Last week, it was reported that two Blackberrys belonging to Western-not-Russian-intelligence official Joseph Mifsud had been recovered. This was according to retired Army Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn’s spectacular attorney, Sidney Powell, who, in a brief filed last Monday, asked presiding District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan to order the government to turn over the Blackberrys' data, as it is “material, exculpatory and relevant to the defense” of her client. She had asked prosecutors to provide the material, but it appears Andrew Weissmann threw her request into the memory hole.
But initial reports of this story failed to detail exactly how and by whom the Blackberrys were recovered. And that, to me, is one of the most intriguing and heartening aspects of the story.
Turkey, the Kurds, and Syria
To listen to some of the Democratic politicians and media babblers (and some Republicans) tell it, Syria was practically a Sandals resort up until two weeks ago, when President Trump pulled out a handful of US troops and suddenly destabilized the Middle East. Pardon me, but before you “destabilize” something, doesn’t it have to be stable first? Syria hasn’t been stable since Aladdin was flying around it on a magic carpet.
I questioned the wisdom of Trump pulling out our troops, and I was appalled by the attacks on the Kurds launched by Turkish President Erdogan. But Trump ran on a promise to withdraw our troops from the Middle East, and he meant it. There are factions in the region that have been killing each other for centuries, and when his critics blast him for bringing our troops home, they never say how much longer they think we should keep sending our sons and daughters to stand between them. Another thousand years? As I said when Trump announced the troop withdrawal, there are no good or easy solutions, there are only hard choices, each of which comes with serious negatives.
In this case, Trump opted for what he saw as the least bad option: removing our troops and warning Turkey not to attack or face devastating economic sanctions. When Turkey attacked anyway, he brought down the economic hammer, and Erdogan quickly decided to agree to a cease-fire. We’ll see where it goes from here. But it’s worth noting that the same people who’ve attacked Trump as a fascist warmonger for the past three years are now attacking him for preferring economic sanctions to sending in the troops. Many of them are also the same “experts” who created the impossible situation in Syria that Trump inherited.
As some analysts are finally starting to point out, if all of Trump’s critics in Congress really think his decision is so terrible, they have the power to pass a declaration of war and send troops back into Syria. But you’ll notice they haven’t. That’s because they think virtue-signaling and attacking Trump are politically advantageous, but getting us into another endless war in the Middle East is not.
If you’d like to cut through the fog of self-righteousness surrounding this issue and learn what’s actually happening and how we got there in the first place, I suggest you check out two excellent new articles.
First, Matthew Continetti at National Review explains how the withdrawal from Syria is a situation we’ve found ourselves in repeatedly, dating back to Vietnam, and how the seeds of it were planted in 2011 when Obama could have acted decisively but didn’t because Americans didn’t want us to get involved in another war in the Middle East.
And in the New York Post, author Kenneth R. Timmerman, an expert on Iran and ISIS, explains what the real goals of all the factions are and why Trump did not sell out the Kurds (indeed, Kurdish military and political leaders previously told Timmerman they didn’t expect the US to come to their aid if Turkey attacked them.)
You’ll learn more from a few minutes spent reading these articles than from watching a week’s worth of CNN. And with these articles, every third word isn’t “impeachment.”
I wanted to make sure you also read these comments:
If you’ve been listening to the Democrats and their pet parrots in the media lately, you’ve been hearing a lot of the same things over and over:
“President Trump abused his power”…”The whistleblower did the right thing in coming forward” (s/he hasn’t come forward but never mind)…”No one is above the law”…“Incumbent members who support the inquiry are simply working to uphold the rule of law, and Republicans who oppose the inquiry are failing to fulfill their oath of office.”
If they’ve all come to the identical conclusions, that must prove that they all have such solid principles that there is only one way to think about the House Democrats’ impeachment push, right? Because the only other alternative would be that they’re using impeachment as a naked political ploy and running focus groups to come up with buzz phrases, then distributing them to insiders to repeat to the media in a cynical attempt to brainwash the public. And they’d never do something so low, self-serving and corrosive to America, would they?
Oh, wait: yes, they would. Someone slipped up and let the memo out of the bag.
Prayers today for the victims of tornadoes that struck Friday night in central Florida…
…And of a tornado that raked across a heavily-populated area of north Dallas last night. It caused serious damage (the extent won’t be clear until after sunrise Monday, and that’s after our press time) and power was knocked out to about 95,000 people, but thank God, early reports are of no deaths or serious injuries in either state.
One thing that always strikes me at times of natural disasters is how people who normally look down their noses at anyone without a university degree are helpless to deal with it, and they expect that someone who knows how to get the lights or water back on will head out into the dangerous storm and do the job of restoring their creature comforts, just as someone else will rush to the police cars, fire trucks and ambulances to deal with any emergencies.
We put so much emphasis these days on getting a college degree, even though degrees are getting more and more expensive while the “education” they represent, at least in the liberal arts fields, is getting more and more useless. If your lights suddenly went out in a storm, can you even imagine calling someone with a master’s in gender studies to come rescue you? I’m sure Mike Rowe would have something to say about that. Whitney Munro at Fox News is also tired of elitists putting down people who do necessary jobs.
I’m glad that I’m not the only one who’s noticed the ever-widening gap between the worth of what colleges and universities are selling these days and what they’re demanding for it, as this column by Prof. Glenn Reynolds at USA Today chronicles. It’s called “States are Cutting University Budgets: Taxpayers aren’t interested in funding campus kooks.”
Behind the many examples of campus kookery in the article is a very serious point: we’ve allowed our institutions of higher learning to be taken over by people who think it’s their mission to teach our children to despise the very system that’s allowed them to have access to higher education – and at the same time they’re attacking American institutions, businesses and taxpayers, they’re demanding that we pony up more money to support their slandering of us. Well, many Americans have been letting their state representatives know that they are no longer interested in subsidizing radical leftist loons who teach their kids to hate them, and that’s starting to be felt in deep budget cuts.
Academics call that attitude “anti-intellectualism.” But I think it takes quite a bit of hubris to consider yourself an “intellectual” when you can’t even figure out what a dog knows: that it’s a bad idea to bite the hand that feeds you.
Bible Verse of the Day (KJV)
"Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver."
- 2 Corinthians 9:7
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