Europe

Italy: Salvini Out, Migrants In

Italy’s new government, which has pledged to reverse former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini’s hardline approach to migration policy, appears to have triggered a new wave of mass migration from northern Africa.

More than 1,400 migrants reached Italian shores since the new government took office on September 5, according to data compiled by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

During just the past several weeks, the number of migrant arrivals to Italy has increased incrementally: 59 migrants arrived on September 6; 67 arrived on September 9; 121 arrived on September 14; 259 arrived on September 15; 275 arrived on September 18; and 475 arrived between September 19 and September 25, according to the IOM. Overall, the number of migrant arrivals in September 2019 is up by more than 100% over the number of arrivals in September 2018.

Many of the new arrivals are reaching Italy by using new people-smuggling routes that originate in Turkey. In recent weeks, at least five migrant boats have landed in Calabria, in the far south of Italy. On September 21, for instance, 58 migrants, all Pakistani males, reached the Calabrian port of Crotone.

People-smuggling mafias are also using new routes in the Southern Mediterranean to move people to Italy from sub-Saharan Africa. In recent weeks, criminal groups have used small boats to transport migrants from Libya to Tunisia, from where the crossing to Lampedusa, Italy’s southern-most island, is shorter and less risky. On September 20, for example, 92 migrants from sub-Saharan Africa — Gambia, Ivory Coast, Mali and Senegal — reached Lampedusa.

At the same time, Italy’s new government also appears to be taking a more lenient approach to the migrant rescue ships operated by European charities, which have been accused of coordinating with people-smuggling mafias to pick up migrants off the coast of Libya and transport them to Italian ports.

On September 14, the Italian government authorized the Norwegian-flagged Ocean Viking, operated by the French charities SOS Méditerranée and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), to dock at Lampedusa, where 82 migrants picked up off the coast of Libya were allowed to disembark.

On September 24, the Italian government allowed the Ocean Viking, this time carrying 182 migrants, to dock at the Sicilian port of Messina.

Whereas Salvini had banned migrant rescue ships from docking at Italian ports, the new government’s more lenient approach appears also to be encouraging European non-governmental organizations (NGOs). On September 23, the Spanish NGO Open Arms announced that it would resume migrant rescues on board a vessel called Astral.

In August, Open Arms and its rescue ship of the same name were involved in a three-week stand-off with the Italian government, which refused to allow the vessel to dock in Italian ports. After more than a dozen migrants jumped overboard and tried to swim to shore, Sicilian prosecutor Luigi Patronaggio on August 20 ordered the Open Arms, anchored one kilometer off Lampedusa, to dock in Sicily so that its passengers could disembark. Subsequent video footage showed that Open Arms staged the jumps to manipulate public opinion. Italian authorities later impounded the ship.

The Spanish government vowed to take a harder line against the Open Arms NGO. On August 21, Spain’s acting Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo told Cadena SER radio that the Open Arms did not have a permit to transport migrants and could be fined €900,000 ($1,000,000) for violating a ban on sailing to the seas off Libya. That threat does not appear to have deterred the Open Arms NGO. It now says it will rescue migrants in the Aegean Sea between Greece and Turkey.

NGOs such as Open Arms claim to be playing an invaluable humanitarian role in saving the lives of refugees and asylum seekers fleeing war and oppression in their home countries. Statistics show something else entirely.

Of those who arrived in Italy by sea during the first six months of 2019, 600 (21%) were from Tunisia; 400 (14%) were from Pakistan; 300 (10%) were from Algeria; 300 (10%) were from Iraq; 200 (7%) were from Ivory Coast; 200 (7%) were from Bangladesh; 100 (3.5%) were from Sudan; 100 (3.5%) were from Iran; 100 (3.5%) were from Morocco; and 50 (1.7%) were from Egypt, according to the UNHCR.

The data indicates that most of the migrants arriving in Italy are economic migrants, not refugees fleeing warzones.

In some instances, migrants arriving in Italy are hardcore criminals posing as refugees. On September 26, the Italian newspaper Il Giornale reported that a German migrant rescue ship called Sea Watch 3, which in June rammed an Italian border-control vessel that was trying to stop it from reaching shore, allowed three human traffickers who were posing as refugees to disembark in Lampedusa.

A Guinean, Mohammed Condè, and two Egyptians, Hameda Ahmed and Mahmoud Ashuia, recently were arrested in Messina. They are accused of operating a migrant detention camp in Libya where they allegedly tortured, raped, kidnapped and even murdered migrants from sub-Saharan Africa who were trying to make their way to Europe. Il Giornale reported that the new Italian government had tried to conceal information about the arrests from the general public before the story was leaked to the media.

Meanwhile, the interior ministers of France, Germany, Italy and Malta met on September 23 in the Maltese capital, Valletta, where they agreed to a tentative proposal for shipwrecked migrants to be “voluntarily redistributed” throughout the European Union.

The four-point plan, which will be presented to the interior ministers of all 28 EU member states at a summit in Brussels on October 17-18, is designed to boost Italy’s new government by showing “European solidarity.”

Similar proposals have failed in the past and there is no reason to believe this one will be different, largely because the concept of European solidarity is a myth. So far only six EU states have agreed to migrant redistribution: France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has insisted that the issue of immigration “must no longer fuel anti-European propaganda.” He has also said that the government’s softer line on illegal immigration is based on “the formula of a new humanism.” He appointed Luciana Lamorgese, a career bureaucrat who has moderate views on immigration, as Italy’s new interior minister. Italian journalist Annalisa Camilli explained the changes:

Basically, Italy is saying to Europe, we’re breaking with the past policy. It’s a big message that Italy has chosen to come back in line with Germany, France and Spain instead of aligning with [anti-migrant] countries such as Hungary and Poland under the former far-right interior minister Matteo Salvini.

Salvini has condemned the new government as one “produced by Paris and Berlin, born out of a fear of giving up power, without dignity and without ideals, with the wrong people in the wrong place.”

Salvini has also accused Conte of re-opening the floodgates of mass migration: “Conte has reopened Italian ports, the migrant landings are increasing for the first time in two years,” he said in an interview with Sky Tg24 television. He also tweeted: “The new government reopens the ports, Italy is once again the REFUGEE CAMP of Europe. Abusive ministers who hate the Italians.”

Since Salvini announced his hardline immigration policies in June 2018, the number of migrant arrivals to Italy — as well as the number of dead and missing — significantly decreased. The number of arrivals by sea fell from 119,369 in 2017 to 23,370 in 2018, a drop of 80%, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. During that same period, the number of dead and missing fell from 2,873 to 1,311, a decline of more than 50%.

A similar trend has continued in 2019: 2,800 migrants arrived in Italy by sea between January and June of 2019, compared to 16,600 during the same six-month period in 2018 and 83,800 in 2017, according to the UNHCR.

This downward trend clearly reversed immediately after the new government took office in September, as the IOM data show.

The return of mass migration to Italy is likely to push Italian voters to the arms of Salvini, who is now the most trusted politician in Italy, according to a new poll published by the newspaper Il Giornale on September 19. The poll also revealed that Salvini’s League party is now the most popular political party in Italy, and that if elections were held today, Salvini would win by a wide margin.

“The new government will not be able to escape the judgment of Italian voters for too long,” Salvini tweeted. “We are ready. Time is a gentleman. In the end it is we who will win.”

Editor’s note: This article was first published by the Gatestone Institute and is republished here by permission.

EU • Europe • Political Parties • Post

Reflections on the Revolution in London

Perhaps my political palette has sophisticated of late. Like that of the helpless addict, more and stronger product is needed to attain that first cotton-wrapped high.

After the election of Boris Johnson as prime minister of Great Britain this week, it seems nobody, except a few tiresome Londoners, has noticed.

Absent is the exquisite progressive meltdown that greeted President Trump’s ascent to the Oval Office. Boris, for all the lazy often soporific comparisons to Trump, hasn’t inspired such an entertaining tantrum.

Indeed, there was just a glimmer. Greenpeace activists, exercising their remarkably generous working hours, tried to block Boris’s motorcade en route to his new home at 10 Downing Street. That was before a police officer skittled three of them from the road.

Of course, the professional fabulists of news media had their customary whinge. Protestors wailed something about “white supremacy.” But such missionary whining is small-beer to a quenchless wino.

Perhaps American resisters are made of sterner stuff. They’ve been exercising a Pripyat-level meltdown since Trump took office. You, dear reader, are swimming in a political junkie’s dreamscape. The supply of vivifying grief ceaseless.

Although, my tolerance for political narcotics might succumb to a giddy overdose in fewer than 100 days. I might just catch that dragon I’m busily chasing.

Because on October 31, “no ifs, no buts,” according to our new prime minister, we leave the European Union. Which, unless you’ve enjoyed a three-year coma, is all this country thinks, cares, or talks about.

That date, one hopes, will induce a speedball of progressive meltdown, one that tingles dreamily through each ventricle. That might sound unhinged. Because it is.

Brexit was not just a vote, but a steel toe-cap into the bollocks of those whom, by and large, ruined almost everything.

Tony Blair, the erstwhile Labour prime minister who whittles his days away demanding we press rewind back to 2015, is the grand architect of Brexit. He may not want to raise the child, but he’s on the hook for the bill.

But Blair isn’t prime minister now. Boris Johnson is. And Prime Minister Johnson (how refreshing to type) set quickly to fumigate government of Remainer holdouts who’ve wasted the last three years lashing us against our will to the sinking European Union.

His Cabinet, remarkably described as “alt-right” by one of our more intellectually hilarious lawmakers, hosts a Muslim chancellor. It is the most “diverse” ever. As a friend of greater melanin-density than me decreed while rolling his eyes: white people.

These cosmetic indulgences are all well and good. But the work starts here.

After all, Boris nurses a majority of just three. After Theresa May’s impressively awful premiership, in which she squandered a majority and sanctified the man-child Jeremy Corbyn as a viable prime minister, the Conservative Party shuffles around shoeless like a chemically coshed psychiatric patient.

And within the ranks lies a significant cabal of Remainer Conservatives—the deep state—ready to kamikaze efforts to leave the EU.

What should have induced a Reactor 4-level meltdown is the appointment of Dominic Cummings. Cummings masterminded Vote Leave—the campaign to leave the European Union.

At once brilliant and belligerent, Cummings’ inclusion is a warning shot to the EU. We are ready to leave without a deal.

A notion, it was revealed, never once threatened by Theresa May, despite her rhetoric.

Of course, to leave without a deal is the desire of few. But to threaten such is our leverage.

Theresa May, effectively, walked on to the forecourt and said: “I have $100,000. I must, legally, leave with a car, today.” The car dealer, as is human nature, offered a 2003 Toyota Prius with three good wheels, for the full sum.

But, like Trump, Boris won’t enjoy a honeymoon. He’ll have to call an election sooner or later.

Given the Tories’ hemorrhaging of votes to the Brexit Party, any election before Brexit would be folly. Current polls show a four-way dance, with the likely winner changing daily.

Which Boris surely knows. But that all changes after October 31. If we leave, of course. To box off Brexit would dissolve the Brexit Party and rewild Boris Johnson’s party with their 20 percent share of the vote.

Meanwhile, the once-serious Labour Party, helmed by an anti-Semitic resentment-monger with an IQ similar to that of a walnut, seems determined to destroy itself. A recent poll placed Labour dead last.

An election post-Brexit, I’d hazard, would see Boris return to Number 10 with a majority unheard of in my lifetime. And, along the way, it would neuter the social-justice rabble which calls itself “progressive.”

But what excites most is Boris’s championship of conservative means, witnessed in intellectual brutality, here.

Because Boris is right. And the Left, including America’s “squad” and our Corbynistas, are wrong. And always will be. Socialism doesn’t work. It never has. Never will.

Perhaps it is too early to say: conservatives who are willing to fight are conservatives who win. Finally, like Trump, we have a leader eager to brawl with the loud-but-lame Left.

Boris’ first appearance at the despatch box was just a taste. “We are the party of the people,” he said, in a line which perhaps heralded a new national conservatism, “They are the party of the few.”

He’s not wrong.

Photo Credit: Giannis Alexopoulos/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Administrative State • EU • Europe • Post

Boris and the Crybullies

There is little more gorgeous than the enunciated subtle rage of the middle-class English blonde. Such spectacle is well worth the very occasional stoke.

After spilling red wine upon his girlfriend’s sofa, Boris Johnson’s bid to become our next prime minister lay almost in ruins. The two briefly flounced into raised voices. She called Boris “spoilt.”

You would think such a kerfuffle unworthy of top billing on every front page for an entire week. This country has other, far more serious matters to attend to.

But two neighborly good Samaritans decided to record that lover’s squabble. And, in what they called the “public interest” swiftly sent the recording to the left-wing and reliably hilarious Guardian.

This was despite visiting police officers having assured them that no crime had taken place. And that both occupants were fine.

Of course, the staunch Remainers Eve Leigh, 34, and Tom Penn, 30, claimed they called the police because they were “frightened and concerned.”

They were so concerned they knocked on the door three times to no answer. And then scurried into their apartment, and recorded through the walls, the verbal skirmish.

This act of benevolence then pumped through that familiar ventricle of “compassion” that left-wing crybullies employ so often. What renders their account inconceivable is Leigh’s now-deleted Twitter account, which teems with anti-Brexit diatribes and her puerile boast of having recently given her neighbor, Boris, “the finger.” So brave! Stunning.

One can assume this pair could not quite believe their luck—their “concern” centering upon stitching-up the next prime minister as a woman-beater and thwarting his commitment to leave their beloved EU.

That same apartment is now besieged by aging, unduly tragic anarchists who terrify Boris’ girlfriend so much she refuses to go back there. Outside, they ramble on, having peppered the locality with anti-Boris posters.

You’d think such anarchists were of the bootstrap mentality, given their fantasies of no government.

Not this rabble. Although “Class War” advocates a total withering of the state, their members, strangely, seem wholly reliant upon it. They proudly refuse the injustice of working for a living. They’re all about fighting “the rich parasites who ruin our lives,” according to their website.

Perhaps tattooing one’s face and lounging around in a noisome air of self-cultured grievance is what actually ruins one’s life? Just a suggestion.

Some of them seemingly spend their days agitating for dissolution of a state that feeds, houses, and enlivens them with enough of other people’s money to drink gut-rot cider and beseech the apparent “fascists” with whom their adolescent keening disagrees.

The desperation creeps like a fine gas. Progressives, from the anarchists to the metropolitan woke, must stop Boris.

They know we leave the European Union on October 31, “come what may,” according to the man they have driven from their pissing ground.

At least with Jeremy Hunt, the other candidate for the job, they’d enjoy another measureless bout of delay and denial akin to the last three years of Theresa May.

What the nosy neighbors hoped was that their amateur sleuthing would convince Conservative Party members to bunk Boris and shunt Hunt.

They haven’t fallen for it. Like President Trump’s voters, most see past their man’s personal indiscretions. They are keen to elect someone of whom the progressive crybullies are terrified.

Like Trump, Boris hasn’t bowed to their demands for explanation. There has been no struggle session—the progressives’ ritualistic shaming of the victim.

Three years of delay, guilt-tripping, and political Munchausen Syndrome means we want our own Trump. Yes, his mouth invites trouble and he shags around. But Boris, like Trump, will move fast and break things.

But the fight doesn’t end when Boris is elected. As we see in America, the progressive employment of such venal tactics only thickens in its luridity once they are handed a defeat.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a case in point. This week revealed her anguished presence at the Mexican border, in what later was shown to be a fence and an empty parking lot, and they were taken 12 months before the crisis she now decries and refuses to soothe with congressional dollars.

As if delivering a masterclass in beclowning oneself, AOC—queen of the crybullies—uses those stage-managed photos to continue her project of manipulating the emotions of Americans.

Much like the harrowing photo of a father and daughter who drowned while crossing the Rio Grande are used for those purposes. Of course, this is all Trump’s fault, and not the tragic human cost of lawlessness stoked by Democratic refusal to plug the border and stymie at once its grand magnetism.

Because it is Democrats who would much rather allow the chaos to continue unabated, in glib disregard for those they claim to care about most.

After all, a border wall, and stringent immigration enforcement would stop all but the most determined in making that often perilous journey.

Democrats won’t stop it. They cannot afford to stop it.

They need the chaos. They’ve lost the Midwest, forfeited the Rust Belt, their victim-farming is eroding in Black America. Their future depends largely upon the votes of those illegally crossing the border: those tacitly promised amnesty in exchange for their voting souls.

The crybullies don’t care. Their compassion, like that of the nosy neighbors, is a blunt instrument aimed at the skulls of those who disagree. That much is obvious.

Photo Credit: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Europe • Post • Progressivism • the family • The Left

Eugenics Returns

The horrific recrudescence of European eugenicists marches on like a storm trooper’s hob-nailed boot to crush the inherent beauty and dignity of human life upon the drab gray, pagan altar of their globalist ideology.

Defined as the “the practice or advocacy of controlled selective breeding of human populations (as by sterilization) [or by abortion] to improve the population’s genetic composition,” eugenics has a long and sordid history in Europe and, yes, in America. Many believed sane, humane minds had rejected this insidious delusion for perfecting humanity.

They didn’t understand the Left and its brutal compulsion coercively to seek the unattainable perfection of humanity, whether humans wanted it or not.

In the recent past, we examined Iceland’s repugnant boast that it was nearing its goal of eradicating Down syndrome by aborting unborn children who may have the genetic marker for it. In this “voluntary” effort, the government not so subtly brings cultural and societal pressures to bear upon the pregnant mother to induce the abortion of her “afflicted” unborn child. The insidious argument preys upon the maternal instinct by alleging the child is better off not being born than he or she is being born and living with Down syndrome. Given its “progress,” Iceland nevertheless remains mum on what other syndromes or traits might next justify a death sentence for unborn children.

Yet Iceland is not the only European government that describes killing unborn children as a virtuous necessity for “the common good.”

The Catholic News Agency on Friday reported: “A British judge has authorized doctors to perform an abortion on a pregnant Catholic woman with developmental disabilities and a mood disorder, despite the objections of the woman’s mother and the woman herself.”

The case came about because the 22 weeks pregnant woman, believed to be in her 20s, was under the care of the NHS trust, which is a part of the UK’s National Health Service, due to her aforementioned disabilities. The NHS trust’s doctors argued the woman should have an abortion. The pregnant woman, her mother—a practicing Catholic opposed to abortion who has said she would care for her grandchild—and the woman’s social worker all vehemently objected. Consequently, the matter wound up in the Court of Protection that “handles cases involving individuals judged to lack the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves.”

In court, the NHS trust’s doctors claimed: “the abortion would be less traumatic for the woman than giving birth, especially if the baby would then be placed in foster care.” This ghoulish argument is ridiculous on its face because it holds that the pregnant mother would be more traumatized by having her child raised by her mother or by giving her child up for adoption than she would by being forcibly dragged into an abortion mill and having her unborn child killed. (How the unborn child would feel about it was never an issue for these “experts.”)

Despicably, these doctors’ claims received a sympathetic hearing from a judge who is no doubt a fan of Buck v. Bell and the ironically titled “Justice” Nathalie Lieven.

In siding with the doctors and against the pregnant woman, her mother, and her social worker, the judge didn’t admit her decision was tantamount to the involuntary sterilization of the pregnant woman and a governmental decree for the execution of an innocent human life.

No, Justice Lieven stated her decision to kill the unborn child was one grounded in compassion for the pregnant woman: “I am acutely conscious of the fact that for the State to order a woman to have a termination where it appears that she doesn’t want it is an immense intrusion [but] I have to operate in [her] best interests.”

And what are her “best interests”?

Having casually dismissed the woman’s mother’s offer to raise the unborn child as not practicable due to her daughter’s disabilities, Justice Lieven decreed: “I think [the woman] would suffer greater trauma from having a baby removed” [from her care], because “it would at that stage be a real baby.”

Clarifying—and compounding her execrable decision—Justice Lieven alleged the woman’s pregnancy “although real to [her], doesn’t have a baby outside her body she can touch.”

Evidently, Justice Lieven has never felt or has forgotten how unborn children kick inside the womb or how others have placed a hand on the stomach of an expectant mother and felt this kick.

But what can one expect from this “justice” who, prior to reaching the bench, represented the British Pregnancy Advisory Service—an Orwellian name for an abortion provider—and argued British women should be able to have abortions at home rather than a hospital?

What can one expect from this “justice” who, prior to reaching the bench, argued restrictions in “Northern Ireland’s abortion laws were a violation of the United Kingdom’s Human Rights Act” and claimed they were “akin to torture.”

Yes, what can one expect from this “justice” who now feels her eugenicist decree that a pregnant woman must endure a forced abortion and de facto sterilization is compassionate—and, of course, for the common good?

Nothing good. Pray for Europe.

Photo Credit: Xavier Serrano/EyeEm/Getty Images

America • Democrats • Europe • Post • The Left

The Chernobyl Primary, An Inevitable Accident

The recent HBO miniseries, Chernobyl, tells the story of two disasters.

There’s the story of the reactor explosion at the shoddily built and incompetently operated nuclear power plant at Chernobyl near Kiev in the spring of 1986—which poisoned an entire city, forced its permanent evacuation and spread radioactive fallout all over Europe.

And there’s the story of the Soviet Union—which spread a destructive ideology over most of Europe and made an “accident” like the one at Chernobyl inevitable.

That story has to be read between the proverbial lines. But it’s practically in bold-faced type.

It is no accident that the Soviets didn’t get to the moon or that their moon rocket, the N1, blew up not once but several times on the pad.

America’s Saturn V rocket made several trips to the moon—and never blew up, not even once.

It is no accident that the Concorde flew passengers from London to New York and D.C. in luxury for decades without killing any of them (with one notable exception)—while Concordski (the Tupolev Tu 144, a slipshod copy of the Concorde) flew once, briefly—at the Paris Air Show in 1973.

And it is no accident that the worst nuclear disaster in human history occurred inside the borders of the Soviet Union—the greatest political disaster in human history.

The Great Experiment had predictable results. And they were measured in blood and bones.

Communism is a system premised on falsehoods about economics and human equality. From each according to his ability; to each according to his need, says the Marxist slogan. In reality, it’s the imposition of inequality and it’s enforced politically.

Which brings us to the 2020 Democratic primary where all the totalitarian ingredients that set the stage for the Chernobyl meltdown and the Soviet implosion are debated openly, without shame, and lauded as positive goods.

It is also the system in which engineering black became political white—and structural 2 plus 2 equaled “we-say-so” five . . . that is, if the ruling nomenklatura says it does. To question the edicts of those above was to risk the Gulag—or the cellars of the Lubyanka, Moscow’s infamous abattoir for the politically incorrect.

In the Soviet Union, it was better for one’s health to do as ordered—even when one knew it was wrong or insane to do as ordered.

Not surprisingly, insanity ensued.

Decades before Chernobyl exploded and the N1 rocket didn’t get to the moon, there was the infamous White Sea-Baltic Canal—ordered by Stalin, the second Red Tsar after Lenin. It was built at a frantic pace by hundreds of thousands of enslaved proletarians—“human raw material,” in the words of dissident author Alexandr Solzenitsyn. They were driven night and day by political bosses, whose main object wasn’t that the 141 mile-long canal be built well—only that it be built.

As quickly as possible.

Just like Chernobyl.

They succeeded—at a cost of tens of thousands of dead proletarians and a useless canal. It was discovered after the canal was finished that it was too narrow and too shallow for most commercial traffic.

It was only the heroics of a few plant workers that prevented Chernobyl from exceeding the body count racked up by the Soviet Union under Stalin and his heirs—estimated to be around 43 million people. In less than a week instead of over the course of 70 years, this disaster might have occurred.

The new television series explains what almost happened.

After the reactor exploded, superheated uranium fuel rods and graphite casings used to moderate the nuclear reaction within the core were transformed into radioactive magma as the result of the desperate measures taken by Soviet apparatchiks—led by Valery Legasov of the Kurchatov Institute and political boss Boris Shcherbina—to put out the initial fire. A boron-sand slurry was dumped over the exposed reactor core by helicopters.

This did put out the fire. But it also made things worse.

Much worse.

The superheated magma which resulted threatened to melt through to the basement of the ruined reactor complex, where water storage tanks were housed. An explosion in the 2-3 megaton range—equivalent to dozens of Hiroshimas and Nagasakis—now threatened. This would have irradiated most of continental Europe and caused the deaths of hundreds of millions of people inside as well as outside the Soviet Union.

The fruits, so to speak, of a USSR where Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders spent his honeymoon.

Luckily for the world, the second explosion was averted by the suicidal bravery of plant workers who volunteered to wade through the radioactive basement to open valves and drain the water before the magma slurry came in contact with it.

Luckily for the world, the Soviet Union itself melted down shortly thereafter.

The threat now is that the lessons of Chernobyl—that “accidents” of this kind follow in the footsteps of authoritarian incompetence and arrogance—have been forgotten. That the same mistakes will be made again when we submit to the same kind of leadership. Do you trust Elizabeth Warren with the keys to the car? Or Beto? Or Biden?

Could this happen here?

And could it possibly be worse here because all the king’s horses and all the king’s men could not put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

Why? Because those king’s horses and men are all bureaucrats.

Photo Credit: Cavan Images/Getty Images

America • Conservatives • Europe • Identity Politics • Immigration • Post • Progressivism • The Left

It’s the Immigration, Stupid

Perhaps it is a lot to ask, but Democrats could learn a great deal from the recent Danish elections.

Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), and the rest, have spent decades imploring anyone befitted with an ear canal to take heed and learn something from the Scandinavian countries that so besotted them.

In what certainly was a bucking of recent trends, the Danish social democrats stormed to first place and to power.

The denials, and the quite-obvious obfuscations spilling from mainstream media outlets perhaps said it all. Most claimed “climate change” was the key election issue. Oh, how we laughed!

In reality, social democracy has been dying across Europe. Its old voters, mainly what New York Times anthropologists term the “white working-class” are deserting the parties once founded to defend their interests. Quite simply, they don’t like the cosmopolitan stance on immigration. The deserters instead form behind so-called populists.

That is a word British establishment newspaper The Times, like the corporate leftist media in America, employs with an unfiltered contempt. “Populist” is a euphemism for racist, parochial, ill-educated . . . you get the picture.

So, when the Danish social democrats won the election last week, after stealing the hard-line (or perhaps sensible) immigration clothes of the apparent “far-right,” papers like The Times spun into laudanum-like delusion.

“Danes ditch populists as climate fears dominate election,” claimed The Times. Which, given the collapse of the Danish People’s Party, is kind of true. What The Times was loathe to mention was what actually won the election.

The Danish social democrats adopted, almost to the letter, the immigration policies of the populists. Enough of their old voters came home and pushed them into power. Indeed, the Danish People’s Party collapsed from 21 percent to a nudge over 8 percent.

No, it wasn’t the weather. Much to the chagrin of the New York Times, immigration is the central issue for most voters across Europe. Promising sensible, also known as “tough,” action on immigration is the keystone to any winning platform.

Denmark, long considered a bastion of progressive and liberal policies, has mainstreamed immigration restrictionism. Now all parties, save the far-left, are in agreement about driving down immigration rates, and insisting upon a tough integrationist approach.

Crucially, all agree that the sanctity of their social-democratic model hinges on the support of those paying rather high taxes to fund it. They even talk about community cohesion! Nobody serious shouts “racist!”

The social democrats may have disappointed some of their own voters. But they won. “Populist” policies, such as barring family reunification for partners under 24, seizing migrants’ valuables to help pay welfare claims, and doubling sentences for crimes committed in designated “ghettos,” turned out to be popular.

With what she called the new Danish Social Democratic Model, Mette Frederiksen, 41, should now become Denmark’s youngest-ever prime minister.

Many within the pages of progressive magazines decried the Danish Left’s apparent right turn. Seemingly uncomfortable with progressives winning elections, The Nation claimed the Danish social democrats had abandoned progressive values. By that, they mean progressive values since the mid-1990s. In other words, the same values that have skewered social democratic parties across Europe since that time.

By and large, the Danes combined moderate economics (or left in terms of the American Overton Window) with a hard and popular line on immigration. They won. Why is that so hard to understand?

The lesson here is flashing amber to anyone not entombed in a vat of glycerin. Most voters support sensible immigration policies. And they demand those arriving, for whatever reason they may have, embrace and adhere to the host culture and way of life.

This used to be common-sense in both America, and Great Britain. At least until the increasingly volatile self-loathing Left decided all borders are racist and asking new arrivals to respect and adopt host norms is tantamount to oppression.

Which is why the Democrats will learn nothing from Denmark. American Democrats have sauntered too far down the identity-politics rabbit hole to reemerge with any sensate awareness of the new politics.

They should do their homework. Yes, most Americans are in favor of legalizing the so-called DACA kids. But they also support a merit-based immigration system, E-Verify, a strong border deterrent (just don’t call it a wall). Sizeable numbers even support curtailing legal immigration.

Former Democrats find President Trump’s four-pillar immigration plan palatable. They voted for him. De facto open-borders might excite the virtue-signaling coastal cadres—those who largely are inured to its wage-killing and community-corroding effects, but the leaf-cruncher vote cannot replace the old Democratic base.

And they know that. Hence, their blithe encouragement of illegal immigration, and the eventual amnesty of 20 million illegal aliens—80 percent of whom will vote Democratic, ensuring a one-party state and the permanent politics of resentment.

But that masterplan crumbled when Hillary Clinton became the first female to lose a presidential election to Donald Trump. Americans like immigration. Just not the kind the Democrats are schlocking.

Which presents an opportunity for the generationally hapless GOP. Still lunching on the Reagan era, the Republican establishment and the bow-tied brigades at various “conservative” magazines perhaps aren’t keen to cater to the desires of their new voters.

That diaspora of ex-Democrats, socially conservative, economically moderate, doesn’t fit the desires of Republican donors, to whom winning elections matters little. They get paid regardless who sits in the White House.

But it is not 1980. Nor the year 2000. Voters aren’t too keen to accept the scraps of whatever the elites prefer.

The incoming Danish prime minister understands.

“For me, it is becoming increasingly clear that the price of unregulated globalization, mass immigration and the free movement of labor is paid for by the lower classes,” she recently told The Guardian.

Of course, Americans aren’t European. The leftist economics of social democracy doesn’t play so well in the United States.

But research, (as I am belabored to point out almost every week!) shows a majority of Americans are socially conservative and economically moderate. A party with the nous to accept this reality would likely govern for a generation.

That party won’t be the Democrats as currently constituted. Neither will it be a Republican Party stuck in the past.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo Credit: Ole Jensen/Getty Images

America • Cultural Marxism • Defense of the West • Europe • Identity Politics • Immigration • Post

Why Are the Western Middle Classes So Angry?

What is going on with the unending Brexit drama, the aftershocks of Donald Trump’s election and the “yellow vests” protests in France? What drives the growing estrangement of southern and eastern Europe from the European Union establishment? What fuels the anti-EU themes of recent European elections and the stunning recent Australian re-election of conservatives?

Put simply, the middle classes are revolting against Western managerial elites. The latter group includes professional politicians, entrenched bureaucrats, condescending academics, corporate phonies and propagandistic journalists.

What are the popular gripes against them?

One, illegal immigration and open borders have led to chaos. Lax immigration policies have taxed social services and fueled multicultural identity politics, often to the benefit of boutique leftist political agendas.

Two, globalization enriched the cosmopolitan elites who found worldwide markets for their various services. New global markets and commerce meant Western nations outsourced, offshored and ignored their own industries and manufacturing (or anything dependent on muscular labor that could be replaced by cheaper workers abroad).

Three, unelected bureaucrats multiplied and vastly increased their power over private citizens. The targeted middle classes lacked the resources to fight back against the royal armies of tenured regulators, planners, auditors, inspectors and adjustors who could not be fired and were never accountable.

Four, the new global media reached billions and indoctrinated rather than reported.

Five, academia became politicized as a shrill agent of cultural transformation rather than focusing on education—while charging more for less learning.

Six, utopian social planning increased housing, energy and transportation costs.

One common gripe framed all these diverse issues: The wealthy had the means and influence not to be bothered by higher taxes and fees or to avoid them altogether. Not so much the middle classes, who lacked the clout of the virtue-signaling rich and the romance of the distant poor.

In other words, elites never suffered the firsthand consequences of their own ideological fiats.

Green policies were aimed at raising fees on, and restricting the use of, carbon-based fuels. But proposed green belt-tightening among hoi polloi was not matched by a cutback in second and third homes, overseas vacations, luxury cars, private jets and high-tech appurtenances.

In education, government directives and academic hectoring about admissions quotas and ideological indoctrination likewise targeted the middle classes but not the elite. The micromanagers of Western public schools and universities often preferred private academies and rigorous traditional training for own children. Elites relied on old-boy networks to get their own kids into colleges. Diversity administrators multiplied at universities while indebted students borrowed more money to pay for them.

In matters of immigration, the story was much the same. Western elites encouraged the migration of indigent, unskilled and often poorly educated foreign nationals who would ensure that government social programs—and the power of the elites themselves—grew. The champions of open borders made sure that such influxes did not materially affect their own neighborhoods, schools and privileged way of life.

Elites masked their hypocrisy by virtue-signaling their disdain for the supposedly xenophobic, racist or nativist middle classes. Yet the non-elite have experienced firsthand the impact on social programs, schools and safety from sudden, massive and often illegal immigration from Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia into their communities.

As for trade, few still believe in “free” trade when it remains so unfair. Why didn’t elites extend to China their same tough-love lectures about global warming, or about breaking the rules of trade, copyrights and patents?

The middle classes became nauseated by the constant elite trashing of their culture, history and traditions, including the tearing down of statues, the Trotskyizing of past heroes, the renaming of public buildings and streets, and, for some, the tired and empty whining about “white privilege.”

If Western nations were really so bad, and so flawed at their founding, why were millions of non-Westerners risking their lives to reach Western soil?

How was it that elites themselves had made so much money, had gained so much influence, and had enjoyed such material bounty and leisure from such a supposedly toxic system—benefits that they were unwilling to give up despite their tired moralizing about selfishness and privilege?

In the next few years, expect more grassroots demands for the restoration of the value of citizenship. There will be fewer middle-class apologies for patriotism and nationalism. The non-elite will become angrier about illegal immigration, demanding a return to the idea of measured, meritocratic, diverse and legal immigration.

Because elites have no answers to popular furor, the anger directed at them will only increase until they give up—or finally succeed in their grand agenda of a non-democratic, all-powerful Orwellian state.

Photo Credit: Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images

(C) 2019 TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.

Center for American Greatness • Donald Trump • Europe • Post

Who Are the Big Babies Now?

What better way to demonstrate one’s tolerance and open-mindedness than daubing a placard with a twee proclamation, then dousing a “fascist” with a milkshake for sharing a different opinion?

To attack verbally and physically, those who dare to deviate from the herd is to be a progressive. Even better: to mark one as an “anti-fascist.”

British progressives this week outdid themselves with President Trump’s state visit serving as an agora of the aggrieved. London swarmed with crumpled faces, every placard intended to display the owner’s self-righteous wit.

Because this is not about them. They’re here to stanch the “rise of fascism.” Or something.

They don’t like President Trump. Why, they cannot articulate with coherence. He is a fascist, a racist, a misogynist, and a sexual predator. Apparently.

When asked to elucidate such frightful charges, the rhetoric runs dry. They just know Orange Man Bad. The leftist corporate media and the BBC told them so.

Which may be why his approval rating here is so low. Trump says what most Americans and Brits tend to think, but would not dare say—lest they be shamed publicly, and banished from polite society.

They may not like the man or his weapons-grade loucheness, but majorities in Britain and across Europe nod secretly in favor of his politics and policies.

But this year’s carnival of the cry-bullies wouldn’t know that. They were busy inflating a balloon to prove how serious and mature they were.

There’s something unedifying about young and middle-aged adults bawling abuse in defense of the status quo responsible for their grievances.

If anything, progressives should at least tacitly endure a man so reviled by the ruling class. After all, they love Bernie Sanders. On the issues, those two are kindred.

Instead, the Woke eschews all rational thought, preferring the psychiatric safety of what the ruling class silently demands.

One case in point is the risible mayor of London—relevant, it seems, for one day in every 365. Sadiq Khan whets like a Pavlovian dog when Trump comes to town. It’s his day of relevance.

“A stone-cold loser,” the pugnacious president dubbed the sapless Sadiq.

Mayor Khan was elected solely because he fits the identity-politics bill: A first-ballot Hall-of-Fame mediocrity. Which, if you haven’t noticed, is the aim of the identity-politics Left.

Gone is the reverence of greatness, or even competence. The mediocre rule and rile all.

Which is why, since the tumult of 2016, such protests have infected paper and pixel. The progressives, those in the cosmopolitan cities, and coasts, were assured their worldview was to be sanctified for all of time.

Rather than quake at the prospect of Brexit, or the absurdity of a Trump victory, progressives saw both as mere formalities en route to the total victory of the right-on.

Progressives soon learned that their worldview was not of the world, but of those to whom they talk .

Hence the anti-democratic machinations. The calls to overturn Brexit in the U.K. and for impeachment in the United States. Or the demented insistence that Donald Trump in fact was and remains a Russian agent.

This has been brewing coldly for some time. Most of a certain age were inculcated with misplaced grandeur. They’re learning that they’re not that special.

Now, a sizeable rump is terrorized by the malfunctions of reality.

This is the mediocracy at work. They revile greatness to mask their own inadequacies.

Hence, contrived hate crimes, fat shaming, participation medals, identity politics, demand for rights already accrued, for lopsided equality, for affirmative action, resentment politics, no-platforming, and other corrosions of democratic health.

In a brain-shaking lecture, “The Psychology of Mediocrity and Cultivating an Ideal,” the Academy of Ideas illuminates our current woe:

As a result of a functional deficiency in critical thinking and other intellectual skills, the intellectually mediocre individual parrots the prevailing social and political paradigms, and uncritically accepts the dogma of the day and standards of political correctness.

Bolstered by the thoughts of Nietzsche and Carl Jung, the lecture touches upon the stark implications for political—and thus, all—life.

The mediocre will band together and attack all those who attempt to surpass their own station,those daring to question dogma, or vivisect political correctness. Anyone who questions the often-obvious falsehoods of the ruling class is deemed a dangerous individual.

For the ruling class, this psychological weapon serves great purpose. The protestors, long convinced of their superiority, motor violently upon their envy, hostility, and resentment, not once stopping to question whose dirty work they slavishly perform.

Meanwhile, the progressive high priests enrich themselves and bleed their nations dry, engorging the anger of those all too willing to wage war on Trump, or Brexit—any threat to the ruling class whose politics entrenches their misery.

It is astoundingly effective politics. Unlike the Trump Baby.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo Credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

America • Center for American Greatness • Europe • History • military • Post • The Culture

My Father’s D-Day Memories

D-Day is more than a remembrance of America’s great victory in the Battle of Normandy. It is a celebration of the Greatest Generation and the lessons they have to teach us.

Like Jews repeating the story of the Passover every year for 3,000 years, we must recall the story of this generation’s great deeds, or we will lose some idea of who we are, why we are here, and what we are capable of achieving. Indeed, if we don’t remember what our fathers knew, we will lose our country.

My beloved father, who passed away two years ago at 98-years-old, was a typical member of the greatest generation. Phil Schultz was eternally optimistic, fearless, hard-working, a responsible family man and provider, and patriotic to his core. He achieved the American Dream, not through selfishness or callousness but rather through family loyalty, taking care of those closest to him, and believing in himself. It was the same ability to pull together and have confidence in victory that gave our country the stamina to win World War II, and later let my Dad realize his personal dream of being a professional cameraman.

If only the Millennials and Generation Z could share in his life experiences and wisdom for just a moment, their world would be transformed.

A Quintessentially American Story
Here are the roots of my Dad’s optimism.  He was born in a small house with a dirt floor in the Jewish Pale of Settlement in the Soviet Union. His father escaped the Communists, made his way to America, and after several years, had earned enough to bring the family to join him.

My Dad was 9 years old. He excelled in public school and won a place in the Bronx High School of Science, but had to drop out during the Depression to help his family. He never finished school. He did serve in the Civilian Conservation Corps in Oregon as a firefighter and a logger. Back home, he was a self-taught photographer with his gang of Jewish friends in the Bronx, taking girlie pictures and selling them to cheap magazines for a few dollars.

When America entered World War II, my father, armed with his portfolio of photos, signed up immediately.  He was assigned to be a combat photographer with the Army Signal Corps.

Phil Schultz with his camera. (Photo courtesy of the author.)

He soon shipped out to England, to prepare for the Allied invasion of Northern Europe. He was with the 165th Signal Photo Company, 29th Infantry Division. This was the “Band of Brothers” division that took Omaha Beach, the lead troops in the invasion that began on June 6, 1944.

Being a combat photographer meant he served on the front lines of World War II from Omaha Beach to the liberation of Paris, including the Battle of the Bulge, as well as the battle to take the Remagen Bridge that led into Germany and ultimately Berlin.

His films of the action are in the Library of Congress. During the war, they were edited by the Army and shown as newsreels in cinemas across America. Remember, this was before TV, and the images captured by soldiers like my father were how Americans at home could follow the war. It was important in mobilizing the entire country to sacrifice, to work hard for the war effort and to win.

The amazing thing is I have “home photos” of it all, which I found years later when Dad had to move to assisted living and I was closing down my parents’ apartment. There was a small box from a Roliflex camera he had found in a cave in Germany during the war, and it was crammed full of high-quality Leica contact sheets of still photos he and his buddies had taken mostly between the battles.

The Museum of the City of New York held an exhibition of Phil Schultz’s photographs. (Courtesy of the author.)

Here are his few personal photos from Normandy, June 1944, with commentary in his own words.

“At Last, We Are Going After Hitler”
My experiences in World War II, I would say, started way before Pearl Harbor, because I was always extremely anti-fascist, and I knew somewhere along the way we would have to fight, and fight everything that was happening before it. So after Pearl Harbor, I went to volunteer in the Army, even before most of my friends.

As a soldier, we didn’t know when the D-Day invasion was going to come, but there was a feeling—there was such a build-up of American forces . . . all of a sudden, you are almost elbow to elbow with American forces on this island (Great Britain). They were coming over by the boatload and it was more and more of a build-up. Then one day, one day we said, “Alright, pack everything, you have to get on the trucks.”

We got on the trucks in a convoy and we went this way and that way. The roads were dark, and all the signs had been taken down, in case of a German invasion.

I still get a chill, remembering. As far as I could see along the country roads, piles of munitions. The people came out in the dark and watched. They lined the roads. It was so emotional. We didn’t talk in the trucks and it was very emotional. The only talking was maybe, “You got a cigarette?” The emotion. They knew what was happening.

We went to Torquay, which was where we got on the boat. We weren’t gung ho. No, we were scared, because we weren’t experienced. We didn’t know what to [expect]—we hadn’t been under fire. War was movies.

I remember feeling, at last, we are going after Hitler. I was happy because this would open up the second front and end the war and end Hitler. I wasn’t happy, “ha-ha happy,” but it was a very emotional period. We all knew. I and a couple of other guys I was close with said, “Oh boy, this is it.”

On the truck that night we were told where we were going. We are going to Normandy. They gave us maps, told us where we were going, what our objective was, where we were going to land exactly on the beach, every yard was marked off on the map. They knew where Phil Schultz was going to land, the only thing missing was my name. We were supposed to land about 2 p.m. on D-Day.

The map soldiers were given before the Normandy invasion. (Courtesy of the author.)

We got on the boats that night and fell asleep. I was on a small boat with artillery. The next morning, we first saw where we were. We were not close to shore. We were surrounded by an armada of tens of thousands of ships. We just couldn’t believe it.

Part of the armada headed for the Normandy coast. Photo by Phil Schultz. (Courtesy of the author.)

Then there was a reading on the ship of Eisenhower’s proclamation and order of the day. What we were supposed to do, to invade this and that.

Before we went off to the invasion, about month or two before, when I was assigned to London. I spent a lot of time with Robert Capa (the older brother of a best friend from the Bronx). He was a war correspondent and he knew he was going to go in with the very first wave. I was supposed to land at 1 or 2. But what happened was that we heard all sorts of rumors that things didn’t go well on the beach. We didn’t go in when we were supposed to and I started to notice small speed boats bringing wounded back to certain ships, and some wounded were brought back to my ship.

I asked permission to go to the beach, because they were going to pick up wounded. I had to promise I wouldn’t go onto the beach. The officer said, “You aren’t landing yet and you can’t land without your unit, so only if you come back.” I did go on the beach and we brought back wounded.

Now the beach— [there] was what you call beach master, this was a Navy guy, the beach master was in charge of this much beach and the boat. And he was standing there with all the artillery. There was a designation for the ships to stop and come and go.

There was a beach master. Fortunately, there was no shelling when I got there. They invaded or started invading about 5-5:30 and when I got there it was 10:30-11:00. And the beach was practically empty because everyone on the beach was laying down, and they were up against the hedgerows where they could not break through yet. So, I got some pictures of the wounded being put on and I went back to my ship and we didn’t land until late, late that day.

The first thing that happened to me when we got on the beach, it was quiet already, I bumped into a United Press correspondent who I knew from London, because of Robert Capa, and the first thing he said was, “Capa is missing.”

Omaha Beach. Photo by Phil Schultz. (Courtesy of the author.)

I said, “Oh, God!” and the first thing that came to my mind was what am I going to tell Julia, his mother. I was very close to his family, he was like a big brother to me. For three days, I really worried.

I went into Sainte-Mère-Église, which we just captured earlier that day. It was in the movie “The Longest Day,” where the paratrooper got stuck on the steeple. That was the village. It was right on the waterfront practically, just to the right of us. For three days I worried whether Capa . . . I didn’t know it, but before I even got to the beach he got his pictures and he was back in London. He wouldn’t trust his pictures to anybody. He got back on the boat and went back on one of the ships and got himself back to London to the labs to print his pictures.

Robert Capa’s famous photo of the Omaha landing. Photo by Pierre Andrieu. (AFP/Getty Images)

His darkroom assistant was so excited the negatives were rushed back before the battle was over, that he melted them in his haste, and only a few images survived.

Playing poker in a Normandy barn. One soldier filled his helmet with what he thought was water in a barrel, and let out a yell—“whiskey!” It was Calvados, Normandy’s famous apple brandy. Photo by Phil Schultz. (Courtesy of the author.)

From then on things are kind of blurry. We fought for weeks in the hedgerows.

In the battle for Saint-Lô, we were under such heavy artillery fire I wouldn’t—couldn’t—I was afraid to stand up. I was crawling in a tank rut and knew I’d be hit any minute. You felt like every shell was coming straight at you. There was a French farmer’s body in the trench and I crawled right over it. All of sudden I hear, “You can’t get pictures that way soldier.”

I looked up. It was General Cota I’d been assigned to take photos of him in England, when he went to visit Lady Astor. (He was played by Robert Mitchum in “The Longest Day.”) He was walking along under fire. But he got hit—shrapnel in the shoulder. An hour later, I was taking pictures of him getting a medal.

General Bradley’s aggressive thrust allowed Allied troops to reach Mt. Saint Michel quickly. Photo by Phil Schultz. (Courtesy of the author.)

By August, the road was open to Paris. We stopped for the 2nd French. Eisenhower thought the 2nd French Armored Division attached to the American Army should have the honor of marching in and taking Paris. So we were off now to Paris and every photographer in the Army, no matter where they were, attached themselves to the 2nd Army Division. We were advancing 20, 30, 40 miles a day and there was nothing to hold us back and the only thing in front of us was Paris.

I hooked up with Capa again, and we came to the town of Rambouillet and there was Hemingway with his own private army of free French, marching them up and down.

We go into Paris. It is so unbelievable what the scene was – right in the middle of French soldiers. They were screw ups because I remember that night before we were driving into Paris, they were driving with all their headlights on. You don’t do this! It’s still war, you’ll get killed.

On both sides of the street, French lined the streets and French tanks lined up like a convoy firing point blank down towards the Place de la Concorde, because there was still some resistance there. I am behind one of the tanks and getting pictures of people cheering and the tanks firing.

Paris, after the shooting had stopped. Photo by Phil Schultz. (Courtesy of the author.)

And I know, experienced already, that if a tank is firing, someone is going to shoot back. I get my pictures and I leave, go around the corner. And my officer, he went to the spot where I was and got killed. You get that streetwise—battlewise. You are there, you do a job, and get out.

Then I went into the Place de la Concorde and there were thousands of people there already, and someone started to throw fire again, and that is when this 300-pound woman grabs me and sits on me, lying on top of me trying to get up. After that, there was no more fire.

That was the liberation of Paris.

Paris was so beautiful. The French people were beautiful, the whole world was beautiful, the weather it was fine, and we were beating the bastards and we were winning the war and we were alive and it was beautiful.

Phil Shultz relaxing by the Seine after the liberation of Paris. (Courtesy of the author.)

After the War

It was a long, hard war, with much death and many moments of imminent death or capture. It wasn’t something my father talked about, except for the funny bits, like finding the Calvados or the fat lady in Place de la Concorde. He came home with a boundless font of optimism and gratitude and love of America.

The post-war boom was not something that fell into the soldiers’ laps—their hard work and struggles to survive continued. New York City had a tight-post war economy and a father-son dominated photographers’ union that would not let in new members. For several years, his dream of working as a cinematographer was foiled by the union and anti-Semitism in New York’s advertising industry.

Those were just two more real-life challenges you accepted as reality and met, without whining and without building a life-long grievance. The important part was winning, not that life presented a fight.

At times, he could barely put food on the table for his family. My father, after he married, gave my mother credit for urging him to believe in himself and not give up on his dream career. Eventually, he got that dream job and became a pioneer in early TV commercials, making many of the famous commercials Baby Boomers grew up with.

The last few years of his life, my Dad’s conversations became short and repetitive, but they were quintessential Great Generation to the end: “Your Daddy’s fine. I have no major problems and no minor problems. I try not to let anything get me down. I look on the bright side of life.”

“Just roll with the punches,” he would say. “Don’t let the bastards get you down.”

His last words to us were: “I’m tough. That’s my hobby. Just keep going to the end. I’m going to jump for joy.”

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo credit: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images

EU • Europe • Israel • NATO • Post

Greece Finds New Footing as a Player on the World Stage

ATHENS—After Greece temporarily hosted a pair of U.S. military drones, Greek Defense Minister Panagiotis Kammenos said last fall that, “It’s very important for Greece that the United States deploy military assets in Greece on a more permanent base.”

Indeed, Greece just took delivery of some 70 military helicopters that it had purchased from the U.S., and there have been discussions about basing American drones, air tankers and other military aircraft on Greek soil.

COSCO, a state-owned Chinese shipping and logistics services company, has invested more than 3.5 billion euros in renovating the historic Greek port of Piraeus, which is now the second-largest port in the Mediterranean. The Chinese brag that it will soon become the busiest. The massive renovation is part of China’s 35-year lease of two of the port’s container terminals and the Chinese purchase of a majority stake in Piraeus’ port authority.

Despite recent spats, Vladimir Putin’s Russia remains a supposed ally of Greece, given historic religious ties and the envisioned completion of a natural-gas pipeline that will supply Russian gas to energy-starved Greece.

Greece has a complicated relationship with its European Union partners after its catastrophic financial meltdown and the often Dickensian terms of reform and repayment demanded by German bankers. Yet Greece appreciates that more European Union money goes into the country than goes out, even if many Greeks resent bitterly high-handed German dictates—and being manipulated as the frontline transit center for hundreds of thousands of migrants swarming into Europe from Africa and the Middle East.

New Greek freeways are less congested and more impressive than California’s, despite the fact that Greek GDP is less than one-twelfth that of California.

During the 1970s and 1980s Greece was more or less anti-Israel (like much of Europe). Not any longer. The two countries are becoming fast friends.

Greece’s new multifaceted foreign policy might be best summed up by 19th-century British Prime Minister Lord Palmerston’s famous dictum: “Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests.”

Greece seems to have found lots of semi-permanent interests.

In other words, relatively small and vulnerable but strategically located Greece lives in a tough neighborhood with historic enemies such as Turkey and radical Islamic groups. As a window on the Mediterranean and three continents, Greece sits at the intersection of great-power rivalries between Europe, America, China and Russia.

In the old days, Greece, a member of both NATO and the EU, grumbled that its European and American big brothers took it for granted as either an insignificant subordinate or a whiny nuisance—despite its key location and its iconic status as the birthplace of Western civilization.

Now, things have changed—and often to Greek advantage.

Greece has gone from its traditionally defiant (if not insecure) role as an outlier to that of a crafty insider. There are lots of reasons for the new Greek realpolitik, besides learning from the vulnerability of its past dependencies.

The rise of a neo-Ottoman Turkey, with a population seven times that of Greece, a territory six times as large and renewed territorial ambitions in the Greek Aegean, has made Greece turn to the U.S. military for protection. America, too, is increasingly wary of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamist, anti-American and Mediterranean agendas.

Instead of trusting fellow EU members, Greece has merely found them useful in scheduling its debt repayments and providing critical tourist dollars.

Doing business with China is dangerous, given Chinese neo-imperial schemes that occasionally have led to blatant Chinese blackmail and bullying of its vulnerable clients. But the Chinese presence has pumped billions of euros into the ailing Greek economy while reminding the EU that Greece has other options when it comes to foreign investment, infrastructure and trade.

Few nations trust the reptilian Putin. But when the Russian president poses as a defender of Orthodox Christianity and as a protector of Eastern Europe and the Balkans from German bullying and Islamic troublemaking, the Greeks may find him useful in supplying energy and in foreign-policy triangulation.

Israel has also been recalibrated as a useful asset for democratic Greece. Like other traditionally persecuted peoples, the Greeks and Israelis share a mistrust of great powers. Israel now plans to build a massive underwater pipeline to link its natural gas supplies with Greece and Cyprus.

Both Greece and Israel have resentments against the European Union. Both have given up on detente with Erdogan’s bellicose Turkey. Both count on U.S. military aid. Both no longer are so dependent on unstable Arab countries for imported gas and oil.

Greece is, of course, walking a tightrope. By balancing between rivals and finding new friendly interests, Greece magnifies its own importance. As it does, it also becomes an even greater focal point of big-power rivalries and global commercial jostling.

We should not be too surprised by Greek realpolitik. After all, Greece gave the world Themistocles, the fifth-century B.C. wheeler-dealer politician and general who increased ancient Athenian power by being interested in everyone—and permanently allied to no one.

Photo Credit: Giorgos Zachos/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

(C) 2019 TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.

America • Center for American Greatness • Donald Trump • EU • Europe • Post

Boris Johnson Is Not the Ally Donald Trump Needs

Often called the “British Donald Trump,” former London Mayor Boris Johnson appears to be the frontrunner in the race for 10 Downing Street following the resignation last week of Prime Minister Theresa May.

But Boris is no Donald Trump. He is, in fact, the continuity candidate for a British Conservative Party long at odds with its base.

Conservative Party activists balked last week when given the opportunity to vote for the once-great party of Thatcher and Churchill. The appeal of May and Johnson was not enough to keep them from voting for the Brexit Party en masse—an amazing six-week-old outfit run by “Mr. Brexit,” Nigel Farage.

Speaking on his trip to London in 2018, President Trump said Johnson, the member of Parliament for Uxbridge (West London), “would be a great prime minister.” But he wasn’t a good mayor, he wasn’t a good foreign secretary, and he wasn’t a good advocate for the Leave campaign during Britain’s 2016 European Union membership referendum. What makes the president think he would a decent prime minister, let alone an ally of the United States?

After all, Boris has not been as kind to the president as the president has been to him.

Speaking ahead of the 2016 presidential election, Johnson said: “Crime has been falling steadily in both London and New York—and the only reason I wouldn’t go to some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump.”

It gets worse.

He has called Trump “out of his mind” and “stupefyingly ignorant.”

It gets worse, yet.

Speaking to ITN news, Johnson said candidate Trump was “frankly unfit to hold the office of president of the United States.”

Now Boris wants to meet with Trump next week in London. Trump should put the kibosh on that meeting because the two have almost nothing in common.

Boris completely underestimates the threat from China, and would try to derail Trump’s efforts on the international stage to bring the Communist regime to heel. He was recorded telling a meeting of the progressive “Conservative Way Forward” group: “We need to engage with China diplomatically, treat China as our friend and our partner, but also recognize that they are our commercial rivals. And they will try to stiff us.”

Johnson voted for the Iraq war, for gay marriage, for big government climate change solutions, and called migration “fantastic for the economy.” Just last year the former foreign secretary called for an amnesty for illegal immigrants living in Britain for 10 years or more.

You really think this guy would be an ally for Trump on the world stage?

But he’s currently the favorite, mostly because the Conservative Party in Britain has little else to offer and because the party establishment has already decided, much like they decided on May. And we all know how well she did on Brexit.

Boris will be no better. Having already been revealed to have written two letters—one backing remaining in the European Union and one backing leave—Boris is the ultimate political chameleon. America needs a more reliable ally than that.

Meanwhile, in the European Parliament, Farage and his Brexit Party will be pushing for a “hard Brexit”—which means leaving the European Union at the end of October without a deal and reverting to World Trade Organization terms. This is what Britain voted for, and something Boris Johnson rejected when he voted for Prime Minister May’s bodged withdrawal agreement a few months back.

All that’s left is for Boris to support a second referendum for his position to become as incomprehensible as that of Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn. And frankly, it already seems to be in his cards. While Boris spins in the wind, Trump should send a signal to the British establishment next week and have dinner with Nigel instead: it might be only a matter of time until Nigel is PM, anyway.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo Credit: Luke Dray/Getty Images

Elections • EU • Europe • Post

Nigel Farage: Britain’s Prime Minister-in-Waiting?

Since at least 2014, the most powerful man in the United Kingdom has been someone who holds no noble or royal title, and has never occupied a domestic political office. He is a former commodities broker who took up the cause of reasserting British sovereignty and terminating the country’s membership in the elitist, internationalist, and vaguely socialist European Union. He has earned the unremitting scorn of Britain’s political, cultural, and economic elite in return—and a place in history as the man who upended the two-party system and breathed new life into the world’s oldest and most venerable democracy.

Nigel Farage is the man of the hour in Britain and Europe. Three years ago, he led the successful campaign to convince British voters to embrace “Brexit”: Britain’s departure from the European Union. Believing his work largely done, he retired from political life, only to watch with horror as the British parliamentary elite obfuscated and delayed in the implementation of the people’s will.

Two postponements of Brexit later, Farage took himself out of mothballs and launched the Brexit Party in order to contest the EU parliamentary elections. That was just six weeks ago. And now after last Sunday’s vote, we know that Farage and his Brexit Party were the big winners, taking over 30 percent of the vote and the lion’s share of Britain’s delegation to the European Parliament.

Once again, Britain’s crusty old grandees look to be foundering on the adamantine rock that is Nigel Farage.

Farage beat the establishment in 2014. He beat them again in 2016. Now he has beaten them for a third time in 2019.

It seems incredible, but we have to ask: has the Farage Factor played itself out, or are his mightiest triumphs yet to come?

Consider that by mid-July, Britain will have a new prime minister from the ruling Conservative Party. Thanks to the scare that the Brexit Party just put into the Conservatives, that prime minister likely will be Boris Johnson, i.e. someone who has said he supports Brexit and even reserves the right to take the United Kingdom out of the EU without a deal. That means, in other words, a near total break with the European Union.

Trouble is, while most Conservative voters may support a no-deal Brexit, large numbers of Conservative MPs do not. A Conservative prime minister who was a confirmed Brexiteer, therefore, would face the very real possibility, even the likelihood, that some of his own members would support a no-confidence motion against him. That would produce the fall of the government and a fresh general election.

Anti-Brexit forces seem to hope that a such an election would lead, by hook or by crook, to the cancellation of Brexit. That is indeed one potential outcome.

The other possible outcome, however, is that British politicos have miscalculated once again, underestimating both the British electorate and Nigel Farage. Instead of confirming the domination of establishment, anti-Brexit forces, a general election could lead to a result similar to the one we just saw in the EU parliamentary elections: a fractured contest in which Farage and his Brexiteers command the most votes.

Since Britain’s Parliament is elected in single-member districts, according to a first-past-the-post voting system, the party that gets the most votes generally gets the most MPs. In the recent EU elections, Britain’s two major parties, Labour and the Conservatives, saw their support wither, while the Brexit Party beat its nearest competitor, the Liberal Democrats, by more than 10 points. If that were to happen again in a general election there would be a clear majority in Parliament for the Brexit Party. The leader of the Brexit Party would then become prime minister—none other than Nigel Farage.

There are ways, of course, in which Britain’s current rulers can avoid this sequence of events and can keep Farage far away from 10 Downing Street. The easiest way? Give the British people what they want, and what they voted for in 2016 and 2019: Brexit!

That would mean the establishment would have to swallow its pride and accept the fact that Britain is a sovereign country that can, and should, govern itself. Perhaps they will see reason and make this choice.

The only other alternatives available to the powers-that-be are to co-opt Farage and his Brexiteers via some kind of coalition, or to beat him fair and square at the polls—something that has proven next to impossible up to now.

The smart bet, for those who study and learn from recent history, is that the British ruling class will continue to drift towards self-immolation.

Farage, therefore, had better start thinking of some pleasantries to exchange with the Queen. She may soon be inviting him to Buckingham Palace to offer him the job of prime minister.

A laughable, impossible scenario, you say? That sounds a lot like what people claimed when Donald Trump rode down the escalator in Trump Tower to declare his candidacy in June 2015.

Never say never, especially when history is in flux, as it so clearly is today.

Photo Credit: Peter Summers/Getty Images

2016 Election • Center for American Greatness • Deep State • Democrats • Donald Trump • Elections • EU • Europe • Post • The Left

‘Remain’ Wins! ‘Leave’ Loses! And Other Upside-Down Tales

You would be forgiven for thinking that handily winning the vote share over your rivals meant you had won an election.

But in the Current Year, such logic is a bunk currency—the winning ticket of the Zimbabwe National Lottery.

As predicted, Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party pillaged last weekend’s European Parliament elections. Just six weeks old, and with the fervency of more than 120,000 members, the Brexit Party scooped 31 percent of the British vote.

That translates to winning nine of the United Kingdom’s 12 regions. And 29 seats of 72 in the new European Parliament.

Farage’s nearest rivals, the pro-EU Liberal Democrats, who are neither liberal nor democratic, settled on just under 20 percent. Britain’s two main parties, Labour and the Conservatives, scraped up just under a quarter of the vote combined.

The Brexit Party did even better in the Brexit-voting Labour heartlands, consigning once dominant Labour to also-rans among the swathes most committed to leaving the EU—swathes where they used to weigh, not count, the Labour vote.

The Brexit Party topped the Labour-voting Northeast, Northwest, East of England, Wales, West Midlands, East Midlands, Yorkshire and Humber, and cleaned through the Conservative Southwest and Southeast.

Upon winning, Farage insisted that Great Britain leave the EU on October 31—the new deadline—or he and his Brexit Party bombardiers would upend both Labour and the Conservatives at the next general election. The polls suggest his threat is not empty.

But none of that matters. Some mental yoga from Britain’s progressive wing decided that this de-facto second referendum meant the people actually voted to reverse Brexit and remain ensconced within their besotted EU.

Honestly. One columnist, Polly Toynbee, took to The Guardian to announce that Remain had indeed won. And that the proles should down their pitchforks, pull up a seat, and plough into some sashimi.

By Toynbee’s lights, if one counted all the votes which were not for the Brexit Party, and conveniently disregarded Tory votes, that actually means that Remain parties won the election. Or something.

It’s like taking all the points garnered by teams not called the New England Patriots, combining those, and then claiming the Patriots, therefore, didn’t deserve their place in the Super Bowl, let alone win the damn thing.

It makes sense. No? It does to those suffering with a turbulence of mind upon which vulturous therapists engorge their wallets.

Since 2016, progressives on both sides of the Atlantic have tussled with reality, denying with vim and vigor what actually happened. Brexit won an “impossible” vote. Hillary Clinton lost the “most winnable” election.

It has been three years. The day after the Brexit vote, we learned of a phenomenon known as “Bregret.” Millions, they insisted, had changed their minds. They were just joking!

How those self-convinced of this folly canvassed the views of millions within 24 or so hours of the result is beyond rational comprehension. Perhaps because they made it up.

Then they asked us to vote again. We just did. Brexit won.

It remains the wrong answer. Now, they insist the only way to break this “impasse” is through another vote.

At least they’ve stopped calling it a second referendum. That’s too undemocratic. Now, their latest wheeze is a “confirmatory vote.”

Because they’d definitely win this time. And they believe that. Those bludgeoned by Brexit believe all this would go away if only they had another chance. Their world would simmer neatly. The proles would assume their place.

Doubtless, Americans are familiar with this lamentable circus.

Ever since President Trump’s election, the forces of tolerance have wailed and whined and warped reality.

Robert Mueller’s statement this week is a case in point. Mueller said he couldn’t definitively prove Donald Trump did not commit a crime related to the fatuous Russia inquiry.

Like a weary adult beset upon all sides by inconsolable infants, Mueller felt forced to mollify the mental children with a soothing statement.

“We found no evidence that the moon is made of cheese,” Mueller might has well have said. “But, that doesn’t mean we can definitively confirm the moon is not made of cheese.”

Upon hearing this, progressives now believe the moon is, in fact, made of cheese. They were right all along.

For democracy to function properly, the losing side must accept it has lost.

Half of the political sphere is now motored via adolescent rage. Like spoiled children to whom “no” has never been uttered, they are convinced they are always right.

And they’re also encouraged by the beleaguered forces who know, deep down, that the game is up.

By insisting that President Trump was in fact a Russian agent; by insisting that Brexit voters had little grasp of what they were voting for, the jilted have unleashed a measureless contempt against half of the people. All to bolster their own privilege atop a game they rigged long ago.

What follows is not pretty. But I know the score-line. It’s two-nil. Best of seven?

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo Credit: Vernon Yuen/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Administrative State • America • Center for American Greatness • Defense of the West • EU • Europe • Post

The Surprising Internationalism of the Nationalists

Globalism is the ideology of the ruling class. It is the stuff of the World Economic Forum, Paris Climate Treaty, multinational banks pushing transsexuals, payment processors excluding conservative activists, social media giants deciding what is permissible speech, the movement of Third World peoples to the First World, the abolition of tariffs that protect local industries and traditions, and the elevation of global economic efficiency above all other concerns.

Until now, globalism had substantial support. For starters, rulers from diverse nations believed in it. They each allowed the logic of globalism to overrule parochial concerns for their particular nations in the name of the greater good. Globalism also benefited from substantial propaganda support in the news, movies, and television. Today the stodgiest banks and technology companies’ advertising looks like a Benetton ad from the early 1990s. And, finally, globalism’s support derived from its claim to raise the prosperity for people everywhere.

Nationalism Rising
Today, nationalism is on the rise. Nationalist parties have won in Italy, Hungary, Brazil, and in the United States, where Trump won largely through nationalist politics and rhetoric. Nearly one third of the seats in the European parliament were recently taken by nationalist parties.

We also see dissident nationalist movements in France, in the form of the Yellow Vests, and in the United Kingdom, where Theresa May lost the support of her Conservative Party by clinging to the European Union long after the will of the people and her party had been made manifest in the Brexit referendum.

While nationalism, by its nature, varies in its particulars based on the nation to which it is attached, nationalists everywhere emphasize common themes, all rooted in the elevation of culture and national unity above mere economic efficiency. Globalists support the strengthening of the United Nations and other global enterprises like the EU, because the rules these institutions promulgate are, by their nature, uniform and universal. By contrast nationalists seek to elevate the authority and rights of particular peoples and their respective states.

With nationalism, diversity is at the level of the group and includes a diversity of laws and policy approaches emphasizing the interests of the people in the nation, not the pseudo-diversity that would make Sweden, Brazil, Japan, and the United States all contain, essentially, the same disunited and diverse populations living under the same uniform rules. Thus, nationalists in many nations emphasize the importance of national independence, skepticism of mass immigration, the preservation of language and culture, and the subordination of global and financial institutions to local control.

Why the Controversy?
Nationalism has something of a bad rap. In addition to the economic arguments, the association of nationalism with the atrocities of the hypernationalist Nazi Germany has caused some to equate the term with other views deemed retrograde and illiberal, such as racism and sexism. For critics, it is a short road from nationalism, to racism, to eliminationist violence.

This view, however, is as uncharitable as it is selective of the historical record. German nationalism emerged from the ashes of World War I and the Weimar era to become an aggressive, imperialist, and racist ideology that ran roughshod over the competing nationalisms of Germany’s neighbors. Yet more prosaic national movements also emerged from World War I, including Czech, Hungarian, and Polish nationalism. The Polish nation re-emerged from World War I as a small nation-state made up largely of an ethnically homogeneous people living within its historical borders, along with various well-established national minorities. Where Germany sought to expand and to impose its will on its neighbors and rid itself of its minorities—in particular the Jews—Poland sought to reestablish its national rule in land previously ruled over by multinational empires and accommodated its large Jewish population with a strong degree of autonomy, as exemplified by the persistence of the Yiddish language.

While imperfect, the model of Polish nationalism was limited, historical, nonimperialist, and nonaggressive towards its neighbors. It was certainly less violent to minorities and neighbors than the German alternative. And this model is not so different from the model of nationalism prevalent today, which does not chiefly seek to create empires or fight wars against neighbors, but rather to create a flourishing nation-state where the national culture, leaders, language, and character of the rulers derive from and benefit a particular nation.

Both variants of nationalism, of course, create the potential for conflict and oppression of local, historical minorities, but the ambitions of ordinary nationalism are far less damaging than the alternatives, including the expansionist ideologies of the German and Soviet Empires of the mid-20th century. Nationalist ideologies are limited in scope precisely because they do not seek to impose a universal way on all mankind, and their territorial ambitions are limited by the historical land of a particular people.

Critics tend to group these two very different types of nationalism together in order to discredit all nationalism with the crimes of the Nazi regime, even though the more tragic, valiant, and just nationalism of the Polish style is predominant today. This type of nationalism is compatible with the mutual flourishing of various nations each expressing their own nationalist views, each within their respective boundaries, and each aiming not to expand or impose upon others, nor to acquire new territory.

Nationalism International
The defensive nationalism of today has fostered a surprisingly “international” movement whereby nationalist groups in various European nations, as well as Brazil, India, and Japan, find common cause in opposing globalism. Globalism, being a universalist and single ideology, has the same agenda for various nations, whether Sweden, Brazil, or the United States. Thus, nationalist movements in these various countries find much common ground for cooperation, as they face a common enemy with a common agenda.

The particular expressions of nationalism may vary from country to country, but the concern for sovereignty, preservation of one’s people and their culture, and the need to subordinate the economic power of multinational corporations is universal. Nigel Farage of the British Brexit movement, for example, was a prominent Trump supporter. Jair Bolsonaro and Viktor Orbán, in Brazil and Hungary, also each have many international and American admirers. Conferences of European nationalists, each seeking to foster their respective nations’ flourishing, are fairly common, and members of the American dissident nationalist movements have begun to forge ties with these groups, as well.

In this sense, the international movement of nationalists is analogous to movements for regional autonomy or federalism here at home. The content of federalism likely would differ widely from Texas to Florida to Vermont. But in each case a meta-principle of self-rule, regionalism, and ultimately freedom is at stake.

By contrast, a universal rule falls more heavily on some than on others, as it deviates more or less from the local traditions and preferences. This is as true for the one-size-fits-all decrees of the United Nations, the EU, or the American federal government with regard to their respective and subordinate political units. A strong preference for local control can unite Greek nationalists who seek to preserve their local olive farmers, Frenchman who value their language and Catholic religion, and Swedes who do not want to be set upon by angry hordes of Somalis.

The Failure of Globalism
Globalism is a failing ideology. The increasing turn to censorship and suppression of dissident movements is as much an indicator of this as any economic figures. The largest failure of globalism is that it has failed to deliver on its own terms. Globalism fundamentally elevates economic concerns above all others and promises to raise all boats. But mobile global capital has instead transformed the entire globe into winner-take-all competition, where the largest share of the dividends are delivered to the managerial class and investors rather than to ordinary workers, who must now compete with Chinese laborers working for a pittance. Economic security has not increased with global competition, particularly among nations that were already quite content, such as Sweden or the United States.

More important, globalism—and particular its feature of unsustainable mass immigration from extremely dissimilar populations—has done much to undermine various nations’ quality of life. As with other failed ideologies, it errs by misunderstanding human nature. People are not merely economic actors. They are also fathers, sons, mothers, neighbors, members of communities, and the like. The value of cohesion and communication are natural byproducts of homogenous communities. These fragile goods, however, are given little consideration by the globalists, who proclaim, contra all the evidence, that diversity is our strength.

In real life, diversity often leads, as often as not, to higher crime, lower trust, neighbors with whom one cannot communicate, and a vague sense of not being at home in the country of one’s birth. Very few people really like this, outside of the small, self-selected globalist managerial class. In our lives, we reveal our true preferences by substituting other goods—cohesion, trust, stability, closeness of friends and family—for mere efficiency. Even capitalism itself recognizes that market-based efficiency is not always everything, as competing organizations are not themselves organized on market principles, but instead on bonds of culture, trust, and command and control relationships of various kinds.

Nationalism is compatible with freedom, free markets, peace, alliances, and much else. It is in fact the most natural mode of political organization, as Yoram Hazony argues. It is not compatible, however, with the single-minded focus on efficiency and uniformity that characterizes globalism. Much of the nationalist resurgence is about the rights, not just of individuals, but of communities to live among the people they’ve always known, with whom they share blood and history, and to continue to live as they have in peace.

Nationalism is no more an aggressive threat to others than having one’s own home, own religion, and own family is hostile to the homes, religions, and families of others. But those who claim in Orwellian fashion than “diversity is our strength” would permit no such diversity. After all, there is a global GDP to worry about.

Normal people everywhere emphasize different priorities when given the choice. And nationalists, to their credit, have recognized that there is some value in cooperating and building truly international ties among one another—ties that are only possible in a community of real, vital, and distinct nations. The globalists may find that they unite the various nations of the world, just not in the manner they expected.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo Credit: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Elections • EU • Europe • Post

What Part of ‘Leave’ Don’t They Understand?

To prove one’s progressive credentials, one could do worse than to purchase a milkshake from an ostensibly detested fast-food corporation, douse a politician deemed a threat to the cause, and applaud oneself via the gleeful approval of Burger King.

This week, British progressives have underlined their helpless vacuity by doing just that.

Paul Crowther, 32, whose internet history I suspect would wilt steel, drenched Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage in milkshake because he doesn’t quite agree with Farage’s views.

Crowther, according to the media, is a progressive and voted for the Adderall child and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. He is confused. Corbyn, like all proper left-wingers, is a Brexiteer.

Yet, other progressives lauded Crowther’s efforts.

One kindred spirit, however, expressed her dismay at the act of milkshaking.

Ruth Townsley, of Happy City UK, a charity which campaigns to bolster happiness and wellbeing, wasn’t too pleased with Crowther’s assault.

“I prefer acid, but, milkshakes will do, for now,” she tweeted.

That’s right. Dousing people with whom one disagrees with disfiguring acid is to dip one’s feet in the still waters of Arūpa-loka.

What will do for now is the welfare line. Townsley was fired soon after deleting her tweet. Shame.

One elderly gentleman, with 22 years’ service in the elite Parachute Regiment, got the milkshake treatment en route to the polling booth to vote for democracy’s preservation. To be tolerant and progressive means attacking elderly veterans because they hold a different opinion. Or something.

Nigel Farage’s own crime is to lead the Brexit Party. Just five weeks old, the organization has vacuumed over £2.5 million (roughly $3.16 million) in small donations and burgeoned to 120,000 members. And the party is likely to win this week’s European Parliament elections, stomping the Conservatives into fifth place.

The new party’s appeal is ruthlessly simple: We voted to leave the European Union. We have not left. Tell them again.

It’s working. The Brexit Party will best Labour and the Tories combined, and likely decapitate the leaders of both. One of which has hours, rather than days, left in office.

We are here because of the folly threading our hapless government. Prime Minister Theresa May, in office but not in power, spent the best part of three years cooking up a deal to leave the EU in word but not in deed. Lawmakers marmalized that deal, three times.

She fancied a fourth vote. But her “New Brexit Deal” unveiled this week was not new, nor Brexit. That gloop of pity was dead before the details warped her tongue. She is currently holed-up in Number 10. The worst Tinder date in history.

So, here we are, fighting European elections three years after voting to leave Europe.

In honesty, we haven’t had this much fun since the referendum. There’s something vivifying about it all. Those shrill desperate wails from people who claim tolerance and understanding. They know it’s over.

“We must stop the extremists!” cry the actual extremists. After all, their views are held by a dissolving few inhabitants of an upmarket London itsu.

Meanwhile, Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party steam ahead.

They’ll be joined by like-minds. One-third of the new European Parliament will fall to parties skeptical of the European Union. The establishment is rightly terrified.

A Brexit Party win all but vaporizes the notion of a second referendum. We are already having one. And it is two-nil to Brexit.

Desperate people do desperate things. Upon realization that Brexiteers have not changed their minds, progressives resort to violence and antics reserved for infants.

Which is indeed strange behavior from those who claim to be tolerant, those who haughtily denounce the rest as fascists.

And fascist is what this is. It is “only a milkshake.” But imagine, for a second, the reaction if right-wing Brexiteers targeted and attacked pro-EU politicians, and Remain voters, denying their right to speak freely or place their vote.

It would be “proof” of the lurid spirits released by the referendum. Tiresome celebrities would soak themselves in tearful swellings of grief. They’d cry “fascist!” They’d be half-right.

Sadly, this was inevitable. Since the referendum, the mask of compassion apparently exclusive to our open-minded friends has slipped, revealing an unfiltered contempt for anyone not like them.

Those who voted Leave were parochial, racist, uneducated, stupid, deplorable. They didn’t know what they were voting for. Their vote demonstrated ignorance. Their voices deserved to drown. All rather fascist, no?

Historically, such rhetoric has justified all manner of grotesqueries.

When one is convinced those who disagree are not just wrong, but evil, violence is a natural remedy.

After all, progressives claim to occupy the “right side of history.” Everything they want is apparently inevitable. To attack, and de-platform, and deny the acceleration of “evil” is then morally essential.

But that “right side of history” leads to a mirage. Take a look.

All across Europe, in the United States, and now Australia, rebooted “conservative” parties are cleaning up.

Shorn of vote-killing 1980s economics, the radical majority swells with the progressives’ abandoned former base.

Branded extremist, they’re actually the radical majority.

As I have mentioned, most voters in Great Britain and America are socially conservative, and economically moderate. Parties adhering to this formula are winning. And they’ll keep winning. Which is a notion the GOP cannot quite swallow, lest it be revealed that Current Year is not 1980.

Now they’ve purged their own base of the right’s newest voters, the stunted teenagers of the Democratic Party will adopt the milkshaking tactics of their demented cousins across the pond. They’re just as desperate. And jilted.

But reality is a troublesome mistress. It’ll take more than a milkshake to convince her otherwise.

Photo Credit: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

Administrative State • Defense of the West • Donald Trump • EU • Europe • Post

The Virtues of Patriotism

The elections to the European Parliament underway now through Sunday present a major war of ideas between the “Europe of Nations” and the “Europe of Brussels”—between national democratic sovereignty and supranational authority.

On May 13, I participated in a conference in London organized by the White House Writers Group and attended by leading conservative intellectuals and political figures, including Yoram Hazony, Daniel Hannan, Roger Scruton, John O’Sullivan, Nile Gardiner, and Polish cabinet minister Anna Maria Anders, among others. The conference, “Europe at a Crossroads: The Virtue of Nationalism,” for the most part echoed Margaret Thatcher’s famous Bruges speech advocating a Europe of “independent sovereign states” in opposition to a democracy-deficient supranational EU that would “try to suppress nationhood and concentrate power at the center of a European conglomerate.”

Two days before, on May 11, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed the Claremont Institute’s 40th anniversary gala dinner with a spirited defense of the universal principle of democratic sovereignty as central to the new Trump doctrine in American foreign policy. Pompeo declared:

This new pride in taking America’s interests seriously is not just an American phenomenon. Countries all over the world are rediscovering their national identities, and we are supporting them. We are asking them to do what’s best for their people as well. The wave of electoral surprises has swept from Britain to the United States all the way to Brazil.

Pompeo also noted, “President Trump has helped put the world back on track to a nation-first trajectory,” and warned  “democratic leaders” who “are not responsive to the jolts of patriotism which are sweeping the world . . . won’t be leaders for long.”

For more than a half a century, the United States automatically has supported more European integration and opposed efforts to reassert national sovereignty. As recently as 2016, President Obama traveled to the United Kingdom to warn the British that as far as America was concerned, they would be sent to the “back of the queue,” if they dared to approve Brexit. In contrast, then-private citizen John Bolton remarked,“Americans should welcome Britain’s coming Declaration of Independence.”

With the advent of the Trump Administration, automatic support for continued EU centralization and reflexive opposition to national sovereignty has ended. Pompeo, speaking directly to the Europeans in Brussels, forthrightly declared: “Our mission is to reassert sovereignty, reform the liberal international order, and we want our friends to help us assert their sovereignty as well.”

President Trump in his official speeches, informal remarks, and tweets has made no secret of his support for democratic sovereignty in general, and his sympathy for Brexit in particular. As Trump told the U.N. in 2018, “Sovereign and independent nations are the only vehicle where freedom has ever survived, [and] democracy has ever endured.”

Interestingly, the pro-Brussels forces link supporters of democratic sovereignty in Europe with the Trump Administration. In a European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) paper titled “How Anti-Europeans Plan to Wreck Europe and What Can Be Done to Stop It,” European integrationists complained:

Like Trump or his Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro, European nationalists are usually critical of “political correctness”—to the extent that they present their opposition to women’s rights, LGBT rights, other cultures, or measures to mitigate climate change as a crucial part of a pluralist political debate. They are particularly suspicious of multilateralism, as expressed in the Paris climate agreement and the Marrakesh migration pact.

In other words, for the pro-Brussels elite it appears that some retrograde “anti-Europeans” do not endorse political correctness, the green-socialist global agenda of the climate change regulators, and mass migration from the developing world. Imagine that!

The core argument, of course, is not between “pro-Europeans” and “anti-Europeans,” but between two different visions of Europe. It’s an old conflict. During the 1960s French President Charles de Gaulle advocated a “Europe of States” and strongly opposed European Commission President Walter Hallstein’s push for more centralization. Twenty years later, in the 1980s, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher battled with then-European Commission President Jacques Delors over the same general argument of democratic sovereignty versus undemocratic supranationalism.

In recent years, the vision of a “Europe of Nations” embraced by de Gaulle and Thatcher is re-emerging both intellectually and politically.

In 2017, a group of leading European intellectuals, including Pierre Manent, Roger Scruton, Ryszard Legutko, Chantal Delsol, Remi Brague and others issued “The Paris Statement: A Europe We Can Believe In,” in which they declared: “The True Europe is a community of nations. We have our own languages, traditions, and borders, yet we have always recognized a kinship with one another.”

The Paris Statement uses the term “oligarchy” to describe the current status of the EU regime. The choice of oligarchy versus democracy, cuts to the heart of the matter. The political renaissance of the “Europe of Nations” is manifest in support for Brexit and for a range of political forces endorsing democratic sovereignty in the European Parliamentary elections.

These forces are not always in agreement on economics, on foreign policy, or other issues. Some are Thatcherite, some are Gaullist, some are sophisticated, some are not, some are traditional and classically liberal, some are given the nebulous label of “populist,” which is meant as a derogatory epithet.

Interestingly, the Paris Statement declared “we have our reservations” about “populism” because “Europe needs to draw on the deep wisdom of her traditions.” Nevertheless, the statement continued: “We acknowledge that much in this new political phenomenon can represent a healthy rebellion against the tyranny of the false Europe, which labels as ‘anti-democratic’ any threat to its monopoly on moral legitimacy.”

Clearly, the core moral question is who rules: self-governing democratic peoples or undemocratic supranational authorities? This is the same argument for democratic sovereignty constantly repeated by President Trump and his chief foreign policy lieutenants Mike Pompeo and John Bolton.

And, indeed, 27 years ago, Daniel Hannan noted, that in a radio broadcast to the French people, Charles de Gaulle emphatically declared, “democracy and national sovereignty are the same thing.”

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo Credit: Pierre Suu/Getty Images

America • Donald Trump • EU • Europe • Podcast

The Chris Buskirk Show: Episode 5—Trump Meets Hungary’s Orban, and More

President Trump met Viktor Orban of Hungary. The liberal establishment went crazy but should they have? What’s going on with populist nationalist movement in Europe from Brexit in the UK to Salvini in Italy, Orban in Hungary and others. Iran: Do some of Trump’s advisers want to start a war with Iran? Tune into The Chris Buskirk show below for the latest.
Photo Credit: Stringer/AFP/Getty Images
America • Center for American Greatness • Europe • Foreign Policy • Post

Trading Ukraine for Venezuela Would Be a Good Deal

Today, the United States finds itself in a new Cold War. This is not so much an ideological conflict as the last one was. Instead, it is a conflict about the definition of the new world order.

Gone are the days following the end of the Cold War when the United States acted as the global hegemon seeking to institute its vision of a unipolar liberal world order. Now, the conflict rages between a nominally aligned axis of autocracies—loosely led by Moscow and Beijing—and the world’s democracies as represented by Washington, D.C.

Unlike the 20th century Cold War, which was fought between revolutionary Communism and idealistic capitalism, the autocrats today appear to want only to create a multipolar world order where their regimes are not subject to wanton American military aggression. Theirs is less a campaign of aggressive revolution and more of a defensive policy meant to preserve their autocratic regimes. That may offend our sensibilities, but theirs is an entirely rational stance.

Transactional Foreign Policy Is Good
Moscow views its foreign policy today in mostly transactional terms. Given the chance, Russia will negotiate and seek amicable deals with the West over key areas of concern. For Moscow, though, Washington must be willing to treat it as an equal. That’s a small price for Washington to pay.

Think about it: unlike during the Cold War era, we have in Russia today a group of leaders who, while they may dislike us, still recognize that they must deal with America in order to achieve their aims. This means they will have to compromise. So will we.

That’s politics, though.

The alternative is that we keep fighting this pointless Cold War 2.0, diverting necessary resources and attention away from more pressing problems and into fighting a conflict we already won 30 years ago!

Unable to accept that unipolarity is over (for now, at least), Washington’s permanent bipartisan fusion party refuses to deal fairly with Russia over the question of Ukraine. America’s leaders continue treating Russia like a pariah. This serves only to militate the Russian leadership against the West. The failure to properly deal with Russia over Ukraine has precipitated increasing tensions between the two nuclear powers just at the moment when such tensions should be drastically reduced.

It is unlikely that, had the United States dealt reasonably with Russia over Ukraine in 2014-2015, Moscow would have been compelled to intervene in Syria. Moscow sought to trade with Washington. When Russia intervened in Syria, Putin had hoped that he could effectively trade his position in the Mideast for a better Ukraine deal. That was a bad gambit and now Putin finds himself mired in Syria.

With Venezuela, however, Putin believes he’s found the missing diplomatic link for his deal over Ukraine. After all, Venezuela is in the United States’ backyard. This is a fact that the White House national security adviser, John Bolton, publicly reiterated in recent days. Moscow seized on these comments to proffer their trade. As Russian political analyst Vladimir Frolov wrote in the Moscow Times, Russian leaders now believe Bolton’s comments are the window of opportunity they’ve been searching for to resolve their long-standing dispute with Washington over Ukraine.

To anyone other than the democratic globalists who populate Washington, the trade is a no-brainer. If Venezuela could be turned into a democratic regime led by an American client, like Juan Guaido, then a nexus of pro-American democracies running from Brazil through Venezuela to Colombia would exist. This trio of states would be instrumental in not only slowing the illicit drug trade in the area, but it would also be integral in pushing back against undesired Cuban influence (Cuba being America’s most serious threat in the Western Hemisphere).

Plus, the reintegration of Venezuela into the world system would allow for American oil companies to tap into Venezuela’s immense oil wealth while at the same time giving Washington the influence it needed to keep world oil prices low—meaning that Russia’s resurgence as a great military power could be stymied over the long-term (Russia is a petro-economy that needs a higher-than-average global oil price to thrive).

Venezuela is in the United States’ historical sphere of influence, could be the missing link in an anti-Cuba alliance, and sits atop vast quantities of oil and natural gas—can someone explain how Syria is more important to U.S. foreign policy than Venezuela, please?

The deal with Russia would be simple: Washington pressures Ukraine’s government to accept the basic outline of the Minsk II agreement that foundered in 2015 while Russia works in tandem with the United States to bring about a peaceful democratic transition in Venezuela. The Minsk II agreement would harm Ukrainian sovereignty by allowing Russia to have significant influence over Ukrainian security policies.

Yet, just as Venezuela is a part of America’s sphere of influence, Ukraine is a part of Russia’s historical sphere of influence. And, we’d also be getting Russia, China, and Iran out of our sphere of influence while containing Cuba. We can (and should) lament the loss of sovereignty for these smaller states later. Alas, the limits of American power are being stretched to their breaking point and compromises must be made to save the core of our power base.

Now is the time to protect our respective spheres of influence from the malign influence of external actors.

Besides, if we can’t protect our own sphere of influence then how can we possibly be expected to defend countries farther afield?

Let’s Make a Deal Already
Russia’s fellow autocracies, China, Cuba, Iran—even the supposed NATO member, Turkey—all support Nicolas Maduro. If President Trump threw President Putin a diplomatic bone on Ukraine, then, Putin would help to mitigate the ongoing crisis in Venezuela without risking a wider conflict. After all, it’s in Putin’s interest to rollback Western influence in his sphere of influence rather than continue to support Venezuela. Even if Russia could not persuade its autocratic quasi-allies in China, Iran, Cuba, or Turkey to totally abandon Maduro’s regime, that would only divide the autocrats among themselves—which would serve American interests in the long-term.

The last thing Washington should want is united league of autocracies in Eurasia (which, presently, is being made a reality because of Washington’s hardline policies). In the first season of the Netflix series “House of Cards,” Kevin Spacey’s character, Frank Underwood, asked the audience what the best way to devour a whale was. His response is applicable to the budding alliance of autocracies in Eurasia: America must take a step back, look at the larger picture, and devour that autocratic alliance one bite at a time.

President Trump is a transactional leader. So, too, is Vladimir Putin. Let’s do the mother-of-all geopolitical deals and get on with more pressing matters of state already. Neither Ukraine nor Venezuela are worth risking a wider war with Russia. And, despite what “experts” in the United States claim, Russia is a declining power with delusions of grandeur. American policy toward Russia has left Putin with little hope. Thus, as he is increasingly boxed in by the West and a rising China to his east, the likelihood of Putin lashing out militarily against the West is higher now than it has ever been.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo Credit: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Center for American Greatness • Donald Trump • EU • Europe • Foreign Policy • Post

What’s the Matter With Europe?

For all the flak President Trump gets for insufficient deference to America’s allies, Americans should be aware of the parlous condition of Europe, which long was regarded as the co-equal half of the Western alliance to the United States and Canada.

It does not require a geriatric to recall the piping days when it was commonplace to hear someone announce the coming supremacy of a united Europe. This was a fantasy wedged between the imminent economic surpassing of America by Japan, and then by China. The United States has potential rivals, some less cordial than others, and complacency is always unwise. But the decline of Europe, not its rise, is now the threat that should worry foreign policy specialists.

The United Kingdom, renowned throughout the world and for more than 300 years for good government with continuous though gradually self-reforming institutions since the Magna Carta in 1215, is suffering its worst failure of government since the American Revolution. Britain, in addition to having voted to leave the European Union, and now having failed to negotiate a soft exit and Parliament having declared that it does not want what the people voted for, is stretched between a narrowly pro-exit population and an anti-exit Parliament. The performance of Theresa May’s government has been so incompetent that the normal solution to such an impasse—a general election—probably would elevate the Labour Party now led by a Marxist anti-Semite, Jeremy Corbyn. That would lead to the implosion of the country into a state of ignominy and political degradation not seen since Richard III strangled the princes in the tower, and Corbyn would do nothing to clarify Britain’s position with the European Union.

Disappointing Germany
The whole Western world has been waiting decades for Germany, which has been the most powerful country in Europe since it was first united by Bismarck in 1871, to behave responsibly in that role. It did so until 1890, when the tempestuous adolescent-minded Emperor William II sacked Bismarck and eventually led the world into the inferno of World War I. Germany was very responsible from 1923 to 1933, having been defeated in the Great War and reduced to a state of disarmed quasi-servitude. It reinstated itself as Europe’s greatest power under Hitler from 1933 until 1945, with infamous results. After starting and losing another world war, Germany has behaved with exemplary responsibility for 74 years—a model democracy, economy, and ally.

By the force of its persuasion and prosperity and generosity, Germany’s immediate smaller neighbors, the Dutch, Danes, Swedes, Poles, small Baltic countries, Czechs, and Austrians all seem happy to be politically integrated with Germany with a common currency and effectively, except in local matters, a common government. This is an astounding achievement by Germany, and by the United States, which was the only one of the victorious major powers who really favored and worked for the reunification of Germany (the British, French, and Russians were all tacitly opposed). President Truman defended West Germany, and West Berlin in particular, and President Eisenhower brought Germany fully into NATO, (over French and even British misgivings).

Instead of putting the horrors of the Third Reich and the difficult Cold War years of a divided Germany into the past and stepping out as one of the world’s great powers, with allies all around it, Germany—with the world’s fourth-largest economy—has stalled. It’s two main political parties have slowly eroded, and a coalition between them can barely agree on anything, let alone command a Bundestag majority. There are four other parties, the far left—a detritus of the old Communist East Germany—the Greens (relatively extreme eco-warriors), the Alternative—half reasonable, half-far right, and somewhat xenophobic—and the worthy Free Democrats, who are sensible, small business-oriented, and bourgeois.

Angela Merkel is an agile leader but terribly cautious; she is about pass Konrad Adenauer as the third longest serving German chancellor, after Bismarck and Helmut Kohl. But she has frittered away the preeminence of her party and is leaving it to an unprepossessing successor facing the likelihood of more voter fragmentation and multi-party coalitions. Chancellor Merkel shut down the entire nuclear power system to appease the Greens, (although nuclear power is the safest of all economically viable energy sources), and has committed Germany to dependence on Russian natural gas.

Perfect Goal, Absurd Result in France
France is floundering. From the French Revolution in 1789 to the ascension of Charles de Gaulle in 1958, France had an absolute monarchy, three constitutional monarchies, a directory, a consulate, two empires with one restoration, four republics, two provisional governments, a government in exile, and the hobnailed jackboot of Nazi occupation: 17 distinct regimes in 169 years.

De Gaulle, with his Fifth Republic, appeared to have settled the ancient argument between the monarchists and the republicans by creating a monarchy and calling it a republic. But the presidents of that republic—de Gaulle, Pompidou, Giscard d’Estaing, Mitterand, Chirac, Sarkozy, Hollande—have been a downward sequence. Each was at least slightly, and sometimes sharply, less talented than his predecessor.

In 2017, in utter exasperation, France embraced a 39-year old former banker and senior financial civil servant who had no more sought elective office than had Donald Trump before running for president, Emmanuel Macron. He achieved the office not by gaining control of a political party; French political parties are very fluid and rise and disappear and change their names every few years, but by standing as an independent and setting up a new party of rank political amateurs as legislators. It was magnificent in the country of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and other triumphant theorists. It ran on a euphoric platform: a green revolution, lower taxes, a better social benefit system, completed unification of Europe, stronger armed forces, everything that was desirable and the quick elimination of all that was not.

The predictable happened and Macron is now diminished by the incoherent rioting every weekend of mobs of angry bourgeois crabbing about taxes, reinforced by outright hooligans, all wearing the silly yellow vests all French drivers are required to have in their automobiles so they can put them on to signify an emergency. It is that splendid French combination of the perfect goal and the absurd result.

Europe’s Incoherence
President Trump has been much criticized, but he told Theresa May she would have trouble leaving the European Union and negotiating to continue in it, and he was correct.

He has criticized Merkel for contributing 1 percent of GDP to defense and leaving the real defense of Germany to the United States and others, while failing to support the sale of defensive weapons to Ukraine and making Germany 70 percent dependent on Russia for energy. He is correct.

Trump advised Macron that he was trying for everything at once and he was correct. Perhaps the U.S. president should have been more discreet and more subtle, but the former presidents with whom he is compared, were generally dealing with more competent European leaders: from Churchill to Thatcher and even Tony Blair, Adenauer to Kohl, de Gaulle to Chirac.

Europe has abdicated. It has no coherence, no leadership, no influence. The president of the United States has cut America loose from the nonsense of the Paris climate and Iran nuclear agreements, popular with the Europeans, and is making direct arrangements with the other major powers—China, Japan, India, and even possibly Russia. We are back to the 1930s in some respects, but fortunately without Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, and the Japanese imperialists.

Trump, however different in inflection and demeanor, is like Franklin Roosevelt warning the French and British of the dangers of appeasement and saying that the United States cannot take the lead against Hitler if the democracies nearest to danger are feeding the savage beast. The Western alliance can be revived, but only when Europe recovers its political will and common sense. Except for a few purposeful countries formerly under Soviet occupation, the whole continent is, in de Gaulle’s phrase about the French Fourth Republic, “crossing the desert.” It will get to the other side; the administration, in its way, is trying to help, but only Europe can do it.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo Credit: Robin Pope/NurPhoto via Getty Images

America • Energy • Environment • EU • Europe • Post • self-government • Technology

Why Don’t Climate Activists Support Nuclear Power?

For several days in mid-April, downtown London was paralyzed by thousands of “climate activists” protesting the failure of the British government to act swiftly enough to combat climate change. In mid-March, thousands of students across the United States staged school “walkouts” to demand action on climate change as well.

These protests are ongoing, but the underlying logic is hard to see. The primary sources of anthropogenic CO2 are no longer Western nations, which are only responsible for about 30 percent of all global emissions. The biggest single culprit, if you want to call it that, is China, responsible for 28 percent of global emissions, nearly twice as much as the United States, and 28 times as much as the United Kingdom.

Rapidly industrializing India, responsible for 6 percent of global CO2 emissions, is on track to become the most populous nation on earth. The chances that China and India will sacrifice their national future in order to reduce CO2 emissions are zero. The same holds for every emerging nation, including the demographic heavyweights Brazil, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, along with all the rest.

The logic of these protestors also fails when it comes to the science of climate change, although to suggest something might be off in their thinking is heresy. So rather than point out that moderate warming might actually be beneficial to the planet, or that extreme weather is more highly correlated with a cooling planet, let’s accept all the popular wisdom with respect to “climate science.” So what? According to their own theories, it’s already too late. Climate alarmists have repeatedly said we had just a few years left—or else.

In 1989, a “senior U.N. environmental official” said “entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000. Then in 2006, former Vice President Al Gore told the Washington Post that “humanity may have only 10 years left to save the planet from turning into a total frying pan.” Fast forward to 2019, and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) joins today’s alarmist chorus, telling us “the world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change.”

So where’s the logic and reason behind these protests? The biggest emitters of CO2 are not going to stop emitting CO2, and it’s too late anyway. But there’s an even more obvious flaw in the logic of these protestors, and more generally, in the entire agenda of the climate change lobby: They will not support nuclear power.

The Case for Nuclear Power
While it’s disingenuous for those of us who don’t believe anthropogenic CO2 is a mortal threat to humanity to use the emissions-free argument to promote nuclear power, it’s important to recognize that nuclear power plants don’t emit anything into the atmosphere. Even so-called “deniers,” if they’re intellectually honest, acknowledge that burning fossil fuel still causes genuine air pollution. Although carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, lead, and particulates are scrubbed out of most modern power plants in America, the rest of the world lags behind in cleaning up their smokestack emissions.

Even in America, where auto tailpipe emissions are cleaner than ever, air pollution can accumulate around busy intersections in large cities and remains a health hazard. Whether used to recharge car batteries or to otherwise power the electric grid, nuclear energy is 100 percent emissions-free.

Although fear of a nuclear accident continues to animate anti-nuclear activists around the world, nuclear is also safer than ever. But all the nuclear accidents in history—including the big three, Chernobyl, Fukushima, and Three Mile Island—have caused at most 200 deaths. Even that number is based on generous speculation since it is impossible to positively identify the cause of illnesses people develop decades after an exposure.

Of course, there have been accidents while mining for nuclear fuel, or during construction of nuclear power plants. But as this chart shows, using data from the International Energy Agency, coal mining, drilling for oil and natural gas, and harvesting of “renewable” biomass are all far more harmful to human health.

Absent from the above chart are renewables, but this doesn’t mean renewable energy doesn’t have a cost in human life. Renewable energy relies primarily on photovoltaic panels, wind generators, and batteries, all three of which are incredibly resource intensive. Hundreds if not thousands of miners have already died, working under slave conditions, to extract the cobalt and lithium needed for modern batteries. As renewables increase their share of global energy production, this human catastrophe will increase in scale, and to-date there are minimal reforms, and no viable alternative materials.

Not only does nuclear power have an exemplary safety record when compared to other forms of energy, the next generation nuclear power technologies are safer than ever. These new reactors employ even more resilient cooling systems, they can reprocess their own spent fuel, and they are being designed as modules of various power outputs that require far less maintenance.

Nuclear fuel is also abundant. The world’s present measured resources of uranium are enough to last for about 90 years at current global rates of consumption. According to the World Nuclear Association, “this represents a higher level of assured resources than is normal for most minerals.”

This is an important point. Just as the concept of “peak oil” was popularized in the late 1990s, and debunked about 10 years later as new reserves were discovered and new methods of extraction were developed, it is unlikely the global supply of nuclear fuel would diminish precipitously, especially as reprocessing technology improves. The history of resource extraction, at least when market forces are allowed to operate, is that innovation and alternative solutions are always sufficient to offset looming scarcity of any particular resource.

Renewables Are Overrated
Wind, solar, and biofuels are touted as the answer, but the fact is they cannot match the efficiency and reliability of nuclear power. There are a lot of aspects to this, from the incredible waste of land, to the devastating toll on wildlife, to the resource intensity, to the monstrous recycling challenge as these massive installations wear out and have to be replaced. But what should be relevant to the climate activists is the intermittency of renewables, which cannot produce energy when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing.

To compensate for the on again off again nature of renewable energy, fossil fuel has to be employed as backup. This not only guarantees ongoing CO2 emissions, but it has economic consequences. Because natural gas power plants now have to be shut on and off depending on the availability of renewable energy, they cannot efficiently recover their construction costs. This artificially distorts upward the actual cost of fossil fuel energy, making renewable energy look more economical by comparison. Nuclear power plants, which have zero emissions but cannot be rapidly turned on and off, are in some cases being decommissioned to make room for hybrid renewable/fossil fuel systems. In states where this has happened, CO2 emissions have actually risen.

We Need an “All-of-the-Above” Energy Strategy
Global civilization depends on cheap, reliable, abundant energy, and it needs as much of it as it can possibly get. Just in order for average worldwide per capita energy consumption to reach half of what it currently is in the United States, global energy production has to double. This is an immutable fact.

Of course we should continue to develop renewable energy, just as we should continue to research breakthrough energy technologies such as fusion power. But fossil fuel use is not going to go away, its use is going to increase for at least the next 20-30 years until something better comes along. And clean, safe, abundant nuclear power should be part of our global energy portfolio, no matter what anyone believes regarding CO2 and “climate change.”

It is interesting to wonder who is behind the massive demonstrations around the world demanding “climate action.” Whoever they are, perhaps the single biggest challenge to their sincerity is their unwillingness to support nuclear power as part of the solution.