From BLACK REPUBLICAN BLOG <[email protected]>
Date January 5, 2020 3:57 PM
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THE USUAL LEFTY BS: Nationwide response to violence in the Middle East:
Anti-war protests reach Fountain Square.

Posted: 05 Jan 2020 07:50 AM PST
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By Glenn Reynolds | Instapundit

A group of activists gathered at Fountain Square around noon on Saturday as
part of a nationwide protest to rally against a new war in the Middle East.
Over 70 cities across the country are said to be a part of the protest,
spearheaded by the Answer Coalition. According to their website, the day of
action scheduled for Jan. 4 was in direct response to the killing of
Iranian military leader general Qasem Soleimani.
So massacres by ISIS, or Iranian-backed militias attacking an American
embassy aren’t “violence in the Middle East,” but the U.S. killing an
avowed enemy is. No surprise given that A.N.S.W.E.R. is, as lefty David
Corn reported, a communist front group.
This was no accident, for the demonstration was essentially organized by
the Workers World Party, a small political sect that years ago split from
the Socialist Workers Party to support the Soviet invasion of Hungary in
The party advocates socialist revolution and abolishing private property.
It is a fan of Fidel Castro‘s regime in Cuba, and it hails North Korean
dictator Kim Jong-Il for preserving his country’s ”socialist system,“
which, according to the party‘s newspaper, has kept North Korea ”from
falling under the sway of the transnational banks and corporations that
dictate to most of the world.“ The WWP has campaigned against the
war-crimes trial of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. A recent
Workers World editorial declared, ”Iraq has done absolutely nothing wrong.“
Officially, the organizer of the Washington demonstration was International
ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War & End Racism). But ANSWER is run by WWP
activists, to such an extent that it seems fair to dub it a WWP front.
Remember, they’re not “anti-war,” or “anti-violence.” They’re just on the
other side. The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Madeline Mitchell should have told us
a little more about the organizers of this event — I doubt she would
obscure the background of the Ku Klux Klan if it sponsored a
DISPATCHES FROM THE MEMORY HOLE: Iran proved vital to al Qaeda’s safe
passage, according to bin Laden records, 9/11 commission.
By Ed Driscoll | Instapundit
Following the death of Soleimani, it seems like nearly the entire DC /
academia / journo natsec/forpol commentariat has penned variations on
exactly the same essay: the President has acted hastily, has no plan, and
isn’t capable of envisioning or handling what happens next. The template
was established by Ben Rhodes on Twitter a few hours after an MQ-9 Reaper
shot a Hellfire missile directly into his professional legacy, and it
hasn’t varied much since.
Yet the more we learn — about the deliberations preceding the strike, about
the chain of events leading to it, about the prior and subsequent moves by
CENTCOM to harden the American position in the region — the more it seems
that the President acted with deliberate aforethought, that he does in fact
have a plan, and therefore likely is capable of envisioning and handling
what happens next. That much is only fair, whether or not one agrees with
the decision as such.
What nearly the entire DC / academia / journo natsec/forpol commentariat
actually means by its critique, though, is that they weren’t included in
any of this. Ben Rhodes took the time to rally them together, get their
talking points aligned, illuminate a pathway to social and professional
advancement: that’s their preferred template for Iran-related policymaking.
Donald Trump’s template for Iran-related policymaking is the smoking
wreckage of a terror mastermind’s vehicle. The courtiers see it, and want
to know what’s in it for them.
Americans see it, and they know.
Indeed they do.__________________
By Glenn Reynolds | Instapundit
DO WE? DO WE REALLY? Byrne hits Ilhan Omar over Soleimani reaction: ‘We
have to wonder what side is she on?’
ANGELO CODEVILLA: War With Iran? The United States has preferred toothless
sanctions over victory. But sometimes the right sanctions are deadlier than
atom bombs.
Because America is the world’s sine qua non economic power, U.S. “secondary
sanctions”—meaning we will not trade with anyone who trades with the target
country—are potentially deadlier than atom bombs. Trump added secondary
financial sanctions as part of his revocation of Obama’s “Iran deal,”
reducing Iran’s oil sales to a trickle. Compared to that measure of war,
bombing a few ports would have been nothing.
Were the United States to place secondary sanctions on all manner of goods,
especially food, the effect would be far greater than an invasion by the
entire U.S. army. How the Iranian people would deal with the choice between
starving and ending their government’s war on America would be their
I feel sure that Trump has thought this through. Also, remember: In the old
days of pre-fracking, the U.S. Navy had to hold the Straits of Hormuz open.
Now it only has to be able to close them.
Kimball: An Antidote to the Iran Hysterics. “Trump has always shown that he
prefers diplomacy to military action. At the same time, he understands, as
did Ronald Reagan, that diplomacy only works when it is backed up by
military strength and a willingness to exercise it.”

In praise of Melania Trump, the first lady treated terribly by the media

Posted: 04 Jan 2020 12:00 PM PST
[link removed]

By Miranda Devine | New York Post

AFP/Getty Images
A new book comparing Melania Trump and Michelle Obama has brought out
predictable slaps against the current first lady from bullies who seek to
attack the president through his family.
Pitting two women against each other just never gets old, does it?
“Melania & Michelle: First Ladies in a New Era,” by Tammy R. Vigil, is
presented as a mere bipartisan assessment of the public images of both
But it thinly veils its criticism of one and its admiration of the other.
No prizes for guessing who’s who.
Vigil, a Boston academic, notes that Melania “ranks among the least liked
of all modern first ladies, [and her] professional life prepared her to
serve more as a visual adornment.”
The afterword belatedly acknowledges that “pitting the two women against
one another is a troublesome (though common) practice.”
But, hey, if it damages the Trumps, go for it.
The Daily News got the message about who is more impressive: “Michelle was
a polished attorney and huge asset to Barack; Melania, a top model, is
nearly invisible,” goes the headline promoting the book.
Vigil declares that Melania’s “difficulties” are exacerbated because she
“followed a popular and competent first lady” in Michelle Obama.
After writing an entire book comparing the two first ladies — one only
halfway through her first term with a wildly hostile media and the other
who completed two terms — Vigil concedes that “directly contrasting these
women is fraught with challenges.”
No kidding.
There is a good reason Melania, 49, might be “aloof” with the media, and
that is because the attacks on her are more vicious, personal and
unrelenting than any first lady has endured.

Whatever you think of her husband, you can’t say she has behaved with
anything but dignity in her role, despite ugly provocations, which include
attacks on her young son, Barron.
When it comes to the former Ms. Knauss, there are no boundaries to bullying
at all.

Her Christmas decorations have been pilloried, her accent mocked. She has
been depicted as a victim of domestic abuse.
When she visited a hospital after the El Paso massacre and cradled an
orphaned baby with a smile, she was slammed for insensitivity.

In December, visiting Texas, first lady Melania Trump comforted family
members living in a FEMA trailer after their home was destroyed by
Hurricane Harvey. (Photo: White House/ZUMA Press/Newscom)
When she recited the Lord’s Prayer at one of Trump’s rallies, she was
branded a “whore.”
Just last week, an entire story ran in Newsweek claiming President Trump
had called her to his side like a dog, with three taps on his thigh.
Clearly, since the president has proven impervious to abuse, his enemies
want to get at him through his wife.
Melania is right to regard herself as one of the “most bullied people in
the world,” as she once told CNN.
There is nothing she can do right in the eyes of media gatekeepers.

Despite her exquisite style and promotion of American brands, she has been
snubbed by fashion’s elite. Vogue editor Anna Wintour recently dissed her
by pointedly praising Michelle Obama’s style when asked about Melania.
Does she deserve no respect because of the man she married?
It doesn’t seem to occur to Melania’s critics that, rather than being a
docile Stepford wife, she might actually share her husband’s political
worldview and encourage his policy positions on such topics as illegal

But, unlike Hillary Clinton, whose aggressive foray into health care policy
when she was first lady caused considerable political fallout for her
husband, Melania doesn’t flaunt her influence.

Michelle Obama was a fine first lady and deserves plaudits for writing a
bestselling memoir since. But her school lunch interventions showed she was
an elitist nanny-stater at heart.

Melania has not committed the same errors of arrogant overreach. She has
the humility to understand that she is not the main game. Such command of
ego is the first requirement of a first lady.
Melania is much more than an airhead former model, in any case.

For starters, she speaks six languages: her native Slovenian, English,
French, Serbian, German and Italian.
She may not have finished college, but she had the street smarts to escape
her tiny town in an impoverished Eastern Bloc country and survive on her
wits in America. She’s no political naïf, either: If your family has
experienced communism firsthand, you have a pretty attuned sense of
politics and ideology.
At the recent G-7 in France, she did not put a foot wrong.

With the eyes of the world on you, it must be nerve-wracking to ensure you
don’t trip or have a wardrobe malfunction or say something silly to
embarrass your husband and nation. Anyone who has accompanied a spouse to
an important business function would know the pressure.

But Melania always looked lovely and engaged charmingly with world leaders.
She kissed Canada’s Justin Trudeau on the cheek (and was accused, weirdly,
of coming on to him). On an excursion to a Biarritz beach, she got on so
well with French first lady Brigitte Macron, they wound up holding hands.
The inclusion of spouses makes these international powwows as much about
personal relationships as highfalutin’ policy, and Melania’s schmoozing
ability is an asset that shouldn’t be underrated.
She is a woman whose poise and dignity speaks volumes.
When people say, “Poor Melania,” she says, “Don’t feel sorry for me. I can
handle everything.”
Any honest assessment of her track record would tell you there’s no doubt
she can handle anything. The Trump haters will have to find a new victim.
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