Saturday, September 18, 2021

The State Department's Failed Diplomacy in the Middle East - A.J. Caschetta


by A.J. Caschetta

From "Diplomacy in Action" to "Diplomacy Inaction"

The State Department motto, "Diplomacy In Action," has always seemed vainglorious, and after seven months of Joe Biden at the helm, a rebranding seems in order. In light of the amateurish job it played in evacuating Afghanistan, a more accurate motto might be "Leave Some Behind" or "Two out of Three Ain't Bad." Better still, one minor adjustment to the current motto describes the new Foggy Bottom: "Diplomacy Inaction."

Inaction has been State's modus operandi from day one of Antony Blinken's tenure as Secretary of State. This was evident in the March 18 meeting in Alaska when the diplomats from China lectured him and his team on race relations. Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan just sat there and took it like fraternity pledges enduring their perfunctory abuse. "Thank you sir, may I have another?" It was a hint of the diplomacy inaction to come.

On August 30, after Biden's Department of Defense gave up the ghost in Afghanistan, CENTCOM Commander General Kenneth F. McKenzie handed off responsibility for the mess to the State Department, whereupon Blinken announced that, "A new chapter of America's engagement with Afghanistan has begun. It's one in which we lead with our diplomacy. The military mission is over. A new diplomatic mission has begun."

Inaction has been State's modus operandi from day one of Antony Blinken's tenure.

In his fairly short self-congratulatory speech, Blinken referenced "diplomats" and "diplomacy" some 14 times, singling out three for special praise (Brian McKeon, Ross Wilson, and Wendy Sherman). It was tantamount to spiking the football on the 10 yard line, and it foreshadowed the coming plan not only for Afghanistan but for the entire Middle East and beyond. And the plan is a bad one — all carrots and no sticks, optics without substance.

Watching Biden's foreign policy team is reminiscent of watching the videos from last summer where hapless employees inside a store implore looters and rioters to pass them by. "We're on your side," some whined, while others assured their tormentors, "But we're with you." It didn't matter to the vandals and thieves last summer, and it doesn't matter to the Taliban or Iran now. Cozying up to our enemies will not turn them into allies.

The State Department's all-diplomacy malaise is apparently contagious. U.S. CENTCOM Commander Gen. Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie quite diplomatically praised the Taliban as "very pragmatic and very businesslike." National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne upped the ante to "businesslike and professional." The Biden administration seems to crave respect from the Taliban.

And what has all this obsequious diplomacy gotten us in return? In spite of (or perhaps because of) all its diplomacy, Blinken's team has earned zero respect from the Taliban. When the State Department advised one American citizen trying to flee Afghanistan to make his way to the Interior Ministry in Kabul, he arrived only to find Taliban fighters guarding the building. After he explained his situation, they responded, "Go and tell the State Department to f—k themselves."

A Taliban fighter walks past a defaced beauty saloon in Kabul on August 18, 2021. (AFP)

With thousands stranded behind Taliban lines, Afghanistan remains the most pressing issue facing Biden's diplomats. Private companies and charities are in action — chartering jets and hiring former Special Forces military veterans for security as they evacuate people left behind while the State Department remains on the sidelines — diplomacy inaction.

Biden's one card left to play is formal recognition of the Taliban government, and it's already begun. In his September 13 testimony to Congress, Blinken responded to a question from Rep. Adam Kinzinger as though the Taliban government was a fait accompli and had no response to the congressman's questions about treating the Taliban like a military coup and establishing the Ghani government-in-exile. It was as though Blinken was hearing the idea for the first time.

If the role it played in stranding Americans in Afghanistan is any indication of what we can expect from the State Department now that the peace processors are back in charge, our entire foreign policy is going to suffer, especially in the Middle East.

Biden's soft touch is already evident in Syria and Lebanon, where diplomatic overtures are underway to ease sanctions against the murderous Assad regime in order to extend a lifeline to Lebanon's crumbling economy. White House coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa, Brett McGurk, is attempting to waive parts of the Caesar Act (designed to punish the murderer Assad) in order to build a gas line from Egypt through Syria into Lebanon.

Sixteen days after his inauguration, Biden removed Iran's Houthi proxies from the State Department's Foreign Terrorist Organization list. Two days later, after the Houthis launched missiles into Saudi Arabia, the State Department demanded that they "immediately cease attacks impacting civilian areas inside Saudi Arabia and to halt any new military offensives inside Yemen." In August after the Houthis launched more missiles into Saudi Arabia, Blinken was diplomatically patient: "We again call on the Houthis to uphold a ceasefire and engage in negotiations." Several days later after yet more missiles, Blinken warned, "This is completely unacceptable. . . . The Houthis must begin working toward a peaceful diplomatic solution." Perhaps after the next round of missiles fly into Saudi Arabia, our Dean Wormer of diplomacy will put the Houthis on "double secret probation."

When it comes to Israel, we should expect to see less diplomatic attention paid to Palestinian militants and more to pressing Israel to make more concessions. Already Biden has performed an about-face on the Taylor Force Act and resumed aid to the Palestinian Authority in spite of the PA's funding the families of suicide bombers. Perhaps another premature push for a state of "Palestine" is in order — Oslo II.

Biden's State Department will do nothing to advance the Abraham Accords.

Biden's team has been dismissive of the Abraham Accords from the moment he took office. He may not actually push to overturn U.S. involvement, but his State Department will do nothing to advance the Accords.

What about Turkey? Will Biden's diplomats press Erdogan to stop buying Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missiles? Will they push Turkey to act more like a NATO member and less like a rogue Islamist nation? Will they decline any of Erdogan's requests? Fethullah Gülen better watch his back. Ditto for the Kurds.

Iran policy is where the State Department is likely to do the most damage, rushing to re-negotiate Obama's nuclear deal and treating Iran's newest president (a mass-murderer) like a diplomat. With Robert Malley as the State Department's special envoy to Iran, new gifts surely await the Ayatollah in JCPOA II.

The Biden presidency makes one long for the rough and tumble days of the Obama era when Secretary of State John Kerry might muster up enough spine to prepare a harshly worded démarche to an enemy or at least a haughty speech. When Kerry went to China last week to implore the Communist Party leadership to be "greener" and stop burning so much coal, they wouldn't even meet with him face-to-face (but they met face-to-face to welcome the Taliban back into power).

How bad can this get? If the current Biden/Blinken policies continue, we will soon face a nuclear Iran, a reconstituted Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, and ISIS back in control of large swaths of land. The ultimate shame will come when we are forced to witness the Cavemen from Kandahar and the Haqqani Hillbillies giving speeches at the United Nations, lecturing us on imperialism, and demanding a seat on the Human Rights Council.


A.J. Caschetta is a Ginsberg-Milstein fellow at the Middle East Forum and a principal lecturer at the Rochester Institute of Technology.


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Biden's Afghanistan Mistakes - Peter Schweizer


by Peter Schweizer

A litany of disastrous screw-ups

  • Trump's Doha Agreement only bound the United States to a "complete withdrawal of all remaining forces" with the "commitment and action" of the Taliban on its obligations as laid out in the accord. Those terms bound the Taliban not to "allow any of its members, other individuals or groups, including al-Qaeda, to use the soil of Afghanistan to threaten the security of the United States and its allies," as well as "not to cooperate with groups or individuals threatening the security of the United States and its allies," and to "prevent any group or individual in Afghanistan from threatening the security of the United States and its allies."

  • Even prior to the final assaults on Kabul and the suicide bombings at Hamid Karzai International Airport, it was clear the Taliban was neck-deep in a proxy relationship with al-Qaeda via its relationship with the Haqqani network. Once again, the information that should have led to a pause and a hard-nosed assessment of how to complete the withdrawal in an orderly, safe way was ignored to meet a political deadline.

  • Instead, the Afghan men who helped the U.S., the women who breathed freedom for the first time, the military veterans from the U.S. and its allies who fought and died there all feel a sense of abandonment and frustration at this endgame incompetence. Those in the government who continue to hunt terrorist jihadis have lost their sources, bases of operation, and ability to quick-strike military targets that a resurgent al-Qaeda will now present there.

The details of the Biden administration's inner planning prior to the pullout from Afghanistan are beginning to emerge, and they are not comforting. "Failure is an orphan," as the old saying goes, but a paternity test is in order to explain a failed effort that will haunt the administration for years to come. Pictured: President Joe Biden (L) meets with his national security team on August 22, 2021 at the White House -- Secretary of State Antony Blinken (R), Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (3rd L), Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley (4th L), National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan (2nd L), DNI Avril Haines and CIA Director William J. Burns. (Photo by the White House via Getty Images)

The details of the Biden administration's inner planning prior to the pullout from Afghanistan are beginning to emerge, and they are not comforting. "Failure is an orphan," as the old saying goes, but a paternity test is in order to explain a failed effort that will haunt the administration for years to come.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, appearing before congressional panel recently, tried to defend the rationale for the hasty withdrawal, claiming, "We made the right decision in ending America's longest war." This, of course, dodges the question of how the withdrawal was conducted.

There were extraordinary failures in intelligence assessments, stacked alongside conflicting agendas between the departments of State and Defense, the National Security Advisor, and the president's closest political minders. As is so often true of foreign affairs policy in the U.S., domestic political goals and campaign promises interfered with common sense and sound military planning. The price of incompetence was the deaths of 13 American servicemen and hundreds of Afghan civilians hoping to be rescued from vengeful Taliban gunmen.

There was also a misreading of our obligations under the Doha Agreement, signed with the Taliban in February 2020 by the Trump administration and cited by Biden as one reason his hands were tied in drawing down American forces in Afghanistan.

Biden campaigned on ending America's 20-year involvement in Afghanistan, and pledged in a national address, broadcast in April, that the last 2,500 troops would leave the country before the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. Most Democrats and even some Republicans welcomed his announcement. While Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that "precipitously withdrawing US forces from Afghanistan is a grave mistake," his colleague Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said, "I'm glad the troops are coming home." A few Senate Democrats, such as Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) also cautioned, "The U.S. has sacrificed too much to bring stability to Afghanistan to leave without verifiable assurances of a secure future."

Yet, while there was criticism of what the withdrawal would mean for the Afghans, no one expected the execution of it to be botched so badly. What led to the disaster?

One answer may be a fateful decision made by Blinken shortly after Biden's April announcement, when Blinken pledged to retain the full "diplomatic, economic, and humanitarian toolkit" to support the Afghan government, even after American forces left. The security of the U.S. embassy in Kabul was thereby made the priority. This had spillover effects on planners at both State and the DoD to protect the 4,000 American, foreign and Afghan staff during the drawdown. State and Defense officials settled on a plan to retain 650 troops to guard the embassy and secure Hamid Karzai International Airport, which the White House approved.

Yet in his opening statement before the House Foreign Affairs committee in September, Blinken asserted, "There's no evidence that staying longer would have made the Afghan security forces or the Afghan government any more resilient or self-sustaining," Blinken said. "If 20 years and hundreds of billions of dollars in support, equipment, and training did not suffice, why would another year, or five, or ten, make a difference?"

While Blinken's pledge back in April may have been an honorable gesture, he was either misinformed or overly optimistic about the stability of the U.S.-backed Afghan government. Either possibility made no sense given the worsening intelligence assessments at the time of the Taliban's ability to surround and threaten Kabul. Why did no one, in particular Joe Biden himself, challenge Blinken's rosy scenario for maintaining a functioning U.S. embassy in the face of obvious direct threats to it? Instead, this became the tent-pole around which the planners of the drawdown based their timeline and priorities. Blinken's statement to the House suggests he finally understands this.

Had Blinken's hopeful gesture been overruled, the withdrawal might instead have prioritized covering the removal of American citizens and Afghan civilians, under protection by sufficient U.S. military presence and air support from Bagram Air Base. As we now know, the loss of U.S. air support for the Afghan army led to the Taliban's military victory. Once intelligence reports finally caught up to the reality in the field, this should have led the decision makers to a complete re-think of how the drawdown was being conducted. Instead, the administration's senior leaders went along with the rushed schedule demanded by Biden, and Blinken's naïve attempt to maintain the embassy presence.

Then there is the Biden administration's claim to have been forced into its hasty withdrawal because of the Doha Agreement, negotiated by the Trump administration in 2020. Journalist and author Lee Smith has covered the conflict for several years. Interviewed recently for the podcast of the Government Accountability Institute, Smith said that there was no chance the Taliban were ever not going to play host to terrorists like Al Qaeda once U.S. forces withdrew from Afghanistan. "The whole country is more or less ungovernable space, a place where no one will check on them and no one cares if they are there," he said.

Trump's Doha Agreement only bound the United States to "complete withdrawal of all remaining forces" with the "commitment and action" of the Taliban on its obligations, as laid out in the accord. Those terms bound the Taliban not to "allow any of its members, other individuals or groups, including al-Qaeda, to use the soil of Afghanistan to threaten the security of the United States and its allies," as well as "not to cooperate with groups or individuals threatening the security of the United States and its allies," and to "prevent any group or individual in Afghanistan from threatening the security of the United States and its allies."

Even before the final assaults on Kabul and the suicide bombings at Hamid Karzai International Airport, it was clear the Taliban was neck-deep in a proxy relationship with al-Qaeda via its relationship with the Haqqani network. Once again, the information that should have led to a pause and a hard-nosed assessment of how to complete the withdrawal in an orderly, safe way was ignored to meet a political deadline.

Put together, these two failures have been enough to enrage not just those who believed our presence in Afghanistan should have continued, but those on the political Left and Right who supported getting out, provided it was done with dignity and left a stable government behind.

Instead, the Afghan men who helped the U.S., the women who breathed freedom for the first time, the military veterans from the U.S. and its allies who fought and died there all feel a sense of abandonment and frustration at this endgame incompetence. Those in the government who continue to hunt terrorist jihadis have lost their sources, bases of operation, and ability to quick-strike military targets that a resurgent al-Qaeda will now present there.

Author Lee Smith recently shared a comment from a journalist friend of his who is also a veteran of the Afghanistan War. His friend wrote him in frustration over the withdrawal and told him, "You don't spend two decades pumping trillions of dollars into a money pit and funding all manner of transparent fantasies one year at a time with no real continuity or long-range planning, then all of a sudden develop the ability as you're running out the door at half past midnight to make prudent decisions to secure your material interests."


Peter Schweizer, President of the Governmental Accountability Institute, is a Gatestone Institute Distinguished Senior Fellow and author of the best-selling books Profiles in Corruption, Secret Empires and Clinton Cash, among others.


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Election Officials Don’t Know What Happened to 15 Million Mail Ballots in 2020 Election - J. Christian Adams


by J. Christian Adams

Real data -- from a federal agency.


As any casual observer could tell, the 2020 election was a mess. Now we have real data—from a federal agency, no less—that proves it.

Based on data from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, an analysis by the Public Interest Legal Foundation shows almost 15 million mail ballots effectively disappeared after election officials gave them to the U.S. Postal Service to deliver to voters.  

Gone, like the Bermuda Triangle of the election.

Some of the mail ballots may have ended up on the floors of apartment complexes. Some were sent to deceased registrants. Some went to addresses where the registrant no longer lives. Some may have gone to vacant lots and businesses. Some, having never been requested by the voter, were never returned.

In 2020, we put the election in the hands of the people who regularly deliver you your neighbor’s mail.

The data also shows that an additional 1.1 million ballots were sent to the wrong addresses in 2020 – the U.S. Postal Service saying they were “undeliverable.” Think on that. One million ballots went to the wrong house or apartment.

This report proves that mass voting by mail leads to chaos, is ripe with opportunities to commit fraud, and disenfranchises voters.

What was the effect on the election outcome?  That depends on other unknowns.  What we do know is that massive numbers of lost ballots present enormous potential for abuse.  The fact of untracked, nearly 15 million ballots triggers an unavoidable cascade of serious, fundamental, deeply troubling questions. 

Such as, how many of those were voted by unintended recipients?  This can’t be known.  Another obvious question is, how many people failed to vote because their ballots went astray?  This too can’t be known.  Another question is why are the voter rolls so inaccurate that wrong addresses are so common? 

Places like Pennsylvania had to be sued to be forced into correcting them.  Another question is why do so many election officials not care?  

To put that 15 million figure in perspective, consider this in Pennsylvania 440,000 mail ballots went missing or were undeliverable in the 2020 election. President Biden won the state by only 81,000 votes.

Pennsylvania is not the only battleground state that lost more ballots than the difference between winning and losing its Electoral College votes.

In Wisconsin, 83,000 mail ballots went missing or were undeliverable. President Biden won the state by only 20,000 votes.

 In Georgia, 244,000 ballots went missing or were undeliverable. President Biden won the state by only 11,000 votes.

When states lose track of more ballots than the difference between winning and losing its Electoral College votes, that is a core system failure.  It means that a genuine accurate count is impossible. We just close our eyes and cross our fingers and hope the margins are big enough to not call into question the outcome of an election.

Mass mail balloting with inaccurate voter rolls leads to chaos. That is exactly what we saw in 2020.   

Many states have significant issues in their voter rolls including duplicate and deceased registrants. The Public Interest Legal Foundation’s 2020 analysis of voter rolls in 42 states found nearly 38,000 people registered twice and nearly 350,000 deceased voters who were still registered.  

Mail balloting also disenfranchises people. The left harps on disenfranchisement, but wholly ignores the role of mail balloting in disenfranchising voters. 

The new PILF report also shows an alarming number of mail ballot rejections. Sometimes the error is the lack of a signature or other mistakes made by legitimate voters; other times it is something less innocent. Regardless, in 2020, over 560,000 mail ballots were rejected, many, no doubt, cast by legitimate voters who were effectively disenfranchised. In California alone, nearly 93,000 mail ballots were rejected in 2020.

When people vote in person, they are less likely to be disenfranchised. Election officials can help catch mistakes at the ballot box such as a forgotten signature on a ballot.

Mass voting by mail is not the way to run an election. Voting in person is supervised and transparent. It stops disenfranchisement of legitimate voters and increases confidence that voting matters and elections are honest and accurate.

It is critical that we work to clean the voter rolls before the next election, implement much-needed reforms to fix existing vulnerabilities, and do not let mass mail balloting become the new norm for our elections.


J. Christian Adams is the president and general counsel for the Public Interest Legal Foundation and a former Justice Department Voting Section lawyer.  He is also a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.


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Too many Americans are sleeping in this new red dawn - Frank Liberato


by Frank Liberato

Young people are the saddest part of this story.

A red dawn is slowly rising.  An alarm is ringing somewhere, but our eyes are still thick with sleep.  We hit snooze and turn our faces away from the light, but it is time to wake up.  The outrages are piling up quickly now.  Like snow in a blizzard, they make every new step more ponderous than the last.  Overwrought and overwhelmed, it's difficult to know which way to turn.  This is by design.  Absent clear and decisive action, a red dawn will become a red day, and then even the little brownshirts in the media and the universities will realize that something magnificent has been irretrievably lost, and their lives will change forever.

The mainstream media would not know the truth if they fell over it.  They broadcast the most bald-faced lies, speaking with anger and righteous indignation.  Surely, they were mentored by Joe Biden.  Biden's reckless falsehoods are accelerating, and in just the past few weeks, he has demonstrated repeatedly that his words mean absolutely nothing.  He discarded his promises not to leave Americans behind in Afghanistan or to mandate vaccines with all the aplomb and mendacity of a general who claims to worry about "white rage," while promising to pass military secrets to the Chinese.

The media are now trying to gild the likes of George Bush, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Liz Cheney.  Most of those who once offered them their sacred vote resent this.  All they can see is betrayal stretching back as far as memory will allow, with past events now seen in a completely different light.  It's gotten to the point where it's almost axiomatic: if the media support it, it can't be trusted.

The media may realize, in time, that they were the instruments of their own destruction.  The Deep State will not share its power with the media or with anyone else.  The lies that they freely broadcast today will become the "truths" that they are forced to broadcast tomorrow.  Their large salaries and lavish entitlements will fall by the wayside as they join the ranks of the "workers' paradise."

The same can be said for academia.  The rot they have willfully fed our children for generations will no longer be their free choice.  Most of their jobs will be gone, and what remains would more aptly be called the Ministry of Propaganda.  They too will take their place among the working poor.

Young people are the saddest part of this story.  Having been so thoroughly indoctrinated, they have absolutely no idea how good their lives could be.  Instead, they are taught only grievances.  If their utopian goals are realized, they will never have the chance to pursue their dreams or join the great American middle class because it will no longer exist.  They will be put to work, and their options in life will be severely limited.  You take all the tests and then work where you're assigned.  The state owns you.

All of them would scoff at this portrayal, but it doesn't take a genius to see this sad reality wherever communism has taken root in the world.  Our homegrown communists believe that they are the ones who can do communism right.  They can "build back better."  It is all folly.  Nobody ever does communism better.  Governance by coercion creates poverty, misery, and more coercion.

What about China?  China was still a communist hellhole as recently as the late 1990s.  It has evolved into something more akin to fascism, with private industry layered onto communism's dictatorial roots.

An incredible influx of capital from the West has allowed the CCP to build modern cities and what may soon be the world's most formidable military, but the Chinese people are still the property of the state.  They must toe the party line or risk disappearing.

In the cities, they're warehoused in dull, utilitarian high-rise buildings, where they are placated with broadly increasing salaries, manifold technologies, and a mobility that has not been experienced for generations.  Most of it is courtesy of the West and, more specifically, the United States.

The rural areas, amounting to roughly half the population, are still mired in abject poverty.  Lacking a free enterprise engine to drive their economy, if the Western money spigot is ever turned off, China would revert to an ugly communist pit with only the rusting material remnants of prosperity.

The United States will share that fate if we do not have the strength to turn back the red tide that now threatens to wash away our most revered beliefs and institutions.  We still have time, but we can't keep hitting the snooze.

The days have gone down in the West, behind the hills...into Shadow.
Who shall gather the smoke from the dead wood burning,
Or behold the flowing years from the sea returning?

—From JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings

Image: China destroys 15 unused high rises.  YouTube screen grab.


Frank Liberato


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How the US failure in Afghanistan validates the Koran's jihadist teachings - Raymond Ibrahim


by Raymond Ibrahim

[T]he takeaway lesson from Afghanistan for millions of Muslims the world over is that perseverance in jihad and patience pays off — just as the Koran says it will.

While it should be a no-brainer that the Taliban's victory in Afghanistan has emboldened like-minded (read: "radical") Muslims to no end, few in the West appreciate how this episode — especially America's disastrous retreat — is being used to validate the Koran itself, and thus Muslim zeal and faith in Islam.

Beginning around August 15, 2021, when the Taliban reconquered Afghanistan, every time I watched an Arabic-language program or sheikh speak, they cited several Koran verses as "proof" that it was only inevitable — only a matter of time — that the U.S. would be humiliated and the Taliban exalted.

Consider, as one example, the words of popular sheikh Wagdi Ghoneim.  An Egyptian scholar of Islam and member of the Muslim Brotherhood, he is notorious for issuing violent fatwas against Israel and inciting hatred against other "infidels" (including by threatening Egypt's indigenous Christian minority, the Copts, with genocide).  With such "credentials," it should come as no surprise that he once served as the imam of the Islamic Institute of Orange County, California, and was a fundraiser for the Toledo, Ohio charity KindHearts (a Hamas front).

On August 15, 2021, this Ghoneim offered a "victory" speech that — at least as of the publication of this article — still appears on YouTube, titled (in translation), "Allahu Akbar: The Taliban's Victory Represents the Power of Jihad in Allah's Way."  As might be expected, his talk is replete with Koran verses praising the virtues of jihad.  For example:

O believers! Be mindful of Allah and seek what brings you closer to him and perform jihad in his way, so you may be successful (5:35).

O believers! March forth [into battle] whether it is easy or difficult for you, and perform jihad with your wealth and your lives in the cause of Allah. That is best for you, if only you knew (9:41).

Having laid the doctrinal framework for jihad, Ghoneim moved on to its most important aspect: perseverance.  "The Taliban persevered in its jihad for 20 years.  This isn't a problem — what's 20 years in the context of history?  Who said [the outcome of] jihad is instantaneous?  No!  It requires patience and time!"

Patience and perseverance in the jihad was his grand point — not to mention the grand takeaway lesson of Afghanistan for all Muslims.  It is for Allah to decree when the jihad succeeds; for everyday Muslims, the duty is simply and always to wage it.  If they do so, Allah, according to his word, shall eventually bless them with victory. 

Supporting Koran verses Ghoneim cited include:

We will certainly test you until we learn who among you are the true mujahidin [jihadists] who remain steadfast and how you conduct yourselves (47:31).

Do you think you will enter Paradise without Allah proving which of you truly performed jihad for his cause and patiently endured? (3:142)

O believers! Patiently endure, persevere, stand on guard, and be mindful of Allah, that you may be successful (3:200). 

Interestingly, the phrase "stand on guard" in Koran 3:200 literally means "perform ribat" — that is, man the frontier zone, whence the infidels should be harried, including through guerrilla tactics.  That's precisely what the Taliban did.

Finally, Ghoneim moved onto Allah's words concerning infidels, especially those who try to prevent Muslims from performing jihad and enforcing sharia.  He quoted Koran 8:36: "Surely the infidels spend their wealth to prevent others from the Way of Allah [sabil allah, i.e., jihad].  They will continue to spend to the point of regret.  Then they will be defeated and the infidels will be driven into hell."

As countless other Muslim clerics and leaders have done, are doing, and will do for years to come, Ghoneim explained how that particular Koran verse foretold America's defeat — that is, so long as there were always Muslims willing to persevere in the jihad.  At one point he descended into wild gloating: "See how much they lost by way of dead and wounded — and trillions, all lost!  So you see, trillions they have lost!"

At any rate, the takeaway lesson from Afghanistan for millions of Muslims the world over is that perseverance in jihad and patience pays off — just as the Koran says it will.  Put differently, the roles of both the Taliban and the U.S. have now confirmed for Muslims the truths of the Koran — specifically, that perseverance in the jihad always leads to victory over and leaves infidels broken, even if it takes years and decades.

"Therefore, thanks be to Allah," concluded Ghoneim, "that they [Taliban] were patient and steadfast, and Allah rewarded them with victory over the infidel nations."  He closed by supplicating Allah to let the umma, the entire Muslim world, learn from the Taliban — from "those heroes who raised all of our heads up high and cast the infidels' heads down in shame."

As such, expect to see a renewed and unwavering commitment to the jihad in the foreseeable future.

Image: newsonline via Flickr, CC BY 2.0 (cropped).

To comment, you can find the MeWe post for this article here.


Raymond Ibrahim, author of Sword and Scimitar, is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center; a Judith Rosen Friedman Fellow at the Middle East Forum; and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute.


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Why Oslo Still Rules - Caroline Glick


by Caroline Glick

Faisal Husseini described the Oslo process as a “Trojan Horse.” Arafat and his people were the hostile army that infiltrated the city “in the belly of the wooden horse.”


In an interview shortly before his death in the summer of 2001, Faisal Husseini, who held the Palestinian Authority’s Jerusalem portfolio, exposed the fraud at the heart of the Oslo process. Speaking with Al Araby newspaper, Husseini said that Yassir Arafat, his deputies and henchmen never saw the “peace process” as a way of achieving peace with Israel. Oslo for them was a means to advance their goal of destroying Israel, “from the river to the sea.”

Husseini described the Oslo process as a “Trojan Horse.” Arafat and his people were the hostile army that infiltrated the city “in the belly of the wooden horse.” When Arafat rejected Palestinian statehood and peace at the Camp David summit in July 2000 and initiated the Palestinian terror war two months later, it was as if he and his men exited the horse and began the fight.

“This is the beginning of the real work,” Husseini explained.

The PLO used the seven years that preceded the Palestinian terror war to build up their power. Arafat held “peace” talks and Israel paid through the nose for the privilege of sitting across the table from him and his apparatchiks. Israel gave them the Gaza Strip. Israel gave them the Palestinian cities and villages in Judea and Samaria. Israel gave them weapons and ammunition. Israel gave them international legitimacy. Israel – and with Israel’s permission, the nations of the world — gave PLO terrorists billions of dollars every year. Israel permitted the EU and the CIA to arm and train Arafat’s terror legions.

Arafat promised that in exchange for all that, he would fight terror and build the institutions necessary to run a state. Instead, he and his minions transformed the cities Israel gave them into terror bases. They used the funds to finance terror armies. They used the international legitimacy Israel’s recognition conferred to escalate and expand their political war against Israel’s right to exist.

The Israeli public didn’t need Husseini’s interview to know that Oslo was gravest strategic error in Israel’s history. The first Palestinian suicide bomber blew up at a crowded bus stop seven months after Rabin and Arafat shook hands at the White House on September 13, 1993. Between their handshake and the beginning of the Oslo war in September 2000 the number of Israelis killed by Palestinian terrorists was twice the total killed from 1967-1993.

Despite the public’s opposition, still today, 28 years after Oslo’s launch, we are still living the world Oslo unleashed. The strategic and political realities the Oslo process created still dominate the life of the country. The Palestinian Authority still exists. It still finances and incites terror and wages its political war against Israel. The Oslo-obsessed “international community” still demands that Israel “make painful concessions for peace,” and together with the Israeli left, insists that the “two-state solution” is the only possible way to resolve the Palestinians’ never-ending war for the annihilation of Israel.

For years, led by Shimon Peres, the Israeli left dismissed public opposition to their radical, failed policy with the jeering catcall, “What’s the alternative?” – as if Israel’s only option is surrender to Palestinian terrorists in the name of “peace.”

A year ago, we caught a glimpse of the alternative: the sovereignty plan, which was supported by America. That plan showed that there is an option for governing Judea and Samaria and securing the interests of both Israel and the Palestinians that doesn’t involve empowering a terrorist organization.

As for peace, the Abraham Accords showed that the key to peace with the Arab world isn’t kowtowing to Palestinian terrorists.

The key to peace is Israel’s military, economic, diplomatic and social power. The parties to the Abraham Accords made peace with Israel because we are powerful, because Israel stubbornly defends of its rights and interests.  

Last year’s glimpse of the true alternative to surrender seems like a distant dream today. The Lapid-Gantz-Bennett government has embraced Oslo’s tired, insipid slogans and presents them as original ideas – as if we were all born yesterday.

“Security for prosperity,” Foreign Minister and Prime-Minister-In-Waiting Yair Lapid’s plan for “stabilizing” Hamas-controlled Gaza, is an attempt to repackage Oslo’s requirement that Israel give the Palestinians everything they demand up front in exchange for vague promises of Palestinian moderation sometime down the line.

In Lapid’s plan, Israel will let Hamas rebuild its missile stores and terror infrastructures by transferring astronomical quantities of civilian aid. Hamas will respond by temporarily suspending its missile attacks on Israel.

“The international community,” will guarantee Hamas doesn’t use the humanitarian aid to do what it has been doing since seizing control over Gaza 15 years ago, even though “the international community,” has passively and actively supported Hamas for 15 years.

“Gaza residents,” will overthrow Hamas if it blocks prosperity by using “humanitarian aid” to build its their terror arsenals, even though the Palestinians of Gaza and Judea and Samaria support Hamas and want elections so that Hamas, which has been diverting humanitarian aid for 15 years, will oust Fatah and the PLO from power.

Although PA Chairman and PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas has no public support, he is Israel’s “legitimate partner” for peace. He’s our partner for fighting terror even though he incites and finances terror. The Lapid-Gantz-Bennett government is committed to expanding Abbas’s powers to empower “moderates.”

The IDF, Lapid says, can’t fight endless rounds of war with Hamas. But then again, the IDF is so powerful that he argues Israel can afford to let Hamas rebuild its arsenal and military infrastructures.

And if all this fails to convince, Lapid brought out the big guns, “international legitimacy.” Israel can’t live without “international legitimacy” and it won’t have any if it doesn’t give the Palestinians everything they demand. Anyway, it all makes sense because the only alternative is “the two-state solution.”

How is it possible after all we have been through and all we have learned and seen that we are still living in the Oslo reality?

The answer begins with name of the phony peace process: Oslo. It was a Norwegian production, not an Israeli one. In 1993, the anti-Israel Norwegian government asked two Israeli peace activists who worked at a think tank connected with then deputy foreign minister Yossi Beilin to come to Oslo to meet with senior PLO terrorists. They agreed despite the fact that Israeli law then banned all contact between Israeli citizens and PLO members.

Although they represented no one, Yair Hirschfeld and Ron Pundak were happy to oblige and carried out negotiations as if they were Israel’s representatives. When the talks advanced to a certain point, they told Beilin about them. And he told Peres.

After Arafat, (with Israeli coaching) scuttled the official peace talks that Rabin’s representatives were holding in Washington, Peres told Rabin. Whether unwilling to get into an open battle with Peres that could potentially bring down his government, or hopeful that something positive might come from the anti-democratic exercise, Rabin agreed to make the Oslo deal official policy.

The public opposed Oslo from the beginning. To get the Oslo deals approved by Knesset, Rabin required the support of the anti-Zionist Arab parties. Once the ultra-Orthodox Shas party left his government, to survive Rabin needed to entice two lawmakers from the far right Tzomet party to bolt their party, and abandon their ideology. He bought them off with a ministry and a deputy ministry and got the second Oslo deal through Knesset with a one vote majority.

Rabin and Peres were able to push ahead with Oslo because the media and the legal fraternity supported their efforts to demonize its opponents. Zionists became “enemies of peace,” collaborators with Hamas and Fatah. Rabin coined the term “murderers of peace.” Opposition leaders who gave copiously documented heart-rending speeches against Oslo were accused of “incitement.” Victims of Palestinian terror were dubbed “victims of peace.”

When Ariel Sharon became prime minister at the height of the Palestinian terror war, he opted to end the media’s demonization of him by joining the Oslo mob. Arguing that things look different from the Prime Minister’s office, Sharon adopted the Left’s policy of mass expulsions of law-abiding Israeli citizens from their homes in Gaza. True, Sharon was reelected in a landslide in 2003 by running against the left’s expulsions platform. But a he didn’t care. He expelled ten thousand Israelis from their homes in 2005 and 18 months later, as he had previously warned would happen, Hamas seized control of Gaza. The media swooned.

Benjamin Netanyahu preferred to ignore Oslo in the hopes that it would wither on the vine and disappear in the face of the success of the diplomatic alternative he built on the basis of Israel’s strength. Despite the wild success of his efforts, Oslo survived the sovereignty plan and the Abraham accords, and of course, Netanyahu’s tenure in office. And now it is roaring back.

In pre-Yom Kippur interviews, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett echoed Sharon when he said he left his ideology and political positions behind when he entered the Prime Minister’s office. Tuesday night, Bennett’s sidekick, Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked warned of growing “incitement and extremism.”

The Lapid-Gantz-Bennett government is sort of a Rabin-Peres government on steroids. Rabin bought his right-wing turncoats with one ministry and one deputy ministry. Bennett was able to extort a two-year premiership and Gideon Sa’ar got to be Justice Minister. The Rabin-Peres government needed the anti-Zionist Arab parties to pass the Oslo deals. The Lapid-Gantz-Bennett government needs the anti-Zionist Arab parties for everything. And like the Rabin-Peres government, the current government owes its survival to the wall to wall support it receives from the media and the legal fraternity.

This is the heart of the matter. Oslo has survived despite the fact that it has been a catastrophe for Israel on every level for 28 years because Israel’s permanent ruling class supports it.

In the early years of Oslo, I was a witness to the process that brought Israel’s diplomatic and military leaders, along with the senior civil service to put reality aside, and embrace Oslo’s illusion of peace. During Oslo’s heyday, from 1994-1996, as an IDF captain in the Defense Ministry, I served as a core member of Israel’s negotiating team. I sat in the negotiating sessions in Cairo, Taba and Eilat.

The fraud was obvious even then. Every two weeks, I wrote and circulated detailed reports setting out how the Palestinian officials we were meeting with left the negotiating halls each week and ordered their people to breach every promise and pledge they had just made to us. I documented the fraud, the Oslo lie. And I saw how one by one, commanders and senior officials who understood the danger and knew the truth embraced “the new narrative” while ignoring the facts in most cases.

We won’t be able to bury Oslo at the ballot box –although winning elections is a precondition for burying it. Oslo will only be finally laid to rest when we compel Israel’s permanent ruling class to abandon it in favor of Zionism – and the truth.

Originally published in Israel Hayom.


Caroline Glick


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Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated by a robot - Arutz Sheva Staff


by Arutz Sheva Staff

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, killed last year, was assassinated using artificial intelligence, NYT says.


Scene of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh's assassination
Scene of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh's assassination                                                                     Reuters

Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed by a robot, The New York Times reported Saturday.

Fakhrizadeh was assassinated in November 2020, and initial reports claimed he was gunned down by a remote-controlled machine gun.

According to the new Times report, the gun was planted in a pickup truck by Iranian agents, and operated by a Mossad sniper working on a computer located outside Iran.

The newspaper also said that the gun was a beta test of a weapon "kitted out with artificial intelligence and multiple-camera eyes, operated via satellite and capable of firing 600 rounds a minute."

The truck itself was filled with explosives intended to destroy the robotic gun, but the force of the blast flung the equipment out of the truck intact, leaving evidence of the weapon, the Times said.


Arutz Sheva Staff


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Lebanese PM: Iranian fuel shipments are a breach of Lebanon's sovereignty - Elad Benari


by Elad Benari

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati criticizes Iranian fuel shipments imported by Hezbollah, in violation of US sanctions on Iran.


Beirut, Lebanon
Beirut, Lebanon                                                                                                              iStock

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati said on Friday that Iranian fuel shipments imported by the Hezbollah organization constitute a breach of Lebanon's sovereignty, according to Reuters.

"The violation of Lebanon's sovereignty makes me sad," Mikati was quoted as having told CNN in an interview.

He added, "But I'm not concerned that sanctions can be imposed" on Lebanon "because the operation was carried out without the involvement of the Lebanese government."

Mikati’s comments came a day after dozens of trucks carrying Iranian diesel arrived in Lebanon, the first in a series of deliveries organized by Hezbollah.

The overland delivery through neighboring Syria violates US sanctions imposed on Tehran after former President Donald Trump pulled America out of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

The shipment is being portrayed as a victory by Hezbollah, which stepped in to supply the fuel from its patron, Iran, while the cash-strapped Lebanese government grapples with months-long fuel shortages that have paralyzed the country.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah last month announced that a fuel tanker would leave Iran for Lebanon in a direct challenge to Israel and the US.

“The vessel, from the moment it sails in the coming hours until it enters [Mediterranean] waters, will be considered Lebanese territory,” Nasrallah said in a televised address. “To the Americans and Israelis, I say: it’s Lebanese territory.”

A new Lebanese government headed by Mikati was formed just last week after a 13-month impasse as the country grapples with one of the worst crises in its history.

Mikati took on the task of forming a new government in late July, days after fellow veteran politician Saad Hariri threw in the towel.

Hariri gave up the post when he failed to reach an agreement with Aoun on a Cabinet.


Elad Benari


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Jenin gunmen ready to foil possible IDF ‘incursion’ - Khaled Abu Toameh

by Khaled Abu Toameh

The gunmen said that they have formed a “Joint Operations Room” consisting of representatives of various Palestinian factions to repel a possible “invasion” by the IDF.


Palestinians demonstrate at the Israeli Hawara checkpoint near the city of Nablus and clash with Israeli security forces  on September 13, 2021.  (photo credit: NASSER ISHTAYEH/FLASH90)
Palestinians demonstrate at the Israeli Hawara checkpoint near the city of Nablus and clash with Israeli security forces on September 13, 2021.
(photo credit: NASSER ISHTAYEH/FLASH90)

Palestinian gunmen in Jenin said over the weekend that they are prepared to thwart any attempt by the IDF to enter the city or its refugee camp in search of two security prisoners who escaped from Gilboa Prison.
The gunmen said they have formed a “Joint Operations Room” consisting of representatives of various Palestinian factions to repel a possible “invasion” by the IDF.
Palestinian sources said the gunmen belong to several armed groups affiliated with Fatah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The sources claimed that the IDF was preparing to launch a major offensive in the camp following a series of shooting incidents.
Over the past few days, gunmen have been carrying out shooting attacks almost every night at the Jalame checkpoint, located between Jenin and Mount Gilboa. No one has been hurt in those attacks.
Two of the six prisoners who escaped from Gilboa Prison remain at large. The two, Munadel Enfayat and Ayham Kamamji, hail from the Jenin area. It is believed that at least one of them succeeded in crossing into the West Bank.
Palestinians walk on empty streets during a full-blown strike in Jenin, West Bank, in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, September 11, 2021. (credit: NASSER ISHTAYEH/FLASH90) Palestinians walk on empty streets during a full-blown strike in Jenin, West Bank, in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, September 11, 2021. (credit: NASSER ISHTAYEH/FLASH90)
The Joint Operations Room was last active in 2002, when the IDF raided the Jenin refugee camp as part of Operation Defensive Shield, a large-scale military operation conducted in the West Bank during the Second Intifada to stop terrorist attacks.
Jamal Haweel, a senior Fatah official from the camp, was quoted on Saturday as warning that Israel would pay a heavy price if the IDF enters the refugee camp and the city of Jenin.
“We are all united and everyone is prepared for making sacrifices and resisting the occupation forces,” Haweel, a member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, said.
According to the Fatah official, the failure of the Israeli authorities to prevent the escape of the six inmates from a high security prison prompted Israel to issue threats against the Jenin Refugee Camp.
He also warned Israel against “exaggerating” the military capabilities of the refugee camp “by portraying it as if it contains a nuclear bomb.”
Haweel claimed that the gunmen in the camp and the city of Jenin possess “simple” military capabilities. “But,” he added, “they are in high spirits and have a strong will to defend the camp against any Israeli aggression.”
He appealed to the Palestinian Authority to “provide security” to the Jenin refugee camp, warning that the downfall of the camp would “affect the security system” in the West Bank. He also expressed hope that the terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip would “join in defending the camp once it comes under attack.”
Haweel claimed that Prime Minister Naftali Bennett wants to launch a military operation against Jenin.
“Bennett will pay a heavy price, because the fighters are united and prepared,” he cautioned.
Hamas also warned Israel against launching a military operation in the Jenin refugee camp.
“We warn the occupation against committing any foolish acts against our people in the Jenin camp,” Hamas said in a statement on Friday. “Our people stand united in their support for our people in Jenin.”
Hamas also warned Israel against continuing its punitive measures against Palestinian prisoners in response to the escape from Gilboa Prison.
“Our people and their resistance will not stand silent in the face of the continuation of these violations,” the statement read, adding that the jailbreak was another “defeat” for Israel.

Khaled Abu Toameh


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Lara Logan Video: Biden Told OSHA to Hide Info on Vaccine Side Effects -



Strong-arming and lying -- it's the Democrat way.


In the short video below, Fox News' Lara Logan explores President Biden's manipulation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to promote the COVID vaccine: “Joe Biden didn’t even bother to ask Congress. He said the new mandate is justified because COVID is an ‘emergency.’ Then he walked away without taking questions, once again.”

Check out the video:


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Thursday, September 16, 2021

Now our side is doing the protest songs, and the establishment (read: Facebook) is banning them - Monica Showalter


by Monica Showalter

What to make of Facebook shutting down a mere song protesting the Afghanistan war?

Facebook has shut down advertising for a new song by John Ondrasik, called "Got Blood on My Hands," about Joe Biden's disastrous pullout from Afghanistan.  They did it on the typical spurious grounds of "violation of terms of service."  The song denounces Biden's abandonment of thousands of Americans and allies behind enemy lines, the needless deaths of thirteen service members, all the best of the best, and names names of the culprits in the fiasco.

Boy, is this a cold, angry song.  And a very good one.  Listen:


According to the Washington Free Beacon:

Facebook blocked an ad that promoted a song critical of President Joe Biden's botched Afghanistan withdrawal, raising questions about how it applies its advertising rules.

The social media giant twice prohibited Five For Fighting's John Ondrasik from purchasing an ad to promote his new single "Blood On My Hands." Facebook claimed the song, which slams the Biden administration for abandoning hundreds of Americans and thousands of Afghan allies, "violated their policy on either politics or social issues." The song singles out Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley.

Facebook's advertising policies state that "Ads must not contain content that exploits crises or controversial political or social issues for commercial purposes." But the company frequently allows political ads on its platform. A cursory review shows Facebook hosted multiple ads from Black Lives Matter and leftist organization Demand Justice promoting abortion and calling for checks on police. A Wall Street Journal report found that Facebook maintains a list of almost six million public figures who are exempted from content moderation regulations.

Facebook just being Facebook, right?  Social media, after all, have banned the president of the United States.  We know they've done far worse.

But the banning of a mere song they don't like is pretty creepy stuff.  After all, it's a mere song.  Flip the channel if you don't like it, right?  Not these guys.  For many reasons, it's more significant than it looks.  

The compressed, understated emotion, combined with bitter, acid words and minor profanity, packs a punch, for starters.  It's a good song, and that seems to be important.  Ondrasik's song, bitterly protesting Joe Biden's dishonorable, disastrous Afghanistan pullout and the needless deaths of thirteen service members, is one in a classic genre of protest songs, comparable to those that marked the Vietnam War era and the dawn of the Civil Rights era.  Rolling Stone has a good list of such protest songs, with listenable videos, as does the Discogs blog.

Think "Ohio," by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, about the killing of Kent State student protesters by National Guardsmen.  Think "Blowin' in the Wind," by Bob Dylan, coolly denouncing the Vietnam War.  Think "For What It's Worth," by Buffalo Springfield, originally an anti-curfew song, which also became an anti–Vietnam War anthem.  Think "Eve of Destruction," by Barry McGuire, about the Cuban Missile Crisis, which also became an anti–Vietnam War song.  Think "Fortunate Son," by Creedence Clearwater Revival, on the elites' draft deferments and the working class sent to the trenches.

On the Civil Rights front, which is also important (more about this later), think "Strange Fruit," by Billie Holiday, a coolly bitter song about lynching that was actually censored by corporate interests in 1939, but also was viewed as the launching song of the Civil Rights era of the 1950s and 1960s. 

All good songs, and memorable.  You remember good songs in a way you cannot always remember masses of crowds protesting with signs.

It's also impossible to listen to protest songs or feel them resonate without feeling the cultural context of everything else going on:

In each case, a corrupt, rotten establishment, set in its ways, comfortable in its power, was protested by angry youths and many beyond youth, in such songs, triggering a broader countercultural movement.

"Don't trust anyone over thirty."  "Reject the propaganda you learn in school."  "Don't trust the government."  "Never talk to the FBI."  Add to this the "Free Speech Movement" of U.C. Berkeley protesters such as Bettina Aptheker and Mario Savio in the early 1960s, which rapidly became the "Filthy Speech Movement," and the panorama comes back.

Those people at the time were largely leftists, of course, protesting Democrat policies and practices that got us mired into the Vietnam War and the Jim Crow regimen.  (The Civil Rights era was actually led by Republicans.)  The filthy-speechers were largely Marxists, and some were literally communists, such as Aptheker, daugher of Communist Party USA éminence grise Herbert Aptheker.  But as Eric Hoffer has noted, in the matter of mass movements (see The True Believer, published in 1951) it doesn't matter — deadly nightshades and tomatoes are in the same plant family, but one is poisonous, and one is not, he explained.  It's the same with mass and cultural movements.  And every last one of them has memorable songs.

Now there's a hell of a counterculture building in the era of doddering Joe Biden, a senile fool whose ideas are all old and failed and driving the U.S. to ruin, propelling a reaction from the young, often led by the right, but not exclusively so.

Think "F--- Joe Biden!" being chanted by college kids at stadium games.  Think vaxx and lockdown skepticism, with Democrats' worst nightmare now forming — Black Lives Matter protesters uniting with MAGA-supporters to protest vaccine mandates.  It's happening.  Afghanistan is the crowning glory of this rotted, lifeless but mailed-fist establishment, which listens to no one.  The result is a protest song, along with an amazingly crazed reaction to ban it from the corrupt and powerful establishment.

There are startling parallels to this leftist urge to ban, of all things, songs, and we have seen it in other parts of the world — recall that Putin banned "Pussy Riot," whose "music" was execrable and who specialized in interrupting worshipers at mass in Russia, a sure-to-be loathed practice anywhere it's tried.  Bad music and disgusting tactics ensured that their movement never took off and now they remain a distant memory.

One cultural movement led by a song, though, does have legs and is comparable — in Cuba.  Ondrasik's song runs roughly parallel to this contemporary song, "Patria y Vida," released in Cuba by Cuban and Miami Cuban musicians, which unleashed Cuba's ongoing popular revolt in the streets:

The ruling Castroite oligarchy shut that song down, beat and jailed anyone listening to it, and it only got more popular.  You can go on or Etsy or other places and buy t-shirts and stickers with that song's name.  The song itself, with its reggaeton rhythms, is beautiful, a great song to listen to, yet, fascinatingly, it uses gangsta rap–like appropriations by the black singers in the video, underlining to the Castroites that they are challenging them as a lily-white Castroite elite, and not surprisingly, the elites are reacting badly.  Unlike Pussy Riot's screechings, this song is clearly viewed as threat to the far-left Castroite establishment just as Ondrasik's "Got Blood On My Hands" is viewed as a threat by the lords of Facebook, who have close ties to the ruling Democrats and have been known to take orders from them.

They've gotten away with it, and the Ondrasik song, like the Cuban one, is going to get more popular.  Look to songs like this to proliferate in the soggy, stagnant, long, long Biden three years to come ahead of us, led by a senile dotard with no hopes for improvement. 

Ondrasik's song is a classic countercultural protest song against that, kicking off a broader movement, punctuated by leftist censorship (unlike in the 1960s, when there was remarkably little), which can only mean that the establishment is threatened.  Look for more songs, videos, movies, guerrilla art, and graffiti to accompany them, plus new kinds of protest not seen in the past.  It's coming.

Image: Screen shot from John Ondrasik video via shareable YouTube.


Monica Showalter


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