- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Those who have experienced combat or who closely and painstakingly monitor U.S military operations often have the power to make a quick, pivotal observation about very complex situations. They can provide a minimal but perfectly calibrated summary of — say — the crisis in Afghanistan.

The following phrase — or a derivative of it — has been used by a number of smart observers to describe the current situation in Afghanistan: “Blame the war on the suits, not the boots.”

Indeed, those wearing suits in the White House, the U.S. Capitol and other politicized spots may need to review the works of Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz, a Prussian general and military theorist of the early 19th century, or Chinese general Sun Tzu, who wrote “The Art of War” sometime around 453 B.C.

All that aside, the “suits not the boots” summary has resonated with quite a few thoughtful and energetic folks:

Former Army Airborne Ranger, author and Senate candidate Sean Parnell (“The suits need to be blamed for this, not the boots”); WorldNetDaily columnist and Navy veteran Brent Smith (“Afghanistan: Blame nation-building suits, not the boots”); Fox News contributor and former pro wrestler Tyrus (“Keep the boots, lose the suits”); former Marine and Senate candidate from Ohio Josh Mandel (“Blame Afghanistan on the suits not the boots”); and columnist, podcaster and intelligence analyst Sebastian Gorka (“Kabul: It’s the suits, not the boots”).



TROUBLING INSIGHT

“The forever war isn’t over. The Afghan debacle just marks a new, more murderous phase,” writes Matthew Continetti, founding editor of The Washington Free Beacon.

He is referring, of course, to the crisis in Afghanistan and the lasting impact of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Afghanistan is just one front in a global conflict that the United States did not initiate and cannot wish away. The Cold War did not end when the South Vietnamese government collapsed. Nor will the war on terror or the ‘Long War’ or the ‘Forever War’ cease with Taliban control of Afghanistan. When participants in the worldwide Salafist-jihadist movement look at the developments of the last week, they don’t see reasons to quit their mayhem. They see the chaos, panic, violence, disorder, and American retreat as a vindication of their ideology and a spur to further action,” Mr. Continetti predicts.

BACK TO SCHOOL FOR BARRON

A brief and kindly update on Barron Trump, now enrolled in the Oxbridge Academy, founded a decade ago in West Palm Beach, Florida, by businessman William Koch — brother of Koch Industries CEO Charles Koch. For those who may not know it, the young Mr. Trump is now 15 and stands 6-foot-7-inches.

The school itself is situated on a 54-acre campus and offers 170 courses to 470 students. Three-quarters of the faculty have advanced degrees and the program offers special training in artificial intelligence and aviation — and a special practical course for seniors titled “Personal Finance.”

“A small contingent of Secret Service agents will be present during each school day. We are working directly with the Secret Service to ensure that logistics and security work smoothly and discreetly with little impact on students, faculty, staff, or day-to-day operations,” headmaster Ralph Mauer advised in a letter to parents, according to the Palm Beach Post.

HOLA, DEMOCRATS

There’s some insight into one particular demographic of note, particularly as the 2022 midterm elections begin to percolate.

“Democrats think that somehow all Hispanics are going to be Democrats. And then they got a rude awakening in my district,” advises Rep. Carlos Gimenez, a Florida Republican who fled Communist Cuba. He became chief of Miami’s fire department, then the city’s mayor and is now serving his first term representing Florida’s 26th Congressional District.

He has a reality check about Democrats, pointing out that they won that particular district by 16 percentage points in 2016 — then lost it by five points in 2020. Voters were not happy with what transpired in those four years — which includes an emerging socialist agenda in the Democratic Party, and increasing vilification of law enforcement. Those factors took a toll on local Democrats.

“I attribute a lot of it to defunding the police and the socialism aspect,” Mr. Gimenez said. “Our community liked President Trump when he stood up to the folks — you know — putting America first.”

He made his remarks Tuesday on “Real America,” a podcast hosted by Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee.

Those seeking extra insight on the subject can consider reading the 2014 book “A Race for the Future: How Conservatives Can Break the Liberal Monopoly on Hispanic Americans” by Mike Gonzales, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

FOXIFIED

During the pivotal week of Aug. 16-22 — marked by continuous turmoil in AfghanistanFox News defeated all broadcast and basic cable channels, making it the number one network in the entire TV realm.

The network earned 3 million prime-time viewers on average — besting ABC with 2.4 million viewers, CBS (2.5 million), NBC (2.7 million), MSNBC (1.2 million) and CNN (960,000).

And the big winners? They were, as usual, “Hannity” with an audience of 3.7 million, and “Tucker Carlson Tonight” with 3.6 million. Overall, Fox News aired the top 24 cable telecasts and top 33 cable news telecasts for the week.

POLL DU JOUR

• 53% of U.S. adults agree that in the long run, the U.S. will be safer from terrorism if it confronts the countries and groups that promote terrorism.

• 70% of Republicans, 50% of independents, 48% of Democrats, 57% of men and 50% of women agree.

• 47% of U.S. adults overall agree that in the long run, the U.S. will be safer from terrorism if it stays out of other countries’ affairs.

• 30% of Republicans, 50% of independents, 52% of Democrats, 43% of men and 50% of women agree.

SOURCE: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 14-17.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

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