Thursday, August 27, 2015

Weaponizing Migrants


Europeans ought to be demanding Uncle Sam’s head on a silver platter, and those of their own leaders on pikes.
Thanks to 25 years of lunatic U.S. foreign policy initiatives and relentless military aggressions, the steady drip of illegal immigration into Europe from Africa and the Middle East has become a crisis of refugees. Not only has the U.S. killed and maimed at least a million people and displaced millions more, it has destroyed the property – water, sanitation and transport systems – that support the networks of trade and commerce essential to the survival of developed human communities. The U.S. has  salted great swaths of the Middle East with the desiccated and irradiated debris of war. Disease and contagions lurk in shadows while the agents of violence march in the noonday sun.
Think about it. How many millions might truly have no place to go?
The worst consequence of the U.S.’s attempt to remodel the Middle East may prove to be having opened the gates to a mass migration the likes of which Europe hasn’t seen for centuries. If so, then Christian Europe will be swallowed up.
Europe’s decision to outsource its defense to the American occupiers after World War II freed up the financing for an increasingly prosperous Europe to build welfare states that in time grew so generous as to challenge the viability of the competing structures of Church and Family and led, higgledy-piggledy, to a demographic crisis. Fewer and fewer western European nations enjoy a replacement birth rate. It is not improbable that a migrant population of size composed largely of of young, unattached males could overwhelm Europe’s single rising population of white-haired burghers and villeins.
There is precedent for such an outcome.
The remnants of Rome and those tribes already settled in the west of what is the Eurasian continent sorted themselves out through episodic wars and fantastic intrigues into various kingdoms and principalities that became, more or less, the prototypes of the nations of Europe.
The East, however, was shaped by ongoing mass migrations out of Asia and the Middle East. In what is today’s Ukraine, Crimea, Caucuses, and Turkey, waves of migrants wreaked havoc on established polities.
Kingdoms and empires rose and fell. Entire populations vanished from the historical record.
When the Russians showed up a thousand years ago, they first put down roots along the northern slopes of the Carpathian mountains only to move onto the open steppe near where Kiev stands today. To retain those broad, open lands which lay across essential trade routes, the Russians were compelled to fend off the Pechenegs, then the Torks, then the Cumans, only to succumb for nearly 300 years to the Mongols, who were led at different times by two of history’s fiercest conquerors, Ghengis Khan and Batu.
To escape the Mongol horde, the Russians migrated northward to forested lands so dense a horse, and thus a Mongol, could not pass. After some centuries, the Moscow princes succeeded in throwing off the Mongol yoke. Their reward?  Two hundred more years of wars involving Poland, Lithuania, Cossacks, and rebellious serfs before Imperial Russia could reclaim the steppes only to have to again fight the earlier invaders’ descendants then on return trips from the West; Poland, Lithuania, and a new contender, Sweden.
It is an echo of history that Poland, Lithuania and Sweden are the very European nations which initiated and continue to sponsor the E.U.’s Eastern Partnership Treaty, whose  rejection by the corrupt but elected Yanukovich government delivered the premise and the conditions for the U.S.-manufactured 2014 coup in Ukraine. In time, Ukraine delivered to Russia at least a million Ukrainian refugees (registered and unregistered) fleeing the subsequent civil war in their homeland.
Once burdened with a failing Ukraine it did not know or understand, Europe then found itself obliged to enter into the sanctions regime against Russia the U.S. demanded in the wake of Crimea’s vote for the third time in the last quarter of a century to exit Ukraine and re-unite with Russia. In July 2014, the U.S.’s repeated and spurious charges that Russia was responsible for the shoot down of a passenger jet which Ukrainian air controllers had inexplicably re-routed over their own country’s war zone in the east stage-managed the world’s emotions to a fever pitch.  Absurd characterizations of, and allegations against, Vladimir Putin littered the pages of the lamestream media.
Constant pressure from Nato alarmists and chest beaters for Europe to up its military game succeeded in getting the EU’s further agreement for the alliance to station missiles and men along Russia’s border from the Black Sea to the Baltic, an unnecessary provocation for which only Poland and Lithuania clamored.  A posturing Nato has yet to squeeze out of the Europeans a firm commitment to increase their contributions to Nato funding.
The Russians for their part are alert to both their Eastern border with Ukraine, the venue of the U.S.’s most recent weapons and personnel dump, and to possible incursions into the Caucuses along the motherland’s southern border by armed bands of ISIS fighters.
As U.S. bellicosity continues its pursuit of mayhem in the Middle East, the numbers of refugees arriving in Italy and Greece by boat from Libya are growing exponentially. From refugee camps in southern Europe the migrants travel northward to the more fiscally fit and generous welfare states.
An April estimate of an expected  300,000 refugees into Germany grew to 800,000 by mid-August and that figure too will need revision by year’s end. The situation is the same across Europe. Hungary is building a fence along its border with Serbia and installing 1,000s of police officers to patrol it in defiance of EU demands for each member of the union to accept quotas of refugees. Macedonia has declared a state of emergency over the influx, her border police forces having been overwhelmed. The entrance to the Eurotunnel at the port of Calais on France’s northern coast is the site of daily battles between police and migrants seeking entry into Great Britain. Reports of loud demonstrations of citizens demanding protection have become common while violent incidents between locals and migrants are on the rise.
Most telling of all is the Latvian Ambassador’s recent declaration to Nato that the biggest threat his country is facing is not from Russia but from the inflow of Ukrainian refugees and the outflow of its own native population.
On Thursday last, Nicolas Bonnal, writing for the French website Boulevard Voltaire, reported on an Austrian magazine’s scoop – courtesy of leaks from military intelligence stationed in Vienna – that the U.S. government is paying guides and middlemen who bring migrants to Europe across the Mediterranean Sea. The original Info-Direkt article reported that the guides are well-equipped with technology, and are old hands at working Facebook, Twitter and Skype, as were the agents who instigated the Arab Spring.
With the targets of “color revolutions” having caught on to the CIA’s game of sedition, has inducing mass migrations meant to re-jigger the world so as to better serve their global purposes become the very latest weapon in the U.S. neo-cons’ arsenal?
It’s hard to credit the idea that Hillary Clinton, then the U.S. Secretary of State, didn’t understand the consequences of the “responsibility to protect” attack on Libya she and her foreign policy gal pals cooked up around the boiling cauldron that is U.S. foreign policy. Muammar Gaddafi himself loudly warned both Italy and France, who so unwisely joined in the U.S.-instigated Libyan melee, of the flood of refugees that would come from toppling his gatekeeper government.
But why would a flood of refugees into Europe interest U.S. policymakers?
Possibly because the U.S.’s many attempts to bait Russia into attacking Ukrainian armed forces and thereby scare up increased Nato funding from the alliance’s membership have proved a risible failure. Flooding Europe with “swarms” of refugees just might convince Europeans that there is a useful purpose an expanding Nato presence could fulfill immediately.
Those same U.S. policymakers are actively working to inundate the U.S. with millions of  migrants from Mexico and Central America, another imperial playground, on the flimsy  basis of a Barack Obama Executive Order. Eager for a youthful, docile, dependent and cheap population of worker bees, the U.S. federal government is now engaged in draining the last wealth of the American middle class for use in settling and supporting many millions of immigrants, whose children will become the future taxpayers and voters the grotesquely obese federal government requires for its own future survival.
At last then, the long-sought weapons of mass destruction have been located. We can see them clearly now: They are Africa’s and the Middle East’s desperate and dispossessed migrants, and Central America’s young and unwitting illegals, of “the free world’s” creation, and they are on the move.

The former Soviet Union and Russia have long been a focus of Anne Williamson’s journalism. Ms. Williamson lives overseas and has recently founded a new company, Lok-N-Load Media, which will examine decentralism and entrepreneurialism in both Europe and the United States with a particular emphasis on unemployed youths’ and local communities’ bootstrapping efforts. 
The Best of Anne Williamson

Can the Illegal Vote in 2016 be Stopped?

On the assumption that, as a bloc, illegal aliens will vote for Democrats, Obama and the Democrats are recruiting illegal aliens to vote in 2016 Texas Federal Judge Andrew Hanen issued a ruling against Obama’s directive for DHS to stop deportation procedures against illegals. His 123-page opinion states clearly that the DHS was not given any 'discretion by law' to grant 4.3 million removable aliens 'legal presence.'" Judge Hanen wrote. "In fact, the law mandates that these illegally-present individuals be removed.”
In defiance of this order, Obama issued three-year amnesty permission to several thousand illegals. In response to this unlawful move, Judge Hanen warned that these permits must be retrieved by the end of July. Anyone who refuses to return them will forfeit amnesty and be subject to immediate deportation. DHS claims to be complying with the order, but if they do not succeed, DHS Director Jeh Johnson will stand in Judge Hanen’s court to explain why. Judge Hanen is quoted as saying that “the Court intends to utilize all available powers to compel compliance.” But, notwithstanding Judge Hanen’s valid intentions, this all may prove a pyrrhic victory, because illegals already in the US are being issued drivers licenses which allow them to register automatically to vote, and, while it is illegal for anyone not a US citizen to vote in US elections, under severe penalties, the Democrats hope that enough fraudulent votes will be cast to create overwhelming confusion to electoral outcomes as to make corrections a prohibitively expensive and drawn out process.
The recent decision by the US Supreme Court prohibiting states from imposing ID requirements for registration further complicates the issue. And, to make their intentions even clearer, Liberal Democrats on the DC City Council proposed that non-citizens who have permanent residence be allowed to vote in their local elections. The camel’s nose is in the tent; the non-citizen vote in local elections sets a precedent for expanding this rule to larger elections. In such a case, the GOP primary wouldn’t matter, because enough legitimate votes would be nullified to allow non-citizen votes to rule. Add to that the fact that through massive voter fraud from refugees granted asylum, visa recipients, states issuing driver’s licenses and ID cards to illegals and the Supreme Court decision that nobody needs to show proof-of-citizenship when registering to vote and when casting a vote, especially by mail-in ballot, the votes of legitimate American citizens could be permanently nullified.
voter fraudThere seems to be only one solution on the horizon if the states themselves will act. The state legislatures of Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and any Republican majority northern states must pass
legislation making it a state crime for any non-citizen to vote in any election held in that state, violations to be punishable by five years and a $100,000.00 fine.
If the states can't check their citizenship when they register there is nothing to stop the states from checking afterwards.
This will not be easy. As author Ed Wood points out in his article entitled Voter Fraud Time Again, appearing in the July 20, 2015 edition of Freedom Outpost, there are multiple mechanisms in place to produce massive voting fraud that will neutralize legal votes and create an almost guaranteed landslide for Democrats. He cites:
Electronic vote tabulation (which can be manipulated); Voter intimidation at the polling place as was done in past elections by organizations such as the Black Panthers; Multiple registrations in two or more states; Same day registration and voting; On-line voting; Swamping Election Offices with thousands of last-minute voter registrations (the signatures on which may be fraudulent, but unverifiable with insufficient time to investigate them by Election Day, and so are often just approved); Voting outside the precinct of residence; Universal voter registration; Felon voting (Note that Obama visited a federal prison last week, where he commuted the sentences of 64 felons—read that “voters”).
The aforementioned solution would not address is the exorbitant cost of providing benefits to illegals, because that cost, while borne by American taxpayers, is not controlled by the states. Only Congress can remove these benefits and that is unlikely, because Republicans too enjoy the benefit of extremely cheap labor provided by illegals, while ignoring costs. Thus, they actually help Democrats to changing demographics in their favor.
illegals votePeople like Judge Andrew Hanen stand on the battlements, but do so while ordinary Americans sit silently by and watch the carnival in Washington DC. But, measures must to be taken. Donald Trump was not wrong. Mexico exports its undesirables to the US. Statistics support that our country is flooded with drug traffickers, gang members, rapists, thieves and other criminals. The dangers of illegal immigration are real and threatening.
In the January 30, 2015 Washington Times, Stephen Dinan reported data released by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley that “One thousand of the 36,000 illegal immigrant criminals the government released in 2013 have gone on to commit other crimes, including child sex abuse, hit-and-run and child cruelty…” The article also cites drunken-driving, drug offenses, weapons convictions, domestic abuse, carjacking, aggravated assault, child cruelty, probation violations, speeding, driving without a license, and failing to appear in court.
No specific detail is given about gang involvement, but the probability is substantial. In a July 23, 2014 report on entitled “Illegal Immigration and Gangs” author Michael Snyder writes that one out of every five illegal aliens has a criminal record. These include rapists, murderers, drug dealers and hardcore gang members. The author quotes Texas State Senator Dan Patrick saying that illegal immigrants have been formally charged with nearly half a million crimes in his state over the past four years alone.  He also says there are “at least 100,000 illegal immigrant gang members” living in Texas. Patrick also said that from 2008 to 2012, 143,000 illegal immigrant criminals arrested and jailed in Texas were “hardened criminals, gang members, and other criminals.”
Notwithstanding efforts by a bloated Federal government to intimidate states out or their 10th Amendment prerogatives, states can seize back their legitimate states’ rights by taking a stand against encroachments against them. Admittedly, this may be costly, as when Arizona had to spend money defending its right to enforce existing immigration law by questioning the immigration status of suspects. The legal battle is said to have cost millions paid by Arizona taxpayers.
Even winning against the Federal government is costly. When 26 states sued the Federal Government in the case ultimately decided by Judge Hanen, the Federal government did not pay the states’ legal fees. But the fight, however costly, must be waged. Federal policy has gradually moved leftward over the past decades, regardless of which party occupies the White House or Congress. And Mr. Obama’s imperious attitude and lawless issuance of Directives verges on totalitarian dictatorship. Only the states can stop Obama and his cronies in their destruction of the American system.

FJ Rocca is an independent, conservative writer/blogger of fiction and non-fiction, most interested in the philosophy of American Conservatism. He believes that wisdom is greater than the sum of facts, that clarity is more important that eloquence, and that truth is vital to human discourse. He is a published illustrator, novelist and essayist. He may be contacted directly at

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Originalist Case Against Birthright Citizenship

The American people are being told by the political class that there is nothing they can do to prevent future waves of illegal immigrants from coming here, unilaterally declaring political and legal jurisdiction, and securing citizenship for their children. We are told that there is no recourse through our elected representatives to prevent illegal immigrants from gaining a legal foothold in this country all because of a footnote from the most radical anti-originalist justice of this century, William Brennan Jr.
If you are scratching your head wondering how our own Constitution can be used as a suicide pact against us by foreign countries, you are not missing anything. This irrational sentiment expressed by a number of conservative and liberal pundits alike, in fact, undermines the very fabric of the social contract, popular sovereignty, and the republican form of government established by the preamble of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
Mandated Birthright Citizenship Even for Legal Immigrants is a Big Stretch
Let’s put aside everything we believe as conservatives for a moment and take the activist ruling of Wong Kim Ark [169 U.S. 649 (1898)] as impregnable constitutional law. As such, the 14th Amendment would compel Congress and the Executive agencies to grant citizenship to all children of legal immigrants. Although we all agree as a matter of policy that it is a good idea to grant children born to legal permanent residents citizenship, by accepting the 1898 court decision as settled law, thereby enshrining birthright citizenship into our Constitution, we’d have to swallow the following ridiculous notions:

We’d be adopting one-directional stare decisis of an activist court that overturned two previous court decisions: the 1873 Slaughterhouse Cases and Elk v. Wilkins (1884). In those cases, the Supreme Court made it clear that the original intent of the 14th Amendment was primarily to grant equal rights to freed black slaves and that the phrase “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” required that the petitioner for citizenship be “completely subject to their political jurisdiction, and owing them direct and immediate allegiance.” These cases excluded children born to foreign diplomats and Native American Indians and were quite clear that the meaning of the 14th Amendment would not include all children of immigrants – most of whom would have been covered by less political jurisdiction than even those born on Indian reservations, which were partially under U.S. jurisdiction. [See more from Prof. John Eastman at NRO on defining jurisdiction]
We’d be overturning the most logical meaning of the text of the Citizenship Clause, rendering the second phrase all but superfluous.
We’d be ignoring the intent of the drafters of this amendment who clearly had no intention to mandate birthright citizenship for all immigrants [see more in the Eastman article]. While originalists like to focus on text, in this case the text fits in exactly with the intent of the drafters, as demonstrated by the Senate floor debate.
We’d be adopting the revolutionary-era feudal system of English Common law rooted in the fact that men are subjects of the state by virtue of being born on the soil. This is antithetical to the consent-based notion of citizenship expressed by our Founders. Although many of our laws are built upon common law, this certainly was not one of them, and this segregation-era court was incorporating it into American law, ironically, at a time when England was abandoning feudalism. As Thomas Jefferson wrote precisely in a discussion on immigration in Notes on the State of Virginia [Query 8, 211], our Constitution is a composition of the “freest principles of the English constitution.”
By adopting jus soli as a constitutional mandate (not just policy) for automatic citizenship based on soil, and not jus sanguinis – right of blood – all children born to American citizens abroad would not automatically be citizens, as noted by then-Chief Justice Fuller in his dissent in Wong Kim Ark.
Fuller further noted in his masterful dissent that by mandating automatic citizenship for all children of immigrants – no matter the circumstances – the Fourteenth Amendment would have the power “to cut off the legislative power from dealing with the subject.” Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution grants Congress plenary power over naturalizations. Fuller observes that, “the right of a nation to expel or deport foreigners who have not been naturalized or taken any steps toward becoming citizens of a country is as absolute and unqualified as the right to prohibit and prevent their entrance into the country.” Unless there would be no other way to read the plain language of the 14th Amendment other than a mandate granting territorial jurisdiction instead of political jurisdiction (before 1898 nobody read it this way), it is simply imprudent to interpret it in the most stringent way – having the effect of almost completely voiding out an enumerated power of the people’s representatives governing the most vital aspect of a society.
Extrapolating Birthright to Illegals Countermands the Social Contract and all Semblance of Sovereignty
Freeze frame at this point.
Accepting the notion of automatic birthright citizenship for legal immigrants as a constitutional mandate is hard enough to swallow. Yet, the conservative pundits in the political class want to extrapolate this terrible decision to children of illegal immigrants. As if it wasn’t enough to accept the activist 1898 court case from the segregationist justices, proponents of anchor citizenship for illegal immigrants rely on footnote 10 in William Brennan’s Plylor v. Doe (1982) opinion – a decision that absurdly forced taxpayers to fund K-12 education for illegal immigrants.
In that footnote, which is nothing more than dicta (non-binding comments not relevant to the case), Brennan quotes “one early commentator” noting that “given the historical emphasis on geographic territoriality, bounded only, if at all, by principles of sovereignty and allegiance, no plausible distinction with respect to Fourteenth Amendment ‘jurisdiction’ can be drawn between resident aliens whose entry into the United States was lawful, and resident aliens whose entry was unlawful.”
There you have it, until the end of time, American citizens – through their elected representatives – have no recourse to prevent future illegal immigrants from obtaining citizenship against the will of the people – because of the non-binding footnote of the most radical justice of the 20th century, which in itself, relied on a decision reversing precedent and relying on the English feudal system.
In reality, there is a huge difference between the legal permanent resident who was the subject of the 1898 court case and the illegal immigrants of today, even if we were to fully accept the concept of birthright citizenship based on nothing more than geographical jurisdiction. The justices in Wong awarded the child citizenship because his Chinese immigrant parents were “domiciled” in America (legally, before the ban on Chinese immigration). As Prof. Eastman notes, “Domicile” is a legal term of art; it means “a person’s legal home,” according to Black’s law dictionary, and is often used synonymously with “citizenship.” Undoubtedly, those here in contravention to our laws, unlike Wong Kim Ark’s parents, cannot unilaterally declare domicile in our country.
And this all leads to a much more fundamental and vital discussion about sovereignty. There is simply no way our Constitution can prohibit our elected representatives from preventing illegal immigrants from driving their pregnant wives to the border, and assuming the border patrol fails to catch the speeding vehicle in time – poof! – that baby is a citizen.
First, as noted before, Article 1 Section 8 grants Congress plenary power over naturalization. By mandating automatic citizenship to babies born in the aforementioned case, that would completely strip the ability of Congress to exercise the most basic regulation over naturalization – keeping out those they affirmatively do not want in the country. Certainly, we can say that Section 5 of the 14th Amendment, which grants Congress the power to enforce the other sections of the amendment, would allow them to clarify the Citizenship Clause to the extent that it would not completely countermand their Article 1 power as it relates to illegal aliens who force their will on their constituents – for goodness sakes!
But more fundamentally, the notion that illegal immigrants can unilaterally declare citizenship for their kids against the will of people and the laws duly passed by the people’s representatives, and that those representatives would lack a single recourse to stop it even prospectively, violates the very essence of consent-based citizenship. The notion of consent-based citizenship serves as the bedrock of popular sovereignty, territorial sovereignty, and Republicanism – all built on the social contract. The preamble of the Declaration of Independence was built upon the principle that in order to protect natural rights people are entitled to popular sovereignty – to form a government that derives its powers “from the consent of the governed.”
Professor Edward Erler has been the leading voice observing how birthright citizenship for illegal immigrants, and indeed the entire phenomenon of illegal immigration and their securing of rights and benefits, violates the social contract in the most foundational way. In his book, The Founders on Citizenship and Immigration, Erler writes the following with regards to citizenship and the social contract:
“[T]he social contract requires reciprocal consent. Not only must the individual consent to be governed, but he must also be accepted by the community as a whole. If all persons born within the geographical limits of the United States are to be counted citizens-even those whose parents are in the United States illegally- then this would be tantamount to the conferral of citizenship without the consent of “the whole people.”
Drawing on the writings of our Founders, Erler notes that they clearly envisioned that “new members can be added only with the consent of those who already constitute civil society.” He cites Madison who wrote that, “in the case of naturalization a new member is added to the social compact, not only without a unanimous consent of the members, but by a majority of the governing body, deriving its powers from a majority of the individual parties to the social compact.”
Even Wong Kim Ark Court Would Never Mandate Citizenship for Illegal Aliens
Clearly, even the authors of the Wong decision, unlike William Brennan, understood the basic concept of consent-based citizenship, at least as it relates to those who came here illegally. While some intellectuals contend that because there was no real concept of illegal immigration in those days the decision would apply to all aliens, the writings of that very court prove otherwise.
In fact, by that point, pursuant to the immigration laws passed in 1882 and 1891, Congress had already denied admission to the following categories of aliens: “idiots,” the insane, paupers, and polygamists; persons liable to become a public charge; those convicted of a felony or other crime or misdemeanor involving moral depravity; and sufferers “from a loathsome or dangerous” contagious disease. They also passed the Chinese Exclusion Act banning all new immigration from China. The Immigration Act of 1891 created a new office, the Commissioner of Immigration within the Treasury Department, vested with the power to inspect new immigrants and potentially deny them entry if they were deemed inadmissible under one of the criteria.
In Nishimura Ekiu v. United States (1892), a Japanese woman sued immigration officials for denying her entry on account of her being a supposed public charge. She claimed that her due process was violated because she was not afforded the opportunity to present her case. And no, she was not even asserting the dubious modern substantive due process violation in pursuit of new fundamental rights; she was merely alleging a procedural due process violation. Yet, Justice Gray – the same author of the Wong decision – not only rejected her claim, he noted that the courts shouldn’t even have the jurisdiction to second guess legislative and executive decisions on immigration. Here are the relevant quotes with my emphasis added:
“It is an accepted maxim of international law that every sovereign nation has the power, as inherent in sovereignty, and essential to self-preservation, to forbid the entrance of foreigners within its dominions, or to admit them only in such cases and upon such conditions as it may see fit to prescribe. Vat. Law Nat. lib. 2, §§ 94, 100; 1 Phillim. Int. Law, (3d Ed.) c. 10, § 220. In the United States this power is vested in the national government, to which the constitution has committed the entire control of international relations, in peace as well as in war. It belongs to the political department of the government, and may be exercised either through treaties made by the president and senate, or through statutes enacted by congress, upon whom the constitution has conferred power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, including the entrance of ships, the importation of goods, and the bringing of persons into the ports of the United States; to establish a uniform rule of naturalization; to declare war, and to provide and maintain armies and navies; and to make all laws which may be necessary and proper for carrying into effect these powers and all other powers vested by the constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof. […]
“It is not within the province of the judiciary to order that foreigners who have never been naturalized, nor acquired any domicile or residence within the United States, nor even been admitted into the country pursuant to law, shall be permitted to enter, in opposition to the constitutional and lawful measures of the legislative and executive branches of the national government. As to such persons, the decisions of executive or administrative officers, acting within powers expressly conferred by congress, are due process of law.
Here we have the very activist author of the decision used as the foundation for the birthright argument clearly expressing the basic concept that Congress has the ability to control the nation’s sovereignty. It would require preposterous mental gymnastics to assume that, had this Japanese woman given birth at the port the day she was interviewed by the immigration officer, Justice Gray would have conferred citizenship on that baby – against the will of the people’s representatives.
Where is the Voice of the people on immigration?
The reason the birthright discussion is so important is because it sheds so much light on the transmogrification of the judicial system as it relates to popular sovereignty and the social contract. Not only do we have judges like Brennan bestowing citizenship and education rights on illegal immigrants from the high perches of the bench, they have invalidated almost every attempt by the states and federal government to keep out illegal immigrants. A California judge recently invalidated detention for all illegal immigrants with children, essentially mandating their irrevocable disappearance into the American population.
In addition to the courts, we have unelected bureaucrats and the U.N. transforming entire communities through refugee resettlements without the consent of the people. And although our current immigration system was formed by the Hart-Cellar Act (“Kennedy bill”) in 1965, the supporters of the bill lied to the American people and publicly ruled out the transformational outcome that indeed took place. For decades, illegal aliens have been counted in the census and have now permanently distorted the very representation the civil society needs to fight on behalf of their sovereignty.
What ever happened to the voice of the people?
Immigration transformation pursued outside of the democratic process is even worse than having courts decide societal issues, such as abortion and gay marriage, in what Justice Scalia calls “societal transformation without representation.” The courts have now empowered themselves to unilaterally and immutably change civil society itself – without any recourse from those the Constitution vested with making such decisions. How far we have deviated from the Founders’ vision that even so-called conservatives support the idea of changing the civil society without the consent of its citizens.
Indeed, the issue of birthright citizenship for illegal immigrants is not just a tangential topic within immigration. It cuts to the very core of how illegal immigrants are able to coerce their will on the American citizenry and the broader issue of sovereignty. This runs much deeper than the 14th Amendment. The question for policy-makers has moved beyond whether we will survive as a nation as our Founder’s envisioned. We have already deviated so far from that vision. It’s a question of whether we are a nation at all. (Re-posted with permission, “The Originalist Case Against Birthright Citizenship” originally appeared HERE)


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Don’t Be Fooled by the Political Game: The Illusion of Freedom in America

Exposing Nixon’s Vietnam Lies

Exclusive: After resigning over the Watergate political-spying scandal, President Nixon sought to rewrite the history of his Vietnam War strategies to deny swapping lives for political advantage, but newly released documents say otherwise, writes James DiEugenio.

By James DiEugenio

Richard Nixon spent years rebuilding his tattered reputation after he resigned from office in disgrace on Aug. 9, 1974. The rehabilitation project was codenamed “The Wizard.” The idea was to position himself as an elder statesman of foreign policy, a Wise Man. And to a remarkable degree – through the sale of his memoirs, his appearance with David Frost in a series of highly rated interviews, and the publication of at least eight books after that – Nixon largely succeeded in his goal.
There was another aspect of that plan: to do all he could to keep his presidential papers and tapes classified, which, through a series of legal maneuvers, he managed to achieve in large part. Therefore, much of what he and Henry Kissinger wrote about in their memoirs could stand, largely unchallenged.
President Richard Nixon with his then-National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger in 1972.
President Richard Nixon with his then-National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger in 1972.
It was not until years after his death that the bulk of the Nixon papers and tapes were opened up to the light of day. And Kissinger’s private papers will not be declassified until five years after his death. With that kind of arrangement, it was fairly easy for Nixon to sell himself as the Sage of San Clemente, but two new books based on the long-delayed declassified record – one by Ken Hughes and the other by William Burr and Jeffrey Kimball – undermine much of Nixon’s rehabilitation.
For instance, in 1985 – at the peak of President Ronald Reagan’s political power – Nixon wrote No More Vietnams, making several dubious claims about the long conflict which included wars of independence by Vietnam against both France and the United States.
In the book, Nixon tried to insinuate that Vietnam was not really one country for a very long time and that the split between north and south was a natural demarcation. He also declared that the Vietnam War had been won under his administration, and he insisted that he never really considered bombing the irrigation dikes, using tactical nuclear weapons, or employing the strategy of a “decent interval” to mask an American defeat for political purposes.
Nixon’s Story
In No More Vietnams, Nixon said that after going through a series of option papers furnished to him by National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, he decided on a five-point program for peace in Vietnam. (Nixon, pgs. 104-07) This program consisted of Vietnamization, i. e., turning over the fighting of the war to the South Vietnamese army (the ARVN); pacification, which was a clear-and-hold strategy for maintaining territory in the south; diplomatic isolation of North Vietnam from its allies, China and the Soviet Union; peace negotiations with very few preconditions; and gradual withdrawal of American combat troops. Nixon asserted that this program was successful.
But the currently declassified record does not support Nixon’s version of history, either in the particulars of what was attempted or in Nixon’s assessment of its success.
When Richard Nixon came into office he was keenly aware of what had happened to his predecessor Lyndon Johnson, who had escalated the war to heights that President Kennedy had never imagined, let alone envisaged. The war of attrition strategy that LBJ and General William Westmoreland had decided upon did not work. And the high American casualties it caused eroded support for the war domestically. Nixon told his Chief of Staff Bob Haldeman that he would not end up like LBJ, a prisoner in his own White House.
Therefore, Nixon wanted recommendations that would shock the enemy, even beyond the massive bombing campaigns and other bloody tactics employed by Johnson. As authors Burr and Kimball note in their new book Nixon’s Nuclear Specter, Nixon was very much influenced by two modes of thought.
First, as Vice President from 1953-61, he was under the tutelage of Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and President Dwight Eisenhower, who advocated a policy of nuclear brinksmanship, that is the willingness to threaten nuclear war if need be. Dulles felt that since the United States had a large lead in atomic weapons that the Russians would back down in the face of certain annihilation.
Nixon was also impressed by the alleged threat of President Eisenhower to use atomic weapons if North Korea and China did not bargain in good faith to end the Korean War. Nixon actually talked about this in a private meeting with southern politicians at the 1968 GOP convention. (Burr and Kimball, Chapter 2)
Dulles also threatened to use atomic weapons in Vietnam. Burr and Kimball note the proposal by Dulles to break the Viet Minh’s siege of French troops at Dien Bien Phu by a massive air mission featuring the use of three atomic bombs. Though Nixon claimed in No More Vietnams that the atomic option was not seriously considered (Nixon, p. 30), the truth appears to have been more ambiguous, that Nixon thought the siege could be lifted without atomic weapons but he was not against using them. Eisenhower ultimately vetoed their use when he could not get Great Britain to go along.
Playing the Madman
Later, when in the Oval Office, Nixon tempered this nuclear brinksmanship for the simple reason that the Russians had significantly closed the gap in atomic stockpiles. So, as Burr and Kimball describe it, Nixon and Kissinger wanted to modify the Eisenhower-Dulles brinksmanship with the “uncertainty effect” – or as Nixon sometimes called it, the Madman Theory. In other words, instead of overtly threatening to use atomic bombs, Nixon would have an intermediary pass on word to the North Vietnamese leadership that Nixon was so unhinged that he might resort to nuclear weapons if he didn’t get his way. Or, as Nixon explained to Haldeman, if you act crazy, the incredible becomes credible:
“They’ll believe any threat of force that Nixon makes because it’s Nixon. I call it the Madman Theory, Bob. I want the North Vietnamese to believe I’ve reached the point where I might do anything to stop the war. We’ll just slip the word to them that ‘for God’s sake you know Nixon is obsessed about communism. We can’t restrain him when he’s angry — and he has his hand on the nuclear button.’”
Nixon believed this trick would work, saying “Ho Chi Minh himself will be in Paris in two days begging for peace.”
Kissinger once told special consultant Leonard Garment to convey to the Soviets that Nixon was somewhat nutty and unpredictable. Kissinger bought into the concept so much so that he was part of the act: the idea was for Nixon to play the “bad cop” and Kissinger the “good cop.”
Another reason that Nixon and Kissinger advocated the Madman Theory was that they understood that Vietnamization and pacification would take years. And they did not think they could sustain public opinion on the war for that long. Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird and Secretary of State William Rogers both thought they could, their opinions were peripheral because Nixon and Kissinger had concentrated the foreign policy apparatus in the White House.
Playing for Time
Privately, Nixon did not think America could win the war, so he wanted to do something unexpected, shocking, “over the top.” As Burr and Kimball note, in 1969, Nixon told his speechwriters Ray Price, Pat Buchanan and Richard Whalen: “I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s no way to win the war. But we can’t say that, of course. In fact we have to seem to say the opposite, just to keep some degree of bargaining leverage.”
In a phone call with Kissinger, Nixon said, “In Saigon, the tendency is to fight the war for victory. … But you and I know it won’t happen – it is impossible. Even Gen. Abrams agreed.”
These ideas were expressed very early in 1969 in a document called NSSM-1, a study memorandum – as opposed to an action memorandum – with Kissinger asking for opinions on war strategy from those directly involved. The general consensus was that the other side had “options over which we have little or no control” which would help them “continue the war almost indefinitely.” (ibid, Chapter 3)
Author Ken Hughes in Fatal Politics agrees. Nixon wanted to know if South Vietnam could survive without American troops there. All of the military figures he asked replied that President Nguyen van Thieu’s government could not take on both the Viet Cong and the regular North Vietnamese army. And, the United States could not help South Vietnam enough for it to survive on its own. (Hughes, pgs. 14-15)
As Hughes notes, Nixon understood that this bitter truth needed maximum spin to make it acceptable for the public. So he said, “Shall we leave Vietnam in a way that – by our own actions – consciously turns the country over to the Communists? Or shall we leave in a way that gives the South Vietnamese a reasonable chance to survive as a free people? My plan will end American involvement in a way that will provide that chance.” (ibid, p. 15)
If the U.S. media allowed the argument to be framed like that — which it did — then the hopeless cause did have a political upside. As Kissinger told Nixon, “The only consolation we have … is that the people who put us into this position are going to be destroyed by the right. … They are going to be destroyed. The liberals and radicals are going to be killed. This is, above all, a rightwing country.” (ibid, p. 19)
Could anything be less honest, less democratic or more self-serving? Knowing that their critics were correct, and that the war could not be won, Nixon and Kissinger wanted to portray the people who were right about the war as betraying both America and South Vietnam.
Political Worries
Just how calculated was Nixon about America’s withdrawal from Vietnam? Republican Sen. Hugh Scott warned him about getting out by the end of 1972, or “another man may be standing on the platform” on Inauguration Day 1973. (ibid, p. 23) Nixon told his staff that Scott should not be saying things like this in public.
But, in private, the GOP actually polled on the issue. It was from these polls that Nixon tailored his speeches. He understood that only 39 percent of the public approved a Dec. 31, 1971 withdrawal, if it meant a U.S. defeat. When the question was posed as withdrawal, even if it meant a communist takeover, the percentage declined to 27 percent. Nixon studied the polls assiduously. He told Haldeman, “That’s the word. We say Communist takeover.” (ibid, p. 24)
The polls revealed another hot button issue: getting our POW’s back. This was even more sensitive with the public than the “Communist takeover” issue. Therefore, during a press conference, when asked about Scott’s public warning, Nixon replied that the date of withdrawal should not be related to any election day. The important thing was that he “didn’t want one American to be in Vietnam one day longer than is necessary to achieve the two goals that I have mentioned: the release of our prisoners and the capacity of the South Vietnamese to defend themselves against a Communist takeover.” He then repeated that meme two more times. The press couldn’t avoid it. (Hughes, p. 25)
Still, although Nixon and Kissinger understood they could not win the war in a conventional sense, they were willing to try other methods in the short run to get a better and quicker settlement, especially if it included getting North Vietnamese troops out of South Vietnam. Therefore, in 1969, he and Kissinger elicited suggestions from inside the White House, the Pentagon, the CIA, and Rand Corporation, through Daniel Ellsberg. These included a limited invasion of North Vietnam and Laos, mining the harbors and bombing the north, a full-scale invasion of North Vietnam, and operations in Cambodia.
Or as Kissinger put it, “We should … develop alternate plans for possible escalating military actions with the motive of convincing the Soviets that the war may get out of hand.” Kissinger also said that bombing Cambodia would convey the proper message to Moscow.
If anything shows that Kissinger was as backward in his thinking about Indochina as Nixon, this does. For as Burr and Kimball show — through Dobrynin’s memos to Moscow — the Russians could not understand why the White House would think the Kremlin had such influence with Hanoi. Moscow wanted to deal on a variety of issues, including arms agreements and the Middle East.
So far from Kissinger’s vaunted “linkage” theory furthering the agenda with Russia, it’s clear from Dobrynin that it hindered that agenda. In other words, the remnants of a colonial conflict in the Third World were stopping progress in ameliorating the Cold War. This was the subtotal of the Nixon/Kissinger geopolitical accounting sheet.
Judging Kissinger on Vietnam
Just how unbalanced was Kissinger on Vietnam? In April 1969, there was a shoot-down of an American observation plane off the coast of Korea. When White House adviser John Ehrlichman asked Kissinger how far the escalation could go, Kissinger replied it could go nuclear.
In a memo to Nixon , Kissinger advised using tactical nuclear weapons. He wrote that “all hell would break loose for two months”, referring to domestic demonstrations. But he then concluded that the end result would be positive: “there will be peace in Asia.”
Kissinger was referring, of course, to the effectiveness of the Madman Theory. In reading these two books, it is often hard to decipher who is more dangerous in their thinking, Nixon or Kissinger.
In the first phase of their approach to the Vietnam issue, Nixon and Kissinger decided upon two alternatives. The first was the secret bombing of Cambodia. In his interview with David Frost, Nixon expressed no regrets about either the bombing or the invasion. In fact, he said, he wished he had done it sooner, which is a puzzling statement because the bombing of Cambodia was among the first things he authorized. Nixon told Frost that the bombing and the later invasion of Cambodia had positive results: they garnered a lot of enemy supplies, lowered American casualties in Vietnam, and hurt the Viet Cong war effort.
Frost did not press the former president with the obvious follow-up: But Mr. Nixon, you started another war and you helped depose Cambodia’s charismatic ruler, Prince Sihanouk. And because the Viet Cong were driven deeper into Cambodia, Nixon then began bombing the rest of the country, not just the border areas, leading to the victory of the radical Khmer Rouge and the deaths of more than one million Cambodians.
This all indicates just how imprisoned Nixon and Kissinger were by the ideas of John Foster Dulles and his visions of a communist monolith with orders emanating from Moscow’s Comintern, a unified global movement controlled by the Kremlin. Like the Domino Theory, this was never sound thinking. In fact, the Sino-Soviet border dispute, which stemmed back to 1962, showed that communist movements were not monolithic. So the idea that Moscow could control Hanoi, or that the communists in Cambodia were controlled by the Viet Cong, this all ended up being disastrously wrong.
As Sihanouk told author William Shawcross after the Cambodian catastrophe unfolded, General Lon Nol, who seized power from Prince Sihanouk, was nothing without the military actions of Nixon and Kissinger, and “the Khmer Rouge were nothing without Lon Nol.” (Shawcross, Sideshow, p. 391)
But further, as Shawcross demonstrates, the immediate intent of the Cambodian invasion was to seek and destroy the so-called COSVN, the supposed command-and-control base for the communist forces in South Vietnam supposedly based on the border inside Cambodia. No such command center was ever found. (ibid, p. 171)
Why the Drop in Casualties?
As for Nixon’s other claim, American casualties declined in Indochina because of troop rotation, that is, the ARVN were pushed to the front lines with the Americans in support. Or as one commander said after the Cambodian invasion: it was essential that American fatalities be cut back, “If necessary, we must do it by edict.” (ibid, p. 172)
But this is not all that Nixon tried in the time frame of 1969-70, his first two years in office. At Kissinger’s request he also attempted a secret mission to Moscow by Wall Street lawyer Cyrus Vance. Part of Kissinger’s linkage theory, Vance was to tell the Soviets that if they leaned on Hanoi to accept a Nixonian framework for negotiations, then the administration would be willing to deal on other fronts, and there would be little or no escalation. The negotiations on Vietnam included a coalition government, and the survival of Thieu’s government for at least five years, which would have been two years beyond the 1972 election. (As we shall see, this is the beginning of the final “decent interval” strategy.)
The Vance mission was coupled with what Burr and Kimball call a “mining ruse.” The Navy would do an exercise to try and make the Russians think they were going to mine Haiphong and five other North Vietnamese harbors. Yet, for reasons stated above, Nixon overrated linkage, and the tactic did not work. But as Kissinger said, “If in doubt, we bomb Cambodia.” Which they did.
As the authors note, Nixon had urged President Johnson in 1967 to extend the bombing throughout Indochina, into Cambodia and Laos. Johnson had studied these and other options but found too many liabilities. He had even studied the blockading of ports but concluded that Hanoi would compensate for a blockade in a relatively short time by utilizing overland routes and off-shore unloading.
But what Johnson did not factor in was the Nixon/Kissinger Madman Theory. For example, when a State Department representative brought up the overall military ineffectiveness of the Cambodian bombing, Kissinger replied, “That doesn’t bother me … we’ll hit something.” He also told an assistant, “Always keep them guessing.” The problem was, the “shock effect” ended up being as mythical as linkage.
In 1969, after the failure of the Vance mission, the mining ruse, the warnings to Dobrynin, and the continued bombing of Cambodia, which went on in secret for 14 months, Nixon still had not given up on his Madman Theory. He sent a message to Hanoi saying that if a resolution was not in the works by November, “he will regretfully find himself obliged to have recourse to measures of great consequence and force.”
What were these consequences? Nixon had wanted to mine Haiphong for a long time. But, as did Johnson, he was getting different opinions about its effectiveness. So he considered massive interdiction bombing of the north coupled with a blockade of Sihanoukville, the Cambodian port that was part of the Ho Chi Minh trail apparatus on the west coast of Cambodia.
Plus one other tactic: Kissinger suggested to his staff that the interdiction bombing use tactical nuclear weapons for overland passes near the Chinese border. But the use of tactical nukes would have created an even greater domestic disturbance than the Cambodian invasion had done. Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird objected to the whole agenda. He said it would not be effective and it would create too much domestic strife.
Backing Up Threats
So Nixon and Kissinger decided on something short of the nuclear option. After all, Nixon had sent a veiled ultimatum to Hanoi about “great consequence and force.” They had to back it up. The two decided on a worldwide nuclear alert instead, a giant nuclear war exercise that would simulate actual military maneuvers in attempting to mimic what the U.S. would do if it were preparing for a nuclear strike.
As Burr and Kimball write, this was another outmoded vestige of 1950s Cold War thinking: “It was intended to signal Washington’s anger at Moscow’s support of North Vietnam and to jar the Soviet leaders into using their leverage to induce Hanoi to make diplomatic concessions.” (Burr and Kimball, Chapter 9)
It was designed to be detected by the Soviets, but not detectable at home. For instance, the DEFCON levels were not actually elevated. The alert went on for about three weeks, with all kinds of military maneuvers at sea and on land. Finally, Dobrynin called for a meeting. Kissinger was buoyant. Maybe the ploy had worked.
But it didn’t. The ambassador was angry and upset, but not about the alert. He said that while the Russians wanted to deal on nuclear weapons, Nixon was as obsessed with Vietnam as LBJ was. In other words, Dobrynin and the Soviets were perceptive about what was really happening. Nixon tried to salvage the meeting with talk about how keeping American fatalities low in Vietnam would aid d├ętente, which further blew the cover off the nuclear alert.
Burr and Kimball show just how wedded the self-styled foreign policy mavens were to the Madman Theory. After the meeting, Nixon realized he had not done well in accordance with the whole nuclear alert, Madman idea. He asked Kissinger to bring back Dobrynin so they could play act the Madman idea better.
The authors then note that, although Haiphong was later mined, the mining was not effective, as Nixon had been warned. In other words, the Madman idea and linkage were both duds.
Nixon and Kissinger then turned to Laird’s plan, a Vietnamization program, a mix of U.S. troop withdrawals, turning more of the fighting over to the ARVN, and negotiations. The November 1969 Madman timetable was tossed aside and the long haul of gradual U.S. disengagement was being faced. Accordingly, Nixon and Kissinger started sending new messages to the north. And far from isolating Hanoi, both China and Russia served as messengers for these new ideas.
The White House told Dobrynin that after all American troops were out, Vietnam would no longer be America’s concern. In extension of this idea, America would not even mind if Vietnam was unified under Hanoi leadership.
Kissinger told the Chinese that America would not return after withdrawing. In his notebooks for his meeting with Zhou En Lai, Kissinger wrote, “We want a decent interval. You have our assurances.” (Burr and Kimball, Epilogue)
Timing the Departure
But when would the American troops depart? As Ken Hughes writes, Nixon at first wanted the final departure to be by December of 1971. But Kissinger talked him out of this. It was much safer politically to have the final withdrawal after the 1972 election. If Saigon fell after, it was too late to say Nixon’s policies were responsible. (Fatal Politics, p. 3)
Kissinger also impressed on Nixon the need not to announce a timetable in advance. Since all their previous schemes had failed, they had to have some leverage for the Paris peace talks.
But there was a problem. The exposure of the secret bombing of Cambodia began to put pressure on Congress to begin to cut off funding for those operations. Therefore, when Nixon also invaded Laos, this was done with ARVN troops. It did not go very well, but that did not matter to Nixon: “However Laos comes out, we have got to claim it was a success.” (Hughes, p. 14)
While there was little progress at the official negotiations, that too was irrelevant because Kissinger had arranged for so-called “secret talks” at a residential home in Paris. There was no headway at these talks until late May 1971. Prior to this, Nixon had insisted on withdrawal of North Vietnamese troops from South Vietnam.
But in May, Kissinger reversed himself on two issues. First, there would be no American residual force left behind. Second, there would be a cease-fire in place. That is, no withdrawal of North Vietnamese troops. As Kissinger said to Nixon, they would still be free to bomb the north, but “the only problem is to prevent the collapse in 1972.” (ibid, pgs. 27-28) The Decent Interval strategy was now the modus operandi.
And this strategy would serve Nixon’s reelection interests, too. As Kissinger told Nixon, “If we can, in October of ’72 go around the country saying we ended the war and the Democrats wanted to turn it over to the communists … then we’re in great shape.” To which Nixon replied, “I know exactly what we’re up to.” (ibid, p. 29) Since this was all done in secret, they could get away with a purely political ploy even though its resulted in the needless deaths of hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians. All this was done to make sure Nixon was reelected and the Democrats looked like wimps.
Kissinger understood this linkage between the war’s illusionary success and politics. He reminded Nixon, “If Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam go down the drain in September of 1972, they they’ll say you went into those … you spoiled so many lives, just to wind up where you could have been in the first year.” (ibid, p. 30)
In fact, the President’s February 1972 trip to China was directly related to the slow progress on Vietnam. Kissinger said, “For every reason, we’ve got to have a diversion from Vietnam in this country for awhile.” To which Nixon replied, “That’s the point isn’t it?” (ibid, p.32)
A Decent Interval
In preparations for China, Kissinger told Zhou En Lai that Nixon needed an interval of a year or two after American departure for Saigon to fall. (ibid, p. 35) He told Zhou, “The outcome of my logic is that we are putting a time interval between the military outcome and the political outcome.” (ibid, p. 79)
But aware of this, Hanoi made one last push for victory with the Easter Offensive of 1972. Remarkably successful at first, air power managed to stall it and then push it back. During this giant air operation, Nixon returned to his Foster Dulles brinksmanship form, asking Kissinger, should we “take the dikes out now?”
Kissinger replied, “That will drown about 200,000 people.”
Nixon said, “Well no, no … I’d rather use a nuclear bomb. Have you got that ready?”
When Kissinger demurred by saying Nixon wouldn’t use it anyway, the President replied, “I just want you to think big Henry, for Christ’s sake.” (Burr and Kimball, Epilogue)
The American press took the wrong message from this. What it actually symbolized was that Saigon could not survive without massive American aid and firepower. (Hughes, p. 61) But even with this huge air campaign, the Pentagon figured that the north could keep up its war effort for at least two more years, even with interdiction bombing.
The political ramification of the renewed fighting was that it pushed the final settlement back in time, which Nixon saw as a political benefit, a tsunami for his reelection.
Nixon: “The advantage, Henry, of trying to settle now, even if you’re ten points ahead, is that that will ensure a hell of a landslide.”
Kissinger: “If we can get that done, then we can screw them after Election Day if necessary. And I think this could finish the destruction of McGovern” [the Democratic presidential nominee].
Nixon: “Oh yes, and the doves, which is just as important.”
The next day, Aug. 3, 1972, Kissinger returned to the theme: “So we’ve got to find some formula that holds the thing together a year or two, after which — after a year, Mr. President, Vietnam will be a backwater… no one will give a damn.” (Hughes, pgs. 84-85)
All of this history renders absurd the speeches of Ronald Reagan at the time: “President Nixon’s idealism is such that he believes the people of South Vietnam should have the opportunity to live under whatever form of government … they themselves choose.” (Hughes, p. 86) While Reagan was whistling in the dark, the Hanoi negotiator Le Duc Tho understood what was happening. He even said to Kissinger, “reunification will be decided upon after a suitable interval following the signing.”
Kissinger and Nixon even knew the whole election commission idea for reunification was a joke. Kissinger called it, “all baloney. … There’ll never be elections.” Nixon agreed by saying that the war will then resume, but “we’ll be gone.” (ibid, p. 88)
Thieu’s Complaint
The problem in October 1972 was not Hanoi; it was President Thieu. He understood that with 150,000 North Vietnamese regulars in the south, the writing was on the wall for his future. So Kissinger got reassurances from Hanoi that they would not use the Ho Chi Minh Trail after America left, though Kissinger and Nixon knew this was a lie. (ibid, p. 94)
When Thieu still balked, Nixon said he would sign the agreement unilaterally. How badly did Kissinger steamroll Thieu? When he brought him the final agreements to sign, Thieu noticed that they only referred to three countries being in Indochina: Laos, Cambodia and North Vietnam. Kissinger tried to explain this away as a mistake. (Hughes, p. 118)
When Kissinger announced in October 1972 that peace was at hand, he understood this was false but it was political gold.
Nixon: “Of course, the point is, they think you’ve got peace. . . but that’s all right,. Let them think it.” (ibid, p. 132)
Nixon got Senators Barry Goldwater and John Stennis to debate cutting off aid for Saigon. This got Thieu to sign. (ibid, p. 158)
In January 1973, the agreement was formalized. It was all a sham. There was no lull in the fighting, there were no elections, and there was no halt in the supplies down the Ho Chi Minh Trail. As the military knew, Saigon was no match for the Viet Cong and the regular army of North Vietnam. And Thieu did not buy the letters Nixon wrote him about resumed bombing if Hanoi violated the treaty.
But Nixon had one more trick up his sleeve, which he pulled out as an excuse for the defeat in his 1985 book, No More Vietnams. He wrote that Congress lost the “victory” he had won by gradually cutting off aid to Indochina beginning in 1973. (Nixon, p. 178)
It’s true that the Democratic caucuses did vote for this, but anyone can tell by looking at the numbers that Nixon could have sustained a veto if he tried. And, in fact, he had vetoed a bill to ban American bombing in Cambodia on June 27 with the House falling 35 votes short in the override attempt.
Rep. Gerald Ford, R-Michigan, rose and said, “If military action is required in Southeast Asia after August 15, 1973, … the President will ask congressional authority and will abide by the decision that is made by the House and Senate.”
The Democrats didn’t buy Ford’s assurance. So Ford called Nixon and returned to the podium to say Nixon had reaffirmed his pledge. With that, the borderline Republicans joined in a shut-off vote of 278-124. In the Senate the vote was 64-26. (Hughes, p. 165)
Having Congress take the lead meant that Nixon did not have to even think of revisiting Vietnam. He could claim he was stabbed in the back by Congress. As Hughes notes, it would have been better for Congress politically to double the funding requests just to show it was all for show.
As Hughes writes, this strategy of arranging a phony peace, which disguised an American defeat, was repeated in Iraq. President George W. Bush rejected troop withdrawals in 2007 and then launched “the surge,” which cost another 1,000 American lives but averted an outright military defeat on Bush’s watch. Bush then signed an agreement with his hand-picked Iraqi government, allowing American troops to remain in Iraq for three more years and passing the disaster on to President Barack Obama.
Hughes ends by writing that Nixon’s myth of a “victory” in Vietnam masks cowardice for political courage and replaces patriotism with opportunism. Nixon prolonged a lost war. He then faked a peace. And he then schemed to shift the blame onto Congress.
As long as that truth is masked, other presidents can play politics with the lives hundred of thousands of innocent civilians, and tens of thousands of American soldiers.
At Nixon’s 1994 funeral, Kissinger tried to commemorate their legacy by listing their foreign policy achievements. The first one he listed was a peace agreement in Vietnam. The last one was the airing of a human rights agenda that helped break apart the Soviet domination in Eastern Europe. These two books make those declarations not just specious, but a bit obscene.
James DiEugenio is a researcher and writer on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and other mysteries of that era. His most recent book is Reclaiming Parkland.

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Twisted Logic of Liberals

By /

Sanctuary cities are twisted logic. It is illogical and perverted to give sanctuary to criminal aliens and sacrifice our own citizens.

Kate Steinle’s murder is twisted logic. Her name should be written on the foreheads of California politicians.

Forgiving someone who murders your family is twisted logic.  It is using self-aggrandizing forgiveness to feel opposite of the way you really feel and feign kindness rather than admit vengeance.

Giving James Holmes life in prison is twisted logic.  Are the twelve innocent movie goers he killed worth less than his one miserable life?

Thinking that the death penalty can’t bring the dead back is twisted logic.  Bringing the dead back is irrelevant.

Being liberal is twisted logic.  It is seeking short term hedonistic satisfaction instead of patiently chasing long term results.

Democrats who support Obama have twisted logic.  To support an enemy of the people is to resurrect Benedict Arnold.

Voting for Obama the second time was twisted logic.  It is doubling up on failure.

Voting for a Democrat is twisted logic. It is supporting a party that stood behind Obama when he led from behind and we took our future up our asses.

Democrat’s support of Planned Parenthood is twisted logic.  Planned Parenthood announces that they are protecting reproductive health while they are killing babies and selling embryos.

liberalismObama’s gentle persona is twisted logic.  In the Illinois Senate he abstained from voting against infanticide.
Legalizing marijuana is twisted logic.  It is adding weed to alcohol in car accidents.  More liberals celebrating the failure of the world. Memories disappearing into smoke.

Same sex marriage is twisted logic.  It is a refutation of what is normal for the thrill of being contrarian. It is mind over matter.  It is a choice to revolt against one’s own biology. It is disguised as a birth imperative by self-justifiers.

Homosexuality is twisted logic.  It is perverting sexual normalcy in order to be opposite. It is fear of your own anatomy.

Bruce Jenner’s transgender maneuver is twisted logic.  I don’t want to lose my balls.  What left wing idiot would celebrate his transition?

Obama’s spending millions on vacations and trillions on failed projects while pretending that he is a hero of the middle class is twisted logic with a dash of gourmet hypocrisy.

Obama having a distaste for American exceptionalism is twisted logic. He lives exceptionally well.  He has private chefs while he spits us out like fast food.  He turned self-reliance into food stamps.

Allowing Iran to get its hands on one hundred and fifty billion dollars and opening its path to a nuke is twisted logic. It’s arming our enemy.  It is Chamberlain giving weapons to the Nazis.

Obama’s equating Isis’s present day atrocities to the Crusade’s is twisted logic.  He hates Christians and sympathizes with Muslims.

Jews voting for Obama and supporting his deal in Iran follow the twisted logic of jump-in-the-oven Jews. They are death camp collaborators.  Even mousey, ambitious Charles Schumer rejected the Obama-Kerry plan.

Allowing John Kerry to be Secretary of State is twisted logic.  He snitched on the American soldiers in Vietnam but never condemned the Vietcong’s torture.

To refuse to say radical Islamic terrorism is twisted logic.  It is a refusal to signify what is already signified by the reality of Muslim cruelty.

President Obama saying that Iranians “are making common cause with the Republican caucus” is twisted logic.  Obama is making common cause with the radical Islamic terrorists who he doesn’t admit exist.

Choosing Hillary Clinton to run as Obama’s successor is twisted logic. Her college thesis was on Saul Alinsky and her current turn is back to the left.

Hillary’s combination of Elizabeth Warren and Al Capone is twisted logic. Her corruption is legion--Benghazi, erasing her emails, losing her law license over  Watergate, Whitewater and Vince Foster’s death, sticking with a female harassing husband, wearing ungainly pants suits.

The Democratic Party’s slide towards communism is twisted logic.  Pursuing a universally failed system is a failure ab initio.

Secular progressivism is twisted logic.  It is the theocratic rigidity of big government and the strangulation of free enterprise. First there was Obama.  Then there was Hillary.  And now there is de Blasio.

I am sick.  I stick my finger down my throat.  If I throw up the Democratic Party’s twisted logic maybe I will return my digestion to the balanced conservatism of an intelligent America.

David Lawrence has a Ph.D. in literature. He has published over 200 blogs, 600 poems, a memoir “The King of White-Collar Boxing,” several books of poems, including “Lane Changes.” Both can be purchased on He was a professional boxer and a CEO. Last year he was listed in New York Magazine as the 41st reason to love New York.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Natural Law and the Legitimate Authority of the United States

by David J. Shestokas

Government needs a basis to exercise authority over people. Citizens must accept government authority.  A government lacking acceptance of the people over whom it exercises authority will not endure.  Such acceptance comes from fear, tradition or philosophy.

Dictators obtain authority by instilling fear of disobedience in the populace. A theocracy ordained by God arises from religious traditions.  A monarchy combines religious traditions[1] and fear of the monarch’s absolute authority. Communists have gained power with a philosophy based upon the “dictatorship of the proletariat”.[2]  The United States was founded upon a philosophy of Natural Law as the source of legitimate legal authority for government.

Government by Philosophy:  Understanding, Acceptance & Consistent Conduct

For a government founded on philosophy to maintain its authority, three things are needed:

    An understanding by the people of the philosophy
    An acceptance by the people of the philosophy
    Conduct by the government consistent with the philosophy
    Consent of the Governed

Declaration of Independence Established Natural Law the Organizing Principle of the United States

Thomas JeffersonAs announced in the Declaration of Independence, the founding philosophical principle of the United States is Natural Law:

 “When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people … to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them …” (emphasis added)

The Declaration announced to King George and “mankind”[3]  the reasons for separation.  More than telling King George and the world why the colonies were separating, the men proposing to found the United States were explaining to the people the guiding philosophy of the new nation. The explanation was critical for the new government’s acceptance by the people of the United States.

Thomas Jefferson summarized succinctly the central principles of Natural Law theory:

  “…that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

 Understanding the Three Schools of Natural Law: Divine, Secular and Historical

There are three schools of Natural Law theory: Divine Natural Law, Secular Natural Law, and Historical Natural Law. Divine Natural Law has been revealed or inspired by God, or another supreme, supernatural being. Secular Natural Law is the consequence of nature’s physical, biological, and behavioral laws observed by the human mind. Historical Natural Law or Historicism has evolved over human history through the accumulation of established practices and experience. As Historicism has as an evolutionary component, it is malleable unlike the Divine or Secular.

Divine Natural Law

St. Thomas AquinasDivine Natural Law is derived from revelations by a power greater than humanity. In Judeo- Christian tradition, The Bible and Torah reveal Divine Natural Law in the writings of divinely inspired authors. The legitimacy of enacted human law is measured by consonance with divine principles of right and wrong. Human laws inconsistent with divine principles of morality are invalid and should neither be enforced nor obeyed. St. Thomas Aquinas, a theologian and philosopher from the thirteenth century, was a leading exponent of Divine Natural Law. Human rights revealed by Divine Law are considered to be:


 Secular Natural Law

Secular Natural Law recognizes there are immutable laws of nature. There are things in the physical world that are unchangeable. Examples are biology, motion, gravity, optics, and mechanics as noted by William Blackstone. Physical laws are observable and measureable. Observation and measurement of the physical world through the prism of human intellect reveals reliable truths about the world.

Secular Natural Law relies upon observation and measurement of human nature that exists outside of government. It identifies uniform and fixed moral and ethical norms. A government can no more interfere with these fixed elements of the human condition than it can decree that gravity will not apply in its territory. Inalienable and immutable human rights flow from human nature and exist independent of government.

John LockeJohn Locke observed these fixed elements of human nature include: liberty, equality and self-preservation. In the natural order of things, absent government, every individual possesses a right of self-preservation exercised on an equal basis with all others. Self-preservation inherently includes fulfillment of personal needs consistent with the liberties of others.

Human nature also includes elements like greed and narcissism inconsistent with the liberties of others. To address this inconsistency, people establish government to protect life, liberty, and property. Government comports with Secular Natural Law when it provides those protections. Government authority derives from consent to provide those protections. Government actions beyond that consent are illegitimate.

Historical Natural Law or Historicism

Historical Natural Law or Historicism is based upon the experience of human history. The historical school was founded by Friedrich Karl von Savigny (1779–1861). The Historical school rejects the immutable nature of either Divine Natural Law or Secular Natural Law.

Historicism includes the Divine and Secular concepts to the extent that they comprise customs and traditions. Historical Natural Law merely provides guidance in showing how societies have addressed issues over long periods of time.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.Historical Natural Law leaves law primarily in the hands of judges.  US Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. proposed that judicial wisdom is the most reliable source of law. In his 1881 book, Common Law, Holmes asserted that the only source of law is judicial decision.

The immutable rules for government legitimacy of Divine and Secular Natural Law are absent in Historicism. Rights, such as religious liberty, that are inalienable under Divine and Secular Natural Law become merely “fundamental”.  Historical Natural Law developed AFTER the founding of the United States.  It was not part of the founding philosophy.

Constitution RightsRecognition of  Unenumerated Natural Rights in the US Constitution

The Declaration of Independence affirmatively states the legal basis of the United States is Natural Law.[4] This leads to mandatory recognition of rights beyond the Constitution, or unenumerated rights. This recognition took the form of positive law[5] most firmly stated in the Ninth Amendment:

“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

This provision recognizes rights exist outside the written positive law. This principle, arising from Natural Law, along with the Declaration, provides the organizing philosophy for the United States government, its legal legitimacy and constraints upon its actions.

Rarely does the Supreme Court look to Founding principles of Natural Rights/Natural Law.  When it happens, it comes down on the side of liberty.  An all too rare example was arriving at the Second Amendment‘s right to bear arms as a personal and not collective right.

Divine, Secular and Historical Natural Law as Organizing Principles

Both Divine and Secular Natural Law have unyielding principles that can be looked upon for government legitimacy in citizen acceptance of government authority. They provide the basis for a “government of law, not men”.

Historical Natural Law, with its reliance upon custom and judicial wisdom ultimately provides no controlling principles and results in a “government of men, not law”.  As it grew in use by judges, they were freed from the constraining principles of Natural Law.  As the judges were no longer constrained, ultimately the other actors in the political system were no longer constrained.

Barack Obama State of the Union 2013Having been freed from the constraints of Natural Law, government officials are no longer feeling constrained to act within the boundaries of the positive law.  The Constitution is reduced to lip service, and in some instances not even that.[6]

United States Drift from Founding Principles Risks Losing Acceptance

The dangers to a government acting inconsistently with the accepted philosophy can be seen in the 18th Amendment.[7]  This was the only amendment contracting, rather than expanding, freedom.  It was inconsistent with the principles of individual liberty.  It was widely ignored, and ultimately repealed.

Chief Justice John RobertsSince the time of Holmes,[8] the United States has drifted steadily in the direction of becoming a government of men, not law.  This drift pervades the government when a Congress imposes penalties on citizens for not buying a product.  A Chief Justice creates a “tax” that did not exist. A president orders a department of the government to not enforce a law.  A Supreme Court argument takes place about the constitutionality of legislation and no one discusses the Constitution.

The litany of extra-constitutional actions that effectively contract, rather than expand, liberty is long.[9]  Through the adoption the Historicism, in which a decision maker is constrained only by his own sense of history, the United States government continues to grow ever further from the Natural Law philosophy that gained and maintained the acceptance of the people.  The government runs the risk of losing its acceptance.  Control will only be maintained either through fear or propounding the idea that actions which violate the originating principles are now “tradition”.  In either event the end result is illegitimacy.

Natural Law Discussion with Sam Sewell

Two episodes of Constitutionally Speaking with guest Sam Sewell involved discussions of the importance of Natural Law in the Founding of the United States.  The two episodes can be heard here:

[1] The Divine Right of Kings proposed that God worked His will to appoint the monarch.

[2] Though communism and its proletarian dictatorship has been a philosophy employed to gain support for government change, history has shown that to maintain power, communist governments have had to become dictatorships and exercise authority by generating fear in the population.

[3] The Founders were pragmatic regarding international relations.  They understood the need for external support of the Revolution. It did come from the French.  Talent and skills from elsewhere including Poland (Pulaski, Kosciusko) proved critical.  The “explanation” to mankind in the Declaration attracted such help:  “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

[4] The Declaration intertwines Secular Natural Law (“Laws of Nature”) and Divine Natural Law (“Nature’s God”).  The two are compatible. Although each begins with a different premise, they each generally wind up in the same place.  “Thou shall not kill” being a Divine commandment and the Right to Life being an immutable law of nature is a simple example.

[5] Law written by men is referred to as “positive law”, distinguishing it from Natural Law. In the United States Constitution specific unalienable natural rights have been made part of its positive law in the Bill of Rights, e.g.: freedom of speech,  religion and press, keep and bear arms. Beyond rights written into positive law, unenumerated rights have been recognized as well, this recognition growing out of the country’s Natural Law heritage. While court decisions have dismissed the Declaration as being “law”, Timothy Sandefur argues that it deserves to be a guiding principle in constitutional interpretation.

[6] In the 2013 State of the Union address, President Obama advised: “But if Congress won’t act soon … I will.”  Not a ringing endorsement of constitutional process, and an example of lawless application of political power.

[7] Prohibition

[8] Holmes was a Supreme Court Justice from 1902-1932.  His tenure marked him as a champion of free speech.  Justice Holmes did much to defend liberty while on the bench.  His proposition of judge made historical law may have been colored by his own dedication and predisposition to freedom.  Turning judges and ultimately governments loose from the constraints of Natural Law seems to assume all decision makers will have the same approach to the world as Holmes. Robert P. George provides an outstanding critique of the problems of Holmes’ thinking about Natural Law.

[9] These are recent examples, but the drift largely dates back to FDR and certainly has been bi-partisan.
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