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December 2017

Humiliation – the only path to peace for the Middle East David Goldman

President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel will be as a stab in the heart to the Arab World. But anything else would be to succor Arab hopes that Israel might some day be defeated and eliminated.

For perhaps a quarter of the world’s population, President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem on December 6 was humiliating. Just for that reason it makes Middle East peace more probable. More than President Jimmy Carter, who brokered the Israeli-Egyptian peace deal of 1979, President Trump is likely to be remembered as the American president who contributed most to peace.

Wars end not when the loser is defeated, but rather when the loser is humiliated. Throughout history, as I argued in a 2016 survey of ancient and modern wars, losers have fought on until they lack the manpower to fill their depleted ranks. Typically that occurs after 30% of military-age men are dead, as in France during the Napoleonic Wars, the South in the American Civil War, or Germany in the Second World War. The losing side will not abandon hostilities until all those who want to fight to the death have had the opportunity to do so — unless it is humiliated before the physical exhaustion of its resources has run its course.

That is why the use of atomic weapons against Japan well may have been an act of mercy. The American fire-bombing campaign had already wrecked most of Japan’s cities and killed far more civilians than perished at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and Japan might have sustained far more damage in a conventional resolution through bombing and an eventual invasion. Atomic weapons humiliated the Japanese by displaying the incomparable superiority of Western technology and the pointlessness of further resistance.

There are some defeats whose memory is too painful to bear. As an executive of Bank of America, I spent considerable time at its Charlotte headquarters. My Carolina colleagues needed only a Bourbon or two to lapse into obsessive rehearsals of Civil War battles which, by rights, they should have won. They sounded goofy, but that’s what happens when you sacrifice nearly a third of your young men.

Morton A. Klein & Daniel Mandel:Trump’s Historic Action is Just, Moral, Will Promote Peace

With his December 6 statement, President Donald Trump has fulfilled his pre-election promise, repeated since his election in November 2016 and also consistent with the Republican Party’s platform, that he will move the US embassy to Jerusalem and recognize the city as Israel’s capital.

In doing so, he has ended a 22-year epoch in which the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Law, passed with overwhelming majorities in the Senate (93–5) and House (374–37), had been essentially a dead letter.

Due to the presidential national security waiver contained in the 1995 Law, successive presidents continually deferred implementing the law for 6-monthly periods.

Now, as a result of President Trump’s shift, standard diplomatic practice of locating embassies in the designated capital of countries will be applied by the US to Israel.

The consecutive presidential waivers deferring action on the Law was always wrong, a misuse of a presidential discretion contained in the Law. Accordingly, what was designed, according to then-Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, to be utilized solely in genuine and exceptional cases of threats to national security was instead, without explanation or justification, perpetually invoked for unspecified national security interests and supposedly in the case of peace, every six months.

Yet, as President Trump noted in his statement, the 22-year use of the waiver brought the parties no closer to peace.

Moreover, the Palestinian Authority (PA) continues to violate its Oslo Accords obligations to arrest and jail terrorists, disband terrorist organizations and end the incitement to hatred and murder that suffuse the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps. It refuses Trump Administration demands to end paying salaries to jailed terrorists and stipends to their families.

A Down Payment for Peace By Shoshana Bryen

It’s starting to sound like a plan.

Since the beginning of the Oslo “peace process,” it has been assumed that Israel has more to give than the Palestinians. After all, the story went, Israel is wealthy, recognized, democratic, and stable. The Palestinians are refugees with nothing. Right? So Israel was told not to build houses for Jews in areas that might become a Palestinian state — lest the Palestinians end up with a country that has Jews in it. Israel has, further, been pressed to “make life better” for the Palestinians in terms of jobs, electricity, water, medical care, and agriculture. The Arab states and the EU — as well as the U.S. — provide funds for, well, for everything including Palestinian leaders’ mansions and bank accounts. The deeper others waded into the “process” over the past two-plus decades, the more the Palestinians could be excused for believing that they didn’t have to do anything, but could wait for people to squeeze more out of Israel on their behalf under threat of a) discontinuing the process and/or b) more violence.

After all, they reasoned, what did they have to lose?

The Trump administration, however, appears to have concluded that the process might work differently if the Palestinians thought they did have something to lose. And by the moaning and shrieking emanating from Ramallah, if that is the plan it may be a good one.

The President started with a clear statement to Palestinian strongman Mahmoud Abbas about not teaching hatred, and then castigating him when he discovered that Abbas’s reassurances were lies. Congress added in the Taylor Force Act, which the President has said he would sign. The bill cuts funds to the Palestinian Authority (PA) as long as the PA is funding salaries for terrorists. Then the administration publicly considered closing the Palestinian mission in Washington because the PA was not meeting its Oslo obligation to negotiate issues directly with Israel and had, instead, made overtures in the International Criminal Court.

With Jerusalem Move, Trump Strikes at the ‘Psychological Barrier’ The president recognizes reality: Israel is a real country. By Andrew C. McCarthy

Jihadists, the tip of the sharia-supremacist spear, rationalize mass murder by denying the humanity of their enemies: Their doctrine teaches that non-Muslims are less than fully human and that their existence while refusing to accept Allah’s law is offensive. In the same way, Islamists, the broader population of sharia supremacists, rationalize the destruction of their perceived enemies, Israel in particular, by denying the reality of their legitimate existence.

This is what Edward Said referred to as the “psychological barrier.” It is what President Trump is trying to break by doing what he promised as a candidate to do: recognize the blunt reality that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

Even before President Bill Clinton futilely sought to broker an Israeli–Palestinian peace settlement, Muslim Brotherhood operatives in the United States had formed their “Palestine Committee” to coordinate the activities of various Islamist organizations. It was out of this project that CAIR — the Council on American Islamic Relations — was formed, an Islamist public-relations outfit masquerading as a civil-rights organization. For the Palestine Committee, it was a priority to drum up moral and financial support for Hamas, the Brotherhood’s militant Palestinian satellite. But a second goal was just as important: the development of a plan to counter efforts by American Jewish groups and the Israeli government to normalize relations between Jews and Muslims.

The objective was to preserve Said’s “psychological barrier.” This is the mindset that prevents Muslims from accepting Israel’s right to exist. Even if relations are frosty, people who open lines of communication cross a threshold. They may never agree, but implicitly they concede that the other side has human dignity, is worth hearing out, and may even be guided by everyday concerns rooted more in security than hostility. Even worse from the Islamist perspective, if the two sides interrelate often enough, they may find areas of agreement — common ground that suggests compromise is preferable to bloodshed. Leave them together long enough and they might become cordial — even, Allah forbid, friendly.

Islamists thus labor to fortify the psychological barrier against peaceful coexistence by denying existence itself. Key to this is depicting Israel as not a normal country — an international outlaw that “occupies” but does not legitimately exist, without settled borders, without domestic tranquility, unable to conduct trade and commerce, and bereft of the sovereign authority even to name its own capital city.

The transnational progressives frothing over Trump’s formal recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital — which, in a commonsense world, would be akin to recognizing that two plus two equals four — are either missing the point or showing blind allegiance to their Islamist bedfellows. Trump is taking a sledgehammer to the psychological barrier.


On December 7, 1941 360 Japanese warplanes struck the naval base in Pearl Harbor in a surprise attack.Five of eight battleships, three destroyers, and seven other ships were sunk or severely damaged, and more than 200 aircraft were destroyed. A total of 2,400 Americans were killed and 1,200 were wounded. The next day President Franklin Delano Roosevelt addressed the nation and declared war.

“No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph — so help us God.I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.”

It ended on September 2, 1945, when Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu signed the Instrument of Surrender on behalf of the Japanese Government, formally ending World War II.

The victory and ceremonial surrender ended Shinto imperialism, a faith driven belief in the divine origin of Japanese superiority to all other nations.

And that was the last time that America fought a war to win with a decisive surrender.

Pearl Harbor and the Legacy of Carl Vinson His monumental contributions to American security are largely unknown to Americans today. By Victor Davis Hanson

Seventy-six years ago on Dec. 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese fleet surprise-attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the home port of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Japanese carrier planes killed 2,403 Americans. They sunk or submerged 19 ships (including eight battleships destroyed or disabled) and damaged or destroyed more than 300 planes.

In an amazing feat of seamanship, the huge Japanese carrier fleet had steamed nearly 3,500 miles in midwinter high seas. The armada had refueled more than 20 major ships while observing radio silence before arriving undetected about 220 miles from Hawaii.

The surprise attack started the Pacific War. It was followed a few hours later by a Japanese assault on the Philippines.

More importantly, Pearl Harbor ushered in a new phase of World War II, as the conflict expanded to the Pacific. It became truly a global war when, four days later, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States.

The Japanese fleet had missed the three absent American carriers of the Pacific Fleet. Nonetheless, Japanese admirals were certain that the United States was so crippled after the attack that it would not be able to go on the offensive against the Japanese Pacific empire for years, if at all. Surely the wounded Americans would sue for peace, or at least concentrate on Europe and keep out of the Japanese-held Pacific.

That was a fatal miscalculation.

The Japanese warlords had known little of the tireless efforts of one Democratic congressman from Georgia, Carl Vinson.

For nearly a decade before Pearl Harbor, Vinson had schemed and politicked in brilliant fashion to ensure that America was building a two-ocean navy larger than all the major navies of the world combined.

A Land of Mini-Coups by Mark Steyn

Following Michael Flynn’s guilty plea for “lying to the FBI”, there seem likely to be further feverish developments in Robert Mueller’s “Russia investigation”. Professor William Jacobson asks the obvious question:

Why is Robert Mueller even investigating the presidential transition?

The Order appointing Mueller concerns election interference, not post-election political decisions of the winning candidate.

Indeed. First, it shouldn’t be a crime to lie to the FBI given the way the FBI lies to us with impunity. Yours truly thirteen years ago:

Martha, it seems, will be going to jail for telling a lie. Not in court, not under oath, not perjury, but merely when the Feds came round to see her about a possible crime. They couldn’t prove she’d committed a crime, so they nailed her for lying while chit-chatting to them about the non-crime. And for that they’re prepared to destroy her company.

It’s true that it’s an offence to lie to the Feds. But, as my New Hampshire neighbours Tom and Scott, currently in my basement stretching out a little light carpentry job to the end of the winter, are the first to point out, the Feds lied to the public about Waco and Ruby Ridge (another bloodbath) for years. If the Feds can lie to the people, why can’t the people lie to the Feds?

Martha Stewart wound up behind bars for telling a lie in a matter in which there was no underlying crime. In the case of Flynn, I heard some bigshot in Congress argue that Flynn’s lies were somehow “material” to the investigation. But, as Professor Jacobson points out, it’s hard to see how Russia can “interfere” with the election after it’s been held. Flynn’s conversations occurred in his capacity as a senior figure in the incoming administration. That’s the normal business of diplomatic relations – and it is most emphatically not the business of minor policemen within a leaky and insecure permanent bureaucracy.

So Flynn’s “lies” are not material – unless the Deep State is “investigating” the winning side in the election for engaging in the usual business of government.

Second, I happened to speak to the FBI about a certain matter a couple of months back. Very pleasant lady. Thought it all went well. But my lawyers were dead set against it – because, if you go to see the Feds in the context of some or other investigation and you chance to be infelicitous about this or that, you’ll find that suddenly you’re the one being investigated for, as noted above, the one-way crime of lying to the authorities. Did Flynn, in fact, lie? When you’re shooting the breeze with G-men, mistakes or faulty recollection can be enough to land you in prison – if the Feds think it useful to them to threaten you with that. When Flynn pleaded guilty, was he, in fact, guilty? Or was he rather a ruined and broke man who could no longer withstand the pressure of the metaphorical electrodes with attendant billable hours?

I think we all know the answer to that. As I always say, the process is the punishment. And the Federal Government (which wins 97 per cent of cases it brings to court) can inflict a more punishing process than anyone this side of Pyongyang. This is a vile business that does no credit to a civilized society.

Third, as longtime readers, listeners and viewers know, I strongly dislike the uniquely American “presidential transition” period. As you know, in, say, the Westminster system, if a prime minister loses on a Thursday, his goes to the Palace to resign on the Friday, and he moves out of Downing Street on the weekend. The new cabinet ministers are in place the following Monday or Tuesday. The “transition” is part of the general institutional sclerosis of Washington, and certainly no friend to swamp-drainers: A year after Trump’s election, key positions in every cabinet department – Deputy Secretaries, Assistant Secretaries, Under-Secretaries, Deputy Assistant Secretaries, Assistant Deputy Secretaries, Deputy Assistant Under-Secretaries – are still held by Obama appointees.

Well, you say, that’s business as usual with Chuck Schumer. What can you expect? But in this case the losing party decided to take the opportunities afforded by the transition to the next level. As I put it back in October:

During the stupid and anachronistic two-and-a-half-month electoral “transition”, the outgoing Administration worked round the clock to de-legitimize and cripple their successors.

Hence Susan Rice and Samantha Power frantically “unmasking” all the way up to inauguration day.

Still Blind After All These Years The real lesson of Trump’s retweet of Britain First videos.Bruce Thornton

President Trump last week retweeted some videos posted by England’s Britain First party, and the usual suspects fell all over themselves condemning the president in an orgy of mass virtue-signaling. The usual question-begging epithets flew thick and fast: “racist,” “fascist,” “hateful,” “bigotry,” Islamophobic,” “extremist,” “far-right,” all the dull clichés trotted out to mask the chronic appeasement of Islamic jihad on the part of bipartisan internationalists.

The uproar over Trump’s actions confirms that the willful blindness of most Western leaders over the reality of Islamic violence continues to weaken our response to the jihadist threat.

The three videos that Trump retweeted showed examples of Muslim confessional intolerance and violence ubiquitous for fourteen centuries: “Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!” “Muslim Destroys a Statue of Virgin Mary!” and “Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death!” Sadly, such incidents have become dog-bites-man stories, and similarly predictable are the responses to them. All were marked by the Western preemptive cringe typical of those who refuse to confront reality.

Consider the American politicians, especially Republican NeverTrumpers, who could not resist taking a potshot at the president and brandishing their moral superiority. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham claimed that Trump was “legitimizing religious bigotry” by retweeting the videos. He then added, “We need Muslim allies in the war on terror. I can only imagine how some of our Muslim allies must feel when the president gives legitimacy to it.”

How exactly is showing factual incidents of violence “legitimizing religious bigotry”? So the Muslim who beat up the boy on crutches was not a migrant, but a Dutch citizen. The point remains: Islam views violence against infidels as divinely sanctioned, thus legitimizing any violence. Do we have to repeat for the Nth time the Koranic commands, those uncreated words of Allah, like “slay the idolaters wherever you find them,” “do not take the Jews and Christians as friends,” “fight those who do not believe in Allah,” “fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness,” or “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore, strike off their heads”? Are any of the incidents in the videos––and in those circulated by ISIS and other jihadist groups–– incompatible with these commands? Are any of them different from the thousands and thousands of similar lethal actions––over 32,000 just since 9/11–– that we have witnessed for nearly two decades, and that have marked the history of Islam from its beginnings in the 7th century, when Mohammed beheaded the 500 Jewish men of the Banu Qurayza?

Homeless Swedes Out in the Cold by Bruce Bawer

One reason there are so many immigrants in Sweden, both legal and illegal, is that the country’s welfare system is a bonanza for foreigners. Far from not being covered by the system, immigrants often enjoy preferential treatment

These Swedes should not be sleeping on the streets. The Scandinavian welfare states were founded on a compact between the citizens and their government: the people would pay outrageously high taxes, and in return their government would guarantee them a magnificent safety net should they get sick or get fired. But ever since these countries chose to open their doors to mass Muslim immigration, that compact has been broken.

A state-employed paper-pusher who gives citizens something for which they have already paid can hardly feel particularly virtuous, whereas handing out free stuff to aliens who have done absolutely nothing to deserve it can make that same government paper-pusher feel like a world-class Good Samaritan.

Even more shattering is that millions of those Scandinavian citizens accept it. Marinated from birth in multiculturalism, millions of them dare not demand what they have coming to them — what they have paid for, what they deserve — lest they be viewed by others, and even by themselves, as bigots.

The other day, I reported about the Church of Sweden’s strenuous efforts to appease Islam. Now comes the news that from December 15 to March 15, churches in the diocese of Gothenburg will be used at night as shelters for the homeless. Lovely idea. But there is a catch. The only homeless people who will be allowed in are foreigners — either immigrants from elsewhere in the EU, who are by definition legal, or illegal immigrants from outside the EU. In other words, native Swedes need not apply, even though the initiative is being paid for by taxpayer money.

The Real Palestinian Response to Trump’s Jerusalem Speech by Bassam Tawil

By misrepresenting the poster burning “ceremony” as a reflection of widespread Palestinian rage concerning Trump’s policy on Jerusalem, the international media is once again complicit in promoting the propaganda of Palestinian spin doctors. The journalists, including photographers and camera crews, have been handed detailed schedules of events that will take place in different parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

When we sit in our living rooms and watch the news coming out of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, let us ask ourselves: How many of these “events” are, in fact, media burlesques? Why are journalists allowing themselves to be duped by the Palestinian propaganda machine, which spews hatred and violence from morning until night?

It is high time for some self-reflection on the part of the media: Do they really wish to continue serving as a mouthpiece for those Arabs and Muslims who intimidate and terrorize the West?

The “rivers of blood” we are being promised are flowing as we speak. Yet, it is the knife that Arabs and Muslims take to one another’s throats that is the source of this crimson current, not some statement made by a US president. Perhaps that could finally be an event worth covering by the roving reporters of the region?

A short three hours after US President Donald Trump phoned Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas to inform him of his intention to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a number of Palestinian photojournalists received a phone call from Bethlehem.

The callers were Palestinian “activists,” who invited the photographers to come to the city to document an “important event.” When the photographers arrived, they discovered that the “important event” was a handful of Palestinian “activists” who wanted to burn posters of Trump in front of the cameras.

The “activists” waited patiently as the photojournalists and cameramen set up their equipment to get the “important event” on film. Shortly thereafter, the media was abuzz with reports about “angry Palestinian protesters taking to the streets to protest” Trump’s intention to move the embassy to Jerusalem and his recognition of the city as the capital of Israel. The five Palestinians who were filmed burning the Trump pictures were made to look as if they were part of a mass protest sweeping Palestinian communities.