Tag Archives: Donald Trump

The Meaning of Verification, by Ted Snider

The International Atomic Energy Agency has certified 11 times that Iran is in compliance with the Nuclear Agreement. Now that the US has pulled out of the agreement, Iran can kick out the inspectors and we won’t have that source of information on what Iran is doing. From Ted Snider at antiwar.org:

As North Korea begins to open up to the world, what must they be hearing?

Two of the loudest stories concern Donald Trump’s reactions to countries accused of having active weapons of mass destruction programs. Trump bombed Syria for using chemical weapons, and he has now officially pulled out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement with Iran.

But the first thing that needs to be said in any discussion of Syria’s chemical weapons or Iran’s nuclear weapons is the one thing that is seldom said: Syria has no chemical weapons and Iran has no nuclear ones. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) verified Syria to be chemical free, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has verified Iran’s consistent and continued compliance with the JCPOA. To the best of anyone’s knowledge, Syria has no chemicals and Iran has no nukes: that’s what verification means.

Syria

On September 14, 2013 the United States and Russia finalized a Russian brokered agreement on the removal and destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons. On January 4, 2016, the OPCW declared the completion of the destruction of all chemical weapons in Syria.

Nonetheless, on April 14, Trump ordered the bombing of Syria because of a claimed chemical attack in Douma, near Damascus. Only days before the missile strikes, Defense Secretary James Mattis said that the U.S lacked the intelligence that Assad was responsible for the alleged chemical weapons attack. Mattis admitted that the US was “still assessing the intelligence… We’re still working on it.”

Days after, however, the US bombed three particular buildings that they claimed housed specific chemicals and chemical production equipment. That’s very precise, specific intelligence. Armed with that proof, why would the US rush to bomb Syria? Why not take that intelligence to U.N. inspectors? Why not hand it over to the OPCW? Why not reveal the illegal Syrian clandestine chemical weapons program to the world?

Russian chemical weapons specialists who were on site found no trace of chemical weapon use. Neither did Red Crescent doctors who treated people. The OPCW inspectors might quickly have answered the question, but their access to the site was blocked by the United Nations department of Safety and Security.

To continue reading: The Meaning of Verification

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They “Said” That? 1/18/18

No real quote tonight, just two pictures that speak volumes. Donald Trump and Bill Clinton are both 71.

Trump has never drank or smoked, and just got a clean bill of health. Heaven only knows how badly Bill Clinton has debauched himself. It catches up with you.

The Little Putsch That Could….Beget a Great Big Coup, by David Stockman

Donald Trump certainly doesn’t have to accept the fate the Deep State has plotted out for him. From David Stockman at lewrockwell.com:

Bull’s eye!

“They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story. Nice … You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history – led by some very bad and conflicted people!”

The Donald has never spoken truer words but also has never sunken lower into abject victimhood. Indeed, what is he waiting for—– handcuffs and a perp walk?

Just to be clear, “he” doesn’t need to be the passive object of a “WITCH HUNT” by “they”.

If Donald Trump had any kind of presidential strategy and propensity to take command, he would have had all the intercepts of Russian chatter gathered up weeks ago. He would then have had them declassified and made public, even as he launched a criminal prosecution against Obama’s hit squad—-John Brennan,

Susan Rice and Valerie Jarrett—for illegally unmasking and leaking classified information.

Such a course of action would have crushed the Russian interference hysteria in the bud.

At bottom, the latter was a rearguard invention of the Deep State and Democratic partisans. They became literally shocked and desperate for a scapegoat early last fall by the prospect that the unthinkable was happening.

Namely, the election by the unwashed masses of an outsider and insurrectionist who could not be counted upon to serve as a “trusty” for the status quo; and whose naïve but correct instinct to seek a rapprochement with Russia was a mortal threat to the very modus operandi of the Imperial City.

Moreover, from the very beginning, the Russian interference narrative was rooted in nothing more than standard cyber noise from Moscow that pales compared to what comes out of Langley (CIA) and Ft. Meade (NSA). And we do mean irrelevant noise.

After all, it didn’t take a Kremlinologist from the old Soviet days to figure out that Putin did not favor Clinton, who had likened him to Hitler. And that he welcomed Trump, who had correctly said NATO was obsolete, that he didn’t want to give lethal aid to theUkrainians, and had expressed a desire to make a deal with Putin on Syria and numerous other areas of unnecessary confrontation.

To continue reading: The Little Putsch That Could….Beget a Great Big Coup

The Phony War Against Donald Trump, by Daniel McCarthy

James Comey’s testimony is probably the beginning of the end of Russiagate. From Daniel McCarthy at strategic-culture.com:

There is no known crime at the heart of the Trump-Russia affair, and no crime has yet been even credibly alleged in President Trump’s involvement in the investigation

James Comey’s public testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee revealed both more and less than expected. It revealed less than expected by President Trump’s critics: Comey related no other incidents as eyebrow-raising as his account of when Trump asked him, in discussing the investigation of Mike Flynn, to “let this go.” Comey wrote memoranda to document each of his direct discussions with the president, but based on his testimony to Congress, none of those other memos contains anything comparable to the exchange about Flynn.

In his prepared remarks for the hearing, Comey described President Trump asking for his loyalty. This is one place where Comey’s testimony was more revealing than expected—not in showing that the president might apply vague pressure to his employees but in showing how ill-defined the relationship between a president and America’s intelligence agencies can be. There is a difficulty here that does not begin or end with Trump, a basic, but unexamined, problem of how the executive branch operates. How can it be both political and, at the same time, above politics? How can the president have full legal authority not only to dismiss the FBI director, as Comey testified, even to direct what the FBI does and does not investigate, while the FBI also holds itself to be “independent”? And what does it mean for any intelligence service to be independent of elected leaders—and thus, independent of the public?

 

Trump’s Apology for ‘Killer Putin’ is Wrongheaded, by Finian Cunningham

Here’s the money quote: “As for the «moral equivalence» complaint, the truly objective answer is that there is no comparison between unfounded allegations against Putin as a «killer» and what US presidents actually do as a matter of routine.” From Finian Cunningham at strategic-culture.com:

US President Donald Trump has landed in hot water yet again when he told media that he respected Russian leader Vladimir Putin – in spite of (unfounded and sensationalist) accusations that the latter is responsible for killing journalists and political opponents.

Trump was being interviewed on Fox News by Bill O’Reilly, and while expressing respect for Putin as the president of Russia, his interlocutor interrupted with the terse assertion: «He’s [Putin] a killer, though. Putin’s a killer».

Unfazed, Trump replied: «We’ve got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country’s so innocent?»

The program went on air Sunday ahead of the US Super Bowl football final, and so is sure to have drawn a record audience. Western media outlets also reported the interview in advance with outraged tone that Trump was offering an apology for the Russian leader, and equally as bad, that the president was making a moral equivalence with the misconduct of the US.

Britain’s Guardian headlined: «Donald Trump repeats his respect for ‘killer’ Putin».

The news outlet added: «Asked on Fox about the Kremlin chief’s bloody reputation, the US president said: ‘There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers’».

The Washington Post, among other outlets, noted that this was not the first time that Trump has appeared insouciant in front of interviewers who make claims about Putin’s alleged involvement in violent repression against opponents.

The Post recalled: «It wouldn’t be the first time Trump has brushed aside the topic of Putin’s political killings».

As with much of Western media coverage on Russia and its leader, there is an offending journalistic sloppiness that states allegations and even slander («Putin’s political killings») as if they are factual.

To continue reading: Trump’s Apology for ‘Killer Putin’ is Wrongheaded

They Said That? 1/19/17

Revenge is sweet. Here’s a flashback compilations of quotes from journalists and pundits knocking Donald Trump when he announced his candidacy, from mrc NewsBusters, “Flashback: Journalists Mocked Trump’s Announcement as a Joke.”

When Donald Trump announced his presidential campaign on June 16, 2015, the savants in the news media weren’t just skeptical — they were openly disdainful of the man who will be sworn in as America’s 45th President at noon tomorrow.

Reporters sniffed that Trump’s campaign was a “carnival show” which threatened to turn the GOP primary race into “a joke.” CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin called Trump a “fool,” NBC’s Chuck Todd blasted him as “a political streaker,” and pundit after pundit insisted the real estate mogul had no chance of winning.

“Can we stipulate for the purposes of this conversation that Donald Trump will never be President of the United States?” Mike Barnicle proclaimed on MSNBC’s Morning Joe less than 24 hours after Trump’s campaign kick-off.

Trump’s candidacy was cast as more entertaining than important. NBC relegated it to the third slot on the June 16, 2015 Nightly News, after stories about a fatal balcony collapse and tropical storm. CBS pushed it down to the sixth slot, while ABC’s World News Tonight made it the ninth item of the night, 13 minutes into the 30-minute broadcast.

That night, Trump’s announcement merited less overall broadcast evening news airtime (4 minutes, 27 seconds) than an interview with Rachel Dolezal, a white Washington state NAACP official who sowed confusion by identifying herself as black (6 minutes, 29 seconds).

In contrast, when Barack Obama announced his presidential bid on February 10, 2007, both ABC and NBC led their evening broadcasts with the news, even though it had been anticipated for months. (CBS was pre-empted that Saturday night.)

Looking at the tone of coverage immediately after Trump’s announcement (June 16-17, 2015), correspondents and pundits alternated from laughing at Trump to declaring that he had no chance of winning. Minutes after Trump finished speaking, CNN commentator S. E. Cupp dismissed it “a rambling mess of a speech…I was howling. Howling.”

On MSNBC, host Andrea Mitchell snootily asked the former Democratic Governor of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell: “Do you have any doubt that this is anything more than a carnival show?”

Over on CNN, noontime anchor Ashleigh Banfield teased an upcoming segment on Trump’s announcement by asking if it was “hilarity run amuck,” while that night on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, GOP consultant Steve Schmidt admitted to “laughing out loud” while listening to clips of Trump’s speech.

The next day on CBS This Morning, an obviously amused Norah O’Donnell relayed that “some Republicans say they’re worried Trump will turn the campaign into a circus,” while the subsequent story by correspondent Nancy Cordes echoed how “party leaders worry Trump’s presence will turn the primary into a joke.”

On the June 16 edition of Bloomberg’s daily political show With All Due Respect, co-host John Heilemann announced: “I do not hate Donald Trump, but I do not take him seriously. I thought, you know, everything that was garish and ridiculous about him was fully on display….Will it get him anywhere close to becoming the nominee or the President of the United States? I think not.”

Many of the 2016 presidential candidates entered the race as long shots, but Trump was the only one to face an onslaught of immediate declarations that he would never win. “He can’t win, but he can get a lot of votes,” columnist E. J. Dionne, a former Washington Post and New York Times political reporter, predicted on MSNBC’s The Last Word.

Over on CNN, the Huffington Post’s Mark Lamont Hill agreed: “Of course he’s not going to win.” CBS correspondent Cordes echoed: “No one expects Trump to get close to winning the nomination.”

The morning after Trump’s announcement, NBC’s Today show relegated the news to a 23-second brief, but made sure to include this insulting sentence: “America’s largest Latino civil rights organization called Trump ‘an exceedingly silly man.’”

That night, NBC’s evening newscast featured a rare narrated piece by Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd, who unloaded on Trump: “On the one hand, he’s a late-night joke….On the other, he’s the proverbial skunk at the garden party. How does the Republican Party handle a political streaker who knows how to get attention?”

Talking about the announcements one day apart of Jeb Bush and Donald Trump, CNN’s Carol Costello openly fretted how “sad” it was that the media were covering Trump. “Sadly, the biggest buzz surrounds Donald Trump,” Costello rued before displaying the New York Daily News cover showing Trump as a clown.

But in a fit of self-awareness on the June 17 edition of Bloomberg’s With All Due Respect, co-host Heilemann acknowledged the liberal media’s disdain for Trump: “For the national press corps and other elites, Donald Trump’s campaign is a pure vanity exercise, and a target ripe for outright mockery, or low-level derision.”

In fact, that’s exactly how the establishment viewed Trump 18 months ago, and why they felt so confident in their predictions that he couldn’t possibly win.

Trump’s victory in November, and his inauguration tomorrow, are just the latest reminders that the media’s political coverage is often seriously distorted by journalists’ smug confidence in a liberal world view that blinds them to the facts in front of them.

http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/rich-noyes/2017/01/19/flashback-journalists-mocked-trumps-announcement-joke

He’s Just Not That Into You, by Raúl Ilargi Meijer

Donald Trump is not in a rush to meet the European leaders who insulted and dismissed him as a candidate. Imagine that. From  Raúl Ilargi Meijer at theautomaticearth.com:

I’m trying, I swear, to get into the fold, but I just can’t NOT find this hilarious. On the eve of his presidency, Donald Trump tells European leaders, by not telling them diddly-squat, that he doesn’t think they matter all that much. It’s not just that his vision of the EU, and its importance, is very different from theirs, he also remembers very well what many of them have said about him in the run-up to his election for the presidency.

Europe’s leaders, with the exception of Nigel Farage and Marine Le Pen, have been ridiculing and outright demonizing Trump ever since he declared his candidacy. They’ve said similar things about him that they say about Vladimir Putin, and in the 2016 fake news avalanche they’ve thrown the two together in various ways and for reasons they claim are obvious, with quite a few Hitler quips thrown in for good measure.

Now, for some reason they all seem to think it’s important to meet with Trump before he meets with Putin, as if his view of the world, and that of his entire government, is so unbalanced it could be decided at the toss of a coin. Trump is having none of it. After having been compared to anything that’s considered worst under the sun, who’s going to blame him?

Donald Trump feels, and largely rightly so, that the principle of innocence before being proven guilty was abandoned with much fervor by many, and certainly across the EU. The result is that now he’s simply not that into them. He’s been shown no respect at all, and he has not forgotten that. And it leads to a situation that’s brilliantly entertaining.

To continue reading: He’s Just Not That Into You