Eisenhower, Flynn, and Trust

michael-flynn2-article-headerA bit more than 56 years ago President Eisenhower gave his farewell speech, he left us with a warning but first he talked about who we were.

Progress toward these noble goals is persistently threatened by the conflict now engulfing the world. It commands our whole attention, absorbs our very beings. We face a hostile ideology-global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method. Unhappily the danger it poses promises to be of indefinite duration. To meet it successfully, there is called for, not so much the emotional and transitory sacrifices of crisis, but rather those which enable us to carry forward steadily, surely, and without complaint the burdens of a prolonged and complex struggle-with liberty at stake. Only thus shall we remain, despite every provocation, on our charted course toward permanent peace and human betterment.

Has anything really changed? Sure the Soviet Union is in the dustbin of history, but it seems to me we face much the same enemy now, just by another name. He also said this:

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United State corporations.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence-economic, political, even spiritual-is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

The only thing I would change in this is to add the intelligence community and the corporate news industry to the military industrial complex.

Seems to me that is what we are seeing play out now. You all know Bill Krystal, the supposedly conservative writer, well how about this?

I hate to say it, but to me, it comes pretty close to sedition.

Particularly since by all appearances, General Michaels Flynn’s ouster was nothing less than a political assassination.

Paul Mirengoff at Powerline says this

I have a few thoughts about the resignation of Ret. Gen. Michael Flynn. First, I’m calling it an “ouster” because it appears to be the result of a campaign against him. Indeed, Eli Lake calls it a “political assassination.”

Lake quotes Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House intelligence committee, as follows: “”First it’s Flynn, next it will be Kellyanne Conway, then it will be Steve Bannon, then it will be Reince Priebus.” “Put another way,” Lake adds (melodramatically?), “Flynn is only the appetizer; Trump is the entree.”

This doesn’t mean Flynn didn’t deserve to go. If there was substantial reason to believe that he intentionally misled the administration about his conversation with the Russian ambassador, this was sufficient reason to oust him. […] Trump himself has tweeted:

The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington? Will these leaks be happening as I deal on N.Korea etc?

That’s a question that goes to the heart of American foreign policy. Paul adds

Intelligence analysts began to search for clues that could help explain Putin’s move [his announcement on December 30 of last year not to respond to the Obama administration’s sanctions]. The search turned up Kislyak’s communications, which the FBI routinely monitors, and the phone call in question with Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general with years of intelligence experience.

Whether the contents of the phone call were obtained by monitoring the ambassador or by monitoring Flynn, I think Trump is right. The leaking of those contents is a big part of the story, and a disturbing one.

The media-intelligence community pipeline is a swamp that needs to be drained. But can it be?

That is the umpteen trillion dollar question. In large measure, the future of the Republic hinges on it.

Why? Because American have always in large measure been able to trust our government to act in America’s interest. This calls that into question, and then we get to what the guys at Right Angle are talking about.

What that trust is, in large measure, is the rule of law, and that is what has allowed the Anglosphere to far outpace the rest of the world in every sphere.

The Wasteful and Filthy Left in Action

Premier Brad Wall of Saskatchewan had a look around the camps left behind by the so-called environmentalists in North Dakota the other day. I doubt he was very surprised, I surely am not. Most wasteful people on earth, the idiots who want to turn the world back 500 years. Here’s what he saw.

You know, I’ve worked out in that area, and it’s pretty sensitive land. It’s also land that I love, as did Theodore Roosevelt. I watched that video and I nearly cried, and I really feel for those locals having to shift through all that crap, and salvage what they can. I hope they can manage it before the spring floods, or the rivers will likely get poisoned as well. If this is environmentalism, well, call me a capitalist exploiter, because a strip mine does less damage. Here are a few more pictures.

You know every real outdoorsman, whether he works outside, hunts, fishes, goes for hikes, or sits on the bloody beach, knows that you always leave the land better than you found it. Often we even erase tracks from our vehicles.

But not the left, as always they leave their trash for decent people to pick up. Also makes me wonder who paid for all that stuff, and for these people to spend the winter there. It’s not cheap to winter in Dakota, in a proper house, I can’t imagine what it costs to heat a tent. Had to be someone else, even leftists don’t abandon thousands of dollars of stuff that they paid for.

You know, I’ve never seen a man-camp in an oil field, without a woman for fifty miles that looked this bad.

 

Filthy animals.

people_start_pollution_-_1971_ad

via The American Mirror

 

Sapphires and Duty

Queen Elizabeth II waves to well wishers from a open top Range Rover in Windsor, Berkshire, as she celebrates her 90th birthday.

Queen Elizabeth II waves to well-wishers from an open top Range Rover in Windsor, Berkshire, as she celebrates her 90th birthday.

Yesterday was the sixty-fifth anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne. By all reports, she spent it quietly at Sandringham, in Norfolk, where her father, the King died 65 years ago. She is now the longest reigning monarch in British History. And the only one to have parachuted into the Olympics!

Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith wrote about it in the Catholic Herald. He makes a couple of points, I want to emphasize.

The second thing about the Queen that comes to mind is her unshowy devotion to duty. It really is not about her at all, but about the nation, and of course, the Commonwealth. She serves us, not the other way around. In 65 years she has never failed in her duty. This makes her not simply the most remarkable and admirable woman in the country, but perhaps in the world. Her style is in marked contrast to the celebrity culture that is all around us.

How rare that is amongst our people these days. To stick to your duty all your life, even as a quite young woman in the Second World War we could see that. In fact, for her, it is a family trait evident in both of her parents throughout their lives. We try, she flat did it. And a most difficult duty as well. She has done, no that is incorrect, she is doing it admirably. And that is instructive. Her job is one that pretty much denies her any privacy, or even a chance to ever do as she pleases, and yet she has serenely done that duty for sixty-five years, ever since a girl in a Kenyan tree became Queen of England (and all the rest).

He continues

Fourthly, and perhaps the most important of all, as is clear to anyone who has been listening to her Christmas broadcasts over the years, the Queen is a Christian. She is a particular type of Christian, a Low Church Anglican, of the sort who makes little outward show of her faith. But it is certainly there, and it has sustained her over these 65 years. The way she has acted over the last six-and-a-half decades is a tribute to that faith.

via On her Sapphire Jubilee, the Queen remains a wonderful inspiration to all – CatholicHerald.co.uk

Important? Yes. And perhaps it is the most remarkable of all. The queen has kept her faith (and the faith) for her entire reign while so-called progress has stormed about her, and many of her storm-tossed subjects have had theirs rocked, and sometimes lost. In fact, she is on her fifth Archbishop of Canterbury, and Eisenhower had just become the US president when she became Queen.

It’s been at best a turbulent 65 years, and nobody has shown us better what we can be, should be, and yes, must be, if we are to continue what we started those long years ago at the court of Alfred the Great of Wessex, and yes, in Philadelphia City some 241 years ago, as well. For we Yanks too, find in her a steadying point, one who has been there and done that, although probably not so vulgar as to have bought the T-shirt. Indeed the champion of Western Civilization, itself.

God Save the Queen

Getting to know you

I think we’ll lighten up a bit today, I was out most of yesterday, and didn’t get anything prepared, sometimes life gets in the way, doesn’t it? In any case, back in the forties, the average American GI, didn’t have much idea of what the Brits were like, and it seemed to the War Department (Yeah, when will we change the Department of Defense back to its proper name?) that they should prepare our guys a bit. They even got the Brits to help.

The Videos below were part of that effort. Enjoy.

 

 

 

And, of course,

 

 

A good effort, I think, by all hands. Still, 75 years later, we still get sideways every once in a while, but we usually manage to work it out with the cousins, and it’s one of the wonders of the world.

The Jacksonian Revolt

JOE SKIPPER / REUTERS

JOE SKIPPER / REUTERS

We’ve said here often that most Europeans simply misunderstand Americans. That is true, and it is also true that Britons do better than most at understanding us, which is reasonable, given that we sprang as a nation from Brittania’s brow.

Walter Russel Mead undertook in Foreign Affairs to explain how Trump arose. I think he gets it pretty much right, and understanding it may well be fundamental going forward. (I think this is a free article, at least it came that way to me.)

American Populism and the Liberal Order

[F]or the first time in 70 years, the American people have elected a president who disparages the policies, ideas, and institutions at the heart of postwar U.S. foreign policy. No one knows how the foreign policy of the Trump administration will take shape, or how the new president’s priorities and preferences will shift as he encounters the torrent of events and crises ahead. But not since Franklin Roosevelt’s administration has U.S. foreign policy witnessed debates this fundamental.

Since World War II, U.S. grand strategy has been shaped by two major schools of thought, both focused on achieving a stable international system with the United States at the center. Hamiltonians believed that it was in the American interest for the United States to replace the United Kingdom as “the gyroscope of world order,” in the words of President Woodrow Wilson’s adviser Edward House during World War I, putting the financial and security architecture in place for a reviving global economy after World War II—something that would both contain the Soviet Union and advance U.S. interests. When the Soviet Union fell, Hamiltonians responded by doubling down on the creation of a global liberal order, understood primarily in economic terms.

Wilsonians, meanwhile, also believed that the creation of a global liberal order was a vital U.S. interest, but they conceived of it in terms of values rather than economics. Seeing corrupt and authoritarian regimes abroad as a leading cause of conflict and violence, Wilsonians sought peace through the promotion of human rights, democratic governance, and the rule of law. In the later stages of the Cold War, one branch of this camp, liberal institutionalists, focused on the promotion of international institutions and ever-closer global integration, while another branch, neoconservatives, believed that a liberal agenda could best be advanced through Washington’s unilateral efforts (or in voluntary conjunction with like-minded partners).

The disputes between and among these factions were intense and consequential, but they took place within a common commitment to a common project of global order. As that project came under increasing strain in recent decades, however, the unquestioned grip of the globalists on U.S. foreign policy thinking began to loosen. More nationalist, less globally minded voices began to be heard, and a public increasingly disenchanted with what it saw as the costly failures the global order-building project began to challenge what the foreign policy establishment was preaching. The Jeffersonian and Jacksonian schools of thought, prominent before World War II but out of favor during the heyday of the liberal order, have come back with a vengeance.

Jeffersonians, including today’s so-called realists, argue that reducing the United States’ global profile would reduce the costs and risks of foreign policy. They seek to define U.S. interests narrowly and advance them in the safest and most economical ways. Libertarians take this proposition to its limits and find allies among many on the left who oppose interventionism, want to cut military spending, and favor redeploying the government’s efforts and resources at home. Both Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas seemed to think that they could surf the rising tide of Jeffersonian thinking during the Republican presidential primary. But Donald Trump sensed something that his political rivals failed to grasp: that the truly surging force in American politics wasn’t Jeffersonian minimalism. It was Jacksonian populist nationalism.

IDENTITY POLITICS BITE BACK

The distinctively American populism Trump espouses is rooted in the thought and culture of the country’s first populist president, Andrew Jackson. For Jacksonians—who formed the core of Trump’s passionately supportive base—the United States is not a political entity created and defined by a set of intellectual propositions rooted in the Enlightenment and oriented toward the fulfillment of a universal mission. Rather, it is the nation-state of the American people, and its chief business lies at home. Jacksonians see American exceptionalism not as a function of the universal appeal of American ideas, or even as a function of a unique American vocation to transform the world, but rather as rooted in the country’s singular commitment to the equality and dignity of individual American citizens. The role of the U.S. government, Jacksonians believe, is to fulfill the country’s destiny by looking after the physical security and economic well-being of the American people in their national home—and to do that while interfering as little as possible with the individual freedom that makes the country unique. 

Jacksonian populism is only intermittently concerned with foreign policy, and indeed it is only intermittently engaged with politics more generally. It took a particular combination of forces and trends to mobilize it this election cycle, and most of those were domestically focused. In seeking to explain the Jacksonian surge, commentators have looked to factors such as wage stagnation, the loss of good jobs for unskilled workers, the hollowing out of civic life, a rise in drug use—conditions many associate with life in blighted inner cities that have spread across much of the country. But this is a partial and incomplete view. Identity and culture have historically played a major role in American politics, and 2016 was no exception. Jacksonian America felt itself to be under siege, with its values under attack and its future under threat. Trump—flawed as many Jacksonians themselves believed him to be—seemed the only candidate willing to help fight for its survival.

Not since Franklin Roosevelt’s administration has U.S. foreign policy witnessed debates this fundamental.

For Jacksonian America, certain events galvanize intense interest and political engagement, however brief. One of these is war; when an enemy attacks, Jacksonians spring to the country’s defense. The most powerful driver of Jacksonian political engagement in domestic politics, similarly, is the perception that Jacksonians are being attacked by internal enemies, such as an elite cabal or immigrants from different backgrounds. Jacksonians worry about the U.S. government being taken over by malevolent forces bent on transforming the United States’ essential character. They are not obsessed with corruption, seeing it as an ineradicable part of politics. But they care deeply about what they see as perversion—when politicians try to use the government to oppress the people rather than protect them. And that is what many Jacksonians came to feel was happening in recent years, with powerful forces in the American elite, including the political establishments of both major parties, in cahoots against them.

Many Jacksonians came to believe that the American establishment was no longer reliably patriotic, with “patriotism” defined as an instinctive loyalty to the well-being and values of Jacksonian America. And they were not wholly wrong, by their lights. Many Americans with cosmopolitan sympathies see their main ethical imperative as working for the betterment of humanity in general. Jacksonians locate their moral community closer to home, in fellow citizens who share a common national bond. If the cosmopolitans see Jacksonians as backward and chauvinistic, Jacksonians return the favor by seeing the cosmopolitan elite as near treasonous—people who think it is morally questionable to put their own country, and its citizens, first.

via The Jacksonian Revolt | Foreign Affairs There is quite a lot more, all of it valuable. It is essential if you would know why America elected Donald Trump President.

Mrs. May Goes to Washington

3c82a8d800000578-4158088-image-a-4_1485387659636And so, Mrs. May is here. Came over yesterday, and will meet the President today. That’s as it should be, she’s first, the leader of our oldest friends, and strongest ally, and our cousins, so kind of a family reunion.

Last night she spoke at the Republican Congressional winter retreat, the first world leader to do so, for whatever that’s worth. So what did she say? Well, the £ Daily Mail says this is what she planned to say.

On a trip to America, the Prime Minister will say Brexit and the election of Donald Trump have given the two countries a chance to ‘rediscover’ their confidence.

Highlighting the achievements of the US and Britain in the past, Mrs May will say rebuilding the special relationship is of huge importance to the entire world in ‘this new age’, adding: ‘We have the opportunity to lead, together, again.’ […]

She will say that defence and security co-operation between Britain and the US directly, and also through Nato, is vital in countering Islamic State and trying to end the carnage in Syria.

She is also expected to make the case for an ambitious trade deal, which could lead to great ‘prosperity’ for both countries. Mr Trump has said he wants to strike a deal quickly.

The Prime Minister – who has insisted she is prepared to be ‘frank’ with President Trump in areas where they disagree – will make her firmest bid yet to turn him into a close ally. In a speech to the annual congressional Republican Retreat in Philadelphia tonight, she will say: ‘The United Kingdom is by instinct and history a great, global nation that recognises its responsibilities to the world.

‘And as we end our membership of the European Union – as the British people voted with determination and quiet resolve to do last year – we have the opportunity to reassert our belief in a confident, sovereign and global Britain, ready to build relationships with old friends and new allies alike. […]

‘The institutions upon which that world relies were so often conceived or inspired by our two nations working together.

The leadership provided by our two countries through the special relationship has done more than win wars and overcome adversity. It made the modern world.
Prime Minister, Theresa May

‘It is through our actions over many years, working together to defeat evil or to open up the world, that we have been able to fulfil the promise of those who first spoke of the special nature of the relationship between us.

‘The promise of freedom, liberty and the rights of man.’

via May tells Trump let’s lead the world together once again | Daily Mail Online

All very good, true, and even laudable. In fact, I, and many others have said the same things many times over the years. It sounds like it was a good rah-rah speech, as close as Mrs. May can get, and pretty good for a Vicar’s daughter, if not exactly Churchillian. But, dealing with Trump himself is going to be a bit more daunting, perhaps.

Kathy Gyngell writing  in The Conservative Woman this morning says this:

The Brits (or some of them) can be terribly sanctimonious snobs. Disapproval of Donald has reached epidemic proportions and distorted any sense of reality afflicting Right as well as Left. Some have taken heart from Theresa’s daring declaration that she “won’t be afraid” to tell Donald Trump if he says or does anything she feels is “unacceptable”.

Go for it, I hear their cry. No please don’t. Don’t listen to them, Mrs May. I hope you’ve left you shopping list of reprimands and policies to tick him off about behind. Just listen to what Team Trump has to say. Hard.

Good advice, that. So is this.

I can all too easily see Mrs May as a latter day feminist Major Barbara and Donald Trump as Andrew Undershaft, Major Barbara’s wealthy munitions manufacturer father. The parallel is obvious. Undershaft wins. Major Barbara’s moral vanity is exposed.

Remember when Undershaft donates his ‘tainted’ wealth to the Salvation Army, so outraged by it is Major Barbara that indignantly she mounts the moral high ground. At which her father berates her for making for herself, “… something that you call a morality or a religion or what not. It doesn’t fit the facts. Well, scrap it. Scrap it and get one that does fit. That is what is wrong with the world at present. It scraps its obsolete steam engines and dynamos; but it won’t scrap its old prejudices and its old moralities and its old religions and its old political constitutions. What’s the result? In machinery it does very well; but in morals and religion and politics it is working at a loss that brings it nearer bankruptcy every year.”

Read for morality and religion, feminism and contemporary Left liberal orthodoxies and sacred cows – the new religion of the bien pensant. Trump is trampling over the lot. He is primed to shock.

Mrs May has made  a good start with her defence of liberty and freedom speech to the Republicans. But the British media, led by the high and mighty BBC, is not going to like her ‘tacking’ right. Nor will they let up on the ‘values’ she should be projecting. How will the vicar’s daughter deal with torture as well as the reality TV star, the BBC will continue to keep needling her.

Laura Kuenssberg opined last night that she’ll have to tiptoe across a tightrope. No she won’t. Not if she accepts liberal Left ideology does not fit the facts and that this is what Donald Trump has made his quest to address. Understand that and she’ll have no problem speaking her mind or in winning his respect for her honesty, if not for her charisma.

If she tiptoes across that tightrope, she will fail. Donald Trump and most of America is basing the whole thing on reality, not ideology, especially not that of the left. Like most Americans, I care quite a lot for Britain, and want them to succeed, they are one of very few partners fit for purpose, and our shared history indicates that. But if Mrs. May listens to the Beeb, and much of Whitehall, she will fail.

And that would be a shame.

And yet, most Americans still believe what Harry Hopkins told Churchill in 1941:

“Whither thou goest I will go, and whither thou lodgest I will lodge. Thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God,” he declared, dramatically adding, “even to the end.”

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