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Syrian-Kurdish clashes: new conflict or “new Détente”?

Far from being the “democratic-leftist freedom fighters” that most Western audiences have been misled into believing that they are, the Syrian Kurds are a unipolar geopolitical proxy designed to carry out the post-war partition of the Arab Republic.

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He Says, She Says

The US shot down a Syrian anti-terrorist jet near Raqqa yesterday, which prompted the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) to send in a rescue mission to retrieve the downed pilot. Unfortunately, Al Masdar News (AMN) reported that they encountered intense resistance from the majority-Kurdish “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF), which if true, would mark the most serious escalation between these two sides. There’s no reason to doubt AMN’s coverage of this event because they’ve proven time and again to have reliable information acquired from on-the-ground and government sources, so it should be taken as a fact that the SAA and SDF did indeed clash last night.

The events leading up to that battle are unclear, however.

The SAA claims that they were on an anti-terrorist bombing mission near Daesh’s “capital”, while the US says that Damascus was in fact attacking its SDF proxies near Tabqa. These narratives aren’t mutually exclusive, and it’s very possible that the SAA rightly conflates the SDF with Daesh due to the Kurds’ documented connection with this terrorist organization. Moreover, the Kurds are ethnically cleansing Arabs from Raqqa en mass in order to pave the way for the city’s annexation to their unilaterally declared “federation” after its forthcoming capture, so it makes sense why Damascus could implicitly recognize them as terrorists without publicly declaring them as such for reasons of sensitive political optics.

Before going any further, I want to reaffirm what I wrote last week and remind the reader that I am solely referring to Kurdish militant groups when I use the word “Kurds”, NOT the law-abiding and peaceful majority of this demographic. This is important to always bear in mind because there’s a major difference between a regular Kurdish civilian and a militant conspirator treacherously trying to carve out a separatist “Kurdistan” from the Syrian Arab Republic; the first poses no threat whatsoever to the state, while the latter is an imminent existential threat to the country and could be targeted for elimination by the armed forces.

Considering what just unfolded last night, it’s beginning to look like Syria has finally begun to act against the Kurds, having largely refrained from doing so over the past 6 years of the war both because of more urgent priorities and due to being geographically cut off from the separatists by Daesh. It can’t be known for certain what changed Damascus’ calculations and – if the US report is to be believed – prompted them to bomb the SDF-YPG Kurds, but it wouldn’t be surprising if there were some behind-the-scenes ultimatums being passed along to the group to withdraw from its trans-Euphrates beachhead in Tabqa and return to the other side of the river.

Moscow’s Motives

There’s a very high chance that Syria will be internally partitioned after the defeat of Daesh via the “internationally acceptable” mechanism of “federalization”, and there isn’t much that the SAA can do to stop it at this point because Russia has no political will to fight the Kurds. The opposite is true, in fact; Russia stands to reap what its leaders expect will be certain strategic benefits through the sub-state transnational formation of “Kurdistan”, first and foremost the pressure that this will indirectly put on Turkey to remain within the Great Power Tripartite between itself, Russia, and Iran, stymying any chance that Ankara will ever enter into any meaningfully significant rapprochement with Washington.

There are also energy considerations as well. Like I explained in my article about “Russia’s Mideast Energy Diplomacy: Boom Or Bust?”, Russia has been making several silent moves over the past year to position itself as an indispensable power in the Mideast energy market, and two of the most relevant pertain to Iraqi Kurdistan and Syria. Moscow just signed an enormous deal with Erbil to develop and export their oil, whereas it has an agreement in place with Damascus to rebuild its entire energy infrastructure after the war. Seeing as how a large portion of this lies in the YPG-occupied areas of northeastern Syria, it can’t be ruled out that Russia has some sort of unstated understanding in place with the Kurds to have them respect this arrangement.

Continuing with this track of thought, Russia has already shown deference to this demographic by making the volte face of formally supporting “decentralization” in Syria as evidenced by the terms contained in the Russian-written “draft constitution” for Syria. Moscow, unlike Washington, isn’t actively seeking the de-facto internal partitioning of the country, but has probably resigned itself to accepting that it’s all but inevitable so long as Russia doesn’t expand its anti-terrorist military mandate in Syria to include the Kurds, which it won’t ever do. Therefore, it proposed the “compromise” of “decentralization” in an attempt to peacefully bridge Damascus’ unitary position with the Kurds’ “federal” one.

The “draft constitution” has yet to be accepted and has been put on the backburner over the past half a year since its proposal, but it will probably receive a second wind of life at the upcoming Astana and Geneva talks given what’s transpired over the past day. Without Russian military backing, there is no way that the SAA will defeat the American-armed and –supported YPG Kurds, let alone forcibly remove the couple of US bases which have purportedly popped up in Kurdish-occupied territory. Therefore, what will probably happen is that the SAA and SDF-YPG will accept the ‘frontline’ between them as the de-facto internally partitioned border following the defeat of Daesh, with this tense state of affairs being nominally formalized through the transformation of a future Kurdish “de-escalation zone” into a “decentralization unit”.

The Birth Pangs Of A “New Détente’”?

A “gentleman’s agreement” between Russia and the US would freeze this state of affairs, and given how Moscow’s actions (or lack thereof) arguably indicate that it’s already acceded to this, it’s plausible that the formation of a sub-state transnational “Kurdistan” might be the first outcome of a “New Détente” between the two Great Powers, each going along with it for different reasons. As was explained, Russia believes that this would provide the necessary leverage for indirectly pressuring unreliable and wily Turkey to remain in the Great Power Tripartite with itself and Iran, as well as protect the energy investments in northern Syria that Damascus promised it last year. The US, however, has vastly different intentions because it wants to create a “second geopolitical ‘Israel’” in the heart of the Mideast which it can then use as a springboard for exerting divide-and-rule unipolar influence in this tri-continental geostrategic pivot space.

Paradoxically, Russia and the US’ long-term interests converge – for polar opposite reasons – in the sub-state creation of “Kurdistan”. Moscow wagers that “Kurdistan” is an irreversible eventuality which isn’t worth sacrificing Russian lives to postpone, hence why it proposed Kurdish “decentralization” in the Russian-written “draft constitution”. Washington, while not stating it publicly, is probably elated by Moscow’s suggestion because it would peacefully formalize its proxy’s geopolitical claims in the region. For this reason, Russia and the US will probably use their influence on the SAA and SDF-YPG, respectively, to get both of them to recognize the ‘frontlines’ between them as the post-Daesh starting point for a “political (‘decentralized’) solution” to the overall war.

I actually forecast this in June 2016 in my article about “The ‘Democratic’ Partitioning Of Syria”, where I analyzed the following:

“Of course, the Kurds will fight to prevent the SAA from liberating any of their occupied territory in the run-up to the new constitution and related elections, but they wouldn’t have any ‘plausible’ reason for further expanding their conquests after Daesh’s defeat and will predictably sit still and try to formalize their gains instead.

The reason that the SAA wouldn’t move forward with liberating the rest of the country during this time is because the US and Russia might enter into an agreement to strictly enforce the SAA-YPG “line of control” immediately after the Race for Raqqa is finished.

Chances are that Washington would move first by declaring that it would unilaterally strike the SAA if it encroaches on the Kurds’ conquered territories, with Moscow replying that it would do the same against the YPG if they attack the SAA.

Through this manner, a very cold and fragile ‘peace’ will settle over Syria, with the threat of decisive military intervention by each of the two most important Great Powers being the only thing that keeps the SAA and YPG from attacking one another and transforming the War on Syria into an actual civil war for the first time since it started.”

Nevertheless, the “gentleman’s agreement” only works so long as both Great Powers’ on-the-ground partners agree to respect it, and thus far, that doesn’t seem to be the case, at least not when it comes to the SAA. To be clear, the Syrian Arab Republic is a sovereign and independent state, and it isn’t Russia’s place to possibly strike agreements with the US on Damascus’ behalf, let alone about its internal political-administrative post-war composition regardless of Moscow’s “good intentions” in terms of the “bigger picture”. If Syria agreed with what Russia was doing, then it clearly wouldn’t have ordered the SAA to attack the SDF-YPG.

Last night’s strike indicates that Syria and Russia aren’t coordinating with one another on the level that observers might have initially thought, no matter how much either side publicly denies this. There is no way that Russia would have advised Syria to bomb the SDF-YPG; similarly, there apparently wasn’t anything that Russia could do in convincing the SAA to stand down after the order from Damascus was given. The SDF-YPG Kurds issued a statement shortly thereafter vowing to “retaliate” against the SAA if such an occurrence ever happens again, thereby strongly signaling that an Arab-Kurdish War might soon be on the horizon, provided of course that Damascus doesn’t back down first.

Turkish-Iranian Backup

And that’s the determining factor, whether or not President Assad will recognize that the internal partition of his country might already be a fait accompli, with Syria’s fate possibly sealed at the highest levels due to an implied “gentleman’s agreement” between Russia and the US. If the combined (but not necessarily coordinated) pressure of Moscow and Washington succeeds in getting Damascus to acquiesce to this unfortunate reality, no matter how contradictory it is to the right of the Syrian people to democratically decide their country’s destiny themselves, then a cold peace will eventually prevail, at least for the short term. However, if Syria doesn’t give up and continues fighting to liberate its occupied northeastern territories from the Kurdish separatists, then it’s foreseeable that Turkey and Iran could provide crucial support in this campaign, each in their own way.

Turkey is existentially threatened by the emergence of a de-facto Kurdish statelet abutting its southern borderlands, especially one that isn’t under the proxy control of the pro-Ankara “Kurdish Democratic Party” (KDP) like Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government, which is why it might launch a second iteration of “Operation Euphrates Shield” alongside a possible SAA liberation offensive in order to counter this threat. I forecast in my March 2017 analysis about “Palmyra’s Reliberation And The ‘Rojava Civil War’” that Turkey would naturally plan to unseat the YPG separatists by using pro-Ankara KDP-linked Kurds possibly supported through a conventional intervention. A report just a couple days ago from “Voice Of America” confirms that Turkey’s patronage of the recently formed “Syrian National Army” (SNA) is designed to achieve the proxy war component of this scenario. If Turkey directly involves itself in fighting against the SDF-YPG Kurds, then it can safely be assumed that this would have Damascus’ secret blessing, no matter how vehemently it may deny it in public, and that a fast-moving rapprochement between the two rivals might be in the cards as well.

As for Iran, I already documented in an article last week how Kurdish militant groups in Syria and Iran are linked to Daesh, and it’s for this reason why Tehran will likely provide sustained support to any operation that the SAA undertakes in countering this menace. Iran, just like Syria, Turkey, and Iraq, stands to lose part of its territory if the US-“Israeli”-Saudi (“Cerberus”) plan of carving out a “Kurdistan” succeeds, but given that it already has an undetermined number of soldiers and allied militiamen on the ground in Syria per Damascus’ request, it’s in a prime position to assist the SAA if need be. However, this is a lot easier said than done, because the US will almost certainly use its recently deployed HIMARS missiles near al-Tanf to stop any joint Syrian-Iranian liberation offensive against the Pentagon-backed SDF-YPG Kurdish occupiers. For both political and military reasons, it’s in no such position to do the same against its nominal Turkish ally if Ankara intervenes from the north, but there’s only so much that Turkey can do to help from that direction without a coordinated Syrian-Iranian thrust from the south.

Taken together, while the prospects of a grand Syrian-Iranian-Turkish liberation campaign against the SDF-YPG Kurdish occupied areas of northern Syria is theoretically possible, for all intents and purposes, it’s unlikely to actually happen. The US has already proven its military resolve in deterring any SAA attacks against the Kurds, and the same can safely be assumed if Iran gets involved as well. As for Turkey, there are other instruments of pressure that the US can leverage against it to keep Ankara out of the fray, though if Erdogan does decide to jump in head-first, then he will have to prepare for dealing with a prolonged guerrilla campaign in which the US-armed Kurds will use state-of-the-art weaponry against the Turkish military. This is why Ankara prefers to handle this scenario through its SNA proxy for as long as feasibly possible, though without a risky conventional intervention which could very well turn into a quagmire, Turkey will probably have to stand by and reluctantly watch what its leadership considers to be a terrorist state take shape along its southern frontier.

Shifting Lines In The Sand

There is a major “unforeseen” variable which has only just now come to the surface but threatens to offset the entire state of affairs which was just discussed, and it’s that Russia and the US have evidently disagreed on precisely where in the sand the post-conflict administrative-political lines should be drawn in Syria. This explains why the Russian Ministry of Defense declared the day after the Syrian jet was shot down that:

“In areas where Russian aviation is conducting combat missions in the Syrian skies, any flying objects, including jets and unmanned aerial vehicles of the international coalition discovered west of the Euphrates River will be followed by Russian air and ground defenses as air targets.”

Russia all but admitted that Syria is already divided into two unofficial “spheres of influence” with the US, with Moscow – and by implicit understanding, Damascus as well – having been “promised” control over everything west of the Euphrates, while Washington and its Kurdish proxies are “given” everything to the east of it. The US and its SDF-YPG Kurdish underlings apparently went back on their word, however, seeing as how they already stormed across the river in capturing Manbij last summer (which prompted Turkey’s conventional military involvement) and received American backing in conquering Tabqa earlier this year. The “Dash For Deir ez-Zor” will determine whether or not the Euphrates does in fact become the dividing line for the rest of eastern Syria, though it remains to be seen exactly how Russia and the SAA could conceivably dislodge US and Kurdish forces from Manbij and Tabqa given the obvious limitations derived from Moscow’s lack of political will in doing so. These two territories might become “exceptions”, or they could be “traded off” by the US and Kurds in exchange for Damascus agreeing to “federalize” the country.

Nevertheless, the Russian Defense Ministry’s dramatic pronouncement points to the fact that Moscow is willing to take actionable measures to ‘stabilize’ the ‘frontlines’ between the SAA and SDF-YPG Kurds, and that it likely feels betrayed by Washington for operating beyond its previously agreed-upon region of Syria. Russia has visibly upped the ante by strongly implying that it will shoot down American jets west of the Euphrates, and while this might just be another bluff, it’s still significant because it suggests that Moscow does in fact feel deceived (a feeling which President Putin recently told Oliver Stone that he never forgets), and it’s making a lot of noise to signal to Washington that it had better abide by its prior secret agreements. Having said that, the US could still exploit certain ‘loopholes’ such as launching long-range aerial missiles against the SAA from safely behind the eastern bank of the Euphrates or above Jordanian airspace, to say nothing of ordering yet another cruise missile assault which First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council’s Committee on International Affairs Vladimir Jabarov said in April wouldn’t be intercepted because “it could lead to a large-scale war”.

Concluding Thoughts

At this point, the crisis will probably escalate as both Great Powers puff out their chests and issue heated polemics against the other, but it’s unlikely that any serious provocation will take place such as Russia and the US downing each other’s jets over Syria and risking World War III. The shifting lines in the sand will soon stabilize, though questions will remain about the future status of the Kurds’ conquests in Manbij and Tabqa, as well as the territory that the US’ Arab allies are occupying around al-Tanf, Idlib, and the Golan Heights. Moreover, the Dash for Deir ez Zor is ongoing, and its outcome will determine whether or not the “Euphrates Federalization Line” holds in eastern Syria or is breached by the SDF-YPG Kurds. If the latter happens, then the US might outfit its proxies with modern anti-air weaponry so that they could take out any SAA jets themselves without triggering Russia’s threatened apocalyptical response of shooting down American aircraft. Given the on-the-ground dynamics and Moscow’s prevailing strategic calculations surrounding the Syrian Kurds, there’s no foreseeable scenario where Russia will move beyond its military mandate and bomb these US proxies so long as they don’t target its Aerospace Forces first.

A Turkish and/or Iranian supportive intervention in backing up the SAA’s campaign against the SDF-YPG Kurdish separatists would potentially be a game-changing variable, but the odds of it playing out on a grandiose scale are dim, though they shouldn’t be outright dismissed. There’s little that Russia or the US can do to deter either of these two actors from getting more directly involved in the Syrian-Kurdish clashes, but they can instead concentrate on reinforcing the implied “gentleman’s agreement” between them in order to send an undeniable signal to their partners. Even so, however, there’s no guarantee that the Kurds will listen to the US, or that Syria, Turkey, and Iran will abide by whatever Russia advises. What may have at one point seemed like the birth pangs of a “New Détente” through a speculative secret Russian-American agreement over “Rojava” is dangerously on the brink of ushering in a new conflict after the defeat of Daesh, though there’s still plenty of hope that peace will prevail so long as both Great Powers can exert “moderating” influence on their relevant allies, though this can’t by any means be taken for granted.

The SAA seems determined to carry through with President Assad’s promise to liberate “every inch of Syria”, which is why they allegedly attacked the SDF-YPG Kurds near Tabqa in spite of this clearly contradicting Russia’s grand strategic interests, so with such a “wildcard” in play, it’s anyone’s guess whether the coming months will see a “New Détente” or a new Arab-Kurdish conflict.

DISCLAIMER: The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution. 

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‘Meme-killing’ EU regulation could end YouTube as we know it, CEO warns

The proposed amendments to the EU Copyright Directive would require the automatic removal of any user-created content suspected of violating intellectual property law.

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YouTube’s CEO has urged creators on the popular video site to organize against a proposed EU internet regulation, reinforcing fears that the infamous Article 13 could lead to content-killing, meme-maiming restrictions on the web.

The proposed amendments to the EU Copyright Directive would require the automatic removal of any user-created content suspected of violating intellectual property law – with platforms being liable for any alleged copyright infringement. If enacted, the legislation would threaten “both your livelihood and your ability to share your voice with the world,” YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki warned the site’s content creators in a blog post on Monday.

The regulation would endanger “hundreds of thousands of job,” Wojcicki said, predicting that it would likely force platforms such as YouTube to allow only content from a hand-picked group of companies.

“It would be too risky for platforms to host content from smaller original content creators, because the platforms would now be directly liable for that content,” Wojcicki wrote.

While acknowledging that it was important to properly compensate all rights holders, the YouTube chief lamented that the “unintended consequences of Article 13 will put this ecosystem at risk.”

She encouraged YouTubers to use the #SaveYourInternet hashtag to tell the world how the proposed legislation would impact them personally.

“RIP YOUTUBE..IT WAS FUN,” read one rather fatalistic reply to the post. Another comment worried that Article 13 would do “immense damage … particularly to smaller creators.”

The proposal has stirred considerable controversy in Europe and abroad, with critics claiming that the legislation would essentially ban any kind of creative content, ranging from memes to parody videos, that would normally fall under fair use.

Alphabet, the parent company of Google and YouTube, has opposed Article 13 for months. The measure was advanced in June by the European Parliament. A final vote on the proposed regulation is expected to take place sometime next year.

World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales have also spoken out against Article 13.

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WSJ Op-Ed Cracks The Code: Why Liberal Intellectuals Hate Trump

WSJ: The Real Reason They Hate Trump

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Via Zerohedge


As pundits continue to scratch their heads over the disruptive phenomenon known as Donald Trump, Yale computer science professor and chief scientist at Dittach, David Gelernter, has penned a refreshingly straightforward and blunt Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal explaining why Trump has been so successful at winning hearts and minds, and why the left – especially those snarky ivory-tower intellectuals, hate him.

Gelernter argues that Trump – despite being a filthy rich “parody of the average American,” is is a regular guy who has successfully resonated with America’s underpinnings.

Mr. Trump reminds us who the average American really is. Not the average male American, or the average white American,” writes Gelernter. “We know for sure that, come 2020, intellectuals will be dumbfounded at the number of women and blacks who will vote for Mr. Trump. He might be realigning the political map: plain average Americans of every type vs. fancy ones.”

He never learned to keep his real opinions to himself because he never had to. He never learned to be embarrassed that he is male, with ordinary male proclivities. Sometimes he has treated women disgracefully, for which Americans, left and right, are ashamed of him—as they are of JFK and Bill Clinton. –WSJ

Gelernter then suggests: “This all leads to an important question—one that will be dismissed indignantly today, but not by historians in the long run: Is it possible to hate Donald Trump but not the average American?“.

***

The Real Reason They Hate Trump via the Wall Street Journal.

He’s the average American in exaggerated form—blunt, simple, willing to fight, mistrustful of intellectuals.

Every big U.S. election is interesting, but the coming midterms are fascinating for a reason most commentators forget to mention: The Democrats have no issues. The economy is booming and America’s international position is strong. In foreign affairs, the U.S. has remembered in the nick of time what Machiavelli advised princes five centuries ago: Don’t seek to be loved, seek to be feared.

The contrast with the Obama years must be painful for any honest leftist. For future generations, the Kavanaugh fight will stand as a marker of the Democratic Party’s intellectual bankruptcy, the flashing red light on the dashboard that says “Empty.” The left is beaten.

This has happened before, in the 1980s and ’90s and early 2000s, but then the financial crisis arrived to save liberalism from certain destruction. Today leftists pray that Robert Mueller will put on his Superman outfit and save them again.

For now, though, the left’s only issue is “We hate Trump.” This is an instructive hatred, because what the left hates about Donald Trump is precisely what it hates about America. The implications are important, and painful.

Not that every leftist hates America. But the leftists I know do hate Mr. Trump’s vulgarity, his unwillingness to walk away from a fight, his bluntness, his certainty that America is exceptional, his mistrust of intellectuals, his love of simple ideas that work, and his refusal to believe that men and women are interchangeable. Worst of all, he has no ideology except getting the job done. His goals are to do the task before him, not be pushed around, and otherwise to enjoy life. In short, he is a typical American—except exaggerated, because he has no constraints to cramp his style except the ones he himself invents.

Mr. Trump lacks constraints because he is filthy rich and always has been and, unlike other rich men, he revels in wealth and feels no need to apologize—ever. He never learned to keep his real opinions to himself because he never had to. He never learned to be embarrassed that he is male, with ordinary male proclivities. Sometimes he has treated women disgracefully, for which Americans, left and right, are ashamed of him—as they are of JFK and Bill Clinton.

But my job as a voter is to choose the candidate who will do best for America. I am sorry about the coarseness of the unconstrained average American that Mr. Trump conveys. That coarseness is unpresidential and makes us look bad to other nations. On the other hand, many of his opponents worry too much about what other people think. I would love the esteem of France, Germany and Japan. But I don’t find myself losing sleep over it.

The difference between citizens who hate Mr. Trump and those who can live with him—whether they love or merely tolerate him—comes down to their views of the typical American: the farmer, factory hand, auto mechanic, machinist, teamster, shop owner, clerk, software engineer, infantryman, truck driver, housewife. The leftist intellectuals I know say they dislike such people insofar as they tend to be conservative Republicans.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama know their real sins. They know how appalling such people are, with their stupid guns and loathsome churches. They have no money or permanent grievances to make them interesting and no Twitter followers to speak of. They skip Davos every year and watch Fox News. Not even the very best has the dazzling brilliance of a Chuck Schumer, not to mention a Michelle Obama. In truth they are dumb as sheep.

Mr. Trump reminds us who the average American really is. Not the average male American, or the average white American. We know for sure that, come 2020, intellectuals will be dumbfounded at the number of women and blacks who will vote for Mr. Trump. He might be realigning the political map: plain average Americans of every type vs. fancy ones.

Many left-wing intellectuals are counting on technology to do away with the jobs that sustain all those old-fashioned truck-driver-type people, but they are laughably wide of the mark. It is impossible to transport food and clothing, or hug your wife or girl or child, or sit silently with your best friend, over the internet. Perhaps that’s obvious, but to be an intellectual means nothing is obvious. Mr. Trump is no genius, but if you have mastered the obvious and add common sense, you are nine-tenths of the way home. (Scholarship is fine, but the typical modern intellectual cheapens his learning with politics, and is proud to vary his teaching with broken-down left-wing junk.)

This all leads to an important question—one that will be dismissed indignantly today, but not by historians in the long run: Is it possible to hate Donald Trump but not the average American?

True, Mr. Trump is the unconstrained average citizen. Obviously you can hate some of his major characteristics—the infantile lack of self-control in his Twitter babble, his hitting back like a spiteful child bully—without hating the average American, who has no such tendencies. (Mr. Trump is improving in these two categories.) You might dislike the whole package. I wouldn’t choose him as a friend, nor would he choose me. But what I see on the left is often plain, unconditional hatred of which the hater—God forgive him—is proud. It’s discouraging, even disgusting. And it does mean, I believe, that the Trump-hater truly does hate the average American—male or female, black or white. Often he hates America, too.

Granted, Mr. Trump is a parody of the average American, not the thing itself. To turn away is fair. But to hate him from your heart is revealing. Many Americans were ashamed when Ronald Reagan was elected. A movie actor? But the new direction he chose for America was a big success on balance, and Reagan turned into a great president. Evidently this country was intended to be run by amateurs after all—by plain citizens, not only lawyers and bureaucrats.

Those who voted for Mr. Trump, and will vote for his candidates this November, worry about the nation, not its image. The president deserves our respect because Americans deserve it—not such fancy-pants extras as network commentators, socialist high-school teachers and eminent professors, but the basic human stuff that has made America great, and is making us greater all the time.

Mr. Gelernter is computer science professor at Yale and chief scientist at Dittach LLC. His most recent book is “Tides of Mind.”

Appeared in the October 22, 2018, print edition.

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The Trump Miracle and the Logical End of US Democracy: What Happened?

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I don’t wish to dine with a Clinton Snowflake.

And a Clinton Snowflake would rather see me off to San Quentin, the Deplorable that I am.

Something happened under Obama-Clinton rule that has never happened before, not even in the heat of passions culminating in the Civil War. The country polarized, splitting into two groupings. Forever.

Obama’s, Grand Canyon divide was cemented, subsequently, by Clinton’s “Deplorables” gaff interpreted as disdain and disrespect for the working, one-half of the country. Millions of Americans will never accept her and her Snowflakes and vice versa. “Never say never,” it’s said, often enough. But, this time, “never,” is an unequivocal: “Never!”

Quite simply, the Obama-Clinton regime politicized that which should never be politicized, namely, core beliefs and values, starting with God.

Debate is one thing, but the regime followed up with direct and indirect actions, which some writers call rainbow fascism. “You won’t bake a wedding cake for two gays out of some fossilized belief in scripture? We’ll shut you down.”

The regime’s aggression against the Church, the family, and the infant in the womb is dynamite inserted into the foundation on which the country stands.

Along with compassion and sensitivity to opposing views, compromise used to help mend political wounds. It allowed the nation to move on after an election. However, when religious tenets are challenged by a political Party with executive order power, the door on possible compromise slams shut. Obama-Clinton politicized the sacred and the Holy, a big no-no considering that politics divide. It wasn’t done out of ignorance, disrespect, or plain arrogance. It was a conscience, systematic attack by the Godless against God-fearing Christians.

God either exists or He doesn’t – no compromise, here. That is, “He might exist,” placates neither the believer nor the atheist. The Bible is either the Word of God as delivered through His prophets or it isn’t. No compromise possible.

Abortion-on-demand is another issue without compromise considering the commandment: Thou shalt not kill (murder). There is also common sense compassion, which makes us human and says that abortion is wrong. You’re either for murder of the defenseless or against it.

A partial birth abortion, despite the insinuation of compromise in the term, is actually a viler variant of infanticide because it’s performed in the last trimester, at 5-7 months. The well-developed, living infant is pulled out of the womb, legs first. The medical executioner then plunges a probe with a catheter into the living brain in order to suction out a bloody slurry and collapse the skull. Is it murder of the defenseless or a “woman’s right” as Snowflakes call it?

Clinton claims: “Fetuses feel no pain and have no rights.” Curiously, Himmler leaned on a nearly identical contention to justify ghoulish, medical experiments on pregnant women in Konzentrationslager. Is there a difference? Indeed, there is. Clinton is a woman, making her serial murders more of a monstrosity.

The Holy Bible is either the Word of God or it isn’t. It’s not a book to be adapted to one’s whims or sexual lusts. Scripture strictly condemns male homosexuality in at least three passages and, implicitly, in some one-half dozen others. Nonetheless, Obama-Clinton attached the promotion of LBGTq-ism to the Democratic plank, overriding scripture. Clinton informed one audience that Christians would have to change their beliefs on some issues.

Hold on! “I’m getting my musket,” as more than one American has said.

I used to enjoy dialogue. But a sour aftertaste remains from the last time that I waded, innocently enough, into an after-dinner, back-and-forth. The topic was the upcoming primaries.

Dodging a flurry of leftism hooks from a New York Cityite at a Hamptons hideaway, I smiled through early-round attacks recalling how Mohammed Ali used to taunt opponents and cockroaches until they lost their cool. It worked. My opponent promptly tangled himself up in the ropes of his emotions.

It became apparent, in the ensuing minutes, that the Achilles heel of the Left was the absence of a viable candidate. That is, one who could be liked – a leader with charisma with a realistic chance winning.

Hillary was the only figure looming big on the horizon. After flying about on her crooked broom, peddling influence and laundering bloody cash from terrorism-sponsoring sheiks, wads of cash stuffed her Pampers. The Wicked Witch of the West, as victims of her foreign policy still address her, apparently, had it all. Except likeability. Or, something new to offer millions of working Americans beyond the scandals, a world in flames, and the same old corrupt things, starting with her foundation, which kept the cash but forgot Hattian children.

Deep-down inside, my opponent knew that getting excited about Hillary would be a daunting task. It’s precisely Hillary’s inability to generate enthusiasm that eventually metamorphosed into, “What Happened?” It wasn’t Russia; it wasn’t the dog that ate her homework.

As Secretary of State, Clinton’s role in creating and sponsoring head-choppers, baby burners, and heart-eating fanatics in ISIS’s jumpsuits was already well-established for anyone who was interested in looking beyond the hyaluronic acid smile and the praise of her attendant, media handlers.

Propagandists led by CNN and MSNBC did their best to sequester her “Arab Spring” fiascos. Her ties and support of the Muslim Brotherhood, apparently, inspired by live-in aide and right-hand woman, Huma Abedin were off limits for the press. Lesbian lover or not, the real issue is the between-the sheets confidences of one woman, holding one of the highest positions in the US Government and another with connections to jihadist circles inspired by Sayyid Qutb, the godfather of al Qaeda. What would have been made of it by the press if Trump had a mistress whose grandfather was Osama bin Laden?

Clinton’s connivance, her intrigue, and her use of the sword to overthrow foreign governments constituted the essence of her foreign policy. Now, the rich, sweet thing is crying over supposed, Russian interference that she claims cost her the election! No proof of Russian involvement has been found, despite massive efforts and the wasteful expenditure of millions of dollars. Even so, in her warped sense of reality, it’s inconceivable that American voters chose a vulgar, thrice-married, casino operator who trash talks instead of her. Curiously, it was Christians, in particular – Catholics, Protestants and the Orthodox – fearing a de facto Obama third term, who voted in droves for Trump.

Jonathon Van Maren writes: “…Christians are having conversations around the dinner table about what do if the government forces curricula on them that they cannot accept, because their own government is increasingly indicating that Christian parents are too homophobic and too hateful to teach their own children.”

Fear is setting in at both ends of the political spectrum. Meltdown, weep-in snowflakes fear Trump yet he and Christians are not forcing the LGBTq groupings etc., to make lifestyle changes. In contrast, Obama-Clinton’s Rainbow Fascism demands core value changes, or else! It’s already ruining the lives of those who cannot compromise religious tenets. What’s next? Obviously, children must be taken away from homophobic and irresponsible parents. It’s already happening in Norway and Sweden.

Curiously, WaPo’s entire editorial board endorsed her. Isn’t endorsement of Clinton’s terrorism by proxy tantamount to being a terrorist? Can WaPo be trusted, again? Another liberally slanted paper, the NY Times largely swept Clinton’s sordid past under the carpet, with about 90 percent of its articles casting her in a positive light. In contrast, it was open season on Republicans and, soon enough, on Trump.

“Considering her international war crimes record, if you vote for her, as I’m sure you’ll end up doing, you’re going to be an accomplice. Of terrorism,” I sighed. “So unfriend me now, please.”

Swinging, aimlessly – now, a bug in my web – my opponent’s accusations turned Archie-Bunker-personal – “You’re a SOB, M#*/!er. All you do is criticize but you haven’t done squat! Do something in the community instead of blaming everything on Obama and Clinton.

“Some time ago, I saw little, practical sense in it,” I replied. “That is, in wasting time to change the system.”

If it was ever possible to improve matters on a local level, those days are gone. Plato, Socrates and Aristotle did not consider the rule of money to be compatible with democracy. After three, consecutive, two-term geniuses steering the US Titanic – Clinton, Bush, Obama – the scraping sounds of hitting the iceberg are all-too-audible. The mass media orchestra plays on yet the waterline has reached the nation’s gunwales.

“Sorry, trends are apparent enough. Liberty, freedom of expression – all on the wane. Government as well as media controls are tightening! Prisons are full. Stalin has been outdone. His maximum Gulag stay was 15 years regardless of the charge. What’s ours? A life sentence for being in a romantic relationship with a drug smuggler? Common sense is being pushed aside by nonsense. Sorry, I find little sense building sandcastles at ebbtide.”

My opponent had had enough. Spilling whisky to get away from me, he spewed more venom and parted the room. Forever.

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