The President and NATO

The President and NATO
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

During his campaign for president, Donald Trump frequently employed the word “obsolete” to register his negativity about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). After he won the election and was only a few days away from inauguration, he repeated his dour opinion on January 16, 2017, with “I said a long time ago that NATO had problems. Number one, it was obsolete because it was designed many, many years ago.”

Is Trump changing his view on NATO? (Image from Wikimedia Commons, by Tennessee National Guard Public Affairs Office, public domain).

Now that he is President, he has reversed his view on NATO. On April 12, 2017, he declared, “I said it was obsolete. It’s no longer obsolete.” But there has been no alteration within NATO during the past year. Mr. Trump had just met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the White House. The NATO chieftain, who has never considered the alliance obsolete, smiled broadly at the Trump reversal.

Born in 1949, NATO cited Article 51 of the UN Charter for its authorization to exist. The official NATO Handbook (1995 edition) contains the text of the pact’s Preface and 14 short articles. That NATO is a UN stepchild is clearly spelled out in Article 1 stating, “The Parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations….” Explanatory text appearing in the NATO Handbook clearly states that the pact was “Created within the framework of Article 51 of the United Nations Charter.”

Because the pact is a treaty, Senate ratification had to be gained. Then-Secretary of State Dean Acheson, one of its most determined champions, stated during a March 1949 speech that NATO “is designed to fit precisely into the framework of the United Nations … The United States government and the governments with which we are associated in the treaty are convinced that it is essential measure for strengthening the United Nations.” There was no hiding the fact that NATO was designed to be a UN stepchild.

In short order, twelve nations from Western Europe and North America signed on as founding members. The pact’s Article 5 states “an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all.” That provision encouraged 13 senators to refuse their support, not nearly enough to block U.S. entry into the alliance. So NATO began and the American people were left with an impression created by the media and NATO supporters that its entire purpose was to prevent any additional Soviet expansion westward.

The UN/NATO combination then proceeded to assure that America would never again win a war. Consider: the Korean War became stalemate and NATO’s hand was in it from the beginning. The Vietnam War, fought under a NATO clone called SEATO, ended in defeat for the U.S. The wars in which Americans were fighting and dying were now being fought without the constitutional requirement for a congressional declaration of war. Highly questionable NATO forays into Bosnia and Somalia followed. Authorization for the war in Iraq came directly from the UN. And the U.S. is now 14 years into a NATO-authorized struggle in Afghanistan. NATO now has 27 member nations.

NATO has never been “obsolete.”  It has greatly aided its UN sponsor in the gobbling up of more aspects of national sovereignty. So, Mr. Trump was wrong when he said NATO had become a useless alliance because it was “obsolete.” And he is additionally wrong to give it his newly created approval. What he should do is work to have the U.S. withdraw from both of these entangling alliances. The millions who voted for him would surely cheer such moves. And America would cease to be the world’s policeman, an assignment nowhere found in the U.S. Constitution to which the President and many other federal officials swore a solemn oath to uphold.

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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.


Rep. John Lewis Under a Microscope

Rep. John Lewis Under a Microscope
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

On January 13, 2017, Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.) answered questions on NBC Television’s Meet the Press. When asked if he would attend the inauguration of Donald Trump to be the 45th President of the United States, Lewis stated:

I don’t see the president-elect as a legitimate president. I think the Russians participated in having this man get elected, and they helped to destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. I don’t plan to attend the Inauguration. I think there was a conspiracy on the part of the Russians and others that helped him get elected. That’s not right. That’s not fair. That’s not the open democratic process.

Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.) boycotted the Trump inauguration (Image from Wikimedia Commons).

Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.) boycotted the Trump inauguration and others (Image from Wikimedia Commons. Author is U.S. Congress: public domain).

Lewis has supplied no evidence to back up his claim about Russians arranging for Trump’s victory. Without such evidence, his claim should have been deemed outrageous and ignored. But, because he also said he would boycott the Trump inauguration, he received nationwide media coverage.

The Georgia congressman obviously knows how to gain publicity. And he doesn’t stick to the truth to get it. He stated that boycotting the Trump inauguration would be the first time in his 30 years in Congress that he wouldn’t be present at such an event. The truth is that he stayed away from the 2001 inauguration of President George W. Bush, saying he didn’t believe Mr. Bush to be the real victor. Then he attacked the candidacy of John McCain/Sarah Palin accusing them of “sowing the seeds of hatred and division.” Had they won in 2008, it seems likely that he would have boycotted that inauguration as well.

John Lewis was born in Alabama in 1940. One of ten children, he was educated at a Nashville, Tennessee theological seminary and at that city’s Fisk University. He first met Martin Luther King in 1958. During the 1960s, as the leader of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Lewis was the youngest of the six men who were considered leaders in the King-led Civil Rights Movement. He came to national attention during the 1965 protest march across the Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama when his skull was fractured by state troopers.

A diligent student of the King non-violence ruse, Lewis and others were responsible for riots and increased levels of hatred in demonstrations all over the South. Their plan included creating situations where violence would occur. King spelled out this strategy in the April 3, 1965, issue of Saturday Review where he explained that demonstrations would lead to violence and then to subsequent legislation building government power over the entire nation. Without the violence needed by King-led or King-promoted demonstrations, they claimed their cause would achieve little or nothing.

After the Selma riot, John Lewis rose to greater prominence in the Civil Rights Movement. He eventually shifted his efforts toward gaining elected office, losing a 1977 bid for a Georgia congressional seat. By 1981, he had won a place on the Atlanta City Council. Then, in 1986, he became the U.S. Congressman representing Georgia’s 5th Congressional district. He has been reelected ever since.

Lewis is one of the most liberal members of the entire House and unquestionably one of most consistently Democratic congressmen in the Deep South. In recent years, he has used his congressional vote to support costly and unnecessary environmental mandates, continue tax-payer funding of abortion, maintain immigration outrages, block an attempt to rein in presidential legislating by Executive Order, and continue federal control of education. The district he represents is notable for the heavy amount of government funding of its citizens.

Like so many Civil Rights promoters, Lewis frequently blames others for “sowing the seeds of hatred and division.” He pontificates, “We shouldn’t divide people; we shouldn’t separate people.” But he is a leader of a Black Caucus in the Congress (no whites allowed), and he crusaded for 15 years to have the federal government establish an African American museum in the nation’s capital (no whites depicted as heroes). Each of those institutions will perpetuate racial division.

Like too many of his colleagues, John Lewis regularly swears an oath to support the U.S. Constitution. But he then puts it in the bottom drawer where it never gets in the way of his support of the liberal agenda that is harming America.

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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.