Saturday, July 4, 2020

Red China Moves on Hong Kong - Michael Finch

by Michael Finch

The snuffing out of freedom - and what it portends.

I was fortunate enough to be in Hong Kong on July 1, 1997, traveling with a group headed by the estimable Bruce Herschensohn. It was an extraordinary, if bittersweet trip, seeing the British ships sail out of Hong Kong harbor on the evening of July 1st. The lowering of the Union Jack across the city allowed a moment of great sadness, a passing of an era, given way to a future of trepidation and worry.

On the trip, we were honored to meet the politician and freedom fighter, Martin Lee. Lee was just recently arrested and freed, but will now, almost certainly, be under threat of harassment and further arrests. William McGurn, then senior editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review, also spoke to us, offering some hope, but tinged with warning. That week marked a pivotal moment in history, one that anyone present in Hong Kong at the time will never forget.

Promises and guarantees were made; Hong Kong was given 50 years of freedom, under the now-infamous “one country, two systems” policy of administration. And, indeed, it did work. For just over 20 years, Hong Kong was the gateway and engine that helped propel China to a remarkable economic takeoff, lifting millions out of poverty. Hong Kong was the portal for the rest of the world into China, and the city continued to thrive. Rule of law, security of contracts, an independent judiciary and a free press were all legacies of British rule. 

All of this, however, was snuffed out in recent days with the new national-security law imposed on Hong Kong by mainland China. Simply put, Hong Kong has lost its freedom. 

It certainly didn’t go down without a fight; the past months have seen countless protests and demonstrations from the freedom-loving people of Hong Kong. It has been a sight to behold, watching thousands of demonstrators in the streets of Hong Kong carrying American flags, speaking the words of freedom and liberty. It is awe-inspiring to see that America is still the beacon that all look to, a light of freedom that casts its radiance to every corner of the globe. 

This makes it so heartaching and devastatingly ironic that while the American flag, and the American ideal, is so revered in the hearts and souls of these brave freedom fighters on the streets of Hong Kong, we see, here in our own country, on our very streets, the flag and the great promise and idea of America spat upon, torn down and denigrated. 

Hong Kong was supposed to have 50 years of freedom. Promises made, promises broken. But are we really surprised? We had false illusions that a semi-free, market capitalist economic system would somehow change the politics of the Chinese leadership and government. Those hopes have been dashed. And what now comes next? 

A huge looming question is, how much longer does Taiwan remain free? Even with the defense agreements and close ties between Taiwan and the United States, there is no doubt that the PRC will move quickly to incorporate Taiwan into the mainland. The Anschluss isn’t over, there are other bites of the apple that a voracious Red China is after. 

We need to understand what we are facing; China endured what they call, and view, to be a hundred years of national humiliation. From the First Opium War in 1839 to the Communist takeover in 1949, China was carved up and made subservient to England and other powers, Japan included. The foreign treaties, the loss of Hong Kong, Taiwan, and other slices of the Chinese Empire, the dumping of opium and the ravages from that epidemic, wrought devastation. 

As an aside, if you wonder why China is flooding the U.S. with fentanyl and other highly addictive narcotics, causing untold addiction and death among the American populace, look no further than the parallel of the British importing of opium into China in the 19th Century.

The leaders of Red China have not forgotten these infringements on their autonomy; now that they have the opportunity, they will attempt to redress each of these grievances. It is not a question of if they will move on Taiwan, but rather when. Taiwan is the next step, the first of many. China will adopt the same tactics to its disputes with other Asian countries, primarily over the Spratly Islands dispute with Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Brunei. There is also the dispute over the Senkaku Islands, or as China calls it, the Diaoyu Islands, with Japan.

It is critical to realize that we are not dealing with a sclerotic Soviet Union of the 1980’s. We must take the blinders off and realize what we are facing. Where the Soviet Union was faltering on the verge of collapse in the final years of the Cold War, China is a nation at the height of its power. China is no longer a backward, rural, Third World country making cheap plastic garbage and products destined only for Wal-Mart shelves. In many of areas of artificial intelligence, robotics, quantum physics, advanced technology and more, they are not just catching up to us -- they have already surpassed us. 

The pronouncements that China is poised for an imminent collapse are simply deluded but also beside the point. Even if we thought this might happen, we have to prepare for the opposite: a continued resurgent China reaching superpower status with designs on being the superpower by mid-century. 

A final thought and hope: America needs to one-up British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his idea of offering refugee status to all those in Hong Kong who want to pack up and leave the coming dictatorship and authoritarian rule and move to Britain. Let them bring their dreams and love of liberty to our shores and enable them to thrive in America. We are still the last and best hope for liberty. That holds true, even with so many here now seeking to impose a Chinese-style authoritarian rule here at home. 

Michael Finch is the President and Chief Operating Officer of the David Horowitz Freedom Center. His new collection of poetry is Wanderings in Place.


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Saddled with Biden, the DNC must rely on bait and switch to win - Anna L. Stark

by Anna L. Stark

Anticipating a debate fiasco forces the hand of the DNC to change up campaign tactics. It's called bait and switch.

In April of 2019, and after months of hesitation, former vice president Joe Biden announced his candidacy for president. In a three-and-a-half-minute taped video, he delivered an impassioned, well articulated speech, explaining his reasons for challenging Donald Trump for the White House. The now archived announcement is easy to find on the internet; however, the Joe Biden of last April is clearly not the same man today. His most recent media presser on June 30 was cringe-worthy and left no doubt in anyone's mind that Biden is clearly suffering from serious mental decline. The presumptive Democrat nominee not only veered off scripted notes, but once again resorted to inappropriate name-calling while frequently mispronouncing words, as well as uttering bizarre and inexplicable phrases. Watching him struggle from the podium was awkward, and it's evident that the DNC must now change up campaign tactics, in order to carry Biden over the finish line. The con game of bait and switch is their only option. 

It's unlikely Biden will step down or quit the 2020 race for president — short of a life-threatening health issue, which should not be ruled out, given his history of two past brain aneurysms. And while his campaign handlers report that Biden is fit to be president based the word of his brain surgeon, his rapid mental decline over the past 14 months is now impossible to ignore, much less hide from the public. There's absolutely no denying the truth, regardless of the media's attempt to run cover for the presumptive nominee. Biden was unable to call upon reporters at the presser without first reading written directions from note cards; at one point, be babbled, "They gave me a list of who to recognize." Despite the note cards, he lost track. There's also no debate as to whether or not he was given the questions in advance (he was) and then coached, enabling him to parrot a contrived answer. Rehearsing his lines in advance wasn't much help at the conclusion of the presser, when Biden was asked about his cognitive decline by a Fox News reporter. In yet another unscripted moment, Biden snarled and then called the reporter "a lying dog face." Up next? The debates — three of them.

Remarkably, the Biden campaign has agreed to three debates prior to the election. If the media presser debacle is any indication of Biden's inability to coherently conduct himself on a stage against Donald Trump, who trounced Hillary Clinton, she being of relative sound mind, it's difficult to imagine exactly how Biden's campaign handlers prepare their candidate to wage a war of words against a master debater. With or without an audience in attendance and regardless of if the debates are conducted via the internet, in a desperate attempt to micromanage bad optics from his basement bunker, Joe Biden is not capable of answering complex questions, nor would he be able to withstand a verbal assault from Donald Trump. Given the still lingering questions about Hunter Biden's shady financial arrangements in Ukraine, in addition to Joe Biden's lackluster Senate career, coupled with the recent revelation about the former vice president's denial regarding his "non-involvement" in General Flynn's unjust prosecution, not to mention spying on the Trump campaign by Obama minions, Trump has an arsenal of topics to draw upon. Anticipating a debate fiasco forces the hand of the DNC to change up campaign tactics. It's called bait and switch.

Choosing Biden's vice president is paramount to the DNC success of quickly replacing a senile old man in favor of an electable running mate for 2024 and beyond, guaranteeing three terms of Democrat White House control. For the record, Biden's running mate will be, for all intents and purposes, the Democrat nominee for president. In a devious attempt to return power to the Democrats, the scheme is to replace Biden at the most opportune moment with the vice president should the Biden ticket be victorious in November. Biden's glory will most likely be short-lived as he is forced to resign due to "health reasons." Whether or not he agrees to the switch is of little consequence. By that time, he will be less aware of his circumstances than he is now. His rapid and shocking decline since April of 2019 signals that his mental acuity issues are far more serious than just being gaffe-prone Joe.

Anna L. Stark


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A Will to Overthrow the United States - Guy Millière

by Guy Millière

What is so conspicuous and tragic is that black lives only seem to matter if they were taken by a white person.... Sadly, when it comes to black-on-black violence, no one seems to care.

  • The statement "Black Lives Matter" assumes from the start that, for the police, the judicial system and everyone else, black lives do not matter. What is so conspicuous and tragic is that black lives only seem to matter if they were taken by a white person.... Sadly, when it comes to black-on-black violence, no one seems to care.
  • Are the politicians who claim to want help distressed communities the very ones keeping the distressed communities distressed -- and in a perpetual state of reaching out to those same politicians for dangled promises of help?
  • The mob's destruction or removal of statues appears an attempt to erase the history of the United States... What they are doing looks like just an old-fashioned power-grab. The first law of power-grabbers is that if no one stops them, they keep on going -- often with catastrophic consequences.
  • The recent damage inflicted on thousands of people who lost their possessions and businesses -- as well as the many murders and assaults -- shows what happens to a society with fewer police or no police.
  • That the name Black Lives Matter is present everywhere, and that everyone seems to ignore or forget what the organization Black Lives Matter really is, shows that a violent, anti-democratic organization, which calls for the murder of police officers and accepts anti-Semitism and anti-White racism, can use threats, intimidation and destruction -- and find public acceptance.
  • "Their disruptive and violent behavior is happening because governors, mayors, and police chiefs have over the last decade sent the message that they will not respond with mind-concentrating force in order to restore order and hold rioters accountable...." — Bruce Thornton, Professor of Classics and Humanities at California State University and research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, June 19, 2020.

The mob's destruction or removal of statues appears an attempt to erase the history of the United States... What they are doing looks like just an old-fashioned power-grab. The first law of power-grabbers is that if no one stops them, they keep on going -- often with catastrophic consequences. Pictured: Protesters pull down a fence surrounding the statue of Andrew Jackson, in an attempt to topple the statue in Lafayette Square, near Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, DC, on June 22, 2020. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

On May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a police officer, Derek Chauvin, who already had 18 complaints lodged against him, killed a black man, George Floyd, by kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

Angry protests in Minneapolis quickly turned into riots that ravaged the city. The police did not intervene; the mayor had ordered them to withdraw and do nothing.

More protests soon broke out in major cities throughout the country and rapidly led to widespread disorder. In the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, 1,500 buildings were vandalized, looted or destroyed. Again, the police did little to intervene: the mayors of most of the cities had asked the police to act with restraint.

The rioters attacked churches and synagogues, and looted stores, often belonging to minority owners in distressed neighborhoods.

The riots ended, but the damage was immense. An area of Seattle's city center that was taken over, the "CHAZ" or "CHOP" zone, has since been disbanded, but a copycat effort to take over an area has installed itself in New York, near City Hall.

Statues throughout the country were attacked -- first Confederate statues, then tributes to Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. Prominent politicians supported the rioters. The mayor of Boston said he wanted to remove from a city square a statue of Lincoln standing in front of a liberated black man. Members of the New York City Council requested that a statue of Thomas Jefferson be removed from the City Hall. In Portland, Oregon, a statue of George Washington was pulled down and set on fire. Statues of Christopher Columbus were toppled and some beheaded.

The mob's destruction or removal of statues appears an attempt to erase the history of the United States and to treat great men such as Abraham Lincoln, who abolished slavery, George Washington, first president of the United States or Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States and author of the Declaration of Independence, as if they were irredeemably despicable. What they are doing looks like just an old-fashioned power-grab. The first law of power-grabbers is that if no one stops them, they keep on going -- often with catastrophic consequences.

"Why do I even worry about some silly little statues coming down or some silly little street names changing?" asked Elizabeth Rogliani, who lived through Venezuela's transition to communism.
"[W]hen I was living in Venezuela. Statues came down — Chavez didn't want that history displayed. And then he changed the street names. Then came the [school curricula]. Then some movies couldn't be shown, then certain TV channels, and so on and so forth....
"We didn't believe it could happen to us. Most Venezuelans — Cubans warned us — and we were like, 'This is Venezuela, we know about freedom. That's not going to happen here.' Yet it happened. And there are literally a lot of people wanting to destroy the U.S."
Two movements have been active in the violence. One is Antifa, which has been called "a revolutionary Marxist/anarchist militia movement that seeks to bring down the United States by means of violence and intimidation." Antifa, although it claims to be antifascist, behaves in a fascistic way.

The other movement, Black Lives Matter, was founded in 2013 by three black women, Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors. Cullors declared that she and Garza are "trained Marxists". The Black Lives Matter founding manifesto, published in 2016 (then removed from BLM website), describes the United States as a "corrupt democracy originally built on Indigenous genocide and chattel slavery" that "continues to thrive on the brutal exploitation of people of color" and that perpetuates "the ugly American traditions of patriarchy, classism, racism, and militarism". In December 2014, a slogan at a Black Lives Matter demonstration organized by Al Sharpton's National Action Network, was: "What do we want? Dead cops. When do we want it? Now."

If Antifa is widely rejected, Black Lives Matter is not. Its name has become a slogan on walls, storefronts and restaurants. The posters state: "No justice, no peace."

There are widespread calls for defunding or abolishing the police. The city council of Minneapolis in fact voted on June 6 to disband its police force. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio cut $1 billion from New York City's $6 billion police budget. At least six other cities have also slashed police budgets.

What seems to be trying to gain more influence is a wish -- born before the riots -- to rewrite the history of the United States. The New York Times, for instance, on August, 14, 2019, launched "The 1619 Project". Its author, Nikole Hannah Jones, wrote that the United States had been founded on slavery and is therefore -- presumably still -- guilty of "structural racism."

Prominent historians Gordon Stewart Wood, recipient of the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for History, and James M. McPherson, former president of the American Historical Association, noted that the 1619 Project is based on "misleading and historically inaccurate claims". On June 17, Senator Tim Kaine, a Democrat from Virginia, laughably said that the United States had "created slavery".

"Reparations," author and attorney Larry Elder commented on the subject, "is the extraction of money from those who were never slave owners to be given to those who were never slaves."

"Every life matters," said former Speaker of the US House of Representatives Newt Gingrich. If only.

The idea that in the United States there is "structural racism" (defined by the Aspen Institute as "a system in which public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations, and other norms work in various, often reinforcing ways to perpetuate racial group inequity") has led, it seems, to a form of obsessive expiation. Films have been removed from streaming services. Gone with the Wind will now be shown with five-minute disclaimer. (One minute would not have been enough?)

The film is probably just first on a lengthening list. A reporter from Variety recently listed "10 Problematic Films That Could Use Warning Labels". They include Forrest Gump: for a brief moment, the title character is described, in an ironic fashion, as having been named after a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Consumer product brands, such as Uncle Ben's Rice and Aunt Jemima syrup are abruptly having their names and logos changed. Princeton voted to expunge the name of Woodrow Wilson from its public policy school. Demands have been made that universities and corporations show that they are not racist by declaring their support for Black Lives Matter. Many have bowed to the demand.

On June 12, less than a month after the killing of George Floyd, another white police officer, Garrett Rolfe, in Atlanta, Georgia, shot and killed a black man, Rayshard Brooks. The police officers were arresting Brooks for drunk driving, and after a cordial exchange with the officers, he unexpectedly resisted arrest, and seized a Taser from one of the officers. He began to run, but when he turned and fired the Taser at Rolfe, Rolfe shot and killed him. Rolfe was dismissed from the police force without due process, and charged with felony murder, which potentially carries the death penalty. Although video recordings of the event were widely broadcast, District Attorney Paul Howard tried to claim that Brooks was calm and "cheerful". He added that a Taser is not a deadly weapon – after having said a few weeks earlier that it was.

Meanwhile, in Chicago, between June 12 and June 15 a black man was fatally shot by another black man and 32 others were wounded by gunfire. Sadly, when it comes to black-on-black violence, no one seems to care.

What basically appears to be at work has nothing to do with either black lives or the police. It is a will to overthrow the United States. This desire includes American institutions, everything on which the United States is founded and the United States itself.

The statement "Black Lives Matter" assumes from the start that, for the police, the judicial system and everyone else, black lives do not matter. What is so conspicuous and tragic is that black lives only seem to matter if they were taken by a white person.... Sadly, when it comes to black-on-black violence, no one seems to care.

Normal democratic functioning means that the voters of a city pay taxes and elect a mayor to take care of the city, to ensure the safety of its people and property -- not to let the city sink into anarchy and destruction. When, in the face of violence, a mayor asks a police force not to act, thereby allowing violence to take place, he or she is not only complicit in the devastation, but also delinquent in doing the job for which he or she was elected.

Although most police officers are usually decent and eager to protect the community, and daily put their lives at risk, if they use unnecessary violence, the problem needs be addressed. Unfortunately, at times it is not. Police unions may do a lot of good, but in disputes, they require "arbitration" -- often despite misconduct. In some police departments, it is almost impossible to fire anyone who should be fired; he can, instead, be dispatched to a different precinct. (A similar problem exists with teachers' unions for unacceptable teachers.)

Last week, federal legislation recommending police reforms was proposed by Senator Tim Scott, a Republican from South Carolina. The House Democrats, refusing even to discuss any of them, blocked the measure. Later the House Democrats came up with a reform bill of their own, however it seemed aimed more at eradicating police forces than reforming them.
"The bill would restrict chokeholds and ban federal agents from conducting no-knock drug raids. It would curtail transfers of military equipment to police, create an officer misconduct registry, end qualified immunity from lawsuits and lower the threshold to federally prosecute officers if they show 'reckless disregard' for someone's life."
What if every officer-involved shooting were followed by a prosecution? Why would anyone ever sign up for a job that put him at such risk in the first place? "Revolving door" policies must already feel so defeating: a police officer puts his life in jeopardy to make an arrest, only to find the person arrested back out on the street soon after. The House Democrats appeared only to want to block the Republicans from having a victory and an issue about which to rail instead of a solution. (The same political thinking also appears to underpin why so many American children are not able to receive a quality public school education.)

The question then arises: are the politicians who claim to want help distressed communities the very ones keeping the distressed communities distressed -- and in a perpetual state of reaching out to those same politicians for dangled promises of help?

Unfortunately, always and everywhere, the absence of police -- for instance replacing them with social workers -- will lead to an explosion of crime and disorder, as most recently seen in Seattle. Furthermore, using a crime committed by a single police officer to claim that all police officers are racist is to lie in order to paralyze the police, to prevent them from doing their work: helping the community and providing safety. To ask to defund the police is to ask for an explosion of violence and pandemonium.

The recent damage inflicted on thousands of people who lost their possessions and businesses -- as well as the many murders and assaults -- shows what happens to a society with fewer police or no police.

Former Governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, had suggested early on, to avoid a confrontation, dismantling Seattle's seized zone. This could be done, he suggested, by disconnecting the water, the electricity, and especially the cellular communication -- and then seeing how long the hostage-takers enjoyed the experience.

Graffiti painted during the riots on the walls of synagogues in Los Angeles revealed, as well, the presence of anti-Semitism: Melina Abdullah, "the lead organizer of Black Lives Matter in LA and a professor of Pan-African Studies at Cal State", is it turns out, a supporter of Louis Farrakhan the anti-Semitic leader of the Nation of Islam. Abdullah calls him "The Honorable Minister Farrakhan." Black Lives Matter, it appears, "is structurally anti-Semitic."

That the name Black Lives Matter is present everywhere, and that everyone seems to ignore or forget what the organization Black Lives Matter really is, shows that a violent, anti-democratic organization, which calls for the murder of police officers and accepts anti-Semitism and anti-White racism, can use threats, intimidation and destruction -- and find public acceptance.

Of course there is still some racism among individuals, but the idea that the United States today is a society where "structural racism" exists is contradicted by decades of political decisions to repair the damage and, as in, for example, affirmative action programs, to favor equality for all Americans. As Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an American author who fled her homeland of Somalia, wrote:
"The problem is that there are people among us who don't want to figure it out and who have an interest in avoiding workable solutions. They have an obvious political incentive not to solve social problems, because social problems are the basis of their power. That is why, whenever a scholar like Roland Fryer brings new data to the table—showing it's simply not true that the police disproportionately shoot black people dead—the response is not to read the paper but to try to discredit its author."
For many years, American films dealing with racial questions have been explicitly hostile to any racial discrimination, and it would be impossible to find a book put out by a U.S. publishing house supporting racial discrimination, unless it dates from an era long gone. Rewriting history by falsifying it is simply an attempt to replace history with propaganda. Removing films and other information that do not correspond to a predetermined vision of history has long been the practice of totalitarian despotisms. Dictating that universities and corporations face severe consequences if they refuse to bowdlerize the past is simply a fascistic, tyrannical means of coercion. Worse, the submissive attitude of so many universities and corporations is what enables the bullying to continue.
What is taking place has roots.

"The success of America's recent cultural revolution can be measured not in toppled governments but in shattered values," the American commentator, Roger Kimball wrote in his book, The Long March (2000), about upheavals in the 1960s in the United States. Radical people, he observed, had taken power in the universities, and their ideas spread throughout the educational system -- in culture, politics, justice, and the economy. Radicals still dominate most American universities -- now even more than then, and their ideas are now more widespread.

Former President Barack Obama, on October 30, 2008, said, "We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America." Five days later, he was elected President.

Twelve years later, one wonders: What was he hoping to transform it into?

It would have been hard to imagine in 2008 that a mayor could abandon his or her city to rioters, or that they would accept tearing down and destroying statues of Washington, Jefferson or Lincoln. When will they be coming to tear down statues of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.?

It would also have been hard to imagine that a violent organization such as Black Lives Matter would not even be questioned, or that riots similar to those that touched Ferguson, Missouri in 2014, or Baltimore in 2015 would break out and spread across the country.

It would hard to imagine just two months ago that any city council would actually vote to abolish the police force.

The United States seems at a pivotal moment. Bruce Thornton, a Professor of Classics and Humanities at California State University and a research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, noted that:
"Indeed, apart from opportunistic thugs and felons, the bulk of the 'troops' who would comprise one side of some civil war are pretty much denizens of the young comfortable classes. Their disruptive and violent behavior is happening because governors, mayors, and police chiefs have over the last decade sent the message that they will not respond with mind-concentrating force in order to restore order and hold rioters accountable..."
The rioters in the U.S. appear to have inspired protester in Western Europe. Angry slogans used in the United States are being used in London and Paris; the same charges against democracies are being made, and statues that were signposts of history are being pulled down.

In a speech on July 6, 2017, U.S. President Donald J. Trump said:
"The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive. Do we have the confidence in our values ​​to defend them at any cost? ... Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?"
Good question.

Dr. Guy Millière, a professor at the University of Paris, is the author of 27 books on France and Europe.


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The Myth of 'White Guilt' - Dave Rybarczyk

by Dave Rybarczyk

With BLM, we are reaping what the educators have sown

Purely out of curiosity, I attended a series of local library seminars dealing with racism, entitled "Conversations in a Brave Space," held in cooperation with the local League of Women Voters and a local university. The topical sessions dealt variously with bias, oppression, privilege, and most recently, Black Lives Matter. The content was unsurprising, as was the makeup of the attendees -- white and comfortable, reflecting the town itself. What was striking was the level of guilt among these participants.

The hand-wringing was palpable. The confessions were effusive. The apologies were abject. These were people burdened with white privilege, and they despair over what to do about it.

I do understand their predicament. It is impossible for them now to adopt an ascetic life and devote their passions to working remedies full-time, on the streets, within their affected communities. Yet they resent what they possess because, in their view, they possess it unjustly --- they "didn't build that" as Obama said.

If their guilt is over the top, it is also unwarranted. It's doubtful that any of the participants has ever practiced actual racism. Stipulate that they have lived decently, have applied self-improvement, discipline, sacrifice, and hard work persistently throughout their lives, and have achieved success through such personal initiative.

But their enflamed passion, as Paul Bloom has demonstrated, is detrimental to clear thinking, clouding the mind and preventing rational decision-making. Most disturbingly, it is corrosive of society, of the culture and of our governance.

For example, they believe without irony that Rev. Martin Luther King's letter of 1963 is relevant today, failing to recognize that, if race is still a problem in this country, the 1964 Civil Rights Act and a half-century of activism have been failures. They assert that since racial oppression still exists and can no longer be attributed to individual actions, then the institutions and invisible cultural influences must be the new source of racism. No one is racist, but the collective is racist. Contradictions and delusions such as these are far from clear thinking.

These individuals are also predisposed to intolerance toward those who do not share their guilt. Guilt of this kind self-confers an amount of self-righteousness, the epitome of "wokeness" underlying a fierce, indignant rejection of opposing views. It can have an ugly side. Politeness vanishes in the face of contrary views. It was clear, for example, that "blue lives matter" would not be a welcome statement in these forums. "Conversations" are ended by such "racist" thinking. Brave minds are closed to "hate speech."

Still, at bottom, I don't blame these people. I blame the universities, the educators, and the social science community. The academy is today's bourgeoisie.

How is it that academic effort over decades has given us no actionable understanding of why race relations have deteriorated since the 1964 Civil Rights Act? This is an inexcusable failure.

The universities teach us amorphous (and guilt-inducing) concepts such as "white privilege" and "institutional oppression" and "covert racism" and "microagression." They base this on "social identity," an inherently divisive construct. Prescriptions such as these are not solutions. They are the problem. By focusing on the superficial, the academic community has critically failed to discover the actual root causes of the issues we face, and consequently has failed utterly to address them.

Though the library sessions are able to inflict guilt, they have no actual remedial value. If every vestige of "white racism" and "white supremacy" were eliminated tomorrow, it would not restore black fatherhood, reduce the black abortion rate, improve the black graduation rate, the black teen homicide rate, and blunt the gangsta culture. Constant reminders of victimhood can instead be self-fulfilling.

In academia, activism and empathy entirely overshadow detached empirical research. We sadly suffer a dreadful dearth of objective research in pursuit of the root causes -- I emphasize actual root causes -- of poverty, violence, racial differences and cultural degeneration, through genuine study, without bias or malice. In other words, with simple honesty.

Drexel University professor George Ciccariello-Maher tweeted (2016, now deleted):
"All I Want for Christmas is White Genocide."
There shows no concern whatsoever for the plight of disadvantaged blacks. This is a statement of hateful agitation. It expresses the typical goal of the academy today, and of the "Black Lives Matter" organization, and of fraudulent perspectives such as "White Fragility" -- ultimately to discredit and delegitimize "whiteness" altogether. This is itself the most unadulterated form of racism.

Ciccariello-Maher defended his position, citing "decades of research on how race and gender function in our society" and convinced that his words "were neither provocative in tone nor controversial in content." He inadvertently reveals the shallowness and fallaciousness of Critical Theory and its body of "research." Notwithstanding that such "research" is suspect and discredited, it is appalling that genocide can be an outcome of what we once knew as "scholarly study."

This is all possible because education today enjoys its own form of privilege -- largely invisible and unacknowledged: Academic Privilege. Educators and researchers operate comfortably within the protection of "political correctness," and so are free to engage in bias masquerading as knowledge. They are able to make claims that are shielded from both criticism and rigorous falsifiability -- the bedrock foundations of proper scientific study.

Herbert Marcuse wrote (1965, emphasis added):
"[T]he restoration of freedom of thought may necessitate new and rigid restrictions on teachings and practices in the educational institutions which, by their very methods and concepts, serve to enclose the mind within the established universe of discourse and behavior -- thereby precluding a priori a rational evaluation of the alternatives."
Marcuse of course meant this of the right, but today it applies to the left. Academics flatter themselves as standing outside and above society, possessing unique knowledge and perspective, seeing injustices that those inside the society do not see. This is the distilled Marxist model. But two can play this game -- and many of us now see the charade that the academy has foisted on society.

It is time to follow Marcuse's advice, and dethrone the charlatans. And it is time to follow, metaphorically, the example of the streets: Topple the Ivory Tower, permanently. Our educators will not self-correct. They have thwarted genuine progress for quite long enough. They have worked their social damage and we see the results in the streets. We are reaping what they have sown.

It should be clear that none of this is to minimize the predicament of truly disadvantaged individuals and communities. This is solely an indictment of a corrupt ideology and its practitioners and victims. The tragedy of the dominant politically-correct culture is that none of its work actually reaches the disadvantaged. Instead, it prevents actual, effective remediation of oppressive conditions and failed situations, because it papers over actionable root causes and substitutes gossamer fictions. It forbids even the mention of valid alternatives.

It may serve the purpose of increasing white guilt, but it does nothing to improve the lot of the disadvantaged.

Dave Rybarczyk


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Liberal Jewish Leaders Accuse Jews of Racism, Cover Up Anti-Semitism - Daniel Greenfield

by Daniel Greenfield

Jewish lives don’t matter to Jewish allies of Black Lives Matter.

After Black Lives Matter - Los Angeles, a hate group which has partnered with the Nation of Islam and whose lead organizer praised Farrakhan, led a protest that resulted in mass attacks on Jewish schools, stores and synagogues, the leaders of 22 left-wing Jewish organizations signed letters condemning not the attacks, but the Jewish leader who spoke out against the antisemitism of the racist hate group. They made no reference to the BLM attacks on Jews.

The letters singled out Mort Klein, the President of the Zionist Organization of America, for describing Black Lives Matter as, among other things, "antisemitic," "Israel hating", and "extremist". They did not offer a rebuttal to this accurate description because none is possible.

Instead, a letter signed by 16 members of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, accused Klein of hate and divisiveness. The letter's signatories, including HIAS and Americans for Peace Now, included groups notorious for their hostility toward Israel.

A separate letter by a slate of militantly anti-Israel groups, including J Street, The New Israel Fund, which sponsors BDS hate groups, and T'ruah, which has led a soft BDS campaign against Israel, demanded Klein's expulsion from the Conference. That aligns with their previous calls for the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Jews from historic parts of Israel.

The signatories to the letters by Conference members included the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism, National Council of Jewish Women, whose previous CEO had signed a letter in defense of Linda Sarsour and agreed to work with antisemitic and anti-Israel groups, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Rabbinical Assembly, the Women of Reform Judaism, and Rick Jacobs, the anti-Israel head of the Union of Reform Judaism.

Jacobs had previously welcomed Ayman Odeh who heads Hadash, a merger of the local Communist Party, and whose current Joint List coalition includes a faction of the Muslim Brotherhood, and praised his, “inspiring vision”. But Jacobs doesn’t think that Klein has an inspiring vision, protesting that,  “Black Lives Matter is at the center of one of the most critical fights for justice in our country”, while accusing Klein of “Islamophobia” and “racism”.

The Union of Reform Judaism has been a reliably anti-Israel voice in the Jacobs era.

Jacobs opposed moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem and whined that, “Israel’s decision to bar U.S. Representatives Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from entering the country is wrong”.

Last year, Jacobs attacked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for stating that Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria were "not inconsistent with international law". These rants, like so many others by Jacobs, were all issued in the name of the Union of Reform Judaism.

While the Union of Reform Judaism found time to issue multiple press releases in support of Black Lives Matter, against the Jewish State, on the vital Jewish issue of withdrawing US troops from the Turkish-Syrian border, and in defense of Rep. Ilhan Omar, Jacobs and the URJ failed to acknowledge or offer solidarity to the victims of black nationalist terrorist attacks against a synagogue in New York and a Kosher grocery in New Jersey.

The URJ and Jacobs did manage to issue a press release over the shooting in a Texas Walmart and will respond to bomb threats and synagogue shootings, as long as they're carried out by white nationalists. If your synagogue is attacked by a Neo-Nazi gunman, Jacobs and the URJ will acknowledge it, but if a Black Hebrew Israelite swinging a machete attacks your synagogue on Chanukah, Rick and the URJ will rush out a press release blasting Israel over something.

That’s the fundamental problem that Mort Klein was getting at. Jewish lives don’t matter to the URJ. Not in Israel and not in America. The only thing that matters is its left-wing politics.

While the Jewish community of Los Angeles witnessed its synagogues and schools vandalized and stores looted over Shavuot, Jonah Dov Pesner, the director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, was praising the "national rage" which saw bigots chanting "F____ Jews" and defacing the statue commemorating the Holocaust heroism of Raoul Wallenberg.

A URJ statement declaring that Black Lives Matter is a “Jewish value”, falsely accuses "white Jews" of perpetuating  "the systemic racial injustices on which the nation was founded."

That’s a line that could have come from Farrakhan.

Even as Jacobs complains about divisiveness, the URJ is dividing Reform Jews by race.

The URJ's embrace of Black Lives Matter includes the worst elements of its philosophy, including mandated intersectionality for Reform congregations, dismissal of colorblindness, and black supremacist resource texts that include Ta-Nehisi Coates and Ibram X. Kendi, as well as James Baldwin's 70s essay, Negroes are Anti-Semitic Because They're Anti-White.

There's even a White-Ashkenazi Awareness Checklist.

The racist movement here isn’t the ZOA. It’s the signatories to the anti-Klein letter.

When Jacobs and 15 other Conference members sign on to a letter urging Jews to stand up "against senseless hatred and divisive bigotry" and "not to search for ways to keep us apart", they might start by looking at their own embrace of divisive bigotry meant to keep us apart.

Mort Klein and the Zionist Organization of America are willing to address the everyday antisemitism that Jews in places like New York and Los Angeles have been experiencing. And they’re willing to do it even when the bigots aren’t members of a safely discredited ideology.

There’s no great courage in taking on Third Reich supporters in 2020. The time to do it was during the Holocaust while the FDR administration and Joseph Kennedy were warning American Jewish leaders to keep quiet about the mass murder of millions of Jews. Where were URJ’s marches, protests, and sit-ins while Jews were being shot and gassed?

Reform Jewish leaders had gone to Herbert Hoover and Roosevelt, asking them to issue a joint statement condemning the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany.

The Republican agreed and the Democrat didn’t.

Or take it from Morris Waldman, the former rabbinic leader of the prominent Temple Anshe Emeth, and the long deceased executive vice-president of the American Jewish Committee.

"Some Jewish groups have some too many times protested against Hitlerism," Waldman complained.
Waldman is fondly remembered, within liberal Jewish organizational circles, as the "the first proponent of putting the human rights provisions in the United Nations Charter."

There can hardly be a better summary of the utter moral bankruptcy of the same folks now accusing Jews of racism and white supremacy for fighting against antisemitism.

The Zionist Organization of America is part of the proud tradition of Jewish groups that refused to kneel to political correctness when Jews were being attacked by politically correct mobs.

Black Lives Matter is antisemitic. Its leaders declare that they’re Marxists. Portions of the movement are openly aligned with Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam. Synagogues and schools have been defaced and a Holocaust memorial was vandalized. But the organized kneelers are trying to silence any members of the Jewish community who speak out against antisemitism.

As the main targets of antisemitic violence, by either black or white nationalists, Jews and their synagogues need the police. By endorsing Black Lives Matter, the Union for Reform Judaism is undermining the safety and security of synagogues and worshipers across the country.

It’s time for URJ members to speak up and ask Rick Jacobs some hard questions.

Jewish history tells us that the real threat doesn’t come from those who speak too loudly about popular antisemitism, but those who remain too silent. There are far too many memorials and attacks on targets that carry no risk within their political cohort, and too little real resistance.

By speaking out, Morton Klein and the ZOA have offered real resistance to antisemitism.

Meanwhile, the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism, National Council of Jewish Women, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, Jewish Women International, the Rabbinical Assembly, the Women of Reform Judaism, and the Union of Reform Judaism are complicit in covering up antisemitism and silencing those Jews who dare stand up to the vandalism of synagogues, schools, and Holocaust memorials by smearing them as racists.

Organizations that claim to speak for the Jewish community have sold it out instead.

The Jewish community does not need leaders who will accuse it of racism to score points at their Manhattan cocktail parties for the Public Art Fund, but real leaders who will stand up for it.

In an article accusing the Jewish community of racism, Rick Jacobs claimed that, “fighting racism and fighting antisemitism go hand in hand”.

We’ve seen a whole lot of the former and very little of the latter.

Fighting racism and antisemitism doesn’t go hand in hand when synagogues and schools are attacked, and Jews are shot, slashed and beaten.

The ugly truth is that Jacobs and other leaders of leftist groups would much rather fight Jews, whether in Israel or in America, than get up off his knees and fight for them. Fighting Jews is safe. Rehashing the rantings of Ibram X. Kendi and other fashionable black nationalists won’t get leftist leaders in trouble. Standing up to them over black nationalist antisemitism will.

Like their counterparts in the FDR era, they’re cowards and traitors, and they know it.

That’s why they’re going after the ZOA. There’s nothing that cowards hate more than brave men who stand up for the truth. The only thing more humiliating than selling out is knowing that there was another way. Rick Jacobs and the organizations targeting the ZOA want everyone in the Jewish community to kneel before the pogromists, the bigots, and the supremacist racists.

Their message is that if you don’t kneel, they will destroy you.

Over 2,300 years ago, there was a Jewish leader named Mordechai who would not kneel. For thousands of years, on the holiday of Purim, Jewish children have sung the name of a man who would not kneel to an antisemite. Kneeling is not extraordinary, refusing to do so is.

Many other Jewish leaders no doubt knelt. Their names have been lost to history.

Those Jewish leaders with weak knees today might ponder how they will be remembered.

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


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Trump's Syria Policy Is Working - Jonathan Spyer

by Jonathan Spyer

Quiet but unrelenting American pressure is transforming Assad's victory into ashes.

One of many billboards in Damascus celebrating the victory of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Arabic caption reads: "If the country's dust spoke, it would say Bashar al-Assad." (AFP)
Two years after celebrating victory in the Syrian civil war, the regime of Bashar Assad is facing renewed unrest. A mini-insurgency is under way in Daraa province, the birthplace of the 2011 revolt. Stormy demonstrations are under way in adjacent Suwayda. The economy is hurtling toward the abyss.
What has changed, in two short years? How has Assad's triumph turned to disaster?

The answer is the Trump administration's Syria policy. The application of quiet but unrelenting pressure is transforming the Syrian president's victory into ashes. What it has yet to do is persuade Russia to cease backing the Assad regime, which means the strategy remains at a stalemate.

Quiet but unrelenting American pressure is transforming Assad's victory into ashes.
When James Jeffrey, U.S. special envoy for Syria, said on May 12 that his job was to make Syria "a quagmire for the Russians," the remark went largely unnoticed. Jeffrey's words were not merely, it turns out, intended to convey a general sense of opposition to Russian designs in Syria. They headlined a series of measures intended to prevent the return of normality to regime-controlled Syria, to foment renewed crisis, and thus to turn Syria from an asset to a burden for both Moscow and Tehran.

The main method for achieving these goals has been the strangling of the Syrian economy. Assad urgently needs money for reconstruction. The United Nations estimates the cost of Syria's rebuilding at roughly $250 billion, which is four times Syria's prewar GDP. Assad's main allies, however, have no money to give. Iran is currently reeling from U.S.-led maximum-pressure sanctions; Tehran's disastrous response the coronavirus pandemic; the cost of imperial commitments in Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Gaza; and the loss of the man who managed those commitments, Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike early this year. Russia is facing collapsing oil and gas prices, as well as sanctions.

Assad urgently needs money for reconstruction, but his allies have no money to give.
The urgent need for reconstruction and the absence of funds have created a lever against the Assad regime that the United States has been diligently working. First, the United States has maintained with the European Union a united front on demanding that no reconstruction funds will be made available to Syria so long as the regime refuses a "comprehensive, genuine and inclusive political transition, negotiated by the Syrian parties to the conflict on the basis of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2254"—a long way of saying that for as long as Assad refuses to negotiate his own departure, his regime won't get any money.

President Donald Trump signs the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in December 2019, penalizing third party countries that do business with Assad's Syria.
Second, the United States intends to block any possible economic escape routes for the regime. The so-called Caesar sanctions against the Syrian government took effect on July 17. They will severely penalize third parties doing business with Assad's Syria. China and the United Arab Emirates have both expressed a willingness to be involved in the reconstruction of Assad's Syria. The UAE is likely to reconsider in light of the Caesar Act. (Predicting China's response is more difficult.)
Third, the United States is working to prevent a final regime military victory. Despite talk of the war "winding down," Assad and his allies still only control around 60 percent of Syria. Around 15 percent is in the hands of the Turks and their Sunni Islamist allies—recently, they started using the Turkish lira currency in those areas, in place of Syria's devastated pound. An additional 25 percent is controlled by the U.S.-aligned, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces. The United States backed Turkey in its confrontation with a regime- and Russian-led offensive in March this year. And contrary to U.S. President Donald Trump's tweet announcing withdrawal in October 2019, U.S. forces are still present in the Kurdish-dominated area.
The main U.S. goal is to secure regime acceptance of a nationwide, unlimited cease-fire.
The immediate goal of the Trump administration's Syria policy—which emerged from and is being run by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's office—is to secure regime acceptance of a nationwide, unlimited cease-fire. That would freeze the current battle lines in place and allow negotiations about the country's political future to begin. Free elections and the departure of Assad are what the United States hopes would follow, but Washington would retain the ability to dial economic pressure up or down, depending on the extent of cooperation from Assad and Russia.

Rami Makhlouf
In the absence of such cooperation, the strained status quo in Syria will persist. That includes the growing scarcity of basic goods for Syrian civilians and the collapse of the Syrian currency (today, 3,000 to the dollar on the black market versus 50 to one before the war). It also includes armed attacks of the sort seen in Daraa over the last year, and growing rifts at the top of the regime, where Assad has recently struggled to pry money from family members, including his billionaire cousin Rami Makhlouf.

For poorer Syrians, the results of all this are dire. Danny Makki, a journalist with close connections in Syrian government circles, tweeted on June 7: "The economic situation in #Syria is at breaking point, medicine is very scarce, hunger is becoming a normality, poverty is at the worst-point ever, people even selling their organs to survive."

Regime spokespeople and apologists in the coming period are likely to highlight the difficult humanitarian situation in regime areas and call for a softening of restrictions. But it's hard to credit any sincerity to the regime's belated discovery of humanitarian concerns toward its own citizens. In covering Syria from the early years of the civil war, I witnessed the deliberate targeting of civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, by the Assad regime's air force in Aleppo in the summer of 2012. Such tactics, replicated throughout the country, were the main reason for the terrible loss of civilian life during the Syrian war, and they were never informed by the regime's newfound humanitarianism.

The U.S. strategy has not yet succeeded at its ultimate aim of changing the Syrian regime's calculations. The main result instead is emergent strife between different elements of the pro-regime camp, including Russian public criticism of Assad, the falling-out between the president and Makhlouf, and growing tensions between Russian-aligned and Iranian-aligned elements of the Syrian security forces in strife-torn Daraa. But a strategy of this kind doesn't require immediate results. The direct cost to the United States of an economic blockade of Assad's Syria—like the maximum pressure campaign against Iran—is low or nonexistent.

The key obstacle facing Assad is the weaponization of Western economic strength.
Those wondering about the future shape of U.S. power projection in the Middle East should be paying close attention to the current look of Syria policy. The key element is the weaponization of Western economic strength. The camp around Assad is practiced in political and proxy warfare, and ruthless in pursuit of its goals. It has bested over the last decade the efforts of Western-aligned regional powers to oust the Assad dictatorship. But the Achilles' heel of this camp is its scarcity of economic resources. This vulnerability is now being exploited, at minimal cost to the United States and without the large military commitments that both the president and the public prefer to avoid. The intention is to turn Syria into a quagmire for the dictator and his allies.

Although Syria's active war may have largely concluded, the United States has ensured that its underlying issues remain unresolved. The resulting stalemate—marked by frozen conflict, continued poverty, and a messy de facto division of the country—has prevented a triumph for Assad and his allies. This will remain the country's only practical future until Assad and his allies are finally prepared to negotiate on terms that their opponents are willing to accept.

Jonathan Spyer is director of the Middle East Center for Reporting and Analysis and a Ginsburg/Ingerman Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum.


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