Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Civil War 2? Allen West and Truth Regarding Obama. Fatah Plans.

This from a very dear and long time friend and fellow memo reader: "Dick, in 1a (morning memo), it is disheartening to accept that House members and Senators, who supposedly were voted-in to work for the Nation,in its behalf and on behalf of citizens, when the time comes to vote they  do so on behalf of themselves.
That is the reason why I have always believed House members and Senators should be elected to serve only one term.  I do not know if this would help.  

I also believe schools should teach their students the basis of government functioning in a democracy, beginning 
with the importance of  accepting of the majority's wishes as demonstrated by free voting and the resolution of the conflict if you disagree  by voting next time knowing that not necessarily you will change the wishes of the majority again.

My views in this area are perhaps based (Cuban constitution was similar and based on ours here) that in high school's third year we had a full year subject called ''Civics'' where the constitution, government, an other legal matters were taught.

In all I can also tell you I believe  our founding fathers were true geniuses.  Some times I ponder how back in the seventeen hundreds they were able to develop a system than can work so perfectly were it not for the ambition of a few.  There has to have been celestial intervention and no wonder we are a Nation under God. Our God.

 Love you all.  M----."
In today's morning memo, I lamented our society seems to be in a melt down 
and then I came across this op ed by Prager. (See 1 below.)

I also wrote, in the same memo, history was not on the side of sanity and warned 
about the mess Obama created for the world with his  Iran deal and illegal pay-offs
and came across this. (See 1a below.)
As Trump moves forward the mass media are refocusing on his Inaugural speech and particularly how he defined what is taking place in many of our urban communities as "carnage."

Trump may be inarticulate and unpredictable but his choice of words, to describe what he sees and feels, is stark and blunt.

An objective view of the impact of PC'ism, the resulting killings and the influx of drugs and opiod epidemics are real. One may disagree how they should be characterized but they cannot be ignored.
That the press is biased and bent on nit picking also cannot be ignored.

We are witnessing a period of populism which is in response to our nation being drowned in progressiveness.  The political pendulum is reversing, at long last, and the mass media is resorting to stoking the flames by characterizing what is taking place as Hitlerism and racist.  Women are taking to the streets to protest their angst regardless of the logic of their arguments. This too shall pass.

Trump is an activist and is moving forward on all fronts and the market is responding in a hopeful and positive manner. He knows where he wants to go but he is not clear and specific as to how he will get there. This is why I believe he will take us on a roller coaster ride emotionally but eventually we will benefit from progress. (See 1b, 1c, 1d and 1e below.)

Recently, I characterized the market's stalled upward movement as a consequence of temporary uncertainty but stuck to my view that it would eventually break through the 20,000 Dow Level.  I still believe financial related, technology, health care, energy as well as military and infrastructure are sectors where one should focus but my suggestions of Qualcomm, Bristol Meyers and OPKO have been hurt by negative company specific news. Nevertheless, I believe their long term prospects remain favorable. Bankamerica, Manulife and selected energy stocks have done well.

2017 should see corporate earnings buoyed by tax relief and the elimination of crippling rules and regulations.  I remain upbeat but agree the aggregate market is not cheap.
My friend, Allen West reveals some facts now that Obama is gone that he kept from American voters.  This from the former president who promised to have the most open administration. I was suspicious when he said it. Were you?  (See 2 below.)
More regarding war strategy (See  3 below.)
1) America's Second Civil War
By DennisPrager

It is time for our society to acknowledge a sad truth: America is currently fighting its second Civil War.

In fact, with the obvious and enormous exception of attitudes toward slavery, Americans are more divided morally, ideologically and politically today than they were during the Civil War. For that reason, just as the Great War came to be known as World War I once there was World War II, the Civil War will become known as the First Civil War when more Americans come to regard the current battle as the Second Civil War.

This Second Civil War, fortunately, differs in another critically important way: It has thus far been largely nonviolent. But given increasing left-wing violence, such as riots, the taking over of college presidents' offices and the illegal occupation of state capitols, nonviolence is not guaranteed to be a permanent characteristic of the Second Civil War.

There are those on both the left and right who call for American unity. But these calls are either naive or disingenuous. Unity was possible between the right and liberals, but not between the right and the left.

Liberalism — which was anti-left, pro-American and deeply committed to the Judeo-Christian foundations of America; and which regarded the melting pot as the American ideal, fought for free speech for its opponents, regarded Western civilization as the greatest moral and artistic human achievement and viewed the celebration of racial identity as racism — is now affirmed almost exclusively on the right and among a handful of people who don't call themselves conservative.

The left, however, is opposed to every one of those core principles of liberalism.

Like the left in every other country, the left in America essentially sees America as a racist, xenophobic, colonialist, imperialist, warmongering, money-worshipping, moronically religious nation.

Just as in Western Europe, the left in America seeks to erase America's Judeo-Christian foundations. The melting pot is regarded as nothing more than an anti-black, anti-Muslim, anti-Hispanic meme. The left suppresses free speech wherever possible for those who oppose it, labeling all non-left speech "hate speech." To cite only one example, if you think Shakespeare is the greatest playwright or Bach is the greatest composer, you are a proponent of dead white European males and therefore racist.

Without any important value held in common, how can there be unity between left and non-left? Obviously, there cannot.
There will be unity only when the left vanquishes the right or the right vanquishes the left. Using the First Civil War analogy, American unity was achieved only after the South was vanquished and slavery was abolished. 

How are those of us who oppose left-wing nihilism — there is no other word for an ideology that holds Western civilization and America's core values in contempt — supposed to unite with "educators" who instruct elementary school teachers to cease calling their students "boys" and "girls" because that implies gender identity? With English departments that don't require reading Shakespeare in order to receive a degree in English? With those who regard virtually every war America has fought as imperialist and immoral? With those who regard the free market as a form of oppression? With those who want the state to control as much of American life as possible? With those who repeatedly tell America and its black minority that the greatest problems afflicting black Americans are caused by white racism, "white privilege" and "systemic racism"? With those who think that the nuclear family ideal is inherently misogynistic and homophobic? With those who hold that Israel is the villain in the Middle East? With those who claim that the term "Islamic terrorist" is an expression of religious bigotry?
The third significant difference between the First and Second Civil Wars is that in the Second Civil war, one side has been doing nearly all the fighting. That is how it has been able to take over schools — from elementary schools, to high schools, to universities — and indoctrinate America's young people; how it has taken over nearly all the news media; and how it has taken over entertainment media.

The conservative side has lost on every one of these fronts because it has rarely fought back with anything near the ferocity with which the left fights. Name a Republican politician who has run against the left as opposed to running solely against his or her Democratic opponent. And nearly all American conservatives, people who are proud of America and affirm its basic tenets, readily send their children to schools that indoctrinate their children against everything the parents hold precious. A mere handful protest when their child's teacher ceases calling their son a boy or their daughter a girl, or makes "slave owner" the defining characteristic of the Founding Fathers. 

With the defeat of the left in the last presidential election, the defeat of the left in two-thirds of the gubernatorial elections and the defeat of the left in a majority of House and Senate elections, this is likely the last chance liberals, conservatives and the right have to defeat the American left. But it will not happen until these groups understand that we are fighting for the survival of America no less than the Union troops were in the First Civil War.


Trump, Europe and the Way Forward on Iran

Cracking down on Tehran’s destabilizing behavior in the Middle East is an early chance for cooperation.

Giulio Terzi and Jason M. Brodsky

European powers have been quietly warning members of President Trump’s team that new sanctions on Iran are a nonstarter across the Atlantic. One senior European official went as far as to say that if any new U.S. sanctions were to cause the Iran nuclear deal to collapse, most Europeans will say it was Washington’s fault, barring any “major provocation” from the Iranians.

This warning ignores an important fact: In the time since the Iran nuclear deal was implemented, Tehran has already shown a willful disregard for the spirit of the agreement.

In the past year, Tehran has tested multiple ballistic missiles, ordered Russian Sukhoi-30 fighter jets without receiving the required blessing of the United Nations Security Council and continued its “illegal proliferation-sensitive procurement activities” at a “quantitatively high level,” according to the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution.

Given that the European Union spent considerable political capital sealing the nuclear deal, its leaders should be more invested in ensuring it is strongly enforced and that Iran is held accountable for its nonnuclear aggression. Continuing to ignore the mullahs’ actions will mean surrendering the West’s considerable economic, political and moral leverage.

Rather than clipping Tehran’s wings, the nuclear deal has given the mullahs the money—more than $100 billion—and the political cachet to double down on their aggression in the region. Their threatening and destabilizing behavior prompted 11 Arab states to write to the U.N. General Assembly in November accusing Iran of sponsoring terrorism and constantly interfering in the internal affairs of Arab nations.

Nowhere is Iran’s regional aggression more evident than in Syria. Estimates put Iran’s funding of the Syrian regime at $6 billion a year, not including the arms and personnel that keep flooding into the country, enabling the barrel bombing of innocent civilians.

Emboldened by their efforts in Syria—and the lack of a coordinated Western response—the mullahs make no secret of their greater regional ambitions. The deputy commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps recently warned that “it is now time for the Islamic conquests. After the liberation of Aleppo, Bahrain’s hopes will be realized and Yemen will be happy with the defeat of the enemies of Islam”—meaning the legitimate government of Bahrain will be overthrown and the Saudi-led anti-Iran coalition defeated in Yemen.
This aggression cannot go unchecked. The U.S. and the EU must work together to address these continuing threats.

The trans-Atlantic alliance must strictly enforce the letter of the nuclear deal. Washington and Brussels should hold the Iranians accountable for their flouting of restrictions on ballistic missiles and arms, and allegations of proliferation of illegal nuclear equipment. If Iran continues its intransigence, the P5+1 must not be afraid to employ nonnuclear sanctions and even threaten to walk away from the deal. Tehran needs the nuclear deal more than the West does—President Rouhani admitted as much in a Jan. 1 interview that if the deal hadn’t been inked, Iran’s budget would have been severely strained.

The EU should also sanction the entire Hezbollah organization as a foreign terrorist entity. While the U.S. State Department has designated the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shiite militia as such since 1997, the EU has only blacklisted its military wing. This is a distinction without a difference. Just ask the deputy secretary-general of Hezbollah, Naim Qassem, who once told a Lebanese newspaper, “Hezbollah’s secretary-general is the head of the Shura Council and also the head of the Jihad Council, and this means that we have one leadership, with one administration.”

Europe has long been an important source for Hezbollah fundraising. In February, Hezbollah members were arrested after using millions of dollars from the sale of cocaine in the U.S. and Europe to purchase weapons in Syria. These are issues which should concern the EU, given that the crisis in Syria—enabled by Hezbollah and its patron, Iran—has resulted in a massive refugee crisis that is threatening the stability of many member countries. Europe desperately needs to crack down on this permissive environment.

As America has done, the EU must deepen security cooperation with the Gulf states. Britain’s announcement in December of an additional £3 billion ($3.73 billion) in defense spending in the region to thwart “Iran’s destabilizing activities” is a step in the right direction, as is the creation of the European Defense Fund to invest more in the creation of joint capabilities. More countries, including France, Germany and Italy, need to follow and increase their defense contributions in the Middle East. As British Prime Minister Theresa May has said, “Gulf security is our security.”

As EU leaders look for opportunities to collaborate with the new U.S. administration, Iran should be center stage. Collaborative efforts to crack down on Iran’s aggressive and destabilizing behavior may go a long way in addressing some of the most pressing challenges on the global agenda.

Mr. Terzi, a former foreign minister of Italy, is a senior adviser to United Against Nuclear Iran, where Mr. Brodsky is the policy director

1b) Did Trump Reverse Himself on Embassy Move Or Not?

Palestinian sources, journalists, and possibly Trump administration officials as well muddied the waters on whether the US is going to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem. Follow the bouncing ball and draw your own conclusions about what this means for the next four years of Mideast news coverage.

It all starts with the Arab paper Asharq al-Awsat (English site) reporting that the PA received US reassurances that the embassy would not be moved to Jerusalem. Israeli papers then followed up with their own PA sources. The results? Jerusalem Post and Times of Israel sources specifically denied receiving reassurances, while a Haaretz source confirmed receiving US reassurances.

There was no hard confirmation from the US, though the White House may be lowering expectations.

Claims that Trump administration caved to Arab pressure over the embassy move is fake news.

 Several Israeli-based media outlets are repeating a story from an Arab media outlet that the U.S. Embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is “off the table” due to Arab pressure.
But let’s look at the evidence thus far produced and line it up against reality.
The reports claiming the Trump administration has backed down from its stated commitment to move the embassy assert the reason that is happening is because of pressure placed on the new administration by the Palestinian Arab leadership.
A story in the Times of Israel quoted a report in the Arabic media outlet Asharq Al-Awsat. That report mentioned that assurances  PLS CONTINUE READING:

1d) Giuliani to JPost: Trump backs Jerusalem embassy move, but reality is complex
Former NY mayor notes Washington's no-comment on settlement construction announcement move a stark contrast to Obama's reflexive condemnations.

Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, who has long supported moving the US embassy to Jerusalem and is an advisor to US President Donald Trump, told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday that he believes the issue “is under active consideration.”

He stepped back, however, from saying whether or not it will happen. “That is something that the president will have to decide. It is under active consideration.”

Asked in an interview with the Post whether he feels that Trump -- who was a strong advocate of moving the embassy during the campaign -- has changed his mind, Giuliani responded, “I think that now that he is in office, there are a lot more facts and arguments and people you have to consult with before you make a final decision, and it is a more deliberative process. I don't think his position has changed in any way.”

Giuliani, who Trump recently named as his cybersecurity advisor, said he has spoken with the president about the embassy issue, though he would not say when, or what he said. He did say, however, that he would advise that the move “be worked out carefully with the Israeli government, so that it is done in a way they are comfortable with.”

This, he said, means that it will be done in a way that does not “interfere with anything they are doing or have in mind. It will have a big impact of them, and it should be a decision coordinated with the government of Israel.”

Giuliani is in the country for a few days on business as the global chair of Greenberg Traurig's Cybersecurity, Privacy and Crisis Management practice. Greenberg Traurig is an international law firm with an office in Israel. He is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his visit, as he does whenever he visits the country. Last year he was here three times.

Regarding the White House's lack of a comment on Tuesday to the Israeli government's announcement of plans to build 2,500 additional housing units beyond the Green Line, mostly in the large settlement blocs, Giuliani noted that this was “different than the response that used to happen, a couple of weeks ago, which was almost uniform condemnation of Israel” any time there were announcements about settlement construction.

“No comment is a lot different than saying you shouldn't do it, or that it is wrong, or hurts the peace process,” he said. “This shows you that there is a different position in Washington than there was before.”

Giuliani said that the “rest of it,” such as the thinking and strategy behind the move is “best left to a private discussion between the president and the prime minister, which can now take place because there is a much closer relationship.”

He said that unlike the situation that existed when Barack Obama was president, Netanyahu “can explain to the president exactly his own views on these different settlements, where they help, where they hurt, what he really thinks.”

And the president, he said, “can relate to the prime minister what he really thinks, rather than communication by press release, which is the way it happened in the past. Israel would do a settlement, and the Obama administration would almost reflexively condemn it.”

Giuliani said that the new administration heralds a significant change of attitude in Washington that is more favorable toward Israel.

“Just exactly what that means and how that is going to play out over the course of maybe 10 different issues might not be exactly what some people who have the most extreme views may want, but I think it is safe to say that there is a much more understanding and supportive attitude in Washington toward Israel than there was before,” he said.

Giuliani added that there is also “a much clearer understanding that there is not a moral equivalence between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, which was something that strongly influenced the Obama administration.” 

As to those worried that the “put America first” theme of Trump's inaugural address may not augur well for Israel, since an argument could be made under this rubric that the $3 billion a year spent on military aid for Israel could be better spent domestically, Giuliani had a simple answer: supporting Israel “fits into [putting] America first.”

“We are talking about an area of the world that has an impact on the US domestically, because of the nature of terrorism, and the fact that if we don't spend the amount of money we are spending, and maybe even more on this part of the world, that will have domestic implications for the United States,” he said. “This is part of America first, because of the attacks that occur in the United States, because of the impact of terrorism on the United States.”

1e)Fatah already planning terror campaign
to prevent US embassy move to Jerusalem
  • Fatah official: Fatah is holding meetings with "all of the field leaders... in preparation for a fierce popular intifada"
  • "We won't... hesitate to take to the streets and return to confronting the occupation using all means"
  • "America and the entire world will be witness to the collapse of the peace process and instability, and not only in Palestine"
  • "Fatah said in a statement that this will cause an explosion in the entire world"

 Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

Abbas' Fatah Movement has already held meetings in preparation for a terror campaign against Israel should the United States decide to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, according to Deputy Secretary of Fatah's Jerusalem branch, Shadi Mattour.
Mattour told official PA TV that Fatah is holding meetings with "all the field leaders in the branches and the Shabiba (Fatah's youth movement)... in preparation for a fierce popular intifada." He declared that Fatah "won't hesitate to take to the streets and return to confronting the occupation using all means."
The term "using all means" is a Palestinian euphemism for violence and terror. Already last week, Palestinian Media Watch reported that PA and Fatah leaders are preparing the population for a violent response to a decision to move the embassy by threatening that an  embassy move will lead to bloodshed 

The Palestinian Authority is indicating that it expects that threats of violence, and if need be, a strong violent response "using all means" will force US President Trump to retract his decision:

"Secretary-General of the National and Islamic Forces [and PLO Executive Committee member] Dr. Wasel Abu Yusuf said that transferring the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem will cause the spread of terror and harm to the region's stability, and emphasized the actions to find tools to pressure the new American administration in order to prevent it from approving the transfer.'"
[Ma'an, independent Palestinian news agency, Jan. 24, 2017]
PMW notes that this high number of threats to use violence by senior PA leaders is unprecedented during the Abbas administration.
The last time PA officials expressed many threats to use violence was during Sept - Oct 2015, which sparked many months of Palestinian terror.
Many PA and Fatah leaders have added more threats:

"Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki emphasized that they will not sit idly by if the new American administration decides to transfer its embassy to occupied Jerusalem, and predicted a new type of mobilization to save the city... Zaki said in press statements: 'We do not see Palestine without Jerusalem and therefore if the American embassy is moved to the city, we will be exempt from all of the obligations and will renounce all existing ties, and whoever knocks on the door will hear a reply.'
He added: 'I fully believe that we will not sit idly by, and we will not be alone, as there are people that love Jerusalem and understand its spiritual status, and a new type of mobilization, that nobody expected, will begin to save the holiest site on the planet.'
Zaki emphasized that Jerusalem is the mother of battles, and without it life is of little value. He noted that they are at the stage of preparations to resolve their situation and resolve the Palestinian situation in general, so they will be ready for the next confrontation...
Zaki said: 'The Palestinians are a people of power, and Allah chose them to protect His holiest site, and in the end we will win and the Zionist extremists will pay the price."
[Donia Al-Watan, independent Palestinian news agency, Jan. 23, 2017]
"Fatah Central Committee member Jamal Muhaisen said ... 'Transferring the embassy will destroy the possibilities of peace, and the response to it if it is implemented will be confrontation with the occupation on the ground by all possible means' ... District Governor of Hebron Kamel Hamid... noted that Jerusalem is 'a symbol of the intifadas, the conflicts, and the wars, but also a symbol of stability, peace, and love. Whoever dares [to act] against it will burn in its fire, and it is the red line of everyone respectable in the world.' ... Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki mentioned the danger of the decision to transfer the American embassy to Jerusalem, and warned against the danger of the position and its consequences. He noted that the Fatah Central Committee has decided to oppose this decision using all means.'... Fatah Central Committee member Mahmoud Al-Aloul... added that the Palestinian people is prepared for any sacrifice for Jerusalem and the land of Palestine, and cannot agree to this step."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 20, 2017]

"Fatah Central Committee member [and Fatah Commissioner for Arab and China Relations] Abbas Zaki emphasized today, Tuesday [Jan. 24, 2017], that if the American embassy is transferred to Jerusalem, the PA has many and unlimited options for coming out against this step."
[Palestine Today, independent Palestinian news agency, Jan 24, 2017]
The following is a longer excerpt from the PA TV program mentioned above:

Official PA TV host: "Transferring the American embassy to Jerusalem, the occupied capital, is against international law, and constitutes a crossing of all lines and a violation of all the international norms and conventions, which have confirmed that the city is an occupied city. All the international bodies have related to it on the basis of this principle. The hostility being displayed by the American Congress and the [American] administrations toward the rights of the Palestinian people is unprecedented, and requires an appropriate response by the states that are members of the [UN] Security Council, the UN, and the Arab and Islamic states. The occupation state and the US that supports it must understand that the Palestinian people and its legitimate leadership have enough willpower to fight and to endure over the coming decades - and if they approach the red lines, it will turn into ferocity and defiance that will allow it to defend the sites holy to Islam and Christianity, the independence of its Palestinian state, and its eternal capital, Jerusalem."
: "
[Official PA TV, The Occupied Capital, Jan. 24, 2017]

The terms "all means," "peaceful uprising," and "popular uprising" are often used by PA leaders to refer to events that include violence and deadly terror against Israeli civilians such as rock-throwing, stabbings and even shootings. See Mahmoud Abbas' reference to murderous terror as "peaceful" during the 2015-2016 terror wave ("The Knife Intifada"), which included numerous stabbings, shootings and car ramming attacks in which 40 people were killed (36 Israelis, 1 Palestinian, 2 Americans and 1 Eritrean) and hundreds wounded.


2)Now that he’s gone, we’re learning the AWFUL truth… By Allen West

You can always assess a person’s priorities based on how and where they spend their money. In the realm of politics, budgets and spending are clear evidence of what is important to the politician. The preamble of our Constitution clearly lays down the missions, and priorities of our federal government. It states:
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Notice it says nothing about establishing “social” justice. And, I’m quite sure sanctuary cities that harbor criminal illegal aliens don’t ensure domestic tranquility — sadly something Kate Steinle encountered.

But I want to draw your attention to these words: “provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare.” There’s a huge difference in these two phrases based upon the 
verbs provide and promote. The verb provide is active, while the verb promote is passive. In other words, a very important aspect of our federal government is it actively seeks to provide for our defense — our security.
At the same time, the federal government is supposed to promote our general welfare — in essence, allow us to pursue our happiness. But, somehow, these words have been juxtaposed, and, for the last eight years, we’ve had a federal government, under progressive socialist control, that sought to provide the general welfare while just promoting our common defense. A big difference when it comes to policies…and spending.
As reported by the venerable Terence Jeffrey at

“Barack Obama was the first president of the United States to spend more on “means-tested entitlements” — aka welfare — than on national defense, according to data published by his own Office of Management and Budget.

Historical tables that the OMB posted on the Obama White House website, include annual totals for both “national defense” spending and “means-tested entitlement” spending going back to fiscal 1962–which is three years before President Lyndon Johnson signed legislation creating the Medicaid program, a means-tested entitlement that together with the Children’s Health Insurance Program enrolled 74,407,191 beneficiaries as of November 2016.
In every year from fiscal 1962 through fiscal 2014, total national defense spending exceeded means-tested entitlement spending.
In fiscal year 1962, for example, the federal government spent more than twelve times as much money on national defense ($52,345,000,000) as it did on means-test entitlements ($4,300,000,000).
However, national defense spending peaked in 2011, when it hit $705,554,000,000. By contrast, means-tested entitlement spending has increased each year since 2012.
Finally, in fiscal 2015, it exceeded national defense spending for the first time.

The fiscal 2016 numbers published in the OMB’s Historical Tables are estimates, but they show means-tested entitlements exceeding national defense spending $709,600,000,000 to $604,452,000,000.”
Now, of course the progressive socialist left will come back with the typical retort of “uncaring conservatives,” which isn’t the case. The difference is, conservatives believe we should have a safety net, not a hammock. Under Barack Obama we saw an incredible increase in American poverty, food stamp enrollment, and an expansion of Medicaid — which was meant to cover folks under the poverty line.
Now, never forget that during the Obama reign, America went from $10.67 trillion to $20 trillion in debt, and what did we get? We have more Americans dependent on government and its welfare nanny-state. We have a military that’s been decimated and depleted to the point where aviation maintenance crews are scouring museums and bone yards for spare parts. We don’t have adequate carrier coverage in the Persian Gulf. We’re driving our men and women in uniform into the ground due to incessant combat tours of duty. No, we don’t need to police the world, but we need to have a deterrent capability and capacity to provide security, and be able to engage and defeat the enemy on the ground, when called upon.
Perhaps we need an honest media that assesses the Obama era and enables the American public to see what the starting point is for the incoming Trump administration. How many times were we forced to hear, “I inherited the worst economic situation,” or “I inherited this mess?” Why won’t the mainstream liberal progressive media be honest and tell our people the truth about where this nation stands when it comes to economic growth? It’s the worst recovery post-World War II, and he’s the first president to not achieve three percent GDP growth.
Combine that with the deplorable situation for our national security and military forces and all you can do is shake your head. Instead, we have a nationwide women’s march about voting rights and killing babies — all affirming the priorities of the progressive left.
Can we have a fiscally responsible Department of Defense? Absolutely. We learned that the Obama DoD suppressed a report of $125 billion of wasteful civilian bureaucratic spending. See, the dirty little secret Obama didn’t want anyone to know was that sequestration gutted our front line forces. However, the defense bureaucracy didn’t suffer at all, nor did the broken defense acquisition system. The sad reality is there are those inside the Washington DC beltway who don’t comprehend every taxpayer dollar sent to the federal government is not equal. There must be spending priorities, and those priorities should be aligned with the constitutional duties of the federal government.
If one peruses Article I of our constitution, the majority of the Congressional responsibilities and enumerated powers are defense related: providing for the common defense. However, the statists and progressive socialists have taken the simple phrase “general welfare” to create an apparatus where the government gives from cradle to grave — well, at least to those who are allowed to be in a cradle.
They have perverted Jefferson’s words and no longer believe the American people have the right to the “pursuit of happiness.” The prevailing sentiment is that government must “guarantee happiness,” resulting in exploding deficits and higher debt.
We need zero-based budgeting, and let’s start in the Pentagon to ensure we are providing for the common defense, but in a fiscally responsible manner. We no longer need the baseline budgeting system that allows the federal government to increase spending every year and maintain wasteful programs.
With Barack Obama gone, perhaps we can get back to empowering Americans economically, and securing them here and abroad. Obama’s mantra was to economically enslave more Americans to his collective progressive socialist dream of dependency…and in the end, we found ourselves being killed by our enemies on our streets.
Farewell Obama: we will now restore our Constitutional Republic to “provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare.” And, we will once again “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves, and our posterity” for future generations.

Facing Future Wars: Ancient Lessons on Strategy for President Trump

President Trump comes into office with a clear determination to “win” all ongoing and future American wars. Nothing unusual about this. After all, such determination seems plainly ordinary, traditional, even indisputable.
Upon closer reflection, however, it becomes evident that the standard criteria of victory and defeat may already have become effectively meaningless in certain expected strategic circumstances, and also that there are some important lessons to be learned about this significant transformation from the ancient world.
More precisely, therefore, here is what the new President needs to understand. Whether the United States will ultimately “win” or “lose” in current theaters of military operation, or in any other future arenas of conflict, the core vulnerability of American cities to both mass-destruction terrorism and ballistic missile attack could plausibly remain unaffected. Already, major Jihadist training and planning areas are shifting to include such far-flung places as Mali, Sudan, Bangladesh, Yemen, and even Chechnya.
Shall Mr. Trump plan to send US forces there as well, in order to “win?”
In part, at least, the times have changed with regard to the security implications of any conceivable military victory or defeat. At Thermopylae, we may learn from Herodotus, the Greeks suffered a stunning defeat in 480 BCE. What happened next is a conceptual “benchmark” for understanding where we are today. It should be duly noted by our senior military policy planners.
Then, Persian King Xerxes could not even begin to contemplate the destruction of Athens until he had first secured a decisive military victory. Only after the Persian defeat of Spartan King Leonidas, and his defending forces, could the Athenians be forced to abandon Attica. Transporting themselves to the island of Salamis, the Greeks would then bear tragic witness to the Persians triumphantly burning their houses, and destroying their temples.
Why should this ancient Greek tragedy still be meaningful for our new president and his advisors? Here is the chief answer. Until the actual onset of our nuclear era, states, city-states, and empires were essentially safe from homeland destruction unless their armies had already been defeated. To be sure, some national homeland vulnerabilities arose even earlier together with air power and air war, but these would generally still require “official” penetrations by a national enemy air force.
Before 1945, in war, a capacity to destroy had always required an antecedent capacity to win. Without a prior victory, intended aggressions could never really amount to much more than expressions of military intentions. Moreover, in August 1945, a non-aggressor United States was able to inflict absolutely unimaginable nuclear destruction upon Japanese civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki without first defeating the Japanese armed forces.
Indeed, bringing about such a final military defeat was precisely the consuming rationale of these two atomic strikes. Then, in a stark inversion of what had been sought at Thermopylae, the American objective had been to kill large numbers of enemy noncombatants in order to effectively prod the surrender of Japanese armies.
In essence, from the standpoint of ensuring any one state’s national survival, the “classical” goal of defeating an enemy army and preventing a military defeat has already become a secondary objective. After all, what can be the cumulative benefits of waging a “successful” war if the pertinent enemy should still maintain an effectively undiminished capacity to harm? In this connection, a consequential enemy of the United States today could be a state, a sub-state terror group, or myriad forms of a “hybrid” (state, sub-state) coalition.
For President Trump and his defense planners, the deeply complex strategic implications of this genuinely transforming development – a revolutionary development in warfare – are tangibly far-reaching, and thus manifestly worth examining. Intellectually, any such examination must always proceed dialectically, according to principles of reasoning first unraveled by Plato in Philebus, Phaedo, and the Republic. Accordingly, the task here is to ask and answer key questions, continuously, unhesitatingly, through thesis and antithesis, to an always-tentative but still needed “solution.”
Now, back to ancient history, from ancient philosophy. After suppressing revolts in Egypt and Babylonia, Xerxes was finally able to prepare for the conquest of Greece. In 480 B.C.E., the Greeks decided to make their final defense at Thermopylae. This specific site was chosen because it offered what modern military commanders would call “good ground.”
This was a narrow pass between cliffs and the sea, a geographically reassuring place where relatively small numbers of resolute troops could presumably hold back a very large army. For a time, Leonidas, the Spartan king, was able to defend the pass with only about 7000 men (including some 300 Spartans). But in the end, by August, Thermopylae had become the site of a great and distinctly memorable Persian victory.
For those countries currently in the cross hairs of a determined Jihad, and this includes the United States, Israel, and at least certain major states of Europe, there is no real need to worry about suffering a contemporary Thermopylae. There is, however, considerable irony to such an alleged “freedom from worry.” After all, from our present American vantage point, preventing any form of classical military defeat can no longer assure our safety from either mega-aggression or mega-terrorism.
This means, inter alia, that the United States might now be perfectly capable of warding off any calculable defeat of its military forces, and perhaps even of winning some more-or-less identifiable military victories, but in the end, may still have to face extensive or even existential harms.
Ultimately, Mr. Trump's senior defense planners must inquire, what does this mean for our principal enemies? From this adversarial point of view, it is no longer necessary to actually win any war, or – in fact – to win even any particular military engagement. Our enemies needn’t necessarily figure out complex land or naval warfare strategies; in the main, they likely well understand, they don’t have to triumph at “Thermopylae” in order to burn “Athens.”
For our most focused enemies – state, sub-state and hybrid – there is really no longer any reason to work out what armies typically call “force multipliers,” or to calculate any optimal “correlation of forces.” Today, whatever our own selected “order of battle,” these disparate enemies could possibly wreak varying levels of harm upon us without first eliminating or even weakening our armies and navies. In some respects, at least, still seemingly critical war outcomes in Iraq and Afghanistan may could turn out to be largely beside the point.
What are the vital lessons of all this thinking for Mr. Trump? To date, we have not necessarily done anything wrong. Rather, our national vulnerabilities generally represent the natural by-product of constantly evolving military and terrorist technologies. We must, of course, do whatever possible to ensure that useful technological breakthroughs are regularly made on our side, but such required efforts can also carry no ironclad guarantees of perpetual success.
Rapid technological evolution in warfare can never be stopped or reversed. On the contrary, our current vulnerabilities in the absence of any prior military defeats may “simply” represent a resolute and intransigent fact of strategic life, a fully irreversible development that must soon be duly acknowledged, and then continually countered.
To ensure that these vulnerabilities remain safely below any insufferable existential threshold – by definition, an indispensable goal – the United States will soon have to refine a complex combat orthodoxy involving advanced integration of all deterrence, preemption, and war-fighting options, together with certain bold new ideas for more productive international alignments. Naturally, President Trump will also have to take a fresh and expansive look at viable arrangements for both active and passive defenses, and at all corollary and intersecting preparations for more effective cyber-defense and cyber-war.
In crucial matters of war and peace, our new president must soon acknowledge, there can be nothing more practical than a well thought out and appropriately nuanced strategic theory. Immediately, therefore, he must learn to face the stubborn fact that our always-fragile American civilization could sometime be made to suffer, and perhaps even offer a humiliating obeisance to certain significant adversaries, without first going down to any traditional forms of national military defeat. This will be a difficult lesson for us to learn, especially for President Donald J. Trump, but the alternative could cause the United States to allocate scarce military resources according to basically misconceived operational objectives.
Going forward, this sort of misallocation could prove unacceptably perilous for the United States. In facing future wars, strategic theory will be an indispensable “net.” Only an American president who chooses to “cast,” therefore, can expect to “catch.”
Louis René Beres is Emeritus Professor of International Law at Purdue. He lectures and publishes widely on matters of Israeli security and nuclear strategy.

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