By Charlie Johnston
Midweek I had a recurrence of an intestinal flu from a week ago. Kind of miserable and I don’t get much done. But I have a couple of observations that might be useful.
It was six years ago yesterday that my Mother passed on. The calendar that year was configured exactly the same as it is this year. She died on a Saturday, the day before Mother’s Day in 2012. Mom and I often had a complicated relationship, though it had become very sweet in the year before I went on my pilgrimage. I miss her terribly. I’m praying for all of you, today, who have lost a close loved one.
Thank God President Trump has dumped the disastrous agreement with Iran. It was the single worst, most dangerous deal I have ever seen this country make – even worse than Bill Clinton’s agreed framework deal with North Korea in 1994, which paved the way for a fully nuclearized North Korea. Former President Obama’s Iran deal not only guaranteed Iran WOULD become a nuclear power, but also gave the regime hundreds of billions of American dollars to finance its terror operations against us and our allies. It was suicidally stupid. Of course, our European allies – Germany, France and Great Britain – are trying to hold it together, largely because they are making a lot of money through deals with the murderous regime. While those European allies are sporadically helpful, the reality is that they act like a continent of shady shopkeepers who will make their money in even the darkest ways, attack America for not quite being equally degenerate (though we have been trying), AND depend on America to protect them militarily should a nation like Iran do what it promises to – use its profits to try to destroy Israel and then take over the world. I have less and less respect for Western Europe. I don’t mind that America has the biggest burden of defending the free world (though I resent that most Western European nations are less and less free). I terribly resent those who depend on our protection making the world MORE dangerous in order to make a few extra bucks – and then lecturing us on our lack of sophistication. I do respect much of Eastern Europe – particularly Poland and Hungary. Having been under the yoke of tyrants within living memory, these nations get why you neither submit to the yoke of tyrants nor do deals with them that make them more powerful. If real renewal is to come to Europe, it will come from the East.
Of course, the disapproval of degenerate Western Europe has led our pathologically dishonest and ignorant media to talk about how ALL our allies are opposed to this “dangerous withdrawal.” Not exactly. In fact, our allies in the Middle east are thrilled – including Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. Hmmm…those who have to deal most closely with the consequences are enthused with America’s actions. In fact, several Arab countries – including Saudi Arabia – which have traditionally been hostile to Israel, are welcoming her into a coalition of Middle Eastern states. Trump’s diplomacy in the Middle East is enhancing long-term stability and may very well leave those Arab states which will not recognize Israel’s right-to-exist out in the cold. That would not just be an achievement, but an epochal transformation.
The foreign policy establishment, Democrats, and the establishment media have been unanimous about several foreign policy initiatives since Trump took office. They are:
- Trump’s decision to aggressively go after ISIS would cause the Middle East to go up in flames. WRONG – Instead, ISIS has been functionally destroyed, losing 98% of the territory it held.
- Withdrawal form the Paris Accord on Climate Change would isolate us from the world. WRONG – the punitive measures in the accord all targeted the United States and not much of anyone else, while forcing the US to subsidize other nations’ profligacy. US withdrawal didn’t even cause a blip – except to serve notice that the US did not intend to play the chump any more and definitely wasn’t going to foot the bill for playing the chump.
- Demanding that NATO nations pay more of their promised share of military costs would fray the alliance. WRONG – instead, NATO members have been stepping up their contribution to its expenses.
- Enforcing red lines in Syria would risk war with Russia. WRONG – the thing creating most problems between the US and Russia has been what is now clearly the Democrats Russian collusion delusion.
- Calling China to account for its cheating on trade would spark a trade war. WRONG – in fact, China is working to remove the trade barriers it erects against the US – and inject a little honesty into its ongoing theft of western intellectual property. It has offered to reduce its tariff on US automobiles down to 2.5% from 25%.
- Acting aggressively against North Korean aggression would spark a nuclear war. WRONG – after the dithering of four prior administrations taking us to crisis levels, Trump dealt bluntly and directly with the problem and we have the potential for a real breakthrough.
The reality, all these “experts” have been wrong about just about everything they recommend. In fact, they have been so consistently wrong that an ill-informed leader could develop a pretty good policy just by listening to what they recommend – and then doing the opposite. If our elite “experts” want to be taken seriously again, they need to get it right every once in a while. Instead, they rant that every foreign policy initiative Trump enacts is the worst, most dangerous and stupid thing ever – until it works. They never apologize for being so consistently wrong. I could live with that if they would just shut up.
A legacy is not a public relations project. It is the sum total of what you did – for good or ill. That IS your legacy…and no amount of press releases or wishful thinking will change it.
Near the end of his term, Bill Clinton and his people started talking a lot about finding and enacting some initiative that could be his legacy. I thought that was weird – specifically because a legacy is not a public relations project. Reagan achieved one of his greatest legacies because he was willing to walk away from the table at Rejkjavik – and because he was focused on getting real accomplishments rather than shiny baubles to be put on his “legacy” charm bracelet. When Obama was determined to get ANY deal with Iran, no matter how bad, in order to secure his “legacy,” I knew this one was going to be a stinker that would probably make the world a more dangerous place.
What we actually are is rock; what we try to portray ourselves to be is mud. We can mold enough mud and sand over the rock to fool people, even ourselves, for a time. But time and tide will wash away the mud and sand, leaving only the rock that is the reality of what we did and what we failed to do. Without neglecting temporal niceties, always gear your actions to secure God’s approval without worrying overmuch how it looks – and you will secure a legacy of honor and virtue. Skimp on the mud, stick with the rock.
Thank God Donald Trump does not seem to be obsessed with a “legacy” as he prepares to meet with North Korea. His hard-headed realism gives us the best chance of either securing a really good deal OR protecting the world if Kim is just trying to play us for chumps.
I occasionally get frustrated because people have such a hard time envisioning what real trials would look like in a collapse, in the Storm. A few weeks ago, I watched the movie, “Cold Mountain” with some friends. I had seen it before and really liked it. I realized as I watched it this time that one of the reasons I so enjoyed it was that it gave one of the most realistic depictions I have ever seen of what the trials of the Storm would feel like. No “War of the Worlds” nonsense nor any smug confidence that it would only affect those lousy sinners.
Venezuela is in deep crisis, in real economic collapse. It came quickly and comprehensively to one of the wealthiest countries in South America. That’s what happens when socialists take control. They destroy everything they touch – promising to take care of all your needs while actually destroying all you have. Many are starving. Families send even their pre-teen girls into prostitution to avoid starvation. The picture atop this article is a current picture of Caracas, Venezuela. I appeal to you not to get caught up in disaster movie scenarios to define collapse for you: all that is needed is consistently disastrous policy choices. Then it can come quickly – and much will look normal for a very long time even as you starve. Another realistic perspective can be found in the Siege of Leningrad.
And finally, Happy Mothers’ Day to all. Here is a “Mother’s Dictionary of Meanings” from a Mother’s Day humor page:
Dumbwaiter: One who asks if the kids would care to order dessert.
Feedback: The inevitable result when the baby doesn’t appreciate the strained carrots.
Full Name: What you call your child when you’re mad at him.
Grandparents: The people who think your children are wonderful even though they’re sure you’re not raising them right.
Hearsay: What toddlers do when anyone mutters a dirty word.
Independent: How we want our children to be for as long as they do everything we say.
Puddle: A small body of water that draws other small bodies wearing dry shoes into it.
Show Off: A child who is more talented than yours.
Sterilize: What you do to your first baby’s pacifier by boiling it, and to your last baby’s pacifier by blowing on it and wiping it with saliva.
Top Bunk: Where you should never put a child wearing Superman jammies.
Two-Minute Warning: When the baby’s face turns red and she begins to make those familiar-grunting noises.
Whodunit: None of the kids that live in your house.