Friday, February 24, 2017

Anti-Semitism The New Social Liberalism. If Trump Is Nuts Perhaps We Need More Insanity In The White House.


The new way to smear Israel on American campuses. (See 1 below.)

McMaster's thoughts re Muslims. (See 1a below.)
A prominent leftist tactic is to resort to character assassination in order to create doubt about their opponent's sanity and credibility.

Two articles that debunk the alleged charge that Trump is insane by Sens. Franken and Warren, who, themselves bear close watching. (See 2 and 2a below.)
1)  Anti-Semitism The New Social Liberalism

Author:  Nadiya Al-Noor     

Hating Israel is the thing to do today on university campuses. It makes you seem “progressive.” It means you’re “woke” and socially aware. It means you’re fighting against a tyrannical regime. It is supporting the struggle of an oppressed people at the hands of White colonialist supremacy. Zionism is racism. Israel is evil, end of story.
Except that’s complete nonsense.
Zionism is the support for and affirmation of the Jewish right to self-determination in their indigenous homeland of Israel. It’s the Jewish Civil Rights Movement. It is the struggle of a native people who have been oppressed for thousands of years, expelled from their land, killed and persecuted wherever in the world they went. It is the celebration of victory, of the return home after millennia of diaspora, of surviving and flourishing against all odds.
That sounds like something the Left would wholeheartedly support, right? Not anymore. The dominant narrative on campuses is that Israel is Nazi Germany 2.0, that Israelis are White Europeans who colonized the land of Palestine after WWII. The screams of “apartheid” and “genocide” go unquestioned. Israel is evil, end of story.
Nobody talks about the 850,000+ Jewish refugees expelled from Arab lands. Nobody mentions that the majority of Israelis are these refugees or descended from these refugees, not from Europe (not that European Jews are White). Nobody clarifies that Israeli Arabs have all the same rights as Jews in Israel, or that Arabs hold seats in Israeli Parliament, serve in the military, and are doctors and celebrities and shopkeepers and lawyers and teachers. Nobody mentions the thousands of Palestinians treated at Israeli hospitals and employed at Israeli businesses. Israel is evil, end of story.
So what should students do? There are many things students can do to show their hate for Israel. There’s the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, which supports labeling and boycotting Israeli products and cutting off ties with Israeli universities. Just pretend that these boycotts aren’t hurting Palestinian workers who make Israeli products. Just forget about academic integrity. There’s holding an Israeli Apartheid Week, which spreads vicious lies about the Jewish State to unsuspecting students. There’s supporting literal terrorists, as Students for Justice in Palestine does so very proudly. There’s targeting and harassing Jewish students. There’s screaming and shutting down events based on a speaker’s nationality and religion. There’s demanding an event be cancelled because it’s being hosted by a Jewish organization. And then, there’s protesting Holocaust Education Week in the name of Social Justice.
At Ryerson University in Toronto on November 29th, 2016, students from the Muslim Student Association and Students for Justice in Palestine held a walkout at a student meeting proposing Holocaust Education Week. They degraded and intimidated Jewish students. They said they did it because there are other genocides that need awareness. That’s like protesting against breast cancer research because there are other cancers. The real reason is simply anti-Semitism.
Anti-Semitism is the acceptable form of bigotry on the Left. It’s thinly veiled as “anti-Zionism,” which really is just anti-Semitism with a fancy name, as it opposes the Jewish Indigenous Rights movement. Students are expected to hate Israel in the name of being progressive. Jewish students are painted as privileged racists, unless they disavow Israel and abandon their indigenous struggle in order to assimilate. My people (Muslims) are portrayed as helpless victims of ruthless Jewish aggression. Palestinians become pawns in the game of Jew hatred. The world falls for it. Israel is evil, end of story.
Studies show that a campus with an active Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter is more likely to have anti-Semitic incidents (no surprise there). My university, Binghamton University in New York, is unique in that the pro-Israel voice is the most dominant narrative. We used to have an SJP problem, but to my knowledge, they disbanded after the administration cracked down on their anti-Semitic harassment. Now our Muslim Student Association partners with our Hillel for mosque-synagogue interfaith trips. The Jewish and Muslim communities here are on good terms, because we see each other as people. We don’t allow the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to define us.
Universities need to address anti-Semitism on campuses. If there was an Islamophobic incident at a university, you can bet the administration would deal with it much more swiftly. Anti-Semitism is tolerated because of Leftist hypocrisy. Because of the rampant anti-Semitism on university campuses and the racial diversity of students participating in Jew hatred, anti-Semitism is often excused or justified.
Jewish students, you need to be proactive. Don’t wait for an anti-Semitic incident to happen. Don’t wait for an SJP to emerge and fester. Hold an Israel Peace Week or Hebrew Liberation Week. Educate your fellow students. If you don’t speak up, anti-Semites will.
Anti-Semitism is unacceptable, even if it’s trendy.

1a) Trump's New Adviser Is Known for Respecting Muslims

Author:  Eli Lake     

In some ways, President Donald Trump's new national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, is a lot like the man he is replacing, Michael Flynn. Both rose to the rank of three-star generals in the Army. Their worldviews were formed during the war in Iraq.
At key points in their careers, the two generals were withering critics of the groupthink endemic to the strategic class. For Flynn this was a devastating paper he published in 2010 critiquing intelligence collection in Afghanistan. For McMaster this was his 1997 book on the failures of the military leadership to speak truth to power during the Vietnam War.
But McMaster and Flynn are very different in their assessment of America's relationship with Islam and how this influences the long war on terror. In recent years, Flynn has focused on defeating the ideology of radical Islam. McMaster, on the other hand, has focused on getting radical Muslims to turn on al Qaeda and other terrorists.
Let's start with Flynn. Like the president he served, the retired general believes America should wage a political war against radical Islam. In his more heated moments, Flynn spoke about Islam itself as a political ideology, and one that is at war with Western values. Radical Islam's threat to the West was a key theme in his 2016 book “Field of Fight,” which he co-wrote with historian Michael Ledeen. In interviews with me over the years, Flynn has taken a more nuanced view on this than some others in Trump's orbit. Nonetheless, his approach, like Trump's, broke with George W. Bush and Barack Obama in emphasizing the differences between political Islam and Western values.
McMaster has taken a different approach. He helped rewrite the Army's counterinsurgency doctrine during the Iraq war, to apply the lessons of this kind of asymmetric warfare to the Muslim world. This meant in practice that he learned how to make allies out of Muslim fighters who had killed Americans, to turn the local population against al Qaeda. In McMaster's war, ideological purity was a hindrance to an effective campaign for the hearts and minds of pious Muslims.
“H.R., like all of us, has shaken hands with Muslims who fought against Americans and killed Americans and switched sides to fight with us against al Qaeda,” John Nagl, a retired lieutenant colonel best known for his books on counterinsurgency, told me. “He understands that the world is not one dimensional, that the Muslim world is not one-dimensional. Even people who are our enemies today may decide to fight on our side tomorrow.”
Nagl collaborated with McMaster when he co-wrote the Army's and Marine Corps's Counter-Insurgency Field Manual. At the time in 2005 and 2006, McMaster was commanding the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Tal Afar, Iraq, where he worked closely with the local mayor to build a Sunni Arab police force at a time when most of Iraq's Sunni Arabs were either supportive of or neutral toward the jihadi insurgency that had lit Iraq aflame. Nagl told me that he would be on the phone to discuss chapters of the new field manual and McMaster would have to cut the conversation short: “Car bomb, got to go.”
McMaster's success in Tal Afar became a model for the “surge,” the Iraq War plan led by General David Petraeus in 2007 that paid off and trained Sunni Arab fighters to join the U.S. side against al Qaeda in the western part of Iraq. A big part of McMaster's strategy was to instill a sense of cultural sensitivity among his troops. As George Packer reported in 2006, McMaster forbid use of profanity in front of Iraqis, as well as banning the derogatory term “hajjis,” a reference to the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca.
Sterling Jensen, who served as a translator in Iraq's Anbar province in the 2000s and worked closely with U.S. officers in forging the alliance with local sheiks against al Qaeda, told me that McMaster's appointment sent a reassuring message to Muslims. “For over five years I was in regular contact with McMaster through Najim al-Jubouri, the current commander of the Ninivah Operations Command in charge of the operation against Daesh,” Jensen said. “There isn't anyone who has been more supportive of General Najim and U.S. friends in Iraq than McMaster.”
Najim and McMaster first met in 2005 in Tal Afar. Najim, who at one point considered joining the insurgency against the U.S., became the mayor of the city and worked closely with McMaster to build up a police force that earned the trust of the local population. The two men have stayed in touch since. When I interviewed Najim in 2010, he credited McMaster with being one of the officers who saved Iraq from the abyss.
“Iraqis and Muslims won't see him as someone who hates Islam, even if the Trump administration is perceived that way. I have never heard him say anything against Islam,” Jensen said. “Being respectful is one of his defining characteristics.”
McMaster's relationships in Iraq could be an asset if Trump seeks to reassure the Middle East that America is not in a war against Islam. So far, the messages from Trump have been mixed. He backed away from a formal ban on Muslim migration into the U.S. But the rollout of the travel ban targeting seven majority-Muslim nations was so haphazard that many of his critics at home and abroad have described it as a de facto Muslim ban. If Trump seeks to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, then this impression will be further confirmed.
Privately, some of McMaster's allies worry that he will not have the power and influence of other political aides to Trump, like chief strategist Steve Bannon. Bannon has called Islam a “religion of submission.” He has a seat on the National Security Council; McMaster will now lead it.
This presents a new kind of challenge for McMaster. An Army general who made his name persuading Muslims to join the war against al Qaeda will now have to persuade Trump not to alienate them.

Trump and the ‘madman theory’

At the heart of President Trump’s foreign policy team lies a glaring contradiction. On the one hand, it is composed of men of experience, judgment and traditionalism. Meaning, they are all very much within the parameters of mainstream American internationalism as practiced since 1945. Practically every member of the team — the heads of State, Homeland Security, the CIA, and most especially Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and national security adviser H.R. McMaster — could fit in a Cabinet put together by, say, Hillary Clinton.
The commander in chief, on the other hand, is quite the opposite — inexperienced, untraditional, unbounded. His pronouncements on everything from the one-China policy to the two-state (Arab-Israeli) solution, from NATO obsolescence to the ravages of free trade, continue to confound and, as we say today, disrupt.
The obvious question is: Can this arrangement possibly work? The answer thus far, surprisingly, is: perhaps.

The sample size is tiny but take, for example, the German excursion. Trump dispatched his grown-ups — Vice President Pence, Defense Secretary Mattis, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson — to various international confabs in Germany to reassure allies with the usual pieties about America’s commitment to European security. They did drop a few hints to Trump’s loud complaints about allied parasitism, in particular shirking their share of the defense burden.

Within days, Germany announced a 20,000-troop expansion of its military. Smaller European countries are likely to take note of the new setup. It’s classic good-cop, bad-cop: The secretaries represent foreign policy continuity but their boss preaches America First. Message: Shape up.

John Hannah of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies suggests  the push-pull effect might work on foes as well as friends. On Saturday, China announced a cutoff of all coal imports from North Korea for the rest of 2017. Constituting more than one-third of all North Korean exports, this is a major blow to its economy.

True, part of the reason could be Chinese ire at the brazen assassination of Kim Jong Un’s half brother, who had been under Chinese protection. Nonetheless, the boycott was declared just days after a provocative North Korean missile launch — and shortly into the term of a new American president who has shown that he can be erratic and quite disdainful of Chinese sensibilities.

His wavering on the one-China policy took Beijing by surprise. Trump also strongly denounced Chinese expansion in the South China Sea and conducted an ostentatious love-in with Japan’s prime minister, something guaranteed to rankle the Chinese. Beijing’s boycott of Pyongyang is many things, among them a nod to Washington.

This suggests that the peculiar and discordant makeup of the U.S. national security team — traditionalist lieutenants, disruptive boss — might reproduce the old Nixonian “madman theory.” That’s when adversaries tread carefully because they suspect the U.S. president of being unpredictable, occasionally reckless and potentially crazy dangerous. Henry Kissinger, with Nixon’s collaboration, tried more than once to exploit this perception to pressure adversaries.

Trump’s people have already shown a delicate touch in dealing with his bouts of loopiness. Trump has gone on for years about how we should have taken Iraq’s oil for ourselves. Sunday in Baghdad, Mattis wryly backed off, telling his hosts that “All of us in America have generally paid for our gas and oil all along, and I am sure we will continue to do so in the future.”

Yet sometimes an off-center comment can have its uses. Take Trump’s casual dismissal of a U.S. commitment to a two-state solution in the Middle East. The next day, U.S. policy was brought back in line by his own U.N. ambassador. But this diversion might prove salutary. It’s a message to the Palestinians that their decades of rejectionism may not continue to pay off with an inexorable march toward statehood — that there may actually be a price to pay for making no concessions and simply waiting for the U.S. to deliver them a Palestinian state.
To be sure, a two-track, two-policy, two-reality foreign policy is risky, unsettling and has the potential to go totally off the rails. This is not how you would draw it up in advance. It’s unstable and confusing. But the experience of the first month suggests that, with prudence and luck, it can yield the occasional benefit — that the combination of radical rhetoric and conventional policy may induce better behavior both in friend and foe.
Alas, there is also a worst-case scenario. It needs no elaboration.

If we are wondering if Trump might have narcissistic tendencies, we've just lived through 8 years of an extreme case of it in the White House, so we ought to be able to know it when we see it. So far, lots of distant diagnoses of the current President, but actions speak louder then words, so let’s see what he actually does as President. We know what the last guy did - starting by proclaiming that he was smarter than any of his cabinet members and knew more about their areas of expertise than they did. And that was the opening pitch. Of course, with people like John Kerry around, that isn’t a very high bar…..

Here are details about Dr. Ablow -
Let me issue the standard disclaimer of psychiatrists who discuss the mental health of public figures: I have not personally examined President Trump. 
Now, let me put to rest the concerns of Sen. Al Franken and political commentators John Oliver and Andrew Sullivan and anyone else who publicly or privately has questioned the president’s sanity:
Donald Trump is stone cold sane. 
When a man acquires billions of dollars through complex real estate transactions, invests in many countries, goes on to phenomenal success in television and turns his name into a worldwide brand, it is very unlikely that he is mentally unstable. 
When the same man obviously enjoys the love and respect of his children and his wife, who seem to rely on him for support and guidance, it is extraordinarily unlikely that he is mentally unstable. 
When the same man walks into the political arena and deftly defeats 16 Republican opponents and then the Democratic heir-apparent to a two-term president’s administration, the odds of that man being mentally unstable become vanishingly thin. 
And when that very same man attracts to his team the kind of intellect and gravitas represented (to name just a few) by Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Dr. Ben Carson, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis, a retired Marine Corps general and commander of the U.S. Central Command, he cannot be mentally deranged. Period. It is a statistical impossibility. 
Those who assert otherwise are political opportunists, or fools, or both (and I am thinking here, in particular, of Sen. Franken). 
President Trump is the first human being to win this nation’s highest office without having held any other political office or serving as a general. Most political pundits thought his quest was pure folly. Most journalists assessed his chances as zero. So who was laboring under quasi-delusional thinking? Answer: Not Donald J. Trump. 
Anecdotally, by the way, I have never had one bad Trump experience. Not one. I own several of his ties — all of them of the highest quality. I have stayed in his hotels and never had a single complaint (and I am a born complainer). I have eaten in his New York restaurant — flawless service, excellent food. I own an apartment at Trump Place in Manhattan. Impeccable design, sturdy construction, fabulous amenities. A mentally unstable man would be unlikely to deliver superior products across multiple industries, don’t you think? 
If you’re still worried about the mental stability of the president, note this: The stock market doesn’t like instability. Investors, en masse, can take the measure of a man pretty darn well. The stock market has hit record high after record high since Trump’s election, and if you think that’s an accident, or that investors have all been fooled, it’s time to start wondering about your own capacity for rational thought. 
I should note that nothing I am saying should besmirch the reputations of men like President Abraham Lincoln or Sir Winston Churchill, both of whom are said to have fought the ravages of major depression or bipolar disorder. One was instrumental in ridding America of slavery. The other was instrumental in saving the world from tyranny. Mahatma Gandhi, by the way, also reportedly suffered from depression. 
Psychiatric illness does not, a priori, disqualify a person from rendering extraordinary service to mankind.
Mind you, neither Lincoln nor Churchill nor Gandhi led a nation after becoming a business sensation and television star. That trifecta defines one man: President Donald J. Trump. 
Now, think about those who are rabble-rousing about the president’s mental status. Take Sen. Al Franken. He’s all worried about the president allegedly overestimating the crowd size at his inauguration. But Franken is allied with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who asserted she is Native American, when there is no evidence of that whatsoever. 
And they’re calling Trump’s sanity into question? Really, you can’t make this stuff up. 

Dr. Keith Ablow is a psychiatrist and member of the Fox News Medical A-Team. 

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