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”?
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.
“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.
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.
“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?
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.
At the declaration by Donald Trump that he is a candidate for the presidential nomination of the Republican Party, media elites of left and right reacted with amusement, anger and disgust. Though he has been a hugely successful builder-businessman, far more successful than, say, Carly Fiorina, who has been received respectfully, our resident elites resolutely refuse to take Trump seriously.
They should. Not because he will be nominated, but because the Trump constituency will represent a vote of no confidence in the Beltway ruling class of politicians and press.
Votes for Trump will be votes to repudiate that class, whole and entire, and dump it onto the ash heap of history. Votes for Trump will be votes to reject a regime run by Bushes and Clintons that plunged us into unnecessary wars, cannot secure our borders, and negotiates trade deals that produced the largest trade deficits known to man and gutted a manufacturing base that was once “the great arsenal of democracy” and envy of mankind.
A vote for Trump is a vote to say that both parties have failed America and none of the current crop of candidates offers real hope of a better future.
The first book in Arthur Schlesinger’s trilogy about FDR’s ascent to power was “The Crisis of the Old Order.” That title is relevant to our time. For there is today a crisis of the regime in America—a crisis of confidence, a crisis of competence, a crisis of legitimacy.
People are agitating for the overthrow of the old order and a new deal for America. For there is a palpable sense that the game is rigged against Middle America and for the benefit of insiders who grow rich and fat not by making things or building things, but by manipulating money. Americans differentiate the wealth of a Henry Ford and a Bill Gates from that of the undeserving rich whose hedge fund fortunes can exceed the GDP of nations.
Trump says America is becoming a “dumping ground” for mass immigration from the failed states of the Third World, that Mexico is not “sending us her best and finest,” that China is stealing American jobs, that invading Iraq was a blunder.
Politically incorrect and socially insensitive certainly, but is he entirely wrong?
Was not the Iraq war a disaster for which our foreign policy priesthood and journalist-acolytes never paid the price that would be exacted in other societies were thousands of soldiers to die and tens of thousands to be wounded and maimed in so predictable a blunder?
Is it not true that among the millions of illegal immigrants who have broken into our country the great majority has illegitimacy rates, delinquency rates, dropout rates, drug use rates, crime rates, and incarceration rates far higher than those of native-born Americans? Is Trump wrong on this, or simply wrong to bring it up? Has not mass immigration brought to America old diseases we once stamped out and new diseases we had never heard of?
Do Americans not have the right to decide who shall come to our country, how many, and whence they shall come?
Is there no correlation between a decrepit Maoist China rising to become the greatest manufacturing power Asia has ever seen—and the $3 trillion to $4 trillion in trade deficits we have run with Beijing—and the disappearance of a third of all American manufacturing jobs? Who negotiated those deals? Who paid a price for the misery they brought to Rust Belt America?
There are precedents in U.S. history for outsiders—Norman Thomas and Henry Wallace on the left, George Wallace and Ross Perot on the right—to enter the presidential lists. And across the pond a similar crisis of the old order is calling forth new people and new parties. As in America, dominant parties like the Tories and Labour in Britain are losing loyalists to the “a-plague-on-both-your-houses” dissident parties.
Millions in Europe now want out of the EU. Old nations are coming apart. Leftist parties like Syriza in Greece and Podemos in Spain have arisen to defy Brussels and Berlin. The Scottish National Party is of the left while the Independence Party in the U.K. is of the populist right. In Southeastern Europe, there have arisen parties of the extreme right.
This endless proliferation of parties, like the welcome being given to Trump, testifies to the new reality: Everywhere, including here, old parties are losing the people in whose name they presume to speak.
And the specter of Republicans, who just won an historic victory by promising to do battle against President Obama, colluding with Obama to surrender Congress’ right to amend trade treaties and sign on to a Trans-Pacific Partnership pact that looks like another transfer of jobs and factories to Asia, has re-enforced these sentiments.
If Trump wants to stake his claim as a different kind of Republican, he will go to Washington and pound the Boehner-McConnell Congress until it gives up on Obamatrade and fast track.
Thousands of U.S. troops safeguard the border of South Korea. U.S. warships patrol the South China Sea to stand witness to the territorial claims of Asian allies against China. U.S. troops move in and out of the Baltic States to signal our willingness to defend the frontiers of these tiny NATO allies.
Yet nothing that happens on these borders imperils America so much as what is happening on our own bleeding border with Mexico. Over three decades, that border has been a causeway into the USA for millions of illegal immigrants who are changing the face of America—to the delight of those who think the country we grew up in was ugly.
All sides of this quarrel have been using the figure of 11 million people here illegally. In her new best-seller, Adios, America!, Ann Coulter makes a compelling case that the real figure is close to 30 million.
If that is true, and if the next president embraces amnesty and a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, that will mean the end to America as the Western nation we have been, and the beginning of America’s life as what Ann calls, unapologetically, a “Third World hellhole.” Indeed, when we consider the certain consequences of a failure to secure the border for six more years, and amnesty for people already here illegally, igniting a new invasion, we should ask ourselves: What problem do we Americans confront that will be more easily solved with millions more immigrants?
Between 80 and 90 percent of those coming are from Third World nations. On average, they have higher illegitimacy rates than native-born Americans, higher drug use rates, higher rates of obesity, spousal abuse and child abuse, higher rates of disease, lower test scores and higher dropout rates, and higher crime and incarceration rates.
Children of immigrants are more gang-oriented. And Third World immigrants consume more per capita in social services than they pay in taxes. Hence they contribute to fiscal deficits at every level of government.
Will millions more immigrants help solve our infrastructure crisis? Undeniably, poor immigrants provide cheap labor for businesses and the rich. But their working- and middle-class American neighbors bear the social costs that they inflict upon communities.
Politically, immigrants from Third World countries, as they rely upon government for food, housing assistance, health care, and the education of their children, support the Party of Government.
Mitt Romney lost the two fastest-growing major minorities, Hispanics and Asians, who now account for more than a fifth of our population and a seventh of our voters, by 40 points. And as their numbers and voting percentages rise, the GOP will find that reaching 270 electoral votes is not only more difficult than in Reagan’s day, it has become impossible.
Among the myths or lies drummed into the heads of Americans is that we have always been a “nation of immigrants,” and “diversity,” i.e., racial, ethnic, and religious diversity, “is a strength.”
But America in 1970 was a white nation with a black minority of about 10 percent. And, as Coulter writes, “Nearly the entire white population of America from 1600 to 1970 came from a geographic area of the world about twice the size of Texas. The entire black population came from an area of West Africa about the size of Florida.”
Is ethnic, racial, and religious diversity truly a “strength”?
Why then has the most diverse region of Europe, the Balkans—with its Serb, Croat, Albanian, Slovenian, Macedonian, Turkic peoples, and Catholic, Orthodox, and Islamic religions—had the bloodiest history?
Was it not racial and ethnic diversity that tore the Soviet Union into 15 nations and half a dozen subnations, and is tearing at it still in the Caucasus?
If diversity is a strength, why is Beijing, which worships strength, moving millions of Han Chinese into Tibet and western China to swamp the Tibetan and Uighur peoples, as they have done to the Mongolian and Manchu peoples? How did diversity work out for Rwanda and Burundi?
If diversity is a strength, then why are Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen falling apart? Why are Sunni and Shiite, Palestinian and Israeli fighting? Why are Scots, Basques, Catalans, Venetians, and Flemish agitating for secession and independence?
Has the addition of tens of millions of Asian and African Muslims strengthened the Old Continent that ruled the world? Or do they imperil its security and survival as the cradle and heartland of the West?
As racial, ethnic, and religious hatreds pull people apart and create terrorists all over our disintegrating world, why would we make ourselves ever more diverse? Writes Coulter, “Roe v. Wade can be overturned. Obamacare can be repealed. Amnesty is forever.”
Anyone concerned for the future of this country as one nation and one people should find a candidate who will commit to secure the border, enforce immigration laws against businesses that hire illegal immigrants, and pledge no amnesty for the duration of their presidency.
Half a century ago this summer, the Voting Rights Act was passed, propelled by Bloody Sunday at Selma Bridge. The previous summer, the Civil Rights Act became law on July 2. We are in the seventh year of the presidency of a black American who has named the first two black U.S. attorneys general. Yet race relations seem more poisonous now than then, when the good will of America’s majority was driving legislation.
Today’s issue, however, is not voting rights, open housing, or school busing. It is black vs. blue: African-Americans inflamed at what they see as chronic police brutality and police forces feeling besieged in a demagogic “war on cops.” And the media are obsessed with it, and determined to make us equally so.
Consider. On June 9, America’s “newspaper of record” ran four stories in the first section about police violence against blacks.
Page one of the New York Times told of black leaders in Cleveland, “distrustful of the criminal justice system,” invoking a “seldom-used Ohio law,” by going “directly to a judge to request murder charges” against the cops involved in the death of Tamir Rice.
Responding to reports of a man with a gun, a cop, two seconds out of his car, shot Tamir, 12. The gun was a toy. Yet, though this happened six months ago, the Times went into loving detail again on how Tamir died. It then regurgitated the deaths, also last year, of Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner on Staten Island.
On page A11 was a story with three color photos, covering almost the whole page, about a cop who, called to a raucous pool party in McKinney, Texas, drew his gun and wrestled to the ground a 14-year-old black girl in a bathing suit. “A Party at a Pool, a Jarring Image of Police Force” was the banner over the Times’ tale of “powerful and disturbing” images, from video showing “a police officer pointing a gun at teenagers in bathing suits and shoving a young black girl’s face into the ground.” Had the girl been white, would the Times have splashed it?
Page A12 was given over entirely to cops vs. blacks, with two fresh stories, plus continuations of the Tamir Rice and pool stories. The story across the top of A12 told of how a North Charleston, South Carolina, cop, held since April on murder charges, has now been indicted by a grand jury for murder.
Officer Michael Slager shot fleeing suspect Walter Scott in the back repeatedly, a killing caught on video, apparently after a fight over Slager’s Taser. There was also a fresh story on terrorism suspect Usaamah Rahim, shot dead after being confronted by FBI and a Boston cop. Rahim was allegedly wielding a large knife. Blurry video from a Burger King camera shows the cops backing away from Rahim, but not the knife.
Seven Times reporters got bylines for these four stories. What does the Times‘ investment of all this journalistic talent and news space tell us? The Times does not want this issue to die. The Times editors and writers see “blacks being victimized by white racist cops” as a representative truth about America 2015 that we all must address.
But what is the larger reality? First, the vast majority of black males killed violently are killed by black males, and interracial crime in America is overwhelmingly black-on-white, not the reverse. While not the media truth, that is the statistical truth.
This is reality. Indeed, if the ugliest expressions of racism are interracial assaults, rapes and murders, the heaviest concentrations of racism in America are in the black communities themselves. But the preferred story of the Times and mainstream media, of most cable channels and social media, is white cops victimizing black folks.
Thus we have all heard about Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and Freddie Gray, but few know even the number of black folks gunned down annually in their own black communities.
The press is not interested in ferreting out those statistics. Why? Such stats would muddy the message the media seek to send and reinforce: i.e., America must confront the crisis of rogue cops. What is coming is not difficult to predict.
As, invariably, white cops clash with black suspects, the media will seize upon and pump up every episode that fits and advances their scripted narrative. Angry and violent protests will occur. There will be judicial proceedings and trials, like that of the West Baltimore cops coming up.
America will divide and take sides. And the rival “war on cops” and “Black lives matter!” claims will be adjudicated in the election of 2016.
In 1968, Richard Nixon rode the law-and-order issue into the White House. Hillary Clinton seems to be moving to capture the “Black-Lives-Matter!” constituencies. As for the Republicans, they seem to be acting more like the John Lindsays and Bill Scrantons of yesteryear than the Nixons and Ronald Reagans. But someone is going to pick up this issue.
Toward the end of the presidency of George H.W. Bush, America stood alone at the top of the world—the sole superpower. After five weeks of “shock and awe” and 100 hours of combat, Saddam’s army had fled Kuwait back up the road to Basra and Bagdad.
Our Cold War adversary was breaking apart into 15 countries. The Berlin Wall had fallen. Germany was reunited. The captive nations of Central and Eastern Europe were breaking free. Bush I had mended fences with Beijing after the 1989 massacre in Tiananmen Square. Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin were friends.
The president declared the coming of a “new world order.” And neocons were chattering about a new “unipolar world” and the “benevolent global hegemony” of the United States.
Consider now the world our next president will inherit.
North Korea, now a nuclear power ruled by a 30-something megalomaniac, is fitting ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads. China has emerged as the great power in Asia, entered claims to all seas around her, and is building naval and air forces to bring an end to a U.S. dominance of the western Pacific dating to 1945. Vladimir Putin is modernizing Russian missiles, sending ships and planes into NATO waters and air space, and supporting secessionists in Eastern Ukraine.
The great work of Nixon and Reagan—to split China from Russia in the “Heartland” of Halford Mackinder’s “World Island,” then to make partners of both—has been undone. China and Russia are closer to each other and more antagonistic toward us than at any time since the Cold War.
Terrorists from al-Qaeda and its offspring and the Islamic Front run wild in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Nigeria, and Somalia. Egypt is ruled by a dictatorship that came to power in a military coup. Japan is moving to rearm to meet the menace of North Korea and China, while NATO is but a shadow of its former self. Only four of 28 member nations now invest 2 percent of their GDP in defense.
With the exception of the Soviet Union, some geostrategists contend, no nation, not defeated in war, has ever suffered so rapid a decline in relative power as the United States.
What are the causes of American decline? Hubris, ideology, bellicosity, and stupidity all played parts.
Toward Russia, which had lost an empire and seen its territory cut by a third and its population cut in half, we exhibited imperial contempt, shoving NATO right up into Moscow’s face and engineering “color-coded” revolutions in nations that had been part of the Soviet Union and its near-abroad.
Blowback came in the form of an ex-KGB chief who rose to power promising to restore the national greatness of Mother Russia, protect Russians wherever they were, and stand up to the arrogant Americans.
Our folly with China was in deluding ourselves into believing that by throwing open U.S. markets to goods made in China, we would create a partner in prosperity. What we got, after $4 billion in trade deficits with Beijing, was a gutted U.S. manufacturing base and a nationalistic rival eager to pay back the West for past humiliations. China wants this to be the Chinese Century, not the Second American Century. Is that too difficult to understand?
But it was in the Middle East that the most costly blunders were committed. Believing liberal democracy to be the wave of the future, that all peoples, given the chance, would embrace it, we invaded Iraq, occupied Afghanistan, and overthrew the dictator of Libya. So doing, we unleashed the demons of Islamic fanaticism, tribalism, and a Sunni-Shiite sectarian war now raging from North Africa to the Near East.
Yet though America’s relative economic and military power today is not what it was in 1992, our commitments are greater.
We are now obligated to defend Eastern Europe and the Baltic republics against a resurgent Russia, South Korea against the North, Japan and the Philippines against a surging China. We bomb jihadists daily in Iraq and Syria, support a Saudi air war in Yemen, and sustain Kabul with 10,000 U.S. troops in its war with the Taliban. Our special forces are all over the Middle East and Africa.
And if the neocons get back into power in 2017, U.S. arms will start flowing to Kiev, that war will explode, and the Tomahawks and B-2s will be on the way to Iran.
Since 1992, the U.S. has been swamped with Third World immigrants, here legally and illegally, many of whom have moved onto welfare rolls. Our national debt has grown larger than our GDP. And we have run $11 trillion in trade deficits since Bush I went home to Kennebunkport.
Thousands of U.S. soldiers have died, tens of thousands have been wounded, trillions of dollars have been expended in these interventions and wars. Our present commitments are unsustainable. Retrenchment is an imperative.
Who rises if Assad falls?
That question, which has bedeviled U.S. experts on the Middle East, may need updating to read: Who rises when Assad falls? For the war is going badly for Bashar Assad, whose family has ruled Syria since Richard Nixon was president. Assad’s situation seems more imperiled than at any time in this four-year civil-sectarian war that has cost the lives of some 220,000 soldiers, rebels and civilians, and made refugees of millions more.
Last month, ISIS captured Palmyra in central Syria, as it was taking Ramadi in Iraq. A coalition, at the heart of which is the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, seized Idlib province in northern Syria and is moving toward the coast and Latakia.
Half of Syria has been lost to ISIS, the Nusra front, and other jihadist and rebel groups. All of Syria’s border crossings with Iraq have been lost to ISIS. All of the border crossing with Turkey, excluding Kobani, have been lost to ISIS or rebels linked to al-Qaida. Syria’s border with Lebanon is becoming a war zone. Some 100 Russian military advisers are said to have pulled out of Syria, suggesting Vladimir Putin may be reconsidering Russia’s historic investment.
Indicating the gravity of the situation, Syrian sources claim 7,000 to 10,000 foreign Shiite fighters, Iraqi and Iranian, have arrived to defend Damascus and launch an offensive to recapture Idlib. Israel’s deputy chief of staff, Gen. Yair Golan, who headed the Northern Command, was quoted this week, “The Syrian Army has, for all intents and purposes, ceased to exist.”
Israeli sources report that Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Hezbollah, Assad’s indispensable ally, is warning that the real threats to the Shiites of Lebanon are ISIS and the Nusra Front. Fighting between Hezbollah and Syrian rebels is taking place along the Lebanese-Syrian border.
Assad has been written off before, only to survive those who predicted his demise. But given the balance of forces and the way in which the tide of battle is turning, it is hard to see how his regime and army can long resist eventual collapse.
Arrayed against him are not only the Nusra Front and ISIS, which are attracting recruits from abroad, but also Turks, Saudis, and Gulf Arabs, who have been clandestinely aiding Sunni rebels we regard as terrorists. Though the Turks have a half-million-man army, 3,000 tanks, 1,000 military aircraft, and are 60 miles from the ISIS capital of Raqqa in Syria, our NATO ally refuses to move. Turkey’s president sees Assad as an ally of Iran.
The Israelis, too, see Assad as an ally of Iran and a greater enemy than an ISIS or Nusra Front with no army to threaten Israel. They have been aiding Syrian rebels on the Golan. Israeli ambassador Michael Oren said in 2013, “We always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran.” Fine, but the “bad guys” Ambassador Oren prefers have on their hands the blood of 3,000 Americans.
It is difficult to see where the Assad regime and army, under attack within and without, will get the recruits to defend that half of Syria they still hold, let alone reunite the country.
So, again, the question: What happens when Assad falls? Who will protect the Christians he has sheltered? Who will protect the Shiite minority? Who will halt the massacres when they come? And who will seize power in Damascus?
Right now the rival claimants would appear to be the Nusra Front, an offshoot of al-Qaeda that brought down our twin towers, and ISIS, the death cult famous for the barbarity of its executions. According to the New York Times on June 4, ISIS is “emerging as a social and political movement,” preparing to govern its caliphate.
Interviewed by CBS News, Gen. David Petraeus said the United States is “probably losing” the war to ISIS, and we need more U.S. troops in Iraq or we run “the risk of losing the fight.”
Now consider what the general is saying:
America should send her best and bravest back into Iraq to defeat ISIS, while Turkey, the Saudis, the Gulf Arabs, and Israel are helping bring about the defeat of a Syrian army that has been battling ISIS for years. Our “friends” in the Middle East have no problem with us fighting and dying to drive ISIS out of Iraq, while they try to bring about the fall of Assad in Syria, which would constitute a triumph for ISIS.
A collapse of Assad’s army could give ISIS control of Syria. Our “friends” don’t mind this happening because it would be a defeat for Iran and the Shiite Crescent, their enemies, even if it meant a victory for ISIS and al-Qaida, our enemies.
It is time we stopped letting other nations pick the enemies for us to fight. And as our “friends” are looking out for themselves first, last, and always, let us Americans begin to do the same.
The culture war against Christianity is picking up speed.
Last week came word Saint Louis University will remove a heroic-sized statue of Fr. Pierre-Jean De Smet S.J. from the front of Fusz Hall, where it has stood for 60 years. The statue depicts Fr. De Smet holding aloft a crucifix as he ministers to two American Indians, one of whom is kneeling.
Historically, the statue is accurate. Fr. De Smet, “Blackrobe,” as he was known, was a 19th-century missionary to Indian tribes who converted thousands. A friend of Sitting Bull, he spent his last years in St. Louis. And as the mission of this Jesuit university is, presumably, to instruct the Catholic young in their faith and send them out into the world to bring the good news of Jesus Christ as Lord and savior to nonbelievers, what exactly is the problem here?
According to SLU Assistant Vice President for Communications Clayton Berry, “some faculty and staff … raised questions about whether the sculpture is culturally sensitive.” Senior Ryan McKinley is more specific: “The statue of De Smet depicts a history of colonialism, imperialism, racism and of Christian and white supremacy.”
But if the founder of Christianity is the Son of God, then Christianity is a superior religion. What Ryan and those faculty and staff seem to be ashamed of, uncomfortable with, or unable to defend, is the truth for which Saint Louis University was supposed to stand.
But simply because they are cowardly, or politically correct, why should that statue be going into the SLU art museum? Why should not they themselves depart for another institution where their sensitivities will not be assaulted by artistic expressions of religious truths?
The message the SLU president should have given the dissenters is simple: We are a Catholic university that welcomes students and faculty not of the faith. But if you find our identity objectionable, then go somewhere else. We are not changing who we are.
Yet another missionary to the Indians is now becoming a figure of controversy. On his September visit to Washington, D.C., Pope Francis plans to canonize Fr. Junipero Serra, the Spanish Franciscan whom John Paul II beatified in 1988, who converted thousands of Indians in California in the 18th century, when it still belonged to Mexico.
Fr. Serra established nine missions up the coast, among them missions that would grow into San Diego, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Barbara, and San Francisco.
Not only is Fr. Serra’s name famous in California, his statue has stood since 1931 in the U.S. Capitol in one of two places set aside for the Golden State. The other statue representing California is that of President Ronald Reagan, unveiled in 2009, which replaced a statue of the preacher Thomas Starr King.
With the pope coming here to canonize Fr. Serra, the war drums have begun. It is said the priest accompanied Spanish soldiers who brutalized the Indians, and Fr. Serra helped to eradicate their religion and culture, replacing it with his own. Now a move is afoot to remove Fr. Serra’s statue.
According to the Religion News Service, “State Sen. Ricardo Lara, an openly gay Los Angeles Democrat, wants to replace a bronze statue of Serra with a monument honoring Sally Ride, the nation’s first female astronaut. Lara said Ride would become ‘the first member of the LGBT community’ to be honored in Statuary Hall.”
Another drive is underway by feminists to remove the visage of Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill and replace it with that of a woman, preferably a minority woman. Jackson, it is said, was responsible for the ethnic cleansing of the Cherokees in the Trail of Tears. Yet, Jackson, slashed across the head by a British soldier in the last days of the Revolution for refusing to polish his boots, was also arguably the greatest soldier-statesman in American history.
Gen. Jackson led the 1815 defense of New Orleans against the British invasion force, and crushed the Indian marauders in Florida, drove out the Spanish governor, and cleared the path for annexation. Twice elected president, Jackson is, with Jefferson, a father of the Democratic Party, and he and his proteges Sam Houston and James K. Polk virtually doubled the size of the United States.
One Internet poll advanced four leading candidates to replace Jackson: Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Wilma Mankiller, and Harriet Tubman.
But when we look at who is currently on America’s currency—George Washington on the $1 bill, Abe Lincoln on the $5, Hamilton on the $10, Jackson on the $20, Ulysses S. Grant on the $50, Ben Franklin on the $100—do any of these women really compete in terms of historic achievement with what those great men accomplished?
Aren’t we carrying this affirmative action business a bit too far?
What all these arguments are at bottom all about, however, is a deep divide among us over the question: Was the European Christian conquest of America, given its flaws and failings, on balance, a great and good thing. Or not?
“What apparently happened was that the Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight. … We can give them training, we can give them equipment; we obviously can’t give them the will to fight.” Thus did Defense Secretary Ash Carter identify the root cause of the rout of the Iraqi army in Ramadi.
Disgusted U.S. military officers say the 1,000 ISIS fighters who overran Ramadi were outnumbered by the defenders 10 to 1. Why did the Iraqi army run? And what motivated the fighters of ISIS to attack a city whose defenders so vastly outnumbered them?
According to battle reports, the assault began when dozens of captured U.S. armored vehicles and trucks, laden with explosives, were driven by ISIS volunteers to blast huge holes in the defenders’ lines.
Why do all the martyrs seem to be on their side? And why is it our side that, all too often, shows “no will to fight”? Iraqis are not cowards. From 1980 to 1988, their fathers died in the scores of thousands defending their country against Iran. But if Iraqis would die for dictator Saddam Hussein, why does today’s Iraqi army seem reluctant to fight for the democratic Haider al-Abadi?
And the story of Iraq is the story of Syria.
Four years into that civil-sectarian war, the al-Qaeda Nusra Front has carved out a sector in Idlib, as have the Islamic State terrorists in Raqqa. Bashar Assad’s army, though bleeding, is still fighting. And the Free Syrian Army we backed? Defunct. Some fought, but others defected to the jihadis, fled or sold their weapons.
In Yemen, the Houthi rebels came down from the north to seize Sanaa, drive the president into exile, occupy Aden, and capture huge stockpiles of American weapons. The U.S.-backed army crumbled.
Again, why do these rebels seem willing to fight for what we see as antiquated beliefs, but all too often our friends do not fight? Perhaps the answer is found in Thomas Babington Macaulay: “And how can man die better than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his gods?”
Tribe and faith. Those are the causes for which Middle Eastern men will fight. Sunni and Shiite fundamentalists will die for the faith. Persians and Arabs will fight to defend their lands, as will Kurds and Turks. But who among the tribes of the Middle East will fight and die for the secular American values of democracy, diversity, pluralism, sexual freedom, and marriage equality?
“Expel the Crusaders from our lands!”—there is a cause to die for. Go back to 1983. A jihadist of the Amal militia drove a bomb-laden truck into the Marine barracks in Beirut. In 2000, two suicide bombers steered a tiny boat up alongside the USS Cole in Aden harbor, stood, saluted and blasted a hole in the hull, almost sinking the warship.
Nineteen young men volunteered to ride those planes into the Pentagon and the Twin Towers on 9/11. The “underwear bomber” and “shoe bomber” were prepared to go down with those planes. Murderers and would-be murderers all. But according to a new Al-Jazeera poll, the warriors of the Islamic State have many Muslim admirers.
In Afghanistan, we have fought the Taliban for 13 years. Yet still they fight. And many fear the Afghan army we trained and armed at a cost of tens of billions will disintegrate when we go home. Why do the Taliban seem to have in abundance a will to fight that appears far less present in the Afghan army units we have trained?
These questions are highly relevant. For they are about the ultimate question: Can the West win in the Middle and Near East?
In almost all of the wars in which we have been engaged, those we back have superior training, weapons, and numbers. Yet, for whatever makes men willing to fight and die, or volunteer for martyrdom, the Islamic State, al-Qaeda, and the Taliban have found the formula, while our allies have not. To be a martyr for Allah, to create a new caliphate, to expel the infidels and their puppets, these are causes Islamic man will die for. This is what ISIS has on offer. And the offer is finding buyers even in the West.
What do we have on offer? What do we have to persuade Iraqi Sunnis to fight to return their Anbar homeland to the Iranian-backed Shiite regime in Baghdad? Of our Arab allies, the Qataris, Saudis, and Gulf Arabs are willing to do air strikes. And the Kurds will fight—for Kurdistan.
But if the future belongs to those willing to fight and die for it, or to volunteer to become martyrs, the future of the Middle East would seem fated to be decided by Sunni tribesmen, Shiite militia, ISIS and al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
In the Middle East, the time of the True Believers appears at hand.
“This is a Christian nation,” said the Supreme Court in 1892. “America was born a Christian nation,” echoed Woodrow Wilson. Harry Truman affirmed it: “This is a Christian nation.”
But in 2009, Barack Hussein Obama begged to differ: “We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation.” Comes now a Pew Research Center survey that reveals the United States is de-Christianizing at an accelerated rate.
Whereas 86 percent of Americans in 1990 identified as Christians, by 2007, that was down to 78 percent. Today only 7 in 10 say they are Christians. But the percentage of those describing themselves as atheists, agnostics or nonbelievers has risen to 23. That exceeds the Catholic population and is only slightly below evangelicals.
Those in the mainline Protestant churches—Presbyterians, Lutherans, Methodists, Episcopalians—have plummeted from 50 percent of the U.S. population in 1958 to 14 percent today. By accommodating the social revolution of the 1960s to stay relevant, mainline churches appear to have made themselves irrelevant to America’s young.
The decline in Christian identity is greatest among the young. While 85 percent of Americans born before 1945 still call themselves Christians, only 57 percent of those born after 1980 do.
If we want to see our future, we should probably look to Europe, where Catholic Ireland just voted in a landslide to legalize same-sex marriage and where cathedrals and churches are being turned into tourist attractions and museums and even bars and restaurants.
What are the causes of a de-Christianized America?
High among them is the Supreme Court, which, since the Earl Warren era began, purged Christianity from all public schools and the public square—and has been met with a puzzling lack of resistance from Middle America to the secularist revolution being imposed upon it.
Second, an anti-Christian elite captured the cultural heights—the arts, elite universities, popular culture, the media—and began, through movies, books, and magazines, an assault on Christian beliefs and morality.
Third was the social revolution of the 1960s, which began with the arrival of the baby boomers on campus in 1964. Five years on, Woodstock Nation was wallowing in the mud, listening to Country Joe & the Fish.
The counterculture of the ’60s would be used as a foil to build 49-state landslides for Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, but then the ’60s views and values were embraced by the elites and came to dominate the culture in the time of Bill and Hillary Clinton. Given his baggage, “Slick Willy” of Yoknapatawpha County would have been a comic figure in the 1950s. Today he is the Democratic Party’s beau ideal of a statesman.
Many churches came out to meet the cultural revolution halfway. The results were irrelevance and scandal—too many Elmer Gantrys in televangelist pulpits and too many predators in priestly cassocks.
What are the consequences of a de-Christianized America and West? Si monumentum requiris, circumspice. (If you would seek its monuments, look around you.)
Half of marriages end in divorce. Fewer children are being born, and of these, over 40 percent are out of wedlock. Record drug use rates and dropout rates and soaring crime rates that have declined only because we have an incarceration rate that rivals South Africa’s. Despite astonishing advances in medicine, we have far more and far more varied and deadly STDs.
As Christianity dies, individualism, materialism, and hedonism replace it. “Selfies” could be the name for the generation for whom Easter Sunday long ago took a back seat to Super Bowl Sunday. More than a million abortions a year, assisted suicide, and euthanasia are seen as the milestones of social progress in the new America.
“Panem et circenses,” bread and circuses, were what the late Roman Empire was all about. With us, it is sex, drugs, and rock, with variations on all three.
Historically, as the faith dies, the culture and civilization to which it gave birth die, and then the people die. And a new tribe with its own gods comes to occupy the emptying land. On the old and new continents, it is the native-born of European ancestry who are de-Christianizing, aging and dying. And the nations they created are the ones depopulating.
To occupy Rome, the barbarians came from the east and north. To occupy the West, they are coming from the south. And like the Romans of the fourth century, we seem paralyzed and powerless to stop them.
Christianity was the founding faith of the West. That faith and the moral code and culture it produced once united this disparate and diverse nation and civilization. As Christianity fades away and the moral code and culture it generated recede into irrelevance, what will hold us together?
Economically, we are dependent on foreigners for the necessities of our national life. Our politics are poisonous. Our racial divisions, once ameliorated by shared belief in the same God and Bible, are rawer than they were in the 1950s.
As for equality, diversity, and global democracy, who will march and die for that? Historian Arnold Toynbee said it well: “Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder.”
The fall of Ramadi, capital of Anbar, largest province in Iraq, after a rout of the Iraqi army by a few hundred ISIS fighters using bomb-laden trucks, represents a stunning setback for U.S. policy.
When President Obama declared that we shall “degrade and defeat” the Islamic State, he willed the ends, but not the means. The retreat from Ramadi makes clear that the Iraqi army, even backed by 3,000 U.S. troops, cannot drive ISIS out of Anbar and Mosul and back into Syria. Baghdad cannot alone reunite Iraq.
Republicans are almost gleeful in charging that Obama’s withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq created the vacuum the Islamic State has now filled. Blaming Obama for ISIS in Iraq is shaping up to be the 2016 GOP attack line. But when it comes to the critical question—do Republicans favor reintroducing U.S. ground troops to retake Ramadi and Mosul and drive ISIS back into Syria?—no credible GOP presidential candidate is clamoring for a return to Mesopotamia.
None of the mice wants to bell that particular cat.
Yet, absent American leadership and U.S. troops, who is going to expel the Islamic State? The only forces in Iraq able to attempt that are the Shiite militias whose sectarian barbarity is exceeded only by that of ISIS itself. For the Sunnis of Anbar to be liberated by Shiite militias is like the Catholic Poles being liberated by the Red Army in 1945. Many Sunnis fear a rescue by Shiite militias more than they do the domination of the Islamic State.
America’s choices in Iraq, none good, come down to these:
One: Reintroduce 10,000 ground troops and Marines to retake Ramadi and Anbar, and thousands more to retake Mosul and cleanse Iraq of ISIS. Another surge, like 2007. Yet that does not solve the problem of the Islamic State, which would retreat to Syria and wait for the Americans to leave Iraq again.
Two: Adopt a policy of degrade-and-contain by continuing air strikes on the Islamic State in Iraq, while training and backing the Iraqi army and Kurds in keeping ISIS out of Baghdad and Irbil.
Three: Accept the inevitable—that the Shiite-led Iraq we created by dethroning Saddam and smashing his Baathist state and army is going to be in the orbit of Iran. For we cannot now, without a major and indefinite reintroduction of U.S. forces, alter the existing balance of military and political power in Iraq.
Before the United States replicates the epochal blunder Bush II and the neocons committed, we should look hard at the realities of Iraq and the region, as we failed to do before we invaded.
The relevant realities are these.
First, the Iraqis are incapable of reuniting and pacifying their country themselves. To hold Iraq together and keep it out of Iran’s sphere would require a large and indefinite presence of U.S. forces. How much more American blood and treasure is that worth?
Second, while the reintroduction of U.S. ground forces may be cheered by our Western allies, no NATO troops will be there beside us. As far as the West is concerned, Iraq is America’s problem.
Nor will the Turks, Jordanians, Saudis, or Gulf Arabs be sending troops to fight ISIS in Iraq or Syria. For them, the greater long-term dangers are: Iran, Hezbollah, Bashar Assad’s Syria, Shiite Baghdad, and the Houthi rebels of Yemen, the so-called Shiite Crescent.
Another reality is that neither Syria, nor Iraq, nor Libya, nor Yemen is likely, soon, to be brought together as a unified nation-state under a government supported by a great majority of its people. Any regimes that rise in the capitals of these four nations seem certain to be seen by a significant slice of the population as illegitimate, and valid targets for revolutionary violence.
The Middle East is becoming a basket of failed states. And as we look around that region, every country is looking out for No. 1.
The Turks looked the other way as volunteers entered Syria to join ISIS. The Turks then let Kurds cross into Syria to keep ISIS out of Kobane. Now, according to Assad, the Turks are aiding al-Qaida (the Nusra Front) in establishing its own caliphate in Idlib. The Saudis and Gulf Arabs also, says Assad, aided the Nusra Front in taking Idlib.
And what of us? Considering the millions of dead, wounded, uprooted, homeless, sick and suffering, American-born and native-born, have our wars and bombings in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen been, on balance, more a blessing than a curse to the people we went to help?
Before we plunge back into these Middle East wars from which, at long last, we have begun to extricate ourselves, we ought to recall the words of that anonymous U.S. officer in Vietnam: “We had to destroy the village — in order to save it.”
As Middle America rises in rage against “fast track” and the mammoth Obamatrade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Wall Street Journal has located the source of the malady.
Last Monday’s lead editorial began: “Here we go again. In the 1990s Pat Buchanan launched a civil war within the Republican Party on a platform targeting immigration and trade. Some claimed Pitchfork Pat was the future of the GOP, though in the end he mainly contributed to its presidential defeats.”
But, woe is us, “the GOP’s Buchanan wing is making a comeback.”
Now it is true that, while Nixon and Reagan won 49-state landslides and gave the GOP five victories in six presidential contests, the party has fallen upon hard times. Only once since 1988 has a Republican presidential nominee won the popular vote. But was this caused by following this writer’s counsel? Or by the GOP listening to the deceptions of its Davos-Doha-Journal wing?
In the 1990s, this writer and allies in both parties fought NAFTA, GATT, and MFN for China. The Journal and GOP establishment ran with Bill and Hillary and globalization. And the fruits of their victory?
Between 2000 and 2010, 55,000 U.S. factories closed and 5 million to 6 million manufacturing jobs disappeared. Columnist Terry Jeffrey writes that, since 1979, the year of maximum U.S. manufacturing employment, “The number of jobs in manufacturing has declined by 7,231,000 — or 37 percent.”
Does the Journal regard this gutting of the greatest industrial base the world had ever seen, which gave America an independence no republic had ever known, an acceptable price of its New World Order?
Beginning in 1991, traveling the country and visiting plant after plant that was shutting down or moving to Asia or Mexico, some of us warned that this economic treason against America’s workers would bring about political retribution. And so it came to pass. Since 1988, a free-trade Republican Party has not once won Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, or Wisconsin in a presidential election. Ohio, the other great Midwest industrial state, is tipping. The Reagan Democrats are gone. Who cast them aside? You or us?
Since the early 1990s, we have run $3 billion to $4 billion in trade deficits with China. Last year’s was $325 billion, or twice China’s defense budget. Are not all those factories, jobs, investment capital, and consumer dollars pouring into China a reason why Beijing has been able to build mighty air and naval fleets, claim sovereignty over the South and East China seas, fortify reefs 1,000 miles south of Hainan Island, and tell the U.S. Navy to back off?
The Journal accuses us of being anti-growth. But as trade surpluses add to a nation’s GDP, trade deficits subtract from it. Does the Journal think our $11 trillion in trade deficits since 1992 represents a pro-growth policy?
On immigration, this writer did campaign on securing the border in 1991-92, when there were 3 million illegal immigrants in the United States. But the Bush Republicans refused to seal the border. Now there are 11 million to 12 million illegal immigrants and the issue is tearing the party apart. Now everybody is for “secure borders.”
We did urge a “moratorium” on legal immigration, such as America had from 1924 to 1965, to assimilate and Americanize the millions who had come. The Journal Republicans called that xenophobia. Since then, tens of millions of immigrants, here legally and illegally, mostly from the Third World, have arrived. Economically, they consume more in tax dollars than they contribute. Politically, most belong to ethnic groups that vote between 70 and 90 percent Democratic. Their children will bury the GOP.
Consider California, which voted for Nixon all five times he was on a national ticket and for Reagan in landslides all four times he ran. Since 1988, California has not gone Republican in a single presidential election. No Republican holds statewide office. Both U.S. Senators are Democrats. Democrats have 39 of 53 U.S. House seats. Republican state legislators are outnumbered 2-to-1.
Americans of European descent, who provide the GOP with 90 percent of its presidential vote, are down to 63 percent of the nation and falling. By 2042, they will be a minority. And there goes the GOP.
Lest we forget, the “Buchanan wing” also opposed the invasion of Iraq while the Journal-War Party wing howled, “Onto Baghdad!” “Unpatriotic Conservatives,” we were called in a cover story by a neocon National Review for saying the war was unnecessary and unwise. Now, a dozen years after the “cakewalk” war, GOP candidates like Marco Rubio and Bush III are trying to figure out what it was all about, Alfie, and what they would have done, had they only known.
Our agenda in that decade was—stay out of wars that are not our business, economic patriotism, secure borders, and America first.
The foreign debt and de-industrialization of America, the trillion-dollar wars and the chaos of the Middle East, the shortened life span of the Party of Reagan, that’s your doing, fellas, not ours.
Jeb Bush has spent the week debating with himself over whether he would have started the war his brother launched on Iraq. When he figures it out, hopefully, our would-be president will focus in on the campaign to drag us into yet another Mideast war—this time to bring down Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria.
While few would mourn the passing of the Assad dynasty, there is a problem: If Assad falls, a slaughter of Christians will follow and the battle for control of Damascus will be between the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda, the Nusra Front, and the crazed terrorists of the Islamic State. Victory for either would be a disaster for America.
Where is the evidence of an unholy alliance to bring this about?
Turkey, which turned a blind eye to ISIS volunteers slipping into Syria, has aided the Nusra Front in setting up its own capital in Idlib, near the Turkish border, to rival the ISIS capital of Raqqa. In the fall of Idlib, said Bashar Assad, “the main factor was the huge support that came through Turkey; logistic support, and military support, and of course financial support that came through Saudi Arabia and Qatar.”
Why would Turks, Saudis, and Qataris collude with Sunni jihadists? Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan detests Assad. The Saudis and Gulf Arabs are terrified of Shiite Iran and see any ally of Tehran, such as Assad, as their mortal enemy. This also explains the seven weeks of savage Saudi bombing of the Houthi rebels, who dumped over a U.S.-Saudi puppet in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, then seized the second and third cities of Taiz and Aden.
But while the Houthis bear no love for us, they have been fighting al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Thus, the Saudi bombing has given AQAP, the most dangerous terrorist foe we face, freedom to create sanctuaries and liberate hundreds of fellow terrorists from prison.
The Israelis seem to be in on the game as well. While they have taken in rebels wounded on the Golan Heights and returned them to their units, there are reports of Israel aiding the Nusra Front with intelligence and even air strikes.
This week, an Israeli official bluntly warned that Hezbollah has amassed 100,000 short-range rockets capable of striking northern Israel, thousands of which could hit Tel Aviv. The rockets are said to be hidden in Shiite villages in southern Lebanon. Israel is preparing, writes the New York Times‘ Isabel Kershner, “for what it sees as an almost inevitable next battle with Hezbollah.”
As Hezbollah has been the most effective fighting ally of Assad, an Israeli war on Hezbollah could help bring Assad down. But, again, who rises if Assad falls? And who else, besides Christians and Alawites, starts digging their graves?
As one might expect, Sen. Lindsey Graham is all in. Late in April, he declared, “Assad has to go. … We’re going to have to send some of our soldiers back into the Middle East.” Graham is willing to commit 10,000 U.S. ground troops. “I would integrate our forces within a regional army. There is no other way to defend this nation than some of us being on the ground over there doing the fighting.”
Wednesday, the Washington Post laid out the game plan for war on Syria. While we cannot create a NATO with kings, emirs, sheiks, and sultans, says the Post,
[T]here is a way that Mr. Obama could serve both the U.S. interests and those of the Gulf allies: by attacking the Middle East’s most toxic, and destabilizing force, the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria. Syria’s dictatorship is Iran’s closest ally in the region, and its barbarity opened the way for the rise of the Islamic State. Recently, it has suffered battlefield reverses, in part because of increased Gulf aid to rebel forces.
If Mr. Obama were to … create safe zones in northern and southern Syria for the rebels, the balance could be tipped against Damascus and Tehran — and U.S. allies would have tangible reason to recommit to U.S. leadership.
Consider what is being recommended here. The Post wants Obama to bomb a Syrian nation that has not attacked us, without congressional authorization—to aid rebels whose most effective fighters are al-Qaeda and ISIS terrorists. And we’re to fight this war—to mollify ultra-rich but unhappy Gulf Arabs?
Obama must also “do more about Iranian aggression,” says the Post. But against whom is Iran committing aggression? In Syria, Iran is backing a regime we recognized until a few years ago, that is under attack by terrorist rebels we detest. In Iraq, Iran is backing the government we support, against ISIS rebels we detest.
Bottom line: A U.S. attack on Syria is being pushed by the War Party to propel us into a confrontation with Iran, and thereby torpedo any U.S. nuclear deal with Iran.
Cui bono? For whose benefit?
David Cameron is the most successful Tory Party leader since Margaret Thatcher. Yet history may also record that his success led to the crackup of his country, and Great Britain’s secession from the European Union.
How did Cameron’s Tories capture their majority?
First, they compiled a strong record to run on. More critically, they attacked the Labour Party of Ed Miliband as too far left to govern, and warned that a Labour government would be hostage to a secessionist Scottish National Party, without whose votes Miliband could never reach a majority in Parliament. Labour could not shake off the charge, because it was true.
The attack on the SNP as a subversive party secretly allied with Labour had an ancillary benefit for the Tories. It helped produce a SNP sweep of all but three of Scotland’s 59 seats. The Labour Party was virtually wiped out in Scotland, its northern bastion. How Labour recovers from this amputation is hard to see.
What does this portend for the United Kingdom?
To keep Scotland within the UK, Cameron has promised a “devolution” of tax and spending powers to the Scottish Parliament. But this will not be enough. For the Scots are going to be forced to sit in Westminster for five years and watch a Tory prime minister, acting on Tory principles, gut the social welfare state in which they believe. And, with Labour, the SNP will be helpless to stop it. This situation seems certain to stir Scottish demands for a new referendum on independence, which would have a far better chance of succeeding than the last one—it lost 45-55.
What does the SNP want? Retention of the social welfare state, British nuclear missile subs out of Scottish bases and Scotland out of the U.K. But Scottish nationalism is certain to generate a countervailing English nationalism.
Scotland’s demand for a divorce may soon find an echo in England. Which brings us to the party that won 13 percent of the vote, three times the SNP total, but only a single seat in Parliament.
This is the United Kingdom Independence Party, whose populist leader Nigel Farage resigned when he failed to win a seat of his own. Nevertheless, the UKIP and the anti-EU Tories, some of whom sit in Cameron’s cabinet, have been promised a national referendum on secession from the EU by 2017.
Consider how the interests of these parties will push them all toward an England that is free of the EU and of Scotland both. Unhappy with Tory policies, yet unable to alter them, the Scots are likely to create conflicts in Parliament that strengthen the forces of secession. Former SNP leader Alex Salmond, who won a seat in the Parliament, is promising it.
As for the Tories, with Scotland outside of the U.K., they would see a brighter future. For Scotland is lost to them, and in a U.K. of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, a Tory future is assured. As for the UKIP, its goal of secession from the EU would be easier to achieve if the pro-EU Scots are out of the U.K. and unable to vote in the referendum on Britain’s future. As for Labour, the SNP is now not only its dominant rival north of Hadrian’s Wall, it is a secessionist albatross draped around their neck in England. What good is Scotland to Labour now?
Yet the United Kingdom may be only the first of the nations of Old Europe to break up or break out of the EU. Should Scotland leave the U.K., this would surely set off a reflex reaction in Catalonia in Spain, Veneto in Italy, and Flanders in Belgium.
Moreover, the forces driving the European Union toward a breakup today seem far stronger than the forces for deepening the political and economic ties of Europe. In postwar Europe, transnationalism and globalism, the opening and erasure of borders, the transfer of power from nation-states to transnational institutions and elites, all seemed inevitable.
No more. Jean Monnet is passé. Now is the time of Marine Le Pen and Nicola Sturgeon of the SNP. Patriotism, populism, nationalism are the growth stocks of 2015.
Northern nations like Germany and Holland are weary of carrying what they see as the lazier and more profligate EU members of Club Med. In Greece and Spain, populist parties are fed up with the endless austerity demands of the Germans. Most of the countries of Europe have a secessionist party or an anti-immigration, anti-EU Party. Like Great Britain, some have both.
Across Europe, peoples are eager to recapture control of their borders from the EU and halt immigration, especially from across the Mediterranean, where war, terrorism, poverty and overpopulation are propelling north millions of Arabs, Africans, and Muslims who are failing to assimilate into European societies.
These Europeans seek to re-establish their independence, to build nations that reflect their true identity, something we Americans went to war for in 1775, when we, too, threw the cousins out.
In the first quarter of 2015, in the sixth year of the historic Obama recovery, the U.S. economy grew by two-tenths of 1 percent.And that probably sugarcoats it.
For trade deficits subtract from the growth of GDP, and the U.S. trade deficit that just came in was a monster. As the AP’s Martin Crutsinger writes, “The U.S. trade deficit in March swelled to the highest level in more than six years, propelled by a flood of imports that may have sapped the U.S. economy of any growth in the first quarter.”
The March deficit was $51.2 billion, largest of any month since 2008. In goods alone, the trade deficit hit $64 billion. As Crutsinger writes, a surge in imports to $239 billion in March, “reflected greater shipments of foreign-made industrial machinery, autos, mobile phones, clothing and furniture.”
What does this flood of imports of things we once made here mean for a city like, say, Baltimore? Writes columnist Allan Brownfeld:
Baltimore was once a city where tens of thousands of blue collar employees earned a good living in industries building cars, airplanes and making steel. … In 1970, about a third of the labor force in Baltimore was employed in manufacturing. By 2000, only 7 percent of city residents had manufacturing jobs.
Put down blue-collar Baltimore alongside Motor City, Detroit, as another fatality of free-trade fanaticism. For as imports substitute for U.S. production and kill U.S. jobs, trade deficits reduce a nation’s GDP. And since Bill Clinton took office, the U.S. trade deficits have totaled $11.2 trillion. An astronomical figure.
It translates not only into millions of manufacturing jobs lost and tens of thousands of factories closed, but also millions of manufacturing jobs that were never created, and tens of thousands of factories that did not open here, but did open in Mexico, China, and other Asian countries.
In importing all those trillions in foreign-made goods, we exported the future of America’s young. Our political and corporate elites sold out working- and middle-class America—to enrich the monied class. And they sure succeeded.
Yet, remarkably, Republicans who wail over Obama’s budget deficits ignore the more ruinous trade deficits that leech away the industrial base upon which America’s self-reliance and military might have always depended.
Last month, the U.S. trade deficit with the People’s Republic of China reached $31.2 billion, the largest in history between two nations. Over 25 years, China has amassed $4 trillion in trade surpluses at our expense. And where are the Republicans? Talking tough about building new fleets of planes and ships and carriers to defend Asia from the rising threat of China, which those same Republicans did more than anyone else to create.
Now this GOP Congress is preparing to vote for “fast track” and surrender its right to amend any Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal that Obama brings home. But consider that TPP. While the propaganda is all about a deal to cover 40 percent of world trade, what are we really talking about?
First, TPP will cover 37 percent of world trade. But 80 percent of that is trade between the U.S. and nations with which we already have trade deals. As for the last 20 percent, our new partners will be New Zealand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, and Japan. Query: Who benefits more if we get access to Vietnam’s market, which is 1 percent of ours, while Hanoi gets access to a U.S. market that is 100 times the size of theirs?
The core of the TPP is the deal with Japan.
But do decades of Japanese trade surpluses at our expense, achieved through the manipulation of Japan’s currency and hidden restrictions on U.S. imports, justify a Congressional surrender to Barack Obama of all rights to amend any Japan deal he produces? Columnist Robert Samuelson writes that a TPP failure “could produce a historic watershed. … rejection could mean the end of an era. … So, when opponents criticize the Trans-Pacific Partnership, they need to answer a simple question: Compared to what?”
Valid points, and a fair question.
And yes, an era is ending, a post-Cold War era where the United States threw open her markets to nations all over the world, as they sheltered their own. The end of an era where America volunteered to defend nations and fight wars having nothing to do with her own vital interests or national security.
The bankruptcy of a U.S. trade and foreign policy, which has led to the transparent decline of the United States and the astonishing rise of China, is apparent now virtually everywhere.
And America is not immune to the rising tide of nationalism.
Though, like the alcoholic who does not realize his condition until he is lying face down in the gutter, it may be a while before we get out of the empire business and start looking out again, as our fathers did, for the American republic first. But that day is coming.
Who killed Freddie Gray?
According to Baltimore prosecutor Marilyn Mosby, Freddie was murdered in a conspiracy of six cops who imprisoned him in a police van and there assaulted and killed him. The killer was African-American officer Caesar Goodson, driver of the van, who, with a “depraved heart,” murdered Freddie.
This is a summation of the charges against six Baltimore cops made Friday by Mosby, as she ranted into the TV cameras:
To the people of Baltimore, and the demonstrators across America: I heard your call for ‘No justice, no peace.’ … To the youth of this city: I will seek justice on your behalf. …
This is your moment. … You’re at the forefront of this cause and as young people, our time is now.
Mosby has cast herself as the avenging angel of those clamoring for retribution. But unless she has far more evidence than has been revealed, Mosby is talking a stronger hand than her cards are showing on the table.
For consider the captivity of Freddie Gray, step by step.
Making contact with a cop at 8:39 in the morning, Freddie fled, was caught with a knife, and put in a police van that made four stops.
On the first, the cops lifted Freddie off the floor and sat him down. On the second and third, they looked in on him again. On the fourth, they had detoured to pick up another prisoner. Mosby is charging that not only did the cops willfully ignore Freddie’s cries for help, but also the driver deliberately handled the van in so reckless a manner as to inflict a fatal injury, the severing of his spine.
But where is the evidence for any of this?
True, as Freddie had a legal knife, he had committed no crime and should not have been arrested. And the cops should have used the seat belt in the van to buckle in Freddie. But those are police failings, not police felonies.
And while Freddie should have been taken sooner to a hospital, did the cops know how badly injured he was? How could they have known—if they had done nothing to injure him?
And when and how was Freddie’s spinal cord severed? There appears thus far no evidence that five of the cops did anything to cause this. And no evidence has been brought forward that Goodson tried to injure Freddie by giving him “a rough ride.” The Washington Post reported that the second prisoner said that on the final leg of the trip to the police station, Freddie was thrashing around, possibly injuring himself.
Consider. In the Rodney King case, where there was film of his extended beating with billy clubs, a Simi Valley jury refused to convict any of the four cops. In Ferguson, Michael Brown sustained half a dozen gunshot wounds. Yet officer Darren Wilson was not indicted.
On Staten Island, 350-pound Eric Garner was seen on film being taken down by five cops in an arrest that led to his death, but none of the cops was indicted.
And there is far less visible evidence of any police crime in the case of Freddie Gray than in any of those three incidents.
The heart of the case against all six is that they denied Freddie the medical treatment needed to save his life. But where is the proof the officers knew how gravely injured he was, that he was in danger of death?
By going on national television and ordering the arrest of the six officers on charges that could mean the rest of their lives in prison, Mosby may have stopped the riots and calmed the crowds in Baltimore. But she has kicked this can right up the road into 2016.
For what is coming is predictable.
Thus far, Freddie Gray has been portrayed by the media as the victim of brutal vigilante cops. But, soon, those six officers are going to be seen as flesh-and-blood cops who may have blundered in not seeing the extent of Freddie’s injuries, but who are being railroaded by a malicious prosecutor pandering to an angry mob calling for vengeance.
While we have seen film of the arrest of Freddie Gray and his placement in that van, film that is inconclusive, what we are going to hear now is the other side of the story, the cops’ side. From now on, they will be the underdogs, and Americans love underdogs.
A nation already riveted by the Freddie Gray episode, already divided, will become more so, as we move toward the indictments, the trials and the verdicts.
In our deepening political divide, the left invokes the narrative that black males are all too often terribly treated by brutal cops, while the right sees tough policing as having cut crime to more tolerable levels and cops as the thin blue line between them and anarchy. The battle lines have been drawn upon which the “War On Cops” issue will be fought out in 2016.
As Pete Seeger sang, “Which side are you on?”
Had Freddie Gray been robbed, beaten and left to die in the streets of his Baltimore neighborhood, no one would be mourning him today.
No one would be marching for Freddie. No one would be using Freddie as the new poster child of “Black Lives Matter!” No one would care, three weeks later, but his family and friends.
It was the manner of his death, suffering a fractured spine in police custody, that makes Freddie matter. For he can now be credibly cast in the victim’s role in the great new narrative against America—that ours is a society of unequal justice where racist cops routinely brutalize black men and boys and are rarely called to account. In this narrative, the liberal is always the hero.
Hillary Clinton knows the narrative by heart and has rushed forward to cast herself as the champion of black America.
As the Washington Times reports, Hillary declared Wednesday she would help to end a “pattern” of cops killing black men.
“There is something wrong when a third of all black men face the prospect of prison during their lifetimes. And an estimated 1.5 million black men are ‘missing’ from their families and communities because of incarceration and premature death. …
“My heart beaks for these young men and their families. We have to come to terms with some hard truths about race and justice in America.”
We certainly do, Hillary.
She specifically mentioned Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. But Trayvon died when he was shot sitting on top of and beating senseless a neighborhood watch guy, “martial arts style,” and banging his head on the sidewalk as he screamed for help. Michael Brown died of gunshot wounds when, after knocking over a convenience store and throttling the clerk in Ferguson, Missouri, he tried to wrestle a gun from a cop, and, told to halt, charged the officer.
This latest great narrative against America—that the men in blue are a threat to us all, especially black America, rather than the last line of society’s defense from its criminal class—is but another big lie, rooted in a tiny truth.
Yes, some black men and boys are killed every year in clashes with cops. And, yes, blacks are incarcerated in far greater proportions and suffer, on average, more early deaths. But who is killing them? When black men and boys are shot to death, overwhelmingly, it is by other black men and boys. Their premature deaths are due to the violent culture in their own communities, not rampaging white cops.
As for incarcerations, every imprisoned male has confessed to or been convicted of a crime. And many of the drug charges for which blacks are in prison were a result of their being allowed to plea bargain to a lesser offense. Freddie Gray had a rap sheet of a dozen arrests.
Fifty years ago, Lyndon Johnson declared at Howard University, “We seek … not just equality as a right and a theory but equality as a fact and equality as a result.” In pursuit of equality of result there began one of the most massive transfers of wealth in all history. Trillions of tax dollars were plunged into programs of social uplift. The results in black America? Where the illegitimacy rate was 23 percent in 1965, it is 72 percent now, and the gap between black and white test scores endures. In the black community, the dropout rate, crime rate, drug use rate and incarceration rate are now far higher now than in 1965.
And one notices something else in America. The lawns are being mowed, potholes filled, ditches dug, fast-food served, dishes washed and buildings cleaned increasingly by folks who are newcomers. It is they who are, in Jesse Jackson’s phrase, “movin’ on up.”
Looking back to when LBJ’s Great Society was launched, and the moral, social and cultural revolution of the 1960s began, what has liberal ideology done for black America? Their work ethic has been eviscerated by an endless flow of social welfare benefits. Those benefits have often removed the incentive to find or hold a job, and the necessity to have a breadwinner, a father in the home.
The social and cultural revolution of the 1960s undermined the black churches and depopulated them of their young. The expulsion of the Bible and of all religious and moral instruction from public schools left black children defenseless against the lure of the lifestyles of gang leaders and rap singers. The conscience- and character-forming institutions that inculcated the beliefs and values that sustained black families through the Depression, the war and the 1950s have collapsed. Result: Many black neighborhoods are unsafe for those who live there.
Hillary’s answer: “It’s time to end the era of incarceration in America.” But how will returning scores of thousands of convicts to their home communities make them safer—not to mention ours?
Given how it all worked out, are we really ready for Hillary and another giant leap forward into Great Society liberalism?