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January 2017

“Pussy” Symbolism and the Masked Hatred of the Women’s March When vulgarity, emasculation and self-hate stands for empowerment. Dawn Perlmutter

“Pussy” was the primary symbolism and message of the January 21st Women’s March. From protest signs to the thousands of pink hats, it was in your face throughout the march.

The hats with the cute little cat ears were called “pussyhats” and were sponsored by the “Pink Pussy Project”. The women behind the ‘Pussyhat Project” decided that inundating the National Mall with a million handmade, cat-eared knitted hats, dubbed “pussyhats,” was the perfect emblem of solidarity and support for women’s rights. Their explanation was that the “pussyhat” was a play on the word “pussycat” but also referenced President Donald Trump’s infamous comments on a hot microphone from an “Access Hollywood” video.

They were successful. Both visually and substantially the Women’s March was characterized by cute cat-eared hats and the word “pussy.” Signs read: “Get Your Politics Out of my Pussy”; “The Pussy is watching” (which included a picture of a vagina); “My Pussy My Choice My Body My Voice”; “My Neck, My Back, My Pussy Will Grab Back”; “Stay Cunty”; “Pussy Trumps Tyranny”; “Not My Pussydent”; “Fear The Pussy”; “My Vagina has a better lineup than Trumps inauguration”; “Viva la Vulva” and much more. Other signs had images of fallopian tubes and vaginas. Several women were dressed as giant vaginas.

On the Pink Pussy Project website under the subtitle “Power of Pussy,” they explained the symbolism of their hats. “We chose this loaded word for our project because we want to reclaim the term as a means of empowerment.”

Perhaps someone should have explained to them that a significant aspect of the original feminist movement was to stop the sexual objectification of women. Equating women’s rights with the theme of “Pussy” is not a revolution — it is a devolution of women’s power. Reducing women to sexual objects was the substance of the criticism of President Trump’s private leaked conversation. If we follow the logic that was employed for the theme of the march, then there should have been women’s marches against Bill Clinton with thousands of women wearing torn pantyhose. They could have all bitten their lips in solidarity with the women President Clinton assaulted. They could have reclaimed the term “rape” as a means of empowerment and held up the exact same signs: “Get Your Politics Out of my Pussy”; “Not My Pussydent.”

The few men that attended the march held signs that read “I’m with her”; “We All Should Be Feminists” and “Men of Quality Do Not Fear Inequality.” The expression “pussy whipped” arguably fit nicely into the Women’s March theme.

These privileged, spoiled, angry women predicated their march on a locker room insult from 12 years ago. They could have had a platform on women who are sexually trafficked, on the millions of Muslim women who have no rights, on female genital mutilation, on prostitution, on honor killing, or on girls being sold into slavery. Instead they were more concerned about how they looked in their “pussyhats” and who held the most creative vulgar sign. They should have tried to march with their placards and outfits in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Nigeria and any number of other countries. Then they would have seen what real persecution and injustice look like. Their march was literally a day in the park where they could go home safely afterwards and feel self-righteous — as if they made a difference. However, their primary achievement was to stick their heads back in the sand instead of helping real persecuted women in any significant way. Indeed, they will not face the harsh realities of women being kidnapped and enslaved. And they will not acknowledge that the women who are doing their manicures and pedicures may be victims of human trafficking, or that they are endangering their little girls by dressing them provocatively. From their distorted self-hating worldview, sexual violence perpetrated by adversary cultures and ideologies is a myth.

It is ironic that the “pussy” theme is attributed to the new administration. But that word, if anything, might in fact be the perfect symbolism of the last administration — which did not have the courage to maintain redlines, help 200 Nigerian schoolgirls that were kidnapped or protect Yazidi women, who are being tortured and raped everyday of their lives. It is an administration that had a female Secretary of State who left Americans in Benghazi to die.

Europe’s Hate-America Brigade Back in business. Bruce Bawer

They’re back.

One of the pleasant things about the very best Dutch cafés is that most of them subscribe to a dozen or more newspapers from all over western Europe. It was thanks to this amenity that I became aware, soon after moving to Amsterdam from New York in the late 1990s, of the European media’s poisonous hatred for the United States. In the eyes of almost all European journalists, I discovered, America was a land of illiterates, cretins, racists, xenophobes, warmongers.

And that was under Bill Clinton. It got even worse under George W. Bush. To be sure, on the day after 9/11 a few editorialists took the “We Are All Americans” line, but others enjoyed the opportunity to spit at the victims of Ground Zero, declaring that America had asked for it. Swedish author Jan Guillou cheered the strike on “U.S. imperialism.” Norwegian author Gert Nygårdshaug sneered at somebody’s concern that the next target might be in Europe: Muslims, he explained, hate Americans, and with good reason; for Europeans, however, they had nothing but goodwill.

The Afghanistan war further intensified the European media’s anti-Americanism; and the Iraq war took it up yet another notch. Newspapers all over the continent accused Bush of terrorism, equated him with Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein (or said he was worse than either of them), derided him as a puppet of Israel, depicted Guantánamo as the ninth circle of hell, and called for an end to the Atlantic alliance. “It is not easy to know whom one should believe in this world of Bushmen and Saddamists,” wrote an editor at Norway’s Dagsavisen, “where the truth is for sale and friends can hardly be distinguished from enemies.”

Then, one day, the anti-Americanism almost completely vanished from the European media. The date: November 4, 2008. Americans elected Barack Obama president, and suddenly America wasn’t so terrible after all.

Part of the reason for the shift was, quite simply, shock. For a long time, a core belief of the European media had been that the overwhelming majority of white Americans were racist cavemen. How to make sense of the fact that millions of them had voted to put a black man in the White House? European journalists couldn’t make sense of it.

But they knew one thing: they loved Obama. They had to love Obama. And they had to love him even more than Americans did – even more, indeed, than American journalists did. Because if they didn’t, they’d be the racists. (Of course, the fact that they thought this way made one thing crystal clear: they were racists, the whole lot of them.)

In any event, for eight years, the presence of a black man in the Oval Office not only made it impossible for the European media to criticize him; it made them hesitate to go after America itself, at least in the take-no-prisoners way they’d been accustomed to. Guantánamo remained open, and Obama’s policies helped make the Middle East even more destabilized and dangerous and led to the creation of ISIS. But you’d hardly have known it if you read the European press.

It must have hurt, having their hands tied like that for so long.

Race Hatred At the DNC They’ve learned nothing from the election results. Matthew Vadum

White people concerned about their country need to shut their mouths and have their future dictated to them by radical racist left-wingers, was the apparently unanimous verdict of the angry Democrats seeking to chair their party’s governing body at a recent candidate forum.

As Washington, D.C. radio host Chris Plante quipped, “They haven’t been this upset since we took away their slaves.”

White Americans, Democrats say loud and clear, are the enemy.

It is part of the ongoing meltdown among Democrats apoplectic that Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton. It manifests itself in the indignant screaming we now hear every day from the mainstream media every time President Trump makes it clear he really does intend to fulfill his campaign promises.

It is a result of the accumulated intellectual detritus from the Sixties mixed in with the identity politics that took over American campuses in the Eighties. “Politics is downstream from culture,” my late friend Andrew Breitbart observed, and now the culture has thoroughly infected the body politic.

Democrats are doubling down on the anti-white racism and identity politics-driven lunacy that became the norm during the Obama years.

So obsessed with nailing whitey to a cross were the DNC candidates that they overlooked the most glaring injustice of the past electoral cycle.

As Michael Sainato wrote in the New York Observer, all of the candidates attending the forum, including the Sen. Bernie Sanders-backed candidate, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), “refused to acknowledge the Democratic primaries were rigged in favor of Hillary Clinton.”

“There was so little dissent among the seven participants that at one point, when asked whether they thought the DNC tipped the scale for a candidate [Hillary Clinton] in the 2016 primary-a criticism lodged frequently and vociferously by Sanders’ supporters-none of the participants raised their hands,” he wrote, quoting Real Clear Politics.

Candidates to chair the Democratic National Committee all agree that their party needs to be more racist than it has become after eight years of incessant race-baiting and guilt-tripping by former President Obama.

Whites in the Democratic Party need to check their race-based privilege and zip it, according to DNC chairman candidate Sally Boynton Brown, who is executive director of the Idaho Democratic Party.

“Black lives matter and it makes me sad that we’re even having that conversation and that tells me that white leaders in our party have failed,” said Brown during the recent “DNC Chair Candidates Forum 2017” moderated by MSNBC’s Joy-Ann Reid. We have to teach Democrats “how to be sensitive and how to shut their mouths if they’re white.”

Law And Order Returns To The Border President Trump begins fulfilling his promise to the American people in two historic immigration executive orders. Joseph Klein

President Donald Trump is doing something incredibly rare for a politician in Washington, D.C. He is keeping his word. Two of the most important of his campaign promises were to stem the flow of illegal immigrants into this country and to suspend the admission of “refugees” from countries prone to terrorism until a system of “extreme vetting” is put into place. On Tuesday night, President Trump tweeted out a teaser: “Big day planned on NATIONAL SECURITY tomorrow. Among many other things, we will build the wall!”

After eight long years of Obama administration policies that endangered the security of the American people, President Trump is placing Americans first — before illegal aliens and self-declared “refugees” from terrorist prone countries.

The president began fulfilling his promises on immigration by signing two executive orders on Wednesday at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), whose responsibilities include overseeing immigration and border security. Mr. Trump also took part in a ceremony installing his new Secretary of Homeland Security, retired Marine General John Kelly. In his remarks following the signing, President Trump emphasized that DHS is a “law enforcement agency.” He added that “beginning today, the United States gets back control of its borders.”

The first executive order he signed redirected funds already appropriated by Congress towards paying for the construction of the border wall he has promised between Mexico and the United States. Additional funding appropriations will be required from Congress for completion of the project. However, President Trump still intends that Mexico will ultimately reimburse U.S. taxpayers for the expenditures through one means or another, including possibly redirecting monies presently slotted for foreign aid to Mexico or using revenue from border taxes. President Trump’s action came on the same day that Mexico’s foreign minister, Luis Videgaray, was due to arrive in Washington to help prepare for the visit of Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto later this month.

The order would end the “catch-and-release” policies the Obama administration utilized, under which illegals awaiting removal hearings were released. More detention facilities along the border are planned for construction. According to Immigration and Custom Enforcement figures cited by Fox News, 179,040 of the 925,193 illegal immigrants who have evaded a scheduled deportation had criminal convictions.

The Trump administration is anticipating roadblocks put in its way by legal challenges, including activists’ exploitation of environmental laws to block construction of the wall. However, the administration should be able to prevail and move forward expeditiously. The REAL ID Act of 2005 gives the Secretary of Homeland Security “the authority to waive all legal requirements such Secretary, in such Secretary’s sole discretion, determines necessary to ensure expeditious construction of the barriers and roads” along U.S. borders. Federal district courts have exclusive jurisdiction to hear challenges to the Secretary of Homeland Security’s determination, but a “cause of action or claim may only be brought alleging a violation of the Constitution of the United States.” Melinda Taylor, an environmental law professor with the University of Texas, said, “The new administration has a wild card they can pull and it’s in this law. The language in this law allows them to waive all federal laws that would be an impediment to building any type of physical barrier along the border, including a wall.” Actually, “the authority to waive all legal requirements” in the statute would extend to state and local laws and regulations, as well as federal laws. The president’s constitutional authority derives from his fundamental constitutional duty to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed” – in this case, the nation’s existing immigration laws.

President Trump signed a second executive order addressing the so-called “sanctuary cities,” which have been openly defying federal immigration law enforcement. They may face the loss of certain federal funding if they continue their 21st century version of segregationist Governor George Wallace’s “stand in the schoolhouse door” in opposition to federally mandated school desegregation.

Handful of Countries with ‘Tremendous Terror’ Targeted for Immigration, Visa Block By Bridget Johnson

WASHINGTON — President Trump said an upcoming order to suspend visas and immigration from a handful of Muslim-majority nations is “not the Muslim ban,” but “it’s countries that have tremendous terror…that people are going to come in and cause us tremendous problems.”

“Our country has enough problems without allowing people to come in who, in many cases or in some cases, are looking to do tremendous destruction,” Trump told ABC News in an interview aired Wednesday. “…You’ll be very thrilled. You’re looking at people that come in, in many cases, in some cases with evil intentions. I don’t want that. They’re ISIS. They’re coming under false pretense. I don’t want that.”

White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters at Wednesday’s daily briefing that Trump “has talked extensively about extreme vetting” and “you’ll see more action this week on keeping America safe.”

“As we get into that implementation of that executive order, we’ll have further details,” Spicer said. “But I think the guiding principle for the president is keeping this country safe. And allowing people who are from a country that has a propensity to do us harm, to make sure that we take the necessary steps, to ensure that the people who come to this country, especially areas that have a predisposition, if you will, or a higher degree of concern, that we take the appropriate steps to make sure that they’re coming to this country for all the right reasons.”

According to a draft of the order still subject to changes obtained by the Huffington Post, all entry of individuals from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen would be banned for 30 days. Visas would be suspended for 60 days from countries of “particular concern” — unknown if that correlates with the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom list of the same name — while U.S. officials attempt to obtain security information from those countries. Interviews would be required with all visa applications.

Refugees from all countries would be blocked for 120 days while the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department and the Director of National Intelligence unanimously decide which countries’ refugees will be allowed in. Fiscal year 2017 refugees would be limited to 50,000; President Obama allowed for 110,000 refugees.

All refugees from Syria would be blocked indefinitely, according to the draft. It would establish safe zones in Syria, thereby increasing U.S. involvement there.

“We are excluding certain countries. But for other countries we’re gonna have extreme vetting. It’s going to be very hard to come in. Right now it’s very easy to come in. It’s gonna be very, very hard. I don’t want terror in this country. You look at what happened in San Bernardino. You look at what happened all over. You look at what happened in the World Trade Center. OK, I mean, take that as an example,” Trump told ABC.

In the 2015 San Bernardino attack, terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook was born in Chicago while his wife, Tashfeen Malik, was a Pakistani who immigrated from Saudi Arabia on a spousal visa.

The Dictatorship of Equality By Gideon Isaac

In 1972 Congress prohibited discrimination in America’s schools — that is, discrimination based on gender. This law, Title IX, had a safety clause to prevent preferential treatment to women if there was an imbalance between women and men in some activity.

Unfortunately, the safety clause did not work. Colleges found that in practice they had to balance the number of young men and women in their sports programs numerically. As a result, they had to eliminate entire teams of young sportsmen — including swimming teams that produced Olympians. They often also had to eliminate “walk-ons” that is, people who were not recruited on scholarship, but decided they wanted to try out for a sport.

Before I go into the details, I will say that my impression is that laws that forbid discrimination become sticks to beat squares into circles by activists who believe that equality of opportunity means equality of result. And while it would seem that such bad logic could be ignored by the colleges, it cannot be.

When Heather Sue Mercer sued the Duke University football team, under Title IX, for dropping her off their roster, she won two million dollars. The Duke president testified that she had been given extra chances to make the team, and the coach said she didn’t have the strength to boot long field goals. But no matter, Heather got rich, and Duke learned a lesson. And not just Duke. When a Supreme Court ruling in 1992 made monetary damages available to Title IX plaintiffs, lawsuits alleging discrimination exploded in colleges and universities. As Jessica Gavora says in her book Tilting the Playing Field, “eager trial lawyers and women’s groups scoured the country for aggrieved female athletes, and found them — or manufactured them.”

In many of these lawsuits, the complaint was that the percentage of women in sports did not match their percentage in the student body. The percentage of women could be high. I noticed in one case more than 40% of women at a campus were in sports — but if the percentage of men in sports was higher, that was considered discrimination.

So is it really true that the interest in sports is equal between men and women? A survey was done at California State which showed that 57 percent of men were interested in participating, as opposed to 43 percent of women. But the university had to institute quotas anyway.

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) became, per a former employee, “populated with zealots who had lost all objectivity. I knew something had changed when they began to refer to complainants as clients”.

It should be noted that it is not just the OCR that created the situation. There was blame to go around. There were activist groups, lawyers who wanted to make a buck, and of course the students who felt victimized, or claimed to feel victimized.

Thus men’s baseball, volleyball, soccer, cross-country, swimming, gymnastic, and wrestling teams all lost funding. UCLA dropped a swimming team that had produced twenty-two Olympic medalists, Brigham Young cut its top-ten-ranked men’s gymnastics team; and the University of Miami eliminated its men’s swimming program; which had sent swimmers to every Olympic Game since 1972. According to Robert Carle in “The Strange Career of Title IX”, a Chicago wrestling coach named Leo Kocher used data from the 1997 National Collegiate Athletic Association Gender Equity report to show that more than 20,000 male athletes disappeared from the ranks of the NCAA between 1992 and 1997.

The Two “Islamophobias” by Denis MacEoin

While it is not surprising to find Muslims offended by certain words or images, it is distressing to find Western courts and other bodies only too willing to turn “Islamophobia” into a criminal offence in countries that otherwise value free speech and open expression.

When the Dutch politician Geert Wilders was brought to court on a hate speech charge, all he had done in fact was to ask a simple question about Moroccan immigrants — should the Netherlands take in more or fewer? That is a question with many potential answers based on political, social, or demographic grounds. It is a rational question that is, almost by definition, one that could be asked in the Home Office of any state that receives immigrants.

“Forty percent of Moroccan immigrants in the Netherlands between the ages of 12 and 24 have been arrested, fined, charged or otherwise accused of committing a crime during the past five years, according to a new report commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Interior.” – Dutch-Moroccan Monitor 2011.

We, and not our opponents, must place ourselves in a position to define what is and what is not real “Islamophobia.” If we cannot do that, others will conflate criticism and hatred, and clamp down on both at once.

If we had to choose one thing that has obstructed many Westerners from understanding modern Islam and undermined our ability to handle its excesses, it would be our perception of Islamophobia. How many times have fair and honest criticisms of one aspect or another of Islam, rebukes of behaviour, or literary and artistic expressions of Muhammad or other figures been loudly shouted down or banned on the grounds that such criticism was “Islamophobic”? In Europe, individuals have been arrested, tried and sentenced for “Islamophobic” utterances. As Judith Bergman recently commented, in Europe it is becoming a criminal offence to criticize Islam.

In 2011, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, for example, a former Austrian diplomat and teacher, was put on trial for “denigration of religious beliefs of a legally recognized religion [Islam],” found guilty twice, and ordered to pay a fine or face 60 days in jail. Some of her comments may have seemed extreme, but the court’s failure to engage with her historically accurate charge that Muhammad had sex with a nine-year-old girl and continued to have sex with her until she turned eighteen — its regarding the historical record as somehow defamatory — and the judge’s decision to punish her for saying something that can be found in Islamic sources, illustrates the betrayal of Western values of free speech. A charge of “Islamophobia” was enough to confine the freedoms that most Westerners take for granted.

Radicalization in Public Schools Why We are Concerned by Maha Soliman

Radicalization is not only manifested through the use of violence, but also through desiring to live by and impose sharia law on society.

One reason for the increased popularity of sharia is the radicalization of second- and third-generation Muslims in Western societies.

The school board said it believes that the checks and balances put in place will ensure that the Friday sermons are not used for radicalizing Muslim students; however, as laws against “Islamophobia” become a reality in Canada, and attempts to raise a concern are labelled hate speech, one should not count on it. With the passing of time, vigilance will be abandoned and people who express concern will find themselves vulnerable to bullying and defamation if they try to address an issue or crack down on a violation.

Saied Shoaaib, a Muslim authority and expert on political Islam, points out that the dilemma for Western societies is that the only version of Islam available to them is the radical version, mostly in mosques and Islamic schools, and also in public libraries.

The ongoing demand for the accommodation of Muslims in Western societies is a situation worth understanding. In the documentary “The Third Jihad”, Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, an American Muslim who dedicates his life to fighting radicalization, explains that it is a cultural jihad that is meant to destroy our society from within — slowly and gradually to impose the sharia way of life.

On January 10, 2017, I attended the Peel District School Board’s meeting where recommendations for allowing Muslim students to write their own sermons (khutbah) for congregational Friday (Jumma) prayers in public schools were received. For more than 15 years, students were allowed to pray in the school but not in a congregational setting. In June 2016, the Jumma prayer was officially adopted but the students were only allowed to read from a list of pre-approved sermons.

Mississauga is one of three cities in the Peel region and the sixth largest city in Canada with high ethnic diversity and a population nearing one million. One of Mississauga’s calls to fame is that it is home to at least eight members of the “Toronto 18” — the first terrorist cell uncovered in 2006 and that aimed to create an Al-Qaida type of operation in Canada. Some of the 18 attended public schools: Saad Khalid, for example, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for pleading guilty to a single count of acting “with the intention of causing an explosion or explosions that were likely to cause serious bodily harm or death or damage property”. He was known to have attended the Meadowvale Secondary School. There, he had started an Islamic Club and, in the lecture hall, had led Friday prayers, which he attended with fellow arrestees Fahim Ahmad and Zakaria Amara. If people like Khalid are the champions of organizing Jumaa prayers and Khutbah in their schools, it is no wonder that pre-scripted sermons were the way to protect public safety while allowing Muslim students still to practice their faith.

The Eight Great Powers of 2017 Walter Russell Mead & Sean Keeley

In 2016, Russia surpassed Germany, and Israel joined the list for the first time.

1. The United States of America
No surprise here: as it has for the last century, the United States remains the most powerful country on earth. America’s dynamic economy, its constitutional stability (even as we watch the Age of Trump unfold), its deep bench of strong allies and partners (including 5 of the 7 top powers listed below), and its overwhelming military superiority all ensure that the United States sits secure in its status on top of the greasy pole of international power politics.

Not that American power increased over the past year. 2016 may have been the worst year yet for the Obama Administration, bringing a string of foreign policy failures that further undermined American credibility across the world. In Syria, Russia brutally assisted Assad in consolidating control over Aleppo and sidelined Washington in the subsequent peace talks. China continued to defy the American-led international order, building up its military presence in the South China Sea and reaching out to American allies like the Philippines. Iran and its proxies continued their steady rise in the Middle East, while the Sunnis and Israel increasingly questioned Washington’s usefulness as an ally. Meanwhile, the widespread foreign perception that Donald Trump was unqualified to serve as the President of the United States contributed to a growing chorus of doubt as to whether the American people posses the wit and the wisdom to retain their international position. Those concerns seemed to be growing in the early weeks of 2017.

In the domestic realm, too, America’s leaders did little to address the country’s pressing long-term economic problems, nor did they inspire much confidence in the potential for effective bipartisan cooperation. The populist surge that almost gave the Democratic nomination to the Socialist senator Bernie Sanders and brought Donald J. Trump to the White House was a sign of just how alienated from politics as usual many Americans have become. Foreigners will be watching the United States closely in 2017 to see whether and how badly our internal divisions are affecting the country’s will and ability to pursue a broad international agenda.

Still, for all this gloom, there was good news to be had. Fracking was the gift that kept on giving, as the United States surpassed Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the country with the world’s largest recoverable oil assets and American businesses discovered new innovations to boost their output. The economy continued its steady growth and unemployment fell to a pre-financial crisis low, with the Fed’s year-end interest rate hike serving as a vote of confidence in the economy’s resilience.

As the Trump administration gets under way, the United States is poised for what could be the most consequential shift in American policy in several generations. On some issues, such as the shale revolution, Trump will build on the progress already made; in other areas, such as China’s maritime expansionism or domestic infrastructure, his policies may bring a welcome change; in others still, Trump’s impulsiveness could well usher in the dangerous consequences that his liberal detractors so fear. (DPS Note: Trump’s “impulsiveness” seems to be a given amongst most commentators. Yet, so far, everything he has done seems to be focused and in step with what he said he would do. I wonder what the Trump-guaranteed-behavior-prognosticators will say down the road if what he does fails to adhere to their projections).

But regardless of what change the coming year brings, it is important to remember that America’s strength does not derive solely or primarily from the whims of its leaders. America’s constitutional system, its business-friendly economy, and the innovation of its people are more lasting sources of power, proving Trump critics right on at least one count: America has never stopped being great.

2. China (tie)

In 2016, China cemented its status as the world’s second greatest power and the greatest long-term challenger to the United States. In the face of American passivity, Beijing projected power in the South and East China Seas, built up its artificial outposts and snatched a U.S. military drone at year’s end. Aside from its own forceful actions, China also enjoyed several strokes of good fortune in 2016, from the election of a China-friendly populist in the Philippines to the demise of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which will grant China a new opportunity to set the trade agenda in the Asia-Pacific.

China continued to alternate between intimidating and courting its neighbors, scoring some high-profile victories in the process. Most prominent was the turnaround from Manila, as the new Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte embraced China: in part because of his anti-Americanism, but also thanks to Chinese support for his anti-drug campaign and the promise of lucrative trade ties and a bilateral understanding on the South China Sea. Beijing also cannily exploited the Malaysian Prime Minister’s disillusionment with the United States to pull him closer into Beijing’s orbit, while pursuing cozier ties with Thailand and Cambodia.

Not all the news was good for Beijing last year. For every story pointing to Beijing’s growing clout on the world stage, there was another pointing to its inner weakness and economic instability. Over the course of the year, Chinese leaders found themselves coping with asset bubbles, massive capital flight, politically driven investment boondoggles, pension shortfalls, brain drain, and a turbulent bond market. The instinctual response of the Chinese leadership, more often than not, was for greater state intervention in the economy, while Xi sidelined reformers and consolidated his power. These signs do not suggest confidence in the soundness of China’s economic model.

And despite the gains made from flexing its military muscle, there have been real costs to China’s aggressive posture. In 2016, Vietnam militarized its own outposts in the South China Sea as it watched China do the same. Indonesia began to pick sides against China, staging a large-scale exercise in China-claimed waters. Japan and South Korea agreed to cooperate on intelligence sharing—largely in response to the threat from North Korea, but also, implicitly, as they both warily watch a rising Beijing. And India bolstered its military presence in the Indian Ocean in response to China’s ongoing “string of pearls” strategy to project power there. For all its power, then, China is also engendering some serious pushback in its neighborhood.

The new year finds China in an improved position but also a precarious one, as its economic model falters and it seeks to break out of its geopolitical straitjacket.


This special edition of The Glazov Gang presents the Daniel Greenfield Moment with Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and the editor of Frontpage’s blog, The Point.

Daniel discusses Trump Wins from Day 1, explaining why nothing the Left does can stop him.

Don’t miss it!

And make sure to watch Anne Marie Waters focus on The Islamic Darkness Descends on Europe, revealing that the horror is here and that now is the time to stand up and reclaim our civilization:

And make sure to watch Anne Marie Waters focus on The Islamic Darkness Descends on Europe, revealing that the horror is here and that now is the time to stand up and reclaim our civilization: