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UN summit could be Trump’s shining moment. Or, he might ruin everything.

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Trump UN Summit

The enigma of President Donald Trump will hit the world stage today at the start of the 4-day United Nations summit. This could very well be the President’s biggest moment since taking over as leader of the free world. It may also prove to be a disaster. At this point, there’s no telling which way the ball will drop.

The best thing going for him is that events like these tend to be when he’s at his best. Unlike his Twitter persona or adversarial stance that he takes when addressing mainstream media, the president has always done well talking directly to “big wigs.” Even as a business man, he regularly worked directly with politicians and even heads of state. He has another advantage: his unpredictability. There may not be a whole lot of people in the room who like him, but most will want to get on his good side based upon his willingness to lash at publicly at those who cross him.

There’s a good chance that he may have the opposite effect on world leaders. If he overplays his hand with the wrong people, gets threatening when he should be diplomatic, or attempts to get diplomatic when he should be threatening, he could start new relationships with world leaders on the wrong foot.

There’s a ton on the table at this summit. Just in the last couple of weeks, the Iran nuclear deal, the Paris climate deal, and an unstable North Korea have been dominating world news. All will be discussed. All of those discussions have the opportunity to become contentious.

Perhaps the biggest question looming over this particular summit is the future of the United Nations itself. Candidate Trump was very critical of the worldwide body and expressed extreme displeasure in the way the organization is funded. The United States pays by far the most out of the 120 or so nations involved, yet seems to receive little to no direct benefit. The word that’s been floated around by White House insiders is “reform.”

Here’s what’s buzzing so far about the summit:

Perspectives

Donald Trump’s U.N. meeting an ‘America First’ forum | S.A. Miller, Washington Times

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/sep/17/donald-trumps-un-meeting-an-america-first-forum/Mr. Trump will be pushing reforms to the U.N. and rethinking America’s massive contributions, brokering economic deals around the world and trying to inspire global resolve to confront North Korea, Iran, Islamic State and other threats, top aides say.

Trump’s message for the United Nations: Reform | Julia Manchester, The Hill

http://origin-nyi.thehill.com/homenews/administration/351077-trump-looks-to-set-the-tone-at-un?amp“The message he’s going to deliver in that speech is first he’s going to promote and advocate for the strength of democratic values. And he’s going to reinforce that it is those shared values that bind our alliances together and that have kept the world a stable place,” Tillerson said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

Trump heads to first UN summit amid uncertainty on North Korea, Iran, Paris climate deal | Sarah Westwood, Washington Examiner

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trump-heads-to-first-un-summit-amid-uncertainty-on-north-korea-iran-paris-climate-deal/article/2634709“At first glance, you’d think that this would be sort of a train wreck or a potential major confrontation,” said Stewart Patrick, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. “He’s going into, in a sense, the belly of the beast in terms of globalism.”

Final Thoughts

If the president goes in and uses his natural skills to win over the body and forge stronger relationships with world leaders, this could be exactly what the United States needs in order to rein in the United Nation’s failing world agenda. If he goes off the reservation completely, it could be disastrous. We’ll eagerly wait for his Tuesday address.

Christian, husband, father. EIC, NOQ Report. Co-Founder, the Federalist Party. Just a normal guy who will no longer sit around while the country heads in the wrong direction.

Foreign Affairs

Saudi Crown Prince calls Iran’s leader “The new Hitler of the Middle East”

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By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

 

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 32, who is also their defense minister, dramatically escalated war tensions with Iran this last week in an interview with the New York Times. He called the Supreme Leader of Iran “the new Hitler of the Middle East.” The two countries have been edging towards military confrontation with an Iranian jet from Yemen attempting to bomb Saudi Arabia. It was shot down, but the tensions escalated precipitously afterward. It’s no secret that Saudi Arabia which is Sunni Muslim and the Shi’ite Muslims of Iran are bitter rivals militarily and politically.

The Prince is now suggesting that Iran’s alleged expansion under Ayatollah Ali Khamenei needs to be confronted and dealt with once and for all. He told the New York Times, “But we learned from Europe that appeasement doesn’t work. We don’t want the new Hitler in Iran to repeat what happened in Europe in the Middle East.” Iran slapped back immediately at the Prince, saying that he was discredited internationally by his “immature” behavior. “No one in the world and in the international arena gives credit to him because of his immature and weak-minded behavior and remarks,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi was quoted as saying.

Qasemi followed up that insult with a threat, “I strongly advise him to think and ponder upon the fate of the famous dictators of the region in the past few years now that he is thinking of considering their policies and behavior as a role model.” And the dance to war continues. Tensions rocketed earlier this month when Lebanon’s Saudi-allied Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned in a television broadcast from Riyadh, citing the influence of Iran-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon and risks to his life. Hezbollah retaliated by calling the move an act of war that was orchestrated by the Saudis. The Saudis denied it. Hariri has since returned to Lebanon and suspended his resignation.

Amid a consolidation of power in Saudi Arabia, with a so-called crackdown on corruption, a purge of the Royal Family and Salman’s ascension to the throne, war is looming with Iran. The prince, who is expected to succeed his father, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, 81, compared Iran and Saudi Arabia’s power struggle in the region to those fighting for Europe in World War II. The Saudis have launched thousands of air strikes in a 2 1/2-year-old war in neighboring Yemen to defeat the Iranian-aligned Houthi movement that seized broad swaths of the country. Everyone knows the Iranians are behind it and are using the Houthis as a proxy in the war. Salman claims that Saudi Arabia is winning the war and 85 percent of Yemen’s territory is now controlled by their allies.

While this may or may not be the case, the Houthis control the major population centers in the country still. The Saudi-led military coalition waging war on them is receiving intelligence and refueling for its warplanes by the United States. Over 10,000 people have died in the fighting to date. The group launched a ballistic missile toward Riyadh’s main airport on Nov. 4th, which Saudi Arabia decried as an act of war by Tehran. Salman proclaimed in May that the kingdom would ensure that future struggles would be waged in Iran.

For his part, Khamenei has referred to the House of Saud as an “accursed tree, ” and Iranian officials have accused the kingdom of spreading terrorism, an accusation it denies. For the record, Iran is the largest sponsor of terror on the planet, but Saudi Arabia is guilty of terrorism as well. Iran is working with Russia to take over Syria. They also basically control Iraq. A stepped-up war involving Saudi Arabia would no doubt draw in the United States on the side of Saudi Arabia and Russia and China on the side of Iran. China is offering to help rebuild Syria. If you were looking for Armageddon, this would suffice nicely.

The New York Times refers to this as the Saudi Arabian Arab Spring. This one is led from the top down and is militarily explosive. It is also a cultural revolution and a reformation of Islam. The Crown Prince stated to the New York Times: “Do not write that we are ‘reinterpreting’ Islam—we are ‘restoring’ Islam to its origins—and our biggest tools are the Prophet’s practices and (daily life in—ed) Saudi Arabia before 1979.” Bin Salman stressed that in the time of the Prophet Muhammad, there were theaters, Jews and Christians in Saudi Arabia and that the country’s first judge was a woman. “So the Prophet was not a Muslim?” asked bin Salman, rhetorically. World War III or reformation… it will be a conflict that eventually involves all major powers in a geopolitical conflict.

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Foreign Affairs

Good news and bad as Trump makes promises to Turkey’s Erdogan before telling the Pentagon

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Good news and bad as Trump makes promises to Turkeys Erdogan before telling the Pentagon

The United States has agreed to stop arming Syrian Kurds. The end of Obama’s failed policy is the good news. The bad news is that it’s being made out by Turkish President Recep Erdogan to be something he negotiated. What’s worse is that the Pentagon is apparently hearing about the change in policy from Turkish press instead of the President himself.

There are conflicting reports on that last point. The AP says the Pentagon is scrambling:

Turkey: US to stop arming Syrian Kurdish fighters

https://www.apnews.com/673a686095de46a4b5d9e23f3a1174fcThere was no immediate reaction from the United States. But Turkey’s announcement appeared to catch the Pentagon and the U.S. State Department off guard. Officials at both agencies, who would normally be informed of changes in U.S. policy toward arming the Syrian Kurds, said they were unaware of any changes. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity.

Relations between NATO allies Turkey and the United States have soured recently over a number of issues, including U.S. support to Syrian Kurdish fighters.

However, according to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu who was in Erdogan’s office during the call, President Trump said he had already given orders to U.S. generals and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster that “no weapons would be issued.”

Syrian Kurds had been the tip of President Obama’s spear against the Islamic State, but had been very unsuccessful at achieving any notable movement. It was assumed that the strategy was to empower them to fight a two-front war against ISIS as well as Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria. They didn’t make a dent on either front.

My Take

Regardless of whether Trump informed the Pentagon or not, this is still a weak move. He’s negotiating for nothing. He could have very easily made the declaration without consulting Erdogan and still made Turkey happy. Now, it appears as if the decision was made as a result of pressure from Turkey.

These were not the forces the U.S. should ever have been arming, but the way we’re ending out support is almost as bad as offering it in the first place. For the President to really push for peace in the Middle East, he needs to do so through strength rather than by catering to demands of despots like Erdogan.

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Education

Whoopi is right about the behavior of UCLA Basketball players in China

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Whoopi Goldberg

I’m not a big fan of Whoopi Goldberg, okay but I have to tell you that I agree with her regarding the following statement.  This is in regards to a couple of UCLA basketball players who thought they could take something from a store in China and not pay for it.

You embarrassed your families, you embarrassed the country, and you embarrassed the president. Now I’m not a big fan of the president, but the fact that he had to call and get your asses out of there is not anything to be proud of or think is cool.  If this isn’t the stupidest thing a young person has done, particularly if you’re over six-feet tall, and black… is this just the ridiculous stupidity of youth?

Let me add one more thing. You’re an embarrassment to UCLA itself, and their athletic department as well.  Now I am not a big fan of those who run academia, but if these jerks are given the right punishment, I shall give the university credit and praise for doing it.  All right UCLA, the ball is in your court.  Do something right for once.

Further Reading

Whoopi Goldberg to ‘Stupid’ UCLA Players: You’re Fortunate Trump Could ‘Get Your A**es Out’ of China

http://freebeacon.com/issues/whoopi-goldberg-ucla-players-fortunate-trump-get-out-china/“Now, you’re in China—you’re this big!” she said, reaching high into the air to indicate the players’ height. “It’s not like you’re gonna blend, you’re not going to blend in, run out.”

Goldberg said their families and mentors had no doubt told them numerous times not to do things like this, and she said the foolishness of youth is the only explanation for something so dumb.

President Trump says ‘You’re welcome’ after UCLA Bruins players thank him for help with China incident

http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/21432885/president-trump-says-welcome-ucla-bruins-players-thank-help-china-incidentUCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero said freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill stole from three stores, were arrested and surrendered their passports. Trump, who was already on an Asia trip, spoke to President Xi Jinping of China about the incident, and the players were allowed to return to the United States on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, all three read prepared statements at a news conference in which it was revealed that they have been suspended from the team indefinitely. They thanked the Chinese government and police for how they were treated and United States officials for helping secure their release.

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