BEN WEINGARTEN

Reader. Writer. Thinker. Commentator. Truth Seeker.

Tag: Russia (Page 1 of 2)

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Salon: A Spirited Discussion on Syria, the Sunni-Shia Battle for the Middle East and Russia

Salon gave me the opportunity to come on as the token conservative panelist in a discussion with host Carrie Sheffield of Bold and longtime national security/foreign affairs correspondent Courtney Kealy.

Check out our conversation on Syria, the Sunni-Shia battle for the Middle East and the broader proxy war going on between Russia and the U.S.

Carrie Sheffield sits down with Benjamin Weingarten and Courtn…WATCH LIVE: What is Aleppo? Don’t be like Gary Johnson. Here’s all you need to know about the crisis in Aleppo.

Posted by Salon on Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Featured Image Source: Salon/Facebook Live

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Guest-Hosting Newsmax TV’s ‘DML Unfiltered:’ Willful Blindness Towards Jihadism in American National Security, Benghazi, Turkey, War on Cops and More

Last night I had the great opportunity to guest host Newsmax TV‘s “DML Unfiltered.”

Check out the five segments below:

Senator Ted Cruz-Led Willful Blindness Hearing Panelist Chris Allen Gaubatz on Hamas-Linked CAIR’s Damage to National Security, Federal Government’s See-No-Jihad Policy

House Benghazi Committee Findings, Gunrunning to Jihadists, and the Disaster of Hillary Clinton’s Libyan Intervention with Former CIA Agent Clare Lopez

Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald on The War on Cops, “Ferguson Effect” and More

Ex-CIA Agent Mike Baker and Green Beret Jason Beardsley on the Istanbul Airport Attack, Our Strategic Interest in Turkey, Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) vs. Counterjihadism

The State of the Presidential Election: Analyzing Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s Unpopularity, Strengths and Weaknesses

Featured Image Source: Newsmax TV.

My Appearance with Frank Gaffney Discussing Super Tuesday, National Security and the 2016 Election

This morning I was interviewed by Frank Gaffney, for Secure Freedom Radio to discuss Super Tuesday, national security and the 2016 election, the purging of the NYPD radicalization report and more.

Have a listen below:

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My Interview With Cruz National Security Advisor Dr. Victoria Coates on ‘David’s Sling’

I recently had the opportunity to speak at length with Republican Presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz’s national security and foreign policy brain trust, Dr. Victoria Coates, on behalf of Encounter Books in connection with the release of her intellectually stimulating and compelling new David’s Sling: A History of Democracy in Ten Works of Art.

During our extensive interview — which you can listen to in full or in parts per the below — we discuss the indelible link between democracy and creativity, the significance of great works of art and architecture in the history of freedom from Michelangelo’s David to the Parthenon and Picasso’s Guernica, why the entrepreneurial art community endorses political stances anathema to the freedom that sustains it, and everything you would ever want to know about Sen. Ted Cruz’s foreign policy vision. On this latter point, among other subjects, Dr. Coates and I discuss the principles that form the Cruz Doctrine, who in the foreign policy sphere truly carries the mantle of Jeanne Kirkpatrick, what “winning” in the Middle East would look like for America under a President Cruz, Saudi Arabia vs. Iran, whether America has a responsibility under NATO to defend an Islamic supremacist Turkish regime against Russia, how a President Cruz would handle an ascendant Russia, the long-term threat posed by China and how to counter her, the greatest threat to America’s national interest we are most underestimating or ignoring, and much more.

You can also read the transcripts to both parts of our interview here (Part I on David’s Sling) and here (Part II on Foreign Policy/National Security.

Return to Winter

My Interview with Longtime Democratic Strategist Doug Schoen on ‘Return to Winter: Russia, China, and the New Cold War Against America’

Check out my latest interview on behalf of Encounter Books with longtime Democratic strategist and friend Doug Schoen, in connection with the newly released edition of his Return to Winter: Russia, China, and the New Cold War Against America.

During the interview, which you can listen to below, Doug and I discuss the acceleration of the Russia-China strategic partnership against America and the West, their aims in Syria, the threat of cyberwarfare, how the next American president can fix the mess President Obama has created, Doug’s predictions for Russian action in 2016, Trump and Cruz vs. Rubio, Hillary Clinton, and the one thing people are discounting that could play an outsized role in the upcoming U.S. presidential election:

Featured Image Source: Encounter Books.

(Image Source: YouTube screengrab/Fox News)

10 Observations From the First 2016 GOP Presidential Debate

First, here’s my scorecard from last night:

Now to the takeaways:

1) The moderators did not delve into the core beliefs of the candidates. The Constitution itself was only raised in one question. Where’s the beef?

Perhaps it is naive to think that this matters in a world in which identity politics, sound bites and snark frequently trump all else, but I found the debate sorely lacking when it came to giving candidates the opportunity to expound upon their political philosophies.

As a proxy for this point, guess how many times the Constitution was raised during the debate?

In the case of the moderators, only once, on a question from Chris Wallace to Gov. Mike Huckabee regarding his belief in Constitutional amendments banning gay marriage and abortion.

Only Senators Cruz, Paul and Rubio even invoked the Constitution.

I understand we are living in the Roberts/Pelosi era, in which the Constitution is selectively applied when not treated as a mere piece of parchment, but come on.

I also understand that the moderators were likely more concerned with drilling the candidates on perceived weaknesses and/or questions that would elicit compelling and/or viral responses.

And it’s not lost on me that voters care most about how they are going to put food on the table, education and national security.

But for GOP primary voters, philosophy matters too.

Or perhaps I’m just an old fashioned conservative curmudgeon.

2) The moderators did not lay a glove on Sen. Marco Rubio or Gov. Scott Walker.

Was this calculated? Particularly interesting was that Sen. Rubio was not pushed at all on his support of the Gang of Eight immigration legislation even during a question explicitly about immigration.

3) Sen. Marco Rubio is good at being Sen. Marco Rubio.

That is, Sen. Rubio always comes across as polished, charismatic and likable. This is why in spite of his lagging poll numbers to date, if I were a betting man — as someone who will work to be perceived as the most “conservative” (in spite of his support of “Chuck Schumer’s” Gang of Eight Bill as Sen. Ted Cruz deftly put it), “electable” candidate, who it is thought can pull in Hispanic votes (rightly or wrongly) — I would bet that the party will ultimately throw its weight behind him for the nomination. Of course I would add all the usual caveats about how early we are in the campaign, the fact that there is likely opposition research to be leveled at him (looking at you Gov. Bush), etc. It will be interesting to see how the poll numbers shift in the coming days, and where Rubio’s support comes from as he rises.

4) Former Gov. Mike Huckabee is great on Iran, but not great on everything else.

He’s a very good speaker, no doubt honed by his time in elective office and at Fox News. He is also no conservative beyond his Christian bona fides and solid foreign policy rhetoric. Nevertheless, Gov. Huckabee will likely have staying power through Iowa at the very least, which bodes poorly for Sen. Ted Cruz in particular, whose candidacy rests on being able to garner the support of Huckabee Evangelicals, Paul libertarians, Reagan conservatives and everyone else outside the “mushy middle.”

5) Sen. Ted Cruz was frozen out for a large portion of the debate.

Nevertheless, he was on point when questioned, and was interestingly given some layup questions after the tired “Why are you tearing the country/party apart?” One wonders if his strategy is to simply state that he is the most conservative candidate as indicated by his efforts in the Senate, while letting the other candidates rumble until the field is whittled down and he can start making dramatic surgical strikes.

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America’s Progressive Foreign Policy Imperils Her Survival

Today the men and women who walk the morally decrepit corridors of the White House and State Department of our Republic-turned-social democracy are aiding, abetting and enabling evil.

We find ourselves at a time in history when all of our foes from Islamic supremacists to the Russians and Chinese are ascendant, while America at best retreats and at worst sides with the most dangerous of them.

Barack Obama delivers his statement on the interim Iran deal. (Image Source: Whitehouse.gov/YouTube screengrab)

Barack Obama delivers his statement on the interim Iran deal. (Image Source: Whitehouse.gov/YouTube screengrab)

Our enemies do not fear or respect us, our allies do not trust us and little indicates that the American people are cognizant of the size and scope of the perils that face us.

We are reliving Winston Churchill’s gathering storm in an era when it is questionable whether the majority of American citizens even know who Churchill is, let alone what he did. Many of those who do likely see him first and foremost as a dead white European male.

And unlike in World War II, today we are challenged by Nazis (insofar as Islamic supremacists are genocidal, Jew (and Christian) hating monsters who seek to dominate the world) and Communists (in their Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping-led manifestations.)

In the face of all this, America’s left exhibits two traits that together are fatal: hubris and ignorance.

Leftists have the hubris to believe that they can and should create a world according to their progressive vision – for the good of the people and their own aggrandizement.

Leftists have the ignorance of history and man’s nature that renders them unable to anticipate the dire consequences of their course.

Underlying their actions is the belief that all people are animated by the same goals and aspirations.

Yet different peoples are different. Evil cannot be appeased or assuaged. The world must be seen as it is, not as we wish it to be.

Continue reading at TheBlaze…

Do Not Be Fooled by Recent Struggles. Russia Poses a Direct Threat to America and Her Interests.Do Not Be Fooled by Recent Struggles. Russia Poses a Direct Threat to America and Her Interests.

While the media spikes the football in the face of a Russia hobbled by U.S. sanctions, the decline of the ruble and collapse in oil prices, Vladimir Putin’s protectorate poses a direct threat to America and its interests that we ignore at our own peril.

In the 15 years since Vladimir Putin ascended to his position as de facto czar, Russia has executed a long-term strategy that the West has failed to recognize and effectively counter under both Democratic and Republican administrations.

Following the fall of the Berlin Wall, the West thought it had defeated the Soviet Union. But unlike in a hot war, the victor did not annihilate its enemy, nor did the enemy’s leaders ever face the gallows.

The collapse of the Soviet Union in fact resembled a corporate reorganization more than the fall of an empire, as heads rolled and the state spun off assets (many later to be “reclaimed”), but the company and its culture endured.

The collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1991 signified the end of Communist rule in Russia.

The collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1991 signified the end of Communist rule in Russia.

In the face of difficult circumstances, Russia, understanding the mindset of its “former” foes, made the brilliant decision to join the West through economic and diplomatic “cooperation.”

This convergence strategy gave the outward appearance of a liberalizing Russia, but consistent with its historical adeptness at subversion and subterfuge, proved a clever way to rebuild, gain leverage over and embed itself within its enemies.

Russia opened itself to trade to raise capital and procure technology that it could use to exploit its natural resources, rebuild its military and enrich Vladimir Putin and his cronies.

In so doing, Russia developed energy pipelines that not only provided it with wealth, but power over not just its “near abroad” — which could literally be made to freeze were it not compliant — but Western Europe. Stated differently, it brought America’s NATO allies into Russia’s orbit.

Russia also allegedly stole a significant amount of information and technology.

Perhaps most terrifying of all, Russia embedded itself in a world business and financial architecture that it could penetrate and exploit.

On the diplomatic front, Russia became a U.S. “partner” in the “War on Terror,” a curious position given that Russia was and is a key ally of Iran, the world’s leading sponsor of terror. Vladimir Putin of course was the first world leader to call President George W. Bush on Sept. 11, 2001. We do not know all the ramifications of U.S. and Russian intelligence collaboration.

Continue reading at TheBlaze…

Dinesh D’Souza’s dire warning: Americans ‘are being prepared for a political and financial shakedown’

In connection with the release of his new book “America: Imagine a World Without Her,” we conducted an interview with bestselling conservative author, filmmaker and recent Real News guestDinesh D’Souza.

In the interview, we covered such topics as the left’s disingenuous championing of the “little guy,” the twisted historical narrative being taught in schools today, illegal immigration, the man who shaped the dastardly tactics of both the current…and if the left gets their way, future president, D’Souza’s upcoming movie and much more.

The transcript of our interview, conducted via phone, can be found below. The interview has been modified for clarity and links.

And for more content like this, follow Blaze Books on Facebook and Twitter.

In your book, you take on the left on their own terms, focusing on those at the bottom of society, or as the left describes it, looking at “history from below.” Why did you choose to go that route?

D’Souza: The left is very successful at appealing to the principle of justice, and justice for the man lowest down. Sometimes, as conservatives, we miss the force of that. We reply by chanting “Liberty!” But we have to remember that justice is a key principle. Right, the Pledge of Allegiance: “With liberty and justice for all.” So we can’t ignore justice, and what I do in the book and film is to engage the left on its own terms. I go “Ok, let’s really look at whether or not America has been good for the common man.” Forget about the rich guy, he’s going to do well everywhere. Let’s judge a society by the kind of life it makes available to the ordinary fellow. So I’m willing to argue that the left is actually attacking ordinary people.

Let me give an example of what I mean. The left says that the wealth of America is stolen. So here’s the first question: Who stole it? Was it the one percent? Now if we look at American history, who are the people who moved West and displaced the Indians? The immigrants. Who are the people who benefited from slavery? Well everybody who bought a cotton shirt. Who are the people who defeated the Mexicans in the Mexican War? Ordinary immigrants and settlers.

So the point is that the critique of America is not one that is aimed at wealthy aristocrats who had beautiful cottages or mansions on the East Coast. The progressive critique is an attack on the immigrants themselves – it’s an attack on people like me. And so, what I’m doing here is making a defense of the ordinary American against these malicious charges that are leveled by the left, which are untrue and the prelude to shaking us down economically.

You frame that thesis, ironically enough, around two Frenchmen, Alexis de Tocqueville and Michel Foucault. Can you expound upon the dichotomy represented by these two men — and the “spirit of 1776″ versus that of 1968?

D’Souza: Yeah, we see the “spirit of 1776″ and 1968 by looking at two French guys, both of whom came to America at very different times. Tocqueville came in the early 19th century, and what he saw was the American founding principles in action, basically half a century after they had been put into effect. And what Tocqueville noticed was that America was a very entrepreneurial society, America was a society where people rely very little on the government, and America is a society deeply infused with Christian values. So Tocqueville saw, if you will, conservative America. Now, fast-forward 150 years when Michel Foucault came to America in the 1970s. And what he liked about America – he, like Tocqueville, grew to love America — but he loved America because he saw America as a mecca of gay liberation. The things that Tocqueville saw about America, like its entrepreneurship or its Christianity, Foucault hated. He hated that America. But what he liked is a different America, that he saw in the Castro district of San Francisco, which he called “laboratories of sexual experimentation.” So these are really two different Americas. In Foucault, you get just a glimpse of a different kind of America that progressives might prefer to the principles of 1776.

In moving from the 1776 ethos to that of 1968, you speak to Saul Alinsky’s playbook. And one of the things you say, and something that I hadn’t seen elsewhere, is that Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” effectively are derived from the same playbook as that of the devil, which kind of explains why he dedicated “Rules for Radicals” to Satan. Can you expound upon that?

D’Souza: Well, something strange is going on here because Alinsky was obviously not a Christian; in fact, he was an atheist. So why would an atheist dedicate a book to Lucifer? I think to discover the answer, you have to pay careful attention to what Lucifer represents in the Western tradition. So I did a close reading of Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” and you begin to see how Lucifer operates. First of all, Lucifer is a master of organizing resentment, and so is Alinsky. Lucifer is also a master at making G-d the bad guy. So even though Lucifer rebels against G-d, even though G-d justly expels Lucifer from Heaven, Lucifer goes, “G-d, you’re a tyrant. I don’t have to follow you. I want my own kingdom.” So Lucifer practices, you may say, demonization against G-d. And finally, Lucifer is a liar. He is a master of dishonesty and deceit.

Now, Alinsky adopted these Luciferian techniques, and so, for example, Alinsky openly advocates deceit. He tells the radicals of the ‘60s, “You know you people are middle class, but you hate the middle class, you hate middle class values, and that’s very good. But what you should do is pretend to be a friend of the middle class, pass yourself off as middle class, and use your position in the middle class to rub raw the sores of discontent. Try to radicalize the middle class by feigning or pretending to share their values.” And I think here, we begin to see the Obama and even the Hillary playbook, which is to say the ways in which Hillary and Obama both started out as Bohemians or Hippies, and then quickly adopted the Alinsky-ite approach of as Alinsky says “dressing square:” Seeming very respectable, being very self-disciplined, and ultimately pretending to be a friend of the middle class, whose values you are trying to undermine.

Read more at TheBlaze…

Why does Allen West wish that more top generals would resign from the military?

Former Congressman and retired Lieutenant Army Colonel Allen West has a new book out titled “Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom.”

Yesterday Blaze Books spoke with Rep. West about his new book, and a wide variety of issues ranging from the military, a message he hopes the military sends to civilian leaders and Russia, to education and Common Core, to how the congressman believes Republicans can go about garnering support in the black community, the potential for a third major political party and much more.

Below is the transcript of our interview, edited for clarity and length. For more, be sure to check out the 12 most provocative quotes from Rep. West’s new book, and if you’d like to keep abreast of similar content, give us a follow on Facebook and Twitter.

Give your elevator pitch for why Blaze readers should pick up “Guardian of the Republic.”

West: Well I think it defines me and it also defines why I fight so passionately for this country. Which I think all Blaze readers really believe passionately in this country. So I think it’s so important right now when you see the American people really not fundamentally understanding what America is about and its established principles and values, that’s what I try to do in this book and it really is not an autobiography, it’s a philosophical biography. 

If there were one or two takeaways from your book that you would like to emphasize, what would they be?

West: Number one to understand that I’m living the American dream. To have been brought up out of the inner city of Atlanta, Georgia, to be where I am today sitting here with you looking out over New York City. That’s incredible, and that’s what is part of American exceptionalism. Number two is to understand that fundamentals of America is principles and values, and we’ve got to be able to get that message out there. Because right now we’re on the wrong path and we need to take the exit ramp. Number three, being a black conservative is not something new, it’s not trendy, it’s been around. As a matter of fact, some of the most conservative people in America are black, but we’re viciously attacked and demonized because the other side cannot stand for us to exist. And then the last thing is about – you always have to talk about the future, solutions, and I believe that the future of this nation can be brighter once we once again re-connect with our principles.

One of the things you speak to in this book is the lack of principled leaders in Washington.

West: Just think about what recently happened when the president comes out yesterday [Tuesday] on the Rose Garden and says you know we never went out and tried to sell Obamacare to everyone. We just kind of let people make their own choice. Well that’s a gross exaggeration of the truth. I mean think about the billions of dollars [the Obama administration spent on its healthcare efforts]. So I think that we need to get honor and and integrity and character restored back to Capitol Hill. This guy testifying right now Mike Morell who lied to the Senate Intelligence Committee; you know Susan Rice going out and saying what she said [on Benghazi]…there’s a perpetual lying – and this is bipartisan of course – that we have got to get people that are concerned about the American interests, not their own self-interest, not special interests. And that’s what I want to try to bring out. We have to get back to servant leadership.

Why are fewer military folks seeking public office at least at the national level?

West: We don’t want to deal with the BS. I mean we’re very straightforward, we’re mission-oriented, we’re task-oriented, and we just don’t have time for charlatans, usurpers and jokers or pranksters. But what you are finding is that there is a clarion call out there to get more to take off their uniform, put on a suit and tie and run, because as someone told me “the oath of office that you took does not have a statute of limitations.”

Read more at TheBlaze…

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