Category Archives: War Commentary

The Leftist Freak Out Over Trump’s Speech

Why yes, yes they do hate Western civilization:

So, for Jamelle Bouie, a Westerner asserting the value of Western civilization is barely-veiled racism? If that’s true, then the term “racism” is meaningless. In fact, it’s worse than meaningless: it’s dangerous. If you tell people that to love and to want to defend the culture of the West is a racist act, then they will cease to care about your judgment on the matter, because you are requiring them to hate themselves as an act of virtue. In that regard, Jamelle Bouie’s sentiment here is a much greater gift to the racist alt-right than anything Donald Trump said in Warsaw.

I mean, really, how ignorant and provincial do you have to be, Messrs. Beinart and Bouie, to hear Trump’s speech and think of it as a #MAGA version of a Nuremberg Rally Address? Is the degree of self-hatred of the West required to be a virtuous, woke person such that you cannot tell the difference between Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus and the Horst Wessel Song? Do they really think Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation (all of which is available on YouTube, starting here) is a plummy version of Triumph of the Will? If standing against this kind of liberal insanity means I have to stand with Donald Trump, well, okay, I’ll stand with Donald Trump. I won’t like it, but at least Donald Trump doesn’t hate his own civilization.

It’s why they find common cause with Islamists. Also (as usual), want more Trump? Because this is how you get more Trump.

[Mid-afternoon update]

Jonah Goldberg: In defense of western civilization.

[Saturday-morning update]

Trump defends the West, and the Left cries foul. They’re really showing their colors. So to speak.

[Update a few minutes later]

Some of the critics of Trump’s speech in Poland reject the idea of the greatness of Western Civilization. You don’t say.

Obama’s Foreign-Policy Mess

Glenn Reynolds has a roundup of links and thoughts:

Yes, I keep repeating this stuff. Because it bears repeating. In Iraq, Obama took a war that we had won at a considerable expense in lives and treasure, and threw it away for the callowest of political reasons. In Syria and Libya, he involved us in wars of choice without Congressional authorization, and proceeded to hand victories to the Islamists. Obama’s policy here has been a debacle of the first order, and the press wants to talk about Bush as a way of protecting him. Whenever you see anyone in the media bringing up 2003, you will know that they are serving as palace guard, not as press.

Worth noting that the Nobel Committee embarrassed itself beyond redemption as well.

[Update a while later]

More of Obama’s foreign-policy mess: Venezuela, the Syria next door. Because he never met a dictator he didn’t like.

Trump And Russia, The State Of Play

Byron York lays it out. As far as I can tell, Obama was doing more to help Putin subvert the election than Trump was. And what are the Democrats who are blocking witness testimony trying to hide?

[Update a couple minutes later]

More thoughts from Don Surber. As Glenn asks, then why is Mueller hiring over a dozen more prosecutors? What’s the crime, and who is the target?

[Update a couple more minutes later]

Chaffetz: Congress has to look over Mueller’s shoulder. They certainly need to bring him in to explain himself. And the Justice Department should assign someone else to the hopelessly compromised obstruction investigation.

The FBI Briefing On The Congressional Shooter

is bizarre:

The FBI admits that Hodgkinson:

•vociferously raged against Republicans in online forums,
•had a piece of paper bearing the names of six members of Congress,
•was reported for doing target practice outside his home in recent months before moving to Alexandria,
•had mapped out a trip to the DC area,
•took multiple photos of the baseball field he would later shoot up, three days after the New York Times mentioned that Republicans practiced baseball at an Alexandria baseball field with little security,
•lived out of his van at the YMCA directly next door to the baseball field he shot up,
•legally purchased a rifle in March 2003 and 9 mm handgun “in November 2016,”
•modified the rifle at some point to accept a detachable magazine and replaced the original stock with a folding stock,
•rented a storage facility to hide hundreds of rounds of ammunition and additional rifle components,
asked “Is this the Republican or Democrat baseball team?” before firing on the Republicans,
ran a Google search for information on the “2017 Republican Convention” hours before the shooting,
and took photos at high-profile Washington locations, including the east front plaza of the U.S. Capitol and the Dirksen Senate Office.
•We know from other reporting that the list was of six Republican Freedom Caucus members, including Rep. Mo Brooks, who was present at the practice.

So what does the FBI decide this information means? Well, the takeaway of the briefing was characterized well by the Associated Press headline about it: “FBI: Gunman who shot congressman had no target in mind.”

If they don’t want to call it terrorism because it was an attempted political assassination, then fine, but this is insane. If they want to continue to drain away the last vestiges of confidence in their competence, this is the way to do it.

[Update Friday morning]

Who does the FBI work for?

There’s no reason to beat around the bush here: what the FBI is claiming is mind-boggling when they claim the shooter had no target in mind. Consider the number of accidents of circumstance you would have to believe were going on here to not have the shooter doing what seems obvious from every piece of evidence we have: researching and planning for an attack on Republicans of some kind, particularly looking for an opportunity when security will be low and vulnerability will be high. This was an attack, not an “anger management” problem.

Step back, though, and think on the institutional conclusions here. Considering how ludicrous the FBI’s conclusions are as it relates to an attack on the third ranking member of the House of Representatives, you might reconsider whether to trust the FBI’s conclusions in other areas, as well. And this is how our faith in institutions is degraded: steadily, gradually, with incident after incident where men in suits stand in front of microphones and make claims we know are not the whole truth.

This is how you get more Trump. Despite the fact that Trump doesn’t seem inclined to do anything about it.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Related: Hey, Trump, how about firing Avner Shapiro? Your administration is full of people sabotaging your agenda. What are you going to do about it?

No, This Is Not Terrorism In England

It’s a protracted insurgency. It’s war, regardless of how much people want to deny it:

Britons trying to remain optimistic note that they survived and eventually defeated Irish nationalist terrorism not all that long ago. But this is a flawed analogy. In the first place, at any given time during the Troubles, the number of active Provisional Irish Republican Army terrorists seldom exceeded a hundred. Moreover, the PIRA was a “normal” terrorist group with rational political motives, not a religiously-motivated death cult, and it generally eschewed killing civilians for its own sake. Indeed, atrocities like the 1987 Enniskillen attack, which murdered 10 innocents, proved a black mark for the group, even among staunch republicans. Therefore, comparing the PIRA to ISIS and its murderous Western wannabes isn’t much help to practical counterterrorism.

That said, if Britain doesn’t soon devise tough countermeasures to its vast domestic jihadism problem, many of its cities may come to resemble Northern Ireland a generation ago, with armed soldiers in battle gear patrolling the streets as “aid to civil power” while enforcing frequent security checks on average citizens with the aim of stopping terrorists.

In their historically recent unwillingness to allow Britons to defend themselves (appalling, considering that we inherited our notions about the Second Amendment from ancient English Common Law), the contradictions of their multi-culturalism will become untenable.

[Update a few minutes later]

Counterterrorism lessons from America’s Civil War:

Destroying ISIS, al-Qaeda and other Muslim terror groups is not particularly difficult, far less difficult than Sherman or Sheridan’s task during the Civil War. It simply requires doing some disgusting things. Western intelligence doesn’t have to infiltrate terror groups, tap phones, mine social media postings and so forth (although these doubtless are worth doing). Muslim communities in the West will inform on the terrorists. They will tell police when someone has packed up and gone to Syria, and when he has returned. They will tell police who is talking about killing westerners, who has a suspicious amount of cash, who is listening to broadcasts from Salafist preachers.

They will tell western security services everything they need to know, provided that western security services ask in the right way. I mean in Phil Sheridan’s way. Like the victorious Union generals of the Civil War, the West does not have to be particularly clever. It simply needs to understand what kind of war is is fighting.

Yes, ultimately, the only way to victory is to make them fear us. As Mark Steyn has said, the question is not “Why do they hate us,” but “Why do they despise us”? It is because they have no respect for us, and given the behavior of the “elites,” it’s hard to blame them.

[Early-afternoon update]

In the face of terror, Londoners told to “Run, Hide, Tell.”

Contrast this with the London of eight decades ago.