The Wednesday morning murders of 24-year-old Roanoke TV reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, were a racist atrocity, a hate crime. Were they not white, they would be alive today. Their killer, Vester L. Flanagan II, said as much in his farewell screed. He ordered his murder weapon, he said, two days after the slaughter of nine congregants at the African-American AME church in Charleston, South Carolina. “What sent me over the top was the church shooting,” said Flanagan.
To be sure, racism does not fully explain why Flanagan, fired from that same WDBJ7 station, committed this act of pure evil. Black and homosexual, he said he was the target of anti-gay slurs from black males and racial insults from white colleagues. He had gotten himself fired from other jobs in broadcasting. He carried a grab bag of grudges and resentments.
Yet, in the last analysis, the Washington Post headline got it right: “Gunman’s letter frames attack as racial revenge.” Other news organizations downplayed the racial aspect. But had those murdered journalists been young and black, and their killer a 40-something “angry white male,” the racial motivation would have been front and center in their stories.
Now, Black America is surely as sickened by this horror outside Roanoke as was White America by the Charleston massacre. But it is hard to see how and when we come together as a people. For racial crimes and race conflict have become “the story” that everyone seizes upon—since Ferguson in the summer of 2014.
On the first anniversary of Michael Brown’s death, protesters blocked public buildings in St. Louis and St. Louis County, shut down I-70 at rush hour. In Ferguson, hoodlums rioted and looted for days. What justification was there for such lawlessness?
Explained some in the press, it was to protest the failure to prosecute a white cop who had killed an “unarmed black teenager.”
Left out of most stories was that Brown, 18, had knocked over a convenience store, throttled a clerk half his size, and was unarmed only because he failed to wrest a gun away from Officer Darren Wilson, whom a grand jury declared had acted in self-defense when he shot the charging 290-pound Brown.
Since then, we have had the Eric Garner incident on Staten Island, where a 345-pound black man, suffering from diabetes, asthma, obesity and heart disease, died of heart failure after being wrestled to the ground by five cops, none of whom was charged. Came then the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, while in police custody. There, six officers have been charged. Then came the death of a 12-year-old black kid in Cleveland, who was waving a toy gun.
As the incidents pile up, with white cops shooting black suspects, and black criminals killing white cops, the news goes viral and America divides along the lines of race and color, and between black and blue.
Though, let it be said, the violence in Ferguson and Baltimore was child’s play compared to Watts in ’65, Detroit and Newark in ’67, and D.C. and 100 other cities after Dr. King’s assassination in 1968. “Can we all get along?” pleaded Rodney King, when South Central exploded in rioting, arson and looting after the L.A. cops who had beaten King were exonerated.
Answer: Probably not. For what seems certain, ensuring that our racial divide widens and deepens, is that more incidents like those involving Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Freddie Gray are inevitable. Why so?
First, violent crime, declining since the early 1990s, is rising again. And violent crime in black communities is many times higher than in the white communities of America. Collisions between black suspects and criminals and white cops are going to increase, and some of these collisions are going to involve shootings. And such shootings trigger fixed, deep-seated beliefs about cops, criminals and injustice, they also cause an instantaneous taking of sides.
Moreover, this is the sort of “news” that instantly goes viral through the Internet, Facebook and 24-hour cable TV. Liberals and Democrats take sides with the black community out of solidarity and to solidify their political base, while Republicans stand with the cops, law-and-order conservatives, and the Silent Majority in Middle America.
The race issue has even begun to split the Democrats.
When former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, a card-carrying liberal, attended a conference of Netroots Nation and responded to a chant of “Black Lives Matter!” with the more inclusive, “Black Lives Matter! White Lives Matter! All Lives Matter!” he was virtually booed off the stage. O’Malley proceeded to apologize for including the white folks.
To many Americans, even many who did not vote for him, the election of Barack Obama seemed to hold out the promise that our racial divide could be healed by a black president. Even Obama’s supporters must concede it did not happen, though we would, again, argue angrily over why.
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority. Copyright 2015 Creators.com.
Since China devalued its currency 3 percent, global markets have gone into a tailspin. Why should this be? After all, 3 percent devaluation in China could be countered by a U.S. tariff of 3 percent on all goods made in China, and the tariff revenue used to cut U.S. corporate taxes.
The crisis in world markets seems related not only to a sinking Chinese economy, but also to what Beijing is saying to the world; i.e., China will save herself first even if it means throwing others out of the life boat.
Disbelievers in New World Order mythology have long recognized that this new China is fiercely nationalistic. Indeed, with Marxism-Leninism dead, nationalism is the Communist Party’s fallback faith. China has thus kept her currency cheap to hold down imports and keep exports surging. She has run $300 billion trade surpluses at the expense of the Americans. She has demanded technology transfers from firms investing in China and engaged in technology theft. Disillusioned U.S. executives have been pulling out.
And the stronger China has grown economically, the more bellicose she has become with her neighbors from Japan to Vietnam to the Philippines. Lately, China has laid claim to virtually the entire South China Sea and all its islands and reefs as national territory.
In short, China is becoming a mortal threat to the rules-based global economy Americans have been erecting since the end of the Cold War, even as the U.S. system of alliances erected by Cold War and post-Cold War presidents seems to be unraveling.
Germany, the economic powerhouse of the European Union, was divided until recently on whether Greece should be thrown out of the eurozone. German nationalists have had enough of Club Med. On issues from mass migrations from the Third World, to deeper political integration of Europe, to the EU’s paltry contributions to a U.S.-led NATO that defends the continent, nationalistic resistance is rising.
Enter the Donald. If there is a single theme behind his message, it would seem to be a call for a New Nationalism or New Patriotism. He is going to “make America great again.” He is going to build a wall on the border that will make us proud, and Mexico will pay for it. He will send all illegal aliens home and restore the traditional value of U.S. citizenship by putting an end to the scandal of “anchor babies.”
One never hears Trump discuss the architecture of our rules-based global economy. Rather, he speaks of Mexico, China, and Japan as tough rivals, not “trade partners,” smart antagonists who need to face tough American negotiators who will kick their butts.
They took our jobs and factories; now we are going to take them back. And if that Ford plant stays in Mexico, then Ford will have to climb a 35-percent tariff wall to get its trucks and cars back into the USA. Trump to Ford: Bring that factory back to Michigan!
To Trump, the world is not Davos; it is the NFL. He is appalled at those mammoth container ships in West Coat ports bringing in Hondas and Toyotas. Those ships should be carrying American cars to Asia. Asked by adviser Dick Allen for a summation of U.S. policy toward the Soviets, Ronald Reagan said: “We win; they lose.” That it is not an unfair summation of what Trump is saying about Mexico, Japan and China.
While the economic nationalism here is transparent, Trump also seems to be saying that foreign regimes are freeloading off the U.S. defense budget and U.S. military. He asks why rich Germans aren’t in the vanguard in the Ukraine crisis. Why do South Koreans, with an economy 40 times that of the North and a population twice as large, need U.S. troops on the DMZ? “What’s in it for us?” he seems ever to be asking.
He has called Vladimir Putin a Russian patriot and nationalist with whom he can talk. He has not joined the Republican herd that says it will cancel the Iran nuclear deal the day they take office, re-impose U.S. sanctions and renegotiate the deal. Trump says he would insure that Iran lives up to the terms.
While his foreign policy positions seem unformed, his natural reflex appears nonideological and almost wholly results-oriented. He looks on foreign trade much as did 19th-century Republicans.
They saw America as the emerging world power and Britain as the nation to beat, as China sees us today. Those Americans used tariffs, both to force foreigners to pay to build our country, and to keep British imports at a price disadvantage in the USA. Then they exploited British free trade policy to ship as much as they could to the British Isles to take down their factories and capture their jobs for U.S. workers, as the Chinese do to us today.
Whatever becomes of Trump the candidate, Trumpism, i.e., economic and foreign policy nationalism, appears ascendant.
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority. Copyright 2015 Creators.com.
While perhaps too early for Democratic elites to panic and begin bailing out on Hillary Clinton’s campaign as a doomed vessel, they would be well advised not to miss any of the lifeboat drills. For Hillary’s campaign is taking on water at a rate that will sink her, if the leakage does not stop, and soon.
Initially, the issue of Hillary and the emails she sent and received as secretary of state seemed too wonkish, too complex, too trivial a matter to sink a candidacy as strong as hers. Her nomination was considered as assured as any since Vice President Richard Nixon ran unopposed in 1960.
But since it was revealed that as secretary of state she used a private server for her emails, located in her home in Chappaqua, the bleeding of public trust has been unabated. Her tortured explanation as to why she installed her own server only raised suspicions. Her erasure of 30,000 “personal emails,” her initial refusal to turn her server over to State, her denials she ever received confidential information, her wiping of the server clean, her stonewalling, have all ravaged her reputation for truthfulness. And truthfulness was never Bill or Hillary’s long suit.
And the issue of Clintonian entitlement and privilege has arisen again.
For Hillary showed a casualness in handling the nation’s secrets that would have cost a civil servant at State, Defense or CIA his or her security clearance and job. And they would be facing charges and potentially jail time. Indeed, now that Justice and the FBI have been called in to look at Hillary’s handling of state secrets, it is not impossible that at the end of this road lies a federal indictment.
Should that happen, her campaign and career would be over. And should that indictment come later rather than sooner, the Democratic Party could be headed into the election of 2016 led by a Brooklyn-born septuagenarian Socialist.
Every day that new revelations come about Hillary and her emails, and every week that passes between now and when the filing deadlines for the primaries begin to fall, this becomes a real possibility. Again, the problem here for Hillary and the Democratic Party is that the investigators at Justice, the FBI, and in a hostile Congress and the media, are far from wrapping this up.
They all have their teeth in it, and they are not going away. And there is nothing Hillary can do to halt the investigations, or plug the leaks, or, it seems, to change the subject. What, really, is the relevance of her $350 billion plan to get the super-rich to pay off student loans, if Hillary is being lawyered up?
The Democratic Party is approaching the fail-safe point. If it appears that Hillary is headed for the knacker’s yard, then to whom do the Democratic elites turn, and, equally important, when do they move?
For they cannot wait too long.
Hence, a “Draft Biden” movement has begun, and veterans of President Obama’s campaigns are signing on. Yet the vice president should think long and hard about whether and when he plunges into the Democratic race. For his announcement of availability would be a signal that Joe Biden thinks Hillary is politically dead, or close to it, and he is coming in to drop the hammer.
This would be seen as act of crass political opportunism, seizing upon Hillary’s travails, shouldering her aside, and seizing a nomination millions of Democrats have long believed was hers by right.
How would the millions of Democratic women who have looked forward to the first woman president respond to Biden’s barreling in and finishing her off? How enthusiastic would those women and feminists be for a Candidate Biden who had delivered the deathblow to Hillary and blocked for another decade any chance of a woman as president?
Joe would certainly be up for Chauvinist of the Year 2015. And other problems would arise for a Biden candidacy.
Would Bill and Hillary Clinton be out there stumping to help Joe win the presidency, when both had dreamed of her having it?
Joe would have to beat Bernie Sanders and rout the Elizabeth Warren liberals. He would have to woo back the big contributors in the Jewish community who believe Barack Obama and John Kerry threw Israel and Bibi under the bus to cut a deal that empowers the world’s leading “state sponsor of terrorism.”
If Joe is having second thoughts about getting in, who can blame him? As the old saw goes, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”
But for Democrats, such counsel comes too late. Hillary is carrying their basket of eggs, and slipping all over the sidewalk. If they procrastinate in designating someone else to catch the basket if it falls, they get Bernie. But if they move too soon, they will be charged with sabotaging the last best chance for America to elect a woman president.
A nice problem for those ubiquitous cable TV talking heads who identify themselves as “Democratic strategists.”
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority. Copyright 2015 Creators.com.
“Trump’s immigration proposals are as dangerous as they are stunning,” railed amnesty activist Frank Sharry. “Trump … promises to rescind protections for Dreamers and deport them. He wants to redefine the constitutional definition of U.S. citizenship as codified by the 14th Amendment. He plans to impose a moratorium on legal immigration.”
While Sharry is a bit hysterical, he is not entirely wrong. For the six-page policy paper, to secure America’s border and send back aliens here illegally, released by Trump last weekend, is the toughest, most comprehensive, stunning immigration proposal of the election cycle.
The Trump folks were aided by people around Sen. Jeff Sessions who says Trump’s plan “reestablishes the principle that America’s immigration laws should serve the interests of its own citizens.”
The issue is joined, the battle lines are drawn, and the GOP will debate and may decide which way America shall go. And the basic issues—how to secure our borders, whether to repatriate the millions here illegally, whether to declare a moratorium on immigration into the USA—are part of a greater question.
Will the West endure, or disappear by the century’s end as another lost civilization? Mass immigration, if it continues, will be more decisive in deciding the fate of the West than Islamist terrorism. For the world is invading the West.
A wild exaggeration? Consider. Monday’s Washington Post had a front-page story on an “escalating rash of violent attacks against refugees,” in Germany, including arson attacks on refugee centers and physical assaults.
Buried in the story was an astonishing statistic. Germany, which took in 174,000 asylum seekers last year, is on schedule to take in 500,000 this year. Yet Germany is smaller than Montana. How long can a geographically limited and crowded German nation, already experiencing ugly racial conflict, take in half a million Third World people every year without tearing itself apart, and changing the character of the nation forever?
Do we think the riots and racial wars will stop if more come?
And these refugees, asylum seekers, and illegal immigrants are not going to stop coming to Europe. For they are being driven across the Med by wars in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen, by the horrific conditions in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan, by the Islamist terrorism of the Mideast and the abject poverty of the sub-Sahara. According to the U.N., Africa had 1.1 billion people by 2013, will double that to 2.4 billion by 2050, and double that to 4.2 billion by 2100.
How many of these billions dream of coming to Europe? When and why will they stop coming? How many can Europe absorb without going bankrupt and changing the continent forever?
Does Europe have the toughness to seal its borders and send back the intruders? Or is Europe so morally paralyzed it has become what Jean Raspail mocked in “The Camp of the Saints”?
The blazing issue in Britain and France is the thousands of Arab and African asylum seekers clustered about Calais to traverse the Eurotunnel to Dover. The Brits are on fire. Millions want out of the EU. They want to remain who they are.
Each week we read of boats sinking in the Med with hundreds of refugees drowning. Yet many, many more make it to the Greek and Italian islands, and thence north to Germany and Scandinavia and the welfare states of Western Europe. Once they step onto EU soil, they are in.
This unending invasion has called into existence anti-immigrant and anti-EU parties in almost every country in Europe. Few of these parties existed at the turn of the century. How does this all end?
“Humankind cannot bear very much reality,” wrote T. S. Eliot. Is the West still blind to reality, to the inevitable future that awaits if the West does not secure its frontiers and close its borders to mass immigration?
Peoples of European descent, everywhere they live, have birth rates below replacement levels. Yet, most live in the world’s most desirable neighborhoods.
The great and growing populations of mankind are in the Third World. Countless millions are determined to come to the West, legally if they can, illegally if they must. And the more who succeed, the more who come.
Either Western nations take tough measures to secure their borders, or the Western nations will be swamped. The character of their countries will be altered forever, and smaller countries will become unrecognizable. And as this is happening, ethnic and racial clashes will become more common, as they are now becoming across Europe.
“The principle that America’s immigration laws should serve the interests of its own citizens” is paramount, said Sen. Sessions.
Sessions is right. America is our home. We decide who comes in and who does not, how large the American family becomes, whom we adopt and whence they come. It has become the issue of 2016.
Indeed, it is the issue of the 21st century.
In the Cleveland debate, Donald Trump refused to commit to support whomever the Republican Party nominates in 2016. Trump would be wise to maintain his freedom of action. For there is a plot afoot in the Washington Post Conservative Club to purge Trump from the Republican Party before the primaries begin.
“A political party has a right to … secure its borders,” asserts the Post‘s George Will, “a duty to exclude interlopers.” Will wants The Donald “excommunicated” and locked out of all GOP debates until he kneels and takes a loyalty oath to the nominee. “Marginalizing Trump” carries no risk of “alienating a substantial Republican cohort,” Will assures us, for these “Trumpites” are neither Republicans nor conservatives. Better off without such trash.
The Post‘s Michael Gerson says “establishment Republicans” must “make clear that [Trump] has moved beyond the boundaries of serious and civil discourse.” He loathes the Trumpites as much as Will. Trump’s followers are “xenophobic,” Gerson tells CNN. They have a “resentment of outsiders, of Mexico, of China, and immigrants. That’s more like a European right-wing party, a UKIP or a National Front in France. Republicans can’t incorporate that.”
But if the GOP has no room for Trump’s followers, it has no future. For there simply aren’t that many chamber-of-commerce and country-club Republicans. Gerson mentions with disgust the U.K. Independence Party and France’s National Front. What do those parties have in common?
Both are anti-New World Order. Both arose to recapture the lost independence and sovereignty of their nations from the nameless, faceless bureaucrats of Brussels, those EU hacks who now dictate the kinds of laws and societies the Brits and French are permitted to have.
What motivates these folks is not all that different from what brought the farmers to Lexington Green and Concord Bridge and inspired colonists to stand by the original Tea Party boys in Boston. New parties arise and outsiders are drawn into politics to fill voids and vacuums created by the failure of incumbent parties and politicians.
Case in point: Ex-speechwriter Gerson’s boss George W. Bush.
With the country united behind him after 9/11, Bush called for war on an “axis of evil”—Iraq, Iran, and North Korea—that had nothing to do with 9/11. He then persuaded Congress to authorize an invasion of Iraq to strip it of weapons of mass destruction it did not have.
Cost: 4,500 American dead, 35,000 wounded warriors, $1 trillion dollars sunk, 100,000 dead Iraqis, half a million widows and orphans, a country ravaged and a Mideast now awash in war and bloodshed.
Political result: The Republicans lost both houses of Congress in 2006, and the White House in 2008 to an anti-war Democratic Senator whose voting record was identical to that of Bernie Sanders.
Yet the leading establishment candidate of the Republican Party elites, in national polls and cash raised, is Jeb Bush, who took five days to concede the war his brother started may have been a mistake. And the leading candidate of the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton, voted for the war that proved a disaster and against the surge that staved off the disaster until the Americans departed.
Our Beltway elites are demanding that Trump apologize for his remarks about women. But when have they apologized for having inflicted this disaster upon our nation and the Middle East?
Thursday, the Census Bureau revealed that a record 42.1 million immigrants, here legally and illegally, are in the U.S., a population explosion being driven by Mexicans still flooding across the border. Is it “xenophobic” to ask if Americans approve of this historic change in the composition and character of the country they love? Is it outrageous to ask whether there is a correlation between this massive infusion of unskilled and semi-skilled labor from the Third World, and the stagnant and falling wages of native-born Americans?
The trade figures just came in for June. The trade deficit shot to $43.8 billion. Take out the $20 billion surplus in services, it was a $64 billion deficit in goods, pointing to a 2015 trade deficit of $750 billion in things Americans make with their hands, tools, machines.
This has been going on since Bush 41. And the correlation between these trade deficits and the trade deals our elites have negotiated is absolute. Trump says our negotiators have been getting their clocks cleaned by the Japanese, Chinese, and Mexicans. Is he wrong? Or are free trade and open borders now articles of faith, defined dogma, denial of which gets you excommunicated from the party of Gerson and Will?
Trump should tell the GOP, in the neocons’ favorite phrase, “All options are on the table.” And that includes the Samson Option. Trump should tell the GOP that if it disrespects him and his followers, then he is prepared to do as did the biblical hero Samson, when, blinded and mocked by the Philistines, he pushed the pillars apart and brought the temple down upon the heads of them all.
The Republican establishment will understand that.
If his Republican opponents will not take down Donald Trump, Fox News will not only show them how it is done. Fox News will do the job for them.
That is the message that came out loud and clear from last Thursday’s debate in Cleveland, which was viewed by the largest cable audience ever to watch a political event—24 million Americans.
As political theater, it was exciting and entertaining. But what was supposed to be a debate among the top-10 Republican candidates turned into a bear-baiting of Donald Trump.
Make no mistake. The issues Fox News raised were legitimate.
Trump’s threat to run third party, his remarks about women who have affronted him, the bankruptcies that four of his companies went through as he built his real estate empire—these are all fair game.
What was wrong here was that it was not his Republican rivals raising these issues or taking on Trump. It was the Fox News “moderators” of what was supposed to be a candidates’ debate. They came into the arena to do to Trump what his GOP rivals have been too timid or reluctant to do.
Chris Wallace and Megyn Kelly came with their oppo research done and attack questions prepared—to sack Trump in the end zone and send him to the locker room on a stretcher. When did that become the job of a “moderator” who is supposed to be more of a referee than a middle linebacker?
Who decided to turn the first Republican presidential debate into a two-hour version of “The Kelly File”? With the exception of Rand Paul on the opening question about Trump bolting to run as a third-party candidate, no Republican chose to follow up the Fox News attacks on Trump that were disguised as questions. They let Fox do the wet work.
The anger of Trump and his followers that he was being singled out and sandbagged is understandable, even if his reaction revealed that Fox News had drawn blood. Indeed, this debate will be recalled in political lore as the night Fox News tried to take down the Donald.
Did they succeed? What do the early returns tell us? According to an NBC poll, taken in the 48 hours after Cleveland, Trump has held first place and has risen a point to 23 percent. Sen. Ted Cruz had vaulted into second place with 13 percent. Dr. Ben Carson had risen to No. 3 with 11 percent. Carly Fiorina, who was not in the top 10 a week ago, is now fourth with 9 percent.
Together, these four outsiders can claim the support of well over half of all Republicans, while the beltway favorites—Marco Rubio at No. 5, Jeb Bush at No. 6 and Scott Walker at No. 7—can together claim less Republican support than Donald Trump alone. Who won the debate? According to the NBC poll, it was Carson, Trump, and Cruz in that order.
With a real opportunity to capture the presidency in 2016, those leading in the race for the GOP nomination seem to be among the least likely to amass 270 electoral votes. But those most acceptable to the establishment seem, as each month passes, to generate less and less enthusiasm.
Yet, what is now clear is that the Republican establishment wants Trump out of this race, and, frustrated at his continuing strong support, is less and less willing to wait for him to implode. Over the weekend, we heard talk of a Kasich-Rubio ticket, or vice versa. Yet, in that NBC poll, Kasich remains dead in the water after the debate, dropping from 3 to 2 percent, while Rubio is at 9 percent.
A real danger is emerging here of the split inside the GOP deepening and widening. For if it is seen that Trump has not been rejected by the voters, but driven out the race by the establishment and the elites, the value of the nomination will be vastly diminished.
Thus far in this presidential season, the rise of the Republican outsiders, insurgents, nonpoliticians and anti-politicians reveals how far the people of the United States are estranged and alienated from their political leadership.
In the Democratic Party, too, we have seen the rise of outsider-insurgent Socialist Bernie Sanders to within single digits of Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, and the fall of Clinton to where she is underwater in the polls on issues of trust and, “Does she care about people like me?”
If there is one lesson to be taken from this run-up year to the presidential campaign of 2016, it is that a huge and growing segment of the nation does not want what the establishment of either party has on offer.
And as insurgent parties spring up all over Europe, and the two-party system disintegrates there, the Europeanization of American politics may be at hand.
In his desperation to sink the Iran nuclear deal, Bibi Netanyahu is taking a hellish gamble.
Israel depends upon the United States for $3 billion a year in military aid and diplomatic cover in forums where she is often treated like a pariah state. Israel has also been the beneficiary of almost all the U.S. vetoes in the Security Council. America is indispensable to Israel. The reverse is not true.
Yet, without telling the White House, Bibi had his U.S. ambassador arrange for him to address a joint session of Congress in March—to rip up the president’s Iran nuclear deal before it was even completed.
The day the deal was signed, using what the Washington Post calls “stark apocalyptic language,” Bibi accused John Kerry of giving the mullahs a “sure path to a nuclear weapon” and a “cash bonanza of hundreds of billions of dollars … to pursue its aggression and terror.”
Bibi has since inspired and led the campaign to get Congress to kill the deal, the altarpiece of the Obama presidency. Israel Ambassador Ron Dermer, a former Republican operative now cast in the role of “Citizen Genet,” has intensively lobbied the Hill to get Congress to pass a resolution of rejection.
If that resolution passes, as it appears it will, Obama will veto it. Then Israel, the Israeli lobby AIPAC, and all its allies and auxiliaries in the think tanks and on op-ed pages will conduct a full-court press to have Congress override the Obama veto and kill his nuclear deal.
Has Bibi, have the Israelis, considered what would happen should they succeed? Certainly, there would be rejoicing in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and Bibi would be crowned King of Capitol Hill. But they will have humiliated an American president by crushing him by two-to-one in his own legislature. Such a defeat could break the Obama presidency and force the resignation of John Kerry, who would have become a laughing stock in international forums.
The message would go out to the world. In any clash between the United States and Israel over U.S. policy in the Middle East, bet on Bibi. Bet on Israel. America is Israel’s poodle now.
With the Gulf nations having joined Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia in backing the deal, Israel is isolated in its opposition. And, two weeks ago, Kerry warned that if Congress rejects the deal, “Israel could end up being more isolated and more blamed.”
Hardly an outrageous remark. Yet, Israel’s ex-ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren fairly dripped condescension and contempt in his retort: “The threat of the secretary of state who, in the past, warned that Israel was in danger of being an apartheid state, cannot deter us from fulfilling our national duty to oppose this dangerous deal.”
But this is not Israel’s deal. It is our deal, and our decision. And Israel is massively interfering in our internal affairs to scuttle a deal the president believes is in the vital interests of the United States. When the U.S. and Israel disagree over U.S. policy in the Mideast, who decides for America? Them or us?
Why does Barack Obama take this? Why does John Kerry take this?
One can only imagine what President Eisenhower would have done had he seen Bibi at the rostrum of the U.S. House of Representatives, ripping apart his Middle East policy. Or had Ike learned that an Israeli ambassador was working the halls of Congress to kill an arms deal he and John Foster Dulles had just negotiated.
Lest we forget, Ike told his wartime colleague, Prime Minister Anthony Eden, to get his army out of Suez or he would sink the British pound. Ike then told Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion to get his army out of Sinai or face U.S. economic reprisals. Eden and Ben-Gurion did as they were told.
That was an America respected by friend and foe alike.
When Harry Truman felt that Gen. Douglas MacArthur had been insubordinate in resisting presidential restrictions on his actions in Korea, Truman fired the general and astounded the nation. Yet this president and John Kerry have been wimpishly seeking for weeks to placate Netanyahu. And Bibi is no Douglas MacArthur.
Time to stop acting like wusses.
The president should declare Dermer persona non grata and send him packing, then tell the Israeli government we will discuss a new arms package when you have a prime minister who understands that no nation interferes in the internal affairs of the United States. None.
That could bring Bibi’s government, with its single-vote majority, crashing down. And why not? After all, Bibi was a virtual surrogate for Mitt Romney when Mitt was trying to bring down Obama. Obama and Kerry are never running again. Deep down, they would surely relish taking Bibi down. And they could do it.
Deal or no deal, it is time America started acted like America again.
In his new biography Being Nixon: A Man Divided, Evan Thomas concedes a point. Richard Nixon, he writes, “was not paranoid; the press and the ‘Georgetown set’ really were out to get him.”
Carl Bernstein’s review found Thomas’s book deficient in its failure to chronicle the “endemic criminality” of the Nixon presidency. Yet, recent revelations suggest that “endemic criminality” is a phrase that might well be applied to the newsroom of the Washington Post when Bob Woodward and Bernstein worked there.
Consider. In All the President’s Men, Woodward and Bernstein admit that, in collusion with Post editors and with the approval of Post lawyers, they approached half a dozen Watergate grand jurors. Admitting this was a “seedy venture,” they assured us no grand juror had violated his or her oath, and they got nothing.
Yet, from recent books by Jeff Himmelman about Ben Bradlee, Max Holland about Mark Felt, a.k.a. “Deep Throat,” and Geoff Shepard’s The Real Watergate Scandal: Collusion, Conspiracy, and the Plot That Brought Nixon Down, out today, the truth is otherwise.
Woodward and Bernstein deceived us about not breaching the grand jury. They had. The source identified in their book as “Z,” a “woman … in a position to have considerable knowledge of the secret activities of the White House and CRP [Committee to Re-Elect the President]” was a grand juror.
Notes of Bernstein’s conversation with this woman were found by Himmelman in Bradlee’s files. Post editor Barry Sussman also told Alan Pakula, who made the movie starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman, that Carl had breached the grand jury.
What does this tell us?
Woodward and Bernstein lied for four decades in denying their success in breaching the grand jury. And Bradlee knew they had been lying. When Post lawyer E. B. Williams had his ex parte contact with old friend Judge John Sirica, to put the fix in and get the judge not to expose or punish Woodward and Bernstein, Williams almost surely knew the reporters were lying.
In his memoir, Judge Sirica reveals what he would have done had Bernstein and Woodward gotten a grand juror to violate his oath: “Had they actually obtained information from that grand juror, they would have gone to jail.”
Thus, Woodward and Bernstein, with the collusion of Post editors and lawyers, got a grand juror to violate her oath and spill secrets. Then Bradlee got E.B. Williams, godfather to Sirica’s daughter, to put the fix in with that compliant judge, and all of them covered up the conspiracy. While pursuing Nixon, the “Georgetown set” was hiding the same sort of mendacities and obstruction of justice that got Nixon’s men prison time.
Nor does it stop there. As we discovered, a decade ago, “Deep Throat,” whose moniker came from a dirty movie, was FBI Deputy Director Mark Felt. In giving Woodward information from witness testimony to the grand jury, Felt was violating his oath and engaged in criminal misconduct, which, exposed, would have gotten him fired in disgrace and put in prison, and Woodward implicated as the beneficiary of his crimes.
Woodward and Bernstein benefited mightily from the fruits of Felt’s criminality, getting a Pulitzer for the Post, and having their careers made by collusion with this corrupt civil servant and serial lawbreaker. The subtitle of the new paperback of All the President’s Men is “The Greatest Reporting Story of All Time.”
Excuse me, but how much reporting does it take to scribble down notes from Mark Felt telling you who said what to the grand jury that day? This is stenography, not reporting.
What was Felt’s motivation in leaking grand jury secrets to Woodward? Max Holland’s book Leak tells the story. Felt sought to cast acting FBI Director Pat Gray, an honorable man, as an incompetent who could not keep secrets. This would result in Gray being passed over for permanent director. With the FBI top job open, President Nixon would likely turn to — Deputy Director Mark Felt.
Lovely fellow, that Felt.
Of all the Watergate offenses of the Nixon White House, the “Huston Plan” is often called the most terrifying. And what was the plan worked up by my old friend Tom Charles Huston in 1970?
After Black Panthers began murdering cops and a Greenwich Village bomb factory—where an anti-personnel bomb was being prepared to massacre noncommissioned officers and their dates at a dance at Fort Dix—blew up, Huston, with CIA, National Security Agency and Defense Intelligence Agency backing, urged the reinstatement of FBI practices used from FDR to LBJ. These included warrantless wiretaps and surreptitious entries, “black-bag jobs,” to stem the epidemic of terror bombings.
Nixon OK’d the plan, but rescinded his approval five days later after J. Edgar Hoover’s objection.
And who had been in charge of FBI black-bag jobs in the LBJ era? Mark Felt. Maybe when Woodward met Deep Throat in that garage, Felt was just casing the place.
All through the Cold War, the Turks were among America’s most reliable allies.
After World War II, when Stalin encroached upon Turkey and Greece, Harry Truman came to the rescue. Turkey reciprocated by sending thousands of troops to fight alongside our GIs in Korea. Turkey joined NATO and let the U.S. station Jupiter missiles in their country. When JFK secretly traded away the Jupiters for removal of the Soviet missiles in Cuba, the Turks went along. Early this century, under Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey seemed to be emerging as a major power, a land bridge between Europe and the Islamic world, a friend to its neighbors, and future member of the EU.
But, recently, a U.S. diplomat blurted, “The Turks are out of their lane!” And that describes the situation succinctly and well.
When rebels rose up to overthrow Bashar Assad in Syria, and Assad elected to fight not quit, Erdogan turned on him and began to permit jihadists to enter Syria. When ISIS terrorists seized Raqqa in Syria, and Mosul and Anbar in Iraq, Erdogan refused to let U.S. planes based at Incirlik bomb them. When America supported Syrian Kurds with air power, enabling them to hold off an ISIS attack on Kobani on the Syria-Turkish border, Erdogan denounced the Kurds as the greater threat.
But 10 days ago came an ISIS atrocity in Suruc, Turkey, just north of Kobani. Thirty-two young Turkish Kurds who were planning to help rebuild Kobani were massacred, and a hundred wounded.
Instantly, Erdogan permitted U.S. planes at Incirlik to attack ISIS targets in Syria and launched air strikes himself. It appeared that, at long last, the U.S. and Turkey were again on the same page, seeing ISIS as the primary enemy, and acting jointly against it.
But the Turkish attacks on ISIS proved to be pinpricks. And the Turks began a major air assault on Kurdish forces in exile in Iraq, the PKK, who had fled Turkey after the recent civil war.
Where does this leave Turkey today?
Erdogan demands that Assad be overthrown. He has declared war on ISIS. He has broken off peace talks with the PKK in Turkey. He is attacking the exiled Kurds in the mountains of Iraq, enraging Baghdad, and his own Kurdish minority of 14 million. He has been vilifying his former Israeli friends since the Mavi Marmara incident, where eight Turkish aid workers on a relief ship headed for Gaza were killed by Israeli commandos in 2010.
The Washington Times reports that Egypt is charging Turkey with sending agents to work with Islamic State on the Sinai Peninsula, which has been killing Egyptian soldiers and firing rockets into Israel. There has been bad blood between Cairo and Ankara since Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, a former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, was overthrown by the army of Gen. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in 2013. Gen. el-Sisi is now President el-Sisi and President Morsi is now on death row.
What is Erdogan up to? With his attacks on the Kurds and ISIS both, he is inviting blowback in the form of terrorist reprisals from ISIS and the PKK inside his own country, as happened at Suruc.
The speculation is that Erdogan is going to war for political reasons. When a Kurdish Party captured 13 percent of the vote in the June 7 elections, it broke Erdogan’s parliamentary majority, blocking his path to the presidential republic of his dreams and designs.
Critics believe he is provoking conflict with the Kurds before new elections, so he can cast himself as a fearless warrior against Arab terrorists and Kurdish traitors, discredit the small Kurdish party, and capture a sufficient majority to create his all-powerful presidency.
Turkey’s actions demonstrate, as do those of other allies in the region, that their enemies are not always our enemies, and that, as they single-mindedly pursue their national goals, so should we. The Iraqi Kurds have been friends of the United States since Desert Storm. The Syrian Kurds, the YPG, have provided fighting troops whom we have supported with air power against ISIS. Both are de facto allies, no matter what the Turks say. As for the PKK, we may have designated them a terrorist organization at the urging of the Turks, but if they are not attacking us, we ought not to be attacking them.
We must stop allowing our friends to choose our enemies in the Middle East. We are fully capable of doing that ourselves, without their assistance. All our allies in that most war-torn of regions would like us to come fight their battles for them. We should let them fight their wars themselves, for the prospect of peace any time soon in that blood-soaked region is more than remote.
Our enemies are al-Qaeda, which slaughtered 3,000 of our people, and its progeny. Our enemies are ISIS, which has beheaded Americans, and threatens us, our allies and friends.
Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
The American political class has failed the country, and should be fired. That is the clearest message from the summer surge of Bernie Sanders and the remarkable rise of Donald Trump.
Sanders’s candidacy can trace it roots back to the 19th-century populist party of Mary Elizabeth Lease who declaimed: “Wall Street owns the country. It is no longer a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, but a government of Wall Street, by Wall Street, and for Wall Street. The great common people of this country are slaves, and monopoly is the master.”
“Raise less corn and more hell!” Mary admonished the farmers of Kansas.
William Jennings Bryan captured the Democratic nomination in 1896 by denouncing the gold standard beloved of the hard money men of his day: “You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.”
Sanders is in that tradition, if not in that league as an orator. His followers, largely white, $50,000-a-year folks with college degrees, call to mind more the followers of George McGovern than Jennings Bryan.
Yet the stagnation of workers’ wages as the billionaire boys club admits new members, and the hemorrhaging of U.S. jobs under trade deals done for the Davos-Doha crowd, has created a blazing issue of economic inequality that propels the Sanders campaign.
Between his issues and Trump’s there is overlap. Both denounce the trade deals that de-industrialized America and shipped millions of jobs off to Mexico, Asia and China. But Trump has connected to an even more powerful current.
That is the issue of uncontrolled and illegal immigration, the sense America’s borders are undefended, that untold millions of lawbreakers are in our country, and more are coming. While most come to work, they are taking American jobs and consuming tax dollars, and too many come to rob, rape, murder and make a living selling drugs.
Moreover, the politicians who have talked about this for decades are a pack of phonies who have done little to secure the border.
Trump boasts that he will get the job done, as he gets done all other jobs he has undertaken. And his poll ratings are one measure of how far out of touch the Republican establishment is with the Republican heartland.
When Trump ridicules his rivals as Lilliputians and mocks the celebrity media, the Republican base cheers and laughs with him.
He is boastful, brash, defiant, unapologetic, loves campaigning, and is putting on a great show with his Trump planes and 100-foot-long stretch limos. “Every man a king but no man wears a crown,” said Huey Long. “I’m gonna make America great again,” says Donald.
Trump also benefits from the perception that his rivals and the press want him out of the race and are desperately seizing upon any gaffe to drive him out. The piling on, the abandonment of Trump by the corporate elite, may have cost him a lot of money. But it also brought him support he would not otherwise have had. Compared to Trump, all the other candidates, including Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, are boring. He makes politics entertaining, fun.
For no group of Americans has been called more names than the base of the GOP. The attacks that caused the establishment to wash its hands of Trump as an embarrassment brought the base to his defense.
But can Trump win?
If his poll numbers hold, Trump will be there six months from now when the Sweet 16 is cut to the Final Four, and he will likely be in the finals. For if Trump is running at 18 or 20 percent nationally then, among Republicans, it is hard to see how two rivals beat him.
For Trump not to be in the hunt as the New Hampshire primary opens, his campaign will have to implode, as Gary Hart’s did in 1987, and Bill Clinton’s almost did in 1992.
Thus, in the next six months, Trump will have to commit some truly egregious blunder that costs him his present following. Or the dirt divers of the media and “oppo research” arms of the other campaigns will have to come up with some high-yield IEDs.
Presidential primaries are minefields for the incautious, and Trump is not a cautious man. And it is difficult to see how, in a two-man race against the favorite of the Republican establishment, he could win enough primaries, caucuses and delegates to capture 50 percent of the convention votes.
For almost all of the candidates who will have dropped out by then will have endorsed the last man standing against Trump. And should Trump be nominated, his candidacy would make Barry Goldwater look like the great uniter of the GOP.
Still, who expected Donald Trump to be in the catbird seat in the GOP nomination run before the first presidential debate? And even his TV antagonists cannot deny he has been great for ratings.
“If God does not exist, then everything is permissible.” Ivan Karamazov’s insight came to mind while watching the video of Deborah Nucatola of Planned Parenthood describe, as she sipped wine and tasted a salad, how she harvests the organs of aborted babies for sale to select customers.
“Yesterday was the first time … people wanted lungs,” said Nucatola, “Some people want lower extremities, too, which, that’s simple. …
I’d say a lot of people want liver. … We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.
Nucatola is describing how an unborn baby should be killed and cut up to preserve its most valuable organs for sale by its butchers. Welcome to God’s Country, 2015.
Planned Parenthood’s image—a progressive organization that provides free birth control to women who seek to space pregnancies as they plan their families—will not easily survive these tapes. For Nucatola sounds as though she were reading from a film script about a 1940s clinic in Nazi Germany devoted to the disposal of “useless eaters” in the Third Reich. Watching these tapes, one name comes to mind: Mengele.
Defenders of Planned Parenthood argue that those who taped Nucatola did so surreptitiously, and they misrepresented themselves as buyers from a human biologics company. Moreover, the tapes were deceptively edited and the women undergoing abortions had agreed to donate the organs of their dead fetuses for biomedical research.
Perhaps. But even if all of that is true, the tapes have thrown the “pro-abortion rights” movement in America onto the defensive and brought calls for complete Congressional defunding of a Planned Parenthood that receives $500 million yearly from taxpayers.
Set aside the legality of what Nucatola describes. Do Americans want hundreds of millions of tax dollars provided to an organization that harvests and sells the body parts of aborted babies as a potentially lucrative sideline business? Do Americans want to be associated in any way with an organization with the moral mindset exhibited by Nucatola?
That Americans were stunned by those tapes is undeniable. People are not faking their moral revulsion. Indeed, “pro-abortion rights” Democrats are hiding in the weeds because they rightly sense that the disgust is widespread and genuine.
Yet there are questions raised by what these tapes reveal that apply to all of us. Were we really in the dark? Were we unaware that 55 million unborn have been killed since Roe, many by such crushing methods as described by Nucatola?
Is the Black Lives Matter movement unaware that the execution rate of babies in the womb is highest among African-American women? However many black men or boys are killed in clashes with cops each year, it is not one-tenth of 1 percent of the black babies aborted in the USA?
Did we think that these abortions were almost all painless, like some sick pet being put to sleep, euthanized? Did we not know that the abortionist stabs the baby in the womb, or tears it to pieces coming out? And the more developed the baby, the greater the pain and the suffering and the bloodier the inescapable death?
But if one believes an unborn baby is not a human being, not a human life, why object to selling its body parts? Trash haulers and garbage men find uses for what they pick up. Scrap metal collectors find folks who want to buy it. Conservation they call it. Why would we think that abortionists, who regard fetuses as human tissue, not human beings, were any different?
We have long known and praised family members of the victims in auto accidents who volunteer the organs of their loved ones to save or extend the lives of others. What makes this tape so different, so appalling, is that, at some level, there a sense in all of us, which ideological indoctrination cannot wholly suppress, that, morally, something terrible is happening here.
Listening to that Planned Parenthood woman discourse casually on the hearts, livers, lungs and lower extremities, we know something else. While the women undergoing the abortions at Planned Parenthood may have volunteered those body parts, the butchered children had no say in the decision to be torn to pieces and have their organs put up for sale to a laboratory that was the highest bidder.
Speaking after the fall of France, at the beginning of the Battle of Britain, Winston Churchill said, “But if we fail, then the whole world … including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.”
Those phrases, “perverted science,” and “a new Dark Age,” do they not fairly describe our future if the views and values of Nucatola’s Planned Parenthood are the future of America and her people?
As President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran is compared to Richard Nixon’s opening to China, Bibi Netanyahu must know how Chiang Kai-shek felt as he watched his old friend Nixon toasting Mao in Peking.
The Iran nuclear deal is not on the same geostrategic level. Yet both moves, seen as betrayals by old U.S. allies, were born of a cold assessment in Washington of a need to shift policy to reflect new threats and new opportunities.
Several events contributed to the U.S. move toward Tehran.
First was the stunning victory in June 2013 of President Hassan Rouhani, who rode to power on the votes of the Green Revolution that had sought unsuccessfully to oust Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009. Rouhani then won the Ayatollah’s authorization to negotiate a cutting and curtailing of Iran’s nuclear program, in return for a U.S.-U.N. lifting of sanctions. As preventing an Iranian bomb had long been a U.S. objective, the Americans could not spurn such an offer.
Came then the Islamic State’s seizure of Raqqa in Syria, and Mosul and Anbar in Iraq. Viciously anti-Shiite as well as anti-American, ISIS made the U.S. and Iran de facto allies in preventing the fall of Baghdad. But as U.S. and Iranian interests converged, those of the U.S. and its old allies—Saudi Arabia, Israel and Turkey—were diverging.
Turkey, as it sees Bashar Assad’s alliance with Iran as the greater threat, and fears anti-ISIS Kurds in Syria will carve out a second Kurdistan, has been abetting ISIS.
Saudi Arabia sees Shiite Iran as a geostrategic rival in the Gulf, allied with Hezbollah in Lebanon, Assad in Damascus, the Shiite regime in Iraq and the Houthis in Yemen. It also sees Iran as a subversive threat in Bahrain and the heavily Shiite oil fields of Saudi Arabia itself. Indeed, Riyadh, with the Sunni challenge of ISIS rising, and the Shiite challenge of Iran growing, and its border states already on fire, does indeed face an existential threat. And, so, too, do the Gulf Arabs.
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown in the Middle East today.
The Israelis, too, see Iran as their great enemy and indispensable pillar of Hezbollah. For Bibi, any U.S.-Iran rapprochement is a diplomatic disaster. Which brings us to a fundamental question of the Middle East.
Is the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal and our de facto alliance against ISIS a temporary collaboration? Or is it the beginning of a detente between these ideological enemies of 35 years? Is an historic “reversal of alliances” in the Mideast at hand?
Clearly the United States and Iran have overlapping interests. Neither wants all-out war with the other. For the Americans, such a war would set the Gulf ablaze, halt the flow of oil, and cause a recession in the West. For Iran, war with the USA could see their country smashed and splintered like Saddam’s Iraq, and the loss of an historic opportunity to achieve hegemony in the Gulf.
Also, both Iran and the United States would like to see ISIS not only degraded and defeated, but annihilated. Both thus have a vested interest in preventing a collapse of either the Shiite regime in Baghdad or Assad’s regime in Syria.
And, thus, Syria is probably where the next collision is going to come between the United States and its old allies.
For Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Israel all want the Assad regime brought down to break up Iran’s Shiite Crescent and inflict a strategic defeat on Tehran. But the United States believes the fall of Assad means the rise of ISIS and al-Qaeda, a massacre of Christians, and the coming to power of a Sunni terrorist state implacably hostile to us.
Look for the Saudis and Israelis, their agents and lobbies, their think tanks and op-ed writers, to begin beating the drums for the United States to bring down Assad, who has been “killing his own people.” The case will be made that this is the way for America to rejoin its old allies, removing the principal obstacle to our getting together and going after ISIS. Once Assad is gone, the line is already being moved, then we can all go after ISIS. But, first, Assad.
What is wrong with this scenario?
A U.S. no-fly zone, for example, to stop Assad’s barrel bombs, would entail attacks on Syrian airfields and antiaircraft missiles and guns. These would be acts of war, which would put us into a de facto alliance with the al-Qaeda Nusra Front and ISIS, and invite retaliations against Americans by Hezbollah in Beirut, and the Shiite militia in Baghdad.
Any U.S.-Iran rapprochement would be dead, and we will have been sucked into a war to achieve the strategic goals of allies that are in conflict with the national interests of the United States. And our interests come first.
From first reactions, it appears that Hill Republicans will be near unanimous in voting a resolution of rejection of the Iran nuclear deal. They will then vote to override President Obama’s veto of their resolution. And if the GOP fails there, Gov. Scott Walker says his first act as president would be to kill the deal.
But before the party commits to abrogating the Iran deal in 2017, the GOP should consider whether it would be committing suicide in 2016.
For even if Congress votes to deny Obama authority to lift U.S. sanctions on Iran, the U.S. will vote to lift sanctions in the UN Security Council. And Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China, all parties to the deal, will also lift sanctions.
A Congressional vote to kill the Iran deal would thus leave the U.S. isolated, its government humiliated, unable to comply with the pledges its own secretary of state negotiated. Would Americans cheer the GOP for leaving the United States with egg all over its face?
And if Congress refuses to honor the agreement, but Iran complies with all its terms, who among our friends and allies would stand with an obdurate America then? Israel would applaud, the Saudis perhaps, but who else? And as foreign companies raced to Iran, and U.S. companies were told to stay out, what would GOP presidential candidates tell the business community?
Would the party campaign in 2016 on a pledge to get tough and impose new sanctions? “Coercive diplomacy,” the Wall Street Journal calls it. If so, what more would they demand that Iran do? And what would they threaten Iran with, if she replied: We signed a deal. We will honor it. But we will make no new concessions under U.S. threat.
Would we bomb Iran? Would we go to war? Not only would Americans divide on any such action, the world would unite—against us. And would a Republican president really bomb an Iran that was scrupulously honoring the terms of the John Kerry deal? What would we bomb? All the known Iran nuclear facilities will be crawling with U.N. inspectors.
“Either the issue of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapons is resolved diplomatically through negotiation or it’s resolved through force,” said the president, “Those are the options.” Is that not pretty much where we are at, even if the GOP does not like it?
Republicans seem to be unable to grasp the changes that have taken place in this century. With the Arab Spring, the fall of half a dozen regimes, the rise of al-Qaeda and ISIS, civil wars in Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Iraq, we have a new Middle East. Our principal enemies are now al-Qaeda and ISIS. And while both have been aided by our old allies, Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, both are being resisted by Iran.
But, we are reminded, Iran’s regime is founded upon ideological hatred of America. But, so, too, were Mao’s China and Stalin’s USSR. Yet Nixon forged a detente with Mao and FDR partnered with Stalin. And Ronald Reagan negotiated a strategic arms deal with the “evil empire” of his time.
Bibi Netanyahu and AIPAC, the Saudis and Gulf Arabs, will demand that Congress kill the Iran deal that Lindsey Graham says is a “death sentence for the State of Israel.” But one trusts that, this time, the GOP will add a dose of salt to what the hysterics are bellowing.
After all, it was Bibi’s rants—Iran is hellbent on getting a bomb, is only months away, and military action is needed now to smash the whirling centrifuges—that teed up the talks for Tehran. All Iran had to do was prove it had no bomb program, which was not difficult, as U.S. intelligence had repeatedly said Iran had no bomb program.
Then the Iranians proved it. They agreed to cut their centrifuges by two-thirds, to eliminate 98 percent of their uranium, to halt production of 20 percent uranium at Fordow, to convert the heavy-water reactor at Arak that produces plutonium to a light water reactor that produces one kilogram a year, and to let cameras in and give U.N. inspectors the run of their nuclear facilities.
And how is Israel, with hundreds of atom bombs, mortally imperiled by a deal that leaves Iran with not a single ounce of bomb-grade uranium?
What does Iran get? What Iran always wanted. Not a bomb which would make Iran a pariah like North Korea and could bring down upon her the same firestorm America delivered to Iraq, but a path to become again the hegemon of the Persian Gulf.
Remarkable. Iran agrees not to build a bomb it had already decided not to build, and we agree to lift all sanctions. And they pulled it off. What is one or two atom bombs you can’t use, without committing national suicide, compared to $100 billion in freed assets and a welcome mat back to the community of nations.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision, has ordered a monument of the Ten Commandments removed from the Capitol. Calling the Commandments “religious in nature and an integral part of the Jewish and Christian faiths,” the court said the monument must go.
Gov. Mary Fallin has refused. And Oklahoma lawmakers instead have filed legislation to let voters cut out of their constitution the specific article the justices invoked. Some legislators want the justices impeached. Fallin’s action seems a harbinger of what is to come in America—an era of civil disobedience like the 1960s, where court orders are defied and laws ignored in the name of conscience and a higher law.
Only this time, the rebellion is likely to arise from the right.
Certainly, Americans are no strangers to lawbreaking. What else was our revolution but a rebellion to overthrow the centuries-old rule and law of king and Parliament, and establish our own?
U.S. Supreme Court decisions have been defied, and those who defied them lionized by modernity. Thomas Jefferson freed all imprisoned under the sedition act, including those convicted in court trials presided over by Supreme Court justices. Jefferson then declared the law dead.
Some Americans want to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill with Harriet Tubman, who, defying the Dred Scott decision and fugitive slave acts, led slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad. New England abolitionists backed the anti-slavery fanatic John Brown, who conducted the raid on Harpers Ferry that got him hanged but helped to precipitate a Civil War. That war was fought over whether 11 Southern states had the same right to break free of Mr. Lincoln’s Union as the 13 colonies did to break free of George III’s England.
Millions of Americans, with untroubled consciences, defied the Volstead Act, imbibed alcohol and brought an end to Prohibition.
In the civil rights era, defying laws mandating segregation and ignoring court orders banning demonstrations became badges of honor. Rosa Parks is a heroine because she refused to give up her seat on a Birmingham bus, despite the laws segregating public transit that relegated blacks to the “back of the bus.”
In “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Dr. King, defending civil disobedience, cited Augustine—”an unjust law is no law at all”—and Aquinas who defined an unjust law as “a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.” Said King, “one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”
But who decides what is an “unjust law”?
If, for example, one believes that abortion is the killing of an unborn child and same-sex marriage is an abomination that violates “eternal law and natural law,” do those who believe this not have a moral right if not a “moral responsibility to disobey such laws”?
Rosa Parks is celebrated. But the pizza lady who said her Christian beliefs would not permit her to cater a same-sex wedding was declared a bigot. And the LGBT crowd, crowing over its Supreme Court triumph, is writing legislation to make it a violation of federal civil rights law for that lady to refuse to cater that wedding.
But are people who celebrate the Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village as the Mount Sinai moment of their movement really standing on solid ground to demand that we all respect the Obergefell decision as holy writ?
And if cities, states, or Congress enact laws that make it a crime not to rent to homosexuals, or to refuse services at celebrations of their unions, would not dissenting Christians stand on the same moral ground as Dr. King if they disobeyed those laws?
Already, some businesses have refused to comply with the Obamacare mandate to provide contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs to their employees. Priests and pastors are going to refuse to perform same-sex marriages. Churches and chapels will refuse to host them. Christian colleges and universities will deny married-couple facilities to homosexuals.
Laws will be passed to outlaw such practices as discrimination, and those laws, which the Christians believe violate eternal law and natural law, will, as Dr. King instructed, be disobeyed. And the removal of tax exemptions will then be on the table.
If a family disagreed as broadly as we Americans do on issues so fundamental as right and wrong, good and evil, the family would fall apart, the couple would divorce, and the children would go their separate ways.
Something like that is happening in the country. A secession of the heart has already taken place in America, and a secession, not of states, but of people from one another, caused by divisions on social, moral, cultural, and political views and values, is taking place.
America is disuniting, Arthur Schlesinger Jr. wrote 25 years ago. And for those who, when young, rejected the views, values and laws of Eisenhower’s America, what makes them think that dissenting Americans in this post-Christian and anti-Christian era will accept their laws, beliefs, values?
Why should they?
In the 2016 race, June belonged to two outsiders who could not be more dissimilar.
Bernie Sanders is a socialist senator from Vermont and Donald Trump a celebrity capitalist and legendary entrepreneur and builder. What do they have in common? Both have tapped into what the bases of their respective parties believe is wrong with America.
Bernie is the Willie Nelson of national politics, a leftist voice of a working class whose jobs and factories have been exported and whose wages have stagnated as banksters and the Davos-Doha crowd amass mammoth fortunes by playing games of three-dimensional Monopoly. The 73-year-old Sanders may have no chance of beating Hillary. But the size of his crowds testifies that he speaks for millions.
Trump’s success comes from the issues he has seized upon—illegal immigration and trade deals that deindustrialized America—and brazen defiance of Republican elites and a media establishment.
By now the whole world has heard Trump’s declaration:
When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. … They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems to us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.
Politically incorrect? You betcha. Yet, is Trump not raising a valid issue? Is there not truth in what he said? Is not illegal immigration, and criminals crossing our Southern border, an issue of national import, indeed, of national security?
Women and girls crossing Mexico on trains are raped by gangs. The “coyotes” leading people illegally across the U.S. border include robbers, rapists, and killers, who often leave these people to die in the desert.
State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America by this writer in 2006 cited researcher Heather Mac Donald of Manhattan Institute. She reported that two-thirds of the 17,000 outstanding fugitive felony warrants in Los Angeles were for illegal immigrants, as were 95 percent of 1,200-1,500 outstanding warrants for homicide.
Of 20,000 members of the 18th Street Gang operating across Southern California, 12,000 were illegal immigrants. One of the Beltway Snipers, who terrorized the D.C. area, shooting 13 and killing 10, was a 17-year-old illegal immigrant from Jamaica, John Lee Malvo.
The reaction to Trump’s comments has been instructive. NBC and Univision dropped his Miss USA and Miss Universe contests. Macy’s has dropped the Trump clothing line. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is talking of terminating city contracts with Trump.
The reaction of Trump’s Republican rivals has been even more instructive. Initially, it was muted. But when major media began to demand that GOP candidates either denounce Trump or come under suspicion or racism themselves, the panic and pile-on began.
As the Washington Times relates, at a July 4 parade in New Hampshire, Jeb Bush said Trump “doesn’t represent the Republican Party or its values. I don’t assume that he thinks that every Mexican crossing the border is a rapist. … So he’s doing this to inflame and to incite and to draw attention, which seems to be his organizing principle of his campaign.”
Sen. Marco Rubio also found his voice. Trump’s comments “were not just offensive and inaccurate, but also divisive.” Imagine that, “divisive” politics.
Ex-Gov. Rick Perry said Trump’s remarks were “offensive,” as “Hispanics in America and Hispanics in Texas, from the Alamo to Afghanistan, have been extraordinary … citizens of our country.” But most of the Hispanics at the Alamo were in the Mexican army of Santa Anna, not under Col. Travis, and hardly “extraordinary citizens of our country” as Texas did not even belong to the USA then.
Sen. Ted Cruz on NBC’s “Meet the Press” took a different stance: “I salute Donald Trump for focusing on the need to address illegal immigration. The Washington cartel doesn’t want to address that. The Washington cartel doesn’t believe we need to secure the border. The Washington cartel supports amnesty, and I think amnesty’s wrong.”
Trump “has a colorful way of speaking,” said Cruz, “It’s not the way I speak. But I’m not going to engage in the media’s game of throwing rocks and attacking other Republicans.” Cruz might have added, “like Jeb and Rick and Marco are doing.”
What Trump has done, and Cruz sees it, is to have elevated the illegal immigration issue, taken a tough line, and is now attacking GOP rivals who have dithered or done nothing to deal with it. Trump intends to exploit the illegal immigration issue, and the trade issue, where majorities of middle-class Americans oppose the elites. And he is going to ride them as far as he can in the Republican primaries.
In the coming debates, look for Trump to take the populist and popular side of them both. And for Cruz to stand by him on illegal immigration. Americans are fed up with words; they want action. Trump is moving in the polls because, whatever else he may be, he is a man of action.
However the Greek crisis ends, whether with Athens leaving the eurozone, or submitting and accepting austerity at the dictates of its creditors, the European Union appears headed for an existential crisis.
Greece borrowed and spent beyond its means, like New York City in the ’70s, and Detroit, Illinois, and Puerto Rico today. But the crisis of Europe is about more than budget deficits and bad debts. All the momentum toward One Europe—the dream of the generation of Jean Monnet that drove Europeans toward ever-deeper union—seems to have dissipated. The momentum is now toward separation and dissolution.
The Greek crisis exposed one fault line in the union, the desire of the Mediterranean nations to build welfare states that their economies could not sustain without huge borrowing abroad. Paying these debts is going to force ever-greater austerity on those nations. Eventually, their peoples may choose, as debtors do, to walk away, rather than pay.
But not only economics imperils the EU. There is the call of tribe and nation that has often before torn the Old Continent apart.
The U.K. Independence Party and National Front in France, both of which want out of the EU, have millions of supporters, and emulators across Europe. These parties appeal to national histories, heroes and cultures, while acolytes of the EU and eurozone sound like editorials in the Financial Times. Who would fix bayonets for Brussels and the European Commission?
NATO is a shell of what it once was. It is today, a virtual fraternity of freeloaders. With exceptions, like the Poles, Estonians and Turks, European nations have all slashed their defense budgets to beneath two percent of GDP. Angela Merkel is described as the Iron Chancellor for facing down Greece’s Alexis Tsipras, but she seems more like Willy Brandt when talking to Vladimir Putin.
A century ago, after Lloyd George and Clemenceau did their map work in Paris, one could walk from Baghdad to Cairo, turn south, and walk 5,000 miles to Cape Town, without leaving British territory.
Today, Britain and France, the imperial powers of Sykes-Picot, would prefer to have the Americans police the Middle East. Our allies have terrible memories of European wars that produced no comparable gains, and none of them, understandably, wants to fight again.
They have another concern in common. Their continent is being invaded. From the failed states of the sub-Sahara to the war-torn nations of the Mahgreb and Middle East, the Third World is coming to occupy the Mother Continent.
On July 2, the New York Times had several stories on the Greek crisis, but several also on Europe’s immigration crisis. Some 8,000 trucks were stranded at Calais and Dover, the opposite ends of the Channel Tunnel, as migrants piled onto the vehicles crossing into England. The threatened drivers could do nothing to prevent it.
“Migrants are streaming into Europe from North Africa and the turbulent Middle East,” said the Times, “The European Union has been trying to force countries to share the burden. But the bloc has so far failed to agree on how to do so. In Britain, the issue is particularly charged, and euroskeptic politicians are pushing for the country to leave the union, with immigration a chief complaint.”
Another headline on the same page read, “Russia Sees an Especially Potent Threat in Its Converts to Islam.” The story related the fears of a jihadist uprising within her borders as ethnic Russians convert to militant Islam and join the 15-20 million Muslims inside Russia already, and the two million in Moscow alone.
Russia and Europe have more in common than they realize—the same existential threat.
Another story in the Times, “Europe to Fight Islamic Radicals on Social Media,” reported on jihadist recruitment inside Europe. A leader of Europol, said the Times, “has estimated that up to 5,000 people from Western Europe have traveled to Syria and Iraq, many to join the Islamic State. British officials believe that at least half of the 500 or so Britons who have done so have already returned home and represent potential threats…”
Europe has survived depression and the worst wars in modern history, though her wounds are terrible and lasting. But can Europe, with native-born populations that are aging, shrinking, and dying, survive a never-ending invasion of Third World peoples that Europe has never assimilated before? Especially when millions of these people profess a militant faith that has historically been alien and hostile to Europe?
The birth dearth in Europe has endured for 40 years. There is no end in sight to the Third World invasion, as the lands of the Middle East and sub-Sahara descend ever more deeply into tribal, sectarian, and civil war, and send new millions of refugees streaming toward the Mediterranean coast.
Who or what will stop them? As Gen. Petraeus said on that road to Baghdad: “Tell me how this ends.”
“Natural law—God’s law—will always trump common law,” said Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and a Christian leader in her own right, “God will have the final word in this matter.” But, for now, Justice Anthony Kennedy has the final word.
Same-sex marriage is the law of the land, as the right of gays and lesbians to marry is right there in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which was ratified in 1868. We just didn’t see it. Tony Kennedy spotted what no previous court had detected.
The absurdity of the decision aside, it represents another stride forward for the revolution preached by Antonio Gramsci. Before we can capture the West, the Italian Marxist argued, we must capture the culture. For only if we change the culture can we change how people think and believe. And then a new generation will not only come to accept but to embrace what their fathers would have resisted to the death.
Consider the triumphs of the Gramscian revolution in our lifetime.
First, there is the total purge of the nation’s birth faith, Christianity, from America’s public life and educational institutions. Second, there is the overthrow of the old moral order with the legalization, acceptance, and even celebration of what the old morality taught was socially destructive and morally decadent.
How dramatic have the changes been?
Until the early 1970s, the American Psychiatric Association regarded homosexuality as a mental disorder. Until this century, homosexual actions were regarded as perverted and even criminal. Now, homosexuality is a new constitutional right and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is marrying homosexuals in front of Stonewall Inn, the site of the famous 1969 gay riot against police harassment.
Similarly with abortion. It, too, was seen as shameful, sinful and criminal until Harry Blackmun and six other justices decided in 1973 that a right to an abortion was hiding there in the Ninth Amendment.
Did the Constitution change? No, we did, as Gramsci predicted.
We are told that America has “evolved” on issues like abortion and homosexuality. But while thinking may change, beliefs may change, laws may change, and the polls have surely changed, does moral truth change? Are the Ten Commandments and Christian tradition and Natural Law as defined by Aquinas just fine for their time, but not for ours?
If what Justice Kennedy wrote Friday represents moral truth, what can be said in defense of a Christianity that has taught for 2,000 years that homosexual acts are socially destructive and morally decadent behavior?
Three decades ago, this columnist was denounced for writing that homosexuals “have declared war on human nature. And nature is exacting an awful retribution.” Hateful speech, it was said. Yet, when I wrote that line, AIDS victims in America numbered in the hundreds. Worldwide today they number in the millions. And there is a pandemic of STDs among America’s young who have joined the sexual revolution preached in the 1960s.
Can true “social progress” produce results like that?
And if it is an enlightened thing for a society to welcome homosexual unions and elevate them to the status of marriage, why have no previous successful societies thought of so brilliant a reform? The late Roman Empire and Weimar Germany are the two examples of indulgent attitudes toward homosexual conduct that come to mind.
“No-fault” divorce was an early social reform championed by our elites, followed by a celebration of the sexual revolution, the distribution of condoms to the poor and the young, and abortions subsidized by Planned Parenthood when things went wrong.
How has that worked out for America?
Anyone see a connection between these milestones of social progress and the 40 percent illegitimacy rate nationwide, or the 50 percent rate among Hispanic-Americans, or the 72 percent rate among African-Americans? Any connection between those fatherless boys and the soaring drug use and dropout rates and the near quadrupling of those in jails and prisons over the last third of a century?
One notes a headline the other day, that, among whites in America, deaths now outnumber births. This has been true for decades in Europe, where all the native-born populations are shrinking as the Third World crosses over from the Mahgreb and Middle East. Any connection between the legalization of abortions—55 million in the USA since Roe—and the shrinkage of a population?
“God will have the final word in this matter,” says King. Certainly, in the world to come, He will. Yet, even in this world, it is hard to recall a civilization that rejected its God, repudiated the faith and morality by which it grew great, embraced what was previously regarded as decadence, and survived.
Our utopian president may see ours as an ever “more perfect union.”
Yet, America has never been more disunited and divided—on politics and policy, religion and morality. We no longer even agree on good and evil, right and wrong. Are we really still “one nation under God, indivisible”?
“I will never be able to hold her again, but I forgive you.”
So said Nadine Collier, who lost her mother in the massacre at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, offering forgiveness to Dylann Roof, who confessed to the atrocity that took the lives of nine churchgoers at that Wednesday night prayer service and Bible study.
If there is a better recent example of what it means to be a Christian, I am unaware of it. Collier and the families of those slain showed a faithfulness to Christ’s gospel of love and forgiveness that many are taught but few are strong enough to follow, especially at times like this. Their Christian witness testifies to a forgotten truth: If slavery was the worst thing that happened to black folks brought from Africa to America, Christianity was the best. Charleston, too, gave us an example of how a city should behave when faced with horror.
Contrast the conduct of those good Southern people who stood outside that church in solidarity with the aggrieved, with the Ferguson mobs that looted and burned and the New York mobs that chanted for the killing of cops when the Eric Garner grand jury declined to indict. Yet, predictably, the cultural Marxists, following Rahm Emanuel’s dictum that you never let a crisis go to waste, descended like locusts. As Roof had filmed himself flaunting a Confederate battle flag, the cry went out to tear that flag down from the war memorial in Columbia, South Carolina, and remove its vile presence everywhere in America.
Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post appeared front and center on its op-ed page with this call to healing: “The Confederate battle flag is an American swastika, the relic of traitors and totalitarians, symbol of a brutal regime, not a republic. The Confederacy was treason in defense of a still deeper crime against humanity: slavery.” But if Jenkins’ hate-filled screed is right, if the Confederacy was Nazi Germany on American soil, then not only the battle flag must go.
The Confederate War Memorial on the capitol grounds honors the scores of thousands of South Carolinians who died in the lost cause. And if that was a cause of traitors and totalitarians and about nothing but slavery, ought not that memorial be dynamited? Even as ISIS is desecrating tombs in Palmyra, Syria, the cultural purge of the South has begun.
Rep. Steve Cohen wants the name of legendary cavalryman Nathan Bedford Forrest removed from Forrest Park in Memphis and his bust gone from the capitol; Sen. Mitch McConnell wants the statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis removed from the Kentucky capitol.
Governors are rushing to remove replicas of the battle flag from license plates, with Virginia’s Terry McAuliffe the most vocal. Will McAuliffe also demand that the statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson be removed from Monument Avenue in Richmond?
“Take Down a Symbol of Hatred,” rails the New York Times. But the battle flag is not so much a symbol of hatred as it is an object of hatred, a target of hatred. It evokes a hatred of the visceral sort that we see manifest in Jenkins’ equating of the South of Washington, Jefferson, John Calhoun, Andrew Jackson, and Lee with Hitler’s Third Reich.
What the flag symbolizes for the millions who revere, cherish, or love it, however, is the heroism of those who fought and died under it. That flag flew over battlefields, not over slave quarters. Hence, who are the real haters here?
Can the Times really believe that all those coffee cups and baseball caps and T-shirts and sweaters and flag decals on car and truck bumpers are declarations that the owners hate black people? Does the Times believe Southern folks fly the battle flag in their yards because they want slavery back? The Times‘ editorialists cannot be such fools.
Vilification of that battle flag and the Confederacy is part of the cultural revolution in America that flowered half a century ago. Among its goals was the demoralization of the American people by demonizing their past and poisoning their belief in their own history.
The world is turned upside down. The new dogma of the cultural Marxists: Columbus was a genocidal racist. Three of our Founding Fathers—Washington, Jefferson, Madison—were slaveowners. Andrew Jackson was an ethnic cleanser of Indians. The great Confederate generals—Lee, Jackson, Forrest—fought to preserve an evil institution. You have nothing to be proud of and much to be ashamed of if your ancestors fought for the South. And, oh yes, your battle flag is the moral equivalent of a Nazi swastika.
And how is the Republican Party standing up to this cultural lynch mob? Retreating and running as fast as possible. If we are to preserve our republic, future generations are going to need what that battle flag truly stands for: pride in our history and defiance in the face of the arrogance of power.
“U.S. Poised to Put Heavy Weaponry in East Europe: A Message to Russia,” ran the headline in the New York Times.
“In a significant move to deter possible Russian aggression in Europe, the Pentagon is poised to store battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and other heavy weapons for as many as 5,000 American troops in several Baltic and Eastern European countries,” said the Times. The sources cited were “American and allied officials.”
The Pentagon’s message received a reply June 16. Russian Gen. Yuri Yakubov called the U.S. move “the most aggressive step by the Pentagon and NATO since the Cold War.” When Moscow detects U.S. heavy weapons moving into the Baltic, said Yakubov, Russia will “bolster its forces and resources on the western strategic theater of operations.”
Specifically, Moscow will outfit its missile brigade in Kaliningrad, bordering Lithuania and Poland, “with new Iskander tactical missile systems.” The Iskander can fire nuclear warheads. The Pentagon and Congress apparently think Vladimir Putin is a bluffer and, faced by U.S. toughness, will back down.
For the House has passed and Sen. John McCain is moving a bill to provide Ukraine with anti-armor weapons, mortars, grenade launchers, and ammunition. The administration could not spend more than half of the $300 million budgeted, unless 20 percent is earmarked for offensive weapons.
Congress is voting to give Kiev a green light and the weaponry to attempt a recapture of Donetsk and Luhansk from pro-Russian rebels, who have split off from Ukraine, and Crimea, annexed by Moscow.
If the Pentagon is indeed moving U.S. troops and heavy weapons into Poland and the Baltic States, and is about to provide arms to Kiev to attack the rebels in East Ukraine, we are headed for a U.S.-Russian confrontation unlike any seen since the Cold War.
And reconsider the outcome of those confrontations.
Lest we forget, while it was Khrushchev who backed down in the Cuban missile crisis, President Eisenhower did nothing to halt the crushing of the Hungarian rebels, Kennedy accepted the Berlin Wall, and Lyndon Johnson refused to lift a finger to save the Czechs when their “Prague Spring” was snuffed out by Warsaw Pact tank armies.
Even Reagan’s response to the crushing of Solidarity was with words not military action.
None of these presidents was an appeaser, but all respected the geostrategic reality that any military challenge to Moscow on the other side of NATO’s Red Line in Germany carried the risk of a calamitous war for causes not justifying such a risk.
Yet we are today risking a collision with Russia in the Baltic States and Ukraine, where no vital U.S. interest has ever existed and where our adversary enjoys military superiority. As Les Gelb writes in The National Interest, “the West’s limp hand” in the Baltic and “Russia’s military superiority over NATO on its Western borders,” is “painfully evident to all.”
If NATO ups the military ante, Moscow can readily trump it. Moscow has significant advantages in conventional forces—backed by potent tactical nuclear weapons and a stated willingness to use them to sustain advantages or avoid defeat. The last thing NATO wants is to look weak or lose a confrontation.
And NATO losing any such confrontation is the likely outcome of the collision provoked by the Pentagon and John McCain.
For if Kiev moves with U.S. arms against the rebels in the east, and Moscow sends planes, tanks and artillery to annihilate them, Kiev will be routed. And what we do then? Send carriers into the Black Sea to attack the Russian fleet at Sevastopol, and battle Russian missiles and air attacks?
Before we schedule a NATO confrontation with Russia, we had best look behind us to see who is following America’s lead.
According to a new survey by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, fewer than half of the respondents in Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain thought NATO should fight if its Baltic allies were attacked by Russia. Germans, by a 58-38 margin, did not think military force should be used by NATO to defend Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, though that is what Article 5 of the NATO charter requires of Germany.
Americans, by 56-37, favor using force to defend the Baltic States. On military aid to Ukraine, America is divided, 46 percent in favor, 43 percent opposed. However, only 1 in 5 Germans and Italians favor arming Ukraine, and in not a single major NATO nation does the arming of Ukraine enjoy clear majority support.
In Washington, congressional hawks are primed to show Putin who is truly tough. But in shipping weapons to Ukraine and sending U.S. troops and armor into the Baltic States, they have behind them a divided nation and a NATO alliance that wants no part of this confrontation.
Unlike the Cuban missile crisis, it is Russia that has regional military superiority here, and a leader seemingly prepared to ride the escalator up right alongside us.
Are we sure it will be the Russians who blink this time?