Behold, Yonder President Tweet

President Donald Trump tweeted something. Let’s do this…

President Trump tweeted “I have been much tougher on Russia than Obama, just look at the facts. Total Fake News!” In case this is hard to believe the link is located below. This is a classic Bannon-esque troll, but the reason it’s effective is that it’s technically true. But looking at that facts, it is clear he could do more.

It is understandable to see people “LOLing” and all the laughing-crying-face-emoji reactions that litter social media at the president’s tweet but he has, in fact, been tougher on Russia than Obama. It’s the complete inverse of Obama who talked tough and did nothing. Trump, true to his form, is warm and pleasant on the surface towards Putin but recently humiliated him in Syria.

Could Trump be doing more? Absolutely. He could be imposing sanctions on Russia that passed in the United States Senate 98-0. He could stop denying that he benefited most from Russia openly targeting the U.S. election process. He could stop sending mixed messages that undermine his cabinet and the US global efforts in general. He could be clear to European allies that America stands ready to aid them in rebuffing much stronger efforts by the Russian government. He could be demanding scrapping the process in Geneva to end the civil war in Syria and insisting no one return to the table until other countries are ready to talk about actual solutions. There’s plenty he could be doing.

The most bizarre and frankly confusing thing about Trump and Russia is there are so many missed opportunities to stain Obama’s legacy and stick it to the media, which sometimes seems to be the only reason Trump ran for president. Of course, making Paul Manafort a campaign adviser surely stained Trump’s credibility and in time his own legacy. Americans should acknowledge the change in policy towards Moscow while at the same time demanding the bar be raised.

None of our problems in the world have changed, just our leadership. The options we had on January 19th, 2017 are the same options we have right now. The White House has drawn a firm line in Syria it should take out a red sharpie and draw a few more, but not on Twitter.

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Trolls, Mercenaries, and Narratives — Oh My!

Russia, at times, can seem like one big rabbit hole which is a feature not a bug. As a general rule one should avoid internet rabbit holes as they are time consuming and rarely lead to any real answers. But every rule has an exception and these newly revealed facts are most certainly an exception. It feels like a Quentin Tarantino movie with the villain controlling vast internet troll armies and mercenaries in a war torn middle eastern hellhole complete with a jumbled up timeline that starts in the middle of the story. (However, it’ll be missing the gratuitous profanity because Redstate is a classy joint.)  

Yesterday news broke that Department of Justice (DOJ) would indict 13 Russians which was all expected as the DOJ has been turning over every rock in sight to find out exactly what Russia’s role was in the 2016 presidential election. What slipped past even the most dedicated, pundits, observers and commentators could turn everything we’ve been told about Russia’s power and presence in Syria on its head. Strap in because this timeline is gonna jump around a bit.

On February 8th, 2018, anywhere from 300 to 600 Assad loyalists launched an attack on American Special Forces and American-backed Forces 5 miles East of the Euphrates River outside a place called Deir Ez Zor. The “battle” lasted a little over 3 hours. What side of the Euphrates this battle occurs in is vital because of the agreement made by Moscow and Washington D. C. at the end of the Obama administration. According to the U.S. State Department and journalist with Chechen sources in Syria, it wasn’t a “battle” it was bloodbath.

Neither Russian or American officials had much to say on the matter. America chose to give the Russians, who know exactly where all American forces in Syria are at all times, the benefit of the doubt. Something those not familiar with the dynamics of the Cold War may find odd, but it’s quite common.

Eli Lake wrote at Bloomberg, “Better to express bewilderment and give Russian President Vladimir Putin a chance to back down and deny culpability, which he ended up doing despite the heavy casualties suffered by his mercenaries.” The mercenaries were employed by Wagner, a private Russian military company often compared to Black Water, the American private security company who gained infamy in Iraq.

The exact number of dead Russian mercenaries contracted by Wagner is still unknown, but according to the Institute for the Study of War and people on the ground in Syria, Hezbollah was apart of the attack and the number of killed Hezbollah fighters is also unknown. Best estimates are between 50-100. The real answer likely lies with a man mentioned in the DoJ indictments, Wagner owner, Evgeni Prigozhin. This is the point in the Tarantino movie where the name “Evgeni Prigozhin” would come on the screen with some funky jam playing in the background and Samuel L. Jackson would explain through narration that Prigozhin was known to US intelligence. This is also where the story jumps back in time to 2014 when the US became aware of Prigozhin’s trafficking of misinformation. In other words, he ran a Russian troll farm.

The fact that Prigozhin ran a propaganda mill and a company that employed mercenaries who fight for Bashar al-Assad should have anyone following this story pumping the brakes on any claims made by Russia or Wagner. They do, after all, specialize in disinformation and stirring up chaos. What’s clear is Russia doesn’t have control of the situation in Syria. They’re stretched too thin and can’t project or maintain security any further east in Syria than Palmyra and they most certainly can not budge American forces east of the Euphrates.

The poetic justice here is that in a span of 4 days Prigozhin lost his mercenaries in Syria and his troll army in Russia. Russians haven’t seen a string of defeats like that since the Soviet-Afghan war. Prigozhin waged real war and a propaganda war and it seems the tide is turning for the worst on both fronts for him. Tarantino couldn’t have written it any better.

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Propaganda Only Works In America If We Let It

The United States Department of Justice handed down indictments on 13 Russians today of which the most notable being Yevgeny Progozhin who managed the now infamous “Russian troll farms” in St Petersburg, Russia and is a known associate of Vladimir Putin, oligarchs have to stick together after all. For anyone who watched the Republican primaries that began in 2015 this is not surprising in the slightest, in fact what is surprising is how so many failed to see it happening in real time.

 

Most observers point to the rise of, the now leader of the free world, Donald Trump in July of 2015 as the moment the Russians arrived on American social media, this is not so. As the indictment stated, the farms go back all the way to 2014. Those farms were focused on the conflict in Ukraine and Syria at the time, but quickly pivoted to events in Ferguson, Missouri when the death of Michael Brown came to dominate the media for months on end. And most would be happy to blame the Russians for planting the seeds of distrust between the American media and its consumer base, but the boring unfortunate truth is the media planted those seeds themselves.

 

What the Russians seized upon did not start with Trump and it wasn’t calculated — it is just who the Russians are and what they do. It is policy for Moscow: spread chaos. It started on October 19th, 2014 which was the night the New York Times released the Michael Brown autopsy at 10 pm on a Friday. It had nothing to do with the Russians, they just instinctually seized on the competing narrative. From that moment on mistrust of the media grew and that’s the fractured point Moscow hammered. A year later, student activists would be physically removing accredited members of the media from protests on public property.

 

The movement that needed the media to get its message out turned on the very same media. Even now, if you were to go to the recent Stockely protests you’d hear claims of “CIA informants” and “COINTELPRO 2.0”. It’s easy to mock this as “woke” culture but this didn’t happen in a vacuum. These groups were targeted by people acting in the best interest of Russia.

 

Why is that the flashpoint that lingered? Because after the dust settled in Ferguson everyone was feeling lied to and used. Those feelings have a way of lingering with people and what lingered is what Trump tapped into. Trump doesn’t hit the scene until July of 2015, but it was immediately clear the media gave him way more coverage than anyone else. But after “hands up, don’t shoot” was shoved down America’s throat it didn’t matter because people were already tuning the media establishment out. This doesn’t suggest collusion on the media’s part but rather what exactly Russia understood about what made the media tick.

 

At the same time Russian trolls start to creep into the Republican primaries via the debates over Syria (as eastern Aleppo was being leveled) and the Ukraine they were also stirring chaos on the campus of the University of Missouri. This was so significant Lt. Col. Jared Prier wrote it up in the Strategic Studies Quarterly. Writing,

 

“In contrast to more traditional forms of cyberattack, cyber operations today target people within a society, influencing their beliefs as well as behaviors, and diminishing trust in the government. US adversaries now seek to control and exploit the trend mechanism on social media to harm US interests, discredit public and private institutions, and sow domestic strife.”

 

Chaos. This isn’t isolated to one group and it isn’t to aid Americans who seek to use the Russian narrative for their own personal wedge issue, the point is to spread chaos. The point is to make other groups fight inside the tent. It’s quite a simple and ingenious strategy. It’s a tactic in the “Great Game” as the British used to call it, but have no misgivings, these are attacks and hostile acts. Caleb Howe wrote, “It is something of a dirty public secret that the United States is routinely the target of cyberwarfare and acts against us that, to a traditional line of thinking, would be considered such overt acts of war as to precipitate a real world conflict. This is to say, acts that go above mere spying”. It’s unclear if troll farms are above or below spying. Time will tell.

 

And the worst part of it all is beating the Russian propaganda campaign is super easy. Countering cyberattacks is an immensely complicated task while countering actual attacks like the recent one in Syria near Deir ez Zor that left scores of pro-Assad militias dead are less complicated. Counter Russian propaganda efforts are fairly easy and require little to no funding. Treat your friends like friends. Neighbors like neighbors. And check the sources of anything you share. If you have time to talk about it on the internet you have time to check out where the story originated from. That’s it. A little effort and a lot of manners will go along way.

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This Is Who They Are

Friday, The United States Treasury Department released 14 new names of Iranian individuals and entities to be sanctioned. The most controversial being the head of the barbaric Iranian judiciary, Sadeq Amoli Larijani. He’s been singled out over leading a justice system that oversees “the execution of individuals who were juveniles at the time of their crime; and the torture or cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment or punishment of prisoners of Iran, including amputations”, according to US officials.

Not an exaggeration in the slightest, 4 years ago the Iranian government purchased machines to cut the fingers off of thieves and they used it in October in Mashhad where the Iranian protests started on December 28th, 2017. This is the complete opposite direction that Larijani promised to go in when he took his position in 2009, a position the West hoped to be reasoned with. But no dice — this is who they are. This is what the regime is about and Larijani has been at the center of the regime since the early 1980’s.

He married a prominent cleric’s daughter and shot up the ranks of the Iranian Revolution Guard Council (IRGC). At the age of 21, Sadeq Larijani was giving lectures to the IRGC on religion and at Mashhad Razavi University. Yes, Mashhad, the pious city where the Iranian protests began.

Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif issued a statement saying Iran would retaliate against the sanctions placed on Larijani. That’s not surprising, of course the people dependent on the Iranian regime’s power structure to maintain their own personal power and become wealthy defend the the guy who legally justifies the means by which the become wealth. What will be shocking is how many Western pundits and analysts defend the same corrupt power structure for the sake of nuclear deal that seems to be doing little to constrain or restrain the Iranian regime from destabilizing its neighbor to gain regional hegemony.

Zarif also said “The Trump regime’s hostile action (against Larijani)… crossed all red lines of conduct in the international community and is a violation of international law”. This is a laughable statement considering the Iranians supplied a missile to Houthi rebels in Yemen that was recently fired at a international civilian airport in Saudi Arabia and propped up Bashar al-Assad after he used chemicals weapons on his own people. The deal isn’t curbing Iran’s behavior, in fact, the one place they have backed off is Yemen where they were exposed as the instigator.

Iran has succeeded in using the deal as a wedge between European countries who want to profit from an open,legitimized Iran and the United States who has protected Europe since 1945. At the same time, using whatever wedge issue de jour within America to demonize their detractors, namely Republicans. For example, the Ayatollah Khamenei tweeted out that the US had no right to “slam” Iran’s judicial system using the hashtag “black lives matter”.

How Americans and Westerners fail to see through the transparent pandering and hypocrisy is a truly stupefying sight to behold day in and day out. For someone to see the Iranian regime as some sort of ally in criminal justice reform is an insult to intellectual debate itself. It’s down right stupid.

Sadeq Larijani has been the lead judicial official for a regime that imprisons and tortures thousands of people for political crimes while publicly hanging gay teenagers, he is sanctioned for reason. If journalists and pundits want to stake their credibility on defending people like Larijani that’s their business but the juice doesn’t seem like it’s worth the squeeze.

Yet, like clockwork the New York Times showed up on Saturday with its predictably soft coverage of Iran. The New York Times mentioned the head of the Iranian judiciary as if the only transgressions were being too rough on protestors, this is after 21 have been confirmed dead and hundreds more are being held in little better than dungeons. Thomas Eidbrink briefly noted “Two of those arrested died in prison in the aftermath of the protests, in what officials said were suicides. Protesters say the two men were killed.”

It is understandable that being in Tehran Eidbrink would not be antagonistic towards Iran with his coverage as it would land him jail, but come on! The New York Times covered the protest of the judicial system in America in a completely different light. “Protesters have to be heard and their stories matter” we were told as the narrative was completely shoved down America’s throat after protests ignited in Ferguson, Missouri. Publication after publication covered the protest day in and day out. But now, Iranian protesters get two sentences in the New York Times.

The New York Times myopically excludes all the other things Larijani stands accused of over his 30-plus year career. It is not possible to have an honest and intellectual debate over the Iran Deal policy if the other side has zero intellectual honesty.

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Trump’s Orbit

Messaging is a critical component in the conventional foreign policy theory of deterrence, which has been the cornerstone of American foreign policy since Ronald Reagan. America has seen success with this policy; always be willing to talk and work things out, but keep a battle carrier group on speed dial. Its simplicity is its beauty.

This piece was shared by the Brookings Institute, a champion of Barack Obama’s foreign policy and fierce defender of his legacy. Even they understand the need for a unified message.

There are three key figures that define President Donald Trump’s messaging besides his controversial Twitter feed: His daughter Ivanka Trump, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and Ambassador to United Nations Nikki Haley. All three represent the White House in one aspect or another, so the messages they send, whether implicitly or explicitly, are significant to America’s friends and enemies.

Ivanka Trump represents, unofficially, her father’s personal brand. She has done so since his reality television days. Besides having to explain or defend ridiculous things said by her father, she also has the additional baggage of being married to Jared Kushner, an aloof and controversial figure in the current White House due to his questionable business dealings. Ivanka is sincere and graceful, but she’s too close to her father’s orbit and has no experience whatsoever to deliver any kind of national message effectively on a global stage. She’s purely cultural, and that doesn’t make for great policy.

Look, Ivanka Trump is controversial based on proximity alone, but there are plenty of women who don’t spend all day on the internet obsessing about identity politics who might think “hey, she always seems classy and poised and dresses really well” or “she seems like a good mom,” which makes her message effective for some in America and the West where people identify with people they are like. It’s possible, but it is limited in its scope.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis is fantastic at defending America in every sense of the word. The messaging from him is everything one would want to hear from the person tasked with defending one’s country. His message projects the power of Trump’s Office (the real power of the Executive Branch, not the power to make liberals hysterical) but lends little to the culture needed to drive media interest. The general message one gets from Mattis is he is just here to stop enemies. It isn’t flexible. If you have to talk to that man on a diplomatic level, you are already in a world of shit.

Mattis has seen combat and written policy. He gets the attention of his, now decades old, foes in the Middle East, and since he’s been in charge of the defense of the United States, South and North Korea have agreed to hold peace talks. This is a basic and factual timeline. But still, projecting power is completely within Trump’s orbit and only one part of diplomacy. Ultimately Mattis is tied to Trump given that he still needs the president to authorize any action of escalation. There will be no linking of General James Mattis in this piece. One doesn’t link Mattis, Mattis links you.

Then there’s Nikki Haley. She was chosen to represent the United States at the United Nations, which has all of the sudden become the arbiter of all disputes due to the recent protests in Iran. This sudden change came after the United States threatened to strip funding for the international governing body in December of last year. The UN is a riddle for the Trump White House; on one hand, his base wants him to abandon it to ruin; on the other, there is the undeniable fact that a large part of the world relies on UN funding for aid and stability, which makes the world safer and ultimately the United States safer.

Haley wasn’t a vocal Trump fan, and she doesn’t engage in the President’s tussle with the American media. She has recently instructed the press pools to keep questions solely to foreign affairs before a recent press conference over Iranian-supplied Houthi missiles that were fired at Saudi Arabia. She appears to have been able to distance herself from the President and operate according to standard conservative foreign policy principles, and this places her the farthest away from the Trump orbit.

She has a complex and tumultuous global landscape to navigate, filled with bitter and nefarious rivals. The global elites who pushed the Obama White House out of Ukraine, allowed red lines to be crossed in Syria, and demanded the US sign on to the ineffective Iran deal scoff at her for her lack of notoriety in sensitive global matters, but what they fail to grasp is her time as the governor of South Carolina was about as tumultuous as it gets in modern America due to racial terrorism against black Americans.

In 2015, a crazy white supremacist filled with hate walked into a South Carolina black church and killed nine American worshippers. That’s twice as many lives taken as the Birmingham Church Bombings in 1964, and Haley’s steady hands guided her state to the calm after a horrific storm. She found reconciliation for the people who chose her to lead. Furthermore, the daughter of Indian immigrants made the hard call in a difficult moment to remove Confederate flags from state grounds, which earned her scorn from some in her own party, and to acknowledge that race was still an issue to be addressed in America. All that she did was in an effort to reconcile divided parts of her state.

This is every bit the “real America” as all the unfortunate things pointed out by the Iranian ambassador to the United Nations Friday afternoon in an attempt to deflect from Iran’s own naked slaughter of fellow Muslims across the Middle East.

After the U.S. called for an UNSC meeting on Iranian protests, Alizer Miryusefi, communications director for Iranian mission to the United Nations tweeted that “This is nothing but another desperate attempt by the US admin. to escape forward, as it has lost every shred of moral, political and legal authority and credibility in the eyes of the whole world.”

The people who have sworn to drive Israel from the Middle East and into the sea — pretty much a zero sum from any angle — have the nerve to say “These measures are not needed to simply fight back against fake news, rioters and electoral interference, but more ominously in the fight against terrorists, including ISIS. This fight, distinguished members and colleagues, is not zero sum: we will either win together or lose together.” That’s a direct quote from a speech Friday by Gholamali Khoshroo, Iranian ambassador to the UN. But Khoshroo also says “Trump and some other U.S. politicians have joined ISIS and its patrons in our region to openly incite and encourage violence.” It seems like the Iranian ambassador is asking the UN to fight American politicians. That’s a terrible idea as Republicans are seriously contemplating stripping allocations from the budget and the rest of the globe knows it.

Khoshroo also focused on racial tension as if it would trip Haley up and get her off message, but that is foolish ground for the Iranians to choose for a messaging and media war for the narrative. It’s ground Haley has navigated many times in efforts to bring about reconciliation, which has long been apart of the American consciousness, though it’s rarely discussed by those trying to undermine America’s role as global leader.

The United States invested in its own reconciliation and reconstruction immediately after the Civil War. It reconciled with the British after the War of 1812, Japanese and Germans after World War II, and Saudi Arabians after 9/11. While America has its sins and faults, reconciliation has been a continuous national sentiment since its inception. After all, reconciliation is good for business.

Though there’s great hope for reconciliation with the Iranian people, it’s crystal clear reconciliation with the theocratic regime in Tehran is impossible. For now, the efforts to change that are diplomatic.

Diplomacy is the preferred route and The Message is everything in diplomacy and peace — it is the heartbeat of deterrence. What many have forgotten or failed to learn is maintaining the leverage of deterrence costs a pound of flesh, but gaining that leverage back once lost will cost far more. The messaging moving forward for the White House needs to be tight, clear, and with Haley leading it, as she is the one least encumbered by the baggage one acquires in Trump’s orbit.

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Haley Vetos United Nations Resoltuion Over America’s Embassy In Jerusalem

The world has it’s panties in a wad over where the United States chooses to put its embassy in Israeli. It has traditionally been in Tel Aviv but recently the White House announced it would move its primary diplomatic instillations and recognize Israel’s capital as the ancient holy city of Jerusalm.

The world body was so bothered by the move they called a meeting at the United Nations Security Council to insist the United States reverse its decision, but “insisting” is about all that they could do.

America’s ambassador to the UN used the power only her and 4 other ambassadors posses, her veto.  This is something that should be familiar to the breathless masses foaming at the social media mouth as it was used by Russia, who also has veto power, multiple time to prop up Syrian president Bashar Al Assad who systematically committed genocide against his own people for daring to oppose his dictatorially authoritarism, at first by protest and then later by armed struggle.

For eight years, former President Barack Obama pounded his podium demanding Russia cooperate to end the war in Syria and every time Russia would laugh and say “make us” in diplomatic terms. The UN would call for a ceasefire and the next day Russia would bomb civilians in Aleppo or some other god forsaken corner of what used to be called Syria. When chemical weapons killed 1400 people in Ghouta in 2013 Russia assured the UN they would remove the chemical weapons. Assad has gone on to use chemical weapons 3 more times in Syria and counting.

So, now the issue that is most pressing to the United Nation Security Council isn’t the horrors of Yemen and the Iranian presence that drives it but paper work and buildings in Israel. This is why the United Nations is completely feckless and a useless joke at best and an accomplice to destablizing a region at worst. The global body seated in New York, New York, USA doesn’t govern a damn thing it is a mere theater for “diplomacy” to be played out upon.

What the Jerusalm decision boils down to is messaging. The message is a response to the laughing and taunting coming out of Tehran and Moscow over their fortune paid for in Syrian blood and the message from the United States is simple  — Make Us.

Not so funny anymore is it?

They, the UN, Russia, Iran, France, China, Britain, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bulgaria, Bolivia, or any other country in the world, can’t force the United States to do anything. Some facts feel more belligerent than others but it doesn’t make them any less true.  Regional powers can’t force Israel out of the region and world powers can’t force the United States to do anything she does not want to do. The choice by the United States to recognize and work with the Palestinian Authority towards a peace process was just that — a choice.

Now the world has a choice to make: are they really going to push the issue of Jerusalm to the point of conflict that leads to a whirlwind of war and cataclysm or will they just let the United States recognize whatever it damn well pleases? The odds are on the latter.

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Subtweet Across The Bow: U.S. Flexes Muscle In The Air And Online

There was some good news in the world today. U.S.-backed forces in southern Syria killed 20 fighters from what’s left of the broken Islamic State of Iraq and Syria just outside the tiny garrison in Al Tanf that sits close to the border of Jordan, Syria, And Iraq. The Military Times reported as did Redstate in June

Pro-Syrian regime forces currently surround the U.S. garrison, complicating anti-ISIS operations for the U.S.-backed fighters at the garrison. Those Syrian forces are situated outside a 55-kilometer bubble that extends around the outpost.

This news was originally released by the Twitter account for Operation Inherit Resolve (OIR) about twenty minutes after this tweet from Pentagon Editor for Aviation Week Lara Seligman.

And then came the sick subtweet from OIR.

That’s some different kind of hash tag diplomacy. Moscow of course denied being chase out of the 55-kilometer deconfliction zone but this isn’t the first time the U.S. Military has shown a willingness to enforce its demands in the skies over Syria. It’s actually the 5th time.

But Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke directly to President Donald Trump via phone today . It’s unclear who initiated the call but it was reportedly to discuss the situation with North Korea’s Nuclaer program although it’s likely Syria came up. Those details will flush out in time

This all happened as the American Ambasador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley called a press conference to announce the declassification of evidence against Iran in Yemen who is the primary muscle on the ground for the Syrian regime.

I guess the most shocking news of the day was that CNN actually covered it.

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Nikki Haley Plans To Lay Out A Case Against Iran’s Activity In Yemen

The Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley held a press conference on Thursday in cooperation with the Department of Defense in front of a giant recovered missile and it was certainly news worthy but nothing new was revealed. That is to say, the world is well aware that Iran is sending weapons to yet another civil war in the Middle East this time in Yemen where the Houthi Shiites fight a Saudi Backed coalition. She said in the spirit of transparency and international cooperation the Department of Defense would declassify things that would be concrete evidence against Iranian aggression.

“The missiles intended target? Was a civilian airport in Riyadh through which tens of thousands of passengers travel each day. I repeat this was used to attack an international civilian airport in a G20 country. Just imagine if this missile had been launched at Dulles Airport or JFK or the airports in Paris or London or Berlin. That’s what we’re asking about here” she stated in her familiar and calm southern drawl

Haley also said she would urge congress to examine this issue and the Iran Deal. Given the recent rash of resignations and culture warring that seems like a tall order for our legislative branch to fill, but fill it they must. The ambassador addressed the media obsession at the press conference when she instructed reporters to only ask questions pertaining to foreign policy. Something that will no doubt be brought at a later date as proof she is dodging the baggage the Trump administration is piling up as deflection by the now infamous “Iran Deal Echo Chamber”, but she is right to keep the over-indulged American media on topic as it is a deadly serious one. One Europe is well aware of and had issued it’s own report on in March of 2017.

“It is hard to find a conflict or a terrorist group in the Middle East that doesn’t have Iran’s finger prints all over it.” Haley told the group of reporters. This is an undisputed fact. The theocratic regime in Tehran are a mix of thugs and academics hellbent on making Israel non-existent and reforming a religion of 1.4 billion people in its own image. “They fail to grasp the permanence of the State of Israel” the director of the Committee for Israel, Noah Pollak said recently when was a guest on the Office of International Affairs.

Like clockwork, the Echo Chamber chimed in on social media.

That is the Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif comparing the evidence behind Haley to the case laid out against Saddam in 2003. Imagine the arrogance it would take to use that deflection knowing Europe had already issued a very similar report. Europe!, the enlightened part of the western world who has bent over backwards to appease Iran, stated the same case 9 months ago. But all Zarif did is prove Haley right when she said Iran thinks that it has a special pass to engage in their behavior. (Yes, they think that because the previous president allowed it.) They can justify any means for their endgame which is complete control of the region.

This is not a game and Amb. Haley is not “trolling” the Iranians. The Russian regional ascension is a clear sign they intend to retrofit their Soviet power structure to be more aggressive on the global stage and their biggest client is Iran. The time for the media to get their bearings about them and ignore the profit driven format centered around the Great Culture War is now.

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Barton Will Not Seek Reelection

Texas Congressman Joe Barton announced in an interview with the Dallas Morning Star. The Dallas paper reported:

 

His 12-year-old son Jack asked him not to run, he told The News. When he asked why, Jack told him: “Well you’ve done a lot of good. You have a good record, and you don’t need to keeping running to prove that,”

 

Barton’s words seem sincere and are commendable. He isn’t accused of abusing his power or secretly sticking the cost of keeping a scandal from becoming public on the backs of taxpayers, like John Conyers and other lawmakers. All the women involved with the story were well beyond an age of consent. 

 

Barton has been swept up in America’s Great Reckoning. A different kind of sexual revolution that has been aided by technology. Barton’s announcement comes on the same day Russell Simmons announced he was stepping down from all of his organizations after accusations that he had behaved inappropriately with women.

 

It will be interesting to compare the media coverage of the two announcements. Simmons is easily as every bit as powerful and culturally influential as Harvey Weinstein who seem to be the place people point to as the beginning of this broad cultural shift. Redstate will continue update on the carnage of careers that has blindsided America

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Breaking: Accused Harasser Rep. John Conyers Will NOT Seek Reelection Next Year

Earlier this afternoon the news broke in that the longest serving member of the House of Representatives, John Conyers, lacked the courage to either fight or own the allegations of sexual assault and harassment. Allegations that held such veracity that they required tax-payer dollars to keep under the proverbial rug.

Conyers still denies any wrong doing even as he is set to announce his failure to seek reelection. On a parliamentarian and political level, his announcement leaves Democrats without a powerful figure on the House Judiciary Committee. A committee that has had United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions on his heels of late over claims of the Trump administration colluding with Russians during the 2016 election.

If the two sources claiming Conyers won’t seek re-election in 2018 prove to be true, it will shake the foundation of progressivism and the Democratic Party unlike anything since the November 9th, 2016. Many things will be said. Ugliness will most certainly abound. The character of the accuser, who has already been paid for her tribulation, will be called into question. And this will all be politicized in the fashion we have all became accustomed to in the age of identity politics.

The race of the accused and the accuser will be an issue. The timing will be an issue. The partisan motivations will be an issues. But what crawls and claws under the skin of most Americans is the fact that public dollars were used to keep this ordeal from public purview. Public money, the money OF THE PEOPLE was used to lie to THE PEOPLE. 

Now, this isn’t an uncommon occurrence, as the government frequently keeps information from the public for the sake of the public. The best examples can be found in National Security and Foreign Policy … policy. Sometimes it’s best to keep efforts quiet for the greater good. But never — and “never” is fervently stressed — should those funds be used to cover up the debauchery and poor decisions of elected officials.

When one thinks of the reasons Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was recalled three times one scoffs at Conyers “not seeking reelection”. Michigan isn’t that far from Wisconsin, why isn’t there a recall effort forming now?

 

The People indeed.

The post Breaking: Accused Harasser Rep. John Conyers Will NOT Seek Reelection Next Year appeared first on RedState.

Source: Red State