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Mr. President, do NOT trade Fethullah Gulen’s life to ease pressure on the Saudis

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Mr President do NOT trade Fethullah Gulens life to ease pressure on the Saudis

Let’s tread cautiously for a moment.

If reports are true that the administration is considering delivering Turkish dissident Fethullah Gulen into the hands of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in exchange for easing pressure on Saudi Arabia, then it’s time to rethink where our moral compass is pointing as a nation. Here’s one of the reports, and I urge caution in regards to its validity until we hear more from the White House or see actions against Gulen:

Trump admin considers Khashoggi murder, trying to extradite Gulen

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/15/trump-admin-considers-khashoggi-murder-trying-to-extradite-gulen.htmlThe Trump administration is seeking ways to extradite an enemy of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, NBC News reported Thursday, citing two senior U.S. officials and two other people briefed on the requests. The effort is intended to get the Turkish leader to ease pressure on Saudi Arabia over the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

It is at least the second time the White House has sought to remove Fethullah Gulen, a cleric living in exile in Pennsylvania. In President Donald Trump’s first days in office, his administration asked the Department of Justice to look into the matter, NBC News has reported.

Set aside internal politics of Turkey itself; support for Gulen, Erdogan, or neither is irrelevant in regards to this action. Let’s instead focus on what this would say about our priorities. I’m not so naive to believe lives aren’t traded in a geopolitical marketplace that thrives on quashing dissidents and sweeping atrocities under the rug, but there are lines that should never be crossed by the United States of America. This is one of them.

Let’s break this down into it’s core components. Again, at this point it has not been confirmed so tread lightly before formulating an opinion.

  • Turkish President Erdogan hates Gulen and has demanded his extradition over alleged connections to a 2016 coup attempt.
  • Erdogan has pursued Gulen for years, well before the coup attempt.
  • U.S. officials have not seen sufficient evidence that connects Gulen to the coup. Gulen vehemently denies involvement.
  • Turkey has been spearheading accusations against Saudi Arabia since the early hours following Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.
  • Turkey trickled information out to the public, holding cards as long as they could in hopes information implicating Saudi Arabia would surface without Turkey exposing their information gathering techniques. In other words, they spied on Saudi Arabia’s consulate and hoped they wouldn’t have to admit to it in order to nail the Saudis.
  • Saudi Arabia has pressured Washington DC to help them sweep this under the rug. Turkey has been the loudest voice calling for punishments against the nation, specifically calling for actions against Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
  • Ergogan used to see MBS as a protege he could bring under his wing to solidify influence over Saudi Arabia. Now Erdogan views MBS as a threat to his standing as the default leader of the Middle East Muslim world.
  • The U.S. has almost certainly asked Turkey to stop. Our alliance with Saudi Arabia is more important than the death of a single journalist, at least in the eyes of many DC politicians.
  • Turkey has ramped up pressure and told DC the only way they’d stop is if they get their hands on Gulen.

Again, this is all a mix of speculation and extrapolation based on the limited facts we know. With that said, I’d say all of these speculations have a high probability of being true.

The only question would be the final bullet point on the list. Is the United States going to give Gulen to Ergogan, effectively signing his death sentence? Is the administration going to help cover up Saudi crimes by sacrificing someone who turned to us for asylum?

Let’s be very clear. I’m not defending Gulen as a person. I don’t know what he’s done, whether he instigated the Turkish coup attempt, or what he’s doing here in America. My only concern is whether or not the administration would trade a human life for mitigated damage to an ally that committed murder.

It’s always best to get the facts before forming an opinion. Until it’s confirmed the administration is doing this, we shouldn’t judge them. If it plays out as the report contends, there will be a lot more questions to ask about our nation’s direction.

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Conservatism

What Steven Crowder’s latest pro-life Change My Mind reveals

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What Steven Crowders latest pro-life Change My Mind reveals

Steven Crowder in his most recent edition of “Change My Mind” experienced more aggressive pro-abortion arguments than he had in the previous installments. The episode featured people arguing that moral personhood began at birth or even “experience.” Often times, Change My Mind demonstrates that under scrutiny, arguments have flaws. Such is the method that got Socrates killed. With all of these discussions, the failure to prove the lack of humanity for a fetus proved unconvincing and logically undefended by its proponents. But I want to address the intrinsic instinct, the universal morality, that could not stay buried under layers of denial. These pro-abortion advocates, deep down, know they are wrong.

In all four conversations, late term abortion was supported. However the caveat of threat to the mother was brought up, despite the rarity of such occurrence. Steven Crowder called them out, citing the fact that they said they would support third trimester abortion even if it were not a threat to the mother by their own previous admission. The proponents then hesitantly agreed. So Crowder then asked “why bring it up?” That is the question. Why would abortion advocates rely on such extreme examples?

I believe that deep down, those who have not finished their leftist training have not intrinsically forsaken the convicting power of conscious, because of what I observed in this video. The latter two proponents came off as not even believing what they were saying. The first was a hardcore stoner. The second was a perhaps shy of being a feminist. The stoner gentleman said “breath” was the transfer of moral personhood and if a baby came out and had yet to breath, it would not yet be human, therefore justified in killing it. The last one suggested the ultra vague notion of “experience” rendered moral personhood. Yet she agreed that the experiences of the unborn were valid human experiences and then whimsically concluded that it was still okay to kill them.

She, in particular, sounded really unconvinced in her own stance. I thought she was going to make a utilitarian argument that would have led to an interesting discussion about quantifying human suffering. This would have been a better argument than “experience” which is even less defensible than sentience. The gentleman in the beginning argued that a fetus was a parasite but then insisted it was not autonomous. Biologically speaking a parasite is autonomous from its host.

These two claims are mutually exclusive. Three of these students presented arguments that I was unconvinced they themselves even believed. I am shocked that this was my takeaway, for on every other Change My Mind, even the other three installments on abortion, I believed that the guests genuinely believed their own arguments.

If a fetus is not human, there would be no need to rely on extreme examples to defend abortion. It’s becoming increasingly obvious that abortion is an affront to natural law, as science increasingly supports the notion of human life at creation. The Founding Fathers so cleverly wrote that our rights were self evident. The affront to these self evident rights will naturally be difficult to defend logically. This is why the abortion advocates had such poor arguments with premises that could not withstand charitable scrutiny. In this case, the pro-abortion advocates all believed a conclusion of abortion permissibility, without internally accepting the premises necessary to support the conclusion and the implications they would ensue from said premises.

There is a difference between a person being reputably evil and plainly gullible. That difference would be seen as someone who simply accept that a fetus is not human and simply doesn’t care. These college students weren’t there yet. Nor is the rest of the country as a whole. So there is reason for hope.

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Culture and Religion

Intellectual discourse versus Biblical snippets to spread the Gospel

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Intellectual discourse versus Biblical snippets to spread the Gospel

In a world with a shortening attention span, is it better to drop “Bible bombs” on people in the short time they give us? With a topic as complex as a Biblical worldview, is it better to deliver long-form dissertations and engage in extended debate?

The answer to both questions is, “Yes.”

Those of us who are trying to spread the Gospel and bring more people to the light are tasked with a difficult challenge to overcome. Much of the world is shifting towards a secular worldview and abandoning the truth of the Bible. Even though people abroad are coming into the faith in astounding numbers, people in western culture are often pulling away.

We are faced with the two big challenges: time and effort. Sometimes, people simply won’t allow enough time to learn about the Bible, our Creator, our Savior, or any of the other portions of faith that are required to penetrate the evil haze that is sweeping across western culture. On the other hand, there is a need to be prepared for those instances when someone is open to discussion, when they have questions and are willing to look deeper to find the answers.

The former often requires us to be ready with a Biblical “elevator pitch” in order to establish the latter. This is one of the reasons why we’re so focused on social media. It’s a venue that we believe can bring people into the state of mind of asking questions. While it’s likely not possible for a Tweet to make people change their worldview, we see it as a prompt to act on the nagging feelings that have been hitting them but that they’ve never pursued in the past.

Once you have people asking questions, it’s important to have the right answers readily available. If they come to you for guidance and you’re not ready to deliver it, you can actually do more harm than good. It’s a fear that has enveloped us at times. It has driven us to a state of constant study; not a day goes by when we’re not doing something to expand our understanding and sharpen our abilities to deliver the right message at the right time.

Prayer is the most important thing you can do. It’s even more important than studying. If you can tap into the message through prayer and Bible study, the Lord will provide you with the words you need when the time to deliver them comes.

One does not have to go to seminary to be able to answer questions when they are asked. Between the internet and, of course, the Bible, the answers will present themselves if you’re are simply willing to look.

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Conservatism

Justin Amash for President in 2020 sounds good to me

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Justin Amash for President in 2020 sounds good to me

My mission at the Strident Conservative is to promote conservative values over political parties and to hold members of every political stripe accountable when they fail to uphold those values. I’m particularly motivated to expose people who fail to defend conservatism while claiming to be conservative.

Lately, I’ve been receiving some heat for exposing faux conservatives like Sen. Mike Lee for partnering with Ivanka Trump to advance her feminist socialist agenda; the House Freedom Caucus for selling out to the GOP establishment; the Senate Conservatives Fund for abandoning conservatism for Trumpism; and BlazeTV for becoming a pro-Trump echo chamber and a home for faux conservatives in the media.

In an environment such as this, it’s often tempting to walk away from this mess, move off-grid to Alaska, and wait for the zombie apocalypse. Fortunately, with the support of my wonderful wife and like-minded friends like the awesome Shannon Joy, I’ve adopted the words of the Apostle Paul from his letter to the Philippians (3:12-14, The Message):

I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me.

Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward — to Jesus.

I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.

In the face of such adversity, I’m often asked about how we should proceed in our fight for liberty and a return to conservative values and the Constitution — a tough question to answer.

Those who regularly read or listen to the Strident Conservative know of my resolve to see a new party rise from the ash heap of unibrow Washington. And even thought the odds may be against us, a recent POLITICO/Morning Consult Poll showed a majority of independents and half of respondents overall support the need for a third party.

And that brings me to the recent rumors that Libertarian Republican Rep. Justin Amash may run for president in 2020 on the Libertarian ticket. Personally, I would be all over this.

I’m a big fan of Amash and his solid defense of the Constitution — I’ve referenced him many times in articles on Constitutional matters — and he hasn’t been shy about holding Trump, the GOP, and faux conservatives accountable for violating the trust of the American people and failing to protect and defend the Constitution.

There are early indications that Amash would have the support of conservatives worn down by the repeated betrayals of the GOP establishment. Groups like Amash 4 President have been birthed on Facebook, and a petition has been started calling on Amash to run in 2020 as a third-party candidate.

To those who accept the binary lie that a third-party has no chance and that only a candidate belonging to the establishment duopoly can win, I have only one reply … Abraham Lincoln.

Originally posted on StridentConservative.com.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

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