Category ArchiveArticles,Books,Videos Reviewed
Articles,Books,Videos Reviewed Susan Freis Falknor on 17 Feb 2017
“Big Agenda: President Trump’s Plan to Save America” — David Horowitz’ Political Handbook To Seize The Moral High Ground and Stay On The Attack!
Big Agenda: President Trump’s Plan to Save America, David Horowitz, Humanix Books (West Palm Beach, Florida, 2017)
To win the battle of the “Trump era” – according to author David Horowitz — we must understand whom we are up against, the whoppers leftists tell, their often-predictable playbook, and how to counter their tactics.
Big Agenda: President Trump’s Plan to Save America is first of all a political handbook – well written, comprehensive and detailed, and tailored to the present.
It spells out a battle plan for the opening of the Trump presidency.
From A Red Diaper Baby
A former “Radical Son” of American Communist parents, Horowitz has been observing, tracking, analyzing, and fighting the progressive left since the 1960s.
Horowitz characterized (in a recent Breitbart article) his Freedom Center not as a think tank, but a “battle tank,” intended to deliver “what I felt was missing most in the conservative cause — troops ready and willing to fight fire with fire.” (Highlighting added throughout.)
Fighting for Individual Freedom
Trump based his campaign on defending the “cause of the forgotten working class, promising to restore America’s industrial prowess and bring back the jobs that a corrupt elite with a globalist outlook had negotiated away in reckless trade deals that sent Americans to the back of the bus and squandered the prosperity they had created over generations.”
Trump notably used “moral language,” to break the “stranglehold” of political correctness, plainly calling out his opponent as a “crook,” a “liar,” and the “enabler of a sexual predator.”
But the underlying theme of the Trump movement is deeper.
It is individual freedom.
“The economic redistribution that progressives demand is not ‘fairness,’ as they maintain. Socialism is theft and a war on individual freedom. Compulsory public schools are not a service to minorities and the poor, but are infringements on their freedom to choose an education that will allow them to pursue the American dream. Obamacare is objectionable not only because its mandates drive up the costs and diminish the quality of health care, as Republicans have argued. Far more important is that government-controlled health care takes away the freedom of individuals to manage their own health and secure their life chances. Onerous taxes and massive government debt are not accounting problems; they are a war on the ability of individuals to work for themselves instead of the government and are therefore an attack on individual freedom.”
Adds Horowitz: “This is the moral language Republicans need to use if they are going to defeat the progressive agenda.”
Today’s Intimidated GOP
Why do we have such difficulty in overcoming the left? The GOP so often fails to speak out with an effective “political response” to attacks – articulating “nothing that would neutralize the powerful emotional appeal to voters from pleas on behalf of society’s defenseless and vulnerable.”
Learning to Fight Effectively
The author urges: Learn to fight harder. For many of our friends in the GOP it has been difficult to stay on the attack, to knock the underpinnings out from the Hard Left’s moral posturing, and to claim the exceptional American value of individual freedom as our own moral high ground.
“The only way to bring Democrats down to earth, where they might feel subject to the same standards as everyone else, is to attack them with the same moral force they use to prosecute their mission; the only way to do this is to turn their fire on them.”
Essential weapons Horowitz would have us bring into action:
- Emphasize that the left is fighting “a war on individual rights and individual accountability, which are the bedrock of America’s constitutional system.”
- Expose leftist guru Saul Alinsky’s plan is not to make people’s lives better, or to find the truth, but to take power.
- Understand that the Trump Movement encompasses a big agenda. To move this agenda, Horowitz details the Hard Left biases we must confront in our Giant Institutions: public schools, colleges and universities; the “shadow political universe” of tax-exempt foundations; and government unions.
- Confront the Democratic Party’s “mendacity on the race issue,” that “indicts America as ‘systematically’ racist.”
- Strike at “the Achilles’ heel of the Democratic party: its monopoly control of the inner cities of America and its responsibility for the misery and suffering inside them.”
- Expose the Democrat’s posturing as champions of the oppressed — instead “Focus on the groups — races, genders, ethnicities, and classes — that suffer under their policies and rules.”
- Push Trump’s “New Deal” for African Americans and other inner-city dwellers — law and order, safe communities, school choice enabled by scholarship programs, and the high-paying jobs for which these policies will lay the groundwork.
For Horowitz, these are the challenges – and the opportunities – that president Trump’s plan to save America presents us.
Can the GOP we all know so well meet these challenges in time?
Or will a national Trump Movement have to take the lead — and very soon?
Articles,Books,Videos Reviewed Susan Freis Falknor on 26 Jan 2017
“We are bringing this enemy here on air-conditioned planes as legal refugees, legal guest workers, legal green-card holders, legal students, legal entrepreneurs, and legal professors and preachers.” – Leo Hohmann
In his new book, Stealth Invasion: Muslim Conquest Through Immigration and Resettlement, veteran investigative reporter Leo Hohmann cuts through the gaslighting that has obscured the dark side of the refugee resettlement program and some other avenues of legal immigration.
This book couldn’t be more relevant to where we are right now, as president Trump begins strong actions on immigration and refugee reforms.
During the campaign candidate Trump made the sensible suggestion to halt the flow of refugees from countries with Jihadist violence, until “we figure out what is going on.”
He demanded that we do a better job of screening immigrants to keep out Jihadists and to favor those who love America and its values.
In his inaugural address, he vowed to hire American – which logically would include stopping the replacement of American workers with cheap foreign labor through the H1-B and H-2B visa programs.
Refugee Resettlement — A “Rigged System?”
Most encouraging, however, Trump also has a pretty good track record of calling out rigged systems.
And, as Hohmann describes it, much of the legal immigration system is rigged against American workers.
First, we have no say in picking the pool of potential refugees. The United Nations does this, habitually leaving behind persecuted Christians. Nine American voluntary agencies are paid for resettlement services by the head – with millions of dollars at stake.
But, despite the nominal religious affiliation of six of the nine voluntary agencies – such as the U.S. Conference of Bishops and World Church Services – local resettlement actions tend to occur quietly, to the point of secrecy. Rarely does a receiving community have a chance fully to learn about resettlement plans, or to debate the issues involved in bringing in this new source of often-unassimilable cheap labor.
Further, as a condition of doing business, these government funded programs operate under a gag rule against Christians sharing their faith with Muslims.
“An Entirely Different Beast”
Hohmann argues that, since major rule changes in 1980, the refugee program has fundamentally changed from a humanitarian attempt to protect people displaced by a “well-founded fear of persecution” based on religious, political, or ethnic identity — and “evolved into an entirely different beast.”
“The humanitarian face of the refugee movement is not what it seems. Behind that veneer, in which some very needy people are brought to America, is what actually amounts to an invasion of sharia-adherent Muslims who have absolutely no intention of assimilating into our society and respecting American values of individual freedom, equality of women, tolerance of homosexuals, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion.”
Hohmann is concerned not only about “‘radical’ Islam, but regular mainstream Islam — the kind that teaches jihad and sharia as spelled out in the Quran and the hadith. It is true that only certain Muslims take the principles of jihad seriously enough to attack us, but let’s not kid ourselves and say Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance.”
Hohmann states that “51 percent of American Muslims would prefer to have their own sharia courts outside the legal system ruled by the U.S. Constitution. Worse, nearly a quarter believe that the use of violent jihad is justified in establishing sharia.” (Sharia — click here — is the Islamic code which includes subjugation of women, harsh physical punishments, and total Islamic domination of society.)
Hohmann warns — look to Europe to see our future if we do not change course now.
A Handy Road Map for Action
Hohmann brings some special qualities to the work: clear writing, first-hand experience covering the stories of particular immigrant-seed communities, the insight to draw wider significance out of these stories, and an easy familiarity with the work of other pioneers in exposing the threat, as documented in his many footnotes.
The book is a quick education, a wake-up call, and a call to action.
And, in its final pages it is also a call to prayer.
By Trump’s election, we may have dodged a bullet in halting near-uncontrolled immigration, but we still have Muslim communities with little interest in assimilating and an Islamist leadership bent on superseding the American Constitution with sharia law.
Hohmann’s recommendations on how to respond are even more apt now.
Hohmann tells us first to get our minds right:
- Learn about how the refugee settlement program works, how it actually affects American communities, and “how it is profit-motivated while presenting itself as part of a false humanitarianism.”
- In all forums – from interfaith dialogues to Facebook – fight gag rules on factual discussions of the ways that traditional Islamic doctrine is directly opposed to our rights of free speech and religion.
- Resist the big lies:
- Refuse to accept arguments about a moral equivalency between Islam and Christianity.
- Reject out of hand the proposition that the Christian faith is equally guilty in turning to violence. Stop apologizing for the Crusades!
- Do not accept the argument that poverty or lack of opportunity is the root cause of Jihad.
- Expose the falsehoods of labels like “bigot,” “racist,” or “Islamophobic.” Insist that political narratives about our motives “stand up to the facts.”
He also urges readers to take political action:
- “Resist the secret planting of refugees that are hostile to America and are impossible to fully vet.”
- Become activists in your community. Insist on accountability from local and state officials on any new resettlement plans. Push for details on numbers and costs involved.
- Nationally, work for the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act.
In his closing pages, Hohmann makes a heartfelt call upon Christians to fight back against the spiritual challenge of leftism, globalism, and militant Islam.
- Continue to provide food, clothing, and shelter to needy refugees, but eliminate the gag rules on Christians.
- Reach out and share the “pure, authentic, unchanging gospel of Jesus Christ with those of other faiths.”
- Unmask the globalists as purveyors of a “counterfeit unity and a false peace.”
- Understand that lukewarm faith is no protection in a full-blown spiritual struggle.
- Wake up, stand up, and speak up.
Presenting many voices in this book, Hohmann most movingly quotes the words of Isik Abla, a former Muslim. Abla urges Christians to face the challenge — making use of the spiritual defenses handed down in our tradition:
“Get on your knees and start fasting together. Start putting together prayer groups. America, this is a serious battle…. I am calling you today, if you don’t have zeal, start praying. Say, ‘God I need zeal.’ I am praying for you, America, ‘Please God, give them zeal’.”
Articles,Books,Videos Reviewed Susan Freis Falknor on 10 Dec 2015
“It’s ‘Feed My Sheep,’ Not ‘Feed My Sheep To the Wolves’”— Stephen Coughlin Unmasks Interfaith Dialogue Movement
Bridge Building to Nowhere: The Catholic Church’s Case Study in Interfaith Delusion, by Stephen Coughlin, Center for Security Policy, Civilization Jihad Reader Series, Vol. 6, 2015. (Click here or here for entire monograph.)
“Faced with disconcerting episodes of violent fundamentalism, our respect for true followers of Islam should lead us to avoid hateful generalizations, for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.” —Paragraph 253, Evangelii Gaudium, Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis to the Bishops, Clergy, Consecrated Persons and the Lay Faithful on the Proclamation of the Gospel in Today’s World, November 24, 2013.
“In every cry of every Man,
In this monograph from Center for Security Policy, CSP senior fellow Stephen Coughlin — author, attorney, decorated intelligence officer, and specialist on Islamic law — exposes how the interfaith movement has enlisted the Roman Catholic hierarchy into the service of the dangerous deception that “Islam is a religion of peace.”
In every Infants cry of fear,
In every voice: in every ban,
The mind-forg’d manacles I hear” —from “London,” by William Blake, 1738
The new monograph explains, in the words of Center for Security Policy president Frank Gaffney—
“…how Jihidist groups like the Muslim brotherhood and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation take calculated advantage of liberal mindsets among Catholics — from the lay faithful through the clerical hierarchy and all the way to the Vatican.”
Coughlin, himself a Roman Catholic, evokes the doleful clanking of what poet William Blake called the “mind-forg’d manacles” within the Catholic interfaith movement today.
“This is not unique to Catholics,” Coughlin assures us, “as this scenario is playing itself out in many Protestant, Evangelical and Jewish communities as well.”
As Coughlin explains, the self-imposed, self-censoring rules of engagement of interfaith dialogue cajole non-Islam participants to betray their own religious identities, traditional values, and moral responsibility to protect their own flock from error.
One dialogue pitfall, for example, “only allows discussions of Islam that Muslim partners affirm ‘as accurate.’”
The Roman Catholic partners blindfold themselves when they “pledge ‘to remain committed to being friends when the world would separate us from one another.’” (From Interfaith Dialogue: A Guide for Muslims, International Institute of Islamic Thought
Coughlin describes dawah (Islamic outreach to people of other religions) as a form of “stealth Jihad.”
“Dawah is much more than just the Islamic equivalent to proselytizing, and a competent due-diligence review would reveal this. The duty of dawah is doctrinally associated with the duty of jihad and concerns actions taken in preparation for jihad.”
For Islamist organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood, the ultimate goal of jihad is to impose shariah (including Islamic blasphemy laws, cover-up dress for women, and such traditional punishments as stoning and whipping) everywhere in the world.
Christian & Jewish Religious Leaders
Have a Duty to Learn the Islamist Codes
Coughlin spells out the codes that make it easy for an Islamic scholar to pronounce a message that reassures a listening Catholic bishop, but which, to Muslims with a hard-line Koranic education, rings with a subtext of implacable hostility.
- The hard-line Muslim clerics—with authority derived from Islamic scriptures and enforced by violent, pro-Sharia movements—draw on the Islamic doctrine of abrogation, which gives predominant weight to the later, jihad-praising, passages of the Koran. In their minds, these later passages expunge any earlier verses that prescribe tolerance toward “the People of the Book.” But they do not tell their interfaith partners this.
- For these hard liners, revelations that occur later in time are superior to earlier, so Mohammed superseded the earlier “prophets” Abraham and Jesus Christ. Any Jews or Christians intransigent enough to cling to their traditional faiths after the appearance of the Prophet are condemned.
- The Christian doctrine of the Trinity (God as a unity of three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) is abhorrent to the Muslim hard line, which also holds that the concept of a Messiah—the fully human, fully divine son of God—is utterly blasphemous to the basic oneness of Allah.
- “They do blaspheme who say, ‘Allah is Christ the son of Mary.’ But said Christ: ‘O Children of Israel! worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.’ Whoever joins other gods with Allah, – Allah will forbid him the garden and the Fire will be his abode.” (Qur’an 5:72)
- In November 2014, the Grand Mufti of Istanbul pleased Pope Francis by quoting a Koran passage that describes the birth of Jesus, the “son of Maryam.” Yet, says Coughlin, that passage concludes with reporting a first miracle by the holy child—a marvel not found in the Gospel scriptures—“…his express denial, as an infant, of his divinity. ‘He [‘Isa (Jesus)] said: ‘Verily, I am a slave of Allah. He has given me the Scripture and made me a prophet.’” (Qur’an 19:30)
- The Koran’s version of Judgement Day acknowledges Christ returning to the world, but only to pronounce damnation on those who believed in him while rejecting Mohammed, the one true Prophet of Allah.
Shepherds Who Cannot Recognize the Wolf
Why do these doctrinal issues—obscure to many Americans—matter?
In the long term, ignorance of how Christianity is treated in Islamic thought sows basic confusion. Such “dislocation of faith,” is a major goal of the Muslim Brotherhood’s “Civilization Jihad.”
Even in the immediate term, however, as defense expert Sebastian Gorka explains, “no Islamist organization or movement can launch is efforts without first establishing its ideological legitimacy within the corpus of Islam.”
Gorka acknowledges the new importance of social media and peer-to-peer contact in recruitment of American jihadists, but also declares—
“It is the key failing of U.S. efforts to fight terrorism that we have not understood the importance of ideology, that every act by jihadists must be justified by radical clerics, jurists or scholars. Indeed, one can argue that the ideologues are more important than individual operational leaders. Field commanders, as we have seen again and again, are replaceable, but ideas live on. They are much more difficult to defeat.” [Highlighting Forum’s.]
The Catholic leadership, Coughin laments, has shirked their responsibility of examining and discerning evidence; they have even abandoned basic rules of reason that would enable them to judge the proposition, “Islam is a religion of peace” as a logical impossibility (that is, “A” cannot equal “not-A”). Or, as he puts it more simply—
“Shepherds who cannot recognize the wolf are not good shepherds.”
Articles,Books,Videos Reviewed Susan Freis Falknor on 21 Oct 2015
Immigration to U.S. Surges–Mexico Taking A Commanding Lead? But Will Open-Borders-Zealot Paul Ryan Halt It?
- Report: Limitless Immigration Creating Permanent Democrat Majority, by Daniel Horowitz in the Conservative Review (CR), October 15, 2015.
- New Report: Massive Immigration Surge from Mexico,by Daniel Horowitz in the Conservative Review (CR), August 17, 2015.
- Immigrant Population Hits Record 42.1 Million in Second Quarter of 2015, by Karen Zeigler and Steven A. Camarota, Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), August 2015.
The U.S. foreign-born population surged 1.7 million over the past year to an all-time high of 42.1 million!
Immigrants from Mexico made up 44% of the past year’s growth; Latin America as a whole accounted for 71%.
The immigrant population from Mexico (legal plus illegal) rose from 11.2 million in the second quarter of 2013 to 12.1 million in the second quarter of this year.
In a Backgrounder analysis of data from the Census Bureau’s monthly Current Population Survey (CPS), Karen Zeigler and Stephen A. Camarota, from the Center for Immigration Studies, highlight the sharp increase.
The uptick is all the more telling because “It has been widely reported that net migration from Mexico (the number leaving vs. the number coming) fell to zero” in recent years, with “little or no growth or an outright decline in the Mexican immigrant population from 2008 to 2013,” according to the CIS Backgrounder.
“However, something seems to have changed in the last 18 months.”
Conservative Review’s Daniel Horowitz agrees:
“Apologists for open borders have long promoted the talking point that net migration from Mexico has gone down to zero since the Great Recession and that most of the new illegal immigration is only from Central America. It is now clear that this trend has completely reversed itself and it is incontrovertibly due, in part, to Obama’s policies and the national push for the Gang of 8 bill (promoted and cheered on by many presidential candidates) that sent the message to the world that if they come here now—either through the border or by overstaying a temporary visa—they are home free and will eventually reap the windfall of mass amnesty. . . . Clearly if the census data is anywhere close to being accurate, there has been a massive surge of illegal immigration from Mexico alone that has been covered up by the Administration and most media outlets.”
Horowitz goes to the root of the matter–
“First, this report demonstrates, once again, that the record high levels of legal immigration are continuing to spike. Moreover, the largest increases continue to be from the very countries that send us the most illegal immigrants.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)
The CIS report acknowledges that “it is not known if the increase in the Mexican immigrant population represents a longer-term trend or just a one year spike.”
But, as Horowitz explains, the monthly CPS is typically a leading indicator.
It tracks a much more recent picture than the Department of Homeland Security’s numbers, which show 2013 as the “last year of full administrative data” for legal immigrants, and 2011 for illegal immigrants.
Because of this lag in reporting among different sets of data, Horowitz suggests, it may be a while before Federal agencies and the press begin—however reluctantly—to air the reversing of the “net-zero” trend in immigration from Mexico and Latin America.
The Political Fallout of “Limitless Immigration”
In his October 15 Conservative Review Report: Limitless Immigration Creating Permanent Democrat Majority, Horowitz spells out the political and civic implications of such jaw-dropping expansion.
The United States has admitted 25.3 million legal permanent residents over the 25-year period between 1989 and 2013, Horowitz points out.
The foreign-born population of electoral swing states has rapidly increased: to 27.2% in California, 22.1% in New York, 13.7% in Illinois, all in 2010. Horowitz cites a 2012 YouGov survey reporting that current immigrants favor Democrats over Republicans by almost 4:1.
“There’s a reason the Democrats are such ardent supporters of open borders. It has helped give them an impervious floor of support very close to the 50-yard line in American politics, and under the current trajectory, they will easily cross that critical 51% marker of a permanent electoral majority.”
And The “Naturalization Wave”
“From 1996 to 2013, 12,609,174 new immigrants became citizens. During the actual Great Wave, the number of naturalizations was still very low because it took time for them to go through the system and become citizens. But even if you take an equivalent 18-year period with the highest level of naturalizations, which was from 1928 to 1945, just 3,835,758 immigrants were naturalized. In other words, while the immigration wave of the modern era was 66% larger than the Great Wave, the ‘naturalization wave’ was 329% greater.” . . . . . “Not only have we naturalized record numbers of new immigrants, almost all of the newly naturalized immigrants have come and will continue to come from third world countries that are steeped in Marxism and liberation theology.”(Highlighting Forum’s.)
CR senior editor Horowitz urges–
“Armed with this report, it‘s time for Congress to do some digging and add this as reason number 12 million to defund Obama’s amnesty, lest we be saddled with yet another endless wave of illegal immigration.”
We would add that any new GOP Leadership should also focus on the fact that — in the words of the Hudson Institute’s John Fonte — America’s Patriotic Assimilation System Is Broken.
Stay tuned for more facts on the immigration invasion and its consequences for our constitutional Republic, for our ancient liberties, for our taxes and spending, and for our public and national safety.
(Headline updated — see link here –on October 24, 2015.)
Articles,Books,Videos Reviewed Susan Freis Falknor on 03 Oct 2015
Conquest’s Truth: How One Man’s Patient Scholarship Exposed Stalin’s Mega-Horrors And Why Our Schools Should Reveal Them Lest This Happen Here
The Great Terror: A Reassessment: 40th Anniversary Edition, 2008
by Robert Conquest
Just last summer, Robert Conquest, a great hero of the Cold War, died—on August 3.
The weapons he wielded were exacting research and a mastery of expression that marked his many works of poetry and fiction, as well as history and politics.
But Conquest will be most remembered for his comprehensive research and expose of the Soviet Union’s 1934-1939 Great Purge.
Conquest published his magnum opus first as the Great Terror: Stalin’s Purge of the Thirties in 1968, then as The Great Terror: A Reassessment in 1990, and then as The Great Terror: A Reassessment: 40th Anniversary Edition, in 2008.
In an August 14, 2015 obituary in National Review on Line, John O’Sullivan calls Robert Conquest, “the single most important historian of the Soviet Union and its crimes.”
To read The Great Terror is to become schooled—against all our deep-seated Judeo-Christian values—in how utterly evil a total tyranny can become.
Although can be dizzying in its accumulated emotional effect, The Great Terror is very readable scholarly work, documented with 67 pages of notes and bibliography.
Former Margaret-Thatcher-adviser O’Sullivan continues:
“Bob’s narratives balanced the large collective truths with the small, revealing personal details of callousness. He revealed terrible crimes by presenting the evidence for them. As two other tributes illuminate, however, it was not only the truth that set readers free. It was the teller, too. Bob’s narratives balanced the large collective truths (how many millions Stalin murdered) with the small, revealing personal details of callousness (after signing more than 3,000 death warrants, Stalin went to the movies). He revealed terrible crimes by presenting the evidence for them.
He refuted the casuistical Marxist justifications of such crimes with more evidence and without raising his voice. He had an instinct for detecting dishonesty and a talent for exposing it — qualities evident in his literary criticism as well as in his historical research. He himself claimed what the facts supported, and not an iota more. (Highlighting Forum’s throughout)
The Guilt-By-Confession System
As Conquest relates, for those accused, arrested, grilled, and tortured, the Great Terror operated through a guilt-established-by-confession system.
For the accused were compelled to name co-conspirators, who then must be arrested and made to confess and to name others as well.
The accused party luminaries often ended in major public “show trials.”
Most of the accused, however, received “administrative” judgements, with lengthy sentences to forced-labor camps or immediate execution by shooting.
The purge targeted party officials, but also professional groups (military officers, diplomats, churchmen, historians, poets, weather forecasters), and leaders (party members, cadre, plant managers); ethnic nationalities (Polish, Ukrainian, Georgian)—as well as pick-up categories such as the wives and children of enemies of the state, or anyone who had contact with foreigners.
Kirov’s Murder: “Crime of the Century”
In his 40th edition preface, Conquest presents evidence to show that Stalin arranged the 1934 assassination of prominent Bolshevik leader Sergei Kirov, and then used the sensational murder as a pretext to begin the Great Terror.
“This killing has every right to be called the crime of the century. Over the next four years, hundreds of Soviet citizens, including the most prominent political leaders of the Revolution, were shot for direct responsibility for the assassination, and literally millions of others went to their deaths for complicity in one or another part of the vast conspiracy which allegedly lay behind it.”
Kirov’s death, in fact, was the keystone of the entire edifice of terror and suffering by which Stalin secured his grip on the Soviet people, declares Conquest.
Conquest allows that “the circumstances of the Kirov murder on 1 December 1934 are still disputed,” but he argues that the weight of evidence attests to Stalin’s central role.
In the World War II years, some Americans understood the nature of the Soviet Union.
During the Cold War, more people did.
George Orwell’s Animal Farm and 1984, as well as Boris Pasternak’s Dr. Zhivago, became touchstones.
But do today’s Americans know much about the Soviet Leviathan?
Now television history documentaries of varying depth typically cover the crimes of Hitler’s Germany (against Jews, Christians, dissenters of all kinds, and conquered peoples).
But there is very little television portrayal of the malevolent regime of Joseph Stalin.
The slogan “Never Forget” properly evokes Jews under Hitler, but there is no slogan recalling the deaths of millions during Stalin’s Terror.
“Exact numbers may never be known with complete certainty,” writes Conquest, “but the total of deaths caused by the whole range of the Soviet regime’s terrors can hardly be lower than some fifteen million…. Yet the worst of the terror was not the killings, however excessive, but the regular accompaniment throughout of torture.”
The voices of the Hard Left ignore if not “justify” the truly monstrous record of Stalin’s regime.
For example, read here about the “New York Times Moscow correspondent whose dispatches covered up Stalin’s infamies.”
In her essay on Conquest’s death, historian Diana West points to the denialist strain of the American “intelligentsia” when they discuss the Soviet regime.
“To be able to ‘deal with’ the evil of Communist extermination history, then, as Conquest writes, is to be judgmental as well as inquisitive. This suggests a continuum between such fruits of curiosity and academic labor—the repugnant facts of Communist extermination history—and our judgment of them.”
Reminding us of the scorn that met Ronald Reagan’s characterization of the Soviet Union as an “evil empire,” West notes—
“Reagan’s exhortation to face ‘the facts of history’ was a broad challenge, his reference to ‘the aggressive impulses of an evil empire’ an ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ moment. The cataclysmic histories of Ukraine, Finland, Bessarabia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Austria, Korea, East Germany, Vietnam, China, Cuba, Angola, and on and on were not the shining raiment becoming an empire of peace. Reagan was challenging us to acknowledge the implications of this fact, to fight the paralysis of ‘moral equivalence,’ and see not two bullies in a playground, as the East-West struggle was repetitiously framed, but one aggressor seeking to impose a totalitarian system over as much of the world as possible. Good and Evil.”
Robert Conquest’s life shows that the dedication of a few or even one person to the truth of a matter can make a global difference.
The Great Terror remains a testament to the strength of truth established by scholarship and evidence.
It also provides a perspective on the unnatural appetite of many on the American left for a “total elimination of dissent,” as Rush Limbaugh puts it.
And it should be a book to teach our emerging generations about the vigilance needed to keep our freedom—and to open their eyes to the evil that homegrown tyrants could inflict even on their fellow Americans.
Articles,Books,Videos Reviewed Susan Freis Falknor on 31 Jul 2015
An Essential Ready Reference: “Catastrophic Failure” & Stephen Coughlin’s ‘Red Pill Brief’ On The Islamist Threat
Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad
By Stephen Coughlin
Center for Security Policy Press, 2015
In this essential guide to the Islamist threat, attorney and decorated intelligence officer Stephen Coughlin puts his finger on the central transgression among our civilian and military intelligence community — as well as that of Federal policymakers responsible for protecting our country: Dereliction of Duty.
Far too many of those who take an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States, he points out, have broken faith with that vow and shrink from their duty to fulfill it.
Given the surging Jihadist threat — the point of the spear for our Islamist enemies — too many of our officials and advisers are putting our freedoms, our heritage, our culture, our safety, and our very lives in danger.
(Your reviewer’s task is a lighter one since twice attending Coughlin’s gripping hour-plus-long briefings.)
In his book, Coughlin has all the room he needs fully to go into some of the topics to which he could only refer briefly in person, such as–
- the inroads the postmodern outlook is making among the faculty of the military academies;
- the consequent denigration of the role of facts in analysis and writing;
- and a general “collapse of critical thinking” among top military leadership.
The first part of Catastrophic Failure is devoted to Coughlin’s Red Pill Brief which, as a recalled Army reserve officer posted to the Joint Chiefs of Staff Intelligence Directorate after the attacks of September 11, 2001, he began presenting in 2002.
“The reference is to the popular 1999 science fiction movie The Matrix, in which the hero is given the option of taking a red pill that will enable him to see the world as it really is. He is warned, however, that if he takes the pill, he can never return to the computer-generated reality to which he is accustomed, made necessary by the requirement to hide the malevolent nature of the world in which he actually lives.” (p. 66) (Highlighting Forum’s throughout.)
Coughlin began in the fall of 2001 by researching authoritative books of Islamic law, and “found they could be mapped, with repeatable precision, to the stated doctrines and information that groups like Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood disclosed about themselves when speaking to each other.”
His work followed the protocols of “traditional threat analysis,” the military intelligence approach into which Coughlin and generations of military personnel before him had been trained.
Classic threat analysis is based on what the enemy says about himself (such as Hitler’s Mein Kampf) and maps that to the enemy’s capabilities and opportunities.
Coughlin’s briefings “easily outperformed competing explanations” — accurately predicting how perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombing and Fort Hood massacre would explain why they attacked.
The Red Pill Brief tamed the chaos of politically correct “complexity” by using evidence-based arguments, meticulously documented with original sources.
But the Pentagon fired Coughlin** during the Bush Administration in 2008. His Red Pill Brief-approach was banned by the Obama White House in 2012.
“In October 2011, elements of the American Muslim Brotherhood wrote the White House demanding an embargo or discontinuation of information and materials relating to Islamic-based terrorism — even insisting on firings, ‘re-trainings,’ and ‘purges’ of officers, analysts, special agents and decision makers who created or made such materials available.” (p. 21)
A few months later–
“…the FBI then proceeded to undertake the very purging of documents that the Brotherhood had demanded. The Department of Defense followed shortly thereafter with a Soviet-style purge of individuals along with disciplinary actions and re-education.
Not only did the Secretary of State endorse such curbs on speech, the Assistant Attorney general seemed eager to enforce them. As with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) — and through it, our Middle Eastern allies — also seek to embargo all unsanctioned discussions of Islam as a matter of international law.” (p. 22)
Words such as Shariah and Jihad were mandated into oblivion.
And, shockingly, that gag order continues to hold sway over our intelligence community today, with no clear end in sight.
The illustration on the cover of Coughlin’s book — an American eagle blindfolded with a green bandana over the crossed swords of Islam — is an apt metaphor for the official Federal clamp-down on the truth about Islamists.
“While they may seem abstract, these questions are raised because a principle objective we are facing in the War on Terror is the successful manipulation of the First Amendment.” (p. 490)
Coughlin believes there is an underlying philosophical reason why the forces of common sense in the U.S. intelligence community were not able to fight back, remove the blindfold, and prevail.
He points to the corrosive postmodern narrative which claims there is no objective truth, and insists on the need to “balance” arguments based on facts, like Coughlin’s, with the emotional perceptions of trendy subject-matter experts and vetted Islamic “moderates.”
Why are the insidious ideas of post-modern philosophy so dangerous to our country right now?
Coughlin draws on his reading and training —
“In war ignorance brings defeat, especially for those who are sworn to support and defend us. While ignorance is not a crime for the average person, it is for professionals concerning subject matter that is the object of their professions. Why shouldn’t this hold true for national security professionals? For them, one requirement is that they know the enemy by undertaking real threat identification of entities that constitute actual threats to the Constitution and people of the United States.” (p. 16)
Coughlin calls for the U.S. intelligence community to be guided by a “reality-based threat doctrine analysis.”
“The proposed way forward calls for holding all national security leaders and professionals accountable for what they could have known had reasonable due diligence been undertaken to know.” (p. 502)
He argues that ignorance of the exigent Islamist threat, a tragic failure of America leadership at the beginning of the 21st century, constitutes this very dereliction of duty.
Coughlin points out that it is in our power to heal this self-inflicted weakness.
The “Information Battlespace”
Most of the struggle on the home front battle in the War on Terrorism occurs in the “information battlespace.”
Since “language is the key terrain in information warfare,” the first step is “understanding the enemy and using accurate descriptors.”
This, he writes, “is essential to exposing and countering the enemy’s ‘civilization-jihad’ ‘by our hand.’” (p. 505)
Of course, to implement this step in our country would require a sea change of political will in both political parties and in the military.
We can all be grateful that Stephen Coughlin has created this comprehensive handbook explaining the enemy’s threat doctrine and its immediate implications for us.
It is a hefty volume, but don’t be put off by that.
Every page is as readable and compelling as the courtroom argument of an outstanding lawyer before the jury on the biggest case of his professional life.
It is a user-friendly guide that you can open to any chapter and start exploring, a do-it-yourself kit for self-education, and a survival gift that keeps on giving.
**In 2008, during the Bush Administration, Coughlin’s work in the Pentagon ended because of “opposition to his work for the military by pro-Muslim officials within the office of Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England” according to the Washington Times “Inside the Ring Column”.
Articles,Books,Videos Reviewed Susan Freis Falknor on 19 Jul 2015
This fast-paced novel, set in last year’s Hamas-Israel Tunnel War, could sharpen the way that many Americans perceive Israel and the Islamist threat that nation faces.
And the story will enable Americans to more fully recognize our own vulnerability to that looming horror.
Author Dan Gordon is an American movie writer and novelist–a real pro.
He also holds dual U.S. and Israel citizenship, and is a reserve captain in the Israel Defense Force (IDF).
His satirical White House scenes skewer the Obama Regime’s decision making.
The main characters are members of an observation team sent by the White House into Israel, plus their middle-aged Israeli IDF sherpa.
But the story turns on details that could only have come from personal observation or first-hand accounts.
At some point, you just say, “you can’t make this stuff up.”
What stands out most is the convincing picture of the Israeli people enduring the tunnel war.
Gordon shows them living almost normal lives thanks to the protection of the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system, only having to duck for a short time into shelters located at public places and set along the highway.
A teenage girl doing everyday duty in the defense force of her Gaza-border kibbutz, watching monitors in real time, becomes the key link in the chain of civil defense, as she spots the terrorists breaking out from their tunnel in a wheat field.
Gordon’s “Day of the Dead” could also enable us to see Israel in the manner Americans saw the enduring, spirited people of London during the Blitz (click here) –the German air attacks of 1940–a year before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and brought us into the war.
Day of the Dead could become another Uncle Tom’s Cabin for our post-9/11 world, especially when the narrative becomes a “major motion picture” as promised on the back cover.
For anti-slavery idealists, Uncle Tom’s Cabin acted as a zoom lens that transformed American slavery from a concerning but rather distant, almost abstract evil into an array of sharply etched, convincing characters, real people, black and white, caught in a diabolical system that seemed to allow for no reform.
The classic touched thousands of hearts and changed official outlooks (click here).
“Uncle Tom” has been turned into a pejorative term. But the novel itself, published a decade before the Civil War, portrayed Tom as a long-suffering Christian, a man whose faith enables him to love and forgive those who oppress him. To idealistic abolitionists, the enslaved Tom became a recognizable, noble human being.
Day of the Dead might well become a similar prism for us, as we wait for other 9/11 shoes to drop.
Will it help us revive the post-attack resolve that seems to have petered out, even as we face a resurgent Islamic Jihad with its determined final solution of putting the whole world under savage Sharia law?
Unfortunately, too many of our citizens have been touched by the influence (overt and subliminal) of the anti-Israel narrative arising from today’s Leftist-Islamist alliance.(Click here to see David Horowitz’ Islamo-Fascism and the War Against the Jews)
This tendentious Leftist-Islamist slant has colored the way much of our media portray Israel today: a technologically advanced nation but fundamentally an oppressor of a victimized Palestinian people.
Lamentably today’s contemporary anti-Semitic narrative has penetrated our “mainstream” media, academia, and, sadly, made inroads into the national offices of our “mainline” churches.
Day of the Dead: Book Two will be set on the U.S. southern border: terrorists equipped with Kalishnikovs, suicide vests, and plastic handcuffs will use Mexican drug tunnels to enter San Diego to stage mass killings and kidnappings. See our closely related Weigh Warnings On ISIS Tunnels!
Articles,Books,Videos Reviewed Susan Freis Falknor on 10 Jan 2015
Modern Day Trojan Horse: The Islamic Doctrine of Immigration, Accepting Freedom or Imposing Islam? by Sam Solomon & Elias Al Maqdisi, (Charlottesville, VA), 2009.
I have long taken Islam’s encroachments on our civilization seriously, but this book turned on flashing lights and rang alarm bells.
It is because Christian convert Sam Solomon and his co-author Elias Al Maqdisi focus on the Islamic Doctrine of Immigration itself.
Their compelling brief conveys the entire dynamic of the process—its origins, its success in spreading Islam for more than 1400 years, and how the Islamic intelligentsia manipulates us by using it today.
The media typically fixate on spectacular attacks.
In their willful blindness, too many Western leaders insist the major threat is violent terrorism and ignorantly defend Islam as a “religion of peace.”
But the flood of legal immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers from Muslim countries is the principal way that expansionist Islam is consolidating itself in the West today.
This book gives readers the tools to put in context the bewildering panoply of Muslim political activities—from the flow of Middle East money to construct huge new Islamic Centers, to the “interfaith” outreach of mosques in American communities today, to the blandishments paid to both cultural figures and politicians of all stripes who are awarded exchange trips to Turkey, to the Da’wa (the brutal call to submit or die) of the Islamic State as it expands through violent Jihad.
Solomon and Al Maqdisi call Muslim immigration to the West a modern-day Trojan horse, a reference to the giant, hollow wooden horse statue, set on the beach before the walls of the ancient city of Troy by the besieging Greek army.
As recounted by the epic poet Homer, the Greeks built the Trojan horse as a master stroke of deception, to trick the citizens of Troy into a fatal decision: to bring a belly full of enemy shock troops into the heart of their city.
Hijra and Jihad: Two Sides of the Same Coin
Both Hijra (migration) and jihad, Solomon and Al Maqdisi point out, are Muslim religious and political duties.
They are venerable strategies that share common objectives: high among them, “the Islamization of the West.”
“The Hijra was enshrined by Muhammad himself from the outset within Islam as the ‘Doctrine of Immigration,’ or the ‘peaceful’ means of extending the Islamic political state garbed and girded in religious terminology. Hijra and military conquest are two components of Islamic expansion.” [Highlighting Forum’s.]
Islamic scholars have detailed every aspect of the story, preserved in the Sunnah (story of the prophet’s life), of how Muhammad developed this doctrine successfully to relocate his followers from Mecca, where they were under surveillance, to the then-Jewish city of Yathrib.
Through tactics like collecting intelligence about the power structure of the city, playing one group against another, beguiling the city fathers with flattering “revelations” about the Jewish tradition (which he later conveniently denied), and by selective assassination, Muhammad took over the city and renamed it Medina, the city of the prophet.
There he built the first mosque not just as a place for believers to assemble and pray, but also “to organize himself and his followers to launch attacks on his enemies.” [Highlighting Forum’s.]
Migration to Medina forged Islam as we know it today.
As the authors point out:
“Muhammad’s Sunnah contains all the needed directives to consolidate the Muslim immigrant community and to establish it as a dynamic and forward socio-political force, even when the original intent of the immigrants is to seek other goals, including the stray cases of those who aim at being integrated into the host society.”
Migration facilitated the spread of Islam across North Africa, to India, to Malaysia, to Indonesia, and now to Europe and the Americas—till it reached its current numbers of an estimated 1.5 billion.
Hijra strategies (“considered of divine origin as they stem from the Qur’an and the Sunnah”), include self-segregation, establishing Mosques (scroll down here), consolidating the community, building coalitions with local interest groups (called Ta’leef al Qulub, “reconciliation of hearts”), divide-and-conquer deals through “payments in cash or in kind”), and takiyya or deception.
Solomon and Al Maqdisi shine a searchlight on strategies such as tay’seer (lightening the burden of new immigrants by temporarily loosening strict Shariah rules) and darura’ (allowing new migrants, as necessary, to conform with host country dietary, dress, and other customs).
With these time-tested tactics, employed at appropriate stages, Islamic political intellectuals can maintain this expansionist vision over lifetimes and not lose their purpose.
In sharp contrast to the historic American experience that foreigners come here for civic and economic betterment, and that the norm for our immigrants is patriotic assimilation–Mohammad forbid his followers to immigrate to a non-Muslim country simply for a better life.
“However, they were and are allowed both pleasure and personal gain should the ultimate aim of advancing the cause of Islam be in some way part of the reason for their migration…”
Hijra in America
Nearly fourteen centuries after Muhammed’s conquest of Medina, the “Project” of the Muslim Brotherhood, detailed in documents here captured in an FBI raid and used as evidence in the Holy Land Foundation Trials of 2007 and 2008, stands as powerful testimony to the Islamic immigration plan for America today.
This book does not make action recommendations, but a few leap to mind: institute a moratorium on legal immigration (including “refugee resettlement”) from groups who have no intention of assimilating into our culture; control our borders and track non-citizen visitors; deport known security risks; repeal the Obama Regime gag rule on intelligence-community training about and analysis of Jihad and Shariah; and, by public ridicule, make a laughing-stock of the red-herring “Islamophobia.”
Articles,Books,Videos Reviewed Susan Freis Falknor on 24 Jun 2013
Agents of Red Influence, Fellow Travelers, and Today’s Dhimmis: How Accommodation to Stalin From the New Deal through WW II Blinds Us To Today’s Islamist Threat
By Susan Freis Falknor
American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character, Diana West, St. Martin’s Press (New York), 2013.
In this landmark analysis, Diana West surveys the great penetration of our national government by Communist agents of Soviet Russia, documented from early defectors, all the way through KGB archives published at the end of the Cold War.
Author West explores this unholy territory—not as some intellectual exercise–but to re-direct the public searchlight on today’s great totalitarian penetration by the agents of Islam and its all-encompassing code of Shariah.
Because the history of Communism is not routinely taught, she believes Americans are largely ignorant of its history of staggering bloodshed (at least 20 million killed under the Stalin regime), and its history of terror in Russia and abroad.
And because we are still in denial about our appeasement of World War II ally Joseph Stalin, Americans have “no context” to assess today’s totalitarian challenge: Islamist Supremacism and Shariah.
Our “deferential attitude toward the two ideologies is deeply and tragically related,” columnist West argues.
“It was a soul-selling deal our forefathers made with Communism as represented by the Soviet Union. We as their heirs, must come to terms with it. We will continue to pay until we do.”
West’s book argues that our government’s “failure to speak freely about Islam”—a policy that many of us have found so baffling in recent years—can be best understood as a case of the unacknowledged sins of the fathers being visited upon their blindsided children.
Her task is ambitious; her sweep of crucial but too-little-known facts of history is impressive; and her arguments are eloquent and witty.
Soviet Penetration of America
West does not talk much about those Americans in the 1940s and 1950s—the millions of American Christians, anti-Communist Jews, political conservatives, ordinary business owners, patriotic elected officials, and sidelined anti-Soviet U.S. diplomats—who did in fact recognize and speak out about Communism’s moral threat.
Understandably, she decries the narratives that won out, becoming dominant in our culture—the great successes of the Left to misrepresent, canonize, or smear various historical actors.
The Left, for example, has been largely victorious in painting three major mid-century political leaders—who did speak out on communism and its penetration—with derision (Barry Goldwater); dismissiveness (President Ronald Reagan); and bogey-man-like horror (Senator Joseph McCarthy).
She also tears the mask off the still-largely-successful project to shield the deeply flawed World War II leadership of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his dark reliance on his top aide Harry Hopkins, later shown to be a secret Soviet agent (Venona Secrets, Romerstein and Breindel).
She points to America’s “lavish and almost indiscriminate” Lend Lease aid to the Soviet Union, to which Roosevelt gave precedence over supplying American campaigns and British allies. Modern and vitally needed fighter airplanes, for example, intended for Singapore (which fell to the Japanese in February 1942) were diverted to Russia.
West, whose father fought in the D-Day landing, asks whether the decision to make the invasion landing in Normandy represented a very unwise concession to Stalin. The better alternative, she suggests, would have been Winston Churchill’s recommendation to continue into south central Europe from Italy and via the Adriatic and Aegean Seas. This would have constrained the Soviet march across eastern Europe.
West asks whether both the Normandy Invasion and the Stalin-backed policy of unconditional surrender (the Allies declining to work with disaffected but also anti-Communist German generals) might represent, at heart, two highly successful Soviet “influence operations.”
Unconditional surrender, she writes, lengthened the war for years, increasing the toll of death and destruction; made it possible for the Third Reich to complete the “final solution” of exterminating the Jews; and enabled the post-war Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe.
Fast forward four decades: In negotiations at the end of the Cold War in 1989, president George H.W. Bush ceded to Russia’s Mikhail Gorbachev what amounts to a self-imposed gag order—setting “a scrupulously nonjudgmental and even supplicating tone” in talking about our Cold War victory.
All these policy failures, West argues, amount to complicity with the murderous tyranny of the Soviet Union throughout its history and a cover up of the stunning successes of Soviet wartime penetration of America.
Because of this cover up, we have been largely dependent on invaluable gifts of intelligence information—such as documents from disaffected elements in the Russian secret police–and from our own intercepts many of which are finally available in the Venona Papers—for the inside story of wartime Soviet penetration.
And not facing up to the implications of our elite’s complicity in this lengthy cover-up increased our own vulnerability to a stealthy collectivism.
“You don’t have to win to win,” West dryly remarks.
Dhimmis and Fellow Travelers:
Totalitarianism Hijacks Morality Itself
Both Communism (with its disciplined operatives and true-believing fellow travelers) and Militant Islam (with its highly placed enablers of Civilization Jihad), seek to cloud our society’s moral judgment.
Civilization Jihad is the Muslim Brotherhood’s own term for its most ambitious influence operation.
For this campaign to make progress, West points out, Shariah apologists have to conceal the substantial, shocking evidence that Islam is not a religion of peace: Islam’s key role in the American slave trade; the ongoing practice of slavery today; forced conversion; death for apostasy; censorship; child rape; pillage and military conquest; and most recently, the advent of “no-go zones” ceded by police in European countries.
The War on Definitions
A key weapon of the totalitarian: instilling in our discussions the “conditioned reflex of rejection [of forbidden words], becoming instantly derisive and scoffing in disbelief”—in this case, to deny descriptive words such as “Bolshevik,” “Communism,” or “Socialism,” a place at the respectable table.
“What is being rejected,” West points out, “is definition itself, labeling, even with a factual basis.”
This “short-circuits” the thinking process, leaving us intellectually undefended.
Needed: A Personal Coming To Terms
The goal of Communism, Islam, and totalitarian systems in general, according to West, is to “suppress all individuality.”
This is done by stifling alternative points of view; attacking or denigrating those who think differently; and putting off limits certain inconvenient concepts, such as liberty, the right to defend oneself, freedom of association, freedom of speech, and even the most basic tools of logical, evidence-based argumentation.
This diabolical perspective, she notes, has made itself dominant in our colleges and universities, as well as in much of our public discussion.
The long march of cultural Marxism severely weakened America and the West, the author argues.
We now live in “not a West that simply fails to appreciate itself anymore but rather a West that isn’t itself anymore.”
The ultimate battleground in this struggle, however, is the individual mind, heart, and moral soul.
It is West’s comprehension of this individual battleground that makes this book so personal, so passionate, and so powerfully eye-opening.
In The Power and the Glory, Graham Greene described the role of a priest in confession as “to draw [the] mind slowly down the drab passages which led to horror, grief, and repentance.” Greene thus details a purgative psychological process, something like the now so-called “stages of grief.”
To lead us along a similar transformational path is the task to which Diana West sets herself.
And that is why American Betrayal is one of those books that will change the way many of us see the world.
Articles,Books,Videos Reviewed Susan Freis Falknor on 07 Sep 2011
After America: Get Ready for Armageddon, by Mark Steyn, Regnery Publishing, Inc: 2011. Available through Amazon.
In his new book After America, indispensable commentator Mark Steyn goes well beyond the point, demonstrated in his previous book, that America is headed in a dangerous, even suicidal direction. Now he warns that we may be losing the ability to correct course.
And in doing so, we may be losing our will to self-govern as well.
“Americans face a choice: you can rediscover the animating principles of the American idea—of limited government, a self-reliant citizenry, and the opportunities to exploit your talents to the fullest—or you can join most of the rest of the world in terminal decline.”
Steyn weaves in his broad knowledge of contemporary Britain, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, and the Third World. He also up-ends our accustomed perspective by taking us on fantasy time-travel episodes.
To keep up readers’ spirits in this desert of grave perils, the author provides sustaining manna: Steyn’s signature wit.
“Americans face a choice: you can rediscover the animating principles of the American idea—of limited government, a self-reliant citizenry, and the opportunities to exploit your talents to the fullest—or you can join most of the rest of the world in terminal decline.”
Steyn paints an American present in which the Ruling Class, at least, is driving as hard as it can in the direction of Europe, which is already tipping into a dystopia of socialism, failing productivity, population aging, growing Islamist influence, diminished freedoms, increasingly undeliverable promised social benefits, and debt.
Steyn elucidates clearly just how big government — which brings more restrictive laws, more regulations, and more unpayable government benefits — crushes liberty and shrinks the space in which the once-free citizen operated.
Expansion of anti-liberty government is driven by bad ideas, measures adopted by elected officials who did not “read the bill,” and by “judge-made law and bureaucrat-made regulations.”
The last two practices effectively control citizens without consent of the governed.
Steyn’s book tracks many dangers.
- First, there is a huge public debt that threatens to rob prosperity from the American people and future generations. “Big Government augmented by a terrible education system and a tide of mass immigration” he declares, is “a life killer.”
- As to the civic culture, which is the “glue” of society, he cites the baleful influence of political correctness, infantilization of citizens, and multiculturalism.
How do you position yourself to fight all this?
The field of action runs a lot further than the cyclical drama of elective politics, according to Steyn.
Using Canada as an example, he writes:
“Once the state swells to a certain size, the people available to fill the ever expanding number of governments will be statists—sometimes hard-core Marxist statists, sometimes social-engineering multiculti statists, sometimes fluffily “compassionate” statists, sometimes patrician nobles oblige statists, but always statists. The short history of the post-war western democracies is that you don’t need a president-for-life if you’ve got a bureaucracy-for-life….”
Steyn urges us to recognize a tyrannous bureaucracy as something we should urge elected officials to actively resist.
After America… what happens to America?
In the all-too-possible future era Steyn portrays, the United States would find itself between a weakening advanced world and a “reprimitivizing” world. Domestically, Steyn speculates–
“A statist America won’t be a large Sweden—unimportant but prosperous—but something close to the Third World. As a dead-end economy drives its surplus manpower deeper into poverty, addiction, and crime, parts of the country will take on post-Soviet Russian characteristics, with a gangster class manipulating social disintegration for its own ends. What’s left will be Latin America, corrupt and chaotic, broke and brutish—for all but a privileged few.”
Steyn contemplates scenarios for American implosion, with say, a bankrupt California being nationalized, the Southwest deciding to break away, or perhaps, “still functioning states… may opt for de jure secession, anxious to escape being buried by federal debt.”
“You Can Win This”
Despite the somberness of his message, Steyn ends on a hopeful note.
He suggests some directions to fight: to decentralize, degovernmentalize, deregulate, de-monopolize, de-complicate, de-credentialize, dis-entitle, and de-normalize.
“You can win this. Statists overreach. They did on ‘climate change’ scaremongering, and the result is that it’s over. Hollywood buffoons will continue to lecture from their mega-mansions that we should toss out our washers and beat our clothes dry on the rocks singing native chants down by the river, but only suckers are listening to them.….
“Liberty cannot survive if only a few are eternally vigilant. We need more. We took our eyes off the colleges, and the high schools, and the grade schools and these and many other institutions were coopted by forces deeply hostile to the American idea. So push back, beginning in kindergarten….
Steyn directly addresses American youth who, more than any other group, will have to deal with this situation:
“Sooner or later you guys have to crawl out from under the social engineering and rediscover the contrarian spirit for which youth was once known…. This will be the great battle of the next generation—to reclaim your birthright from those who spent it. If you don’t, the entire global order will teeter and fall. But, if you do, you will have won a great victory.”
This is not just a book well worth reading – – but one essential for every conservative who wants to get their society and their politicians to correct course while there is still time.