BEN WEINGARTEN

Reader. Writer. Thinker. Commentator. Truth Seeker.

Tag: Sen. Ted Cruz

13 Interviews that Will Make You Smarter on U.S. National Security & Foreign Policy

Over the last five years I’ve had the privilege to interview some of the savviest thinkers on American national security and foreign policy.

These discussions have covered critical subjects ranging from the global jihadist movement, to Iran, Russia and China, strategic disinformation and EMPs.

Below are what I think are some of the most insightful and thought-provoking of these conversations on such live and all-too-relevant topics.

1) Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Heretic

2) Andrew Bostom, Iran’s Final Solution for Israel: The Legacy of Jihad and Shi’ite Islamic Jew-Hatred in Iran

3) Victoria Coates, Special Assistant to the President & Senior Director for International Negotiations, NSC for the Trump Administration, David’s Sling [Transcript]

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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:

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.

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.

PJ Media: Does the GOP Establishment Think Ted Cruz Is a RINO in Conservative Sheep’s Clothing?

In my latest post at PJ Media, I argue that the GOP Establishment’s argument that Ted Cruz is “slick,” narcissistic and ambitious is disingenuous.

First, even if we were to accept that Ted Cruz had such traits, does any candidate for the presidency not have them in some measure?

Second, so what? Is the Establishment afraid that Senator Cruz is pulling a fast one and seeking to dupe GOP voters into believing he is a conservative so he can govern as a moderate?

Here’s a taste:

Conservatives aren’t as stark raving mad as the media loves to claim — painting them as enraged yahoos clinging to guns and religion as a means of marginalizing them — but rather, conservatives are supremely disappointed by a party that rewards its support with betrayal time and time again. It would be the definition of insanity for grassroots voters to continue doing the same thing over and over again at the ballot box, pulling the lever for the generic Republican candidate and expecting a different outcome.

Which again brings us to Ted Cruz and the slights of his Republican adversaries. Every person running for president need be somewhat ”slick,” if slick means an ability to garner wide enough political support to be considered a serious competitor for the presidency.

Every person running for president need be somewhat egotistical, if not narcissistic, to have the confidence and belief that he should be commander-in-chief of the greatest nation in the world’s history.

Certainly, every person running for president need be ambitious enough to do what is necessary to rise through the ranks of power, and surely it must have been his or her aim to rise to the Oval Office for a number of years. Or did Bill Clinton just store away a picture with John F. Kennedy so he would have a fun souvenir for his grandkids?

Given that this is the reality of politics, does the D.C. Republican political class honestly believe that Marco Rubio does not share these traits? How about Jeb Bush? Or Chris Christie?

While it may be that Cruz personally grates on the GOP establishment because he challenges them and won’t play ball, perhaps its key concern is that it feels that his conservatism is out of the mainstream, thus making him unelectable in a general election. If so, the establishment should make that case to the GOP primary voters — at this writing it should be noted, Cruz falls within the margin of error or betteragainst presumed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in a general election.

Read the whole thing here.

Featured Image Credit: Doug Mills.

PJ Media: Serial Islamic Supremacist Enabler Lindsey Graham’s Laughable Attack on Ted Cruz

Check out my latest at PJ Media, where I delve into the long overdue foreign policy battle between the “right-wing” Wilsonianism espoused by Sen. Lindsey Graham et al, and in my opinion the superior policy articulated best by Jeane Kirpatrick, and I believe being represented most faithfully by Sen. Ted Cruz.

A taste:

[Sen. Lindsey] Graham may be a marginal figure in the polls, but his comments come in context of a critical and long overdue battle that has broken out within the Republican Party to define a conservative foreign policy superior to the “right-wing” Wilsonianism of George W. Bush, and left-wing Wilsonianism of Barack Obama under which mortal enemies have ascended.

In particular, a spat has broken out between Cruz and what may prove his stiffest competition, Sen. Marco Rubio. Graham, though perhaps less articulate and more impolitic than Rubio, serves as something of a stalking horse given that their positions on issues in the Middle East are largely indistinguishable.

Graham’s attack was in fact reminiscent of similar rhetoric we have seen from those in the Rubio camp in recent days.

For my money, I take Cruz’s judicious and clear-eyed policy over a third and fourth term of George W. Bush’s well-intentioned but ultimately detrimental democracy spreading.

And if Graham or Rubio for that matter takes issue with Cruz’s foreign policy in Syria in particular, one would be interested to hear what they would say to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for whom what goes on in Syria has direct consequences. Netanyahu said recently:

If I see a situation where I don’t have a clear concept, I don’t charge in. In Syria, I do not see a simple concept because you choose here between a horrible secular dictatorship or the two other prospects that would be buttressed by Iran, and you would have Iran run Syria, a horrible prospect for us, or Da’ish, which is also touching our borders on the Golan. When two of your enemies are fighting each other, I don’t say strengthen one or the other. I say weaken both, or at least don’t intervene, which is what I’ve done. I’ve not intervened.It is hard to argue with that.

Read the whole thing here.

Reaction to Tarantino’s Anti-Cop, Black Lives Matter Rhetoric Illustrates Virtue of Free Markets and Free Minds

On Monday 11/2, I sat in as a guest again on Newsmax TV’s “The Daily Wrap.”

During the episode, we had the chance to discuss a variety of issues including Donald Trump and Ben Carson’s continued dominance in the polls, the RNC’s botching of the GOP debates, Quentin Tarantino’s siding with #BlackLivesMatter against cops and the market-driven backlash, our nation’s $43 million gas station in Afghanistan and much more!

You can watch the show in full, along with some particularly pertinent clips below.

Full Episode

Trump v. Carson and Current GOP Polls

The RNC’s Bungling of the GOP Debates

Quentin Tarantino’s Clinton-Like Phony “Apology”

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Winning the War Before a Shot is Fired: How the GOP Establishment Stacked the Deck for 2016

FiveThirtyEight recently published an excellent analysis illustrating how the GOP Establishment machinery has set the rules of the GOP presidential primary process such that more conservative candidates are put at a distinct disadvantage from day one.

The RNC-dictated primary scheme uses dilutive proportionality versus winner-takes-all rules, and lopsided delegate allocation in moderate versus conservative states to in effect give disproportionate sway to more moderate candidates and/or delegates.

I write about this scheme in a new piece over at Newsmax.

Here is a taste:

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New NBC Post-Debate Poll Shows Ted Cruz at No. 2, But the Sunday Shows Stiffed Him

As a general matter, presidential poll numbers this far before an election, especially with a field as large as the current Republican one, do not tell us much.

But the NBC News poll out this evening following the first 2016 Republican presidential debates — notably showing Sen. Ted Cruz surging to the number two spot in the field with 13 percent support among likely Republican primary voters — may reveal something worthy of interest.

(Image Source: NBC News Online Survey: Public Opinion on Republican Debates. August 9, 2015)

(Image Source: NBC News Online Survey: Public Opinion on Republican Debates. August 9, 2015)

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George Will: ‘I’m quite confident that we’re going to rebel against this abusive government’

In an interview with TheBlaze Books [TwitterFacebook] in connection with the release of his new book, “A Nice Little Place on the North Side: Wrigley Field at One Hundred,” we spoke with prodigious columnist and author George Will on all things baseball and his unified theory of beer, and then moved on to the arguably more important topic of the state of the union, touching on everything from the American founding, Will’s affinity for the Tea Party, to 2016, to immigration.

Among other explosive comments, Will told us that he is “quite confident that we’re going to rebel against this abusive government…sooner or later arithmetic is going to force realism on us.”

Our interview, which we conducted via phone, is below, slightly modified to include links and italics for emphasis.

There’s the old cliché that history doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes. Is there a time in world history that you think is most analogous to today, and what country do you think in that era represented America? In other words, are we in World War I, and America is the British Empire, or is this World War II, or are we Rome? I’m curious as to your thoughts. 

Will: Well ever since at about the time of the American founding, Edward Gibbon wrote “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” people have been fascinated by the threat that democracies would decay; that history would be cyclical not linear; that decay and decline was inevitable; that the seeds of destruction were in particular regimes and particularly in democracies. And clearly the American founders worried about this. And Lincoln worried about it at Gettysburg, that the question was “Whether we shall long endure this form of government.”

So I think that we’re in a period today comparable to the American founding period in two senses: one, we’re worried about decay — we’re worried about whether we’re squandering our legacy and whether we’re calling into question whether people can really govern themselves — but also because, and this is the heartening part of this, today as never before in my lifetime, Americans have rekindled their interest in the founding era and the founding principles. Look at the wonderful sales of biographies of the founders: Washington, Hamilton, Jefferson, Madison. Look at the Tea Party, which I think frankly is one of the great events of my lifetime.

The American people go through life with a little crick of their necks from looking back at the past, and that’s healthy. We always relate to the Declaration and to the Constitution and here, along comes the Tea Party movement named after something that happened in 1773: the Boston Tea Party. And it’s called us back to reverence for, and understanding of, and insistence upon, the founding principles of limited government. So, in a good sense and a bad sense, I think we’re in the founding period. We’re in a period like our founding when we considered first principles and worried about the possibility of decay.

What do you view as the greatest threat to America today?

Will: The greatest threat to America today – there are two of them and they’re related: one is family disintegration, the fact that Americans’ babies are born to unmarried women. We know the importance of a father in the home. We know that the family is the primary transmitter of what’s called social capital, that is the habits, mores, customs, values, dispositions that make for success in a free society. So that’s one threat to America.

The other is the simple fact that we will not live within our means. We are piling up debts for other people to pay. We used to borrow money for the future. We won wars for the future. We built roads, highways, bridges, dams, airports for the future. Now, we’re borrowing from the future, from the rising generations in order to finance our own current consumption of government services, and that just seems to me as fundamentally and self-evidently wrong as can be.

And to follow up on that, I would imagine that you probably agree that politics is a reflection of the culture – policies can ultimately have an effect on the culture, but politics stems from the culture. So to that end, can you see a time at which our society will so rebel against the Leviathan state that it will actually vote to slash it’s own benefits, and the largesse that it’s receiving?

Will: I’m quite confident that we’re going to rebel against this abusive government. I think that, you know Winston Churchill said, “The American people invariably do the right thing after they have exhausted all the alternatives.” And I think we’re beginning to get to the bottom of the list of alternatives, and to realize that arithmetic is inexorable. You can’t make 2+2 equal 7, and sooner or later arithmetic is going to force realism upon us.

Read more at TheBlaze…

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