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Here’s what to expect at this week’s UN General Assembly opening – Trump’s debut

The power of the so-called multipolar world will be the real ‘star’ of this years General Assembly, even as the cameras will be fixed on Donald Trump.

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World leaders are beginning to gather in New York where they will attend the opening of this year’s session of the UN General Assembly. This year is particularly significant as it will be Donald Trump’s first address to the UN General Assembly since becoming President of the United States in January of this year. However, Trump may well be overshadowed by other events and consequently, by other nations.

Here are the things to look out for

Pronounced US isolation 

As the least experienced leader of a major world power, Donald Trump has a great burden on his shoulders. He will be facing not only the ire of a world increasingly upset with US attempts to impose its will on the wider world but he will also be facing a generation of fellow world-leaders who came of age on the world stage during the post-9/11 era of George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

This is significant as it has been during this time that the US has implemented an aggressive foreign policy which puts into practice, the neo-con agenda which was first developed in the 1990s. America has been constantly at war ever since 2016 and in the process, US actions have led to the execution of two well known world leaders, Saddam Hussein of Iraq and Muammar Gaddafi of Libya.

READ MORE: 6 MAJOR US foreign policy failures of the post-Cold War era

Donald Trump campaigned on a very sensible platform which broadly stated that the neo-con foreign policies of both G.W. Bush and Obama were failures and that the US would change course under a Trump administration.

Thus far, this has not happened. Instead, the US maintains an illegal presence in Syria while Nikki Haley, Trump’s ambassador to the UN, touts regime change in Syria, even now. Beyond this, Trump has approved a troop surge in Afghanistan, a 16 year war which is the longest in US history. It was a war Trump had previously said was a failure and he would withdraw from, during the campaign.

Now, the US is threatening regime change in North Korea, as Nikki Haley goes on yet another anti-Pyongyang rampage. This is happen while Haley’s boss, Rex Tillerson, insists that the US is not after regime change in North Korea. The chaos is no longer amusing for the wider world.

Donald Trump, a man who himself has no foreign policy experience, will have to defend not only the arrogant statements of the permanently unhinged Nikki Haley, but also the deeply unpopular legacy of his two immediate predecessors, a legacy which Trump has failed fully reject in power, even though he promised to do so during his campaign.

The biggest question remaining for Trump is as follows: will he try to re-package the old neo-con policies to make them appear different, or will it be more of the same arrogance, exceptionalism and bellicosity from yet another American leader?

Russia

Russia can and almost certainly will walk into this year’s General Assembly with a feeling of confidence and a quiet, understated mood of victory. Syria’s victory against Salafist/jihadist terrorists is now assured and a substantial reason for this has undoubtedly been Russia’s legal intervention in the conflict.

Beyond Syria, Russia’s geo-political leadership has secured new partnerships with Turkey and Pakistan, while economic as well as geo-political cooperation has strengthen Russia’s modern alliance with China.

Even in the part of the Arab world that has traditionally had the least friendly policies towards Russia, the Persian Gulf, leaders throughout the region have praised Russia’s neutral and constructive role in the ongoing crisis between the Saudi led quartet and Qatar.

In this sense, the overarching role of global leadership that the US claims for itself, has been quietly taken by Russia. Russia knows this and the Russian address to the General Assembly will without doubt reflect this.

When Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke before the UN in 2015, he was highly critical of America’s foreign policy, though without specifically naming names. This year, Russia will if anything speak with even increased confidence in this respect, knowing that the US has not taken heed of any warnings previously issued, something which is if anything, magnified by the fact that Donald Trump’s ‘project reconciliation’ with Russia has amounted to little.

Russia might also explain its leadership in respect of East Asia, by affirming its desire to de-escalate tensions on the Korean peninsula through cooperative initiatives involving both Korean states.

Finally, Russia will almost certainly reiterate its calls for a UN peacekeeping force to be sent to Donbass, something which has been widely praised in Europe, particularly in Germany. This could be the beginning of the end of major obstacles between Russia and the European Union, even as Russia’s primary partners are now in Asia.

China

China will look to emphasise the theme of peace through prosperity in what will amount to a calm elucidation of the benefits of One Belt–One Road to the growing economies of Asia and Africa. In this sense, China will send an implied message to India and other states who remain sceptical of One Belt–One Road, restating that the initiative is purely voluntary and will serve the best interests of all participating states.

China will also almost certainly emphasise its revolution in renewable energy which is being watched by business leaders and environmental activists the world over with great interest, in spite of a near complete blackout in the western mainstream media.

China will likely also touch on its opposition to violence on any side, in respect of the Korean peninsula.

Syria and Iraq 

Both Syria and Iraq will, in a unique moment in history, offer similar statements in many ways. Both will speak of the importance of national unity, in a not so thinly veiled opposition to Kurdish nationalism and each will try to reclaim the victory over terrorism from international actors who are often credited with fighting the battle by various elements in the media. In the later instance, Syria will have a stronger case than Iraq, in many ways.

Syria in particular, may use the UN to re-define the Arabism which underpins Ba’athism. President Bashar al-Assad has recently spoken of the fact that all Syrians whether Muslim or Christian are an indefensible part of the fabric of Syria.

Now that Syria is on the verge of victory, Syria will likely be clear in re-stating the fact that it is the last major Arab country to hold true to the revolutionary belief system of Ba’athism and Arab Nationalism more widely.

Both Syria and Iraq will also likely emphasise the importance of the wider world respecting their sovereignty so that conflict can be erased from the lands of each state.

India and Myanmar 

Both the internal and geo-political events surrounding India will help to shape an Indian address that seeks to position New Delhi as an economic and also moral leader of the Asian world and wider so-called developing world.

In this sense, the rhetorical pragmatism of China will be countered by a not so subtly ideological speech from India.

In this sense, India will present itself as the Asian power best place to bring prosperity to Africa and settle disputes in South East Asia. None of this will amuse China, but nor will China be particularly surprised.

Whether overtly or subliminally, India will almost certainly come out in favour of the actions taken by the government of Myanmar, more strongly than any other country.

Look out for many anti-terrorist cliches combined with an almost holier than thou attitude which implies that India is Asia. This will be a clear indication of the speech being a kind of self-coronation of India’s Premier Modi, one which likely won’t be received quite as warmly as Modi hopes.

While Prime Minister Modi will almost certainly deliver the Indian address, it has already been confirmed that Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi will skip the event. Myanmar can nevertheless use the General Assembly to calmly explain the situation regarding the Rohingya crisis in a manner which sheds light on the complex realities of the situation while offering genuine sympathy for the deaths that have been caused in the fog of a long civil war.

Myanmar thus far has not had the best public relations tactics in respect of the crisis. The combination of insularity on behalf of Myanmar’s military leadership, known as the Tatmadaw, combined with Aung San Suu Kyi’s inexperience in a genuine position of needing to be a communicator, has often let the country down.

Myanmar must be calm in rejecting the more outlandish claims about its internal conflict while also not callously brushing aside the fears of the wider Muslim world, which are genuine even when based on half-truths. In this respect, Myanmar could help to create a new diplomatic narrative on the crisis, but it is doubtful this will happen and India in trying to help, might only do harm in portraying the conflict as a ‘Muslim versus everyone else’ conflict, which the Civil War in Myanmar is most certainly not.

READ MORE: Understanding the Myanmar/Rohingya conflict is best achieved through understanding international non-alignment

Pakistan 

Pakistan’s speech may catch the United States off guard more so than any other. The tentative US ally has been very public with its anger over Trump administration claims that Pakistan harbours terrorism and that in this sense it presents a problem for Afghanistan. All political parties in Pakistan consider these remarks to be gravely insulting to the country which has suffered the most due to the largely US authored instability in neighbouring Afghanistan.

The threat of cutting off economic aid to a country that has sacrificed a great deal to placate the United States has added insult to injury.

Pakistan’s most important ally is undoubtedly China and the larges sums of monetary and infrastructural investment that China has poured into Pakistan, have given Islamabad both the courage and an economic insurance policy, which has already allowed Pakistani leaders to say what they really feel about the United States.

For those who do not realise that Pakistan now looks to Beijing for partnerships rather than Washington, Pakistan’s speech may be a rude awakening.

Iran

Iran’s address will almost certainly be a combination of confidence and anger. Where former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad once used his General Assembly speech to argue the case for US involvement in the 9/11 atrocities, today’s Iranian leadership will likely focus on the broader issues of Iranian development and geo-political relations.

Being on the winning side of the wider Middle East war against Takfiri terrorism, has already greatly enhanced Iran’s prestige in many parts of the Arab world and its growing partnerships beyond in Arab world with China, Russia, Turkey and even Pakistan, mean that Iran is more connected to the wider world than at any time since the Revolution of 1979.

With the Trump administration tearing up the 2013 JCPOA (aka nuclear deal) in all but name and with threats from the White House to formally reject the JCPOA at any moment, Iran ought to take the high road and demonstrate how Theran has been in full compliance with the deal according to the US State Department, the UN and the EU.

A calm approach to explaining how the US is guilty of violating the deal while Iran has acted in good faith is essential.

Even if Iran is impassioned in its expressions of disappointment with the US over the deal, this will still achieve largely the same effect.

Interestingly, the US could use Iran’s decidedly anti-Myanmar narrative in respect of the Rohingya crisis to try and exploit a possible schism between Iran and its non-Muslim partners. But as things stand, America’s tunnel-vision on Iran will prevent Washington from exploiting this openly.

Turkey and Israel 

Both powers who share a common Eastern Mediterranean region are moving in entirely different directions. Turkey is moving closer to Iran and its regional partners while Israel is moving closer to Saudi Arabia and its regional allies. Furthermore, with Israel coming out unambiguously in favour of a Kurdish state on Turkey’s borders, it only remains to be seen which country can restrain its passions more on the Kurdish issue.

In the event, Turkey will almost certainly refer to its security concerns in respect of a Kurdish state and in doing so, will be speaking in an ironically singular voice with Syria and Iraq, while Israel will almost certainly allude to sharing similar ‘ideals’ with Kurdish nationalists.

WIth America’s two traditional regional allies coming out on opposite sides of key issues, the US State Department will need to engage in heavy behind the scenes damage control. The fact that Donald Trump is having several meetings with the leader of the Israeli regime but  none with President Erdogan of Turkey, is itself, telling of the fact that the US will continue to do little to assure Turkey of its very legitimate fears on the Kurdish issue.

Philippines 

Popular Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has crossed swords with the UN on many occasions, particularly in relation to his law and order approach to the dangerous drug problem in his country. With the armed forces of Philippines on the verge of a military victory against ISIS aligned terrorists in the country which itself has shown the dangerous connections between the narcotics trade and the financing of terrorism which Duterte had previously warned about, it will be imperative for Philippines to use the General Assembly to drawn an unambiguous connection between drugs and terrorism.

Venezuela 

In 2006, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez famously called George W. Bush “the devil” and remarked that the podium of the General Assembly Hall.

This year, Venezuela’s predictably harsh criticisms of the United States will likely be a slamming of unilateral US sanctions which in recent weeks and months have been passed on the oil rich South American nation.

Look for Venezuela to invite other nations to begin trading their national commodities in currencies other than the US Dollar while praising allies who have stood by Caracas against the US onslaught.

CONCLUSION

There are of course many other nations that will speak at the UN General Assembly, but this piece has covered those which have been in the news due to their participation in wider geo-political conflicts or conflict resolution.

While Donald Trump is making his UN debut, the real star of this years show will undoubtedly be multi-polarity.

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seby
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seby

I wonder if he will repeat the “the little babies” routine, he did after the charade sarin attack in April.

Wayne Blow
Guest
Wayne Blow

Trump is a spineless piece phlegm, and full of bul-shit, should be “shot and pissed on” just another sellout piece of American scum!!!!!!!!

Punisher 1
Guest
Punisher 1

And yet,unless some of those speeches praise the US. Or,are so strong against the US that US propaganda can use them. The US population won’t hear anything about them. We’ll only hear about what Trump says at the UN.Like in 2015,unless you read it in the alternate media (probably 10% of Americans did) about Putin’s strong speech. You would know nothing about it (as do about 90% of Americans).

Guy
Member
Guy

Unfortunately true.

bluewater
Guest
bluewater

Since everything is a LIE….in secret they will discuss AGENDA 21 behind close doors and the rest is PROPAGANDA as in this video…wait for the UN AGENDA 21 into the video for the TRUTH!!!!!!!!!!

Hand in Hand: ILLUMINATi Hollywood raise money for CHARITY??/ Hurricane Harvey-IRMA (Agenda 21?)

https://youtu.be/ibYgH_9eF-k

Mr. Costelol
Guest
Mr. Costelol

Fleecing the sheep, little Bono Vox from U2 at least allegedly gives 1% of his charity money of 200 million to charity. Most Humanitarian organizations take at least 65% for administrative costs.

Mr. Costelol
Guest
Mr. Costelol

The US “Trumps” agenda is clear, you’re either with us or against us.

Suzanne Giraud
Guest
Suzanne Giraud

*** replace ‘indefensible’ by indispensable, reference Syria.

Daisy Adler
Guest
Daisy Adler

I expect nothing from UN, “le machin” (the gimmick), as General de Gaulles used to call it.
It is just an inflated, expensive, useless blob.

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New Zealand weapons ban dream move of leftist activists

The American left is sure to pick this up and start screaming for an “assault weapons ban” because this supports their agenda so well.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Reuters reported on Thursday, March 21 that the Prime Minister of New Zealand enacted a sweeping change, banning weapons of the type that were used in the massacre of at least fifty Muslims, who were gunned down on livestream while in Friday prayer services in Christchurch last week. We quote from the Reuters piece below, with added emphasis:

New Zealand will ban military-style semi-automatic and assault rifles under tough new gun laws following the killing of 50 people in its worst mass shooting, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday.

In the immediate aftermath of last Friday’s shootings at two mosques in the city of Christchurch, Ardern labeled the attack as terrorism and said New Zealand’s gun laws would change.

“On 15 March our history changed forever. Now, our laws will too. We are announcing action today on behalf of all New Zealanders to strengthen our gun laws and make our country a safer place,” Ardern told a news conference.

“All semi-automatic weapons used during the terrorist attack on Friday 15 March will be banned.”

Ardern said she expected the new laws to be in place by April 11 and a buy-back scheme costing up to NZ$200 million ($138 million) would be established for banned weapons.

All military style semi-automatics (MSSA) and assault rifles would be banned, along with parts used to convert weapons into MSSAs and all high-capacity magazines.

Australia banned semi-automatic weapons and launched a gun buy-back after the Port Arthur massacre in 1996 in which 35 people were killed.

Ardern said that similar to Australia, the law would allow for strictly enforced exemptions for farmers for pest control and animal welfare.

“I strongly believe that the vast majority of legitimate gun owners in New Zealand will understand that these moves are in the national interest, and will take these changes in their stride.”

This is undoubtedly going to be real red meat (or perhaps real vegetables) for the anti-gun lobby in the United States. This is because New Zealand strongly resembled the US in terms of firearm rights and the penetration of numbers of guns in the populace of this remote island nation. Reuters continues, with statements that would probably surprise, even horrify some gun owners in the States, but which are doubtlessly useful for the application of pressure on such individuals:

New Zealand, a country of fewer than 5 million people, has an estimated 1.2-1.5 million firearms, about 13,500 of them MSSA-type weapons.

Most farmers own guns while hunting of deer, pigs and goats is popular. Gun clubs and shooting ranges dot the country.

That has created a powerful lobby that has thwarted previous attempts to tighten gun laws.

Federated Farmers, which represent thousands of farmers, said it supported the new laws.

“This will not be popular among some of our members but … we believe this is the only practicable solution,” a group spokesman, Miles Anderson, said in a statement.

The main opposition National Party, which draws strong support in rural areas, said it also supported the ban.

The changes exclude two general classes of firearms commonly used for hunting, pest control and stock management on farms.

“I have a military style weapon. But to be fair, I don’t really use it, I don’t really need it,” said Noel Womersley, who slaughters cpoliticalattle for small farmers around Christchurch.

“So I’m quite happy to hand mine over.”

To be absolutely fair, the attack on the mosques was an awful event, made the worse by the shooter’s deliberate attempts to politicize various aspects of what he was doing and what he “stood for” as an attack ostensibly against US President Donald Trump, some seven thousand miles away in the United States.

The immediate reaction of the people interviewed, some among them related or friends with the victims of the massacre, was to embrace the weapons reform laws:

Nada Tawfeek, who buried her father-in-law killed in the attacks, Hussein Moustafa, on Thursday, welcomed the ban.

“It’s a great reaction. I think other countries need to learn from her [Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern],” Tawfeek said.

Mohammed Faqih, a member of the Islamic clergy who flew in from California and attended the funerals for some victims on Thursday, said he was “extremely grateful” for the gun ban.

“I wish our leaders in the States would follow on her footsteps and do the same thing,” he said.

One can expect there to be quite the outcry among American liberals about gun control, especially if anything remotely resembling this event takes place or is thwarted in coming days in the US.

It may seem very cold and cruel to focus on the political angle of this story rather than the human tragedy that it is. However, in this situation we have seen signs that the most vile form of human tragedy has actually taken place – the murder of dozens of innocent people for a mere political point. Indeed this thought has been noted and vilified already, as Mr. R.X. Dentith, writing for the New Zealand website Spinoff here quoted:

American paleo-conservative Rush Limbaugh was one of the first to note: “There’s an ongoing theory that the shooter himself may, in fact, be a leftist who writes the manifesto and then goes out and performs the deed purposely to smear his political enemies, knowing he’s going to get shot in the process. You know you just can’t – you can’t immediately discount this. The left is this insane, they are this crazy. And then if that’s exactly what the guy is trying to do then he’s hit a home run, because right there on Fox News: ‘Shooter is an admitted white nationalist who hates immigrants.’”

…[P]eople like Limbaugh… can’t stomach the idea the terrorist action in Otautahi might be motivated by the kind of rhetoric Limbaugh helps disseminate – tend to think there is a culture war going on, and they are on the losing side.

This war has many names, and the enemy is easily identified: it is the battle against Cultural Marxism; the fight against Toxic Feminism; the resistance to Identity Politics; and the fear of the Great Replacement, the thesis at the heart of the terrorist’s own manifesto.

The Great Replacement thesis posits that the majority white European countries are being “invaded” by non-white, non-European peoples. Not just that, but due to declining birth rates in the West, this “invasion” constitutes a wholesale replacement of the white population over time.

Mr. Dentith tries further to knock down this notion of the Great Replacement. However, he misses a much more basic point.

Someone who goes and takes human lives and broadcasts them for any reason is not a mere political operative. The person who does this is a very sick, deranged human being indeed. Evil is certainly appropriately used here.

However, evil is often quite cunning, and despite the intellectual arguments about the reality or non-reality of any particular manifesto statement, in this case, the killer played the media with infernal intelligence, and they took the bait. It is possible that Prime Minister Ardern also took the bait, in this most awful of bad situations, and to give her credit, she took swift actions to try to “correct” what was wrong.

But the problem here was not the type of weapons used. The problem is the fact that they were used by a person who thought these fifty people’s lives were worth nothing more than a bit of policy change. One of the worst examples of human evil in recent times, this incident shouts to the world that there is a problem, but the problem remains unsolved, even though many people will hand over their firearms out of a genuine wish for compassion to those lost and the hope that somehow this action will prevent a future incident.

But the logic of this emotional reaction is nil. And what is worse is that the American Left knows this, but does not care. The movers and shakers of liberalism will likely milk the actions of sincerely horrified New Zealanders for all they are worth to try at affecting change in American constitutional rights.

And the innocent dead will not rest in peace, because the real problem has not even been examined.

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Upstart Populist Party Shocks In Dutch Election Upset, 2 Days After Utrecht Attack

International reports have described the FvD as receiving “a surge of last-minute support” in the days following the Utrecht attack.

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Via Zerohedge…


Dutch voters have sent shock waves through Europe at the polls on Wednesday in the wake of Monday’s deadly Utrecht terror shooting, in which a now detained 37-year old Turkish man went on a terrifying tram killing spree which left three dead and three injured.

Euroskeptic party, Forum for Democracy (FvD), has emerged victorious in key provincial elections this week, paving the way to making it one of the two largest groups in the Dutch Senate, and representing growing Dutch frustration with the recent unprecedented refugee influx in Europe.

Newcomer Forum for Democracy party is led by 36-year-old Thierry Baudet, who is a critic of the EU and of the Netherlands’ immigration policies, via EPA

International reports have described the FvD as receiving “a surge of last-minute support” in the days following the Utrecht attack, which investigators have since described as having a “terror motive” based on a letter found in shooter Gokmen Tanis’ possession.

Forum for Democracy party leader Thierry Baudet had immediately placed ultimate blame  for the incident on the government’s “lax immigration policies” and provocatively stated a day before the elections (referencing his political rival)

If people want more deadly shootings like the one in Utrecht, then they have to vote for the VVD.

Baudet, riding a wave of renewed Euroskeptic sentiment, and whose party also wants to see more military spending, green initiatives, and an easing on income tax while greatly restricting the borders, said in the aftermath of Wednesday’s vote: “The voters in the Netherlands have spread their wings and shown their true power.”

Referencing the Utrecht attack and other deadly terror incidents on European soil, he added: “We have been called to the front because we have to. Because the country needs us.”

Three were killed and several injured in Monday’s Dutch tram terror attack, which raised the country’s emergency threat level to five as it was unfolding, its highest level.

Interestingly, the 36-year old Baudet and his party continued campaigning down to the last moments even as others stopped in the wake of Monday’s attack which rocked the Netherlands. According to Al Jazeera:

Following the lead of US President Donald Trump, Baudet opposes immigration and emphasises “Dutch first” cultural and economic themes. He opposes the euro and thinks the Netherlands should leave the European Union.

Baudet had continued campaigning when other parties stopped after Monday’s attack in Utrecht, in which a gunman shot three people dead on a tram. The populist leader blamed the incident on the government’s lax immigration policies.

The FvD is now set to take 12 seats in the upper house of parliament, which is equal to Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s conservative VVD Party, a scenario before this week considered unlikely according to many observers.

The FvD slightly outscoring the VVD means Rutte’s government has lost its majority for the 75-seat Senate ahead of upcoming May elections.

In a post-election speech on Wednesday, Baudet described further that what’s now being described in international media as “an upstart populist party [that has] shocked the Dutch political establishment” as punishing the arrogance of elites.

In his pro-Western civilization themed remarks, Baudet added, “We are standing in the rubble of what was once the most beautiful civilization in the world.”

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Will The Trump White House finally punish Facebook for censorship?

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 113.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a look at US President Trump’s tweet where he has said that he would be “looking into” a report that his social media chief, Dan Scavino Jr. has been censored by Facebook.

Are we finally about to see the Trump White House move to punish social media outlets for their blatant and bias censorship of alternative narratives that dare to stray from globalist neo-liberal and radical left ideology?

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“Conservatives face a tough fight as Big Tech’s censorship expands”, authored by Donald Trump Jr., via The Hill…

As Big Tech’s censorship of conservatives becomes ever more flagrant and overt, the old arguments about protecting the sanctity of the modern public square are now invalid. Our right to freely engage in public discourse through speech is under sustained attack, necessitating a vigorous defense against the major social media and internet platforms.

From “shadowbans” on Facebook and Twitter, to demonetization of YouTube videos, to pulled ads for Republican candidates at the critical junctures of election campaigns, the list of violations against the online practices and speech of conservatives is long.

I certainly had my suspicions confirmed when Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, “accidentally” censored a post I made regarding the Jussie Smollett hoax, which consequently led to me hearing from hundreds of my followers about how they’ve been having problems seeing, liking or being able to interact with my posts. Many of them even claimed that they’ve had to repeatedly refollow me, as Instagram keeps unfollowing me on their accounts.

While nothing about Big Tech’s censorship of conservatives truly surprises me anymore, it’s still chilling to see the proof for yourself. If it can happen to me, the son of the president, with millions of followers on social media, just think about how bad it must be for conservatives with smaller followings and those who don’t have the soapbox or media reach to push back when they’re being targeted?

Thanks to a brave Facebook whistleblower who approached James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas, we now know that Mark Zuckerberg’s social media giant developed algorithms to “deboost” certain content, limiting its distribution and appearance in news feeds. As you probably guessed, this stealth censorship was specifically aimed at conservatives.

Facebook appears to have deliberately tailored its algorithm to recognize the syntax and style popular among conservatives in order to “deboost” that content. “Mainstream media,” “SJW” (Social Justice Warrior) and “red pill” — all terms that conservatives often use to express themselves — were listed as red flags, according to the former Facebook insider.

Facebook engineers even cited BlazeTV host Lauren Chen’s video criticizing the social justice movement as an example of the kind of “red pills” that users just aren’t allowed to drop anymore. Mainstream conservative content was strangled in real time, yet fringe leftists such as the Young Turks enjoy free rein on the social media platform.

Despite the occasional brave gesture, politicians have been far too sluggish in recognizing the extent of the problem. But the Republican Party and the conservative movement are becoming more vigilant against the suppression of our speech, as we saw at last weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

Silicon Valley lobbyists have splashed millions of dollars all over the Washington swamp to play on conservatives’ innate faith in the free-market system and respect for private property. Even as Big Tech companies work to exclude us from the town square of the 21st century, they’ve been able to rely on misguided conservatives to carry water for them with irrelevant pedantry about whether the First Amendment applies in cases of social media censorship.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) has been making a name for himself as a Republican prepared to stand up to Big Tech malfeasance since his time as Missouri’s attorney general. He delivered a tour de force interview with The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel in front of the CPAC crowd, one that provided a clear-eyed assessment of the ongoing affront to the freedoms of conservative speech and expression.

Hawley demolished the absurd notion that “conservative principles” preclude taking action to ensure free debate online simply because Big Tech firms — the most powerful corporations in the world — are private companies.

Hawley pointed out that Big Tech companies already enjoy “sweetheart deals” under current regulations that make their malfeasance a matter of public concern. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, for instance, allows them to avoid liability for the content that users post to their platforms. To address this problem, Hawley proposed adding a viewpoint neutrality requirement for platforms that benefit from Section 230’s protections, which were originally enacted to protect the internet as “a forum for a true diversity of political discourse.”

“Google and Facebook should not be a law unto themselves,” Hawley declared. “They should not be able to discriminate against conservatives. They should not be able to tell us we need to sit down and shut up!”

It’s high time other conservative politicians started heeding Hawley’s warnings, because the logical endpoint of Big Tech’s free rein is far more troubling than conservative meme warriors losing their Twitter accounts. As we’re already starting to see, what starts with social media censorship can quickly lead to banishment from such fundamental services as transportation, online payments and banking.

Left unchecked, Big Tech and liberal activists could construct a private “social credit” system — not unlike what the communists have nightmarishly implemented in China — that excludes outspoken conservatives from wide swaths of American life simply because their political views differ from those of tech executives.

There is no conservative principle that even remotely suggests we are obligated to adopt a laissez-faire attitude while the richest companies on earth abuse the power we give them to put a thumb on the scale for our political enemies.

If anything, our love of the free market dictates that we must do whatever is necessary to ensure that the free marketplace of ideas remains open to all.

Donald Trump Jr. is executive vice president at The Trump Organization.

 

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