Prince Mohammed bin Salman doesn’t want to talk about Jerusalem


Saudi Arabia’s rulers have lots of worries, but Trump’s announcement about the holy city isn’t one of them.

By Robert Satloff

Saudi Arabia, the protector of Islam and home to its two holiest sites, is a good place to judge the impact of President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on U.S. interests in the region. Set aside the reaction of terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, and their state sponsors in Tehran and Damascus. And the angry responses from the Palestinian Authority and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, with its large and boisterous Palestinian population, were certainly to be expected. The real question is how America’s friends one step removed from the circle of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would react. If there were a place one might reasonably expect to hear Muslims expressing thunderous outrage at the handing of Jerusalem to the Jews, it would be in the corridors of power in the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

It didn’t happen.

Last week, I was in Riyadh leading a delegation of more than 50 supporters and fellows of the Middle East think tank I direct. On Wednesday, just hours before the president made his Jerusalem announcement, we spent five hours in meetings with three different Saudi ministers, discussing everything from crises with Yemen, Qatar, and Lebanon, to the kingdom’s ambitious ‘Vision 2030’ reform program, to the possible public offering of the state oil company Aramco.

By this time, the White House had delivered numerous background briefings to foreign diplomats and the media, so the essence of the impending declaration was well known. But despite many opportunities, the word “Jerusalem” was never uttered.

Perhaps the Saudis are waiting to unload in our final meeting on the day, I thought, during a conversation with the secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL). For decades, this organization has been notorious for propagating an extreme version of Islam — funding schools, mosques, and other religious institutions that have served as incubators for Sunni jihadis. Surely, the head of the MWL would denounce America’s assault on the sanctity of Muslim control of Jerusalem.

To my amazement, the relatively new MWL head, Muhammad al-Issa, had a very different message. Mention of Jerusalem never passed his lips. Instead, he noted with pride the friendships he has built with rabbis in Europe and America, the visit he recently made to a synagogue in Paris, and the interfaith dialogue to which he said he was now committed. This was not your father’s Saudi Arabia.

Then, it dawned on me: Maybe the Saudis are waiting to hear precisely what President Trump says in his statement, hoping that last-minute entreaties would convince him to change course. Since the president didn’t speak until 9pm Riyadh time, I went to bed that night confident we would soon see the fire and brimstone of the “old” Saudi Arabia. When we received confirmation the following morning that we would have an audience with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — deputy prime minister, minister of defense, president of the council of economic and development affairs, and favorite son of the king —we knew we would get an authoritative answer.

Mohammed bin Salman has promised fast, revolutionary change in a country where, historically, nothing moves fast and “revolutionary” is a dirty word. And he has already shown he is a doer, not just a talker, by successfully concentrating virtually all the kingdom’s political, military, and economic power in his own hands. This is where the buck stops in Saudi Arabia these days.

A word about meeting Mohammed bin Salman: In a country not known for retail politics, he has the natural skills of a born politician. Though dressed in a thawb and sandals, he was very Bill Clintonesque (from the pre-vegan era, that is) in his stature and charisma. He is a large man, yet he bounded into our tight meeting room and immediately pounded the flesh. And when I ended the meeting after 80 minutes so we wouldn’t miss our departing flight, he stuck around to work the room again, shaking hands until there were no hands left to shake.

It is easy to see why all the young people we met in Riyadh —college students, aspiring entrepreneurs, rising technocrats — are smitten with Mohammed bin Salman. I have met quite a few Middle East leaders over the years and only a few, like Jordan’s King Hussein, knew when and how to deploy charm, wit, wisdom, outrage, despair, and hope like a virtuoso. Mohammed bin Salman has that too, coupled with a dynamism that I have rarely ever seen in this part of the world.

Though he clearly speaks and understands English, he chose to address us in Arabic, and after a few sentences, I understood why. When he opened his mouth, words flowed out in a torrent, like water rushing over rapids. Mohammed bin Salman has a lot to say — about jettisoning entrenched but non-Islamic ideas about separating women and men, about containing Iran now or fighting them later, and about a hundred other topics — and doesn’t seem to have a lot of time to say it. Given how many people he has sidelined along his rise to the top, it may be a well-founded fear.

It is not apparent that Jerusalem was one of those topics. If we hadn’t asked him directly about Trump’s announcement, it may never have come up. He certainly didn’t come to the meeting to vent.

But we wanted to leave Riyadh with a clear sense of his view on the issue, so we asked him. To maintain a measure of confidentiality, I won’t quote him directly, but I can say this: He limited himself to a single word of disappointment about the President’s decision — literally — and then quickly turned to where Riyadh and Washington could work together to limit the fallout and restore hope to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

He didn’t stop there. On a day widely characterized as one of the darkest for U.S. relations with the Arab world in decades, Mohammed bin Salman offered a very different vision for both the Saudi-American relationship and a potential for Saudi-Israeli partnership.

On the former, he repeatedly affirmed the strength of the security partnership, which he proudly noted was the oldest in the region— even older than the one between the United States and Israel. And on Israel itself, he struck an unusually positive note. Unlike what I heard from Saudi leaders on past visits, he said nothing about Israeli expansionism, Israeli arrogance, Israeli unfairness, or Israeli encroachment on Muslim rights in Jerusalem. Instead, he spoke of the promising future that awaited Saudi-Israeli relations once peace was reached and, operationally, he committed himself to bringing that about.

That was it: the official Saudi view. Expecting a stern critique of the United States and a visceral denunciation of Trump, we heard instead a mild rebuke of the President’s Jerusalem shift and a hopeful vision of Saudi-Israeli partnership. We didn’t have the opportunity to press Mohammed bin Salman on precisely what the Saudis would do to urge the Palestinian Authority to reach a deal with the Israelis, but at such a moment, hearing the Saudi crown prince double down on both the current partnership with Washington and, when peace comes, the future one with Jerusalem was more than we expected.

Was Mohammed bin Salman merely delivering what his audience wanted to hear? Perhaps. Our delegation was certainly electrified by his engaging personality and what he had to say. We were especially impressed by his pursuit of a “moderate Islam” and his claim to have dramatically shrunk the number of extremists in Saudi religious institutions. He offered specific percentages of how bad the problem was two years ago and how much smaller he expects it to be three years from now; to my ears, this amounted to a stark admission of Saudi responsibility for religious fanaticism and a powerful sign of their commitment to change.

Admittedly, some of his rhetoric sounded too good to be true. From my vantage point, it doesn’t appear that the Saudis have made as much progress countering Iran’s influence in Iraq or turning the tide in Yemen as they claim. And many of us came away fearful that a leader so ambitious could achieve progress fast enough to maintain the ongoing support of his people — but not so fast as to trigger a violent reaction from those who will lose out as a result of the vast transformation.

But if Mohammed bin Salman did say what we wanted to hear, so what? The opposite could just have easily been the case — namely, that he could have used the occasion to send a piercing message through us to American leaders and to friends of the U.S.-Israel relationship about the high costs of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. He didn’t, and that matters a great deal.

Those who prophesied that the Arab and Muslim response to recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would be apocalyptic  waves of anti-American demonstrations, mass violence against U.S. citizens, institutions and interests, and the final and irrevocable end of American influence in the region — seem to have been totally wrong. Among the Arabs that count — America’s allies — the reaction has generally been sober, measured, and mature. Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, is the case in point.

Robert Satloff is executive director of The Washington Institute. This article appeared in the institute’s website on Dec 14.

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With first taste of power, will gays restrict others’ rights?


By Andrew Sullivan

(Note: Sullivan, writer of ‘The case for the baker in the gay-wedding culture war: Let’s live and let live‘ is a himself a married gay man)

If someone had asked me back in the day, if, in 2017, we’d be having a discussion about whether a fundamentalist baker should be forced by the law to create a wedding cake for a gay couple, I’d have been gobsmacked, as the Brits say. Smacked in the gob because only a decade ago such a question would have seemed so remotely hypothetical as to be absurd. And yet, here we are. A Christian baker has taken a stand on the grounds of religious conscience and artistic freedom not to provide a cake specifically designed for a legal, constitutional same-sex wedding. His case was just argued in the Supreme Court no less. The staggering victories of the marriage-equality movement (now, Australia!) have led us here — far sooner than most of us pioneers ever contemplated. And the speed and finality of this social change has — understandably — frightened, disturbed, and alienated many on the other side. They are still smarting from the sting of defeat, defensibly regrouping and obsessing over their victimhood.

Which is why I think it was a prudential mistake to sue the baker. Live and let live would have been a far better response. The baker’s religious convictions are not trivial or obviously in bad faith, which means to say he is not just suddenly citing them solely when it comes to catering to gays. His fundamentalism makes him refuse to make even Halloween cakes, for Pete’s sake. More to the point, he has said he would provide any form of custom-designed cakes for gay couples — a birthday cake, for example — except for one designed for a specific celebration that he has religious objections to. And those religious convictions cannot be dismissed as arbitrary (even if you find them absurd). Opposition to same-sex marriage has been an uncontested pillar of every major world religion for aeons.

And so, if there are alternative solutions, like finding another baker, why force the point?

Why take up arms to coerce someone when you can easily let him be — and still celebrate your wedding? That is particularly the case when much of the argument for marriage equality was that it would not force anyone outside that marriage to approve or disapprove of it. One reason we won that debate is because many straight people simply said to themselves, “How does someone else’s marriage affect me?” and decided on those grounds to support or acquiesce to such a deep social change. It seems grotesquely disingenuous now for the marriage-equality movement to bait and switch on that core “live and let live” argument. And it seems deeply insensitive and intolerant to force the clear losers in a culture war into not just defeat but personal humiliation.

Nonetheless, here we are. And it is a hard case constitutionally. It pits religious and artistic freedom against civil equality and nondiscrimination. Anyone on either side who claims this is an easy call are fanatics of one kind or other. I’m deeply conflicted. I worry that a decision that endorses religious freedom could effectively nullify a large swathe of antidiscrimination legislation — and have a feeling that Scalia, for example, would have backed the gays in this case on those grounds alone. Equally, I worry that a ruling that backs the right of the state to coerce someone into doing something that violates their religious conscience will also have terrible consequences. A law that controls an individual’s conscience violates a core liberal idea. It smacks of authoritarianism and of a contempt for religious faith. It feels downright anti-American to me.

The smartest and most nuanced take I’ve read on the subject is that of philosopher John Corvino. He argues that there is indeed a core right not to be forced to create something against your conscience but that in this particular case, the act of creation is so deeply entwined with hostility to an entire class of people that antidiscrimination laws overrule it. It’s worth reading, but he still doesn’t quite convince me. The baker is clearly not discriminating against an entire class of people; he is refusing to endorse a particular activity that violates his faith. Kennedy was absolutely right in oral arguments to make a distinction between an identity and an activity. The conflation of the two is just too facile.

And there’s a way out of this that need not take such a strong stand in terms of religious freedom. It seems to me the baker deserves to be able to pick and choose what kind of work he wants to do as an artist. A commenter on Rod Dreher’s blog proffers a series of important questions in this respect:

“If the cake shop loses, does that mean that if I’m, say, a freelance designer or an artist or a writer or a photographer, I can no longer pick and choose my clients? If the Westboro Baptist Church comes to me, I can’t reject them on the grounds that they’re deeply un-Christian scumbags? If I’m Jewish, do I have to design a Hitler’s Birthday cake with swastikas on it? Would a Muslim cake-shop owner be forced to design a cake that shows an Islamic terrorist with crosshairs over his face, a common target design in most gun shops in America? Can a gay, atheist web designer choose not to do work for the Catholic Church, or would we have the government compel him to take on a client he loathes?”

It always worries me when gays advocate taking freedom away from other people. It worries me as a matter of principle. But it also unsettles me because some gay activists do not seem to realize that the position they’re taking is particularly dangerous for a tiny and historically despised minority. The blithe unconcern for the First Amendment in the war on “hate speech,” for example, ignores the fact that, for centuries, the First Amendment was the only defense the gay minority ever had — and now, with the first taste of power, we are restricting the rights of others in this respect? Ugh. Endorse the state’s right to coerce speech or conscience and you have ceded a principle that can so easily come back to haunt you. The freedom of any baker to express himself is, in this respect, indistinguishable from that of any gay person to do so — a truth that our current tribalism blinds so many to. I hope, in other words, that the baker prevails — but that the Supreme Court decision doesn’t turn on religious so much as artistic freedom.

One final thought as a Christian. Sealing yourself off from those you consider sinners is, in my reading of the Gospels, the reverse of what Jesus taught. It was precisely this tendency of the religious to place themselves above others, to create clear boundaries to avoid “contamination” from “evildoers” that Jesus uniquely violated and profoundly opposed. If Jesus is your guide, why is this kind of boundary observance such an important part of your faith? Are you afraid your own faith will be weakened by decorating a cake? Would you have ever had dinner with prostitutes or imperial tax collectors as Jesus famously did? What is this Christianity you are so dedicated to? Somewhere, the fundamental Christian imperative to love others and be humble before them has been lost.

In other words, if the liberals were more liberal, and the Christians more Christian, this case would never have existed. It tells you a great deal about the decadence of our culture that it does.

The Jerusalem Folly

I have to say I roll my eyes at the various attempts to explain President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state, and to make plans to move the U.S. embassy there. Is it an attempt to shake up the region to make peace more possible — or merely a strategic concession to reality?

Continue reading the rest of Sullivan’s article at New York Magazine

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Washington Post reporter admits fake news on “pray for an Islamic Holocaust”


Reporter AVI SELK wrote a mea culpa to Twitter critic headlined ‘Why I wrote “fake news” for The Washington Post’ over his highly irresponsible and recklessly inflammatory article about the Polish street march on Poland’s recent National Day celebration


By Avi Selk

Dear @horsefish57,

You were right, and I was wrong.

No, I don’t mean that my newspaper is trying to destroy “culture” through a campaign of “psychological terror,” as you wrote on Twitter. Nor do I think, as some other correspondents have complained, that I am a “master of #fakenews” or an exquisite propagandist.

I think if I were any sort of propagandist, even a halfway competent one, there would not be a big, fat correction notice above my recent article about a far-right march in Poland held last weekend. And I would not be writing this mea culpa.

But you and all the others are right about one thing and right to be upset about it. There was no “Pray for an Islamic Holocaust” banner at Saturday’s march in Warsaw.

And yet I wrote that there was, in an article seen by hundreds of thousands of people.

That error was, as they say, “fake news.” That was my bad.

Hey liers. You are too impotent to do something to Polish Patriots. Your only weapon is psychological terror. We piss on that. In the meantime mood will change and your liberal democracy which promotes anticulture will collapse.

— bite yer legs (@horsefish57) November 13, 2017

I write to you, @horsefish57, not to defend myself but merely to explain how a not-so-masterful Post reporter ended up adding to the world’s already overflowing supply of false or erroneous reporting.

My hope is to persuade you, if you’ll allow me, that I acted not out of malice or in some campaign of “anticulture” propaganda, but that I simply messed up, as did many that day.

Here goes.

Many things about Saturday’s march through Warsaw are not in dispute.

As my colleague Rick Noack wrote in what I can only promise you is not an act of psychological warfare, the march is an annual event that has become one of the largest far-right marches in the world.

It draws people from other countries, and intersects with nationalist and anti-refugee sentiment spreading across Europe and the world — including in Poland’s government.

An estimated 60,000 people showed up on Saturday — give or take a few thousands, as with all crowd estimates.

As you can clearly see in overhead shots, it was enormous.

Some, including ministers in the Polish government, have defended the march.

Unlike you, @horsefish57, who hopes it will hasten the collapse of liberal democracy, these people say the march was an innocuous parade of patriots and families — perhaps marred by an extreme sign or two.

But then there are the many, many photos of the banners.

“Death to Enemies of the Homeland,” in this particular set.

The anti-Islam theme is on the photo at the top of this [paragraph].

There certainly were dissenting viewpoints, and some in the crowd even protested “fascism.”

Here are videos of what happened to them. Not so family-friendly.

I have had an amazing time with polish patriots marching against Islam . Polish pride is something else

— Tommy Robinson (@TRobinsonNewEra) November 11, 2017

Even the president of Poland, breaking with right-leaning lawmakers, condemned displays of “sick nationalism” that marred his country’s celebration of its independence. The annual march takes place on Poland’s independence day.

So that was the march, more or less.

Now let’s talk about the sign.

“Pray For Islamic Holocaust” really did appear on a banner — but it was reported to have been hung from a bridge in the Polish city of Poznan in 2015, not during Saturday’s march in Warsaw, miles away.

Reports of the banner were resurrected in 2017 through a chain of compounding mistakes, in which I played no small part.

The Wall Street Journal mentioned the Holocaust banner in an article published Saturday, in a section about Poland’s history of far-right politics.

But the Journal erroneously reported that the banner had been hung in Warsaw, not Poznan, and didn’t mention in what year it went up.

Perhaps reading the article too quickly, others assumed the banner had been displayed during Saturday’s march.

I didn’t happen to read the Journal’s article before I wrote my own article Sunday.

I did, however, read an article on CNN’s website, with this line in it:

“Demonstrators carried banners that read ‘White Europe, Europe must be white,’ and ‘Pray for an Islamic Holocaust.’ ”

I assumed CNN’s reporter had witnessed the banner; in turn, I wrote this regrettable passage in The Post:

Tens of thousands of people came from across Poland and beyond, and reporters documented their signs:

“Clean Blood,” as seen by Politico.

“Pray for an Islamic Holocaust,” per CNN.

“White Europe” streaked across another banner, the Associated Press reported. …”

And that might have been the extent of my error — one phantasmal banner in a list of real ones — had I not also decided to write a headline around the thing.

That’s how we ended up with this erroneous display:

Analysis | “Pray for an Islamic Holocaust”: Tens of thousands from Europe’s far right march in Poland

— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) November 12, 2017

And then the Internet does what it does.

The Post’s Twitter feed filled up with people who were alternately horrified and delighted to believe that Polish marchers had called for a genocide of Muslims.

And the instant news cycle got to work.

My article was plastered across Google News. Another Post article cited my own and was thus infected by the “Islamic Holocaust” banner that hadn’t actually been on display in Warsaw.

Where I had cited CNN, other news outlets cited me.

Eventually, “Pray for an Islamic Holocaust” had been replicated across the Atlantic Ocean, from Newsweek to the Independent in a vast web of wrongness.

I even wrote a second headline based around the quote, when I updated my original article on Monday, still not realizing the banner didn’t exist.

It took a while for the tangle to start unwinding itself. Too long, in my opinion.

Yet another news cycle passed before I noticed that CNN had issued a correction to its article and removed the line I had quoted in my headline.

The Wall Street Journal also corrected itself and relocated the Holocaust banner back to Poznan; on Tuesday morning I finally wrote my own correction, and other corrections would follow in other stories down the chain. (The Post article that cited my error was also corrected, online and in print.)

And I know, this doesn’t fix or excuse anything. Vastly more people read my erroneous article than saw the correction.

The misplaced “Islamic Holocaust” banner is still live on many websites. Like everything on the Internet, it will probably live forever, and so will my responsibility and justifiable anger at my role.

This writer, for example, wondered when The Washington Post will apologize to the nation of Poland.

I’m not going to apologize to all of Poland, as I don’t think all of Poland by any means stands for “Death to Enemies of the Homeland” or “White Europe” or so many other real signs and slogans in a march that revolted so many people.

But I’ll apologize to you, @horsefish57, and to anyone else reading for the “#fakenews” — and my part in a complicated mess.

The above Washington Post article by Avi Selk appeared on 15 Nov 2017.

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Trump’s appreciation for strongman leaders of southeast Asia

Trump seems unlikely to address issues of democracy, human rights, and governance during his Asia tour

By Michael H. Fuchs

On President Donald Trump’s marathon Asia trip, set to begin on Friday, he will meet with a diverse slate of leaders, many of whom are overseeing the degradation of political freedom in their countries and others massive human rights abuses. While democracy has been receding in Southeast Asia for several years, this has largely been a quiet, incremental story. However, with the alleged ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs in the Philippines, this dynamic is now hitting the headlines. As Trump prepares to meet with these countries’ leaders, he should recognize that the societies these leaders represent, whose views on the United States will be important for U.S. interests over the long-term, will be watching his actions and words closely.

Unfortunately, Trump seems unlikely to address issues of democracy, human rights, and governance — his pattern of inviting autocratic, corrupt rulers to the White House is a testament of this. Thus far, his “America First” tagline translates to a more transactional foreign policy, with no room for standing up for human rights and democracy. And taking a sledgehammer to the State Department’s budget hasn’t helped either. It’s no surprise that 72 percent of Southeast Asians believe that the U.S. image has been tarnished in the region since Trump took office.

While Trump is ignoring a wide range of Asia human rights issues, his most prominent blind spot is in Myanmar. Since the end of August 2017, the Myanmar military has embarked upon an ethnic cleansing campaign against the minority Rohingya Muslims. While the death toll is still unknown, about half a million Rohingya have fled from Myanmar to neighboring Bangladesh refugee camps. Deteriorating conditions within the camps have exacerbated the humanitarian crisis, and the level of displacement and destruction will reverberate throughout the region and around Southeast Asia for the foreseeable future, potentially with global consequences. The absence of a high-level U.S. push to address the crisis is making clear that there will be few costs for Myanmar if it continues the violence, aside from discontinuing minimal military exchanges, and that the current U.S. administration cares little about human rights.

Elsewhere, Trump’s pattern of appreciation for strongman-type leaders and failure to condemn their destabilizing actions is undermining U.S. strategic interests.Trump’s pattern of appreciation for strongman-type leaders and failure to condemn their destabilizing actions is undermining U.S. strategic interests. In addition to traveling to Manila on this trip, Trump has also invited Duterte to the White House, essentially glorifying his unjustified killing of thousands of drug dealers and users. The extent of Duterte’s war on drugs range from estimates of 3,000 deaths, but reaches as high as 13,000 when including non-government vigilantes. Thousands of arrests have contributed to an environment of fear and instability. Duterte’s popularity appears to be slipping slightly, however — a new study cites his “net trust rating” having fallen from 75 to 60 percent , or excellent to very good. Right now, the United States is cozying up to a leader ruthlessly violating the rule of law, and if Duterte’s popularity slips lower — as it has for all recent presidents of the Philippines after long honeymoon periods — the United States will find itself associated with an unpopular, authoritarian leader.

Likewise, last month Trump hosted Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak at the White House and thanked him for “all the investment you’ve made in the United States.” (Najib) Razak is currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for allegedly diverting $1 billion dollars from a Malaysian government fund to his personal bank account.

Trump also welcomed to the White House Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, the leader of the country’s 2014 military coup. Despite promises of an eventual return to democratic rule, the persecution of the opposition and censorship of the press and speech continue to be the prevailing norms of the Thai political system. Of course, Trump didn’t bring any of this up when Prayuth visited; rather, he focused on the potential for more trade with Thailand.

Below Washington’s radar, in Cambodia, Prime Minister Hun Sen, ahead of 2018 elections, orchestrated the arrest of opposition leader Kem Sokha and is in the process dissolving the main opposition party on spurious legal grounds. There has also been an assault on civil society in recent months. Most prominently, the Cambodia Daily was forced to shut down based on politically motivated accusations that it owed millions dollars of taxes after the paper’s extensive coverage of Sokha’s arrest.

To demonstrate that the United States still stands for openness, democracy, and good governance, at a minimum Trump should highlight these issues on his trip.

First, Trump should address the gravity of the situation in Myanmar during the U.S.- Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit and dedicate American resources and efforts to aid the growing humanitarian crisis. A U.S.-led condemnation of the atrocities, in partnership with other countries in the region, is critical. Second, he should meet with civil society leaders and use the opportunity to remind political leaders of the importance of democratic values and the economic benefits they bring — and that the United States cares.

Whether Washington publicly stands for human rights and democracy matters. For the sake of both the plight of individuals in the region and for U.S. national interests, the Trump administration must not cede this ground.

This article originally appeared under the headline ‘If Trump forgets about human rights in Asia, the world will suffer’ in Foreign Policy on Nov 2.

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Trump, Najib meet-up: Call it a win-win situation


By Ned Grun

Less than two weeks ago there was a bit of news—little reported in the United States, but more on that later—that Malaysia had cut off all imports from North Korea. In the scheme of global trade, the numbers seem small. Malaysia’s annual imports may total no more than about $15 million, but those millions in cash are the lifeblood of a pariah nation that can barely pay its electric bill, let alone finance even the barest-bones infrastructure project to pave roads.

Malaysia’s decision to cut economic ties with Kim Jong-un shouldn’t be a surprise. After all, the North Korean dictator had the poor social grace to have his half-brother assassinated in the Kuala Lumpur international airport. But that isn’t the only reason. Give some credit to savvy foreign policy gamesmanship by President Trump and his administration.

Recall that about a month ago, Malaysia’s prime minister, Najib Razak, visited the United States and the White House. To the media, the visit was “controversial” and a “terrible idea.” So-called “foreign policy experts” called the meeting a setback for the rule of law. The media’s favorite term to describe the prime minister was “embattled,” due to a financial scandal in which he is allegedly embroiled, although the Malaysian justice system has yet to find any evidence to charge him with a crime.

One wonders where the media watchdogs were when President Barack Obama climbed into bed with the Castro regime in Cuba, or when he endorsed the Muslim Brotherhood during the Arab Spring uprisings, which led to the downfall of one of America’s stronger allies in the region. In fact, Obama continued to endorse the Muslim Brotherhood, an entity that was spreading its particular brand of religious zealotry and violence to countries like Malaysia, where Prime Minister (Najib) Razak has been battling them.

Only President Trump and his foreign policy advisers seemed to understand the importance of working with an influential, duly elected regional leader on a broader agenda important strategically to both the United States and Malaysia, and other allies in the region.

The Trump Administration had two goals with Malaysia: first, solidify a friendship that had been weakened by Obama Administration failures and then reinforce the critical role Malaysia can play in the region as a key strategic partner of the United States.

In seeking to overcome the mismanagement of our relations during the Obama years, the Trump Administration also wanted to prevent a turn toward China as Malaysia can play a vital role in the Asia Pacific region on trade, counter-terrorism and the in our relationship with China.

Multi-front diplomacy

At the same that President Trump was meeting with Malaysia, the United States was also working with China on their response to an increasingly troublesome and aggressive North Korea. In the end, the Trump Administration’s efforts paid off on several fronts.

First, Prime Minister (Najib) Razak announced his country’s intention to purchase upwards of $20 billion in jets from Boeing over the next decade, as well as investing an additional $3-4 billion on top of the $7 billion Malaysia already annually spends in the United States. Second, President Trump and (Najib) Razak committed to work on a trade deal with Malaysia that would be an economic boon to both nations. Third, we are now seeing the additional steps Malaysia is taking in support of regional security, cutting off its own trade, and assisting the Trump Administration in encouraging China to step in line with other players to do the same.

At the same that President Trump was meeting with Malaysia, the United States was also working with China on their response to an increasingly troublesome and aggressive North Korea. In the end, the Trump Administration’s efforts paid off on several fronts.

First, Prime Minister (Najib) Razak announced his country’s intention to purchase upwards of $20 billion in jets from Boeing over the next decade, as well as investing an additional $3-4 billion on top of the $7 billion Malaysia already annually spends in the United States. Second, President Trump and (Najib) Razak committed to work on a trade deal with Malaysia that would be an economic boon to both nations. Third, we are now seeing the additional steps Malaysia is taking in support of regional security, cutting off its own trade, and assisting the Trump Administration in encouraging China to step in line with other players to do the same.

For his part, (Najib) Razak came to Washington hoping to strengthen Malaysia’s economic and strategic partnership with the United States and Malaysia, and left having achieved both. It’s not an accident that at the same time as Malaysia is stepping up, China announced that it was cutting off banking ties with North Korea, perhaps the most serious blow to Kim Jong-un’s efforts to rally support against the United States and broader global efforts to contain him.

Trump’s Malaysia gambit is an excellent example of the kind of realpolitik approach to foreign policy that America has desperately needed for more than a decade. Rather than coddling tin-pot dictators and terrorists at the White House, we have an administration that is willing to work with leaders who are willing to work with the United States, reach mutually beneficial agreements, and along the way strengthen U.S. national and economic security both abroad and at home.

Some like to toss around the term “nationalism” as though it were a pejorative, but it’s clear that for many Americans, it’s an approach worth defending if not wholeheartedly supporting.

We’ve seen what happens when we have a president unwilling to defend and uphold our nation’s interests at home and abroad. It will take years for us to recover, but the Trump White House is digging in and rebuilding that trust and that national interest one ally at a time and whether the media elite and its friends like it or not.

The above article originally appeared in American Greatness on Oct 24 under the headline ‘Trump’s Malaysia Gambit: Call It Another Win’.

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The audacity of haters


By Jim Waddell

Contrary to the author’s claim, the right’s reaction to Obama was much more civilized than the left’s reaction to Trump.

No one on the right rioted at Obama’s inauguration; people on the left rioted at Trump’s.

I can’t remember any ‘Not My President’ signs or bumper stickers when Obama was president; there must be millions now that Trump is president.

Did any entertainers receive credible death threats if they performed at Obama’s inauguration? Some who planned to perform at Trump’s did.

I don’t recall the use of profanity by opponents of Obama’s agenda. We’ve heard plenty of that from Tom Perez and Kirsten Gillibrand.

And of course, the left seems to have a monopoly on political violence, whether it’s campus speakers, the WTO in Seattle, or Trump’s election.

Joe Wilson’s “you lie” statement seems pretty tame now in comparison to how Trump has been treated.

Trump may be a total jerk, but, as Peggy Noonan notes, he has been lucky in his enemies. Cursing politicians, screeching students, and intolerant abortion advocates seem to be his most visible opponents. — source: NYT, a Columbus, Ohio reader’s comment

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Trump was right about Obama’s Watergate


Obama advisers and Obama officials were up to their eyeballs in the scandalous ‘Get Trump’ campaign

By Andrew C. McCarthy

Her interest was not in national security but to advance the political interests of the Democratic party.

The thing to bear in mind is that the White House does not do investigations. Not criminal investigations, not intelligence investigations.

Remember that.

Why is that so important in the context of explosive revelations that Susan Rice, President Obama’s national-security confidant and chief dissembler, called for the “unmasking” of Trump campaign and transition officials whose identities and communications were captured in the collection of U.S. intelligence on foreign targets?

Because we’ve been told for weeks that any unmasking of people in Trump’s circle that may have occurred had two innocent explanations: (1) the FBI’s investigation of Russian meddling in the election and (2) the need to know, for purposes of understanding the communications of foreign intelligence targets, the identities of Americans incidentally intercepted or mentioned. The unmasking, Obama apologists insist, had nothing to do with targeting Trump or his people.

That won’t wash.

In general, it is the FBI that conducts investigations that bear on American citizens suspected of committing crimes or of acting as agents of foreign powers. In the matter of alleged Russian meddling, the investigative camp also includes the CIA and the NSA. All three agencies conducted a probe and issued a joint report in January. That was after Obama, despite having previously acknowledged that the Russian activity was inconsequential, suddenly made a great show of ordering an inquiry and issuing sanctions.

Consequently, if unmasking was relevant to the Russia investigation, it would have been done by those three agencies. And if it had been critical to know the identities of Americans caught up in other foreign intelligence efforts, the agencies that collect the information and conduct investigations would have unmasked it.

Because they are the agencies that collect and refine intelligence “products” for the rest of the “intelligence community,” they are responsible for any unmasking; and they do it under “minimization” standards that FBI Director James Comey, in recent congressional testimony, described as “obsessive” in their determination to protect the identities and privacy of Americans.

Understand: There would have been no intelligence need for Susan Rice to ask for identities to be unmasked. If there had been a real need to reveal the identities — an intelligence need based on American interests — the unmasking would have been done by the investigating agencies.

The national-security adviser is not an investigator. She is a White House staffer. The president’s staff is a consumer of intelligence, not a generator or collector of it. If Susan Rice was unmasking Americans, it was not to fulfill an intelligence need based on American interests; it was to fulfill a political desire based on Democratic-party interests.

The FBI, CIA, and NSA generate or collect the intelligence in, essentially, three ways: conducting surveillance on suspected agents of foreign powers under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and carrying out more-sweeping collections under two other authorities — a different provision of FISA, and a Reagan-era executive order that has been amended several times over the ensuing decades, EO 12,333.

As Director Comey explained, in answering questions posed by Representative Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.), those three agencies do collection, investigation, and analysis. In general, they handle any necessary unmasking — which, due to the aforementioned privacy obsessiveness, is extremely rare.

Unlike Democratic-party operatives whose obsession is vanquishing Republicans, the three agencies have to be concerned about the privacy rights of Americans. If they’re not, their legal authority to collect the intelligence — a vital national-security power — could be severely curtailed when it periodically comes up for review by Congress, as it will later this year.

Those three collecting agencies — FBI, CIA, and NSA — must be distinguished from other components of the government, such as the White House. Those other components, Comey elaborated, “are consumers of our products.” That is, they do not collect raw intelligence and refine it into useful reports — i.e., reports that balance informational value and required privacy protections. They read those reports and make policy recommendations based on them. White House staffers are not supposed to be in the business of controlling the content of the reports; they merely act on the reports.

Thus, Comey added, these consumers “can ask the collectors to unmask.” But the unmasking authority “resides with those who collected the information.”

Of course, the consumer doing the asking in this case was not just any government official. We’re talking about Susan Rice. This was Obama’s right hand doing the asking. If she made an unmasking “request,” do you suppose anyone at the FBI, CIA, or NSA was going to say no?

That brings us to three interesting points.

The first involves political intrusion into law enforcement — something that the White House is supposed to avoid. (You may remember that Democrats ran Bush attorney general Alberto Gonzales out of town over suspicions about it.)

As I have noted repeatedly, in publishing the illegally leaked classified information about former national-security adviser Michael Flynn’s communications with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, the New York Times informs us that “Obama advisers” and “Obama officials” were up to their eyeballs in the investigation: Obama advisers heard separately from the F.B.I. about Mr. Flynn’s conversation with Mr. Kislyak, whose calls were routinely monitored by American intelligence agencies that track Russian diplomats.

The Obama advisers grew suspicious that perhaps there had been a secret deal between the incoming team and Moscow, which could violate the rarely enforced, two-century-old Logan Act barring private citizens from negotiating with foreign powers in disputes with the United States.

The Obama officials asked the F.B.I. if a quid pro quo had been discussed on the call, and the answer came back no, according to one of the officials, who like others asked not to be named discussing delicate communications. [Translation: “asked not to be named committing felony unauthorized disclosure of classified information.”] The topic of sanctions came up, they were told, but there was no deal. [Emphasis added.]

It appears very likely that Susan Rice was involved in the unmasking of Michael Flynn. Was she also monitoring the FBI’s investigation? Was she involved in the administration’s consideration of (bogus) criminal charges against Flynn? With the subsequent decision to have the FBI interrogate Flynn (or “grill” him, as the Times put it)?

The second point is that, while not a pillar of rectitude, Ms. Rice is not an idiot. Besides being shrewd, she was a highly involved, highly informed consumer of intelligence, and a key Obama political collaborator. Unlike the casual reader, she would have known who the Trump-team players were without needing to have their identities unmasked. Do you really think her purpose in demanding that names be revealed was to enhance her understanding of intelligence about the activities and intentions of foreign targets?


I’m betting it was so that others down the dissemination chain could see the names of Trump associates — names the investigating agencies that originally collected the information had determined not to unmask.

Third, and finally, let’s consider the dissemination chain Rice had in mind. The most telling remark that former Obama deputy defense secretary Evelyn Farkas made in her now-infamous MSNBC interview was the throw-away line at the end: “That’s why you have all the leaking.”

Put this in context: Farkas had left the Obama administration in 2015, subsequently joining the presidential campaign of, yes, Hillary Clinton — Trump’s opponent. She told MSNBC that she had been encouraging her former Obama-administration colleagues and members of Congress to seek “as much information as you can” from the intelligence community.

“That’s why you have the leaking.”

To summarize: At a high level, officials like Susan Rice had names unmasked that would not ordinarily be unmasked. That information was then being pushed widely throughout the intelligence community in unmasked form . . . particularly after Obama, toward the end of his presidency, suddenly — and seemingly apropos of nothing — changed the rules so that all of the intelligence agencies (not just the collecting agencies) could have access to raw intelligence information.

As we know, the community of intelligence agencies leaks like a sieve, and the more access there is to juicy information, the more leaks there are. Meanwhile, former Obama officials and Clinton-campaign advisers, like Farkas, were pushing to get the information transferred from the intelligence community to members of Congress, geometrically increasing the likelihood of intelligence leaks.

By the way, have you noticed that there have been lots of intelligence leaks in the press?

There’s an old saying in the criminal law: The best evidence of a conspiracy is success.

The criminal law also has another good rule of thumb: Consciousness of guilt is best proved by false exculpatory statements. That’s a genre in which Susan Rice has rich experience.

Two weeks ago, she was asked in an interview about allegations by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R., Calif.) that the Obama administration had unmasked Trump-team members.

“I know nothing about this,” Rice replied. “I was surprised to see reports from Chairman Nunes on that count today.”

Well, at least she didn’t blame it on a video.

Source: ‘Susan Rice’s White House Unmasking: A Watergate-style Scandal’ (National Review, 4 April 2017)


Are we looking at Watergate 2.0? 

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Dems waging war, willing to tear USA apart for power


Obama is remaining in DC, with Valerie Jarrett camped in his new residence to help in the campaign undermining Trump’s presidency

By Richard Winchester

America is in a new political world. Combine Donald Trump’s victory in 2016 with the über-left’s attempts to delegitimize his presidency, and a significant underpinning of popular government is seriously imperiled.

New times call for new strategies and tactics. Sadly, the Left already knows this, and it’s time those of us on the political Right to catch up.

Let’s start with Trump’s successes in capturing the GOP’s presidential nomination and then emerging victorious on November 8th, 2016. Since both represent changes of degree, and not of kind, Trump’s emergence as GOP presidential nominee and especially as America’s chief executive, do not represent change as profound as the American Left’s transmogrifrication, especially since Trump declared as a candidate for the GOP nomination in mid-2015.

Since at least the end of the Reagan presidency, Republican politics at the top has been controlled by inside-the-Washington-beltway elites who denigrate conservatism in any form. GOP insiders never cottoned to Reagan and the Reaganites, but had to tolerate them because, when it came to the things elites really care about — power, status, insider-influence, etc. — Reagan and his backers brought home the bacon.

Beginning in 1988, however, and with every presidential nomination through 2012, the Republican inside-the-beltway establishment dominated the party’s machinery sufficiently to deny the GOP’s top spot to someone who appealed especially to ordinary people outside the Washington Beltway. Bush #41, Dole, Bush #43, McCain, and Romney were more moderate and therefore attractive to GOP insiders than were others who sought the party’s nomination, but fell by the wayside: Patrick J. Buchanan, Mike Huckabee, Fred Thompson, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, et al. (I list these men without necessarily endorsing them.)

The race for the GOP’s presidential nomination in 2016, however, broke new ground. For whatever the reason — the final story hasn’t been written — the candidate or candidates who might have had the Republican insiders’ support, such as Jeb Bush, were beaten, and Donald J. Trump, who is anathema to GOP elites, emerged victorious.

Although some among the GOP elite announced they would vote for Hillary Clinton, and others, even those who claimed conservative credentials, joined the #Never Trump crowd, the Donald won the 2016 presidential election. In the process, he might have brought about at least a temporary voting realignment. Time will tell if Trump can hold, for example, working-class whites, and/or if some well-educated suburban women will continue to distance themselves from the GOP.

By now, it should be obvious that Trump’s successes in garnering the GOP’s presidential nomination, and even more so in winning the presidency, has the potential to rearrange the Republican Party’s power structure as well as its basis of electoral support.

Now let’s consider how Trump’s successes have affected leftists, which may be the most profound transformation of the American political world.

Can anyone deny that what we have witnessed since Trump announced his presidential candidacy is one illustration after the next of Trump Derangement Syndrome?

Never mind how the denizens of the mainstream media (MSM) have comported themselves since Trump won the GOP’s presidential nomination, and especially since the 2016 election. An analysis of how low the MSM have sunk must await another essay.

Let’s focus on the Democrat Party’s elites and their acolytes inside and outside of government. Their collective shenanigans are tearing holes in the American body politic that will be a long time in closing, if ever.

To set the context for what has become of Democrat elites and their supporters, let’s harken back to how American politics at the top fared from 1800, the first election in which the in-party — the Federalists — lost the White House to the out-party — the Jeffersonian Republicans — until 2008, when Barack Obama won the presidency, and the Republicans were out at the White House after eight years in power. A few, including Trump, focusing on Obama’s birth certificate, worried about whether he was constitutionally entitled to be president, but most Republicans practiced politics-as-usual.

Even though historians tell us that John Adams’s loss to Thomas Jefferson in 1800 was a bitter pill to swallow, come Mr. Jefferson’s inauguration day, Adams peaceably, albeit not necessarily happily, left Washington, thereby setting a precedent for over 200 years. Defeated at the polls, the in-party — whether Federalist, Democrat-Republican, Whig, Democrat, or Republican — peacefully surrendered the levers of presidential power to the opposition party’s winning candidate. Other than southerners after 1860, a defeated party accepted the victorious candidate’s legitimate right to the presidency, licked its wounds, and tried to figure out how to win the next time around.

Not so in 2016. Virtually from the moment the MSM was compelled to announce Trump’s victory, Democrat elites and their über-left allies have denounced Trump as illegitimate, “not my president.” Protests, many of them violent, broke out, followed by Democrat elites’ boycotting Trump’s inauguration, along with a seemingly never-ending stream of unsubstantiated charges that Trump won because of hanky-panky by Vladimir Putin and the Russians. (Since November 8th 2016, the Democrats have demonized Russia. Shades of Joe McCarthy!)

Although Mrs. Clinton and Obama initially acknowledged Trump’s victory, that recognition did not last.

Obama did leave the presidency on January 20th 2017, but that won’t be the end of him and/or his minions. Not only is Obama staying in Washington, DC, just a couple miles from the White House, media reports indicate that he is seeking to undermine Trump’s presidency. Obama’s Eminence Grise, Valerie Jarrett, is moving in at the Obamas’ new residence to help in the campaign against Trump. In addition, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch has delivered a message encouraging anti-Trump protesters to continue. So has Hillary Clinton.

Perhaps the “icing-on-the-cake” is Tom Perez — Obama’s Secretary of Labor and a man of the far, far left– being tapped as the new chairman of the Democrat National Committee, and immediately picking Keith Ellison — a black Muslim member of the House of Representatives from Minnesota with a record of virulent anti-Semitism — as a chief lieutenant. Perez’s and Ellison’s victories indicate that Democrats have learned nothing from 2016, and will continue pursuing a course of leftwing extremism.

Hillary has congratulated Perez and Ellison, suggesting she supports far-left tendencies in the Democrat Party.

When it comes to politics, the U.S. is clearly in a new world, one in which the usual give and take of popular government has given way to one organized faction’s refusal to accept the results of a presidential election and willingness to tear the country apart to regain power.

What are Trump and the Republicans going to do? Practicing politics-as-usual won’t work so long as the Democrats and their loyalists refuse to play that game. Democrats are waging war, not playing tiddlywinks.

Tit-for-tat-violence will be destructive of popular government. As satisfying as it might be to some — many? — rightists, matching the Democrats blow for blow will, sooner or later, end America’s experiment with “government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

Trump and his supporters will have to walk a narrow line, but they must adjust to America’s new political world. Trump seems to know this. Do the Republicans?

Source: ‘America’s new political world’ in American Thinker

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McDonald’s tweets that President Trump is ‘disgusting’


McDonald’s has deleted the tweet (screenshot above) while claiming its Twitter was hacked.

Other latest media items of interest:

‘Anti-Trump talk – even at my mother’s funeral’ — here

Boston Globe columnist Joan Vennochi complains that a relative spoke to her about an anti-Trump letter-writing campaign during her mother’s funeral.

Vennochi writes: “As the casket was being lifted into the hearse, [the relative] segued to the subject she said she really wanted to talk about … the urgent need to declare the president mentally unfit.”

‘Violent threats against the president are OK now?’ — here

Writing in The Hill, Kristin Tate says, “President Trump has been the target of declarations of violence on a near daily basis. And yet, when it comes to this constant flow of threats, there seems to be little outrage from the nation’s leading journalists and pundits.”

Tate compares how the situation – i.e. death threats against Trump and his supporters – appears to be morally acceptable with the liberals when such hate is directed at Republican establishment figures but even a little snarkiness sparks faux outrage when Democrat personalities are the target.

She notes: “Every time a threatening, disrespectful, or unflattering comment was made about the former president [Obama], a national shaming storm sprung up. A staffer for an obscure congressman was forced to resign after stating that Obama’s daughters don’t show enough ‘class’.”

Note: No outrage from the liberals however when Trump’s daughter Ivanka was harassed (while flying economy class with her small children) by fellow flight passengers.

Same double standards trend in our Malaysian ether world.

The anti-racist SJWs (social justice warriors) make a mountain out of a molehill when they want to fix people or groups they don’t like. However when it comes to stinking, rotten carcasses in their own backyard, they prefer to sweep the stench under the carpet.

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McCarthy media jackals mount sleaziest attack on Sessions


By Roger L. Simon

That oft-quoted (although likely misattributed) line of Harry Truman’s — “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog” — is in sore need of revision. These days not even the dogs are to be trusted. They’re probably wired.

Everyone and everything else seems to be as our government has descended into the ugliest game of finger pointing and character assassination we have seen in years, focusing on — in an epic role reversal, Democrats miraculously morphing into born-again hawks — relations with Russia.

And, inadvertently, but perhaps inevitably, just as life imitates art, America is now imitating Russia. Our political life is beginning to resemble the Soviet Politburo, where out of favor politicians were suddenly disappeared or, at the height of the Stalin era, simply murdered. We’re not murdering anybody yet, but we’re certainly disappearing them.

First to go was now-former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn for reasons as yet indeterminate. He evidently talked to the Russians about something, but who knows what? That he was doing his job might even have been among the strongest of possibilities, not that that matters.

Now it’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ – pix below – turn. He too is evidently guilty of speaking with the Russians, in this case their ambassador, when he was still a senator, once completely en passant at a public event and once, oh-cardinal-sin, in the senator’s own office (what a clandestine venue!).

What he said, as with Flynn, is as yet indeterminate, but if one is to believe Sessions, it doesn’t add up to much. And since two retired U.S. military colonels were present at the meeting, it’s hard to imagine Sessions — even in the extremely remote chance he would consider such a thing — would collude with the Russian ambassador about the election under those circumstances.

The legal case against the AG seems less than paper thin, hanging on whether Sessions fully answered a stumbling question that was vague in the first place and easily misconstrued, if indeed it was.

Nevertheless, calls ring out all over the Democratic Party for his resignation. In a bloodthirsty, yet pathetic, attempt to put a nail in Sessions’ coffin, Sen. Claire McCaskill jumped in to say that members of her (and Sessions’) Armed Services Committee were never supposed to meet with ambassadors — such meetings were exclusively for the Foreign Relations Committee — only to have photographic evidence of her own meeting with the Russian ambassador appear on Twitter within minutes along with several other embarrassing tweets of previous and subsequent meetings.

Hers was Politburo politics at its purest, behavior not all that distant from the purge trials where false accusations habitually sent defendants to Siberia. It has nothing whatsoever to do with ideology or the public interest and everything to do with power. Actually, the Soviets may have been more honest about it. At least when Stalin did away with Trotsky, he had an argument (sort of). Stalin wanted socialism in one country and Trotsky favored world revolution. (It also may show, in McCaskill’s case, how smug self-interest begets premature senility.)

Meanwhile, the media is in a frenzy of connecting Trump to Russia, a zeal for the “truth” they did not even approximate when Obama was recorded in flagrante delicto on video cozily whispering assurances to Medvedev that he (Obama) would play ball with Vladimir Putin after Barack won his second election. If Trump were caught in such collusion, he might well have been hanged, certainly expunged from polite society, let alone impeached. Was what Obama did a “high crime” against the American people? Arguably. Unquestionably far more than anything Trump has done, notwithstanding the non-stop cries of the various jackals in politics and the media.

These media whores (jackals doesn’t quite quite suffice) further act as if there is something relatively new in Russia spying on the U.S. when such activity goes back nearly a hundred years to the most revered of all Democratic administrations, FDR’s. Alger Hiss and the Ware Group were actually infiltrating our State Department and other government agencies like Treasury en masse back then. (Ware had 75 members by 1934 and there were other groups.) Hiss went on to advise Roosevelt at Yalta and then to be instrumental in the formation of the United Nations, all while an agent of the GRU. If you think about it, that’s a lot more serious than the cyber-spying going on now.

Nevertheless, the current behavior of our politicians is terrible for our country and the world, especially now that Jeff Sessions has recused himself from what I predict will soon, as the president himself noted on Facebook, be acknowledged to have been a witch hunt. Chuck Schumer, Al Franken, and Nancy Pelosi particularly have behaved despicably in the grand style of Politburo politicians. The whole fraudulent narrative of the Trump-Russia alliance was made clear by, of all people, The New Yorker’s David Remnick, who pointed out the obvious — the Russians, like almost everyone, assumed Hillary Clinton was going to win the presidency and that any disrupting they may have been doing was intended to damage her future administration. Trump was beside the point.

That the current attack on Sessions started to unspool only hours after Trump made an extremely successful speech to Congress is also hardly accidental. Our own intelligence agents are promoting disinfo just like the KGB, FSB and GRU. Our government, at least a significant part of it, is indeed imitating Russia.

ONE LAST THING: This attack on Sessions is so sleazy and bogus that Democrats may be getting themselves into deeper trouble than they have bargained on. Notable among them is Jeff Bezos — whose Washington Post has been hugely culpable. Amazon is a great service, but it can be easily copied (indeed has been). If he keeps alienating a growing percentage of the public, watch out.

Source: PJ Media



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