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July 2017


Former President Jimmy Carter, whose “worst president” title is being challenged by the previous occupant of the White House has lost no time in criticizing President Donald Trump. In an interview with the New York Times on May 24th, 2016 he accused Donald Trump of tapping into “a reservoir of inherent racism.”

It is somewhat risible that he remains a tad silent after Trump’s triumph in Poland.

When Carter visited Poland in 1977 he had a translator, a freelance “linguist” hired by the State Department. This is what happened:


“In a speech given during the US President’s 1977 visit to Poland, he appeared to express sexual desire for the then-Communist country. Or that’s what his interpreter said, anyway. It turned out Carter had said he wanted to learn about the Polish people’s ‘desires for the future’.

Earning a place in history, his interpreter also turned “I left the United States this morning” into “I left the United States, never to return”; according to Time magazine, even the innocent statement that Carter was happy to be in Poland became the claim that “he was happy to grasp at Poland’s private parts”.

Unsurprisingly, the President used a different interpreter when he gave a toast at a state banquet later in the same trip – but his woes didn’t end there. After delivering his first line, Carter paused, to be met with silence. After another line, he was again followed by silence. The new interpreter, who couldn’t understand the President’s English, had decided his best policy was to keep quiet. By the time Carter’s trip ended, he had become the punchline for many a Polish joke.”


In his magnificent speech in Poland, President Trump asked whether the west “still has the will to survive”.http://www.melaniephillips.com/trump-in-poland/

If he’d listened to BBC Radio’s Today programme this morning (approx 0840), he might have lost his own.

The issue that seemed to have startled the BBC was the suggestion that there were now threats to western bonds of culture, faith and tradition. (The fact that some of us have been writing about this for years has of course totally passed the BBC by). Two guests were invited to discuss this question: Margaret MacMillan, professor of international history at Oxford university where she is also Warden of St Anthony’s college, and Lord Dannatt, former Chief of the General Staff.

The interviewer’s loaded question about Trump’s speech, “Is he in any sense right?” invited them to agree that no, there could be no sense in which he was. Both duly agreed. Three against Trump, then. But if anything illustrated precisely what he was talking about, this conversation could scarcely have been bettered.

Opined Professor MacMillan: “There are bonds that hold us together and there are often bonds of history, but the idea there is something called ‘the west’ seems to me very dubious indeed. There are many wests, there are many different ways of looking at who we are, and I’m worried by the whole tenor of his speech. The talk of the ‘will’, the family, traditional values, what does that all mean?”

Lord Dannatt was equally perplexed. “What threat does he have in mind? From Russia? Islamic State? From climate change? Well he ruled that one out by pulling out of the Paris agreement. Or is it the nuclear threat from North Korea?”

Helpfully, the interviewer observed that what Trump had meant was a waning of cultural self confidence; he further ventured to suggest, with appropriate BBC diffidence, that “the project that we’ve all been involved in for centuries is a decent one”.

Professor MacMillan agreed there was a “decent side to what the west has done”. But just in case anyone might have thought she believed it to be better than other societies, she added there were many sides that weren’t decent at all “when you think of some of the things we’ve unleashed on the world” (presumably as opposed to the unlimited decencies that countries which don’t subscribe to respect for human life, freedom and democracy have bequeathed to humanity).

She conceded that the west had built a “liberal intentional order since the first and second world wars”. She agreed that respect for the rule of law and democratic institutions were very important and that these should be defended. “But if you talk about defending the power of the west and the dominance of the west that’s very different and I’m not sure that does make the world more stable… What worries me is that part of the enemy is seen as those who live among us… Islam, or Islamic fundamentalism, is [as presented by Trump] in some way a threat, and that means not just from outside but inside and that to me is really troubling”,

This professor of history, who teaches the young and thus transmits the culture down through the generations, didn’t even seem to know what that culture was. She implied that the will to survive was something out of Nietzsche or fascist ideology rather than the impulse to defend a society and a civilisation. She seemed to find incomprehensible the very idea that certain values defined western civilisation at all, or that it had a coherent identity.

She found something frightening or sinister about traditional values or the emphasis on the family: the very things that keep any society together. The one good thing she conceded was associated with the west – the “liberal international order” – had developed only after the two world wars. So much for the 18th century western Enlightenment, the development of political liberty and the rise of science.

The idea of the west having power filled her with horror; but without power the west can’t defend itself. And she thought the idea the west was threatened from within as well as from without was “troubling”. In other words, she doesn’t believe home-grown radicalised Islamists pose a threat to western countries. Now that really is troubling.

As for Lord Dannatt complaining Trump wasn’t specific about the threats he had in mind – well, talk about missing the point! Russia, Isis and North Korea are all threats to the west. The question was whether the west actually wanted to defeat any or all of these and more.

And Lord Dannatt’s reference to climate change was unintentionally revealing – about himself. Climate change supposedly threatens the survival of the planet. No-one suggests it poses a threat to the west alone! So it was irrelevant to the issue under discussion. Its inclusion implies that Lord Dannatt knows one thing: that Trump is wrong about EVERYTHING. So he just threw in climate change for good measure to show how wrong about everything Trump is.

So what exactly did Trump say to produce such finger-wagging disdain? Well, he produced an astonishing, passionate and moving declaration of belief in the west, its values of freedom and sovereignty and his determination to defend them.

He summoned up Poland’s resistance against two terrible tyrannies, Nazism and the Soviet Union, to make a broader point about western civilisation. Most strikingly, he identified Christianity as the core of that civilisation, that it was Christianity that was crucial in Poland’s stand against Soviet oppression – and that, in an echo of Pope Benedict’s warning years ago, the west has to reaffirm its Christian values in order to survive.

“And when the day came on June 2nd, 1979, and one million Poles gathered around Victory Square for their very first mass with their Polish Pope, that day, every communist in Warsaw must have known that their oppressive system would soon come crashing down. They must have known it at the exact moment during Pope John Paul II’s sermon when a million Polish men, women, and children suddenly raised their voices in a single prayer. A million Polish people did not ask for wealth. They did not ask for privilege. Instead, one million Poles sang three simple words: ‘We Want God.’

“In those words, the Polish people recalled the promise of a better future. They found new courage to face down their oppressors, and they found the words to declare that Poland would be Poland once again.

“As I stand here today before this incredible crowd, this faithful nation, we can still hear those voices that echo through history. Their message is as true today as ever. The people of Poland, the people of America, and the people of Europe still cry out “We want God.”

“Together, with Pope John Paul II, the Poles reasserted their identity as a nation devoted to God. And with that powerful declaration of who you are, you came to understand what to do and how to live. You stood in solidarity against oppression, against a lawless secret police, against a cruel and wicked system that impoverished your cities and your souls. And you won.”

“Our adversaries, however, are doomed because we will never forget who we are. And if we don’t forget who are, we just can’t be beaten. Americans will never forget. The nations of Europe will never forget. We are the fastest and the greatest community. There is nothing like our community of nations. The world has never known anything like our community of nations.”

“We write symphonies. We pursue innovation. We celebrate our ancient heroes, embrace our timeless traditions and customs, and always seek to explore and discover brand-new frontiers.

“We reward brilliance. We strive for excellence, and cherish inspiring works of art that honor God. We treasure the rule of law and protect the right to free speech and free expression.

“We empower women as pillars of our society and of our success. We put faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, at the center of our lives. And we debate everything. We challenge everything. We seek to know everything so that we can better know ourselves.

“And above all, we value the dignity of every human life, protect the rights of every person, and share the hope of every soul to live in freedom. That is who we are. Those are the priceless ties that bind us together as nations, as allies, and as a civilization.

“What we have, what we inherited from our — and you know this better than anybody, and you see it today with this incredible group of people — what we’ve inherited from our ancestors has never existed to this extent before. And if we fail to preserve it, it will never, ever exist again. So we cannot fail.”

But the danger is that we might do just that.

“We have to remember that our defense is not just a commitment of money, it is a commitment of will. Because as the Polish experience reminds us, the defense of the West ultimately rests not only on means but also on the will of its people to prevail and be successful and get what you have to have. The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive. Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?

“We can have the largest economies and the most lethal weapons anywhere on Earth, but if we do not have strong families and strong values, then we will be weak and we will not survive”.

The Will of the West by Mark Steyn

President Trump’s speech in Warsaw was a remarkable statement from a western leader in the 21st century – which is why the enforcers of our public discourse have gone bananas over it and denounced it as “blood and soil” “nativism” (The New Republic), “racial and religious paranoia” (The Atlantic), and “tinpot dictator sh*t” (some comedian having a meltdown on Twitter). Much of the speech was just the usual boosterish boilerplate that one foreign leader sloughs off while visiting the capital of another. But that wasn’t what caused the mass pearl-clutching. This was the offending passage:

There is nothing like our community of nations. The world has never known anything like our community of nations.

We write symphonies. We pursue innovation. We celebrate our ancient heroes, embrace our timeless traditions and customs, and always seek to explore and discover brand-new frontiers.

We reward brilliance. We strive for excellence, and cherish inspiring works of art that honor God. We treasure the rule of law and protect the right to free speech and free expression.

We empower women as pillars of our society and of our success. We put faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, at the center of our lives. And we debate everything. We challenge everything. We seek to know everything so that we can better know ourselves.

And above all, we value the dignity of every human life, protect the rights of every person, and share the hope of every soul to live in freedom. That is who we are. Those are the priceless ties that bind us together as nations, as allies, and as a civilization.

I’m not certain we do put “faith and family” ahead of “government and bureaucracy”, not in Germany or even Ireland, but we did once upon a time. Nor am I sure we still “write symphonies”, or at any rate good ones. But Trump’s right: “The world has never known anything like our community of nations” – and great symphonies are a part of that. I’m not sure what’s “nativist” or “racial” about such a statement of the obvious, but I note it’s confirmed by the traffic, which is all one way: There are plenty of Somalis who’ve moved to Minnesota, but you can count on one hand Minnesotans who’ve moved to Somalia. As an old-school imperialist, I make exceptions for sundry places from Barbados to Singapore, which I regard as part of the community of the greater west, and for India, which is somewhat more ambiguously so, but let’s face it, 90 per cent of everything in the country that works derives from England.

But otherwise Trump’s statement that “the world has never known anything like our community of nations” ought to be unexceptional. It’s certainly more robust than Theresa May’s and David Cameron’s vague appeals to “our values” or “our way of life”, which can never quite be spelled out – shopping, telly, pop songs, a bit of Shakespeare if you have to mention a dead bloke, whatever… For his part, The Atlantic’s Peter Beinart preferred the way Trump’s predecessor expressed it:

To grasp how different that rhetoric was from Trump’s, look at how the last Republican President, George W. Bush, spoke when he visited Poland. In his first presidential visit, in 2001, Bush never referred to “the West.” He did tell Poles that “We share a civilization.” But in the next sentence he insisted that “Its values are universal.”

I wish that were true. It would be easier if it were. But it’s not. These values are not “universal”: They arise from a relatively narrow political and cultural tradition, and insofar as they took root elsewhere across the globe it was as part of (stand well back, Peter Beinart!) the west’s – gulp – “civilizing mission”. Alas, left to fend for themselves, those supposedly universal values have minimal purchase on millions upon millions of people around the planet – including those who live in the heart of the west. Bush’s bromide is easier to swallow because it’s a delusion – as we should surely know by now, after a decade and a half of encouraging Pushtun warlords to adopt Take Your Child Bride To Work Day. In contrast to Bush’s happy talk, Trump concluded his laundry list of western achievement on a sobering note:

What we have, what we inherited from our — and you know this better than anybody, and you see it today with this incredible group of people — what we’ve inherited from our ancestors has never existed to this extent before. And if we fail to preserve it, it will never, ever exist again. So we cannot fail.

Merkel Open about Disagreement with U.S. on Climate

In her closing G-20 speech on Saturday, Merkel noted that the summit’s final declaration reveals clear disagreement with the U.S. on climate issues. She says she’s not optimistic that Washington will return to the Paris climate agreement.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel didn’t mince words on Saturday when talking about the results of the G-20 summit in Hamburg. While she said that participants agree that markets must remain open and protectionism resisted, she was much less sanguine about the climate passages in the summit’s closing declaration. She said that the disagreement with the U.S. was clearly stated in the declaration.

She also said she doesn’t share the belief of some that the U.S. will ultimately return to the Paris climate agreement. “I don’t share that optimism,” she said in her closing speech, adding that the closing declaration clearly enunciates the dissent between the U.S. and the other 19 members of the G-20. “On this issue, it has become very clear that we were unable to find a consensus.” This disagreement should not be “covered up.”

G20 Leaders Scold Trump on Climate: Consider Paris Agreement ‘Irreversible’ By Tyler O’Neil

In a parting shot, German Chancellor Angela Merkel rebuked President Donald Trump for announcing his intention to withdraw from the Paris climate accord. She joined the leaders of 18 other countries to attack him as the G-20 summit concluded Saturday.

“Unfortunately — and I deplore this — the United States of America left the climate agreement, or rather announced their intention of doing this,” Merkel said as she closed the summit and presented the G20 declaration document. That document acknowledged Trump’s decision to withdraw from the agreement, but argued that withdrawal is impossible.

“We take note of the decision of the United States of America to withdraw from the Paris Agreement,” the leaders wrote. “The United States of America announced it will immediately cease the implementation of its current nationally-determined contribution and affirms its strong commitment to an approach that lowers emissions while supporting economic growth and improving energy security needs.”

Despite Trump’s decision to withdraw from the agreement, he promised to help countries in other ways. “The United States of America states it will endeavor to work closely with other countries to help them access and use fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently and help deploy renewable and other clean energy sources,” the document noted.

While the leaders acknowledged Trump’s intent to remove America from the Paris accord, they added a passive-aggressive note: “The Leaders of the other G20 members state that the Paris Agreement is irreversible.” But as the Paris accord had no enforcement mechanism, opponents have long derided it as toothless, and this rebuke seems to confirm that there will be no real consequences for Trump’s decision.

Despite her attack on Trump’s climate position, Merkel did seem to make concessions to the American president’s trade policies. “This is all about fighting protectionism and also unfair trade practices,” she said. The declaration noted “the role of legitimate trade defense” in combatting “unfair trade practices,” echoing Trump’s criticism of international trade agreements during the 2016 campaign.

During that campaign, Trump won on an “America First” platform, vowing to pull the country out of several multilateral trade deals. Since his inauguration, he has stepped back some of the isolationist rhetoric, but he has threatened to impose new tariffs on steel imports, which prompted European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to threaten retaliation.

Many liberals overreacted to Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris accord. Left-wing bundler Tom Steyer said doing so would be a “traitorous act of war” against the American people.

But the science is very far from “settled” on climate change. Climate models fail over and over again. Senate Democrats launched an inquisition last year aimed at silencing free inquiry and speech about this issue. Activists like Bill Nye give very unscientific answers when pressed on the issue, and a Georgia Tech climatologist resigned rather than give up her scientific integrity by toeing the party line.

Militants Behead Nine Civilians in Attack on Kenyan Village Al Qaeda-linked group al-Shabaab has vowed retribution on Kenya for sending troops to Somalia to fight it….see note please

These barbarians are called “militants” ….?????? rsk

NAIROBI, Kenya—Al-Shabaab extremists from neighboring Somalia beheaded nine civilians in an early-morning attack on a village in southeast Kenya, local officials said Saturday, as concerns grew that the group had taken up a bloody new strategy.

The attack occurred in Jima village in Lamu County, said James Ole Serian, who leads a task force of security agencies combating al-Shabaab.

Beheadings by al-Shabaab have been rare in Kenya, where the extremist group has carried out dozens of deadly attacks over the years.

The al Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab has vowed retribution on Kenya for sending troops in 2011 to Somalia to fight the group.

Saturday’s attack occurred in the Pandaguo area, where al-Shabaab fighters engaged security agencies in a day-long battle three days ago.

A police report says about 15 al-Shabaab fighters on Saturday attacked Jima village and seized men, killing them with knives.

Al-Shabaab in recent months also has increased attacks with homemade bombs, killing at least 46 in Lamu and Mandera counties.

The increase in attacks presents a huge problem for Kenya’s security agencies ahead of the Aug. 8 presidential election, said security analyst and former U.S. Marine Andrew Franklin. On election day, security agencies will be strained while attempting stop any possible violence and al-Shabaab could take advantage, he said.

Kenya is among five countries contributing troops to an African Union force that is bolstering Somalia’s fragile central government against al-Shabaab’s insurgency. Of the troop-contributing countries, Kenya has borne the brunt of retaliatory attacks from al-Shabaab.

G-20 Riot Leaves Trail of Destruction as German Officials Scramble for Answers Hundreds of officers and protesters were injured in overnight violence; 265 people were detained by police By Anton Troianovski and Andrea Thomas

HAMBURG—A riot that raged for hours just a mile from the Group of 20 meeting site left German officials struggling to explain Saturday how protests that had long been predicted spiraled out of control.

Only after SWAT teams, riot police and water cannons swept block by block were authorities able to end the overnight riots in the left-leaning Schanzenviertel neighborhood, a 20-minute walk from the venue where leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies continued their two-day meeting Saturday.

Stores were looted, barricades and cars set on fire, and officers attacked with rocks, bottles and slingshots, Hamburg police said. Authorities moved to quell the riots only after they had raged for hours, according to several shopkeepers in one of the hardest-hit streets.
A police spokesman said intelligence suggesting some of the roughly 1,500 rioters were preparing to pelt authorities from buildings with cobblestones and Molotov cocktails had caused the delay. “We had prepared for the G-20 summit to be attacked, not the people of Hamburg,” Hamburg police spokesman Timo Zill told ZDF public television.

The Schanzenviertel riot appeared to be the most violent flare-up as tens of thousands of people protested across the city. By Saturday morning, 265 people had been detained and 213 officers injured, according to the police. An unspecified number of protesters were also injured.

Officials from the host government have said they needed to hold the annual summit in a metropolitan area to ensure there were enough hotel rooms, and that they wanted to show off one of Germany’s most international cities.

But critics claiming the government had miscalculated intensified their attacks Saturday. The conservative opposition leader in the Hamburg legislature, André Trepoll, slammed center-left Mayor Olaf Scholz for going easy on left-wing extremism. The Bild tabloid, Germany’s top-selling paper, said both Mr. Scholz and German Chancellor Angela Merkel —who is up for re-election in September—bore responsibility for the events.

“The feeling of general security, which the state must guarantee, has ceased to exist in Hamburg in the last 48 hours,” Julian Reichelt, a top Bild editor, wrote in Saturday’s edition. “The horrific message of Hamburg is: if the mob wants to rule, it will rule.”

After the summit ended Mr. Scholz and Ms. Merkel together met with several dozen police officers and thanked them for their work.

“Some people exercised unimaginable violence,” Mr. Scholz said. “I thank those who say that it must nevertheless be possible for such summit meetings to take place in cities such as Hamburg and in a democratic country such as Germany.” CONTINUE AT SITE

‘A Word of Truth’ About Linda Sarsour’s ‘Jihad’ By Andrew C. McCarthy

Linda Sarsour bores me. She is the radical flavor-of-the-month. But she is a numbingly familiar type to longtime observers of sharia supremacists in the West: the forked tongue, the flag-draped anti-Americanism, the close partnership with the hard left, and so on. Eight years ago, I wrote a book called The Grand Jihad about this breed of Muslim Brotherhood-mold operative. Sarsour fits the pathology to a tee … but once you’re on to them, these people are a dime a dozen. Yawn.

She got my attention, though, with her call for “jihad” in executing the Islamist-Leftist “resistance” to Donald Trump. Naturally, this has led to a brouhaha about whether she was really calling for violence or using “jihad” in the revisionist non-violent sense of “an internal struggle for personal betterment.”

I have no doubt that Lee Smith (in Tablet) is correct: Sarsour is a provocateur who was trying to call attention to herself while laying the groundwork to play the victim when she was inevitably criticized. What I have found amusing, however, are the two premises urged by her apologists: (a) we should take the jihad revisionism seriously; and (b) she must have meant “non-violent” jihad because she introduced the term by referring to a hadith in which Mohammed, Islam’s prophet, explains that, rather than violence, “the best form of jihad” is to speak “a word of truth” before a tyrant.

On the first point, jihad is essentially a forcible struggle. As Lee Smith points out, the evidence of sense should tell us all we need to know about it: just look at what is happening “on the killing fields of the Middle East.” Still, we do not need to make a deduction because the meaning of the word is clear, and because non-violent connotations of jihad are understood to be in support of the same mission as forcible jihad: the implementation of sharia, Islam’s societal framework and legal code.

Derivatives of “jihad” are used numerous times in the Koran in the militaristic sense. As I explained in Willful Blindness, my memoir about prosecuting jihadist terrorists in the mid-nineties, Bernard Lewis, the West’s pre-eminent historian of Islam, observes that “some modern Muslim theologians” have attempted to interpret the term as “striving … in a spiritual and moral sense.” Yet, he counters, “The overwhelming majority of early authorities,… citing relevant passages in the Qur’an and in the tradition, discuss jihad in military terms.”

Furthermore, Thomas Patrick Hughes’s renowned A Dictionary of Islam (1895) defines jihad as follows:

A religious war with those who are unbelievers in the mission of Muhammad. It is an incumbent religious duty, established in the Qur’an and in the Traditions as a divine institution, and enjoined specially for the purpose of advancing Islam and of repelling evil from Muslims.

Note here that there is nothing contradictory in the concepts of (a) waging war to establish the reign of Islamic law, and (b) striving in other ways to advance Islam and repel evil from Muslims – which, Islam teaches, is also done by establishing sharia. Thus, the premise that the non-violent jihad negates violent jihad has always been nonsense. The varieties of jihad work together toward the same end. To take a prominent example, many American Islamists who claim to reject terrorist jihad nonetheless support Hamas; they rationalize this contradiction by claiming that Hamas’s jihad is “resistance” not “terrorism” – got it?

In any event, we should note that Sarsour gave her jihad speech at the annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America. ISNA was established by the Muslim Brotherhood to be a progression from the Muslim Students Association, the Brotherhood’s foundational building block in the West. In the Justice Department’s terrorism financing prosecution, the Holy Land Foundation case, ISNA was an unindicted co-conspirator because the evidence demonstrated that it participated in the movement of funds to Hamas.

ISNA has a close collaborative relationship with the Brotherhood’s American think tank, the International Institute of Islamic Thought. IIIT provided an endorsement to Reliance of the Traveller, the English translation of an ancient sharia manual. The manual (sec. o9.0) relates this duality of jihad as a fundamentally military concept, in which forcible and non-forcible means are joined in the mission of implementing sharia:

Jihad means to war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion. And it is the lesser jihad. As for the greater jihad, it is the spiritual warfare against the lower self ( nafs), which is why the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said as he was returning from jihad, “We have returned from the lesser jihad to the greater jihad.”

War Powers and the Constitution in Our Body Politic The further removed the use of force is from a clear threat to vital American interests, the more imperative it is that Congress weigh in. By Andrew C. McCarthy

On Friday, I spoke on Capitol Hill at the Federalist Society’s symposium “The Constitutional War Powers of the Executive and Legislative Branches.” This weekend’s column is adapted from those remarks.

As we gather here on Capitol Hill today, the United States armed forces are engaged in combat operations in several global hot spots. In Syria, we have not only conducted attacks against the regime without any congressional authorization; we are now occupying territory as well.

Ostensibly, we are there to fight not the regime or its Russian and Iranian allies but the Islamic State jihadist organization (also known as ISIS). But to the extent that is a legally “authorized” conflict, it is against an enemy that arguably did not exist when the relevant authorizations for the use of military force (AUMF) were debated and enacted about 15 years ago.

Now, you could say, as we have been saying, that ISIS is merely a breakaway faction of al-Qaeda — it began as the terror network’s Iraqi franchise. Consequently, it is covered under the existing AUMF. This, however, ignores the inconvenience that al-Qaeda, along with its allied Islamist factions, is also fighting ISIS and the Assad regime in Syria. Essentially, the enemy that we started out fighting after it attacked America in 2001, and that still regards the United States as its mortal enemy, is nevertheless fighting in Syria alongside the “rebel” elements that we support.

In that sense, the situation mirrors our misadventure in Libya. That was another recent conflict in which a president, without congressional authorization, launched an aggressive war against a foreign sovereign that not only posed no threat to the United States but was actually regarded as a key counterterrorism ally — precisely because, for all its many flaws, the Qaddafi regime was providing us with intelligence about militants in places like Benghazi and Derna, the Libyan support hubs for the jihad against the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan.

That is to say, in Libya, we initiated an unnecessary war without any debate among the people’s representatives, much less any congressional authorization, and the result was a catastrophe: the undoing of a counterterrorism ally in a dangerous neighborhood, the empowerment of our jihadist enemies, a failed state, and an administration reduced to absurd rationalizations about how its aerial bombing raids on regime targets were somehow not acts of war.

It is tempting on this record to draw the conclusion that modern practice has superseded the Constitution’s separation of war powers and division of war-making authorities between the commander-in-chief and the Congress. But when we get down to brass tacks, this simply is not true.

It is not true for a reason that is often forgotten in our debates about war powers, which are dominated by lawyers. They tend to take place under the auspices of legal academic institutions or organizations like our host today, my good friends and colleagues of the Federalist Society.

The reason is this: We are a body politic, not a legal community — at least, not in the main. For any free society to flourish, it must of course be undergirded by the rule of law. But the Constitution is basically a political document, not a legal one. It is the assignment and division of political authority among actors who compete and collude based on the attendant circumstances.

This is critical because war is a political exercise — “politics by other means,” as Carl von Clausewitz memorably put it. There are legal elements to it, but it is basically a political endeavor — the use of government power, in this instance force, against a foreign enemy in order to break the enemy’s will. Though you wouldn’t know it to listen to most war-powers discussions, there is a limit to how much war can be “judicialized” or subjected to antecedent legal rules and procedures.

A state of war, after all, is the antithesis of our domestic peacetime footing. It is the proud boast of our legal system that we would rather see the guilty go free than have a single person wrongly convicted. Thus, we presume against the government. The accused is presumed to be innocent and has no burden to prove anything. The government must meet weighty standards of proof to conduct a search, obtain a wiretap, make an arrest, or secure a conviction. Our bottom line, as former Bush-41 attorney general William Barr has observed, is that we would rather see the government lose — i.e., justice is not the conviction of the guilty; it is a government forced to meet its burden under strict due-process rules.

War is entirely different. In war, we don’t want the government to lose, and we cannot give the enemy the presumption of innocence. In war, it is in the national interest that the government prevail. Yes, our troops are the world’s best trained and most disciplined, and we demand of them adherence to the laws and customs of civilized warfare. But the highest national interest is to defeat the enemy and to achieve the objective so vital that it was worth going to war over.

Subject: Get Out of My Class and Leave America By Dr. Mike Adams, Professor of Criminology, University of North Carolina, Wilmington

The election of Trump did not create the liberal’s hate…it revealed it

Author’s Note: The following is taken from my lecture on the first day of classes. My remarks are reproduced here with the hope that they will be useful to other professors teaching at public universities all across America. Feel free to use this material if you already have tenure.

Welcome back to class, students! I am Mike Adams, your criminology professor here at UNC-Wilmington.

Before we get started with the course I need to address an issue that is causing problems here at UNCW and in higher education all across the country. I am talking about the growing minority of students who believe they have a right to be free from being offended.

If we don’t reverse this dangerous trend in our society there will soon be a majority of young people who will need to walk around in plastic bubble suits to protect them in the event that they come into contact with a dissenting viewpoint. That mentality is unworthy of an American. It’s hardly worthy of a Frenchman.

Let’s get something straight right now. You have no right to be unoffended. You do have a right to be offended with regularity. It is the price you pay for living in a free society. If you don’t understand that you are confused and dangerously so.

In part, I blame your high school teachers for failing to teach you basic civics before you got your diploma. Most of you went to the public high schools, which are a disaster. Don’t tell me that offended you. I went to a public high school.

Of course, your high school might not be the problem. It is entirely possible that the main reason why so many of you are confused about free speech is that piece of paper hanging on the wall right over there. Please turn your attention to that ridiculous document that is framed and hanging by the door. In fact, take a few minutes to read it before you leave class today.

It is our campus speech code. It specifically says that there is a requirement that everyone must only engage in discourse that is “respectful.” That assertion is as ludicrous as it is illegal. I plan to have that thing ripped down from every classroom on campus before I retire.