Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Will McCain's Speech Cause Some Democrats To Break Away From "Up Chuck?"and Join Others In Doing What Is Best By America?" Muslims and Low Expectations.

Will Sen. McCain's heartfelt speech cause Democrats to do what he urged? I suspect not because Dems are led by partisans like "Up Chuck" Schumer, whose sole focus is beating opponents but maybe McCain's speech will cause some to break ranks and do what is best for America.

On the other hand, how much "public hooch" will McConnell have to give to buy recalcitrant votes from  'whoring' Republican Senators? Stay tuned.
My father was once asked whether he thought a particular person suffered from an inferiority complex and my father said yes.  He was then asked why he thought this.  My father responded because he is inferior.

Do Muslim's  suffer from this malady?

If one uses various metrics like Noble Prizes, inventions, peaceful living with neighbors etc. the answer is not difficult to reach.(See 1 below.)
A tough approach which carries risks.  The Democrats and the mass media maidens will never let go of the Russian Probe because it is all they have going for them other than their hatred for Trump and desire to regain their power perch. (See 2 below.)
I have re-posted Victor Davis Hanson's excellent review of what we face vis a vis N Korea and nations in the surrounding region.  A long but excellent read. (See 3 below.)
1) Muslim self-racism: The 'low expectations syndrome'
By  Ben-Dror Yemini

Op-ed: Why do Muslims insist on being inferior? Why are they refusing to see themselves as equals? They’re allowed to call for the destruction of others, publish anti-Semitic cartoons and attach electronic bracelets to every Mecca pilgrim, but when others do so, it’s ‘an offense to Muslim honor.’

There’s a problem with Muslims. They’re human beings. They’re equal. But sometimes, they insist on being treated like small children. Last time, it was the dispute over the call of the muezzin. Not that the “muezzin bill” was so smart, but it’s a fact that similar restrictions exist in Muslim countries too, and in Saudi Arabia there’s even a fatwa against excessive noise. Nevertheless, they used the motif of “an offense to our honor.”
When the person seen as their most important religious leader, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, called on Muslims to finish Hitler’s job, there were no protests in the West. And when anti-Semitic cartoons are regularly published in newspapers in the Muslim world, there are no angry reactions from Jews. Muslims haven’t been pelted with stones. We haven’t heard about “an offense to our honor.” But when the Muhammad cartoons were published in Denmark, they sparked a series of bloody protests around the world. Dozens were killed. Consulate buildings were set on fire. After all, there was “an offense to their honor.”
Now it’s about the metal detectors. It’s true that it’s a terror prevention measure. It’s true they’re the main victims of terror. It’s true the idea to place the metal detectors was raised after three jihadists entered the Temple Mount with weapons. It’s true it could happen again. But that doesn’t matter. The “offense to our honor” motif has reappeared.
In the city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, there are similar concerns. There are 5,000 closed-circuit television cameras there. Every movement is recorded. Every suspicion is checked. Moreover, the company in charge of security, G4S, is a British company. One of the security measures is an electronic bracelet attached to each of the millions of pilgrims throughout their entire stay in the kingdom, allowing the authorities to monitor each and every one of them. The Brits control the information. That hasn’t stopped the pilgrimage. It’s possible that instead of metal detectors, Israel should make it clear any measure that is acceptable in the Muslims’ holiest site would be used in their third holiest site as well.
The sad thing is the threats are working. The metal detectors will likely be removed. Because the angry reaction—along with the cooperation between Fatah and Jerusalem’s mufti, Muhammad Hussein, and Hamas’ incitement—is completely irrational. This is because of the occupation? Don’t make them laugh. They’re not peace activists.
In a ceremony aired on Palestinian television, the host, a Fatah member, said: “Our war with the descendants of the apes and pigs is a war of religion and faith.” Hussein, who spoke after him, delivered the famous slanderous verses, that “the resurrection of the dead won’t arrive until you fight the Jews,” with a call to kill Jews. That was in 2012. There were no metal detectors then. But the chorus is the same chorus.
This isn’t about the Muslims. Far from it. But where are the moderate Muslims? The sane ones? Why are they keeping quiet? Why are they allowing this double standard, in which they are treated according to the “low expectations syndrome,” which sets low expectations from certain populations to begin with. After all, this is racism for all intents and purposes.
Only few people speak up. The ones who have had enough of the racism. The ones who treat themselves as equals. They are the ones who have the courage to come out against the self-deception. But there are only few of them. Occasionally, they speak firmly even in the pan-Arab media. Some of them are forced to live in constant fear or with bodyguards.
When these few people turn into a significant movement, it will be wonderful news for the world in general and for Muslims in particular. And no, it has nothing to do with the occupation. It has to do with racism, with Muslims making themselves inferior. And as long as this self-racism continues, so will the inferiority.

After the Temple Mount attack, Knesset members from the Joint List and representatives of the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee expressed feeble reservations. They’re against violence. How nice of them. But then came the “but,” placing the entire responsibility on Israel. We are against it, they said, but it’s because of the occupation. The part dedicated to the reservations was about one-tenth or one-fifth of the statement, while most of the text was dedicated to a justification of “the legitimate resistance to the occupation,” blah blah blah. In other words, it wasn’t an opportunity to condemn violence. It was another opportunity to say something against Israel.

The reactions of the leaders of the Arab public remind me of the reactions of intellectuals from the “forces of progress”—not all of them, but many of them—following the attack on the offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. They spoke against violence. And then came the “but,” which was an indictment against the West, against the bombings in Iraq, in Syria, in Afghanistan. In short, it’s the West’s fault. The terrorists had no other option but to respond. The reactions of Noam Chomsky, the idol of the free world’s forces of progress, and Tariq Ramadan, European Muslims’ prominent speaker, belonged to the same department.
Salman Rushdie called these respondents the “But Brigade.” They offer a weak condemnation, to fulfill their obligation, and then immediately present the “but,” followed by a series of justifications.
There seems to be no difference between the reactions to the terror attack in Paris and the reactions to the terror attack at the Temple Mount. It’s a disease shared by many people.
2)  Fire Mueller

Two words describe the Russian collusion accusations and investigation of President Trump: Sham and injustice. Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor, knows it. Rod Rosenstein, the Obama holdover Deputy Attorney General who appointed Mueller, knows it. Jeff Sessions, a decent man and attorney general who recused himself, knows it. 
The Democrats know it. The left knows it. The mainstream media knows it. DC-owned and spine-free Republicans know it. Paul Ryan knows it. 
Everybody knows it. But everyday Americans should really know this: the farce continues because powerful establishment interests are invested in destroying Donald Trump and his presidency.
That’s why the president should fire Mueller. It’s why Jeff Sessions needs to unrecuse himself. The president should shelve special prosecutions during his presidency. The law permits him to do so. Let U.S. district attorneys earn their keep.     
Note “…Trump and his presidency,” not “Trump’s presidency,” because the witch-hunting and attempted railroading of the president is every bit as much about destroying the man. Trump leads a counterrevolution, a rising up of Heartland Americans -- Americans everywhere with Heartland blood coursing through their veins. His leadership transcends office. He poses an existential threat to interests and people deeply invested in a worldview or ways that practically benefits them somehow. The presidency is a powerful means, to be sure, and denying its powers to Trump -- somehow -- is critical to reasserting the establishment’s control.

Yes, it’s that seedy. And, yes, it crosses the aisle, as they say in DC.
One’s tempted to say that the Putin-Trump collusion tinfoil hat gambit is the pinnacle of years of efforts to criminalize politics. You remember the Scooter Libby and Tom Delay railroads? But here, in the narrowest sense, there aren’t any politics to criminalize. Russian collusion is pure fiction, utter disinformation. The scheme here is to criminalize fiction; to give legal license to Mueller’s investigation based on fraudulent accusations.
There won’t be an impeachment of the president and/or prosecutions of anyone around him for colluding with the Russians. No such thing occurred. If impeachment and/or prosecutions happen, it will be for “gotcha” technicalities when under oath. That’s how the feds sandbagged Scooter Libby. Or because Mueller’s far-ranging investigations found other unrelated grounds to get Trump. 
Mueller has license to fish -- as in conducting a fishing expedition. Word is that Mueller will probe Trump’s business affairs and whatever else. The president is attempting to warn off Mueller. Leviathan government, with thousands of pages of obscure rules and laws to reference, can cite any of us at any time for violations of some law or regulation. This is one of the fruits of a century of “progressive” government: its tentacles reach everywhere and are strong enough to lay low any honest citizen.        
Mueller intends to lay low a president, however. Trump enjoys massive grassroots followings that threaten the nation’s establishment as nothing has in recent memory.
Mueller is leading an inquisition. He’s the Grand Inquisitor. If permitted to continue his misbegotten enterprise, he will find something -- anything -- to hang around President Trump’s neck. He’ll protract his investigations if required. At minimum, ongoing investigations throw a monkey wrench into the president’s agenda. It helps cloud his initiatives and accomplishments publicly. It drives down his approval ratings. That gives cover to hostile and cowardly Republicans who oppose parts or all of Trump’s agenda.   
The unspoken charge to Mueller is to get something on Trump. Coming up empty-handed is a nonstarter. Concluding after, say, a six-month investigation that accusations against the president and his family and associates of Russian collusion are baseless isn’t what Mueller’s establishment cohorts want. Range far, snag anything to use against Trump is the mandate. The establishment wants blood, and that’s what Mueller will aim to produce.
On Monday, in a Tweet, the president suggested:
Drain the Swamp should be changed to Drain the Sewer -- it's actually much worse than anyone ever thought, and it begins with the Fake News!         
Trump is right and wrong. DC has become a sewer, but, it doesn’t begin with “Fake News.” It gives far too much credit to the MSM, which have become open propagandists for the left and Democratic Party. The latter two, in varying ways and degrees, are integral to the establishment.
It’s the establishment, with its interests and factions, who fill the DC sewer. It’s the establishment that is Trump’s greatest nemesis -- and foe of the movement he leads. It’s a fight for supremacy against it. 
The president would be wise to end Mueller’s tenure and simply decline to replace him. Misusing and degrading the law needs to stop. Let President Trump set a precedent, a dramatic course change for the nation’s civic and governmental wellbeing.
Halt abuses of law -- against this president and in politics, generally. Years of manipulating the law and employing the power of prosecutors as political weapons contributes to the erosion of trust in law and law enforcement (we’re not talking about beat cops). It drives good men and women away from politics and public service. Why risk reputations and loss of liberty because one champions an agenda that runs counter to powerful interests that have no compunction about criminalizing its opponents?
The Washington Post writes that there are certain grounds for firing a special prosecutor. The analysis can be found here. A takeaway from the Post article reads:
Either they’d [the president and DOJ] have to throw out the regulations binding the firing of Mueller (see Goldsmith’s post for a lot of detail on this) or they’d have to establish cause for firing him.   
President Trump should dispose of the regulations for firing Mueller. He doesn’t have to cite misconduct or conflicts of interest, etc., in sending Mueller packing. His justification: Mueller’s appointment was premised, in large part, on false accusation -- a complete lie arising from malicious political intent. That position is simple to substantiate and argue for. 
Mueller’s appointment only fuels the entire squalid affair to gain politically through legal shenanigans what the establishment couldn’t gain at ballot boxes. The Russian collusion campaign -- Mueller’s now center ring -- has the feel of banana republic and Soviet setups of powerful opponents and dissenters. It’s flatly anti-American. 
Major political blowback awaits Trump if he fires Mueller? Is that something new for this president? Trump can’t smile and say, “Good morning,” without his enemies spinning it as sinister. Dumping Mueller would be a test of new White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci’s mettle. It’s a test the president and he should welcome. 
3)The Korean Games of Thrones By Victor Davis Hanson

The time for pious American lectures is over.  
North Korea 
North Korea seeks respect on the cheap — and attention and cash — that it cannot win the old-fashioned way by the long, hard work of achieving a dynamic economy or an influential culture.
Over the last quarter-century, it has proved that feigned madness and the road to nuclear weapons (Pakistan is another good example) provide a shortcut to all three goals: It is now feared, in the news, and likely to receive another round of Western danegeld. 
Setting off a bomb (as opposed to merely bragging that it soon will do so) seems to stave off a Western-style preemption of the sort that eventually liquidated Saddam Hussein and Moammar Qaddafi.
Unlike both Iraq and Libya, North Korea had two other indemnity policies that so far have ruled out Western preemption: 1) a nuclear neighboring patron like China, and 2) a nihilistic conventional artillery and missile arsenal aimed at a nearby rich Westernized South Korea. An outmoded, conventional, short-ranged asset would be largely irrelevant in most military landscapes, but it is not when based just 35 miles from Seoul (which exchanged hands five times from the beginning to end of the Korean War). Consequently, the unpredictability of Beijing and the possibility of an attack within hours on Seoul — which would end up like Dresden in 1945 — enhanced North Korea’s small nuclear arsenal.
What then is North Korea’s ultimate objective?
Most obviously, a permanent landscape of crisis, in which it can periodically test a more sophisticated bomb than the last, threaten to incinerate a Western city, and launch a missile into Western airspace. If done symphonically, periodic “crises” are then created, envoys pour into the region, the U.N. goes into panic mode, the EU weighs in, “wise men” meet, China is jawboned — and a brand-new, revised, updated, and superior aid “package” is delivered, with stern warnings not to try the con again. 
Thus the latest Korean Caligula gets global attention, his praetorian guard is assured of its continued privilege, and China offers its Cheshire smile to signal that Armageddon is avoided. 
This shakedown can continue indefinitely — or at least until too many other countries (see Iran) emulate North Korea and too many players make the game too expensive and too dangerous. Or it can continue until a true breakthrough in missile defense nullifies all North Korean offensive capability, or until China sees the growing costs outweighing its heretofore undeniable benefits. 
As a rule, China finds it worthwhile to exploit anything that proves unsettling to Washington, that ties down American conventional troops and strategic assets in Asia and the Pacific, and that can potentially create problems in Asian democracies. China clearly enjoys the subterranean tensions among Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United States. 
China plays the proverbial no-good neighbor (I’ve known one or two) who cuts loose the tether on his pit bull, soon hears a commotion in your environs, wanders over to your farm to express both shock and regret that his man-biter “somehow” got loose, sort of apologizes, and then, once you get the message, leashes the crazed dog and trots home — until he seeks even greater chaos next time. 
China knows there are downsides to this dangerous gambit. It does not want a trade war with the U.S. It does not want its rivals in the region sharing anti-ballistic systems that can make irrelevant its own first-strike nuclear threat. It certainly does not wish a nuclear Japan, South Korea, or Taiwan. Its party elite want business-as-usual relations with the U.S: Their kids stay in American colleges, and they keep buying safety-valve homes, from Beverly Hills to Seattle. 
It is said that Beijing may fear most a collapsed North Korea. It would clearly lose a good source of servile labor and coal. It would also struggle with an influx of refugees and be juxtaposed to a unified capitalist and Westernized Korean peninsula with, potentially, a Japanese-like economy and population and a high-tech military buttressed with old North Korean manpower and residual nukes. Think of the difference in clout between Germany 1987 and 2017. 
If we have step-by-step reactions to North Korea, China is likely to have responses to our own responses. It may even be surprised by prior American inaction. (Certainly China would never put up with a nut-house in South Korea who bayed about nuking Beijing as he sent off ballistic missiles and stocked up on nuclear technology from the U.S.) 
Perhaps some smart U.S. diplomat could present China with a ten-step plan of escalation (maybe starting with banning entry to Chinese elite students and ending with a nuclear Japan) and then offer China a way to solve the crisis through its own diplomacy (supposedly), as it shows off as a responsible world player. 
South Korea 
Ostensibly Seoul understands that without the U.S., South Korea long ago would have been absorbed by North Korea, and Kia and Samsung would have remained pipe dreams. 
But such acknowledgement is not always the way of human nature (and nations are simply collective humans). The wealthier and more powerful South Korea becomes, the more it resents the exploitive role of Japan in its distant past and perhaps even at times the blunderbuss way the United States saved South Korea in the Korean War. 
When it sees no logical way out of its own dilemma with North Korea, Seoul’s occasional impulse is to chafe at its benefactor the U.S., as if Washington, with no real threat to the American homeland, would be willing to gamble with the soil of South Korea. 
Privately, South Korea knows that if it goes too far in frustrating Washington, and U.S. troops leave the DMZ, then it will be on its own. So South Korea seeks to thread the needle — publicly assuring Washington of a unified front while privately appealing to Korean nationalism in encouraging yet another sure-to-fail Sunshine policy.

On a deeper level, some in South Korea publicly state their fears of a costly North Korean meltdown but dream all the while of a united Korea that would be powerful enough one day to play off Japan, China, and the U.S. 
Barring all that, South Korea is willing to make concessions as in the past to the north to continue the status quo, although it is really clueless about the degree to which Pyongyang’s new missiles make the U.S. not just a patron and an ally but also an autonomous strategic player whose interests soon may not all coincide with Seoul’s.

If the crisis continues, Japan will probably face unpalatable choices. Recall the Obama administration’s past efforts to reduce the American deterrent: On a hot mic, Obama promised to be “more flexible” with Putin by acceding to Russia’s goal of preventing missile defense in Eastern Europe. Given this, Japan was already worried about whether it was firmly beneath the American nuclear umbrella. Obama foolishly believed that supposedly sophisticated allies do not stoop to count their patron’s nuclear weapons; in contrast, Tokyo certainly believed that as a non-nuclear ally of America’s, it deserved more nuclear assurance than did Putin’s one or two failed clients in Eastern Europe. Understandably Japan is not fully convinced that the U.S. still considers Tokyo the moral equivalent of San Francisco, at least not when a new rogue player like Pyongyang enters the nuclear game. 
Japan chafes too under South Korean obsessions about its sordid past in Korea. It does not completely trust South Korea’s promises to line up against North Korea, and it fears that Koreans would choose a pan-Korean accord or even unification over a lockstep front with Japan. 
So far, no one has stopped North Korea from threatening Japan. South Korea almost cries crocodile tears, China is amused, and the U.S. seems impotent. If the Korean game of thrones continues, Japan will ultimately decide to obtain its own deterrent (Japan recently named its new impressive carrier the Kaga, the name of a WWII-era carrier that played a major role in the attack on Pearl Harbor). That decision may range from genuine rearmament to, ultimately, a nuclear airborne strike force. 
Iran may become more worried that the old Obama–Iran deal that green-lighted a ten-year trajectory to a bomb is now passé, given that the North Korean model might halve the wait time. So far, North Korea has paid no price for obtaining, testing, and threatening the use of a nuclear weapon — and it is a small, failed, and resource-starved state, not an oil-rich Iran with delusions of reestablishing Shiite and Persian grandeur.
One of the most compelling reasons to stop North Korea is to convince Iran that Pyongyang’s acquisition of a nuclear bomb was a fluke never to be repeated — rather than a precedent to be exploited. If North Korea continues its aggression, the game of thrones will be repeated in the Middle East as nations begin contemplating nuclear deterrence against a rogue state. Why there has not been a resumption of an absolute global trade embargo against both North Korea and Iran is one of the strangest historical developments of the young century. 
Putin’s Russia is like a humiliated and defiant Germany of the 1920s, blaming others for the crack-up of the Soviet Union, much as Germany scapegoated Versailles. The result is that Putin sees any small U.S. setback as a small credit in a Russian ledger of otherwise red ink. He enjoys the short-term, anti-Western antics of North Korea more than he fears the long-term consequences of another nuclear power on his border. He remembers Libya mostly as a double cross in which Susan Rice received Russian help in policing no-fly zones and delivering humanitarian aid to oppose Qaddafi, only to subvert the U.N. resolutions and wage a full-scale bombing campaign intended to force regime change. 
Putin sees Syria as proof that American sanctimony is often not backed by force. In theory, he should prefer Obama-style impotence (ripe for exploitation), but he resents the lectures and may privately admire quiet and predictable American deterrence more than he relished pious weakness. 
In sum, Putin for now does not need American help elsewhere, and so he sees no need to help with Korea — if in fact he could offer any pressure on Pyongyang. Of course, if he found some cheap way to bother China without helping the U.S., he surely would. 
United States 
Three past decades of American policy toward North Korea largely fulfilled its aims of ensuring that the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations did not have a shooting war with North Korea, as each successively kicked the can of an unhinged Kim down the road to the next American government. 
Trump may not be so lucky — North Korea grew hungrier after gorging on each successive morsel of appeasement. 
In theory, our strategic objectives are age-old and transparent: the continuance of post-war non-nuclear and democratic Asian success stories like Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan; complete containment of North Korea in hopes it will settle down to some dangerous but not quite crazy status like that of Pakistan; and a useful China that plays the role of deterring North Korea the same way that India corrals Pakistan. 
For now, we do not prefer nuclear Asian democratic allies. We do not want a trade war with China. And we do not want the implosion of North Korea and a humanitarian crisis exceeding that in Syria. We may actually be ambivalent about eventual reunification as well. 
Currently the U.S. accepts two guiding principles in the crisis: It is unacceptable to have a nation like North Korea point deliverable nukes at the U.S. No great power can endure such an existential threat or such constant blackmail. And, second, no American president wants a war that destroys Seoul. 
In between those no-go lines, as mentioned, lie a series of possible escalations: trade sanctions against China, cancellation of visas for Chinese notables, a ban on Chinese real-estate acquisitions in the U.S., serious missile defense, a new Asian NATO-like alliance, and ultimately the specter of nuclear Asian allies (in extremis the worry is not so much nukes per se but the possession of them by non-democratic powers).
Trump has saber-rattled, but so far the North Koreans are not convinced that he is not a combed-over version of Obama, endlessly talking about what is “unacceptable.” 
Ultimately, China alone can pressure North Korea, and America alone can pressure China. It is time to stop lecturing both about what is supposedly in their long-term interests. We must accept that both nations do what they do because — at least in the short term — they like it and see benefits from it. The aim of the United States is to disabuse them of such thinking, while speaking ever more softly with an ever-bigger stick.

No comments: