Foreign Policy

The Right’s Nonsense

The talking heads are not being delicate about it anymore; the right is spouting nonsense that makes no argument for Donald Trump. They have run out of talking points, and after this week, they will have even fewer.

The no-first-person defense alleges that all of this is hearsay, and that we have yet to hear from anyone who was actually in the room at the time of the alleged crime. We think that argument will disappear this week.

The no-harm argument is one that reaches below the level that Republicans have gone before this point. This sad little crime got started and immediately hit the news. There was very little time for anyone to do anything except release the funds. So what if Donny tried to commit a crime? No harm was done.

The everyone-else-did-it argument holds that this is how government works, and that Donny was not doing anything that was different from any other negotiation with a foreign government

The harmless-idiot defense must really have the White House cringing. Republicans argue that Donny is a nice guy, he just made a tiny mistake. Bribery and extortion become a tiny mistake? What do you have to do to get convicted in Washington? Don’t answer that.

The most comical is the he-did-more-than-Obama defense. The story goes that Donny gave weapons to Ukraine, and that is more than Barack Obama ever did. We really don’t understand what that has to do with bribery and extortion, but when it comes out of the mouth of Jim Jordan, we are sure that somewhere out there, devoted Trump followers are high-fiving this as complete justification and exoneration.

The impeachment inquiry is about using the power of the government to gain an advantage over a political rival. That is what it appears that Donald Trump did. You can make all kinds of excuses for this action, but you cannot make it right. We don’t do that in this country.

Never Speak Truth To Power

‘Sick Mick’ Mulvaney knows how to navigate the corridors of power in the White House; don’t tell the boss anything he doesn’t want to hear.

When it comes to North Korea, don’t mention that Kim Jung Il is a snake from the same murderous line that spawned his father and grandfather. Don’t bring up the fact that Dear Leader is the biggest mass murderer of North Koreans, that he lies to everyone who tries to negotiate with him, and that he is playing the President like a cheap fiddle.

Don’t let him know that people flooding our borders will only get worse unless we start working with the governments of South America to stop the gang wars and help the people, or that most of the immigrants are not murdering drug mules, but people trying to escape the madness with their families.

Don’t tell him that NATO has kept a delicate balance and prevented war in Europe, and that you don’t treat your allies like dirt.

Don’t tell him that Vladimir Putin is a common thug, running a corrupt country with the same tactics any dictator would use.

Don’t tell him his electoral victory was not a mandate, that he never won the popular vote, and that he won only by lying to his base.

Good job, Mick. Traditional wisdom holds that speaking truth to power is the best way to help a leader.

Unis!

Emmanuel Macron and Angele Merkel found the will to go to Compiegne. Donald Trump did not. We could have guessed his actions. He looks moody. His face is not that of a world leader in France to honor the country’s dead; it is the face of a man who feels that he is being dishonored.

We have seen this face a lot, in situations when the President feels inadequate, when he feels that he has been snubbed, when he feels that he is out of his depth. That is certainly the case here. He is all of those right now.

Donald, real leaders don’t throw temper tantrums. They don’t shame their country. They don’t use venues such as this to attack allies.

 

Real leaders are better men and women.

Putin touts downfall of US as a global leader.

Even in the face of an open admission by Vlad the Destroyer, Donald Trump insists that he is a great leader.

Yet Putin considers the fall of American leadership part of his legacy. He is bent on the destruction of the EU and the United States. He games the west any way he can. He forms alliances with our enemies.

And Donny still seems to love the guy.

North Korea has increased nuclear production at secret sites

Donny got played. The art of the deal is to woo the other side, and Kim Jung Un did just that. Donny wanted a deal, and there is no better patsy. Every car salesman knows that. When the buyer wants something, really wants it, you just let them sell themselves. It is such an easy con.

“Work is ongoing to deceive us on the number of facilities, the number of weapons, the number of missiles,” said one U.S. official.

Source: North Korea has increased nuclear production at secret sites

‘We’re Gonna Do What International Law Says We Can Do.’ Aboard the USS Carl Vinson in the South China Sea — TIME

The military needs reigning in. We rattle swords too much. In the Black Sea we thumb our noses at the Russians. In the South China Sea it is the Chinese. We have by far the largest military in the world, and the brass tell us it is not big enough. They want more. The DOD says that increasing our military posture is vital to our defense. We say it weakens us.
Donald Trump agrees. He wants to make the military bigger, stronger and more of a challenge to the rest of the world. He wants to modernize our nuclear capability. Cooperation is out of the question.
Our biggest enemy is debt. You cannot fight debt with more bullets.

From Time-

Crowned with a giant disc-shaped radar — the captains all call it their “eye in the sky” — the E-2C Hawkeye early warning aircraft is typically one of the first to launch and the last to retire on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson. By day’s end, more than 100 sorties will have…

via ‘We’re Gonna Do What International Law Says We Can Do.’ Aboard the USS Carl Vinson in the South China Sea — TIME

Is the Turkish Attack on Afrin Intended to Split the U.S.-Kurdish Alliance? — Astute News

The successful Syrian army operation to liberate Abu-Duhur airbase left a large enclave (pink) controlled by al-Qaeda and ISIS fighters in east-Hama. Further advances towards Idleb have been halted for now to clean up the cauldron that could otherwise create future troubles behind the lines. Most of the al-Qaeda/HTS aligned Takfiris are though to have […]

via Is the Turkish Attack on Afrin Intended to Split the U.S.-Kurdish Alliance? — Astute News