This Isn’t Making Us Safe

The Senate has now confirmed Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State, despite deeply disturbing reports of his longstanding Islamophobia. Nothing like having a man with a well-deserved reputation for decidedly undiplomatic bigotry as the country’s chief diplomat. I’m sure his disdain for the world’s largest religion will serve him especially well in negotiations in the Middle East…

At least Pompeo understands–or seems to understand–that religious hatred is not generally considered a positive qualification for the job at hand, and he has downplayed it.

Not so John Bolton. Trump’s choice of a National Security Advisor is an even more obvious mental case than the current occupant of the Oval Office. His disdain for the United Nations, his preference for war over diplomacy (and the short fuse that impels him to favor military action at the drop of anyone’s hat) are well known. Less well known is his fixation with–and hatred of– Islam.

Dispatches from the Culture Wars has the story:

NBC News has an article about the Gatestone Institute, headed until he took the job as National Security Adviser by John Bolton for the last four years. Gatestone is one of the lesser-known but best-funded of a web of Islamophobic groups that push white supremacist rhetoric about how Muslims are going to destroy white European hegemony through immigration.

The Gatestone Institute is a New York-based “advocacy group.” It issues warnings about the looming “jihadist takeover” of Europe, which will lead to a “Great White Death.” The post quotes NBC News:

The group has published numerous stories and headlines on its website with similar themes. “Germany Confiscating Homes to Use for Migrants,” warned one from May 2017, about a single apartment rental property in Hamburg that had gone into temporary trusteeship. Another from February 2015 claimed the immigrants, for instance Somalis, in Sweden were turning that country into the “Rape Capital of the West.”…

Some of the group’s work was widely distributed, including a claim about Muslim-controlled “no-go zones” in France that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz cited in an op-ed article during the 2016 Republican presidential primary campaign.

Gatestone’s president, Sears Roebuck heiress Nina Rosenwald, said in an email that Bolton was not involved in any of the articles and that Gatestone has no knowledge of Russian trolls having promoted its work.

Rosenwald emailed numerous links to support Gatestone’s claims, including a number in French and German. One entry flagged as documenting “warring Muslim gangs” in Marseille, France, when translated into English, says only that the city had deployed specialized police officers to a high-crime area, with no mention of warring Muslims.

Speaking of disinformation and dishonesty, Bolton wrote the foreword to a book by Pam Geller, who co-chairs an equally disreputable White Supremacist group with Robert Spencer, Stop the Islamization of America. Geller has been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “one of the most flamboyant anti-Muslim activists in the United States.” She routinely bashes Islam and Muslims on her blog (titled “Atlas Shrugs”), and is a regular contributor to Breitbart.

Bolton and Pompeo: Trump’s “best people”–working hard to make the world safe for White Christians.

Forgive me if I don’t feel very secure.


  1. “The Gatestone Institute is a New York-based “advocacy group.” It issues warnings about the looming “jihadist takeover” of Europe, which will lead to a “Great White Death.”

    Christian history throughout Europe for centuries is filled with hatred, rape, murder, thievery, destruction of entire groups of people. Read the historical record of The Crusades, read the history of the crimes of the Pope, head of the Catholic church, the Holocaust; the list goes on and on. The current neo-Nazi, White Nationalist, KKK based version of Christianity is now taking over America and gradually enacting laws to force, not only beliefs, but actions on the general public who will soon be educated in Trump and DeVos’ “God’s Kingdom” with the Bible as the only textbook allowed. These latest actions in this country are simply an escalation of the beliefs of the few overpowering the majority and the few have been given the green light since January 20, 2017.

    The extremists and terrorists who call themselves “Islamic” pose far less fear for me than Pence’s version of Christianity; established by Indiana laws, which he will eventually enact at the federal level if we do not rid the White House of both he and Trump. We must stand together as Jew, true Christian, Muslim, Atheist and those with their own spiritual guidance as well as those who have none if we are to save ourselves from another Holocaust. Is “the looming “jihadist takeover” of Europe, which will lead to a “Great White Death.” more threatening than the pseudo Christian threat throughout the world?

    “Bolton and Pompeo: Trump’s “best people”–working hard to make the world safe for White Christians.”

    I haven’t felt secure on any level since Pence’s “Crusade” to destroy our right to protection under the 1st Amendment here in Indiana and SCOTUS upholding Hobby Lobby’s right to deny women employees full health care and denying them the right to make their own personal medical decisions. We need to “circle our wagons” tightly; we are being attacked on all sides thanks to gerrymandering, the Electoral College and Citizens United.

  2. “Gatestone’s president, Sears Roebuck heiress Nina Rosenwald…”

    Always a billionaire capitalist lurking behind the scenes with these groups. Robert Mercer funded Breitbart for his buddy, Steve Bannon and helped Trump get elected.

    Rosenwald and Mercer are the ones forming our country in their image. We call the USA a representative republic but it doesn’t represent the people at all. It is representative of the Donor Class – Wall Street Capitalists and Billionaires.

    Liberals are supposed to be the smart ones. I was cleaning out my junk mail and found a fundraising letter from the DCCC titled, “Do You Think Trump Should be Impeached?”.

    If so, send us $$$$.

    I’m still laughing at this strategy along with suing Russia. The DNC is suing Wikileaks because they published truthful emails which were damaging. If you haven’t read them yet, you should.

    Healthcare for all, guaranteed jobs with universal basic income, give seniors a raise, overthrow Citizens United, free college education, pull our military bases out of all 150 countries, etc. This is a revolutionary platform for the people. Personally, they don’t get my vote until they form a people’s platform vs a capitalist one.

    Let’s sell this platform across the country with the help of a real media – a free press – as a Revolution for the People. This isn’t rocket science. The people know what they want, but our government isn’t interested in listening or delivering.

  3. The billionaires must have an enemy or people will start focusing on how to make our country better for themselves and the billionaires will lose control.

  4. An NBC News SurveyMonkey poll found that the majority of Republicans who are aware of Trump’s lies still support him and would vote for him again.

    How secure does that make any of you feel? Per Wikipedia, SurveyMonkey is a qualified source of information; NBC News has always been a trusted source of news…I thought! I will consider this as a warning from them; otherwise I lose all faith in their news reports.

  5. There’s nothing like exposing the human soul to start the day. Once again, religion-based fears and bigotry come to the rescue of sanity. The lust for control of others continues to be the bane of human existence, just as it was a couple hundred thousand years ago. Creatures like Mercer, the Kochs, Scaifes, Coors, and now Rosenwald (this is the first time I’ve read that name in the context of billionaire-sponsored fear mongering) seem to be all about becoming the arbiters of human existence.

    Pompeo is merely another Kansas-born Republican fool tapped to do the bidding of a New York-born fool who is so driven by psychopathic ego, that he has no compunction about killing as many people as possible. Yes, Pompeo will be no negotiator. He and Bolton are there for Trump’s pleasure, his desire to destroy, steal and cheat the entire world for the benefit of the few. Then, maybe, Trump will receive the accolades of the gilded class he so desperately wants and needs.

    It is no wonder that the rest of the world is now trembling at our descent into the pit of dystopia and purposeful destruction of purposeful life. The talk about nominating Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize is about as far removed from reality as giving that prize in economics to Milton Friedman, the guy who caused another pinheaded President to nearly destroy the world’s economy.

    I’m glad I’m old.

  6. Mike Pompeo was confirmed as SOS – per the above >> despite deeply disturbing reports of his longstanding Islamophobia. Nothing like having a man with a well-deserved reputation for decidedly undiplomatic bigotry as the country’s chief diplomat.<<<

    Our "Democratic" Senator Joe Donnelly voted to confirm Mike Pompeo.

    Oh just a by the way Donnelly voted for along with his fellow Senator Republican Dan Coates on the Keystone XL Pipeline in Nov 06, 2015. “At a time when our country is making important investments in our energy economy, the President’s decision to reject the Keystone Pipeline is disappointing," Donnelly explained. That President was Obama.

    Given Donnelly's vote for XL Pipeline, I suspect Donnelly is not a champion of renewable, clean energy.

    John Bolton is a Chicken Hawk, he evaded the Vietnam Draft by enlisting in the National Guard in 1970. Bolton ran the school's Students For Goldwater campaign in 1964.
    He (John Bolton) wrote in his Yale 25th reunion book "I confess I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy. I considered the war in Vietnam already lost."

    Odd thing I was drafted in 1969 and sent to Vietnam in March 1970 as combat infantryman. Maybe I took Bolton's place. During my tour in Vietnam I was converted to the Anti-War Camp. Bolton through the years has been the voice of a bellicose-militaristic, approach. You see in the Bolton Types their bravery is exponentially increased the farther they are away from the battlefield.

    Perhaps a worse choice is The Trumpet's (aka Agent Orange) selection of Gina Haspel to head the CIA. She is shrouded in that despicable era when torture was used by the USA. Condescending (sorry I meant Condoleezza) Rice defended Haspel on – you guessed it Fox and Friends. Condescending Rice was who was national security advisor at the time of the 9/11 attacks had this to say:

    "I am offended that people who were not there and who didn't have to make the tough decisions now want to second-guess," Rice said. "We're an open society. People can debate. There's nothing wrong with that. But the fine professionals who kept us safe deserve our praise, not our criticism."

    Not surprisingly, those in a position of command and control in High Command of Bush the Younger's regime escaped any responsibility for 9/11. No one was fired or cashiered. Osma Bin Laden emerged as the Napoleon of terrorists, rather blaming our Defense Department and other Organs of State Security for their failures.

  7. During the rein of Bush II (being babysat by Dick Cheney) it became apparent that war was an economic opportunity and the patron of the clan had had some success killing Iraqis with no risk to us Americans by bombing cities and tanks in the desert from the uncontested skies.

    Cheney also realized that lowering taxes for family and friends while throwing crumbs to the middle class was going to take it’s perfectly predictable toll on the economy and there’s nothing like a good war to lift it up by it’s bootstraps.

    That was 15 years ago and we have been making money and refugees ever since. There is no end in sight.

    Apparently the war planners thought the Muslims would stay and die on the streets in front of the rubble of their homes but that was an incorrect call. They did what Christians probably would also do and that is to relocate to where fewer bombs rained from the sky daily. They ran for their family’s lives. A few decided to take a different route, blow us up in retaliation, and the race was on.

    However when those relocating got to quieter places they did so in such numbers that the people already there got nervous because the refugees looked and acted different.

    Corporations know that make more money regardless of the impact on others typically does some collateral damage so they prepared for this problem by cozying up close to oligarchs who were well equipped to conquer minds through pervasive entertainment media. That resulted in the deification of Agent Orange and the gang who couldn’t shoot straight declaring a holy war on all Muslims regardless of where they had fled to.

    All in all quite an endless kerfuffle.

    It seems obvious to me that in six months we will be faced with actually acting on a decision to end the mess that we collectively created. While the fact that we screw the future up so much and often tells us we aren’t very good at picking what’s to come, we have to decide anyway and hope for the best.

    Doing nothing about fixing anything will continue to be the choice of many people loving the economics as well as those set on continuing the wars to conquer the world.

    The rest of us will have to take a chance on uncertain change and vote against this status quo of our own making that we’re stuck in.

    That’s a very easy choice for me because I can’t even imagine how we could screw things up anymore than we’ve already done.

  8. Thank you Sheila for another thought provoking blog post. Bolton and Pompeo both have another side to them that overarches their Islamophobia if that wasn’t bad enough in itself. They share a mindset, as you alluded to, of putting war before diplomacy particularly when it comes to Iran. Along with Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas they share the mindset that a war with Iran would be a cakewalk which is patently ridiculous. No war is ever a cakewalk. Even during Desert Storm in early 1991 where the U.N. led coalition kicked the Iraqi military out of Kuwait it was not easy. It may have been over in 100 hours but it wasn’t easy. What Baron Karl Von Clausewitz described as “the Fog of War” is always tugging at whatever plans are formulated in regard to their execution. In modern day speech the phrase is “what can go wrong will go wrong”.

    These guys seemingly cannot get past their own bluster and actually think strategically beyond the tips of their own noses. They inexplicably cannot fathom that with every overt military move our part, or anyone else’s, there will be a reaction. No country, no nation state, is going to experience an attack by another without responding except, also inexplicably, the United States under the leadership of Donald Trump in the face of what the Russians have been doing in regard to cyber warfare against us. The Iranians would respond and very likely in a variety of ways that would be both symmetrical and asymmetrical to whatever we do. Israel, along with American interests in the Middle East, would be the recipient of such actions by Iran if we attacked them. These guys seemingly cannot think about what happens on day two or day three or day four during any particular type of conflict with Iran or any other nation state.

    Sure, we could hit Iran with a terrific Sunday punch that would do a great deal of damage to them but what happens after that and is there any planning for that? What if the Russians intervene? They’ve been using air bases in the southern part of Iran to stage air strikes on Syrian rebels which means they have an at least a tacit agreement with the Iranians in regard to their view of the security of the Persian Gulf region and the conflict in Syria. Such a move, particularly if it is not a coalition based effort and instead conducted only by us, could be catastrophically destabilizing to the region and to us and the rest of the world as well. Both of these men are hell bent on eventually doing this if they’re not stopped and saner and far cooler heads prevail. Any attack by us on Iran for any reason is a breach of international norms and also an act of war. We have a recurring and very serious problem, where these two gentlemen could be seen as the newest cheerleaders for, in not remembering that by engaging in “Diplomacy by Other Means” AKA war, another Clausewitzian axiom, that we will once again set in motion what we’re trying to prevent, a further breakdown of security in the region. Iraq and Afghanistan but particularly the former hasn’t been anywhere near stable since 2003, an adventure that John Bolton, among others now largely discredited, also thought would be a cakewalk.

    We need desperately to break free of this idea that we can unilaterally rearranged the deck chairs in the Middle East without suffering serious blow back as a result. We should have realized this by now but it appears that there are always people who want to rehash the same moribund ideas over and over which only end up leading to the horrendous loss of life by the indigenous peoples of the region and among the military forces that we commit to implementing these incredibly shortsighted ideas. We need to take some time to reflect on just where the heck we’re going before we unleash another very bad, bad idea on that region of the world. Bolton and Pompeo, who Trump has unleashed upon the world in terms of American foreign policy formulation, are not capable of having the reflective thinking that is absolutely necessary to help us avoid another disaster that we will be paying four out of our collective e noses for years to come, both fiscally and strategically. Once again, we will be the aggressor no matter how they try to sugarcoat it. If the how can we possibly be the great arbiter for peace and stability in the world when we violate our traditional role over and over again? We can’t. Any such actions will make things infinitely worse and someone must get that through Trump’s thick skull even if it takes a diamond drill to do it.

  9. Sheila’s blog and the comments today are frightening and offer insight to a disastrous future. In all the talk about the damage to the Middle East if we engage with Iran begs the question of what happens to the civilians not only in the region but adjacent countries where they will flee to seek refuge. Their lives will surely be hell on earth. I fear our own hell would not be far behind.

    Sociopaths with wealth and power (ruthlessness and entitlement are requirements for both) are present throughout history, supported by others of their ilk who are all too willing to ride the tiger. In the end they all fall, but the collateral damage to millions of lost lives, including the potential for good as well as evil, is the real legacy they leave.

    One of the saddest places you’ll ever want to visit is a military cemetery. All the lost potential to the world sacrificed for political, religious or ideological pursuits by those who profited from the wasted futures of so many on all sides is terrible to consider.

    We forget and repeat out of some sense of irrational expectations. Thus the man who is in the the Oval Office today (and the guy at his shoulder patiently waiting for his strategic move up.)

  10. Well, the Northwest Ordinance map could use re-design about the Ohio River Banks, like Jordan River LAW of the largest STATE RELIGION AS ISLAM, as in Afghan carpets from Louisville Scriptures in GREEK for MUHAMMED ALI BOULEVARD ramp access? Good to know that 1317 is a WORLD source on that LAW school of thought for NCAA Entertainment and Sports Berkeley Fellowships. One of the funniest lines in an IU Class of 1968 Reunion Handbook is 16xx Roger (Pemberton) Williams says Massachusetts belongs to the Wampanoag Family and Kinship group (the Property Title), and is banished that year in HORN BOOK history (Intro to Teaching 1964). Louisville Baptist Theologians would be interested as sharing an Isaiah Scroll in Greek, too,in reproduction dedicated on high grounds in 1976-75 of Louisville Presbyterian Seminary.
    That was when Williams was going back and forth to London to teach John Milton (Washington Twp SCHOOL), Dutch by signs, too, for the poet going blind in an Inferno world then of the LONDON records fires! This is the anniversary, too, for the Commercial Air Force Language Institutes of Indiana University (all under Elvis McDaniel Stahr, Kentucky Executive for the signed Diplomas).

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