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May 2017

 How the U.S. Army Came of Age In the early 20th century, the U.S. Army’s ‘Root reforms’ transformed the service by institutionalizing professional military education and creating a general staff. By Mackubin Thomas Owens

In June 2007, at a seminar at the U.S. Military Academy, I spent a pleasant evening speaking with a young Army captain who was completing his Ph.D. in history at Duke University, working on a topic of great interest to me: the Root reforms of the U.S. Army in the early 20th century, which “professionalized” the service by institutionalizing professional military education and creating a general staff.

That officer was J. P. Clark, and his research has culminated in this magnificent new book, Preparing for War: The Emergence of the Modern U.S. Army, 1815–1917. In this work, Clark shows us how history ought to be written — not only illuminating the past but providing a useful way to think about the future.

Clark set out to address this question: What were the main drivers of the Root reforms, “arguably the most far-reaching in the history of the U.S. Army”? The scholarship of military transformation offers three broad theories of change: 1) Some external impetus overcomes recalcitrant military conservatism; 2) internal forces, e.g., competition for resources, create change from within; and 3) external shocks, such as defeat or the emergence of new technology, compel change.

Clark argues that although elements of each cause were present during the late 19th century, none by itself can explain the transformation of the U.S. Army during this period. Superficially, the Root case seems to suggest an external cause. A civilian outsider (Secretary of War Elihu Root) took the ideas of an unconventional military thinker (Emory Upton) regarding such issues as professional military education and a general staff and imposed them on a recalcitrant military (embodied by the commanding general, Nelson Miles). But, as Clark shows, the situation was much more complex.

When Clark started to examine the factors underpinning the Root reforms, he attempted to shoehorn the small, pivotal group of reformist officers at the time into the traditional binary taxonomy of “conservatives vs. reformers.” However, he soon came to understand that the real divisions within the officer corps were generational, resulting in confusing cross-currents that could not fit adequately into that binary.

The attitudes of the Root-era reformers were the result of forces at work when they were commissioned. Too young to have served in the Civil War, they were nonetheless profoundly influenced by that conflict:

This generation had not led corps or divisions in pitched battles but companies and batteries patrolling the frontier or guarding the coasts. Torn between dreams of grand campaigns and the reality of leading small, dusty detachments, that generation was further buffeted by the social, cultural, and technological dislocations that marked the transition from the 19th to the 20th century. Like others of the Gilded Age, they were on the cusp of great change but not ready to abandon old notions.

Her Chelseaness: How to Be Entitled and Boring without Really Trying Chelsea Clinton is a person, no, a citizen, no, a global citizen, and she is done being quiet. By Kyle Smith

Chelsea Victoria Clinton was named after the Joni Mitchell song “Chelsea Morning,” and as of the spring of 2017, it’s Chelsea Morning in America. Boom, she’s in Variety . . . CBS This Morning . . . The New York Times Book Review. She even picked up a Lifetime award! Okay it was from Lifetime, as in the cable channel, not for a lifetime of achievement, but still, Chelsea Clinton is everywhere. America, whether it asked for it or not, has become the setting for an invasion-from-inside thriller: The Chelsening.

She’s not just a little girl anymore, you know, not just someone’s daughter or campaign prop. Chelsea Clinton is a person, no, a citizen, no, a global citizen, and she is done being quiet. Hear, world, as Chelsea speaks out. She is speaking out about social media: “I’ve recognized, as a lot of people have, that Twitter is a vehicle for me to share my thoughts.” She’s speaking out on movies: “Of course I’m going to see Furious 8. I’ve already seen Logan. I love that Logan is being succeeded by a little girl.” She’s speaking out on the Clinton Foundation: “At its most distilled level, we try to make a positive, impactful, empowering difference in whatever ways we can.” She’s speaking out on speaking out: “This is not the time to be silent or stay on the sidelines.”

With the exception of a few resentful Twitter pokes at the man responsible for rendering her mom an isolated forest monster — Chappaquatch — instead of the most powerful woman in the history of the planet, everything Chelsea says is pretty much like this. The positions she articulates on progress (pro), climate change (anti), and gauzy, inspirational, make-the-world-a-better-place-for-girls-and-women goodness (super-duper pro) are verbal fentanyl. Everything she says is a platitude wrapped in a cliché washed down with a bromide. She’s the dusty end of the greeting-card section, the lite FM of famous-person chatter, a human press release. In short, Chelsea Clinton is becoming the champion dullard of our time. This didn’t happen by chance: We’re talking about the ever-calculating Clintonworld here. The dullness is a strategy, a demented post-last-ditch effort by the Clinton gals to finally power Hillary into the Oval Office. But I’ll come back to that.

It’s not like Chelsea Clinton lacks for interesting things she could talk about. What’s it like being in college when your dad humiliates your mom with an intern your own age? What’s it like watching said mom humiliate herself by losing the presidency, after a lifetime of preparation for the task, to a cheesy reality-television star running on a whim? What’s it like living in a $10 million New York condo with 250-foot-long hallways? Oh, and do you have any comment on longtime Clinton Foundation officer Doug Band’s claim, in a private e-mail uncovered by WikiLeaks, that the foundation paid for your “wedding and life for a decade”?

Yet Vogue writer Jonathan Van Meter, after spending much of the spring and summer of 2012 with Chelsea, was so lost for a juicy anecdote about her that he led off his lengthy profile with this tidbit: “I am pretty intrigued by Joplin Avenue Coffee Company,” Chelsea told him in Joplin, Mo., adding, “When in doubt, coffee.” Van Meter italicized the final noun in a heroic attempt to make the remark sound a little more electrifying than it was.

Variety’s writer Ramin Setoodeh whipped up this pulse-pounder to open his profile: “Chelsea Clinton is about to tell you some things you may not know about her. In an interview with Variety, she lists the last great movie she saw (Hidden Figures), her most surprising job (an internship at a cattle ranch in 1999), and her favorite food growing up (cheddar cheese).”

Supposedly the media have an intriguing new angle. After 20 years of declaring that Chelsea has at last found a niche for herself, they’re now saying that Chelsea has at last really found a niche for herself. Said niche is her new social-media role as the tart-tongued Trump tormentor of Twitter. “Now on Twitter: Chelsea Clinton, Unbound,” proclaimed the New York Times in a story of more than 1,100 words — longer than the same newspaper’s April 18 story about the Fresno Islamist who slaughtered three people while yelling “Allahu akbar.”

The Turkey Trap Erdogan thinks he can blackmail Trump. Kenneth R. Timmerman

Turkish autocrat Recep Tayyip Erdogan is coming to Washington, DC, on May 16 loaded for bear.

He has an ambitious agenda and apparently feels he can achieve it all because he holds “trump” cards against the President of the United States.

Erdogan and his proxies have publicly said they want to convince the United States to jettison its budding alliance with the Syrian Democratic Union (PYD) and its armed wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the Kurdish group that has become the tip of the spear in the fight against ISIS in Syria.

On this point, they will encounter resistance from the U.S. military, which sent a U.S. U.S. Marines Stryker group into northern Syria recently to serve as a buffer between Turkish and Kurdish forces after the Turkish air force conducted air strikes that killed twenty of the U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters.

Erdogan can be expected once again to trot out “evidence” that the Syrian Kurds and their Iranian allies, known as PJAK, are puppets of the PKK, the Kurdish group that waged war against the Turkish state for 15 years before entering into negotiations in 1999.

Both the United States and the European Union consider the PKK a terrorist organization, while recognizing that the Syrian and Iranian Kurds have separate command structures. Neither the YPG nor PJAK has joined the PKK in military operations inside Turkey.

But Erdogan has more on his agenda than Kurds and Syria. He is also seeking the extradition to Turkey of former ally-turned-arch political rival, Islamist cleric Fetullah Gulen, who fled Turkey for Pennsylvania in 1999.

Erdogan accuses Gulen of having masterminded the failed July 2016 coup against him, a claim the cleric denies. Critics of the Turkish president who are not allied with Gulen have questioned the authenticity of the coup, citing the professionalism of previous coups by the Turkish military and the amateur nature of last year’s attempt.

This won’t be the first time Erdogan has demanded that the U.S. extradite Gulen, whom he has taken to calling the head of “FETO” – the Fethullah Terrorist Organization.

Since the botched coup, Erdogan and his strongmen have conducted sweeping purges of the military, police, criminal justice and even education system, firing more than 120,000 suspected Gulen supporters and arresting more than 40,000. Erdogan called the failed coup a “gift from God.” Indeed.

Many of those arrested have been accused of being “terrorists” because they were caught in possession of U.S. one dollar bills, which Erdogan claims Gulen supporters use as a “secret signal” to identify themselves to one other.

Useful Idiots: American Workers Protesting Trump’s Immigration Policies Demonstrating against one’s own interests. Michael Cutler

The first day of May is also known as “May Day” a day that brings out demonstrators around the world to ostensibly support workers around the world.

On May 1, 2017 supposedly pro-labor demonstrations were carried out around the United States purportedly to defend workers’ rights, wages and working conditions. In some instances the May Day demonstrations became “Mayhem” demonstrations with participants rioting and destroying property.

Incredibly, in addition to demanding better wages and working conditions, these same demonstrators and rioters demanded an end to the Trump administration’s immigration policies and efforts to effectively and fairly enforce our immigration laws.

In point of fact, President Trump’s immigration policies are pro-labor and pro-American.

The demonstrators apparently don’t understand the principle of “Supply and Demand” and that flooding the labor pool with millions of foreign workers suppresses wages and working conditions and also results in American and lawful immigrant workers being displaced by foreign workers.

Today all too many Americans have fallen victim to the massive fraud campaign that has been foisted on Americans by politicians and a laundry list of special interest groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and labor unions such as the SEIU (Service Employees International Union). that are literally and figuratively “making out like bandits” by exploiting the immigration system.

These unions are betraying America and their members, seeking to flood America with foreign workers whom they seek to enroll as dues paying members. More members provides unions with more political leverage and more money in the form of dues.

As for the notion that “immigrants” need protection from federal immigration law enforcement personnel is utterly fatuous and is part and parcel of the Orwellian Newspeak tactic of the open-borders / immigration anarchists begun when President Jimmy Carter insisted that illegal aliens be referred to as “undocumented immigrants.”

Demanding protection for immigrants is not unlike the rhetoric of President George W. Bush who attempted to create a Guest Worker Amnesty program for illegal aliens to provide them with lawful status. Back then I said that Bush’s offer to make immigrants legal was as absurd as offering to make water wet.

Water is already wet and immigrants are already legal.

Simply stated, Bush wanted to legalize illegal aliens through an amnesty program even though he knew that the Reagan amnesty that was an integral part of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 was a disaster that ultimately led to the greatest influx of illegal aliens in the history of the United States.

Today President Trump’s immigration policies which stand out in stark contrast to the policies of Both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, employers are whining that they have to “resort” to hiring Americans.

Under our immigration laws Americans are supposed to get first crack at jobs and not be the employees of last resort.

By now most Americans have heard about the H-1B Visa Program that enables highly skilled nonimmigrant workers to be employed in the United States. Another category of temporary work visa is the H-2B visa for Temporary Non-Agricultural Workers.

These visas are issued to aliens to work at non-agricultural jobs such as cooks, waiters/waitresses and hotel workers provided that these foreign workers don’t displace American workers or harm the wages and working conditions of Americans who are similarly employed.

On April 28, 2017 the Bangor Daily News reported, Amid foreign worker shortage, Bar Harbor businesses turn to local labor.

Consider this excerpt from the article:

“There are people who have come here year after year after year and worked in the same restaurants as cooks, as waiters, as whatever is needed, and they’re like family. And now for the first time, it’s uncertain that they’ll be able to come back,” says Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Martha says that’s why the chamber is holding a job fair Saturday, hoping to attract significant numbers of workers from the area and the region to fill a long list of openings.

SFSU Student Paper Reports on Freedom Center Campus Posters Exposing the truth about SJP’s ties to anti-Israel terrorism.

In a short, remarkably (particularly for San Francisco State University) neutral piece titled “Campus posters allege student group ties to terrorists,” the school’s student-run Golden Gate Express reported on the David Horowitz Freedom Center campus campaign to distribute posters on campus identifying student group connections to anti-Israel terrorism. The article is reposted below:

The David Horowitz Freedom Center distributed posters on campus today as part of a campaign criticizing Students for Justice in Palestine of being puppets for Hamas terrorists.

The posters, also posted on Stop the Jew Hatred on Campus website run by the Freedom Center, portray the SJP as servants to Hamas.

The campaign comes as part of the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s fight against schools that provide “financial and institutional support” to student members of Students for Justice in Palestine and other campus organizations that “support the agendas of these terrorists and spread their propaganda lies,” according to the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s public statement. Both posters contain the hashtag #NoSupportForCampusTerrorists.

“Our poster campaign has a dual purpose,” said Freedom Center founder David Horowitz in a public statement. “It exposes the truth about SJP’s ties to anti-Israel terrorism and its glorification of terrorists like Rasmieh Odeh and it challenges the administration at San Francisco State to defend speech that deviates from the typical anti-Israel narrative that dominates on campus.”

The David Horowitz Freedom Center ranked SF State seventh in a “Top Ten College Administrations Most Friendly to Terrorists and Hostile to the First Amendment” list last Fall. The report accused the University of “continuing to promote SJP on their campuses while actively working to suppress speech that exposes the truth about SJP and its ties to terrorism.”

The website claims that the posters will be distributed at all 10 of the listed campuses including nearby University of California, Berkeley.

Shilling for Hamas, Censoring Dissent by Sara Dogan

“Now that Saint Louis University has cancelled a scheduled October speech by conservative activist David Horowitz, it joins the small group of campuses that are universities in name only.” – Cary Nelson, president, American Association of University Professors.

Editor’s note: Over the past two weeks, the David Horowitz Freedom Center has identified seven campuses in its report on the “Top Ten College Administrations Most Friendly to Terrorists and Hostile to the First Amendment.” Today, we continue this series with Saint Louis University and the University of Minnesota. These two schools join Brooklyn College (CUNY), Tufts University, Brandeis University, UCLA, UC-Berkeley, San Francisco State University, and Vassar College in sharing this dubious honor. These campuses provide financial and institutional support to terrorist-linked campus organizations such as the Hamas-funded hate-group Students for Justice in Palestine while actively suppressing speech exposing the truth about Israel’s terrorist adversaries and their allies in the United States.

Last night, the Freedom Center placed posters exposing the links between the terrorist group Hamas and SJP on both campuses. These posters serve as an important source of information for students and as a challenge to the SLU and Minnesota administrations to uphold the First Amendment, even when doing so means accepting speech that deviates from the anti-Israel narratives that dominate on campus.

Saint Louis University: Campus Administration

As the only Catholic university on our list, it would be understandable if St. Louis University exercised a somewhat greater degree of involvement in the selection of speakers who appeared on campus than its public counterparts to ensure that such events are compatible with the Catholic faith. But in fact the administration of St. Louis University is one of the most shameless promoters of anti-Catholic and anti-Jewish Islamic hate mongers. It has welcomed campus speakers and organizations that promote Islamic supremacism and support the anti-Israel terror group Hamas while defaming pro-Israel speakers as racist and Islamophobic and banning them from campus. In recent years, it has hosted events designed to indoctrinate students in Hamas propaganda and train them to support anti-Israel terrorism.

In 2012, Saint Louis University hosted a three-day training and strategy conference for the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation, formerly named the International Solidarity Movement, a hate group that spreads Hamas propaganda and promotes the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. SLU also promoted the BDS movement at a 2011 event held at the Busch Student Center called “An Introduction to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement: Nonviolent Resistance to Stop the Israeli Occupation of the Palestinian Territories.” The event featured Fulbright scholar Sandra Samaan Tamari, a member of the Saint Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee.

In 2015, the university hosted a seminar by a group named #MyJihad which was formed by Ahmed Rehab, the executive director of the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an organization with extensive ties to the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood network. The seminar aimed to whitewash the concept of jihad for American audiences.

But while repeatedly opening its doors to Hamas sympathizers, SLU has taken extreme measures to ban speech and organizations critical of anti-Israel terrorists on campus. In October 2009, Freedom Center founder and CEO David Horowitz was invited to speak at SLU by the campus chapters of the College Republicans and the Young America’s Foundation about “Islamo-Fascism Awareness and Civil Rights.” But administrators told the student organizations sponsoring Horowitz’s appearance that they must either disinvite him or radically alter the format of the event to include a second speaker who would interpret Horowitz’s views in light of “Catholic teachings,” stipulations that had never been placed on appearances by several pro-Hamas speakers who appeared at SLU. Ultimately, school administrators cancelled Horowitz’s speech.

The “Two-State” Diplomatic Kabuki Theater Trump’s grave mistakes with Abbas. Bruce Thornton

“In short, stop wasting money on people who want to destroy the only vibrant, tolerant, open, democratic country in the region. Stop abusing history and language. Stop treating aggressors as victims. Stop enabling terrorism. And stop treating corrupt, unelected terrorist thugs like legitimate heads of state. We’ve tried seven decades of lies and empty talk; let’s see how truth and vigorous action work.”

Last week, between Stephen Colbert’s usual juvenile vulgarity and the House passing a bill to “repeal and reform” Obamacare, few noticed yet another performance of the long-running Middle East “two-state” Kabuki drama. Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, and leader of the terrorist PLO and its largest faction, Fatah, came to D.C. for a state visit with President Trump. And so the elaborate, stylized diplomatic farce of legitimizing terrorists dressed up as statesmen continues into its seventh decade. Maybe it’s time to bring down the curtain on this show and move on to a strategy that might actually work.

The whole affair should have embarrassed Donald Trump. The shrewd Abbas––a holocaust denier who financed the infamous 1972 Munich Olympics massacre and has called it a “heroic operation” ––adroitly flattered Trump’s “great negotiating ability,” along with his “courageous stewardship” and “wisdom.” Trump in turn said it was an “honor” to meet the terrorist. He later took down the tweet with the grotesque gaffe, but left it on his Facebook page.

Even more offensive was letting Abbas get away with claiming that the PLO, er, Palestinian Authority teaches their children “peace.” A golden opportunity was lost to publicly call out Abbas to his face on a blatant lie, instead of observing diplomatic niceties no terrorist deserves–– particularly one who is not the president of a nation, who hasn’t run for office in a free election since 2005, whose corruption has earned him a net worth of $100 million, and who doesn’t represent the nearly two million Palestinian Arabs living in the Gaza Strip, which is dominated by his rival, the genocidal terrorist gang Hamas.

Trump’s mixed signals and seeming ignorance of the conflict’s historical and religious roots do not bode well for the chances that the president will follow through on finally discarding the long, fruitless attempt to make the illusion of “two states living side-by-side in peace” into a reality.

Yes, Trump cautioned Abbas about rejecting the legitimacy of Israel and inciting terrorist violence by paying the families of murderers and demonizing Jews in grade school curricula. But absent a credible threat to cut off every U.S. dollar to Abbas’ corrupt PA, a terrorist cartel disguised as a government, Trump’s words will be dismissed as empty bluster. Yes, Trump is “giving serious consideration” to moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, as Vice President Mike Pence said, a seeming retreat from Trump’s definitive January statement, “We will move the American embassy.” Yes, all 100 Senators last week signed a letter calling on the UN to end its anti-Israel bias. A few days later, an unimpressed UNESCO passed, on Israel’s Independence Day, a resolution denying Israel’s historically factual link to Jewish religious and cultural sites in the region. No word on any punishment for this obvious insult to the Senate.

Palestinians: Abbas’s “Culture of Peace” by Bassam Tawil

Thanks to Abbas’s falsehoods, his media continues to this day dishonestly to talk about “Jewish invaders and settlers storming” Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem. This and this alone is the source of the knife and car-ramming attacks against Israelis.

Perhaps by a “culture of peace” Abbas means calling — as he and his top officials regularly do — Israel an apartheid and racist state. Or maybe “culture of peace” means calling all Jews “occupiers” and “colonists” — or denouncing and threatening Palestinian children who play soccer with Israeli kids. Or naming schools and electoral lists after convicted murderers?

Under Abbas, anti-Israel incitement and indoctrination is a business that has expanded exponentially. It has, in fact, grown to the point that a new generation has been raised on the glorification of jihadists — a generation impatient to draw yet more Jewish blood. If this is Abbas’s “culture of peace,” one has to wonder what he would consider a culture of war?

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas may soon be known for his sense of humor. Like many Palestinians, Abbas believes that Westerners will swallow his lies wholesale. Abbas, for instance, ended his May 3 meeting with US President Donald Trump with the following whopper: “We are raising our youth, our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace.”

Abbas did not provide further details about the “culture of peace” upon which Palestinian children are being raised. Nor did anyone bother to ask Abbas or any member of his entourage to provide examples of the “culture of peace” in Palestinian society. Yet major Western media outlets were quick to publish Abbas’s unmistakable lie.

Apparently, like his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, Abbas is convinced that Palestinians can fool “everyone all the time” about their true goals and intentions. Arafat lied to Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton when he told them that he and the Palestinian Authority were promoting peace and coexistence with Israel. Under Arafat, anti-Israel incitement in the Palestinian media, schools and mosques intensified until Palestinians waged the Second Intifada in September 2000. This intifada was the result of seven years of vicious incitement and indoctrination that came after the inception of the PA. In a truly ironic turn of events, the Oslo Accords, signed between Israel and the PLO in 1993, gave the Palestinians media outlets, including television and radio stations, which were then sued to amplify hatred against Israel and Jews on a daily basis.

Arafat used these media outlets to tell his people — when former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount in September 2000 — that Israel was planning to destroy the Aqsa Mosque. It was precisely this incitement that triggered the Second Intifada, in which Palestinians wage a massive and ruthless campaign of suicide bombings and drive-by shootings that caused the death of hundreds of Israelis.

More Lies from the UN by Maria Polizoidou

If the UN honestly wants peace, then it must accept that the modern Jewish state is the tugboat that will pull the whole Middle East into the 21st century. Rejecting the historic Jewish legitimacy in Jerusalem, is rejecting the quintessence of peace.

In historical terms, the modern Jewish state has greater historical legitimacy than most modern European states – and far more than at least the five Middle Eastern states artificially created out of the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement: the newborn countries of Greater Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. In Europe, what we now call Germany and France only appeared in the historical space of the Western world in the 3rd Century AD.

Or could it be that secretly the United Nations does not want “peace” but instead the obliteration of Israel and its replacement by another Islamist state?

You can run away from history, but you cannot hide from it. History does not care about your religious beliefs, your political beliefs or your political correctness. History records facts, regardless of how you feel about them.

UNESCO’s latest resolution about Jerusalem, which denies the Jews’ and Israel’s legacy over its historical capital, Jerusalem, is yet another proof of the UN’s corrupt decline. It not only offends the historical truth and archeology of the Jewish people. It also offends the Greek people, and all Christians, who for thousands of years have also had ties with the area and the nation of Jews. As it also offends the foundations of Greek Orthodox Christianity, the Greek government — to is honor — voted against this hallucinatory UNESCO resolution.

Here are more facts: The King of Sparta, Arius I, who lived between 309-267 B.C., sent a letter to Onias the First, the High Priest of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem:

“The King of Sparta, Arius, sends greetings to the High Priest, Onias. It is written about the relations between the Jews and the Spartans that they are brotherly nations and that they originate from Abraham. Now that we have discovered this, tell us how your prosperity is. We write to you that your possessions and your animals are ours and our own possessions and animals are yours”.

The king of Sparta, Arius, not only accepted that the relationship between Spartans and Jews are much older than his reign, but also that there was (as we would call it today) a federation.

King Arius further established the cultural privilege and right between Greeks and Jews to be called brothers.

What the King Arius was really saying here is that two states with different religions — without common economic interests, without a common border and without even the same geographical area — can interact in a political and cultural way. It is an important lesson for modern politicians. It also shows that for millennia, the cultural and historical depth of the Jewish people is undeniable, as well as the foundation for friendship among the Middle East nations. The problem of interacting with other people, as we can even see throughout Europe today, is on the Muslim side, not on the other side.

It’s Time the UN Stopped Congratulating Kim Jong Un By Claudia Rosett

Protocol has its uses, not least at the United Nations. But when it comes to lavishing on murderous tyrants the same pro forma felicitations accorded to the elected leaders of free nations, it’s time for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to clean up the act of the UN Protocol and Liaison Service — which reports to him.

What’s the problem? There are many problems, actually, and they stem from the UN’s morally incontinent practice of doling out to all member states — whether totalitarian or democratic; North Korea or Costa Rica — the same perquisites, including a lot of diplomatic swag for the most monstrous dictators on the planet.

Lest that sound too abstract, let’s turn to one of the latest outrages. This cameo starts with a UN communique to war-wracked Syria, where last month the state news agency, SANA, reported that President Bashar al-Assad had just received “a cable of congratulations from United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the occasion of Syria’s independence day.” According to the SANA dispatch, (boldface mine) Guterres in this cable “expressed his warmest congratulations to the Syrian people and government on this occasion.”

For anyone even remotely familiar with the doings of Assad and the condition of Syria, that message sounds more than a tad out of touch. Assad is a despot who inherited power upon the death of his despotic father 17 years ago. During the first decade of his rule, operating as Iran’s chief mascot in the Middle East, Bashar Assad presided over a terror-sponsoring state (a patron of the terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas), employed the help of North Korea in building a clandestine nuclear reactor with no evident purpose except to produce nuclear bomb fuel (the Al Kibar reactor, destroyed by an Israeli air strike in 2007) and — with his secret police, torture chambers, dungeons and related atrocities — oppressed his own countrymen so thoroughly and brutally that in 2011 they rebelled.

As we all know, Assad refused to give up power. He talked about elections, and offered a complete sham. He fought back, as head of a merciless tyranny. He has by now used everything from barrel bombs to chemical weapons against his fellow Syrians. In the UN’s official protocol list, Assad has kept his place as Syria’s official head of state — a position he has retained at the cost of a war that has brought the deaths of more than 400,000 people, misery for millions of refugees, the rise of ISIS and the return of Russia to the Middle East as the weapons-bearing godfather of Damascus.

In this context, it was hard to believe that Guterres would send a message of “warmest congratulations” to Assad, whatever the topic. Surely this report from SANA was just another piece of propaganda from the Syrian regime? CONTINUE AT SITE