An UN-settling speech

Erick Erickson is a fan of Donald Trump’s United Nations speech Monday:

Quibble all you want with what he said or how he said it, I was only a kid when Ronald Reagan uttered the phrase “Evil Empire” and I still remember the press reaction. I was an adult when George W. Bush uttered the phrase “axis of evil” and I remember the press reaction. And I suspect that Donald Trump, like those two, will be vindicated against his critics for his tough stance at the United Nations.

What a politician says and what he really does or does not do are different things. But what President Trump said yesterday at the United Nations really restores a realistic approach to American foreign policy and a key, core sentiment that Ronald Reagan understood and the left decried: better our a**hole than their a**hole.

The fact is we cannot convert every country to our form of constitutional republic. And the fact is that there are always going to be third world hell holes from which terrorists might stage attacks or do bad things. It is far better for us to admit this and make sure those third world hell holes are controlled by allies who will help us destroy our enemies than by our enemies allies who will wage war against us.

The President’s bluntness may be off putting to some on this, but it was really telling yesterday when former Obama staffers were unable to reconcile how the President could say he will not impose our way of life on another country while also saying he would take action against Venezuela.

In the real world, the Venezuelan regime is destabilizing an entire region, sparking a humanitarian crisis, and ceding ground to nefarious groups including drug lords and terrorists. If the Venezuelan President could run his country without it collapsing into anarchy that will be taken advantage of by interests opposed to ours, President Trump would leave him alone. But because the Venezuelan President cannot do that, our President will act to keep us safe and his team is smart enough to know that acting today will prevent disaster tomorrow.

The same holds true with North Korea where this President is having to clean up the idealized vomit fest of three prior administrations and their “diplomatic” efforts that did nothing except buy North Korea time to make a nuke while learning the fine art of shake down saber rattling.

Whether this President lives up to his vision is another matter and will largely be for history to judge. But his stated foreign policy is mature, stable, and needed. It is grounded in historic American leadership around the world, not isolationism, and not multinational interventionism.

President Trump’s immediate predecessor took the world stage and often made it seem he though no nation was better or worse, but all were equal. Every nation said the same thing about how great their nation was and their nation was the best. We did it too as team sport, in Obama’s mind, but his policies were premised on us not being the best nation.

Yesterday at the United Nations, President Trump all but declared the United States actually really is the best damn nation that ever was, but is humble enough not to try to force everyone to our level.

I’ll take it!

If media reports that the Trump administration is trying to not back out of the horrible Paris economic-destruction — I mean climate change — treaty, I’ll be back to criticizing Trump again. Trump deserves credit for this speech to the relativist organization that believes that all countries are equal, including serial human rights abusers.

 

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More inconvenient truths

Alex Epstein chops up Algore’s “An Inconvenient Sequel”:

The more than seven billion people living in the world today need affordable, abundant energy — and a livable climate — to flourish. But the world’s leading source of energy is also the leading source of increasing greenhouse gases.

What to do? This is the vital question Al Gore took on in his 2006 film An Inconvenient Truth, and takes on again in his newly released follow-up An Inconvenient Sequel.

As the most influential figure in the international climate conversation, Gore has a responsibility to give us the whole picture of fossil fuels’ impacts — both their benefits and the risks they pose to humans flourishing. Unfortunately, Gore has given us a deeply biased picture that completely ignores fossil fuels’ indispensable benefits and wildly exaggerates their impact on climate.

The running theme throughout An Inconvenient Sequel is that Gore’s first film was even more right than he expected. The movie begins with defenders of fossil fuels mocking or ignoring the dramatic predictions of An Inconvenient Truth. Leaving aside a heroic (and highly disputed) portrayal of Gore rescuing the Paris climate accord, the rest of the movie focuses on vindicating Gore’s two chief predictions: 1) That we could replace fossil fuels with cheap solar- and wind-powered “renewables”; and 2) that continued use of fossil fuels would lead to catastrophic temperature rises, catastrophic sea-level rises, catastrophic flooding, catastrophic drought, catastrophic storms, and catastrophic disease proliferation.

To justify these claims, Gore makes extensive uses of anecdotes: he shows us the town of Georgetown, Tex. and its use of 100-per-cent renewable energy, a deadly heat wave in India, a deadly flood in Miami, a deadly drought in Syria, a deadly storm in the Philippines, and the Zika virus penetrating the United States.

Some of his anecdotes are meant to prove that cheap solar and wind are, as 2006 Gore prophesied, quickly dominating the world’s energy supply and, as 2006 Gore also warned us, that our rapidly warming climate is killing more and more people each year. But he has not given us the whole picture.

Take the rising dominance of solar and wind, which is used to paint supporters of fossil fuels as troglodytes, fools, and shills for Big Oil. The combined share of world energy consumption from renewables is all of two per cent. And it’s an expensive, unreliable, and therefore difficult-to-scale two per cent.

Because solar and wind are “unreliables,” they need to be backed up by reliable sources of power, usually fossil fuels, or sometimes non-carbon sources including nuclear and large-scale hydro power (all of which Gore and other environmentalists refuse to support). This is why every grid that incorporates significant solar and wind has more expensive electricity. Germans, on the hook for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s self-righteous anti-carbon commitments, are already paying three times the rates for electricity that Americans do.

Stories about “100-per-cent renewable” locations like Georgetown, Tex. are not just anecdotal evidence, they are lies. The Texas grid from which Georgetown draws its electricity is comprised of 43.7 per cent natural gas, 28.8 per cent coal, 12 per cent nuclear, and only 15.6 per cent renewable. Using a virtue-signalling gimmick pioneered by Apple, Facebook, and Google, Georgetown pays its state utility to label its grid electricity “renewable” —  even though it draws its power from that fossil-fuel heavy Texas grid — while tarring others on the grid as “non-renewable.”

If we look at the overall trends instead of engaging in anecdotal manipulation we see that fossil fuel energy is the fastest-growing energy source in the world — still. Fossil fuels have never been more vital to human flourishing. There are 1,600 coal plants planned for the near future, which could increase international coal capacity 43 per cent. Advances in technology are making fossil fuels cleaner, safer, and more efficient than ever. To reduce their growth let alone to radically restrict their use — which is what Gore advocates — means forcing energy poverty on billions of people.

Gore and others should be free to make the case that the danger of greenhouse gases is so serious as to warrant that scale of human misery. But they should have to quantify and justify the magnitude of climate danger. And that brings us to the truth about climate.

The overall trend in climate danger is that it is at an all-time low. The Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT) shows 6,114 climate-related deaths in 2016. In other recent years the numbers have maxed out in the tens of thousands. Compare this to the 1930s when, adjusted for population, climate-related deaths hit the 10-million mark several times.

The most significant cause of our radically reduced climate danger is industrial development, which takes a naturally dangerous climate and makes it unnaturally safe. And industrial development is driven by cheap, plentiful, reliable energy — which, today, overwhelmingly means fossil fuels. Climate will always be dangerous so priority number one is to have the energy and development to tame it. Modern irrigation, residential heating and air conditioning have made once uninhabitable places perfectly comfortable.

Gore’s Inconvenient Sequel gives a biased, self-serving, and convenient picture of fossil fuels and climate — convenient for Gore’s legacy, that is, but inconvenient for the billions his energy poverty policies will harm. As citizens, we must start demanding responsible thought leaders who will give us the whole picture that life-and-death energy and climate decisions require.

The correct view of climate change

The Wall Street Journal prints some inconvenient truth about our global climate

Climate change is often misunderstood as a package deal: If global warming is “real,” both sides of the debate seem to assume, the climate lobby’s policy agenda follows inexorably.

It does not. Climate policy advocates need to do a much better job of quantitatively analyzing economic costs and the actual, rather than symbolic, benefits of their policies. Skeptics would also do well to focus more attention on economic and policy analysis.

To arrive at a wise policy response, we first need to consider how much economic damage climate change will do. Current models struggle to come up with economic costs commensurate with apocalyptic political rhetoric. Typical costs are well below 10% of gross domestic product in the year 2100 and beyond.

That’s a lot of money—but it’s a lot of years, too. Even 10% less GDP in 100 years corresponds to 0.1 percentage point less annual GDP growth. Climate change therefore does not justify policies that cost more than 0.1 percentage point of growth. If the goal is 10% more GDP in 100 years, pro-growth tax, regulatory and entitlement reforms would be far more effective.

Yes, the costs are not evenly spread. Some places will do better and some will do worse. The American South might be a worse place to grow wheat; Southern Canada might be a better one. In a century, Miami might find itself in approximately the same situation as the Dutch city of Rotterdam today.

But spread over a century, the costs of moving and adapting are not as imposing as they seem. Rotterdam’s dikes are expensive, but not prohibitively so. Most buildings are rebuilt about every 50 years. If we simply stopped building in flood-prone areas and started building on higher ground, even the costs of moving cities would be bearable. Migration is costly. But much of the world’s population moved from farms to cities in the 20th century. Allowing people to move to better climates in the 21st will be equally possible. Such investments in climate adaptation are small compared with the investments we will regularly make in houses, businesses, infrastructure and education.

And economics is the central question—unlike with other environmental problems such as chemical pollution. Carbon dioxide hurts nobody’s health. It’s good for plants. Climate change need not endanger anyone. If it did—and you do hear such claims—then living in hot Arizona rather than cool Maine, or living with Louisiana’s frequent floods, would be considered a health catastrophe today.

Global warming is not the only risk our society faces. Even if science tells us that climate change is real and man-made, it does not tell us, as President Obama asserted, that climate change is the greatest threat to humanity. Really? Greater than nuclear explosions, a world war, global pandemics, crop failures and civil chaos?

No. Healthy societies do not fall apart over slow, widely predicted, relatively small economic adjustments of the sort painted by climate analysis. Societies do fall apart from war, disease or chaos. Climate policy must compete with other long-term threats for always-scarce resources.

Facing this reality, some advocate that we buy some “insurance.” Sure, they argue, the projected economic cost seems small, but it could turn out to be a lot worse. But the same argument applies to any possible risk. If you buy overpriced insurance against every potential danger, you soon run out of money. You can sensibly insure only when the premium is in line with the risk—which brings us back where we started, to the need for quantifying probabilities, costs, benefits and alternatives. And uncertainty goes both ways. Nobody forecast fracking, or that it would make the U.S. the world’s carbon-reduction leader. Strategic waiting is a rational response to a slow-moving uncertain peril with fast-changing technology.

Global warming is not even the obvious top environmental threat. Dirty water, dirty air and insect-borne diseases are a far greater problem today for most people world-wide. Habitat loss and human predation are a far greater problem for most animals. Elephants won’t make it to see a warmer climate. Ask them how they would prefer to spend $1 trillion—subsidizing high-speed trains or a human-free park the size of Montana.

Then, we need to know what effect proposed policies have and at what cost. Scientific, quantifiable or even vaguely plausible cause-and-effect thinking are missing from much advocacy for policies to reduce carbon emissions. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s “scientific” recommendations, for example, include “reduced gender inequality & marginalization in other forms,” “provisioning of adequate housing,” “cash transfers” and “awareness raising & integrating into education.” Even if some of these are worthy goals, they are not scientifically valid, cost-benefit-tested policies to cool the planet.

Climate policy advocates’ apocalyptic vision demands serious analysis, and mushy thinking undermines their case. If carbon emissions pose the greatest threat to humanity, it follows that the costs of nuclear power—waste disposal and the occasional meltdown—might be bearable. It follows that the costs of genetically modified foods and modern pesticides, which can feed us with less land and lower carbon emissions, might be bearable. It follows that if the future of civilization is really at stake, adaptation or geo-engineering should not be unmentionable. And it follows that symbolic, ineffective, political grab-bag policies should be intolerable.

To save the planet, your life must suck

Last week it was revealed (or, more accurately, re-revealed) that environmentalists are socialists.

On the similar theme of making your life worse, Julie Kelly writes:

The Merchants of Misery — a.k.a., climate scientists — are working overtime to shame you about all the pleasures you’re enjoying this summer and how your selfish indulgences will cause the planet’s demise. Grilling your favorite cheeseburger? Glutton! Packing up your brood for a drive to the lake house? Monster! Hoping vacation sex will result in a new baby to add to the family? Hedonist! Even mowing your lawn earns a tsk-tsk.

A study from Sweden’s Lund University published July 12 lists many of the sacrifices you should make to reduce your carbon footprint. Most of the media coverage — and criticism — focused on the study’s recommendation to have one fewer child (as the mother of two teen girls, I have my own irrational reasons for sharing that same advice right now, but I digress).

Not only did the researchers consider more than three dozen scientific papers to compile their list, they also reviewed a handful of school textbooks and government publications to see whether the ruling class in Canada, Australia, the U.K., and the U.S. was appropriately indoctrinating the masses, particularly young people, about which “high-impact actions” will most effectively reverse global warming. But apparently, public authorities are falling short of that goal. (This will come as a surprise to anyone with school-age children, who are routinely admonished, in every subject from science to health class, about the dangers of manmade climate change.) “Textbooks overwhelmingly focused on moderate or low-impact actions, with our recommended actions mostly presented in a less effective form, or not at all,” the researchers found. “No textbook suggested having fewer children as a way to reduce emissions.” *Hint hint, McGraw-Hill*

The one-less-child policy was just one example of the study’s absurdity. Other suggestions include eating a plant-based diet, living car-free, and avoiding air travel. The paper also ranks other “low-impact” recommendations made in government guides and textbooks, such as keeping backyard chickens, letting your lawn grow longer, and hanging your clothes outside to dry. Thankfully, pet owners get a pass for now: “We originally hypothesized that two additional actions, not owning a dog and purchasing green energy, would also fit our criteria for recommended high-impact actions, but found both to be of questionable merit.”

So your life, according to the Merchants of Misery, should look something like this: stuck at home without a car, washing laundry in cold water and then clipping it on a clothesline while chasing down chickens and preparing locally grown vegetables for dinner. It’ll be just like Little House on the Prairie!

As if on cue, another study issued the following week warns about the price that extra child will pay should you be foolish and selfish enough to have one. James Hansen, known as the “father of climate-change awareness,” is the lead author of a paper published July 18 entitled, “Young People’s Burden: Requirement of Negative CO2 Emissions.” It’s not now sufficient to just limit CO2, we now need to remove it from the atmosphere: “Such targets now require ‘negative emissions,’ i.e., extraction of CO2 from the air.” “Continued high fossil-fuel emissions today place a burden on young people to undertake massive technological CO2 extraction if they are to limit climate change and its consequences,” the study’s authors conclude.

Hansen’s continued activism on climate and his growing hysteria about the future have nothing to do with staying relevant and everything to do with the children, of course. His latest study is intended to support a lawsuit he enjoined that was filed in 2015 by nearly two dozen young people, including his granddaughter, to sue the federal government over climate change. The lawsuit, Juliana et al. v. U.S. et al., claims that due to “the government’s affirmative actions that cause climate change, it has violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property, as well as failed to protect essential public trust resources.” A trial date has been set for February 2018.

During a hearing last fall, Hansen told a U.S. district-court judge that “this lawsuit is made necessary by the at-best schizophrenic, if not suicidal nature of U.S. climate and energy policy.”

If you think that the Merchants of Misery have a preoccupation with death, you might be right. Now a few of them are just waiting (hoping?) for so-called climate deniers to die so they can get on with their misery message unchallenged. Here’s what climate catastrophist Bill Nye, aka The Science Guy, told the L.A. Times last week:

Climate-change deniers, by way of example, are older. It’s generational. So we’re just going to have to wait for those people to “age out,” as they say. “Age out” is a euphemism for “die.” But it’ll happen, I guarantee you — that’ll happen.

People are guaranteed to die — hey, science!

So while most of us are enjoying the fleeting delights of summer, the Merchants of Misery are ratcheting up their message of death, doom, and sacrifice. No wonder people are tuning them out.

I wonder which climate scientist will tell Muslims they need to stop reproducing so much. Muslim birth rates are far higher than European birth rates.

islam vs. Islamic terrorism

Melanie Phillips after yet another terrorist attack in Britain:

Even now, with Theresa May saying “enough is enough” after the London Bridge atrocities, we are still refusing to identify correctly the threat that has already claimed so many lives.

These attackers are not “evil losers”. They are not “sick cowards”. I They are not nihilists or psychiatric cases or lone wolves. They are devout and ecstatic Muslim fanatics who are waging a war of religion against us.

Mrs May correctly referred to “Islamist” terrorism. Yet she also said this was a “perversion of Islam”. How can it be a “perversion” when it is solidly rooted in religious texts and theological doctrine validated and endorsed by the world’s most powerful Islamic authorities?

In his article in The Times yesterday, the communities secretary Sajid Javid tied himself up in knots. He rightly said it wasn’t enough for Muslims merely to condemn terror attacks; they must ask themselves “searching questions”, and issue challenges.

Yet he also said the perpetrators were not “true Muslims” and that it was right to say the attacks were “nothing to do with Islam”. Well if that’s so, why should Muslims need to do anything at all?

The West views Islam through its own cultural prism, which equates religion with spirituality. The problem is that Islam is as much a political ideology as a source of spiritual guidance.

In 2010 a German study, which involved intensive questioning of 45,000 Muslim teenagers from 61 towns and regions across the country, found that the more religious they were the more likely they were to become violent.

Sheikh Mohammad Tawhidi, a Shia cleric in Australia who campaigns against Sunni extremism, has said: “The scriptures are exactly what is pushing these people to behead the infidel. Our books teach the beheading of people.”

Of course, millions of Muslims don’t subscribe to any of this. Some are merely cultural Muslims who observe no religious practices. Some, such as the Sufis or the Ahmadiyya sect, are pious Muslims who are truly peaceful (and are themselves victims of the Islamists).

But political, aggressive, jihadist Islam, constrained for so long by both the Ottoman empire and western colonialism, is now dominant once again in the Muslim world. Which is why in 2015 Egypt’s President Sisi remarkably told the imams of Al-Azhar university in Cairo — the epicentre of Islamic doctrinal edicts — that Islam’s corpus of sacred texts was “antagonising the entire world”, that it was “impossible” for 1.6 billion Muslims to “want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants”, and so Islam had to have a “religious revolution”.

We should be promoting and defending such Muslim reformers in the desperate hope that they succeed. Instead we knock the ground from under their feet by saying Islamist attacks have nothing to do with Islam. Until and unless Islam is reformed, we need to treat its practices on a scale ranging from extreme caution to outlawing some of them altogether.

Mrs May said we need to make people understand that our “pluralistic British values” were “superior to anything offered by the preachers and supporters of hatred”.

The problem is, though, that Islamists believe their values represent the literal word of God. So to them, no other values can possibly be superior. As a result, you can no more deradicalise them than you could have deradicalised the priests of the Inquisition.

We must require Muslims to take responsibility for the actions of all in their community. An ICM poll of British Muslims two years ago found that nearly a quarter wanted Sharia to replace British law in areas with large Muslim populations.

Four per cent — equivalent to more than 100,000 British Muslims — said they were sympathetic to suicide bombers fighting “injustice”.

In other words, we must see jihadist Islam as at the extreme end of a continuum of beliefs which are themselves incompatible with British society.

So we shouldn’t just be stopping people coming back to Britain from Syria or Libya, or detaining terrorist suspects through control orders. We should also be closing down radical mosques, deporting those born in other countries who are involved in extremism, stopping foreign funding for Muslim institutions and banning the Muslim Brotherhood.

We should also outlaw Sharia courts because, since Sharia does not accept the superior authority of secular legislation, it inescapably undermines the core British value of one law for all.

The message should be that British Muslims are welcome citizens but on the same basis as everyone else: that they subscribe to the binding nature of foundational British laws and values. If not, they will be treated as subversives.

The chances of any of these measures being taken, though, are slim. There will be inevitable claims that judge-made human rights law, which has often protected the “rights” of extremists rather than their victims, cannot be set aside without “destroying British values”.

Jihadist terrorists, however, are not trying to divide us, destroy our values or stop the general election. They are trying to kill us and conquer us.

“Us,” by the way, includes Muslims. The Religion of Peace has been keeping a daily Ramadan Bombathon count. As of this morning, the website counts 73 bombings with 809 dead, mostly Muslims.

Unlike some people I know on the right, I am not reflexively anti-Muslim or anti-Islam. Nor is Donald Trump, who unlike his predecessor is willing to condemn radical Islam by name. But there are facets of Islam that are incompatible with Western values (for instance, this), and unless you count the wack jobs at Westboro Baptist Church to be Christians (they’re not), Islam  is the only major world religion with adherents killing in the name of their religion today. Like it or not, it is up to Muslims to defeat radical Islam.

We’ll always have climate

Donald Trump may have done my favorite move of his presidency by pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate treaty.

Facebook Friend and meteorologist Mike Smith posted …

To my many liberal friends: Want more Republicans in Congress? Want Trump to be reelected to a second term?

Then, keep doing these silly total freakouts completely out of proportion to the facts of a situation.

The Paris Agreement was a joke that even Dr. James Hansen condemned. …

Trillions, yes, trillions of dollars for almost no positive effect. 0.01°C of averted warming? We can’t even measure that amount.

… with this response:

I have been in the electric vehicle business for over 20 years, and agree with pulling out of the farce that this (non biding) agreement was. The Paris climate accords were a terrible deal – it would have imposed vast costs on America, undermined our economy, cost U.S. jobs and let major polluters like China off the hook for decades while doing almost nothing to help the environment. The U.S. is already a leader in clean energy, having reduced CO2 emissions 12 percent in the past decade. We can do so much more with the $100 bil that the US would have had to spend for other countries getting a free pass. We can be more sustainable with our own agreement. Don’t be so quick to criticize- So glad we are pulling out of this bad deal.

Let’s free up the American economy to produce more and cleaner energy without these one-sided, job-killing global restrictions.”

Not to mention that Obama entered this deal illegally without required approval of congress. The solutions we need for to clean the air will happen in a more efficient way!

Arthur Milikh covers the worldwide reaction, which should not matter one bit:

Phony high-mindedness is also being deployed against Trump. French President Emmanuel Macron, for instance, went around America’s head of state and chief representative to flatter the American public, reassuring the American public that France and the world still “believes in you.”

That global elites feel sufficient self-confidence to attempt to publicly shame the president of the United States is partly because other U.S. presidents have typically succumbed to similar pressures long before they became public.
Yet few arguments against Trump reveal as much as a recent Washington Post headline: “Trump made up his mind on Paris. Now the rest of the world will do the same on him.” In other words, the U.S. president’s deliberations should be derived from fear of elite ire, speaking on behalf of a world majority.

Leveraging the alleged authority of the majority—not a national majority, but that of the world itself—Trump’s critics cite the fact that America, Nicaragua, and Syria are the only nations not subject to the Paris accord. The dogma that majorities are wise—half-believed, half-used as manipulation by advocates—is striking partly because of the elevation of nations like Iran and North Korea, suddenly viewed as committed environmentalists.

Using similar arguments, the Obama administration worked hard to obligate the American public, despite itself, to agreements that appeared to be treaties, but that have none of the legal or moral authority. The Iran agreement, for instance, proceeded in this way. From its example, one learned not only that such agreements are unenforceable, but that they contain a host of cash transfers, which would never stand the light of investigative inquiry if they were real treaties.

More importantly, obligating the entire nation for generations to come requires Senate ratification, for no small reason. That is because the public should consent to being obligated to going to war, like in case of violation of the Iran deal, or of transferring billions of dollars to other nations, while stifling domestic interests, like in the case of the Paris Agreement.
This Obama-era approach in practice means rule not by the U.S. Senate, but rule by elite international opinion, hiding behind a seeming majoritarian consensus. These opinion makers, feeling neither moral obligations to the well-being of any particular nation, nor under any check to carry out their promises, aim to replace the deliberative function of the Senate.
Trump is right to not cave to this breed of influence. If the agreement is suitable for the U.S., the Senate must debate the matter and gain the public’s consent. Without this, public trust and republican honor are undermined, and our constitutional institutions are replaced with rule by international pressure.

You may have read that big business CEOs opposed Trump’s move. Jordan LaPorta explains:

Libertarians and true conservatives heralded the move as one of Trump’s best to date, but liberals and big business leaders have attacked the decision on the mainstream airwaves and on Twitter.

Massive corporation after massive corporation  has come out in favor of the U.S. remaining in the deal, including heavy-hitters such as Exxon Mobil, Chevron, BP, and Shell.

“We believe climate change is real,” said Ben van Beurden, CEO of Shell. “We believe that the world needs to go through an energy transition to prevent a very significant rise in global temperatures. And we need to be part of that solution in making it happen.”

Perhaps one of the most vocal critics of the president’s decision to leave the regulatory compact is Elon Musk, American entrepreneur and founder of Tesla Motors and Space X.  On Twitter, Musk pledged to leave the president’s business councils because of his altruistic stand on behalf of mother earth. It’s quite touching, really.

Musk, like many other business elites, lobbied hard for Trump to keep America in the restrictive agreement. But the real reason Musk, Shell, Exon, and so many others wanted to the country to stay in the deal has nothing to do with the saving the planet — that’s just the “PR” reason. The real reason is that the agreement’s increased regulations on businesses work in their best profit interest. The thought is certainly counterintuitive, but it makes quite a bit of sense.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported on the incredibly high cost of business regulation in the United States, finding that Americans spent $1.6 trillion to comply with government mandates in 2016 alone. That money would be enough to constitute the world’s seventh-largest economy. But big businesses owned by the likes of Musk can afford these high costs, while their smaller competitors cannot. What this creates is an environment ripe for oligopoly, headed by a few big cartels. That’s not exactly what I would call a “free market.”

Musk and oil companies are no opponents to government intervention at all. In fact, the government subsidizes both Musk’s playthings and the entire oil industry to the highest degree.

It’s incredibly frustrating when people look at such system and cry wolf about the evils of “capitalism.” This is not capitalism; it’s corporatism writ large. Libertarian thinkier Albert Jay Nock put it best when he said “the simple truth is that our businessmen do not want a gov-ernment that will let business alone. They want a government they can use.”

But I guess you can’t put “Down with Corporatism” on a Che Guevera shirt and expect it to sell.

These big businesses wouldn’t be out any profit at all; they would just pass the cost to consumers in higher taxes. Too bad for you if higher energy prices mean no vacation for your family.

Instapundit has this revealing report:

RENT-SEEKERS GOTTA SEEK RENTS: German carmakers fear losing competitive edge after U.S. Paris exit.

“The regrettable announcement by the USA makes it inevitable that Europe must facilitate a cost efficient and economically feasible climate policy to remain internationally competitive,” Matthias Wissmann, president of the German auto industry lobby group VDA, said in a statement on Friday.

“The preservation of our competitive position is the precondition for successful climate protection. This correlation is often underestimated,” Wissmann said, adding that the decision by the Unites States was disappointing.

The VDA said electricity and energy prices are already higher in Germany than in the United States, putting Germany at a disadvantage.

Now we know what the Paris Accords were really about — hampering U.S. industries to make Europe’s more competitive.

Global climate change is occurring, but not principally because of human causes. The question therefore is what are you willing to give up for a negligible effect on the world climate?

Prepare the next memorial hashtags

After Monday night …

… David French wrote:

That sound you hear is the slowly dawning realization that something horrifying is happening, a swelling of screams of panic. And it’s the panic of hundreds and hundreds of young girls (boys too, but the sound of girls’ screams is unmistakable.) Let that sink in. This attack was the virtual equivalent of walking into a middle school auditorium for the express purpose of maiming and mutilating children.

There is no reasoning with this hate. There is no “legitimate grievance” with the West that triggers such violence. It is the product of fanatical devotion to the most evil of all causes, a cause that perversely promises paradise for the slaughter of innocents. There is no way for the West to be “good” enough to appease terrorists. There is no policy short of religious conversion that will cause them to relent. The best deterrent to jihad is the obliteration of jihadists. They thrive on victory, not defeat.

Tonight, sadly, they won a victory, and here’s all you need to know to understand the character of our enemies – they relish the sound of young girls’ screams.

French then wrote:

Make no mistake, there is an emerging bipartisan consensus that a certain amount of terrorism is just the price we have to pay to live the way we want to live. Now, to be clear, very few people will come out and say this explicitly, and national-security establishments do their best — within certain, limited parameters — to stop every single terror attack, but more than 15 years after 9/11 it’s clear that there are prices our societies aren’t willing to pay. And neither our nation nor any of our European allies is willing to pay the price to reduce the terror threat to its pre-9/11 scale.

Consequently, an undetermined number of civilians will die, horribly, at concerts, restaurants, nightclubs, or simply while walking on the sidewalk. It almost certainly won’t be you, of course, but it will be somebody. And they’ll often be kids.

While it’s impossible to predict any given terror attack, there are two laws of terrorism that work together to guarantee that attacks will occur, and they’ll occur with increasing frequency. First, when terrorists are granted safe havens to plan, train, equip, and inspire terror attacks, then they will strike, and they’ll keep striking not just until the safe havens are destroyed but also until the cells and affiliates they’ve established outside their havens are rooted out. Second, when you import immigrants at any real scale from jihadist regions, then you will import the cultural, religious, and political views that incubate jihad. Jihadist ideas flow not from soil but from people, and when you import people you import their ideas.

Let’s look at how these two ideas have worked together in both Europe and America. The map below (from AFP) charts significant terror attacks in Europe (including Turkey). You’ll note a significant increase in activity since 2014, since ISIS stampeded across Syria and into Turkey and established a terrorist caliphate in the heart of the Middle East. There existed a safe haven and a population to inspire back in Europe. The result was entirely predictable:

What about the United States? A similar phenomenon was in play. This Heritage Foundation timeline of terror attacks and plots documents a total of 95 incidents since 9/11. The numbers are revealing. After the implementation of the (now) much-derided Bush strategy, there were a grand total of 27 terror attacks and plots — almost all of them foiled.

After the end of the Bush administration, the numbers skyrocketed, with 68 plots or attacks recorded since. A number of them, including the Fort Hood shooting, the Boston Marathon bombing, the San Bernardino mass murder, and the Orlando nightclub massacre, have been terrifying successful. Indeed, there have been more domestic terror plots and attacks since the rise of ISIS in the summer of 2014 than there were in the entirety of the Bush administration after 9/11. And make no mistake, jihadist terrorists are disproportionately immigrants and children of immigrants.

What did Bush do that was so successful? He not only pressed military offensives in the heart of the Middle East, he fundamentally changed the American approach to immigration and implemented a number of temporary measures that, for example, dramatically decreased refugee admissions and implemented country-specific protective measures that have since been discontinued. And don’t forget, aside from their reckless immigration policies, our European allies weren’t just beneficiaries of the Bush doctrine but also participants in Bush’s military offensives. Our NATO allies have been on the ground in Afghanistan since the war launched in earnest. Britain was a principal partner in Iraq.

Here is the bottom line — since the end of the Bush and Blair administrations, it seems clear that all of the great Western democracies would rather face an increased terror risk than make the sacrifices that have been proven to mitigate the danger. There is little appetite across the entire American political spectrum for an increased ground-combat presence in the Middle East. So the slow-motion war against ISIS continues, and terrorist safe havens remain. In the United States, even Trump’s short-term and modest so-called travel ban has been blocked in court and lacks public support.

If you listen closely, you’ll note that some politicians are actually starting to level with their people. They’re not willing to do what it takes to reduce the terror threat to substantially lower levels, so they’re trying to adjust their populations to the new reality. After the Nice truck attack, the French prime minister said, “The times have changed, and France is going to have to live with terrorism.” German chancellor Angela Merkel also told her people that they have to “live with the danger of terrorism.”

All too many Americans, sadly, still seem to labor under the fiction that they can have it all — tolerant immigration policies, no land wars in Asia, and Muslim allies who finally pick up the slack with the right level of prodding and with appropriately minimal air support. When necessary, we can send in our SEAL Team superheroes to take care of the truly tough tasks.

Well, that’s a strategy, but it’s one that means that every few months we’ll put memorial ribbons up on Facebook and Twitter, express pride in our valiant first responders, and wrap our arms around grieving parents who have to close the casket on their eight-year-old girl. It’s a strategy that expresses pride that we foil most attacks, and it’s one that leads us to hope and pray that the losses remain acceptable.

The Western world knows the price it has to pay to decisively reduce the terror threat. It’s no longer willing to pay that price. It’s no longer willing even to let their militaries truly do the jobs they volunteered to do. So there will be more Manchesters, more Parises, more Nices, and more Orlandos. But that’s what happens when we’re not willing to do what it takes. I hope at least our hashtags can make us feel better about our choice.

Speaking of hashtags, James Woods chronicles a collection and asks:

What is the common denominator here?

Douglas Murray adds:

Even after all these years, all these attacks and all these dead, the West still keeps asking the same question after events like those of Monday night: ‘Who would do such a thing?’ The answer is always the same. Sometimes the culprits are home-grown. Sometimes they are recent arrivals. Sometimes they have been in the West for generations, eat fish and chips and play cricket. Sometimes — like last month’s attacker in Stockholm, or last year’s suicide bomber in Ansbach, Germany — they arrived in Europe just a few months earlier. Sometimes people claim the perpetrator is a lone wolf, unknown to the authorities. More often it turns out (in a term coined by Mark Steyn) to be a known wolf, on the peripheral vision of the security services.

Yet still our society wonders: what would make someone do such a thing? The tone of bafflement is strange — like a society that keeps asking a question, but keeps its fingers lodged firmly in its ears whenever it is given the answer.

Only last month this now traditional national rite was led by no less a figure than the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall. At the beginning of April, Westminster Abbey was the venue for a national act of mourning for the victims of the previous month’s terrorist attack. The Dean used his sermon — at what was billed as ‘a service of hope’ — to announce that Britain was ‘bewildered’ by the actions of Khalid Masood.

‘What could possibly motivate a man,’ asked the Dean, ‘to hire a car and take it from Birmingham to Brighton to London, and then to drive it, fast, at people he had never met, couldn’t possibly know, against whom he had no personal grudge, no reason to hate them and then run at the gates of the Palace of Westminster to cause another death? It seems likely we shall never know.’

Actually, most people could likely make a guess. And had the Dean waited just a few days, he could have joined them. Masood’s final WhatsApp messages, sent to a friend just before he ploughed his car along Westminster Bridge, revealed this Muslim convert was ‘waging jihad’ for Allah. The Dean was hardly going to get back up into his pulpit and say: ‘Apologies. Turns out we do know. It was jihad for Allah.’ The impossibility of that scenario speaks to the deeper disaster — beneath the bodies and the blood — of the state we’ve got into.

For their part, the Islamists are amazingly clear about what they want and the reasons why they act accordingly. You never have to read between the lines. Listen to Jawad Akbar, recorded in the UK in 2004 as he discussed the soft targets he and his al Qaeda-linked cell were planning to hit. The targets included the Ministry of Sound nightclub in London. What was the appeal? As Akbar said to his colleague, Omar Khyam, no one could ‘turn round and say “oh they are innocent, those slags dancing around”.’

It is the same reason why ten years ago next month Bilal Abdullah and Kafeel Ahmed (an NHS doctor and an engineering PhD student respectively) planted a car bomb outside the glass front of the Tiger Tiger club on London’s Haymarket on lady’s night. They then planted another just down the road in the hope that those ‘slags’ fleeing from the first blast would run straight into the second. It is why when Irfan Naseer and his 11-member cell from Birmingham were convicted of plotting mass casualty terror attacks in 2013, one of their targets was — once again — a nightclub area of the city. In familiar tones, Naseer speculated on these places where ‘the kuffar [a derogatory term for non-Muslims], slags and whores go drinking and clubbing’ and ‘have sex like donkeys’.

Where does it come from, this hatred the Islamists hold — as well as everyone else they loathe — for half the human species? Even moderate Muslims hate it when you ask this, but the question is begged before us all. What do people think the burka is? Or the niqab? Or even the headscarf? Why do Muslim societies — however much freedom they give men — always and everywhere restrict the freedom of women? Why are the sharia courts, which legally operate in the UK, set up to prejudice the rights of women? Why do Islamists especially hate women from their faith who raise their voices against the literalists and extremists?

Do people think this stuff comes from thin air? It was always there. Because it’s at the religion’s origins and unlike the women-suspecting stuff in the other monotheisms (mild though they are by comparison), too few people are willing to admit it or reform this hatred, disdain and of course fear of women that is inherent in Islam. It is a constant of Islamic history, along with the Jews, the gays and the ‘wrong type of Muslim’: always and everywhere, the question of women. It’s our own fault because we have been told it so many times. As the Australian cleric Sheik Taj Aldin al-Hilali famously said to 500 worshippers in Sydney in 2006: ‘If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside without cover, and the cats come to eat it, whose fault is it — the cat’s or the uncovered meat’s? The uncovered meat is the problem. If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred.’ …

Theresa May and other politicians stress we will never give in. And they are right to do so. But beneath the defiance lie deep, and deeply unanswered, questions. Questions which publics across Europe are increasingly dwelling on, but which their political representatives dare not acknowledge.

Exactly a year ago, Greater Manchester Police staged a carefully prepared mock terrorist attack in the city’s shopping centre to test response capabilities. At one stage an actor playing a suicide bomber burst through a doorway and detonated a fake device while shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ (‘Allah is Greatest’). The intention, obviously, was to make the scenario realistic. But the use of the jihadists’ signature sign-off sent social media into a spin. Soon community spokesmen were complaining on the media. One went on Sky to talk about the need ‘to have a bit of religious and cultural context when they’re doing training like this in a wider setting about the possible implications’.

Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan was hauled before the press. ‘On reflection,’ he admitted, ‘we acknowledge that it was unacceptable to use this religious phrase immediately before the mock suicide bombing, which so vocally linked this exercise with Islam. We recognise and apologise for the offence that this has caused.’ Greater Manchester’s police and crime commissioner, Tony Lloyd, followed up: ‘It is frustrating the operation has been marred by the ill-judged, unnecessary and unacceptable decision by organisers to have those playing the parts of terrorists to shout “Allahu Akbar” before setting off their fake bombs. It didn’t add anything to the event, but has the potential to undermine the great community relations we have in Greater Manchester.’ Perhaps when the blood has been cleared from the pavements of Manchester, someone could ask how many lives such excruciating societal stupidity – from pulpit to police force – has saved, or ever will save?

In Piccadilly Gardens, at lunchtime on the day after the attacks, crowds of people listened to a busker play the usual post-massacre playlist: ‘All You Need is Love’ and ‘Everything’s Gonna Be Alright.’ But just like the renditions of ‘Imagine’, the buskers are wrong. We need to do more than imagine. We need more than love. Everything is not all right. We need to address this problem, and start at the roots. Otherwise, our societies will continue to be caught between people who mean what they say and a society which won’t even listen. And so they’ll keep meeting, these two worlds.

On Monday night, Ariana Grande was in her traditional suspenders, singing: ‘Don’t need permission / Made my decision to test my limits / ’Cause it’s my business, God as my witness… / I’m locked and loaded / Completely focused.’ Outside, waiting, was someone who was really focused. It is time we made some effort to focus, too.

After the latest outrage

Jim Geraghty wrote Tuesday morning:

As a longtime reader wrote in [Tuesday] morning, “Jesus walks beside us, but the devil’s not far behind.” The latest from the deadly terror attack in Manchester:

Police and the security services believe they know the identity of the suicide bomber who killed 22 people — including children — in an explosion that tore through fans leaving an Ariana Grande pop concert in Manchester.

As the first arrest was made in connection with the attack, Prime Minister Theresa May disclosed that the authorities think they know who carried out the atrocity and confirmed they are working to establish if he was acting as part of a terror group.

Mrs. May said “many” children were among the dead and 59 injured in the bombing at the Manchester Arena on Monday night as thousands of young people streamed from the venue.

Her statement came moments before police disclosed that a 23-year-old man was arrested in South Manchester on Tuesday morning in connection with the bombing.

Moments before this e-mail newsletter was sent to the editors, an ISIS posted a message online claiming responsibility for the attack. Then again, these guys take credit for anything bad that happens.

… There’s no crime in applying past experience to current conditions. This explosion didn’t happen in a vacuum. It comes after the Madrid train bombing in 2004, the Beslan school attack that same year, London’s 7/7 bombings in 2005, the attack on Charlie Hebdo and the attack on Bataclan and other targets in 2015, the bombing of the airport in Brussels in March 2016, the truck attack in Nice in July 2016, the Christmas-market attack in Berlin in December, the Westminster Bridge attack in March, the subway bombing in St. Petersburg in April…

Bruce Bawer adds:

Damn these jihadist murderers of children. And damn the politicians who have, in many cases, helped make these murders possible but who are quick, this time and every time, to serve up empty declarations of “solidarity”even as the bodies of innocents are still being counted.

London mayor Sadiq Khan (who recently dismissed terrorist attacks as “part and parcel of living in a big city”): “London stands with Manchester.” Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer (who, in the wake of the Pulse nightclub massacre, proclaimed a CAIR-backed “Muslim Women’s Day”—you know, the kind of event that proclaims hijabs “empowering”): Orlando “stands in solidarity with the people of the UK.” L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti (who went berserk when Trump tried to impose that temporary travel ban from a half-dozen Muslim countries): “Los Angeles stands with the people of Manchester.”

Meaningless words, all of them. But Angela Merkel takes the cake: “People in the UK can rest assured that Germany stands shoulder to shoulder with them.” Well, isn’t that . . . reassuring. In what way do such words help anybody to “rest assured” of anything? In any case, how dare she? This, after all, is the woman who opened the floodgates—the woman who, out of some twisted sense of German historical guilt, put European children in danger by inviting into the continent masses of unvetted people from the very part of the world where this monstrous evil has its roots.

Then there was this from European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker: “Once again, terrorism has sought to instill fear where there should be joy, to sow division where young people and families should be coming together in celebration.” Beneath the innocuous-seeming surface of this statement is a slick rhetorical ruse: Juncker to the contrary, these savages aren’t out to “sow division”—they’re out to kill infidels. By introducing the concept of “division,” Juncker, like so many others, is implying that the important message here is: Hey, whatever you do, don’t let this little episode put any bad thoughts about Islam into your head!

Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese also spoke of “fear” and “division”: “Manchester is a proud, strong city and we will not allow terrorists who seek to sow fear and division to achieve their aims.” Guess what, pal? They did achieve their aims: they killed 22 people, including children, and injured several dozen. Dead infidels: that’s their objective, period. (Or, as you would say, full stop.)

Naturally, Manchester’s mayor, Andy Burnham, put out a statement. Burnham, as it happens, is a radical socialist who has wrung his hands for years about Islamophobia and has fought tooth and nail against a nationwide “anti-extremism” program called Prevent on the grounds that it “singles out one community for different treatment.” After yesterday’s atrocity, Burnham said: “We are grieving today, but we are strong.”

Strong? No, Mr. Burnham, you are anything but strong. You are cowards, all of you. You are more scared of being called bigots than of the prospect of children under your official protection being slaughtered by jihadists.

Three-quarters of a century ago, Britain stood shoulder to shoulder in true solidarity while under violent assault by the diabolical ideology of Nazism. Today, its leaders speak of the same kind of solidarity—but it’s nothing but talk. In Rotherham, gangs of Muslim men sexually abused 1,400 girls—and police and other officials who knew about it did nothing for years lest they be accused of racism or Islamophobia. Almost certainly, similar mass-scale rapes are still occurring right now in other British cities, with similar silence and inaction on the part of pusillanimous authorities. Today, British leaders refuse to deport imams who preach murder but ban from their shores respected writers and knowledgeable critics of Islam who dare to take on those imams and their theology.

Strength? Don’t you dare speak of strength. You have the blood of innocent children on your hands.

The Middle East reset

James Freeman:

President Donald Trump’s Sunday address in Saudi Arabia was bound to inspire comparisons to the speech Barack Obama delivered in Cairo, Egypt at a similar point in his young presidency. And just like his predecessor, Mr. Trump expressed gratitude and respect for his hosts. But the 45th U.S. President quickly made clear that he did not fly to the Middle East on his first overseas trip in order to explain what’s wrong with America.

It would be a crude overstatement to say that the message has gone from America worst to America first in one presidency. Mr. Obama did speak favorably of his country several times during his Cairo address. But the difference between Barack Obama’s speech in 2009 and the Trump remarks on Sunday in Riyadh is striking.

In 2009, Mr. Obama started out by making the case why Muslims should view his country with distrust:

We meet at a time of great tension between the United States and Muslims around the world — tension rooted in historical forces that go beyond any current policy debate. The relationship between Islam and the West includes centuries of coexistence and cooperation, but also conflict and religious wars. More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations. Moreover, the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam.

Later, Mr. Obama faulted the United States for overreacting to 9/11 and noted that he had ordered the closing of the prison at Guantanamo Bay by early 2010—a promise he would not fulfill. Mr. Obama also sought to make sure that the U.S. received an ample share of the blame for its poor relations with one of the world’s primary sponsors of terrorism:

For many years, Iran has defined itself in part by its opposition to my country, and there is in fact a tumultuous history between us. In the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government. Since the Islamic Revolution, Iran has played a role in acts of hostage-taking and violence against U.S. troops and civilians. This history is well known. Rather than remain trapped in the past, I’ve made it clear to Iran’s leaders and people that my country is prepared to move forward.

Even on issues of women’s rights, Mr. Obama didn’t want to give the U.S. much credit in comparison to the Muslim world. The latter is a world where women sometimes struggle just for the freedom to read books or drive automobiles. But Mr. Obama said that “the struggle for women’s equality continues in many aspects of American life, and in countries around the world.”

In Riyadh on Sunday, President Trump spent no time blaming America or making excuses for our adversaries. But he did note the possibilities available to a Middle East that rejects terror:

The potential of this region has never been greater. 65 percent of its population is under the age of 30. Like all young men and women, they seek great futures to build, great national projects to join, and a place for their families to call home.

But this untapped potential, this tremendous cause for optimism, is held at bay by bloodshed and terror. There can be no coexistence with this violence.

There can be no tolerating it, no accepting it, no excusing it, and no ignoring it.

Mr. Trump added that “no discussion of stamping out this threat would be complete” without mentioning the government that gives terrorists “safe harbor, financial backing, and the social standing needed for recruitment. It is a regime that is responsible for so much instability in the region. I am speaking of course of Iran.” And he left no ambiguity about who was responsible:

The Iranian regime’s longest-suffering victims are its own people. Iran has a rich history and culture, but the people of Iran have endured hardship and despair under their leaders’ reckless pursuit of conflict and terror. Until the Iranian regime is willing to be a partner for peace, all nations of conscience must work together to isolate Iran, deny it funding for terrorism, and pray for the day when the Iranian people have the just and righteous government they deserve.

By the way, this column should note that perhaps the most striking comment when one looks back at Mr. Obama’s 2009 remarks has little to do with U.S. foreign policy, but underlines how far and how quickly the Democratic Party has moved on issues of sexual identity. Toward the end of his speech, Mr. Obama said, “The Holy Koran tells us: ‘O mankind! We have created you male and a female; and we have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another.’” Referencing that line today in the era of transgender politics would have progressives back in the U.S. shrieking for a safe space.

As for the safety of the entire civilized world in its fight against Islamic terror, this column expects that many overseas listeners will find reassurance in a message from America without apologies.

Trump and Islam

Last week was such a bad week for Donald Trump that the I word started to be mentioned by some Republicans​.

Trump use a differently​ I word yesterday in Saudi Arabia, NBC News reports:

President Donald Trump offered a message of unity Sunday as he called on the Arab world to confront extremism during a highly anticipated speech in the birthplace of Islam.

“A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and extremists,” Trump told the dozens of Muslim leaders who attended his remarks.

“Drive. Them. Out. Drive them out of your places of worship,” the president continued. “Drive them out of your communities. Drive them out of your holy land, and drive them out of his Earth!”

The speech during the initial stop of the president’s first foreign trip was a stark contrast to his previous comments on Islam. As a candidate, Trump frequently criticized the religion, saying, “I think Islam hates us” and “there’s a tremendous hatred there.”

In Riyadh, Trump said, “This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations. This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life, and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it.”

Calling terrorists “the foot soldiers of evil,” the president added, “If we do not stand in uniform condemnation of this killing, then we not only will be judged by our people, not only will we be judged by history, but we will be judged by God.”

The U.S.’s Middle Eastern allies have often complained about America’s focus on human rights, a stance Trump also seemed keen to make a break from.

“America is a sovereign nation and our first priority is always the safety and security of our citizens,” the president said. “We are not here to lecture — we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship. Instead, we are here to offer partnership — based on shared interests and values — to pursue a better future for us all.”

Introducing Trump, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman spoke of the need ntroducing Trump, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman spoke of the need “to stand united to fight the forces of evil and extremism.”

“There is no honor in committing murder,” Salman said, adding that Islam is “the religion of peace and tolerance.”

n his address, Trump defined the struggle against extremism as “a battle between good and evil.”
“Barbarism will deliver you no glory — piety to evil will bring you no dignity,” the president said. “If you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief, and your soul will be condemned.”

Trump also offered a firm rebuke of Iran — a notable departure from the Obama administration’s overtures to the country which had caused a chill in relations with the Saudi government.

Calling out Iranian leaders for training terrorists and “spreading destruction and chaos across the region,” Trump, who has called for ripping up the nuclear deal with Iran, implored all nations to “work together to isolate” Tehran until the regime is “willing to be a partner for peace.”

“Pray for the day when the Iranian people have the just and righteous government they so richly deserve,” he said.

Trump also included a brief reference to his hope for peace between Israel and the Palestinians — a deal he has repeatedly said he hopes to broker during his time in office. Trump noted “peace in this world is possible — including peace between Israelis and Palestinians. I will be meeting with both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.” …

Trump called on countries in the region to do the hard work themselves and not to expect the U.S. to fight terror for them.

“We are not here to lecture — we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship.”

“The nations of the Middle East cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them. The nations of the Middle East will have to decide what kind of future they want for themselves, for their countries, and for their children,” Trump said. “Muslim-majority countries must take the lead in combating radicalization.”

Trump said he hoped the gathering of the region’s leaders in Riyadh would mark the beginning of the end of terrorism and the start of peace in the Middle East.

“This region should not be a place that refugees flee, but to which newcomers flock,” the president said.

Trump, like seemingly every other president, is dreaming​ if he thinks there can ever be peace between Israel and its implacable Arab emenies. The rest of the speech, however, was long overdue for its condemnation of radical Islam and Iran and calling on the rest of Islam to reject their terrorists.

 No Democrat who ran for president last year could have done, or would have done, better.

spewch