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Sunday, April 29, 2018

Trump's International Art of the Deal

By On April 29, 2018
It’s really not that complicated.

But President Trump’s Syria strikes have reopened the debate over what defines his foreign policy. Is he an interventionist or an isolationist? Foreign policy experts claim that he’s making it up as he goes along.

But they’re not paying attention.

President Trump’s foreign policy has two consistent elements. From threatening Kim Jong-Un on Twitter to moving the embassy to Jerusalem to bombing Syria, he applies pressure and then he disengages.

Here’s how that works.

First, Trump pressures the most intransigent and hostile side in the conflict. Second, he divests the United States from the conflict leaving the relevant parties to find a way to work it out.

North Korea had spent decades using its nuclear program to bully its neighbors and the United States. Previous administrations had given the Communist dictatorship $1.3 billion in aid to keep it from developing its nuclear program. These bribes failed because they incentivized the nuclear program.

Nukes are the only thing keeping North Korea from being just another failed Communist dictatorship.

Instead, Trump called North Korea’s bluff. He ignored all the diplomatic advice and ridiculed its regime. He made it clear that the United States was not afraid of North Korean nukes. The experts shrieked. They warned that Kim Jong-Un wouldn’t take this Twitter abuse and we would be in for a nuclear war.

But the Norks folded.

The Communist regime held high level talks with the United States and South Korea. It’s reportedly planning to announce an official end to the war. That probably won’t amount to much in the long term, but it shifts more of the responsibility for the conflict away from the United States and to the Koreas.

Trump accomplished more with a few tweets than previous administrations had with billions of dollars.

An instinctive negotiator, Trump’s realpolitik genius lay not in ideology, but in grasping the core negotiating strategy of the enemy and then negating it by taking away its reason not to make a deal.

When Trump called North Korea’s bluff, its nuclear weapons program was transformed from an asset that it used to blackmail aid from its potential targets into a liability that could end with its destruction.

Trump did the same thing with Jerusalem.

The PLO had refused to make a deal with Israel because its constant refusals to negotiate allowed it to keep escalating its demands. The more it sabotaged negotiations, the better the offers became.

The PLO’s Palestinian Authority didn’t have nukes, but its weapon of choice was terrorism. And it had played the same game as North Korea for decades. It would begin negotiations, demand payoffs, then sabotage negotiations, threaten violence, and demand an even higher payoff for ending the violence.

The PLO/PA knew that it could get the best possible deal by not making a deal.

Just like North Korea, Trump cut the PLO down to size by negating its negotiating strategy. Instead of the deal getting better and better, Trump showed that it would get worse by taking Jerusalem off the table.

Previous administrations had rewarded the PLO/PA for its refusal to make a deal by sweetening the pot. Instead Trump threatened to take away Jerusalem, the biggest prize in the pot. And then he warned that the PLO would lose even more of its demands if the terrorist group continued to refuse to make a deal.

Unlike Clinton, Bush and Obama, Trump did not overcompensate for the US-Israel relationship by pressuring the Jewish State to make a deal with the PLO so as to seem like an “honest broker”. Instead he leveraged that relationship to move the United States away from the conflict.

Moving the embassy to Jerusalem sends the signal that the US-Israel relationship doesn’t depend on a deal with the PLO. That’s the opposite of the messages that Clinton, Bush and Obama had sent.

Their old failed diplomacy that made the US-Israel relationship dependent on a deal with the PLO had given the terrorists control over our foreign policy. The US and Israel were perversely forced into appeasing the terrorists of the PLO just to be able to maintain a relationship with each other.

Trump kicked the PLO out of the driver’s seat. And the terrorist group is becoming isolated.

Saudi Arabia and its allies are much more focused on Iran than the old proxy war against Israel. And, for the moment, that leaves the PLO with few allies. If it doesn’t make a deal, then the United States will rebuild its relationship with Israel around regional security issues. And the Saudis have signaled that they are willing to do the same thing. Then everyone else exits the conflict except Israel and the PLO.

Trump left it to the South Koreans to decide the conflict with North Korea. Ditto for Israel.

The United States will put forward proposals, but the long game is to get America out these conflicts. And Trump does that by turning the United States from an eager mediator to a bully with a big stick.

He made it clear to Kim Jong-Un that he would have a much easier time negotiating with South Korea than with America. And he’s made it equally clear to the PLO that it’s better off turning to Israel than to its allies in the State Department. The message is, “You don’t want to get the United States involved.”

Previous administrations believed that the United States had an integral role in resolving every conflict. President Trump’s America First policy seeks to limit our involvement in foreign conflicts without robbing us of our influence by making those interventions as decisive and abrasive as possible.

It breaks every rule of contemporary diplomacy. But it has plenty of historical precedents. And it works.

President Trump wants to get out of Syria. But he doesn’t want to hand Iran another win. And he doesn’t want to get the United States bogged down in another disastrous regional conflict.

So, just like in North Korea and Israel, he sent a decisive message of strength.

The strikes were a reminder that unlike his predecessor, he was not afraid of using force. But just as in North Korea and Israel, the show of strength was only a lever for disengaging from the conflict.

Instead, Trump wants to bring in an “Arab force” to stabilize parts of Syria. That would checkmate Iran, split Syria between the Shiites and Sunnis, and ‘Arabize’ the conflict while getting America out of it.

The threat of more strikes would give an Arab force credibility without an actual American commitment.

And the threat of a Sunni Arab force is meant to pressure Assad into making a deal that would limit Iran’s influence over Syria. If Assad wants to restore complete control over Syria, he’ll have to make a deal with the Sunnis inside or outside his country. And that will limit Iran’s influence and power in Syria.

The debates over chemical attacks were never the real issue. Keeping weapons like that out of the hands of terror-linked states like Syria is good policy. But there was a much bigger picture.

Iran took advantage of the Obama era to expand its power and influence. Trump wants to roll back Iranian expansionism while limiting American exposure to the conflict. Once again he’s using a show of strength to mobilize the local players into addressing the problem while keeping his future plans vague.

Assad’s biggest reason for refusing to make a deal was that Iran’s backing made his victory inevitable. Iran and Hezbollah had paid a high price for winning in Syria. But they were unquestionably winning. The only thing that could change that is direct American intervention. And Trump wants Assad to fear it.

Trump is offering Assad the rule of his country. But to get it, he has to dump his biggest partner.

When Trump came into office, the two bad options were arming the Sunni Jihadis or letting Iran’s Shiite Jihadis win. Instead Trump has come up with a third option. Either keep the war going or force a deal.

Either the conflict will drag on, but with minimal American involvement. Or Assad will sell out Iran.

None of these are ideal options. But there are no good options. Not in North Korea, Israel or Syria. The Norks and the PLO aren’t likely to reform. Syria, like Iraq, will stay divided between feuding Islamic sects. None of these problems will go away at the negotiating table. And Trump understands that.

Trump is too much of a dealmaker to believe in the unlimited promise of diplomatic agreements. He knows that it takes leverage not just to make a deal, but to keep it in place. And he doesn’t believe that the United States can make a deal work when a key player really doesn’t want the deal to happen.

Trump’s Art of the International Deal identifies the roadblocks to previous agreements, breaks them down, puts the local players in the driver’s seat and then makes fixing the problem into their problem.

Obama’s people dubbed his failed diplomacy, “Smart Power”. Call Trump’s diplomacy, “Deal Power.”

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

Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation.

Thank you for reading.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Fresno State's Hate Problem

By On April 23, 2018
2017 was a bad year at Fresno State. 2018 looks to be even worse.

In the winter of last year, Lars Maischak had tweeted, "To save American democracy, Trump must hang. The sooner and the higher, the better. #TheResistance."

The next day he inquired, “Has anyone started soliciting money and design drafts for a monument honoring the Trump assassin, yet?”

Toward the end of the week, he proposed the mass murder of Republicans, “Justice = The execution of two Republicans for each deported immigrant.”

Maischak was a history adjunct at Fresno State whose topics had included, “Marx and Hegel for Historians.”

President Castro eventually clarified that calls to murder the President of the United States and millions of Republicans, “do not reflect the position of the University.”

Castro failed to clearly condemn Maischak’s murderous tweets. Instead Maischak took a voluntary leave “conducting research off campus”. His university faculty page appears to be active.

Had an adjunct called for the murder of Obama, the reaction would have been very different.

Now, Randa Jarrar, a tenured Muslim professor in Fresno State's Department of English, responded to Barbara Bush's death by calling the deceased 92-year-old woman a "racist".

“I’m happy the witch is dead,” she gloated. "Can’t wait for the rest of her family to fall to their demise."

“I will never be fired,” Jarrar then boasted in a tweet that tagged President Castro.

Once again, President Castro stepped forward to announce that Jarrar’s jeering of a deceased woman and her mourning family was not made as a “representative of Fresno State.”

But you have to wonder about that.

"One set of tweets, as horrible as they were, do not define us," Castro claimed.

But Randa Jarrar has an ugly history long predating her latest controversy. Jarrar is a notorious BDS activist whose campaigns against Israel could cross the line into a defense of Islamic terrorists.

Jarrar had signed on to a letter condemning Israel for fighting back against Hamas. Among other disturbing claims, its signatories declared that they reject the idea "that Hamas is an irredeemable terrorist organization" and "recognize Hamas as a democratically elected ruling party."

Hamas is a genocidal Islamic terrorist group that has called for the mass murder of Jews.

The first signatory to the letter was Steven Salaita: the infamous racist who lost a job offer at the University of Illinois after celebrating the kidnapping of three Jewish teens murdered by Hamas.

"Zionists: transforming "antisemitism" from something horrible into something honorable since 1948," he later tweeted.

Another signatory was Amiri Baraka who lost his New Jersey poet laureate gig after claiming that the Jews had been warned to stay home on 9/11. Another famously anti-Semitic poem of his read, “I got the extermination blues, jew-boys. I got the Hitler syndrome figured... So come for the rent, jewboys.”

Matters turned ugly at Fresno State last year when Jews were blamed for an academic turf battle over the Edward Said Chair in Middle East Studies. Edward Said, a terrorist supporter and academic fraud, has often been a lightning rod. But this time the lightning had a distinctly anti-Semitic flavor. The “Jewish community” and “Jewish faculty” were variously blamed for Fresno State’s failure to fill the chair.

The truth though was that departmental disputes had held up the process not a Jewish conspiracy. But Randa Jarrar had instead circulated conspiracy theories and threatened that, “any other outcome will... will alienate faculty like myself and will severely damage our campus's reputation across the world.”

But Jarrar has already done more to severely damage Fresno State’s reputation than anyone else could.

And Jarrar, like Maischak, isn’t an aberration.

2017 wasn’t just a bad year because of Maischak. It was also the year that Greg Thatcher, an assistant professor of public health, decided to encourage his class to vandalize pro-life chalk messages while declaring, “College campuses are not free speech areas.” The resulting lawsuit noted that, “Thatcher returned with a group of approximately seven to ten Fresno State students. Acting at his direction, these students erased, obscured, and defaced Plaintiffs’ messages. One of them even stole Plaintiffs’ chalk and used it to write pro-abortion messages on the sidewalks.” The lawsuit was settled for $17,000.

Maischak, Jarrar and Thatcher are symptoms of the sickness at Fresno State.

Fresno is part of the California State University system. And yet despite that it’s a place where hatred thrives. Why did Randa Jarrar feel so confident that she could not only spew hate at a dying woman but misdirect critics to a suicide hotline number undermining its work saving lives by answering phone calls?

“I will never be fired,” Jarrar had gloatingly tweeted.

Fresno State’s spokeswoman could only convolutedly respond, "To answer the technical question: Can she not be fired? The answer is no."

Lars Maischak wasn’t fired after calling for the murder of the President of the United States. Greg Thatcher wasn’t fired after encouraging his students to erase the free speech of other students.

Randa Jarrar had every reason in the world to believe that she wouldn’t be fired. And she still does.

"This was beyond free speech. This was disrespectful," President Castro said of Jarrar's tweet.

As ugly as Jarrar’s tweets were, why were they worse than Maischak’s murderous rants? Maischak’s calls for Trump’s death actually resulted in an investigation by the Secret Service. But Castro responded by expressing appreciation for his unapologetic apology. How did Jarrar go further beyond free speech?

Barbara Bush was an apolitical and likable personality who had just passed away. The outrage over Jarrar’s comments came from a broader spectrum than the anger over Maischak’s tweets.

What Maischak did was more unacceptable legally, but more acceptable socially.

Calling for President Trump’s murder is more socially acceptable on the left than mocking Barbara Bush’s death. President Castro wasn’t concerned about the legality or decency of the tweets. He was reacting to the public perception of them among the demographic with the biggest sway on campus.

But Jarrar’s hatred came out of the same academic safe space where Maischak’s ravings had been nurtured. The lack of decisive action in the Maischak and Thatcher cases sent Jarrar the message that she had nothing to worry about. And the aftermath of both cases testify that she really doesn’t.

After an investigation, some sort of half-hearted apology (that will eventually be disavowed), a bone thrown to the outraged critics, everything will be back to the way it was. And Jarrar will go on indoctrinating vulnerable young minds with her twisted hateful thoughts about America and Israel.

That’s the best case scenario.

The likeliest outcome is that Jarrar’s colleagues, in and out of Fresno State, will rally to her defense. They will claim that the entire controversy was stirred up by Islamophobic sites against a Muslim professor. Jarrar will claim that she was the victim of numerous death threats. The media will switch to covering the supposed death threats. Just as in the Salaita and Maischak cases, they will obscure what she said.

Petitions will denounce President Castro for surrendering to “Islamophobes” by criticizing Jarrar.

As an older, tenured professor wired into an anti-Israel activist circle and the PEN gang, Randa Jarrar has far more support options. And she will continue collecting the $100,000 salary that she bragged about.

And Fresno State will go on serving as a safe space for faculty who don’t just hate, but lust for death.

“Execution of two Republicans for each deported immigrant” Lars Maischak had tweeted.

"Can’t wait for the rest of her family to fall to their demise,” Randa Jarrar tweeted.

This isn’t just hate. These are calls for death. For the murder and demise of living people.

Fresno State has gone beyond nurturing radicals and is providing a safe space for a murderous cult of Islamic and leftist hate. It’s not enough for President Castro to disavow their words and walk away.

There must be an investigation that explores why Fresno State has become a safe space for hate. And why its faculty feel comfortable and confident calling for the deaths of their political opponents.

Because it’s hate, not the campus winery or planetarium, that Fresno State is becoming known for.

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. And click here to support my work with a donation.

Thank you for reading.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Big Banks Target the Bill of Rights

By On April 22, 2018
The American people lent $45 billion to Bank of America during the bailout. That bailout came with a hefty $100 billion guarantee against losses on toxic assets.

That money came from American taxpayers. It came from gun owners and non-gun owners.

But Bank of America has warned that it will refuse to lend money to manufacturers of “assault-style guns”. It had previously announced it was edging away from the coal business to fight global warming.

Citigroup got $476 billion in cash and guarantees: the most of any bank. Now Citibank is repaying the generosity of the American people by requiring its clients to impose their own gun control policies on their stores. Impose gun control on your customers or Citibank will discriminate against you.

Next up is Wells Fargo. The stagecoach brand has said that it’s up to the government to impose gun control, but that it is discussing gun safety with its clients. That’s not enough for outraged activists. The American Federation of Teachers, an organization that runs on extorting money from teachers and taxpayers, warned Wells Fargo that it had to choose between firearms manufacturers and the AFT.

Bank of America announced its move to Bloomberg. The eponymous media outlet is associated with the billionaire sugar daddy of the anti-second amendment lobby. That wasn’t a coincidence. Neither was Citigroup making its announcement through Ed Skyler, Bloomberg’s former Deputy Mayor.

This phase of the pressure campaign got its start from a New York Times column by Andrew Ross Sorkin which wondered, "What if the finance industry — credit card companies ... credit card processors ... and banks ... were to effectively set new rules for the sales of guns in America?"

If the banks wouldn’t play ball, then their biggest customers, "McDonald’s, Starbucks, Apple, Amazon, AT&T, CVS and others" would be pressured into pressuring them. That way a few corporations could decide which parts of the Constitution they’ll write out of existence in their Terms of Service.

And then Sorkin began calling up chief execs to discuss his bright idea for corporate government. They included Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat who had served on Obama's Advisory Council on Financial Capability and had hosted a retreat featuring Hillary Clinton. Citigroup had a long relationship with the Clintons and had warned that Trump’s victory could lead to an economic “slowdown”.

A follow-up article suggested modifying merchant control codes to single out any store that sells firearms and using GPS signals to shut off credit card transactions around gun shows.

The extensive surveillance powers of financial companies would be used to build a police state.

Ed Skyler’s Twitter account, which has plenty of gun control tweets, retweeted the police state proposal.

Citigroup's spokesman claimed that, "we created standards based not on ideology, but on established best sales practices." But Ed Skyler’s ranting announcement clearly shows that to be a lie.

"Over the same amount of time, we have waited for our grief to turn into action and see our nation adopt common-sense measures that would help prevent firearms from getting into the wrong hands," Ed Skyler had declared in his role as CitiGroup's Executive Vice President of Global Public.

That’s an Everytown political campaign ad that could have come from his old boss, Michael Bloomberg.

Citigroup can’t have it both ways. It can’t beat the drum for gun control and declare that it’s non-ideological. You can virtue signal or be apolitical. But you can’t do both at the same time.

Senator Kennedy (R-LA) responded to Citigroup’s secondary second amendment boycott blasting it for “threatening law abiding business owners for exercising their Second Amendment rights.”

“The only reason that Citigroup is even in business today is because American taxpayers bailed them out during the Great Recession,” he noted. The Senator also expressed concern that the country’s financial institutions are being split up into “red banks and blue banks.” Mick Mulvaney, head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, called the actions of the anti-second amendment banks, "troubling."

The left has come a long way from hating corporations to setting up a corporate shadow government to dismantle the Bill of Rights. Get the banks to ban guns and social media companies to censor conservatives. And the left can divest from democracy and run the country from Facebook.

But behind the big banks is an even bigger government.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago's biggest thug since Capone, is backing an ordinance that would ban banks from doing business with his corrupt city if they don't implement the same gun control boycott as Citigroup. According to its euphemistic Safe Guns Policy, “No financial institution would be eligible to do business as a City depository, underwrite municipal bond issues, or engage in a myriad of other financial transactions unless they file such an affidavit.” Capone could have said it briefer, but not better.

And Chicago’s gimmick would allow the failed city to impose gun control through the banks.

Chicago has been sliding toward bankruptcy almost as fast as its home state. But Chiraq put out $3 billion in AAA bonds, even though its bonds have been considered junk, through what one analyst called “smoke and mirrors”. But you can’t peddle Chicago junk bonds unless you also peddle gun control.

Not to be left too far behind Second City, New York State Comptroller Thomas J. DiNapoli sent letters to MasterCard among others, urging them to block credit card purchases of firearms and accessories.

New York is facing its biggest deficits in decades, and it has the second-highest debt in the nation. Behind California. But shrinking the Bill of Rights is more important than the financial health of the state.

Banking on gun control isn’t a new development. Under Obama, a covert version of it operated through an Obama DOJ program known as “Operation Choke Point.” Choke Point pressured banks into avoiding relationships with firearms businesses. The program was shut down by Attorney General Sessions.

Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd called it a "misguided initiative conducted during the previous administration.”

But Operation Choke Point is being laboriously reassembled by a coalition of activist groups, state officials and corporations. Its rebirth in the private sector follows in the footsteps of similar efforts at building a shadow government that would maintain the initiatives and rules of the Obama era.

Choke Point 2.0 is just a decentralized version of an unconstitutional government program. The banks enforcing it are dusting off the same old “reputational implications” argument from Choke Point.

After losing the White House, the Senate and the House, the left is rebuilding its regulatory infrastructure using some of the same financial institutions that were funded by the bailout. The advantages of this move are that monopolistic institutions don’t need to worry about accountability to the public or the Constitution’s restrictions on violating rights by abusing government power.

It’s no coincidence that Bank of America horror stories abounded during the Choke Point era. The financial institutions most likely to collaborate with Obama against their customers and the Bill of Rights are also the most likely to collaborate in the same way with the anti-second amendment lobby.

Choke Point 2.0 is an ominous development. But it is also an important reminder.

The left is not against big banks. It is against freedom.

Every institution exists only as a means for the left to exercise its power, to impose collective systems and tear down individual rights. It is only opposes businesses to the extent that they represent individual initiative and personal freedom. But it will rule the country and enforce its will on us by any means.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Who Can Count the Dust of Jacob

By On April 18, 2018
"Who can count the dust of Jacob or number the seed of Israel." Numbers 23:10

The sun sets above the hills. The siren cries out and on the busy highways that wend among the hills, the traffic stopsthe people stop, and a moment of silence comes to a noisy country.

Flags fly at half mast, the torch of remembrance is lit, memorial candles are held in shaking hands and the country's own version of the Flanders Field poppy, the Red Everlasting daisy, dubbed Blood of the Maccabees, adorns lapels. And so begins the Yom Hazikaron, Heroes Remembrance Day, the day of remembrance for fallen soldiers and victims of terror-- Israel's Memorial Day.

What is a memorial day in a country that has always known war and where remembrance means adding the toll of one year's dead and wounded to the scales of history? A country where war never ends, where the sirens may pause but never stop, where each generation grows up knowing that they will have to fight or flee. To stand watch or run away. It is not so much the past that is remembered on this day, but the present and the future. The stillness, a breath in the warm air, before setting out to climb the slopes of tomorrow.

Who can count the dust of Jacob.

And yet each memorial day we count the dust. The dust that is a fraction of those who have fallen defending the land for thousands of years. Flesh wears out, blood falls to the earth where the red daisies grow, and bone turns to dust. The dust blows across the graves of soldiers and prophets, the tombs of priests hidden behind brush, the caverns where forefathers rest in sacred silence, laid to rest by their sons, who were laid to rest by their own sons, generations burying the past, standing guard over it, being driven away and returning each time.

On Memorial Day, the hands of memory are dipped in the dust raising it to the blue sky. A prayer, a whisper, a dream of peace. And the wind blows the candles out. War follows. And once again blood flows into the dust. A young lieutenant shading his eyes against the sun. An old man resting with his family on the beach. Children climbing into bed in a village on a hilltop. And more bodies are laid to rest in the dust. Until dust they become.

In this land, the Maker of Stars and Dust vowed to Abraham that his children would be as many as the dust of the earth and the stars of heaven. In their darkest days, they would be as the dust. But there is mercy in the numberless count of the dust. Mercy in not being able to make a full count of the fallen and remaining ignorant of that full measure of woe. Modern technologies permit us terrible estimates. Databanks store the names of millions; digital cemeteries of ghosts. But there is no counting the dust. And when we walk the length and breadth of the land, as the Maker told Abraham to do, it the dust that supports our feet, we walk in the dust of our ancestors.

Some new countries are built to escape from the past, but there is no escaping it in these ancient hills. IDF soldiers patrol over ground once contested by empires, tread over spearheads and the wheels of chariots buried deep in the earth. The Assyrians and the Babylonians came through here in all their glory. Greek and Roman soldiers and mercenaries pitted themselves against the handful of Judeans who came out of the Babylonian exile. The Ottoman and the Arab raged here, and Crusader battering rams and British Enfield rifles still echo in the quiet hills.

Here in the silence of remembrance the present is always the past and the sky hangs like a thin veil fluttering against the future. The believers cast their prayers out of their mouths against the veil. The soldiers cast their lives and their hearts. And still the future flutters above, like the sky near enough to touch, but out of reach. Beneath it, the sky-blue flag, the stripe of the believer's shawls adorned with the interlocked star of the House of David.

Can these bones live, the Lord asks Ezekiel. And generations, after each slaughter, they come again, the descendants of the dead to reclaim the hills of their ancestors. Rising like the red flowers out of the soil. Like the bones out of the earth. They come up as slaves out of Egypt and out of the captivity of empires, their tongues as numberless as the earth. Here they come again to set up kingdoms and nations. And there in shadows on the dust, a handful of men fight off a legion; swords, spears and rifles in hand they face down impossible odds. They fight and die, but they go on.

The calendar itself is a memorial. Israel's Memorial Day, Independence Day and Lag BaOmer; the  commemoration of the original Yom Yerushalayim, the brief liberation of Jerusalem from the Romans, still covertly remembered in bonfires and bows shot into the air, all in a season that begins with Passover, the exodus that set over a million people off on a forty-year journey to return to the homeland of their forefathers.

The battles today are new, but they are also very old. The weapons are new, but the struggle is the same. Who will remain and who will be swept away. Some 3,000 years ago, Judge Jephthah and the King of Ammon were exchanging messages not too different from those being passed around as diplomatic communiques today. The King of Ammon demanding land for peace and the Judge laying out the Israeli case for the land in a message that the enemy would hardly trouble to read before going to war.

Take a stray path in these hills and you may find a grinning terrorist with a knife, or the young David pitting his slingshot against a lion or bear. This way the Maccabees rush ahead against the armies of a slave empire and this way a helicopter passes low overhead on the way to Gaza. Time is a fluid thing here. And what you remember; you shall find.

The soldier is not so sacred as he once was. The journalist and the judge have taken his place. The actors sneer from their theaters. The politicians gobble their free food and babble of peace. Musicians sing shrilly of flowers in gun barrels and doves everywhere. But the soldier still stands where he must. The borders have shrunk. The old victories have been exchanged for diplomatic defeats. From the old strongholds come missiles and rockets. And children hide in bomb shelters waiting for the worst to pass. This is the doing of the journalist and the judge, the politician and the actor, the lions of literature who send autographed copies of their books to imprisoned terrorists and the grandchildren of great men who hire themselves on in service to the enemy.

The man who serves is still sacred, but the temple of duty is desecrated more and more each year. Leftist academics dismiss the heroes of the past as myths or murderers. Their wives dress in black and harass soldiers at checkpoints, their children wrap their faces in Keffiyas and throw stones at them. Draft dodging, once a black mark of shame, has become a mark of pride among the left. Some boast about how easy it is, others enlist only to then refuse to serve. They call themselves Refusniks , accepting the Soviet view of Israel as an illegitimate warmongering state, but laying claim to the name of the Zionists who fought to escape the Soviet Union.

Some are only afraid, but some are filled with hate. They have looked into a twisted mirror and drunk of the poisoned wine. They have found their Inner Cain and go now to slay their brothers with words.

How shall I curse whom G-d has not cursed, asks Balaam. But the King of Moab is determined to have his curses anyway. And today it is to the UN that they come for curses. The Arab lands boil with  blood, but resolution after resolution follows damning Israel. China squats on the mountains of Tibet, Russian government thugs throw dissidents out of windows and Iranian thugs assault girls for removing their hijabs. And still the resolutions come like curses.

In a land built on memory, it is possible not to remember, but it is impossible to entirely forget. A war of memories comes. A war for the dust. Is this a day of remembrance or a day of shame. Were those men who fought and died for Judea and Samaria, for the Golan and Jerusalem, for every square inch of land when the armies of Arab dictators came to push them into the sea, heroes or villains. Were Nasser, Hussein, Saddam, Arafat, Gaddafi, Assad and the House of Saud the real heroes all along. The tiny minority of 360 million pitted against the overwhelming majority of 6 million.

Yet though men may forget, the dust remembers. And the men return to it. For some four thousand years they have done it. And they shall do it again. For He who has made men of the dust and made worlds of the dust of stars does not forget. As the stars turn in whirling galaxies and the dust flies across the land, so the people return to the land. And though they forget, they remember again. For the dust is the memory of ages and the children shall always return to the dust of their ancestors.

In the cities, towns and villages-- the dead are remembered. Those who died with weapons in their hands and those who just died. Men, women and children. Drops of blood cast to the dust, reborn as flowers on lapels. Reborn as memory.

All go to one place, said King Solomon, all that lives is of the dust, and all returns to the dust. There is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his works. And so memorial day precedes the day of independence. That we rejoice in that which those who sleep in the dust have died to protect. The skyscrapers and the orchards, the sheep ranches and the highways, the schools and the synagogues. For they who drained the swamps and built the roads, who held guard over the air and built the cities, may not have lived to see their works. But we rejoice in their works for them. And a new generation rises to watch over their dust and tend the works that they have built. Until the day when He that counts the dust of Jacob shall count them all, and the land shall stir, and in the words of Daniel, they that sleep in dust shall arise, and then rejoice with us.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation.

Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Media's War on the First Amendment

By On April 17, 2018
The media took a brief break from its campaign against the Sinclair Media Group to go after the National Enquirer. The two don’t have anything in common except the perception of being pro-Trump.

In the good old days, going after rival media outlets meant writing nasty things about them. But these days the media doesn’t write nasty things for the sake of writing them. It writes nasty things to get someone fired, investigated or imprisoned. And that’s what its Sinclair and Enquirer stories are about.

CNN, the Washington Post and the New York Times had wasted barrels of ink and pixels, to warn that Trump’s criticism of their media outlets represented a grave threat to the First Amendment.

And what better way to protect the First Amendment than by destroying it?

In its story about the FBI raid on Trump’s lawyer, the Times managed to suggest that the Enquirer’s support for the President of the United States might strip it of its First Amendment protection.

The Times tells its readers that the "federal inquiry" poses "thorny questions about A.M.I.’s First Amendment protections, and whether its record in supporting Mr. Trump somehow opens the door to scrutiny usually reserved for political organizations.”

That’s a thorny question alright. And there’s plenty more thorns where that one came from.

In ’08, the New York Times published an op-ed by Obama, but rejected McCain’s response. It just published an editorial titled, "Watch Out, Ted Cruz. Beto is Coming" which appears to have no purpose other than to help Beto O'Rourke raise money from New York Times readers.

The Times has a sharp thorn. So sharp it could punch a hole in it and the entire mainstream media.

“In one instance, The Enquirer bought but did not publish a story about an alleged extramarital relationship years earlier with the presidential candidate,” the Times sniffs. It’s not unprecedented for a paper to have damaging material about a politician without publishing it. Just ask the Los Angeles Times about the vault they’re keeping Obama’s Khalidi tape in. Or ask the Washington Post about its embargo of the photo of Obama posing with Nation of Islam hate group leader Louis Farrakhan at a CBC event.

Try and suggest that behavior like that should strip them of their First Amendment rights and a howling mob of pudgy pundits would descend on the green rooms of CNN and MSNBC like hornets out of hell.

On the Sinclair front, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and eight other Senate Democrats sent a letter to the FCC demanding that it take away its licenses because Sinclair condemned media bias.

No, really.

As “strong defenders of the First Amendment”, Bernie, Liz and Cory want to silence Sinclair because its anchors warned about "the dangers of 'one-sided news stories plaguing our country.'" And what better way to disprove such nonsense than by using government power to silence the news on the other side?

The Senate Stalinists accused Sinclair of a "systematic news distortion operation that seeks to undermine freedom of the press." But most people know that as the mainstream media.

Freedom of the press requires us to accept the idea that a handful of major lefty corporations control the country’s new distortion operation because it also allows conservatives to have their own media.

But the media left doesn’t accept that compromise. It isn’t willing to settle for the first spot in a two-man race. Like Tonya Harding, it wants to take a club to the knee of its political opponents.

In the media’s utopia, just like in a Soviet election or a movie tagline, there can be only one.

The press is perversely waging its war on the First Amendment in the name of freedom of the press. Its definition of the First Amendment is an exclusive club. And the only way to protect the club from Republican riffraff is to strip away their First Amendment rights. All for the sake of the First Amendment.

Like all leftists, the media doesn’t believe in freedom of the press. It believes in its own freedom. It identifies the First Amendment with itself and declares any threat to it to be a threat to the First.

That’s how the media can call for censoring rival media outlets in the name of the First Amendment.

After Trump’s victory, the media tore apart this country to boost its circulation and ratings (the New York Times and the Washington Post are so outraged that they can’t count the cash fast enough) and manufacture a crisis that would justify consolidating its control over the internet and print media.

Facebook was the biggest threat to the media’s bottom line. That’s why Mark Zuckerberg was testifying in Congress over data privacy issues that weren’t an issue when Obama Inc. had “ingested the entire social graph.” It was one of a series of fake news stories blaming Facebook for Trump’s victory.

Even the average leftist couldn’t care less about Facebook’s impact on the media’s business model. So the media instead rallied its mobs by accusing Facebook of collaborating with Trump and the Russians.

And the howls, imprecations and regulations began.

The media’s endgame was neutering Facebook and turning it into a profitable safe space for its content. The post-election accusations about “fake news” and the later conspiracy theories about “Russian bots” blamed Facebook’s “unregulated” spaces for powering Trump’s seemingly improbable election victory.

The solution to an unregulated space is regulation.

Facebook was blackmailed into letting the media’s fact checkers decide which stories should be allowed. Then algorithm tinkering wiped out the traffic of many conservative sites, leading several to shut down.

Google, Twitter and other social media companies have taken their own steps to prioritize lefty media views and silence conservative ones. The post-Trump environment in search and social has been rigged to be very favorable to the mainstream media and deeply unfriendly to Trump supporters.

The great media dream is a gated internet news operation completely under their control. But the attacks on Sinclair and the Enquirer show that even with the internet, old media is still in the crosshairs.

The media isn’t just going after websites; it’s also going after channels and print magazines. And it’s targeting them using the blunt tools of government censorship. FBI raids and FCC licenses are an escalation from pressuring Facebook into hiring its fact checkers to censor conservative media.

It’s the difference between monopolistic abuses and totalitarian ones.

The media has been using corporations to do its dirty work. But it’s never going to be satisfied with oligarchy if it can grab the brass ring of tyranny. Crackdowns by Citibank and the Bank of America on the Second Amendment or by Facebook and Google on the First Amendment are effective, but unsatisfying. The left didn’t spend over a century dying and killing just to have the Bank of America do its work for it.

As a dog returns to its vomit, the left returns to government repression.

The media will not accept any monopoly that is a hair short of total. FOX News, Sinclair and even the National Enquirer must be destroyed. Corporations and governments will be used as hand puppets to silence every voice of dissent. And it will be done for freedom of the press and the First Amendment.

The free press is a threat to freedom of the press, read about it in the mainstream media.

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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Sunday, April 15, 2018

Another Election Conspiracy Theory Bites the Dust

By On April 15, 2018
In the middle of March, The Guardian, a British lefty tabloid, rolled out a fake scandal that has dominated the media. Its original article claimed that Christopher Wylie, a "whistleblower", had revealed how Cambridge Analytica, the company he had worked for, had helped Trump win by illegitimately harvesting large amounts of Facebook data and then exploiting it to target users.
The story has since fallen apart in every conceivable way that a story is capable of falling apart.
Obama’s people had also harvested data from Facebook friends. "We ingested the entire U.S. social graph," his media analytics guru had boasted. But so had everyone else. A platform operations manager at Facebook estimated that hundreds of thousands of developers had gotten access to friend data.
So much for The Guardian’s claim that, "information had been harvested on an unprecedented scale".
Free online services are part of a data marketplace. That’s the real business that Facebook is in. The story only blew up because it offered another conspiratorial explanation for President Trump’s victory.
Except it didn’t.
The Trump campaign had only used Cambridge Analytica's data during the primaries before switching to RNC data during the election. The fake news scandal had nothing to do with the actual election.
But that didn’t stop Mother Jones from running a story headlined, "Here (Was Once) a Photo of Cambridge Analytica’s CEO With the Russian Ambassador to the UK". The nebulous connections between the Trump campaign, Russia and Facebook data had become another red dot on the strange global map of lefty conspiracy theories struggling to explain President Trump’s victory.
The story just kept coming apart.
The Guardian had glamorized Wylie as a courageous whistleblower in numerous stories. The pink-haired “gay Canadian vegan” is described as agonizing over his role. He told British lawmakers, “Donald Trump makes it click in your head that this actually has a much wider impact. I don't think that military-style information operations is conducive for any democratic process.”
 Except the “whistleblower’s” own company and had been pitching Trump’s future campaign manager back when Cambridge Analytica had been working with Ted Cruz.
The Guardian’s whistleblower had been discredited. Its extended series of stories had never delivered on their claim that there was anything extraordinary about the data collection or illegitimate about either Trump’s victory or Brexit: a special target of the British lefty tabloid. The primary and secondary stories had casually conflated the two, breathlessly reporting on the data collection tactics and leaving it to readers to assume that there was also something shocking or illegitimate in how the data was used.
But that hasn’t dissuaded the media from its obsessive coverage of another scandal of its own invention. And most of its previous Facebook conspiracy theories about Trump’s win were even shoddier.
The original post-election Facebook conspiracy theories blamed “fake news” sites. Dubious metrics were assembled claiming that fake news stories outperformed mainstream media articles. The numbers behind the metrics turned out to be bad, but that didn’t matter.  The purge of dissenting views from social media was underway. And conservative sites continue to be banned and shadowbanned over it.
Then there was the even more dubious claim that Russian Facebook ads had rigged the election. Again, ridiculous metrics were assembled which asserted that the ads had reached 126 million Americans. Even though the Russians had spent fairly little relative to either campaign and all of the dark money in the race. And the fact was that the majority of the ad engagement had actually happened after the election.
When Facebook's VP of Ad Product pointed this out, the media forced him to apologize for challenging its conspiracy theory. Again, bad numbers and media hysteria kept the conspiracy theory going.
This latest Facebook conspiracy theory seeks to address the problem with the two previous conspiracy theories. How could fake news sites and Russian ads be more effective than the Clinton campaign? The answer was filled in with gibberish about “psychological warfare tools”. Voters hadn’t just been tricked. They had been brainwashed into voting Trump with “sophisticated psychological and political profiles.”
Except we’re still talking about ads here. 
If being subjected to constant brainwashing, lies, spin and manipulation by trained experts could rig an election, every media outlet in American that doesn’t start with an F would have made Hillary president.
Even assuming that all the allegations made about the data collection were true (and there’s no reason to assume that), that has no bearing whatsoever on the legitimacy of either election or referendum. Facebook’s data privacy has nothing to do with Americans picking Trump and Brits choosing Brexit.
The various Facebook conspiracy theories, whether they involve Russian trolls, alleged fake news or this psychographic profiling, have one thing in common. They all seek to deny the agency of the voters.
A popular theme in British lefty tabloids after Brexit was profiling individuals who had voted Leave and now claimed to have been fooled into voting incorrectly. The latest Facebook fake news scandal hits all the same notes. Trump and Brexit voters didn’t really legitimately vote. Instead they were brainwashed by some sort of big data psychological weapon that persuaded the deplorables to do the wrong thing.
Like most conspiracy theories, it’s silly. But it’s also deeply dangerous.
When political elites start convincing themselves that democracy doesn’t work because they didn’t get the results they wanted, that’s much scarier than anything in Facebook’s data collection policies.
The political elites on both sides of the ocean have been talking themselves into the idea that free referendums and elections are a bad idea because the ordinary person is too easily manipulated.
Behind the rush to lock down Facebook, purge “fake news” from social media and push “fact checks” everywhere is a deep distrust of the individual. The utopian idealism of the elites conceals the cynical conviction that democracy is a hoax and most people are sheep who will do whatever they’re told.
That’s why the news media and the entertainment industry constantly tell us what to think.
All the assorted Facebook conspiracy theories converge around the paranoid notion that the only reason the elites badly lost with Trump and Brexit is that someone else did a better job of brainwashing their voters. The conspiracy theories range from Macedonian fake news sites to Russian trolls to a British data analytics company, but they all agree that there was an informational coup against their propaganda.
Projecting the source of the informational coup outward cloaks the lefty crackdowns in the garb of national security instead of domestic repression. Fighting foreign election interference sounds better than censoring the political opposition. Even if most dictatorships use the former to justify the latter.
Fake statistics and involved technical explanations give the conspiracy theories an air of credibility. But underneath them is the conviction that the only way to protect democracy, a frequent election conspiracy talking point, is to rig it by denying the voters their choice of information sources.
No one who thinks that voters can’t be trusted to make their own decisions believes in democracy. They only see the illusion of democracy as a useful tool for consensus building. The real thing frightens them.
The conspiracy theories fall apart when you examine them. Dig into the numbers and they don’t hold up. And none of them prove their central premise that the 2016 election was illegitimate. Like the Mueller investigation and most conspiracy theories, they go to all sorts of interesting places. But they never actually make the trip from A to B. Instead they’d like to tell you about Russian trolls, Canadian gay vegans, British intelligence agents, Macedonian websites, Japanese  servers and everything else.
They cast doubt, introduce elaborate theories and write longread reports that do everything but prove that the election was rigged, its results were illegitimate and that Americans really wanted Hillary.
Instead they make the case for censoring the internet and distrusting the voters. The conspiracy theory is always the conspiracy. And behind these conspiracy theories is a conspiracy against democracy.

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, April 12, 2018

The Betrayal of the Holocaust

By On April 12, 2018

When we talk about the Holocaust, we are talking about the mass murder of millions of Jews.

The dead included my grandparents and countless others, shot, starved, gassed, beaten to death and buried in mass graves. And yet the lessons of the Holocaust in its commemorations rarely have anything to do with Jewish lives. 

Millions of dollars have been spent building memorials to the victims of the Holocaust, even as Iran is spending its millions on building another kind of memorial to the Holocaust, in the form of nuclear technology. Ben Rhodes, the Obama crony who helped sell the Iranian Big Lie, sits on the board of the Holocaust Memorial Council. The Washington D.C. museum ignores the murder of Jews in Israel, but is very worked up over the deaths of Muslims in Myanmar, in Egypt and around the world.

Millions more are spent, by some of the same groups that claim an interest in Holocaust education, on bringing Muslim migrants to America and Europe to carry out the promise of an Islamic apocalypse in which, as the Hadith states, "The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him."

That is what the Islamic Holocaust looks like. If you want to see it slowly getting underway, visit Paris or Jerusalem.

But the murder of Jews, in Israel or Europe, somehow has nothing to do with the Holocaust.

Virtually every major Jewish organization, even the Orthodox Union, was pressured into signing on to obscenely despicable statements equating Muslim migrants to Holocaust victims.

The Holocaust isn't just an uncomfortable subject for Germans, Russians or Poles. It's a very uncomfortable subject for American Jews. The same liberal Jewish organizations that took a vocal part in the civil rights movement remained deathly silent about the murder of six million Jews.

Why the silence? The same reason they didn't protest the Iran Deal too loudly.

The Obama of the Holocaust was named FDR. His administration was equally anti-Semitic. And chose to ignore the mass murder of Jews until protests by Zionist activists became too loud to ignore.

Saving six million Jews was not a feel good liberal cause. The civil rights movement was.

And it's never about doing the right thing. It's about what looks good. It's what's popular.

The same organizations that stayed silent during the Holocaust then rebranded it as a universalist civil rights program. The real lesson of the Holocaust isn't, "Don't allow Jews to be killed."

It's fight for every leftist cause on the planet... except that outmoded "not killing Jews" one.

The same Jewish organizations that wouldn't dream of missing a Holocaust commemoration broadcast their commitment to the "Two State Solution" almost as loudly as to the Holocaust.

The only lesson they learned is that another Holocaust needs better marketing.

The Final Solution, with its immediate extermination of the Jews, has been replaced by the Two State Solution, an intermediate process in which the land on which Jews can live is partitioned into smaller and smaller pieces.

The Lebensraum of Islam demands ever more breathing room. And fewer breathing Jews. Israel is carved up into smaller indefensible ghettos. And Jews are barred from living outside those ghettos. Those who are are "settlers" who must be evicted for the sake of the peace that Islam always brings.

Even if they're "settling" in Jerusalem.: the oldest Jewish city in history.

But the real lesson of the Holocaust is that if we don't destroy Israel, and bring the migrant synagogue bombers and senior citizen murderers of tomorrow to Europe, we're no better than the Nazis.

Just ask a leftist.

The Holocaust isn't very complicated because murder isn't very complicated. The easy lesson of murder is don't let it happen again.

It is easier to build another memorial than to look into your heart and ask why two generations later, the majority of the American Jewish community was still too cowardly to stand up to a liberal icon in the White House... when the lives of millions of Jews were on the line.

From FDR to Obama, American Jewish leaders had two opportunities to stand up to a liberal icon and save Jewish lives. No amount of memorials can disguise the fact that they learned nothing.

The best memorial to the dead is to stop aiding their murderers.

Every Jewish organization that bowed to FDR and Obama have blood on their hands. Every Jewish organization that trumpets the Two State Solution has blood on its hands. Every Jewish organization that mainstream BDS activists, that criticizes Israel and America for fighting terrorism, that imports Muslim migrants while demanding the expulsion of Jewish "settlers" has blood on its hands.

I don't remember the Holocaust because of a museum. I remember because of my grandparents. I remember because my Jewishness doesn't come from a memorial, it's always been a part of me.

The Holocaust told us a harsh truth about the world and human nature. Its commemorations soften the edges. But we need those harsh truths to know what lies behind the comfortable curtain.

Death is the harshest truth. The next harshest truth is betrayal. And the Jews have most often been betrayed by Jews escaping their Jewishness. Some, like George Soros, did it in the most literal way possible. Others did it by kvelling to an FDR speech while ignoring the ash drifting over Europe. Today, they affirm the Two State Solution, ignore Iran's nuclear program and click on that inspirational speech by Obama, Cory Booker or the political culture hero next in line.

They ignore the Jews being murdered in Israel or in Paris. Dead Jews have nothing to do with their Holocaust. That refusal to listen and understand is how it began. The Jews of Poland didn't pay attention to what was going on in Germany. The Jews of Hungary didn't pay attention to what was going on in Poland. And American Jewish organizations all too often ignored all of them.

The Holocaust doesn't need hundred million dollar museums. To commemorate it, we must pay attention. And we must never let the propaganda of the killers blind us to their crimes.

That's easy to say about the Nazis, it's a lot harder when it comes to the PLO, Iran and Hamas.

It's easy to feel good about disavowing a discredited and fallen ideology. There's no act of courage there. But try disavowing the Two State Solution and the Iran Deal. That's a commemoration.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

March For Our Lives Isn't a Youth Movement

By On April 10, 2018
A month after the Parkland shootings, a Quinnipiac poll showed that voters 18-34 were much less likely to support either an “assault weapons” ban or a ban on the sale of “semi-automatic rifles”.
80% of voters 65 years of age and older supported an “assault weapons ban”, but those 18-34 split over it. A majority of voters 65 and over backed the “semi-automatic rifle” bans, but a majority of 18-34 voters opposed it.
The Washington D.C. March for Our Lives rally was billed as a way for the next generation of youth to speak out. But only 10% of the crowd that cheered the bizarre drama club antics on stage was under 18.
The average age of the adults was 49 years old.
That’s young compared to the median age of the CNN primetime viewer:  60 years old. The media hype for the March was a cable news phenomenon. Few millennials even watch cable news.
Why would they show up for a media circus whose audience is approaching retirement age?
70% of the March for Our Lives attendees were women. 89% were Hillary Clinton voters.
The analysis by the University of Maryland sociology professor who conducted the survey found comparisons to the Million Moms March and the Women’s March. That’s not too surprising.
The March for Our lives permit application filed with the National Park Service lists Deena Katz, the co-executive director of the Women's March Los Angeles Foundation, as the “Person in Charge of Event”. The application papers for the March for Our Lives Fund describe her as the group's president.
Katz graduated from UCLA in ’88. She’s not the voice of the youth or a new generation.
Another of the Fund’s directors, Melissa Scholz, became involved in another political organization after meeting at the Women’s March. It wouldn’t be too surprising if a number of other directors also had participated in the same anti-Trump rally. And most of the new protesters at the March for Our Lives rally weren’t there to demand gun control. Only 12 percent of them had turned out for gun control.
42% were motivated by Trump.
March for Our Lives was just a rebranded version of the Women’s March with some teen acts.
But the audience wasn’t really there for them. Like the Women’s March, it consisted of Hillary fans expressing the same tired outrage that their candidate had lost despite her numerous scandals.
They didn’t care about Trump. They just wanted to show up and scream some more at the sky.
Another 56% of new protesters were there for “peace”. Anti-war and anti-Israel protesters are still the surest draw at any lefty rally. And they’re usually obsessive enough to show up at all of them.
Look closer and the astroturf group falls apart. Behind a few photogenic teens who live on cable news, March for Our Lives is run by left-wing middle-aged women and drew left-wing middle-aged women.
Along with a smattering of Sandernistas probably protesting the existence of the military and Israel.
Anyone who has ever covered lefty rallies knows that they consist of the same core participants regardless of their message. Changing the message just allows the media to inflate their influence.
The “youth” had better things to do with their time than be packed into a crowd and be yelled at by the drama club for CNN’s benefit. And they were less likely to agree with its message. Younger people are more socially liberal. But that doesn’t just extend to drugs and gay marriage, but also to firearms.
The cable news claim that the “youth” of Parkland had organized a national movement out of their living rooms was always a hysterical howler. March for Our Lives is funded by Hollywood celebrities and its fund and leadership appears to be mostly based out of Los Angeles. And despite all the theatrics that a former Emmy producer could pull off, the “youth” didn’t bother showing up to march for their lives.
Despite the cable news hysteria, the average teen outside Chicago or Baltimore doesn’t think that he is likely to be shot the next time he comes to school. The sense of hysterical vulnerability that underlies identity politics, emerging as black fragility in Black Lives Matter with its chants of, “I can’t breathe”, does not touch any of the same chords with normal teens who may be narcissistic, but not weak.
But it was the idea of a youth uprising that the left needed, even if it couldn’t deliver the reality.
The left always broadcasts its old discredited messages in the voice of a new generation. It’s the demographic version of its “right side of history”. If the young are on the left, then its victory is generationally inevitable. And it’s only a matter of time until its new generation takes over.
In the tide of human nature, young leftists become middle-aged and elderly conservatives. The inevitable victory never happens. And the youth can unexpectedly turn against leftist politics.
But the idea of adapting to inevitable demographic change compels politicians and corporations.
Republicans nearly forced illegal alien amnesty on the country because they were convinced that demographics made it inevitable. The towel was thrown in on a long list of social issues because the poll numbers showed that a new generation was so on board that further resistance was hopeless.
But the March for Our Lives endgame is more corporate than legislative.
Even the most ambitious cable news hysterics know that there’s only so far Republicans and even Democrats will go on gun control. Especially before midterm elections. There’s a reason that the NRA has a passionate and influential membership. There are far more single issue voters for the Second Amendment than against it. And Democrats who want to make red state inroads will play it cool.
The greatest gun control victories aren’t being won in legislatures, but among corporations.
Politicians are less likely to be panicked by the youth vote because there isn’t much of it. Voting frequency and reliability increases with age. Angry teens can make a scene, but that’s about it.
Corporations are obsessed with marketing to the youth. Advertising tore apart the old standards of family entertainment in a desperate hunt for young, affluent viewers. Every major brand has been taught to obsessively virtue signal to these wealthy twenty-somethings by vomiting up their social issue commitments in every ad while dismissing 90% of their own consumers as completely worthless.
Democrats know that gun control is a political poison pill. They’ve experienced its consequences. But corporations like Citibank, Google, Walmart and Delta Airlines don’t know about that and don’t care.  As the economy compresses into a diminishing collection of corporate monopolies whose leadership and marketing operate out of blue states, they can do what their Democrat minions are afraid to do.
The illusion of a youth movement is enough to justify their unprecedented political interventions to their shareholders. Why bother marketing to old conservatives when you can win the loyalty of leftist youth?
March for Our Lives is a vehicle to convince corporate boards to impose gun control. It’s got more in common with Madison Avenue than Main Street. And indeed, 42 West, the full service public relations firm handling the March for Our Lives PR, is located four blocks east of Madison. Like a lot of advertising, it’s a series of slick manipulative lies that fool corporations harder than they fool their intended marks.
Marketing leftist youth radicalism to corporate power isn’t new. But this assault on our civil rights is.
After Trump won, the left retreated from controlling us through elected offices to controlling us through unelected offices. Federal judges, the FBI, the media and major corporate monopolies have been pitted against the elected officials who represent the will of the people. This is the civil war we are now in.
March for Our Lives is not a youth movement, it’s another means that aging leftists are using to divide and control us. Theirs is not the voice of a new generation, but of a discredited 19thcentury ideology.

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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