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Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Feminism Without Women

By On September 29, 2021
50 years after Ms. Magazine was founded by Gloria Steinem, the prototypical feminist magazine decided to erase women by referring to them as “birthing people” and “people with vaginas”.

Once the champions of newspeak jargon like “herstory” that was supposed to emphasize the role of women, Ms. Magazine and the Feminist Majority Foundation are now erasing women. After generations of accusing men of objectifying women by reducing them to body parts, the professional feminists are eliminating women entirely by reducing them to body parts.

Ms. is short for Miss which was itself short for Mistress. At some point, the magazine will have to be renamed to Xer or They. And the Feminist Majority Foundation owes its name to yet another romance language name for women creating a movement named after women without women.

Can there be a feminist movement without women? Will feminism have to be renamed Xerinism or Theyinism?

In 2020, 55% of white women voted for President Trump despite a drumbeat of denunciations of “white women” in the previous election. White women had built the feminist movement which then read them out of the movement. But black women, championed as the new face of feminism, have been replaced by “black birthing people” by the Feminist Majority Foundation.

What is the purpose of feminism without women except to prevent “birthing people” from birthing?

But feminism often didn’t have very much to do with women. The term was coined by the mad French socialist Charles Fourier who also believed that women should have four husbands and that human beings would grow to be seven feet tall and develop tails. More seriously, he envisioned the end of the family and collectivist living that influenced the nightmarish socialist utopias that used him as a model.

As one critic noted, Fourier envisioned abolishing marriage and using women for "sexual services" that would be "bought by society as a whole to further industrial or general economic productivity". It’s easy to mock Fourier’s deranged ideas, but his central premise of replacing marriage and the family with a collectivist system is still at the heart of modern feminism.

Fourier, like most leftist ideologues, reduced women to an abstraction, a cog in a social machine, and his contemporary counterparts abstracted the abstraction. Birthing people is the natural outcome of reducing people to a group and the group to an abstraction.

The current feminist abstraction, in which gender is a state of mind and the best way to reinforce that is by erasing the existence of women, is no less insane than Fourier’s utopian society of 7-foot-tall women with tails living in communes and practicing industrial prostitution. When you don’t deal with the reality of people, life becomes a science fiction novel written by inventing new ways of living to solve the social problems of human nature.

Leftist theories ignore human nature and blame social problems on the failure of everyone to accept their theories, abandon their genders, private property, and religion, and grow tails.

The radicals insist that they’re liberators because they reduce everything to power relations. It was simple enough in the 19th century to reduce life to simple binaries of the rich and the poor, men and women, white and black, and declare themselves the champions of the oppressed against the oppressors. In a multicultural society, the binaries become more complicated.

But leftist ideology is a machine for simplifying human complexities into the same binaries.

Intersectionality splits diversity into new diversities, subdividing each category into the oppressors and the oppressed. It was inevitable that intersectionality would come to condemn women as the oppressors within the entire category of women and then eliminate the category.

And it’s not just happening to women.

Latinos are being replaced by Latinx and divided by race. The “white hispanic” is denounced as an oppressor. So is the white gay man within the gay category. Even black men are being reinvented as the oppressors in the black category.

Or as one site put it, "Straight Black Men Are the White People of Black People".

And women, apparently, are the white people of birthing people. Can you blame feminism for turning its back on women after they turned out to be the oppressors?

Feminism, like every other ‘ism’ and every identity politics movement, was not concerned with the rights of women, but with social utopia. Identity politics is just a multiplicity of front groups for the same movement which co-opts group struggles in order to construct a totalitarian state.

"Would it not in that case be simpler for the government to dissolve the people and elect another?" Bertolt Brecht rhetorically asked the East German regime after it warned that the people must win back the confidence of the government.

But the Left does this sort of thing all the time. Having dissolved the white working class, it still claims to fight for the working class because it elected minorities as the new working class. Now it dissolved women and elected birthing people as the new women. That’s easy to do if you believe that all of life, including women and the working class, are just a set of premises, a category someone invented, a few lines in a thesis statement.

Like the way Columbus, Ohio abolished Columbus Day, but kept its name, Ms. Magazine and the Feminist Majority Foundation, not to mention the numberless other feminist organizations, are getting rid of women, but still keeping the “W” word, Ms. and Feminist in their names.

The ACLU rewrote Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s quote, “The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a woman's life, to her well-being and dignity” to eliminate “woman” and “her”, but it hasn't renamed the ACLU Women's Rights Project that Ginsburg co-founded.

The leftist advocacy group understands the emotional power of the “W” word. When it calls Ginsburg a "champion for abortion and gender equality", the phrase has curiously little power compared to a “champion for women”. Replacing women with “birthing people” only to champion the ‘unbirthing’ of their babies is a typically self-nullifying proposition. As is championing “gender equality” while eliminating the gender that might be in need of equality from the proposition.

There’s precious little dignity in fighting for “birthing people” and “people with vaginas”.

Feminism without women is as hollow as class warfare waged by trust fund hipsters. And yet the Left must destroy that which it champions in an act of ritual ideological sacrifice.

Back to the Fourier days, the purpose of feminism was the elimination of women, much as the purpose of the civil rights movement had become the elimination of black people, and the gay rights movement the elimination of gay people. The Left doesn’t fight for equality, but equity, laboring to remake society by remaking people in its ideological image. Identity politics gains its apotheosis from reinventing identity so thoroughly that the original identity ceases to exist.

And its problems cease to exist with it.

But bereft of any new ideas, identity politics only revisits what it claims to want to escape, resurrecting the plantation for black people and the harem for women in the name of progress.

The reversion to slavery and oppression promises to usher in a new age that abolishes all distinctions between human beings in which we will all, perhaps, inhabit a Fourieresque world of seven foot tall socialists with tails living in communes, but the age never actually arrives. It’s much easier to erase women or human nature from language than to actually change reality.

Feminism can act as if women no longer exist, but the realities of biology will outlive the unrealities of leftist 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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Thank you for reading.

Monday, September 27, 2021

10% of Biden’s Afghanistan Humanitarian Aid Will Go To Taliban

By On September 27, 2021
Deborah Lyons, the head of the UN mission in Afghanistan, met with Sirajuddin Haqqani, a wanted terrorist with the Haqqani Network, a Taliban component with close ties to Al Qaeda.

Lyons had served as Canada's ambassador in Kabul when the Taliban carried out a suicide bombing against a Canadian embassy convoy. Lyons put up a monument to the security contractors who were wounded and killed, but they sued after being abandoned afterwards.

Sirajuddin Haqqani is a wanted terrorist with a $10 million FBI reward on his head.

“It is impossible to provide humanitarian assistance inside Afghanistan without engaging with the de facto authorities,” U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned.

The de facto authorities being the Islamic terrorists of the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

The official word is that the Taliban won’t stop the UN humanitarian operations. Whether or not the Taliban will refrain from taxing the UN’s proposed $1.2 billion aid boom is another question.

Without waiting for that question to be settled, Biden has not only kicked in $64 million, but the Treasury Department issued a license for Afghanistan aid which states that it, "will continue to support the continuity of the U.S. government’s important humanitarian-related work in the region", while claiming that "we have not reduced sanctions pressure on Taliban leaders or the significant restrictions on their access to the international financial system."

The Taliban and most “humanitarian” groups in Afghanistan are using the Islamic Hawala system which enables international finance and massive terrorist fundraising at the same time.

And “humanitarian aid” is one of the best ways to fund Islamic terrorists. The Taliban impose an Islamic tithe which American taxpayers will end up paying once the millions in aid arrive.

The Taliban had set up its Commission for the Arrangement and Control of Companies and Organisations at least over a decade ago. Much like the old Afghan government, it made few distinctions between for-profit companies and non-profit charities, and taxed them both.

When the United States was in control of Afghanistan, USAID and the UN were exempted from government taxes. That was only fair considering that the vast majority of Afghanistan’s money came from USAID and the UN. But the local Afghan “implementing partners” paid taxes to the government and if they did business in Taliban territory, they also paid off the Jihadists.

We don’t know exactly how much taxpayer money went to the Taliban, but one survey found that contractors priced in 20% to 30% from their contracts as payoffs. More formally, the Taliban tend to charge a 10% Islamic tax on income and a 2.5% Islamic wealth tax. While this is modest compared to taxes in some western socialist countries, the only service the Taliban provide is not killing you. That doesn’t require much infrastructure, but is really valuable on the ground.

Every charity and humanitarian group has denied paying taxes to the Taliban because it’s illegal. All of them, or almost all of them, are likely lying because otherwise they’d be dead.

The Taliban had an extensive and sophisticated tax collection network long before they took Kabul which included all the usual elements of bureaucracy, registration, certificates, and assessments. They even have “NGO coordinators” who work with non-profit groups.

As an Economist article noted, "Britain’s Foreign Office had to remind ngos not to pay taxes to the Taliban."

The Taliban at one point provided a list of non-profits that had registered with their Commission for the Arrangement and Control of Companies and Organisations. The group “included UN agencies, national and international NGOs and human rights organisations” including those that “rely on funding from a wide range of sources, including both the UN and the US government”.

That was back in 2013 when the Taliban had far less power and were less intimidating.

It’s a safe bet that nearly every non-profit still operating in Afghanistan is registered with the Commission, and was probably registered in previous years, and is paying off the Taliban.

Even if the UN succeeds in exempting its operations from taxes, the “implementing partners”, local Afghan groups, will still pay taxes to the Taliban. And their employees and those of the groups they fund will certainly be taxed. If the United States funds doctors and clinics, they will be taxed (as they were before the fall of Kabul), if we fund teachers, they will pay taxes to the Taliban, and so will every beneficiary of our “humanitarian aid”.

"We can maintain a humanitarian commitment to... the Afghan people in ways that do not have any funding or assistance pass through the coffers of a central government," Ned Price, Biden’s State Department spokesman, falsely claimed.

Price knows that’s a lie.

Even if the humanitarian aid doesn’t initially pass through the Taliban’s coffers, it will inevitably end up there as it works its way through Afghanistan. Even if we just shipped food and medicines, the Taliban will take its ‘cut’ of the medicine and food as they used to before. They will then be able to dispense it to their supporters or resell it on the black market. Both are common practices for Islamic terrorist groups like the Houthis in Yemen or Hamas in Israel.

That’s why it’s common for there to be a “humanitarian crisis” in terrorist hellholes like Yemen or Gaza. No matter how much aid is sent in, the crisis never goes away because the terrorists not only steal the aid, they deliberately create the crises so that they have more aid to steal.

The only way to stop the crisis is to either kill the terrorists or at least stop sending them aid.

The 10% in the headline is a crude estimate. Any money or aid dispatched to Afghanistan will resonate back and forth through the economy with the Taliban taking a cut at every end. And the final amount will be a whole lot more than the formal Islamic tithe which the Taliban impose.

There is no way to provide humanitarian aid to a terrorist state without funding its regime.

And that will mean difficult moral choices.

When the Great Famine struck Russia as a result of Communist collectivism, the United States undertook a massive aid effort, sending $20 million (a quarter million in today’s dollars) in food aid. The noble effort saved millions, and bailed out the Bolshevik regime which showed no gratitude and went on to kill millions anyway. Then it built up a massive nuclear program while plotting to destroy the United States and murder hundred of millions of Americans.

No one wants to deny aid to suffering people, but when the cause of the suffering is a genocidal enemy regime, subsidizing it only makes things worse. Refusing to provide aid or normalize economic relations with the Soviet Union might have saved far more lives in the long run.

The Taliban won because many Afghans decided to support them or not to resist them. That is a choice that they will have to live with and learn to regret if anything is going to change.

Providing aid to Afghanistan will bail out the Taliban. The more aid we send to Afghanistan, the more powerful, the more secure, and the more aggressive the Taliban’s ambitions will grow. The harder the Taliban have to work to maintain control over Afghanistan, the less scope they will have for terrorism abroad. The more aid we send, the broader the Taliban’s horizons will grow.

Senator Cory Booker foolishly argued that aid is a “strategic leverage that we have over the Taliban.” No, it’s strategic leverage that the Taliban have over us as the Biden administration and the UN negotiate with the terrorists over the right to bail out their vicious regime.

Biden kept falsely claiming that he had to get out of Afghanistan because we couldn’t keep spending money on the failed state. Yet he began sending more money to Afghanistan before all of the Americans he abandoned behind enemy lines had even been evacuated.

After leaving massive caches of weapons and vehicles for the Taliban to enjoy, Biden is dispatching another $64 million, of which millions will likely end up in the hands of the Taliban.

The Taliban will impose their Islamic tithe on the aid that Biden sends to Afghanistan. And taxpayers will be the ones paying the tithe to support the Taliban’s Jihad against non-Muslims.

Americans aren’t just paying taxes to the government, they’re paying them to the Taliban.

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

Click here to subscribe to my articles. 

Thank you for reading.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

A New Civil War in a Time Capsule

By On September 26, 2021
“This is today’s Virginia, not yesterday’s. And one day, when future generations look back at this moment, they will be able to learn about the inclusive, welcoming Commonwealth," Governor Ralph Northam sourly declared as the statue of General Lee was pulled off its pedestal.

Yesterday’s Virginia was fairly recent because Northam had been photographed dressed either as a Klansman or in blackface back in 1984. Future generations however probably won’t be invited to learn about the inclusive and welcoming state being built by a hypocritical racist.

Northam submitted pictures of his own press conference, his wife’s face mask, and an anti-American poem read at his Juneteenth commemoration to the time capsule, but neglected to include his awkward Klan blackface picture as a gift to the inclusive people of the future.

It’s a little awkward that Monument Avenue now has no monuments, except a statue of tennis player Arthur Ashe who left Richmond when he was in high school, but the barren avenue is what happens when you spend all your time destroying things, instead of creating them.

Northam’s big show at the General Lee monument, replacing a time capsule from 1887 with a new capsule featuring the newly woke Virginia, hit a snag when they couldn’t find the old one.

The Democrat leaders had gathered a perfect capsule of the sort of things a leftist would value, like a sticker from today's Klan, the Black Lives Matter movement, a face mask, and a magazine cover of the Lee monument graffitied with the face of George Floyd, a criminal who robbed a woman at gunpoint during a home invasion and died of a drug overdose triggering race riots.

But they couldn’t find the original 1887 time capsule.

After wrestling with the massive granite base for most of the day, and digging a hole, the woke vandals came up empty.

"After a couple of long hard days, it's clear the time capsule won't be found and Virginia is done with lost causes," Northam's spokesman snapped. "The search for this moldy Confederate box is over. We're moving on."

Were 21st century wokes outsmarted by 19th century southerners? Or did someone more modern figure out how to get at the time capsule before it could be ritually burned?

What is the new woke Virginia moving on to? As Governor Northam put it, “the capsule focuses on the story of race in Richmond”. Any future Virginians who open the time capsule will discover that the early 21st century was much more obsessed with race than the late 19th century.

The 1887 time capsule had plenty of Confederate materials: none of them dealing with race. It’s not the Virginians of 1887 who viewed the world purely in terms of race, but their modern descendants who are obsessed with race in the way that only obsessive racists are.

Like the sort of racists who dress up as klansmen before ushering in the new inclusive Virginia because they don’t actually believe in anything except tearing us apart to gain power.

The contrast between the 1887 and 2021 time capsules is revealing. The 1887 capsule contained plenty of Confederate, but also Masonic memorabilia. There were also a variety of coins, American, Confederate, and even British, city statistics, and commercial advertisements.

Along with a church history and a bible.

Bibles are notably absent from the 2021 time capsule which is dedicated to the new woke religion of leftist virtue signaling. The closest to any sort of religious content in the new woke capsule is a Presbyterian session on "dismantling racism" and a Zoom interfaith prayer featuring diverse clergy who, apart from the Muslim participants, almost certainly believe in nothing.

Northam and his cronies claim that the new time capsule represents a more welcoming Virginia, but it’s actually more parochial in its stifling ideological conformity. The 1887 capsule for all its championing of the Confederacy included a picture of Lincoln lying in his coffin. The men and women who assembled that capsule were capable of honoring the tragedy of Lincoln’s death.

There are no such concessions in the woke time capsule of 2021 to any other point of view.

“The creation of this new capsule is a response to the Virginia represented in the old capsule, which promoted Lost Cause mythology and only represented the stories and experiences of a small segment of society. It is also a representation of the Virginia of today, one rooted in our values of inclusion, equity, and diversity,” Governor Northam declared.

The stories and experiences in the woke capsule represent an even smaller tribal segment. If you’re not a black nationalist, politically gay or militantly feminist, there’s nothing there for you. The woke artifacts are concerned with tribal identity to a larger degree than the 1887 capsule. The archeologists of another century will see a self-conscious society of castes obsessed with its own conflicts while offering next to nothing in the way of unity or hope for the future.

A significant number of artifacts in the woke time capsule are concerned with the decision to vandalize and remove the General Lee statue. There are tributes to the Black Lives Matter race riots, to the bizarre efforts to revive the ERA, and fetishization of pandemic paraphernalia. What little art there is vulgar, tasteless, tribal, and predictably accuses America of racism.

The woke time capsule struggles to invent the last few years as a new era in history, a contemporary to the civil rights movement, but all it succeeds in doing is drawing a portrait of a broken age that is so obsessed with its momentary causes that it lacks all perspective.

The 1887 time capsule captured life decades after the end of the Civil War while the 2021 time capsule is a snapshot of a society on the verge of a new civil war. It’s easy to sneer at the reverence for Confederate history in the 1887 time capsule, but it’s far better than the mingled arrogance and rage of the 2021 time capsule which is entirely concerned with settling scores.

19th century Richmond was remembering the past while its 21st century counterparts are capable of nothing more than broadcasting war propaganda while celebrating their power. The men and women who hid the time capsule so well that the wokes have yet to find it did not expect that the future would recognize them as the winners. But Northam and his ilk are convinced that whoever opens this time capsule will cheer them on as crusading heroes.

The woke time capsule is the premature victory celebration of a civil war yet to come.

And yet there’s nothing in their time capsule that would convince any disinterested observer of the future that the woke cause deserves to win. The new inclusive Virginia, based on the contents of the capsule, has no art or music, is incapable of creating, only at best remixing, confuses vulgarity with creativity, and appears to have accomplished nothing in all this time.

Except to tear down a statue.

Even its radical causes, whether it’s Black Lives Matter, the ERA, or sexual politics, are always in motion, never actually fulfilled. These are the only things that the Democrats can think of to pass on to the future. It’s as if, given a chance to speak with our great-grandparents they would shout at us about bimetallism and railroad monopolies, or, as in Richmond, when speaking to our great-grandchildren, all we could do was shout “Stop Asian Hate” and “Black Lives Matter”.

What would any future Virginia think of people who would store Natalie Diaz's lesbian Post-Colonial Love Poem, "I am in the dirt for you. Your hips are quartz-light and dangerous", or photos of Northam’s own press conference on removing the General Lee statue for the ages?

They will rightly see them as feckless, inept, and decadent. A society that, like the declining days of ancient Rome and Egypt, whose caesars and pharaohs were obsessed with destroying the monuments of their predecessors, is destructive, and obsessed with power and pleasure.

And they won’t be far wrong.

We used to wonder what made the great empires and nations of the past fall so far from their glory days. Now all we need to do is pick through the trash that the incompetent master wokes deem worthy of showing off to the future to realize how far the nation has fallen into the gutter.

The woke time capsule was deliberately selected to replace the old Virginia with the new. Yet the woke vandals couldn’t even find the old time capsule and sneered that they didn’t need it anyway. Why bother searching for the past when all you want to do is destroy it anyway?

But what the men and women of Richmond understood in 1887 is that the past is built on the future. The past, like all things, is imperfect, but destroying it leaves us with nothing. Like the bare pedestals of Monument Avenue, the gutted storefronts, and a time capsule devoid of anything beautiful and constructive, what the Left has left is ruins, ugliness, and hate.

Inside the new woke time capsule is a snapshot of a nation on the verge of another civil war.

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

Click here to subscribe to my articles. 

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Soviet Union thought the same thing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to subscribe to my articles. 

Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The ACLU Trades Civil Rights for Government Power

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

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

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

America has changed since and so has the ACLU.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Choice. In America. Go figure.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That was six times its annual donation total.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thank you for reading.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

It's Not Over

By On September 12, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It still isn’t over.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Allahu Akbar.”

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

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

Thursday, September 09, 2021

Biden’s Shameless Exploitation of His Dead Son

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That doesn’t mean that Biden will stop.

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to subscribe to my articles. 

Thank you for reading.

Sunday, September 05, 2021

California Dems Bet On Identity Politics to Save Newsom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And that’s what has California Democrats terrified.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thank you for reading.

Afghanistan After America

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stability is not in Afghanistan’s future.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Wednesday, September 01, 2021

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

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

The next day Kabul fell.

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

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

The bulk shipment of dollars never did arrive.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Taliban would like some or all of that money.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just ask Venezuela and Iran. Or Detroit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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