Monday, December 31, 2018
Friends, today I bring you a few articles of note. The first is more confirmation that China's economy is hurting, and it's President Trump who is delivering some of the pain via our ongoing trade war. This is good news -- the more the Chinese leadership sees its economy as vulnerable, the more they will be disposed to make concessions and meet US negotiators halfway. My biggest fear is a fig-leaf agreement that allows the US and China to declare victory, but leaves our unhealthy and unbalanced trading relationship essentially untouched.
In other news, there are strange rumblings from the Bernie Sanders camp about alleged sexual harassment during his 2016 presidential campaign. The upshot of it is that #MeToo elements are trying to prospectively assert control over the dynamics that prevail in the Sanders campaign going into 2020. What transpired in 2016? Who knows. But look for more self-inflicted wounds on the Left as the presidential primary season gets underway. Every Democrat will be playing the race card, the gender card, and any other card that they can get their hands on. The results could be ugly in the extreme.
Lastly, check out this intriguing proposal from Lindsey Graham about how to resolve the government shutdown and get President Trump the $5 billion he needs to build the southern border wall. Graham suggests that DACA protections for some young illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children could be enshrined in the law, in return for wall funding. It's an elegant solution, especially as all sides agree that DACA recipients should be given some path to legal status, and, theoretically at least, all sides agree that we need a secure border. A compromise ought to be possible -- but as I've observed before this debate isn't really about the border at all. I suspect many Democrats would happily betray DACA "kids" if it meant harming Trump. To put it simply, the main reason Democrats don't want a "wall" is because Trump does. That's how childish our politics have become.
Thursday, December 27, 2018
Friends, my latest article examines the question of whether President Trump is right to withdraw U.S. ground forces from eastern Syria. Read on to learn the official WaddyIsRight position on this important issue...
Good Riddance, Syrian Civil War!
The media and the political establishment's excoriation of President Donald Trump for his decision to withdraw U.S. forces from the battlefield of eastern Syria has been blistering, as per usual, but in fact our exit from the Syrian Civil War is well-timed and sensible. President Trump is to be praised for bucking the conventional wisdom in Washington, D.C. to save the American people, and more importantly American servicemen, from this bloody quagmire.
It pays to recollect how we became involved in Syria in the first place. In 2011, in the midst of the chaotic but hopeful “Arab Spring”, a number of global and regional powers, including the United States, decided that now was the perfect time to destabilize the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Accordingly, the Obama administration encouraged a popular rebellion, while denying the rebels the means to succeed in their revolt. The result was a strategic and human nightmare. A civil conflict raged that wrecked the Syrian economy, obliterated cities, killed hundreds of thousands of civilians, and turned millions into desperate refugees. True, Assad is no angel, but the sufferings of the Syrian people since a host of outsiders, including the sage experts in the Obama administration, decided to “rescue” them have far outstripped any indignities that the Assad family could devise.
What was worse was the fact that the Syrian Civil War quickly devolved into senseless and disorganized violence, as the forces “rebelling” against the Assad regime became a many-headed hydra of terrorists, fundamentalists, and crooks. True, some Syrians fought for democracy and freedom, but the conflict also became saturated with a wide assortment of villains, and with foreign actors, including Russians, Iranians, and Turks, who wished to exploit the opportunity to expand their influence.
Worst of all, Sunni extremists in eastern Syria coalesced into a new movement that became known as the Islamic State. ISIS inflicted ironfisted repression, including slavery and torture, on a vast scale, while gruesome executions became the group's calling card. Amazingly, in 2014 ISIS decided to export Muslim theocracy and savage violence to neighboring Iraq (and duly conquered large swaths of that failed state), all while fostering a new wave of terrorist violence in the West. ISIS even became active in Libya, Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria, the Philippines, Palestine, Chechnya, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Pakistan and Afghanistan, as it metastasized into an evil empire of limitless ambition and sadism.
And this was when the United States finally said “Enough!” Under President Obama, U.S. forces were deployed to Iraq to help government forces there stem the ISIS advance. A bombing campaign was waged against ISIS forces in both Iraq and Syria, and American special forces began to worm their way into the eastern provinces of Syria to assist the mostly Kurdish forces who were fighting the Islamic State war machine. As the first important victories against ISIS were won, the U.S. commitment to the anti-ISIS crusade mushroomed, especially in 2017 under America's new President Donald Trump: bases and airfields in eastern Syria were built, and billions of dollars were invested in the conflict. Meanwhile, Russian, Turkish, and Iranian forces awkwardly shared the battlefield with American soldiers. All were united in a temporary, tacit, and very uneasy alliance against the ravages of the Islamic State.
The good news is that America's intervention in eastern Syria was an unqualified success, in terms of advancing the goals that brought us to Syria in the first place: we came, after all, not to oust Bashar al-Assad from power, or to found a new American empire, but to strangle and if possible destroy the Islamic State. It worked. ISIS has lost 99% of its territory, and it has been reduced to the status of a bit player in the Syrian Civil War, no longer able to threaten the integrity of Syria or Iraq, no longer able to project power throughout the Middle East or onto the streets of Western capitals, and no longer able to terrorize the long-suffering people of its eastern Syrian heartland. ISIS is not gone, but it is defeated, and American troops are no longer required to shepherd it to its inevitable demise.
President Trump is right: under the circumstances, Americans should be celebrating the collapse of ISIS, as well as the victorious return of American forces. Instead, the hawkish establishment in Washington, D.C. is carping about lost opportunities and potential strategic advantages ceded to our putative enemies in Russia and Iran.
The truth is that we have “ceded” nothing but a dusty expanse that was never ours to command in the first place. The Syrian Civil War will grind on, and Russians, Turks, and Iranians will fall in it, to no great purpose, especially now that the eventual outcome is a foregone conclusion: the Assad family will remain in charge in the vast majority of Syria.
So why is the U.S. foreign and defense policy establishment so outraged by our withdrawal from Syria? What could Americans possibly hope to gain by persisting in an occupation of eastern Syria? Yes, local Kurds and Sunni Arabs might find our reign there more benevolent than that of Assad, or Russia, or Turkey, or Iran. Eastern Syria is not a dependent territory of the United States, however, and we have no right to decide the fate of its people, especially considering that the legitimate government of Syria doesn't want us on its turf.
Moreover, every second that Americans remain on a battlefield teeming with Russians, Turks, and Iranians, the chances increase that a new and wider conflict will be sparked involving several of these great powers. Do we really want to risk war with Russia, for instance, and the potential nuclear horrors this would involve, simply because we have grown attached to some worthless real estate in eastern Syria? I should hope not.
The only other viable argument against President Trump's withdrawal plan – that further U.S. action is required to finish off ISIS – ignores the fact that other regional threats have long since overtaken the Islamic State on America's strategic radar. We cannot – we should not – physically occupy every piece of ground on which a terrorist movement or proto-state might someday take root, or re-root itself. That would be a recipe for the over-extension of American military power, and it would invite a terrible backlash from outraged locals.
The time has come, therefore, to let others have the “glory” of chasing the last ISIS fighters out of their miserable holes, while the United States refocuses on other priorities, including a host of domestic challenges and the consolidation of Western-friendly regimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. There the prospects for something resembling democracy and/or stability, while not particularly bright, are at least brighter than they ever were in eastern Syria.
I therefore congratulate President Trump on his wise and bold course of action in the Syrian conflict and in the battle against ISIS. It is never easy to deny the hawks in Washington their pound of flesh, but in this case American interests are well-served by doing so.
Simply put, ISIS is now Syria's problem (and Russia's, and Turkey's, and Iran's). We, the American people, having done our part (and more!), wish them all Godspeed in finishing the noble work of obliterating the stain on humanity that is and was the so-called Islamic State. The sooner Syria and the world can move on, the better.
Dr. Nicholas L. Waddy is an Associate Professor of History at SUNY Alfred and blogs at: www.waddyisright.com. He appears weekly on the Newsmaker Show on WLEA 1480.
And here's the American Greatness version, as featured on RealClearPolitics!
And here's the American Greatness version, as featured on RealClearPolitics!
Wednesday, December 26, 2018
Friends, my latest Newsmaker interview with Brian O'Neil is a barnburner! (That's right: we set fire to an actual barn...) We hash over the prospects for a no-deal Brexit...and for the betrayal of British democracy via a new "referendum" to reverse the vote in June 2016 to leave the EU. In addition, Brian and I talk about: the politics and economics of the government shutdown, Trump-Russia fatigue, the question of whether the House will ultimately impeach President Trump, the progress achieved by Trump despite massive opposition, whether the tables can be turned on the leftist Dems pursuing Trump, Rand Paul and his support for American withdrawal from Syria, and waste in the foreign aid budget. Don't miss it!
Tuesday, December 25, 2018
Despite all the challenges we face as a nation, we're still blessed to live in a country where we're free to celebrate (or not celebrate) holidays like Christmas and thus to be true to our own beliefs. May you and yours enjoy much joy and conviviality this Christmas Day!
Sunday, December 23, 2018
Friends, it's been fairly obvious that, under Jeff Sessions and Rod Rosenstein, the Justice Department had very little interest in pursuing crimes and potential crimes committed by FBI agents, Obama administration DOJ officials, and members of the Clinton campaign, the DNC, and the Clinton Foundation. No, the level of motivation to screw Donald Trump was far greater. Here is a wonderful RealClearInvestigations article on how the DOJ has protected its own (and Democrats far and wide) from real scrutiny. If ever there was a compelling argument for the immediate appointment of a second special prosecutor, tasked with bringing the Clintons, the DNC, and corrupt Trump-haters in the Obama administration to justice, this is it.
Saturday, December 22, 2018
Friends, the relentlessness with which the media has focused on "Russian interference" in the 2016 election, and the deviousness with which they have constantly suggested "Trump-Russia collusion" without producing anything other than purely circumstantial evidence, is more than an affront to the canons of journalism -- it's nothing less than a coordinated effort to destabilize and de-legitimize the federal government of the United States. In its sheer irresponsibility, it constitutes a sort of treason-lite. Be that as it may, people have a right to worry about foreign interference in our elections. The real scandal is that the interference of countries other than Russia has gone almost entirely unnoticed, and certainly unpunished. Countries like China and Iran, as this article notes, interfered in 2016. Countries like Saudi Arabia and Israel meddle in U.S. politics as a matter of course. In fact, dozens of countries take an active interest in domestic U.S. politics. Why, then, is the media focused like a laser beam on Russia, Russia, Russia? The question need not even be asked. It answers itself. The sole purpose of the Russia narrative has always been to destroy Donald Trump. This is why concerted Russian efforts to gain influence with Democrats (over many years) are completely ignored. The media's selectivity is...uncanny? Well, we patriots aren't fooled. We see this left-wing propaganda for what it is. But the rest of America? Sad as it is to admit, tens of millions of our countrymen have been hoodwinked. The press has much to answer for.
Friday, December 21, 2018
Friends, there's a new sheriff in town, and his name is Trump. The President has decided to shut down the government to force the Democrats' hand -- and hopefully secure funding for a border wall. Hallelujah! It's about time. I wish President Trump well. In my latest article, I outline some of his bold moves at the border, and I suggest some additional measures that would help to defeat the scourge of illegal immigration. Enjoy! (P.S. Special thanks to Jack, whose fondness for Hispanic lingo helped to inspire the title.)
Trump is Proving to be One Tough Hombre at the Border
After some indecision, President Trump has decided to roll the dice and embrace a government shutdown in order to put pressure on Congressional Democrats to fund a “Great Wall” on the border with Mexico. Bravo, President Trump!
Conservatives and patriots have watched with consternation over the past two years, as Trump has repeatedly given way on the issue of wall funding. The time has now come for Republicans to put up or shut up. As Trump observed himself, upholding the sovereignty of our nation, and protecting the safety of the American people, is the first responsibility of any elected official. Thus, adequately fortifying our porous border with Mexico ought to be a no-brainer for any Congressman. Since, unfortunately, quite a few Congressmen lack the necessary brains to realize this, their hands must be forced. So be it. It is high time that an American President showed the mettle to take this battle on.
The media's reaction to a shutdown is predictable: they will spin it as a calamity caused, as per Chuck Schumer's latest trademark sound bite, by a Trumpian “temper tantrum”. Walls are dumb, the press will say, and Trump is wasting everyone's time, since the Democrats will never vote for a wall. The obvious rejoinder is...Trump clearly believes in the necessity of a wall, as do many of his core supporters. We shall see whether a day, or a week, or a month, or a year, of partially disabled government is enough to bring Democrats to the negotiating table, but they will crack, sooner or later. If in the end that means meeting President Trump halfway and voting for slightly less than $5 billion for the wall, that would be vastly better than nothing.
Those who believe in border security should be thrilled that President Trump is finally going to the mat for a wall. The good news doesn't stop there, however. This week the U.S. also agreed with Mexico that, in future, those traveling through Mexico to apply for asylum in the U.S. will stay in Mexico while their claims are being processed. This is a huge win for the Trump administration. What it means is that Mexico will bear the burden of housing and caring for these migrants (no doubt subsidized by the U.S.), but more importantly these opportunistic gate-crashers will be denied, both in the short-term and in the long-term, what they most want: entry into the United States. After all, going forward, how many poor Central Americans will make the trek to the U.S. border if they know that at the end of it they face a long spell in a Mexican detention camp, followed by a likely refusal of their asylum application by U.S. authorities? Very few indeed.
Imagine just for a second, though, that Hillary Clinton had been elected in 2016 instead, and she had welcomed every self-described “refugee” at the border with open arms, continuing President Obama's policy of “catch-and-release”, which gave these mostly phony asylum-seekers immediate gratification: the ability to work and live in the U.S. Trump's new agreement with Mexico constitutes a strong deterrent to illegal immigration and to fraudulent requests for asylum. The Democratic “plan” for the border, though, would have encouraged greater and greater flows of migrants/refugees, and thus by now America's cities would be overflowing.
We can't, of course, rule out the possibility that Mexico will balk, or that some grandstanding federal judge will try to block President Trump's brilliant new deal with Mexico with a national (or international) injunction, but on the face of it Trump has, at a stroke, torpedoed the raison d'être of the “caravan” system. The end of the road for most migrants will now be in Tijuana, instead of Los Angeles. The American people can breathe a huge sigh of relief.
Despite all these positive signs about President Trump's seriousness about defending our border and our sovereignty against the tide of illegal immigration, there is still more to be done. A wall will not, by itself, prevent all illegal crossings, nor will it stop people from coming to the U.S. as tourists or as students and then choosing to stay here. What will put an end to these forms of illegal immigration is strong sanctions on U.S. employers who hire undocumented workers. The Trump administration has so far not moved as aggressively as it should in this regard. Millions of U.S. businesses continue to scoff at our labor and immigration laws. There still exists no better way to disincentivize illegal immigration than by depriving illegal aliens of work opportunities. Despite the carping this will engender from corporate America, it is in the long run the only way that illegal immigration can be defeated.
Secondly, our country has, as I have noted before, strong laws prohibiting the harboring of illegal aliens, and which make it a felony to aid or encourage illegal immigration. Democratic politicians and various “pro-immigrant” advocacy groups are violating these laws with impunity and have been doing so for years. Jeff Sessions' Department of Justice followed standard operating procedure in such cases – that is, it assumed that Democrats and liberals are above the law. There is no reason why the Whitaker or Barr Justice Department should act with similar fecklessness. On the contrary, it is high time that illegal immigration's enablers and apologists should face the music.
With President Trump's help and guidance, the United States is about to turn the corner on the issue of illegal immigration. We are about to control our border with Mexico for the first time in decades.
Let's not stop there, however. Let's control the homeland as well, by making it a place where employers, politicians, and activists alike respect our immigration laws, and where crime does not pay.
Dr. Nicholas L. Waddy is an Associate Professor of History at SUNY Alfred and blogs at: www.waddyisright.com. He appears weekly on the Newsmaker Show on WLEA 1480.
And here's the Townhall version:
And here's the Townhall version:
Wednesday, December 19, 2018
Friends, don't miss my latest interview on the Newsmaker Show on WLEA 1480. Brian O'Neil and I discuss the head-scratcher that is the Left's vendetta against President Donald Trump...especially in light of the 20th anniversary of President Bill Clinton's impeachment and acquittal. In 1998-99, Democrats couldn't care less that the President of the United States clearly broke the law and obstructed justice. Now, they can't wait to impeach and remove Donald Trump for similar offenses, despite the fact that no strong evidence exists that he committed them. What a difference twenty years makes! In addition, Brian and I talk about our trade war with China, climate change and the prospects for human "extinction", the role of Michael Cohen in the inquisition against Donald Trump, the persecution/prosecution of General Michael Flynn, the need for a new special prosecutor, the prospects for war with Iran, and Gorbachev's policies of perestroika and glasnost in the Soviet Union. Enjoy!
And here's a special holiday bonus: a story about how even Christmas isn't safe from the limitless wrath of Trump-haters. Note that this Yahoo story makes no mention of any possible criticism of these anti-Trump "Christmas decorations," nor does it make the point that maybe, just maybe, Christmas isn't the season to be tearing down the President of the United States. We truly have reached a point where the Left's contempt for Donald Trump is intense enough to be described as pathological. Very sad.
Tuesday, December 18, 2018
Friends, sometimes I see an article title so loony that I just have to read it. This gem comes to us courtesy of the New York Times, which apparently is giving serious consideration to the proposition that it would be desirable for all human beings to just die already. That's right, human scum. You've emitted carbon and tortured cows long enough -- it's time for you to shrivel up and go extinct. Wow. This is the sort of "philosophical argument" that could only come out of academia, and frankly I'm surprised even the NYT would entertain it. Be that as it may, we defenders of Western Civilization should know what we're up against. Even a pro-human stance can't be taken for granted any longer on the Left. Oh, la vache!
Sunday, December 16, 2018
Poor Gandhi. He just can't catch a break. Now an African university is removing his statue because of insensitive remarks he made about African natives during the time he lived in South Africa. And that's liberalism to a tee. There are no heroes anymore, and soon there won't be any statues left, because, unless you uphold every modern leftist prejudice perfectly, 100% of the time, the PC police will come for you eventually too... There's no safety from totalitarians. Take note.
In other news, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is sticking to her guns, saying there will be no "second referendum" on Brexit. Good! Those who wish to undo the results of a democratic election on Brexit should be ashamed of themselves. A "no deal Brexit" is also looking more and more likely. I say: bring it on! Britain can make it work, and if it does work I like to think a great many EU countries might follow in Britain's footsteps...
Lastly, Carl Cannon's take on Mueller's frame-up of President Trump is worth a read. If Matt Whitaker was doing his job, he'd probably be firing Mueller as we speak. A good second choice would be to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate...the special prosecutor's office of Robert Mueller, as well as other DOJ/FBI misconduct and illegality surrounding the probe into Trump-Russia collusion.
Friday, December 14, 2018
Friends, the New York Times gave a backhanded compliment to President Trump today, admitting that his tariffs and America First trade policies are deepening the economic malaise affecting China. Remember when the Left and supposedly every qualified economist predicted that Trump's "trade war" would cause unending misery...for Americans? Well, the robust U.S. economy has put paid to those claims, but as I predicted China is much more vulnerable to a trade war than we are. Exports (especially to the U.S.) drive China's economy. They can ill afford to pick a fight with the United States of America. Will China ultimately blink, accepting many of our demands? I have little doubt that they will. My only worry is that our demands will be too modest, and the trade deficit will continue to fester. The germane political question is: when Trump wins his trade wars, as he surely will, will the New York Times give him any credit? Not much, I would guess, and only on page 22...
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Friends, today I bring you a special Christmas treat: a WaddyIsRight Newsmaker interview and a shiny new article, all rolled into one.
My latest Newsmaker interview with Brian O'Neil covers many key developments, including: the Oval Office clash between President Trump, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer; the ongoing "Yellow Jacket" protests in France; President Trump's poll numbers; the Left's politics of vendetta; the potential presidential candidacy of Beto O'Rourke; the question of "hush money" paid to Stormy Daniels as an "impeachable offense"; climate change; the perils of legislating in the current political environment; President Trump's chief of staff dilemma; the policy of "Vietnamization"; and the historical legacy of the abdication of Britain's King Edward VIII.
Please also check out my latest article, which is an impassioned plea for President Trump to risk a government shutdown in order to force Democrats to fund his proposed border wall. Now is the time to BUILD THAT WALL!!! No more procrastinating.
Sunday, December 9, 2018
Friends, there are two constants in the world of "climate change": 1) politicians, journalists, and academics never tire of hectoring the public about the cataclysm that higher global temperatures portend, and 2) global carbon emissions keep increasing, despite the blather of these sanctimonious elites. If leftist piety could defeat climate change, this war would have been won a long time ago, but in fact all this talk is mere, well, hot air. In the meantime, ordinary folks like ourselves have to wonder: are our prospects really as bleak as the opinion leaders suggest? The upshot is that they are not. Climate change introduces substantial uncertainties and challenges, but mankind is, as best as we can tell, quite capable of meeting them. Consider the arguments of this fine article, and indulge yourselves in a big sigh of relief:
Thursday, December 6, 2018
Hey, nobody's perfect, right? My latest article examines the first two years of Donald Trump's presidency and some of the missed opportunities for this administration. Ideally, these missed opportunities can turn into important lessons for Trump and his team. Fighting his way to reelection will be tough, but Trump is the epitome of tough, and he can be quick on his feet too. I sincerely hope he takes some of my sage counsel to heart, because, if he does hone his message and improve his tactics, there's no limit to what he can achieve. We need four -- well, six -- more years of Trump (at a minimum)! Let's make sure we get it.
And here's some bonus wisdom: a great analysis of the "climate change" boondoggle:
Wednesday, December 5, 2018
Friends, in my Newsmaker interview this week with Brian O'Neil, we pay tribute to our 41st President George H.W. Bush. I analyze his invaluable contributions to the end of the Cold War, a seminal moment in global history that has ushered in a dramatically freer and more prosperous world. This week's show also covers the "yellow jacket" riots in France, Mueller and the unequal justice meted out to Democrats and Republicans, the rise of socialism on the Left, Democratic obstruction of the enforcement of our immigration laws, and much more!
Tuesday, December 4, 2018
Friends, today I recommend to you this excellent article about the state of affirmative action in higher education. Very soon the Supreme Court might consider this issue anew, and I sincerely hope they will end affirmative action for good. You don't hear much about racial preferences in the media -- because to draw attention to them or to question them is not politically correct -- but, as this article describes, the extent of their use, both in higher ed and in the business world, is vast...and very troubling. Millions of Americans are being negatively impacted by these preferences: whites and Asians who are denied opportunities based on their race, and blacks and Hispanics, who are, in many cases, given these opportunities, but do not have the background to be successful in their new roles. The alternative -- to judge people based "on the content of their character" and on their abilities, rather on than their skin color or ethnic background -- seems not to occur to many leftists, but it's one that conservatives, and most Americans, support. Let's end affirmative action for good, therefore, and let's call race preferences what they are: a form of racism that has no place in 21st-century America.
And a quick reminder: media bias has been with us for a long time, and the dearly departed President George H.W. Bush was a frequent victim of it. Take all the after-the-fact praise of his legacy that you see in the press with a grain of salt, therefore.
Saturday, December 1, 2018
Allow me to join in that great chorus of voices that is praising the honorable service and accomplished life of former President George H.W. Bush, who died yesterday. I was always a big fan of his. For many years, in fact, there was a life-sized cardboard cutout of President Bush that adorned my room. Granted, Bush was a moderate, and in 1992 I was sorely tempted to support the insurgent candidacy of Pat Buchanan (for all the obvious reasons), but I never lost respect for Bush the man. He was a patriot, a gentleman, and a consummate public servant. It is to the everlasting shame of this country, if you ask me, that we replaced Bush with...Bill Clinton, of all people, in 1992. We traded a war hero for a peacenik draft-dodger. What a deal! That's water under the bridge, though, and Bush himself never bore a grudge. Can you imagine an officeholder graciously accepting defeat, in our present climate? Well, times have changed, and not always for the better. Mark my words: you'll see a lot of news stories in the next few days to the effect that the real lesson of Bush's life is...that Trump sucks. I respectfully disagree, although I understand why the Bushes find Trump's style so odious. They're entitled to their opinion. I'm also entitled to mine: I think George H.W. Bush was a fine man and an excellent President. By all appearances, he was a great family man too. He will be missed.