Trump Seeks Middle Ground in Foreign Policy Balancing Act By Victor Davis Hanson

Was the latest round of airstrikes in Syria a one-time hit to restore deterrence and stop the future use of chemical weapons, or was it part of a slippery slope of more interventions in the Middle East?

President Donald Trump was elected in part because he promised an end to optional wars, such as those in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as the Libyan misadventure.

But Trump also guaranteed an end to perceived Obama-era appeasement. Trump said he would no longer put up with false red lines in Syria, or complacency about North Korea’s new generation of nuclear missiles.

He also claimed that he wanted to remind enemies that the penalties for attacking U.S. interests are not worth the risk of obtaining some sort of perceived transient advantage. And he inherited American overseas commitments symbolized by some 800 U.S. military facilities in 70 countries abroad.

Working Out “Principled Realism”
These paradoxes were supposedly resolved by his administration’s doctrine of Jacksonian “don’t tread on me” punitive retaliation. Trump might promise to “bomb the s–t out of” the Islamic State, but then not send a division of U.S. Marines into Syria to police the savage postwar landscape.

This middle ground was more or less codified by former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster in the recently published National Security Strategy. His team called threading the intervention needle “principled realism.” The Trump Administration would use military force to protect U.S interests, but only in a context of what was practicable, given the existing quagmires abroad.

Of the two extremes, avoiding nation-building is the easier. Clearly, no one wants another Libyan debacle during an era of $1 trillion annual budget deficits, or the expenditure of blood and treasure in long-term efforts to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan into Westernized nations.

Jihadis and Drug Cartel at Our Border A nightmare on the horizon. Michael Cutler

The border that is supposed to separate the United States from Mexico must be made secure.

There is no shortage of compelling reasons why this must happen, and the sooner the better, but today, given the lunacy of Sanctuary Cities and Sanctuary States and the globalist goals of politicians from both political parties, particularly the Democratic Party leadership, rational and reasonable thought processes have been supplanted by greed, corruption and cowardice- fear of upsetting party leaders or fear of alienating deep-pocketed campaign contributors.

Indeed, it is irrational for any leader in the United States to refuse to take whatever measures must be taken to protect America and Americans from the rampant violence, corruption and potential for terrorists to traverse that highly porous border into the United States.

Yet this is precisely the situation that exists today in the United States.

Therefore, today we will consider some of the more compelling facts that demand that, for once and for all, the U.S./Mexican border be secured.

First of all, given the unstable and volatile situation in the Middle East, particularly Syria and U.S.-led military strikes in Syria, undoubtedly Iran and radical Islamists would like to be able to carry out terror attacks within the borders of the United States.

Iran and radical Islamists have a significant presence in Latin America, therefore, all that separates them from us is the U.S./Mexican border.

On April 21, 2017 I wrote an article, Border Security Is National Security in which I referenced an April 12, 2017 Washington Times report, Sharafat Ali Khan smuggled terrorist-linked immigrants.

Trump’s Art of the Deal in North Korea, Israel and Syria Understanding Trump’s America First foreign policy. Daniel Greenfield

It’s really not that complicated.

But President Trump’s Syria strikes have reopened the debate over what defines his foreign policy. Is he an interventionist or an isolationist? Foreign policy experts claim that he’s making it up as he goes along.

But they’re not paying attention.

President Trump’s foreign policy has two consistent elements. From threatening Kim Jong-Un on Twitter to moving the embassy to Jerusalem to bombing Syria, he applies pressure and then he disengages.

Here’s how that works.

First, Trump pressures the most intransigent and hostile side in the conflict. Second, he divests the United States from the conflict leaving the relevant parties to find a way to work it out.

North Korea had spent decades using its nuclear program to bully its neighbors and the United States. Previous administrations had given the Communist dictatorship $1.3 billion in aid to keep it from developing its nuclear program. These bribes failed because they incentivized the nuclear program.

Nukes are the only thing keeping North Korea from being just another failed Communist dictatorship.

Instead, Trump called North Korea’s bluff. He ignored all the diplomatic advice and ridiculed its regime. He made it clear that the United States was not afraid of North Korean nukes. The experts shrieked. They warned that Kim Jong-Un wouldn’t take this Twitter abuse and we would be in for a nuclear war.

But the Norks folded.

N.Y. Attorney General Moves to Constrain Trump’s Pardon Power By Jack Crowe

New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman is advocating a change to the state’s double-jeopardy laws that would allow him and other local prosecutors to bring charges against individuals pardoned by President Donald Trump, according to a letter he sent to the governor and state legislators Wednesday.

The letter, obtained by the New York Times, makes the case that the double-jeopardy law, which holds that an individual can’t be charged with the same crime twice, should be modified so that Trump aides who escape federal prosecution via a presidential pardon can be charged with the same crime in state court.

The proposal, if approved by state lawmakers and Governor Andrew Cuomo, would cement Schneiderman’s office — which is currently suing the Trump administration in connection with issues ranging from tech policy to environment regulations — as a bulwark of the so-called resistance.

“We are disturbed by reports that the president is considering pardons of individuals who may have committed serious federal financial, tax, and other crimes — acts that may also violate New York law,” Mr. Schneiderman said in a statement provided by his office.

Schneiderman and Trump share a contentious history. Schniederman oversaw the investigation into Trump University, which resulted in a $25 million fine, and Trump responded in characteristic fashion, calling Schneiderman “dopey,” a “lightweight,” and a “loser.”

The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution only prohibits multiple prosecutions at the federal level, but roughly half of the states, including New York, have additional double-jeopardy protections that prohibit state prosecutors from charging a person with the same crime they were exonerated for in federal court.

“New York’s statutory protections could result in the unintended and unjust consequence of insulating someone pardoned for serious federal crimes from subsequent prosecution for state crimes,” Schneiderman writes in his letter, “even if that person was never tried or convicted in federal court, and never served a single day in federal prison.”

Trump, who recently pardoned Scooter Libby — a former aide to Vice President Dick Cheney convicted of perjury, obstruction of justice, and lying to the FBI in connection with the “outing” of CIA agent Valerie Plame — has yet to comment on the move.

Sweden: Trouble in Paradise? By Andrew Stuttaford

Writing in Politico, Paulina Neuding returns to the topic of Sweden’s crime problem and the unwillingness of the Swedish elite to admit what has been going on:

In a period of two weeks earlier this year, five explosions took place in the country. It’s not unusual these days — Swedes have grown accustomed to headlines of violent crime, witness intimidation and gangland executions. In a country long renowned for its safety, voters cite “law and order” as the most important issue ahead of the general election in September.

The topic of crime is sensitive, however, and debate about the issue in the consensus-oriented Scandinavian society is restricted by taboos.

Indeed it is, although, to be fair, those taboos are fraying fairly rapidly. Nevertheless, Sweden remains a country where, whether by law or, even more so, social convention, free speech is not quite as free as it should be. There is, to borrow a useful Swedish term, an ‘opinion corridor’ (åsiktskorridor) beyond which people are not meant to stray. Again, that corridor has widened—the fact that someone has even defined it is a measure of that—but not yet by enough.

There is also something else. To admit that there was a connection between current crime rates and what was (until recently) an extraordinarily generous immigration policy would be to admit that much of the political and media class has messed up. That is not something that such prominenti are keen to do. Thus, for example, they emphasize the fall in the murder rates. Fair enough, you might think, but…


To understand crime in Sweden, it’s important to note that Sweden has benefited from the West’s broad decline in deadly violence, particularly when it comes to spontaneous violence and alcohol-related killings. The overall drop in homicides has been, however, far smaller in Sweden than in neighboring countries.

The Outrageous Outing of Sean Hannity,It violated longstanding, judicially endorsed standards. Cont’d By Andrew C. McCarthy

In yesterday’s column, I contended that it was outrageous for federal district judge Kimba Wood to direct that talk-radio and Fox News host Sean Hannity be publicly identified as Michael Cohen’s third client. Cohen, whose law practice is, shall we say, less than thriving, is under criminal investigation by the FBI and federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York (SDNY). He claims only three clients. The other two, President Trump and GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy, acknowledge retaining Cohen. Hannity denies ever having had a formal attorney-client relationship with him.

The court’s order that Hannity’s name be disclosed in open court violated longstanding, judicially endorsed standards against identifying uncharged persons in legal proceedings attendant to criminal investigations.

Forget about evidence of wrongdoing. There is not even a suggestion that Hannity is involved in any crimes. He is a longtime friend of Cohen’s. He says they’ve had some informal legal discussions about such matters as real estate — and as any lawyer will tell you, informal discussions with non-lawyer friends are common. Hannity insists, however, that he has never retained Cohen to represent him in any legal matter, and has never paid him or received an invoice from him. There is no public evidence to contradict this, and no suggestion that Cohen has previously represented himself as Hannity’s attorney.

There has been no intimation that Hannity has any pertinent information about the activities for which Cohen is under investigation. His only relevance to the probe involves the question of whether there is a factual basis for Cohen to claim that an attorney-client (A-C) relationship with Hannity should prevent investigators from perusing some materials seized by the FBI from Cohen’s office and residences. And since Hannity is not suspected of wrongdoing, even that question appears to be of little importance.

Duke protesters upset THEY were scolded, say alumni at event should have been rebuked

In another example of how pretentious the modern college generation can be, the protesters who disrupted a speech by Duke president Vincent Price to alumni this weekend are miffed that they were admonished by school officials, and not those in attendance who had dared to voice their displeasure.

On Saturday, demonstrators crashed the stage while Price was speaking, shouting “President Price get off the stage” and “Whose University? Our University!” and then listed demands which include training staff to deal with undocumented students, and nixing “medically unnecessary surgery on intersex infants” in the Duke Health System.

Angered alumni booed, used profanity, and even turned their backs to the activists as they spoke.

According to The Chronicle, the protesters were “surprised by the extent of the alumni’s negative reactions.” SeniorBryce Cracknell said he was “disappointed that the administrators focused more on stopping the students than angry alumni” (emphasis added).

“Instead of actually going to the alumni and saying ‘that’s not appropriate’ or removing them from the space, they were more worried about us,” he said.

From the story:

The students regrouped outside on the steps of the Chapel to provide further explanation of their 12 demands. Several supportive alumni joined them, even offering suggestions for how to update their manifesto, Walk noted.

“I think when we walked out all of us were kind of shaken by the negative feedback, but so many alumni came up to us and were like, ‘Thank you for what you’re doing. Thank you for continuing this work,’” Walk said.

Back inside the auditorium, David Henderson, Trinity ‘68, connected the students’ protest to the 1968 Vigil [see here] in a comment to Price during the Q&A session after his speech.

“Nobody in the administration thought that what we did was appropriate. In history it has come to be enshrined,” Henderson said. …

In a group statement, the protesters condemned any potential punishments.

“What an incredible irony it would be if in the midst of celebrating a history of activism, Duke is considering punishing the current generation of organizers on campus and the student groups, faculty and alumni that support us,” they wrote.

College Professor ‘Happy To Be Retired’ After Dealing With SJWs By Thom Nickels

I was talking with an ex-university professor recently who told me that he was very happy to be retired. He said he was glad to be out of the hornets’ nest, away from a world so filled with political correctness that it was difficult to get through the day. Life on campus, he said, is rife with so many non-issue “issues” that it’s like walking barefoot on sidewalks littered with broken glass.

He related how he once told a fellow professor that she “looked very nice today,” meaning that she had selected a particularly nice outfit. Rather than thank him for the compliment, the professor took him to task for being sexist and going out of his way to objectify her as an object (a piece of meat) to be admired.

“You wouldn’t say the same thing to a male colleague,” she scolded. The male professor was taken aback and told her that she was wrong. “I do say the same thing to male colleagues. I do it all the time.” The professor also happened to be gay, so he wasn’t thinking about female objectification (the meat factor) when he said what he said. Welcome to university life in 2018, where every word out of your mouth has to censored, and where even paying a colleague a compliment can get you into hot water.

The ex-professor told me another story, of when his university invited a well-known woman speaker to lecture to students. While the speaker’s presentation was flawless and held the audience spellbound, during the Q and A a well-dressed young man stood up and said that the speaker had disparaged African Americans.

“I compliment you on a good talk, however you made one gross mistake that is offensive to the African American community,” he began. The speaker asked in a soft voice what the offensive remark was.

“In your introduction, you described yourself as being the ‘black sheep’ of your family,” the student said. “The use of the word black in this instance connotes negativity and undesirability and as such it casts a poor light on African American students. It is racist.”

Yes, she was right up there with the Ku Klux Klan.

The speaker swallowed hard, not quite sure what she should say when another woman professor in the audience stood up and complimented her on a stellar lecture and added that she was certainly entitled to express her views anyway she wanted to, including using any word she felt was appropriate. Common sense won out in this instance — the easily triggered student who called the speaker a racist became so unpopular on campus that he eventually transferred to a school outside the United States. CONTINUE AT SITE

Katie Hopkins — ‘Media Will Not Be Honest About’ Migrant Violence in Sweden By Stephen Kruiser VIDEO

If you are unfamiliar with Katie Hopkins you’re in for a real treat. There are many political pundits who don’t mind being brutally honest but few do it with the obvious glee that Hopkins exudes. Hopkins is discussing the migrant-related violence in Sweden and the media’s untruthful reporting. When President Trump first got into office he mentioned the problems that Sweden was having and was roundly mocked by the mainstream media. A couple of days later, an immigrant neighborhood in Stockholm was the scene of riots. After detailing the myriad problems in Sweden at the moment, Hopkins excoriates the media for whitewashing the issues, especially when they refer to the migrants as the “new Swedes.” She says, “you can’t take Mohammed, stick a blond wig on him,” then “turn him into a Swede.” And a lot more.

Haley: Russian Nerve Agent in UK Harbinger of ‘Frightening New Reality’ By Bridget Johnson

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley warned at a UN Security Council briefing on the nerve agent attack in the UK that “we are rapidly confronting a frightening new reality — if chemical weapons can appear in a small English town, where might they start appearing next?”

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Report on the Attack in Salisbury confirmed the British conclusion that the “high purity” nerve agent used in the attack was Russian Novichok. The UK says it was delivered in liquid form; one of the highest concentrations investigators has found was on Sergei Skripal’s front door handle.

Skripal, a former Russian spy who fed intelligence to the Brits from 1995 to 2004 and was sent to the UK in a spy exchange in 2010, and his daughter Yulia collapsed March 4 at a shopping center in Salisbury. The first police officer on scene, Nick Bailey, was hospitalized in serious condition and later released. A restaurant and a pub in the center tested positive for traces of the nerve agent.

“Last week, the Council met five times to discuss the chemical weapons attack in Douma. Today, we are here yet again talking about chemical weapons. This time, it’s about a military grade nerve agent used against two people on British soil. In the constant push of meeting after meeting here in this chamber, it’s easy to lose track of what this means,” Haley said at the UNSC meeting.