Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., sits with fellow Democrats, Rep. David Trone, D-Md., left, and Rep. Andy Levin, D-Mich., right, on the House Education and Labor Committee during a bill markup, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
With David Folkenflik
The president versus a first-term congresswoman. He singles out Rep. Ilhan Omar, who has been a lightning rod in her own right.
Maggie Haberman, White House correspondent for The New York Times. (@maggieNYT)
David Frum, staff writer at The Atlantic, former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, author of "Trumpocracy: The Corruption Of The American Republic." (@davidfrum)
Wajahat Ali, New York Times contributing op-ed writer. Member of the Muslim Leadership initiative, a program that seeks to build better relations between American Muslims and the Jewish community. (@WajahatAli)
Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Democratic congresswoman representing Massachusetts' 7th Congressional District. (@RepPressley)
New York Times: "In Attacking Ilhan Omar, Trump Revives His Familiar Refrain Against..." — "As long as President Trump has focused on what he said was the danger lurking at the southwestern border, he has also talked about the supposed threat from one specific group already in the country: Muslims.
"During the 2016 campaign, he would not rule out creating a registry of Muslims in the United States. He claimed to have seen 'thousands' of Muslims cheering on rooftops in New Jersey after Sept. 11, a statement that was widely debunked. After deadly attacks in Paris and California, Mr. Trump called for a moratorium on Muslims traveling to the United States.
"'I think Islam hates us,' Mr. Trump told Anderson Cooper, the CNN host, in March 2016.
"Now, with 19 months until the 2020 election, Mr. Trump is seeking to rally his base by sounding that theme once again. And this time, he has a specific target: Representative Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota and one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress."
The Atlantic: "Democrats Are Falling Into the Ilhan Omar Trap" — "Many of President Donald Trump’s tweets backfire, but not his tweet attack on U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar. That one tweet succeeded to perfection. Trump wishes to make Omar the face of the Democratic Party heading into the 2020 elections—and now he has provoked Democrats to comply.
"Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have offered full-throated endorsements of Omar. 'Ilhan Omar is a leader with strength and courage. She won’t back down to Trump’s racism and hate, and neither will we. The disgusting and dangerous attacks against her must end,' Sanders tweeted. Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke, and Pete Buttigieg have expressed themselves more circumspectly, but have still aligned themselves with her in ways not easy to undo. 'We are stronger than this president’s hatred and Islamophobia. Do not let him drive us apart or make us afraid,' O’Rourke tweeted. Of the 2020 hopefuls, only Amy Klobuchar added any caveat to her statement about Omar. '“You can disagree with her words—as I have done before—but this video is wrong.') Joe Biden and Cory Booker have thus far refrained from comment.
"Having promised not to 'let him drive us apart' from Omar, Democrats are now stuck with responsibility for the reckless things the representative from Minnesota says, not only about Jews, but about other issues, too. Omar has already served notice that she does not intend to behave more circumspectly in the future. In a Friday-night interview, Stephen Colbert asked Omar whether she would heed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s advice to back-bench it for a while. Omar answered, 'I think Nancy knows this very well. Women have been told to go slow and not be seen and not be heard for many years. She wouldn’t have made it to where she is if she did. And it’s certainly the case for minority women … We are not there to be quiet. We are not there to be invisible. We are there to follow the lead of people like Congressman John Lewis and make good trouble.' "
Associated Press: "Rep. Ilhan Omar says she’s getting more death threats after Trump t..." — "Rep. Ilhan Omar said late Sunday that she's faced increased death threats since President Trump spread around a video that purports to show her being dismissive of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. 'This is endangering lives,' she said, accusing Trump of fomenting right-wing extremism. 'It has to stop.'
"Her statement followed an announcement by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that she has taken steps to ensure the safety of the Minnesota Democrat, and the speaker's call for Trump to take down the video.
"Soon after Pelosi's statement, the video disappeared as a pinned tweet at the top of Trump's Twitter feed, but it was not deleted."
USA Today: "'I’ll put a bullet in her': Trump supporter charged with threatenin..." — "A New York man is in custody after federal authorities say he threatened to kill freshman Congresswoman Rep. Ilhan Omar.
"Patrick W. Carlineo, 55, of Addison, was arrested Friday morning and charged by criminal complaint with threatening to assault and murder Omar, a Democrat representing Minnesota.
"On March 21, a staff member in Omar's office received a phone call around 12:20 p.m., the criminal complaint states. During the call, an individual, eventually identified as Carlineo, allegedly said to the staff member, 'Do you work for the Muslim Brotherhood? Why are you working for her, she's an (expletive) terrorist. I’ll put a bullet in her (expletive) skull.'
Adam Waller produced this hour for broadcast.
This program aired on April 16, 2019. https://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2019/04/16/ilhan-omar-9-11-trump-death...
When the vaunted Democratic blue wall stretching across the Upper Midwest crumbled in Republican Donald Trump's 2016 presidential victory, Minnesota stood out on the map as a holdout.
Now President Trump sees the state as a personal challenge heading into the 2020 election, and his campaign is making it an early target.
No Republican presidential candidate has claimed the state's 10 Electoral College votes since Richard Nixon in 1972 — the longest blue streak of a state in the United States (the District of Columbia has voted for the Democratic presidential nominee since it gained three electoral votes in 1964).
Trump acknowledged the Democratic hold on Minnesota during a quick stop there Monday to tout his signature tax law.
"This has been a very special state. It has been a rare victory for Republicans. And we almost won it," Trump said during a visit to a trucking company in Burnsville, a suburb of Minneapolis. He said the result would have been different if he had come more often: "One more speech."
Trump used the official White House event, which lasted just over an hour, to speak to local concerns. He addressed proposed mining and pipeline projects in the north, farmers' anxieties in the vast agricultural parts of Minnesota and simmering tensions across the state over immigration. He told the friendly audience he would pursue a health care overhaul "after the election, assuming you elect Republicans."
If the 2016 race is a baseline, Trump starts his effort to flip Minnesota in better shape than any Republican in memory.
Trump won 78 of the state's 87 counties. But he still lost to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton by just 1.5 percentage points. That's in a state where considerably more third-party votes went to right-of-center alternatives — about 6 percent of the presidential votes cast — than those on the left.
Trump's losing margin was closer than any presidential race in the state since 1984, when home-state Democratic nominee Walter Mondale edged Republican President Ronald Reagan by a few thousand votes. Minnesota and Washington, D.C., were the only places that kept Reagan from a clean sweep.
Minnesota Republican Party Chair Jennifer Carnahan said it all adds up to opportunity for Trump.
"We know that the president has strong support from across Minnesota. I think his support is even stronger today than when he ran in 2016," she said. "The more times we can get him back here, the better."
As the 2020 race ramps up, Minnesota is getting ready for its turn as a presidential battleground and all the candidate visits, ads and persuasion efforts that come with it.
Vince Beaudette, 72, lives in Carver County, which is south of the Twin Cities. He came to the president's stop at Nuss Truck & Equipment and is all in for Trump — red Make America Great Again hat and all.
"The economy is going great. If Minnesotans understand the results that Trump has brought us. We're all living a little better now. We're all taking in more money, and many more of us are employed. Trump ought to win," Beaudette said. "Can that message be delivered to Minnesotans? I'm not sure."
Not only have GOP candidates fared poorly in Minnesota in recent presidential elections, but no Republican has won any statewide race for any Minnesota office since 2006.
So far there are no full-time Trump campaign staff members on the ground in Minnesota.
But Trump is showing he won't wait until the closing days of the race to rally supporters in the state, as happened in 2016 when he stopped by just days ahead of the election.
He visited twice during the 2018 midterm campaign for raucous arena rallies. Two Republican congressional candidates whom he promoted — that and a super PAC aligned with Trump boosted with millions of dollars in spending — both won.
But two of Minnesota's Republican congressmen lost amid an anti-Trump mood in their suburban districts.
Democrats are on guard.
"Absolutely I think he can win Minnesota," said Ken Martin, chairman of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. "Do I think he will? I don't think he will win Minnesota. Because we're not going to take it for granted, and we're going to be just as organized, if not more."
Martin said that his base is energized and that the Trump visits over the past year only add to the intensity.
Trump is on defense in places like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Martin said Minnesota is a must-win for his party if Democrats expect to defeat the president.
"The reality is that there is no map for Democrats winning the presidency that does not include Minnesota being blue," he said.
Dana Koletar of Minneapolis showed up to protest Trump's latest visit. She's upset about the president's anti-immigrant language and that Trump has gone after her congresswoman, Democrat Ilhan Omar.
"I'm just very disturbed by the backlash against her as a Muslim Somali-American woman," Koletar said. "I do think that's part of the reason she's undergoing more scrutiny."
To Koletar, all the early talk about Trump's ability to flip Minnesota is overblown.
"If you look at our 2018 elections here in Minnesota, look who won the statewide races. It was the Democrats. There definitely is Democratic support. I think it's just a matter of turning out those voters." https://www.npr.org/2019/04/16/713674276/trump-begins-effort-to-fli...
A man wearing a yellow vest holds a placard reading "I am jew", during a gathering at the Republique square to protest against anti-Semitism, in Paris, France, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019. (Thibault Camus/AP)
With David Folkenflik
Anti-Semitism is a scourge that dates back millennia and yet remains as current as yesterday’s headlines. What’s going on, what it means and why.
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Deborah Lipstadt, Dorot professor of modern Jewish history and Holocaust studies at Emory University. Author of "Antisemitism: Here and Now," "Holocaust: An American Understanding" and "The Eichmann Trial," among others. (@deborahlipstadt)
BuzzFeed News: "Opinion: An Open Letter To The American Left: Don’t Make The Mistak..." — "For those of us watching from the UK, seeing the Democrats grapple with allegations of anti-Semitism in their ascendant left flank has brought on a serious case of déjà vu. For British progressives, it was only a few years ago that we cheered the rise of the left wing of the Labour Party, and the leftward tilt on domestic and foreign policy that followed.
"Today, we are spectators from the near future, a place where a full-blown anti-Semitism crisis led to a literal split of the party last week. Viewing American progressive politics today is like seeing the beginnings of a slow-motion car crash, one we’ve already been through.
"I have some advice for Democrats looking to avoid the scorched earth on which UK progressives now stand. First, deal with anti-Semitism on the left — and yes, that’s an actual thing, not a smear concocted by political opponents. In fact, this might be the most important advice, namely: Do not let your opponents define the terms of your response to a very real problem."
The New Republic: "Why France Is Losing the War on Anti-Semitism" — "In the first weeks of 2019, French authorities discovered 96 tombs desecrated in a Jewish cemetery in eastern France, the word 'juden' scrawled across a bagel shop in Paris, and swastikas marring a street portrait of former government official and Auschwitz survivor, Simone Veil. On February 16 in Paris, a group of protestors in the Yellow Vest ('gilets jaunes') movement cornered local Jewish intellectual, Alain Finkielkraut. 'Dirty Zionist, you’re going to die!' they yelled, along with 'Go home to Israel!' and 'France is ours!'
"Last year, France saw a 74 percent jump in anti-Semitic incidents. A survey from the European Union, released in December, found that a staggering 95 percent of French Jews saw anti-Semitism as either a fairly significant or a very big problem (more than any other country in the E.U.).
"Within days of the Finkielkraut harassment, President Emmanuel Macron proposed a controversial new strategy to fight anti-Semitism, including broadening its legal definition, dissolving several far-right groups, and putting his support behind a law that would punish online hate speech with fines of up to several million euros."
The Atlantic: "This Week in Anti-Semitism" — "The week began with Alain Finkielkraut taking his mother-in-law to Sunday lunch in Paris. As he returned to his apartment on the Left Bank, he crossed through a crowd of 'yellow vest' protesters. They recognized the well-televised philosopher. Despite the fact that he has professed sympathy for their grievances in his punditry, his presence enraged them. A viral video captured young men bedecked in the canary-colored uniform of the movement spewing insults at the slovenly 69-year-old: 'Dirty Jew!' 'Tel Aviv! Back to Tel Aviv!' 'France is ours!'
"Only last week, France reported a 74 percent increase in the number of offenses against Jews, and German police announced a 60 percent rise in violent anti-Semitic attacks."
New York Times: "Jewish Caricatures at Belgian Carnival Set Off Charges of Anti-Semi..." — "In Aalst, a small city northwest of Brussels, the Carnival parade is the main event of the year, where everyone and everything is mercilessly mocked, and drunkenness and a lack of taste are part of the mix.
"But this year, floats that the townspeople regarded as the customary shameless satire of their famed Carnival set off an uproar. One float in the parade on Sunday carried two giant figures of Orthodox Jews, with side curls and grotesquely large noses, sitting on bags of money. Another group paraded in the white hoods and robes of the Ku Klux Klan."
Adam Waller produced these segments for broadcast.
This segment aired on March 15, 2019. https://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2019/03/15/anti-semitism-jewish-histor...
President Trump seems determined to dismantle the American Empire. Like the Roman Empire on which it modeled itself, it holds together numerous ethnic groups, not by patriotism—as the old Republican Empire had done—but by prosperity. The various Roman ethnic groups enjoyed the benefits of roman rule, but many of them never fully embraced Rome was emulated, just as America is emulated, and praised at the same time that it, like America has become hated because of its abuse of peoples-of-color and migrants.
Trump's attack on Ilon Omar is an attack on all Black women. And to hear the American Zionist at the Republican Jewish Convention jeer helps establish the old European stereotype of a meeting of The Elders of the Protocols of Zion. And a way to test their own historical knowledge of The Saint Louis—sailing from Western ports to Western ports with no country willing to take in Jew escaping from the Nazis.
Listening to David Frum pontificate on Democratic political ineptitude does not distance him from The Project for a New American Century that was a road map for American conquest of the Middle East, and the “Israel-firsters” in the George W. Bush administration that eventually led to the quagmire in Afghanistan. And the fact that a line can be drawn from neoconservatives to the election of Donald J. Trump.
According to Stefan Halper & Jonathan Clarke the evolution toward a policy of preemption can be seen in a series of speeches George W. Bush delivered in the year after the terrorist attacks. The clearest foreshadowing of future American policy was Bush's State of the Union address on January 29, 2002, terming Iran, Iraq, and North Korea the “axis of evil.” This rhetorical self-indulgent phrase (claimed by or credited to speechwriter David Frum) has been the subject of much controversy. It suggests a classic case of unschooled speechwriters imposing policy conundrums that lock administrations into positions that impose severe constraints. The speech focused, as might be expected, primarily on 9/11 and the resulting war in Afghanistan.
After acknowledging that some governments would be “timid in the face of terror,” the president said, “and make no mistake about it: If they do not act, America will.”
The tone of Bush's rhetoric was forceful as he outlined a future of active U.S. pursuit of terrorists. After invoking the urgency of the situation and saying that America “I'll do what is necessary to ensure our nation's security,” he offered the first glimpse of a preemptive policy. “I will not wait on events,” he warned, “As dangers gather, I will not stand by as peril draws closer.” With this statement he did not alter America's foreign policy, but he did hint that a more proactive policy was in the works.
As you read on, notice how this infamous speech composed by David Frum has the elements of “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,” written by David Wurmser for Benjamin Netanyahu as a road-map to avoid “land for peace.”
American Zionists, more commonly known as Neoconservatives or Neocons--dual loyalists (Israel-firsters) and how they set out to control American foreign policy and form a “new world order” in the Middle East, is explicated in Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke's America Alone: The Neo-Conservatives and the Global Order (2000). Halper and Clarke declare that perhaps the most prominent event to come out of the nexus of neoconservative activity in conjunction with like-minded conservatives within the Israeli body politic with the 1996 research paper published by the Israeli think tank the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies. Under the title “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,” it was a policy guideline for the newly elected Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
The document argued that Netanyahu's “new set of ideas” provided an opportunity “to make a clean break” with the beleaguered Oslo process. The highlights of this break suggested that Israel “cannot play innocents abroad in a world that is not innocent.” The paper berated the “land for peace” initiative and emphasized: “Our claim to the land—to which we have clung for hope for 2000 years—is legitimate and noble.”
Netanyahu's clean break also meant reestablishing “the principle of preemption.” The study group/cabal that contributed to the report included James Colbert, Charles Fairbanks, Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, Jr., David Wurmser, and his wife Meyrav Wurmser.
An author of the “Clean Break” document and political ally of Perle and Feith was David Wurmser, who is among the more high-profiles neoconservatives. A research fellow on the Middle East at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), he became special assistant to John Bolton at the State Department in the bush administration before moving in early September 2003 to the office of VP Dick Cheney and I. Scooter Libby. Earlier he had worked at the U.S. Institute of Peace, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies in 1996.
Another member of the neoconservative family is David Wurmser's wife, Meyrav Wurmser. She represents the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), and also directs the Center for Middle East Policy at the Hudson Institute, whose trustees also include Perle and Conrad Black at the time the publisher of the Jerusalem Post, Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, and the Spectator. Wurmser co-founded MEMRI with Colonel Carmom, for twenty-two years an Israeli military intelligence agent and later counter-terrorism adviser to Israeli Prime Minsters Yitzahak Shamir and Yitzahak Rabin.
According to its Web site, MEMRI's purpose is to bridge the language gap between the West—where few speak Arabic—and the Middle East, by providing timely translations of Arabic, Farsi, and Hebrew media. However, opinions on MEMRI's credibility seem as divided as its subject matter. While prominent American journalists, academics, and congressmen have described it as “an invaluable research tool” and the “single most important resource for anyone seriously interested in the Middle East,” others have commented that “MEMRI's intent is to find the worst possible quotes from the Muslim world and disseminate them as widely as possible.
Other institutes that became part of the neoconservative loop include the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the Middle East Forum (MEF). Both have strong ties to Washington's pro-Israeli lobby and enjoy distinguished membership. Among those on the board of advisers at the Washington Institute [at the time] Jeane Kirkpatrick, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, and James Woolsey, of the CIA. Its adjunct scholars include Joshua Muravchik and Michael Rubin, who is a specialist on Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq and works with Perle and Wurmser at AEI. Rubin also belong to the Middle East Forum (MEF), along with William Kristol and Meyrav Wurmser.
These double agents or dual loyalist Jews are the people that Ilon Omar are talking about. American Zionist that hide behind the Holocaust as a cause for betraying their country.
THE END OF PART ONE