Tag Archives: Keith Ellison

Obama,Clinton Foreign Policy Errors Affect Korean Crisis

The foreign policy failures of the Obama and Clinton presidencies are affecting the crises currently facing the nation.

The United States is seen by opponents such as North Korea as a government that has a weakened military, a lack of resolve to follow through on demands, and, perhaps most importantly, possessing a strange propensity towards punishing its friends and helping its enemies.

Examine the last item first.  For reasons that have yet to be explained, the Obama Administration, generally reluctant to engage in armed conflict, played a key role in forcibly removing Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi from power.  Gaddafi had surrendered his nuclear program, ended his association with terrorism, and was essentially on the same side as the West in opposing radical Islam. Obama also encouraged the ouster of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, who also sided with the U.S. against radicalism. From Kim Jung-un’s perspective, it makes far more sense to be an enemy rather than a friend of Washington.

And, of course, there is Iran.  With the exception of North Korea, no nation has uttered more threatening statements against the United States than Iran. Rallies are regularly conducted by its leadership calling for the destruction of America, its ships and planes regularly threaten the U.S. Navy, and Tehran sponsors terrorist movements aimed at U.S. interests and allies. The result? A nuclear deal in which the Iranians gained billions of dollars (in cash for easy transfer to terrorists) all in return for nothing more than an agreement to simply delay its nuclear weapons program.

Militarily, the United States is in a far lesser position than it was eight years ago. Thanks to the sequester budget agreement, America’s armed forces have lost experienced personnel, as well as enduring years of inadequate training, especially for Naval and Marine Corps aviators. As this article was being prepared, the Marines had temporarily grounded all of its planes for a maintenance issue.

Spare parts are in short supply.  The U.S. homeland itself is in a less secure position, thanks to Obama’s tacit acceptance of the Russian Navy’s return to Cuba, the acceptance of Russian military influence in Nicaragua, and the vastly strengthened Russian military presence in the Arctic.  America’s major military rivals, Russia and China, have dramatically built up their forces while the U.S. diminished its own.  For the first time in history, Russia has a more powerful nuclear force. China’s navy and the sophistication of all its forces have been dramatically strengthened.

Added to those hard facts is an important psychological component.  There is a significant element within the U.S. political and punditry class that, fundamentally and against all logic, tacitly agrees with the most strident anti-American beliefs of the nations’ opponents. The Washington Free Beacon has recently reported that the vice-chair of the Democrat National committee, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) has stated that “Kim Jong-un is acting more responsibly than Trump.” Those adhering to this philosophy dissent against reasonable efforts to deal appropriately with foreign threats.  As North Korea’s Kim Jung-un rapidly developed the ability to strike the American mainland with nuclear weapons and issued clear statements that he fully intends to do so, they reserved their condemnation not for him, but against President Trump’s firm rhetorical response to it.

This peculiar, but not uncommon, attitude was well illustrated in a USA Today article by Jim Michaels, which examined the recommendations by several analysts. Despite the fact that the North Korean leader has presided over one of the most nightmarish regimes in history, has engaged in numerous domestic and international atrocities, belongs to a ruling family that has broken one arms agreement after another, regularly states that it has plans to devastate the U.S. and is in defiance of a U.N. Security Council resolution, their criticism is aimed at President Trump’s statements that the U.S. would defend itself with great force—“fury and fire”– if the regime continues on its current path.

The recommendations of those analysts clearly reveal that, in their eyes, only an abject surrender of U.S. interests and national security, would comply with their politics. As Pyongyang explicitly describes their plans to launch attacks, Jenny Town, assistant director of the U.S.-Korea Institute at the John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies essentially subscribes to a moral equivalence concept by urging both sides to simply cool their rhetoric.  How does this solve the underlying issue of North Koreas’ nuclear belligerence?

She is not alone. Michaels’ column quotes David Maxwell, Georgetown University’s associate director of its Center for Strategic Studies.  His contribution is to suggest that America acknowledge North Korea’s status as a nuclear power.

Other suggestions include easing sanctions, and suspending joint exercises with South Korea.

These approaches have failed miserably and repeatedly in the past, and offer Pyongyang a hefty reward for nothing much in return.  Conceptually, it is deeply similar to President Obama’s provision of financial rewards and sanctions suspensions to Tehran in return for nothing more than a delay in Iran’s nuclear weapons development—a fact which Kim Jung-un clearly understand and is absolutely betting on. It should also be remembered that the appeasement route was thoroughly tried by President Clinton in the 1990’s, when he both gave food aid and nuclear assistance to Pyongyang in return for a mere promise, completely broken, that in return the regime would not pursue nuclear weapons.

Why would Kim even consider pulling back, when history clearly instructs him that America punishes those that change their ways to satisfy Western interests but rewards those that continue to threaten the U.S.? The North Korean dictator may be portrayed as an immature despot, but it is clear that he has shrewdly examined the history of the recent past and has adopted a course which may be evil but is also quite logical.

 

The Left’s History of Supporting the Enemy

Rep. Keith Ellison, The Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee, recently stated that “Kim Jong-un is acting more responsibly than Trump.”

It would be easy to dismiss, as many are, that outrageous comment as merely a hyperbolic and partisan remark.  The reality, however, is that the American Left has an uncomfortable history of verbal support for some of the planet’s most despicable governments, as long as those governments are anti-American. The left has received substantive support, in return.

New York’s extreme-progressive mayor has long supported the placement of Russian military power in Nicaragua. Writing in PJ Media,  Ron Radosh discussed how, during the Cold War, the “Left…supported the Soviet bloc and all of its policies, and argued that America was in the process of becoming a nascent facist state…operating in the United States, Britain and France, the western left takes the opportunity to speak freely in the democracies in which they live, to openly support and express their solidarity with democracies most fervent enemies.”

That propensity of verbally supporting the enemy has come into clearer focus in the glare of the attempt by many of the left to gain traction based on the charge that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.

As Moscow’s massive military buildup continues, its belligerence towards its neighbors progresses, and Putin’s despotism grows, the embarrassed and pro-Russian (and before that, pro-Soviet) left has sought to execute a bit of public relations Ju-Jitsu by casting its opponents as the ones who are pro-Russia.

Despite a clear lack of substantive evidence, an entire press and prosecutorial industry has been developed based on claiming that the damning evidence provided by Julian Assange and others about the corrupt Clinton machine and the machinations of the Democrat Party to deny primary rival Bernie Sanders a fair chance to compete with her in the 2016 primary season was provided by Russian agents in an attempt to promote a Trump victory.

Moscow certainly would be guilty of abject stupidity if that were true.  As the New York Analysis of Policy and Government has previously noted, the Trump Administration has been the most anti-Russian presidency since Reagan, pursuing policies of strengthening U.S. armed forces and, particularly, ramping up domestic energy production, a move which dramatically threatens Moscow’s financial stability.

Some liberal sources have now begun to realize how embarrassingly wrong the charges against Trump are. The Nation recently published a review of the matter, and its evidence and its conclusions (remember, this is from a source predisposed to dislike Trump) are that there was no collusion. The publication notes that “A great edifice has been erected has been erected…President Trump, members of his family, and numerous people around him stand accused…half a dozen simultaneous investigations proceed…Lost…is the absence of any credible evidence of what happened…and who was responsible…we are urged to accept the word of institutions and senior officials with long records of deception.”

The absurd charges and the resulting investigation have had the desired effect, however. As the Nation notes, “The president’s ability to conduct foreign policy, notably but not only with regard to Russia, is now crippled…”

Camouflaging its pro-Communist tendency has been a constant of leftists.  Far too often, they have masked their unpopular foreign policy preferences and unsavory association with anti-American regimes with a veneer of naïve causes. Testimony given to Congress in 1982 revealed that Moscow provided extraordinary sums of money and energy on the nuclear freeze movement. Unquestioned support for, and the acceptance of support from, Communist regimes has been a hallmark of the left.  Even during the worst of the inhuman and outrageous depredations of the Stalin government, the American left maintained its enthusiasm for him. Of course, even to mention that reality produces a rote charge of “McCarthyism,” a reference to the Congressman who fostered intensive probes into the influence of Moscow’s agents within the U.S. entertainment industry.

The “America is always wrong” ideology reached its height during the prior administration. President Obama and Secretary Clinton rapidly agreed to a nuclear deal with Moscow that ended American leadership in atomic arms. They gave into much of Russia’s demands about preventing the advance of American anti-ballistic missile defenses, a policy error keenly felt as North Korea continues to threaten an atomic attack. Bizarrely, as the Russian navy returned to Cuba and the Castro regime continued its repression of its people, Obama opened relations with that nation for no discernable return.

Matthew Continetti, writing in National Review, noted that: “Objectively…the result of Obama’s foreign policy [was] to empower America’s adversaries…”

Despite the long and unsavory history of the left’s infatuation with totalitarian Communist regimes, it is its flirtation with radical Islam that demonstrates the depth of its “America is always wrong” ideology.  The Obama Administration’s infamous apology tour in the middle east, its opposition to pro-American Arab governments, its utter failure to respond to the Benghazi attack, and, most notably, its irrational appeasement of Iran’s obsessively anti-U.S. leadership demonstrate how thoroughly ingrained the left’s disdain for their own nation’s interests are.

 

 

America’s Constitutional Government Targeted, Part 2

The New York Analysis of Policy and Government concludes its review of efforts to ignore the Constitution.

Examining the actions of political parties is an essential aspect of understanding perspectives on the Constitution. However, only looking at party leaders diverts the discussion from the new centers of gravity in Progressive politics. The Washington Free Beacon reports that:

“Three liberal donor networks and foundations with ties to billionaire George Soros have joined forces to form a new fund to ‘resist’ President Donald Trump. The Emergent Fund…was established late last year to quickly fund groups to take direct, immediate action against Republicans. Since the fund’s formation, it has received little public attention. It has raised over half a million dollars to give to groups opposing Republicans, such as the Black Lives Matter Network. The fund has extensive ties to significant liberal networks and groups…The Solidaire Network, the Threshold Foundation, and the Women Donors Network, all San Francisco-based groups, mobilized to form the Emergent Fund. The Solidaire Network brings together wealthy progressive donors to foster protest and direct action movements. The donor network is comprised of individuals who can move $50,000 or more personally or through a family foundation. The group props up other donor communities on its website such as the…secretive George Soros-tied Democracy Alliance donor network, the largest liberal dark money group.”

Trevor Loudon, a New Zealander, is the producer of a new film entitled “America Under Siege,” which examines the unusual level of disruption following the 2016 election. In an interview with the Capital Research Organization, he points out that there are groups operating outside of the regular political process, engaging in activities of highly questionable legality which were shielded from prosecution by the Obama Administration. He states:

“One of the…groups involved in this, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, had 23 members of its group arrested in 2010 by the FBI for supporting terrorist groups in Palestine and Latin America.  They were raided, a whole bunch of stuff was confiscated, and Obama’s Justice Department did nothing with those cases for seven years.  But the fact that they were raided because the FBI had an informant inside their organization shows how dangerous these groups potentially are.  It also shows that the [Obama] government] had no willingness at all to go after them.”

Key influencers like the shadowy billionaire Soros, the terrorist Bill Ayers, and even party officials such as the radical Perez and the anti-Semite Ellison are not tied to the traditional practices and constraints of U.S. politics. They have introduced something new and unhealthy: a slash and burn mentality that cares little for practices vital to the survival of constitutional government, such as a peaceful transfer of power, a tolerance of opposing views, and the use of honest facts. As their influence and power has reached its zenith, the normal rational debate and competition of opposing political parties and different points of view have been replaced by the extremism, violence, and disruption that have been the earmarks of collapsing open governments.

Red State writes that The ultimate goal of the more radical Leftists is to create disorder to beget more disorder…These are the ones most likely to be wearing their tattered Che Guevara T-shirts and shouting communist slogans…Most of the violence committed is done…by the more radical elements of the protesters, or refugees from the anarchist Occupy Wall Street movement…”

Politics has always been a blood sport, but what has occurred since the 2016 election is unprecedented, amounting to little more than a repudiation of the peaceful transition of power that has been the consistent and laudable practice and tradition of American Constitutional government.

History has seen this type of environment before.  In her book, SPQR, author Mary Beard describes how Rome descended from a republic, however flawed, into a dictatorship:

“Looking back over the period, Roman historian regretted the gradual destruction of peaceful politics. Violence was increasingly taken for granted as a political tool. Traditional restraints and conventions broke down, one by one, until swords, clubs and rioting more or less replaced the ballot box. At the same time…a very few individuals of enormous power, wealth…came to dominate the state…when the story is stripped down to its barest and brutal essentials, it consists of a series of key moments and conflicts that led to the dissolution of the free state, a sequence of tipping points that marked the stages in the progressive degeneration of the political process…”

America’s Constitutional Government Targeted

The New York Analysis of Policy and Government examines the changing nature of American politics in this two-part series.

The target of the vehement protests, over-the-top opposition, and hyperbolic media criticism of the Trump Administration, is not the current occupant of the Oval Office. It is, instead, the Constitutional practice of government.

Little discussed is the odd level of verbal violence against a President who is most certainly not an ideologue. His major policy thrusts, both as a candidate and as an elected leader, include:

  • Replacing a health care policy which has demonstrably failed (the dirty little secret of the 2016 campaign was that no matter who got elected, Obamacare was going to have to drastically change.)
  • Restoring a military that had been dangerously and very obviously depleted, at a time when adversaries across the globe had dramatically strengthened theirs.
  • Encouraging American allies to pay a more equitable share of their own defense needs
  • restoring middle-income job growth.
  • reforming taxes and regulations so that more industry would remain within the U.S.
  • Enforcing already existing immigration laws.
  • Reducing regulations that hamper the creation or survival of businesses.

These could hardly be called arch-conservative.  If anything, Donald Trump both campaigned and, in the brief period he has been in office, governed as a pragmatist. Lately, his criticism has been focused as much on conservatives in Congress as on Democrats.

Trump came to office in the aftermath of a demonstrably failed presidency.

Under Obama, The U.S. essentially divested itself of its role as the world’s dominant superpower, leading to greater threats across the globe.  in Asia, China’s belligerence dramatically increased. in Eastern Europe, Russia engaged in the largest invasion since World War 2. Throughout the Islamic world, conditions deteriorated. ISIS rose to prominence due to Obama’s premature withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. Libya descended into chaos following the still unexplained drive to oust Gaddafi. Iran’s power and influence expanded dramatically.  The Taliban was positioned to make a major comeback in Afghanistan. Terrorist attacks became commonplace occurrences throughout the world.

At home, Obama’s policies and actions led to an economy mired in the doldrums, racial animosity at a level not seen in decades, and a near doubling of the national debt with nothing gained after all those dollars spent, as well as the worse job participation rate in decades. The national infrastructure continued to crumble.

Stunning scandals took place.  Whole agencies of the government, especially the IRS, were unlawfully used for partisan purposes.  An American ambassador was killed without any attempt to rescue him or to punish the perpetrators. The U.S. Secretary of State’s family personally profited from the sale of uranium, the basic ingredient of atomic bombs, to Russia.

It was reasonable to assume that in the aftermath of those eight difficult years, the public mood would have been at least willing to give the new leader at least a brief honeymoon. But long before Trump even took office, a level of unprecedented and near-hysterical opposition was promoted by much of the media, academia, some Democrat Party leaders, and the financiers of hard-left causes.

One explanation for the unusual and extreme alteration in the nature of American politics has been the takeover of the Democrat Party by untraditional forces.  The party of Kennedy, Truman, indeed even FDR, no longer exists in a viable form.  Those types of leaders have been replaced by extremists such as former Obama Labor Department SecretaryTom Perez, the new DNC Chair, and Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, the deputy chair, and other individuals such as NYC Mayor Mike de Blasio.

Perez is an extremist who refused, while at the Department of Justice, to prosecute a clear-cut case of voter intimidation against those not identified as Obama voters. The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Iain Murray, in a National Review article, notes that Perez’s “rewriting of U.S. labor law is probably the most fundamental attack on the free-enterprise system going on at present…If he has his way, we won’t just revert to the 1930s. We’ll do things that even Franklin Roosevelt couldn’t do, like eliminate vast numbers of independent-contractor jobs and unionize those that remain.”

Perez selected Keith Ellison as his deputy chair. Ellison was noted for his bizarre statements about the 9/11 attacks, suggesting that President Bush (43) used the terrorist assault to copy Adolph Hitler’s infamous Reichstag Fire strategy to destroy his opponents.  Ellison has also been tied to anti-Semitic positions. His 2010 comments about Israel led to a demand by the Anti-Defamation League that he be disqualified from being appointed to federal office.

NYC Mayor de Blasio was an ardent supporter of Nicaragua’s Marxist Sandinista government in the 1980s. He describes himself as an advocate of “democratic socialism” and was executive director of the New York branch of the pro-socialist New Party.

As party leaders, they are not far from the worrisome example set by President Obama.  Obama abused federal agencies for partisan purposes, stood U.S. foreign policy on its head, and took advice from individuals such as Bill Ayers, a founder of the internationally supported terrorist Weather Underground Organization.

Progressive politicians such as Perez, Ellison and de Blasio are at the forefront of replacing rational, peaceful political discourse with a new atmosphere that encourages continual street protests that erupt into violence, including those levied against college campus speakers that don’t agree with the prevailing left-wing orthodoxy.

The report concludes tomorrow.