Posts Tagged ‘Donald Trump’

Abandoning the Palestinian Delusion

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

Scott Adams said that Donald Trump’s election was going to change a lot of things about the way we view the world. One of the things it seems to be killing is the delusion that the current Palestinian ruling class is any way, shape or form a “partner for peace.”

President Trump has threatened to withhold all aid to the Palestinians until they engage in peace talks with Israel.

“That money is not going to them unless they sit down and negotiate peace, because I can tell you that Israel does want to make peace, and they’re going to have to want to make peace too or we’re going to have nothing to do with it any longer.”

Despite all the gnashing of teeth and wailing in outrage from American leftists that President Trump’s decision to finally follow the law and move America’s embassy to Jerusalem would derail any peace talks and spark widespread Palestinian violence. That didn’t happen. Instead, just as President Trump and many conservative observers predicted, the Arab world started to move toward more realistic goals:

Last week in Istanbul, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) recognized East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. They made the announcement with a barrage of angry rhetoric, of course. Israel is a “racist” state, and the Trump administration’s recognition earlier this month of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is “an attack on the historical, legal, natural and national rights of the Palestinian people, a deliberate undermining of all peace efforts, an impetus to extremism and terrorism, and a threat to international peace and security.”

Look past the bombast at the main point. By recognizing East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, the OIC is effectively ceding West Jerusalem to the Israelis and implicitly recognizing it as Israel’s capital.

Snip.

Plenty of Palestinians want the conflict to end and will grudgingly live alongside Israel even if it means giving up the dream of sovereignty over the entire land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean. According to a survey published in August, 53 percent of Israelis and 52 percent of Palestinians support a two-state solution.

At least some in the Palestinian National Authority leadership are among that 52 percent. If President Mahmoud Abbas—who is currently finishing up his twelfth year of a four-year term—could push a button that magically created a Palestinian state that roughly corresponds to the 1967 armistice lines and leads to an enduring and stable era of peace with the Israelis, he would probably push it.

He has never agreed to peace terms with Israel, though, nor is he even open to serious peace talks, because a huge number of Palestinians—especially the armed total rejectionists in Hamas—would brand him a traitor. The dream, the fantasy, of destroying Israel hasn’t died yet. The notion that the so-called Zionist Entity is an ultimately temporary imposition remains all-too powerful in the Palestinian national narrative. Peace is not yet nigh, and Mahmoud Abbas knows it.

Even the two-staters would blow a gasket if Abbas were to sign a peace treaty and concede what the Israelis would force him to concede—no “right of return” for Palestinian “refugees” who have never even set foot in Israel, the West Bank, or Gaza; and Jewish sovereignty over the Western Wall. Odds are high that Abbas would be killed or driven into exile and that yet another war between the Israelis and Palestinians would break out soon after.

Israel’s permanence needs to be part of the story Palestinians tell themselves about their place in the world and in history, and right now, it’s not, at least not among enough of them. The Palestinians, as a whole, aren’t likely to be honest with themselves about this before the wider Islamic world is honest about it first and pressures them to say yes and build the sovereign state that is actually possible rather than continue to pine and sometimes fight for a castle in the air.

Most of the Arab states have quietly set the conflict aside, but they’re afraid to speak truth to the Palestinians, afraid to be branded betrayers, afraid to risk popular wrath and go the way of Egypt’s assassinated Anwar Sadat, afraid to apply the kind of pressure on Palestinian negotiators that ultimately will be necessary. In an alternate universe, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a post-Soviet-style frozen conflict, but in this one, the Syrian and Iranian regimes keep poking it with a stick by funneling guns, money and even missiles to terrorist armies like Hamas and Hezbollah.

That’s why it matters that the OIC just implicitly recognized West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. They didn’t say it in a way that will get them in trouble back home, but the likes of Hamas and Hezbollah absolutely took note that the OIC thinks only East Jerusalem, and not the whole thing, belongs to the Palestinians. They would not have done this had the United States not done it first. It’s a small step, sure, so don’t go popping any champagne corks just yet, but it’s still a step.

Combined with other positive developments, the Middle East has improved more in one year with President Donald Trump in office than eight with Barack Obama.

Whether America’s increasingly Palestinian-phillic Democratic Party will give up their delusional view of them as saintly victims is another question. Signs point to no. Social Justice Warrior-style victimhood identity politics increasingly makes up the ideological core of the Democratic Party, and Palestinians are the victimest. This is the real reason why Democratic support for Israel is at an all-time low. Hatred for Israel is a core-value of the SJW campus left, and from there it has seeped into the heart of the Democratic Party.

That victimhood identity politics is why Democrats have to pretend the likes of Hamas and the PLO are suitable “partners for peace” and why they’re so congenitally soft on jihad. Conservatives want to destroy jihadists, jihadist sanctuaries, and any government supporting jihadists. Liberals want to address “root causes,” which amounts to dumping still more money on corrupt Arab kleptocrats and pretending that if Israel were suddenly wiped off the map, conflict in the Middle East would magically cease to exist.

The Iran Deal is precisely the sort of delusional bullshit liberals try when you leave them running a foreign policy without adult supervision.

Finally, a bit off topic from this essay, but tying in this and yesterday’s post, here’s Ed Driscoll Roger Simon pointing out that Democrats are acting like Palestinians when it comes to immigration reform:

Just as the Palestinians twenty-five years and four significant offers after Oslo have demonstrated they really don’t want a two-state solution with the Israelis, Democrats have now revealed they don’t want to solve the U.S.e immigration problem.

As with the Palestinians, it’s all a shell game.

Donald Trump just offered the Dems an agreement on DACA that gives two million “Dreamers” a pathway to full citizenship after 10-12 years — something not even done by Barack Obama! — and the Dems didn’t even want to discuss the proposal. All that happened was their increasingly unhinged minority leader screamed Trump was “making America safe for white people!”

Paragraph on Pelosi’s mental state omitted.

Pelosi revealed herself to be a repellent racist… or racialist (someone who plays the race card no matter what). More importantly, the Democratic Party unmasked themselves as not all that interested in the “Dreamers” as people. They just want to make the Republicans look, well, racist and lose elections. Otherwise they would be jumping up and down for this proposal.

Call this “projection politics.” Play it long enough and you turn into the very thing you claim the other is. Of course, the Democrats have been playing this so long they really could have been called the Race Party years ago. Other than racial and sexual name calling, they appear to have no policies whatsoever, except opposition to the current administration, no matter what that administration proposes.

Enough Freaking Out Over Trump’s DACA Proposal

Monday, January 29th, 2018

There’s a lot of freaking out over President Donald Trump’s DACA proposal by Republicans who like to freak out over everything Trump says.

You would think, having been through previous freakouts over previous Trump statements, his Republican critics would have learned something by now. Obviously that’s not the case.

His plan would couple the amnesty for Dreamers with a $25 billion request for wall funding, limiting family sponsorship of migration to spouses and minor children, eliminating the Diversity Visa Lottery that gives away immigration passes based on chance, and a number of policy changes to stop abuse of the asylum system and speed deportations of illegal immigrants.

Note that it “would take the immigrants 10 to 12 years to earn citizenship.”

The biggest problem with the proposal is the lack of universal implementation of E-Verify, which would be a cornerstone of any real border enforcement solution. But otherwise there are a number of solid policy ideas for fixing a broken immigration and border control system.

Critics harping on President Trump increasing the number of “dreamers” legalized from 800,000 to 1.8 million are missing the bigger picture. As Rush Limbaugh observes: “I think it was offered knowing that the Democrats would reject this.”

Trump can say, “Hey, I offered it. I’m trying to meet ’em halfway. We’re trying to do something for the kids, and once again it’s the Democrats who say they’re not interested! It’s the Democrats who are walking away.

“It’s the Democrats who cannot accept this seemingly generous offer from the president of the United States.” Chuck Schumer has already rejected it, you just heard Pelosi reject it, and Dick Durbin has rejected it. How many of you were thinking that the Democrats would glom onto this and sign up for it instantly because this would translate to Trump losing? You have to notice that they’re rejecting this. Now, you might say, “Yeah, because they don’t want 1.8! They want 3.6 million. They want 15 million!”

Well, they’re never gonna get that. They’re falling… I think they’re falling into this trap again, and Durbin is being made a fool of… I better stop. I actually should shut up here. I may be giving away too much of the game here to these dingbats. You know, they listen here when they want to. The Democrats have already started smearing Trump’s proposal as white supremacist policy? We’re talking about the DREAMer kids!

Now, part of Trump’s offer does require meritocracy, and that’s what the Democrats can’t stand. That’s another thing. Donald Trump is saying, “We want the best people coming into our country. We want people who love America. We want people who can support themselves. We want people who are gonna become American. We want people are gonna grow our economy.” And what are the Democrats saying? “The hell with that! That’s white supremacy! We need the invigoration that our country gets from immigration.”

They want their permanent underclass. They want the current illegal crop to be granted amnesty. They want nothing more than a never-ending group of people in total dependency, and they are rejecting this. They’ve just been offered a deal that grants amnesty to the children — that’s their number one constituency group, 1.6 or 1.8 million of ’em — and they’re turning it down. They cannot accept it. This is a reasonable offer that the Democrats have to refuse because their prime constituency group is not seen by them as benefiting.

(Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)

Remember how many observers (especially the #NeverTrump variety) opined that President Trump was mishandling the shutdown and undercutting his Republican allies? How did that work out?

It should be obvious to most observers by now that President Trump argues, debate and negotiates in a way unlike any other President. After some initial stumbles, his unorthodox style has produced obvious results.

President Trump has three big advantages going into any negotiations over DACA:

  1. The rule of law: Obama’s DACA was illegal in the first place, given how it ignored existing immigration law.
  2. Republican majorities in the House and Senate: Even if Republican squishes wanted to cave, ala the Gang of Eight, they would still have to convince Republican colleagues to go along with them. (For those who posit that several Republican leaders are just itching to go Full Amnesty, I point out that 2016 happened. For some amnesty was a cynical ploy for more votes, or to avoid getting called racists in the MSM. Neither of those magic spells work anymore. For a Republican in 2018, going full amnesty is tantamount to political suicide.)
  3. A ticking clock: The DACA reprieve runs out in March, and then deportations start. Democrats can make a deal, or they can watch “dreamers” get deported and get nothing in return, except for the chance to keep pounding them as cynics who spurned his generous offer and don’t really care about “Dreamers” if they can’t harvest them for votes.

There are many scenarios in which Trump wins this fight and gets most-to-all of what he wants on border control, very few where Democrats can even earn a tie, and zero for what Democrats really want (full amnesty, open borders and unlimited “undocumented Democrats” boosting their electoral chances well into the future).

So relax. Trump has this.

It’s Another “Trump Can’t Win” Compilation

Sunday, January 28th, 2018

It’s been one of those days, when even lazy blogging material is hard to come by, so here’s another “Donald Trump Can’t Win” supercut:

Trump Ad Hits Democrats Over Illegal Aliens

Monday, January 22nd, 2018

Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign just put out an ad hitting Democrats over crimes committed by illegal aliens:

A few thoughts:

  • Has any President ever launched a reelection ad three years before his term is up?
  • Or used it to hit members of the opposing party over a then-contentious issue?
  • Either polling or Trump’s gut tells him that this is a deeply unpopular issue for Democrats, and I think he’s right. In the current shutdown fight, Democrats have chosen illegal aliens over American citizens, and they need to pay the political price for it.
  • Rick Perry used this issue effectively in his 2010 gubernatorial reelection campaign against Democrat Bill White. In that ad, a Houston police officer talked about how her husband (another police officer) had been killed by a multi-arrested illegal alien while White, Houston’s mayor at the time, was touting Houston as a “sanctuary city.”
  • My suspicion is that Democrats will get clobbered in this fight. We’ll see…

    LinkSwarm for January 19, 2018

    Friday, January 19th, 2018

    This morning starts with Republican house members calling for the release of a deeply disturbing secret memo that evidently relates to the whole FISA/Clinton/Obama misuse of America’s national security assets to spy on Domestic political opponents, including Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign. House members who have read the memo say the scandal unveiled is “worse than Watergate.” Those reading this blog should already be broadly familiar with the outlines of the scandal.

    However, since that memo hasn’t been released as of this writing, on with a regular Friday LinkSwarm.

    Oh, and Democrats are still threatening a government shutdown over illegal alien amnesty for Obama’s “Dreamers.” So you’ve got that to look forward to as well.

  • Speaking of “Dreamers” (which, by the way, is also the name of a porn store in north Austin), illegal aliens of “Dreamer” age have a crime rate double that of American citizens.
  • Including the accused cop killer who says he “wish he killed more of the motherfuckers.”
  • “Analysis: Leftism is a status machine. A very, very successful status machine. Conservatives have lost status battle after status battle, often because they fought it as a policy battle. It rarely is.”

    The media offers people clues about what things are high status within the areas they cover. People notice, and act accordingly. Yet most conservatives still don’t understand Trump’s response:

    If I lower the media’s status, I will wreck their power.

    So The Donald says that the media has “some of the most dishonest people” he has ever seen. Not an arm’s length complaint. A direct and personal status attack, rooted in truth.

    Trump also acts in ways that cause journalists to fulfill his pre-suasion labeling. He makes “outrageous” statements, which many people outside the Beltway Bubble agree with. Those statements receive over-the-top media attacks, which make his enemies look ridiculous. Then events swiftly show that Trump had a point. Trump rubs it in, using the media’s own “Fake News” term against them and pouncing on every sloppy and dishonest mistake. As a final topper, Trump makes the dishonest media a focus during every massive rally. Which strengthens his out-grouping effect among participants and viewers.

    He uses ridicule and lèse majesté, not bended knee and appeals — note that subordinating word — to logical argument.

  • Jim Goad offers a brief essay on comparative shitholes:

    In terms of life expectancy, Norway leads the pack at 81.8 years. Then comes the USA (79.3), with a sudden drop to 63.5 years for Haitians and a mere 55.0 years for Somalians.

    Norway also wins the blue ribbon when it comes to per-capita income, which is a staggering 38 times that of Haitians and 173 times that of Somalians.

    The noble Norsemen also win when it comes to their nation’s mean IQ, which is 100 compared to the USA’s 98. Somalia (68) and Haiti (67) both suffer a mean IQ that is below the commonly accepted cutoff line for “retarded.”

    The only category where the USA comes out on top is the percentage of the population with access to improved sanitation facilities—one index claims that 100% of Americans can find a functional toilet if they try. Next comes Norway at 98.1%. Haiti (27.6%) and Somalia (23.5%) are far, far worse. According to Wikipedia, “Sewer systems and wastewater treatment are nonexistent” in Haiti, which would mean the country is a literal shithole.

  • Andrew McCarthy goes into great detail about what a nothingburger the entire Trump-Russia conspiracy fantasy is. Though larded up with the requisite National Review distaste for Trump, it does include a few valuable nuggets I hadn’t chanced across heretofore, including that the law firm of BakerHostetler was who was funneling payments from Natalia Veselnitskaya and Prevezon Holdings to Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson. (Hat tip: Ann Althouse.)
  • Is Sweden contemplating sending the army to regain control over no-go zones?
  • Democratic Senator Patty Murray’s office: “We don’t care about anti-Semitism in this office,” Murray’s senior adviser said. “We care about transgenders, we care about blacks, we care about Hispanics, we care about gays, we care about lesbians, we care about the disabled.”
  • Switzerland Rejects Citizenship Bids of Residents Who Have Been on Welfare.” (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Speaking of which: “Swiss town denies passport to Dutch vegan because she is ‘too annoying.'”
  • Why hasn’t power been restored to Puerto Rico? Maybe because Puerto Rican authorities were hoarding bital electrical equipment?
  • Austin on finalist list for Amazon’s second headquarters.
  • Baltmore’s mayor fires the police commissioner.
  • Dear Millennials: It has been scientifically proven that your music sucks.
  • East Coast Comicon bans Kevin “Hercules” Sorbo because he’s friends with Sean Hannity.
  • Dolores O’Riordan, the lead singer for The Cranberries, dead at the untimely age of 46.
  • Former Senator, Republican Majority leader, Presidential candidate and World War II veteran Bob Dole just received the Congressional Gold Medal. Best tweet from the event:

  • Gonna pass on the expedited shipping, thanks.
  • A little light today, but I want to hit publish on this before that memo drops…

    David Brooks Finds Half A Box Of Clues

    Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

    Hey, remember David Brooks, the New York Times “conservative” columnist who gushed about Obama’s creased pants leg? Conservatives pretty much stopped paying attention to him then, be he went on to be (naturally) a #NeverTrumper.

    So it’s interesting to find Brooks debunking the excesses of #NeverTrump:

    People who go into the White House to have a meeting with President Trump usually leave pleasantly surprised. They find that Trump is not the raving madman they expected from his tweetstorms or the media coverage. They generally say that he is affable, if repetitive. He runs a normal, good meeting and seems well-informed enough to get by.

    For “repetitive,” I direct people to read (yet again) Scott Adams explaining how Trump uses standard persuasion techniques, including, yes, repetition.

    The White House is getting more professional. Imagine if Trump didn’t tweet.

    Imagine if Trump didn’t keep pantsing our intellectual class by trolling them into overreacting and letting him dominate the news cycle.

    The craziness of the past weeks would be out of the way, and we’d see a White House that is briskly pursuing its goals: the shift in our Pakistan policy, the shift in our offshore drilling policy, the fruition of our ISIS policy, the nomination for judgeships and the formation of policies on infrastructure, DACA, North Korea and trade.

    It’s almost as if there are two White Houses. There’s the Potemkin White House, which we tend to focus on: Trump berserk in front of the TV, the lawyers working the Russian investigation and the press operation. Then there is the Invisible White House that you never hear about, which is getting more effective at managing around the distracted boss.

    I sometimes wonder if the Invisible White House has learned to use the Potemkin White House to deke us while it changes the country.

    “Learn.” As if this wasn’t part of Trump’s strategy from the git-go.

    I mention these inconvenient observations because the anti-Trump movement, of which I’m a proud member, seems to be getting dumber. It seems to be settling into a smug, fairy tale version of reality that filters out discordant information. More anti-Trumpers seem to be telling themselves a “Madness of King George” narrative: Trump is a semiliterate madman surrounded by sycophants who are morally, intellectually and psychologically inferior to people like us.

    You know #NeverTrumper has reached an apex of arrogance when David Brooks calls them smug. It’s like having Liberace declare that someone is “way too gay.” And believing that people whose politics differ from yours are “morally, intellectually and psychologically inferior to people like us” is pretty much the 21st Century’s Democratic Party platform.

    The anti-Trump movement suffers from insularity. Most of the people who detest Trump don’t know anybody who works with him or supports him. And if they do have friends and family members who admire Trump, they’ve learned not to talk about this subject. So they get most of their information about Trumpism from others who also detest Trumpism, which is always a recipe for epistemic closure.

    “Epistemic closure” seems to be the motto of our entire anti-Trump chattering classes these days.

    To be sure, much of the rest of the piece is the usual elite disdain for those uncouth ruffians Trump has empowered:

    There’s a hierarchy of excellence in every sphere. There’s a huge difference between William F. Buckley and Sean Hannity, between the reporters at this newspaper and a rumor-spreader. Part of this struggle is to maintain those distinctions, not to contribute to their evisceration.

    “Never forget that we cultural elites are your betters! Your betters!”

    There remains a huge difference between William F. Buckley, Jr. and David Brooks.

    Liberals And Trump’s Twitter Traps

    Monday, January 8th, 2018

    I’ve written before about how how President Donald Trump uses his Twitter account to dominate the news cycle. After more than two years of Trump using the same techniques over and over again, you’d think liberals would learn not to fall for it.

    You’d be wrong.

    Today’s case in point:

    “Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart.”

    That’s some God Mode-level trolling right there. Liberals keep complaining about how the media pay too much attention to Trump’s tweets…and then go on to react to Trump’s tweets, because they can’t help themselves.

    One of the animating reasons behind #TheResistance and #NeverTrump is an absolute bedrock convictions that they, being smart and sophisticated, are ever-so much smarter than that bumbling doofus Trump. By offering up “being, like, really smart,” Trump once again baits liberals into responding to him, dominating yet another news cycle. One wonders if he does this instinctively, or if he spends time editing them for maximum troll effect. Maybe he had “I’m really smart” then threw in the “like, really” for maximum troll effect.

    He’s like a bored teenager dangling a bit of yarn in front of a kitten, knowing that there’s no way it can resist the lure…

    Monkey Business

    Saturday, January 6th, 2018

    Heh:

    LinkSwarm for January 5, 2018

    Friday, January 5th, 2018

    Happy New Year!

  • How Donald Trump is restoring the S-curve.
  • What it’s like to be a New York Times reporter during the war on terror:

    Success as a reporter on the CIA beat inevitably meant finding out government secrets, and that meant plunging headlong into the classified side of Washington, which had its own strange dynamics.

    I discovered that there was, in effect, a marketplace of secrets in Washington, in which White House officials and other current and former bureaucrats, contractors, members of Congress, their staffers, and journalists all traded information. This informal black market helped keep the national security apparatus running smoothly, limiting nasty surprises for all involved. The revelation that this secretive subculture existed, and that it allowed a reporter to glimpse the government’s dark side, was jarring. It felt a bit like being in the Matrix.

    It’s a long and informative piece, even if you don’t accept all of reporter James Risen’s analysis. And it really does show how badly our national security agencies leak…

  • The recently discovered vulnerability in Intel chips is really, really bad. And fixing it requires about a 5-30% performance hit on every OS that runs atop Intel processors. (Here’s a nice layman description).
  • More on the same topic from Borepatch.
  • “Crazy” like a fox: “The tougher the sanctions and rhetoric from the United States, the more flexible North Korea is becoming.”
  • 40 companies offer Trump Tax Cut bonuses. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Germany outsources censorship. Evidently you’re not allowed to say anything critical of Muslims or “Muslim refugees,” ever. “How the Germans can’t see that such a law, in the hands of the wrong party, could be devastating is a mystery. I can only conclude such occurrences have no precedent in their country from which they could draw obvious lessons.” (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • Scott Adams enumerates all the things President Donald Trump broke that needed breaking.
  • DACA isn’t what Democrats say it is.
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinds Obama-era memorandums on state-level legalized marijuana. Popehat thinks this is, at present, mostly cosmetic due to the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment. I oppose federal marijuana prohibition on constitutional grounds: Regulating marijuana is not an enumerated power of the federal government, regulation is neither necessary nor proper (thus no 9th Amendment justification), and thus a matter entirely for the states absent any interstate commerce under the 10th Amendment.
  • “Mayor Sylvester Turner’s press secretary was suspended for two weeks without pay after she failed to turn over thousands of documents required to be released under Texas law. Darian Ward was asked to turn over emails relating to her work on non-city related projects, including a private side business called ‘Joy in Motion Productions.'” She must have gone to the Hillary Clinton School of Email FOIA compliance…
  • Dave Chappelle has a point. As gross, disgusting and socially unacceptable as having Louis C.K. masturbate on the phone with you is, if you let that dissuade you from pursuing a career in a field as hotly competitive as standup comedy, that’s on you. (Hat tip: Ann Althouse.)
  • “Genetic Study Supports Carbohydrate-Insulin Model of Obesity.”
  • Perfect season.
  • Dibs.
  • Iran Roundup for January 2, 2018

    Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018

    Widespread protests against the corrupt theocratic regime continue across Iran, so here’s a roundup of news. Here’s a liveblog on the protests, courtesy of Austin Bay at Instapundit.

  • This piece makes the case that Iran’s corrupt theocratic government has used up all its remaining legitimacy:

    As with the Soviet Union in its last days, the Islamic Republic can no longer appeal to its ideals; it relies only on its security services for survival. That is deadly for a theocracy, by definition an ideological construct. Ideological authoritarian states need a vision of the future by which their enforcers can condone their own violence. The theocracy’s vast patronage system will not cure this crisis of legitimacy. In many ways, Mr. Rouhani was the ruling clergy’s last gasp, a beguiling mullah who could enchant Westerners while offering Iranians some hope. That hope has vanished.

  • “US gives Israel go-ahead to kill powerful Iranian general.” The would be the same Quds force commander Qassem Soleimani Obama saved three years ago in pursuit of his precious, asinine Iran deal. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • How President Donald Trump saw the Iranian protests coming. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Some pessimism about protestor’s chances:

    In Iran, the obstacles to success are daunting. Whereas most Middle Eastern countries are ruled by secular autocrats focused on repressing primarily Islamist opposition, Iran is an Islamist autocracy focused on repressing secular opposition. This dynamic—unarmed, unorganized, leaderless citizens seeking economic dignity and pluralism, versus a heavily armed, organized, rapacious ruling theocracy that espouses martyrdom—is not a recipe for success.

    And yet, against this inauspicious backdrop, Iran’s mushrooming anti-government protests—although so far much smaller in scale than the country’s 2009 uprising—have been unprecedented in their geographic scope and intensity. They began December 28 in Mashhad, a Shiite pilgrimage city often considered a regime stronghold, with protesters chanting slogans like “leave Syria alone, think about us.” They soon spread to Qom, Iran’s holiest city, where protesters expressed nostalgia for Reza Shah, the 20th-century modernizing autocrat who ruthlessly repressed the clergy. They continued in provincial towns, with thousands chanting, “we don’t want an Islamic Republic” in Najafabad, “death to the revolutionary guards” in Rasht, and “death to the dictator” in Khoramabad. They’ve since spread to Tehran, and hundreds have been arrested, the BBC reported, citing Iranian officials.

    (Hat tip: Director Blue.)

  • Iran Charges Russia With Selling Out its Air Defense Secrets to Israel. The Islamic Republic says Russia sold codes to Israel that neutralize its air defenses.” Attacking your primary arms supplier, and your ally Syria’s effective air force, is a pretty desperate look. If true, it also means that America (and probably Saudi Arabia) have those codes as well… (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Obama toadies vs the Iranian people:

    In the US, former members of the Obama administration and the liberal media have determinedly downplayed the importance of the protests. They have insisted that President Donald Trump should stop openly supporting the protesters and so adopt former president Barack Obama’s policy of effectively siding with the Iranian regime against the Iranian people who seek its overthrow.

    These talking points have been pushed out into the media echo chamber by Obama’s former deputy national security adviser and strategic communications chief Ben Rhodes, his former national security adviser Susan Rice and former secretary of state John Kerry.

    Obama’s Middle East coordinator Philip Gordon stated them outright in an op-ed in The New York Times on Saturday. Gordon called on Trump “to keep quiet and do nothing” in response to the protests.

    In Gordon’s view, no matter how big their beef with the regime, the protesters hate the US more. And they really hate Trump.

    Gordon wrote, “Whatever Iranians think of their own government, they are unlikely to want as a voice for their grievances an American president who has relentlessly opposed economic relief for their country and banned them from traveling to the United States.”

    Just as Obama’s surrogates have repeated Gordon’s claims, so the Obama-supporting liberal media have gone out of their way to diminish the importance of the protests in their coverage of them and use Obama’s surrogates as their “expert” analysts to explain what is happening (or rather, distort what is happening) to their audiences.

    Obama administration officials have been so outspoken in their defense of the Iranian regime because they rightly view the prospect that the protesters will succeed in overthrowing the regime as a mortal threat to their legacy.

    Obama’s foreign policy rested on the assumption that the US was a colonialist, aggressive and immoral superpower. By their telling, the Iranians – like the Cubans and the Russians – were right to oppose the US due to its legacy of meddling in the internal affairs of other countries. This anti-American worldview informed the Obama administration’s conviction that it was incumbent on the US to make amends for its previous decades of foreign policy.

    Hence, Obama traveled the globe in 2009 and 2010 apologizing for the policies of his predecessors. Hence, Obama believed that the US had no moral right to stand with the Iranian people against the regime in the 2009 Green Revolution. As he saw it, anyone who stood with the US was no better than an Uncle Tom. Truly authentic foreign regimes were be definition anti-American. Since the Green Revolutionaries were begging for his support, by definition, they didn’t deserve it.

    Since the current wave on anti-regime protests began last Thursday, the liberal media have parroted the Obama alumni’s talking points because they feel that their war against Trump requires them to embrace Obama’s legacy just as they embraced his talking points and policies for eight years.

    After all, if Obama is not entirely infallible, then Trump cannot be entirely fallible. And if Trump may be partially right and Obama partially wrong, then their dispute may be a substantive rather than existential one. And so, the New York Times’ coverage of the most significant story in the world has deliberately distorted and downplayed events on the ground in Iran.

  • A relevant Twitter thread: