……..Not If, But When and How to Replace Biden

Gearing Up for ‘Biden’ Versus Trump:
Not If, But When and How to Replace Biden

By: Victor Davis Hanson
American Greatness
March 4, 2024

President Joe Biden is declining at a geometric, not an arithmetic, rate. His cognitive challenges are multifaceted.

His gait is shaky. His daily use of stairs now risks the chance of a tenure-ending fall. Even when he sticks to the teleprompter, he so slurs his speech, mispronounces words, and glides his syntax that at times he becomes as incomprehensible at the podium as he is unsteady in his step.

He now speaks a strange language foreign and untranslatable to most Americans. White House transcribers leave hiatuses in their written texts of his remarks to reflect that they either have no idea what he said, do not wish to publicize their guesses at what he said, or do not wish the public to know what he was trying to say.

Despite the circling-the-wagons media and the passive-aggressive sycophants like the opportunistic Gov. Gavin Newsom in waiting, the left understands that Biden will be lucky to get to the August convention. This spring and early summer, he will not campaign as a normal presidential candidate, and this time around, there is no pretense of the COVID epidemic to excuse his absence.

The people have already polled numerous times that their president is unfit to serve now and, in the future, should not run. So the 2020 Faustian bargain is in shambles. Remember its quid pro quos: all the major Democratic presidential candidates of 2020 nearly simultaneously pulled out the primaries to coronate Biden—but only on the condition that Biden would play to the hilt his “ol’ Joe Biden from Scranton” schtick that would offer a veneer to the otherwise unpopular hard left agenda of the new Bernie Sanders/Elizabeth Warren/the Obamas/Squad Democratic Party.

The people voted for a “return to normalcy,” all while the left destroyed the southern border, unleashed a critical legal theory/George-Soros crime wave, dismantled hard-won deterrence abroad, and printed money to spur hyperinflation.

Moreover, it is increasingly clear that the entire Biden family consortium is compromised and corrupt. Neither Hunter, Jim nor Frank Biden had any consulting skills, business expertise, or corporate experience to warrant leveraging over $25 million from foreign interests. Their only commodity was to sell corrupt parties the appearance that Joe Biden would be quite willing to help their various causes if they enriched his family. Everyone knows that to be true, and only now, as Biden sinks into incoherence, are his protectors shrugging about the obvious money-making schemes that revolved around a corrupt senator, vice president, and private citizen, Joe Biden.

None of Biden’s record is popular. His policies on the border, economy, energy, foreign policy, and crime poll below 50 percent. And this trifecta of Biden’s mental deterioration, family corruption, and failed presidential record will only grow worse.

Then there is the Kamala Harris issue—the Spiro Agnew insurance policy of our age that so far has protected Biden from overt efforts to replace him. She is as unpopular as Biden and often as incomprehensible, but without the excuse of age or mental diminishment. Of all the major Beltway elected officials, only Sen. Mitch McConnell polls worse.

By August, Democratic donors and politicos may well conclude that the only way to rid the party of both is to release Biden’s delegates, open up the convention, and let candidates fight over the now-free delegates. Harris then will not be nominated, but not through a backroom, Machiavellian removal of a black woman. Instead, she will “fairly” lose an “open” and “transparent” free-for-all of various Democratic want-to-be replacements and recede into a sober and judicious Mike Pence-like retirement.

The problem with this scenario, of course, is that late-season convention or post-convention machinations in the modern era don’t work out too well. In 1976, Ronald Reagan, after losing a series of early primaries and being declared nearly inert, suddenly caught fire and entered the August 1976 Republican convention in Kansas City within striking distance of incumbent Gerald Ford. President Ford, remember, had never been elected either president or vice president.

In the end, in one of the most acrimonious Republican conventions in memory, a wounded Ford won the nomination by only 117 delegate votes out of some 2,257 cast. In some sense, Ford never recovered and lost the election to Jimmy Carter, even as the tumult gave Reagan the exposure and his team the experience needed to win the nomination in 1980.

About two weeks after the 1972 Democratic convention, a desperate George McGovern and the Democratic hierarchy removed Vice President running mate Sen. Thomas Eagleton from the ticket due to revelations of little-known past electric shock treatments given to combat depression. After futile efforts, the Democrats settled on the Kennedy clan’s Sargent Shriver, who had never run for office. McGovern would have lost anyway to an incumbent Nixon. But the margin of defeat in one of the greatest landslides in presidential history was often attributable to the sheer chaos of changing a vice presidential candidate so late in the campaign.

In sum, the Democrats can—and may have to—replace Joe Biden, and they can ensure that Kamala Harris is not the nominee, but the means of doing so will be chaotic and messy and will wound the winner for the rest of the campaign.

Trump’s Circuitous Path to Victory
Donald Trump’s challenges have now been discussed ad nauseam, and they are threefold: he must either beat or postpone campaign-season court trials—and find perhaps $800 million to $1 billion to post bonds, pay interests on them, and meet gargantuan legal fees—without turning off donors and supporters and by avoiding the diversion of Republican National Committee and various campaign funds to his own personal defense.

As in the past, Trump will be vastly outspent, perhaps by 3-1 or 4-1. Molly Ball’s infamous Time 2022 essay outlined the left-wing scheming that ensured a mail-in/early balloting election by aggregating the deep state, the corporate boardroom, the social media monopolies, and the 2020 riotous street thugs of Antifa and BLM. What she called a “cabal” and “conspiracy” was designed not so much as a one-off to defeat Trump as to create a permanent system by which a Trump-like candidate could never win a presidential election, both in 2020 and afterward.

Given changes in the 2020 state voting laws that saw 60-70 percent of the ballots in many swing states not cast on Election Day, while the rejection rate of faulty ballots counter-intuitively plunged despite such an influx, Trump will have to win by 3–4 points. Otherwise, in the swing states, we will again stare at the late-evening televised wizardry in which his huge leads mysteriously melt on the screen as drop boxes and mail sacks are tallied.

To achieve a 51-plus majority in the popular vote—no Republican has achieved such a national ballot margin in 36 years since George H.W. Bush beat Mike Dukakis in 1988—Trump will have to win, or win back, more Independents, apostate Democrats, and RINO Never-Trumpers.

He can do that in only two ways:
One, he must hammer away at Joe Biden’s disastrous record on the border, energy, race, foreign affairs, the economy, and social issues that scare moderates and fence-sitters, especially when comparisons are made to the achievements of 2017-2020. Inner-city residents are being tag-teamed by both the influx of thousands of illegal aliens who apparently have first claims on stretched social services and street criminals who loot, assault, and carjack their law-abiding neighbors mostly with impunity.

Two, Trump needs to model his remarks after his Iowa Primary victory speech or his recent Fox Townhall event with Fox’s Laura Ingram. Translated, that means there is no reason to reference Nikki Hayley’s deployed husband, to refer to her as a “birdbrain,” or to say much of anything other than she will lose, and in the process, she is needlessly hurting more than half of America by draining resources away from the only real chance to repeal the current socialist agenda.

Hayley is imploding without any need for a Trump push. Magnanimity, rather than salt in her self-inflicted wounds, is the better strategy to unite the party. Trump has cemented his base. He will increase his share of minority voters who have been hurt the worst by the Biden socialist agenda. But to ensure victory and a Republican Congress, he cannot give swing voters a reason not to vote for policies and initiatives that they overwhelmingly prefer over those of the now hard-left Democratic Party.

In sum, after Super Tuesday, when Hayley will either quit the race or become inert, Trump needs to call her, politely remind her of her promise to support the nominee, and welcome her back into the fold. If she is wise, she will likely agree to disagree, let bygones be bygones, and thus pledge to support the assured nominee, Trump.

Two of her three choices are in her own interest:
1) She endorses him, and Trump wins, and she is vibrant in 2028;
2) she endorses him, and Trump loses, and she is still viable;
3) she opposes him, and Trump either wins—and she is persona non grata—or he loses, and she is blamed for splitting the party and his defeat.
Breaking her public promise to support the nominee will bleed what support she retains, and would prove a suicidal blunder.

Trump has achieved the greatest political comeback since Richard Nixon arose from the ashes of defeat in California in 1962 to win the nomination and presidency in 1968. Trump’s Phoenix-like rebirth from January 2021 to the present was achieved by Biden’s failure, the natural empathy accruing from the weaponization of the law by partisan or corrupt prosecutors against him, and Trump’s greater success in giving independents fewer reasons to vote against him. If he can praise those he defeats, call for unity, and campaign in 50 states in non-Republican strongholds, then he can win—even despite the hatred of the left, the corruption of the media, the weaponization of the bureaucracy, and the eroding trust in the way we vote.

The Strangest Case of E. Jean Carroll and Donald Trump

The Crazy Story
Behind the Disturbing News
By: Victor Davis Hanson

Part Five – February 2, 2024
The Strangest Case of E. Jean Carroll and Donald Trump

80-year-old E. Jean Carroll, a former relationship- and sex-advice columnist, just won a huge $83.3 million settlement from Donald Trump in connection with a previous finding that she was “defamed” by Donald Trump.

New York is not a hospitable place for any conservative politician or celebrity, much less one ex-president Donald Trump—as we have seen from prosecutors Alvin Bragg and Letitia James, who both promised voters that they would get Trump if just elected.

But here are some strange facts about the case—with the proviso we have no idea of what exactly happened when both Carroll and Trump consensually and strangely entered into ribald banter in a department store’s lingerie section, then mutually and apparently willfully entered a dressing room, at which point their stories radically diverge (as opposed to somewhat diverged, since Trump at various times said he didn’t recall meeting her at all).

Trump appeared raucously in person in court to turn the civil suit into a referendum on the supposedly coordinated leftwing efforts to damage his presidential candidacy. But he was fighting with a Bill Clinton-appointed judge, Lewis A. Kaplan, and with a New York liberal jury pool, in a suit concerning his denials of a sexual assault of Carroll some 30 years ago. She won an earlier ruling that his mea culpa was excessive and entered the realm of character assassination and therefore was suing for defamation damages.

Judge Kaplan certainly grew tired of Trump’s editorialization and like most New York jurists probably did not enjoy Trump in his courtroom in the first place. And although a jury earlier did not find Trump guilty of “rape,” Kaplan de facto has stated that it was OK to claim publicly that Trump was nevertheless guilty of rape. Or as the judge put it, “The finding that Ms. Carroll failed to prove that she was ‘raped’ within the meaning of the New York Penal Law does not mean that she failed to prove that Mr. Trump ‘raped’ her as many people commonly understand the word ‘rape.’”

But if that’s true, Judge Kaplan, why didn’t the jury, on the judge’s prior own instructions, simply convict Trump of rape, which it certainly had the power to do? How can someone not guilty of the definition of rape be guilty of rape?

Carroll could never decide what year the “assault” took place, only sometime in the 1994,1995, or 1996 three-year time frame. That and dozens of other inconsistencies in her narrative prompted the Christine Blasey Ford sort of question of how would one remember such minute details of an alleged violent encounter but not even the year in which it took place. For well over 20 years, she did not write about the alleged attack, much less accuse Trump of sexual assault—at least until he became a controversial rightwing presidential candidate in 2015–16.

There were no witnesses to the alleged assault. Still, Carroll drew her complaint from earlier material she had published in a 2019 book, What Do We Need Men For? and has variously characterized the alleged assault not as rape but a “fight.” If one claims one is damaged in the public square from the attention fueled by outrageous denials by Donald Trump to charges that nearly 30 years ago he assaulted a woman, why would one, for the first time in three decades and during the Trump presidency, write a widely covered and publicized article accusing the then president of the United States of an alleged rape? Would not that be designed to gain publicity, and much of it given the chronological lapses, bad publicity?

Carroll claimed she was defamed and ruined by Trump’s vehement denials of her charges of rape. But her employer at ELLE magazine denied her spat with Trump had anything to do with the decision to fire her at 76 (how many fashion/boyfriend/sex/ dating columnists are still writing in their late seventies?).

Part Six – February 6, 2024
The Strangest Case of E. Jean Carroll and Donald Trump (continued)

As for Carroll’s suits, there were originally no criminal or civil charges filed because the statute of limitations had long since expired. But that changed in 2022 when a new law (“The Adult Survivors Act”) was passed in the New York legislature.

The law created a one-year window (beginning six months from the signing of the bill) that allowed survivors of long-ago alleged sexual assaults to sue the accused perpetrator, regardless of the statute of limitations. That opening suddenly gave Carroll’s prior unsuccessful efforts an entirely new life and she quickly refiled.

But the origin of the legislation is a bit strange: the legislator who introduced the bill, Brad Hoylman-Sigal, was a known Trump antagonist. More interesting, he had earlier introduced and passed another Trump-targeted bill. His so-called TRUST Act had empowered particular federal Congressional committees to have access to the New York State closed tax returns of high-ranking government officials. That bill’s subtext was that suddenly members of Congress could review Donald Trump’s tax returns.

In sum, while these new laws were perhaps not quite bills of attainder or ex-post-facto laws explicitly forbidden by the Constitution’s Article 1, sections 9 and 10, Hoylman-Sigal successfully got them passed with a view of targeting Trump for long past behavior, in a manner that would have been difficult if not impossible without such new legislation.

Translated, if you think something Donald Trump did in the past was wrong or illegal but there is no legal remedy to address it, then we now in America simply pass a new law that allows one to prosecute someone that before the law was not actionable.

Do you see where we are going? When we wish to go after our political enemies and there is no current law to prosecute them, we pass a new one and claim it applies to something they did in the distant past.

Only Carroll and Trump know exactly if both of them really did go from the lingerie section to a dressing room, or why, if they did sequester themselves, what exactly transpired, other than a He said–She said something or other. But there are doubts given past contradictory statements of Carroll, assertions that she remembers the dress type she wore (though it was not in existence at the time of the alleged crime), and her raucous and flamboyant journalistic career (hunting down ex-boyfriends and then moving in with them and their wives for a spell, listing all of Trump’s prior sexual encounters, etc.).

In 2015, Carroll marketed a strange app game she invented about wrecking people’s love lives: “Your object is to break them up…to stir up shit.” Or as Axios described it more fully:
The game, Damn Love, is available for iPhones and Androids, and it’s as simple as a game can get: You’re shown two people who are madly in love. Your object is to break them up. Shown a pair of options, you choose the ones more likely to stir up shit, given each person’s personality and proclivities, and the quicker you can make them split, the more you increase your evilness and rise through the ranks.

In sum, when one has 25 years to find legal redress and does not—until the chance encounter person of the past becomes the most famous person in the world––then one should ask, “Why him now?”

And when arch-Trump hater and leftwing billionaire Reid Hoffman heard about Carroll and decided to fund her multimillion-dollar suit against Trump, then we can only confirm that the Carroll mess is a tessera in the larger Bragg/James/Smith/Willis lawfare effort to bankrupt, destroy, and imprison an ex-president to ensure the people cannot be trusted once again to elect him to the presidency.

“We have to blow up your America before we can reboot it for us.”

Is Biden Malicious,
Incompetent, or Conniving?

Victor Davis Hanson
American Greatness
February 5, 2024

What Excites Biden?
Things are becoming so strange, so surreal, so nihilistic in contemporary America that the chaos can only be deliberate. Chance, incompetence, and accident could not alone explain the series of disasters we now witness daily that are nearly destroying the country.

When the ailing and non-compos-mentis president now speaks, he rarely becomes excited about Iranian or terrorist provocations. Biden seems restrained even at Russia’s outlawry in Ukraine. The atrocities of Hamas now earn only measured objections from Biden. He does not seem too angered by the collapse of the border. Nor do the deaths of 100,000 Americans to imported fentanyl earn a loud trademark Biden scream.

No, what earns his unchecked ire, often expressed in shouts and hysterical tones, are Donald Trump and his supporters. Most recently, out of nowhere, Biden resurrected the old and proven falsehood that Trump had libeled the Normandy dead as losers and suckers. He then compounded that libel by claiming Trump’s supposed dismissal of the heroic dead was a grievous family insult to his late son, who did not die either in combat or while in uniform but in 2015, tragically, from brain cancer.

During these anti-Trump fits, Biden wakes up and his face tightens up. He begins screaming, in uncharacteristic, animated fashion, anytime he can smear half the nation’s voters as “semi-fascists” and “ultra-MAGA”extremists. In private, he swears that Trump is a “f—ing asshole” and “sick f—k.” If only Biden substituted “cartel” or “Iran” or “Hamas” for“Trump” or “MAGA.” we might see an animate president.

A Borderless Nation
Meanwhile, a mob of illegal aliens recently tried to kick and stomp sprawled New York peace officers into senselessness—felonies that would earn any such violent citizen a decade or more on Rikers Island.

Yet somehow, only a few were arrested. Stranger still, all of them were immediately let go without bail—as if freeing wolves to prey further upon sheep.

Upon release, a few smirked and flipped their middle fingers to bystanders. Apparently, they wished to show Americans that they are violent, crude, unrepentant, and exempt. And thus they tell us that their newfound hosts are fools for letting the likes of themselves in.

And why not, given the attackers bussed with impunity to California—the land of free everything if only one qualifies as illegally residing in the U.S.

These grotesque bullies are part of the eight million illegal aliens who pranced across the southern border without background checks—all taking Biden up on his 2019 encouragement to “surge” the border with impunity.

Many brandish their cartel affiliations. Some pay for their transit by smuggling cartel fentanyl, which contributes to 100,000 American overdose deaths per year. Others sport lengthy criminal records. All seemed to have been welcomed out of their countries by conniving Latin American governments and mysteriously invited into our country by our derelict president.

The Death of the Law
There is a continuing pattern here. Sometime around late 2020, Americans woke up in a country they no longer recognized. That summer, tens of thousands of rioters had looted, burned, killed, maimed, and assaulted for four months with veritable impunity. Leftwing mayors and governors dubbed the violence as “largely peaceful” demonstrations or a “summer of love.”

The 2020 legacy of defunding the police and exempting criminals based on their race or ideology is that each week now videos circulate of massive looting, smash-and-grab epidemics, and deadly car-jackings in our major cities. No one cares much about the small business owners who are ruined.

Who laments for the poor who lose their last shopping outlet? Does the Biden administration worry over the terrified employees who are ordered to stand back or the occasional security officer totem instructed to stand down?

Instead, we are to empathize with the thief, the assaulter, the rapist, and the carjacker—at least in the sense that he does not deserve punishment for the mayhem he caused, given we, not he, are supposedly the true guilty parties. A lot of innocent and defenseless people have been assaulted and killed since 2020 as the wage of that toxic theory.

So the subtext of all these violent acts is exemption based on perceived correct race, ideology, or membership in the supposed victim/oppressed binary. The perpetrators are either not arrested, let out the same day as arrested, never charged, or never convicted. The result is a growing distrust of the law and a cynicism that there is little law anymore, just statutes used against political undesirables.

If, for just one month, the Biden justice department used the same resources and budget it has spent the last three years rounding up bystanders at the January 6 riot and instead prosecuted, convicted, and jailed these big-city violent assailants, then the crime epidemic could be solved.

The Implosion of the University
As a general rule, in 2024, the more “prestigious” our universities, and the more they prided themselves as elite or Ivy League, the more likely there were racially segregated dorms and graduations, a virtual anti-Semitic hounding of Jewish students, grade inflation, watered-down courses, and pro-Hamas terrorist demonstrations.

For nearly a hundred years, universities told us that the SAT or ACT admittance exam was critical in determining their admissions. It was sold as a way to confirm the potential and preparation necessary to perform at a level demanded by these elite schools. The tests were praised as a meritocratic tool to determine talent by honing grade point averages and allowing opportunity to those without money and contacts. Then suddenly, in 2021, these tests were mostly junked.

That dismissal of standardized tests was a de facto admission that:
1) Universities had been admittedly wrong for a century that standardized admissions tests had any value in determining the degree of student preparation needed to complete a rigorous Ivy League class load.
2) in the interest of diversity, equity, and inclusion, the university would now be free to admit students who could not meet their prior unrealistic or unnecessary standards and instead would accommodate new students by suddenly inflating grades, introducing easier classes, or diminishing required course work.

Of course, the university admits to neither of these realities. It compounds the deception and fraud by claiming new generations of students are more competitive and gifted than ever and will leave with degrees that guarantee employers rigorously trained graduates. Time will soon tell.

The End of Deterrence
The same nihilism characterizes our foreign policy.

Our worst enemies could not have planned a more disastrous and humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan than the Biden administration’s August 2021 scamper. We simply, without an afterthought, abandoned billions of dollars of sophisticated weapons to Taliban terrorists.

We left behind a $1 billion new embassy and a remodeled Air Force base. We bragged about taking out terrorists with a “righteous strike” that wiped out an entire friendly Afghan family, while 13 American service personnel were blown up trying to secure a non-securable escape route.

Then followed the mysterious laxity as a Chinese spy balloon lazily traversed the U.S. with impunity. Next was the radical drop-off in military recruitment. If one wished to ensure that the one group that serves—and dies—in combat units at twice its demographics would exit the military en masse, prompting an enlistment crisis, the Pentagon could not have done a better job.

The top brass all but accused its white male recruits of being prone to toxic white supremacy, only to form a task force to root it out—and then discover such rage and hatred never existed in the first place.

It nonetheless drummed out 8,400 veterans for not receiving the mRNA vaccinations, many of whom had naturally acquired immunity and real doubts about the efficacy or safety of the inoculations. And, finally, the Pentagon made it known that prior standards of recruitment, promotion, and evaluation had apparently weakened the military. Therefore, new race- and gender-based criteria would ensure fewer and now unneeded white males in positions of rank and influence.

Abroad, China serially threatens to annex Taiwan. A hungry and perennially restless Vladimir Putin once upon a time thought he was restrained from invading his neighbors by fear of more costs incurred than the likelihood of benefits to be gained. But like an earlier reaction to a weakened U.S. in 2008 and 2014, Putin assumed that the 2022 Biden administration would likely do little if he annexed greater swaths of Ukraine. And so he invaded.

National security advisor Jack Sullivan, on the eve of the October 7 Hamas massacres of Jewish citizens, claimed the Middle East was at last calm. Now it is on the verge of a theater-wide war, once Iran sensed that the Biden team would appease and beg it to behave.

So the Biden administration was eager to end oil sanctions, plead with Iran to reenter the Iran Deal, remove the Houthis from terrorist designations, route billions of dollars to Tehran for hostages, junk the Abrams accords, and restore millions of dollars in please-be-nice bribe money to the Palestinians.

Biden’s abject misreading of human nature has ensured that a thuggish theocracy that slaughters abroad and tortures at home would interpret that reproachment as either naiveté or stupidity. And thus it would respond with contempt and escalating aggression. And so it has.

Somehow, in over just three years, the Biden administration did to the Middle East what it did to the southern border: blew it up in the same exact manner of mindlessly undoing any policies that had previously worked with Trump’s fingerprints on them.

What Is Going On?
What is the common denominator, what is the rationale behind the anarchy, and what is the reason why a president would so willingly rend the fabric of America?

Why would the government privilege the illegal alien over the law-abiding citizen? The violent pro-Hamas, anti-Semitic foreign-born protestor over the peaceful pro-Israel, U.S. citizen? The smash-and-grabber over the dutiful security guard?

We are nearing a French Revolution, reign-of-terror moment. The law seems to be what a cabal of hardcore leftists who control the Oval Office says it is.

Joe Biden’s administration offers no better confirmation of warnings from Thucydides to Thomas Hobbes that the veneer of civilization is precious, hard-won, quite thin, and beneath it churns innate human savagery and chaos roaring to be released.

So why did Biden unleash the hounds of anti-civilization? Did he despise the supposedly boring middle-class citizen who follows the law, pays all his taxes, and never gets arrested? Does he hate the idea of meritocracy? In Biden’s puppeteers’ dangerous calculus, is all this savagery and chaos a deliberate mechanism to ensure parity? Equity? Inclusion?

So is the deliberate nihilism—economic, social, cultural, social, and political—a way of leveling the field? Making life difficult for the more successful? Making those who cherish the traditions and protocols of America pay?

Is that the plan to take the country to near collapse, and then only at the abyss itself to force revolutionary change—or else?

How else can anyone explain the descent of our city downtowns into dank medieval cesspits, our notion of male and female transformed into the sexual circus right out of Petronius’s Satyricon, our race relations into a mixture of Rwanda and Yugoslavia, and our universities into Soviet-like “People’s Universities of Correct Thought?”

None of this was by accident. It is the dividend of a philosophy that says, “We have to blow up your America before we can reboot it for us.”

Is America Back in the Fight?

OPINION
The Sun
Saturday, February 3, 2024

Is America Back in the Fight?

President Biden’s insistence that America seeks no war with Iran’s leaders is a green light for the Islamic Republic maintaining its war on us and on our allies.

BENNY AVNI
Saturday, February 3, 2024
10:43:37 am

“Welcome back to the fight”: This was Victor Laszlo’s reaction to Rick Blaine’s hopping off the fence in the pre-World War II world of “Casablanca.” It’s too early to assess whether America’s Friday night bombing of multiple targets on the Syrian-Iraqi border deserves such a welcome. Forgive the Islamic Republic’s leaders if they conclude that President Biden’s insistence that America seeks no war with them is a green light for maintaining their war on us and on our allies.

Borrowing an Iraq War-era term, the Economist described Friday’s B-1 bomber attack on 85 targets “shock and awe.” Yet are the commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps awed? According to reports from Iran, one air attack a day earlier, in which a top IRGC commander, Saeed Alidadi, was killed, garnered more shock and anger at Tehran than the deaths of an estimated 40 unknown persons in the American multi-target strike.

While Israel did not acknowledge responsibility — it rarely does — its Thursday strike was likely more effective than the much-advertised and much-discussed American one. In fact, since the start of 2024, six countries conducted air attacks in Syria, including Iran, Russia, and Turkey. Significantly, the Jordanian air force joined America on Friday. Israel consistently, and quietly, targets IRGC bigwigs and arms deliveries to Lebanon from Iran.

If Syrian, and Iranians, saw the extensive American assault as just another Friday, was it significant? Since the start of his presidency, Mr. Biden attempted to sweet-talk the mullahs, so, sure, it is significant that he now realizes that perhaps diplomacy with Iran is no longer the only option on the table. A somber trip to Dover, Delaware, on Friday to receive the caskets of William Jerome Rivers, Kennedy Ladon Sanders, and Breonna Alexsondria Moffett will do such a thing.

That is especially true for a president who often signs off speeches with the line, “May God protect our troops.” Yet, as the White House’s most effective spokesman, John Kirby, put it Friday, the goal is to get attacks on our troops to stop, but “we’re not looking for a war with Iran.” That message is so ubiquitous by now that any half-wit IRGC operative knows how to slip out and empty warehouses long before the B-1 bombers hover overhead.

Indeed, the endless leaks since Sunday of where America was going to strike and to what end minimized the damage to Iran and proxies. If the president really wants to join the fight, he should concentrate on reviving his predecessor’s “maximum pressure” policies that dwindled Iranian foreign currency reserves, halted its oil sales, and killed the IRGC’s Qasem Soleimani. Only then we could be assured, as Laszlo was, that “this time our side will win.”

BENNY AVNI
Benny Avni is a columnist who has published in the New York Post, WSJOpinion, The Daily Beast, Newsweek, Israel Radio, Ha’Aretz, and others. Once New York Sun, always New York Sun.

Peter Schweizer Tuesday March 12,2024

“TO INVESTIGATE AND EXPOSE CRONY CAPITALISM, MISUSE OF TAXPAYER MONIES, AND OTHER GOVERNMENTAL CORRUPTION OR MALFEASANCE.”

Mission statement for Government Accountability Institute

Peter is President of GAI; Former Fellow at the Hoover Institute; Political Consultant; Best selling author. His latest book, Blood Money, will be released mid February.

The Players of the Gazan “War” and Their Strategies:

The Players of the Gazan “War” and Their Strategies:
Part Five: Russians, Chinese, and the UN Crowd

By: Victor Davis Hanson
November 15, 2023

Russia
Russia will not intervene to save Hamas or Hezbollah. It is broke, tied down in Ukraine, and despises Islam, as we saw when it flattened Chechnya.

However, Putin also does all he can to weaken the U.S. So expect Russia to favor the terrorists, make it difficult for the IDF to strike back deeply in Syria if attacked, and find minor ways to pay the U.S. back for helping Ukraine.

That may include arming the terrorists on Israel’s borders, a few empty threats to protect Iran from an American or Israeli retaliatory attack, or support for further terrorist operations against Western targets.

Russia in general likes the Gazan war, given it depletes already low American munition stocks, takes attention away from Ukraine, may spike oil prices, and enjoys the idea that the U.S. has the support of nine million Israelis against the enmity of 500 million Arabs and two billion Muslims. All that said, Russia would prefer to keep out of the Middle East fighting and see Israel and the terrorists wear each other out while depleting U.S. weapons reserves.

China
China’s position is similar to that of Russia: encourage general animosities in the Middle East, side with the terrorists, and hope that the war, along with the Ukrainian conflict, continues to divide Americans, exhausts our weapons reserves, and turns the Arab and Muslim worlds against the U.S.

That said, like Russia, China is not fond of Islam as its “Uighur problem” attests. It is not powerful enough—yet—to face down even a weakened U.S. It will not include Iran under its growing nuclear umbrella. It is indifferent to the Palestinians and will not intervene on behalf of the Gazans.

So Chinese concerns are twofold:
One, keep the U.S. engaged in the war and especially exhaust its weapons pipeline;
Two, avoid a regional war that might spike oil prices or even shut down the sea lanes in and out of the Persian Gulf.

China differs from Russian interests in only one area: Russia wants Middle Eastern turmoil to raise oil prices and give it the cash to wage war against Ukraine while China wants cheap oil and thus is more committed to cooling the Persian Gulf than heating it up. Otherwise, both hate our guts about equally.

The UN
The UN is the world’s greatest anti-Semitic megaphone. Its chief agenda is to spread hatred of Israel, oppose the U.S., and empower China. The office of Secretary-General has always been either a final landing pad for a washed-up, European, socialist, retired leader or the podium for third-world Westernized socialists who are pets of the American and European leftwing elite.

Morality is never a concern with the UN. It has never unequivocally condemned the Hamas massacres and never will. If the U.S. would leave the UN, and help found an alternative “Democratic United Nations,” and limit its membership to consensual states, then that body would put the old UN out of business.

Or barring that, if the U.S. just moved the UN headquarters out of New York and put it in Lagos, Beirut, or Caracas, then UN grandees at least would understand that the wages of their convenient anti-American boilerplate would be one-star restaurants, iffy apartments, and third-world security.

In general, anytime an Arab terrorist murders an Israeli, the UN will find a way to “contextualize” his violence.


Part Six: America, Europe, and the American Street
November 17, 2023

The U.S.
What is the American interest in the Gazan war?

It is clearly threefold:
One, America seeks to protect the only constitutional government in the Middle East from its myriad of Iranian terrorist proxies. Our role then is to provide Israel with enough weapons to replenish its stocks and survive, share intelligence about anti-Western terrorist groups, deter Iran from ganging up on Israel, and discourage Arab regimes or Hezbollah from entering the war.

Two, it tries to rally the Western world to check pan-Islamic radicalism and terrorism that seek to neutralize the West, and often find their wherewithal from the oil-rich and radical Middle East.

Three, the U.S. deters Russia and China from entering the Middle East on the side of anti-Israeli terrorist coalitions. And since World War II, the U.S. has guaranteed open sea lanes to and from the Middle East, now often for the benefit of China and Europe and to prevent the nihilism of Iran.

So the U.S. has a special relationship with Israel. It is built on the premise of countering anti-Semitism. It acknowledges the strategically important but dangerous neighborhood in which Israel resides. It seeks to deter the hatred, power, and money of the half-billion-person Arab Middle East. And it rests on shared Western Judeo-Christian traditions and values, bolstered by the large Jewish community in the U.S.

For all of America’s occasional wishy-washiness, the U.S. has many interests in ensuring that Israel survives and thrives, and so for all our acrimony, it will continue to ensure Israel deals as it must with Hamas.

Europe
Europe’s interest in Israel’s wars is changing a bit. Traditionally, given the history of European anti-Semitism, the importance of oil to an energy-short continent, and the growing number of Arab and Muslim immigrants in Europe, it tilted away from Israel as a neo-colonialist, supposedly overdog bully.
But recently things have changed a bit. The Europeans are becoming fed up with the radical Arabs and Muslim immigrants in their midst, and the failure of integration and assimilation to Europeanize Middle Easterners. The latter are seen as taking as great pains to enter and enjoy Europe as they do to denigrate and seek to alter it—but only once they have obtained legal residence status or citizenship.

So publicly Europe expresses a need for caution and limitations on the IDF, given it needs Middle Eastern oil, and worries about its own restive Islamic street. But privately, it sees that in an increasing global West/anti-West binary, Israel is Western and shares European values. And EU nations are beginning to concede that their own internal problems with Islamic minorities are a microcosm of what Israel faces every day: hatred for what and who Westerners are and represent rather than what they actually do.
If the truth be known, the Europeans are as eager to see Israel crush Hamas as is the U.S.

The American Street
Americans still overwhelmingly support Israel. But if there is solid support among Americans of all backgrounds over age 35, it has collapsed among those 18-34, and the young college-educated in general.

Their shared hostility is predicated on two disturbing truths:
1.) The universities, where half the youth often waste 4-8 years of their most productive years, are vehemently anti-Israel. Professors have glued the Palestinian cause onto the DEI industry, redefining Israelis as rich, oppressive, capitalist victimizers and the Palestinians as poor, oppressed, and colonial victims. That is an easy binary to make when today’s college students are mostly uneducated and ignorant, especially about the history and the issues of the Middle East.

2.) Lax immigration laws and the universities’ need for full-tuition-paying students, often on oil-fed stipends from the Middle East, have resulted in hundreds of thousands of student visa holders from the Middle East as well as a new wave of Green Card holders and first-generation immigrants.

There is also the factor of the replacement of the old melting-pot ideal by the American salad-bowl mentality of non-assimilation. Thus, in such a DEI dumb-down, Israelis crudely fit the white oppressor paradigm, the Palestinians the so-called non-white oppressed victims.

Then add into the mix the ancient Middle Eastern anti-Semitism. Include also in the formula that there is no border, the nonenforcement of immigration statutes, and an appeasing university terrified to deal with the overt hatred and occasional violence of Middle Eastern students.

Add it up and we have all the ingredients of huge, entitled crowds clamoring on behalf of the Hamas killers—angrier and more violent the more they are unable to alter pro-Israel policies of the U.S. government.

In any case, our leftwing institutions favor Hamas, even if the people overwhelmingly do not. So America is in an Orwellian moment when we know the obnoxious crowds cheering on the Hamas death cult represent a small percentage of the population, but concede it also wins an inordinate amount of media attention, political influence, and cultural clout.

When Has War Even Been ‘Proportional?’

When Has War Even Been ‘Proportional?’

By: Victor Davis Hanson
American Greatness
November 16, 2023

Proportionality in war is a synonym for lethal stalemate if not defeat.

When two sides go at it with roughly equal forces, weapons, and strategies, the result is often a horrific deadlock—like the four years of toxic trench warfare on the Western Front of World War I that resulted in 12 million fatalities.

The purpose of war is to defeat the enemy as quickly as possible with the least number of causalities, thereby achieving political ends.

So, every side aims to find superior strategies, tactics, weapons, and manpower to ensure as great a disproportionate advantage as possible.

Hamas is no exception.

Its savage precivilizational strategy to defeat Israel hinged on doing disproportionate things Israel either cannot or will not do.

First, Hamas spent a year planning a preemptive butchery spree inside Israel. Its ruthless murdering focused on “soft targets” like unarmed elderly, women, children, and infants, mostly asleep at a time of peace and holiday.

Second, it sought to collectively shock Israel into paralysis by the sheer horror of decapitating civilians, burning babies, mass raping, and mutilating bodies.
Another apparent aim of such premodern barbarity was to blame Israel’s “occupation” for turning Gazans into veritable monsters, with hopes of derailing the renewed Abraham Accords.

Third, the gunmen took more than 240 hostages back with them to Gaza.
Again, that was a disproportionate tactic designed to meter out the release of captives in exchange for “pauses” and “cease-fires” to save Hamas.
Additionally, Hamas made implicit threats of gruesome executions of captives unless Israel ceased their retaliation for October 7.

Fourth, all the while Hamas shot rockets into Israel, more than 7,000 in total, and all aimed at civilians.
Not one launch was preceded by dropping leaflets or sending text messages to Israeli civilians to vacate the intended target areas—a protocol often used by the Israel Defense Forces.
The unapologetic aim was to kill thousands of Israelis at random and disproportionately.
In fact, in just the last four weeks, Hamas has launched more than twice as many rockets into Israel as Nazi Germany managed to launch V-2s into Britain in five months.

Fifth, Hamas sought to create a multibillion-dollar tunnel city beneath Gaza. The labyrinth’s sole purpose was to stockpile weapons and ensure safe havens for terrorists to shoot rockets and regroup after their terrorist missions.

Sixth, the subterranean headquarters of Hamas elites, along with weapons depots, were strategically placed under hospitals, mosques, and schools to “shield” them from Israeli attacks.
The expectation was that the IDF would be hesitant to target such “civilian” and “humanitarian” areas in a way Hamas never would.

Seventh, Hamas forced the civilians of Gaza to remain among the street fighting. They often shot those who resisted.
They also killed Gazans who fled the city. Hamas sought to increase civilian fodder as collateral damage from Israeli attacks. Such deaths were to be broadcast worldwide to win sympathy for Hamas terrorists and force a cease-fire.

Eighth, Hamas bragged that it could repeat strategies 1-7 endlessly on the supposition Israel would tire, the world would turn against it, and it at last could murder enough Jews to end Israel altogether.

Israel in turn seeks its own disproportionate response to defeat Hamas.

First, it seeks to single out and kill the actual Hamas terrorists, and especially the 2,000 or so killers of October 7.

Second, it tries to warn civilians to flee anywhere that Hamas masses. Just as Hamas wants its own civilians killed for propaganda purposes, so Israel seeks to avoid killing them.

Third, by targeting Hamas and warning civilians to keep their distance, Israel does not deny that there will be collateral damage.
But it hopes to convince the world that any civilian deaths are mostly the fault of Hamas and not the IDF.
And to the degree that Gaza City is left in rubble, Israel wishes to remind its enemies that the wages of murdering Jewish infants unfortunately will be a disproportionate response, whose full effects will deter any future attack.

Fourth, Israel understands that a country of 9-10 million is facing a virulently hostile 500 million-person Arab Middle East. The United Nations is on the side of Hamas. A now anti-Semitic Europe has been hijacked by immigrants from the Middle East. Israel’s sole patron the United States is buffeted by a hard-left new Democratic Party that is not a reliable partner.
The result is that Israel still cannot conduct a fully disproportionate war without endangering its source of military resupply in the United States, and a wider conflict with the Islamic world.

And so, the war continues.

Hamas strives for a more disproportionate terrorist agenda to prolong the war. And Israel strives for a more disproportionate retaliation to end it.

The anger arises at Israel mostly because it is Jewish, and thus far its conventional disproportionality is proving more effective than the terrorist disproportionality of Hamas.