Category Archives: President Trump

Syria: the Bloody Price of Western Narcissism, by Brendan O’Neill

If it feels good and righteous, bombs away. From Brendan O’Neill at spiked-online.com:

It is the casualness, the thoughtlessness, with which Western leaders promised to bomb Syria that has been most horrifying.

War, you might think, is a serious endeavour. One that requires thought, discussion, a weighing-up of consequences. There has been none of that in Theresa May’s media-trumpeted promise to avenge the victims of the alleged chemical attack in Douma, or Donald Trump’s Twitter-blasts against ‘the animal Assad’ and his hints that he will punish Russia and Iran for supporting him, or in commentators’ demands that we bomb Syria because it is our ‘moral imperative’. On the contrary, these Twitter bombardiers, these iPad imperialists, openly eschew thought. Thought is for cowards. We must simply act and act now to show that we are good, they cry. They have no idea of the horrors that even their escalation of the tensions over Syria, regardless of whether or not they drop bombs, could unleash.

The behaviour of Western leaders has been alarming. They are like infants, bereft of the capacity for cool analysis, utterly lacking in diplomatic discretion. We mock teenagers and celebrities for Instagramming the minutiae of their lives, but such emotional incontinence pales into insignificance in comparison with the way the leaders of the free world have blurted through their iPhones their intention to punish some of the most powerful nations on Earth.

First Trump responded to Assad’s alleged chemical assault by tweeting that Assad would pay a ‘big price’, as would Russia. When the Russians said they would shoot down American missiles, Trump tweeted: ‘Get ready Russia, because [missiles] will be coming.’ Then Theresa May’s insiders, clearly with her say-so, told the media she wants ‘military action against Assad’. This is how war is prepared for now: with a leaked comment; with an eye on retweets, rather than on whether Britain threatening to enter into a war that will essentially be with Russia is a good idea.

To continue reading: Syria: the Bloody Price of Western Narcissism

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Is President Trump’s Nuclear Button Tweet a Sign of Insanity? by Scott Adams

Anyone who tries to analyze President Trump solely by what he says is doomed to wrong predictions and ultimately, failure. From Scott Adams at theburningplatform.com:

On CNN yesterday, Jake Tapper described President Trump’s recent behavior — including the President’s tweet about having a bigger nuclear “button” than North Korea — as abnormal and unstable. In other words, crazy.

Is it?

One folksy definition of “crazy” is that it involves trying over and over again a solution that has never worked while hoping it works next time. President Trump is doing something closer to the opposite of that. He’s doing something new, both strategically and verbally. To be fair, new things can be crazy too. But usually only if they don’t work. When a new and unexpected thing works out well, we call it genius. And that begs the question: Is President Trump’s approach to North Korea working?

We’re seeing economic sanctions on North Korea that have the support of the UN Security Council. That part is working, and it took diplomatic skill to make it happen.

But we also see satellite images of tankers smuggling oil into North Korea. The sanctions looked as if they were not effective until South Korea detained two tankers involved in smuggling oil to North Korea. Grabbing two tankers doesn’t do much in terms of limiting supply, but it does dramatically change the perceived economics of being a smuggler. And if grabbing two tankers doesn’t get the message across, South Korea can keep detaining tankers until the economics do change. North Korea would be willing to take big risks to break the sanctions, but the shipping companies on which they depend will not. Shipping companies will only participate in wrongdoing when they are confident they won’t get caught. That calculation changed when South Korea detained two tankers.

To continue reading; Is President Trump’s Nuclear Button Tweet a Sign of Insanity?

Apocalypse Now: 2017 Was Another Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year, by John W. Whitehead

The government got more powerful and incompetent, and individual civil liberties were ever more constricted in 2017, just like 2016, 2015, 2014, and so on. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

Just our luck that 2017 gave us more of the same bad news that we’ve experienced in recent years.

Here’s just a small sampling of what we suffered through in 2017.

The new boss proved to be the same as the old boss. True to form, the new boss (Donald Trump) proved to be no better than his predecessors in the White House in terms of protecting the citizenry from the American police state.

911 calls turned deadly. “Don’t call the cops” became yet another don’t to the add the growing list of things that could get you or a loved one tasered, shot or killed by police, especially if you have any condition that might hinder your ability to understand, communicate or immediately comply with an order.

Traffic stops took a turn for the worse. Police officers were given free range to pull anyone over for a variety of reasons and subject them to forced cavity searches, forced colonoscopies, forced blood draws, forced breath-alcohol tests, forced DNA extractions, forced eye scans, forced inclusion in biometric databases.

The courts failed to uphold justice. A review of critical court rulings over the past decade or so, including some ominous ones by the U.S. Supreme Court, reveals a startling and steady trend towards pro-police state rulings by an institution concerned more with establishing order and protecting the ruling class and government agents than with upholding the rights enshrined in the Constitution.

A culture of compliance paved the way for sexual predators. Twenty years after America gave a collective shrug over accusations of sexual harassment by Bill Clinton, sexual harassment suddenly made headlines after a series of powerful men, including Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, were accused of predatory behavior in the workplace.

Patriotism trumped free speech. At a time when the American flag adorns everything from men’s boxers and women’s bikinis to beer koozies with little outcry from the American public, a conveniently timed public dispute over disrespect for the country’s patriotic symbols during football games further divided the nation.

To continue reading: Apocalypse Now: 2017 Was Another Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year

 

Getting Others To Untie the Knot, by Patrick Armstrong

Only time will tell, but this may prove an astute analysis of President Trump’s foreign policy goals. It certainly offers a fair amount of food for thought. From Patrick Armstrong at theburningplatform.com:

President Trump is a new phenomenon on the American political scene. Not a professional politician begging for funds but a rich man who spent his own money and raised money on his own name: he arrived in office unencumbered with obligations. Free from a history in politics, he owes nothing to anyone. Add in his personality, grandiosity and late-night tweets and the punditocracy is in a state of angry incomprehension. Even more offensive to their notions of propriety is that this “dangerously incompetent“, unqualifiedmentally ill man beat the “most qualified presidential candidate in history“. No wonder so many of them believe that only cunning Putin could have made it happen – even if they don’t know how. But the punditocracy is as befuddled about him today as it was last year and the year before. (Scott Adams, who got it right, reminds us just how clueless they were.) The very fact that Trump won despite the opposition of practically every established constituency in the United States shows that there is more to him than readers of the NYT and WaPo or watchers of CNN and MSNBC (can) understand.

What follows is an attempt to divine Trump’s foreign policy. It proceeds from the assumption that he does know what he’s doing (as he did when he decided to run in the first place) and that he does have a destination in mind. It proceeds with the understanding that his foreign policy intentions have been greatly retarded by the (completely false) allegations of Russia connections and Russian interference. There was no Russian state interference in the election (the likelihood is that Moscow would have preferred known Clinton) and, as I have written here, the story doesn’t even make sense. I expect when the Department of Justice Inspector General completes his report that the Russiagate farrago will be revealed as a conspiracy inside the US security organs. We do not have a date yet, but mid-January is suggested. Readers who want to follow the story are recommended to these websites:DystopiausaCTH and Zerohedge.

To continue reading: Getting Others To Untie the Knot

‘America First!’ AWOL from Beijing, War with North Korea Looms, by James George Jatras

Trump will not achieve a meaningful realignment with China on trade, and he’s not going to get North Korea to give up its nuclear arsenal. Neither would in the interests of Washington’s establishment. From James George Jatras at strategic-culture.org:

There’s no indication that President Donald Trump’s summit with China’s Xi Jinping achieved any breakthrough on North Korea. But why didn’t it? After all, Trump said that China could “fix” the North Korea problem “easily and quickly” and it was just a matter of Xi’s making up his mind to do so.

No less divorced from reality was Trump’s half-hearted pitch on the US trade imbalance with China. The problem, he said, was not the Chinese – whom he complimented on their cleverness in exploiting our stupidity – but on the flaccid policies of prior American administrations. Quite true! But what will he do differently? Not much it seems, except maybe give a big tax cut with no strings attached to fat corporations that are thrilled to keep moving their operations overseas. Global market über alles! And here we all thought Hillary Clinton lost the election . . .

All in all, Trump’s China visit was characterized by putting his “America First!” campaign principles on ice in favor of the globalist agenda of his economic advisers and subordination of trade to the geopolitical concerns of the military Junta that runs his administration for him. Sure, there might some tinkering here and there, like the recent hit against Chinese aluminum foil dumping. But plutocrats worried about a “trade war” with China can sleep easy.

On North Korea – the overwhelming US preoccupation at the Trump-Xi summit – Trump came up empty. For months observers have fretted over Trump’s oscillating rhetoric from fire and destruction one day to let’s-make-a-deal the next. He’s his own good cop, bad cop act.

To continue reading: ‘America First!’ AWOL from Beijing, War with North Korea Looms