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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "David French"

Those Freaking Out About Negotiating With the Taliban Need a Better Argument

Westlake Legal Group media.townhall-2-2-620x317 Those Freaking Out About Negotiating With the Taliban Need a Better Argument War US Troops twitter Taliban soldiers Politics Peace Deal outrage Obama Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story donald trump democrats deaths David French camp david administration 9/11 2001 18 Years

Yesterday, a major story broke via Donald Trump’s Twitter feed involving the war in Afghanistan. He announced that he had cancelled a major negotiating meeting between the US and Taliban at Camp David. This came not he heels of the Taliban bragging about carrying out a terrorist attack in Kabul.

Because everything during the Trump era must produce moaning and gnashing of teeth, this turned into a major scandal, specifically among some on the right.

Here’s National Review’s David French, who naturally had to use this as a way to snark on Twitter and project his supposed moral superiority, because that’s his entire shtick.

Yes, I’m sure that’s it. I’m sure Trump, this entire administration, and the entirety of the Obama administration had no idea who the Taliban were until this week. We’ve been negotiating with them since 2013 completely clueless as to their true intentions or something. Trump was citing a recent attack, not asserting he had no idea they had committed such acts in the past.

Then there was Bill Kristol’s personal grifter and faux 2020 Republican primary candidate, Joe Walsh, making this silly comment.

Trump was hoping to end a nearly two decade long war that’s claimed thousands of lives. Walsh is going to walk around for a photo op while taking shots at people trying to end said war. Does he really think that tweet makes him look like the better person in this equation?

I despise this kind of intellectually dishonest tripe. We’ve been in Afghanistan for 18 years. Let me repeat that. We’ve been in Afghanistan for 18 years. There was a time when the war there made sense. It no longer does and the only way to negotiate a peace is to deal with the Taliban. Those are the realties of the situation on the ground. No amount of virtue signaling and prideful Twitter rants are going to change that.

Kurt is exactly right here. There is zero chance we are going to escalate Afghanistan into a major conflict again, complete with the civilian casualties it’d take to really hamper the Taliban. The United States citizenry has no stomach for it. Nor, do they have a stomach for staying there another decade or walking away in total defeat.

That leaves one option. You negotiate with the Taliban and try to get some concessions that allow us to keep a strategic hold in the area to prevent future terrorism. This was not some crazy idea made up by Donald Trump. These negotiations go back seven years and have held bi-partisan support since at least the last few years of the Obama administration. The right is just as apt to want an end to war in Afghanistan as the left are.

I’ve seen some say this is about meeting at Camp David and it being close to 9/11. If the administration felt they were close to a deal, why would anyone care about such concerns over optics? Shouldn’t ending the war and the bloodshed of American military members be the priority? I don’t get the moral argument there at all. It seems completely backwards to me.

Here’s the biggest issue though. People who want to argue for not negotiating because of optics, pride, or some other worry about decorum continue to make no effort to articulate their strategy for victory, nor what we are actually fighting for. It’s not 2001 anymore. Our surveillance and counter-intelligence technologies are far more advanced. We don’t have to stay on the ground in Afghanistan, having soldiers continue to die into perpetuity, just to be able to stop the possibly of future terrorist training camps being built.

The Taliban are not going anywhere. We have no path to extricate them from the country because the American people, nor its politicians on both sides support major escalation. We either negotiate with them and do what it takes to get a deal, even if that means a meeting at Camp David, or we continue slogging away, letting soldiers die while we are unwilling to put them in a position to win. The former is a much better option, much more moral option at this point.

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The post Those Freaking Out About Negotiating With the Taliban Need a Better Argument appeared first on RedState.

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Virtue Signaling Is Not a Solution for Hong Kong

Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2019-08-12-at-8.54.43-AM-620x370 Virtue Signaling Is Not a Solution for Hong Kong virtue signaling unintended consequences Tensions protests Politics PLA Noah Rothman Hong Kong Front Page Stories Front Page freedom Featured Story donald trump David French Chinese Ben Shapiro

As tensions escalate in Hong Kong, including the amassing of Chinese troops on the border, the matter is entering a precarious state. Will the Chinese repeat the atrocities we saw at Tiananmen Square? Will they back down?

I think the latter is highly unlikely given that tyrannical dictatorships rely on never backing down to keep their grip on power. This means the situation is incredibly volatile and inflaming matters could actually lead to a lot of bloodshed while accomplishing absolutely nothing.

Despite these unfortunate realities, some conservatives of a certain segment have decided this is an issue that the United States must immediately involve itself in, including an official condemnation of China. I understand the urge.

When Donald Trump didn’t immediately do that though, that led to tweets like these demanding he make an overt, combative stand.

The response by my colleague streiff is dead-on (read his full thoughts on the matter here).

Virtue signaling is not a solution in Hong Kong anymore than it was a solution in Venezuela. Those demanding strong words should also be ready to offer actions we can take to help protect the protestors. If those actions don’t exist, then demanding Donald Trump inflame tensions, which will inevitably lead to people dying, is irresponsible. It’s emotionalism that ignores the unintended consequences, something conservatives aren’t supposed to fall prey to.

The lack of articulation of a real strategy and end game, along with putting thought into the possibility we could make things worse, is my problem with all this. Take this response from Noah Rothman.

While the snark is real, Ross’ question is largely left unanswered by Rothman, whose record on foreign policy positions isn’t exactly stellar. We can all agree that we shouldn’t invade Hong Kong. I don’t believe Noah thinks that either. Ok, there’s the common ground. Now what?

What is “democracy promotion?” How does that actually work? Does Noah support sanctions? Cutting off trade relations? If not, does it matter to Noah that a lot of people could end up dead so he can feel good on Twitter? I’m sure it does matter to him, but he doesn’t seem to be taking it into account.

These are all questions that need to be answered. We are constantly reminded by our blue checkmark conservative betters that words matter and have consequences. Right, and that’s true in this case as well. Any inciting statement by the President can be used by the Chinese to assert foreign influence and justify violent action.

As I’ve said many times, I find the conservative smart set’s positions on China to be completely contradictory and inconsistent. About five minutes ago, they were telling us how dangerous it is to pick a fight with China and asserting that free trade with the communists is absolutely vital. It didn’t matter that China was recently exposed for running concentration camps, suppressing dissent, and stealing intellectual property, never mind their historical evils. Those were all actions worth looking the other way on because they sell us cheap stuff.

Now, seemingly overnight, they’ve found their moral center when it comes to dealing with the Chinese? Forgive my skepticism. If you think we should take a stand against China today, you should have thought that a year ago. China didn’t become a bad actor in just the last few weeks. They’ve been one their entire existence and the moral case against doing business with them existed prior to the Hong Kong protests. We could go all the way back to the Nixon era and game out that it was probably a mistake to ever normalize relations with China because it has allowed them to grow into the power they are today.

The hard truth is that there is probably no good outcome in Hong Kong. The Chinese are not going to back down and the violence against the protestors is growing. I’m failing to see any situation where idle words will do anything but further inflame matters and get people killed. I’ve personally been supportive of getting tough with China the past few years (mostly for national security reasons), but there has to be a real action plan behind any stand we take. Virtue signaling is not a solution in Hong Kong and conservatives shouldn’t pretend it is.

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The post Virtue Signaling Is Not a Solution for Hong Kong appeared first on RedState.

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Vox: Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris are wrong about Michael Brown’s death

Westlake Legal Group Kamala-Harris Vox: Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris are wrong about Michael Brown’s death vox The Blog Michael Brown kamala harris Elizabeth Warren David French

I mentioned this in an update last Friday but today Vox and National Review are both addressing it so I might as well do likewise. Last week on the 5th anniversary of the death of Michael Brown, two leading Democratic candidates for tweeted that Brown had been “murdered.”

Billionaire candidate Tom Steyer used the same language.

Rev. Al Sharpton chimed in Saturday. Though he apparently didn’t use the word “murdered” on his show, he did in a tweet promoting the segment:

Other far-left outlets joined the chorus:

This is an inflammatory lie by people who should know better. Vox did a story on the claims by Harris and Warren but managed to avoid using the l-word. Author German Lopez’s description of the shooting is written very oddly:

After Wilson stopped Brown for walking in the middle of the street, the officer reportedly realized Brown was a robbery suspect who stole cigarillos from a nearby convenience store. Wilson attempted to stop Brown, and both men had a physical altercation at the officer’s SUV. Wilson then opened fire from his vehicle. Brown ran, turned around, and Wilson fired more shots, supposedly out of fear that Brown was charging at him.

He’s left out all the important details, starting with the fact that Wilson was trapped his car by Brown and that Brown was punching Wilson in the face.

Brown died about 150 feet from Wilson’s vehicle. He was shot six times. No gunshot was confirmed to hit Brown from behind.

What an odd way to say that the autopsy report supported Wilson’s claim that he never fired while Brown was running away from him, only after Brown turned and began charging back toward him.

The physical evidence suggested that Brown reached into Wilson’s car during their physical altercation and, very likely, attempted to grab the officer’s gun. The most credible witnesses agreed that Brown moved toward Wilson before the officer fired his final shots — and there simply wasn’t enough evidence, especially given the struggle at the car, that Wilson wasn’t justified in fearing for his life when he fired the shots that killed Brown.

Again, this is written as if evidence of Wilson’s guilt is sadly lacking. Actually, the DOJ report was pretty clear that the most reliable witnesses and the physical evidence matched Wilson’s account of what happened, including that Brown did not raise his hands in surrender and that Wilson was backpedaling and shouting at Brown to stop before he fired the fatal shot. Vox’s Lopez does get the bottom line right: “In other words, this wasn’t a murder or a federal civil rights violation, based on the evidence we have.” And at least Vox bothered to cover the story. As of this morning, the same couldn’t be said for the Washington Post or the NY Times:

National Review’s David French offered a more straightforward take on the candidate’s tweets. His piece is headlined, “On Ferguson, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris Told a Terrible Lie.” After a much more accurate description of the incident, French concludes:

Indeed, while we must of course remember the DOJ’s report exonerating Darren Wilson, we should also remember that there was a second DOJ report in 2015 that found systematic misconduct at the Ferguson Police Department, misconduct that disproportionately affected Ferguson’s black citizens. I urge you to read both reports, and if you read the second report with an open mind, you’ll almost certainly come to believe that Ferguson’s black residents possessed legitimate grievances against their police department.

That’s the complicated nation we inhabit, but the complexity does not mean there aren’t simple obligations that attach to every politician, activist, and member of the media. And the simplest of those obligations is a commitment to the truth. We know that lies and falsehoods can cause riots. They can cause city blocks to burn. They can destroy a man’s life. At the very least, they can further embitter an already toxic public discourse. When issues are most fraught, the obligation of courageous, honest leadership is most imperative.

What we were told about the Michael Brown shooting by activists and the media, as was also the case with the Trayvon Martin shooting, was a lie. The fact that major Democratic candidates for President are still telling that lie five years later ought to be a much bigger story.

The post Vox: Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris are wrong about Michael Brown’s death appeared first on Hot Air.

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Florida Democrat Who Has Never Won an Election Declares Trump Supporters to No Longer Be Christians

Westlake Legal Group Jesus-facepalm-620x413 Florida Democrat Who Has Never Won an Election Declares Trump Supporters to No Longer Be Christians Politics pam keith Front Page Stories Florida Featured Story douchebaggery donald trump democrats David French Culture & Faith chriistianity Allow Media Exception
One of the more interesting revelations…and I choose that word carefully…over the past three years has been the assertion by NeverTrump, that a Christian who votes for Trump, no matter the reason, can’t really be a Christian. Though, presumably, a Christian who voted for Hillary Clinton was just fine. This is because that Trump is so uniquely odious as a politician because he let a woman drown to cover his drunk driving of his hair style and mannerisms and, supposedly his serial infidelities (or so the thrice married Charlie Sykes and adulterous Joe Scarborough tell us) that no one’s soul is safe who voted for him. As a Catholic, I’ve never bothered much with this nonsense. My Church has a visible hierarchy, so I know who to listen to, and we have guide for how to exercise one’s right to vote. I’ve found the current Pope to be enough of a challenge without listening to several hundred, if not thousand, self appointed pontiffs that my Protestant brethren are having to contend with. Nowhere in this guide, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States, is your faith and salvation called into question for voting for a guy you don’t particularly find admirable. You are voting on issues, not on people. Yet, I’ve been amused at the unseemly antics of some Protestant clergy, both for and against Trump, and by the propensity of many Protestant NeverTrumpers to declare folks anathema for voting for Trump. Hell, I’ve even witnessed a Pentecostal question a person’s Christian witness because they support Trump. On multiple occasions.

No less a spiritual guru than David French has claimed that the only reason Evangelicals support Trump is out of fear and their witness is hopelessly compromised:

Talk to engaged evangelicals, and fear is all too often a dominant theme of their political life. The church is under siege from a hostile culture. Religious institutions are under legal attack from progressives. The left wants nuns to facilitate access to abortifacients and contraceptives, it wants Christian adoption agencies to compromise their conscience or close, and it even casts into doubt the tax exemptions of religious education institutions if they adhere to traditional Christian sexual ethics.

These issues are legally important, and there are reasons for evangelicals to be concerned. But there is no reason for evangelicals to abandon long-held principles to behave like any other political-interest group.

Instead, the evangelical church is called to be a source of light in a darkening world. It is not given the luxury of fear-based decisionmaking. Indeed, of all the groups in American life who believe they have the least to fear from American politics, Christians should top the list. The faithful should reject fear.

Yet the church is acting as if it needs Trump to protect it. That’s not courageous. It’s repulsive. And so long as this fear continues, expect the church’s witness to degrade further. In seeking protection from its perceived enemies, the church has lost its way.

It’s time for evangelicals to exercise their political veto power. America’s conservative people of faith should seek a primary challenger to Trump and send a message to the GOP that it will not compromise any longer. And it should do so from a position of confidence–and faith.

Personally, I think this kind of an argument is nothing short of grotesque if not downright blasphemous. What French calls fear is actually Christians acting to combat moral evils…something that apparently is just too darn hard for French to do or something that won’t get him invited to the buffet on the lido deck.

What NeverTrump has done with this irreligious nonsense is teach the left that someone, somewhere, takes their theological advice from various internet randos and will possibly decide not to vote for Trump because a person they don’t know and don’t respect has told them that they’ll go straight to Hell if they do.

The latest edition in this nutbaggery is a perennially losing progressive from Florida named Pam Keith. She just puts into one tweet what French takes an entire article to say:

Pro Tip, if you’re going to tell people their salvation is in jeopardy based on their vote, then, to be credible, you need to win an election or two. Otherwise folks may start to wonder just who voted for you.

As I said, beyond losing elections and giving off a creepy vibe I don’t know what qualifies her to make that statement…okay, I do know, and it’s “not a freakin thing”.

Theologically, we know questionable men can end up doing good things. King David, for instance. The Early Church wrestled with this problem under the guise of the Donatist Heresy. Here the idea was that for the Sacraments administered by clergy to be efficacious, then that member of the clergy must lead a faultless life. The problem here is pretty easy to see. The same heretical theological model is being drafted from the 6th Century and made to justify opposition to Trump. Trump is a bad man, ergo, everything Trump does is bad, even if it is good. Ironically, it isn’t like Trump will be running against a particularly good person. The entire Democrat field is composed of moral cripples who endorse abortion and homosexual marriage and offenses against nature like transgenderism. Some, like Pete Buttigieg, lead a personal life that makes Donald Trump’s seem relatively normal and definitely biologically explainable. I’ve never heard a satisfactory explanation for how disapproving of Trump’s personal life is more important that the things he’s done to restrict abortion and create space for public practice of religion. I’ve also never heard a cogent theological explanation for why deliberately putting people hostile to Christianity into positions of power is a moral thing to do. I’ve heard envy, anger, hatred, spite, jealousy and all manner of other reason speak against voting for Trump but I have never read a laugh-free spiritual case for why fetishizing classical liberalism or socialism as a political philosophy is a morally defensible act.

This nonsense is going to last as long as Trump is in office. Maybe longer. It is stupid and it is obscene. People need to stop it. But they won’t. Because…well, you know why. OrangeManBad.

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The post Florida Democrat Who Has Never Won an Election Declares Trump Supporters to No Longer Be Christians appeared first on RedState.

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Democrats’ conflation of speech and violence would be dangerous if they really believed it

Westlake Legal Group democrats-conflation-of-speech-and-violence-would-be-dangerous-if-they-really-believed-it Democrats’ conflation of speech and violence would be dangerous if they really believed it Tucker Carlson The Blog Ilhan Omar democrats David French

Westlake Legal Group Ilhan-Omar Democrats’ conflation of speech and violence would be dangerous if they really believed it Tucker Carlson The Blog Ilhan Omar democrats David French

We’re still talking about this because Democrats are the media are still pushing the idea that partisan speech (on the right) is an incitement to violence. Today the Washington Post has a story up about death threats made against Rep. Ilhan Omar:

By Saturday afternoon, Chad Loder had seen enough.

The cybersecurity expert noticed that President Trump’s Friday tweet — a video juxtaposing Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) with footage of the twin towers falling on 9/11 — had generated a surge of activity from a sector of Twitter users he argues aren’t always taken seriously: the ones who incite violence.

The threatening messages made toward Omar were so severe they prompted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to increase protection for the congresswoman. But Loder, who is the CEO of cybersecurity training company Habitu8, said Twitter shares responsibility…

He referred to Trump’s Friday tweet as “stochastic terrorism”: a phenomenon in which a prominent person or group stirs up hatred against a target, potentially causing someone else to carry out a violent act against them.

I don’t know anything about Chad Loder but he appears to not be a fan of free speech. Yesterday when National Review’s David French wrote a piece basically saying that criticism of Ilhan Omar was not incitement, Loder started replying “Shame on you” over and over in his mentions:

There’s more like this. Granted those tweets about Omar are awful and the people who sent them seem like genuine scum. But the argument Loder is making, the argument the Washington Post is helping him make, is that because a handful of people on Twitter (a few dozen?) said really ugly things on social media, people should stop criticizing Ilhan Omar and David French should stop defending their right to do so.

This is a species of the heckler’s veto. The underlying argument is this: People shouldn’t speak freely because someone might get hurt. This is the approach used by campus activists trying to shut down conservative speakers: ‘Hey, don’t say that because it’s hateful and could lead to a violent reaction.’ Often the violent reaction comes from the left itself but in this case, they’re saying the violent reaction could come from the right. In either case, the goal is the same: Make people shut up because of the potential for bad behavior by people on the extreme fringe.

This approach would represent a threat to a free society if progressives actually believed it. Oh, I know they claim to believe it when it’s convenient, but let’s face it, they don’t really believe it. If they did, they’d be self-censoring their own speech. Here’s David French:

If that’s incitement by some new definition of the term, then the Left is guilty as well. Where is the regret over its rhetoric in the Kavanaugh confirmation battle? It is terrible that Omar has faced threats, but let’s not forget that Cory Booker called Kavanaugh’s supporters “complicit in the evil” — even though Justice Kavanaugh’s family faced terrible threats and when two people were arrested for threatening Republican senators. I haven’t seen progressive rhetoric ease after a Bernie Sanders fan nearly assassinated Steve Scalise in an attempt to gun down Republican congressmen at baseball practice. Instead, I’ve seen apologetic after apologetic for activists who get in Republicans’ faces at restaurants, in movie theaters, and even at their own homes.

Will all of the CNN anchors who defended Antifa now going to lecture us about incitement and political violence. Probably so, but I’ll skip that lecture. Thanks anyway.

Back in June of 2017 when the resistance was really gearing up for in-person confrontations with elected representatives the House Sergeant at Arms revealed there had been more threats against Members of Congress in the first half of the year than there had been in all of the previous year. There were numerous reports at the time about Republicans fearing for their safety. Did the progressive left have any concerns about incitement back then? Not really.

It’s important to keep this in mind as you hear people on the left swooning over threats. It’s not that the threats aren’t real, or that there aren’t crazy people out there. It’s just that these folks didn’t see cause for shame or concern when the threats were directed at Republicans by crazy people on the left not so long ago. It sort of suggests to me they aren’t serious about this.

Tucker Carlson talked about this last night on his show. He’s right about the bottom line. Speech is not violence. The attempt to say one is the other is an attempt to silence people. We should not allow this argument to gain a foothold.

The post Democrats’ conflation of speech and violence would be dangerous if they really believed it appeared first on Hot Air.

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