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Friday, February 26, 2016

Immigration or an iPhone

By On February 26, 2016
The public argument between Apple and the FBI over cracking the encryption on an iPhone used by the San Bernardino Muslim terrorists is one of those ongoing civil liberties debates that negotiate the terms on which we are asked to sacrifice our civil liberties for the sake of Muslim immigration.

We have already made a thousand accommodations and we will make a thousand more. There will be more databases, naked scanners, eavesdropping, vans that can see through walls, backdoors to every server, registrations, warrantless searches, interceptions and regulations. There will be heavily armed police on the streets. And then curfews and soldiers. These things exist in Europe. They'll come here.

Some libertarians will argue that we should have none of this and no restrictions on immigration. That we should just shrug off each terror attack and move on with our lives.

Eventually though there will be a terror attack that we can't shrug off and that can't be minimized by using the cheap statistical trick of comparing Terror Attack X to the number of people who die every year from cancer. Or there will just be an endless parade of daily attacks, bombings, stabbings or shootings, as in Israel, which create a constant climate of terror that will preclude any hollow rhetoric about the number of people falling off ladders each year or getting struck by lightning. Some hawks will cheer every terror fighting measure short of closing the door on the root cause of the problem. They would rather see every American wiretapped, strip searched and monitored every hour of the day then just stop the flow of Muslim terrorists into this country.

The encryption methods of an iPhone, like the question of how many ounces there are in your tiny bottle of mouthwash, would not be much of an issue, if Muslim migration did not make it one.

Terrorists adapt to the terrain. They use the native population as protective coloration. They can find a way to transform a shoe, a tube of toothpaste or instant messaging on a game console into a terror tool. Just as the left can 'politicize' everything, Muslim terrorists can 'terrorize' everything. When everything is a potential terrorist tool, then there can be no such thing as privacy or civil rights.

Muslim immigration is forcing us to constantly choose between our lives and our civil liberties. It's a Catch 22 decision with no good choices. Terrorists push governments toward totalitarianism so that their own alternative totalitarian state starts to seem like a less terrible alternative. But the refusal to fight terrorism also makes the totalitarian state of the terrorists more viable.

With every Muslim terror attack, successful or only attempted, they win and we lose. The pressure of terror attacks discredit Western ideologies and worldviews, both on the right and the left. Each attack helps generate new converts for Islam and more political influence for Islamist organizations.

Vociferous debates over the choice between civil liberties and security make it seem as if we have to choose between our worldviews because something in our society is the problem. It isn't.

We do not have an American terror network problem. The Amish aren't using iPhones or obscure apps to coordinate terror attacks. We have a Muslim terror network problem. It's not because of the Methodists that we have to weigh our mouthwash or take our shoes off and put them in a greasy plastic tray at the airport. It's because 19 Muslims entered this country, hijacked our airplanes and murdered thousands of Americans. Guantanamo Bay is not an issue because Buddhists are at war with America. It's an issue because Muslim terrorists are at war with America.

We do not have an iPhone encryption problem or a shoe problem or a mouthwash problem. We have a Muslim terror problem. Whatever decision is made about iPhone encryption will not be the last word. The simple reality is that privacy carries too high a price as long as we have large numbers of people in this country who want to kill us in equally large numbers. If we want our privacy back, it's not the FBI that is standing in our way. It's the religious organizations that are paid to bring Muslim "refugees" to this country. It's the liberal, libertarian and even conservative voices that think there is something wrong with pausing the mass migration of the group that is disproportionately responsible for our terror problem. It’s the media that would rather discuss anything and everything than discuss the problem we are really dealing with.

The source of this problem is not whether the FBI handled the iPhone correctly or whether Apple should be obligated to build a way for law enforcement to access its devices. These arguments would exist even without Muslim terrorism, but they would lack the same level of life and death urgency.

This is not an iOS problem. It's an immigration problem.

The San Bernardino massacre by Muslim terrorists would not have happened without Muslim immigration. The security flaw here was not in the work of FBI agents or of Apple programmers, but of our immigration laws. Just as we cannot and will not intercept every single Muslim terrorist who finds a way to hide explosives in his underwear, shoes, soda or laptop, we will not ever be able to crack every single encrypted Muslim terrorist device. And their underwear bombs and encrypted iPhones would not be an issue if we did not have Muslim terrorists in America in the first place.

Instead of discussing the Islamic root cause, we put stress on our own competing institutions, technology providers face off with law enforcement, hawks and civil libertarians berate each other as if they were each part of the threat. But we are not the problem here. They are the problem.

The only backdoor that should be at issue here is the one that Muslim terrorists use to enter America. We don't need to violate everyone's rights to close it. We just need the political will to do the common sense thing and shut down the source of the threat. Either that or give up on our privacy.

Our choice is very simple. We can have external security or an internal police state. But neither of the above is not an option. We can have open borders that fill our country with criminals, but that means that eventually any livable middle class neighborhood will have a cop on every corner. We can have airport security for the people coming into this country. Or we can have airport security for everyone.

Ongoing Muslim migration makes a police state inevitable. But to avoid the perils of profiling and the appearance of discrimination, it will be a universal police state that will strip away rights from everyone without regard to guilt or innocence in the hopes of averting the next Muslim terror attack.

The only way to protect our lives and our freedoms from Muslim terrorism and its consequences is by shutting down Muslim immigration. If we fail to do this, then we will lose our lives and our liberties.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Hillary Clinton is Her Own Worst Enemy

By On February 23, 2016
Hillary Clinton is her own worst enemy. Just as Bill Clinton's worst impulses did more to sabotage his presidency than any Republican, his wife's worst impulses have always undermined her. Some couples balance out each other's weaknesses, but Bill and Hillary enable each other's misbehaviors. While Hillary enabled her husband's abuse of women, Bill enabled her paranoia and obsessiveness.

Now her flailing campaign is retreating into paranoia and conspiracy theories. The Intelligence Community Inspector General, an Obama appointee, is accused of conspiring with Republicans. The rise of Bernie Sanders is being attributed to “dark money” and political enemies by Clintonworld.

Hillary Clinton has a longstanding tendency to turn to a dark conspiratorial mindset when things don’t go her way. She blamed her husband’s affair with Monica Lewinsky on a “vast right-wing conspiracy”. Her close friend’s papers reveal that Hillary thought Bill had been “driven” to the affair by his “political adversaries”.

It was easier for Hillary to blame her husband’s misbehavior on Republicans than to deal with reality. And her campaign is showing that her worldview hasn’t changed any since then.

The entire FBI investigation would not exist if Hillary Clinton had just followed the law. Instead she chose to engage in a preemptive cover-up of her emails as preparation for her presidential campaign.

The job of Secretary of State had never meant anything to her except as a stepping stone to the White House. She took it to fundraise and build up her resume while maintaining total control over her emails, in violation of the law, while displaying no regard for national security by storing highly classified materials on her own server. But instead of protecting her campaign, the cover-up created its biggest challenge.

The revelation that emails containing beyond top secret intelligence from "special access programs" ended up on her server, which according to a former CIA officer placed the lives of intelligence sources in danger, shows that Hillary’s paranoia not only endangered national security, but even risked lives.

The same thing happened once again with Bernie Sanders. Hillary Clinton was so determined to avoid a contested primary that she raised obscene amounts of money to intimidate potential rivals. This desperate fundraising strategy instead backfired by creating controversies around some of her donors and alienating the voters that she was raising money to influence.

Instead of running a normal campaign, Hillary Clinton was surrounded by corporate branding experts who wanted to market her just like Coca Cola. Meanwhile Hillary, who had famously insisted that anyone appearing in a photo with her had to pose and then wait for her to show up, not only avoided interviews, but had a rope line to keep reporters away. Hillary’s corporate campaign was boring and controlling. The Bernie Sanders campaign was a novelty and it didn’t try to rope off reporters.

Now Hillary Clinton will do just about any press, chasing after the reporters whom she had been keeping at arm’s length, but it’s already too late. Hillary Clinton’s attempt to avoid a competitive primary created the very conditions that made it into a competitive primary. Her paranoia has been creating these self-fulfilling prophecies and sabotaging her political ambitions all along.

The same thing happened with the debates. To avoid a competitive primary, the debates were rigged to take place when they would be least likely to be seen. Now the Clinton camp is desperately trying to add more debates in which to attack Bernie Sanders. By trying to avoid the debates, Hillary Clinton lost the opportunity to take the fight to him. Now she is desperately trying to undo her own manufactured crisis.

By trying to avoid a competitive primary, Hillary Clinton actually ended up creating one. Her real issue isn’t Bernie Sanders. It’s her own paranoia. Instead of using her huge advantages in money and name recognition to better compete, she tried to use them to completely shut down the process.

With both her emails and the campaign, Hillary Clinton’s actions were unnecessary; they drew attention to the things she was trying to conceal and brought about the very outcome that she had tried to avoid.

And Hillary’s uncontrollable paranoia raises more troubling questions about her fitness for the job. If Hillary Clinton is so paranoid that she endangers national security and subverts democracy just to get into the White House, what will she do if she actually moves into the White House?

We have already seen Bill’s White House, its decadence, corruption and abuses of power, but we haven’t seen Hillary’s White House yet. Instead we’re getting a disturbing preview of it in her troubled campaign. It’s a dark and paranoid White House whose mistress is obsessed with phantom threats.

Hillary’s White House would be a seething hive of preemptive cover-ups. Surrounded by angry conspiratorial advisers like Sidney Blumenthal and David Brock who have spent many horrid years feeding her paranoia, like drones shoving black rotten jelly into a queen bee, her White House would be obsessed with domestic political threats from her legion of enemies on the left and the right.

Decisions would be made by a small inner circle. Outside voices would have little access to a shut-in White House that would see political threats coming from every direction. Journalists would be shut out. Transparency and accountability would be non-existent. Laws would be broken left and right and every issue, from foreign policy to domestic decisions, would be analyzed for a dark conspiratorial agenda.

Everyone working in the White House and even anyone in the entire country might at any time be blamed for another Hillary failure, tarred, targeted and imprisoned on dubious charges. Every setback would be blamed on vast conspiracies by Hillary’s enemies. The White House would spend most of its time fighting shadowy political threats and resorting to illegal tactics to suppress scandals and shut down opponents. Imagine four to eight years that play out like the last days of the Nixon administration.

That’s what a Hillary administration would look like.

Hillary Clinton has always been Bill’s dark side, the shadow to his sunny disposition. A Hillary administration would take the worst aspects of his White House and make them into its mandate.

But paranoia is a self-destructive trait. Hillary Clinton’s paranoia made her an unlikable figure during her husband’s administration. Now it has made her an unlikable candidate. Her uncontrollable paranoia drove her to create unnecessary scandals and turned a ridiculous opponent into a viable competitor.

Hillary Clinton’s paranoia would create a terrifyingly dark White House, but it’s also the attitude most likely to keep her out of the White House. As the challenges, legal and political, mount, Hillary will retreat deeper into her paranoia and her campaign will become an ugly reflection of its mistress. The fuzzy corporate branding will give way to hysterical accusations and paranoid conspiracy theories. It happened before and now it’s happening again.

Hillary Clinton has always been her own worst enemy. And nothing has changed.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The First Year of President Bernie Sanders

By On February 18, 2016
On January 20, 2017, President Bernie Sanders was sworn into office. The elderly Vermont politician, who had always made waves, refused to use a bible, instead taking his oath on a smudged copy of his own economic five-year plan. He also unilaterally modified the presidential oath from “preserve, protect and defend” to “enhance, enrich and humanize the Constitution of the United States”.

The unlikely candidacy of Bernie Sanders had shocked and divided a party and then a nation.

President Sanders won the Democratic Party nomination by going far to the left and then, defying conventional wisdom, he moved even further to the left in the general election. Unable to retain the minority portion of the Obama coalition, many of whose leaders had been allied with Hillary Clinton and were still bitter over her loss and did little to help him, his victory relied heavily on youth voter turnout.

Voter turnout in America had been falling since the sixties. But in 2016, it fell below the 50% mark for the first time in history. When Bernie Sanders won a three-way election, only 43% of a weary nation came out to vote. And barely a fifth of the country voted for the first Socialist president.

The Sanders campaign had eschewed a slogan; instead it listed all the things that would be given away for free. Free health care, free college, free homes, free phones, free internet, free cars and free money for everyone. In the last week of the campaign, President Sanders had unveiled a guaranteed minimum income that would be paid to every individual in this country making Welfare-for-All into a reality.

The disappointment did not take long to arrive.

Much of the financial sector that Bernie Sanders had hoped to tax began vanishing as soon as the election results were in. New York’s loss was London and Singapore’s gain. A trillion dollars in investment capital left the United States creating a ripple effect that brought businesses to their knees.

The prices of milk and beef doubled. Ersatz bread made out of starch filled shelves while people waited on lines for the privilege of receiving government-subsidized milk from local welfare offices.

On the day that Bernie Sanders was sworn into office, clutching his economic plan, the Dow fell 2,000 points. Negative interest rates generated fear, instead of growth. "The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money", Thatcher had said. The money had not run out, instead it had fled to safer harbors for capitalism. The plan to finance Socialism using Wall Street was a failure even before Sanders squatted on a shaky chair in the Oval Office for his first official photo.

President Sanders was not going to be deterred by mere math. He turned to China, which despite its own chain of collapses, was still willing to subsidize another left-wing White House’s fanciful finances. His first proposed budget was $10 trillion, more than three times the amount of Federal revenues.

There were more downgrades of US debt by credit ratings organizations that were safely outside the country, unlike their American cousins which had learned from S&P’s example to paste on a smile.

While there was no joy on what was left of Wall Street, there wasn’t much to celebrate elsewhere.

The ubiquitous t-shirts emblazoned with the implausibly smiling face of “Bernie” that had been everywhere on campuses vanished as free college became a nightmare. Public colleges had to go free, but the money wasn’t there forcing them to slash and gut the quality of their educational offerings.

Formerly prestigious colleges became glorified community colleges with drastically devalued degrees.

Struggling colleges, like struggling hospitals before them, shifted costs in creative ways, requiring that students purchase mandatory $1,000 textbooks and pay $25,000 mandatory student housing fees.

Free college suddenly became very expensive leading to campus protests and riots.

President Sanders announced that he stood with the rioting students and demanded the resignations of university boards and administrators he had no legal authority over. He got his way, but that only led to more chaos as radical insurgent boards eliminated science departments and sold off priceless manuscripts while taking out disastrous loans to finance unsustainable social justice programs.

In his first term in office, the prestigious public university had ceased to exist in the United States. Students flocked to overcrowded private institutions where tuition was now higher than ever.

Meanwhile his efforts to set up a parallel universal health care system were unraveling. Meant to bypass a hostile Congress, the system had yet to get off the ground outside Vermont and Rhode Island, where it had managed to burn through $100 billion before treating a single patient.

President Bernie Sanders retreated into conspiracy theories about “entrenched interests”. The IRS investigations and arrests of prominent Republican billionaires were hailed by the media, but did nothing to make any of his failed programs work. It only accelerated the departure of capital from the United States and drove domestic political instability to new heights.

Administration rhetoric grew disturbingly violent. The White House Chief of Staff claimed that the real terror threat was coming from secret organizations that had been set up to counter the president’s economic agenda. “Economic sabotage is worse than terrorism,” the New York Times opined. It proposed a system of expedited courts overseen by special judges for economic crimes.

The White House unveiled a special tip hotline and app to report acts of economic sabotage.

President Sanders raised even more eyebrows when he paraphrased Robespierre, saying, “The government of the revolution is the repression of material interests by any means necessary.”

His first State of the Union Address was a rambling mess as the 76-year-old president irritably avoided shaking hands, lost his place several times, grew hoarse, quoted obscure left-wing figures and made bombastic calls for a revolution. The Callowhill Massacre in Philadelphia, in which four ISIS supporters used bombs and shotguns to murder over a hundred people at a concert, was not mentioned at all.

President Sanders had ended the campaign against ISIS, but ISIS did not end its war on America.

Families of the victims had already been outraged when an irritated President Sanders told a reporter who asked him about it during a press conference for the rollout of his new tax proposal, “Look, these things just happen. Especially when the Moozlimbs get all worked up. We gotta be nicer to them.”

While President Sanders had no real agenda for the Middle East, some of his radical allies did. Sanders had called for ending military aid to Israel before the Yom Kippur War. His administration not only ended military aid to Israel, but to all of our allies. Sanders pulled out of NATO and banned defense contractors from selling weapons overseas. Military drones were repurposed to drop aid supplies on Afghanistan and Iraq. Some of these supplies did end up accidentally killing a number of terrorists.

But the administration quickly offered its sincerest apologies to the families of the dead terrorists.

As war broke out in the Middle East between Iran and its Sunni enemies, President Sanders instead attended the unveiling of a statue of Elmer T. Allison, editor of The Cleveland Socialist and founding member of the Communist Labor Party of America. He refused calls to return to the White House even as a barely functional Navy tried to evacuate American civilians who were trapped by the fighting.

But Bernie’s real problems were only beginning.

In the Senate, Sanders had been notoriously ineffective sponsoring only three bills that became law. Two of them renamed Vermont post offices. He proved no more able to work with Congress once he was in the White House. Instead, surrounded by radical allies busy transforming his ambitious agenda into law through a series of controversial executive orders, Sanders showed no interest in compromising even with members of his own party. And the feeling was more than mutual.

His first attempt to ram through universal health care saw Senate Democrats joining Republicans to override his veto. Most of his other proposals met the same fate. A Sanders proposal became known as a “fifteen percenter” because it was only supported by the 15% of the House in the Progressive Caucus.

Sanders had been the only member of the Caucus in the Senate leaving him with no support there.

Despite two straight losses, Hillary Clinton had not abandoned her hopes for the White House. And she was not willing to wait until 2024. The Clinton machine’s strategy was to sabotage and undermine her enemy into retiring as a one-term president allowing her to run as the candidate who could actually fulfill his promises. And the Clinton machine held the allegiance of more Senate Democrats than Bernie.

Like Obama before him, President Sanders dealt with a congressional stalemate by forcing through his own agenda using radical allies in the bureaucracy and executive orders. But with entire states rejecting his decrees and approval ratings that were deep underwater, Sanders had reached a Constitutional breaking point in his first year in office. America was a nation divided as never before.

The Democratic Party was irrevocably splitting apart with growing talk that the Progressive Caucus and President Sanders would form their own party. And if that failed, their own nation.

In the State of the Union, President Bernie Sanders warned Americans, “This is not a government. This is not a country. This is a people’s revolution. And we will not allow anyone to undermine our revolution.”

Monday, February 15, 2016

Good Islam and Bad Islam

By On February 15, 2016
Our only hope of defeating Islamic terrorism is Islam. That’s our whole counterterrorism strategy.

But Islamic terrorism is not a separate component of Islam that can be cut off from it. Not only is it not un-Islamic, but it expresses Islamic religious imperatives. Muslim religious leaders have occasionally issued fatwas against terrorism, but terrorism for Muslim clerics, like sex for Bill Clinton, is a matter of definition. The tactics of terrorism, including suicide bombing and the murder of civilians, have been approved by fatwas from many of the same Islamic religious leaders that our establishment deems moderate. And the objective of terrorism, the subjugation of non-Muslims, has been the most fundamental Islamic imperative for the expansionistic religion since the days of Mohammed.

Our strategy, in Europe and America, under Bush and under Obama, has been to artificially subdivide a Good Islam from a Bad Islam and to declare that Bad Islam is not really Islam. Bad Islam, as Obama claims, “hijacked” a peaceful religion. Secretary of State Kerry calls Bad Islam’s followers, “apostates”. ISIS speaks for no religion. It has no religion. Which means the Islamic State must be a bunch of atheists.

Our diplomats and politicians don’t verbally acknowledge the existence of a Bad Islam. Even its name is one of those names that must not be named. There is only Good Islam. Bad Islam doesn’t even exist.

This isn’t just domestic spin, which it is, but it’s also an attempt at constructing an Islamic narrative. Our leaders don’t care what we think. They just want us to keep quiet and not offend Muslims. They do care a great deal about what Muslims think. And so, in their own clumsy way, they try to talk like Muslims.

They are attempting to participate in an Islamic debate without the requisite theological credentials. They want to tell Muslims that they should be Good Muslims not Bad Muslims, but they’re too afraid to use those words, so instead they substitute Good Muslims and Not Muslims. All Muslims are Good Muslims and Bad Muslims are Not Muslims is their Takfiri version of the No True Scotsman fallacy.

Our counterterrorism strategy has been constructed to convince Good Islam to have nothing to do with Bad Islam. And any of us who criticize Good Islam or argue that the artificial distinction between Good Islam and Bad Islam, between Saudi Arabia and ISIS, between Iran and Hezbollah, between Pakistan and the Taliban, is false are accused of provoking Good Islam to transform into Bad Islam.

Nothing so thoroughly proves that the difference between Bad Islam and Good Islam is a lie as the compulsive way that they warn that Good Muslims are capable of turning into Bad Muslims at any moment. Offend a Good Muslim, criticize his religion, fail to integrate him, accommodate his every whim and censor what he dislikes and he’ll join ISIS and then he’ll become a Bad Muslim.

After every terror attack, the media painstakingly constructs a narrative to determine why former moderates like Anwar Al-Awlaki, the Tsarnaevs or the San Bernardino killers turned bad without resorting to religious explanations. Their efforts at rationalization quickly become ridiculous; Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood killer, contracted airborne PTSD, Anwar Al-Awlaki, the head of Al Qaeda in Yemen, became an “extremist” because he was afraid the FBI had found out about his prostitutes and the Times Square bomber turned into a terrorist because his “American Dream” was ruined.

Nobody, they conclude, becomes an Islamic terrorist because of Islam. Instead there are a thousand unrelated issues, having nothing to do with Islam, which creates the Muslim terrorist. Even the term “Radical Islamic Jihadist”, an absurd circumlocution (is there a moderate Islamic Jihadist), has become a badge of courage on one side and a dangerous, irresponsible term that provokes violence on the other.

But what is the distinction between Good Islam and Bad Islam? It isn’t fighting ISIS. Al Qaeda and the Taliban do that. It isn’t terrorism. Our Muslim allies, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Turkey and Qatar, are hip deep in the terror trade. It isn’t equality for non-Muslims. No Muslim country under Sharia law could have that. Equality for women? See above.

What are the metrics that distinguish Good Islam and Bad Islam? There aren’t any. We can’t discuss the existence of Bad Islam because it would reveal that Bad Islam and Good Islam are really the same thing.

Our Good Islam allies in Pakistan fight Bad Islam’s terror, when they aren’t hiding Osama bin Laden. Bad Islam in the Islamic State beheads people and takes slaves and Good Islam in Saudi Arabia does too. Qatar is our Good Islam ally helping us fight Bad Islam terrorists by arming and funding Good Islam terrorists who sometimes turn out to be Bad Islam terrorists so we can’t figure out if the Islamic terrorists the CIA is routing weapons to are Good Islam terrorists or Bad Islam terrorists.

The moderate Muslim Brotherhood wins democratic elections. The extremist Muslim Brotherhood then burns down churches. The moderate Palestinian Authority negotiates with Israel and then the extremist Palestinian Authority cheers the stabbing of a Jewish grandmother. The moderate Iranian government signs a nuclear deal and then the extremist Iranian government calls for “Death to America”.

Like the saintly Dr. Jekyll and the mean Mr. Hyde, Good Islam and Bad Islam are two halves of the same coin. When Dr. Jekyll wanted to act out his baser nature, he took a potion and turned into Mr. Hyde. But the nasty urges were always a part of him. When a moderate Muslim pulls a Keffiyah over his face and starts stabbing, bombing or beheading, he doesn’t become an extremist, he just expresses his dark side.

Good Islam borrowed all sorts of noble sentiments from Judaism and Christianity. But when non-Muslims didn’t accept Islam, then Mohammed stopped playing nice and preached murder. Bad Islam is not something ISIS invented on a website. It’s always been a part of Islam. We attempt to separate Good Islam and Bad Islam because we don’t like being beheaded. But Muslims don’t make that distinction.

Our counterterrorism strategy is based on empowering Good Islam, on building coalitions with Muslims to fight terrorism and enlisting their cooperation in the War on Terror. But we’re trying to convince Dr. Jekyll to help us fight Mr. Hyde. And Dr. Jekyll might even help us out, until he turns into Mr. Hyde.

Our moderate Afghan Muslim allies, when they’re aren’t raping young boys (one of their cultural peculiarities we are taught to ignore), sometimes unexpectedly open fire on our soldiers. The Muslim migrants who arrive here to “enrich” our societies sometimes start shooting and bombing. The head of Al Qaeda was hanging out near the West Point of Pakistan. The mastermind of 9/11 was saved by a member of the Qatari royal family. The call is coming from inside the house. Mr. Hyde is Dr. Jekyll.

When we “empower” and “build coalitions” with Good Islam, we’re also empowering and building coalitions with Bad Islam. Just ask all the Muslim terrorists running around with our weapons.

Our leaders want Good Islam to shield us from Bad Islam. If Good Islam is out front, then Muslims won’t see a clash of civilizations or a religious war, but a war between Good Islam and Bad Islam. But the Muslim understanding of Good Islam and Bad Islam is very different from our own.

Sunnis see their Jihadis as Good Islam and Shiites as Bad Islam. Shiites look at it the other way around. The Muslim Brotherhood, that our elites were so enamored with, saw secular governments as Bad Islam. To win them over, we helped them overthrow more secular governments because our leaders had adopted an understanding of Good Islam in which giving Christians civil rights was Bad Islam.

To win over Good Islam, we censor cartoons of Mohammed and criticism of the Koran, open our borders, Islamize our institutions and then wait to see if we’re on the good side of Good Islam. We adapt our societies and legal systems to Islamic norms and hope that it’s enough to let us join the Good Islam Coalition. If we go on at this rate, the experts will tell us that the only way to defeat Islamic terrorism is for us to become Muslims. Only then will we become members in good standing of Good Islam.

There is no Good Islam and no Bad Islam, as Muslim leaders occasionally trouble to tell us. The distinction that our leaders make between Good Islam and Bad Islam is not theological, but pragmatic. They dub whatever is shooting at us right now Bad Islam and assume that everything else must be Good Islam. That is the fallacy which they used to arrive at their Tiny Minority of Extremists formula.

There is no Tiny Minority of Extremists. Behind the various tiny minorities of extremists are countries and billionaires, global organizations and Islamic banks. Outsourcing our counterterrorism strategy to the countries and ideologies behind the terrorists we’re fighting isn’t a plan, it’s a death wish.

Islamic terrorism is just what we call Islam when it’s killing us.

The Jihad isn’t coming from some phantom website. It’s coming from our Muslim allies. It’s coming from Pakistan, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. It’s coming from the Muslim Brotherhood and its front groups. It’s coming from the moderate Muslim leaders that our leaders pose with at anti-extremism conferences. And it’s coming from the mosques and homes of the Muslims living in America. There is no Good Islam. There is no Bad Islam. There is just Islam.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

To Understand Trump, You Have to Understand New York

By On February 11, 2016
The conservative consensus around Trump has solidified into, "He's the devil" or "He's our savior." Either Trump is going to destroy the establishment and save us all. Or he's secretly in league with Hillary Clinton to rig the election. There's very little room for the middle ground here.

But Trump isn't either of these things. He's just Trump. And it's important to understand who he is.  Instead of the narratives that the different sides are building around him.

Trump seems exotic in a Republican system dominated by D.C. insiders from northeastern suburbs and filled with southern and western candidates. But local politics in New York is filled with guys who have the same blend of liberal-conservative politics and talk and sound just like him.

Giuliani's political career really began with him yelling, "He blames it on me! He blames it on you! Bulls__t" at a police rally. The cops then took over City Hall chanting, "No justice, no police."

Christie's national rise began with the release of videos in which he berated union members and humiliated questioners. Republicans fell in love, at least until the infamous Obama hug happened. And yet the establishment forgets that some of its key members were begging a guy who has the same personality, attitude and style as Trump to run for president before the last election.

Call it New York values, but some of what Trump's critics object to is a New York-Jersey-Philly abrasive political style that puts a premium on "telling it like it is" at the expense of civility and sometimes substance. You can catch Bill O'Reilly doing the same thing on FOX News.

It's disingenuous for the establishment to pretend that Trump is some sort of complete break from civility. It's not. It's just New York Values taken to their most obnoxious extreme. If the establishment thought that President Chris "Numbn__s" Christie had enough class, why not Trump? 

But the trouble with the common sense tough guy style in urban politics is that it compensates for weakness elsewhere. Giuliani and Christie were very tough in one specific area. In Giuliani's case that was crime and it was such a major issue for the city that some of his more liberal positions didn't matter. In national politics, those positions did matter when Giuliani ran for president.

But the positions did matter even in local politics. Giuliani did a great job cleaning up the city, but he didn't change the system. Today the city is once again wholly run by the left-wing machine. And if you don't change the system, then all you're doing is buying a little more time.

That's arguably the only thing Republicans have really been doing anyway since FDR.

The other thing to understand about this style of politics is that it reactively taps into the frustrations that people have toward the system. It doesn't offer a political insider critique of it, but a man on the street shout. Sometimes the people doing that understand the issues very well. They're just pitching it at the level of the angry voter.

But what makes Trump so frustrating is that he actually seems to be reacting. No one really believes that Obama finds out about his scandals from the media. It's plausible though that Trump arrives at his positions by watching FOX News or clicking through the Drudge Report and reacting to what he sees. If you listen to his explanation for his shift on Syrian migrants, that seems to be what happened.

The power of the reactive style is that it channels the exact same reactions that people had when hearing about some of the more shocking implications and facts about Syrian migrants, and realizing that another position was not only possible, but made more sense.

The average Republican voter is not a policy expert. Like Trump, he's often learning about some of these things for the first time. Trump is excellent at capturing that bar/barbershop angry reaction and it may even be completely authentic. His responses are much more relatable than that of the politician or the expert who already understands the issue. But reacting isn't leadership. Leaders are supposed to understand the issue. And when you can't know everything, you need to work from firm principles.

Here some conservatives object that Trump channels a conservative outrage machine, rather than conservative principles. And they're probably right. He isn't the only candidate in the race doing that. Conservatives won their victories by mobilizing outrage, not through position papers. Conservative candidates in the race have turned to the right because of pressure from the base.

The trouble with Trump though is that he has no positions, only reactions. Beyond the outrage, his actual plans grow vague or backtrack. Obama loves calling his think tank leftist plans "common sense". Trump's plans actually are common sense, but they're a common sense produced by some combination of FOX News, unknown websites and chats with some of his friends.

And they're liable to change depending on whom he talks to and what he reads and watches.

What are Trump's plans for health care? The details are vague. But they're going to be whatever he thinks is a common sense solution. And the same thing is true all the way down the line.

But at the same time dismissing Trump's political skills is foolish and wrong. Trump has managed to do what no Republican in fifteen years had accomplished.

There's a simple fact that is key to understanding why Trump is winning. He's the first Republican presidential candidate since Bush II to lay out a positive, specific and easy to understand plan for making things better. Cruz has plan for eliminating everything Obama did. Rubio has a vague plan for being really positive about America. Jeb Bush can barely articulate a message at all.

Bush II's compassionate conservatism was a mess. But the point isn't who is right. The point is what works. Ever since Obama's victory, I have argued that Republicans desperately need a positive agenda that connects with working class Americans who are worried about the economy.

Whether or not Trump's plan would work in real life is also not the point. The messaging is.

Trump is labeled as a destructive candidate, yet he's the only one to have grasped the most basic principle of politics, which is that you have to tell people how you will improve their lives in a way that is easy for them to understand and remember. Trump has done that. His rivals haven't.

Republican dysfunction and left-wing extremism made Trump's candidacy happen. And that's usually how Republicans get ahead in New York. Trump is doing nationally what successful Republican candidates do locally, bypass a broken New York party organization and make their own campaign happen. Giuliani did it. So did Bloomberg, despite having zero conservative credentials.

In New York, the GOP is not going to make your campaign happen. You have to make your campaign happen, often by fighting an apathetic and rotten GOP establishment, while doing everything on your own. Trump is just running the same type of campaign nationally.

Overall, Trump becomes much easier to understand if you understand New York.

Tough talking socially liberal, fiscally conservative, sorta Republican candidates who operate outside the party bubble and push the rhetoric as hard as they can through the other side are the norm here.

New York values recently became a controversy. Even though New Yorkers don't like Trump (his
negative approval rating is in the seventies), he's a perfect representative of a particular type that is independent, drifting between parties, that believes in strong leadership, abroad and at home, that wants more social services, but lower taxes, a strong military, but without the nation building, that has no strong religious attachments, but a certain sense of public decency, that sounds working class while running a successful business, and that gets his view of the world from the New York Post and the Daily News morning paper reads. There are contradictions and hypocrisies in that mix, but also a set of values, if not ideas. It's a Democratic-Republican mix that may sometimes vote for Democrats, but that watches FOX News, because it's the closest thing to a fit for its worldview.

The rise of Trump is not that baffling if you understand that dysfunction, national, movement and party, has consequences. And in this case, the consequence is that the 2016 election is being dominated by New York candidates and worldviews. New York Values are a difficult thing to describe and boil down. But it does seem as if New York Values will determine this election.

The D.C. establishment has been widely rejected in both parties. Disgust and hatred for the establishment has tainted the capital. Political power centers around cities. We may well be looking at a national election defined by three insurgent New York candidates, Trump, Sanders and Bloomberg.

New York has the money. It's also a melting pot of ideas. Trump, Sanders and Bloomberg encompass the range of politics in the city, from the radical Socialist left to a man-on-the-street Republican reaction to the technocratic man of the middle ground who promises to split the difference. None of this has worked out too well for New York. Only time will tell how well it will work out for America.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

How Iran Took Obama Hostage

By On February 10, 2016
Obama and his political allies seek normalization with Iran. They are unconcerned with Iran’s nuclear weapons programs or its support for terrorism and they are willing to provide fig leaves for these and other threats by the Shiite terror state to the United States and to the rest of the free world.

 Iran, however, is looking to escalate its conflict with the United States. Perversely, normalization is the best strategy for escalating a conflict with the United States while extracting maximum benefit from it.

Without normalization, Iran has few options for escalating its conflict with America. Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) generals are fanatics, but they know that they cannot win a major military conflict with the United States. Instead, the IRGC terror hub seeks to carry out attacks that hurt the United States, but in ways that fall short of summoning up a full American military reprisal.

Under Obama, Iran has more options than ever because the United States is now willing to tolerate what it would not have tolerated in the past. But excessive escalation would still risk a scenario in which even a pro-Iranian administration would be left with no choice but to strike back at Iran. And Iran remembers the lessons of Operation Praying Mantis all too well. It has nothing to gain by losing billions in precious military equipment while the United States demonstrates its superior firepower.

Iran’s terror attacks have traditionally depended on a degree of plausible deniability. Shiite militias backed by the IRGC, from Hezbollah to the latest kidnappers of Americans in Baghdad, do the dirty work. Iran would supply IEDs to terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan killing 500 Americans. It would provide a certain degree of training and aid to Al Qaeda, but without direct involvement in its attacks.

Iran would indirectly kill hundreds and even thousands of Americans, but with enough distance that it did not have to fear Americans bombers flying over Tehran. Under the same strategic logic, it may pass on nuclear materials to terrorists to use against the United States as long as it doesn’t fear retaliation.

Normalization, however, allows Iran to take its war against the United States to the next level.

In the deadlier phase of plausible deniability, the victims of Iranian terror have been so compromised that the affected governments themselves treasonously lead the cover-up of Iranian terror attacks.

A classic example of this, the bombing of the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, an attack which everyone knows that Iran is responsible for, but which the local authorities were motivated to cover up because of their entanglement with Iran. Twenty years later, the cover-up led to the murder of a prosecutor who was investigating his own government’s complicity in covering up the attack.

This is what normalization accomplishes. Like the former Argentinean government, the Democrats have been compromised by their support for the Iran deal. The process began earlier when they decided to turn against the Iraq War and make outreach to the enemy into their foreign policy. Obama and other Senate Democrats refused to brand the IRGC a terrorist organization despite its role in the mass murder of American soldiers. Now they have to excuse the IRGC’s abuse of captured American sailors and any other attacks by the Shiite terror state to protect their act of collaboration in the dirty deal with Iran.

Normalization is more properly named collaboration. The collaborator is a traitor who has to excuse his treason by rationalizing the atrocities of the enemy. Iran’s Democratic Party collaborators have to explain how “nice” Iran is being by releasing American hostages. Like all collaborators, the traitors emphasize the benevolence of the enemy while overlooking the crime that benevolence is based on. They trumpet their success in getting special favors from the enemy as proof that collaboration works.

Kerry rushed to thank Iran for freeing the hostages without ever addressing the fact that taking the hostages was itself a crime. Instead of dealing with the original crime, the Democrats, like all traitors, rush to accuse opponents of being extremists who seek conflict over diplomacy. This was the same exact argument that Communist collaborators with Hitler during the era of the Soviet-Nazi pact directed at the West. It was the same argument that British anti-war activists aimed at domestic opponents of Hitler.

Democrats believe that they are engaged in a process of normalization with Iran. Senator Bernie Sanders called for Obama to “move as aggressively as we can to normalize relations with Iran”. But Iran is interested in normalization only as leverage for entangling the United States in further crises. So Iran might allow the reopening an embassy in Tehran, but only because it would give it more hostages.

While the left seeks to normalize relations with Iran, the Shiite terror state seeks to manufacture a steady stream of crises that interrupt normalization, but which it will be rewarded for resolving.

Sometimes this means literally taking hostages. But it always means taking the process of normalization hostage by creating a crisis. This crisis might be a deliberate violation of an agreement, a weapons test or even an attack. The diplomats rush for their calfskin briefcases and the latest crisis is resolved. Iran gets what it wants and leftist diplomats claim that the end of the latest crisis is proof diplomacy works.

They carefully avoid the question of why the latest crisis occurred or why there are so many of them.

This is the diplomatic version of an abusive relationship. Iran slaps around Obama, but when the cops arrive, Obama curses out the cops and yells that everything is fine. When the cops take Obama aside, he explains that it’s the hardliner IRGC side of Iran that is abusive, but that he’s in a relationship with the loving moderate side of Iran that doesn’t really mean it when it shouts “Death to America.”

It’s not just an episode of COPS. It’s also what the Democratic Party’s foreign policy looks like now.

If you think normalization with Iran is bad now, imagine an Iranian terror attack on American soil that kills 85 people and leads to a cover-up of such massive proportions that it includes the murder of a top prosecutor. It happened in Argentina. It would be foolish to imagine that it couldn’t happen here.

Ever since the nuclear deal, Iran has been escalating its provocations. The IRGC is confident enough to imprison and humiliate American sailors. How long will it take until it’s confident enough to carry out a major terrorist attack in the United States? If “normalization” continues, we may find out.

Normalization creates more opportunities for Iran to manufacture crises of every size. Every American in Iran or in territory controlled by IRGC militias, such as Baghdad, is a potential hostage. Every American vessel, civilian or military, is a potential target. But the biggest hostage is the diplomatic process.

Iran’s biggest hostage is the wishful thinking of Western traitors. No amount of human hostages could possibly give the terror state as much leverage as being able to fulfill or deny their diplomatic dreams.

As long as Democrats and Eurocrats continue to focus on the impossible objective of full normalization with a Jihadist state that literally believes they are the devil, they will ignore almost any Iranian provocation or attack as just another bump on the road to diplomatic utopia.

This is how normalization becomes collaboration. It’s how diplomacy turns into treason.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

The Traditionalist Rebel

By On February 06, 2016
Leftist movements begin with rebellion and end with conformity. No Utopian movement can tolerate rebels for long because there is no room for dissent in paradise. An ideal society, the goal of leftist political movements, not only has no room for war, racism, greed and all the other evils the conformist paradises of the left hope to eliminate, it also has no room for disagreement.

The perfect society and its perfect ideology are also the perfect tyranny. Against this Utopian collectivism, which promises paradise and delivers a prison, is the traditionalist rebel who finds virtue in the acknowledgement of human flaws rather than in the unthinking pursuit of an unchanging perfection.

The traditionalist rebel is not seeking perfection, but humanity. He is a skeptical idealist who is interested in character rather than movements. He is above all else an individualist with an instinctive distrust of any movement that requires him to abandon his rights for the greater good.

The traditionalist rebel is the snake in the liberal Eden because he does not have faith in the noble motives of the bureaucratic activists who claim to be the gods of this Eden. He knows enough of human nature to reject the fallacy that the right ideology makes men so righteous that they can be trusted with absolute power without absolute corruption following in their wake. He knows that socialists have not risen above the crimes of selfish self interest that they condemn mankind for.

Their Utopian Eden is a false paradise built on lies and maintained by abuses. It is not the paradise where mankind can return to a state of innocence, but a hell whose innocence is only a willful ignorance of the crimes being committed in its name, whose followers maintain their false virtue through a steady diet of moral outrage over the crimes of everyone but their own superiors and their own ideology.

The traditionalist rebel values innocence, but has learned the lessons of experience. He knows that virtue is an individual struggle and that it cannot be achieved through self deceit. He has learned long ago that we do not become better people by lying to ourselves.

He has built his character by being honest with himself and he does not believe that any man is infallible enough to demand blind faith or that any movement which punishes even the mildest dissent is anything but the worst self of humankind wrapped in deceit and self deceit.

The traditionalist rebel does not believe that collectivist institutions can make us moral. He relies instead on individual institutions of character and honor, empathy and morality. He trusts people individually to do the right thing more than any government. And when he has to trust institutions, he prefers those that are built on honor and integrity, and on simple decency, than those tangled mazes of academic theory whose premises followed to their terrible conclusions assert that human beings are expendable for the sake of utopian ideologies.

It is his individualism that makes the traditionalist rebel so ornery. He has natural anti authoritarian instincts, he demands reasons for restrictions and has a tendency to defy for the sake of defiance. And yet he is not a destroyer, but a builder, he does not want to smash things for the sake of smashing, instead he smashes that which prevents him from building his own values and his own relationships.

Unlike his leftist rebel enemies, he does not fight to impose his system on others, but to defy their attempts to impose their system on him. That is why he is an authentic rebel and they are aristo tyrants playing at being rebels because even bad guys hate seeming like bad guys.

The traditionalist rebel is slow to anger. Unlike the social justice warrior and the crybully, he does not derive his sense of self from manufactured conflicts only meant to reinforce a collective identity, but from his own values. His anger is patient, but also more decisive. It is not the fanatical hysteria of the neurotic leftist who, like the Mohammedan suicide bomber sees paradise in the destruction of perceived enemies, but is a cold, hard determination to be free of them.

It is not the leftist Utopian who wants freedom, but the traditionalist rebel who sees his right to speak, to worship, to marry and raise children, to protect his family and his home, and to go through his life without being accountable to anyone but G-d and his conscience every minute of the day, instead of the ears, eyes and tentacles of government, under attack who truly fights for freedom.

The traditionalist rebel values structure that derives from his own values. He does not believe that mankind can be saved by an external police state, but by the awakening of the authentic voice of the internal conscience. Like America's Founders, he believes that we should build institutions with faith in the Creator and skepticism toward man.

He knows that we cannot make paradise happen by being dishonest about human nature and pretending that the snake of our worst impulses is our god. And so he is naturally skeptical of any grandiose effort at global and national improvement over the improvement of the self that pretend that a better world can be built out of the same materials as the old through sheer collective organization.

The traditionalist rebel is not interested in a better world, but a better self which can be used cooperatively in the building of a better family, a better community and perhaps, a better future, not through top down regulation, but through daily interaction.

Systems are by definition inhuman. Utopian ideologies scale them higher and bigger, nationally and globally, making them ever more inhuman. The traditionalist rebel instinctively rebels against inhuman systems in favor of human connections, he rejects centralized authority for local authority, unelected officials for elected ones, national regulations for human values and mandates for conscience.

At every turn, the traditionalist rebel seeks to scale down issues to character while the leftist authoritarian seeks to scale them up to institutions. This is the conflict that will decide our future.

Will we be a human nation or a massive system? Will we continue to be a nation of individualist rebels or a collectivist nightmare of frightened, angry drones who are convinced that utopia is one more purge away.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Will Banning Muslim Migration Ruin the Anti-ISIS Coalition?

By On February 02, 2016
The most common attack on proposals to end Muslim migration to the United States is that this policy would somehow interfere with the coalition to fight ISIS.

Lindsey Graham asked, “How do you go to any of these countries and build a coalition when your policy is simply because you’re a Muslim you can’t come to America?” “This policy is a policy that makes it impossible to build the coalition necessary to take out ISIS," Jeb Bush objected.

The White House agreed, “We have an over-60-country coalition fighting with a substantial number of Muslim-majority fighters who are absolutely essential to succeeding in that effort.”

But there are two things wrong with this argument.

First, no Muslim country or faction is fighting ISIS because they like us. They’re not doing us any favors. They’re protecting themselves from the Islamic State.

The insistence of ISIS that it is the supreme authority over all Muslims has even led it into battles with Al Qaeda and the Taliban. No one fighting ISIS is doing it because of our immigration policy. Jeb Bush referenced the Kurds. The Kurds want their own homeland. Those who want to come to America don’t want to fight ISIS. Those who want to fight ISIS aren’t looking to move to Dearborn or Jersey City.

Second, Muslim countries in the anti-ISIS coalition have much harsher immigration policies for Christians than anything that Donald Trump or Ted Cruz have proposed for Muslims.

When Obama gave his speech, the first Muslim country he mentioned in the coalition was Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia bans all religions except Islam. No churches are allowed in Saudi Arabia. Christmas parties are targeted with police raids. Converting to Christianity is punishable by death. Non-Muslims are entirely banned from some Saudi cities and the legal system discriminates against them.

Saudi Arabia also engages in blatant racial discrimination and denies basic civil rights to women. And yet there are no problems with having Saudi Arabia in the anti-ISIS coalition. Certainly the Saudis don’t worry that we’ll drop out of the coalition because they ban Christianity.

Other Muslim anti-ISIS coalition members include Turkey, whose leader threatened to ethnically cleanse Armenians, Egypt, where discrimination against Christians has led to government persecution, the UAE and Qatar, where churches are not allowed to display crosses, and Somalia, which banned Christmas.

Saudi Arabia’s Islamic justice system is often indistinguishable from ISIS. Turkey and Qatar’s governments have ties to Al Qaeda. Both also have alleged ties to ISIS.

And they are the core of Obama’s Muslim anti-ISIS coalition members.

Why exactly does the United States have to worry about meeting their standards for accommodating Muslims, when they have no interest in meeting our standards for the treatment of Christians?

Muslim coalition countries routinely block citizenship for non-Muslims, some forbid marriages to non-Muslims, yet we’re expected to provide citizenship to hundreds of thousands of Muslims, many of whom support ISIS, Al Qaeda or the Muslim Brotherhood, just to maintain this coalition?

What use is an anti-ISIS coalition that not only forbids us to protect our own national security interests, but actually demands that we undermine them to accommodate some larger Islamic agenda?

But despite claims by Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham and the White House, the anti-ISIS coalition has no interest in our immigration policy. Its Muslim components are divided into local militias and regional powers. The militias are fighting ISIS for the sake of their own interests and their own survival. All they want from us are guns and they don’t care about our immigration policy. The regional powers want us to overthrow Assad. Their own interests, not our immigration policy, are their priorities.

The majority of the Muslim anti-ISIS coalition hates us. Some members actually sponsor terrorism against us. We will not alienate them with a migration ban because they are not our friends.

The Muslim countries in the coalition against ISIS are absolutely unashamed of putting their own religious and national identities first. Yet Bush, Graham and the White House would have us believe that we will destroy any coalition with them against ISIS if we put ourselves first for once.

We need to stop worrying about offending Muslim countries that deny Christians and Jews basic human rights and start looking out for our interests, our own security and our own welfare.

Not only won’t this weaken the coalition against ISIS, it will make it stronger. Countries can be united by shared values or shared interests. No matter how much presidents from both parties may pretend, we have no values in common with Saudi Arabia. We are not united with it or the rest of the Muslim members of the coalition by shared religious or cultural values. We are occasionally united with them by shared interests. It’s time that we were honest about that with them and ourselves.

Jeb Bush’s pretense that we must have shared values to have shared interests is a common foreign policy fallacy. Instead of trying to build shared interests around shared values such as democracy or interfaith dialogue that we clearly do not share with them, we should just focus on our interests.

Saudi Arabia is a brutal totalitarian monarchy that hates everything that we care about from our religion to our way of life. Picture anything from a 4th of July barbecue to Christmas and the Saudis will have banned everything from the beer to the pork chops to the men and women sitting together.

But we both hate ISIS and that’s all that we really need for a coalition against it.

If we are ever going to have an adult relationship with the Muslim world, it will be based on our interests, not values. It will work because both sides know exactly what they are getting out of it.

The Muslim world wants to know what to expect from us. It hates Obama because of his unreliability. To them, his political ideology resembles some species of mysticism which they do not share. It much prefers an arrangement based on mutual interests over our misguided mystical attempts to discover shared values by pretending that Islam is just Christianity misspelled.

It’s not an immigration ban that poses a threat to the coalition, it’s the insistence that shared values come before shared interests. If we are to have shared values with a Muslim coalition, that requires us to prosecute blasphemy against Islam, provide a special status to Muslims and a lower status to non-Muslims. Such an approach is incompatible with our own values, yet we have begun doing just that. Locking up filmmakers and condemning cartoonists has given us more in common with Saudi Arabia and ISIS. And it would be unfortunate if we had to become an Islamic state to fight the Islamic State.

We can best fight ISIS by being a free nation. There is no use in defeating ISIS just to become ISIS. That will not prevent us from joining coalitions of shared interests with anyone else, but it will stop us from trying to find shared values with Islamic tyrannies of the axe, burka and sword. A ban on Muslim migration will allow us to fight ISIS abroad instead of fighting ISIS and becoming ISIS at home.

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