• Pragerisms

    For a more comprehensive list of Pragerisms visit
    Dennis Prager Wisdom.

    • "The left is far more interested in gaining power than in creating wealth."
    • "Without wisdom, goodness is worthless."
    • "I prefer clarity to agreement."
    • "First tell the truth, then state your opinion."
    • "Being on the Left means never having to say you're sorry."
    • "If you don't fight evil, you fight gobal warming."
    • "There are things that are so dumb, you have to learn them."
  • Liberalism’s Seven Deadly Sins

    • Sexism
    • Intolerance
    • Xenophobia
    • Racism
    • Islamophobia
    • Bigotry
    • Homophobia

    A liberal need only accuse you of one of the above in order to end all discussion and excuse himself from further elucidation of his position.

  • Glenn’s Reading List for Die-Hard Pragerites

    • Bolton, John - Surrender is not an Option
    • Bruce, Tammy - The Thought Police; The New American Revolution; The Death of Right and Wrong
    • Charen, Mona - DoGooders:How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help
    • Coulter, Ann - If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans; Slander
    • Dalrymple, Theodore - In Praise of Prejudice; Our Culture, What's Left of It
    • Doyle, William - Inside the Oval Office
    • Elder, Larry - Stupid Black Men: How to Play the Race Card--and Lose
    • Frankl, Victor - Man's Search for Meaning
    • Flynn, Daniel - Intellectual Morons
    • Fund, John - Stealing Elections
    • Friedman, George - America's Secret War
    • Goldberg, Bernard - Bias; Arrogance
    • Goldberg, Jonah - Liberal Fascism
    • Herson, James - Tales from the Left Coast
    • Horowitz, David - Left Illusions; The Professors
    • Klein, Edward - The Truth about Hillary
    • Mnookin, Seth - Hard News: Twenty-one Brutal Months at The New York Times and How They Changed the American Media
    • Morris, Dick - Because He Could; Rewriting History
    • O'Beirne, Kate - Women Who Make the World Worse
    • Olson, Barbara - The Final Days: The Last, Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House
    • O'Neill, John - Unfit For Command
    • Piereson, James - Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism
    • Prager, Dennis - Think A Second Time
    • Sharansky, Natan - The Case for Democracy
    • Stein, Ben - Can America Survive? The Rage of the Left, the Truth, and What to Do About It
    • Steyn, Mark - America Alone
    • Stephanopolous, George - All Too Human
    • Thomas, Clarence - My Grandfather's Son
    • Timmerman, Kenneth - Shadow Warriors
    • Williams, Juan - Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America--and What We Can Do About It
    • Wright, Lawrence - The Looming Tower

Senile, Brainless Biden In Action!

 BY PAUL MIRENGOFF at PowerLine:

BIDEN BLOWS OFF CABLE BY 23 OFFICIALS AT U.S. EMBASSY IN KABUL

At his Friday press conference, Joe Biden was asked about the cable sent by 23 officials at the U.S. embassy in Kabul warning his administration of the potential collapse of Kabul soon after the August 31 troop withdrawal deadline. Ignoring this warning, Team Biden assured America that if Kabul fell at all, it would happen at a much later date.

Biden’s response to the question was that “we get cables all the time.” That was it.

Biden thus equated the considered opinion of nearly two dozen officials on the ground in Afghanistan with mere noise, as if the cable had come from a lone source with no particular expertise or knowledge.

When a Republican is president, the mainstream media and their Democrat allies feign indignation if the administration ignores the view of even a handful of “career public servants.” But Biden blithely blew off the views of 23 career public servants with special expertise and knowledge as just another comment from the peanut gallery.

During the same press conference, Biden claimed that the overwhelming consensus was that if Kabul collapsed, this would occur well after our withdrawal was complete. Was this the real consensus and if so, how strong was it?

We know that 23 officials at our embassy in Kabul didn’t hold the optimistic (and erroneous) view Biden calls the consensus. Did a greater number of well-informed officials in Afghanistan hold a different opinion? Or was the “consensus” really just the view of “gatekeepers” who, perhaps, were telling Biden and his top advisors what they wanted to hear?

We don’t know. Not yet. Maybe the mainstream media will try diligently to find out. Maybe not.

We already know that the “consensus” Biden touts was weaker than the consensus that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction in 2003. That was the view of our intelligence agencies and those of our allies.

As I recall, it turned out that there was a footnote in the lengthy main intelligence document on the matter that disagreed with the consensus view. When the U.S. failed to find a substantial volume of WMD, much was made of that footnote.

In the present case, there is more than a footnote. There is a dissent signed by a large number of U.S. officials on the ground in Afghanistan. And the dissent turned out to be far more accurate (albeit still a little too optimistic) than the alleged consensus.

Much should be made of this. Joe Biden shouldn’t be allowed to blow it off as just another cable.

To Our Brit Friends: Our Joe President Has Always Been An “Imbecile”….Today He Is SENILE PRESIDENT of THE FREE WORLD!

Tony Blair brands “Sleepy Joe” Biden an “imbecile” over Afghanistan withdrawal

KAREN TOWNSEND Aug 22, 2021 6:31 PM ET Share Tweet

AP Photo/Rahmat Gul

Joe Biden has accomplished his goal of returning bipartisanship to politics. He’s brought conservatives and liberals together in their criticism of how horrendously bad the troop withdrawal of the Afghanistan war has been. That is true both here in the United States and abroad with our NATO allies and other nations. No one is speaking up for Joe Biden’s decision-making process except Democrats here who are dependent upon him to keep their jobs.

The most devastating criticism of Biden so far was the video of the member of Parliament who so poignantly rose to shame Biden for using the Afghan military as his reason for leaving. Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat who served in Afghanistan quietly and powerfully ripped Biden a new one. Parliament held Biden in contempt. Tens of thousands of Afghan soldiers have died over the course of the last 20 years and now Biden justifies washing his hands of the war by accusing them of not fighting for their own country.

Tony Blair, the former British prime minister who was serving in that position when the war began, has a few things to say about Biden’s incompetence. Biden has been busy gaslighting Americans that foreign leaders, NATO allies, and other world figures are just fine with the crisis he has produced in Kabul. Not even the American press, his most vocal supporters, can spin that lie to his advantage. Blair’s strong words on Biden’s performance surprised some bitter clingers to Biden in the press. An article in The Telegraph noted that in January Blair called Biden “the right man in the right place at the right time.” That hasn’t aged well. Reality bit Blair and now he calls Biden an imbecile. Can’t argue with that.

Blair zeroes in on Biden’s “obedience to an imbecilic political slogan about ending “the forever wars” without specifically mentioning Biden’s name.

We didn’t need to do it. We chose to do it. We did it in obedience to an imbecilic political slogan about ending “the forever wars”, as if our engagement in 2021 was remotely comparable to our commitment 20 or even ten years ago, and in circumstances in which troop numbers had declined to a minimum and no allied soldier had lost their life in combat for 18 months.

We did it in the knowledge that though worse than imperfect, and though immensely fragile, there were real gains over the past 20 years. And for anyone who disputes that, read the heartbreaking laments from every section of Afghan society as to what they fear will now be lost. Gains in living standards, education particularly of girls, gains in freedom. Not nearly what we hoped or wanted. But not nothing. Something worth defending. Worth protecting.

We did it when the sacrifices of our troops had made those fragile gains our duty to preserve.

We did it when the February 2020 agreement, itself replete with concessions to the Taliban, by which the US agreed to withdraw if the Taliban negotiated a broad-based government and protected civilians, had been violated daily and derisively.

We did it with every jihadist group around the world cheering.

You’ll note the reference to Trump’s agreement in 2020. The difference is that Trump didn’t go through with a complete withdrawal. It’s hard to believe that he would have produced the results that Biden has produced, which is ironic when you understand how much Biden’s foreign policy experience was a part of his appeal as a presidential candidate. What Biden’s actions over the last week prove is that Biden, instead, has been historically wrong on every foreign policy decision (or vote) he has made. He was very wrong this time.

Theresa May noticed, too. Now a member of Parliament, she had some questions for Prime Minister Boris Johnson. She made a point of putting the blame of the disaster on politicians, not the military.

Mrs May asked Mr Johnson to divulge when he first spoke to the Secretary General of Nato about putting together an alliance to replace American support. He replied saying it was “an illusion” to believe that there is “appetite” among any of our partners for a continued military presence.

Mrs May added that all who served in Afghanistan should hold their heads high, saying: “The politicians sent them there, the politicians decided to withdraw, the politicians must be responsible for the consequences.”

Boris Johnson, who holds the rotating leadership position in the G7 right now, has called a virtual meeting for Tuesday. He said the leaders of the G7 must come together on the way forward.https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3NwYWNlX2NhcmQiOnsiYnVja2V0Ijoib2ZmIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1429423519612481536&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fhotair.com%2Fkaren-townsend%2F2021%2F08%2F22%2Ftony-blair-brands-sleepy-joe-biden-an-imbecile-over-afghanistan-withdrawal-n410715&sessionId=8a9e5b740a8aa13ba6e58e4100f51aeebf0f19db&siteScreenName=hotairblog&theme=light&widgetsVersion=1890d59c%3A1627936082797&width=550px

Blair also noted a concern for the future of Britain since Biden didn’t bother to consult with either Johnson or any of the other leaders in the G7. Biden’s go-it-alone posture isn’t sitting well.

‘For Britain, out of Europe and suffering the end of the Afghanistan mission by our greatest ally with little or no consultation, we have serious reflection to do,’ said Mr Blair. ‘We don’t see it yet, but we are at risk of relegation to the second division of global powers.’

We’re old enough to remember when Biden campaigned on his great relationships with world leaders and how he’d end America First policies. All those G7 leaders fell for it, at least publicly, and Biden was hailed as the anti-Trump at the G7 in England. Now we read that privately Boris Johnson refers to Biden as “Sleepy Joe” and the others are publicly speaking out about Biden’s crisis in Afghanistan.

The White House appears to be doing some selective editing on readouts from Biden’s calls to world leaders. After a call with French President Macron, the White House’s readout omitted Macon’s plea for the evacuation of Afghan helpers. Macron calls it a “moral responsibility.”

The French government’s readout of the conversation was released on Friday, a day after the call took place, and indicates that Macron emphasised ensuring the safe evacuation of Afghan citizens who assisted American and European troops over the past 20 years at great risk to themselves and their families.

According to the readout, Macron described the mission to evacuate allies as a “moral responsibility” and told Biden: “We cannot abandon them.”

The Élysée said Macron “underlined the absolute need to ensure rapid and concrete coordination among allies on the ground to continue the evacuations”.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel rightly said it was an American political decision.

“This is an extremely bitter development. Bitter, dramatic and terrifying,” said the chancellor.

“It is a terrible development for the millions of Afghans who want a more liberal society,” she said.

“I am thinking of the pain of families of soldiers who lost their lives fighting there. Now everything seems so hopeless.”

Earlier, according to participants at a meeting of party members, Merkel said she believed the US decision to press ahead with the withdrawal was taken for “domestic political reasons” were partly to blame.

The leader of her party, Armin Laschet, went further, calling the entire Afghanistan operation a failure and the withdrawal “the biggest debacle that NATO has suffered since its founding.”

We’ll see what comes out of the G7 virtual meeting Tuesday.

Loony-Tune Biden’s Action In Afghanistan!

The Rotten Edifice Revealed

In Afghanistan, the technocratic legitimacy of our administrative masters is being exploded.

By Roger Kimball at American Greatness:

August 21, 2021

Doubtless you have read or heard comments like those of the TV journalist Jen Griffen about Joe Biden’s brief remarks on Friday regarding Afghanistan. “I’m having a hard time digesting what we heard,” she said, “because I couldn’t fact-check it fast enough in real-time because there were so many misrepresentations of what is happening on the ground.” Bottom line: “This was just an alternate reality that was presented to us from the White House.” 

I presume what she had in mind were statements by Biden like this: “We know of no instance where the Taliban are not letting our citizens through the checkpoints freely.”

Or, in response to a question from the Associated Press, that he has seen “no question of our credibility from our allies around the world.” 

The problem is, of course, the wondrous world of instant communications. We have all seen these videos of the Taliban manhandling the crowds outside the gates of the airport, not to mention the scads of anxious reports from people trapped in their homes, awaiting a knock on the door from the Taliban, and news reports of the condemnation of the Biden Administration by the British Parliament. And there is the now-iconic image of that gigantic military transport plane lumbering down the runway in Kabul, surrounded by hundreds, maybe thousands, of Afghans, some of whom clung to the landing gear only to fall from the plane after it took off. 

For the last week, chaos has ruled, notwithstanding Biden’s assurance on July 8 that the (supposedly) 300,000-man-strong Afghan army was among the best equipped and trained in the world and would be able to handle the 75,000-man-strong Taliban (which, for some reason, he pronounces “tally-bahn”). Pentagon spokesman John Kirby echoed his sentiment a few days later: “Kabul does not face an imminent threat from the Taliban,” he said on August 14.  

“Imminent” is such a relative concept. 

A Crisis of Legitimacy 

One word has been repeated again and again, all along the ideological spectrum, in the reporting on the disaster in Afghanistan: “incompetence.” 

Incompetence there has been aplenty, and its display is both depressing and ubiquitous. It turns out that the technocratic elite to which we have entrusted our lives, not to mention the lives of the Afghans, is technically maladroit and incapable of effective governance. Our preposterous and “woke” Secretary of Defense epitomized the incapacity a few days ago when he admitted that the United States does not have the “capability to go out and collect large numbers of people.” Hello

But incompetence is only a surface presentation of a much deeper malady, which revolves around the question of legitimacy. 

I mean this in the deepest sense.  It’s not just a matter of whether certain rules have been followed in putting various people in office or securing their government sinecures. 

That’s one sort, perhaps an essential but ultimately superficial sort, of legitimacy.  

What is happening here is something much deeper, more existential, if you will.

What just happened—what is happening still—in Afghanistan is an unfolding horror for the Afghan people.  

For the United States, it is a rude snatching away of the curtain of legitimacy. 

That curtain concealed a rotting edifice. 

Many people have known this for some time. Some are only now, suddenly, aware or half aware of it.  

Two people in the latter category are Kamala Harris, vice president of the United States, and Antony Blinken, secretary of state. They were the two most interesting people to watch during Joe Biden’s remarks on Friday. Sporting identical black masks, they stood behind the president, Blinken on his left, Harris on his right. Both clasped their hands nervously in front. The masks accentuated their eyes, which told a tale of confusion, incomprehension, and terror. “What is happening here? What is Joe saying? What does it all mean?”

Biden several times turned to his secretary of state (and at least once to his secretary of defense, who was also behind him out of view of the TV cameras but whose name the president apparently cannot remember) looking for affirmation on some point or other. Blinken accommodated the leader of the free world with little nods, but, again, his eyes told a painful story.

Legitimacy is the rechargeable power source that nurtures sovereignty, keeping it upright and vital.  

The Administrative Threat

In the United States, sovereignty has been under pressure for many decades, at least since the Progressive era. I have written about this on many occasions, perhaps most fully in “The Imperative of Freedom,” my contribution to Vox Populi: The Perils and Promises of Populism, and my introduction to Who Rules: Sovereignty, Nationalism, and the Fate of Freedom in the Twenty-First Century. The Constitution vests sovereignty in “We the People” and all legislative power in our duly elected representatives in Congress. But many forces have been eating away at that arrangement. Philip Hamburger, in The Administrative Threat, shows how the abandonment of legislative responsibility by Congress, and its subsequent occupation by the alphabet soup of governmental administrative agencies, decisively undermined the idea of sovereignty envisioned by the founders.  

One of the most disturbing aspects of Hamburger’s analysis is the historical connection he exposes between the expansion of the franchise in the early 20th century and the growth of administrative, that is to say, extra-legal, power. For the people in charge, equality of voting rights was one thing. They could live with that. But the tendency of newly enfranchised groups—the “bitter clingers” and “deplorables” of yore—to reject progressive initiatives was something else again. As Woodrow Wilson noted sadly, “The bulk of mankind is rigidly unphilosophical, and nowadays the bulk of mankind votes.” What to do? 

The solution was to shift real power out of elected bodies and into the hands of the right sort of people, enlightened people, progressive people, people, that is to say, like Woodrow Wilson. 

Thus Wilson welcomed the advent of administrative power as a counterweight to encroaching democratization. And thus it was, as Hamburger points out, that we have seen a transfer of legislative power to the “knowledge class,” the managerial elite that the political philosopher James Burnham anatomized in The Managerial Revolution and other books. A closer look at the so-called “knowledge class” shows that what it knows best is how to preserve and extend its own privileges. Its activities are swaddled in do-gooder rhetoric about serving the public, looking after “the environment,” helping the disadvantaged, etc., but what they chiefly excel at is consolidating their own power. 

That administrative dispensation has been living on borrowed time for years. The Tea Party movement was one response to its depredations, corruption, and incompetence. Donald Trump was another. With the ascension of Joe Biden, the empire has struck back. But as in the sci-fi movie, its Death Star, its machinery of control, has been incapacitated. What is happening right now, today, in Afghanistan illustrates the extent of the damage.  

It is probably too early to issue any sort of assessment of that damage, or offer any prognostication about whether it is fatal. At least, I am not prepared to do so.  

“Farewell to Bourgeois Kings”

Others are not so shy. A friend sent me a remarkable essay by the young and (I gather) renegade left-wing Swedish blogger Malcolm Kyeyune. It is called “Farewell to Bourgeois Kings,” an allusion to the philosopher Carl Schmitt, who showed how political legitimacy, in the deepest sense, tends to disintegrate when it loses its founding aspirations and becomes merely a matter of administrative efficiency. “In the history of political ideas,” Schmitt wrote in The Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy (1923), 

there are epochs of great energy and times becalmed, times of motionless status quo. Thus the epoch of monarchy is at an end when a sense of the principle of kingship, of honor, has been lost, if bourgeois kings appear who seek to prove their usefulness and utility instead of their devotion and honor. The external apparatus of monarchical institutions can remain standing very much longer after that. But in spite of it monarchy’s hour has tolled. The convictions inherent in this and no other institution then appear antiquated; practical justifications for it will not be lacking, but it is only an empirical question whether men or organizations come forward who can prove themselves just as useful or even more so than these kings and through this simple fact brush aside monarchy.

Carl Schmitt is a dangerous person to quote because, besides influencing thinkers from Leo Strauss to Jacques Derrida, he was also (sort of) an apologist for Nazism. That said, Kyeyune is right that Schmitt sees something essential about the metabolism of political legitimacy, something that events in Afghanistan underscore with respect to the fate of the ultimate legitimacy of the progressive project.

“Every ruling class throughout history,” Kyeyune notes, “advances various claims about its own legitimacy, without which a stable political order is impossible. Legitimating claims can take many different forms and may change over time, but once they become exhausted or lose their credibility, that is pretty much it.” 

Consider the career of socialism. Socialism, as Kyeyune points out, “once had a claim to rule that wasn’t merely about washing machines or electricity.” On the contrary, socialism was about something transcendent. It promised the utter transformation of society, “one that represented, in a secularized way, humankind finally breaking free of the legacy of the Fall.” A look at the literature of socialism in the early decades of the 20th century is shot through with that current of utopian anticipation.

Eventually, though, the dream decayed; it was replaced by something else, something “much less divine and much more practical: socialism is better than capitalism [it was said], because it’s just a much better and more efficient way to organize things. That might have seemed a somewhat persuasive claim in the 60s, but it quickly became impossible to believe. . . . Once your only promise to your citizenry becomes that you’ll give them more blue jeans than the Americans, you will live and then die by those blue jeans.”

Has Afghanistan presented the American regime with a similar contingency? Perhaps. Afghanistan was a poster child for the whole neoconservative, NGO, democracy-spreading elite. Kyeyune gets it exactly: In Afghanistan, “the brightest minds of that international government-in-waiting without a people to be beholden to, were given a playground with nearly infinite resources at their disposal. There was so much money sloshing around at the fingertips of these educated technocrats that it became nearly impossible to spend it all fast enough; they simply took all of those countless billions of dollars straight from the hands of ordinary Americans, because they believed they had a right to do so” (his emphasis). Afghanistan’s former president, Ashraf Ghani, fled with a reported $169 million of U.S. taxpayer money and, as I write, is holed up in the United Arab Emirates. Nice work if you can get it. 

The Bell Tolls for Technocracy

Which leaves us—where? Kyeyune is right, I think, that the technocratic promises of our administrative masters have been exploded. What is happening in Afghanistan is only one instance of how hollow those promises are turning out to be. Once upon a time, the bureaucrats—the Bidens and Blinkens as far as the eye can see—were “believed to be able to mobilize science and reason and progress to accomplish what everyone else could not, and so only they could secure a just and functional society for their subjects, just as only the rightful kings of yore could count on Providence and God to do the same thing.” Yes, these ideas are essentially metaphysical because all political legitimacy, in the end, rests on something transcendent—a matter of belief, not simply calculation. 

Kyeyune thinks that the “epoch of the liberal technocrat is now over,” that the “bell has well and truly tolled for mankind’s belief in their ability to do anything else than enrich themselves and ruin things for everyone else.” Maybe so. Yes, inertia is a powerful force. The institutions we’ve been living with are likely to persist, more or less hollowed out, for some time. And what might replace that technocratic dream is a question that admits of markedly different answers, many unpalatable. (How many speak English? A troubling question, that.)

Francis Fukuyama was, I believe, about as wrong as it is possible for a pop political philosopher to be when he predicted the “end of history” and the efflorescence of liberal democracy everywhere and forever.  

Of course, Fukuyama is a Hegelian, which at least partly explains his silliness. What is happening now in Afghanistan, and in America because of Afghanistan, is another in a long line of counterexamples to Fukuyama’s thesis. It may, however, turn out to be a more fundamental challenge than anyone could have foreseen even a few weeks ago. For that, we have the bumbling, mentally incontinent Joe Biden to thank, he and his clown car of self-absorbed spiritually adipose bureaucrats who prance about in a cloud of self-importance, shedding disaster like dandruff. TwitterFacebookParlerShare onTwitterFacebookParler

About Roger Kimball

Roger Kimball is editor and publisher of The New Criterion and the president and publisher of Encounter Books. He is the author and editor of many books, including The Fortunes of Permanence: Culture and Anarchy in an Age of Amnesia (St. Augustine’s Press), The Rape of the Masters (Encounter), Lives of the Mind: The Use and Abuse of Intelligence from Hegel to Wodehouse (Ivan R. Dee), and Art’s Prospect: The Challenge of Tradition in an Age of Celebrity (Ivan R. Dee).

“China Is Lying Again!”

China: The WHO needs to investigate this American lab in Maryland

JAZZ SHAW at HotAir:

AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

The Chinese Communist Party is still hard at work trying to track down the original source for the novel Coronavirus. Or at least they would like you to think that they are. They have a suspect in mind, and it’s one that they’ve floated repeatedly in the past. Despite no known cases of COVID arising anywhere outside of Wuhan in the initial months of the pandemic, the Chinese are saying it probably came from a military lab in Fort Detrick, Md. And they would like the World Health Organization to launch a thorough investigation of the lab. The irony of this is likely not lost on most of you, given how China has stonewalled the WHO in its admittedly timid attempts to investigate the Wuhan Institute of Virology. (Free Beacon)

The Chinese embassy called for a World Health Organization investigation into a United States military lab more than 7,500 miles away from the first documented cases of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China.

Chinese embassy spokesman Liu Pengyu responded to a Washington Free Beacon report on a Chinese propaganda campaign that claims the coronavirus leaked from a military lab in Fort Detrick, Md., saying the campaign not only reflects “serious concerns” but also warrants a full WHO investigation into the U.S. military installation.

“About Fort Detrick, the US has remained silent on the serious concerns raised by the international community, including US media,” Liu told the Free Beacon. “The US side must understand that the international community has every reason to raise questions about Fort Detrick, which has a poor track record and is notorious for breaches in lab and contaminant leak, and demand clarification and explanation from the US side and call on the WHO to conduct a thorough investigation into it.”

This would almost be humorous if it weren’t for the ability of the CCP to control state media inside China and its satellite nations, repeating this nonsense until a lot of people actually start believing it. In reality, it’s the equivalent of a toddler getting caught with their hand in the cookie jar and then sticking their fingers in their ears, shouting that you actually took the cookies.

We still don’t have a 100% confirmed answer as to the origin of the virus, but that’s mostly because the Chinese stonewalled the few efforts the WHO made to do more than simply ask some people at the Wuhan Institute of Virology what happened. They didn’t share their data or allow records or samples to be examined. They were in and out in two days. But there is a mounting pile of evidence showing that they were able to manipulate coronavirus strains without leaving easily detectable fingerprints as early as 2016. And the first known cases of the virus all showed up in and around Wuhan.

Conversely, I’ve done multiple searches for instances of leaks and infections coming out of Fort Detrick. It’s either never happened or they’re better at covering these sorts of things up than the Chinese. Besides, we know how things work in America. If something had happened and someone had become even mildly ill, the lawsuits would still be dragging out to this day.

Would the WHO actually be willing to go along with this farce and ask to launch an investigation at Fort Detrick? I wouldn’t put it past them, frankly. And Joe Biden has already offered to turn control of our climate policies over to the United Nations so why wouldn’t he go along with it as well? Never mind the fact that there wasn’t a positive test for COVID in Maryland until February 28th of 2020, many months after the virus was already running wild in China. How stupid do these people think we are?

Trust me… if there were some way to pin the start of the novel coronavirus on Donald Trump, MSNBC would have done it long ago. China is lying again, but that’s really not going to come as news to anyone reading this.

“It’s not just Biden. To look at his team of Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and Chief of Staff General Mark Milley is to understand Shel Silverstein’s “the lights are on, but nobody’s home.”

The Drooling Class

By Clarice Feldman at American Thinker:

If you ever doubted that the country was in the hands of some very stupid and corrupt people, this week should have thoroughly disabused you of that fantasy. In one fell swoop, the administration left billions of dollars of military equipment in the hands of the barbarous anti-American Taliban; broke the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance by bugging out without warning to its members who were in Afghanistan in support of our mission there; left as many as 50,000 Americans and tens of thousands more of our Afghan allies to the not so tender mercies of the enemy; and on Friday Biden lied about it all.

It’s not that most of us wanted this Afghan Mission Impossible to continue forever. It’s just that there’s a right way to do it. President Trump’s Secretary of Defense Mike Pompeo had a well-conceived plan. It included preconditions on the Taliban and the removal of all U.S. military equipment and civilians before any group withdrawal. The administration in its wisdom did it backward: troops first, civilians left to their own devices (we’re even charging those who make it through the Taliban blockade around the one remaining airport $2,000 a head to be evacuated), abandoning Bagram’s well-fortified and equipped airbase, and an incredible array of military equipment for the taking, a taking that makes the entire world very unsafe.

Scores of videos have emerged of Taliban fighters rejoicing near abandoned American helicopters, carrying U.S.-supplied M24 sniper rifles and M18 assault weapons, stacking other small arms and materiel in unending piles and driving Humvees and other U.S.-made military trucks.

The Taliban have seized airplanes, tanks and artillery from Afghan outposts and from evacuating U.S. personnel, revealing one of the heavier costs of a U.S. troop withdrawal amid a collapse of Afghanistan’s government and army. 

We often are critical of CNN and with good reason, but this week its chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward has been doing the most incredible coverage from Kabul. Every second she’s on the air from Kabul she puts paid to the administration’s fantastical accounts.

The British Parliament (both houses of it) condemned Biden in special sessions. Why wouldn’t they? Albert Nardelli of Bloomberg explained that Biden had explicitly told key allies that we’d maintain enough of a security presence after the main troop withdrawal so they could continue embassy operations in Kabul. We did not, leaving diplomatic personnel there unprotected and NATO nation civilians at great risk. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson tried repeatedly.

to discuss this by phone with Biden who did not take the calls. We, in one ill-considered move, betrayed the Afghans who worked with us and the allies who are fighting alongside us there.

The last reports I saw say British and French special operation outfits have been transported to Kabul to aid in getting their nationals to the airport for evacuation. When they can, they are also aiding Americans trapped in this mess. Our troops are confined to the airport and apparently not happy that our allies are doing the job which should be done by them:

I understand that the commanding general of the 82nd Airborne Division has told the commander of the British special forces at the Kabul airport to cease operations beyond the airport perimeter.

Maj. Gen. Christopher Donahue has told his British Army counterpart, a high-ranking field-grade officer of the British army’s 22nd Special Air Service Regiment, that British operations were embarrassing the United States military in the absence of similar U.S. military operations. I understand that the British officer firmly rejected the request.[snip]I understand that the SAS has conducted operations to bring American citizens, as well as British citizens and at-risk personnel, through checkpoints and to the airport. This is not an indictment on U.S. capabilities or special operations intent, but rather, it’s a reflection of political-military authorities. In part, this difference is understandable. Large-scale U.S. military operations beyond the Kabul airport perimeter would entail significant risk absent prior Taliban approval. But there is a sense, at least by allies, that the U.S. military could be doing more to leverage the Taliban into providing greater ease of access to the airport for those most at risk.

According to Breitbart:

CNN chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward said Friday while reporting from the Kabul airport that despite promises from President Joe Biden of a full evacuation, during a period of eight hours, she did not see any U.S. flights evacuate people.

Ward said, “I’m sitting here, for 12 hours in the airport, eight hours on the airfield, and I haven’t seen a single U.S. plane take off. How on earth are you going to evacuate 50,000 people in the next two weeks. It just, it can’t happen.”[/quote]

A bureaucratic tug of war between the State Department, Pentagon, and White House is also disrupting evacuation operations out of Kabul. This is aggravating British, French, and other Kabul-present military authorities. I understand that these governments have been further aggravated by the failure of the White House and Pentagon to communicate adequately, or in some cases, to communicate at all, on their intentions and actions. All these allies admit, however, that only the U.S. military could provide the airfield defense and air traffic control capabilities now on display.

The claim that the rapid Taliban advance which the administration had assumed falsely would take 90 days was unexpected, is also nonsense. The tangled lines of communication and the diffusion into a Babel of authorization to act is the key, not the rapid Taliban movement.

Officials on the ground had warned on July 13 that Kabul would collapse soon, that the Taliban’s “advance was imminent “ and the Afghan military unlikely to stop it.

In the meantime, the advance, as you certainly would expect, was accompanied by targeted killings, atrocities, and Afghani flights to the exits. (Both Greece and Turkey are fortifying their borders to prevent an onrushing torrent of Afghan asylum seekers.) We have apparently distributed visa forms for anyone in Afghanistan and are transporting those who make it through the Taliban phalanx at the airport, but with records of those who helped us being destroyed by our embassy officials and by the document holders themselves for protection who knows who we are taking in? Afghan history and culture give me every reason to believe that the reason the Taliban has given us a hard deadline to get our civilians out of there at the same time they are making the exits impossible, presage horrid mass murders of those stuck there or a dreadful hostage situation involving tens of thousands of Americans.

After hiding out at Camp David, providing only a video of him sitting alone at a huge conference table in front of a telescreen which seems to have been made in February (given the erroneous time shown on the telescreen), Biden finally showed up briefly on Friday in the Capitol an hour late to read a statement and respond to a handful of questions, clearly handed up in advance by the reporters he called on. Even this song and dance was a joke. He stumbled and lied throughout.

How bad was Biden’s misinformation to the American public? Dreadful. The best assessment comes from Jennifer Griffin, a very experienced Pentagon reporter who spent years in Afghanistan. She said couldn’t fact-check the misstatements fast enough in real time. There were just so many falsehoods. She’s a thorough-going professional, but you could see her genuine anger burning through as she said that.

Former Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker — in the pithy way my native state speakers communicate — said it well:

If Joe Biden knew, he should be impeached.

If he wasn’t told, the Secretary of State should be fired.

If he doesn’t remember, they should invoke the 25th amendment.

It’s not just Biden. To look at his team of Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and Chief of Staff General Mark Milley is to understand Shel Silverstein’s “the lights are on, but nobody’s home.”

Biden announced on Friday that he would return to Delaware. He said he needed to because he “wasn’t sleeping well.” I’ll bet he isn’t. On Saturday, he was apparently overruled and remained in the Capitol. For how long, even he probably doesn’t know. The lid seems indefinite.

But New York Times Has Served New York City Fascistically For Almost A Century!

BY STEVEN HAYWARD at PowerLine

WHEN YOU’VE LOST THE NEW YORK TIMES (2)

Further to Paul’s post yesterday on mounting criticism of Biden in the house organ of the Democratic Party (commonly known as the New York Times), today the Times has published what amounts to a four-alarm fire memo to Democrats that Biden needs to get his act together, or be cut loose:

As Biden Faces a Political Crisis, His Party Looks On in Alarm

With President Biden facing a political crisis that has shaken his standing in his party, Democrats across the country are increasingly worried about their ability to maintain power in Washington, as his administration struggles to defend its chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan and stanch a resurgent pandemic that appeared to be waning only weeks ago.

While Americans watched devastating scenes of mayhem at the Kabul airport and ascendant Taliban forces last week, the steady drumbeat of bipartisan criticism left many Democrats frustrated and dismayed at a White House they viewed as having fumbled the end of the country’s longest war on multiple fronts.

On Capitol Hill, lawmakers announced congressional investigations into the administration’s handling of the withdrawal, as a handful of Democratic lawmakers weighed whether calling for the resignation of Mr. Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, would help the president “reset the narrative,” according to a Democratic House member, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

The harrowing images appalled even the president’s staunchest supporters, many of whom — like a majority of the American public — support the decision to remove American troops from Afghanistan. But some of them worry the execution of the withdrawal has undermined Mr. Biden’s central campaign promise to restore a steady hand to governance, particularly on issues of national security. . .

The Democratic concerns come as Mr. Biden’s popularity has eroded. His average approval rating dipped below 50 percent last week for the first time since taking office, as views of his handling of the pandemic have grown more negative over the summer.

“As For Man, His Days Are As Grass! As The Lily Of The Field, So He Flourisheth. For The Wind Passeth Over It, And It Is Gone; AND THE PLACE THEREOF SHALL KNOW IT NO MORE!” Psalms 103!

Hard sayings and hard choices: Sunday reflection

ED MORRISSEY Aug 22, 2021 at HotAir:

This morning’s Gospel reading is John 6:60–69:

Many of Jesus’ disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?” Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, “Does this shock you? What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him. And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.”

As a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?” Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”

Not long ago, I watched the film A League of Their Own for the first time in a few years. When reading today’s Gospel, a line from the film jumped out at me. For those who don’t recall, the film offered a fictionalized account of the women’s professional baseball league during World War II, focusing on characters on the Rockford Peaches. Its coach, Jimmy Dugan, had lost the last years of his major-league playing career to alcoholism and self-pity, having lost faith in himself and perhaps the game as well.

As the film progresses, Dugan regains his belief in both himself and the game, but is stunned when his star player quits abruptly when her husband comes home from the war. As she’s leaving, Dugan confronts her and tries to explain how much he’d lost by turning his back on the game, to no apparent avail. “It just got too hard,” Dottie Hinson tells Dugan.

“It’s supposed to be hard,” Dugan says. “If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great.”

Today’s Gospel reflects that wisdom. In the passage from John, Jesus watches as His followers melt away when He tells them bluntly just how hard salvation will be. Jesus tells them that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood to be saved, a horrifying prospect to the first-century audience. Unlike Jesus’ other teachings, He does not couch this in parables, but instead declares it as a challenge to those who would follow Him.

In this, we recognize the Eucharist, which transubstantiates into the body and blood of Christ in the Mass. In those days, however, Jesus’ audience had no context for understanding this. Even the disciples are taken aback by His statement, and Jesus again directly challenges them to make a choice. “Will you also go away?”

Even beyond the obvious teaching of the Eucharist, though, this teaches us about faith itself. Faith is hard, while cynicism is easy, even in an abstract sense. Faith in the Lord is harder yet, putting our trust into a mystery that we recognize can never be truly revealed until the next life.

Cynicism makes no demands on us. Hedonism is easy, especially if one has the means, and it makes no moral judgments. The choice of not to trust in the Lord is the easiest one we can make — and that was the choice of Jesus’ audience at the synagogue. While Jesus preached about the meek inheriting the earth and the poor and rich changing places, they were pleased to come along for the ride. As soon as the choices got hard — as they always do when it comes to faith and trust — they turned their backs.

Moreover, faith demands where cynicism does not. Our first reading demonstrates this as well, when Joshua demands that the tribes of Israel choose which gods they will serve. If they choose the Lord, they will enter into the Promised Land, while choosing other gods might be easier in the short run. Joshua declares, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

What makes it so hard? Faith requires more than belief. It requires choices for action on those beliefs, actions that force us to trust in the Lord more than in ourselves or the material world around us. Living an authentic Christian life is nearly unheard of — so unheard of, in fact, that the few who manage to do it we declare saints as examples to follow. Putting our neighbors ahead of ourselves is hard. Caring for the poor and the afflicted is hard. Forgiving those who trespass against us to the point of turning the other cheek is hard.

It is the hard that makes it great, though. Jimmy Dugan’s character is an interesting example of this in the film. In the start, Dugan is an utterly self-centered wreck, bereft of faith and joy, buried in an alcoholic haze and bitter almost to the core. Over the course of the film, Dugan redeems himself by rediscovering his love of the game and by helping the women on his team become better players. There is no small irony in having Dugan deliver this line, full of regret for what he had lost to his lack of faith and refusal to live an authentic athletic life while he still had the ability to do so.

The Gospels and the epistles of the New Testament are filled with hard truths about faith in the Lord and the authentic life of Christians. It’s much easier to live by our own impulses and appetites, but where does that lead us? Do we not end up as Dugan does, utterly dissipated and useless, and what’s worse, knowing that we have become utterly dissipated and useless?

It is for this reason that Peter proclaims the hardest truth of all in response to Jesus’ challenge. “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” This is the truth on which all other acts of Christian faith and trust are built — the truth that Jesus came to us as the Word of God made flesh, with the specific teachings on how we can choose to serve the Lord and hope in our salvation.

Of course, the hard truth that there’s no crying in baseball is also wisdom that Dugan passes along, but that’s a subject for another reflection.

America’s Leading Fascist News LIES FROM THE FASCIST DEM NEW YORK TIMES!

BY STEVEN HAYWARD at PowerLine:

WHEN YOU’VE LOST THE NEW YORK TIMES (2)

Further to Paul’s post yesterday on mounting criticism of Biden in the house organ of the Democratic Party (commonly known as the New York Times), today the Times has published what amounts to a four-alarm fire memo to Democrats that Biden needs to get his act together, or be cut loose:

As Biden Faces a Political Crisis, His Party Looks On in Alarm

With President Biden facing a political crisis that has shaken his standing in his party, Democrats across the country are increasingly worried about their ability to maintain power in Washington, as his administration struggles to defend its chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan and stanch a resurgent pandemic that appeared to be waning only weeks ago.

While Americans watched devastating scenes of mayhem at the Kabul airport and ascendant Taliban forces last week, the steady drumbeat of bipartisan criticism left many Democrats frustrated and dismayed at a White House they viewed as having fumbled the end of the country’s longest war on multiple fronts.

On Capitol Hill, lawmakers announced congressional investigations into the administration’s handling of the withdrawal, as a handful of Democratic lawmakers weighed whether calling for the resignation of Mr. Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, would help the president “reset the narrative,” according to a Democratic House member, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

The harrowing images appalled even the president’s staunchest supporters, many of whom — like a majority of the American public — support the decision to remove American troops from Afghanistan. But some of them worry the execution of the withdrawal has undermined Mr. Biden’s central campaign promise to restore a steady hand to governance, particularly on issues of national security. . .

The Democratic concerns come as Mr. Biden’s popularity has eroded. His average approval rating dipped below 50 percent last week for the first time since taking office, as views of his handling of the pandemic have grown more negative over the summer.

Dem Biden’s Horrors CONTINUE!

 BY STEVEN HAYWARD at PowerLine:

BREAKING: THE LEFT’S JANUARY 6 NARRATIVE JUST WENT POOF—FBI

Reuters reports this morning, in a story billed as an “EXCLUSIVE,” that the FBI has concluded that there was no conspiracy or coordinated effort behind the events at the Capitol on January 6:

The FBI has found scant evidence that the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was the result of an organized plot to overturn the presidential election result, according to four current and former law enforcement officials.

Though federal officials have arrested more than 570 alleged participants, the FBI at this point believes the violence was not centrally coordinated by far-right groups or prominent supporters of then-President Donald Trump, according to the sources, who have been either directly involved in or briefed regularly on the wide-ranging investigations.

“Ninety to ninety-five percent of these are one-off cases,” said a former senior law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation. “Then you have five percent, maybe, of these militia groups that were more closely organized. But there was no grand scheme with Roger Stone and Alex Jones and all of these people to storm the Capitol and take hostages.” . . .

FBI investigators did find that cells of protesters, including followers of the far-right Oath Keepers and Proud Boys groups, had aimed to break into the Capitol. But they found no evidence that the groups had serious plans about what to do if they made it inside, the sources said. . .

But one source said there has been little, if any, recent discussion by senior Justice Department officials of filing charges such as “seditious conspiracy” to accuse defendants of trying to overthrow the government. They have also opted not to bring racketeering charges, often used against organized criminal gangs.

Senior officials had discussed filing such charges in the weeks after the attack, the sources said.

But we’ve been told that the events of January 6 were an “insurrection,” and the gravest threat to American democracy since the Civil War. And this narrative is the pretext for the Biden Administration to claim “domestic terrorism” is the single greatest security threat facing the country. And also the pretext for banning Trump from social media platforms because he incited the mess.

As with the Muller report on the 2016 election, don’t expect the left, and the media, to give up on their “insurrection” narrative easily.

America’s Evil President Biden Is Worse Than The Stupid Congress Biden Of 40 Years!

82nd Airborne commander tells Brits to stop rescuing stranded nationals because they’re making the U.S. look bad?

By Monica Showalter at American Thinker:

So much for the U.S.-U.K. alliance.

The commander of the 82nd Airborne, in a story I hope is wrong, has reportedly told this to the Brits, according to the Washington Examiner’s Tom Rogan:

I understand that the commanding general of the 82nd Airborne Division has told the commander of the British special forces at the Kabul airport to cease operations beyond the airport perimeter.

Maj. Gen. Christopher Donahue has told his British Army counterpart, a high-ranking field-grade officer of the British army’s 22nd Special Air Service Regiment, that British operations were embarrassing the United States military in the absence of similar U.S. military operations. I understand that the British officer firmly rejected the request.

If that story is true, heaven help us.

It’s got some amazing temerity, number one, which has got to be going down badly with the Brits. Who the heck micromanages someone else’s operations for any reason whatsoever, let alone something as urgent as this? Allies respect one another.

Two: It’s perfectly true: The British are making the Americans look bad, not based on the competence or valor of the troops, but because of the leadership at the top. The Biden administration is the one keeping the 82nd Airborne (and Marines), which are perfectly capable, of going out into the city and rescuing Americans. Its priority is avoiding a battle with the Taliban, or a Saigon-style helicopter lift-off. In other words, it’s focused on optics, not results.  

Three, the British, (and French and German forces) who are going out to hunt for their nations’ nationals had never been told about the Biden administration’s sudden pullout or the intelligence describing a swift downfall of Kabul in the first place, so they’re engaged in triage based on the Biden administration’s failure to communicate. The goodwill toward the U.S. in light of this desperate cleanup has got to already be burned.

Four, what the hell are the U.S. forces over there for if it’s not to rescue nationals? Is someone unclear on the concept? Why is Donohue telling the Brits to stop instead of getting on the horn with Biden and screaming at the dotard to let the 82nd Airborne do what it does best? The Brits are out there rescuing anyone they can — nationals, allies, Afghani collaborators, very likely some Americans. The Americans are guarding the perimeter of the airport without going outside, making the airport actually irrelevant to people who need to flee, and U.S. officials are telling stranded Americans, more than 10,000 of them, that they’re on their own. In the meantime, the Taliban has set up checkpoints — and thugs going around with whips — all around the circumference of the airport, stealing Americans’ passports and not letting Americans with documents inside. Airplanes are not filling as a result, and planes that go are either half-empty or filled with unvetted Afghanis instead of Americans.

Getting into the airport looks like this:

Care to get in through that?

Some observers say they suspect a Biden deal cut with the Taliban for U.S. troops to not go out of the airport in exchange for no attacks on the airport as the rescue is underway. AT contributor Denton Scratch, today has some excellent background on how this picture looks, and here’s a tweet showing a map of the civilian rescue plan which looks consistent with Scratch’s posted civilian evacuation protocol. (Note: Apologies for the tweeter’s mind in the gutter.)

Yet there’s no way to coordinate this? Have the Brits go get them and have the Americans guard the perimeter? Probably not, given that Joe Biden has not been taking British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s repeated phone calls in recent days. He says he’s now taken one, and one can only guess what that was like. The U.K. parliament in a bipartisan vote has condemned Biden for contempt. This is ugly stuff.

There have been reported tensions between the 82nd Airborne and the Brits earlier:https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3NwYWNlX2NhcmQiOnsiYnVja2V0Ijoib2ZmIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1427973132044972034&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.americanthinker.com%2Fblog%2F2021%2F08%2F82nd_airborne_commander_tells_brits_to_stop_rescuing_the_stranded_because_theyre_making_the_us_look_bad.html&sessionId=7110a2229694ab9fd0377cd62ec7658e11df7c07&siteScreenName=AmericanThinker&theme=light&widgetsVersion=1890d59c%3A1627936082797&width=550px

Now the Brits are making us look bad? And the French, and the Germans, for simply getting the job done?

It points to some important things:

One, Biden isn’t all there. The man who said “American is back” and promised to restore the NATO alliance has pretty well killed it off with this kind of crap. Whoever is ordering him around is focused on news cycles, not getting anything done.

Two, the military leadership needs some hosing out. The general who reportedly made the indecent request to the Brits is one Maj. Gen. Christopher Donohue, who, while not a paper-pusher, is obviously well in with the wokester academic crowd as well as a careerist, based on his official biography. He appears big on fitting in rather than doing what’s right.

It’s sad stuff. Brits, French, and Germans are undoubtedly making their own plans now and they’re going to extend beyond this Biden Afghanistan mess to impact the U.S. in the future. It won’t be good for America. When the Brits are choosing morality over American indecent proposals, and it’s the French who are making you look cowardly, you know the U.S. is in trouble. 

Image: Official portrait, U.S. Army