Saturday, September 22, 2018

The Oslo Accords and the Failures of Idealistic Internationalism - Bruce Thornton

by Bruce Thornton

A reflection on a wish-fulfilling folly.

Twenty-five years ago, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO chief Yasser Arafat stood in front of Bill Clinton in the White House Rose Garden and shook hands to mark their signing of the Oslo Accords. This pact included handing part of Judea and Samaria to the control of Palestinian Arabs. A year later the Palestinian Authority was created as the controlling authority that still governs part of the so-called West Bank. These changes were celebrated as a major step toward furthering the “peace process” whose aim was to create national “self-determination” for the Palestinian Arabs, and eventually the fabled “two nations living side-by-side in peace.”

A quarter of a century later, the peace process is dead, and peace between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs is farther away than ever. The Oslo Accord became the Oslo War, as Middle East historian Efraim Karsh calls it. Rather than peace, the lasting legacy of the Oslo Accords will be another reminder of the serial failures of idealistic internationalism.

That Oslo was a wish-fulfilling folly became obvious soon after the photogenic handshake in the Rose Garden. Terror attacks between 1994-1999 totaled 215, roughly equal to the pre-Oslo number in the early 90s. Terrorism continued to escalate in subsequent years. In 2000––a mere month after Arafat turned down Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s offer of everything the Palestinian Arabs claimed they wanted except for the suicidal “right of return” –– Arafat launched the so-called Second Intifada, which in five years murdered over a thousand Israelis. The killing didn’t start to abate until Israel walled off Judea and Samaria from Israeli territory.

Still unschooled in the dangers of relying on “parchment barriers” like Oslo, and facing intense international opprobrium and pressure to cede “land for peace,” in 2005 Israel evacuated 8,500 Jews from the Gaza Strip. The territory fell into the hands of Hamas, a terrorist gang whose genocidal intent is still encoded in its founding charter. What followed was not peace, but a continuing series of terrorist attacks, kidnappings, incursions, and nearly 20,000 rockets and mortars fired into Israeli territory. Hamas today has made no more progress than has the PA toward creating the political and economic infrastructure necessary for a viable, independent nation.

The failures of Oslo reflect the same false assumptions of idealistic internationalism or the “rules based international order.” The most glaring is the unexamined belief that technological progress and material improvement everywhere trumps the older, deeply engrained cultural, traditional, and religious beliefs and practices that for most of human history have defined collective identity. This arrogant projection of culturally contingent ideals onto the whole planet enables the failure of imagination to see the alternative or often conflicting beliefs and aims of those who are different from us. As a result, diplomatic engagement and transnational institutions take at face value the duplicitous participation of other nations and peoples in treaties, summits, conferences, and accords. Such agreements reflect not the “meeting of the minds” necessary for a sincere agreement reflecting common aims and shared values, but the national interests and goals of the participants that often contradict the values and principles supposedly underlying the agreement.

Like the failure of the League of Nations, that of the United Nations has illustrated this foundational weakness of transnational institutions. As the creation of multinational treaties, the UN does not rest on similar values and goals of the diverse nations comprising it. It reflects instead the national interests of these nations, their interests believed to be served by participation in the UN, and frequently at odds with the principles of the UN’s founding.

It is no accident that the recalcitrance and violence of the Palestinian Arabs have been encouraged and financed by the UN. The UN was barely two years old when its weakness and hypocrisy were exposed. Its resolution partitioning Mandatory Palestine into Jewish and Arab states was violently rejected by the Arab UN member-states with impunity. In subsequent years, the UN has spent billions of dollars propping up the PA, which is riddled with corruption and incompetence, and regularly incites genocidal hatred of Israel with school curricula and stipends for the families of terrorists. The UN has also been the inciter and enabler of global anti-Semitism and irrational hatred of Israel even by liberal-democratic European member-states who think that Israel is the biggest impediment to their national security and economic interests. Nor should this surprise anyone who realizes that nations pursue their interests as they define them, rather than acting on universal principles, values, or morals.

Oslo, like virtually all of the accords and agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs, is a textbook example of the danger of such naïve and hypocritical internationalism. The disconnect between the West’s understanding of the public pretexts supposedly underlying Yasser Arafat’s rule of the Palestinian Arabs, and the reality of his actions, was expressed several years before Oslo by Jeane Kirkpatrick, Ronald Reagan’s Ambassador to the UN:

The long march through the UN has produced many benefits for the PLO. It has created a people where there was none; a claim where there was none. Now the PLO is seeking to create a state where there already is one. That will take more than resolutions and more than an ‘international peace conference.’ But having succeeded so well over the years in its campaign to delegitimize Israel, the PLO might yet also succeed in bringing the campaign to a triumphant conclusion, with consequences for the Jewish state that would be nothing short of catastrophic.
In short, the global order has recognized the cosmetic alteration of the terrorist Palestinian Liberation Organization into the Palestinian Authority, accepted the presence of non-existent “Palestinian nationals” in UN organizations like UNESCO, and transformed a terrorist like Yasser Arafat and his successor Mahmoud Abbas into “heads of state” due all the pomp. privileges, and respect owed to genuine leaders of nations. These willful blunders all reflect the West’s failure to imagine and acknowledge goods and motives different from our own, and to hold accountable Palestinian Arabs who continue their terrorism against Israel, nurture a culture of hatred and violence, and keep alive their dream of a Judenfrei Palestine “from the river to the sea.”

Indeed, like most of the world outside Europe and America, aggressors and tyrants have seen through the “parchment barriers” that comprise the “international rules-based order.” They are experts at mouthing the West’s shibboleths like “human rights,” “national self-determination,” “freedom and equality,” and “anticolonialism,” even as they find such notions an alien, neocolonial intrusion into their own traditions, cultures, and sovereignty. Particularly in the Muslim Middle East, the faith-based imperatives codified in the Koran and Hadiths of Islam’s right to dominate other nations, and the belief in Islamic sharia as the only legitimate order governing the totality of human existence, are disguised by duplicitous appeals to Western notions of government and social life.

Hence the Koranic demand that no territory once conquered by Islam can ever revert to its original possessors, creates specious demands like a nation free of Jews, or the “right to return” not just for the surviving handful of Arabs who left Israel during the 1948 war, but for their four million descendants. Or the Muslim protestations of a respect for “human rights,” which on closer inspection of documents like the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam, or the many constitutions of Islamic nations, include the proviso that nothing said about human rights can conflict with illiberal sharia laws that proscribe full rights and equality for women or religions other than Islam.

What is reprehensible is that the democratic nations of the West have indulged these delusions for 70 years–– despite the bloody failures of the international order most obvious in the decades before World War II. We know why Barack Obama disdained Israel. He is the product of the progressive university that has made the so-called Palestinians emblems of justified guerilla resistance against a neocolonial aggressor. But too many Republicans have continued the charade of “peace talks” and “peace summits” that legitimize terrorists and demand suicidal concessions from the region’s only true democracy.

Donald Trump has been the belated corrective to the “national self-determination” and “two-state solution” clichés. Actually enforcing US law, he has moved our embassy to Jerusalem. Recognizing the despicable role that the UN has played in enabling terror, he has cut-off aid to the UNRWA, which has blatantly misused member-state money to fund terrorism and corrupt leaders. He has shut down the PA “consulate” in Washington. He and Congress have passed the Taylor Force Act that conditions aid to the PA on its suspension of payments to the families of imprisoned or dead terrorists. In short, he has been a full-throated supporter of Israel, going far beyond the token protestations that most presidents issue in vague diplo-speak.

All these actions are a sea-change compared to previous administrations. Unfortunately, Trump still speaks of a “deal” and “peace plan” that he or his representatives can broker between Israel and the gangsters scheming to destroy her. The time has come to go even further and end this foreign policy charade that emboldens terrorists and puts Israel at risk. Don’t just reduce aid, stop all of it. Tell the UN that the US will reduce its dues by one dollar for every dollar given directly or indirectly through NGOs to the PA. Stop all diplomatic contact with Mahmoud Abbas and other high-ranking PA functionaries, and instead shun them like the terrorists and gangsters they are. Stop any participation by any American official or “special envoy” in the endless parade of “conferences” and “summits, “peace processes” and “agreements.” And stop using a cowardly phrase like “cycle of violence,” which is moral equivalence masking moral idiocy.

And most important, let’s stop indulging the delusions of idealistic internationalism and its utopian dreams of peace and harmony, which more often than not are an excuse not to act or discriminate between aggressors and their victims. Let’s return our foreign policy to the only aim it should have: protecting the security and interests of American citizens, an aim furthered by supporting and defending those allies like Israel who share in word and deed our fundamental principles of individual rights, citizen self-government, and ordered liberty.

Bruce Thornton is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, a Research Fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution, and a Professor of Classics and Humanities at the California State University. He is the author of nine books and numerous essays on classical culture and its influence on Western Civilization. His most recent book, Democracy's Dangers and Discontents (Hoover Institution Press), is now available for purchase.


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Kavanaugh Battle Brews - Matthew Vadum

by Matthew Vadum

The Left unveils its malice in dragging the confirmation process out as long as possible.

The Left’s continuing success in delaying a confirmation vote on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court reveals its malicious agenda to block the nominee from sitting on the high court when its new term begins Monday, October 1.

Democrats had Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford’s never-credible accusations of sexual abuse -- including possible attempted rape -- in hand way back in the summer. They deliberately refused to bring up the allegations, as weak and ridiculous as they are, at Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation hearings because they didn’t want to have a rational discussion.

They wanted to hurl the wild claims like a grenade at the last minute to blow up the process.
And so far it appears they’re succeeding.

If Kavanaugh isn’t in place a week from Monday, the Supreme Court will begin hearing cases in its new term shorthanded. The high court normally has a complement of nine justices but with Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement July 31, which cleared the way for Kavanaugh’s nomination, there have only been eight justices in place. Roughly speaking there is a 4-to-4 liberal to conservative ideological split on the court. Democrats would prefer to drag the confirmation process into the next Congress where they hope to take control from Republicans. Election Day is November 6. The GOP currently controls the Senate, which has the final say on judicial nominations, by an uncomfortably close margin of 51 to 49.

Christine Blasey Ford’s lawyers are trying to game the system. They know that Senate Judiciary Committee rules require Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to provide a full week’s notice for a hearing. So, if, for example, the committee followed the rules and agreed Friday (today) to a hearing, the soonest it could be held would be next Friday, the final business day before the Supreme Court’s new term begins. Of course, lawyers are masters of delay, and social justice warrior-lawyers hoping to torpedo President Trump’s agenda have an added incentive to drag the confirmation process out as long as possible. New demands and fake emergencies are bound to arise from Ford’s legal team.

It was unclear at press time if the public hearing scheduled for Monday into the allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh would go forward. Kavanaugh informed the committee he was willing to testify Monday. “I continue to want a hearing as soon as possible, so that I can clear my name," he wrote in a letter.

Ford's lawyer Debra Katz told the Judiciary Committee her client "wishes to testify, provided that we can agree on terms that are fair and which ensure her safety." Another Ford attorney reportedly said Wednesday that there are “multiple witnesses” who need to testify.

"A hearing on Monday is not possible and the Committee's insistence that it occur then is arbitrary in any event,” Katz wrote in a letter. “Dr. Ford has asked me to let you know that she appreciates the various options you have suggested. Her strong preference continues to be for the Senate Judiciary Committee to allow for a full investigation prior to her testimony.”

GOP lawmakers are figuring out how to respond to Ford’s request, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports:
Late Thursday, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), the Judiciary Committee chairman, said that his staff had discussed the issue with Ford’s attorney earlier in the day and that he would consult with his fellow committee members about the next move.
Ford’s offer also increased the pressure on several key moderates — particularly GOP Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — whose votes will probably be needed to put Kavanaugh on the high court. Both were already facing heavy pressure from abortion rights groups concerned that Kavanaugh, a staunch conservative and longtime GOP attorney, might vote to restrict access to abortion. The sexual assault allegation, which the nominee has denied, has upended his seemingly sure-bet confirmation and only increased the stakes for the key lawmakers.
Chairman Grassley had imposed a Thursday deadline for Ford to submit testimony after her team said Tuesday she wasn’t willing to testify until the FBI investigates her sexual abuse allegations against Kavanaugh. Left-wingers such as Hillary Clinton and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) echoed Ford’s demand.

The demand for an FBI probe is “utter nonsense,” former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova said earlier this week.

Ford “really doesn’t want to testify,” he said. “Because when she does, she is going to look like the loon she is. She may very well believe everything she’s saying, and that is one of the signs of lunacy, believing something that isn’t real.” And her lawyer is “even loonier.”

Besides, diGenova explained, the eleventh-hour sexual abuse claim leveled against Kavanaugh is a non-federal matter and in this case the alleged assault hasn’t even been clearly outlined by the alleged victim. Ford didn’t report it to anyone for decades and isn’t even certain when or where it happened, so the FBI can’t investigate the matter “because there is nothing to investigate.”

Kavanaugh has already undergone six FBI background checks and the agency has ruled out investigating Ford’s allegation of drunken groping at a teenagers’ party 36 years ago. Ford’s request for an FBI probe is “clearly a desire to delay proceedings,” diGenova said.

President Trump is taking the high road and is avoiding attacking Ford, which isn’t a risky move given how obviously unbalanced the accuser is. Ford is already doing an excellent job destroying herself without Republican assistance.

At the White House on Wednesday, President Trump said it would be "wonderful" if Ford testifies and "unfortunate" if she does not. He indicated he was keeping an open mind about the allegations but that it was "very hard for me to imagine anything happened" between her and the nominee.

"I think he's an extraordinary man – I think he's a man of great intellect, as I've been telling you, and he has an unblemished record," Trump said. "This is a very tough thing for him and his family and we want to get over it but at the same time we want to give tremendous amounts of time. If she shows up that would be wonderful – if she doesn't show up that would be unfortunate."

CBS News reports that Judge Kavanaugh's wife, Ashley Kavanaugh, has received multiple threats. “The text of three emailed threats, obtained by CBS News, were obscene and violent in nature. CBS News has confirmed that the U.S. Marshal's Service has assigned a protective detail to Kavanaugh's family,” the news website reports.

The high-stakes behind-the-scenes jockeying over the confirmation process continues.

Matthew Vadum, senior vice president at the investigative think tank Capital Research Center, is an award-winning investigative reporter and author of the book, "Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers."


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The American government confronts the PA house of cards - Dr. Mordechai Kedar

by Dr. Mordechai Kedar

It seems that the proverbial penny has dropped in Washington and the US government has begun behaving rationally with regard to the delusionary Palestinian State.

There are times when a state, especially a world power, realizes that it has been played for a fool over a long period of time and, infuriated, acts like anyone who is sick and tired of blackmail and chicanery. That is exactly what has been happening lately to the relationship between the US government and the PLO, the organization in charge of the Palestinian Authority.

President Trump, who thinks like a businessman, keeps on asking himself: Is there anything to be gained from continuing the present situation?  Or is maintaining it causing more damage? The answer to his question is what gave rise to his recent decisions. In other words, if something is worthwhile, he is willing to fund and back it, but if nothing is going to come of it, the thing to do is abandon it as soon as possible and stop throwing good money after bad.

That is how Trump views a good many international issues: The nuclear agreement with Iran, signed during his predecessor’s term, the understandings with North Korea which previous governments kept up for the benefit of a string of dictators who ran that strange country, the trade agreements with China and North American states and others. He feels totally free to “recalculate,” to paraphrase Waze, on a cost-benefit basis. This is his businessman’s contribution to American foreign policy – and that is exactly what happened with regard to the Palestinian Arab issue.

When it came to Jerusalem, Trump realized that more than twenty years have gone by since Congress passed a law mandating the US embassy move to Jerusalem, and although every president elected since then – Clinton, Bush and Obama – postponed the move again and again, there has been no progress on Jerusalem . In fact, Jerusalem has become the insurmountable bone of contention blocking any agreement between Israel and the PA.  

He also realized that the Palestinian demand to make Jerusalem the capital of its proposed state does not make sense historically, because there has never been a king, Caliph, Sultan or Emir, Arab or Muslim, who made Jerusalem his capital. In contrast, there are Jewish, Greek and Roman sources documenting Jerusalem's being the capital city of the Jewish people. Trump came to  the conclusion that putting off the embassy move serves no purpose, and moved the embassy to Jerusalem without exacting (at least so far) any price from Israel. 

Trump then realized that the money the US has invested in the refugees since the late 1940s is being used to perpetuate the Palestinian refugee problem. Every other country with a refugee problem in the 1940s, after WWII,  solved it by means of returning to former homes, settling in their new location or immigrating to another. The only refugees still extant from that period are the Arab ones from Israel's 1948 War of Independence, and they are also the only ones who passed on their refugee status to three generations of offspring with no end in sight. No one understands why the American taxpayer should continue funding a problem that will never be solved especially as this funding is what allows it to continue on forever. Trump said to himself: Let's stop funding the refugees and they will realize that each one of them is responsible for solving his own problems, and putting an end to the issue. The Arab states that invaded Israel one day after it declared its independence are those who brought about the 1948 war and the resulting refugee problem, so why should the US pay for an Arab problem caused by the Arab nations?

It is quite possible that Trump received reports describing what UNRWA does with the money it gets – for example, payng the salaries of workers in Gaza who give part of their wages to Hamas, meaning that American taxpayers are funding a body their government designated as a terror organization  

This means that instead of investing the American money in development and improving the lives of Gazans, it is being invested in digging tunnels and producing rockets meant to attack Israel, a US ally. Can there be anything more absurd?  Previous US governments allowed this absurdity to continue and purposely ignored the information they received about what was being done with American taxpayers' money.

In case no one remembers, Hamas is a terror organization which ran in the January 2006 elections for the Palestinian legislative council, garnering the majority of its seats. There have been no elections since that date, so that Hamas still has the - democratic! – right to pass laws in the Palestinian Authority, despite being defined as a terror organization. Is there any reason for the US to fund an authority whose laws are passed by terrorists? And why does Europe continue to do so?

When discussing Palestinian elections, it is useful to remember an important sentence penned by Shimon Peres in his book "A New Middle East" (1996), p. 154: "The only way open to the Palestinian organizations if they want to overcome Hamas is through elections. An armed, extremist minority must be met by the authority of an elected majority." Peres, who held key offices in the State of Israel – Foreign Minister, Minister of Defense, Prime Minister and President – did not even consider the possibility that Hamas would use the elections to take over the Palestinian Authority of which he was a major founder and for which he received the Nobel Peace Prize. If someone so blind to reality and to what the future might hold served in such important positions in the State of Israel, what does that say about Israeli wisdom?

In addition, Trump is not happy with the transfer of US funds to cover Palestinian Authority activities because of the rampant corruption in its every governmental department and because Mahmoud Abbas' two sons, Yasser and Tarek, have become "partners" in every PA business deal. Funding the PA security operations is even worse – they do the minimum demanded by Israel, leaving the IDF to deal with Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the other terrorists. If the IDF is the real PA defense force, why should America fund security operations that do not provide security?

Interestingly, Trump also stopped supporting so-called Palestinian "Peace organizations" which run activities for Palestinian Arab and Israeli youth meant to create an "atmosphere of peace" between the two sides. It seems that Trump understood that these organizations are an entire industry whose raison d'etre is to provide jobs and collect donations from well-meaning Europeans and Americans who have little understanding of the situation.

These donors are willing to hand over millions of euros and dollars to create something that is impossible to create as long as the official Palestinian Authority media spews incitement, delegitimization and dehumanization of Israel in particular and all Jews in general. 

Do you get it? The PA creates an atmosphere of hate so that Palestinian organizations can hold meetings to create an atmosphere of peace – with US and European money, of course. About a year ago, a reliable and well known source told me that there are hundreds of these Palestinian "peace" groups as anyone who wants an easy income establishes an organization, prints promotional material using texts taken off the internet and approaches the Europeans and Americans for monetary aid. If a woman runs the organization, her chances are even better, and what is strangest of all, it seems that American Jewish organizations are the first to give money to these income-generating organizations.

Trump also stopped funding hospitals serving the Arab population in Eastern Jerusalem. He may have felt that if Jerusalem is a united city and Israel's capital, the responsibility for running these hospitals is Israel's. Perhaps Trump is telling the Israelis: You wanted a united Jerusalem? Well, you've got it now, so pay for the hospitals which are now under your jurisdiction." This is a healthy and proper, purely business attitude based on the concept of responsibility: whoever is responsible has to foot the bills.

In essence, with the moves he has taken against the PLO and PA, Trump is intimating that he has done his part, and now wants to know what Israel is going to do to put the PLO and PA where they deserve to be. Is Israel going to continue giving artificial respiration to these dead bodies? Is Israel going to continue keeping the hallucinatory agreements with terrorists signed by people like Peres and Beilin? Or is it going to join Trump and begin thinking rationally?  

The Palestinian issue has direct bearing on the Iranian problem, because Trump is surely asking himself: If Israel, justifiably, is constantly warning about the danger facing it from Iran, how does it allow a terrorist organization to control the mountains overlooking Israel from Dimona and Beer Sheva in the south all the way up the coastal plain to Afula and Beit Shean in the  north? Every schoolchild knows that the Palestinian Arabs will launch rockets against Israeli communities as soon as they are able to. Isn't there a contradiction between Israel's vehemence against Iran and its attitude towards the Palestinians? And if Israel creates dangerous situations for itself, why should America act against Iran and the agreements signed with that country?

It seems that the proverbial penny has dropped in Washington and the US government has begun behaving rationally with regard to the delusionary Palestinian State, putting it out to dry economically and ending decades of keeping it alive by artificial means.  The Palestinian State can now find its rightful place in the history books as another march of folly.

The only problem is that all this is reversible and a different US government can easily turn back the clock and begin pressuring Israel to leave Judea and Samaria in favor of a judenrein Palestinian Arab state. Israel, therefore, must take advantage of the Trump era by creating a new reality, one that is almost impossible to change or dismiss:  Israel must cancel the Oslo Agreements and all the others that followed those Accords,  knock down the Palestinian house of  cards, send the criminals it brought from Tunisia back to where they came from, starting with Mahmoud  Abbas and his sons – and create independent emirates in every Arab city in Judea and Samaria  run by local clans and their natural, local leaders.

Israel must remain in the village areas forever and offer Israeli citizenship to those living in those areas who make up about 10% of the Arabs in Judea and Samaria.

This is the only solution based on local sociological reality. Only this solution can bring stability, growth and peace to the Arab residents of Judea and Samaria, security to Israel. This is the solution to which Trump's steps can lead. 

Tranlated from Hebrew by Rochel Sylvetsky

Dr. Mordechai Kedar is a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University. He served in IDF Military Intelligence for 25 years, specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena. Thoroughly familiar with Arab media in real time, he is frequently interviewed on the various news programs in Israel.


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The Most Important Election in 222 Years - Gregory Buls

by Gregory Buls

To sit out the elections this year is to agree that the left and its allies can be trusted with power.

In 1796, America under George Washington enjoyed peace and prosperity unforeseen by even the most optimistic Founders. The election of 1796 was arguably the most important in the nation's history because it represented our first true transfer of power. Many had urged Washington to be king. Instead, he willingly gave his power back to the people, who then placed it into the hands of our second president, John Adams. Though Adams beat Thomas Jefferson by a mere three electoral votes – and won just 71 out of 276 cast – thoughts of monarchy were forgotten, and America was set on a course it maintained for the next 204 years.

The presidential election of 2000 established a new paradigm, where the winner of the contest was considered illegitimate by a large part of the opposition. Ditto 2004 and 2016. Though the effort to de-legitimize President Bush was interrupted by 9/11, the new paradigm appears fixed: Democrat winners are as American as apple pie, and Republican winners are cheaters. The peaceful transfer of power is no longer a given.

As troubling as the new paradigm is, it is just another convenient political gambit for the irresponsible left. The prominence of the new paradigm should alarm every freedom-loving American. If unchecked, in time, it will force a breaking point. It also speaks to a palpable division that goes beyond anything we've seen since at least the Civil War. Politics is no longer the art of reasonable compromise; it has become an exercise in grudging, chafing tolerance, with one side consumed by a passionate hatred for the other side – a spreading hatred that threatens to consume both sides. America is at a tipping point, and the 2018 elections will likely determine which direction we take for a generation or more.

The fact that we still have a chance to save the country from the collectivist ash heap is miraculous, given that almost every force in society is aligned against its salvation:
  • We toil under the baleful eye of the leftist corporate media, which ignores our successes; amplifies every perceived failing; and paints conservatism as intolerant and incompetent, stuffy, and stultifying.
  • A small but loud resistance movement inside conservatism is endlessly paraded before the country, obsessing over what is "crass" and "gauche." It is animated by a reeking desperation for approval of everyone outside the right and is utterly useless against a left that never puts form over substance.
  • The population is widely dependent upon the largess the government has been dispensing for generations.
  • The left seems near the end of its long march through society's consciousness-forming institutions, dominating the media and almost wholly controlling academia, the arts, the sciences, and entertainment and making serious inroads into religion.
  • The strings that connect and control the digital age are in the hands of the left, hands that gleefully strangle voices on the right.
  • Even as "the right" controls the federal government, recent events have shown that rogue leftist elements within government are active and treasonous.
  • The left is utterly ruthless, while the right still pretends propriety and decorum are indispensable hallmarks of civilization rather than civilization-threatening indulgences.
Problems such as the national debt and unfunded entitlements were once considered paramount. One can be forgiven for pining for such simple times.

Given the forces arrayed against us, it is hard to imagine that one election could make much difference. Cynics will argue that the cause is lost, the Republic died long ago in all but form, and the ascendancy and normalization of the left insures that it will be generations before it can be restored to its former glory. The combined power of the forces of unmaking seem congealed to form an fixed object. If that is so, then moving the left off its political center of gravity will require an unstoppable force.

The relentlessly energetic engine of that force exists in the person of President Trump, but the body of it consists of those Americans who still value freedom over entitlement, individualism over conformity, work over idleness, nationhood over globalism, and faith over self-worship and idolatry.

The elections this year are critical not because of any dire consequences that may directly result. Even if Republicans lose control of the House in 2018, Trump will remain in power and will be able to place the Department of Justice into more vigorous hands, so the ongoing coup against his presidency can still be exposed. It's likely that victorious Democrats will try to hamstring his agenda with endless investigations, but he may merely settle into a more combative mode, achieving his ends through executive action or budgetary intransigence.

Even if the president can get along with fewer people in his corner, the fact that he will be more empowered to pursue his agenda if Republicans win is a given. Issues as fundamental as whether we will alter the population by importing poverty or importing merit are at stake.

As important as many of Trump's agenda items are, this year's election is the most important in more than two centuries because the left has fully embraced the new paradigm of illegitimacy. Leftists have never been more clearly defined, and the present moment affords us the best chance we have ever had to turn decisively away from their road to ruin. For the first time in a generation, the president and his allies have the country moving in the right direction, defined not by statistics, but by the fact that what he has already accomplished offers conservatism a real chance to be shown to work. All of the propaganda and histrionics of the left will fall on deaf ears if the people are confident about the direction of the country. The left still represents a cacophonous minority; most Americans are still animated by a desire to secure their place in a world where they can feel proud of themselves and their country.

We've been told for months that the left's ascendancy in the House is a foregone conclusion: Trump alienates many people, and opinion polling is cast in stone, so don't bother voting. Given that context, a Republican victory will be a devastating blow to the left and its machinations. Sitting out the elections is not merely a self-absorbed statement that you are offended by Trump's personality; it is agreement that the left and its allies can be trusted with power.

The election of President Trump was a richly deserved blow to the establishment and to a political party that despises you if you are not a member of its club of malcontents. For the first time since their ascendancy, the left and their enablers are off balance and fully exposed. You can either help to deliver them a crippling blow or extend your hand to help them up. In this election, inaction is the most telling vote you can cast – it will say everything about you that is really worth knowing.

Gregory Buls


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The Ravages of Leftist Thought Control - Michael Cutler

by Michael Cutler

The "Newspeak" of Orwell's 1984 is here.

On September 12, 2018 the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) posted an article in its official website, Twitter Ads Rejects Tweets for "Hateful Content.”

The CIS article noted:
Yesterday Twitter rejected four Center for Immigration Studies tweets for use in the Center's Twitter Ads campaign, alleging hateful content. (Several others were approved.) All four tweets use the statutory phrases "illegal alien" or "criminal alien," and all of the tweets referenced law enforcement, either at the border or in the interior. One of the tweets contained a powerful Daily Caller video showing illegal aliens in camouflage carrying large backpacks across the border unimpeded.
Two days later, on September 14th The Daily Caller posted a report updating the situation: Twitter Allows Center For Immigration Studies To Promote Tweets About Illegal Aliens That Were Previously Rejected.

Twitter apparently reversed its decision when Mark Krikorian, the Director of CIS, appeared on Fox News to discuss the issue.

Here is an excerpt from The Daily Caller article:
The four tweets that could not get promoted, but are still on Twitter, contained the terms “alien,” “illegal alien” or “criminal alien” along with reference to law enforcement, according to a statement from CIS Wednesday.
A promoted tweet is a normal tweet bought by advertisers that can have a greater outreach on people, according to Twitter’s website.
“After two days of media coverage and no response to our question on what caused the denial, Twitter has approved the tweets,” CIS Director of Communications Marguerite Telford told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Turns out media coverage transforms tweets with ‘hateful content’ into acceptable tweets. But what if the story is not covered by The Daily Caller and Fox News? Present social media policies promote inconsistent, secret filtering policies that can and do block what is often just one side of important public debates.”
CIS Executive Director Mark Krikorian appeared on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Wednesday to discuss the promotion ban along with what the organization did to find out why its tweets were considered as hateful.
“We looked at them and they all had ‘illegal alien’ or ‘criminal alien’ in them,” Krikorian told Carlson. “And so we said, ‘That must be it.’ What we did is sent them a nice note, and said, ‘Please let us know specifically what’s hateful about this because other ones weren’t that you did accept money for.’”
While it is important to note that Twitter reversed its decision, there is no cause for joy but consternation that this happened at all.

Twitter is a widely used means of communication.  It has become a virtual town square and its managers have total control over who gets to stand on the “soapbox.”

As Twitter notes, A promoted tweet is a normal tweet bought by advertisers that can have a greater outreach on people.  

In other words, promoting a tweet is the equivalent of providing a megaphone to the person or advertiser to reach more people.  Consequently, denying the speaker the use of that megaphone muffles the message.

Americans have foolishly come to blame the widespread censorship of language as examples of “Political Correctness.”  This is a dangerous notion.  Political Correctness (PC) was originally sold to Americans as a way of being polite by not using insulting or humiliating language.

However, this has now morphed into a means of thought control through the control of language. 

Humans think with words. When you eliminate words, you eliminate the thoughts that the words represent.  All that is required is that a term, such as “alien” be branded “hate speech” by an unknown arbiter of language, and it is scrubbed from the vernacular.

There is absolutely nothing fair or compassionate about this.

Last year I wrote an article about how this now threatens the very foundation of our nation, Language Wars: The Road to Tyranny Is Paved with Language Censorship.

Across the United States “Safe Spaces” have been created on college campuses that stifle free speech and debate.  My degree was in Communications Arts and Sciences.  I participated in debates in high school and college and had I not become a federal agent, I had given serious consideration to teaching debate on the college level.

Debate is a celebration of the First Amendment that creates a sort of free market for ideas, a form of intellectual capitalism, where the participants bring their ideas to the marketplace of public opinion where all sides can express their thoughts freely.

Through this process the ideas that have greater merit are likely to advance.

It is easier to promote bad ideas when there are no alternatives.  Hence, we have “Safe Spaces” that are anything but “safe.”

Twitter is not alone in this totalitarian method of stifling free speech.

The Associated Press (AP) has issued a Style Book to not only guide writers in consistent use of punctuation and footnoting, but in purportedly acceptable language.  “Illegal alien” is not deemed acceptable for AP and, as they advertise on their website, their Style Book can be found in boardrooms, classrooms and newsrooms across America.

Control of language, coupled with extreme surveillance of its citizens that included the installation of telescreens (television monitoring devices) in the citizens’ homes that broadcast a constant barrage of programming from the omnipresent “Big Brother” created the ultimate police state in Orwell's 1984.

Today our cell phones and other devices that apparently eavesdrop on us, are far more intrusive than Orwell could have envisioned.

A detailed explanation of Newspeak is found in the following excerpt from the Appendix to Orwell’s novel, under the title , The Principles of NewspeakWhile admittedly a bit lengthy, it provides a clear explanation and warning as to just how dangerous and insidious Newspeak and other such censorship is:
The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc (English Socialist Party) but to make all other modes of thought impossible. It was intended that when Newspeak had been adopted once and for all and Oldspeak forgotten, a heretical thought — that is, a thought diverging from the principles of Ingsoc — should be literally unthinkable, at least so far as thought is dependent on words. Its vocabulary was so constructed as to give exact and often very subtle expression to every meaning that a Party member could properly wish to express, while excluding all other meanings and also the possibility of arriving at them by indirect methods. This was done partly by the invention of new words, but chiefly by eliminating undesirable words and by stripping such words as remained of unorthodox meanings, and so far as possible of all secondary meanings whatever. To give a single example. The word free still existed in Newspeak, but it could only be used in such statements as ‘This dog is free from lice’ or ‘This field is free from weeds’. It could not be used in its old sense of ‘politically free’ or ‘intellectually free’ since political and intellectual freedom no longer existed even as concepts, and were therefore of necessity nameless.
Quite apart from the suppression of definitely heretical words, reduction of vocabulary was regarded as an end in itself, and no word that could be dispensed with was allowed to survive. Newspeak was designed not to extend but to diminish the range of thought, and this purpose was indirectly assisted by cutting the choice of words down to a minimum.
Two years ago I wrote an analysis of the origins of eliminating the term “Alien” from discussions about immigration in my article,  Jimmy Carter: Originator of the Orwellian Term "Undocumented Immigrant."

Not only did Carter alter the language used by immigration enforcement agents, he even ordered INS agents not to arrest illegal aliens during the Census in the population centers with the greatest number of illegal aliens.  Those areas tended to vote for Democratic candidates and would gain more seats in the House of Representatives and hence, more votes in the Electoral College by getting more illegal aliens counted.  He illegally harnessed immigration to skew the electorate by obstructing immigration law enforcement.

Most Americans don’t realize that the term DREAM Act is actually an acronym (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act).  The supposed hate word “Alien” became palatable when it could be linked to The American Dream.  This is sheer hypocrisy, but then this Orwellian use of language is not about ethics, but about thought control.  There is certainly nothing ethical about that!

The Immigration and Nationality Act, defines the term “Alien” as “Any person, not a citizen or national of the United States.”  There is no insult in that term or its definition, only clarity.

Rebels who stage a coup d’etat generally first seize the means of communication to control the flow of information.  Knowledge is power, and to strip the citizenry of its power, its access to information must be tightly controlled though censorship.

Between fake news and the implementation of control over language by the social media, America stands at the precipice of the loss of our freedoms and our way of life. 

The Fourth Amendment has been gutted in the name of national security, even as the “War on Terror” that justified many of these measures, does not include secure borders or effective immigration law enforcement mandated by the 9/11 Commission.

In fact, the Left now seeks to abolish all immigration law enforcement to ostensibly protect the immigrants, leaving the U.S. vulnerable.

The question that must be asked is, are we more at risk at the hands of terrorists or at the hands of the Ministry of Truth?

Michael Cutler


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Multiculturalism killed the Swedish utopia - Giulio Meotti

by Giulio Meotti

The horrific statistics here show that Sweden, once a country where one could walk the streets at night safely, has become a crime-ridden country with no-go zones. But connect that with Muslim migrants at your own peril.

On August 30th, Sweden hosted the first “women only” music festival in the world. Entry to Gothenburg was forbidden to men. It was a “safe zone” reserved for women, trans and “non-binary people”, as they call them.

The idea came to comedian Emma Knyckare a year ago, after the Bravalla festival ended with numerous complaints of sexual violence. And many of those cases involved refugees.

Now Sweden is preparing for the “most important elections in history” and the “women's solo concert” illustrates well the crisis of that “moral superpower”, as the New York Times calls it.

In recent years, Sweden has been proud of its humanitarian profile, being the country that has received more refugees per capita and spent more on them in relation to GDP than any other. For the first time since 1917, the Social Democratic Party, which has formed governments in 80 of the 101 years since the introduction of democracy, risks being undermined.

But the current crisis is not only political, with the rise of the Swedish Democrats. It is above all an identity crisis. “Sweden is joining the rest of Europe”, the former Prime Minister Carl Bildt said with melancholy.

In a country of ten million inhabitants, in 2017 there were 320 shootings and dozens of assaults with grenades (Molotov cocktails were also launched against synagogues and Jews now hide their symbols in the streets). As reported by the London Times, 36 percent of Swedish women admit they do not feel safe at night. Paulina Neuding, an internationally renowned Swedish journalist born of a Jewish family who emigrated from Communist Poland at the time of persecution there, said that Sweden is experiencing a “crisis of sexual violence”.

Crime increases in “areas of social exclusion”, which some call “no-go”. According to the police, there are 55 in Sweden. Until recently, this recent BBC headline would have been unthinkable: “Sweden's deep problem with hand grenades”.

In Malmö, where one-fifth of the population of 340,000 are underage, armed gangs patrol the streets at night, the vast majority of whom are of immigrant origin. “They want to kill”, said Zoran Markovic, the former police chief at Rosengard, where the new police station has been fortified. The old building had been riddled in a shootout.

The situation has drastically deteriorated in the last two years. Rinkeby, twenty minutes from the center of Stockholm, is one of the areas most affected by crime. The paramedics and firefighters ask for a police escort to operate there. The magistrate charged with defeating organized crime, Lise Tamm, has called Rinkeby a “war zone”.

Yet, in Sweden it is a very risky to establish a link between immigrants and crime, according to Tino Sanandaji, the Swedish economist of Iranian-Kurdish origin who wrote “Mass Challenge”, a bestseller on how the country failed to integrate newcomers. Many public libraries blacklisted the book.

“The attacks would have ended my career if I had been an ethnic white Swedish”, the economist said. Sanandaji's numbers are impressive: 58 percent of welfare payments go to immigrants; 45 percent of children with low school scores are immigrants; immigrants earn 40 percent less than the Swedes; most of the people accused of murder, rape and robbery are first or second generation immigrants and “Sweden has the greatest increase in the inequalities of any OECD country”.

Roland Huntford saw it right when in his book “The New Totalitarians” he described a Swedish dystopia in which personal liberties had been sacrificed to social democratic ideals.

Back in the Eighties, the German writer Hans Magnus Enzensberger called the Swedish government something unprecedented and “unmatched in other free societies,” referring to the extraordinary levels of conformity and consensus. There now lies the dark secret of the crazy multiculturalism that killed that utopia..

And it is taboo to question the utopia which turned into a nightmare.  

Giulio Meotti, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the book "A New Shoah", that researched the personal stories of Israel's terror victims, published by Encounter and of "J'Accuse: the Vatican Against Israel" published by Mantua Books.. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage and Commentary.


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What the Russia-Turkey Idlib Agreement Reveals about the Syrian Conflict - Seth Frantzman

by Seth Frantzman

Previous agreements like this have come and gone over the course of the Syrian conflict.

Russia and Turkey signed an agreement to prevent a Syrian regime offensive in Idlib this week. 
The agreement will create a large demilitarized zone and is supposed to lead to “radical terrorist groups” being removed from parts of Idlib by October 15. The full text of the agreement was published on Wednesday by The National. Iran was not a party to the agreement, signaling to Washington, Israel, and others that Iran’s role in Syria may have been sidelined. However, the agreement does not spell out how “terrorist” groups will be removed from parts of Idlib or which groups must be removed, leaving open the possibility of future conflict.

Map of Idlib, Syria
Signed on September 17 in Sochi between Russian and Turkish delegations, a copy of the agreement was made in English and Russian and sent to US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley on September 18. A copy was also sent to UN Secretary-General Antonia Guterres by Vassily Nebenzia, the Russian Federation’s representative to the UN. The name of the document is the Memorandum on Stabilization of the Situation in the Idlib De-Escalation Area.

Russia and Turkey made the agreement and are guarantors of the “observance of the ceasefire.” This is important because other players in Syria are not listed. Iran, which is an ally of the Syrian regime, is not a guarantor. Neither is the United States or the Coalition which plays a role in eastern Syria. Neither is the Syrian government of Bashar Assad or the various Syrian rebel and extremist groups in Idlib. This represents the degree to which the Syrian conflict has been outsourced to Turkey and Russia, and they have become the guarantors of both sides. Russia is the Syrian regime’s main ally and Turkey is the main ally of the Syrian rebels. Turkey controls several areas in northern Syria, including in Idlib, Afrin and near Jarabulus.

The document says it follows similar “de-escalation” agreements that have been in place in Idlib since 2017. They have helped reduce the fighting in northern Syria and allowed the Syrian regime to concentrate on defeating rebels in Damascus and the south. After the regime successfully took back areas near Jordan and the Golan, it has wanted to re-conquer Idlib from the rebels and extremist groups. However the US has warned Assad against using chemical weapons, and the UN has warned of a humanitarian catastrophe that could affect millions.

According to the 10 points of the agreement, “the Idlib de-escalation area will be preserved and Turkish observation points will be fortified and continue to function.” In addition, Russia says it will take all necessary steps to avoid military operations and attacks on Idlib.

A demilitarized zone (DMZ) 15-20 km deep will be established and the exact lines of the zone will be determined in the future. “Radical terrorist groups” will be removed from the DMZ by October 15. According to point six of the document, “all tanks, MLRS [Multiple Rocket Launch Systems], artillery and mortars belonging to conflicting parties will be withdrawn from the demilitarized zone by October 10.” There will be coordinated patrols and drones will be used to monitor the DMZ. Of particular importance to the Syrian regime transit on route M4 from Aleppo to Latakia and M5 from Aleppo to Hama will be restored by the end of the year.

The document has two key points that appear difficult to carry out in the time provided. By October 10 it envisions heavy weapons being withdrawn and by October 15 “terrorist groups” will be removed. The document doesn’t specify which groups but Russia and the Syrian regime view Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) as the main terrorist group in Idlib. HTS is linked to what used to be Al-Qaeda in Syria. The US also views HTS as a terrorist group and Turkey labeled it a terrorist group in late August. However Turkish observation points in Idlib are in areas where HTS is present. By not mentioning HTS directly the document allows for some flexibility, but it is not clear how Turkey will remove HTS or other extremist groups.

The depth of the DMZ takes up a large part of Idlib province, almost twenty percent of the area currently under the control of the rebels and extremists. It is also unclear how the M4 from Aleppo to Latakia will be opened to traffic, but if the agreement is adhered to, it means that “free movement of local residents and goods” will begin between the government and rebel-controlled areas. This will reduce the humanitarian catastrophe that many warned about in the lead-up to any sort of regime offensive in Idlib.

The agreement represents a major step in northern Syria and shows how Turkey and Russia have grown closer. It also shows how Iran has been excluded from the table. Iran was part of the Astana discussions and has played a key role in other agreements, but it was not present in Sochi. This may be merely symbolic, but it also shows how Moscow and Ankara now view themselves as the main deciders of Syria’s future. For the US and Israel, this is preferable development since both Washington and Jerusalem have opposed Iran’s role in Syria.

The Idlib agreement leaves unresolved what will happen to Afrin, the mostly Kurdish area north of Idlib. In January Turkey launched an offensive into Afrin with the support of the Syrian rebels. Ankara said it was trying to clear Afrin of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) which Ankara views as a terrorist organization linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
Afrin, Syria, north of Idlib
But Kurds have been dismayed by changes in Afrin and complain of abuses. When the Syrian regime was planning the Idlib offensive, some Kurds were hopeful the regime would retake Afrin and they could return to some kind of autonomy. Now with that off the table, the Kurds in eastern Syria who are working closely with the US will see that the regime cannot fulfill its promises of retaking Afrin.

Previous agreements like this have come and gone over the course of the Syrian conflict. For instance, there was supposed to be a de-escalation zone in southern Syria, including a ceasefire signed by the US and Russia and Jordan in July 2017. The regime, with its Russian ally, tossed away the agreement when Damascus decided to launch its offensive in the summer of 2018. 

Time will tell if the Idlib agreement lasts as long as the southern Syria ceasefire.

Seth Frantzman is The Jerusalem Post's op-ed editor, a Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum, and a founder of the Middle East Center for Reporting and Analysis.


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Shocker: Study shows the number of illegals double what was previously thought - Rick Moran

by Rick Moran

Three Yale academics say that the number of illegal aliens in the US is close to 22 million.

However big you thought the problem of illegal aliens in America was, a trio of Yale researches says it's double what everyone thinks.

The three university-affiliated researchers say that the previous estimate of 11.3 million illegals is based on one study with problematic methodology. The researchers took an entirely different approach and came up with the shocking number of 22 million.

National Review:
“Our original idea was just to do a sanity check on the existing number,” said one of the study’s authors, Edward Kaplan, a professor of operations research at the Yale School of Management. “Instead of a number which was smaller, we got a number that was 50 percent higher. That caused us to scratch our heads.”
“There’s a number that everybody quotes, but when you actually dig down and say, ‘What is it based on?’ You find it’s based on one very specific survey and possibly an approach that has some difficulties. So we went in and just took a very different approach,” said another of the study’s authors, Jonathan Feinstein, a professor of Economics and Management.
To arrive at their estimate, the authors used operational data such as deportations and visa overstays as well as demographic data such as death rates and immigration rates.
“We combined these data using a demographic model that follows a very simple logic,” Kaplan said. “The population today is equal to the initial population plus everyone who came in minus everyone who went out. It’s that simple.”
“The analysis we’ve done can be thought of as estimating the size of a hidden population,” he added. “People who are undocumented immigrants are not walking around with labels on their foreheads. . . . There are very few numbers we can point to and say, ‘This is carved in stone.'”
The researchers said their goal in crunching the numbers was not a political one.
“We wouldn’t want people to walk away from this research thinking that suddenly there’s a large influx happening now,” Feinstein commented. “It’s really something that happened in the past and maybe was not properly counted or documented.”
The study's data covers a 26 year period from 1990 to 2016. And while the methodology sounds interesting, it's very hard to say how accurate the data is.

But I think it's a safe bet that the 11.3 million illegal alien figure is wrong. Twenty two million sounds very high given what we know about the strain on our welfare, health care, and public education systems already. It's bad, but double the number of illegals would almost certainly be noticeable in public spending - unless the illegals are so far underground they don't use any public systems. If that were the case, how do you count them?

Many researchers always used the caveat "at least" 11.3 million illegals in the US. Now we're pretty sure it's much higher than that.

There has been very little critical commentary on the study, which isn't surprising given that it was just published on Friday. The bottom line is that decades of neglect, non-existent enforcement, and the deliberate application of policies that make entering the country illegally attractive and lucrative have resulted in a dilution of the value of US citizenship. 

Rick Moran


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