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Trump’s UN speech is hard to hate, but the left called it ‘dark’ because they don’t get it

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Hey, wait, isn’t “dark” a trigger word for the politically correct crowd? Every time President Donald Trump gets up and speaks what most people interpret as common sense, the left calls it “dark.”

What’s funny is that if Barack Obama gave essentially the same speech, minus the “Rocket Man” reference, they’d want to give him a second Nobel Peace Prize, or add one for Literature to it.

Even David Ignatius, writing in the Washington Post, called the speech “conventional,” and “a well-cooked pudding.”

So what worries me about Trump’s speech? Oddly, it’s precisely that it was so conventional. If Trump is going to deal successfully with North Korea, he’ll truly have to think outside the box. If he wants a better, longer-lasting deal with Iran, he needs in some way to engage that nation and its people.

But HuffPo chimed in with Hillary Clinton (please will she just shut up?) on how “dark” the speech was.

Slate went apocalyptic.

It began—as all Trump speeches must begin, it seems—with a boast of how much better life in America has been since his election: stock market up, unemployment down, military stronger. This was a clue that the speech, though sometimes couched in the language of international principles (and dotted with thanks to the U.N. for helping out here and there), was really going to be about Trump—and Trump’s dark vision of what the world should look like.

Sigh.

When Trump said, “We do not expect diverse countries to share the same cultures, traditions, or even systems of government,” they criticize him for not calling out corrupt despots or dealing with genocidal maniacs.

And in the next sentence, “But we do expect all nations to uphold these two core sovereign duties: to respect the interests of their own people and the rights of every other sovereign nation,” they say it smacks of nationalism. “Nationalism” is a trigger-word conjuring up Nazis and death camps.

Which sentence do they really have a problem with? Because “both” is an absurd answer.

Yet he said nothing about the similarly dreadful records of Russia, Saudi Arabia, or Turkey. In fact, he praised Saudi Arabia—where, he noted, he was “greatly honored” to speak earlier this year—for its agreement to stop “radical Islamic terrorism,” ignoring the Saudis’ longtime support for certain terrorist movements and the country’s cruel bombing of civilians in Yemen, with our own shameful abetting.

The left truly doesn’t get it.

Saudi Arabia and Turkey pose no threat to America or to western civilization. They may repress their own people, and in Turkey’s case, beat up their own nationals in our capital city, but that’s not a reason to march in and impose our morality on them.

Trump said “In America, we do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to watch.” That sentence makes liberals go into “tilt” mode for a couple of reasons.

First, it presumes that America is worthy of being an example for anyone. The salient difference between Barack Obama’s worldview and Donald Trump’s (or Ronald Reagan’s for that matter) is that Obama thought America unworthy of emulation or as an example of what’s right. He thought quite the opposite, and therefore the primary motivator to be involved in foreign problems was the desire to make amends for our wrongs.

Second, it removes America from a global moral calculus of “universal human rights.” Obama and his predecessor George W. Bush spoke of these as a touchstone of our moral obligation to other countries. It’s what drove Bush’s “nation building” approach. If only we could get Iraqis, who have lived as a tribal society for a millennium, and only coalesced as a nation since western powers declared it so after World War I, to embrace a pluralistic democracy, they’d learn to love it.

But they never did.

Getting Russians to embrace a federal republic has about the same chance of happening. Their culture can’t embrace concepts that are so unnatural and alien to them.

Fred Kaplan at Slate had particular disdain for Trump’s threats to North Korea and Venezuela. Again, he doesn’t get it. States that cause problems for America and western civilization, through their own despotic or criminal enterprise, are targets for America to impose our will and might that they might fall in line.

It’s not some overarching global watermark for morality that drives Trump’s policy. As much as we’d like the comfort of that consistency, the world is a messy place. The measure of America’s involvement in another nation is their ability to mess us or our allies up. Period.

And Trump’s main purpose in this speech was to tout the doctrine of America First. “As president of the United States, I will always put America first,” he said, “just like you, as the leaders of your countries, will always—and should always—put your countries first.” Unless, of course, your country is North Korea, Iran, Cuba, or Venezuela—in which case Trump insists that your country’s real interests lies in aligning those interests with our interests: with his interests.

Well, yes. North Korea, Iran, Cuba and Venezuela cause problems for America and our allies. Saudi Arabia doesn’t. These countries have some of the same fleas but only the dogs with fleas carrying the “anti-American interests” virus interest us. We know that many of the 9/11 terrorists came from Saudi Arabia. But as long as the Saudis cooperate with us in rooting out al Queda and ISIS (and they do), we have no interest in ending their brutal and repressive practices. That’s their issue.

Liberals don’t like that. They either want to solve everyone’s problems for them or apologize that America doesn’t have some of the same problems as other countries and endeavor to give us those problems to make things more “equal.” That’s plain stupid.

The world isn’t going to get together in a “brighter or more orderly” brotherhood and love-fest. It’s messy, filled with self-interests, petty thugs, criminals, and haters. Trump was correct in applying common sense to deal with those who threaten us or our friends, and saying “live and let live” to everyone else.

If that’s too “dark” then liberals are living in rainbow unicorn land.

Foreign Affairs

President dispatches Pompeo after talking to Saudi King

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President dispatches Pompeo after talking to Saudi King

President Trump is sending Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Saudi Arabia to discuss the disappearance of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Turkey claims to have ample evidence that the Saudis murdered Khashoggi at their consulate in Istanbul.

The situation is tense as pressure mounts for actions to be taken against Saudi Arabia. The Saudis fired back with threats of their own if such actions are taken. All of this is happening against a backdrop of increased engagement between Saudi Arabia and the United States as they work to put together a Middle East peace agreement.

Turkey claims to have a recording of Khashoggi’s murder captured on his Apple Watch. They also have the identities of a 15-man “kill team” that was allegedly sent to the consulate to capture and torture Khashoggi. Video shows him going into the consulate with his fiancee remaining outside, but no footage has been released of him leaving the consulate and his fiancee hasn’t seen him since. Turkey claims Saudi Arabia has sufficient surveillance cameras at the consulate that could prove he left, but the Saudis claim the equipment was not recording during his visit.

My Take

The White House is trying to sweep this under the rug. As obtuse as the Saudi government has been for decades, their strategic and economic importance to the United States is great. The last thing the White House wants is to be forced to choose between their close ally and public outcry, most of which is demanding repercussions in light of the alleged evidence.

Turkey has been adamant that their theory is correct.

At some point, we’re going to have to cut ties with Saudi Arabia unless drastic changes are made. Changes are underway, but they seem too slow to compensate for the backwards nature of the country. It’s time to just cut them loose now.

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Foreign Affairs

Saudi Arabia issues warning over “false accusations”

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Saudi Arabia issues warning over false accusations

Representative John Ratcliffe (R-TX) took to Fox News to try to bring calm to an escalating situation. Saudi Arabia has been accused of murdering Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist who has been outspoken against the Saudi regime.

He points out that Saudi Arabia’s threats and proposed actions against them are premature. Until we see the evidence Turkey has against them, we must presume innocence, Ratcliffe said.

My Take

The Representative is right and wrong. He’s right that we shouldn’t act against the Saudis until we know for use. Then again, the evidence that U.S. officials have almost certainly seen and/or heard is enough to make pro-Saudi groups in Washington DC squirm. Then, there are the previous and ongoing abuses Saudi Arabia has committed that must be considered.

Backing away from our relationship with Saudi Arabia will hurt. Backing down to their threats is inexcusable. The White House is in a real pickle on this one.

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Foreign Affairs

Mike Pence calls out the reality in China

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Mike Pence calls out the reality in China

Headlines have been popping up for over a decade that China is embracing Western-style freedoms for its people. Some variation of praise and hope have littered our news wires for some time, yet the incremental changes that are so often touted rarely turn into anything substantial and are often replaced by setbacks.

The economy is still far from free. Access to information television and internet is heavily controlled. Religious activities must be held in secret. This isn’t the China we’ve been promised.

It’s not the China the government has been promising its people.

Vice President Mike Pence drew criticism from leftists who found his recent comments inflammatory, but at this point does it really even matter? After three presidencies that treated China like the great reformers they’re not, isn’t it about time we try to use honest words and aggressive actions to call them out rather than allow them to continue their expansion unchecked?

Remarks by Vice President Pence on the Administration’s Policy Toward China

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-vice-president-pence-administrations-policy-toward-china/Previous administrations made this choice in the hope that freedom in China would expand in all of its forms -– not just economically, but politically, with a newfound respect for classical liberal principles, private property, personal liberty, religious freedom — the entire family of human rights. But that hope has gone unfulfilled.

The dream of freedom remains distant for the Chinese people. And while Beijing still pays lip service to “reform and opening,” Deng Xiaoping’s famous policy now rings hollow.

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