Having taken twenty years to lose the last war, the Pentagon has decided to fast-track things and pre-lose the next war:
Twice in the final months of the Trump administration, the country's top military officer was so fearful that the president's actions might spark a war with China that he moved urgently to avert armed conflict.
In a pair of secret phone calls, Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, assured his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People's Liberation Army, that the United States would not strike, according to a new book by Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward and national political reporter Robert Costa...
"General Li, I want to assure you that the American government is stable and everything is going to be okay," Milley told him. "We are not going to attack or conduct any kinetic operations against you."
In the book's account, Milley went so far as to pledge he would alert his counterpart in the event of a U.S. attack, stressing the rapport they'd established through a backchannel. "General Li, you and I have known each other for now five years. If we're going to attack, I'm going to call you ahead of time. It's not going to be a surprise."
So America's "top general" secretly pledged to the ChiComs that he'd give 'em a head's up if his soi-disant commander-in-chief was planning anything...
There are phrases to describe countries where the military isn't under the control of elected officials, and "republic of self-governing citizens" isn't one of them.
As I've said multiple times in recent weeks, key American institutions from the CDC to the NBA act as if the Chinese have already won. The Pentagon has apparently joined them. You don't need to penetrate Thoroughly Modern Milley: He's his own Fang Fang.
Given that the interest on America's debt has largely funded the expansion of the ChiComs' military (including what's now the world's largest surface fleet), Milley's offer to further hobble his own side seems a little superfluous: the Pentagon are the Washington Generals and Beijing are the Wuhan Globetrotters.
~I said a few weeks ago that the Dems were likely to steal the California recall, just to keep themselves in trim ahead of the 2022 midterms. Both the shenanigans (electors turning up to vote only to be told that they'd already done so) and the starry campaigners (most notably Obama, who never likes to be associated with losers) suggested that the fix was already in.
Polls will close in a few hours, and both camps seem to be sending out signals that the execrable Newsom is home and dry. If he's not, well, the election will not be "certified" until October 22nd, so that gives the Dems five weeks to come up with the shortfall.
American conservatives need to recognize that there's no point being "the greatest country in the history of countries" if you have the crappiest election system in the history of election systems. The Dems seized on Covid to put in place rules that make victory - or "victory" - all but certain. It would be asking an awful lot for them to forego the pleasure of it, in California or, in 2022, nationwide.
~Everything that can be said has been said about the prestigious thirty-grand-a-ticket "Met Gala", at which AOC appeared in a figure-hugging "TAX THE RICH" gown and her fellow congresswoman Carolyn Maloney dazzled in an "EQUAL RIGHTS" get-up:
As Betty Comden and Adolph Green remarked in another context, "You Can Always Catch Our Act at the Met."
Much was made of the fact that the A-list celebrities and even the third-rate hack politicians like Ms Maloney were unmasked and non-socially-distanced, while the riff-raff (see above, at left) were all facially covered in basic black, with only a little bit of bare arm to distinguish them from their sisters in Qom or Kabul.
But, aside from all that, events like the "Met Gala" remind one that so much of contemporary American life is a racket. I had vaguely assumed that the Met was short for Metropolitan, as in Opera, but Steyn Club member Nicola Timmerman says it's Met as in Metropolitan Art Museum, the Costume Institute branch. I'd be surprised if AOC or most of the celebs could name an opera, but, given that so much of contemporary life is a dress-up game, they may be more familiar with the Costume Institute.
I have no idea why a "gala" for a "costume institute" should be the hottest ticket in a society whose costume is logoed crap made in China. But I have the vague feeling many institutions of Conservative, Inc aspire to the condition of the Met Gala.
~Thank you for your kind words about our blood-soaked Afghan edition of Steyn's Sunday Poems. Very much appreciated. Rosette, a Continental member of The Mark Steyn Club, was among those who enjoyed it:
A beautiful Sunday evening thanks to this poem intermezzo, Mark!
My sincere admiration for your 'tour de force' of translating German into English. You kept the dramatic strength of the original text which is quite an extraordinary achievement!
Thank you, Rosette. I had a slight advantage in that Herr Fontane was attempting to write in the English ballad style. As for "tour de force", I recall the other day - possibly on Serenade Radio - asking, "What's the French for 'tour de force'?"
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