Who’ s Afraid of Hillary Clinton?

October 6, 2016

G. Murphy Donovan's Blog

Edward Albee died on 16 September. The death of America’s greatest modern playwright was obscured by the run-up to the first 2016 presidential debate. You can’t help but think of the parallels between an evening with Donald and Hillary and an evening with Albee’s George and Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

The Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) in question was a real literary figure trapped in a failed marriage, a dilemma that was resolved by suicide. Woolf filled her pockets with stones and walked into a pond. Albee’s drama is supplemented by intermittent repetition of Disney’s jingle Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf.

Albee’s metaphorical wolf is illusion; or more precisely, the truth about self, marriage, family, career, and toxic relationships. Albee was no fan of conventional wisdom, human nature, or the status quo.

Albee lived as he wrote, ever the champion of the need to break…

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Who’ s Afraid of Hillary Clinton?

October 6, 2016

 

Edward Albee died on 16 September. The death of America’s greatest modern playwright was obscured by the run-up to the first 2016 presidential debate. You can’t help but think of the parallels between an evening with Donald and Hillary and an evening with Albee’s George and Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

The Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) in question was a real literary figure trapped in a failed marriage, a dilemma that was resolved by suicide. Woolf filled her pockets with stones and walked into a pond. Albee’s drama is supplemented by intermittent repetition of Disney’s jingle Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf.

Albee’s metaphorical wolf is illusion; or more precisely, the truth about self, marriage, family, career, and toxic relationships. Albee was no fan of conventional wisdom, human nature, or the status quo.

Albee lived as he wrote, ever the champion of the need to break the mold, embrace reality. His contempt for critics was legendary. Few journalists went one-on-one with Albee. The need to defy critics, even his father, and be his own man was the one big idea in much of Albee’s work.

All of the action in Albee’s classic feud unfolds in a single evening, similar to the drama of the 26 September argument between Trump and Clinton.

The first act of Virginia Woolf is indeed called “Fun and Games,” much like the first 30 minutes of the Trump/Clinton debate. The beginning is genial enough and then slowly succumbs to the heat of acrimony, recriminations, and hypocrisy.

On the evening of 26 September, Trump was suffocated, like Albee’s George, with issues over which he has little or no control. In the play, George was clinically impotent. In the debate, Trump was made to appear inadequate in the end.

Hillary flogged Donald with taxes, bankruptcies, family inheritance, faux racism, portly beauty queens, and Rosie O’Donnell. None of these “issues” has anything to do with domestic or national security.

Throughout, Trump’s one big idea of the campaign was obscured. Trump is the candidate of change. More of the same is Mrs. Clinton’s only game. Hillary doesn’t have a big idea.

Indeed, Hillary offers only two small thoughts for domestic and foreign policy. Both were parroted or pinched form the Sander’s campaign: no-fly zones in the Levant and “free” college/debt relief at home.

No-fly zones in Syria and Iraq are bogus because that would have USAF flying cover for the Turkish oil racket and the ISIS jihad against Damascus.

The free school/tuition forgiveness proposal is a fraud on three counts. First, no school is free. Somebody pays; maybe not the takers, but surely the makers. Whenever the American left uses adjectives like “free,’ hold onto your wallet.

Secondly, schooling at the college level is likely to benefit those who already benefit at the grade and secondary levels. Several minorities, especially blacks, seem to be immune to the opportunity of free schools. Half of black kids who begin high school do not finish and many of those that do finish require extensive and often ineffective remedial help at college.

There’s no evidence to suggest that the kids who need it most will benefit from “free” college, any more than they “benefit” from free high school. Public school is too often custodial, a waiting room for the nearest jail.

And finally, public school has been hopelessly confused with education. Charter schools, alternative schools, and private schools are all symptoms of public school failure, if test scores and school rankings matter.

The public school illusion is supported by those who don’t need it and undermined by cynics who know that, in the end, school is only an opportunity not a right.

Mrs. Clinton does not have one big idea, nor does she have any original small ideas. She does have, however, a host of failures or bad policies for which she might be pilloried: the private server fraud, Wall Street speaking fees, the Clinton Foundation hustle, open borders, the immigration blitz, regime change disasters, a new Cold War with Russia , Islamic apologists, and all those losing Muslim wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen.

Trump had the hammer; yet he didn’t pound his golden nail, change. He needed to illuminate Mrs. Clinton’s poor ideas; recite Hillary’s manifest failures; and emphasize the poverty of her too few new ideas.

Mrs. Clinton even managed to make Trump look like the liar on the stage; this from a woman married to a serial predator; this from a woman married to a convicted perjurer; this from a woman who lied to the Benghazi families.

The most obscene hypocrisy of the 2016 campaign is to watch either of the Clintons play the honesty or transparency cards.

At the end of the first debate, uncharacteristically, Donald Trump was left mumbling about his microphone and things he could have said but didn’t. It seems that Trump was intimidated by Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea in the first row. Trump was probably thinking of making America’s most infamous sexual predator a campaign issue, but towards the end of round one, he pulled that punch.

Nonetheless, Bill is still fair game. Clintons in the White House have embarrassed themselves and the country before and it’s a safe bet they will do it again.

Oddly enough, Hillary is capable of recognizing young black super-predators she never met, but claims ignorance of her husband’s predations. Willful indifference to Bill’s not-so-secret life as a masher is of a piece to her willful indifference to national security by using a private email server.

If the Republican standard bearer believes that either Clinton will ever spare him any personal or family indignity, then Donald, like George in Virginia Woolf, is delusional.

The last act of Edward Albee’s play is called “Exorcism.” Indeed, a defeat of the Clintons would be just that, a national purge that could signal a new beginning, an awakening from the long Clinton family nightmare.

For the moment, Trump is the only exorcist in town. Either he throws the devils back to Arkansas or the country suffers through four more years of toxic Clinton/Obama humiliations. Trump brings a hundred million souls to the debates. Now he needs to close the deal, persuade that vast audience to vote for change.

No holds barred! There are only two rounds left.

One final thought for the undecided; picture Bill Clinton Barack Obama, or both, on the Supreme Court.

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Hat tip to Edward Albee (1928-2016) who never finished college, yet he insisted that we face the realities of life, relationships, careers, and especially, poor choices.

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Debating Hillary

September 21, 2016

The impending presidential debates are likely to be the best attended in the history of American politics. The viewing and listening audience will set a standard for political discussions past and future. At this point, the draw is Donald Trump. Love him or hate him, Trump is a candidate who packs a house and elevates the ratings.

Whether or not the Trump “draw” translates into votes remains to be seen. Ironically, Trump’s negatives may be the new positive. Those so-called “undecideds,” might be a closet demographic, folks who do not support Trump publicly, but on Election Day will push the button for change anyway.

At this point in the campaign, both candidates represent real choice. Hillary is the establishment, the ancien regime, more of the same if you will. Trump is the parvenu, the rhetorical bomb thrower. The Donald represents change, anxiety, and uncertainty too.

Here Trump has a decided advantage. Call it the enthusiasm gap. Emotion and energy are the important components of any political campaign. Specific issues are, for the most part, window dressing. Most candidates see politics as the art of saying and playing, not doing.

Issues are merely emotional outreach, the hot buttons of cynical voter manipulation. If you can talk-the-talk well enough, you might never have to walk-the-walk.

The great weaknesses of democracy are tenure, inertia, and complacency.

Few candidates feel compelled to deliver on campaign promises anyway, especially reform. American campaigning and governance have now morphed into perpetual spin, a cynical PR ritual. Nonetheless, most aspirants are still expected to make politically correct noises to get nominated, reelected – or elected.

Trump has proven to be the singular exception to this and almost every other bit of conventional wisdom, a quality of uniqueness that is now both an asset and a liability

Prospects are diminished, in any case, for any candidate who fails to touch the emotional G Spot of the electorate. Relative likeability and some sensitivity to the mood and needs of the masses is money in the bank.

With Barack Obama the touchstone was melanin. With Hillary the emotional G Spot is sex, gender, and the usual piñata politics. Hillary Clinton is figuratively flying on her genitals and literally sitting on Obama’s entitlement coattails.

Romney was correct about one thing in the last election; America is now two classes, a decreasing number of makers carrying a growing burden of takers. Alas, establishment Romney couldn’t get away with that kind of Mormon candor wearing a Republican frock.

With Trump, truth is an offensive weapon.  Change is his forte. Thus, remaking America is at once a noble objective for the “deplorables” and a subversive threat to the usual suspects. Oddly enough, critics right and left seem to be fueling the Trump phenomenon with brickbats.

Indeed, you could argue today that Donald Trump has trashed every possible stuffed shirt, touched every third rail, and roasted every sacred cow on the political green. Indeed, Trump’s critics are in danger of exhausting all stocks of metaphor and invective.

From the beginning, Trump has been riding towards the Oval Office on a tsunami of righteous indignation. The “system” is thought to be rigged or broken and public sentiment says, “throw the bums out.”

The debates are one last hurdle. As media events, these spectacles are front-loaded for Hillary.

The moderators are a rainbow coalition from the American left. There’s nothing “moderate” about Trump’s inquisitors. Lester Holt (NBC) speaks for the black vote. Martha Raddatz (ABC) represents the feminist vote, and of course Anderson Cooper (CNN) represents homosexuals and the socially ambiguous. None of these demographics are sympathetic, or even neutral, about Trump. Chris Wallace (FOX) is supposed to be the red bone, a token at best. These debate panels are rigged and Trump needs to make that clear to the national audience at every debate.

Trump has few sympathizers midst the chattering classes. He can expect a barrage of hostile and/or loaded questions. He would be wise to stay with the tactic that served him so well to date.

Offense!

When confronted with leading or hostile questions, Trump needs to confront media spinners as he has done in the past. If he has done nothing else in this campaign, Trump has exposed American journalists as partisan shills. Trashing pundits is a no-lose hedge. The press is about as popular as herpes.

If Trump doesn’t like the question, he might ignore it and introduce a question of his own. Becoming Hillary’s interrogator permits all those questions not likely to be asked by a biased press panel.

Mrs. Clinton avoids press conferences for good reasons. She doesn’t like questions, accountability, or candor — and she gets rattled or hostile on defense.

Topics likely to keep Clinton in a defensive crouch include: her tolerance of husband Bill’s abuse of women from the statehouse to the White House; the Obamacare fiasco; Veterans’ care incompetence; serial foreign policy failures; the Benghazi betrayal and cover up; the private server and email controversy; subsequent FBI corruption; DNC primary fixing; and Clinton Foundation fraud just to name a few areas where the media will try to give Hillary a pass.

Trump is uniquely qualified to grill Mrs. Clinton. She has a policy and program record to defend.  He does not. Trump is only liable for hearsay or those now infamous lip slips. Clinton, in contrast, has real skeletons that have been out of her closet for over a decade.

Trump does not have a horrid family and policy record to defend.  In contrast, Hillary’s private and public behavior is literally indefensible. She is especially vulnerable as the putative “feminist.” Recall how Mrs. Clinton demonized Bill’s female victims and conquests. A Bill Clinton “score” was characterized as a “bimbo eruption.”

Mrs. Clinton’s achievement deficits are relevant in every sense of the word. Her personal peccadillos, integrity, judgment, temperament, and character should be the core issues of the debates.

Hillary’s contempt for common men and women is now, in her own words, a matter of public record. Less well known are the sentiments of those who have witnessed Clintonian behavior out of the public eye. The few Secret Service testimonials available are unanimous about Hillary Clinton.

She is arrogant, patronizing, condescending, abusive, vulgar, often hysterical, and frequently rude, especially to military and police details. The people sworn to protect the presidential family are usually reticent to discuss their wards. Hillary is the one notable exception.

Secret Service agents consider the Hillary detail to be punishment. She’s that bad.

If there are any institutions that do not look forward to another Clinton regime, it’s the military, the Secret Service, and cops at large. Apparently, Hillary abhors uniforms.

Mrs. Clinton apparently suffers from some kind of multiple personality disorder too, smiling and cackling in public and then morphing into an abusive shrew off camera. There may be a medical explanation for Hillary’s mood swings, but those closest to her believe that the ailment is personality.

Pathology or illness is always fair game, but for any politician, its character, or lack of it, that matters most.

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Key words:

Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump, presidential debates, media bias.


Open Season on Cops

August 4, 2016

                       

“Lots of cops get blown away during routine traffic stops” ― Kenneth Eade

The police were ambushed recently in Baton Rouge, three dead and three seriously wounded. A dozen cops were ambushed earlier in Dallas on 7 July, five of those died.

Police nationwide are literally in the cross hairs. Baton Rouge is just the latest killing field. What’s happening here?

Cops are often called many things, but for most folks they’re peace officers or lawmen. They are, indeed, the thin blue line between us and the worse among us.

Somehow that paradigm has been turned on its head. Punks, thugs, and religious cults are now portrayed as victims whilst cops have become the bad guys. Even the last Super Bowl featured a twerking, faux blond, rap mannequin attacking cops.

We might start with culture, the Beltway culture of racial parsing, where crime is rationalized by skin tone. Take the other day when the president ran off a string of irrelevant statistics about the likelihood of “black” Americans being stopped or searched by cops. The reasoning here is astounding! Are we to believe that less traffic stops in high crime favelas would mean fewer confrontations, fewer misdemeanors, or fewer felonies?

Mister Obama had nothing to say about the incidence of felony crime among his black brothers in high risk, self-segregated schools and ghettoes, the “hood” if you will. He failed to mention the abject sexism, violence, anti-Semitism, and racism in rap and hip-hop quarters. This is a street culture where “mothafucker” is the all-purpose epithet and “nigga” is the noun used to describe a black president at National Press Club galas.

The president also failed to mention that cops have confrontations in black neighborhoods because that’s where the crime is. If you are an elderly white in the wrong neighborhood, you might be the prey in a “polar bear hunt,” aka the knockout game.

Mister Obama forgot too to note that many urban traffic stops are made by black cops. The president failed to tell us how many traffic stops bag creeps with long rap sheets, if not active felony warrants.

A punk or thug with a criminal past is unlikely to be a model driver. Good cops know these things. Apparently the President of the United States does not. Mister Obama seldom uses crime statistics to illuminate social pathologies among his robotic constituents, the good citizens of Chicago or, better still the District of Columbia.

The president’s children go to pricey white private schools in pricey white neighborhoods. Mister Obama is not schooling his kids in the crime ridden, largely black, DC public school system. Daughters Malia and Sasha will not be attending the University of the District of Columbia or Howard University either.

When it comes to personal preferences and family associations, the president favors his mother, the white side of Americana. You would think that some feminist would remind wife Michelle that the personal is political.

The presumption that there are excuses or immunities to be found in melanin is absurd. Most folks, black or white, are mutts; including the family in the White House.

Rather than expanding the racial divide with nonsense numbers about cop stops, you might think that Obama would use the bully pulpit to condemn the  hate-cop movements like Black Lives Matter. It’s no surprise that Micah Johnson was gunning for “white” cops at the Dallas BLM hate rally.

Dallas police came to protect an anti-cop street demonstration and in doing so provided a target. A dozen cops were shot. At least one NPR commentator, also black, celebrated the Texas shooter as a “martyr.” Martyr rhetoric in now the coda for all terrorists.

BLM shills and media sympathizers would have America believe that social riot, arson, and crime is a function of police, not punk, behavior. So let us, for the umpteenth time, review some real world facts about black behavior in America for Mister Obama and his BLM hate hustlers.

  • As much as ninety-two percent of children fathered by black fathers are born out of wedlock and 82 percent of these end up on welfare. Numbers may vary from study to study, but they’re all bad.
  • Seventy-two percent of black children are raised by a single parent (the woman), up from 25 percent when the Moynihan report was written.
  • Half of black males who attend high school do not graduate. Albeit; tuition, transportation, and meals in public schools are still cost-free to black parents.
  • One in three black males will spend some time in prison in their life time. Black women are three times more likely than whites to be incarcerated.
  • Recidivism among black males is as high as 40 percent.

Even the Washington Post study of crime by race had to concede: “… a disproportionate amount of murders and other violent crimes are committed by black Americans.”

  • In many cities, New York for example, black women abort more babies than they bring to term. A woman of color is five times more likely to have an abortion as her white counterpart.
  • Black unemployment rates are twice those of whites. The District of Columbia, the president’s home town, has the highest black unemployment rate in the country. The unemployment rate for illegals is lower than that of blacks.
  • Black women earn two thirds of African American bachelor’s degrees and seventy percent of master’s degrees. Nearly 100 percent of black women have to raise and support black children too.
  • One of three black Americans in prison converts to Islam each year. The converts are not moderates by any stretch based on behavior and affiliation. Black men gravitate to the dark side of the Ummah; Salafists, Wahabists, and Louis Farrakhan’s cult, the Nation of Islam. Hard to believe that black American men are suckered by religious cults where slavery thrives and women are treated worse than they are treated in American public housing.
  • The cop/perp violence dilemma now has an economic dimension too. Every incident creates a plaintiff lawyer’s feeding frenzy. Cities like Baltimore will cough up serious cash even before a grand jury sits. Cops accused in the Freddie Gray case have been exonerated to date, yet the city has already paid thrice with riot, arson, and a seven million dollar payday for lawyers and the criminal’s family. None of this augers well for citizen restraint.

Black America seems to have entered a moral and cultural void with no exits. Withal, the bollixed black majority actually believes that Barack Hussein has done a good job.

Nevertheless, few if any of the pathologies in so-called minority communities have anything to do with white fright or cops. The bleeding hood in America is a self-inflicted wound. Too many blacks, especially males, have embraced the punk life and can’t find the exits.

The prevailing ethos is closer to the twisted martyr logic at Public Radio or in modern Islam. The jihadist and the militant black thug are not absolute bedfellows, but the two are getting closer, cultural wingmen on parallel tracks.

Neither seems to be capable of reflection or adult civic behavior. Both cling to historical injury, real or imagined, and each insists on cultural infancy, a dependent or victim’s status that denies dignity, respect, and opportunity. American racist punks and their Muslim counterparts are fond of blaming some “other,” often women, for their plight or condition. How many times do we need to hear the words bitch, “ho,” “motherfucka,” or “nigga” from the mouths of idiots who can’t spell an insult?

Values like personal responsibility are lost on losers who refuse to behave, learn, or grow up. A ghetto mentality is a tight space. Cultural clichés about black men have little to do with whites, bias, or cops. Behavior is always the acid test. BLM’s best investment for change or justice might be a mirror.

Sartre was probably correct: “Hell is other people.” Indeed! Culture is just another word for the company you keep, brother. If your crew or neighbors have a bad rep, you probably earned it. Truth isn’t biased by definition.

Alas, if the past is prologue, there will be no reflex ion or remorse in black America or at the White House this summer. Withal, lawmen and soldiers will still honor their duty. Cops are indeed the new centurions, all that stands between us and the abyss. Our prayers are with all those who serve and protect, all those men and women who go in harm’s way.

 


Murphy Donovan comes from a family of cops in the East Bronx.

Tags: Dallas, Baton rouge, cop killers, Baltimore riots, Freddie Gray, Micha Johnson, Beyonce, knockout game, District of Columbia, racism, and Barak Hussein Obama


Hyphenated America

June 23, 2016

Matters of form, not substance, are the things that get Donald Trump in trouble with the media and the establishment in 2016. Trump has not mastered the Orwellian arts; empty words, doublespeak, vacuous promises, and cluelessness.

Trump is especially vulnerable because he is not one of the usual suspects, neither a career politician, nor career “activist,” nor a card carrying member of the American Bar. Pardon any redundancy.

No major political party welcomes the parvenu these days, any newcomer who actually builds things or makes a career or a living outside of government. Neither party trusts workers or entrepreneurs either, folks who actually do useful things; work for a living, care for their families, and pay taxes.

America has been captured today by three demographics: official social democrats, right and left, with permanent government tenure; an urban underclass that has come to see inert dependency as just another career choice; and various micro-cultures that use skin color, gender, religion, or sexual proclivities to define their special or hyphenated status. Any variety of victims seems to work.

The hyphenated American is partial to simplistic adjectives like black, brown, or white to characterize the “other.” Parsing with adjectives of color is now a common form of democratic racism.

So along comes Trump, a guy who creates jobs and employs people; a chap who speaks candidly about the aforementioned social pathologies that politicians have exploited for decades. Alas, racism and immigration are but two of many issues where Trump runs afoul of media, political barons, and that host of urban special pleaders.

So far, the Trump campaign has been saved by the wisdom of crowds, ordinary Americans who don’t work for the government or live off handouts. Cops, firemen, and the military are worthy government exceptions too. Elites have little affection for men and women in uniforms of any sort. You may have noticed that press and politicos now have police in the crosshairs as if the thin blue line, not urban punk culture or Muslim terror, is the real threat.

Many Trump supporters, taxpayers without college degrees for example, are special targets this year too; a demographic which includes almost anyone in the country who actually works for a living. If Trump has done nothing, he has exposed the pervasive contempt that liberal American elites have for ordinary citizens who didn’t go to college, but still hold jobs, care for their kids, and pay the bills.

Attitudes, images, and opinions about Trump now seem to be coalescing around two issues, race and immigration. Truth be told, they are two sides of the same coin with a host of subordinate issues like national security and financial Armageddon.

Still,  21st Century America might be approaching a binary abyss; ghettos of dependent, hyphenated special pleaders at odds with independent fellow citizens, prols who don’t require adjectives to modify the meaning of “American.”

We should note that Barack Hussein Obama had a golden opportunity to address the American racial divide for seven plus years. He did not! Indeed, Obama’s half-assed tenure may, in part, be a function of defining himself by halves, as a “black” American, a reality that can never be more than half true. Indeed, disingenuous skin color parsing at the White House is a now a benchmark for the   national edition of politically correct racism. Identity politics and bigotry are brothers from the same sorry mother – especially when mom is “white.”

Trump is an outspoken opponent of open borders, a policy that might alter the hegiras of illegal Mexicans and hostile Muslims alike. Immigration has been an open wound for decades, but only Trump has made novel, if not radical, suggestions for new policy. For this he is labeled a “racist.”

Piers Morgan, of all people, pointed out that the late Muhammed Ali, erstwhile melanin role model, had more vile things to say about Jews, women, Christians, and white men than Donald Trump could ever imagine. Of course, Ali wasn’t running his mouth for anything at the time other than the Nation of Islam – or jockstrap immortality.

“Muslim” can be an adjective or an ideology, never a race; and “Mexican” is merely an adjective too, one that describes a nation of origin, not race – no matter what La Raza believes.

Terms like “Hispanic” and “Latino” are fairly recent neologisms born of political correctness. Most countries, with Spanish and Portuguese heritage, are now faint echoes of motherlands in Europe. If class distinctions, skin color parsing, and human rights abuses are social metrics; save Islam, no demographic is worse than that of mythical “Hispania” south of the American border.

Few genuine Spaniards or Portuguese call themselves “Latino” or “Latina.” Italians and Frenchmen have better claim to Latin, or Roman, roots anyway; yet, neither uses such cloying terms of self-aggrandizement.

Ethnic authenticity in Spanish speaking South America is factually limited to the indigenous or Native Americans. Ironically, colonial abuses like slavery and genocide are imports from Spain and Europe, not necessarily native pathologies. Withal, pale skin is still a social asset, and whiter is customarily thought to be better in the Spanish speaking third world.

If ideology matters, it was Mexico and South America that welcomed the human detritus of totalitarian Communism and National Socialism at the end of the last century. Trotsky was a Mexican favorite. The so-called Hispanic world provided refuge for some of the worst genocidal bigots fleeing Europe before and after WWII.

Melanin parsing and religious bigotry among Latino/Latina elites is traditional. Racial parsing in the Americas is home grown tradition reinforced by the church and the descendants of European colonists, often successful “Latinos/Latinas” like Gonzalo Curiel and Sonia Sotomayor in the United States.

Both Sotomayor and Curiel define themselves by hyphen or adjectives that suggest racial separatism under a guise of common professional interests. La Raza, literally “the Race,” is an example, although neither Mexicans nor Puerto Ricans, as noted earlier, have ever been classified as “races.” Modeled on groups like the Black Panthers and the Nation of Islam; La Raza’s predicate is ethnic or religious superiority and separation. The still-born ambition of La Raza, in many of its incarnations, seeks to return the American southwest and California to Mexico.

Cutting California loose might have some merit, while retuning Mexico to Spain might make more sense these days rather than ceding the entire American southwest to Mexico.

Beyond La Raza affiliations, Justice Sotomayor cemented her place in the skin game by claiming that a “Latina” brought sensitivities to the bench that might be absent in “white males.” Ms. Sotomayor is clearly a captive of the “Latin” myth too, complimented by sexism and white fright. No surprise that the “first Latina” justice trashed her white male colleagues while visiting UC Berkley. If Sotomayor were truly the “wise Latina,” she might limit her trash talk to chambers.

Writing in dissent recently, Sotomayor again trotted out the race card by suggesting that searching a perp with an outstanding warrant was unfair to “blacks and browns” because those vague demographics had more warrants (sic). Sonia seems to confuse correlation with cause and effective. By Sotomayor’s logic, affirmative action might be confused with competence.

If you are on the bench and think of yourself, or others, as gifted by adjective or hyphen, best keep it to yourself.

Gonzalo Curiel has roots in a hyphenated barrio too. As a student, Gonzalo was a member of a race predicated college fraternity.  Indeed, at a time when he had hair, the aspiring jurist curated an afro and pledged the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, a “black,” Greek house with a skin predicate and a toxic history of brutal pledge hazing.  Judge Curiel is also a founding member of an affiliated Kappa race based alumni association. That history is now augmented by memberships or affiliations, like Sotomayor, with various “La Raza” legal groups.

If you follow the news, La Raza is the group that flies the Mexican flag, not the stars and stripes, during parades, protests, demonstrations, or riots.

Beyond language, Sotomayor and Curiel have a profession in common. They are both lawyers, the real nexus of Trump’s complaint.

Lawyers, like journalists are universally reviled, with approval rates in single digits. “If it bleeds, it leads” is the core ethic for media types just as billing hours are the lodestar for lawyers.

Nevertheless, there is no evidence, beyond assertion, that lawyers or judges are any more objective than journalists or skin tone fraternities like Kappa Alpha Psi or La Raza. Elevation to the bench doesn’t change beliefs. Demi-god status just illuminates the past – and hidden agendas. What man would want to come before Sotomayor with her bias towards “white males?”

Sotomayor’s misandry may be a wash in a stew like the Supreme Court, but Judge Curiel is a solo act on a Left Coast bench where any La Raza ties are more than probative.

If “race” and gender politics now play an essential role in judicial appointments, how do identity politics not play a part once an appointment has been made? The American judiciary has the right, maybe even an obligation, to be as partisan and corrupt as any other American institution.

For hyphenated Americans, especially misandrist racists, Donald Trump is the great white whale of American politics, a symbolic phantasm that must be harpooned – and destroyed.

The “browning” of America may be inevitable, but identity politics, the melanin ethic, is enlightened in the same sense that open borders is cultural progress. When a white, should we say pink, chap like Donald Trump comes before a California bench, the accused knows better than to expect an O.J. Simpson outcome. No jurisdiction plays the skin game better than the Left Coast.

The only thing worse than being too dark, in many so-called Hispanic subcultures, is being too white.

As a successful, white, male, heterosexual who opposes open borders with Mexico, Donald Trump has every reason to question the impartiality of a hyphenated-American jurist with life-long ties to a de facto, if not de jure, “black” fraternity and more recent ties to a macho Mexican malapropos like La Raza.


This essay appears in American Thinker and the New English Review

Tags: Donald Trump, Judge Gonzalo Curiel, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the Supreme Court, La Raza, and Kappa Alpha Psi.

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Not the Greatest, Not even Close

June 22, 2016

“I don’t want to be remembered as a beaten champion.” – Rocky Marciano

I would have never thought to put Mohammed Ali (aka Cassius Clay) and Donald Trump in the same sentence, no less the same argument. Nonetheless, the other day, ABC did it for me. When Ali died, Donald Trump had some very gracious remarks about the boxer’s passing. Michael Falcone at ABC used the occasion to trot out some written remarks attributed to Ali that Falcone interpreted to be a defense of Islam against Trump. Trump, of course, is never mentioned in the Ali communique on Islam. Indeed, the suggestion that Mohamed Ali was writing about anything on his death bed is an unlikely fantasy.

Ali was probably being used then as he has been used for most of his career; first by fight hucksters, then by anti-war activists, then by a Nation of Islam cult, and finally by any special pleader that could get him to sit and sell his persona or signature for a $100 dollars a pop.

Still the big networks never seem to miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Alas, exploiting a palooka’s death to bash a political candidate already under fire is what you might expect from Press partisans in an election year. You read that correctly. I said “palooka,” archaic sports jargon used to describe a chump who has one too many fights and taken one too many shots to the head.

In another time and place, such a prize fighter would have had an industry diagnosis such as “punch drunk,” not Parkinson’s. This is not to blame Ali, he like many athletes probably wasn’t smart enough to anticipate the consequences of not knowing when to quit. Smart athletes don’t quit while they’re ahead; they quit while they still have a head. Rocky Marciano might be the best example among truly great modern heavyweights.

Marciano (49-0), 43 by KO

The idea that a professional fighter or a football player is a victim is only true to the extent that many are immature, uneducated, and thus exploitable by schools, coaches, promoters, managers, corner men, fight doctors, and arena entrepreneurs that could care less about a jock’s health, especially after the athlete ceases to be a cash cow.

Knowing when to quit required a maturity and wisdom that Mohammed Ali never achieved. His coterie of sycophants weren’t much help either

Angelo Dundee and Ferdie Pacheco could take a bow here. Legend has it that Doctor Pacheco advised the heavyweight to retire as his health declined. Ali might take a new name and advice from Elijah Mohammad, but he rejected advice from his white medical team and lost three of his last four fights.

Ali was different to the extent that he gilded the sports plantation with politics, race, religion, and a mouth that spewed racist invective and a kind of doggerel that media shills like Howard Cosell couldn’t get enough of. Cosell was, no surprise, another ABC Sports jock sniffer. Calling professional boxing the “sweet science” is a little like confusing a massive stroke with a migraine.

Ali could have used his last years to illuminate the hazards of head trauma in sports like hockey, football, and especially boxing where “knockout” is literally the harbinger of senior years as a diminished soul, if not a vegetable. Ali might also have used his celebrity to condemn the “knockout game” (aka polar bear hunting), a popular punk pastime where gangs of black teens punch some random white elder to render them unconscious. Ali did neither, but he did have time for magic tricks and overpriced autographs.

Muhammed Ali did not use his celebrity to condemn Islamic small wars or Islamic terror with the same energy or drama he used to condemn the Vietnam War. Ali’s anti-war indignation, like that of Barack Hussein Obama was very selective. The president used the start of Ramadan this year  to take a shot at Trump too. So much for the religion of peace.

Ali used his celebrity to legitimize the demagoguery of Elijah Mohammed, the Nation of Islam, and many specious notions of black supremacy/separatism.

Malcom X saw through Elijah Mohammed’s hustle and had the courage to say so. Ali literally turned his back on Malcom X who then paid for apostasy with his life. In the Nation of Islam schism, Malcom X was the real fighter and Ali behaved like a gullible kid, more chump than champ.

Muhammed Ali only became the kindly humanitarian saint after he lost his marbles and his voice. Few in the world of sports, politics, or media noted that unhappy coincidence.

Ali was not “great,” not any of this was or is great.

By his own assessment, Ali still claimed to be the “greatest” even as he visibly declined. Great was never true in his prime and it became less so over time. At best, Muhammed Ali was a media celebrity used by sport, politics, and religion. He died thinking he was off the plantation by giving up his slave name. In fact, Clay and Ali never appreciated  sport, liberal politics, or Muslim cults as the hustles or bondage that they represent for black Americans today.

Maybe it’s a fitting coda to a checkered career that Ali was eulogized by Bill Clinton, hustler extraordinaire. Louis Farrakhan might have been as good a choice. Knowing that Ali chose Clinton for the eulogy says all that needs to be said about the life-long childish naiveté of a “champion.”

Clinton surely used the occasion for his own purposes; shill for his wife, pander to Islam, and play the partisan political hack, in short, a political huckster gave a sports huckster a proper sendoff.

Ali was the indeed “the mouth from the South.” Speaking without thinking was probably the only thing he ever had in common with Donald Trump. Ali might have been famous and celebrated, but not “great” by any fair reading of his professional or personal behavior.

Muhammed Ali was yet again in death used by an out sized media orgy before they put him in the ground, ignoring the positive role model he never became. Or as Whittier lamented “For all words from mouth or pen, the saddest are these: “It might have been.”

 


Whence Islam?

March 7, 2016

 

Yes, Islam! The politics and theology of Muslims is now the dominant source of global instability; although any separation of the two is moot in most nations with an Islamic majority. This is not to discount criminals, militants, extremists, terrorists, various Muslim small wars/insurgencies, or even “nefarious characters” and “lone wolves.” All of these euphemisms are symptoms; unfortunately, now also doing service as rhetorical burkas for metastasizing religious instability, a theopolitical movement of global dimensions. Call it Islamism, if a short hand is necessary.

Indeed, a latter day Muslim crusade is underway. Religious imperialism is now an existential threat across the autocratic Ummah and the republican West. If we can borrow the Huntington prophesy, the future is one of cultural conflict – between “the West and the rest.” The secular world is at war with irredentist theocracy.

China is still a bit of a clinker as its brand of command mercantilism is the ingénue polity of the 21st Century. Neither the West nor the Chinese have much experience with capital communism, so the best that can be said of Beijing at the moment is that the jury is still out. Nonetheless, the Chinese, like Russians, have their theocratic insurgents too – and few illusions about tolerance in the name of religious idolatry.

A few Muslim nations are “secular” in the same sense that the Democratic Republic of Congo is democratic or republican. National adjectives might be harmless for true republics, but for most of the contemporary Muslim world, the adjective “Islamic” is deadly serious. Just ask any resident minority, Jew, woman, apostate, or visible infidel. Tolerance is a national value for Islam only where Muslims are a voting minority.

Compassion in Islam is a one-way street too. While the West is awash in Muslim “refugees” and moral “obligations,” few migrants will find refuge in affluent Arabia or the affluent Muslim Far East. What the West calls humanitarian migration, Ummah imperialists probably see as missionary economy of force. Humanitarian values in the Ummah are a very selective and sometime thing.

If the non-Muslim world is to think of Islam as a morally equivalent ideology, then Muslims should reasonably be expected to behave at least as well as Anglicans. Islamic Immigration now serves three masters: religious proselyting, growing constituencies in social democracies, and terror cells when necessary. Votes and the dole are the most insidious 5th columns. The clear and present dangers of open borders cannot be obscured by humanitarian absurdities.

And with migration, the vector of empire is reversed. The irredentist now colonizes the advanced. Backwards is the new forward. The imperial Muslim refugee serves the ambitions of fascist and passive aggressive Islam alike. Demographic tsunamis augment the mythical “moderate Muslim majority” as well.

Contemporary Islamofascism has its roots in Arabia and Egypt; the same cultures that spawned the original crusading Mohammadans, (570 AD- 1683 AD) a campaign waged by various ethnicities for more than a thousand years. We should note here that the Christian Crusades (1095-1291) were relatively brief, defensive, and in the end, unsuccessful. With the exception of the Iberian Peninsula and Israel, most original Muslim (Arab, Mongol, or Ottoman) conquests/colonies remain intact – and Islamic. The eastern Mogul Khanate (Yuan Dynasty) proved to be the exception, Buddhist to this day.

The modern Muslim Ummah is not so much a global political condominium as it is an aspiring religious monoculture. Feuding Shia and Sunni tribes might have varying claims to legitimacy, but goals, means, and ends are held in common. Cultural proselytizing, punctuated by blood and guts terror, now appears to be more effective than conventional variants of warfare. Sanguinary sedition is portable, cheap, and effective.

The grand leitmotif for future conflict is societal, a cage match between evolved democratic norms and a persistent strain of theocratic fascism. We say “persistent” because there is more than a little merit to the many arguments that suggest contemporary Islamism is merely the logical extension of Mohammed’s original crusade, an ambition never limited by time, geography, or Arab tribes.

The Modern Muslim theopolitical jihad, like its antecedents, is opportunist in origin and viral in effect.

The modern Islamist era probably began with British colonial naiveté, dividing South Asia (1948) along ill-defined religious lines. Pakistan has been a neo-religious, if not crypto-terrorist, basket case ever since. The “Islamic” Republic of Pakistan is a continuing source of conflict with India, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. Pakistan now works both sides of the jihad street; at once receiving generous technical and military support from the West whilst exporting terror cells and providing sanctuary for groups like al Qaeda and the Taliban. Pakistan is host also to the first Islam bomb, a strategic land mine commonly ignored in global threat calculus. Nonetheless, the political janissary that passes for government in Islamabad often seems ripe for the picking, and like many Islamic states, a bullet away from theocracy. The religious terrorist is a snake that inevitably eats the host.

The Israel Miracle

The Israeli miracle was an ironic Islamist milestone. The triumph, of a few Jews in serial warfare with multiple Arab states and the restoration of the Jewish homeland, was and is nothing short of miraculous; seven major conflicts and countless smaller operations since 1947 where Israel has, for the most part, prevailed. Indeed, Israel has done what the European crusades could not; rescued and defended the geographic cultural wellspring of Western civilization from Muslim iconoclasts, humiliating 360 million Arab Ishmaelites in the process.

Whither Israel, so goes the West.

The liberation of Jerusalem and subsequent existential struggles has spawned a host of Palestinian terror NGOs. More ominous is the sea change of global public opinion which has metastasized into a new and toxic variant of anti-Semitism, now especially fashionable at the schoolhouse in particular and liberal social democracies in general. The most pernicious global non sequitur abroad today argues that a Palestinian state on Israeli borders would somehow pacify militant Islam. Alas, Israeli victories have become Islam’s excuses; excuses for Arabs and Muslims to behave badly – in the Levant and anywhere else.

Coup and Counter-coup in Persia

Mark 1953 and 1979 on the Shia jihad calendar. The revolt against the House of Pahlavi in Iran was both payback for British and American mid-century meddling and an Islamist masterstroke on several counts: a corrupt, if not illegitimate, autocratic monarchy was deposed; an ancient culture was hijacked by religious zealots; and a potent Muslim theocracy was enfranchised. Withal, the Persian Shia minority upstaged a largely clueless Sunni majority in the larger Ummah.

Now on the verge of nuclear hegemony, the Persian variant of atomic Islam is now the dominant Muslim player in the Mideast. Indeed, excepting the Kurds, Shia proxy Hezb’allah is the most effective fighting ground force in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. America and Europe were so mesmerized by the hostage crisis of the Carter/Reagan years that the Ayatollah’s theocratic counter-coup barely caused a ripple in any strategic calculus then – or now.

Ataturk Undone in Turkey

Mustfa Kemal Ataturk (1881-1938) might be spinning in his grave today. Turkey, once a model of Ottoman and Islamic reformation, is undergoing a religious renaissance, a retreat to Muslim irredentism. The race backwards is attributable to two institutions and two personalities, one visible and the other a shadow government of sorts.

The visible institution is the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Parti), an autocratic Islamist political front led by Recip Tayyip Erdogan. The incumbent neo-Ottoman in Ankara is now notorious for double dealing, simultaneously a NATO “ally” and ISIS financier. Less well known is the associated Cemaat (community) or Hizmet (service) movement led by Fethullha Gulen, a very wealthy Turkish Sunni imam who resides in Pennsylvania (sic) and presides over a global network of businesses, secondary schools, and ideological synods.

Gulen’s Pennsylvania fortress is more than a bit of a cipher. Why is a Sunni imam, a Turkish kingmaker, indeed a venerated leader of a global Islamist movement, holding court in the Poconos? Clearly there is some understanding or working agreement between the Obama and Erdogan regimes and their respective intelligence agencies. This much is certain; an Islamist cleric with global reach, pulling strings from Pennsylvania, is not good news for secular democracy in Turkey, NATO security to the east, or separation of church and state anywhere.

Cradle of Civilization Chaos

Iraq and Syria are now the disaster twins of the Levant. Like Afghanistan and Libya, regime change campaigns gone awry. Indeed, Iraq and Syrian oil is now on a par with Afghan opium, commodities that finance Islamism and terror. The sectarian poles in Iraq were reversed by two American wars and now a good part of Saddam Hussein’s Army and the Sunni tribes have gone over to the dark side of Islam, to groups like ISIS, a new caliphate. Syria was to suffer a similar fate until Vladimir Putin stepped in and rescued Bashar Assad from an end similar to Hosni Mubarak, Muammar Gadhafi, and Saddam Hussein. For the moment, regime change follies are on hold but the resultant chaos rages on. The best thing that might be said about Washington and Brussels foreign policy in the past fifty years is that it has facilitated the various local jihads and guaranteed the rise of ever more toxic terror phenomena like the Islamic State.

Countless lives and treasure were squandered in the sands of Iraq and Kuwait only to have America gift that same oil back to incontinent Arab tribes who now use oil revenues to finance jihad in the Levant and elsewhere. Blowback indeed!

The Arab Spring Charade

If the theocratic coup in Persia was lost in the emotional miasma of the Iran hostage crisis, the smog of the so-called Arab Spring is still a function of American/NATO propaganda, media hyperbole, and wishful strategic thinking. Still, the consequences of the Arab Spring charade are now manifest: theocracy, not democracy, is the default setting for failed Muslim states; regime change is more poison pill than policy; and Arabia, the Levant, North Africa, and the near East are now invested with sectarian chaos wrought by generational strategic poltroons. More ominous still is the prospect that one of those dynastic authors of American foreign policy folly may manipulate the vicissitudes of domestic gender politics to again “lead” the free world “from behind” in

If living American presidents were characterized as a confederacy of foreign policy dunces, such an assessment would be charitable. At the moment, the explanation for what appears to be chronic; if not masochistic, serial failure in the Muslim wars would probably be reduced to bromides like: “It’s complicated!”

The ISIS Tar Baby

The Islamic State, or ISIS, is the latest idol raised by modern jihad. Besides pretentions to statehood and televised beheadings, ISIS is not much different than its Islamic predecessors or contemporary Assassins. And like al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, Boko Haram, and the Taliban, the Islamic State is just another symptom, not the ailment. Indeed, today there are literally dozens of Islamist terror crews with the same modus operandi. The US State Department keeps a modest, but by no means complete, list of contemporary terror groups other than ISIS. Administration and media obsession with ISIS, another terror flavor du jour, is a symptom of threat atomized to obscure a larger problem; a feckless policy of endless reactive tactics at the expense of operational competence and clear strategic vision.

                                        What is to be done?

Surely, whatever passed for American foreign or military policy in the past three decades is not working. Just as clearly, in case anyone keeps score these days, the dark side of Islam is ascendant at home and abroad. What follows here is a catalogue of policy initiatives that might halt the spread of Islamic fascism and encourage religious reform in the Ummah.

Some observers believe that the Muslim problem is a matter of life and death. Be assured that the need for Islamic reform is much more important than either. The choices for Islam are the same as they are for Palestine Arabs; behave or be humbled. Europe may still have a Quisling North and a Vichy South; but Russia, China, and even America, at heart, are still grounded by national survival instincts – and Samuel Colt.

Call a spade a spade

The threat is Islam, both kinetic and passive aggressive factions. If “moderate” Islam is real, then that community needs to step up and assume responsibility for barbaric terror lunatics and immigrants/refugees alike. Neither America nor Europe has solutions to the Islamic dystopia; civic incompetence, strategic illiteracy, migrants, poverty, religious schisms, or galloping irredentism. The UN and NATO have no remedies either. Islamism is an Ummah, Arab League, OIC problem to solve. Absent moral or civic conscience, unreformed Islam deserves no better consideration than any other criminal cult.

Western Intelligence agencies must stop cooking the books too. The West is at war and the enemy is clearly the adherents of a pernicious ideology. A global war against imperial Islam might be declared; just as angry Islam has declared war on civilization. A modus vivendi might be negotiated only after the Ummah erects a universal barrier between church and state globally. Islam, as we know it, is incompatible with democracy, civility, peace, stability, and adult beverages.

Oxymoronic “Islamic” states need to be relegated to the dust bin of history. If the Muslim world cannot or will not mend itself; Islamism, like the secular fascism of the 20th Century, must be defeated, humbled in detail. Sooner is better.

Answer the Ayatollahs

Recent allied concessions to Tehran may prove to be a bridge too far. If the Persian priests do not abide by their nuclear commitments, two red lines might be drawn around Israel. Firstly, the ayatollahs should be put on notice, publicly, that any attack against Israel would be considered an attack against America – and met with massive Yankee retaliation. Secondly, any future cooperation with NATO or America should be predicated on an immediate cessation of clerical hate speech and so-called fatwas, those arbitrary death sentences.

 

Persian political theater

Clerical threats to “wipe Israel off the face of the earth” and “death to America” injunctions are designed to stimulate jihad and terror globally. The only difference between a Shia ayatollah and a Sunni imam these days seems to be the torque in their head threads.

Ostracize the Puppeteers

Strategic peril does not emanate from Sunni tacticians like Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar, or Abu Bakr al-Baghadadi. Nor does the real threat begin with or end with al Qaeda, the Taliban, Hezb’allah, Hamas, or the Islamic State. Lethal threat comes, instead, on four winds: toxic culture, religious politics, fanatic fighters, and furtive finance; all of which originate with Muslim state sponsors. The most prominent of these are Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan.

Put aside for a moment the Saudi team that brought down the Twin Towers in New York. Consider instead, the House of Saud as the most egregious exporter of Salifism (aka Wahabbism) doctrine, clerics, imams, and mosques from which ultra-irredentist ideologies are spread. The Saudis are at once the custodians of Islam’s sacred shrines and at the same time the world’s most decadent, corrupt, and duplicitous hypocrites. Imam Baghdadi is correct about two things; the venality of elites in Washington and Riyadh. The House of Saud, an absolutist tribal monarchy, does not have the moral standing to administer “holy” sites of any description – Mecca, Medina, or Disneyland.

The cozy relationship between Europe, the European Union, and Arabia can be summarized with a few words; oil, money, arms sales, and base rights. This near-sighted blend of Mideast obscenities has reached its sell-by date. The “white man’s burden” should have expired when Edward Said vacated New York for paradise.

Jettison Turkey and Pakistan

What Saudi Arabia is to toxic ideology in North Africa; Turkey and Pakistan is to perfidy in the Levant and South Asia. Turkey and Pakistan are Islam’s most obvious and persistent grifters. Turkey supports the Islamic State and other Sunni terror groups with a black market oil racket. Pakistan supports the Taliban, al Qaeda, and ISIS with sanctuary and tolerance of the world’s largest opium garden. Oil and drug monies from Arabia, Turkey, and South Asia are financing the global jihad. Turkey also facilitates the migration of Muslims west to Europe while sending Islamist fighters and weapons south to Syria and Iraq.

With the advent of Erdogan and his Islamist AKP, Turkey has morphed into NATO’s Achilles Heel, potentially a fatal flaw. Turkey needs to be drummed out of NATO until secular comity returns to Ankara. Pakistan needs to be restrained too with sanctions until it ceases to provide refuge for terrorists. Pakistani troops harassing India could be more prudently redeployed to exterminate jihadists.

Sanctions against Russia and Israel are a study in moral and political fatuity whilst Arabs and Muslims are appeased midst a cultural sewer of geo-political crime and human rights abuses. If NATO’s eastern flank needs to be anchored in trust and dependability; Russia, Kurdistan, or both, would make better allies than Turkey. Ignoring Turkish perfidy to protect ephemeral base rights confuses tactical necessity with strategic sufficiency.

Recognize Kurdistan

Beyond Israel, Kurdistan might be the most enlightened culture in the Mideast. The Kurds are also the largest ethnic group in the world not recognized as a state. While largely Muslim, the Kurds, unlike most of the Ummah, appreciate the virtues of religious diversity and women’s rights. Indeed, Kurdish women fight alongside their men against Turkish chauvinism and Sunni misogyny with equal aplomb. For too long, the Kurds have been patronized by Brussels and Washington.

While Kurdish fighters engage ISIS and attempt to control the Turkish oil black market, Ankara uses American manufactured NATO F-16s to bomb Kurds in Turkey and Syria. Turkish ground forces now occupy parts of Iraq too. In eastern Turkey, Ergdogan’s NATO legions use ISIS as an excuse for bookend genocide, a cleansing of Kurds that might rival the Armenian Christian genocide (1915-1917).

 

Kurdish angel of death

All the while, American strategic amateurs argue for a “no-fly” zone in contested areas south of Turkey. Creating a no-fly zone is the kind of operational vacuity we have come to expect from American politicians and generals. Such a stratagem would foil Kurdish efforts to flank ISIS and allow the Erdogan jihad, arms, and oil rackets to flourish. A no-fly zone is a dangerous ploy designed to provoke Russia, not protect Muslim “moderates.”

Putin, Lavrov, and the Russians have it right this time, Turkish and Erdogan family subterfuges are lethal liabilities, not assets.

Washington and European allies have been redrawing the map in Eastern Europe, North Africa, South Asia, and the Mideast since the end of WWII. The time has come to put Kurdistan on the map too. Kurdistan is a unique and exemplary case of reformed or enlightened Islam; indeed, a nation that could serve as a model for the Muslim world. If base rights are a consideration, Kurdistan would be an infinitely more dependable ally than Turkey or any corrupt tribal autocracy in Arabia. America has a little in common with desert dictators – and fewer genuine friends there either. Indeed, at the moment America is allied with the worst of Islam.

Create New Alliances

NATO, like the European Union, has become a parody of itself. Absent a threat like the Soviet Union or the Warsaw Pact, Brussels has taken to justifying itself by meddling in East Europe and resuscitating a Cold War with the Kremlin. Indeed, having divided Yugoslavia, NATO now expands to the new Russian border with reckless abandon; in fact, fanning anti-Russian flames now with neo-Nazi cohorts in former Yugoslavia, Georgia, and Ukraine.

NATO support for the Muslims of one-time Yugoslavia is of a piece with support for Islamic trouble makers in Chechnya and China too. Throughout, we are led to believe that jihad Uighurs and caliphate Chechens are freedom fighters. Beslan, Boston, Paris, and now San Bernardino puts the lie to any notion that Islamists are “victims” – or heroes. Indeed, the Boston Marathon bombing might have been prevented had Washington a better relationship with Moscow.

Truth is, America has more in common with Russia and China these days than we do with any number of traditional European Quislings. Indeed, it seems that Europe and America can’t take yes for an answer.

The Cold War ideological or philosophical argument has been won. Moscow and Beijing have succumbed to market capitalism. Islamism, in stark contrast, is now a menace to Russian, Chinese, and American secular polities alike. The logic of a cooperative or unified approach to a common enemy seems self-evident. America, China, and Russia, at least on issues like toxic Islam, is a match made in Mecca.

The late great contest with Marxist Russia and China was indeed a revolution without guns. Now the parties to that epic Cold War struggle may have to join forces to suppress a theofascist movement that, like its Nazi predecessor, will not be defeated without guns. The West is at war again, albeit in slow motion. Withal, questions of war are not rhetorical. Saying that you are not at war does not make it so. Once declared, by one party or the other, the only relevant question about war is who wins and who loses. Losers do not make the future.

If America and Europe were as committed to Judeo/Christian secular values as Islamists are committed to a sick religious culture, then the war against pernicious Islam would have been won decades ago. Or as Jack Kennedy once put it: “Domestic policy can only defeat us; foreign policy can kill us.

Trump Footnote

Presidential candidate Donald Trump made several policy suggestions on the Islamism issue, one on immigration, the other on Mideast oil. On the former, he suggests a hiatus on Muslim immigration until America develops a plan or reliable programs to vet migrants. On Arab oil, he suggests, given the lives and treasure spent liberating Kuwait and Iraqi oil fields, America should have held those resources in trust and used oil revenues to finance the war against jihad, however long that takes. The problem with both Trump ideas is that they come perilously close to common sense, an American instinct in short supply these days.

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  1. Murphy Donovan usually writes about the politics of national security. This essay appeared in the February issue of the Small Wars Journal.

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Mohammed’s Kaaba stone in art

Yes, Islam! The politics and theology of Muslims is now the dominant source of global instability; although any separation of the two is moot in most nations with an Islamic majority. This is not to discount criminals, militants, extremists, terrorists, various Muslim small wars/insurgencies, or even “nefarious characters” and “lone wolves.” All of these euphemisms are symptoms; unfortunately, now also doing service as rhetorical burkas for metastasizing religious instability, a theopolitical movement of global dimensions. Call it Islamism, if a short hand is necessary.

Indeed, a latter day Muslim crusade is underway. Religious imperialism is now an existential threat across the autocratic Ummah and the republican West. If we can borrow the Huntington prophesy, the future is one of cultural conflict – between “the West and the rest.” The secular world is at war with irredentist theocracy.

China is still a bit of a clinker as its brand of command mercantilism is the ingénue polity of the 21st Century. Neither the West nor the Chinese have much experience with capital communism, so the best that can be said of Beijing at the moment is that the jury is still out. Nonetheless, the Chinese, like Russians, have their theocratic insurgents too – and few illusions about tolerance in the name of religious idolatry.

 

 

 

Romancing the stone in modern Mecca

A few Muslim nations are “secular” in the same sense that the Democratic Republic of Congo is democratic or republican. National adjectives might be harmless for true republics, but for most of the contemporary Muslim world, the adjective “Islamic” is deadly serious. Just ask any resident minority, Jew, woman, apostate, or visible infidel. Tolerance is a national value for Islam only where Muslims are a voting minority.

Compassion in Islam is a one-way street too. While the West is awash in Muslim “refugees” and moral “obligations,” few migrants will find refuge in affluent Arabia or the affluent Muslim Far East. What the West calls humanitarian migration, Ummah imperialists probably see as missionary economy of force. Humanitarian values in the Ummah are a very selective and sometime thing.

If the non-Muslim world is to think of Islam as a morally equivalent ideology, then Muslims should reasonably be expected to behave at least as well as Anglicans. Islamic Immigration now serves three masters: religious proselyting, growing constituencies in social democracies, and terror cells when necessary. Votes and the dole are the most insidious 5th columns. The clear and present dangers of open borders cannot be obscured by humanitarian absurdities.

And with migration, the vector of empire is reversed. The irredentist now colonizes the advanced. Backwards is the new forward. The imperial Muslim refugee serves the ambitions of fascist and passive aggressive Islam alike. Demographic tsunamis augment the mythical “moderate Muslim majority” as well.

Contemporary Islamofascism has its roots in Arabia and Egypt; the same cultures that spawned the original crusading Mohammadans, (570 AD- 1683 AD) a campaign waged by various ethnicities for more than a thousand years. We should note here that the Christian Crusades (1095-1291) were relatively brief, defensive, and in the end, unsuccessful. With the exception of the Iberian Peninsula and Israel, most original Muslim (Arab, Mongol, or Ottoman) conquests/colonies remain intact – and Islamic. The eastern Mogul Khanate (Yuan Dynasty) proved to be the exception, Buddhist to this day.

The modern Muslim Ummah is not so much a global political condominium as it is an aspiring religious monoculture. Feuding Shia and Sunni tribes might have varying claims to legitimacy, but goals, means, and ends are held in common. Cultural proselytizing, punctuated by blood and guts terror, now appears to be more effective than conventional variants of warfare. Sanguinary sedition is portable, cheap, and effective.

The grand leitmotif for future conflict is societal, a cage match between evolved democratic norms and a persistent strain of theocratic fascism. We say “persistent” because there is more than a little merit to the many arguments that suggest contemporary Islamism is merely the logical extension of Mohammed’s original crusade, an ambition never limited by time, geography, or Arab tribes.

The Modern Muslim theopolitical jihad, like its antecedents, is opportunist in origin and viral in effect.

The Pakistan Precedent

The modern Islamist era probably began with British colonial naiveté, dividing South Asia (1948) along ill-defined religious lines. Pakistan has been a neo-religious, if not crypto-terrorist, basket case ever since. The “Islamic” Republic of Pakistan is a continuing source of conflict with India, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. Pakistan now works both sides of the jihad street; at once receiving generous technical and military support from the West whilst exporting terror cells and providing sanctuary for groups like al Qaeda and the Taliban. Pakistan is host also to the first Islam bomb, a strategic land mine commonly ignored in global threat calculus. Nonetheless, the political janissary that passes for government in Islamabad often seems ripe for the picking, and like many Islamic states, a bullet away from theocracy. The religious terrorist is a snake that inevitably eats the host.

The Israel Miracle

The Israeli miracle was an ironic Islamist milestone. The triumph, of a few Jews in serial warfare with multiple Arab states and the restoration of the Jewish homeland, was and is nothing short of miraculous; seven major conflicts and countless smaller operations since 1947 where Israel has, for the most part, prevailed. Indeed, Israel has done what the European crusades could not; rescued and defended the geographic cultural wellspring of Western civilization from Muslim iconoclasts, humiliating 360 million Arab Ishmaelites in the process.

Whither Israel, so goes the West.

The liberation of Jerusalem and subsequent existential struggles has spawned a host of Palestinian terror NGOs. More ominous is the sea change of global public opinion which has metastasized into a new and toxic variant of anti-Semitism, now especially fashionable at the schoolhouse in particular and liberal social democracies in general. The most pernicious global non sequitur abroad today argues that a Palestinian state on Israeli borders would somehow pacify militant Islam. Alas, Israeli victories have become Islam’s excuses; excuses for Arabs and Muslims to behave badly – in the Levant and anywhere else.

Coup and Counter-coup in Persia

Mark 1953 and 1979 on the Shia jihad calendar. The revolt against the House of Pahlavi in Iran was both payback for British and American mid-century meddling and an Islamist masterstroke on several counts: a corrupt, if not illegitimate, autocratic monarchy was deposed; an ancient culture was hijacked by religious zealots; and a potent Muslim theocracy was enfranchised. Withal, the Persian Shia minority upstaged a largely clueless Sunni majority in the larger Ummah.

Now on the verge of nuclear hegemony, the Persian variant of atomic Islam is now the dominant Muslim player in the Mideast. Indeed, excepting the Kurds, Shia proxy Hezb’allah is the most effective fighting ground force in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. America and Europe were so mesmerized by the hostage crisis of the Carter/Reagan years that the Ayatollah’s theocratic counter-coup barely caused a ripple in any strategic calculus then – or now.

Ataturk Undone in Turkey

Mustfa Kemal Ataturk (1881-1938) might be spinning in his grave today. Turkey, once a model of Ottoman and Islamic reformation, is undergoing a religious renaissance, a retreat to Muslim irredentism. The race backwards is attributable to two institutions and two personalities, one visible and the other a shadow government of sorts.

The visible institution is the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Parti), an autocratic Islamist political front led by Recip Tayyip Erdogan. The incumbent neo-Ottoman in Ankara is now notorious for double dealing, simultaneously a NATO “ally” and ISIS financier. Less well known is the associated Cemaat (community) or Hizmet (service) movement led by Fethullha Gulen, a very wealthy Turkish Sunni imam who resides in Pennsylvania (sic) and presides over a global network of businesses, secondary schools, and ideological synods.

Gulen’s Pennsylvania fortress is more than a bit of a cipher. Why is a Sunni imam, a Turkish kingmaker, indeed a venerated leader of a global Islamist movement, holding court in the Poconos? Clearly there is some understanding or working agreement between the Obama and Erdogan regimes and their respective intelligence agencies. This much is certain; an Islamist cleric with global reach, pulling strings from Pennsylvania, is not good news for secular democracy in Turkey, NATO security to the east, or separation of church and state anywhere.

Cradle of Civilization Chaos

Iraq and Syria are now the disaster twins of the Levant. Like Afghanistan and Libya, regime change campaigns gone awry. Indeed, Iraq and Syrian oil is now on a par with Afghan opium, commodities that finance Islamism and terror. The sectarian poles in Iraq were reversed by two American wars and now a good part of Saddam Hussein’s Army and the Sunni tribes have gone over to the dark side of Islam, to groups like ISIS, a new caliphate. Syria was to suffer a similar fate until Vladimir Putin stepped in and rescued Bashar Assad from an end similar to Hosni Mubarak, Muammar Gadhafi, and Saddam Hussein. For the moment, regime change follies are on hold but the resultant chaos rages on. The best thing that might be said about Washington and Brussels foreign policy in the past fifty years is that it has facilitated the various local jihads and guaranteed the rise of ever more toxic terror phenomena like the Islamic State.

Countless lives and treasure were squandered in the sands of Iraq and Kuwait only to have America gift that same oil back to incontinent Arab tribes who now use oil revenues to finance jihad in the Levant and elsewhere. Blowback indeed!

The Arab Spring Charade

If the theocratic coup in Persia was lost in the emotional miasma of the Iran hostage crisis, the smog of the so-called Arab Spring is still a function of American/NATO propaganda, media hyperbole, and wishful strategic thinking. Still, the consequences of the Arab Spring charade are now manifest: theocracy, not democracy, is the default setting for failed Muslim states; regime change is more poison pill than policy; and Arabia, the Levant, North Africa, and the near East are now invested with sectarian chaos wrought by generational strategic poltroons. More ominous still is the prospect that one of those dynastic authors of American foreign policy folly may manipulate the vicissitudes of domestic gender politics to again “lead” the free world “from behind” in 2016.

 

 

 

 

Generational cluelessness

If living American presidents were characterized as a confederacy of foreign policy dunces, such an assessment would be charitable. At the moment, the explanation for what appears to be chronic; if not masochistic, serial failure in the Muslim wars would probably be reduced to bromides like: “It’s complicated!”

The ISIS Tar Baby

The Islamic State, or ISIS, is the latest idol raised by modern jihad. Besides pretentions to statehood and televised beheadings, ISIS is not much different than its Islamic predecessors or contemporary Assassins. And like al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, Boko Haram, and the Taliban, the Islamic State is just another symptom, not the ailment. Indeed, today there are literally dozens of Islamist terror crews with the same modus operandi. The US State Department keeps a modest, but by no means complete, list of contemporary terror groups other than ISIS. Administration and media obsession with ISIS, another terror flavor du jour, is a symptom of threat atomized to obscure a larger problem; a feckless policy of endless reactive tactics at the expense of operational competence and clear strategic vision.

                                        What is to be done?

Surely, whatever passed for American foreign or military policy in the past three decades is not working. Just as clearly, in case anyone keeps score these days, the dark side of Islam is ascendant at home and abroad. What follows here is a catalogue of policy initiatives that might halt the spread of Islamic fascism and encourage religious reform in the Ummah.

Some observers believe that the Muslim problem is a matter of life and death. Be assured that the need for Islamic reform is much more important than either. The choices for Islam are the same as they are for Palestine Arabs; behave or be humbled. Europe may still have a Quisling North and a Vichy South; but Russia, China, and even America, at heart, are still grounded by national survival instincts – and Samuel Colt.

Call a spade a spade

The threat is Islam, both kinetic and passive aggressive factions. If “moderate” Islam is real, then that community needs to step up and assume responsibility for barbaric terror lunatics and immigrants/refugees alike. Neither America nor Europe has solutions to the Islamic dystopia; civic incompetence, strategic illiteracy, migrants, poverty, religious schisms, or galloping irredentism. The UN and NATO have no remedies either. Islamism is an Ummah, Arab League, OIC problem to solve. Absent moral or civic conscience, unreformed Islam deserves no better consideration than any other criminal cult.

Western Intelligence agencies must stop cooking the books too. The West is at war and the enemy is clearly the adherents of a pernicious ideology. A global war against imperial Islam might be declared; just as angry Islam has declared war on civilization. A modus vivendi might be negotiated only after the Ummah erects a universal barrier between church and state globally. Islam, as we know it, is incompatible with democracy, civility, peace, stability, and adult beverages.

Oxymoronic “Islamic” states need to be relegated to the dust bin of history. If the Muslim world cannot or will not mend itself; Islamism, like the secular fascism of the 20th Century, must be defeated, humbled in detail. Sooner is better.

Answer the Ayatollahs

Recent allied concessions to Tehran may prove to be a bridge too far. If the Persian priests do not abide by their nuclear commitments, two red lines might be drawn around Israel. Firstly, the ayatollahs should be put on notice, publicly, that any attack against Israel would be considered an attack against America – and met with massive Yankee retaliation. Secondly, any future cooperation with NATO or America should be predicated on an immediate cessation of clerical hate speech and so-called fatwas, those arbitrary death sentences.

 

Persian political theater

Clerical threats to “wipe Israel off the face of the earth” and “death to America” injunctions are designed to stimulate jihad and terror globally. The only difference between a Shia ayatollah and a Sunni imam these days seems to be the torque in their head threads.

Ostracize the Puppeteers

Strategic peril does not emanate from Sunni tacticians like Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar, or Abu Bakr al-Baghadadi. Nor does the real threat begin with or end with al Qaeda, the Taliban, Hezb’allah, Hamas, or the Islamic State. Lethal threat comes, instead, on four winds: toxic culture, religious politics, fanatic fighters, and furtive finance; all of which originate with Muslim state sponsors. The most prominent of these are Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan.

Put aside for a moment the Saudi team that brought down the Twin Towers in New York. Consider instead, the House of Saud as the most egregious exporter of Salifism (aka Wahabbism) doctrine, clerics, imams, and mosques from which ultra-irredentist ideologies are spread. The Saudis are at once the custodians of Islam’s sacred shrines and at the same time the world’s most decadent, corrupt, and duplicitous hypocrites. Imam Baghdadi is correct about two things; the venality of elites in Washington and Riyadh. The House of Saud, an absolutist tribal monarchy, does not have the moral standing to administer “holy” sites of any description – Mecca, Medina, or Disneyland.

The cozy relationship between Europe, the European Union, and Arabia can be summarized with a few words; oil, money, arms sales, and base rights. This near-sighted blend of Mideast obscenities has reached its sell-by date. The “white man’s burden” should have expired when Edward Said vacated New York for paradise.

Jettison Turkey and Pakistan

What Saudi Arabia is to toxic ideology in North Africa; Turkey and Pakistan is to perfidy in the Levant and South Asia. Turkey and Pakistan are Islam’s most obvious and persistent grifters. Turkey supports the Islamic State and other Sunni terror groups with a black market oil racket. Pakistan supports the Taliban, al Qaeda, and ISIS with sanctuary and tolerance of the world’s largest opium garden. Oil and drug monies from Arabia, Turkey, and South Asia are financing the global jihad. Turkey also facilitates the migration of Muslims west to Europe while sending Islamist fighters and weapons south to Syria and Iraq.

With the advent of Erdogan and his Islamist AKP, Turkey has morphed into NATO’s Achilles Heel, potentially a fatal flaw. Turkey needs to be drummed out of NATO until secular comity returns to Ankara. Pakistan needs to be restrained too with sanctions until it ceases to provide refuge for terrorists. Pakistani troops harassing India could be more prudently redeployed to exterminate jihadists.

Sanctions against Russia and Israel are a study in moral and political fatuity whilst Arabs and Muslims are appeased midst a cultural sewer of geo-political crime and human rights abuses. If NATO’s eastern flank needs to be anchored in trust and dependability; Russia, Kurdistan, or both, would make better allies than Turkey. Ignoring Turkish perfidy to protect ephemeral base rights confuses tactical necessity with strategic sufficiency.

Recognize Kurdistan

Beyond Israel, Kurdistan might be the most enlightened culture in the Mideast. The Kurds are also the largest ethnic group in the world not recognized as a state. While largely Muslim, the Kurds, unlike most of the Ummah, appreciate the virtues of religious diversity and women’s rights. Indeed, Kurdish women fight alongside their men against Turkish chauvinism and Sunni misogyny with equal aplomb. For too long, the Kurds have been patronized by Brussels and Washington.

While Kurdish fighters engage ISIS and attempt to control the Turkish oil black market, Ankara uses American manufactured NATO F-16s to bomb Kurds in Turkey and Syria. Turkish ground forces now occupy parts of Iraq too. In eastern Turkey, Ergdogan’s NATO legions use ISIS as an excuse for bookend genocide, a cleansing of Kurds that might rival the Armenian Christian genocide (1915-1917).

 

Kurdish angel of death

All the while, American strategic amateurs argue for a “no-fly” zone in contested areas south of Turkey. Creating a no-fly zone is the kind of operational vacuity we have come to expect from American politicians and generals. Such a stratagem would foil Kurdish efforts to flank ISIS and allow the Erdogan jihad, arms, and oil rackets to flourish. A no-fly zone is a dangerous ploy designed to provoke Russia, not protect Muslim “moderates.”

Putin, Lavrov, and the Russians have it right this time, Turkish and Erdogan family subterfuges are lethal liabilities, not assets.

Washington and European allies have been redrawing the map in Eastern Europe, North Africa, South Asia, and the Mideast since the end of WWII. The time has come to put Kurdistan on the map too. Kurdistan is a unique and exemplary case of reformed or enlightened Islam; indeed, a nation that could serve as a model for the Muslim world. If base rights are a consideration, Kurdistan would be an infinitely more dependable ally than Turkey or any corrupt tribal autocracy in Arabia. America has a little in common with desert dictators – and fewer genuine friends there either. Indeed, at the moment America is allied with the worst of Islam.

Create New Alliances

NATO, like the European Union, has become a parody of itself. Absent a threat like the Soviet Union or the Warsaw Pact, Brussels has taken to justifying itself by meddling in East Europe and resuscitating a Cold War with the Kremlin. Indeed, having divided Yugoslavia, NATO now expands to the new Russian border with reckless abandon; in fact, fanning anti-Russian flames now with neo-Nazi cohorts in former Yugoslavia, Georgia, and Ukraine.

NATO support for the Muslims of one-time Yugoslavia is of a piece with support for Islamic trouble makers in Chechnya and China too. Throughout, we are led to believe that jihad Uighurs and caliphate Chechens are freedom fighters. Beslan, Boston, Paris, and now San Bernardino puts the lie to any notion that Islamists are “victims” – or heroes. Indeed, the Boston Marathon bombing might have been prevented had Washington a better relationship with Moscow.

Truth is, America has more in common with Russia and China these days than we do with any number of traditional European Quislings. Indeed, it seems that Europe and America can’t take yes for an answer.

The Cold War ideological or philosophical argument has been won. Moscow and Beijing have succumbed to market capitalism. Islamism, in stark contrast, is now a menace to Russian, Chinese, and American secular polities alike. The logic of a cooperative or unified approach to a common enemy seems self-evident. America, China, and Russia, at least on issues like toxic Islam, is a match made in Mecca.

The late great contest with Marxist Russia and China was indeed a revolution without guns. Now the parties to that epic Cold War struggle may have to join forces to suppress a theofascist movement that, like its Nazi predecessor, will not be defeated without guns. The West is at war again, albeit in slow motion. Withal, questions of war are not rhetorical. Saying that you are not at war does not make it so. Once declared, by one party or the other, the only relevant question about war is who wins and who loses. Losers do not make the future.

If America and Europe were as committed to Judeo/Christian secular values as Islamists are committed to a sick religious culture, then the war against pernicious Islam would have been won decades ago. Or as Jack Kennedy once put it: “Domestic policy can only defeat us; foreign policy can kill us.

Trump Footnote

Presidential candidate Donald Trump made several policy suggestions on the Islamism issue, one on immigration, the other on Mideast oil. On the former, he suggests a hiatus on Muslim immigration until America develops a plan or reliable programs to vet migrants. On Arab oil, he suggests, given the lives and treasure spent liberating Kuwait and Iraqi oil fields, America should have held those resources in trust and used oil revenues to finance the war against jihad, however long that takes. The problem with both Trump ideas is that they come perilously close to common sense, an American instinct in short supply these days.

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  1. Murphy Donovan usually writes about the politics of national security. This essay appeared in the February issue of the Small Wars Journal.

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