Lost in Trump World

War in the Shadows (of You Know Who)

By Andrew Bacevich
5 February 2019

“Let’s get out of Afghanistan. Our troops are being killed by the Afghanis we train and we waste billions there. Nonsense!  Rebuild the USA.”

The news, however defined, always contains a fair amount of pap. Since Donald Trump’s ascent to the presidency, however, the trivia quotient in the average American’s daily newsfeed has grown like so many toadstools in a compost heap, overshadowing or crowding out matters of real substance. We’re living in TrumpWorld, folks. Never in the history of journalism have so many reporters, editors, and pundits expended so much energy fixating on one particular target, while other larger prey frolic unmolested within sight.

As diversion or entertainment — or as a way to make a buck or win 15 seconds of fame — this development is not without value. Yet the overall impact on our democracy is problematic. It’s as if all the nation’s sportswriters obsessed 24/7 about beating New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

In Trump World, journalistic importance now correlates with relevance to the ongoing saga of Donald J. Trump. To members of the mainstream media (Fox News, of course, excepted), that saga centers on efforts to oust the president from office before he destroys the Republic or blows up the planet.

Let me stipulate for the record: this cause is not entirely meritless. Yet to willingly embrace such a perspective is to forfeit situational awareness bigly. All that ends up mattering are the latest rumors, hints, signs, or sure-fire indicators that The Day of Reckoning approaches. Meanwhile, the president’s own tweets, ill-tempered remarks, and outlandish decisions each serve as a reminder that the moment when he becomes an ex-president can’t arrive too soon.

Hotels in Moscow, MAGA Caps, and a Nixon Tattoo

Ostensibly big stories erupt, command universal attention, and then evaporate like the dewfall on a summer morning, their place taken by the next equally big, no less ephemeral story. Call it the Michael Wolff syndrome. Just a year ago, Wolff’s Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House took the political world by storm, bits and pieces winging across the Internet while the book itself reportedly sold a cool million copies in the first four days of its release. Here was the unvarnished truth of Trump World with a capital T. Yet as quickly as Fire and Fury appeared, it disappeared, leaving nary a trace.

Today, 99 cents will get you a copy of that same hardcover book. As a contribution to deciphering our times, the value of Wolff’s volume is about a dollar less than its current selling price. A mere year after its appearance, it’s hard to recall what all the fuss was about.

Smaller scale versions of the Wolff syndrome play themselves out almost daily. Remember the recent bombshell Buzzfeed  report charging that Trump had ordered his lawyer Michael Cohen to lie about a proposed hotel project in Moscow? For a day or so, it was the all-encompassing, stop-the-presses-get-me-rewrite version of reality, the revelation — finally! — that would bring down the president. Then the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller announced that key aspects of the report were “not accurate” and the 24/7 buzz created by that scoop vanished as quickly as it had appeared.

Immediately thereafter, Rudy Giuliani, once “America’s mayor,” now Trump’s Barney Fife-equivalent of a personal lawyer, announced on national television that he had never said “there was no collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russian authorities in election 2016. Observers on the lookout for the proverbial smoking gun quickly interpreted that odd formulation as an admission that collusion must, in fact, have occurred.

The headlines were thunderous. Yet within hours, the gotcha-interpretation fell apart. Alternative explanations appeared, suggesting that Giuliani was suffering from dementia or that his drinking habit had gotten out of hand. With the ex-mayor wasting little time walking back his own comment, another smoking gun morphed into a cap pistol.

Fortunately for what little survives of his reputation, Giuliani’s latest gaffe was promptly eclipsed by video clips that seemed to show white students from an all-boys Catholic high school in Kentucky (Strike One!) who had just participated in the annual March for Life in Washington (Strike Two!) and were taunting an elderly Native American Vietnam War veteran using Tomahawk chops while sporting MAGA hats on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial (Strike Three!).

The ensuing rush to judgment became a wind sprint. Here was the distilled essence of every terrible thing that Donald Trump had done to America. The pro-Trump baseball caps said it all. As a columnist in my hometown newspaper put it, “Like a white hood, that cap represents a provocation and a threat: ‘You know where we stand. You’ve been warned. And the president of the United States has our back.’ And, yes, I do equate MAGA gear with traditional Klan attire. The sartorial choices change, the racism remains the same.” For those too obtuse to grasp the underlying point, the title of the essay drove it home: “White America, come get your children.”

As luck would have it, however, the events that actually unfolded on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial turned out to be more complicated than was first reported. No matter: in TrumpWorld, all sides treat facts as malleable and striking the right moral posture counts for far more than balance or accuracy.

Anyway, soon after, with news that Trump confidant Roger Stone had been indicted on various charges, the boys from Covington could return to the obscurity from which they briefly emerged. To judge from the instantaneous media reaction, Stone’s first name might as well have been Rosetta. Here at last — for sure this time — was the key to getting the real dirt.

Rest assured, though, that by the time this essay appears, Stone and his Richard Nixon tattoo will have been superseded by yet another sensational Trump-related revelation (or two or three).

And so it goes, in an endlessly churning cycle: “breaking news” goes viral; commentators rush in to explain what-it-all-means; the president himself retaliates by lashing out on Twitter (“The Greatest Witch Hunt in the History of our Country!”), much to the delight of his critics. This tit-for-tat exchange continues until the next fresh tidbit of “breaking news” gives the cycle another vigorous turn.

When Does a Hill of Beans Become a Mountain?

Do all of the words spoken or written result in citizens who are better informed and better able to reach sensible conclusions about the global situation in which our country finds itself? Not as far as I can tell. Granted, if I spent more time watching those gabbling heads on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News, I might feel differently. But I doubt it.

Still, having been involuntarily shanghaied into Trump World, I worry that my fellow citizens are losing their ability to distinguish between what truly matters and what doesn’t, between what’s vital and what’s merely interesting. True, Donald J. Trump has a particular knack for simplifying and thereby distorting almost any subject to which he gives even the slightest attention, ranging from border security to forest management. Yet almost everywhere in Trump World, this very tendency has become endemic, with nuance and perspective sacrificed to the larger cause of cleansing the temple of the president’s offending presence. Nothing, it appears, comes close to the importance of this effort.

Not even wars.

I admit to a preoccupation with the nation’s seemingly never-ending armed conflicts. These days it’s not the conduct of our wars that interests me — they have become all but indecipherable — but their duration, aimlessness, and cumulative costs. Yet even more than all of these, what’s fascinating is the way that they continue more or less on autopilot.

I don’t wish to imply that political leaders and media outlets ignore our wars altogether. That would be unfair. Yet in Trump World, while the president’s performance in office receives intensive and persistent coverage day in, day out, the attention given to America’s wars has been sparse and perfunctory, when not positively bizarre.

As a case in point, consider the op-ed that recently appeared in the New York Times (just as actual peace talks between the U.S. and the Taliban seemed to be progressing), making the case for prolonging the U.S. war in Afghanistan, while chiding President Trump for considering a reduction in the number of U.S. troops currently stationed there. Any such move, warned Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution, would be a “mistake” of the first order.

The ongoing Afghan War dates from a time when some of today’s recruits were still in diapers. Yet O’Hanlon counsels patience: a bit more time and things just might work out. This is more or less comparable to those who suggested back in the 1950s that African Americans might show a bit more patience in their struggle for equality: Hey, what’s the rush?

I don’t pretend to know what persuaded the editors of the Times that O’Hanlon’s call to make America’s longest war even longer qualifies as something readers of the nation’s most influential newspaper just now need to ponder. Yet I do know this: the dearth of critical attention to the costs and consequences of our various post-9/11 wars is nothing short of shameful, a charge to which politicians and journalists alike should plead equally guilty.

I take it as a given that President Trump is an incompetent nitwit, precisely as his critics charge. Yet his oft-repeated characterization of those wars as profoundly misguided has more than a little merit. Even more striking than Trump’s critique is the fact that so few members of the national security establishment are willing to examine it seriously. As a consequence, the wars persist, devoid of purpose.

Still, I find myself wondering: If a proposed troop drawdown in Afghanistan qualifies as a “mistake,” as O’Hanlon contends, then what term best describes a war that has cost something like a trillion dollars, killed and maimed tens of thousands, and produced a protracted stalemate?

Disaster? Debacle? Catastrophe? Humiliation?

And, if recent press reports prove true, with U.S. government officials accepting Taliban promises of good behavior as a basis for calling it quits, then this longest war in our history will not have provided much of a return on investment. Given the disparity between the U.S. aims announced back in 2001 and the results actually achieved, defeat might be an apt characterization.

Yet the fault is not Trump’s. The fault belongs to those who have allowed their immersion in the dank precincts of Trump World to preclude serious reexamination of misguided and reckless policies that predate the president by at least 15 years.

Information Clearing House

Andrew Bacevich is a TomDispatch regular. His most recent book is Twilight of the American Century, published by the University of Notre Dame Press.

40 thoughts to “Lost in Trump World”

  1. Pretty interesting dirt on Trump.
    Ref. Russian Insider 02/06.
    Evidently courts in NYC gotta lot on 🍊 Clown…. “payaso” in Spanish. He owes mega-millions to foreign banks. Untouchable now. Ok. But when “payaso” leaves office…..we shall see.

  2. “Never in the history of journalism have so many reporters, editors, and pundits expended so much energy fixating on one particular target, while other larger prey frolic unmolested within sight.”


    Trump has bragged that he is making $$BILLIONS for all media at every turn with his “YUGE” ‘ORANGE HAIR’ & outrageous PT Barnum style!! His jew buddies PROFIT… “BIGGLY”!!

    1. They sure do profit, bigly and the entire propaganda operation has been perfected. The unfairness in the media microscope on Trump serves to keep his base thinking he’s the real deal. This works even beyond his base to other so-called conservatives who have some sense of fairness.

  3. the media we speak of generally represents the dems… beyond the blare, the dems have no strategy, other than maintaining and increasing their permanent underclass welfare parasite base, which does subsidize lots of corporations, probably enough to provide the basic bottom line at walmart.. actually, it’s not the dems or the repubs screwing us up, it’s the corporate one-party pretending to be two… the accusation of racism holds that mud demographic together.. but thrown everywhere, sooner or later it will lose its punch.. charges of ‘white supremacy’ and ‘white privilege’ are about as deep as they’re going to get… that gives the self-righteous white sjw fools from academia something to supposit themselves with… but the media is all about sensationalism as its disaster capitalist method… always has been.. trump was good for media… they still can’t get enough of him… they really love him..
    but who he really is, remains a mystery…
    the conflict in afghanistan has been a reliable cash cow for warmongering debt and munitions merchants from all around the world for decades…the pressure’s always on to dump that old stock… but o’hanlon is right.. as soon as we pull out of there completely the other guys will take the whole place over… so what?

  4. Trump is as fake as all the other national leaders around the world.

    Syria is now defacto partitioned but altmedia are proclaiming that Syrians “won the war”? This is proof enough that the US, Russia, Western Europe, and the elites of Syria and Iran, all colluded at the bombing and dismemberment of that country.

    Time to move on from these petty articles that always ask the same questions (why all these nonsensical wars and waste of blood and treasury?) yet never answer the bloody question. We’re ruled by a global oligarchy. Yawn. That’s it. There’s nothing to yap about anymore.

    1. Afghanistan shares a border with Iran. Uncle Sam is NEVER going to leave Afghanistan, I don’t care what Trump says ; Uncle Sam ain’t going to be withdrawing Uncle Sam’s military from a country that shares a border with Iran. Having a U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, a country right on Iran’s border, is very handy to have a U.S. military presence in a country that shares a border with Trump’s “nemesis” Iran when Uncle Sam/Trump starts its’ long-awaited-for WAR AGAINST IRAN. If Trump does withdraw the troops from Afghanistan it will be a “withdrawl” like the Syrian “withdrawl”. Which means a continuing U.S. military presence. War is peace and peace is war and withdrawl of the U.S. military means a continuing U.S. miltary presence indefinitely, maybe even forever.

      About a week after 9/11 Dick Cheney said on a Sunday morning news show that us Americans can expect WAR for decades to come, there are 60 countries on our list. He said “OUR LIST” meaning Uncle Sam’s HIT LIST, like a Mafia hit list. Iran is definitely one of those 60 countries and Trump is perfectly happy to destroy Iran based on the LIE of 9/11 — as if he doesn’t know that it was JEW ISRAEL with THE HELP OF ALOT OF JEWS in the United States who did 9/11. At heart, he’s not really much different than Dick Cheney. In a way, Cheney was more honest about THE YANKEE EMPIRE’S WAR AGENDA. It’s pretty decrepit, it’s very low, when you are LESS honest than Dick Cheney.

      I voted for Trump because he IS better to have for a president than HELLary [ at least when it comes to domestic issues he’s better than HELLary, HELLary is a TOTAL COMMUNIST ] , but I am NOT naive. I held my nose in the voting booth when I voted for Trump on Election Day, like The Thinking Housewife recommended. The Thinking Housewife, she had The Correct View about voting for Trump and how to go about voting for Trump.

      1. Joe, the day the CIA drives out of Afghanistan with those bumper crop poppy fields fading away in the rear view mirror, will be the day Hell freezes over.

        Even if Trump did pull out every single soldier from Afghanistan, the next sound we’d hear would be;
        Paging Erik Prince! Paging Erik Prince!

  5. wake up man…
    actually the dems are now coming up with their plan, their big deal, the green new deal, the particulars of which are way too much to contemplate…
    it’s all about drastic climate change, reacting to ‘global warming’…
    totally getting rid of all petrol in like 10 years, revamping every building in the country.
    they’ve already gotten rid of 100 watt lightbulbs and draino… what else now?
    btw, what a nice lucrative little insider scam that lightbulb deal was, eh?
    of course the green new deal is really all about advancing the surveillance state control infrastructure… smart meters and chips in every appliance…
    kiss your personal freedom goodbye…
    but here’s how you will know what BS it is – since it’s all about the greenery, ecology, the biosphere, surely now you’ll finally hear some bad commentary on fukushima advanced by the democrats coming out of the mainstream media, which i don’t think has said one word about fukushima, except for a little bit right when it happened…
    i just heard laura ingram say nuclear power was totally clean and safe…
    her and aoc should have an airhead contest, see whose got more pressure, or vacuum…

  6. Being lost in Trump World means you actually think that it is Hezbollah who are the ones causing the turmoil in Venezuela and you think Hezbollah is on the verge of taking over South America and maybe even Central America and what’s next!!! OMG!!! NO!!!! Hezbollah is going to take over Mexico and we’ll have Hezbollah terrorists right on our border just like the ever-suffering Jews have Hezbollah on the border of The Holy Land! We know this is true because Secretary of State under Trump, Pompeo, Pompeo has told us so.

    “Pompeo” sounds like a name right out of the Roman Empire [ during The Decline of ]. Secretary of State under Emperor Romulus, Pompeo, says WE MUST fight more foreign wars to MAKE ROME GREAT AGAIN!!!

      1. Yes Pat, but the ancient patrician Pompeo family of Rome are the ones who founded Pompeii. They named the place after themselves [ In Latin the “ii” at the end signifies plural so they included all of their Pompeo family members when naming the place ] . They survived the volcano eruption, they were on vacation in Egypt at the time — they went to Egypt to learn all about THE ☀️ “God” religion so they could worship
        “G🌞D” who the Romans called “Mithra” in “‘G🌞D’S’ “COUNTRY'”, Egypt ! That’s where we get the expression, “Oh this place is beautiful, it’s breathtaking, this is ‘God’s country'”. Learn your Roman history — and never never never blaspheme against Mithra. good boy, *grin*.

  7. Let’s Rebuild America so ALL of the MANY MANY MANY MORE MILLIONS of third world immigrants Trump is going to [ legally! ] allow come into the United States [ with full approval of Congress ] will have good viable long-lasting infrastructure — just like the third world immigrants are accustomed to back in their homelands! Rebuild America for our third world immigrants who some day, some day sooner than later, will be THE MAJORITY population in the United States and White Americans will be a minority in America with no influence whatsoever in the culture and the politics of Our Nation! Especially the White Christians, most of whom voted for Trump, they will be totally discriminated against BIG-TIME. Rebuild America, the third world ANTI-Christian immigrants who hate America’s heritage and history and original Christian culture and hate White Americans and ALWAYS side with the JEW COMMUNISTS AGAINST WHITE AMERICANS are counting on us!

    David Duke has THE CORRECT VIEW about Trump and about Trump’s SOTU. I ain’t ever going to vote again, unless David Duke runs for the presidency of the United States and that’s NOT going to happen. This country is TOO far gone to have someone as honest and as straight-forward and as FAIR-MINDED as David Duke for president.

  8. (Off Topic) – Wanted to post some time back –

    Mystery of mysteries; whither thou goest modern man, and, to what end is your mastery of this world?

    When I was a young boy in Primary School, we studied history from a series of books published by Longmans’, first in 1945 with the 2nd edition in 1965. In book 2, “New Europe And The New World – From the 16th to the 18th Century-” it defines the modern age as beginning from the 16th Century. In describing the ‘Middle Ages’ and comparing life in the Roman times it says, “The highly civilized provinces of the Romans were gradually overrun by ‘barbarians’, who were far less civilized….For a long time Europe was much less civilized, and so it took a thousand years or so to re-establish in Europe a standard of life anything like that of the Romans.”

    In describing village life it says, “..century after century, children went on living very much like their fathers and grandfathers had done….the villagers had their allotments spread about in strips which changed hands every year. Many of the strips were farmed by the Lord of the Manor, who had more than anybody else. But every villein had his share, which he could cultivate for himself and his family when he was not working for his lord.”

    In thinking, whether the White man or Europeans are more intelligent than others, one cannot help but notice that many peoples elsewhere were more ‘civilized’ and ‘advanced’ at certain points in history, but something unique happened in Europe that brought about the dawn of the modern age.
    In looking at all of history, it is truly the age of bewilderment and wonderment, the likes the world had never seen before.

    So, what was this ‘spirit’ that transformed Europe? By the 15th Century, Europeans were breaching the barrier of the mighty seas and conquering lands elsewhere. In 1497 Sebastian and John Cabot, at the expense of king Henry VII ‘discovered’ Newfoundland. In 1580 Drake became the first admiral to lead a successful voyage around the world; in 1600 the English East India Company was founded.
    The defeat of the Spanish Armada by the British shortly after 1588 signaled that the British were the new masters of the seas. Europeans, lead by the British went about setting up this new age in the four corners of the Earth and this truly is the birth of ‘Novus Order Seclorum’.

    But what does it mean? Is it The New Age or The New Secular Age or the New Age of Reasoning?
    Even if we take New Age of Reasoning as the best definition, it gives primacy of man’s intellect over everything and there is no place for revelation, hence no place for the sovereignty of God. It necessarily breeds a Godless Age. Sometime ago I wrote a piece on Who Are Ashkenazi Jews here on Darkmoon, showing their relationship to Gog and Magog from the lens of scripture.

    Could it be that the New Age is really the civilization of Gog and Magog spread out all over the world?
    And, are European Ashkenazi Jews the only subset of Gog and Magog?

    Like many parts of the world, there are many tribes of Europe, not just Gog and Magog but it seems that the Royal bloodlines of Europe are tied in with the European Jews and constitute the dominant Gog and Magog tribes; they would form a new European Judeo-Christian alliance that will propagate the new age to all corners of the Earth.

    Why are there two hills in England named after Gog and Magog? It reminds me of the two hills in Mecca called Safa and Marwa.
    Are the statutes in London of Gog and Magog only about folkloric legends?

    What about the Christian scripture of Revelations 20:
    1. And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
    2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
    3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season…..
    7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
    8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

    Could it be that Gog and Magog are the agents who embody the spirit of the deceiver to beguile man away from God as the scripture suggests?
    Tim Osterholm’s “Table of Nations” at http://soundchristian.com/man/ is very telling, especially as to who are Gog and Magog. Also telling, is his understanding of where the German people came from.

    But what about intelligence, what is the intellect? These questions strike at the heart of the human constitution. From a linguistic perspective, the Arabic and Hebrew word Adam means the same thing: that man is of two parts, the physical body and the spirit. The fusion of these parts makes the ‘self’ or ‘nafs’ in Arabic. This dual nature is preserved in the words Human Being as well. Human coming from humus or earth and Being from a ‘knowing consciousness’.

    The living nafs or self as described in the Qur’an has three distinct parts:
    • The ‘Lustful-Demanding-Self’ – [Nafs-Ammara] Qur’an 12:53
    • The Watchful-Reproachful-Self – [Nafs-Lawwaama] Qur’an 75:0
    • The Contented-Restful-Self – [Nafs Mutma’inna] Qur’an 89:27
    It was by studying the ‘self’ of Qur’an that Sigmund Freud was able to package them off as his own, using new terms: id, ego and super-ego.

    The ammara-self though sometimes referred as the base self is not always negative. It is the self of preservation, aggression, defence etc. It is first displayed in the instinctive action of suckling in a baby. It has to be selfish in order for it to survive and thrive. It is only when these impulses are unrestrained that they become harmful for the natural growth of the whole ‘self’. It is this aspect of the self that is per-occupied with the physical or outward world.

    Deformed selves emphasizing the ammara impulses are typified by their obsession and over indulgence with sexual experimentation, obsession with eating and having to taste every type of cuisine, over spending and obsessing with outward looks and beautification of things in the extreme – what used to be considered ‘vices’ of the base self.

    This is the self that propels the intellect to master the physical world without restraint. It is exemplified with unrestrained capitalism, over-consumption and never-ending growth and exploitation. Perhaps it can be argued, this is the self that Gog and Magog unleashed to the world.

    The lustful-demanding self is necessarily evident right at birth and continues to display itself openly until the ‘Lawwaama-Self’, ‘the watchful-self’ is developed.
    The Qur’an stipulates the age of 40 as a checkpoint for the Lawwaama-Self to hold and guide the Ammara-Self to balanced impulses and rational restraint. The development of the Lawwaama-Self holds the raw, powerful energy impulses of the Ammara-Self, channels them to self development, establishes just actions and stops wrongful actions.
    The Lawwaama-self is characterized by the development of the intellect and its desire to seek the wisdom of the true nature of the world and man’s role in it. It is the world of rights and ethics. The Arabic language displays its underlying spiritual cosmology by using the world ‘aql’ for intellect. At its root is restraint. It is the self of ‘balance’.

    The Lawwaama-self is the self that is constantly reflecting on its development, seeking perfection. It seeks to not produce wrong action by being ever watchful, to not allow the seeds that produce wrong action to ever germinate or get past into the gateway of the heart.

    The Mutma’inna-self is the self of inspiration. Just as the ammara-self is the interface with the physical world, the mutma’inna-self is the interface with the spiritual world. When developed, it becomes the ‘beautified self’, the self that is not only about equal balance in the scales of justice, but it is the self of forgiveness and overlooking the wrongs done to it by others. It is the self that reflects the grace and mercy of God – the self that is in love with its Lord; it is the surrendered self.

    Just as the Gog and Magog ‘civilization’ are masters of the physical world (the Ammara interface), there were/are, among us, peoples who are naturally deeply connected to the spiritual world. These peoples never manipulated the physical dimension, their Mutma’inna interface was dominant and so they viewed the entire world in the cosmology of the spirit. These aboriginal and native peoples have been viewed by the Gog and Magog ‘civilization’ as primitive and less intelligent.

    Perhaps a lesson can be gleaned from Surah Al Khaf (the Cave) in the story of Dhul Quarnain (most probably the Persian conqueror Cyrus). He was the one who built the wall to keep the tribes of Gog and Magog out – to keep the world safe from their corruption.
    At one point in his travels he came upon a very simple people, the Qur’an describes them as people who did not even build habitation to protect themselves from the elements. God tested him and asked him, “How will you treat these people?” and he said, “I shall leave them as they are.”

    Herein is wisdom as compared to the way Gog and Magog ‘civilization’ treated the native tribes of the world. Gog and Magog ‘civilization’ have forced these peoples to become like them, but they simply can’t and so what remains is a broken spirit that can no longer connect.

    For the sake of argument, however, let’s say that some of us or peoples have been given an advantage over others in certain areas. How should that be used? Who is its source and what are the obligations associated with being endowed with those virtues?

    The Qur’an describes the believer as the one who establishes the Prayer and Charity. If ever he is given authority, he must establish a system of prayer and a system of charity, minimally in his own personal life.
    Why? Because he understands and acknowledges that all virtue is from God; he of himself has nothing and all can be taken away in an instant.
    He then dispenses with this virtue in a manner that becomes an extension of the Grace of God in the physical dimension. He further understands that those given less has a measure of right in what has been given to him and he must give out graciously with a full heart.

    The Qur’anic word for Charity is Zakaat and it has two seemingly contradictory meanings, ‘to grow’ and ‘filth’. The idea is, just like food, when you eat it, it helps you grow, a certain amount must be passed out or it becomes toxic, so too with anything that you have been given. For example, if you’ve been given wealth and you don’t give out some of it in charity willingly, then diseases creep into your heart that can become toxic to the growth of the self, diseases like greediness, selfishness and over-indulgence to name a few.

    All of it is a test, we are all moral beings, either we become an extension of the Grace of God on the Earth or through beguilement, we become something ‘other’.

    The Sage, Qohelet was correct when he said,
    “Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity”
    habel habalim ‘amar qohelet, habel habalim hakkol habel.

    Perhaps a more accurate translation would be:
    Deception of deceptions, saith the Teacher (Sage), deception of deceptions! All is deception.

    The root of the Hebrew word habel is from vapour or breath, showing the illusory, fleeting, ephemeral nature of the duniya (world), the Arabic equivalent is ghuroor.

    How intelligent then, is the one who is in a state of ghuroor (deception)?

    For lovers of native culture, here is a beautiful song by a South American Indian group Alborada:

    1. It must be time to bump your record player. It seems to be stuck. With a source like to one you used, you should have used a couple of smiley faces. You don’t really expect the folks that come to Darkmoon to believe anything that Times of Israel says, do you?

      1. UNG –

        I don’t have ANY expectations of anyone other than myself.

        You should do better that kind of guessing, yourself. I didn’t believe you either when you incorrectly claimed that members of the US Military could not campaign for the President. And I showed you that they CAN actively campaign…. even with signs in yards and bumper stickers to BOOT!!! Now THAT… deserves a triple smiley = 🙂 🙂 🙂

    2. Being lost in Trump World is like being lost in Mark Glenn’s TUTsville.

      Being lost in Trump World is when you think Trump is defeating the jews and he’s defeating the jews in such a clever way the jews, lol, don’t even realize they’re being defeated and if any Darkmooner even suggests even a little bit that maybe Trump is not Anti-Semitic and maybe he’s Philo-Jewish you have temper tantrums and leave Darkmoon in a huff and go over to TUT where you become a regular fixture there because you, lol, got the mettle to handle the ugly truth and everyone here at Darkmoon is deluded about Trump — who is secretly in a very clever way defeating the jews for us but Darkmoon refuses to see that.

      The TUTzies call you knowbro [‘LOBRO’] and finally, after so many years of searching, you finally find a ¡HOME! to call your own! A Home and a Family where NO one in your Family ever contradicts you or even asks you any questions, everyone in The Family always agrees with you 100%, that’s because you’re THE ALL-KNOWING knowbro [‘LOBRO’], a full-fledged TUTzie now — he was once blind but now he sees! 🤓

  9. I never heard of such a useless person.

    I wouldn’t hire Trump to cut my front lawn (or even my back lawn). Why not? Because he’d work for 15 minutes, run into some relatively trivial problem, real or imagined, lose confidence, get discouraged, and stop.

    Then he’d trim the hedge for 15 minutes, and the same thing would happen.

    Then he’d say he was “thinking” about weeding the gardenias for 2 or 3 weeks, but never do anything.

    I’ve seen a lot of workmen that never finish a job, but nothing like Trump, ever.

    I no longer believe anything Trump says — not one word — and the word “Trump” is never pronounced in my house.

    I’ve seen a lot of incompetent Presidents, going back to the 50s, but never such an abject, utter failure.

    1. CWP –

      Good one! “Because he’d work for 15 minutes, run into some relatively trivial problem, real or imagined, lose confidence, get discouraged, and stop.”….. and file bankruptcy!!!

      1. You’re right Pat, except I don’t think Trump will ever stop working trying to get Rep. Ilhan Omar to shut-up. It’s one thing he won’t stop working on, to try to get Rep. Ilhan Omar to shut-up. And NOT because she wants him impeached, but because she offended the jews by telling some truth about about Jew AIPAC.

        And there’s another thing Trump won’t stop working on, increasing legal immigration :

        He declared a National Emergency over The Wall, it’s still not clear if The Wall is going to get built, it doesn’t look like it will be built . Well, 55 miles of Wall will be built, looks like that’s it, 55 miles of Wall. We’re getting more illegals now than under Obama [ which is saying alot ] and Trump is already talking about increasing the numbers of legal immigrants. So the end result is : more and more illegal alien immigrants and more and more legal immigrants.

        A “National Emergency”, that means send some troops to the border and give them stand down orders so the troops can stand around and do nothing except watch the illegal aliens invade the United States, while increasing the number of legal immigrants, and while doing nothing about all the foreigners who come to the United States every day thru the International airports with their VISAS, and then they throw their VISAS in the garbage and stay in the Unites States and settle here. Another form of immigration and lots of illegal aliens have settled here in the United States via throwing their VISAS in the garbage and it still goes on every day. A form of illegal immigration no one even mentions, not even Trump.

    1. Exactly! Tell it to the ‘ white’ Americans. They don’t WANT to accept this reality. They love the jewish myths, fables, soaps etc. A full judaized society, hopeless.

  10. I think I said this before, so you can delete this if you want, but as I understand it, 110 miles of “wall” — or perhaps “fence” or “barrier” — have been built in 2 years. At that rate it will take over 40 years to finish it.

    If Trump built 1 mile a day, it would take 5 years and 9 months to finish.

    He’s short on “wall”, but long on future-tense verbs. “It’s going to be beautiful”, “it’s going to be a new design”, etc. Or it’s all preparatory stuff: “we’re taking bids”, “we’re looking at prototypes”, etc.

    Come back when you’ve done something and then we can talk then.

    1. CWP –

      Exactly right on. His stalling allows more illegals in…. to increase the debt for the Federal Reserve to stay afloat. “His master’s voice”… as RCA (phonograph) famously used.

  11. He’s like a child. He thinks words are real. If he has an idea — it may be a very good idea –; he blurts it out.
    But nothing is done. It’s all forgotten in 2 or 3 days. This is not adult.
    He reminds me of a child lying about how he got the cookie jar open.

    1. He is not a child he is an actor. He doesn’t give a shit and laughs because he knows he is Protected by the jews.

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