Freitas, who is a father of three and who served two combat tours in the Middle East as a Green Beret, has been identifying school security needs and has been outlining solutions. He has also been implementing solutions for Virginia in the Virginia legislature.
It’s been a long time since a common rite of passage among our nation’s men was to put on a uniform and defend your nation, community, and family. Yet at a time of increasing hyperpolarization in our country, as well as the deteriorating state of our nation’s youth in mind, body, and soul, national military service may be an idea worth considering once again.
National service has been ever-present in our country’s history. From militias in the Revolutionary War era to the wartime drafts in the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, to peacetime drafts through various parts of our nation’s past.
The legacy from those eras of conscription still remain in the form of the Selective Service system, which many of us remember being notified that we needed to register for upon reaching age 18.
The Selective Service system also has been the subject of debate in recent years, as many persons have considered whether women should register for it as well – such as during the 2016 Presidential election when Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton called for such.
Among other republics and democracies in the world national service is relatively common, from the nations of Europe to Africa, from the Middle East to Asia to South America. Conscription began falling out of favor since the end of the Cold War, as the general state of worry over military conflict faded.
Yet in recent years conscription has made a comeback. French President Macron has been trying to reintroduce military conscription in order to “foster patriotism and heal social divisions.” Norway recently expanded its military conscription in 2016 to include women, as Sweden has now re-introduced conscription as well.
Perhaps the most noted military conscription program is that of Israel, which requires all men and women to serve about two years in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), with few exceptions. While brought about by military necessity, it has also cultivated an Israeli citizenry that has the character, grit, and sense of duty to keep their nation thriving.
It used to be that way in America, as serving in the military was a relatively common experience. In 1980, veterans totaled 18% of adults in the United States. In contrast, by 2016 that number had fallen to 7%.
At a time when our nation is reeling from divisions along seemingly every line possible, it is worth considering a common and shared experience as national service to reconnect our country together. The benefits are very clear in other nations, as despite often no overt military conflict conscription still provides a variety of security and social benefits to the country.
Undoubtedly the implementation of a conscription program, not seen in our nation for almost half a century, would be difficult initially. Not only have the times and culture changed, but so has the very nature of our armed forces.
Our military nowadays is an extremely high-tech organization and finding how to best utilize the massive manpower from our almost 330 million person nation would require careful delineation.
Furthermore, many of our nation’s youth, estimated currently at 71% of those between the ages of 17 and 24, are grossly unfit for military service. Creating a new conscript category and integrating them usefully into the nation’s military would be challenging, but given how seemingly every other nation is able to do it effectively we undoubtedly can find a way to as well.
The idea of national service would undoubtedly require a significant period of pilot programs and testing. The idea has been proposed frequently in the national discourse throughout the years and particularly during the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. It is a big, nation-changing policy that certainly, if it gets further traction and consideration, would be a serious national debate.
National service is a very realistic program that could do a lot in solving many of our nation’s otherwise seemingly unsolvable problems, as well as reigniting reflection on the meaning of citizenry in a republic.
I think it is worth considering at our present time, as, although it seems a big change, nonetheless could revive our American spirit and heal our nation in an extraordinary way.
The post Reigniting The Meaning Of Citizenship Through National Service appeared first on The American Spectator.
A shocking video recently surfaced that allegedly shows a play at a preschool in the Gaza Strip where children dressed up as commandos and performed a mock hostage-taking situation and execution of an Israeli soldier. First reported by the Middle East Media Research Institute , the video purportedly was recorded during a ceremony in May at the Al-Hoda preschool in the self-governing Palestinian territory.
Michael Ledeen is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
I testified against the Patriot Act because I feared the abuse of secret tribunals. I’m usually far off in my predictions, but it was obvious from the get-go that the FISA courts would be abused by the Intelligence Community, and indeed those secret courts have almost always done what the FBI and CIA asked, even when—as in the case of General Michael Flynn—the IC had to ask several times, and even when the “evidence” consisted of an unverified “dossier” produced by a political campaign.
The Intelligence Community has long considered itself a state within the American state, dating from its creation just after World War II. Most of the time, the IC has used its power to support presidential policies—the CIA snooped on the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2014, and on the McGovern campaign, and the FBI spied on the Goldwater campaign– but when a president acted against the IC’s convictions, the spooks advanced their own interests and beliefs.
No sooner had President Truman recognized the state of Israel, than the CIA swung into (illegal) action, secretly creating the American Friends of the Middle East, which brought Middle Easterners to America, published their views, and lobbied Congress, all against Israel. In the words of Hudson’s Michael Doran,
AFME was a remarkable instance of a CIA-confected front organization designed to counter official government policy, in this case by seeking to delegitimize Zionism in domestic American politics.
Truman quickly understood what was at stake. “It’s become a government all of its own and all secret. They don’t have to account to anybody.”.
It was, Truman recognized, part of a broader problem: bureaucrats who saw themselves, not mere elected officials, as the only legitimate policy makers. “The civil servant, the general or admiral, the foreign service officer,” Truman insisted, “has no authority to make policy. They act only as servants of the government, and therefore they must remain in line with the government policy that is established by those who have been chosen by the people to set that policy.”
This enraged the president, who was also furious at the State Department’s opposition to his Middle East policies. Yet bureaucratic action against presidential policies remained common. As Truman discovered, the IC used “intelligence” to undermine presidential policies and advance its own. This was demonstrated in the 1970s, when a private-sector group of analysts known as “Team B”—led by the recently-departed Professor Richard Pipes of Harvard–successfully challenged the CIA’s view of Soviet military strength, and the CIA’s conviction that we had very little to fear from the Kremlin.
Back in the Truman years, the president was able to appreciate Soviet intentions better than the IC, ironically thanks in no small part to his own intelligence operation in cahoots with Israel. Ironically, Truman opened a secret back channel to Tel Aviv at the same time the CIA was sabotaging American cooperation with the Jewish state, via the legendary spook James Jesus Angleton, whose point of contact in Israel was Ben-Gurion’s personal secretary, Teddy Kolleck. The two worked closely with Israel’s domestic security service, the Shin Bet, debriefing Jewish immigrants from the Soviet Empire. Angleton, like most CIA officials, suspected the Israelis of collusion with the Soviet Union, but in time he realized this was not true. Angleton subsequently received the text of Khrushchev’s speech about Stalin’s crimes…from the Israelis. He was subsequently outed by CIA chief William Colby, with whom he had had many disagreements.
Bureaucratic arrogance is an ongoing problem, nowhere more than the Intelligence Community. The problem is more grave today, with the advances in electronic snooping, the courts’ willingness to let the intelligence agencies pry into all manner of communications, and the zeal with which the media report improper leaks. As Lee Smith recently tweeted:
They (the IC) ran a counterintelligence investigation of a former rival spy chief, Mike Flynn, a retired 3-star General. Abuse. Then they leaked intercept of his conversation with Russian ambassador. Crime. Now our 3d world press hires our 3d world spy chiefs.
Secret tribunals guarantee this sort of corruption. Yes, there are cases where decisions on spying on Americans must be secret, but we pay a terrible price for them. And as things stand, the snoopers have all the cards. The game is totally rigged.
When Steve Case, the ultra-wealthy co-founder of AOL, heard that the Saudi Arabian government was interested in his Virginia mansion, he got excited. Because it had a $43,000,000 price tag, Case was eager to sell it off to the highest bidder. Despite the mansion being a beacon of American history, he sold it off to a foreign government because they offered the right amount of cash.
Case’s former property was once the residence of Jackie Kennedy when she was a teenager after her mother remarried.
It is called the Merrywood estate, which is located in McLean, Virginia. Case listed it for sale for $49.5 million but sold it for a bargain to the Saudi government for $43 million.
The property was built back in 1919. It housed Jackie Kennedy Onassis when she was a teenager. But in 2005, Steve Case, the co-founder of AOL, purchased it for $24.5 million. In a little more than a decade, he has nearly doubled his investment on the property, which is considered part of American history.
The mansion is humongous. It contains 13 bathrooms and nine bedrooms. You can enjoy a game on the tennis court on the estate or a dip in the luxury pool.
The deal closed last week. And it has just become the most expensive deal ever recorded in the Washington, D.C. area. And now the piece of history is owned by the Middle Eastern country’s government.
Jackie Kennedy Onassis moved to the mansion when she was twelve-years-old. Her mother had remarried Standard Oil heir Hugh D. Auchincloss Jr.
The Saudi government plans to use the estate when delegates visit the United States to discuss politics. The governmental spokeswoman said:
“The Saudi government understands the historical significance of the Merrywood home and has tremendous respect for its place in American history.”
Twelve years after Case bought the property with his wife Jean in 2005, he listed it for $49.5 million with Mark C. Lowham of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty and Juliana E. May of JLL, reports the Daily Mail.
“We enjoyed living in Merrywood for the past 13 years, and we hope the new owner will appreciate the property as much as we did,” the couple said in a statement.
Case and his wife sold the property because the no longer need such a large estate. With their children out of the home, they decided to downsize despite their massive wealth. They will move to a farm in Warrenton, which used to be their weekend home. They also have an apartment in Washington, D.C.
Case came to his wealth after founding America Online (AOL) with computer programmer Marc Seriff. Case was chairman and CEO of AOL Time Warner until he resigned in 2003. Now he is a chief executive at the investment firm Revolution. Meanwhile, his wife Jean serves as the chairman of the National Geographic Society.
The mansion is 23,000 square feet and in the Georgian style. It is just eight miles from the nation’s capital. For foreign dignitaries, the mansion offers a quick ride over to D.C. for meetings.
What do you think about this piece of twentieth-century American history?
The Quds Force was established during the Iraq-Iran war (1980-1988) to undertake secret operations inside Iraq. But now after almost three decades of its establishment QF is considered as one of the most powerful security agencies in the Middle East.
A U.S. rocket artillery strike last week on a gathering of Taliban leaders in southern Afghanistan killed at least 50 of them, a U.S. military official said Tuesday.
Lt. Col. Martin O’Donnell, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan, said a weapon system known as the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS, which is capable of firing GPS-guided rockets, destroyed a command-and-control position that was a known meeting place for high-level Taliban leaders. He said at least 50 leaders were killed.
Additional, unspecified numbers of Taliban officials were killed in U.S. airstrikes over a recent 10-day period, the spokesman said.
The top American commander for the Middle East wants a more aggressive Afghan military pressuring Taliban and other insurgents over the normally quieter months of Afghanistan’s winter, and then quickly going on the offensive in the spring. It’s all part of a plan the United States hopes will change the course of a war now entering its 17th year.
United Nations, May 31 : UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov on Wednesday condemned the latest escalation in Gaza. The past two days have seen the most serious escalation in Gaza since the 2014 conflict between Hamas and Israel, Mladenov told the UN Security Council.
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