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Updated: 2 days 17 hours ago

Mortality and Faith

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 04:58

[Order David Horowitz's new book, Mortality & Faith: Reflections on a Journey through Time: CLICK HERE.]

David Horowitz's 2019 Regnery Press book, Mortality and Faith: Reflections on a Journey through Time, is a big, chewy chomp into life's big, hard questions. Why are you here? What is "here" anyway? What happens after we die? How does death affect life? How does one find love, and what impact does love have on life? How do we survive the loss of those we love – those we lose to changing life circumstance, and those we lose to death? What role do fate, human will, or mere chance play in our lives? How to juggle being a member of the species that can land on the moon, while inhabiting a human body that can be reduced to helplessness when a blade, wielded by a surgeon in efforts to heal, cuts just one micrometer too far? And what about the whole God thing? And, related, but not identical, the whole religion thing? What have the great thinkers said about these questions?

Mortality and Faith is a series of vignettes. The reader travels through Proust's thoughts about love – Proust was "often attracted to people who had something in them of a hawthorn hedge in bloom." The reader moves on to Horowitz kvelling about his kids, to graphic, cringe-inducing details of prostate surgery, to even more cringe-inducing portraits of human cruelty to the most defenseless among us, animals and children. What do these diverse topics have in common? More on that below. Each vignette is recounted in Horowitz's cool, clear, precise prose. Horowitz is an intelligent author who writes with the assumption that his reader is as intelligent and deep as he. This book offers no promises that life's big questions can be reduced to cozy nostrums; no ten-step program to enlightenment, no secret Biblical verse that guarantees prosperity, no happy, Hollywood ending.

There are several audiences to whom I would like to assign this book. We tend not to talk about death as frequently as our recent ancestors, for whom the deaths of children and spouses were all too frequent and occurred at home and in full view. It astounds me when I meet people who have lived for decades without mourning a death. Horowitz marches right up to the Grim Reaper and stares deeply into its cold eyes. "Year by year, the skin parches, the sinews slacken, and the bones go brittle, until one day the process stops, and we are gone."

Sharing Horowitz's encounters inevitably prompts the reader to reflect on the deaths of her own loved ones, and her own inevitable sell-by date. I've lost two siblings in the past four years and four siblings in all. There is scant space in our culture for what those losses did to me. America is so focused on the future, on success, on happiness or at least consumer satisfaction. Reading this book caused me to cry, several times, and had I not read the book, I would have had no place else to shed those tears.

I would also like to assign Mortality and Faith both to hardcore liberals and conservatives who resist communicating with their ideological opposites. David Horowitz is a favorite boogeyman of the left. The Southern Poverty Law Center devotes almost four thousand words to a main page maligning him; in August, 2018, Visa and Mastercard temporarily blocked donations to the David Horowitz Freedom Center. In 2019, Twitter temporarily suspended him. "Horowitz has no friends left," Tablet magazine declared in 2012. Horowitz wrote in his 1996 book Radical Son that he was "the most hated ex-radical of my generation." In this book, Horowitz writes, "An army of haters is eager to distort my words and my life and do me damage whenever and wherever they can." His wife fears that someone may attempt to assassinate him. In my days as a leftist in Berkeley, Horowitz was spoken of in the grave tones that pre-pubescent wizards usually reserve for discussions of Voldemort. If George Bush was in the first circle of Hell, Horowitz, as an apostate, was way down below Ronald Reagan himself.

I don't know if Horowitz would appreciate my saying this or not, but Mortality and Faith is not a right-wing book. It's not a left-wing book. It's a highly human, vulnerable, searching book. How many men would be willing to describe in detail cancer and medical interventions that strike at a man's ability to get an erection, or to be continent? There are more things that unite us than separate us. Members of all political camps have families, fall in love, suffer setbacks, and confront mortality. "None of us are outsiders," Horowitz insists. "We are all headed in the same direction." Strangely enough, in a 2017 New York Times article, author Daniel Oppenheimer said, "We're all David Horowitz now." Alas, Oppenheimer did not mean this in a complementary or philosophical way. "We're all amateur political pundits, and we're all less willing to compromise," Oppenheimer concluded. I don't know about that, but I like the beginning of the quote, and it works for Mortality and Faith. Death serves the admirable end of reminding us that, in spite of our differences, we, like Ozymandias, all face the same ultimate fate. A right-winger, left-winger, or middle-of-the-roader could be moved by Mortality and Faith.

"It's all a waste," Tablet quotes David Horowitz as saying in 2012. Indeed, Horowitz opens his book with perhaps the darkest quote from Franz Kafka, one of world literature's least cheery authors, whose main characters turn into cockroaches and, though innocent, face endless trials. "The meaning of life is that it stops," Kafka wrote. The very next quote in Mortality and Faith is from Ecclesiastes, one of history's biggest buzzkills. Horowitz doesn't go with the famous, "Vanity of vanities; all is vanity … and a striving after wind." Rather he quotes, "It is better to go to the house of mourning than of feasting, for that is the end of all." You may not find yourself singing the 1977 Kansas hit "Dust in the Wind" while reading this book, but I sure did.

Chapter one of Mortality and Faith begins with Phil Horowitz, David Horowitz's father. One of the strongest emotions I felt while reading this book was sadness for this father-son relationship. Horowitz fils depicts Horowitz pere as trapped in the wishful illusions and false utopian promises of communism. It's as if an impenetrable yet transparent wall separates father and son. The son can witness his father, lost in toxic dreams, but the son can never rescue him. Any child of a parent who invested in self-defeating patterns, for example drug addiction, might relate. The urge to smash through the impenetrable wall and rescue the parent is palpable, but of course Phil did not believe that he required rescue. Rather, he thought he was the one who would bring Messiah-like rescue to others. "All our days together I wrestled with my father's discontent and tried as best I could to overcome it." That victory would never be enjoyed by David. His father "clung to defeats like an infant to its mother's breast." Phil's death offered David no deliverance. "On crystal days" that might allow a sense of joyful abandon, "the face I had both loved and feared [would] approach on the ether of memory … an impulse to please would swell like an ocean wave inside me, and I would look out on the roll of dolphins and pelicans, and welcome my lost father to a luxury neither of us could ever have imagined would be ours." But even in imagination, Phil could not be redeemed. Even in spirit, Horowitz can "map the frown" of his father's rejection. "There was never a chance he would accept my gift or enjoy its pleasures … In my father's house there were no mansions." Here Horowitz alludes to Jesus' promise to his followers that they will receive a reward in Heaven. This is one of many instances where messianic communism and other earthbound ideologies are juxtaposed with the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Horowitz travels from communing with his deceased parents' via their possibly imagined spirits to communing with prominent thinkers, including Fyodor Dostoyevsky, twentieth-century Chicago author and Nobel Prize-winner Saul Bellow, and the seventeenth-century French Catholic mathematician, physicist and inventor Blaise Pascal. I stopped frequently while reading Mortality and Faith to place orders for books mentioned therein, including Martin Amis's Koba the Dread, about Stalin.

Luminaries like Pascal – and he was hardly alone in this – were equally prominent as scientists and as believers, thus making a mockery of New Atheist dogma that science and Christian faith are mutually exclusive. Indeed, Horowitz points out that "the architects of the scientific enlightenment – Copernicus, Pascal, and Newton – were all religious believers. It was precisely their faith in a supernatural design that inspired them to search for an order in the cosmos." Pascal was brilliant, devout, and also wracked by horrible pain. "Do not pity me," his sister, after his death, quoted him as saying. "I know the perils of health and the advantages of sickness. Sickness is the natural state of Christians, because then one is as one ought to be, always under the privation of the pleasures of the senses, exempt from all the passions, without ambition, without avarice, in constant expectation of death … you have nothing else to do but to submit humbly and peacefully." One wonders, if Pascal really said this, if he was just trying to see the best in his difficult fate. Or maybe his sister was on to something. Pascal was lucky enough to be born into a family that rubbed shoulders with the likes of Cardinal Richelieu, one of the most powerful men in French history. And Pascal came to devote his life to the poor. Something – perhaps his own suffering – engendered in him a self-denying empathy. He died when he was just 39 years old. One guess is that he had stomach cancer that metastasized to his brain.

Pascal contributed to mathematics, the driest of the sciences, but he was also a mystic, who experienced a vision of God. He wrote in defense of the scientific method, preceding Karl Popper's "falsifiability" criterion by three hundred years, and he also wrote the Pensées, a defense of Christian faith. Historian Will Durant called the Pensées "the most eloquent book in French prose." Pascal was no mere theorist of the good. "I am resolved to have no other employment all my life than service of the poor," he said. He took in a poor family, who, alas, brought smallpox into his house. Though he was gravely ill himself, he told the family to stay and he tried to move out of his own home, to protect them.

Jane Muir, author of Of Men and Numbers: The Story of the Great Mathematicians, makes an astounding comment about Pascal. "If he had devoted more time than the few years that he did to mathematics and less to religion, he might stand out today among the truly great. He was well on his way to inventing the infinitesimal calculus and he probably would have if he had not had 'his eyes obscured by some evil sight' as Leibnitz later said." One sometimes encounters, among science writers, this kind of dismissive blindness to the value of Christian charity work and to exploration of humanity's spiritual horizons.

Horowitz recognizes Pascal as "one of the great poets of the human soul." Pascal gave the world "Pascal's wager," a cool calculation that encourages humans to believe in God; they lose nothing by doing so, and gain much. But he also gave the world "Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne connait point." "The heart has its reasons which reason does not know." In other words, even so impressive a mathematician as Pascal cannot run the numbers with enough skill to compel any given agnostic, including David Horowitz, to faith in the God Pascal encountered, and whom he described as "Fire. God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, not of the philosophers and the scholars."

When Horowitz was facing daunting surgery, thirty congregants of St. John Vianney Catholic church prayed for him. After Horowitz came out of the surgery well, he wrote that he wouldn't like to think that their prayers were responsible for his good fortune. There was a young woman at the hospital who "didn't come in from the parking lot where her husband might be waiting for her." Rather, she arrived in a wheelchair pushed by her mother, from the interior of the hospital. "Her eyes had already traveled to a distant space … I could not help thinking, each time I saw her, of the many lives I had been privileged to live in my span, and those she would not." The question Horowitz raises is, if God does answer prayer, why does God answer some prayer and not others.

If Horowitz had asked me, I would have suggested to him that he and his prayer warriors pray for that girl, and let her know that they are doing so. True, such prayer would guarantee no earthly outcome. Nevertheless, we are advised to pray, and to pray together. Even Jesus, facing a horrific fate he knew he would not escape, asked his companions to pray with him in Gethsemane. One message here is that we must pray even when all is lost, and that we don't always know prayer's ultimate benefit.

"Love death." Horowitz reports that 9-11 ringleader Mohammad Atta copied this instruction from Sayyid Qutb, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, into his own journal. Formulations like "love death" were there at Islam's founding. Mohammed's friend Khalid ibn al-Walid was known as "The Friend of Death." Khalid used to threaten non-Muslims, "I bring the men who desire death as ardently as you desire life." Sounds morbid, no? But are these rhetorical flourishes any more morbid than Pascal's praise of sickness? Qutb's "love death" was used to inspire men to murder. Pascal's appreciation of the uses of adversity inspired him to take in a homeless family.

Horowitz differentiates between Christianity, whose founder acknowledged that his kingdom was not of this world, and who adjured his followers to "render unto Cesar what is Cesar's" and Islam. Qutb said that Islam would "unite heaven and earth in a single system." "This is the totalitarian idea," Horowitz says.

Then there is the atheist totalitarian ideal, Marxism. "Human beings could achieve their liberation by worshipping themselves instead of gods. This was a flattery so great that it changed the world, leaving boundless carnage in its wake," Horowitz writes. In both the case of Islam and Marxism, an enemy must be identified, and the elimination of members of that enemy class is assessed as a moral good, since the enemy is understood as the expendable barrier between mankind and Utopia. Horowitz quotes Marx, "The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness." Note the use of the passive voice: "is required." The passive here makes it sound as if some disembodied arbiter of truth lays down the requirement that religion be abolished. But of course it is Marxists themselves who require this.

Compare Marx's anti-religion mandate to Mohammed's divine commission: "I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's Apostle." In Marxism, religion must be abolished. In Islam, religion must be established. Neither the Marxist nor the Islamic mandate cares about the person being forced to abandon or accept religion. His or her identity and personal choice are erased as unimportant, or are rendered criminal.

"The effort to redeem the future begins by making identity a crime," Horowitz observes. By this he means that totalitarian systems make selected identities criminal. If you are a property owner, or an infidel, or a heterosexual white American male, you must be reeducated or erased. But identity itself becomes a crime in the totalitarian worldview. That you dare be unique, that you dare have preferences and tastes and unique reactions to stimuli, that you wanted pistachio rather than vanilla or chocolate, that you wanted a red coat rather than a navy blue one, chokes the machinery, the bulldozer paving the way to Utopia.

I invite Horowitz to compare this attitude to Jesus, who said, "I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me." Marx and Allah impose themselves on interchangeable cogs. Jesus, God made flesh, the God who knocks (take that Walter White), the God who cherishes human individuality and human choice making, humbly waits for permission to enter, permission granted by an individual whose individuality and choice matter. Marx and Allah demand submission of entities whose only salient feature is their submission. Jesus says, "Let's grab a bite and hang out." We know how Marxists would respond to this attitude. Horowitz quotes Trotsky, "We must rid ourselves once and for all of the Quaker-Papist babble about the sanctity of life." Himmler, whom Horowitz does not quote, said something similar, "We must settle accounts with this Christianity, this greatest of plagues that could have happened to us in our history, which has weakened us in every conflict … We shall once again have to find a new scale of values for our people."

Of course Horowitz invokes the twentieth century's other totalitarian monster, Nazism. "Most of my family lineages end in 1939, the year I was born … the communities of Eastern Europe, of Moravia and Ukraine from which my ancestors came, ended up in the gas chambers and are now erased." "The more beautiful the dream, the more necessary and more total the crime," Horowitz writes.

Again, I advise Horowitz to consider the contrast between this need for purifying massacres with Jesus' words. In the parable of the wheat and the tares, Jesus quotes a farmer in whose wheat field some enemy has sown tares, or darnel, wheat's intoxicating, deadly poisonous "evil twin." The farmer's servants offer to uproot the tares. The farmer says, no, let the tares grow alongside the wheat. At harvest time, we will separate them. The message here is not "kill them all and let God sort them out." It is, "Let them all live, and God will sort them out at harvesttime," that is, upon death. Christians have interpreted this parable as instructing Christians not to massacre others just over disagreements.

But, but, the reader may protest. Certainly Christians, no less than Marxists, Jihadis, and Nazis, have participated in massacres. Indeed, yes, Christians have. And Christians have done so contrary to their own scripture. Other Christians have condemned them for that behavior, and have worked to correct it. These may seem like fine points to some, but consider Horowitz's objection to author and rabbi Joseph Telushkin's statement that evil springs from the refusal to recognize "the image of God in each human being." Horowitz dismisses the rabbi's words as a "saccharine bromide" and "folly." Horowitz cites Mohammed Atta and Satan. Wasn't Satan created in the image of God, Horowitz asks? (The Bible does not say so.) Horowitz also asks, didn't Mohammed Atta see other human beings as created in the image of God? The insistence that one loving, omnipotent creator God created man in his own image is a Jewish idea, inherited by Christians. It is not shared by the world's other religions, including Islam. Allah is unknowable. To say that man is created in Allah's image is blasphemous.

In Islam, infidel Christians and Jews are the "worst of created beings," Koran 98:6. Many Koran verses insist that Christians and Jews are not fit to be friends of Muslims. Hostility even to the basic humanity of non-Muslims is commanded repeatedly in the Koran and in hadith. Dr. Bill Warner points out that the language of Islam in dualistic. The Koran never speaks of humanity as a whole, but as a dyad, with good Muslims on one side, and low, disgusting infidels on the other. The Koran is remarkable among world scriptures for the amount of space it devotes to demonizing non-Muslims. Non-Muslims are "najis," ritually unclean, in the same category as corpses, feces, urine, dogs and pigs. So, no, Mohammed Atta was not raised with the idea that all men are created in God's image.

"If there is no God to rescue us, we are nothing," Horowitz, the agnostic, asserts. And so he moves on to Fyodor Dostoyevsky, the author who is credited with saying, "If God does not exist, everything is permitted." Dostoyevsky's work presaged the obsessions of twentieth century totalitarians. In Crime and Punishment Dostoyevsky describes a "radical vanguard" who "'seek in various ways the destruction of the present for the sake of the better.' The quest for salvation breeds a self-righteousness that encourages radicals to commit crimes that are monstrous." Here Horowitz implies that Christian theology combined with humility would have served as a corrective. "A God who becomes human and suffers in the flesh to redeem human sins is one thing; ordinary human beings acting as gods to purge others of their sins is quite another." If Jesus already has the salvation role cornered, his followers don't have to aspire to "save the world" through purges.

On the other hand, a Catholic who forgot that message is the villain in Dostoyevsky's Grand Inquisitor passage from The Brothers Karamazov. Dostoyevsky sprang from a family of mixed ethnicities and religions. He had Tatars, Orthodox Christians, and Polish Roman Catholics in his family tree. But Dostoyevsky consistently singled out Poles, Catholics, and Jews, for disdain. Dostoyevsky blamed Catholics for inventing atheism. Ironically, Dostoyevsky blamed popes for seizing territory. Ironic because Orthodox Russians participated in the late eighteenth-century territory grab that wiped Catholic Poland off the map. Poland was more westernized and had a stronger tradition of democracy than Russia. Poles engaged in armed uprisings against Russia during Dostoyevsky's lifetime, uprisings that were suppressed by Russian thugs with nicknames like "The Hangman." Horowitz is able to appreciate Dostoyevsky in spite of his anti-Semitism. That's admirable. Me, I cannot see Dostoyevsky's anti-Catholic writing as a worthy spiritual critique. I see it only as propaganda for Russian imperialism in my ancestral homeland, one my family left, my father told me, "Because the czars burned our books."

In any case, Horowitz admires "The Grand Inquisitor" passage from Dostoyevsky's 1879 novel, The Brothers Karamazov, finding in it insights into human nature and the appeal of the totalitarian. The anti-Christ villain of the piece, The Grand Inquisitor,  puts Jesus Christ himself on trial. "In giving human beings freedom," Horowitz explains, "God is the true source of their unhappiness, for 'nothing has ever been more insupportable for a man and a human society than freedom.'" The God who allows his creations to reject him torments those creations with free will. "By refusing to enter history and compel belief, God has condemned His children to live alone and lost, not knowing why they are here or where they are going, or whether what they do or who they are has any significance at all." Humans are willing to say to those who would oppress them, "'Make us your slaves, but feed us.'" Humans want not only food, but certainty. "'we shall have an answer for all … it will save them from the great anxiety and terrible agony they endure in making a free decision for themselves.'"

"You lead a charmed life," Phil Horowitz once said to his son David. David was at first taken aback by the comment, but he later assessed it more positively. In his assessment, he mostly attributed the charm of his life to his own attitude. He "embraces the good and buries the bad." I say it's more than that. Horowitz lost a great deal after his break with his leftist past. Yes, his own attitude helped. But luck or fate or maybe God played a huge role. He met a woman whom he could love, and who could love him right back. His children have achieved fantastic successes. All of this is described in the autobiographical and family vignettes that are interspersed with Horowitz's encounters with the great minds and their musings. The theme of other vignettes: the problem of evil, as embodied in fictional and true accounts of child and animal abuse.

Above I asked what these diverse vignettes have in common. Horowitz walks and talks with great minds about issues that vex any thinking person. He remains an agnostic. He's not sure there is a God, or an ultimate purpose to life. But he knows he loves his kids and grandkids, and wants a better world for them. He knows he's a very lucky guy to be married to his wife.

In reading the more personal passages, this reader was reminded of an observation frequently made about Jewish spirituality. When we think of Jews' relationship to God, we might think first of pork. We know devout Jews don't eat it. Food and the body: a Jewish focus. We think of a Jewish woman blessing the Sabbath candles, in her home, with her family. Home and family: another Jewish focus. "You're not Jewish till your grandchildren are Jewish," goes the old saying. Another saying, "'Two Jews, three opinions.' So believe what you want, because ultimately Judaism doesn't care what you believe, but rather what you do," wrote American Rabbi Baruch HaLevi. Judaism emphasizes mitzvot, singular mitzvah. Observant Jews follow the commandments; more secular Jews feel compelled to do "good deeds."

In his and his wife's generous aid to abused animals, including dogs and horses, in his commitment to and love of his children, grandchildren, and family members, no matter what spot they occupy on the political spectrum, in his engagement with the deep thinkers of the past and with the day-to-day concerns of this here-and-now world, and in his unfailing doing of good deeds, with no retirement from that in sight, Horowitz's life demonstrates the influence of some of the best aspects of traditional Jewish spirituality.

Iran Shoots Down American Drone

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 04:54

Iranian hardliners appear to be itching for war. In the latest of a series of provocations, Iran shot down a U.S. drone over what the regime claimed was Iranian airspace at 4:05 a.m. Iranian time on Thursday. This attack on one of the U.S. military’s most technologically advanced and expensive drones followed an attempt by Iran to shoot down an American drone on June 13th and an attack by Iran-supported Houthi forces in Yemen that succeeded in taking down an American drone on June 6th. U.S. military authorities have also charged that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was behind recent attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman near the vital international maritime waterway, the Strait of Hormuz.

Iran has denied that it was behind the oil tanker incidents. However, even Democrat House Intelligence Committee Chairman Representative Adam Schiff, a leading Trump hater, conceded that U.S. intelligence “is pretty strong here that Iran is responsible for the attacks."

Iran showed no hesitation in taking credit for downing the U.S. drone on Thursday. IRGC chief commander Major General Hossein Salami said that “the IRGC’s Air Force bravely downed a US spy drone, which had intruded our border, violating our national security. This is how the Iranian nation deals with its enemies.” He added that crossing Iran’s border into its territory is “our red line.”

The United States military denied the Iranian regime’s justification for its attack on the drone, claiming that an Iranian surface-to-air missile shot down the drone in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz. "Iranian reports that the aircraft was over Iran are false," said Navy Captain Bill Urban, a spokesman for the US military's Central Command. "This was an unprovoked attack on a US surveillance asset in international airspace."

As tensions are rising over the Iranian regime’s and its proxies’ escalating military provocations, Iran is also moving toward exceeding certain limits set by the nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The Trump administration exited the JCPOA last year and has imposed an escalating series of economic sanctions targeted against Iran’s oil exports and other critical industries. However, the other parties to the deal, including the Western European countries of France, Germany and the United Kingdom, have stuck with the JCPOA and promised Iran’s leaders that they would continue doing business with the regime. The Europeans have been working on an end run of the U.S. sanctions, based on a new bartering mechanism. However, the European work-around has not gotten off the ground. The Iranian regime is growing impatient, as it contends with the severe economic fallout from the sanctions imposed by the Trump administration. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani issued an ultimatum to Europe – either fix the problem created by the American sanctions by July 7th or Iran will increase its uranium enrichment.

Iran’s atomic energy spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi warned that the regime could quickly rebuild its Arak heavy water nuclear reactor to make plutonium, which can be used to make nuclear weapons. He also warned that the regime was prepared to increase uranium enrichment to 20 percent, which would be dangerously close to the capability to enrich up further to weapons-grade levels of 90 percent.

So far, the Trump administration has proceeded cautiously. Prior to Iran’s shooting down of the U.S. drone on Thursday, the administration had announced it was sending about 1,000 additional American troops to the Middle East to further bolster the security of American and allied personnel and assets. The administration had previously sent 1,500 additional troops to the troubled region in May, as well as an aircraft carrier strike group and bombers. The purpose was to deter Iranian aggression. The Iranian regime evidently has not gotten the message.

Iran is trying to keep its provocations below the threshold it calculates would trigger a full-scale U.S. military response that could bring down the regime. So far, the Iranian regime has gotten away with this strategy, despite the U.S. military build-up in Iran’s neighborhood. The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) has summarized Iran’s calculations as follows: “The Iranian interpretation of the U.S. moves as weakness has led Iran to escalate its provocations of the Americans, to the point of shooting down a U.S. MC-4Q Triton drone above the Persian Gulf today…In Iran's assessment, President Trump will not dare to act against it since war with Iran will ensure that he will not be reelected. Therefore, it can use force without fear, because Trump has no option but to submit to its demands.”

Following the downing of the drone on Thursday, President Trump tweeted a warning: “Iran made a very big mistake!” When asked about a possible U.S. response, President Trump said, “Obviously, you know we're not going to be talking too much about it. You're going to find out." Leaving himself some wiggle room, the president speculated that the downing of the drone could have been a mistake by “someone who was loose and stupid.” He added that it would have made a big difference if the lives of American military personnel had been involved. Meetings were held at the White House on Thursday to discuss the latest Iranian escalation, including a White House Situation Room briefing Thursday afternoon to which Congressional leaders of both parties were invited.

The president must set his own firm “red line” as to what constitutes unacceptable Iranian actions against U.S. or allied personnel and assets. Then, unlike Barack Obama, he must enforce his red line. President Trump needs to show the Iranian leaders and other adversaries that he means business with measured military responses relatively proportionate to Iranian provocations. Admittedly, figuring out the right type of response short of all-out war is easier said than done.

Retired U.S. General Jack Keane has suggested military escorts of oil tankers, as was done during the 1980’s. That is a good start, but it does not constitute a direct response to the downing of the drone. On the other hand, responding to the Iranian surface-to-air missile attack on the U.S. drone by launching large-scale missile or stealth bomber strikes against Iranian missile or naval facilities inside Iran would risk a massive counter response. We could see, for example, missile launches against multiple Israeli targets by Iran’s terrorist proxy Hezbollah together with Iran’s dispatch of its numerous militarized speedboats equipped with missiles and rocket-propelled grenade launchers against U.S. and allied ships in and around the Persian Gulf. Iran also has sophisticated air defense systems supplied by Russia to repel U.S. strikes, although Russian President Vladimir Putin refused Iran’s recent request to purchase an even more sophisticated S-400 system.

The Trump administration could launch what Bill Gertz, senior editor of the Washington Beacon, described as “an airstrike against Iranian air defense batteries located near the Strait of Hormuz that were involved in shooting down the Global Hawk drone.” The Iranian regime may choose not to escalate hostilities further against U.S. personnel or assets over such a limited one-off reprisal by the United States. The regime's leaders may decide that it is not worth running the risk of unpredictable consequences that could lower their own chances for survival. Then again, the IRGC hardliners may use the U.S. reprisal against any targets inside Iranian territory as their excuse to sharply increase attacks in the region against U.S. and allied interests.

Short of resorting immediately to any major U.S. military strikes inside Iran, the U.S. could still do damage to Iranian military facilities in more vulnerable locations. For example, the U.S. could coordinate with Israel in launching multi-pronged strikes on Iranian-owned military facilities in Syria that Israel has not already destroyed. If Iran does not get the message and chooses to escalate by, for example, attacking U.S. personnel, launching more missile attacks against U.S. assets, or seeking to close the Strait of Hormuz to any oil shipments by mining or other aggressive means, then a much tougher response will be called for. The Trump administration, for instance, could replay what the Reagan administration did in 1988 to respond to the Iranian regime’s mining activities in the Strait of Hormuz – cripple Iran’s navy. 

As usual, President Trump’s domestic enemies are blaming the president for the escalating tensions with Iran, not the rogue Iranian regime. Once again, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi decided to hold her own briefing for the House Democratic caucus with the discredited former CIA Director John Brennan.

The Trump administration is not responsible for the theocratic Iranian regime’s hostile acts. They hark back to the early days of Iran's Islamic revolution in 1979, when 52 American diplomats and citizens were held hostage for 444 days from November 4, 1979 to January 20, 1981. The Obama administration, hoping to tame the Iranian regime's nuclear ambitions, kicked the can down the road with its fundamentally flawed nuclear deal. The regime escalated its hostilities after the deal was concluded by launching ballistic missiles in violation of a UN Security Council resolution, continuing to sponsor acts of terrorism well outside of its borders, and humiliating captured U.S. sailors in violation of international law. The Trump administration decided that it was time to stop the charade and impose maximum economic pressure on the regime. Rather than change their ways and show concern for the plight of their own people, the regime’s leaders have dug in their heels.

If we remain resolute, the Iranian regime’s leaders will rue the day they decided to test the power of the United States and President Trump’s mettle.

Peaceful Death Threats

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 04:50

Were it not for my Mohammad cartoons, some Muslims believe that they would be peaceful, and they act as if my “terrorism”, (yes, they call my Mohammad cartoons “terrorism”) must be responded to in kind, with terrorism, even though they’re “peaceful”.

If you want to maintain your illusions that “Islam means peace” and that “99.9% of Muslims are peace-loving”, then my book, Peaceful Death Threats, is not for you, as you’re either a Muslim or you might as well make it official and become one. If you can’t imagine threatening to murder cartoonists over cartoons, then my book is for you.

Islam wasn’t “hijacked” by jihadists, peace was hijacked by Muslims. In my acceptance speech after I won the Mohammad cartoon contest, I asked the audience, “Why do you think we have this kind of security?”, and as the audience started to applaud, and even laugh, as they had a good idea where I was going with it, I said that it was because Islam did not mean peace. The Only reason any of us are talking about Islam is because it doesn’t mean peace. Islam hasn’t given us any reason to talk about it outside of our concern over it.

When a lone evil scumbag goes on a shooting spree in America, the “national conversation” is that it has something to do with America, that it says something about us, and that we all have to answer for it in some way. Only self-loathing leftists would define America by a small minority of evil scumbags. Yet when daily atrocities are committed by Muslims across the world, the “national conversation” crowd tells us that it “has nothing to do with Islam”, while also saying that we had it coming. They live for a chance to condemn America for things it’s not responsible for, and to exonerate Islam for things it is responsible for. These “national conversationalists” don’t want a conversation about Islam, about jihad, or about the truth. And the “national conversation” that needs to take place is about Islam and its calls for violence against non-Muslims. As for “nice Muslims”, especially those in the West, they embody Western values that they fancifully attribute to Islam, and it’s left to “mean” people like me to have to point that fact out.

The reason why many of us choose to define Islam by the behavior of its least devout Muslims is because devout Muslims who model themselves after their warlord prophet, Mohammad, are monsters. “But what about Muslims who support Israel and condemn jihad?” It’s not Islam that leads some Muslims to support Israel and condemn jihad. I give credit to these individual Muslims and their embrace of Western values, even though they themselves usually deny it, and falsely credit Islam. We need to stop pretending that the anti-Islam positions of some Muslims somehow derive from Islam. They don’t, no matter what these Muslims tell us, or what we tell ourselves. Like the so-called “Imam of peace”, he represents the West in his criticisms of Islam, and he’s naturally rejected and condemned by most Muslims, and embraced by the West. The best Muslims are the least Islamic, and the most Western. But of course, in this increasingly truthless world we’re living in, merely pointing that fact out makes me a monster.

In the summer and fall of 2018, I got a wave of death threats from Muslims the likes of which I’ve never experienced, and my life has not been the same. Thousands of Muslims from across the world, with many from Pakistan, threatened to murder me after I was announced as the judge for a Mohammad cartoon contest that Geert Wilders announced in the summer of 2018 (and which ended up being canceled). Many of the threats were monotonous and I couldn’t keep up with all of them, as they came from all corners of the internet, from social media, email, YouTube, my blog, and I even got audio death threats in Facebook messenger. So the “peaceful” death threats in my book are the “best” 400 of them.

I’ve been called a “dangerous” cartoonist, and Peaceful Death Threats has the potential to be my most “dangerous” book yet, as it will make it more difficult for some among us to maintain their illusions about Islam and its “peaceful” followers. My “co-writers” in this book are average, everyday Muslims who think it’s normal to threaten to rape and murder a cartoonist over Mohammad cartoons. They are not to be “understood”, but condemned. This book is a good document to show that Islamic culture, at large, is a problem, and that Muslims at large want cartoonists who draw Mohammad to be murdered, by their hand, or by the hands of their more devout co-religionists. All of the thousands of Muslims who wrote me death threats want me dead, and those who didn’t write me would likely celebrate if I were murdered, or at “best”, would “understand” why I had to die. “Not all Muslims”? Not One Muslim wrote me to say, “I may not like what you do, and I may even hate it, but you have the right to draw whatever you want, and you shouldn’t be threatened or killed over it.”

Not one.

When the Muslims who’ve threatened me hear of this book, what do you think their response would be that their threats were published, and that they inspired my 60 new Mohammad cartoon that are in my book? More threats. The threats in this book are from Muslim students, doctors, engineers, musicians, etc., and I think that will be a revelation for some, for those who still cling to the idea that it’s only “extremists” who are the problem, because seeing is believing. Seeing death threats along with the names and pictures of average Muslims might open some eyes.

After years of getting death threats, they’ve become white noise to me, in a way. They’re meant to scare me into silence and inaction, but I’m more likely to laugh at them than be terrified. But I do pause at times, at the casual, decadent evil of it all, and the mass support that it gets from far more Muslims than many would like to believe. What did Muslims do after the massacre of Charlie Hebdo? They callously ran over the dead bodies of the murdered innocents to defend Mohammad. Islam didn’t teach them to live and let live, despite whatever criticism came their way, Islam taught them that the answer to criticism is to silence critics, by any means necessary.

Regarding my new Mohammad cartoons in my book: I think it’s important to show Mohammad, the murderous figure who inspires Muslims to murder, alongside screenshots of the death threats over my Mohammad cartoons, which inspired even more Mohammad cartoons by me.

The threats in Peaceful Death Threats will be a revelation for some, and a confirmation for others. And to those who’ve dismissed me when I say that Hitler is Islam’s favorite Infidel, there were endless Muslims who expressed their admiration for Hitler to me, and I have a page of the “best” ones in my book, where I draw Hitler as Mohammad.

I’m well aware that most of these threats are just talk, however obscene that talk may be, but unlike members of other groups, Muslims are more prone to back up their threats with violent action, and so I take their threats more seriously than I do the threats of others. And some of them get very specific and personal. It’s one thing for Muslims to have their prohibitions, but it’s quite another thing for them to try to force their prohibitions on us. Since 9/11, we’ve waged war the way Muslims wage peace, and we’re gong to have to learn how to wage war, in order to have peace.

Peace.

The Most Anti-Conservative Company in America is Making a Big Move

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 04:32

"You better consider the economic consequences of your social and political advocacy," Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff warned conservative states.

It was 2016 and the smirking bearded billionaire was fresh off his war against conservative states, most notably Indiana, which had dared to pass laws protecting religious freedom against his wishes.

The portly billionaire with a scraggly beard and a social justice brand that covers his ruthlessness in his business dealings responded by announcing a boycott of Indiana until it backed off religious freedom.

That same year, the Hillary Clinton backer also decided to threaten the state of Georgia.

"Salesforce’s Marc Benioff Has Kicked Off New Era of Corporate Social Activism," the Wall Street Journal gushed. “Salesforce's Benioff is brave to fight for social justice,” the Telegraph twittered.

"CEOs have the ability to use their businesses as a platform for change," Benioff had declared.

Change is supposed to happen via the ballot box, and the corporate coup against representative government that corporate activism represents is a fundamental threat to a free country.

“The AR-15 is the most popular rifle in America.  Ban it,” Benioff had tweeted in 2018.

A year later, Salesforce, a dominant force in the CRM space, banned businesses that sell a variety of firearms from using its force. Salesforce’s war against the First Amendment had transitioned smoothly from a campaign against the Second Amendment using its power as leverage.

And that power and leverage are about to get a whole lot more so with the Tableau deal.

Estimates are that Salesforce’s acquisition of Tableau Software may increase its revenues from $13 billion to $22 billion. And, more significantly, make the social justice company even more dominant.

The $15.7 billion Salesforce bid will swallow up customers of Tableau, shut out competitors, and it’s expected that independent analytics may lose the ability to compete against this new behemoth.

The CRM (Customer Relations Management) market is already heavily consolidated with 10 vendors controlling 60% of the market. Salesforce dominates this market with a 25% share, up from 20% in 2016.

The anti-trust argument against Salesforce isn’t as straightforward as it would be against Google, Facebook or Amazon, which have far more dominant positions, but curiously it comes from Benioff.

In 2016, Benioff and Salesforce went to war, not just against conservatives, but against Microsoft.

Microsoft had just snapped up LinkedIn for $26.2 billion and Benioff, who had wanted the company, threw out all the stops trying to fight the deal, accusing his opponent of anti-competitive behavior.

“Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of LinkedIn threatens the future of innovation and competition,” Salesforce's legal honcho had argued. “By gaining ownership of LinkedIn’s unique dataset of over 450 million professionals in more than 200 countries, Microsoft will be able to deny competitors access to that data, and in doing so obtain an unfair competitive advantage.”

Benioff complained to Recode that a Microsoft executive was talking about combining all the data together to create "essentially a barrier to entry for other players in business productivity, where they have a monopoly or other markets".

That’s an argument against the Salesforce and Tableau deal.

Benioff’s bid for the EU to block Microsoft’s purchase of LinkedIn failed because, unlike Salesforce, its target had a very limited presence in the CRM marketplace. As the Commission noted, “Microsoft is a relatively small player in the customer relationship management market, where it faces strong competitors, such as Salesforce, the clear market leader, Oracle and SAP.”

A small player can’t be accused of trying to block innovation and competition. The biggest player can.

Indeed, the legal team representing Salesforce in the Tableau deal included lawyers from anti-trust.

Lately, Benioff has been quite enthusiastic about a government crackdown on the tech industry. "We are in a point in our industry where enough is enough, and we need to get the value straight with these tech companies,” he argued.

And he might be right.

But while Benioff wants to see a crackdown on his rivals and competitors, there’s no apparent reason why Salesforce should be exempted from the close scrutiny of regulators over its dominant position.

Benioff has urged that Facebook should be regulated “the same way you regulated the cigarette industry.” Why shouldn’t his own monstrous company be treated like the cigarette industry?

The radical billionaire is a major political donor. And some politicians will try to protect Salesforce.

Politico reported that Salesforce had funneled millions into Clintonworld, paying Hillary $450,000 for speeches, donating $6 million to the Clinton Global Initiative and hundreds of thousands to their foundation, and had lobbied the State Department, during her tenure, on its own business issues.

Salesforce and Benioff are savvy about getting what they want. But will Americans pay the price?

Meanwhile Benioff is signaling that he will double down on exploiting the power of Salesforce to serve his radical political agenda at the expense of ordinary Americans who are no match for his might.

The description for Trailblazer, his humbly titled new book, declares, “At Salesforce, the aim was to take decisions that were not only good for business, but also for society as a whole, and this book will show you how to make these positive steps. Benioff believes that, in future, the only businesses that will thrive are those that take an active role in making the world a better place.”

There are lots of ways to make the world a better place. Donate to charity. Clean up your block. But Benioff’s way of intimidating and crushing the civil rights of individuals has no place in America.

Regulations exist to prevent companies like Salesforce from gaining too much power over Americans.

The question is whether they will be applied or whether Salesforce will continue getting a pass while its victims, across the country, continue to suffer from the disproportionate power differential between Benioff’s billions and a small business owner in Indiana or a gun shop owner in Georgia.

Benioff remains confident that Salesforce can’t be stopped, but he’s been wrong before.

In 2016, he told the Huffington Post that he wasn’t worried about his candidate, Hillary Clinton, losing the election. “I don’t think there’s any way Donald Trump will be president.”

Donald Trump is president and as Salesforce embarks on its latest expansion, the administration has signaled that it is no longer going to give Silicon Valley a pass. Salesforce may not be the best known of San Francisco’s uglier dot coms, but those who have faced its abusive behavior know its name.

What’s at stake in the debate is whether the country is run by the voters or by Marc Benioff.

“Our government leaders tend to be a little weaker than they were, CEOs have to step up and be a little stronger and have a bigger voice,” Benioff had insisted.

As Salesforce grows more monstrous, its voice deafens the democratic process and it’s up to elected officials to show whether they’re going to be weak in the face of Benioff’s bullying or take a stand.

“The Salesforce CEO is a corporate bully,” Dan Forest, lieutenant governor for North Carolina, had warned.

Will the White House stand up to the bully?

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.

Trump vs. Che Guevara on Gay Pride—A Media Comparison

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 04:10

“Trump and his administration have repeatedly rolled back existing [LGBT] protections, especially for transgender Americans… This is an all-out attack on not only the rights of trans people but our very existence in the public square,” says Charlotte Clymer, an LGBTQ activist and press secretary at the Human Rights Campaign. “Never have transgender people been under greater threat than under Donald Trump and Mike Pence.”  (Time magazine.)

It’s really difficult to ascertain exactly what atrocities the Trump administration has visited upon America’s LGBTs to merit Time magazine’s outrage. But the Trump State Dept’s ruling that the Gay Pride flag cannot flutter alongside the American flag at U.S. embassies during this “Gay Pride month” has added much volume to Time’s wails of pain and rage.

“Who put a book by that FILTHY F*GGOT on my shelf!” snarled Che Guevara upon noticing a book on the shelf of the Cuban embassy in Algiers in December 1964. The disgusted Che yanked out the book by Virgilio Piñera and slammed it against the wall, while snarling more insults of the sort that would get any American political figure vituperated for life by such as Time magazine, and banned from all social media.  

Piñera was an internationally-famous gay poet who had somehow prospered in “fascist, racist, classist, macho-ist, etc. etc. etc.!” Cuba before its “liberation” and “progressive enlightenment” by the Castro brothers and Guevara as hailed by the world’s “progressives” practically en masse.

Whatever else we might say about Che Guevara, in this case at least, this genuine Russian colluder (in case some have forgotten what Russian collusion actually looks like) certainly put his KGB-trained torturers where his mouth was. To wit:

A year after Guevara’s tantrum against “filthy f*ggots!” the regime he co-founded began herding tens of thousands of Cuban men and boys into forced labor camps for the crime of fluttering their eyelashes, flapping their hands, wearing tight pants, talking with a lisp, listening to rock music, etc.

In brief, Guevara co-founded the only regime in the modern history of the Western Hemisphere to herd gays at gunpoint into forced-labor camps for the crime of being gay (or suspected of it). Many were tortured and worked to death in these slave-labor camps known as “UMAP,” where a sign at the entrance read: “WORK WILL MAKE MEN OUT OF YOU.” The sign at the entrance to Auschwitz read “WORK WILL MAKE YOU FREE.”

So what does this have to do with Pres. Trump, some might ask?

Well, the same Time magazine whose rage against President Trump rivals Guevara’s rage against Virgilio Piñera, hails Guevara in its “Heroes and Icons of the Century” category of the Century’s Most Important People, alongside Anne Frank, Andrei Sakharov and Mother Theresa.

“Aww, COME ON!” snort some amigos. “That psychopath mass-murderer and warmonger alongside Mother Theresa?! Humberto’s tricking us with clickbait here! I’m gonna prove him a fraud by checking this claim out with Snopes!”

Don’t bother. I’ll save you the trouble. Follow all links here for thorough documentation.

In fact, Sean Hannity’s former partner Alan Colmes scoffed too. When I pointed to Time’s classification of Che’s “heroism” as a classic example of the ignorance (if not outright insanity) of the mainstream media’s treatment of the mass-murdering terrorist, Colmes flat-out refused to believe me, smirkingly implying to his huge TV audience that I was one of those “typically right-wing Cuban-American crackpots!”

But he gaped (semi-)apologetically when I produced the documentation on his very show.

“Che Guevara was the embodiment of a man true to his word,” sighed yet another Time magazine encomium in 2011 by Dan Fastenberg -- a recent graduate of Columbia School of Journalism, I might add.

Alas, the “research” by Time magazine’s “gallant crusader for the truth” (Columbia School of Journalism’s term for its graduates) appears deficient:

“I am not a communist and have never been a communist,” was how Che Guevara gave his truthful word to the New York Times on Jan. 4th 1959. “It gives me great pain to be called a communist,” he continued truthing.

“Che was the embodiment of a man who never backs down and is willing to pay the ultimate price,” continues Time magazine’s enraptured Fastenberg. “After Guevara was captured fomenting revolution in Bolivia in 1967, he said, “Go ahead and kill me, I am just a man.”

In fact, on his second to last day alive, Che Guevara ordered his guerrilla charges to give no quarter, to fight to the last breath and to the last bullet. With his men doing exactly that, Che snuck away from the firefight, and crawled towards the Bolivian soldiers doing the firing.

“Don’t shoot! I’m Che Guevara! I’m worth more to you alive than dead!”

The details of Che’s capture are available in the official records of the men who captured him. Columbia School of Journalism graduates and Time “investigative journalists” are no more barred from reading those records than I am. These documents record this “embodiment of a man who never backs down” dropping his fully loaded weapons on Oct. 8, 1967 and whimpering: “Don’t shoot! I’m Che Guevara! I’m worth more to you alive than dead!”

But it was only after his (obviously voluntary) capture that Che segued into full Eddie-Haskell-greeting-June-Cleaver-mode. “What’s your name, young man?!” Che quickly asked one of his captors. “Why what a lovely name for a Bolivian soldier!”

“You are a very special person!” Che then commended the soldier’s commander, Captain Gary Prado. “I have been talking to some of your men. They think very highly of you, captain Prado!.. Now, could you please find out what they plan to do with me?....I don’t suppose you will kill me. I’m surely more valuable alive!”

His Bolivian captors viewed the matter differently. In fact, they adopted a policy that has since become a favorite among Americans who encounter (so-called) endangered species on their property: “Shoot, shovel, and shut-up.”

Justice has never been better served.

Don’t miss this rollicking (and thoroughly-documented, as usual) dramatization of Che Guevara’s surrender (and consequently of Time magazine’s shining Fake News credentials) during a YAF speech.  

Anne Marie Waters Video: Islam’s Cruel Animal Slaughter in the U.K.

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 04:05

Order Jamie Glazov’s new book: Jihadist Psychopath: How He Is Charming, Seducing, and Devouring Us.

Subscribe to the Glazov Gang‘s YouTube Channel and follow us on Twitter: @JamieGlazov.

In this new Anne Marie Waters Video, Anne Marie discusses Islam’s Cruel Animal Slaughter in the U.K., unveiling the sadistic and brutal non-stun methods such as Halal.

Don’t miss it!


And make sure to watch Anne Marie’s 3-Part Series on the Easy Guide to Debating the Useful Infidel, below:

For Part I: “Not All”.


For Part II: “But the Bible…”


Part III: “Nothing to do with Islam.”

Subscribe to the Glazov Gang‘s YouTube Channel and follow us on Twitter: @JamieGlazov.

The History of the Israeli Community of Ramat Trump

Thu, 06/20/2019 - 04:59

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.

At an elevation of over 2,000 feet, the road to Ramat Trump or Trump Heights at times appears to be climbing into the sky. The Golan Heights with its scrub and brush, the vast Mediterranean vistas, nature reserves and artsy cottages, interrupted by secluded villages with more livestock than people, could easily be mistaken for some rural part of California. But occasionally there is the distant sound of artillery or the sonic booms of Israeli or Russian jets reminding everyone that this is a war zone.

On the other side of the wineries and ranches isn’t California, but a murderous struggle between Sunni and Shiite Islamic terrorists battling each other and themselves for control of Syria. Factions on the other side include Iran, Al Qaeda, ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood. Ever since Trump won, the struggle has been dying down. ISIS has mostly been crushed. But the cows up here can’t count on the quiet.

The announcement that Israel would be naming a town after Trump, in appreciation of his recognition of the Golan Heights, was met with jeers and media cries that it would be an “illegal settlement”.

There’s plenty of history behind dismissing the notion of “illegal settlements” on land where Jews had lived for thousands of years. Ramat Trump will be under the authority of the Golan Regional Council based out of Katzrin, a Jewish village with an ancient synagogue dating back to at least the 4th century built by refugees fleeing the might of Rome, only for it and other small Jewish villages built on the Heights to encounter the Islamic invaders claiming the land not for the emperor, but for the caliph.

On the Syrian side, there are still jihadis hoping to invade and claim the land for another caliph.

The Democrats, activists and media hacks who condemned President Trump’s recognition of the Golan Heights and who denounce Ramat Trump as an “Israeli settlement” haven’t explained what they want to see done with it. Do they want to turn it over to the Sunni or Shiite jihadists? To ISIS or to Iran?

The calm waters and scattered stones, the massive clouds slowly drifting across the sky and the breeze rich with the smell of growing things, belie the many battles that have been fought here.

And may be fought yet again.

After the next Israeli election, Trump Heights will slowly come into being near the community of Kela Alon named after the oaks that thrive here and which were referenced by the prophets in biblical times. A more recent landmark is Petroleum Road, the remnants of a pipeline which once ran from Saudi Arabia to Lebanon. The pipeline and the road have long since become defunct. One day archeologists will dig them up to unearth their secrets. But for now, Petroleum Road has another secret to tell.

On Yom Kippur, the holiest day of Judaism, Syria and Egypt launched a surprise attack on the Jewish State. Some of the bloodiest battles for survival were fought here as a handful of Israelis held out against overwhelming odds.

On Petroleum Road, Lieutenant Zvika Greengold, 21, with one tank, held off an entire Syrian armored division. Greengold, who had been born in a kibbutz named after the ghetto fighters, destroyed 60 tanks in 30 hours of fighting. His tank was knocked out, his uniform caught on fire, but he never gave up.

Highway 98, off Petroleum Road, leads to the Valley of Tears. That’s the memorial for the Israeli soldiers who fought and died when 175 Israeli tanks stood against 700 Syrian tanks. Highway 98 isn’t just a road. The location was one of the objectives of the battle that left hundreds of enemy tanks in ruins.

Such lopsided battles defined the struggle for the Heights with outnumbered and overwhelmed Israeli forces building temporary walls out of enemy armor while waiting and praying for reinforcements.

The bloody lessons of those days have settled the question of the Golan Heights for virtually all Israelis.

The commanding heights that allowed Israeli forces to survive, to win battles by holding the line and preventing superior enemy forces from breaking through gaps, cannot be surrendered at any price.

You might as well have asked the 300 Spartans to surrender the Hot Gates to the Persians as to demand that the Israelis turn over the Kuneitra Gap and its lava beds to Iran’s proxies in Syria.

It’s been a long time since 1973. Old heroes have gone to their resting place. But the war waits.

Aside from the visit by Prime Minister Netanyahu and Ambassador Friedman to dedicate Ramat Trump, the area is quiet. The new community will rise out of an older community of Bruchim or Welcome. The symbolism is significant because when Bruchim village was pioneered back in the 90s, a furious Secretary of State James Baker had blasted Israel’s “provocative” actions in creating a “settlement”.

Three decades later, the few Soviet Jewish refugees who found welcome in these heights live quietly and provoke no one. Baker’s efforts at Israeli-Syrian peace talks not only failed, but were irrelevant. Syria, like much of the rest of the region, is not a country or a people, it’s a dictatorship welding together different peoples and tribes who would fight for dominance and independence any chance they get.

A deal with the Assad family is as hollow and meaningless as one signed with a drug cartel or Hamas.

President Trump’s recognition of the Golan Heights disavows the fantasy foreign policy of both Bush administrations and of the Obama administration. Trump is a realist and how better to honor him than to recognize the reality on the ground. That’s the message that dedicating Trump Heights sends. 

Israelis have brought American diplomats and politicians to the Golan Heights for generations to show them how vulnerable the country is. They all nodded their heads as if they understood. But none did.

Trump Heights is named after the only man in the White House who understood how important it is.

James Baker III had represented generations of the old Republican foreign establishment. His protégé, Condoleezza Rice had carried on his work under Bush II. But Baker’s closest equivalent in the Trump era, Rex Tillerson, another oil company man, was gone and replaced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pompeo is a realist not given to fantasy diplomacy, ambitious regional solutions or wishful thinking.

The old Arabist anti-Israel alliances have fractured and some of the Sunni Muslim oil powers would rather that Israel hold the Golan Heights than that Iran add another strategic region to its empire.

Trump Heights will not be a booming hub of commerce and technology. The Golan Heights are remote and not suited for huge bustling crowds. With 110 housing units planned, Ramat Trump will probably have fewer residents than most Trump hotels. Traffic will be light. And likely limited to tourists and artists staying for a while in the nearby cottages of Matsok Orvim or the Cliff of Crows.

But the vistas and the history here are too overwhelming for big buildings and shopping malls.

The Israelis who live in Trump Heights will not be wealthy. They will have few luxuries. But they will be determined. All Israelis live in a war zone. But some do more than others. All Israelis live close to heaven. But some heights are closer than others. The unyielding patience of history has formed the rock and dust here. And some of that quiet determination has made its mark on the land and the people.

The Heights are crowded with thousands of years of history, with the sounds of falling shells and screaming men, but also with a vastness of sky and earth that open the human heart to wonder. There are strange megalithic monuments that have never been explained, unexpected springs bounding from the earth, and massive waterfalls. And in the air is that intangible taste of a timeless eternity.

Leftists Have Always Lied about Auschwitz

Thu, 06/20/2019 - 04:48

On Monday, June 17, and again on Tuesday, June 18, freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stated that the "authoritarian and fascist" Trump administration "has established concentration camps on the southern border of the United States for immigrants, where they are being brutalized with dehumanizing conditions and dying." "Concentration camps are an institutionalized practice in the home of the free … a presidency that creates concentration camps is fascist."

I was a teenager the first time I visited Auschwitz. I grew up with one foot in New Jersey, and with one foot, through my parents' heartfelt stories, songs, recipes and reminiscences, in Poland and Slovakia. I met anti-Nazi and anti-Soviet resisters, victims of torture and rape, all members of my own family, when I was fifteen. I sat around the table and watched my strong, resilient, subsistence farmer aunts' and uncles' faces melt with shame and terror as they recounted Nazi, and then Soviet, occupation. I watched my mother, a monument to strength and stoicism, cry when she heard, firsthand, of the fate of her beloved Jewish neighbor who had saved her from drowning in the River Nitra. She had long known he was among the millions. She had read of his fate in letters. Now back in her village for the first time since her departure as a child, she just couldn't take it when they told her to her face, as she stood in front of what used to be his home.

After the visit to Auschwitz, I met both survivors of the camp and Polish citizens who had hidden Jews in their homes. These rescuers radiated a quality I can't quite capture in words but I can say that sitting in front of them and listening to them speak was comparable, for me, to sitting in front of Yosemite's Half Dome. These Poles, senior citizens in Soviet-era rumpled clothing, who spoke few and humble words, not lush vocabulary out of any epic saga but rather monosyllabic words focused on how to dispose of human waste without detection or how to manage to cadge enough calories while living under a genocidal occupation, conveyed the aura of massive natural wonders. These rescuers' souls seemed to have outgrown their human flesh and have already transcended to the ageless, the mythic.

It's the hardest country I've ever visited, but I kept going back to Poland, both in the flesh and in my publications. Several people whose parents had been in concentration camps became part of my day-to-day life. Some of these children of camp survivors are Jews, some are Poles, and some are Ukrainian. Another close friend is the son of a Nazi soldier who fought in North Africa with Rommel as well as on the Eastern Front, winning two Iron Crosses. Please forgive what I am about to say. People whose parents were in concentration camps are not easy. There is a raft of symptoms that all these friends, including the son of the Nazi, display. Touchiness. Paranoia. Outrage. Tilting at windmills. Self-sabotage. A terrible loneliness that can never be slaked. I love these people, I owe them much, and my life would not be the same without them. But they are not easy people.

All the survivors, rescuers, witnesses and children of survivors I know care about the suffering of immigrants. They care because they were all immigrants, of one kind or another, themselves. They all know hunger, bruises, humiliations, frustrations, and exclusion. They all, also, know hope and working hard toward a better future for the next generation.

I grew up a child of immigrants, and, inevitably, I went on to be an immigrant myself, living and working in Africa, Asia, and Europe. I held my mother's hand as she died, seventy-two years after her forced migration to America, and I can say that she never got over the trauma of that passage. She told me about walking to school along railroad ties because the ties hurt her bare feet less than the gravel between the tracks. She was barefoot so the "cardboard" shoes she received from the "Poor Board" would not disintegrate in her walk to school. She told me about being beaten by a nun who spoke Slovak but wouldn't speak it to her because it was her job, as a child immigrant, to sink or swim. She told me about the first time she ate that most American of foods, peanut butter, out of a half empty jar encountered while foraging in a garbage dump.

"Get me a Hunky; I need a donkey," was the refrain my father heard when showing up to be selected to tunnel his child's body into the narrowest passages of coal mines. "Hunky" was the word for immigrants like him. Beatings? Discrimination? Abuse? Tuberculosis? Unjust incarceration? Yes, all of those were part of my father's life, before he turned fifteen. Death? He witnessed death. His own father's death. I won't tell that story here; it's too hard, and it belongs to my cousins as well as to me, and I don't want to violate their memories. Let's just say that things were so bad, and his family was so hungry, that he joined the Army under someone else's papers when he was still underage. He fought in the Philippines and New Guinea and insisted that America was "the greatest country in the world."

So, yes, those of us familiar, even though handed-down stories from our elders about the Nazis, are also familiar with the burdens of immigration. This much we know. A decent person does not steal the vocabulary of one horror to discuss the discomforts and inconveniences, or even the heartbreaks and tragedies, of the other. As horrific as the black lung, the police chases, the incarceration, and the death all were, they were not those horrors as lived in Auschwitz, which was an experience so cursed you don't use the same vocabulary when speaking of the one about the other. You just do not do that.  

The term "concentration camp" existed before the Holocaust, and pre-Holocaust governments have set up what were called, at the time, concentration camps. During the 1899-1902 Boer War between Boers, or Dutch-speaking South Africans and the British Empire, the Empire drove Boers into concentration camps. Approximately 28,000 Boers, that is 25%, of Boers in these camps, and 10% of the overall Boer population, died of hunger and disease. Twenty thousand black South Africans also died.

No one objects to the use of the term "concentration camp" for discussion of the Boer War, or other pre-Holocaust atrocities. Why, then, do we express such revulsion when Ocasio-Cortez claims "concentration camp" to discuss facilities to house illegal immigrants?

The answer is obvious. The answer is history. In the same way that the word "apple" is heard differently in the post-Steve-Jobs world, the term "concentration camp" is heard differently in the post-Auschwitz world. To pretend otherwise is disingenuous. And to pretend otherwise is to camouflage a very real leftist agenda.

The left itself has a doctrine that should, if followed, obviate this lie. It's the doctrine of cultural appropriation. You do not take the cultural inheritance of another group and claim it as your own. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez knows about this doctrine. She was blasted for violating it on April 5, 2019, when giving a speech to Al Sharpton's National Action Network. Ocasio-Cortez, in an attempt to curry favor with her mostly African American audience, adopted a faux Ebonics rhythm and syntax. All leftist cultural appropriation stories are ridiculous; it's difficult to pick which is most exemplary of the trend. Perhaps Lena Dunham fretting over Oberlin college students' sushi consumption. Perhaps the height, or depth of cultural appropriation sermonizing took place after Keziah Daum, a Utah high school student, wore a Chinese-style dress to her prom and posted the photo on social media. In a frequently retweeted twitter post, Jeremy Lam accused 18-year-old Keziah Daum of colonizing Asians.

Since leftists preach against cultural appropriation, why are leftists now trying to appropriate the term "concentration camp" to talk about immigration? One of the most disturbing, and obvious, trends in today's Democratic Party is anti-Semitism. Not all Democrats are anti-Semites, but Congressional Democrats surrendered to the anti-Semites in their midst when, on March 7, 2019, they failed to sanction freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar for her frequent and egregious expressions of anti-Semitism. Ocasio-Cortez made it a point to support Omar in the midst of that controversy. Ocasio-Cortez was also happy to mouth anti-Semitic tropes, tropes she clearly did not understand and could not support when exposed to questioning. In a July 17, 2018 appearance on PBS's Firing Line, Ocasio-Cortez said she objects to "the occupation of Palestine" and a "humanitarian crisis." When questioned what she meant by these terms, she collapsed, laughing, acknowledging, "I am not the expert on geopolitics … Middle Eastern politics was not exactly at my kitchen table every night." Why the Democratic Party is currying favor with anti-Semites is a topic for another piece, but that toadying is on display for all to see. Ocasio-Cortez's attempt to claim the term "concentration camp" for her very own is part of that agenda.

And there's more. Leftists have always lied about the Holocaust. I saw those lies firsthand, during my visit to Auschwitz. In those Soviet days, visitors were shown a film. I watched the Polish language version of the film. I listened for the word "Jew" – "Zyd." I never heard it. What I do remember hearing, over and over, was the term "victims of fascism." I recognized that I was being propagandized. I wondered how many viewing this film would not recognize that. "After the war internal politics led the Soviet leadership to erase the Holocaust from historical memory," writes historian John Klier in "The Holocaust and the Soviet Union." Soviet Russia and its satellite states systematically lied about the Holocaust from the end of the war till its toppling in 1989. Communists inflated the numbers of those killed at Auschwitz. They did so in order to minimize the number of Jews murdered there. Soviet Russians called Auschwitz "the ultimate capitalist factory where the workers were dispensable." "One of the least appealing aspects of the Soviet analysis of Auschwitz, now and later, was the downplaying of the scale of suffering endured by Jews." This downplaying constituted "a rift in historical interpretation between East and West concerning the operation of the camps that would not be resolved until the fall of Communism," writes Laurence Rees in Auschwitz: A New History. This downplaying of Jewish suffering occurred throughout the Soviet Empire. Thomas Haury writes that East Germany, "emphasized the workers, the party, and the Soviet population as having suffered most from National Socialism. The genocide of the European Jews was only one crime among many, to which the GDR hardly paid attention." Jews were also accused of crimes said to be "just as bad as the Holocaust." "Not only Holocaust deniers but also communists used Holocaust Equivalence early, aiming at Jews. In 1953, the Soviet Union's daily Pravda published alleged information about a conspiracy of mainly Jewish doctors to kill communist leaders through wrong diagnoses and sabotage in treatment," writes Georg von Rauch. Romanian textbooks emphasized Romanian suffering and downplayed Jewish deaths. People often criticize Poles for their apparent lack of awareness of Holocaust history. After all, Poland was the site of many concentration and death camps. But Poles, too, were taught a Holocaust history consciously distorted by Communism, and it is only post-1989 that Polish historians have been able to tell their own country's story without that distortion dominating their work. When perusing a Soviet-era history book about WW II, or watching a Soviet-era film about the liberation of Auschwitz, or listening to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's justifications for using the term "concentration camp," one must remember this core principle: "The truth is that which serves the party."

Czeslawa (ches WAV ah) Kwoka was a 14 year old Polish Catholic girl. She was murdered in Auschwitz. Wilhelm Brasse, as his name suggests, had some Germanic ancestry. But he was born in Poland and he self-identified as Polish. After the Nazis invaded, the SS "invited" Brasse to identify as German. He declined, and he was sent to Auschwitz, where he was forced to photograph prisoners. Later he was ordered to destroy those photos. Through subterfuge, he saved many of the photos.

Brasse took the photograph we have of Czeslawa Kwoka. He described the process to an interviewer, who said that Brasse trembled while speaking. "She was so young and so terrified. The girl didn't understand why she was there and she couldn't understand what was being said to her. So this woman Kapo took a stick and beat her about the face. This German woman was just taking out her anger on the girl. Such a beautiful young girl, so innocent. She cried but she could do nothing. To tell you the truth, I felt as if I was being hit myself but I couldn't interfere. It would have been fatal for me. You could never say anything."

I do not begrudge anyone the compassion they feel for immigrants. I do not begrudge anyone for actually extending aid to immigrants. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her leftist allies are not expression compassion, and they are not helping anyone, by appropriating the term "concentration camp." Rather, they are appropriating cultural material that does not belong to them, and that no decent person would want. They are doing this as part of the left's current and growing anti-Semitic program. Stalin, we are told, said that one death was a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic. If the deaths of the eleven million leave Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her allies cold, I ask them to look into the face of Czeslawa Kwoka, who was murdered at 14 because she was the wrong ethnicity.

Immigration Madness

Thu, 06/20/2019 - 04:45

Former Virginia state attorney Ken Cuccinelli has become acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The new USCIS boss warns that “If the sponsored immigrant receives any federal means-tested public benefits, the sponsor will be expected to reimburse the benefits-granting agency for every dollar of benefits received by the immigrant.” This got Cuccinelli tagged as extremist, when it shouldn’t even be news.

This writer spent childhood stints in Alliance, Ohio, and Detroit, Michigan, but as an adult when I sought to reside in the United States, the government imposed certain requirements. I had to certify that I would not become a public charge, a burden on American taxpayers. I never became a public charge and neither did any member of my family.

So this writer tends to look askance at the acceptance of thousands of people, most of them with few if any job skills, who violate U.S. immigration law for the express purpose of gaining publicly funded benefits. Their sponsors, or home countries, should be on the hook for those costs. And as this legal immigrant sees it, those who accept public benefits should be disqualified from citizenship.

When entering the United States, this writer had to certify that he had a working knowledge of the English language. So this writer is not pleased by thousands of people crashing the border with no knowledge of English and no intention of learning. These illegals are not like other immigrant groups, who never thought they had a claim to the southwestern United States, that they were only entering their own country, and that they are some kind of superior race, as Mexican education minister Jose Vasconcelos wrote in La Raza Cosmica.

When this writer entered the United States, he had to certify that he was not a member of the Communist Party. Despite some decidedly leftist ancestors, and capers during the 1960s, I wasn’t. So this writer rejects the concept of admitting anybody about whom we know nothing at all.

When this writer entered the country, the United States government did not provide him with health care, and he received no reward for following the legal process. So this legal immigrant is less than thrilled about California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to grant government-paid health care to people who violated U.S. immigration law, who use false documents, commit identity theft, and who received taxpayer funded benefits in other forms.

When this legal immigrant entered the United States, he was issued a Green Card and required to register yearly as a resident “alien.” So don’t tell me that no human being is an “alien,” but there’s more to it.

As a legal alien, this writer could not vote in U.S. elections. So this legal immigrant takes a dim view of California registering more than one million illegals to vote through the DMV’s “motor voter” plan. How many actually voted in 2016 and 2018? State officials won’t say, but this legal immigrants believes they all voted for the party that gives sanctuary to illegals, even violent criminals. That is, the Democrat Party, and this legal immigrant believes that the “free” health care handout is an open reward for the illegal votes.

If this writer had committed crimes in his native Canada, that would likely have prevented his legal entry to the United States. If the legal immigrant committed a crime, that could have nixed the quest for citizenship. If he had committed a crime, he would not expect police and judges to aid his escape. Therefore, this legal immigrant finds rather startling the protections accorded to violent criminals who violated U.S. immigration laws. 

For example, on May 4, drunken illegal Ismael Huazo-Jardinez crashed his truck into a residence in Knight’s Landing, California, taking the lives of Jose Pacheco, 38, Anna Pacheco, 34, and their 10-year-old son Angel. Incredibly enough, Sutter County judge David Judge Ashby granted bail to a triple manslaughter, felony DUI suspect who had already attempted to flee the scene.

Nearly a month later, it emerges that the previously deported Mexican national also had two stolen firearms, more than two dozen cell phones, and $12,000  in cash. He was attempting to flee and would have got away if ICE had not arrested him. And it was this writer, not the establishment media, who broke the story that the Mexican national was illegally present in the United States.

So this legal immigrant is good with Ken Cuccinelli’s plan to recover costs from the sponsors of illegals who use public services. I would also tax the $33 billion in remittances that Mexicans sent back last year, and charge Mexico and other countries for the incarceration, education and health care American taxpayers provide to their nationals. This legal immigrant supports the president’s plan to step up deportations, along with the right of all people to dream in their own country.

Meanwhile, the only people we should let in are those we want to be here, and this legal immigrant is also okay with a wall. If these views displease anybody, set up a pay-per-view and we’ll talk it over.

New York Will Provide Illegal Aliens With Driver’s Licenses

Thu, 06/20/2019 - 04:30
On June 18, 2019 The New York Daily News reported, Cuomo signs bill granting undocumented immigrants access to New York driver’s licenses despite 11th-hour concerns.
 
Incredibly the concerns were not about how this might impact national security, public safety or the immigration crisis on the border, but about how information in the DMV databases might help the federal government to enforce immigration laws and what needs to be done to prevent this from happening!
 
This is not the first time that the New York State legislature attempted to provide driver’s licenses for illegal aliens but this time this dangerous and wrong-headed legislation has become the law of the state.
 
Back in 2007 then-New York State’s Governor Spitzer pushed for similar legislation that would have provided illegal aliens with driver’s licenses.
 
I testified before the New York State Senate on October 15, 2007 on that issue in which I voiced by extreme opposition to the legislation.  
 
When I addressed the hearing I noted that the preposterous claim made by proponents for issuing driver’s licenses, and an argument that was used during the most recent debate, is that since illegal aliens will drive “anyway” (with or without a license), a license would enable them to get insurance and they would learn to drive more safely.  I told them that by that reasoning the State of New York should provide convicted felons with firearms training and carry permits since it is likely that they would also violate the laws and carry guns “anyway.”  I then said that with proper training the criminals could improve their accuracy and thus would be less likely to hit innocent bystanders in a gun battle.  Further, perhaps through training, they could be convinced to use trigger locks between bank robberies and drive-by shootings.  With my tongue firmly embedded in my cheek I suggested that this would improve public safety immeasurably. 
 
You can imagine their reactions!
 
The concerns I included in my prepared testimony then, is as relevant today, as it was then, with one additional critical factor. 
 
In the nearly 12 years since that hearing, while there have been no terror attacks carried out by international terrorists that involve the hijacking of airliners. there have been a string of deadly mass casualty terror attacks around the world and in the United States that involved terrorists using motor vehicles as weapons.
 
On June 14, 2019 the Justice Department announced the sentencing of a citizen of Yemen for his terrorist activities:  New York Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Attempting to Join ISIS in Yemen
 
The press release included this paragraph:
 
Following his return to the United States in September 2015, Naji continued to express his support for ISIS and violent jihad.  In July 2016, following the ISIS-inspired terrorist truck attack in Nice, France, that killed scores of innocent civilians, Naji told the CS how easy it would be to carry out a similar attack in Times Square, explaining that ISIS “want[s] an operation in Times Square” and stating that an ISIS “reconnaissance group . . . put up scenes of Times Square.” 
 
 Naji further explained, “if there is a truck, I mean a garbage truck and one drives it there to Times Square and crushes them . . . Times Square day.” 
 
Terrorists have also used vehicles such cabs and passenger vans to conduct clandestine meetings and as a means of conducting covert surveillance on potential terror targets.
 
The TSA was created in the aftermath of the terror attacks of 9/11 and funded to the tune of billions of dollars.  It currently employs more than 45,000 people and  maintains and uses so-called “No Fly Lists” to help prevent terrorists from gaining access to airliners.
 
Yet there are no “No Drive Lists” to prevent terrorists from being able to access cars and trucks.
 
Perhaps the efforts to enhance security in the commercial aviation sector has paid off or, perhaps, the terrorists have simply shifted their methodology.  In any event the use of motor vehicles as weapons has prompted cities to install numerous physical barriers to protect against such attacks but few barriers exist to prevent terrorists from gaining access to motor vehicles.
 
On August 20, 2018 CNN provided a synopsis of such attacks in an article, Terrorist Attacks by Vehicle Fast Facts.
 
Terrorists who have a driver’s license don’t only pose a risk to those who live in the state where their license was issued.  Terrorists can simply rent a car in New York and drive anywhere in the U.S. or travel to any other state and use their New York driver’s license to rent a car in any other state.
 
Now New York State, the state that by far, suffered the greatest devastation on September 11, 2001 and has suffered other terror attacks including one that involved a truck used to run down people on the bicycle path just blocks from the World Trade Center, will enthusiastically provide illegal aliens with driver’s licenses.
 
My dad taught me to drive.  When he handed me the keys to our family car he told me that a car could be more lethal than a gun.  And as we have seen all too frequently that statement is accurate, dead accurate.
 
Continuing with my dad’s comparison of guns and cars, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) is a federal law that prohibits certain individuals from possessing firearms that includes:
 
(5) who, being an alien- (A) is illegally and unlawfully in the United States; or (B) except as provided in subsection (y)(2), has been admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa (as that term is defined in section 101(a)(26) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(26)))
 
The penalty for violation of this law is a maximum of 10 years in jail.
 
New York City Penal Code similarly prohibits non U.S. citizens (aliens) from possessing firearms.
 
Why then should illegal aliens be given the privilege of driving motor vehicles when their very presence in the United States is a violation of law and we may never know their true identities?
 
Drivers licenses,  however, convey more than the authority to drive motor vehicles.
 
Illegal aliens, criminals, fugitives and terrorists seek to acquire identity documents such as driver’s licenses, particularly in false names to conceal their true identities and their movements and provide them with an illusion of legitimacy to which they are certainly not entitled.
 
My earlier article, Immigration And The Unlearned Lessons Of 9/11, included the link to an important New York Times article, Roosevelt Avenue, a Corridor of Vice that reported on the nexus between illegal immigration, crime (including human trafficking, prostitution, narcotics) and the use of false identity documents primarily by illegal aliens.
 
“Undocumented Immigrants” generally have no authentic and reliable means of identifying themselves.  The New York Times article noted how important it was for the NYPD to shut down the fraud document vendors because of the dangers associated with providing such individuals with identity documents .  However, for local officials to provide illegal aliens with authentic driver’s licenses directly violates the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission which were behind the creation of the REAL ID Act.
 
It is all but impossible for state or local officials to properly determine the true identifies of “undocumented” aliens.  Thus illegal aliens would be able to easily game the licensing procedures to acquire an actual driver’s license in false identities making the DMV no better than the fake document vendors who ply their trades in communities across the United States as described in the New York Times I noted above.
 
It is remarkable that on August 4, 2004 MSNBC published an NBC report: 9/11 report light on ID theft issues that included this paragraph:
 
But in the nation's most comprehensive look yet at what went wrong on Sept. 11., and what can be done to prevent the next terrorist attack, identity theft gets scarce mention. Buried deep within the 9/11 commission report — on about 10 pages, starting with page 393 — are suggestions for dealing with the deeply connected problems of terrorism and identity fraud.
 
Then there was this disconcerting paragraph:
 
Terrorism and identity theft go hand in hand, experts say.  The al-Qaida training manual includes provisions for trainees to leave camp with five fake personas, says Collins, who uses a copy of the manual to train law enforcement officials. Terrorists are regularly schooled in the art of subsisting off credit card fraud while living in the United States, Collins said.
 
In the hands of an illegal alien, a driver’s license may well become a license to kill.
 

Trump-Haters Salivating Over Supreme Court Double Jeopardy Decision

Thu, 06/20/2019 - 04:25

The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution includes a guarantee that no person shall “be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.” The U.S. Supreme Court decided by a 7 to 2 vote, announced on Monday, that this double jeopardy clause does not apply to an individual who is prosecuted for the same alleged criminal conduct in the courts of different sovereigns, including federal and state courts. In the case before the Court, the defendant had pleaded guilty to violating a state law against gun possession by someone previously convicted of “a crime of violence.” After his guilty plea to the state offense, federal prosecutors indicted the defendant for the same instance of gun possession under a federal law, presumably to exact a longer sentence than was imposed by the state court for the same thing.

Trump-haters are likely salivating because of this decision. They are relishing the prospect of Trump associates, pardoned in the future by the president for federal crimes, facing criminal trial in state courts for the same underlying criminal conduct, not to mention the increased jeopardy that Mr. Trump himself will face for his own alleged conduct after he leaves office. Even if he resigns before the end of his term so that Vice President Mike Pence can assume the presidency in time to pardon Mr. Trump for any federal criminal violations, he will still be subject to prosecution for state crime violations based on the same alleged conduct for which he was pardoned at the federal level. There are plenty of state prosecutors itching for the chance to put Mr. Trump in jail, egged on by Trump-hating Democrats and the media.

However, whatever impact the Supreme Court double jeopardy decision may have on Mr. Trump and his associates, the longer-term impact of the decision for Americans’ civil liberties should be of significant concern to all freedom-loving Americans. Under the Supreme Court’s reasoning taken to its extreme, an individual could be tried for the same criminal conduct at the federal level and in 49 states where he or she is repeatedly acquitted, but still found guilty in the 50th state so long as it has its own law covering the same conduct.

The majority opinion, written by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., reasoned that since the federal and state governments constitute separate sovereigns, each with its own separate law that may cover the same underlying conduct, each sovereign can prosecute for an “offence” against its own law. This is known as the separate-sovereigns doctrine. Justice Alito wrote that there was support for this conclusion from the text of the Fifth Amendment itself, and from the history surrounding the meaning of the word “offence” as it was understood under centuries-old English law and materials that were contemporaneous with the founding of the United States and the drafting of the Constitution. Most importantly, Justice Alito wrote, there was “a chain of precedent linking dozens of cases over 170 years” that have interpreted the Fifth Amendment’s double jeopardy clause as inapplicable to successive prosecutions for the same conduct at the federal and state levels of government.

The Court’s most liberal justice, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and one of the Court’s most conservative justices, Neil M. Gorsuch, filed dissents. Although Justice Clarence Thomas ultimately decided to side with the majority despite his earlier skepticism regarding the separate-sovereigns doctrine, he warned against giving too much weight to precedents if they were wrongly decided. This is one case in which the majority, including Justice Thomas himself, should have taken Justice Thomas’s advice and overruled the bad precedents rather than perpetuate them.

After noting that the double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment protects individuals from being “twice put in jeopardy” “for the same offence,” Justice Alito wrote that “same offence” does not mean the same thing as “the same conduct or actions,” quoting from a dissent by the late Justice Scalia. What is more, Justice Alito argued, “the same offence” is a legal term that is “sovereign-specific.” Violations of a federal law and of a state law covering the same underlying criminal conduct are not the same “offence” because there are separate violations of separate sovereigns’ laws.

“As originally understood…an ‘offence’ is defined by a law,” Justice Alito wrote, “and each law is defined by a sovereign. So where there are two sovereigns, there are two laws, and two ‘offences.’” Justice Alito devoted an inordinate amount of space in his opinion to reciting ancient history and Supreme Court precedent in support of this interpretation.  However, Justice Alito has led himself and the majority of the other justices into a classic case of circular reasoning.  Since he starts with the premise that an “offence” is defined as a violation of an individual sovereign’s law and the United States and each state are defined as separate sovereigns, he naturally concludes that successive state and federal prosecutions cannot properly place a defendant in “jeopardy . . . for the same offence.” The problem is that Justice Alito and the precedents on which he relied assume a definition of the single word “offence” as inherently sovereign specific, without any support for that proposition in the text of the Constitution.

Justice Alito could have avoided this circular reasoning and corrected the error of past precedents if he had not quoted the text of the Fifth Amendment referring to “Offences” in isolation. He should have considered it alongside the text of the president’s pardoning power in Article II, Section 2, which states that the president “shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.” (Emphasis added) When the framers wanted to use the term “offence” in a sovereign-specific sense, they did so. Thus, the president could only pardon for “Offences against the United States,” not for “offences” against any sovereign state. However, the framers made no distinction in the text of the Fifth Amendment between a sovereign specific federal “offence” and a sovereign-specific state “offence” in the Fifth Amendment’s double jeopardy clause. 

Justice Alito mistakenly analogized the question of successive federal and state prosecutions for the same underlying conduct to successive prosecutions in the United States and a foreign country. Surely, he argued, the United States should be able to prosecute an individual who killed a U.S. national in another country even if the other country goes after the same killer for committing an act of violence within its territory. “The murder of a U. S. national is an offense to the United States as much as it is to the country where the murder occurred and to which the victim is a stranger,” he wrote.

Justice Alito’s analogy of successive prosecutions by a foreign country and the United States for the same criminal conduct to successive federal and state prosecutions for the same criminal conduct within the United States itself is a bad analogy.  In fact, it is irrelevant. As Justice Ginsburg noted in her dissent, the defendant in the case before the Court “was convicted in both Alabama and the United States, jurisdictions that are not foreign to each other.” The United States and its constituent states, Justice Ginsburg wrote, “compose one people, bound by an overriding Federal Constitution.” Citing Federalist No. 51, Justice Ginsburg added that “the division of authority between the United States and the States was meant to operate as ‘a double security [for] the rights of the people’… The separate-sovereigns doctrine, however, scarcely shores up people’s rights. Instead, it invokes federalism to withhold liberty.” She emphasized that the ultimate source of sovereignty in the United States lies with the people themselves. “Under our Constitution, the federal and state governments are but two expressions of a single and sovereign people,” she wrote.

Justice Gorsuch articulated a simple, common sense observation on the dangerous implications of the majority opinion. “A free society does not allow its government to try the same individual for the same crime until it’s happy with the result,” he wrote. “Unfortunately, the Court today endorses a colossal exception to this ancient rule against double jeopardy. My colleagues say that the federal government and each State are ‘separate sovereigns’ entitled to try the same person for the same crime. So if all the might of one ‘sovereign’ cannot succeed against the presumptively free individual, another may insist on the chance to try again. And if both manage to succeed, so much the better; they can add one punishment on top of the other.” Justice Gorsuch worried about “the capacity of the state to bring charges repeatedly until it wins the result it wants, and what little would be left of human liberty if that power remained unchecked.”

In this case, two justices from the opposite sides of the ideological spectrum reached what should have been the guiding rule for protecting individuals against unchecked multiple prosecutions for the same criminal act. They both sought to shield the Constitution’s protection against double jeopardy from a legalistic distinction without a difference. Unfortunately, the majority of the Supreme Court justices – liberals and conservatives – were not prepared to discard the patently unfair separate-sovereigns doctrine.

Jihadist Psychopath: How He is Charming, Seducing, and Devouring Us

Thu, 06/20/2019 - 04:20

[Order Jamie Glazov’s new book: Jihadist Psychopath: How He Is Charming, Seducing, and Devouring Us].

Reprinted from TimesExaminer.com.

Every now and then I recommend a book that I feel states exceptionally well the essential -- but not widely known -- truths that are necessary to rescue our country from serious error and danger. This particular danger is Islamic Jihad in its several forms and phases, including migration and stealth infiltration into American government, academia, business, and culture.

Jamie Glazov's new book, Jihadist Psychopath: How He is Charming, Seducing, and Devouring Us, is not a fiction thriller. It is a sobering and sometimes scary non-fiction book that is filled with many uncomfortable truths -- truths that we must face if we are to save our country from the ultimate horror and oppression of Jihad. As Sun Tsu wrote: knowing your enemy is essential for victories. Denial of essential truths and substituting political correctness for uncomfortable truths are sure roads to national destruction.

An essential concept of the book is "Jihad Denial" -- which is the refusal to believe the nature of Islam according to its own sacred tests and 1400 years of demonstrated history. Jihad Denial is the deceived state that insists that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance despite all evidence to the contrary and common sense. Another theme is the similarity of patterns from stealth Jihad to final violent and often genocidal Jihad to the pattern used by psychopaths to enslave and destroy their victims. 

Here are a few clips from the praise for Jihadist Psychopath:

"The denial of evil is...the most dangerous of all the denials in which human being engage...making Jihadist Psychopath one of the most important books of the present time" - Dennis Prager, national rado talk show host and author.

"Hard as it is to believe, many in the West simply will not take the time and trouble to understand the threat posed by radical Islamist terrorism...Now Jamie Glazov has written this century's counterpart to Burnham's classic work [Suicide of the West] and will doubtless upset those determined not to analyze for themselves the nature of the underlying phenomenon." - John Bolton, President Trump's National Security Adviser.

"This work is steeped in the richness of history, psychology, military conflict, and religion--and exposes the pathological Stockholm  syndrome that the West has developed in the hands of our enemy" - Steve Emerson, investigative journalist and author on terrorism.

"In this book, he explains why so many of our leaders in academia, media, and politics behave like ostriches when confronted with the dangerous threat of Islamic Jihadism." - Geert Wilders, MP, Netherlands.

"The peculiar dynamic of our times, of Islamic Jihadis killing people followed by Western authorities defending Islam and increasing measures to grant more concessions to Muslim groups cannot be fully explained by any counterterror strategy or geopolitical consideration...

Glazov reaches into the realms of psycho-pathology to clarify this odd phenomenon and succeeds in shedding light on it where numerous conventional thinkers failed." - Robert Spencer, renowned scholar and author on Islam.

"Jamie Glazov's Jihadist Psychopath profoundly captures the essence of the seductive but deadly nature of the Jihadist Character." - None Darwish, Christian convert and author.

"Much of the global Islamic movement's strategy for Jihad hinges on the ignorance of the West regarding their doctrine and modus operandi." - Chris Gaubatz, coauthor of Muslm Mafia [the Muslim Brotherhood]

"Jamie Glazov's Jihadist Psychopath should be required reading for every American and Westerner interested in saving our civilization....This book gives a dire warning about what is coming and contains monumental revelations that will shock and disturb you." - Brigitte Gabriel, renowned author and terrorism expert.

This book also details how thoroughly the Muslim Brotherhood and their defenders infiltrated the Obama Administration and Deep State. The Jihad Denial allies of the Brotherhood also infiltrated even the Trump Administration. Trump has, however, begun to replace key Cabinet and staff members whose Jihad Denial views on the nature of radical Islamic Jihad are out of tune with Trump's more realistic and informed views. The first to go was Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, who unfortunately fired the conservatives on his staff and replaced them with Obama loyalists. Some of the others may surprise you. They are on pages 186 to 193 of this 197 page book.

You owe it to yourself, your family, and your country to read it.

Prager U Video: Save the Climate by Not Having Children!

Thu, 06/20/2019 - 04:05

Prager U's Will Witt went out to the Climate Change March in Los Angeles to see where reason breaks down in the name of saving the planet. Does any proposal go too far? Check out the latest video from Prager U below:

 

Reparations Madness

Wed, 06/19/2019 - 04:58

To coincide with the day of celebration of emancipation, Juneteenth, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties is holding a hearing today, featuring the plaints of millionaire movie star Danny Glover and MacArthur “Genius” Award winner ($625,000) Ta-Nehisi Coates, “to examine . . . the legacy of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, its continuing impact on the community and the path to restorative justice.”

In other words, pay-outs to African Americans. It makes even less sense than it did thirty years ago when former Democratic Congressman John Conyers introduced the measure. Since then, historians have added to our knowledge about the complicated issue of slavery, including African Americans’ own participation in the practice. Additionally, their own voting records have instituted the discriminatory practices for which they now seek redress. Such facts add to the host of others being discussed, such as the impossibility of determining damages because some blacks have no slave heritage (including former President Barack Obama.whose Kenyan father enjoyed the privilege of studying in American universities), the number of whites who died in the Civil War that ended slavery, and white immigrants who had come to these shores long after slavery had been abolished.

Even the case Coates recently made in his New Yorker interview about the financial losses suffered by African Americans when they were denied federal housing loans and resorted to unscrupulous lenders does not stand up, though it appears to have the hallmarks of a case of limited and traceable losses due to discrimination—as was the case with the Japanese interned during World War II.

But Coates has gone back to his original call for reparations for slavery. Slavery, however, was an institution in which a surprising number of African Americans participated. As did white slave owners, they became wealthy by exploiting their fellow man. And, discriminatory federal housing policies began under a Democratic president who won his second, third, and fourth terms with a large majority of the black vote.

The ownership of black slaves by free blacks was a well-known fact. In 1830, by a conservative estimate (due to likely undercounting by the census), there were more than 3,500 slaveholders of African descent in the American South. According to David Lightner and Alexander Ragan, who reviewed census records and four case histories of black (or mixed race) slave owners, and published their findings in the August 2005 Journal of Southern History, “black slave owning was fairly widespread among the free black population.” In fact, the number of black slave owners was “startlingly large”: “almost exactly 2 percent of 182,070, the total free black population of the South.” The figure is considered to be large because only six percent of the white population (3,660,758) owned slaves: “Thus a southern white was just three times more likely to own slaves than was a southern free black.” African American historian Carter G. Woodson in his 1924 book, Free Negro Owners of Slaves in the United States in the 1830s, maintained that such “ownership” was in name only, used only “to preserve family ties” and protect blacks. But Lightner and Ragan estimated conservatively that between 57 percent and 66 percent of black slave owners were exploitative.[1]

Indeed, more African Americans probably would have owned slaves if they could have if we read Loren Schweninger’s groundbreaking 1990 study, Black Property Owners in the South: 1790-1915, correctly. Schweninger, a friend of African American historian John Hope Franklin and coauthor of a book about runaway slaves with him, showed that the treatment of these slaves ran the gamut, from paternal benevolence to the selling off of a man’s own children.

Blacks began owning black slaves as early as 1646-47, a case in point being Virginian Anthony Johnson who “acquired . . . John Casor . . . his slave for life,” according to court documents. By the late eighteenth century, “a small group of profit-oriented black slaveholders was emerging in the South, especially in South Carolina, and along the Gulf Coast.” Even those who had “bought” loved ones also began buying blacks as slaves. At the time of the first U.S. census in 1790, in Charleston District, South Carolina, “[a]mong the approximately 155 free Negro families, . . . nearly one-third had entered the slaveholding class” and owned a total of 277 bondsmen and women.” Most black slave owners during this time were urban craftsmen and shopkeepers. Though the small number of free blacks who acquired large farms, plantations, and slaves, often got them from their white fathers, “those who survived into the early decades of the nineteenth century were often capable businessmen and astute planters,” and “were accepted by their white neighbors as persons of wealth and prestige.”[2] As the plantation system expanded, free blacks participated, purchasing field hands.

Sometimes slaves, through hard work and ingenuity, accumulated wealth and bought their own freedom--and bought and sold slaves. Jean Meullion, a former slave, “purchased Negroes on a regular basis, traveling to the slave market in Natchez, Mississippi, or making arrangements with a slave-trading firm in New Orleans.” Plaquemines Parish sugar planter Andrew Durnford complained that costs were so high that “’even the Negro traders are surprised at the prices demanded.’” His purchase of a “coffle of blacks” included some “’bargains,’” but many who were “’rotten’” and “diseased.”[3]

Alas, “[i]n their treatment of their bondspeople, [free blacks] differed little from white slave owners, ” according to Schweninger. Some kindly kept families together and provided them with “adequate food, clothing, and living quarters.” However, most saw their slaves as “chattel property. They bought, sold, mortgaged, willed, traded, and transferred fellow Negroes, demanded long hours in the workshops and fields, and severely disciplined recalcitrant blacks.”[4] Some sold their own children into slavery, or enslaved them themselves. When these children ran away, they advertised for their capture.

The descendants of these black slave owners continued to prosper even during the Great Depression of the 1930s, as African American journalist George Schuyler informed readers of his autobiography, Black and Conservative.  Schuyler had gotten his start as a journalist at the Harlem-based socialist magazine, The Messenger, in 1923, and by the following year was also writing for the black newspaper, the Pittsburgh Courier. The Messenger folded in 1928, but even before then had largely abandoned its socialist mission. In it, Schuyler profiled black capitalists, including Harlem real estate agents and speculators who took advantage of overbuilding, buying cheap from white builders and selling dear and maximizing profits from rents. Much of the merry-making of the Roaring Twenties in Harlem occurred at “rent parties,” where admission was collected to pay the rent.

Schuyler also worked for the NAACP and was sent to report on abuses of black (federal) levee workers in Mississippi in late 1931. In preparation for his dangerous undercover investigation, Schuyler called upon “old friend Dr. Dumas, former president of the National Medical Association.” Dumas was “a distinguished, courtly, and wealthy mulatto who owned a large white mansion atop a double terrace, six blocks of downtown real estate and a big plantation.” Dr. Dumas, Schuyler writes, “was one of a considerable number of Negroes in the vicinity who were planters and slave-holders before the Civil War over on the Louisiana side.”[5]  

A Francis Ernest Dumas of New Orleans appears in Schweninger’s book. A “slave owner and landlord,” he was among “the ten wealthiest free persons of color in the South.” In 1854, his worth was estimated to be $250,000.[6] His brother seemed to be of similar means, judging by the manner in which he entertained Union army officer John William De Forest at his New Orleans home. Writing to his wife on September 29, 1862, De Forest described a feast ending with “’a collation of cakes, confectionary, creams, ices and champagne, followed by café noir, cognac and delicious cigars.’” The party for De Forest and “several of his fellow officers, Negro and white,” included piano-playing, singing patriotic songs, and dancing with “’very pretty ladies.’”

Admittedly, writes Schweninger, “Such social occasions were rare, even in New Orleans, but whites and free persons of color, especially those with substantial property, occasionally disregarded the prevailing taboos against interracial mixing.” Also, declining during the late antebellum period were the number of mixed “’marriages’” that previously had been “relatively common in some parts of the Lower South.”[7]

After Reconstruction Jim Crow laws were instituted, as resentment against the North festered. Yet, by the 1920s blacks and whites continued to mingle in some Southern communities. This is what Schuyler observed when he made a six-month tour through the South in 1925/1926 for the Courier. Although sometimes he would be welcomed with a large sign put out by the KKK as he stepped off the “colored” train car, other times he was pleasantly surprised by the hospitality of some white Southerners and racial integration in some communities. He told William Ingersoll during his oral history interview in 1960, “I remember once going to Galveston, Texas, and the minister there under whose auspices I had come said that I was going to stay with him.” His house happened to be on the main street, “where all the leading people lived.” Schuyler had also been in “blocks in Meridian, Mississippi, and Jackson, Mississippi, where there would be say 20 or 24 homes and half of them would be occupied by Negro families, whereas in many cities in the North you wouldn’t have found that. . . .”[8] (On his travels, he also noted such things as a black dentist in West Virginia treating white patients, along with black. In a 1948 series, audaciously titled “What’s Good About the South?” Schuyler reported on prosperous black farmers and owners of stores patronized by whites and blacks—as well as complaints about government-imposed segregation.)

As Schuyler asserted, de facto segregation was practiced in Northern cities. It was the same with ethnic groups, as Schuyler’s white Jewish friends, Isaac Don Levine and Sidney Hook, observed about Boston and New York, which had distinct Jewish, Italian, Irish, and German sections. Immigrants tended to gravitate toward neighborhoods with their own kind.

In the South, however, blacks and whites—unlike the Italians and Irish in the north—had lived closely together for a long time. At least some of the Southern communities practiced integration. But segregation became federal policy, with President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal—a massive government takeover of farming, housing, charity, retirement, and the workplace. All these programs, as Schuyler pointed out, discriminated against and harmed the black man. He became the real “forgotten man,” as the theme of the 1935 annual NAACP meeting indicated. That meeting featured tenant farmers telling their stories about facing starvation when the federal government paid (white) farmers to keep acreage fallow.

Schuyler railed against discrimination in PWA projects and complained bitterly for having to pay higher taxes and prices for consumer goods for make-work programs. The patronage system of wealthy whites who paid off black “leaders” became a function of the federal government.

In spite of such discriminatory policies, African Americans shifted to the Democratic Party in 1936. Roosevelt illegally used his “Black Cabinet” to campaign for him on the radio (whose licenses he allocated to those disposed to support him), bestowed gifts, such as a new chemistry building built by well-paid white WPA workers to Howard University (dedicated in October 1936). As Nancy J. Weiss, in Farewell to the Party of Lincoln, notes, “It was hardly an accident that . . . the establishment of the first CCC camp commanded entirely by black officers came in August 1936.”[9] Photos of the First Lady with black children gathered round her were distributed, though without a disclaimer stating that should these same children come down with polio they would be barred from FDR’s Warm Springs facility. As more of the economy became dependent on federal largesse, the black workforce suffered. African Americans lost jobs but increased their dependence on “relief,” outpacing whites proportionately. If they were given federal housing, it was housing officially segregated by the government—with no possibility of local communities deciding their own arrangements—as they had done in Galveston and Meridian.

The policy was passed on down as the federal government got into the mortgage business. As Coates rightfully complains, these policies were discriminatory and wrong. So were the WPA, the AAA, and Social Security—programs instituted by the party that is still overwhelmingly supported by African Americans. Slavery, of course, was wrong, as President Lincoln said in his Second Inaugural. But why should we be paying the descendants of Dr. Dumas who benefited from the forced labor of fellow African Americans? And how can we trust a massive bureaucracy that has done so much to muck up race relations to be a fair arbiter and dispenser of these funds?

NOTE: The author welcomes the nomination for a MacArthur Genius Award in order to pursue her research on the Dumas family in Louisiana.

Notes:

[1] David L. Lightner and Alexander M. Ragan, “Were African American Slaveholders Benevolent or Exploited?” Journal of Southern History, 71 (August 2005),535- 558.

[2] Loren Schweninger, Black Property Owners in the South: 1790-1915, (1990), 23.

[3] Schweninger, 104-105.

[4] Shweninger, 105-106.

[5] George Schuyler, Black and Conservative (New Rochelle: Arlington House, 1966),  200.

[6] Schweninger, 118.

[7] Schweninger, 134.

[8] Ingersoll Interview, 192-193.

[9] Nancy J. Weiss, Farewell to the Party of Lincoln (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1983), 200-202.

Slavery Reparations for Millionaires

Wed, 06/19/2019 - 04:57

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.

A few years ago, the University of Oregon paid Ta-Nehisi Coates a thousand dollars a minute to speak at its campus. After 40 minutes, Coates left the stage a half hour early and didn't take any questions.

He still got a $41,500 check.

Today, Coates will be speaking, presumably for free, at a House hearing on slavery reparations in the Rayburn Building in Washington D.C. As the author of The Case for Reparations, the wealthy racialist author will presumably be speaking in favor of taking money from Americans to give to, well, him.

The hearing, formally titled, H.R. 40 and the Path to Restorative Justice, references Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s bill calling for a commission to study a proposal to pay compensation to the descendants of slaves.

“I stand here as a freed slave,” Rep. Jackson Lee had once declared on the House floor.

Her estimated net worth, as of 2015, is $3,547,506. The median House average was $800,000.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s annual salary, funded by taxpayers, is $174,000. Her husband, Elwyn C. Lee, is the Vice President for Community Relations at the University of Houston where he earns $239,501. The median salary at the University of Houston is $60,000. Lee sponsored or co-sponsored bills that sent $5.25 million to her husband’s employer in just two years. If anyone deserves reparations, it’s taxpayers.

Both Sheila Jackson Lee and Elwyn Lee are Yale graduates. Her son is a Harvard grad.

H.R. 40 was the obsession of former Rep. John Conyers. Unlike most of the reparations supporters who will be showing up on Wednesday at the Rayburn Building, Conyers had paid out reparations.

The recipient of the $27,000 in reparations was a female employee whom he had sexually harassed.

Taxpayers however received no reparations from the Conyers clan when Monica, John’s wife and a Detroit councilwoman, was sent to prison for taking bribes on a $47 million sludge hauling contract vote.

Anyone who stops by the Rayburn Building on June 19th, either for Small Businesses in the Cannabis Industry hearing or the slavery reparations hearing, will have the pleasure of listening to Lee and to Coates, who in 2016 had bought a luxurious landmarked brownstone in Brooklyn for $2.1 million.

The home, with its chef’s kitchen, wedding cake moldings, tin ceiling, terrace, garden, and carved woodwork, was paid for with the proceeds of Coates’ work of accusing America of institutional racism.

Those proceeds include the $625,000 McArthur grant that Coates received for, among other screeds, The Case for Reparations and Between the World and Me, a hateful text in which he claimed that the firefighters who died on September 11 “were not human to me.” The day before he ducked out of the $41,500 University of Oregon speech, he was paid $30,000 for a speech at Oregon State University.

The FDNY firefighters who climbed 100 stories on September 11 only to be deemed less than human by Coates, had a starting salary of under $40,000, risking their lives for less than Coates got paid an hour.

Who exactly deserves reparations here?

"Whiteness confers knowable, quantifiable privileges," Coates ranted in a defense of reparations.

What then is the sources of Ta-Nehisi Coates' known and quantifiable privileges, of turning down a New York Times column while getting paid by The Atlantic to blog about comic books?

How does the underprivileged Coates get to be a visiting professor at MIT despite not having a degree?

After buying his brownstone for $2.1 million, Coates tried to resell it for $2.395 million. After trying, and failing to score a $300K profit, he had to cut the price down to a mere $2.25 million.

Is it any wonder that his tortured soul cries out for a more successful source of reparations?

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a success story whose topic is his own oppression. And now he will lecture the rest of the country about their compelling responsibility to subsidize his vast reserves of unearned privilege.

Luxurious homes don’t buy themselves. It takes gullibly guilty idiots to buy them for Coates.

Also showing up to testify will be Danny Glover. The actor has been campaigning for reparations for some time now even though it’s the audiences who paid to see Lethal Weapon 4 who deserve them.

“We have to make demands. We can’t just sit around the table and accept what’s going on,” Glover had declaimed a few years back. “The whole idea of reparations is demanding justice, it’s all about that.”

Sites estimate the celebrity’s net worth somewhere between $15 and $40 million. In addition to earning multi-million salaries for the Lethal Weapon movies, he was due 2% of the gross profits from Saw.

Glover does know all about slave reparations.

In 2007, Venezuela’s socialist regime allotted Glover $17.8 million to make a movie about a slave revolt in Haiti. In 2008, the country, which was sliding toward serious economic problems, reportedly allotted another $9 million. The movie was never made, but the actor has gone on defending a regime that offered him millions before starving its own people to death and shooting them in the street.

If anyone is owed reparations, the people of Venezuela deserve them from Danny Glover. The starving children begging in the streets, the mothers crying for milk for their babies, and the fathers picking through the trash. One of their representations should be on hand to present the celebrity with a bill.

It’s all about, as Glover put it, “demanding justice”.

Is there a case for the Chinese immigrant running a corner store, a Cuban immigrant driving a taxi or a Russian immigrant moving furniture having to pay reparations to Glover and Ta-Nehisi Coates?

Both men make more an hour than the average American, black or white, makes in a year.

Justice can be hard to come by. H.R.40 or the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act won't offer justice. But the Commission will require the appropriation of $12 million. That’s not the cost of reparations, but the cost of a bunch of people discussing them.

"A federal commission can help us reach into this dark past and bring us into a brighter future," Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee claimed.

Doubtful. But it can certainly spend $12 million in taxpayer money.

That $12 million could be used to pay for health care or food for actual poor people. Or it could be used to fund a commission stocked with insiders and activists to discuss reparations.

How better to manage slavery reparations for millions than by spending $12 million on a commission?

Needy millionaires are standing by to take your paycheck.

Meanwhile Ta-Nehisi Coates will be appearing in New York in August. Tickets can be had for $75 in the upper boxes or as low as $50 for an orchestra seat. If you’re lucky, this time he may stay for Q&A.

Buy a ticket. Call it reparations.

And if you want to catch the free show, Coates will be agitating for reparations today in D.C.

Video: Democrats Delete God

Wed, 06/19/2019 - 04:45

[Order David Horowitz's new book, Dark Agenda: The War to Destroy Christian America.]

In this new video, One America News Network exposes how Democrats Delete God, revealing how the Left is trying to create one nation under Democrat demolition. Don't miss it!

 

 

Why Foreign Governments Are Shielding Iran

Wed, 06/19/2019 - 04:40

Iran is making good on its threats.

Last Thursday’s bombing of two oil tankers in the Straits of Hormuz was just the latest in a string of attacks that have taken place in the maritime choke point in the past month. Thirty percent of global petroleum exports transit the Straits of Hormuz annually.

On April 22, Alireza Tangsiri, the Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps naval force, announced that if the U.S. went ahead with placing a full embargo on Iranian petroleum exports, Iran would close the Straits of Hormuz. “If we are prevented from using it, we will close it,” Tangrisi said, according to the state-run Fars news agency.

On May 10, four fuel tankers were attacked outside the Fujairah port of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). U.S. investigators assessed that the ships were attacked with magnetic limpet mines, as in Thursday’s attacks. U.S. Central Command published photos of such a mine on the Kokuka Courageous, one of the two ships attacked on Thursday. Apparently a dud, the mine didn’t detonate during the attack. Central Command later published video footage of an alleged IRGC naval craft removing the unexploded ordnance, apparently to prevent U.S. forces from seizing it and using it to prove that Iran conducted the attack.

According to the Middle East Center for Reporting and Analysis, Thursday’s attacks occurred in the Gulf of Oman close to the Iranian port of Jask. The port serves as “an Iranian naval base and a center for drones and submarines.”

MECRA’s website reports that the Iranian naval base at Jask “has submarines, drones and anti-ship missiles have been tested near the site. Major Iranian naval operations took place in the area in February.”

Given the abundance of evidence linking Iran to the attacks, reasonably, on Thursday Secretary of State Mike Pompeo laid responsibility for that day’s attacks, along with the May 10 attacks and a host of other attacks that have taken place in recent weeks.

In Pompeo’s words, the assessment was based on “intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks in shipping and the fact that no proxy group  operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act iwith such a high degree of sophistication.”

Despite the video footage, the proximity of the attacks to the Iranian naval base, the open threats against shipping in the Straits of Hormuz made by Tangsiri and other senior Iranian officials in recent weeks, and the IRGC’s aggressive detainment of the crew of the Front Altair — the second ship attacked on Thursday — Germany, the EU, Russia, and China refused to admit that Iran carried out the attacks.

Heiko Maas, the German foreign minister who was in Tehran meeting with “Supreme Leader” Ali Khamenei earlier this week, insisted Thursday that the footage of the IRGC crew removing the unexploded mine from the Kokuka Courageous was insufficient.

“The video is not enough,” he said. “We understand what is begin shown, sure, but to make a final assessment, that is not enough for me.”

The European Union similarly refuses to lay the blame on Iran. It released a statement saying, “While we are gathering additional information and evidence and consolidating the elements available, we will refrain from speculations and premature conclusions.”

Russia also refuses to acknowledge that Iran is behind the attacks. China’s President Xi Jinping met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at a high-profile summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Council on Friday. There, he pledged to develop a “comprehensive strategic partnership” with Iran.

Even Japan, whose Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was in the middle of a meeting with Khamenei in Tehran when the Japanese and Norwegian tankers were bombed, has yet to acknowledge that Iran was responsible for the attacks. Abe was in Tehran hoping to mediate between Khamenei and President Donald Trump. Kahmenei flatly refused his offer.

On the face of it, the refusal of ostensible U.S. allies like Germany, Japan, and the EU — and U.S. adversaries like China and Russia — to acknowledge Iran’s obvious guilt for the attacks on oil shipping and pipelines in the Persian Gulf region over the past month is odd. Don’t they want to end Iran’s aggression?

Why would they shield Iran from responsibility for aggression that threatens the global economy and threatens their own economic interests far more than it threatens U.S. economic interests? After all, since the U.S. began producing shale oil, U.S. exposure to global oil shocks has dramatically decreased.

The U.S. today is the largest oil producing country. States like Japan and China are much more vulnerable to oil supply disruptions from the Straits of Hormuz and the Bab al Mandab, another maritime choke point now controlled by Iran’s Houthi proxies in Yemen.

There are various reasons that a variety of governments do not wish to acknowledge Iran’s responsibility for the attacks. First, as has been reported, Maas and Abe were both in Iran ostensibly to reinstate negotiations between Iran and the U.S. As self-appointed mediators, the Japanese and the Europeans likely wish to be seen as neutral parties. They likely fear that by acknowledging that Iran is responsible for the attacks on shipping, Iran will refuse to speak to them.

As for negotiations, the Europeans – led by the Germans – have refused to accept any U.S. demands for significant revisions of the 2015 nuclear deal the Obama administration led them in concluding with the Iranian regime. In the lead up to Trump’s decision last May to pull out of the nuclear deal, senior state department official Brian Hook conducted intensive negotiations with the EU to convince them to make substantive changes in the agreement. They refused.

If they acknowledge that Iran is behind the attacks in the Persian Gulf, it will make it more difficult for them to maintain their position that Iran’s terrorism, and other forms of aggression, as well as its missile tests are all of a piece with its nuclear proliferation. If that happens, they will be hard pressed to maintain their stubborn allegiance to the 2015 deal, which is founded on the false premise that Iran is an inherently peaceful, non-hostile actor that just needs to be appeased.

Another reason that so many governments – both hostile and ostensibly allied with the U.S. — refuse to acknowledge Iran’s effectively self-evident responsibility for the tanker attacks is because doing so will make it more difficult for them to argue against U.S. sanctions.

Governments in Japan, Germany, China and other states are interested in ending or abating U.S. economic sanctions against Iran. As Benny Avni argued Wednesday in the New York Sun, the German and Japanese push to renew negotiations between Iran and the U.S. is at least in part due to their desire “to revive the smooth flow of goods and business with Iran.”

Their diplomacy, he argued, “is meant to put pressure on Washington to start a process that would lead to direct talks. Iran, they claim, will behave better now that its economy is strained. America should take advantage and aim for a fresh rapprochement,” he wrote.

Obviously, Iran’s wanton and repeated aggression against peaceful maritime traffic in international waterways is evidence that the contrary is true. Iran is certainly hurting economically as a result of U.S. sanctions. But its response is not to improve its behavior in order to diminish U.S. economic pressure. Rather, Iran is responding to the U.S. sanctions by escalating its aggression, thus proving that the Trump administration’s decision to renew and strengthen economic sanctions against Iran was justified and reasonable.

It is difficult to imagine that mere embarrassment will pry the Europeans away from their preference for ignoring the reality of Iranian aggression in order to pursue their longstanding policy of appeasing Iran and its terrorist proxies. Germany and the EU still refuse to acknowledge that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization. Hezbollah is permitted to operate openly in EU states despite the fact that it has been caught planning and carrying out terrorist attacks in Europe repeatedly in recent years. Indeed, Britain took no actionagainst Hezbollah after Israel tipped it off in 2015 that Hezbollah had built a bomb factory in North London. The British Parliament only outlawed the Iranian proxy force in February 2019.

Whereas Britain, with its close ties to the U.S., has sometimes evinced a willingness to abandon general European appeasement of terrorists and state sponsors of terror, Germany, France, and other major European governments have never entertained the prospect of abandoning appeasement for confrontation, let alone defeating terrorists and their state sponsors. Acknowledging Iran’s aggression is largely inconceivable for Germany and its EU partners.

As for Russia and China, their refusal to take action against Iran stems in part from their strategic competition with the United States. If they admit that Iran is behind the attacks, like the Europeans and the Japanese, they will need to admit that the U.S. strategy of maximum pressure is reasonable and justified. Such an admission would strengthen the U.S. position.

Admitting Iran’s responsibility would empower the U.S. to diminish Iran’s capacity to continue committing acts of naval aggression, either directly or through its Houthi proxy. As Jim Hanson from the Security Studies Group suggested on Fox News, such action could include U.S. strikes against Houthi bases in Yemen or IRGC bases in Jask or other locations.

Given the behavior of U.S. allies and adversaries in light of Iran’s self-evident aggression against merchant tankers in the Persian Gulf, the U.S. cannot expect to operate with their support as it pursues its goal of preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and denying the regime the means to continue sponsoring terrorism and aggression against the U.S. and its regional and global allies.

As a consequence, going forward, the Trump administration must continue to place all of its evidence of Iranian aggression on the table and continue to pursue its policy of maximum aggression. Unlike appeasement, the U.S.’s policy is based on reality. And so, unlike appeasement, it is a policy with the potential to actually succeed.

Weakening Hezbollah in Lebanon

Wed, 06/19/2019 - 04:05

The Lebanon-based terrorist organization Hezbollah has served its Iranian masters well. It has murdered Americans and Israelis. More recently Syrian Sunni-Muslims, and Christians have been its victims.  Hezbollah has done the killings on behalf of the Ayatollahs in Tehran, and the Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. In recent months however, it has taken several blows from Israel. Israeli strikes thwarted missile deliveries from Syria to its Lebanese bases. There is also growing global condemnation of its activities and an increasing designation of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. i24TV reported on February 27, 2019 that the, “United Kingdom has officially labeled Hezbollah as a terrorist organization in its entirety, as opposed to just its military wing, as some European powers have.” In the period spanning December, 2018 to January, 2019, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched Operation Northern Shield. In this operation, the IDF exposed and neutralized Hezbollah’s extended cross-border tunnel network. Six tunnels were destroyed and shut down, with all of them violating international law, specifically, the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701. In late May, 2019, the IDF uncovered the longest and most significant of Hezbollah’s attack tunnels. This latest tunnel was nearly a mile long, 22 stories deep, and stretched more than 250 feet into Israeli territory.

These events deflated Hezbollah’s claims to be the guardian of Lebanese security. Although it dominates the Lebanese government, its excesses have now opened a stream of criticism against its machinations over the border and existing complaints about its role in Syria. In a few weeks from now, American sponsored talks between Israeli and Lebanese officials will commence in Naqoura, on the Lebanese side of the Israeli-Lebanese border. The talks will focus on the maritime boundaries between the two countries, and the future of the gas deposits in the area. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, David M. Satterfield, have been shuttling between Israel and Lebanon to settle the dispute between the two parties, with the hope of strengthening the Beirut government, and weakening Hezbollah’s grip on power in Lebanon. The mere fact that Lebanese officials will be meeting their Israeli counterparts face to face is a significant American accomplishment. It is also indicative of the U.S. increasing influence in Lebanon.

The Lebanese Daily Star reported on June 4th, 2019 that, “Among the bridging ideas put forward by both sides was for international energy groups, operating in both Israeli and Lebanese waters, to carry out first a seismological survey of the disputed area.” Israel and Lebanon have been at least formally at war since the re-establishment of the Jewish state in 1948. The two countries have long disagreed on the border demarcations in the eastern Mediterranean, an issue that has become more acute in the last decade when large deposits of natural gas were found there. The Daily Star also reported that “Lebanese lawmakers close to Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri (leader of the Shiite Amal party) quoted him as saying there was ‘clear progress’ on the efforts to resolve the border dispute.”

Both Lebanon’s Christian President Michel Aoun, and Speaker Nabih Berri, who is also in a close relationship with Hezbollah, are cognizant of the economic benefits Lebanon would derive from resolving the dispute with Israel and producing gas. Lebanon’s Sunni-Muslim Prime Minister, Saad Hariri, has likewise endorsed the talks with Israel under U.S. mediation. Hariri is committed to removing Lebanon from regional conflicts, and as such, he has been critical of Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria, and its stirring of troubles with Israel. Clearly, Lebanon’s weak economy is in dire need of a boost, and income from the gas fields, which might alleviate its chronic economic crisis. The fact that Hezbollah and its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, has shown little resistance to the American mediation and open talks with Israel, indicates that despite its electoral gains in the last elections, its influence in Lebanon is declining.

The U.S. is currently arming and training the Lebanese armed forces, and it is therefore in a much better position to pressure the Lebanese government to disarm Hezbollah, and thus drastically weakening the terror group. The Lebanese government will have to decide whether it is an independent state or a subsidiary of Hezbollah, and controlled by Iran. If the Lebanese government declines to do so, then the U.S. can exercise the option of boycotting Lebanon, and those doing business with it. Although the Shiites are the largest sect in Lebanon, they are not the majority. When Christians, Sunnis, and Druse combine forces, they can overwhelm the Shiites and form a majority. Even among Shiites, there are those who oppose Hezbollah, and who fear like the rest of the Lebanese, that the terrorist group might drag Lebanon into a war with Israel, resulting in destruction for the Land of the Cedars. The 2006 war with Israel is a somber reminder of what can happen to Lebanon.

Hezbollah’s war in Syria has cost it thousands of casualties. The organization paying pensions to its retirees and the families of those killed in Syria, has put the organization under a major financial strain.  Moreover, U.S. sanctions on Iran has forced the Islamic Republic to cut its financial outlays to Hezbollah. Hezbollah officials were targeted by the U.S. in February, 2018.  The Voice of America News reported that the U.S. “imposed sanctions” on seven businesses and six people associated with Hezbollah, aiming to disrupt the terror organization. Unlike the situation with Iran, where the U.S. and its European allies disagree on the nuclear deal, the same European nations are more than likely to back the U.S. on the demand to disarm Hezbollah. Also, unlike in Syria, where Russia has a strategic interest in backing Iran, it does not exist when it comes to Lebanon.

Al-Jazeera reported (May 23, 2019) that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a meeting with Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, warned that “Lebanon faces a choice: bravely move forward as an independent and proud nation or allow the dark ambitions of Iran and Hezbollah to dictate your future.” He also pointed out that last year, while the U.S. provided the Lebanese people with $800 million in aid, Iran has only given to the Hezbollah (not to the Lebanese people) $700 million.

According to Lebanese-native, Joseph Hakim, President of the International Christian Union, “the first thing that the U.S. should demand of the Lebanese government is to implement fairly the Taif Agreement, which called on all armed militias to disband, including Hezbollah. While all other militias disarmed, Hezbollah, under the pretext of defending Lebanon, did not. This must change. Hakim added “Hezbollah is bound to hijack the revenue flowing from the gas fields.”

The recent Israeli operation to destroy the tunnels into Israel that Hezbollah built over years with large investments in cash and manpower, weakened the terror organization. The U.S. must now press the Lebanese government to disarm Hezbollah, and allow the Lebanese army, which the U.S. equips and trains, to be the sole defense force for Lebanon. The Lebanese people, in the words of Mike Pompeo, have a choice to make.

Imran Khan on the Unfairness of Linking Islam to Terrorism

Wed, 06/19/2019 - 04:02

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan recently attended a meeting of Muslim states in Mecca, where he delivered himself of some thoughts on the unfairness of blaming Islam for terrorism. He asserted, not for the first time, that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism.

No one ever blamed Hinduism for Tamil Tigers’ bombings or Japanese religion when they blew up themselves on US ships. So why Islam is branded so?” Khan said during the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit in Makkah.

He asserted that “the Muslim world has not been able to powerfully convince the world that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism,” adding that the OIC should clarify its ‘propaganda’ about Muslims.

This was duly reported around the world, without his charges being subject to critical examination. But Imran Khan had a number of things wrong — aside, of course, from his absurd claim the “Islam has nothing to do with terrorism.”

First, he wondered why Hinduism was not blamed for the terrorist attacks of the Tamil Tigers. But the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), were not inspired by Hinduism; no Hindu texts were relied on by them to justify their attacks; some of the Tamil Tigers were not even Hindus. Compare the Tamil Tigers to Muslim terrorists, who are acting according to the Qur’anic verses that command them to wage violent Jihad against all Unbelievers, and to “strike terror” in their hearts. The goal of jihad is ultimately to conquer the world for the faith, so that Islam everywhere dominates, and Muslims rule, everywhere.

The LTTE, by contrast, was a self-styled national liberation organization, with the primary goal of establishing an independent Tamil state in northern Sri Lanka. It had nothing to do with spreading Hinduism; Tamil nationalism was the basis of its ideology. The LTTE denied being a separatist movement based on religion — non-Hindu Tamils were members, while non-Tamil Hindus were not. It t saw itself as fighting for self-determination and the restoration of Tamil sovereignty in part of Sri Lanka. The LTTE was an avowedly secular organization; religion did not play any discernible part in its ideology. In fact, the LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran was a secularist who criticized what he saw as the oppressive features of traditional Hindu Tamil society, such as the caste system and gender inequality. And that is why no one blamed Hinduism for the terrorism of the Tamil Tigers. It’s doubtful that Imran Khan knew any of this; he is known not for his intellect, but for his skills as a cricket player and playboy before he entered politics, and apparently he did not feel the need to learn more about the Tamil Tigers and their nationalist and secular agenda, before presuming to pontificate about them.

It may be worth noting that Khan’s knowledge of geography has also put to the test, and found wanting:

“Imran Khan was recently the object of scorn for confusing Japan with France, when he made comments about Japan and Germany sharing a border, discussed here; https://gulfnews.com/world/asia/pakistan/imran-khan-on-the-border-region-of-germany-and-japan-1.63501476

“Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s knowledge of geography came under the scanner when he said that Germany, situated in Central Europe, shares a border with Japan, an island nation in East Asia.

“The faux pas happened when the Pakistan PM was emphatically advocating the necessity of promoting trade between the two countries to ensure peace ibeen n a speech.

“The more trade you have with each other…your ties automatically gets [sic] stronger. Germany and Japan killed millions of their civilians, until after the Second World War. [[In]the border region of Germany and Japan they had joint industries. So now there is no question of them ever having bad relations because their economic interests are tied together,” the Pakistan PM said in a video clip, which was widely circulated on social media.

“It appears that the Pakistan Prime Minister was referring to the close Germany-France ties forged after the Second World War. However, the Prime Minister ended up mixing Japan with France.

“Khan’s lack of knowledge of geography not only left the delegates present at his speech puzzled but also rocked up a storm on social media.

“Please can someone find him a speech writer, or someone should give him lessons in geography. How much can one troll him?” a Twitter user wrote.

Neither geography, nor history, nor world religions, are Imran Khan’s strong suit.

Imran Khan asks why no one blamed Hinduism for the terrorist attacks of the Tamil Tigers. But why would they? Everyone in Sri Lanka knew that Hinduism was neither necessary nor sufficient to explain the phenomenon of the Tamil Tigers, a nationalist, separatist, and secular movement, whose leaders were critical of central elements to Hinduism, and who were fighting not to further Hinduism, but only to carve out a homeland for ethnic Tamils, whatever their religion.

Imran Khan’s further claim that no one blames the “Japanese religion” for the kamikaze pilots deserves comment. Which “Japanese religion” does he mean? There are two — Shinto, the religion native to Japan, and Buddhism, an import from China. I suspect Khan does not realize that these are different faiths. Shinto consists mainly of a series of rituals designed to keep the Japanese people connected to their distant past, a religion of public shrines devoted to the worship of a multitude of “spirits,” “essences,” or “gods” (kami), suited to various purposes such as war memorials and harvest festivals. Practitioners express their diverse beliefs through a standard language and practice, adopting a similar style in dress and ritual, dating from around the time of the Nara and Heian periods (8th–12th centuries). Shinto was not an aggressive faith; there was no impulse to spread Shinto outside of Japan; it would have made no sense to do so, given that it was designed to keep the Japanese aware of their uniqueness.

But beginning in the 1920s, and increasingly in the 1930s and during the war years, Shinto was exploited by the Japanese militarists, who connected it with the cult of sacrifice for Emperor Hirohito as the God-Emperor. The Americans, recognizing the Japanese military’s misuse of Shinto for aggressive purposes, required the Japanese, as part of their surrender, to end state support for Shinto. This was not the traditional Shinto itself, which was pacific, but the distorted version constructed beginning in the 1920s to support Japanese militarism. That is quite different from Islam, which, unlike Shinto, needs no distorting to support aggression. Islam has always been a fighting faith, and the 109 Qur’anic verses commanding Muslims to “fight” and to “kill” and to “smite above the neck” and “strike terror in the hearts” of Infidels are surely enough to justify laying the blame for the attacks by Muslim terrorists — of which there have been 35,000 since 9/11 — on Islam itself.

When Imran Khan indignantly claims that no one blames “the Japanese religion” for the kamikaze pilots, he is wrong in two ways. First, the real Shinto religion, which primarily connected the Japanese people to their past through rituals and shrines, cannot be blamed for the distorted version promoted by the Japanese military, who used the cult of the God-Emperor to encourage the kamikaze pilots who sacrificed themselves by the thousands. Second, as noted above, Shinto, or more exactly the distortion of the faith in the service of Japanese militarism, was indeed blamed by the Americans for contributing to Japanese aggression. Imran Khan’s claim that “no one blamed” the “Japanese religion” for the kamikaze pilots is wrong; he has forgotten, or more likely never knew, the American-imposed Terms of Surrender, which included the requirement that Shinto would no longer be the state religion of Japan.

Imran Khan would do well to take the time to study the irrelevance of Hinduism to the secular, nationalist struggle of the Tamil Tigers, and to learn a bit more about both traditional Shinto and the version created by Japanese militarists. And finally, he might read the Qur’an more closely, so as to comprehend what it is that leads so many of us to believe that Islam does indeed have a great deal — indeed, everything — to do with Muslim terrorism.

Video: Horowitz's Encounter with the British Left

Tue, 06/18/2019 - 04:58

[Order David Horowitz's new book, Dark Agenda: The War to Destroy Christian America.]

In this new video, David Horowitz encounters the British Left on GoingUndergroundRT,  discussing the Left's 'Dark Agenda", why Iran's Mullahs are  modern-day Nazis, and much more. Don't miss it.

 

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