Category Archives: Kurdistan

Alt Left on Donald Trump: Oppose Completely

Below is a list of Donald Trump’s positions on many issues taken from his Wikipedia site. Each position is marked Yes, No, or Neutral depending on whether or not I agree with it. Note that I am conflating my opinions on Trump’s positions with the Alt Left’s, but that’s not so strange.

The results were:

No:      282

Yes:     97

Neutral: 9

So the Alt Left opposes Trump on 282 issues, supports him on 97 issues and is neutral on nine issues.

We oppose Trump on 77% of the issues, support him on 25% of the issues and are neutral on 2% of the issues. That’s pretty bad. I do not see how the Alt Left can support Donald Trump at all based  on this survey. I suppose you could support him on accelerationist grounds, but that’s about it. No Alt Left person should support Trump, and the movement must oppose and renounce him thoroughly. The way I see it is that Trump is one of the enemies of the Alt Left. I realize that one Alt Left faction, the Left Wing of the Alt Right, went heavily for Trump, but they are being renounced by a number of Alt Leftists for various reasons. Personally I renounce them simply based on their support for Trump. If this faction ever wants to stop supporting Trump maybe I will see about revoking that renunciation.

It would be nice to do a similar survey of Hillary Clinton to see the Alt Left’s position on her positions on the issues, but that will take a lot of time and I am not sure if I am up for it.

On August 8, 2016, Trump outlined a new economic plan that involved significant income tax cuts at all levels of income. NO

He proposed to reduce the number of tax brackets from seven to three, and replace the rates ranging from 10% to 39.6% with 12%, 25% and 33%. NO

He proposed to cut the corporate tax rate from 35% to 15%. NO

He proposed to repeal the estate tax, which applies to inheritance for estates valued at $5.45 million for individuals and $10.9 million for couples, or roughly the wealthiest 0.2 percent of Americans. NO

Trump also said he would eliminate the carried interest loophole. YES

Trump’s plan would also “eliminate the alternative minimum tax and the 3.8 percent net investment income tax, which was levied on high-income households to help fund Medicare expansion under the Affordable Care Act.” NO

An analysis by Lily L. Batchelder of New York University School of Law estimated that Trump’s new tax plan would cost more than $5 trillion over ten years and would raise taxes for lower and middle income families with children. NO

According to the Tax Policy Center, Trump’s economic plan would raise taxes on many families. NO

For instance, families with head-of-household filing status making between $20,000 and $200,000, including many single parents, would pay more under Trump’s plan than under current tax law. NO

However, in the September 2016 presidential debate, Trump said that using loopholes to avoid paying income taxes in the 1970s “makes me smart.” NO

Last fall Mr. Trump suggested that he would break with Republican orthodoxy by raising taxes on the wealthy. But then he unveiled a tax plan that would, in fact, lavish huge tax on the rich. And it would also, according to non-partisan analyses, cause deficits to explode, adding around $10 trillion to the national debt over a decade.” NO

Economist Mark Zandi estimated that if Trump’s tax cuts and spending increases were fully implemented as proposed, the national debt trajectory would worsen considerably, with debt held by the public rising from 76% GDP in 2016 to 135% GDP in 2026, considerably above a current policy baseline that rises to 86% GDP in 2026. If only some of Trump’s policies were implemented under an alternative scenario of more moderate changes, the debt figure would rise to 111% GDP by 2026.[72] In May 2016, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget placed the 2026 debt figure under Trump’s policies between 111% GDP and 141% GDP, versus 86% under the current policy baseline. NO

Trump has called for allowing Medicare to negotiate directly with prescription-drug companies to get lower prices for the Medicare Part D prescription-drug benefit, something currently prohibited by law. NO

Trump has called for allowing Medicare to negotiate directly with prescription-drug companies to get lower prices for the Medicare Part D prescription-drug benefit, something currently prohibited by law. YES

Unlike his rivals in the 2016 Republican primary race, Trump opposes cuts in Social Security and Medicare benefits. YES

Trump supports proposals that would grant Congress the ability to audit the Federal Reserve’s decision-making and take power away from the Federal Reserve. NO

Trump favors returning to the gold standard. NO

Trump supported the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), a $700 billion emergency bailout fund that rescued banks after the sub-prime mortgage crisis. YES

In May 2016, Trump said that if elected president he would dismantle “nearly all” of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a financial regulation package enacted after the financial crisis. NO

Trump promised to roll back existing regulations and impose a moratorium on new regulations, with a specific focus on undoing environmental rules that he said curtail job creation. NO

In October 2016, Trump proposed to eliminate as many as 70 percent of federal agency regulations. NO

However, In May 2016 Trump’s campaign co-chair, Sam Clovis stated that the ideas being prepared by the campaign included getting government out of student lending; requiring colleges to share in risk of loans; discouraging borrowing by liberal arts majors; and moving the Office of Civil Rights from the Education Department to Justice Department. NO

In an October 2016 speech, Trump said that he favored having student loans repayment capped at 12.5 percent of borrowers’ income, with forgiveness of any remaining debt after fifteen years of payments. YES

Trump has criticized the federal government for earning a profit from federal student loans. YES

The campaign does opposes Hillary Clinton’s proposal for debt-free public higher education, Bernie Sanders’s plan for free public higher education and President Obama’s proposals for a state-federal partnership to make community college free for new high school graduates, citing federal budget concerns. NO

Trump supports investment in American infrastructure to help create jobs.He wrote in his 2015 book Crippled America that “Our airports, bridges, water tunnels, power grids, rail systems – our nation’s entire infrastructure is crumbling, and we aren’t doing anything about it.” Trump noted that infrastructure improvements would stimulate economic growth while acknowledging “on the federal level, this is going to be an expensive investment, no question about that.”In an October 2015 interview with the Guardian, Trump stated: “We have to spend money on mass transit. We have to fix our airports, fix our roads also in addition to mass transit, but we have to spend a lot of money.” YES

Trump said: “We’ve spent $4 trillion trying to topple various people. If we could’ve spent that $4 trillion in the United States to fix our roads, our bridges and all of the other problems—our airports and all of the other problems we’ve had—we would’ve been a lot better off.” YES

Trump has expressed support for high-speed rail, calling the U.S.’s current rail network inferior to foreign countries’ systems. YES

When Trump was asked on Fox & Friends about supporting Russia’s idea on a Bering Strait tunnel project, he replied: “I wouldn’t be opposed to any idea that can create jobs.” YES

Asked if the federal government should set a floor (a national minimum wage), Trump replied: “No, I’d rather have the states go out and do what they have to do. NO

In February 2016, Trump said on a radio program: “My position on unions is fine, but I like right to work. My position on right to work is 100 percent.” NO

Trump has frequently spoken in favor of deregulation, and if elected president is viewed as likely to oversee an Occupational Safety and Health Administration that conducts “less enforcement and practically no rulemaking” on issues of workplace safety and health. NO

Trump first addressed childcare costs on August 8, 2016, where he said he would “[allow] parents to fully deduct the average cost of childcare spending from their taxes.” NO

According to a report by the RAND Corporation, Trump’s proposed health-care policies would result in 19.7 million more people without insurance and widen the federal deficit by $33.1 billion in 2018. NO! Way to go, morans!

As the 2016 campaign unfolded, Trump stated that he favors repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA or “Obamacare”) – which Trump refers to as a “complete disaster”- and replacing it with a “free-market system.” NO

Trump’s campaign has insisted that the candidate has “never supported socialized medicine.” NO

In March 2016, Trump reversed himself, saying that “Our elected representatives must eliminate the individual mandate. No person should be required to buy insurance unless he or she wants to.” NO

In March 2016 Trump released his health care plan, which called for allowing health-insurance companies to compete across state lines and for making Medicaid into a block grant system for the states. NO

He also called for elimination of the individual mandate for health insurance, for allowing health insurance premiums to be deducted on tax returns. NO

…and for international competition in the drug market. YES

Trump acknowledged that mental health care in the U.S. is often inadequate but offered no immediate solution to the problem, instead stating that “there are promising reforms being developed in Congress.” NO

Trump also emphasized the removal of market entry barriers for drug providers and improved access to imported medication corresponding to safety standards. NO

Though he characterized the Canadian health-care system as “catastrophic in certain ways” in October 2016. NO

Trump identifies himself as a “free trader.” NO

…but has been widely identified as a “protectionist” YES

Trump has described supporters of international trade as “blood suckers.” YES

According to the New York Times, since at least the 1980s, Trump has advanced mercantilist views, “describing trade as a zero-sum game in which countries lose by paying for imports.” YES

On the campaign trail in 2015 and 2016, Trump has decried the U.S.-China trade imbalance—calling it “the greatest theft in the history of the world”—and regularly advocates tariffs. YES

In a 60 Minutes interview in September 2015, Trump condemned the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), saying that if elected president, “We will either renegotiate it, or we will break it.” YES

In January 2016, Trump proposed a 45 percent tariff on Chinese exports to the United States to give “American workers a level playing field.” YES

Trump has vowed to label China as a currency manipulator on his first day in office. YES

Trump has pledged “swift, robust and unequivocal” action against Chinese piracy, counterfeit American goods, and theft of U.S. trade secrets and intellectual property; and has condemned China’s “illegal export subsidies and lax labor and environmental standards.” YES

In a May 2016 speech, Trump responded to concerns regarding a potential trade war with “We’re losing $500 billion in trade with China. Who the hell cares if there’s a trade war?” YES

Trump has vowed to impose tariffs – in the range of 15 to 35 percent – on companies that move their operations to Mexico. He has specifically criticized the Ford Motor Co., Carrier Corporation, and Mondelez International. YES

Trump has pledged a 35% tariff on “every car, every truck and every part manufactured in [Ford’s Mexico plant] that comes across the border.” YES

n August 2015, in response to Oreo maker Mondelez International’s announcement that it would move manufacturing to Mexico, Trump said that he would boycott Oreos. YES

Trump opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership, saying “The deal is insanity. That deal should not be supported and it should not be allowed to happen … We are giving away what ultimately is going to be a back door for China.”Trump has asserted that the TPP will “be even worse than… NAFTA… We will lose jobs, we will lose employment, we will lose taxes, we will lose everything. We will lose our country.” YES

Trump has called the World Trade Organization (WTO) a “disaster”. YES

When informed that tariffs in the range of 15 to 35 percent would be contrary to the rules of the WTO, he answered “even better. Then we’re going to renegotiate or we’re going to pull out.” YES

Trump has also expressed support for a variety of “limits on legal immigration and guest-worker visas,” including a “pause” on granting green cards, which Trump says will “allow record immigration levels to subside to more moderate historical averages.” YES

Trump’s proposals regarding H-1B visas have frequently changed throughout his presidential campaign, but as of late July 2016, he appears to oppose to the H-1B visa program. YES

Trump opposes birthright citizenship (the legal principle set forth by the Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution that all persons born on U.S. soil are citizens). Trump has asserted that the Fourteenth Amendment does not apply to children of illegal immigrants (whom Trump refers to as “anchor babies”). YES

The Mexican Government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States. YES

The largest suppliers of heroin, cocaine and other illicit drugs are Mexican cartels that arrange to have Mexican immigrants trying to cross the borders and smuggle in the drugs. The Border Patrol knows this. YES

Likewise, tremendous infectious disease is pouring across the border. NO

In addition to his proposals to construct a border wall (see below), Trump has called for tripling the number of Border Patrol agents. NO

Trump has repeatedly pledged to build a wall along the U.S.’s southern border, and has said that Mexico would pay for its construction through increased border-crossing fees and NAFTA tariffs. NO

Experts also note that on federally protected wilderness areas and Native American reservations, the Department of Homeland Security may have only limited construction authority, and a wall could cause environmental damage. NO

Trump has proposed the mass deportation of illegal immigrants.During his first town hall campaign meeting in Derry, New Hampshire, Trump said that if he were to win the election, then on “day 1 of my presidency, illegal immigrants are getting out and getting out fast.” YES

Trump has proposed a “Deportation Force” to carry out this plan, modeled after the 1950s-era “Operation Wetback” program during the Eisenhower administration. YES

However, on August 31, 2016, Trump reiterated that all illegal immigrants are “subject to deportation” and all those seeking legalization would have to go home and re-enter the country legally. NO

According to analysts, Trump’s mass-deportation plan would encounter legal and logistical difficulties, since U.S. immigration courts already face large backlogs. NO

However, in a major speech on August 31, Trump laid out a 10-step plan reaffirming his hardline positions, including the deportation of “anyone who has entered the United States illegally,” with priority given to undocumented immigrants who have committed significant crimes and those who have overstayed visas. He also repeated his proposal for a deportation task force. According to a Washington Post analysis, if Trump’s criteria for immediate deportation as of September 2016 are met, the number of individuals prioritized for removal by ICE agents would range between about 5.0 and 6.5 million. YES

In August 2016, Trump suggested that “extreme views” would be grounds to be thrown out of the U.S., saying he would deport Seddique Mateen, the father of Omar Mateen (the gunman in the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting), who has expressed support for the Taliban. NO

Specifically, Trump stated, “When I am elected, I will suspend immigration from areas of the world when there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe, or our allies, until we understand how to end these threats.” Trump later referred to the reformulation as “extreme vetting”. YES

Trump has proposed making it more difficult for asylum-seekers and refugees to enter the United States… YES

…and making the e-Verify system mandatory for employers. YES

Trump has on several occasions expressed opposition to allowing Syrian refugees into the U.S. – saying they could be the “ultimate Trojan horse” – and has proposed deporting back to Syria refugees settled in the U.S. By September 2015, Trump had expressed support for taking in some Syrian refugees and praised Germany’s decision to take in Syrian refugees. YES

While campaigning for the presidency in 2016, Trump stated “I’m pro-life and I’ve been pro-life a long time” and acknowledged that he had “evolved” on the issue. NO

In August 2015, Trump said that he supported a government shutdown over federal funding for Planned Parenthood. NO

In an interview later that month, Trump acknowledged that there must be “some form” of punishment for women if abortion were made illegal in the U.S. Trump issued a statement later that day reversing his position from earlier by saying, “the doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman.” NO

Trump has said that abortion should be legal in cases involving “rape, incest or the life of the mother being at risk.” NO

In May 2016, when asked if he would appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade, Trump stated: “Well, they’ll be pro-life. And we’ll see about overturning, but I will appoint judges that will be pro-life.” In the same interview, Trump stated of the anti-abortion cause: “I will protect it, and the biggest way you can protect is through the Supreme Court.” The Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group, praised Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees as “exceptionally strong,” while the abortion-rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America called the candidates on the list “a woman’s worst nightmare.” NO

Short of overturning Roe v. Wade, Trump has pledged to sign legislation from Congress banning abortion at the 20-week mark (Roe v. Wade protects a woman’s right to an abortion before a fetus is viable, which anti-abortion activists have argued is at the 20-week mark). NO

Trump chose leading anti-abortion advocate Marjorie Dannenfelser, who opposes abortion even in cases of rape and has said that contraception increases the rate of abortion, to lead his campaign’s “Pro-Life Coalition.” NO

Trump has on several occasions suggested that Christians are being discriminated against, for instance, stating that “Christianity is under tremendous siege.” NO

He has vowed to end an IRS rule that prohibits tax-exempted non-profits from campaigning on behalf of candidates, believing the rule undermines Christian influence in U.S. politics. NO

Trump has suggested that he is being audited by the IRS “maybe because of the fact that I’m a strong Christian.” NO

He has suggested that he would have an easier time getting a ban on Christian immigrants passed than one on Muslims. NO

Trump has been critical of department stores that do not greet their customers with “Merry Christmas” anymore, stating that things will change if he gets elected president: “I’ll tell you one thing: I get elected president, we’re going to be saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again. Just remember that.” NO

Trump has said that if elected, he would loosen defamation laws so that when journalists write “purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money.” NO

In a 1989 interview with Larry King, Trump stated: “The problem with our society is the victim has absolutely no rights and the criminal has unbelievable rights” and that “maybe hate is what we need if we’re gonna get something done.” NO

In 2016, Trump decried the fact that Ahmad Khan Rahami, a U.S. citizen charged in connection with the bombings in New York and New Jersey, would be provided with medical treatment and the right to counsel, calling this “sad.” NO

At the second presidential debate, which took place in October 2016, Trump said that if he was “in charge of the law of our country,” rival presidential contender Hillary Clinton would “be in jail. In the same debate, Trump also pledged that if elected, he would direct his attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor to “look into” Clinton. Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook called the remark “chilling” and said: “Trump thinks that the presidency is like some banana republic dictatorship where you can lock up your political opponents.” The remark was viewed as part of “a litany of statements [Trump] has made during the campaign that many legal specialists have portrayed as a threat to the rule of law.” Later that October, Trump spoke fondly of the “Lock her up” chants at his rally, saying “Lock her up is right.” He also said that Clinton’s legal representatives “have to go to jail”. NO

In August 2016, Trump said that he “would be fine” with trying U.S. citizens accused of terrorism in military tribunals at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. NO

Trump has offered qualified support for the First Amendment Defense Act, which aims to protect those who oppose same-sex marriage based on their religious beliefs from action by the federal government, such as revocation of tax-exempt status, grants, loans, benefits, or employment. Trump said, “If Congress considers the First Amendment Defense Act a priority, then I will do all I can to make sure it comes to my desk for signatures and enactment.” NO

In July 2016, Trump expressed support for North Carolina House Bill 2, which eliminates anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people… NO

…and legislates that in government buildings, individuals may only use restrooms and changing facilities that correspond to the sex on their birth certificates. NEUTRAL

In a February 2000 interview with The Advocate, Trump stated in response to the murder of Matthew Shepard and James Byrd that he wanted a more “tolerant society” and he would “absolutely” support hate crime legislation on the basis of their race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. NO

Trump is the first Republican nominee to mention the LGBT community in a GOP nomination address, saying in his acceptance speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016: “As your president, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology.” YES

In an October 1999 appearance on Meet the Press, Trump said gays openly serving in the military was “not something that would disturb me.” YES

Regarding whether gay couples should have the same access the same benefits as married couples, Trump said that his “attitude on it has not been fully formed.” The Advocate, an American LGBT-interest magazine, characterized Trump’s Supreme Court picks as “LGBT-unfriendly,” noting that “not all have ruled in LGBT rights cases, but those who have are largely unsympathetic, and some have the backing of anti-LGBT activists. NO

Trump signed a pledge in July 2016 that he would work to combat both legal pornography and illegal pornography, such as child pornography. In the pledge, he promised to “give serious consideration to appointing a Presidential Commission to examine the harmful public health impact of Internet pornography on youth, families and the American culture and the prevention of the sexual exploitation of children in the digital age.” NO

Trump has criticized the Black Lives Matter movement and accuses President Obama of “dividing America.” NO

Trump has said that if elected president, he might direct his Attorney General to look into the Black Lives Matter movement. NO

When asked if he believes there to be a racial divide in America, Trump answered, “Sadly, there would seem to be…and it’s probably not been much worse at any time.” NEUTRAL

When asked if he believes police treat African Americans differently than whites, Trump answered, “It could be.” NEUTRAL

Trump describes the police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile as “tough to watch” and criticized the “terrible, disgusting performance” by police. NO

Trump said that he could relate to the systemic bias African Americans faced against whites, saying, “even against me the system is rigged when I ran … for president. NO

When asked if he could understand the experience of being African American, Trump replied, “I would like to say yes, but you really can’t unless you are African American. You can’t truly understand what’s going on unless you are African American. I would like to say yes, however.” NEUTRAL

On November 19, 2015, a week after the November 2015 Paris attacks, when asked if he would implement a database system to track Muslims in the United States, Trump said: “I would certainly implement that. Absolutely. There should be a lot of systems, beyond databases. We should have a lot of systems.” NO

On November 21, Trump expanded on his stance, saying that he would order “surveillance of certain mosques” to combat “Islamic extremism” after the Paris attacks. YES

Trump justified his proposals by repeatedly saying that he recalled “thousands and thousands of people … cheering” in Jersey City, New Jersey, when the World Trade Center towers fell on September 11, 2001. NO

On National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance, Trump says that he “tends to err on the side of security” over privacy. Trump supports bringing back now-expired provisions of the Patriot Act to allow for the NSA to collect and store bulk telephone metadata. Trump said: “I assume that when I pick up my telephone, people are listening to my conversations anyway.” NO

In February 2016, Trump urged his supporters to boycott Apple Inc. unless the company agrees to build a custom backdoor for the FBI to unlock the password-protected iPhone connected to one of the perpetrators of the 2015 San Bernardino shooting, a move that Apple argues would threaten the security and privacy of its users.[386] Trump himself still uses his iPhone to send out tweets. NO

Trump opposes same-day voter registration… NO

…supports voter identification laws… NO

…asserted that Obama won in 2012 due to voter fraud… NO

…has charged that the election system will be rigged against him in the 2016 race… NO

…and has equivocated on whether he would accept the outcome of the 2016 election. NO

In the September 2016 presidential debate, when asked if he would honor the outcome of the election, Trump said that he “absolutely” would. Four days later, Trump appeared to have reconsidered his statement from the debate, saying “We’re going to have to see. We’re going to see what happens. We’re going to have to see.”In early- and mid-October 2016, Trump repeatedly claimed that the election was rigged, alleging media coordination with the Clinton campaign, citing Saturday Night Live as an example of the aforementioned rigged media, and alleging that “The election is absolutely being rigged… at many polling places” even though no polling places had opened. NO

That same month, Trump asserted that the federal government was allowing illegal immigrants to come into the U.S. so they can vote. NO

Trump has claimed that “dead people voted for President Obama” and that “dead voters… helped get President Obama elected.” On election night 2012, Trump expressed skepticism about Obama’s victory, saying, among other things, “This election is a total sham and a travesty. We are not a democracy!” NO

In August 2015, Trump said he would support women in combat roles “because they’re really into it and some of them are really, really good. YES

While Trump has repeatedly expressed support for “the idea of campaign finance reform…” YES

…He has not outlined specifics of his actual views on campaign-finance regulation. For example, Trump has not said whether he favors public financing of elections or caps on expenditures of campaigns, outside groups, and individuals. NEUTRAL

According to Chris Christie (leader of Trump’s White House transition team), Trump would, if elected President, seek to purge the federal government of officials appointed by Obama…NO

…and could ask Congress to pass legislation making it easier to fire public workers. NO

Trump has provided “little detail regarding his positions on disability-related policies,” and his campaign website makes no mention of disabled people. As of June 1, 2016, Trump had not responded to the issue questionnaire of the nonpartisan disability group RespectAbility. NEUTRAL

Trump attracted criticism for mocking the physical disability of New York Times investigative reporter Serge Kovaleski, who suffers from arthrogryposis. NO

In an interview with the Washington Post in March 2016, Trump said that though he didn’t yet have a position on statehood, it would be something that “I don’t think I’d be inclined to do”. NO

He also said that “having representation would be okay…” YES

Trump has stated his support for school choice and local control for primary and secondary schools. On school choice he’s commented, “Our public schools are capable of providing a more competitive product than they do today. Look at some of the high school tests from earlier in this century and you’ll wonder if they weren’t college-level tests. And we’ve got to bring on the competition—open the schoolhouse doors and let parents choose the best school for their children. Education reformers call this school choice, charter schools, vouchers, even opportunity scholarships. I call it competition – the American way. NO

Trump has blasted the Common Core State Standards Initiative, calling it a “total disaster”. Trump has asserted that Common Core is “education through Washington D.C.”, a claim which Politifact and other journalists have rated “false”, since the adoption and implementation of Common Core is a state choice, not a federal one. NO

Trump has stated that Ben Carson will be “very much involved in education” under a Trump presidency. NO

Carson rejects the theory of evolution…NO

…believes that “home-schoolers do the best, private schoolers next best, charter schoolers next best, and public schoolers worst”… NO

…and wants to “take the federal bureaucracy out of education. NO

Trump has proposed redirecting $20 billion in existing federal spending to block grants to states to give poor children vouchers to attend a school of their family’s choice (including a charter school, private school, or online school). Trump did not explain where the $20 billion in the federal budget would come from. Trump stated that “Distribution of this grant will favor states that have private school choice and charter laws.” NO

Trump has called eminent domain “wonderful” and repeatedly asked the government to invoke it on his behalf during past development projects. YES

In October 2015, Trump stated that “you have to be careful with” paid family leave as it could impact keeping “our country very competitive”. NO

In September 2016, Trump posted a list on his web site of regulations that he would eliminate. The list included what it called the “FDA Food Police” and mentioned the Food and Drug Administration’s rules governing “farm and food production hygiene” and “food temperatures”. The factsheet provided by Trump mirrored a May report by the conservative Heritage Foundation. NO

According to the Chicago Tribune, Trump has not addressed the gender pay gap in his 2016 presidential bid (as of July 2016). NEUTRAL

“Trump’s past statements on women in the workplace have included calling pregnancy “an inconvenience.” NO

…telling a voter in New Hampshire last year that women will receive the same pay as men “if they do as good a job.” NO

Colman McCarthy of the Washington Post wrote in 1993 that in testimony given that year to the House Natural Resources subcommittee on Native American Affairs, Trump “devoted much of his testimony to bad-mouthing Indians and their casinos,” asserted that “organized crime is rampant on Indian reservations” and that “if it continues, it will be the biggest scandal ever.” Trump offered no evidence in support of his claim, and testimony from the FBI’s organized crime division, the Justice Department’s criminal division, and the IRS’s criminal investigation division did not support Trump’s assertion. Representative George Miller, a Democrat who was the chairman of the Natural Resources Committee at the time, stated: “In my 19 years in Congress, I’ve never heard more irresponsible testimony.” NO

Trump bankrolled in 2000 a set of anti-Indian gaming ads in upstate New York that featured “a dark photograph showing hypodermic needles and drug paraphernalia,” a warning that “violent criminals were coming to town,” and an accusation that the St. Regis Mohawks had a “record of criminal activity.” The ad—aimed at stopping the construction of a casino in the Catskills that might hurt Trump’s own Atlantic City casinos was viewed as “incendiary” and racially charged, and at the time local tribal leaders, in response, bought a newspaper ad of their own to denounce the “smear” and “racist and inflammatory rhetoric” of the earlier ad. NO

The ads attracted the attention of the New York Temporary State Commission on Lobbying because they failed to disclose Trump’s sponsorship as required by state lobbying rules. Trump acknowledged that he sponsored the ads and reached a settlement with the state in which he and his associates agreed to issue a public apology and pay $250,000 (the largest civil penalty ever levied by the commission) for evading state disclosure rules. NO

In 2015, Trump defended the controversial team name and mascot of the Washington Redskins, saying that the NFL team should not change its name and he did not find the term to be offensive. The “Change the Mascot” campaign, led by the Oneida Indian Nation and National Congress of American Indians, condemned Trump’s stance. NEUTRAL

While campaigning in 2016, Trump has repeatedly belittled Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts by calling her “Pocahontas” (a reference to Warren’s claim, based on family lore, of Native American ancestry, which she has been unable to document). Trump’s comments were criticized by a number of public figures as racist and inappropriate. Gyasi Ross of the Blackfeet Nation, a Native American activist and author, criticized Trump’s “badgering of Elizabeth Warren as ‘Pocahontas'” as “simply the continuation of his pattern of racist bullying. NO

Trump has espoused Barack Obama citizenship (“birther”) conspiracy theories over time. NO

He falsely accused Hillary Clinton of having started the “Birther” movement. NO

Trump has been critical of the ways in which veterans are treated in the United States, saying “the vets are horribly treated in this country… they are living in hell.” YES

In a statement, he said he believes that Veterans Affairs facilities need to be upgraded with recent technology, hire more veterans to treat other veterans, increase support of female veterans, and create satellite clinics within hospitals in rural areas. YES

Trump’s proposed plan for reforming the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs includes provisions for allowing veterans to obtain care at any doctor or facility that accepts Medicare, increasing funding for PTSD and suicide prevention services, and providing ob/gyn services at every VA hospital. Trump’s plan calls for greater privatization of veterans’ care. YES

Trump’s plan makes no reference directly to letting veterans get health care outside the VA system but Trump adviser Sam Clovis in May said the candidate was looking into such plans. NO

Trump’s plan calls “for legislation making it easier to fire underperforming employees…NEUTRAL

…increasing mental-health resources and adding a White House hotline so veterans can bypass the VA and bring problems directly to the president.” YES

Trump opposes the current G.I. Bill. NO

Trump skipped a televised Republican debate in January 2016 to host a rally to raise money for veterans. In early February, the Wall Street Journal reported that many veterans’ groups began to get their checks only after the Journal asked the Trump campaign why they had not. NO

In April, the Journal reported that the funds had yet to be fully distributed. NO

Trump caused a stir in July 2015 when he charged that Senator John McCain with having “done nothing to help the vets…” NO

Trump added that McCain is “not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.” NO

At a rally on August 9, 2016, Trump accused his opponent of wanting to “essentially abolish the Second Amendment…” NO

By the way, and if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.” NO

Trump supports barring people on the government’s terrorist watch list from purchasing weapons, saying in 2015: “If somebody is on a watch list and an enemy of state and we know it’s an enemy of state, I would keep them away, absolutely.” YES

In January 2016, Trump said: “I will get rid of gun-free zones on schools, and – you have to – and on military bases… My first day, it gets signed, okay? My first day. There’s no more gun-free zones.” NO

n May 2016, Trump made ambiguous comments on guns in classrooms, saying: “I don’t want to have guns in classrooms. Although, in some cases, teachers should have guns in classrooms.” NO

In June 2016, Trump stated that, “it would have been a beautiful, beautiful sight” to see Omar Mateen shot in the head by an armed patron in the Pulse nightclub shooting, reiterating his stance that more people should be armed in public places. NO

Trump has asserted that the presence of more guns in schools and public places could have stopped mass shootings such as those in Paris, San Bernardino, California, and Umpqua Community College. NO

On the campaign trail, Trump has praised the National Rifle Association (NRA),[493] and received the group’s endorsement after becoming the presumptive Republican nominee. NO

Trump has described himself as a staunch advocate of the Second Amendment. NO

Trump has said that concealed carry “is a right, not a privilege.” NO

He has called for an overhaul of the current federal background check system, arguing that “Too many states are failing to put criminal and mental health records into the system.” YES

…while campaigning for the presidency in 2015 and 2016 has called for the expansion of gun rights. NO

…rump has proposed eliminating prohibitions on assault weapons, military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines (which Trump described as “scary sounding phrases” used by gun control advocates “to confuse people”)…NO

…as well as making concealed carry permits valid nationwide, rather than on the current state-to-state basis. NO

According to the New York Times, many of Trump’s statements on legal topics are “extemporaneous and resist conventional legal analysis,” with some appearing “to betray ignorance of fundamental legal concepts.” NO

Trump has stated that he wants to replace Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court with “a person of similar views and principles”. He has released a list of eleven potential picks to replace Scalia. The jurists are widely considered to be conservative. All are white, and eight of the eleven are men. The list includes five out of the eight individuals recommended by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.Trump had previously insisted that he would seek guidance from conservative groups such as the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation when it came to picking Supreme Court candidates. NO

Several of the judges listed by Trump have questioned abortion rights. NO

Trump has claimed that he “would probably appoint” justices to the Supreme Court who “would look very seriously” at the Hillary Clinton email controversy “because it’s a criminal activity.” NO

Trump has criticized Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts, a George W. Bush appointee, as a “nightmare for conservatives,” citing Roberts’ vote in the 2015 decision in King v. Burwell, which upheld provisions of the Affordable Care Act. NO

He has also blamed Roberts for the June 2015 Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. NO

In February 2016, Trump called on the Senate to stop Obama from filling the vacant seat on the Supreme Court. NO

An analysis by FiveThirtyEight shows that, under the assumption that Scalia’s vacant seat on the Court will not be filled, and taking account of the advanced age of three of the sitting justices, that a Trump presidency would move the Supreme Court “rightward toward its most conservative position in recent memory”. NO

Trump has long advocated for capital punishment in the United States. NO

In May 1989, shortly after the Central Park jogger case received widespread media attention, Trump purchased a full-page ad in four New York City newspapers with the title “BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY!” NO

Five defendants (the “Central Park Five”) were wrongfully convicted in the case and were subsequently exonerated. By October 2016, Trump still maintained that “Central Park Five” were guilty.  NO

In December 2015, in a speech accepting the endorsement of the New England Police Benevolent Association, Trump said that “One of the first things I do [if elected President] in terms of executive order if I win will be to sign a strong, strong statement that will go out to the country, out to the world, that … anybody killing a police officer—death penalty. It’s going to happen, O.K.?” NO

However, under the current U.S. legal system, these prosecutions usually take place in state court under state law, and the president has no authority over such cases.Furthermore, 19 states have abolished the death penalty, and mandatory death sentences are unconstitutional, as held by the Supreme Court in Woodson v. North Carolina (1976). NO

Trump has stated that he would be “tough on crime” and criticized Barack Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s criminal justice reform proposals. NO

In January 2016, Trump said that along with veterans, “the most mistreated people in this country are police.” NO

Trump supports the use of “stop and frisk” tactics, of the kind once used in New York City. NO

In 2000, Trump also rejected as elitist and naive the arguments of criminal justice reformers that the U.S. criminal justice system puts too many criminals in jail. NO

Trump is in favor of at least one mandatory sentence, where using a gun to commit a crime results in a five-year sentence. NO

Trump has on several occasions asserted that crime is rising in the United States. Trump’s assertion that crime is rising is false; in fact, both violent crime and property crime have been consistently declining in the U.S. since the early 1990s.[540] Trump’s claim that “inner-city crime is reaching record levels” received a “pants-on-fire” rating from PolitiFactNO

On November 22, 2015, Trump retweeted a graphic with purported statistics—cited to a nonexistent group—which claimed that African Americans were responsible for 81% of the homicides of White Americans and that police were responsible for 1% of black homicides compared to 4% of white homicides. Trump’s retweet earned PolitiFact’s “Pants on Fire” rating and was called “grossly inaccurate” by FactCheck.org the next day. PolitiFact wrote: “Trump cast blacks as the primary killers of whites, but the exact opposite is true.” NO

Blacks were responsible for 15% of white homicides according to FBI data for 2014. The breakdown of the racial differences in police killings in Trump’s retweet was also inaccurate. Based on the percentages, the number of whites killed by police would be almost 4 times greater than the number of blacks. Data from the Washington Post for 2009 to 2013 showed a ratio of 1.5 white deaths by police for each black death. A separate estimate by Peter Moskos, associate professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice attributed 10% of white homicides to police and 4% to police for blacks. When asked about the statistics, Trump maintained that the statistics came “from sources that are very credible. NO

In his campaign for the presidency in 2015 and 2016, however, Trump adopted “drug warrior” positions and has sought advice on the issue from William J. Bennett, who served as the U.S. first “drug czar” in the 1980s “and has remained a proponent of harsh 1980s-style drug war tactics.” NO

Trump has voiced his opposition to video game violence. After it was reported that the Sandy Hook shooter frequently played violent video games, Trump tweeted, “Video game violence & glorification must be stopped—it is creating monsters!” NO

Trump said that he would push for a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on members of Congress, so that members of the House of Representatives could serve for a maximum of six years and Senators for a maximum of twelve years. NO

Trump also pledged to re-institute a ban on executive branch officials from lobbying for five years after leaving government service. YES

…and said that he supported Congress instituting a similar five-year lobbying ban of its own, applicable to former members and staffYES

A 2016 report in Scientific American graded Trump and three other top presidential candidates—Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson, and Jill Stein—on science policy, based on their responses to a twenty-question ScienceDebate.org survey. Trump “came in last on all counts” in grading, with scientists and researchers faulting him for a lack of knowledge or appreciation of scientific issues. NO

Trump is opposed to net neutrality, asserting that it is “Obama’s attack on the Internet” and saying that it “will target the conservative media.” NO

The Free Press Action Fund, a group of tech policy activists, rated Trump the worst 2016 presidential candidate for “citizens’ digital lives,” citing his positions opposing reforming the Patriot Act, favoring Internet censorship, and opposing net neutrality. NO

In 2014, after a New York physician returned from treating Ebola patients in West Africa and showed symptoms of the disease, Trump tweeted that if the doctor had Ebola, “Obama should apologize to the American people & resign!” When the doctor was later confirmed to have developed Ebola in New York, Trump tweeted that it was “Obama’s fault” and “I have been saying for weeks for President Obama to stop the flights from West Africa. So simple, but he refused. A TOTAL incompetent!” NO

Trump also criticized President Obama’s decision to send 3,000 U.S. troops to affected regions to help combat the outbreak. NO

As Dr. Kent Brantly returned to the U.S. for treatment, Trump tweeted that U.S. doctors who went abroad to treat Ebola were “great” but “must suffer the consequences” if they became infected and insisted that “the U.S. must immediately stop all flights from EBOLA infected countries or the plague will start and spread inside our ‘borders.'” NO

When an Ebola patient was scheduled to come to the U.S. for treatment, Trump tweeted, “now I know for sure that our leaders are incompetent. KEEP THEM OUT OF HERE!” NO

On August 11, 2016, Trump said that he was in favor of Congress setting aside money to combat the Zika virus. YES

Trump believes that childhood vaccinations are related to autism, a hypothesis which has been repeatedly debunked. NO

In May 2016, Trump asked U.S. Representative Kevin Cramer, Republican of North Dakota – described by Reuters as “one of America’s most ardent drilling advocates and climate change skeptics” -to draft Trump’s energy policy. NO

According to Reuters, four sources close to Trump’s campaign say that Trump is considering nominating Oklahoma oil and gas mogul Harold Hamm as energy secretary if elected President. According to Reuters, Hamm would be the first-ever U.S. Secretary of Energy “drawn directly from the oil and gas industry.” Hamm has called for expanded drilling, criticized environmental regulations for limiting oil production, and called for less dependence on Middle Eastern oil producers. NO

On May 2016, Trump said that he could solve the water crisis in CaliforniaNO

He declared that “there is no drought,” a statement which the Associated Press noted is incorrect. NO

Trump accused California state officials of denying farmers of water so they can send it out to sea “to protect a certain kind of three-inch fish.” NO

Trump rejects the scientific consensus on climate changeNO

He has said that “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive..” NO

Trump criticized President Obama’s description of climate change as “the greatest threat to future generations” for being “naive” and “one of the dumbest statements I’ve ever heard.” NO

According to a report by the Sierra Club, Trump would, if elected President, be the only head of state in the world to contend that climate change is a hoax. NO

In May 2016, during his presidential campaign, Trump issued an energy plan focused on promoting fossil fuels and weakening environmental regulation. NO

Trump promised to “rescind” in his first 100 days in office a variety of Environmental Protection Agency regulations established during the Obama administration to limit carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, which contribute to a warming global climate. NO

Trump has specifically pledged to revoke the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the United States rule, which he characterizes as two “job-destroying Obama executive actions.” NO

Trump has said “we’re practically not allowed to use coal any more,” a statement rated “mostly false” by PolitiFact. Trump has criticized the Obama administration’s coal policies, describing the administration’s moves to phase out the use of coal-fired power plants are “stupid.” NO

Trump has criticized the Obama administration for prohibiting “coal production on federal land”…Trump has vowed to revive the U.S. coal economy. NO

Trump wrote in his 2011 book that he opposed a cap-and-trade system to control carbon emissions. NO

At a rally in May 2016, “Trump implied that the regulations on hairspray and coal mining are both unwarranted” and incorrectly asserted that hairspray use in a “sealed” apartment prevents the spray’s ozone-depleting substances from reaching the atmosphere. NO

Trump pledged in his May 2016 speech on energy policy to “cancel the Paris climate agreement” adopted at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (in which 170 countries committed to reductions in carbon emissions)…A U.S. move to withdraw from the Paris Agreement as Trump proposes is viewed as likely to unravel the agreement; according to Reuters, such a move would spell “potential doom for an agreement many view as a last chance to turn the tide on global warming. NO

In Trump’s May 2016 speech on energy policy, he declared that if elected president, he would “stop all payment of U.S. tax dollars to global warming.” This would be a reversal of the U.S. pledge to commit funds to developing countries to assist in climate change mitigation and could undermine the willingness of other countries to take action against climate change.programs.” NO

In his May 2016 speech on energy policy, Trump stated : “Under my presidency, we will accomplish complete American energy independence. We will become totally independent of the need to import energy from the oil cartel or any nation hostile to our interest.” The New York Times reported that “experts say that such remarks display a basic ignorance of the workings of the global oil markets.” NO

In January 2016, Trump vowed “tremendous cutting” of the budget for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency if elected. NO

Trump has charged that the “U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service abuses the Endangered Species Act to restrict oil and gas exploration.” NO

In 2011, Trump said that would permit drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern AlaskaNO

In July 2016, Trump suggested that he was in favor of state and local bans on hydraulic fracturing (fracking), saying, “I’m in favor of fracking, but I think that voters should have a big say in it. I mean, there’s some areas, maybe, they don’t want to have fracking. And I think if the voters are voting for it, that’s up to them… if a municipality or a state wants to ban fracking, I can understand that.” NO

Trump has promised to construct the Keystone XL pipeline, a proposed project to bring Canadian petroleum to the U.S. NO

Trump has financial ties to Energy Transfer Partners and Phillips 66 who are both directly involved in the Dakota Access Pipeline. The CEO of Energy Transfer Partners is a campaign donor for Donald Trump. NO

In his 2015 book Crippled America, Trump is highly critical of the “big push” to develop renewable energy, arguing that the push is based on a mistaken belief that greenhouse gases contribute to climate change. NO

Despite criticizing wind farms in the past (calling them “ugly”)…Trump has criticized wind energy for being expensive and for not working without “massive subsidies”. He added, “windmills are killing hundreds and hundreds of eagles. One of the most beautiful, one of the most treasured birds — and they’re killing them by the hundreds and nothing happens. NO

Trump has said that he does not oppose the wind production tax credit, saying: “I’m okay with subsidies, to an extent.” NO

In his official platform, Trump claims that he will reduce bureaucracy which would then lead to greater innovation. NO

His platform mentions “renewable energies”, including “nuclear, wind and solar energy” in that regard but adds that he would not support those “to the exclusion of other energy”. NO

Trump supports a higher ethanol mandate (the amount of ethanol required by federal regulation to be blended into the U.S. gasoline supply)…Trump vowed to protect the government’s Renewable Fuel Standard and the corn-based ethanol. NO

In October 2016, the Humane Society denounced Trump’s campaign, saying that a “Trump presidency would be a threat to animals everywhere” and that he has “a team of advisors and financial supporters tied in with trophy hunting, puppy mills, factory farming, horse slaughter, and other abusive industries” NO

In a New York Times interview in July 2016, Trump “repeatedly defined American global interests almost purely in economic terms,” with the nation’s “roles as a peacekeeper, as a provider of a nuclear deterrent against adversaries like North Korea, as an advocate of human rights and as a guarantor of allies’ borders” being “quickly reduced to questions of economic benefit to the United States.” NO

Two of the advisors on the list “view Islamic Sharia law within the U.S. as a dire threat. NO

One of the advisors “has accused the State Department’s top official for Ukraine and Russia, Victoria Nuland, of “fomenting” the 2014 revolution that overthrew Ukraine’s government.” YES

However, like Trump, Flynn has been a critic of the U.S.’s military involvement in Iraq and Libya as well as its support for the Syrian opposition, and has advocated for closer ties with Russia. YES

Previously when asked about who he was consulting with on foreign policy during an interview on MSNBC‘s Morning Joe, Trump responded with “I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things.” NO

Some of Trump’s foreign policy ideas have been met with opposition by the GOP foreign policy establishment. YES

The Economist Intelligence Unit placed a Trump victory in the presidential election fifth in their list of ten global risks for 2016, citing his foreign policy positions which increase the risk of trade war, him being used as a potent recruitment tool for jihadi group and weakened efforts to contain Russia’s expansionist tendencies. YES

Trump stated in a December 2015 Republican primary debate that “Our military is a disaster,” and in a July 2016 radio appearance described the U.S. military as “depleted and in horrible shape.” NO

In July 2016, retired U.S. Marine Corps General John R. Allen, who supports Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton gave a forceful speech against Trump at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Trump responded by calling the four-star military leader “a failed general” and saying that he had never met him. YES

Trump has stated on a number of occasions that if elected president, he “would increase [spending] on the military.”Trump claims that the U.S. military will be “funded beautifully” if elected President. While Trump has not offered specifics on defense spending under a Trump presidency, he has repeatedly called for a U.S. military buildup and has criticized President Obama’s military spending strategy.Trump has criticized the decline in the numbers of active-duty armed forces, Navy ships and Air Force planes since the end of the Cold WarNO

Trump has pledged to rein in wasteful spending in the military. LIE!

Trump has stated his intention to provide presidential leadership with strong diplomacy to restore “respect” for the United States around the world and he supports a robust national defense. YES

Trump has stated, “We Americans are laughed at around the world for losing a hundred and fifty billion dollars year after year, for defending wealthy nations for nothing, nations that would be wiped off the face of the earth in about 15 minutes if it weren’t for us. Our ‘allies’ are making billions screwing us.” Trump has called for allied countries, including Germany, Israel, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea to pay the United States for helping protect their nations. YES

In an interview, Trump stated “You have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. … When they say they don’t care about their lives, you have to take out their families.” When pressed on what “take out” meant, Trump said the U.S. should “wipe out their homes” and “where they came from.” NO 

Later, in August 2011, Trump criticized the Obama administration for not helping former Mubarak keep power, citing Mubarak’s positive relationship with Israel and the negative effect that Mubarak’s removal would have on other allies’ faith in the United States. In 2012, Trump reiterated his criticisms of the Obama administration’s handling of Mubarak and asserted that “Egypt is now our enemy” and that “Israel is in trouble.” NO

In September 2016, Trump described the President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, as a “fantastic guy”, praising his handling of the 2013 anti-Morsi uprising that led to the removal of then-president Mohamed Morsi from power. Trump said that there was a “good feeling between [them]”. NO

In June 2016, Trump maintained that “Iran is now the dominant Islamic power in the Middle East and on the road to nuclear weapons.” NO

Trump opposes the international nuclear agreement with Iran (negotiated with the U.S. and five other world powers) that was made in 2015, calling it “terrible” and saying that the Obama administration negotiated the agreement “from desperation.” NO

Trump opposed the sanctions relief in the agreement, saying: “We’re giving them billions of dollars in this deal, which we shouldn’t have given them. We should have kept the money.” NO

Trump has claimed that “when those restrictions expire (in the Iran nuclear deal), Iran will have an industrial-size military nuclear capability ready to go…” NO

Trump was critical of State Department officials as they negotiated the Iran deal, saying that “It’s a one-day deal. This whole thing should have taken a day.” NO

In July 2015, when explaining his opposition to the Iran agreement, Trump cited four American prisoners being held prisoner in the country. NO

In September 2015, Trump told CNN that he believed the agreement would compel the U.S. to side with Iran in the event of war: “There’s something in the Iran deal that people I don’t think really understand or know about, and nobody’s able to explain it, that if somebody attacks Iran, we have to come to their defense. So if Israel attacks Iran, according to that deal, I believe the way it reads […] that we have to fight with Iran against Israel.” NO

According to Trump, nuclear weapons, not global warming, is the world’s biggest problem. NO

Trump said that any deal with Iran should stipulate that inspectors have 24-hour-a-day access immediately to all nuclear sites and made reference to U.S. nationals imprisoned the country. NO

In the September 2016 Presidential Debate, Trump said that the Iran deal should have contained provisions that Iran “do something with respect to North Korea. And they should have done something with respect to Yemen and all these other places.” NO

In October 2016, it was reported that despite Trump’s denouncement of Iran as a “big enemy” and assertions that donations from foreign governments to the Clinton Foundation charity amounted to evidence of corruption, the Trump Organization did business with one of Iran’s largest state-controlled banks from 1998 to 2003. NO

Trump’s positions on defeating ISIL have frequently changed throughout his presidential campaign. Trump has claimed that he would “bomb the hell” out of Iraqi oil fields controlled by ISIL. NO

In the aftermath of the November 13, 2015, terrorist attacks in Paris, which were committed by ISIL, Trump reiterated his statements about ISIL from November 12, 2015, when he stated he would “bomb the shit out of ’em” and said “I’d blow up the [oil] pipes, I’d blow up the refineries, and you know what, you’ll get Exxon to come in there in two months… and I’d take the oil.” NO

Trump said in an interview with Anderson Cooper “There is no Iraq. Their leaders are corrupt.” NO

In 2015, when asked how he would deal with Iraq’s condemnation of strikes on their oil fields, Trump replied that Iraq is a corrupt country that is not deserving of his respect. NO

Trump said he “got to know [Vladimir Putin] very well because we were both on ’60 Minutes’, we were stable mates, we did well that night.” NO

Trump said he approved of Russia’s intervention in Syria, stating: “If Putin wants to knock the hell out of ISIS, I’m all for it 100 percent and I can’t understand how anybody would be against that … He’s going in and we can go in and everybody should go in.” During his speech at the Oklahoma State Fair, Trump accused his opponents of wanting to “start World War III over Syria.” YES

Trump stated in November 2015, “I know more about ISIS than the generals do. Believe me.” NO

In June 2016, Trump stated that he “[likes] the idea of using NATO and also neighbors that aren’t in NATO” to “take [ISIL] out” and that “it’s very possible that we should use NATO” to fight ISIL. YES

Jonathan Russell, head of policy for the anti-radicalization think tank Quilliam, warned that Trump’s “anti-Muslim rhetoric” helps ISIL’s narrative, saying “Trump will contribute to Islamist radicalization. NO

In the aftermath of the Orlando nightclub shooting (June 2016), Trump accused the Obama administration has actively “supported” the Islamic extremist group that became ISIL. NO

In August 2016, Trump repeatedly and falsely asserted that President Obama was the “founder” of ISIL. YES

Trump responded to Hewitt’s attempt to reframe Trump’s comment as one that said Obama’s foreign policy created the conditions in Iraq and Syria that allowed ISIL to thrive, by saying “No, I meant he’s the founder of ISIS. I do….He was the founder. The way he got out of Iraq — that was the founding of ISIS, OK?” NO

Regarding the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey, Trump said in a July 2016 interview, “I give great credit to [Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] for being able to turn that around.” When asked if Erdoğan was exploiting the coup attempt to purge his political enemies, Trump did not call for the Turkish leader to observe the rule of law, or offer other cautions for restraint. NO

Trump stated in the July 2016 interview that he believed he could persuade Erdoğan to step up efforts against ISIL. NO

When asked how he would solve the problem of Turkish attacks on Kurds who are fighting ISIL, Trump said “Meetings.” NO

On September 11, 2002, when asked by radio talk-show host Howard Stern if he supported an invasion of Iraq, Trump responded, “Yeah, I guess so. I wish the first time it was done correctly.” NO

On March 21, 2003, one day into the Iraq War, Trump was interviewed by Fox NewsNeil Cavuto. Trump said that the war appeared to be “a tremendous success from a military standpoint”, and expressed hope that it would continue to be so. NO

Later that week he publicly called the war a “mess”. Later, Trump publicly and explicitly criticized the war in an interview published in Esquire in August 2004, sixteen months after the invasion. Trump said: “Look at the war in Iraq and the mess that we’re in,” criticized the George W. Bush administration’s handling of the war, dismissed the idea of Iraq becoming functionally democratic, and predicted that “Two minutes after we leave, there’s going to be a revolution, and the meanest, toughest, smartest, most vicious guy will take over. And he’ll have weapons of mass destruction, which Saddam didn’t have.” YES

Trump has been highly critical of the Obama administration’s treatment of Israel, stating that “Israel has been totally mistreated.” NO

Trump lent his personal jet to New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani so that the latter could show solidarity for terror victims in Israel in 2001…NO

..and he was the grand marshal of the Celebrate Israel Parade in New York in 2004. NO

Speaking in 2006, Trump said that Israel was one of his favorite countries, adding: “I know that you’ve been through a lot recently… I believe Israel is a great country.” NO

Trump released a video endorsing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the 2013 Israeli electionsNO

In 2015, when Trump won the Liberty Award at the Second Annual Algemeiner Jewish 100 Gala in honor of his positive contributions to Israel–United States relations, he stated: “We love Israel, we will fight for Israel 100 percent, 1000 percent, it will be there forever”. NO

In December 2015, Trump told the Associated Press that an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord would depend very much upon Israel, remarking: “I have a real question as to whether or not both sides want to,” come to a peace accord. “A lot will have to do with Israel and whether or not Israel wants to make the deal – whether or not Israel’s willing to sacrifice certain things.” YES

…a day later, Trump postponed his visit to Israel until “a later date after I become President of the U.S.”, stating that he did not want to put Netanyahu “under pressure”. NO

Trump said that he would not take sides in any Israeli-Palestinian agreement in order to be a neutral negotiator in the peace talks…LIE

…despite also adding that he is “totally pro-Israel”. NO

At a press conference in March 2016, Trump said that as president, he would require nations to re-compensate for the foreign aid that they have received. YES

When specifically asked whether his previously stated stance on charging U.S allies for defense spending would extend to Israel, he replied, “I think Israel would do that also. There are many countries that can pay, and they can pay big-league.” However, immediately after the press conference, Trump reversed himself on that position of aid to Israel, adding, “They [Israel] help us greatly.” NO

However, immediately after the press conference, Trump reversed himself on that position of aid to Israel, adding, “They [Israel] help us greatly.” NO

Trump has said on more than one occasion that if elected president he will move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which he described as the “eternal capital of the Jewish people”… NO

Trump has vowed that as president he will veto a UN imposed Israel-Palestine peace agreement, stating: “When I’m president, believe me, I will veto any attempt by the U.N. to impose its will on the Jewish state. It will be vetoed 100 percent.” NO

He added that “The Palestinians must come to the table knowing that the bond between the United States and Israel is absolutely, totally unbreakable.” NO

Trump has criticized the Palestinian Authority for the absence of peace, saying: “the Palestinian Authority has to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. …[and they] have to stop the terror, stop the attacks, stop the teaching of hatred… They have to stop the teaching of children to aspire to grow up as terrorists, which is a real problem. Of course, the recognition of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state is also a major sticking point, with the current Palestinian leadership repeatedly refusing to meet that basic condition.” NO

However, Trump breaks with long-standing bipartisan U.S. policy, by supporting continued Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank, saying that Israel ‘has to keep going’ and that ‘there shouldn’t be a pause’ with the settlement construction. If elected, Trump’s seemingly broad support of Israeli settlement development would constitute a significant shift in US policy, as previous US administrations, Republican and Democrat, have described such West Bank construction as illegal. NO

Meeting with Netanyahu in September 2016, Trump’s statement said “under a Trump administration, [we] will finally accept the long-standing Congressional mandate to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel.” NO

In 2009, Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi rented space through intermediaries on Trump’s Seven Springs estate in the suburb of Bedford, New York. (Gaddafi rented Trump’s land to camp in a “Bedouin-style” tent while in the U.S. to attend the UN General Assembly.) The situation created controversy when the tents were raised on the property, and Trump forced Gaddafi off the property saying that he was unaware of the arrangement. In 2011, Trump told Fox News that he had “screwed” Gaddafi on the deal, touting the affair as evidence of foreign-policy experience. NO

Trump was a strong supporter of the 2011 military intervention in Libya, arguing “fervently” on a number of occasions that U.S. military intervention was necessary to advert humanitarian disaster in Libya and warning that it would be “a major, major black eye for this country [the U.S.]” if it failed to depose Gaddafi. In a February 2011 video blog, Trump said: “I can’t believe what our country is doing. Qaddafi in Libya is killing thousands of people, nobody knows how bad it is, and we’re sitting around we have soldiers all have the Middle East, and we’re not bringing them in to stop this horrible carnage … Now we should go in, we should stop this guy, which would be very easy and very quick.” Trump made similar comments in a March 2011 appearance on Piers MorganNO

In 2011, Trump also advocated U.S. seizure of Libyan oil. NO

While campaigning for the presidency in 2016, Trump reversed his earlier position, stating on several occasions that the U.S. would be “so much better off” or “100% better off” if Gaddafi remained in charge of Libya. YES

In June 2016, Trump again reversed course, saying on CBSFace the Nation that he would have supported “surgical” bombing, against Gaddafi in particular. NO

In December 2015, Trump said that the days of the Saudi Royal Family buying off American politicians will end if he is elected President. YES

In February 2016, Trump blamed Saudi Arabia for the September 11 attacks, saying: “Who blew up the World Trade Center? It wasn’t the Iraqis, it was Saudi – take a look at Saudi Arabia, open the documents.” YES

Trump has called for Saudi Arabia to pay for the costs of American troops stationed there: “They should pay us. … The primary reason we’re with Saudi Arabia is because we need the oil. Now we don’t need the oil so much …” YES

Regarding the Chinese, Trump stated in 2011, “I don’t think they’re friends. I think they’re enemies.” NO

In 2011, Trump stated that he would “send [China] a bill for the value of the secrets that they’ve stolen,” referring to alleged Chinese theft of U.S. stealth technology. YES

Trump has criticized China’s inclusion in the World Trade Organization, alleging that it caused job losses in the United States. YES

Trump has been critical of Chinese intellectual property theft, alleging that “they [the Chinese] are stealing billions and billions of dollars of our intellectual property.” YES

Trump has spoken favorably of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and of closer alliance with IndiaNO

…has said that he would be willing to meet North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un, saying that he would have “no problem” doing so. YES

Trump described Kim as a “maniac” but also claimed that Kim deserves “credit” for being able to overcome his rivals in order to succeed his father. YES

Trump has advocated placing greater pressure on China, including through restrictions on trade, to rein in its ally North Korea in the wake of the January 2016 North Korean nuclear test, saying that China has “total control” over North Korea and the U.S. has “tremendous” economic power over China. NO

He also argued that the Iran nuclear deal should have included a component about Iran-North Korea relations. NO

In September 2016, Trump expressed his opposition to the restoration of full diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba achieved in July 2015. NO

Trump said that he would only restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba if the Cuban regime met his demands to restore political freedoms and free political prisoners. NO

In February 2016, Trump said that he opposed the Cuban Adjustment Act, which allows any Cuban who reaches U.S. soil to remain in the country legally and apply for residency. YES

On the first day of his presidential campaign for the 2000 election, Trump held an event in Miami where he vowed to maintain the embargo on Cuba and never spend his or his companies’ money in Cuba until Fidel Castro was removed from power. However, according to reporting by Newsweek in September 2016, Trump had conducted business in Cuba in violation of the embargo seven months before his vow. NO

In a July 2016 interview, Trump said of the European Union, “the reason that it got together was like a consortium so that it could compete with the United States.” YES

Trump has been critical of German chancellor Angela Merkel and her handling of the European migrant crisis, saying “Everyone thought she was a really great leader, and now she’s turned out to be this catastrophic leader. And she’ll be out if they don’t have a revolution.” YES

In July 2016, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier stated that he was concerned about what he sees as Trump’s contradictory promises to “make America strong again” while simultaneously reducing involvement overseas. Steinmeier said that Trump’s proposed policies “would be dangerous not only for the United States, but for Europe and the rest of the world as well”. YES

In regards to British voters voting to leave the European Union, Trump stated, “I think it’s a great thing that happened… Basically they took back their country. That’s a good thing.” YES

One reason that Trump was enthusiastic about the outcome of the vote was that it lowered the value of the British pound, which was good for business at his golf course in ScotlandNO

In his 2000 book, The America We Deserve, Trump argued that European countries used NATO as a pathway to place the burden of international responsibility on the United States while “their conflicts are not worth American lives. Pulling back from Europe would save this country millions of dollars annually.” YES

In a July 2016 interview, Trump “explicitly raised new questions about his commitment to automatically defend NATO allies,” questioning whether he, as president, would automatically extend security guarantees to NATO members. YES

In a July 2016 interview, Trump stated that he would consider recognizing Crimea as Russian territory and lifting sanctions on Russia that were imposed after Russia began aiding self-proclaimed separatist republics in eastern Ukraine seeking to undermine the new, pro-Western Ukrainian government. YES

He added that Russia could help the United States in fighting ISIS terror organization. YES

Also in July 2016 Trump referred to a recent leak of Democratic National Committee email leaks, thought to be connected to a cyberattack widely thought to have been carried out by Russian intelligence services. Trump stated that he hoped Russia had hacked Hillary Clinton’s email, saying: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.” NO

Trump has praised Russian President Vladimir Putin over a series of years, developing what CNN called a “long-established track record of…fondness for the autocratic Russian leader.” YES

In response to a question in October 2015 about the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shootdown and the U.S. intelligence community’s “confident” assessment that pro-Russian separatists shot it down, Trump responded, “Putin and Russia say they didn’t do it, the other side said they did, no one really knows who did it, probably Putin knows who did it. Possibly it was Russia but they are totally denying it.” YES

Trump has stated that the U.S. should open fire on Russian planes if Russia rejects calls to stop the approaches. NO

Trump criticized former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev as not having “a firm enough hand” controlling Russia… YES

…mentioning China for effectively handling the situation during the Tiananmen Square massacre, saying: “they were horrible, but they put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength.” NO

At the Conservative Political Action Conference in March 2014, Trump stated that Putin was taking “the heart and soul” of Ukraine because he believed Crimea was “where all the money is” and went on to predict “the rest of Ukraine will fall, and it’s predicted to fall fairly quickly.” Later that month, Trump stated that the Russian takeover of Crimea “should never have happened.” NO

In July 2015 Trump opposed U.S. involvement in the Ukrainian crisis (in a rally in July 2016 he implied that this could have led to World War III), describing Crimea as “Europe’s problem.” YES

In July 2016, Trump stated that he would “look into” recognizing Crimea as Russian territory. YES

In August 2015 Trump stated he “did not care” about Ukrainian membership in NATO, saying that both membership and non-membership would be “great.” NO

Speaking to the Yalta European Strategy conference in September 2015, Trump criticized Germany and other European countries for not doing enough to support Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, saying, Ukrainians are “not being treated right.” NO

Trump has expressed support for South Korea and Japan having nuclear weapons if they would be unwilling to pay the United States for security. NO

In March 2016, Anderson Cooper asked, “Saudi Arabia, nuclear weapons?” Trump answered: “Saudi Arabia, absolutely.” NO

Trump has been critical of Pakistan, comparing it to North Korea, calling it “probably the most dangerous country” in the world, and claiming that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons posed a “serious problem.” YES

He has advocated improving relations with India as a supposed “check” to Pakistan. NO

Trump said in a December 2015 rally, “We have to see Bill Gates and a lot of different people that really understand what’s happening. We have to talk to them about, maybe in certain areas, closing that Internet up in some ways. Somebody will say, ‘Oh freedom of speech, freedom of speech.’ These are foolish people.” NO

Trump said that the Internet should be shut off to countries that have a majority of their territory controlled by terrorist organizations. NO

In his announcement speech, Trump said that the U.S.’s control is getting weaker and that its nuclear arsenal is old and does not work… NO

During 2016, Trump has called for the resumption of waterboarding, and has repeatedly expressed support for the use of torture by the U.S. for the purpose of trying to get information from terrorists, if Congress allows it. NO

On one occasion, Trump has called waterboarding “your minimal form of torture”; on another occasion he has said, “Nobody knows if it’s torture”. NO

On the effectiveness of torture, Trump has said: “Don’t tell me it doesn’t work – torture works”… NO

Trump referred to those who “came up with this international law” as “eggheads“… NO

At a Republican primary debate in March 2016, when asked whether the U.S. military would obey orders to torture in violation of international law, Trump stated: “Frankly, when I say they’ll do as I tell them, they’ll do as I tell them”. NO

In October 2013, Trump wrote in a Twitter message that NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden “is a spy who should be executed… NO

On November 19, 2015, a week after the November 2015 Paris attacks, when asked if he would implement a database system to track Muslims in the United States, Trump said: “I would certainly implement that. Absolutely. There should be a lot of systems, beyond databases. We should have a lot of systems.” NO

Trump justified his proposals by repeatedly saying that he recalled “thousands and thousands of people … cheering” in Jersey City, New Jersey, when the World Trade Center towers fell on September 11, 2001NO

In 1999 Trump proposed a massive one-time “net worth tax” on the rich to wipe out the national debt. YES

But then he unveiled a tax plan that would, in fact, lavish huge tax cuts on the rich. And it would also, according to non-partisan analyses, cause deficits to explode, adding around $10 trillion to the national debt over a decade.” NO

In 2011 Trump called for a balanced budget amendment… NO

Economist Mark Zandi estimated that if Trump’s tax cuts and spending increases were fully implemented as proposed, the national debt trajectory would worsen considerably, with debt held by the public rising from 76% GDP in 2016 to 135% GDP in 2026, considerably above a current policy baseline that rises to 86% GDP in 2026. If only some of Trump’s policies were implemented under an alternative scenario of more moderate changes, the debt figure would rise to 111% GDP by 2026. In May 2016, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget placed the 2026 debt figure under Trump’s policies between 111% GDP and 141% GDP, versus 86% under the current policy baseline. NO

In two interviews in May 2016, Trump suggested that he would “refinance” the U.S. federal debt as a means to relieve the debt. Trump said that he would not seek to renegotiate the bonds, but rather would seek to buy the bonds back at a discount. NO

Trump has called for allowing Medicare to negotiate directly with prescription-drug companies to get lower prices for the Medicare Part D prescription-drug benefit, something currently prohibited by law. YES

Trump supports proposals that would grant Congress the ability to audit the Federal Reserve’s decisionmaking and take power away from the Federal Reserve. NO

He reiterated the critique of the Federal Reserve as an arm of the Democratic Party… NO

In September 2016, Trump said: “We reject the pessimism that says our standard of living can no longer rise, and that all that’s left to do is divide up and redistribute our shrinking resources.” NO

Economist Mark Zandi wrote in June 2016 that due to the sizable income tax cuts, “[t]he tax code under Mr. Trump’s plan will thus be much less progressive than the current tax code.” NO

In August 2015, in a televised interview, Trump said “Having a low minimum wage is not a bad thing for this country.” NO

On November 10, 2015, speaking at a Republican debate, Trump said he opposed increasing the U.S. minimum wage, saying that doing so would hurt America’s economic competitiveness. At the same debate, Trump said in response to a question about the minimum wage and the economy as a whole: “…taxes too high, wages too high, we’re not going to be able to compete against the world. I hate to say it, but we have to leave it the way it is.” NO

Trump has expressed support for adopting English-style defamation laws in the U.S.; under UK law, it is easier for plaintiffs to sue newspapers and other media outlets. NO

Trump has called for police to arrest those who protest at his rallies, saying that fear of an “arrest mark” that would “ruin the rest of their lives” would be a deterrent and that then “we’re not going to have any more protesters, folks.” NO

On the campaign trail in 2015 and 2016, Trump has frequently “railed against” the press, referring to the media as “the most dishonest people” and “absolute scum.” The Trump campaign has barred reporters (from Politico,The New York Times, The Des Moines Register, The Huffington Post, and Univision, among others) from its campaign events, “often in the wake of critical coverage.” In October 2016, NBC News reportedly held off on airing a video of Trump making lewd and disparaging remarks about women due to concerns that Trump would sue the network. NO

In a February 2000 interview with The Advocate, Trump said he supported amending the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include the category of sexual orientation and supported federal hate crime legislation that would cover sexual orientation. YES

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Rocket Attack in Turkey

Here.

Antalya, famous beach resort on the Mediterranean. Apparently fired from inside Turkey. I wonder who is behind it? PKK? ISIS? I have a hard time believing that the PKK would shoot rockets at a tourist resort. They’ve never done such a thing before, but I believe they have set off bombs at resorts before, which is pretty lousy. ISIS is firing rockets from inside Turkey? That’s odd.

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Scandinavian Socialism Is the Norm All over the World

Hbd investor wrote:

RL: Wait a minute. I am actually supposed to go into the voting booth and vote for muh White race? I am supposed to look at …

HBD Investor: Even with immigration reform, socialism simply wouldn’t work in the USA

The USA has too many tax consumers and not enough tax payers, this is the reason why Americans have high taxes, high medical bills, expensive real estate and high costs of living.

Real estate is expensive because nobody wants to live in a area full of crime and violence, there are only a handful of areas that have jobs combined with living areas that have decent schools. NAMs (non asian minorities ) have made many places unlivable.

Healthcare costs are skyhigh because most of our hospitals are on the verge of bankruptcy. I have a friend who works in as a surgeon in Newark. Newark is an extremely violent and extremely black area. The ER is always full of gunshot wound victims. Majority of these victims do not pay anything so the government foots the tab to keep the hospital running.

Canadians actually pay less tax than the us, and their corporate tax rate is less and they have free universities and health care. The main immigrants that are taken in are highly educated chinese and indians, all of them are net tax payers. They have a lot of money to spend on social goods and Syrian refugees.

Nobody says this but the main reason why socialism works in Scandinavia is because it is full of scandinavians.

Socialism would work very well in Mormon communities in the us

I will go through this point by point.

Health care costs are sky high because most of our hospitals are on the verge of bankruptcy.

Everyone knows that is not the reason. It is pubic hospitals that are hurting sometimes. The private hospital industry is an extremely profitable area. The costs are sky-high simply because we have a system of privatized health care and for no other reason.

Canadians actually pay less tax than the us, and their corporate tax rate is less and they have free universities and health care.

This is not true. Canadians pay quite a bit more in taxes than Americans do, and Canadian corporations pay considerably more in taxes than US corporations. Americans are among the lowest taxed people in the industrialized world and we have the ruined infrastructure and safety net to prove that. US corporate tax rates are high on paper, but hardly any corporation pays that high rate. There are so many loopholes and breaks that most of them pay very low taxes. US corporations probably pay one of the lower tax rates in the industrialized world.

Americans don’t get it. Scandinavian socialism or social democracy is pretty much the norm all over the world. The US and to some extent Latin America are the outliers on that. But even most Latin American countries have free national health care and many have free higher education. Higher education is free in Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela and quite possibly some more places down there. I would have to look into it. I think it was free in Peru just recently.

Social democracy or even beyond is the norm in the Arab World. It’s particularly well developed in the Gulf states. Syrian Kurdistan has gone beyond even that.

It’s the norm in all of Europe, not just Scandinavia. Even the UK has a Scandinavian model.

It’s the norm or beyond in North Africa too.

It’s in place in Iran and there’s even something left of it in India. It’s the norm in most of the former USSR.

It’s the norm or beyond in China and SE Asia. Even Japan has a Scandinavian model with the proviso that the social programs are paid by the corporations directly instead of the state. The Socialist Party regularly wins elections and rules the country. Even the Philippines has free health care and higher education!

Australia and New Zealand have Scandinavian models.

I don’t know much about Africa, but Scandinavian models with free health care and free higher education would not surprise me one bit. I know they have even more of that in Ethiopia.

Social democracy works just fine everywhere on Earth that it is put in. Obviously Scandinavian model would work just fine here too. We are one of the richest countries on Earth.

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An Analysis of the Iraqi Resistance Part 6 – Tendencies

I have decided to publish my most recent work, An Analysis of the Iraqi Resistance, on my blog. Previously, this piece was used for the research for “An Insiders Look at the Iraqi Resistance” a major piece that appeared on the Islamist website Jihadunspun.com (JUS got the copyright but I did the research). That long-running top-billed piece is now down, but it is still archived on Alexa here . Note that this material is copyrighted and all reproduction for profit is forbidden under copyright laws.

For information about reprinting or purchasing one-time rights to this workemail me. This article is an in-depth analysis of the Iraqi resistance and is continuously being revised. It is presently 58 pages long in total. It lists all known Iraqi resistance groups who have ever fought in Iraq since the fall of Baghdad until about 2005, or for the first two years of the war, and includes a brief description and analysis of each group. There are separate sections covering Size, Tendencies, Motivations, Structure, Foreign Assistance, Foreign Fighters, Regional Characteristics, Regions, Cities or Towns Controlled by the Resistance, Major Attacks and List of Groups by Tendency.

The article was intended to be a political science-type analysis of the Iraqi Resistance, and I tried not to take sides one way or the other. I used a tremendous amount of source material, mostly publicly available news reports from the Internet. Obviously, in an area like this you are dealing with a ton of disinformation along with the real deal, so I spent a lot of time trying to sort out the disinfo from the relative truth.

The problem is that one cannot simply discount sources of information such as Israeli and US intelligence, US military reports, reporting from the resistance itself, Islamist websites, etc. Of course these sources are loaded with disinfo and false analysis, but they also tend to have a lot of truth mixed in as well. In writing a piece like this, you pull together all the sources and get sort of a “Gestalt” view of the situation. When you examine all the sources at once in toto, you can kind of sort out the disinfo from the more factual material. Admittedly it’s a hit or miss game, but that’s about as good as we can do source-wise in the inherently hazy subject area of an underground guerrilla war.

Interviews with resistance cadre by the mainstream Western media were given particular prominence in this piece.

****

TENDENCIES

*****
Islamists: One study conducted in Summer 2003 found most fighters (~70%) were Sunni and Shia (probably mostly Sunni) Iraqi Arabs with an Islamist background. Many of these are merely pious, mostly Sunni, often tribal, Arabs, who claim to be “fighting for Islam”, but are not necessarily fundamentalists at all. Much has been made in the US media about the influence of Iraqi “Wahhabis”. The situation is highly confused. Iraqi Shiites, and perhaps other Iraqis, routinely refer to conservative Sunnis as Wahhabis, though most of them are not Wahhabis at all.

The ultra-puritanical, intolerant, Taliban/Al-Qaeda/Wahhabi type of Islam favored by many radical fundamentalist Muslims has never been popular in Iraq, a nation that has long-favored a much more cosmopolitan, secular, tolerant brand of Islam. It is this more moderate Iraqi Islam that many of the Islamists seem to be espousing. The Islamists admit to some links with the Saddam loyalists, especially to buy weapons from the loyalists, but other than that, there is not a lot of cooperation. Many Iraqi Islamists have taken a hard line against attacks on Iraqi civilians, saying that they feel attacks should be on military targets only.

They also sometimes take a softer line on the local Iraqi police, saying they are needed to keep the order. The Islamists have harshly condemned most of the attacks on Iraqi infrastructure that the Saddam loyalists have specialized in. However, the Islamist position on attacking the oil-for-export infrastructure is not known. The Islamists do not feel that attacks that increase the misery of the Iraqi people are helpful or moral.

Although the Summer 2003 study above concluded that ~85% of the resistance were Islamists, as of 2-04, a better guess at the percentage of Islamists in the resistance would be ~70%.

There is also a harder-line group of Salafist Sunni Islamists in Iraq, but their numbers do not seem to be large. This group espouses radical Sunni Islam, often similar to the AQ line.

*****
Criminals: Some Iraqi resistance fighters are criminals, but not many, and the percentage seems to be dropping fast. Throughout much of 2003, the US military claimed that this group made up a large percentage of fighters, but there was never much evidence for their charge. It would seem that a criminal would not make a very good or reliable soldier. The percentage of criminals is less than 5% of fighters. By 2004, criminals were becoming increasingly negligible in the resistance.
****

*****
Communists/Leftists/Marxists: One of the largest groupings, the NFLI, seems to have this sort of orientation. The Communist Party has very deep roots in Iraq, and around 1960, it was the most popular party in Iraq. For instance, most of the followers of radical Shia preacher Sadr in the Sadr City slum district of Baghdad were formerly Communists.

A number of Leftist groupings have reportedly taken up arms (see below) but almost nothing is known about their role in the war. The percentage of Leftists in the resistance is not large, no more than 5%. Many of the Islamist groups say they are willing to fight alongside Communist fighters. In various Iraqi resistance groups, Leftists and Communists fight alongside Baathists, nationalists, and Islamists with no problems at all.
****

*****
Mercenaries: Throughout 2003, the US military continuously alleged that most of the Iraqi resistance was made up of mere mercenaries who were in it for the money and cared nothing about the cause. There was never much evidence for this allegation, which always smacked of US military propaganda. By 2004, the US military had abruptly abandoned the notion that most fighters were either criminals or mercenaries or both. The rapidity with which this charge was dropped suggests that there was never much to it anyway.

Objective Iraqi political scientists state that mercenaries do make up some of the Iraqi resistance, but not many. The Islamists, in particular, are typically not paid money to fight. The percentage of mercenaries is less than 5% of fighters. By 2004, mercenaries were becoming increasingly negligible in the resistance. The US military charge that resistance fighters are mere mercenaries is really quite silly and hypocritical in light of the situation with the Coalition and pro-Coalition forces. All Coalition soldiers and all armed Coalition “security contractors” are being paid to fight in Iraq, and in the case of the contractors, the pay is very high.

All Iraqi police and Iraqi ICDC Army are getting paid very good salaries by Iraqi standards to wage war on the resistance. The Coalition is offering fat rewards in return for intelligence about the resistance. In light of the fact that so much of the Coalition and pro-Coalition armed forces are being paid, often quite well, and pro-US spies are also being compensated very well, the charge that Iraqi resistance fighters “are only in it for the money” seems quite hypocritical, to say the least.
****

****
Saddam Loyalists/Former Regime Loyalists/Baathists/Baath Party/Pro-Saddam elements: About 30%, or 22-30,000 fighters, as of 1-04. In the month or so after Saddam’s capture, this was quite split between anti-Saddam and pro-Saddam Baathists. However, at the moment, most, if not all, members of this group appear to have abandoned both Saddam and the former regime, are no longer fighting to restore the former regime to power, and many are not even fighting to restore the Baath Party to power. In areas like Samarra, anti-Saddam Baathists are quite prominent and vastly outnumber the pro-Saddam Baathists. These elements are likely to be involved in the top-level (hidden) leadership of some of the groups, and seems to have a significant role in funding.

A number of former Saddam loyalists are present in anti-Saddam groups, but some of those groups have required the loyalists to take a vow to renounce loyalty to Saddam’s regime to do that. A number of the former Saddam Fedayeen were reportedly converted quite quickly to an Islamic orientation by Islamist groups and became members of those groups.

The theory, parroted by the US and its allies – that the resistance is made up almost exclusively of Saddam loyalists – would appear to have little support. However, they may indeed make up much of the guerrilla leadership, funding, etc. Saddam loyalists have taken a very hard line on what are appropriate targets to attack, saying that anyone who cooperates with the Occupation in any way should be attacked.

Many of the more shocking attacks on largely civilian targets, such as on the UN, the ICRC offices, and other humanitarian offices, have been done by Saddam loyalists. They are also behind many of the (non-oil) infrastructure attacks such as attacks on water treatment plants, power lines, water mains, electricity workers, etc. The probable aim here is to make life as miserable as possible for the Iraqis, in hopes they will blame the US and join the rebellion. Saddam is said to have ordered attacks on anything or anyone “making the Occupation comfortable”. Some pro-Saddam fighters are also Islamists, and nationalist sentiments are almost universal amongst this faction. The revenge element is also frequently present.
****

Christians: A few Iraqi Christians are known to have taken up arms, but most have not. Some have been wounded or killed fighting for the resistance. Almost nothing is known of the Christian role in the resistance. Most of the Iraqi Islamist groups say they are willing to incorporate Christian fighters into their formations.

Turkmen: A few Turkmen are known to have taken up arms, but most have not. Some have been wounded or killed fighting for the resistance. Almost nothing is known of the Turkmen role in the resistance. AAI has some Turkmen members.

Kurds: Only a very few Kurds have taken up arms against the Coalition, and most of those are very hardline Islamists such as AAI. In 12-03, ~25 Kurdish Islamists were arrested in Kirkuk and charged with being insurgents – they were charged with having links to AAI. In 2-04, a hardline Islamist movement was said to be growing in the mountains of Kurdistan, which refused any cooperation with the US. Their views are similar to AAI – for instance, TV’s have been banned. However, it was not known if they were armed. Iraqi resistance spokesmen say that the hardline Islamic stand of these Kurds will need to be moderated if they are to expand their resistance movement much.

****
Women: guerrilas are overwhelmingly men, though Muhammed’ s Army claims an all-female brigade in Diyala Province (which is further evidence against MA being a hardline Islamist grouping). There have been a few female combatants, but not many. There were some notable cases, such as the following:

a. In 6-03, a young Iraqi Shia woman from a Shia village outside Baqubah tried to throw a grenade at US troops in Baqubah and was killed by the troops.
b. In 7-03, an 11-year-old Iraqi girl attacked US troops with an AK-47 in Ramadi and then ran home – troops were so stunned that they did not even fire back at her. The gun was later found hidden in one of her dresses. See Minors below.
c. In 9-03, a 48-year-old Iraqi woman with a suicide bomb belt strapped to her body was captured trying to enter the Finance Ministry in Baghdad.
d. In 11-03, an Iraqi mother and her 3 sons were arrested in Fallujah and charged with planning attacks.
e. In 12-03, a Syrian woman was arrested with a sophisticated timing device in Basra and accused of plotting to bomb the harbor.
f. In 2-04, an Iraqi female suicide bomber, the first in Iraq, approached the home of an Iraqi collaborationist tribal leader and detonated herself outside the home when guards denied her entry. 3 guards were wounded.
*****

Minors: guerrilas are mostly adult males, ranging in age from 18 to ~50. A few minors have waged guerrilla-style anti-US attacks, but not many (see the case of the 11-yr-old girl in Ramadi above). There would seem to be ample supply of able-bodied males ready and able to fight.

Minors, including young children, are sometimes used as lookouts, notably in the major battle in Samarra on 11-30-03. Boys, especially teenage boys, have in some cases engaged in rock-throwing attacks on US troops, but this does not appear to have been common. Rock throwing was most frequently reported in Fallujah and Baghdad. In 12-03, a number of junior high and high-school age boys in the Adhamiya District of Baghdad were taken to jail for throwing rocks at troops in a demonstration.

*****
Former Iraqi military: As most Iraqi males had at least some military service and training, the group of (mostly Sunni) former Iraqi military makes up a very large number of the guerrilas. Although some are fighting for Saddam, many others are not. Those who are not pro-Saddam say they are fighting for nationalism, Islam, tribal honor or getting revenge for various indignities. Many of them either say they have given up on Saddam or describe him as a loser who sold out the country to the invaders.

The fact that most Iraqi males have had military training, plus the fact that most military-age Iraqi males were drafted into the military, at least during the US invasion of 2003, has provided US military propaganda with a veritable propaganda gold mine – now the US can claim that most of the Iraqi resistance is made up of (drum roll): “former members of the Iraqi military”! Well, of course it does, but the Iraqi military, as an institution, dates back decades to the early part of the 20th Century and has its own ideology, primarily nationalist or Arab nationalist, often independent of whatever regime was in power.

It is this nationalist/Arab nationalist ideology, not loyalty to Saddam’s regime, which best describes the ideology of former Iraqi military, from officers down to cadre. Shia made up the majority of the Iraqi military, so by the logic of US military propaganda, apparently this means most Iraqi Shia supported Saddam! The hard fact is that the obvious observation that most Iraqi guerrilas are former Iraqi military members is both a circular argument and utterly irrelevant in terms of their ideology; and it certainly does not imply that all or even most of said former military members are pro-Saddam or pro-Baath.
*****

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An Analysis of the Iraqi Resistance Part 5 –

I have decided to publish my most recent work, An Analysis of the Iraqi Resistance, on my blog. Previously, this piece was used for the research for “An Insiders Look at the Iraqi Resistance” a major piece that appeared on the Islamist website Jihadunspun.com (JUS got the copyright but I did the research). That long-running top-billed piece is now down, but it is still archived on Alexa here . Note that this material is copyrighted and all reproduction for profit is forbidden under copyright laws.

For information about reprinting or purchasing one-time rights to this work, email me. This article is an in-depth analysis of the Iraqi resistance and is continuously being revised. It is presently 58 pages long in total. It lists all known Iraqi resistance groups who have ever fought in Iraq since the fall of Baghdad until about 2005 and includes a brief description and analysis of each group. There are separate sections covering Size, Tendencies, Motivations, Structure, Foreign Assistance, Foreign Fighters, Regional Characteristics, Regions, Cities or Towns Controlled by the Resistance, Major Attacks and List of Groups by Tendency.

The article was intended to be a political science-type analysis of the Iraqi Resistance, and I tried not to take sides one way or the other. I used a tremendous amount of source material, mostly publicly available news reports from the Internet. Obviously, in an area like this you are dealing with a ton of disinformation along with the real deal, so I spent a lot of time trying to sort out the disinfo from the relative truth.

The problem is that one cannot simply discount sources of information such as Israeli and US intelligence, US military reports, reporting from the resistance itself, Islamist websites, etc. Of course these sources are loaded with disinfo and false analysis, but they also tend to have a lot of truth mixed in as well. In writing a piece like this, you pull together all the sources and get sort of a “Gestalt” view of the situation. When you examine all the sources at once in toto, you can kind of sort out the disinfo from the more factual material. Admittedly it’s a hit or miss game, but that’s about as good as we can do source-wise in the inherently hazy subject area of an underground guerrilla war.

Interviews with resistance cadre by the mainstream Western media were given particular prominence in this piece.

FOREIGN FIGHTERS

Foreign Fighters: In Summer 2003, there were some reports that Syrians were said to often outnumber locals in those carrying out attacks in various locales, including Fallujah, Ramadi, Baghdad, Baqubah, Balad, Tikrit and Mosul. However, these reports are contradicted by reports in 11-03 indicating most fighters in most parts of Iraq have been Iraqis. Most of the foreign fighters in the post-major combat phase (after 5-1-03) have been Syrians and Lebanese, and many of the rest are Jordanians, Yemenis, Palestinians, Kuwaitis, Saudis and North Africans – often Egyptians and Algerians.

In 12-03, Syrians were still fairly common amongst fighters in Husaybah, near the Syrian border. After the major battle in Fallujah from April-May 04, a group of 50-100 largely Syrian Sunni extreme fundamentalist fighters seemed to have control over part of Fallujah’s Jolan District.

Many of these could better be described as Arab nationalists than Islamists, and a number of them were not even particularly religious. Dozens of Arab fighters have come from France and hundreds from Europe. In addition to the nations above, others came from Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Bangladesh, Qatar, Sudan, Somalia, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya. Saudi dissident leaders stated that 5,000 Saudi jihadis were present in Baghdad alone in 11-03. US intelligence believed there were up to 15,000 Saudis alone in Iraq in 9-03. Saudis reportedly played a role in the suicide bombings of the ICRC and Baghdad Hotel.

A Palestinian, born in Iraq, a resident of the Al Jihad neighborhood of Baghdad, carried out the suicide car bomb attack on the upscale restaurant in the Karrada District of Baghdad on New Year’s Eve, 2003. In 11-03, the Jordanian and US governments said that they had identified at least 120 Jordanians in the Sunni Triangle fighting US forces. There were reports from Israeli intelligence that 100’s of Kuwaiti (anti-Kuwaiti regime) Islamists were heading into Iraq in 11-03. These reports were verified by Iraqi sources with AQ connections and former Iraqi military officers in Basra, who said AQ was using the Safwan Crossing because it was the easiest one to get across.

Other areas on the Kuwait-Iraq border were also being used. Before the war, the Kuwait-Iraq border was protected by an extensive fence built by the Kuwaitis. During the 2003 US invasion, US forces smashed through the wall in 9 places. In these 9 locations, crossing the border into Iraq is a simple, low-risk stroll.

These sources also said that AQ was also using the wide-open Saudi-Iraqi border. The porous Saudi-Iraq border has no fences at all and there are many Bedouin guides in that area who will ferry anyone across the border, no questions asked, for only $200. After crossing into Iraq from Kuwait or Saudi Arabia, AQ jihadis usually headed to Zubayr or Abu Al-Khasib, towns south of Basra with a substantial Sunni population.

Zubayr in particular was a popular destination due to a high concentration of Sunni Islamists. According to US and Israeli intelligence, Iran filtered in about 11,000-12,000 Iranian fighters to the Shia South, mostly Revolutionary Guards, during the Karbala pilgrimage in Spring 2003. However, this group has so far, for the most part, merely been working to gain influence in the region peacefully, at least for now. They have been involved in only a very few armed actions. They may be stockpiling arms in the South, along with other Iraqi Shia armed groupings, in case they need them later. A number of Iranian fighters have been captured in the guerrilla war phase. Their ideology and political affiliation are unknown.

However, one of the suicide attackers in the 12-11 bombing of the US base in Ramadi caused 15 US casualties was a Lebanese Palestinian member of Hezbollah splinter faction. In 2-04, Iraqi puppet authorities said that about 500 Hezbollah had come into Iraq in 2003, almost all going to the South, but for the most part they were just engaging in political work and not armed activity. However, the source also said that “scores” of Hezbollah had come to Iraq since mid-December. These Hezbollah were heading to northern Iraq to work with AAI. Hezbollah operatives were said to be providing training and guidance to AAI members; few had participated in attacks.

Sources in Pakistan claim that the Taliban, al-Qaeda (International Islamic Front), Hezb-e-Islami, and HUM (Pakistani Kashmiri fighters) all sent fighters to Iraq, with most of them coming after major combat ended. Two Taliban guerrilas were apprehended in 9-03 coming over the Iranian border into Iraq northeast of Khanaquin through the Kurdish mountains. Another Afghan was caught trying to plant a roadside bomb near the Dura Power Plant in Baghdad in 2-04.

By 1-04, indigenous Iraqi groups were employing smugglers to ferry foreign fighters across the Jordanian, Syrian and Saudi Arabian borders into Iraq. Once inside Iraq, foreign fighters are often transported to Ramadi or Fallujah, 2 of the hubs of the foreign fighter network in Iraq. A 3-29-04 interview with a Blackwater USA (the mercenary firm that lost 4 employees in the famous mutilation-burning attack in Fallujah 2 days later) mercenary based near Fallujah said that many of the attacks around Fallujah had turned out to be Jordanians, Syrians, Iranians, and Chechens.
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Foreign Fighters During And Before Major Combat (March 19-May 1): Many foreign fighters came before and during major combat. An attempt was made to put them under central command towards the end of major combat. By the fall of Baghdad, the central command of the Arab mujahedin stated there were 8,000 foreign fighters in Baghdad alone. They took heavy casualties in the fighting, and many just went home after Baghdad fell. But in the postwar phase, they seem to be coming in again.

A large number of Palestinians came during major combat, about 1,500-2,000 (according to sources in the camp below) or 4,000+ (according to Newsweek), mostly from a splinter Al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigades faction aligned with Syria and located in the Ein Al Hilweh Refugee Camp in southern Lebanon. The leader of this faction is reportedly named Colonel Munir Maqdah. About 30-40 more Al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigades fighters came from just one town in the West Bank. Hamas and Islamic Jihad each sent factions of ~300 fighters. Islamic Jihad’s fighters came through Lebanon.

Fighters from Romania (Communists) and Vietnam (Communists), Indonesia (Islamists), Russia (mixed ideology – Communists, nationalists, Islamists), Dagestan (8,000 Islamists) and Malaysia (Islamists) reportedly announced plans to go fight in Iraq during the major combat phase, but none of them seem to have made it. Hezbollah sent about ~800 fighters, and they continued to trickle in long after major combat ended.

One source claimed that Lashkar-E-Toiba (LET), a Pakistani/Kashmiri group active in Kashmir, participated in the major combat phase. LET cadre in Saudi Arabia (LET purportedly maintains a Saudi presence) claim the group sent a number of fighters, possibly 100-200, during the major combat phase, and suffered casualties.
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Al Qaeda (AQ) Foreign Fighters: AQ has had an open presence in Iraq only recently. In the couple months before the war, when conflict seemed inevitable, small groupings of AQ were allowed by the Iraqi state to form cells in Baghdad, but told to stay clear of Saddam’s regime. They were allowed in on the basis that war seemed inevitable and anyone who wanted to fight the Americans was basically welcome. This group numbered only 30-40. They fought during the war and remained afterwards, when they were apparently reinforced by others. Many of the AQ who came to Iraq during and after major combat may have come in via Iran, either across the border east of Baghdad, or to the north through the Kurdish areas.

A few others supposedly came across the Turkish border into the Kurdish zone. Some may have crossed the Saudi and more recently the Kuwaiti borders. Few, if any, appear to have crossed the Syrian or Jordanian borders. The number of AQ currently in Iraq is very controversial, with estimates ranging from 300-15,000+. AQ sources in Iraq said there were 4,500 foreign jihadis in Iraq in 11-03, most of them from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Yemen and the other Gulf countries. It seems certain that there were at least 100’s of AQ fighters in Iraq as of 12-03. In a 12-03 interview, MA cadre said there were at least 150 AQ in Iraq, with almost of them coming after the fall of Baghdad.

They moved around the country regularly. “One or two” of them might participate in an operation with a local resistance group before moving on to another part of Iraq. MA cadre acknowledged that “1 or 2” AQ cadre had participated in “a few” MA attacks before moving on. In 12-03, sources in Pakistan said that AQ was pulling out 1/3 of its 1,000-man force out of Afghanistan and directing them to Iraq. That would mean ~350 more AQ heading to Iraq. The whole question of AQ’s role in the Iraq War or the guerrila war that followed is poorly understood, probably due to the shadowy nature of the group.

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Multi-Ethnic Fascism?

Hasbrudal writes: Isn’t fascism just a kind of ultra-nationalism, the most important thing is what defines the nation, if it’s a multi-ethnic nation, the fascism will reflect that. If the nation is defined in very narrow terms, e.g. how the Croatian fascists during WW2 viewed Serbs, despite having much more in common on the surface than a Tartar and a Slav from St Petersburg, then it can get very granular. I don’t think Mussolini or Franco gave too much thought to the “Jewish Question” without prompting from Berlin.

There is no such thing as multi-ethnic fascism as far as I can tell. There has never been one single case of multi-ethnic fascism recorded in history. This is probably because the phrase is a contradiction in terms, an oxymoron. If it’s fascism, it’s not multi-ethnic. If it’s multi-ethnic, it’s not fascism. Period.

In a fascist state, when there are multiple ethnicities, religions or languages spoken, the fascists always, always, always, try to wipe out all of the ethnicities and turn them into a single ethnicity and wipe out all the religions and get everyone to speak one national language. For instance, Franco tried to turn everyone in Spain into a Spaniard who spoke Spanish. Hence he waged war on all of the other ethnicities and their languages. Mussolini waged war on all of the other languages in Italy (falsely called Italian dialects), not to mention the non-Italian languages in Italy. I think he went easy on the Germans in the north so as not to anger Hitler.

Fascism is a sort of nation-building run wild, or you can think like I do and say that all nation-building in the modern era is basically fascist, which it is. This is because all nation-building projects try to dissolve all of the ethnicities in the country and turn them all into one ethnicity and try to wipe out all of the languages in the country and make everyone speak one language.

In the case of religion, fascists would probably try to wipe out all of the other religions and force everyone to be a particular religion. The Croatian Ustashe actually ordered Serbs to convert to Catholicism or die in a similar way that Islam was converted by the sword (convert to Islam or die). ISIS is practicing this sort of convert or die Islam right now. This convert or die method of spreading Islam is very much in the Muslim historical tradition no matter how much Muslims lie and say it isn’t.

As you can probably tell, I do not think too much of nation-building projects. However, I have met people from the 3rd World who justified nation-building projects in strong terms. One man I know was an Iranian Azeri who spoke Azerbaijani but justified the Iranian government’s attempt to wipe out the Azeri language as a necessary step that Iran would have to go through in order to build a nation.

Nation-building projects are also often accompanied by mass killings. The emergence of the state of Israel, birthed in blood like so many new nations, is a good contemporary example of bloody nation-building.

Ukraine, Georgia, Turkey, Abkhazia, Kurdistan, Lithuania and Latvia are all modern examples of it. The first four were all quite bloody. One of the disgusting things about nationalism and nationalists is that when the nationalists are a minority in state dominated by another ethnic group, they are all about minority rights, decentralization, regionalism, federalism, autonomy, etc.

Then as soon as these nationalist punks get their independence, what’s the first thing they try to do? The first thing they do is persecute all of the new minorities in the land where they are now a majority. Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Georgia, and Kurdistan are excellent examples of this. Kurdistan is a particularly awful example, as in Southern Kurdistan only Sunni Muslim Kurds have full rights. Non-Kurds? Of course not. Kurdish Yezidis? Nope. Kurdish Christians? No. Kurdish Shabakis? No. Kurdish Shia Muslims? Nope. Assyrian Christians? Are you kidding? They are not even Kurds. Sunni Muslim Arabs? Not at all. Shia Muslims Arabs? Even worse.

In the first elections in Southern Kurdistan, everyone except for Sunni Muslim Kurds was seriously disenfranchised. I mean in a lot of places they were actually denied the right to vote. Non-Kurdish Sunni Muslims were also driven out of many villages in order that they could be populated by Sunni Muslim Kurds.

With independence, Georgia immediately said that everyone in Georgia was a Georgian and revoked the ethnic and linguistic rights of everyone else. This was the cause of the Ossetian and Abkhazian rebellions. Russia had nothing to do with either of them, especially as they started back in 1991 when Gorbachev was President.

With the new fascist Nazi coup in the Ukraine, the rights of Russian speakers were revoked, and their supporters and politicians were murdered. Keep in mind that the CIA was up their knees in all of this. Everyone was a Ukrainian. No one else had any rights. Hence the declarations of independence in Crimea and the Donbass. Russia had nothing to do with those declarations of independence. Those are Russian speakers in those areas, and they despise Ukrainian nationalists who they call Nazis (because they are).

Keep in mind that Crimea never agreed to become a part of an independent Ukraine. As soon as Ukraine declared its independence, the Crimeans said they were not a part of this new country. Several referenda were held in Crimea early on, and the votes were 80-90% for independence.

The new Ukrainian state subsequently calmed them down, and for the next 20-some years the Ukraine was in a stalemate with maybe half the population supporting radical Ukrainian Nazi nationalists and the other half more pro-Russian or wanting a federal state, including all of the non-Russian minorities in Ukraine, of which there are quite a few. So Crimean independence has nothing at all do with Putin, as it started way back in 1991 under Gorbachev as with the Georgian separatist splits.

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Victory in Aleppo – the Syrian Arab Army Is on the Offensive

Victory in Aleppo – the Syrian Arab Army Is on the Offensive

This is pretty much all true below. The threats of Saudi Arabia and Turkey to invade Syria, probably to seize Syrian territory for a “no-fly zone” are absolutely terrifying. The SAA is going to attack the Turks and Saudis if they invade Syria, and the Russians may help them by attacking the Turks and Saudis themselves.

All of this is utter madness, as the Turks could invoke Article 5 of NATO by claiming they are under attack and then NATO would be obliged to respond to Syrian and possibly Russian attacks on the Turks. Historically, any nation that attacks the Saudis gets the assistance of the Pentagon in one way or another, either with shipments of weaponry or with intelligence, command and control and logistics. The crazy British military tends to do the same whenever the Saudis decide to fight a war. In other words, whenever the Saudis are at war, historically the US and UK get involved militarily.

I cannot overemphasize the gravity of this situation.

Turkey is presently creating a fake humanitarian crisis by refusing to let 80,000 Syrian refugees into the country. Turkey has already let in 2.3 million Syrians and they could easily let these in too. By creating a fake humanitarian crisis in Aleppo, Turkey is creating the casus belli which it could use to invade Syria to set up a safe zone to “protect the refugee civilians.” In reality, these refugees are holed up along the border in tent camps far from the present fighting and are under no danger whatsoever.

I would like to point out that the phony and blatantly no-fly zone that the US, Turkey and Saudi Arabia keep threatening to set up is in territory that is presently held by Al-Nusra and the Islamic State. So this no-fly zone would simply turn into a huge base to protect these Western-supported proxies from the defeat that seems to loom ahead of them.

This Erdogan seems like a complete psycho. He’s one of the most dangerous men in the world today. I have never seen a Turkish leader as brazen and reckless as this man. He’s a loose cannon that is totally out of control and he’s basically a menace to the whole world at this point.

The Saudi leader Prince Salman has recently asserted himself as de facto leader and he is out of control too. I have never seen the Saudis so audacious, crazed, blind and menacing in my life.

Saudi Arabia and Turkey are two of the most evil countries on Earth and are presently a massive and terrifying threat to world peace. Of course, their best buddies the US and NATO are apparently backing these unpredictable menaces to the hilt as they have always done.

The article claims that the US Special Forces are going into Syria to help the rebel groups fighting Assad. I have no evidence that our forces in Syria are doing this at the moment.

However, I believe that it is true that the Saudis and the Turks both have military advisors embedded with the various rebel groups. And in all probability, Turkish military forces are indeed active in Syria fighting alongside the rebels. And certainly the fascist Grey Wolves and other Turkish militias are fighting with the rebels – this has been proven.

The article notes that the US bombed a Syrian army base in Deir Ezzor. I do not think this is correct. The Syrian army was defending a town which was under attack by a large ISIS force. In the midst of the battle, US jets dropped bombs on the Syrian forces defending the town, killing eight Syrian troops and destroying some artillery pieces.

They had to have done this on purpose. The US lied and said the Russians bombed the Syrian army in that town. The US said that instead of bombing that town, US jets had hit another target. However, that target was 25 miles away from where the jets bombed. So that means that the US carried out airstrikes in support of ISIS during a battle between ISIS and the Syrian army! Isn’t that outrageous? The US military is playing a very dirty game in Syria. This is a grave matter.

 

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The Syrian Arab Army Recently (SAA) achieved a major victory in Aleppo and is on the offensive all over Syria, liberating terrorist-occupied territories and preparing for an even wider offensive.

Meanwhile the Empire of Chaos (the US) and its allies the Axis of Chaos (the NATO-GCC-Israel forces) are so desperate that they are threatening open war. We can only hope that they are bluffing and do not plan to destroy the world in a childish temper tantrum over their inability to destroy Syria.

The Geneva Peace Talks collapsed, to the surprise of no one, as the so called “Opposition” (front men for terrorists) seemed unable to adjust to the reality that they are losing and continued to make demands. Obviously, the longer diplomacy is delayed, the better, although Russia and Syria had no plans to interrupt their offensive even if Geneva III had not collapsed.

The only way to restore peace to Syria is to drive the terrorists out of Syria once and for all and to cut off all their routes into the country. Thanks to the bravery of the SAA, this is exactly what is taking place.

Aleppo, which a year ago Erdogan bragged had become a new Turkish province and from which he looted whole factories to enrich his gangster friends and family, is on the verge of being liberated from the terrorists. Aleppo is not alone. Latakia is almost completely liberated, the terrorist stronghold of Daraa is under assault, the SAA are preparing an offensive in Idlib. Clearly the SAA’s offensive is only expanding in strength and momentum.

First I’ll discuss the threat of expanded imperialist intervention in Syria. Most outrageously, the US, against the wishes of the Syrian people and government, decided to illegally occupy Syrian territory and build a base on Syrian soil. The US also announced plan to send an ever-expanding force into Syria supposedly to fight ISIS but in reality to aid them and other terrorists. Their motives are so transparent. The more victories Syria and Iraq win against their terrorist proxies, the more desperate the US is to intervene in both countries.

Yet what are a few thousand troops going to accomplish when more than 100,000 proved unable to contain the Iraqi Resistance. They will be used to advise and support the terrorists, but they have been doing that all along.

In response to the Russian intervention, the Axis of Chaos began pouring weapons, troops and advisers into Syria, but aside from achieving some temporary successes early on, they now face utter defeat. Let’s hope this new scheme proves equally futile. Ironically the US is building the base in Kurdish territory but the Syrian Kurds are moving closer and closer to Russia and Syria.

Thus Russia was able to counter by building its own base in Kurdish territory. Currently the YPG are on the offensive, trying to seize the terrorist-held area separating the two halves of their autonomous zone.

This leads to the next danger – Turkey is threatening to invade Northern Syria. For Erdogan, YPG control of his precious terrorist highway is a red line. Yet such an invasion would lead him into a confrontation with Russian and Syrian airpower. It would probably end in disaster for Turkey. In reality of course, Turkey invaded long ago. Its troops pretend to be rebels and fight shoulder to shoulder with the terrorists.

The final threat is the most absurd of all. The Saudis are threatening to invade “to fight terrorism,” fooling only the most ignorant. The Saudis are the top ideological and financial source for terrorism in the world as even the New York Times admits. Of course they carry out all this out with the full cooperation of Western intelligence. Saudi Arabia is nothing more then the Islamic State in a more respectable (simply because it’s older) form as everyone knows. But what makes it truly absurd is that it is a hollow threat.

Saudi Arabia is already losing in Yemen, where despite overwhelming military superiority, they have completely failed to reconquer the country to reinstall their ousted puppet al-Hadi. Despite starving the populace, destroying schools, hospitals, and Yemen’s historical heritage, they are losing. Despite unleashing their terrorist proxies, they are losing. The Saudi Army reportedly doesn’t even dare fight, hiding in bases while foreign mercenaries, especially veterans of Colombian death squads, do the fighting and have suffered heavy losses.

The Saudis can’t even protect their own territories – the Houthis control parts of Saudi Arabia. In other words, I almost hope they do invade Syria where they have funded so much mayhem and destruction. This would allow the SAA to take a terrible revenge on the notoriously soft Saudis and would hopefully hasten the end of the treacherous Saudi Monarchy, those puppets of the UK, the US, and Israel.

Unfortunately the Saudis would invade with an entire alliance, but they also invaded Yemen with an alliance. We will have to see how far the Axis of Chaos is willing to go. They risk plunging the world into nuclear war as the Russians have not so subtly threatened to protect their forces in Syria by any means necessary, including nuclear.

Unfortunately, since the start of the war in Ukraine and the beginning of Cold War 2.0, the “new normal” apparently involves keeping the world permanently on the brink of nuclear war. Such is the perpetual state of madness we live in under the Empire of Chaos. Syria has been surrounded by enemies and under constant threat since it gained its independence. Whatever threats it faces, it will remain defiantly ready to fight to retain that independence.

As Walid al-Moallem Syria’s Foreign minister said:

“Any aggressor will be sent back to their country in a wooden box.”

All these threats, diplomatic schemes, and of course, a propaganda campaign absurd in its selective outrage are motivated by the Axis of Chaos’ current inability to do anything to stop the triumphant offensive of the SAA and its allies as they reclaim town after town and city after city.

The province of Latakia is almost completely liberated. The SAA recently captured the terrorist stronghold Salma which they had spent 2 1/2 years and lost many brave fighters trying to capture. Aleppo is on the verge of being the next liberated territory. The terrorists forces there began to collapse a month ago, and now the SAA has won a stunning strategic victory that will bring doom to all the various terrorist militias.

By capturing Ratyan and Mayer, the SAA have managed to cut off the Aleppo-Gaziantep Highway, the main terrorist supply route into the province and beyond. Cut off from food and ammunition, surrounded by the SAA, and with nowhere to hide as everywhere the locals are hungry for revenge for the horrors they suffered under terrorist occupation, they will be lucky if they escape alive, and thousands are already fleeing.

The SAA also broke the siege of Nubbul and al-Zahran, where the locals had been starved and terrorized for years. The SAA was greeted with tremendous joy. It was one of the most uplifting moments since the lifting of the siege of Kuweires Airbase last fall.

Far to the east in Deir Ezzor, the heroic defense continues, with the SAA forces and the local civilians resisting the attempts by ISIS to destroy this loyalist foothold in the midst of their territory. Luckily the defense of Deir Ezzor is being lead by the legendary General Issaam Zahraadeen who fights on the front lines with his men manning a machine gun. ISIS has been desperately trying to seize Deir Ezzor, and the Americans even helped them at one point by bombing the Syrian base and then blaming the Russians.

Yet Deir Ezzor is still standing, and ISIS’ many attacks have only led to repeated defeats. Remember the heroes of Deir Ezzor – their heroic resistance is symbolic of the whole Syrian War – surrounded by enemies and under constant attack, they have not only survived, they have triumphed. Elsewhere the SAA seem to be advancing or preparing to advance on almost every front. Even in Raqqah, the ISIS capital (or it was until the leaders fled due to Russian airstrikes), the Syrian forces delivered devastating strikes today.

Thanks to their Russian allies, the SAA has been rearming and retraining. Russia has clearly been subtly increasing its presence on the ground, and the first Russian adviser recently lost his life.

Unfortunately I can’t record his name here, as it is classified. He may have been from Chechnya, and Russia in one of its famous “non-denial” denials recently denied there were Chechen Special Forces in Syria, while basically just objecting to the term and pretty much admitting it.

Of course Russia has always had advisers in Syria, but clearly they are now openly waging a covert war in aid of their Syrian allies. In addition, their artillery advisers and supplies or new artillery batteries have helped the SAA offensive gain momentum and even Western experts are using the word “cauldron” to describe what is about to happen to the terrorists.

Whoever this unknown Russian soldier was, I salute the Russians’ willingness to risk their lives in defense of Syria. I also hope that Russia will increase its ground forces in Syria both to counter the American Special Forces and to guard against any reckless moves by the “Sultan of Chaos,” as Pepe Escobar calls Erdogan. And I’m thankful Ramzan Kadyrovhas sent in his feared Chechens to battle ISIS.

These are only some of the fronts in Syria’s war, yet on every front, Syria is either making dramatic advances or laying the groundwork for future advances. They are on the offensive against the terrorist stronghold of Daara. They are preparing an attack on Idlib Province.

We can only hope that the coming months will bring further victories from the SAA and its allies Hezbollah, Iran, Iraq and the Russians. They are aided by masses of volunteers from the Syrians public who have joined the NDF militias and who have the important job of securing the recaptured territories so that the SAA can move on to further offensives. Victory to Syria!

Before I end, I’d also like to remember the heroic people of Yemen who are battling the Axis of Chaos, and against all the odds managing not just to survive but to inflict terrible punishment on their invaders.

And sadly, I must warn of a grave danger to Libya where Western powers are planning to re-invade on the excuse of battling ISIS when they are the ones who installed ISIS to occupy the former Green Resistance stronghold of Sirte. We must oppose any second invasion of Libya under the phony excuse of battling the terrorists that NATO itself put in charge of the country.

And of course we must keep a close eye on Venezuela, where fascism threatens to seize control of the country and destroy the Bolivarian Socialist Revolution. Last month the fascists murdered prominent loyalist journalist Ricardo Durant, another in the seemingly endless list of victims of Operation Condor/Phoenix Program.

In Argentina, fascism is already on the rampage. Amidst such grim news, the continued victories of the SAA provide a beacon of hope for the world and an example of heroic struggle. No matter the odds against them, they have refused to surrender, and the people of the world must follow this example if we ever hope to end this Empire of Chaos before it decides to end the world.

Sources

I highly recommend the book, Assad: The Struggle for the Middle East, by Patrick Seale, on Syria’s heroic history. And Tim Anderson’s definitive book on the topic The Dirty War on Syria is now available in e-format at Global Research.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-dirty-war-on-syria-new-e-book-by-prof-tim-anderson/5506819

Subscribe to Eric Draitser’s Youtube channel. Every Sunday, he appears on Don Debar’s CPR Sunday as a guest with Mark Sleboda for an hour-long discussion, and Syria is usually the main topic – a must listen for those following the war. It usually appears a couple days later.

A wonderful site with news on Syria, Palestine and Yemen is Vanessa Beeley’s The Wall Will Fall.

https://thewallwillfall.wordpress.com

Eva Bartlett printed this great account from a Syrian on the Liberation of Salma.

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2016/01/13/selma-village-finally-after-so-many-years-and-so-many-martyred-syrian-arab-army-soldiers-and-civilians-we-have-victory/

A must-read article on the strategic significance of the victory in Aleppo.

https://syria360.wordpress.com/2016/02/09/the-syria-war-will-not-be-a-quagmire-because-putin-and-assad-are-winning/

al-Moallem gives Syria’s defiant response to anyone threatening to invade.

https://syria360.wordpress.com/2016/02/06/al-moallem-any-intervention-is-an-act-of-aggression/

A mocking assessment of Saudi Arabia’s Syrian invasion plans in the context of their failures in Yemen.

https://syria360.wordpress.com/2016/02/08/saudis-poised-for-hazardous-intervention-in-syria/

Turkey’s fascist Gray Wolves are playing an increasing role in Syria.

https://syria360.wordpress.com/2016/02/07/turkeys-gray-wolves-in-syria/

The original source of this article is Anti- Imperialist U.

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“Problems” and “Solutions”

Discuss Severaid’s quote and my examples given below, agreeing, disagreeing or expanding on the notion.

The chief cause of problems is solutions

– Eric Sevareid

I think this guy is onto something.

Examples:

War on Terror – Solution was all out war on “terrorism” – really just disobedient Muslim states and some international guerrilla/terrorist groups.

The “solution” did not solve the problem at all, and in fact it made it much worse and introduced quite a few new problems.

The “solution” to the “Muslim terrorism problem” did nothing to alleviate the problem, and the problem only expanded massively, in the process destroying much of the secular Muslim world and replacing it with ultra-radical, armed and ultraviolent fundamentalists. Several new failed states were created out of functioning but authoritarian secular regimes.

A wild Sunni-Shia war took off with no end in sight. A new Saudi-Iran conflict expanded to include all of the Sunni world against Iran and some Shia groups.

The policy was incoherent – in places (Palestine, Iraq, Syria, and Libya) secular nationalists were overthrown and replaced with radical fundamentalist regimes (Iraq, Palestine) or failed states teeming with armed fundamentalist actors (Yemen, Somalia, Palestine, Libya, Iraq, Syria, and Mali). In other places, fundamentalist regimes were overthrown and secular nationalists were put in (Egypt).

We alternately attacked and supported radical groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS. An awful Russia-Turkey conflict took off on the Middle east with the US and NATO siding with Al Qaeda and ISIS supporting Turks. The US attacked and armed fundamentalists to attack Shia Iranian, Hezbollah and Houthi armies waging all out war on Al Qaeda and ISIS. In Yemen we actively attacked the Shia who were fighting Al Qaeda while supporting Al Qaeda and fundamentalist Sunnis with intel and weaponry.

Some Kurds were called terrorists and support was given to those attacking them. Other Kurds were supported in their fight against ISIS. In actuality, all of these Kurd represented the same entity. There really is no difference between the PKK, the YPG and the rulers of the Kurdish region. Meanwhile, Kurds fighting for independence were supported in Iran and Syria and attacked in Turkey though they were all the same entity.

Billions of US dollars and thousands of US lives were wasted for essentially no reason with no results or actually a worsened situation. Russia, one of the most effective actors in the war against Al Qaeda and ISIS, was declared an enemy and attacks on them by our allies were cheered on.

A horrible refugee crisis was created in Europe.

Muslim populations in the West were substantially radicalized.

Instead of ending Islamic terrorism, Islamic terrorist, conventional and guerrilla attacks absolutely exploded in the Middle East and to a lesser extent in Europe, Canada, Australia and the US. It also exploded in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Lebanon, Thailand, the Philippines and of course Syria and Iraq. There was considerable fighting and terrorism in Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Morocco and Jordan. The Palestinians ended up much better armed than before and the conflict exploded into all out war on a few occasions.

Terrorism and guerrilla war exploded in Mali, Nigeria, Cameroon, Somalia and Kenya with some new attacks in Niger, Mauritania, Chad and Uganda. Somalia took a turn for the worse as a huge Al Qaeda force set up shop there and the country turned into the worst failed state ever with nothing even resembling a state left and the nation furthermore split off into three separate de facto nations.

The “solution” failed completely and simply ended up creating a whole new set of problems that were vastly worse than the original problem for the which the solution was directed.

Technology: Technology itself could be regarded as a lousy fix to many problems.

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Filed under Afghanistan, Africa, Asia, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Central Africa, East Africa, Egypt, Eurasia, Europe, India, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Jordan, Kenya, Kurdistan, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Middle East, Military Doctrine, Morocco, Nigeria, North Africa, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Radical Islam, Regional, Religion, Russia, Saudi Arabia, SE Asia, Shiism, Somalia, South Asia, Sunnism, Syria, Terrorism, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, War, West Africa, Yemen

PKK – Turkey War Back On

Looks like some sort of a low-level war has started up again between the PKK and the Turkish state. I do not think too much of the Kurdish idiots and jerkoffs who have taken control of Iraqi Kurdistan, although it is nice that they have their own state. They persecute everyone who is not a Kurdish Sunni Muslim.

I like the PKK a lot better. They started out a Marxist group, and although they have supposedly renounced Marxism, they continue to be a very progressive grouping. I always liked their leader, Abdullah Ocalan, too. He is now in prison and there is some sort of a peace process going on, but I do not see how the Turks will ever give up much. The Turks have been ultranationalists ever since Attaturk.

In Turkey, it’s either Attaturkist ultranationalism (I could call it other names, but I will not) or even worse, hardcore Sunni Islamism. It’s Saddam Hussein or the Islamic State, take your pick. Both groups are nostalgic for the Ottoman Empire, which they whitewash and promote as a superior civilization for different reasons.

Turkey is not allowing ISIS to shelter, arm and train in Turkey for no reason. Do you see those lines of Turkish cops chanting pro-ISIS slogans while fighting Kurdish protesters? That’s not a comic strip. There is a deep core of that running through Turkish politics. Recall that ISIS wants to restore a caliphate and Turkey was the home of the caliphate in recent centuries. Get it?

Sure there have always been Left groups in Turkey, and they have often been armed because they have to be. But every election, the Turks march right off and vote rightwing again. One more thing, underneath that democratic facade, Turkey has always been a military dictatorship. No government can take power in Turkey that does not have the approval of the army.

I could say a lot more about Turkey, but I am working with some Turks professionally now so I’d better hold my tongue for the time being. Suffice to say, the Turks have a long ways to go to say the least.

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Filed under Ethnic Nationalism, Europe, Europeans, Government, Iraq, Islam, Kurdistan, Kurds, Left, Marxism, Middle East, Nationalism, Near Easterners, Political Science, Race/Ethnicity, Radical Islam, Regional, Religion, Sunnism, Turkey, Turks, Ultranationalism

Zero-Sum Game as the Base Human Politics

They continue to persecute everyone who is not a Sunni Kurd. This includes Turkomen, Kurdish Shia, Kurdish Christians, Assyrian Christians, Arabs and the various factions of Yazidis. In other words, they are complete and total tribalist scumbags. They even hate other Kurds if those Kurds are the wrong religion or even the wrong sect as they persecute Kurdish Yazidis, Kurdish Christians and Kurdish Shia. This part of the world is pretty much complete crap. It’s hopeless. For the most part, it is run on sectarian, tribal and even worse, clan politics. Everything is a zero-sum game in this part of the world – it’s everything for my nation, or my sect, or my tribe or worst all, my clan, and nothing for anybody else. It is like the philosophy of pure capitalism which is simply tribalism completely atomized. As Adam Smith noted, pure capitalism breaks down all bonds with state, nation, sect, tribe, clan or even family. The pure capitalist is the ultimate atomized individual – instead of everything for my group and nothing for anyone else, pure laissez faire operates on the principle of everything for me, and nothing for anybody else. The pure capitalist is not even going to share with his own family outside of his wife and minor children.

In this sense, jingoism, nationalism, sectarianism, tribalism and clan politics are actually progressive compared to pure capitalism! For they operate in an ascending order of morality where each group from clan to tribe to sect to nation to state is inclusive of more and more individuals. The more individuals included in the zero-sum game, the more moral it is. Zero-sum games are always ugly though.

The sad fact is that probably the essential basic human grouping all throughout our history has been pure tribal barbarism based on a tribe-based zero-sum game. Sure there were truces and alliances, but they fell apart all the time, and then it back to the normative war of all against all. I have no idea if humans are meant to get along with each other much, but for most of our history, we haven’t been doing a good job of it.

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Filed under Assyrians, Capitalism, Christianity, Economics, Ethics, Islam, Kurdistan, Kurds, Middle East, Near Easterners, Philosophy, Political Science, Race/Ethnicity, Regional, Religion, Scum, Shiism, Sociology, Sunnism