Erdogan A Dictator?

Erdogan A Dictator?
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Recep Tayyip Erdogan won the election as Turkey’s president in 2014. His time in office has amounted to travelling down a rocky road. The relaxation of strict Islamic rules accomplished by Mustafa Kamal Ataturk after World War I won plenty of applause. But Erdogan, a stricter Muslim, has set out to reverse the nation’s course, and he has done so with what resembles severe dictatorial power.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has brought Turkey down a rocky road (Photo from Wikimedia Commons by http://www.kremlin.ru CC BY 4.0).

Turning back the cultural clock back to Ataturk days seemed to be the goal of an attempted coup only a year ago. In a matter of days after it was quashed, 9,000 police officers and 21,000 teachers were fired. Thousands more soldiers, judges, lawyers, university deans, and government officials lost their posts. Many were jailed. In addition, the Erdogan government closed several dozen television, radio, and print outlets. And more than 60 newspapers, a score of magazines, two dozen publishing houses, and several news agencies have been shut down. Censorship became the new rule.

Erdogan has blamed the continuing unrest on the followers of Fethullah Gulen, an Islamic cleric living in the United States for the past 16 years. But he denies having any role in the opposition to Erdogan. Still, the ferment among the people hasn’t faded. Erdogan more recently arranged for a nationwide referendum so the people could either choose his style of rule or revert back to the pre-2014 modern style of governing attributed to Ataturk. The result of the mid-April plebiscite had Erdogan winning by the slimmest of margins (51.4 percent) amid widespread belief that the vote count wasn’t accurate.

Nevertheless, with new powers available to him as a result of the referendum, Erdogan initiated a new round of arrests, firings, and suspensions. Close to 4,000 additional civil servants have been fired and 45 civil society groups and health clinics have been shut down. The government even shut down Wikipedia.

In just the past year, therefore, approximately 140,000 individuals have lost their jobs, free press has been scuttled, and more than 200 journalists remain imprisoned. Erdogan insists that his reforms don’t merit calling him a dictator. But international election monitors released a negative report on the conduct of the recent referendum. Many in Turkey believe the election was rigged.

Turkey is one of the 50 original members of the United Nations (there are now 193 members). The nation won acceptance in NATO in 1952, three years after the alliance’s launching. Long seeking approval for membership in the European Union, Turkey’s hopes to be part of the Brussels-based super government have never been realized. Perhaps the fact that 97 percent of Turkey’s land area is in Asia with the remaining three percent at its western tip considered part of Europe keeps the EU from conferring membership. Turkey has long been considered a “bridge to Europe” for many nations in Asia Minor.

But Turkey needs to understand that entangling alliances come with a price detrimental to independence, just as Brexit has demonstrated. From an American standpoint, let’s work to untangle ourselves from our UN and NATO alliances to preserve American liberty and independence. Inform yourself and others on the dangers of foreign entanglements.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Saudi Arabia on UN’s Status of Women Panel

Saudi Arabia on UN’s Status of Women Panel
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Guess who won a seat on the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women? This is the Commission dedicated exclusively “to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.” Does the answer leap out at you when you find that the new appointee ranks 141st of the 144 nations rated by the World Economic Forum in its 2016 Global Gender Gap report? OK, quiz over. The answer is Saudi Arabia.).

A Saudi woman wearing a traditional niqab (photo from Wikimedia Commons by Walter Callens CC BY 2.0).

The Saudi Kingdom is so dismissive of the rights of women that it’s the only country worldwide where woman can’t drive an automobile. In addition, every woman must have a male guardian who alone can approve her schooling, career, and travel, even to obtain health care. Her guardian is typically her father or her husband, but it could even be her underage son.

Only last month, a 24-year-old Saudi woman sought to flee a forced marriage by going to the Philippines in hopes of getting to Australia. She was held and then turned over to two male relatives for the trip back to Saudi Arabia where she will be dealt with. In the recent past, a Saudi princess won asylum in England when a British court granted her immigration status because she had produced a child with a man outside the reach of Saudi detectives. She was very fortunate.

UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer commented, “Electing Saudi Arabia to protect women’s rights is like making an arsonist the town fire chief.” He called the election “a black day for women’s rights and for all human rights.” Add to all of this the fact that the vote to welcome the Saudi Kingdom for a seat on this UN panel was done in secrecy. Few know who approved such an appointment. Saudi Arabia will begin its four-year membership on the Commission in 2018.

One has to wonder what’s going on here. Has the UN lost its collective sanity? Why choose a country so obviously at odds with the stated purpose of the Commission?

We don’t know the answers to these questions. But consider the UN’s steady growth in power over all nations and all humans. None of this buildup toward world government is affected by the appointment. It may even cause many to dismiss the UN as a major global power that is not to be taken seriously. Critics of the world body’s powerful commissions, departments, offices, and missions will easily be led to believe that this appointment of an obvious abuser of women’s rights shows how inept the entire UN truly is.

If that’s why Saudi Arabia will get a place on this UN Commission, the UN has won by painting itself as a bumbling entity that threatens no one. Meanwhile, UN progress toward its goal of unchallenged rule over all of mankind continues.

Sensible lovers of freedom in America and elsewhere must continue to call for breaking the UN’s tightening grip on the planet. Americans who want the U.S. out of the UN are encouraged to continue spreading the whole truth about the world body. Let the cry to Get US out! grow louder and reach many more. Let an abuser of women’s rights proceed to have a seat on the Women’s Rights Commission. But don’t anyone forget what else must become more widely known about the United Nations itself. Educational tools telling the whole truth about the UN are available at shopjbs.org or call 1-800-342-6491.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


An Opponent of the IMF

An Opponent of the IMF
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

The 1944 creation of the International Monetary Fund occurred even before the formation of the United Nations in 1945. But the IMF has long appeared on the organizational chart published by the UN and is without doubt one of the many UN divisions.

The International Monetary Fund is among one of the many UN divisions (image from Flickr by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com, some rights reserved).

Tasks of this money lending UN agency include keeping tyrannical and profligate nations afloat while financing questionable business ventures. Its chief creator, American Communist Harry Dexter White, didn’t have the best interests of U.S. taxpayers in mind. Neither has the UN. Over the years, IMF funds have bailed out Poland, Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, and others. There is hardly a deadbeat nation that hasn’t received IMF funds to keep it going.

Maybe some of this is about to change. President Trump has nominated Adam Lerrick for an undersecretary post within the Treasury Department. The post oversees U.S. involvement in international finance. His credentials as an opponent of bailouts for countries, banks, and investors are well known. In recent years while holding down a post at the American Enterprise Institute, he has sharply criticized the IMF for throwing money at the likes of South Korea, Brazil, Argentina, and Greece.

According to a report in The New York Times, Lerrick’s outspokenness endeared him to Reagan administration economist Allan Metzger. The two even coauthored a study in 2000 which critiqued the IMF and World Bank. They want countries to suffer the consequences of disastrous monetary policies. Metzger, now a professor at Carnegie Mellon’s business school, expressed the following welcome view of flawed IMF policy, an opinion obviously shared by his friend and fellow IMF critic.

It’s corrupting to give money to countries like Greece that never reform; those are taxpayer monies…. If we bail out countries that do things that are not in the interests of their citizens, then we just get more of the same. Adam [Lerrick] is the right man for this job.

At a Senate hearing in 2000, however, Lerrick was asked if there is any need for an IMF. His answer was guardedly positive. He believed then that the IMF is useful as a lender to emerging markets. “But reforms must be instituted to make sure costs are minimized, if not eliminated.”

Lerrick registered his somewhat positive attitude about IMF almost two decades ago. Have the more recent outrageous bailouts of European nations sharpened his view? Time will tell, of course. But there appears to be hope that American taxpayers will be paying less – and maybe nothing – to rescue deadbeat governments. Credit President Trump for reaching out to find someone who believes that America’s financing of reckless policies among some countries has to stop.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


The Immigration Mess

The Immigration Mess
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

President Trump is receiving plenty of flak for closing down immigration possibilities for refugees from several Muslim-dominated nations. One federal judge has ordered a hold on the president’s executive order, but little has yet to be done about our country’s relatively wide open borders and loose immigration policies.

The United States has had an immigration problem for decades (Image from Wikipedia Commons).

The United States has had an immigration problem for decades (photo by Makaristos (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons).

The immigration problem didn’t start last year, or five or ten years ago. It’s been a virtual national suicide pact for decades. Very few Americans today know anything about the McCarran-Walter Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952. Authored by two Democrats, Nevada’s Senator Pat McCarran and Pennsylvania’s Congressman Francis Walter, their measure established quotas based on ethnicity of those seeking to enter the U.S.

The Act stipulated that if ten percent of the U.S. population were of Italian ancestry, then ten percent of legal immigrants could be from Italy. Similar quotas were set for Irish, German, British, and Polish immigrants, as well as other nationalities. The goal was to maintain the culture of our nation, a foundation built by the Europeans who started coming here, even before the 1776 breakaway from England. And McCarran-Walter set the number to be accepted per year at 270,000.

After the Act won easy passage in Congress, President Truman vetoed it. A mere two days later, Congress overrode his veto – with plenty of support from Democratic congressmen – and the Act became law and was immediately targeted by domestic Communists and Leftists. But in 1965, liberals led by Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) succeeded in overturning America’s immigration policy. No one seems willing to talk about the underlying motive of Kennedy and his Democrat cronies: Flood the nation with immigrants who will vote Democrats into office.

It didn’t take long for massive numbers to begin flooding into the U.S. By 1986, President Reagan signed a bill granting amnesty to 2.7 million illegal immigrants. He said the problem was now solved, an utterly ridiculous claim. It grew worse. And soon, the arrivals weren’t just poor Mexicans looking for a job. The outmanned Border Patrol created a category of entrants known as OTMs – Other Than Mexicans. And the cost of feeding, housing, educating, and providing medical care for millions became an enormous burden.

With today’s flood of refugees fleeing the war-torn nations of the Middle East and parts of Africa, the U.S. is being asked (told?) by the UN to accept more immigrants. Will any be terrorists? Answers to that have never been satisfactorily answered. So Mr. Trump moved: No immigration from countries where terrorists might be among the refugees. And, for that, he has been severely castigated.

Looking back, we recall that the 9/11/01 hijackers came from the Middle East, almost all from Saudi Arabia, a country not on Trump’s list. The brothers who set off their bombs at the Boston Marathon came from the Middle East. It’s true that the killers in San Bernardino, Fort Hood, and Orlando were legal residents of the U.S. But others who have tried to create mayhem came from countries noted by Mr. Trump – the Muslim who tried to set off a shoe bomb on a commercial airliner being a good example.

The Trump order called for a 90-day ban on immigration from Sudan, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen plus an indefinite ban on entrants from Syria. Bleeding heart liberals and hardcore leftists have protested vigorously. But there exists a mounting number of Americans whose relatives, friends, co-workers, and others have been killed by radical Islamists in what might be termed “normal” (not terrorist) ways. This number is sure to grow.

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright now insists that President Trump’s edict is “a cruel measure that represents a stark departure from America’s core values.” She likely has never heard of the 1952 McCarran-Walter Act. She would be horrified to know that its authors were members of her Democrat Party. Her response to the Trump plan would open America’s borders to anyone. Thank goodness she’s a “former” Secretary of State.

Maintaining the flawed immigration policies that Mr. Trump tried to address in a relatively small way is dead wrong. Some new policy has to be created. We hope Mr. Trump succeeds in protecting our nation and its culture before both are no longer recognizable.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


A Return to the Republic: A Game Plan for Donald Trump

A Return to the Republic: A Game Plan for Donald Trump
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

The following statement was solicited and then aired, along with the thoughts of others, via the nationwide “Connecting the Dots” radio program on November 22, 2016. We were asked what advice would we give to incoming President of the United States Donald Trump.

Donald Trump speaking to supporters at an immigration policy speech at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona (photo by Gage Skidmore via Flickr, some rights reserved).

Mr. Trump, I suggest that you add to your goal of making America great again the following statement: “America became great, not because of what government did, but because of what government was prevented from doing by the U.S. Constitution.”

You should consider that, were the Constitution fully adhered to, the federal government would shrink to 20 percent its size and 20 percent its cost.

To questions asking what you intend to do after your inauguration, you should say, “I am not going to do as much as people might expect. Instead I shall use all the proper powers of the presidency to undo much of what government now does. And what I intend to undo, to abolish, are all agencies, departments, and bureaucratic monstrosities that are not authorized by the Constitution.”

Among the federal agencies that should be abolished are the Departments of Education, Energy, Interior, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and many of those issuing handouts of various kinds. You should arrange to have the U.S. military and the U.S. Border Patrol take on whatever responsibilities have been assumed by the Department of Homeland Security.

One by one, all agencies of the federal government that have been created and empowered by presidential Executive Orders should be abolished. The most egregious of these is the federal Environmental Protection Agency, a monster created via an Executive Order written by President Nixon in 1970. The EPA was never voted into existence by Congress.

America has not won a war since 1945 when victory was achieved in World War II. No victory in Korea, in Vietnam, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and elsewhere. Why? Because our nation submits to rules and regulations mandated by the United Nations and its controlled stepchild NATO. For this reason and many more, the United States should withdraw from the United Nations at the earliest possible time. A measure to accomplish this goal, H.R. 1205, has been introduced in the House of Representatives and it should receive presidential support.

Proper attention should be given to the very first sentence in the Constitution that states, “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States….” That means no law making is proper if made by presidential Executive Order or by a Supreme Court decision. Any law enacted outside of the legislative branch must be declared null. One good example needing termination is the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade that has legalized the taking of 60 million lives since 1973.

Presidential power must be employed to have a thorough audit of the Federal Reserve, something that hasn’t been done in the Fed’s more than 100 years of existence. Congress would welcome the help of the President to get this done. Once audited honestly and thoroughly, moves should be undertaken toward abolishing this unconstitutional engine of inflation. The path toward creating precious metal backed currency should be laid out and followed.

Various job-destroying entanglements in which our government has placed the nation should be terminated. This means exiting NAFTA, CAFTA, the World Trade Organization, and others.

Let me say again: “America became great not because of what government did, but because of what government was prevented from doing by the Constitution.”

Mr. Trump, I will continue to pray that you accomplish all your legitimate goals, only some of which I have listed in this brief statement.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Afghan War Now 15 Years Old

Afghan War Now 15 Years Old 

by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

In a recent posting by the Ron Paul Institute, Dr. Paul pointed out that 15 years have now passed since American forces were first sent to Afghanistan. The operation has become “the longest war in U.S. history,” the former Texas congressman noted. He concluded that there were no victory parades because there is no victory.

American troops were first sent to Afghanistan after the devastating 9/11 attacks. Why has this mission become so lengthy? (image from Flickr)

American troops were first sent to Afghanistan after the devastating 9/11 attacks. Why has this mission become so lengthy? (Photo by Program Executive Office Soldier Flickr, some rights reserved).

Troops were first sent to Afghanistan a few weeks after the devastating 9/11 attacks on our nation. Their original mission called for apprehending Osama bin Laden. Thought to be hiding in Afghanistan, bin Laden was discovered years later in Pakistan where he was killed during a Navy Seal team raid. The main target of the U.S. forces from the beginning, however, was the Taliban, the militant Islamic group that had actually been supplied by the U.S. during the 1979-1989 Soviet invasion of the war-torn nation.

Once in Afghanistan, U.S. troops found themselves battling against an enemy using left over U.S.-supplied weaponry. The casualty totals show that our nation has suffered the loss of more than 2,300 killed and almost 23,000 wounded in the 15-year struggle. And the Taliban now controls more of the country than it did when the U.S. forces arrived in 2001 under the label “Operation Enduring Freedom.”

The U.S. media never discusses the little-publicized influence of the United Nations in this ongoing debacle. That is key to understanding the disappointing results of this lengthy mission. In December 2001, the UN Security Council created the International Security Assistance Force to aid the Afghan government. The U.S. supplied most of the troops to carry out this mission. So, from the very beginning of the operation, the UN has had a major role in the effort. Fewer than two years later (September 2003), the task of aiding the Afghan government was formally turned over to NATO. But NATO is a UN “Regional Alliance” formed under Chapter VIII of the UN Charter. America’s participation in this skirmish has been directed by the UN throughout the entire 15 years.

The Taliban now controls more of Afghanistan than it did when U.S. forces entered the country 15 years ago. The various tasks given to U.S. troops have included destroying the country’s opium production, engaging in reconstruction of war-torn infrastructure, and training local forces. Some of those local forces have turned their guns on their U.S. trainers with deadly consequences.

If the UN’s NATO weren’t managing this curious war, America’s forces would likely have cleared the country of Taliban dominance years ago. Obviously that’s not what the UN wants. Governments, even the UN, always grow and become more influential during a war. America’s leaders, both political and military, who put up with this are betraying their oaths and putting good men (and some good women) in impossible circumstances.

There are many solid reasons why the U.S. should withdraw completely from the United Nations. The experience already suffered in Afghanistan certainly provides one. Members of Congress should be proclaiming loudly and clearly the slogan, “Get US out! of the United Nations.” Members of the House should be persuaded to co-sponsor H.R. 1205, the bill calling for U.S. withdrawal from the world body. U.S. forces should never be sent into a battle without victory being the goal. Anything less is a betrayal of the troops and even of the nation.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Missed Opportunities by Trump

Missed Opportunities by Trump 
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

The October 4th vice presidential debate showed that Democrat Tim Kaine ought to be awarded a prize for the most obnoxious performance in recent memory. He interrupted his opponent and the debate moderator 72 times during the 90-minute encounter. His oily smugness and lack of decorum was so bad it may well have turned some viewers away from supporting Hillary Clinton. Even Clinton-favoring headliners in the media scolded Kaine and declared Republican Mike Pence the winner. But that was the debate between the candidates for vice president.

Photo by Krassotkin (derivative), Gage Skidmore (Donald Trump), Gage Skidmore (Hillary Clinton) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

As expected during the October 9th Town Hall presidential faceoff, Hillary cited the lewd comments made by Trump in his 2005 appearance on “Access Hollywood.” She then attacked her opponent for having stated that Judge Gonzalo Curiel was unfit to preside over any case involving Trump University because he had Mexican parents. But Curiel has a past association with the radical Mexican-American group LaRaza (“the Race”) that seeks to transfer several southwestern U.S. states to Mexico. That kind of connection should bar him from serving on any bench in the United States. But this point wasn’t made by Trump.

In April 2015, Hillary spoke at UN headquarters to an adoring crowd of gays, transgender advocates, and abortion partisans. In her speech, she left herself wide open for condemnation by insisting, “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.” That’s an attack not only on our nation’s fundamental moral and religious foundations, but also on the bedrock of Western civilization. She could hardly have expressed a more revolutionary urging. But Trump never mentioned it.

During this encounter, Trump focused attention on Hillary’s cavalier and dangerous abuse of email transmissions. She admitted having made a “mistake” as if that should settle the issue, and then relied on FBI Director Comey’s refusal to recommend prosecution. Lost in the discussion is the simple fact that anyone who had been so “reckless” with classified information could never gain employment in any sensitive government position, including the office of President of the United States. Trump ignored that easily understood fact and indicated instead that, if elected, he would arrange for a special prosecutor to deal with what she characterized as a mere “mistake.”

The Trump candidacy has won much of its support because he is perceived as an “outsider,” not another behind-the-scenes elitist ruling our nation. He doesn’t hold membership in the power-laden clique at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the organization whose long-range goal was neatly summed up by one of its key members as performing “an end run around national sovereignty eroding it piece by piece.”

While serving as Secretary of State in 2013, Hillary spoke at the opening of a new CFR branch office in Washington. After noting her good fortune in having frequently been welcomed at the CFR’s “mother ship” in New York, she revealingly stated:

It’s good to have an outpost of the Council right here down the street from the State Department. We get a lot of advice from the Council, so this will mean I won’t have as far to go to be told what we should be doing and how we should think about the future.

If Donald Trump fails to make an issue of what Hillary Clinton stated at the CFR’s Washington office on July 15, 2013, he will severely disappoint his followers. He will also convince many fed-up Americans that he is no “outsider,” but instead another elitist claiming to be an opponent of the decades-long stranglehold the CFR has had on our nation.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.