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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

The War on Terror Sacrificed Thousands of Lives to Avoid Tough Political Decisions

By On September 22, 2021
The infrastructure of Islamic terror is made up of three groups: domestic infrastructure, financial infrastructure, and organizational infrastructure. The domestic infrastructure consists of the populations who are the source of Islamic terrorism, the financial infrastructure comes from the state sponsors and billionaire funders of terrorism, and the organizational infrastructure is represented by the terrorist groups like Al Qaeda that run training camps and plan operations.

Going after training camps and terror leaders made sense, but it was also the most difficult militarily, requiring the deployment of troops to distant countries to engage in guerrilla warfare in hostile environments and counterterrorism in enemy cities, and the easiest politically.

Of the three infrastructures, domestic, state, and organizational, Osama bin Laden had the smallest constituency. Political leaders, Republican or Democrat, knew that they could expect to pay the smallest political price for targeting him or other Al Qaeda terrorists on the ground.

The War on Terror was structured to focus on the least politically difficult targets while avoiding the most politically difficult targets. What initially began as a broad spectrum campaign that detained large numbers of domestic Islamists and went after Islamist billionaires who were funding the terrorists narrowed down to nation building in response to political pressures.

Spending the lives of thousands of American soldiers was easy compared to the political challenges of rooting out the domestic Muslim Brotherhood operation, its mosques and organizations, or trying to hold Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar accountable.

Going after Al Qaeda training camps and leaders made sense, but in isolation it was a strategy that was doomed to fail because it targeted terrorist middlemen rather than their state sponsors or the growing Muslim populations in the United States that were being recruited for terrorism.

The Al Qaeda leadership could always fade away, amplify their propaganda, and crowdsource terrorism to local Muslim populations while we spent our strength chasing them around the world. And that’s exactly what they did. While we tried to fight a conventional war, a new generation of Al Qaeda and ISIS propagandists, some operating inside our countries, used the money from their state sponsors to recruit and train the so-called “lone wolves” over the internet.

No one has yet come up with an answer to this new strategy for conducting domestic terrorism in America except to “partner” with Islamist groups on how to “deradicalize” terrorists. That and the Obama administration initiating a CVE program of arguing with the terrorists on Twitter.

This sort of thing is a politically safe strategy that avoids the explosive problem of a growing domestic Islamist population and an increasingly influential Islamist organizational infrastructure.

In 2001, the Islamist groups were mostly marginal. In 2021, they’re an integrated part of the leftist intersectional movement, and presidents and senators advocate for their causes. What would have been politically difficult in 2001 has long since become politically untenable.

Like the Europeans, our political elites argue that Islam has nothing to do with Islamic terrorism because politicians adopt the narratives that fit the political realities, not the military ones. The same process that led to the disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal resulted in a generation of mishandling the War on Terror by following the politically easy narratives of hunting terrorists while neglecting the backers and recruits who could continually regenerate their movements.

The conviction that Islamic terrorism was the product of a tiny minority of extremists huddling in caves and training camps was a deliberate misunderstanding of how terrorism actually worked.

Al Qaeda was a startup operation drawing on the support of powerful countries and wealthy donors above, and on recruits from massive populations of devout Muslims below. Islamic terrorist groups are just the community organizers of the Jihad, recruiting the latter for the causes of the former. Terrorism could no more be defeated by destroying Al Qaeda than the Left was beaten when ACORN was broken up. It’s easy enough for the big money to restore old organizations or form new ones that draw on the same conditions in the same populations.

Organizations are the most fragile of the three groups, but also the easiest to reconstruct.

And the Jihadists, like the Taliban, can simply outwait us knowing that as long as the money and the people are there, it’s only a matter of time until they can rebuild their operations. Until then they’re happy enough to let us pour billions into the countries they plan to inherit in the vain hope of convincing their people that an inclusive government is better than tribal supremacism

But the political establishment, Democrat and Republican, found two decades of war much more palatable than having to deal with the difficult political realities of Islamic terrorism.

And there’s no sign of that changing any time soon.

Thousands of dead Americans are far more conceivable than admitting that the real axis of evil wasn’t just a few countries with dictators, but encompasses the wealthy Muslim countries that are our allies, and that Islamic terrorism is rooted universally in the Koran and locally in ethnic tribalism, and cannot be countered by overthrowing a dictator and offering democracy lessons.

Standing up to oil-rich kingdoms would have cost far fewer lives than spending decades in Afghanistan, but it would have also blown up the economy and international trade. Fundamentally rethinking immigration would have been even more painful for the party of demographic change and for the party of cheap labor. War was the cheapest political option.

But it may be comforting to remember that we have been down this road before.

American leaders spent the first generation of the Bolshevik revolution bailing out the Soviet Union from famine and war, doing business with it, enabling its conquests, and finally letting the Communists take China and all of Eastern Europe before we learned our painful lesson.

The lesson was learned not because our leaders grew smarter, but because the ruthlessness and scale of the enemy became inescapable. Even then we spent the Cold War trying to figure out how to live in peace with the big Communists while fighting brushfire wars with the little Communists, leading to lots of lives lost and what looked like a pathway to our defeat.

The Soviet Union eventually collapsed while Communist China adapted, leaving us with a new war with an enemy that we keep enabling because it’s politically and economically cheaper.

It took a generation after Tiananmen Square for our leaders to slowly realize that we are on a collision course with Communist China. So it shouldn’t surprise us that they have yet to come to the painfully obvious conclusion about the Jihad even two decades after September 11.

We didn’t defeat the Soviet Union. Our economic and social setup outlasted theirs. Communist China and the Islamists assume that their social and economic systems will outlast ours, and that they can exploit fractures and weaknesses in our systems to corrupt and conquer us.

The Soviet Union thought the same thing.

Our various enemies were correct in assuming that our political leaders lacked the will to make the necessary decisions. Where they erred was in assuming too much and pushing too far. The Japanese made that mistake in Pearl Harbor, the Soviets in Berlin, and Al Qaeda on 9/11. The Jihadists haven’t made one final mistake yet, but history suggests that they will.

America, to its friends and enemies, and to its own patriots, can be an infuriating mix of weakness and strength, idealism and corruption, division and unity. And it’s never entirely clear, even to us, when the tipping point that turns one into the other will unexpectedly arrive.

The great tragedy of the aftermath of September 11 is that our leaders proved willing to sacrifice soldiers, but not the dream of a democratic world order, and instead sacrificed lives to that dream. They took the road that was easiest for them and hardest for so many military men.

The War on Terror only became a forever war because we failed to confront two of the three pillars from which the enemy draws its strength. After two decades, we’ve seen the limitations of a military option that is not combined with foreign policy and immigration decisions that would cut off the true economic and demographic sources of the enemy’s strength. Until our leaders are ready to make the hard choices and our people are ready to elect those who will, the forever wars will go on, not just in distant countries, but in the streets of our own cities.

We have failed to identify the enemy. And until we do, we can never win.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Click here to subscribe to my articles. 

Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The ACLU Trades Civil Rights for Government Power

By On September 14, 2021
Six years ago, the ACLU challenged a school vaccine mandate bill in California.

COVID-19 was only a gleam in the eye of some Wuhan University of Virology lab workers, if even that, and the vaccines in question were the more ordinary kind most children have.

Even so, the ACLU argued that children have a right to a public education and can't be barred from school based on whether they're vaccinated or not. The civil rights groups also questioned the idea that the state has a "compelling interest" in requiring vaccinations.

America has changed since and so has the ACLU.

In a New York Times op-ed, the ACLU's national legal director and the director of its religious freedom program falsely claim that, "far from compromising civil liberties, vaccine mandates actually further civil liberties".

Arguing that taking away some people’s civil liberties protects everyone’s rights isn’t a new argument. It’s just the argument that the ACLU spent its entire history militantly opposing.

The ACLU tries to disguise its radical shift by wrapping it in identity politics and contending that forcing people to get vaccinated protects "the most vulnerable among us, including people with disabilities and fragile immune systems, children too young to be vaccinated and communities of color hit hard by the disease."

But young black men, the group that the ACLU had claimed to be advocating for last year, are the most likely to be fired or segregated due to vaccine mandates.

The ACLU wants to protect black people by taking away their civil rights.

But the ACLU isn’t just turning civil liberties on its head, it’s contradicting its own positions.

In 2002, the ACLU had opposed mandatory smallpox vaccinations of first responders during a pandemic. It further warned that employees who refuse to be vaccinated should be protected from retaliation.

"Smallpox vaccine has risks and getting vaccinated is not a choice to be made lightly -- but in America, it should certainly be a choice," the ACLU's Technology and Liberty director had argued.

Choice. In America. Go figure.

The ACLU had even produced an entire Pandemic Preparedness pamphlet which warned against a public health model that “assumes that we must trade liberty for security” resulting in “pandemic prevention” that takes “aggressive, coercive actions against those who are sick.”

The pamphlet further warned that “the CDC’s plan would have set us back even further. It applied its penalties to people who did not have any contagious disease and to people who would never expose anyone else to disease. Moreover, it included provisions to make all public health personnel, and those acting under their orders, immune from liability for any injury—even if forced vaccination or other mandated treatments killed the patient.” Who would have thought?

After a long history of opposing forced treatment and coercive medical measures, including mandatory swine flu vaccines for health care workers in New York, and flu shots and HPV vaccines for children in Rhode Island, the ACLU is completely on board with vaccine mandates.

Having turned civil liberties on its head, the ACLU now argues that, “The real threat to civil liberties comes from states banning vaccine and mask mandates.”

And, indeed, the ACLU is suing states who ban schools from forcing children to wear masks.

The real threat from civil liberties now comes from championing civil liberties. The old ACLU is a threat to the new ACLU which redefines civil liberties as the deprivation of civil liberties.

There is a surreal hypocrisy in the ACLU abandoning all its old beliefs to argue that "rights are not absolute" and that there are "justifiable intrusion(s) on autonomy and bodily integrity" for the public good.

The ACLU hasn’t discovered some exciting new legal principle to justify its switch.

It was fighting the threat of possible smallpox vaccine mandates under the Bush administration because, as everyone at the ACLU understood at the time, Bush was the new Hitler. It fought childhood vaccine mandates because many of the concerned mothers were ACLU liberals.

But beyond the political shifts, the ACLU has largely discarded any interest in civil rights as a legal theory to become another interchangeable leftist pressure group with lawyers. The New York Times op-ed is the work of people who can’t even be bothered to define civil rights, but who understand that their donor base is currently agitated about pandemic identity politics.

And the ACLU has to show that it’s fighting their cultural enemies and destroying them.

The old ACLU won respect because it stuck to its principles, defending Nazis and other evil people to show that a free society could work as long as civil liberties were protected. All of that has long since gone out the window and the ACLU’s endorsement of vaccine mandates is long overdue as part of its shift from principled liberalism to unprincipled lawfare culture wars.

If it doesn’t fundraise off forcing children to wear masks and young black men to get vaccinated, the ACLU’s leadership understands that some other leftist organization will beat it to the punch.

It’s hard to have legal principles when you have no principles of any other kind.

And yet the old ACLU’s arguments about the dangers of criminalizing disease made a good deal of sense. That was the same organization that wisely warned against making people, instead of the disease, into the enemy.

That is exactly what leftists have done, dividing Americans, instead of uniting them.

But the ACLU knows quite well that there’s a lot more money to be made on division than there is on arguing for general principles and rights that apply to everyone across the board.

President Trump’s victory led to a massive surge in online donations to the former civil rights group. In the weeks after he won, over $15 million in online donations rolled in. In one weekend after he took office, the ACLU gasped as $24 million in cash showered into its coffers.

That was six times its annual donation total.

The ACLU looked at that river of resistance cash, dived in like a petty criminal who suddenly realizes that he could be raking in millions instead of thousands, and never looked back.

“To some degree, civil rights and civil liberties is a cyclical business,” the ACLU’s national legal director who authored the pro-vaccine mandate op-ed, argued. “We need to convince people that is a long-term business.”

There was a time when the ACLU wasn’t any kind of business. Now, like the Southern Poverty Law Center, it’s in the civil rights business and that’s the business of selling out rights for cash.

The ACLU didn’t just abandon its opposition to vaccine mandates. It’s largely jettisoned its interest in civil rights. Instead, it’s reinventing opposition to civil rights as the new civil rights.

Before it defended vaccine mandates as taking away civil liberties from some to protect others, it was defending speech bans that would protect “marginalized groups”.

Within a few years, the ACLU had gone from championing free speech to balancing the “impact of the proposed speech and the impact of its suppression.”

After an entire history of arguing that larger problems don’t justify the abolition of individual civil liberties, the ACLU now contends that abolishing the liberties of individuals actually protects collective welfare when there is some sort of general crisis like a pandemic or hurt feelings.

These days the ACLU argues that not only must liberty be traded for security, but that security is liberty. And that depriving people of liberty for security is actually a defense of liberty.

Except it doesn’t like the word, “liberty”, it prefers the ambiguity of “rights” which can be things that the government and corporations seek to protect you from for your own good.

Orwellian arguments are on point for a civil rights organization co-founded by a Communist sympathizer who had argued that "If I aid the reactionaries to get free speech" it was only to create a Communist dictatorship and when that dictatorship is "achieved, as it has been only in the Soviet Union, I am for maintaining it by any means whatever." And after a long career of civil liberties, the ACLU has come around to the position of “maintaining it by any means whatever."

And it also gets to pig out on the much larger sums of money from the “maintainers” of tyranny.

But there isn’t even the pretense anymore that the resistance is to President Trump or to some authority. Even the ACLU’s mask mandates were disguised as attacks on Republican governors. But arguing for a vaccine mandate isn’t a resistance to authority, it’s authority.

The ACLU has become the authoritarians it always claimed to be fighting against. After generations of fighting for civil rights, it discovered that fighting against civil rights pays better.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Click here to subscribe to my articles. 

Thank you for reading.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

It's Not Over

By On September 12, 2021

 “In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate,” a terrorist declares on the Flight 93 cockpit recording. That’s followed by the sounds of the terrorists assaulting a passenger.

“Please don’t hurt me,” he pleads. “Oh God.”

As the passengers rush the cabin, a Muslim terrorist proclaims, “In the name of Allah.”

As New York firefighters struggle up the South Tower with 100 pounds of equipment on their backs trying to save lives until the very last moment, the Flight 93 passengers push toward the cockpit. The Islamic hijackers call out, “Allahu Akbar.”

Mohammed Atta had advised his fellow terrorists that when the fighting begins, “Shout, 'Allahu Akbar,' because this strikes fear in the hearts of the non-believers.” He quoted the Koran’s command that Muslim holy warriors terrorize non-believers by beheading them and urged them to follow Mohammed’s approach, “Take prisoners and kill them.”

The 9/11 ringleader quoted the Koran again. “No prophet should have prisoners until he has soaked the land with blood.”

On Flight 93, the fighting goes on. “Oh Allah. Oh the most Gracious,” the Islamic terrorists cry out. “Trust in Allah,” they reassure. And then there are only the chants of, “Allahu Akbar” as the plane goes down in a Pennsylvania field leaving behind another blood-soaked territory in the Islamic invasion of America.

Today that field is marked by the “Crescent of Embrace” memorial.

Thousands of Muslims cheered the attack in those parts of Israel under the control of the Islamic terrorists of the Palestinian Authority. They shouted, “Allahu Akbar” and handed out candy.

But similar ugly outbreaks of Islamic Supremacism were also taking place much closer to home.

On John F. Kennedy Boulevard, in Jersey City, across the river from Manhattan, crowds of Muslim settlers celebrated the slaughter of Americans. "Some men were dancing, some held kids on their shoulders," a retired Jersey City cop described the scene. "The women were shouting in Arabic."

Similar Islamic festivities broke out on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, a major Islamic settlement area, even as in downtown Manhattan, ash had turned nearby streets into the semblance of a nuclear war. Men and women trudged over Brooklyn Bridge or uptown to get away from this strange new world.

At Union Square, I passed NYU students painting anti-war placards even as the downtown sky behind them was painted the color of bone. They ignored the crowd streaming up past them and focused intently on making all the red letters in NO WAR line up neatly on the white cardboard.

In the years since, I have seen that look on the faces of countless leftists who ignore the stabbers shouting, “Allahu Akbar” in London or the terrorist declaring, "In the name of Allah, the merciful," among the bloody ruin of a gay nightclub in Orlando. Instead they focus on their mindless slogans.

“NO WAR,” “Stop Islamophobia” and “Refugees Welcome.” The world of the cardboard sign and the simple slogan is an easier and neater one than a sky filled with the ashes of the dead.

On September 11, some of us opened our eyes. Others closed them as hard as they could.

The passengers on Flight 93 who took the lead were in their thirties. But the two firefighters who made it to the 78th floor of the South Tower, Ronald Bucca, who did duty in Vietnam as a Green Beret, and Orio Palmer, a marathon runner, were in their forties. Those men and women had the most meaningful answers to the old question, “Where were you when it happened?”

The great lesson of that Tuesday morning was that it wasn’t over. It wasn’t over when we understood that we wouldn’t find anyone alive in that twisted mass of metal and death. It wasn’t over when the air began to clear. It wasn’t over when the President of the United States spoke. It wasn’t over when the planes began to fly again and the TV switched from non-stop coverage of the attacks and back to its regularly scheduled programming. It wasn’t over when we were told to mourn and move on.

It still isn’t over.

After every attack, Boston, Orlando, San Bernardino, New York, Paris, Manchester, London, Barcelona, we are encouraged to mourn and move on. Bury the bodies, shed a tear and forget about it.

Terrible things happen. And we have to learn to accept them.

But Tuesday morning was not a random catastrophe. It did not go away because we went back to shopping. It did not go away with Hope and Change. Appeasing and forgetting only made it stronger.

“Where were you?” is not just a question to be asked about September 11, 2001. It is an everyday question. What are you doing today to fight the Islamic terrorists who did this? And tomorrow?

Our enemies wake up every day wondering how to destroy us. Their methods, from demographic invasion to WMDs, from political subversion to random stabbings, are many.

A new and terrible era in history began on 9/11. We are no more past it than we were past Pearl Harbor at the Battle of Midway. Its origins are no mystery. They lie in the last sound that came from Flight 93.

“Allahu Akbar.”

We are in the middle of the longest war in American history. And we still haven’t learned how to fight it.

September 11 has come around again. You don’t have to run into a burning building or wrestle terrorists with your bare hands. But use the day to warn others, so you can answer, “Where were you?”

Thursday, September 09, 2021

Biden’s Shameless Exploitation of His Dead Son

By On September 09, 2021
After getting 13 American military personnel killed in Kabul, Biden met with family members and, instead of listening to their pain and apologizing for his actions, lectured them about his son.

Former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, the scion of the family who took up the family business, figured large in his father’s speeches defending his disastrous retreat in Afghanistan. It was the same stump speech that Biden had been giving about his dead son for six years which he dusted off to explain why he was abandoning Americans in the hands of terrorists.

It was the same speech to which he subjected the family members of the men he killed.

“When he just kept talking about his son so much it was just — my interest was lost in that. I was more focused on my own son than what happened with him and his son,” Mark Schmitz, the father of Lance Cpl Jared Schmitz, said. “I’m not trying to insult the president, but it just didn’t seem that appropriate to spend that much time on his own son.”

The loss of a son is unimaginably painful, but Biden has spent the remainder of his political career exploiting Beau Biden, the way that he spent his early career exploiting his dead first wife and daughter by accusing the truck driver of being drunk or having broadsided her. In reality, his first wife drove into the path of the truck. What should have been a private tragedy was weaponized into a public spectacle with Biden taking his Senate oath at his son’s bedside.

The infamously theatrical scene of Beau as a little boy lying in a hospital bed in a room filled with reporters and photographers was not an act of devotion, but disturbing exploitation. Two young boys, Beau and Hunter, who had lost their mother could have used some privacy while they recovered. Instead, Biden dragged them into the spotlight in a public relations bid.

In death, Biden exploited Beau even harder than he had in life. After his son’s death, Biden contemplated building an entire political campaign around his dead son.

A few months after Beau's death, Biden told New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd that Beau had begged him to run against Hillary because "the White House should not revert to the Clintons and that the country would be better off with Biden values.” Beau not only conveniently framed his plea to his father in the form of a campaign slogan, but also an attack on Hillary Clinton that she could not possibly rebut. What was she going to do? Attack Biden’s dead son?

As a Politico story noted, "Biden has told the Beau story to others. Sometimes details change — the setting, the exact words." That tends to happen with stories that are made up.

What kind of man would put an attack ad in his dead son’s mouth?

The same kind of man who would take a wounded boy lying on a hospital bed who had just lost his mother and drag him in front of the cameras for a 30 second story on the evening news.

But that’s the thing about Joe Biden. As bad as you think he may be, he’s even worse.

“It’s near insulting to Beau’s legacy to think that his last moments were politically driven,” a close friend of Beau's told a local paper. “His dying wish would not be driven by politics. It would be driven by his concern of family.” But Biden is always all about politics and all about himself.

There is a fine line between grief and exploitation. In 2015, Joe Biden didn’t just step over it, he rode a parade float over it. He didn’t just give a stream of interviews about Beau’s death in dignified settings like the CBS Late Show with Stephen Colbert, but tied it to a presidential run.

A Draft Biden ad featured not only Beau, but Joe Biden’s first wife and his first daughter under the title, My Redemption.

"Am I alone in finding this Draft Biden ad tasteless?" Obama adviser David Axelrod asked.

Biden's first memoir slash campaign book, Promise Me, Dad, came out two years later and netted him millions. Hunter Biden's own memoir, Beautiful Things, also takes its title from Beau Biden. Exploiting Beau’s name is a family business and it doesn’t just extend to books.

Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop had the Beau Biden Foundation sticker on it. A hospital scandal involving James Biden which wrecked rural hospitals, saw a CEO being introduced to Joe Biden by James Biden, the crooked politician’s brother, at a Beau Biden Foundation fundraiser.

Much like dragging Beau as a little boy into a political photoshoot, this wasn’t doing anything good for Beau. But Beau, in life, had not been some sort of icon. Joe Biden, like Joe Kennedy, intended to live his political legacy through Beau. A year before his death, Beau announced gubernatorial run in Delaware. There was however a terrible scandal waiting in the wings.

Robert H. Richards IV, a du Pont heir, had been accused of sexually assaulting his 3-year-old daughter. Instead of being put away for 20 years, he spent no time in prison and ended up paying a fine after Beau Biden’s office recommended that he get off with probation.

Whether Beau Biden’s political ambitions or those of his father played a role no one will ever know for sure.

But it’s understandable that Beau Biden didn’t want to step on the toes of the DuPont family.

Beau grew up in the former du Pont mansion that Joe Biden managed to buy for six figures after being elected to the Senate. Joe Biden's first Senate campaign was staffed with DuPont employees, he regularly helped the company, and received donations from its executives.

Beau Biden had made his name claiming to fight for children. The full name of the Beau Biden Foundation is the Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children and sells workshops and training programs for fighting the exploitation of children. Little has changed even after allegations emerged about Hunter Biden’s possibly inappropriate behavior with girls.

Beau claimed that he gave Richards a slap on the wrist over a 3-year-old girl because it wasn’t a “strong case”, but many in the media saw echoes of Jeffrey Epstein. Especially when Judge Jan Jurden gave Richards a pass because he would “not fare well” in prison.

Judge Jan Jurden, a Democrat, has since been elevated to President Judge of the Superior Court of Delaware. Beau might have been governor and then, perhaps, president. But, more likely, the child abuse scandal would have dragged him down long before that instead.

Beau, sick,and then dead, was far more useful to his father than a failed political candidate with a scandal who couldn’t make it to the governorship even with his father’s name at his back.

Just as when he had been the sick little boy in the hospital, a sick Beau was much more of an asset. And dead, his father could run on his name. Maybe that was the real lesson that Beau and Hunter learned when Joe brought in the photographers at the hospital. That they were worth more to their father when they were sick and broken than when they were well.

And maybe Beau and Hunter both internalized that horrible lesson in different ways.

There’s no way to know what goes on in someone else’s head. Joe Biden no doubt loved his sons in his own way. But it was a love that came with the expectation that he was entitled to use them however he pleased. That was something he had in common with Robert H. Richards IV.

And over forty years from that hospital bed, he’s still doing it.

Campaign profiles of Joe Biden played up the idea that he had grown as a candidate from suffering. But it wasn’t really his suffering. The deaths and illnesses of his family members could add a second hand martyrdom that made a narcissistic selfish politician seem more human. The more people around Joe Biden died, the less you were supposed to notice that he had no real empathy for anyone else. And that he was eager to exploit the pain and death of his family.

At his Afghanistan speeches, Biden defensively kept bringing up Beau as if his politician son who died long after serving as an Army JAG somehow excused him from accountability.

Even when he couldn’t seem to remember what Beau’s military service even consisted of.

In the Stephanopoulos interview, Biden claimed that his "deceased son Beau" had come out of Afghanistan, before correcting himself. Biden also wrongly suggested that Beau had been a Navy Captain, before correcting that too. Joe Biden can’t remember which country and which branch of the military Beau served in, but won’t stop exploiting him as a weapon against the dead and stranded Americans that he callously left behind in Afghanistan.

No one in the media was willing to call out this tawdry spectacle until Biden pulled the same routine on the family members of the Marines who had lost their lives because of him.

That doesn’t mean that Biden will stop.

The politician who used his hospitalized son as a photo op when he was a little boy recovering from the loss of his mother is not about to stop using his memory every time a scandal arrives.

Joe Biden is utterly shameless in the way that only a man with no shred of decency can be.

And the only decent thing to do would be to let Beau rest now, as he should have been allowed to rest in the hospital after his mother’s death. Biden won’t allow it and the media won’t say it.

But the rest of the country has to stop letting Biden get away with murder because he lost a son.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Click here to subscribe to my articles. 

Thank you for reading.

Sunday, September 05, 2021

California Dems Bet On Identity Politics to Save Newsom

By On September 05, 2021
"Larry Elder is the black face of white supremacy. You’ve been warned," a Los Angeles Times column blared. It was the latest low point in the desperate bet on identity politics that had come to define the Democrat strategy for saving Gov. Gavin Newsom from a recall election.

What had Larry Elder done that made him the face of white supremacy? The popular talk show host and gubernatorial candidate blamed the police defunding movement for rising crime.

A shocked LA Times reported that Elder had said, “When you reduce the possibility of a bad guy getting caught, getting convicted and getting incarcerated, guess what? Crime goes up.”

Elder’s criticism of the pro-crime movement would be a non-issue outside California. Eric Adams, New York City’s likely next mayor, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown, and D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee, all of them black Democrats, have said similar things. Polls show that black people are far more likely to oppose police defunding than white lefties.

But while reality has caught up with the East Coast and even the loopiest parts of the West Coast, like Portland and Seattle, California Democrats have built a reality-free echo chamber in which what’s left of the state media pretend that crime is caused by inequality, junkie tent cities are the fault of capitalism, and forest fires and blackouts are caused by global warming.

And attacks on elderly Asians by young black men are blamed on President Trump’s “racism”.

"California has a unique place on the planet. It's been a place of dreams," Governor Jerry Brown used to rhapsodize. The dream became reality when Democrats built a one-party state around election rigging and demographic change powered by wealthy Hollywood and Big Tech donors.

Now the dream is in danger. It’s not threatened by the inherent irrationality of the one-party state which advocates for both an unreliable power grid based around solar panels and windmills along with electric cars that are likeliest to be charged in the evening when that grid fails to deliver power. Nor is it caused by the billions of dollars sunk into solving the “homeless crisis” only for it to go to building $700,000 apartments, $100,000 sheds, and $2,600 a month tents.

Reality isn’t a problem when you’re living in a world of ideological dreams financed by lotus eater billionaires who made their money selling virtual worlds to the public. Or marrying them.

The TV ads defending Newsom and attacking Republicans are funded by the CEO of Netflix.

But the problem is that enough Californians might actually vote to throw Newsom out. And the Democrat establishment was so arrogant that it never came up with a Plan B.

There’s only the Plan A of identity politics or calling Larry Elder a white supremacist.

California Democrats, most of them white, had assumed that their supremacy was assured once the demographic changes boosted the Latino and Asian populations to high enough numbers. When combined with ballot harvesting and community organizing, a majority-minority state seemed like a place where Democrats, and more importantly, radical lefties could always rule.

This has been the Democrat model for permanent power, not only in California, but nationwide.

And yet it’s Latinos and, increasingly, Asian voters who are turning on Newsom. The rise of the Sage from South Central as a leading candidate only adds insult to identity politics injury.

The entire Democrat strategy for generations has been based around the idea that what minorities respond most to is identity politics. And yet identity politics has failed in California.

Newsom tried to compensate for his weak poll numbers among Latinos by picking Alex Padilla to replace Kamala Harris in the Senate. But it turned out that most Latinos didn’t care which race of political crony he picked, what they cared about was being able to go to work and keep their businesses open. Once the reopening of the state was reversed, Newsom’s approval numbers among Latinos tanked. And it’s too late for Newsom to reopen California yet again.

Asians have seen a rise in violent crime, falsely blamed on Trump supporters, the legalization of shoplifting, and the destruction of the pathway of their children to great colleges and careers. Immigrant families are willing to work 20-hour days and face robberies so that their children get ahead. The racist assault on merit in education has been too much for many Asian families.

Asians know perfectly well that while they’re being scolded about making way for more deserving minorities, white Democrat elites are bribing their kids into USC and other schools.

Neither group is likely to go Republican in any sizable number, but given the chance to kick out the most visible member of the Democrat elites that are ruining their lives, they may just take it.

And that’s what has California Democrats terrified.

Democrats built their identity politics plantation around the construct of a menacing GOP ready to deprive minorities of all their rights. In California, where Governor Newsom and his local party men deprive you of your rights (while he parties at the French Laundry), that narrative is hollow.

When they’re reduced to threatening minorities with the white supremacy of Larry Elder, it’s because they’ve monopolized power for so long and recited the same hollow cliches in the echo chambers of their one-party state that they no longer realize how stupid they sound.

Latino and Asian shopkeepers aren’t worried about “white supremacy”, they’re afraid of being shut down by Newsom and robbed by the criminals empowered by Newsom’s donors, like Reed Hastings, the CEO of Netflix, whose own big product conveniently can’t be shoplifted.

Hastings plowed $3 million into the campaign to save Newsom. But such campaigns are dependent on money from wealthy white tycoons being used to manipulate minorities. That worked brilliantly in Georgia where Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg tilted the odds, but that strategy may be hitting a wall in California despite all the money and the community organizing.

The Democrats have never really considered what might happen if they achieve their majority-minority state only for the minorities to become dissatisfied. Their models, until now, have been cities, urban ghettos ruled by generations of corrupt politicians, welfare voters in the thrall of identity politics grousing about what they might have if it weren’t for the white people.

The recall is a warning sign that California isn’t Newark or Detroit. And that the same old lies aren’t working anywhere the way they used to except among the white lefties who tell them.

Black voters in New York City picked Eric Adams over the lefty candidates. Latino and Asian voters may deliver a shocking defeat to the Democrat machine on the other side of the country.

The common denominator is the widening gap between the wokes and the working class, between the concerns of Latinos and the elites who call them Latinx, between people who think in ideological terms and those who focus on whether they can pay their bills on Thursday.

The Democrats call this “populism”. But it’s trickier to inveigh against populism when it doesn’t involve white men in red caps, but minority voters and a black candidate. They’ll still do it, as the Los Angeles Times showed us, but by then it’s no longer a narrative, it’s sweaty desperation.

The real question that has Democrat strategists sweating bullets in California isn’t whether their party will temporarily lose control over the governorship. The real power isn’t in Sacramento, much as it isn’t in the Oval Office, and that’s why leftists can rule just as well from any branch of government they hold or from the deep administrative state of the bureaucracy.

What really has them terrified is the broader implications for their entire political strategy.

The Democrat machine is run by generations of strategists who polished the national identity politics coalition machine to perfection in the Clinton and Obama eras. It’s all they know and it defines everything about how the Left now functions. Bernie Sanders, who briefly proposed actually talking to the white working class, reducing immigration, and letting go of gun control, was quickly revamped into an identity politics candidate with AOC as his handpicked successor.

And yet there are two political insurgencies among Democrats. The former are liberals who oppose cancel culture while the latter are hard lefties who want less identity politics and more class warfare. Various figures from these insurgencies, whether it’s Bari Weiss or Glenn Greenwald, have become celebrities for opposing the conventional wisdom of the Dems.

A defeat in California will force a severe reckoning about the Democrat political worldview.

If identity politics isn’t a magic bullet for a one-party state, there will have to be a rethink. And the establishment may opt for either a more centrist strategy or class warfare over race. Either one will lead to a showdown with AOC and the Squad, not to mention generations of minority apparatchiks whose only value has been to serve as the black, Latino, and Asian faces of the “white supremacy” that put Newsom, Biden, and other corrupt figures like them in power.

If California Democrats can’t scare minority voters with the white supremacy of Larry Elder, what hope is there for a party that made identity politics its brand, its strategy, and its future?

The Newsom recall has the potential to not only change California, but America.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

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Thank you for reading.

Afghanistan After America

By On September 05, 2021
On September 27, 1996, the State Department was very surprised when the Taliban took Kabul.

All of the official reports stated that the Taliban were not likely to take the capital. A lone memo, which never reached Bill Clinton's Secretary of State, warned it could happen, but was mostly ignored until nine days later when the Taliban “unexpectedly” marched into the city.

Biden and his allies claimed that no one could have anticipated that the Taliban would take Afghanistan in 11 days. As the Washington Post recently noted, “On Sept. 27, 1996, Taliban forces captured Kabul overnight, flooding in from all directions after a 15-day sweep of the country. (In August 2021, it would take 10 days.)“ Were Biden and Milley really that surprised by those extra 4 or 5 days (depending on how you do the math) that they didn’t see it coming?

In 1996, the United Nations, which was supposed to bring peace to Afghanistan, fled. President Najibullah, who had lost the last of his Soviet support when the USSR fell apart, stayed at the UN compound. He fought the Taliban Jihadists who came for him before they hung and castrated him. The State Department celebrated the Taliban win and began its outreach.

Glyn Davies, Obama's former Ambassador to Thailand, said back then that he hoped the "new authorities in Kabul will move quickly to restore order and security and to form a representative interim government that can begin the process of reconciliation nationwide."

Davies also claimed that he saw "nothing objectionable" about the Taliban imposing Islamic law.

(Davies, a Biden supporter and formerly an Elizabeth Warren supporter because "Warren will rebuild American leadership by ending our endless wars", works for former Secretary of State Madeline Albright's ASG consulting group and has not offered any comments on Afghanistan.)

The Clinton administration asked the Taliban to send an envoy to D.C. and pleaded with the Jihadists to accept an American envoy. It was the Taliban who turned Bill Clinton down.

In 2021, history repeated itself again with an incompetent Democrat administration caught by surprise at the speed of the Taliban’s victory before trying to come to terms with the Jihadists.

Like Bill Clinton, Biden is learning the same old lesson the hard way without actually learning it.

The State Department, which sent an emissary to urge the collapsing Afghan government to come to terms with the Taliban and form an inclusive government in the 90s, was playing the same dumb game now. A generation later the State Department hadn’t learned a damn thing.

The Taliban won in 2021 for the same reason that they had won in 1996. The Afghan government had lost its main backer and was replaced by the Pakistani-backed Taliban.

The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan was set once Pakistan made them its final choice.

If the Taliban performed better in 2021 than in 1996, it’s because China is also backing them.

The American-Pakistani alliance of 1996 has been replaced by a Chinese-Pakistani alliance.

Afghanistan is a tribal region of quarreling ethnic and religious groups, warlords, druglords, elders, and gunmen. For the last two generations it’s been ruled by whichever faction assembles enough backing from a foreign power to maintain control over the country.


Foreign policy consists of the different sides jockeying for the support of the United States, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, and anyone interested enough to provide money and guns.

The Taliban have not “taken” Afghanistan. They’ve reached agreements with various factions, from the druglords to tribal leaders and warlords, based on their foreign support and momentum. Those agreements will collapse when the Taliban start to run into trouble.

Their victories in 1996 and 2021 were partly achieved by foreign Jihadis fighting for them.

But those Jihadis are a double-edged sword. The Taliban’s deal with Al Qaeda helped it maintain power, but after September 11, led to their overthrow by the United States.

The Taliban of 2021 will have to decide whether they need the foreign fighters more than they fear the United States. Considering Biden’s humiliating retreat, the Taliban are unlikely to make a different choice than the one they made about Al Qaeda during the Clinton administration.

The Afghan government that we backed was a phantom. So is the Taliban regime.

Americans think of government as an organized and pervasive force that extends its dominion over all its territories. Afghan governments are more like bandits, using fighters to intimidate the locals, and collect protection money through their officials. An Afghan government is just a band of fighters that have transitioned from roving bandits to stationary bandits by seizing cities.

Under Biden, the Taliban controlled the rural areas, while the Afghan government held the cities. As the withdrawal was announced, the Taliban formed alliances, swept across provinces, and claimed the cities not, mostly by firepower, but by cutting deals with key Afghan leaders.

The Taliban’s various allies, from the Pakistanis, Qataris, the Iranians, and the Chinese, to Al Qaeda and the druglords, got what they wanted by forcing the United States out of Afghanistan.

But what they’re going to want now are incompatible things. China and Pakistan want stability and the opportunity to exploit Afghanistan’s mineral riches and geographic location for trade. Al Qaeda and various foreign Jihadis want to set up terrorist training camps and fight infidels. Some of them are likely to target China as Jihadis operating in Pakistan have already done.

The Taliban’s state sponsors want to reduce the flow of drugs, but opium is the only functional part of Afghanistan’s economy: especially now that the United States and its allies are gone. The Taliban formerly opposed opium, but if they do it again, they’ll fund their own opposition. If they try to restrain the foreign Jihadis who helped them take Afghanistan, they’ll face a civil war.

Even if Biden refrains from backing the opposition to the Taliban, India isn’t likely to be as forgiving. Other countries and international players will find their own reasons to do the same.

Biden’s State Department will be forced to acknowledge, even faster than Clinton’s diplomats, that any promises that the Taliban make are worthless. Taliban spokesmen have learned to tell liberals what they want to hear, but don’t actually speak for the leadership. Nor do they speak for the various factions who actually make up the Taliban power on the ground. Or their backers.

Stability is not in Afghanistan’s future.

The Taliban, like most Jihadis, are players in someone else’s chess game. Islamic terrorist groups, like their Marxist counterparts, have state backers and wealthy funders behind them.

What looks like a stunning victory is more often the result of backroom deals.

Muslim Jihadis claim a fearsome reputation, but routinely bow out of fights when the odds aren’t on their side, when they aren’t feeling motivated, or are paid off. They prefer to win battles by treachery and subterfuge as they have done for over a thousand years since Mohammed.

Americans are used to the idea of standing, fighting, and dying for their country. But fighters in tribal cultures are more nomadic. They don’t stand and fight, they appear and disappear, as we saw in Afghanistan and Iraq. They strike when they sense weakness and flee when they feel strength. Biden showed weakness, so did the Afghan government, and the rest is history.

The Taliban will impose unfiltered Islamic law, but whether girls are allowed to go to school and women are permitted to leave the house matters very little to the power players. Those important enough will be able to do what the elites of Muslim countries always do, send their sons and daughters to cavort in Beverly Hills and the French Riviera, while poorer girls are beaten, enslaved, and executed for minor offenses like meeting the eye of a strange man.

There will be burkas for millions of Afghan women, but the daughters of key leaders who cut deals with the Taliban will wear bikinis on the beaches of the Atlantic and the Pacific.

The Biden administration cares as much about the rights of women as the Clinton administration which was willing to embrace the Taliban and endorse their oppressive Islamic law. It was only when the Taliban turned down the Clintons that they rediscovered an interest in feminism.

Count on the Biden administration and Democrats to follow the same corrupt road out of Kabul.

Afghanistan will go on being what it was all along, a tribal wasteland run by bandits, all of whom swear by Allah, but only some of whom kill women for not wearing burkas, who get their money and guns from various foreign interests and serve them until they inevitably betray them.

The Taliban didn’t win a great victory. They assembled a house of cards coalition just as they did before. That house of cards will begin collapsing because Afghanistan is not a country and it cannot be ruled by any government, only corrupted, robbed, and terrorized in Allah’s name.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

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Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Biden Tried to Send Pallets of Cash to the Taliban as Kabul Fell

By On September 01, 2021
On August 14, Secretary of State Blinken spoke with Afghanistan’s former president and promised that the Biden administration would provide a bulk shipment of dollars.

The next day Kabul fell.

On that same call, Afghanistan’s former leader had agreed to surrender power to the Taliban.

The Biden administration had effectively agreed to provide a massive infusion of cash to the Taliban. But the final deal fell through, the Afghan government fled, and the Taliban took Kabul.

The bulk shipment of dollars never did arrive.

Biden’s diplomats scrambled to evacuate from Kabul. Ajmal Ahmady, the governor of DAB, Afghanistan's central bank, already had a ticket and headed to the airport. He managed to get on a military plane.

Since then he's tweeted that he was warned that the Taliban had come looking for him.

The Taliban were hoping to get their hands on Afghanistan’s money, but much of it is in the United States. The most tangible part of Afghanistan’s assets, $1.3 billion in gold, is sitting in downtown Manhattan, a little bit south of Ground Zero, in the vaults of the Federal Reserve.

If there were any justice, that money would be used to compensate the police officers, firefighters, and workers who died on that day or later on from ailments related to 9/11.

Meanwhile, all the Taliban have to do is fly into JFK, take an Uber to 33 Liberty Street, and ask to be taken down to the basement to see all the bars of gold. And even in Biden’s America and De Blasio’s New York City, they might have trouble walking away with over a billion in gold bars.

Not unless they trade their camos and kameezes for Black Lives Matter t-shirts.

The United States did plenty of dumb things in Afghanistan, but it kept the gold locked up in the basement vaults and $3.1 billion of DAB’s assets went into U.S. Treasury bills and bonds.

Ahmady estimates that $7 billion of DAB's assets are being held by the Federal Reserve which includes the gold, the bills and bonds, $300 million in cash, and another $2.4 billion in World Bank funds for aiding developing countries. There’s also $700 million at the Bank for International Settlements and another $1.3 billion in international accounts.

Those are likely being held in Turkey which is an Islamist dictatorship friendly to the Taliban.

The Taliban would like some or all of that money.

The problem is that while the Taliban expected to find vaults full of gold and cash, Afghanistan had been plugged into the international finance system in which access to cash depends on either great internal wealth or good international relations. The Taliban have neither.

To the extent that the Taliban have been behaving themselves, at least in Kabul, it’s because they want to lay claim to the stream of international wealth that used to flow into Afghanistan.

A week after Kabul fell, the International Monetary Fund was supposed to disburse $460 million in Special Drawing Rights to Afghanistan, but that, like all the other international funding mechanisms that the Taliban wanted to lay claim to, was blocked. While the Biden administration’s diplomats and national security people had made a complete hash of the withdrawal, the treasury people proved to be surprisingly on top of cutting off Taliban cash.

The Taliban still control border crossings and they’ll be able to take advantage of Chinese money, but that’s a long way from the cash they need to run any kind of functional country.

Paradoxically, we were the single biggest revenue source for the Taliban’s money machine.

One expert estimated that at the peak of Obama and Biden's Afghanistan surge, "the Taliban’s ‘taxes’ on truckers supplying NATO likely even surpassed the Taliban’s income from drugs, being tens of millions of dollars at least, maybe up to $100 million annually."

Like a lot of failed states, remittances from Afghans living overseas made up 4% of their GDP. Last year that amounted to $788 million. Some of that money is being blocked. For now.

Without an ongoing war, the money from both NATO and the international financiers of the Jihad will stop flowing. Chinese state businesses won’t allow the Taliban to rob them the way that they looted NATO and while drugs are big money, they’re no substitute for an economy.

Just ask Venezuela and Iran. Or Detroit.

The Taliban’s options are limited. They've appointed Mohammad Idris, a previously unknown Taliban official, to head the central bank. Afghanistan’s currency is imploding and dollarization without dollars doesn’t work so well. Much of Afghanistan’s economy, which was propped up by foreign aid, will collapse leaving behind subsistence farming, opium, and smuggling rackets.

The arms and vehicles looted from the United States will be sold off to fellow Jihadists for a one-time cash infusion because there’ll be no more armored vehicles and drones handed out.

Before 9/11, Afghanistan was facing drought and famine under the Taliban. The United States campaign not only toppled the Taliban, but saved parts of the country from starvation.

But the Taliban do have two key assets: people and trouble.

Those are the same assets held by Jihadists around the world from Hamas in Gaza to the Houthis in Yemen. The Taliban don’t care if portions of the population, especially non-Pashtuns and non-Sunni Muslims suffer, but they know that we do.

Even now there’s talk about how to continue providing humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. And the flow of humanitarian aid to a population in a terrorist area means funding terrorists.

Beyond inflicting misery on Afghans, the Taliban have a variety of options for causing trouble for their enemies. They can speed the flow of migrants and refugees to Europe and also boost the opium business and demand money to “fight drug trafficking” in order to shut it down. (This scam is common in both South America and Southeast Asia, and helps fund the drug trade in the name of fighting it as corrupt politicians cash in on both the drug and anti-drug businesses.)

And their biggest short-term asset are the Afghans and Americans trapped in Afghanistan.

Whatever agreements the Biden administration reached with the Taliban to allow it to operate and to coordinate on security arrangements were almost certainly financial. Once the United States leaves, the Taliban will be able to extract money for every single Afghan who leaves.

But what the Taliban really want is all that money sitting in the Federal Reserve.

There have been precedents for terror states toppling legitimate governments and leaving their wealth in the hands of the United States. From the Bolsheviks of the Soviet Union to the Shiite Islamists of Iran, Democrats eventually turned over the money to the red-green terrorists.

There’s little doubt that the Taliban will get their hands on much of the money.

China, Russia, Pakistan, Turkey, and Qatar will likely push to legitimize the Taliban in international forums. The Biden administration will make a token show of resistance. As the international governance bodies topple and humanitarian groups cry about famine, the money pipeline will reopen. And even though there won’t be a single American soldier in Afghanistan, Biden will go on funding the Taliban long after the withdrawal is wholly complete.

The $7 billion will end up being another down payment in the funding of Islamic terrorism.

The day before Kabul fell, Biden nearly allowed a massive bundle of pallets of dollars to be shipped to Afghanistan. He did so knowing that the money was destined for a Taliban regime.

His cash shipment to the Taliban only fell apart because the Afghan government did.

How long will it be until Biden is shipping money to the Taliban? He may already be doing it.

"Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran," Biden proposed after September 11. His previous administration illegally shipped $1.7 billion in pallets of cash to Iran. The question isn’t whether Biden will fund the Taliban, but when.

Creating a hostage situation is, as Obama already discovered, a convenient pretext for funding Islamic terrorists. Biden has created a massive hostage crisis in Afghanistan. What better way could there be to force the United States to fund our worst enemies once again?

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

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Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Impeach Biden

By On August 31, 2021
When Kabul fell, the Taliban offered the Biden administration a deal. Either the United States could control the city until August 31, the terror group’s deadline, or the Taliban would.

The Taliban may have been testing Biden, wary of a direct military confrontation with a large concentration of American forces, but if so they quickly learned that they had little to worry about. Instead of maintaining control over Kabul so that Americans could be speedily evacuated, the Biden administration and its cronies turned over the city to the Taliban.

And the Taliban turned to their most professional and deadliest assets. The Haqqani Network had been closely allied with Al Qaeda and picked up many of its tricks. Its commanders understood urban warfare, excelled at suicide and truck bombings, and had expert units whose commandos had been trained in Pakistan by the terror regime’s ISI secret agents.

The Taliban officially named Khalil al-Rahman Haqqani to head security in Kabul. The Haqqani Jihadist figure had a $5 million bounty on his head from the United States. Not long after the Biden administration made its deal with the devil, a designated foreign terrorist group and a specially designated terrorist controlled access for American refugees fleeing to Kabul’s airport.

The Biden administration made no protest. It did not complain that a terror group founded by one of Osama bin Laden’s mentors which had repeatedly targeted American soldiers with suicide bomb attacks, including the murder of a colonel and two lieutenant colonels by a car bomber, a truck bomb that wounded 77 American soldiers in a 9/11 anniversary attack on a base, and a truck bombing attack on another base, was “coordinating security” for Kabul airport.

Biden had been given the opportunity to create a secure escape route for American civilians escaping Afghanistan and to keep American soldiers safe in the city. Instead he set them up to be massacred by turning security in Kabul and around its airport over to a terrorist group.

Even while Biden falsely claimed at a press conference that Afghanistan would be nothing like Kabul, military and intelligence briefings had already prepared him for much worse. If someone had to take the PR hit for chasing away refugees and a botched evacuation, Biden preferred that the Taliban play the bad guys while he disavowed all responsibility. He didn’t care how many Americans died as long as he maintained plausible deniability to cover up their deaths.

Biden’s assumption that the Taliban could be trusted to do his dirty work without wanting anything in return except the end of our presence in Afghanistan was treasonously dumb.

Obama had assumed that the Muslim Brotherhood could be trusted in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya. The attacks of September 11, 2012, climaxing in the Benghazi massacre, proved him wrong. Biden’s own Benghazi began the same way when he turned over power to Islamists while believing that they would be satisfied with just taking over a country.

The Taliban had turned over the problem of Kabul airport to the Haqqani Network. Like Biden, the Taliban wanted plausible deniability for whatever might happen around the site. The Haqqani Network was part of the Taliban, yet the United States had set the unfortunate precedent of designating the Haqqanis, but not the Taliban, as a foreign terrorist organization.

That legal distinction had provided both the United States and the Taliban with plausible deniability over the years. The Haqqanis would carry out terrorist attacks while the United States could still negotiate with the Taliban without being accused of “negotiating with terrorists”.

When the Taliban turned over the checkpoints and security around Kabul airport to the Haqqani network, they were sending a clear signal that they were washing their hands of any attacks.

And the Biden administration, which had made the deal with the devil, could not hold the Taliban accountable without exposing its own complicity in this setup. The rest was all but inevitable.

The Taliban checkpoints failed to hold back the crowds from the airport even with bouts of occasional brutality. The Jihadists manning them had little interest in screening paperwork on behalf of the Kabul embassy, as Biden expected them to, instead they searched for Afghans on their lists. Once the State Department handed the Taliban its lists of approved Americans and Afghans, their real job of finding and detaining key officials and other figures became easier.

Americans continued to have trouble reaching the airport even while Biden and his cronies falsely claimed that there could be no problems with Al Qaeda’s allies running checkpoints.

Things got worse from there.

ISIS-K's leader, Shahab al-Muhajir, was a former Haqqani commander. The Islamic State affiliate had recruited heavily among the Taliban and, in particular the Haqqani Network.

Biden had put America’s worst enemies in charge of security around Kabul airport.

Gen. Frank McKenzie, who had originally met with Taliban officials to hear their offer to take Kabul, went on bragging that, "we use the Taliban as a tool to protect us as much as possible."

Who was using whom became obvious when an ISIS-K suicide bomber and gunmen who had gotten past the Haqqani checkpoints murdered 13 American military personnel.

Including eleven of McKenzie’s marines.

They didn’t have to die. And the entire botched evacuation didn’t have to play out this way.

Biden made numerous mistakes that led to the fall of Afghanistan, including the abandonment of Bagram Air Base, which not only cut off a secure evacuation route, but freed countless Jihadis, some of whom may have even taken part in the Kabul airport attack. But the decision to turn over Kabul to the Taliban, and to turn over security around Kabul airport to allies of Al Qaeda whom the United States had designated as terrorists is nothing short of treasonous.

13 American military personnel paid in blood for Biden’s treason.

Democrats made a point of impeaching President Trump twice. In 1787, Senator William Blount became the first politician impeached over a plot to help the British take over Florida and Louisiana. Impeachment in the Constitution begins with “treason”, continues with “bribery”, and then finally with “high Crimes and Misdemeanors“. Section 3 defines treason only as “levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”

It’s hard to think of a clearer definition of aid and comfort than the massive amount of armaments that the Taliban and its Jihadists have picked up in Afghanistan.

Biden can claim that all of that was unintentional. But turning over Kabul to the Taliban at a time when thousands of Americans sheltered there was no accident. Nor was shrugging when the Taliban handed over access to Kabul airport to the Haqqani Network which is designated as a foreign terrorist organization.

These were treasonous acts whose foreseeable consequences are entirely his responsibility.

The Jihadists levied war against American military forces with the attack at Kabul airport.

Biden’s treason led to the murder of 13 American military personnel. His aid and comfort to the enemy, his adherence to the Taliban at the expense of American soldiers and civilians led to the massacre of Americans. And he can and should be impeached for his treasonous crimes.

Joe Biden’s treasonous decision to entrust American lives and security to the enemy was not committed out of any pure motive, but to protect his own political career. After decades of appeasing Islamic terrorists, Biden was only doing what came naturally to him. And he had either learned nothing from Benghazi or he simply did not care about the risk to Americans.

Like Blount and later Burr, Biden, the third ‘B’ in the bunch, committed treason out of self-interest, throwing in with America’s enemies because he thought it would profit him.

That does not lessen his treason. It worsens it.

America’s original traitors, men like Benedict Arnold and Aaron Burr, were motivated by greed, pride, and wounded egos. They did not believe in anything except themselves.

Biden’s treason is that of a career politician who will sacrifice anyone for his own sake.

President Trump was impeached over Ukraine, yet the impeachers could not point to a single American who had died in that country. 13 Americans have died in Afghanistan. The parents of some of these fallen men and women have come forward to demand justice. They deserve it.

Democrats currently control the Senate and the House. But that does not excuse Republicans from the need to confront Biden and hold him accountable by calling for impeachment anyway.

Even a failed effort will keep this issue alive and prevent the dead from being forgotten.

We all saw Biden checking his watch at Dover while waiting for the transfer of the men and women he killed to be complete. The dead Americans are no more to him than the Afghans whose deaths he had falsely dismissed as having happened, “four or five days ago.”

After another four or five days, Biden hopes that the dead Americans will be forgotten.

Biden is counting on Americans to have as bad a memory as he does. And if Republicans remain silent, pivoting to the next scandal or talking point, he will have been proven right.

The Americans murdered and betrayed by Biden deserve justice. They deserve to see the question of his impeachment raised and debated. And America’s honor deserves it too.

The world must not think that what it saw in Kabul represents a new American normal.

That would be devastating to our national security and to our honor. The world must know that what happened was a crime. And that Americans will work to hold the criminal accountable.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

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Thank you for reading.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Biden’s Benghazi

By On August 29, 2021
More American soldiers died in one week of Biden’s retreat than in the last two years of war.

9 American soldiers had died in combat in Afghanistan from August 2019 until now when over a dozen of our men were murdered in one single day during Biden’s shameful retreat.

Like so many of the American soldiers who were killed by the Taliban and their Al Qaeda allies during the Obama-Biden administration, and like the Americans murdered in Benghazi by Jihadists allied with Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, they did not have to die.

American soldiers died because they were prevented from defending themselves.

Abandoning thousands of Americans behind enemy lines, the Biden administration turned the Kabul airport into Fort Apache surrounded by the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and other Jihadis.

Taliban Jihadists controlled checkpoints, checked papers, beat Americans, and entered the airport to “coordinate” security with American forces. Thousands of American citizens and soldiers were cut off from each other, able to meet only with the approval of the Taliban.

“We use the Taliban as a tool to protect us as much as possible," Marine Corps Gen. Frank McKenzie had bragged. McKenzie had repeatedly described the Taliban as "partners".

As warnings of an imminent ISIS-K attack grew, the Biden administration continued to rely on the Taliban to keep their fellow terrorists in check. This was the same treasonous mistake that led to the murder of Americans in Benghazi at the hands of an Islamic militia that was being paid to protect them from other Jihadis. It was also how the British lost thousands of soldiers during the disastrous retreat from Kabul in 1842. But Biden, Austin, and Milley remained blind to both recent and classical history about the perils of trusting the lives of your men to the enemy.

Even now with so many American soldiers dead, the Biden administration and its generals can only think of closer “security cooperation” with the Taliban showing that they learned nothing.

The Taliban and ISIS-K are feuding because ISIS-K consists of former members of the Taliban and the Haqqani Network. But that hasn’t stopped ISIS-K and the Taliban from cooperating by freeing each other's members from prison during previous attacks.

When Biden abandoned Bagram Air Base, he not only threw away the best and most secure means for evacuating Americans, he also handed over thousands of terrorists imprisoned at Pul-e-Charkhi who included Al Qaeda and ISIS-K terrorists. It would not be surprising if the perpetrators or organizers of the Kabul airport attack turned out to have been imprisoned there.

The Biden administration and its cronies keep promising that the Taliban will fight ISIS-K.

Taliban units have gone back and forth from ISIS-K in much the way that our “good” Jihadis in Syria went back and forth between the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, and ISIS.

When the Biden administration coordinates with the Taliban, there’s no way to know if it’s coordinating with the factions of the Taliban potentially sympathetic to ISIS-K.

But there’s no question that it’s coordinating with Al Qaeda.

The Taliban put Khalil Haqqani in charge of security in Kabul. The Haqqani network has been closely allied with Al Qaeda. The Wall Street Journal noted that, "prominent Taliban units with ties to the Haqqani network now operate within feet of U.S. troops securing the area. "

Shahab al-Muhajir, ISIS-K’s new leader, was a former Haqqani network commander.

Afghan officials from the former government have claimed that ISIS-K is just another mask being worn by the Haqqani network.

"Shahab Almahajir, the newly appointed leader of the Islamic State of Khorasan Province-ISKP is a Haqqani member. Haqqani and the Taliban carry out their terrorism on a daily basis across Afghanistan and when their terrorist activities do not suit them politically they rebrand it under ISKP," former Afghan interior minister Masoud Andrabi had tweeted.

Just like in Libya and Syria, sorting through the complex web of alliances and enmities between Jihadist groups, is a long and difficult process with no ultimate truth at the end, only more lies.

The only sane thing to do is to trust none of them.

Turning over security around the airport to a group with ties to Al Qaeda was treason.

Biden entrusted the lives of American citizens and soldiers to a Jihadist organization, the Haqqani network, which was allied with Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.

Even now the Haqqani network is holding Mark Frerichs, a Navy vet, hostage.

The Biden administration not only failed to free Frerichs, but coordinated on security with his captors in the hope that they would protect American soldiers and civilians.

They even turned over lists of American citizens and Afghan allies to the Taliban to help them with their "security" arrangements in what has been described as a "kill list".

An official defended the move by arguing that "they had to do that because of the security situation the White House created by allowing the Taliban to control everything outside the airport."

That did not have to happen.

Biden made the decision to evacuate the military before the civilians. Then he rushed the military back, but refused to allow our soldiers to actually create a secure evacuation pathway.

The Taliban were put in charge of security to and around the airport. And even when the Taliban handed over security to a group allied with Al Qaeda and even possibly ISIS-K, the Biden administration and its incompetent appeasers in uniforms and suits went on trusting the Taliban.

The Biden administration was repeatedly warned that ISIS-K was planning an attack. Just as the Obama-Biden administration was warned that the Benghazi consulate was threatened.

Both in Benghazi and Kabul, the response was to lean harder on the goodwill of the Jihadis.

And in Kabul and Benghazi, Americans died because a treasonous administration put its trust in terrorists instead of letting American military personnel protect the lives of Americans.

Americans did not have to die at the hands of Islamic terrorists in Kabul.

Americans trying to reach the airport did not have to be beaten in the street by Taliban thugs.

The United States did not have to leave Afghanistan in an airport encircled by the enemy, while rushing to meet the Taliban’s August 31 deadline even if Americans had to be left behind.

These were decisions that Biden, his cabinet members, advisers and generals made.

They should be held accountable for them.

The failure to hold Obama accountable for Benghazi led directly to the tragedy in Kabul.

Appeasing Jihadists has become the cornerstone of the Obama-Biden foreign policy. Over a thousand American military personnel died during the Obama-Biden surge in Afghanistan because they were not allowed to defend themselves so as not to offend Muslims.

Why did Biden accede to the Taliban demand that we leave Afghanistan by August 31?

The same reason he turned over security around the Kabul airport to the Taliban.

So as not to offend the Taliban.

American soldiers didn’t die because they had to. They died because they weren’t allowed to protect themselves and their fellow Americans.

They died because Biden put the Taliban’s feelings ahead of the lives of American soldiers.

Since 2007, when Biden ran for president on a platform of surging soldiers and nation-building in Afghanistan to win the hearts and minds of the locals, he was selling out our soldiers.

This is his most shameful betrayal.

Don’t call Joe Biden the commander-in-chief. Call him what he is, the traitor-in-chief.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

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Thank you for reading.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Our Mistaken Ideas About Human Rights Failed Us in Afghanistan

By On August 26, 2021
Human rights are not a government, they’re a culture.

America was founded on that simple premise. The Declaration of Independence’s conviction in the equality of men, individual rights, and governments gaining their authority from the consent of the governed was based on “self-evident” truths.

These truths are “self-evident” to Americans in the way that they’re not self-evident to the average Afghan, Pakistani, Iraqi, Russian, South African or Chinese citizen. They have their own truths that are equally “self-evident” to them based on their own worldview and culture.

The Taliban, like the vast majority of Muslims, assert that believers in Allah are superior to infidels, that men must have supreme authority over women, and leaders over people.

This hierarchical model governs a lot more of the world than anything we’ve come up with.

And even in America there are voices that favor tearing up the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and reverting to a hierarchical model. From the Marxists on the Left to the Neo-Reactionaries on the Right, there are those who would turn back the clock to feudalism with enlightened philosopher-kings imposing an “ideal society” on the inferior class of men.

When we say that something is self-evident, it flows naturally from our values and our beliefs.

Consider the two radically different worldviews inherent in Benjamin Franklin writing that, “the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards" is "a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy” and the Ayatollah Khomeini proclaiming “Allah did not create man so that he could have fun" and thus there "is no fun in Islam.”

Both Franklin and Khomeini were expressing a worldview that was self-evident to them.

“Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” came from people who believed that God loves us and wants us to enjoy life. Beheadings, butchery, and the burka came from Islamists who believe that Allah does not like us very much and that we deserve to be miserable.

The respective governments of America and the Muslim world just play out that theology.

America’s approach to individual freedom and meritocratic government came out of broader English and European intellectual trends. Western nations mostly came around to the approach, at least after two world wars, finding that happy people made for a good economy and stability.

Asian First World nations also came around to their own modified versions of a free society while still emphasizing hierarchy and collective morality. And those were the success stories.

Most of the rest of the world is littered with failures.

The American idea was exported successfully by contact with our culture which contained its individualistic, moral, and aspirational DNA. That’s much less true than it used to be. But what is still true is that our efforts to directly export our ideals have failed miserably. Whether it’s trying to explain the Founding Fathers to the Iraqis or funding Women’s Studies in Afghanistan, few were influenced, and many were confused, irritated, or moderately amused by our efforts.

Constructing “governments-in-a-box” in Iraq and Afghanistan was never going to fit their culture. Exporting human rights by explaining our self-evident belief in individual rights didn’t work in cultures that don’t think that people are primarily individuals with agency, but members of a group whose rights come from their role in a rigid hierarchy of ethnicity, gender or race.

Our own political and cultural elites have adopted that worldview making them particularly unfit to spread human rights or individual freedom abroad even as they eliminate them at home.

How can Biden, who decided to pick a black woman as his vice president, before deciding which individual was going to fill that role, credibly tell the Afghans or Iraqis that they shouldn’t pick their leaders based on their gender, tribe, ethnicity, or Sunni and Shiite status?

Before we explain freedom and rights to the Afghans and Iraqs, we need a refresher course.

Our democracy export business is based on a series of intellectual errors dating back to the two world wars which we had defined as fighting for democracy and against tyranny in Europe.

Ever since then our intellectual and cultural elites have stuck to the conviction that the entire world works much like Europe. Every country, whether it’s in Asia, Africa, or the Middle East, is in the midst of a struggle between liberal democrats and reactionary authoritarians. All we have to do is overthrow their Hitler or Mussolini, and a liberal democracy will emerge from the ashes.

This fallacy may have hit its peak with the insistence that the Arab Spring was Europe in 1848.

The rest of the world isn’t Europe of the past three centuries. Its intellectual trends, worldviews, and culture have little in common. While western lefties managed to export socialism to most of the world, it takes on very different forms in places like North Korea or Iraq. The “self-evident” assumptions of political ideas are lost in the translation and transition to very different cultures.

The problem with exporting our “self-evident” ideas is that they’re based on the belief in a loving and merciful God, on the value of individual life, and the genius of individual innovation. Most of the world’s cultures are not only not individualistic, many, like the People’s Republic of China or the Muslim world, are actively anti-individualistic and believe morality comes from hierarchy.

Is morality individual or is it collective? Is the role of government to free people to make moral choices or to force them to make the right choice? Where you come down on the answer to that issue is going to determine the sort of society and government you want and will fight for.

If you’re a member of the Taliban, of the Chinese Communist Party, a believer in critical race theory or the neo-reactionary ideology, odds are you will come down on the collective side.

And on the side of tyranny.

Is life basically good or bad? Are most people bad or good? Does God love us or hate us?

You can’t just casually export our underlying assumptions behind human rights to cultures that answer these questions in very different ways.

All of us, in a more tribal America, have experienced the frustration of mutually incomprehensible conversations with our fellow Americans that appear to be about issues, mask mandates, Black Lives Matter, or abortion, but that are actually about culture and values.

If it’s all but impossible to establish common ground on what rights and freedoms are with other Americans, what were the odds that we were going to do it with Afghans or Iraqis?

America can and should export human rights. But the best way to do it is by example.

Whether it’s parents influencing children, teachers acting as role models, or any other mentor relationship, the most vital lessons are not didactic, but personal. From our earliest years, we learn by imitation and we become like the people we want to be. Indeed, in both Judaism and Christianity, goodness comes from striving to learn from and imitate the ways of God.

Tellingly, the concept plays out very differently in Islam where Muslims imitiate Mohammed.

When nations and peoples around the world strived to be like America, it’s because they admired what we had, what we achieved, and how we lived. Most people assume that success is the result of values and behaviors. How people see a successful group, whether it’s Americans, Jews, or Asians comes down to the question of whether they achieved their success fairly through discipline and hard work, or unfairly by abuse and thievery. The answer to that question will determine whether someone is anti-American, anti-Semitic, or anti-whatever group.

These days the loudest voices stating that America is evil, and that everything we had was gained through colonialism and slavery, are coming from our own political and cultural elites.

Why would anyone admire or imitate us when we loudly announce that we’re liars and thieves?

Exporting human rights is not a matter of finding dictators to overthrow. The Muslim world isn’t Europe. It’s not in a state of conflict between tyranny and freedom, but between different flavors of tyranny which all share underlying assumptions about hierarchy over individualism.

Regime change won’t fix the culture.

There are times when America may need to intervene in other countries, when it’s to counter a threat or to prevent an extreme wrong such as genocide, but we cannot and will not fix the world. The vast majority of the planet will go on living under authoritarian regimes. Women in Muslim countries will suffer. And so will various ethnic and religious minorities under their rule.

We should condemn evil where we see it without assuming that we can make it go away and that should drive us to build alliances with nations that share our culture, heritage and values. Instead of spending billions reconstructing enemies, we’re better off strengthening our friends.

Above all else, we should show that our values lead to a good life. The example that we set for the rest of the world will do more to spread human rights than any military interventions.

That’s how it always was.

After a century of ideological cold wars, countering Communism and then Islamism, we have a lot of military interventions under our belt, but have gotten no better at making arguments for our way of life to our own people. While we were trying to convince Africans that Marxism wasn’t for them, our Ivy League institutions adopted it. And while we tried to talk the Afghans and Iraqis out of Islamic theocracy, our own cities, institutions, and governments filled up with Islamists.

If we want to defeat Islamism and protect human rights and freedom, we should start at home.

It’s not just Afghanistan where young girls are being enslaved or sexually abused by Islamists.

In 2019, I reported that there had been over 2,000 visas approved for underage 'brides' from Muslim countries. Two years before that I reported on a female genital mutilation network in Michigan. There have been multiple cases of slavery involving Muslim families in America.

The massive influx of Afghans into America will make those numbers worse, not better.

The fundamental lesson of our founding is that we can’t defend our rights without also defending our culture. The self-evident truths on which our freedoms were founded are no longer all that self-evident on a college campus, let alone in Islamist enclaves like Dearborn or Little Mogadishu. If we want to save our rights, we’ll have to defeat the Taliban at home.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

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Thank you for reading.