Tag Archive for: Foreign Affairs

AI Enters Politics: Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain

First they came for your drive-thru, then they came for your pastors. Now they’re here for your legislators.

The Associated Press reported recently that in Brazil, the first known artificial intelligence (AI) generated law was passed in October. City councilman Ramiro Rosário of Porto Alegre, Brazil apparently had some trouble crafting a city ordinance. Rosário, instead of shopping around for model legislation from another town or special interest group, did the most 2023 thing he could: he asked ChatGPT. The AP reports:

“Rosário told The Associated Press that he asked OpenAI’s chatbot ChatGPT to craft a proposal to prevent the city from charging taxpayers to replace water consumption meters if they are stolen. He then presented it to his 35 peers on the council without making a single change or even letting them know about its unprecedented origin.

“‘If I had revealed it before, the proposal certainly wouldn’t even have been taken to a vote,’ Rosário told the AP by phone on Thursday. The 36-member council approved it unanimously and the ordinance went into effect on Nov. 23.

“‘It would be unfair to the population to run the risk of the project not being approved simply because it was written by artificial intelligence,’ he added.”

When he was facing leadership challenges in the church due to his age, the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, “Let no one despise you for your youth.” Now we have Brazilian lawmakers speaking up for the oppressed AI, which apparently gets no respect. The councilman is not only the champion of the stolen water meter, he’s the voice of AI in government, speaking up for the little bot who has none.

I don’t fault an ill-equipped lawmaker for getting help doing his job, but it does say something about a society where a presumably elected official needs to resort to something that an adept 10-year-old can do. It raises the question, is the councilman even needed if his duties have been reduced to writing a query instead of writing legislation?

After President Lincoln had put Ulysses S. Grant in charge of the Union forces during the Civil War, there was worry among some as to whether the army could match Lee’s rebel forces. When someone asked about Grant’s chances, Doris Kearns Goodwin writes in “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln,” that Lincoln told this anecdote:

“The question reminds of me of a little anecdote about the automaton chess player, which many years ago astonished the world by its skill in that game. After a while the automaton was challenged by a celebrated player, who, to his great chagrin, was beaten twice by the machine. At the end of the second game, the player, significantly pointing his finger at the automaton, exclaimed in a very decided tone, ‘There’s a man in it.’”

Putting aside the fact that there were apparently “automaton chess players” before the Civil War (who knew?), it was clear then that military and political operations were not automatic. Military operations required people. Political operations required people. Even mechanical chess players required people.

That remains true today. Politics — nasty business as it is — requires people. While we may joke about it being better off without them, we should think long and hard before we relinquish our leadership to something that doesn’t have to eat three squares a day. ChatGPT may be able to compose a water meter ordinance, but it won’t inspire people to use their water in a better way. People need to be led by people.

Just like the automated chess player, for ChatGPT there’s also “a man in it.” AI may have a body of silicon, precious metals, and transistors, but its intellectual framework of ones and zeros can never amount to a soul. AI may be able to write its own answers, and interpret what we want, but it can’t run without programming and someone feeding its server farms the electricity it needs.

No matter how much the hype-mongers of artificial intelligence may tell us to pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, there’s always a man in it. The question for us as we see the advent of AI applied to politics, is which man do we want? The one we elected, or the people doing the programming? It’s only a matter of time before we’re faced with this here in the U.S. And as much as we think a robot might do a better job than whichever current leader you’ve elected (I bet you can think of a few…), the solution is not to defer to some unelected artificial Oz behind the curtain. The solution is to elect better leaders.

AUTHOR

Jared Bridges

Jared Bridges is editor-in-chief of The Washington Stand.

RELATED ARTICLE: Thwarting the Left’s Assault on America

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Anti-Christian Hate Crimes Spike in Europe

A new report is documenting a drastic rise in anti-Christian hate crimes across Europe. The Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe (OIDAC Europe) published its annual report last week, detailing a 44% increase over the course of 2022 in social hostility towards and violent attacks against Christians as well as acts of vandalism and desecration against churches.

According to the report, 748 anti-Christian hate crimes were committed in Europe last year, 38 of which were violent physical attacks and three of which were murders. Arson attacks were also more common than in years past and churches were targeted for firebombings and vandalism, especially in France and Germany. In fact, arson attacks nearly doubled over the course of one year, rising from 60 attacks in 2021 to 106 in 2022.

The OIDAC Europe report noted that “there had been a surge of clear extremism-motivated attacks.” The majority of these attacks were committed by groups with far-left, satanic, Islamic, feminist, or LGBT affiliations. In comments to The Washington Stand, Irish Freedom Party founder and president Hermann Kelly said, “The increase in the number of anti-Christian hate crimes is truly shocking in a supposedly Christian continent. The presence of many millions of the Islamic faith which preaches hatred, domination, and annihilation of all non-Muslims has no doubt added greatly to the rise in anti-Christian violence.”

He added, “A second spike in the anti-Christian pincer movement is that of aggressive and militant secularism of the far Left. Incredibly, they find common allies and goals in the silencing of Christian public presence and influence in European society.”

In its report, OIDAC Europe also noted a growing movement to suppress religious liberty and criminalize Christian practices. In Ireland, for example, the government has been promoting what OIDAC called “Europe’s most extreme ‘hate speech’ bill.” The Criminal Justice (Incitement to Violence or Hatred and Hate Offences) Act would shift the burden of proof to the accused, who would have to demonstrate that they did not intend to “spread hate.” The bill criminalizes private materials, such as memes on a phone or books on a shelf, and could potentially outlaw Christian teachings on such subjects as LGBT ideology.

The bill, if enacted, would also allow police officers to obtain warrants to investigate suspected “hate speech” without presenting any evidence to a court. Other European nations have also seen “hate speech” legislation weaponized against Christians: two Catholic bishops in Spain have been prosecuted for repeating the Catholic Church’s teachings on marriage and sexuality, numerous “street preachers” have been arrested in the U.K. for allegedly causing “distress” to those who disagreed with Christian teachings, and Finish parliamentarian Päivi Räsänen was charged with “War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity” for quoting Scripture.

Others have seen “hate speech” policies weaponized in areas like academia. In Ireland, schoolteacher Enoch Burke was dismissed from his post and eventually jailed for refusing to call a student by transgender pronouns. Welsh teacher Ben Dybowski was fired after being asked to share his Christian position on homosexuality and abortion during a confidential, mandatory diversity and gender awareness training session. U.K. teacher Joshua Sutcliffe was sacked for sharing his Christian views on marriage with students, and school chaplain Bernard Randall was dismissed for delivering a homily critical of the LGBT agenda.

Another area of concern is abortion “buffer zones,” designated areas outside of abortion facilities where prayer, protest, and pro-life counseling are legally prohibited. These “buffer zones” are becoming prevalent in Ireland, Germany, Spain, and the U.K. Last year, pro-life activist Isabel Vaughan-Spruce was arrested for silently praying outside an abortion facility in England. The Catholic woman held no rosary and did not speak aloud but simply stood in silence. She was arrested, tried, and acquitted, and then arrested again two weeks after the acquittal on the same charges.

Arielle Del Turco, director of the Center for Religious Liberty at Family Research Council, commented to The Washington Stand, “The preservation of religious freedom relies not just on good laws and legal victories, but also on cultural support. Sadly, we are looking at plummeting cultural support for the rights of Christians in the West and a rise of intolerance against the Christian faith, particularly when that faith is proclaimed boldly in the public square. This is symptomatic of the larger trend of secularization. As culture becomes increasingly secular, people understand and value it less. Christian beliefs about the human body, sexual ethics, or the exclusivity of Christ can be seen as offensive or even oppressive.”

She further noted, “Over time, this leads to greater erosion of religious freedom and cultural support for Christians simply wanting to live out their faith or express their beliefs.”

In its conclusion, the OIDAC Europe report stated, “As freedom of thought, conscience, and religion is a cornerstone for free and democratic societies, we hope that states will not compromise on the protection of these fundamental rights, and thus ensure an open and peaceful climate in our societies.” Hermann Kelly forcefully added, “Only a return to Christian faith, family, fecundity, and education will give culturally and demographically dying Europe the chance of a future.”

AUTHOR

S.A. McCarthy

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.

RELATED ARTICLE: The ‘Responsibility Liberation’: Why Men Need to be Part of the Pro-Life Effort

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Ukraine, Israel, and the American World Order

An emerging stream of thought in American politics questions America’s longstanding international commitments because it doesn’t remember why we made them in the first place. Why is America supplying Ukraine with weapons in its war against Russia? What is America’s interest — as distinct from a Jew’s or Christian’s interest — in securing Israel’s victory over Hamas? Would America really put its own blood and treasure on the line to defend the sovereignty of faraway Taiwan?

When taken in isolation, these commitments may seem arbitrary. But understanding the history of American foreign policy can put them into their proper context.

America and Freedom

Perhaps the most fundamental aspect of American foreign policy is the character of the American people. America is founded on free ideals. These include ironclad protections for free markets and free enterprise, a primary source of American strength. America’s strong and open economy means American producers can often supply goods to new markets — when they can find them.

Enabling American merchants to freely buy and sell in overseas markets has remained a core objective of American foreign policy throughout most of American history. This was true when Boston merchants loaded bales of tobacco and cotton onto wooden sailing ships bound for Europe. It remains true as Coca-Cola and Apple market soft drinks and iPhones to the interior parts of Africa. The Washington administration and the Truman administration had drastically different foreign policies, but they shared this in common.

In fact, the young federal republic fought its first wars to defend the freedom of American merchant shipping. In the 1790s, America’s first post-revolution naval actions were to defend American sailors being pressed into service in the British and French navies. In 1801, American marines assaulted “the shores of Tripoli” to end Mediterranean piracy against American vessels. Later, an American squadron in 1853 threatened military action against Japan to force that hermit kingdom to open its ports to American trade.

Non-Intervention

Throughout most of the 1800s, America was able to achieve its goal of protecting international trade while largely avoiding foreign entanglements because a more powerful nation had the same goal. Great Britain, a banking powerhouse, also pursued a merchant-focused foreign policy — mostly by trading with colonies it established around the globe — and it had the world’s most powerful navy to enforce its will. This left America largely free to settle the giant continent that lay before it.

The main exception to American non-intervention in the 1800s — after the foolish war of 1812, that is — was the Monroe Doctrine. As South and Central American colonies declared independence from European powers in the 1810s and 1820s, U.S. President James Monroe announced that the U.S. would oppose any effort by European powers to establish or re-establish a colony in the Americas. This policy was designed to keep the world’s most powerful militaries from establishing a base on America’s doorstep, but it also allowed the fledgling new nations to learn how to govern themselves without fear of imminent invasion (admittedly, many of them performed poorly). In other words, it was America’s first attempt at creating other nations like ourself.

From the 1890s through the 1910s (the Progressive Era), American presidents embraced a more muscular foreign policy. They fought and won a war against a European power (Spain), created the nation of Panama to build a canal, and elbowed America into World War I to influence the post-war settlement. The war elevated America to an international status close to that of the great powers, mostly because these were exhausted and devastated from years of hard fighting. However, the American people ultimately rejected the post-war League of Nations negotiated by President Wilson, and once again withdrew from foreign concerns during the Great Depression.

World War II

Then came World War II, which profoundly changed America’s relationship with the rest of the world. America was reluctant to interfere in foreign affairs and did not join in the war until we were attacked. But, once America was roused, our economy demonstrated just how powerful it was, as we basically outproduced our way to victory against Japan and Germany.

America emerged from World War II with only one close rival, the Soviet Union. Previous powers, such as Great Britain, France, and Germany, were devastated by the war. This role forced the U.S. to engage more actively in foreign relations. In particular, a war-weakened Britain no longer stabilized world finances or patrolled the world’s oceans; now America’s central bank and Navy would have to perform these functions if we were to protect our own trading interests.

America deployed the Marshall Plan to rapidly rehabilitate Western Europe, and even our recent enemies, Germany and Japan. Partly, this investment corrected the mistakes made after World War I, which left Germany humiliated, weakened, and eager to avenge itself in another war. Partly, this investment helped to fortify a bulwark against the Soviet Union, which was rapidly gobbling up eastern Europe. But partly, this investment helped to stimulate America’s own economy, because we needed trading partners wealthy enough to buy our goods.

America and other nations also sought to prevent a repeat of World War II, which began with a strongman and his military machine gobbling up smaller, weaker neighbors one after another, while other nations were reluctant to take responsibility to stop him. To that end, America and other nations formed the United Nations in 1945, with a resolve “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.”

The U.N. Charter’s very first article defined its purposes: “To maintain international peace and security … To develop friendly relations among nations … To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems … To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.”

Article 2 of the U.N. Charter set forth additional principles to govern international behavior. It affirmed “the sovereign equality of all its Members,” required member nations to “settle their international disputes by peaceful means,” forbade “the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state,” and required member nations to make sure that non-member nations acted according to these principles.

This Charter is worth noticing carefully. Granted, the U.N. has many shortcomings and outright failures. It seethes with anti-Semitism, overextends its authority into the affairs of sovereign nations, is often taken captive by the worst human rights abusers, and often fails to have any positive effect when actual crises arrive. Granted, too, the Charter exudes an overly optimistic view of international relations that lacks realism.

But notice the Charter’s goals: maintaining international peace, acknowledging national sovereignty, and preserving the territorial integrity of nation states against aggression by stronger, more powerful neighbors. These principles create conditions where international trade can flourish. They also enable a nation to handle its own affairs without undue interference by outsiders. These are the conditions American foreign policy has sought to achieve throughout its entire history. This is the Monroe Doctrine made global.

Also significantly, the principles set forth in this Charter were emphatically not those of the Soviet Union or other warmongering dictators. Before World War II, Joseph Stalin had eagerly partnered with Hitler to divide Poland between them. After World War II, the Soviet Union continued to dominate all the nations in its sphere of influence — nations behind what came to be known as the Iron Curtain. It took decades before East Germany, Czechoslovakia, or Romania saw political freedom again. Additionally, the Soviet Union was constantly trying to export its toxic ideology — to Nicaragua or Cuba, for instance — or invade other countries — but more on that shortly.

In other words, although the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. were the two global superpowers, the international union they formed reflected American values far more than Soviet ones. Partly, this was because communists are willing to say nice things and then do terrible things. But partly, this represented a moral victory for the United States. The world order that took shape after World War II was an American one.

The post-World War II American World Order has endured for nearly a lifetime. America has profitable and sophisticated trade relationships with countries in Europe, eastern and southern Asia, South America, Africa, and the Pacific. America has developed and deepened security relationships with more than 50 nations on every continent. After roughly 45 years, America’s only peer rival, the Soviet Union, collapsed, leaving the U.S. in the rare position of a global hegemon. This has been the American World Order, and America has, on average, benefited by it.

Sometimes, the U.N. has positively helped confront challenges to the American World Order. Soviet- and Chinese-backed communists attempted to invade Korea in the 1950s, but a U.N. coalition fought them to a draw. Thus illegally annexed, the northern part of Korea remains an international pariah, while the southern part of Korea flourishes among the world’s most developed economies. In 1990, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein overran his smaller neighbor Kuwait. Again, a U.N. coalition forced him to relinquish the territory he conquered.

At other times, the U.S. has had to confront the challenge on its own or with a smaller group of allies — with varying degrees of success. It countered the U.S.S.R.’s invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s by arming local fighters. It has confronted various coups at various times, and it responded to the growing threat of international terrorism by experimenting with regime change of its own. Perhaps its greatest blunder was the failed attempt to prevent a communist takeover of Vietnam, which thrust the nation down into a decade of despair and retreat. Nevertheless, the fundamental structure of the world order remained favorable to American interests, even at the moments when America did not seem to benefit thereby.

Over the past 15 years, a fundamental principle of the American World Order has come under increasing scrutiny — the notion that every nation has a fundamental right of sovereignty over its territory — all its territory. In 2008, Russia, the largest successor to the Soviet Union, invaded its smaller neighbor Georgia; to this day, Russian troops occupy two breakaway regions of Georgia, which only Russia recognizes as a sovereign nation. In 2014, Russia invaded another neighbor, Ukraine, and claimed to “annex” the southern, oil-rich Crimean peninsula and eastern, industrialized Donbas region — a blatant violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity. In 2015, an Islamist insurgency dubbing itself the “Islamic State” captured and controlled large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria that had been destabilized by civil war and the withdrawal of U.S. troops — although its territorial gains were largely wiped out by 2019.

That brings us up to recent history, which has seen further challenges to the American world order and to American world supremacy. In 2022, Russia extended its invasion of Ukraine, first attempting to conquer the entire country, and then revising its goals towards solidifying additional territorial gains in the south and east. In 2023, Islamist militants sponsored by Iran launched a war against Israel, publicly declaring their intention to wipe it off the world map.

On the other edge of Asia, communist China continues its aggressive expansion across the South China Sea and its provocative behavior towards Taiwan, which it falsely claims is not an independent nation but rather a breakaway province. While China has not actually launched an invasion, foreign policy observers widely agree that it seems prepared to do so and is closely watching America’s response to other global hotspots.

So, how do these various conflicts relate to America’s core interests? America benefits from a peaceful world order that allows international trade to flourish. Ever since World War II, America has sought to enforce a global norm of national sovereignty and territorial integrity as a means to prevent global conflicts, which could disrupt America’s trade interest — not to mention upset nations’ self-determination. America’s authoritarian rivals are increasingly testing those norms.

If America backs away from its commitment to the territorial integrity and national sovereignty of all nations, our global adversaries will interpret this as a license to further acts of aggression, which will further undermine the (relatively) peaceful world order that is structured in America’s interest. This is the context for conflicts in both Ukraine and Israel, the nervous stalemate in Taiwan, and in other global hotspots that could quickly unravel if America retreats from its commitment to its own interests.

AUTHOR

Joshua Arnold

Joshua Arnold is a senior writer at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

‘There Is a Palestinian Refugee Crisis Today Because of Arab Nations’: Expert

How should we approach Israel’s ongoing conflicts from a historical perspective? Dr. A.J. Nolte, chair of the Government Graduate Program and director of the International Development M.A. Program at Regent University, sat down to discuss this and more on “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” on October 19.


TONY PERKINS: Many of us know our Old Testament history. God gave the land to Israel, but [we know] less about the 20th century history of Israel and the actions and decisions that brought us to that point. Help us understand the more modern history of Israel, the Palestinian Mandate, and how we arrived [here].

A.J. NOLTE: Okay, very good. And I will try to be as succinct here as possible. There’s a lot of history, and it can get dense, but I do want to start, actually, with a brief dip into the 19th century, because one of the terms that you’ll often hear thrown around in this discussion of modern Israel is “Zionism.” And especially with the U.N. often talking, and some of the Palestinian activists talking, about Zionism as racism. I think we need to quickly define that, because it’s hard to understand the story of Israel without it. So Zionism, at its core, is the idea that the Jewish people ought to have their own nation state. So it is a subspecies of nationalism. That aspect is true, but it’s a nationalism that is, I would say, in many ways kind of civically oriented. And … it is trying to answer the question of “What does it mean to be a Jew in the modern world?” And this question is actually first prompted — not by pogroms and not by the ghetto — but by the fact that Jews in Europe were emancipated, that they’re given their full civil rights in many European countries.

But this then leads to the question for a lot of Jews, “Okay, so we’ve been, a people that were apart in a largely Christian context. But now that we have secularism, now that we have nationalism, what does it mean to be a Jew? Do we assimilate, or do we seek for our own national identity as all these other groups — the Italians, the Germans, the French are seeking for their own self-determination? Is that a path that we should go down?” And so Zionism is the answer that takes that second option. And so, Theodor Herzl, of course, is one of the thinkers who’s the most integral into that. There’s also another thinker, [Leon] Pinsker, and he argues for what he calls auto-emancipation. This is really important in understanding Israel. Pinsker’s idea is, regardless of what anybody else does, no one will free the Jews except for the Jews. We must emancipate ourselves. And so it’s a real sort of self-determination, self-reliance idea. And that is fundamental as well to Zionism. So we ought to have our own nation, our own state, and it’s something that we ought to build ourselves.

PERKINS: Along the way, though, they had the support of Christians in this idea of Zionism, did they not?

NOLTE: Yes, they did. And particularly, I would say, Christians in the Anglo-American world, Anglo-American Christianity — in particular, Protestantism, but the Catholics have kind of come alongside this as well — have always had a very strong emphasis on the Bible. Have always taken the Bible seriously, and have always taken the Old Testament seriously, even going back to the Puritans. And so it’s not surprising that some of the earliest — what we would now call today, sort of anachronistically, but not entirely — “Christian Zionists” come from the Anglo-American tradition.

One book I would recommend to your readers is “Power, Faith, and Fantasy: A History of the U.S. and the Middle East” by Michael Oren. And Oren talks about how some of the first American missionaries, Levi Parsons is one, who are going into the Middle East, are going in with the idea that it is God’s will that there should be a Jewish state restored in what is then Ottoman Palestine. Keep in mind this is the 1820s. So for you theology and history nerds, that is before John Nelson Darby and Premillennial dispensationalism, and that is before the Scofield Study Bible. So this isn’t just an end times thing. This is something that is deeply within the DNA of American Christianity, going back as far as the 1820s.

PERKINS: It’s just in alignment with God’s word. I mean, we see God’s promises for these people, and we come in alignment with God’s promises, is it not?

NOLTE: Yes. And so, that’s the argument from a theological perspective. And one of the people who I’ve heard make this very eloquently is Father Gerald McDermott, who is an Anglican priest. And he says, “Show me in the New Testament where the promise of the land is abrogated” — in other words, where the promise of the land is taken away. And the answer that people have is: you can’t unless you’re going to sort of stretch and twist Scripture outside of its original meaning. And so, that is the theological justification. So both in Britain through the Anglican Church, through the Church Mission to the Jews, or CMJ, through many passionate evangelicals in England and in the United States, there’s a strong reservoir of Christian support for what ends up becoming a Zionist project. In fact, I’ll give you one quick anecdote and then we can move on to the 20th century. But Benjamin Netanyahu, in his memoir, talks about how when Theodor Herzl was dying, at his bedside was an Anglican priest who was committed to this Zionist project. And actually Netanyahu’s book, when he talks about Christians, he really gets this, and he really understands this history in a way that oftentimes people don’t.

PERKINS: Even the Christians today, many in the church today, don’t understand this history and its alignment with Scripture. But they’ve listened too much to the critics on the Left thinking this is just some kind of radical sect within the evangelical movement.

NOLTE: Yes, absolutely. And it’s not.

PERKINS: So bring us up to what we see unfolding today.

NOLTE: So briefly, you start seeing immigration as far back as the 1880s. Of course, there’s always a Jewish population in that area of what is today the modern nation state of Israel — what, at the time, is Ottoman Palestine. But there’s always been a Jewish population there. And you see some Zionist immigration. Then, of course, after World War II, it falls into the British Mandate. And during the British Mandate, there’s the Balfour Declaration, which is a declaration made by Lord Balfour that the Jews ought to have their own state within the land of what is then Ottoman Palestine. Now, one of the problems that you have with the British Mandate is the British somewhat promised the land to different British officials — promised different chunks of the land to different people at the same time. And so I would say the British never really had a coherent policy for what they were going to do with the mandate. But then, of course, you have the second major event that is formative and foundational for modern Jewish identity: the first was the emancipation, which led to Zionism; the second was the Holocaust. And … we all know what the Holocaust did in raw terms, you know, six million Jews exterminated for the crime of their ethnic descent — which is no crime at all. But this is the reason why they’re killed.

And so the Holocaust does a couple of really important things. One, it creates as a moral imperative [for] the idea that the Jewish state must be created now on the international sphere. Harry Truman, of course, a devout Baptist, the American president at the time [and] a Democrat, I would note as well … is very passionate about this idea and supports it as one of the first world leaders. Second, for Jews and for Israel themselves, Zionism becomes not just a like, “How do we deal with the challenges of modernity?” It becomes an existential necessity. The impact of the Holocaust and Zionism [says], we must have a place where this can never happen to us again, where we will be protected from the possibility that anyone will ever try to exterminate us as a people. And so that is what Israel becomes. It becomes, in essence, a lifeboat, a place where any Jew, no matter how bad their circumstances in the other countries of the world that they’re living in, has a place where they can go. And so, that idea is fundamental to Israel. Whenever Israel is talking about security, there’s a possibility that we flip a switch and it becomes an existential issue where it becomes an existential threat. And … you’ve got a nation that, at their foundation, there is the Holocaust and the trauma that’s associated with that. And so that creates a resolve that anything that becomes an existential threat, Israel cannot rest and must be united in removing that threat.

PERKINS: And so, with the British or the Palestine Mandate, the British having control, they were reluctant to actually pull the trigger on anything. And so we come back to 1948, and it was that auto-emancipation that really triggers in because Israel took the initiative.

NOLTE: Absolutely. So you have the U.N. resolution that creates two states. Israel accepts it. And I forget which Israeli founder, but one of them said, “You know, I would accept an Israel the size of a tablecloth.” And so, they accept the mandate, even though it’s not advantageous to them. The Arab states reject it, and they reject it because they’ve … got their own nationalist idea. And this is the idea of Arab nationalism. Very briefly, Arab nationalism is the idea that all the Arabs of the Middle East ought to be united into one nation. But what is different about Arab nationalism is that there’s kind of an ethno-supremacism that is, I would argue, kind of intrinsic in Arab nationalism. In other words, it’s not just Jewish identity that they’re objecting to. It’s Kurdish identity. It’s the identity of other ethnic and religious minorities that is being squashed by Arab nationalism, because they can only support this one ethnic identity. And so, the Arabs automatically, you know, for nationalist reasons, in many ways reject the creation of the Jewish state. And so the message that all of the Arab states decide [is], “Okay, we’re going to all work together and try to wipe out this new Jewish state.” And what they tell a lot of the Arabs in the territory is, “We’re going to go in, and we’re going to crush this, and we’re going to put an end to this Jewish state. So we want you to leave. And then once we’re done crushing Israel, then you can come back.” And then, of course, they lose the war.

And just to give your listeners an understanding here what I mean by when they lose the war, the Arab armies were better trained. They were better armed. They were often Western trained. They were often advised by Western officers, many of them German. Their equipment was often British. You have a very ragtag group of folks that are unevenly armed defending Israel, many of whom are armed with surplus AK-47s that they bought third hand from the Czechs at the time. And they won. And it is, historically — let’s just put it this way, as somebody who studies military strategy in politics — it is historically unlikely, improbable (as a Christian, I might say miraculous) that this is in fact the outcome. But keep in mind that the promise that was made to the Arab population that, “We’re going to go in, we’re going to wipe out the Jewish state, and then you can move back” is made by the Arab countries. And I will argue — and this is a controversial opinion — but I will argue that the reason that there is a Palestinian refugee crisis today is because of the Arab countries. And if you want, I can unpack that a little bit more.

PERKINS: I mean, I think that when you look back to the United Nations creating what we’ve talked about here on this program, UNRWA which is a funding for Palestinian refugees, and we see even today where these other Arab countries are refusing to take the individuals from Gaza, because that would be an admission of defeat in terms of what they promised to do. Would it not?

NOLTE: One thing that not a lot of people remember is that the immigrants that came to Israel weren’t just coming from Europe. There are also Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews. These are Jews of Middle Eastern origin, many of whom — 700,000 of whom, if I’m remembering the number correctly — but hundreds of thousands of whom are expelled from the other Arab countries. There are large Jewish communities in Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Morocco. All of these Jewish communities are expelled, and the Jews take them in. These are people that would ethnically you would say, are pretty much Middle Eastern. The Jews take them in when the Arabs were expelled — oftentimes, not exclusively, but mostly because the Arab states said, “Hey, leave your homes, and eventually we’ll give them back to you.” For ideological reasons, the Arab nationalist states did the opposite, because they’re saying, “We have to keep these people as sort of a nation. … Basically, we’ll keep them as refugees, because if we integrate them, then we are acknowledging that we’re never going to be able to take Israel back, and we’re never going to be able to take them out.” They try twice more in 1967 and 1973, [but] they fail. And it’s really in the process of that, that this goes from an Arab nationalist thing where the idea is we’re going to have one unified Arab nation of which this is going to be a province, and then you start to see the birth of a separate, distinct Palestinian nationalism. But I would argue, that kind of happens as Arab nationalism, as an ideology, just fails.

PERKINS: So that brings us up to today. And unfortunately, Dr. Nolte, we’re out of time. We’re going to have part two of this conversation and how we look at this going forward next week.

AUTHOR

TWS Staff Report

RELATED PODCAST: Outstanding – Ep. 40: Unpacking the Hamas/Israel War

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

7 Lies, Distortions, or Abominations in Joe Biden’s 9/11 Speech

On the 22nd anniversary of 9/11, Joe Biden once again made history for all the wrong reasons — ignoring grieving families, lying to U.S. soldiers, and attempting to cut a plea bargain with terrorist masterminds while sending billions of dollars to the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. Here are seven examples:

1. Location

Joe Biden became the first president not to take part in ceremonies in one of the three cities associated with the 9/11 attacks: New York City; Washington, D.C.; or Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Instead, he spoke at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, a location his remarks attempted to tie to the attacks. Add Biden — whom NBC News dubbed the “consoler-in-chief” — skipping this 9/11 memorial to his historic firsts of admitting the most illegal immigrants into the United States ever and the highest number of Americans to die of drug overdoses (problems which are correlated), and it paints the picture of a president who does not care about U.S. citizens or their losses.

His handlers blamed a scheduling conflict for Biden’s whereabouts — but who sets the president’s schedule? In any previous administration, the question would be rhetorical. Biden, or his handlers, felt it more important for the president to attend the G-20 Summit in India (or “the G7,” as Biden called it), followed by a trip to Vietnam — conveniently putting a younger, more “diverse” Democrat center stage during the event. (Biden’s disastrous performance at his Vietnam press conference may explain why.) Still, the president’s absence seemed anomalous enough that Biden felt required to explain the trip constituted “an essential part of how we’re going to assure the United States is flanked by the broadest array of partners and allies who will stand with us and deter any threat to our security.” If Biden thinks Vietnam will send troops to defend the United States, much less join a future U.S.-led nation-building exercise, he’s delusional — which may explain…

2. Joe Biden Lied about His Location on September 12, 2001

During his speech, Biden shared vividly invented memories of “Ground Zero in New York — I remember standing there the next day and looking at the building. I felt like I was looking through the gates of Hell, it looked so devastated.” In reality, video footage proves that Joe Biden attended a session of the Senate in Washington, D.C., on September 12, 2001. But self-aggrandizing fables hardly surprise coming from Joe Biden, who has embellished his past more than anyone since Walter Mitty. He also falsely “remembered” being “shot at” during a trip to Iraq (a shot landed outside his hotel) and searching for Osama bin Laden over “the superhighway of terror between Pakistan and Afghanistan where my helicopter was forced down” (due to a snowstorm), as well as being arrested in the 1980s while trying to meet future South African President Nelson Mandela (they met in 1990 in the Senate Foreign Relations executive committee room), taking part in sit-ins in the 1960s, meeting with members of the Tree of Life Synagogue after a mass shooting, and presiding over an America thriving due to Bidenomics.

3. Biden Praises the Mission to Kill Osama bin Laden — Which He Opposed

During his remarks, Biden tied himself to “heroes like the 9/11 generation … who followed Osama bin Laden to the ends of the earth and ultimately send him to the gates of Hell 12 years ago. And then last year, I made the decision to take out [Ayman al-]Zawahiri, the number two, who met the same fate.”

But Joe Biden opposed the mission that killed Osama bin Laden, as he boasted to an audience in 2012. Once again, video footage captures Biden telling a different audience a different tale:

“The president, he went around the table with all the senior people, including the Chiefs of Staff. And he said, ‘I have to make this decision. What is your opinion?’ He started with the National Security adviser, the Secretary of State, and he ended with me. Every single person in that room hedged their bet, except Leon Panetta; Leon said, ‘Go!’ Everyone else said ‘49/51,’ this …

“It got to me. He said, “Joe what do you think?” And I said, ‘Ya know, I didn’t know we have so many economists around the table. We owe the man a direct answer. Mr. President, my suggestion is don’t go. We have to do two more things to see if he’s there.’ He walked out, and he said, ‘I’ll give you my decision.’” (Emphasis added.)

Barack Obama dithered for 16 hours while the military waited for his decision. The Navy’s SEAL Team 6 succeeded in raiding bin Laden’s compound on May 2, 2011. Then-Vice President Biden blurted out that Navy SEALs killed the terrorist mastermind at a Washington dinner one day later. That August 6, a Taliban RPG blew up a Chinook helicopter in Afghanistan, killing 38 U.S. soldiers, including 17 members of SEAL Team 6. “In releasing their identity, [the Obama-Biden administration] put a target on their backs,” said the father of one of the soldiers killed that day.

4. Biden Seeks a Plea Bargain to Spare 9/11 Masterminds the Death Penalty

Just weeks before the speech, the Biden administration quietly initiated proceedings to cut a deal that would spare the death penalty for the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and four other co-conspirators currently held at Guantanamo Bay. The families of 9/11 victims expressed outrage that they learned of the impending plea deal in “a form letter.” Sparing the terrorists a trial would suppress “information that no doubt would shed light on the identity of the 9/11 conspirators — secret and hidden — not only from the 9/11 families but from the American public.” Even now, as U.S. officials have just identified two more of the victims at the Twin Towers, the Biden administration seeks to conceal the identity of its perpetrators.

5. Biden Gave $6 Billion to Iran on 9/11

As Biden rhetorically crusaded against terrorism from a military base, his administration released billions of dollars to the leading state sponsor of terrorism. Under the terms of an agreement announced last month, Biden transferred $6 billion and five imprisoned Iranian assets in exchange for five American prisoners. Biden’s Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, notified Congress he had authorized the payment on 9/11.

“We used to call funding a terror state an act of treason,” said Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.). No one denies Iran remains the global leader in terror sponsorship — including the Biden administration. “Designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1984, Iran continued its support for terrorist-related activity in 2021, including support for Hizballah, Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza, and various terrorist and militant groups in Iraq, Syria, Bahrain, and elsewhere throughout the Middle East,” according to the most recent terrorist report from Biden’s State Department.

Iran’s terrorism barely outdates Joe Biden’s desire to send the Ayatollah U.S. taxpayers’ dollars. Biden also wanted to send Iran a check for $200 million with “no strings attached” immediately after 9/11/2001 to prove America’s goodwill. The New Republic reported in October 2001:

America needs to show the Arab world that we’re not bent on its destruction. “Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran,” Biden declares. He surveys the table with raised eyebrows, a How do ya like that? look on his face.

The Obama-Biden administration went on to give Iran $1.7 billion in 2016.

6. Biden Boasts of Protecting the Troops

During his remarks, Biden reassured the troops, “I will never hesitate to do what is necessary to defend the American people, just as I will never forget our sacred duty to those of you who serve.” Can anyone believe Joe Biden will protect Americans from another Taliban attack when his precipitous withdrawal abandoned possibly thousands of U.S. citizens to the Taliban’s tender mercies, and left soldiers so vulnerable that a suicide bomber killed 13 U.S. servicemembers? The Taliban incorporated numerous terrorists into its newly minted government — much as the Obama-Biden administration’s unconstitutional war put al-Qaeda affiliates in charge of Libya and its machinations installed a regime favorable to the Muslim Brotherhood, the fundamentalist group where Osama bin Laden met Ayman al-Zawahiri, in Egypt.

Yet the Biden administration seemed more interested in firing the Marine who criticized the collapse of Kabul, Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller, than the political advisers who engineered it.

To the extent Biden intends to keep a “sacred duty,” he certainly defines it differently than any of his predecessors: Pentagon spokesman John Kirby called funding abortion-related travel the “foundational, sacred obligation of military leaders.”

7. Praising ‘National Unity’ while Sowing Division

As the bipolar Biden administration frequently does, Biden mouthed the right words about “national unity” — fluffy phrases that belie his dedication to Balkanization, division, and enacting a racial spoils system for his supporters while demonizing, surveilling, and imprisoning his political opponents. Biden waxed nostalgic that after 9/11, “American flags sold out in every store and were placed in front of seemingly every home. … This day reminds us we must never lose that sense of national unity, so let that be the common cause of our time.” Americans must resist being “pulled apart by petty, manufactured grievances” inflamed by “the poisonous politics of difference and division.”

Such inspiring words make one wonder if the president remembers his “Dark Brandon” speech, flanked by soldiers, in which he denounced his political opponents as an existential threat to American survival in front of a black-and-red colored Constitution Hall. That speech flowed more naturally from the Biden administration, which has placed intersectionality and “equity” at “the center” of a “whole-of-government” plan to redistribute wealth and respect toward solidly Democratic-leaning voting blocs.

One need look no further than actions taken by Biden’s Department of Homeland Security last week — again, on the eve of 9/11. The DHS doled out Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention grants, which are intended “to prevent targeted violence and terrorism,” to:

  • The Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League ($530,000) to provide “in-school” indoctrination “for LGBTQ+ youth ages 6-24” in D.C.-area schools. (You can read the details here.);
  • American University’s Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab, or PERIL ($784,276), for “teaching children in grades K-5 how to recognize harmful online content.” PERIL (get it?) partners with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, the pro-gun control Everytown for Gun Safety, and the Anti-Defamation League. To “prevent radicalization,” PERIL encourages teachers to have “classroom conversations” about “the Movement for Black Lives and protests against systemic police brutality, to the far-right insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th.” PERIL’s leader, MSNBC columnist Cynthia Miller-Idriss, also claims that young people who “are more committed to a kind of gun culture also have higher scores on racial resentment and male supremacist ideas” and worries that Americans might be “easily persuaded by false information … about why they need a gun”;
  • Boston Children’s Hospital ($820,990), which carries out transgender surgeries on children as young as 13, to train mental health practitioners how to identify and deal with people allegedly at “risk for targeted violence and terrorism”;
  • University of North Dakota ($386,682.78) for an “educational module [that] expands understanding of Indigenous culture”;
  • Columbia University ($820,332) to develop “an interactive program focused on storytelling”; and
  • Michigan State Police Michigan Intelligence Operations Center ($425,485) to “raise awareness of how the community can identify and properly refer individuals who may demonstrate behaviors that suggest they may be going down a path toward violence.” This comes after investigators exposed an alleged kidnapping plot targeting Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D), creeping with allegations of entrapment involving more than a dozen FBI agents or informants.

Such “anti-terrorism” grants seem more intended to target the soldiers Biden addressed than Osama bin Laden’s spiritual progeny.

Taken together, the picture of Joe Biden that emerges is one of an exhausted vessel shafted by his handlers, whose decades of foreign policy experience have created a more dangerous world — and whose victims will receive either his animus or indifference.

AUTHOR

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.

RELATED ARTICLE: Biden Admin Violated Americans’ Free Speech Rights during Pandemic, 5th Circuit Rules

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Senator Marco Rubio: ‘No Precedent’ for Chinese ‘Police Stations’ in U.S.

UPDATE JUNE 16, 2023: Hundreds of Chinese Spies are ASSAULTING Our Border


In the wake of the arrests of two alleged Chinese operatives who managed a clandestine “police station” in New York City earlier this week, U.S. lawmakers are expressing alarm about the Chinese government’s increased efforts to infiltrate American society on a variety of fronts, due in part to perceived weakness on the part of the Biden administration as well as financial ties between Chinese actors and American companies and officials.

As news spread of the arrests of the two individuals who allegedly worked under the direction of China’s Ministry of Public Security, a new report from the human rights group Safeguard Defenders indicated that there are likely at least six more secret Chinese outposts located across the U.S., including in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Houston as well as Nebraska and Minnesota.

On Tuesday, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) joined “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” to discuss the brazen nature of China’s incursion efforts.

“I think it should tell us that they have no limits to what they’re willing to do to further their agenda around the world,” he said. “They don’t respect boundaries and borders and other countries. So they basically had agents operating inside the United States for the purpose of harassing and, in many cases, trying to lure Chinese Americans back to the mainland of China, where they can then obviously do whatever it is they needed to do to punish them for speaking out against China, for having positions. In some cases, by the way, they’re harassing people in the U.S., Chinese Americans, because of what their relatives are doing back inside of China, like we’ve seen with Uyghur Muslims and the like. So it shows you we’ve reached the stage now where they’re not afraid to operate inside of our country in this manner. … I don’t know of any other precedent for it.”

Rubio further argued that the audacious nature China’s spying efforts are largely due to an American culture in decline.

“They watch our newscasts — I want to be frank — [and] watch our society and our culture imploding from within. They see we are a country obsessed with things that aren’t true, like men pretending to be women and all these other things. We have a president who cannot put sentences together coherently, an America that is constantly beating up on itself and talking about how terrible we are. They see a great power in decline, and they think that they are now strong enough that they can challenge us in this way. … [I]t’s a reality … that we’re going to have to do something about.”

As if to illustrate Rubio’s point, it came to light on Tuesday that a number of high-profile Democratic politicians appeared at fundraisers and lavish dinners with one of the accused operatives, “Harry” Lu Jianwang. Photos reveal that in 2022 and 2023, New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) met with Jianwang at multiple events in New York City. Public campaign finance records show that Jianwang donated $4,000 to Adams’s mayoral campaign between 2019 and 2021.

News of additional American financial entanglements with entities directly tied to the Chinese Communist Party came in March, when it was reported that Gotion, a Chinese electric vehicle battery manufacturer, would receive billions of dollars in inducements to build plants in Michigan. Former Michigan congressman Pete Hoekstra joined “Washington Watch” Tuesday to discuss the extent of the American financial incentives that the Chinese company is set to gain in the deal.

“Two battery plants that our governor [and] the legislature is pushing total close to $4 billion in tax incentives, infrastructure, and handouts to two Chinese manufacturers to build battery plants here in the state of Michigan,” explained Hoekstra, who formerly served as U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands. “That’s roughly $400 for every single citizen … in the state of Michigan — meaning a family of five will be investing $2,000 into the Chinese Communist Party.”

As Hoekstra went on to observe, China isn’t the only known human rights abuser that is involved in the deal.

“Gotion is going to put an offer on the table for $10 billion for a number of different projects, including a project to mine lithium in Afghanistan,” he noted. “And this is all orchestrated through the Taliban. So imagine this Michigan taxpayer money going to Gotion, going to the Chinese Communist Party, going to Afghanistan, to mine lithium in a deal arranged by the Taliban. … I’d like to say it’s unbelievable, but it’s happening. … [T]he legislature may put the final touches on it in the coming days.”

Hoekstra also noted that both Democrats and Republicans in the Michigan legislature are responsible for coordinating the deal, which has yet to be fully approved due to grassroots backlash.

“[We need to] really offer support to the local folks,” he emphasized. “But the action item is to call our state legislature, Republicans and Democrats, and to say, ‘Don’t bring this up for a vote as a legislature.’ Pause this project or at least pause it until you can do a deep dive into the connections between the Chinese Communist Party and these so-called ‘economic development’ activities in the state of Michigan.”

AUTHOR

Dan Hart

Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Growing Number of Migrants From China Arriving at US-Mexico Border

Doocy Grills Jean-Pierre On Biden’s Response To Chinese Police Stations: ‘Tell Him To Cut It Out’

China’s Massive ‘Terracotta Army’ Invasion of the U.S.A.

Marjorie Taylor Greene Roasts Eric Swalwell To His Face For Alleged ‘Sexual Relationship’ With Suspected Chinese Spy

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Dog Meat, Human Meat, and Other Wonders of Socialist Cuban Hunger

I can imagine the face of the person who discovered that bag full of dog heads in San Antonio de los Baños, Cuba. Around those days in 2012, the tumultuous popular festivities of Humoranga had ended, and the local palate still remembered the fabulous skewers that, mysteriously, were being sold at pocket prices in the always hungry Cuban scene.

I can imagine people hearing about the sack. Tying up loose ends can be nauseating.

The possible sale of dog meat keeps reminding me of Donald Trump, who pointed out that people stand up for freedom because they want to walk their dog and not eat it. Sure, maybe not your dog, but the neighborhood dog, who passes a stone’s throw away and doesn’t wear a collar or answer to any name. People are hungry.

That is why a well-known Cuban writer told me that before going cat-hunting in his college years, he would swish some rum, as if to dilute his consciousness. Yes, in Cuba people have also eaten cats. The demand for this and any meat had a peak in the 1990s, the hardest crisis on the island, when this writer was studying to become an engineer, and the nights of hunger did not allow him to sleep.

In that fateful decade, rabbit meat buyers asked for the animal with its head, to make sure they weren’t selling cats. From that period comes an extensive survival recipe. From pizzas with condoms instead of cheese, to steaks with grapefruit peel and mop bedspreads.

Socialism has failed so much and in so many ways that, as Thomas Sowell said, only an intellectual would be unable to see it. In 2007, experts from the University of Loyola and the Cuban university in Cienfuegos studied the impacts of the so-called Special Period and concluded that it had done good for the health of Cubans. Yes, as it reads.

Due to the lack of food and fuel, which forced thousands of Cubans to pedal bicycles to get around, obesity decreased. And, as a consequence, the number of deaths were attributed to diabetes, coronary diseases, and cardiac arrests. At the same time, the famine minimized the amount of calories in the diet. Wow, after zombifying millions of souls, you have Big Brother to thank.

The experts can be, it is known, new tyrants of the postmodern state, and with Cuba, they have tried to rewrite its history to accommodate their delusions. The academics behind the study conveniently ignored the rise in diseases such as polyneuritis or depression during the 1990s.

What would they say about an act of cannibalism if it occurs in socialist Cuba? Would they change the moral compass to justify it? At the end of 2022, it emerged that a hospital employee “was extracting organs and body fat from the deceased to crush them and sell them as mincemeat.” The rumor spread on social networks, and through an official statement the Provincial Health Directorate of Santiago de Cuba confirmed it: the National Revolutionary Police was investigating a possible case of organ trafficking from deceased persons at the Ambrosio Grillo Portuondo Clinical Surgical Hospital.

“Certainly, there are two workers from the reference hospital who work as eviscerators and occupational therapy, arrested on December 9, 2022 for an alleged criminal act, having seized two hearts of possible human origin,” explained the state center. Will revolutionary progress lead to cannibalism?

The United States is one of the main importers of food to the island. In 2021, Castroism disbursed more than $124 million in frozen chicken quarters, a substantial increase compared to 2020, when it paid just over $67 million for the same product.

Yes, imperialism wants the hardened people to die of hunger, the people that (the regime believes) turns on the gossip in the blackout, thinking that at least the right wing does not rule in Cuba, the island that before 1959 produced meat and exported flowers south of the United States. Yes. When the system changes, how things change.

The revolutionaries of 1959 repeated that changes were good, that change was equal to progress, that they could only advance even as nobody knew for sure where it was going. But, as we have seen, progressivism does not mean progress. Having your feet on the ground, a minute, is enough to know.

Luis O. lives in Camaguey, inherited a shotgun, and after a cumbersome process he obtained a license to hunt. It is 2023, but Luis goes out to kill ducks, quails, and whatever he finds in front of the canyon to feed his brother, his mother, his wife, and their two children, as if the city of Camaguey was still Santa María del Puerto del Príncipe. While socialism imposes stores in capitalist currency (euro, dollar, everything) on an impoverished population, the people of Camaguey saw the stores in Cuban pesos dry up. Without food, Luis went back in time. He shares that his days are filled with the need to go into the bush and hunt.

The Cuban State cries about the embargo and paints it as a “blockade,” but the only blockade that exists is that of the State against the citizen, and it is the one that takes its toll, leaving land without crops and stomachs without food. The bureaucrats at the Palace of the Revolution kick their feet because Washington does not give credit to a country that does not pay, and because U.S. politicians consider it immoral to trade freely with a regime that prohibits free trade among its inhabitants.

As in India, for more than 40 years cows were “sacred” in Cuba. In one way by faith, in another by the hand of the god-State. It was only until 2021 that the sale of beef was authorized on the island, and its production and sale by private parties was decriminalized.

Since 1979, no producer could sell this meat, and buyers were punished with up to a year in jail for buying it. At the time of its decriminalization, the pound was paid in the informal market for up to $12. Castroism announced that it would pay the peasant for two kilos of meat. Magnanimous.

Faithful to the disconnection with natural laws, Cuban statism projected in 2021 the allocation of an additional 3,461 million pesos to the annual budget, “in order to stimulate agricultural production.” But the investment was nothing. The same voluntarism that “removed” money from the coffers, generated one of the highest inflation rates on the planet that year and its consequent devaluation of the peso.

He believed that subsidizing with “soft loans” electricity, water, fumigation, and feed costs for pig farming, he would magically compensate for the lack of economic freedom of 63 years.

In 1979, the first revolutionary Penal Code criminalized the slaughter of cattle. But the hunger was so great that, far from stopping, in 1987 the sacrifice of horses had to be made illegal in the letter. In 1999, the severity of sentences for slaughtering cattle increased. Whoever sold or transported that meat would receive up to eight years in prison. But there is no decree that stops hunger. Just freedom and work.

Before 1959, Cuba was an important regional cattle producer. In the first years, Castroism attributed its incipient reduction to sabotage by its internal opponents. However, once thousands of them were shot, and hundreds of thousands more thrown into jail or exile, the phenomenon did not reverse.

Today, the socialist paradise imports 80% of the food it consumes and dedicates annually, with frequent restrictions due to lack of liquidity and non-payment, about $2 billion to these imports.

On the other hand, hunger is an effective control mechanism. It prevents thinking beyond the day to day, to satisfy the urgent need that literally climbs the individual on the tightrope of life or death. At the same time, a desperate society can become a tsunami of violence. Castroism has played the drip strategy for decades: miserable portions through the ration card, enough to cover the cupboard for a few days, occupying your mind by “inventing” most of the month, but in a model that keeps expectant the body until the next sale of products.

So much has been “invented” in Cuba that in 2012, due to a national lack of oil, oil from crematoriums circulated on the Havana black market… for cooking food.

As the presenter, Juan explained at that time, with each cremation, about 20 liters of burning oil are used for the treatment of smoke gases. From a warehouse of the Guanabacoa incinerator, on the outskirts of the capital, the liquid came out of yore.

There was a scandal, in the proportions that the story warranted, and apparently, they cut the network. But what the revolutionaries have not cut is the shortage of oil, which appears from time to time on the island of “there is no.”

A painter friend who came to the United States in the late 1960s experienced a panic attack in Los Angeles. She entered a small grocery store and had to be taken out unconscious. From the empty shelf, the desperation for what to eat tomorrow, and the long lines, to endless shelves, full to the brim and with so many brands and prices to choose from.

My wife and I arrived in Miami already knowing other countries, on both sides of the Atlantic. The impact of overflowing shops was not as much as for compatriots who arrive from nothing every day to a nation of abundance. Even so, when I enter the cheap Dollar Tree or Walmart, the first thing I think about is my friends and their children, my mother, the ministries of my church, which help the elderly and abandoned children, the homeless. It sure happens to others.

One imagines filling suitcases, yes. That lucky patch. But I also think about how much free enterprise could bring to Cuba. Employment, food, and medicines. The more the free market is respected, the closer the paradigm of land flowing with milk and honey is.

For me, a clear mark of abundance in the United States manifested itself on Halloween. For that day, costumes and decorations are prepared for weeks. Candy sales skyrocket. On the night itself, I saw neighborhoods fill up with boys and families where no soul walks at any other time of the year. “Trick or treat!” they shouted before extending their hands.

The next day, on the pavement, the sidewalks, the gardens of the entire neighborhood, there were hundreds of candies, chocolates, and little toys. All sealed, slipped carelessly from baskets and baskets, forgotten because there are more and tomorrow there will be again, because buying a cookie for your son doesn’t cost ten hours in line and a shoving fight.

Children in Cuba, for example, skin pelicans to sell their little meat for 70 Cuban pesos (less than a dollar) each. The story does not take place at the beginning of the Revolution or in the 1990s, but in 2022, in the coastal town of Caibarién. Through dirt streets one of them pedals with a bucket full of pelicans without feathers or skin. Potential buyers appear from the rickety houses.

Meanwhile, the children who “fish” for pelicans kill their hunger by boiling the corpses of the birds with brown sugar and guava leaves. “You throw out the water three times,” they detailed to the reporter, “and that way they don’t taste so bad.”

*This article was done with the help of the Cuban Studies Institute.

AUTHOR

Yoe Suarez

Yoe Suárez is a writer, producer, and journalist, exiled from Cuba due to his investigative reporting about themes like torture, political prisoners, government black lists, cybersurveillance, and freedom of expression and conscience. He is the author of the books “Leviathan: Political Police and Socialist Terror” and “El Soplo del Demonio: Violence and Gangsterism in Havana”.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

As Train Derailments and Tensions with China Unfold, Experts See Crisis in U.S. Leadership

As yet another massive train derailment unfolded in Nebraska on Tuesday in the wake of the controversial federal response to the derailment disaster that has engulfed East Palestine, Ohio, experts are seeing a connection between the responses to both East Palestine and the recent aggressive actions of the Chinese regime: failed and incompetent American leadership.

“It’s a disaster,” said Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) on Wednesday’s edition of “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins.” “There again [in East Palestine], you have an administration that just checks a box. They don’t — [as] I always say — put the best players in, coach.”

Burchett went on to give a blunt assessment of the job performance of Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, who formerly served as the mayor of South Bend, Ind. Buttigieg has received strong criticism for his department’s slow response to the East Palestine train derailment, which exposed the town to dangerous toxic chemicals and caused mass evacuations.

“This guy is a disaster. We’ve seen this time and time again. I was a county mayor. You know, I did crazy things like pay down debt and get the county out of everybody’s business and was able to keep taxes [low] and actually give pay raises. So I know what it takes to be a mayor, but I’m not qualified to be secretary of transportation. And there’s no way in the world this guy is. … He’s a charade. I met him. I know him. I guess I like him as a person, but it’s just all a charade.”

President Biden is also facing growing backlash over his decision to make a surprise trip to Ukraine and announce additional expansive aid to the country while still having not visited East Palestine or offered federal aid to the town.

“You have a president who sent [almost] $100 billion to Ukraine and he won’t even pay a visit to his own people,” Burchett observed. “These globalists have got to stop. … And blaming it on the Trump administration when they’ve had two years of untethered liberal Marxist policies and spending is falling on deaf ears.”

Burchett further noted that the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, on which he sits, will be conducting oversight on the government response to the East Palestine disaster.

“Speaker [Kevin] McCarthy (R-Calif.) has said every committee will have an oversight facet to it, which is what Congress really originally set out to do. And … that’s not what [was done] under Democrat leadership. But now it has changed since January. As they say, there’s a new sheriff in town, and his name is Kevin McCarthy — and he is keeping his word.”

Meanwhile, concerns over increasingly close ties between China and Russia are growing. Shortly after Biden’s visit to Ukraine, China’s top foreign affairs official visited Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin, where the two countries announced “new levels of co-operation.” Experts fear that China senses weakness in U.S. leadership and is preparing to give Russia military aid.

Burchett, who also sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, underscored fears about the weak position the U.S. finds itself in in the wake of the spy balloon incident.

“This deal with Ukraine, the Chinese are watching. I had breakfast with [former] Secretary Pompeo … and he said, ‘Look, Tim, they know how many paperclips are going into your building.’ The Chinese are taking notes of all of this. They’re watching our supply chain. They’re watching the political response to this thing. This balloon issue — the first one was a spy balloon. And now [China is] watching us shoot down party balloons with $435,000 Sidewinder missiles.”

Burchett also noted the highly controversial advice of General Mark Milley, Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to not shoot down China’s spy balloon until it had crossed the entire continental U.S. in early February. Biden took Milley’s advice and waited until the balloon floated off the coast of South Carolina before shooting it down.

“This is the general that, if you remember in the final days of the Trump administration, was in secret negotiations with China — our enemy,” Burchett observed. “We have a president of the United States whose cognitive level has dropped considerably.”

Burchett went on to give straightforward advice to conservatives in the days ahead. “I tell people, my friends in the church, [who] say, ‘What can we do?’ I say, ‘Pray for your country and vote.’ Because 20 million so-called evangelical Christians stayed home in these last elections. And that’s how Joe Biden is president of the United States.”

Perkins concurred. “We’ve got to flood the polls at every election with our folks and overwhelm any shenanigans that they’re engaged in.”

AUTHOR

Dan Hart

Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

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