TheFrontPageCover
~ Featuring ~  
Time to Break Up Facebook? 
Cofounder Says Yes
Thomas Gallatin
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What Netanyahu and Hamas 
Are Really Fighting for in Gaza
by Bernard Avishai
newyorker.com } ~ This past weekend in Gaza saw the heaviest Palestinian rocket attacks and reciprocal Israeli bombing since the 2014 war... A ceasefire was announced on Monday, though it may prove short-lived. The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said in a statement that “the campaign is not over.” He is deep in negotiations to form a governing coalition, including with the hawkish leader Avigdor Lieberman, who is likely to return to the Defense Ministry, and who, in the past, has advocated for a full-scale invasion of Gaza to topple the Hamas regime. A spokesperson for Hamas, Sami Abu Zuhri, said that “the conflict will not end until we regain our rights.” In typical fashion, Zuhri left ambiguous whether by “rights” he meant the easing of the blockade or “return,” the banner under which youthful, and often fatal, border demonstrations for Palestinians’ “right of return” to their homelands have been mounted for the past year. Netanyahu wants Hamas to think that an invasion is possible; Zuhri wants Israelis to think that the price for such an action would be unacceptably high. Both men defaulted to vendetta banalities; the numbers presumably tell you who should be more afraid of whom. Hamas, with its ally and rival group Islamic Jihad—which apparently started off the latest round of hostilities—fired six hundred and ninety missiles into southern Israel, including the city of Ashkelon, killing four Israeli civilians. Hamas  claimed to concentrate its fire to get through Israel’s Iron Dome missile-defense system. State exams for graduating high-school seniors were cancelled in communities within forty kilometres of the Gaza border. Hamas thus claimed that it was now in a position to force Israel to fulfill concessions pledged in past exchanges, such as opening the border for deliveries of diesel fuel, and an increased range of fishing grounds. As a sweetener for the ceasefire, which Egypt brokered, Qatar announced a four-hundred-and-eighty-million-dollar aid package for Palestinians, a significant portion of which will go to humanitarian projects in Gaza. Netanyahu claimed that the I.D.F. attacked three hundred and fifty “targets” in Gaza—leaving twenty-five Palestinians dead. According to the I.D.F., Israel also destroyed a cross-border “attack tunnel,” and the Iron Dome intercepted two hundred and forty missiles. Israel thus claimed to have reëstablished “deterrence,” by degrading the “terrorist infrastructure.” Netanyahu might have added to his list the more than two hundred and sixty Palestinians killed and the sixty-four hundred injured in the border demonstrations. What seems clear in this fog of euphemism, polemic, and callous score-keeping is that Gaza has become ground for a war of attrition. And the question of whether the war should be thought inevitable depends not on the truths that each side tells about the other but on the half-truths that each tells about itself...   https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/what-netanyahu-and-ham...  
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Trump Deserves More Credit for 
His Foreign Policies
by Robert D. Blackwill
foreignpolicy.com } ~ U.S. President Donald Trump’s actions over the course of his first two years in office have often been rash, ignorant, and chaotic. But pundits too often concentrate on his deeply flawed personality and his proclivity to announce policies on Twitter... at the expense of examining analytically the substance of his foreign policy. In fact, as I argue in a new Council on Foreign Relations report, some of his individual foreign policies are substantially better than many of his opponents assert. Critics typically show no sympathy for the challenges the president faces in trying to deal with the deteriorating world order that he inherited. China rises in disagreeable ways. Europe withdraws, for the first time in five centuries, from a leadership role in global affairs. Russia revives, which has destabilized its neighbors. NATO debates its role. The Middle East revisits ancient enmities—and witnesses newer ones. India equivocates over its international responsibilities. Global governance falls short. Autocrats on several continents successfully disparage democratic values. Technology outstrips our ability to manage it. The United States moves in perceived retreat. Not a single U.S. politician has a coherent and convincing set of policies to cope with this eroding world order, but Trump receives nearly all the blame and virtually no credit for his policies, except from his most ardent political admirers.  For example, long before Trump took office, successive U.S. administrations pursued approaches to China that misread Beijing’s strategic intentions. While U.S. presidents crafted optimistic statements about the relationship over a nearly 20-year period, Beijing implemented a grand strategy designed to undermine U.S.-Asian alliances. China used geoeconomic tools to coerce its neighbors and others into its sway, most recently through the Belt and Road Initiative. It violated international commercial practices, including by committing massive theft of U.S. intellectual property. It manipulated its currency for trade benefits, threatened Taiwan, built up its military forces to push the United States beyond Japan and the Philippines, constructed and militarized artificial islands in the South China Sea in violation of international law, systemically and brutally violated the human rights of its own people, and patiently and incrementally built its power and influence with the strategic goal of replacing the United States as the primary power in Asia. This U.S. misunderstanding of China’s objectives over nearly two decades ranks as one of the three most damaging U.S. foreign-policy errors since the end of World War II, along with the 1965 military escalation in Vietnam and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Indeed, this prolonged failure in China policy could turn out to be the biggest U.S. policy deficiency in the past seven decades, given the accumulating dangerous strategic consequences of the rise of Chinese power for world order as well as for the United States and its allies and friends...
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Truth, Justice and the American Way
by Robert Turner
americanthinker.com } ~ The Baby Boomer Generation growing up in the 1950s was enamored by the transition of Superman from radio to television. Millions of Americans during those postwar years turned on their black and white television sets... weekly to hear the following exciting introduction: “Faster than a speeding bullet; more powerful than a locomotive; able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Look! Up in the sky; it's a bird. It's a plane. It's Superman! Yes it's Superman, strange visitor from another planet who came to earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. Superman who can change the course of mighty rivers, bend steel in his bare hands, and who disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper, fights a never-ending battle for Truth, Justice and the American Way.” As quaint as it now sounds, Americans from all walks of life cheered and approved of this warrior for “Truth, Justice and the American Way.” Americans believed in America. They saw it, flaws and all, as a source of truth and justice in its distinctly American Way. In schools public and private students daily pledged “allegiance to the American Flag and to the republic for which it stands.” In history and government classes a sense of pride was instilled and the American Way was seen as valuable, meaningful and absolutely worth defending. America was to them the difference maker that had for the second time in a half century defended the world against unspeakable tyranny and oppression. Americans were rightfully proud of their country. A new generation of Americans no longer takes pride in the uniqueness and greatness of their nation. Many Americans dwell on early flaws that America has overcome rather than the freedoms and opportunities that have made it the marvel of the world. The “American Dream,” aspired to by people from all parts of the world is held in contempt by so many who have enjoyed it as a birthright.  A politician running for the presidency of the United States, a politician who has enjoyed all of America’s blessings and freedoms, expects to win election by saying things like, “America never was all that great.” American citizens cheer such disparagement of the American Way of which their parents and grandparents were so rightfully proud...
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"I Don't Know Why They Attacked Our Village": Persecution of Christians, February 2019
by Raymond Ibrahim
gatestoneinstitute.org } ~ A number of fatal Islamic terror attacks targeting Christians occurred throughout February...February 10: Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed 10 Christians and an unborn child. Armed herdsmen in large numbers had surrounded the Christian village around 11 p.m. the night before. "We heard gun shots, and this forced me and my family to remain in our bedrooms as it was difficult for us to run out of the house," said one survivor. "The Fulani gunmen surrounded our house and were shooting and shouting, 'Allahu akbar' ['Allah is greatest']. They killed my father, mother, two brothers, and one of my sisters-in-law." The attack came as a complete surprise, even for the village head: "We have never had any misunderstanding with the Fulani herdsmen, so I don't know why they attacked our village," he said. "Ten members of my community, including a pregnant woman, were killed during the attack, thus making the unborn child to be the eleventh victim." February 12: In the northeast, Boko Haram jihadis invaded four Christian communities, killing several Christians and displacing many others. "I saw a man who I know to be a Christian and a member of the Church of the Brethren in Shuwa, my home town, shot to death," said one eyewitness. "Also, Bulama, a community leader in Madagali, was shot dead alongside many Christians." February 26: Muslim Fulani herdsmen  slaughtered at least 32 people in Maro, a Christian village in north-central Nigeria. Churches were also damaged and a boarding school shut down. "We ran out of the church building as the shooting was going on," said a woman who was in a Bible study class when the raid began. "Many have been killed, and I have not seen my family members since morning. I have escaped out of the area." Another local Christian said, "The armed herdsmen are shooting anyone they see and are setting fire on houses and church buildings." Reported on February 25: Muslim herdsmen attacked a Christian wedding celebration, killing 12 people. "From behind the hill overlooking this village emerged armed Fulani herdsmen who shot indiscriminately at Christians from various churches here at the venue of the feast," said one local. "Twelve Christians who are members of various churches were shot dead instantly, while another five Christians were injured." Six of those murdered were children...
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Rebellion is Bursting out All Over
by Clarice Feldman

americanthinker.com } ~ As Spygate proceeds to its certain conclusion -- the trials of those who engaged in this scandalous coup attempt -- we receive the details of the scheme only in dribs and drabs... 
Too many were involved and have too much to lose at this point by not revealing to the investigators their role in exchange for more lenient treatment, which is why I believe all will soon be revealed. So for the moment let’s turn to the broader picture that explains in large part why so many officials were so determined to keep Donald Trump from the White House and to oust him once he won the election. To me, it has seemed they are clinging to the privileges and benefits of an order which is dying because its underpinnings -- the post-World War II order -- no longer suit the citizens of the countries involved, or the changing world. In this respect, I was much taken by this article in the Claremont Review by Christopher Caldwell. The subject of this essay is Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán, who famously closed his country’s borders to hordes of migrants from Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. I urge you to read the entire article, which I can only selectively discuss. As Caldwell explains, Hungary has been a member of the European Union since 2004 and his political party was closely aligned with Angela Merkel’s. Remembering Hungary’s history and intellectual curiosity, Orban rejected the policies of the E.U. on migration...
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Time to Break Up Facebook? 
Cofounder Says Yes
Thomas Gallatin:  In an op-ed published in The New York Times on Thursday, Facebook cofounder Mark Hughes states unequivocally, “It is time to break up Facebook.” Hughes argues that Facebook has become too powerful and that Mark Zuckerberg reigns over a nearly worldwide monopoly in social media. He points to Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp, noting that “about 70 percent of American adults use social media, and a vast majority are on Facebook products.”
 

Hughes also notes the aspect of Facebook that has raised the ire of many on the political Right — its censorship of speech. “The most problematic aspect of Facebook’s power is Mark’s unilateral control over speech,” Hughes argues. “There is no precedent for his ability to monitor, organize and even censor the conversations of two billion people.” Hughes points to the recent banning of several individuals for being “dangerous” even though they did not break any of Facebook’s rules.

Hughes then offers his solution to the problem. First, enforce existing anti-trust laws to break up the monopoly. If he had stopped there, we would have little argument with him. In fact, his quoting of scumbag-Adam Smith — that “competition spurs growth and innovation” — is a welcome recognition of the problem. However, like so many on the Left, he isn’t content to let the government simply enforce anti-trust laws. No, government must be given even more power to regulate Americans’ speech.

He writes, “Just breaking up Facebook is not enough. We need a new agency, empowered by Congress to regulate tech companies. … The agency should create guidelines for acceptable speech on social media. This idea may seem un-American — we would never stand for a government agency censoring speech. But we already have limits on yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded theater, child pornography, speech intended to provoke violence and false statements to manipulate stock prices. We will have to create similar standards that tech companies can use. These standards should of course be subject to the review of the courts, just as any other limits on speech are. But there is no constitutional right to harass others or live-stream violence.”

The idea “seems un-American” because it is un-American. Hughes points out examples of “regulated speech,” but they are so regulated because they are directly criminal and are only punished after the fact. Our system is designed to maximize the protection of Americans’ right to free speech — especially political speech — not to prevent criminal speech. Such is the realm of totalitarian systems.

What is interesting about Facebook is that both sides of the political aisle are calling for its head. However, leftists like Elizabeth dinky-Warren are doing so not out of a concern for promoting free enterprise or protecting free speech but as Big Government anti-corporatists whose goal is socialism.  ~The Patriot Post

https://patriotpost.us/articles/62929?mailing_id=4265&utm_mediu...  

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ALERT ALERT

Deep State Treason:  Former State Dept. Official Under Trump Tells China To Quit Negotiating Until Trump Is Removed In 2020

Deep state traitors no longer hide their deep hatred for the American people —

Mrs. Susan Thornton, the former acting assistant secretary of state in the Trump administration, told her Beijing audience to stop negotiating until President Trump is removed from office in 2020.

Until July 2018, she was Acting Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the Department of State and led East Asia policy making amid crises with North Korea, escalating trade tensions with China, and a fast-changing international environment.

The Conservative Treehouse and The South China Morning News reported:

A former official in the Trump administration has said that China can weather the storm brought by the trade war with the United States but might have to “keep steady, keep their heads down and wait” for change in the White House.

Susan Thornton, former acting assistant secretary of state to US President Donald Trump, told a gathering in Shanghai on Wednesday that she hoped a trade deal between the US and China could be concluded by next month.

But the reality was that it would “take a while” for China and the US to talk about cooperation again, Thornton, who in 20 years rose to become the US State Department’s chief negotiator for East Asia and Pacific affairs, told the South China Morning Post.

“I want to be optimistic,” said Thornton, whose 27-year career in Washington ended in July. “I tell all our foreign counterparts they should keep steady, keep their heads down and wait. [They should] try to not let anything change dramatically.”

“If this sceptical attitude towards talking diplomacy continues in this administration, you might have to wait till another administration,” Thornton said at an event held by National Committee of US-China relations and Shanghai’s American Chamber.

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EAP Bureau    @USAsiaPacific
 

Acting Asst. Sec. Susan Thornton and EAP team en route to her nomination hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee! 

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