Mid-Day Digest

Oct. 8, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“But if we are to be told by a foreign Power … what we shall do, and what we shall not do, we have Independence yet to seek, and have contended hitherto for very little.” —George Washington (1796)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

Trump’s Turkish Test on Syria

President Donald Trump was elected to drop a figurative bomb on the Beltway Establishment — of both parties. Dropping bombs is an ugly business, but there’s no question some good has come of it. However, Trump’s announcement regarding U.S. troops in Syria is one of those things that’s difficult to put in a “good” or “bad” box. So here are some key analysis points.

“I campaigned on the fact that I was going to bring our soldiers home and bring them home as rapidly as possible,” Trump said. That may be true, but commitments made by political neophytes in the heat of a campaign are not always wise to keep. It’s certainly not sufficient justification. Trump also reportedly “completely blindsided” the Pentagon with the announcement.

The U.S. is not withdrawing from Syria entirely. The shift of a relative handful of U.S. troops from one part of northeastern Syria is nowhere near as significant a move as Barack Obama’s total abandonment of Iraq (also a campaign promise), which led directly to the creation of the Islamic State. Yet the U.S. has vital interests in containing the ISIS threat, and it is possible that Trump’s move will have an undesirable effect on this front. On the other hand, U.S. troops were in Syria for the sole objective of defeating ISIS. The caliphate is now destroyed, and Trump argues that means it’s time to come home.

Abandoning allies — in this case, the Kurds — is never a good look for America, and it will have foreign-policy ramifications elsewhere. For many years, the Kurds fought and died alongside U.S. troops in the fight against ISIS, while Turkish President Recep Erdogan has threatened to attack the Kurds in northeast Syria. Were U.S. troops the only thing holding him back? “The Kurds fought with us, but were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so,” Trump said. Yet that’s a crass transactional view of foreign policy.

Turkey, which seemingly has the green light for incursions into Syria, is being tested. Trump has taken on the NATO establishment, and Turkey’s membership in that defensive alliance as well as its efforts to join the European Union are now on full display. Either its increasingly authoritarian president will pass the test, or he will fail before the whole world. Trump promised major consequences for Turkey’s economy if it “does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits.” That’s ridiculously overwrought Bronx bluster at the wrong time, though Trump (probably) doesn’t actually think that; he’s just being Trump and, again, he’s testing Erdogan.

All of that said, it’s interesting to note an overall dynamic with this news. The Beltway Establishment is almost uniform in harshly criticizing Trump’s move. Sen. Lindsey Graham called it “shortsighted and irresponsible.” Rep. Liz Cheney decried it as “a catastrophic mistake.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said it’s a “dangerous decision” that is both “reckless” and “misguided.” Of course, she didn’t seem to mind Obama’s Iraq withdrawal, and she’s too busy running the impeachment charade now to be taken seriously.

But we suspect the average American isn’t so keen on keeping our sons and daughters in harm’s way for a murky objective in Syria — as Trump put it, “to the benefit of people who don’t even like the USA.” After all, it’s less likely to be the loved ones of members of Congress spilling blood for their country than it is grassroots American Patriots.

In any case, Trump’s Syria decision isn’t black and white; it’s various shades of unappealing gray.

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Another Warren ‘Victim Status’ Lie

Elizabeth Warren has difficulty telling the truth, be it her continued refusal to acknowledge that her Medicare for All plan would require tax increases upon all Americans (something Bernie Sanders freely admits) or her long-running false claim that she is part Cherokee — a claim Warren used to tout herself as a “minority” while she worked at Harvard Law School and the University of Pennsylvania. Only after a DNA test revealed her claim to be fraudulent did she partially acknowledge the truth, while still insisting she was merely the victim of a false family ancestry she grew up believing.

Now Warren has come under scrutiny for another autobiographical tall tale that contradicts the record and even her own past statements. To paint herself as a victim of sexism under the “patriarchy,” Warren has repeatedly relayed a story of being fired from her first teaching job after it became apparent that she was pregnant. Warren claims, “By the end of the first year, I was visibly pregnant, and the principal did what principals did in those days — wish me luck and hire someone else for the job.”

However, back in 2007, Warren told a different story. She stated, “I was married at 19 and then graduated from college after I’d married. My first year post-graduation, I worked — it was a public-school system but I worked with the children with disabilities. I did that for a year, and then that summer I actually didn’t have the education courses, so I was on an ‘emergency certificate,’ it was called. I went back to graduate school and took a couple of courses in education and said, ‘I don’t think this is going to work out for me.’ I was pregnant with my first baby, so I had a baby and stayed home for a couple of years, and I was really casting about, thinking, ‘What am I going to do?’”

Furthermore, The Washington Free Beacon obtained “minutes of an April 21, 1971, Riverdale Board of Education meeting,” which “show that the board voted unanimously on a motion to extend Warren a ‘2nd year’ contract for a two-days-per-week teaching job. That job is similar to the one she held the previous year, her first year of teaching. Minutes from a board meeting held two months later, on June 16, 1971, indicate that Warren’s resignation was ‘accepted with regret.’”

So, was Warren a victim of sexism? Not even remotely. Yet for today’s Democrats, creating a fraudulent and politically expedient victim narrative is more important than speaking the truth. The question for the country is, if Warren can’t be trusted to be honest about her past or even who she is, how can she be trusted to govern the nation? The simple answer is, she can’t.

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ON OUR WEBSITE TODAY

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

TOP NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

MIGRANT ARRESTS: Most illegal crossings in 12 years: Border Patrol took 851,000 into custody during fiscal 2019 (Washington Examiner)

RUNAWAY SPENDING: Federal deficit rose to $984 billion in 2019 — the highest in seven years (Washington Examiner)

NOTHING TO SEE HERE: Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson could not explain the 18-day window between Ukraine call and whistleblower complaint (Fox News)

TESTIMONY BLOCKED: State Department blocks Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, from testifying in Trump impeachment inquiry (NBC News)

FROM FRAUD TO FLING: Ilhan Omar — who allegedly married her own brother to circumvent immigrant laws — files for divorce from second husband amid rumors of an affair (The Daily Wire)

NBA’S WOKE AIR BALL: National Basketball Association grovels before communist China after the Rockets’ general manager speaks up in support of Hong Kong (Townhall)

POLLAGANDA: Survey reveals nearly six in 10 Americans think most gun deaths are murders — they’re not (The Washington Free Beacon)

NUCLEAR THEATER: Iran to sue U.S. over breach of nuclear deal; lawsuit will go to International Court of Justice (The Washington Free Beacon)

JAPAN TRADE DEALS: “President Trump on Monday oversaw the signing of two limited trade deals with Japan, slashing tariffs on $7.2 billion worth of America’s agricultural exports, but avoiding thorny issues such as auto tariffs.” (The Hill)

POLICY: Pro-family tax policy: The case of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (American Enterprise Institute)

POLICY: Three cyber trends the U.S. must address to protect itself (The Heritage Foundation)

HUMOR: Brave Millennial donates heart to the Bernie Sanders campaign (NPC Daily)

For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Gary Bauer: “Friday night, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey expressed his support for the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. Morey tweeted, ‘Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.’ Within hours, the roof caved in on him. The Chinese consulate in Houston expressed its ‘strong dissatisfaction.’ The team’s owner rebuffed Morey, making it clear that Morey did not speak for the team. The NBA issued a statement calling Morey’s tweet ‘deeply offensive’ and ‘regrettable.’ And yesterday, Morey was tweeting his apologies. Morey did the right thing, but the NBA is scrambling because of its big investment in China. Just the latest example of how trade with China has changed us more than it has changed China.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “I dread government in the name of science. That is how tyrannies come in. In every age the men who want us under their thumb, if they have any sense, will put forward the particular pretension which the hopes and fears of that age render most potent. They ‘cash in’. It has been magic, it has been Christianity. Now it will certainly be science. Perhaps the real scientists may not think much of the tyrants’ ‘science’ — they didn’t think much of Hitler’s racial theories or Stalin’s biology. But they can be muzzled.” —C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)

Non compos mentis: “Mass incarceration is our American reality. It is a system whose logic evolved from the same lineage as Jim Crow, American apartheid, & slavery. To end it, we have to change. That means we need to have a real conversation about decarceration [sic] & prison abolition in this country.” —Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

This … changes … everything! “If you come after Joe Biden you’re going to have to deal with me.” —Sen. Cory Booker

Nope: “I am a juror and I want to look at what the articles of impeachment are. I want to look at all the evidence. But I’m just going to tell you, just as an American, this is just not offensive, I think it’s grounds for impeachment.” —Cory Booker

Demo-gogues: “I want those asylum seekers here in this country. I want us to live according to our conscience, to our laws, to our commitments and to the best, boldest, brightest future we could possibly have. Those immigrants pose no threat to you nor to me.” —Beto O'Rourke

Braying jenny: “I’d just like to say to these whistleblowers, and potential whistleblowers, you are the patriots. You’re the ones who care about this country.” —Rep. Maxine Waters

And last… “So the @NBA will boycott Charlotte, NC over transgender bathrooms, but won’t boycott China over Muslim internment camps?” —Liz Wheeler

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