Trump Revolution 2016

February 24, 2016

The probability that any American political candidate will propose any “revolutionary” domestic reforms in 2016 is slim to none. Even means testing for entitlements is anathema across the American political spectrum.

Nonetheless, Bernie Sanders promises a “revolution” in November. What he really means, if elected, is more of the same, only bigger – more taxes, more spending, and more redistribution of other people’s money.American politicians of both parties posture, pander, and prosper on the supply side of entitlements. If there is to be real difference among 2016 candidates, variations are likely to be found mostly in foreign/military policy, not social programs.

Foreign policy is, and always has been, the existential consideration. Indeed, we could argue that it, and apathy on the right, defeated Mitt Romney in 2012. Recall that during the last series of party debates, whenever candidate Obama mentioned terror, war, or foreign policy, candidate Romney’s stock response was, ”me too.”

Of all prospects in 2016, only Donald Trump represents a clear departure from decades of foreign policy malpractice.
Beyond the bluster and bombast, Trump is substantially different on several existential issues: Israel, Islam, jihad, Russia, and immigration to name the most obvious. No small coincidence that all these hot buttons are related in important ways.

Trump prospects in 2016 are still iffy, but more than any other candidate, right or left, he has reset the foreign/military policy table.

Israel

Trump’s loud support for Israel is not without hiccups. Most American Jews identify with the Democrat Party and the American left. Nonetheless, Trump has been outspoken in siding with Likud policies and Israeli politicians like Benjamin Netanyahu. Trump is also outspoken in his criticism of Israel’s Shia and Sunni enemies alike. The Iran nuclear agreement and any “two state” Palestinian deal are unlikely to make any Trump “to do” list.

Trump likely sees Israel as the canary in the geo-strategic coal mine, the lone civilized democracy in a very bad Muslim neighborhood. Wither Israel, so goes the Mideast – and probably Europe. Compared to team Obama’s neglect, if not hostility, Trump’s Israel policy is likely to be a sea change.

And in the global propaganda war, Donald Trump is unlikely to allow State, CIA, DOD, or National Security Council apparatchiks to define what is or is not “Islamic.”
Islam.

Donald Trump doesn’t seem to have any illusions about the politics of Islam and the host of related problems associated with toxic politicized religion: problems like terror, small wars, war crimes, human rights atrocities, and the 5th Column potential of so-called “migrants.” Most significant is Trump’s willingness to call a spade a spade. He actually uses words like “Islam” and “Muslim” to describe national security threats.

Trump’s candor infers that he believes that jihadist Islam knows why it fights, while America and Europe do not. The call to “make America great again” implies Trump believes that America has lost faith, preeminence, and a sense of purpose. Oblique as it may be, Mr. Trump’s political logic has become the lodestone for Yankee angst in 2016.

Jihad

Withal, Trump’s take on those Muslim small wars is a mixed bag. He seems to think the Afghanistan tar baby was a good investment, but Iraq was a “disaster.” If fact, both ongoing theaters of war are American quagmires where progress is elusive and Muslim native “allies” do not fight – at least not fight well.

Trump is closer to truth on the handling of 9/11 where the Bush regime failed and then repatriated a host of likely Saudi Sunni culprits before an investigation could even begin. The 9/11 disaster was the worst warning failure since WWII and yet the then NSA chief, Michael Hayden, was promoted by President Bush in the wake of failure.

Rewarding tactical, operational, and strategic failure now seems to be an American national security meme. Trump made “you’re fired” the buzzwords of a decade. If he brings that ethic to office, fear and loathing amongst national security elites in Brussels and Washington is understandable.

Saudi Arabia and the Emirates still provide sanctuary, succor, and finance to the growing theofascist mutation that underwrites jihad, small wars, and Muslim terror worldwide. For the moment, America is allied with the worst of Islam: Iran, Arabia, Turkey, and Pakistan.

Given the American treasure and lives invested in liberating Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, and now Syria; Trump’s suggestion to seize and hold ground wealth to pay for Muslim wars and counter terror operations is spot on. Oil and opium pay for mosques, madrassas, toxic ideology, and the swords of Islam. Fighting Islamic propaganda and petro-terror with Arab or Muslim oil money would be a brilliant, if not game changing, policy.

The Russian Air Force and the Kurdish army are now in the process of cutting the fiscal throats of a corrupt Turkish regime and the genocidal Islamic State. The Russian/Syrian/ Kurd coalition has done more damage to imperial Sunni Islam in a few months than the American mythic “60 state” coalition has done in 20 years.

Russia

American policy towards Israel, now Russia, is a kind of contemporary political penis envy. The West now resents decisive and successful leaders like Netanyahu and Putin simply because they are strong men with a clear vision of their national interests.

Europe and America, in contrast, have been captured by a generation of effete, dithering social democrats where emotional issues undermine security, achievement, and military success. Open borders is an example. Indeed, American and European weakness has made the modern, passive and aggressive, Muslim crusades possible. The West can’t say no to imperial Islam. And the jihadist wolf in Islamabad, Tehran, and Riyadh can’t say no to easy pickings either.

Muslim apologetics, compassionate intervention, regime change, and open borders are all symptoms of a West hijacked by clueless bleeding hearts in Brussels and Washington. Humanitarian intervention is a 21st Century oxymoron.

Donald Trump says he can do business with Vladimir Putin. We should hope so. The Obama Cold War over Chechnya, Georgia, Ukraine, or Syria is a policy driven by personal demonization not ground truth. Good relations with Russia are essential to any prospect of success in Eastern Europe, the Muslim world, or outer space for that matter.

Trump, unlike the Pentagon, does not consider Russia to be a major national security threat to NATO or America. Nonetheless, the chimera of an aggressive Kremlin today serves two purposes for both American political parties: military spending and a continuing excuse to change the subject, avoid confronting Shia and Sunni Islam as the global existential threats.

Immigration

Muslim migration is one of two things; a humanitarian crisis or the second wave of imperial Islam, a cultural blitzkrieg. Neither Europe nor America can decide which. Impaled on a moral dilemma of its own making, Brussels and Washington have accepted open borders by default. Concurrently, there are few open borders in the Ummah. Trump says that unvetted Muslim immigration is an evolving disaster. If national sovereignty and national security are still virtues, he is correct.

A hiatus on Muslim immigration pending rigorous vetting and improved border control facilities is simple common sense. Acknowledged or not, the Islamic world is the nexus of modern global instability. Chaos, terror, sedition, and religious fascism are now Islam’s primary cultural exports.

The Ummah problem is both jihad and religious ideology. Islam is at war with the world, but only ayatollahs, imams, and gadflies like Netanyahu and Trump seem to acknowledge that reality.

Donald Trump often obscures intimations of policy with bombast, bad manners, and broad strokes. Fortunately, Trump is running for commander-in-chief, not Secretary of State. He defends the absence of specifics so as not to telegraph his punches. Indeed, the telegraphed punch has become a battle standard of hapless team Obama in the Levant and South Asia. If Trump does nothing else in 2016, his broad policy strokes may herald a pragmatic and much needed revolution in 21st Century American foreign/military affairs.

Often, the ship of state must come about before it can fire for effect. Policy wonks can wait for the details.

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This essay appears in American Thinker.


A Sucker Punch

February 19, 2015

“I can think of no better way for the Congress to join me in supporting our nation’s security than by enacting this legislation, which would show the world we are united in our resolve to counter the threat posed by ISIL” – Barak Obama

Leading with your chin is always bad form, especially in politics. The newly minted Republican Congress is just about to step into a sucker punch from the White House. The President claims that he needs a new authorization from Congress to pursue the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS); an authority the President didn’t think he needed for the last six years.

Mr. Obama prefers to call the al Qaeda doppelganger, the Islamic State in the Levant (ISIL). At the same time, he denies the adjective, claiming that ISIS is not Islamic. Such semantic shenanigans are designed, among other things, to avoid illuminating Iraq and Syria, two of the more notable strategic failures on Obama’s watch. The Levant can now be put in the loss column like Iran, Libya, Egypt, and Yemen. And the “war of necessity” in Afghanistan now looks like a skidaddle too, just as the war in Iraq now looks like the new “war of necessity.” Follow closely, this gets worse.

The troops that remain in Afghanistan and Iraq somehow are not “boots on the ground,” the same kind of boots that bled in the same theaters previously during the Bush administration. Repeat deployments under the Obama regime don’t seem to qualify as combat tours. Does an all-volunteer force deserve such patronizing babble from the Commander-in-Chief? With administration spin, we are lead to believe that American troops deployed to the Ummah in the future will be more schoolmarms than warriors – in little danger of becoming targets.

Such absurdity might be new insult, but not new injury. The Obama regime and the Pentagon have insisted for years that America is not at war. You could be led to believe that all those body bags and wounded warriors passing through Dover AFB for the last decade were simply casualties from workplace violence. If America is not at war, why then is there a need for any new Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), nee “war powers” legislation?

For the good part of a decade, the Oval Office has cultivated strategic failure in South Asia, the Mid-East, and North Africa with the Bush charter. Would another AUMF bill from Congress change the effectiveness of heretofore failed leadership?

The paper drill on Capitol Hill and the semantics charade at the White House may not be coherent strategy but these things do have purpose. The Obama legacy and the 2016 presidential election come to mind.

To date, the Obama foreign policy record is a litany of serial fiasco, indeed the ISIS crisis abroad and the AUMF feint at home serve only to divert attention from the engineered chaos in places like Yemen, Libya, and Afghanistan. If the White House can persuade a Republican Congress to sign on to a new war powers resolution, then Democrats will surely argue in 2016 that the foreign policy record for the Obama years is a shared or “bipartisan” failure. The Muslim wars are already bipartisan bungles, why give the next fiasco a legal imprimatur?

Mister Obama’s strategic concerns for the next two years are likely to be focused on personal legacy and blame shifting not defeating ISIS or any other Muslim army in detail. Calling for bipartisanship at this late date has little to do with foreign affairs and everything to do who pays the political piper at the ballot box.

The emerging Islamic state now displacing Iraq and Syria is symptomatic of another imperial Muslim success in the East and another allied failure in the West. In 2016, the Democrats would like Republicans to share blame for the foreign policy and military mess that the next American president is likely to inherit.

Betrayal is the unintended consequence of such venality. Tactical incompetence and strategic impotence is measured in lives. Those who have been killed or maimed may have suffered in vain. The best trained and equipped military in the world has been squandered in small wars that the Oval Office and the Joint Chiefs, by their own admission, have no intention of winning. Half-measures and stability seem to be the new strategic euphemisms for defeat or surrender.

Mister Obama doesn’t need any new authorities, nor does he need obvious Republican collaborators. He might, however, need some cover for Hillary in 2016 and that’s what any new war powers resolution is all about.

Alas, if any new paperwork is required, it should be a declaration of war against a named enemy before another soldier is deployed. The alternative might be a presidential finding of surrender. Surely Abu Bakr al Baghdadi would give a brother like Barak Hussein Obama the best of terms.

Withal, team Obama is beginning to lose its chokehold on the American Left and a pandering Media. Stalwarts like NBC and The Atlantic are finally giving Oval Office foreign and military policy some serious scrutiny. Richard Engel and James Fallows are recent examples, although in both cases you might wonder where they’ve been for the past two decades. Fallows, in particular, has become a skeptic but still has trouble distinguishing between “can do” and “should do.”

Still, Fallows is correct to the extent that feckless European and American politicians, Right and Left, continue to dither with timid policies while Islam is spreading the fires of religious recidivism and barbarity. By now it should be clear that the so-called “moderate” Muslim majority is either passive aggressive, cowardly, or suicidal – maybe all three. If Islam will not fight to save itself from Islamists, why not let the apathetic Muslim majority experience the inevitable? Then allow Allah to sort the rubble.

At this point, for America and Europe, doing little or nothing might be the most prudent economy of force option.

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Keywords: Islamism, ISIS, ISIL, terror, war powers, Obama, al Baghdadi, Richard Engel, James Fallows

Baghdadi,