by Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch
I. ISLAM AND THE MIDDLE EAST
ARAB SUNNI MUSLIMS NEED A STATE - MUST IT BE TAKEN FROM THE SIDE OF ISRAEL? A short excellent video on Israel as the home of Jewish refugees from the Mideast. The Jewish refugees emptied out of the Arab countries in 1947 -- the same time many Palestinian Arabs were fleeing the new State of Israel. European allies of Israel are much more wedded to the two-state solution than Israelis. Much of the two-state rhetoric from the era of secular Arab states seems a bit yesterday. The childless bureaucrats of the EU may not be the best source of wisdom about religion, nations, and sustaining the long-term life of sovereign states.
PAKISTAN AND CHINA: The most dangerous country in South Asia is Pakistan. China has helped them with massive infrastructure projects (a very different approach than our alliance with Saudi Arabia built on arm sales). Pakistan has many internal forces turning it toward Salafist Islam. The alliance with China is not one of them. A crucial area for smart diplomacy.
THE STRONGEST MAN IN EUROPE IS A TURK WHO IS DE-SECULARIZING TURKEY: Free EU visas for Turks while 2.5 million Syrian refugees are in their land - Looking at Europe from Turkey. President Erdogan seems ascendant. The strongest US ally in his government has been demoted. This is part of a consolidation of authority by President Erdogan. A prediction here that a similar man in a similar niche in Saudi Arabia - Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef - will meet a similar fate as King Salman and his favorite son, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, continue their consolidation of power.
SAUDIS, 9/11, AND BRUCE REIDEL: Mr. Reidel (30 years CIA, presently Director of Brookings Intelligence Project) was more involved in the response to September 11th attacks than I knew. I have praised him in the past and learned much from his talks. You can learn many facts from him, but the big strategic necessities with Saudi Arabia are not his forte. On the Saudis, he says there is not much smoke there. This is still a very clear talk explaining the present players in a tottering Kingdom.
Here is a short video of Reidel commenting on Wahhabis and Saudis. He does see that the son of the new King is the instigator of the Yemen war which he compares to a friend driving drunk. What he has trouble seeing is that the war on Yemen is not about a threatened Sunni Kingdom defending from Iranian encroachment. This is a vicious air war meant to eliminate the political independence of Yemen’s Houthi Shiites. Like almost all in official Washington think-tanks, he does not understand religion and its organization of loyalties as the ultimate truth. Like both foreign policy think tanks and Christian liberty advocates, there is no acknowledgment that the religious persecution of the Shiites is a fundamental component of the Wahhabi movement in Islam.
II. THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION
TILT TOWARD ASIA PROMOTES BRITISH AND AMERICAN DIPLOMATS: What are the odds that the two top men sent to China from the Anglo coalition that won WWII would both be getting married soon after their postings... and married to Chinese men at that. This should not be confused for fraternity amidst the nations. It should be a warning bell that homosexuality is a huge asset in careerism in the Democratic Party of Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton.
HARVARD FINDS THE ROOT OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE: All-male social clubs -- tightening the screws.
AUSTIN RUSE ON NEW CRITIQUE OF GLOBAL SEXUAL REVOLUTION: He reviews a book by German Gabrielle Kuby and adds his list of the best refutations of the gender ideologies. Ruse is president of C-FAM (Center for Family & Human Rights), a New York and Washington DC-based research institute focusing on international legal and social policy. He is one of a growing number of writers who understands the global manifestations and historical roots of the sexual revolution.
III. PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS
HISTORIAN PAUL JOHNSON ON TRUMP: If American Christians are fighting the citadels of political correctness to win back our country from the sexual revolutionaries and a great tornado hits some of the citadels -- it is no time to shirk from the fury of tornadoes. Learn to act and congregate in the new spaces created by the mayhem. Johnson on Trump.
CAMILLE PAGLIA ON HILLARY: It isn’t sexist to be against the bitter ones. Mrs. Clinton says she knows how to deal with men who go off the reservation and have tantrums: "I have a lot of experience dealing with men who sometimes get off the reservation in the way they behave and how they speak." Sounds like a call to the warpath may be in order. We have time to formulate the best response to this tell-tale remark from the queen bee.
A TOOL TO PREDICT U.S. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: The swing o magic.
BEN RHODES - OBAMA FOREIGN POLICY ADVISOR: A revealing interview with NY TIMES MAGAZINE. If one combines this with the recent Obama interview in the Atlantic, we see a real clash of President Obama with the received wisdom of the foreign policy think tanks and writers who he calls "the Blob." This is something the Trump foreign policy team should build on and learn from.
Some thematic excerpts from the interview:
HOW DID A FICTION WRITER LIKE RHODES - WHOSE BROTHER IS PRESIDENT OF CBS NEWS - BECOME A TOP FOREIGN POLICY ADVISOR?
Rhodes served as Hamilton’s staff member on the 9/11 Commission, where he met Denis McDonough, another Hamilton protégé, who had gone on to work for Tom Daschle in the Senate. Rhodes then became the chief note-taker for the Iraq Study Group, the bipartisan commission that excoriated George Bush’s war in Iraq. He accompanied Hamilton and his Republican counterpart on the group, former secretary of state and Bush family intimate James Baker, to their meetings with Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Stephen Hadley, David Petraeus and many others (Vice President Dick Cheney met with the group but didn’t say a word). According to both Hamilton and Edward Djerejian, Baker’s second on the I.S.G., Rhodes’s opinions were helpful in shaping the group’s conclusions — a scathing indictment of the policy makers responsible for invading Iraq. For Rhodes, who wrote much of the I.S.G. report, the Iraq war was proof, in black and white, not of the complexity of international affairs or the many perils attendant on political decision-making but of the fact that the decision-makers were morons. One result of this experience was that when Rhodes joined the Obama campaign in 2007, he arguably knew more about the Iraq war than the candidate himself, or any of his advisers. He had also developed a healthy contempt for the American foreign-policy establishment, including editors and reporters at The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker and elsewhere, who at first applauded the Iraq war and then sought to pin all the blame on Bush and his merry band of neocons when it quickly turned sour. If anything, that anger has grown fiercer during Rhodes’s time in the White House. He referred to the American foreign-policy establishment as the Blob. According to Rhodes, the Blob includes Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates and other Iraq-war promoters from both parties who now whine incessantly about the collapse of the American security order in Europe and the Middle East.
THE DUMBING OF THE PRESS AND THE ROLE OF A COMMUNICATOR
The job he was hired to do, namely to help the president of the United States communicate with the public, was changing in equally significant ways, thanks to the impact of digital technologies that people in Washington were just beginning to wrap their minds around. It is hard for many to absorb the true magnitude of the change in the news business — 40 percent of newspaper-industry professionals have lost their jobs over the past decade — in part because readers can absorb all the news they want from social-media platforms Rhodes singled out a key example to me one day, laced with the brutal contempt that is a hallmark of his private utterances. “All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus,” he said. “Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo. Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”
HE AND OBAMA SEE THE CATASTROPHIC FAILURE OF THE FOREIGN POLICY ESTABLISHMENT WHICH INCLUDES RICHARD GATES, LEON PANETTA, AND HILLARY CLINTON
Barack Obama is not a standard-issue liberal Democrat. He openly shares Rhodes’s contempt for the group-think of the American foreign-policy establishment and its hangers-on in the press. Yet one problem with the new script that Obama and Rhodes have written is that the Blob may have finally caught on.
What I (the interviewer, David Samuels) don’t understand is why, if America is getting out of the Middle East, we are apparently spending so much time and energy trying to strong-arm Syrian rebels into surrendering to the dictator who murdered their families, or why it is so important for Iran to maintain its supply lines to Hezbollah. He mutters something about John Kerry, and then goes off the record, to suggest, in effect, that the world of the Sunni Arabs that the American establishment built has collapsed. The buck stops with the establishment, not with Obama, who was left to clean up their mess. [AOA note: This is an encouraging revelation that they understand the Salafist Sunni nature of the enemy. They see that our true present enemy has sprung from our oldest alliances - this is what "the Blob" cannot clarify]
PANETTA, GATES, AND HILLARY NOT REALLY THE 'IN' CROWD
In Panetta’s telling, his own experience at the Pentagon under Obama sometimes resembled being installed in the driver’s seat of a car and finding that the steering wheel and brakes had been disconnected from the engine. Obama and his aides used political elders like him, Robert Gates and Hillary Clinton as cover to end the Iraq war, and then decided to steer their own course, he suggests. While Panetta pointedly never mentions Rhodes’s name, it is clear whom he is talking about.
WHY RHODES ROSE TO THE TOP AS A STRATEGY THINKER
His days at the White House start with the president’s daily briefing, which usually includes the vice president, National Security Adviser Susan Rice, Deputy National Security Adviser Avril Haines and Homeland Security Adviser Lisa Monaco.
|Obama's Security Trinity: Susan Rice, Avril Haines, Lisa Monaco|
SAMANTHA POWER ON HIS STRATEGIC DOMINANCE AS THE WRITER
Early on, what struck her (Samantha P) about Rhodes was how strategic he was. “He was leading quietly, initially, and mainly just through track changes, like what to accept and reject,” she says. When I ask her where Rhodes’s control over drafts of the candidate’s speeches came from, she immediately answers, “Obama,” but then qualifies her answer. “But it was Hobbesian,” she adds. “He had the pen. And he understood intuitively that having the pen gave him that control.” His judgment was superior to that of his rivals, and he refused to ever back down. “He was just defiant,” she recalls. “He was like: ‘No, I’m not. That’s bad. Obama wouldn’t want that.’ ”