Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Peter Brimelow At AMREN: “We Have A Totalitarian Left In This Country”

Now, my subject today is “Grading Trump’s Performance,” especially from my own perspective and VDARE.com’s perspective– we’re single-issue voters on the immigration issue. And this chaos is certainly irritating; it makes grading difficult. You have to see through the chaos and focus on the big picture, the emerging building.

But I’ll end the suspense: Donald Trump gets an A—for one simple reason: he’s definitely not Hillary Clinton.

As a matter of fact, he’s definitely not Jeb Bush either! So let’s make that an A+!

Bush would have added insult to injury. Cuckservative Review, and all the Coyote News talking heads would be telling us about The Conservative Case for Bush’s Amnesty/Immigration Surge. It would have been unbearable

Because an Amnesty/ Immigration Surge is absolutely what we would have gotten from Clinton. And a complete collapse of enforcement at the borders, let alone in the interior. And a massive increase in refugees (i.e., expedited, subsidized, politically favored immigrants—not refugees in the classical sense at all). She would have gone the full Merkel.

I can’t overemphasize how important this is. The 2016 election was, as Mike Anton called it, “The Flight 93 Election.” It was a desperate attempt, like those people in the plane that went down in Pennsylvania on 9/11, to get control of the flight or die. That was what had to be done. There was just no alternative.

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Friday, August 11, 2017

Is the American Empire Worth the Price?

“When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight,” Samuel Johnson observed, “it concentrates his mind wonderfully.”

And the prospect of a future where Kim Jong Un can put a nuclear weapon on a U.S. city is going to cause this nation to reassess the risks and rewards of the American Imperium.

First, some history.

“Why should Americans be first to die in any second Korean war?” this writer asked in 1999 in “A Republic, Not an Empire.”

“With twice the population of the North and twenty times its economic power, South Korea … is capable of manning its own defense. American troops on the DMZ should be replaced by South Koreans.”

This was denounced as neo-isolationism. And, in 2002, George W. Bush declared the U.S. “will not permit the world’s most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world’s most destructive weapons.”

Bluster and bluff. In 2006, Pyongyang called and raised and tested an atom bomb. Now Kim Jong Un is close to an ICBM.

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Wednesday, August 09, 2017

The Unsung Summit of Putin and Trump

This week marks the 72nd anniversary of the criminal US bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And as is the case each year, there is much discussion and lamenting over this atrocity, as there well should be. For the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was not necessary for victory; Japan was ready for peace. It was the opening salvo, a brutal one, in the first Cold War in which the world was nearly incinerated during the Cuban missile crisis.

This week is also the one month anniversary of the first in-person meeting of Presidents Trump and Putin at Hamburg on July 7 in the shadow of the G20 meetings. This comes at a time when we find ourselves years into a New Cold War. Given the tensions between Russia and the US, the leading nuclear powers, one would think that there would be rejoicing over the prospect of relieving the tensions between the nuclear superpowers. For that was the agenda of the Trump-Putin summit, as such meetings were called during the first Cold War. Unfortunately, such rejoicing was not to be heard, quite the opposite – with a few rare exceptions

This is lamentable, to say the least, because as tensions grow between the superpowers, the chance for nuclear war increases. During his lengthy interviews with Vladimir Putin, Oliver Stone showed him the movie Dr. Strangelove which Putin had never before seen. Putin commented that the movie captured, among other things, a technical truth with its depiction of the Doomsday Machine. That is, said Putin, nuclear weapons grow increasingly harder to control with every passing day. Given this, the failure to applaud the Trump-Putin on the part of those who were full of praise for the UN vote on denuclearization made me wonder whether there was any thought behind their chatter. Hatred of Trump and Putin seemed to blot out a rational concern for human survival. Are we living in a mad house? Did we not learn our lesson when we narrowly escaped Armageddon in Cold War 1?

In the face of such madness, let us take the time to offer full-throated, unmistakable praise for the Trump-Putin summit meeting. The parley was a long time coming because of the relentless attack on Trump over Russiagate, a Big Lie told blared out relentlessly lo these many months and only now collapsing for want of so much as a smidgen of evidence. Although Trump had promised to hold this summit with Putin even before he was inaugurated, he could not do so because of the intense Russia-gate related pressure against it – from the Elite of both Parties but with the Democrats far in the lead. But Trump pushed ahead with the meeting anyway; as we learned during the 2016 campaign, this is not a guy who gives up despite the odds.

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Monday, August 07, 2017

Fire McMaster

The internal battle taking place in the Trump administration, pitting the “adults” – Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, General John Kelly, and National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster – against the “America First” nationalists, led by Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, has now spread to the media. At the center of the controversy is McMaster, whose foreign policy views are in many ways the exact opposite of Trump’s, and who – rumor has it – may be on the way out. There are indications that, despite recent expressions of support for McMaster, the President has clashed with him repeatedly: Eli Lake reports that Trump “screamed” at his National Security Advisor for calling his South Korean counterpart after Trump said Seoul would have to pay for the THAAD antimissile defense system.

The Never Trump progressive-neocon alliance is taking up the cudgels on McMaster’s behalf, while the Trump loyalists are calling for his ouster. So what are the policy differences between the two factions?

The current issue is what to do about the war in Afghanistan – the fifteen year-plus futile crusade that is now the longest war in our history. Bannon wants out, the “adults” want to escalate the war with more troops. Trump himself leans toward the Bannon view: he reportedly rejected a plan prepared by the “adult” faction and sent them back to the drawing board.

However, from a noninterventionist perspective, the battle lines are not all that that clear. In an interview with an administration insider, the Daily Caller reports:

“Everything the president wants to do, McMaster opposes. Trump wants to get us out of Afghanistan – McMaster wants to go in. Trump wants to get us out of Syria – McMaster wants to go in. Trump wants to deal with the China issue – McMaster doesn’t. Trump wants to deal with the Islam issue – McMaster doesn’t. You know, across the board, we want to get rid of the Iran deal – McMaster doesn’t. It is incredible to watch it happening right in front of your face. Absolutely stunning.”

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Thursday, August 03, 2017

Former U.N. Amb. Power Unmasked ‘Hundreds’ In Final Year Of Obama Admin

Former United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power is believed to have made "hundreds" of unmasking requests to identify individuals named in classified intelligence community reports related to Trump and his presidential transition team, according to multiple sources who said the behavior is unprecedented for an official in her position.

Power was first identified by the Washington Free Beacon last month as a central figure in a congressional investigation into efforts by senior Obama administration officials to obtain classified intelligence information in what many allege was an effort to undermine President Donald Trump and his incoming national security team.

Power is believed to be the anonymous official responsible for "hundreds of unmasking requests during the final year of the Obama administration," according to current and former U.S. officials who spoke to the Free Beacon about the ongoing investigation.

Efforts by the former Obama administration to obtain the names of Trump allies included in raw intelligence reports have fueled speculation that subsequent leaks to the press were orchestrated by the former administration and its allies in a bid to damage the current White House and smear Trump's most senior confidantes.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R., Calif.), chair of the House Intelligence Committee, which is handling the probe, petitioned Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats last week to request his help in addressing the unmasking issue.

Read the entire article 

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Shall We Fight Them All?

Saturday, Kim Jong Un tested an ICBM of sufficient range to hit the U.S. mainland. He is now working on its accuracy, and a nuclear warhead small enough to fit atop that missile that can survive re-entry.

Unless we believe Kim is a suicidal madman, his goal seems clear. He wants what every nuclear power wants — the ability to strike his enemy’s homeland with horrific impact, in order to deter that enemy.

Kim wants his regime recognized and respected, and the U.S., which carpet-bombed the North from 1950-1953, out of Korea.

Where does this leave us? Says Cliff Kupchan of the Eurasia Group, “The U.S. is on the verge of a binary choice: either accept North Korea into the nuclear club or conduct a military strike that would entail enormous civilian casualties.”

A time for truth. U.S. sanctions on North Korea, like those voted for by Congress last week, are not going to stop Kim from acquiring ICBMs. He is too close to the goal line.

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Friday, July 28, 2017

Is Trump Entering a Kill Box?

Given the bravery he showed in stepping out front as the first senator to endorse Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions deserves better from his boss than the Twitter-trashing he has lately received.

The attorney general has not only been loyal to Trump and his agenda, he has the respect and affection of ex-colleagues in Congress and, more broadly, of populists and conservatives nationally.

Trump’s tweets about Sessions are only demoralizing his base.

Yet the president is not wrong to be exasperated and enraged.

A yearlong FBI investigation into Russian hacking has failed to produce a single indictment. Yet the president watches impotently as a special counsel pulls together a lethal force, inside his own administration, whose undeclared ambition is to bring him down.

Trump’s behavior suggests that he sees the Mueller threat as potentially mortal.

How did we get to this peril point when there is no evidence that Trump or any senior aide colluded in the hacking? As for the June 2016 meeting with the Russians, called by Donald Trump Jr. when told by a friend that Moscow had dirt on Hillary Clinton, even that was no crime.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

CIA Gives More Power to Spies to Bolster Intelligence Operations

The Central Intelligence Agency under President Trump is giving more authority to field operatives and cutting excessive bureaucracy in a bid to boost intelligence operations, CIA Director Mike Pompeo says.

In his first news interview since taking charge of the agency in January, Pompeo also said he believes America's greatest long-term security challenge is the threat posed by China, not Russia.

During a wide-ranging interview on the sidelines of a security conference in Aspen, Colo., Pompeo revealed the CIA is preparing intelligence options for the president, including covert action, for use against North Korea in efforts to counter the threat of a future nuclear missile attack.

He also outlined how the CIA is stepping up counterintelligence programs against foreign spies and leaks of intelligence.

Other disclosures by the CIA chief included new details of North Korea's drive to develop reliable strategic nuclear missiles and a renewed CIA focus on stealing foreign secrets.

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Monday, July 24, 2017

Impeach Judges For Interfering With Immigration Enforcement—Abolish the EOIR! The Case Keeps Strengthening

Once again, our imperial judiciary is claiming the right to make immigration policy. The Supreme Court subverted President Donald Trump’s authority on immigration earlier this week by preserving a lower court ruling that exempted grandparents and other relatives from Trump’s travel ban . [Supreme Court says grandparents, relatives can enter US despite travel ban, by Ariane de Vogue, CNN, July 19, 2017]The administration did score a win when the Supreme Court reversed another part of the lower court ruling, allowing refugee ban enforcement [Justices allow strict refugee ban but say grandparents OK, by Mark Sherman, AP, July 19, 2017]. But eventually Trump and the GOP Congress must act to reclaim immigration policy from these would-be “kritarchs”—who increasingly act as if they are the only meaningful branch of government.

My answer: impeachment. And reestablish control over the immigration bureaucracy by abolishing the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR).

It is unquestionable the Constitution grants authority over immigration policy to Congress. Article I, Section 8, Clause 4 of the Constitution gives authority over immigration to Congress via legislation. No judge may challenge this authority. To do so is usurpation of the powers of another branch of government. Furthermore, Congress has specifically stated in legislation, specifically Title 8 United States Code, Section 1252, Judicial Review, that judges may not review findings of the Executive Branch in the removability of an alien.

Nevertheless, District Judge Derrick Watson of Hawaii, who previously issued a stay on the Trump travel ban based explicitly on his personal political beliefs, took it upon himself to simply assert that refugees working with a resettlement agency—the notorious “refugee contractors”—should be allowed into the country, and dramatically expanded the definition of family members who should allowed in. [Trump Travel Ban: Judge Expands Definition Of ‘Close Relative,’ BBC, July 14, 2017]

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Why is CIA Director Weighing in With Policy Advice on Iran?

Are we once again witnessing the politicization of intelligence of the kind that led to the 2003 invasion of Iraq? Only applied to Iran this time?

There are a number of indications that such a process may indeed be underway. The latest was disclosed in the wake of Monday’s certification by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that Iran is indeed complying with the letter of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known as the Iran nuclear deal.

The New York Times published part of the backstory shortly after the certification was formally delivered to Congress. Here’s the most interesting paragraph (although the whole article needs to be read in order to get a better sense of how just how close the United States is to a real crisis both with its allies and Iran):

At an hourlong meeting last Wednesday, all of the president’s major security advisers recommended he preserve the Iran deal for now. Among those who spoke out were Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson; Defense Secretary Jim Mattis; Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the national security adviser; and Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to an official who described internal discussions on the condition of anonymity. The official said Mr. Trump had spent 55 minutes of the meeting telling them he did not want to.

I found it passing strange that Trump used all but an hour to keep saying that he didn’t want to approve the certification. After all, such a conversation would become mighty trying for all parties (except the principal), something similar to persuading a really stubborn four-year-old he had to go to the dentist because he would otherwise lose his teeth. And it was very difficult to imagine that Trump was, by himself, making substantive or even political arguments as to why he shouldn’t certify that Iran was complying with the JCPOA in the absence of any real evidence that it wasn’t.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Real Crimes of Russiagate

For a year, the big question of Russiagate has boiled down to this: Did Donald Trump’s campaign collude with the Russians in hacking the DNC?

And until last week, the answer was “no.”

As ex-CIA director Mike Morell said in March, “On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians … there is smoke, but there is no fire, at all. … There’s no little campfire, there’s no little candle, there’s no spark.”

Well, last week, it appeared there had been a fire in Trump Tower. On June 9, 2016, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort met with Russians — in anticipation of promised dirt on Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

While not a crime, this was a blunder. For Donald Jr. had long insisted there had been no collusion with the Russians. Caught in flagrante, he went full Pinocchio for four days.

And as the details of that June 9 meeting spilled out, Trump defenders were left with egg on their faces, while anti-Trump media were able to keep the spotlight laser-focused on where they want it — Russiagate.

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Friday, July 14, 2017

Russia Baiters and Putin Haters

“Is Russia an enemy of the United States?” NBC’s Kasie Hunt demanded of Ted Cruz. Replied the runner-up for the GOP nomination, “Russia is a significant adversary. Putin is a KGB thug.”

To Hillary Clinton running mate Tim Kaine, the revelation that Donald Trump Jr., entertained an offer from the Russians for dirt on Clinton could be considered “treason.”

Treason is giving aid and comfort to an enemy in a time of war.

Are we really at war with Russia? Is Russia really our enemy?

“Why Russia is a Hostile Power” is the title of today’s editorial in The Washington Post that seeks to explain why Middle America should embrace the Russophobia of our capital city:

“Vladimir Putin adheres to a set of values that are antithetical to bedrock American values. He favors spheres of influence over self-determination; corruption over transparency; and repression over democracy.”

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Israeli Persecution of Mordechai Vanunu. Israel’s Unspoken Nuclear Weapons Program

Vanunu is a heroic whistleblower, viciously persecuted by Israel for revealing its nuclear armed and dangerous.

In 1986, he was kidnapped, beaten, drugged, secretly tried, and politically imprisoned for 18 years, mostly in harsh solitary confinement – for revealing what everyone has a right to know.

Since release in 2004, he’s been relentlessly hounded and monitored, imprisoned without justification, his fundamental freedoms denied, re-imprisoned several times.

Israel won’t give him a moment’s peace even though he has no updated information on its nuclear program since the mid-1980s. He’s got no new secrets to reveal.

He’s denied the right to renounce his Israeli citizenship, leave the country, and be free from its ruthless persecution. He’s barred from having unauthorized contacts with journalists, including Israeli ones.

He’s denied the right to do most everything without official permission. Israel holds him hostage to its viciousness.

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Monday, July 10, 2017

The Syrian Test of Trump-Putin Accord

The immediate prospect for significant improvement in U.S.-Russia relations now depends on something tangible: Will the forces that sabotaged previous ceasefire agreements in Syria succeed in doing so again, all the better to keep alive the “regime change” dreams of the neoconservatives and liberal interventionists? 

 Or will President Trump succeed where President Obama failed by bringing the U.S. military and intelligence bureaucracies into line behind a cease-fire rather than allowing insubordination to win out? 

 These are truly life-or-death questions for the Syrian people and could have profound repercussions across Europe, which has been destabilized by the flood of refugees fleeing the horrific violence in the six-year proxy war that has ripped Syria apart. 

 But you would have little inkling of this important priority from the large page-one headlines Saturday morning in the U.S. mainstream media, which continued its long obsession with the more ephemeral question of whether Russian President Vladimir Putin would confess to the sin of “interference” in the 2016 U.S. election and promise to repent. 

 Thus, the headlines: “Trump, Putin talk election interference” (Washington Post) and “Trump asks Putin About Meddling During Election” (New York Times). There was also the expected harrumphing from commentators on CNN and MSNBC when Putin dared to deny that Russia had interfered. 

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Thursday, July 06, 2017

NYT Finally Retracts Russia-gate Canard

The New York Times has finally admitted that one of the favorite Russia-gate canards – that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies concurred on the assessment of Russian hacking of Democratic emails – is false.

On Thursday, the Times appended a correction to a June 25 article that had repeated the false claim, which has been used by Democrats and the mainstream media for months to brush aside any doubts about the foundation of the Russia-gate scandal and portray President Trump as delusional for doubting what all 17 intelligence agencies supposedly knew to be true.

In the Times’ White House Memo of June 25, correspondent Maggie Haberman mocked Trump for “still refus[ing] to acknowledge a basic fact agreed upon by 17 American intelligence agencies that he now oversees: Russia orchestrated the attacks, and did it to help get him elected.”

However, on Thursday, the Times – while leaving most of Haberman’s ridicule of Trump in place – noted in a correction that the relevant intelligence “assessment was made by four intelligence agencies — the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community.”

The Times’ grudging correction was vindication for some Russia-gate skeptics who had questioned the claim of a full-scale intelligence assessment, which would usually take the form of a National Intelligence Estimate (or NIE), a product that seeks out the views of the entire Intelligence Community and includes dissents.

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