Terrorism: A Tale of Two Presidents
It was just hours before two hijacked planes cut through the New York sky on that bright September day. Former president Bill Clinton was in Australia, talking to a group of businessmen, when the topic turned to terrorism. “I spend a lot of time thinking about him,” the 42nd president said about Osama bin Laden. “I nearly got him once,” he admitted. “I nearly got him. And I could have killed him, but… I didn’t do it.” Turns out, the world didn’t need that confirmation. The next day, it had its own: 2,977 people, dead at the hands of the terrorist mastermind.
History is a harsh judge. Long after they leave office, our presidents don’t just answer for the decisions they made — but the ones they didn’t. When Bill Clinton had a chance to rid the world of Osama bin Laden, he worried more about the political fallout of taking the risk than the real-life consequences of ignoring it. “I would have had to destroy a little town called Kandahar in Afghanistan,” he told the room in Melbourne, “and kill 300 innocent [people].” Little did he know that three years later, the shot he didn’t take would lead to the worst attack on U.S. soil in American history.
According to Philip Zelikow, the executive director of the 9/11 report, Bill Clinton had not one — but nine chances — to eliminate bin Laden. The one he mentioned in Australia happened to correspond with the Clinton impeachment hearings, when he was being investigated for his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. Still, he was given actionable intelligence that bin Laden was at a meeting in the desert. And instead of acting, he hesitated. In various accounts of that day, people wonder if it was really the collateral damage that worried Clinton or his political vulnerability. Either way, he walked away — and America paid the price.
Years later, in a very similar situation, President Trump made a different choice. With impeachment charges swirling and the media ready to pounce, this White House never blinked. At a very dangerous time in our country, the president stayed focused on the mission at hand — making it clear that his priority wasn’t politics but America’s protection. We may never know how many lives President Trump and the U.S. military spared by hunting down ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi — and anyone who lost a loved one on 9/11 will tell you: we don’t want to know. But by any measure, it was significant.
This is a terrorist, our own Lt. General Jerry Boykin warned, who was more brutal than al-Qaeda ever was. “In fact, one of the reasons that they separated ISIS from al-Qaeda was because [al-Baghdadi] was using tactics that were getting the world’s attention as more than just terrorism.” This was savagery the world hadn’t seen, like “burning a Jordanian pilot in a cage in and publicizing it. I mean, even those that side with or sympathize with the terrorist, [found it] a little bit over the line.” In all honesty, General Boykin explained on “Washington Watch,” ending the reign of al-Baghdadi “is probably more important than the killing of bin Laden.”
Had the nation elected Hillary Clinton, who knows where America would be? In the face of escalating attacks under Barack Obama “with virtually no consequence,” as Marc Theissen wrote during the 2016 election, what would President Hillary do? “Double down on her husband’s failed policies and those of his Democratic successor” — the same ones that led to 9/11 and the growth of terrorism around the world.
Thanks to this president and the courageous men and women of our military, America just completed “the most precise, significant operation since Delta Force pulled Saddam Hussein out of the ground in December of 2003,” General Boykin argued. And let’s not forget, he went on, this commander-in-chief spent the last three years rebuilding our military. “He gave them everything they needed to pull it off…” He should be credited with not only the decision, but also with rejecting Obama’s social engineering in military. Under his leadership our military is being equipped and trained to once again be an elite fighting force. And that’s not all, Jonathan Tobin points out. His “defeat of ISIS [is what] sent Baghdadi scurrying to the hole in which he died. [That] was the fruit of Trump’s decision-making. Obama’s efforts against ISIS were hampered by the White House’s caution and micromanagement. Trump unleashed the U.S. military… resulting in the rout of the caliphate.”
The media and far-Left will never give President Trump his due, but the American people aren’t fooled. Considering where we were 20 years ago — the same dilemma, same circumstances with the impeachment — it’s hard to deny: this is what real leadership looks like.
Originally published here.
International Harvesters Let out China’s Gory Secret
“For a long time, the scene in the van that day played over and over in my mind — how a living being just like us had his organs ripped out while he was still alive, and the frightful pain and fear in his eyes as he looked up at me. My heart couldn’t bear it.” —George Zheng, former medical student, China
George will never wake up from the nightmare he lived in the early 1990s. That’s how long it’s been, many experts believe, since the human organ trade in China began. Even now, George says, the horrible memory of that day “cannot be erased. All those years, I didn’t want to touch it… because whenever I mentioned it, I could not hold myself together.” He, like countless other doctors and nurses in the communist regime, know the horror exists — because they saw it with their own eyes.
Annie, who escaped to the U.S., talked about her husband, a brain surgeon, who used to drive to the hospital immediately after his cell phone rang. It meant the arrival of a new group of Falun Gong or other dissidents, whose bodies were about to be subjected to the most excruciating form of human torture. “Some practitioners were still breathing after their organs were removed against their will,” she says, “but they were thrown into the hospital’s incinerator anyway.” Her husband, she says, forcibly removed over 2,000 corneas alone. “Every time he did this, he got lots of money and cash awards — several dozen times his normal salary … hundreds of thousands of U.S. dollars,” she explains.
She didn’t find out until 2003, when her husband was having horrible nightmares. He would wake up screaming and terrified, Annie remembers. “He would stare blankly at the TV. When our child or I touched him, he would shriek. I found him becoming abnormal. He told me, ‘You have no idea of my agony. These Falun Gong practitioners were alive. It would be okay if we removed organs from dead bodies, but these people were truly alive.’”
Men and women like her husband would disappear — transferring to other cities or changing their names and living in secret. Anything to get away. But, as Ethan Gutmann explained Monday on “Washington Watch,” there is no getting away from the truth in China, which is that this explosion of communist organ harvesting isn’t going away. “Every province in China has a couple of major hospitals, transplant hospitals, and they’re going full tilt,” he warns. “We’re looking at something like 10 to 20 billion-dollar industry at this point.”
Now, as the global concern over the persecution of the country’s Uyghurs rise, there are new fears that the Muslim minority is next in line for organ harvesting. As many as two million are already wasting away in concentration camps for their beliefs, where they would be easy pickings for a regime with no sense of humanity. These are enterprising communists, the New York Post points out, since “China is not just ridding itself of troublesome minorities, it is profiting mightily in the process.”
“China has accounted for more than 85 percent of the total number of live organ transplants in the world since 2000,” according to one whistleblowing doctor. And that means the number of people who’ve witnessed the country’s massive operation are growing. At one lecture, Ethan said, a man raised his hand and said he didn’t have a question, but he wanted people to know: he was a surgeon and had done this with his own hands. Not because he wanted to — but because he was forced.
He remembers his team being taken to the execution grounds and told to take out the kidneys and liver of a man who had been shot. “The heart was still beating, and the blood was still pumping. [When] this man actually did the first cut, the [victim’s] body rebelled, but he was weak. [The doctor] took out the organs and then tried to stitch the guy back up.”
To the NBA and Hollywood, or corporate giants like Apple and Google, the price of speaking up on behalf of victims like these is too great. Apparently, they’re only social justice warriors for people who can put money in their pockets. “It’s impossible to keep these moral monsters happy in the long run,” the editors of the New York Post warn about China. But too many businesses are trying. “We’ve always believed that open societies are inherently stronger than tyrannical ones. But for that to hold, freedom has to matter more than greed.”
Originally published here.
Sons of (Gender) Anarchy
Divorced parents Jeff Younger and Anne Georgulas don’t have a lot in common anymore — including, as most Americans know by now, their young son. Anne wants their seven-year-old to be able to wear girl’s clothes and eventually take puberty blockers to change his identity. His father, Jeff, Governor Greg Abbott (R-Texas), Donald Trump Jr., Texas legislators, and concerned parents everywhere disagree.
For a lot of people, the case of this second grader is about a lot more than one family — it’s about our culture at large. In a world where self-expression seems to trump kids’ health, well-being, common-sense, and safety, the Younger family story is a scary sign of where America is headed if more people don’t stand up and speak out. Fortunately for this young boy, everyone from the Texas governor to the state’s lieutenant governor are doing exactly that. Not only is the state department of Family and Protective Services looking into the case, but other high-profile conservatives are determined to #ProtectJamesYounger.
As far as Texas State Rep. Matt Krause (R) is concerned, the time has come to take action — not just for this boy, but for thousands of kids across the country who are too young and too confused to make this dangerous choice. Monday, on “Washington Watch,” he talked about why he plans to introduce legislation that would protect children from harmful drugs like puberty blockers. “I think you’ve hit the nail on the head a couple of times when you reemphasize this is a seven-year-old child,” he told me. “I don’t know hardly any other area in culture today where we allow seven-year-olds to make such momentous decisions, especially life altering ones, irreparable ones if things go wrong.”
And if the media thinks conservatives are the only ones who feel this way, they’re wrong, Matt says.
“You know, honestly, I don’t even think this is a partisan issue at this point. I’ve talked to others who disagree with me on many issues, who have a different ideology on a lot of political issues with me, but they even said, ‘At seven years old, you can’t make these decisions and know exactly what you’re asking me to do.’ And on top of that, you certainly shouldn’t do it any time in a situation like this where the two parents have different ideas. It would be one thing if both parents felt one way and the child felt the same way — even then, I think it’s harmful and we shouldn’t do it. But in this instance, you have a child who doesn’t really know what he wants to do here. One parent pushing one way and the other parent trying to stop that. That should not happen here in Texas. Nobody should have to go through that situation again. When you get older, if that’s what you want to do. I understand. But we’re not going to allow that for young children…
While the radical Left tries to frame this as the next bathroom debate, leaders like Matt understand that this isn’t just a case of social conservatives trying to stir things up. "What this is, is a common-sense realization that this should not be happening in Texas. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an election year, whether it’s a battleground state, or whether Texas is going to coast into being a red territory again. It doesn’t matter. It has nothing to do with the politics. It has to do with the policy.” Unfortunately for the leaders of the state, the legislative session just ended. Matt regrets not addressing it then, but vows that his colleagues won’t make that mistake the next time around. “Now we need to take steps to make sure we don’t miss that opportunity again.”
Originally published here.
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.