Syria controlled by Turkey. The Americans didn’t try to hide this fact.
The Turkish operation in eastern Syria is reportedly raising Erdogan’s popularity at home. But it far from clear that the benefit he receives from his actions will be long-lasting. Turkey’s Syrian operation is exposing the NATO member’s close ties to ISIS and its allied terror groups. This exposure in and of itself is making the case for downgrading US strategic ties with its erstwhile ally.
Even worse for Turkey, due to Trump’s public embrace of Erdogan, the Democrats are targeting the Turkish autocrat as Enemy Number 1. On Tuesday, with the support of Republican lawmakers who have long recognized Erdogan’s animosity to US interests and allies, the Democratic-led House overwhelmingly passed a comprehensive sanctions resolution against Turkey.
The al-Baghdadi assassination and related events demonstrate that Trump is not flying blind in Syria. He is implementing a multifaceted set of policies that are based on the strengths, weaknesses and priorities of the various actors on a ground in ways that advance US interests at the expense of its foes and to the benefit of its allies.