Americans are by now broadly aware of the threat posed by Chinese-owned TikTok, including its threat…
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TikTok’s Latest Assault: Ripping Off American Artists and Songwriters

Americans are by now broadly aware of the threat posed by Chinese-owned TikTok, including its threat to U.S. national security.

In recent days, we’ve witnessed in real time another emerging TikTok threat reaching the headlines:  The threat it poses to intellectual property protections, which undergird America’s status as the most artistically and musically productive and influential nation in human history.

Universal Music Group, however, has decided to stand up and fight back by removing its catalog of songs – including artists like Taylor Swift, Drake and Billie Eilish – from TikTok.

Tone-Deaf TikTok has built its aggressive worldwide empire largely on the backs of music created by American artists, as even its corporate leadership openly admits.  As TikTok’s very own…[more]

February 08, 2024 • 12:44 PM

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Four Years After Trump Targeted Iranian General Soleimani, Biden’s Weakness Brings Chaos Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, January 04 2024
Soleimani’s killing reconfirmed the importance of a strong U.S. foreign and defense policy pursued by addressing threats proactively rather than reactively.

Four years ago this week, U.S. forces killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in a drone attack ordered by president Donald Trump.  

This week, in stark contrast, global shipping giant Maersk announced that it could no longer traverse the Red Sea due to ongoing missile attacks by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.  It will instead reroute its ships between Europe and Asia thousands of extra miles around the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.  

The two events four years apart sharply illustrate the foreign policy difference between former President Trump and current president Joe Biden, and the price the world pays for the latter’s weakness.  Strength begets peace, weakness begets chaos.  

The January 3, 2020, killing of General Soleimani naturally prompted hand-wringing from the foreign policy establishment in the U.S. and worldwide, as had President Trump’s decision to relocate the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem did.  

Previewing for Americans and the world the weakness that would characterize his future administration, candidate Joe Biden lambasted Trump’s boldness and anticipated chaos for the U.S. and its allies:  

President Trump just tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox, and he owes the American people an explanation of the strategy and plan to keep safe our troops and embassy personnel, our people and our interests, both here at home and abroad, and our partners throughout the region and beyond.  

Soleimani, however, had earned his grim fate.  

After joining Iran’s notorious Islamic Revolutionary Guard Quds corps amid the Iranian revolution in 1979, Soleimani became its commander and chief deputy of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.  He was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American troops, and disfiguring injuries suffered by thousands more.  Before his death, Soleimani continued to target Americans abroad and orchestrated outside militant groups like Hamas and the Houthi rebels:  

[T]he commander of Iran’s Khatam al-Aniba Headquarters, Maj. Gen. Gholam Ali Rashid, revealed in 2021 that three months before Soleimani was eliminated, the then-Quds Force chief asserted in a security discussion in Iran that he had managed to nurture six armies outside of the country:  Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, the Houthis in Yemen, Hashd al-Shaabi in Iraq, and militias in Syria.  The management of Iran’s network of proxies under Soleimani was characterized by centralization, with Soleimani playing a key role thanks to his charismatic personality and strategic military skills.  

It speaks volumes about Biden’s judgment that he lamented this man’s long-overdue assassination.  

Soleimani was a murderous and destabilizing force who threatened the U.S. and allies like Israel, both directly and through his proxy groups like Hamas.  His killing preempted upcoming attacks he was planning against Americans and our allies, it provided retributive justice for his previous activities and it deterred further aggression against American interests.  

Trump’s action against Soleimani also sent a clear message to Iran and other global adversaries that the U.S. would no longer tolerate such threats to our national security, and that we would take bold steps unpopular with the diplomatic establishment to neutralize dangers.  It demonstrated resolve, and deepened American credibility by signaling a willingness to act so decisively against hostile actors.  

More broadly, Soleimani’s killing reconfirmed the importance of a strong U.S. foreign and defense policy pursued by addressing threats proactively rather than reactively.  Whereas Biden predicted chaos, Iran instead reacted impotently.  

Upon entering office in 2021, Biden swiftly reversed Trump’s policy of assertiveness in favor of passivity and conciliation with Iran.  

Whereas Trump’s program of sanctions against Iran reduced its 2020 oil export revenues to $12.7 billion from $53 billion in 2018, Biden’s relaxation of sanctions has allowed Iranian revenues to rise back to $30 billion in 2021 and $43 billion in 2022.  Biden also restarted the farcical Iranian nuclear negotiations, which brought us to the announcement last week that its enrichment of uranium has neared weapons-grade levels.  

Since Biden entered the White House, Iran has also been emboldened to the point of helping Hamas plan the October 7 attack against Israel and giving it the “green light” to attack.   

Since that attack, moreover, Iran’s Houthi rebel proxies consider Biden such a non-threat that they have managed to shut down shipping in the critical Red Sea corridor.  

Quite a comedown since January 2021.  

Biden himself hasn’t internalized the simple lesson reconfirming that U.S. strength brings peace and U.S. timidity brings chaos.  It may, however, be among the reasons that the American electorate refuses to grant him the job extension he seeks this coming November.

Notable Quote   
 
"Significantly more Americans name immigration as the most important problem facing the U.S. (28%) than did a month ago (20%). Immigration has now passed the government as the most often cited problem, after the two issues tied for the top position the past two months. The government ranked first each month from January through November 2023.In the latest poll, 20% of Americans name the government…[more]
 
 
— Jeffrey Jones, Gallup Senior Editor
 
Liberty Poll   

Would you feel safer riding in a self-driving car or one driven by Vin Diesel?