Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Israel-Firsters Are Running America

Bill Kristol

America's Jews Are Driving America's Wars

By Philip Giraldi


I spoke recently at a conference on America’s war party where afterwards an elderly gentleman came up to me and asked, “Why doesn’t anyone ever speak honestly about the six-hundred-pound gorilla in the room? Nobody has mentioned Israel in this conference and we all know it’s American Jews with all their money and power who are supporting every war in the Middle East for Netanyahu? Shouldn’t we start calling them out and not letting them get away with it?”

It was a question combined with a comment that I have heard many times before and my answer is always the same: any organization that aspires to be heard on foreign policy knows that to touch the live wire of Israel and American Jews guarantees a quick trip to obscurity. Jewish groups and deep pocket individual donors not only control the politicians, they own and run the media and entertainment industries, meaning that no one will hear about or from the offending party ever again. They are particularly sensitive on the issue of so-called “dual loyalty,” particularly as the expression itself is a bit of a sham since it is pretty clear that some of them only have real loyalty to Israel.

Most recently, some pundits, including myself, have been warning of an impending war with Iran. To be sure, the urging to strike Iran comes from many quarters, to include generals in the Administration who always think first in terms of settling problems through force, from a Saudi government obsessed with fear over Iranian hegemony, and, of course, from Israel itself. But what makes the war engine run is provided by American Jews who have taken upon themselves the onerous task of starting a war with a country that does not conceivably threaten the United States. They have been very successful at faking the Iranian threat, so much so that nearly all Republican and most Democratic congressmen as well as much of the media seem to be convinced that Iran needs to be dealt with firmly, most definitely by using the U.S. military, and the sooner the better.

And while they are doing it, the issue that nearly all the Iran haters are Jewish has somehow fallen out of sight, as if it does not matter. But it should matter. A recent article in the New Yorker on stopping the impending war with Iran strangely suggests that the current generation of “Iran hawks” might be a force of moderation regarding policy options given the lessons learned from Iraq. The article cites as hardliners on Iran David Frum, Max Boot, Bill Kristol and Bret Stephens.

Daniel Larison over at The American Conservative has a good review of the New Yorker piece entitled “Yes, Iran Hawks Want Conflict with Iran,” which identifies the four above cited hawks by name before describing them as “…a Who’s Who of consistently lousy foreign policy thinking. If they have been right about any major foreign policy issue in the last twenty years, it would be news to the entire world. Every single one of them hates the nuclear deal with Iran with a passion, and they have argued in favor of military action against Iran at one point or another. There is zero evidence that any of them would oppose attacking Iran.”

And I would add a few more names, Mark Dubowitz, Michael Ledeen and Reuel Marc Gerecht of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies; Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum; John Podhoretz of Commentary magazine; Elliot Abrams of the Council on Foreign Relations; Meyrav Wurmser of the Middle East Media Research Institute; Kimberly Kagan of the Institute for the Study of War; and Frederick Kagan, Danielle Pletka and David Wurmser of the American Enterprise Institute. And you can also throw into the hopper entire organizations like The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) and the Hudson Institute. And yep, they’re all Jewish, plus most of them would self-describe as neo-conservatives. And I might add that only one of the named individuals has ever served in any branch of the American military – David Wurmser was once in the Navy reserve. These individuals largely constitute a cabal of sanctimonious chairborne warriors who prefer to do the heavy thinking while they let others do the fighting and dying.

So it is safe to say that much of the agitation to do something about Iran comes from Israel and from American Jews. Indeed, I would opine that most of the fury from Congress re Iran comes from the same source, with AIPAC showering our Solons on the Potomac with “fact sheets” explaining how Iran is worthy of annihilation because it has pledged to “destroy Israel,” which is both a lie and an impossibility as Tehran does not have the resources to carry out such a task. The AIPAC lies are then picked up and replayed by an obliging media, where nearly every “expert” who speaks about the Middle East on television and radio or who is interviewed for newspaper stories is Jewish.

One might also add that neocons as a group were founded by Jews and are largely Jewish, hence their universal attachment to the state of Israel. They first rose into prominence when they obtained a number of national security positions during the Reagan Administration and their ascendancy was completed when they staffed senior positions in the Pentagon and White House under George W. Bush. Recall for a moment Paul Wolfowitz, Doug Feith, and Scooter Libby. Yes, all Jewish and all conduits for the false information that led to a war that has spread and effectively destroyed much of the Middle East. Except for Israel, of course. Philip Zelikow, also Jewish, in a moment of candor, admitted that the Iraq War, in his opinion, was fought for Israel.

Add to the folly a Jewish U.S. Ambassador to Israel who identifies with the most right-wing Israeli settler elements, a White House appointed chief negotiator who is Jewish and a Jewish son-in-law who is also involved in formulating Middle East policy. Is anyone providing an alternative viewpoint to eternal and uncritical support for Benjamin Netanyahu and his kleptocratic regime of racist thugs? I think not.

There are a couple of simple fixes for the dominant involvement of American Jews in foreign policy issues where they have a personal interest due to their ethnicity or family ties. First of all, don’t put them into national security positions involving the Middle East, where they will potentially be conflicted. Let them worry instead about North Korea, which does not have a Jewish minority and which was not involved in the holocaust. This type of solution was, in fact, somewhat of a policy regarding the U.S. Ambassador position in Israel. No Jew was appointed to avoid any conflict of interest prior to 1995, an understanding that was violated by Bill Clinton (wouldn’t you know it!) who named Martin Indyk to the post. Indyk was not even an American citizen at the time and had to be naturalized quickly prior to being approved by congress.

Those American Jews who are strongly attached to Israel and somehow find themselves in senior policy making positions involving the Middle East and who actually possess any integrity on the issue should recuse themselves, just as any judge would do if he were presiding over a case in which he had a personal interest. Any American should be free to exercise first amendment rights to debate possible options regarding policy, up to and including embracing positions that damage the United States and benefit a foreign nation. But if he or she is in a position to actually create those policies, he or she should butt out and leave the policy generation to those who have no personal baggage.

For those American Jews who lack any shred of integrity, the media should be required to label them at the bottom of the television screen whenever they pop up, e.g. Bill Kristol is “Jewish and an outspoken supporter of the state of Israel.” That would be kind-of-like a warning label on a bottle of rat poison – translating roughly as “ingest even the tiniest little dosage of the nonsense spewed by Bill Kristol at your own peril."

As none of the above is likely to happen, the only alternative is for American citizens who are tired of having their country’s national security interests hijacked by a group that is in thrall to a foreign government to become more assertive about what is happening. Shine a little light into the darkness and recognize who is being diddled and by whom. Call it like it is. And if someone’s feelings are hurt, too bad. We don’t need a war with Iran because Israel wants one and some rich and powerful American Jews are happy to deliver. Seriously, we don’t need it.

From The Unz Review (September 19, 2017)

America First Or America Last?

Andrew Jackson Statue, Lafayette Park, Washington DC

Trump Abandons Campaign Promise to Sacrifice More Americans to the Afghanistan Meat Grinder

By Virgil


Trump: Then and Now

Four years ago, on November 21, 2013, then-private-citizen Donald Trump tweeted:
We have wasted an enormous amount of blood and treasure in Afghanistan. Their government has zero appreciation.  Let’s get out!
Yet just last month, President Trump sounded a much different tune.  He declared in his nationwide TV speech on August 21:
With our resolve, we will ensure that your service and that your family’s will bring about the defeat of our enemies and the arrival of peace.  We will push onward to victory with power in our hearts, courage in our souls, and everlasting pride in each and every one of you.
In other words, the new mission is to stay, and win.  And just on Tuesday, speaking to the United Nations General Assembly, Trump reiterated his new stance:
Last month, I announced a new strategy for victory in the fight against this evil in Afghanistan.  From now on, our security interests will dictate the length and scope of military operations, not arbitrary benchmarks and timetables set up by politicians.
In other words, yes, the Trump administration now seeks victory in Afghanistan.  And while Trump didn’t say it, that might take awhile.  Like, maybe, forever and a day.  So while Trump declares that politicians shouldn’t be micromanaging the combat, he is, in fact, macro managing it; he’s saying we have to stay and keep fighting indefinitely, hoping for victory.

Without a doubt, it’s nice to have an American president who takes pride in our military and wants our country to win.  And of course, if we put our armed forces in harm’s way, we should seek triumph.

Yet stalwart patriotism and support for our troops as they fight doesn’t eliminate the need for wisdom in determining when and where they fight.  That is, before charging ahead to more bloodshed, we should be asking, Is it smart for us to have our troops in harm’s way in Afghanistan?

Prior to winning the presidency, Trump had his answer: No, it’s not smart.

Yet now that he’s in the White House, Trump has changed his mind.  To be sure, many will note that Trump made only a single mention of Afghanistan in his lengthy speech, plus another reference to the Taliban, who were lumped in with other “loser terrorists.”

Meanwhile, of course, the headlines from Tuesday’s U.N. speech will be about North Korea.  And it’s good and proper that Trump is focusing on that rogue nation. After all, the North Korean “Rocket Man,” Kim Jong Un, is openly threatening the U.S. with nuclear destruction.  So of course that calls for a stern response, including dire warnings of possible U.S. retaliation.

And yet Trump’s focus on North Korea only underscores the reality that Afghanistan is now an almost-forgotten war—and that can’t be much comfort to the thousands of G.I.s on the ground there.

And so we must ask: What happened? After winning on a tough-minded“get out” platform, why did he change his mind?  Why is he committing to Afghanistan, seemingly, forever?

Blood and the Ballot Box

During the 2016  subsequent presidential campaign, Trump continued his steady criticism of the Bush 43-Obama Afghanistan policy.  “It’s a mess,” he said on the stump, “It’s a mess.”  Speaking of the presence of U.S. troops in that faraway land, his skepticism about the mission shone through: “Are they going to be there for the next 200 years?”

Yes, that was a piercing question, and it put Trump in stark contrast to most of his Republican rivals for the 2016 nomination, who generally embraced the neoconservative platform of permanent war in Afghanistan.

As everyone knows, the vast majority of Americans are sick and tired of the Afghan war.  According to a Fox News poll released in late June, 62 percent of Americans opposed sending more combatants to Afghanistan, while just 25 percent were in favor.

This public exhaustion is fully understandable, because, as everyone knows, we’ve been fighting that forlorn war for 16 years.  Back in 2001, we rightly evicted the Taliban regime for having sheltered Osama bin Laden, mastermind of 9/11.  (The actual 9/11 terrorists, of course, were operating mostly out of Germany and the U.S.)

Yet unfortunately, President George W. Bush didn’t have the sense to quit while we were ahead.  That is, having accomplished the proper punitive mission against the Taliban, we should simply have left, leaving some bodies and craters as a reminder of what happens when you mess with Uncle Sam.

And so, with the full support of top leaders in both parties, Bush chose to stick around; soon, we were up to our armpits in the quagmire of nation-building.  And this in a land that’s not a nation—and at this rate never will be.  (And then, as a way of doubling down on error, Bush invaded Iraq—which had nothing to do with 9/11.)

Flag-Draped Coffin Of American Serviceman Killed In Afghanistan

Interestingly, one leading figure who reliably supported the Bush neocon policy was Hillary Clinton, who has always herself been a super-interventionist.  Way back in 2002, she enthusiastically voted for the Iraq War.  And the bloody frustrations of the next decade-and-a-half had no impact on her thinking, including in regard to Afghanistan; after all, it wasn’t as if anyone in her family was connected to the fighting.

Some headlines from 2016 illuminate Clinton’s stubborn hawkishness.  Here’s Mother Jones: “Hillary Clinton Really Loves Military Intervention.”  And here’s The New York Times: “How Hillary Clinton Became a Hawk.”  Finally, this header, from Foreign Policy: “Hillary the Hawk: A History: From Haiti to Syria, the Democratic candidate’s long record suggests she’s looking forward to being a war president on day one.

In other words, to the voters, the choice last year seemed clear enough: Trump the war-skeptic vs. Clinton the war-enthusiast.

And so, faced with that choice, many Americans made a fateful decision; despite their Democratic leanings, they went with Trump.  In fact, about 8.4 million Americans who had voted for Barack Obama in 2012 voted for the real estate mogul in 2016.  Indeed, about 12 percent of those who had voted for Sen. Bernie Sanders in the ’16 Democratic primaries pulled the Trump lever in November.

Some political scientists have drilled down even further, correlating casualties in the overseas wars to newfound support for Trump.  As Breitbart News has reported, two academics, Douglas Kriner and Francis Shen, focused on the key blue-purple  states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin—states that the Democratic presidential nominee had carried in the previous five, or even six, elections—and concluded that it was Clinton’s neocon hawkishness that doomed her candidacy.  As Kriner and Shen explained, with “even a modestly lower casualty rate,” all three of those Democratic-leaning states might have stayed in her column.

So the best option for Trump should have been obvious: Remember why you won. Keep your promise.  Get us out.

America First—or Americans Last?

Instead, Trump has actually expanded American objectives in Afghanistan.  His predecessor, President Obama, surged troops briefly, but when that didn’t work, he said, in effect, that we would seek an exit from Afghanistan, albeit a slow-motion exit, timed to occur after the 44th president had left office.

Yet now, in contrast, Trump is talking about winning, which is a lot harder than merely staying.

To be sure, “victory” sounds like a fine idea, but after 16 years of fighting, we might wonder if that’s possible, given the implausibility—to say nothing of unpopularity—of any possible World War Two-type “V for Victory” effort.

We must remember that this is a democracy, or at least ought to be; that is, the American people should be on board with any military strategy.  And it’s their country, and they are tired of seeing it bleed.  In fact, after the loss of 2,304 service personnel—and the wounding or crippling of 20,000 more—at a cost of more than $1 trillion, well, the folks just aren’t interested in any more pep talks.  And so far this year, 11 more Americans have died in the fighting.

Afghanistan is, after all, a country of 34.6 million people halfway around the world.  Yes, we can bomb them, but with the world’s TV cameras watching, not to too great an extent.  And the real question is: Can we ever persuade the enemy Afghans to stop fighting?

We can forget, of course, the notion of winning over their hearts and minds; after all the blood and treasure we’ve expended over a decade-and-a-half, we know the impracticality of that.  And this is especially true when the Afghans’ hostility to the U.S. is being stoked and supplied, in various ways, by its neighbors—Pakistan, Iran, China, and Russia.  In other words, victory over the Taliban also means, to some extent, victory over that combined quartet of powers.

Thus it’s obvious: The last thing that Americans want is to send moretroops.  And yet that’s what the Trump administration is doing—3,500more were sent earlier this month.

Indeed, building for the long haul, the U.S. is vastly expanding the “Green Zone” in Kabul, to become an even larger fortified city-within-a city.  That’s a frank acknowledgement that nothing in Kabul, a metropolis of five million, is safe unless it’s behind a fortified wall.  So much for nation-building.

Yes, at a time when there doesn’t seem to be money for infrastructure for Americans, we have plenty of money to spend on infrastructure for Afghans.

So we can see, a kind of reverse miracle has happened: Trump won, and yet the anti-interventionist has become the pro-interventionist.  Again, Why?

The Establishment Wins

Have you ever noticed that it’s the globalists who mostly get us into wars, and yet it’s the nationalists who end up doing the fighting?  That’s right: The elite globalists decide the policy, and then the regular-folks nationalists carry it out—and die trying.

That skew—between the armchair generals, in their stateside comfort, making abstract decisions, and the grunts on faraway ground dodging real bullets—is what we’re seeing in Afghanistan today.  By itself, that’s bad.

And yet the bad gets worse, and even more unfair.  How so?  Because the political power-skew is also a wealth-skew.  That is, the globalist citadels on the east and west coasts—engorged by trade deals, tax breaks, and bailouts—have been gaining in wealth, while the nationalist Heartland–squeezed by outsourcing, downsizing, and Green regulating—is often declining.  It’s that money-differential that further empowers the powerful.

Indeed, the globalist elite has become so powerful that it has become increasingly immune to political input from the non-elite.  By “political input” we mean elections—they seem to matter less and less.

(Another pair of political scientists, Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page, studied this matter of input from below—that is from the people.  Their conclusion: Ordinary folks had essentially zero impact on national policy decisions.  Yes, of course, we still have elections—it’s just that they don’t mean much anymore.  So sure, politicians can come and go, but the Establishment always stays and wins.  It doesn’t have to be this way, of course, but that’s the way it is—at least for now.)

Here, too, we might pause over a reality that Americans are starting to get wise to: the Deep State of Washington, D.C.  Virgil started writing about the Deep State last year, observing that the Deep State is where the real clout in D.C. resides.

So yeah, there can be elections with politicians getting the brass ring—or the boot— but the “swamp-dwellers” of the “permanent government” have a veto.  That is, they get to decide if they wish to go along with whatever the pesky people just voted for.  We might call this the “Deep State Veto.”

Thus we can see: The war in Afghanistan is a part of a larger class war in the U.S.—a class war that the middle class has been losing, for the simple reason that the Establishment and Deep State have vetoed the 2016 election results.

And to further illustrate this reality, let’s take a closer look at how the swamp persuaded Trump to support the endless war in Afghanistan.

The Swamp-Dwellers’ Comeback

The 2016 election was supposed to have change things, even if, as we have seen, as far as Afghanistan is concerned, it hasn’t worked out that way.

Still, without a doubt, the election results caught the Deep State by surprise, and so, post-election, the swamp-dwellers had to scramble to regain their footing. Or, to put that rebounding another way, the swamp-things had to work hard to pull Trump down into their muck.

A few observers could see this happening: Just three days after the 2016 election, the left-leaning British newspaper The Independent offered this perceptive, as well as prescient, headline: “Hillary Clinton sounded more interventionist than Donald Trump—but the Middle East crises Trump inherits could suck him in.”  Yes, the swamp has its own special powers of suction.

Of all the Beltway swamp-creatures, the most adroit proved to be the Heritage Foundation, which combines a pro-corporate domestic policy (Heritage is good, however, on immigration) with a neoconservative/globalist foreign policy.

Heritage had not been pro-Trump during the campaign, and yet nevertheless, amazingly, after he won the election, the President-elect discovered that he had a whole building full of new best friends—the dwellers at 214 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E.

And so, through a mysterious process of Washington osmosis, Heritage staffers sluiced their way into Trump’s transition team.  Indeed, by December, CNN had headlined a story on Heritage: “Meet Donald Trump’s think tank.”

As they say in D.C., personnel is policy.  In other words, if Heritage staffed up Team Trump, well, then the new administration would inevitably reflect Heritage thinking.

Meanwhile, those apparatchiks who remained at Heritage played the Beltway game: They eagerly talked up their favorites within the White House, while being careful, always, to flatter Trump, too.  Here’s a sample cheerleading headline: “5 Reasons H.R. McMaster Is the Right Leader for a Tough President.”

Yet for all his reputed toughness, Trump proved to be pliable, after all, on the subject of Afghanistan.  And so it was that in August, his campaign pledges notwithstanding, he announced that he would be sending more troops—just as McMaster, Heritage, and much of the Establishment had always wanted.

As an aside, we can add that that this Afghanistan policy reversal obviously bothered Trump; he seemed distinctly glum in his TV presentation, admitting, “My original instinct was to pull out.”  Still, reluctance to send troops doesn’t mean much if the troops get sent—the bottom line is the same.

Rand Paul’s Valiant Fight to Help Trump Be Trump

The reaction to Trump’s flip-flopping speech was instructive, as well as saddening.  At the time, many of the President’s key allies, such as Sen. Rand Paul, were dismayed; as the Kentuckian said, “The mission in Afghanistan has lost its purpose, and I think it is a terrible idea to send any more troops into that war.”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Capitol Hill

Indeed, more recently, Paul has been trying to undo the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), voted on just three days after 9/11, which has provided an increasingly thin legal justification for various military interventions.

In a September 15 interview with Breitbart News, Paul expressed his frustration about the persistence of pro-war hawkery.  Interestingly, Paul took the view that Trump himself knew better but, nonetheless, had let himself get talked into a continuation of the combat:
I think the president’s instincts, his instinct as he said the other day was to end the Afghan war and not to get more involved.  His instinct all along has been that the Iraq war was a mistake, and he’s said the same thing recently about the Afghan war. I think he still believes that, but I think the problem is he’s surrounded by people who talk in his ear that are from the military who all think it is a military solution.  I just think that a war for the country of Afghanistan is not winnable because Afghanistan is not really a country; it’s a bunch of different tribes and they don’t really want to be a country.  
Paul went on to express the hope that one day the President would reassert his authority within his own administration.  And yet in the meantime, the Kentuckian continued, others have to do their part, too, by speaking up:
I think his supporters need to be loud and remind him of what he said [about Afghanistan] and see if we can get him to harken back to it.
And yet, Paul concluded, if the President won’t seek to stem the bloodletting, then lawmakers should start exerting its own constitutional authority:
In Congress we have our own responsibility to try to assert ourselves and say “Hey, we need to be involved in this war-making power.”
Paul has been valiant in his effort to keep the pressure on the Afghanistan status quo.  He has tried, for instance, to revise that 2001 AUMF, the one that gave the neocons a blank check.  And yet on September 13, the Senate voted to block Paul, 61:39—here’s the roll call.

Needless to say, interventionists have expressed delight at Trump’s turn.  The Heritage Foundation was happy, of course, and many others in the elite D.C. think-tank ecosystem—including those who had been overtly hostile to the President—suddenly found something to like about him.

Indeed, Trump seems to be have gained a “strange new respect” in places that have always despised him.  One such was a liberal globalist think-tank, the Brookings Institution, which bannered, “Donald Trump makes right moves in Afghanistan.”  (Needless to say, that’s the extent of Brookings’ affection for Trump.)

In addition, in the Bezos-ified sector of the swamp establishment, the ultra-globalists at The Washington Post—who have openly and endlessly hated Trump—produced, just this once on August 22, a non-hateful headline: “Trump’s welcome self-correction.”  (Once again, that was the briefest of lulls, to be sure; the Post has long since gone back to hating Trump.)

In fact, even that most ardent of Never Trump Republicans, Sen. Lindsey Graham, ventured some rare public praise for the President.

So we can see: If Paul is unhappy, and the likes of Brookings, the Post, and Graham are happy, then something is wrong.  Trump hasn’t drained the swamp—the swamp is draining him.  And draining, as well, the Heartland.

We can note that the D.C. Establishment doesn’t think that we can win in Afghanistan, any more than does the average American.

The difference, though, is that the Beltway globalists who got us into that quagmire don’t want to admit to having made a mistake.  So it’s easier, for these armchair generals and chalkboard nation-builders, to just kick the Afghan can forward for a few more presidencies.

Such blame-evasion is a strong motivator for swamp-dwellers, although, of course, it’s a weak rational out in cannon-fodder country.  And so that’s why the swamp-things are so happy that on matters such as Afghanistan, elections don’t seem to matter anymore.

Sweeping Out the Swamp: Lessons for Trump Nation

So yes, once again, the swampy globalists have scored a policy victory.  Once again, the well-financed elitists will get to sit in their suites and cubicles, talking through their grand theories, typing up their talking points, chalking out their optimistic game plans.

Meanwhile, half a world away in Afghanistan, other Americans, lacking those fine Beltway credentials, will go slogging through the fields, seeking to dodge bullets and IEDs, while attempting to win the un-winnable—that is, the peacefulness of 35 million Afghans, plus any number of Pakistanis and others who happen to come infiltrating.

So we can ask: Must it always be this way?  Will the globalists always get the best of the nationalists?  Will the Deep State always win?  Will the swamp always remain the same?  Is the clout of the permanent government insiders so great that it can’t be overcome?

Yet, actually, change is possible.  It just takes time—more time, in fact, than a single presidential election.  A look back at history tells us so.

Trump, the 45th president, has often been compared to Andrew Jackson, our seventh president.  Jackson, a fiery populist, was loathed by the D.C. swampists of his time, who saw themselves as coldly anti-populist.  Thus the political battle, populism vs. elitism, was joined—and it was quite a fight.


The statue of President Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Park across from the White House. (KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

Yet even in the face of the most intense opposition, Old Hickory never stopped pushing his agenda; his big idea was the expansion of the franchise, so that more Americans could vote—and, hopefully, vote for him.  By dint of enormous effort, Jackson and his bottom-up allies succeeded in overturning the top-down old order.

In fact, having been elected in 1828, Jackson was re-elected in 1832.  And so that tells us something right there: A change-agent president needs not only to win, but to win again.

Moreover, even after Jackson left office, the Jacksonian Democrats kept winning; in total, they won six of eight presidential elections from 1828 to 1856.  And after that, the old order was gone; the swamp of that era was finally drained.  It had taken a brand new party with its own populist vision—the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln—finally to defeat the Jacksonians.

We needn’t rehash any more history to see the key lesson: If a president and his party wish to make real change, they must put together a genuine juggernaut—an enduring political machine.  That is, one victory must be followed by another, and another.  Only then will the swamp dry up, and the Deep State Veto be overridden.

So perhaps in our time, too, some regional economic justice can be restored, allowing the cronyistic power wrested from the coasts, and the Heartland once against getting its fair share of economic wealth and political power.

Trump may, or may not, prove to be the equal of Jackson—the early results are certainly discouraging to the neo-Jacksonian Trump Nation.  And yet even if Trump proves to be Old Hickory 2.0, the lesson of history is plain: It will take more than one presidential victory to do the draining.

So Trump Nation has a lot of work to do.

From Breitbart (September 19, 2017)

A Glimpse Into The Godless Heart Of Darkness

Tyrin Turner And Lorenz Tate In "Menace II Society"

Menace II Society & the Culmination of African Liberation

Reviewed By Morris V. de Camp


Menace II Society, Directed by Allen & Albert Hughes, Starring Tyrin Turner, Jada Pinkett, Bill Duke, Larenz Tate, & Charles S. Dutton (1993)
Although the Oscar Winner for Best Picture that year was an escapist, integrationalist Western called Unforgiven, Menace II Society was quite possibly the most culturally impactful movie of 1993.[1] Its realism was taken so seriously by those who made it that Tupac Shakur famously left the film due to a difference of interpretation with the directors.Ultimately, its metapolitical impact allowed for sweeping legal changes that stopped a crime wave that had been ongoing for three decades.

This film follows the last summer of a young black man named Caine (Tyrin Turner). We are introduced to Caine in the opening scene, where he becomes an accomplice after the fact in the horrific murder of two Korean shopkeepers by his friend O-Dog (Larenz Tate). The story then follows Caine through a series of assaults, murders, petty crime, and an arrest (where he is nearly identified as a culprit in the murders), and finally Caine perishes – somewhat heroically – in a drive-by shooting. Ultimately, Caine’s decisions bring about his own death.

Due to its gripping story and intense cinematography, Menace II Society is easily the greatest work of the “hood movie” genre. Hood movies portray the lives of young black men in the “ghetto” or “in the hood.” They are usually tragic in that a character is killed randomly, or as a result of black-on-black violence. In some cases, such as 1991’s Boyz n the Hood, a character rises above the ghetto and goes off to university. Hood movies also have a message that is a mix of Black Nationalism and encouragement to “turn your life around.”

Menace II Society, and its entire genre, must be understood in the context of the society in which they were created. The golden age of hood movies was the early 1990s. This was a time that followed several decades of a spike in appalling, black-driven crime due to the impact of crack cocaine. At the time of the Menace II Society’s’ release, it seemed that such crime had always existed and always would exist.

The film is a very realistic depiction of the core of African-American culture. While this film takes place in Watts, Los Angeles, every black ghetto in America is remarkably similar. Indeed, directors Allen and Albert Hughes grew up in the black mecca of Detroit, so there is a sense that it is based on their own experiences. The real-life shootings and fights shown on World Star Hip Hop are remarkably like the fictional ones in Menace II Society. Every black newscaster, government official, or professor is connected to this culture, no matter how much money they have or how well-spoken they are.

Menace II Society has no fig leaf of a character leaving the ghetto to go off to study at Morehouse or Tuskegee University. Nobody turns their life around. The movie is fatalistic, and death isn’t cheated – or even delayed. The characters aren’t heroes or anti-heroes, they are simply evil. For example, while Caine is subjected to a barrage of Bible verses by his grandparents, we see that he and his friends don’t care about religious instruction, nor do they even attempt to attain redemption. O-Dog even shows the surveillance tape of the murders he committed to entertain his friends. Why bother to conceal murder? “No snitching” is a deeply-held value in the black community. Indeed, none of O-Dog’s friends have any sympathy for the victims – they hoot and howl with delight while they watch.

An important part of all hood movies is their “message.” This is usually an encouragement to study and work hard, mixed with Black Nationalism. Of all nationalist ideologies, there is nothing so absurd and unreflective as the “message” coming out of Black Nationalism. For example, in Menace, the narrator Caine says in a passive tone of voice, “When the riots stopped, the drugs started.” Actually, blacks rioted on their own and then chose to do drugs. With the exception of one white character who is attempting to commit insurance fraud, Menace II Society consists solely of blacks behaving badly with no involvement by whites, and yet the “message” is:
Being a black man in America isn’t easy. The hunt is on, and you’re the prey. All I’m saying is . . . All I’m saying is . . . Survive! All right?
Actually, being a black man in America is a condition that is neither easy or hard in itself. It becomes difficult if you behave in a criminal, murderous way and associate with murderous criminals. The “message” in Menace II Society is nothing profound or worthwhile. When writing about the religious interpretations of the hip hop revolution that was occurring at the same time that Menace II Society was released,[2] Andrew Fraser sums up the situation more accurately:
. . . The disaster that is contemporary Black America is one largely of its own making . . . What we see . . . may not be the suffering Black avatar of Jesus Christ but rather a glimpse into the godless heart of darkness.
Menace II Society is bleak, horribly bleak, but it is the perfect example of a successful metapolitical work, although it is likely that nobody involved in its creation intended that things should turn out as they did. Menace II Society’s impact was to convince liberals and members of the Democratic Party to be tough on crime, especially black crime.

In 1993, President Clinton’s aides claimed that he could see nearly every side of a complex problem and then make a solid decision based on that. Successful politicians can also pick up on the vibe emanating from cultural works, which influences their policy decisions.[3] Menace is so bleak, and its message is so clearly off-base, that one can see that the green light was switched on for a crackdown on black crime after its release – even though officially, it was racially neutral.

With this in mind, President Clinton enacted the "Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994".[4] This bill funded police departments, established more prisons, and got guns like the TEK 9 off the streets. Clinton also adopted strict anti-drug enforcement. Drug laws work very well in that the evidence (the drugs themselves, paraphernalia such as crack pipes, residue, etc.) stands on its own in court. “No snitching” doesn’t apply in those cases. After Clinton, Africanized inner-city no-go zones were turned around as more and more blacks went to prison.

It is ironic that a black-made movie, coming at the start of the original “first black President’s” term, exerted influence that helped inspire a clampdown on black crime. 1993’s Oscar Winner, Unforgiven, was a good Western, but Menace II Society changed things in the real world – although there is still much left to do.

Notes

[1] One must wonder what those intelligent and dedicated groups of whites who have fought for civil rights, integration, and other projects aimed at uplifting blacks must think when they see the results of their efforts in works such as this one.

[2] The movie also coincided with the gangsta rap semi-revolution in music. In 1993, South Central Los Angeles was the epicenter of gangsta rap. Musicians such as Suge Knight, Easy-E, Snoop Dogg, Ice-T, and others released songs that glorified robbing liquor stores, shooting people, and other crimes. This genre was only a semi-revolution because all black music is fundamentally a nineteenth-century, old-time minstrel show. Even rappers discussing murder are not far from the “coon songs” of 1900. Indeed, “coon songs” themselves glorified black criminality. The differences between gangsta rap and minstrel shows is only one of degree.

[3] With that in mind, we see that Clinton, for all his faults, was quite possibly the most subtly redpilled President since Harry S. Truman. Indeed, the Clinton administration’s first crisis was the threat of an immigration wave from Haiti. Clinton sent the military, immigration officers, and the Coast Guard to turn back the tide. It is also widely believed that Clinton had read Peter Brimelow’s book, Alien Nation.

[4] The 1990s were also an exceptional period of economic growth and prosperity. This growth was just beginning at the time of Menace II Society’s release. Commenting on this is beyond the scope of this article, but I would like to suggest that broad economic growth and prosperity (among other factors, such as a high-IQ society with the rule of law) requires a way for a large portion of the people to tap into a cheap, but valuable, resource. In other words, prosperity requires something of high value which can be acquired by many at a low price. With a little bit of work, this resource can be made very profitable. For example, at the close of the Civil War, Congress enacted the Homestead Act, which allowed many people to obtain free land in the West. The post-Second World War GI Bill allowed many returning veterans to get a cheap education at a time when there was an increase in jobs for university-educated people. Nowadays, university educations are expensive, and may cripple a graduate with debt, and there are such fewer jobs that this trend has already reached its end. During the 1990s, gentrification – the process of removing blacks from the inner cities – was just beginning. The Clinton administration’s Section 8 vouchers, tough crime laws, and other methods used to remove blacks from high-value real estate in America’s cities turned out to be a bonanza for many. A real estate boom can create a great deal of money for many people. It is very likely that this fueled much of the growth of the 1990s.

From Counter Culture Publishing (September 19, 2017)